1 Friday, 15 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 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 number
8 IT-04-84-T, the Prosecutor versus Ramush Haradinaj et al.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 The Chamber has received copies of some e-mail exchanges between
11 the parties and understands that the Defence - but I'm seeking
12 confirmation from all Defence teams - would not mind if you, Mr. Re, would
13 further examine in chief the present witness also on -- well, let me say
14 Sanije Balaj, but that Defence would not cross-examine the witness. The
15 Chamber would add to that that it still might be an option - I'm very
16 careful in not suggesting anything further than what the Defence
17 expressed - that if you would include part of the cross-examination on the
18 Sanije Balaj issue already, you would not, by doing so, lose the right to
19 recall the witness for further cross-examination on Sanije Balaj.
20 I leave it in the hands of the Defence. I leave it entirely in
21 the hands of the Defence because postponement is, as such, justified. At
22 the same time, if there's any chance that by doing some of the
23 cross-examination today we could avoid that we unnecessarily have to
24 recall the witness, that of course would be preferable. There's no need
25 to further explain or to further -- what position you will take. But as I
1 said before, I leave that in the hands of the Defence. It's is accepted
2 if you do not it's also accepted in you do.
3 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you very much. May we revisit that issue a
4 little later in the afternoon. I ought simply for Your Honours'
5 information indicate that during the course of the later part of the
6 morning today, the Prosecution disclosed to the Defence the full
7 transcript of the proceedings in Kosovo which arrived I think at just five
8 minutes before 1.00. I'm not at the moment clear as to the circumstances
9 that lay behind that material being in the Prosecution's possession and
10 not disclosed, but I don't pursue that at this stage.
11 In addition to that Your Honour will recall that yesterday
12 afternoon Mr. Re indicated that the Prosecution was in possession of the
13 investigation file in respect of the death of Sanije Balaj which had
14 culminated in the prosecution in Kosovo. I understand, and I can perhaps
15 invite Mr. Re to confirm the position in respect of that, that efforts
16 have been made today between the Prosecution and UNMIK to seek UNMIK's
17 consent to the disclosure of that material to the Defence as well. So I
18 maintain the position, although this is not the time to pursue it, I
19 maintain the position that there is evidence of a systems failure in
20 respect of the handling of disclosure of this material and at an
21 appropriate moment I would want, if I may, to have an opportunity to
22 address the Bench in relation to that. But I don't seek to do it at this
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I also understood Mr. Re would highly
25 appreciate before putting the matters before the Court that he's always
1 willing to listen to you first, so which then makes it not necessary to
2 use strong words in both directions in court.
3 Mr. Re, I have not asked you yet, I think it fits more or less in
4 your initial proposal that you would examine the witness in chief also on
5 Sanije Balaj, and that if need be cross-examination could be separated in
6 two parts. Are you still, because I don't know whether you're prepared to
7 continue your examination-in-chief dealing with the Sanije Balaj issue as
9 MR. RE: I can do that. The only slight complication is this,
10 that I personally became aware that we had the UNMIK -- or we had the
11 entire trial transcript basically about -- probably about 15 minutes
12 before I sent it to the Defence, and I've reviewed it -- we've reviewed
13 it. And it's really little different to the investigation statement,
14 which the Defence have had for -- I think since February from the witness.
15 So in that sense, I mean, I can lead the evidence. I understand the
16 Defence wishes to conduct their own inquiries before cross-examining. We
17 don't have -- we have no problem with that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. RE: I've said that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand now the Defence says we'll have a
21 further look at it. We'll see how far we could go today. We'll consider
22 that, and perhaps later this afternoon the Defence will inform us on
23 whether the suggestion by the Chamber to go as far as possible this
24 afternoon would be followed or whether postponement of the
25 cross-examination entirely would be their preference.
1 Mr. Troop.
2 MR. TROOP: Your Honours, there's just one very minor matter in
3 relation to the 92 ter statement yesterday and an order made in to it
4 relation. It may be of little consequence now that Mr. Re may be posing
5 to lead evidence in relation to Sanije Balaj, but on page 5700 of the
6 transcript at between lines 2 and 7 --
7 JUDGE ORIE: If you would just allow me one second to open that
8 portion of the transcript. Could you please repeat the page number.
9 MR. TROOP: Page 5700, at the very top between lines 2 to 7.
10 It's --
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'm with you, yes.
12 MR. TROOP: It's a very minor matter, but it should be the last
13 two sentences of that paragraph should be deleted, whereas Your Honour
14 said just the final sentence.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And you said it should be the two last sentences?
16 MR. TROOP: You ordered -- you ordered it was the last sentence of
17 paragraph 85 to be taken out.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. TROOP: Which reads: "Such things are not supposed to
20 happen," in fact it should be the previous sentence as well which was also
21 taken out at that time, so just for clarity on the transcript.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, I do agree with you. I overlooked -- that
23 is a very short last sentence, whereas the part to be stricken starts
24 with: "In the case of. " Thank you very much for your correction.
25 Mr. Re.
1 MR. RE: I can also confirm what Mr. Emmerson said about the
2 UNMIK file, the investigation file. Mr. Dutertre and I spoke to all three
3 Defence counsel during the lunch -- well at lunch. We have received oral
4 permission from UNMIK this afternoon to disclose the entire file. I hope
5 to have everything we can possibly disclose in relation to Sanije Balaj to
6 Defence today. We are making our best endeavours to disclose everything
7 we possibly can today.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. RE: One further matter. A matter in relation to the standing
10 order in relation to exhibits. Mr. Emmerson just informed me there is one
11 map he intends to show, I take no issue with that. We received an e-mail
12 at six minutes to 2.00 this afternoon from the Defence of the Brahimaj
13 team indicating some ERNs and photographs of documents. Unfortunately it
14 doesn't say whether they're exhibits. It's very difficult for us at six
15 minutes to 2.00 to work out what documents the Defence is intending to use
16 in cross-examination. I think the order specifies at the time the oath is
17 taken and I assume Mr. Guy-Smith won't be putting any exhibits to the
18 witness, because we haven't received any notification of it yet.
19 MR.TROOP: Your Honour --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop.
21 MR. TROOP: That -- perhaps I can provide some explanation with
22 respect to the late disclosure of documents we were intending to use in
23 cross-examination. That was simply caused by the fact that we didn't
24 expect this witness to be called and start testimony yesterday, as you
25 were aware. A different witness was scheduled to testify yesterday. That
1 explains the slightly late notification. I do apologise to Mr. Re. If he
2 needs any assistance with what those particular photographs or documents
3 are, I am happy to explain it to him on the break if that's any assistance
4 to him.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes, because a question has been asked, it was not
7 my intention to put any exhibits to this witness because of what I
8 believed we were going to be doing. If there's a modification with regard
9 to examination then there would be a number of exhibits that I would
10 potentially be putting to the witness. And what I will do is I will put
11 together a list at this time to the extent that one can be put together.
12 But this is part of the reason why I think at this juncture I probably
13 will be maintaining the position that I took yesterday with regard to the
14 cross-examination on this issue.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for all that. We'll see how far we
16 can go, and of course I think there will be mutual understanding between
17 the parties that due to the, could I say, disturbance of the order of
18 evidence to be heard, that if time-limits are not met completely that this
19 should not have dramatic consequences, and we should try to adapt as good
20 as we can to this situation.
21 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honour, and just one final matter, and I hope
22 it will have become clear to Your Honours from the exchange of e-mails
23 this morning that there is a witness who is scheduled to testify next week
24 in respect of whom very similar questions may arise concerning the
25 relevance of that witness's testimony to the Sanije Balaj case. And I
1 thought it right that that should be brought to Your Honours' attention.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are aware of it.
3 Mr. Re, are you ready then to -- to continue your examination
4 especially in respect of that part that you were earlier prohibited to
5 touch upon?
6 MR. RE: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Krasniqi to the
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Krasniqi.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You might have expected that you would be
14 cross-examined by the Defence, but there is -- there are some additional
15 questions to be put to you by Mr. Re. Before you answer these questions,
16 I'd like to remind you that you are still bound by the solemn declaration
17 you've given at the beginning of your testimony; that is, that you'll
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 Mr. Re, you may proceed.
20 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 WITNESS: CUFE KRASNIQI [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Re: [Continued]
24 Q. Good afternoon again, Mr. Krasniqi. I'm going to ask you
25 questions this afternoon specifically about Sanije Balaj and what you know
1 about what happened to Sanije Balaj. Okay.
2 A. Okay.
3 Q. I understand that you testified in the trial of Idriz Gashi in
4 Kosovo on the 10th of May, 2007, in relation to the disappearance of
5 Sanije Balaj. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. I'm going to ask you about a time in August 1998 and your meeting
8 of Sanije Balaj. Where were you?
9 A. I was in the elementary school of the village of Baran.
10 Q. That was in your KLA headquarters there?
11 A. Yes, the army was there, located in the school. We had three
12 facilities of the school in which we were stationed.
13 Q. And whereabouts were you on that day?
14 A. That day I was in school, the school was called Re, it was a new
15 building. In that building I was with Nazif Ramabaja, and we -- we were
16 talking together about something. We were in the new school.
17 Q. Then what happened?
18 A. Then two soldiers came. They knocked on the door. After they
19 knocked on the door, we told them to come in.
20 Q. Who were they?
21 A. They were two of my cousins, Avni Krasniqi and Iber Krasniqi.
22 Q. What did they say to you?
23 A. They told both of us - Nazif was -- Nazif was the commander - they
24 said that there was a person who had been detained by the military police,
25 and that person was a suspect. They wanted somebody to come to
1 interrogate that person.
2 Q. What was Nazif's response?
3 A. Nazif said, Very good. He said, I do not have that profession.
4 He said that Suf [Realtime transcript read in error"Isuf"] had been
5 working in that branch in the police, so he told he me to go and
6 interrogate that person. Suf not Isuf.
