1 Thursday, 17 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-04-84-T, the Prosecutor versus Ramush Haradinaj et al.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. The Chamber would like to
10 inform the parties that pursuant to Rule 15 bis (A), today's hearing will
11 take place in the absence of Judge Hoepfel. Judge Hoepfel is for urgent
12 personal reasons unable to sit today, and the remaining Judges, that is
13 Judge Stole and myself, concluded that it is in the interests of justice
14 to continue the trial without Judge Hoepfel for the day.
15 A few procedural issues. Let's try to keep it as short as
16 possible. The parties will be aware that the testimony of
17 Colonel John Crosland will resume next week, and the Chamber would like
18 to ask the Defence whether they object to the admission of, first, the
19 documents accompanying the transcripts from the Limaj case; and second,
20 whether they object to the documents that the Prosecution tendered
21 through the witness in its examination-in-chief.
22 If there is an objection to the admission of any of documents,
23 the Chamber would like to ask the Defence to specify the documents to
24 which they object on the coming Monday. I think I earlier asked your
25 attention for the advantages of the Chamber being aware prior to the
1 continuation of the examination of Colonel Crosland.
2 Then, finally, I will -- the Chamber makes a statement regarding
3 two Prosecution's Rule 92 bis motions. Until, I think, one or two hours
4 ago, the statement was longer than it is now, and that is due to the fact
5 that today the Prosecution has filed a corrigendum to Prosecution's
6 motion to admit written statements pursuant to Rule 92 bis, which only
7 arrived, I think, this morning.
8 Nevertheless, the Chamber makes a few comments on the Rule 92 bis
9 motions filed by the Prosecution.
10 On the 19th of February, 2007, the Prosecution filed a notice of
11 a motion to admit written statements pursuant to Rule 92 bis. The motion
12 contained the statements of and other material relating to 21 persons.
13 The Defence responded on the 28th of February, on the 1st of March, and
14 on the 2nd of March.
15 On the 7th of May, 2007, the Prosecution filed a motion to admit
16 statements of eight persons pursuant to Rule 92 bis. Seven of these
17 persons were included in the original 19th of February filing. The
18 motion does not explain how the material contained in the two filings
19 compare, and in particular it does not explain what changes have been
20 made to the original statements. The Chamber notes that some statements
21 are identical while others have been amended to one degree or another,
22 even if the motion is silent on these changes.
23 One of the eight persons who is assigned Witness number 86 is
24 indicated as a viva voce witness in the Prosecution's witness list of the
25 2nd of March, 2007. Although not clearly set out in the motion, the
1 Chamber understands that the Prosecution now wishes to change this
2 witness's status from viva voce witness to Rule 92 bis witness. The
3 Prosecution should have clarified this new request in its 7th of May
5 The Chamber hereby brings this information to the Defence's
6 attention in order to ensure that it will be properly and fully
7 considered by them in their responses which are due the 21st of May,
8 2007. However, the Chamber also requests the Prosecution to be perfectly
9 clear in future motions concerning Rule 92 bis how the material in those
10 motions relate to previous motions, in particular the 19th of February
12 This concludes the Chamber's comments on the Prosecution's 92 bis
14 Mr. Emmerson.
15 MR. EMMERSON: At two minutes to 2.00 this afternoon, we received
16 an e-mail from Mr. Re concerning the scheduling of witnesses for next
17 week. Without going into the details of it, it places the Defence in
18 very real difficulty because there is currently of a high degree of
19 uncertainty about who is coming and when they are coming, which makes
20 planning on the current state of the information for cross-examination in
21 practical terms impossible.
22 Now, it may be that during the course of the afternoon, further
23 information will become available, but could I invite Your Honours to
24 request Mr. Re's attendance at ten minutes to 7.00 this afternoon so that
25 a proper explanation can be given as to who it is we need to prepare to
1 examine next week.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, may I -- one second, please.
3 Yes, the Chamber has received a copy of this e-mail.
4 Mr. Kearney, do you think Mr. Re would be available at ten
5 minutes to 7.00?
6 MR. KEARNEY: I don't see why not, Your Honour. I will ask him
7 at the first break, and I will have information for you at that time.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There might perhaps even be a possibility to
9 send him an e-mail so that if he has got anything else to do this
10 afternoon, that he doesn't miss the request. The Chamber, of course,
11 will read in more detail the e-mail and -- but at least the Chamber
12 supports until now the presence of Mr. Re at ten minutes to 7.00.
13 Anything else? Then could the witness be brought into the
14 courtroom -- if at least, Mr. Kearney, you're ready.
15 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I am ready. I just wanted to bring
16 one matter to the Court's attention. As the Court remembers, yesterday
17 the Chambers found a discrepancy in the 92 ter statements. At the
18 conclusion of proceedings yesterday, I spoke to colleagues on the
19 Defence, specifically Messrs. Emmerson and Harvey. I did not have a
20 chance to talk to Mr. Guy-Smith at the time.
21 In any event, we spoke and counsel gave me their assent to the
22 admission of the document if the Prosecution could submit to the Court
23 that the two translations were accurate with each other. And I thank
24 Mr. Emmerson and Mr. Harvey for that gracious gesture.
25 Since yesterday, we've had an Albanian interpreter compare the
1 two documents, and I'm assured that the only difference between them is
2 the simple two words in that one paragraph the Court found of "lower
3 Lluka" --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. KEARNEY: -- being in the English translation and not the
6 Albanian. So --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that -- let me just cut this short.
8 The discrepancy as such was not shocking. I would say also "return from
9 lower Lluka" or -- because that appears in one of the other statements,
10 and it's not of great relevance from where exactly he returned, I take
11 it, at that moment. It was more shocking that there was a discrepancy.
12 That was -- if that's just a translation issue or whether there's cutting
13 and pasting is something of concern.
14 Any further --
15 MR. EMMERSON: Simply, as a procedural issue in that regard, my
16 understanding with this witness - and it may be with others, too - is
17 that the 92 ter statement that was read to the witness and which he
18 therefore attests to is the English version; in other words, it is read
19 to him in English and then translated into Albanian orally.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, of course, all the signatures under the
21 other version are --
22 MR. EMMERSON: Unless I've got that wrong. In other words, it's
23 important to know which statement it is that the witness has agreed is
24 correct, insofar as there may be a discrepancy between them.
25 MR. KEARNEY: And my understanding is that the witness read the
1 Albanian version to himself, made corrections to the Albanian version and
2 satisfied himself it was correct. Those changes were incorporated; he
3 signed that document. That document was then translated based on --
4 JUDGE ORIE: And not read again to him -- translated again in the
5 other direction.
6 MR. KEARNEY: Correct. The English version was not read to him.
7 If the Court --
8 JUDGE ORIE: If they are the same, there seems to be not a major
9 problem, but I'd like to -- not at this moment but to have this clarified
10 for the future so that there's never -- that we always know, apart
11 from -- I mean, it seems that witnesses are signing every statement in
12 all languages just to make sure that it was before them, but then I'd
13 like to know whether they read the statement they signed or whether the
14 statement in a language they do not understand was translated back to
15 them from that original, or both.
16 Let's proceed --
17 MR. EMMERSON: I think, if I may just say so, this inquiry began
18 with Your Honour asking which is the authentic statement?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. EMMERSON: And I think the answer is the authentic statement
21 is the Albanian statement, which the witness read and signed.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now we know that they are the same. Yesterday
23 we spent quite some time on whether to use six or seven minutes in
24 cross-examination, so let's get started with the witness.
25 Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Cekaj. Please be seated.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, I'd like to remind you that you're still
5 bound by the solemn declaration you gave yesterday at the beginning of
6 your testimony. Mr. Kearney will now continue his examination.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
8 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 WITNESS: SHEMSEDIN CEKAJ [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Kearney: [Continued]
12 Q. Mr. Cekaj, good afternoon, sir.
13 A. Good afternoon to you.
14 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I want to just follow-up on one comment you had
15 yesterday. You were talking about the -- the Serb artillery that you
16 heard while you were still living in the village of Peje, and I want to
17 ask you a few questions about that artillery, if I may.
18 Mr. Cekaj, by my estimate, you spent over a decade in the
19 Yugoslavian Army serving as a soldier in that army. Is that correct?
20 A. As an officer, not as a soldier, not as a simple soldier.
21 Q. My apologies, Mr. Cekaj. I'm sorry about that. I just want to
22 ask you, based on your experience in the army, can you tell us anything
23 more about the size of the guns you heard conducting this shelling and
24 their possible range, if you know that size, please?
25 A. This could be artillery 120-millimetres.
1 Q. And based on your own experience in the army, how far does a
2 shell from a 120-millimetre artillery piece travel?
3 A. Although I did not belong to any artillery unit, I think that you
4 can fire it up to 8 to 12 kilometres. It depends.
5 Q. Thank you for that answer, Mr. Cekaj.
6 MR. KEARNEY: I now, if I may, with the Court's permission, would
7 like to move back into the document that we had on the screen yesterday.
8 This is Exhibit P318.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the screen.
10 MR. KEARNEY:
11 Q. Mr. Cekaj, can you see that -- can you see that document clearly,
12 Mr. Cekaj?
13 A. I have to put on my glasses, I can't without them, but I know the
14 villages by heart.
15 MR. KEARNEY: And, Your Honour, if it would be easier for the
16 witness, I have a hard copy here. I'm not sure if it would be easier for
17 him if we presented that to him during his testimony.
18 JUDGE ORIE: It's the way how you manage it, Mr. Kearney, but
19 there's no objection against giving hard copies to the witness.
20 MR. KEARNEY:
21 Q. Mr. Cekaj, is one of those easier for you to read than the other?
22 A. I think I can give an answer to you. I can see it [as
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please, no markings until specifically requested,
25 Mr. Cekaj.
1 MR. KEARNEY:
2 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I'm just going to ask you, yesterday you said that -
3 I'm quoting now:
4 "This area in blue represented where the KLA soldiers could move
5 at that time."
6 Do you remember making that statement yesterday?
7 A. Yes. The KLA and the people who lived in the area.
8 Q. What do you mean by that, that they could -- the -- those people,
9 the KLA and the civilians, could move freely within that area?
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, that's --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, sir --
13 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: -- I think that Mr. Kearney stretched the
15 question a bit from what the witness said.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness said something about moving, not
17 about freely moving. That's not exactly the same under the
18 circumstances, Mr. Kearney. Could you please explore that?
19 MR. KEARNEY: Yes, I thank my colleague for that suggestion.
20 Q. Could you please explain what you meant, Mr. Cekaj, by saying
21 that KLA soldiers and civilians could move within that area at the time
22 you've indicated on the map?
23 A. Yes. Along the main road Peje-Decane-Gjakove. The villages that
24 were close to the road were at risk, and the KLA soldiers were positioned
25 there, in those villages, while in the internal parts they could carry
1 other duties, secondary duties, or be with their families. So the
2 situation was like that, that they also carried out other duties, family
3 duties or other personal business.
4 Q. And just --
5 A. This is my answer.
6 Q. Thank you. And just so we're clear, when you say the internal
7 parts, what are you referring to, please?
8 A. The villages that were not directly vulnerable to the Serb
9 attacks or that were under Serb attack from objects that were along this
10 main road Peje-Decane-Gjakove.
11 Q. For instance, you have a smaller blue circle drawn on that
12 exhibit around your village of Irzniq. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, this is my village.
14 Q. And would you consider the village of Irzniq there one of the
15 villages that was on the interior, as you -- or the internal part of
16 the -- the zone that you're talking about?
17 A. Yes, yes. My village connects all these villages that go -- when
18 you go towards Decane, Prilep and other villages along the main road.
19 Q. Now, on top of the map, you mentioned yesterday that you wrote
20 the words "April - June." In relation to this discussion we're having of
21 the ability to move about within the internal parts of the zone, was it
22 the same throughout that entire period or did it change, if you could
23 tell us, please?
24 MR. EMMERSON: Again, I'm sorry to have to correct Mr. Kearney,
25 but the witness gave two different answers; that is to say, different as
1 between themselves and different from what appears on the legend on the
2 map. So dates become a matter of some importance.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney.
4 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, with all due respect to my colleague,
5 that's exactly why I'm asking him this right now to explain further what
6 he means.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But perhaps then it would be good to
8 specifically address the matter of what he said yesterday or -- but
9 please proceed. Everyone is now alert.
10 MR. KEARNEY:
11 Q. Mr. Cekaj, when you wrote the words "April - June" on the top of
12 this exhibit, what did you mean?
13 A. I was asked about April - June -- can you hear me?
14 Q. Yes, I can.
15 A. After the Serb police left the village of Irzniq, this part, this
16 area, was considered as a free area, and people could move freely in the
17 area, while the KLA were in the villages, they were closer to the main
18 road Peje-Decane-Gjakove, as I already mentioned. I can also mention
19 these villages again. From Strellc, Isniq, Beleg, Carrabreg, Prilep,
20 Rastavice, Baballoq. These were villages directly vulnerable, and they
21 were attacked every day or shelled every day at certain intervals, while
22 the other villages in the interior part --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, perhaps Mr. Kearney will put every
24 specific question to you. There's no need to expand. We'd like to move
25 as quickly as possible, and Mr. Kearney knows exactly what he would like
1 to hear from you, so please focus on the question.
2 MR. KEARNEY:
3 Q. During what period of time in 1998 was this a free area, as
4 you've told us?
