1 Thursday, 29 August 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll have the first witness. And when that witness
6 has given evidence, we will deal with our rulings in relation to the other
7 witnesses who are on the list about whom rulings are required.
8 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Your Honours. The Prosecution will call as
9 the next witness Mr. Beqe Beqaj.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Shin, you've got a witness coming?
11 MR. SHIN: Yes, we do.
12 JUDGE MAY: Now, what is it, Mr. Milosevic?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, just a brief remark, Mr. May.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yesterday, towards the end of the
16 day, towards the end of the hearing, your Registrar gave me papers for
17 K41, a protected witness. (redacted) . Then I
18 saw -- then I saw the name.
19 JUDGE MAY: You know quite well that you're not to identify in any
20 way witnesses who are protected. We are dealing with this witness.
21 Mr. Milosevic, you must understand that we cannot deal with administrative
22 matters whenever you want to raise them. They have to be dealt with in an
23 orderly way.
24 Now, we'll deal with your point after we've heard this witness's
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say a fact to you
2 in relation to this. This name that we got yesterday was mentioned in
3 some electronic media.
4 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with it later. Let's deal with this in an
5 orderly way. We'll hear the witness - he's waiting - then you can tell us
6 all that you want to about the other one.
7 Yes. Let's hear the witness.
8 WITNESS: BEQE BEQAJ
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you'd like to take a seat.
13 MR. SHIN: If the usher could please place on the ELMO the name of
14 the witness. Thank you.
15 Examined by Mr. Shin:
16 Q. Witness, could you please tell the Court your full name, first
17 name and last.
18 A. Beqe Beqaj.
19 Q. Were you born on the 11th of November 1939 in Racaj village in the
20 municipality of Gjakove?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it correct that you are married, had six daughters and two
23 sons, your two sons are still missing, last seen in circumstances
24 described in your evidence?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Beqaj, on the 15th of April, 2000, did you give a statement to
2 a member of the Office of the Prosecutor about the events you witnessed
3 and your experiences in Kosovo during 1998 and 1999?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the 14th of March of this year, did you provide a short
6 addendum to your statement of the 15th of April, 2000?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Beqaj, also on the 14th of March of this year, were you
9 provided with a copy of the statement that you previously gave and a copy
10 of the addendum, both in the Albanian language in the presence of a
11 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor and a presiding officer
12 appointed by the Registrar of this Tribunal?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And at that time were you able to confirm that the copy of the
15 statement and the addendum were true and correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Beqaj, on Monday, 26th of August, earlier this week, while
18 speaking with myself and other members of the Office of the Prosecutor,
19 did you become aware that there were a few revisions and corrections to be
20 made in your statement? Just yes or no, please.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. First, in your statement of the 15th of April, 2000, you say that,
23 reading from the English -- and, Your Honours, this is page 2, second
24 paragraph of that statement -- "In May 1998, the VJ Army and police
25 forces, the MUP, were deployed in the village of Racaj and in other
1 neighbouring villages of the Carragojs Valley."
2 Is that statement correct? And if not, could you please explain
3 very briefly what correction should be made.
4 A. It's not correct. On the 2nd of August, 1998, Serb forces
5 attacked the villages around Smolica and Junik and the people were forced
6 to abandon their villages, and they set up position after the 2nd of
7 August in the village of Dallashaj.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beqaj. So rather than May 1998 in that sentence,
9 it should say the 2nd of August, 1998; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. The second, in that same statement, you say that -- referring to
12 events in 1998 - Your Honours, this is the fifth paragraph on page 2 in
13 the English statement: "When we regained possession of our house, I saw
14 that the Serbs had looted our goods. Some of our livestock had been
15 killed. In September 1998, the VJ patrolled all the villages in the
17 Mr. Beqaj, were the livestock referred to in that quotation, were
18 they killed in 1998? And if not, when were they killed?
19 A. There's a change to be made here, too. On the 23rd of March,
20 1999, around 1.00, Serb forces attacked the village and shot around in the
21 houses and killed the livestock. On the 23rd of March, 1999, not as it is
22 written here.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Beqaj. Finally, Mr. Beqaj, when you were leaving
24 Serbia to go to Albania on the 28th of April, 1999, did anything happen to
25 you and others with you leaving Kosovo with regards to identification
1 cards and papers? If so, could you very briefly explain what happened.
2 A. We had to give up our documents and our passports in the village
3 of Racaj and they wanted them again at the border when we left. And
4 anyone who had documents still had to give them up at the border. And if
5 you didn't have documents, you couldn't.
6 Q. Mr. Beqaj, who exactly asked you for your documents at the border?
7 A. The police.
8 Q. And did you yourself provide your documents to the police at the
10 A. I had already given up my documents in Racaj when they requested
11 it there.
12 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Beqaj.
13 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, with these revisions and corrections, the
14 Prosecution tenders the two statements into evidence under Rule 92 bis.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 296.
18 MR. SHIN: I will now read a summary of the evidence of
19 Mr. Beqaj.
20 Your Honours, Mr. Beqaj was born in the village of Racaj in
21 Gjakove municipality and was living there at the beginning of 1999. Racaj
22 can be found in the Kosovo atlas on page 9, grid reference G20.
23 Mr. Beqaj gives evidence of deportations from villages north-west
24 of Gjakove during 1998 and 1999 as well as of associated persecutions. He
25 also gives evidence in relation to killings in Meja.
1 In August of 1998, Mr. Beqaj describes that the Yugoslav army and
2 police forces were deployed in the area of the village of Racaj and in
3 other neighbouring villages of the Carragojs Valley. At that time,
4 several men from Racaj were arrested and imprisoned. Also at that time,
5 shooting in the area of Junik and Smolica village caused people from those
6 places to flee towards Racaj. Hearing from those people that the Serb
7 forces were coming to their village, the inhabitants of Racaj, including
8 Mr. Beqaj and his family, escaped towards Gjakove where the witness's
9 family stayed with relatives for five weeks before returning to their
11 On the 14th of April, 1999, Mr. Beqaj describes how the VJ and
12 police came again to Racaj, forcing him and his family to leave their
13 house. The entire village of Racaj and other neighbouring villages were
14 expelled at that time, departing in a column of tractors. Houses in Racaj
15 village, including the witness's, were set on fire by the police as the
16 villagers fled. The Serb forces ordered the convoy to go to Albania but
17 via Gjakove and Prizren rather than taking a closer border crossing.
18 En route, an aeroplane dropped bombs that hit the convoy of
19 displaced persons near Bistrazin village, south of Gjakove. A delegation
20 from Belgrade then arrived, taking photos and questioning persons in the
21 convoy. The witness and about 4.000 others who had fled their villages
22 who were there were forced to spend the night in a field. The next day,
23 they were sent back to their villages. As the house of the witness had
24 been burned, he and his family were forced to take shelter in a warehouse
25 on the compound.
1 On the 27th of April, 1999, following the deaths of five MUP
2 officers in the area, Serbian police and VJ soldiers again surrounded the
3 valley and attacked the village of Dobros, where some villagers were
4 killed. Civilians from Dobros fled to Racaj village, these persons
5 telling the inhabitants there that the Serb forces were about to reach
6 Racaj. So the villagers of Racaj, including the witness and his family,
7 once again left their village, travelling in a convoy of tractors, horse
8 carts and cars.
9 This convoy was stopped in Meja at a checkpoint manned by police
10 and VJ soldiers. The police appeared to be leading the operation, Mr.
11 Beqaj explains. Mr. Beqaj states that 24 men were separated from the rest
12 of the convoy and sent to the adjacent meadow where they were forced to
13 sit with their hands behind their heads. All of these 24 men were
14 relatives of Mr. Beqaj, and 13 of them close relatives, including his two
15 sons and two brothers. Mr. Beqaj describes how he also saw 20 other men
16 seated in the field with their hands behind their heads.
17 Mr. Beqaj describes how, when he turned back to see what the
18 police were doing to his relatives, a policeman kicked him and insulted
19 him, accusing him in a general way for the deaths of Serbian policemen and
20 threatening retaliation. The persons still in the convoy, including
21 Mr. Beqaj, were not allowed to look at the men in the meadow. Mr. Beqaj
22 was told to leave together with the convoy. These 24 men have not been
23 seen since then.
24 As the convoy left towards Gjakove, VJ soldiers lined the road.
25 When the convoy reached a school near Meja, they were robbed of their
1 valuables and ID documents by police. Near the school, the witness saw a
2 group of men being lined up, and after awhile, he heard shots. Mr. Beqaj
3 was later told by others that these men had been shot and killed.
4 On the 28th of April, 1999, Mr. Beqaj and his family crossed into
5 Albania. At the border as they were leaving Kosovo, Serbian police
6 officers again demanded any documents from persons in the convoy.
7 That concludes the summary.
8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] You say in your statement that on the 2nd of
11 August, 1998, the police arrested 11 men from the village of Racaj and
12 that some of them were released whereas others were kept in detention and
13 taken to the prison in Pec; is that right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Your brother was also arrested, and he was released after seven
16 months; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Why were they arrested?
19 A. You know. You know.
20 Q. I'm asking you to answer me why they were arrested.
21 A. They didn't have any -- they weren't guilty of anything. I don't
22 know why they were arrested.
23 Q. All right. Let me rephrase the question. Were criminal
24 proceedings instituted against them?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Were they members of the KLA?
2 A. No. No. No.
3 Q. Were they armed?
4 A. No, I don't think so. They weren't armed.
5 Q. You think they were not armed. I am asking you whether they were
6 armed or whether they were not armed.
7 A. Some of them may have had something, but your -- your army, when
8 they -- when your army, your forces arrived, they told everyone to give up
9 their arms, and most of the people had given up their arms at that time.
10 Q. All right. All right. That's when the forces came and asked for
11 their surrender.
12 Out of these 11 who were arrested, how many of them had weapons?
13 When you say some of them had weapons, how many actually did?
14 A. They didn't have arms, but some of the villagers had arms. And
15 when the army came in, they said, "Give up your arms," and some of them
16 gave up their arms at that time.
17 Q. All right. Mr. Beqaj, in your statement you say they had at least
18 one weapon in their houses respectively, at least one weapon. How many
19 weapons did you have in your house?
20 A. Some of the weapons were given up at that time but not all of
22 Q. How many pieces of weapons did you have in your house?
23 A. One. Only one, which was given up.
24 Q. Did everybody hand in only one weapon? And you say that they did
25 not hand in everything they had. So whatever they had more than one, they
2 A. No. They didn't have any others. They gave up one weapon.
3 Q. Well, a little while ago you said that they did not really hand in
4 everything. Isn't that what you said or not?
5 A. I said those who had weapons did give them up. Those who had
7 Q. All right. So they just kept something. Tell me, please,
8 Mr. Beqaj --
9 A. Nothing.
10 Q. What was that you were saying?
11 A. They didn't keep any weapons. They gave up everything they had.
12 Q. All right. All right. You say that there was shooting between
13 the army and the KLA in Junik and Smolica; is that right? That's what it
14 says here, in your statement. On the same day, the 2nd of August - that
15 is the third paragraph of the first page of the statement -- it's actually
16 marked as page 2. So on the same day, the 2nd of August, the police and
17 the VJ army were engaged in shootings with the KLA in Junik city and in
18 the village of Smolica, municipality of Gjakove.
19 Now, tell me, since they handed in their weapons, what did they
20 use for shooting at the army and the police? Because you say that
21 everybody handed in their weapons. How come on that day there could be
22 shooting between the army and the police and the KLA if everybody had
23 handed in their weapons?
24 A. I'm talking about my village, not about other villages. I don't
25 know what was going on elsewhere.
1 Q. All right. Do you know that Smolica and Junik were major
2 strongholds of the KLA?
3 A. I know.
4 Q. And do you know that Smolica, in addition to that, was a weapons
5 distribution centre for the arms that were illegally smuggled in from
6 Albania? Do you know that?
7 A. No, I don't know, I didn't know that.
8 Q. Do you know who Tahir Zemaj is?
9 A. I don't know him, no.
10 Q. All right. He was a commander there in Smolica. If you don't
11 know him personally, do you know that several hundreds of KLA terrorists
12 and foreign mercenaries in July 1998 entered Yugoslavia illegally from
13 Albania, and he led them then, several hundreds of them. That is an event
14 that I assume you are familiar with. That's June 1998. KLA terrorists
15 and foreign mercenaries, several hundreds of them.
16 A. I don't know. I don't know anything about that.
17 Q. All right. Let us move on, then, to what you were saying
18 yourself. You spent five weeks in Djakovica with some relatives; is that
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And then you returned to the village and that's when you
22 surrendered your weapons; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. And during those five weeks while you were staying with your
25 relatives in Djakovica, did you have your weapons with you or were the
1 weapons hidden in the house when you returned?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer, please.
3 JUDGE MAY: You're asked to repeat your --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were at home. I didn't have
5 them with me.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well, then. How is it possible, then, that, as you said, you
8 returned to the village after you had surrendered your weapons to the Serb
9 forces? If you first handed in your weapons and then returned to your
10 village, how is it possible that the weapons were not on you but were in
11 the village?
12 A. After we went to Gjakove, they contacted certain people who were
13 stationed in Dallashaj and sent the message that anybody who had weapons
14 and handed them in would not be troubled, but it didn't turn out like
16 Q. Very well. You had an automatic rifle.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you claim you were not a member of the KLA.
19 A. I wasn't a member of the KLA. I kept it for my own needs.
20 Q. What are one's own needs that need to be achieved with an
21 automatic rifle?
22 A. To protect myself.
23 Q. To protect yourself against whom?
24 A. From your army.
25 Q. And for how long had you had owned that rifle?
1 A. I don't really remember.
2 Q. You don't know for how long you had that rifle. Well, how did you
3 obtain it?
4 A. From the army. I got it from the army.
5 Q. From the KLA?
6 A. No. I bought it.
7 Q. Oh, you bought it. Well, please make yourself clear. Did you
8 obtain it or did you buy it?
9 A. I bought it.
10 Q. How much did you pay for it?
11 A. That's my business.
12 Q. Very well. That's an answer too. Did you personally hand over
13 your rifle to the police?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Since you said some people had at least one rifle, how many locals
16 had more than one rifle of various -- or, rather, various types of
18 A. I don't know. Several of them handed them in, but I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know that the possession of automatic weapons - that's a
20 military type of weapon, an automatic weapon - that that was a crime?
