1 Monday, 26 August 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Nice, we noticed that the witness list has
6 been changed again. It is a matter of concern because it's -- for all
7 those concerned in the case, it means more and additional work. Could you
8 please tell us what the effect of the changes are?
9 MR. NICE: Well, first of all, the document that notified the
10 latest listing is dated the 22nd of August, but I gather that there was
11 unfortunately some difficulty with getting the material to Your Honours.
12 The plan, as I think I revealed --
13 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps we could put that loudspeaker down.
14 MR. NICE: The plan, as I think I revealed a month ago, was that
15 all remaining Albanian-speaking witnesses should be taken this week if at
16 all possible, because after that we understand that the Albanian
17 interpretation booth will no longer be manned.
18 If you look at the witnesses that are numbered 1 to 16, they are
19 the Albanian-speaking witnesses save one, number 4, who has to be called
20 this week. Many of them are subject to 92 bis but not all. Indeed, two
21 of the longer witnesses will be today, I think, numbers 2 and 3. But we
22 recognise that it's a little optimistic to expect 16 witnesses to be done
23 within the week, but we'll do our very best. And so there may be some
24 Albanian-speaking witnesses at the beginning of next week.
25 Starting at 17, there's a witness subject to, I think, of an
1 application. There's then number 18 for whom there are particular
2 problems, the subject of full applications made recently in relation to
3 how his evidence will be available. Number 19 should not be a problem, I
4 think. Twenty and 21 are obviously potentially substantial witnesses.
5 Twenty-two is a witness who can be taken at any time, as it were, as a
6 filler. And if I may, as it were, borrow Your Honours' experience, he's
7 giving evidence as officer in the case tidying up various matters rather
8 than giving evidence he was originally forecast to give.
9 Number 23, I'm not sure of the prospects of that witness being
10 available. I'll return to 24 in a minute. And the numbers 25 and 26 are
11 witnesses whose evidence is necessary to call in light of the
12 cross-examination of the earlier witness Karleusa. We are hopeful that
13 they will be available.
14 So those witnesses from 17 to 26 are bound, we would think, to
15 take a week but we would hope not necessarily much more. And accordingly,
16 by the time one reaches 26, allowing for the possibility that one or two
17 of the witnesses may not be available, by the time one reaches 26, that's
18 about two weeks or a little more of evidence gone subject to what I must
19 say now about Witness 24.
20 Witness 24, as the Court is aware, is the subject of a particular
21 order. The Prosecution complied with that order as swiftly as it possibly
22 could and has entered into constructive negotiations with one of the other
23 parties involved in an application of which the Court is aware. That
24 party has been not inconvenienced but facing the reality of vacation but
25 has been complying and I think anxious to comply with the Court's orders
1 and has been in negotiation with us. Those negotiations are not
2 concluded, and I cannot be sure that they will be concluded in time for
3 that witness to be called in this part of the trial. I'm doing my best,
4 but there are not only negotiations, there are also orders of a government
5 that have to be made before matters can be brought comprehensively to this
6 court, and we'll do our very best and keep you informed.
7 But without number 24 and noticing what there is to be said about
8 numbers 27, 28, 29, and 30, my forecast is that we would take a little
9 over two but by no means the full three weeks with a consequential advance
10 in the start date of the other part of the trial.
11 JUDGE MAY: We've now received a medical report on the health of
12 the accused which we called for, a further report. That may have some
13 impact on the speed of the trial.
14 MR. NICE: That is a document I don't think I've seen.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It has to be translated in any event.
16 Well, let us begin the evidence then.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I just make one other point for
18 information? There is an outstanding issue about Rule 70. It arises, if
19 we can look at our table, particularly in relation to Witness number 30.
20 The Rule 70 issue is the subject of an application for reconsideration --
21 not reconsideration, for review, not just at the hand of the OTP but at
22 the hand of the government. Rule 70 provision is on hold until that
23 matter is determined substantially. No witnesses categorised by me as
24 Rule 70, including number 30, will be available to me until after that
25 issue is resolved.
1 So number 30, although he relates strictly to Kosovo and only to
2 Kosovo, is a witness who I won't be able to call in the Kosovo segment and
3 will apply to call later if he becomes available.
4 My forecast is that once this Rule 70 issue is determined,
5 although things may look a little difficult at the moment, in fact issues
6 will become clearer and the way ahead will become easier to map and
7 probably easier to negotiate, but I'm afraid there is going to be a pause
8 in Rule 70 matters until that issue is determined.
9 I shall be here until Wednesday but probably not on Thursday and
10 Friday, and the only witness who I can forecast might be moved from his
11 present position, with leave of the Court, would be Mr. Merovci. He's
12 here only to deal with the videotape of a television interview. So it's a
13 very discrete matter. Once he and the tape are here, I might ask him to
14 take earlier.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, how many potential Rule 70 witnesses do
16 you have in the case as a whole.
17 MR. NICE:, I don't know the precise number in relation to the
18 Croatia-Bosnia segment, but perhaps I can -- a large number, but they fall
19 into different categories. There's the witness like witness number 30 who
20 is, as it were, a straightforward and an ordinary witness. I don't mean
21 that in any derogatory way, but who is at the -- in the view of the
22 government concerned, surrounded with Rule 70 protection, and there are
23 quite a large number of those witnesses and there has, therefore, to be
24 resolution of how they are to be dealt with. There are then other
25 witnesses of a much, again elevated is the wrong word, but of a much
1 higher profile. There are several of those. In a way, they fall for
2 different consideration and determination. They may have a very
3 significant potential on the case. They are not immediately covered by
4 the issues being covered by the issue for Rule 30, but judgement is that
5 once the Rule -- once the witness 30 -- I beg your pardon, not the Rule,
6 once the witness 30 is decided, it will be possible for us to look with a
7 much clearer view as to how we're going to deal with all Rule 70 issues.
8 So the long answer to Your Honour's question is: There are
9 several witnesses, I'm not quite sure of the number of the witness 30
10 type, but then there's another Rule 70 category, really, which will fall
11 possibly for separate and later consideration.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of course we use the term Rule 70 informally.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I'm not going to suggest that this
14 amounts to any acknowledgement of the appropriateness of their being so
15 described, but I take the point. Thank you. Mr. Ryneveld will be taking
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MAY: It wasn't translated, Mr. Milosevic. What was it?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to make a comment with
20 regard to this list, and that is what you brought up, actually.
21 It's not only the way you put it at the outset that we got a new
22 list. Have you --
23 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues] ... the fault was
24 mine. Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So it is not only that as you had
1 observed at the outset, it is not only that we got a new list, I wish to
2 underline that we got it on the last working day before this weekend.
3 However, that is not the core of the matter that I wish to refer to. I
4 have a few objections.
5 Proposals are being made here for witnesses to hear people
6 employed at the OTP as witnesses. That is to say that this is not really
7 testimony in terms of presenting evidence. It can only constitute yet
8 another element of carrying out the function of this false indictment.
9 Namely, you have here witnesses such as Kevin Curtis and John Zdrilic who
10 are employees of the OTP. That practically means that they are sitting on
11 two different chairs at the same time. They are sitting at the
12 Prosecution bench and they're also supposed to take the witness stand, and
13 they are supposed to testify about their very own false indictment, and
14 this is something that is quite unfamiliar to me in any kind of regular
15 court proceedings or in any kind of regular type of court. So this is
16 number 17 and number 22 respectively.
17 Secondly, because I mean these are two elements. The indictment
18 and the Prosecution are one thing, and here they appear in two different
19 roles. It's as if Mr. Nice were to take the witness stand himself and if
20 he were to testify just as his staff members are supposed to be doing.
21 Secondly, in the statement of this purported witness, Kevin
22 Curtis, we found out about some new facts which make it incumbent upon you
23 gentlemen to look into the circumstances of the commission of crimes that
24 were committed in order to have me brought here. He says in his statement
25 that he allegedly arrested me, although I had already been arrested. So
1 we cannot even talk about arrest; that the warden of the prison handed me
2 over without any decision whatsoever; that he asked him for papers and
3 that the other one respond that had he had no papers whatsoever. That is
4 to say that in an illegal --
5 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you. We will in due course
6 consider the admissibility of this evidence. We're not going to decide it
7 now. We have an application -- just a moment. We have an application in
8 relation to Mr. Curtis's evidence which we've got to consider, and if we
9 are going to allow that witness to give evidence, we will hear you first
10 before we make any decision about that. Likewise, any objections to any
11 of the other evidence we'll hear. But we're now going to hear the
12 evidence which we've got here, the witnesses who are present.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, Mr. May, since in the
14 statement of that witness, irrespective of how you're going to rule,
15 whether an employee of the OTP can be a witness as well or not, there are
16 certain elements that make it incumbent upon you to do something because
17 crimes were committed in terms of violating habeas corpus and other
18 provisions of national law and international law. And you are duty-bound
19 to take a stand with regard to this in keeping with international law,
20 because in any normal court of law, if such crimes were committed, I would
21 have to be released immediately. You can take any kind of stand you want,
22 but you do have to take a stand, and you have to inform the public thereof
23 and me as well, naturally.
24 And the third objection I have is that I wish to say the
25 following: I see that some new witnesses have been introduced now, Dragan
1 Ilic, for example, Slobodan Borisavljevic, and we did not receive any
2 statements that they had given. I don't know whether you have received
3 any statements that they gave. There are no statements of theirs.
4 Secondly, with regard to this third witness from the police,
5 Bozidar Protic, there is also not a statement. There is only some kind of
6 minutes of the working group of the Ministry of the Interior of this
7 puppet government that is now in place in Belgrade. And for Caslav
8 Golubovic we have a statement in English. He could not have possibly
9 given it in English, only in Serbian, but we did not receive a statement
10 in Serbian. Then also Zdrilic who is an employee of the OTP. So he
11 cannot be a Prosecutor and a witness. He cannot write the indictment and
12 then testify on behalf of that indictment.
13 So we have here a list that was given in a totally unacceptable
14 manner. So these are my objections.
15 JUDGE MAY: We will look into the question of statements. Any
16 other questions we'll deal with when it's appropriate for the witnesses to
17 give evidence.
18 Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. It's the Prosecution's
20 intention to call Muharrem Dashi, and the proposal was that we deal with
21 him by way of 92 bis with cross-examination. Your Honours, I am not aware
22 whether the Court has in fact had an opportunity to provide us with a
23 ruling on our application, and accordingly, I may ask you, before I call
24 him, as to whether or not we may proceed in the way of 92 bis with this
25 witness, he being with respect to Kacanik of which you've heard
1 considerable other evidence.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the application is for this witness,
3 Mr. Dashi's evidence, to be given under Rule 92 bis. You will have the
4 opportunity to cross-examine. Is there anything you want to say about
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, you know what my general
7 position is with regard to these abbreviated witnesses who have been
8 testifying according to this Rule of yours only in order to shorten the
9 time I have for cross-examination.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will admit the statement. It is cumulative.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. I would then ask that the
14 usher bring in Muharrem Dashi.
15 And while we're waiting for Mr. Dashi, Your Honours, this witness
16 will be talking about events that occurred in the village of Stagovo in
17 the municipality of Kacanik, and you may want to just have a look at the
18 atlas, page 12, and I can perhaps show you where Stagovo is. At the
19 intersection of line 20 near the top, if we go along the top, and line 80
20 down the side, you will see right at the intersection of those two lines
21 where there is a railway line you get Stagovo
22 [The witness entered court]
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Just north of Kacanik city.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: MUHARREM DASHI
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
5 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
6 Q. Mr. Dashi, can you tell the Court how old are you, sir?
7 A. I am 43 years old.
8 Q. And, sir, is it true that you are a Kosovo Albanian Muslim from
9 the village of Stagovo in the municipality of Kacanik?
10 A. Yes, that's true.
11 Q. And prior to the conflict in 1999, can you tell us about how many
12 people inhabited Stagovo and what their ethnicity was?
13 A. There were 1.620 people in Stagova, all Albanian.
14 Q. Do I understand, sir, that you are married?
15 A. Yes, I'm married, and I have four children.
16 Q. And I understand, sir, that you are a professional engineer, but
17 you have actually been employed as a teacher in the village of Stagovo; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, sir, at some time on the 6th of June, 1999, did you provide a
21 statement to members of the Office of the Prosecutor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And subsequently, sir, on the 10th of March of this year, 2002,
24 did you have an opportunity to have that statement read back to you and
25 then appear before an officer of the Tribunal, a presiding officer, and
1 confirm that the contents of that statement were true to the best of your
2 knowledge, information, and belief?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Now --
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Might that statement be marked as an
6 exhibit in these proceedings, Your Honour, the bising package, so to
7 speak. While that's being distributed, Your Honours, I propose to give a
8 very brief summary of some of the highlights of what might be contained in
9 that statement.
10 Your Honours, the statement discloses that in the last two months
11 of the conflict, Mr. Dashi served as a civilian member of a local KLA unit
12 in the village Stagovo, in the municipality of Kacanik. As a civilian
13 member, did he not bear arms but his duties included providing food and
14 shelter for refugees that gathered in Stagovo. There were 15 members in
15 the unit, and in early May 1999, they started a 24-hour watch for Serbian
16 troops. The statement describes the actions of the Serb forces in the
17 village of Stagovo, municipality of Kacanik, on the 21st of May, 1999, and
18 following days.
19 Now, on the morning of the attack, the 21st of May, the witness
20 apparently was given a rifle and was assigned to an observation post. He
21 was at that observation post on the morning of the 21st of May, together
22 with two other members of the unit. At about 4.15 a.m., he observed
23 soldiers advancing toward the village. The soldiers were wearing green
24 camouflage VJ uniforms. They were all on foot and came from the direction
25 of Kacanik i Vjeter, Stari Kacanik. The witness warned the other members
1 of the KLA unit and they all went to a new observation point. He decided
2 not to fight back for fear of putting civilians at further risk.
