1 Wednesday, 30 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 WITNESS: SHUKRI GERXHALIU [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, good afternoon.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We will continue now with your evidence. Please
11 remember that the solemn declaration which you made at the beginning of
12 your evidence on Monday continues to apply to the evidence you will be
13 giving today.
14 Mr. Marcussen.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examination by Mr. Marcussen: [Continued]
17 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, today I will just be clarifying a few points in
18 relation to where we left off on Monday. That was when you explained
19 yesterday that Sheribane went to the police to report killings, the
20 killing of 31st of May, 1999. I would like you to try to answer my
21 questions as short as you can, as we don't have so much time today.
22 Now, you mentioned that other crimes had been reported. What was
23 the nature of those crimes? Theft, violence, killings? Could you just
24 very briefly explain what crimes you were referring to?
25 A. I was referring mainly to murders committed in the stream of
1 Studime village now and again and also in the course of May, month of May.
2 Let me look at the date briefly. On the 14th of May, six civilians were
3 killed. On the 23rd, nine Albanian girls were killed, and this was the
4 case often but they denied it when they talked about.
5 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gerxhaliu. So you told the police about these
6 crimes. Did the police investigate the crimes? I think you can answer
7 just yes or no.
8 A. The previous ones I referred to, they denied them altogether.
9 Q. So why on the 31st of May did you report the killings to the
11 A. I did so for them to come and see for themselves the family of
12 Seladin Gerxhaliu whose entire family was executed. And my uncle and his
13 son live a little bit further away, they came afterwards and looked at it.
14 Q. And I understand from your statement that the police did respond
15 on the 31st of May. At that time, did the police examine the bodies at
16 the house of the family?
17 A. My father contacted the police, my father's name is Salihu, and
18 some other cousins, but I personally was not there. There was no way I
19 could contact the police. But I know that they came to the scene, took
20 snapshots of the dead bodies that day, and then they told my relatives to
21 wait until they would let them know what to do with the corpses and then
22 they informed them that they could bury them.
23 Q. Did you see the bodies at the house?
24 A. After the police went there, some villagers and I carried the
25 bodies to the cemetery. I have the photos of the dead bodies which were
1 taken by my relatives, whereas when we brought bodies to the cemetery, I
2 took photos of them myself. So I saw the bodies, before we took them to
3 the cemetery, and before burying them.
4 Q. Did you pick the bodies up as they were lying at the house or
5 where did you pick them up?
6 A. Yes. They were all piled up together in one room. Before I
7 couldn't say this because I didn't want to hurt the family members, but in
8 fact, they were all put together in the same room, with the exception of
9 these three persons I mentioned earlier, my uncle and his two sons. So
10 all these bodies, I carried them.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the reference to a room there actually a
12 reference to a grave?
13 MR. MARCUSSEN:
14 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, when you picked up the bodies, did you take them,
15 the bodies, out of the house of the family where they had been killed?
16 A. Yes. From the house we took the bodies, with the exception of
17 three bodies who were executed one kilometre away from the house, my uncle
18 and his two sons. The others, the old woman, the children and the
19 daughter-in-law, they were all killed inside the house. And as I said, we
20 took their bodies from this house and took them to the cemetery.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you look at the list of names in the statement
22 which you have and look at paragraph number 32?
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think we need to supply the witness with a copy
24 of the statement. Maybe we can give a hard copy of --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It was to clarify the ones who were not found in
1 the house. Can you do that, Mr. Marcussen?
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yes, I think that is described, if I can just look
3 at paragraph 30 in Dr. Gerxhaliu's statement. The three -- yes, there are
4 three persons mentioned in the English version of the statement,
5 paragraph 30, the three persons are Xhemajl, Seladin, and Seladin's son
6 Shaban. And the --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just hold on a second. The reference is to
8 an uncle and two sons, so that wouldn't fit.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: Okay.
10 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, the three persons you were referring to, what are
11 their names, please, the three that were killed one kilometre away from
12 the house?
13 A. Seladin is the owner of the house, the father of six sons and one
14 daughter who were killed. Shaban is the elder son of Seladin, who was
15 only 16. Whereas Xhemajl is my uncle, or the son of Seladin's uncle, who
16 went to save Seladin's life.
17 Q. So when you referred to three people, just so it's clear on the
18 record, the three people that were executed about a kilometre from the
19 house are Xhemajl, Seladin, and Shaban?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. And then in paragraph --
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I think the remaining nine family
23 members that were killed at the house, they are listed at paragraph 32 of
24 the statement.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, thank you.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN:
2 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, just one last point on this. When you picked up
3 the bodies from the house, had the police moved the bodies or did you find
4 them as they -- in the position where they were lying as they had been
6 A. The police, one investigating judge, and a doctor who had come as
7 a refugee from Croatia, Natalia Tasi was her name - I used to know her
8 from the past - they examined the bodies and moved them a little bit. So
9 before I went there, they had been moved.
10 Q. When did -- the team that came to investigate, did they interview
11 and take statements from anyone, as far as you know?
12 A. They had interviewed my father, Salihu, who was the first to enter
13 the room after having found the three dead persons killed farther from the
14 house. They asked my father about me and my whereabouts, because they
15 knew me. My father lied to them, telling them that I was allegedly in
16 Skopje, in Macedonia.
17 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, did anybody else come to investigate at the crime
18 scene or was there only that one investigation?
19 A. Only that day, that is on the 31st of May, first it was this team
20 I mentioned that came. I wasn't there, as I said. But they informed me,
21 I was hiding somewhere else, and then there was a team that came just to
22 inform the people that they could bury the bodies. I don't know if any
23 other investigation having taken place.
24 I heard, though, that on the 6th of June another team came, a
25 combined team, and they went to the site of the crime and to the other
1 place where the three people had been killed, as I explained, and then
2 there was this clash with the KLA that was the second time but mainly they
3 picked up the cartridges or some other materials of interest to them, and
4 as I was informed, fighting took place.
5 Q. To your knowledge, Dr. Gerxhaliu, have anybody ever been tried for
6 the crimes -- for the killing of the 12 people we talked about?
7 A. No. I never heard that anyone was found responsible but not --
8 not in this case, for the family I'm talking about.
9 Q. Just --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, the team which came on the 6th of
11 June, do you understand that to have been an investigating team?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may only tell you
13 what I heard, namely that there were police representatives as well as
14 army representatives in this team, going there, as I was told, to
15 investigate. But it was my cousin Fatbardha who saw them, her mother and
16 another cousin whom they -- this team took to show them where the event
17 had taken place. This is the only thing I can tell you after I heard this
18 from them.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it your understanding that the KLA prevented
20 them carrying out an investigation?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. But as the people I mentioned
22 earlier informed me, they passed the neutral line, they went a little bit
23 further than where the victims were, and by accident they ran into KLA
24 forces and a fighting ensued. This was the reason why, because they
25 passed that line, and ran into KLA at the barn, as we say.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, the Prosecution have no further
3 questions at this point to the witness. We might of course do some
4 redirect, but now we are finished. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. O'Sullivan.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour, we'll proceed in this order:
8 General Ojdanic, General Pavkovic, Mr. Sainovic, Mr. Milutinovic,
9 Mr. Lazarevic and General Lukic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Dr. Gerxhaliu. My
11 name is Tomislav Visnjic, attorney-at-law, and counsel for General
12 Ojdanic. I have a few questions for you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: One thing I forgot, before you start, excuse me.
14 Doctor, you mentioned photographs. Do you have these photographs
15 with you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And some were taken by relatives and some were
18 taken by you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't receive any translation.
20 The photographs of family members of Seladin were taken by my
21 cousin, Fatbardha, together with another cousin, Sela, in the house while
22 the other photographs were taken at the cemetery. We took them together.
23 I've brought the film here, and I also have the pictures here with me. I
24 have brought the film here at the Tribunal earlier.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: What was -- what was the date on which you took
1 your photographs?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the same day, before they were
3 buried; that is, on the 31st of May. Some of the photographs were taken
4 at 11.00 while the others around 3.00 before the bodies were buried. So
5 in one word, all the photographs were taken on the same day.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Just give us a moment, please.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Dr. Gerxhaliu, would you like us to look at these
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I would appreciate that. I
11 have them here. Maybe the Tribunal has the film or the photographs. As
12 you wish.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Would the usher please collect them from
14 Dr. Gerxhaliu, please.
15 Doctor, each of these photographs has a number on the back and it
16 would appear initials. Can you explain how these came to be there?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't marked them with numbers.
18 I don't know who did that. But I can recognise all the persons on the
19 photographs. They are all cousins of mine.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think I can assist with the initials.
22 Those -- there are numbers and I believe some initials on the back
23 of each photograph. Dr. Gerxhaliu provided these photographs to the
24 Office of the Prosecutor in 2002, and I believe these are copies he
25 received back with markings on them.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You were not intending to submit the photographs?
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's correct. And yesterday we informed the
3 Defence that Dr. Gerxhaliu had given us these photographs in 2002, and
4 this morning only have we provided the Defence with copies of the
5 photographs, just to clarify the situation with those. Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
7 Now, Mr. Visnjic, I may be asking too much of you when I ask for
8 confirmation on behalf of everyone, but is it accepted that this family
9 were massacred? Or is there some issue over that?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can only speak for my
11 Defence team. Based on the results of our own investigation, it is
12 obvious that a crime of murder was carried out at that place and several
13 people were murdered. Apart from that, I can't say anymore. But indeed,
14 several people were murdered. That's as far as I can go.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that extend to the three who were not in the
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would have to count them, but most
18 likely. I don't know how I can confirm this right away. What I can tell
19 you, though, is that we don't have any proper documents. We have some
20 results of our own investigation which we wanted to use in this
21 cross-examination. We don't have the complete set of documents, and you
22 will learn what our findings were. There were some authorities there
23 carrying out an on-site investigation but I don't have all the documents,
24 therefore I can't provide a full answer.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: It's just that if there is no real dispute but that
1 these people were murdered, then the clarification of exactly who is shown
2 in the photographs can be dealt with out of court. It doesn't need to be
3 dealt with here and take up time. And all I'm trying to establish is
4 whether there is any issue over the fact of murder. I appreciate there
5 will be an issue over responsibility for the murder, but the fact of
6 murder I was anxious to clarify.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That is correct. Although I think
8 there is a mention of nine people being murdered in the documents. I
9 don't know how many photographs you received from Dr. Gerxhaliu. Perhaps
10 this is something we can clarify at a later stage with the OTP at a later
11 stage of the proceedings.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, thank you for giving us these photographs.
13 If you do not mind, we shall hold on to them for the moment, but it may be
14 that the matter can be clarified in the course of the day and the
15 photographs returned to you. We shall see. But we are grateful to have
16 them at the moment. Thank you.
17 And now Mr. Visnjic will carry on with his questions.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. You can hold them
19 as long as you wish. I brought them there for you.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gerxhaliu.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 3D65 shown to
23 the witness?
24 3D65. I don't think this is it. It should be a map.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: I just want to point out that we, the Prosecution,
2 has not been notified of any documents that the Defence would use. I
3 would not object to Mr. Visnjic showing the map but I just thought I
4 should point that out. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I believe this was disclosed three
7 days ago, and they are in the system.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the point that's being made is that you
9 should give a list of the documents you propose to use in the
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree it may have
12 been our omission, but I hope that during our cross-examination we will be
13 able to realise that the OTP has been notified sufficiently in advance
14 about our intention to use these.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Carry on then for the moment.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Could we please have 3D65 shown to the witness? Yes, exactly.
18 Doctor, this is a map of a part of the Vucitrn municipality. As
19 opposed to the one you saw yesterday, this one is a bit lighter. I would
20 kindly ask you to show the border or the line between the KLA and the Serb
21 positions before the outbreak of the war between the 20th and the 24th of
22 March, 1999. I have in mind the part towards the territory of Sudimlja
23 and Slakovce, and that's the operational zone called Llap, I think. You
24 don't need to point out where Salju [phoen] is and the rest.
25 A. As far as the Llap operational zone is concerned, it was
1 operational in Podujeve. I don't know where its border line was. And
2 secondly, I was a doctor and I was mainly active in logistics. In other
3 words, I was active in hospitals. So I'm not a person who can answer your
4 questions about the Llap operational zone. It was a totally different
5 zone. But for Shala zone, I have already pointed it out in the map, where
6 the border line was.
7 Q. Now, if it's not a problem for you, could you please draw the line
8 again between Shala and the Serb forces in your own municipality, please?