21 A. I don't know, but the officer came and took them by truck.
22 Q. They collected so many in trucks. There were so many of these
23 weapons that they had to use trucks to collect them. How many weapons
24 were collected on that occasion?
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter requests the witness to repeat
1 his answer.
2 JUDGE MAY: You're asked to repeat your answer.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This person said to me that -- the
4 person said it was forbidden to carry arms, but he had them by themselves
5 in trucks.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. You said that between September 1998 and March 1999 -
8 that's virtually throughout the period of the presence of the Verification
9 Mission in Kosovo - together with others from the village, you were hiding
10 in the woods; is that correct?
11 A. Would you ask the question again? I didn't understand it.
12 Q. You stated in your statement, Mr. Beqaj, that between September
13 1998 and March 1999, which means throughout that period, together with
14 other men of the village, were in hiding in the hills; is that correct?
15 A. That's right. The army, after sending us back to the village and
16 telling us that nobody would bother us, the police were patrolling round
17 there and asking for the young men. And when they came to arrest people
18 with their patrols, we had to flee and go to the hills.
19 Q. Very well. Tell me with whom you were hiding in the hills.
20 A. I wasn't hiding, but whenever the police came, I had to go and
21 hide in the hills because otherwise they would arrest me and put me in
23 Q. Very well. How large was that group? How many of you were there
24 hiding in the hills?
25 A. It wasn't a group. Everybody ran away by themselves to get away
1 from the police, because otherwise they would end up in prison.
2 Q. So you did have weapons, you were hiding in the hills, but you
3 were not members of the KLA. You were fleeing the police so as not to be
4 sent to prison, and you are claiming that you were not a member of the
6 A. I say that I'm not a member of the KLA and -- and we surrendered
7 our weapons to you, not to the KLA.
8 Q. Very well. During that period of time while you were hiding in
9 the hills, that is between September 1998 and March 1999, were there any
10 shootings, as you mentioned here, between the KLA and the army and the
12 A. No. I don't know about that.
13 Q. Very well. You said that on the 14th of April, you were forced to
14 leave your home and to go to Albania. Is that right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Why were you forced to leave your house and go to Albania?
17 A. On the 14th of April, at 9.00 in the morning, the soldiers and
18 policemen came in an operation and forced us to go to Albania as soon as
19 possible. We had to get out with our tractors, cars, carts, whatever
20 means of transport people had. And while we were leaving the village, we
21 saw the houses being burned. And we were forced out by your army.
22 Q. Are you telling us that there was no fighting between the KLA and
23 the army or the police but that the army just came in just like that,
24 walked into the village and told you, "Go to Albania"? Is that what
25 you're claiming?
1 A. The police and the army came and told us to leave the village at
3 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Beqaj, is it true that you were actually
4 leaving the village to take shelter from the conflict that was going on?
5 Yes or no.
6 A. No. We were forced out. It wasn't fighting at all.
7 Q. Very well. So you were not fleeing the war, but you left because
8 you were told to go. Were you in the column that was shelled near the
9 village of Bistrazin?
10 A. Bishtazhin. Yes, I was there. In a column of tractors, I was in
11 front, and there was a villager from Racaj behind me. And they struck the
12 tractor and killed 11 of them on this tractor, besides others.
13 Q. Among others. And how many in total were killed in that bombing
14 operation near the village of Bistrazin?
15 A. About 75.
16 Q. Did you see the NATO planes as they were approaching to bomb the
17 column? Or was visibility good? Was it a clear day?
18 A. We saw the planes but we didn't recognise them as NATO planes.
19 They were Serbian planes. And they bombed us, but they were low. They
20 weren't very high.
21 Q. Very well. Okay. You don't have to go into that explanation.
22 We've heard that already.
23 Tell me, please, is it true that the army and the police extended
24 aid to all the wounded and drove them to hospital?
25 A. That's not true.
1 Q. So they did not transport the wounded to hospital. What happened
2 to the wounded? Who helped them then?
3 A. I don't know. I don't know who transported them. I have no
4 knowledge of this. As long as -- they remained there as long as I was
6 Q. But you said that you were forced to spend the night in Bistrazin.
7 So you were there all night. Who forced you to spend the night there?
8 A. The police stayed with us the whole night until the morning at
9 4.00. Then they came from Belgrade and they photographed us, and they
10 questioned some people and so on.
11 Q. So that was an investigation into the bombing incident and the
12 killing of so many people by NATO. Is that clear or not? Is that true or
14 A. They asked questions, but who they were, I don't know.
15 Q. But tell me, did you see and notice foreign journalists present,
16 filming the incident, both domestic and foreign reporters? Did you see TV
17 crews? Did you see photographers? Did you see all these people who had
18 come from Belgrade, representatives of foreign and domestic media? Did
19 you see those people?
20 A. They were there with video cameras, and they asked questions, and
21 they were Serbs. But I don't know about anybody else.
22 Q. Very well. Let's move on from that event. We certainly don't
23 have too much time.
24 You said that a policeman, Vojo Pekovic, was killed. In the
25 fourth paragraph of page 3. Is that right?
1 A. That's true.
2 Q. And then you say that three days later, in the village of Meja,
3 another policeman was killed called Milutin; is that right?
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. No killed those policemen?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. How did you learn of the killing of those policemen?
8 A. People knew. People during the journey, they found out by
10 Q. Did they tell you that your terrorists from the KLA had done it in
11 an ambush?
12 A. What kind of terrorists?
13 Q. The KLA.
14 A. That's not right.
15 Q. Who, then, could have killed those police officers?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Tell me, you are aware of the fact that in Bistrazin, during the
18 bombing operation, dozens of people were killed. A moment ago you said
19 75. The number isn't important now, I'm not asking you about that number.
20 Also near the village of Meja, a column was bombed, a column of Albanians,
21 again by NATO. So Meja and Bistrazin are well-known locations where a
22 large number of Albanians were killed by NATO. Is that right?
23 A. I don't know whether it was from NATO, but I know that it was from
24 planes. There was. They were flying very low.
25 Q. Okay. Planes. In Meja and Bistrazin. And also in the Carragojs
1 Valley, which goes on from Meja, and in that whole area there was fierce
2 fighting between the army and the police on the one hand and the KLA on
3 the other. And this went on for several days. Do you know of that? Are
4 you aware of that?
5 A. That's not true. What they call the Carragojs Valley has 12
6 villages, including all the villages round the border were emptied by your
7 army. And in the end, they captured 500 people in the village of
8 Meja-Orize and in Korenica. 500 people went away that day and never
9 returned, and nobody knows where they are today. You know where they are
11 Q. Very well. Do you know how many policemen and soldiers of the
12 Yugoslav army were killed in those combat operations in the Carragojs
13 Valley that you have mentioned, saying that there were 12 villages there?
14 So how many were killed fighting with the KLA?
15 A. That's right. The KLA never fought in the Carragojs Valley ever.
16 The army emptied all the villages round the border because it was a
17 security zone. And then they took, as I said, 500 people, and they -- all
18 trace of them was lost and -- from that day on.
19 Q. Very well. You don't have to repeat that. You've told us that.
20 But what do you think? How did those numerous soldiers and police
21 officers get killed if nobody shot at them?
22 A. It's not ...
23 Q. Who killed those soldiers and policemen?
24 A. It's very hard for me to say this, but this is not true at all.
25 Nobody was killed at all. Not a single was killed in the Carragojs
1 Valley, and there was no fighting.
2 Q. All right. We have had witnesses testifying about that, so I
3 won't ask you any more questions about that. Unfortunately for your side,
4 it was an Albanian, an officer.
5 JUDGE MAY: That's all comment. Now, anything more for this
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have quite a number of
8 questions. About ten more.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You are claiming that the army separated 24 men?
11 A. I said that my four brothers, we don't know about their
12 whereabouts to this date.
13 Q. Tell me, is it true that you are saying that they separated 24
15 A. That's true.
16 Q. And on that same page, in paragraph 3, you say that you didn't see
17 the army pointing their weapons at those men.
18 A. That's not true. What do you mean I didn't see it? I was there.
19 I had my hands tied before my -- behind my back.
20 Q. You were tied as well?
21 A. No, I wasn't tied. I wasn't tied. But they were separating them,
22 and they were forcing them to put their hands behind their heads.
23 Q. Please. Let me read out a part of your statement from page 4 to
24 you. "On the left-hand side of the road in the direction of Korenica I
25 saw ten people lined up on the field. I was at a distance of about 100
1 metres. I could see well and I did not see soldiers pointing guns at the
2 men. I passed by that place and I headed towards Djakovica. After
3 awhile, I heard shootings. Later, when we were on the way to Albania,
4 somebody told me that these men who were lined up near the school had been
5 seen when they fell on the ground."
6 Is that what you know about those men? And on the basis of what
7 somebody told you on the way to Albania, that people were seen falling on
8 the ground, you are claiming that those people were executed and shot?
9 A. I will repeat once again what I've said before. I've seen --
10 Q. You don't need to repeat what you said before.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let him explain.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is as it was. At one -- at a
13 distance of 100 metres, I've seen those men standing, and it is right. I
14 didn't see automatic rifles.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You go further than that and say: "I cannot say anything more
17 specific as to where the shooting came from," that you heard later on as
18 you were going towards Djakovica, "because there was shooting throughout
19 the area." That means, as you are claiming, that there was shooting all
20 over the place and you can't tell where exactly the shooting was coming
21 from. So if that is so, was it clear to you at the time that there was
22 fighting going on, a conflict of some sorts?
23 A. That was the firing of your police and your army, because we were
24 all surrounded.
25 Q. But, Mr. Beqaj, is it clear to you that these localities where
1 NATO killed the largest number of Albanians, through these rumours, "I
2 heard, I was told," and so on, you are endeavouring to transform into
3 locations where crimes were committed by members of the army of Yugoslavia
4 or the police, which is not true. Is that your intention?
5 A. Who took 500 persons? Where are they? Could you please tell me
6 that? Where are they?
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Beqaj, what is being suggested is that you made
8 all this up. Now, is that true or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please repeat the question.
10 JUDGE MAY: The accused is saying that you have made all this up.
11 Now, is that true or not?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have not made this up. I was
13 there and I am testifying here about things that I have seen myself with
14 my own eyes.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Very well, then. Mr. Beqaj, you didn't see any of these things
17 you are testifying about. You did not witness any executions by shooting.
18 Is that right or not?
19 A. That's right. I did not see.
20 Q. Therefore, you're testifying about something that you did not
21 observe, and you're admitting now that you didn't see it. Now, please
22 explain something to me which is not clear, at the end of your statement.
23 This is third from the bottom at the very end of the statement. You are
24 describing what these members of what you call a Serbian paramilitary
25 group looked like, and in the last sentence, you said: "They left the
1 place when the jeep started approaching." "They left the place when the
2 jeep was approaching us." Who was approaching? What kind of a jeep was
3 approaching? What was actually happening? Could you explain this,
4 please, because it's not clear from the statement.
5 A. Yes, I will explain. While we were heading towards Krushe e
6 Madhe, on our way to Albania, two soldiers met us. They were armed. They
7 had hand grenades hanging on their belts and in their hands, and they were
8 threatening us. They wanted to loot us. They asked for money. And then
9 two police jeeps - I think they were police jeeps, I'm not sure - two
10 police jeeps came and then I guess they were scared and ran away.
11 Q. Very well. So you described the following event; that some
12 robbers, who exist in any war, and that is not being denied, who wanted to
13 rob you ran away when a police jeep approached you and now you say it was
14 two police jeeps. So, is it clear to you that these robbers do not belong
15 either to the army or to the police, that these are simple highwaymen?
16 A. They were in military clothes. I don't know who they were, but
17 they were in military clothes.
18 Q. What people can wear in times of war is a different matter
19 altogether, but you are saying yourself that they ran away from the
20 police. There was probably a reason why they fled from the police. They
21 are trying to rob someone and then they run away when a police vehicle
22 comes up. That is what you've been saying. But, all right, let us move
23 on. I just have a few more questions.
24 In the village of Meja, in addition to this Serb policeman, do you
25 know that the KLA also killed three Albanians who were loyal citizens of
1 the Republic of Serbia? Do you know about that?
2 A. I don't know. I don't know about this.
3 Q. And do you know the fact at all that the KLA killed many Albanians
4 who respected the state, the Republic of Serbia, and behaved like normal
5 peace-loving citizens? The KLA. The Albanians killed them, a large
6 number. Do you know about that?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. You say that you went to Albania on the 28th of April. How many
9 of you were there in that group when you crossed the border?
10 A. The convoy consisted of hundreds of people. I don't know the
11 exact number, but it was a big convoy.
12 Q. And what did you use to cross the border?
13 A. I was on a horse cart, as I mentioned it before, and there were
14 some children on the way who were not able to walk, and we placed them in
15 the cart and took them with us.
16 Q. But for the most part, people were on tractors, not on horse
17 carts. Tractors and trucks; is that right?
18 A. Some on tractors, some on foot. There were even people on foot.
19 Q. Tell me, please, why do you say that documents were taken away
20 from you at the border, that they were burned, and so on? Yesterday we
21 saw a film here where Albanians, not towards the end of April but towards
22 the end of May in Albania --
23 THE INTERPRETER: In Pristina, interpreter's correction.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. -- are getting new passports, travelling buses, normal bus lines.
1 Who told you to tell this story that documents were taken away from you
2 and that your things were taken away from you? Explain that to me,
4 A. The road that takes to Korenica, as soon as you get to the asphalt
5 road, there was blanket that they had placed there, and they would say,
6 like, "Put your documents, your money, personal documentation, everything
7 you have on these blankets."
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this better be your last question.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Did you make all of this up, Mr. Beqaj?
11 A. What do you mean, "Did you make this up?" I don't understand your
12 question. I did not make anything up. I am talking of things that I've
13 seen myself. I didn't make anything up.
14 Q. Did somebody else invent this for you and tell you to say it?
15 A. I wasn't told by anyone. I have went through this experience, and
16 I've experienced it myself, and I will never forget it to the end of my
18 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Tapuskovic. No. Mr. Tapuskovic.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there are no
20 questions for Witness Beqaj.