3 They stayed in their position the whole day because the village
4 was surrounded. The witness could hear mortars, automatic weapons, and
5 other weapons being fired. The KLA did not return fire. He could also
6 see a lot of smoke coming from the village. He observed different kinds
7 of uniforms used by the forces and describes them in his statement,
8 including VJ, police, and what he describes as paramilitaries.
9 After the Serb forces withdrew, the witness entered the village
10 with his unit and in an area called Kumulishta, he saw five bodies
11 consisting of two grown men and three elderly women whom he names in his
12 statement. He then went by a stream where he saw three more bodies and a
13 short distance away he saw a further two bodies. In addition to seeing
14 those particular 10 bodies, he heard that the bodies of two elderly men
15 were found about 200 metres from the stream. In his statement he briefly
16 describes some of the injuries he saw on the victims and then tells you
17 that he went through the village and estimates that 60 per cent of the
18 houses had been burned.
19 He also saw that houses had been looted, windows in the school and
20 the mosque had been broken, and livestock had been killed. The following
21 day, that's the 22nd of May, the witness was together with his nephew, a
22 Mr. Dullovi Naser when he made a video recording of the bodies. The
23 bodies from filmed in the positions that they were found and later in the
24 day, he participated in the burial of those bodies. Apparently the Serbs
25 had mined the cemetery and exploding mines injured three people.
1 On the 27th of May, the witness's nephew left Kosovo for Macedonia
2 to join other members of his family who had fled before the Serb attack.
3 That is the brief summary of that statement. Needless to say
4 there are further details contained in it. I started reading before we
5 actually had a number assigned to the statement. Might we have that now.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's number 285.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Unless Your Honours have any questions,
8 those would be my questions of Mr. Dashi.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] At the time when you were in secondary school,
12 were there any problems in Kacanik regarding attendance in school?
13 A. I worked in Stagova.
14 Q. As we saw on the map, this is practically at the very edge of
15 Kacanik, and the teachers that you probably know, and you would also know
16 what the situation was in your municipality, or perhaps you don't know.
17 A. I don't really understand your question.
18 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't -- in your school, Mr. Dashi, can you help
19 us with this: Were there any problems regarding attendance?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no problems at all. The police
21 came quite often, but we didn't have any great problems with them.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And can you please tell me, during your schooling in Kacanik, did
24 you have contacts with your peers from other schools?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So you didn't have any contacts either with Serbs or any other
2 non-Albanian pupils from your school or other schools?
3 A. There weren't any Serb pupils in Kacanik, whereas in Stagova there
4 were Serb teachers who, to my great wonder, continued working there. They
5 had been there earlier.
6 Q. In which language did you teach in your school?
7 A. Albanian.
8 Q. Can you please tell me if you know that since -- that out of 85
9 employees there were 62 Albanians in the municipality of Kacanik?
10 A. I don't understand. Could you repeat the question, please?
11 Q. You said that you taught in Albanian without any problems. So I'm
12 asking you also if you know that in the Municipal Assembly, in the organs
13 of local municipal power, the vast majority of employees in Kacanik were
14 Albanians. Did you know that?
15 A. That's true. This was earlier. The government in Kacanik went
16 over to the Serbs, whereas the schools became private more or less, but I
17 won't go on about that.
18 Q. How could the Serbs have taken over until the bombing, the 24th of
19 March, when out of the total of 85 employees in the municipality, in the
20 Municipal Assembly, 62 of them were Albanians? How could that have
22 A. The communal authorities, the municipal authorities, were
23 completely Serb.
24 Q. So does that mean that what I am stating is not true? Is that
1 A. It's not true because in Kacanik the municipal authorities were
2 run by the Serbs.
3 Q. Very well. Very well. But the important thing is that you claim
4 that this is not true. But there are written records of this, so this is
5 not in dispute. But please, can you tell me if you know whether in 1995,
6 at the proposal of local authorities, a local police was formed
7 exclusively from members of the Albanian and Romany ethnic communities?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "In 1998."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1998? I don't know anything
10 about that, no.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did you hear that 12 members of the local police were killed or
13 kidnapped by the KLA, and they were all Albanians? And I think a couple
14 of them were Romanies. You don't know anything about that?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Would it assist you if I were to read you the names of those
18 A. You can read them if you want, but I don't know them.
19 Q. So even though I haven't even read them, you don't know them. So
20 this is no need for me to read them then. Do you know that in the nearby
21 villages, for example Kotlina and Ivaja, the KLA formed camps for members
22 of the local police and for Albanians, citizens loyal to the state, loyal
23 to the Republic of Serbia? Do you know about that?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. How far are Kotlina and Ivaja from your village? You're a teacher
1 and you're interested in social events, things that are going on.
2 A. That's true, but I don't know anything about that because I didn't
3 have any specific competence in such matters.
4 JUDGE MAY: You were asked how far away those villages are. Can
5 you help?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stagova to Kacanik is 6 kilometres,
7 and it's about 8 from Ivaja to Kacanik, and 15 or 16 from Kotlina.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So could you please tell me if you know that in this village of
11 Ivaja, which is 8 kilometres away from Kacanik, that in a camp like that,
12 a group of 15 Albanians was found and released, people who were kept there
13 by the KLA? And they were released by the local police. Did you hear
14 about this event?
15 A. No. No.
16 Q. You provided your statement on the 6th of June, 1999, the one that
17 we're discussing now; is that right?
18 A. Yes. When I was in the camp. That's where I gave the
19 declaration, the statement. The 26th was when I arrived.
20 Q. Did you become a member of the KLA in the month of April 1999 or
21 before that?
22 A. In April I wasn't a soldier. I wasn't a fighter because I didn't
23 have a weapon.
24 Q. So you were a member of the KLA without a weapon.
25 A. Yes, that's true. That's the way it was.
1 Q. So what was your function in the KLA?
2 A. I was there to help the civilian population in the village,
3 displaced persons who had arrived, to help them find shelter and to help
4 them find food. That was what I was there to do.
5 Q. Was this related only to accommodation and food in your village or
6 did you go around neighbouring villages and perform those duties over a
7 wider area?
8 A. Only in my village.
9 Q. But as a member of the KLA, I assume that you know that on the 8th
10 of April, 1999, at 1740 hours to be precise, a terrorist attack was
11 carried out by 20 armed terrorists of the KLA against the police in the
12 street of Bora Vukmirovic in Kacanik. Do you know about this?
13 A. On the 8th of April, Serb forces entered Stagova, and on that day
14 a house was burned, the one of Rufik Krraba and the population fled to the
15 hills. That's all I know.
16 Q. So you don't know anything about the attack of this terrorist
17 group numbering 20 terrorists against the police station in Kacanik on
18 that date, but you do know that they came to Stagovo; is that right? You
19 don't know anything about this?
20 A. Serb forces -- Serb forces entered Stagova in the morning. They
21 fired three grenades in the evening into my neighbourhood where I lived.
22 And there was only one house burnt on the 8th of April. There were no
23 other major crimes committed that day.
24 Q. Do you know that on that date, on the 8th of April, nine police
25 officers were wounded there? Do you know about that?
1 A. There weren't any injured in Stagova. I don't know exactly, and
2 that's why I can't give you an answer.
3 Q. How far did you say that Stagovo is far from Kacanik, please?
4 A. Six kilometres.
5 Q. Six kilometres. So you don't know anything about this, and you
6 don't know that nine police officers were wounded, and you don't know who
7 fired at those police officers. So I assume I don't even need to ask you
8 about that.
9 A. I don't know. I really don't know. I can't tell you.
10 Q. Very well. Very well. This is nothing new. And do you know that
11 in the village of Doganovic five children were killed by a cluster bomb, a
12 NATO cluster bomb? They were all from the Koqa family. An Albanian man,
13 Sekbija Koqa [phoen], a statement explained that the children had found a
14 cluster bomb, tried to open it, and were killed. The names were Fisnik
15 Koqa, Valdet Koqa, Burim Koqa, Edem Koqa and Osman Koqa, and the following
16 persons were wounded: Besnik and Avdija. They were all from the village
17 of Doganovic. The children were born in 1990, 1984, 1985.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter couldn't catch the rest of the
19 birth years.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you know about that event? You're a teacher. This is
22 something involving children. Do you know about this event?
23 A. Yes, that's true. But how they were killed, we know it was a
24 bomb, but whether it was a NATO bomb or some other bomb, I don't know.
25 Q. Very well. What was the name of the commander of the KLA unit
1 that you belonged to? Do you know that at least?
2 A. It was a very small organisation. To tell you the truth, in
3 Stagova it was the people who organised the unit themselves as part of the
4 army. It was all the people, the citizens. Whether people were civilians
5 or fighters, they would suffer the same fate from Serb forces. And that's
6 why some people were able to find arms. The only reason was not only to
7 fight, to fight the police or the army, but at least to survive a
9 Q. Well, you didn't respond to my question, what was the name of the
10 commander of the unit that you belonged to. I see that you have a
11 different story. So I'm just asking you about this specific fact.
12 A. Remzi Krraba was the name, who was responsible for that unit.
14 Q. Krraba. And was this unit of yours part of a larger unit?
15 A. I don't know. I don't really have any information, any detailed
16 information, on it.
17 Q. You became an observer, as far as I can understand.
18 A. I was a civilian observer.
19 Q. What does it mean a civilian, when you yourself said that you had
20 a rifle when you were at the observation post. Is a civilian with a rifle
21 still a civilian?
22 A. Yes, that's true. We -- there were four of us, and we shared a
23 rifle. It was a very old rifle. Not very good, but we used it in four
24 different shifts. So it wasn't really my rifle or didn't belong to anyone
25 specifically. But we -- we kept it.
1 Q. Very well. I am familiar that rifle, because I used it when I was
2 serving in the army. It can kill at 1.800 metres. It's a 7.9 millimetre
3 calibre rifle.
4 And on page 3 of your statement, you say that you were armed with
5 a machine-gun, a Kalashnikov, and mortars. Did you state that?
6 A. Yes. There was a mortar and Kalashnikov, and there was a
7 machine-gun. There were machine-guns.
8 Q. How many machine-guns?
9 A. One.
10 Q. Well, you said a couple of semi-automatics. Can one be a couple
11 of semi-automatics?
12 A. There was only one.
13 Q. Very well. Let's say Kalashnikovs, mortars, and semi-automatic
14 weapons. Where did you obtain them?
15 A. Because I couldn't find proper weapons, I wasn't able to. Where
16 the others got their weapons, I don't know.
17 Q. Very well. How many people did you kill with the weapons that you
18 have just listed? Do you have any information about that?
19 A. To tell you the truth, I can say very honestly that no bullet ever
20 killed anyone and was ever fired by me from this -- from these weapons.
21 Q. Very well. Let's say that it's true that you didn't kill anybody,
22 that you fired into the air. Do you have any idea how many people were
23 killed from those weapons by the other members of your unit?
24 A. Could you please repeat your question? Or sorry, I will repeat.
25 I did not fire my weapons that -- my weapon that day, and no one was
1 killed. No one fired weapons. Not only I did not fire, but no other
2 fighter fired a weapon that day.
3 Q. Can you please tell me whether you have any information about what
4 it was that resulted in the death of those nine police officers on that
5 day? Was it perhaps some other KLA group that fired them and not yours?
6 Do you know anything about that?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Very well. You say that at 4.00 a.m. you were at the observation
9 post. Was it dark?
10 A. It was dark, yes. And then after 4.00, we could sort of see
11 things, yes.
12 Q. And tell me, please, you saw people who were walking towards
13 Stagovo. From what distance did you see them?
14 A. From the main road where the Serb forces entered near the cemetery
15 near old Kacanik. It was difficult to see down there, whereas we could
16 see the other forces coming on the road from Kacanik. It was about 400
17 metres away, approximately.
18 Q. And you saw that these soldiers were firing; is that right?
19 A. At the beginning, they weren't firing. They merely took up their
20 positions after the Gudaq neighbourhood and that was all, and we would
21 observe them.
22 Q. And tell me, were they -- did members of the KLA fire at them?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And did anybody shoot from the position of those 15 men that you
25 joined if you did not open fire at them then?
1 A. No.
2 Q. So let's try to understand this. In your village, your group of
3 the KLA, that is one element, mortar, machine-gun, Kalashnikov, et cetera.
4 You took up positions. Soldiers were shooting, and you did not respond.
5 Who were the soldiers shooting at?
6 A. I don't understand. Which soldiers?
7 Q. Yugoslav soldiers. Who were they shooting at?
8 A. Once again, I repeat: The Serbian forces didn't fire until about
9 six hours after they took up their positions.
10 Q. All right. When they took up positions -- I mean, what does that
11 mean, "After six hours"? Were they at positions for six hours or was all
12 of this taking place at 6.00 a.m.?
13 A. After 6.00 in the morning, there was a lot of gunfire.
14 Q. All right. In your statement, you say that you think that the
15 Serbs were shooting in order to keep people in the village and to prevent
16 aid from reaching the villagers. That's what your statement says, and
17 that is your claim. That is what you claim the reason was for their
18 shooting; is that right?
19 A. On that day -- this sentence may not be accurate, because what
20 happened was the soldiers kept the village surrounded, and the remainder
21 of the police, of whom we were not aware, came -- came from the area of
22 Vitia, and they captured the citizens and murdered them and executed them.
23 Q. All right. In your statement, you say that you remained at these
24 positions and that you could not move at all so that the soldiers could
25 not see you, and that from your positions you could not see any other
1 members of the security forces. Is that what you stated or not? Is that
2 the way it was or is that not the way it was?
