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Ethnic Albanian children recall massacre of families
ASSOCIATED PRESS ^ | Wednesday, July 9, 2003 4:35PM EDT | By KATARINA KRATOVAC

Posted on 07/10/2003 6:18:03 AM PDT by mark502inf

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Four ethnic Albanian children told a court Wednesday how Serb forces rounded up and gunned down their families with automatic weapons in one of the most brutal acts of the 1998-99 Kosovo war. Their testimony came during the trial of a Serb police officer accused of leading an assassination squad through their community during the war. The children, who were said to have positively identified the officer, Sasa Cvjetan, in his prison cell Tuesday, watched as Serb troops slaughtered 19 ethnic Albanian relatives, including their mothers, siblings and grandparents, on March 28, 1999, in the town of Podujevo. The children were also wounded.

The Serbian government's decision to prosecute those responsible for the crimes appears to mark a new willingness to punish Serb troops who slaughtered ethnic Albanian civilians during the conflict. The troops were under the command of then-President Slobodan Milosevic, who is being tried on genocide and war crimes charges at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Reflecting the sensitive nature of the trial in Belgrade, security has been tight. The children, who arrived Monday from their homes in Manchester, England, were driven to the courthouse in jeeps with dark-tinted windows, under top police security and shielded from cameras.

Reporters were denied access to the trial Wednesday, making details of the proceedings sketchy. But one witness at the trial, Natasa Kandic, whose Humanitarian Law Center has provided legal assistance to the victims, said the children and their fathers described to the court how their families were rounded up and gunned down.

A fifth child who witnessed the killings, 10-year-old Genc Bogojevci, arrived with the others this week but ended up not testifying. "Psychologists decided that he is too young" and sent him to stay with surviving relatives in Kosovo, Kandic said.

The five children, aged from 10 to 18, individually identified Cvjetan, at his Belgrade prison on Tuesday, Kandic said.

"The children ... all showed a maturity and consistency in their statements," Kandic told The Associated Press. "They were able to identify the suspect with great precision."

Cvjetan's lawyer, Djordje Kalanj, confirmed the children had identified his client, but told AP he would seek to bar their identifications as evidence.

"They could easily have seen his photographs in any of the papers since the killing," Kalanj said.

The trial against Cvjetan began last October. Another former officer, Dejan Demirovic, is being tried in absentia for the same charges after fleeing to Canada.

"As victims, they (the children) will be the first in this trial to offer firsthand evidence on the massacre," Kandic said. Other witnesses at the trial so far were Serb policemen who denied the killings.

Cvjetan has denied the charges against him. He testified that his unit ordered a group of ethnic Albanians to leave their houses in Podujevo so Serb troops could move in. He said he did not see who fired the shots that killed the victims.

Both officers were members of the notorious Serbian special police units known as Scorpions. The indictment accuses them of carrying out the massacre four days after NATO launched a bombing campaign on March 24, 1999 to punish Belgrade for its crackdown on Kosovo Albanians


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: albania; balkanalqaeda; balkans; bogujevci; campaignfinance; kla; kosovo; milosevic; remi; saranda; serbia; terrorism
Despite the overall weakness of Clinton's rationale for the Kosovo campaign--there was Serbian brutality taking place. Interesting that one of the Serbian murderers is hiding out in the same location as many potential & erstwhile jihadists: Canada.

The best part of this story is that Serbia is trying its own people for this crime.

1 posted on 07/10/2003 6:18:03 AM PDT by mark502inf
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2 posted on 07/10/2003 6:21:00 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: mark502inf
The KLA probably killed the family... they killed other families who would not give them full support and have tried to blame the Serbs. klintoon was a liar and so are his albanian allies.
3 posted on 07/10/2003 6:51:55 AM PDT by crazykatz
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To: crazykatz
The KLA probably killed the family

In some other cases, maybe yes--but not very likely in this one. There is evidence from other Serbs as well as the Albanian children making positive IDs.

Not all the Albanian deaths can be attributed to propaganda or NATO bombing or KLA intimidation--there were murders & massacres by Serbs & the fact that Serbian courts are taking action is a great step forward.

