1 Wednesday, 18 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Limaj, if I could remind you of the
7 affirmation you took at the commencement of your evidence, which still
9 Mr. Mansfield.
10 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Good afternoon.
11 WITNESS: FATMIR LIMAJ [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Mansfield: [Continued]
14 Q. Mr. Limaj, we arrived yesterday at the position where you had
15 arrived back in Kosovo and you had arrived in Klecka itself and you
16 indicated that the date was around about the 20th of March of 1998. Now,
17 that's the position and the question I want to ask you is: What was the
18 situation like in Klecka when you got there?
19 A. After our arrival in Klecke, as I said earlier I went to the
20 family of my nephew's. Klecka is a small village. It has about 20
21 households. We didn't see anything particular when we arrived. As I
22 said, we just went and settled down with that family. And at that
23 moment, nothing struck us with the exception of the fact that people
24 started to get worried and interested in recent developments which has
25 occurred in Drenica. We heard various comments on that by people who
1 spoke about those events.
2 Q. It is clear from yesterday that you had not been ordered to go to
3 Klecka, you chose to go there for the reasons you gave. What were you
4 intending to do, having arrived there? What did you think you could do?
5 A. I need some time to give you an answer, for you to understand the
6 way we operated then. We didn't have any orders and for your information
7 it was outside normal practice for someone to give orders to another
8 person to go from one place to another. The way the KLA operated at that
9 time in Drenica or in other places was an exclusively guerrilla warfare,
10 and as such it was a quite reasonable, normal thing for anyone or a group
11 of people to operate in the region they knew better, in the place they
12 could find shelter, where they could receive assistance by the local
14 So from the time of my return from Switzerland, I was determined
15 to go back to my municipality, but if the circumstances were such that
16 they required us to act differently, we would do that. At that time we
17 believed that Serbia would continue with military operations in other
18 villages of Drenica. And if situation was similar to that of Likoshan
19 and Qirez, of course we would help them, the guerrilla units of the KLA,
20 which at that time were operating in the Drenica region. But since the
21 Serbian forces had encircled Drenica, but they were not organising any
22 further military operations, there was a kind of provisional calm
23 situation. I deemed it inappropriate to remain in the village I
24 described to you yesterday.
25 Furthermore, as I said earlier, it was necessary to expand the
1 operation of the KLA in other areas. That's what -- these were the
2 reasons that accounted for my decision to go back to the place, that is
3 to Klecke. Our activity in Klecke was clear to us. I remember before
4 going to Klecke in a talk we had with Rexhep and Hashim, we touched on
5 some general issues, one of them being that during the actions or
6 operations that might be undertaken by us as a guerrilla unit in
7 Malisheve we should be careful not to [Realtime transcript read in error:
8 "careful to"] attack the Serbian army or attack only the Serbian police.
9 Because the Serbian army at that time was not involved in the violence
10 and repression exerted against the people. And on the other hand, in
11 this way we believed we would enable the recruits of the Serbian army to
12 realise that the situation in Kosova was such that they should desert the
13 Yugoslav Army. These were some topics, some suggestions we thrashed out
14 amongst ourselves.
15 Q. Just one moment. It's just that I think the transcript may have
16 left a word out. I thought I heard you say "when dealing with guerrilla
17 operations ... should be careful not to attack the Serbian army or attack
18 only the Serbian police."
19 As we have it written, the word "not" is omitted. I'm sorry to
20 interrupt. Is that what you said, "not to attack"?
21 A. [In English] Yes.
22 Q. Yes. Could I ask that is borne in mind for the final transcript.
23 It's at line 6 -- I'm sorry, is it 8? Page 3, yes, page 3, line 6, not
24 to attack.
25 These were the topics that you discussed. The question I want to
1 ask of course is a rather obvious one. Was there already any kind of
2 unit or gathering or group of KLA members in Klecka when you arrived?
3 A. [Interpretation] No, absolutely not. We were the first armed
4 people as members of the KLA to arrive in that territory, the three of
5 us. Indeed at that time I thought we were the first in Malisheve
6 municipality for that matter. As the first members of the KLA. But as
7 events later showed there had been other people in profound illegality,
8 as the nature of our operations were at that time.
9 If you allow me, I would like to touch on another issue which I
10 think is important. It has to do with the topics we discussed with
11 Rexhep. In addition to the two I mentioned earlier, there was another
12 topic. At that time we were eager to hear from Rexhep as to what to do,
13 how to act, when we arrived there. The guerrilla operations which we
14 might undertake after our settlement in Malisheve, we should be careful
15 not to undertake any military operations during the day at first; and
16 second, we should not undertake any guerrilla actions in places where we
17 could -- might endanger the lives of the civilian population.
18 There were two possibilities for us to attack, either police
19 stations or patrols along the streets, but always in late evening hours
20 where the risk at civilians would be minimum or it wouldn't be existent
21 at all. Because under that situation, when dark fell civilians didn't go
22 out usually. Regarding our stay in Klecke, as I said, there were only
23 the three of us.
24 Q. And could you just remind us, who are the three, beside yourself,
25 obviously, who are the people you're talking about?
1 A. As I said yesterday, it was -- besides myself it was myself,
2 Haxhi Shala, and Ismet Jashari.
3 Q. Now, I want to move forward a little in time. You've arrived
4 towards the end of March. And at the end of March now into April of
5 1998, what in fact did you personally set about doing? You had weapons.
6 I'll ask you this: Did you have a uniform then?
7 A. No. No, I did not.
8 Q. Now, what did you exactly start doing at the end of March, April,
9 bearing in mind the nature of what you had in mind, the various points
10 you discussed earlier? What did you actually do?
11 A. After we settled down in Klecke, we rested for about a week. The
12 people who used to go out during the day sounded out the situation on the
13 ground and the movements of the Serb forces, to see where they were
14 going, how many of them were moving. After getting some general
15 information, we started to operate as became normal in other parts where
16 the KLA had been active. That is, we started to move at night to go to
17 the villages of Malisheve to be -- to make known our presence in the
18 region. That was the only way for us to make ourselves present before
19 the eyes of the inhabitants, for them to see that the KLA would be
20 present also in the villages of Malisheve. That was one of the forms, to
21 show our presence in that -- those villages in that region. Usually we
22 would go out in the evening. We patrolled the streets, stopped some
23 vehicles, then visited some villages. We entered some shops or cafes --
24 coffees [as interpreted], just to show that we were present in that
25 region. That was more or less what our activity consisted of in the
2 Then gradually we started to establish contacts with some of my
3 former student friends, people I used to know from the past, because one
4 of the duties that every guerrilla unit has was normally to recruit new
5 forces. That was our purpose, to expand the ranks of the KLA, and it was
6 part of our activity as well, establishment of contacts with people.
7 Q. Now, I want to follow through with a couple of matters on that.
8 Just before I do, did your family, any members of your family, know that
9 you were back in the Klecka region, other than the nephews with whom you
10 were staying in Klecka itself? For example, did your wife, your father,
11 mother know you were back?
12 A. No one knew about my presence. Before Malisheve fell under the
13 control of the KLA, none of the members of my family knew before that
14 time. This happened, if I'm not wrong, after two months of my arrival.
15 Q. Now, this -- the two questions I want to ask you about in
16 relation to this early activity. You mentioned you went out to the
17 villages of Malisheve. I think it's quite important, if you can, going
18 back to that large map that you were using yesterday, the large-scale
19 map, if you can indicate the villages -- the actual villages you went to
20 as your area of activity at this time, and if you could do it on that
21 large map, please.
22 A. Our trips were made at random, that is just to make our presence
23 known. We went to most of the villages of Malisheve municipality without
24 any kind of order, so to say.
25 Q. And again, if you could use a different colour, it would help so
1 they don't get confused, one you haven't used so far.
2 A. Malisheve is situated here. It has about 50 villages. Of course
3 we didn't visit every one of them. Our presence was mostly here in the
4 -- in those villages. We kept away from Maline [as interpreted] village,
5 from my native village because we didn't want people to recognise us.
6 Mostly our movements were in this part, in this area, in Banje,
7 Bellanice, Revasari [phoen], Dragobil, Carralluke, Goriq, Pagarushe, and
8 so on. Bajrak, all these villages. Temeqine, Guqat [phoen], Terpeze,
9 Lladrovc, and so on. We passed through most of the villages in the
10 territory of Malisheve. This map doesn't show Malisheve municipality.
11 You probably have a map that shows the borders of that municipality.
12 Q. That was going to be the next question, interestingly. So while
13 you're -- sorry. I'll just pause while you -- that was going to be the
14 next question, the question of the municipalities. And at this time was
15 Malisheve recognised as a particular -- either as a commune or as a
16 municipality or what? And then we'll come to the map.
17 A. Events in 1990, just for your information, Malisheve as a
18 municipality was ethnically -- almost ethnically pure, that is inhabited
19 mostly by Albanians. It was declared a commune or a municipality in
20 1986. After the changes made by the Serb power, government, they
21 deprived it of the status of municipality. But all the political
22 activity and the parallel institutions of Albanians were done in
23 Malisheve because they considered it as a municipality even though its
24 status was changed. And this is how we acted, considering it as such.
25 In 2000, after the war, it was made again, officially made a
2 Q. Now, for these purposes, if you could -- you may need some help.
3 The political map and the point you've just made is underneath one of the
4 two maps there. I think the one on the left. It's underneath that.
5 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, it's a map that looks like this that
6 you should have, multi-coloured, and if you could just -- it's a very
7 simple, straightforward point.
8 Q. You could indicate on the political map. It's a map, we make
9 clear, that is produced after the war. You can then just point out where
10 Malisheve is --
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you very much.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Malisheve lies here, in this
13 territory. It is more or less in the centre of Kosovo. As you can see,
14 it has -- it borders with Raso [phoen] village, with Ostrazup village,
15 with the part -- in the part with -- bordering Suva Reka there is
16 Pagarushe village. In the part where there is a road that leads to
17 Gllogoc or Drenoc, there is Terpeze village. On the side of Lipjan there
18 is the Klecke village. So it borders with Lipjan, Rahovec, Kline, and
20 Q. If you can hear the question without putting -- it appears on the
21 map that Lapusnik does not fall within the municipality of Malisheve. Is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes, it is true. Lapusnik has never been part of Malisheve
24 municipality; it's been part of Drenoc municipality.
25 Q. Yes, thank you.
1 MR. MANSFIELD: It's on the same point. Could we have, please,
2 Prosecution Exhibit P1, map 4, please. P1, map 4. It could be on the
3 ELMO. It might be easier, I don't know. I think everybody's got copies
4 of this. Could it just be put on the ELMO? I'm very grateful.
5 Once it's aligned on the ELMO -- I'm just watching to see it come
6 up on the screen -- that's it. Right.
7 Q. Now, with a pointer, if you have one there, something you can
8 point with on there, we can see that as far as this map is concerned
9 Malisheve as a municipality is a not actually marked there. Is that
10 correct? But we have another municipality marked in white in that
12 A. Yes, that's right. This is a map that mirrors the administrative
13 border according to the Serb officials. From this map you can see that
14 Malisheve and the villages that it comprised are scattered amongst other
15 municipalities. As I said yesterday, the village of Banje until late was
16 part of Suva Reka municipality. When Malisheve became a municipality, a
17 number of villages joined it, villages that until that time belonged to
18 Suhareke municipality, Rahovec municipality, Kline municipality, and
19 Lipjan municipality, as well as Gllogoc municipality. And these villages
20 build up the Malisheve municipality.
21 When the status of Malisheve as a municipality was removed, these
22 villages were again given back to the former municipalities.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to go back to your activities, visiting
24 villages of Malisheve as you knew it. Again, it's an obvious question:
25 During this time, did you visit the village of Lapusnik at all?
1 A. No, because the geographical position of Lapusnik at that time
2 was dangerous because there was constantly movement of Serb forces. I
3 would like to mention a fact here. Sometime in April while we were going
4 to Likovc from Klecka, somewhere between the villages of Orlat and
5 Gjurgjice while passing by the main road we were ambushed by the Serb
6 forces. And Ismet Jashari was wounded on this occasion. At that time
7 this part was completely under the control of Serb forces.
8 Q. So you indicated you went to villages in Malisheve - you've
9 already named them - on a random basis. How did you choose which
10 villages you would go to in this period?
11 A. As I said earlier, one of the main goals of the guerrilla units
12 at that time and my personal goals was to visit the villages in order to
13 show our presence in those villages and contact people who could help us
14 or join the ranks of the KLA. The first choice for us was always the
15 village that we knew best, which territory we knew best, or a village
16 where I had someone that I knew from before and wanted to establish
17 contact with that person.
18 Q. What was the response from the villagers in the villages you've
19 told us you went to?
20 A. During our visits at nighttime, we were limited in meeting
21 people. We could mostly meet four or five people, depending on the
22 village that we visited. For example, there are villages when -- where
23 young men stay until late at night in the village cafeterias or tea
24 shops, and we had the opportunity to meet these people in these
25 locations. But on the other side you had villages where you could not
1 meet anyone, where it happened that some people went to visit their
2 in-laws or friends in certain villages, we stopped them in order to make
3 our presence known to them. This was our main aim, main goal. We didn't
4 have any other goal.
