1 Tuesday, 26 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I continue where I left off,
8 I should like to say the following: It is quite clear that the only means
9 that I have at my disposal is a telephone and even that telephone,
10 yesterday afternoon, wasn't working. But that's just a small detail.
11 I don't think we can talk about any kind of equality of arms
12 between the parties or any kind of trial, even before an illegal Tribunal
13 of this kind, when there is absolutely no equality of arms, when one party
14 only has the right to a telephone, whereas the other side has all the
15 strength and power and everything here to construct these false
16 accusations and indictments, and that is why I once again ask you to set
17 me free, because I have the right to equality, to an equality of arms and
18 to a defence.
19 You know that the international pact on human and political rights
20 and the European Conventions --
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm -- Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to
22 interrupt you for this reason: There is a witness here, and we're in the
23 middle of his examination. If we're in the middle of an examination of
24 the witness, it's right to finish that and then, at an appropriate time,
25 to deal with administrative matters.
1 Now, the Prosecution, in this case, as I understand it, have some
2 matters which they wish to raise.
3 Mr. Nice, is that right?
4 MR. NICE: Certainly. I discussed it with --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
6 MR. NICE: Yes, there are some matters we wish to raise. I've
7 discussed it with your legal officer just shortly this morning before you
8 came in. It would be more convenient to be dealt with perhaps tomorrow
9 than today, not least because a motion dealing with 92 bis is in the final
10 stages of preparation and will be served, I hope, by lunchtime today. But
11 it's obviously a matter that the Chamber, the amici, and the accused may
12 wish to consider, and for other reasons tomorrow will be more convenient
13 than today, although today is possible if that's what the Chamber would
15 JUDGE MAY: Would it be convenient to deal with it after the next
16 witness? Rather than fixing a time to finish another witness and then
17 deal with those matters?
18 MR. NICE: Certainly.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 Mr. Milosevic, we will deal with administrative matters - and this
21 will be the rule throughout the trial - at appropriate times. So what
22 we'll do is we'll hear your applications after the next witness. If there
23 are urgent matters, of course, you can raise them as you have done in the
24 past, but on the whole, we should try and deal with the witnesses'
25 evidence once they've started and finish it before we break it off. So if
1 you will finish your cross-examination now, and we'll deal with the other
2 matters tomorrow.
3 WITNESS: AGRON BERISHA [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
6 Q. [Interpretation] Is your cousin, your uncle's relative Naim
7 Berisha? Is that his name?
8 A. I am Agron Berisha, and I said at the start of my testimony that
9 Naim Berisha is a close cousin, if we are talking about Naim Berisha, the
10 doctor, who at the moment is living and working in Germany and who has
11 been there for the last seven or eight years.
12 Q. I'm talking about the Naim Berisha who was the head of the
13 terrorist group of the KLA, who is your cousin on your uncle's side.
14 A. I must say that the accused is confusing the Naims who have lived
15 in Suhareke. The Naim Berisha who I mentioned is my uncle's son and lives
16 in Germany and is a doctor by profession.
17 JUDGE MAY: Are you related to the Naim Berisha who it is said is
18 connected to the KLA?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean he's connected with the
20 KLA now or was connected with the KLA?
21 JUDGE MAY: Do you know a Naim Berisha connected with the KLA at
22 any time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. My cousin, the doctor, Naim
24 Berisha, who is away, I said the truth. He is a doctor and works in
25 Germany. I also knew another Naim Berisha who died in the war. He was a
1 distant cousin of mine, and I didn't have any connection with him. I
2 didn't know him personally. I only knew him as a face, and I know very
3 little about him.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. That's the answer.
5 THE ACCUSED [Interpretation] All right. We've heard answers like
6 this. One of the previous witnesses said that he didn't even know his own
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So your cousin, this man Naim Berisha, do you happen to know that
10 the killed policeman, Vranovci, whom I mentioned yesterday, and he was
11 also an Albanian, was an uncle of his on his mother's side?
12 A. I don't know anything about these things that the accused is
13 talking about.
14 Q. Do you know that this man Naim Berisha, whom you say is a distant
15 cousin, killed that uncle of his by the name of Vranovci?
16 A. I said that Naim Berisha was a distant cousin of mine. There are
17 about 150 Berisha families in Suhareke. I do not have close ties of blood
18 with the person you have mentioned and I don't know anything about him
19 killing an uncle of his.
20 Q. That is usually the state of affairs amongst you, that you have no
21 connections. You talked about a cousin who was killed at a petrol station
22 too. Did you know that that particular petrol station in your town was
23 full of weapons and ammunition belonging to the KLA?
24 A. The cousin about whom I spoke was Jashar Berisha, and he too was a
25 distant cousin of mine. Jashar, the late Jashar, was not killed; he
1 disappeared. He was taken on the 26th of March 1999 by people whom I
2 don't know. He was taken several hours after the events in the pizzeria
3 belonging to the Shala family, in which the Serbian police killed women,
4 men, children, in the cruelest fashion, and unborn children too.
5 JUDGE MAY: You were asked about the petrol station. It's
6 suggested that it was full of weapons and ammunition belonging to the
7 KLA. That is the suggestion which is made. Do you know anything about
8 that? If you don't, Mr. Berisha, simply say "No."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. How, then, do you know how the people were killed in the cafe,
12 when you weren't there either?
13 A. In my testimony, I explained very well. I didn't see these
14 murders. These murders were related to me by people who were witness, who
15 were eyewitnesses of this horror on that day.
16 Q. That means that you are testifying to things that you have just
17 heard about from others; is that right?
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, he said that in his evidence. He
19 said: I didn't see this, but I was told about it by survivors. Now, we
20 understand that. We understand that, and this doesn't call for comment.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you claim yesterday that you watched somebody in front of a
23 bus station killing a man or, rather, a man and a woman, a male and female
25 A. No, it's not right that I said that. I said that several minutes
1 after I saw Nexhmedin Berisha wounded, seriously wounded and lying on the
2 ground, and his wife, pregnant wife Lirie dragging him across the ground
3 and putting him behind a shop in behind the shopping centre known as
4 Malesia Reisen, a few minutes later, I saw a policeman looking at the
5 ground and following some traces on the ground, and I'm supposing that he
6 was following the bloodstains of the wounded Nexhmedin.
7 Q. The policeman you saw, you saw him in front of the bus station.
8 That's what you said; is that right?
9 A. He was in the bus station, and the police came out of a small door
10 in the fence behind the bus station, following, it appears, the
11 bloodstains of the wounded Nexhmedin.
12 Q. And you saw that, did you?
13 A. I saw the policeman. I saw him watching the ground and walking.
14 Q. I received information yesterday, while the phone was still
15 working, that between your house and the bus station there is a building,
16 Kosovovino, belonging to the Kosovovino company, and that from where you
17 were, you couldn't see the bus station at all because of this building in
18 between. Is that true or not?
19 A. It is not true. The high building from which we're talking is
20 about 200 or 300 metres from my house.
21 Q. You claim, therefore, that from your house you saw the policeman
22 at the bus station looking for that cousin of yours who was wounded; is
23 that right? Is that what you're saying?
24 A. I said that the policeman was looking at the ground. And I
25 supposed that he had found these traces of blood from the wounded
1 Nexhmedin and was walking them -- walking along them. I am not sure what
2 he was looking for or who he was looking for, and I only saw -- said what
3 I had seen.
4 Q. Everything that you saw -- the only thing that you saw was the
5 policeman walking and looking at the ground at the bus station; is that
7 A. Not in the bus station. I said that he came out of the little
8 door in the fence round the bus station, and in the place where I had seen
9 the wounded Nexhmedin, he started to look at the ground and to walk,
10 looking at the ground. And he went in the direction in which the wounded
11 Nexhmedin was dragged by his wife.
12 Q. How far from your house and from where you were watching is it to
13 the bus station?
14 A. Seventy to 80 metres.
15 Q. And it is on the basis of you seeing the policeman that you
16 concluded that he was looking for your cousin; is that it?
17 A. I said that I supposed that he was following the traces of the
18 blood of the wounded Nexhmedin.
19 Q. Very well. You are testifying on the basis of your assumptions.
20 Do you happen to know -- do you know --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honours, a moment.
22 I am not -- I am not here to make suppositions or to give my own views. I
23 have come here to testify to what I saw with my own eyes. I saw how my
24 cousins were killed in the most cruel fashion by the police, and I saw
25 this event by -- with my own eyes, and I'm not going to deal with
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Berisha, we understand that. As you'll
3 appreciate, the accused is entitled to ask you questions about your
4 evidence. If they're not proper or they're in the form of comment, we
5 will not require you to answer.
6 It may assist matters -- it's a matter for you but it may assist
7 matters if you answer the questions shortly - "Yes" and "No" are sometimes
8 sufficient - and we might be able to get on more quickly in that way.
9 Mr. Milosevic, this is a chance for asking questions, as you'll
10 appreciate, not for commenting on the witness's evidence.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume that I am asking the
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but not making comments.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you know how many policemen were killed before the aggression
16 in the environs of Suva Reka?
17 A. Before which aggression?
18 Q. Before the NATO aggression, before the 24th of March, in fact.
19 A. I would call the NATO aggression an attack by NATO on the former
20 Yugoslavia. It was not aggression.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Don't worry about that. Can you just answer the
22 question whether you know how many policemen were killed before the 24th
23 of March.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you know about an event when, on the 29th of April, 1998, a
2 person was killed? His name was Sasa Jovic, and he was a policeman, and
3 he was killed at Dulje, which is very close to you.
4 A. The village of Dulje is not far from Suhareke. It's about nine
5 kilometres away. I don't know about this event, because at this time, on
6 29th of April, 1998, I was studying.
7 Q. And the 17th of June, 1998, what about that, when, at the same
8 spot, a policeman was killed, another one? His name was Sladjan Niric.
9 Do you know anything about that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you hear anything about it?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know about another event that took place on the 24th of
14 June, 1998, in the village of Birac? That's three kilometres away from
15 Suva Reka.
16 A. No.
17 Q. Well, I haven't asked you what the incident was yet.
18 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't know about any incident that day. Yes,
19 let's move on.
20 When was it you said you got back, Mr. Berisha, to Suva Reka, from
21 your studies?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I returned the day after graduating
23 to Suhareke. I graduated on the 25th, so I returned home on the 26th of
24 June, 1998.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Therefore, you heard nothing about the incident in which seven
2 people were killed, including a child, only three kilometres away from
3 Suva Reka, one day prior to your arrival in Suva Reka; is that right?
4 A. I don't know anything about the event you are talking about.
5 Q. And do you know about another incident when, at Dulje, Dragan
6 Tomasevic, Milos Stevanovic, and Goran Boskovic were killed, on the 8th of
7 January, 1999? At that time, you were practicing as a doctor in Suva
9 A. I was working at that time in Suhareke, but I hadn't heard about
10 the incident you're talking about.
11 Q. Did you hear about an incident in Sematista, nearby Suva Reka,
12 when, again, on the 28th of March this time, 1999, Ivica Spasic was
13 killed? He was also a policeman.
14 A. On the 28th of March, I was with my aunt in Prizren. This was the
15 time when I was forced to flee my home, and I stayed with my aunt for four
16 days. So it was impossible for me to find out about what was happening in
17 Suhareke, and still more in the village of Sematista.
18 Q. I assume you know nothing again about the killing of seven
19 policemen in Suva Reka at the beginning of April, or rather, in April.
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we dealt with that yesterday. He was in
21 Albania in April, and said, when he was asked about events then, that he
22 knew nothing about them.
23 Is that right, Mr. Berisha?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You said yesterday that you saw nothing of the bombing; is that
2 right, or heard it either?
3 A. I said that after the beginning of the NATO attack, I didn't stay
4 long in Kosova. In all, I spent three days in my home and four days with
5 my aunt in Prizren. During this time, I didn't see anything of these
7 Q. That's why I'm asking you. That's precisely why I'm asking you,
8 because on the 24th of March, that is to say, on the first day, the
9 repeater station Bukova Lala was bombed, near Suva Reka, and the whole of
10 Suva Reka vibrated from that bombing. Is it possible that you could have
11 heard nothing of that?
12 A. The place about which you're talking, Bukova Lala, is a long way
13 from Suhareke, deep in the hills, and above the village of Budakov. I
14 didn't hear any detonation or thunder or great noise on that night.
15 Q. How do you know it was during the night?
16 A. Well, the bombings, the NATO bombings, started at 8.00 on the
17 evening of 24th of March, 1999.
18 Q. And do you know about a residential block near the market in Suva
19 Reka, which is 500 metres from your own house, and was hit by a bomb?
20 A. My house is near the police station, near the bus station, and the
21 place about which you're talking is in an entirely different part of the
22 town of the Suhareke.
23 Q. Suva Reka is a small town. I suppose that when a bomb hits a
24 small area of a small town, the whole town knows about this, and you're
25 claiming that you know nothing of it. Well, just go ahead and say you
1 don't know anything about it and we'll continue.
2 A. I need not answer this comment. This is not questions that you're
3 putting to me.
4 JUDGE MAY: When is it alleged that the bomb hit the residential
5 block near the market? What date is that, Mr. Milosevic?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At the very beginning of the
7 bombing. I don't have the exact date. My phone didn't work yesterday
8 afternoon, so I couldn't find this out.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes. Can we move on, please?
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know about the KLA attacks prior to the beginning of the
12 aggression in the villages around Suva Reka, Rektina [phoen], three
13 kilometres; Musatiste, six kilometres; Budakovo, five kilometres, Vranic,
14 seven kilometres? So all of these villages around Suva Reka where the KLA
15 attacks took place, do you know anything about these attacks?
16 A. No.
17 Q. But you know everything about the houses being searched when they
18 were looking for weapons after these attacks. As far as I understood, you
19 only know about the searches; is that right?
20 JUDGE MAY: That's a matter for comment, Mr. Milosevic, which you
21 can make to us in due course.
22 Yes. No need to answer that.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I will now refer only to the time when you were in Suva Reka,
1 which means starting with the 23rd of August, 1998, until the beginning of
2 the aggression on the 24th of March.
3 Do you know that 15 Albanian civilians were killed by the KLA?
4 A. I have no knowledge of such an event you are talking about.
5 Q. This all took place in the area of Suva Reka where you resided.
6 A. During that time, I went from my home to my job and back home.
7 All the time I was in Suhareke, I never went to the outskirts of the
8 town. I said right at the outset I didn't see any soldiers of a KLA or
9 any activity conducted by KLA. What occurred in the villages, I don't
10 know, because I haven't been to those villages myself.
11 Q. Do you know that at the end of May in 1998 until the end of June
12 of 1998, Albanian doctors who worked in Belgrade all left Belgrade en
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. You didn't hear anything of it, did you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. I was told that there was even a letter by the director of your
18 clinic, stating that Albanian doctors at that time had left all together
19 the clinic and went back to Kosovo. This took place in May and June of
21 A. Apparently you have been misinformed.
22 Q. You said that together with you doing the residential training,
23 there were several Albanians. Did you remain? Did you remain at the
24 clinic after they left?
25 A. I stayed there during all the month of June until the date was up
1 for me to pass the test of graduation, which I took on the 25th of June.
2 One week after me, Flora Belegu was also graduated.
3 Q. What about the rest of them? Did they remain after you at the
5 A. In June, the lessons ended. The academic year ended. So most of
6 them left to go home on vacation.