3 A. Of course the positions where we were, we couldn't see the forces
4 which we suppose came from Vitia. We suppose that's where they came from.
5 They were stationed in the hills up there. And we didn't know what was
6 happening in Kumulishta or at the stream where the civilians were.
7 Q. All right. Tell me, then, how can you know what was going on and
8 who was shooting at whom when you were hidden all the time and when you
9 yourself have been saying now that you didn't see a thing?
10 A. I didn't intend to enter into details here. The important thing
11 is this population was massacred. However, from the position where I was,
12 you could see clearly the terrain at that side of Stagova where the
13 school, the mosque, and the library and other things are. I didn't
14 emphasise it in my declaration, but I can tell you now. There was a car.
15 I don't know what kind of registration, but it was a light colour, and it
16 was seen from the position where I was, and it went from the train station
17 to the school. There were weapons, no doubt a Gulinov. They were
18 positioned in it. And throughout this time, it moved from the station to
19 the school and it was firing all the time. I didn't see the massacre
20 actually happening, but it states in my statement that the place was so
21 hidden. But the truth was that Serbian forces massacred members of the
23 And I say this because in that part, in that area, there were no
24 forces of ours at all, and there was no provocation of the Serbian army
25 and police.
1 Q. All right. You keep using this word "massacre," that Walker
2 brought into fashion. That is to say when there is a conflict between the
3 KLA and the army and police, if the police kills a member of the KLA, then
4 that's a massacre. And what do you call it -- what do you qualify as the
5 following: When the KLA kills a policeman. Is that also a massacre?
6 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]...
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
8 Q. As for your statement, I'm going to quote it to you. I'm going to
9 quote only a few pearls from your statement. This is how a sentence of
10 yours reads: "I think that Ibrahim's wife saw how all three of them were
11 killed." You think that Ibrahim's wife saw this. And then towards the
12 end of paragraph, and all this is on page 4, you say "200 the metres away,
13 that the bodies of two elderly men were found. I was told the next day,
14 but I never saw the bodies myself." What are you testifying about?
15 Please. You were at an observation point, and you didn't see a thing. On
16 the other hand, you say that you think that Ibrahim's wife saw some kind
17 of execution, and then you say what you heard the following day. What are
18 you testifying about, sir?
19 A. I'm testifying to the massacre that took place in Stagova on the
20 21st. I saw the bodies. They were very close to one another. So the
21 furthest away was 10 or 15 metres apart.
22 Q. All right. Since you say all of that, do you know that precisely
23 in Stagovo, because you say you're not familiar with anything else except
24 for Stagovo, well, this was precisely in Stagovo, your village, on the
25 22nd, that is to say the following day, a soldier by the name of Goran
1 Stankovic was killed. You've got to know that because you say you stayed
2 there until the 27th. On the 22nd in Stagovo a soldier was killed. So
3 does that show that there was fighting or that there was no fighting? And
4 did the Serb soldiers perhaps kill that soldier?
5 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer the question.
6 Do you know that a soldier was killed the next day, the 22nd?
7 Mr. Dashi, would you deal with that, please?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 22nd, we filmed the bodies,
9 and we have the recording. And as for this soldier or policeman who is
10 said to have been killed, I don't know about this.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So you don't know anything about it, do you? You don't know who
13 killed this soldier. You don't know that he was killed at all; right?
14 A. If I knew, I would testify to it, but I don't know about it. On
15 the 22nd, the bodies were buried and the film was made.
16 Q. Where is this recording of yours?
17 A. I have it with me. It's here.
18 Q. What is there on this film? I did not receive this. Please, what
19 is there on this film?
20 A. It shows all the bodies that were found there, and they were
21 filmed when they were buried. Then there is a film of burnt houses and
22 livestock that were killed.
23 Q. How many burnt houses can be seen? Tell me, please.
24 A. The statistics are over 60 per cent, but I don't know how many the
25 film shows.
1 Q. Well, didn't you take pictures of these houses that were burned?
2 You didn't miss taking pictures of these houses if 60 per cent were
4 A. That's true, because we filmed the bodies from the -- and then
5 merely filmed the area round the cemetery to show the situation that we
6 were in and to show the type of thing that was done. We weren't making
7 this film for the Tribunal, because we were in a very difficult position
8 and didn't know really what we were doing. It was something happened --
9 that happened spontaneously, without any organisation.
10 Q. Well, there is nothing to be organised. Over the past ten or 15
11 years, usually funerals are recorded either by camera or by video
12 recorder. So you actually filmed the funeral. That is what you're
13 referring to, aren't you?
14 A. That's quite true, because Stagova is a very scattered village.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes -- wait a moment. Mr. Ryneveld.
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honour, I just thought I'd indicate that the
17 Prosecution is aware that this -- the witness brought this video with him.
18 It is available. We didn't introduce it into evidence because we have the
19 narrative in the statement.
20 JUDGE MAY: Exactly.
21 MR. RYNEVELD: But if there is a question about it, it is
22 available and we --
23 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Ryneveld, let us not waste more time. Let us
24 move on.
25 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. The witness has given his evidence about the
1 events and it's that that we'll rely on.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. All right. Tell me, please, you say in your statement that you
4 saw one house in flames. That is what your statement says on page 3. How
5 did you come up with this figure of 60 per cent of all houses being burned
7 A. No doubt the statement refers to the time, 9.00, when we saw the
8 first house being burned, and that is the first house being burnt at 9.00.
9 JUDGE MAY: What you were being asked was: How did you come to
10 the conclusion that 60 per cent of the houses were burnt? You may be able
11 to answer that very simply, but would you just explain that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not saying 60 per cent but over
13 60 per cent if you analyse it.
14 JUDGE MAY: Did you count them? I mean, how did you come to that
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There are 182 houses in
17 Stagova. Ninety-six were burnt entirely, and 30 were partly burnt.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And tell me, when were these houses burned?
20 A. They were burned on the 21st.
21 Q. All 96 houses that you claim were burned were burned on the 21st,
22 is that what you're saying?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were they torched? Did somebody set fire to these houses or did
25 they catch fire during the fighting?
1 A. There was no fighting. Let me tell you again. The houses were
3 Q. How do you explain -- how do you explain, Mr. Dashi, the fact
4 that, for example, throughout the war nobody moved out of Stari Kacanik?
5 A. I don't understand. Can you repeat the question, please?
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, your time is now up with this witness.
7 Can you --
8 You were asked about Stari Kacanik. Can you help about that?
9 It's suggested that nobody moved out of there during the war. Can you
10 help us about Stari Kacanik or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was the police station
12 in Kacanik i Vjeter. I mean that it had been there a long time. And the
13 only way out, the only route for evacuation, was through Kumulishta. And
14 there the citizenry met their fate and what happened happened.
15 JUDGE MAY: You can ask another question if you want to clarify
16 that, Mr. Milosevic, or not.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Are you going to say that people were killed there as
19 well in Kacanik? Do you know that in Kacanik, as a matter of fact, an
20 Albanian party was formed, the Albanian Democratic Initiative? Do you
21 know the name of Faik Jashari who was a member of the delegation in
22 Rambouillet? He was from Kacanik, head of this party. Do you know that?
23 A. No, I don't know.
24 Q. And do you know --
25 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, your time is up now.
1 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Dashi, I would kindly ask you for a few
6 clarifications only related to your statement, the one that you gave to
7 the investigators of the Tribunal. In your statement, you said that you
8 were mobilised. Does that mean that against your own will you became a
9 member of the KLA or did you voluntarily join the KLA?
10 A. I wasn't a volunteer for the KLA, but that was only because there
11 were no weapons.
12 Q. Further on you said in your statement that in your village that
13 unit had 15 men altogether. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that or thereabouts. On the 21st I was with them, but I
15 didn't actually count how many were there. We didn't have time to count.
16 Q. Did any one of you from that unit have a uniform, a KLA uniform?
17 A. I didn't have one, and the great majority didn't have uniforms.
18 Q. And is the other thing you said correct too, that this unit of
19 yours was known as the 162nd Unit? Does that mean that there were 161
20 units before you that comprised what the KLA was? Was your unit the 162nd
21 in line? Is that what this means?
22 A. No doubt this might be an interpretation mistake, because the --
23 the 162nd Brigade was the brigade of the entire municipality of Kacanik.
24 It was a unit in Stagova with the numbers that I've been talking about,
25 which I mentioned earlier.
1 Q. Do you know or do you not know, then, this 162nd Brigade, how many
2 members did it have?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Thank you. You said that the name of this brigade was Agim
5 Bajrami, that it bore his name, and that he was killed in the fighting
6 with Serb forces a year beforehand. So can you tell me, in 1998, how much
7 fighting was there between the KLA and the Serb forces, as you had put it
8 here? Was there any fighting?
9 A. When Agim Bajrami was killed, there was no fighting as far as I
10 know. Agim Bajrami was killed in the village of Gabrice. That's all I
11 know. Killed by Serbian forces, of course.
12 Q. Could we clarify something that remained unclear a few minutes
13 ago. You said that you carried a M-48 rifle on the 21st of May, 1999, at
14 that observation post. You said in your first statement that on that day
15 you were armed with machine-guns, Kalashnikovs, and a single mortar. And
16 then on the 10th of March this year, you stated to the investigators here
17 that you have to correct your statement, and you said the following, and I
18 quote: "We were armed with one machine-gun, Kalashnikovs, and one
20 Does that mean that each and every one of you on that day had a
21 Kalashnikov? Because you were quite unequivocal that there was one
22 machine-gun, one mortar, and Kalashnikovs. That's what you said on the
23 10th of March.
24 A. The truth is there was one mortar, one semi-automatic, and the
25 remaining weapons were Kalashnikovs.
1 Q. Did all of you have Kalashnikovs?
2 A. Yes. There was one semi-automatic, one with a projectile, and the
3 others were Kalashnikovs.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. And if you could explain just one more
5 thing to me. You were observing from that post of yours and you saw that
6 the Serb forces were coming nearer. When you noticed this, you informed
7 Muhamet and Shabedin Dashi and you sent them to the village to warn the
8 rest of your unit about that; is that correct? Do you know whether they
9 all withdrew from the village or did somebody remain in the village
11 A. I reported this because there were a lot of civilians in Stagova.
12 In my own neighbourhood, the houses were full of people and cousins and
13 nephews and nieces from a neighbouring village called Biqek. My own
14 neighbourhood was crammed with civilians. This was why Shabedin went and
15 woke him up, because it was very early.
16 Q. Thank you. Just one more question. In your particulars when you
17 were questioned, you said that you were a refugee and that your present
18 occupation is refugee and your previous occupation is engineer. Could you
19 please explain to me why you left Kosovo on the 27th of May. Did somebody
20 demand or request that you leave Kosovo on the 27th of May?
21 A. I was not forced by anybody.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. RYNEVELD: Nothing re-arising. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Dashi, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
25 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
1 The Court will now adjourn. Twenty minutes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: Sadik Xhemajli is the next witness. The Court has
8 already had access to his statements because he was the subject of an
9 application for 92 bis, but the Court decided that he should give evidence
10 in full by its order, I think on the 2nd of August.
11 There is a summary provided. There's a little additional evidence
12 that I'm going to ask him to deal with via a video that's being prepared
13 at the moment, and I'll explain that when we reach it. This witness's
14 evidence will fit together with other evidence, in particular Dr. Loshi,
15 who is coming later in the week and who, although he's a 92 bis witness or
16 probably is a 92 bis witness himself, will produce a video showing the
17 bodies involved in this particular killing and therefore, I shan't need to
18 deal with this witness with a video that covers that topic.
19 I should say that the witness wears darkened spectacles. He wears
20 them at all times on medical advice. I have asked him if he can dispense
21 with them for the purpose of giving evidence, but apparently not. And
22 indeed I've seen a large number of photographs of him which I needn't
23 produce to you but photographs of him in the performance of his duties,
24 and he is at all times wearing the same spectacles.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: SADIK XHEMAJLI
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm going to ask that the piece of paper
8 with the witness's name be placed on the overhead projector over the map
9 just so that the members of the press can spell the name correctly if they
10 wish to.
11 Examined by Mr. Nice:
12 Q. Is your name Sadik Xhemajli?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Born in Izbica in the municipality of Skenderaj?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Living in Runik.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now having, I hope, given the press enough time to look at the
19 spelling of the name, can we take that piece of paper off the overhead
20 projector? And if we look at the map which is before us, we can see
21 Skenderaj to the left, pretty well dead centre, I suppose, of the screen
22 is Izbica, and the village where you lived a lot of your time is further
23 to the north.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Sir, you are a married man with children?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Before the war how many houses were there in Izbica? What was the
3 approximate population?
4 A. There were 68 houses before the war, inhabited. Eight hundred and
5 sixty people approximately.
6 Q. Ethnic composition, please?
7 A. They were Muslims.
8 Q. You in your statement deal with changes in the lives of Albanians
9 following the removal of Kosovo autonomy. The learned Judges have heard a
10 great deal about that, and I'm only going to ask you to deal with two
11 short matters.
12 First, following the change in autonomous status, what was the
13 practical positions so far as carrying identification documents was
15 A. True autonomy was taken away in 1989. Serbian regime had every
16 document in Serbian and everything was written in Cyrillic with additions
17 to the documents.
18 Q. Yes. Who had to carry identification documents, everybody of all
19 ethnicities or just some?
20 A. This was valid for everybody, but in fact Serbs were never
21 mistreated. But Albanians were forced to carry Serbian documents because
22 they would get mistreated on the streets, in traffic, anywhere.
23 Q. The second short point: In that same period of time when Albanian
24 babies were born and named, was there something about the names they were
25 given that reflected the change in status of Albanians?
1 A. Yes. I've heard from people that names such as Shqiponja, Flamur
2 and Elbasan were not accepted by the Registrars.