21 JUDGE MAY: Any re-examination?
22 Re-examined by Mr. Shin:
23 Q. Mr. Beqaj, when you were forced to leave, you and your family,
24 your village on the 14th of April, 1999, you say that houses were being
25 burned in your village. At that time or later, did you discover how many
1 houses were burned in your village, and if so, how many were burned,
2 approximately, please?
3 A. As we were fleeing, as soon as we left the village, we saw the
4 houses on fire. And when we returned, 80 per cent of the houses were
6 Q. When you and your family and the other villagers returned to
7 Racaj, did any authorities - police, army, or any other authorities -
8 offer any assistance to you or your family?
9 A. No, not at all.
10 Q. Did anyone from the Serbian police come to investigate the burning
11 of some 80 per cent of the houses in your village?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You mention in your statement that the police asked for your
14 identity documents and valuables to be placed on this blanket near this
15 intersection near Meja-Orize. Did the persons who asked you this, did
16 they explain why your identification cards or indeed your valuables were
17 required to be handed over to them?
18 A. They said, "Give us your documents, because you don't need your
19 documents any more. You are on your way to Albania." And they took our
20 money as well.
21 Q. Could you please describe for us the uniforms that these persons
22 who asked for your identification and valuables, the uniforms they were
24 A. They were wearing police uniforms. They were police camouflaged
25 uniforms. It was the police who requested our documents.
1 Q. And what colour were their uniforms?
2 A. Like the police uniforms; camouflaged greenish uniforms.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. SHIN: No further questions.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Beqaj, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
6 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I ask a question, please? This
8 is a request, please.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, if you'd ask it very shortly. We don't usually
10 allow witnesses to make any speeches, but you can ask a question, yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm requesting from The Hague
12 Tribunal and the international community to shed some light on the
13 disappearance of 500 people. We don't know where they are, and Milosevic
14 must know it.
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, we can't take any cognisance of that final
16 comment of yours about the accused but what you say about the 500 people
17 is, of course, noted. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE MAY: We will deal with the administrative matters.
21 Mr. Ryneveld, we have applications in relation to, I think, seven
22 witnesses in front of us. They are all for evidence to be admitted under
23 Rule 92 bis.
24 There is Mr. Milaim Cekaj. He gives evidence as a prisoner from
25 Dubrava, and he deals with the NATO bombing and the alleged executions.
1 Next, Mr. Ismet Haxhiavdija. He deals with the murders in Milosh
2 Gilic Street and Djakovica.
3 Mr. Behar Haxhiavdija similarly.
4 Mr. Gani Bacaj, again a prisoner in Dubrava who gives evidence
5 about matters there.
6 Mr. Izet Krasniqi, who deals with the attack on the convoy at
7 Studime e Poshtme.
8 Ms. Sofije Imeraj, who deals with the murders as alleged in the
9 Imeraj part of Padaliste.
10 And Mr. Mehdi Gerguri, who also deals with the attack on the
11 convoy at Studime e Poshtme.
12 Now, all those are cumulative in the sense that evidence about
13 those matters has been given before. We would be minded to admit them
14 under Rule 92 bis. We'll, of course, hear from the accused first.
15 Is there anything in addition you want to say?
16 MR. RYNEVELD: No, Your Honour. As you have indicated, they are
17 cumulative in nature and that is our proposal.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've heard what's said. We're
19 considering the admissibility of the evidence of those seven witnesses
20 under Rule 92 bis, subject to cross-examination by yourself. We know what
21 your standard objection is. You've referred to it before. That is, you
22 object to any evidence in written form. We know that.
23 Is there anything that you wish to add about these particular
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have nothing to add. I have the
1 same objection, so I don't want to take up any more time.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MAY: We'll admit the statements, subject to
6 Now, there was some point that you wanted to make earlier,
7 Mr. Milosevic. It may be sensible, since it's about -- it seems to be
8 about a protected witness, if we go into private session. We'll go into
9 private session.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't want to raise the issue.
11 JUDGE MAY: You may not want to. We'll go into private session
12 and we'll hear what it is.
13 [Private session]
12 Page 9143 – redacted – private session.
23 [Open session]
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. In light of the ruling
25 with respect to the 92 bis, I propose to call Milaim Cekaj as our next
1 witness. He does give evidence about Dubrava prison.
2 While the witness is being brought in, might I refresh Your
3 Honours' memory that the Kosovo atlas, page 5, at the intersection of
4 block J at the top and 12 down the side, shows Dubrava about six or seven
5 kilometres to the east of Istok.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 WITNESS: MILAIM CEKAJ
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Take a seat.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
15 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I understand, sir, that you are a 35-year-old Kosovar
16 Albanian Muslim from the municipality of Decani in the west of Kosovo; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you hold an agricultural engineering degree, you're married,
20 you now have two young sons and a daughter; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it also true, sir, that you carried out your compulsory
23 military service in the engineering branch of the Yugoslav army in 1985
24 and 1986?
25 A. 1985/86, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. And is it also true, sir, that you joined the KLA in
2 early April 1998 and as such you were an instructor of arms, weapons and
3 training and were in charge of a company; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Sir, following the events in -- that transpired in Kosovo in 1999,
6 did you give a statement to members of the Office of the Prosecutor on the
7 17th of May of the year 2000?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And subsequent to that, sir, have you had an opportunity to
10 refresh your memory from that statement in Albanian and appear before a
11 presiding officer of this Tribunal and acknowledge to that presiding
12 officer that the contents of your statement were true and accurate to the
13 best of your knowledge, information, and belief?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And that occurred on the 26th of August this year, 2002; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I propose at this point to read a
19 brief summary and then ask the witness a couple of questions and show him
20 the aerial photograph of Dubrava that's been entered as an exhibit.
21 Your Honours, very briefly, the witness, I understand from the
22 statement, was arrested on the 28th of October, 1998, by Serb police and a
23 military officer and then taken to the Peja police station. At the police
24 station, the witness was interrogated for two days by up to eight members
25 of the state police. He was beaten and forced to sign a 15-page document
1 in Serbian that proved ultimately to be a confession. He was then
2 detained in the Peja gaol at the rear of the police station until the 19th
3 of February, 1999, in terrible conditions.
4 On the 2nd and 3rd of November, 1998, the witness was taken to
5 Peja court where he was questioned by the investigating judge, Milomir
6 Lazovic; and on the 19th of February, 1999, the witness, along with about
7 50 to 60 other prisoners, was transferred from Peja gaol to Dubrava
9 Here, the witness was put into cellblock 48 on the upper floor of
10 the C2 block referred, if you recall the Exhibit 289, as the isolations
11 block. In his statement, he names his fellow cellmates and he alleges
12 that the beating of prisoners by the guards was a daily occurrence. They
13 were locked up 24 hours a day with no exercise.
14 Well, on the 19th of May, 1999 NATO bombed Dubrava Prison. During
15 his proofing session, the witness advised that the first bomb struck
16 building C1. He advised that C1 in 1998 served as a weapons and munitions
17 warehouse for the Serbian forces. The rest of the prison had been their
18 logistics headquarters between March and September of 1998. During that
19 period, the prisoners had been transferred to other prisons. Dubrava
20 reopened as a prison for Albanian prisoners in early December 1998. And
21 you will recall that the last witness to talk about Dubrava testified that
22 he was transferred there on the 5th of December.
23 Anti-aircraft guns near the prison, outside the perimeter wall,
24 shot at NATO planes on a nearly daily basis prior to the bombing.
25 On the 19th of May as well, one bomb struck the cellblock in which
1 he was located, killing three prisoners. He gives the surname of one of
2 those killed as Topalli. The witness then describes an additional, more
3 prolonged NATO attack on the 21st of May, 1999, when he saw planes bomb
4 the heating plant, the administration building, kitchen, theatre, and
5 other buildings inside the prison compound. One rocket or bomb which
6 missed the theatre, killed 18 or 19 prisoners. The witness names two of
7 those killed in his statement, and he indicated during proofing that 23
8 prisoners in total were killed by NATO bombing over that two-day bombing
10 In the early morning of the 22nd of May, 1999, the prisoners were
11 instructed to line up near the watchtower by guards on the pretext that
12 they were going to be transferred to Nis prison in Serbia. In his
13 statement, he indicates that guards with bazooka-like weapons known as
14 Zolja, automatic weapons, mortar projectiles, rifle grenades, and hand
15 grenades then fired upon the prisoners. The witness was wounded by
16 grenade fragments. During a lull in the shooting, the witness took the
17 opportunity to run to his cellblock. Snipers in the various watchtowers
18 continued to shoot at the prisoners after the main firing had ceased. In
19 so doing, killing more prisoners.
20 Later in the afternoon, the witness saw eight soldiers in green
21 camouflage uniforms enter the compound and kill prisoners in the reception
22 block of the compound. He names two prisoners killed.
23 On the 23rd of May, at around 5.00, the witness, who was tending
24 to the wounded, saw men inside the compound wearing olive-coloured
25 uniforms with "Milicija" written on the back, and blue uniforms and green
1 camouflage uniforms with white wolf-head badges with "Vukovi" written
2 beneath. These men threw hand grenades into drains and buildings where
3 prisoners were hiding, and fired automatic guns at them.
4 The prisoners were ordered to surrender, after which they were
5 taken to the gymnasium. The witness assisted in taking injured prisoners
6 to the gymnasium and then hid in a cellblock. After about an hour, he
7 emerged on seeing prisoners walking freely around the compound. At the
8 sports field, the scene of the previous day's killings, the witness saw
9 more than 150 corpses. He recognised three of the dead whom he names.
10 On the 24th of May, the following day, the witness and all the
11 remaining prisoners, including the wounded, were transferred to Lipjan
12 prison by bus and truck. And on the 10th of June, the witness was
13 transferred from Lipjan to Pozharevc prison. While in that prison, he was
14 charged with organising terrorism based on that confession he was forced
15 to sign in Peja and was ultimately sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and
16 was released on the 26th of April, 2000.
17 He also, of course, describes prison officials, including the
18 director of the Dubrava Prison, and he also provides an additional aerial
19 photograph of Dubrava Prison, indicating locations mentioned in his
21 Now, could Exhibit 289 very briefly be shown to the witness and
22 put on the ELMO. And while we're doing that, Madam Registrar, I neglected
23 to ask you for the number for the bis package, and I haven't -- it hasn't
24 been distributed.
25 I'm aware of the time. I'll do this in one minute, if I may, Your
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked Prosecutor's Exhibit 297.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
4 Q. Mr. Cekaj, looking at the photograph that's now on the ELMO, could
5 you take a pen and indicate to us very, very briefly, first of all, the
6 cellblock where you were detained when you arrived at the prison. Mark
8 A. This was C2 block. I was in this room number 43, where the window
9 is, you can see here, and that is room 47.
10 Q. All right. Moving over to the sports field, is the watchtower
11 shown in this photograph, and if not, where is it in relation to the
13 A. You can't see the watchtower in this photograph, which is opposite
14 the sports field, but it was -- it was round about here. Here's the
15 external wall, and those two walls meet at this point off the edge, and
16 that's where the watchtower is.
17 Q. All right. And where were the men asked to line up? Could you
18 just point that out?
19 A. Yes. I say that the watchtower was over here, and that early in
20 the morning --
21 Q. You will have to put your -- for the record, you're now indicating
22 an area off the screen to the bottom right-hand corner of the photograph;
23 is that correct?
24 A. You can't see it here, but they ordered us -- just a moment. They
25 ordered us, first of all, to line up in fours, and after a time, he said
1 -- he said to us in Serbian, "Line up," and the line was from there to
2 there. So that is facing up to the watchtower.
3 Q. All right. The watchtower's not visible. Were the lines facing
4 the watchtower, sir?
5 A. Yes, they were facing because that was what the order was.
6 Q. One more question. Where did the shooting come from? Can you
7 point that out on the photograph?
8 A. Yes. The shots first came from outside the wall, because in all
9 probability, they used hand grenades and hand-held rocket launchers. And
10 then they came from the watchtower where there were people with Zoljas.
11 And there were also people with machine-guns -- with eight millimetre
12 machine-guns, which are also called ubiza [phoen], and they were standing
13 on their feet and they would fire these machine-guns from that point.
14 Q. From what -- if you could use the pointer, show the Judges, if you
15 would, please, where the shooting was coming from in relation to where the
16 prisoners were.
17 A. The prisoners were lined up that way, and the shots came from the
18 watchtower and from behind the wall. I should emphasise because it's very
19 important, that the wall was damaged at this point. There was a hole of
20 about 20 centimetres wide. And this was about 70 centimetres above the
21 ground. And while they -- while we were lining up, I saw people on the
22 other side of the wall through that hole, and you could see the barrels of
23 semi-automatic and machine-guns through that hole.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. RYNEVELD: Those are my questions at this point, thank you,
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 9152 to 9159.
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MAY: We are going to adjourn now, Mr. Cekaj. Could you
3 remember not to speak to anybody about your evidence during the
4 adjournment until it's over, and that does include the members of the
5 Prosecution. We're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] You graduated from the agriculture faculty in
11 Pristina, as I understand it. Is that at the regular Pristina University?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. As an Albanian, did you have any kind of problems at the
14 university while you were a student and when you graduated in 1995?
15 A. Of course I had problems, because, like all the other faculties at
16 Prishtina University, the agricultural faculty had the same fate after
17 your regime occupied the university premises and threw out the teachers
18 and students. So I -- I completed part of my studies in the joint
19 university, and I completed my studies in premises that weren't intended
20 to be used for study, but I completed it in the Albanian language.
21 Q. How could you study if you say that the Albanian students were
22 thrown out of the university?
23 A. They were expelled from their proper premises, thanks to your
24 regime, after 1990.
25 Q. And where did you study up to 1995? When did you start your
2 A. After being expelled from the proper premises of the agricultural
3 faculty - I don't know how relevant this is - I was with my parents in
4 Germany for a time, and then the education was put straight in a kind of
5 way thanks to the voluntary contributions of the Albanians themselves and
6 no thanks to the regime of that time. And then the faculties started
7 working again, and I completed my fourth year.
8 Q. Do you know that the agricultural faculty, like the other
9 faculties at Pristina University, never stopped operating, that they were
10 working normally throughout?