7 Q. Did he tell you what this person was suspected of, why she was a
9 A. Yes, they said that they had stopped this person while going to
10 Peje. Her goal, according to them, was that she wanted to buy a telephone
11 with an antenna. However, she would go from Strellc to Peje through
12 Rahovec and that was more difficult than going through Lugu i Baranit,
13 Qallapek, and Trucuja [phoen]. So the reason she took this other route
14 were the basis of their suspicions.
15 Q. What did they suspect her of?
16 A. They found a notebook in her possession. She had some addresses
17 on the notebook. They said that they knew her and they suspected her of
18 working for a Serb, his name was Corovic Dragan.
19 Q. Were the addresses in the notebook Serbian?
20 A. No, they were not in Serbian. They were in Albanian, but we know
21 the name Corovic Dragan is a Serbian name.
22 Q. You said a moment ago that they told you -- or they told Nazif
23 they wanted someone to come and interrogate her. Where was she when they
24 said this to you, that is, when they came to the office and told you they
25 wanted someone to interrogate her?
1 A. She was in the old school. We called it red school, it was an
2 elementary school. In that school there was the police, the headquarters.
3 Q. Did you go there with your two cousins to see her?
4 A. Yes. Upon receiving the order I went, together with my two
5 cousins, we went directly to the school.
6 Q. Were your two cousins in uniform?
7 A. Not complete uniforms, half uniforms.
8 Q. Were they armed?
9 A. Yes, they had -- they had light weapons.
10 Q. Now, you said this woman was in the old school in -- or you called
11 it the red school. Whereabouts was she in that part of the old school?
12 A. If you go from Peje to Qallapek and Gllogjan, the school is the
13 first building on the left. It is at the entry. It's almost at the end
14 of the village of Baran. It's the first building on the left side.
15 Q. Whereabouts in the building was she when you went there with your
16 two cousins?
17 A. When I went there, it was the teachers' room. She was in the
18 teachers' room. She was sitting on a chair.
19 Q. Was anyone with her?
20 A. Yes, there was another person. He was also sitting. I do not
21 know his name.
22 Q. Was he a KLA soldier?
23 A. Yes, he was a soldier. He had a KLA uniform.
24 Q. Was he also armed?
25 A. He was armed.
1 Q. Was the woman free to leave the company of that KLA soldier in the
2 school at that point?
3 A. He was there, but he did not talk to her. When I came inside I
4 saw them both sitting. They stood up when I entered. We exchanged
6 Q. Based on the information you had when you went there, was she free
7 to leave at that point, when you went to interrogate her?
8 A. No, she was not free. Of course she was not free. She was in the
9 school, she was kept there.
10 Q. Did you recognise her?
11 A. Yes, I recognised her, only by face, not by name.
12 Q. What did you do when you went into the room and saw her there?
13 A. After we exchanged greetings, in a professional way, I asked her
14 ID. I did not know her name. And then I took her personal details.
15 After I noted down her personal information, I asked her what was the
16 purpose of her trip, where she wanted to go.
17 Q. And what was her name?
18 A. Her name was Sanije Balaj.
19 Q. What did she say to you when you asked her what the purpose of her
20 trip was?
21 A. She told me that she wanted to go to Peje to buy a telephone. In
22 Kliqine she said she had an aunt, she would go to her aunt, and then
23 together they would go and buy a telephone. A telephone at that time cost
24 about 250, 280 marks. She wanted to install a telephone in the village in
25 order to make some profits.
1 Q. What else did you question her about?
2 A. This was the first part of the conversation. I asked her, Why
3 don't you take a briefer route to Peje? Why did she -- had taken this
4 longer route. It was about 33 kilometres longer.
5 Q. What was her response?
6 A. She said that she had set up the appointment with her aunt, and
7 she said that her aunt was waiting for her and that this was a safer
9 Q. What was your response to that?
10 A. I had nothing to say to her. I told her that these boys suspected
11 her, that she was a collaborator of that person. They had taken her.
12 There was also another person with her, but that other person was released
13 by the military police. She had been taken here. Then after I said those
14 words, my two cousins intervened. They said that she was not telling the
16 Q. Where were they in relation to you when you were questioning her?
17 Just describe to the Trial Chamber where the four of you were in relation
18 to this woman, Sanije Balaj.
19 A. I was sitting at a table like this. It was a bigger table. A
20 teacher desk. It was in the middle of the room. I was sitting at the
21 desk. She was sitting in front of me. Another soldier was on the left
22 side, the one I found when I came in. She did not say any word. And my
23 two cousins, they stood on the left side. They stood close to the door.
24 Q. A moment ago you said your two cousins intervened and said that
25 she was not telling the truth. What was her response or your response to
1 their intervention?
2 A. She said that this is the truth, this is my purpose. I told them
3 it is not right for them to intervene and I told them to go out.
4 Q. You told your two cousins to go out; is that what you're saying?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did they go out?
7 A. They went out. They obeyed and went out. But when they went out
8 the floor, the floor was with planks, so I could hear that they were not
9 far away, they probably were eavesdropping to what was being said in the
11 Q. Did you continue the interrogation of Sanije Balaj after your two
12 cousins left?
13 A. After I took her personal information, I told her that it is not
14 right for her to go to Peje. I told her that there were some suspicions.
15 So until these suspicions were actually thrown light on, she could not go
16 to Peje. Then she again said that she was telling the truth. I told them
17 that we cannot take a statement from her because there was no woman
18 present. We simply took her personal data. So if we wanted to get more
19 information from her, we should go to her village in order to talk to her
21 Q. Did you tell her she would require permission to go to Peje?
22 A. Yes. I told her that if she wanted to go to Peje, she should go
23 to the staff in the village in order to get permission for her to go
24 through our area and to reach the other area.
25 Q. Staff, do you mean KLA staff?
1 A. Yes, of course. There was a staff in her village, in the village
2 of Strellc.
3 Q. What happened then?
4 A. Afterwards we interrupted the whole thing. It lasted for about
5 five minutes only. Since she was kept there, I told her that she could go
6 at lunchtime. She said, No. And then I told her that we would provide
7 food and also transportation to her so that we could take her safely to
8 her village.
9 Q. Were you the person then in charge of the barracks?
10 A. In the military police we had Hasan Gashi. I went there only to
11 take the interview in Baran. In Baran I was the one, yes, in the school.
13 Q. Can I just clarify this. The school where you interviewed her,
14 was that part of the military police or part of another part of the KLA?
15 A. The school was given to the military police. Some young men, our
16 best selected young men, would stay there in order to do their job.
17 Q. Were the military police based in the part of the school where you
18 interviewed or interrogated Sanije Balaj?
19 A. Yes, they were there. Fortunately, on that day, Hasan was not
20 there. He was, by profession, policeman like me. So in his absence they
21 sent me as a professional in order to make the interrogation.
22 Q. Now, a moment ago you said you would provide her with food. Did
23 you or your soldiers give her lunch?
24 A. No, she did not accept anything. So I could not give her food if
25 she rejected it.
1 Q. Did you have transportation -- I withdraw that. I'll come to that
2 in a moment.
3 Approximately how long did your interrogation of Sanije Balaj
5 A. As I said earlier, the whole conversation took no more than five
7 Q. Did you see the notebook yourself which had the Serbian name in
9 A. Yes, I saw it.
10 Q. How did you assess the name -- or what was the significance to
11 you, as an experienced investigating police officer, of seeing a Serbian
12 name in her notebook?
13 A. That was normal. There was nothing to have any suspicion. It was
14 not only her who had such notebook. There were also other people with
15 notebooks in which they had written down Serbian names.
16 Q. Who showed you the notebook? Was it her or someone else?
17 A. She had the notebook. They told me, Look what kind of notebook
18 she had. And then I said, Can I see it? And then she gave it to me. I
19 wanted to see with my own eyes, and then I asked her also about the money.
20 And then she showed me the money which really proved to me that she
21 intended to go and buy the telephone.
22 Q. What sort of notebook was it?
23 A. I don't remember. I was not very much interested. It was a small
24 notebook. I was not interested to look at it carefully. I never thought
25 it would be important for me to remember that.
1 Q. Now, do you know a person called Galani?
2 A. I recognised this person later. I had seen him several times.
3 His nickname was the one you mentioned. After 2000, 2002, I learned his
5 Q. Was he there that day?
6 A. Yes, he was there on that day.
7 Q. Where was he?
8 A. As I said, he was on my left side. He was in the room I was.
9 Q. He was the third person whose name you didn't give us before. Is
10 that so?
11 A. Yes. This is the third person who was there.
12 Q. What was his position in the KLA then? Was he a military police
14 A. I don't know. I don't remember his position. I know that he
15 introduced himself as Officer Galani. I know nothing more about him.
16 Q. Let's go back to the transportation. You said you offered her
17 transportation home. What transportation did you have available?
18 A. We -- we had a Lada, an old car. Then we had also a truck.
19 Q. Did you have any military police vehicles?
20 A. I wish I had, but that is not true. We had only private cars. We
21 had no military vehicles. We had only private cars of different colours.
22 Q. All right. What happened then?
23 A. Later she refused to come to lunch. I repeated once again my
24 invitation. I told her that the vehicle had gone to take lunch to other
25 places, and then I told her that when the vehicle would come back we would
1 accompany her. She said no. And then I asked the other people there who
2 were present if they had a vehicle. They told me that they had a red
4 Q. Are you referring to your two cousins, Avdi and Iber Krasniqi, are
5 they the people you are referring to?
6 A. Yes, yes, of course.
7 Q. Where did she go?
8 A. She said that she knew them. They will take me home, that's what
9 she said.
10 Q. Did she go with those two in their red Golf?
11 A. I went out of the room. She wanted to take her things. I told
12 her that I have no time to stay. She went with them. I went halfway,
13 then I saw the car. She was in the car and the car left in the village --
14 in the direction of the village of Baran, towards her village.
