1 Monday, 9 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good morning, everyone. We resume the
6 Prosecution case this morning. So who is to undertake that task?
7 MS. KRAVETZ: Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning.
9 MS. KRAVETZ: The next Prosecution witness is Mr. Mahmut Halimi.
10 Mr. Halimi is one of our Mitrovica witnesses, and he's a live witness.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Kravetz. Let's have Mr. Halimi
12 brought into court, please.
13 MS. KRAVETZ: While the witness is being brought in, I would like
14 to indicate that the paragraphs to which this witness's evidence relates
15 are paragraphs 72(f), 73, and 77 of the indictment.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Halimi.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
20 tell the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be placed
21 before you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
25 Mr. Halimi, as you know, the system here involves the counsel who
1 represent the Prosecution and the various accused asking questions of
2 you. The Court may occasionally ask questions, but generally speaking it
3 will be the representatives of the parties who question you. And the
4 first person to do that will be for the Prosecutor, Ms. Kravetz.
5 Ms. Kravetz.
6 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 WITNESS: MAHMUT HALIMI
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Ms. Kravetz:
10 Q. Good morning, Witness. Could you please state your name for the
12 A. My name is Mahmut Halimi.
13 Q. Where and when were you born, Mr. Halimi?
14 A. I was born on the 7th of April, 1954, in the village of Zhabar,
15 municipality of Mitrovica.
16 Q. And what is your profession, Mr. Halimi?
17 A. I have graduated in law and now I'm a lawyer in Mitrovica.
18 Q. Where were you living in March 1999?
19 A. In March 1999, I was living in Street Ceta e Minatoreve number 9
20 in Mitrovica, which after the war, unfortunately, is called the northern
21 part of Mitrovica.
22 Q. Which neighbourhood exactly of Mitrovica is this located -- this
23 street located in?
24 A. This is close to the Kodro e Minatoreve, the miner's hill, in the
25 northern part of Mitrovica, in Mitrovica.
1 Q. You stated that in March you were living in Mitrovica. Did you at
2 some point that month have to leave your home in the town of Mitrovica?
3 You have to speak your answer into the microphone, Mr. Halimi.
4 A. Yes. I left my home on the 25th of March of 1999 at about 6.30, a
5 quarter to 7.00.
6 Q. Could you briefly tell the Court why you left your home on the
7 25th of March.
8 A. Yes. Because a lady called me at about 6.00 in the morning. She
9 spoke in Serbian. This was on the 25th of March. And she advised me to
10 leave my home as soon as possible. And she said, I quote, "Leave as soon
11 as possible. You don't know what -- what's waiting for you. You don't
12 know what has happened. Leave your home." So then I took my wife, my
13 four children, my mother at that time was 75 years old, and we all left in
14 a very short time, and we went in the direction of Zhabar, my village of
15 birth. It's about 3 kilometres from Mitrovica in the western part.
16 Q. Where did you stay when you went to the village of Zhabar?
17 A. My oldest brother lives there, my eldest brother; I went to his
18 house together with my family and we joined his family. That's where I
19 stayed, in his house.
20 Q. You mentioned that you had received a phone call from this woman
21 who told you that you didn't know what was happening and that you should
22 leave the house. When you got to Zhabar, did you find out anything that
23 was happening in Mitrovica, why this woman had called you?
24 A. First of all I'd like to link this with a moment when I crossed
25 the Ibar River and went to the new station of the town of Mitrovica. The
1 same woman called me and she said: Have you left already, because they
2 have approached your home? I think she was talking about the military and
3 paramilitary forces. I told her that I had gone across the river. And
4 after I went to Zhabar, I learned that the night of the 24th and 25th of
5 March Agim Hajrizi had been killed at his own home.
6 Q. It's no problem --
7 A. Excuse me.
8 Q. I know this is difficult for you. Mr. Halimi, you were telling us
9 that you --
10 A. This was my collaborator. He was a very hard-working person, and
11 he contributed a lot to the future of Kosova. He was a very close friend
12 of mine. He was killed together with his mother and his youngest son, who
13 at the time was 12 or 13 years old. He was not 13. And also Mr. Latif
14 Berisha, a professor at the University of Pristina, and he was also
15 chairman of the LDK in Mitrovica. That's how I learned what had happened
16 in Zhabar. I learned what had happened between the 24th and the 25th of
17 March, that night.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, when you describe Agim Hajrizi as your
19 collaborator, what do you mean?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he was head of the trade unions
21 of the Trepca union, while I was a lawyer and I represented the interests
22 of that trade union.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You were in private practice as a lawyer in March
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Ms. Kravetz.
3 MS. KRAVETZ:
4 Q. Mr. Halimi, you said that you went to the village of Zhabar. For
5 how many days did you remain there?
6 A. I stayed there for two days. The third day I had to leave.
7 Q. Why did you have to leave?
8 A. I had to leave because, according to the information I got from
9 citizens in Tavnik -- from Tavnik of Mitrovica, the security forces had
10 been looking for me. Two members of the liberation army who introduced
11 themselves to me as such, they had civilian clothes on and they were not
12 armed I think because I did not see any guns on them. And they told me
13 that for your own safety and for the safety of the villagers who are
14 living here now, you have to leave for a day or so. You have to leave the
15 village. So at about 8.00 in the evening, we left -- I mean these two
16 people, these two members of the liberation army, the names of whom I
17 don't know. I remember their faces, and also my brother --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The sons of my -- two sons of my
20 brother, so there were six of us altogether. We went to the mountains of
21 Zhabar, which was about 4 kilometres from the place where I was. So I
22 went to the mountain.
23 MS. KRAVETZ:
24 Q. Mr. Halimi, you said that two members of the KLA contacted you.
25 Was the KLA present in the village of Zhabar?
1 A. I could say that they were there time after time to avoid the
2 risks that were -- that were presented to the villagers by the Serbian
3 forces. There were no armed forces, but there was this clinic of the KLA
4 led by Dr. Bajram Rexhepi, who was a surgeon, and he treated there both
5 civilians and soldiers who had gotten wounded in various places where
6 there was fighting.
7 Q. You just told us that you went to the mountains with other members
8 of your family and these two KLA soldiers. Did you at some point return
9 to Zhabar?
10 A. Maybe it's a misinterpretation. I did not go with my family to
11 the mountains. My wife and children stayed in Zhabar, but it was my
12 brother's sons that came with me to the mountains and I stayed there for
13 six days with them. And I then went back to my family later.
14 Q. And once you returned to Zhabar, for how many more days did you
15 remain there with your family?
16 A. I stayed there until the 14th of April, 1999. That day at about
17 10.00 -- because I have to explain here. My brother's house is very close
18 to the Ibar River, and it looks over Suhadoll and the new stadium on the
19 other side of the river. You have a very good view there, and we were
20 watching and observing. There were other people as well watching and
21 observing because they feared for their lives.
22 From Suhadoll, the Serbian forces came towards the stadium, the
23 new stadium. I saw two APCs which at that time started to shoot with
24 their machine-guns. I had been a soldier myself some time ago, but I had
25 never seen such guns. Their names were Pragas. This was a very sad
1 noise, and they were shooting in the direction of the village, upper part
2 of the village. There were four to six shots fired from the APCs.
3 Q. You said you saw Serb forces firing at the village of Zhabar. Can
4 you describe anything about the forces you saw there in terms of the
5 uniform they were wearing? Were you able to see this from where you were?
6 A. From the distance I was staying, I can't say I could see their
7 uniforms because although there is no obstacle to the view, it's about 1
8 kilometre away. But as I said, I saw the APCs and somebody was driving
9 them, the Serbian forces were. I did not see the uniforms.
10 Q. How did you and your family react once the village of -- once the
11 Serb forces started firing on the village of Zhabar?
12 A. What else could I do? I wanted to leave because my youngest
13 children, my son was 5, my daughter was 7, my mother was 75 years old. So
14 I had to leave lower Zhabar and went in the direction of upper Zhabar. I
15 was able to go along the Ibar River, and I went to the house that was
16 closest to the forest, to the mountain in that village, upper Zhabar. My
17 brother came, too, with his family, and we stayed there until the 17th of
18 April. I think it was the 16th, I apologise.
19 Q. You said you observed this firing on the 14th of April and that
20 you went to upper Zhabar. The following day, were you able to observe
21 anything unusual when you were there in upper Zhabar?
22 A. From the place I was staying, at the upper part of the village,
23 there was about 400 metres above the rest of the village. I could see
24 lower Zhabar. I could see part of Mitrovica and Tavnik, and also part of
25 the village Shipol as well as the road Mitrovica-Peje 300 metres from the
1 water supply company, which is above the village of Shipol. That day it
2 was the 15th of April, 1999, at about 10.00 or 10.30. I could see -- but
3 other people who were with me could see as well, that the population was
4 moving en masse in Zhabar, people coming from the direction of Suhadoll,
5 which is in the north-eastern part from Mitrovica, the neighbourhood of
6 Tavnik, which is to the east of Zhabar. So these people were coming
7 towards the west. And from Shipol, also people were coming towards
8 Zhabar. Shipol is also to the north-east of Zhabar. And this was
9 movement en masse of people on foot, and after 11.30 or 12.00 more people
10 were moving and it was a very sad sight. This mass of people moving and
11 at 2.00 p.m. or 2.30 p.m. -- so the village of Zhabar which is about 150
12 square kilometres, it was full of people. You could not see the earth,
13 the soil, because of the people who were there.
14 Q. You stated that you began in the morning seeing a mass of people
15 moving towards Zhabar. Do you -- were you able to observe why these
16 people were coming in the direction of Zhabar?
17 A. Because in the places that I mentioned, Shipol, Tavnik, part of
18 Mitrovica, and Suhadoll, the Serbian forces had entered those areas, I
19 mean the military forces, the police forces, and they had been expelling
20 people, terrorising people. There were also people who were killed,
21 because on the 14th and 15th of April in Rrhga e Kovaceve, over 26
22 Albanians were killed, all young people, with the exception of one who was
23 52 years old. And as a result of this distress and this situation, the
24 people wanted to go to a safer place.
25 Q. You said that the Serb forces were expelling or -- these people,
1 forcing these people to leave. Was this something you were able to
2 observe yourself from upper Zhabar or how did you find this out, that this
3 was happening?
4 A. Well, I experienced myself the golgotha. I knew and everybody
5 knew that people came all the time. People from lower Zhabar were coming
6 to upper Zhabar where I was and were telling us that the army, the police,
7 and the paramilitaries had been expelling them from their homes, and
8 that's why they had to come to Zhabar.
9 Q. When you say -- when you said that you saw a mass of people
10 coming, how many people do you think or do you estimate that had been
11 forced out of Mitrovica that day?
12 A. Later, as I was following the situation, which if you allow me I
13 will explain very briefly and I will tell you how I came up with the
14 approximate number of the inhabitants that had left. Your Honours and
15 Mrs. Prosecutor, it was about 1600 hours. This mass of people became a
16 convoy and --
17 Q. I'm going to stop you there. You said this mass of people became
18 a convoy. Is this something that happened -- these people came to Zhabar
19 and this is something that happened when they came to Zhabar that they --
20 that you said they became a convoy? What do you mean exactly?
21 A. Yes. They came to Zhabar and when they were leaving Zhabar the
22 convoy was formed in the main road.
23 Q. Were you able to observe in which direction this convoy headed?
24 A. Yes. It went in the direction of the Peje road in the direction
25 of Shipol, the Mitrovica-Peje main road, and there are two roads there
1 that lead from the crossroads at lower Zhabar. One goes towards the
2 school in Shipol, the other one goes to the school in Shipol as well, but
3 it's a longer way. And the two roads join together at the school. So the
4 people who were on foot were going in this -- on this straight road
5 towards the primary school in Shipol, while the cars were going along the
6 other road, which was the longer one. And then the two joined together at
7 the school. And there were so many people on foot that the road was not
8 enough for them to walk on.
9 Q. When this was happening, that these people were moving towards
10 this school in Shipol, did you see any Serb forces present in Zhabar?
11 A. Yes. I saw Serb forces that were there. There were paramilitary
12 forces who were stationed at Valoni Hotel in lower Zhabar. The hotel is
13 about 50 metres from the main road. During that time, especially between
14 1430 and 1600 hours, shots were heard from different kinds of weapons.
