1 Friday, 5 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: SANDRA MITCHELL [Resumed]
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] In this summary, in the penultimate paragraph, it
10 says the witness will say: [In English] "Human Rights Division utilised
11 standards and commonly accepted norms found in international human rights
12 conventions," et cetera, "including Geneva Conventions," et cetera.
13 [Interpretation] So you speak of human rights and the Geneva
14 Convention. My question is: Do you think that the Clinton
15 administration, by its decision to bomb Yugoslavia, imperiled human
17 JUDGE MAY: No. That is totally irrelevant as far as the
18 witness's evidence is concerned. It's totally irrelevant. She's come
19 here to give evidence about her work and the OSCE, and you must restrict
20 your questions to that and not ask irrelevant and political questions.
21 No. There's no point arguing about this. Now, ask her questions
22 about her evidence.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness refers to the
24 Geneva Convention, Mr. May. Does that mean that I'm not allowed to ask
25 her about the Geneva Convention either?
1 JUDGE MAY: You can ask relevant questions about the Geneva
2 Convention but not irrelevant ones.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh. These are irrelevant things?
4 All right, Mr. May.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The point of your testimony, as well as of your various personal
7 references, as far as I understood this, is saying that "As Seen, As Told"
8 is an objective book, and the claims made therein as well; right?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. In order to make true claims, objective claims, do those who
11 observe have to be objective observers?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And do you believe that persons who are under the control of such
14 a criminal organisation such as the KLA is, the Albanian drug Mafia, do
15 constitute objective observers?
16 JUDGE MAY: That presupposes that the witnesses to whom the
17 witness and her organisation spoke were under the control of the KLA. So
18 if you want to put that question, you must ask the witness if they were.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, we had a witness of the
20 other side here, an Albanian, who testified about that as well. Well, not
21 exactly willingly, about the fact --
22 JUDGE MAY: And not exactly as you have put it. However, since
23 you wish to put it, we'll put it to the witness.
24 Ms. Mitchell, in the people that you spoke to, the various people
25 on whose accounts you relied, Kosovo Albanians, was it your view that they
1 were under the control of the KLA or the Mafia or drug barons?
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, our reports are based on testimonies and
3 interviews with thousands of individuals. Particularly during the period
4 before the mission withdrew in Kosovo between October and March, we would
5 have, in fact, been meeting with representatives of the KLA in order to
6 follow up on specific allegations of human rights abuses that may have
7 concerned them.
8 I don't believe at any time, though, we felt that we were ever
9 speaking to somebody that was unwilling to speak to us.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And is it well-founded to assume that interlocutors have to tell
12 the truth, Ms. Mitchell? Can that only lead to a true and accurate
14 A. What we were trying to obtain when we spoke to people in Kosovo
15 was their version of the facts as they felt they were true. We were not
16 trying to influence them to any version of the truth that we may have
17 believed in personally. It is always our hope that our interlocutors will
18 tell the truth when we speak to them.
19 Q. All right. I'm not bringing into question your goodwill to find
20 out the truth, but do you assume that your interlocutors told you the
22 A. I guess to make the conclusion on the truth, I would rely on the
23 way in which the facts were handled by the organisation, and the
24 conclusions drawn from the thousands of interviews that were conducted
25 were done in a very careful manner. Nothing in any of the books is based
1 on any allegation that we did not believe was well-founded and based on
2 conclusive evidence of those allegations. So those conclusions of
3 interviews that were conducted and that we believe to be true have been
4 reported in these books.
5 Q. All right. Tell me, for example, whether you bore in mind the
6 following. I'm going to read out an example to you. This is an example
7 about which the Toronto Globe and Mail wrote in September, on the 8th of
8 September 1999, and it says there: [In English] "CBC - Canadian
9 Broadcasting Corporation - correspondent Nancy Durham made a name for
10 herself by venturing deep into Kosovo as a one-woman news team and
11 bringing back moving stories about both the dead and the living. Now it
12 turns out that one of her most touching reports about an 18-year-old girl
13 named Rajmunda [phoen] who vowed to avenge her sister's death at Serb's
14 hands is based on a lie. With a camera rolling --"
15 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you. I'm going to interrupt
16 you, Mr. Milosevic. You have heard us say often enough before that the
17 views of journalists are totally irrelevant. Now, so far all you're doing
18 is reading out some newspaper report about some totally irrelevant event.
19 Now, if you have a relevant question for this witness, you can put it, but
20 there's no point reading out reports which, as we've said often enough
21 before, are not evidence. If you want to call this witness, you can call
22 her. Now, you can ask a relevant question or we shall have to move on to
23 another topic or close this cross-examination altogether.
24 Now, what is the question?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. May, it says there
1 precisely that when she visited after the war, she found her sister well
2 and alive, this sister who was killed by the Serbs. And that was one of
3 the first heartrending stories about Serb crimes. She was there and she
4 was healthy and alive, and that's what it says there.
5 JUDGE MAY: So what is the question for this witness?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question for the witness is
7 whether she bore in mind this kind of practice which was quite widespread.
8 I can give you a great many other examples here as well. I am
9 intentionally quoting Western sources, not Yugoslav sources.
10 JUDGE MAY: Which practice are you putting to the witness which
11 you say was widespread?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Widespread, customary practice,
13 that's what it was, to lie through their teeth about alleged atrocities
14 that always took place in some other village, that nobody had seen,
15 rumours were spread, et cetera, et cetera. And then, of course,
16 propagandists of the KLA and, of course, the NATO propaganda people worked
17 on that.
18 JUDGE MAY: You put this in the form of a question as it should be
20 Ms. Mitchell, in your experience in Kosovo and the experience of
21 your team, did you find there to be a practice of lying about atrocities
22 and then making propaganda out of them, and in particular, was there --
23 were there instances which you found out about people making things up
24 which were subsequently found to be untrue? Can you assist us on that?
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, whenever you're in -- have the task of
1 trying to document human rights violations that are going on in an armed
2 conflict and during a massive influx and exodus of the population and then
3 the reverse when the conflict is over, people going back, you go through
4 great, great, great efforts to try to obtain the truth and to try to
5 verify as much as possible the information that is being told to you by
6 people that are often very traumatised and may have, only hours ago,
7 escaped a very life-threatening event.
8 So that being said, the OSCE missions that I worked in and the
9 Human Rights Divisions that I directed during the period of the two
10 reports during that 12-month period, established numerous protocols and
11 procedures to ensure that the information that we were getting was being
12 reviewed and analysed and interpreted in the most accurate of ways. And
13 I've submitted for your review many of the procedures that we used to try
14 to ensure that, and I'm happy to answer more questions, if that would be
16 I'm not aware of any lies being told to us about the events that
17 we've reported on that were subsequently proved to be incorrect by
18 physical evidence on the ground, anything like this. I think that during
19 the course of our work, we probably did interview people often whose
20 veracity we questioned, and as I said, we had ways of going about and
21 checking on that.
22 JUDGE MAY: It might be helpful if you gave us at least one
23 example of the way in which you would verify evidence.
24 THE WITNESS: Before the mission's withdrawal, primarily during the
25 period of December 1998 to March 20th, there was no access for ICTY.
1 There was no access for a lot of other international bodies that had
2 jurisdiction over the human rights situation in Kosovo, including some of
3 the UN committees had access getting into the area. As a result, the OSCE
4 felt it had an added responsibility to document these violations in the
5 absence of others being able to access the area.
6 So when we appeared on the sites of a conflict, a killing,
7 something of this nature, we would take statements from all of those
8 witnesses that we could. That information was handled by very few people.
9 It was shared only on a need-to-know basis, which was always respected by
10 the highest levels of the mission, including the Head of Mission. That
11 information was then kept under lock and key and provided to those
12 officials that had whatever official jurisdiction over it, as well as
13 follow-up visits being given with the appropriate domestic bodies, whether
14 it was the Ministry of Justice, to discuss whatever allegations we were
15 looking at.
16 After the evacuation and in the preparation of the reports, the
17 review of the information was handled differently because we weren't doing
18 the actual follow-up work. We didn't have access to Kosovo. These were
19 all taken out of the province. And in preparing these chapters for these
20 reports, things were analysed geographically as well as by the specific
21 human rights violations that were discussed by the refugee and then also
22 according to their specific grouping, if they were a community viewed most
23 at risk. So by analysing it in three different ways, there was three
24 different opportunities to confirm, cross-reference with different
25 interviews that were being conducted.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I proceed?
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. On the basis of what you've said, one may infer that all the
6 findings of your mission are contained in the reports of the Kosovo
7 Verification Mission; is that right?
8 A. What's contained in these reports you're referring to are the
9 findings of the work that was conducted primarily by the Human Rights
10 Division within the OSCE missions. The missions had different departments
11 that were focusing on different areas of verification that were called for
12 under the international documents, and these reports focused on the work
13 of the Human Rights Divisions of the three different Kosovo missions.
14 Q. It doesn't really matter to me in how many departments they were
15 focused. What matters to me is whether your findings were contained in
16 the reports of the Kosovo Verification Mission. And since they are
17 included in the reports of the Kosovo verification mission, is it your
18 assessment that in these reports, until you withdrew, there were no
19 findings that would attest to human rights violations or mass expulsions
20 or things like that? Could you corroborate that or is it perhaps that I
21 simply haven't noticed any such thing?
22 A. If I -- if I can --
23 JUDGE MAY: Do you follow that?
24 THE WITNESS: Well, a little clarification would be helpful.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Milosevic, would you make clear what you
1 mean. The reports are about human rights violations and mass expulsions.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. As far as I understood,
3 Ms. Mitchell was head of the Department for Human Rights of the Kosovo
4 verification mission. That is right. I imagine that is not being
5 contested. The Kosovo Verification Mission presented its reports to the
6 OSCE and to the member countries and to us, of course. So in these
7 reports of the Kosovo Verification Mission, I did not find any findings
8 related to mass violations of human rights as established by the
9 Verification Mission. So I'm asking whether there is something else. How
10 is it possible that they are not contained therein if that was a fact?
11 THE WITNESS: I think I can maybe clarify a little bit.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you can.
13 THE WITNESS: The Kosovo Verification Mission had many different
14 types of reporting procedures and requirements. The mission is one of
15 numerous field missions run by an intergovernmental political agency made
16 up of 55 countries -- 54 countries at the time that these reports were
17 prepared because Yugoslavia was under suspension. So there is reporting
18 going up to the governing body of the OSCE, what's referred to as the
19 troika, which includes the chairman in office of the existing year that
20 we're in as well as the previous and the upcoming year. And so you would
21 have -- we would have a series of reports going up on an ad hoc or a
22 regular basis to the chairman in office. These would be generally out of
23 the Head of Mission's office. Then there would be weekly reports that
24 were distributed to the Secretariat in Vienna, and those reports would in
25 fact have been distributed to all member states, including Yugoslavia, was
1 given reports that were coming out of Kosovo during that period.
