Former member of the Yugoslav army describes how in a village near Orahovac his fellow soldiers killed a group of more than twenty Albanians, after ordering them to take off their civilian clothes and put on KLA uniforms

Milan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nebojsa Pavkovic, Vladimir Lazarevic and Sreten Lukic in the courtroomMilan Milutinovic, Nikola Sainovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic, Nebojsa Pavkovic, Vladimir Lazarevic and Sreten Lukic in the courtroom

After the testimony of General Aleksandar Vasiljevic in the Kosovo Six trial, the prosecution continues with the evidence of military insiders. The new witness, much lower in rank than the general, testified under the pseudonym K-89 and with voice and image distortion. He spoke about the killings and expulsions of Albanians in the Djakovica and Orahovac area. He spent three months there during the war in 1999 as a member of a VJ mortar company.

On 25 March 1999, the second day of NATO bombing, his unit was transferred from the Djakovica area to Orahovac where it was to take part in "the search of surrounding villages". The orders of the unit commander was that after those searches "not a single Albanian must remain in Kosovo". K-89 spent about twenty days in the Orahovac. In this time, he witnessed the killings and expulsions of Albanians and saw their houses being burned down.

He also saw the killing of 20 Albanian civilians. They were, he says, separated from a column of maybe 200 refugees and ordered to take off their civilian clothes. Then they had to put on KLA uniforms brought to the village by VJ members for that occasion. A soldier, known to the witness by the nickname Zemunac, shot the civilians dressed in KLA military uniforms.

K-89 doesn't know what happened to these corpses but adds that later on he took part in the loading of dead civilians onto VJ trucks. He did that on two occasions. The bodies were then transported to the Obilic thermo-electric power plant near Pristina. He described how on one on these occasions he had "escorted the corpses" and helped offload them in the thermo-electric power plant compound.

By mid April his unit finished "the searches" in the Orahovac area. It was then transferred to the village of Zub near Djakovica where it remained until the end of the war. In that period, witness K-89 says, he saw Albanian refugees leaving towards the border in columns and soldiers taking away and tearing apart their identity papers. On one occasion, he saw the bodies of seven men and one woman but did not give more details about the cause of their death.

The defense teams of generals Ojdanic, Pavkovic and Lazarevic cross-examined the witness pointing to the fact that he couldn’t remember a single date or even the names of the villages in which the crimes had been committed. For the most part the witness was examined in closed session. It was indicated that the entire evidence of the next witness, K-31, will be taken in closed session.