15 Later on I learned that three inhabitants of Zhabar village had been
16 killed on that day. Several vehicles were burned, and I saw this myself.
17 Q. You said that you saw paramilitary forces there. What exactly do
18 you mean by paramilitary forces? Can you describe what sort of uniforms
19 these paramilitary forces were wearing?
20 A. Yes. You could distinguish paramilitary forces from military and
21 police ones as per their clothes, uniforms, and equipment that they were
22 carrying. They wore scarves, bandannas on their heads, not caps. The
23 majority of them were -- had their heads shaved and had beards, and they
24 left this impression of fear and terror. Their weapons were very
25 sophisticated ones. They were carrying long-barrel weapons between 1
1 metre 40 to 1 metre 60. They were sniper rifles with small magazines. So
2 this is how we could tell that these were paramilitary units.
3 Q. In addition to these forces that you describe as paramilitary, did
4 you see any other men in uniform in Zhabar when this -- these events were
5 taking place?
6 A. Ms. Prosecutor, from very close I had the opportunity to see them
7 on --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the date.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] April between 9.00 and 11.15 in the
10 morning --
11 MS. KRAVETZ:
12 Q. I'm sorry, the interpreter wasn't able to catch the date that
13 you're describing that you were able to see these forces.
14 A. It was 15th of April -- excuse me, it was 16th of April, 1999. It
15 was after 11.00, maybe 11.20, when, as I explained in my statement, the
16 Serb forces managed to force the column from lower Zhabar to take the Peje
17 road and continue moving in the direction of Peje along the Peje road.
18 This happened, and I saw this with my own eyes when on the road that I
19 described earlier near the Shipol primary school the last -- even the last
20 vehicle was burned. This was around 11.00. This is when the Serb forces
21 entered there, the police, the paramilitary forces, and military, regular
22 military forces. As Zhabar e Eperm, or upper Zhabar, is divided into the
23 flat part and the hilly part, these forces entered and they started to
24 burn the houses, they started to burn houses in the lower part. We could
25 see the smoke coming out of the houses and we could hear shooting. The
1 villagers left the flat part of the village. There were also other
2 displaced persons who had moved to Zhabar from other areas, not only
3 Zhabar inhabitants there. They joined the column and went to what we call
4 Gaterat. It is a carpentry compound. I saw them going there with my own
5 eyes. Soon after --
6 Q. Is this a different group of people -- you said the first group of
7 people had been sent in the direction of Shipol. Now you're speaking of a
8 group sent in a direction of a carpentry --
9 A. Yes, yes, another group because, as I said, the other group
10 continued along the Peje road in the column. Those from Zhabar e Ulet,
11 those that joined the column in the evening and that stayed in a column
12 all night long, they continued in the direction of Peje. Now immediately
13 after the expulsion of the upper Zhabar, the flat part of upper Zhabar
14 began. Four houses, three or four houses were burnt there.
15 Q. What did you do --
16 A. So they left and they went to this carpentry compound. That's
17 when I realised that I had no way out because the same thing was going to
18 happen to us; that's why I decided and I proposed to my brother, because
19 we were together, to leave --
20 Q. May I interrupt you there. You said that they -- the Serb forces
21 had started burning houses in the lower part of upper Zhabar and that you
22 decided to leave. Where did you go when you decided to leave, in which
23 direction? Just very briefly, Mr. Halimi.
24 A. As soon as I saw the people leaving from the lower part of the
25 village, I took this decision immediately. My brother with his family and
1 my brother-in-law, whose wife was pregnant at that time, joined me. We
2 set out in three cars. When we were about to join the main road
3 Mitrovica-Zubin Potok that goes to Montenegro, we were stopped by two
4 soldiers, soldiers of the Yugoslav army. They were very young; I will
5 never forget their faces. One of them was shaking because of fear. We
6 were ordered to get out of the cars. As this soldier came close to me, I
7 remember telling him, and I quote: "You don't have to be scared. We're
8 all civilians. We're trying to save our lives." And he, at least to me,
9 seemed to calm down a little bit, and he allowed me to go back to the car
10 and continue because, as I said, my children were very young. My mother
11 was very old and she was ill.
12 However, they didn't allow me to keep the car. I was allowed to
13 get some elementary things from the car. The military forces began to
14 enter the upper part of the village. I will never forget the following.
15 As we were allowed to leave on the right side of the road, these two small
16 lorries were there, and there I noticed five or six paramilitaries. I
17 could tell they were paramilitaries, and I explained why earlier. I had
18 seen them before at the hotel in Zhabar. There was also a military jeep
19 and a machine-gun on the top. Others were taking things from abandoned
20 houses, and they were loading these things on these two lorries parked
21 nearby. These paramilitaries had bandannas, black bandannas; medium to
22 long beards; they had this dark-colour uniform. It could be even black
23 but I'm not quite sure because it was very difficult to notice all these
24 things under those circumstances. They had -- this particular person had
25 a black T-shirt and he was holding two knives in his hand. We passed
1 by --
2 Q. May I interrupt you there, Mr. Halimi, just going back a bit. You
3 said all the other people had been sent to a school in Shipol and to a
4 carpentry compound. What happened to those people? Where did they go
5 after they were sent in this direction?
6 A. These are the people that I already described from Zhabar e Ulet
7 or lower Zhabar. Those who were made a column on the 15th of April and
8 who were forced to stay, to spend the night in the open until the
9 following day when they were forced to continue along the Peje main road.
10 You asked me earlier how many there were. On the basis of the length of
11 the column, of the two columns, the one of the persons on foot and the
12 other of vehicles, I would estimate that there were about 25.000 to 30.000
14 Q. Did you eventually join this column of people that was heading
15 down the Peje road?
16 A. No. We left the following day. They left on the 16th, while we
17 who were at upper Zhabar, we spent that night in the carpentry compound.
18 And the following day, that is on the 17th of April, 1999, before noon,
19 the police came and they ordered us to make a column in three minutes and
20 to leave. We had no other way out. Within these three minutes the column
21 was formed and we continued along the road that goes to Peje.
22 Q. In -- so once you took the road that -- in the direction of Peje,
23 where exactly did you head in this column? Where did the column head to?
24 Just very briefly.
25 A. To Albania. Every column that would set out in that direction,
1 the final destination of those columns was Albania.
2 Q. Do you recall through which municipalities you went while you were
3 heading to Albania?
4 A. Yes. Mitrovica. We passed near Skenderaj, Klina e Eperme, Klina
5 e Poshteme, Rakosh village, Istog municipality, Gjurakoc. In Gjurakoc we
6 were ordered to go to the left of the road. We continued the road towards
7 Klina. We reached the Klina bridge where the crossroads are, where the
8 road to Gjakova is. Then Prizren, Zhur, and Morina, the border crossing
9 between Kosova and Albania.
10 Q. How long did it take you to get from Mitrovica to the border with
12 A. Thanks to my brother's son-in-law, who was a mechanic by
13 profession, we were lucky. There were people who had left their vehicles
14 behind due to some defects or for whatever reason. He found this Golf and
15 a Moskvitch make vehicles. I drove the Golf. I had about eight
16 or nine passengers in my car. My brother and his son-in-law were in the
17 Moskvitch and I was towing the Moskvitch. So we drove in the direction of
18 the border, and we arrived there -- we arrived at Zhur village, that is
19 close to the border with Albania at around 7.00, 7.30 p.m.
20 Q. Can you --
21 A. Please allow me to say this. Along the road we saw members of the
22 column that had left on the 16th from Zhabar village, those who had left
23 on foot.
24 Q. Mr. Halimi, you were telling us you saw --
25 A. I apologise.
1 Q. No problem. I understand. You said you saw members of the column
2 who had left on foot as you were heading to the border?
3 A. Yes, yes. Many of them, many of them, on both sides of the road,
4 continuously. That was a long, long convoy, full of people on both sides
5 of the road.
6 Q. What happened when you reached the border, Mr. Halimi? Were you
7 able to cross it with no problems?
8 A. No, because the column was moving very slowly. From 7.00 to 10.00
9 p.m. we walked only for some 20 or 50 metres. After approximately 10.00
10 p.m., I might not know the exact time, it could have been even 11.00 p.m.,
11 we heard a very powerful explosion. All of us who were in the column, we
12 thought that it was a NATO bomb and we were just anticipating now the
13 moment when the Serb forces will throw themselves on us to retaliate. The
14 column stopped moving. We spent the night there, and the next day, on the
15 18th, at around 11.00 -- I mean 18th of April, the column began to move in
16 the direction of the Albanian border. So I managed to come to the border
17 crossing myself. There there were these three boxes or chests, rather.
18 ID cards were supposed to be thrown in one of the chests because the
19 police there said: If we find passports, ID cards, licences in any of
20 you, you will be executed on the spot.
21 Q. Is this something the police told you personally or did you hear
22 this from others?
23 A. Yes, yes. The window of my car was open. We were moving in a
24 very low speed, and they were passing by every car and warning us. So
25 before reaching the border itself at 10 or 15 metres from the border, the
1 police would come to all of us and tell us that we were obliged to leave
2 the documents and the registration plates of the cars at the border. I
3 would say that it was not in a chest where they threw the registration
4 plates; it was rather a heap, it resembled a hill of registration plates.
5 One of the chests was for the ID cards and the other one for driving
7 Q. So did you proceed to hand over your ID documents and the licence
8 plates of the cars that you were driving?
9 A. I handed over the registration plates. I handed over the ID card,
10 the drivers licence. Luckily, but it wasn't on purpose since my passport
11 was together with the documents of my children with my wife, when my wife
12 took these documents out of her bag to throw them in the chest, my
13 passport by accident remained in her bag. Otherwise, all of us were
14 supposed to throw the documents in these chests.
15 Q. You said you saw police, Serb police here at the border who
16 instructed you to hand over your documents. As you were travelling to the
17 border in this convoy, did you see any other Serb forces along the way?
18 A. Yes. Not very far from the border, that is to say, on the left
19 side, the mountainous part and the lower part, they were all secured with
20 regular forces. So the army was on these parts, while on the border-line,
21 on the border crossing, there was the regular police.
22 Q. When you said the army was in these parts, can you describe
23 anything about the type of uniforms you saw on these soldiers or this army
24 wearing, if you recall that?
25 A. Yes, Ms. Prosecutor. I completed my regular military service with
1 the Yugoslav army, and I've also completed the school for reserve
2 officers. So I know Yugoslav army uniforms very well. The army wore
3 camouflage green uniforms with olive-green-grey pattern. It is this
4 colour that resembles a leaf, a leaf that is getting yellow. I don't know
5 how to describe it better.
6 Q. Okay. Mr. Halimi, did you return to Mitrovica after the war?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And in what condition did you find your home once you returned
10 A. I returned on the 11th of July, 1999. A few days after my
11 arrival, I could go and see my house. It was completely burned, and this
12 is the state you will find it in even today.
13 Q. Was it the only house in your neighbourhood burned, or were other
14 houses in -- or had other houses in the neighbourhood also been burnt
16 A. In that neighbourhood, in Ceta e Minatoreve Street, my house was
17 the only one that had been burnt, no other house had been burnt. In the
18 upper part, in the direction of the miner's hill, Kodro e Minatoreve,
19 there were another five or six houses that had been burnt. These are
20 still neighbours, but they are in the upper part of the neighbourhood. So
21 in that close neighbourhood where my house was, the only house burnt was
22 my house.
23 Q. Were you able to find out who had burnt down your house?
24 A. Honestly, I did not want to know, but I know this, that the
25 Milosevic regime and the people who followed him and I think the accused
1 who are here have great responsibility. They should be held accountable
2 because these were things that were caused because of their actions.
3 Q. Was there a mosque in Mitrovica prior to the war?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was this mosque undamaged before you left Mitrovica?
6 A. There were four mosques in Mitrovica, and now there are only
7 three. All four of them were destroyed. The fourth one was on the right
8 part at the -- on the bank, almost on the bank of the Ibar River. And it
9 had been razed to the ground. Nothing had remained of this mosque, and
10 the situation is the same today.
11 Q. Were you able to find out once you had returned to Mitrovica who
12 had razed this mosque to the ground?