15 Q. Now, was that the last time you saw Sanije Balaj?
16 A. Yes. This was the last time I saw her. I saw her entering into
17 the car, and then I saw her no longer.
18 Q. Was it brought to your attention at some later point that she
19 never made it back to her village?
20 A. Yes. I heard about it later.
21 Q. What did you hear happened to her?
22 A. There was an attack there, there were daily attacks. I was in the
23 village of Gramaqel, Baballoq. I returned. When I returned, I heard that
24 somebody from Strellc had been detained. After the offensive, after
25 Gllogjan was occupied, I met with her brother. After about two weeks,
1 some soldiers told me that somebody had come to meet me at the school. I
2 told them to bring the person inside. He refused. He was unshaven. He
3 had an automatic rifle in his hand, a Kalashnikov; I had nothing with me.
4 I went up to him, and I told him that he should come inside. I exchanged
5 greetings with him. After we exchanged greetings, I asked him to go
6 inside the school in order to discuss why he had come there; he refused.
7 Then I offered him to go into a bar that existed nearby; he refused. Then
8 I said, I'm sorry. I don't know why you have come, but I cannot talk to
9 you in the street. If you want to come and talk to me, let's go in an
11 Q. Now, was that her brother, Shaban Balaj?
12 A. Yes, exactly. This was Shaban Balaj, his brother -- her brother.
13 Q. And what did he say to you when you spoke to him in the office
14 about his sister?
15 A. We did not go into the office at all. We stood somewhere else.
16 Q. What did he say to you about his sister?
17 A. After I refused to talk to him in the street, I will tell you what
18 I said to him and what we did. I told him, Because you have your vehicle
19 here, we can get into the vehicle and we can discuss whatever you want in
21 Q. Did you have a discussion with him in the vehicle?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell the Court what he -- the subject of the discussion
24 was in relation to his sister?
25 A. Yes. Mr. Prosecutor, I will tell you because it's very important.
1 Although I had personal problems caused by this until the truth came out.
2 There was a charge against me for something that I never did or never
3 committed; however, I will tell you about the things we discussed, and I
4 will speak about myself later.
5 After we got into the car, I saw that the person was not
6 aggressive. However, I could understand that he was looking for a person
7 of his own family -- everybody would do that. He went into the car first,
8 and the barrel of his gun was directed in the other side, not towards the
9 side that I entered the car.
10 Q. All right. Can you please tell the Court what he said and what
11 you said.
12 A. He said that he had come to learn about his sister, where his
13 sister was. He said, I know that she has been to Baran. I have talked to
14 other people and I know that you have questioned her, so I need to know
15 where she is now. First he did not mention her name, but later when I
16 asked who this person was, he gave me the name. And I said to him, Very
17 well. And I took out my notebook and I read the name, the surname, and
18 the full details, and I asked him, Are you asking about this person. And
19 he said, Yes. And I said, Okay. And I told you everything I told you
21 That day I was with Nazif Ramabaja in the school. Two of my
22 cousins came there, they were members of the military police. They
23 thought that she was suspicious and asked me to interview her. I
24 interviewed her, and she was released. That's what I told him. She was
25 released to go to her own village, to her own house. And if we would have
1 something to ask her about, we would go again to her village and ask her
3 He said, Thank you very much. And he said that he had heard some
4 words, some rumours, and he also said that if she was a collaborator of
5 the Serbs, he would kill her with his own hand, nobody else needed to kill
6 her. We greeted each other, and he seemed satisfied with my answer.
7 Q. Did he tell you what the rumours were that he had heard?
8 A. No, he didn't at that moment, but he had come to look for her
9 thinking that she was there, and also that he had been looking for me but
10 I had not been there. This was the whole thing.
11 Q. Was that the end of your discussion with Mr. Shaban Balaj about
12 his sister?
13 A. For that day, yes, that was the end of the discussion, and there
14 is another thing. I told him to go and meet those two people who
15 accompanied her and the third person as well, because they know where she
16 went to. I did not know anything else.
17 Q. What did you do in relation to investigating what had happened to
18 Sanije Balaj after she left the custody of the KLA in Baran when you saw
19 her on that day in August 1998?
20 A. At that time I did not know that something had happened to her. I
21 just waited and wanted to hear whether I could get any information from
22 her -- for her. But then there were attacks, so I couldn't do anything in
23 the meantime.
24 Q. Were any investigations conducted in relation to her
1 A. Yes, there was an investigation.
2 Q. By who?
3 A. The investigation was carried out in Prapaqan. Nazif Ramabaja
4 came and he told me that I needed to go to Prapaqan to give a statement
5 regarding Sanije Balaj, who is missing.
6 Q. How did Nazif Ramabaja come to know about it?
7 A. He had been in Prapaqan that day. He came back from Prapaqan to
8 me and he told me.
9 Q. I asked you who conducted the investigation, and you said
10 Nazif Ramabaja told you you needed to go to Prapaqan to give a statement.
11 Who were you supposed to give the statement to, or who was conducting that
13 A. The person who was conducting the investigation was Fadil Nimoni.
14 Q. Who was he?
15 A. Fadil Nimoni was a soldier in the KLA. He was a very good man.
16 He had the nickname Tigri, the tiger.
17 Q. Was he in the military police?
18 A. Yes. Yes, at that time he was assigned to the military police and
19 was the person who was assigned to conduct the investigation. But then,
20 unfortunately, he was killed in the war in Macedonia.
21 Q. Was he a commander of the special military police?
22 A. That's what I understood at the time, that he was a commander of
23 the military police in Prapaqan --
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me Mr. Re, I don't believe that there's
25 been any evidence that there is a special military police. The military
1 police, but nothing special about it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Re.
3 MR. RE: "Special" doesn't matter.
4 Q. Was there anything special about the military police?
5 A. No, nothing special, because to be special, Mr. Prosecutor, they
6 had to do other jobs as well. This was a normal military police,
7 something that we had at the time to carry out those duties. In order to
8 have a proper military police, we would have needed years.
9 Q. Okay. Now, was Tahir Zemaj involved in this investigation in any
11 A. We discussed, all of us together, about what happened, and in a
12 way, all of us were interested to learn the truth about her fate and what
13 happened to her. Tahir Zemaj did not question anyone or interrogate
14 anyone about this. Tahir Zemaj himself died later.
15 Q. When you say "we," "we discussed," you mean you --
16 MR. EMMERSON: [Microphone not activated]
17 MR. RE: Okay.
18 Q. Who are you referring to?
19 A. Myself, Nazif Ramabaja, we were together. And when he told me
20 that I had to go and give an interview, I started to question myself, what
21 did I do? Because rumours spread so quickly on the ground and I was
22 thinking maybe people think that I killed her or I did something to her.
23 Q. Just -- let's go back to Tahir Zemaj. Did you -- when you said
24 "we discussed," was Tahir Zemaj part of any of those discussions?
25 A. No. When I was there, he was engaged in a conversation with some
1 other people. I told them that I did not have much time to stay, so I
2 entered first to give the interview and then I left Prapaqan.
3 Q. Was Tahir Zemaj aware of this investigation and the fact that you
4 were going to Prapaqan to be interviewed?
5 A. Yes, he was aware.
6 Q. What happened at Prapaqan? Did you give a statement to someone or
7 were you interviewed by someone or what happened?
8 A. Yes, of course. I entered first the office where Fadil Nimoni,
9 the late Fadil Nimoni, and he started by saying that, You have spoken to
10 this person. You interviewed her. There were some people present there
11 that I did not know, and I said, If we need to talk about this, these
12 people do not need to be present here because this is an investigation.
13 And he said, These are my friends, there is no problem. And because I was
14 much more prepared than he was in such matters, I smiled and I said, Okay,
15 whether -- because you are assigned to do this job, let's go on, let's do
17 Q. Okay. I just want you, if you can possibly focus on who you spoke
18 to and what you said, whether a statement was taken or an interview, just
19 the formal process.
20 A. He said that according to his opinion I had not done my job. And
21 I said, How can you know if you were not there? And he said, Well, if you
22 had done your job properly, then you would have something written down.
23 And I said, I did not write anything down except her details because we
24 did not have a female there present that had to be present while
25 interviewing her. And that's how I acted. He said, Well, you should have
1 found someone. And I said, I couldn't, and that's why I told her to go to
2 her own home and then we would talk to her in her own home. And I said
3 that was all. He said, Well, you have not done a good job. My response
4 was that I did not have time, and I did not have the means to conduct a
5 better job, as you are asking me.
6 Q. Did -- was a record taken of your conversation or questioning by
7 Mr. Nimoni?
8 A. Yes, notes were being taken, but I don't know. I think they were
9 burnt. I think all the notes got burnt.
10 Q. How long did his questioning of you last?
11 A. Not long because I did not have much to say to him. I only told
12 him that I let her go and there were these people who accompanied her. I
13 told him that this is how I acted and that I released her. Whether this
14 was good or bad, that's what I did.
15 Q. The two people, did you tell them -- you've said before it was
16 Iber Krasniqi and Avni [Realtime transcript read in error"Avdi"] Krasniqi,
17 your cousins. Did you see them there in Prapaqan on that day?
18 A. Not Avdi, but Avni. It's reflected wrong there in the transcript
19 and that's another person. The second name Avdi, it should not be Avdi,
20 but Avni.
21 Q. It's corrected. Were Avni and Iber Krasniqi in Prapaqan when you
22 were there on that day?
23 A. Yes, both of them were there. Avni's brother, Mete Krasniqi, was
24 there as well. He's also dead now.
25 Q. What about Galani, was he there?
1 A. No, he wasn't.
2 Q. Now, what's Galani's name?
3 A. Later I learned that Galani's name was Idriz Gashi, who for a
4 time -- who for a long time used to live in Sweden. He came back from
5 Sweden, and these are things that I learned after the year of 2002.
6 Q. Is he the person on trial in Kosovo at the moment for the murder
7 of Sanije Balaj?
