Viewing cable 07PRISTINA75
Title: KOSOVO: EXHUMATION OF POSSIBLE LARGE MASS GRAVE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07PRISTINA752007-01-29 10:10:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pristina
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PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHPS #0075/01 0291010
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P 291010Z JAN 07 ZFR
FM USOFFICE PRISTINA
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INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1007
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
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RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRISTINA 000075 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/24/2017 
TAGS: KCRM KJUS PGOV PINR PREL ICTY UNMIK EAID PHUM
SOCI, YI 
SUBJECT: KOSOVO: EXHUMATION OF POSSIBLE LARGE MASS GRAVE 
SITE AWAITING COURT ORDER 
 
REF: 06 PRISTINA 782 
 
PRISTINA 00000075  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: COM Tina Kaidanow for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY.  UNMIK's Department of Justice has what it 
believes to be reliable information regarding a mass grave 
that could contain up to several hundred bodies.  The site is 
just over the administrative boundary line with Serbia. 
UNMIK has asked USG assistance to pressure the Serbian judge 
responsible for this case to issue the necessary court order 
to allow an exhumation of the site.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (C)  On January 19, Amcit chief of UNMIK's Department of 
Justice, Al Moskowitz, told us that UNMIK has convincing 
evidence of the existence of a potentially large mass grave 
site.  He said that the site, which he has visited, is 
located just off the main road connecting Leposavic and 
Serbia proper in the "no man's land" between the Kosovo 
(UNMIK) checkpoint and the Serbian state checkpoint on the 
Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) at Gate One.  He said that 
witnesses have visited the site and pinpointed the exact 
location (in a low lying area immediately adjacent to a 
construction company that has earth-moving equipment on the 
premises), and have also shown it on maps and photographs. 
Moskowitz said it is rare to get such specific evidence 
pinpointing the location of a grave site, and that witnesses 
have also given detailed accounts of what they claim to have 
heard (and smelled) in 1999: they say they heard a truck 
arrive in the middle of the night (accompanied by a strong 
stench), dump something out, and then they heard the sounds 
of digging. 
 
¶3.  (C) Moskowitz said that over six months ago he 
participated in a joint visit to the site to conduct a 
preliminary visual assessment.  He said that participants 
included Belgrade officials from the Belgrade delegation to 
the working group on missing persons (reftel), experts from 
UNMIK's Office of Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF), and 
Judge Milan Dilparic of the Belgrade District Court -- the 
judge responsible for issuing the court order that will allow 
an exhumation to go forward.  Moskowitz said that, at the 
time, Dilparic asked for additional documentation regarding 
the site.  Moskowitz added that DOJ long ago complied with 
the request, but Dilparic still has not issued the court 
order, and that he has pressed Belgrade officials to proceed 
with the court order at several closed meetings of the 
Pristina-Belgrade Working Group on Missing Persons, but was 
met with silence. 
 
¶4.  (C) Moskowitz clarified on January 26 that he just found 
out from Dubravko Bolsec, Embassy Zagreb FSN and regional 
representative of Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues 
Clint Williamson, that Dilparic is now demanding that the 
Serb witness who has identified the site appear before him. 
Moskowitz said that there is no precedent for such a demand, 
and that the Serb is too scared to come forward.  Moskowitz 
said that DOJ has provided Dilparic sufficient information, 
including a full statement from the witness. 
 
¶5.  (C) Moskowitz said that based on the assessment and 
witness accounts, the site could contain up to several 
hundred bodies, and urged us to pressure Dilparic to issue 
the court order.  Acting Director of UNMIK's Office of 
Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) Valerie Brasey told us 
that Serbian government forensics officials said that they 
will conduct the exhumation when the court order is issued, 
but she said OMPF plans to observe, in the same way that 
Serbian officials observe OMPF exhumations of non-Albanians 
in Kosovo.  Moskowitz said that the construction company has 
already been given permission to exhume the site, but says 
Belgrade officials insist that the court order is also 
necessary. 
 
¶6.  (C) COMMENT. Our END COMMENT. 
 
 
PRISTINA 00000075  002 OF 002 
 
 
¶7.  (U)  Post clears this message in its entirety for release 
to Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari. 
KAIDANOW