13 A. To my disappointment I heard that -- that there were some Serbian
14 firms and -- or companies and also Serb citizens who had contributed to
15 razing it to the ground. I heard this from some people who had remained
16 in Mitrovica the whole time, and it is also thought that there is a mass
17 grave in there, on that site. And the Serbs had done that to conceal what
18 they had done. And the investigators of the Tribunal could not go there
19 on-site because it is on that part of the Ibar River, north of the city,
20 across the bridge. And I think that had been done deliberately.
21 Q. I want to move to a different subject, and it's my last set of
22 questions for you. After you returned to Mitrovica -- you had told us
23 that you were practicing as a lawyer before the war. After you returned
24 to Mitrovica, did you take up a position as a judge in the local court?
25 A. As you might know, the United Nations established the interim
1 administration there to govern Kosova, and in the framework of this
2 government, the courthouse started functioning on the 1st of September,
3 1999. We began our work in the building that existed before, in the
4 northern part, and I was also appointed there together with other people.
5 I worked there for 22 months.
6 Q. In your capacity as a judge at the local municipal court of
7 Mitrovica, did you -- were you involved in the case regarding the murder
8 of Agim Hajrizi, who you mentioned earlier in your testimony?
9 A. Yes. I was chairman of the collegium in the case where -- where
10 two people were charged Lazar Gligorovski and Nenad Pavicevic.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
12 A. The outcome was this: Mr. Lazar Gligorovski, who was charged for
13 aiding and abetting a murder because it was a triple murder, he was
14 released because of lack of evidence, while Mr. Nenad Pavicevic, I
15 couldn't even call him mister. His hands are bloody. I remember him from
16 his childhood, and he used to be my client a long time ago. And I think
17 his hands are steeped in blood, and he has to be account -- has to be
18 accountable for what he has done. He was sentenced in absentia with 20
19 years' imprisonment, and he is living today in Belgrade and he is leading
20 a very good life with things that he has looted from Albanians.
21 Q. Are you aware of whether Nenad Pavicevic took part in any other
22 crimes other than the murder of Mr. Hajrizi during the war in 1999?
23 A. Yes. There is a lot of evidence and there are many witnesses. In
24 Milosevic's case, one witness who came here, Halit Barani, he had
25 recordings and other material evidence, including witnesses. And these
1 show that in addition to the murder of Mr. Agim Hajrizi together with his
2 son and mother, he also is responsible for other murders as well. With
3 his collaborator Ratko Antonijevic, Boban --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, if counsel's question is meant to elicit
6 testimony from this witness about what other witnesses may or may not have
7 said in other proceedings I think it is fully improper and I ask that it
8 be stricken or limited in this regard.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: I was only asking if he had personal information
11 about whether Nenad Pavicevic had participated in other crimes. I wasn't
12 asking about the testimony of --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: So you accept the objection is valid to the line
14 that's now being -- at least to the material that the witness is now
15 giving it. So let's have the next question.
16 MS. KRAVETZ:
17 Q. In -- Mr. Halimi, are you aware of what was the occupation of
18 Nenad Pavicevic, what was his employment?
19 A. He was a policeman in Mitrovica all the time, working at the
20 police station.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Halimi.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions at this
23 stage for this witness.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Halimi, there are -- excuse me.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, a couple of things you can perhaps
3 clarify for me. You said that when the two families set off that you had
4 three vehicles and --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: -- you then told us about the two Serb soldiers,
7 young soldiers who had stopped you. You indicated that your vehicle had
8 been taken from you. What happened to the other two vehicles?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All three were taken away, mine, my
10 brother's, and his son-in-law's vehicle. And they allowed us then to
11 continue on foot.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: When your brother got the other two vehicles going
13 for you that you actually travelled to Albania in, where did he locate
14 these vehicles?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was his son-in-law. It was the
16 17th when we were ordered to join the convoy, and we started on foot. We
17 were 400 to 500 metres away from the Shipol school, and this happened when
18 we reached the school. People had left their cars behind. They had
19 broken down for different reasons --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That's okay. I just want to know where --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were five or six vehicles
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You have answered that question. You -- I just
24 want to be clear that there's not a translation difficulty in one aspect
25 of your evidence. You referred to upper Zhabar and lower Zhabar. And
1 then when you were talking of upper Zhabar, you talked about the flat part
2 or the lower part and the hilly part. Now, is upper Zhabar divided into
3 two separate identifiable areas known as the flat part and the hilly part?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right. Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thank you. And you told us of four mosques
6 in Mitrovica. You said that all four were destroyed, but you set one of
7 them apart. It's not been replaced. It remains that way. Were the other
8 three rebuilt?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, after the war they were
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And lastly, I didn't understand your reference to
12 the location of the fourth one being inaccessible to the Tribunal's
13 investigating staff. What did you mean by that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that it's close to the -- the
15 Ibar bridge which divides the northern part from the southern part of the
16 town. From the end of the war, there has been turmoil there,
17 confrontations. There were problems all the time, to this day.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: On what basis do you say that the investigating
19 staff of the Tribunal have not been able to visit that location?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For security reasons, for safety
21 reasons, because the Serbs won't allow them to go there.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you speculating about that or do you know that
23 for a fact?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say I know this, I'm sure
25 about this, because I worked as a judge for 22 months and I also had
1 contacts with investigators from the Tribunal.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So what you are saying is that this is a no-go area
3 in Kosovo which is under the control of Serb people who will not allow
4 Tribunal staff to investigate there?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is what I think and many
6 other Albanian citizens have the same opinion.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Now, Mr. Hannis, I -- I dare say you can't clarify this at the
9 moment for us, but it's -- that sounds to me like a matter that ought to
10 be clarified and that we should know whether in fact this is the case.
11 MR. HANNIS: You're right on both counts, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
13 Now, Mr. Zecevic.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. We will follow the
15 indictment --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: -- in this case, and the Milutinovic Defence does
18 not have any questions of this witness.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I actually don't have
22 any questions, but I would actually like to clarify the questions that you
23 put. So perhaps we can see if there's any square metre of land in Kosovo
24 where you cannot have access to. I know that there are areas where we
25 don't have access to, but I don't know if there are any where you don't
1 have access to. Do we understand each other? How do you mean that the
2 forces cannot cross into --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on a second. My only reason for asking these
4 questions was because of the reference to a mass grave, not to any -- now,
5 I doubt very much if you're going to make any progress in your venture
6 with the witness, and bearing in mind that I've asked the Prosecution to
7 investigate it, do you think that you're really likely to make progress by
8 these questions?
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I can because I know my colleague from
10 earlier. We're colleagues. He's a lawyer, I'm a lawyer. He was a judge
11 and I appeared before him in cases. So we can understand each other, and
12 I even have cases that I'm defending there now. Nothing has changed.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
14 Q. [Interpretation] I wanted to ask you the following. I agree that
15 it is your opinion that certain investigations cannot be carried out on
16 the Serbian side, like we call it conditionally -- but anyway I will
17 withdraw that. On that side of the bridge, but to actually assert it's
18 like that, it's a little bit stretched, don't you think? What do you
19 think? Is there a metre over there somewhere that these people have not
20 passed through, I'm meaning the members of the international forces? You
21 know that there are conflicts on bridges. There was an Albanian child in
22 a roll-neck, polo neck, that threw something and we know that there are
23 things like that, but you are telling us that the international forces are
24 unable to cross the bridge and find what they are looking for? This is
25 the only thing that I wanted to ask you, but when I'm appearing in your
1 courtrooms, I don't think that you're a bad judge or anything like that.
2 That is not what I meant.
3 A. Your Honours, I'm happy to see my colleague here. I have known
4 him for a long time. I said that the reasons are reasons of safety. My
5 wish is that no victims be found there. That would be my greatest
6 satisfaction, if no body is found there. But from the end of the war and
7 on, people have insisted because of various information that they --
8 pieces of information that they have received, that there might be bodies
9 there. There are many citizens that are still missing.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I would just like to thank the witness,
11 and I wanted to use the opportunity to greet him. Thank you.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
13 Mr. Sepenuk.
14 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Sepenuk:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Halimi. I'm Norman Sepenuk, and I'm one of the
17 attorneys for General Ojdanic. You mentioned that after you returned to
18 Mitrovica you took a position as a judge in the interim administration to
19 governing Kosovo. Is that correct, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you held that position for some 22 months, correct?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. And one of the trials that you sat on was a trial in the district
24 court in the year 2000 involving, as you said, Lazar Gligorovski and Nenad
25 Pavicevic; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you were the Presiding Judge in that case, were you not, sir?
3 A. Yes. Yes, I said it earlier that I was.
4 Q. And the -- and the -- that case was to determine the guilt or
5 innocence concerning the murder of Agim Hajrizi. Is that correct? You
6 have to say -- you can't just shake your head. Yes or no?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Right. And as I understand it, Mr. Hajrizi was a very close
9 friend of yours?
10 A. Yes. I could say close collaborator, close associate, because I
11 explained to you earlier when the Milosevic regime expelled workers in
12 1990 in Trepca, there were about 3.500 workers and I represented them with
13 a team of lawyers, volunteers. And I considered him an associate because
14 he was the chairman of the trade unions, and we collaborated very closely.
15 Q. I understand. He was a collaborator and a very close friend and
16 you were obviously very moved by his death; is that a fair statement?
17 A. Yes, but it did not affect the way I administered justice.
18 Q. Oh, so you felt that even though he was a friend and a close
19 collaborator and that as you described it the person who was eventually
20 found guilty of killing him had blood on his hands, a person whose name
21 you didn't even want to pronounce, you didn't want to call him mister,
22 under those circumstances you say you could be fair and objective in
23 judging the guilt or innocence of Mr. Nenad Pavicevic. Is that your
25 A. Yes. I was very fair.
1 Q. Did the appointing authority know when they appointed you that you
2 were a very close friend of Mr. Hajrizi? Did they ask you about whether
3 or not you knew Mr. Hajrizi? Did you tell them that?
4 A. All the citizens in Mitrovica knew about our relationship.
5 Q. That wasn't my question. You were appointed -- who appointed you
6 to be the presiding judge of this court?
7 A. It was Bernard Kouchner at the time. He was the one to appoint
8 the first group of judges after the entering of NATO forces.
9 Q. And did Bernard Kouchner know that you were a very close friend
10 and collaborator of Mr. Hajrizi?
11 A. I don't think he asked, but we also did not inform him, we did not
12 think it was important because we had made an oath as judges to administer
13 fair justice to all citizens.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Pavicevic was in absentia; he was not at the trial.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But he had lawyers there representing him as I understand it. Is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes, there were lawyers.
20 Q. Did the lawyers representing him know that you were a very close
21 friend and collaborator of Mr. Hajrizi?
22 A. Yes, because they were from Mitrovica.
23 Q. And they raised no objection to your being on that case?
24 A. No. You can see the minutes of the hearings. No, there was no
1 Q. And as a matter of fact, Mr. -- Mr. Pavicevic was also a former
2 client of yours. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And you saw no problem, no conflict of interest - as we lawyers
5 call it - by sitting as a judge to judge the guilt or innocence of a
6 person who used to be your client? You saw nothing improper or wrong or
7 unethical about that? Is that your testimony?
8 A. I don't think that there was a problem as you described it,
9 because I knew Mr. Pavicevic the same as I knew Agim. And I considered
10 him earlier as a friend and they were neighbours, next-door neighbours
11 with Agim Hajrizi. And I represented him in a divorce case four or five
12 years before 1999. I don't think there was any conflict of interest there
13 or violation of ethics, because it was something that had to do with him
14 and his wife. They had been divorced and they wanted to divide their
15 property amongst themselves.
16 Q. So on the one hand you considered him as a friend and on the other
17 hand you considered him as somebody with blood on his hands whose name you
18 did not want to even pronounce. Is that correct? You're shaking your
19 head, does that mean no, yes?
20 A. Yes, but then when he chose the road of crime, especially by the
21 end of 1998 and the whole of 1999, I did not have any contact whatsoever
22 with him and there was no friendship anymore because of his hands full of
24 MR. SEPENUK: Just one or two final questions, Your Honour.
25 Q. When Mr. Kouchner appointed you to become a judge, did he make any
1 investigation of your background as a judge in Mitrovica when you were
2 younger and as a defence lawyer? Did he ever make any investigation to
3 your knowledge about your background?
