1 Thursday, 7 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, do you wish to cross-examine further?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have a proposition for you in the
8 interest of possibly saving time, and that would be that I would not
9 cross-examine further at this time and allow my colleagues to go forward
10 in the normal order. If there is something that is not covered by them,
11 which I doubt, if I could have a few moments at the end, maybe I could do
12 that. I think it will save us some time if we do it that way.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Good afternoon, Mr. Shaqiri.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: We are going to continue with your evidence and
17 we'll move to another counsel who will now ask questions. I simply remind
18 you at the outset that the solemn declaration which you took on Tuesday
19 continues to apply to your evidence today.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm clear.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I just have
23 a few questions. I've crossed many of them out because my colleague Mr.
24 Ackerman had already dealt with them. So I'll try to move fast.
25 WITNESS: ABDYLHAQIM SHAQIRI [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Shaqiri, I am Mihajlo Bakrac, attorney-at-law
4 one of the Defence counsel for General Lazarevic. I just have a few
5 questions for you, and I hope that we will complete the cross-examination
6 quickly, if you just give me answers to my actual questions.
7 Yesterday we saw how many statements you gave to the OTP, and I
8 would be interested in the following: In your first statement, you said,
9 in the first statement that you gave to the OTP, namely on the 25th of
10 April, 1999, that in the village of Prilepnica there were 4.500 Muslims
11 and only three Serb families. After that, in your second statement of the
12 19th and 22nd of June, 2001, also given to the OTP, you said that in your
13 village there are 3.000 Albanians, that there are 40 Roma families,
14 including about 300 people, and now four Serb families you said, not
16 During the examination-in-chief, you gave a new figure and you
17 said that there were 30 Roma families in your village and five families --
18 five Serb families in the village, and while being cross-examined by Mr.
19 Ackerman, you said that there were five or six Serb families.
20 So this is five different pieces of information, and I would like
21 to know ultimately which one is actually correct.
22 A. To my recollection, the word "4.500" was mentioned when I spoke
23 about the people gathered at the border, the number of people deported
24 from Kosova to Macedonia. I didn't mean only the population of
1 As to the other questions, it's easier for me to answer them if
2 you pose them one by one.
3 Q. Finally, how many Roma families were there in your village?
4 A. The Roma families were over 30. It's an estimate, approximately.
5 And the Serbian family, there is only the Denici family as a family, but
6 each of them have their own houses, five or six. But by this last name,
7 there is only one family. You are asking me about the larger family or
8 the separate -- the narrow families? I don't know what question was asked
9 of me.
10 Q. I put a very clear question to you. You were talking about the
11 number of Roma families in your village. I didn't ask you about more or
12 less; I asked you about the total number of Roma families. In the first
13 statement you made no reference to them; in the second one, that there
14 were 40 families; in the examination-in-chief you said there were 30. So
15 I am interested in what is ultimately correct. How many Roma families
16 were there in your village?
17 A. I don't know the accurate figure. It may be from 30 to 40.
18 Q. Thank you. That's fine. Thank you. What about Serb --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, sorry, you're going to ask about the Serb
20 families. Yes, please carry on.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What about Serb families? Finally, how many Serb families were
23 there, three, five, or six? Do you know that at all or are you just
25 A. I'd like to explain. In terms of a family, an extended family,
1 because a father has three, four children, so it depends on how you look
2 at it. As a family there is only the Denici family, and it consists of
3 four, five houses belonging to that family. That's my answer: Four or
4 five houses belong to the Denici family.
5 Q. How many members did that family have?
6 A. Over 20 members. It's an approximate number, 20 to 30.
7 Q. Mr. Shaqiri -- I'm looking at the transcript now, Mr. Shaqiri. A
8 few moments ago you said five or six houses, and now you're saying four or
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that doesn't seem a significant
11 substantial difference in the context.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it plainly isn't, but let's hear what the
13 witness's answer is.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know the people, but you have to
15 give me some time for me to remember exactly how many they are. Maybe I
16 have forgotten a family. I know that Toza, there are three families.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right, Mr. Shaqiri --
19 A. I have to think -- that's more or less the number.
20 Q. If you cannot remember, that's fine. That's fine. If you
21 remember later, that's fine, too.
22 Mr. Shaqiri, do you remember that in your first statement dated
23 the 25th of April, 1999, you said that among the soldiers who came to your
24 village on the 6th of April, that there were quite a few Roma gypsies
25 among them wearing the same uniforms. Is that correct?
1 A. Many, I don't remember to have used the word "many." There may
2 have been some Romas -- there have been some Romas, a few of them.
3 Q. These were the Roma from your village?
4 A. No, I didn't know them. Had I known them, I would have mentioned
5 their names, as I did with other people I knew.
6 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, yesterday, during the cross-examination, you said
7 that these Roma families from your village set out together with you in
8 the same convoy; however, in the notes that we got from the OTP, I noticed
9 that you invited them but they did not join the same convoy with you. Is
10 that correct?
11 MR. HANNIS: Could we have a reference as to which day? There was
12 a convoy on the 6th and a convoy on the --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, which day are you referring to?
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] The convoy of the 13th, Your Honour.
15 I beg your pardon. I wasn't very accurate on that.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The convoy of the 14th, in fact.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The 14th, in fact, yes.
19 A. I may explain to you that on the 6th, both of us, we and them,
20 left the village, going to wherever we could. On the 14th -- on the 13th
21 I informed the Romas, too. I did that personally. I conveyed the order
22 given to me to them.
23 During the night, they went somewhere. They were not in the
24 village the next morning, so they didn't leave with us the second day;
25 they did, though, the first time.
1 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, when you returned to the village, did you find any
2 Roma families there or the Serb families there when you returned to your
3 village in June?
4 A. Do you mean the first or the second time?
5 Q. The second time, that's to say, after you went to Macedonia.
6 A. Thank you for your explanation. The second time we returned from
7 Macedonia in Kosova it was the 25th of June, as far as I remember. And I
8 passed through the village and went to live in Gilac, because there was no
9 place I could live. At the time, I didn't see a single Roma or Serb in
10 the village.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri. Now I'm going to move on to another
12 topic. I would be interested in the following: Yesterday we talked about
13 what was happening there, and I would like to know whether you know that
14 the barracks in Gnjilane of the regular army with the surrounding
15 buildings was destroyed in the NATO bombing on the 26th of March, 1999?
16 A. I heard about that.
17 Q. Then you also probably know that the regular army, after this
18 bombing -- or rather, even before the barracks were destroyed, was
19 actually moved out; right?
20 A. Yes. Yes, they moved out.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri.
22 MR. BAKRAC: My question had to do with Gnjilane, but the
23 transcript doesn't say Gnjilane on page 6, line 18.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, it does on this.
25 MR. BAKRAC: Actually moved out from Gnjilane.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but you've got the reference earlier in line
2 13. There's no problem with that. Carry on.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, in your previous statements and also during your
5 testimony here, you said that, in view of the fact that you had served in
6 the military, you knew that the army did not wear red -- or rather, black
7 bandannas and black caps with insignia consisting of four semicircles;
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What was your answer to that, Mr. Shaqiri?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never subscribed that description
11 to the regular army.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri. You also said to us that on the 6th of
14 April the soldiers who looked that way said to you that they were the
15 regular army, and that later on local people, Palamarevic, Djilas,
16 confirmed to you that they were paramilitaries. And is it also correct
17 that in your notes regarding the 6th you kept calling those soldiers
18 paramilitaries; right?
19 A. I believe Djilas, and that's why I called them as I did later on.
20 Q. Thank you. Mr. Shaqiri, on the 13th of April, only three local
21 persons came to your village in uniform without any insignia, and they
22 said that they were coming on behalf of the regular army. Is that right
23 as well?
24 A. Yes, that's true.
25 Q. And they said to you that they were conveying the decision of the
1 military headquarters in Gnjilane. Is that right?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Well, Mr. Shaqiri, since we know that the regular army had been
4 moved out of Gnjilane, and when we know all these facts that I have just
5 put to you, actually, except for these words of theirs, you do not have
6 any other reliable proof of the regular army being involved in these
7 events. Is that right?
8 A. Not only their word because the village was surrounded by the army
9 afterwards and they did not allow us to leave the village.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri. Is it also correct that in your second
11 statement given to the OTP on the 25th of February, 2001 - in the Serbian
12 and in the English version it is page 5 - as for the 13th -- rather, the
13 14th of April, when you were 10 kilometres away from the border and you
14 came across a military check-point, did you not state the following:
15 "From a sharp line we went 6 to 7 kilometres to a water spring and
16 there was a military check-point there. They stopped us and a military
17 officer walked up to me and asked me where we were coming from and why we
18 were fleeing. I said that we were not fleeing, but rather that from the
19 military headquarters in Gnjilane we had been ordered to leave our
21 Is this your statement? Are these your words in this statement of
22 February 2001 -- or, I'm sorry, June 2001. I am sorry.
23 A. Yes, these are my words.
24 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, when you were talking about that particular event at
25 the check-point, during the direct you did not repeat this because it was
1 perfectly clear to you as well that an officer of the regular army would
2 have to have known of the arrival of such a large convoy had the regular
3 army issued such orders; right?
4 A. This I don't know.
5 Q. If I understood you correctly - and you actually just confirmed it
6 now - you were issued an order to leave the village, right, not to go
7 beyond the borders of your country; right? That's what you confirmed only
8 a moment ago.
9 A. On the 6th of April, yes, but on the 14th of April we were
10 escorted. There was no way -- nowhere else to go.
11 Q. These words of yours are from the 14th of April and that's what
12 you said to the officer at the military check-point, that you had received
13 orders to leave the village, nothing more than that; right?
14 A. Yes, this is what I said.
15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Shaqiri, we are going to move on to yet another
16 topic and then I will complete my cross-examination very quickly.
17 I would like to know whether you know that in the month of April
18 1999 the regular army had arrested several local civilians wearing
19 military uniforms and carrying weapons who were introducing themselves as
20 regular army members. I'm giving you the example of the village of
21 Klokot. Do you know about that?
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. All right, Mr. Shaqiri. If you don't know, we are going to deal
24 with it during our Defence case.
25 And the last topic: Yesterday -- or no. Rather, first I'm going
1 to ask you something else. In your statement, in the first statement that
2 you gave to the OTP -- rather, the second statement, the 22nd of June,
3 2001, in response to the question whether there was KLA presence in your
4 area, you said that at that time there was no presence of the KLA in my
5 village or in the other villages in the area of Gnjilane. In Gnjilane,
6 generally speaking, there was no considerable presence of the KLA.
7 I know that you gave a correction stating that it wasn't
8 considerable, but you did not correct this where you said that there were
9 no members of the KLA there at the time in your area. So do you know of
10 any KLA presence in your area at that time?
11 A. I never saw KLA presence in Perlepnice and Gjilan.
12 Q. And do you know that in the municipality of Gnjilane, the 171st
13 and the 172nd Brigades of the KLA, involving 1.500 armed men, were
14 operational? Are you aware of that?
15 A. No, of course not.
16 Q. And are you aware of the neighbourhood of Gavran in Gnjilane and
17 the presence of KLA headquarters there?
18 A. I am not, sir.
19 Q. You don't know that on the 11th of April, 1999, members of the KLA
20 were arrested - Nazim Maloku and Asim Sofi from Gnjilane? You don't even
21 know that? Asim Sofi admitted that he had taken part in 12 terrorist
23 A. I never heard about that, sir. I have no information about that.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if he's been cross-examined from a
25 document, I don't have that one.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is based on some
2 information. I'm not going to proceed any further because obviously we
3 are going to get the same answer to all these questions related to each
4 and every particular incident. But I just wanted to know whether this
5 witness knew anything about this.
6 Q. My last question is, and actually yesterday we discussed it a bit
7 and --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, hold on. Mr. Hannis's request is to know
9 which document you're relying on for the propositions you're putting to
10 the witness. If there is a document, then he would like to be alerted to
11 its identity.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that on the basis
13 of information I received - and I expect that I will get a document as
14 well - but I mean I'm not going to proceed with this examination because
15 obviously the witness doesn't know anything about this, and we'll have
16 ample opportunity to present this during our own case.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, indeed, but are you saying you're not in
18 possession of any document on which these questions are based? And by
19 that I mean a document that you're going to be tendering as an exhibit
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, I don't have any for the time
22 being, but I asked for them. These are reports on security-related
23 incidents, and I expect to receive these documents or this document.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, carry on then. It's your
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Very briefly. Yesterday we talked about NATO aircrafts, sorties
3 in this municipality. Mr. Shaqiri, do you know that the NATO air force,
4 from the first days of the war, carried out 113 air-strikes of Gnjilane
5 and the surrounding area?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question -- don't answer that
7 question, Mr. Shaqiri.
8 There's no way a civilian in his position would have that
9 information, Mr. Bakrac. These questions, which seem to me to be
10 propaganda based, are not an appropriate form of question for the
11 cross-examination of a witness brought to give this sort of evidence.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, very well. I'm not
13 going to ask about the actual figures, but with your permission I'm just
14 going to ask the witness whether he knows of the bombing of the village of
15 Silovo on the 24th of March, 1999.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no knowledge about that, but
17 I saw the military barracks because I happened to pass by. I saw that it
18 was bombarded.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further
20 questions. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Fila.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no questions for
24 Mr. Shaqiri. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No questions.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lukic -- oh, sorry, Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, I believe the Ojdanic Defence had
4 asked to go before me with the cross.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that wasn't the information I was given, but
6 I'm happy to accept that correction.
7 MR. IVETIC: It was a late addition, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
9 Mr. Sepenuk.
10 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour. Just as a word of
11 explanation, Your Honour, we thought it might be a little more logical to
12 follow the two army, Colonel Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, and then General
13 Ojdanic. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Sepenuk:
15 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, my name is Norman Sepenuk, and along with my
16 colleague here Tomislav Visnjic, we represent General Ojdanic. Good
17 afternoon, sir. And I'm going to --
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I'm going to focus on only one area and that area is who -- what
20 is your understanding of who ordered you to leave your village on April
21 13th, 1999? That's the only area I'm going to ask you about.