3 Q. And what sort of names were accepted?
4 A. Sadik, but they didn't allow names after national symbols,
5 cities, things like that.
6 Q. So the names that they were to use instead, were they Serbian
7 names or names that were more like Serbian or were they Albanian names?
8 A. They were Albanian names but not involving national symbols or any
9 special meaning.
10 Q. I want now to turn to the KLA. On the 28th of November of 1997 -
11 this is in the statement but not in the summary - was there the funeral of
12 an Albanian teacher in the village called Llausha?
13 A. Yes. That's where the teacher Halit Geci was killed by Serbian
14 forces in the schoolyard. And more than 100.000, 200.000 people took part
15 in the funeral and that was where the KLA appeared in public for the first
17 Q. How many members of the KLA appeared on that occasion?
18 A. Some spoke, and how many others there were, I don't really know.
19 Q. Llausha can be found if we withdraw the camera a little or -- on
20 the screen, please.
21 A. It's there near Skenderaj.
22 Q. Just -- thank you very much. You have to look on the right-hand
23 page. It's difficult to see. It's there. It's immediately under the
24 right-hand page where Skenderaj is shown.
25 A. There it is, just near Skenderaj.
1 Q. Putting things in a chronological order, was there on the 28th of
2 February of 1998 at Likoshane and Cirez a killing of villagers followed by
3 a funeral with a large attendance of mourners?
4 A. Yes. In Likoshan and Cirez there were 24 people in all killed,
5 and great -- I took part in the funeral. Not as a soldier but as a
6 citizen. There were more than half a million people present at those
7 funerals, about 600.000 people.
8 Q. And was it following that second funeral on a date in March 1998
9 that you became a member of the KLA?
10 A. No. After the murder of the legendary Commander Adem Jashari, I
11 joined the KLA on the 13th of March, 1998.
12 Q. I will deal with your involvement in the KLA briefly. The
13 accused, if relevant, may have further questions. But did you have no
14 previous military experience?
15 A. No, I didn't.
16 Q. Was the unit that you were initially attached to a small one?
17 A. It was a very small unit, and there were volunteers.
18 Q. And --
19 A. No, there was no -- there was no conscription.
20 Q. Were you initially armed or without arms?
21 A. At the beginning, we didn't have weapons.
22 Q. At the beginning did you have uniforms or not?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you in due course rise to the position of commander of your
25 small unit?
1 A. I was a private to begin, and then a lieutenant, and at the end of
2 the war I was an officer in the battalion.
3 Q. And your unit was or became part of the 112th Brigade?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. I want you to deal with the Padaliste and Qitak incident in May of
6 1998 but just in a couple of sentences, please. What happened then?
7 A. On the 15th of May, 1998, Serb police from the area of Istog
8 attacked Padalishte with several tanks and burned several houses in Qitak,
9 and the population were obliged to flee the village and head for the
10 surrounding hills. And on the same day, there were two killed. That's
11 Muhamet Shaban Citaku and Rifat Citaku, who was at 28 years old.
12 Q. Thank you. We can see Padaliste on the map. It's a little out
13 the focus. It's to the west and just slightly north of Skenderaj. But if
14 we go further north on the map we come to a town or village Suhogerlle; is
15 that right?
16 A. Suhogerlle.
17 Q. And further to the north?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Nice, please speak into the microphone.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Padaliste is just where your finger is now. No, it's not. It's
21 to the right. And the other town, if we can look further to the north --
22 there's Padaliste. Thank you very much. Now can we go north up that
23 road, please, if the booth would you so good. Thank you very much. And
24 the town now at the top of the screen, can you just -- that's fine. Thank
25 you very much.
1 A. It's a village. It's called Suhogerlle.
2 Q. And you omitted from your statement and realised you omitted from
3 it something about this village. In a sentence, what was it that you were
4 aware of happening there?
5 A. In this village, on the 5th, the 6th, and the 7th, the Serbs
6 shelled incessantly to force the inhabitants of Suhogerlle to flee because
7 this village is next to Banja, which is a Serbian village, whereas in
8 Suhogerlle there is only one neighbourhood that is Serbian. And on --
9 there were six people, six civilians, not one of them in uniform, were
10 killed in Suhogerlle. And three of them are still missing. They are
11 Osman Osmani and Rexhep Zogaj and one other who are still counted missing
12 and have never been found. On that occasion they kidnapped more than 40
13 people and it was led by Martic and together with local Serbs, and they
14 took them to another Serbian village Cerkolez where they mistreated them
15 and beat them, and then some of them they were then released. And then
16 until the entry of NATO, not a single Albanian was allowed into that
17 village. And they burned all the Albanian houses in the village of
19 Q. Before we move on to the time when OSCE arrived, did you witness
20 something of an attack on your own village of Runik involving airborne
21 troops or use of airborne weaponry?
22 A. There was nothing like that after the OSCE came. I don't know
23 about this.
24 Q. Did you have --
25 A. There was an air attack on the 18th of May.
1 Q. And what sort of air -- airborne attack was it? What weapons were
3 A. On the 15th of May, 1998, I -- as I explained, the first attack
4 was on Padalishte, and we buried those two people who were killed, and
5 they were buried next to the paved road.
6 Q. I'm going to interrupt you --
7 A. And on the 18th of May, other forces came and used helicopters.
8 And they were above Dubrava near Istog, and they would come above a house
9 and fire with semi-automatic rifles. Two people were killed, Ramadan
10 Loshi, 62, and Ramadan Citaku, 69. And Husein Citaku was wounded.
11 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted you to help us on that. The OSCE
12 arrived in October 1998 and withdrew on the 17th of March, 1999. While
13 they were present, did the KLA cooperate with them or not?
14 A. We had good relations with the OSCE.
15 Q. Did attacks by Serbs continue during the time of the OSCE
16 presence? Did they increase? Did they decline in numbers?
17 A. It was relatively calm.
18 Q. Thank you. Following the departure of the OSCE, the NATO bombing
19 began. In general, was it welcomed by the Kosovo Albanians?
20 A. The NATO bombing was supported by the Albanians because they were
21 in danger. The entire population was in danger. The NATO bombing began
22 on 24th of March --
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. -- 1999, and on the 25th, Serbian forces --
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Xhemajli, I know there is much you want to tell
1 us, but as you realise, time is limited, and that involves every witness,
2 I'm afraid. So could you concentrate both in this examination and in the
3 cross-examination on the questions that you're asked and just answer
4 them. If you need to make further explanation, no doubt you can in due
5 course, but we do need to get through this evidence as expeditiously as we
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. We're going to hear, Mr. Xhemajli, this week from a witness who
9 deals with killings that occurred at or near Padaliste of a family by the
10 name of Imeraj. You've shown on the map the places where you were based,
11 the places where you were born and the places where you were operating in
12 the KLA.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If --
15 A. The KLA --
16 Q. Yes. Can you just help us with this single question? Were there
17 any members of the Imeraj families involved with the KLA?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And had there been, would you have known about it given the scale
20 of the geography and your involvement?
21 A. Yes, because they are also in-laws of mine. My -- my nephew
22 was -- my niece was killed, my in-laws -- many of my in-laws were killed
23 and 11 were wounded.
24 Q. We turn now to the central part of your evidence which is the
25 incident at Izbica itself. It may be that it will be easier for you if
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 8852 to 8860.
1 you can do it slowly and with a pointer that the usher will give you to
2 give a description of what happened by reference to the map. You can also
3 do it verbally if you find that easier. The pointer is coming your way
4 but -- use a pencil. The proper pointer seems to have vanished in the
5 course of the summer.
6 The incident at Izbica started on what date?
7 A. The events at Izbica started at 4.00 in the afternoon on 27th of
8 March and went on until the 30th, until 9.45 in the morning.
9 Q. Before we look at what happened, where were you? What view did
10 you have of events, please?
11 A. I was in the southern part, in the south-western part. I was on a
12 hill in a wood, and from this point I saw various things that the Serbs
13 did, how they entered, how they came to the meadow, and how they started
14 shelling from all sides so that the people were forced to go out onto the
16 Q. We'll come to that in a second. At what distance were you viewing
17 events and were you viewing them with an unaided eye or with the advantage
18 of binoculars?
19 A. The -- the case happening to the south I saw with binoculars and
20 towards to the west, but what was happening in the east I didn't see very
21 well, but what happened in the east was further away from me, more than a
22 thousand metres away and I couldn't see so clearly. Whereas the events
23 that happened to the south were only 500 or 600 metres away. South-west I
25 Q. Take your time, look at the map, and indicate with the pen, if you
1 can, where you were positioned approximately, and then I'll ask the booth
2 to focus in on that area of the map.
3 A. Here's Izbica. I was in this part down here.
4 Q. Now, we know from your statement that you're going to give an
5 account of people gathering or being compelled to gather in Izbica
6 itself. What led up to that gathering of people in Izbica? And use the
7 map as you find convenient, but do it very briefly, please.
8 A. The people started gathering at Izbica as people left Padalishte,
9 Leqina, Kastriot, and Citak and other places when they started leaving
10 their villages, and they gathered to the south of Izbica and Serbian
11 forces came at 4.00 in the afternoon on the 27th. And on the 28th --
12 Q. I'm going to stop you again. What caused these people to leave
13 their various villages? As far as you could see?
14 A. Because of the killings, the bombings, the shelling the
15 inhabitants had to leave their houses.
16 Q. Where were the forces positioned that were shelling these
17 surrounding villages?
18 A. Arriving from the west and east, and some came from the north and
19 came down the asphalted road from Mitrovica. That's how most of them
20 came. And all those villages that had been caught beforehand, all the
21 population came towards Izbica thinking they would find safety there.
22 Q. My mistake. I didn't ask the question clearly enough. The forces
23 that were shelling these various villages, where were those forces
24 themselves positioned? Did you see?
25 A. They were on the hill of Trnovo.
1 Q. Did you point that out to the Judges?
2 A. Above the Meraj neighbourhood.
3 Q. Can you point that out, please?
4 A. Leqina, here it is.
5 Q. To the south and west of the area shells were coming at different
6 villages and the various villagers were gathering in a field to the south
7 of Izbica; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, because of the shelling. They gathered in a meadow because
9 of the shelling.
10 Q. They gathered in the meadow. Was this choice of the meadow and --
11 a natural act of the individuals or was there any question of them being
12 led or herded by soldiers or other forces into that particular meadow?
13 A. Merely because it was a big field, and the people found it
14 themselves. Nobody ordered them to go there.
15 Q. And had Izbica itself been being shelled or did it appear to be
16 free from shelling?
17 A. On the 28th of March, Izbica came under shell-fire from all sides
18 too, and the people had to gather in that meadow. These were elderly
19 people, women, children.
20 Q. I'll stop you again. Before the 28th of March and while people
21 were gathering in the meadow at Izbica, was Izbica free of shelling?
22 A. It -- originally it was, but it was only on the 27th, starting at
23 4.00 that the encirclement surrounded coming from the north.
24 Q. Let's move on then. The people are now in the meadow at Izbica.
25 Are you able to give an estimate of the number of people who were gathered
2 A. Four thousand five hundred to 5.000. That's the general number.
3 Q. At about noon on the 28th what did you observe?
4 A. Serbian forces came in uniforms and entered with tanks.
5 Q. Can you help us with the types of uniforms and what they signified
6 as to the units involved?
7 A. They were blue, camouflaged, and they went to the population and
8 they divide -- they separated all the men one by one.
9 Q. One thing at a time, Mr. Xhemajli. To you, what units were
10 signified by the uniforms worn by the forces you saw? Were they soldiers,
11 police, or something else? Tell us, please.
12 A. They were soldiers and policemen.
13 Q. Any other groupings?
14 A. Excuse me? Could you repeat that?
15 Q. Any other groups apart from regular --
16 A. Yes. There were other kinds of uniforms but fewer of them. There
17 were some paramilitaries, but mainly it was the army and the police.
18 Q. You should have observed that the 28th of March was a particular
19 day in the Muslim calendar; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. That day it was the day of the Bajram festival, and it was
21 exactly on the day of Bajram that the Serbian forces carried out this
22 massacre. They separated the men from the women, one by one, and lined
23 them up towards the west. And after lining them up, all the men, a
24 Serbian leader in uniform had -- separated out the younger children, age
25 12 to 14, and lined them up too. This is according to what the children
1 say. And when another police commander came, he released the children,
2 but they sent the men off in two directions; one towards the east and
3 another group to the west.
4 Q. I want you to pause there for a second. What you're telling us at
5 this stage, is this something you saw yourself from a distance or not?
6 A. I saw the men being separated by the Serbian forces, but I didn't
7 know about the children. I didn't see them. But I heard that they were
8 separated too but were released by a commander.
9 Q. You were told of that later by someone else?
10 A. That's right. That's right. About the children, yes.
11 Q. Again, before we move on but to try to keep things in a
12 chronological order so far as we can, just yes or no to this question:
13 Have you been told by people who survived, or who were down in the field,
14 of things that were being said by police and soldiers when they came to
15 the field and surrounded them? Just yes or no, have you been told those
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Have you been told, similarly, of what was being done by the
19 soldiers to the people generally before the men were separated out and
20 before the killings that you'll tell us in due course occurred? Have you
21 been told what the police and soldiers did to the people?
22 A. When they divided the men, they -- they insulted them, and they
23 insulted NATO and Clinton and Rugova and Thaci, and they were also robbed.
24 Both the men and the women were robbed. And it's said, according to
25 accounts, that they took away over 500.000 marks that day.
1 Q. Let's move on now to what happened to the men who had been
2 separated, but before we take from you the detail, did you see any of this
3 yourself directly or not? What actually happened to them?