4 posted on 07/10/2003 7:33:12 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf; *balkans; getoffmylawn
>>>>>>there were murders & massacres by Serbs & the fact that Serbian courts are taking action is a great step forward.<<<<<

Trials are NOT something new. More than 100 Serb soldiers and police were trialed so far for their actions in Kosovo conflict.Trials started during Miliosevic, but was never reported in Western media. Trials continued with new government.

The official position is that all guilty individuals have to face the justice, Serbs and Albanians alike. Serbs are doing their share of legal work, UN running Kosovo does not.

The only troublesome part here is involvement of Natasa Kandic. Late Serbian PM considered her a psychopath and forbade his Party members to have any contacts with her. Although person born into Serb family, she supported KLA terrorists during Kosovo conflict and actually manufactured 'evidence' in other cases.

It is very possible that this policeman has murdered families of the children. It is very posslible that children have recognised him by recollection of memory and not from the photograph.

It is possible. But the rule of law requires that it is proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Because of Natasa Kandic involvement, I tend to believe children were groomed to testify.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: "But one witness at the trial, Natasa Kandic, whose Humanitarian Law Center has provided legal assistance to the victims, said the children and their fathers described to the court how their families were rounded up and gunned down.

She can not be witness because she has NOT wintessed the crime. She can only present hearsay.

Secondly, it is evident that FATHERS of the children are ALIVE and well. Where they were at the time alleged crime occured? Were they at the scene of the crime when alleged crime occured? How come they were not killed?

Albanian "witnesses" were debunked in the Hague on so many ocasions that it was embarrasing to watch. here we go again, only this time in Serbian court.

It would be interesting to scrub the web and find more data about this crime that allegedly happenned.

Can somene google for it? I bet there is interesting info sitting somewhere that would cast serioust doubt on the entire episode.

For starters, Manchester, where the kids live is the distribution point for Albanian heroin network

5 posted on 07/10/2003 9:32:59 AM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: "But one witness at the trial, Natasa Kandic, whose Humanitarian Law Center has provided legal assistance to the victims, said the children and their fathers described to the court how their families were rounded up and gunned down...

Secondly, it is evident that FATHERS of the children are ALIVE and well. Where they were at the time alleged crime occured? Were they at the scene of the crime when alleged crime occured? How come they were not killed?

Well if the fathers are describing ("the fathers described to the court") the alleged massacre, then they were there too (or else they are false/hearsay witnesses). Now why would the police massacre everyone but the men? Do we have the names of the alleged victims and forensic evidence? Why are they given secrecy when Serbs aren't given anonymity when they have to go to Croatia for trials of Croats for crimes perpetrated against Serbs there? In Croatia, witnesses have been killed (http://www.cdsp.neu.edu/info/students/marko/feral/feral120.html), but they witnesses aren't given anonymity. And these people live in England, so they aren't as vulnerable as those in Croatia wanting to testify against Croats. For all we know there relatives may turn out to be those killed in a NATO bombing run. I think it is only fair to have the names of those killed, and at least the fathers names here.

6 posted on 07/10/2003 9:54:05 AM PDT by joan
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To: mark502inf
"There is evidence from other Serbs as well as the Albanian children making positive IDs."

But this witness can not positively identify the man as even being at the scene, only that he "looked familiar". She could have seen him anywhere before or after for him to simply look familiar.

http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=3069625

"Saranda picked out Cvjetan, 28, in a line-up saying he looked familiar. But she could not positively identify him as being at the scene. He said she may have seen him in the media."

Another part of her testimony:

Serb men pulled her out and she woke in hospital.

Okay, so Serbs pulled her out and she was taken to a hospital. Was this hospital in Kosovo, and Serb run, and with Serb doctors? It's very likely this is the case. What occurred could have been a massacre by rival KLA factions or KLA creating a scene to frame the Serbs. Why would Serb men pull her out and take her to a hospital if she was a witness to Serb crimes? Were the Serb men who pulled her out police or military? They should testify.