5 I would like to add that throughout the time, we were masked and
6 we did not stay for a long time in one village. We would maximally stay
7 for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and leave the village. People that we met
8 received us extremely well. They were extremely happy to have the
9 opportunity to meet a KLA member. At that time, people were still
10 suspicious whether there was or there was not a KLA. This was a topic
11 often debated amongst the mass. They were in a dilemma. People were in
12 a dilemma, whether we were Serbs or Albanians, and the policy in Pristina
13 had helped for this confusion to arise. But however, these people were
14 very glad when they would meet with KLA members.
15 Q. Now, at each stage -- I'm going to ask you the same question in
16 view of the way the case is presented against you. During this period,
17 were you receiving instructions or orders from anyone at all?
18 A. No, absolutely not. We were three and then four or five joined
19 us. Our goal was very clear. There wasn't the possibility for
20 communication; it was very difficult. In order to get in touch with
21 someone, you had to walk for hours to Likovc. And in addition, there was
22 nothing particular to be communicated at that time, let alone orders.
23 The guerrilla way of combat requires this.
24 Q. If people wanted to join, how were they going to go about it?
25 Was there some plan or programme of how they should form a KLA unit or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. I can speak on my behalf here. Every group, every individual who
3 dealt with the recruitment applied his own methods. But generally, the
4 principle was only to those trusted, and those who you knew from before,
5 only to recruit them. Because at that time the number was limited and
6 the KLA was not interested in increasing the manpower in terms of a
7 figure, because at that time we didn't have sufficient weapons and we
8 didn't have any particular plan except for those guerrilla attacks. But
9 in cases when there was armament and when there were people that we
10 trusted, this was enough. And they became part of the KLA.
11 Q. And if a group or a unit was formed, who decided who might be --
12 lead that group in a particular village or area?
13 A. We are always speaking and referring to a period of very high
14 secrecy. And from this point of view, I will try to explain my own
15 experience before the Honoured Judges. For example, in my municipality I
16 contacted a person whom I knew from before, whom I trusted, and I spoke
17 to this person because this was important for the KLA, for the liberation
18 war, for the engagement in the KLA. And this person, if he expressed his
19 wish and will to become a KLA member, he could from that moment start
20 recruiting other people himself. And this is the logic behind the
21 guerrilla way of warfare. I would recruit one person, then that person
22 would recruit someone else, and so on and so forth. At that time, I
23 didn't know any other person whom this person could recruit because that
24 person could fall in the hands of the Serb authorities and could put in
25 danger other people.
1 So this was a responsibility of my friend, to choose who he was
2 going to work with. If he made a bad choice, a wrong choice, the
3 consequences were his, not ours; he suffered the consequences. And this
4 was a way of surviving at that time of the KLA members and of the KLA
5 guerrilla units. We were acting in illegality. We paid attention to
6 those who could move freely during the day. Freely.
7 Q. Did this situation that you've just described, did this persist
8 throughout the whole of April, or by the end of April had something else
10 A. This situation in Malisheve community -- municipality continued
11 until around 15th, 16th, or 29th of May. However, things began to change
12 after the Lapusnik gorge was taken. Things began to change as of 9th of
13 May, but definitely things changed by the end of May.
14 Q. I want to deal with those changes, and I'll start obviously --
15 you've mentioned the 9th of May. I'd like you to describe in your own
16 words what happened around and about the 9th of May as far as you're
18 A. If you allow me, I would like to mention an event that directly
19 links with the 9th of May. I think this occurred on 29th of April.
20 Maybe I am not quite exact with the date, but it's around this date. On
21 this date, Rexhep Selimi, together with a friend, he passed by our
22 terrain. He came to the Malisheve municipality and he visited me. We
23 discussed the developments, the situation, the accurate situation in
24 Malisheve municipality, in those villages that we had seen. And he gave
25 me two radios, very basic radios, but very efficient for us at that time.
1 They could only work on one channel. Simply, it was a radio that here in
2 the west people can buy in ordinary supermarkets.
3 On the 9th of May, we were at our base in Klecke. Until that
4 time, we had never moved during the day and we never moved without masks.
5 On the 9th of May, we heard some noise on the radio, some voices of KLA
6 members who were communicating amongst them. Someone was looking for
7 assistance, someone was explaining the situation, the developments. One
8 was telling the other, Don't shoot because there are civilians. And from
9 this dialogue, which was unintelligible due to the reception, I decided
10 to go to a place where the reception was better and where I could hear
11 the conversation clearly, just to find out what was going on.
12 Together with four friends who happened to be there at that time
13 and with a vehicle, we went up to the Berisa Mountains. And from there
14 we could see - because it is possible to see from there - we could see
15 several Serb vehicles, several Serbian policemen who was -- who were
16 hiding behind a civilian bus. They were using this civilian bus as a
17 shield in order to approach the KLA forces that were at Gjurgjice
18 village. This village is situated next to Orlate village. And from the
19 place where we were, this could be clearly seen.
20 We could also hear well the unit that was nearby there and that
21 could see clearly what was going on; however, the Serbian police unit
22 could not communicate with the other police unit. And with our radio,
23 actually, we helped them to communicate with the other unit to use the
24 waves. We served as a kind of a bridge between the two units.
25 As we followed these developments, on the other side of the
1 asphalt road, on the Gjurgjice side in the direction of Orlate and up to
2 Lapusnik pass, there was a concentration of Serb forces who were fighting
3 and attacking KLA members in the other side of the villages. For
4 example, if we go from Pristina to Peja, this is on the right side of the
5 main road. As we saw these developments, we saw that a police unit, a
6 Serb police unit, was positioned in one place, on the other side of the
7 asphalt road as seen from the Berisa Mountains. And from this position
8 of an extremely high strategic importance, they were firing at the other
9 side of the road.
10 We had gone there in order to observe the terrain. We were five
11 or six. And on the spot, we decided to help. The five of us set off for
12 the main road, wanted to go down to the main road at Lapusnik village,
13 and we left one of us at the location we were before. We gave him a
14 radio so that he could be in contact with the other units in order to
15 avoid any possible misunderstandings that could lead to killing between
16 KLA units, and also to make it possible for him to call other friends who
17 were at the base as assistance.
18 We went down the main road close to the point where our friends
19 were being attacked. We dispersed at 5 or 10 metres of each other, just
20 to create an impression that we were greater in numbers. We opened fire.
21 Fortunately we shot at a Serbian Pinzgauer who was most probably loaded
22 with ammunition.
23 And as a result, this Pinzgauer exploded, and I think this is the
24 reason that the Serbs left that point in panic and immediately. The
25 withdrawal started in other parts as well from Gjurgjice and other
1 villages. There was panic amongst the policemen. Some of them withdrew
2 in the direction of Drenica, and the other in the direction of Komorane.
3 Q. I just want to ask you this question at this time: By what name
4 were you known at this period, May the 9th?
5 A. At that time I was known by the pseudonym Daja. However, if you
6 allow me, I would like to say that when we received the radio, at that
7 time Rexhep Selimi had some suggestions regarding the code that was to be
8 given because you cannot speak on a radio without a coded name. He made
9 some suggestions, I made some suggestions. But my suggestion was not
10 accepted. It was a name of an individual. During my stay in Prishtine,
11 I was for some time known as Arbeni, I used the pseudonym Arbeni. And I
12 proposed to Rexh to be called Beni. But he said, No, this doesn't sound
13 properly on a radio. And he suggested that I should use the coded name
14 of Celiku. So I was Celiku 1, and Celiku 2 was Kumanova because both of
15 us had the radios. The pseudonym that I was known by amongst the
16 soldiers was Daja. Later on when we started to communicate through
17 radios with other units, of course we communicated as Celiku 1 unit and
18 Celiku 2 unit.
19 Q. Had you played any part in organising other groups than the one
20 you were associated with?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So take the Celiku 2 unit. Did you know at that time who was in
24 A. This was no Celiku 2. We were three, four people. We had two
25 radios. I kept one, Ismet kept the other, Rexhe sometimes, until we were
1 together, the four of us. When one of us went out to the grassroots, the
2 other one was Celiku 2. When there were two of us in the grounds, I was
3 Celiku 1 and he was Celiku 2 at that time we were together. It was later
4 that Celiku 2 was formed; it was at the end of May/beginning of June.
5 Q. Well, I'm come to the end of May in a moment. Can we meanwhile
6 deal with what happened between May the 9th when the Serbs, in panic,
7 dispersed and left the area, the immediately area, and the end of May.
8 What happened after May the 9th?
9 A. For us that was a guerrilla action. After successfully
10 completing that action - because it was a successful one, we drove back
11 the Serbian forces - we contacted some units of the KLA in that part. We
12 talked to them, and we turned back to Klecke. Because we thought that we
13 did the work for what we went. We had carried out a military action. We
14 were successful, and then we would go back to our base.
15 There were other members of the KLA from other regions and parts
16 who happened to be there by accident, by chance, when passing from their
17 place to Drenice or from Drenice to their respective places. So they
18 also helped. The action was over and we returned immediately to
19 Klecke -- maybe not immediately but one or two hours afterwards. I know
20 there was a BBC reporter who was there and shot the Pinzgauer, and then
21 we returned to Klecke.
22 Q. And in the days and weeks that followed, what did you do?
23 A. If you would allow me, I would like to explain in a little more
24 detail the situation we found in Lapusnik because I think it's of
25 importance for Your Honours to know, to inform them of my experience.
1 When we arrived in Lapusnik, we were five people. People, the
2 civilians started to shoot at us, not knowing who we were. There was a
3 confusion. After the departure of the Serbian forces, we met a group of
4 soldiers -- I'm saying soldiers now because then they were a group of
5 young men dressed in civilian clothes without any distinctive sign as
6 being KLA members. Then we got to know them later. They were led by
7 Ymer Alushani, a people's hero. His pseudonym was Voglushi. They were
8 civilians who had participated in fighting along the Gjurgjice-Lapusnik
9 main road.
10 After this meeting, during which we got to know each other, we
11 didn't know who they were, as I said, there was a confusion so we had to
12 clarify it. They told us that there was a unit called Zjarri. I'm not
13 so sure about the name - that was directly linked with Likovc and
14 operated in Komorane area for a time. They heard the shots in Lapusnik
15 gorge and they came to the rescue. It was like us who heard the shots
16 and came to this place to help them.
17 After this contact we returned to Klecke. That night, Fehmi
18 Lladrovci, with his wife, came to Klecke. They were coming I think from
19 Drenoc village of Sadik village. Fehmi had heard about the developments
20 at Lapusnik gorge and on the next day he went there to see for himself.
21 When he went there Ymer Alushani came to Klecke along with two civilians.
22 He told us the civilians were afraid; they wanted us to go to the
23 village, lest the Serbian forces returned. Fehmi Lladrovci knew the
24 terrain very well and he had great authority. He came from that
25 municipality. He talked with the villagers and the members -- Ymer's
1 group, and with us in Klecke, telling us that we must do something to
2 form a group or a unit, to station that unit in that place, in Lapusnik.
3 So people went there voluntarily. I did not have enough soldiers to send
4 to Lapusnik. There were few of us, and we were interested in operating
5 in Malisheve municipality.
6 Isak Musliu happened to be there at that moment. Luani too. Two
7 young men from Drenoc village, two in-laws of Fehmi Lladrovci, and a boy
8 from Lubizhde village, a young man who had come to stay there for some
9 time until they found accommodation in their own area. They wanted to
10 stay with us for three, four days. These people of their own free will
11 joined that group, and so it happened that a group of KLA members were
12 stationed in that part of the Lapusnik gorge.
13 Q. Now, I want to carefully ask you about this aspect. First of
14 all, Isak Musliu, did you know him before that time?
15 A. I met Isak Musliu for the first time sometime in April when I
16 went for a visit in Likovc. I had gone there to fetch some clothes for
17 us being in Klecke and to see how my friends were doing. I hadn't seen
18 them for quite some time. And the only place you could go out during the
19 day was Likovc. Sometimes you just felt the urge to go out during the
20 day, and so it was that we went to Likovc.
21 There I met some friends from Drenice. I think Rexhep Selimi was
22 the one who told me that there are some young men from Shtime and Lipjan
23 municipalities who want to pass over to that territory and if you could
24 help them. I told him, yes, we had a vehicle, a car, with which we could
25 help them and they could continue on from foot.
1 On my way back to Likovc when I came from Klecke, Isak and Luan
2 travelled with me. That was our first meeting. I knew that his
3 pseudonym then was Lumi [as interpreted]. Luani had the same pseudonym
4 even then. They were from Shtime and Lipjan municipality. I didn't know
5 where they were from and they too didn't know who I was, where I was
6 from, because that was the rule then. They came to Klecke, stayed there
7 overnight. And during the next day, because as I said we used to travel
8 only at night. And in the evening, both of them went to their respective
9 municipalities. On the way, I heard that they had left some of their
10 friends who had come with them from Germany in Likovc. Until they went
11 to the municipalities, they were going to find shelter for them. First
12 they had to go to the grassroots to see how the situation was like, find
13 the places to accommodate them, then go back and bring their friends with
14 them to start their activity. As I said, they travelled next day in the
15 evening for their respective destinations.