22 Now, a few days ago, September 5th to be precise, in answer to a
23 question -- in answer to a question from the Prosecutor, Mr. Hannis, you
24 said that two Serbian soldiers, Palamarevic and Djilas, told you - and I
25 quote now - "that an order has come from the Supreme Staff in Belgrade.
1 Prilepnica must be evacuated."
2 Do you remember that testimony, sir?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And yesterday, in answer -- in answer to a question on
5 cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman, you were referred to your statement of
6 25 April, 1999 - for the record, Exhibit 4D4 - as to why you left the
7 village on April 13, 1999, and your answer was as follows, and you read
8 from the statement and I quote: "Djilas was the one who had talked. He
9 told me he had orders from the regular Serb army to empty the village."
10 Do you remember that, sir? Do you remember that testimony?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that point Judge Bonomy asked you a question about the
13 prior statement you'd made -- actually, he asked you a question about that
14 statement, about the regular Serbian army ordering you to leave the
15 village, and you repeated, you said: "That's correct. Yes, it's
16 correct. This version is correct." And Judge Bonomy said: "Okay."
17 Do you remember that?
18 A. It's not clear to me. Could you please repeat it again.
19 Q. All right. Judge Bonomy noted that you had testified that the
20 reason you left the village is that you were ordered to do so -- by the
21 way, are you having trouble hearing this? I see you're holding your
22 earphone. Is there a problem, sir?
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, could we have a page reference?
24 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, it's page 49, September 6th, lines 8 and 9.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 MR. SEPENUK:
2 Q. Is it okay, sir? Can you hear all right?
3 A. Yes.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: If the witness could be
5 asked to speak into the microphone. Thank you.
6 MR. SEPENUK:
7 Q. Did you --
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. And Judge Bonomy noted in your statement you had said that Djilas
10 had said that the regular Serbian army had ordered you to leave the
11 village, and you said to Judge Bonomy: "That's correct. Yes, it's
12 correct. This version is correct."
13 Do you remember that, sir?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And then a little bit later in your testimony Judge Bonomy noted
16 that answer about orders from the regular Serbian army to empty the
17 village, and Judge Bonomy wanted to know essentially how that related to
18 your prior testimony that it was the Supreme Staff in Belgrade that had
19 ordered you to leave the village. And you said, and I quote, you said:
20 "This is what he said in my presence." I assume that "he" was Djilas.
21 "This is what he said in my presence, that the order has come from
22 Belgrade, from the Supreme Staff, for Prilepnica to be evacuated."
23 Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, since you testified yesterday we've received other statements
1 that you were authored -- that you authored. We received one statement to
2 a Mr. Morina, an Albanian lawyer, that, as I understand it, you gave in
3 either July or August of 1999, a rather lengthy statement, about 30 pages
4 in Albanian. And then we've also received from the Prosecutor, Mr.
5 Hannis, last evening, your questionnaire from the war crimes committee in
6 Kosovo dated October 28th, 1999. And you know what I'm referring to. Is
7 that right, sir?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I could go through these statements in some detail, and we
10 could usually -- we can have the usual lengthy, sometimes tedious
11 cross-examination, but I'm going to make an effort to short-circuit this
12 and to streamline it.
13 So I'm asking you, in the interests of time and with the
14 indulgence of the Trial Chamber and Mr. Hannis, to simply take my word for
15 it, that at least three times in this statement that you wrote, the
16 handwritten statement, you said that the orders for you to leave the
17 village came from military headquarters in Gnjilane. You said that at
18 least three times in the statement. I represent that to you.
19 Also, in the interests of time, I represent to you that in your
20 questionnaire that you submitted to the war crimes command -- war crimes
21 committee in Kosovo in October 1999, you said on at least two occasions
22 that you were ordered by military headquarters in Gnjilane to leave the
24 So before going into detail - and perhaps not going into detail at
25 all - I'm asking you now, this afternoon, given prior statements that you
1 made, can you tell us what is your best recollection as to why you left
2 your village on April 13th, 1999.
3 A. We did not flee from the village on the 13th but on the 14th,
4 because we had no other way out. And not only once, it was mentioned
5 several times, not only to me but to others as well, that an order has
6 come for Prilepnica to be evacuated. The population wanted to leave, but
7 we were encircled. And the second time, then, under escort, we managed to
8 leave the village. We were escorted to Macedonia, because I had never
9 seen that road before in my life --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now you've left the subject, Mr. Shaqiri. The
11 question is: What is your best recollection as to why you left the
12 village on the 14th? In other words, what's your best recollection of
13 what occurred on the 13th to cause you to leave on the 14th? Now, confine
14 yourself, please, to that very particular question because it's designed
15 to clarify the fact that you've given at least three different versions of
16 what caused that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The order
18 conveyed to us by Palamarevic and Djilas was from the army, and we obeyed
19 that order. The village left under these orders and under their escort.
20 MR. SEPENUK:
21 Q. So that is your testimony today, that the orders came from the
22 army; correct?
23 A. These two, Djilas and Palamarevic, they were militaries. They
24 were wearing military uniforms.
25 Q. Yes. I'm not asking you that. I'm simply asking you: What is
1 your best recollection now of what they told you about why you had to
2 leave your village? In other words, who gave the orders?
3 A. The order was conveyed to me and to my village by the two persons
4 that I've mentioned, and what they said was that they had received this
5 order. And I will repeat now what I've said before. They apologised,
6 they said, and I quote: "Forgive us, Hoxha. An order came from Belgrade.
7 Prilepnica must -- must move out."
8 And this is what other fellow citizens were told. And as I said,
9 I wanted someone else to hear this order as well because it is difficult
10 to tell a village with 3.000 inhabitants to leave. This is what I think
11 and this is what I remember.
12 Q. So just to clarify, you're testifying now that the order did not
13 come from military headquarters in Gnjilane but rather the order came from
14 Belgrade. Is that your testimony?
15 A. Sir, I don't think we are understanding each other or maybe the
16 interpreter is not interpreting it well. I don't know whether it is
17 Gjilan or Belgrade. They were speaking in the name of the army of the
18 name -- in the name of the staff, in the name of Belgrade, and they said:
19 "We are an army and we have to carry out orders."
20 Q. Did they say that they were speaking in the name of Belgrade, or
21 did they simply say: "We're speaking for the army and you've been ordered
22 out of the village by military headquarters in Gnjilane"?
23 A. On whose behalf they spoke, I don't know. They were the ones who
24 conveyed the order. They were speaking for themselves, but they said that
25 the order came from Belgrade and that that order had to be carried out.
1 Q. And what particular person or persons in Belgrade gave that order?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that.
3 Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm told by my Serb-speaking colleague
5 here that the witness said in Serbian, in Serbo-Croat, at 18, 2, where it
6 says: "An order came from Belgrade. Prilepnica must --" and it says:
7 "Must move out." I'm told what he said in Serbian is "must be
8 re-settled." And that could be a significant difference, if that's
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's not one for me to resolve; it can only
12 be resolved with the witness.
13 Just give me a second, please, Mr. Shaqiri. You are quoted here
14 as saying, in reference to the two persons who were conveying the
15 instruction: "Forgive us, Hoxha. An order came from Belgrade.
16 Prilepnica must -- must move out."
17 Now, it's been suggested that what you said in Serbian was:
18 "Prilepnica must be re-settled." Can you clarify the point for us,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how it was translated.
21 It has to be evacuated; it has to be clean of people. Now, I don't know
22 what its equivalent in English can be, and from that moment we were under
23 the control of these persons and then we left.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: That deals with the point.
25 Mr. Sepenuk.
1 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Now, again, was he any more specific than that, the person -- this
3 is Ljubo, right, or was it Djilas? Who spoke to you, Ljubo or Djilas?
4 We've had different --
5 A. Djilas, he was the one who did the talking most of the time.
6 Q. Because in your statement - again, I don't want to get into this
7 unless we have a disagreement - in your statement, your handwritten recent
8 statement, you said it was Ljubo who spoke to you. But let's not get hung
9 up on that now, whether it was Ljubo or Djilas.
10 Were they any more specific than that, whether it was Ljubo or
11 Djilas, they said: Belgrade wants you out? Is that what they said? Is
12 that your best recollection today as to what they said?
13 A. He didn't say that Belgrade said for you to move out. It's not
14 like this. It was a long conversation, contradictions. Their reasoning
15 was that the order came from the Supreme Staff in Belgrade. This is one
16 of the versions, but they also spoke in other versions. But all versions
17 are linked with Belgrade.
18 Q. What do you mean by "this is one of the versions"? I'm not sure I
19 understand that.
20 A. It was mentioned that the order came from Belgrade; that is one.
21 Secondly, it was mentioned that the order came from the Supreme Staff in
22 Belgrade. Thirdly, it was mentioned that Belgrade ordered for Prilepnica
23 to be evacuated. So this was a long conversation. For me, what is
24 important is the fact that these two persons that I mentioned, with names
25 and last names, conveyed the order and that the following day we moved out
1 under their escort. We didn't do that out of our own free will, but under
2 their orders. We were moved out and sent to Macedonia.
3 Q. Okay. When you were first asked about this matter in April, April
4 17th, 1999, you said simply - and I'm looking at now Exhibit 4D9 - you
5 said simply that: "On 13 April, 1999, three identified VJ commanders
6 ordered them to leave the village of Gnjilane." This is the statement
7 that you gave to the OSCE investigator -- it's a statement that you read
8 -- it was read back to you, and you signed it. You testified to that.
9 Do you remember that, sir?
10 A. I remember this, but it refers to 6th of April. I did not
11 recognise the officers on 6th of April.
12 Q. Right, but this is -- but right in this report, and again it's
13 Exhibit 4D9 --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I think there is confusion. This actually,
15 according to what Mr. Sepenuk has read to you, refers to the 13th of
17 MR. SEPENUK: That's correct, Your Honour.
18 Q. The 13th of April, again Exhibit 4D9, originally Prosecution
19 Exhibit 2288, now Defendant Exhibit 4D9, in that statement it talks about
20 circumstances of departure, and it says: "Please describe the
21 circumstances of your departure from Kosovo."
22 And your answer is, which was written down by the person asking
23 you the questions and read back to you and you signed the statement,
24 according to your testimony, your answer was: "On April 13, 1999, 12.00
25 noon, three identified VJ commanders ordered them to leave the village of
2 Do you remember giving that statement?
3 A. Please, identified or unidentified? Be clear, please.
4 Q. You said: "Three identified VJ commanders," and I assume those VJ
5 commanders, if you'll bear with me, are Ljubo Palamarevic, Djilas
6 Mladenovic and Locki Naskovic; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And nothing in that statement at all about the Supreme Staff in
9 Belgrade; correct, sir? Are you looking at that statement? I'm
10 representing to you that there's nothing in there about the Supreme Staff
11 in Belgrade. Do you accept that?
12 A. I didn't see the need to speak of the Supreme Staff.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. And then in your statement - and we've had some
14 discussion about this; I'll be very briefly - but in your statement of
15 April 25th, 1999, to Catherine Driguet - and, again, we've been over this
16 - you said it was Djilas who told you that they had orders from the
17 regular Serbian army for you to leave the village. You do remember that?
18 You have to answer audibly. We have to hear you.
19 A. I will quote: "Djilas, we are the regular army." This is what he
21 Q. And nothing in that statement either about Belgrade or the Supreme
22 Staff of Belgrade; take my word on that?
23 A. Of course I take your word because these are his words, not mine.
24 Q. And then in the statement that you've recently submitted - and I
25 really should ask you a little bit about that because I know very little
1 about it - you apparently submitted a statement to an Albanian lawyer
2 named Morina in July or August of 1999. Do you remember that?
3 A. I think it was in October --
4 Q. October of 1999?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it's quite a lengthy statement, 30 pages in Albanian and some
7 18 or 19 pages in English. And what was the purpose for giving this
8 statement, do you recall?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us about it. Why did you give this statement to Mr. Morina?
11 Tell us who Mr. Morina is and why you gave him this statement.
12 A. Mr. Morina collected notes about what had happened in Gjilan
13 municipality, and he asked those who had suffered during the war to give
14 written statements. He collected photographs, other evidence, other
15 names. There are photographs, as I said. Mr. Morina said he was working
16 on behalf of the Tribunal and that every evidence is there with him. So I
17 wrote this statement, and there I described what had happened.
18 Q. So you wrote this statement -- by the way, when's the last time
19 you've seen this statement? Have you seen it recently?
20 A. No. I never saw him.
21 Q. No, no, the statement. You submitted the statement now, as I
22 understand it, in about November of 1999?
23 A. No, I never saw it.
24 Q. You just wrote it out and handed it to him. Is that right?
25 A. That's correct, yes.
1 Q. And I take it you made every effort to be accurate in submitting
2 that statement; correct?
3 A. With all my honour.
4 Q. And in that statement you say: "Ljubo Palamarevic -- on April
5 13th, 1999, Ljubo Palamarevic said, and I quote, 'We apologise, Hoxha, but
6 we have come and we are sent by the military headquarters of Gnjilane to
7 tell you that this village is to be moved completely.'"