9 Before the beginning of the war, between the 20th and the 24th, please.
10 A. As I said, I am a doctor, I'm not expert in maps, but since you
11 insist, I will try to show you approximately where this line was. This is
12 Studime e Poshteme. This is Studime e Eperme. This is Sllakovc. And
13 this is Samadrexha. The Serb forces were --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on, doctor, that doesn't help us for reasons
15 which are no fault of yours. Is this -- are you looking for the same line
16 as was drawn on a map yesterday? On Monday, rather.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm just asking him to
18 show me one of those lines. He showed seven yesterday. I just need one
19 and then I'm going to put further questions about that. It is the same
20 line but it's one of seven, one of the seven that were there. I think
21 that this map is more precise in view of the question that I wish to put
22 to the witness. That is the simple reason.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we want to be sure we are getting the same
24 reflection of evidence, don't we? You can't use the other map? You've
25 got to use this one, have you?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think it's going to create a
2 great deal of confusion and I'm just interested in one locality. Once he
3 draws the line, I have a question for that particular locality and then we
4 can move on.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you not simply ask him what side of the line
6 that locality was on, or is it a more complex question than that?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, all right. I guess, well,
8 yes, I guess we can do it that way, too, and then we can show him that
9 map, the map from Monday, that is. But this is how I shall proceed now.
10 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, please tell me, did the KLA -- actually, let's
11 start this way.
12 You said in your statement that the KLA held 80 per cent of the
13 territory in Vucitrn; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Will you agree with me if I tell you that what you marked on the
16 map [Overlapping microphones] is considerably less than 80 per cent of the
17 territory of the municipality?
18 A. This was my estimate because it included Cicavica with all the
19 villages, and then Studime e Eperme, and the villages around this village.
20 So this was my opinion.
21 Q. All right. I agree. Now that you said Sudimlja, what about
22 Svracak, Donji and Gornji, were they under KLA control before the war
23 broke out in 1999?
24 A. You mean Sfaracak, right?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. Both Sfaracaks were under the control of the former Yugoslav
2 forces. They were positioned in upper Sfaracak. There there is a
3 strategic hill, while in Studime e Poshteme they were positioned in the
4 Rashica neighbourhood.
5 Q. All right. From when did they have these positions in Gornji
7 A. Sfaracak i Poshtem, later on, but in Sfaracak i Eperm, and in
8 Studime, somewhere in March. I don't know the exact time, but I can say
9 that they held these positions under their control throughout the time.
10 Q. Why did you then state in your statement in paragraph 6 that
11 Svracak was under the control of the Serb forces from the end of April?
12 A. Well, whether it was April or March, I can't tell you. I have
13 mentioned things in my statement only briefly. I don't think it's
14 important now whether they were there in March or April. The most
15 important thing is that the forces were -- the former Yugoslav forces were
16 positioned from March onwards on both hills, on both these positions. If
17 you want the precise dates, I have a notebook in my house, and there you
18 can find the details, while in my statement I only pointed out things
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, where is that in the statement? In
21 paragraph 6?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, paragraph 6.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: From the -- yes, sorry, I found it. I've found it
24 now. Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In actual fact, you don't know whether it was March or April, or
2 what you said in your statement is simply not correct?
3 A. Counsel, listen, I just want to point out one thing. In
4 Sfaracak e Eperm, there were Serb inhabitants, and this area was always
5 under the control of Serb Yugoslav authorities.
6 As for the date when the Serb forces came there and positioned
7 themselves there, I don't know. But I can tell you that that area was
8 under their control. They could position themselves there whenever they
9 wanted to, because that area was simply under their control. And as I
10 said, I don't know the exact dates when they came there.
11 Q. Are you telling me now that this area was never under KLA control
12 and that the KLA never operated in the area?
13 A. Where, you mean?
14 Q. The area of Svracak, Gornji and Donji?
15 A. I can't speak of something that I don't know. I know one thing.
16 You can see Sfaracak i Eperm from my house. I had patients there, so I
17 moved to that area often, and I know that there were movements of Serb
18 forces there. And the other Sfaracak is behind a hill, and I cannot see
19 it from my house.
20 I can only confirm things that I've seen with my own eyes.
21 Sfaracak i Eperm, Studime e Poshteme, these two locations were always
22 under the control of the former Yugoslav authorities, until the NATO
23 forces entered Kosova.
24 Q. All right, doctor. Tell me -- actually, let's move on.
25 In the Milosevic case, you made several references in the
1 transcript to the fact that you treated Albanians and Serbs equally. The
2 transcript pages are 4111 and 4112. When Milosevic asked you whether you
3 knew of the killing and wounding of Albanians by the KLA, your answer was
4 that that was quite inaccurate. I'm asking you now whether you still
5 claim that the KLA never wounded or killed any Albanians.
6 A. I don't know. I haven't heard, and I haven't seen a case when KLA
7 wounded or killed an Albanian.
8 At that time, during that trial, I emphasised that I was working
9 in the hospital and I administered help to anyone who required it.
10 Therefore, as for your question, I cannot confirm something that I haven't
11 seen or heard of.
12 Q. Doctor, I'm just telling you that in the Milosevic transcript, on
13 page 4119, you didn't say that you don't know. You said that that was
15 A. Well, I cannot confirm something that I don't know. I cannot say
16 somebody killed someone when I haven't seen that. And for me, that is
18 Q. All right. We understand the difference. We understand now what
19 it is that you say is incorrect.
20 In the same case, on page 4117, you said that the police at
21 check-points beat up and mistreated the inhabitants of the villages that
22 were under KLA control. I'm asking you now whether you knew whether
23 somebody was mistreated or beaten by the KLA.
24 A. At check-points, you mean? Serb police check-points?
25 Q. I mean the territory that was held by the KLA.
1 A. In the territory held by the KLA, I have not witnessed any
2 maltreatment or beating up by KLA soldiers. While in Dakovce, situated on
3 the road towards Pristina, from the side of Vucitrn, there there was a
4 Serb police check-point, it resembled a border post, and everybody was
5 beaten up there, especially those villagers who lived in areas controlled
6 by the KLA. And I have treated many of these persons who were beaten up
7 on this check-point, and they have consequences to this date.
8 Q. All right. May the witness please be shown 3D61?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not going to repeat my point about not having
11 received the list, but I was going to ask my learned colleague whether
12 there it was an English translation of the document available.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there apparently isn't one at the moment.
14 I'm told there isn't one in the system. Is there? Have you found it?
15 I'm told, Mr. Visnjic, that there is no English version of the
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] There must be a mistake on our part.
18 There would have to be an English version of the document because it's a
19 document from the OTP and I know that I found it in their database. I'm
20 sure that I saw it. I don't know what happened to the translation, but
21 anyway, let it be my problem.
22 Let me ask the witness something about this document actually.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on. This is the second document to which
24 the same point is made by Mr. Marcussen that by agreement of everyone, the
25 rule was made that a list of the documents or other material that's going
1 to be used in cross-examination should be disclosed when the witness
2 begins his evidence. Now, in this case that would have been on Monday.
3 And that enables obviously the Prosecution to check the position and
4 prepare themselves, and it could avoid this sort of problem.
5 So there are two separate issues here. There is one releasing the
6 documents themselves into the system; but separately there is the question
7 of providing a list of these documents, each time, for each witness. Now,
8 that appears not to have been done here, Mr. Visnjic.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, agree but as far as
10 disclosure, these documents were made available through the system Friday
11 afternoon. So -- well.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not the point. The point is the orderly
13 conduct of the proceedings is assisted by the production of the list. So
14 while it may not be a major infraction of the rules, it nevertheless is
15 something that should be complied with. So, please, in future, and this
16 applies to everyone, and it applies to the Prosecution when they come to
17 cross-examine your witnesses in due course, please ensure that when the
18 witness begins his evidence, that list is always released to the
20 Now, let's carry on using what we do have here, so far as
22 Yes, Mr. Marcussen.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, our very effective case manager has
24 managed to locate a draft translation of the document. I propose we can
25 e-mail that to Defence counsel and to the Bench, and then maybe it will be
1 possible to consult the translation of the document for everyone in the
2 courtroom. Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Well, we can also proceed with the version
4 which is on the screen, can we not?
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to express my
6 gratitude. But Your Honour, I would really like to say that it wasn't our
7 intention to make the work of the OTP any more difficult. As a matter of
8 fact, I think we facilitated their work through our disclosure. But don't
9 worry, we are going to correct it every other time.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Doctor --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let us proceed. I would like to draw your attention to
15 paragraph 8 of this document, which is a regular operations report in
16 Pristina. We cannot see it on the transcript any longer.
17 At any rate, in paragraph 8, what is mentioned is that on the 24th
18 of September, 1998, in the afternoon, a group of three Siptars from
19 Samodreza, as representatives of the village, took a tractor on their way
20 to the terrorists that were in the immediate vicinity of the village of
21 Cecelija in order to convince them to stop with attacks and to hand over
22 their weapons.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question
24 because Mr. Visnjic is moving too fast.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, in your anxiety to be even more
1 helpful you're moving too quickly for the interpreter, I'm afraid. So the
2 question has been missed. The lead-up to it has been translated but not
3 the question.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have the document
5 in English, so it's a sight translation of B/C/S that was on the screen.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Cecelija was under the control of the KLA; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell me, the village of Samodreza, was that under KLA control too?
10 A. Half of this village, the Basholl neighbourhood was under KLA
11 control, while the lower half of the village was under the control of
12 former Yugoslav forces. They had positions on a hill. They call it the
13 Llazoviq neighbourhood. This was where the Serb forces were positioned
14 and there were clashes on that area every now and then. After 2nd of May,
15 the Serb forces advanced and came to Basholl neighbourhood and they
16 stopped there. They couldn't advance any further.
17 So up to the 2nd of May, they were in Llazoviq neighbourhood of
18 Samadrexha, and after this date, they came to -- 2nd May, 1999.
19 THE INTERPRETER: If the counsel can wait for the witness to
20 finish his answer.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'm asking about October. I'm asking you about October and
23 September 1998. So the question is just whether it's Cecelija -- or,
24 rather, Samodreza was under KLA control in September and October 1998.
25 That is the time when you went to these villages and when you treated the
2 A. If you want a proper explanation, here it is. I often went to
3 Novoselle of Maxhun and in Samadrexha by my official ambulance vehicle,
4 and up to Samadrexha, which was under the control of the forces that I
5 explained. As for Ceceli it was always under KLA control.
6 Q. All right. Thank you, doctor.
7 Did you hear that the KLA in Cecelija physically mistreated, beat
8 up, and -- some people, and broke a tractor? The persons involved were
9 three Siptars from the village of Samodreza who were representatives of
10 the village and who went out there to talk to the representatives of the
12 A. Counsel, this is the first time I hear of this incident, and since
13 I have taken the solemn declaration, I cannot confirm this.
14 Q. Thank you. Doctor, when you moved about these villages, did you
15 see that the population was moving? Or, rather, that they were moving
16 out, one side or the other?
17 A. For which period of time are you talking about?
18 Q. The period between October and March. October 1998 and March
19 1999, before the beginning of the war.
20 A. I cannot confirm anything. I have spoken of things that I know in
21 my statement, and now, during my testimony. Maybe there were people
22 moving out but I don't know that. I have spoken of the movements of my
23 family in my statement. As for others, they might have moved out but
24 seven years have passed and I cannot either confirm or deny anything.
25 Q. All right, doctor. But if I show you document 3D62 now.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't even dare ask. I hope there
2 is a translation into English.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Out of luck again, Mr. Visnjic, I'm afraid. But we
4 are managing with the interpreters doing a sterling job by translating
5 from the screen. The only thing is you need to move just a little bit
6 more slowly.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Well, doctor, it is a list which constitutes a list of villages
9 from which inhabitants were expelled, first Serbs and Montenegrins by the
10 KLA. And as you can see, there are some villages here that you had toured
11 yourself; for example, Gornji Svracak. You went through there, didn't
13 A. Yes, I had patients there but this was before the war. These were
14 Serbs, these patients, and I went to visit them very often.
15 Q. We are precisely talking about the period between October and
16 March. October 1998 and March 1999.
17 Can the usher please bring the table back a bit? Can I see the
18 upper part -- or, rather, can the witness see the upper part? Thank you,
19 this will do.
20 What about the other villages, Dolak, Donji Stanovci, Mijalic
21 [phoen], Taradza, did you visit any of them?
22 A. No. Except for upper Sfaracak, which was close to my house, and
23 where I had patients.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the family name
25 of --
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can we see the lower part of the table now, please? Just a little
3 bit further up, please, if possible. Thank you.
4 Now, doctor, are you familiar with any of the villages here on
5 this list? Did you visit any of these?
6 A. During this period, you mean? Or during the war?
7 Q. I meant the period between October 1998 and March 1999.
8 A. No. Except for upper Sfaracak. There was an older man, 90 years
9 old, who was sick and he was my patient, so I frequently went there to
10 visit him.
11 Q. Did you not go to Samodreza perhaps?
12 A. Yes. I did go to Samadrexha, but I couldn't go there through the
13 check-point. I usually went through Sfaracak village to Samadrexha.
14 Q. That means that you went through territory that was not under
15 control -- under the control of the Serb police, right?
16 A. I usually went through that road that I mentioned, and not through
17 the road where the check-point was, because I didn't dare.
18 Q. So you went through Svarcak because there were no check-points
19 there, right?
20 A. I went to Sfaracak and came back, usually through
21 Studime e Eperme, between Ceceli and Samadrexha, and from a road between
22 these two villages I would return back home.