4 A. On the western side, these incidents I saw for myself. I saw 39
5 people being executed, with my own eyes. But the -- there were two other
6 groups of ten and 15, and they were a little further, and they were all
7 executed but I didn't see that.
8 Q. Very well.
9 A. And also, I was about 500 to 600 metres away.
10 Q. Then so far as the group you did see being executed is concerned,
11 very briefly, what was it that you saw happen, please?
12 A. On the western side, when they brought this group of men, a
13 section of them arrived at a -- at a meadow, and they were executed by
14 semi-automatic rifles at a distance of about five or six metres. They
15 were all executed. There were -- in that group of people, there were
16 elderly people, handicapped people with walking sticks, and there was
17 elderly man who had two walking sticks, and he was executed. And there
18 were mentally ill people who were executed.
19 Q. I'm going to -- thank you. I'll get you to give a little more
20 detail about the composition of the group of people who were killed later.
21 Did you receive -- just yes or no, please, to this question: Did
22 you receive accounts from others of how the other two groups of men, whom
23 you did not see, were executed? Just yes or no.
24 A. No. I only heard -- I only heard the weapons. But later on, we
25 found them killed. And they showed me -- and the survivor witnesses
1 showed me their bodies in the woods.
2 Q. While those executions were taking place, what were the remaining
3 soldiers and policemen doing in the field, in particular in relation to
4 cars and tractors?
5 A. They separated the men and sent them east and west, and then they
6 -- they sent the women off in a convoy southward towards Albania, but they
7 didn't allow them even to take bread with them. And they couldn't take
8 anything with them, not even children's blankets. And then they piled
9 them all up and burnt them on tractors and trailers and cars. And one
10 trailer was left on the meadow, and Zoje Osmani, an elderly woman, was
11 left on this trailer. She was unable to move, and she was burned alive.
12 And Qerime Hajra from Izbica, who was in a wheelchair, was burned
13 in the lower part of her body.
14 Q. You've -- pause there. I want to deal with things in an orderly
15 way and you're being very helpful, but let's just move on a little.
16 In due course, you identified - indeed, I think probably spoke to
17 - a number of survivors of this massacre or these massacres who were able
18 to give or would be able to give eyewitness testimony.
19 A. Yes, I've talked to them, the survivor witnesses.
20 Q. You've listed them in the statement you've made to the OTP. It's
21 at page 6. And in addition to the names that you have listed there,
22 another man Feka Fekaj, I think, you discovered had survived; is that
24 A. Could you repeat that again, please? Could you repeat that name
25 again, please.
1 Q. Feka Fekaj.
2 A. Ah, Feka Fekaj from Klina. He said two weeks ago that he was
3 present at the execution.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I don't propose to list the survivors.
5 They are available to the accused and the amici if they need to contact
7 Q. One of the survivors spoke to you of one of the policemen who
8 declined to carry out the executions and was replaced by somebody else who
9 was willing; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. It's said by Nasim Mulej from Jashanica, who had spoken to
11 Jetish Qallapeku, and it was him who talked about this event. This
12 policeman --
13 Q. That's all I need from you on that, thank you very much. How long
14 did the police and military forces stay in Izbica until withdrawal?
15 A. Excuse me. There were also two elderly men who were burned.
16 That's Idriz Xhemajli and Shaban Rexhepi, and they were burned on a
17 tractor in the yard of Muharrem Osmani.
18 Q. Very well. Can you now please tell us how long the Serb forces
19 stayed in Izbica.
20 A. On the 28th and until 9.00 a.m. on the 30th.
21 Q. Were you present in the woods overlooking the village until their
23 A. Yes. The first two days I was towards the west, and on the last
24 day I was in the east.
25 Q. Did you then, following the withdrawal of the forces, go and
1 inspect the victims? And I don't want detailed accounts because we're
2 going to see this in the video which will be produced through a witness
3 coming later this week, Dr. Loshi.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But in summary, the injuries you found were consistent with being
6 killed how?
7 A. They were all killed by heavy weapons, by semi-automatic rifles.
8 And because of the close range, the bodies were very badly damaged. I
9 found people alive three days later, and one of these is Sedik Hoti, and
10 Haxhi Krasniqi. And in the first group I met him. Sadik Hoti died,
11 whereas Haxhi Krasniqi is still alive. And among the pile of -- the first
12 pile of corpses -- I came from the east and this was the first group that
13 I came across. I was with two other friends --
14 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. It shows no disrespect by either you,
15 by the Prosecution, or by the Court, that we cannot deal with every
16 individual victim. It is enough, for our purposes, that we deal with the
17 generality of what you are describing. But as a matter of appropriate
18 respect, I think one of the victims was your Uncle Tahir's son, Xhemajli
19 Idriz; is that correct? Just yes or no.
20 A. Yes. Idriz Xhemajli. Yes. He's my first cousin.
21 Q. Now, you organised a commission for the burial of the victims, and
22 you tried to keep the work within a comparatively limited number of
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. There were some 85 individuals who were involved in digging the
1 graves by hand and burying the dead; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. That's right.
3 Q. How many -- how many bodies were buried in the field that was
4 chosen for the burial site?
5 A. There on the west, where the majority were killed, a fellow
6 villager had an acre of land and said that he would -- he would give this
7 land as a gift to the martyrs, and he told us to bury these people as soon
8 as possible, and they were very nearby.
9 Q. How many were buried?
10 A. His name was Hamdi Bajrami.
11 Q. How many were buried?
12 A. On the 31st of March, 118 were buried, and on the 1st of April,
13 nine more were buried. So in all, there were 127 people buried. And
14 there were 32 people from Izbica alone who were killed, and the others
15 were from other villages up to 80 kilometres away.
16 Q. Thank you. The -- there were three individuals buried in
17 Kladernica, I think Kladernica, I think, and they having been killed by a
18 hand grenade thrown into a house where they were staying in Izbica and
19 their surname being Beka; is that correct?
20 A. Haxhi Beka, Sale Beka and Shpresa Beka.
21 Q. If what I've said is correct just say and we can move on?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Included and of significance, obviously in your view, and it may
24 be of significance, including amongst those killed was somebody called
25 Rrahim Tahiri along with his brother Brahim Tahiri, but tell us about
1 Rrahim Tahiri's mobility and state of health.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And age.
4 A. Rrahim Tahiri was in a wheelchair, and his brother Brahim was
5 pushing it. And during the journey with the column of women at one edge
6 of Izbica they came across Serbian forces, and they were executed. He was
7 educated -- he was executed in a wheelchair. They were over 70 years old.
8 I buried these two with my own hands.
9 Q. You've told us already and I'm now on page 7 of the statement, any
10 who are following it, you told us also of the woman who was burnt to
11 death, burnt on the back of the tractor, and I think she had had limited
12 mobility, is that correct, and was partially paralysed?
13 A. That's right. I said before she was with Qerime Hajra.
14 Q. Now, when burying these bodies, did you check their identities?
15 A. Yes. All of those whom the other citizens didn't know, I had to
16 identify them. And I checked their pocket, their bodies to see if they
17 had any documents. And those who didn't have any documents, I described
18 their clothes or the things they had in their pockets. And sometimes
19 somebody would come out and identify them.
20 Q. Were you able by those methods to identify all or nearly all of
21 the people you buried?
22 A. They were all identified in time, but there was only one who was
23 not identified by the time came to bury them on 1st of April. He has been
24 identified since. This was Shyqem Dobra from Krusheve. In his pocket --
25 Q. Pause please, Mr. Xhemajli. Pause please. Did you make notes in
1 your own pocketbook of the names of the people you were burying as you
2 came to identify them?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Have you had your notes reflected in a document --
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this is not completely translated yet,
6 indeed at all, I think, but it is largely a list of names. And although
7 we have a list of names on pages 7 and 8 of the statement, it's probably
8 easier, quicker and more appropriate to produce the list as an exhibit
9 rather than rely on production of the statement. I'm content to do it
10 either way.
11 JUDGE MAY: Produce the list.
12 MR. NICE: We can produce this document, please, and of course we
13 will -- the parts that are not translated will be translated. And this
14 list is differently ordered from the list in the statement.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just to explain something. May I
16 explain this, Mr. May?
17 JUDGE MAY: If it's to do with the list, certainly.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't -- I'm not receiving an
20 JUDGE MAY: You want to explain something. If you would briefly,
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Just three words. The -- in
23 the -- in the committee for the burial, there were three of us, and it was
24 Afrim Xhemajli who prepared the list, and there were other two who kept
25 order during the funeral.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Thank you. Will you look, please, at this document which is
3 before you on the desk?
4 MR. NICE: Perhaps -- can another version be laid on the overhead
5 projector for those viewing. Can we, in due course, have a number for it?
6 JUDGE MAY: It can have a number temporarily, but it must be
7 translated before it is formally exhibited. Let's have a number now then.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Temporary number will be Prosecutors Exhibit 286.
9 MR. NICE: Thank you very much and I will arrange for its
10 translation to be speeded.
11 Q. Is this a document prepared by you or in any event under your
12 organisation? Just yes or no.
13 A. This document was prepared from notes in my notebook and tidied up
14 to present to you. If you need a photocopy, I can provide you one, but I
15 can't give you my original notebook.
16 Q. Your notebook is available for inspection today, but you wish to
17 retain it. This document lists those who died in the massacre at Izbica;
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. That's all I ask about the document.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, while we are looking at the document.
22 Mr. Xhemajli, you said that Idriz Xhemajli was your first cousin, son of
23 your uncle; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: His age was 90 -- 76 at the time? He was born in
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: That's right. Thank you.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. You've made some reference to this already, but can you please
6 help us a little further? Included in these people who died were there
7 men who you understood to have been mentally handicapped? If so, how many
8 of them?
9 A. There were eight in all. I could give you their names. Becir
11 Q. That's enough that you give the number. Thank you.
12 The woods in which you had been staying, were they also home to
13 many villagers from the surrounding area at this time, the end of March
15 A. There were other forces but they were in the woods, whereas
16 looking directly at the massacre, I was by myself, although I did have
17 some friends at a greater distance.
18 Q. My mistake. My mistake. I'll go back and ask the question again.
19 You were in some woods. You've told us about them, woods surrounding
20 these villages. Did those woods provide home and shelter to civilians, to
21 villagers, at the end of March of 1999? And did you help them try and get
22 some food?
23 A. I helped them all, both the military and the population. And I've
24 got lists of people to whom I gave food, flour, oil, and also medicines.
25 And I took people to hospital.
1 Q. Very well.
2 A. Regardless of whether they were civilians or military.
3 Q. Very well. How many civilians, in your estimation, were using the
4 surrounding woods for refuge?
5 A. I said before that there were about 4.500 to 5.000 in the meadows.
6 No doubt there were about 2.000 in the woods.
7 Q. I'm going to pass over events where members of the KLA as fighting
8 forces were killed, but tell us this: Did there come a time when a large
9 number of people left the woods for Montenegro?
10 A. Yes. A lot of them. Eighty per cent of those who were civilians
11 in the woods, they fled to Montenegro, to Rozaje.
12 Q. And was there any particular incident that led them to do that or
13 was it just a collective decision that the time had come to go?
14 A. This case on the 28th of March there were Serb forces, and on the
15 13th of May near Izbica at 5.00 in the morning and then at 2.00 there were
16 infantry forces. So according to the witnesses there, there were a lot --
17 there was a lot of shelling all day. Everyone was up in the hills. And
18 in the Alia neighbourhood there were two civilians. They were both
19 taken --
20 Q. You are going into more detail than we need or that we can
21 probably understand at this speed. It's not necessary for the detail.
22 A. All right.
23 Q. A large number of people left for Montenegro. Did then just go of
24 their own decision-making or was there something that caused them to go?
25 Did something happen in general terms that caused them to go to
2 A. They were forced to go by Serb forces. They were being beaten
3 every day.
4 Q. And is this in the woods or is this in the towns -- not the towns,
5 in the villages that people were being beaten by the Serb forces and thus
6 forced to make their way to Montenegro?
7 A. Even women were being beaten.
8 Q. The question is: Was this happening in the woods or was this
9 happening in the villages?
10 A. No, no. It was -- people were taken from the Alia neighbourhood,
11 and then they were forced to line up against a wall. And they were
12 robbed. Things were taken out of their pockets. And in the Xhemala
13 [phoen] neighbourhood 12 people were executed.
14 Q. So these events were happening in the villages. Now tell us what
15 happened in the woods. Did they also leave and make their way to
16 Montenegro? Just yes or no.
17 A. Yes. They all went after the killings. Everyone left.
18 Q. It was the killings that were happening else where that led to
19 these people leaving the woods and going to Montenegro; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Thank you. Izbica itself which had been left by the Serb forces
22 and in which you'd been able to bury this large number of people, was it
23 subject to a renewed attack in the form of shelling?
24 A. No. There was no more shelling, no more bombing. There was
25 shelling, though, from the Serb side.
1 Q. And when did that happen, what day or date, if you can remember?
2 A. That was on the 11th of May there were over 200 shells which were
3 fired at the village.
4 Q. Was the village inhabited at this stage by any or many people?
5 A. There were still some of the people. But by the 11th of May, most
6 of the people left and went to Montenegro and to Albania.
7 Q. Following the -- this shelling on the 11th of May of Izbica with
8 over 200 shells, did Serb forces arrive on foot?
9 A. Yes, at 2.00 Serb infantry arrived, and they took 12 civilians
10 from the Alia neighbourhood and executed them. At 3.15 in the afternoon I
11 entered the village with three friends, and we found the bodies of those
12 executed. Ismet Arif Mermullaku and Milazim Shala, who -- one of them
13 died almost -- right after that, after being given first aid, whereas
14 Milazim died the next day in the hospital.
15 Q. You have listed in your statement at page 9 the 12 people
16 concerned who died who were buried in the Izbica graveyard.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I would rely on that list to provide the
18 names, if it's necessary, for them to be identified.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The next day on the 12th, we
20 buried them all. We didn't have instruments. We didn't have tools to
21 carry them or -- it was night. So we just put them on a wagon and -- on a
22 wagon and carried them away and buried them.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. Later, a couple of weeks later, on the 29th of May did the Serbs
25 return to Izbica, now a deserted village?