8 That's what you said in that statement. Do you recall that?
9 A. No, I do not recall this version. What I just quoted in Serbian
10 is the correct version. Djilas did not mention Gjilan; he mentioned
12 Q. Okay. That's what this statement says, though, that you said
13 "military headquarters of Gjilan". Now, I have a copy of the Albanian
14 statement, and --
15 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honours, may I hand it up to the witness? It's
16 actually in the system, as I understand it, as 4D10, but I'm not sure,
17 because of the shortness of time, whether it can be brought up or not.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Let's use the hard copy of 4D10.
19 MR. SEPENUK:
20 Q. There are some matters that are highlighted on that statement.
21 MR. SEPENUK: And, Your Honours, if that's not --
22 Q. Do you see that? And what do the highlighted items say? Do you
23 recognise that, by the way, as the statement that you submitted in
25 A. Yes, it's my handwriting. It's my statement.
1 Q. And does the underlined portion or the highlighted portion refer
2 to something that Ljubo Palamarevic said?
3 A. If necessary, I will read it:
4 "Ljuba looked at me and said: 'We apologise, Hoxha, but we came
5 here -- we were sent by the military headquarters in Gjilan to inform you
6 that this village has to be evacuated completely by tomorrow and that
7 nobody can remain in the village.'"
8 Q. That's precisely the question I asked you and that is precisely
9 the answer that you gave. So when you gave this statement, you didn't say
10 anything about Belgrade, you didn't say anything about the Supreme
11 Command; you said it was the military headquarters in Gnjilane that had
12 ordered the evacuation. Isn't that true, sir, at long last? Isn't that
13 true, sir?
14 A. During the conversation, Djilas mentioned not only to me but to
15 the other villagers as well that the order came from Belgrade. I haven't
16 written down every word that Djilas said. It was a long conversation,
17 about one hour long. I have quoted Ljube here, I have quoted Djilas, but
18 I can tell you with full responsibility that Belgrade was mentioned.
19 Q. And I can tell you, sir, with full responsibility - unless this is
20 just an atrocious English translation of your Albanian handwritten
21 statement - there is not a single word in the English translation about
22 Belgrade, and there are several other referrals to the military
23 headquarters in Gnjilane ordering the expulsion.
24 MR. SEPENUK: I'm not going to dwell on it anymore, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think it's important just to ask one thing
1 for clarification, and I'm looking for the reference in the testimony.
2 I'm not finding it in the -- but I have a note here that the witness said:
3 "I don't recollect saying that Djilas mentioned Gnjilane, he said
4 Belgrade." Now, have I wrongly noted that down as part of his evidence?
5 MR. SEPENUK: No, I think he said that, but -- because Djilas was
6 the one who did say, and we have a statement, that the regular Serbian
7 army is the person --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Can anyone help me find it on the transcript?
9 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, it's on page 25, line 9.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm much further back. Thank you. Well, is that
11 -- no, I don't think that -- that doesn't seem to be the point.
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I believe it's at page 24, line 4:
13 "Djilas did not mention Gjilan; he mentioned Belgrade."
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Shaqiri, you have told us that Djilas did
15 not mention Gnjilane, and yet here we have the very first statement that
16 you gave saying that specifically. And you say: "I have quoted Ljube
17 here, I have quoted Djilas, but I can tell you with full responsibility
18 that Belgrade was mentioned." But what you've actually concentrated on in
19 the statement was Gnjilane and you've told us today that that wasn't
20 mentioned. Now, can you explain that apparent contradiction?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the conversation of
22 the two officers didn't take place only with me but also with others who
23 raised objections to our moving out. And --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me make it more simple for you. Obviously my
25 question was too complicated. Did one of these officers mention Gnjilane?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they mentioned Gjilan and
2 Belgrade, both, and several times.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Why did you earlier in your evidence say that
4 Gjilan was not mentioned? Or at least you said: "I don't recollect
5 saying that Djilas mentioned Gjilan."
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ljuba said that the order comes from
7 Gjilan, whereas Djilas said that the order comes from Belgrade. These are
8 the two versions they both mentioned.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
10 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. I want to go to the next statement, which is the one you submitted
12 on October 28th, 1999. It's actually part of a questionnaire of war
13 crimes committed in Kosovo. It's a number of pages.
14 MR. SEPENUK: I have an English translation of it, and I'll ask
15 Mr. Hannis, is there anything in Albanian?
16 MR. HANNIS: I think all we have is that English version.
17 MR. SEPENUK: And that, by the way, Your Honours, is 4D11.
18 Q. And in this statement --
19 MR. HANNIS: If I may request that some foundational questions be
20 asked about this statement, because all I do have is the English and I
21 don't think it's signed and I don't know the circumstances in which it was
23 MR. SEPENUK: I'll be happy to.
24 Q. Do you know a gentleman - and I may be mispronouncing the name now
25 - Vjollca Musliu, M-u-s-l-i-u? Does that name mean anything to you?
1 A. For the moment it does not.
2 Q. He supposedly was a member of the central war crimes commission in
3 charge of gathering evidence, and according to this document that I have
4 that I only received last night at about 6.00 p.m. He interviewed you in
5 Prilepnica on October 28th, 1999. He said your occupation was teacher,
6 imam of the village. And he asked you a number of questions relating to
7 alleged war crimes. Does this ring any kind of a bell? Does this
8 register with you at all?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You don't remember being interviewed by this gentleman?
11 A. No, I do not remember.
12 Q. And do you know any other Abdylhaqim Shaqiri - I know I've
13 pronounced that terribly, and I apologise for that - a male person from
14 "the birth place of Perlepnice, north of Kosovo; Albanian ethnicity;
15 citizenship: Kosovar; occupation: imam." Do you know any person by that
16 name, other than you?
17 A. There is no other imam in Perlepnice and in the other villages
18 other than me.
19 Q. Well, the document that I have goes into all of the matters that
20 have already been testified to, names like Ljubo Palamarevic, Djilas
21 Mladenovic, Naskovic, et cetera. On the other hand, if you deny that
22 you're the person who was interviewed --
23 MR. SEPENUK: I would have hesitation, Your Honours, about going
25 Q. Do you have true doubt that you were the person interviewed by the
1 central war crimes commission?
2 A. You mentioned Abdylhaqim Shaqiri and Vjollca Musliu, I don't know
3 them at all.
4 Q. Because this says the same thing as all the other statements have
5 been saying, that "on April 13th, 1999, we were ordered by the military
6 headquarters in Gjilan to move from the village"; totally consistent with
7 your other statements.
8 So again, finally your comment would be you don't want to take
9 responsibility for this statement, or you have no recollection of it, or
10 it might be inaccurate? I'll leave it to you.
11 A. Since I have no recollection, I can take no responsibility for
12 that. If I remember, I will certainly take responsibility.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it possible that you said to an interviewer
14 around October 1999 that on the 13th of April you were ordered by the
15 military headquarters in Gnjilane to move from the village?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, each time we talked, on
17 different occasions we repeated what happened. Maybe that person was
18 present in a certain place where we talked about that and maybe he has
19 taken notes. I have no idea about that because this doesn't ring any
21 JUDGE BONOMY: No, but my question is a more general one. Is that
22 a statement that you could have made?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have no answer. I don't
24 remember anything.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask you it in a different way. In the
1 conversation you had with those who were giving the order to you, was any
2 reference made to military headquarters in Gnjilane?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was mentioned. With Djilas,
4 it was mentioned.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
6 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. I'll move on to a statement I don't think there's any doubt about,
8 at least I don't think so, and that's your statement of June 19th, 2001,
9 to Ann Murtagh, Exhibit 4D6, in which on page 4 thereof you said that the
10 army reserve officers -- you said you knew two of them, and I'm sure we're
11 talking about Ljubo and Djilas and one other person now. The army
12 officers said: "They were only conveying the orders of the military
13 headquarters in Gnjilane" when they told us to leave the village. Do you
14 remember that statement? Is your answer yes?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Nothing in that statement about the Supreme Staff in Belgrade;
17 correct, sir? Yes or no.
18 A. There is nothing because I didn't deem it appropriate to mention
19 it at that time.
20 Q. Thank you. And in the statement -- your interview of 5 February
21 2001, which is Exhibit 4D5, and in which you wanted to correct a number of
22 mistakes that were made in your prior statements, again, I'll simply
23 represent to you that there's no mention in that statement of orders
24 coming from Belgrade; correct?
25 A. That's true, I didn't mention it.
1 Q. And then finally in your statement to the Prosecutors on 28th
2 August 2006, Exhibit 4D8, there is some 27 corrections and additions to
3 the statement. In part 11 of the statement you spoke about Ljuba
4 Palamarevic, again one of the three Serbian officers, and you said that
5 the 2001 statement describes him as a judge, "and Mr. Shaqiri states that
6 the person was a lawyer but became a judge prior to April 1999." But
7 nothing again about orders from Belgrade; correct? The answer is yes; is
8 that right?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. So the fact is that there is not a single word in any of -- all of
11 your prior statements, not a single word by Djilas, Ljubo, or anybody else
12 that any order came from Belgrade - is that a fair statement - in any of
13 your prior statements?
14 A. I know that I mentioned it somewhere, but I am repeating it. This
15 is what Djilas said; that was a reason he gave to us for ordering us to
16 move out, that is, the order had come -- and I'm saying this in full moral
17 responsibility, namely that this is what Djilas told us: "We are a
18 regular army. We received orders from Belgrade for Perlepnice to be
19 evacuated." Whether he said it just to cover up what he was doing or for
20 anything else, this is I don't know. You can ask him; he is alive. He
21 can express what he thinks.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, you prepared notes to your testimony here today,
23 did you not, sir? You prepared notes?
24 A. No, no.
25 Q. No?
1 A. No, nothing.
2 Q. Did you have notes -- maybe I missed -- maybe I misunderstood. At
3 the beginning of your --
4 MR. HANNIS: The question was today. He may have misunderstood.
5 MR. SEPENUK: No, I'm sorry.
6 Q. Before you testified - let me clarify that - before you testified,
7 is it true that you had prepared notes to assist you in testifying?
8 A. I don't have them with me, but I'm telling you, I wrote down the
9 names of the persons I have mentioned in case I wouldn't remember them for
10 some reason.
11 Q. Right. But I'm not interested in that. I simply want to ask you
12 whether again you did make notes in preparation for your testimony.
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. You did not make notes -- you didn't have notes with you when you
15 first started to testify? Remember when Mr. Hannis first started to ask
16 you questions --
17 A. Excuse me, sir. I didn't understand you right, I think.
18 Q. So --
19 A. I didn't have the statements with me. I only got with me some
20 statistics from the municipality, thinking they would be of help to me.
21 And I left them at the hotel. Now I saw that I -- that they were of no
22 use here, things about -- statistics about what happened in the Gjilan
23 municipality, which I have with me in the hotel.
24 Q. That's fine. I'm just asking you a general question, that you did
25 prepare some notes in preparation for your testimony here; correct? Is
1 the answer yes?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And we know that -- Mr. Hannis said, "Put them aside." The
4 Prosecutor told you to put them aside and use them only if you needed them
5 to refresh your recollection, and you did put them aside and I don't think
6 you ever referred to them again. Is that a fair statement?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you were preparing to testify in this trial, as any witness
9 might; right?
10 A. This is the first time for me to appear in a court as a witness.
11 Q. Okay. And what did you know about this trial? I'm asking you:
12 What did you read in the media -- I mean in the newspapers? What did you
13 hear on television? What did you possibly hear on the internet, the
14 media, the news services? What did you know about this case before you
15 got here?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: My life's too short for that question, Mr. Sepenuk.
17 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honour, it has a definite --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but it must be a more precise version --
19 MR. SEPENUK: All right.
20 Q. Did you know of --
21 MR. SEPENUK: I'll ask -- and I'll be more precise. My life's
22 even shorter, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, looking around, that's very encouraging.
24 MR. SEPENUK: I say that -- I say that sadly and very
25 respectfully, needless to say.
1 Q. Did you know who the defendants were in this case, the accused?
2 Did you know who the accused were before you got here? Before you got
3 here, and when you got here, do you know who's on trial here?
4 A. Often we read, whenever we can, what is going on in the Hague
5 Tribunal. Our media is rather limited, I mean the Albanian-language
6 media, and it reports very little about what is going on in The Hague for
7 the moment. When the trial of Mr. Milosevic was being on, the media
8 coverage was greater, but not so much now. Very rarely you can see
9 something being written about the trial here in The Hague.
10 Q. Do you know that there's six men sitting in the back of this
11 court-room. They are the so-called accused in this case, the defendants
12 in this case. Do you know about any of them? Do you know about one --
13 all of them, all six? Do you know who they are? Are they sergeants?
14 Colonels? Majors? Privates? Who are they?
15 A. Some I know.
16 Q. Who do you know?
17 A. Mr. Sainovic, I've never talked to them, of course, but I've seen
18 their faces on television or on the newspapers. I know the general by
19 sight, of course --
20 Q. Which general?
21 A. Through the television. Ojdanic, General Ojdanic.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. The others I can't see from here.
24 Q. Mr. Milutinovic, have you ever heard his name?
25 A. I've heard the name, but I -- you prevent me from seeing him or --
1 I don't know. Yes, now I see him.
2 Q. So you know, then -- and Mr. -- General Pavkovic, General
3 Lazarevic, these are names that are known to you; correct? General Lukic?
4 A. I have heard about them. I don't know, I think about General
6 Q. So you know, then, that the six accused on trial here are rather
7 very high-up political, military, and police figures. Is that correct,
8 sir, you know that?
9 A. I know that they used to be high-up figures, but I don't know them
10 to be now in the same position.
11 Q. But is it fair to say they're considered by you to be part of the
12 Supreme Staff of Kosovo, and that your testimony -- you're testifying
13 today with respect to those alleged Supreme Staff members? Is that in
14 your mind, sir?