4 A. Of course he must have done. Maybe the OSCE in the beginning, the
5 regional office in Mitrovica --
6 Q. Was the subject of bribery ever discussed?
7 A. What do you mean? I don't understand.
8 Q. What I mean is that in the Milosevic case you admitted to Judge
9 May in answer to a question that you were involved in bribery countless
10 times when Judge May asked you about that your answer was: Yes, you were
11 involved in bribery countless times. Did that ever come up when Mr.
12 Kouchner appointed you to your position as judge?
13 A. This is what the entire Kosova knew. The lawyers, the Albanian
14 lawyers knew that they had to bribe the Serbian bodies. It's something
15 that the Milosevic regime imposed on us. This was the face of that
16 regime. I will tell you -- because you are insisting on this, I will tell
17 you about one case very frankly.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. What would you think.
20 Q. I'm not asking you about that -- [Previous translation
21 continues] ...
22 A. Please, if you ask the question.
23 Q. Did you tell Mr. Kouchner -- please answer my question, sir --
24 A. I will tell you. I have to explain myself on this issue. And I
25 wouldn't go ahead without explaining this. How would you interpret
1 justice if a judge of the district court in Mitrovica who is a Serb came
2 every day to the Albanian lawyers' offices and he came with his card for
3 filling his car with -- his tank with petrol and he asked the Albanian
4 lawyers to fill his car with petrol?
5 Q. My -- my one last question, sir: Did Mr. Kouchner know that you
6 had been involved in countless bribery cases, yes or no? Did he know
7 that, sir?
8 A. I wouldn't call them countless cases, but there were cases.
9 Myself and my colleagues were forced to do that because of the
10 circumstances. It was impossible to achieve justice for Albanians without
11 paying, and this is something that the OSCE knew, the department for the
12 protection of human rights and freedoms. Before the war -- can I just
13 explain one thing?
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. On the 1st of October --
16 Q. I would prefer that you wouldn't because we're about five minutes
17 past our break time and if I can sum it up. The answer I think is no
18 whether or not you told Mr. Kouchner -- you did not tell Mr. Kouchner
19 about these bribery matters and when you question about whether it was
20 countless, in the Milosevic transcript, Judge May said: "It is suggested
21 that you were involved in bribery countless times, Mr. Halimi. Is that
22 true or not?"
23 And your answer is: "So it is and there was no escaping it
24 because this is what the regime is like. It was impossible to work in any
25 other way in this regime."
1 That was your testimony, correct, sir?
2 A. Yes, it was a regime that 97 per cent of their means of that
3 regime was procured through corruption. They were cheating the
4 population, they were cheating the Serbs, they were living on bribery.
5 They were cheating their own people as well, but the Albanians suffered
6 the most.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk, your question actually was not: Did
9 you tell Mr. Kouchner, but your question was Mr. Kouchner knew. And I
10 would interpret the answer the opposite way from you because the answer
11 was: It was something that the OSCE knew about. Now, let me just clarify
12 this with the witness.
13 First of all, Mr. Halimi, was Kouchner a representative of the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was the first special
16 representative of the United Nations in Kosova.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, my second question then is: Have you any
18 reason to think that he would know of the practice of bribery that you've
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he must have known.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And my third question to you is: In connection
22 with your appointment, did you actually tell him that you had been
23 involved in cases of bribery?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I will make a small
25 clarification here and you will get the answer. The UN interim
1 administration in Kosova at that time had not established the first pillar
2 for justice and police in Kosova. Therefore, they had authorised OSCE to
3 collect information, to do interviews, and to short-list the candidates
4 for judges. So it was the OSCE officers who were in Kosova even before
5 the war and who had reports, many reports, on what was happening to us as
6 lawyers as to the fact that we were forced to act that way, not for
7 personal gains. Therefore, I personally and my colleagues informed the
8 OSCE representatives what I encountered during my practice as a lawyer.
9 We have told them even the most flagrant cases that never happened in
10 other parts of the world. How come a judge come to an office of an
11 Albanian lawyer with a jerrycan, a 20-litre jerrycan asking the lawyers to
12 fill up his car? This cannot happen in any other part of the world.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Halimi.
15 My apologies to the interpreters for overrunning our time, but it
16 was important to complete that subject which -- on which the questions
17 began before half past. We'll now break and resume at 11.00.
18 Mr. Halimi, you'll be shown where to wait when the court has its
19 break and we'll see you again at 11.00. Please just leave the courtroom.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 10.41 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Halimi, the cross-examination will now
1 continue and the next counsel to examine you will be Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
4 Q. Good morning, Mr. Halimi.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. I want to ask you a few questions about your testimony so far this
7 morning, and I'm going to try to ask my questions in a way that you can
8 respond to them rather briefly I hope. At page 4 of the transcript this
9 morning you testified about when you received a phone call and were told
10 that you should probably leave Mitrovica. And then you went on to explain
11 that the same woman who called you called you later and said: Have you
12 left already because they have approached your home? And then you said
13 this: I think she was talking about the military and paramilitary forces,
14 but you have no way of knowing what she was talking about, do you? That's
15 just a guess on your part.
16 A. I'm very certain because the events that followed the developments
17 later on pointed that this belief that I had was correct.
18 Q. But you didn't actually see anybody approaching your home or see
19 anything that happened there, did you?
20 A. Yes, that's correct, that I didn't see anyone approaching my home.
21 Q. In fact, what you said in your statement on page 5 was that "40
22 minutes after our departure, my house was surrounded and came under heavy
23 gun-fire for a long period of time." That's what you said in your
24 statement. Now when you use the word "surrounded," do you mean encircled,
25 that there were forces on all sides of the house, or do you even know?
1 A. After I returned in Kosova, that is after the war ended --
2 Q. That's not what I'm asking you after you returned; I'm asking you
3 about what you mean when you say "surrounded." When you say "surrounded,"
4 do you mean completely encircled by forces; is that what you mean?
5 A. I already said that at that time my house was encircled from three
6 sides from the Serb forces. Now, whether they were military,
7 paramilitary, or police forces, that I don't know because I didn't see
9 Q. And when you talk about your house coming under heavy gun-fire for
10 a long period of time, again that's something that you're telling us
11 because somebody may have told you that. Is that a fair statement?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, was it -- was that part of today's
16 MR. ACKERMAN: It was part of today's evidence in the sense, Your
17 Honour, he was talking about at page 4, paragraph 1, talking about the
18 military and paramilitary forces that he thought were the ones that had
19 approached his home.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. I mean, all I have is the two APCs that
21 fired four to six shots.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: That's -- that's a different situation I think,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, indeed, but we've got nothing at all on this
25 earlier one, but if you want to supplement the Prosecution case that's a
1 matter for you.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that really wasn't my intention; I hope
3 that's not what I did.
4 Q. At page 9 of the transcript today you were talking about when you
5 were in Zhabar and people were coming from Mitrovica and coming --
6 actually, people from lower Zhabar were coming to upper Zhabar. And you
7 said this: "They were telling us that the army, the police, and the
8 paramilitaries had been expelling them from their homes."
9 When you say "telling us," who is "us"?
10 A. Of course you know that I was not the only one there. There were
11 many other citizens from upper Zhabar as well as other citizens who had
12 come to that place for the same reason or reasons as myself.
13 Q. Well -- but the question really comes to this: Did anyone from
14 lower Zhabar actually come to you and tell you personally that the police,
15 the paramilitaries had been expelling them from their homes, that the
16 army, the police, the paramilitaries had been expelling them from their
17 homes? Did anyone from there come personally to you and tell you that?
18 A. I was not alone there. It was a group of 10, 15, or even 20
19 persons. People who came from lower Zhabar, two or three, I don't
20 remember exactly, they told us that citizens from Mitrovica, Suhadoll, and
21 Shipol are coming to Zhabar because the Serb police forces expelled them
22 from their houses. And this fact was proved later on, as you know from my
23 explanation that gun-shots began to come from all sides. Three persons
24 were killed, and in the afternoon, the people were made a column and made
25 to leave.
1 Q. You told us that and you've answered my question. Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you've answered it in -- I understand your
3 position on this, Mr. Ackerman.
4 But, Mr. Halimi, tell us again what you were told about who was
5 expelling people from their houses.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because the three units, combined
7 units, that is the regular military forces, the regular police forces, and
8 the paramilitary units, different paramilitary units that were in
9 Mitrovica area.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In coordination.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Well, just a moment ago you said in answer to my question that it
16 was the Serb police forces who expelled people from their houses, and now
17 you say it's these three forces in coordination so now I have to ask you
18 another question. Did anyone describe to you any regular military forces,
19 VJ, in such a way that you could conclude for certain that regular
20 military forces were involved in any way? They didn't, did they?
21 A. I will give you my answer. You should know that I lived in
22 Mitrovica up until 18th of April, 1999. These forces did not come there
23 when the NATO air-strikes began. They were forces --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, you -- the evidence you are giving at
25 the moment is about what you were told by other people. Now, please
1 concentrate on that; that's what the question relates to, what you were
2 told, not something else that you can explain. This question is only
3 about what you were told. Now, the question was: Did anyone describe to
4 you any regular military forces, VJ, in such a way that you could conclude
5 for certain that regular military forces were involved in any way? They
6 didn't, did they? That was the question. Now, could you answer that
7 specific question, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In my previous answers, I am
9 aware of the fact that I mentioned the police forces. But since you're
10 asking me to give you a more accurate and specific answer who they were, I
11 gave you exactly that answer. According to the information that we
12 received from the people while we were there. I don't know if I'm clear.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Well, as I understand it, you were in a group of about ten people.
16 Where were you? Where was this group of ten people that they were
17 telling -- these people were telling you what they experienced?
18 A. We were near the house where my family was staying, about 20
19 metres from this house in the high-ground part of upper Zhabar; that is
20 where I was.
21 Q. Were you in a building or just standing on the ground?
22 A. It was a kind of a knoll from where we could see what was
23 happening in that part.
24 Q. And the people that were coming from lower Zhabar were coming up
25 to that knoll and talking to you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And they described the military forces how? How did they describe
3 the VJ to you? What did they tell you that they had seen?
4 A. They as well had received that information from citizens who had
5 gathered in Zhabar e Ulet, and this information was that the Serb forces
6 expelled them and made them leave their homes. I think I've already
7 explained this. There's nothing I can add to it.
8 Q. Okay. So they -- what you're saying now is they were telling you
9 something that someone else had told them?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And maybe that someone else had told the others that someone else
12 had told the others that someone else had told the others. You don't know
13 how many times removed this information was from a person who actually saw
14 what happened, do you?
15 A. With all due respect to your question, Mr. Counsel, if you were in
16 my shoes there, you could have a clear picture. If you heard the screams,
17 if you saw the smoke coming from the houses, if you saw the horror, you
18 would be certain that something horrible was going on in that part.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People were just confirming what we
21 could see with our own eyes from the knoll.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, how does that help us to determine who
23 did it rather than what they did?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, nobody but the Serb
25 forces - and when I say "Serb forces," I mean the regular military forces,
1 the regular police forces, and the paramilitary units that were working in
2 coordination - nobody else. It is not the citizens themselves who could
3 do this.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, this Court can only work on the basis
5 of evidence that is reliable, so we need to know what is the actual
6 specific information that you can give us that would enable an
7 identification of the troops involved to be made, whether there were
8 police, army, or paramilitary, bearing in mind that all three units
9 appeared to be active in various parts of Kosovo. So what Mr. Ackerman is
10 asking you is to be specific about what you were told, and what you seem
11 to have been told is that Serb forces were involved. And you've then made
12 the judgement yourself about who these forces might be. Now, have I got
13 that right or wrong?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I was convinced then
15 and I'm still convinced that no other force that could do such an activity
16 could be taken into consideration. Secondly, the fire, the gun-shots, the
17 detonations, the explosions in the town and in other parts where people
18 were moving in the direction of Zhabar. And thirdly, the stories from the
19 citizens who were fleeing their homes. I was not there to collect
20 information. Simply, people were fleeing from their homes and they were
21 telling their stories of what was happening.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if you're not prepared to answer my specific
23 questions with specific answers, there's nothing more I can do about the
25 Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. Can you tell us -- I think you've already said you were some
3 distance away. Can you tell us -- you can't, can you, identify any
4 regular VJ military that you could specifically identify that you saw in
5 Zhabar, operating in Zhabar, during this time? Because I think you
6 already told us that you were so far away that you couldn't really
7 identify the uniforms. Is that a fair conclusion on my part?