16 I think it was some time -- one or two weeks later they came
17 again. Yes, it was after two weeks. I think they came back, stayed
18 again overnight. It was a long journey. It took them five or six hours
19 to come to Klecke from the places they were staying. They stayed in
20 Klecke, rested during the day because they couldn't travel during the
21 day, and in the evening they went to Likovc.
22 Now they didn't need any escort because they knew the way. They
23 were familiar with the terrain now. So when they returned they came --
24 returned with two or three other soldiers whom they had gone to fetch to
25 go to their respective municipalities. When they had returned from
1 Likovc to continue to Shtime, it was then that the event of 9th of May
2 happened and that they -- they happened to stay in Klecke, when the event
3 of 9th of May occurred. After that development, then things changed and
4 they changed their orientation as well.
5 I must tell you that at that time in Shtime and Lipjan
6 municipalities - in Lipjan and Shtime especially because the -- these
7 municipalities were -- had mixed population - there was very tight
8 control by the Serb forces, so the movements were very restricted and you
9 had to be very, very careful in what you did. And it was almost
10 impossible to do anything there. So they had seen that it was impossible
11 -- almost impossible to act. They had come to fight for Kosova. And as
12 I said, we are willing to render our contribution to the country,
13 wherever we are told to go. So Isak with two or three others decided of
14 their own free will to remain at Lapusnik gorge with the other group of
15 soldiers that I mentioned earlier.
16 Q. Now, the question that I was going to ask you -- touched on there
17 it's this: Did you at any time at this stage at all order Isak Musliu to
18 do anything, or Luan, for that matter, to do anything? Were you ordering
19 people at this moment?
20 A. As I said, and I'm telling you again, Isak and Luan were my
21 guests, if you like. They were at my base and not more than that.
22 People like Isak, hundreds of them passed through that base then and
23 later. They came there, they rested, and they went -- continued with
24 their trip to go to their destination. This was kind of rule. We always
25 helped people, fed them, assisted them, took paths from one place to
1 another. That was it. That was my second meeting with them.
2 Q. After that did you have occasion to go to Lapusnik or the area of
3 Lapusnik again, that is in May?
4 A. Yes, of course. The battle, I think it was on the 17th. We went
5 there but the Serb attack was not that serious, so we returned. We went
6 there to help them, but there was no need for that, so we came back.
7 Then I went again to take part in the battle of 21st of May. I'm not
8 certain about the date. I also visited -- visited on other occasions. I
9 have gone there to see how they were doing.
10 Q. I'm only dealing with May at the moment. I know it's difficult
11 because it's a long time ago. Can you give us any idea of how many times
12 you may have gone to Lapusnik in May?
13 A. I think two or three times. I'm certain about these two battles
14 I mentioned. Maybe I have been there another time for a visit, but I'm
15 not entirely sure about the number.
16 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you a direct question in relation to
17 Lapusnik. Did you at any time in May participate in the organisation of
18 a prison camp in that area?
19 A. No, never.
20 Q. Now, I want to ask you about anything else that is relevant in
21 May. Were there other developments in other parts of Malisheve?
22 Lapusnik you've indicated wasn't part of Malisheve. Were there other
23 developments so far as the KLA were concerned during this time that you
24 feel is important?
25 A. We had never imagined what the significance of the Lapusnik gorge
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 would be for the KLA. For us it was just another battle, but as events
2 showed, the action, the operation in the Lapusnik gorge was a turning --
3 a positive turning point for us regarding the further development of the
4 KLA and events in general. It would assume such a significant importance
5 that we never reckoned with before. If I'm not wrong, I think that after
6 the deployment of forces in this gorge, operations started to block the
7 other part of the road from Kline to Kijeve. Some of the KLA units have
8 blocked the road to prevent the Serbian forces from penetrating and
9 hitting them on the back.
10 And then things continued along this line. Units which -- of the
11 KLA until now which had been underground, illegal, quite suddenly came
12 out in the open. So units started to appear on a daily basis. So we
13 realised that it was not only we, that is one or two groups, that were
14 operating in Malisheve, but we saw that there had been other people doing
15 the same thing parallel with us. So we saw the appearance of various
16 units in different villages of Malisheve municipality. And then the
17 organisation of units started within the villages themselves. If I am
18 not mistaken, I think it was on the 29th of May that other roads that
19 lead towards Malisheve started to be blocked. For example, from what had
20 happened on Llozice road towards Kijeve or Kline, that went on in
21 Bubavec. That is another village that leads towards Malisheve. Kijeve
22 is a village with mixed population. It was the only place in that area
23 where there was deployment of Serbian police forces. There was a police
24 station there.
25 So the KLA unit blocked the way coming from Malisheve. The same
1 happened in Rahovec. A unit of the KLA had blocked the way leading to
2 Malisheve, and also the way coming from Rahovec to Malisheve. The same
3 thing happened in Suhareke from Dulje to Malisheve in Temeqine village
4 and the road to Malisheve. From Temeqine the units merged in Bllace. So
5 we come to a situation where Malisheve falls entirely under the control
6 of the KLA, is regarded as a free zone. And this marks a change, a
7 definite change, heralds new phase of developments of the KLA and in
8 Kosova in general.
9 Q. Now, this new phase, I just want to ask you this: Were you in
10 Klecka coordinating this whole exercise in which roads gradually became
11 blocked by particular units? Were you coordinating that? Were you
12 coordinating the units for other purposes as well?
13 A. No, not in these developments that I mentioned. These were
14 developments that were unfurling as of their own. When we realised that
15 the situation was the one that I described, I had my own reservations
16 regarding such developments because I was worried about the eventual
17 outcomes of such developments, the outcomes of such euphoria that started
18 to prevail.
19 Q. What was your worry? What was your concern?
20 A. As I said earlier, Malisheve and its villages, Malisheve as a
21 centre, it didn't have any administration, any Serb police. It was kind
22 of ignored by the Serb government. It was outside their interest.
23 Malisheve was controlled by the police station of Suhareke and Rahovec.
24 So placing it under our control, that didn't come about as a result of
25 military actions, as the case was with the Lapusnik gorge. There we had
1 a military action. Or in Kline. The roads around Malisheve that I
2 mentioned, that didn't come about, the blocking of the roads, didn't come
3 about as a result of military operations which led to the liberation of
4 this area. We saw that part of the road was blocked and we went there to
5 block another. We just copied one another. Out of their own free will
6 to come out before the eyes of the public because they were tired of
7 being in -- underground for a long time. The KLA units undertook such
8 actions by blocking roads or forming points.
9 So this situation found the KLA unprepared to deal with it. For
10 the people, it was good news, it was a euphoric situation. The citizens
11 at that time didn't know the significance of that. They were just
12 enthralled by the euphoria of freedom. For the first time they felt safe
13 because they knew that Serbian police couldn't pass through Malisheve
14 without having to fight with the KLA forces. This euphoria spread all
15 over Kosova, and I may say that there are hundreds and thousands of
16 people from various regions, various cities of Kosova who came to
17 Malisheve, as they said, to breathe the freedom -- the air of freedom and
18 to see from close up the members of the KLA.
19 It was a sudden development for the citizens of Malisheve itself,
20 who didn't know until then who the members of the KLA were, who those
21 individuals that came out at night were. And on a fine morning, they
22 realised that their own children, too, were members of the KLA, something
23 which they didn't know until then. They thought that those people were
24 roaming the streets of Malisheve were from Drenice. When we took off our
25 masks and they could find -- some of them could find their sons, their
1 brothers, their nephews, their in-laws, it was a revelation for them.
2 But it was a revelation for ourselves too, as members of the KLA, because
3 we too didn't know that so much work had been done to recruit people.
4 Because we saw that the emergence of several units at once.
5 But on the other hand, such a euphoria led to the joining of the
6 KLA by thousands of people who knew where to turn now. It was no longer
7 the time of conspiracy. It was no longer the time when they didn't know
8 where the base of the KLA were. Now they knew. And so they knew who
9 they were whom they were going to meet because now we were -- they
10 realised we were people from the same region, people they knew.
11 So these were the developments that occurred and which I
12 considered as a new phase of the development that would follow later.
13 And this assumed the features of a popular uprising, as I said earlier on
14 in my address from a guerrilla organisation with limited ambitions, with
15 very restricted possibilities, suddenly the KLA finds itself in entirely
16 new circumstances which I personally never believed would be the case
17 without four or five years. But things evolved more quickly than we
19 Q. A quick question before the break. Again, I'm concentrating at
20 the moment the stage we've reached, which is towards the end of May. At
21 that time with the emergence of the units in the way you've described,
22 was there any structure to the KLA, command structure in the KLA at that
23 time that you were aware of?
24 A. Besides what was public knowledge, that we knew of, there was a
25 General Staff, general headquarters, central staff it was called then.
1 And the people that I mentioned earlier were introducing themselves as
2 members of the general headquarters. But when they -- it might be that
3 they were members, but it might be that they were not members of the
4 headquarters -- of the general headquarters. The only mechanism was
5 this, the general headquarters, because at that time everything was done
6 on the basis of friendly relations.
7 After the developments of the 29th of May, we embarked on a new
8 phase and measures and organisations -- organisation, too, were done
9 differently. But until then, there was only the general headquarters and
10 the guerrilla units.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, would that be a convenient moment?
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Mansfield.
13 We will resume at 5 minutes past 4.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mansfield.
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you.
18 Q. Your last answer involved indicating that as far as you were
19 concerned towards the end of May, the only structure you were aware of in
20 relation to the KLA was the existence of the general headquarters or
21 central staff, as they were known, and the units. One more question on
22 that. So far as the general staff or central staff was concerned, were
23 you aware where they were located?
24 A. If you take into consideration the illegal nature of the
25 guerrilla warfare, you can imagine how and in what circumstances a
1 central staff could exist. At that time, we could maintain contacts with
2 one representative of the central staff. At that time, we could mostly
3 meet in the terrain with Rexhep Selimi and Sokol Bashota as well as with
4 some friends from Drenica who we thought that were members of the central
5 staff but turned out not to be later on. At that time we didn't have a
6 consistent place where the central headquarters was stationed.
7 Personally, for the first time I saw it in the number it existed in the
8 -- 1998 [as interpreted]. At that time, you could contact the central
9 staff, but in the capacity of a representative of the general staff.
10 Q. I want to move now into the next month, that is June of 1998. We
11 have heard and there really is no -- sorry, we're pausing for a minute, I
13 MR. MANSFIELD: I do apologise. There's a -- I'm looking at the
14 wrong line. Yes, I see.
15 Your Honour, apparently in - I'm obliged - in the line 20 on the
16 screen that we're looking at at the moment, it should read "not existed
17 -- in the 1998" -- in the December, I think, was the word or the month
18 mentioned and it's not there. It's being confirmed. Yes, I'm much
19 obliged. Perhaps that's another alteration that could be noted for the
20 final version of this transcript.
21 Q. Yes, the question I was going to ask you moving into June is that
22 we know that a representative of the general staff appeared --
23 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, I wonder if that could be clarified with
24 the witness because I didn't hear "December." So if December was said,
25 it was not translated. We could go back and listen to the tape, but
1 maybe it would be easier to clarify it with the witness.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, certainly.
3 Q. Mr. Limaj, I think you heard that.
4 A. [In English] Yeah.
5 Q. Did you say "December" or did you not?
6 A. [Interpretation] I said that for the first time I saw the central
7 staff, the general staff, in the beginning of December of 1998.
8 Q. Yes. Yes. Thank you very much.
9 Again, I'll have another go at this question. The question I
10 want to ask in relation to June 1998 is that we're all aware that in that
11 month a member of the general staff made a statement on behalf of the
12 KLA, and that that person, Jakup Krasniqi, paid a visit to Klecka. So I
13 want to come on to that, if I may. Were you present in Klecka to meet
14 Jakup Krasniqi?
15 A. Yes. If you'll allow me, I think I left an opinion uncompleted,
16 which I find very important in reference to the developments in Malisheve
17 and my concerns about these developments.
18 Q. Yes, certainly, I'll put that question on hold while you add your
20 A. As I said, Honoured Judges, the developments after the 29th of
21 May and after Malisheve became a kind of a free territory without
22 military activity by the KLA units, one of my concerns was the following.
23 The capacity of the KLA to defend that region was insufficient. As I
24 said, the -- that region became under the control of the KLA not as a
25 result of the KLA activities. Secondly, the danger to which the citizens
1 were exposed as well as the KLA members was great; we were in great
2 danger. In case the Serb forces tried to deblock those roads in order to
3 enter Malisheve, they could do so. I was sure that they could do so
4 because I know that -- I knew that our forces were insufficient.