15 A. I have no idea about that.
16 Q. That's irrelevant to you - is that right - the fact that they are
17 high-up political, military, and police figures? That has nothing to do
18 with your testimony that allegedly the order to leave your village came
19 from the Supreme Staff in Belgrade? That has nothing to do with your
20 testimony; is that what you're saying?
21 A. No. No, sir, you are putting it wrong. I didn't say that the
22 order came from Belgrade, but that it was Djilas who said to us that the
23 order came from Belgrade. I and my people suffered it on our backs. I
24 don't want any people to be tried. There is no bad people in the world.
25 Only those who have committed crimes should be held responsible for what
1 they have done. Who is innocent, let him enjoy his freedom; who is
2 guilty, let him be held responsible.
3 I am not here to try a general or anyone else; I am here to
4 recount to you what happened to us. The mosque I serve is burned. The
5 library which was there for over 150 years was burned. And all -- the
6 damage is worth over 20 million Deutschmarks. This damage was inflicted
7 there by someone. So if these people are to blame, let them be held
8 responsible because someone is responsible and it is up to this Tribunal
9 to find the culprits. That's my answer. I am not here to blame anyone.
10 Q. I certainly agree with your comment that it's up to the Tribunal.
11 MR. SEPENUK: That's all I have, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Ivetic.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Shaqiri. My name is Dan Ivetic, and together
17 with my colleagues Branko Lukic and Ozren Ogrizovic, I represent Serb
18 police general Sreten Lukic. It's my job here today to ask you some
19 questions to clear up some matters pertaining to your testimony that we've
20 heard here the past couple of days, and I'll try to make my questions as
21 concise as possible so we can go through this smoothly. I would ask you
22 to give me the most truthful answer possible, and if you don't know the
23 answer, just say so.
24 Now, first of all, I want to clear up some things you testified
25 about the other day. On Tuesday you mentioned several times the "local
1 police." For example, you talked about the local police from Kamenica,
2 how they communicated the information they received from the SUP that you
3 could return to your village. Now, when you use the term "local police,"
4 are you referring to employees of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs,
5 that is to say the MUP, of the Republic of Serbia?
6 A. No. For me the police of Kamenice. I don't know how to answer
7 you. The regular police of Kamenice.
8 Q. And when you say "the regular police of Kamenice," are you talking
9 about people from the MUP? Are you familiar with the abbreviation MUP?
10 A. Yes, I am.
11 Q. And when you say the "local" or the "regular police," are we
12 talking about the MUP, people from the MUP?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Okay. And, in fact, the regular -- let's focus on the police from
15 Kamenice for a second. These police from the MUP from Kamenice, they had
16 authority over the entire Republic of Serbia. Is that correct?
17 A. This I don't know.
18 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Now, with respect to the police from
19 Kamenice, when you described that the police from Kamenice told you to go
20 back to your village, did you understand this as the police trying to help
21 you and your people? Did you view it as a good thing?
22 A. Yes, a very good thing indeed, I may say.
23 Q. Okay. And now, with respect to your travels that day, is it
24 accurate to state that you went through several traffic check-points and
25 that through these -- that some of these check-points were manned by the
1 Serbian MUP police? Is that accurate?
2 A. The check-point is something else. There were traffic police in
3 Kmetofc and soldiers some 50 metres away, regular soldiers. I mentioned
4 that earlier.
5 Q. Okay. What I want to ask you about is: Is it a fact that at no
6 point in time did any member of the Serbian MUP mistreat either you or any
7 of the villagers that were under your care in the convoy? And now we're
8 focussing on the first convoy of April the 6th, 1999.
9 A. No, nobody mistreated us.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, you were heading towards the municipality in
11 Serbia known as Bujanovac. Am I correct in stating that this municipality
12 has a majority ethnic Albanian civilian population?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. And you clarified yesterday that there was no actual --
15 that there was -- that there was no actual border crossing between Kosovo
16 and the rest of Serbia. Am I correct to say that there is a police
17 check-point at Konculj that is regarded as the informal administrative
18 line between the Bujanovac municipality and the municipalities in Kosovo?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the word --
20 A. Konculj is far. I don't know. We didn't go up to Konculj.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the word you used was informal --
22 MR. IVETIC: It's been corrected, Your Honour. I noticed that as
24 Q. That was going to be my next question for you. So your convoy did
25 not reach Konculj. Is that correct?
1 A. That is correct. We only passed by -- I don't know whether it was
2 100 or 200 metres away from the administrative boundary. I am afraid to
3 mention figures because figures are creating problems for me here.
4 Q. I'll try to avoid that where it's not necessary, and I think for
5 now we can move on.
6 Now, on Tuesday you described that when you returned to your
7 village on the 7th of April, that thereafter on the 9th and 10th of April,
8 "we stood guard with the police from the town." And I presume by "we"
9 you meant persons from the village. And I wanted to, first of all, ask
10 you: Am I correct that by "police from the town" you mean members of the
11 MUP of the Republic of Serbia?
12 A. I mean the MUP of Gjilan.
13 Q. Okay. And could you explain for us, sir, when you and your people
14 returned on either the 6th or the 7th of April - I know people came at
15 different times - did anyone have any problems with the police, that is to
16 say with the MUP, who were in fact there in the area?
17 A. Nowhere have I mentioned that we had problems with the police. I
18 have only stated that they always helped us.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, just to clarify --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it's time for the break. But that answer
21 is not good enough for you, Mr. Ivetic, we've still got more cross, have
23 MR. IVETIC: We do, Your Honour, but I hope to be able to complete
24 my cross within, I'd say, maybe half an hour of the next -- I'll try to be
25 brief. I'll endeavour to try and curtail the questioning.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just for future transcript readers who
4 might be trying to search for things, I understand the municipality Gjilan
5 is spelled with an "N" in both Serbian and Albanian, not "Gj" but "Gnj" in
6 both cases. It's showing up in the transcript as "Gj", which can throw
7 somebody off trying to do a search for Gnjilane. I don't know if that is
8 helpful to anybody or not.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So what you're suggesting is that there's an
10 inaccuracy in the indictment? If we look at 72(i), which is one of the
11 paragraphs we're directed to, it's spelled in the Albanian without an "N".
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: In Albanian it's correct,
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And the interpreter is telling me on the earphones
15 that in Albanian it should be spelled "Gj".
16 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what I just heard, Your Honour. Yesterday
17 you criticised my colleagues here for not helping me. Today they've been
18 helping me, and I'm not sure if it's of any use.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no -- anyway, it looks as though anyone
20 searching will have to undertake both to be sure, and we shall resume at
21 ten past.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, now, when we left off, we had talked about the
2 conduct of the police with respect to the civilian population. I want to
3 focus for a moment on the time period during 1998, and I would ask you:
4 During 1998, did you have the same -- strike that.
5 During 1998, what was the general atmosphere like in Gnjilane
6 municipality vis-a-vis the civilian population and the Serbian MUP or the
7 Serbian police? How was their interaction?
8 A. I can only speak of my own village, not about the entire
10 Q. Well, that's fair. You could speak about your village. And would
11 it also be fair to say that you could speak about the other two villages
12 that you were also the imam of?
13 A. I cannot with great responsibility. Something could have happened
14 in those two villages. But, as I said, for my own village I can speak.
15 Q. Okay. And would it be fair to say that with respect to your own
16 village there were not any such problems with the Serbian police during
18 A. No, my village never did have.
19 Q. Okay. And during 1998, did you know of any or witness any
20 conflicts or fighting between the Serbian police and any armed groups in
21 the area, such as the KLA/UCK?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I'd like to move on back to 1999. And the
24 other day you mentioned the customs police in your testimony. Now, I want
25 to ask you: In 1999, the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo-Metohija,
1 was part of a federal state known as Yugoslavia. Is that correct --
2 actually, I strike that.
3 I just want to say: Would it be accurate to state that in 1999
4 the customs officials operating at the international borders of Yugoslavia
5 were federal officials, that is to say Yugoslav personnel, and not
6 personnel of the Republic of Serbia. Do you have knowledge of that?
7 A. I only knew them as customs officials. As for whether they were
8 Yugoslav personnel or Serbia's personnel, for me they were officials of
9 Serbia, or Kosova, better to say.
10 Q. Okay. You described the gentleman that was the customs chief
11 having a solid uniform. Did that uniform have any badges or insignia; and
12 if so, could you describe them?
13 A. No, I've forgotten the insignia, sir. He was about 60 years old,
14 and somebody said that he was from Kllokot, but he may not be from Kllokot
15 as well.
16 Q. Okay. If I could just focus -- and I think I have just one more
17 question with respect to the uniform after you verify this for me. Was it
18 your testimony -- is it your testimony that his uniform was a solid
19 colour, that is to say solid as opposed to camouflaged?
20 A. Solid colour, police, tidy.
21 Q. Okay. And the last question I want to ask you with respect to
22 uniforms, sir, is: Isn't it a fact that the Serbian police from the MUP
23 had blue camouflage uniforms and badges?
24 A. No, not in that place. As for the whole territory of Kosovo, I
25 don't know.
1 Q. Okay. When you say "not in that place," are you saying that the
2 personnel at the border did not have blue camouflage uniforms? Is that --
3 A. Yes, at the border.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you testified about some vehicles that
5 were left at the border and I want to ask you: Had you had occasion to
6 travel outside of Yugoslavia prior to that occasion at any point in time?
7 A. You mean if I had an occasion to travel, personally?
8 Q. Correct.
9 A. Yes, many times.
10 Q. Okay. And, sir, do you have knowledge of the fact that in order
11 to travel with a vehicle outside of Yugoslavia, there are certain
12 documents or registrations, including insurance certificates, that need to
13 be obtained and presented to allow a vehicle to pass the international
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. And is it also a fact that since your convoy of people had
17 not been given much time to prepare to leave, that this necessary
18 documentation was lacking?
19 A. No, sir. With all my respect, I can tell you that there were
20 vehicles who had the whole documentation necessary there. We calculated
21 later on that 518 vehicles, tractors, motor-cultivators, trucks, and
22 trailers attached to tractors and motor-cultivators remained there. I had
23 my vehicle with all documentation necessary, but I was ordered to leave
24 the keys and the documents in the car and to continue on foot to cross the
1 Q. Okay. That clears things up. Now, I'd like to ask you with
2 respect to -- do you know if any other groups actually passed the border
3 in their vehicles? Do you have knowledge of that or is your knowledge
5 A. No, I don't have a knowledge that a group left by cars. All the
6 vehicles remained there at Gllobocica.
7 Q. Okay. Now, the past few days you've referenced the "military
8 police," and I just want to first clear up some confusion in my own mind
9 in that regard based on the testimony. I'm not sure what the end result
10 is, but I want to make it clear with you. The military police that you
11 talked about, are they a part of the Serbian MUP, the Ministry of Internal
12 Affairs, as you understand it, or not?
13 A. That I don't know.
14 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you -- you said that your brother was a
15 reservist. Was he a reservist in the Ministry of Internal Affairs or was
16 he a reservist in the army?
17 A. It was a long time ago. Until 1985/1986.
18 Q. And do you know whether he was a reservist in the police, the
19 military -- excuse me, the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the
20 police, or in the army? At that time I guess it would have been still the
21 JNA, the Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija?
22 A. He was a driver in the GNA.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to move to another topic. Yesterday --
24 I think it was either yesterday or Tuesday you talked about three
25 individuals that went to try and contact the police on the 13th of April,
1 1999, the day before you left your village the second time. And I want to
2 know whether you know -- you said you didn't know the name of the
3 policeman that they spoke with, that you forgot it, but do you know
4 whether the policeman that was spoken to, whether that was an ordinary
5 policeman, or was he someone with some sort of superior rank, that is to
6 say in the Serbo-Croat, an "staresina" of the MUP?
7 A. They went to MUP, Gjilan MUP. They know who they spoke to because
8 they knew the person they were supposed to talk to. I don't know that
9 person and I don't know his name because I wasn't present.
10 Q. Okay. Do you happen to know his rank or is that also a no?
11 A. No.
12 Q. That's fair enough. And in any event, in your detailed
13 handwritten statement that we've been -- that we received yesterday, that
14 I believe has been marked and utilised today as 4D10, in that handwritten
15 statement of 30 pages, you make no reference to the fact that the three
16 individuals made contact with someone in the police station, the SUP, in
17 Gnjilane. Why was that omitted from your handwritten statement?
18 A. Sir, not only on that day, but we had had the opportunity to speak
19 with Gjilan police on many occasions. But I didn't deem it necessary to
20 speak of it because we didn't have any problems. Now I only mentioned
21 those with whom my village had a problem, and those with whom we didn't
22 have problems, I didn't write it down.
23 Q. Fair enough. Fair enough. Now, if we could focus on the three
24 officers of -- the persons you identified as three officers - I'm talking
25 about Palamarevic, and Djilas, and the third individual whose name escapes
1 me at the moment, it was Locki or something - when these individuals
2 advised you that you had to leave your village, did they give you an
3 option of where to go, as to your final destination?
4 A. No, sir. I said already that we didn't know.
5 Q. Okay. And did they, in fact, direct that you were going to end up
6 at the Macedonian border at that point in time?
7 A. We set out in the direction of the Macedonian border at that
8 time. No. We were following the police that was ahead of us. Wherever
9 they were going, we were following after them. That was the order.
10 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to direct your attention also to yesterday.
11 We heard about how Mr. Goran Denic, a Serb from your village was
12 ultimately arrested. You had also mentioned an individual named Negovan
13 Denic, and he is also referenced in your handwritten notes. Do you have
14 any knowledge of the fact that Negovan Denic, another Serb from your
15 village, was arrested and detained by the Serbian police, the Serbian MUP,
16 on April the 20th for committing crimes, specifically looting of houses?