7 Q. Very well. Do you remember when in March, prior to the NATO
8 aggression, the KLA announced mobilisation?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Very well. Do you know about the monastery in Musatiste, a
11 Serbian monastery from the thirteenth century?
12 A. I heard that there is a Serb monastery in Musatiste village. I
13 don't think that it dates to the thirteenth century. I have never seen --
14 JUDGE MAY: You needn't worry about that.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do you know that it was burnt down?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Very well. Do you know how many people were killed in the Suva
19 Reka environs? Perhaps you learned of this later, upon your return. So
20 how many people were killed prior to June of 1999?
21 A. When I returned from Albania, which was on 28th of June, 1999, I
22 found Suhareke destroyed and ruined. In the town of Suhareke, I saw about
23 50 per cent of the houses burnt down. Of the 50 villages of Suhareke, 49
24 were burned. Each and every house of them was burned down. I heard that
25 during this war, Suhareke was deprived of 500 of its dear inhabitants.
1 Q. Do you know about the facts concerning how many people were killed
2 by the KLA in that area, since you know that a lot of people had been
3 killed there? Do you know the figures? Do you know that, according to
4 the records, 72 people had been killed by the KLA? This is what was
5 recorded, and there are a lot of stories going about this as well. Out of
6 these 72 people, 19 were Albanians.
7 A. No, I don't know.
8 Q. All right. I'm not going to ask you anything about these KLA
9 crimes, because it is obvious that you know nothing of this, especially as
10 far as the bombings are concerned. Forty per cent of the bombings took
11 place in Kosovo, and Kosovo represents ten per cent of the entire
12 territory of Yugoslavia, which means that the majority of bombings took
13 place in Kosovo, and you know nothing about this. This is obviously clear
14 from what you stated.
15 Did you go to Prizren after the bombing?
16 JUDGE MAY: I think he dealt with that yesterday, that --
17 Help us, Mr. Berisha. Did you see any bombing in Prizren?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean NATO bombing, sir?
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You said that before the war, the residents in Suva Reka were
23 mistreated and they seldom went out into the streets, and then after that,
24 you said that the policemen confiscated the car of your friend, Fatani,
25 but you also said that it was taken from him for several days. How many
1 days later did they return the car to him?
2 A. He was not my friend; he was a cousin of mine, a close cousin of
3 mine. He was killed on the 26th by the Serbian police and didn't have the
4 good fortune to have his car back. The car remained at the police station
5 in Suhareke. When I went to Albania, I saw the car there. I don't know
6 what happened afterwards.
7 Q. You said you went into town every day; is that right?
8 A. I went to work every day.
9 Q. Did anybody mistreat you, since you went into town every day?
10 A. I went to work every day, very afraid, in fact, but I was not
11 mistreated. I already spoke about my mistreatment which happened on the
12 26th of -- 27th of June, when I was returning from Belgrade. 26th, I'm
14 Q. This cousin of yours, Fatani, did he belong to the family who had
15 a gas station, the Fatani family who had a gas station in the village of
17 A. His name was Faton, and he didn't have any gas station. He was
18 not the owner of any gas stations. He was an unemployed person.
19 Q. I asked you because this gas station was hit by the NATO bomb,
20 which caused fire in the village. You said that from the police station,
21 they shot towards your house. However, you said that nobody was hurt and
22 that in fact the policeman was simply demonstrating how far he could
23 shoot. Did you see him doing that, showing how far he could shoot, or was
24 there perhaps some other reason behind the shooting?
25 A. I didn't say that they fired at my home, someone fired at my
2 Q. Either toward your house or toward the area near your house, you
3 said that a bullet went nearby. I think you said through the wall or
4 through the window.
5 A. Yes. I said that in the summer of 1998, someone fired at Ahmet
6 Berisha in his home. The bullet entered his window and hit the back part
7 of his room, the back wall of his room.
8 Q. You said that it was the policemen who did the shooting.
9 A. I went on the next day and saw with my own eyes the hole from
10 where the bullet entered and from where it left. I saw the trajectory of
11 the bullet, which showed that it came from the police station in
13 Q. And how far is the Suva Reka police station?
14 A. From where?
15 Q. From this area that was hit by this bullet that you just
17 A. About 100 metres.
18 Q. So that means that from every -- this bullet could have been shot
19 from any point within the 100-metre diameter around it. Is it so or not,
20 since you obviously very professionally concluded that this was the fact,
21 this was the case?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think this is not a question. It
23 is a comment by the accused.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Did you see a policeman shoot at the house of your relative?
1 A. No, I didn't. It was evening.
2 JUDGE MAY: I think we've -- Mr. Milosevic, I think we've
3 exhausted this topic. Can we move on, please?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I think this case is obvious.
5 We can continue.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Well, let me put this question in general terms. Was anybody shot
8 at in those days prior to the aggression? Was anybody shot at? Was
9 anybody hit by a bullet in Suva Reka, a bullet shot by the police?
10 A. Yes. I remember well an event which occurred in Suhareke. It was
11 the summer of 1998. That day, about ten persons were killed in the centre
12 of Suhareke. First a worker, a Serbian worker, was killed, who worked in
13 a state-owned shop in the centre of Suhareke. Nobody knew who killed
14 him. I don't know his name, but I know that he was from Sopi village.
15 Afterwards, the police killed eight, up to nine civilians in the
16 streets and houses of that part of the neighbourhood in Suhareke. I
17 remember this event.
18 Q. So you saw it? You saw this event?
19 A. No. I didn't see it myself because, at that time, I was working.
20 The work where I worked was on the second floor of the hospital of
21 Suhareke. I was with my patients and my nurses who were all very scared
22 when we saw the dead Serb person brought to the clinic, and there was a
23 lot of upheaval on the ground floor. I remember that we heard some fire
24 shots on the ground floor of the clinic. We were really very scared. We
25 closed the door of our ward and waited there for everything to boil down,
1 to calm down.
2 Q. Who fired on the ground floor of the hospital?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Didn't you inquire afterwards?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. When the situation calmed down, didn't you inquire about who was
7 shooting on the ground floor?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was it perhaps an attack of the KLA? I'm talking about this event
10 when this Serb got killed and when they fired at the policeman, this event
11 from the summer of 1998.
12 A. I said he was killed by unknown persons. We never learned who
13 killed him. They were never discovered. He was a civilian. And I feel
14 pains when I see civilians killed irrespective of what ethnicity they
15 belong to.
16 Q. But from my -- from what I gathered, you did not regret the
17 killing of the director of your health centre, Mr. Vuksanovic. Yesterday,
18 you said you didn't feel bad about his death because he was not a good
20 JUDGE MAY: We've already gone over that. We're not going back to
22 Now, Mr. Milosevic, have you got anything else for this witness?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I certainly do.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will expect you to bring the
25 cross-examination to a close fairly soon.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I expect that you will take
2 an unbiased stance because I have a right to conduct my cross-examination.
3 JUDGE MAY: You have a right to conduct your cross-examination,
4 but we also have a duty to ensure that this trial is concluded
5 expeditiously, and that we will do. Now, you have a right to put your
6 case to the witness. You have a duty to do so. But we note that there's
7 a fair amount of repetition in what you've put and a fair amount of
8 comment. So could you kindly ensure that these -- these matters are dealt
9 with as quickly as possible.
10 Now, let's get on with this and finish this cross-examination.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. When asked whether you heard about some propaganda aimed against
13 Kosovo Albanians, yesterday, as far as I can remember, you replied by
14 saying that you had heard Vojislav Seselj saying -- saying the following,
15 "We will expel all Albanians across the Prokletije mountains."
16 Do you know where Seselj stated this?
17 A. No, I don't know. I said yesterday I heard -- I don't remember
18 whether I heard it on television or read it on newspaper or heard it from
19 someone. I can't be sure.
20 Q. Are you sure that he was speaking about the Albanians, or was he
21 speaking about the KLA terrorists, if he said that at all?
22 A. I said I'm not sure.
23 Q. Do you remember that any functionary, representative of the
24 government, or any official person of Serbia or Yugoslavia said something
25 against the Albanians?
1 A. I do not remember anybody having said such a thing, but it was a
2 reality. It happened. We million Albanians went out of Kosova, and is it
3 very important whether somebody said this or whether somebody didn't?
4 Everybody knows that a million Albanians went.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Berisha, if you'd confine your answers to just
6 dealing with the question. There's no need to comment. Yes.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You said that the president of Macedonia, Gligorov, spoke about
9 the route the Albanians should be expelled by. I did not understand the
10 point of that explanation, so I'm asking you the following now: Are you
11 saying that the leadership of Serbia, or rather, of Yugoslavia, made an
12 agreement about this with Gligorov, the president of Macedonia? Is that
13 what you're saying?
14 A. Yes, that's what I meant. And also the statement of Gligorov, I
15 don't know whether I heard it on television or I heard it from somebody or
16 I read it in a newspaper, mentioning a corridor by which -- the Albanians
17 should go through a corridor through Macedonia to be directed towards
19 Q. Did you hear of an order by the KLA that everybody should leave
21 A. No. That's ridiculous.
22 Q. And did you hear that the only columns of Albanian refugees who
23 were bombed by NATO were those who were returning and not those who were
24 leaving Kosovo? None of the columns leaving Kosovo were bombed. Did you
25 hear about that?
1 A. I won't talk about what I have heard. I will talk about what I
2 saw with my own eyes. On that day, when I left for Albania, everybody was
3 going in that direction. Nobody was coming back in the other direction.
4 Q. Do you remember a slogan by the KLA: "Let's get out as fast as
5 possible so that we can get back as fast as possible"?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And do you remember all the pamphlets in Albanian, appealing to
8 the Albanians to leave Kosovo?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You never saw a pamphlet of that kind, ever?
11 A. No. These are ridiculous things that you're saying.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that Mr. May will caution the
13 witness not to make comments.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You said yesterday that after establishing the Kosovo Verification
16 Mission, the state of affairs changed radically.
17 A. Yes, that's what I said.
18 Q. And the mission lasted six months?
19 A. I said about six months. I don't know exactly how long, but
20 something like that.
21 Q. It's not important to know exactly, but do you consider that the
22 situation had returned to normal in Suva Reka, completely?
23 A. Approximately normal.
24 Q. Do you consider that the following conclusion is right and
25 correct, dating back to those times -- or rather, the following
1 observation, do you consider it to be correct? The observation is as
2 follows: In the whole region - Prizren, Pec - that means that whole
3 region along the Albanian border -- but let me read the full observation.
4 In the whole region of Prizren and Pec, there were abductions being
5 carried out and killings of Albanians loyal to the Federal Republic of
6 Yugoslavia, on orders from the command structure of the KLA.
7 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Milosevic, you've put this case
8 thoroughly. We've heard what the witness has said. He said he knows
9 nothing about this, and nothing is to be gained by repeating questions
10 over and over and over again in a different form. Now, is there anything
11 else on a new topic that you wish to ask this witness? Otherwise, we're
12 going to conclude the cross-examination.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you are not allowing me to
14 finish even my question. I asked the witness whether the situation
15 changed radically for the better after the arrival of the Verification
16 Mission, and he said yes. And I now quoted a portion of a report by the
17 Verification Mission of the OSCE relating to the 5th to the 12th of March,
18 1999, in which it is officially noted that during that period, when he
19 says he considers the situation was normal, that in the whole region of
20 Prizren and Pec, there were abductions and killings going on of Albanians
21 loyal to the SFRY, on orders from the command structures of the KLA, and I
22 am quoting a report by that particular mission for the period that the
23 witness considers the situation was normal and which refers to the
24 activities of the KLA themselves, precisely.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well. That question will be put.
1 You've heard what Mr. Milosevic has read out to you. It is in
2 relation to the period which you described earlier. Now, then, do you
3 agree with the observations made in that report or not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can reply about the situation in
5 Suhareke because I said I didn't go out among the villages or in the towns
6 mentioned by the accused. I can only talk about the situation in
7 Suhareke, and at that time, people came out more freely into the town,
8 some cafes opened, so that, more or less, the situation became more
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you can tender that report in due
11 course as part of the evidence and we'll consider it, but there seems
12 little point in going on with this witness with this line of questioning
13 when you've heard the answers. Now, unless you've got anything else,
14 we'll conclude it.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have something else, yes, but
16 at your insistence, I will skip this portion.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The period of the mission and the KLA activities, and when you say
19 the situation was normal, you skipped over that, but you did note that the
20 situation deteriorated rapidly when the Verification Mission was
21 withdrawn. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's what I said. After the international observers left,
23 the situation became very serious, and it went back to the same it was
24 that prevailed in my town in the summer of 1998.
25 Q. Do you consider that this sudden withdrawal of the Verification
1 Mission was, therefore, a factor which had a negative effect on the
2 situation in Kosovo and Metohija?
3 A. I didn't understand this question.
4 Q. You said that the situation was normal during the presence of the
5 Verification Mission and that after that, after it withdrew suddenly, the
6 situation deteriorated. That's what you said.
7 Now, do you consider that this withdrawal of the Verification
8 Mission was a factor which had negative repercussions on the situation in
9 Suva Reka where you, for instance, lived? I don't want to say Kosovo and
10 Metohija, but in Suva Reka, where you in fact lived.
11 A. But the very fact that the situation went in that direction shows
12 that the departure of the international observers led to a deterioration
13 of the situation.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm going to skip over all
15 the questions that I wanted to ask with respect to concrete events, but I
16 can't skip over all of them.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, you know that the provisional executive council of Kosovo
19 and Metohija, at the beginning of the aggression, issued an order that
20 every health centre should set up two medical teams for assistance to the
21 refugees and the injured and wounded from the bombing. What did your
22 medical centre do? Did it set up these two teams?
23 A. I have no knowledge of any medical teams such as you mention. I
24 was a gynaecologist, and I was -- dealt with my own work.
25 Q. Did you, as a gynaecologist, make up part of any medical team for
1 assistance to the refugees and the casualties of the bombing?
2 A. During the NATO bombing, you mean?
3 Q. Yes. I mean during the war, the whole war.
4 A. I said two days before the NATO bombing, I wasn't able to go to
5 work because I was in physical danger.
6 Q. How many Albanians were doctors in Suva Reka? Apart from you, how
7 many others were there?
8 A. I don't know the exact numbers, but there were 20 to 25 Albanian
9 doctors in the clinic of Suhareke municipality.
10 Q. Were they afraid too, or had they been appointed as members in
11 these medical teams?
12 A. I have no knowledge of the creation of these medical teams. This
13 is the first time I've heard about this.
14 Q. Do you know anything about the burning of Serb houses in the Suva
15 Reka municipality?
16 A. I returned from 28th -- on the 28th of June from Albania, in
17 1999. That is three weeks after the end of the war, after the agreement
18 was signed. The reason why I was late was that I had a small child --
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Berisha, we'll get on much better, just answer yes
20 or no. Do you know about the burning of Serb houses?
21 A. Yes. When I returned, I saw some houses of Serbs burnt.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you see a Serb house that hadn't been burnt in Suva Reka?
25 A. Yes. There are a lot, a lot. But there are Albanians now living
1 in these houses. Albanians whose houses were burned are living there, and
2 people who are unable to renovate their houses are living in them.