5 On the other side, the newly created circumstances, for us
6 everything was new and we were concerned because now it was not the same
7 time as when we were a guerrilla unit. Now I'm speaking from my own
8 experience. What a man can do most is to sacrifice himself and the
9 consequences are on him. In order to attack a police patrol or a police
10 station, we were the ones who were putting ourselves in danger. The
11 others were not endangered. And that's why our activity in this
12 direction was self-sacrificing one and everyone had their own
13 responsibility, those who had voluntarily decided to join the KLA.
14 Therefore, every activity that was carried out by the five of us, the
15 results were affecting us, not someone else.
16 As of now, we passed on to an entirely new situation. These new
17 circumstances could put the civilian population into danger as well. It
18 was quite normal that we would respond to an attack launched by the Serb
19 forces, but our concern was whether we would be able to defend the
20 citizens. And therefore, I think that there were some steps taken in
21 euphoria without any prior preparations. The situation was no longer
22 controlled by the general staff; it was out of control. It was gradually
23 becoming an pan-popular [Realtime transcript read in error: "unpopular"]
24 uprising. As we were acting in profound illegality, the KLA was not
25 known, its strength was not known. And in a way, this was in our favour
1 as to the Serb forces and the civilians themselves. It was easy when you
2 contact a civilian, and if that civilian asks you whether you have
3 sufficient forces to fight the Serb forces, you could easily say yes. If
4 you were asked, do you have sufficient weaponry? It was easy to say yes.
5 But after the 29th of May when thousands of young men and people
6 knew what address to go to, those who wanted to join the KLA, and these
7 places that they addressed themselves to, my answer to them was that for
8 the time being we don't need new members. When there's a need, we will
9 let you know. But later on, another group will -- would approach us.
10 And then it was becoming obvious to them as well that we were -- we
11 didn't have enough weapons. Those who had weapons were immediately
12 engaged and became members of the KLA, and those who didn't were sent
13 back. So those people who were sent back, they searched for their own
14 ways to join. It was a time when everybody was engaging into finding a
15 solution. Fortunately, my concerns, as perceived by the Serb forces,
16 were wrong. And as time showed, this was because the Serbs did not
18 The Serb forces did not intervene, and with this they helped the
19 KLA to gain time in order to accommodate itself to the newly created
21 This is what I wanted to say. And I'm sorry I forgot your next
23 Q. I think I have myself, but don't worry. I want with Their
24 Honours permission to just correct something. Once again -- at page 30,
25 line 9, it's at the top of the screen now: "It was gradually becoming an
1 unpopular uprising." The words that I'd actually written down I think he
2 said -- it was translated as a "pan-popular uprising," in other words
3 across a country as a whole. I think that's what he said.
4 Yes, Mr. Limaj, you heard what we just said. Did you say
6 A. Yes, I said that it began to have the signs of an all-popular
8 Q. Yes, right -- well, you've corrected it now.
9 Thank you. Now, the question I was going to ask you concerns the
10 month of June, the general staff, and a representative of the general
11 staff who came to Klecka, Jakup Krasniqi. Now, first of all, did you
12 meet Jakup Krasniqi in Klecka?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was that his first visit there?
15 A. Yes, it was his first visit. If you want me to, I can explain
16 how this visit happened.
17 Q. Yes, please.
18 A. One night before the arrival of Mr. Krasniqi in Klecka, Mr.
19 Hashim Thaqi, Rexhep Selimi, and I think Sokol Bashota came to see me.
20 They told me that they needed a place, a room, because on the following
21 day the spokesperson of the KLA was going out in the public and we wanted
22 to do this for the security and safety of Mr. Krasniqi and his family.
23 They said they want to do it in Klecka so that the public opinion would
24 not know from where Mr. Krasniqi was addressing them. They asked me to
25 remove from the base those soldiers that I had there so that they could
1 not witness and see the arrival of Mr. Krasniqi in that place -- as I was
2 able to do that because I had enough place and space.
3 On that night they brought a computer just for visual purposes,
4 for television broadcast, and they brought a table. And on that night,
5 we arranged the room so that it could look official according to those
6 conditions that we had at that time. On the following day, Mr. Krasniqi
7 came. Two journalists from the Albanian television had come before Mr.
8 Krasniqi. Then Mr. Krasniqi came. He entered the room. We had a
9 coffee, and on the spot Rexhep proposed that two KLA soldiers should
10 stand on the sides of Mr. Krasniqi while he is reading his statement.
11 This was an exclusive statement which was going out for the first time.
12 And for the first time, the public opinion in the country and abroad
13 would be able to see and get acquainted with a representative of the KLA
14 with his full name and appearance.
15 As we had removed the soldiers from there, as there was no one
16 there except for myself and a relative, a close relative to Mr. Krasniqi.
17 So we stood on each side of Mr. Krasniqi, and we were there during the
18 time when the statement was given.
19 After the statement was given, Mr. Krasniqi immediately left my
20 base. Then Sokol Bashota told me that they had another base near the
21 village of Klecka.
22 Your Honours, there is a village which is called Divjake. It has
23 no more than ten houses, and those who don't know that region, they take
24 it for Klecka. They think it's Klecka because it's very close to Klecka
25 and it's a mountainous region. That base was a KLA base from before, but
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I didn't know that. The owner of that house was imprisoned at the same
2 time with Demir and he was imprisoned with Demir because of his activity
3 in the KLA.
4 So they had started to use that house as a base, the
5 representatives of the KLA, while passing from one region to another. He
6 told me this for two reasons. one, for my soldiers in Klecka to be
7 careful now that everyone knew who Jakup Krasniqi was. So for my
8 soldiers in Klecke to be careful and guard that place and not tell other
9 soldiers why they're guarding that place.
10 So Mr. Krasniqi came frequently to that house and I went
11 frequently to meet him in that place, maybe not on a daily basis but I
12 surely went there once in two days. And depending on whether I had
13 something to ask or if I had work to do, I would go on a daily basis. So
14 whenever he was there, I would go and visit him.
15 Q. Now, I wonder if -- since you've mentioned that place, looking at
16 the large-scale map, it does appear it is marked. Would you kindly go to
17 the large-scale map which is folded over at the moment, and circle the
18 village and the house where the ten houses is marked. I think it's to
19 the north-east of Klecka.
20 A. The village is here, however the houses are scattered and for
21 someone who doesn't know the region, it is difficult to tell which are
22 the houses of Klecka and which are those of Divjake. I forgot to mention
23 the name of the owner of the house where Mr. Krasniqi was staying. If
24 I'm not mistaken his name was Nezir Zogaj. And later on after November
25 or December, the entire general staff was stationed there. So that place
1 was a public knowledge.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Just for the record, the map you're marking and
3 have been marking so -- because there are three maps, it will be
4 eventually, as I understand it DL4, so -- but I'm not going to exhibit
5 it, with permission, for the moment until you continue marking anything
6 else on that map.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 MR. MANSFIELD:
9 Q. Now, may I just --
10 A. I wanted to tell you that after giving his statement --
11 Q. Just a minute, please. Right. Yes. Do continue.
12 A. He, Mr. Krasniqi, took the PC with him. So they took away the
13 table and the computer to the place where they had taken it from.
14 Q. Now, a further matter arising out of your earlier answers. When
15 you said you might go -- when Mr. Krasniqi came you would go and see him
16 quite often. It's an obvious question, but what would you go and see him
17 about? Why were you going to see him when he was there?
18 A. After the developments I mentioned following the 29th of May in
19 Malisheve, things had to be clarified. It was not sufficient to say,
20 yes, we are working, things are getting well, we are working, and so on.
21 Things which we have been doing so far. Now we had to be open, more
22 transparent, more concrete. We needed to have available more accurate
23 information as to what we should do from now then -- onwards.
24 So I think that after a week following Mr. Krasniqi's public
25 appearance, I went to him with three demands. First, I asked him to
1 inform us - because in my view, he was the most competent person with
2 which we could discuss issues directly. He could inform us about what we
3 should do, what the plans of the headquarters were - we wanted to discuss
4 whether taking control of Malisheve in the way I described was done in
5 the knowledge -- with the knowledge of the headquarters, what would be
6 done regarding the new organisation of the KLA.
7 I was interested to know what the situation was, whether the
8 headquarters had contacts with the political leadership or the political
9 parties or class in Pristina. Because Mr. Krasniqi was one of the
10 political activists, one of the personalities involved the political
11 movement in Pristina I believed that he was the right person to give me
12 an answer about that. The new circumstances, the demands we received on
13 a daily basis from the citizens, made us seek solutions.
14 I said earlier it is easy to make a decision to sacrifice
15 yourself or to undertake actions which -- whose consequences or outcome
16 affect only you personally. But when it comes to actions that may have
17 an impact on a broader level, on a broad community, then the
18 responsibility is greater. So in real terms, we were in a situation that
19 we couldn't make any concrete decisions. I didn't know what we should do
20 in the new circumstances. I didn't know whether the KLA was prepared for
21 this new phase.
22 In Malisheve, daily there were over 20.000 citizens coming. It
23 was a small town. People came from other regions, as I said, from all
24 over Kosova to see what was going on. And we at that time didn't have in
25 place any civil structure that could control the life or organise a life
1 of the people or could create the logistical base for the soldiers and
2 for the population. So there should be some sort of coordination. And
3 that situation, in my opinion, was unbearable. Therefore, I thought that
4 the general headquarters should come out with a concrete plan of measures
5 about what to do, what we were supposed to do in the new circumstances.
6 And this was one of the topics that I discussed with Mr. Krasniqi at that
8 And I may inform you, if you wish, about the replies of Mr.
9 Krasniqi who shared his concerns with me. As to the contacts with the
10 political people at that time, he told me that there are some contacts,
11 even though there are difficulties. Pristina is creating problems for
12 us, he told me, but we hope that we will find a common language. He told
13 me also that we have greater hopes in the representatives of the KLA who
14 had started to establish contact with a government in exile in order to
15 coordinate operations and actions.
16 With respect to the new circumstances created, Mr. Krasniqi told
17 me that the general staff was unprepared for that situation. It didn't
18 have the necessary structure to cope with them. Developments occurred
19 too fast for them to cope with, that is the headquarters, that the way
20 Malisheve was taken, he said, as I said earlier, this was a kind of
21 replica action that went on and on and that the general staff couldn't
22 control the situation. But he'd also told me that now that the
23 population wants to join and seeks weapons, they were trying to find arms
24 supplies, and leaving aside the question of the future organisation.
25 The way he described the situation was that it was very difficult
1 but that work was under way to find solutions for the new situation
2 created. One of them, he said, was the development in Drenice where the
3 operational zone was being consolidated with its command structure and
4 then it would continue further on. Something similar was expected to
5 have in Dukagjin and then in Pastrik.
6 I think that the day I went to talk to Mr. Krasniqi, if I'm not
7 mistaken it was the 22nd or the 23rd of June. That was for the first
8 time that I received rules of work. I think it was on the 22nd of June,
9 that was the first step undertaken by the headquarters -- the general
10 headquarters which had begun to determine the objectives of the further
11 organisation and consolidation of the KLA.
12 Q. Now, you've mentioned in that answer the emergence of operational
13 zones, starting with Drenice. And in that answer, you went on to specify
14 Pastrik. Now, so far as you're aware, when were the first moves to
15 establishing the operational zone of Pastrik? When did that take place?
16 A. This working meeting with Mr. Krasniqi occurred sometime, for
17 this issue that I'm talking about, on the 20th. Then on the 22nd of
18 June, I received that rules that I mentioned, that he offered me. It was
19 in the beginning of July, I think, sometime -- it was the 5th, the 6th,
20 or the 7th, I am not certain about, but it was in July. The first step
21 was taken in this regard after we had talked with him. The general
22 headquarters began to nominate the commanders of Pastrik operational zone
23 -- commander.
24 Q. And who were the commanders who were nominated by the general
25 staff of that zone?
1 A. The first commander appointed by the general staff for Pastrik
2 zone was Muse Jashari in the beginning of July. Muse Jashari came from
3 Adem Jashari's glorious Jashari family, our legendary commander's family.
4 The general staff had decided that to appoint such a man enjoying great
5 authority and having long experience in fighting, because he had been
6 involved in fighting in the KLA for a long time by that time, that would
7 be a solution that would be acceptable to all the units of the KLA, the
8 units that operated in Malisheve, Suhareke, Rahovec, and Prizren
10 Q. Did he have a deputy?
11 A. No. At that time, that was the first step, the appointment of
12 the commanders. Then he was left time, the commander, to consult various
13 units and at the end come up with a proposal to the general staff for the
14 zone command.
15 Q. As far as you're concerned, were you given a role or an
16 appointment or a command, as it were?
17 A. The appointment of Muse Jashari who came to Malisheve, that was
18 an unknown terrain for him. When we talk about Suva Reka, Rahovec, and
19 Prizren, in some villages there was public organisation in place and part
20 of Prizren, but not in general. And it was difficult for the KLA units
21 to communicate among themselves at that time. So at that time Jakup
22 Krasniqi asked me to help Muse for his contacts in Malisheve. He asked
23 not only me but also the commanders of other units in that area to help
24 him to facilitate his work in order to consolidate a list of proposed
25 candidates for the zone command.