5 A. We are speaking about the period until the second offensive.
6 This was the question asked of me earlier, and I said that there were
7 three offensives: The first one on the 25th of May; the second one that
8 ended on the 11th and 12th of July; and the September offensive on the
9 8th of September.
10 Q. Mr. Cekaj, when --
11 A. So until the second offensive, this area -- in this area people
12 were able to move freely.
13 Q. Mr. Cekaj, you just mentioned that the second offensive was on
14 the 11th and 12th of July. I want to suggest to you, based on your
15 earlier statement, did you mean to say the 11th and 12th of August --
16 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry, again I do apologise. But this witness
17 has given two different statements about those dates in two different
18 written forms, and so it's not, with respect, right or fair to put a
19 passage from the witness statement without putting the corresponding
20 dates that were put in the interview, which Your Honours have.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have not checked yet. If they are the same,
22 there is no need; if they're not the same, Mr. Kearney, you're invited to
23 specifically refer to the portion of the statement.
24 MR. KEARNEY: This is a passage which occurs, actually, in both
25 statements, Your Honour, but for clarity I will refer to the --
1 Q. The first large statement you gave last week, Mr. Cekaj,
2 specifically to paragraph 47 --
3 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry, the objection still stands, and I think
4 Mr. Kearney misunderstood it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps could we do the following:
6 Mr. Kearney, you read to the witness both versions, and you ask
7 him which one is correct to the extent that it is not -- yes.
8 MR. EMMERSON: Can I just be clear? I'm not referring to the two
9 versions of the witness statement; I'm referring to the consolidated
10 witness statement which Mr. Kearney is now referring to and the
11 interview --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. EMMERSON: -- which Your Honours have, transcript of
14 interview at pages 100 and 107, where different dates are given in
15 respect of this offensive from the ones that appear in the witness
17 JUDGE ORIE: That's --
18 MR. KEARNEY: And, Your Honour, I'm simply attempting at this
19 time to refresh his memory in this regard --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but if you want to refresh his memory and if
21 there are sources all being the same witness who give different versions
22 of the matter you would like to refresh his memory, then I think it would
23 be fair that he would have the choice which of his -- I mean, it's not --
24 choosing one of his statements, if it's different from the others, I say
25 that, of course, is a form of leading which I do understand Mr. Emmerson
1 opposes against. And if you want to rely on the statement that -- the
2 long statement, I think it was many, many pages, then would you please
3 indicate where to find it because the Chamber --
4 MR. EMMERSON: I can assist Your Honours, it's pages 100 --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me first see whether to find it, first of all,
6 because we have not printed that out.
7 Yes, is that the audiotaped 2005 interview?
8 MR. EMMERSON: Exactly so, exactly so.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. And then --
10 MR. EMMERSON: The --
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- I've got it now on my screen.
12 MR. EMMERSON: The easiest place to find the relevant passage is
13 on pages -- on page 107.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
15 Then, Mr. Kearney --
16 MR. KEARNEY: I'd be happy to refer him to all three of his
17 statements, Your Honour, if the Court would like.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I haven't checked it yet, but if they -- if
19 they're all quite different, then it would be fair to do so. If ...
20 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, perhaps we could have the witness take
21 his headphones off for one moment, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't know. He greeted us in English, I
23 don't know whether that helps.
24 Do you speak any English, Mr. Cekaj?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't, no.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much anyhow for the "good afternoon"
2 you gave to us.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you take off your earphones for a second?
5 Yes, Mr. Kearney.
6 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, in both the long transcript over the
7 course of several pages from approximately page 100 to 107 or thereabouts
8 that Mr. Emmerson's referred to, this witness describes the August
9 offensive. In his statement of last week and the proofing notes or in
10 the 92 ter statement this week, he also talked about August. It's the
11 Prosecution's suggestion that when he said July just a moment ago, he was
12 mistaken. I simply wanted to refresh his memory in that regard.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And is that also the second? Because he referred to
14 three -- let me just find it. I have to switch from one screen to
15 another. He talked about three offensives or three -- and I think he
16 situated the third in - let me just -- one second, please.
17 MR. EMMERSON: It's 11.23, I think, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. He was talking about the 25th of May,
19 the 11th and the 12th of July, and the September offensive.
20 MR. EMMERSON: And for --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. EMMERSON: -- the record, the position is this, that in the
23 interview at page 107 and, indeed, at page 100, the August offensive is
24 described as having occurred on the 7th and 8th of August; in the witness
25 statement, at paragraph 47, on the 11th and 12th of August. And so if
1 the witness's memory is going to be refreshed, then, in our submission,
2 it must be refreshed by reference to the inconsistent dates that have
3 been given.
4 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, that sounds fair.
6 MR. KEARNEY: -- I simply want to ask him what the month was of
7 the second offensive, and he's got the month -- it's the Prosecution's
8 contention that the month -- when he says July, he's mistaken, and I want
9 to refresh his memory in that regard. I can do it with any of the -- the
10 statements we're referring to here.
11 MR. EMMERSON: If I can simple add this, the reason this may be
12 important is to understand how good this witness's grasp of dates in his
13 evidence generally is, because it's a pattern that appears at various
14 points in the statements that he's given. So rather than leading him
15 through to suggest clarity, it will be in our submission, of greater
16 assistance to the Trial Chamber to see how reliable this witness's memory
17 is on dates to see the different various accounts that have been given --
18 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I have to --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's -- yes, at this moment -- yes,
20 Mr. Kearney.
21 MR. KEARNEY: These are events that happened eight, nine years
22 ago. I don't think it's out of the question to refresh his memory with
23 the month that event happened nine years ago.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but isn't it true that -- let me just see --
1 Mr. Cekaj -- oh, you've got your earphones on already. You said
2 that the second offensive was on the 11th and the 12th of July. Are you
3 certain about that you took the correct month?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for making
5 a mistake. It's a momentary mistake I made. It's a lapse of memory. I
6 meant to say August and, in fact, I said July.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you meant --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's my mistake.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That's --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The correct is 7, 8th August and
11 11th of August.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You said 7th, 8th, and 11th.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
14 MR. KEARNEY:
15 Q. Mr. Cekaj --
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney -- carefully listen to the question of
18 Mr. Kearney.
19 MR. KEARNEY:
20 Q. Mr. Cekaj, what happened after that August offensive? Did the
21 KLA's ability to move within the zone that you're talking about change?
22 A. As I said, the August offensive started on the 8th, 9th, 11th,
23 and ended on the 12th. At that time, as I said earlier, the Serbian
24 forces managed to penetrate into the inner parts of that area, up near
25 Irzniq village from various directions, Prilep, Isniq, Rastavice, Irzniq,
1 Baballoq, Gllogjan, up to the inside of Irzniq village and in other parts
2 from Ratishe along the canal, and they came on the 12th of August with
3 their units armed to the teeth, and set fire to the houses and looted and
4 raided them.
5 Q. Thank you. That August of 1998 offensive by the Serbs, how many
6 days did it last?
7 A. The August offensive lasted from the 8th to the 12th. It ended
8 on the 12th, and they came back to the villages and we started to
9 restructure the force in the villages. This went on until the 8th of
11 Q. During --
12 A. On the 8th of September.
13 Q. During that period of time, during the offensive, did the Serbs
14 stay in the villages the entire period or did they enter and withdraw?
15 A. They entered, looted and raided, set fire to houses and went back
16 to their bases to facilities where they were deployed.
17 Q. After the Serb forces withdrew from their August offensive,
18 describe for us your ability to move around this area, this Dukagjini
19 area that you've circled in blue, please?
20 A. It was another sort of situation during which the houses had been
21 burned and the population started to come back to their homes and the KLA
22 member, wherever they could, return; that is, in the front part in their
23 positions. And we started to restructure the ranks, the units, and the
24 population gradually started to return, but it couldn't return to all the
25 villages because they had been burned.
1 Q. I'd like to move on, if we may, to your April meeting with
2 Mr. Haradinaj. After that meeting, you indicated for us yesterday that
3 you went back home to Peje. At some point after returning home, did you
4 decide to join the KLA?
5 A. After I returned to Peje, it -- I went to my village in the
6 second half of May.
7 Q. You -- when you say your village, are you talking about Irzniq?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When you left Peje to come back to Irzniq, did you do it along
10 the same general route through the villages you described for us during
11 your April trip?
12 A. Yes, the same route.
13 Q. Did you encounter the same KLA check-points at that time that you
14 had in April?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you arrived back in Irzniq in May, Mr. Cekaj, did you -- did
17 you meet with the KLA village commander at that time?
18 A. I met the commander of the village staff and the deputy
20 Q. The village commander was Mr. Maxhun Cekaj that you told us about
21 yesterday. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, you know that we are under quite some
24 time pressure. From your last seven or eight questions, I think five are
25 in the 92 ter statement, such as questions whether he spent ten years in
1 the army. That's all in the 92 ter statement, so please focus on
2 something that's new and not ask the witness to repeat what he said
3 yesterday and to ask him again.
4 Of course, if you need to lead the witness in a certain
5 direction, you can do that on the basis of the 92 ter statement say,
6 Mid-May to the village, did you meet with so-and-so-and-so; if he then
7 says yes, then you have saved four questions.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour, for that suggestion.
10 Q. When you came back in May and you had this conversation with the
11 village commander in Irzniq, you -- you mentioned in your 92 ter
12 statement there was a command structure in place at that time. Is that
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. I want to ask you when that command structure was drawn-up and by
16 whom, please?
17 A. That command structure was drawn as early as 1992.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, the same what I just said is true for
19 the last two questions.
20 MR. KEARNEY: And Your Honour, my apologies, but these are
21 foundational to the next set of questions I'm going to ask.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, please, next time say: When you
23 discussed the command structure which, as you are told, was established
24 in 1992, and then move on, because that's what the 92 ter statement says.
25 And if you want to put that so that it's clear where we start from, you
1 could do it also without asking the witness, because the witness has
2 answered these questions in his 92 ter statement.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. KEARNEY:
5 Q. This 1992 command structure that you're referring to, is that
6 something that you actually saw, Mr. Cekaj? Is that a document that you
7 actually examined at some point?
8 A. You're talking about a document that was drawn by the members of
9 the staff as early as 1992.
10 Q. Yes. Mr. Cekaj, do you have the question in mind? This command
11 structure you're talking about was drawn-up in 1992, is this a document
12 you actually had a chance to look -- look at and examine?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, paragraph 9: "They showed me the
14 document that had been drawn-up in 1992."
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I saw a plan, a document.
16 MR. KEARNEY: My intent now, Your Honour, is to ask him about the
17 contents of that plan, if I may.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The next time, you say: The plan they showed you,
19 I'd like to ask you some questions about the content of it.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. KEARNEY:
22 Q. Mr. Cekaj, can you please tell us about the contents of that plan
23 that you were shown, the 1992 plan, if you could?
24 A. This plan showed the structure of the staff composed of ten
25 members of this command. There was a battalion with two companies,
1 platoons, and squads, and other parts involving the logistics.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, I read from the 92 ter statement:
3 "The command structure in Irzniq at that time was the following:
4 Under the village command consisting of approximately ten people was a
5 battalion consisting of two companies, within each companies were two
6 platoons, and each platoon had three squads of seven or eight members."
7 If you want to elicit additional testimony, apart from what's
8 already in there, please specifically ask for it, because until now it's
9 just -- just repetition of what's in the 92 ter statement, although you
10 again and again tell me that you're now going to ask, it was just an
11 introduction for your real questions, again and again the next questions
12 are again exactly what we find in the 92 ter statement. 92 ter
13 statements are there to save time.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. KEARNEY:
16 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I want to move on now to a topic you did discuss
17 briefly in your 92 ter statement, a meeting you attended in mid-May in
18 Gllogjan when you came back to the village of Irzniq. Do you remember
19 attending that meeting, first of all, Mr. Cekaj?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. After the main meeting was held, was there a smaller meeting of a
22 lesser number of people than attended the main meeting?
23 A. Yes, on the same night.
24 Q. Who attended this small meeting in mid-May in Gllogjan when you
25 came back to the village of Irzniq?
1 A. When I returned from Peje to Irzniq, the village commander and
2 his deputy informed me that in the evening they had planned a meeting
3 with all the commanders of the local village staffs.
4 MR. KEARNEY: I want at this time to give notice of a desire to
5 call-up 65 ter Exhibit 1337, Your Honour, while I ask some more
7 Q. Mr. Cekaj, during this -- this meeting that you're describing in
8 mid-May in Gllogjan, who were the last remaining people to attend this
9 meeting, if you could tell us, please?
10 A. If you want me to mention names, it was Ramush Haradinaj, myself,
11 Skender Rexhahmetaj, Rrustem Tetaj, Gani Gjukaj, and other village
12 commanders whose names I don't recall. I didn't know them. It was a
13 considerable number of members.
14 Q. At that meeting, this smaller meeting at the end of the larger
15 meeting, was there a staff created for the Dukagjin Zone?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And who were the members of that staff, if you can tell us, among
18 those remaining?
19 A. At the time we functioned as a staff for the Dukagjini plateau,
20 Ramush Haradinaj, myself, Skender Rexhahmetaj, Rrustem Tetaj,
21 Gani Gjukaj, and some other members of the local staffs whose names I
22 don't remember.
23 Q. This staff that you're referring to for the Dukagjin Zone, how --
24 after that first meeting that you're talking about in May of 1998, how
25 often did you meet?