7 posted on 07/10/2003 10:44:12 AM PDT by joan
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To: joan
>>>>Were the Serb men who pulled her out police or military? They should testify.<<<<<

They should. The onlyh problem, it would expose Natasa Kandic and the folks she shills for (Soros-financed disinformation network)

8 posted on 07/10/2003 11:07:06 AM PDT by DTA
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To: joan; *balkans
intersting, in the Reuters news, the name of the witness is Saranda Bogojevci, in another news report it is Duriqi

"The five children – four from the Bogojevci family, Fatos, 17, Jehona, 15, Lirie, 13, and Genc, 10, and Saranda Duriqi, 18 – have individually identified Cvjetan at a Belgrade prison

There is a problem with witness identity already- are they from 2 families or not?

I am not clairvoyant, but when I see Kandic name it is marker for a hoax.

9 posted on 07/10/2003 11:24:41 AM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
Look at this, from another FR posting by mark502inf on FR. It mentions the assassination of a witness in the same town - Podujevo - as mentioned in this trial (end of third paragraph down). Now, you wonder why, with the Serb forces gone from Kosovo for four years, that the family still lives in England. Who could the fathers really be afraid of?

POLICING THE PROTECTORS (long!)

The preliminary investigation, concluded in November 2002, showed that Remi had authority to order the arrest, imprisonment and the killing of civilian detainees, mainly Albanians suspected of collaborating with the Serbian regime. Fehmi Potera is one of those illegally detained by Remi who is still alive. He was mentioned in the Remi indictment, and his name appeared in the Media as a potential witness. Soon afterwards, an unknown attacker wounded him in front of his house in the north Kosovo town of Podujeve/Podujevo. He now refuses to speak, insisting, "I do not even know Commander Remi".


10 posted on 07/10/2003 11:32:38 AM PDT by joan
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To: DTA
intersting, in the Reuters news, the name of the witness is Saranda Bogojevci, in another news report it is Duriqi

If her true last name is the same as her cousins', then the fathers are brothers. As the fathers appear to be testifying, we need to get their names and see if they are both Bobojevci's.

11 posted on 07/10/2003 11:38:22 AM PDT by joan
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To: joan; *balkans; Destro
Bogojevci family are the most likely descendants of the Serbs (i.e.Bogoojevich) who Albanized in XIX century to escape Turkish and Albanian "zulum"(attrocities)

I am no expert in Kosovo Albanian clan structure but I am quite sure their surname makes them stand out in Albanian crowd like a sore thumb. That's why they were allowed to stay in Britain.

Secondly, children were taken to Serb hospital, where they were found by the Brits who flown them to UK:

"The wounded children were taken to hospital in the Kosovan capital, Pristina, where they were found at the end of the war by British army doctors, who arranged their evacuation to Manchester for emergency medical treatment."

"Serbs saved your life" could cost them lives in present-day Kosovo. Another reason to be alllowed to stay in Britain.

Thirdly, see this:

Their fathers, the brothers Selatin and Safet, fled the town hours before the Serbian death squads arrived.

Messrs. Bogojevci WITNESSED how families were rounded up and gunned down.This is perjury, regardless of their personal loss.

Ms. Kandic would face charges of assisting perjury if the case was held in US Court.

12 posted on 07/10/2003 11:48:41 AM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
Their fathers, the brothers Selatin and Safet, fled the town hours before the Serbian death squads arrived

Could have been Albanian death squads. I wonder if Selatin and Safet were KLA members and what factions - there were rival factions (the Rugova loyalists, like the late Tahir Zemaj) were targeted by other KLA. Who were the fathers politically aligned to?

Since the children were found at the hospital after the war - therefore after June 11th or so - it means the children were treated by Serbs in a Kosovo hospital for over 3 months. This doesn't fit in with the Serbs wanting to erase witnesses, hide evidence, nor having a genocidal attitude towards Albanians.

13 posted on 07/10/2003 12:00:42 PM PDT by joan
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To: mark502inf
The bizarre nature of FR's Balkan threads reasserts itself...
14 posted on 07/10/2003 12:49:16 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Hoplite, Webster's dictionary defines BIZARRE as "involving sensational contrasts or incongruities"

When various media reports about the same event contain incongruities showing them is not bizzare. It is analytical. I apologise if analythical aproach is all greek to you.