11 A. I know, but once I had the honour of going to this faculty which
12 you say didn't stop work at all, and I was stopped by the police and I was
13 met by policemen, and I was threatened and mistreated, and that was simply
14 when I went to go and get a certificate of my marks of the courses I'd
15 completed. So there was just no place for Albanians there.
16 Q. Well, come on. You're not going to tell us that there were
17 policemen standing around the faculties, letting people in and out. You
18 know that was never the case.
19 A. I know that they were not only there but they were at every other
20 faculty. And just to illustrate this, I can tell you that at -- for
21 instance, at the medical faculty, the dean of that time, as you know very
22 well, or you should know if you don't, they threw the dean out from his
23 own office.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I think we've done enough on education.
25 Let's move on to something else.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. It is very
2 important for the credibility of the witness for us to hear these
3 untruths, of which there are many in his statement.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You said that you were a member of the KLA as of April 1998, and a
6 moment ago, in the course of the examination-in-chief, unless it was
7 misquoted in the transcript, you said that you became a member somewhat
8 earlier. When did you join the KLA? If I remember well, it said here
9 1996 or 1997, whereas in your statement it says in 1998. Which is the
10 correct date?
11 A. Before answering this question about the KLA, I want to say that I
12 didn't tell lies, but I will answer you now. And there's data from the
13 time to show that I'm telling the truth. And I would ask the Court not to
14 interrupt me with insults, otherwise I will return with the same coin.
15 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Cekaj, I know this is an emotional business,
16 giving evidence, and I know that it's a strain. The accused is under
17 control. He knows full well the questions he can ask and those that he
18 can't, but he is entitled to ask questions. He is on trial and,
19 therefore, he must be allowed to test the witness's evidence. Now, it
20 will be for the Court to decide whether the questions are relevant or not,
21 and it would be better if, instead of arguing with him, you remember that
22 you are giving evidence to a Court, and could you address us and just
23 answer the questions as best you can. If you can't answer a question,
24 just say that, "I can't answer," tell us why not, and we will decide how
25 to take the matter forward. But do not be offended by the allegations
1 made by the accused. He's entitled to make them. It will be for us to
2 decide whether there's anything in them or not. We'll get on more quickly
3 if you just concentrate on the questions and answer them as briefly as you
5 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. The same goes for you: Don't argue with the
6 witness or otherwise you're wasting a lot of time.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honour, if I just might. I believe that the
8 witness was reacting to the suggestion that there were untruths in his
9 statement. That, I think, is what prompted the outburst.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply -- I realise and -- that
12 Your Honours, and I will answer every question. But as for the second
13 question -- or the first question about the KLA, it's true that I was
14 involved in the KLA from April 1998. And the other dates that the accused
15 has mentioned have -- I have not said in anything that I have said or
16 written that I was involved in 1996 or 1997. That's been mixed up
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Very well. I asked you from when you were a member. You said
20 1998 and that's sufficient. You were a commander of a unit and an
21 instructor for weapons for a district consisting of 13 villages; is that
23 A. I was -- I simply served in my own village, which is called
24 Irzniq. I don't know how these 13 villages came up, but it is true that
25 Irzniq is a local community that does include 13 villages. And all the
1 young men of these villages completed this training that I mentioned in my
2 village. And the other data are all in the statement.
3 Q. And which unit were you in command of?
4 A. I was also a company commander in the village where three
5 companies were organised; 1, 2, 3. I was the commander of the 1st
6 Company, and before that, as I mentioned in my statement, I was involved
7 in the training of the young men with weapons and -- and you know what
8 training involves. In other words, physical fitness, technical --
9 technical exercises, other technical things involving weapons and so
11 Q. Tell me, please, how many men did this unit of which you were the
12 commander have? You describe it as a company. What was its strength?
13 A. During the training, there was above -- there were more than 145.
14 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, what kind of weapons was the unit
15 armed with?
16 A. All the conventional weapons that belong to a company. They had
18 Q. What is included under conventional weapons that belong to a
19 company? Could you explain that?
20 A. Yes, I can explain. We had anti-tank weapons, that is, hand-held
21 mortars. We had machine-guns of 12.7 millimetre and 8 millimetre calibre,
22 and ordinary infantry weapons.
23 Q. And you consider, under "normal infantry weapons" that every
24 soldier should have an automatic weapon; isn't that right?
25 A. At the first -- at first, we didn't have this, we didn't have this
1 kind of weapon, but later this situation improved.
2 Q. Very well. From April, as it says here, in 1998, you held that
3 position. And in how many attacks against the army and the police and the
4 citizens did your company take part in in the summer and autumn of 1998,
5 and in which attacks?
6 A. Rather than say "attack," I would say "defence operation," because
7 we didn't go anywhere up to Smadija [phoen] or Pozharevc in Serbia. We
8 were only defending our own territory and our own homes and our own
10 Q. Tell me, in which conflicts, if you wish to call them that, did
11 you take part, together with your unit, against the police and army?
12 A. If you need this information, you should take it from the
13 operations rooms of your units. But whenever we were attacked, we
14 defended ourselves.
15 JUDGE MAY: Can you tell us how many defence operations you were
16 involved in, Mr. Cekaj?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Depends, because we had a kind of
18 schedule, and depending on the schedule allocated to me whenever I was on
19 duty or whenever there was a serious danger, I was involved. Even when I
20 was on leave, I would take part. A kind of -- it was a kind of leave that
21 really I deserved, but I don't really know the numbers of these
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Were there many battles that you were involved in?
25 A. Yes, there were.
1 Q. How many Serbs did you kill, you personally?
2 A. I have -- I didn't kill Serbs. I was merely involved in fighting.
3 And in war, you don't know. So in this sense, "how many you killed," I
4 understand that as execution, and I haven't executed anybody.
5 Q. How many Serbs, Albanians, and others did you kill?
6 A. I am here to tell the truth, and I'm on oath, and I will tell this
7 truth again. I can -- that is that the KLA, and I can say this in full
8 sense of responsibility, was one of the cleanest armies that never killed
9 civilians, either Albanians or Serbs. And this is documented. And from
10 the beginning of July, I was on the way through some villages, and I was
11 -- I saw various pigs in a yard, and I asked my -- and I asked my
12 driver, "How does this Muslim village have pigs?" And he said, "This is
13 Tresko's [phoen] house." I don't know his surname, but I know that he was
14 commander of the police station in Decan, and he had his house entirely
15 intact with all its infrastructure, and his doors were there, open, just
16 as in normal circumstances.
17 Q. Will you please try and answer my questions. My question was:
18 How many people did you kill in 1998, that is, in the summer and the
19 autumn, how many people did you kill together with your unit?
20 JUDGE MAY: He has said that they killed no civilians.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. How many soldiers and policemen did you kill?
23 A. I don't know. It was difficult to tell.
24 Q. That's the problem. Is that why you were arrested by the police
25 and transferred to the investigating prison in Dubrava?
1 A. At first I was arrested and I was held for four months in Peja and
2 about 84 days in isolation in number 13 where the conditions were
3 terrible, and then one month in room number 3 in Peja. And on the 11th of
4 February, I was transferred to Dubrava Prison.
5 Q. In the course of the investigations procedure and at the court
6 later in Leskovac, at the District Court in Leskovac, you did not admit to
7 what you are telling us you did now. And as you have just told us, you
8 were even the commander of that unit, and you were involved in those
9 terrorist activities against the legal organs, that is the police and the
10 army. So you were sentenced for only the acts that were proven; isn't
11 that so?
12 A. You mentioned the investigative procedure, but you know very well
13 because you are a lawyer yourself, you know what an investigative
14 procedure is. And as for the investigating judge, Milomir Lazovic, I
15 defended myself by remaining silent.
16 And as for the judgement in Leskovac, the guards - and you can
17 find out their names - and the lawyer, I don't know how it can be called a
18 trial when the guards were sitting next to me on left and right and
19 threatening me all the time and saying that they would gouge my eyes out
20 and slit my throat if I didn't confess to the accusation. So let's not
21 even mention the prosecutor.
22 Q. You yourself said a moment ago that you took part in armed
23 conflicts with the army and the police. You were arrested and convicted
24 to a term of one and a half years, and you don't even know how many people
25 you've killed. And you consider that an injustice was done. Is that
2 A. Let me draw a suitable parallel between yourself and myself and
3 how we are being treated.
4 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we get anywhere by this. Mr. Milosevic,
5 he's dealt with this point. There's no point arguing about it. We know
6 what happened. We've got his account of the trial. Now, let's move on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And do you know of the criminal act for which you were sentenced
9 to a year and a half, according to the Criminal Code of Yugoslavia, the
10 punishment can be up to 15 years of imprisonment?
11 A. That's not true, and I'm sorry that you should mention this as a
12 lawyer, that clauses 115, 125 provide up to 15 years in prison. And 125
13 and 133 mention up to 20 years in prison, because -- but if you're
14 exaggerating things, you know what this means.
15 Q. Do you consider that you received a mild sentence for the act you
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, of course he thinks it's an injustice.
18 But what's -- it's of no relevance here. All that matters is what
19 actually happens. His feelings about it, I'm afraid, are not relevant to
20 these proceedings or, indeed, to your cross-examination.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What feelings, Mr. May? What
22 feelings? From the end of the summer recess, you're bringing to the
23 witness box terrorists and killers. It's a disgrace for Western justice.
24 JUDGE MAY: Have you got any more questions for this witness?
25 Well, then, get on and ask them.
1 No, Mr. Cekaj, don't you join in. Just let's get on.
2 Now, the cross-examination of this witness, please.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. You said that you were beaten and that four days after that, you
5 find yourself facing a judge. If you were really beaten up, then this
6 must have been visible.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Therefore, why did you make this up? Four days later, your
9 injuries must have been visible in court.
10 A. It would confirm of this. This would be best to contact the
11 warden of Peja prison, who examined my state of health. And as for things
12 being visible in front of investigative judge, everything was so mixed up
13 there you couldn't tell who was the judge and who were the guards and who
14 were the bodyguards. It was a very confused procedure. And I received --
15 as for receiving a mild sentence, I received a rather heavy one and also
16 had to pay a lot of money in hard currency.
17 Q. Oh, you had to pay money? Mr. Cekaj, it says here that you
18 requested the presence of your attorney, an Albanian, Adem Gorani, and you
19 said that that is why the hearing was postponed, and that he was present
20 the next day. So in your file there is no objection on your part or your
21 lawyer that someone beat you. And as you know, that also is a criminal
22 act. Therefore, how can you explain that you are now claiming that
23 someone beat you when you had an attorney who surely would have made such
24 an objection if you yourself did not remember to do so?
25 A. There were a lot of appeals at that time. And besides what you
1 call the legal authorities, headed by yourself, there were also other
2 channels which took money and were involved in filthy business. And the
3 chairman of the Peja court was involved in this and so were his henchmen.
4 And the same was true in Leskovac and Kraljevo, Nis, and other places.
5 You know this very well. You know how matters were done at that time. It
6 happened in Pozharevc too.
7 Q. I know very well that it is impossible for prisoners to be beaten
8 in prison, and I know very well that your attorney that you brought to
9 court would certainly have had to make written submissions in court about
10 that if that were true. So I know that very well.
11 As for what you are saying, let me quote your judgement.
12 A. No. There was no -- not only a possibility of being beaten but of
13 being killed, because more than 150 prisoners were beaten, and I've
14 forgotten the beatings by now. They were not only beaten but murdered.
15 Q. Very well. That is what you are claiming.
16 A. It's not what I'm claiming, it is the truth, the hard truth.
17 JUDGE MAY: Just one at a time.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In connection what you mentioned, a very large sum of money, you
20 were sentenced - and I have your judgement here - to a prison term of one
21 year and six months, including the time spent in detention. And on -- in
22 the name of expenses of the court, you're expected to pay 1.000 dinars, or
23 the equivalent of 30 German marks, to make it clear to those present, and
24 also a lump sum of 5.000 dinars, which is about 120 German marks, and all
25 within a time limit of 15 days.
1 Those are those enormous fines that you mention as being part of
2 your punishment.
3 Also there is the judgement of the Supreme Court which rejected
4 the appeal of the prosecutor to increase your sentence and the appeal of
5 the Defence counsel to reduce your sentence. And that is how it was. Is
6 that true, Mr. Cekaj?
7 A. It is not true.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you want to say something, Mr. Cekaj, you
10 THE WITNESS: May I talk with him in B/C/S?
11 JUDGE MAY: No. The point is you're giving evidence here, not
12 arguing with him.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE MAY: Now, he's put to you that there were fines, he's put
15 the figures to you, and he's also put the conviction. Now, if there's
16 something you want to say about that, you can.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, yes. I mentioned
18 dollars, marks. I didn't mention dinars. And I don't know how that was
19 translated. This is a matter of your interpreters. But first I had to
20 pay $10.000, and then about 15.000 marks later on, in Serbia.
21 JUDGE MAY: Who did you have to pay those sums to?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the henchmen of the courts.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since this is an obvious situation
24 of the witness not telling the truth, I would like to have this judgement
25 exhibited. I would like to tender it into evidence because it says
1 exactly what his conviction is in terms of the time he's supposed to serve
2 and also the fine he's supposed to pay.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the judgement can be exhibited, if you
4 hand it in, subject to any objection in due course, when the Prosecution
5 have had a chance to read it. Now, I suggest that we move on. You have
6 got a quarter of an hour left for your cross-examination. If you
7 challenge the witness's evidence about the executions which he's described
8 at Dubrava, you should do so now, and if you want to ask him about the
9 bombing there. You have a quarter of an hour to do so.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that I have a bit more time,
11 Mr. May, because the other side did not examine him for the prescribed
12 five minutes but much longer. I assumed that you are not going to
13 restrict me either.
14 Let me move on to Dubrava immediately.
15 JUDGE MAY: Since you raised it, you will have the usual time, and
16 that is until 11.45.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
18 THE REGISTRAR: I need a clarification, there are two documents
19 and they're both --
20 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
21 THE REGISTRAR: There are two documents and they're both in B/C/S.
22 Shall we give one --
23 JUDGE MAY: Give them the same number, A and B.
24 THE REGISTRAR: They will be marked D33A, and D33B.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. All right. You have been saying that anti-aircraft guns that were
3 shooting at NATO aeroplanes - and I'm reading from your statement - were
4 one or two kilometres away from the prison, and you say, "Once or twice I
5 saw a trail of smoke of the bombs that were fired by the aircraft."