2 The human rights reporting, our reporting protocols, you're
3 getting into the internal mission structure now, and these are, with the
4 exception of, I think, a few press releases, these are the only public
5 reporting from the mission on the human rights situation in Kosovo.
6 I hope that clarified things a little bit.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You did not answer my question. If you claim that there were mass
9 violations of human rights during the presence of the Verification
10 Mission, how come there are no reports of such mass violations of human
11 rights in the reports of the Kosovo Verification Mission during their stay
12 in Yugoslavia?
13 JUDGE MAY: The witness has just answered that. She's told you
14 that these are the reports. We've got them in front of us. Mass
15 violations, they say. So that's the report.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May. I did not
17 understand that this book was a report that was officially submitted by
18 the mission to the Yugoslav authorities, especially after time had gone
19 by. But if that is your explanation, then no comment is necessary.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So, Ms. Mitchell --
22 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Mitchell, do you know if this was issued to the
23 Yugoslav authorities or not, the report that we've seen?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, very much so, Your Honour. It was distributed.
25 Copies of the report were distributed throughout the governmental bodies
1 of both Serbia and Yugoslav governments, in Pristina and in Belgrade.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You mean what your book contains?
4 A. The books themselves.
5 Q. So you claim that the report of the Verification Mission, for the
6 period up to the 20th of March, while the mission was in Kosovo, does
7 contain all these questions that you are dealing with now in your book.
8 A. The -- the first part of the report which covers the period
9 October 1998 to June 1999 includes extensive documentation as we were --
10 as extensive as the mission was capable of doing during the build-up
11 phases when there were other tasks calling on us, but does contain an
12 account of significant human rights violations prior to the withdrawal of
13 the mission; and I would say that it was our conclusion in the report that
14 those types of events that happened prior to the mission withdrawal were
15 repeated over and over and over again during the NATO air campaign
16 throughout all the communities.
17 And the examples I would refer to would be the killing of
18 civilians in Racak, the killing of combatants of Rogovo, ambush of
19 civilians in Rakavina, at the Vucitrn winter exercises in February where
20 we saw a displacement of the population, burning the houses, and the
21 Kacanik exercises where we saw displacement of the population in order to
22 remove an UCK threat.
23 These are the types of patterns, and these existed before the
24 mission withdrew in March.
25 Q. All right. As far as those conflicts with the terrorists groups
1 are concerned, you mentioned Rogovo and all the rest of it, there are
2 separate reports about that by the Verification Mission. People were
3 there and people were in charge of that part of the affair. And they
4 didn't translate that as being violations of human rights but they saw it
5 as being legitimate actions on the part of the forces of the government --
6 JUDGE MAY: Are you really saying or trying to summarise the
7 evidence that we've heard that the KVM regarded what happened in Racak as
8 legitimate? If you are, that is a misrepresentation of the evidence.
9 Now, let us move on to another topic. It seems to be pointless
10 going around this.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May -- Mr. May, I'll get to
12 Racak in a minute. What I was referring to is Rogovo, not Racak. So it
13 is you that is doing the distorting.
14 JUDGE MAY: Let us get on with the evidence and the
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's cut the procedure
17 and move forward.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What conclusions were you able to make with respect to the reasons
20 for the exodus from Kosovo and Metohija that took place? Just briefly,
22 A. The -- the accounts of the forced deportation is the one charge
23 where I would say that the evidence that we collected was overwhelming and
24 consistent. Of the nearly 2.800 statements that we collected from
25 refugees in the camps in Albania and in Macedonia - and we were deployed
1 everywhere in those areas; we were there before the refugees came - every
2 single one of those statements described a departure from Kosovo which was
3 less than voluntary, that it was -- people were extorted. That was one of
4 the very common elements of their departure. Money was taken from them by
5 the Yugoslavian and Serbian security forces. Many saw their houses being
6 burned. They saw things being stolen from their houses by the security
7 forces. They often arrived without identity documents, licence plates,
8 things of this nature. Many reported that when such documents were taken
9 from them as they were leaving Kosovo, they were told that they wouldn't
10 need them any more that they would never be coming back.
11 There was a lot of violence associated with the deportation,
12 killings both as villages were being emptied and then also in the
13 convoys. They would often fall victim to checkpoints, and you would have
14 another round of exploitation, extortion, and killing.
15 But our conclusion was that the forced deportation occurred over
16 and over and over again in Kosovo. And as I said before, we had seen
17 indications of this type of deportation first-hand in Vucitrn and in
18 Kacanik prior to our departure.
19 Q. All right. And did you at all try to explain the reasons for
20 which, for example, 100.000 citizens of Serb ethnicity, during the
21 bombing, left Kosovo? Why did they do that?
22 A. We only had the opportunity to speak to very few refugees of
23 Kosovo Serb ethnicity and this was because our mandate was limited to
24 inside Kosovo, inside the provincial boundary at the time, and then in the
25 camp areas in Albania and in Macedonia. So we did not have access to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rest of Yugoslavia where the majority of the Kosovo Serb refugees did in
2 fact go and became internally displaced.
3 Those very few Kosovo Serbs that we were able to talk to that came
4 across the Bllace border, unlike the Kosovo Albanian refugees who said
5 that they were fleeing because of the Yugoslav and Serbian security forces
6 and their attack on them, because of the Serb refugees, I believe some of
7 them did say that they were leaving because of the NATO bombing. But as I
8 said, we spoke to just a handful compared to the thousands of Kosovo
9 Albanians. And I do believe that that's reported in the report as well.
10 Q. All right. In view of the fact that you have in such a systematic
11 way presented some reasons for which you consider that the exodus took
12 place of the Albanians, I should like you to hear seven reasons put
13 forward by a prominent German, transmitted by Jurgen Zents [phoen], press
14 representative for the PDS in the German parliament, and then you can tell
15 me whether any of those reasons set forth there you consider to be
16 non-existent or do you consider them to be irrelevant. Here are the seven
17 reasons which he puts forward. But I don't agree with him either because
18 I think the bombing was the prime reason, and he divides this up into
19 seven reasons. But I'd like to hear your views nonetheless.
20 JUDGE MAY: We'll do this systematically. You can put one
21 question at a time rather than a whole series. Now, you can put these
22 points one by one.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This witness isn't somebody that
24 signs her name with a thumb. She is literate. So I assume she can listen
25 to seven reasons and then tell me after all of them.
1 JUDGE MAY: No. The questioning will be proper and it will be in
2 an orderly form. Now, one at a time.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. First, [In English] "People getting killed by NATO's bombings and
6 a desire to escape the general devastation and difficult conditions caused
7 by the aerial assault such as the lack of clean water in nearly all urban
8 areas, electricity, and so on."
9 JUDGE MAY: Are you talking -- by the way, are you talking about
10 the Kosovo Serb refugees or the Kosovo Albanian refugees in this context?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the refugees, the
12 Albanians. But this refers to both the Albanians and Serbs and all the
13 refugees, Mr. May, because there is no war without refugees. And refugees
14 do -- are not sorted and grouped according to ethnic --
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll just deal with it in that way. The
16 first -- just a moment. Let the witness answer.
17 The first reason which is apparently given -- let the witness deal
18 with the matter.
19 The first matter which is being put for the refugees is people
20 being killed by NATO bombs, a desire to escape the devastation and
21 difficult conditions. Now, was that a reason that, in your experience and
22 as a result of your findings, which was given by refugees for their
24 THE WITNESS: No, it is not.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The next one?
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. [In English] "Fear of getting caught in the crossfire between KLA
3 and Yugoslav military."
4 JUDGE MAY: Did you hear that as a reason?
5 THE WITNESS: I wouldn't say that that was a significant reason for
6 the departure of the refugees. It was a reason that some people
7 mentioned, particularly those in the rural areas and around what had been
8 very strong KLA areas, Decani, Srbica, these types of areas. So it became
9 a little more geographically related, this particular reason.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. [In English] "Attacks by Yugoslav soldiers and Serbian police and
12 paramilitary often triggered by KLA attacks carried out under cover of
13 ethnic Albanian civilians."
14 A. I would say that this has very little bearing to do with why
15 people left during the air campaign. And by that period, I would say from
16 March 24th onward. Now, prior to that - and this is also covered in the
17 report - there were some incidents inside Kosovo when we were there where
18 attacks in some of the civilian areas did create a smaller displacement of
19 the population. And again, by this, I would refer to the winter exercises
20 in Vucitrn and down in Kacanik as well. But particularly Kacanik is where
21 we did have some KLA and skirmishes with the Yugoslav soldiers that did
22 result in a displacement. Not during the air campaign.
23 Q. [In English] "Spreading of panic and horror stories in the
24 broadcasts of dozen of small KLA, NATO, or Albanian short-wave radio
25 stations alongside the propaganda broadcast of the KLA from Albania over
1 Radio Tirana."
2 A. Monitoring of the media was something that the OSCE did as one of
3 these other ancillary duties I referred to before. I don't recall that
4 the Albanian media contributed in any type of a negligent way to the
5 exodus of the population. We had greater concerns at the time with the
6 media in Belgrade.
7 Q. I can believe that. Next: [In English] "Pillaging bands of
8 Albanian Mafia and KLA who extorted money, looted houses for anything of
9 value, then burned the houses to create the political effect."
10 A. This is not at all relevant to the periods before and during the
11 air campaign.
12 Q. [In English] "KLA troops who declared a general mobilisation,
13 forcing every available man into their military service. Those objecting
14 were subjected to great physical abuse and released only upon paying
16 A. I'm not aware of any allegations with this type of severity.
17 There had been some discussions and some reports in the early days of the
18 refugee crisis in the beginning of April in the Kukes area where you had
19 about 3 or 400 thousand refugees that there was mobilisation that may have
20 been going on in the camps. We looked into it right away from a refugee
21 protection standpoint and did not find it to be any type of organised or
22 systematic way, so we were not aware of any type of forced recruitment by
23 the KLA.
24 And I would just add that it's very common in any type of conflict
25 that I've ever worked in for there always to be these rumours of
1 mobilisation in refugee camps. So that was not out of the ordinary. But
2 we found no evidence to substantiate it.
3 Q. And did you know, because this was when your mission was in
4 Kosovo, that the KLA proclaimed a general mobilisation, made that
5 decision? And we had documents here. This was documented in court that
6 general mobilisation had been proclaimed. Is that something you knew
8 A. I've never seen the mobilisation documents that you've referred
10 Q. All right.
11 A. I wouldn't be surprised.
12 Q. And the seventh reason: [In English] "KLA announcements that NATO
13 was about to carry out a massive ground attack."