1 Q. I want to see if it's possible, probably using one of the
2 Prosecution maps. Would you be in a possible to delineate the area that
3 you thought was covered by this operational zone in July 1998? Would you
4 be able to do that with a circle, mark with a pen. I'll show you the
6 MR. MANSFIELD: It's P1, map 6, please. Could it be put on the
7 ELMO, please. It's the easiest one for these purposes.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Is it intended that this be marked?
9 MR. MANSFIELD: I think there -- I've just realised there are
10 spare copies of this sheet.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's the answer.
12 MR. MANSFIELD: I happen to have one myself which is -- it isn't
13 marked. I don't know whether that's suitable, in fact. It's got a water
14 mark at the top.
15 If the witness could have the -- it is in fact an exact replica
16 of this -- copy of this page, map 6, P1.
17 Q. I know you've seen this map, obviously, many times. If you could
18 just take your time with a marker pen, so far as you're able, the zone as
19 you understood it, the operational zone, in July 1998.
20 A. I want to say that the principle for dividing the operational
21 zones was the territory falling under the municipalities; that was the
22 simplest and uncomplicated division. So on the basis of the territories
23 of the respective municipalities.
24 Q. Would you just put it on the ELMO so we can see as you draw.
25 It's a bit easier to follow that way, rather than just looking at it
1 after you have done it. I'm sorry. You may need to sit sideways to do
3 A. [In English] I need to change this.
4 [Interpretation] So as I explained to you, the principle, the
5 underlining principle, was the division of the territories by the
6 municipalities. This is the zone, the operational zone, of Pastrik.
7 That is the border. That is the operational zone that was planned to be,
8 that is, based on Drenice municipality.
9 Q. That's the one outlined in red that you've just drawn. Is that
11 A. Yes, the Drenice Operational Zone more or less.
12 JUDGE PARKER: For the record, Mr. Mansfield, there is a line
13 drawn in blue. The area as I understand it, to the south-west of that
14 line is the Pastrik zone. There is then a line in red, and the area to
15 the north-west of that is the second zone. Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That part is wrong because it
17 belongs to the municipality of Fushe Kosova. This is the planned
18 Nerodime operational zone. It includes the municipality of Malisheve,
19 Rahovec, Suhareke, Prizren, Dragash. The Pastrik operational zone
20 included what I mentioned. The Nerodime included Ferizaj and later some
21 changes are made in the zones, Kacanik pass is transferred to Nerodime,
22 even though the plan was to include them in the Karadak zone. But after
23 the offensive of August, some changes occurred and Kacanik was left in
24 the context of Nerodime operational zone and not that of Karadak, as the
25 plan was initially.
1 Q. Now, I'm going to again -- to follow His Honour's lead, the area
2 in black that you've just drawn was intended to be the Nerodime zone. Is
3 that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, I know it's shooting forward a bit, but I will
6 save having to get this out again. Using this same plan but a different
7 marker pen, we know in August that there was a different organisational
8 zone, the 121 Brigade. Could you for these purposes at this stage
9 superimpose on this map the area of responsibility of that brigade, 121.
10 Can you do it in a different colour.
11 A. After August, after the establishment of brigades and the summer
12 offensive, we see changes which were brought about as a result of the
13 changes in the terrain. The 121 Brigade is formed in the territory of
14 the three operational zones at that time. It begins -- this is the
15 asphalt road. From Orlat in this area, part of Orlat was under 121
16 Brigade zone. One was under 113 Brigade zone. Along this road,
17 Orlat-Malisheve, always in the -- this part. This is a dividing line.
18 It continues around Malisheve along the way, the road, the Malisheve,
19 Dulje. Always if we go from Malisheve to Dulje it's on the left side,
20 Your Honours. This is the border line of the brigade.
21 In Dulje there is also the main road, Prizren-Prishtine. And if
22 we go from Prizren to Prishtine, it falls on the left side. It continues
23 on this line. Here it turns to Zborce, I think. It goes on to Vrshec,
24 or Blinaje, Miletci [phoen], Mirene and turns and meets the
25 Prishtine-Peja road.
1 And it turns here downwards to -- towards Komorane, Lapusnik, and
2 it meets the other line in Orlat. This is the territory that falls under
3 the command of 121 Brigade, which was formed, as I said, in the territory
4 of three operational zones -- intended zones that is.
5 Q. Yes, thank you.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: I wonder, Your Honour, if this could become
7 exhibited at this stage. I think in view of the other maps will be 4, 5,
8 and 6, this should be DL7, if that's acceptable.
9 JUDGE PARKER: May I suggest that we put them all in at this
10 point --
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: -- Mr. Mansfield. We're getting a bottleneck.
13 MR. MANSFIELD: So. So could it --
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will have 4, 5, and 6 on the basis that if
15 there is to be further marking by this witness it can be done.
16 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. Could the ordinance survey map be DL4.
17 This is the order in which they've been used. What's called the post-war
18 route map, Kosovo, DL5; the political map, DL6; and this one, that is a
19 version of -- copy of P1, map 6, that becomes DL7.
20 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Map number 1, which is the pre-war Serbian
22 Ordinance Survey map of 1995 would be given Exhibit Number DL4; map
23 number 2, which is the post-war political map of Kosovo dated 2000 will
24 be given Exhibit Number DL5; map number 3 which is post-war routine map
25 of Kosovo dated 2001 will be given Exhibit number DL6; and map number 6
1 from Prosecution Exhibit P1 which has been marked by the witness will be
2 given exhibit DL 7.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Slight reversal of your order, Mr. Mansfield.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: I don't think it's important. We can leave it.
5 Q. Can we go back to the position, Mr. Limaj, we were in. In other
6 words, we were in June at the moment, taking it slightly out of order so
7 we have the maps marked. This is after Krasniqi has paid the visit and
8 so forth. What other developments in June so far as you are concerned
9 and the KLA are concerned, what other things happened in June that you
10 can recall of any significance?
11 A. As I said earlier, the meeting with Mr. Krasniqi came as a result
12 of the concerns from what was seen in the terrain and what was going on
13 on the terrain. The people began to come with the request to join the
14 KLA. They wanted to get weapons and join the ranks, and they came in
15 great numbers. I would like to say that these people were mainly young
16 men. And just for your information, from 1991 there were whole
17 generations of Albanian young men who did not complete military service.
18 So Albanian youth between 1981 and 1991 had not completed the military
19 service. They wanted to join just out of their free will to fight for
20 their country. Just like us, they had no idea how to use weapons and how
21 to act in those war circumstances. These were young men, 18, 19 years
22 old, who unlike the older ones were not suitable to join the KLA.
23 As I said, we were not prepared. We didn't know how to act with
24 these people who wanted to join. And at that time while we were acting
25 in illegality, I personally - because I always speak on my behalf - I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 thought that we were entering Kosova because Kosova needed people who
2 were ready to sacrifice themselves and with this we could draw the
3 attention of the international community that there is a need for
4 solution here.
5 However, the developments in June, they made us -- the necessity
6 made us search for a solution in order to survive, because as you had
7 launched a propaganda for KLA, now you could not say that I don't know
8 what to say. So in Klecke there was an intention to set up a training
9 centre because at that time I had established contacts with a reservist,
10 an officer, as the reservist system existed from the Yugoslav Army, who
11 knew military rules. He was an elderly person and was ready to assist
12 with the training of young men who had no idea how to use weapons.
13 Klecka was a suitable place for such a purpose. We started up
14 with a group of 15 or 20 men to train these men. This officer was
15 directly involved in the training, and at the same time this was a way to
16 respond positively to the people because you could just not tell them all
17 the, Go back, go back. So in a way we started a training, and depending
18 on the situation some were trained for five days, some for six days.
19 Young men completed a kind of a course, and then they were told that they
20 have to go home and that they would be informed for their further
21 engagement. So they went to the units that they wanted to join.
22 Secondly, as Mr. Krasniqi told me, almost the entire general
23 staff had engaged in procuring weapons because the question of weapons
24 was the number one question. So they were all interested in getting as
25 much weapons as possible and arming people who wanted to get armed. So
1 those who came to us, we began to send them to Albania for weapons. And
2 upon their return, they decided for themselves where they would get
3 settled. Some would go to friends [Realtime transcript read in error:
4 "France"], some to families. They decided for themselves where they were
5 going to stay and settle down. So this is how things developed day by
7 You should have in mind the situation how it was in that time,
8 the concerns about the difficult situation at that time. For example,
9 soldiers in Malisheve municipality, as they lacked weapons and did not
10 have military barracks where they could stay. They all stayed in their
11 own houses. A system of shifts was introduced. Some were serving in
12 front line for eight hours and then resting for eight hours. So let's
13 say someone who worked in a shop, he went on the front line and completed
14 his shift for eight hours and then went back. And then he was replaced
15 by another person who completed his shift for another eight hours and
16 then went home. In concrete cases of danger, the issue of dislocation
17 came into existence because you had to be able to dislocate those people
18 in case of danger, but this was not possible. The only possible way for
19 these people was for them to stay in houses and eat there. They couldn't
20 stay anywhere else. So something had to be undertaken.
21 Q. Could I just interrupt. I'm sorry. There are a couple of
22 transcription errors I think. The first one is right at the top at the
23 moment. I think the witness said "the people who had weapons who joined
24 were accepted immediately and sent to the units." We've just gone off
25 the page. That was one thing.
1 The second is still on the page, at line 6, page 45, "some may
2 have gone to France." I think that would be wishful thinking, but again
3 it's an error. So I make those two points so it's clear at this stage.
4 I want to ask you a further question. You mentioned in the
5 context of training an elderly gentleman. Who was the elderly gentleman
6 who was employed for the purpose of training?
7 A. His name was Ajet Kastrati. He was not employed but he was a
8 member of the KLA.
9 Q. Now, I'm going to move further forward in time, and that is we
10 know that at the end of July - we're now into July - you talked about
11 getting various rules from Krasniqi and so on and the operational zone on
12 the 5th, 6th, and 7th of July. The end of July, obviously there was, as
13 we've heard, a very important battle on July the 26th. Now, so far as
14 the month of July is concerned and June, did you during those two months
15 have further occasions to go to Lapusnik for any reason?
16 A. Yes, I did go.
17 Q. Again, can you give us some idea of how often you went, how many
18 times you may have gone in those two months.
19 A. I wouldn't like to give a number because a number can be
20 interpreted in different ways. I can say that I went there often. As
21 you have said, I have gone 20 times. Maybe I have gone less than that or
22 more than that, but what I can say is that I went there when I saw that
23 there was a need for me to go there. Either on the way going to Drenica,
24 both during July or June --
25 Now I just remembered an incident which is important and can be
1 linked with what will be said. During that time for the first time I was
2 able to see official officers, professional ones. It was a group of
3 three or five officers -- maybe there were more of them, but personally I
4 see three of them, officers who had completed military academy, who had
5 come from abroad and joined the KLA. And with -- via the general staff,
6 they were observing the terrain. And if I can say, they were, in a way,
7 surveilling the terrain and every unit. Amongst these persons were
8 Byslym Zyropi; the second person, who is a national martyr now, is Agim
9 Qelaj. And the third, whose name unfortunately I don't remember at the
10 moment, but his pseudonym was Hans because he came from Germany. I don't
11 remember his name at the moment, but his name can be easily found. He
12 fortunately is still alive. So these people came to us as well. They
13 came to me at Klecka. They also visited different units and points in
14 Lapusnik, Negrovce, Kishna Reka, they also went to Suhareke and Dukagjin
15 area. They went to different villages in Drenica. Shortly they went to
16 different points and places.
17 What I wanted to say was this was the first time for us to see
18 professional military officers, and this was something that we
19 experienced for the first time and something that gave us hope for the
20 future. We thought that with these people, initiatives will be taken and
21 these initiatives will be taken by people specialised in these fields.
22 We were very happy to see the presence of these officers. I know that
23 Agim Qelaj from that small training centre that I mentioned, since Agim
24 Qelaj was specialised in military training, he took three or four of my
25 soldiers. He was inspired to create an intervention unit, so he took
1 three or four soldiers from my unit and some soldiers from other units.
2 This was by the end of June. So he prepared them, trained them, and sent
3 them to Negrovce village, somewhere at the Vucjak gorge, there is a place
4 between Negrovce and Turiqevc village, which is suitable for such
6 So this is how it developed. I know that we visited Lapusnik
7 with them as well. I remember this moment when we went together to visit
8 Lapusnik. They saw the place, they gave an idea or two to Isak or Ymer,
9 whoever was there. I was on other occasions as well. Whenever I would
10 go to Likovc, because I went there frequently in order to visit my
11 friends not on duty or for specific tasks, I just wanted to see them as
12 friends. So it was necessary to pass by Lapusnik in order to get to
13 Likovc. Whoever wanted to go to Likovc had to pass through Lapusnik
14 first, to stop there, have a coffee, discuss with someone, and this was a
15 normal routine.