8 A. Yes, this is the person that is being prosecuted. He was arrested
9 last December. I insisted, because I was a suspect myself and I said,
10 They ask me questions, why don't they ask questions to people that were
11 last with her? They let them go.
12 Q. Well, the people you have told the Court were last with her --
13 that you saw last with her are Iber and Avni Krasniqi. You say you saw
14 them in Prapaqan on the day that you went to speak to Mr. Nimoni, and they
15 were your cousins. Did they tell you whether or not they had also been
16 questioned by Mr. Nimoni or anyone else about what had happened?
17 A. No, they did not tell me anything. It was morning. We just
18 greeted each other, and they just asked me, Have they called you as well?
19 And I said, Yes. I went in first, I left, and I don't know what happened
21 Q. You never spoke to them afterwards about what they said to
22 Mr. Nimoni or anyone else there?
23 A. No, I didn't speak with them about that.
24 Q. In all these years?
25 A. All these years, I never spoke to them about this.
1 Q. Now, what did you hear happened to Sanije Balaj and --
2 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry. That's a very general question in the
3 context of the witness who has given evidence in an ongoing trial. He may
4 have heard anything in any context.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Re, could you please be more specific and ask
6 whether and from whom the witness learned anything about what happened to
7 Sanije Balaj.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Let's go back to 1998. Did you hear anything in 1998, that is,
10 after you last saw her, about what had happened to her; and if so, who did
11 you hear it from?
12 A. I don't know from whom, but I heard people say that she had
13 disappeared, somebody said that she had been killed, somebody said
14 otherwise, but I did not pay too much attention. Because there were no
15 concrete names said. So I did not pay too much attention to that. And if
16 I got involved in the investigation, then people might think that I was
17 involved in some way in her disappearance. So I just waited.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. Let's just go back. You said that her brother, Shaban Balaj, came
21 and spoke to you. How long after you last -- or the time you saw her when
22 she got into the red Golf with your cousins was that?
23 A. I can't remember exactly. Two or three days, because as I said I
24 lost my notes and for that reason, without my notes, I cannot give you an
25 answer. I don't know.
1 Q. Did the brother -- from what you've said, the brother came to you
2 and had some information that you had spoken to her and you had the
3 notebook. Did he tell you how he got the information that he knew that
4 you had spoken to her in the -- or interrogated her in the school?
5 A. Soldiers or other people had told him. I don't know who exactly.
6 He had also asked in my village because a cousin of his, a female cousin,
7 is married to one of my cousins. And he said that, I asked in your
8 village about you. I've heard good words about you in your village, and
9 he said that, If she fell in your hands, we are sure that you wouldn't do
10 anything to her.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Re, we hear a lot of details of which the
12 relevance and the importance is not entirely clear to the Chamber. Could
13 you please focus on what's really the core of the matter, and I don't know
14 how much time you would still need, but --
15 MR. RE: A few minutes. I'm almost there, several more questions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please try to do it as concise as possible.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. Do you know whether she was then living with her brother, that is,
19 on the day she left the school after you interrogated her?
20 A. No, I didn't know where she lived.
21 Q. Did her brother give you any information about whether or not she
22 arrived home after you sent her off with your two cousins to take her
24 A. No. He said that she had not arrived home and that he did not
25 know where she was. And he also added that, If he suspected that she's a
1 collaborator, I will kill her with my own hand. These are the things that
2 I also have said in the court in Kosova.
3 Q. Now, in your statement you signed yesterday, paragraph 85, you
4 said: "In the case of her," Sanije Balaj, "there was an unfortunate
5 execution without a fair trial. Such things are not supposed to happen."
6 What did you mean by putting that in your statement which was --
7 which you signed yesterday?
8 A. Well, listen, after these things happened, we heard that one of
9 these three persons who accompanied her had -- executed her without trying
10 her and so on. So the responsibility lies with the people who were with
11 her last and who have done it, not the people who have not done it.
12 Q. And just for clarity for the record and as my final question, the
13 three people are Avni, Iber Krasniqi and Galani, that is Idriz Gashi?
14 A. Yes. These three were there, according to me. I don't know what
15 happened. I did not see anybody do anything, but what I know for sure is
16 that I left her in their care for the last time. So if anyone is
17 responsible it's the people who were last with her and not me. I was the
18 main suspect for this crime; although, I never committed it.
19 MR. RE: Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Re.
21 Mr. Emmerson, are you ready to cross-examine the witness? If
22 that's at least the order among Defence counsel you had in mind.
23 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, that is the order; and yes, I am ready.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krasniqi, you'll now be cross-examined by
25 Mr. Emmerson, who's counsel for Mr. Haradinaj.
1 Please proceed.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Emmerson:
3 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I'm not going to ask you any questions at the moment
4 about Sanije Balaj. I may come back to that later but I shan't be asking
5 you a great deal about that today. I want to go to some of the more
6 general evidence that you've given about the organisation of the KLA in
7 the areas where you were a member and the relationship between those areas
8 and the command structures that you've described. Now, and you were asked
9 yesterday a number of questions about passages in your witness statement
10 and the various maps that you have either produced or marked, I want to
11 just see if I can get the picture clear and in the right chronological
13 Now, and in your witness statement at paragraph 24, I'm just going
14 to read to you the passage -- I don't know whether you have the witness
15 statement with you in Albanian, do you? I think you're just about to be
16 provided with it. Perhaps make sure we're using the same document, use
17 the one the usher provides you with. I'll just let you find paragraph 24
18 for a moment. Now, the wording of the translation may not come through
19 exactly the same as the written translation, but the record in paragraph
20 24 begins with a description of the death of your cousin, Adrian Krasniqi,
21 and then continues in the following sentence as follows: "Because of the
22 Serb repression, we started organising ourselves in small groups to face
23 the Serb repression. Since I was a former police officer, I started
24 training recruits in shooting, operations, and tactics. Just before the
25 Serb attack on the village of Vranoc, on the 29th of May, 1998, we were
1 just a group, but after this attack the village chose me as a commander."
2 And I just want to see if I can understand in a little bit more
3 detail then what the organisation was in the area where you were around
4 Vranoc up to the 29th of May. So first of all, is it right that up to the
5 29th of May the villages were just small groups?
6 A. Yes, this is true, due to the daily repression. After the attack
7 on Gllogjan, three young people were killed. Then in February the Serbian
8 forces began their deployments. They started to shell with heavy
9 artillery. Then we realised that they had not come for our goods. If you
10 want to use a language of guns, that means you have a different goal from
11 what one should have thought. So we were forced willingly or unwillingly.
12 I have been an illegal in Kosovo for ten years since the attacks started.
13 So I could tell you freely that if you are not able to go out in
14 your place to have a job, then what can you expect? Better to die than to
15 stay hidden.
16 Q. Just pausing there, Mr. Krasniqi. What I'm interesting in is the
17 organisation and command structure, if there was one, in the area where
18 you were before the 29th of May. Because you say in your statement that
19 it was after that attack that you were chosen as a commander. May I ask
20 you: Was there a commander in Vranoc before that attack?
21 A. Interpretation please.
22 Q. I'll put the question again. Your statement says that it wasn't
23 until after the 29th of May attack that you were elected or chosen by the
24 village as the commander. And what I was asking you is whether there was
25 a command structure in your village before that attack.
1 A. No, there was no -- there was nothing. We were only some young
2 people, but nobody was designated who would be our commander. We were
3 some young people in the village. I was the oldest one, Din, Mete, and
4 some others. So we tried to get some weapons. We had 13 guns; with such
5 weapons you cannot have a command. This was only to defend the village,
6 so if the police would attack, then we would return the fire and give time
7 to the population to flee the place.
8 Q. So that remained the position, really, up until the end of May,
9 did it, in your area?
10 A. In my area until 29th of May, this was the situation as I
11 described. In Lumbardh, in Decan, in Katradiq [phoen]. In that direction
12 we exercised our activity. For many years nobody had gone to the Yugoslav
13 Army, so they had no information about weapons. So we wanted to prevent
14 any unnecessary killings, so young people would learn how to use a weapon
15 how -- so that they could not injure their friends. So on 29th of May we
16 had this attack which started from the early hours of the morning. We
17 were surrounded from all sides --
18 Q. Just pause there. I'm going to ask you a little later about the
19 attack on Vranoc itself. At the moment I'm just focusing on the process
20 of organisation in the area prior to that. And if we could just look a
21 little further on to paragraphs 30 and 31 of your statement. You describe
22 there the way in which you became involved in February and you say
23 that: "In February Din Krasniqi and his cousin Mete Krasniqi" -- I'm
24 sorry, "Din Krasniqi sent his cousin Mete Krasniqi to your house in Vranoc
25 and you met Mete and that he told you that Din wanted you to join the
2 From paragraph 31 you say from that day on, that is in February,
3 you started training in Vranoc and that at that stage Din Krasniqi was UCK
4 commander for Vranoc and later the Baran valley.
5 I just want to understand that. If there was no formal command
6 structure in Vranoc in February, what do you mean by the comment that
7 Din Krasniqi was the commander for Vranoc?
8 A. Very simple. When Mete came to me, Mete is no longer living, he
9 explained me the situation. He said that he was sent by Din. He said
10 that I was a person with experience with weapons, so we should get weapons
11 in order to defend ourselves like other villages were doing. At that
12 moment he told me that they had nobody to select, so we decided that Din
13 would be the commander. That's what he told me. I said, Okay. He said
14 that I should help him. He said that he is a doctor, you are a policeman,
15 so probably this was a way in order to train young people. I said it's no
16 problem. I started to do what I was asked. I said that we had no
17 weapons, but he told me that we had two or three guns and that's how we
18 started. We have no more.
19 Q. Where you say in paragraph 31 that there were 17 villages in the
20 Baran valley, is it fair to say that in that area what was springing up
21 were separate, spontaneous village defences like the one in Vranoc, with
22 people like yourselves trying to organise with what weapons they had?