1 A. Sometimes once a week or twice a week, and some other times more
2 rarely, every two weeks. It depended on the circumstances on the ground.
3 Q. Was there a particular place that these staff meetings were held?
4 A. We met in various places.
5 Q. And please describe those places for us, if you could?
6 A. We met in Irzniq village, Gllogjan, Pozhare, Kodrali, Isniq,
7 Lluke. These are the villages where we used to meet.
8 Q. Now, during this first staff meeting that you've told us about in
9 May, were you given responsibility during that meeting regarding the KLA
11 A. During this meeting, I was given the responsibility to supervise
12 some villages. Apart from my village, I had to supervise other villages.
13 Q. And last week during your interview, did you draw a map of those
14 villages that you were asked to supervise?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, at this time I would like to call-up
17 65 ter 1337, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's already uploaded. Please proceed.
19 MR. KEARNEY:
20 Q. Mr. Cekaj, these are -- or are these the villages that you were
21 asked to supervise during that May meeting in Irzniq?
22 A. I was responsible for these villages, to supervise them.
23 Q. Who asked you to supervise those villages?
24 A. I agreed to do that. I was the one who proposed such a thing.
25 We operated as a staff at that time. The situation was such that I took
1 the initiative during that meeting, and the others agreed that we, as
2 experienced leaders, undertake to assist in the organisation of daily
3 life in these villages and the fire points, and other objectives we set
5 Q. Mr. Cekaj, you're saying now that this was the decision to be
6 responsible for these seven villages was your own idea. Is that my
8 A. These were opinions, not decisions.
9 Q. But, please, I would like to ask you again: This was your idea
10 to take over the command of these seven villages?
11 A. We discussed many things, many issues, and then we came to the
12 idea of someone supervising these villages and other villages that were
13 given or assigned to my colleagues. This was an important question.
14 Q. Mr. Cekaj, weren't you asked about -- asked this same question
15 about how it was you came to command these seven villages during your
16 interview and statement last week between the 9th and the 11th of May,
17 2007, here in The Hague?
18 A. It was a very hard night. There was shelling going on. The
19 population was moving --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, the question was whether -- the same
21 question that Mr. Kearney just asked you was put to you earlier, that is,
22 a little bit over a week ago, during the interviews you had here in
23 The Hague. Was the same question put to you, on whose initiative you got
24 responsibility for the villages?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We discussed these issues, and then
1 we came to the conclusion that we, as experienced leaders, should
2 supervise some villages in addition to our own villages, in my case
3 Irzniq. And other members proposed such a thing. So it came out first
4 as a proposal, then I agreed to organise the daily life in these
5 villages, having in mind the objectives we had set ourselves for the
6 organisation, training, logistics, and so on.
7 MR. KEARNEY:
8 Q. Mr. Cekaj --
9 A. It wasn't as if we were given strict orders; it was more in the
10 form of a proposal.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
12 MR. KEARNEY:
13 Q. And who made this proposal?
14 A. During the meetings, these proposals came up spontaneously, I
15 would say, but the meeting was chaired by Ramush Haradinaj.
16 Q. In your statement, Mr. Cekaj, don't you say that, this is in
17 paragraph 21:
18 "Ramush asked me if I could take responsibility for seven
20 Didn't you say that in your statement, sir?
21 A. But he didn't order me.
22 Q. Did he -- did he ask you to take responsibility for those seven
24 A. He asked me, Can you take responsibility for these villages? He
25 said to me, Can you do that? And I said, Yes, I agreed.
1 Q. During this period of time that you were given responsibility for
2 these seven villages, what were Mr. Haradinaj's responsibilities in the
3 Dukagjin area?
4 A. Ramush Haradinaj at the time was just a member of the staff, of
5 the Dukagjini Plain, and he was responsible for the village of Gllogjan
6 and the area where these villages were: Baballoq, Dubrave, and Gramaqel.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me -- excuse me, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might. In reading the transcript, the
10 second question asked by Mr. Kearney on page 26, line 2: "Did he ask you
11 to take responsibility for those seven villages?" is different from this
12 gentleman's statement, which was read to him beforehand, which is if he
13 could take responsibility.
14 And I don't know whether or not the qualifying word of "could" is
15 of importance or not, but I wanted to point it out because I think there
16 is, in fact, here as a result of what we've heard thus far perhaps some
17 subtlety with regard to how the decision ultimately occurred.
18 MR. EMMERSON: And may I simply add this, and I don't want to
19 take time over it, but again, from the interview record the relevant
20 passage is on page 42 at the bottom, in which the witness explains the
21 same area that he's now being asked about.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I can -- I think the point with this
24 witness has been made. I can move on.
25 JUDGE ORIE: That is a good idea. Please do so.
1 I take it, Mr. Guy-Smith, that the "could" and the -- is not
2 something -- you have an opportunity in cross-examination if you want to
3 revisit the matter.
4 MR. GUY-SMITH: I thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
6 MR. KEARNEY:
7 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I'd like to talk to you about Toger for a moment, if I
8 may. What were his duties and responsibilities in the Dukagjin Zone at
9 this time, in May of 1998?
10 A. At that time, Toger was commander of the unit which in military
11 terms is called the subversive sabotage unit, and the people called them
12 the Black Eagles.
13 Q. How big was that unit?
14 A. I have never seen them lined up, but I think there were about 30
15 of them.
16 Q. If you know, when was that unit formed?
17 A. The black uniforms?
18 Q. Yes, when was that -- that unit formed, please?
19 A. I think it was created at the beginning of April 1998.
20 Q. Where did they train, Mr. Cekaj?
21 A. I think they trained in some parts on the lands of the
22 cooperative, close to Gllogjan.
23 Q. This is the cooperative on the east side of Gllogjan. Is that
25 A. North-east.
1 Q. Where were they headquartered, please?
2 A. I think at that time, it was in Gllogjan.
3 Q. Where in Gllogjan were they headquartered?
4 A. I have already said that I don't know exactly.
5 MR. KEARNEY: I'd like to call-up 65 ter Exhibit 1335 in advance
6 at this time, if I may.
7 Q. Mr. Cekaj, after the period when they were headquartered in
8 Gllogjan, this is the Toger's unit, did their headquarters move at some
10 A. After Gllogjan, they moved and went to Irzniq.
11 Q. Now, did they go to Irzniq at a time when Irzniq was in your area
12 of responsibility?
13 A. At that time, I had a different responsibility.
14 Q. Yes, but I want to ask you again: Was Irzniq in your general
15 area of responsibility when the -- the unit we're talking about moved
17 A. No.
18 Q. Sir, I want to show you the photograph --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we continue, I think some numbers still
20 have to be attributed. The map that we had yesterday on the screen was
21 P318, that was giving the general area in which there was a relative free
22 movement. Then the next one indicating the villages in the zone of
23 responsibility of Mr. Cekaj, Mr. Registrar, that would be ...?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked for
25 identification as P319.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and now the map we have on the screen at this
2 moment would be ...?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked for
4 identification as P320.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For these three -- these two maps and this one
6 photograph, any objection?
7 MR. EMMERSON: No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No. Then they can be admitted into evidence
9 including the marked photograph, P320.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. KEARNEY:
12 Q. Mr. Cekaj, just to save time, please take a look at the
13 photograph that is before you now. There are three circles drawn on that
14 photograph, sir. Did you draw those circles?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And what were you describing with those three circles, please, if
17 you can tell us?
18 A. Number 1 is the staff command in Irzniq that was in the
19 beginning. After shelling that occurred between the dates of the 25th
20 and the 30th of May, I went to the place which is circled and has the
21 number 2. So number 1 and 2 represent the headquarters of the Irzniq
23 Q. Now, what was number 3?
24 A. Number 3 is the place where the anti-terrorist and sabotage unit
1 Q. Did that anti-terrorist and sabotage unit have a name?
2 A. The Black Eagles.
3 Q. Did you ever go to this Black Eagles headquarters while you were
4 operating in this general area in 1998?
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, one second --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't --
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: One second. I do ask for specificity in
8 question in response to answer given. The answer given that's where they
9 stayed, there's not been an indication yet of anything other than that.
10 It may well develop in that fashion, however it has not yet developed
11 thus far in that way. So the last question asked by Mr. Kearney has not
12 yet been answered by the witness in a fashion Mr. Kearney assumes facts
13 in evidence.
14 MR. KEARNEY: I can rephrase the question, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
16 MR. KEARNEY:
17 Q. Did you ever travel to this location, number 3? Did you ever
18 enter the structure you're talking about?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Why not, sir?
21 A. At that time, I was commander of 132 Brigade in Bardhaniq.
22 Q. Did Toger -- who did he report to? Who was in -- did he report
23 to you, sir, as a superior?
24 A. I was not his superior, Toger's superior. I was commander of the
25 132 Brigade in Bardhaniq.
1 Q. But who did Toger report to then?
2 A. In the course of our meetings, we discussed about the concerns we
3 had, we analysed the situation on the ground, and as everybody else he
4 reported and presented information about his unit. So he had this unit,
5 a special unit.
6 Q. So he would come to staff meetings and make reports, but was
7 there anybody who actually gave him orders?
8 A. We discussed together. There were no orders there. On the basis
9 of the tasks given and decisions taken after the discussions, everybody
10 went to their unit or area of responsibility to carry out those duties.
11 This depended on the tasks each of us had and the situation, specific
12 situation we found ourselves in.
13 Q. During your time, Mr. Cekaj, as either area commander of the
14 seven villages you talked about or brigade commander, did you ever become
15 aware of any misconduct that was alleged to have been committed by Toger
16 or Mr. Balaj?
17 A. Please, Mr. Prosecutor, if you could ask the question more
18 concretely. I don't understand the question.
19 Q. Certainly. Did anyone ever complain to you directly about the
20 actions of Toger or, as we now know his name is, Mr. Balaj?
21 A. This has nothing to do with behaviours. If you're asking me
22 about a case I mentioned, one morning in June a person called Besim, I
23 already said that I am not sure about his surname, he came early one
24 morning and informed me about a case. And I can describe the case like
25 this, as follows:
1 One day earlier Besim had met Toger by chance on the street, and
2 he said that in the conversation with him, he had asked Besim whether he
3 could help him do something -- do a job in a village. And according to
4 him, he agreed to help. And they had agreed on a time where they would
5 go, and Toger went at about 2200 hours. On the way when they were
6 passing by the school at Prilep, they had seen the Serbian forces and
7 there had been some exchange of fire. At that time, Toger had left
8 towards Drenoc while Besim turned back towards his village, towards
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The Serb forces had
11 seen them and there were -- there was an exchange of fire, there were
12 fire shots.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was what happened.
14 MR. KEARNEY:
15 Q. What did Besim tell you was the job that Toger wanted him to do?
16 A. I think that was about a trench.
17 Q. Did Besim tell you why he was coming to you with this
19 A. He said, Has anybody got the right to come and take me and ask me
20 to work and do something? And I told him that I would talk to Toger
21 about this, and from that time on he never took any other member of my
22 village to do anything.
23 Q. Was Besim a KLA soldier?
24 A. Besim was a member who had gone to get a gun, so he had brought a
25 gun, he had made his contribution. But because he was head of his
1 household, he had to take care of his own family, he was the only one who
2 could do that, he was not able to join the KLA.
3 Q. When you went and talked to Toger about this incident, what
4 happened, please?
5 A. I met Toger briefly on the street and I reproached him. I told
6 him this should not happen. And he respected me, so he admitted he had
7 made a mistake and nothing else of this kind happened after that.
8 Q. Did you also -- or were you also made aware of shooting of a
9 gentleman by the name of Adem Balaj in the general time-period of the end
10 of July or the beginning of August 1998?
11 A. Adem Hulaj.
12 Q. I stand corrected. Thank you. Please tell us what information
13 you received about that incident.
14 A. At that time I was in Bardhaniq, but sometimes I went to visit my
15 brothers at -- and in the evening, they told me about the incident.
16 Q. And what did they tell you?
17 A. You have it in the statement as well. My niece had been there,
18 and she saw or heard the incident that happened.
19 Q. During this incident, did Mr. Hulaj receive an injury?
20 A. I heard that he was wounded.
21 Q. How was he wounded?
22 A. I was not there, so I don't know he -- how he got wounded, I
23 couldn't tell you, but he was shot in his leg.
24 Q. Did you talk to your niece directly about this incident?
25 A. When I went there, she told me.
1 Q. What did she tell you she saw exactly about this incident,
3 A. She didn't see the incident because she was inside, but she had
4 heard the shots and had gone outside after the thing had happened, and
5 she had seen these persons.
6 Q. Which persons did she tell you she saw?
7 A. At that time, she didn't know them. I don't believe she knew
8 them, but she saw Toger in uniform because it's very close where she was
9 and it could be seen -- she could see that this was not something that he
10 had done on purpose.
11 Q. Let me stop you there, Mr. Cekaj. You said that she told you
12 that this was not something that he had done on purpose, that who had
13 done on purpose?
14 A. Not that she told me, but, you know, when some -- somebody
15 whispers, Why did I do this?
16 Q. Who did she tell you whispered, Why did I do this?
17 A. She heard it because she was very close. Nobody told her.
18 Q. Who did she tell you that she heard say this?
19 A. Toger.
20 Q. So, Mr. Cekaj, you received information from your niece that
21 Toger may have been involved in a shooting incident with a person -- was,
22 by the way, Mr. Hulaj a civilian or -- was Mr. Hulaj a civilian or was he
23 in the military?