14 [Interpretation] So of all these seven reasons which he sets
15 out --
16 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with the last one.
17 THE WITNESS: You know, if the KLA made such an announcement, it
18 wasn't the reason that the people left Kosovo. The people left Kosovo
19 because they were being terrorised by Yugoslav and Serb security forces,
20 not because any announcements of the nature that you've just put forward.
21 JUDGE MAY: Did anybody mention that as a reason for leaving?
22 THE WITNESS: No. Not that I recall.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right. And does it seem to you be logical -- because you say
25 that you only interviewed a handful of Serbs, does it seem to you to be
1 logical that the reasons that you put forward, 100.000 Serb civilians
2 should have left Kosovo during the bombing if the bombing was not a
4 A. While it's true that we only were able to speak with a few Kosovo
5 Serbs for the first report, the second report, which covers the period
6 from June to October 1999, deals extensively with the treatment of the
7 Kosovo Serbs that stayed in Kosovo.
8 As far as the reasons that they left when they reported that they
9 were leaving because they feared NATO bombings, I'm sure that they in fact
10 did fear that.
11 Q. Therefore, according to what we can deduce as a conclusion from
12 what you said, it was only the Serbs who were afraid of NATO bombing,
13 whereas the Albanians were not afraid of NATO bombing. Is that it? Is
14 that your position?
15 A. I don't think I could make that -- that type of a statement in my
16 capacity as trying to describe what the findings were that we had because
17 we did not have access to the Kosovo Serb refugees during the air
18 campaign. We had access to the Kosovo Serbs that remained in Kosovo after
19 the war, and as I said, their situation is extensively documented in part
20 II of the report, and it is not a pretty picture either. But as far as
21 the reasons why the Serbs left Kosovo during the NATO air campaign, I
22 would have to refer you to other human rights organisations that had
23 access and documented that at the time. It's just not covered in our
24 reports, unfortunately.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've had three-quarters of an hour.
1 This is a more extensive witness; you can have until the break, which will
2 be a total of an hour and a half with this witness.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, all right, then, but I would
4 like to ask the witness to give brief answers to my questions.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Within the second stage of the work, when the mission had
7 withdrawn on the 20th of March, 1999, you said that the department for
8 human rights continued its work in refugee camps in Macedonia and Albania;
9 is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. You say that you had collected 1.000 statements; right?
12 A. I think the total is closer to 2.800, 1.100 of which were
13 collected in the camps from Albania and the remaining in the camps in
15 Q. Yes. Let me read you your own statement. Let us just ascertain a
16 few facts.
17 At point 11 of your statement: "After its withdrawal from Kosovo,
18 the OSCE-KVM continued to gather information and monitor the human rights
19 situation in Kosovo," et cetera, et cetera. "I supervised and tasked more
20 than 200 staff deployed to refugee camps throughout Albania and Macedonia
21 to collect information. OSCE often set up tents in the camps to provide a
22 private and safe place for speaking to refugees. When this was not
23 possible, OSCE vehicles were used as mobile offices."
24 Therefore, you had 200 staff members. You worked round the clock,
25 day and night, as far as I'm able to understand, and you even used OSCE
1 vehicles as mobile offices. And it emerges from all this that when the
2 number of these 2.000-odd 600 or 764 persons in Macedonia and Albania,
3 which means 2.700 and something, and when you divide that with the number
4 of people you had and the 78 days that there were, it would appear that,
5 per staff member, every person would have needed six and a half days or
6 six days to obtain one statement.
7 Does that indicate an effort to have selectiveness, to obtain data
8 in a selective way which was targeted in your research or not? Were you
10 JUDGE MAY: Do you follow the mathematics?
11 THE WITNESS: I do indeed. There's a few factors missing from the
12 conclusion which makes the conclusion wrong.
13 While we had, at full strength, 200 staff members dispersed in
14 Albania and in Macedonia - that included our national colleagues,
15 interpreters, et cetera - seventy-five of those staff were deployed in
16 Albania, which was under a horrendous humanitarian catastrophe because of
17 the influx of so many refugees that came in what seemed to be very
18 controlled spurts of 50.000 a day for a few days, et cetera. So the 200
19 working a day is a little deceptive. The mission was going through a
20 phase-down at the time, so it took a little while to get organised.
21 So your math is wrong in the way you analyse it. That being said,
22 we were indeed very selective in the information that was coming --
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right, Ms. Mitchell. It's not lose time with all these
25 explanations. It will take up too much time. Let's put that to one side
1 for now.
2 But it is not being contested that the total figure of 2.764, of
3 the total statements taken, was the number. You're not challenging the
4 number of 2.764 statements taken during that period of time; right?
5 A. Right.
6 Q. I didn't hear your answer, I apologise. Could you say it again?
7 A. Right.
8 Q. And do you happen to know that the figure of 800.000 refugees is
9 mentioned? That is the figure that is being used. And what you have of a
10 total of 2.764 individuals, that this is used to confirm some sort of
11 general conclusion as to a figure of 800.000 refugees. Is that it?
12 A. No. That's not it. What this report describes is the findings of
13 the 2.764 and draws from that certain conclusions, one of which, based on
14 the fact that we had very much of a representative -- refugees
15 representing all different geographical areas, different age groups,
16 gender, et cetera - we were trying to be very diverse in the way in which
17 we collected the information - that that is a good sampling, we believe,
18 of events that went on in those communities, although we don't have the
19 statements from the other 800.000 refugees. But, no, this report only
20 describes the findings of the 2.764, but there are broader conclusions
21 that are made based on those findings.
22 Q. And tell me this, but briefly, please: What method did you select
23 your interlocutors? Was it a random sample or did you have some selective
24 method that you used?
25 A. You're talking about the refugees?
1 Q. Yes, yes. Of those 2.764.
2 A. I'm trying to be brief. The OSCE/KVM had a very special
3 relationship with the Albanians. We drove around in these very bright
4 orange cars. The Albanian community is a traditional community with the
5 patriarch sort of taking the lead, so what would happen is if we went into
6 a camp, generally the community leaders would approach us, and they may
7 ask for assistance, tell us their needs, et cetera, et cetera, and through
8 that network, we were then able to put out an interest that we were
9 interested in hearing about people's experiences as they left from Kosovo.
10 In particular, we were interested in the more serious crimes and
11 violations that we were hearing about, so witnesses that had been either
12 victims or direct -- directly observed killings, destruction of property,
13 rape, these types of -- any of these what we refer to as critical events,
14 we targeted on those particular individuals, and we tried as well to keep
15 -- make sure that we did interview women as well as men, although it's
16 very, very difficult to get women to come forward on crimes that were
17 committed against them in this particular society.
18 Q. And answer me this: In view of the fact that in your statement
19 you said that you ensured vital information and that these -- this vital
20 information be sent to this institution, when was cooperation established
21 between your department of the OSCE mission and this so-called Tribunal?
22 A. My first contact with ICTY came during the planning stages of the
23 mission, which would have been in early -- well, would have been in
24 mid-October to early November, and that was at more of an administrative
25 level. Operationally, that began on January 16th, which was the day after
1 the Racak killings when Ambassador Walker asked that ICTY assist in that
2 investigation. And then regularly since then.
3 Q. And do you know how many individuals with whom your people talked
4 to appeared here in the capacity of witnesses? Do you know that?
5 A. I haven't looked at the whole list. I do know several of my
6 colleagues have appeared, yes.
7 Q. I'm not talking about your colleagues. I'm talking about the
8 witnesses, the Albanian witnesses who have appeared.
9 A. No, I have not looked at that at all.
10 Q. For your work, as far as I was able to understand from your
11 statement, you were directly responsible to the Head of Mission; right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And how frequently did you have meetings with him during your stay
14 in Kosovo?
15 A. I would say that we had meetings only as needed. In the planning
16 stages of the missions, I met with him quite frequently but it was in the
17 context of larger planning discussions. Around specific critical events,
18 I would perhaps meet with him once or twice a day, so that, you know, the
19 days surrounding Racak and some of these other incidents. And then as we
20 withdrew from Kosovo, I started meeting with him more regularly, but
21 always it was in the context of senior staff meetings.
22 Q. And you do say in your statement that the work of this department
23 of yours reached a peak after the investigation into the killings in
24 Racak. Explain, please, what investigation did you hold with respect to
1 A. When Racak happened, it became the responsibility of the Human
2 Rights Division because we had staff with the necessary skill-set to go to
3 the scene, to document it as much as possible with the tools that we had
4 available at that time in the mission. And what we did at Racak was
5 videotape the site, took extensive photographs of the bodies and the
6 injuries to the bodies, took statements from anybody that we could that
7 was a witness or that may have known something about it. We also spoke to
8 the authorities. I myself was dealing with the -- on the forensic side,
9 trying to key up access to the autopsies, things of this nature. We also
10 spoke with the investigating judge and with the police chiefs around the
12 The role that I played was to manage that on an operational basis,
13 and by that, I mean following up every day with the witnesses, collecting
14 that information, handling it, liaising with ICTY.
15 Q. And did you, in the same way as you did in Racak, document other
16 events that you collected information about?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And did you closely cooperate with Mr. Walker on the matter of
20 A. I closely kept -- I kept Ambassador Walker closely advised of the
21 facts as they were developing, although he did not have access to the
22 statements that were taken. So he would -- didn't read the statements.
23 He received oral summaries from myself.
24 Q. Since you conducted an investigation into the affair, tell me how
25 you came to learn of the events in Racak. Who informed you about it?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 When did you receive the first information about Racak? Just be as
2 precise and specific as you can, please.
3 A. I first heard about something the evening before, and that was I
4 heard some radio traffic between General Maisonneuve and headquarters.
5 They were transporting people to the hospital. And then there wasn't a
6 lot of news that night. Around -- very early the next morning, prior to
7 the senior staff meeting, I was informed by the Deputy Head of Mission
8 that there had been a situation in Racak that was developing.
9 Q. So that was in the morning on that day after the events in Racak;
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. But Walker informed you about that before he went to Racak?
13 A. It was, I think, one of the deputy heads of mission who informed
14 me of it. I did not see Ambassador Walker prior to him going to Racak
15 although I was in touch with others that were travelling with him. My
16 role was to manage things at the headquarters level and deal with all of
17 the inquiries that were coming in as well as put in place what we were
18 going to do the next day and thereafter with regards to this incident.
19 Q. What did he inform you of, this assistant of his?
20 A. As best as I recall, that there were a lot of bodies at Racak, and
21 the initial numbers were, I think, 12 or 15. And then it went up within
22 20 minutes to another ten being discovered. So that was an incident on a
23 scale that we had not yet seen in Kosovo.