16 So on my first visit -- during my visit, the first thing I would
17 do is see Isak or Voglushi. On other occasions I've visited Lapusnik and
18 other units as well on the way to Likovc, units when you pass by the road
19 from Orlat that leads to Lapusnik gorge.
20 Q. Now, I want to ask you some specific questions. Again, it's the
21 period June to July. Firstly, during that time, did you participate in
22 any way in the organisation or establishment of a prison camp in
24 A. No, sir. This is absurd. I told you what our main problems and
25 preoccupations were. It was impossible to imagine such a thing and to
1 have to do with such things.
2 Q. I want to ask you -- you've mentioned Isak Musliu. I want to ask
3 you about the other defendant who sits with you here in The Hague, Mr.
4 Bala. Before this case, had you ever met him?
5 A. I would like to say that there is a difference between meeting
6 and knowing someone. And after arriving here, Bala himself told me -
7 because I didn't remember - he said that we met in 2001. He had come to
8 me to ask for a favour for intervention at Pristina Hospital regarding
9 his daughter. I had never known this person before coming to Lapusnik
10 [as interpreted]. And whether I have met him, it is possible because I
11 have met with thousands of soldiers. But for me, he was unfamiliar. And
12 as for the meeting in 2001, this is what he told me; personally I did not
13 remember it. After the war soldiers would come on daily basis to ask for
14 favours, for assistance, Your Honours - this was very normal - so that
15 they could integrate in the developments, in the post-war developments.
16 So it is possible that this meeting happened, but for me it is an event
17 that I cannot remember. This is something that Mr. Bala told me himself,
18 that we've met in 2001, and it is possible. I didn't know this person
19 before I came here.
20 Q. Now, I want -- with your help if it's possible, since you've
21 indicated you've been to the Lapusnik area on a number of occasions, if
22 you're able now with the assistance of an aerial photograph of Lapusnik
23 to point out where you think you went in Lapusnik. It is, in fact, again
24 Prosecution Exhibit 1, and it's image 8. If that could be -- I do not
25 have a copy of that one -- that particular page, but if you could have a
1 look at the exhibit, please. Image 8 is entitled "Aerial image of
3 And I think -- certainly these -- some of these have already been
4 marked by other witnesses reasonable care so what I would like you to do
5 - yes, we have it now on your monitors - is with the use of the
6 indicator, the silver stick you've got there somewhere, the baton --
7 A. [In English] No, it's not here -- yes, you are right.
8 Q. Do you have -- you don't actually write on it. No. All right.
9 If you can just point -- we can see the road at the top which is the road
10 Pristina in -- off to the right as you look at it and Peja off to the
11 left as you look at it. That's the road at the top, to get your
12 bearings. Now, looking at that, can you now remember by pointing to the
13 areas where you think you went on the number of occasions that you went,
14 and can you indicate what it was that you went to see or the person you
15 went to see when you indicate an area.
16 A. [Interpretation] Your Honours, as you might see for yourselves,
17 this road here goes to this side; the other road goes to Likovc. This is
18 the road that links the internal part -- the interior of Drenica with
19 this part. So whoever had to go along this way. I have visited this
20 group of houses here. I have had a coffee -- because there was a
21 military unit of the village, of the neighbourhood. It had the name of
22 the neighbourhood.
23 MR. WHITING: Excuse me, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
25 MR. WHITING: I'm wondering if I can make a suggestion to assist
1 here. We have extra copies of the map; however, we don't have them in
2 the courtroom. Mr. Younis has some in his office. Perhaps the break
3 could be taken a little early. We could provide an extra copy of the map
4 and it could be marked for a clearer record.
5 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I'm most grateful.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.
7 In view of that, we'll break - it's only five minutes early - and
8 resume at about quarter to 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.26 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mansfield.
12 MR. MANSFIELD: With Your Honours' permission, may I just clarify
13 with the witness an answer that he gave. It's page 49, line 10.
14 Q. Mr. Limaj, just before the break you were dealing with Mr. Bala
15 and you made a distinction between meeting and knowing. And in that
16 context you said, and we've had it checked, you'd never known Mr. Bala
17 before coming to Lapusnik.
18 Now, is that right?
19 A. No, it's not right. I said I have never known him before coming
20 here to The Hague.
21 Q. Right. Yes. I'm -- it's either been misheard or you misstated
22 it. I don't go over that ground. Yes, thank you for that clarification.
23 Do you now have a copy of image 8, Prosecution Exhibit 1? It
24 should be on the ELMO. If it isn't, perhaps it could be put there --
25 right. Maybe it's mine. Sorry. Lucky I didn't mark it. Sorry.
1 This is another copy of the image 8, which we all have in
2 Prosecution Exhibit 1. Aerial image of Lapusnik. You had begun to look
3 at this and you had already pointed to just below the main road
4 Peja-Pristina to an area. And now perhaps with a marker pen you could go
5 back to that area and circle it and indicate what -- perhaps put a number
6 on it so we know from your evidence what the relevance of the area is.
7 So perhaps we could start the process of where you went in this general
8 vicinity, please.
9 A. I have problems with maps. I have seen -- I have looked at it
10 for a long time, actually, trying to remember some of the eventual visits
11 I paid. Your Honours, here you can see there is a house. I remember
12 that because that was a house of an old man, a pleasant old man I would
13 say, who received us often. We had a good communication with him, and
14 every time I went there I went to visit this sick old man. His name was
15 Qerkin Sopi. If I'm not mistaken, his house must be somewhere in this
16 area. Shall I circle it?
17 Q. Yes, please circle it and please put a -- put a number 1 by that
18 one so we know you're talking about the house of Mr. Sopi or the area
19 where you think his house was.
20 Sorry, I'm going to interrupt, if I may. In order -- if you can
21 remember looking at this aerial map and all the difficulties, can you
22 remember on the occasions you went to visit him how you got there, in
23 other words the route or the road or the track you used to get to his
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you just indicate it, please.
2 A. As I said, this is the entrance, if I might say so. It goes on
3 along this direction, if I am not wrong. It is an narrow road. It
4 continues along this line here. Here, as you can see. Here you could
5 take either this direction and come here or this other direction, even
6 though it was a longer path, the second one. And you could reach this
7 part here.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. There was this other direction that I mentioned.
10 Q. Yes. That's clear. Now, I want to ask you about any other
11 places that you can remember visiting in this vicinity.
12 A. I might have visited other houses in some instances. We might
13 have stopped somewhere where there have been soldiers or some civilian
14 might have invited us for a coffee, but these were impromptu visits.
15 Another one I remember was here in the vicinity of Qerkini's. It
16 is next to his home, more or less here. I remember because I think it
17 was used as an outpatient clinic, a sort of outpatient clinic. I
18 remember well that it had a yard, a garden surrounded by vineyards. And
19 I know because it was summer and we drank the coffee outside in the
20 garden with the owner who had this clinic in his house. Ferat Sopi I
21 think was his name. It was here, somewhere here. Isak was also
22 somewhere here.
23 Q. Could you mark that one with a 2. You've put 1 I think on the
24 first one. That's it.
25 A. I think here in this area, Isak used to sleep here close to this
1 house. So when I went there, I met Isak here at the clinic, sometimes as
2 Qerkini's. We might have eaten together. I told you that I had a good
3 relationship with this old man. He was a former political prisoner. He
4 was very pleasant to talk with. And I know that he was semi-paralyzed.
5 But strangely, he seemed to recover after the developments that I
6 mentioned about the KLA. It was inexplicable, his recovery. So every
7 time I went there, I met him. Then in the course of our conversation, I
8 found out that he knew my uncle. So sometimes, as I said, we ate
9 together, drank coffee. It was a pleasure that I went there.
10 But I might have visited other houses as well. I stopped here to
11 drink a coffee -- to have a coffee, here, here; there were some civilians
12 that happened to pass by and they offered coffee. They invited you to
13 lunch -- not only me myself but also other soldiers. We might have
14 stopped at their homes, might have drunk a glass of water, eaten lunch.
15 So all these are things we may have done. I can't rule them out.
16 But the same was true of the other part, because as I'm
17 describing it is a small neighbourhood in Lapusnik. Lapusnik is a wide
19 There was a friend of mine, for example, a soldier when I was a
20 soldier myself for those ten days, and I stayed at his -- I stopped at
21 his home, too, and had a coffee with him when I passed on to the villages
22 of Drenice.
23 Q. Now, I want to ask you ask you a specific matter, namely: Are
24 you in a position to indicate, if you knew, where the particular units or
25 points were in this area?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I'll try. Celiku 3 unit was positioned here.
2 Q. Could you put a circle as before?
3 A. I have made some mistakes. It's an approximate location. One
4 position was here, another might have been here, another one here.
5 Please take it approximately because I can't be exact.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Another here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -- 5 positions. The last one I
8 think was somewhere here, not here but here. So these were the points.
9 Q. I just want to ask you this: Did you have any say in where the
10 points where from time to time?
11 A. I cannot tell you exactly where the positions were. If I went to
12 some military positions, I went here to -- from this house here, here.
13 In the vicinity of the house where I had stopped. I may err to tell the
14 exact position of it, but I know there were five. Other units were
16 Q. Yes -- sorry, it's probably my mistake in being translated. I
17 was asking whether you in fact yourself had made decisions about where
18 points should be in this area.
19 A. No.
20 Q. Now, before we leave this aerial image, are there any other
21 features here that you recall, any houses, places that you went?
22 A. Your Honours, I want to tell you that here in this place it is
23 outside the zone, actually somewhere here. There is the Kizhareke
25 Q. It was off the monitor, so we didn't see. Can you just point it
1 again. Sorry about that. It has to be moved slightly so we can see
2 where you're pointing.
3 A. I may make some mistakes because it's outside the focus of this
4 map. It's somewhere here I think. This is the Kizhareke village. There
5 was a unit positioned here. Here there was another unit, a neighbourhood
6 unit that I mentioned earlier. I don't think it had a name. The
7 villagers of that neighbourhood organised themselves, purchased arms,
8 wanted to defend their homes.
9 Q. Could you just put a circle where you last mentioned the unit,
10 and I think we're up to 3. If you could number that one 3. The other
11 ones were points, so I wouldn't ask you to number.
12 A. I think there was -- number 4 was here, where the road turns
13 here. Here there -- at this place there were soldiers who control the
14 entries and exits. I think it was part of that unit. It was a joint
15 unit made up of villagers.
16 I'm repeating it, that these were villagers who organised
17 themselves, purchased their own weapons, and wanted to protect their
18 homes because there were some acts of burglary committed, since most of
19 the population, civilian population, had left. So a small number
21 And then there are other units which I cannot see in this part of
22 the map. On the other part of the Lapusnik gorge, along all the valley,
23 like the Pellumbi, Lumi, Guri, Murrizi, Ferra, the names of various
25 Q. I think that will do for the aerial, that you indicated it
1 doesn't cover all the units you knew.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Could that become -- we're up to 8 I think.
3 Could this become this marked version DL8, please.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Map number 8 will be given Defence Exhibit DL8.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Allow me to stress, Your Honours,
7 that I may have visited other homes, but in my memory they didn't
8 constitute any special occurrence. It was part of our daily life because
9 we did eat and sleep at other people's homes; that was part of our daily
10 living. So I can't rule out the possibility, as I said, of visiting
11 other homes. But if it happened that I visited a single home twice or
12 three times, that I certainly remember.
13 MR. MANSFIELD:
14 Q. Now, I want to ask you, since we're dealing obviously with
15 Lapusnik --
16 A. Excuse me. I forgot something. Besides here, now I remember, I
17 was -- I visited -- not visited but I ate with some soldiers in a kitchen
18 here, in a kitchen which was situated I think here, if I am not mistaken;
19 here in this place.
20 Q. Could you circle where you think it was, the kitchen, and put a
21 number by that. We may be up to 4 by now.
22 A. I think 5.
23 Q. 5, yes, certainly.
24 A. Approximately here. I know that I have been there. There were
25 10, 12 soldiers. We went to have lunch together. It was an improvised,
1 a makeshift kitchen, but they referred to it as a kitchen. I think it
2 was after the battle of the 17th of May that we ate together with these
3 soldiers there.
4 Q. Now, I want to come to events at the end of July, in other words
5 what has been known as the battle for Lapusnik, July the 26th. Did you
6 participate in fighting on that occasion?
7 A. Excuse me, Mr. Lawyer, I would give you an answer about Lapusnik
8 if you ask me about Rahovec.
9 Q. Well --
10 A. Because I have decided that, this case being a very important
11 case for me, I want to tell before this Honourable Trial Chamber the
12 truth, because I've been faced with -- for three years with a number of
13 allegations and I want to tell the truth. So whenever and wherever you
14 see something that you need to ask me about, please do so so that I can
15 present to you my views before this Honourable Trial Chamber. Allow me,
16 even if it takes too long, for me to explain the details. Allow me to
17 tell whatever I know about that part of my life, what I have witnessed.