8 A. My first encounter was when I left upper Zhabar to join the main
9 road that takes you to the Adriatic coast. I explained this encounter
10 with the two soldiers. There were other soldiers that were dispersed
11 along the frontal line --
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
13 A. That is where I saw --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. -- the soldiers. That's where I saw the paramilitaries and the
17 Q. I'm coming to that, and you've answered my question and I
18 appreciate it. These -- you talked about this, actually, on page 13 of
19 your testimony today, about these young soldiers that you saw. You said
20 they were frightened young VJ soldiers. And when you told them that you
21 were all civilians just trying to save your own lives, you said they
22 seemed to calm down a little bit. So it -- apparently what they were
23 afraid of was KLA?
24 A. I don't know to what extent I can answer your question why they
25 were frightened. I think it was their age because I don't think they were
1 older than 20 years. At least the soldier that I spoke with, he was about
2 18 years old.
3 Q. And I -- but when you told them that you were just civilians, that
4 you were not armed, that you were no threat to them, then that calmed them
5 down a bit, I think was your testimony today, wasn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, after you got to the border, what you told us today, page 17,
8 line 10: "I handed over the registration plates, I handed over the ID
9 card, the driver's licence. Luckily - but it wasn't on purpose since my
10 passport was together with the documents of my children with my wife -
11 when my wife took these documents out of her bag to throw them in the
12 chest my passport by accident remained in her bag."
13 So you wound up getting across the border with your passport as I
14 understand your testimony today?
15 A. Do you think -- I mean, I don't know what your question refers to,
16 if I showed my passport at the border crossing or if that passport
17 remained in my wife's bag. The latter is correct. I did not take the
18 passport out to show it to the authorities at the border.
19 Q. And before that happened, you say in your testimony in -- page 16
20 that -- line 20. The police told you that: "If we find passports, ID
21 cards, or licences on any of you, you will be executed on the spot." You
22 claim that's what you had been told; correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. You didn't see anybody that actually was executed on the spot, did
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. And in your statement to the OTP of 24 August 2001 on page 14,
3 what you said at that point about when you crossed the border you said
4 this: "In order not to delay the procedure at the border, we had prepared
5 ourselves by taking off the licence plates before and had the IDs ready.
6 I told the border police that my driver's licence had been taken away
7 before but I had it in my pocket. We delivered some IDs but managed to
8 retain some. I had prepared to give them, if necessary, the documents for
9 my Mercedes Benz and the insurance documents for that car."
10 Now, what I conclude from that was you had your driver's licence
11 in your pocket and kept it in your pocket as you went through the border.
12 Is that true?
13 A. I already said earlier that the documents in my pocket, and that
14 is the identification card and the driver's licence, I gave them to the
15 police. I threw them in these chests that were on the border crossing,
16 while the documents that were with my wife, of course I told her to
17 prepare all the documents and told her to give everything if they asked
18 for them. Those were very difficult moments, and it wasn't my primary
19 pre-occupation at that time.
20 Q. Well -- but in your statement you said that you told the police
21 your driver's licence had been taken away before, like I don't have my
22 driver's licence, it was taken away before, but that you actually had it
23 in your pocket. That's what you said in your statement, and that
24 indicates that you actually took your driver's licence through the border
25 thing with you. Now, did you or didn't you?
1 A. You should pay more attention to my statement of August 2001. I
2 said that the licence to circulation and -- is a different thing and
3 driver's licence is a different thing. So the papers of my car, that's a
4 different thing, and my driver's licence is something else and I gave it
5 to them. These are two different documents. It's first papers of the car
6 and the other one is the driver's licence, and these are two different
8 Q. Well, I agree one of us should pay more attention, but I suggest
9 it's you. All I've asked you about is your driver's licence. And you say
10 in your statement that you told them it had been taken away from you
11 before but you had it in your pocket. Now, did you then tell them you
12 were lying and that you -- really wasn't taken away before and give it to
13 them, people who had threatened to execute you if you tried to go through
14 with the document? Is that what happened? And try to pay attention to my
16 A. I said it once and I will repeat it again. This was a very
17 difficult moment for us. It was very hard to concentrate on what I was
18 doing and what my wife was doing. I thought that I gave all the
19 documents. Whatever I had in my pocket, I gave it to them.
20 Q. Is there some reason that you have trouble answering my question?
21 Is there something -- I understand that was a difficult moment for you,
22 but I have in front of me a statement you made to the Prosecutor saying:
23 I told them that I'd given my driver's licence before but I had it in my
24 pocket. Now, my question is really simple: Did you then tell them you
25 were -- you lied about that and here's my driver's licence or did you keep
1 it in your pocket? Now, can you just answer that? Is that hard to
3 A. I apologise to you and to Your Honours. Maybe I forgot this
4 detail. It's been a long time, seven years ago. But still I don't see
5 any essential difference in this. I'm trying to be frank in my responses.
6 Q. So I guess the answer is you can't answer that question, even
7 though I've tried to simplify it as much as possible. Is that right?
8 A. Regarding -- I gave my answer. This is identical to what I said
9 in the investigation and to what I'm saying today.
10 Q. Well, with all due respect, you did not give your answer. You
11 want me to ask you the question one more time or are you going to refuse
12 to answer it again?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, do you have an Albanian copy of this
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I do not, Your Honour.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not refusing to answer the
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We have the English version, do we?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I do.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it --
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honours, if I may assist the Chamber, I have a
22 copy of the Albanian version of the statement with me.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd appreciate it if the witness could look at this
24 paragraph. I don't know how to find it in the Albanian version. It's on
25 page 14 of the English version. It begins with the words: "In order not
1 to delay the procedure ..."
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, could you --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I didn't think this was a very important thing to
4 even talk about, Your Honour, but now that we've gotten here, I think we
5 need to finish it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, are you able to let the witness see that copy
7 of his statement. Is page 14 near the end of the statement?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it's the -- there's only one other page --
9 half page after that in English, so it's very close to the end.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Go towards the end of your statement, Mr. Halimi,
11 and you should see a paragraph beginning with the words: "In order not to
12 delay the procedure ..." And that's for crossing the border.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: To make it easier to find it, there is a time
14 reference just above: "At 2200 hours we heard a loud detonation," and
15 it's just the second paragraph down from there.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, let us know when you've found that paragraph.
17 Have you found it, Mr. Halimi?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, just a second. The court usher will now put
20 that particular part on the ELMO so we can all see it and then you can
21 read it to us. Now, just read aloud -- just a second. It will appear on
22 your screen in front --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: It will appear on your screen in front of you.
25 [Previous translation continues] ...
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's clear to me.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Just read it out to me.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "At the border I saw a big box."
4 MR. ACKERMAN: [Previous translation continues] ...
5 JUDGE BONOMY: No, this is not the passage.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "I saw at the border a container
7 full of licence plates from vehicles" --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on a second --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- "that passed through."
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We're looking for a passage that begins with you
11 referring to making it easier to cross the border, preparing to cross the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In order not to delay the
14 procedures at the border," so this is the one?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I remember.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, please read that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In order not to be delayed by the
19 procedures at the border, we had prepared ourselves. We had removed the
20 licence plates and we had the IDs ready. I told the border police that my
21 driver's licence had been taken, but it was in my pocket. We gave them
22 some IDs but managed to retain some. I had prepared to give them" --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Stop there. Now, that suggests that you managed to
24 hold on to your driver's licence, and what Mr. Ackerman is asking you is
25 to explain the apparent contradiction between that and the evidence you
1 gave earlier today that you actually threw your driver's licence into a
2 specific chest that was for collecting driver's licences. Now, could you
3 clarify it for us, please?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I said that it's
5 been a long time. I stand by my statement that this is what happened. It
6 is a fact that I lied to the policemen, and I kept the driver's licence.
7 Now I remember better. I apologise. I apologise to the defending lawyer,
8 who reminded me of this, but what I said to the investigators of the
9 Tribunal in August 2001 was correct.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. And so your testimony then today is that you lied to a policeman
14 who had told you that if he found any licences on you, you'd be executed
15 on the spot; true?
16 A. Yes. At that time my life had no value, didn't have a value of
17 even 2 cents.
18 Q. All right. We'll go on to something else now --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a number for the statement itself, Mr.
20 Ackerman? Is it in your system or were you just using your own hard copy?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Just using my own hard copy, Your Honour, it's
22 not -- to my knowledge, it's not in the system.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz, does it have a P number?
24 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, we didn't intend to tender the
25 statement, so it's not been uploaded into the system.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: In that case can we keep your Albanian copy and
2 give it an IC number?
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC74, Your Honours.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Now, as you were travelling from Zhabar toward Albania, you talked
8 about going through some check-points. And in your statement to the OTP
9 on page 12 you indicated that "at these check-points no atrocities were
10 committed by the military." That's true, isn't it?
11 A. That's true. There were no atrocities committed, but there was
12 looting and beating.
13 Q. Well, you were not beaten, were you?
14 A. I was not beaten.
15 Q. You didn't see anyone being beaten, did you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where? Where did you see someone being beaten?
18 A. At the entrance to Prizren.
19 Q. Beaten by whom, paramilitary?
20 A. Paramilitaries they were. It was a paramilitary unit with an Opel
22 Q. Yes, you describe that --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness's microphone be turned on,
24 please, the other one?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Looks like they're both on.
1 Q. When you were leaving Prizren you say --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's gone off again.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. -- at the exit of Prizren --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Page 14 of your statement you say it was very dark so you switched
8 on your lights, but then you were told by a VJ soldier to be careful with
9 the light because NATO would be able to see you and maybe bomb you. And
10 so you say that after that you mainly had your lights off; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So you believed that warning and acted on it to avoid the
13 possibility at least of being bombed by a NATO bomb; correct?
14 A. Yes, of course. Because three or four days earlier a great
15 tragedy had happened in a village in Prizren where a tractor convoy, a
16 refugee convoy was mistakenly bombed by NATO. And I feared that I could
17 be the wrong target.
18 Q. I have one final question, and it also refers to your statement.
19 On page 14 you talk about spending the night on the road by a fish
20 restaurant, and you also saw some VJ soldiers there. And they told you
21 that you didn't need to be afraid because there was no paramilitary around
22 so you'd be safe, but to be careful of mines because there were mines on
23 both sides of the road; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Cepic.
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have just a
4 few questions for this witness.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Halimi. I'm Djuro Cepic, one
7 of the lawyers defending Mr. Lazarevic. Today in the course of your
8 testimony on page 5 you mention that you left the village of Zhabar by
9 having two KLA soldiers without uniforms coming to get you at your house
10 and they escorted you and your family to the mountains. Is that correct?
11 A. Not my immediate family. I explained, my brother's two sons, his
12 son-in-law, and these two members. My family was with my -- at my
13 brother's house. I told this to you earlier.
14 Q. That's what I meant, Mr. Halimi. And then when you went to the
15 hills you were there with other KLA members. Is that correct?
16 A. No. There were no KLA members there. The intellectuals from
17 Mitrovica, most of them were sheltering there.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. Thank you. So let's go to the period
19 before the armed conflict began. You cooperated with the OSCE mission as
20 a lawyer that was there in Kosovo at the time. You also cooperated with
21 the Kosovo Verification Mission, which preceded the OSCE mission in
22 Kosovo. You sent reports twice a week on incidents. For purposes of the
23 transcript, could you please give a clear answer not just nod your head.
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. In that capacity you sent reports twice a week about committed
1 crimes, incidents in the area of Kosovska Mitrovica. Is this correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. You also informed or I assume that you informed about the incident
4 on the 8th of January, 1999, when there was a terrorist action in which
5 eight members of the Army of Yugoslavia were kidnapped near Stari Trg. Is
6 this correct?
7 A. Yes, of course. But I wouldn't call that terrorist. That's your
8 own yardstick.
9 Q. You are trying to say that this action or this act was not a
10 terrorist action or a terrorist act; is that what you're trying to tell us
11 here today?
12 A. It was not, absolutely not a terrorist action because there were
13 two formations: The KLA army, the one that captured the Serbian soldiers
14 and the whole world knows how they were treated and how they were
15 released, they were safe and they were not ill-treated and they went back
16 to their families. I would like to clarify here that the highest level of
17 the OSCE offices dealt with that case --
18 Q. Thank you very much. We have heard enough of your answer. I am
19 the one who's putting the questions here. What sort of personal
20 cooperation did you have with the KLA?