24 Q. Since that morning, before Walker left to Racak, you were informed
25 about this large number of killed persons. How do you explain the fact
1 that Walker was astonished and surprised when he came there after you had
2 already been informed about this?
3 A. Well, there's nothing like seeing a sight of so many bodies killed
4 in that manner. That is, I think, shocking to anyone's conscience
5 regardless of whether or not you knew that they would be there. And I
6 don't know why. You'd have to ask Ambassador Walker what he knew. I was
7 dealing with things on the operational level and I was one of the people
8 who had to get folks to the scene so I wasn't too concerned at the time as
9 to what the ambassador's view -- how he was viewing the situation.
10 Q. Yes, but I assume that what his associate said to you was
11 something that he must have known about too; right?
12 JUDGE MAY: No. That's for Ambassador Walker, not for this
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Did Ian Hendrie work for you?
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. You informed Ian Hendrie about the events in Racak; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you sent him there to go there to take photographs?
21 A. I sent him there to document whatever it was that was going on.
22 We were still getting -- all of this was unwinding, and it was all being
23 done by two-way radio, with a lot of people between the radio room and my
24 office in between, so these were events, fast-moving events, on the
1 Q. All right. All right. I understand that, Ms. Mitchell. He
2 claims that you told him that there were very many casualties in Racak,
3 and you say now that one of Walker's assistants informed you about that
4 that morning. What is the name of this assistant of Walker's who informed
5 you about this large number of casualties in Racak?
6 A. I think it was the Deputy Head of Mission for the human dimension
7 aspects, which was a German diplomat by the name of Berndt Bouckaert. I
8 worked very closely with Mr. Bouckaert. He would have been in the
9 executive meeting with the Ambassador, came out of that, told me, and then
10 I would have informed Ian to prepare to get out there and take what he
12 Q. When was this meeting held? At what time in the morning when Ian
13 Hendrie managed to get to Racak by noon after that meeting?
14 A. I'm not really sure. It would have been anywhere from, I don't
15 know, 8.30 to 10.00. It could have been earlier. I'm afraid I can't
16 recall the exact time.
17 Q. When did you first come to Racak?
18 A. I did not go to Racak for several days after the event.
19 Q. In respect of your investigation, you mentioned the police. Did
20 you have any cooperation with the official investigation authorities of
21 Yugoslavia, with the investigating judge, with the authorities that are
22 officially in charge of carrying out the investigation, the judicial
24 A. We received no cooperation from them as far as the sharing of
25 information goes. They would generally indulge us in a meeting, but there
1 was no cooperation or sharing of information on their behalf, although we
2 did provide the forensic institute and the authorities with copies of the
3 pictures that we had taken because they were not there to document the
4 site itself. If anything, I say that the authorities were quite
5 obstructive with us.
6 Q. All right. And do you know how many members of the KLA lost their
7 lives in Racak?
8 A. I believe after, a few days afterwards, I was provided with a list
9 of seven or nine names of KLA that apparently had lost their lives.
10 Q. And do you know that in the report of the Verification Mission of
11 the OSCE for the 16th of January, there was already information about a
12 number of members of the KLA who had lost their lives?
13 A. Possibly. I'm not sure of the exact timing of when I knew some of
14 these things.
15 Q. A few days later, you say that you went to Racak. And who did you
16 see there as far as the Albanians were concerned? Racak, was it under KLA
17 control then?
18 A. No. The village was pretty much empty still at that point, and I
19 was there not to interview or have any official meetings. I was there
20 more or less just to see the site, to see where we were on the collection
21 of information, what needed to be, you know, looked at again, this type of
22 thing. So my reasons for the visit were not to meet with the local
23 population at that point.
24 Q. So you did not encounter any locals then, especially not members
25 of the KLA?
1 A. I don't remember seeing any. There were some people in their
2 houses, but again, I was not seeking anyone out.
3 Q. On page 3, you say that the OSCE staff, before withdrawing from
4 Kosovo, destroyed the documentation that the department had. Is that
6 A. Destroyed some of the documentation that the department had. We
7 took out all of the active files as well as any other documents that we
8 were concerned about maintaining the security of, that had names of people
9 that had filed human rights allegations, things of this nature. But a
10 vast majority of the documentation was destroyed. A lot of that would
11 have been mission manuals, resource materials, things of this nature.
12 Q. Information related to the events in Racak you submitted to the
13 office of this institution in Skopje, if I understood it correctly. I'm
14 interested in the following: Why didn't you keep copies of the materials
15 related to Racak that you submitted to the office in Skopje?
16 A. We did not feel that we had adequate enough security in the
17 mission to secure any of the witness statements, and we felt that it would
18 be jeopardising our staff too much if they had statements on their body or
19 in their notebook and were subsequently detained for any reason by the
20 authorities. To have that type of information could have exposed them and
21 put them at risk.
22 These decisions were taken at a time when Ambassador Walker was
23 declared persona non grata. The mission was in a high, high level of
24 security threat and was moving up in preparations for a potential
25 withdrawal. So it was simply a very insecure environment, and we did not
1 want to retain any copies of anything that could have jeopardised a
2 witness in the Racak case.
3 Q. All right. Tell me, why did Racak and your work related to Racak
4 have to be exempted from regular procedure?
5 A. Because we had never seen anything of the scale of Racak and our
6 procedures, quite frankly, at that time in the mission were not developed
7 enough to have secured areas, limited access, locked cabinets, these types
8 of things. Everything the mission had, we had to import in from Europe,
9 and we just didn't have these types of resources. So I would say that
10 Racak, to use your words, was exempted from regular procedure because it
11 was a very, very shocking and irregular event.
12 Q. Obviously your contribution to the creation of this indictment for
13 Kosovo was a major one. Did you cooperate in that direction with --
14 JUDGE MAY: That is a comment by you for which there is no
15 justification. Now, what is your question of the witness?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I'll rephrase that.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Do you know Fred Abrahams from Human Rights Watch?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Did you have good cooperation with him as well during the work
21 that you've been referring to, these questions that we've been dealing
22 with just now?
23 A. I've seen Fred a few times over the years in the field. We've
24 kept in touch by e-mail, but we were professional colleagues. He had --
25 not despite his -- his interest was not consulted with directly for the
1 preparation of any of these reports. He was working on his own.
2 Q. Can one infer, regardless of the fact that he worked independently
3 and did not work on this, that he worked on the parallel project of the
4 Human Rights Watch, a book that is entitled "Under Orders"? Was there any
5 cooperation between you and him, and to what extent, and the teams that
6 were working on both books?
7 A. There was nothing formal between OSCE and Human Rights Watch. We
8 went through great efforts because of the nature of the OSCE. It is not a
9 non-governmental organisation. It is, in fact, the other creature. So we
10 worked very hard not to share information with our colleagues. We did not
11 share interview -- interview forms, leads, or anything like this.
12 What we did share with NGOs, I think it was in the middle of May,
13 was the form that we were using to collect the information, which is
14 attached to my addendum - and that was a standardised interviewing form -
15 and the framework for a database to index the type of information. But I
16 really don't know if anybody ever used it. It was available. But we did
17 not collaborate with Human Rights Watch at all, although we spoke and
18 discussed our ideas.
19 Q. All right. Let us leave that subject now. Until the mission
20 withdrew, about 1.400 verifiers were in a position to talk to everybody on
21 the spot, in the field, and to check out assertions or objections on the
22 various spots. That was the situation until the 20th of March; right?
23 After the 20th of March, you received information from Albanian
24 sources only. Is that right or is that not right?
25 A. It's incorrect, the first part of your sentence, that we had 1.400
1 verifiers in a position to talk to everybody on the spot. We had
2 restricted freedom of movement the entire time that we were in Kosovo. It
3 was very difficult to have private conversations in detention areas. So
4 we did not -- we were not in a position to talk to anybody anywhere, ever.
5 You are correct that after our withdrawal from Kosovo, our access
6 to Kosovo Serbs was greatly restricted by events and we primarily were
7 speaking to Albanian refugees.
8 Q. And as for the information that you were now receiving only from
9 one side, so any kind of balance that might have been there, a balance of
10 objectivity, was disrupted. So did you check this out in any valid way?
11 A. Yes. The fact that the reports were not released until December,
12 there was a long period of analysis. There was ongoing investigations now
13 that were being conducted in Kosovo after the air campaign for the
14 violations committed largely against the minorities and the Kosovo Serbs
15 in particular. So we did have an opportunity to step back after the
16 refugee interviews were collected and analyse the information and take
17 other factors into account; developments on the ground, et cetera.
18 Q. All right. According to the information published on the 5th of
19 March, 1999, in the Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore -- you told us a little
20 while ago that you were following all the media, so then according to the
21 Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore that is being published in Pristina, in the
22 territory of Macedonia at that time, there were 6.000 refugees. So before
23 you give me an answer to this question -- so this is March 1999, just
24 before the campaign. Before you give me an answer to that, I have another
25 question: Are you aware of the statement made by John Saxon, a US
1 congressman, who said that the humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo started
2 when NATO started its bombing? Do you share that view?
3 JUDGE MAY: No need to answer that. That's the view of that
4 particular gentleman. You can call him to give evidence if you want.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I asked the lady, who
6 worked there at the time, and I also referred to a piece of material
7 evidence. This is an Albanian source, stating that there were 6.000
8 refugees in Macedonia. And also, I quoted a statement of a congressman of
9 hers who said that there was a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo when the
10 bombing started. So why would that be wrong?
11 JUDGE MAY: What you can ask is this: Was she aware of the
12 statement which was made in a newspaper on the 5th of March that there
13 were 6.000 refugees -- just a moment. Let me finish. That there were
14 6.000 refugees in Macedonia then and, from her knowledge, was it correct
15 or not? Can you help us about that, Ms. Mitchell?
16 THE WITNESS: I was not aware of the number of 6.000. I would say
17 that that number seems low to me. There were several hundred thousand
18 refugees still, some of them displaced in Macedonia. I say that because
19 I've subsequently worked in Macedonia, I know the refugee numbers there.
20 From the 1998 conflict, there were some displaced in Macedonia that never
21 returned, and then in March we would have already been experiencing
22 displacement movements in the Kacanik area. So 6.000 may have been a new
23 influx during the period in which Koha Ditore wrote its article, but I
24 think the overall number have been higher at that point.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. All right. In attachment 3 to your book entitled "Graveyards,"
2 you mention the names of 216 Albanians exhumed at a locality -- at
3 localities that are in 28 Kosovo municipalities; is that correct?