3 Q. And the houses that weren't forcibly taken over by the Albanians
4 were burnt; is that right? The Serb houses, I'm referring to.
5 A. Yes. I said some houses of Serbs in Suhareke I saw burned. Most
6 of them, and also in most of the public housing, Albanians are living.
7 Q. And where are the Serbs from Suva Reka?
8 A. I don't know. I think they are in Serbia.
9 Q. Is there a Serb left in Suva Reka now?
10 A. Not one. Not one.
11 Q. And as far as their houses are concerned, they were either taken
12 over by the Albanians or burnt. Those are the two variations; right?
13 A. I don't think this situation that they were taken is a sufficient
14 one. I'm saying that Albanians are now living there.
15 Q. Well, I didn't expect you to say anything like that, but I just
16 wanted to take note of the fact that those who were forcibly taken over
17 are inhabited now and the rest were burnt. But the fact is that there is
18 not a single Serb in Suva Reka.
19 Do you have any idea how many Serbs were killed and kidnapped
20 after the 10th of June, that is to say, after your arrival there in Suva
22 A. I arrived in Suhareke on 28th of June, three weeks after the
23 signing of the agreement. I came very late. What happened in those three
24 weeks, I'm not able to say.
25 Q. You have no idea how many Serbs were killed and --
1 JUDGE MAY: He said he doesn't.
2 Q. -- abducted?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. NICE: May I raise a point? Your Honour, I reserve comments
5 about the cross-examination by this accused generally for later, but I see
6 the time, and it must be possible that the Chamber will be drawing matters
7 to a conclusion. Perhaps at the break. I don't know. The accused has
8 yet, as I understand it, to cross-examine on the central issue in this
9 case, and I have in mind that the Court drew to his attention his ability
10 to do so under Rule 90, and obviously it's going to help in the joining of
11 issues if he can identify his case and cross-examine on that rather than
12 on matters that may, many of them, be peripheral and irrelevant.
13 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider that.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MAY: We will deal with the scope of cross-examination
16 generally when we deal with administrative matters, and it would be
17 helpful to hear from the amicus on that too, and we'll hear from the
19 We note that there has been a very great deal of cross-examination
20 about matters which are certainly not central to the witness's evidence.
21 At this stage, we are not going to require the accused to ask any
22 questions. It's a matter for him how he conducts his examination.
23 But this examination should conclude in ten minutes,
24 Mr. Milosevic. You will have had then over two hours cross-examining. In
25 particular, you should ask in that time, if you have any questions you
1 want to ask, with events of what this witness said he saw on the 25th and
2 26th of March.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, we differ as to what is
4 essential and what is not. Our views differ on that point. Because that
5 side over there with the false indictment has endeavoured to explain --
6 JUDGE MAY: Just --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- to explain how the Albanians were
8 subjugated, how they lived in a difficult fashion from 1989 to the NATO
9 aggression, which saved them. And now we hear from the witness here that
10 all that wasn't so. He did his regular university training, and all the
11 other Albanians, who were a majority, that he got a job, that he did his
12 specialist training, that he went to Prizren and other towns, went back to
13 Belgrade and then continued in his job, continued working. They are all
14 essential, vital questions. Now, this pivotal point, this pivotal
15 question that the Prosecution wishes to impose as being pivotal, is what I
16 said in my opening statement, that that false indictment is endeavouring
17 to turn about notorious facts, such as the 78-day aggression and bombing
18 and the KLA activities be denied through witnesses, so that --
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I'm going to stop you. We've heard these
20 points. At this stage, we're dealing with cross-examination of this
21 witness. Now, in the ten minutes remaining, is there anything more you
22 want to ask him?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask questions for as
24 long as I'm given an opportunity to ask questions, and I don't understand
25 why you are limiting me in doing so. It is difficult to make a selection
1 of questions now, but I see that this is a unique case in the world, where
2 a Tribunal, even an unlawful one, openly stands on the side of terrorism.
3 JUDGE MAY: Just ask the questions.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. When you cautioned the policemen -- no. I have a question before
6 that. Let me start again. You said that policemen went round in groups
7 on that day, stormed houses, burnt down doors, and so on.
8 A. Which day do you mean?
9 Q. I'm referring to that critical day that you have been talking
10 about, when they stormed your house, and the day before that as well.
11 A. Yes, and what was the question?
12 Q. The question was: You heard shooting in the house in which a
13 number of people were killed, but you saw nothing; is that right?
14 A. It seems that the witness [as interpreted] was not concentrating
15 on what I was saying. He was not interested in listening to what I said I
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Berisha, we'll get on more quickly if you don't
18 comment, please. Now, you've been asked a question. Could you just
19 answer it.
20 A. The events that took place, I saw these in the yard, the events in
21 the yard, and not in the house, at a distance of ten metres. I saw the
22 Serbian police killing civilians, innocent civilians, unarmed.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You said that the shots were in the house and that the policemen
25 were there shooting. I listened to you very carefully. I listened to
1 what you said very carefully, so in addition to what you were saying about
2 the yard.
3 A. I also heard shots in the house, room by room, and the house was
4 quickly enveloped by smoke and flame.
5 Q. And are you sure that nobody shot at the policemen when they
6 entered the house?
7 A. I'm very sure.
8 Q. Were there no weapons in the house at all?
9 A. I think there were no weapons, but the police who came did not
10 come to look for weapons; they came to kill Albanian civilians, men and
11 women, children and pregnant women. The reason, the sole reason, was
12 because they were Albanians.
13 Q. You're an Albanian too.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. They didn't kill you.
16 A. Fortunately, no.
17 Q. Therefore, how do you arrive at the conclusion that they had come
18 to kill the Albanians, whereas you, as an Albanian, was not killed?
19 A. But they went into the other people's house, not my house, and my
20 family was safe.
21 Q. They came to your house too.
22 A. They came to my house on the next day. This was another group of
23 policemen. They came with another duty: to burn my house.
24 Q. Is there an Albanian family without any weapons in Kosovo today,
1 A. I do not know whether Albanian families have weapons or not. I
2 say that I don't have weapons in my house, and I didn't have before the
3 war, and never have. I have always considered guns as piles of iron that
4 cause disaster.
5 Q. Let's move on to you personally. You said that they stormed
6 houses, broke down the doors, set fire to them, and then you explained to
7 us that you opened the doors for them. So they did not break down your
8 door; you opened your own front door. Yes or no.
9 A. Yes, I opened the door myself, which wasn't broken by the first
10 kick from the policeman.
11 Q. You said that you warned them to behave properly, and that after
12 that warning, they did behave in a proper manner, or at least more
14 A. What kind of good behaviour is it when they ask for a thousand
15 marks to save a house and to save the lives of the family and then to burn
16 the house?
17 Q. I am just taking note of what you yourself said, and that's what
18 you said.
19 A. Yes, that's what I said. After the start of this dialogue between
20 me and the policemen, they seemed to calm down a bit.
21 Q. And then they asked for all your money - I wrote that down and put
22 it in quotation marks - all your money, and you said you wouldn't give
23 them anything else because they would carry out what they had in mind to
24 do, and that then they released you.
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. So they let you go, although you didn't give them, as you yourself
2 said, all the money, and you cautioned them to behave well, and they let
3 you go nonetheless. And then, to focus on vital issues, you said that you
4 made a very difficult decision, the most difficult decision you had ever
5 had to make in your life, and that was to go to Albania. I'm jumping over
6 the four days you spent in prison -- in Prizren, I'm sorry. Prizren. And
7 now you have to decide between two things, because it is quite obvious
8 that we're dealing with a key question here of showing how allegedly the
9 Serb authorities deported the Albanians. Now, you had to decide. Did you
10 yourself decide to go to Albania or were you deported to Albania by the
11 Serb authorities? Because both things can't be true.
12 A. I think I explained well yesterday why I went to Albania, and I
13 can say again it was the most difficult decision in my life. But to stay
14 in Kosova was a dangerous thing for Albanians at that time. I thought to
15 go to Albania to save my life and the lives of my family, and when all
16 this was over, I would return.
17 Q. I don't want to go into your motives. All I'm saying is that you
18 yourself decided to go to Albania. It wasn't that the Serb authorities
19 deported you, because you said you made that decision, and I assume that
20 you were telling the truth when you said that.
21 The reason you mentioned later on was that you were going so that
22 they should not discover that you had been an eyewitness to some of their,
23 as you explained here, misdeeds. And the police who let you go, who let
24 you leave Suva Reka, undoubtedly knew that you had been there the previous
1 So I cannot find anything logical in your explanation, because if
2 they knew that you were an eyewitness --
3 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. You've got a question. The question,
4 I take it, is: Why did the police let you go the day before if you fear
5 that they might have decided to kill you if you were an eyewitness, or to
6 harm you? Can you help or not?
7 A. The police released me after taking a thousand marks from me.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Is that your answer to the question?
10 JUDGE MAY: That's his answer.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 JUDGE MAY: If the interpreters allow us, we will go another five
13 minutes before the break.
14 Mr. Milosevic, you've got another five minutes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it's very difficult for me to
16 choose the questions from all the ones I've got here.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Therefore, you didn't give him all -- give them all the money they
19 asked for, but they let you go nevertheless. You were an eyewitness, but
20 they let you go nevertheless. Now, what can you deduce from this? Did
21 they want to kill you, or did they want to let you go?
22 A. I don't know. Ask them.
23 Q. You can't give an answer to that question?
24 JUDGE MAY: No, it's not for him. It would be for them to
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. So you say that the Albanians did not flee because of the bombing,
4 that they did not flee because of the conflicts on the terrain between the
5 army and the KLA, but that they fled exclusively because they were being
6 persecuted by the Serb police and the army of Yugoslavia. That is the
7 gist of your conclusion, is it?
8 A. I think that the residents of the town of Suhareke left because of
9 the 50 victims who died in Suhareke that day and the victims who died in
10 the village of Trnje where men and women, unarmed, were killed. This was
11 a message to the population, "Go, because you are in danger."
12 Q. The population got that message because of the war activities and
13 operations. Do you consider that these activities and operations were
14 also a message to the inhabitants and population to take shelter from the
15 war operations?
16 A. Then -- then they could have taken shelter in their own homes and
17 not left Kosova.
18 Q. And if nearby, near their homes there were conflicts and
19 operations going on between the army and police and the KLA, do you still
20 consider that they could have taken cover and been safe in their own homes
21 without falling casualty in these conflicts?
22 A. I don't know. I wasn't living in such places. Yes. There was
23 never fighting near my house in Suhareke.
24 Q. And now with respect to fighting between the army and the KLA, or
25 the police and the KLA, add to that the bombing, the NATO bombing in
1 support of the KLA. And when you add all this together, do you consider
2 that that was the message sent out to the population, to flee from the
3 danger that it was exposed to?
4 A. No, no. The people were only afraid of the Serbian police and
5 army. This was the reason why they were forced to leave Kosova.
6 Q. Therefore, the bombing was no factor at all. They weren't afraid
7 of any bombing.
8 A. They were not afraid of the NATO bombing. I said we saw the NATO
9 bombing, and we welcomed it with joy. We were convinced that the NATO
10 bombs in Kosova would bring freedom.
11 Q. Did you see how many Albanian corpses were taken out of the rubble
12 and ruins in Pristina, Prizren, and other towns that were bombed by NATO?
13 JUDGE MAY: He's already dealt with these matters, and that -- and
14 that brings the conclusion -- that brings -- Mr. Milosevic, that is now
15 quarter past eleven. That brings the cross-examination to an end, in our
17 We will now adjourn until quarter to.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] I have one more question, just one
19 more question, Mr. May, please. Just one more question.
20 JUDGE MAY: One more. One.
21 THE ACCUSED: One.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When, where, and to whom did you give statements about what
24 happened? And when I say -- I mean the authorities of this institution
25 which is filing the indictment. Where and when and to whom did you make
1 these statements?
2 JUDGE MAY: Do you remember that now?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember well. I made my
4 first statement while I was a refugee in Albania and my second statement
5 about a year ago, in Suhareke.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would need just a
10 few minutes for my own cross-examination. Just a few minutes after the
11 break if - with the Court's indulgence, please.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.47 a.m.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Can I
17 just ask you for your indulgence for a brief explanation? You were able
18 to see that we intervened only on a few occasions, asking questions and
19 participating and questioning the witness, and we were guided in this - at
20 least, I speak on my own behalf - by the fact that, as you know,
21 Mr. Milosevic refuses to accept any documents from the Tribunal, including
22 the witness statements, the statements of the witnesses provided
23 previously to the OTP. So therefore, up until now, we only focused on
24 vital questions which Mr. Milosevic was not aware of because they are
25 contained in these previous witness statements. And now I would like to
1 put just one question, which is a vital, pivotal one, concerning this
2 witness's testimony, and this is what it is about.
3 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Berisha, yesterday, during your testimony,
5 you confirmed that, from a short distance, you saw four people being
6 killed: Faton, Djedata [phoen], Sedata [phoen], Gjura; is that correct?
7 A. I stated that from a short distance, I saw two people being
8 killed: Bujar and Sedat Berisha. The following minutes I saw that from
9 the front part of my house -- that is, I saw on the back yard of the other
10 house four dead people whom I could recognise. They were Fatime Berisha,
11 Hava Berisha, Nexhat Berisha, and Faton Berisha. This is what I said
13 Q. That is how I understood it as well. However, did you, on the
14 21st of April, 1999, when interviewed by the investigators in Tirana, in
15 Albania, say the following: that from the distance of ten metres, you
16 watched and you saw how four men from that house were lined up, four men -
17 Fatime, Faton, Nedat [phoen], Gjura - and then killed, in other words,
18 that they were shot there at that spot?
19 A. I don't remember to have said that precisely in Albania. If so,
20 it must have been an error on the part of the interpreter. The truth is
21 what I'm saying now, that I saw two men being killed, and then afterwards,
22 four other dead persons of my relatives, who were pulled up to the dead
23 bodies of the previous two persons whom I saw, as I said.
24 Q. Prior to signing this statement, this statement was read to you,
25 and you apparently had no objections at the time.
1 A. Yes, but I'm sure it must have been some errors in translation,
2 even for the second part -- second time when I was read the statement.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MS. ROMANO: Your Honour, I have no questions. I just wanted to
5 emphasise that all the statements that have been taken from this witness
6 have been served to the accused.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 Mr. Berisha, thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to
9 give your evidence. That concludes it, and you are free to go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 MR. NICE: Mr. Ryneveld will be calling the next witness.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 MR. RYNEVELD: If it please the Court, the Prosecution calls as
14 our next witness Ajmane Behrami.
15 And while we're waiting for that witness to be brought into the
16 courtroom, in response to the Court's request last date for an additional
17 line indicating the counts and paragraphs, I have now prepared new copies
18 with that on this trial summary, along with a couple of other
19 typographical changes. So if I may, I would ask that these be distributed
20 to the Court and the amici and the accused in place of the ones you now
21 have. There are some minor things that I think it would be preferable if
22 you would use this one.
23 The other thing, before the witness actually comes into court, I'm
24 going to ask that the declaration be read to her by someone and then
25 translated as opposed to her attempting to read it herself. I understand
1 the witness is unable to read and write.