Bfore your attempt to disrupt the thered, we were discussing obvious flaws in Kandic accusation:

1. Children were brought by Serbs to Serb hospital. Those who found them should testify of circumstances, i.e. who killed other family members.

2. Bogojevci brothers (Fathers of the children)are witnesses for the crime they did not witness (they fled several hours before)

3. One witness was not positive wether she recognised alleged murderer from the crime scene or from somewhere else. Her surname is reported as Bogojevci and Duriqi in two non-related reports.

4. Bogojevci were allowed to settle permanently in Britain. Why if they are not in danger. If they are in danger of political persecution, by whom?

15 posted on 07/10/2003 1:50:26 PM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
One says that it was a Serb police doctor who organized the ambulances for rescuing the survivors. Now, if the Serb police wanted Albanians killed, why would a Serb police doctor and Serb ambulances rescue the survivors?

Now, if these rescuers were made to testify, they could describe the scene, and if they saw anyone fleeing. Also, I wonder if the Albanian children mentioned how long after they were shot that the rescuers arrived. Those who were shooting them, they say, wanted them dead and they had to play dead. Obviously the attackers didn't check them close up for signs of life like the police doctor, as he found 5 of them alive.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/serbia/article/0,2479,995099,00.html

Fatos' recollection, while feigning death, is that the Serbs received a message on their walkie-talkies, stopped shooting and left. The next thing they knew was a Serb police doctor organising an ambulance for the survivors. The doctor offered Saranda a fizzy drink.

Selatin and Safet escaped summary execution by fleeing home a few hours before the Scorpions arrived. Selatin says that at 10am that fateful morning, when his wife, mother, and daughter were shot, he was hiding in another house a mere 300 metres away and knew nothing. He then fled into the forests. It was three weeks before he heard through the grapevine what had happened; another fortnight before he could find his way to the hospital to find his four surviving children.

In the Serb-controlled hospital in Pristina, Saranda remembers, visitors were told that the Bogujevci children were victims of Nato bombs. They were too frightened to contradict the medical staff.

So it appears the children received visitors, one of which was their father in the Kosovo hospital. Selatin says he heard about the children being in the hospital 3 weeks later, and in a fortnight (2 weeks) was able to visit them. So, this Albanian father was able to visit his children in a Serb-run hospital during the war - 5 weeks after the alleged massacre would have made it early May. Obviously the childrens' identities were no secret if he found out, and he felt safe enough there to visit them.

16 posted on 07/10/2003 2:14:53 PM PDT by joan
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To: mark502inf; DTA; joan
Well if Serbs can try their own war criminals then what is the purpose of the criminal court in the Hague?

If it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this man did in fact kill civilians, then there is no other option except declaring him guilty and throwing him in prison for a very long time. Does the death sentence exist in Serbia? I know it used to.

I wonder, have the Kosovar Albanians made any attempt to try their own people the way the Serbs have?

Also, of the hundreds of Serbs tried in their own country, would anyone happen to know how many were actually convicted?

17 posted on 07/10/2003 3:37:52 PM PDT by Seselj
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To: Seselj
Well if Serbs can try their own war criminals then what is the purpose of the criminal court in the Hague?

Does anybody know if any of the Serbs facing trial at the ICTY were charged by Serbian courts first?

18 posted on 07/10/2003 4:53:01 PM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf
>>>>Does anybody know if any of the Serbs facing trial at the ICTY were charged by Serbian courts first?<<<<

Difficult question. "Facing trial at the ICTY" may include secret indictments (yes, they exist in Kangaroo Kourt)

Since ICTY statute allows double jeopardy, Kangaroo Kourt can pick any Serb already convicted.

Since Serbia is supposedly backward and undemocratic, it is interesting to compare what UN is doing to prosecute crimes committed by Kosovo Albanian extremists and subsequently to ask your question: Does anybody know if any of the Albanians facing trial at the ICTY were charged by UN courts in courts first?