23 Q. Thank you. Thank you, you've given us a good answer. I'm asking
24 you now, when you were in Samodreza did you notice that the population was
25 moving out? Serbs and Montenegrins, 20 households in the period between
1 the 27th of October, 1998, until March, 1999. Did you notice that?
2 A. No. I wasn't there during that time. I haven't seen that. I
3 don't know when they left and what happened to them. I absolutely know
4 nothing. I had no chance to see them move out.
5 Q. Could we just move the list a bit further down, please.
6 Did you visit any of these villages mentioned here: Milivoda,
7 Strova, Bencuk, Bivoljak, Glavotina, Mijalic, Drvare, Shalce, and Kolo?
8 A. None of the villages you mentioned. I didn't have an opportunity
9 to visit any of them.
10 Q. Can we please see the second page of this document. Doctor, on
11 page 2 there is another list of villages. Are you familiar with any of
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. For example, Cecelija; is that correct?
15 A. We call it Ceceli. Here it is Cecelija. But it's not a problem
16 at all.
17 Q. Well, did you notice that in Cecelija, or Cicilija, or in Slakovce
18 that also some houses were abandoned? Did you notice that?
19 A. The movement of the population differed. What I remember, since
20 you insist, during the offensive of September 1998, there were houses
21 abandoned in Ceceli and Sllakovc but to my recollection, the people who
22 had moved out returned to their houses. This was during the offensive,
23 the September offensive, 1998, around 5th of September.
24 Q. No, doctor. I'm asking you for the 27th of October, 1998 and
25 until the 15th of March, 1999, as it is stated in this document. I am
1 asking you this because in that territory, the KLA was active, and due to
2 their activities, people were displaced. Do you agree with me if I say
4 A. I cannot agree with you. I can only say that on the 15th of
5 September, 1998, a Serb offensive was launched and that prior to that the
6 people of Shala e Bajgore, Ceceli, and Samadrexha all went out of their
7 homes, and then they returned, but I cannot ascertain the time of the
8 return or the share of population that returned. I am not competent to do
10 Q. Doctor, between the 27th of October, 1998, until the 15th of
11 March, 1999, why would 220 people move out of Serbian and Montenegrin
12 origins from five villages and 93 Roma from three villages? And on page 1
13 I believe we see the figure from the five villages which have been
14 completely ethnically cleansed and three being partially ethnically
15 cleansed of the Roma. If that -- if the territory was not under the
16 control of the KLA, why would have these people moved out?
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think the witness has said that he don't know,
20 and I think now he's being asked to speculate about the reasons why they
21 moved out.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I suspect also the question has been either -- it
23 looks as though it's been wrongly translated. Did you mean to say,
24 Mr. Visnjic, if the territory was not under control of the KLA why would
25 these people have moved out?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to say, Your Honour, that
2 in the territory where the KLA was active, that there were Serbs and Roma
3 and Albanians who were moved out, as it was stated in the document.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, do you know anything of the movement of
5 people in these villages or from these villages between October and March?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I already said, and I
7 will firmly declare, that I know only the movement of the people who were
8 obliged to leave their homes due to the Serb offensive launched on the
9 15th of September. That was obvious for all of us to see. I cannot say
10 that there were no other moves. There were. But I was not a witness to
11 that so I cannot confirm it.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. But doctor --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: On you go, formulate another question. Sorry,
15 Mr. Marcussen.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not sure whether I understood my colleague
17 Mr. Visnjic correctly, but according to the translation that I have of the
18 document, the last paragraph that I believe Mr. Visnjic is referring to is
19 not saying that the villages from which the 220 persons were driven out
20 and so on and so forth were in KLA-held area. I think it's a conclusion
21 of the report and doesn't -- which doesn't make that distinction. It's a
22 little complex when we don't have a translation and no time to look at it
23 before. I just wanted to point that out and we can maybe clarify that
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Formulate your next question, please, Mr. Visnjic.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. In the
2 meantime we received the translation in hard copy.
3 Q. Doctor, could we please show a Defence Exhibit to the witness?
4 This is 3D66.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before this new
6 document is being shown to the witness and you've just been provided with
7 a translation of 3D62, this is an official document by the Ministry of the
8 Interior of Serbia, number 350/39, dated the 15th of March 1999. In this
9 document, containing a list of villages where there was recorded movement
10 of population, and the ethnic makeup is provided as well. Also, we see
11 the reasons for the movement of the population stated.
12 Q. Doctor, we have another map now, which is a blown-up map. I'm
13 interested in the area between Gornja and Donja Sudimlja, the area you're
14 very familiar with. The reason why I'm using this map is because we see
15 the brook you mentioned on several occasions marked in blue, the brook
16 between Gornja and Donja Sudimlja. It actually follows the road to a
17 great extent. Am I correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you mark on this map the place where your tractor was the
20 night between the 2nd and the 3rd of May?
21 A. I marked it on the other map. I don't know why you should repeat
22 it. Do you have the other map? Of course, if it's necessary, I can do
23 that again. But I know I marked it once.
24 Q. Please indulge me, I'll ask you for another two locations which
25 are not on the map and perhaps that will clarify.
1 A. The convoy was from here, Studime e Eperme, until the entrance to
2 Studime e Poshteme. There is a hill somewhere here. I'm not very good at
4 Q. Could you please mark the spot where your tractor was?
5 A. The second half of the column, the column was very long from -- in
6 the place between the two Studimes. If we divide it into part, in the
7 second part, in the rear.
8 Q. Very well. In your village, is there a place called, and I beg
9 your forgiveness for possibly mispronouncing it, but something along the
10 line of Mahala Zusi or something similar?
11 A. Our villagers live in that neighbourhood and the last name was
13 Q. Can you mark off that part, approximately, where your neighbours
15 A. Studime is only one point. All the neighbourhood comprised
16 Studime. We all lived there.
17 Q. So when we say Mahala Zusi, that would actually be Donji Studime
18 or is it Gornji Studime?
19 A. It's not a Mahalla or a neighbourhood. It's only a group of
20 families, three, four families, who together with my family, Gerxhaliu,
21 live in that part of Studime. That is Studime e Poshteme, or lower
23 Q. It is a part of Donja Sudimlja but closer to or towards Gornji
24 Studime; is that correct?
25 A. No. In the direction of upper Studime, there is Rashica
1 neighbourhood, whereas we, as I mentioned, we lived together, my family
2 and Zhusi family.
3 Q. Where would it be on the map, doctor? Is this too small for you
4 to show it?
5 A. Please, understand me, this is only a point. We lived together,
6 Gerxhaliu and Zhushis together.
7 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you this, something called Mahala, the
8 village of Sfaracak or Mahalla Sfaracak. Excuse me, Mahalla Sfaracak or
9 the village of Sfaracak that would probably be Sfaracak. There is no
10 other location with a similar name in that territory, am I correct?
11 A. Just to make an explanation, in the lower neighbourhood of the
12 village near the brook live Zhushi and Gerxhaliu but there are also some
13 Krasniqis. In Rashica, most of them in the upper Mahalla or
14 neighbourhood, there are their neighbours. Their last name is Svarcali,
15 Svarcali. It's not the name of the place. It's their last -- their
16 family name.
17 Q. Thank you. So that is also a part of Donja Sudimlja?
18 A. Yes. There is upper neighbourhood where the Svarcali but mostly
19 there are people who moved and then there is our neighbourhood that I
21 Q. Thank you. I would like to tender this document. I just wanted
22 to say that the red line across the road between Gornja and Donja Sudimlja
23 is the place for which the witness stated his tractor was in the column
24 and the red dot in Donja Sudimlja is the approximate location of his
25 house, and the house of the Zusi family.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit IC 23.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for your reference
4 this map, IC 23, is linked to IC 21, from page 2453 of the transcript of
5 this proceedings, from Monday.
6 Q. Doctor, on the 3rd of May, you returned to the area between Gornji
7 and Donja [Realtime transcript read in error, "Gornja"] Sudimlja. And
8 bodies were collected, identified and later on buried. My question is
9 this: Did the KLA immediately take over the area above the village of
10 Gornja Sudimlja?
11 A. Yes. In the morning of the 3rd of May, when I went there, it was
12 a bit later, they had taken positions in the upper Studime, that is the
13 KLA soldiers.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, the question there has been translated
15 as returning to the area between Gornji and Gornja Sudimlja, and I think
16 you said Donja and Gornja Sudimlja; is that correct?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour. I didn't
18 follow the transcript. You are right.
19 Q. The question is, therefore, did the KLA take the area between the
20 villages of Gornja and Donja Sudimlja?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer is clear. The witness understood the
22 question okay. I was just making sure the transcript on this was clear
23 because it seems to be of some importance that we identify these locations
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show 3D70 to the
1 witness? It is an official note by the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia
2 dated the 3rd of July 2001. If this document hasn't been given a number,
3 I wanted to say that we do have it in the system, we have it here, I can
4 see it now, and we have the translation just underneath.
5 Your Honour, this document is a document given to our Defence
6 immediately prior to the proceedings as part of a disclosure process by
7 the government of Serbia.
8 Q. Doctor, a few moments ago you talked about the reaction of the
9 Serb forces as regards the reported murders. I wanted to ask you this:
10 Did you know that on the 3rd of May 1999, the police station in Vucitrn
11 attempted to carry out an on-site investigation to see what had happened
12 in the area between Gornja and Donja Sudimlja and that they were attacked
13 by the KLA? You were there at the time?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Can that relate to the same incident? Because I
15 thought we were talking about the 31st of May for the other incident.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. What is discussed
17 here is the 2nd and the 3rd of May. The big incident when the column was
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, I misunderstood your question. Please.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] My mistake. I failed to mention the
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Please carry on.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Doctor, did you know that the Serb police tried on the 3rd of May
25 to carry out an on-site investigation and that they were attacked by the
2 A. No. I don't know this, and I never heard of it.
3 Q. Did you know that they were opened fire at from the exact
4 locations you said were Mahala Zusi where your house was and the house of
5 that other family?
6 A. This is the first time for me to hear that.
7 Q. Will you agree with me that as of the 3rd of May onwards, the KLA
8 controlled that territory up until the end of the war? I have in mine the
9 territory above Gornja Sudimlja.
10 A. There was control until Studime e Eperme but until that point, not
11 beyond that point, because Serbian forces with tanks and various arms were
12 deployed in that area and there was no chance for KLA to go there until
13 NATO entered. Sfaracak and Studime e Poshteme was in the hands of the
14 Serbian forces.
15 Q. Yes. So how could it be, then, that the police were attacked
16 twice in close proximity to your house on the 3rd of May 1999 and during
17 the second on-site investigation, on the 5th of June, on the 5th of June
18 1999, if that territory was under the police control?
19 A. As I already said, the 5th, about the 5th or the 6th of June,
20 about that event, I mean, I heard from other people the wife of my uncle
21 was there, the car of the Serbian police, and she told the police about
22 the positions of the KLA, but I didn't see it myself.
23 Q. I apologise but I need to interrupt you, doctor. You've already
24 said that.
25 I wanted to ask you this: If the Serb police indeed controlled
1 that, as you assert, what is the explanation for them being attacked twice
2 by the KLA close to your house? Do you have an explanation?
3 A. In the vicinity of my home, the Serbian police never came. I
4 never saw them come that near and I never heard people say that, but ...
5 Q. Very well. Let me ask you this: Did the KLA come close to your
7 A. I have already stated in my statement that KLA members often came
8 in their cars in the evening, when I went to check them before I finished
9 my work, but afterwards, I was there in the logistics place --
10 Q. No, doctor. We are talking about the period of the war, May 1999.
11 I'm asking you this: In May 1999, was the KLA coming close to your house?
12 A. I was not at home, therefore I cannot say anything. But I know
13 that in Sfaracak i Eperm and Rashica, in these two hills there were forces
14 of the former Yugoslav army, and I believe it was not possible for the KLA
15 to take that part under control because it was being controlled by the
16 Serbian forces, by the Yugoslav forces.
17 Q. Your brother, Seladin, wasn't he a member of the KLA?
18 A. He assisted the KLA, but I'm not sure that he was a member. I
19 know that he helped it.
20 Q. Was he helping them from the start?
21 A. I cannot speak for him. I can only speak for myself. I only know
22 that he supplied them with foodstuffs, medicaments, when he had
23 possibility to do that, but I don't think he was ever armed or ever in
24 uniform. I never saw him wearing any uniform.
25 Q. I will try to jog your memory.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show D71, I believe,
2 to the witness? We have it in hard copy, and it is not in the system.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, you're looking in my direction. I
4 can confirm that I received a copy just before court started so we do have
5 a copy of it. But otherwise it's the situation as with the other
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We will turn to the document when we come back
8 after the break, Mr. Visnjic. And we'll be back at five minutes
9 past 4.00.
10 One other matter, sorry, at this break and the next one, can
11 parties try to sort out the position about identifying the victims of the
12 31st of May and whether we need these photographs? It's been helpful to
13 see them, but do we need to retain them or can we deal with that matter in
14 some other way? All right?