18 I'm telling you that I want you to ask me about Rahovec because
19 there is a very controversial issue. There have been many slanders, many
20 allegations which have entailed sometimes my name. And I want to make
21 some things clear, even though maybe it's not directly linked -- related
22 to the case, but for me it is important.
23 Q. Yes -- sorry, I'm looking at the clock and other things that have
24 to be fitted in today if I can, so that is why I jump to the 26th and
25 Lapusnik at the moment, and we're dealing with Lapusnik at the moment.
1 Were you involved in fighting on the 26th of July? And then I'll come
2 back to Rahovec, obviously.
3 A. No, I was not involved. I was involved in the second part of the
4 first day, that is in the afternoon of the 25th. After 3.00 in the
5 afternoon, I went there. Fighting was very severe. I couldn't go where
6 I wanted to go, and there was a friend with me. I lost consciousness. I
7 have health problems and there I had the same fit I had in Rahovec. On
8 the 25th in the afternoon I went to take part in the fighting, but I
9 couldn't go to the front line, couldn't penetrate. I had this fit, this
10 loss of consciousness, and then afterwards I saw myself in Klecke where
11 the soldiers had returned me. But on the 26th, I didn't go. There was
12 no need for us to go there because at 10.00 in the morning the Lapusnik
13 gorge fell.
14 Q. Now, again I'm a question because of the context we're dealing
15 with. I will come back to Rahovec; don't worry.
16 I want to ask you whether at this time, that is on the --
17 thereabouts the 26th of July, you were in the Berisa Mountains, either on
18 a tractor or off a tractor or with other soldiers in the circumstances
19 where it is alleged prisoners from Lapusnik were being marched,
20 effectively, in the end, to their death. Were you in the Berisa
21 Mountains on such an occasion?
22 A. No. I was sick at the time. But even if I were healthy, okay,
23 it would be illogical for me to go from Berisa to Lapusnik because at
24 that time Serbian shelling was very severe. We had problems even in
25 Klecke, let alone to think of going to that place which was completely
1 bare -- it is -- there are no trees. It's under constant fire from the
2 Serbian forces. If you look at this map, this part of the map, this was
3 proven also by the soldiers who were there, eyewitnesses. The Serbian
4 tanks were stationed here, so we were under their full fire. Everything
5 was -- any movement was impossible.
6 As I told you, on the 25th I had a health problem, the same I had
7 in Rahovec before. It was at 12.00 I think one of the soldiers came and
8 told me that Lapusnik had fallen, Lapusnik gorge had fallen. So the
9 first thing that came to my mind, the first concern for me was Malisheve
10 because the falling of Lapusnik gorge meant that the Serbian forces would
11 head for Malisheve, where there were about 100.000 people sheltered there
12 coming from various areas. So Malisheve was overpopulated at that time.
13 And my family, too, was among the residents, even though for me my family
14 was -- mattered as much as the other families did.
15 I may be wrong, but it was either 1.00 or 2.00. I tried to pull
16 myself together and got up together with two soldiers. And we went with
17 my nephew as well, Naser Sabit. We got in a car and went -- drove to
18 Novoselle, as the map says, from Novoselle to Terpeze, from Terpeze along
19 the asphalt road we went directly to Malisheve to inform the people to
20 flee Malisheve gradually, to warn them that the Serbian forces might
21 shell Malisheve, for them to find shelters elsewhere. Because usually
22 from previous experiences, the Serbian forces were indiscriminate in
23 their attacks in the -- in their treatment of the civilian population in
24 the zones which had been under the control of the KLA. So we wanted the
25 civilian population to find shelter, as I said, elsewhere.
1 And so from Malisheve, the -- there were the shops and the
2 coffees were full of food supplies. The people didn't know what to do
3 with the supplies, with the people -- they were hoping that the Serbian
4 forces might not come there. So we told them to get with them whatever
5 they could and leave because the Serbian forces were on the way. I
6 remember that in a store I got about 15 kilogrammes of coffee, which one
7 of the salesmen gave to me on the road to Banje. So this I want to say
8 that people began to get whatever they could from the food provisions.
9 This was a good opportunity for people who were engaged in trade, because
10 this place was full of refugees. That's why I'm saying that the stores
11 were full of food supplies.
12 And from there I went to Banje, to my native village. I talked
13 with my family. I told them that they had to leave, because after
14 Malisheve fell I knew that the other villages would soon fall. And then
15 I went -- continued to inform the villagers, the inhabitants of other
16 villages in Bellanice, Temeqine. We spread the word all over these
17 places. Then we returned in the direction of Senik. From Senik in the
18 direction of Lladrovc, telling everyone we met and saw to take to the
19 mountains of Klecke, to take to the Klecke valley. Some went to
21 When I returned to Terpeze, it was late afternoon. Those
22 soldiers who had withdrawn from the Lapusnik gorge, a large number of
23 them were in Terpeze. During the time we had travelled from Malisheve,
24 Banje, Terpeze, until we returned to Terpeze, the population, the
25 civilian population, had taken the opposite direction and were coming in
1 the direction of Terpeze. The road was full of tractors, lorries,
2 trucks, whatever means the people had. So when the soldiers informed me
3 of what had happened, we tried with the soldiers who were there, the
4 others who came from Klecke, to form a front line in Terpeze, if for
5 nothing, at least to delay the entry of the Serbian forces into
6 Malisheve, to enable the civilian population to leave. And, on the other
7 hand, to put up a defence line in Terpeze that if they attempted to enter
8 Malisheve in the direction of Terpeze, we could hold them there, to
9 prevent them from entering Klecke.
10 So I want to say that all these movements, all these things I did
11 without leaving the car, because I felt very weak after what had happened
12 and after the intensive week I had passed. I think it was 7.00 or 8.00
13 in the evening I returned from Terpeze to Klecke. From Terpeze to Klecke
14 at that time it took normally five hours to manage to penetrate into
15 Klecke because of the very heavy traffic that I told you. The civilian
16 population were using everything they could, and there was no other way
17 for us to enter other than that road. So in the evening we managed to
18 return to Klecke. And at 10.00, everything was over, as the eyewitnesses
19 to the event say. That is a truth of that day.
20 And in the evening, Isak came around 8.00. We didn't have
21 information as to what the casualties were, who was dead, who was
22 injured. He told us that Ymer was killed there, that -- we sat down and
23 talked. Even though we were very tired, we talked with Isak and the
24 others about what to do in these circumstances. We discussed about the
25 soldiers who were there, those who were in Terpeze and in other places
1 because as a result of that offensive, the soldiers spread out in many
2 areas. So we tried to put up, as I said, a defence line and set up some
3 observation points to survey the Serbian forces because we didn't know
4 what their plans were, what they would do on the next day. We were
5 worried because there were about 50.000 people scattered all over these
6 mountains and hills and we had no idea whatsoever what might happen to
7 them if the Serbian forces tried to penetrate into the hinterland of
8 Terpeze, Lladrovc on the one hand and -- as I said, we had no idea what
9 might happen. We were under extraordinary pressure.
10 This is how events happened on the 26th, the way I saw them.
11 Q. Now, before I move on to what you did with the people who were
12 displaced, the refugees, I want to go back a fraction. You mentioned in
13 that answer that it was at the end of a very intensive week and you were,
14 yourself, very weak. And that, I suggest, takes us back to Rahovec and
15 matters that had happened just before Lapusnik. So would you kindly now
16 indicate what had been happening there before events erupted at Lapusnik.
18 A. This was a consequence of the developments in Malisheve. A copy
19 of a previous situation. And people behaved the same way other people in
20 other areas behaved.
21 I forgot to mention an incident. Sometime in the beginning of
22 July, the General Staff appointed civilian administrators for the
23 municipality of Malisheve. I think this was a first appointment after
24 the conversations I had with Jakup Krasniqi, and I'm sure that Jakup had
25 conversations with others as well. And I think it was in this time that
1 the General Staff appointed a civilian directorate in order to cope with
2 the entire civilian population in Malisheve at that time. Gani Krasniqi
3 was appointed chief of this civilian directorate. In the beginning of
4 July he invited me to go down from Klecka because Malisheve was now a
5 centre and to set up an office or a place in Malisheve and then designate
6 the tasks that we were going to deal with. I did not accept this offer
7 to leave Klecka and go to Malisheve for the reasons that I mentioned
8 earlier. I didn't want to take up such a responsibility. And simply, as
9 I said, Malisheve was not our result [as interpreted]. On the one hand I
10 thought that if I went there, the General Staff had to make an
11 appointment to see what I was going to do there. So maybe it's in the
12 interest of this Chamber to know this fact.
13 On the 17th of July, this is a first time after all that time
14 while I was in Switzerland and in Kosova, this is a first time I decided
15 to spend a night with my family. So throughout this time -- throughout
16 this time in Kosova, this is the first time I decided to spend a night in
17 my own house, because up to that time I had never gone to spend a night
18 with my family. I had gone to visit them for an hour or two or have a
19 lunch, but I had never slept in my house. It was around 11.30 p.m. I
20 went from Klecka through Novoselle or Fshati i Ri but I'm using the
21 toponym Novoselle because that's how it is marked on the map.
22 When I arrived at the Malisheve crossroads, there is a place that
23 divides a road from Dulje from one side to and the other side to Rahovec.
24 There I saw a group of people and two soldiers. I stopped the vehicle.
25 I was alone and I asked these people what were the news because it was
1 11.30. You could see that that was something extraordinary. There was
2 some women and men and some soldiers speaking with them. I stopped the
3 car to see what was going on. The soldiers told me that according to
4 those civilians, there was fighting going on in Rahovec. And they for
5 themselves were not sure whether that was true, but what they told me was
6 that according to those civilians there was fighting going on in Rahovec
7 and that a group of soldiers from Malisheve have gone to Rahovec for
8 assistance and in order to find out what was going on there.
9 As I felt this personal responsibility and I was not in peace
10 with myself, I didn't want to go to my family without knowing what was
11 going on. I could have done so, although nothing was at the time
12 regulated by regulations, military regulations. Everything depended on
13 your own decision. I set off in the direction of Rahovec. It was
14 something extraordinary. It was something unexpected, these fightings at
16 At the entrance of Rahovec -- Your Honours, I think there was a
17 recording [as interpreted] that could best describe the city of Rahovec.
18 At the entrance of Rahovec there are two roads, one going inside the city
19 and one going around the city. I would like to tell you that I had never
20 gone to that city before. Although it is close to Malisheve, I had
21 nothing to do there. I had no family relations or a reason to go and
22 visit this city.
23 So when I went at the Rahovec crossroads, there I met soldiers
24 from Rahovec. I asked them what was going on. They told me that there
25 was combat going on inside the city. After this, I asked them about the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 soldiers from Malisheve that those soldiers before told me. They told me
2 that these soldiers from Malisheve were directed to the entrance of
3 Rahovec from Prizren side. I went towards this direction. At that time
4 to enter Rahovec was not something that you could easily do. Only those
5 who knew the terrain could do that. So I went straight to these soldiers
6 from Malisheve. I saw these soldiers -- there's another road that
7 divides the road that goes inside the city and the one that goes around
8 the city.
9 So these soldiers were there in the same way that the soldier
10 from Rahovec had left them. I asked them, Why did you come here? Who
11 told you to come here? And one of the soldiers asked me back, Why did
12 you come here? And I said to him, Well, I heard about the combat. And
13 he said, Well, that's what we heard, but there's nobody who can direct us
14 where to go, what to do. And I said to them, Let's go away from this
15 road. Because the Serbs were positioned at a place from where -- the
16 place where we were was quite visible. And shortly after, Serb shells
17 fell on that location and we -- if we stayed there for another second,
18 I'm sure that there would have been casualties amongst us.
19 I sent one of the soldiers to the entrance of Rahovec and meet
20 [as interpreted] one of the leaders or one of the people from that place
21 and ask him what was going on. A soldier came and he said to me, Well,
22 no one from the leaders was there. And then I asked, Who gave the order?
23 How come this fighting in Rahovec happened? And according to him, what
24 he told me with you, several soldiers went to their homes in the city in
25 order to visit their families, and that they were discovered by these
1 Serb forces. The Serb forces went to arrest them. They resisted the
2 arrest, and that's how the attack began.
3 And after that incident, the soldiers who were positioned -
4 because there were positioned units at the entrance of Rahovec, around
5 Rahovec - and all these soldiers who were positioned and who were
6 guarding the Rahovec-Malisheve road, when they heard the shooting they
7 thought that their friends were getting killed, the families of their
8 friends were getting killed and they all entered Rahovec. So whoever
9 entered Rahovec at that time had no idea of what was going on. They were
10 all entering Rahovec in order to help someone else.
11 So I consulted the other 12 soldiers and decided that the best
12 way we could help was to block the road and build up a defence line at
13 the entrance of Rahovec. And I requested from some families at the
14 entrance of Rahovec that they gave me some working equipment so that we
15 could open up defence positions. I was sure that the Serb forces were
16 not going to tolerate the situation as they tolerated the situation in
17 Malisheve. I was sure that they were going to act. So at least I
18 thought that it was good for us to create -- to establish a defence line
19 that would direct the people who were withdrawing from the city. So we
20 started opening up -- digging up trenches. So it took us some time to
21 find the equipment. And at around 5.00 or 6.00 in the morning, we
22 started digging up the trenches.