6 So if these aircraft were two kilometres away from the prison,
7 what did they have to do with the prison itself?
8 A. I don't know -- I don't know about the definition of one or two
9 kilometres, but I said in my statement that anti-aircraft artillery was
10 used from positions of your forces outside the wall nonstop. From the
11 first day of the NATO bombardment to the critical day of 19th, 20th, and
12 the 21st, 23rd. I didn't say up to two kilometres, but I mentioned on the
13 first photograph that my windows looked towards the wall in room 48 on the
14 left hand wing of block C2.
15 Q. Give shorter answers to my questions because I'm quoting your very
16 own statement. I'm not making any assumptions. I just asked you what
17 kind -- what anything had to -- what any position of an anti-aircraft unit
18 had to do, if it was two kilometres away from the prison, with the prison
19 itself? You're an instructor for weapons, aren't you?
20 A. It's very important because they didn't have enough space there,
21 so they had a space where they could carry out their operations, not be
22 right next to the prison.
23 Q. All right. All right. You were in block C2; is that right?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. And it says here bombs reached the ground floor. You were on the
1 first floor of C2; is that right?
2 A. Yes. In the middle of block C2.
3 Q. All right. The bombs had come all the way to the ground floor,
4 and it is your claim that only three men lost their lives. Is that what
5 you're saying?
6 A. Yes. That's very true, because the bombs fell in the middle of
7 the block, just by the warden's room. This was a room which was used for
8 television, and there were 20 prisoners inside, and it exploded and many
9 were injured and killed. And besides this, the bombs fell in the
10 left-hand side in the corridor. Fortunately, they fell in the corridor.
11 And they destroyed the ceiling because it was a concrete construction.
12 Q. I understood that, but could you please just give me shorter
13 answers. They then allowed you to go to the school block, to remain in
14 corridors so that you would not be locked up. They said to you and to --
15 that God should help both you and them, and that you could move about
16 freely within the compound.
17 A. Just one detail.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One important detail which you're
20 overlooking no doubt on purpose. After we had broken some of the doors,
21 which took about 40 minutes or an hour, we went out into the yard and then
22 Miloljub Vidic came out to us with his team and ordered us to sit down
23 among -- opposite C1, at one end of C1, at the open space.
24 Q. All right. It seems to me that whatever question I put to you,
25 you give me such long explanations that I can only put very few questions
1 to you. Please. You wrote here, when speaking about the 21st of May:
2 "After that, all buildings were hit within the prison compound. That is
3 to say all buildings within the prison compound were hit. One rocket or
4 bomb, which was obviously intended to hit the theatre, missed and then on
5 the spot 18 or 19 prisoners were killed." And then you say who was among
6 the killed persons. Among these 19 or 18 prisoners that you saw who were
7 killed at a seven-metre distance, that is what you actually saw. And at
8 the same time, you say that bombs hit all the buildings of the prison. So
9 you could not see how many people were killed in all the buildings within
10 the prison. Is that right or is that not right?
11 A. Look --
12 Q. I say is it right or is it not right?
13 A. I have to explain.
14 JUDGE MAY: Pause. Let the witness answer.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it not the way you wrote it here?
17 A. Your Honour, he is overlooking a very important ingredient on
18 purpose and that is the moment when we left C2 block. When Dragan
19 Milunovic came and threatened us. You asked for a republic and little
20 Aca, his assistant --
21 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd take care of you tonight if I
23 had the order --
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. It doesn't pertain to my question at all.
1 A. It may seem unbelievable, but that rocket hit seven to eight
2 metres, and that's what the distance of the crater was. The first one to
3 be killed was Ismet Berbataj [phoen], then Naim Kurmehaj lost his head,
4 and after 18 or 19 people whose bodies were disrupted as a result of the
5 explosion. Naim Kurmehaj was close to me. I also mentioned Dr. Bahri
6 from Gjakove. This is true.
7 Q. All right. My question was that you said that all the prison
8 buildings were hit. You explained what happened just next to you, and you
9 said that 19 persons were killed there, and you could not have known from
10 that place how many more prisoners were killed in the buildings. And you
11 know that the assistant warden was killed and that some prison guards and
12 other employees at the prison were wounded, and you could not know how
13 many more prisoners were killed; is that correct or is that not correct?
14 A. We could know it because Miki asked us how many people were
15 killed, and some prisoners went and dug them outside of the ruins and put
16 them on a tractor. That's the injured ones from the 19th of May. And the
17 other ones, we took their corpses and covered them in a blanket and we
18 also counted the numbers.
19 Another important detail for this Court is we wrote down the names
20 and surnames of every prisoner. We put this note at the pocket of each
21 one of them, in their clothes or close to their bodies. This was simply
22 done by your henchmen. I cannot even say your soldiers but your henchmen.
23 They did this. And the reason why we did this note thing was because it
24 was very important for their identification. And even today, for many of
25 these people who were killed, their tombs are not known and their
1 whereabouts are not known.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you can have ten minutes more, in the
3 circumstances, which gives you a quarter of an hour.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I don't even need 10 hours
5 if this is the kind of answers he gives to my questions. You let him talk
6 about anything that comes to his mind.
7 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, get on with it.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Please. It says in your statement: "The bombing of the buildings
10 continued for two or three hours. Aeroplanes were taking their turns in
11 bombing the prison and firing rockets. When they would finish, they would
12 fly away and other aircraft came in and continued the bombing. We
13 remained in block C2 until night fell, and then we went to the sports
14 field area where many other prisoners had gathered. Some prisoners here
15 were hit and injured by bomb fragments that had come over the wall." And
16 so on and so forth.
17 Now, how should I put this, this main topic of yours? I am going
18 to read out to you what you said yourself, but please answer the following
19 question first: How many policemen, as you have been asserting, took part
20 in this shooting at you while you were in that area, in this open area
21 within the prison compound as you were lined up? Just give me the number,
22 please, without any additional explanations.
23 A. I cannot say the number because -- well, simply, I could say
24 approximately 20 persons based on the fact that on the 23rd of May when
25 they gathered us, the same person with the same voice, except wearing a
1 mask, was there when I had the honour, so to say, to be half a metre away
2 from him. But I can say there were -- on the 23rd, there were 20 or 30 of
3 them. But on the specific day, I could not say the exact number because
4 they were on the watchtower and it was impossible for me to count. But on
5 the 23rd, I can say there were 20 or 30 of them, wearing different
7 Q. All right. I'm asking you about what you have to say to that.
8 You say 20 or 30. Now, this is what you wrote here. They were shooting
9 at you, right, from bazookas and automatic weapons on the external side.
10 "Mortar projectiles were fired at us and rifle grenades." You say that
11 you recognised the sound that can be heard in the air. And you say that
12 they were shooting at you with automatic rifles, mortars across the wall,
13 throwing hand grenades. And before that, they lined you up and they
14 wanted to kill you. Is that your claim?
15 A. You are confusing things on purpose because they did not fire with
16 bazookas from behind the wall. It doesn't say bazooka in the statement.
17 It means something similar to a bazooka, therefore, a Zolja. They shot
18 with bazookas and then they were behind the wall. They threw the grenades
19 over the wall and onto us, and they also fired through the hole in the
20 wall with rifles, automatic guns, and other types of weapons.
21 Q. All right. All right. Please let us try to clarify this entire
22 story of yours now.
23 A. No. It's not.
24 Q. I'm saying that it is not a fairy tale. What you have been
25 saying, your words are a fairy tale.
1 A. [In Serbian] But they're not.
2 JUDGE MAY: Both of you remember you're in a court, and this kind
3 of argument is of no assistance at all.
4 Mr. Cekaj, would you remember that you are answering questions to
5 the Court and not arguing with this accused.
6 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So you describe the following event, and this happened according
9 to what you said. You were lined up, they lined you up, and they carried
10 out an execution; right? That's what you're claiming. They lined you up,
11 executed you, and then you fled in different directions but you did not
12 manage to run away altogether because you remained within the prison. And
13 after that, they collected you and then they did not execute you but they
14 put you on buses and trucks and more than 800 of you were taken to other
15 prisons. Is that your story?
16 A. The -- our lining up and execution has no other name but execution
17 itself. And as how, who, why, and when is concerned, then you and your
18 authorities would know better.
19 Q. All right. But can you explain the following to me: What's the
20 point of all of this, even if somebody did have this kind of idea, to line
21 you up, to execute you, and then to transfer 800 of you to other prisons
22 and to take the wounded to hospitals, take care of you, bring you food,
23 bread, cigarettes, et cetera, after having executed you? What's the
25 JUDGE MAY: It's not a matter for him. You'll have to ask those
1 who were responsible, Mr. Milosevic. I suppose you could put the question
2 in this way: Could you see any point in what was happening? Could you
3 understand any intention yourself or not, Mr. Cekaj?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is no logic in this. The only
5 logic is that of people who are mentally sick and spiritually sick and who
6 are filled with national hatred.
7 JUDGE MAY: No. Very well. Yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this cannot be explained
9 because it's inexplicable, Mr. May. That's the point.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Cekaj, since it is clear -- we saw a BBC film yesterday where
12 the catastrophic effects can be seen of the bombing of the prison, even
13 during the filming itself, there was a wave of bombing.
14 A. Ask the concrete question.
15 Q. And 92 corpses were taken out of the rubble. What you have been
16 saying here, is that aimed at diminishing what NATO did by targeting the
17 prison as a civilian target?
18 A. I didn't see an actual question, however, I can also provide an
19 answer to this confused question. As a result of the NATO bombing, 23
20 people died. The others were all dead because of the executions and
21 basically as a result of merciless killings as if being in a blood-feud
22 situation. This is my answer. If you do not like it, go ahead.
23 Q. And do you know that only 30 corpses were taken out, those that
24 were killed of the so-called blast effect; without any external injuries,
25 their lungs burst?
1 A. Where were they found?
2 Q. Do you know or do you not know? Just give me a yes or no answer.
3 A. Where were these 30 bodies exhumed without any injuries? I only
4 know that there were only two persons I saw. One of them who -- he had
5 been hanged. Also there is a logical question that comes up; you are a
6 lawyer and obviously you have been through the bar examination --
7 JUDGE MAY: Don't argue with the witness -- with the accused.
8 It's pointless.
9 Mr. Milosevic, have you any other questions for this witness?
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know, because you were in prison at that time as well, that
12 a team of the investigating judge from the court in Pec carried out an
13 on-site investigation, that this investigation was interrupted and that it
14 took place for several days, that all the corpses that were taken out were
15 photographed, and that all the necessary elements envisaged by the
16 investigation were registered, proper documents were supplied, and the
17 effects of the NATO bombing were registered, the NATO bombing that took
18 place day after day during those few days? Do you know about that?
19 A. Okay. A logical question: Where are the names of the identified
21 JUDGE MAY: Either you know or you don't know. If you don't know,
22 Mr. Cekaj, just say so.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know. I know. A group of experts
24 came. That was the way it was interpreted. They were military experts.
25 Some of them were wearing uniforms. But they only came to see the damage
1 caused by the NATO bombing in the objects. Therefore, only material
2 damage. No question was raised as to human damage. This happened on the
3 19th of May, probably three or four hours after what happened happened.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know that in addition to the presence of this investigation
6 team that was working there and that was sent by the District Court in
7 Pec, that there were many journalists from both home and abroad, and they
8 took photographs of the killed and the injured and that there is a lot of
9 proof in terms of what happened in the prison there?
10 A. Obviously there are distorted proof, there is distorted evidence.
11 There were some journalists from Belgrade there and a crew made of one or
12 two persons, a reporter and a photographer from Greece. They were allowed
13 there with your permission, and of course they construed the event in the
14 way that it was more convenient for you.
15 Q. And do you know how many of you prisoners from the prison in
16 Dubrava were evacuated in order to be saved from further bombing? You
17 were evacuated to other prisons. How many of you were evacuated?
18 A. I did not count the prisoners that were left, but I think there
19 were seven or eight buses and a truck. I know because I was in the first
20 bus. I was in the third or fourth chair, I think.
21 Q. All right. A witness yesterday said that there were eight buses
22 and four trucks.
23 Tell me, do you know that about 800 prisoners were evacuated to
24 other prisons then?
25 A. I said I was in the bus -- I said I was in the first bus, maybe
1 the third or fourth chair. And we were waiting in line. They took our
2 clothes, our documents. They kept everything except for some valuables
3 that we could keep by chance.
4 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said he doesn't know how many
5 prisoners were evacuated.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Tell me, how come you had documents when you were in prison? When
9 every prisoner is brought to prison, then his documents and personal
10 belongings are taken away from him, everything that they are not allowed
11 to keep in prison, even a belt, shoelaces, things like that. How come you
12 had your documents in prison?
13 A. The documents were composed of the papers on which -- papers about
14 the detention and the imprisonment, but since it was a situation of
15 anarchy and chaos, someone could found -- could manage to provide a belt
16 for himself or shoelaces. But I know that someone would have trainers or
17 leather jacket or something like that.
18 Q. All right. Can you explain the following: You said just now that
19 they forced you to leave your personal IDs, and now you say these
20 documents that you received concerning your arrest, that you had only
21 that. And it says here that you were supposed to leave your IDs. You
22 could not have had your personal ID in prison.
23 A. I didn't say we had identification documents. You can ask them at
24 the third floor of the state security building.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this will have to be your last
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you know Xhemajli Sadik, a witness who was in prison with you,
5 and he said yesterday that all of you had agreed amongst yourselves to
6 destroy your documents so that somebody would not beat you in the prison
7 in Nis. That was his explanation. Your explanation is to the contrary.
8 Your claim is the documents were taken away from you.
9 And on the third hand, so to speak, you could not have had any
10 other documents except for these decisions that you refer to. So what is
11 the truth in that respect and what is the truth at all?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for witness, please.
13 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. I've switched the microphone off.
14 We'll pause.
15 Yes, Mr. Cekaj. What is your explanation?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name of Sadik Xhemajli is
17 unknown to me. I do not know this person. I have never heard of him
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Any questions from the amicus?