15 Thank you.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before I proceed, may I
20 inform you that I talked to Mr. Marcussen during the break, and together
21 we agreed that it is 12 bodies of persons who had been killed and that on
22 our part, as far as the circumstances are concerned, as to how they -- the
23 persons were killed and so on, the Defence could not accept for the time
24 being what the witness has been saying, but in our own investigation we
25 will try to obtain original documents from the on-site investigation which
1 obviously had been carried out by the investigation authorities of the
2 Republic of Serbia at the time.
3 So, in my opinion, there is no need to keep the photographs. The
4 number of persons involved is not being challenged. We've just agreed
5 that it was nine plus three, and I believe that that will do for the time
6 being. And of course that they had been murdered, yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
8 Doctor, I will return these photographs to you. We know that the
9 Office of the Prosecutor has copies if they turn out for any reason to be
10 necessary. But it looks as though there is no dispute about the fact that
11 12 people were murdered on this occasion. It was useful to us, as I said
12 to you earlier, to see these photographs, but we do not need to keep them
13 from you. Thank you very much.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, also while the doctor
15 is having a look at the document that has just been provided to him,
16 before we have this off our screens, the official note, that is, let me
17 just say that this Defence document also has to do with 2465, page 2465 of
18 Monday's transcript when the witness spoke about reporting crimes.
19 Q. Now, doctor, I would like to continue with your examination. You
20 looked at the document that is before you carefully. Now my question is:
21 Is it correct that your brother Seladin provided the KLA with weapons and
22 later on became a fighter in the 142nd Brigade or, rather, 141st Brigade
23 of the KLA?
24 A. I said earlier that I was a doctor, I was part of the logistics,
25 and I was working in the hospital. Seladin, I was informed that he helped
1 the KLA with food supplies and so on, but as I'm under solemn oath I
2 cannot confirm what you are saying. I'm not excluding the possibility
3 that he was a member but, however, I have never seen him with a weapon or
4 in a uniform. It happened during this time that I could not see even my
5 own children for two or three weeks, let alone Seladin and from the
6 picture here, you can see that he's in civilian clothes.
7 Q. All right, doctor. How many soldiers did the KLA have? How many
8 of them did you treat, rather?
9 A. I don't know. As I have stated in my statement, I had three rooms
10 in the hospital. One was for wounded whoever they were, civilians or
11 soldiers, and the other two were for women and children. I would say that
12 70 to 80 per cent of the patients were civilians. As for fighters, they
13 were in less numbers. I cannot claim with certainty how many wounded
14 soldiers from the KLA there were. I can only speak of these things from
15 my professional point of view.
16 Q. You are telling me now that actually you cannot say how many
17 soldiers the KLA had, and you were their doctor; isn't that right?
18 A. Yes. I was a doctor of the entire population and the KLA, and I
19 had no reason to know or to show interest in this issue, even to this
20 date. I was highly professional and I had a lot of work to do in
21 connection with my profession at that time.
22 Q. All right, doctor.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
24 Defence Exhibit 3D63.
25 Q. Doctor, this is yet another report of the MUP of Serbia, 498/99,
1 the date is the 5th of June 1999, and what is claimed in this report is
2 that the military police and the military investigation organs, together
3 with a MUP patrol that went along by way of security, they went to the
4 village of Donja Sudimlja on the 5th of June 1999 in order to carry out an
5 on-site investigation. They were attacked by Siptar terrorist gangs, and
6 in the process, one vehicle was damaged, another vehicle was left where it
7 was, and one person was wounded and also an automatic rifle remained on
8 the spot, and a pistol. It is also stated that, inter alia, they were
9 attacked with a hand-held rocket launcher. Doctor, did you see this
10 document before?
11 A. No. I have never seen it. That is, this document. I haven't
12 heard and I haven't seen any evidence that there was a clash with KLA in
13 the vicinity of Seladin's house, because this house is very close to mine.
14 On that day, I left for Ulqin I heard that the fighting took place in the
15 upper part of the village, near a stream. I cannot exclude this
16 possibility, but I can neither confirm it. I would like to know more
17 details about this - names, family names - as I have given you details.
18 You say that on the 24th of September, three Albanians were beaten up and
19 they were in a tractor but you're not mentioning the names of these
20 Albanians. Therefore, I cannot argue if it is a fact or not. I heard
21 that on that day --
22 Q. Doctor, until today, you have made several statements, and how
23 come you never stated this particular event? How come that you mention it
24 today that this attack took place?
25 A. As I said, I have spoken of things but you have to make a clear
1 line between things that I have seen myself and things that I've heard. I
2 heard that this took place, and it occurred in the neutral zone above the
3 Rashica neighbourhood, near the stream. I heard this from my
4 co-villagers, from my father, from the wife of my uncle, and I heard about
5 this after I returned from Ulqin.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: May I have clarification of one thing? It must be
7 my fault, but the Seladin who is referred to in the exhibit which you were
8 going to put to the witness but didn't, is that the same person as is
9 referred to in paragraph 30 of the statement?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour. It's the same
11 person. And again I would like to show this exhibit to the witness. I
12 just need to deal with these two first.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Hear me out, though. Does it say in the statement
14 that he was the brother of the accused -- sorry, brother of the witness?
15 If Mr. Marcussen can help me, I would be grateful.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: I do not think so. I'm also trying to verify that
17 at the moment.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Why -- it's only now I'm realising the relationship
19 between these two, in spite of having read this several times.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, I believe at paragraph 27, it says,
21 "That evening I recall sitting on the balcony drinking tea with my cousin
22 Seladin Gerxhaliu."
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But we now learn this is the brother, is it?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: I take it -- that seems to be -- the witness
25 hasn't said anything to the contrary but he hasn't been asked about that
1 specifically. We could just clarify that with him, maybe.
2 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, Seladin, is he your brother or your cousin?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I actually asked for clarification
4 about the 24th and the 28th. Seladin was a cousin of mine. His father
5 and my grandfather were brothers. So he's only a cousin to me and a
7 MR. IVETIC: I'm sorry, if Mr. Marcussen is going to be doing
8 re-direct, I would object at this point. It's improper for him to be
9 doing re-direct examination --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, sit down, we're just trying to get something
11 clarified, for goodness' sake. You don't -- why do you always have to
12 think you're in some American court when you come here? Don't you think
13 we are trying our best to control the proceedings and understand what's
14 going on?
15 Now, Mr. Visnjic. My reason for interrupting was that the witness
16 has so far made it very clear, as I understood it, that this was the
17 brother, in answer to your questions, and now I understand it's not his
18 brother. Were you aware of that?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I've realised it just now too, Your
20 Honour. It seems not to be his brother, yes, but bearing in mind --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So I'm not the only one confused here. Thank you.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. All right, Mr. Gerxhaliu, I'm going to show you yet another
24 document; 3D64. It is a record from the military court attached to the
25 command of the Pristina Corps, the number is KR 199/99. Actually, this
1 record speaks of the same event like the last document, 3D63, except that
2 it was drafted by the military organs that were there on site.
3 Doctor, what about Seladin Gerxhaliu and Hatboma Gerxhaliu? Who
4 are these people? They are relations of yours too, right?
5 A. Seladin Gerxhaliu is a cousin, yes. He's the son of my uncle.
6 But the other person, Hatboma Gerxhaliu, I don't know who she is. I can
7 read Cyrillics and as far as I can see, here it is Hatboma; it's spelled
8 not accurately.
9 Q. Is there a person in your family to whom this could pertain?
10 A. It could pertain to Fatbardha. Fatbardha.
11 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, do you see that in the last paragraph of this
12 statement - could it please be lowered a bit for the witness's benefit -
13 it says here that the investigating judge together with his team went to
14 the spot where the casing had allegedly been found and that that is only
15 300 metres away from your home, and that that is when the investigating
16 judge's vehicle was hit as he was leaving the site.
17 A. On what date?
18 Q. The date is the 5th of June 1999.
19 A. I would appreciate if you do not confuse me with the dates,
20 because this is when I went to Ulqin and I already mentioned that I heard
21 that there were fighting but not in the vicinity of my house. There were
22 no fightings in the vicinity of my house. Because the Serb forces, the
23 army forces, and the police forces were there, nearby.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, what do you say this document relates
25 to? The investigation of what?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's an investigation
2 of the murder of 12 persons that was carried out on the 5th of June 1999.
3 This is the second stage of the investigation. As far as I managed to
4 understand things --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. I understood -- that's what I thought I
6 understood until I see a reference to where the casing had allegedly been
7 found. It wasn't an investigation into some --
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour. The place
11 where this casing was found, well the casing referred to, it's the
12 relative called Hatboma or something along those lines. That is the
13 cartridge or casing that she handed over to the police and she then
14 directed them to the place where they found it. And when they tried to go
15 there - it's only 300 metres away from his house - they were attacked in
16 the way that was described in greater detail in the previous document,
17 3D63. They were attacked and they had to leave the vehicle behind, and
18 one person was wounded, and so on and so forth, as described in the other
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Please, it's not for you to give evidence. Please
21 just confine your answers to the particular questions I ask you. And
22 let's move on, because this witness has no direct knowledge of this.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. In your statement, doctor, on page -- just a moment, please.
25 Paragraph 10, you stated that the convoy -- well, actually I'm taking you
1 back now to the 2nd of May. The convoy that was moving from Slakovce to
2 Vucitrn, that in that convoy there were about 40.000 persons. In your
3 statement that you gave on the 18th of June 1999, and that's the statement
4 that you gave in Ulcinj to the investigator of the Prosecutor's Office,
5 you said that there were 20.000 persons in the convoy. How come there is
6 this discrepancy, doctor, that the number of persons in the convoy was
7 increased from 20.000 to 40.000?
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say that I don't read paragraph 10 as
9 saying that. Perhaps paragraph 11.
10 MR. VISNJIC: Paragraph 11. It's my mistake.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Excuse me.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Marcussen?
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Maybe Mr. Visnjic could clarify what statement
14 he's referring to when he refers to a statement of 18 June 1999. I'm
15 aware of the existence of notes from an interview but not one which was
16 carried out by the Office of the Prosecutor, so we may need to clarify
17 what it is we are talking about. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you clarify that, please, Mr. Visnjic?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It was my understanding that this
20 was a document that is actually notes from an interview with
21 representatives of the OTP. The number of the witness was 33 at the time,
22 and the page is K00186 of his statement taken in Ulcinj on the 18th of
23 June, 1999, and the person making the note was called Muriel Rodrigues.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that help, Mr. Marcussen?
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: I do have that. My case manager is checking one
1 more time whether I'm correct on this but, as far as I know, this is not a
2 statement or notes taken by OTP but by the International Crisis Group, but
3 let's just clarify that.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, I wouldn't put it that way
5 because we got it on a completely different form. The form is completely
6 different from that used by the ICG. Now, I don't know whether we yet
7 again have a problem with your system.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: The information I have about this document is
9 these are notes taken by a person working for the ICG and that this is one
10 of the examples of a document that was then put into a database.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, at the end of the day it doesn't matter who
12 took it. The point is being made that it's a statement which is claimed
13 to be different, although it may be it's not quite as simple as that. So
14 let's have your question, Mr. Visnjic, and please bear in mind that we are
15 interested in significant issues and not peripherally important matters.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the question was put to
17 the doctor. On the 18th of June 1999, in your statement you say that
18 there were 20.000 persons in the convoy, but then in 2000 you say that the
19 number of persons in the convoy was 40.000. Could you please explain the
21 And in the meantime, could we please see P1231, or rather, could
22 it be prepared.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, can you deal with the suggested
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think it was in
1 June that I gave my statement to the respected interviewer, and even then
2 I said 40.000. It might be a mistake in translation or in writing. So I
3 would like to emphasise once again that even then in Ulqin I said there
4 were 40.000, and this was an approximate figure because I didn't actually
5 count the number of persons. This is the number that I have stated then
6 and later in the other statement, 40.000.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Doctor, when you said you were ordered by the KLA to leave the
9 territory of Cecelija and Slakovce, since they could no longer defend it,
10 what instruction was given to the civilians where to go? Were they told
11 to follow the road to Vucitrn?
12 A. I have stated in my statement as well that personally I was
13 offered to go there but I joined my family in the column, and since there
14 was no food and no hygiene equipment and there were some diseases that
15 were being spread among the column, we were then forced to leave from
16 Sllakovc in the direction Ceceli hoping that we would be able to get to
17 Macedonia or Albania or Montenegro.
18 Sorry, I just want to finish my thought. Please don't rush me.
19 And this is for the benefit of the interpreters as well. So some of us
20 were hoping that we will survive despite the fact that we were aware that
21 we had to go through two positions in Rashica neighbourhood and in
22 Sfaracak i Eperm and there I mentioned --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, I have to interrupt you because you're not
24 dealing with the question. And I'm afraid we have so much on paper here
25 we have to confine ourselves to the particular questions that are being
2 Now, Mr. Visnjic, where is it we find this statement that he was
3 ordered by the KLA to leave?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the transcript of --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you were asked is, when you said
7 earlier on Monday that you were ordered by the KLA to leave because they
8 could no longer defend the territory, were you told to follow a particular
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They didn't give us a direction
11 that we were supposed to follow. They just said that they could no longer
12 protect us, and that's why we were forced to take that road to go to
13 Ceceli --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translations continues] ... that's the
15 answer to the question. If Mr. Visnjic wants to ask another one, then he
16 will do so. Let's try and confine the answers to the question that's
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did they tell you to go to Macedonia or Albania, doctor?