4 A. I'm sorry, what are you referring to? You're referring to Annex
6 Q. Annex 3 to the second volume of your book and it is entitled
7 "Graves Documented by the OSCE." You mentioned the names of 216
8 Albanians who were exhumed at localities in 28 Kosovo municipalities; is
9 that right?
10 A. I haven't counted up all of the names, but that's correct, Annex 3
11 is a summary of gravesites that were documented by OSCE.
12 Q. All right. Do you have any information about how and in which way
13 these persons had lost their lives?
14 A. What the procedure was for documenting gravesites was teams would
15 deploy, after coordination with ICTY and others that were doing this task
16 at that time and they would take GPS readings, global positioning
17 readings, sketch out the site, photograph it and then document photograph
18 the exhumation as it was occurring, the clothing, et cetera, and would
19 also gather statements at that time, if appropriate, from family, friends,
20 anybody that may know something about it, and that information would then
21 be shared. That's all I can say.
22 Q. Ms. Mitchell, I'm not asking about your methodology. I'm asking
23 you whether you know how these persons lost their lives.
24 A. I'm saying I don't know for any specific one. That's the
25 methodology used.
1 Q. The answer is you don't know. You do not know. All right. So
2 you do not know that.
3 And you spoke here, for example, about these 216 that you
4 discovered, that your Minister of Defence of the then Clinton
5 administration said, that about 100.000 Albanians of military age were
6 probably killed in Kosovo then. What do you say to this discrepancy
7 between 100.000 and --
8 JUDGE MAY: What is the question?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You didn't hear the question, Mr.
10 May, because you interrupted me.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I said how do you explain this discrepancy between reality and
13 such statements?
14 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to deal with what the
15 Minister of Defence said. And your time is almost up, so two more
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Then two questions, and
18 here they come.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Since FBI experts and Spanish forensic experts carried out
21 investigations after actually dealing with them on site, established that
22 the figures ranged between 187 and 200 persons, do you know that none of
23 these experts, without having carried out their professional work before
24 that, did not say anything about the cause of death before they actually
25 ascertained what had happened and let alone they didn't say anything about
1 the ethnicity of the victims?
2 A. I didn't know that.
3 Q. All right. Since Mr. May gave me the right to put one more
4 question, tell me, do you think that your book and your statistics
5 represent a justification for the NATO aggression and all the horrors it
6 caused not only in Kosovo but throughout Yugoslavia? Does it constitute
7 justification for the crime committed against Yugoslavia?
8 A. I think that the reports document a gross and systematic violation
9 of human rights affecting 90 per cent of the population during a 7.800-day
10 [sic] period committed by the Yugoslav and Serbian security forces.
11 That's what the reports support. And as far as what events happened after
12 that, I don't believe it's addressed in the report or is something I'm
13 really qualified to discuss.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Wladimiroff, do you have any questions for the
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I have no questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's try and finish, if we can.
18 MS. ROMANO: I just have one matter. Should I do it right now?
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Does it right now.
20 Re-examined by Ms. Romano:
21 Q. Ms. Mitchell, just one question for you. During the
22 cross-examination, there were various allegations of selectiveness of the
23 report and in the way that you obtained -- the data was obtained, that it
24 was done in a selective way. What would be the response for that from the
25 OSCE and you as director, being directed the work?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. As I said, OSCE is comprised of 55 nations. For an organisation
2 to document violations of this scale by, indeed, a member country,
3 required that the highest standards be applied. Also the fact that the
4 OSCE had never released reports of this nature before, so the baseline
5 standards included all of the international treaties and documents that
6 were pre-existing - I think there were 23 in Yugoslavia at the time - as
7 well as the conventions of the Council of Europe, the European Court for
8 Human Rights, et cetera. We tried our best to train the staff so that we
9 would have consistency in the way the information was being collected, to
10 standardise things as much as possible, largely because we were dealing
11 with a mission staff comprised of representatives of the 55 countries, so
12 we had colleagues of varying degrees of English and experience, and
13 English is the working language.
14 So what I would say is that we used incredible care, bearing in
15 mind the gravity of the findings that this report would have for the
16 organisation as a whole, as well as for those accused of the violations.
17 We used -- as we learned to do this process, as it went along, we
18 tried to respond to events as they came up. One particularly, the
19 collection of information regarding rape and sexual abuse, as I said
20 before, a very delicate, difficult topic to deal with in a normal criminal
21 setting let alone in a conflict in the widespread manner in which it
22 happened. So for rape, and this is in the report as well, there were
23 additional procedures that we put in place, trying to make sure that women
24 were the ones doing the interviewing and additional protections given, et
1 Q. Thank you, Ms. Mitchell.
2 MS. ROMANO: That's all for the Prosecution, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Mitchell, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
4 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we'll hear Mr. Hendrie, is that right, after
8 the adjournment? And we will deal with the Rule 70 matters in the final
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I now hear that the next
11 witness is Hendrie, and I have K30 on the list. How come Hendrie now?
12 He's not on the list at all.
13 JUDGE MAY: It was mentioned yesterday by Mr. Nice that this
14 witness is interposed. The only point about which he's going to give
15 evidence is the suggestion that the bodies in Racak were moved and that
16 the photographs were in some way rigged, a suggestion which you made. His
17 evidence will be limited to that point only.
18 Very well. Twenty minutes. Back at five to.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 THE ACCUSED: Mr. May --
23 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
24 Mr. Hendrie, we've asked you to come back to deal with one
25 particular point in your evidence, which you'll hear about in a moment.
1 You are under the declaration which you've already taken, so there's no
2 need for you to take it again. If you'd like to take a seat.
3 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, what is the point? We need to get on with the
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just an objection. I didn't want to
6 waste time on it during the cross-examination because it didn't have
7 anything to do with the previous witness, but with you, Mr. May. You said
8 that during my cross-examination of the previous witness that I
9 misrepresented the facts and distorted the facts with respect to Racak.
10 Now, I'm asking you, does this mean that you are pre-empting your decision
11 with respect to this?
12 JUDGE MAY: No, of course not. It was a comment on the question
13 that you were asking, and you pointed out that the question you were
14 asking was to do with Rogovo. So the matter is over. And since it
15 related to Rogovo, you were entitled to make the point.
16 As far as Racak is concerned, it's very much an issue, and that is
17 what this witness is going to deal with.
18 Yes, Mr. Ryneveld, are you going to deal with the witness?
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MAY: And I should say that you can cross-examine the
21 witness, Mr. Milosevic, this witness, but only on those matters which are
22 subject of evidence in chief by the Prosecution. You can then
23 cross-examine. Your time will be limited to the same as that taken by the
24 Prosecution. So it's on a very limited issue.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 WITNESS: IAN ROBERT HENDRIE [Recalled]
3 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
4 Q. Mr. Hendrie, you will recall giving evidence before this Court
5 last day. I can tell you that after you had been excused, another witness
6 was shown copies of your photographs taken and contained at tab 5 of the
7 Racak 1 binder. Ambassador Walker was referred to some of your
8 photographs and asked questions about those photographs. In particular,
9 my recollection is that photographs marked in these proceedings under ERN
10 number 732354 and 732355 were referred to.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Madam Usher, could you show this to the witness and
12 put that on the ELMO.
13 Q. First of all, looking at it, do you recognise those photographs as
14 being among the photographs you took on the 16th of January, 1999, at
16 A. Yes, Your Honour.
17 Q. And, sir, it has been suggested that there is a difference in
18 those photographs in that one photograph seems to show blood and the other
19 does not. Can you just look at those photographs for a moment. Do you
20 see that?
21 A. Yes, Your Honour.
22 Q. It's also been suggested that the presence of blood in one
23 photograph and the apparent absence of blood in the other indicates that
24 the scene has been staged or rigged. I'm going to ask you, sir, what is
25 the time interval between -- approximate time interval between the taking
1 of these photographs? Were they taken at about the same time?
2 A. One or two minutes at most, Your Honour.
3 Q. So if the allegation of staging or rigging, it would have had to
4 have been during your presence, then, I take it.
5 A. Yes, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, have you, since taking these photographs, had an opportunity
7 to look at the computer-generated image of the entire negatives of the
8 camera that you had at that time on the 16th of January?
9 A. Yes, Your Honour.
10 Q. And are you, from the number, the sequential numbers of those
11 photographs, able to determine in which order they were taken?
12 A. Yes, I am, Your Honour.
13 Q. Before I show you the computer-generated images, I'm also going to
14 ask the usher to show you what has been marked, it's the next page in the
15 binder, 732356. Is that also a photograph of the same individual, and is
16 that one of the photographs that you took on the date in question?
17 A. It is, Your Honour.
18 Q. All right.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Madam Usher, I would now ask you to show the
20 witness three photographs, computer-generated, with the sequential numbers
21 on them.
22 Q. I'm showing you that first photograph. On the roll of photographs
23 that you took, are you able to determine what number that one was?
24 A. Yes, I am, Your Honour.
25 Q. What is it?
1 A. Of the sequence at this particular scene of this body, it's the
2 first one, Your Honour.
3 Q. Yes. And does it have a number at the bottom?
4 A. It does, Your Honour, yes.
5 Q. What is that?
6 A. Number 11.
7 Q. All right. Could you look at the next photograph in the sequence,
8 number 12, if you would. Which one is that?
9 A. This is photograph number 732356 in the bundle, Your Honour.
10 Q. All right. And that was number 12. And there appears to be a
11 hand -- can you describe what is depicted in that photograph and if you
12 know whose hand that is?
13 A. That's mine, Your Honour. It's showing me examining the rear of
14 the -- of the body.
15 Q. And what did you note underneath the body and the rear of the
17 A. Blood, Your Honour, as you can see on the photograph.
18 Q. The next photograph, please. That would be the third one in the
19 sequence of these three, would it, number 13?
20 A. Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. And now we see -- what can -- you see the presence of blood in
22 this photograph now?
23 A. Yes, you can, Your Honour.
24 Q. Could you explain to the Court, if you would, please, if you are
25 able, what you saw on that day and how it is that these photographs depict
1 blood in one and apparently not in the other?
2 A. It's explained for two reasons, Your Honour. The first one is the
3 camera angle is different from the first and third photographs, and the
4 other element is my looking or examining the rear of the body.
5 The first photograph, Your Honour, number 11, is taken at a
6 different angle and at a lower angle, so the blood is actually concealed
7 by -- by the body. If you examine number 13, Your Honour, you can clearly
8 see blood and a hand-sized rock which are concealed by the head and
9 shoulder of the deceased in photograph number 11.
10 I would like to add, Your Honour, that at no time did I see anyone
11 placing blood or anything of that nature near, at any time, at the scene.