2 JUDGE MAY: How can we get the declaration read to her?
3 MR. RYNEVELD: I was wondering whether perhaps -- we don't have an
4 Albanian-speaking person. Well, if it could be read in English, it could
5 be translated.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let it be read in English. Perhaps you would
7 like to read it in English. It could be translated and then --
8 MR. RYNEVELD: I would be happy to do so. I'll just go get
9 the ...
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's have the witness in, please.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: Counsel will read the declaration to you. Could you
13 repeat it when it's being translated by the interpreters? You'll hear
14 that over your headphones.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Witness, would you repeat after me: "I solemnly declare that I
17 will speak the truth ..."
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: "... the whole truth ..."
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole truth.
22 MR. RYNEVELD: "... and nothing but the truth."
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And nothing but the truth.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you'd like to take a seat.
1 WITNESS: AJMANE BEHRAMI
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
4 Q. Witness, would you state your full name for the Court, please.
5 A. Ajmane Behrami.
6 Q. Now, Witness, I understand at present you are a 32-year-old Kosovo
7 Albanian Muslim widow; is that correct?
8 A. [No translation]
9 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm not getting translation.
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. RYNEVELD:
12 Q. And do I understand correctly that you have four surviving
14 A. I used to have five. Now I have four.
15 Q. We'll get back to that in a moment, yes. Thank you.
16 Now, in March of 1999, do I understand correctly that you were a
17 resident of a village called Izbica?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that is in the Srbica/Skenderaj municipality, is it?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Now, at that time in March of 1999, were you married?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. Was your husband living at home?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What happened to your husband?
1 A. My husband died.
2 Q. When?
3 A. In May.
4 Q. Now, did something happen to your village in March of 1999?
5 A. Yes, it did.
6 Q. Was your husband at home when the incident involving your village
8 A. No, he was not.
9 Q. Where was he?
10 A. The mountain.
11 Q. Doing what? Do you know?
12 A. No, I don't know.
13 Q. Was there anyone else in the mountains at the time, to your
15 A. Yes, but I don't know. I was at home.
16 Q. Yes. We'll get back to that as well. Did your husband belong to
17 any organisation of any kind?
18 A. He was a farmer.
19 Q. Yes. And in addition to being a farmer, did he later join any
21 A. No.
22 Q. Are you aware of the existence of an organisation called the KLA?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was your husband, to your knowledge, involved in any way with the
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did your husband -- you've already told us that your husband died
3 in May; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. Yes, it's correct.
5 Q. Did you find out how he died?
6 A. I was not there. From the others, I heard that he was killed.
7 Q. Did you hear the circumstances under which he was killed?
8 A. In the mountains. He was there.
9 Q. Doing what? Do you know?
10 A. I know nothing. I was not there. I didn't see anything.
11 Q. Let's move on a little bit and we'll get back to this.
12 You've already told us that you were aware of the existence of a
13 group called the KLA; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. How were you aware of their involvement? Let me rephrase that.
16 Where were they and what were they doing in the area of your village, if
18 A. In Izbica, we didn't have -- in the village, we didn't have anyone
19 there. In the surrounding areas, yes, but I don't know what they did.
20 Q. Are you aware of any fighting that took place in the surrounding
21 area, between the KLA and members of the VJ?
22 A. No. I saw nothing. I don't know.
23 Q. Were you aware that there was fighting in the area?
24 A. Yes. I heard that there was fighting in the surrounding area. I
25 have heard that.
1 Q. Was your husband at any point a member of the KLA?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And was he a member when he died?
4 A. He was civilian. No. He was civilian.
5 Q. I understand you say he was a civilian, but you said he was a
6 member of the KLA. He was in the mountains, and he died; is that
7 correct? At the time he died, was he a member of the KLA?
8 A. No, no. No. He just had taken to the mountains to take shelter.
9 Q. You've told us at some point your husband was a member of the
10 KLA. When was that?
11 A. Before; in the past.
12 Q. Do you remember when that was?
13 A. No, I don't remember.
14 Q. Was it during 1999 or 1998, or some other time? Are you able to
15 give us perhaps a wide range, if you don't know the exact date?
16 A. Not in 1998. In 1999.
17 Q. Do you remember any particular incident that occurred that may
18 have prompted him to join the KLA?
19 A. No, I don't know.
20 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to ask you very briefly to describe
21 what life was like in your village prior to the outbreak of this
22 difficulty in March of 1999. Can you describe for us what the village
23 living conditions were like?
24 A. We heard fire shots. Sorry. It was difficult.
25 Q. And difficult -- can you give us some examples of how life was
1 difficult in your village prior to March of 1999?
2 A. It was difficult to live, because we were not free to leave our
3 houses, especially the young people.
4 Q. What prevented their freedom from leaving their houses? Who did
6 A. They couldn't go out in the streets because the Serb policemen did
7 not allow them. If they found them out, they beat them, they robbed them,
9 Q. I see. Now, do you recall an incident in March of 1999 when NATO
10 conducted a military exercise in a neighbouring community?
11 A. Nothing happened in our area.
12 Q. All right. Can you tell us where Skenderaj is? How far away was
14 A. I don't know. I can't tell you. It is far from us.
15 Q. Do you remember an incident involving NATO and Skenderaj?
16 A. I heard people say that there was an attack mounted on the
17 munitions factory there.
18 Q. I see. And I'd like you to turn your mind now to two days after
19 that attack. What, if anything, happened to your village two days after
20 you heard about the attack on Skenderaj by NATO?
21 A. On the 28th of March, for two days, they bombed the village, the
22 surrounding villages: Broje, Vojniku, Pilic [phoen], Liqina. They are
23 surrounding villages. They were shelled for two days. Then, after two
24 days, they came to Izbica.
25 Q. All right. I'm going to stop you there. The transcript seems to
1 suggest that you said: "On the 28th of March, for two days, they bombed
2 the village." Who are you talking about bombing the village? Are you
3 talking about NATO or someone else?
4 A. No, not NATO. Serb policemen and army. Not NATO.
5 Q. So when you say "bombed" in that respect, do you actually mean
6 bombing or do you mean shelling or do you mean something entirely
7 different? Explain that.
8 A. I mean shelling, not actual bombing, but shelling. I mean
10 Q. I see. Can you explain to the Court, if you would, please, just
11 tell in your own words now what happened to your village.
12 A. On the 28th of March, from morning, 7.00 in the morning, we heard
13 shelling, all kinds of fire shots. At 11.00, we saw six tanks come to the
14 village. There were other vehicles, but I don't remember. Then they
15 came, surrounded the village from all sides, and they have -- they have
16 sheltered us -- put us together: women, children, old people. Then the
17 infantry troops came to the village, and then the children were afraid and
18 they started to cry, and they found us out. They came and separated the
19 men from the women. They have lined up the men. They forced us to leave
20 in the direction of Albania. We left. The men were stopped there. I was
21 there with my five children, and then the Serb soldiers asked to give them
22 money. I gave them 100 Deutschmarks. And then we set out. After walking
23 about 30 metres, we went to a hill in Apasha [phoen], and then we sat
24 there and then we saw them burning the village. We stayed there for two
25 or three hours. I don't remember well. We heard the fire shots, and then
1 we heard that they had shot 108 people. I didn't see that with my own
2 eyes, but I heard from others.
3 JUDGE MAY: Just pause there.
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. I thought I should let the
5 witness just go on a free flow for a minute to get her story out, and then
6 I was going to back up and have her fill in the details.
7 Q. We're going to stop there for a moment. I'm going to back up a
8 little bit and ask you some specific questions to fill in some details, if
9 I may. All right? Do you understand, Witness? Thank you.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you've told us that when the assault began on your village,
12 there was shelling; is that correct? What effect did that shelling have
13 on your village?
14 A. What do you mean by "what effect"? I don't understand.
15 Q. Well, was any damage being caused? What did the people do as a
16 result of that?
17 A. We got together there in a place. They were shelling all over
18 us. Then the infantry troops came, I said.
19 Q. All right. Now, you call them "infantry troops." Can you tell us
20 how many infantry troops came into your village, approximately?
21 A. Approximately -- many. I can't say how many exactly. I couldn't
22 say how many they were coming.
23 Q. I believe you also said there were police. Am I correct in that?
24 Or did you say infantry and police or just infantry?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. I'm sorry. That was my fault. My question was double-sided. Yes
2 to what? Yes to military and police?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You also mentioned six tanks. What do you mean when you say
6 A. Tanks. I mean tanks.
7 Q. And you also said there were other military vehicles as well; is
8 that correct? Nodding your head won't assist. We need an answer. Thank
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: At this point, I'm going to ask that the usher show
12 you, I believe, Exhibit 17 and 18. First we'll start with 17, please.
13 Q. Now, Exhibit 17, I'm going to ask you to look -- there are some --
14 MR. RYNEVELD: No. Usher, could you hand it to the witness first
15 so she can look at it before we put it on the ELMO.
16 Q. There are four pages of photographs. Would you just have a look
17 at those four pages, please. Just take them in your hand. And before you
18 comment, would you look at all four pages.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I'm not sure you've gone through all four pages, but I see you've
21 stopped at a particular photograph and pointed to it. Do you see in those
22 photographs any military vehicle that looked like the tanks that you've
23 just described to us?
24 A. This one; 6.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Usher, would you please put the photograph the
2 witness has indicated, number 6, on the ELMO so that Their Honours can see
3 what the witness has selected.
4 Q. Okay. Now, Witness, you have selected from Exhibit 17, which
5 contains a series of 15 photographs, photograph number 6. Does that look
6 like the kind of vehicles that you call tanks that were in your village on
7 the 28th of March?
8 A. Yes. This is what I saw coming to our village.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Might the witness also be shown Exhibit number 18.
11 And again show it to the witness before putting it on the ELMO.
12 Q. Witness, I'm going to ask you to look at what has been marked as
13 Exhibit number 18. There is a series of photographs on one sheet. You've
14 told us about infantry troops and police. Do you see in any of those
15 photographs any uniforms that look like the infantry uniforms that you saw
16 in your village?
17 A. Yes; this one here.
18 Q. And does it have a number underneath it?
19 A. Nine.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Would you -- Mr. Usher, would you please place that
21 on the ELMO.
22 A. And 6, the police.
23 MR. RYNEVELD:
24 Q. All right. So the police were wearing uniforms like number 6?
25 A. No, no. That's not the right uniform.
1 Q. How is it different?
2 A. The colours are a bit lighter. Light blue and dark blue.
3 Q. All right. Would you please place the Exhibit 17 on the -- or 18,
4 18 on the ELMO so Their Honours can see, first of all, number 9, I believe
5 the witness indicated. It's not visible. There we are. Thank you.
6 And then the police uniforms, something like but a lighter blue in
7 number 6, is that what you're saying, Witness?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Would you show number 6, please.
10 Q. And those are the police in number 6; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, I believe you've told us that when these people came to your
13 village, the men were separated from the women. How was it --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How was it that you were separated from each other? Did you --
16 how was it that you gathered together to be separated?
17 A. Because the infantry troops came. I said to you they ordered the
18 men to be separated from us women and we women ordered to set out in the
19 direction of Albania.
20 Q. Yes. Now, I take it at some point you're all in your homes. How
21 is it you left your homes and where did you go initially when you were
23 A. You mean when we separated from the men?
24 Q. No. I'm backing up a little further. The infantry came.
25 A. Uh-huh. I see.
1 Q. How was it that you left your homes and where did you go in order
2 to be separated?
3 A. We were about 30 metres away from our homes where we got together
4 in a pasture, in a field. About 3.000 people.
5 Q. I see. And these 3.000 people, these were all civilian
6 inhabitants of Izbica, were they?
7 A. No, no. There were all kinds of inhabitants from all the
8 surrounding villages, not only from Izbica.
9 Q. And do you know how it is that those people ended up in this large
10 pasture or field?
11 A. They came because they thought we were more safe there.
12 Q. Do I understand you to be saying that these people left from
13 neighbouring villages and came to Izbica first and then joined the
14 residents of Izbica in this field?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I see.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And I believe then you told us that you were separated. How did
19 that take place? Who told you what to do? Who did the telling? Who did
20 the ordering? What happened?
21 A. The Serb police and army soldiers, they were mixed together. I
22 remember one of them talking to us in Albanian. "Go straight to
23 Albania." And then they asked the men to sit on the side of the street,
24 whereas us they ordered to leave for Albania.
25 Q. Did anybody appear to be in charge?
1 A. Yes. He had -- he had an insignia, I think. I don't know, but I
2 thought he was of a higher rank because he had an insignia on his arm.
3 Q. Could you tell whether this person you're referring to was a
4 soldier or policeman?
5 A. No, no. He was a policeman.
6 Q. And did you see anyone there using a form of communication to
7 other members? In other words, did he have any radio? Did you see anyone
8 with a hand-held radio?
9 A. Yes, yes, I did. He had a radio in his hand.
10 Q. And what was he doing with the radio? Did you hear him speak?
11 A. He spoke. I couldn't say what he was saying in Serbian. I saw
12 that he was saying something. We were afraid what they were going to do
13 to us, to kill us or to drive us away. I couldn't say what he was
14 saying. It was in Serbian.
15 Q. So the person -- all right. He was speaking Serbian, this person
16 with the radio; is that correct?
17 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
18 Q. During the course of this, how were you being treated?
19 A. They drove us to the street. I said to you we went to another
20 village. We stayed there.
21 Q. All right. You said you were told to go to Albania; is that
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Who told you that?
25 A. The Serb soldiers. The Serb soldiers and police. They were all
1 mixed up there.
2 Q. Were you permitted to take any cars or tractors or trailers or
3 other means of transport?
4 A. No. No, nothing. Nothing at all. We left everything behind in
5 the village. We just went on foot.
6 Q. How many women, children went on foot?
7 A. About 3.000 people. I can't give you an exact figure, but we were
8 only women and children. I said the men we left behind. They were
9 separated from us.
10 Q. Do you know approximately how many men were left behind?
11 A. About 150 or 60. I can't tell for sure.
12 Q. Where were the rest of the men?
13 A. What do you mean "the rest of the men"?
14 Q. Well, I understand we have close to 3.000 women and children and
15 150 men. Do you know if that was all the men in the village or were other
16 men in the village elsewhere?
17 A. No, no. All the -- they were inhabitants from all other villages,
18 I said, people who couldn't take to the mountains, and they came there, to
20 Q. All right. So those who couldn't go to the mountains went to
21 Izbica, and that was largely gathered in that field; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And these men that were left behind, can you tell the Court
24 approximately what age groups were represented in that 150 or 160 men?
25 A. From 95 years old to 30, 40 years old.
1 Q. What happened to the young boys?
2 A. They went to the mountains.
3 Q. I see. Now, as you were starting to leave, on the way to Albania,
4 on instructions, did anybody, to your knowledge, try to go back to the
5 village, and if so, what happened to them?
6 A. A few women wanted to go back to the village to sees what was
7 happening. We saw the entire village was on fire. We heard the fire
8 shots, killing people. But they wanted to see with their own eyes what
9 happened. They turned back, but couldn't walk for more than ten metres
10 before the police turned them back, firing in the air, and told them to go
11 back to Albania.
12 Q. Did they tell you anything that they saw?
13 A. No. They didn't see anything, because the police didn't let them
14 go back, enter the village.
15 Q. In your earlier evidence, you said that you could tell -- let me
16 just -- that the entire village was on fire. Could you see that for
18 A. Yes. Yes. I saw it with my own eyes, all engulfed by fire,
19 flames. Everything was set fire to; the tractors, everything we had.