23 A. Yes, this was the purpose. At that time there were 17 villages in
24 Lugu i Baranit. More than half of them have no weapons; however, each of
25 the village organised itself independently. They set up their own
1 defence, based on their own initiative.
2 Q. Can we then drop down to paragraph 33 which you were asked about
3 yesterday, and I think Judge Orie asked you some questions about it in
4 particular, in terms of the relationships between the villages and in that
5 instance Jablanica. Paragraph 33 says: "The office of Din Krasniqi was
6 located at his house in Vranoc village. He also had a private clinic at
7 this place."
8 And then you say: "In February 1998, not many people had
9 uniforms. Most of them were training in civilian clothes. In February
10 1998, it was a known fact that an army existed in Jablanica under the
11 command of Lahi Brahimaj. Din Krasniqi had visited Jablanica, and being a
12 trust-worthy person, he was allowed to call himself as the commander of
13 the Baran valley."
14 And then you say this: "In February, there was no Dukagjini Zone
15 in place, and at that time there was no commander of the whole area later
16 called the Dukagjini Zone."
17 Now, I want to suggest to you that that remained the formal
18 position, i.e., that there was no formal, full Dukagjini Plain Operational
19 Zone and no overall commander for the Dukagjini Plain Operational Zone
20 until Ramush Haradinaj was elected as zone commander on the 23rd of June.
21 A. Yes, this is correct. It is true. There was no commander.
22 Q. Can I then ask you, please, against the background of the
23 description that you have given us of the villages and the way in which
24 they were spontaneously organising, just to help us how we should read
25 paragraph 44 of your statement. Could you perhaps turn to paragraph 44
1 and just read it to yourself. I won't take time reading the whole
2 paragraph into the record, but you refer there to different ranks within
3 each village. Perhaps you just remind yourself of what is written there
4 and help us to understand how that description fits with the description
5 you've given us of spontaneous village defences springing up.
6 A. Yes. I don't know which of the statements. I began giving
7 statements starting from 2000.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to --
9 MR. EMMERSON: Just -- I'm sorry.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Just the statement you have got in front of you at
11 this moment, Mr. Krasniqi, you are asked to comment about and it is
12 paragraph 44.
13 MR. EMMERSON:
14 Q. I think, if I may say so, you're quite right to observe that
15 you've given a number of statements and this document has been cut and
16 pasted together from different statements that you've made. But on the
17 face of it, you seem to be describing an organisational command by
18 reference to March 1998 in which each village has a general commander, a
19 deputy commander, an operations commander, a logistics commander, a
20 commander of the guards, and so forth, with different functions and tasks.
21 Now, that does not, on the face of it, seem to reflect very closely the
22 description that you've given us in February, March, and up to May of
23 villages trying to get together and organise village defences as best they
24 could. Sounds rather more formal than that. Can you perhaps explain that
25 to us, please.
1 A. Every village after we could get some weapons, the village then
2 decided to appoint in a village. This did not happen at all the villages
3 at the same time. It was done first in one village, and then this was
4 followed by other villages. For example, my village or Buqan, they were
5 earlier than us to get the weapons. So after they got the weapons, they
6 decided a commander of the staff. The other village then waited because
7 they had no weapons, so they were not able to organise the defence. If a
8 village had one or two weapons, then they also set up the same thing. So
9 this is how it happened, first one village and then the example was
10 followed by the other village. This did not happen at the same time in
11 all the villages.
12 Q. Simply this before we break, Mr. Krasniqi. Just help us, if you
13 can, to understand the reality. Are these titles that really meant
14 anything or were they merely allocated titles for people to create the
15 impression of an organisation that wasn't really there?
16 A. As I said earlier, there were no ranks. We had no uniforms.
17 However, we designated some people in order to be the people who could
18 keep calm so that there was no conflict in the village. The conditions
19 were such that we had no arm depot, no regular army, no people to have a
20 regular army. Everybody was taking part voluntarily. Weapons were
21 borrowed from other villages, and then the villages then sometimes
22 collected the money in order to buy their own weapon. There were no
23 ranks; they were simply appointments. In 1999 there was -- there were no
24 such things, even then, let alone 1998.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
1 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the clock. Would it be a suitable
3 time to have a break?
4 MR. EMMERSON: It certainly would.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a break until quarter past 4.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for returning late. I hope
9 that the parties are convinced that these late returns, where the Chamber
10 urges the parties to be there on time, are often caused by meetings during
12 Please proceed, Mr. Emmerson.
13 MR. EMMERSON:
14 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I want to just move on now to the process by which
15 these various village defences sought to organise together over the months
16 towards the end of May and beyond. First of all, we've heard some
17 evidence in this court from Rrustem Tetaj. He's a man I think you knew
18 reasonably well. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, I knew him.
20 Q. Did you, by any chance, see his testimony at all? Did you follow
22 A. No, I haven't followed him.
23 Q. Very well. Well, he's given evidence about a meeting that took
24 place in Gllogjan at the end of May when the leaders from a large number
25 of villages in the area all came together to try for the first time to
1 coordinate their efforts and to set up four smaller subzones in the areas
2 to the east of the main Peje to Gjakove road. Now, were you aware of a
3 meeting - this would be just about three days before the attack on Vranoc
4 that you've described by the Serbs - were you aware that there was a
5 meeting that had taken place as a sort of first attempt at organisation?
6 A. No. At that time I was not there. I was providing training. I
7 learnt about it later.
8 Q. I see. So at the time you didn't know about it, but you
9 subsequently heard about it?
10 A. Yes, I learnt later that some went there to discuss; however, I
11 don't know what they discussed and what decisions they took.
12 Q. Very well.
13 MR. EMMERSON: I wonder if we could just bring up on the screen
14 Exhibit P266 very briefly.
15 Q. Whilst that's being brought up, Mr. Krasniqi, I'll just explain to
16 you what it is you're going to see. This is a map on which Rrustem Tetaj,
17 in his evidence, marked the areas covered by the four subzones that were
18 agreed at the meeting on the 26th of May. It's just about to load, I
19 believe. It may take us a little while, because maps take longer than
21 MR. EMMERSON: Now, if we can just zoom-in, please. And -- I
22 think you've got it upside down, yes. It first loads upside down in the
23 exhibit I'm afraid. Very well. And if you move down the map, a little bit
24 further, please, until the -- yes, that's satisfactory. And then if we
25 could just move to the left. That's it.
1 Q. Now, those are the areas that were marked by Rrustem Tetaj as the
2 first group of zones that were established at the 26th of May meeting, and
3 can you help us, please, in relation to that. Did you understand at that
4 time whether the area that you were in Vranoc was within a particular
5 subzone? We can see that Mr. Tetaj has marked, it is falling just to the
6 right-hand or eastern border of zone 3.
7 A. No, I do not know anything about this.
8 Q. Very well.
9 A. I have not heard. I was not there. I did not know that we
10 belonged to that zone.
11 Q. Very well. Did you have any particular connection to Rrustem
12 Tetaj at the end of May? Was there any particular command relationship
13 with Rrustem Tetaj, as you understood the position?
14 A. No. I only knew that he was in Gllogjan, but I did not know the
15 position he had.
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. I have said it earlier.
18 Q. Very well.
19 A. This is the whole thing.
20 Q. I entirely understand that there may have been confusion,
21 crossed-wires, on the ground. It's just a question of at this stage
22 whether you were aware of him having any particular responsibility for an
23 area that covered Vranoc, and your answer to that is you were not. Is
24 that correct?
25 A. I don't know. I know that he came. When he came I was not there.
1 He talked to Din Krasniqi in the village of Vranoc --
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. -- but I was not interested in that.
4 Q. Very well. And do you know a man called Gani Gjukaj?
5 A. I have heard this name, probably I have seen him, but I did not
6 know who he was.
7 Q. Very well. And you didn't have any awareness that he had a
8 particular responsibility for the area that's marked with a number 4?
9 A. No. I did not know that such zones were created. I had no
11 Q. Very well. Now, the next date I want to ask you about, leaving
12 this map to one side now for a moment, the next date I want to ask you
13 about is the 23rd of June, which I asked you about a moment ago. We've
14 seen some minutes of a meeting on the 23rd of June in which
15 Ramush Haradinaj was elected as the commander of the Dukagjini Plain
16 Operational Zone. Again, from your recollection at the time, were you
17 aware that such a meeting had taken place?
18 A. I heard that some people went there. They discussed and I was
19 told that they agreed to elect Ramush Haradinaj as commander, like in the
20 film Spartacus.
21 Q. That may be a reference that not everybody is familiar with;
22 although, I know what you're referring to. In practical terms one of the
23 things that I'm trying to explore with you for the Trial Chamber, and I'm
24 going to ask you some specific questions about it as we move through this
25 period is that in practical terms what that meant in terms of the chain of
1 communication and operation on the ground.
2 Now, you were asked a number of questions yesterday about a map
3 that you had drawn showing various centres, three brigades and two
4 staff HQs. I'll come to the map in just a second.
5 MR. EMMERSON: Perhaps that could be loaded whilst I get to it, it
6 should be P352.
7 Q. We've also seen, Mr. Krasniqi, some orders establishing the three
8 brigades, Prapaqan Brigade, the brigade at Baran, and so forth and your
9 particular brigade under Nazif Ramabaja, orders that are dated between the
10 10th and the 12th of July. Just to help us get the chronology right, was
11 it around about the 10th or 12th of July that those three brigades were
13 A. First, when I made the sketch I was asked about the headquarters
14 in Gllogjan and Jabllanice. These were local headquarters. After the
15 officers came, we thought that now we have some officers. So we thought
16 about setting up something in order to increase the morale of the people.
17 So we designated three points, three locations, three schools, and in
18 those three centres which were referred to as brigades, we deployed
19 officers who had graduated from military academies.