17 A. No. I do know the persons involved.
18 Q. Okay. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Ademi Sebastijan
19 [phoen] from the village of Kmetovce?
20 A. No, there's no person by that name in Kmetofc. There are two
21 families, larger families, in Kmetofc, one by the last name Azizi and the
22 other Latifi. There are no others.
23 Q. Okay. Do you know that between April and May of 1999, the Serbian
24 MUP, the Serbian police, in Gnjilane municipality arrested and detained
25 over 100 persons, including the three individuals I have just named - and
1 these persons were of various ethnicities - for their involvement in
2 looting, burning of homes, thefts, and killings? Do you have knowledge of
3 any of that, sir?
4 A. Of course it's a matter for the police. I don't know anything
5 about it.
6 Q. Okay --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that question being put in relation to
9 MR. IVETIC: It includes Prilepnica, Your Honour, yes. The
10 individuals I have named were actually arrested with respect to
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From Prilepnica, that is villagers
14 from my village, nobody is arrested.
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. I'm talking about the two Serbs that we identified before, the
17 Denics, sir. But, in any event, I have just a few more questions for you,
18 and I'd like to first turn to what's been referred to as the OSCE report,
19 which I had it down as Prosecution Exhibit 2288 and which now I guess also
20 has a Defence number. I'll refer to the Prosecution number. And I don't
21 know whether it will assist to put this on the screen, since we only have
22 a copy in English, which the witness does not read. But I'd like to ask
23 you, sir, a couple of questions.
24 Now, the OSCE report that has been given to me has a check box
25 where the interviewer has identified the type of forces that were
1 responsible for the events that you told the interviewer about. And the
2 exhibit that I have, sir, lists the April 6th, 1999 act when your people
3 left the village. It also lists the April 14th incident that we've
4 discussed here today. And for both of those, the OSCE report has the box
5 marked, saying that the police were the parties responsible for committing
6 these acts against you. Did you, in fact, tell the OSCE that the police
7 of Serbia were responsible for these two events?
8 A. From my village?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. Well, I think that clears up for me whether in fact the
12 OSCE report reflects things --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we see that on the report?
14 MR. IVETIC: Yes, we can, if we put up P2288 --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's on the screen. The question is where on the
16 document is the point you're referring to?
17 MR. IVETIC: If we can scroll down, I believe it's the second
18 page. Okay. If we could zoom in on the top, right there. If we could
19 see, it references the 6th April 1999 event, and there's a checkmark next
20 to the box labelled "Perpetrators: Police." And then there's blanks for
21 VJ, JNA, blank for KLA, and a checkmark under "Other."
22 JUDGE CHOWHAN: He hasn't signed this, has he?
23 MR. IVETIC: The testimony from Mr. Hannis -- pardon me, the
24 representations from Mr. Hannis the other day were that he had signed a
25 report but not this particular version of it, I think.
1 MR. HANNIS: That wasn't my representation; that was his answer.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. All right, sir. Now I've got just a couple more questions for
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
8 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, we can move away from that document now, and I have
9 just a couple more questions. Now --
10 A. I didn't understand this.
11 Q. I apologise, sir. I was just trying to clarify. For me it seemed
12 that the OSCE report did not identify the persons responsible in the same
13 way that you did in your testimony, and you have now cleared that up for
14 me. So I apologise. We were discussing another matter.
15 A. Thank you for your clarification.
16 Q. Now, sir, my last series of questions deals with your handwritten
17 statement that was submitted to us yesterday and information that I
18 learned based upon that handwritten statement. Now, am I correct that
19 this handwritten -- am I correct that your village, in 1999 -
20 specifically, at least, April of 1999 and for several months prior to then
21 - was housing persons from the Drenica region who did not normally live
22 in Prilepnica?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And this is a fact that has not been mentioned in any of your
25 other statements or in your testimony the last couple days up until now.
1 Is that accurate?
2 A. That's accurate.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. IVETIC: I don't think I have any further questions for this
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri for your time.
7 A. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, yesterday there were issues over two pieces of
9 translation. I only have an oral indication from the translation
10 service. The first was the question whether the witness had claimed that
11 during his military service he served on the front line. There was a
12 mistranslation, and the accurate translation was that he was in the first
13 echelon, and I think he confirmed that himself yesterday.
14 The other question was whether he had used the expression that his
15 village was burned to the ground. Well, you don't always get the
16 identical translation when you ask two different people to translate
17 something, but that particular phrase was translated, on subsequent
18 checking, as "completely burned", which to the translator is essentially
19 the same.
20 So I hope that clarifies the position with the two outstanding
21 translation issues.
22 Mr. Hannis -- sorry, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I had asked you at the beginning if I might --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: -- have a question or two at the end not covered by
1 my colleagues, and I do have.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, carry on.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
4 Q. Hello again, Mr. Shaqiri.
5 A. Good day.
6 Q. I have some questions about your handwritten statement. Now, this
7 was a statement that you sat down and wrote yourself. Nobody asked you
8 questions. You just had an opportunity to sit down and write your story,
9 as best you could remember it, in your own hand, didn't you?
10 A. Correct.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this is Exhibit 4D10, and maybe it can
12 be put up on the screen so that at least, if the Court wishes to, the
13 Court can follow it. I'm starting on page 1.
14 Q. You said on page 1 that on the 1st of April - you were talking
15 about a funeral that had gone on - you said, I think referring to the
16 people in your village: "We were watching NATO planes, hoping that soon
17 the event we were waiting for would happen, capitulation of the Serbo-Slav
19 My only question about that little statement you wrote there is
20 the part about watching NATO planes. How often were you seeing NATO
21 planes in early April of 1999? Were you seeing them a lot of the time or
22 a little bit of the time? How many were you seeing?
23 A. On the 24th of March, if I am not mistaken, we heard - because we
24 didn't see - the roar of the planes flying. And the fact is that we
25 rejoiced at that because we thought that one day that madness that was
1 happening in Kosova would come to an end, irrespective of who the fault
2 was, one or the other side or both sides. The population rejoiced, and I
3 too rejoiced because we thought that the war would come to an end one day
4 because war brings only bad things.
5 Q. And throughout that early part of April, up through the 14th when
6 you left there, were you hearing at least the NATO planes during that
7 period of time?
8 A. I just said that I heard two explosions which, for the moment, I
9 didn't know where it happened, but later on I found out that it happened
10 in -- at Gjilan barracks. When I passed by, one day I saw it with my own
11 eyes. The planes we -- the planes' noise, roar, we heard now and again,
12 but we couldn't see them with our own eyes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm interested, Mr. Shaqiri, in what you said about
14 "thinking and hoping that one day that the madness that was happening in
15 Kosovo would come to an end." What did you mean by "the madness that was
16 happening in Kosovo"?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, even though in my
18 village nobody had died, in other villages people died every day. I tried
19 to remain within the 6th and 13th and 14th of April. Unfortunately, I did
20 not bring the transcript with me, but I know I bear it. Two innocent
21 women from Zabel, whose family was shelled, and I had to go and attend a
22 burial ceremony on the 29th of March and on the 1st of April. They were
23 not killed from NATO, but there were people in uniforms who, in acts of
24 retaliation against NATO, fired randomly and insulted us. That's why I'm
25 saying that someone has to be held responsible for the crimes committed in
1 Kosova, in other villages, in Zhegra, Lashtice. I went and visited Bodrik
2 village, Mlladov. From the courtyards we pulled out the dead bodies and
3 buried them. Being an imam, I attended several funerals of innocent
4 people, and I know that someone is to blame for that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. I'm going over to page 8 of the English translation of your
9 handwritten statement, and you were talking about the departure from your
10 village on the 6th of April, and you were talking about a man from
11 Drenica. Who was this man from Drenica?
12 A. Your Honours, as a Hoxha of the mosque, I took in 81 refugees from
13 Drenica in my village. They were sick people; one of them was Shefqet
14 Buqiqi, an invalid mistreated and beaten up. There were women, children,
15 elderly. Every reasonable person in the world will assist helpless
16 people. This is what we did. We offered our assistance to them. And I
17 didn't care for the police for doing that.
18 So if there is -- if there is a reason in the world, this should
19 be considered an act of humanity. In the entire commune of Gjilan, the
20 first to open the door to take in people from Drenica were people from
22 Q. Do you --
23 A. This is more than I have in my statement, what I'm saying to you
25 Q. Do you remember the question that I asked you just now? Do you
1 remember what I asked you?
2 A. The person who was staying with me, I took him in. Shefqet Buqiqi
3 is his name. Him and his five members, they were taken in by me, in my
4 own house.
5 Q. Here's what you said about that man from Drenica and his family.
6 When you were getting ready to leave you said: "I split the family of the
7 man from Drenica into two groups. I took three persons in my car and the
8 rest were with my brother Ramadan."
9 And then you said this: "I was afraid they would be spotted and
10 then the worst could happen even for me, my family, and also for the
11 guests I had."
12 You were afraid that the man from Drenica would be spotted? Is
13 that what you were afraid of?
14 A. Until they were in Prilepnica, sheltered in our own houses, I was
15 not afraid. But when they ordered us to leave the village - I'm talking
16 about the 6th of April - because of the looting and the mistreating, of
17 course I was afraid that something would happen to my friend. And I
18 respect friends and guests. And if something wrong happens to him, we
19 would feel bad as hosts.
20 Q. Well, was this man from Drenica some KLA or a wanted man or
21 somebody that they were looking for? When they came to your village
22 looking for somebody, was this the man they were looking for?
23 A. No, sir. He was a sick person. He went regularly to see the
24 doctor. He had his young children that went to our school and his wife.
25 First he had his father, who died, and then he was buried in another
1 village in the vicinity of Pristina.
2 Q. Well, on page 11 you talk about him again and you say that you
3 were trying to find a vehicle for him to travel in and he finally decided
4 to leave on a truck instead of in a car. So this really was some old man
5 that you were trying to help; is that what you're telling us?
6 A. Not very old. He was in his 60s, early 60s, I think, but he was
8 Q. At the bottom of page 8 and the beginning of page 9 of the
9 translation, you talk about that moment when you had crossed over into
10 Serbia proper and the police came and told you they had an order for you
11 to go back to your houses and that nothing would happen to you and you
12 should be sure of that. And we talked about that quite a bit yesterday.
13 What you told us yesterday was you were very happy to hear that and you
14 were relieved to hear that; correct?
15 A. Yes, correct.
16 Q. In this handwritten statement, you tell us that you said to this
17 policeman: "Sir, don't send us back, according to your will. Don't ruin
18 me and these people here."
19 Now, that doesn't sound like somebody who's pleased to hear that
20 news. You're saying: "Don't send me back. I don't want to go back to my
22 A. It is wrongly translated, sir. We have nothing against the
23 police. The order was given by the army.
24 Q. All right. Since you say it's wrongly translated, I need you now
25 to find it in your statement, your handwritten statement. It's probably
1 about halfway through, where you've arrived at the border and the police
2 have told you to go back. And first you say what the policeman said to
3 you and then you say what you said to the policeman. Just read us what is
4 in your statement, please?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: This is on page 9. Is that correct?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It's 8 and 9, Your Honour, in the English
8 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: It would be about halfway through the Albanian, I
10 would think. I don't read Albanian, so it would be very difficult for me
11 to find it.
12 MR. HANNIS: It appears to me it may be near the top of page 15 in
13 the Albanian.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it, yes. I'm right; the
16 translation is wrong.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Read out the passage in Albanian, please, Mr.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Sir," I told the policeman, "don't
20 turn me back with your own will. Don't put me and my people in a
21 difficult situation," because I wanted to be sure that he had received
22 orders from someone in asking us to do that.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Well, you know, first thing you told me was you didn't say that,
25 and then you said you were right, you didn't say that, and then you read
1 me almost exactly what I suggested that you said, didn't you?
2 A. No, it's not that --
3 Q. Well, we can all read the translation here and we all heard what
4 you said, so I don't think we need to go any further into it. I want to
5 ask you about something else.
6 After you turned around, you told us yesterday that you spent the
7 night of the 6th in Dobercan and then returned to your village on the 7th;
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And we had a long discussion yesterday about what happened right
11 after you returned to your village. One of the things we talked about at
12 length was you -- you had said in a statement that every citizen was
13 trying to contact Serbian people that had any kind of influence, to try to
14 keep you from being removed from the village again. And I asked you about
15 that and you said: "Well, I really didn't mean every citizen, some of the
16 citizens." But you gave us, I think, the impression that the people in
17 your village were all working together to try to remain in the village.
18 And then I get a chance to read what you wrote in your own hand,
19 and what you tell us and what you wrote in your own hand was that you went
20 back to the village, and when you arrived on the 7th you were informed
21 that there was going to be a meeting in what you call the oda, the
22 guest-room, of Abdyrrahim Osmani at 1900 hours that day; that you were
23 invited to that meeting, that you were happy that there was going to be
24 such a meeting, but then you were disappointed because it didn't turn out
25 the way you expected.
1 You say: "Somebody accused me of how come I got back in the
2 village and did not lead the people back for they were left on the road."
3 You were being accused of abandoning your people when you stayed
4 in Dobercan and did not escort them back to your village, weren't you?
5 They were saying you'd abandoned them.
6 A. In every people in the world there are uncautious people and this
7 is what some kind of people have said, that this is not a formal
8 statement. Some make jokes as they like.
9 Q. Well, you don't say in here that it was jokes, and it gets worse,
10 I think. You told them they should form a headquarters for protection,
11 that you could consult and reach discussions together. And one of them
12 stopped you and said, and this is -- you're quoting what this person said
13 to you: "There's no need for that, Hoxha. Everybody should engage
14 separately and according to his possibilities. Whoever knows somebody can
15 speak on behalf of the village; therefore, there's no need for
16 headquarters or annointing of people." You say that got you embarrassed.