21 A. Excellent.
22 Q. Thank you. That was my last question.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
3 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Dan Ivetic, and I'm one of the
4 attorneys representing Mr. Sreten Lukic relative to these proceedings, and
5 I have some questions that I would like for you to answer for me.
6 Now, first of all, you mentioned today an incident on the 17th of
7 April when you said that the police came and told people to form a convoy
8 or a column in three minutes. And I wanted to ask you: Did you
9 personally see the police come and give this instruction or is this
10 something that you heard from other persons?
11 A. This happened on the 17th of April. It was about 1300 hours, 1400
12 hours, and I saw them with my own eyes. I was only 5 metres away from
13 them, and they were shouting. They were not being polite. Please go this
14 way or that way. They were shouting.
15 Q. Did you personally recognise any of the policemen involved?
16 A. I saw them, but I did not know them. It's impossible to remember
17 who they were.
18 Q. Could you -- could you tell us how these individuals, how they
19 were attired?
20 A. Yes, they were wearing uniforms, camouflage uniforms. The
21 dominant colour was the typical police colour, blue, dark blue, and it was
23 Q. Did you note any badges or insignia anywhere on the uniforms?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you please tell us about any badges or insignia that you saw
1 on the uniforms.
2 A. Here on the shoulders they had their ranks, yellow. On the chest
3 or maybe -- on the right or on the left upper arm I think it was the white
4 eagle and the words "MUP Serbia." This was their insignia, the insignia
5 of the police forces.
6 Q. Now, I'm sorry, the transcript says on the right or on the left
7 upper arm. You, in fact, were showing the right arm; is that correct? Do
8 you know which arm the white eagle insignia with the words "MUP Serbia"
9 was located?
10 A. I honestly say I can't remember now which arm it was, but it was
11 on one of their arms.
12 Q. And in any event, if you cannot remember what arm it's on, you at
13 least remember the insignia and it's this insignia that you have described
14 for us. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, I described it to you.
16 Q. Okay. Now, my colleague Mr. Cepic asked you some questions
17 relating to the time period when you were providing reports to the OSCE
18 mission, that is to say the Kosovo Verification Mission. I'd like to ask
19 you briefly about some incidents that occurred during that time-period to
20 see what you know about the same. First of all, did you have occasion to
21 find out about or did you report to the KVM or KDOM missions anything
22 about the 50 members of the Albanian families with the last name Shefqet,
23 Semaseladin [phoen], and Kadrija, who evacuated and fled their homes and
24 their village on or about the 2nd of January, 1999, as a result of direct
25 attacks perpetrated by the members of the so-called KLA?
1 A. Could you help me, where did this happen? Did it happen in the
2 Mitrovica area? Which village, please?
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... village. Sipolje?
4 A. In Shipol. I'm not aware of anything like that happening in
5 Shipol village.
6 Q. Okay. What about the kidnapping of a local security officer Ajeti
7 Sherafedin, himself an ethnic Albanian, on or about March 15, 1999, again
8 by the members of the KLA? Did you know about that event and did you
9 report that event to the OSCE as part of your regular reports on criminal
10 acts that occurred within the municipality?
11 A. As far as I know, we were four people dealing with various
12 regions, different areas. I dealt with justice and the northern part of
13 the city of Mitrovica. I knew Sherafedin Ajeti; he was the director of
14 the prison in Mitrovica. Then he was involved in organising the local
15 police. He was a drunkard. I felt sorry for him. I don't know where he
16 ended up, what his fate was. I don't know.
17 Q. Well, let me ask you this: In response to my colleague's question
18 about some other kidnappings, you stated that those were not terrorist
19 acts. Am I correct or do you consider or did you consider at the time
20 kidnappings of persons to constitute criminal acts if not terrorist acts?
21 A. The case that your colleague mentioned happened close to Bajgora
22 where there were units of the KLA operating there, and these members of
23 the KLA captured eight soldiers of the army. And with the intervention of
24 the OSCE, they were released --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, you've dealt with that already. That's
1 not what this question relates to. It relates to kidnapping. Do you
2 consider kidnapping to constitute a criminal act?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kidnapping, of course it is a
4 criminal act. But in circumstances of war, you know, international
5 conventions exist and when two armies fight with each other then the
6 soldiers can be taken prisoner and they were prisoners of war. That's how
7 I consider them.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That's plainly not kidnapping nor what the question
9 was directed to.
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was taking prisoner -- taken
14 MR. IVETIC:
15 Q. I believe I was referring to the kidnapping of Ajeti Sherafedin
16 what you've indicated you knew, but in any event I think I can move on.
17 Let me ask you about two events that occurred on March the 13th of
18 1999, in particular, are you aware of a bomb that exploded at the fruit
19 market in Kosovska Mitrovica in the early afternoon hours which injured 41
20 persons and killed three with the wounded and dead being of all
21 ethnicities, including Serb, Albanian, and Roma. Did you have knowledge
22 of this incident and did you report this incident to the OSCE as part of
23 your daily reports?
24 A. Yes, but OSCE learned about it before me going there to the site
25 where it happened. No Serb was wounded, no Roma. There was only one
1 Serb -- sorry, Bosnian that was wounded. So everybody knows who did that.
2 Q. And let me ask you about the bomb that exploded at around the same
3 time in the Podujevo fruit market in which three more persons were killed
4 and 23 were injured. Did you know about this incident that was attributed
5 to the KLA?
6 A. I have no right to react to questions of this kind, but I would
7 like to inform Their Honours that you are offending me and I do have an
8 answer to your question. The people sitting behind you know who was
9 attacking and who were the victims. The same scenario that happened in
10 Sarajevo repeated there.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Halimi, could you please answer the
12 question. It's not for you to decide which questions you will answer and
13 which you won't; with your experience you ought to know that. And we are
14 ignorant of the circumstances of these events unless you are good enough
15 to tell us the information you have. Now, would you please answer the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The explosion at the Mitrovica
18 market pursuant to the investigations --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The question relates to this: Do you know about a
20 bomb that exploded around the same time in the Podujevo fruit market in
21 which three more persons were killed and 23 were injured? Now, do you?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just heard of it as piece of
23 information through the media.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, why was it so difficult to answer that
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how you heard this
2 question that the counsel put. He said that it was a KLA who threw that
3 bomb, and that irritated me. This is how the counsel asked the question,
4 and that's why I asked for some protection from the Bench, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: This question was: Did you know about this
6 incident that was attributed to the KLA? That was the question. Now, you
7 could help us by answering that question, and you say all you know about
8 it is what you've read in the media. We can now move on to something else
9 that may be more informative.
10 Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Lastly I have just one more -- one more incident of this nature
13 during this time-period to ask you about. Did you know about and did you
14 report the January 18th, 1999, rocket attack, hand-held rocket attack on a
15 police vehicle from the Kosovska Mitrovica SUP in which five persons were
17 A. Please, if you could help me with the location. I don't know
18 where this happened.
19 Q. I believe it was within the city boundary of Kosovska Mitrovica.
20 The date was the 18th of January, 1999, and there was a rocket attack on a
21 police vehicle. Were there -- and I believe it was in the street of Save
22 Kovacevica. Are you telling me there were more multiple attacks on police
23 vehicles by hand-held rockets in Kosovska Mitrovica? Was it a common
24 occurrence or was it just this one occurrence?
25 A. There were other occurrences. I know about three that were --
1 that have grave consequences. One of these cases occurred under the
2 bridge of the road that goes to Peje. That happened earlier. I could say
3 sometime in 1996 or 1997 when a prisoner who was being transported from
4 one prison into another was killed. The perpetrators were not
5 identified --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... This question
7 relates to a date in January 1999, which is the period we're concerned
8 about. 1996, 1997 have certain relevance for us, but 1999 is really
9 important. Now, can you tell us what you know about rocket attacks on
10 police vehicles in Kosovska Mitrovica in January 1999 or around that time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It happened in Shipol, that's
12 correct, as a result of a guerilla action carried out by the KLA. They
13 admitted to this act publicly through a communique. They admitted to have
14 carried out this attack against the police.
15 MR. IVETIC:
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you stated that you had I think "excellent
17 cooperation" with the KLA. I'd like to know based upon your knowledge and
18 information of the activities of the KLA, is it a fact that this group was
19 present in and operating within the city of Kosovska Mitrovica from at
20 least the beginning of 1999, if not earlier, through the date of the
21 commencement of the NATO air assault?
22 A. There were guerilla units in Mitrovica that were operating from
23 time to time. But there were no units that were stationed there. KLA
24 units were stationed in Vaganice, very close to Mitrovica, then in Pirce
25 village, and from there they were undertaking actions in Mitrovica as well
1 in addition to that one in Shipol. The Mitrovica-Peje road runs in the
2 middle of Shipol village.
3 Q. Okay. And you've mentioned two areas that were close to
4 Mitrovica. Are you aware of any KLA activity or KLA presence in the
5 region surrounding the village of Zhabar, for instance?
6 A. No.
7 Q. How about the village of Shipol that you mentioned? How far away
8 from Zhabar is that village or that area?
9 A. To tell you the truth and by leave of the Bench, I will explain
10 the position of Shipol. So at the exit of Mitrovica, that's where the
11 Shipol starts and is about 3 kilometre long. It ends at the water supply.
12 So depending from what angle you're interested in, Zhabar is about 2 or 3
13 kilometres from Shipol. Shipol is about 3 or 4 kilometres long. That
14 entire area could be called Shipol.
15 Q. Okay. And how about the village of Cicavica, did you know about a
16 KLA presence in Cicavica?
17 A. Cicavica is a forested area which belongs to Vushtrri
18 municipality. A small part that we call Unaza, a ring, belongs to
19 Drenica. It did not belong to Mitrovica area.
20 Q. But it is nearby to Mitrovica, is it not. Vucitrn or Vushtrri is
21 adjacent to Mitrovica, is it not?
22 A. Yes, there's only 13 or 14 kilometres between Mitrovica and
23 Vushtrri. And opposite Vushtrri you have the Cicavica hill. You have
24 Sitnica river and then the Cicavica mountains.
25 Q. Okay. So we are talking about the same region. Now, I'd like to
1 ask you about this Cicavica region. You have knowledge of the existence
2 of the KLA there, don't you?
3 A. Yes, there were units.
4 Q. Okay. Now -- in fact, one of the KLA persons from Cicavica, Ismet
5 Hoxha, was a client of yours. Is that correct?
6 A. Ismet Hoxha was never my client. I know him as a policeman who
7 worked in Vushtrri until 1990 when all Albanian policemen were expelled
8 from their -- from the service. I know him because I also represented
9 policemen from Vushtrri in court for the violation of their rights.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, I take it you have no further questions
11 about the evidence in chief that this witness gave?
12 MR. IVETIC: I do, actually.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm about to bring your cross -- I think time
14 is running out on us for this witness so you should go back to them
15 promptly if you have them. I've already explained there's a limit to how
16 much you can explore KLA activity with witnesses for the Prosecution.
17 We've got to make some reasonable balance between the time that they use
18 and the time that you use.
19 MR. IVETIC: I understand.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I assume that you had moved from -- otherwise, I
21 would have stopped this much earlier. I had assumed that you had moved
22 from your questions about his direct, which you had started with.
23 MR. IVETIC: No, Your Honour, I still have some questions with
24 respect to the matters that he discussed in his direct as well.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, please deal with them.
1 MR. IVETIC: I'll go --
2 Q. Now, sir, you were asked about a trial that you sat on relative to
3 Nenad Pavicevic, the person who was convicted of the killing of Agim
4 Hajrizi. I'd like to ask you a couple of things about that trial and that
5 judgement. Now, first of all, isn't it a fact that the findings of the
6 Trial Chamber were that the accused in that case intentionally and from
7 the base motivation of ethnic hatred killed the victims, that ethnic
8 hatred was the motivation of these persons?
9 A. I don't know if you have a copy of this judgement. There you
10 would see that the crime was qualified as a murder.