20 Q. Talking about tractors being on fire, do you remember an incident
21 involving two old handicapped ladies?
22 A. Yes. They burned them in the tractor. One is the wife of Feiz
23 Hoxha, the other of Hazier. We left them there. They couldn't walk.
24 They were left in the tractor and they were burned there.
25 Q. They were alive on the tractor-trailer when you left?
1 A. Yes, they were alive.
2 Q. As you left your village for Albania, did any troops, whether it
3 be police or soldier or any other kind of troops, did any troops escort
4 you along the way?
5 A. All the way we were accompanied by soldiers and policemen,
6 accompanied I can't remember by whom exactly. When we went to Kopiliq, a
7 village there, we were in a line. My sister was holding my son of 6 weeks
8 old. And then they shelled the column and they killed two daughters of my
9 uncle, and that's what happened.
10 Q. All right. So as you're marching along towards Albania, you were
11 being escorted by police and/or infantry troops; is that your evidence?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. And how far did you get before this shelling incident? Had you
14 been walking for far, or long?
15 A. When they started shelling, three sons of mine, they were
16 separated and they went to another village. We were forced to walk from
17 Skenderaj and to walk in the direction of Albania.
18 Q. I understand that you probably aren't familiar with distances, but
19 can you tell us how long you had been walking before the shelling took
21 A. From there, we walked for about half an hour.
22 Q. Would you be able to tell us -- did you know the way to Albania?
23 Did you know where to go or did you have a destination in mind?
24 A. No, I didn't know. I'd never known that.
25 Q. All right. Now, this shelling that occurred, could you
1 describe -- you're in a column, I take it, a bunch of people in front of
2 you; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, and we were in the middle of the column.
4 Q. And you're in the middle of the column. Were you carrying anyone
5 at that time?
6 A. I was carrying my son. I was carrying my son and we were walking,
7 and we were shelled. And just before that started to happen, my sister
8 carried my son. We were walking. And when shelling started, the column
9 was split in two, and half of us stopped there.
10 Q. How old was your son that you had been carrying, that your sister
11 then carried for you?
12 A. Six weeks old, my son.
13 Q. Were you breast-feeding at the time?
14 A. Yes, before I was breast-feeding him, but not at that time.
15 Q. No. I appreciate that. So your sister took over carrying your
16 son shortly before the shelling started; is that correct?
17 A. Just before the shelling started.
18 Q. And you've told us that when the shelling started, the column of
19 refugees split into two directions; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. Where did you go?
22 A. We stopped there, and the two girls were left there alive, and the
23 police forces turned us back to Broje. That's what we call the village.
24 And we sat there in a meadow.
25 Q. Was your sister in the group with you, your sister and your baby?
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 1060 to 1069.
1 A. My sister went towards Tushille village. I didn't see the
2 children from that moment, because my sister left for the village of
4 Q. So to summarise: You, your sister, and your three sons took
5 different routes; is that correct? You got separated?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, I'm sorry to have to ask you this, but after that incident,
8 did you ever see your baby again?
9 A. My baby, no, no. It died. It didn't have what to live on. There
10 was nothing to feed him.
11 Q. And you got that information from your sister later on, did you?
12 A. Yes. After the war, my sister told me that the baby died because
13 I couldn't feed her with anything, and nobody could breast-feed her, and
14 so the baby died.
15 Q. Now, after the shelling incident, what happened? I know the troop
16 -- the column split in two. What happened to your group? What can you
17 tell us about the group that you were in?
18 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, Mr. Ryneveld.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KWON: Before we go on, could you clarify more about the
21 shelling? Who did the shelling, for example?
22 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 MR. RYNEVELD:
25 Q. Do you know where the shelling came from? You're walking along
1 and, all of a sudden, something happens. Where was it coming from?
2 A. The shelling came from above. There were some lights, some red
3 lights, and when they fell on us, we were dispersed.
4 Q. Do you know who did the shelling?
5 A. The Serbs, the army, the police.
6 Q. Did you see any tanks or military equipment which would explain
7 where the shelling came from?
8 A. Yes, yes. Further away -- I can't tell the distance, but about
9 half -- half an hour away from those hills, they shelled us because we
10 were going towards Tushille which was a free zone, because we hadn't eaten
12 Q. Now, was the column going in the direction that they had been told
13 at the time the shelling started or was the column going in a different
14 direction than you had been instructed?
15 A. We wanted to go to Tushille, which was less crowded, and we wanted
16 to join some people, and they said it was safe there.
17 Q. Are you talking about before the shelling?
18 A. That is before the shelling. We wanted to join others in Tushille
19 village. And the shelling split the column in two. That's when my sister
20 went away with the two daughters, my two daughters.
21 Q. I understand that, Witness. So this Tushille village that you
22 wanted to go to, was that in a different direction than your Serb
23 escort --
24 A. In the direction of Skenderaj.
25 Q. Is that the direction that your Serb escorts originally wanted you
1 to go or was that in a different direction?
2 A. It was -- it was in the direction where we wanted to go towards
3 because the Serbs wanted us to go towards Albania. But they didn't allow
4 us to go in the direction we wanted to go to and then started shelling.
5 Q. So the effect of the shelling, then, was that you eventually ended
6 up in the direction of Albania instead of the direction that you wanted to
7 go. Is that what you're telling us?
8 A. And we wanted to go towards the direction which we wanted to go
9 to. They started shelling.
10 Q. And as a result of the shelling, did you go in the direction they
11 wanted you to go?
12 A. They turned us back, and they turned us towards the other
13 direction, the direction of Albania.
14 Q. I see. Now, after the shelling stopped, and I -- how long did the
15 shelling go on for?
16 A. It lasted for about 15 minutes. And we were lying flat on the
17 ground for 15 minutes. The shelling didn't stop. And when -- when the
18 shelling stopped, we were taken -- we were forced to go the other
19 direction, not where we wanted to go. And then we stopped at a field to
21 Q. After the shelling stopped, did you see any additional uniformed
22 people arrive?
23 A. A Serb policeman, soldiers.
24 Q. Do you remember what colour or kinds of uniforms they were
1 A. No, no. No, I can't remember because I was very distracted. All
2 the road -- all along the road there were soldiers and policemen, Serb
3 soldiers and policemen.
4 Q. Did anybody die as a result of that shelling, that you personally
5 know of?
6 A. I didn't know them. There was a woman with two children who died
7 there. I didn't know them.
8 Q. Now, once these additional, I think you called them policemen,
9 arrived, do you remember what they did? Were there any men who had joined
10 your column of refugees?
11 A. Yes. When we were turned to go to the other direction, there were
12 some men, Rexhep Thaci and Haxhi Thaci.
13 Q. Yes. And what, if anything, happened in relation to them?
14 A. I approached them and asked them which direction we would go,
15 because I wanted to join the children and meet them.
16 Q. Yes. Did something happen to those two individuals?
17 A. They wanted to go to Izbica. There we were robbed of everything
18 we had. They started calling names, and they started asking us, "Where is
19 Hashim Thaci?" And they were kicking us. The children started crying,
20 and the men were lying on the ground.
21 Q. What men?
22 A. Haxhi and Rexhep.
23 Q. Did you see if anything happened to those two men?
24 A. Yes. Then I was down in the convoy with my two children in my
25 hand, and then there was a volley of gunfire, and they shot them.
1 Q. When you say, "they shot them," who are you referring to?
2 A. Policemen.
3 Q. What effect did that shooting have on you and the women and
4 children with you, if anything?
5 A. It was more difficult for us. We didn't know where to go. When
6 we saw that they were killed, we didn't know where to go, and we didn't
7 have our children with us. And I don't know how to describe it. It was
9 Q. Now, you said that they were saying -- sorry. You were robbed of
10 everything, and they started calling you names. What were you robbed of,
11 if anything?
12 A. They took -- they took money from the women. I'm not talking
13 about myself. They looted us, and they insulted us, and then they pointed
14 us in the direction of Kline.
15 Q. In order to obtain money, did -- first of all, did they obtain
17 A. Then when they pointed us towards Kline, they -- there was mud and
18 water in a stream in the village of Jashanice and there were only men --
19 there were only women and children there, and there were three tanks there
20 and one was below me and there was one at the front, one at the back, and
21 one in the middle, and they wanted to run us down with tanks.
22 Q. Did they?
23 A. Yes. Yes, on the road. We were down below the stream.
24 Q. All right. When you say, "we were robbed," what do you mean?
25 What was robbed from you?
1 A. There I was, and they were lying down on the road, and we -- and
2 they said to me in Albania, because I don't understand Serbian and they
3 were speaking in Serbian, and then another one spoke Albanian, and then
4 they said -- and they said, "Give me a thousand marks to save my family."
5 And then I had to say -- and then they said, "Five thousand marks to get
6 out of the convoy," but we couldn't do anything. We were just women and
8 Q. I see. Now, you've told us about being told to go towards Kline.
9 Did you in fact get to Kline with this convoy? Did you walk towards
11 A. No. It was in the direction of Kline, and then they went from
12 Broje to Jashanice, and then at Jashanice they were -- wanted to run us
13 down with tanks.
14 Q. Yes. And all along, did you eventually head in the direction of
16 A. No.
17 Q. Where did you go?
18 A. They took -- wanted 5.000 marks, and they looted us. And from
19 some women they took some -- women, and some from others, and then they
20 forced us to go towards Kline.
21 Q. All right. And was Kline in the direction of Albania at that
22 point or not?
23 A. Yes. Yes, it is. It's on the way to Albania. It's called Kline,
24 Klina e Begut.
25 Q. All right. And once you got to Kline, were you --
1 A. When we got to Kline, then we were forced to go back, because they
2 were burning a mill in Kline. And we were frightened, and we were forced
3 to go back, and they told us to go back and take the children. And then
4 they -- we hadn't gone a hundred metres, and they stopped us and they
5 asked us, "Where are you going?" And we said, "We're going to get our
6 children." And they wouldn't allow us. And then we had to go back to the
7 police station at Kline. And then the column was stopped. And they
8 didn't allow us to go back and get our children. And I went back, and I
9 was going back through Kline, which was in flames, and there was the
10 police station.
11 Q. All right. I understand there was a time of confusion in Kline.
12 Did you eventually go towards another village or another town?
13 A. Yes. Then we went from Kline to Gjakova, and we stayed one night
14 along the road, and they just told us, "Stay there." And then early in
15 the morning, some men from Kline joined us, and they led the convoy. And
16 it was an even longer convoy then, because we were joined by people from
17 Kline. And we walked all day, and towards the evening, one villager from
18 Kraljane gave us a little bit of food because we couldn't go all the way
19 to Albania without eating or drinking anything.
20 Q. Yes. Now, when you say, "They told us to go to Gjakova," who is
21 "they"? Were these still the same Serb escorts you had?
22 A. They were the same Serbs, always the same. Serbian soldiers.
23 They escorted us all the way along the road.
24 Q. Now, en route, did you get a message from someone on behalf of the
1 A. I don't understand that.
2 Q. Well, let me back up, then. Now, eventually do I understand that
3 you were being escorted to the Djakovica municipality? You're nodding
4 your head.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And while you were en route to the village of -- now, is it
7 Glodjane? Do you know that town, or that village? I may be
8 mispronouncing it. Glodjane?
9 A. They pointed us towards Gjakova, and then we rested two nights in
10 Kraljane, and then we went to a village where we were to be a bit safer,
11 in Glodjane.
12 Q. On the route to Kraljane, did you get a message from anyone,
13 telling you to go in that direction?
14 A. Yes. A villager of Kraljane came out and said, "Go to Kraljane."
15 Q. Did he indicate to you why you should do that or whose message he
16 was delivering?
17 A. He told us to go to Kraljane and then they'd give us bread and to
18 rest a while, because it was -- it would take us a week to get to Albania,
19 and we hadn't had food and drink.
20 Q. Did you know the KLA to be active in that particular area?
21 A. No. No, I didn't know anything about that.
22 Q. What happened when you got to Kraljane?
23 A. When we came to Kraljane, then we ate and drank, and then they
24 forced us to go to Glodjane, and we stayed four days there. And they
25 shelled us -- the village all night and all day.
1 Q. Now, let me see if I understand this. You got a message from a
2 villager on behalf of someone that you had -- that you should go to
3 Kraljane; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This villager was not a Serb uniformed person?
6 A. No, no. He was an Albanian. He wasn't a Serb but an Albanian.
7 Q. All right. So you wanted to go to Kraljane. Do I understand your
8 evidence correctly?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. But you also told us that you were being escorted by Serb soldiers
11 and policemen. Did they also want you to go to Kraljane? Sorry, I need
12 an answer.
13 A. No. They just put us on the road, and when we went to Kraljane,
14 they didn't do anything.
15 Q. They allowed you to go in the direction you wanted to go at that
16 point; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when you got there, Kraljane was being shelled?
19 A. Kraljane was being shelled, and then we were slightly -- we went
20 slightly lower down, to a village called Glodjane.
21 Q. Were you fed in Kraljane?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. Who fed you?
24 A. There were Albanians there, because they still hadn't left their
25 village there. So there were Albanians there, and they fed us.
1 Q. Now, while you were in that village, did any further soldiers or
2 paramilitaries appear with any military vehicles?
3 A. No. We didn't stay long in Kraljane, only two days. And then at
4 Glodjane, we were three days, and there were no soldiers there. And then
5 they shelled Glodjane. And then, early in the morning, they came with
6 tanks, plenty of them, and vehicles, and then we were again shelled while
7 gathered at the church in Glodjane.
8 Q. So this is now in Glodjane. All right. We're no longer in
9 Kraljane --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- we're now in Glodjane. All right.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that's where the additional troops and military vehicles - I
14 think you said lots of tanks - that's where that happened?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I see. And were you given any explanation by these uniformed
17 people as to why they were there?
18 A. No. No. They came and they forced us to go again to Albania.
19 And they said to the people of Glodjane, "You are different. You are from
20 Drenica." Because half the column was from Drenica. And they said we
21 have nothing -- they told us not to get mixed up.
22 Q. So they didn't want the people from your village to mix with the
23 people from Drenica? Is that what you understood them to be saying?
24 A. No, because the people in Glodjane are also Albanians, but they
25 are Catholics. So they were told to go and stay in their own homes.
1 Q. So what happened to the Catholics? Did they go -- continue on
2 with you or did they go somewhere else?
3 A. No, no. They stayed where they were, and they told us to go on
4 the road again and they forced us to go back to Kraljane. And when we
5 were at Kraljane, it was burned, and then they told us to go to Klina e
7 Q. Just so that we're clear, who is it that are "they" and who is it
8 that is "us" or "we"? I think you said, "They told us." Is this only the
9 group from your village of Izbica?
10 A. No, they didn't -- they didn't know we were from -- just from
11 Izbica. We were from all Drenica and from all the villages around
12 Izbica. They couldn't tell which of us were from which village. We were
13 all from Drenica.
14 Q. But the Catholics had been told to stay home? Is that what you
15 told us?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, when you come to a convenient moment.
18 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. You'll see I'm at the bottom of paragraph
19 16. I want to ask two more questions, and then I propose to continue
20 after lunch, if I may.