20 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
21 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions now about what happened when
22 you were in prison, Mr. Cekaj. First of all, is it correct that you had
23 white bed sheets whilst you were in there?
24 A. For 18 months of my suffering, my sentence, 16 out of them I had
25 not have white sheets and neither did I have a pillow. You can receive
1 this -- you can obtain this information at the Red Cross Committee Centre.
2 We had sheets in Pozharevc for two days because the Minister of Justice -
3 Jankovic or something, I do not remember the exact name - came for a visit
4 and they attempted to improve the situations. But shortly after that, I
5 was released from prison in April of 2000.
6 MR. KAY: Your Honours, I'm looking at page 7 of the English
7 version, in the middle of the page, fourth paragraph.
8 Q. Is it right that in the prison you used white bed sheets to form
9 the word "SOS" in a place that aeroplanes would be able to see this
11 A. In block C2, there were no sheets. There were no pillows. The
12 sheets that you are mentioning, we took them at the hospital, and we did
13 -- we performed this action. There is another important fact: There were
14 five or six trucks full of new mattresses stolen from the Divolli [phoen]
15 company in Peja, bearing the company name. They were taken from the Keniu
16 [phoen] Theatre. This is how we referred to it.
17 Q. And did you make that signal with the white bed sheets to form the
18 word "SOS" because you wanted the NATO pilots to see them and stop bombing
19 the prison?
20 A. Before this, the word written was "Help" in between blocks C1 and
21 C2, because the field, the terrain was steep, therefore, the guards from
22 the watchtower could not see it. We -- because they were under neon
23 lights. However, we were aware of the danger and the risk we were running
24 because if the guards would learn about it, we would risk our lives. We
25 were careful to do this in places where the guards from the watchtower
1 were unable to see it. But when they saw it eventually, they just
2 destroyed it because they didn't know who had actually done it.
3 Q. And did you make these signals using the words "Help" and "SOS"
4 because you hoped that the NATO pilots would see these signs and stop
6 A. Yes. This was on the 21st of May. That was the critical day of
7 the bombardment. On the 22nd, the lining up and execution took place.
8 MR. KAY: Thank you. No further questions.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I was going to ask a few questions
10 about names of individuals that he remembers, however, I believe it's
11 contained in his statement and I'll leave it at that.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mr. Cekaj, that concludes your evidence.
13 Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are
14 now free to go.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It was a
16 pleasure to give my contribution.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution will now call Mr. Ismet
20 Haxhiavdija. And while we are waiting for this witness, Your Honour, if I
21 may, just a few simple matters. I have prepared a brief summary of this
22 witness's statement, which I would like to distribute to the Court, to the
23 accused, and to the amici curiae.
24 This witness, Your Honour, is an elderly man who suffers from
25 diabetes, and because of that, his eyesight, particularly for reading, is
1 not the best. So he may not be able to read the solemn declaration. It
2 may be necessary for the Court or an officer to read the declaration to
4 At the same time, because Mr. Haxhiavdija's name is not easy to
5 spell, I have written it out in large letters, and with leave of the
6 Court, I will ask that it be placed on the ELMO so that the public can see
7 the correct spelling of the name.
8 And, Your Honours, this witness's evidence will be relevant to
9 page 10 of the Kosovo atlas, the town of Gjakove.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Saxon, you can read out the declaration to the
11 witness and it can be translated, can't it? I think that's the way we've
12 done it in the past.
13 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour. I'll do that.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Haxhiavdija, would you mind standing, please.
16 You're going to have the solemn declaration read to you. Would you repeat
17 it after counsel.
18 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Mr. Haxhiavdija. Please repeat after
19 me. Please repeat after me: "I solemnly declare that I will speak the
20 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you. If you'd like to sit down.
24 WITNESS: ISMET HAXHIAVDIJA
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examined by Mr. Saxon:
2 Q. Sir, is your name Ismet Haxhiavdija?
3 A. [In English] Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, were you born on the 10th of December, 1933?
5 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
6 Q. Were you born in the city of Gjakove in Kosova?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, on the 9th of May in 2001, did you provide a
9 statement to a representative of the Office of the Prosecutor about the
10 events that you witnessed and experienced in Kosovo in 1999?
11 A. Correct, yes.
12 Q. In January of this year, 2002, in the country where you now
13 reside, did you have an opportunity to review a copy of the statement that
14 you made in 2001 in the presence of a representative of the Office of the
15 Prosecutor and a witness?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at that time, did you confirm that the copy that you reviewed
18 was a true and accurate copy of the statement that you gave in May of
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, at this time I will now offer that
22 statement into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis. And, Your Honours, I
23 have taken the liberty of printing out a copy of this statement in extra
24 large font for the benefit of this witness. So if this particular copy in
25 large font be placed in front of him in case he needs to refer to it, I
1 would be grateful.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Prosecutor's Exhibit
4 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, Ismet Haxhiavdija is a Kosovo Albanian
5 man, a Muslim, who was 65 years old when the events alleged in the
6 indictment occurred. For many years, Ismet Haxhiavdija taught the
7 Albanian language and literature in Kosova. He has four sons.
8 Mr. Haxhiavdija describes how Serb forces began killing Kosovo
9 Albanian residents of Gjakove and burning houses after the NATO bombing
10 commenced in March 1999. On the morning of 2 April 1999, Mr.
11 Haxhiavdija's son, Behar, came to his home. Behar told his father,
12 "Father, my life is ended." Behar explained that his wife and five
13 children had been killed the night before. Behar Haxhiavdija and other
14 survivors left for Albania that same morning. Mr. Haxhiavdija decided to
15 remain in Gjakove.
16 The following day, Mr. Haxhiavdija went to the Vejsa family
17 compound in order to try to recover the bodies of his daughter-in-law and
18 his five grandchildren. Mr. Haxhiavdija did not enter the compound after
19 he was warned that it could be dangerous to do so. Serb police and
20 military were driving in the area.
21 Mr. Haxhiavdija visited the office of the police that was
22 responsible for the burial of bodies. Mr. Haxhiavdija knew the officer in
23 charge of this office, and that officer sent several Roma employees to the
24 Vejsa family compound to recover the bodies that were there. When he
25 returned to the Vejsa family compound, Mr. Haxhiavdija saw the burned body
1 of Hysen Gashi. Eventually, Mr. Haxhiavdija was told that there were many
2 bodies inside the house. A total of 20 bodies were found in the rubble,
3 19 of them were women and children. The youngest victim was two years
5 Mr. Haxhiavdija remained in Gjakove with his wife. Most of the
6 time they stayed at a neighbour's home because they were afraid to remain
7 alone. Several times during May 1999, Mr. Haxhiavdija watched as Serb
8 policemen would enter homes and steal property of persons who had fled to
10 JUDGE MAY: We'll take the adjournment now before
12 Mr. Haxhiavdija, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could
13 you be back then, please, to conclude your evidence, and could you
14 remember in the adjournment --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: -- not to speak to anybody about your evidence until
17 it's over, and that does include members of the Prosecution team.
18 We will adjourn now for 20 minutes
19 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
22 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, I wondered whether I might just
23 address you on a brief administrative matter, to give as much notice as
24 possible. I seek the Court's permission to change the schedule of
25 witnesses for tomorrow for the reason that I am available tomorrow to take
1 some witnesses whom I've prepared and proofed and for whom witness
2 summaries are available for distribution. They were planned to give
3 evidence tomorrow. I am here tomorrow, but for -- I have other
4 trial-related commitments elsewhere on Monday and will not be here when
5 some of the witnesses would otherwise testify. So I'm asking, after this
6 witness completes today, that's number 8 - we've already done number 9 -
7 number 10, Mr. Pnishi, we may start this morning. I would then ask that
8 when he finishes on Friday morning, I would ask that we skip number 11 and
9 do number 12, Mr. Gani Beqaj, and number 14, Sofije Imeraj. Those are two
10 witnesses that I personally would like to lead because I have proofed
11 them. And then just revert back to number 11, 13.
12 So that is my request, and I thought I should raise it now so that
13 there's no suggestion that we're doing this at the very last moment.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Haxhiavdija, in your statement you say that
19 the Albanians in Kosovo suffered reprisals for many years, and at the very
20 beginning you say that you were not even allowed to sing your own songs.
21 This, I suppose, refers to Albanian songs, does it not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And where were you not allowed to sing such songs?
24 A. Nowhere. Not even -- not just in schools but even in the streets.
25 Q. And in which period? To what time period does this allegation
1 apply when you were not allowed to sing Albanian songs?
2 A. From the time of Rankovic and up including the time that you came
3 to power with the exception of the years around 1974 when Kosova had --
4 was said to have a certain minimal autonomy.
5 Q. And who prohibited singing of your songs?
6 A. Your regime. Your regime.
7 Q. In the period that you mentioned, I was still at secondary school.
8 A. I said the time of Rankovic. And you made the situation even
9 worse than at the time of Rankovic.
10 Q. Very well. Do you know, Mr. Haxhiavdija, that throughout this
11 period you're referring to there was free airing of radio and TV
12 programmes in Albanian, with many features and contributions and
13 programmes of Albanian music and Albanian songs? Do you know that?
14 A. There was a very small number of songs and music, songs which
15 didn't have anything to do with politics or with national feelings, or
16 they were songs that were general songs that were in favour of Yugoslavia.
17 It's not only the songs but lessons, teaching. They were very --
18 there were thousands of writers, Albanian writers, and we were only
19 allowed to teach about four or five of them who had nothing to do with
20 national feelings. Very few of them we were allowed to teach.
21 Q. Since you say that you taught Albanian language and literature,
22 and I have no doubts about that, do you really think that there were
23 thousands of Albanian writers?
24 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're going to be assisted by this. No
25 doubt it's a figure of speech.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And is it true -- very well. A figure of speech.
3 Is it true that in Kosovo and Metohija there were cassettes and
4 records and CD disks with Albanian national music sold on the open market
5 and that such music was performed at various celebrations and in
6 restaurants and coffee-shops without any limitations throughout this
7 period up until the war? Do you know that? Is that true?
8 A. I'm not someone who sits around in coffee-shops, but I would say
9 that all the songs and dances and records, only the ones that passed your
10 censorship authorities. Those which had a bit of national feeling in
11 them, not only were the songs forbidden but the people who sang them put
12 in prison.
13 Q. Very well, Mr. Haxhiavdija. It's a good thing for everyone to
14 hear this. But tell us one thing, as a teacher of language and
15 literature, you retired in 1991. Where were you working before your
17 A. I worked at an elementary school in Brekoc called Zeklus Marku
18 [phoen], in Brekoc.
19 Q. And from 1991 when you became a pensioner, who did you receive
20 your pension from?
21 A. From the money that I had put into the system for 35 years.
22 Q. Of course every employed person pays a certain percentage of his
23 earnings into the social security funds. So you received your pension
24 from the state pension funds, didn't you?
25 A. But it was money that I put into the fund myself.
1 Q. Very well. Like all the other citizens of Yugoslavia. Whoever
2 works contributes to the pension funds. But let us move on.
3 You say that as of 1981, the situation in Kosmet worsened; is that
5 A. Yes, that's true. But even earlier, though.
6 Q. Very well. So you mentioned 1981 when the situation worsened
7 after the demonstrations for a Kosovo republic; isn't that right?
8 A. The students saw the injustices that were being committed by the
9 Yugoslav system, by your system, and they were obliged to stand up and to
10 demonstrate, to demand freedom and independence as citizens, as people and
11 then as Albanians too.
12 Q. All right. You say on page 2 of your statement, in paragraph 7,
13 that the number of policemen in Djakovica increased rapidly, that
14 policemen were coming from all parts of Yugoslavia; is that right?
15 A. That's true. When the emergency measures were introduced in
16 Kosova against the Albanians who were unarmed and who were not protected
17 by any country on earth, by anyone.
18 Q. But you say that the police officers came from all parts of the
19 country and not only from Serbia, and you mention that the government was
20 introducing some sort of measures. Do you remember those measures in
21 1981? And you yourself say that the police came from Slovenia, Croatia,
22 Bosnia, Montenegro, and everywhere else, that those measures were
23 introduced by the Presidency of the SFRY after your demonstrations and
24 demands for a Kosovo republic. Is that correct, sir, Mr. Haxhiavdija?
25 A. That's true. And the head of the Executive Council of Yugoslavia,
1 as one would call it, was a representative -- was a representative of
2 Bosnia. Unfortunately, I don't know his name any more. I used to know
3 it. But when you get old, you start to forget things.
4 Q. Let me remind you. He was a Muslim from Bosnia. His name was
5 Raif Dizdarevic, and he headed the Presidency at the time. Do you
6 remember now?
7 A. Yes, I remember now. Raif Dizdarevic, that's right. He was head
8 of the Executive Council of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. But let us now move on to the main part of your statement. But
10 before that, will you please answer this question: How is it that in your
11 statement you did not mention with a single word the events having to do
12 with very numerous terrorist activities by the KLA in the Djakovica area?
13 A. If you ask me a question, I can give you an answer. What are you
14 getting at? I don't really understand what you're getting at.
15 Q. Let me be more specific. Do you know that only during 1998 and in
16 the first three months of 1999 in your municipality, that is the
17 municipality of Djakovica, the KLA killed 18 Albanian civilians, eight
18 police officers, and 16 soldiers of the army of Yugoslavia?
19 A. I don't know of any case of the KLA killing anyone except in
20 direct -- in the direct war situation, and I could not imagine that they
21 would ever have done such a thing. It's possible that one of the
22 Albanians who -- who betrayed his country and went over to your side, then
23 of course it could be possible that something happened to him, one of the
24 Albanians. It's possible. Because the KLA is an army which is born of
25 the people, to defend the population against massacres and crimes and
1 oppression which were committed on the part of your army, police, and
2 paramilitaries under your orders, under the orders of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Very well, Mr. Haxhiavdija. Do you consider that the enemies of
4 the Albanian people are those Albanians who, for instance, were employed
5 by the state? Let me mention policemen, post officers, forestry workers,
6 people working in a state-owned company. After all, you yourself were
7 working for the state until 1991, and after which you retired and received
8 a pension. So what do you mean?
9 A. All those who were influenced by your policies, members of the
10 SPS, traitors, those who worked for your services, but those -- but there
11 were, on the other hand, Albanians who were honest, who were working to
12 earn their money to make a life. They were different.