11 Q. Yes, I'm aware of that. And isn't it a fact that the motivation
12 for the murder was said to be the personal ethnic hatred of the alleged
13 perpetrator and the person that was convicted, in particular Nenad
15 A. The evidence brought us to this conclusion.
16 Q. Okay. And isn't it also a fact that the only evidence that was
17 actually considered by the Trial Chamber in reaching that determination
18 was the testimony of the widow of Agim Hajrizi, that in fact three other
19 witnesses who had been heard were dismissed as being uncredible?
20 A. That's why the judgement for Lazar Gligorovski was such that he
21 was released.
22 Q. And with respect to Mr. Gligorovski, he was released due to the
23 time he had served and not to being found completely innocent of all
24 charges brought against him in connection with this matter. Is that
1 A. That's correct. He was found guilty for illegal possession of
2 weapons. These weapons were found in his house when he was arrested. I
3 think he was in possession of an automatic rifle and some other kind of
4 weapons. I don't remember all of them. And of some grenades.
5 Q. Okay. And now both Mr. Gligorovski and Mr. Pavicevic were very
6 close neighbours of the Hajrizi family. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And Gligorovski in particular, he was an ethnic Albanian, not a
9 Serb, and he was not employed with the police in Kosovska Mitrovica. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Gligorovski was a Macedonian. He was not an ethnic Albanian.
12 Q. I apologise if I misspoke. I meant Macedonian. And is it also
13 correct that he was not a policeman but rather was a painter at the 30th
14 July medical centre and that furthermore the judgement against him states
15 that his neighbours knew him as a drunk who was liable to cause problems
16 and who fired his automatic rifle from time to time in the community?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. He was a citizen of Mitrovica. I knew him
18 from his childhood.
19 Q. And I want to ask you: Isn't it a fact that both Gligorovski and
20 Pavicevic had prior to the incident wherein Mr. Hajrizi was killed, both
21 had previously had problems with the Hajrizi family and had had
22 confrontations with them, in particular with Agim?
23 A. The reason was Agim's activity, what he was involved in.
24 Q. Okay. And the other -- I think the last question I have to ask
25 you about this and then I'll have probably two more questions on a last
2 The last question relating to this judgement that I want to ask
3 you is: Isn't it correct that the court heard no -- the court in that
4 case heard no direct or objective evidence linking the actions of these
5 neighbours to any superior authorities within Kosovska Mitrovica,
6 specifically the police of Kosovska Mitrovica?
7 A. First of all, all Mitrovica and the witnesses that we heard knew
8 that Nenad Pavicevic, Boban, and others involved were never members of the
9 police in the police station in Mitrovica. And we had evidence that on
10 the critical night they were uniformed and they perpetrated the tragedy
11 that you heard of.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now I have just two more questions, getting
13 back to the Sipolje village or settlement I think it is. Did you have
14 knowledge of attacks that occurred in April of 1999, specifically, attacks
15 that occurred on the 6th of April, the 14th of April, and the 17th of
16 April, 1999, in Sipolje wherein KLA armed combatants attacked and killed
17 several policemen in each incident? Do you have knowledge of those?
18 A. There was fighting in that part of Shipol, but there were these
19 sporadic fighting, very short. There were killings committed by both
20 sides. There were victims from both sides. However, the biggest tragedy
21 is that on the 14th of April, 26 innocent civilians, young people, were
22 executed at Kovac Street in the most brutal way.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, page 64, line 25 should
24 read: "And others involved were never members of the police in the police
25 station in Mitrovica earlier."
1 MR. IVETIC: Okay. I'm just trying to process the addendum to the
2 transcript that has just been made by the interpreter. Okay. I think I'm
3 happy with that.
4 Q. Now, let me ask you about -- first of all, you mentioned this
5 incident on the 14th of April. You did not witness -- you did not
6 eye-witness that, did you, the 26 young people who were killed at Kovac
7 Street? You did not witness that; is that correct?
8 A. No, I did not witness that, but as an investigative judge after
9 the war together with the ICC -- CCIU --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
11 MR. IVETIC:
12 Q. All I need to know is you did not eye-witness it. I have short
13 time and I have just one more question to ask you.
14 With respect to the general atmosphere in Mitrovica, as -- after
15 the OSCE left, did you have any -- did you have any knowledge of any
16 animosity or tensions between the various communities in Kosovska
17 Mitrovica, and I would remind you or remind you about the birthday
18 celebration that you had and the telephone calls that you talked about
19 receiving in your statement given to the OTP in August of 2001. Did you
20 evidence any tensions between the various ethnic communities in Mitrovica
21 after the OSCE withdrew and after the NATO bombs started to fall on
23 A. It was a very short time. I think it was my son's birthday on
24 that day, 21st of March. And it was on this day that the OSCE was
25 preparing to leave due to the possibility of NATO attacks on Serb forces.
1 From this time on -- before this time, I would say that there were no
2 conflicts between citizens, Serb and Albanian citizens; the conflicts were
3 between the Milosevic regime and the Albanian citizens.
4 Q. Okay. And just to conclude, the -- during the -- during the party
5 that you mentioned, you personally received some threats from a -- another
6 citizen over the phone. Is that correct? You'll have to answer yes or
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I thank you for the extra time, and I
11 have no further questions for this witness.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a date for that event?
13 MR. IVETIC: I believe he gave it as the 21st of March in his --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, it was the 21st --
15 MR. IVETIC: I'm relying on what the witness testified. Oh,
16 the -- actually, I do have one more question on that if it was the 21st.
17 Q. Did you -- did you report that incident to anyone in the police,
18 given that you state in your statement that you knew all of the senior
19 police officials very well in this city?
20 A. I didn't go to police officials, but I went in person to see him
21 the following day in the municipality.
22 Q. That's the person who you believe called you. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And -- and in fact he denied having called you. Is that correct?
25 A. When we reached the gate at the end of the conversation, he said
1 to me: I'm sorry, I must have made a mistake.
2 Q. All right.
3 A. -- was drunk.
4 MR. IVETIC: All right. No further questions for this witness.
5 Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 There will be re-examination, will there?
8 MS. KRAVETZ: I just have a couple of questions, Your Honour. I
9 don't know when you would like to break.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll break just now I think and we'll resume at
11 five minutes past 1.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz -- oh, sorry, no witness.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness,
16 could I bring a scheduling matter to your attention?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Could we deal with it when we finish the witness?
18 MR. HANNIS: Certainly.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Re-examination by Ms. Kravetz:
23 Q. Mr. Halimi, during your evidence you stated that you left upper
24 Zhabar to join the convoy you were stopped by two VJ soldiers. I would
25 like to know other than those two VJ soldiers, did you see any other VJ
1 soldiers when you were joining the convoy?
2 A. Yes. As I explained earlier, after we left the three cars there
3 and we continued on foot, on the right side of the road I saw the
4 paramilitaries, while when we got to the asphalt road which we called
5 Adriatic motorway, along the road, on both sides of the road there were
6 police units, regular police units. So the police was securing the road.
7 Q. I'm asking specifically about VJ soldiers, military, if you saw
8 any military other than the two that you described during your testimony.
9 A. I said that the other soldiers were in a frontal line. They were
10 lined up towards the upper part of Zhabar. There were lots of them. I
11 can't tell you how many there were.
12 Q. And as you travelled on the road to Albania, did you at any time
13 encounter any VJ soldiers or military soldiers?
14 A. Yes, there were soldiers along the road at the village of Runik in
15 the direction of Rakosh. On the left side of the road, I mean not on the
16 road itself, the asphalted part, there was this telephone landline, the
17 cables were there up to the village of Vitak. It's about 4 kilometres
18 long. And I saw there soldiers, reservists.
19 Q. In response to a question that you were put by my learned
20 colleague Mr. Ackerman during cross-examination, you stated that at the
21 check-points there were no atrocities committed by the VJ, only looting
22 and beatings. I think this is at 44 of your evidence today. Did you
23 personally observe VJ soldiers committing acts of looting as you were
24 travelling to Albania?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think that's a misstatement of
1 the -- of the evidence. I don't think he said that the VJ was involved in
2 lootings and beatings, so I think that question is a misstatement. I may
3 be wrong, but if he said it, I didn't hear it.
4 MS. KRAVETZ: I think the evidence of the witness was there was no
5 atrocities by the VJ there was only beatings and lootings. During
6 cross-examination he was asked about the beatings and I'm asking whether
7 he observed -- but there were looting and beating. It's at the bottom of
8 page 49.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Then he said it was paramilitaries that did that.
10 MS. KRAVETZ: He did in response to questions about the beatings.
11 I'm asking whether he was able to observe any VJ soldiers committing acts
12 of looting.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'll object that this isn't proper re-direct.
14 It's opening up a new area that should have been -- if she wanted to ask
15 about that she should have done it during direct.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: My silence shouldn't be interpreted as a lack of
17 interest; I'm just trying to get to grips with the evidence. Just give me
18 a moment. The answer was that there were no atrocities committed but
19 there was looting and beating. And the witness said he wasn't beaten.
20 And then he was asked: "You didn't see anyone being beaten, did you?"
21 And the answer was: "Where? Where did you see someone being
23 "At the entrance to Prizren.
24 "Beaten by whom?
25 "Paramilitaries." The answer was: "Paramilitaries they were. It
1 was a paramilitary unit with an Opel Calibra." There was no evidence at
2 the moment of any beatings by VJ.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: No, there isn't. He responded in a -- but I'm not
4 asking about the beatings. I'm asking in relation to what he said: But
5 there was looting.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think you better first of all find out if
7 the witness saw any -- personally saw any acts of looting.
8 MS. KRAVETZ: Okay, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Halimi, while you were travelling in the convoy on the road to
10 Albania, did you personally witness any acts of looting?
11 A. Yes, Madam Prosecutor. I explained this also in my earlier
12 statement. The first looting happened in Brabonic village. So you leave
13 Shipol, Lushta, and then Brabonic. There was a check-point there. The
14 police was manning that check-point while on both sides of the road you
15 could see the regular army. I was at the end of the column, of the
16 convoy, and the distance between the check-point to where I was was about
17 1 kilometre or maybe more. I did not see them personally, who they beat
18 up or who they looted --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, please, we are only interested in
20 looting, number one, not beating. That was very clear. And secondly, we
21 want to know what you saw personally. Now, are you saying you didn't see
22 any act of looting yourself?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not there, no, I didn't see any.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, did you see any act of looting anywhere?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the second --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, tell us about that then.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The place where I saw with my
3 own eyes is called Perroni i Keq. It's the village of Klina in Skenderaj
4 on the road to Peje. There is a steep road there, about 700 metres. I
5 saw that the convoy was stopped. We stopped as well. Soldiers got down
6 off their vehicles on the left side of the road, on the Peje side of the
7 road, and they pointed the guns into the cars and they were saying:
8 Money, gold.
9 MS. KRAVETZ:
10 Q. What happened in this incident after they approached you?
11 A. I saw that they got lots of money there and lots of valuables, and
12 then they left.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Halimi.
14 A. The last four cars were not looted. We were in the end. We were
15 not looted. I was not looted by anyone.
16 Q. Now, during cross-examination you were asked about Nenad
17 Pavicevic, and I want to clarify something with you. When -- at the time
18 when Mr. Agim Hajrizi was murdered, was Nenad Pavicevic a member of the
19 police force in Mitrovica?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. You also spoke about a person called Boban. Do you know -- excuse
22 me. Do you know the last name of this person that you referred to as
23 Boban in your -- during cross-examination?
24 A. Maybe I'll remember later. I can't recall the name now. I
25 remember him from his childhood as well, from when he was 12 years old.
1 He has a big body like me. He's sturdy.
2 Q. I'll stop you there. Thank you very much.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Ms. Kravetz.
5 Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: May I ask a question?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: About what?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Based on this new -- new testimony about the
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I am going to allow you to, but I don't
11 consider it actually to be new testimony. You raised the issue by
12 reference to a statement, and the witness gave an answer about looting and
13 beating. And it seems perfectly reasonable for the Prosecution to follow
14 that up; however, to avoid any sense of injustice I will allow you to ask
15 something else about it.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, thank you, Your Honour. I may regret it but
17 I'll ask it.
18 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
19 Q. Witness, you just told us that soldiers got down off their
20 vehicles on the left side of the road, pointed their guns into the cars
21 and were saying: Money, gold. Can you describe these soldiers for us,
22 please? What did they look like?
23 A. They were wearing army clothes, regular army clothes, the uniforms
24 that I described earlier.