17 So then you said: "Let's appoint some older people." And then somebody
18 said to you: "Hoxha, there's no need for that. They will not come back
19 anymore. There will be no more evictions." And then you talk about many
20 other things being discussed that were not worth mentioning. And that
21 made you -- apparently that got you very angry. Your villagers had lost
22 confidence in you, because then you said this, that you said to them:
23 "You do what you like, inshallah the event that we had will not happen
24 again. If something happens, don't count on Hoxha anymore."
25 So you had a fight there with your villagers, didn't you? You had
1 a big argument? You said yes, didn't you?
2 A. Yes, it's a fact we had a big argument.
3 MR. HANNIS: Well, can he complete reading the last sentence that
4 he just quoted? He stopped in the middle of the sentence.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: "... because I will not face them alone without
6 anyone accompanying me."
7 And that's all the questions I have. Thank you.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Hannis:
11 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, yesterday Mr. Ackerman was asking you some questions,
12 and at page 2874 of the transcript, line 4, he addressed this issue about
13 why the villagers or contacting Serbs to avoid moving out again.
14 Between the 6th and the 14th of April, were you aware or did you
15 have any news about what was happening in the rest of the province of
16 Kosovo with Kosovo Albanian civilians?
17 A. I was often informed, I said even earlier, of what occurred in
18 other villages of Anamorava, or upper Morava, in Gjilan. On the 28th of
19 March I went --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Shaqiri, the question is very specific. It
21 relates to the period between the 6th and the 14th of April. It appears
22 to me you're not answering that question. Could you concentrate on the
23 period the 6th to the 14th.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. I didn't understand
25 the question properly. During that period I was focussed on my own
1 village. Of course, I heard things -- about things happening in other
2 places, but at this moment I don't recall that.
3 MR. HANNIS:
4 Q. And before the 14th of April, were you aware of what had happened
5 to Kosovar Albanians in other villages in Kosovo from the start of the
6 NATO bombing on the 24th of March, 1999?
7 A. Partially, yes.
8 Q. And without giving specific details, generally what had you heard?
9 A. I heard of murders in Vllashtica, Mlladov, Zhegra, and through
10 television I heard of what was going on all over Kosova.
11 Q. Had you heard about other villagers being told to remove -- to
12 remove themselves from their village, as you were on the 6th of April?
13 A. Before the 14th of April, no, I didn't hear anything.
14 Q. Now, at page 9 of the transcript today, line 8, Mr. Bakrac was
15 asking you about your June 2001 statement in which you described being
16 ordered to leave your village. On the 13th and the 14th of April, when
17 you were told that you had to leave, did anyone tell you where you were
18 supposed to go or were you simply told to leave the village?
19 A. On the 13th and 14th of April, we were told that we would go in
20 the direction of Ferizaj under escort, because I demanded an escort.
21 Q. And were you told anything more than you were to go in the
22 direction of Ferizaj?
23 A. No. The destination was Ferizaj.
24 Q. Now, I want to ask a couple more questions about your conversation
25 with the three men who came on the 13th and who I believe you testified
1 you spoke to again on the 14th, that is, Djilas, Ljuba Palamarevic, and
2 the third individual. Am I correct that the one who mentioned Belgrade
3 was Djilas?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And Palamarevic is the one who mentioned the headquarters -- the
6 military headquarters in Gjilan?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. At page 2281 from yesterday, line 22, when there was a discussion
9 about this, I think at one point you said you could also say it in
10 Serbian, what Djilas had said about that. Can you say it in Serbian? Do
11 you remember what words he used?
12 A. Before coming to that, that is, before using that word, we had an
13 argument, a rather fierce argument. It was a driver, Reshat Rrahmani and
14 Djilas. The argument was between the two. When Reshat came to my
15 courtyard, he saw his own director there, and now I can quote. I quoted
16 it once; if you need me, I can quote it again. After that argument, in
17 the presence of all the people that were there, he said: "An order came
18 from Belgrade, from the General Staff." He mentioned Belgrade. "And that
19 you must be evacuated by all means." I said it even before in Serbian.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Not General Staff but
22 Supreme Staff.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: The page reference can't be correct if it's from
25 yesterday. It may just be a transposition of --
1 MR. HANNIS: It may be 2821.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, all right.
3 MR. HANNIS: I hope.
4 Q. And you've answered in part my next question: Who else was
5 present when this was said by Djilas? There was yourself, Djilas. Who
7 A. Yes. It was Reshat Rrahmani, Demush Bajrami, Rexhep Mehmeti,
8 Ramadan Mehmeti, and I think I mentioned all. I don't know if I have left
9 out someone. And myself of course.
10 Q. And the next day on the 14th, did you have any further
11 conversation with any of those three about why you had to leave?
12 A. No, sir. We were surrounded during the night, and I am repeating
13 it: At 7.30 I left with my car, with my family, and headed the convoy.
14 All the people were out in the streets waiting to leave. They had
15 gathered at the end of the village. Some 100 metres away there is a
16 turning point there from the last houses. This is where the road turns to
17 Gjilan. With an armoured car -- and there was another armoured car a
18 little bit further away. I stopped in front of them and they asked me
19 this: "Have you taken all of them? Do you need any bus or fuel?" I
20 answered that: "I don't need any bus, I don't need any fuel. We are all
21 set. But we only want you to escort us, as we agreed," because I asked
22 them for an escort and they had promised to give me one, because the first
23 time it was very difficult for me to lead my people. And the second time
24 I didn't want to take any risks. And the answer was: "Go on your way.
25 At the well you will find the escort."
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think the correct citation for the
3 previous comment should be page 2881, line 22 and 23.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. Mr. Shaqiri, I have no further questions for you. Thank you.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: With the permission of the chair, I'm going to ask
10 you one or two questions just to understand a few things.
11 My first question is: What was the state of things in the village
12 of which you were the imam between -- and how -- what type of relationship
13 existed between different people of different creed before March 1999?
14 What type of relationships did you have amongst yourselves as different
15 people of different creeds before March 1999? This is my first question.
16 Thank you.
17 A. Thank you very much. I take pride in what I'm saying, that for
18 generations on end my family has been performing this duty of imam, and we
19 have never had any problems among people from my own population and from
20 other creeds. Even though our village is surrounded by seven
21 Serbian-inhabited villages, we have had good relations, normal relations.
22 They have always passed through our village. That is a civilised people,
23 a well-behaved people, a people that loves God and the mosque.
24 We had a library which had manuscripts in Arabic, in Persian, in
25 Bosnian, in Albanian; it was a true treasury. But on the 14th of April it
1 was destroyed, and Djilas Palamarevic are responsible for that because the
2 library, the mosque, the house of the Hoxha were burned, the house that
3 had served for 100 -- over 150 years.
4 And as I said, I take pride in the civilisation of my people in
5 Perlepnice and its tolerance, which knows no bounds.
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Then why this all happened? Do you have your own
7 views about it?
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know why it happened, but I
10 know that justice and -- justice will prevail. I believe in God.
11 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you very much.
12 A. Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Shaqiri, that completes your evidence. I
15 thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You're now free to
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say one sentence, sir?
18 Honourable members of this court, I thank you for your patience. Maybe I
19 was not very accurate in what I said, but I have no experience in being a
20 witness. First of all, I wish you successes, good health, and may justice
21 prevail. Thank you.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Shaqiri.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, don't have the next witness
25 brought in just for the moment, please.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I just very quickly --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: The transcript -- oh, it's already been fixed.
4 The other thing, I want to tender 4D10 and 4D11. I forgot to do
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I don't think you need to because they are
7 incorporated to the extent they've been used in the proceedings.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to make sure the exhibit list shows
9 them as being admitted.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Ackerman -- sorry, Mr. Hannis, the next
12 witness is?
13 MR. HANNIS: Bajram Bucaliu, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, is this the witness we've already dealt with,
15 changing the nature of --
16 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: -- the presentation --
18 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: -- of the evidence?
20 MR. HANNIS: To a 92 bis (D), based on his transcript from the
21 Milosevic case.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And that was authorised after a short discussion
23 in court, was it?
24 MR. HANNIS: Yes, last week when we thought he might be coming on
25 and --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, it might be best if we had the
2 break just now and then had a complete run of the evidence of the
3 witness. So we'll break now and resume at quarter to 6.00.
4 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.17 p.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 --- On resuming at 5.48 p.m.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Bucaliu. Would you please make
9 the solemn declaration by reading aloud the document which will now be
10 placed before you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
14 Mr. Bucaliu, we have before us a copy of the evidence which you
15 gave when you came here before, so we already have a lot of information
16 about your account of events that relate to this case. The purpose of you
17 being here is to answer specific questions that the counsel involved in
18 the case want to ask, either to clarify things, to supplement them, or to
19 challenge them. It will help all of us greatly if you can listen very
20 carefully to the questions and try to confine your answer to the
21 particular question that is asked of you. The first person to ask you
22 questions will be for the Prosecution.
23 Is that Mr. Hannis on this occasion?
24 MR. HANNIS: It is, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Your Honour, this witness will be
2 testifying pursuant to 92 bis (D). His testimony relates to paragraph
3 72(j), 73, and 75 of the indictment, regarding deportations from Urosevac,
4 Ferizaj municipality.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 WITNESS: BAJRAM BUCALIU
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
9 Q. Sir, for the record, could you state your name and spell your last
10 name, please.
11 A. My name is Bajram Bucaliu.
12 Q. And how do you spell your last name?
13 A. B-u-c-a-l-i-u.
14 Q. And you previously testified in this Tribunal in the trial of
15 Slobodan Milosevic on the 12th and 13th of March, 2002.
16 MR. HANNIS: For the record, Your Honour, that is Exhibit P2287,
17 which we would tender at this time.
18 Q. And your prior testimony, as the Judge told you, from four years
19 ago is now going to be part of the evidence in this case. The Judges have
20 it. We won't go through it in minute detail, but I do want to have you
21 explain a few things about it before you're cross-examined by Defence
22 counsel. And to do that I want to ask you a few background questions.
23 First, you're a Kosovo Albanian born in Gjilan, in Kosovo. Is
24 that correct?
25 A. Yes. I am Albanian, born in the Gjilan municipality, Kosova.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
2 A. I have three children. My wife died five months ago.
3 Q. My condolences. You, from 1964 to 1999, lived in the village of
4 Fshati i Vjeter, the Serb name which is Staro Selo in that municipality,
5 of Urosevac, Ferizaj?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Bucaliu, at page 2059 of the transcript in the Milosevic
8 case, you testified about how on the 2nd of April, 1999, Serb soldiers and
9 tanks came to your village. Where or which direction did they come from
10 when they came to your municipality?
11 A. They came from the direction of the Ferizaj-Gjilan main road to
12 our village. The main road is about 600 metres away from my house. And
13 there were also a lot of tanks that were in the field as well.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... that were located. Can you
15 tell us geographically where your village is located vis-a-vis Urosevac,
17 A. Vis-a-vis Ferizaj, my village is in the south-east -- to the
18 south-east of Ferizaj.
19 Q. Approximately how far away?
20 A. From Ferizaj, 3 kilometres.
21 Q. How big was your village in 1999? Approximately how many houses?
22 How many people lived there?
23 A. In 1999, approximately 100 houses or households, and around 800
25 Q. What was the ethnicity of the people who lived in your village?
1 A. It was of mixed ethnicity. Mostly there were Albanians and about
2 13 families who were of Serb ethnicity. We also had two Roma families.
3 Q. Now, on April 2nd, when the soldiers and tanks came, approximately
4 how many soldiers did come, if you saw or noticed?
5 A. I did see them. I cannot say how many soldiers there were, but
6 approximately about 40 to 50. Approximately. I don't know exactly. They
7 were -- they came with tanks, on foot. Maybe there were also soldiers in
8 the tanks; I don't know that as I didn't see them. But approximately up
9 to 40.
10 Q. How many tanks were there?
11 A. Approximately four or five tanks.
12 Q. Do you recall what kind of uniforms they were wearing?
13 A. Yes, I do recall.
14 Q. Would you describe them for us, please.
15 A. Well, those colours that are usually worn by the Serbian army at
16 that time. The green colour dominated, green and -- and brown mixture.
17 Q. Was it a camouflage pattern?
18 A. Yes, a camouflage one.
19 Q. Now, did you serve in the military when you were a young man?
20 A. Yes. I completed my military service in 1976/1977.
21 Q. And what did you do in the military? What was your job?
22 A. I served in the aviation branch, in the maintenance of aircraft
24 Q. Do you speak and understand the Serbian language?
25 A. Yes, I do speak it and understand it.
1 Q. When did you learn it, and where?
2 A. We had Serbian neighbours with whom we spent time together, played
3 together, and learned together. Of course, I was taught Serbian also in
4 school, and again during my military service I used it. And I worked with
5 Serbian colleagues, so ...
6 Q. Okay. You say in your prior testimony, at page 2061, that one of
7 the soldiers that came that day introduced himself to you as a major. Is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And the soldiers told you they were part of the regular army, at
11 page 2062. Is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, yes.
13 Q. What did you understand by the term "regular army"? What did that
14 mean to you?
15 A. For me, a regular army is an army where I served as well, a
16 regular army.
17 Q. And at that time in Serbia and Kosovo, the regular army was the
18 VJ. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's what it was called.
20 Q. Mr. Bucaliu, before the 2nd of April, 1999, had there been any
21 significant military or police presence or activity in your village?
22 A. No, not before the 2nd of April, 1999, neither police or military
24 Q. Were you aware that about nine days before the 2nd of April, that
25 NATO air-strikes had begun in Kosovo?
1 A. Yes, we were aware because we saw it with our own eyes and we
2 experienced it.