24 A. Mr. Hulaj was a civilian.
25 Q. And he was older. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, elderly man.
2 Q. So, Mr. Cekaj, you received information that Toger potentially
3 had shot an elderly civilian. Did you investigate that incident?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did anyone investigate that incident?
6 A. Any other person?
7 Q. Yes. Did anyone, for instance, within the KLA investigate that
9 A. I am not aware of any other person.
10 Q. Do you know if Togeri was disciplined in any way for that
12 A. Maybe yes, but I'm not aware.
13 Q. I also want to talk to you now about a visit you made to a woman
14 in Ratis in June of 1998 to investigate a third complaint or another
15 complaint. Do you understand -- or another incident, I should say. Do
16 you remember that, sir?
17 A. I think you should not put the question this way because in June,
18 I was responsible for those villages, Ratishe i Ulet and Ratishe i
19 Eperme, and these villages were in the interior part, so they were safer.
20 When I went there, the person responsible for the village told me that
21 there is a family in a house in the outskirts of the village, and we went
22 to visit them.
23 Q. Why did you go to visit that family?
24 A. He said they live in a detached house. We discussed in the
25 beginning if they had any problems, if they had enough food, and she said
1 that the person who was responsible for the village was taking care of
2 everything in her family. During the second visit --
3 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I'm sorry. I want to focus a question about this
4 first visit for a moment. Why did you go to see this woman in Ratis?
5 A. The reason was that he told me this was a family that lived away
6 from the village, and sometimes they had some concerns. But she didn't
7 say anything about these concerns.
8 Q. Were you shown a picture of this woman last week during your
9 interview with the Prosecution? This is P16.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did you recognise the woman in the picture?
12 A. Yes, on the basis of the information, yes.
13 MR. KEARNEY: Can I call-up, Your Honour, Exhibit P16, please?
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: I think you will probably want to be in private
16 MR. KEARNEY: We should be -- that was my next thought, yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Private session.
18 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry, whilst that's being done, I wonder if
19 Your Honour would be kind enough to excuse me for one moment. There's a
20 matter I need to tend to.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, You're excused.
22 MR. EMMERSON: Mr. Dixon will --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Dixon.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 4448-4453 redacted. Private session
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney.
11 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, thank you.
12 And with the Court's concerns about time pressures in mind, I
13 want to alert the Court that I intend to elicit information from two
14 paragraphs contained in this witness's consolidated statement that he
15 signed and initialed both in Albanian and in English last week between
16 the dates of the 9th to the 11th of May of 2007, and those paragraphs are
17 numbers 45 and 46.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 4456-4460 redacted. Private session
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 MR. EMMERSON:
14 Q. Mr. Cekaj, in the consolidated witness statement that you made in
15 this case and signed last week, the larger of the two statements, at
16 paragraph 8, you say this:
17 "My brother Ali arranged a meeting between myself and Ramush.
18 That meeting took place around 20 April 1998."
19 And then a little further on at paragraph 11, you say:
20 "When I went to the village to meet Ramush on 16 April 1998, I
21 learned that the Irzniq KLA HQ had already been established."
22 In other words, you give two different dates in the same
23 statement a few lines apart. Now -- yes, in Irzniq. Now, can you help
24 us at all, please, as to which of those dates is correct?
25 A. Your Honour, during the interviews, there were also some
1 misinterpretations made. I do not manipulate with dates. I said how --
2 in mid-April the date might be 20 or before 20. These are things which
3 interpreters may confuse, you know.
4 Q. I see. You then return to Irzniq -- Irzniq in the second half of
5 May. Is that correct?
6 A. To Irzniq, not in the second half, but in -- in mid-May, sometime
7 in mid-May.
8 Q. Is it correct that the day you returned to Irzniq was the same
9 day as the day you went to the big meeting in Gllogjan where all the
10 village leaders were there? Is it the same day?
11 A. In the evening of the same day; that's correct.
12 Q. Now, if I tell you that we've got invitations for that meeting
13 that show that the meeting that you attended took place on the 26th of
14 May, not in the middle of May, but on the 26th of May, if that's right,
15 would that mean that that was the date you came back to Irzniq to take up
16 your role in the KLA?
17 A. I don't remember the date, nine years have passed. I never
18 manipulated -- I just simply said mid-May. When I was invited to give an
19 interview, I didn't mention any specific date. I simply said mid-April.
20 It may say as you are putting it to me.
21 Q. Just a few moments ago, Mr. Cekaj, I put it to you that it was in
22 the second half of May, and you corrected me and said it wasn't in the
23 second half, it was in the middle of May. And what I'm now suggesting to
24 you is that if you're right in saying that the day you came back to
25 Irzniq was the day of the large meeting in Gllogjan, then that would have
1 been the 26th of May; in other words, towards the end of the month.
2 A. Maybe you're right.
3 Q. And from that point onwards, you were the subzone commander for
4 subzone 2, weren't you?
5 A. Yes, after that meeting.
6 Q. So immediately you arrived back in Irzniq, you took up the role
7 as subzone commander of subzone 2?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. And then within a day or two of that, there was a major Serb
10 offensive at the end of May, was there not?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And you've described what took place in your witness statements
13 at paragraphs 27 to 30, and it's also in the 92 ter statement.
14 The next major milestone is the election of the Dukagjini Plain
15 command, which took place on the 23rd of June; do you agree?
16 A. 23rd of June, that's correct.
17 Q. And the forces that entered Kosovo under the command of
18 Tahir Zemaj, they first crossed the border at about that same time,
19 didn't they, around about the 23rd/24th of June?
20 A. When they came to Jasic, I don't remember the correct date, but I
21 do know that they came to Isniq on the 30th. Maybe what you are saying
22 is correct.
23 Q. So they arrived in Isniq on the 30th --
24 A. Yes, to Isniq, Isniq.
25 Q. And is it right that they had spent about a week in Jasic?
1 A. They came to Isniq on the 30th.
2 Q. Yes, and as far as --
3 A. As how long they stayed, this I am not sure about.
4 Q. Just to clarify one thing that's arisen earlier on. There are
5 two villages called Jasic in the western part of Kosovo. The Jasic in
6 which Tahir Zemaj's forces stopped, in other words the place where they
7 first set up camp inside Kosovo, is that on the west side of the main
8 road close to the Albanian border?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And you remained subzone commander for zone 2, for subzone 2,
11 until the 12th of July, when you became commander of the 123rd Battalion,
12 then -- then based in Bardhaniq and Zhabel. Is that correct?
13 A. I was of 132nd --
14 Q. I apologise. I apologise. 132nd. But that was a charge you
15 took up on the 12th of April. Is that right?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And does -- I'm sorry, 12th of July, I apologise, that's my
18 mistake. 12th of July. And from that point onwards, from the 12th of
19 July onwards, were you no longer in Irzniq at all?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And then I think in the major offensive that took place at the
22 beginning of September, yourself and a number of other commanders
23 retreated across the border to Albania on about the 8th of September?
24 A. These were the units of the 134th Brigade. I had contact with
1 Q. And is it right - just so that we're clear about the chronology -
2 you then left Kosovo, towards Albania, crossed the border on about the
3 8th of September?
4 A. The 8th, the 9th or the 10th.
5 Q. Now, with that basic framework of dates, I now want to ask you
6 some more detailed questions. First of all, had you personally been to
7 either Irzniq or Gllogjan at any time between the 24th of March, when the
8 Serb forces attacked the Haradinaj compound, and the 16th of April, when
9 you met with Mr. Haradinaj in Irzniq? Had you been to either Gllogjan or
10 Irzniq at any time between those two dates?
11 A. No, not in Gllogjan, but in Irzniq, yes, I went there.
12 Q. How many times had you been to Irzniq, roughly, during that
14 A. About two or three times up to the day of the meeting with
16 Q. And had you spoken then to anybody who was trying to organise the
17 village in Irzniq?
18 A. At that time, we did not discuss things thoroughly, not long
20 Q. Were you aware that there had been attacks on the police station
21 at Irzniq?
22 A. I can't remember.
23 Q. You don't remember one way or the other whether you knew that
24 there had been attacks on the police station at Irzniq. Is that right?
25 A. I can't remember when there were.
1 Q. In your witness statement, your consolidated witness statement,
2 paragraph 8, you say:
3 "I am not aware of any KLA attacks on the police station at
5 Was that true when you wrote that, that you were not aware of any
6 KLA attacks on the police station at Irzniq?
7 A. I was not in Irzniq at the time, I was not living there, so I
8 don't know.
9 Q. You were -- just told us a moment ago, you were visiting during
10 this period?
11 A. Well, the police withdrew. I don't think anybody attacked them.
12 Q. Well, I suggest there were fire-fights as between the police
13 station at Irzniq and armed fighters in the village?
14 A. I know about the attack in Prilep.
15 Q. I see. You gave evidence yesterday that by the time you arrived
16 back in Irzniq on the 16th of April, there were 120 soldiers in the
17 village but 15 guns. Can you help us, please, in what sense were the 120
18 people there soldiers?
19 A. These are misinterpretations because it depends on the question
20 that is asked. In April, I don't think I knew about 120 soldiers that
21 you mentioned. It is said like that in the statement.
22 Q. I see.
23 A. But at various times there have been about 120 to 170, but on the
24 basis of that plan that we discussed that I mentioned earlier.
25 Q. You have recorded in your witness statement, and you were asked
1 some questions about it a little earlier, on the fact that someone showed
2 you a document that had been drawn-up in 1992 setting out battalions. Is
3 that the truth, Mr. Cekaj, a document drawn-up in 1992? You saw that,
4 did you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what -- did it have names of recruits in it?
7 A. I saw that very briefly because that was not valid at the time.
8 This was something that had been drawn-up in 1992 on the basis of the
9 situation in the years 1991/1992, and it said there that there was this
10 staff with ten people --
11 Q. And --
12 A. -- and they had thought about the situation.
13 Q. Mr. --
14 A. They had made evaluations.
15 Q. Mr. Cekaj, are you suggesting that the battalions that are
16 recorded as existing in that 1992 document are battalions of the KLA? Is
17 that your suggestion?
18 A. Only on paper, and that was kept secret.
19 Q. The KLA didn't exist in 1992, Mr. Cekaj, did it?
20 A. They had drawn-up that plan, very confidential plan, and up to
21 that day they had never shown it to anyone openly, because of security
23 Q. And who had drawn that plan up, Mr. Cekaj?
24 A. The commander of the village, I mentioned him earlier.
25 Q. And he told you he drew it up in 1992, did he?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. I'm just going to read to you --
3 A. And his deputy as well.
4 Q. I'm just going to read you something that you told us yesterday
5 this is transcript 4390, line 4, when you were being asked questions
6 about what happened after the 24th of March. You said this:
7 "At that time the KLA had just started to organise in the
8 villages that were under attack, after the event or the incident of the
9 24th in Gllogjan, so they organised to defend their villages in the event
10 of a Serb attack so that the Serbs would not penetrate into the
12 That, that was the testimony you gave yesterday. Can I be clear,
13 are you suggesting that there had been a designed organisation in Irzniq
14 since 1992?
15 A. This was just a plan that the commander and the deputy commander
16 had drawn-up. They had kept it secret. That plan was not valid at the
17 time we're speaking about, when the KLA came out openly in the villages
18 that I mentioned earlier.
19 Q. The first time you'd ever heard of the KLA was at the end of
20 November 1997, isn't that right, when they emerged at a funeral in
21 Laushe. Is that the first time you had ever heard --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, let's try to understand what the
23 witness wants to tell us.
24 Mr. Cekaj, you talked about a plan, as you said, on paper. You
25 told us that it was made in 1992. Could you tell us: Was that plan
1 already KLA plan or just something like how to defend the village if need
2 be or was it specifically called KLA or ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Your Honour, a plan described
4 the command of a battalion. A battalion had been formed. The
5 organisational structure of this battalion was there. About 200 people
6 were mentioned there --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you there. I'm not interested in the
8 details of the plan. What I would like to know is: Was the plan about:
9 We need some structure for the defence of our village if need be; or was
10 it: This is a KLA plan. Was it rather general or was it already
11 focusing --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The KLA was not mentioned in the
13 plan, of course. That was to defend the village in the event of an
14 attack. It was a very difficult time. Yugoslavia was breaking up.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Attacked by whomever, is that well understood?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that could happen, yes. That
17 was the essence of the plan.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Emmerson.
19 MR. EMMERSON:
20 Q. Yesterday, you said in answer to questions from Mr. Kearney that
21 by the time you met Mr. Haradinaj in Irzniq on the 16th of April, the
22 Serb police station had already been evacuated, there were no Serb police
23 officers in the police station, and --
24 A. On the 16th of April, yes, but on the basis of what I heard when
25 I talked to some people. And on the 16th of April, the KLA came out
1 openly in the village of Irzniq.
2 Q. I see. You even gave us a specific date yesterday, transcript
3 4403, line 18, you gave us the 14th or 15th of April as the date when the
4 Serb police left Irzniq. Where did you get that date from?
5 A. From the information I got from my co-villagers.
6 Q. I want to suggest that you're wrong about that also and that the
7 Serb police were still in control of Irzniq police station when you met
8 Mr. Haradinaj, and that it remained fully manned until the 21st of April,
9 when the police were first evacuated.