20 A. No. Nobody did. But this was what we wanted.
21 Q. I wanted to show you an OTP exhibit, P1231. It is a report of the
22 MUP. Could you please direct your attention to paragraph 3, which
23 states --
24 THE INTERPRETER: We don't have the English translation.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. "The territory of the Vucitrn municipality was voluntarily
2 abandoned by up to 17.000 -- between 17.000 and 19.000 inhabitants in
3 their vehicles."
4 In your knowledge, doctor, is this figure correct?
5 A. I cannot confirm it, because there was no way I could count them.
6 Q. Can you confirm whether 8.000 people remained? Can you confirm
7 that 8.000 people remained behind?
8 A. I know, and I have said it in my statement, that my family -- from
9 the 2nd to the 4th of May, my family was in the agriculture cooperative of
10 Vushtrri, and because they had no means of going either to Albania or
11 Macedonia, they returned. But as to how many went and as to how many were
12 left behind, this is something I cannot confirm.
13 Q. Therefore, your family wanted to go to Macedonia or Albania but
14 they couldn't. They had no means by which to do that? This is your
15 conclusion? Yes or no?
16 A. Yes. This is my conclusion.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
18 further questions for this witness.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
20 Mr. Aleksic.
21 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe
22 my learned friend, Mr. Visnjic was very thorough and I will have just a
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Aleksic:
25 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Gerxhaliu. My name is Aleksandar Aleksic, and
1 together with Mr. John Ackerman I appear on behalf of General Nebojsa
2 Pavkovic. I will have a few questions for you. I will try to be as
3 specific as possible, and I would kindly ask you to provide as concisely
4 as possible, if possible with a yes or no.
5 Dr. Gerxhaliu, the first statement that we have that was provided
6 by you to anyone in relation to the events you've testified about is the
7 statement given to an organisation called International Crisis Group. Do
8 you remember having given such a statement to that organisation?
9 A. Good afternoon, sir. What do you mean a statement? When, where?
10 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, we received from the Prosecution your statement
11 given to the International Crisis Group when you were in Ulcinj probably.
12 We don't have such data as regards the actual date. It was probably on
13 the 18th of June, 1999, when you were in Ulcinj still.
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. And in that statement, you described several incidents. Incident
16 number 3 is the event of the 2nd of May, and you said there that the
17 convoy was approached by some forces, and in that statement given to the
18 ICG you described those forces as paramilitaries who wore black and green
19 masks and bandanas and their faces were painted; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it's correct.
21 Q. Thank you. Further on in the same statement given to the ICG, you
22 mentioned the incident of the 31st of May, 1999, and you described those
23 forces and when you spoke about the Serbian forces, you defined them as
24 paramilitary forces; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, there were militaries and paramilitaries.
1 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, in your statement it says the witness has in mind
2 paramilitary forces. Is this the way you put it, as regards the 31st of
4 JUDGE BONOMY: It simply confirms that it doesn't appear to be a
5 statement that's been recorded. It's been the impressions of whoever was
6 speaking to him.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Also, Your Honour --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just hold on.
9 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will move
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] As regards this statement.
13 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, you said you were a member of the KLA and that
14 during the day you worked at the state hospital and at night you went to
15 field hospitals of the KLA to treat members of the KLA as of 1998; is that
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you ever treat a wounded Serb, having in mind
19 Hippocrates oath?
20 A. I didn't have an opportunity to treat any injured Serb because
21 they -- if there were any, they didn't bring them to our hospital but to a
22 more equipped ward in the city.
23 Q. Thank you. Further on in your statement given to the OTP, on
24 page 3, and I don't believe this is in dispute, that there was every day
25 fighting between KLA -- the KLA and the Serb army, and so you were busy
1 all the time; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, I was very busy all the time, that is correct. Because I was
3 almost the only one that is doctor.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how close you were to the fighting,
5 what was the closest distance that you were from the fighting?
6 A. I have never been in the fighting, where the fighting took place.
7 I was always in the hospital which today has been turned into a museum. I
8 heard the shots, but the distance was several kilometres away.
9 Q. Thank you. Further on in your statement you describe that on the
10 31st of May in the morning around 4.00 a.m. you found out that two
11 hand-grenades were thrown at the old Serbian barracks. Is this what you
13 A. Not hand-grenades, but they were two explosions from the NATO
14 forces thrown against that barracks.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Which paragraph is that, Mr. Aleksic?
16 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is on page 7,
17 paragraph 2, the 28th paragraph.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, I didn't have hand-grenades in mind but actual
21 bombs dropped from planes, but you've clarified that.
22 Yesterday in the transcript page 8, lines 15 and 16, you said that
23 there was quite a lot of ammunition at the barracks. Do you know whether
24 there was anyone at the barracks, or in the barracks?
25 A. I don't know. I only know that it was an old barracks and that it
1 was bombed by the NATO planes. It says here "two bombs." I don't know
2 what exactly they were, but I do know that there were two huge explosions
3 which woke us up in the morning.
4 Q. Thank you. The last question: At the end of your statement, you
5 say that you left Kosovo, and after having crossed over to Serbia there
6 were no further problems; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
9 further questions for this witness.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Aleksic.
11 Mr. Fila.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour, thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 Mr. Cepic.
17 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've got some questions for
18 this witness. Thank you.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Dr. Gerxhaliu. My name is Djuro
21 Cepic, one of the counsel for General Vladimir Lazarevic. I will have a
22 few questions for you, and to try to be as expeditious as possible, please
23 provide concise answers. And I will try to be as clear as possible in my
24 questions. Thank you.
25 MR. CEPIC: Could we please have P4 put on the screen, at 4
1 minutes 20 seconds.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. CEPIC: Stop here.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask for the footage to
6 be stopped here. Thank you.
7 Q. The person we see on the screen, you will agree with me that he's
8 wearing a former JNA uniform or, rather, the uniform of the army of
9 Yugoslavia; is that correct?
10 A. I can't see that very clearly. I see his back.
11 Q. I was interested in the coat and the colour of it.
12 A. It is very unclear. It's unclear for me.
13 Q. Is it clear to you who it is in that picture?
14 A. No. No, I don't know who the person is, but I see some Albanians
16 Q. Would you agree that this was a member of the KLA?
17 A. I cannot agree or disagree. I don't see any emblem, any insignia,
18 and the picture is not clear.
19 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, what sort of uniforms did the KLA wear?
20 A. They had camouflage, green camouflage uniforms, and they had their
21 own emblems on which it was written, KLA. The military police wore dark
22 uniforms, black uniforms, with the emblems as well.
23 Q. Did members of the KLA wore [as interpreted] civilian clothes
24 alongside their weapons?
25 A. No. No, no.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we continue with the footage,
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you move on, what does -- is this
5 supposed to be, this film?
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is an exhibit
7 brought here by this witness showing the column on the 2nd of May. The
8 witness stated that the members of the KLA wore such and such uniforms of
9 such and such colours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I just want to identify what this film is. It's
11 not referred to in the witness statement, I don't think, is it? I just
12 want to be clear what it is.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] This footage was part of the set of
14 OTP exhibits proposed to be used by -- with this witness. It concerns the
15 event on the 2nd of May. That's at least how I understood it. And we
16 received this among other exhibits from the Prosecution. It is P4.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Marcussen.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: I do agree with my learned colleague that it
20 concerns the event on the 2nd of May. It's my understanding that it's a
21 video taken after the event, so the 3rd or the 4th or something like that,
22 so it's not showing the actual column, what might have been in connection
23 with the burials or something like that. It was brought in by another
24 witness than this one, as far as I can see from this --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: That's sufficient for present purposes, thank you.
1 Carry on, Mr. Cepic.
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Can we continue with the footage?
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] So as not to waste time, could we
6 rewind a minute, by a minute? Back, back. As of 3 minutes 20 seconds,
7 can we stop here? At 3.30, 3 minutes 30 seconds. 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
8 A bit further. Stop now.
9 Q. Is this a KLA member that we see here?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. To his right is there another member of the KLA?
12 A. Can't see it very well.
13 Q. Can we continue with the footage, please?
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. To the right of the person in this uniform, is this another member
17 of the KLA?
18 A. I can't recognise him. I recognise the first because of his
19 uniform and his emblem. But for the second, maybe he's a member of the
20 military police of the KLA or someone who has taken the weapon from
21 someone else. I can't confirm the person wearing the uniform, that he is
22 a member.
23 Q. Well, if he was a military policeman of the KLA he seems to be
24 wearing civilian clothes.
25 My question is: Did this member of the KLA military police wear
1 civilian clothes, the person carrying a rifle in his right arm? With the
2 wooden butt?
3 A. The person wearing civilian clothes, I'm not sure whether he's
4 wearing civilian clothes or whether he's dressed in black uniform. Maybe
5 he has taken the weapon from this other member of the KLA. Maybe he's
6 carrying the weapon from him. I was a civilian myself and never carried
7 any weapons.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen you had a comment to make.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think it became clear on the record. I don't
10 think the witness said that this was a KLA military police.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: He didn't say that the first time either so -- yes.
12 The position is clear that he claims not to know.
13 Yes, Mr. Cepic.
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Why does he have a backpack and a rifle in his right arm? The
16 same with the one in uniform? They both have backpacks.
17 A. I believe that he's carrying the weapon of the person wearing a
18 uniform. At least this is my assumption. I cannot confirm it.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we continue with the footage,
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Stop here, please.
23 Q. This person wearing a dark jacket, a ski-jacket, he is holding
24 something on his back. Would you agree that this is yet another KLA
1 A. No. I do not agree with that. The members of the KLA, all of
2 them wore uniforms, carried weapons and were different from the civilians.
3 I was the only one in the KLA in being a civilian.
4 Q. Why did the person we named wear camouflage pants and a ski-jacket
5 and he has something on his back? And we may discuss later what that is.
6 A. I think these are details which we should not discuss here. I
7 said it quite clearly that whoever was a member had to carry -- to wear a
8 uniform and carry weapons. Maybe in this case we see someone who is
9 leaving his weapon with a friend or with an acquaintance for going
10 somewhere or eating something or greeting somebody. I don't know.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Can we continue with the footage?
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Only if you're moving to something else.
13 MR. CEPIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour. I do apologise, but I have got
14 some more questions about --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You have no reason to apologise. If I think you've
16 exhausted the subject, I'll let you know. But it's for you to conduct
17 your own cross-examination, subject to control if we think it's not
19 MR. CEPIC: Yes, thank you.
20 [Interpretation] Could we please see the film now? We don't need
21 to have it rewound.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What is this on the shoulder of this person wearing a vest, the
25 person we discussed a few moments ago? The vest is civilian.
1 A. Can you move it a little bit so that I can see it better?
2 [Videotape played]
3 I don't see him carrying anything.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it looks as though he has something on his
6 shoulder, does it not?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you rewind it, please? Because
8 you asked me about what he's carrying on his back. I don't see what he's
9 carrying on his back.
10 [Videotape played]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's not carrying anything.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: It's this person with the purplish coloured jacket,
13 padded jacket, whose left hand you can now see in the photograph adjacent
14 to the cap of the man in front. What is that he has over his shoulder?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean this person on the opposite
17 JUDGE BONOMY: The one in the middle.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in the middle, the one who is
19 wearing this dark purplish colour jacket?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think he has something which
22 resembles a weapon, but the other one, nothing.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. All right. Let's move on.
24 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could we please continue with the film
25 from 4.00?
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Could you just play the film, please?
3 Stop here, please.
4 Q. The right-hand side, black jacket, jeans, a cap with some
5 insignia, and in the right-hand an automatic rifle. Is that a member of
6 the KLA?
7 A. I don't think so.
8 Q. And what do you think, then, who is this strolling about freely
9 with a weapon like that? Is it perhaps a Serb soldier?
10 A. No. He may be a relative of the soldier who has left his weapon
11 with him to do some other thing. I can't see very well his cap. Maybe
12 the cap, too, belongs to that -- the other soldier.
13 Q. And the one on the very left, who figures so prominently, is that
14 perhaps somebody's relative, too, with a rifle in his hand? Yes, that's
15 the one, also in civilian clothing.
16 A. Sir, I wasn't present there but this is what I think. As far as I
17 know, all the KLA members were armed, but it may happen at a moment that
18 you may leave your weapon with someone else to go and take care of some of
19 your business.
20 Q. Now you're claiming that you were not in the refugee convoy, and
21 before that you said that you were. What is true out of these two?
22 A. The truth is that I was somewhere in the middle of the convoy, not
23 here where you allege, because as I said this column was kilometres long.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: No doubt you're going to make a point about the
1 date, are you?
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Trust us to be able to work these things out,
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second.
