Terzic told the court that he did not agree with the report’s conclusion that there is very little political or social support for the creation of a Greater Albania – but later admitted that he had not read it.
Nice took Terzic to task for not having considered the report when preparing this expert report, and asked him to read it during the December 8 adjournment. However, when the trial recommenced a day later, the witness gave the impression that he had not done so.
The prosecutor read extracts from the executive summary of the ICG’s report, which said that “ethnic Albanian paramilitary groups in Kosovo and Macedonia only began to gather popular support after they moved away from their initial pan-Albanian nationalist goals and concentrated more on rights for their own people”, and that “violence in the cause of a Greater Albania, or of any shift of border, is neither politically popular or morally justified”.
Nice argued, “This is contrary to the extreme evidence you offered during the examination in chief.”
The witness disagreed, describing the use of the ICG report as “a provocation” and claiming that as the names of its authors were not attached to the work, it was a “phantom” with no merit.
He also rejected the report’s findings – that the desire for a Greater Albania was a minority, not majority opinion – saying, “It is a platform for a Greater Albania. ‘Pan-Albanianism’ is just another name for that.”
His responses did not impress the prosecutor, who told him bluntly, “You have come here to argue a cause, not to give evidence.”
To back up his insistence that the majority of Albanians were in favour of unifying their territories, Terzic quoted a memorandum from the Albanian National Union Front – an organisation which openly calls for the creation of a Greater Albania.
In an interview with IWPR, ICG’s European programme director Nicholas Whyte, one of the authors of the international think tank’s report, said, “It’s interesting that the witness described [it] as a blueprint for a Greater Albania and then placed into evidence a memorandum from the Albanian National Union Front, which criticised our report [for being the opposite].”
Whyte explained that the ICG report was “one of the most exhaustive I have been involved in”, taking more than a year of preparation and writing following extensive interviews and research across the region.
In response to the witness’s claim that the report was “a phantom”, Whyte said that all of ICG’s reports are released without a by-line as they are considered to be the property of the entire organisation up to and including its board.
“However, the press release that accompanies a report does acknowledge those people who were most involved in it so [authorship] is not difficult to work out,” he said, adding that in the case of the Pan-Albanian report, these were analysts Miranda Vickers, Alex Anderson and himself.