10 A. It could be like that. You could be right, but this is -- what I
11 said is on the basis of the information I had at the time.
12 Q. I see.
13 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honours, for the record --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, may I draw your attention where you
15 said the witness specifically gave the 14th or the 15th --
16 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- that he said it must have been, which sounds very
18 much as a conclusion related to other dates, which you just -- so
19 therefore, to say that that's -- perhaps the calculation is right, the
20 date is wrong, that's --
21 MR. EMMERSON: That's always a possibility.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
23 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honour, for the record, without drawing it --
24 taking time to put it up onto the screen, 65 ter, Exhibit 388, is a
25 Pristina Corps command document which records the evacuation of Irzniq
1 police station on the 21st of April.
2 Q. Mr. Cekaj, I want to suggest to you that even after Irzniq police
3 station had been evacuated, there were still police patrols visiting the
4 police station. Is that right or not?
5 A. I'm not sure. I don't know about that. I was living in Peje.
6 Q. You gave evidence yesterday that while you were living in Peje,
7 you could hear shelling of Smolice, Baballoq, and Dubrava from the end of
8 March onwards. And you described these as concentrated attacks,
9 intensive attacks with a certain intensity. This is transcript 4387,
10 line 9.
11 Again I suggest that you are wrong about that, that there was no
12 substantial shelling taking place at all between the 24th of March and
13 the 21st of April, when Serb forces stationed at Suka Baballoq first
14 began shelling the village of Baballoq.
15 MR. KEARNEY: I object to the term "substantial." That's
16 inherently vague.
17 MR. EMMERSON: Let me put the --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it means, Mr. Kearney, that's at least how I
19 understand it - I take it that Mr. Cekaj also understands it that way -
20 that it is suggested to you that there was no shelling, perhaps apart
21 from an incidental shot fired, but there was no substantial shelling
22 taking place at all between the 24th of March and the 21st of April.
23 That's what Mr. Emmerson puts to you.
24 Would you agree or do you not agree?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was shelling on Smolice and
1 the Suka that was mentioned. There was fighting as well, as I already
2 said earlier.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The question is: When that took place? Was it
4 before the 21st of April?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was before the 21st of April
6 in Smolice; that's what I think.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Emmerson.
8 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you.
9 Q. Just to complete the suggestion that I'm putting to you that the
10 first shelling began on the 21st of April and that after that it was more
11 or less continuous, but that there had been no shells, no shelling, prior
12 to Orthodox Easter. That's the suggestion I'm putting to you.
13 A. There was shelling in Smolice because the KLA was there.
14 Q. But not in Dubrava and not in Baballoq. Is that your evidence?
15 A. In Smolice.
16 Q. I see. So we qualify the evidence you gave yesterday, because
17 yesterday you gave evidence that there was shelling in Smolice, Baballoq,
18 and Dubrava from the end of March.
19 A. In Baballoq and Suka e Hereqit, those two are very close to each
20 other, and there was shelling. That's what I think, that's what I
21 believe. 64-millimetre, 82-millimetre, mine-launchers, mortars.
22 Q. And do you think you could be mistaken by a month about the
24 A. Yes, I may be mistaken. I'm not very good with dates.
25 Q. Let me move then on to where the Serbs were stationed when the
1 shelling began in earnest. I'm going to suggest to you that once the
2 shelling began in earnest on the 21st of April and from that time
3 onwards, there were Serb artillery positions on three main hills in that
4 area: Suka Baballoq, Suka Bitesh --
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. -- and Suka Cermjan. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct, and also the shooting range close to Peje.
8 Q. Thank you. And at least perhaps we can agree on this much, that
9 once the shelling began it was more or less a daily occurrence?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. EMMERSON: Could you call-up, please, P318, P318?
12 Q. That is the map that you were giving evidence about earlier on.
13 JUDGE ORIE: When we are waiting for that, could I ask the
14 witness to take off his earphones for a second. Yes.
15 Yes. Mr. Emmerson, yesterday the witness testified about hearing
16 shelling from Pec and at a distance of 12, 13, 14 kilometres, not knowing
17 exactly what was shelled, just by hearing, and then he shifted a bit by
18 he said at what he saw later as damage. Therefore, I wonder, unless this
19 could be clearly established, that this information where the witness now
20 again said a couple of times "That's, I believe, what happened," that
21 either we need a proper basis for it, both for establishing what he said
22 he had heard but also for then perhaps denying or changing or -- that's
23 just an observation --
24 MR. EMMERSON: If Your Honour hears --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I just wanted to let you know that we carefully
1 listened to what was said yesterday --
2 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- and the solidity of the basis of knowledge at
4 such a distance by hearing is not such that I expect that the Judges
5 would immediately, without giving it any further thought, agree on the
6 reliability of such observations.
7 MR. EMMERSON: And so -- and Your Honour sees that my case is
8 that there was no shelling taking place during that period, so --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, there was or not but to say exactly here
10 and there and from that position, that's -- that's, of course --
11 MR. EMMERSON: Oh, I'm sorry, if Your Honour's asking about those
12 matters, then I need to explore the basis for the evidence that was just
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you also could understand that the basis
15 given yesterday was not a very solid --
16 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, yes, of course.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The less solid --
18 MR. EMMERSON: Totally understood.
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- it needs less to be contradicted.
20 MR. EMMERSON: Totally understood.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. EMMERSON:
23 Q. By the time -- I'm sorry. Mr. Cekaj, by the time you got back to
24 Irzniq at the end of May, was the shelling still continuing?
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. So from that point onwards when you were based in Irzniq from the
2 26th of May onwards, were you then able to see Serb artillery positions
3 on the three hills that you've just identified?
4 A. Taking into account the geographical position of these villages,
5 the Serb positions were in -- in dominating areas, in higher-elevated
6 areas where they were concentrated. And they attacked every day at
7 certain intervals, they shelled every day, but there were also attacks.
8 Q. And -- well, let me take that last answer in two stages. First
9 of all, when the shells and missiles were being fired, can you see from
10 the trajectory of the shell or missile where it is being fired from?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. And you said in your last answer just a moment ago:
13 "They shelled every day, but there were also attacks ...?"
14 What do you mean by that, the attacks that you were referring to?
15 A. From that date onwards, they attempted to attack Carrabreg,
16 Prilep, Rastavice, Baballoq, and other villages close to the main road.
17 These were everyday attempts from that day onwards. So they attempted
18 intensively to enter the area close to the Carrabreg school.
19 Q. As far as you understood it, was it the military strategy of the
20 Serb forces to try to force their way in to the territory that you have
21 marked here and the strategy of the KLA to try to keep them out?
22 A. Yes. This was imposed on them, the geographical position
23 dictated this kind of defence. It was not by chance that they chose to
24 attack Baballoq and Gllogjan. They did this intentionally because the
25 Serb forces wanted to enter that area and to penetrate into the villages
1 in the interior parts.
2 Q. Do you know whether the Serb forces that were stationed on those
3 three hills, Suka Baballoq, Suka Bitesh, and Suka Cermjan, do you know
4 whether they were mounting operations on the ground from those positions,
5 as well?
6 A. I don't understand the question.
7 Q. Were there Serb forces on the ground as well as on the hills?
8 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. KEARNEY: Vague as to time. When are we talking about?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the hill and the dominant
12 facilities, they put the artillery there, while in the other parts, the
13 infantry were trying to penetrate with motorised vehicles.
14 MR. EMMERSON:
15 Q. I'm going to deal with time in just a moment. Looking at this
16 map that you've marked and the blue line that you've marked, Suka Bitesh
17 and Suka Cermjan are inside the area you've marked, aren't they?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can I try with you, please, to understand what it is you're
20 trying to depict in this map in terms of time. Just bear with me for a
21 moment. Earlier today in answer to Mr. Kearney, this is transcript
22 1120 -- 11, line 23, you said that the area which was bounded by the blue
23 lines was intended to convey an area of ability of the KLA to move up
24 until the time of what you described as the second offensive, which you
25 told us took place between the 7th and the 12th of August. That was the
1 evidence you gave to Mr. Kearney.
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. I see. Could we just look at what is written at the top of the
4 map there again for a moment?
5 MR. KEARNEY: I believe my colleague misstated this witness's
6 earlier answer, Your Honour. He was -- he's referred to the 8th of
7 August not the 7th of August as the inception date.
8 MR. EMMERSON: In fact, he's given two different answers in
9 relation to that question to Mr. Kearney in his evidence this morning --
10 earlier today. It perhaps doesn't matter for these purposes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: It isn't crucial for these purposes. That's my
12 recollection as well.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. EMMERSON:
15 Q. Now, you now say that it's intended to describe a situation up
16 until the early part of August. What you've written at the top of the
17 map is April to June. Is that right?
18 A. I'm not clear about your question. Can you please be more
20 Q. The dates you've written on the top of the map say April to June
21 1998, don't they?
22 A. When you -- I was asked about April and June, whether -- where
23 the forces were and could they move freely, I mean the KLA and the
24 population, it was in the interior part, whereas the Serbian forces were
25 outside the main road. In the interior part, they could move during this
1 period of April, May, June, up to the offensive first or the second
3 Q. Well, the first or the second offensive, Mr. Cekaj, it's rather
4 important to the Trial Chamber to understand the dates that you're
5 referring to. In the witness statement you made in this case, the
6 consolidated witness statement, at paragraph 9, you said about this map,
7 you said:
8 "After the Serbs withdrew from the Irzniq police station in
9 April, the territory around Irzniq was controlled by the KLA. I have
10 drawn on a map the area that was controlled by the KLA and was considered
11 free territory from this point in time until the Serb offensive at the
12 very end of May that I describe later in this statement."
13 In other words, when you made your statement to the Prosecution
14 last week, you said this map was intended to refer to the position
15 between the withdrawal of the police from Irzniq police station, which we
16 know was the 21st of April, until the Serb offensive, which we know took
17 place on about the 28th of May?
18 But this afternoon, you said it was intended to cover the period
19 up to the beginning of August. The map itself says April to June, and
20 yesterday you said it's meant to relate to May and April at one point,
21 transcript 4404, line 5, and then a little later you said it's not meant
22 to refer to April but to the period after the 15th of May, 4405, line 15.
23 A. I answered to the question asked of me, and the offensive you
24 mentioned is correct. I said this even earlier, it happened in May.
25 Q. So is your statement right, then, at paragraph 9 where it says
1 that what you meant by this map was to describe the position as it stood
2 until the Serb offensive at the end of May? Is that what you really
3 meant by this map?
4 A. During this time, April, May, June, apart from the first
5 offensive, after which the Serbian forces withdrew, as you said, on the
6 28th of May, the dates may be wrong, may be incorrect sometimes. But
7 this happened in May, the first offensive. That's why I described them
8 as three offensives and not as two.
9 Q. I --
10 A. After the attack, the Serbian forces withdrew.
11 Q. I understand that, Mr. Cekaj, I understand that, Mr. Cekaj. What
12 I'm putting to you is that in the statement you made, you said that this
13 map was intended to describe the situation from the time the police left
14 Irzniq police station until the Serb offensive at the end of May. Is
15 that -- is what you said in your witness statement the truth? Is that
16 what you meant to convey by this map?
17 A. This happened even after that. The dates of the offensives that
18 were launched in August and September.
19 Q. You, of course, weren't there until the 26th of May, until just
20 before the offensive that we're talking about, were you?
21 A. Where do you think I was?
22 Q. You were in Pec, Mr. Cekaj, until the 26th of May.
23 A. This offensive which I mentioned may have occurred between that
24 date and the 30th of May --
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. -- it may be so.
2 Q. I understand that.
3 A. The first offensive, the Serbian forces, which were estimated to
4 be about 1.000 forces, attacked in the direction of Peje along the
5 Peje-Decane-Gjakove road and another part, Raushiq, and in the villages
6 of Barani valley. This is the offensive that -- during which during the
7 day the forces withdrew.
8 Q. Yes, I'll move on. I want to ask you now some questions about
9 the meeting that you attended on the day you returned; in other words,
10 the meeting that took place in Gllogjan on the 26th of May, as I've
11 explained to you where the records show the invitation was for the 26th
12 of May. You've, first of all, described this in your consolidated
13 witness statement, only parts of which --
14 MR. EMMERSON: For Your Honours' note are in the 92 ter
15 statement. And I'm looking now at the consolidated witness statement,
16 paragraphs 20, 22, 23 primarily.
17 Q. First of all, in the witness statement that you made last week,
18 paragraph 20, you said that the meeting of the 26th of May was of
19 villages in the Dukagjini area, all of which had a KLA staff. Is that
21 A. All the local staffs of the villages took part in it, at least
22 those who could make it.
23 Q. I see. And I think it's right that there was a group that
24 couldn't come, that was those who were on the western side of the road,
25 of the main Peje to Gjakove road, weren't able to be there is what you
1 said in your witness statement?
2 A. I think, yes, it was the beginning for me. I didn't know
3 everyone, but I think, yes, you're right.
4 Q. Now, you say in your witness statement that these village KLA
6 "Had been independently organised and were not connected with
8 Is that correct?
9 A. Not -- they were self-organised, but of course they cooperated.
10 Q. Yes, but they were not at that point, prior to the 26th of May,
11 they were not connected with Gllogjan. Is that correct?
12 A. Maybe they met, but they didn't have any commanding relationship.
13 Q. You say that Ramush -- this is a quotation from your statement,
14 paragraph 20:
15 "Ramush opened the meeting but not as a commander of the area.