12 Q. Now, has the hat been moved? It appears from the photographs that
13 it is in a different location in relation to the body. Are you able to
14 explain if -- first of all, from your own recollection, whether or not the
15 hat was moved while you were taking these photographs?
16 A. I don't recall the hat being moved or being moved by me. If you
17 examine photograph number 13 and 11 and at the peak of the hat there's a
18 rock which is embedded into the soil, and that's in the same relative
19 position to the hat in both photographs.
20 Q. There's also a shadow of a sort of an object that points in the
21 direction of the hat, and there are some rocks visible. Are you able to
22 determine from that whether or not the hat appears to be in the same
23 position or in a different position?
24 A. From the position of the rocks and the shadows, the hat is in the
25 same position, sir.
1 Q. Now, it's clear from the sequence that you have produced to us
2 that you lifted the head of the body between number 11 and 13; is that
4 A. That's correct, sir.
5 Q. When you lifted the body, did you note any blood underneath the
6 head in the location that is now shown in photograph 13, if we want to
7 call it that? That would be 54 and 55, for the documents before the
9 A. There was blood underneath -- under the shoulders and head of the
10 deceased, sir, yes.
11 Q. All right. Secondly, sir, there were a number of photographs
12 shown to Ambassador Walker, and many of those suggested that there was
13 blood in some photographs and no blood in others.
14 I'm going to ask that you be shown, please, from tab 5, I'm going
15 to show you four photographs from your own set of photographs for one
17 MR. RYNEVELD: For Your Honours, that's numbers -- tab 5, bearing
18 732362, to 732365. That's a series of four sequential photographs. And
19 I'll just give those to Madam Usher.
20 I wonder, would Your Honours -- I propose to tender the last three
21 photographs, the computer-generated ones with the numbers as exhibits in
22 these proceedings since reference has been made.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: The next exhibit number, please.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 244.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. I'll leave those for Madam Usher. All
3 right. Do we have a video image?
4 Q. First of all, if you, just very briefly, look at these
5 photographs, are those photographs at tab 5 of the Racak binder
6 photographs that you took? Go ahead.
7 A. Yes, Your Honour, they are.
8 Q. Are they of the same individual?
9 A. Yes, sir, they are.
10 Q. And from those photographs, is blood visible on all of those
12 A. No, sir. On photograph 732363, which is showing a gunshot wound,
13 it's not apparent that there's blood there.
14 Q. If you look at 362, the first one that's now on the ELMO, is blood
15 visible there?
16 A. Yes, sir, there is.
17 Q. All right. And on the subsequent photographs, sir, is there blood
18 visible on that individual?
19 A. On the photograph, yes, sir, there is.
20 Q. I'm going to show you now, if I may, three photographs from tab 6,
21 bearing numbers 7639, 7640, and 7641.
22 I hasten to point out these are not photographs taken by you.
23 First of all, do you recognise the scene depicted in those
25 A. Yes, Your Honour. It's the same individual.
1 Q. And are you able to determine from just looking at the photograph
2 or snow or ice conditions or shadows or anything whether or not they're
3 approximately the same time as when you took yours? Are you able to tell?
4 A. It would appear that they were -- the photographs were taken --
5 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you put the picture on the ELMO so the
6 accused can see.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. That's what I was hoping would happen.
8 Thank you.
9 Q. Now, depending on the camera angle, is blood visible in these
11 A. Yes, sir, they are.
12 MR. RYNEVELD: Madam Usher, could you put the other two
13 photographs on sequentially as well, please. And the next. All right.
14 Q. Sir, do the images depicted in those photographs, how do they
15 compare with your recollection of that individual whom you photographed?
16 A. It's in the same position, sir.
17 Q. And how about the presence or absence of blood?
18 A. The blood is in the same position, sir, yes.
19 Q. Thank you, Witness.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Those are all my questions at this time.
21 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to exhibit those particular photographs or
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, I would, please. I think as a --
24 JUDGE MAY: Or are they all in the Racak binder?
25 MR. RYNEVELD: They're all in the Racak binder, therefore they're
1 before the Court. I just wanted to bring the numbers to the Court's
2 attention so the record would show. The difficulty with the
3 cross-examination of Ambassador Walker is that, although photographs were
4 shown, no reference to numbers were made, and it is only a description in
5 the transcript and recollection of counsel as to which photographs were
6 shown to Ambassador Walker.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. So the ones that I did want exhibited,
9 you've given numbers to. Those are those three computer-generated images
10 with the sequential numbers 11, 12, and 13. Those are my questions, thank
12 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, if you want to ask any questions
13 of this witness about these particular photographs, you can do so. You
14 are alleging that these photographs are rigged. Now is your opportunity
15 to put it to the witness, which you should have done earlier.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, the comment to what
17 Mr. Ryneveld said a moment ago that Walker was not told of the photograph
18 numbers, in view of the fact that I was using your photographs in which
19 every photograph had a number, that doesn't stand. That objection doesn't
20 stand. But let's go back to the photograph of the man in the cap with
21 blood, without blood. So may we have both photographs placed on the
22 overhead projector, please.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I'm going to ask whether it is
25 clearly visible --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let us have the photographs on the projector.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: These are the ones that were shown to the witness
3 but there are also the computer-generated ones that are available.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Is it clear, looking at this, there is blood or
6 there is no blood on the area between the left side of the head and the
8 A. On the photograph number 354, there is, yes, Your Honour.
9 Q. And is it also clear that this same space, the space between the
10 left-hand side of the head and the cap, can be seen on the photograph
11 which has one more number and ends in a 5 rather than a 4?
12 A. The area is concealed, Your Honour.
13 Q. Please. Is it then clear that this, in this first photograph, is
14 a pool of blood -- that the pool of blood is in fact above the height of
15 the left ear, almost up on a level on a par with the head by the stone?
16 And is it clear that on this second photograph, on the left-hand side of
17 the head, not up until the top but at any space whatsoever, there is no
18 trace of blood?
19 A. As I've previously explained, Your Honour, there is another
20 photograph in between these two, and it shows that I've actually examined
21 the rear of the deceased and that the photographs are actually taken from
22 different angles.
23 Q. Yes. But from every angle we are able to see the space between
24 the left-hand side of the head and the cap. And in the photograph where
25 there is visible blood, there is a lot of blood between the left-hand side
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the head and the cap. You can see blood. On one of the photographs,
2 there is blood. On the other photograph, there's not a trace of blood
3 between the head and the cap. Is that so or not?
4 A. Your Honour, I repeat the previous answer I've made.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. No need to repeat that.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You said that you didn't move the cap. That's right; isn't it?
8 A. That's my recollection, Your Honour, yes.
9 Q. You said that between these two photographs that you were shown,
10 that one minute elapsed in time between one being taken and the other
11 being taken; is that correct?
12 A. If I recall correctly, Your Honour, I said a few minutes, but it
13 was a short period of time, yes.
14 Q. Very well. So you didn't move the cap. You didn't make any
15 changes. Only on the soil, the soil, the ground that can be seen on both
16 the photographs, there is blood in one of the photographs and not on the
17 other. Now, the soil and ground between the head and the cap, can you see
18 it, that space, on both the photographs? Is it visible?
19 A. No, Your Honour.
20 Q. So you can't see the earth between the head and the cap. On which
21 photograph can you not see the soil; on the one where there is no blood?
22 A. The area where the blood is is concealed in photograph number 355.
23 Q. Well, all right. Can you see that the blood is to be found on the
24 level of the upper part of the head, far above the left ear, whereas in
25 the spot where there is no blood, you can see a clear space on the
1 left-hand side above and below the ear and you can see this space between
2 the ear and the cap.
3 JUDGE MAY: You've already put this, Mr. Milosevic, and the
4 witness has given his explanation. Now, what is it you're suggesting
5 happened here? If you're suggesting that there has been some sort of foul
6 play, then you should put it clearly to the witness so he can deal with
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think that it is quite
9 senseless to discuss a fact -- the fact that on one picture, on one
10 photograph, you can see blood and on the other you can't.
11 JUDGE MAY: What are you suggesting he did? He's given his
12 explanation as to how it comes about. You are apparently -- just a
13 moment. You're apparently asserting something else. Now, the witness
14 should have the opportunity of dealing with it. What are you suggesting
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I am saying and claiming
17 only what I can see with my own eyes and what you can see with your own
18 eyes. And I claim that this whole situation scene has been rigged, set
19 up, because it is impossible for there to be blood on one spot and no
20 blood in the other case.
21 JUDGE MAY: How in this case has it been rigged? What is it you
22 are suggesting has happened?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am claiming that the bodies were
24 brought in from somewhere else and that this whole scenario was rigged and
25 of the alleged place where the execution took place, using photographs of
1 this kind and that it is only through the lack of care on the part of the
2 person who rigged this that these photographs came into our hands. It was
3 a slip that these photographs came to be in our hands too. That is what I
4 am saying, Mr. May, and that is quite obvious.
5 JUDGE MAY: What is the slip here?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, probably that they looked
7 through the photographs, the same people who had rigged the alleged
8 massacre in Racak. Because had they been careful, they would not have
9 given us so many photographs on which there was no blood.
10 JUDGE MAY: So what you're suggesting, are you, is that this
11 witness photographed the body in this case in one place and then
12 photographed it in another? Is that what you're suggesting? So that he
13 can deal with it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. I am saying that he
15 probably photographed this on that same spot but that the time lapse
16 between the first photograph and the second photograph, in that meantime,
17 somebody spilt some blood or some liquid to make this look like a real
18 scene. And the people who were responsible for that were the people who
19 staged this whole scene and rigged it.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell me, Mr. Hendrie, who took you there while you were taking
22 these photographs?
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, wait a minute. I don't remember that
24 whether the picture which was allegedly taken between these two pictures
25 was shown on the -- was put on the ELMO so that he was able --
1 Mr. Milosevic and the public gallery was able to see.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Perhaps that could be done now, if it wasn't
3 before. I believe it was, but -- could we use the computer-generated one,
4 I think it's clearer.
5 The computer-generated ones, Your Honour, sets out the sequence
6 and shows the witness's hands.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let's start, if you would, with the first --
8 Mr. Hendrie, would you help us with the photographs. Let's start with 11,
9 then let's put on 12, and then let's put on 13.
10 THE WITNESS: The first photograph, Your Honour, number 11.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: The second, number 12.
13 JUDGE MAY: Now, that is you, you say, moving the head --
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE MAY: -- to demonstrate the wound.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: And the final photograph, sir, is number 13.
19 JUDGE MAY: And how long between those three, would you estimate?
20 THE WITNESS: A few minutes at most, sir.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. So what is suggested, so that we can get this
22 plain, is that while you were photographing, somebody came along with some
23 blood or some other liquid to make it look like blood and splashed it
24 around. Now, did anything like that take place?