13 One example -- I can give you an example. There were 33 teachers
14 in the Brekoc school. Two of them were Serbs who were born and raised in
15 Kosova and who knew Albanian just as well as we did. But in order to
16 placate them, we were forced to speak Serbian in meetings with them,
17 although the vast majority of the people at the meetings were Albanians.
18 And that applies to everywhere where there were Albanians.
19 Albanians were forced quite often to speak Serbian, even though the local
20 Serbs knew -- who were in the minority, knew Albanian. They grew up
21 there. They had their families there. They were nourished on the bread
22 of Kosova.
23 Q. All right, Mr. Haxhiavdija. You taught in elementary school and I
24 assume that you did your teaching in Albanian, is that right, all the way
25 up to your retirement?
1 A. Yes; I'm Albanian.
2 Q. I'm not denying the fact that you're Albanian, and I'm not denying
3 the fact that you had the right to teach children in Albanian, because
4 that is their constitutional right. I just want to have it established
5 that you normally held your lectures in Albanian to the children that you
6 were teaching and nobody prevented you from doing that; is that right?
7 A. That's right. No one stopped me because we were the people who
8 took part in the Second World War and who won and who worked to be equal
9 and not to be slaves, even under Rankovic and under your administration.
10 JUDGE MAY: I think you have pursued this point about education
11 sufficiently. We are simply getting into a political argument, which is
12 of no great assistance to us.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let us move on to this war. You say that NATO aircraft bombed
16 during the night and you say throughout the night, as a matter of fact.
17 What did they bomb and where, to the best of your knowledge, Mr.
19 A. They bombed the Yugoslav army and police.
20 Q. All right. Please give me an answer to the following: On the
21 basis of what do you claim that the Serbs, as you had put it, during the
22 first night of the bombing killed a father and a son by the name of
23 Zherka? Izet Hema --
24 A. Zherka is his name.
25 Q. All right. I've mispronounced it and it's not perhaps written
1 properly here. Did you see who killed these people?
2 A. Other members of their family and the neighbours said they were
3 killed by the army and police and paramilitaries who were working with one
4 another. Not only those people were killed but also Dr. Rahimi was
5 killed, and the son of Xhamil Dula, Agim Dula, and the son of Sami Isufi.
6 And even now we don't know where his body is or what has become of him,
7 whether he was taken by the police or -- we don't know anything about his
9 Q. And who said to you that they were killed by the Serbs?
10 A. People saw that. Other people saw that. Their family. The
11 family members and the neighbours saw it. There are documents about it.
12 Q. So it was the members of their families who told you that they
13 were killed by the Serbs. Now, tell me, please, Mr. Haxhiavdija, is it
14 correct that Cabrat, a part of town, was taken by the KLA and that at the
15 beginning of April, from that part of town people were evacuated and
16 sought shelter at the electrical engines factory? And these were
17 Albanian civilians, mostly old people, women and children. There were 700
18 of them. Is that correct?
19 JUDGE MAY: There are two questions there. Mr. Haxhiavdija, would
20 you deal with these two questions. The first question was this: Was part
21 of the town taken over by the KLA at the beginning of April?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not a politician. I don't know.
23 But as to what the accused said, Milosevic said, they didn't go to take
24 shelter at the electro-engineer factory.
25 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us, seriously, Mr. Haxhiavdija. It's not
1 a political matter, it's a straightforward matter of fact: Did the KLA
2 take part of the town or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not true. They were in
4 Cabrat but nowhere else, as far as I know. But as I say, I'm not a person
5 who is interested in politics a lot. I'm a family man. I'm only
6 interested in my job and --
7 JUDGE MAY: You're not being asked anything political at this
8 stage. It's just what you know yourself as to what happened. The other
9 question you were answering was that people were evacuated from part of
10 town, and I think you were answering that when I interrupted you.
11 Were Albanian people evacuated from part of town; civilians, women
12 and children?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one left the city voluntarily.
14 They were forced by Yugoslav forces, and in particular the Serb forces,
15 police, army, and paramilitaries. They were forced to leave their homes
16 and to leave for Albania.
17 My neighbours, everyone in my neighbourhood, they were all forced
18 to leave, to go into exile because they were in danger. In every second
19 they could be killed, tortured, massacred. And there were thieves all
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, a moment ago you said that in Cabrat there was
23 KLA. So is it correct that Albanians, civilians, about 700 of them,
24 mostly old people, women and children, were evacuated from Cabrat not
25 under threats of the Serb army and police, as you had put it, but because
1 this part of town was taken by the KLA? Is that right or is that not
3 A. No. The truth is that military forces and the police and the
4 paramilitaries, the Serbian paramilitaries, not only forced the population
5 to leave but massacred a fair proportion of our young people in the way
6 that they know best. Because the KLA never threw people out of their own
7 homes because the KLA came from these homes themselves.
8 Q. They fled in order to avoid combat operations, Mr. Haxhiavdija,
9 because they were not expelled from Cabrat by any kind of police forces or
10 military forces. You said yourself that the KLA was there. Is that right
11 or is that not right?
12 A. The KLA was only in the meadows of Cabrat, and the people who left
13 were banished from their houses in Cabrat and in Buzh and other
14 neighbourhoods of Gjakove. People entered these houses only for the
15 purposes of violence and for the purposes of the Serbian police, army and
17 Q. All right. Let's not waste too much time. Give me a specific
18 answer to this question: Is it correct that from Cabrat - I hear it is
19 called Cabrat now, and you know that better than I do - that from Cabrat,
20 members of the KLA set out to launch an offensive towards the centre of
21 town and the police station with the intention of taking the entire town.
22 Are you aware of that, Mr. Haxhiavdija?
23 A. That is not true. The truth is that on the 7th of May, 1999, the
24 army, the police, and the paramilitaries attacked Cabrat and massacred
25 these young men who were unarmed.
1 Q. All right. Do you know that for a week at the beginning of April
2 there was fierce fighting between the police and the brigade of the KLA
3 and that the police had sustained losses then? Do you know about that?
4 A. And also, do you know that at that time the members of the KLA
5 suffered heavy losses? Do you know about that?
6 A. Inside the city of Gjakove, there was never any fighting. In the
7 hills and in the south-west and the north-west, I'm not sure because I
8 wasn't there. I'm an elderly man. If I had been a young man, I would
9 have been there too. I would have put on a uniform and I would have gone
10 out with the KLA.
11 Q. All right. Do you know -- or, rather, is it correct that
12 throughout this fighting that you have been referring to as well, except
13 that you say that this was around town rather than in town, that NATO
14 incessantly and unselectively bombed Djakovica and even private houses
15 were not spared?
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON: I simply --
18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Haxhiavdija. There's a point being
19 made by counsel.
21 MR. SAXON: I'm just concerned, Your Honour, that the accused's
22 question seems to put a twist on the prior response of this witness that
23 is simply inaccurate. The witness has said that he was unaware of what
24 was going on outside of the town.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, indeed. Now, you can ask a question, if you
1 want, about the bombing, Mr. Milosevic, but don't confuse the evidence.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, did you say that fighting was taking place in the
4 hills, not in the centre of town? Did I understand you correctly?
5 A. There was no fighting in the centre of town. The NATO bombing
6 fell on the barracks and the police station to the south, and there was
7 nothing to the north.
8 Q. All right. Mr. Haxhiavdija, you say that there was no fighting in
9 the centre of town. The fighting between the police and the KLA, was that
10 taking place in the hills rather than in the centre of town? Is that what
11 you've been saying?
12 A. It wasn't the KLA that attacked your army or police. You attacked
13 Cabrat. You attacked the KLA in Cabrat.
14 Q. All right. Let's leave aside who attacked who. Where were they
15 fighting? In spite of who had attacked who, in which part of the
16 territory was this fighting between them taking place?
17 A. Around Cabrat, in the western part of the town.
18 Q. So while the fighting went on in that territory that you said, is
19 it correct that during that fighting NATO bombed Djakovica? And not even
20 private houses of Albanians were spared. As you know, they are the
21 majority population of Djakovica. Is that right or is that not right, Mr.
23 JUDGE MAY: He's dealt with the bombing. He said that they bombed
24 the barracks and the police station to the south of the town. Now, if
25 you're suggesting that's wrong, you should do so, but do it clearly so the
1 witness can answer.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, is it your assertion that not a single NATO bomb
4 fell on any private houses or other buildings or facilities in Djakovica?
5 Is that your assertion?
6 A. That's true, because they attacked only the barracks. And as
7 evidence of this, the Catholic church was next door to the yard of the
8 army barracks and not even a window was broken. It wasn't bombed. And
9 there were no private houses bombed. And the same is true of the police
10 station, which is on the road to Prizren. And there was only one road
11 dividing the police station from private houses, and nothing happened to
12 the private houses except for a shock and the earth shook when the police
13 station was bombed. There was no damage from NATO bombing in the city
15 These towns suffered from the shelling of the Serbian forces. And
16 you, as President of Serbia, had sent all kinds of criminals, all kinds of
17 people without any kind of human feelings --
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Haxhiavdija, we understand your feelings, but you
19 must just confine yourself to the evidence, please.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, was any member of your family a member of the
22 KLA, and if so, did any such people take part in the fighting that we
23 referred to?
24 A. I come from a large family, but none of our family was a member of
25 the KLA. And I am a member of a family that always minded its own
1 business, and we did our duty to the state.
2 Q. All right. You say that your son Behar was trying to talk you
3 into going to Albania, all of you, and that, apart from you and your other
4 son Mendoh, everybody accepted that. Does that mean that you decided to
5 go to Albania because the lives of your family members were not safe and
6 that this was also because of the fighting in town and because of the
8 A. My son suggested that I should go, and my third son, Mendoh,
9 didn't go with my two big sons because on the road and at the border, you
10 killed our young men. You have maltreated our young people. So the idea
11 was that some of our family should remain alive. So he didn't go
12 immediately. But after two days -- and he said, "Father, they're killing
13 young people, so one of us should remain alive to keep the family going."
14 Q. All right. I asked you about when they were talking you into
15 going to Albania. Was the motive for this proposal to go to Albania the
16 lack of safety in Djakovica, the fighting that was going on and the
17 bombing, that you should seek shelter from that?
18 A. They killed my daughter-in-law, three children, 13 children in the
19 Vejsa house, six women, one of whom who was 80 years old, and you killed
20 people, and you burnt the other members of the family, 20 of them. You
21 have burnt a daughter who was mentally ill. So how should we not want to
22 escape? We would go anywhere just to save our skins from the crimes and
23 the massacres and the torture and the theft and the looting that was
24 committed by the army, the paramilitaries, and the police.
25 Q. All right, Mr. Haxhiavdija. All right, Mr. Haxhiavdija. Let us
1 stick to the questions that I am putting to you so that we don't waste any
2 time, because these killings, massacres, tortures, et cetera, as you know,
3 were carried out by the KLA in enormous numbers, but let us go back to
4 what you have been claiming.
5 According to the description of the Vejsa house that you give on
6 page 3 in the first and first and fourth paragraphs, there was quite a bit
7 of rubble in it. You did not see the bodies of the dead people, and they
8 were underneath the rubble. Does all of this indicate that the Vejsa
9 house had been hit by a bomb? You yourself stated that the body of Hysen
10 Gashi was black because of the fire. So what you saw, what you described,
11 doesn't all of that indicate that the house had actually been hit by a
12 bomb? Yes or no.
13 A. No. The Gashi house was built with two rooms and a corridor if
14 you go adding from houses on the right. But the victims, these are
15 children, were taken from the basement which was near the entrance, were
16 taken 15 or 17 metres away to the flat where they lived, and there you
17 massacred them and you burned them. You burned their house and the house
18 roof was covered with tiles, and was also insulated by earth because of
19 the heat. And all of these that I saw on the first day, that I couldn't
20 tell the difference. And the workers from Cabrat organisation said that a
21 crime had taken place in this house. And when I went back to my own
22 house, these workers called for me to Cabrat and communicated to me the
23 news that in that house where the bodies are, it is true that there are
24 bodies, but we are scared to go there, and we are scared that you who have
25 a heart condition might have a heart attack and might die when you see
1 them. But there are bodies there.
2 And the next day I went to bury them, and my son -- and my son
3 said to me, "It's a sin to see your children like that." And the
4 children, as I said before, there were 13 of them. And one of them
5 belonged to my neighbour and he was 18 months old. Just imagine. Just
6 see it. My grandson, my grandchild, four years old. Just imagine. With
7 what kind of human feelings can somebody commit a crime of this kind
8 against children, against old people, against young people who have never
9 done a single thing? They didn't even have a knife to peel an apple let
10 alone fighting against your forces, because you mobilised them a long time
11 ago. And this was your fascist intentions.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, have you got any more questions of this
13 witness, given the condition which he's in?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do. I do have questions.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija --
17 JUDGE MAY: You do not have very long left, so bring it to a close
18 fairly quickly.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. War is a crime in itself, and it is the innocent who most often
21 lose their lives during a war. Is it clear to you who had created this
22 war, Mr. Haxhiavdija? You are furious because of the death of your
23 family. Everybody would feel that way. But how come there came to be a
24 war, Mr. Haxhiavdija?
25 A. You are the one who caused the war. Your regime. You as
1 President, and the Presidency of Serbia, by sending criminals, the most
2 evil criminals to us to commit crimes against children in front of the
3 eyes -- in the very eyes of their mothers.
4 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, that house of the Vejsa family, was it in Cabrat?
5 A. No.
6 Q. That's what I thought. So there was fighting, and they were in
7 the Vejsa household to take shelter from the fighting. Isn't that so, Mr.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Would you allow for the possibility, Mr. Haxhiavdija, that where
11 there was fighting, that any side might have provoked the conflict in
12 which your family members were killed? You didn't see the Serbs provoking
13 that conflict, did you, Mr. Haxhiavdija?