20 Q. Just pausing there, I'm trying at this stage to concentrate on the
21 dates. Now, the officers that you're referring to, you say "after the
22 officers came," you are referring, are you, to the officers who had
23 previously been senior officers in the Yugoslav Army who entered Kosovo
24 along with Tahir Zemaj?
25 A. Yes. This is the period of June and July, the sixth and seventh
1 month. I don't remember exactly, but approximately that period.
2 Q. I'm just trying to help you remember, if you can, because it's
3 relevant to some of the passages in your witness statement, to get the
4 dates as clear as we can.
5 Now, we've heard evidence - and I don't think there's any dispute
6 about this - that Tahir Zemaj entered Kosovo with those officers sometime
7 around the 23rd, 24th, or 25th of June, not before then. And we've seen,
8 as I say, records establishing your brigade and the other two brigades on
9 the 12th of July or between the 10th and the 12th of July. Now, again,
10 it's important for interpreting your map and some of the other markings
11 that you've given us. Are you here describing events and relationships as
12 they existed after the establishment of those brigades on the 12th of
14 A. Yes, that is correct. I have nothing to add. It was July. We
15 had designated the locations, bigger facilities, and the officers.
16 Q. Yes. And it was on the 20th of July that the swearing-in ceremony
17 took place you told us?
18 A. Yes. In the village of Baran. I was there, too. We organised
19 the ceremony on 12th -- 20th. I invited the officers to come from all
20 areas. Some could not come because of fighting, so I told them, whoever
21 was free was welcome to come. We made some video-recording, they exist,
22 so that we could have some evidence.
23 Q. We've seen some of that video-recording in the courtroom here,
24 Mr. Krasniqi. And that was the process, would you agree, by which the
25 officers who'd come with Mr. Zemaj, sometimes called FARK officers, became
1 integrated within the KLA?
2 A. Yes. When they came they had only UCK emblems. After September
3 offensive, because they had stayed in different countries -- outside
4 people could say that they were the FARK or UCK, but in Kosovo they all
5 belonged to UCK.
6 Q. And again so that we're clear, during this month of July there had
7 been a major Serb offensive, a major battle, at Loxha in the first -- the
8 end of the first week of July. Is that correct?
9 A. Not in the last week of July, earlier.
10 Q. Yes, no, I'm sorry. That may have been a translation issue. The
11 end of the first week of July was what I was putting to you.
12 A. Yes, end of the first week.
13 Q. Yes --
14 A. I think you are right, about 5th or 6th.
15 Q. And there was another major Serb offensive through the area within
16 a week or so of the swearing-in ceremony, was there?
17 A. Yes, there was.
18 Q. It's just important to get our chronology clear. Now, looking at
19 this map you've told us that it's depicting in a graphic way locations
20 after the 10th or 12th of July, and we can see that you've described
21 Jablanica as a staff HQ; and you've described Gllogjan as a staff HQ. And
22 I just wanted to understand from your perspective as an officer on the
23 ground in Baran, is that how you saw them as being on an equal footing and
24 independent of one another, those two staff HQs?
25 A. Yes, at that moment this was how it was, they were independent.
1 The same was true of us. We had no means and each of us operated
3 Q. I'll come back to that in a moment. Could you look at paragraph
4 40 of your statement where you described the aftermath of the Serb attack
5 on the 24th of March, and in the last sentence of that statement -- sorry,
6 that paragraph, paragraph 40, you say that: "After this incident, the
7 village of Gllogjan became the most important UCK HQ after Jablanica."
8 And I just wanted to understand, as an official or an officer on
9 the ground, is that how you understood it at that point, that these were
10 two independent HQs but with Gllogjan achieving an importance secondary to
11 Jablanica? Is that how it appeared to you?
12 A. At that time, when the attack on Gllogjan began, Jabllanice was
13 quiet at that time, there was no attack. When the village of Gllogjan
14 came under attack, there was a limited number of people who had some
15 armaments. It was Ramush, his brothers, and his cousins. They at that
16 time put up resistance. The Serbian forces entered the village, entered
17 the school, they kidnapped some and kept hostage some children and some
18 people --
19 Q. Yes. I'm sorry to interrupt you. I don't -- I wasn't asking you
20 to give us a description of the 24th of March incident as you understood
21 it, but of the relative importance of Jablanica and Gllogjan in the
22 aftermath period. You said that they were independent of one another. I
23 wanted to know how you saw them in terms of relative importance.
24 A. Well, myself, as everybody else, looked at it as a heroic village
25 that put up a resistance, and after the storm and after the success,
1 people have respect for the person who led that resistance. So Gllogjan,
2 in the municipality of Decan, is the first village to be known to have put
3 up a resistance in 1998.
4 Q. And did that make Ramush a sort of spiritual figurehead for
6 A. In the beginning people did not know, but they started to ask each
7 other who was that person. And then he was a kind of a spiritual leader.
8 In the beginning people, in fact, were expecting to see somebody,
9 heavy-built person, somebody big in stature, but he was a normal person,
10 and we could not bring somebody who had a big body, to present him as
11 Ramush just because of what people had imagined him to be.
12 Q. But in practical terms, you tell us, and you've just said it a
13 moment ago, these centres, these five centres that you've described were
14 operating in a fairly independent manner from one another. Is that right.
15 A. Yes, of course. Completely independently. Everything was
16 spontaneous. People admired him because he achieved the success. And
17 they trusted him fully. This is how the truth was.
18 Q. When you were answering questions about this relationship between
19 these different power centres in the period after the 11th of July
20 yesterday, you said they were not linked. You said: "In Gllogjan there
21 was Ramush. In Prapaqan it was Tahir. Each operated independently, which
22 means that we did not have the means and the possibilities to communicate
23 with each other." Then you said: "However, if there was a problem or if
24 we wanted to send some information, we send a courier in order to ask for
25 some help."
1 And then you said this: "When I was in Baran, if I had some
2 problems, then I send some soldier with a vehicle in order to ask for some
3 help. I sent him to Ramush, to Lahi, or to Tahir, the one which was
5 And I wanted to understand that answer a little more. Are you
6 telling the Trial Chamber that from where you were in Vranoc, any one of
7 those three commanders would be regarded from your point of view as
8 operating autonomously so that you could call them or contact them
10 A. Yes. That was not important at the time. If a village came under
11 attack, all the villages voluntarily offered to help. So, for example,
12 when the attack began on Jabllanice I asked for assistance from other
13 villages, because Ramush could not come from Gllogjan to the place where I
14 was. So whichever village was able to send volunteers to help, they would
15 do so.
16 Q. What you appear to be describing is a fairly horizontal, rather
17 than vertical, command structure. Would you accept that description?
18 A. Yes, that's true. That's what happened. It's something that
19 really happened. Whichever villages were closer to where the attack
20 occurred, those villages went to assist.
21 Q. Now, in your witness statement at paragraph 68 you explain a line
22 of reporting. You say: "I reported to Nazif Ramabaja," who was the
23 commander of your brigade, I believe, "who, in turn, reported to Tahir
24 Zemaj and Ramush Haradinaj."
25 Is that how you understood it, that Nazif Ramabaja may report to
1 Tahir Zemaj, he may report to Ramush Haradinaj?
2 A. Yes, that's what I understood the situation to be. When we came
3 back from the front line, we discussed what had occurred, what we had
4 done. But the reporting did not occur immediately after something
5 happened. Sometimes it also occurred weeks after. But our attempts were
6 towards creating an army, to have a General Staff, and a Joint Command.
7 Q. But those attempts at this stage were in a fairly rudimentary and
8 early stage of their development. Is that a fair summary?
9 A. We always tried, even earlier, but we could not do it because we
10 did not have the means and there were attacks every day. So we never had
11 a proper command, a Joint Command or staff. Because every country in the
12 world has a General Staff that commands in times of war, while in our case
13 each village had a staff. So it means that we were more than one country,
14 we were several countries.
15 Q. It's a fairly chaotic picture that you're painting of the
16 organisation. Is that right? Is that how you understood it?
17 A. That's very correct. Only if you compare the means that we had at
18 our disposal with the means that the Serbs had. They had planes, tanks,
19 while we only had Kalashnikovs. So this is a comparison that is beyond
20 comparison. But the will of the young people, that is something else.
21 Q. I wanted to ask you in that context how easy it was to impose
22 discipline on young volunteers in practical terms, how easy it was to
23 control the actions of the young volunteers?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
25 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has listened now for quite some time to
2 testimony which covers ground similar to what we've heard already.
3 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- quite a lot of times and this next question, how
5 easy it was, I mean, it could be very easy or not very easy, that of
6 course is not very factual. It's -- and a lot of these testimonies, as
7 they were in the past, give a mixture of facts and opinions --
8 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I accept that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- and I don't know whether it's the best use of our
10 time --
11 MR. EMMERSON: Yes. Very well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- to hear these kind of mixtures from every witness.
13 MR. EMMERSON: I'm entirely in Your Honour's hands.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. EMMERSON: It's a picture of command arrangements and if Your
16 Honour feels the position is adequately covered, then I'll move on to
17 another topic.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. EMMERSON: Albeit a connected one, if I may.
20 Q. In your witness statement at paragraph 66, you describe Ramush
21 having visited your brigade two or three times in total during the period
22 of time that you were stationed at Baran. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Over a period of approximately two months. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. And you say that he was on the move a lot. Is that also correct?
2 A. This was a different question that I was asked. Of course people
3 move, but at the time he came to our zone three times. He tried -- and we
4 all tried to have somebody to go to places so that we could have things
5 under control. But we could not achieve that, because if a village came
6 under attack, he was the one to respond first.
7 Q. Yes. The specific question, I think you may have started to
8 answer it towards the end of your answer, the specific question I'm asking
9 you is: Was it your understanding that Mr. Haradinaj was constantly
10 moving around?
11 A. I was told that if he went to a village, the morale in that
12 village was boosted. So I don't know how often he moved --
13 Q. Very well --
14 A. -- and what means he had to move, but whenever he had the time and
15 the possibility, he went places, yes.