3 Q. Was there bombing in your village?
4 A. During the time we were in the village, no, there wasn't.
5 Q. Now, in your testimony at page 2062, you indicate that these
6 soldiers asked you for your weapons and that you turned over some hunting
7 rifles; that searches were done and they took your truck. Is that
9 A. Yes, everything's correct.
10 Q. Did they tell you why they were taking the weapons?
11 A. No, they didn't tell us why. They just said to us that the people
12 do not need guns. "We are regular army. We will look after you." So
13 this is what they said.
14 Q. On the 5th of April, in your testimony at the same page, you say
15 that these regular army forces left your village. In what direction did
16 they go when they left?
17 A. On the 5th of April, around 8.00 a.m., these military forces left
18 the village and went to the Ferizaj-Gjilan main road and set out in the
19 direction of Gjilan.
20 Q. Now, before they left, did they do anything or cause any damage in
21 your village?
22 A. As I said, they took my truck, and on that day when they left the
23 village, before they left they torched two houses. These houses were near
24 the main road; that's where they were stationed. So they burned these two
1 Q. Do you know who those houses belonged to?
2 A. I don't remember the names of the owners at the moment.
3 Q. Do you know the ethnicity of the owners?
4 A. Yes. They are Albanians.
5 Q. Do you recall what time of day they left, approximately?
6 A. Around 8.00 in the morning, 8.30. I don't know the exact time,
7 but it was morning.
8 Q. We know from your transcript at page 2063, line 2, that later that
9 same day, around 4.00, you describe paramilitary Chetnik forces coming to
10 your village. Where did they come from? Which direction did they come
12 A. That is correct, yes. That very same day, although we were happy
13 that these forces left and we thought that that's it, it ended; however,
14 two buses from the other side of the main road Gjilan-Ferizaj, they
15 unloaded about 80 paramilitaries, Chetniks. So they entered from the
16 other side and they slowly began to approach our village and our houses in
17 the neighbourhood where I live.
18 Q. Now, these men that you describe as paramilitaries or Chetniks,
19 can you tell us how you distinguished them or differed them from the
20 regular army that had left earlier that day? In what way did they look
22 A. Well, there is a big difference between them. Amongst them there
23 were people of different ages, ranging between 18 to 60. They had long
24 hair, beards, also cockades. This is what the Serbs call those caps. So
25 they were wearing these cockades. They do differ from the regular army.
1 Q. And what was the approximate age range of the soldiers who had
2 been there earlier that you describe as the regular army?
3 A. On the first day, my first encounter with them, it was three
4 soldiers, about 40 years old. Later on we met also other soldiers; some
5 younger and some older.
6 Q. And was the major one of those three that was about 40 years old?
7 A. Are you referring to the major of the regular army that we
8 mentioned earlier or to these Chetnik forces?
9 Q. No, I was referring to the major of the regular army.
10 A. Between 40 and 50, I would say.
11 Q. Now, this second group that you described as the Chetnik forces,
12 you've mentioned they had long hair and beards. What about the hair and
13 the facial hair of the forces you described as the regular army that had
14 been there earlier? Did they have long hair and beards as well?
15 A. No, they didn't have long hair or beards. Some had shaved heads;
16 some had shorter hair and regular facial hair. But, no, the army didn't
17 have long hair.
18 Q. What about the uniforms that the paramilitaries wore? Did they
19 look the same as the regular army?
20 A. The colour was more or less same with the regular army, but as I
21 said, they had other insignia. They had the cockades; they had other
22 things on their uniforms. That's why they differed from the regular army.
23 Q. Do you remember anything else about the insignia that they had
24 that might have been different from the regular army?
25 A. I remember that there was this acronym "SCP", which is the Serbian
1 Chetnik Movement. This is what they called it.
2 Q. Where did that acronym appear?
3 A. On the arm.
4 Q. Now, at page 2066 of your transcript, you said that: "They
5 informed us who they were" or "who they are."
6 Who did they claim to be, this group of Chetniks that came around
7 4.00 that afternoon? Do you recall what they told?
8 A. Yes, I do remember. We spent quite some time with them, about
9 nine days. We had contact with them on daily basis, and of course we
10 heard on a daily basis bits of information from them. They said they were
11 Seselj's men, Seselj's volunteers, who had done the same thing in Bosnia
12 and who had come to Kosova to defend Kosova, to fight in Kosova.
13 We did have many conversations with them, so I really don't know
14 what is more important for you for me to mention. They had taken some
15 young men to dig out trenches and they had told them that "In the end, we
16 will be forced to kill you. This is what we did in Bosnia." And also
17 told them that nobody was supposed to leave the village without their
18 knowledge. "You should be here with us. And if Clinton interferes with
19 his infantry, you will be our shield."
20 Q. You mentioned in your testimony, I think beginning at page 2095,
21 that you came to know two of the -- at least two of these individuals by
22 names or by first names. Do you recall Mile and Musa?
23 A. Yes. It appeared that these two were the leaders of this group
24 and they had more contacts with them because they were moving up and down
25 the village all the time. And that's why I thought they were the leaders
1 of these soldiers or Chetniks. I don't know what to call them.
2 Q. You mentioned that you spent about nine days with them. Did you
3 actually see them leave or did you leave first?
4 A. No. We left on 14th of April. They remained in the village.
5 Q. And when you say "we," who are you referring to?
6 A. I'm referring to the inhabitants of Fshati i Vjeter, of ethnic --
7 Albanian ethnic origin.
8 Q. Okay. Now, before you left on April 14th, did anything happen
9 that precipitated your leaving that day? You had been there together with
10 these guys for about nine days. What caused you to leave on the 14th?
11 A. Throughout the time while we were in the village, between the 5th
12 and 14th of April respectively, these paramilitaries, Chetniks, they
13 looted us and maltreated us in different ways. We were encircled and we
14 were not permitted to leave the village.
15 And on 13th of April, they killed Emin Zeka and his two sons in
16 the evening. The following day, on the 14th of April, the Hoxha of the
17 village - there is an elderly person in the village who is a Muslim priest
18 - came to my house and told me that Emin and his two sons had been killed
19 the previous night. To tell you the truth, I couldn't believe it because
20 it was hard to imagine that that had actually happened after all the
21 looting and the maltreatment.
22 So around 1300 hours -- I just want to mention that the Hoxha had
23 informed others about this killing as well. So instinctively people began
24 to gather around my house because my house is in the centre of the
25 village. And I saw this mass of people asking themselves: "Why are we
1 waiting here? They have begun to kill us." It is a difficult moment
2 because we didn't know what to do, where to direct the people. So since
3 we thought that they were going to kill us, we thought it would be wise
4 for us to try and escape from the village.
5 There is a valley behind my house and meadows, so all of us -
6 children, women - began to flee. I told my family, my children and my
7 wife, to join them. I had to stay for a while in the village because my
8 mother is paralyzed and she cannot move. And because of her, I had to
9 stay there in the village for some time.
10 So in short, this is how the villagers fled my village.
11 Q. And we see from your prior testimony that you say about 5 or 600
12 people left the village that day. You stayed with your mom for a while
13 and then joined the group, and your father went back to join your mother,
14 as I understand. Is that correct?
15 A. That is correct. I was forced to leave because my mother was
16 ill. My father wasn't there at the moment. He returned later. After two
17 and a half hours, I left as well. I had to, because my mother begged me
18 to leave. She said: "I am old, and even if they kill me, there's nothing
19 I can do. There's nowhere I can go, but you have to leave." So my mother
20 and my father remained in the village, but later on they fled as well.
21 Q. Then you tell us in your testimony that the group of 5 or 600 who
22 had fled the village stayed -- went to Ferizaj, stayed there the night,
23 and the next day went to the train station and got on a train that was
24 going toward Macedonia. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. On the 14th, this mass of people, about 500
1 or 600 people, went to Ferizaj. And on the 15th of April, we were at the
2 railway station in Ferizaj to board the train.
3 Q. You tell us in your testimony that that train was -- that had
4 about ten carriages, it was crammed with people, and about 2.500 people
5 got on the train before it set off in the direction of Hani i Elezit, or
6 Djeneral Jankovic, near the Macedonian border. Were you part of that
7 group that got on the train that went toward Macedonia?
8 A. Yes, my family and I were part of this group that boarded the
9 train on the 15th of April.
10 Q. And we read that when you got there that day, you actually did not
11 get to get off the train to go to Macedonia. You waited around for some
12 period of time and then the train was sent back to Ferizaj, Urosevac. Is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. At Hani i Elezit railway station we arrived
15 at approximately 9.00. Then we stayed in the train until 12.00
16 approximately, all of us. And it was really crowded, a heap of people.
17 And since I knew the chief of the station - he was a colleague of mine - I
18 asked him what was going to happen to us. And he informed me that they
19 were contacting the Macedonian authorities, and if the Macedonian
20 authorities accepted us, we would be allowed to leave. And his answer was
21 that the Macedonian authorities for the moment were not accepting us. And
22 in the end, that's what happened. We were told that the Macedonian
23 authorities were not accepting and that train was sent back.
24 Q. So you went back to Ferizaj, stayed there another night, and the
25 next day you got on the train and made the same trip toward Macedonia;
2 A. That's correct. The next day, the same time in the morning, we
3 got on the train, me and my family and many others, and we continued in
4 the same direction, towards Macedonia.
5 Q. Was there any police or soldiers at the train station or on the
6 train on the 15th and/or the 16th of April?
7 A. Yes, there were policemen in the train.
8 Q. What were they doing, if you could tell? Were they just going
9 along for the ride?
10 A. They were not just going along for the ride. I don't know what
11 task they were performing, the security or whatever, but they were in the
12 train wearing their uniforms, their weapons. They were not ordinary
13 policemen; they were policemen on duty.
14 Q. What kind of uniforms did they have?
15 A. They had a blue uniform.
16 Q. Is that a solid colour or camouflage?
17 A. To my recollection, a solid colour, those policemen who were on
18 the train.
19 Q. When you got back to Djeneral Jankovic or Hani i Elezit on the
20 16th, what happened this time?
21 A. I again asked my colleague, the chief of the station, how it was
22 going to be done on that day, and he told me that they had information
23 that it will move fast. We stayed on the train, all of us, for some 15
24 minutes. And after these 15 minutes, Vule, the chief of the station, came
25 out and told us that: "Now you're leaving Bajram. Have a pleasant
2 So that train now began to move in the direction of Macedonia.
3 The train left us or stopped at 1.5 kilometres from the border with
4 Macedonia. There we saw soldiers and policemen along a road which is near
5 the railroad. They were boarding a tractor, and they were making a sign
6 for us to get off the train. We were afraid. We didn't dare get off. I
7 was in the first car, and I told the others that they are just giving us a
8 sign to get off, so we did get off the train, all of us.
9 There we stayed for about 15 minutes, and then a military person,
10 since I was the first person near the engine, he said that all of us have
11 to get off the train and to continue walking along the tracks and not to
12 get out of the tracks because that area was mined. So this is what we
13 did. We got off the train and we walked along the tracks to Macedonia.
14 Q. How long did you stay in Macedonia?
15 A. In Macedonia I stayed until the 10th of May.
16 Q. When did you eventually return to your home in Kosovo?
17 A. I eventually returned to Kosovo on the 6th of July.
18 Q. Of 1999?
19 A. Yes, 1999.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Bucaliu, you've talked about this before in your previous
21 testimony, but I would like to go through it again a little bit because I
22 think you're the best person to help me and the rest of us understand
23 this. What work did you do before the war started in 1999? What was your
25 A. I worked at a train station in Ferizaj.
1 MR. HANNIS: And the next exhibit I'm going to deal with, Your
2 Honour, is P1331.
3 Q. At the train station what kind of work did you do?
4 A. For a time I was following the trains. I don't know the right
5 word for that. This is how we called it. Then I worked as a cashier. I
6 did various jobs.
7 Q. And how long did you work for the railroad at the train station?
8 A. I worked from 1982 to 1999 at the Ferizaj train station. Before
9 that, I worked in Slovenia.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would like to hand the witness the
11 original of the document that P1331 is a copy of, and I have passed
12 around some hard copies which are an excerpt from that original because I
13 was trying to save some paper. But because the original is a two-sided
14 document, when it folds out to see the entire two pages, we printed it on
15 this larger paper which covers the time period from the 28th of February
16 until, I believe, the 30th of May, 1999.
17 We have an English translation of the headings of each of the
18 columns in this book, and I would start by asking the witness, Mr.
20 Q. Do you recognise that book that you have in front of you?
21 A. Yes. That is the original copy of the diary where we kept track
22 of the circulation of trains at that time, log-book.
23 Q. And where does this come from?
24 A. I found this traffic log-book at the train station in Ferizaj when
25 we returned.
1 Q. And you brought that original to the Tribunal when you testified
2 in the Milosevic case in 2002?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And when you worked at the train station, did you personally ever
5 make entries into the log?
6 A. No. At that time I wasn't responsible for entering -- for making
7 entries into the log.
8 Q. But based on your work there, were you familiar with how this book
9 was used and how the records were kept in it?
10 A. Of course I know how it is done because I finished the school in
11 Slovenia precisely for that. This is the main task that one does when
12 working at a railway station.
13 Q. If you could turn to the page in your book that -- the top line
14 has the date of the 22nd of March, 1999.
15 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honours and counsel, this has the ERN
16 number K0218501 and 8502 on your copies.
17 Q. Have you found that page, Mr. Bucaliu? It has entries for the
18 22nd and the 23rd of March, 1999, it looks like.
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Am I correct that column number 1 is the date?
21 A. You are correct. The first column indicates the dates.
22 Q. And under column 2 we see a series of four-digit numbers. What
23 are those four-digit numbers? What do they represent?