14 A. There was no conflict. There was my son there with four members
15 of his family. The crime committed against that family, against other
16 families, there was no fighting there. And the young sister-in-law had
17 Serbian and Montenegrin neighbours, and they went to them and said that --
18 and they said that crimes are being committed against us, but these
19 neighbours said no, we will protect you, we will look after you, but it
20 seems that they themselves took part in these crimes against the Vejsa
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this must be your last question, given
23 the time.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. If it is my
25 last question, then I must leave out many questions.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. But let me ask you this last one, Mr. Haxhiavdija: Is it true
3 that it follows from your entire statement and from your testimony here in
4 court that you personally, you personally - you, Ismet Haxhiavdija - did
5 not see a single killing allegedly committed by the Serbian forces and
6 that you are testifying about those killings on the basis of the stories
7 told by other people, that is, from hearsay? Is that correct,
8 Mr. Haxhiavdija?
9 A. No, that's not true. I saw my son. His wife was killed, his
10 children, friends. Thirteen children, tiny children. The smallest one
11 was eight months old. Old woman, 80 years old. And another person, Hysen
12 Gashi, whom I saw how he fell down, how he collapsed in the annex to the
13 building where the massacre was committed. Twenty members of six families
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Have the amicus any questions?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, may I say two words? May
18 I say something of my own here?
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but briefly.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to thank
21 The Hague Tribunal, Tribunal in The Hague, for the invitation. I normally
22 couldn't be here because of my ill health, but I did want to make my
23 statement in front of the Tribunal and in front of the world opinion about
24 the crimes and the tortures and the massacres which were committed by the
25 police and the Serb army and paramilitaries against old people, against
1 children, against young people whom, as I said, didn't even have a razor
2 or a knife to peel an apple.
3 So I would like to ask the accused --
4 JUDGE MAY: No. I think --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- your feelings, do you have any
7 JUDGE MAY: We must bring this to a close.
8 Yes. Mr. Saxon, do you have any questions?
9 MR. SAXON: I do, Your Honour, very briefly, on two points.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Saxon:
11 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, the accused suggested to you that the Vejsa house
12 might have been hit by a NATO bomb. My question for you, first of all:
13 How far was the home where you were staying in Gjakove from the Vejsa
14 house? Approximately how far?
15 A. About one kilometre.
16 Q. And prior to the evening of the 1st and 2nd of April when NATO
17 bombs fell in the area of Gjakove, did your house shake when the bombs
19 A. Bombs fell on the military barracks to the south and then the
20 house did shake. But when my family and in-laws were murdered, there was
21 no shaking. When the police station was bombed - that was about two
22 kilometres away - my house and the Vejsa house, they didn't suffer any
23 damage at that moment.
24 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, to your knowledge, did any NATO bombs fall on
25 Gjakove on the night of the 1st and 2nd of April, 1999?
1 A. No. There was no bombing at that time at all.
2 Q. Mr. Milosevic also suggested that your family members may have
3 died as a result of fighting in or around the house where they had taken
4 shelter. When you went to retrieve the bodies of your family members, to
5 your knowledge were the bodies of any KLA soldiers found in that compound?
6 A. No. That's quite inconceivable. The UCK were around Cabrat.
7 There was no place that the UCK could take up position or stay. And there
8 was no bombing there; the house was burnt and the roof fell in, the
9 ceiling fell in. And they covered everything, all the bodies, where there
10 were 20 people inside there and in the annex of Hysen Gashi, as I said.
11 Q. Mr. Haxhiavdija, approximately how far is the Cabrat neighbourhood
12 from the Vejsa compound?
13 A. Cabrat to the Vejsa compound, about half a kilometre, I would
14 think. Maybe 600, 700 metres, but approximately half a kilometre. Less
15 than a kilometre, because the Vejsa house is near the bus station, and
16 Cabrat is on the west side of town.
17 MR. SAXON: Thank you. I have nothing further.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Haxhiavdija, thank you for coming to the Tribunal
19 to give your evidence. It's now concluded. You are free to go.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, the Prosecution now calls Mr. Martin
25 Your Honours, while we wait for the witness to arrive, for your
1 reference, the events to be described occurred in Meja village, Gjakove
2 municipality. And for your reference, the Kosovo atlas, that is on page
3 9, grid reference H21.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 WITNESS: Martin Pnishi
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
11 Examined by Mr. Shin:
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. SHIN:
14 Q. Just to repeat the question: Witness, could you please tell the
15 Court your first name and last name.
16 A. Yes. I am Martin Pnishi.
17 Q. Mr. Pnishi, were you born on 9th of March, 1944, in Ramoc village
18 in the municipality of Gjakove, Kosovo?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you, in the beginning of 1999, living in Meja village, also
21 in the municipality of Gjakove?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. Mr. Pnishi, on the 4th of April, 2000, did you give a statement to
24 a member of the Office of the Prosecutor about the events you witnessed
25 and your experiences in Kosovo during 1999?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. And on the 14th of March, 2002, did you provide a short addendum
3 do your statement of the 15th of April, 2000? I'm sorry, of the --
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Just a correction there; on the 4th of April, 2000, that earlier
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Pnishi, also on the 14th of March, 2002, were you provided
9 with a copy of the statement you had previously given and a copy of the
10 addendum, both in the Albanian language, in the presence of a
11 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor and a presiding officer
12 appointed by the Registrar of this Tribunal?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And at that time, were you able to confirm that the copy of the
15 statement and the addendum were true and correct to the best of your
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 Q. Mr. Pnishi, on Tuesday the 27th of August, earlier this week and
19 also this morning, while speaking with myself and other members of the
20 Office of the Prosecutor, did you become aware that there were a few
21 revisions and corrections to be made to your statements?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. First, in your statement of the 4th of April, 2000, you state that
24 -- and this is in the first paragraph of that statement, Your Honours.
25 You state that you worked in 1999 as a farmer. What was your profession
1 between 1969 and 1983?
2 A. I was a traffic policeman.
3 Q. And where were you based as a traffic police officer?
4 A. Yes. In Rahovec, the municipality of Rahovec.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pnishi, you also say in that 4th of April, 2000,
6 statement, in the course of describing two police officers approaching
7 your house, that - and, Your Honours, I'm looking in the English, page 3,
8 the second full paragraph: "They wore masks and green camouflage
9 uniforms." Is that correct? And if not, could you make any corrections
10 to that.
11 A. That's correct. No. The uniforms were blue.
12 Q. Also on that statement -- and, Your Honours, I'm going to refer
13 now to page 4 of this statement in English, the last partial paragraph.
14 Mr. Pnishi, in that statement you mention that: "... on the 27th
15 of April -- Tuesday, the 27th of April, the bodies were collected on the
16 next Sunday, the 2nd of May." Is that date correct, the date upon which
17 the bodies were collected?
18 A. It should read "Saturday" not "Sunday."
19 Q. So that should read Saturday the 1st of May rather than Sunday,
20 the 2nd May?
21 A. Yes, Saturday.
22 Q. Going to your statement from the 14th of March, earlier this year,
23 Mr. Pnishi, you mention that a Hamdi Alitaj told you: "He said that on
24 Sunday they had loaded 412 bodies on trucks and tractors." Mr. Pnishi, is
25 that correct? And if not, could you please indicate what correction
1 should be made.
2 A. No. They said that 412 people shot were put onto a truck. I saw
3 the truck which went to Korenica. It was filled, and it returned to the
4 village of Meja and then it loaded again and then it passed by my house,
5 the tractor and a truck.
6 Q. Mr. Pnishi, could you please indicate whether the date is
7 correct. Was that a Sunday or was it some other day?
8 A. It was a Saturday. It was a Saturday.
9 Q. Thank you. Also on the 14th of March, 2002 statement, you state
10 that: "Five days after the trucks were loaded with bodies, Hamdi Alitaj
11 came to my house supposedly to ask for a scythe but I think that the Serbs
12 sent him to find out if we were at home or not." Is the timing indicated
13 in that sentence correct? And if not, could you please indicate when it
14 was that Hamdi Alitaj did come to speak to you.
15 A. Hamdi came the next day, and I told him about the killings. But
16 it was the following day. It was on the Saturday.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Pnishi. Finally, Mr. Pnishi, you mention in
18 that statement -- I'm sorry, in your April of 2000 statement, a certain
19 Dragutin, a police commander in Ponoshec -- and, Your Honours, I refer to
20 page 5, the second full paragraph of the English statement. In your
21 addendum of March of this year, you gave his last name as Stanojevic. Mr.
22 Pnishi, did you know this person when you were a police officer? Just yes
23 or no, please.
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. When you were a police officer, how often would you see him, if
1 you could very briefly explain?
2 A. I saw him thousands of times. I don't know; 20, 30.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pnishi.
4 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, with those revisions and corrections, the
5 Prosecution tenders the two statements into evidence under Rule 92 bis.
6 I will now read a summary of Mr. Pnishi's evidence.
7 Your Honours, the witness is a 58-year-old Kosovo Albanian man
8 from Meja village in Djakovica municipality where he was working as a
9 farmer in 1999. He is a Catholic and was living in 1999 with three sons
10 and one daughter.
11 The witness describes how, since the autumn of 1998, VJ tanks have
12 been deployed above Cabrat hill, overlooking Meja. The police were also
13 present and in effect, according to Mr. Pnishi, Serb forces completely
14 occupied the whole area.
15 On the 22nd of April, 1999 in Meja village, five MUP officers were
16 killed. One of the victims was Milutin Prascevic. Following this
17 incident, many of Mr. Pnishi's neighbours came to his house for shelter.
18 Already in Meja on the 22nd of April, 1999, there were villagers
19 who had been expelled from surrounding villages who had come to Meja,
20 seeking refuge. A number of these from Morina and also from elsewhere in
21 Meja were sheltering in the house of Mr. Pnishi's brother, also in Meja,
22 which came under fire later on that day of the 22nd of April, 1999.
23 On the 23rd of April, 1999, Mr. Pnishi and his family left their
24 home in Meja and sought refuge in the village of Jahoc.
25 On the morning of the 27th of April, the witness and his wife
1 returned to their home in Meja to feed their livestock. Their son Mark
2 went with them as well. At around 7.00 a.m. that morning, Mr. Pnishi
3 describes how he saw VJ soldiers and policemen who started shooting.
4 Mr. Pnishi then went to the second floor of his house from where he saw
5 many soldiers and police had surrounded the entire area.
6 At about 7.30 the same morning, Mr. Pnishi describes how two
7 soldiers and two police officers arrived at his house, having with them a
8 man he knew as Kole Duzhmani from the village of Korenica. The police
9 officers, when they came to his house, told Mr. Pnishi to leave with his
10 family, to leave his house, because they would be burning that house
11 down. Mr. Pnishi accordingly began to make preparations to leave, putting
12 his wife, an invalid, in a wheelbarrow. During this time, the soldiers
13 abused Mr. Pnishi, kicking him and trying to force him into a well in the
14 courtyard of his house.
15 Mr. Pnishi explains that the two soldiers spoke in Russian and he
16 believes that they were indeed Russian.
17 Shortly after, Mr. Pnishi heard a radio message in Serbian to one
18 of the Russians, asking whether they had with them a man named Gjelosh
19 Kola and telling them to destroy him, speaking in Serbian. Mr. Pnishi
20 believes that the soldiers confused the name Gjelosh Kola with the name
21 Kole Duzhmani and, accordingly, Mr. Duzhmani was led away by the soldiers
22 towards Mr. Pnishi's brother's house in Meja. A short time later, the
23 witness heard shots from the direction of his brother's house. Mr.
24 Pnishi's brother's house was then set on fire by the two soldiers and two
25 police officers. During this time, Mr. Pnishi's sister-in-law, who had
1 arrived with her young son, was assaulted and threatened as well by the
3 From his house at about 9.30 the same morning, Mr. Pnishi saw that
4 the Serbs had set up a checkpoint approximately 200 metres from his house.
5 The checkpoint was manned by VJ soldiers, police officers, and
6 paramilitaries, together with armoured vehicles. Mr. Pnishi saw also at
7 this time a large number of civilians heading towards Meja, apparently
8 from surrounding villages. At the checkpoint, Mr. Pnishi saw that men
9 were being forced down from the tractors and out of their cars and made to
10 lie face down on the ground with their hands behind their heads. Their
11 identifications were taken from them. Mr. Pnishi also saw at this time
12 some men taken to the schoolhouse nearby and locked inside.
13 Mr. Pnishi recognised the police commander from Ponoshec, a
14 Dragutin Stanojevic, as being present at the checkpoint and separating the
15 men from the women and children.
16 Shortly after, Mr. Pnishi fled with his family to his godfather's
17 house in Jahoc. From the third floor of that house, Mr. Pnishi, at around
18 11.45 in the morning, saw policemen marching seven young men along the
19 road towards to the Ura e Traves bridge in Jahoc. At the bridge, the
20 seven men that Mr. Pnishi saw were lined up and then gunned down by a
21 policeman with a machine-gun standing in the centre of the bridge.
22 Shortly after that, thinking that his sons may have been amongst
23 those killed, Mr. Pnishi went and checked the bodies. He did not
24 recognise any of them.
25 On Saturday, the 1st of May, Mr. Pnishi saw the bodies on the
1 bridge being collected by Gypsies, using a tractor. The witness saw a
2 truck, also that morning, going in the direction of Meja and returning two
3 hours later and then going together with the tractor in the direction of
4 the Gjakove cemetery. Mr. Pnishi recognised the names of one of the
5 Gypsies, Hamdi Alitaj, whose three sons assisted him. The next day, Hamdi
6 Alitaj came to the witness's house and mentioned in conversation that he
7 and others had loaded 412 bodies on trucks and tractors during the
8 previous day, the 1st of May.
9 Some 19 days after the 27th of April, Mr. Pnishi saw the body of
10 Kole Duzhmani in the kitchen of his brother's house in the village of
12 In June 1999, after returning to Kosovo, Mr. Pnishi went to the
13 site, the Shyt Hasanaj meadow in Meja. Mr. Pnishi explained that he could
14 clearly see the signs of, he estimates, some 74 bodies that had been burnt
15 there. There were also, as he saw, evidence of a bulldozer having been
16 used in that area.
17 That concludes the summary. Your Honours, if we could have an
18 exhibit number for the 92 bis package, please.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be marked Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 299.
21 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn there. Mr. Pnishi, will you be back,
22 please, tomorrow morning at 9.00 to finish your evidence. Would you
23 remember during the adjournment not to speak to anyone about your
24 evidence, please, until it's over, and that does include the members of
25 the Prosecution team.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
2 JUDGE MAY: Nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 30th day of August,
5 2002, at 9.00 a.m.