25 Q. Did you see any insignia on any of the uniforms?
1 A. Yes, yes. We could see them.
2 Q. And the insignia was what? Describe it.
3 A. It was the same insignia I described earlier.
4 Q. Describe it now.
5 A. I can draw it for you. There was this arched badge or patch and
6 the letters on that were Vojska Jugoslavija and there was the white eagle
7 on the arm. The symbol or the -- the symbol on the Serbian flag, that's
8 the one.
9 Q. What age were these people?
10 A. They were young, up to 25 or 26 years old, not older than that.
11 Q. Thank you. That's all I have.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Halimi, that completes your evidence. Thank
15 you for coming again to the Tribunal to give evidence here. You're now
16 free to leave.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for inviting me.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, your scheduling issue or is Ms. Kravetz
20 going to deal with it?
21 MS. KRAVETZ: Well, before dealing with that and calling the next
22 witness there are two documents I would like to tender from the bar table
23 in connection with this witness's testimony. They are P2 -- 360 which is
24 request for assistance number 1097 and P 02335 page 1 which is a response
25 to that request for assistance. I would like to indicate that the -- this
1 request for assistance and the response deals with -- with four
2 individuals. One of them was mentioned during the testimony of this
3 witness; the other three were mentioned during the testimony of a previous
4 witness who testified on events dealing with the municipality of
5 Mitrovica, that was Mrs. Afrodita Hajrizi.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
7 MR. IVETIC: I believe that's a document that I had objected to
8 previously with respect to other witnesses. I would just repeat the
9 same -- the same objection relative to the -- relative to whether in fact
10 it can be confirmed that the same individuals are the ones that are listed
11 and they're given the fairly common first and last names.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it a document which was raised with us before?
13 MS. KRAVETZ: It is the same document. The document -- the
14 response for -- of the request for assistance is the same document, but we
15 have the individuals that -- or the part that relates to Kosovska
16 Mitrovica is on page 1 of this document. It is a response to the ICTY
17 request for assistance number 1097.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we see P 2335 then, please? Can you make it
19 slightly bigger? Yeah, and just come up to the names.
20 Now, you seek to present this in what respect? Don't move it,
21 please, let me still see it? Thank you.
22 MS. KRAVETZ: I seek to tender this from the bar table in
23 connection with the testimony of this witness and Mrs. Afrodita Hajrizi.
24 And Mrs. Afrodita Hajrizi mentioned all four individuals that are listed
25 in this document, in this response to a request for assistance. Mr.
1 Halimi referred to the first individual who's mentioned here.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But Mr. Ivetic says he objected to this document
3 before. Was an attempt made to present this before, this response?
4 MS. KRAVETZ: Not this response. I think Mr. Ivetic is referring
5 to the response that was tendered in relation to Mala Krusa. Is that
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
8 Well, Mr. Ivetic, what's your objection to this one?
9 MR. IVETIC: Well, essentially, Your Honour, it's the same
10 document and as far as I can tell it was obtained by the same means.
11 There is no information --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: This is a separate response. This is a response
13 relating to four people. I don't think I've seen this before.
14 MR. IVETIC: It's page 1 of the same one that we objected to
15 previously. The one we objected to previously is page 6 of the same
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, right.
18 MR. IVETIC: Essentially, Your Honour, this information does not
19 permit to us identify the persons being the exact same person because the
20 last names are identical and it doesn't state what period of time the
21 person who's identified here was in the position that he's in. So in that
22 regards, it's -- it's a very open question as to what this provides us in
23 terms of probative value. I don't know what -- to what extent the other
24 names were mentioned by the other witness since I was preparing another
25 witness and was not in the courtroom during the testimony of Ms. Hajrizi,
1 but I think given the problems that we saw with the Mala Krusa response
2 that was conducted in the same manner, I think the accuracy and the -- and
3 the probative value of this information is likewise at issue without
4 any -- without further information.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we see the top of this document, please? Stop
6 there. Thank you. And now can we see P260, is it, the request?
7 MS. KRAVETZ: 2360.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: 2360, thank you.
9 No date's given for these -- for the period that you seek
10 information about.
11 MS. KRAVETZ: No, there isn't, Your Honour. We just indicated the
12 names of the persons that we were seeking information about. This is a
13 standard request for assistance sent by the Office of the Prosecution, and
14 the other replies that were sent, one of them, the one from Mala Krusa,
15 which has already been admitted into evidence, was a response to an
16 identical request for assistance. These were all sent out at the same
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we consider that these documents should be
21 admitted. The question of weight is quite another matter in view of the
22 limited amount of information that they contain, but it's information
23 which on the face of it is reliable and is information which may have
24 probative value when taken along with other details from the evidence of
1 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour. That was all I had to deal
2 with. I believe Mr. Hannis wants to address the Court.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, Mr. Hannis, I know informally we've been
4 inquiring about changing tomorrow's arrangement so that we sit in the
5 morning. I also know that your own arrangements may be changing so far as
6 witnesses are concerned. So could you explain that to us, please.
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, the next witness scheduled was Mr.
8 Dashi. The following witness is Veton Surroi who is a Kosovo Albanian
9 politician. He's also a member of a delegation involved in international
10 negotiations. We have a scheduling problem with him. He is here. We
11 anticipated putting him on tomorrow, but Wednesday he has to be out of the
12 country for some previously scheduled event. I would propose to call him
13 out of order and put him on first thing tomorrow whatever time we start
14 and try and finish him. I intend to reduce my time on direct examination
15 to perhaps 15 minutes or so and let the Defence have him for cross and
16 remaining time in the session.
17 In the event we aren't able to finish him tomorrow, Your Honour, I
18 discussed with him a day he might be able to return to complete
19 cross-examination and that would be the 25th of October is his next most
20 readily-available date.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
22 Now, if the Chamber were to sit tomorrow morning instead of
23 tomorrow afternoon, in view of this scheduling change, would that cause
24 difficulty for the Defence in preparation for cross-examination of Mr.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Definitely, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So you would not wish us to do that?
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, we were expecting that we are sitting in the
4 afternoon. Mr. Hannis informed us that he intends to change the order of
5 the witnesses and we said: Yes, but anticipating that it's the afternoon
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
8 Well, we will sit tomorrow afternoon in the circumstances --
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We have no option, I think.
11 So the next witness now, Mr. Scully, is it?
12 MR. SCULLY: Your Honour, the next witness is Muharrem Dashi.
13 Given the time of the day, I probably won't make it much through his name.
14 You want to proceed with --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
16 MR. SCULLY: All right. Mr. Dashi is a live witness. His
17 evidence is relevant to Kacanik, specifically paragraphs 72(k), with the
18 associated Schedule K, 73, 75(k), and 77.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Dashi.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you please make the solemn declaration to
24 tell the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be placed
25 before you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
4 Now, Mr. Dashi, you will be asked questions by a number of counsel
5 representing the different parties involved in this case, and the first
6 counsel to ask questions of you will be for the Prosecution, and that is
7 Mr. Scully.
8 Mr. Scully.
9 MR. SCULLY: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: MUHARREM DASHI
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Scully:
13 Q. Mr. Dashi, could you state your name and spell your last name for
14 the record.
15 A. My name is Muharrem Dashi.
16 Q. And where were you born, Mr. Dashi?
17 A. In Stagov, Stagov village, Kacanik municipality.
18 Q. And how long did you live in the village?
19 A. All my life. I still live there.
20 Q. Were you educated in Stagovo village?
21 A. I completed primary school in Stagov, secondary school in Kacanik,
22 and faculty in Pristina.
23 Q. And up until 1999, what was your occupation?
24 A. I was partly a teacher. I also worked in a private enterprise
25 when I could no longer do my job as a teacher.
1 Q. And in 1999, what was your family status?
2 A. I was married. Now I have four children.
3 Q. Directing your attention to May of 1999, at the beginning of that
4 month, how many people were living in Stagovo village?
5 A. Stagov village, according to statistics that was carried out by me
6 and my colleagues, it had 182 households, about 1.600 inhabitants.
7 Q. And in May of 1999, in addition to the people who regularly lived
8 there, were there more people temporarily in the village?
9 A. Yes. In May of 1999, Stagov was loaded with people.
10 Approximately, it had about 3.000 inhabitants because of the citizens who
11 came from other parts. There is a train station there and people were
12 coming to Stagov due to the difficult situation.
13 Q. If you know, where did those people generally come from?
14 A. These people were coming from the surrounding villages, Kovacevc
15 Nik, Dubrava, and so forth.
16 Q. And you said they came to Stagov due to the difficult situation.
17 What situation are you referring to?
18 A. People were being persecuted everywhere. They could not move
19 because the main road was blocked. It was difficult for the people to get
20 food and also there was this repression that was exercised on them all the
22 Q. In the early part of 1999, was there a KLA presence in Stagov
24 A. In 1999 there was no KLA presence.
25 Q. As the year went on, by May 1999, was there a KLA unit in Stagov
2 A. Due to the pressure and considering the fact that a civilian and a
3 person who carries a gun has -- have the same fate, the theory was that it
4 is better to have a gun than be massacred. So a unit was formed. They
5 were kind of defending the population from this repression.
6 Q. If you know, when specifically was that unit formed?
7 A. About ten days before the offensive in Stagov.
8 Q. Is that in the early part of May 1999?
9 A. Yes. Before the offensive. The offensive occurred on the 21st of
10 May, so ten days before this offensive people got weapons. I don't know
11 exactly how, but in different manners they got weapons and got ready to
12 protect the population as much as possible.
13 Q. How many people were in this unit that formed in May 1999?
14 A. Even in the beginnings and in the end there were not more than 11
15 or 12 I would say.
16 Q. How were these people armed?
17 A. They had automatic rifles, including Kalashnikovs and V-500. I
18 don't know exactly the makes, but these were the weapons.
19 Q. What is a V-500?
20 A. It is kind of a hand-held weapon, and you shoot shells from it.
21 Q. How many of these hand-held weapons did this unit have?
22 A. Three.
23 Q. Did they have any automatic machine-gun-type weapons?
24 A. They had an automatic rifle and one machine-gun and one V-500.
25 Now I don't know how to explain it exactly.
1 Q. To your knowledge, was that the extent of this unit's armament?
2 A. This was all.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Scully, a moment ago we got the answer that
4 there -- that they had three of these V-500s and now we have the answer
5 that it was one. Can we clarify that?
6 MR. SCULLY:
7 Q. How many V-500 weapons did this unit have?
8 A. One V-500 and three shells. One V-500 and three shells. I don't
9 know how else to explain it.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that does explain it. Thank you.
11 MR. SCULLY: Thank you.
12 Q. If you know, was this unit that formed in Stagov in May 1999 in
13 communication with other parts of the KLA?
14 A. I don't have knowledge about that.
15 Q. Besides this unit in Stagov village, was there a KLA presence in
16 the surrounding area?
17 A. No, absolutely not.
18 Q. What was the name of the unit that was based in Stagov village?
19 A. The Stagov unit was formed spontaneously and it didn't have a
20 name, while the 162 Brigade of the KLA Adem Bajrami was active in Kacanik
21 municipality but in the peripheral areas. So it was later called Agim
23 Q. Was this 162nd Brigade ever present in Stagov village itself?
24 A. No. It was impossible.
25 Q. Why was it impossible?
1 A. I think we should go into details to explain this. Stagov is
2 neighboured by the main road and the railroad. The main road was blocked
3 by the Serb forces; therefore, there was no possibility for movement of
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Scully, I think we'll have to stop there
6 or at the next convenient moment.
7 MR. SCULLY: This is fine, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Dashi, we have to stop there I'm afraid because
9 another case comes into this court at 2.15. We've had our allotted time
10 for the day. You will, therefore, have to return to continue and complete
11 your evidence. That will be on Wednesday. So you should come back to
12 give evidence at 9.00 on Wednesday morning, back here ready to resume your
13 evidence at 9.00. Meanwhile, because you're already a witness in the
14 witness box, you must not discuss with anyone at all any part of your
15 evidence, either the evidence you've already given or the evidence you may
16 give. Until your evidence is completed now, that subject is off limits
17 for you. You can talk about anything else you wish with anyone else you
18 wish, but you must not discuss your evidence. So we'll see you again on
19 Wednesday morning. You may now leave the courtroom.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The court will now adjourn until 2.15 tomorrow.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of
24 October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.