16 If he was a commander at that time, he was a village commander."
17 Is that an accurate reflection of your evidence?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You then go on to say that:
20 "From that moment on, the four of us," this is paragraph 22, I'm
21 sorry. "From that moment on, the four of us, Rrustem Tetaj,
22 Skender Rexhahmetaj, Ramush, and myself worked as a team as part of the
23 Dukagjini operative staff, but there was no overall commander."
24 Is that your recollection?
25 A. There were also other members in that staff, but I don't remember
1 who they were. But this is a fact. It operated as a staff but without
2 any commander.
3 Q. That may be so organisationally, but it is right, isn't it, to
4 say that at least from the 26th of May onwards, even if you were all of
5 equal status technically, Ramush Haradinaj was the man who was trying to
6 organise in the area?
7 A. That is very correct.
8 Q. He may not have been formally your commander, but he
9 was - perhaps it's fair to say - the first among equals. Is that a fair
11 A. Ramush Haradinaj was someone who was very important and enjoyed
12 great respect, and what you said is correct.
13 Q. Paragraph 23, you say this, and perhaps maybe this is an
14 encapsulation of the point you're trying to make, so I'll just read to
15 you what you say at paragraph 23:
16 "I wasn't reporting to Ramush as his subordinate because I didn't
17 consider him my commander."
18 Is that really how you understood it?
19 A. This is not correct. I don't think that's correct. Can you show
20 me where I said this?
21 Q. Yes, it's paragraph 23 of your witness statement. I'll just read
22 it to you again to make sure the translation's come clearly through to
23 you. You say:
24 "I wasn't reporting to Ramush as his subordinate because I didn't
25 consider him my commander. We had the same positions at the time and
1 operated as a staff."
2 That's what your statement says. Is that right?
3 A. It's very incomprehensible for me.
4 Q. Very well.
5 A. It cannot be correct.
6 Q. Do you want to just explain to us in your own words what it is
7 you mean, then?
8 A. Yes, I can. It was a joint proposal that we operate and work as
9 a staff, but I think that this is a misinterpretation of my words;
10 namely, that I have said that I don't accept and recognise him as a my
11 commander. This is something which I don't agree with.
12 Q. I see. Well, can you just be clear, did you see him as your
13 commander after the 26th of May or didn't you? Was he in command of you
14 or were you equals?
15 A. In the sense that I understand it, he enjoyed great -- he had
16 my -- he had all my respect.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. But from the meeting we had, because of the situation, we acted
19 as we did. But with respect to my consideration of him, I held him in
20 high respect.
21 Q. Thank you. I wasn't suggesting anything else. I wasn't
22 suggesting that you don't hold him or didn't hold him in high respect.
23 I want to put one further passage to you from that same paragraph
24 and ask you, please, to confirm if it's correct:
25 "Ramush travelled frequently around the area as well. He was
1 particularly focused on the area around Carrabreg because it was in a
2 difficult situation. I probably saw Ramush approximately once or twice a
3 week during this time. We also occasionally communicated by courier."
4 Can I ask you to confirm that that is a correct statement of your
5 evidence, please?
6 A. This is correct, but you cannot sum up Ramush's activity in just
7 two words because his contribution was very specific one.
8 Q. Yes. No, I understand that but the point I'm trying to clarify
9 with you, Mr. Cekaj, is that Ramush was always on the move during this
10 period of time. Is that correct?
11 A. At the time, Ramush Haradinaj was a very energetic person. He
12 was always on the move and followed from close up the fighting in the
13 role of commander that he was.
14 Q. He would be on the front line where the fighting was taking
15 place. Is that correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. In fact, he was injured, wasn't he, in the end-of-May offensive?
18 A. He was injured in the May offensive at the Carrabreg school, and
19 it's a fact for all to know.
20 Q. And just to be clear about that, the battle at Carrabreg in which
21 Ramush Haradinaj was injured at the school took place on the 28th of May.
22 Is that correct?
23 A. During that period from the 25th to the 28th, 30th I think, there
24 were fightings every day on the part -- or attempts on the part of the
25 Serbian forces to penetrate that area.
1 Q. You yourself, I think, after the 26th of May, you yourself
2 travelled around your own area quite a lot. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Between the 26th of May, when you were appointed subzone
5 commander, and the 12th of July, when you stopped being subzone commander
6 in Irzniq, you were visiting the villages in your subzone on a daily
7 basis. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Now, the canal that leads down to Lake Radoniq flows right
10 through Irzniq, doesn't it?
11 A. Yes, it does.
12 Q. Right by the Serb police station there. Is that right? Do I
13 have the geography correct? Is it very close to the Serb police station
14 in Irzniq?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. I want to suggest to you quite specifically that the territory
17 around the canal was disputed territory, a sort of no man's land for much
18 of the time between your arrival on the 26th of May and your departure on
19 the 12th of July. Is that correct?
20 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object as to vague. What
21 part of the canal are we talking about here? That's a very important
23 JUDGE ORIE: Um --
24 MR. EMMERSON:
25 Q. The full length of the canal, the territory along the length of
1 the canal between Irzniq and Lake Radoniq was an area where Serb forces
2 were operating on the ground and shooting at people who they saw?
3 MR. KEARNEY: Again, I'm going to ask that we specify an exact
4 time-period on this question.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think, as a matter of fact, that
6 Mr. Emmerson did so. He said between the 26th of May and your departure
7 on the 12th of July, that -- unless there is any -- that is a quite
8 specific time.
9 MR. EMMERSON:
10 Q. So, Mr. Cekaj, do you understand the question I'm putting to you?
11 I'm suggesting to you that between the 26th of May when you arrived and
12 the 12th of July when you left, there were Serb forces, including
13 paramilitaries, operating from time to time in the territory along the
15 A. I have no information about that. It was impossible for the
16 Serbian forces to enter there at that time.
17 Q. Did you go there yourself, Mr. Cekaj?
18 A. No. I didn't have any contacts. I didn't go there. I went up
19 to Ratishe and returned. I didn't go to that zone. In Ratishe, too, I
20 went very rarely because I didn't have to, but in other villages I went
21 more often.
22 Q. When the Serb forces shelled and moved in to Gllogjan, how did
23 they cut off the line of retreat for people to retreat towards Jablanica?
24 MR. KEARNEY: Again, I'm going to ask during this series of
25 questions that we specify exact time-periods, exact offensives,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: There it would make sense to have a time --
3 MR. EMMERSON:
4 Q. During the time that you were there --
5 A. This is a more concrete question. During the second or the first
6 offensive, after the offensive of the 28th of May, the offensive was on
7 the 8th, 9th, 12th. On the 8th, they started shelling, tried to enter
8 the area from Baballoq; then they penetrated in Gllogjan, Shaptej. On
9 the 11th, the Serbian forces entered, and, as I explained earlier, they
10 came up to Irzniq village, went back -- withdrew, in fact. And on the
11 next day, they attempted again and came from all directions. A member of
12 the KLA in the vicinity of the canal, in the part along the road that
13 goes to Ratishe was killed by the Serbian forces. It was possible for
14 the Serbian forces to enter that far, until the inside of the village,
15 but they withdrew after they accomplished their mission, after they
16 looted and raided and set houses on fire and destroyed, inflicted
17 material damage, they withdrew.
18 Maybe they went up to the canal as well in the course of all
19 these operations, because the KLA soldier was killed exactly there on
20 that day, and his name is known and people know who he was. So when they
21 came from that site, the infantry, the motorised vehicles could go up to
22 that spot.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, it's not entirely clear to me what we
24 are now talking about. Your initial question was about the 26th of May
25 until, well, early July, and now it seems that the witness describes what
1 happened in August, at least that's what I take it from "on the 8th, they
2 started shelling," he apparently is talking about the second offensive.
3 So therefore, I'm missing the link between your initial question --
4 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I see the point.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- and at the same time, I'd like to perhaps ask the
7 Mr. Cekaj, Mr. Emmerson asked you a question about the period
8 when you arrived, late May until early July when you left, about whether
9 there were any troops on the ground near the canal. And then you said,
10 Well, I never went there. And a moment later, you said, Well, I went to
12 Now, do I understand well that if you go from Irzniq to Ratishe,
13 that you have to cross the canal; is that correct?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we must divide the
15 time when I went to Ratishe. Ratishe was far, I went there very rarely.
16 At that time, the canal between Irzniq village and the neighbourhood
17 which belongs to Irzniq called Dodaj, this is where the canal passes,
18 goes to Radonjic Lake.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me ask you now. You said -- we have to
20 make a distinction. When -- did you go between your arrival in late May
21 and leaving in early July, did you in that period go to Ratishe?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went there two or three times.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And you came from Irzniq.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From my village, yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then from what I understand for the map --
1 from the map - but please correct me when I'm wrong - that you go into
2 the area where the canal is, the canal that leads to Lake Radonjic; yes?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did you, when you went these two or three times
5 from Irzniq to Ratishe, where you had to go through the canal area where
6 you had to cross the canal area, did you ever observe any Serb ground
7 troops in that area?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there weren't any.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, I'm looking at the clock. We'll have
10 a break now, anyhow. May I ask Madam Usher to -- we'll have a break,
11 Mr. Cekaj. Madam Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: How much time would you still need, Mr. Emmerson?
14 MR. EMMERSON: I think I can conclude in 25 minutes. I've
15 discussed the matter with Mr. Guy-Smith, and I think between the two of
16 us we're confident that leaving Mr. Harvey his short period of time,
17 we'll conclude today. Obviously, the shorter the break can be the --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, did you also discuss the
19 need for re-examination with Mr. Kearney?
20 MR. EMMERSON: I rather thought he'd had his limit so far by
21 taking more time than he'd been allocated, but I'm in Your Honour's
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney.
24 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I would ask just for a very small
25 amount of remaining liberties, just another five to ten minutes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but adding up all these five to ten minutes,
2 you would, you said, Mr. Emmerson, you'd need another 25 minutes. That
3 brings us to at least 6.30, and then Mr. Guy-Smith -- of course you
4 initially asked for 50 minutes, you've got 50 minutes, and then that
5 brings us to 7.20 and then another ten minutes for you brings us to 7.30.
6 Now, I understand that you could limit yourself to --
7 Mr. Guy-Smith, I'm confident where others sometimes speak too quick you
8 even could speak a bit quicker now.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you, will do.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 Mr. Emmerson, if you would try to finish in 20 minutes, and if
12 Mr. Guy-Smith, if you would be able to finish then in -- also in 25
13 minutes instead of the 30 you had in mind, then five minutes for you,
14 Mr. Kearney.
15 So we resume at five minutes past 6.00 up till 6.25 for
16 Mr. Emmerson up till -- yes, Mr. Harvey, the remainder of the time, the
17 six minutes, are yours, that's -- but you were so precise that we don't
18 have to reduce them.
19 Then until ten minutes to 7.00 for you, Mr. Guy-Smith. Then six
20 minutes -- if you can do it in five, Mr. Harvey, would be even better.
21 And then the Chamber -- at least I would have one question, Mr. Kearney
22 will be left with very little time.
23 We adjourn until five minutes past 6.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, please proceed.
2 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Cekaj, after the --
4 A. Excuse me, Your Honour. I have a request to make, if possible.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we go to private session
7 because I have a question to ask?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do not know what the question will be,
9 but --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- out of an abundance of caution, we'll move to
12 private session.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a very brief question.
14 [Private session]
11 Page 4492 redacted. Private session
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry to interrupt. We're back in open session,
5 Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I apologise, Mr. Registrar.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Emmerson.
8 MR. EMMERSON:
9 Q. Mr. Cekaj, you told a littler earlier on that after the 12th of
10 July, you were no longer based in Irzniq. That's right, isn't it?
11 A. Irzniq, yes.
12 Q. You were thereafter based in Zhabel. Is that correct?
13 A. In the school in Zhabel, in Jablanica, as a matter of fact. Yes,
14 that's correct.
15 Q. From the 12th of July onwards?
16 A. Yes, until the 21st of August.
17 Q. Where were you during the Serb offensive in the first half of
19 A. During the Serb offensive, the first part of the offensive, I was
20 in the area, in Bardhaniq, Zhabel, Grgoc, until that day. During the
21 offensive, I mean.
22 Q. Were you in Gllogjan or Irzniq when the Serb forces took control
23 of those two villages in the August offensive?
24 A. On the 11th, when the offensive occurred, I was in Irzniq.
25 Usually when I returned from Bardhaniq, I went and visited them at their
2 Q. You say when the Serb offensive occurred on the 11th. Now, you
3 gave evidence a little earlier on that it started -- first of all, you
4 said on the 7th and went on till the 12th, and then you said on the 8th
5 and went on till the 12th.
6 Now, Mr. Cekaj, were you, in fact, there during the Serb
8 A. The question is unclear to me. I don't understand --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, you described the offence as to have
10 taken place during several days, starting the 7th or the 8th. Have you
11 been in Irzniq all that time or just, as you said, on the 11th, or --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only on the 11th, and I was there
13 quite by chance. As a matter of fact, I was in Bardhaniq, but on the 7th
14 and the 8th the shelling started, at least as far as I remember.
15 Jablanica was attacked on the 8th by the -- it was attacked by the Serb
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- Mr. Cekaj, please carefully listen to the
18 next question of Mr. Emmerson.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. EMMERSON:
21 Q. I just want to be very clear whether you were in Irzniq or
22 Gllogjan when the Serb forces came into those villages and took control
23 of them. When the ground forces entered those villages, were you there
24 or not?