1 A. Yes, on the 28th.
2 Q. What did they do on this occasion?
3 A. On the 28th and the 29th and the 30th, they set up bases on the
4 hills and surrounded the whole village of Izbica. And on the 31st of
5 May --
6 Q. Before we come to the 31st of May, in order to deal with things
7 chronologically, although there were no people in the village, were there
8 livestock, animals, horses, and one thing or another there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What happened --
11 A. The animals were all alone, had been abandoned, and at 12.15 that
12 day, they killed all the animals in the village. One hundred and fifty
13 animals were killed. And on the 31st of May --
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. -- after they took up positions on the hills, around the hills, on
16 the hills, they began to bury the bodies from -- they began to dig up the
17 bodies and then they stopped. They started to exhume them, but they
18 didn't exhume them all, whereas on the 1st of June, the forces didn't move
19 from their positions. And on the 2nd of June, an excavator arrived and
20 exhumed all the bodies. The exhumation lasted two days, until 1400 hours
21 on the 3rd. They took all the bodies in a truck and took them away towards
22 the south.
23 Q. What happened to the site where the bodies had been buried?
24 A. They were all taken away, and they tried to hide the site a bit,
25 but they weren't able to because we had recordings. We had evidence. So
1 after one crime, they committed another one. And these --
2 Q. Mr. Xhemajli, I understand the temptation, but all we need is the
3 straightforward facts.
4 They tried to cover the site by what, using a bulldozer or
5 something like that?
6 A. Yes. They covered it up with a -- with a bulldozer, with an
7 excavator. And to eradicate all the traces, they took away all the
8 blankets and the planks and also the wooden stakes with the names on, and
9 they put them on a trailer and set them on fire. But fortunately, a third
10 party arrived and extinguished the fire and preserved this evidence.
11 Q. Now, you didn't know at the time where the bodies were taken. But
12 later, between December 1999 or during December 1999, were bodies found in
13 and around the area at Mitrovica? And of those, 200 bodies in all, had
14 some, 42, been positively identified by relations as having come from the
15 Izbica graveyard?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In your witness statement, you were able to name 20 of them;
19 A. I have 38 names now, original names, which coincide -- there was a
20 coincidence between the names of the massacres and the names of the
21 recovered bodies. And some of -- some witnesses have stated that the
22 blanket of one was found in Belgrade. He was one of the people who was
23 buried in Izbica, and you can find his name on the list here.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, what I would propose, in order that there
25 should be no problem -- just one moment, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Musliu his name is.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, what I would propose, in order there be no
3 problem later, is that if in due course the totality of the witness
4 statement is not produced as an exhibit, that pages 9 and 10 may be
5 produced as a separate exhibit at the end of re-examination simply for the
6 purposes of the lists that they contain. Otherwise, we've got to go
7 through lots of names in a way that will take time and be duplicative of
8 work already done.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
10 MR. NICE: Thank you.
11 Q. Now, there's one other topic I want you to help us with, please,
12 Mr. Xhemajli.
13 MR. NICE: It's not covered in the statement or the summary,
14 Your Honour. It only came to notice to me yesterday. And I'll get the
15 witness to explain it and to deal, insofar as we can, with the video that
16 I'm in a position to produce.
17 Q. Mr. Xhemajli, did you watch the television in the days and months
18 after these events and see various broadcasts that concerned Izbica? Just
19 yes or no.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was there one broadcast involving a government official of some
22 kind where the very existence of Izbica as a village was denied? Just yes
23 or no.
24 A. Yes. I saw this on Serbian television, Belgrade television, on
25 the 18th of April, 1999. They denied the massacre and said there was
1 supposedly no village called Izbica and only 12 houses with 70
3 Q. Very well.
4 A. And in that recording, they produced two Serbian witnesses from
5 the village of Bjelica who introduced themselves -- the first supposedly
6 as Bajram Shala, and the second supposedly as Nesir Shala. And these
7 Serbs who introduced themselves with Albanian names are Miroslav Sabic,
8 and Dusan Sabic. These two on this videocassette say that there were no
9 graves, nobody was killed, and that we are plowing the fields and all
10 these are lies. This was cooked up in the kitchen of Belgrade.
11 Q. No comments, thank you. Now, not too fast because this is coming
12 new to the learned Judges. So there's a denial that Izbica existed, and
13 then there's a broadcast involving two men purporting to be Albanians who
14 deny that the massacre ever happened. Is that correct, to begin with?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does the video that you've provided and that's been extracted for
17 the purposes of this hearing this very morning, does the video contain
18 interviews between yourself and the real Albanians whose names had been
19 given by these two men you say were Serbs, the real Albanians denying that
20 what was accredited to them was accurate?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And finally, does the video that you've produced contain footage
23 of one of the men purporting to be an Albanian but actually seen to be
24 carrying arms and operating as a Serb soldier or policeman or something of
25 that kind?
1 A. Yes, the video exists.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, what's happened is the video has been
3 worked on this morning. The total video, which I can produce, would take
4 30 minutes and 18 seconds, and I don't intend to use that amount of time
5 or seek to do so. It has yet to be translated, so it doesn't have a
6 transcript with it. But the segments of it, I have now identified.
7 JUDGE MAY: At the moment, nobody has put this in issue.
8 MR. NICE: This goes to another issue. This is, of course,
9 material that may prove of significance in the evidence about propaganda
10 generally when that comes for consideration in the case as a whole. But
11 if Your Honour means it hasn't been put in issue in that it hasn't been
12 challenged, quite right. We could simply postpone using the actual video
13 until after cross-examination.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That would seem sensible.
15 MR. NICE: I will certainly have it served on the accused and the
16 amici in any event today.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We don't want to waste too much time on it.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in which case, I think that concludes all
19 I need to ask of this witness.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now.
21 Mr. Xhemajli, we are going to adjourn for 20 minutes. During the
22 adjournment, don't speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over,
23 and that does include the members of the Prosecution team. If you could
24 be back, please, in 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At the end of the
4 examination-in-chief, Mr. Nice quite pompously announced some tapes in
5 which, according to what he stated, it can be seen that this is some kind
6 of propaganda or so. I don't know how it is possible for me to start the
7 cross-examination at all until we see those tapes. I don't see any reason
8 why these tapes shouldn't be shown so that we can see what this is all
9 about. There are interpreters here. If there is no translation, we will
10 hear the translation in the same way that everything that goes on in this
11 room is translated.
12 JUDGE MAY: You can go on with your cross-examination. If there
13 comes a time when you put things in issue, that is you challenge that this
14 incident occurred, then the tapes, in due course, can be played. Now,
15 you're to have an hour and a quarter to cross-examine this witness. You
16 should begin now. You can have a few minutes in the morning. If the
17 Prosecution are going to rely on the tape, we will have it with a proper
18 translation, and we will -- you can ask some questions about it tomorrow.
19 It's a side issue, Mr. Milosevic. It's a totally side issue to
20 this witness's evidence. It's not central to it at all, so there's no
21 reason why you can't begin your cross-examination.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this testimony is a farce
23 just like this whole operation that you call a trial, because there was no
24 execution in Izbica. This is a pure fabrication, Mr. May.
25 JUDGE MAY: Get on with your cross-examination. Put it to the
1 witness if that's what you say. Let him answer it. Yes, let's go on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is so obvious. There isn't a
3 single officer of the Yugoslav army or police who could order the
4 execution of civilians nor soldiers or police officers who would carry out
5 such an order even if it existed. It's pure nonsense. But since you
6 insist that I start the cross-examination, I will start it.
7 JUDGE MAY: I do.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First --
9 JUDGE MAY: And don't waste time by making comments. It will all
10 be deducted from your time in cross-examination. Now, let's move on.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please explain to me, Mr. Xhemajli, why
14 you are masked with a beard and dark glasses?
15 A. I have -- I wear a beard as a symbol of the war.
16 JUDGE MAY: You were asked about the dark glasses. Why are you
17 wearing them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My eyesight is not very good. I
19 need the glasses to see.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since when has your eyesight not been very good?
22 A. Since after the war. It started during the war, but mostly after
23 the war.
24 Q. And how is it that your sight is helped by dark glasses? I
25 understand that magnifying lenses help, but how do dark lenses help?
1 A. I need them.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are they medically prescribed?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Which doctor prescribed those glasses for you?
6 A. What is that -- what business is that of yours?
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, because you are wearing dark glasses. It is not
8 normal for a witness in a court to wear dark glasses. It is only because
9 Mr. Nice explained that you had some medical condition that we allowed it.
10 Now, if you don't want to give the doctor's name, you can tell us where he
11 comes from, who he is, something about him.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the medical centre in Klina.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you have the findings from this doctor, the diagnosis?
15 A. Here you mean? What would you need that for?
16 Q. Yes, here.
17 A. No, I don't have them here.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, please. I demand that this
19 witness be subject to an ophthalmological examination so that we can
20 determine what is correct and what is not, because I am voicing doubts
21 over the reasons that were stated for which he is wearing dark glasses.
22 JUDGE MAY: He can't have such an examination now. We hear what
23 you say. We hear the Prosecution do. No doubt if they want to support
24 the witnesses evidence, they will go about doing so, but at the moment
25 we've heard what he says.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You stated that there were 5.000 people on this meadow and that
3 there were another 2.000 in the woods. Is that true?
4 A. There were up to 5.000 in the meadows. That's the number. Men
6 Q. Yes. And about 2.000 in the woods, is that true?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Could you please tell me, then, how is it possible that out of
9 these 5.000 on the meadow and out of those 2.000 in the woods only you
10 alone saw some kind of alleged execution, and those other 4.999 in the
11 meadow and 1.999 in the woods, nobody else saw anything? And you also
12 happened to be the commander of a pretty large unit. How is this
14 A. It is possible. They all saw the same thing.
15 Q. Do you know that the only witness of that alleged execution here
16 was Milazim Thaci, who according to what he said was shot by a heavy
17 machine-gun from a distance of seven metres and that he wasn't even
19 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. The witness can't comment on
20 what some other witness said. You know quite well that that is a matter
21 for argument which you can put to us. What you can ask this witness about
22 is what he saw himself or what he heard himself, but he can't comment on
23 what somebody else said.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you accepted as an exhibit
25 here the photograph of the shirt of this Milazim Thaci which has three
1 holes. So the photograph of his alleged shirt with three bullet holes,
2 while he wasn't even grazed by a single bullet with the explanation that
3 he was saved by God. Only God didn't save his shirt. And you are asking
4 for someone to believe that.
5 JUDGE MAY: It's nothing to do with this witness. Now, ask this
6 witness some relevant questions if you've got any.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We will go in order. I have plenty of relevant questions, and I
10 think that I was given less time than Nice was given, but this is your
11 decision. We will start from the beginning of his statement.
12 In view of the fact that I received the statement only in English
13 and I don't have it in B/C/S, I will quote from the English text that you
14 provided to me.
15 You claim, Mr. Xhemajli, that Serbs --
16 A. Excuse me. I don't want you to call me mister.
17 JUDGE MAY: Now, look, Mr. Xhemajli. What is normal in this court
18 is that people are called mister. It's a matter of politeness. Now, let
19 us get on with it.
20 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. You were going to read something.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You claim that Serbs did not want to register newborn Albanian
23 children by their names but that they gave them Serb names by adding
24 "vic." Is that correct?
25 A. It is correct. My son was born in 1992. I wanted to call him
1 Alban, but they wouldn't allow me. And his birth has not been registered
2 even to this day. I didn't want to register him in Cyrillic because I
3 gave him his name myself.
4 Q. Do you assert that the documents received by citizens in Kosovo
5 and Metohija were not both in the Serb and Albanian languages? Are you
6 claiming that they were only in the Serb language?
7 A. I'm talking about after 1989. After -- after the overthrow of the
9 Q. Yes. I'm also talking about after 1989, and I claim that the
10 documents that Albanians got in Kosovo were in the Albanian language as
11 well, not only in the Serb language. Is that correct or is that not
13 A. I didn't see them. I never had anything to do with them. I never
14 saw a single document.
15 Q. If never saw a single document, how can you claim that they were
16 only in the Serb language and not in Albanian as well?
17 A. I know very well what they were like. So do you.
18 Q. Of course I know. I know that they are in Serbian and Albanian.
19 And where Turks live they're also in the Turkish language. Where
20 Bulgarians live also in the Bulgarian language. Where Hungarians lived
21 also in the Hungarian language. That is the way it is all over Serbia; is
22 that right or is that not right, Mr. Xhemajli?
23 A. During that period everything was Serbian. There was nothing
24 Albanian at all. Kosova at that time was reduced to level of a little
25 local municipality. They took away the government, the Executive Council.
1 All the schools were closed.
2 Q. Oh, never mind the government and the Executive Council now. I'm
3 talking to you about documents because you spoke about documents and said
4 that the documents were not in both languages. You say that they were
5 only in the Serb language. Is that your assertion? And then let us go
7 A. After 1990 they were only in the Serbian language. I'm talking
8 about the municipality of Skenderaj.
9 Q. All right. That's easy to prove. So we're not going to dwell on
10 that any longer.
11 Tell us, please, who is this that Serbs added "vic" to their names
12 to in order to make them Serbian? Can you mention the name of at least
13 one Albanian child whose name was changed by the Serb authorities?