16 Q. Very well. Can I ask you, please, in the light of that answer
17 about an answer you gave yesterday. You were asked by Mr. Re about what
18 feedback you may have heard from people about his command style. And your
19 answer was this: "Ramush had no time to command everywhere, but people
20 trusted him. They thought that if Ramush was there, there would be no
21 problem for them, for the people. This is something that occurred among
22 the people, that's how the people loved him."
23 And I just wanted to ask you this: What did you mean by that
24 comment "Ramush had no time to command everywhere ..."?
25 A. Yes. The front line was about 50 kilometres long, and we did not
1 have or he did not have any means or communication means. Even if you had
2 the modern means of communication, it would be difficult to command all
3 the front line that I described. He probably went to Dubrave, Gramaqel,
4 or Prilep, but the Lugu i Baranit villages remained without anyone because
5 we did not have another Ramush. So he could not command all over the
7 Q. Now let me move, if I may please, on to some of the evidence that
8 you've given, both in witness statements and in maps and in your
9 testimony, about Serb deployments because there, I think, was a point
10 yesterday where we moved from one map to another and you realised that
11 there was information that you had left off one of the maps.
12 MR. EMMERSON: Could we bring up, please, P355. Thank you very
14 Q. I just want to understand a little bit more about this picture
15 first of all. It's not, obviously, got details of topographical features
16 like hills and mountains marked on it, but you told us yesterday that as a
17 general practice the Serb forces were occupying high ground. Is that
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Now, can I just ask you some specific questions of clarification
21 arising out of both your statements and some of the answers that you've
22 given. I'm looking at this blue area shown on this map. First of all, is
23 it right that there were Serb forces stationed on Suka Cermjan, on the
24 eastern side of Lake Radoniq?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. They were there and all along the dam, and
1 they were in the Lake Radoniq area.
2 Q. What dam are you referring to?
3 A. It's the dam of the Lake Radoniq, and then Suka i Biteshit and
4 then the main road Gjakove-Decan-Baballoq village.
5 Q. Just to be absolutely clear then, do you know from what period of
6 time there were Serb forces located on Suka Cermjan, from when to when,
8 A. The Serb forces entered there in March.
9 Q. And were they there throughout the summer?
10 A. Yes, they stayed there until the villages fell. They were on the
11 higher ground points. They observed the villages from those higher points
12 and shelled the villages from there. Those were strategic points. There
13 is the Pulaj village there, the Decan clinic or Podi i Geshtenjave where
14 the heavy artillery was stationed, heavy calibre artillery, and from there
15 they shelled all the villages.
16 Q. And --
17 A. Other villages that were known Bellopoje, Tavre [phoen] these are
18 points where the army were with their artillery.
19 Q. Just pausing there, you mentioned Suka Bitesh. Can you tell us
20 when, from what period to what period, there were forces stationed at Suka
22 A. Suka Bitesh, after the Gllogjan attack was captured by the Serb
23 forces, so immediately after March they were stationed there, there was a
24 settlement with houses there, and they allegedly went there to protect the
25 Serb population living in the area. Behind Suka Baballoq there were some
1 Roma people -- houses. They stayed there as well. This is after March.
2 The attack occurred in March, and then after that they were stationed in
3 the Suka.
4 Q. Can you help us a little bit more -- in a little more detail about
5 an answer you gave us on page 50, line 5, when you said "they were all
6 along the dam." I just want to understand where that dam is in relation
7 to Lake Radoniq.
8 A. It's in the direction of Gjakove, the lower villages --
9 Q. Very well --
10 A. -- I can't see it in the map --
11 Q. Very well --
12 A. The Radoniq Lake, so they control all the area around the lake.
13 The road was open to them and they had the vehicles to circulate.
14 Q. Very well. Now, in your witness statement at paragraph 48 you
15 also make reference, and we've heard some other evidence about this, to
16 the fact that the Serb police station at Qallapek remained open up until
17 the 25th of June. I think you say June. We've heard evidence from
18 another witness putting it on -- as the 25th of June. Do you recall -- is
19 that correct, was the Serb police station in Qallapek open and operating
20 until the second half of June?
21 A. Yes, that's correct. It was open in June as a police station.
22 They also had tanks. No police force in the world has tanks. The Serb
23 forces were there around the station and in private Albanian homes. There
24 were four tanks, as a matter of fact, above the station. There is a small
25 hill there, and from the hill they also shot against anything that moved.
1 Q. And do I have it correct, Qallapek is the town that appears in the
2 upper right-hand quadrant of the blue area that you've marked, is that
3 correct, immediately above Kosuriq?
4 A. Yes, it's there.
5 Q. And so does it follow --
6 A. Yes, Kosuriq and Rosuje between those two is Qallapek and on the
7 road from Qallapek to Kosuriq, there's where the police station was and
8 where the forces were stationed, also in some of the houses in the area
9 and from where they attacked.
10 Q. And so does it follow from the evidence that you've given that
11 there were, if I can summarize it, heavily armed Serb police units moving
12 in and out of that area up until the second half of June?
13 A. Yes, up until that time they circulated through Rosuje, Kliqine,
14 and Rosuje. They also had tanks and APCs, and that's how changed their
15 forces when they took turns. They always had tanks and APCs to bring
16 their forces.
17 Q. I'm asking you these questions because there are certain passages
18 in your statement that appear to suggest that these areas were under
19 exclusive KLA control, and I know you've given some evidence about that.
20 Can I just briefly recap with you looking at this area that's marked in
21 blue and ask you to confirm, please, that between the 19th and 21st of May
22 there was a Serb offensive approaching into that area from the eastern
23 side in which Grabanica and the villages around that were taken?
24 A. Yes, but there's a mistake here. I did not say "controlled by,"
25 but that it was considered as a free zone. It's a different thing.
1 Q. Yes. I'm going to ask you about that in a moment. Then the 29th
2 of May, you've told us about the attacks on Vranoc, and is it right that
3 that was an attack launched in a south-westerly direction from Peje in
4 which there was substantial amount of damage and a substantial amount of
5 people killed in a number of villages along that trajectory?
6 A. Yes, that's true. On the 29th of May there was a major offensive
7 from the village of Vranoc towards Kryshec, Strellc, towards Decan and up
8 to Junik. But the offensive was prepared professionally by them. They
9 had their tank units, and on the night of the 28th of May, the tank unit
10 approached Vranoc, and the other units captured the strategic points,
11 higher points. And at 5.00 in the morning, the sniper unit and the police
12 unit captured Glavice e Vranocit, that's a hill. A guard was there, he
13 was an elderly person, and two young men were with him as well --.
14 Q. Forgive me because I'm not going to ask you at this stage about
15 the battle of Vranoc. You've told us about that particular offensive.
16 You've agreed, I think, that there was a major battle over a period of
17 days in the area of Loxha in the first week or at the end of the first
18 week of July. You agree, I think, that there was a major offensive right
19 through the region at the end of July and into the middle of August with
20 Gllogjan being taken on the 11th and 12th of August. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And then --
23 A. And --
24 Q. I'm sorry, and then a further offensive at the end of August and
25 into September?
1 A. Yes, of course. This was the largest offensive, but if we return
2 to the Vranoc village that I mentioned earlier, four people were killed
3 and also animals were killed, about 450 heads of domestic animals. Four
4 people were killed, as I said, and many houses were razed to the ground
5 and burnt. Same thing started in Loxha --
6 Q. Just pause there for a moment. You told us there was a time when
7 you went to Gllogjan and were -- where the village was under siege and
8 about to be overrun by the Serbs, and Ramush directed you to assist with
9 defences in Gramaqel. Was that on the first August offensive in Gllogjan,
10 on the 11th/12th period; or was it in the second offensive at the end of
11 August/beginning of September?
12 A. No, it was the first offensive when Gllogjan fell. This was one
13 of the major offensives, and I went there and I did the things that I've
14 already said. And together with my unit I went towards Gramaqel --
15 Q. Just --
16 A. -- The question that was asked was --
17 Q. Sorry, just pause there for a moment. When you went to Gllogjan,
18 was the battle already well underway?
19 A. Yes. It had started, and the shelling was going on non-stop.
20 They were shelling against the houses --
21 Q. Just --
22 A. -- there were grenades, there were rockets falling --
23 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you and cut-off the detail. It's --
24 there's specific reasons why I'm asking you this question. Is it right
25 then that you did not arrive there on the first day of the Serb offensive
1 against Gllogjan but on the second day?
2 A. Yes, that's correct. I did not go there the first day. I arrived
3 there the second day, I mean Gllogjan, and it was horror.
4 Q. We've had an opportunity to look at some of the statements very,
5 very briefly in connection with the Sanije Balaj investigation. And I'm
6 not going to, as I said earlier on, ask you a great many questions about
7 that. But the date on which she is said to have been arrested or detained
8 is given by her relative as the 11th of August. And I just want to ask
9 you: Did you leave that interview with Sanije Balaj and go straight to
10 Gllogjan, where the battle was already raging?
11 A. No, I did not go that day. I only left her that day, and I don't
12 know where she went. The next day I went to Gllogjan and the offensive
13 was raging, the shelling was going on.
14 Q. So piecing those chronological factors together, the day that
15 Sanije Balaj left Baran there was a Serb offensive entering Gllogjan. Is
16 that your understanding of the position?
17 A. I don't know how I would put it, but for us there was shelling
18 almost every day. Those days the shelling was more intensive, so much so
19 that we didn't even think of looking at something else or doing something
20 else. We just wanted to go and help people who needed us.