25 A. I was in the morning, but in the hours of the afternoon we
1 withdrew to Kodrali, Pozhare, and other villages in the interior part.
2 Q. You see, we've heard evidence just a couple of days ago from an
3 international monitor who was in Irzniq and Gllogjan on the 11th of
4 August and who has said that at the time that he was there, Serb forces
5 were approaching but had not yet taken control, either of Irzniq or of
7 A. On the 11th in the evening, they entered Irzniq -- Irzniq and
8 then withdrew, but the next day in the morning hours they undertook an
9 offensive again in the same directions. They entered Gllogjan, the area
10 that I mentioned earlier, so the part of the canal shore, and entered
11 Irzniq and other villages, and the villages were looted and set on fire.
12 And that is very true. But then they still withdrew again because the
13 population had left the area.
14 Q. And were you there when they entered and were looting?
15 A. We could not see them, but the next day we saw that the villages
16 had been looted and burnt, and the whole international community could
17 see that.
18 Q. Were you --
19 A. This is something they did.
20 Q. Does it follow from the answer you've just given that you were
21 not there when the Serb forces entered those villages, you personally
22 were not there?
23 A. What do you mean I was not there?
24 Q. It's a simple enough question, Mr. Cekaj. Were you in either of
25 those villages when the Serb forces entered the villages on foot and
1 when --
2 A. We withdrew.
3 Q. So did you see them approaching? Did you see them approaching,
5 A. They attacked until the afternoon hours, and the KLA forces
6 withdrew because they could not resist the attack.
7 Q. And then they came back again, is that what you're saying, a
8 second day?
9 A. In the late hours of the evening, the Serb forces withdrew, and
10 the next day they started the attack again on this village -- on these
12 Q. I want to ask you now some questions, please, about where the
13 Black Eagles unit was located during the time that you were the subzone
14 commander, that month or so between the 26th of May and the 12th of July.
15 Just bear with me for a moment. You've said in your interview - and I
16 think as well in your witness statement but certainly in your interview -
17 that for a time the Black Eagles were stationed in Voksh. Is that
19 MR. KEARNEY: Counsel, I'm sorry, what portion of his statement
20 are you referring to now?
21 MR. EMMERSON: Well, I'm looking at certainly page 116 of the
22 interview, if that assists.
23 Q. Is it right, Mr. Cekaj, that the Black Eagles were for a time
24 located and stationed in Voksh?
25 MR. KEARNEY: I believe -- I believe that misstates the
1 transcript, Your Honour. It says -- I have a different reading of
2 page 116. Perhaps we could read the exact passage to this witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please put to the witness --
4 MR. EMMERSON:
5 Q. You were asked in your interview about your knowledge of the
6 Black Eagles. And you said:
7 "In my region where I was, they were never present."
8 Then you said:
9 "They were never seen where I was operating."
10 And then you were asked:
11 "Were they a unit who could operate in all Dukagjin?"
12 And you said:
13 "As I said before, they were, ah, in movement, they were moving.
14 "I have seen them passing through the village. For a while they were in
16 Do you remember a period of time when the Black Eagles were in
18 A. During the following developments, the Serb forces were
19 attempting continuously to block the supply route from Albania, and this
20 unit, as a subversive unit, had the task to go to these interior parts
21 and secure the canal where they always went to get weapons and to carry
22 the wounded. That was the mission of the unit at the time in Sllup,
23 Voksh --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, try to focus on the question. You said
25 they -- "For a while, they were in Voksh." Was there an operation they
1 did in Voksh or were they stationed in Voksh?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly because I was
3 not in the command of that unit, but they operated there because they
4 wanted to secure the canal, as they wanted to get weapons there, up till
5 the end of the offensive when Junik --
6 JUDGE ORIE: When you said, "For a while, they were," what time
7 do you have in mind? A day? Two hours? A week?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It depended, it depended on the
9 situation. Maybe they stayed for a week or so.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Emmerson.
11 MR. EMMERSON: Can I just be clear, both at page 85, line 11, and
12 at page 85, line 18, the word appears which I think may either be a
13 misunderstanding or a mistranslation, and may I just clarify that?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. EMMERSON:
16 Q. You've just told us a few moments ago, that when they were in the
17 areas around Voksh --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, if you want to clarify that they were
19 securing a route through which a canal -- of course a channel could be --
20 that's how we understood it. Yes, if you want to clarify that, it's
21 clear to me.
22 MR. EMMERSON: Very well.
23 Q. Just to be clear, the areas that you are speaking about are on
24 the west side of the main road from Peje to Gjakove, those are the routes
25 you're talking about. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes, Sllup, Drenoc, Voksh, Junik, that was the route --
2 Q. Yes, and --
3 A. -- that was followed by part of the population to go to Albania.
4 Q. And the job of the Black Eagles was, in part, to keep those
5 routes of supply open on the west side of the road?
6 A. Yes, that was the purpose, because they fought with the Serbian
7 forces at the time and the unit also have -- has now martyrs, you know,
8 people who died, laid down their lives while fighting with the Serbs.
9 Q. And just so that we're clear, at pages 113 and 116 of your
10 interview transcript, you describe the Black Eagles as being in movement,
11 they were moving. What did you mean by that?
12 A. It depended on the situation. They were in the places that I
14 Q. And for a time --
15 A. I don't know how that could be interpreted, but that's a fact.
16 Q. And were they for a time located at Prilep and at Carrabreg at
17 different times?
18 A. Are you asking me about the subversive unit?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Maybe they did go to assist during the offensive, but I don't
21 know. But that would be normal for them to take part in fighting.
22 Q. Can I just ask you briefly about one aspect of the dates that
23 you've given evidence about. You described an incident when a man called
24 Besim came to make a complaint to you about the fact that he had been
25 forced to dig trenches. And in your evidence, you said that took place
1 in June. Is that your recollection?
2 A. I think it was in June, that's what I remember. I did not say
3 that he was forced. He accepted to go and help.
4 Q. Very well. In your witness statement, your consolidated witness
5 statement at paragraph 49, you say that that incident occurred when Besim
6 came to see you, "Sometime in May"; that is, not in June but in May. Do
7 you know now whether it was May or June?
8 A. I can't be exact with dates. When I was asked by the
9 investigators of the Tribunal, I told them that I'm not prepared to give
10 very exact dates, I'm not sure about dates, and that statement was given
11 two years ago. I was allowed to carry on with the conversation with
12 them, with the investigators, without being able to give exact dates, but
13 it's been nine years, you know. But the event is what happened. I have
14 described the event.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, I'm looking at the clock and I --
16 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I'm reaching my conclusion now.
17 Q. Mr. Cekaj, in your witness statement -- I'm sorry, in your
18 interview at page 128, when you were describing this incident, you said
19 that by the time of that complaint being made, the Black Eagles had a
20 headquarters at Irzniq. Is that correct?
21 A. No, that's not correct. They did not have a base at the time.
22 Q. Yes, thank you.
23 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, are you ready to cross-examine the
1 Mr. Cekaj, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Guy-Smith, who's
2 counsel for Mr. Balaj.
3 Please proceed.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Guy-Smith:
5 Q. Yes, I want to spend a moment with you once again on the issue of
6 dates, and I'd like you to listen very closely to my questions and I'm
7 going to try to do this as quickly as possible.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, if you want to establish positively a
9 date, that's fine, but otherwise, let me just --
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: That's what I'm going to be doing.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: So if you -- you want to establish, then please keep
13 two things in mind: First, that dates may be right, may be wrong, those
14 we talked about already, but the same might be true for things -- dates
15 still to come.
16 MR. GUY-SMITH: I appreciate that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please keep that in mind.
18 MR. GUY-SMITH:
19 Q. You arrived in Irzniq as a commander on, I believe, the 26th of
20 May; correct?
21 A. As I said earlier, yes.
22 Q. Before you arrived in Irzniq on the 26th of May, I suggest to you
23 that the Black Eagles had just been formed as a result of a call for
24 volunteers on May 14th in Irzniq. Did you know that?
25 A. I know that all of them were volunteers, but I don't know about
1 the rest of the things you said.
2 Q. I suggest to you that the Black Eagles did not exist as a unit at
3 any time in April. Do you know that?
4 A. On the basis of what I personally heard, they had started at the
5 time. They were part of the KLA after that, but I don't have any
6 concrete or exact information beyond what I just said. Later on, I know
7 that they were part of the -- of this unit.
8 Q. And when you say --
9 A. That's what I heard.
10 Q. And when you say later on, you know they were part of this unit,
11 you were aware of the fact that certainly by the time that you arrived in
12 Irzniq, the Black Eagles had a specific function, and that's the function
13 that you have described to us as a guerilla unit; correct?
14 A. I was informed about this by the staff, but very briefly.
15 Q. Their function as a guerilla unit were to operate in the areas
16 that you've just described to Mr. Emmerson among others, and by that I
17 mean Voksh, Drenoc, Prilep; correct?
18 A. When you say guerilla units, that's how they act. They have a
19 mission, and after they carry out that mission they return to their base.
20 But sometimes, according to the situation, they stayed to a certain -- in
21 a certain part. But as far as I know, they moved around.
22 Q. And, in fact, they stayed in Voksh for quite some time because
23 there was a considerable engagement in Voksh between the KLA and Serbian
24 forces regarding trying to keep that particular supply area open which
25 the Serbs were trying to close down; correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct, I already said that once.
2 Q. That occurred after you came to Irzniq and were the commander of
3 subzone 2; right?
4 A. Yes, correct.
5 Q. Before you came to subzone -- the area that you've described as
6 subzone 2, are you aware of the battles that occurred in Baballoq?
7 A. I had heard.
8 Q. Do you know who was the leader of the village of Baballoq during
9 the battles before you arrived in Irzniq?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Did you ever hear of an individual by the name of Faik Dodaj as
12 being the commander of the village of Baballoq?
13 A. I know Faik Dodaj.
14 Q. And do you know him to be the commander of that area?
15 A. I know that he was responsible for a village. At that time I did
16 not know him, but now I know him. It could be that he was a commander of
17 a village.
18 Q. He was also the commander of Shaptej, was he not?
19 A. I'm not aware of that.
20 Q. During the time that you were the commander in the village of
21 Irzniq, you never saw the Black Eagles training, did you?
22 A. No, no.
23 Q. During the time that you were the commander in the village of
24 Irzniq, you had in your village five young men who operated as military
25 police, didn't you?
1 A. They didn't have any specific training, but they were appointed
2 to do that.
3 Q. Five of them; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. They wore black uniforms, did they not?
6 A. No, no. They didn't have black uniforms.
7 Q. With regard to the time that you spent talking to Besim, Besim
8 told you that he met Toger and discussed working with him the day before
9 they actually went together to go work; correct?
10 A. No. On the day they went, they discussed - at least this is what
11 he told me - they had discussed on that very day that they left.
12 Q. You've told us that you spoke with Toger about Besim's upset and
13 concerns; right?
14 A. Right, very briefly.
15 Q. He apologised to you; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You told him that he had operated outside of his sphere of
18 influence, that that was something you should have been able to do, it
19 was your village; correct?
20 A. Yes, correct.
21 Q. And that any orders concerning the digging of trenches or any
22 other kind of defensive formations was your responsibility and not
23 others; right?
24 A. It was the responsibility of the village staff. I was
25 responsible for those villages, but there was another person who was a
1 commander of the village, as I mentioned earlier. But when it came to
2 asking assistance -- when it came to someone asking for assistance from
3 outside the village, he had to contact the village commander.
4 Q. And that was part of what your concern was because the
5 Black Eagles unit and Toger were people who were from outside of the
6 village; right?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Adem Hulaj, how old a man was he?
9 A. He must -- now he must be in his 60s.
10 Q. When you learned of this incident, you had no information about
11 what the confrontation or the discussion between Adem Hulaj and Togeri
12 was, did you?
13 A. No, no. I didn't have information.
14 Q. You have no idea what happened before Adem Hulaj was shot, do
16 A. No, I have no other information, apart from what I stated in my
17 statement because I wasn't present there.
18 Q. When you talked to your niece, what you learned from your niece,
19 which is what you said in your statement, was that immediately after the
20 incident, Toger was holding his head saying something like, Why did I do
21 this; right?
22 A. Maybe he felt sad at what he had done. This is my personal
24 Q. Based on the information that you received from your -- from your
25 niece --
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. -- it was clear to you from the information that she gave you
3 that this was an accident; true?
4 A. This is how she explained it to me, in that way.
5 Q. Adem -- sorry.
6 A. You may go --
7 Q. Adem Hulaj was a -- a friend of Ramush's father, Hilmi, was he
9 A. I have no knowledge about that.
10 Q. Did you learn that there was a discussion between Hilmi and
11 Adem Hulaj concerning this unfortunate accident and all the -- and the
12 whole matter was resolved?
13 A. I have no information about that. I know nothing about that.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I have but a second to mark off things, I will
15 go even quicker.
16 Q. The reason that you went to visit the woman in the village of --
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I don't know if we need to go into private
18 session for purposes of mentioning the village or not.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps -- perhaps it's wiser to go into private
21 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH:
13 Q. When you say that you -- you went for the purpose of -- of
14 humanitarian purposes and for no other purposes, part of your concern was
15 that this was a situation where there was a woman living by herself with
16 some children; correct?