21 Q. Now, en route, you've been telling us about all these locations
22 you went to. Did you pass through smaller villages along the way that you
23 may have not known the names of?
24 A. Yes, there were plenty of villages, but I don't know their names.
25 Q. And could you tell what condition they were in as you went
2 A. Well, it was dangerous, because people were coming out of
3 Kraljane, 300 people, and then they told us to go back to Kline and I
4 never saw them again. But I saw a man separated from his wife, and he was
6 Q. Now, as you were on this forced march, did you ever try to stop
7 and rest?
8 A. During the day, no. They never allowed us to rest during the
9 day. They told us to keep moving, and there were a lot of vehicles
10 moving, and tanks. But during the night, yes.
11 Q. So during the day, you were not allowed to stop?
12 A. No.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: All right. I believe that might be a convenient
15 JUDGE MAY: Before we adjourn, I want to deal with two
16 administrative matters. The first concerns the video recordings, Exhibits
17 11 and 13 to 16, which were mentioned last week. And it was proposed,
18 with the agreement of the amici, that we should watch those, lasting three
19 hours, twenty minutes, but without commentary, and that we should do so
20 outside Court. The accused has had access to those video recordings, but
21 he objects to their not being shown in public, saying that they are part
22 of the evidence and should be shown in public.
23 We have now considered that objection. We do not consider it to
24 be a valid objection. There's no reason why these exhibits should be
25 shown in public. They are, of course, part of the record, and it's simply
1 a question of when we see them. We have come to the conclusion that it
2 would be convenient for us to watch them in private, which we shall do
3 without taking up valuable court time. However, if on watching them we
4 come to the conclusion that they should be shown in public, we will so
6 That is the first matter. The second is this: The accused has
7 asked, because of a family visit on Thursday, the 7th of March, that we
8 sit only in the morning that day. Because of the difficulties with the
9 visa on this occasion, we will exceptionally arrange for the sitting hours
10 to be changed, and we will sit from 9.00 until 1.45 that day, as, in fact,
11 we will be doing for most of the week. However, this is not to be taken
12 as a precedent.
13 We will adjourn now. 2.35.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You didn't allow me to say -- to
4 make an observation, actually, with respect to your ruling, your decision,
5 in connection with the videotapes. I should like to make things clear.
6 I don't know what there is on those tapes, but I considered that
7 they should be shown for reasons of principle in public and for only one
8 reason, and that is that the trial is a public trial. Now, if that reason
9 of principle does not stand, then my comment won't stand either. And when
10 I wanted to show my own tapes here and to show them on a video player, I
11 wasn't able to get one or show them, so -- but that's a lesser problem.
12 It is a question of principle. And if there is any evidence to be
13 presented, it should always be presented in public. So that is why I
14 requested that too.
15 And another technical point, all the telephones of my associates
16 that I tried to call up here -- from here yesterday have been
17 disconnected, so that I found it very hard to communicate. I myself am
18 not able to come by concrete information in any other way but through the
19 telephone. So I should like to inform you that if I'm not able to make
20 contact and come into contact with my associates when you are examining
21 the witnesses here, then I shall ask for the cross-examination to be
22 postponed until I am in such a position as to be able to communicate with
23 my associates.
24 That is all. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, as to the first matter you raise
1 concerning the playing of the video, as I said, we had in mind your
2 submission, which was that it should be played in public. For the reasons
3 I've given, we decided against you. We shall look at it in due course,
4 but not in public.
5 As to the other matter concerning the telephones, that is
6 something we'll have to look into. It's also something about which you
7 can address us at the next hearing when we deal with administrative
9 Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm about to start at
11 paragraph 17 of the summary.
12 Q. Now, Witness, just before the lunch break, you had told us about a
13 somewhat circuitous route that you took to get to the border, and how long
14 would you say that it took you, from the time you left the village of
15 Izbica, to get to the Albanian border?
16 A. About six days.
17 Q. And apart from the one instance you told us that you were fed by
18 the inhabitants, I believe it was of the village of -- I can't remember if
19 it was Glodjane or Kline, were you given food along the way or given
20 opportunities to stop and eat?
21 A. When we arrived in Kline, as I said, I told them, "I can't walk
22 any more. Where are you talking us?" They ridiculed us, and then they
23 gave us a little bread as if to ridicule us further. Then I said, "I
24 can't walk any more. We can't walk any more." And then they turned us in
25 the direction of Gjakova, and we stayed there one night and had food.
1 Q. Who supplied that food?
2 A. The Serb police. They were kind of mocking at us all the time.
3 Q. Along the route, you passed through a number of villages before
4 you got to the checkpoints at Djakovica. What can you tell us what kind
5 of villages those were? Were they Serb villages or mixed villages or
6 Albanian villages? Do you know?
7 A. No, I don't know, because I have never been there before. I never
8 have been there. But I know that we walked all day, and when the night
9 came, we rested a while, while in the day they didn't allow us to sit or
10 [indiscernible]. So I can't remember those villages. I've never seen or
11 been there.
12 Q. Many of the villages that you passed through, were they intact or
13 were they somehow affected?
14 A. They were not intact. Some were burnt, some parts were not burnt,
15 you know.
16 Q. Did you have any identity documents with you when you left your
17 village of Izbica?
18 A. I didn't have anything, because I left everything in my home, and
19 they got burnt.
20 Q. And how about your fellow refugees who were in the convoy? Did
21 some of those have identity documents with them?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And could you tell what happened at any stage in relation to those
24 identity documents?
25 A. When we arrived in Gjakova, on our way to Gjakova, I saw some
1 big -- a place where they -- they put us in a place, in a checkpoint, I
2 think, where they checked for our documents, and they asked us to hand
3 over all our documents, and then when you arrive at the border of Albania,
4 you will see what will happen. So all the refugees that were in the line,
5 you know, threw away -- threw on the ground all the IDs and passports they
6 had on them.
7 Q. Now, how far was Gjakova from the Albanian border at Qafe e
9 A. We walked all day.
10 Q. And while you were walking towards the border, did you see any
11 more Serb forces?
12 A. Many. All along the way, non-stop, I saw Serb forces.
13 Q. What were they doing, and how were they in view?
14 A. They told us to go ahead. They showed the way. We didn't dare to
15 speak or do anything. We were tired, walking all day, no food, no drink,
16 nothing at all. We just kept walking.
17 Q. Were these soldiers or these forces on foot or were they in
18 vehicles, or what?
19 A. Some were on foot, some were in trucks, but those who were on foot
20 told us, "If you do not arrive in Albania at 6.00 in the afternoon, we
21 will turn you back from where you came."
22 Q. Did you make it to the border on time?
23 A. Yes, we did.
24 Q. Do you happen to remember the name of the border town that you
1 A. Kruma.
2 Q. Do you remember the date that you crossed the border?
3 A. No. To tell you the truth, no, I don't.
4 Q. Witness, if you were asked this I'm now asking, "Why did you leave
5 your village?" what would your answer be?
6 A. Because we were driven there by force, by Serb paramilitaries.
7 They forcibly drove us out of our homes.
8 Q. Now, you told us earlier in your evidence about being aware of the
9 NATO bombing before the Serb forces came to your village. Did the NATO
10 bombing have any effect at all on your decision to leave your village?
11 A. No.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, in complete fairness, I feel that I
13 must return, if I can, and with permission of the Court, to paragraphs 1
14 and 3 of the summary. I want to clarify some questions and answers that
15 were given earlier. In complete fairness, I don't know whether the
16 accused is reading this trial summary, but I feel I would like some
17 further clarification of that area.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. RYNEVELD:
20 Q. Now, Mrs. Behrami, you've told us earlier that -- I asked you this
21 question: "Was your husband at any point a member of the KLA?" And your
22 answer was yes. Do you remember being asked that question and giving that
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And you've also told us that he went up into the mountains. Do
1 you remember that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And later on in your evidence, you explained the absence of the
4 men, the younger men in Izbica, by the fact, you said, that they went into
5 the mountains. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, you've also told us that the KLA were in the area of your
8 village but were not in your village itself; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. Now, did your husband -- you were married to your husband at the
11 time. Did your husband tell you why he was going into the hills?
12 A. No, he never told me anything. He just told me that "I'm going to
13 the mountains."
14 Q. Were you aware that the KLA also were in the mountains?
15 A. I don't know. Maybe they were in the mountains, but I was at
16 home. I never saw anything.
17 Q. When you left -- I take it you went to Albania. Did you leave
18 Albania and return to your -- did you return to your village sometime
20 A. Yes. After the war, we returned.
21 Q. Do you remember what month that may have been?
22 A. No. I can't remember.
23 Q. Did you stay in Albania very long?
24 A. About two months.
25 Q. So some two months later when you returned, is that when you heard
1 what happened to your husband?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know if any of the other men who were left behind died as a
4 result of whatever went on after you left?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were some of them members of the KLA?
7 A. No, they were not.
8 Q. Did you hear about any fighting between the Serb forces and the
9 KLA in the area of Izbica upon your return?
10 A. No. I didn't hear anything. And I was not even interested,
11 because I was very sad. My husband was killed. My son was also lost. So
12 I was not interested in these things.
13 Q. Upon your return, did you find out what happened to the 150 or 160
14 men who were left behind in the field when you were separated from them?
15 A. When I returned, I saw my uncle there, and he showed me what had
16 happened. They had buried them. On 10th of May, my husband was killed,
17 and they had buried him there. After three days, they had exhumed them
18 and taken them away from that place.
19 Q. Do you know how many men had been killed?
20 A. In the Izbica outskirts, 202 men. As far as I remember, 165 were
21 buried there.
22 Q. Do you know how many of the men in the field, that were there with
23 the women when you were separated, died?
24 A. I know them by name and last name.
25 Q. Have you stopped to count or do you know approximately how many
1 there are rather than have you list all the names?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us?
4 A. Rahudin [phoen] Behrami, Ramush Behrami, Muhamed Behrami, Muhamet
5 Tahi, Azem Tahi, Ethem Tahi, Qazim Behrami, Zaim Behrami, Feiz Hoxha,
6 Mustafe Sejdiu.
7 Q. Final question: The -- you told us about two old women who were
8 left on a trailer who were alive when you left, when the trailer was set
9 on fire. Upon your return, did you find out what happened to them?
10 A. Yes. They were burned in the trailer with all their belongings.
11 They couldn't move, so they were burned in the tractor [sic].
12 Q. Thank you. I believe those are the questions that I have of this
14 JUDGE MAY: If the registrar could come up, please.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, before cross-examination, I wonder
17 whether the Court would want a copy of this witness's statement for any
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll have a copy.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. We'll provide that.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
22 MR. RYNEVELD: It's available now should you wish those.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you could hand them in. If the usher would
24 collect them for us.
25 Mr. Milosevic, it's now for you to cross-examine. We've made
1 inquiries about the telephone. We've said that it should be on tonight,
2 and we'll discuss the matter further tomorrow, but it's now for you to
3 cross-examine the witness.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am sorry that the witness lost her
5 baby, but I have to ask her a few questions.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] The first question that I commented on with some
8 of my associates in the course of the break, the lunch break, was
9 something that the representative of the other side, the opposite side,
10 referred to a moment ago, and the question was: Why did your husband
11 become a member of the KLA in 1996? Because that's what I heard the
12 witness to say. And as I received an answer that was that she didn't
13 know, let me rephrase the question.
14 Who took him away to the mountains and why?
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Just before that happens, and I don't want to
16 interject, but I have a copy of the questions and answers, and "1996" was
17 not this witness's answer. So before she's cross-examined again with
18 respect to a wrong date, I think it's my duty to bring that to everyone's
19 attention. The question was:
20 Q. You told us at some point your husband was a member
21 of the KLA. When was that?
22 A. Before, in the past.
23 Q. Do you remember when that was?
24 A. I don't remember.
25 Q. Was it during 1999 or 1998 or sometime? Are you
1 able to give us perhaps a wide range if you don't
2 know the exact range?
3 A. Not in 1998, in 1999.
4 Just if that assists Mr. Milosevic with his cross.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes. Now, can the witness answer the question?
6 The question was: Who took your husband away to the mountains and why?
7 Can you answer that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody took my husband. He went by
9 himself because it wasn't safe to remain at home, and he went.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue?
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. There was a public television report on the alleged mass graves
14 which were shown by satellite in the region of the village of Izbica, and
15 it was ascertained with identical photographs that that was not true, that
16 there were fields there. And they talked to Albanian witnesses who said
17 that nobody was killed there or is buried there.
18 Now, did you see that report on television or did you hear about
20 A. No, I didn't hear or see any such thing.
21 Q. The whole village of Izbica comprises 12 houses?
22 A. Not 12 houses but 60 houses.
23 Q. I have the figure of 12, that it has 12 houses and 70
25 JUDGE MAY: The witness -- the witness --
1 A. No.
2 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... said 60.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You said that you did not hear of any operations and activities by
5 the KLA in your area, and your area is Drenica; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you hear of a man by the name of Selimi, and his nickname was
8 Sulltan, from your area, from the Srbica municipality, who was one of the
9 commanders of the KLA and later on became a general in the Kosovo
10 Protection Corps? His name was Selimi and his nickname was Sulltan.
11 A. I have heard the name of Sulltan, but I wasn't interested in this
12 sort of thing and I didn't know him.
13 Q. Have you heard of a man by the name of Ushtaku, from Prekaz, which
14 is very close by - it is near Srbica - who is also a general today in the
15 Kosovo Protection Corps?
16 A. I've heard the name, but I'm not interested in this sort of
17 thing. I'm a mother of four children, left without a husband, and I'm
18 interested in taking care of my children. I'm not interested in anything
20 Q. I'm just asking you about something that happened before that.
21 Did you hear about those people before the war began?
22 A. I don't know anything of this.
23 Q. Have you ever heard that in Drenica there were five KLA brigades?
24 Did you ever hear about that piece of information?
25 A. I don't know how many there were.
1 Q. Were there many of them or few? In your opinion, would you say
2 there were many or few?
3 A. I said I don't know how many there are, or were.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was there any KLA brigade in Drenica at all?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if there was. I am not
6 educated and I don't know these things.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I'll skip my next questions and move on. I have some very
9 concrete questions to ask you.
10 You said on several occasions during your testimony today that,
11 when you were moving from Izbica, you said at the end that it lasted a
12 total of six days, that throughout that time you were escorted by the army
13 and the police.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then you said that at one point the column was shelled, the
16 column that was accompanied, escorted, by the army and the police.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You said that the shells fell from a height, which --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So they were probably mortars, as the shells were falling from a
21 height. Now, do you assume that the column, escorted by the army and
22 police, could have been shelled just by the KLA and not that police and
23 army escorting the column? Would it be right to assume that?
24 A. Not by the KLA but by the Serbs, because there were tanks on the
25 hills, and the tanks came, and we saw them, and they were on the hills,
1 and that was where the shells came, and we saw the red flash scattered on
2 all sides.
3 Q. The tanks neutralised the KLA, who was shelling the column. They
4 weren't shooting at you. These shells from tanks do not fall from a
5 height. Did the idea come to you that you were in fact being shelled by
6 the KLA?
7 A. I'm not thinking about the KLA. I'm saying that what I saw is the
8 truth, and I was on the road, and I am telling the truth of what I saw.
9 Q. Yes, but do you think it reasonable that the army and police
10 should shell a column which was being escorted precisely by the army and
11 the police?