25 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Well, then, how do you explain this, Mr. Hendrie: How do you
4 explain the origin of the blood on the soil where there had been no blood
5 when the first photograph was taken? Because the interim photograph shows
6 the right-hand side. That is not brought into question at all. Why is
7 there no blood on the first photograph between the cap and the left-hand
8 side? It could not have been invisible in this photograph 55.
9 A. Sir, I've already explained that. The photographs --
10 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you better explain it. It appears the accused
11 doesn't understand or will not understand.
12 THE WITNESS: Sir, this is the first photograph that I took. It's
13 clear from the angle that there's no blood visible next to the body.
14 The second photograph that I took shows me lifting the head of the
15 deceased, showing an injury and blood on the clothing and his head.
16 The third and final photograph I took shows a patch of blood by
17 the left shoulder of the deceased. It's clear from this photograph,
18 comparing it to the first photograph, that the angle that the photograph
19 was taken was different. If you look at the shadows, there's very little
20 difference, if any, of the length of shadow, which would indicate that the
21 photographs were taken very -- within a very short time space.
22 If you examine the photograph near the white hat, the rocks which
23 are embedded into the soil appear in the same relative position to the hat
24 in both the first and third photograph.
25 This is the first photograph, and the -- just above and slightly
1 to the left of the hat is a rock, a linear rock, which appears to be
2 embedded in the soil.
3 On the final photograph, number 13, you see a greater area of
4 rock, and the rocks and the hat appear to be in the same or relative
6 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, if you want to ask some questions
7 about that or anything more, your time is limited. We'll give you five
8 extra minutes to ask some more questions, if you want.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have several questions for
10 Mr. Hendrie, apart from this one photograph, because Mr. Ryneveld showed
11 only one photograph of a corpse without blood and I showed at least ten
12 photographs here, about ten. So he did not comment upon those ten-odd
13 photographs at all where there had also been no blood. But let's complete
14 this one.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it clear that the photograph that ends with number 55 was taken
17 from a certain angle so that it is lower in terms of the position of the
18 head and the position of the body and the photograph that was positioned
19 was put above? So in both cases this difference that is very slight, this
20 difference makes it possible to see exactly the same terrain, the exact
21 same piece of soil between the left ear and the cap. Is it clear that
22 there is a bloodstain between the left ear and the cap on number 54 and on
23 number 55 there is nothing between the left ear and the cap?
24 Draw a straight line between the left ear and the cap, from that
25 place where one would put glasses, for example, and then you will see that
1 there is nothing on photograph 55.
2 So is there any doubt about that, that this is the same soil? And
3 the witness claims that he did not move the corpse.
4 JUDGE MAY: The witness has already dealt with this point. You've
5 put it several times in various forms.
6 Mr. Hendrie, is there anything you want to add to what you've
7 already said?
8 THE WITNESS: No, sir. I believe we've covered it several times.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. All right. Please, Mr. Hendrie, could you give me an answer to a
11 few more questions.
12 JUDGE MAY: Have you finished with this photographs? Have we
13 finished with this sequence?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it seems that you want to
15 explain to me that I cannot see with my very own eyes that there is blood
16 on one photograph and there is no blood on the other photograph and that
17 it's on the same soil.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let the photographs be brought back.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I claim that the scene had been
21 JUDGE MAY: Have you got any other questions for this witness or
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have other questions for this
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Please tell me, on that morning, when did Sandra Mitchell inform
2 you that you were supposed to go to Racak?
3 JUDGE MAY: No. We're not going to go into that. Your
4 cross-examination is limited to the matters which he raised this morning.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Please. Please. Since you're a police officer, do you know --
7 let me ask this: Do you know that witnesses, alleged witnesses of this
8 event, claim that these people were shot at from the hill towards the
9 ravine --
10 JUDGE MAY: No. That's not what he gave evidence about this
11 morning. I'm going to bring this examination to a close.
12 Mr. Wladimiroff, have you any questions you want to ask the
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am going to ask him, Mr. May. I
15 want to ask him about this photograph.
16 JUDGE MAY: No. He's not given evidence about that. I told you
17 at the outset the cross-examination is limited because this witness has
18 already come here once to give evidence and been cross-examined at some
19 length by you. This is purely limited to the matters which he gave
20 evidence about.
21 Mr. Ryneveld, any re-examination?
22 MR. RYNEVELD: None, thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Hendrie, thank you for coming back to the
24 Tribunal. You are free to go.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have the next witness.
2 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Your Honours. The Prosecution will call
3 Mr. Shukri Aliu.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Saxon, I should mention something while we're
5 waiting for the witness. We've had information that the case which was
6 going to sit in this court next week in the afternoons is no longer going
7 to do so, so we have the afternoons available, which we propose to take
8 up. In fact, it will mean simply this: That we will be able to sit on
9 Monday afternoon in this case. Tuesday afternoon we're already engaged in
10 another case, and likewise on Wednesday. It means we won't have to
11 interrupt this case for the provisional release, so we'll have the entire
12 morning available and perhaps some more time, depending on how the day and
13 week goes, but we will have Monday afternoon available. Perhaps you could
14 take that into your consideration.
15 MR. SAXON: We will certainly factor that into our plans, Your
16 Honour. Thank you.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, if I might just address you on that
18 very point while we're waiting for the witness. Ambassador Vollebaek is
19 scheduled for Monday, and in the event we do not complete this witness
20 that we're about to start today, might we perhaps wrap him around
21 Vollebaek, if necessary, because Ambassador Vollebaek has restricted time
22 availability. That's my only request at this point.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll consider how far we get this
25 Yes. Let's have the witness, please.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you would put the earphones on. If you would
3 take the declaration. Perhaps the usher could hand the witness the
4 declaration so he can see.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
7 WITNESS: SHUKRI ALIU
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you would like to sit down.
10 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
11 Q. Sir, could you state your full name --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. SAXON: I apologise.
14 Q. Sir, could you state your full name and spell your last name,
16 A. I didn't hear anything.
17 JUDGE MAY: You're not hearing.
18 MR. SAXON:
19 Q. Can you hear me now?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Can you hear me now?
22 A. No. Yes, I can hear you now. The thing's okay now.
23 Q. All right. Let's try again. Sir, can you please state your full
24 name and spell your last name for the record, please.
25 A. Shukri A-l-i-u.
1 Q. Mr. Aliu, what is your date of birth?
2 A. I was born on the 24th of May, 1949.
3 Q. And where were you born?
4 A. I was born in the village of Ryt [phoen] in the municipality of
6 Q. And is that in Kosova?
7 A. Yes, it's in Kosova.
8 Q. Mr. Aliu, are you of Albanian ethnicity?
9 A. Yes. I'm of Albanian ethnicity, yes.
10 Q. In 1971, did you join the army of Yugoslavia, then known as the
12 A. Yes. In 1971, I was -- I became an officer in the Yugoslav army,
14 Q. Did you eventually obtain the rank of captain first class?
15 A. Yes. I reached the rank of captain first class in the army.
16 Q. From 1974 to 1979, what was your assignment?
17 A. From 1974 to 1979, I commanded a unit of reserve officers in
18 Prizren for firing, specialty firing.
19 Q. And from 1980 to 1987, what was your assignment?
20 A. From 1980 to 1987, I was in -- at the headquarters of Kosova
21 Territorial Defence.
22 Q. Was that headquarters located in Pristina?
23 A. Yes. The headquarters of the Kosova Territorial Defence was
24 located in Prishtina.
25 Q. And we'll go a little bit more quickly if, whenever possible, you
1 answer a yes-or-no question just with yes or no.
2 When you were assigned to the Territorial Defence headquarters in
3 Pristina, what were your duties and tasks?
4 A. My duty was to work with the Territorial Defence headquarters --
5 Q. And what specific --
6 A. -- and exercises in specific.
7 Q. What kind of exercises?
8 A. Exercises with the units of Territorial Defence, such as
9 exercising units working with weapons and firing skills.
10 Q. At some point during your career, did you complete university
12 A. Yes. I finished my studies in Belgrade at the faculty of defence.
13 Q. And did you finish your studies by correspondence or were you
14 living in Belgrade?
15 A. I finished my studies in correspondence.
16 Q. What was the curriculum that you undertook at the faculty of
17 defence in Belgrade? What courses did you take?
18 A. It was a four-year programme at the faculty. All subjects.
19 Mostly military subjects: Command structures, leadership, biological and
20 chemical weapons, tactics, strategy, and other fields, and liaison work.
21 Q. And did you obtain a degree, and if so, in what year?
22 A. Yes. In 1989.
23 Q. And after you obtained your first degree in military studies did
24 you perform any post-graduate studies?
25 A. I was at the defence university at -- defence faculty at
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 university in Belgrade, but for personal reasons I couldn't finish my
2 studies, though.
3 Q. During your time as a JNA officer and as a result of your
4 professional education, did you become therefor familiar with the
5 structure and operations of the JNA that subsequently became the VJ?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And did you become --
8 A. Yes, I became familiar with them.
9 Q. And did you become familiar with the principles of command?
10 A. Yes, of course.
11 Q. I'd like to ask you to turn your mind, please, to 1987, Mr. Aliu.
12 In that year 1987, were you accused of providing firearms to Kosovo
14 A. In 1987, I was accused, and I was convicted of three months --
15 sentenced to three months' probation.
16 Q. Was this charge true or false?
17 A. The charge was not true. It was a falsification. I was framed.
18 Q. And after that, did you remain in the army?
19 A. No. I was not able to continue my work at the headquarters and
20 was forced to -- I was transferred to the provincial defence secretariat.
21 Q. And what was your position at the provincial defence secretariat?
22 A. In the provincial defence secretariat, I worked as a counsellor in
23 the Civilian Protection Unit.
24 Q. I'd like to ask you some questions about the structure and the
25 work of this secretariat. Briefly, what was the tasks or the
1 responsibilities of the provincial defence secretariat for Kosovo?
2 A. The provincial defence secretariat in Kosova was an administrative
3 organ which primarily supplied -- provided support and logistic support
4 for mobilisation and support for the so-called Kosovo Corps, which was the
5 main form in Kosova, support for the secretary of the interior, and
6 liaison activities.
7 Q. And just so that the record is clear and everyone understands,
8 this Kosovo Corps that you refer to -- that you referred to, was this a
9 corps of the VJ army or what was then the JNA army but that which became
10 part of the VJ?
11 A. The Kosovo Corps was a constituent part of the 3rd Army of Nis
12 consisting of seven brigades, and was entirely mobilised in 1998 for
13 military operations in Kosova.