24 A. The four-digit numbers represent the numbers of the regular trains
25 used for passenger transport.
1 Q. And just by looking at the numbers, can you tell us anything about
2 that particular train? For example, the number "7893" at the top, based
3 on that number, what can you tell us, other than it was a passenger
4 train? Can you tell us which direction it's travelling?
5 A. Yes. Based on the number, you can find out the direction of the
6 train. This case, "7893" train went from Fushe Kosove to Hani i Elezit.
7 Q. And what's the Serbian name for Fushe Kosove?
8 A. Kosova Polje.
9 Q. And "7892", which direction would that be travelling?
10 A. That train would be travelling in the opposite direction,
11 respectively, Hani i Elezit-Fushe Kosove.
12 Q. And how are you able to tell that? What is it about the numbers
13 that explains to you which direction the trains are travelling?
14 A. It's a rule that we use odd or even numbers. In this case, the
15 odd number goes in the direction of Hani i Elezit; the even number goes in
16 the opposite direction.
17 Q. So even numbers are going north towards Fushe Kosove. Is that
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. How many railroad lines went through Urosevac, Ferizaj? Was there
21 one line or several?
22 A. You mean how many trains travelled a day or ...
23 Q. No. First my question is: How many railroad tracks, actual
24 tracks, go through Urosevac, Ferizaj? Is there only one line or are there
1 A. At Ferizaj station there are four lines. But to go from Ferizaj
2 in the direction of Fushe Kosove and Hani i Elezit, there is only one line
3 that goes in that direction.
4 Q. Are there passenger trains that go anywhere from Ferizaj, other
5 than to Fushe Kosove or Hani i Elezit, if you understand my question?
6 A. Yes, I understand your question. The direction was the same, but
7 they went to other stations as well. The train that went through Ferizaj
8 might go to Belgrade as well or from Ferizaj to Skopje and even further up
9 to Greece or I don't know.
10 Q. I understand that. But is there -- to go to Belgrade the train
11 would have to pass from Ferizaj through Fushe Kosove before getting to
12 Belgrade; correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. Then to get to Skopje from Ferizaj, you would have to go through
15 Hani i Elezit?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Okay. The next columns, 3, 4, 5, and 6, I see from the English
18 translation, appear to be times. The time under 3 and 4 is the time the
19 train arrived in the station?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And departure time in column 5 and 6?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What does column 7 show?
24 A. Column 7 shows when trains are delayed from the regular time.
25 When we are talking here about the first train, it was 13 minutes late.
1 Instead of 7.33, it came 13 minutes late.
2 Q. Okay. And I see that farther down in that column a few times the
3 letter "R" appears. What does that stand for?
4 A. Letter "R" stands for "regular," on time.
5 Q. Okay. Now, typically, in the first few months of 1999 before the
6 NATO bombing started, was there a regularly scheduled number of trains
7 that passed through Ferizaj, Urosevac? Was it always the same number
8 every day or every weekday, if you understand my question?
9 A. I understood your question, and from this log-book you can see
10 that passenger trains were regular trains up till that time.
11 Q. And how often would passenger trains pass through Ferizaj going in
12 the direction of Kosovo Polje or Fushe Kosove? How many times a day?
13 A. About ten trains every 24 hours; five in one direction and five in
14 the opposite direction.
15 Q. We see that -- it appears that there's an equal number of
16 even-numbered and odd-numbered trains on each day. Is that consistent
17 with your experience while you worked there?
18 A. Yes, it is consistent with my experience.
19 Q. And I have a question for you about this number for the train.
20 How are those numbers assigned to the train? Is there an actual number
21 painted on the train or is that number referred to as the sequence in
22 which the train travels that day, if you know?
23 A. No, it's not painted on the train. But there is a train schedule,
24 and depending on the number we assigned to the train, we determined the
25 category of trains. These with four-digit numbers are local trains that
1 travel to nearby stations, whereas in the case of international trains,
2 they have three-digit numbers. All freight trains have other numbers. So
3 on the basis of the number, we determined the category of the trains.
4 Q. Now, if you would turn to the next page.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, that would be K0218503 and 8504.
6 Q. The first entry on that page refers to the 24th of March, 1999,
7 which, as we know, is the date the NATO bombing started. It appears that
8 some trains did run on that day, but the fifth row down from the top, I
9 see there's some writing across there. Are you able to read that
10 writing? Do you recognise the handwriting? Or can you make it out and
11 tell us what it says?
12 A. Are you asking me about this red pencil handwriting? This was
13 done by the person on duty. Here it says that he has checked the tracks
14 at the station and that they are okay.
15 Q. Okay. And at the bottom of the page, underneath the last entry
16 for a train on this page, I think it looks like train number 7874, all
17 across the page there is some writing at the bottom of the page. Can you
18 tell us what that says, if you can read it?
19 A. Yes, I can read it. Yes, the number. It writes here that:
20 "Electricity was cut off at 2010 and came back at 0540." And then the
21 other person who took over the duty at 7.00 in the evening says that
22 electricity was cut off again at 2000 hours; that the generator worked,
23 and then electricity came back. And then he hands over the duty to the
24 other colleague and so on. It is the same thing.
25 Now, the other entry is about the next day. The electricity was
1 interrupted at 1950, he says. The generator didn't work from 2130. And
2 then there is a column 48, the number of the trains that did not
3 circulate, did not run, but they didn't run during that period -- they
4 were supposed to run but didn't run, that is, from the 24th to the 29th.
5 For five days trains didn't run.
6 Q. Then on that next page we see the first entry, K0218505 and 8506.
7 At the top it appears to be on the 29th of March the trains were running
8 again. It looks like there were only two trains on the 29th and two on
9 the 30th. And then on the 31st it looks like a more regular schedule.
10 But then I noticed on the 30th, the first train there is listed as
11 37895 -- 893. That's a five-digit number. What does that tell you about
12 that train? You've explained passenger trains being four-digit numbers.
13 Can you tell us anything about 37893?
14 A. Yes, this shows that it is a passenger train and not a regular
15 train, outside the usual hours.
16 Q. And is that the reason for the extra digit to indicate that it's a
17 non-regularly scheduled train?
18 A. Yes. This is the reason. We have added the number 3 before 7893,
19 and it shows that it is a non-regularly scheduled train. It's the second
20 part of the regular train by that number, 7893.
21 Q. And under the 31st of March, I see the first train was 37897. And
22 then 37894, for the time of arrival there just appears to be a diagonal
23 line drawn through there. What does that mean?
24 A. Train 37890, not 4. The line shows that it has set off from
25 Ferizaj station. That's it.
1 Q. Farther down under the 31st, the last two trains that travelled
2 that day, I see 37891 and 37890. There's a diagonal arrow drawn under the
3 column for arrival time. What does that tell you about those trains?
4 A. The arrow in this case shows that the trains had passed but not
5 stopped at Ferizaj station.
6 Q. Okay. So 37891, the odd-numbered train, would have been
7 travelling in the direction of north to south, from Fushe Kosove toward
8 Hani i Elezit, and it passed through Ferizaj without stopping?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Now, it appears on the next page, which has an entry for the 1st
11 of April at the top, I see another variation on the five-digit numbers
12 where we have 1 -- it looks like -- correct me if I'm wrong, it looks like
13 14392. What can you tell us about that train?
14 A. The train 392 has the number of the international train. As I
15 told you, the three-digit numbered trains travel outside the country, that
16 is, they are international trains. When this train runs outside the
17 normal hours and wants to pass through this line, we add two digits --
18 Q. Oh, okay. So this was --
19 A. -- 1 and 4.
20 Q. And what does the "1-4" indicate, then, about this international
21 train 392, that it's not regularly scheduled to travel at that time or
22 through that location?
23 A. That is correct. It was not scheduled to travel at that time.
24 It's running outside the normal hour.
25 Q. Now, it appears that the number of trains travelling each day are
1 increasing during the first part of April, and finally I would like to
2 take you to a couple of dates that you are familiar with. I think if we
3 can go to the 15th of April.
4 MR. HANNIS: Which on the hard copy Your Honours and counsel have,
5 I believe, is K0218517 and 8518.
6 Q. Do you find that page, Mr. Bucaliu?
7 A. Yes, I found the 15th.
8 Q. And we see at the top of the page, on the 15th of April, train
9 number 7893 - an odd number meaning it would be going toward Macedonia -
10 arrived at 7.43 and left at 8.17. That's about 34 minutes in the
11 station. Is that a long time to stop at Ferizaj, based on your experience
12 and the previous entries in the log-book?
13 A. Yes, you are right.
14 Q. And why was that, if you know?
15 A. This was so. I was present at that time. There were a large
16 number of people who wanted to get on board the train; that was the reason
17 why it had to wait for so long, because there were a large number of
18 people wanting to get on the train.
19 Q. And immediately below that entry, can you tell us what's written
20 on the line beneath that first entry for 7893?
21 A. This shows only that the person who was on duty handed over the
22 duty at 7.00.
23 Q. Okay. Then the second thing and the last thing we see on the 15th
24 is train number 7892, which would have been coming from the Macedonian
25 border, Hani i Elezit to Ferizaj, arrived at 12.38 and didn't depart until
1 13.32. What do you know about that train?
2 A. This is the train by means of which I returned from Hani i Elezit
3 with my family and with all the other people on the first day. We
4 returned to Ferizaj station. And as you can see, it had to wait long for
5 all the people to get off the train. This is why.
6 Q. Did you see if that train continued on north toward Fushe Kosove
7 after you got off, almost an hour after it had arrived?
8 A. Yes, it continued towards Fushe Kosove without passengers.
9 Q. Had everyone then gotten off in Ferizaj with you?
10 A. Yes, yes. All of us got off at Ferizaj.
11 Q. And one more entry for us, please. The 16th of April, we see
12 7893, which would have been a southbound train, arriving at 7.50 and
13 leaving at 8.10. Is that the train you got on and went to Hani i Elezit
14 on the 16th?
15 A. Yes, this is a train I got on on the 16th.
16 MR. HANNIS: May I have a moment, Your Honour.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bucaliu.
20 MR. HANNIS: I have no more questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What, in all these details of the trains, have we
22 to pay attention to? Just the trains that Mr. Bucaliu was on?
23 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. He's talking about the general
24 train schedule, how many trains went on an average. You can see from the
25 log-book that the number of trains increased. You can read from his
1 testimony about how additional cars were put on and additional passengers
2 were going. You've heard the testimony from people from Pristina who got
3 on the trains and travelled to Urosevac and Ferizaj during those dates.
4 So it corroborates their information as well about how they were packed on
5 the trains and how many were going, et cetera.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
7 Now, Mr. Bucaliu, one thing that you told us about the way in
8 which this log-book is kept was that where there was an arrow through the
9 time of arrival of a train, that indicated that the train did not stop at
10 the station. But I notice in these cases that the time of departure is
11 completed in each case. Can you --
12 MR. HANNIS: I can ask him a question about that, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. Mr. Bucaliu, did you hear what the Judge just said? You've
16 indicated on those entries where there is a diagonal arrow through the
17 arrival time that the train did not stop in Ferizaj, but there is a time
18 under the departure column. What does that mean?
19 A. This means -- that is, the arrow shows that the train passed
20 through the station at the time indicated here, at column 5 and 6. The
21 arrow indicates that the train passed but did not stop, because if it
22 stopped, it should be indicated at column 3 and 4. So the arrow only says
23 that the train has passed the station without stopping.
24 Q. And the time refers to the time it passed through?
25 A. Yes, yes, that's right, the time it passed. According to the
1 schedule, all the passenger trains, irrespective of whether they were
2 regularly scheduled or otherwise, they had to stop at Ferizaj station.
3 But many trains didn't stop, even though they were passenger trains.
4 Q. So that was unusual. They were required to stop whether a
5 passenger had requested to get off or not. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that was unusual. As I said, every passenger train stopped
7 normally at Ferizaj station because this is considered a major station.
8 Even the international trains stopped there when they ran, or the ones
9 that travelled off to Junik. So every passenger train has to stop because
10 somebody will get on or off the train.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much, Mr. Bucaliu. I think we've
12 got the point.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. We would like to tender
14 Exhibit 1331. I have no more questions for the witness.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that the only exhibit referred to in the
17 MR. HANNIS: I'm not sure, Your Honour. I'll have to check.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I know there was one other exhibit
20 referred to in his testimony. He had a hand-made drawing of his village,
21 the houses in the village. I didn't think it was necessary for Your
22 Honours to understand his testimony.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it have a P number in this case?
24 MR. HANNIS: No, it does not. We can certainly provide it to you,
25 but it was my assessment --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I mean -- the problem is it may be of interest
2 to the Defence, for all you know, I suspect. So in these cases it's
3 probably best that we have the exhibits. It doesn't matter on this
4 particular instance at the moment. We shall see.
5 MR. HANNIS: I shall consult with them if they need it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Can you give me an order, Mr. O'Sullivan?
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. General Lazarevic, Mr.
9 Sainovic, Mr. Milutinovic, General Pavkovic, General Ojdanic, and General
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Bucaliu, we have to finish for this
12 evening and adjourn the case until tomorrow, but it will continue and your
13 evidence will continue at 9.00 tomorrow morning. So you have to be back
14 here in time to start giving evidence again at 9.00 tomorrow.
15 Meanwhile, it's very important, as you will know from the previous
16 case, that you do not discuss your evidence with anyone. And by that I
17 mean the evidence you've already given us and any evidence that you are
18 likely to give us tomorrow. You can talk about anything else with anyone
19 you meet, but you must not discuss the evidence with anyone. All right?
20 So we will see you again tomorrow morning at 9.00.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Friday, the 8th day of
23 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.