12 A. They told us to go to Kline, but we wanted to go to Tushille, and
13 then they started shelling us, and that was why they shelled us.
14 Q. But they were with you all the time - you said that several
15 times - and later on too.
16 A. Yes. All the time before -- while we were on the way to Albania,
17 they were with us.
18 Q. You said the following: The column was interrupted due to the
19 shelling, and then you said that after the shelling, the police turned you
20 round about. They turned you round. That's the term you used. The army
21 and the police who were with you turned you round and returned you to
22 another village. That's how you put it. Now, do you think that the
23 police and army turned the column round to avoid casualties and victims,
24 because there was shells falling on you, and then the army did an
25 about-turn, turned you round to stop you from becoming casualties? Did
1 that idea occur to you?
2 A. If they were thinking of saving us, they would not have shot at
3 us. But it was their intention to get us out of Kosova and get us to
4 Albania. And this shelling divided the column, and there were five people
5 killed. And they wanted us to go to Albania, and we didn't want to go,
6 because it was such a long way and we had nothing to eat and drink, but
7 they wanted to get us all out of Kosova.
8 Q. Yes, but a moment ago you said that they warned you and said that
9 unless you go in that direction, they would turn you back. They just
10 wanted to move you away from the road. You said that they told you,
11 "Either go there or we're going to turn you back to your village."
12 A. No, no. It was when we got to the border, went to cross the
13 border on foot. It was half an hour before we reached the border, saying
14 that "If you don't get to the border by 6.00, we'll turn you all the way
15 back that great long road."
16 Q. You said that along the whole route there were Serb soldiers and
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Why do you think that they were mocking you when they gave you
21 A. I don't know what they were thinking about when they were mocking
23 Q. How did they mock you?
24 A. They made jokes about us and mocked us, saying we were just women
25 and children, and why didn't we have any men with us? And they made jokes
1 about this.
2 Q. And they did that while they were giving you food?
3 A. What food? It was one loaf of bread that they threw at us, just
4 as a joke, just throwing a loaf of bread as a joke. They didn't give us a
5 thing. They didn't let us rest. They didn't let us stop to breathe.
6 Q. You said that you kept moving during the day and rested during the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said that when you got close to Kline, that there was fire
10 there and shooting and that they told you to go back and not to enter
11 Kline. Do you remember what date that was on?
12 A. No, I don't remember dates. They told us to go to Kline, but
13 because I'd left three children, I wanted -- I wanted to go back. But I
14 was ... [no interpretation].
15 Q. Asked who told you to go to Djakovica, your answer was: "The same
16 Serbs who escorted me throughout, who escorted us all the way."
17 A. There was plenty. They just said, "Go to Gjakova." I didn't talk
18 with them any more. Then they insulted us in Serbian. I didn't
19 understand these Serbian words.
20 Q. Now, as the army and police escorted you and, in my opinion,
21 provided security for you while you were passing through these war zones,
22 do you happen to have an idea as to who the fighting was between, the army
23 and the KLA or the army and the police and the KLA? Between whom would
24 you say that was happening?
25 A. I wasn't thinking about these things. I was only thinking of my
1 children and how to save them and thinking of the road and how to join
2 them. And I left three sons over there, and that's all I was thinking
4 Q. You said that in Glodjane, the Albanians who lived there were told
5 to stay there, and you said that there were no military operations there
6 and that those Albanians there were Catholics. Therefore, I would like to
7 ask you, since you yourself gave us these elements, do you think that they
8 were told to remain there because there were no military operations there
9 or they were told so because they were Catholics?
10 A. I don't know. I don't know a thing.
11 Q. Except that they were told to remain there. That's what you said,
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's what she said.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Do you remember the incident in 1998 when three Albanians were
16 killed in Srbica by the KLA, Zaim Turivuci [phoen]; Sefer Zinavi [phoen];
17 and Shefqet the forestkeeper; and Blagoje Jovanovic, a Serb? Do you
18 remember this incident?
19 A. I don't remember, and I haven't heard about it.
20 Q. Nobody ever told you anything about it?
21 A. No one.
22 Q. Do you remember when, on the 5th of March in 1998 in Prekaz, which
23 is nearby, a police station was attacked and two policemen were killed,
24 whereas eight were seriously wounded? Do you remember that incident?
25 A. I don't know anything about it, because I wasn't interested in
2 Q. Do you remember the murder of an Albanian called Gashi Mark on the
3 17th of July, 1998, on the road near Srbica?
4 A. Nothing.
5 Q. Do you remember how on the 20th of February, 1998, also between
6 Srbica and Kline, Hakaj Murat was killed as well. He's an Albanian. Have
7 you heard of that murder?
8 A. I haven't heard and I don't know anything about it.
9 Q. Have you heard that a woman called Habije Rameraj was killed in
10 the village of Rudnik, also nearby?
11 A. I haven't heard a thing because I'm not educated and I'm not
12 interested in those things. So I haven't heard and I haven't asked.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, there can be little point putting these
14 things to the witness. She says she doesn't know. In due course, as
15 you've been told before, you can put evidence before us about them, but
16 there's no point going on asking her about them when she doesn't know.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I attempted to determine at
18 least one fact for certain, and I want to tell you that everything we've
19 heard so far was copied from the book of The Fund of Humanitarian Law,
20 pages 345 and 346, whereas these events that are mentioned as taking place
21 in Izbica were copied from the pages 343 up to 352. So everything that we
22 heard being testified to here was copied from that book.
23 I want to say that the Prosecutor is manipulating with these
24 witnesses. The Prosecutor coldly ascribes this to me these events,
25 although they don't know who in fact perpetrated them. They claim to have
1 evidence that police and the army arrested the culprits, the perpetrators
2 of these crimes. They are very serious documents confirming this, and I
3 don't wish to continue -- I don't want to continue with these questions to
4 which I'm not being given proper answers.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have now mentioned a document. You
6 could put that document before us, and we will consider it in due course.
7 If there is any question of manipulation by the Prosecution, of course
8 we'll deal with it, but there's been none so far.
9 Now, this witness has given evidence. If you have any more
10 questions about that evidence, you should ask it, otherwise, we'll bring
11 the cross-examination to a close.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will put just one more question,
13 the same that was put by the Prosecution; namely, the Prosecutor asked
14 something along these lines, whether these people ran and whether they
15 fled and whether that had anything to do with the NATO bombing, which I
16 would describe as just half of the question that I want to put. So my
17 full question would be:
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did the fact that these people were fleeing have anything to do
20 with the fact that there was shooting going on in the territory where they
21 lived? There was combat operations between army and the KLA, which was
22 assisted by the NATO.
23 A. I don't know that. I've only seen the Serbs shoot at us, because
24 NATO wasn't shooting at us. We were not free to go anywhere.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Tapuskovic, do you want to ask anything?
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since you were
2 provided the witness's statements which had been given to the
3 investigators before, in these statements she discussed how the residents
4 of her village had problems with the army and the police. And if you
5 allow me, I would like to put several questions to the witness regarding
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I sincerely regret all the events
9 that occurred and all the misfortune that she suffered.
10 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to ask you the following, madam:
12 Did these problems that you had with the army and police -- and the police
13 have to do anything with the fact that they frequently searched your
15 A. They have searched our house frequently. They came to search for
16 weapons, to get money from us and so on.
17 Q. Previously --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What page in the witness's statement are you
19 referring to?
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 1, Your Honour, of her
21 statement dated 14 May 1999. So first page of that statement given on the
22 14th of May, 1999.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. On that occasion, on the 14th of May when you gave a statement,
1 you discussed how they searched the house, looking for weapons. At that
2 point, you did not mention them looking for money.
3 A. They were looking for weapons, but they have also taken money from
4 us. We -- my husband has an old gun from my grand grandfather, and they
5 took it away. And I don't know.
6 Q. Very well. I understood you well. Is it true that on occasions
7 when they would find some weapons in the houses, as was the case when the
8 police looked for weapons in your house, that then, upon finding weapons,
9 they would take the men from the house and interrogate them?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it true that this lasted for several years until the KLA
12 presence in your area forced the Serb police to leave you alone?
13 A. As far as I know, we didn't have any bases there in Izbica, not in
14 our village, not in Izbica.
15 Q. This is what you said when you were interviewed on the 14th of
16 May, 1999. This is what I saw in your statement. This is how you
17 explained it on that occasion.
18 A. I can't understand.
19 Q. On that occasion, you stated that these problems that you had with
20 the police lasted all the way up until the presence of the KLA in your
21 area caused the Serb police to leave you alone. Yes or no, please.
22 A. I haven't said that.
23 Q. Was your husband a member of the KLA from the very beginning, and
24 participated in the operations always, and stayed in camps together with
25 other KLA members? This is what you stated when you gave your statement
1 to the OTP investigators.
2 A. I don't know. I don't know. For as long as we were there, he
3 wasn't a member of the KLA. When he had to go, because he was not -- we
4 were not left alone, I don't know afterwards what happened.
5 Q. Then, as you said, the NATO bombing began, and you said during
6 your chief examination that the Srbica ammunition factory had been hit.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Yes, but previously you said that some kind of an antenna had also
9 been hit. Could you please explain this to us? What antenna was this all
11 A. I don't know how I've said that. For the factory, for the
12 munition factory, yes, but as far as the antenna is concerned, I can't
14 Q. This is what you said on that occasion when you gave this
15 statement. Can you tell me how far this ammunition factory is from the
16 place where you lived? Were you able to detect anything, anything that
17 took place in that factory?
18 A. No. No, because we are two and a half hours away. I didn't know
19 a thing. Far from Skenderaj.
20 Q. Yes, but two nights later, two nights after the beginning of
21 bombing, your husband came home and warned you to get ready urgently, to
22 leave that place; is that true?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did he tell you to take food with you, and clothing, and to hurry
25 up, to leave as soon as possible?
1 A. He told us -- because we couldn't go anywhere. It was just
2 getting out of the house, because we were afraid for our house because it
3 was going to be burnt down. We feared that.
4 Q. You also spoke about the shells that were falling, but previously
5 you stated that most of the shells fell in the hills area, and it seemed
6 that they were shelling the hills in order to suppress the KLA activity.
7 I've exhausted this topic now.
8 You previously also stated, and you also mentioned this during
9 your chief examination, that you saw when a burst of fire was opened on
10 Haxhi Thaci and Rexhep Thaci. You said that you witnessed this burst of
11 fire; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You saw that the soldiers did the shooting; is that right?
14 A. They were mixed soldiers and policemen, and I wasn't able to
15 distinguish them. There was just a volley of automatic rifle fire, and
16 they fell to the ground. And we were just women, and we went on, out of
17 fear. I don't know whether it was police or soldiers who fired.
18 Q. But when you were giving your statement on the 14th of May, 1999,
19 you told the investigator that a member of the paramilitary forces took
20 out his pistol and then fired a shot into the chest of each of them; is
21 that right?
22 A. No. I said automatic, two at once, and I saw it with my own eyes.
23 Q. Did they read back your statement to you on the 14th of May,
24 1999? Did they read back to you what they recorded as your statement?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And on that occasion, you did not object to what you heard. You
2 did not object upon hearing that this incident was described just as I
3 read it to you, and you gave this statement on the 14th of May, 1999,
4 which means just a few months after this incident took place.
5 A. What do you mean, 14th of May? I don't understand.
6 Q. So on the 14th of May, you gave a statement about what you
7 experienced in 1999 while you were in Albania. So you gave this
8 statement, and in that statement you described this event the way I just
9 told you. And when your statement was read back to you, you did not
10 object to this incident being described along these lines. Is that right?
11 A. Well, I didn't understand.
12 Q. Very well. When you were in Kraljane, when you arrived in
13 Kraljane, you stated previously that there were no Serb soldiers or
14 policemen there; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And when you left Kraljane, you said that you needed one hour to
17 go from Kraljane to Glodjane, and that on that occasion you were driven by
18 the KLA members on tractors on the side roads, and that there were no
19 problems during that ride, there was no shelling going on. Is that
20 right? You were driven there by the KLA. And I have just two more
22 A. There were. There were. There were civilians.
23 Q. You said that you did not take your ID documents with you from
24 your house, but rather that your ID documents remained in your house and
25 burnt down. And you also stated that you had them at the time. Last time
1 you said that even if you had them on you, you would not have turned them
2 over because the man who was taking them away was in civilian clothes. He
3 was an Albanian. And a long way before the border, he --
4 A. Civilians. I'm not saying that they were Albanians, but that they
5 spoke Albanian as if they were Albanians.
6 Q. Very well. Just one more question. When you arrived at the
7 border, you did not have to wait. You crossed it right away. And then
8 you said that nobody asked for your documents at all.
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: One question in re-examination arising from that,
12 and one housekeeping matter, if I may, thereafter.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
14 Q. Witness, when you were just being asked by Mr. Tapuskovic about
15 not being asked for your documents at the border, had you earlier been
16 asked for your documents on the way to the border?
17 A. Yes, in Gjakova.
18 Q. So by the time you got to the border, that had already been
19 accomplished; is that what you're saying?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: I have no further re-examination.
22 The housekeeping matter, if I may --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld --
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like to congratulate Mr. Tapuskovic on his
1 line of questioning. I think it is classically the role of the amicus.
2 The accused in this case has not read the witness statements, and what he
3 has been trying to do is to show discrepancies which could be very
4 relevant to the matters at issue, and I think that is classically the role
5 of the amicus.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour, I wholeheartedly concur, which is
7 also why, you'll recall, I intended -- I brought these sections to my
8 learned friend's attention and also tried to ensure that the statements
9 would get to all parties. And it's that -- it's the housekeeping
10 matter --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: And the statement should be exhibited.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: That's my point. I don't recall them being given
13 numbers, and I would ask that they be given numbers. Now that they have
14 actually been cross-examined on by Mr. Tapuskovic, I think it's only
15 proper that they be received and be given proper exhibits numbers. Thank
17 THE REGISTRAR: The statement of May 1999 will be Exhibit 22, and
18 the other statement of October 2001 will be Prosecution Exhibit 23.
19 JUDGE MAY: As far as the witness is concerned, that concludes her
20 evidence. We would like to thank you, madam, for coming to the
21 International Tribunal to give your evidence. You're now free to go.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour indicated this morning that we wouldn't
1 start with another witness until administrative matters have been dealt
2 with, and so there isn't another witness available to start now. I don't
3 know if you want to deal with administrative matters or start to deal with
4 them now.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. NICE: Or certainly list the matters that we ought to deal
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 MR. NICE: So far as 92 bis statements are concerned, a motion has
10 been filed at lunchtime, I think, and I rather doubt if you've had an
11 opportunity yet to see it. We made sure that -- we have some courtesy
12 copies available now, but I'm not asking you to read them straightaway. I
13 respectfully suggest that that matter be put over until tomorrow morning
14 for consideration. We may be able to deal with one or two other matters.
15 JUDGE MAY: It may be beyond that, because it seems to me that
16 this being the first occasion, we've got a make a ruling. It would be
17 sensible to have a substantial number of statements to consider.
18 MR. NICE: Certainly.
19 JUDGE MAY: And rather than ruling in a vacuum, to do it in
20 relation to specific statements.
