TELEVISION VIDEOTAPE SHOWN AS EVIDENCE IN MAZREKU TRIAL
Committee Serbia, 8
Television (RTS) videotape on which Luan and Bekim Mazreku admit to and describe
crimes committed in the Kosovo village of Klecka was shown at the trial of
the Kosovo Albanian brothers before the District Court in Nis on charges of
terrorism and the torture and killing of civilians. Though defense counsel
objected, Judge Milomir Lukic allowed the tape to be shown as evidence that
statements were not coerced from the Mazrekus in the pre-judicial stage.
The court thus contravened Article 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which
stipulates that information gathered in pre-judicial proceedings may not be used
as evidence upon which courts can base their decisions.
The videotape, filmed by Pristina TV on State Security Service premises and
obviously cut and spliced, was shown in court on 6 March. On it, the
Mazreku brothers reply to questions put by reporter Dragan Lukic such as: How
did you rape them? Did they resist? Were the Serbs held when they
were shot? Do you feel remorse? Is there anything you want to tell
your comrades in the Kosovo Liberation Army? Prosecutor Miodrag Surla said
the only purpose of playing the tape was to demonstrate to the court that Luan
and Bekim Mazreku were uninjured and made their statements voluntarily.
The tape was never aired on Serbian Television. The public was shown only
an RTS film of the on-site investigation in Klecka when the Mazrekus confessed
they were involved in the abduction of Orahovac Serbs, torturing and killing
them and then burning the bodies. On that occasion, they were questioned
by Investigating Judge Danica Marinkovic as well as RTS reporter Milovan Drecun.
This film too was shown in court.
A medical report saying that Bekim Mazreku had scars left by earlier injuries on
his nose and penis and a damaged tooth, and Luan scars on his nose and ear, was
read to the court. Forensic specialists Radovan Karadzic and Miodrag
Zdravkovic characterized these as slight injuries sustained from six months to
one year ago. Since the Mazreku brothers claim they were injured earlier,
in the pre-judicial stage, defense counsel moved that the forensic specialists
be called as witnesses and that the court obtain the brothers’ medical records
from the prisons in Nis and Sremska Mitrovica.
The trial is scheduled to resume on 14 March when the court will hear reporters
Dragan Lukic and Slavisa Dobricanin, and the forensic specialist who performed
the autopsies on the remains uncovered in Klecka.
The Mazreku brothers were arrested on 2 August 1998 and indicted by the Pristina
public prosecutor in February 1999. One of the charges against them is
that, as members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), they participated in
attacks on members of the Yugoslav Army and Serbian police force. The
prosecution alleges that the Mazrekus took part in the KLA attack on Orahovac
and the kidnapping of dozens of civilians who were taken to Klecka village.
There, “together with another 18 members of the gang,” they allegedly
tortured and mutilated the civilians and shot them dead. Luan Mazreku is
also accused of raping a Serb girl between 12 and 15 years of age and cutting
off the ear of an eight-year-old boy, and his brother Bekim of raping several