14 A. There were many cases of this kind. There were even cases before
16 Q. All right. Since you say that there are many such cases, give me
17 one example of a person, of an Albanian person whose name the Serb
18 authorities did not want to register as it is but they registered it in
19 the Serb version.
20 A. For instance, instead of calling me by my name Xhemajli, they
21 called me Xhemaliaj.
22 Q. Xhemaliaj, that's also Albanian to the best of my knowledge. It's
23 not Serbian in any case?
24 A. No, there's no "a-j" in Albanian.
25 Q. Does is say Xhemaliaj in your documents?
1 A. No, Albanian is Xhemajli.
2 Q. All right. How come you told that story in your statement that
3 they added "vic" because you said that they added "vic." What would your
4 last name look like if "vic" were added to it Xhemajlivic? Is that what
5 it says in any one of your IDs?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what have I come to be
7 asked about? I have come to be asked about the massacre and what is in my
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question is relevant. It goes to your
10 credibility. You have said there was a practice of adding v-i-c at the
11 end of Albanian names to make them Serb. And what you're being asked is
12 to give some examples and if you can, you should. If you're not able to,
13 then I think it does cast some doubt on your credibility. Give an actual
14 example. Do you know of any --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He himself said it. He said
16 Xhemajlivic. He said it himself.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Can you give an actual example of a person
18 that you know, an Albanian whose name was changed to the Serb version by
19 adding v-i-c? Somebody that you knew, not speaking generally.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Xhemajlivic. You had it in every
21 document. But they burnt them all.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Oh, so that was in your documents and then these documents were
25 A. They were left with nothing.
1 Q. How come you didn't mention that in your statement, that they
2 burned your documents?
3 A. No doubt I should have mentioned it, but how I overlooked it, I
4 don't know.
5 Q. All right. All right. This is quite clear. You claim in
6 paragraph 8, page 2, and on page 3 in the first paragraph of this English
7 version of your statement that on the 28th of February 1998 in Likoshane
8 and Cirez the Serb forces massacred 24 villagers, mainly members of the
9 Ahmetaj and Sejdiu families. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it correct that the villagers of Likoshane and Cirez were the
12 greatest strongholds of the KLA at the time?
13 A. That is not true. At that time, they were not.
14 Q. And when were they? At what time?
15 A. Later. It was a small group at that time.
16 Q. Oh, later. Only a small group at that time. And do you know that
17 at that time very fierce fighting was taking place between the members of
18 the KLA and the police?
19 A. In which place?
20 Q. Precisely in Likoshane and Cirez.
21 A. What were Serbian forces looking for there? It's an Albanian
22 village there, and they had no business there. They had done nothing to
23 anybody. They were working their own land.
24 Q. Oh, that's a different matter. That is a different matter,
25 Mr. Xhemajli.
1 And do you know that all the persons who were killed were armed
2 members of the KLA, precisely in Likoshan and Cirez, that you have
3 referred to, saying that civilians were massacred there? All the persons
4 killed were armed members of the KLA. Are you aware of that?
5 A. It's not true. And anybody can testify to that in front of the
6 Tribunal. There was not a single KLA soldier who was killed. There were
7 women, children, pregnant women. Anybody can testify to that.
8 Q. As for witnesses, you are famous for that, but you say that after
9 the funerals of the members of the Ahmetaj and Sejdiu families, you became
10 an active member and a commander in the village of Kastriot; is that
12 A. No, I was an ordinary soldier. I wasn't a commander. Nobody had
13 the right to call me a commander. I became a member of the KLA, of the
14 liberation army. And if -- if it hadn't been for the other side, the KLA
15 would never have been founded because it's the acts of crimes and
16 maltreatment that you carried out and all the crimes you carried out and
17 denying us all our rights. That's why the KLA came to be born.
18 Q. Oh, do try to answer only my questions. Please, don't make
20 On page 3 of your statement, you say: "[In Enlish] I volunteered
21 and joined the KLA on 13th of March, 1998. I became a member of Kastriot
22 village KLA. Even though I had no prior military experience, I was made
23 commander of my unit."
24 [Interpretation] Therefore, what is correct, what you are claiming
25 right now, or what you wrote down here that I asked you about, that you
1 became a commander of that unit?
2 A. I said before I was an ordinary soldier; and in time, I became an
3 officer in charge of a squad, and later, an officer in the brigade. But
4 in stages, not immediately.
5 Q. That cannot be seen from your statement. I've read the entire
6 sentence to you. And in the same sentence you say that you became a
7 commander of the KLA, in the same sentence where you refer to joining the
8 KLA and generally speaking.
9 Now, let's move on from there. You say yourself that your
10 activities at that time meant taking action against members of the police
11 in your area; is that right?
12 A. Of course, when Serbian forces came.
13 Q. All right. Tell me, how many such actions were undertaken by your
14 unit in 1998?
15 A. There was a need to take action, but for defensive purposes.
16 Q. All right. I'm asking you how many such actions were taken by
17 your unit in 1998.
18 A. I gave a very exact reply. We didn't -- we didn't undertake
19 actions. We defended our own homes.
20 Q. And who is this that you were defending your homes from in 1998
21 when it is well known that you were killing soldiers, policemen, mailmen,
22 civilians, Serbs, Albanians, everybody, from ambushes?
23 A. Anybody who looted and attacked were killed, but we didn't go and
24 attack you. You attacked us.
25 Q. Oh. So when you shoot at a police vehicle that is moving down a
1 road, in your opinion, that is defence from some kind of violence. Is
2 that your claim?
3 A. Yes, because it's defence. It depends who's there.
4 Q. All right. How many Serb policemen did you kill or wound in these
5 actions? Do you have any idea about that?
6 A. I -- no, I'm not competent to answer that question. I don't know
7 any numbers. I'm not competent to answer that. I don't know.
8 Q. And in these actions, did you manage to take prisoner, any
9 prisoners from among the policemen?
10 A. We didn't. Others did.
11 Q. And what was their fate then when they were taken prisoner by the
13 A. The fate of the police?
14 Q. Yes. What happened to these policemen that you had kidnapped?
15 What did you do with them?
16 A. It was other superior organs which dealt with them.
17 Q. Oh. So it was your superior organs that ordered the torture and
18 killing of policemen. You personally did not take part in any such
20 A. No, I didn't. They were sent on to other people.
21 Q. In paragraph 2, page 3, you complain for the most part that at
22 first, your men were not trained enough to handle the weapons that you
23 had; is that right?
24 A. Yes. Some of them had done military service; but most of them,
25 they hadn't.
1 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Xhemajli, that you acquired experience
2 precisely in these terrorist actions that you took against the police,
3 against the legal authorities?
4 A. That is not terrorism. Your side was the terrorism. They killed
5 old men and women, children; destroyed houses, yards, chickens, livestock,
6 everything that was Albanian.
7 Q. I'm asking you about experience, and you yourself know that what
8 you've been saying about children and old people are not true. We've
9 heard these stories already.
10 You say that towards the end of 1998, you received large amounts
11 of smuggled weapons. Tell me, what kind of weapons are these?
12 A. First of all, what you're saying, these are not fairy tales.
13 These are documents. They exist recorded on video. It's well known who
14 did these things. It's the truth.
15 Q. I asked you about smuggled weapons, Mr. Xhemajli.
16 A. The weapons were brought in many ways, which any -- any way we
17 could. We weren't able to select our weapons. We were confronting tanks
18 and aeroplanes. We weren't able to match automatic rifles with automatic
19 rifles. We were defending ourselves. We didn't choose war.
20 Q. And what kind of weapons did your unit have at the end of 1998 and
21 beginning of 1999?
22 A. Machine-guns, semi-automatic rifles.
23 Q. Is it correct that already towards the end of the summer of 1998
24 you had heavy machine-guns, recoilless guns, sniper guns, et cetera; is
25 that correct? Mortars?
1 A. 12.5 machine-guns; but others, no. No mortars. Here and there,
2 there were some semi-automatics.
3 Q. All right. You say that the KLA had cooperation, constant
4 contacts with the members of the OSCE. What was this cooperation
5 reflected in?
6 A. I said cooperation. I said -- didn't say "cooperation." I said
7 good relations. Cooperation is one thing; good relations are another.
8 Q. All right. What were these good relations reflected in?
9 A. They helped the people. We used to talk together. We organised
10 things for victims, that sort of thing.
11 Q. All right. Let me lead -- let me read a sentence of your own
12 here. "[In English] The KLA cooperated with them, and they were
13 constantly in contact with the OSCE."
14 [Interpretation] And the sentence before that: "[In English] In
15 October 1998, the OSCE came into Kosovo to monitor the situation."
16 [Interpretation] And then you said: "[In English] The KLA cooperated with
17 them ..."
18 [Interpretation] So what did this cooperation consist of?
19 A. I said during that pause when the agreement was in force, there
20 were people who were killed. And we had a good form of understanding with
21 these people. We didn't have cooperation. Some people were unable to
22 return to their own homes, so we used them as intermediaries.
23 Q. You talk about cooperation between the KLA and the OSCE mission.
24 That's what it says in your own sentence: "The KLA cooperated with them."
25 You are not talking about civilian cooperation; you're talking about the
1 cooperation between the KLA and the OSCE. So I'm asking you about that
2 cooperation specifically. I'm not making a general point here.
3 A. The KLA talked to the OSCE and told them of certain cases in which
4 the people were worried, and they were unable to return their own homes.
5 And they would tell OSCE -- they would say that so-and-so is unable to
6 return to his home and can something be done about it. This wasn't actual
8 Q. All right. If it is so, if it is the way you're putting it now,
9 then explain the following to me: As a member of the KLA and as one of
10 the commanders, as we have ascertained, you say, in paragraph 6 on page 3,
11 that NATO aggression against the FRY took place at the right time because
12 the KLA needed assistance. Is that right, or is that not right? Is that
13 what you've stated or not?
14 A. It's not true that -- NATO helped us. I didn't talk about NATO
15 aggression. NATO helped us. They were supporting the people directly.
16 Q. You say: "[In English] On 24th of March, 1999, NATO commenced its
17 offensive against Serbia. It was very welcome at this time. The KLA
18 wasn't so strong then and needed help."
19 [Interpretation] Does that mean that NATO precisely helped you --
20 does that mean that NATO precisely helped you?
21 A. They helped the people of Kosova. They rescued them from a
22 catastrophe. I am a member of those people.
23 Q. All right. Does that mean that NATO helped you, as you put it, in
24 carrying out your separatist objectives by way of terrorism against the
25 legal authorities? Is that right, or is that not right?
1 A. It's not true that the -- that NATO helped the KLA.
2 Q. And did the KLA have coordinated activities with NATO, and did the
3 NATO aggression against Yugoslavia strengthen the position of the KLA and
4 your terrorist actions?
5 A. You must ask somebody else because I was a very small character.
6 I was a very minor player in this.
7 Q. And do you know about any cooperation with the representatives of
8 the OSCE after they withdrew from Kosovo? And if so, what did these
9 contacts consist of and in which way were these contacts materialised?
10 A. Are you talking about the OSCE or what?
11 Q. I'm talking about side that conducted war against us, including
12 certain members of the OSCE mission.
13 A. Once again, please. Mixed it up completely.
14 Q. I asked you whether after the withdrawal of the OSCE mission from
15 Kosovo, you had cooperation and contacts with their representatives; and
16 if so, in what way were these contacts carried out? How did they happen?
17 A. I -- how could I have contact with them when we know that on 19th
18 of March, you were -- you threw them out? You threw them out of Kosova,
19 threw them out of Yugoslavia, and there was no more contact with them.
20 The last one went out on the 19th of March.
21 Q. You are claiming that we threw them out.
22 A. Of course. You threw them out because you blamed them for the
23 report on Racak.
24 Q. Very well. You don't have to explain that further. That is quite
25 all right for you to have such an explanation.
1 Could you please tell me, you're claiming on page 3, in paragraph
2 2, that only a small number of KLA members had uniforms, and you say even
3 at the end of the war many were not wearing uniforms, did not have
4 uniforms. Is this true?
5 A. It's true that a majority did not.
6 Q. So the majority did not have uniforms. Before that, we noted that
7 you received large quantities. Previously we noted that you received
8 large quantities of weapons. So your comrades in arms who were not
9 wearing uniforms but all of you had weapons, large quantities of weapons.
10 Do you consider them civilians or fighters? Or I would call them
11 terrorists, of course. Do you consider them to be civilians or not?
12 A. We know very well who the terrorists were, they were the other
13 side. First of all, I didn't say that the majority were in civilian
14 clothes but a large part didn't have uniforms. They had guns, but they
15 didn't have uniforms, but it wasn't the majority.
16 Q. Well, you said a majority a little while ago, but even a large
17 part is sufficient for us to be able to note that a large part fought in
18 civilian clothes and killed in civilian clothes.
19 Could you please tell me if it's true that in the period from the
20 24th of March to the 29th of March in the area of Srbica, Izbica, Drenice,
21 Leqina and so on very intensive fighting was conducted between the
22 numerous forces of the KLA and our forces? Is this true or not?
23 A. I can't answer if your questions are so long. You never stop. I
24 can give you a clear and short answer.
25 Q. Very well. When you were looking at the map with Mr. Nice, you
1 described a series of villages. You mentioned Turiceve, Izbica, Srbica,
2 Leqina, and so on. Is it true that at that time from the 24th of March to
3 the 29th of March very intense fighting was conducted between the numerous
4 KLA forces and our forces? Is this true or not?
5 A. I didn't mention Turiceve, Leqina, Kastriot, Izbica, Qitak, but
6 not -- I did mention but not Turiceve. There were -- there was fighting.
7 Yes, of course. If people come and attack you, you have to defend
9 Q. Very well. That is your explanation, that somebody came to attack
11 Is it true that at that time in that region the 111th, 112th,
12 113th, 114th, 140th and 145th Brigade of the KLA were present in that
13 territory and were active? Is this true or not?