7 Doctor, it may be suggested that people with loyalty to their
8 fellow Albanians, who were involved in this conflict, might feel that it's
9 a point of honour to maintain that civilians or at least people who during
10 the day were civilians and at other times took up arms did not in fact do
11 so, that the KLA was an entirely military, organised organisation because
12 it's felt that the civilians who helped and went as far as to bear arms
13 and use them ought to be protected. Now, if you were to be thinking that,
14 that you ought to protect people here in giving evidence, then you would
15 be very misguided because you would be doing no service to the people in
16 Kosovo who expect justice here. It's vital that we are told the whole
17 truth. The oath, the declaration is to tell the whole truth.
18 Now, that is not a comment on your evidence. It is an expression
19 of concern that we do hear things said about people in civilian clothes
20 engaging in fighting or fighting -- activities associated with fighting
21 against Serb forces. And we are anxious to get to the truth of that, and
22 we know that you were a doctor treating fighters who were wounded. So
23 please bear these things in mind when you're answering questions from
24 counsel about whether people who were involved with the KLA were, in fact,
25 on occasions simply dressed at least partially in civilian clothing rather
1 than a regular uniform.
2 Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, did you do your military service in the JNA?
5 A. Excuse me, I would like to add just a sentence, Your Honour, an
7 I have made the solemn declaration to tell the truth, and as I
8 said, I can neither confirm or deny whether there were KLA in civilian
9 clothes. I only can confirm things that I have seen with my own eyes. If
10 I have seen only uniformed KLA members, this is what I can claim and
12 It is my wish as well for those responsible to be held
13 responsible, because the innocent, regardless of their ethnic background,
14 should live together and approach the democratic world and Europe.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, I understand that, and I also acknowledge
16 readily that you have made many statements which anyone listening to this
17 case would regard as concessions about the activities of the KLA. You've
18 clearly been frank about many aspects of the activity of the KLA.
19 But you'll understand our concern when every time you're shown a
20 picture of a man with a weapon you think he might just be keeping it for a
21 friend. It's very difficult applying simple common sense to accept that,
22 that explanation. So that's why I say to you to exercise great caution
23 when you're answering these questions.
24 Now, let's hear what the next question is.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would then
2 like to move on to another area. We have received clear answers here; at
3 least that is my view.
4 Q. In your statement you described where the convoy moved, from
5 Slakovce to Cecelija and then further on in the direction of Gornja and
6 Donja Sudimlja, so from north to south. Is that not the exact direction?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Further on, on page 4 paragraph 5 the English
9 translation, and page 5, paragraph 5 of the Albanian translation you say
10 that near the convoy there were members of the Serb army and
11 paramilitaries and that they came from the north while you were hiding on
12 your tractor trailer in order not to be recognised. Were you afraid that
13 some of the local Serbs would recognise you?
14 A. I was afraid of everybody, because regardless of everything, the
15 local Serbs armed, the military, the paramilitary, they were executing all
16 the young people from the column, and I have testified about certain
17 incidents that occurred in that part of the column that I was part of.
18 Q. That's not what I asked you. Doctor, sir, could you please give
19 clear and concise answers to my questions?
20 My next question is: The persons who approached the convoy, did
21 they have bandanas around their necks?
22 A. There were with bandanas and without bandanas, and they were also
23 in different uniform, because as I said, they approached our column on
24 four occasions.
25 Q. With paint on their faces, right? Paint on their faces, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Aged between 30 and 40, right?
3 A. Listen, it was becoming dark and I could not really tell their
4 age, but they were of different ages, yes.
5 Q. And these aren't persons that we saw a few moments ago from the
6 column. Where were they at that point in time?
7 A. Those were on the 3rd of June. We are speaking now of 2nd of
8 June, of that night.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: We are talking about May, May and not June.
10 But the question is perfectly valid. The question is: Even
11 though the film may have been taken on the 3rd or 4th of May, where were
12 the people we see in that photograph on the 2nd of May?
13 Have I understood the question correctly?
14 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour. But at this
15 point in time, we are talking about the night of the 2nd of May.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is: Where were the people we saw in
17 the pictures on the 2nd of May? Did you see any of them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The KLA members, as I said in my
19 statement, they took the wounded on the 2nd of May, and together with the
20 KLA unit they set off in the direction of Dumnica in a more strategic
21 place. So the KLA part had been -- had abandoned the column. It was only
22 me from the KLA as a civilian there. While on the 3rd, when this film was
23 made, they came back, they took these positions, in order for the burial
24 of the victims to be able to be carried out.
25 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. How far did the convoy get on the 2nd of June -- or
2 rather, I'm sorry, the 3rd of May? Where did the convoy stop on the
3 3rd of May?
4 A. There was no column on the 3rd of May. Only those from the convoy
5 who survived, they settled in the agricultural cooperative, while I went
6 back to the place, to the original place from where I set off.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what were we looking at in the film, then?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was probably filmed on the day
9 when the KLA soldiers repositioned themselves there in order to bury the
10 dead. And those vehicles, those tractors that had remained there, as I
11 said, on the 3rd of May the road was full of tractors and vehicles. Some
12 of them were burned, some of them were not burned, some of them were
13 damaged. And near these tractors and vehicles, as I've mentioned it in my
14 statement, there were more than 100 people who had been killed. There
15 were more than 100 bodies.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But are you saying that the film does not show a
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that this was filmed on
19 the 3rd of May. And the footage does not show the column because, as I
20 said, there was no column after the 3rd of May.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
22 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave, if you
23 permit me, well, I hope I won't take up too much of the Court's time, if
24 you allow me to show a bit more of the film where we can see where the
25 column is moving.
1 Could you just give us a moment, please? Thank you.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Is this not a column that is moving, Dr. Gerxhaliu, sir?
5 A. Yes. But this is from the 3rd of May, those who remained.
6 Because not all the 40.000 of them could go to the cooperative on the 2nd
7 of May. This is how it should be.
8 Q. Your claim was that on the 2nd of May in the evening, the column
9 was completely broken and practically no longer existed, right?
10 A. On the 2nd of May, the column split into two. One part went to
11 the cooperative and the other, you know what happened, some of them were
12 killed, about 200 people. So on the 3rd of May, many people came back
13 there to see what had happened and then they all gathered together in
14 order to do the burial service.
15 Q. If you said that in the column there were 40.000 persons and that
16 200 got killed, then there is a remaining 39.800. What about these 39.800
17 people? Where were they? How many of them went to Zadruga, the
19 A. I can't possibly know that, how many of them went to the
20 cooperative. It was dark, and it was a matter of to be or not to be, as
21 the English say. I know that the majority went there, but there was
22 another part that remained and they came the next morning to see who had
23 survived, who had left, and to attend the burial ceremony.
24 Q. Doctor, if on every tractor trailer there was an average of, say,
25 five people, how long should the column be for it to include 40.000
2 A. There were more than five in tractors. There were other vehicles
3 as well, not only tractors, and many, many on foot. And the majority
4 actually were walking on foot. There were people in carts, in cars, and
5 so on. So to my opinion, the column was several kilometres long.
6 Unfortunately, I wasn't able to measure it from one Studime to the other,
7 but I know it was long. And to my estimate, there were about 40.000 in
8 the column, and even more.
9 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, could you please give me the kilometres involved?
10 The distance from Slakovce to Cecelija, how far away is that? And then
11 also what the distance is to Gornja Sudimlja.
12 A. I have actually never measured the distance, but I know that
13 Sllakovc and Ceceli are close to each other and that you can travel this
14 distance in half an hour. And from Ceceli to Studime e Eperme, you have
15 to climb a hill and then again go downhill, so it is a difficult road to
16 do on foot, but at that time I was thinner, about ten kilograms, I had ten
17 kilograms less so I could move better.
18 As I said in the beginning, I never mentioned [as interpreted] the
19 distance, and you can ask experts about the distance, not me.
20 Q. So you don't have an exact idea about distances in the area where
21 you were born?
22 A. That issue was of no interest to me, because I rarely went on that
23 side during the war.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I suspect the end of the last answer was "I never
25 measured distance" rather than "mentioned." I may be wrong, but perhaps
1 the interpreters can listen again to that and check it.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters confirm that it was measured,
3 not mentioned.
4 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you believe this would
5 be a good moment, perhaps we could take the break.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you much more to ask?
7 MR. CEPIC: Up to ten minutes, up to 15, depends of answers.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And are we likely to finish with this witness today
9 or not? Do you know?
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: I'll try, Your Honour. I'm going to use the break to
12 cull through my questions to remove some. It's my desire to finish and
13 have time for the Prosecution to redirect the witness as well.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's helpful, thank you.
15 So we'll resume at 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. To go back to where we left off before the break, Dr. Gerxhaliu,
21 the way you described the column with the number of people and the way it
22 moved, in my rough estimate, that column would have to have been 40
23 kilometres long which would be exactly the distance between Kosovska
24 Mitrovica and Pristina. The distance between Slakovce, if one goes across
25 Gornja Sudimlja to Donja Sudimlja, is about three and a half kilometres.
1 Is that correct?
2 A. No. It's not possible that it is only three and a half
3 kilometres, because from my house to Studime e Eperme one should travel
4 about an hour on foot. This can't even be as crow flies, let alone the
5 realistic distance.
6 Q. Not more than 15 kilometres tops?
7 A. It could be, more or less. And since I have not measured it
8 myself, the distance that you just gave me cannot be absolute.
9 Q. Thank you. To move on to something else then. Today, in the
10 transcript, you mentioned this. This concerns the event on the 2nd of
11 May, 1999, when I asked you about the people who approached the convoy,
12 and that was page 59 of today's transcript, you said that it was getting
13 dark and that you couldn't clearly make out what they looked like and how
14 old they were. You said some of them had bandanas around their necks and
15 that they wore different uniforms. I presume you didn't see the caps they
16 were wearing. Is that correct?
17 A. It was difficult for me to observe everything because I was half
18 hidden in the tractor, as I said in my statement. I mainly heard what
19 they said, their offensives, the communications between them. I could not
20 observe very much. I could to some extent but mainly I heard things
21 spoken by them.
22 Q. I thank you. In that same statement, you mentioned that those
23 very people whom you couldn't clearly see arrived in personnel -- armoured
24 personnel carriers and in some jeeps; is that correct? Is that correct in
25 your statement?
1 A. Yes. They came in vehicles, APCs, transporters, Pinzgauers, with
2 every single military equipment they had.
3 Q. Of course, since you were hidden and as you've described earlier,
4 you couldn't see that in any great detail; is that correct?
5 A. I wasn't hidden. I was half hidden. I could see some things and
6 I couldn't see other things. And as I said I could mainly hear things,
7 what they were speaking about.
8 Q. You will agree with me that it wasn't only the military who had
9 APCs; is that correct?
10 A. I don't know how the army, Yugoslav army, was organised at that
11 time. Maybe the police had these kinds of vehicles as well. I have only
12 stated things that I've seen myself in my statement.
13 Q. Thank you. You will agree with me that you could remember these
14 events best back in 1999, immediately after they had taken place, isn't
15 that so?
16 A. These events are engraved in my mind, and I will never forget
17 them. I mentioned earlier that I have a diary, where I have noted down
18 these events. These events are very difficult to speak of today, maybe
19 less for me because I'm a doctor, but for others it is surely difficult to
20 recall these events.
21 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, on the 18th of June, 1999, you gave a statement in
22 Ulcinj. That statement is a proposed exhibit by the OTP in these
23 proceedings. In that statement, you described some material facts
24 differently. You stated that the people who approached the convoy looked
25 more like paramilitaries than the police, that they were masked, that they
1 had painted faces, and that they wore green or black bandanas. Is that
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Cepic, are you now quoting what someone
4 has noted as his impression of what the witness said rather than the word
5 for word account of the witness?
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I quote from the material
7 received from the Prosecution.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you can see it and I can't see it. Has it
9 got a number that can come up on the screen for us? No.
10 MR. CEPIC: May I have a minute, please? May I have a minute,
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] In the English, it is page K0218781.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: No. The only relevant number will be one of the
15 e-court numbers. Now, it doesn't sound as though you have put this into
17 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, but this was
18 in the set of proposed exhibits by the OTP. It was forwarded to us by the
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It can only be a proposed exhibit if it has a P
21 number and it was in the 65 ter summary produced by the Prosecution. This
22 is taking up too much time. I'm not going to allow you to question on
23 this since we don't have the exhibit to see and we have got reason from
24 previous questions to think that it's an account recorded by the
25 witness -- by the interviewer of his or her impression of what was said
1 rather than a word-for-word account of the witness. So let's move on to
2 something else.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It wasn't my
4 intention to waste any precious time. I just wanted to indicate what we
5 have received from the Prosecution.