17 A. She was living outside the village, and I went to visit her, as I
18 said, for humanitarian purposes to ask her whether she had some problems,
19 some concerns.
20 Q. When you visited her, she told you that the family was disturbed
21 by people who she didn't know and that they were civilians; correct?
22 A. Yes, in the evening hours. I don't know how -- if she was
23 sincere in what she said.
24 Q. Whether or not she was sincere in what she said, that was the
25 information she gave you, that people were --
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Did she tell you that she didn't know who these people were?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And she told you, did she not, that they would introduce
5 themselves being from different villages?
6 A. No, we didn't discuss this. It was a very brief talk, actually.
7 I didn't stay there long. It was not part of my responsibility; it was
8 part of the village responsibility.
9 Q. Based on the conversation that you had with her, were you
10 satisfied that the -- the village commander, Sokol Halilaj, was in a
11 position to take care of any further concerns that she might have?
12 A. Yes. For that time, yes.
13 Q. One --
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Richard, I'm getting there.
15 Q. One last thing, sir. The gentleman you spoke to, Besim, Besim
16 had, if I'm not mistaken, been involved in helping transport arms back
17 from Albania, had he not?
18 A. He went with the village people. That is true.
19 Q. When he went with the village people, the reason that he went was
20 to collect weapons to bring back to the village to defend the village;
22 A. Yes, that is -- that was the main purpose.
23 Q. He was what would be called an Egyptian; correct?
24 A. He speaks Albanian. It's his own problem how he -- what
25 nationality or ethnicity he belongs to.
1 Q. That I appreciate. What I'm getting at is that he was -- he was
2 considered to be Roma or Egyptian, wasn't he?
3 A. This is how they are called, yes.
4 Q. And he was interested, like everybody else in the village, in
5 helping defend the village against the Serbian attacks; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harvey.
9 MR. HARVEY: Good afternoon, Mr. Cekaj.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cekaj, you'll now be cross-examined by
11 Mr. Harvey, who's counsel for Mr. Brahimaj.
12 Please proceed.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Harvey:
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
15 Q. I'm counsel for Mr. Brahimaj. I have about five questions to ask
16 you. You and I have got five minutes in order to finish up today; right?
18 A. Okay.
19 Q. So I'm going to try and keep it short, and if possible if you can
20 answer yes or no, then that will get us -- that will get you out of that
21 chair before the end of the day. Okay?
22 First question: You said in answer to Mr. Emmerson just now that
23 the attack on Jablanica in August, you thought was on the 8th of August;
24 in fact, I'm going to suggest to you, it was the 2nd and 3rd of August.
25 Is it right that you might be mistaken when you said the 8th?
1 A. I might be mistaken. It is possible.
2 Q. Thank you. Secondly, in your witness statement at paragraph 41,
3 for those who wish to follow, you said that - and I'm going to quote from
4 your statement:
5 "The KLA inside Kosovo wanted to have the KLA General Staff
6 inside Kosovo."
7 Is it correct that for those of you who were operating inside
8 Kosovo, and we're talking in the month of July 1998, there was a concern
9 that you needed to have the General Staff inside Kosovo and not outside?
10 A. The question is rather unclear --
11 Q. If it's --
12 A. If you can ask it in a better way.
13 Q. In July of 1998, was there a feeling that the General Staff was
14 remote and outside of Kosovo, and they need to be here with us?
15 A. [Indiscernible] unclear. The -- there was a demand for the KLA
16 staff to be inside Kosova and not outside it.
17 Q. And I think you -- I'm sorry. I think you've said elsewhere that
18 for you at that time, it was very unclear who the General Staff were and
19 where they were, for you?
20 A. It was not that it was unclear, but we didn't know where it was
22 Q. Yes. Now, I'm going to turn -- turning to paragraph 47 of your
23 statement, three lines from the bottom, you used this expression -- or
24 five lines up:
25 "On the 12th of August in the afternoon, the Serb forces returned
1 to the same villages they had been through the day before with the
2 looting units," and you use that term "looting units."
3 Was it your impression or your information that the Serbs had
4 special units whose job it was to loot, burn, and destroy villages after
5 they had initially been occupied by their troops?
6 A. As you already said, I think that there were units on the 12th,
7 on the 12th of August, which entered the villages with looting forces, as
8 I said, along with military or paramilitary formations that they had.
9 That is correct.
10 Q. And not just on the 12th of August, but on a significant number
11 of occasions that happened to the villages that you --
12 A. In many occasions, but we are talking now about this particular
14 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to move to my final topic with you, and
15 that concerns the meetings of officers with whom you worked on the -- in
16 the Dukagjin plateau, the Dukagjin Plain.
17 Is it right that you attended quite a lot of meetings, maybe just
18 small ones, two or three sometimes, sometimes larger, but quite a lot of
19 meetings of officers to coordinate your work during the months in the
20 summer of 1998?
21 A. Yes. We had all sorts of meetings in various places, that is
23 Q. So usually about -- about once a week or more often than that?
24 A. Once a week, twice a week, once in two weeks, it depended on the
25 changing circumstances.
1 Q. I now want to come to some specific words in your interview of
2 which we have the transcript, and I'm going to page 73 for those who wish
3 to follow specifically. And this relates to the time when there has been
4 a meeting at which Lahi Brahimaj was present and he was elected deputy
5 commander. You remember that meeting?
6 A. 23rd or 24th June?
7 Q. Right, 23rd of June. And you said on page 73 that:
8 "We were informed that Lahi Brahimaj was not his deputy anymore,
9 but Nazmi Brahimaj is," and you were asked who informed you, and you
10 said: "Ramush." And that was about a week after that meeting on the
12 Will you just confirm that that's correct?
13 A. I think there are some mistakes there. Someone informed us, but
14 after two weeks Lahi Brahimaj's position was changed in the
15 General Staff, and he was replaced with his brother Nazmi Brahimaj.
16 Q. Right. And you said - I'm looking at page 74 now - and you said
17 after that, you didn't see Lahi Brahimaj anymore?
18 A. Lahi Brahimaj went to the General Staff of the KLA.
19 Q. And finally this, at page 75, you said:
20 "Later on, he introduced himself as office of finance manager in
21 the General Staff. He didn't participate anymore in the meetings."
22 You would agree with that? When I say "didn't participate
23 anymore in the meetings," that's your meetings that you had as officers
24 in Dukagjin area?
25 A. I think that he was doing the job you mentioned.
1 Q. Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Cekaj.
2 A. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Harvey.
4 I have some difficulties in finding on page 75 exactly what you
5 quoted he had said, especially the part: "He didn't participate anymore
6 in the meetings."
7 MR. HARVEY: [Microphone not activated].
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. HARVEY: It's four lines up from the bottom:
10 "Interpreter: I -- he didn't participate anymore in the
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see that. Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Kearney, you really have to focus on what is really
15 MR. KEARNEY: I will. I have three very brief questions. While
16 I'm asking the first one, perhaps we could -- we could pull up
17 Exhibit 318.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Kearney:
19 Q. Mr. Cekaj, just in terms of the last question by Mr. Harvey,
20 after the 23rd of June did you ever go to Jablanica again?
21 A. After the 23rd of June, you mean?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yes, yes, I went.
24 Q. I want to show you again for this map, 318. You were asked many,
25 many questions about it during your cross-examination. I want to ask you
1 simply: From your answers on cross-examination, is it true that from the
2 latter part of April through May, June, July, August, and even into the
3 very early part of September, the KLA could move freely within this
4 entire zone except when there were Serb offences. Is that true, sir?
5 A. It was. At wartime, with the exception of August and
6 September -- excuse me, with the exception of month [as interpreted] and
7 September, it could during the other months but always depending on the
9 Q. And this August offensive we've been talking about, the dates
10 we've mentioned --
11 MR. EMMERSON: Just, I'm sorry to interrupt, but line 12, I'm
12 sorry, something seems to have gone wrong with the answer there.
13 JUDGE ORIE: But --
14 MR. EMMERSON: With the word "month."
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check it.
16 MR. EMMERSON: "With the exception of" and then something needs
17 clarification, I think.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I lost my present -- one second, please.
19 Yes. Could you ask the witness -- could you again say -- you
20 said: "With the exception of the month," and then you mentioned a month
21 and then "and September." What was the first month you mentioned as an
22 exception to it being wartime?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the months that there were
24 no Serb offensives. The KLA units or members who were not in positions
25 could move around.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, when we find --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because it was a war situation, of
4 JUDGE ORIE: When we find such a sign, it will be checked
5 overnight and so that it appears tomorrow in the definite version a
6 better way.
7 Mr. Kearney.
8 MR. KEARNEY:
9 Q. This August offensive that we've been talking about, Mr. Cekaj,
10 forgetting about the exact dates of it for a moment, but from the answers
11 that you gave on cross-examination, is it true that the ground portion of
12 that offensive lasted only two daytime periods, on two days that were
13 successive. Is that a fair statement?
14 A. It ended on the 12th, and there wasn't any other offensive until
15 September, during which time the KLA units and the population returned,
16 trying to restore normal life --
17 Q. I want to follow-up again --
18 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry --
19 JUDGE ORIE: It must be something very urgent because Mr. Kearney
20 has only three questions.
21 MR. EMMERSON: I don't think that's a fair summary of the
22 witness's evidence. What he said was in the entry into those villages
23 took place over two days not the ground offensive took place over two
24 days. The witness's evidence is that there was an offensive taking place
25 from either the 7th and the 8th until the 12th.
1 MR. KEARNEY: That's exactly what I'm trying to clarify.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kearney, please do so.
3 MR. KEARNEY:
4 Q. Mr. Cekaj, the August offensive, the ground portion, not the
5 shelling, just the ground portion of it, is it true that the Serbs went
6 into the villages in question on one day, withdrew before nightfall, and
7 then went back the following day, and then withdrew again. Is that what
8 happened, sir?
9 A. Yes, it is true that they entered in the direction of Baballoq,
10 Gllogjan, Shaptej, up to Irzniq from the east. From the other side,
11 Prilep, Carrabreg, in the south-western part, they entered up to Irzniq,
12 accomplished their mission, as I said, and then they withdrew on the
14 Q. Lastly, you said that -- you were asked about the Black Eagles
15 training. You said during your direct examination that they trained on a
16 cooperative piece of land north-east of Gllogjan. I want to ask you how
17 you know that. Who did you hear that from, sir?
18 A. I wasn't there myself, but that was my guess.
19 Q. Did you know personally members of the Black Eagles unit?
20 A. There were members from my village as well, whom I knew, along
21 with others from the surrounding villages.
22 Q. And did you talk to them about the activities of the Black Eagles
23 unit itself?
24 A. We had very little contact.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. KEARNEY: Nothing further.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kearney.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you. I hope to go
6 through it very quickly. In your village, was there anyone else with the
7 name similar like yours, that is Shemsedin and then Cekaj or Ceku, or are
8 you the only one who has this first name and family name?
9 A. I don't get translation.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I'll repeat the question. Do you hear me now? Yes.
11 A. I didn't hear your question, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I will repeat it.
13 A. Now I can hear you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: In your village, is there anyone else with a name
15 similar like yours; that is, first name and family name, meaning someone
16 by the name of Shemsedin and then Cekaj or Ceku?
17 A. No. No, there wasn't.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to turn into private session for a
20 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 One final question. When asked by Mr. Kearney about the -- where
20 the Black Eagles trained, you said it was a guess that it was in the
21 place you mentioned. Now, the guess was based on what?
22 A. Because that is a suitable terrain for training soldiers, and as
23 a soldier myself, I thought that that would be a good place to train KLA
24 soldiers. That was my assumption.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I've got no further questions.
1 Have the questions of the Bench triggered any further questions?
2 Then, Mr. Cekaj, this concludes your testimony in this court.
3 I'd like to thank you for coming and for answering all the questions that
4 have been put to you, both by the parties and by the Bench. And I hope
5 that you have a safe trip home again.
6 Madam Usher, could you --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, the scheduling issues I have suggested
10 to discuss them not in this courtroom, and therefore I would like
11 first -- unless there's anything --
12 MR. KEARNEY: Just a minor housekeeping matter, Your Honour. I
13 wanted to tender into evidence the --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we will do that next week.
15 MR. KEARNEY: All right.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, there's a lot of things to be said about
17 that. The only thing is have the others still numbers to be assigned to
18 documents because I would at least have them marked for identification,
19 but I think we had them all, if I'm not wrong, Mr. Emmerson.
20 MR. EMMERSON: There are, in fact, one or two documents which
21 next week I may seek to tender from the bar table because time ran out in
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's a different matter. But no documents
24 that have been used and which have not been assigned numbers marked for
25 identification. Is that --
1 MR. KEARNEY: That's my understanding.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Yes.
3 Then I would like to thank especially the interpreters, the
4 technicians, but also transcribers, but also security, I mean everyone
5 who helped us to achieve that finally we could finish this witness and to
6 make it possible that he would not have to stay over for a couple of days
7 on the weekend just to answer the last couple of questions. Thank you
8 very much.
9 And it's also in view of your schedules, also your personal
10 schedules, that we'll not continue in court with matters for which --
11 which might even be a bit boring.
12 We adjourn until Monday, the 21st of May, quarter past 2.00, in
13 Courtroom I, subject to the outcome of further conversations today on the
14 scheduling. We stand adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.12 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Monday, the 21st day of
17 May, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.