14 A. The last two were not in Drenice at all, the last two you
15 mentioned. The first three do exist. They did exist. But if we're
16 talking about all of Drenica or are we talking about just my little area?
17 Q. We're talking about Drenica. This is where the fighting was
18 conducted. Is this true or not?
19 A. But Drenica is a big region. There are 52 different villages.
20 It's a big area.
21 Q. The size can be seen, but is it true that there were these six KLA
22 brigades there in that territory and they were fighting against the army
23 and the police?
24 A. Eleven, 12, 13 that's three, just three. Where do you get the six
25 from? The last two said don't exist, did not exist.
1 Q. The 114th, the 140th and the 145th and another three. Were they
3 A. I said it already. 11, 12, and 13 did exist in Drenica. The
4 others, no, they weren't there at all.
5 Q. So there were three brigades there. So does that mean that there
6 were about 2.500 armed KLA members there at that time? Is that a correct
8 A. If we're talking about all of Drenica, yes.
9 Q. All right. Let's move to this alleged event of yours. You claim
10 on page 5, in paragraph 2 that from a distance of about 700 metres -- now
11 you stated 600, but it doesn't change very much -- heard how our soldiers
12 were practically setting the tariff for a life, a house, or a vehicle. Is
13 this true?
14 A. I don't know exactly, but I know that money was demanded,
15 extorted. I know that they talked about different sums. And the
16 survivors of the massacre did explain that to me, that there were
17 different tariffs about the money, for a car, for a house, it was
18 different. But there was a lot of looting. But other people have said
19 this before me. There are a lot of people who have declared that here.
20 Q. There should be no doubt about that. Everybody could see that.
21 There is a large number of false witnesses here, KLA members. But you
22 said this.
23 My question is different, though. You heard that they were
24 demanding 1.000 German marks for their lives to be spared, 1.000 for their
25 family, 1.000 for a house, 50 to 100 for their tractors and vehicles, and
1 you heard all of that from a distance of 600 metres. You heard them
2 setting these prices. Is that true?
3 A. No. No. They told me -- the survivors told me, the people who
4 survived, said that on the 28th of March, a lot of people could not get to
5 Albania. They were returned, the women and children. They were returned
6 a week later. And on the 11th of May, they took them again, all the
7 women, all the females and the children, as a second group in to houses.
8 The latter was called -- of Avdija's house.
9 Q. Very well. Can you clarify this for me? You didn't hear this but
10 you were told this later, the next day or on subsequent days; is that
12 A. There was no need. My family was involved in this. It wasn't
13 hearsay at all.
14 Q. All right. I'm just asking you. Could you please respond
15 precisely yes or no. Did you hear this or not? Our police officers and
16 soldiers demanding money, did you hear that or not?
17 A. I heard them saying something, but I don't know exactly what they
18 said. Later it was explained to me what they'd said.
19 Q. Very well. So you didn't hear it but you were told about it. Is
20 this true or not?
21 A. I already answered.
22 Q. But you state here that you heard this.
23 JUDGE MAY: He's dealt with this issue. He's given his answers.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And that you, from a distance far away, that you were able to
1 hear. How were you, with your poor eyesight, able to see what happened at
2 such a distance?
3 A. From the noise. There was shouting, crying and screaming.
4 JUDGE MAY: You were asked how could you see with your poor
5 eyesight. How were you able to see at such a distance what was happening?
6 That was the question.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My eyesight was better at that time.
8 It got worse after the war.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Very well. And since you described that out of those 5.000 people
11 who were present plus the 2.000 who were in the woods, you were the only
12 one who saw that. Could you please tell me where the other members of
13 your KLA unit were at that point in time?
14 A. That's not -- it's not true that I was the only one who saw it.
15 These terrible events were witnessed by many people. But I was the person
16 chosen to come here to give a statement. But there are others. There are
17 a lot of other people who saw it, but they couldn't all come here. Two
18 thousand people couldn't come here to give testimony.
19 Q. I have no doubt that you are able to send several thousand people
20 to testify even that I myself was present there. I wrote down when
21 Mr. Nice asked you, and you responded that this massacre, you saw this
22 massacre by yourself, alone, the commander of the unit, the villagers.
23 There is no unit, there are no villagers. You were watching this by
25 A. From the position I was at in the west, I was alone at that moment
1 for a short while. But afterwards, a lot of people were there. They
2 returned, and they told me about it too. I was on the western side.
3 Q. Yes. I have it noted here that you say that according to the
4 testimony of witnesses Serbian forces surrounded Izbica. Two civilians
5 were killed. You stated this spontaneously now even though this wasn't
6 written down. But please, could you respond? Why did those 5.000
7 civilians walk out into the meadow? You said that they walked out there
8 by themselves, that nobody forced them to do that. So why did they come
9 out to that meadow?
10 A. The men went out, and then the women -- there were a lot of people
11 who were disabled. There were old people. There were children. They
12 couldn't go up into the mountains, so they thought that they would gather
13 together because they would be safer with all the old people. But you
14 didn't care about them. If they had known, they would have left for the
15 mountains too.
16 Q. Could you respond to my question, please, Mr. Xhemajli. Why did
17 you take refuge in the meadow?
18 JUDGE MAY: He's answered that. He's explained why he says they
19 went there. Now, move on to the next question.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Xhemajli, in order to be quite precise, did you take refuge in
22 the meadow so that you would be in a large visible group because you were
23 fleeing from the bombing? Is this true or not?
24 JUDGE MAY: He wasn't in the meadow himself. The others were in
25 the meadow. He was on a hill in the wood.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. All right. Why did -- I won't say why did you, but why did they
3 go to the meadow? Did they go to that meadow in such a large group in
4 order to protect themselves from the bombing, in order to be visible as a
5 large group, to be visible as civilians? Because previously quite heavy
6 bombing had taken place. Is this true or not?
7 A. I wasn't there. It was the population which gathered together.
8 There was shelling and bombing in the houses, so they had to leave. And
9 they hoped that Serb forces, seeing them, would not kill them. The people
10 surrendered. They went out in the meadows, the women and the children.
11 But the UCK, the KLA, was up in the mountains. They were not with them.
12 They withdrew because of Serb forces, not because of NATO.
13 Q. All right. All right. Let's understand one another properly,
14 Mr. Xhemajli.
15 Awhile ago, in response to a request by Mr. Nice to describe
16 something, you stated, and I wrote it down -- it's in the transcript, line
17 615809. You said there was no more bombing, and then you continued to
18 explain about the shelling. When you say there was no more bombing, does
19 that mean that there was bombing before?
20 So can I conclude that the people fled to the meadow because NATO
21 was bombing the village? Is this true, Mr. Xhemajli, or not?
22 JUDGE MAY: You must divide that up. He said earlier that it
23 wasn't because of the NATO bombing. But the first question is this: Was
24 there NATO bombing in the area before this incident?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] NATO started bombing on the 24th of
1 March. This was on the 28th of March. It's not true that we fled from
2 NATO bombing. NATO didn't bomb. It was the shelling by Serb forces we
3 fled from.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Yes, but you said spontaneously that there was no more bombing.
6 So this means there was some bombing before that, otherwise you wouldn't
7 have put it like that.
8 A. I think I made myself clear. In Izbica there was no NATO bombing
9 at all. There was shelling from your forces, yes.
10 Q. Didn't it perhaps happen like this: People had fled the bombing,
11 they went to the meadow in order to be visible from the air, a large group
12 of civilians, and that the consequence of that bombing are these burnt
13 bodies in tractors and you are attributing these NATO crimes to the
14 Serbian forces? Didn't that event happen like that, Mr. Xhemajli?
15 A. No, it wasn't like that at all. You can change things around the
16 way you want, but that's not what it was. That's what you did. It was
17 your action. Your hands were behind this.
18 Q. All right. Let's go on. You stated today that out of those 5.000
19 people in the meadow, they separated out all the men, and you said they
20 did this one by one. One by one. That is exactly what you had said, and
21 I wrote that down.
22 A. Yes, one by one. They took them out one by one.
23 Q. One by one. Does that mean --
24 A. Couldn't -- they couldn't --
25 Q. All right. Does that mean that out of 5.000 citizens there were
1 only 150 men?
2 A. Yes, that's true. Because the young men didn't want to go out
3 into the meadow. They headed for the -- for the hills. It was only the
4 women and the children and the handicapped and the old, the invalids, the
5 mentally ill who were out in the meadow there.
6 Q. So that group of 5.000 people comprised only 2.5 per cent of men
7 and 97.5 were women and children. Is that true?
8 A. Yes. Of all the men who were in that group, only 16 survived.
9 Only 16 survived. Yes, I've heard that -- now I've just heard that a
10 seventeenth did survive. Others were wounded. Fourteen were wounded.
11 And they had wounds on their clothes.
12 Q. All right. I'm not talking about that right now. I'm asking you,
13 does it seem logical to you your claim that out of 5.000 people there are
14 only 150 men, only 2 per cent men?
15 JUDGE MAY: Not a proper question as to whether it's logical or
16 not. That's his evidence. It doesn't matter whether it's logical or not.
17 He's given it. He says that's the answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a fact.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But his claim is illogical to such
20 an extent that it's obviously a falsehood.
21 JUDGE MAY: There's no point arguing like that. You've heard his
22 evidence. That's what he says.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right. Could you please explain to me how you, from the
25 distance that you were at, it says here 700 and you've stated that it was
1 600 metres, how did you manage to count the exact number of men that you
2 claim were divided into two groups? And why did you count them at all?
3 A. Mr. May, firstly, he's lying. And I'm being offended here. I
4 feel offended.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Xhemajli, don't be offended. You're just giving
6 evidence. You're telling us what happened. The accused is entitled to
7 ask questions however offensive you might find them or irritating. If you
8 just answer them, we'll get on more quickly. What he's asking is: How
9 were you able to count them? Perhaps you can just explain that to us.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What do you mean, the dead bodies or
11 the people?
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'm talking about the people, because you say that you saw from a
14 distance of 700 metres, you saw them being separated and that you counted
15 how many of them there were. Please read your statement so that you can
16 see what it says there.
17 A. I didn't know exactly how many were divided up, but I know how
18 many survived. There were 16 who survived of all the men who were there.
19 Q. All right. As far as I understood during the
20 examination-in-chief, you explained that you only saw them being separated
21 and that you did not see them being shot. And later, you said that you
22 saw a group of 30 being shot. Can you explain that, please?
23 JUDGE MAY: There was no distinction. He said in his evidence
24 that he saw the group of, I think, 39 being shot. That was his evidence.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw the 39 dead, but I didn't know
1 exactly how many there were from the whole -- how many there were in the
2 whole group, but I saw there were 39 who were executed.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You saw these 39 people. You saw them personally being shot; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How many members of our forces were there that you claimed carried
8 this out? How many of them were there?
9 A. There were four who drove the whole group out into the meadow, and
10 there were others around in the surrounding area.
11 Mr. May, they could have -- the group, the whole group, could have
12 stopped the execution of the 39 people, but they were with their families
13 there and they didn't dare to intervene because they would -- their
14 families would have been executed too.
15 Q. All right. You didn't answer my question. So there were four
16 police officers and how many others were there also?
17 A. Twenty. There were 20, not four.
18 Q. All right, 20. So can you please explain to me how is it that
19 you, with your unit, did not rush to help your fellow citizens out when
20 there were only 20 police officers there who allegedly organised and
21 carried out the execution of some 150 people according to you? How can
22 this be? One person would help when there were only 20 people in
23 question. How is it that you did not intervene, you and your unit?
24 A. I said that 20 people committed the execution, but there were a
25 lot of other forces. But it was only 20 who did the execution. There
1 were hundreds of other troops. The KLA couldn't intervene because it --
2 had it shot, it would have shot into the crowd. We had to be very
3 careful. We didn't want to shoot because we would have shot into the
4 people and wounded people.
5 There was KLA there, but because of the family members there, we
6 couldn't intervene. There is a clean -- clean fighting and dirty
7 fighting. The Serb police were always fighting with the population, with
8 the civilian population, dirty war, but we didn't.
9 Q. We know that story. It is quite untrue. My question was
10 different, however. How is it that you see that they are about to shoot
11 your fellow citizens and you don't rush to help them, and your entire KLA
12 unit is close at hand and you do not wish to help them?
13 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. The witness has answered that. He's
14 given his answer. Just look at the last one he gave.
15 We're going to adjourn now. The time has come.
16 Mr. Xhemajli, would you be back, please, tomorrow to conclude your
18 Mr. Milosevic, we will give you ten minutes more tomorrow morning,
19 ten minutes more, in which case you will have had longer than the
20 Prosecution. We will allow the Prosecution to produce the video since
21 this whole incident has now been put into issue and it's suggested it's a
22 fabrication. We will allow the video to be produced, and we will allow
23 you, Mr. Milosevic, to ask some more questions related purely to that
24 video and nothing else.
25 Very well. All that 9.00 tomorrow morning.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't understand. Are you giving
2 me ten minutes more or are you giving me only ten minutes tomorrow
4 JUDGE MAY: We're going to give you ten minutes more to conclude
5 your examination. We will then see the video. We will allow you to ask
6 some questions about that but purely limited to the video in addition to
7 the other questions you may ask.
8 Yes. Of course we will allow the amicus to ask some questions if
9 there are any.
10 MR. NICE: And, Your Honour, I'll try and take the video in a
11 summary form. Maybe, therefore, it would be helpful for the accused if he
12 has the time and opportunity to see -- to view the video this afternoon.
13 I'll make sure we get it to him. I will do my best to make sure that
14 there is a transcript available to allow things to be taken swiftly.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 27th day
18 of August, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.