6 Q. Mr. Gerxhaliu, in your statement --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, hold on.
8 Mr. Marcussen.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm just slightly concerned about the evidence,
10 the way it looks on the record now. I think we've sorted out this is not
11 a Prosecution exhibit, it's not a proposed Prosecution exhibit. I have
12 the document with me here, and maybe my colleague would stipulate to the
13 fact that on the first page of document it actually says that, "In the
14 field we were surrounded by Serb forces, police and military." There is
15 not only mention of paramilitaries. Just because the record seems to be a
16 little unclear on this.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we work on evidence, we don't work on
18 questions, Mr. Marcussen. That's quite unnecessary. Let's move on.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Dr. Gerxhaliu, in your statement from 2000, you stated, and you
21 confirmed this yesterday as it is part of the transcript, you described
22 the bombing. This is in your statement, in the English, page 3, paragraph
23 3; in the Albanian, page 4, paragraph 1; and in the B/C/S, page 3,
24 paragraph 3. You state there, as you moved alongside the brook, that you
25 were under fire from the tanks and that the leaves and branches were being
1 torn off the trees. Of course, you couldn't see those tanks; isn't that
3 A. I've already mentioned earlier that the stream was about 2 to 3
4 metres deep, and the tanks were firing from the hill at Rashica
5 neighbourhood. And when they were firing, the bullets would cut the
6 branches. And whenever this occurred, we would stop our journey and we
7 could not move, of course, because otherwise we would have been hit. And
8 it is true that I could not see exactly where they were. When they were
9 shooting, as I said, we would take shelter.
10 Q. If I understand this correctly, you were at a lower altitude, you
11 were quite lower than the tanks themselves; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct. The tanks were positioned on two strategic hills
13 from where they could control Sfaracak, Studime e Poshteme, and up to
14 Vushtrri, that entire territory. The stream was down --
15 Q. That suffices. Thank you, Doctor.
16 I suppose you have no particular knowledge of ballistics; is that
18 A. I'm a doctor and I have no knowledge.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you know, Doctor, that a tank cannot open fire at
20 a negative angle or, to put it plainly, it cannot target anything that is
21 at a lower altitude than the tank itself?
22 A. Listen, there were not only tanks there. There were rocket
23 launchers; there were all sorts of military equipment. And these
24 branches, these trees that were hit, they were quite higher. And that's
25 why we were not that scared that the bullets would hit us, because we were
1 lower, near the stream.
2 Q. Now you say "bullets". Previously you had said tank shells.
3 Which of the two is correct?
4 A. I can only say that they were firing from all sorts of military
5 equipment. As I said, the trees above our heads were hit. And now
6 whether they were hit by shrapnels or bullets or other projectiles, I
7 don't know. I just know that the branches fell on the ground, and when
8 the firing occurred we would take shelter.
9 Q. Thank you. In the Milosevic case transcript, you claimed that
10 those VJ positions were targeted very precisely by NATO; is that correct?
11 A. When we speak of the barracks situated at the exit of Vushtrri, on
12 the right-hand side --
13 Q. I wasn't asking you about the barracks. It was something else and
14 I can quote it to you. This is from the Milosevic case, transcript page
15 4123, the 2nd of May, 2002. The question was being posed about the NATO
16 bombing, and the answer was, "In our area NATO bombs were very precise and
17 they only targeted Serbian military positions."
18 Is what you stated then correct?
19 A. Yes, it is correct. NATO targeted very precisely, and I actually
20 verified this after the war, where the shells had fallen.
21 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 28, and Mr. Aleksic had a question
22 about that as well, you state that on the 31st of May, around 4.00 a.m.,
23 the Vucitrn barracks was bombed; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. I said it was correct even earlier.
25 Q. What would you say if I said or if I put it to you that that
1 night, it wasn't the barracks that was hit but, rather, the factory in
2 Vucitrn called Mile Zakic?
3 A. There is no factory by that name in Vushtrri, only the Llamkos
4 factory there exists, and I've actually brought the list with the names of
5 persons who abandoned their work in this factory and joined the army.
6 This is the first time I hear about this factory Mile Zakic.
7 Q. I wasn't asking you about that, Mr. Gerxhaliu. Thank you, doctor.
8 A. Is it necessary for me to explain this, Your Honours? I want to
9 state again that there is no factory by that name in Vushtrri.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. We've got that answer.
11 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I haven't got any further
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
14 Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
17 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Dan Ivetic, and I'm one of the
18 attorneys representing Mr. Sreten Lukic along with my colleagues
19 Mr. Branko Lukic and Mr. Ozren Ogrizovic today, and I've got a set of
20 questions for you that I hope we can go through in the time we have left
21 here today.
22 Q. My first question relates to an area that I believe was left open
23 but one of my colleagues, Mr. Visnjic, I believe it was tendered to
24 everyone Exhibit 3D71, and I would ask if you still have that in exhibit
25 in front of you, sir.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We require to have it on the screen there.
2 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I believe this was the exhibit that was
3 only in hard form that Mr. Visnjic had distributed.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. I see you have it in front of you, sir. I'll wait for the Bench
7 to have a copy as well.
8 Now, sir, this booklet, this Kosovo Liberation Army martyrs, if
9 could direct your attention to -- it's the 4th page from the front in the
10 copy that I have, hopefully it's the same as yours. I apologise. This is
11 not an exhibit that I had prepared. But there is a photograph of an
12 individual, one of these Kosovo Liberation Army martyrs with the name
13 Seladin Gerxhaliu. And I would like to ask you, sir, is this a photograph
14 of the man that was your cousin and your neighbour that you testified
15 earlier today regarding his burial on the 31st of May, 1999? Is that this
17 A. I greet you as well, Mr. Ivetic.
18 Yes, this is that person I testified about, Seladin.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir.
20 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would, I guess, move to tender this
21 exhibit into evidence since I believe my colleague failed to do so. Now,
22 doctor --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Q. Doctor, you testified regarding your work treating KLA wounded,
25 and you gave us the approximate positions of KLA field hospitals in the
1 Vucitrn municipality. I want to ask you if you could briefly tell us
2 where were the main KLA bases located in the area?
3 A. I wouldn't know all the bases, where the KLA bases were, but I
4 heard that there was one in Melenica, in Majden, in the areas near
5 Studime e Eperme, in Dumnica, and in some other locations. My aim was to
6 be there as a doctor, to work with wounded and with ill people.
7 Q. Okay, sir. Well let me ask you this question, then: Isn't it
8 true that on the 27th of March, 1999, you and your family decided to go to
9 Slakovce because there was a large KLA presence there, some sort of base
10 or post? Is that accurate or not?
11 A. Not in Sllakovc, but from Studime e Eperme and above, it was an
12 area protected by the KLA. I don't know exactly the strength of KLA in
13 that area, but my wife has some relatives there and that's where I
14 actually would stay and at the same time carry out my professional duties.
15 Q. Okay, sir. Now, if I can direct your attention to your written
16 statement that has been tendered by the Office of the Prosecutor, that's
17 Exhibit P2275. At paragraph 7 of that written statement, you describe how
18 persons that you state were the police came to your home looking for you.
19 I want to ask you: Was it widely known within the community that you
20 worked with and were a member of the KLA?
21 A. Yes. It was public knowledge. Everybody knew. It was a
22 voluntary army. Nobody forced me to become a member, and of course my
23 duties towards the nation and the wish to liberate ourselves made me
24 become one.
25 Q. Now, you earlier in your testimony today said that we have to make
1 a clear distinction between what you actually saw and heard and what you
2 heard from others. And I want to ask you, yesterday or -- excuse me,
3 Monday you testified that your family left due to some orders that had
4 been issued, and I want to make very clear you yourself personally did not
5 witness any orders being given for your family to vacate their home. Is
6 that accurate?
7 A. On that day, when my family left, I was at the clinic and I
8 received this order there. As I mentioned in my statement, it was issued
9 to me by the then director of the clinic.
10 As for the Rashica Svarcali families, they all had received the
11 order, and by the time I got there, they had already left. Just for
12 explanation, the Rashica family, they set off for Pristina but they were
13 returned at the Dakovce check-point. When they came back in April --
14 Q. I think you've already testified to that earlier. I just want a
15 clarification of that point and then we can move on because we are short
16 on time, and I'm trying to complete your testimony today.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you one question at this stage? You've
18 confirmed membership of the KLA to Mr. Ivetic. Did you wear a uniform?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I never had a KLA
20 uniform but I was a member of the KLA, and I was a fan of the KLA but I
21 never had a uniform.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
24 Q. Now, sir, isn't it a fact that your family left their home in or
25 about April of 1999 due to the fact that persons whom you said were the
1 police came and asked for you and said they would keep coming back to ask
2 for you until they found you? Isn't that the real reason that you left,
3 that your family left, and that it wasn't due to any orders that were
4 issued by anyone?
5 A. There was a lot of movement. My family, when they fled the first
6 time in March, it was pursuant to this order that was issued in every
7 single neighbourhood. And I moved quite a lot. I came back to the house
8 on several occasions, once in April and then in May, then again in late
9 May. And in April when they came, they collected some vehicles. They
10 asked my wife where I was, and I was hiding in the house of a neighbour,
11 her name was Shana [phoen]. When I would go back home I usually wouldn't
12 stay very long, I would just check how they were doing. It even
13 happened --
14 Q. Sir --
15 A. -- that I didn't see my family for two or three weeks in a row.
16 Q. Okay, sir, if I could interrupt you now. This incident that
17 you're talking about in April, first of all, did you in fact see with your
18 own eyes the individuals who came to your house to ask about you? Yes or
20 A. No. I had already left.
21 Q. Okay. So would it be safe to say, then, that the description of
22 this person is based upon your wife and not what you had actually seen?
23 A. Which person do you mean?
24 Q. The persons that came to your house sometime between 7 and 10
25 April. That is referenced in paragraph 7 of your statement.
1 A. My wife talked to them, as I explained in my statement.
2 Q. Okay. And with respect to -- okay. With respect to the map that
3 you drew on the other day, the area that you had outlined there only
4 consisted of the portions of the municipality where the KLA had 100
5 per cent control of villages; is that correct?
6 A. Could you repeat the question, please? Because I wasn't focused.
7 Q. Yes, sir. On Monday the Prosecutor had you draw several lines on
8 a map showing areas that were under the control of the KLA. Now I wanted
9 to ask you a question to clear that up. The lines that you drew, that
10 reflected areas that were completely under the control of the KLA but did
11 not reflect areas where the KLA had sympathisers or personnel located, is
12 that accurate?
13 A. That is accurate. From the lines I drew in the direction of the
14 mountain, that was the area controlled by the KLA, whereas from the 8th of
15 January, when eight soldiers were captured they made preparations and
16 launched an attack and massacred us.
17 Q. We are not going to get through this unless I ask more focused
18 questions, sir.
19 With respect to the presence of the KLA, is it a fact that the KLA
20 did have personnel and sympathisers in areas that were held by Serbs
21 including within the city of Vucitrn itself, or Vushtrri as it's in the
23 A. Yes, of course. There must have been. I don't know.
24 Q. Okay. Are you familiar with some of the surrounding villages such
25 as Bukosh village?
1 A. Yes, more or less.
2 Q. Are you aware of any KLA presence in Bukosh village at any time in
3 1998 or 1999?
4 A. No. Because Bukosh is on the other side of the river. It's very
5 far away from us. I've never been there.
6 Q. Okay. Now, as far as your services with the KLA were concerned,
7 is it a fair statement to state that your services were needed in greater
8 frequency after October of 1998, that is to say after the
9 Milosevic-Holbrooke accords because the KLA tried to step up its
10 activities and attacks at that time?
11 A. I don't know were they needed in much or less, but I do know that
12 whenever they needed me I went because as I have taken the Hippocrates
13 oath, my duty was to give assistance to each and every one. So I can only
14 tell you that I've never made any distinctions to the people I provided
15 assistance to.
16 Q. Did you ever have to take an oath to the KLA, sir? And if so,
17 what was that oath?
18 A. No. I never took any oath, only the Hippocrates oath when I
19 graduated from my faculty.
20 Q. Okay. And as far as the armaments that you saw with the UCKA/KLA,
21 was it accurate to state that they were armed with automatic, that is to
22 say Kalashnikov rifles?
23 A. I'm not well-versed in armaments but usually they had
24 Kalashnikovs, small bombs, maybe others, but where I worked I didn't see
1 Q. Did you also notice them to have mortars or zolja rocket
3 A. No, I never saw them. I only looked after my job.
4 Q. Okay. Now, did you have knowledge of the fact that when the KLA
5 took over a village, persons that did not support the KLA, be they Serb
6 civilians or Albanian or other minority civilians, did you have knowledge
7 that these persons who did not support the KLA were then expelled from
8 that village by the KLA?
9 A. I never had any such knowledge. That's the first time to hear it.
10 When I was asked that in September 1998, all Albanians were victim, and I
11 don't know what Mr. Visnjic asked me about, he didn't explain to me the
12 names of the persons involved, so this is the first time for me to hear
14 Q. Okay. If I can perhaps use your own words to better describe it.
15 Would it be safe to say you can neither confirm nor deny that fact, of the
16 KLA expelling persons from their villages?
17 A. I never saw it. How can I lie? I have sworn to tell the truth
18 and I can only testify to what I have seen and heard. I never heard or
19 saw anyone being expelled from the village or from their homes by the KLA.