23 And the first part of the next day, the 18th, at around 8.00 in
24 the morning, I left that place, I left those young men, and went up
25 thinking that I would be able to find someone who will be able to give me
1 an answer about what was going on. And on that occasion, I met with Agim
2 Qelaj and with Rexhep Selimi and Muse Jashari who had arrived there an
3 hour earlier at the entrance of Rahovec. I can say that it was in a
4 stressed way, in a nervous way that I asked which was that person? Who
5 was that person, that organ, that body who gave the order to enter
7 And at that time, the representatives of the General Staff,
8 Rexhep Selimi, and Byslym Zyropi and Musa, they told me that they heard
9 for the first time about the events in Rahovec this morning, at 7.00 or
10 8.00 in the morning. And in a hurry they came in order to see what was
11 the situation and to find the way that would take us out from the
12 position that the KLA was in and to avoid the danger to which the
13 population was exposed. And the General Staff, Byslym Zyropi and Sokol
14 Bashota, they decided that Agim Qelaj should become an operations
15 commander for Rahovec and Agim became kind of a coordination point for
16 all those that were there.
17 So I informed them on this occasion that I had started to set up
18 a defence line, a block, and I went back and I stayed there for the
19 entire day and the entire night without any sleep.
20 Maybe it would be appropriate to mention another detail.
21 Sometime at around 4.00 a.m. I walked up a hill which is in the line with
22 the positions that we had set up. And I wanted to light to cigarette,
23 and I nearly fell asleep on the back of this soldier. And both myself
24 and this soldier had turned our backs to Serb snipers who were at 100 or
25 200 metres from us. Both of us, we didn't know the terrain, but
1 fortunately I think they were getting ready for the operation and they
2 didn't want us to find out about their positions. And that's why we
3 managed to survive.
4 I slept for an hour, an hour and a half, then I went down to the
5 point, to that front line that we had established. One of the
6 inhabitants of the houses in the vicinity happened to be there, and I
7 asked him for a coffee. He gave me a coffee. And after I had the
8 coffee, I think it was half an hour after that, I didn't know anything
9 about myself anymore. In fact, I had the coffee and then went to Agim
10 and reported to him about the situation down there. And then I fainted.
11 And in fact this person saved my life. Some of the soldiers took me to
12 the clinic. There was a makeshift hospital in Gajrak, Malisheve
13 municipality, and the doctors checked me up. This was how it happened in
15 And if there is a mark about this period regarding the KLA, I
16 think it's -- if there is a black stain, it's this because nobody knows
17 how things really developed. This is one of the reasons I wanted to
18 mention this, because I know this incident as a black stain that made the
19 KLA pay a high price, both in casualties in its ranks and in -- and
20 waivered people's confidence.
21 Rahovec states or purely mirrors the way the KLA organised -- was
22 organised at that time. It's a concrete example.
23 Q. I want in the remaining time tonight in fact to deal with another
24 what might be regarded as a black stain, since you've used that term, and
25 that is the question -- the topic of collaborators. Did you have,
1 yourself personally, a view about elaborators [sic]. Did you make
2 distinctions and what were they?
3 A. Just like the others, I too had my views about them. In the case
4 of the KLA, the communiques issued, most of them actually, issued by the
5 KLA before the frontal attack, before the events followed in the summer
6 of 1998 for them, collaborators were those people who were actively
7 inspectors in the UDB or in the police, people directly involved in
8 operations involving murders, assassination attempts, offences, or
9 ransacking or searches, violation operation, imprisonment of people,
10 continuous, persistent operations. That was the category that was seen
11 as the Serb police by us, that is people who had exerted violence in the
12 same way as the Serbs. In some cases, the collaborators who are
13 inspectors, as I said, have led massacres perpetrated in Likoshan, Prekaz
14 and Qirez, and in other places. There are some instances when those
15 collaborators have led and staged ambushes against the KLA, like the case
16 of Zahir Bajaziti was or Elmoz Hoxha, or Zejnullah. I don't remember his
17 last name at this moment. Three killed soldiers. Or Rexhep Bislimi or
18 the murder of Afrim Zhitija, Nuri Berisha. So these were people who were
19 continuously involved in such operations, and these were looked upon as
20 collaborators by the KLA. If in this Trial Chamber it has been said that
21 a collaborator who was someone who had relations with the Serbs, who has
22 cut wood or sold things to them.
23 I am giving you an example. In Malisheve there were at least 500
24 private firms or companies who -- which had exclusive business
25 relationship with other Serb cities and firms because you can imagine
1 that we were entirely isolated. We could either trade with Macedonia or
2 with Serbia. If we had some business with Macedonian firms, we had to
3 pay taxes and it was very unfavourable for the citizens, so they didn't
4 want to pay taxes. So the entire business activity was developed within
5 the country, that is between us and Serbia, Serbian cities. And you
6 won't find a single case. I'm talking about my own region, but I'm sure
7 that this has happened everywhere. If someone has been taken --
8 expropriated of his cafe, his other restaurant, or whatever establishment
9 he might have had, he is maltreated in prison, you won't find a single
10 case. On the contrary, you'll see that --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please ask the witness to slow down.
12 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
13 Q. In the last half an hour you have speeded up considerably. I
14 wonder if it is possible in the embers in the day, if you could slow down
15 a little bit.
16 A. I'm under your pressure.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. Because I'm trying to tell you what I think is important.
19 Q. Yes. Can I just -- I'm going to pause for a moment just to catch
20 your breath, as it were, and also the interpreters. You -- in that last
21 answer you've made a distinction between those collaborators who in fact
22 have caused deaths and collaborators in the sense that the Chamber's
23 heard, people who might do business with Serbs. Now, taking those two
24 categories for a moment. Do the two categories attract a different kind
25 of treatment or the same treatment or what? And what is the treatment?
1 A. Your Honours, I'd like to give you my personal example, and you
2 may give it your weight. It has been said here that someone who has
3 worked as a forest ranger has been killed just because he had relations
4 with Serbian people and he has been considered a collaborator. I'm
5 telling you that my own father worked until 1998/1999 - he interrupted
6 his activity when the war broke out - he has worked all along with
7 Serbian colleagues. If we go by this logic, then how can that my own
8 father has been working all the time with them? So it has got nothing to
9 do with the truth.
10 I am telling you again that it may have happened that some
11 murders have been committed out of personal motives, out of personal
12 revenge. This is another category. But to try to attribute to KLA this,
13 the fact that all those who were working and collaborating with the Serbs
14 were collaborators, then in this case we should have killed 90 per cent
15 of the Albanians. Even though we were against the regime, we were
16 obliged to communicate with the Serbs in all walks of life. So people
17 had to live and they had to interrelate with one another.
18 I lived in Pristina. On the same floor that I lived -- on the
19 next floor where I lived, there was a Serb family and we used to greet
20 each other every time we saw each other. But because I greeted them, I
21 didn't -- doesn't mean that I was a supporter of Milosevic. I know --
22 I'm sure that they knew about my beliefs, my conviction that Kosova
23 should be a state in itself, an independent state. And time has shown
24 that right was on our side because it was those -- the Serbs themselves
25 that overthrew Milosevic. I think that the tendency to mix up these
1 elements and to tag such people as collaborators, this is groundless,
2 this is not true.
3 Malisheve, I mentioned the firms that are in Malisheve, but all
4 over Kosova, there are hundreds of thousands of such firms and companies.
5 You can find businessmen in Kosova who were directly working in
6 cooperation with the criminal structures of Milosevic, who have made
7 material gains out of this cooperation. They have evaded taxes, to give
8 them money to bribe the state officials of Serbia. Our Albanian firms
9 have cooperated with such businesses, and they have become very powerful
10 today out of their cooperation with Milosevic's son or other such
11 structures. But for me, this was not important. For me, it was
12 important to harm the state -- the budget of Serbia. Now these people
13 have their own businesses, their own economy, they are rehabilitated now.
14 It is in the interests of the new institutions of Kosova to look into the
15 origin of such people assets and wealth, but this is up to the
16 institutions in Kosova. But the fact is that people got rich after the
17 1990s. Before that, they didn't have anything. You know that there are
18 hotels and other businesses. And now, as you might see, their businesses
19 are being legalised, Your Honours. I hope that the institutions of
20 Kosova will at some point in future look into the origin of such wealth.
21 I told this just to illustrate the level of cooperation among the
22 -- between the Albanians and the Serbs because there was no way out for
23 Albanians than to cooperate with the Serbs. How could we tell an
24 establishment, an enterprise, not to cooperate with Serbia, not to bring
25 cement, bricks, whatever, construction materials were needed. How could
1 the houses be built if they were not allowed to do that? We couldn't
2 tell an enterprise not to import -- not to bring sugar, flour, whatever,
3 because we didn't have our own produce. It is illogical I think to look
4 at such people in this way.
5 I am still saying that the category of collaborators for me
6 personally, and I think this was a prevailing concept in the KLA, were
7 those people were engaged directly in criminal activities or operations,
8 and I can give you examples of such people. In this case, I have learned
9 many truths that I otherwise would not have learned.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Mansfield, please.
11 MR. MANSFIELD:
12 Q. I was just going to stop you in case you were going to give a
13 list of examples. Others can ask you if they need it. I was going to
14 ask you this question. In view of what you have said today. It's a
15 hypothetical question, but it must be put to you.
16 If during the months of May, June, and July 1998 it had been
17 brought to your attention that there was a prison camp in which people
18 who had had relations with the Serbs or had thought to have had relations
19 with the Serbs were being seriously maltreated, what would you have done
20 about it?
21 A. I would have immediately reported this to the headquarters, to
22 the leading bodies, to find out whether they knew, or at least to inform
23 them, to alert them about that. Otherwise, I would not consider myself a
24 member of the KLA. It would be suicidal to the KLA itself.
25 Q. Besides reporting it, would you have done anything else?
1 A. I don't think I could have done something else.
2 Q. And why is that?
3 A. Because I told you about the organisational level and the
4 possibilities we had to act.
5 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, it's slightly early, but the next
6 topic will take rather longer than five minutes. May I assure the
7 Tribunal we -- the topics I have left to cover will be finished well
8 within the time tomorrow. So I apologise it's taken a little bit longer.
9 May I also indicate when the witness mentioned a recording, I
10 think he meant a film, if I eve got this right, and we would ask
11 permission at some stage tomorrow that the film is shown. It's already
12 on the list of exhibits. The Prosecution are aware of it. It's various
13 shots of Kosovo, and in particular places that the witness has mentioned
14 in his evidence. And the idea would be, subject to your approval -- it
15 takes 30 minutes to show it, that he narrates the places that are on the
16 film, and it's almost a substitute for the Court having a view, if I may
17 put it that way. Those are the remaining matters.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield, one concern I have from the comment
20 you've just made, I think there was an estimate of three days made in
21 respect of this witness. That should have been not only for
22 examination-in-chief but all stages of examination and cross-examination.
23 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm not -- I'm thinking rapidly. I thought we'd
24 made an estimate of four days altogether, in other words two in-chief and
25 two for cross-examination. I think that was the original estimate.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The one I have seen is three days.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, well I'm sorry -- someone to my right is
3 admitting it is his mistake. It will not affect the overall structure.
4 I had allowed two days. I am overrunning, I admit that. But it was
5 never thought that we would get the whole of the cross-examination plus
6 the examination-in-chief in three days. I don't think that was
7 anticipated and I apologise if you have been misled. And Mr. Churcher,
8 the next witness, has been asked to come -- to be ready for Tuesday, but
9 I appreciate the Prosecution may not be finished by then, but it's
10 certainly within our time scale.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes --
12 MR. MANSFIELD: If it comes to it, if -- for example, I can deal
13 with the film in other ways. It doesn't necessarily have to be shown as
14 part of his evidence. It's just that he knows the places and that would
15 be sensible.
16 JUDGE PARKER: The point is to ensure that the time estimates are
17 recognised as covering the whole of the evidence of the witness.
18 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Or else we will creep out to double what is
20 presently estimated.
21 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. May I assure you what we've done overnight
22 - I don't know whether Mr. Whiting has been told and if he hasn't --
23 JUDGE PARKER: He's now being told.
24 MR. MANSFIELD: We have attempted to say straightaway -- we had a
25 conference last night about these matters. The witnesses that we are
1 definitely calling over the next two weeks, and by implication some of
2 the witnesses on the list are already being dropped off, but effectively,
3 a final decision cannot be taken while the defendant is giving his
4 evidence. But we are working very hard -- I can assure Your Honour that
5 there will be a much reduced list in his case. And we're not at the
6 moment concerned that our case will -- in fact, I estimate three and a
7 half weeks, maximum, for our case, even at the present rate that we're
9 JUDGE PARKER: I will suggest we should adjourn now before you
10 have any change of heart, Mr. Mansfield.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
15 May, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.