19 posted on 07/10/2003 5:06:32 PM PDT by DTA
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To: Seselj
"If it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that this man did in fact kill civilians, then there is no other option except declaring him guilty and throwing him in prison for a very long time."

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=423505:

"Mr Cvjetan denies all charges, saying he arrived after the shootings. The children say he was there, although they gave conflicting details."

If this is true, and he arrived after the shootings, then that could be why the children say he looks familiar. In another article (http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030710.urefu0710/BNStory/National/): "Mr. Cvjetan claimed last fall that he was set up, after hearing gunfire and then finding the bodies." Good questions might be: When he says he found the bodies, was anybody else there? Was it him who alerted the authorities or did others find the scene on their own? If he was the one who reported this, and if those he reported to confirm they learned from him, then it doesn't appear likely he was involved in the killings. For why would he report right away on it if he wanted the people dead? Also, was he still there when those who rescued them - described in reports as "Serb men", a Serb police doctor, the Yugoslav army (and all three could be essentially correct) - was he still there? I wonder they or their reports have to say about Sasa Cvjetan, if anything at all.

And what about the children giving "conflicting details" - seems they can't get the story quite straight. Perhaps it was Natasa Kandic and others who are manipulating the tragedy to get an innocent man convicted in order to blame Serbs - tried to squeeze him in to being there during the shooting and not after, etc. And they have his name handy because he reported/witnessed hearing shooting and then finding the bodies. Having a Serb name, even if he is innocent, would lend some legitimacy to propaganda.

"Soldiers from the Yugoslav army arrived later and took the survivors for medical treatment in Pristina and Belgrade."

The Yugoslav army was under the command of Milosevic, and if they rescued the survivors, this doesn't show any attempt of coverup or guilt and arriving later shows they weren't there when it happened.

20 posted on 07/10/2003 5:08:11 PM PDT by joan
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To: mark502inf
Another place besides Canada where jihadists hang out---Albanian KOSOVO
21 posted on 07/10/2003 8:39:26 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: DTA
involving sensational contrasts or incongruities

In reference to the Serbian Nationalist position on events in the Balkans vs. factual evidence to the contrary: like I said, bizarre.

22 posted on 07/11/2003 3:01:18 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Destro; joan
KFOR predicts crime boom | 11:05 | SRNA

NEW YORK -- Friday – A KFOR report submitted to the UN Security Council forecasts a summer crime boom for Kosovo.

In particular, the Kosovo force predicts increases in smuggling and illegal border crossings, as well as the appearance of large quantities of drugs and counterfeit money.

The report notes several ethnically-motivated incidents in May, but insists that the overall security situation in the province was mainly stable. The report reads:

"The number of murders, kidnappings and rapes increased compared to last month, but the number of thefts dropped, while the total number of incidents is less than in May 2002".

KFOR draw attention to ethnic tensions evident in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, highlighting the as yet unsolved murders of two Serbs in the Klokot region, near Vitina. The international force also notes 27 attempted illegal border crossings in May – a two-fold increase on the previous month.

Turning to local forces, KFOR added that state union's security forces continue to honour provisions and conditions stipulated in the Military-Technical Agreement, while the Kosovo Protection Corps is under investigation for ties to extremist[s] and terrorist organisations.

[B92]

23 posted on 07/11/2003 7:02:12 PM PDT by Dragonfly
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To: joan; *balkans; Hoplite
thks Joan for pounting out the obvious that this is likely another KLA hit on their fellow Albanians.

Kfor agrees that in the Pristina - Podujevo area the entire command of the KLA was responsible for the murder of many Albanians. KLA MajorGeneral Rustem Mustafa and 4 of his henchmen were recently found guilty of killing Albanian civilians.

wonder when Hoplite will finally admit it was the KLA which did most of the killing ?

24 posted on 07/27/2003 7:11:02 PM PDT by ehoxha
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To: mark502inf
The incident occurred in Remi's home base.........points to a KLA hit
25 posted on 07/27/2003 7:11:59 PM PDT by ehoxha
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