21 MR. NICE: Yes. We put a schedule together at the back of the
22 motion which lists the statements so far that may fall for admission under
23 92 bis, but, of course, the issue is a very broad one in the setting of
24 this particular case, and indeed the approach taken in this part of the
25 case may have its consequences for the other parts of the cases yet to
2 JUDGE MAY: And that's why we need to take our time about it.
3 What would be helpful would be, besides a list, would be the
4 actual statements, because we don't have them.
5 MR. NICE: I'm sorry. Yes, of course. I'd forgotten that. The
6 reason you don't have them, of course, is one of the other administrative
7 matters we've got to deal with and this: Village binders were -- not
8 village binders. Location binders were being prepared in accordance with
9 an earlier indication by the Chamber that this would be a helpful
10 practice. We were prepared in respect of killing sites and then in
11 respect generally of deportation and served in full and indeed with, I
12 think, colour photocopies where relevant, and that's significant, on the
13 accused, who won't have read them, and on the amici. And those binders
14 contained the proposed 92 bis statements collected together location by
15 location or in respect of deportations.
16 When it became apparent that the Chamber didn't want us to
17 complete that exercise so far as the Chamber was concerned, we arrested
18 it, so far as the Chamber was concerned, and of course in those
19 circumstances, you didn't get the 92 bis statements. So I'll make sure
20 they are provided separately overnight. And that may remind us -- or not
21 overnight, as soon as court rises this afternoon. But that may remind us
22 that the binder issue is one to which it may be convenient to return to
23 tomorrow because we're anxious to provide materials in a way that will
24 help the Chamber in its work. We can only do that in a sense if guided by
25 the Chamber.
1 The --
2 JUDGE MAY: Just while we're on the binders.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: Again so we're not talking in a vacuum, I think the
5 best thing would be is if you let us have one example of a binder.
6 MR. NICE: Certainly.
7 JUDGE MAY: And then we can look at it, maybe next week return to
8 it again, but it would be helpful to see what's envisaged.
9 MR. NICE: I know that the binders as served on the accused and
10 the amici contained material that your legal officer informally, I think,
11 suggested shouldn't be included in the binders for yourselves, for
12 example, containing an investigator's summary of events which is a topic
13 to which we may have to return.
14 I would propose on this occasion that we provide you with, if we
15 can, an exactly identical version of the document served on the accused
16 and on the amici so that you can, even if you don't look at the material
17 that may offend any rules of admissibility provisionally considered to be
18 binding on you, at least you can know what's available to the accused and
19 his associates who it may be do have advantage, I don't know, of looking
20 at some of this material. Because that shows how easy or difficult it is
21 for him to prepare for the various issues as they are coming forward in
23 So we'll do that if we can. Yes, we think so. Although the
24 process was arrested, I'm sure we can put one together for the Chamber.
25 So as to 92 bis itself, the motion will be with you this afternoon
1 or immediately the court rises.
2 Now, the amount of jurisprudence is comparatively limited. The
3 practical significance of that jurisprudence for this case may be very
4 substantial. I'm quite happy to address the issues tomorrow morning or,
5 if the Chamber so decides, to put it off until people have had more time
6 to think about it.
7 JUDGE MAY: I think we need to consider it. We need to consider
8 the statements themselves before we hear oral argument and also look at
9 the jurisprudence and your motion. So I think probably next week for
11 MR. NICE: Very good. Can I just deal with a couple of other
12 matters in any event that are still on my mind? One, there's the question
13 of cross-examination by the accused, which I said I would return. And
14 perhaps it would just help if I set out our position, because quite
15 intentionally we've taken a very low intervention rate with the
16 cross-examination by this accused for pretty obvious reasons, really, for
17 those whose understanding of these cases is not entirely limited to what
18 they see on television and films about jury trials.
19 Where you've got professional Judges, intervention is really,
20 frankly, unhelpful, and it's particularly difficult to be effective where
21 you have cross-examination conducted through interpreters, with the delay
22 that that builds in, because by the time you make an intervention, all too
23 often the moment's passed and it can sometimes be unhelpful as well as
24 confusing. And of course, insofar as intervention is concerned to protect
25 witnesses from improper questioning, with professional Judges that's
1 typically taken care of by the Chamber itself.
2 We also had in mind, at least thus far, that this unrepresented
3 accused has been finding his feet as to this particular task that he's
4 decided to discharge himself. And for what it's worth, questioning can be
5 revealing of the process of questioning and the questioner.
6 However, we do have to have in mind the effect that questioning
7 can have on witnesses yet to come, and it would be foolish to pretend that
8 this process isn't being given very wide publicity. And we would
9 respectfully suggest to the Chamber that questioning that contains a very
10 large quantity of comment and argument, it would appear to us, may now be
11 capable of giving a misleading impression. In particular, it may be seen,
12 not of course by Your Honours, we understand that, but elsewhere as really
13 adducing evidence.
14 And so we would respectfully suggest that the accused, who must
15 now understand the Rules very well, should be kept wherever possible, and
16 it will save time if he is kept, be kept wherever possible to asking
17 questions and not to building comments into them.
18 Your Honour, I've been aware that the particular provisions of
19 Rule 90, as to cross-examination by counsel, were amended -- or not
20 amended, were interpreted in the direction given to the accused in a way
21 that requires of him less than is required of counsel. I have in mind in
22 particular that under 90(H)(ii):
23 "In cross-examination of a witness who is able to give evidence
24 relevant to the case for the cross-examining party ..."
25 Excuse me one minute.
1 "In cross-examination of a witness who is able to give evidence
2 relevant to the case for the cross-examining party, counsel shall put to
3 the witness the nature of the case of the party for whom that counsel
4 appears which is in contradiction of the evidence given by the witness."
5 So it's mandatory for counsel.
6 In the order that Your Honours made effective on this particular
7 accused, under "Annex B, Cross-examination Rule 90," matters were
8 expressed differently because it was said it was his opportunity to ask
9 questions relating to his case, the case which he wished to put forward.
10 We would obviously be much assisted, so that it's not -- so that
11 it's not mandatory in the way that it reads. We, and we suspect the
12 Chamber, would be much assisted by the accused putting his case to
13 witnesses. He's plainly in all ways capable of doing so, and it's only
14 when cases are joined by the putting of a case that both the Prosecution
15 and the Chamber are in a position to know how to deal with evidence to
16 come, what evidence should indeed be brought, what evidence, for example,
17 may come in under 92 bis and what should not. And in cross-examinations
18 that have been extensive on material arguably less central or arguably
19 peripheral, it has been noticeable that from time to time the accused has
20 not focused on the central issue, which is the issue of deportation and
21 associated acts, in respect of which a case should be put.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, in my view he has been putting his
23 case. Perhaps not in so many words, but it is becoming pretty clear to me
24 at any rate what his case is from his line of questioning. He -- the
25 Chamber has been fairly relaxed in addressing issues which might be
1 considered peripheral, but I think we have taken that approach because the
2 accused is representing himself. But your case can be put in in many
3 ways. In the system from which we come, it is put in a particular way,
4 but notwithstanding the use of specific and express language, which
5 indicates that the case is being put.
6 In my view, the accused's case is quite apparent. And it may be
7 that the Chamber will consider giving further guidance to him in this
9 MR. NICE: Well, I'm grateful for that helpful indication. And
10 all I would say in addition to what I've already said is this: It really
11 is quite important for us to know, in the case of witnesses who are giving
12 evidence that they've left for a particular reason, whether that reason is
13 being challenged and, if so, whether an alternative is being advanced, but
14 there it is.
15 Your Honour, that's all I desire to say about cross-examination,
16 having drawn to your attention the particular form of the order and its
17 contrast with Rule 90(H)(ii).
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we obviously knew what the order was -- the
19 Rule was when we made the order. We are dealing here with a litigant in
20 person, who is in a different position to a professional counsel appearing
21 for an accused, and the order was tailored to have that matter in
23 We of course take note of your concerns. We have them in mind.
24 As Judge Robinson has indicated, it may be that we will be returning to
25 this issue, and we would be grateful for the assistance of the amicus in
1 it, but in particular on this topic: What should be the scope of
2 cross-examination on issues other than those directly related by the
3 witness when giving evidence? In particular, what should be the scope of
4 cross-examination allowed on matters involving the KLA, for instance, and
5 also the NATO bombing, having in mind that the accused will have the
6 opportunity, of course, of putting evidence in front us in due course? To
7 what extent should cross-examination be permitted on those issues? How
8 broad should it be?
9 MR. KAY: Would Your Honour like a paper from us on that matter?
10 Would that be helpful? Because it might be, as it is such an important
11 subject, a useful matter to have time to reflect upon rather than just
12 having oral argument.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it would be. And perhaps you could extend it, if
14 you're going to put something on paper, to considering this, which is
15 behind all this, which is the extent to which in international criminal
16 proceedings the defence of tu quoque, as it's called, i.e., "the other
17 side is to blame" -- now, what is the extent to which that can be
18 advanced? Some tribunals have taken a very strict view of that.
19 MR. KAY: Yes.
20 JUDGE MAY: And we would be grateful for assistance from you on
21 that topic, to what the correct approach is.
22 MR. KAY: Yes.
23 JUDGE MAY: We haven't ruled it out, of course, so far, evidence
24 or questions on this area, but it may be argued by some that it's strictly
1 MR. KAY: We'll research the matter and perhaps include it within
2 the same paper so that all the issues can be considered together.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
4 MR. NICE: And, Your Honour, although we've taken a very
5 non-interventionist role in relation to that particular defence, I think
6 the time has also come for us to address you, perhaps in writing, on that
7 issue as well, and I hope that will be helpful. Subject to all these
8 matters I've raised this afternoon, I intend to pursue the essentially
9 non-interventionist role wherever possible, and I assume that that's what
10 the Chamber, in charge of its own procedure, wishes of us.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You can rest assured that we approve that
13 MR. NICE: Yes.
14 JUDGE MAY: This is not a jury trial, where it is helpful to have
15 counsel bobbing up and down and making objections. Rather, the reverse.
16 It takes up a lot of time and usually is to no point. This is a Tribunal
17 of professional Judges and should be allowed to decide for itself when
18 questions or anything of that sort are improper or not or inadmissible.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, then mindful, as I am, of the time, and
20 seeing that Mr. Boas isn't here, he having particular responsibility for
21 the Croatia and Bosnia part of the trial, I know that there are some
22 outstanding issues in relation to that part of the trial to be dealt with,
23 in particular, issues about timing of service of documents.
24 Can I make one point now, although I'd be grateful, if possible,
25 for the opportunity to develop it a little more tomorrow, and it reverts
1 back to what the Prosecutor was herself saying the other day to you about
2 her undertakings, and I think they were her undertakings to the Appeals
3 Chamber about timing and about provision of pre-trial briefs and witness
4 statements being conditional. You will remember that, and you will
5 remember that there was a reference to one of the Rules.
6 In fact, what the Prosecutor had in mind, I think, was 65
7 ter (E)(i), which refers to the timing of the final version of the
8 Prosecutor's pre-trial brief and so on, which by, as it were, implication
9 allows for the possibility of conditional or provisional ones.
10 Be all that as it may, it was, of course, the understanding of the
11 Prosecution that it was possible, as has been done in other cases but in
12 different circumstances, to present documents on a provisional basis.
13 Well, Your Honour, I note -- I have in mind, of course, what Your Honour
14 said to the Prosecutor a week or so ago.
15 Can I, however, ask the Chamber to give very serious consideration
16 to this or these two realities: As a result of what is being asked by the
17 accused in respect of proposed 92 bis statements and as a result of any
18 decision that may be made, there may be inevitably some change in the
19 overall time scale of this part of case. Whether we like it very much or
20 not, that may be inevitable.
21 The second reality is that the pre-trial brief in the
22 Plavsic/Krajisnik case, which is, of course, in many ways closely
23 associated with this case, is due in at the end of April. Now, it is
24 desirable, of course, and indeed important that the Prosecution in these
25 cases is coordinated as opposed to the reverse. The Plavsic/Krajisnik
1 material certainly can't be advanced before that date, and it would be of
2 very considerable assistance to the Prosecution and ultimately saving of
3 any of the sorts of appeal problems that have been arising in other cases
4 which have been parallel but tried in a disjointed way, it would be
5 extremely helpful for us if we could certainly have that extra month, both
6 to ensure that what we are advancing as a single Prosecution is properly
7 coordinated across relevant cases and also because the time pressures on
8 us, as the Prosecutor was making clear when she spoke of conditional or
9 provisional witness lists and pre-trial briefs, they are so substantial as
10 to make proper compliance with the earlier date very, very difficult,
11 simply by the amount of material to be dealt with.
12 So I would ask you to give some thought to that, but I would be
13 grateful, if I can, to have an opportunity just to develop it a little
14 further tomorrow morning. As you know, I haven't been here yesterday, and
15 there have been one or two matters occupying me today that have kept me
16 away from looking into that a little bit further, and I would like that
18 There's then one other entirely different topic that I wanted to
19 refer to for some time - and I have mentioned to your legal officers, and
20 I don't know that I've mentioned it to the amici, but there's no reason
21 why they shouldn't hear about it now - and it relates to the documents
22 that will be presented to the Court at the close of proceedings at the end
23 of the trial.
24 As the Court may know, I think, from representations I may have
25 made in either this or in other cases, it often seems to be the case that
1 different parties to the trial - Prosecution; where there's a Defence,
2 Defence; here perhaps the amici; and maybe those serving the
3 Chamber - will be producing significantly similar documents but not
4 actually identical ones. That presents, I suppose, two interesting
5 problems. One is just that the manpower problem of the same people doing
6 different -- sorry, different people doing the same thing. It presents
7 another problem that sometimes documents that may have some persuasive
8 effect won't necessarily be seen by an accused. And in this particular
9 case, it presents a problem for the accused, who may not be preparing any
10 of these documents which are tools of analysis of one kind or another that
11 would help him.
12 And I've been considering for some time whether there's a way,
13 with a trial that's going to take a considerable period of time on any
14 reckoning, whether there's a way we can have documents being prepared that
15 will serve everyone's purpose and that will be, in a sense, common
16 documents; for example, chronologies, or documents that provide some
17 analysis of the evidence as it's being given in a table of a kind that,
18 for example, the accused would himself be able to use at the end of the
19 trial to make his comments in presenting written arguments to the Court.
20 I'd like to be given at least a short time in Court for the
21 Chamber to think about that, but I need to have the documents with me to
22 present to you, and I wasn't expecting to have to do this until tomorrow,
23 at the earliest. And so if it's convenient, tomorrow, or otherwise later
24 this week or next week, might we think about that? It may be impossible
25 performance or it may only be capable of being dealt with by the
1 Prosecution preparing its documents and serving them from time to time on
2 the other parties for them to use. But in an environment where we have to
3 be imaginative in order to be economic and in order to ensure that the
4 accused's interests are properly reflected, this type of document, common
5 to all of us, may serve a significant purpose.
6 Can I return to that a little later?
7 JUDGE MAY: You want to return to something tomorrow, you said?
8 MR. NICE: Well, that tomorrow, and the issue of the dating of the
9 pre-trial brief in Croatia/Bosnia are the two topics I'd like to return
10 to. And the document is a topic I'd like to return to because I'd like to
11 have some models available for you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tomorrow morning, then.
13 The registrar, please.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll sit again tomorrow morning, half past 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.08 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
18 February 2002, at 9.30 a.m.