20 Q. Perhaps there was a translation error. I did not mean to imply
21 that you were lying or anything else. I was just trying to clarify.
22 Now, if I can direct you to something that you did say that you
23 had knowledge of, at around paragraph 11 of your written statement to the
24 Office of the Prosecutor, you describe how, on the 2nd of May, 1999, an
25 order came from the KLA for the Albanian civilians to leave the area. Now
1 I want to ask you, sir, as a member of the KLA or UCK, was it the standard
2 operating procedures of the KLA to order populations living under their
3 control to leave specified areas?
4 A. It was any strict order per se. It was kind of a warning to the
5 people telling them that the positions in Llap and Shala had fallen in the
6 hands of the enemy so they should leave, lest they should fall into the
7 hands of the Serb forces who were advancing in the direction of Sllakovc.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I just want to make it clear the beginning of that
9 answer, as I heard it, was it was not any strict order per se.
10 MR. IVETIC: That's how I heard it as well, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Now, sir what I'm asking you is to your knowledge, had such orders
14 come from the KLA previously or subsequently to May the 2nd in other
16 A. No, I never heard of it.
17 Q. Okay. And by the way how were such orders communicated by the KLA
18 to the general population?
19 A. You mean the 2nd of May order?
20 Q. That's correct.
21 A. There was a member of the KLA who had information on what was
22 going on on the front line, and he told us to leave, not by any specific
23 order. He told us that the positions of the KLA were taken by the Serb
24 forces and that -- Yugoslav forces, and that this was a kind of order. At
25 least this is how we saw it, kind of instruction, better say.
1 Q. And after that, sir, you went to join your family in the convoy.
2 Is that accurate?
3 A. My family was not very far from the hospital where I worked, so I
4 went to greet my family. They took me with them. They wished me to join
6 Q. And no one from the KLA tried to stop you from joining your
7 family. Is that accurate?
8 A. No, no one. They asked me to join the wounded and the injured.
9 And then they said, "We will wait for the last person to come, the injured
10 person to come and we will not surrender so you make your own decision,"
11 they told me. My wife and my children asked me to go with them.
12 Q. And is it possible, sir, that other members of the KLA were given
13 the similar decision to make and likewise went to join their families in
14 the convoy?
15 A. The other members of the KLA didn't have their families close by.
16 At least I have no knowledge of that. I have said several times that as
17 far as I could see, I was the only one there because I moved about the
18 convoy when some co-villagers asked me to go here and there, at least from
19 what I could see, from the mid-part of the convoy until where that man,
20 Ibrahim Mulliqi, was with that white flag in his hand.
21 Q. Okay. Now, sir, at paragraph 15 of your statement, you describe
22 how certain armed persons approached the convoy around 5.00 p.m. and began
23 approaching tractors and asking persons for money. Now, in the next
24 paragraph you describe a variety of uniforms worn by these men, and I want
25 to ask you some very specific questions relating to this description so
1 that we can be clear. First of all, is it accurate to state that you did
2 not see members of the Serbian police, that is to say of the Ministry of
3 Interior, present at this time?
4 A. I have said several times in this case I heard more than I could
5 see, because dusk was falling and I am fully convinced that there was a
6 cooperation of the forces of the Interior and of the army and the part of
7 reservists, whatever they were, military forces or paramilitaries, they
8 were there altogether.
9 Q. Now, sir, prior to this occasion, prior to this incident, did you
10 have occasion to view and become familiar with the uniforms worn by the
11 police, worn by the members of the Ministry of the Interior?
12 A. I worked in the city until before the NATO air-strikes. Of
13 course, I have seen them.
14 Q. And could you please describe for us in detail the standard police
15 uniform that you had knowledge of?
16 A. At that time, that uniform was kind of blue camouflage uniforms,
17 whereas the army wore green uniforms. The paramilitaries wore different
18 uniforms with bandanas and stuff.
19 Q. Sir, I'm asking you to focus right now on just the Ministry of
20 Interior uniforms. Did those uniforms have anything on the sleeves or on
21 the chest?
22 A. On the sleeves, they had something, but that night, in the
23 semi-darkness, I could see that there was -- that -- there were, as I
24 said, blue camouflage and green camouflage uniforms, but I couldn't
25 concentrate because, as I said, I was half in hiding.
1 Q. So would it be fair to state, then, sir, that on that night, and I
2 think we are talking about the night of May the 2nd, you could not verify
3 whether in fact the uniforms that you saw, in particular the blue uniforms
4 you saw, whether they had anything on their sleeves or on their chest? Is
5 that accurate?
6 A. I cannot ascertain [as interpreted] that I saw them explicitly
7 because from the position I was hiding, it was impossible for me to do
8 that, but I fully know and everybody said that, that there were forces
9 from all these other bodies that I mentioned. They were all involved in
10 that operation.
11 Q. Now, sir, I'm going to again direct to your own words earlier
12 today, did you in fact not state in response to a question posed by one of
13 my colleagues that you must make a clear distinction between what you saw
14 and what you heard? And I would ask that your answers be very clear here
15 as to what you personally saw, and I think you have -- your answer has
16 stated that you were unable to see based upon where you were at, so I will
17 move on.
18 Now, at paragraph -- strike that.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I think before you go on that I certainly couldn't
20 assume that at the moment.
21 MR. IVETIC: I think he said that he saw -- he said what he was
22 able to see and then he said his conclusions were based on what other
23 people, everyone knew, everyone saw. I mean, I could ask him some more
24 questions on that.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If you're happy with that then you may move on.
1 MR. IVETIC: Well, I guess maybe it's more important whether the
2 Trial Chamber is happy with that.
3 Q. So, sir --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. The answer that was given, I'm also unsure
5 about whether it's accurate at the beginning, where it says "I cannot
6 ascertain that I saw them explicitly." I suspect that is that "I cannot
7 assert that I saw them explicitly." Because he -- it was impossible for
8 him to see. All right. I think you can move on to that -- from that.
9 Well, just perhaps one question. Doctor, did you actually see
10 what the personnel who came to the convoy were wearing with your own eyes?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw them wearing blue, black and
12 green camouflage uniforms, and I heard those wearing blue and dark
13 uniforms talking to my wife, asking her to give them money, which I gave
14 to my daughter, and she gave the money to those people.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there you have it, Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC:
17 Q. I guess my follow-up would be, which I may have already asked but
18 I'll see. With respect to these individuals, sir, that you saw wearing
19 these various coloured uniforms, am I correct that you could not see or
20 discern, I should say, any of the shoulders or any markings on the
22 A. It was impossible for me to discern the markings in that
23 semi-darkness and I not even thought of looking at them.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. That is very clear for me.
25 Now if I can move on, at -- would it be safe to say, then, sir,
1 that other persons -- well, strike that.
2 Let's just go on to this one. Now, you later talk about the
3 time-period around 11 -- between 11.00 and 12.00 at night, and you
4 describe certain vehicles that came from the direction of Vucitrn, or
5 Vushtrri, and state that there were two or three typical police cars in
6 that. Now, first of all, I want to ask you is: It accurate that these
7 vehicles came from the exact opposite direction that the other armed
8 personnel you described previously came from?
9 A. Yes, they came from Vushtrri in the direction of upper, or eperme,
10 Vushtrri. Studime, correction. I was listening to what they were saying.
11 May -- am I allowed to quote what they said?
12 Q. Well, I don't know if it's responsive to my question. I think
13 you've answered my question, and we are very close on time so I would
14 prefer to move on to try to and complete you so as not to have you come
15 back tomorrow.
16 Now, could you describe for us these typical police vehicles, what
17 they looked like? I know you've already testified that you could not
18 discern the colour but could you describe these vehicles by appearance, by
20 JUDGE BONOMY: This is which paragraph?
21 MR. IVETIC: This is at paragraph 24 of the statement, Your
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Can you please answer that, doctor?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have explained
25 it here. They came in vehicles Zastava 1. I couldn't discern the colour
1 very well but I know that they were green -- sorry, blue colour. I think
2 they were police and army vehicles, and they came -- approached to the
3 place where I was taking shelter. And they said, among themselves, "We
4 must purge the terrain." Clear the terrain. And at the moment they
5 stopped, and one of them, probably he was the leader, he said, "Let's go
6 back because we have no fuel left." And where I was hiding, I saw them
7 turn back, going back to where they came, and corpses were lying on both
8 sides of the street.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. Now, sir, if I could direct your attention to two paragraphs above
11 from this paragraph, at paragraph 22. You described things that your wife
12 later told you had happened. Am I correct that you did not witness any of
13 the events that are described at paragraph 22 that your wife told you
15 A. What things are you asking me about?
16 Q. The persons that were dragged out of their vehicles and shot.
17 A. Maybe you have mixed up the things. What persons were dragged out
18 of the cars to be shot? Are you talking about?
19 Q. At paragraph 22 of your statement you describe certain things that
20 you heard from your wife regarding persons dragged down and shot dead.
21 And I want to ask you about those events. Now, I think it's clear that
22 you heard those from your wife rather than witnessing them. Let me ask
23 you this: Is it possible as far as you're wife is concerned that she has
24 less familiarity with the recognition of uniforms than you do?
25 A. Look, my wife has got nothing to do with this column that was --
1 that came back because after my wife left with her part of the convoy, to
2 the agricultural cooperatives, the others returned with their -- the
3 people in the vehicles returned with their flash-lights on as I have said
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being asked a specific question. You should
6 have a number 22 against one of the paragraphs.
7 MR. IVETIC: It's my understanding the Albanian is also numbered
9 JUDGE BONOMY: If you look at number 22 you'll see the second
10 sentence and it's talking about --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... the family in
13 the tractor in front of yours being dragged down and the question you're
14 being asked is whether your wife would have less ability to recognise a
15 uniform accurately than you would.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Both my wife and I can distinguish
17 uniforms. That's not a problem. These people were in a tractor close to
18 us. They were mostly our relatives. Because 36 people of Gerxhaliu
19 family are dead.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Doctor, please confine your answer to the question
21 which is entirely related to the uniform recognition. Nothing to do with
22 any of the events themselves. Mr. Ivetic?
23 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Now, you talk about when the vehicles left in the middle of the
25 night, we are back to paragraph 24, when those vehicles left, how long
1 after those vehicles left did it take for the KLA to appear to start
2 collecting and burying bodies?
3 A. The KLA came on the next day, on the 3rd of June [as interpreted],
4 but I didn't see them because I came later. I was very exhausted.
5 Q. Your Honour the transcript says 3rd of June. I believe I heard
6 3rd of May and I think we are clear on that?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It should be the 3rd of May.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, it should be the 3rd
9 of May.
10 MR. IVETIC:
11 Q. Thank you, sir I think you actually said that and it just came out
12 wrong in the transcript. Now is that the time when you treated a certain
13 individual with a bullet in the forehead named Jetish Xhafa from Svracak
15 A. Yes. He was taken with his father to be buried but then someone
16 brought him to hospital. He had lost consciousness. He was injured. I
17 saw that he was alive. I gave him the necessary aid, and I had to remove
18 a bullet from his forehead.
19 Q. Now, sir, the bullet that you removed, was it whole or a
21 A. It was a bullet, a whole bullet. I think he still has the bullet
22 to this day. I could manage to take out the bullet.
23 Q. Could you ascertain whether the bullet was from a pistol or a
25 A. I think from a rifle, automatic rifle, but I can't be sure. As I
1 said I have little knowledge of weapons, a knowledge I never wish to have.
2 Q. Now, sir, based upon your medical experience, first of all what
3 area of medical specialty do you hold?
4 A. I'm a specialist in occupational health, then I specialised as a
5 family doctor afterwards.
6 Q. Okay, sir, now do you have any medical opinion as to whether in
7 fact this bullet had been fired at close range or not?
8 A. In the case of other dead people I think they were all shot from
9 close range. In the case of the last person I think it was shot from some
11 Q. When you say the last person, are we talking about Jetish Xhafa?
12 A. Yes, yes. He now lives well. He was almost twice buried alive.
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, unfortunately I do have some more
14 questions but I would be moving on to another area and I think we should
15 stop now.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: You must know also, Mr. Ivetic, that there was
17 hardly any foundation, in fact there is no foundation there for that
18 opinion. So ...
19 MR. IVETIC: For what it's worth, I know.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: You have, I think, a clear indication of the
22 MR. IVETIC: I do.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we shall have to adjourn again,
24 Dr. Gerxhaliu. We will resume again tomorrow at 2.15 and, at that stage,
25 we will hopefully complete your evidence. I remind you again that it's
1 important you do not discuss any aspect of your evidence with anyone
2 before you return here tomorrow afternoon at 2.15.
3 Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I had requested if I could make a brief
5 oral application.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: There is no time to do that, Mr. Hannis. I know
7 what you want to do but it will have to wait until the end of this
8 witness's evidence. Hopefully you've alerted the Defence to what the --
9 MR. HANNIS: I have, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: -- position is and we can deal with it fairly
11 quickly tomorrow.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day of
15 August, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.