14 Q. All right. We'll get to that in a minute. Just structurally --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- would it be fair to think, then, of the Kosovo Corps and the
17 secretariat where you worked as two separate but parallel organisational
19 A. The corps and the secretariat were two separate organisations, but
20 they were together for coordination purposes.
21 Q. All right. And in 1994 and 1995, who became the chief of the
22 secretariat for Kosovo?
23 A. In 1994, 1995, the chief of the secretariat was Petar Ilic.
24 Q. And so at that time, then, did Petar Ilic become your supervisor?
25 A. Yes. He was my supervisor.
1 Q. During the years that Petar Ilic was your supervisor, Mr. Aliu,
2 did you become familiar with his signature?
3 A. Yes. Yes, I would know it.
4 Q. Did Petar Ilic sign his name in Latin script or in Cyrillic
6 A. After 1990, Cyrillic was used, especially after the abolition of
7 the Kosova constitution, and Petar Ilic always signed in Cyrillic.
8 Q. Just to be clear again, was the Civilian Protection Unit where you
9 worked part of the secretariat?
10 A. Yes, it was part of the secretariat.
11 Q. In time of crisis or war, what was the task of the Civilian
12 Protection Unit?
13 A. As the protection secretariat, generally operated in drawing up
14 and mobilising plans, and especially in making up, reinforcing the units
15 of the corps and the Secretariat for the Interior.
16 Q. Now, when you say "reinforcing the units of the corps," do you
17 mean in a classic military fighting sense or do you mean providing some
18 other kind of assistance?
19 A. It wasn't -- it was more a matter of reinforcements for the
20 conduction of operations in Kosova.
21 Q. All right. And what kind of work or tasks would the Civilian
22 Protection Unit be assigned to do?
23 A. Making up with conscripts the units of the corps, making up with
24 conscripts the police, and making up the civilian defence units in the
25 provincial defence secretariat.
1 Q. All right. We may get into a problem now with translation because
2 it's my understanding that the word "protection" and "defence" are the
3 same in Albanian, but I'm going to ask you this question and I hope we can
4 make this clear.
5 Apart from the unit called the Civilian Protection Unit, was there
6 also an entity called Defence Civilian Units or Civilian Defence units?
7 A. In 1987, all the Territorial Defence was disarmed. I will explain
8 this, if you will allow me.
9 With the disarming of the Territorial Defence and the abolition of
10 the constitution in 1989 and the speech that the accused made in Fushe
11 Kosova, all the weapons of the Territorial Defence went over to civil
12 protection units, and for this, the military district was responsible, and
13 it was the provincial defence secretariat that was responsible for
15 If you will allow me, I will continue for just a minute, if I may,
16 Your Honour.
17 Q. Let me try to make this a little bit clearer, if I can.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You worked for a unit called the Civilian Protection Unit. What
20 was the difference between the Civilian Protection Unit where you worked
21 and the Defence Civilian Unit where other people worked?
22 A. The Civilian Protection Units had the main task of helping the
23 population in the case of various perils, whereas the Defence Civilian
24 Units, which were forbidden to carry arms under the Geneva Conventions,
25 replaced the Civilian Defence Units of the former Territorial Defence
1 units, and they were now called Defence Civilian Units and were mainly
2 made up of Serbian citizens, and not a single Albanian was included in
3 them after the late 1980s.
4 Q. But after the late 1980s, were these Defence Civilian Units
5 armed? Yes or no.
6 A. Yes, they were all armed with all the arsenal that was taken from
7 the Territorial Defence units or, rather, looted from them.
8 Q. Okay. That's clear.
9 A. The Defence Civilian Units were armed with these weapons.
10 Q. All right. During the spring of 1998, did you become aware of a
11 new military organ that was formed in Pristina? Just yes or no?
12 A. During 1998, the staff was formed.
13 Q. What was this staff or organ called?
14 A. This might be called a joint staff or, rather, a war staff of
16 Q. And did you personally participate in meetings of this joint staff
17 or the war staff?
18 A. No. These were secret meetings, and I wouldn't dare to take part
19 in them.
20 Q. Well, then, how did you obtain information about this joint staff
21 that was set up in Pristina?
22 A. After the corps command was in the centre of Prishtina, that is
23 the provincial secretariat and the command in the same building, I
24 received information from conversations that took place in the building.
25 Q. And was there a particular person who you knew who was a member of
1 this joint command?
2 A. There were many that I knew.
3 Q. Can you name one of them, please.
4 A. I can.
5 Q. Actually, let me -- let's go a little bit more slowly. Did any of
6 your colleagues participate in this joint staff?
7 A. In this staff, in this joint staff which led our operations in
8 Kosova, there was Milomir Minic, the chairman of the political and social
9 chamber of Yugoslavia; Nikola Sainovic, the Deputy Prime Minister; Zoran
10 Andjelkovic, whom the accused delegated to be head of the Kosova
11 government; Veljko Odalovic, the head of Prishtina district; Vojo
12 Zivkovic, chairman of the Serbian Socialist Party; his deputy, Mitar
13 Samardzic; General Nebojsa Pavkovic; General Lazarevic; Petar Ilic --
14 Q. Is this the same Petar Ilic who was the --
15 A. -- Misko Lakovic.
16 Q. Is this the same Petar Ilic who was the head of the secretariat
17 and your supervisor?
18 A. Yes, the same Petar Ilic. Misko Lakovic, the head of state
19 security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
20 Q. Did you ever discuss this joint staff with Petar Ilic?
21 A. I didn't discuss the work of this -- I didn't discuss the work of
22 this staff with Petar Ilic but I did mention its existence.
23 Q. Petar Ilic mentioned this existence -- mentioned the existence of
24 the joint staff to you?
25 A. Yes. Yes, he mentioned -- he mentioned it several times at the
1 secretariat. And he took part at all the meetings of the staff that took
2 place at 5.00 in the afternoon every Tuesday, depending on the situation
3 in Kosova. And Nikola Sainovic often came to the military command of
5 Q. Where did these meetings occur, if you know?
6 A. These meetings mainly were held in the Kosova parliament, in
7 Andjelkovic's office, and sometimes in the former provincial committee,
8 and according to circumstances, at the military command of the Pristina
10 Q. And on occasion did you ever see the members of this joint staff
11 arrive for these meetings?
12 A. Yes. I often saw Nikola Sainovic arriving at the command of the
13 Prishtina Corps, and also General Lazarevic, as commander of the corps,
14 also often arrived at headquarters.
15 Q. What was your belief and understanding regarding the tasks of this
16 joint staff?
17 A. The duties of the staff could be interpreted very easily, because
18 all the units of the Prishtina Corps were ready for war. They were
19 mobilised. And also the internal affairs units and also the Civilian
20 Defence units were also armed, even though this is strictly forbidden
21 under the Geneva Conventions.
22 Q. I don't think you've quite answered my question. My question was:
23 What was your belief and understanding regarding the work or the tasks of
24 this joint staff? What did it do?
25 A. Specifically, I believe that this staff planned military
1 operations in Kosova. It planned armed conflicts. This joint staff was
2 really involved in operational matters and drawing up plans.
3 Q. Mr. Aliu, since you did not participate in any of the meetings of
4 this joint staff, what was the basis for your belief about the work of
5 this joint staff or joint command?
6 A. On the basis of my own work at the secretariat and information
7 that reached the secretariat.
8 Q. To your knowledge, were there other joint staffs or joint commands
9 set up at the municipal level in Kosovo around this time?
10 A. On the basis of this joint staff, in all the municipalities of
11 Kosova there were staffs, war staffs, formed, generally headed by the
12 chairmen of the municipalities and who led the municipal staffs. There
13 was 28 of them in all at municipal level.
14 Q. And what was the chief task of these municipal staffs?
15 A. The main task of these municipal staffs was to prepare for war and
16 to conduct the war in Kosova against the Albanians.
17 Q. Who was being prepared for war?
18 A. All the units that I mentioned. The Civilian Defence units, the
19 Civilian Protection Units, the Prishtina Corps and the Secretariat for the
20 Interior, but mainly the Serbian population themselves.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Aliu, could you tell us the basis of your
22 knowledge of these? You said earlier that your basis is your own work at
23 the secretariat and information that reached the secretariat. Could you
24 be more specific? How did you know about all this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I worked in the Territorial Defence
1 staff for eight years at the time when it consisted of Albanians and Serbs
2 together. Normally a certain percentage were Albanians. But after the
3 disarming of the Territorial Defence in 1987 and the abolition of the
4 constitution in 1989, the Albanians were expelled from all their jobs and
5 especially in the Territorial Defence where these Civilian Protection
6 Units were formed. And in the civilian defence units, there was not a
7 single Albanian, and they consisted solely of members of the Serbian
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Aliu, I'm asking about the joint command that you
10 mentioned. You said it was the organ that was preparing war against
11 Kosovo Albanians. What was your base of that knowledge?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This staff was formed by the
13 accused, and this staff throughout -- operated throughout the war in
14 Kosova down to 1999, and you can see what happened in the streets and
15 cities of Kosova and throughout the territory of Kosova.
16 JUDGE KWON: If Mr. Saxon can assist us with this.
17 MR. SAXON:
18 Q. Mr. Aliu, can you describe any specific information that reached
19 your ears during 1998 or the first part of 1999 that described the work
20 and the activities of this joint staff?
21 A. I didn't receive any specific information in writing because this
22 information was secret and went only to specific places such as the army
23 command. But by looking at how they behaved in Kosova, you could see how
24 they were operating.
25 Q. Did you receive any verbal information as to what the members of
1 this joint command were doing?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. Verbal information, we received this in the provincial secretariat
5 from Petar Ilic.
6 Q. Please tell the Judges specifically of the kind or kinds of verbal
7 information that Petar Ilic passed to you regarding the work of the joint
9 A. The joint staff had the main task of leading policy in Kosova and
10 Serbian ideology, promoting Serbian ideology, and to give total support to
11 the command of the Prishtina Corps and the Secretariat for the Interior in
12 fulfilling their military duties.
13 MR. SAXON: May I move on, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 MR. SAXON:
16 Q. Mr. Aliu, can you read Serbian?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'd like to show you some documents, then, and I'd like to --
19 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Saxon, if you're coming -- if you're
20 coming to a different area of the evidence, it might be a convenient
22 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Aliu, we're going to have to adjourn the evidence
24 now until Monday morning. I'm sorry you are being kept over, but we have
25 to deal with another matter now. Could you be back, please, at 9.00 on
1 Monday morning, and could you remember not to speak to anybody about your
2 evidence until it's over, and that does include members of the Prosecution
4 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
7 [Closed session]
13 Pages 7601 to 7632 – redacted – closed session.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of July,
21 2002, at 9.30 a.m.