21 Q. Very well. One point of clarification on your statement, if I
22 may, on a slightly different topic. Paragraph 77 you refer to the battle
23 of Loxha as having taken place on the 6th of June, 1998. And at
24 paragraph 78 you explained that those taking part included Nazif Ramabaja,
25 Tahir Zemaj, and Ramush Haradinaj. And then at paragraph 9 -- 79 you
1 say: "One month later, in July, the Serbs entered Loxha and destroyed it
2 completely." And you then produce a map which I think Mr. Re made
3 reference to yesterday, which is said to relate to the first battle of
5 Now, the date in paragraph 77 I'm going to suggest to you must be
6 wrong and that it's not the 6th of June but the 6th of July, because if
7 you're right in paragraph 78, that Tahir Zemaj and Nazif Ramabaja took
8 part in that conflict, then they of course hadn't entered Kosovo until the
9 23rd of -- or 24th of June, had they?
10 A. Yes. I said that the date may be wrong.
11 Q. So then does it lead on from that that there was the first battle
12 of Loxha at the end of the first week of July, and then a further battle
13 in Loxha in which it was destroyed completely about a month after that,
14 sometime at the beginning of August? Is that the effect of your
16 A. Yes, it is as you say. This happened during the first offensive
17 where all of us took place; in the second one we didn't manage to
18 participate, all of us, in it.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, just two or three more topics, if I may. In the
20 evidence that you gave yesterday - and this is the point that you were
21 just raising a moment ago about control and free zones - you were asked
22 about the blue area that is shown on the map on the screen in front of us.
23 And you were asked whether that was a free area and whether the KLA
24 controlled it militarily. And your response was this: "This is how we
25 considered at that time. We considered it was a free area. They also,
1 the Serbian forces, could enter this area sometimes because they had the
2 people and the vehicles, but we moved around those areas. They, the
3 Serbs, could also move into these areas if they wanted to."
4 And then a little later on you said this: "Yes, this is the map
5 of the villages. These are the villages. However, we could not have them
6 -- we could not have them under our control. We could not prevent
7 everyone to enter into these areas."
8 Can I ask you, please, apart from the major offensives that we've
9 been describing, were there occasions when Serb forces, police or
10 paramilitary, entered into this area in smaller numbers for raids and
12 A. Look here, during all the time they shelled and tried to enter.
13 For example, Lybeniq village, they attacked the locals who thought that
14 their Serbian neighbours would defend them; but unfortunately, many
15 civilians suffered from that. Almost every day, groups of them tried to
16 enter, killing civilians in various areas, which were closer to them along
17 the main road. Wherever they went, they fired and shelled and killed
18 civilians. So it was, indeed, impossible for us to cover up all that
19 area. We didn't have enough forces.
20 Q. Thank you. And I just want to then ask you one or two questions
21 about the incident that was described in relation to Nurije and Istref
22 Krasniqi, which you gave evidence about yesterday. You were asked about
23 rumours that you had heard of a possibility of collaboration, and in the
24 course of answering those questions you said: "I knew that one of the
25 sons was injured. We provided assistance. We took the son to the
1 military hospital to get treatment."
2 Can I ask you this: Were you aware that the son who you had taken
3 to the military hospital to get treatment had been injured as a result of
4 a blood-feud?
5 A. At the time I didn't know this, but I heard of it later. I heard
6 that he was injured. Then we took him to the military hospital. We
7 didn't dare take him to Peje. We offered him assistance with whatever
8 means we could have, and this is what I know. But I heard from hearsay.
9 We offered assistance, help, to him, and his family visited him in our
10 military hospital.
11 MR. EMMERSON: I wonder if we could go into private session for a
12 moment, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We turn to private session
14 [Private session]
11 Page 5822 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
7 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honour, what I would like to do is pose three
8 or four short questions to this witness on the Sanije Balaj incident, and
9 I don't want by doing so to imply that I have begun to assimilate or
10 approach the material that needs to be read. But there are one or two
11 foundational questions that I can put --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think the Chamber has been clear earlier that the
13 mere fact that you're putting some questions in this context does not
14 deprive you from applying later on to a recall of the witness. Please
16 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you very much.
17 Q. Just one or two specific questions. Do you remember when the red
18 Golf vehicle drove away whether Galani was in the car as well?
19 A. I don't remember it. I was walking towards a kiosk near the
20 ambulance, the clinic of the village. And I saw Sanije Balaj entering and
21 them entering the car. There is -- there was a trial in Peje and it was
22 over. I don't remember the exact time. I think it was in the morning
23 about midday, I would say, 1.00 or 2.00. That was the break for the army
24 to have lunch.
25 Q. Just pause there for a moment. The simple question I'm asking
1 is: When she got into the vehicle with your cousins, was Galani with them
2 or in the vehicle or not?
3 A. I didn't see him.
4 Q. But did you, in fact, see them get into the vehicle?
5 A. I saw those two persons and her, I mean Sanije. She was wearing a
6 long coat, and out of curiosity I turned my head thinking that someone
7 might call me.
8 Q. Yes. So you did see your cousins get into the vehicle with her;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it your evidence that Galani was not there or that you
12 don't know one way or the other whether he was with them at that time?
13 A. I declared also in the other trial, and I'm telling you now, I
14 don't know.
15 Q. Very well. Second question, please: Sanije Balaj, was she a
16 member of the KLA?
17 A. I don't know. I saw a video-clip in which there was a group of
18 girls singing, it was near Malisheve, and she was one of them, but I don't
19 know. When she came to us she was in civilian clothes, and I didn't have
20 any information to that effect; namely, that she was a member of the
22 Q. Just pause there. You say: "I saw a video-clip in which there
23 was a group of girls singing ..."
24 Were they in uniform?
25 A. Some of them, yes, not all of them had the same uniform.
1 Q. I'm sorry. Were they singing KLA songs or songs that associated
2 them with the KLA?
3 A. Yes, they were singing a song devoted to the KLA. You could see
4 in that video-clip, they were coming down a mountain, but I didn't know
5 that she was there.
6 Q. And was this a video you saw before you met her in Baran or after?
7 A. No. That video-clip I saw, even though I saw it earlier -- but at
8 that moment I did know it was she, namely, Sanije Balaj. It was just a
9 group of girls that I didn't pay any attention to. Then after that I
10 realised that she was one of them.
11 Q. Very well. And then finally this: Have you learnt from anybody
12 at any time subsequently whether she was a member of the KLA or not?
13 A. No. I wasn't told that because people thought that since I
14 interrogated her I would be the person to have given the order for
15 execution. So if I showed some interest, people might start becoming
16 suspicious, you know, of me because of this belief.
17 Q. I understand that and it may, indeed, provide the answer to my
18 last series of questions. When Rrustem Tetaj gave evidence in this court
19 about the investigation that took place into the disappearance of
20 Sanije Balaj, he testified that all of the commanders, including himself,
21 Tahir Zemaj, Gani Gjukaj, and Ramush Haradinaj held at least one meeting
22 in which they were trying to get to the bottom of what had happened to her
23 and were conducting collectively investigations into her death. Did you
24 know that all of the commanders were showing an interest in this
1 A. Yes, it's correct. They called me to go to that interview. Each
2 and every one were interested to know what happened, why it happened. The
3 commanders weren't informed of what happened, and normally someone
4 entrusts you with a job, you should take care to know what's going on.
5 Q. Did you go and speak to the commanders together?
6 A. No, I didn't, because I wasn't there, and then I went to that
7 interview that I mentioned.
8 Q. Very well.
9 A. And rumours broke out, various rumours. As you know, rumours
10 spread very fast. Then I heard very bad words about myself, as if I was
11 the one who ordered her to be killed. And because of that, I kept a very
12 low profile, not to prevent the investigation and everything, and I wanted
13 the case to be investigated and tried to the end.
14 Q. Yes, thank you.
15 MR. EMMERSON: That's as far as I can take it at this stage with
16 this witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Emmerson.
18 Could I inquire with other Defence counsel how much time they
19 think they would need.
20 Mr. Guy-Smith.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: I believe I'm going to be a half an hour or so.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop.
23 MR. TROOP: I would estimate approximately 30 minutes, Your
25 JUDGE ORIE: That would bring us close to 7.00.
1 Mr. Re, as matters stand now, how much time, if any time at all,
2 you would need for re-examination.
3 MR. RE: As matters stand now, possibly ten minutes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Guy-Smith, Mr. Troop, would it be able for
5 you to stay on that side of 30 minutes which is closer to 20 than to 40?
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'll do my best.
7 MR. TROOP: I'll endeavour to do the same, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's good to hear.
9 Just perhaps some guidance not -- Mr. Emmerson, when you asked the
10 witness whether he went on the same day to assist in defending the attack
11 against Gllogjan, whether that was the same day when he left Sanije Balaj,
12 yes or no, and he said no it's the following day. And then you, for
13 unknown reasons to me, you put it again in chronological order; that is,
14 that it was the day after he left Sanije Balaj, that there was an attack
15 on Gllogjan, which was already so obvious from the previous testimony that
16 I even got the impression that you wanted to emphasise that this was the
17 case rather -- and you really --
18 MR. EMMERSON: I apologise for that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- confused the witness there, because he had no idea
20 what you were talking about.
21 MR. EMMERSON: I apologise for that. I must have lost the train
22 of the question.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 And we stand adjourned until five minutes to 6.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 5.59 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, you may proceed.
3 Mr. Krasniqi, you'll be cross-examined by Mr. Guy-Smith, who's
4 counsel for Mr. Balaj.
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Guy-Smith:
7 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I'd like to start with a couple of questions dealing
8 with general issues. During the time that you were being interviewed by
9 the Office of the Prosecutor, were you shown any photo-spreads?
10 A. Yes, I was.
11 Q. And could you tell us how many photo-spreads you were shown?
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Do you recall when you were shown those photo-spreads?
14 A. I know it was once in Peje when I was shown some photos, and then
15 in Pristina. I remember two places. I think it was sometime in 2002 and
16 at a later time, 2004, 2006.
17 Q. As you sit here today, if you can be of any help, do you by any
18 chance recall who were the individuals or the investigators who showed you
19 those photo-spreads? If you can, that's fine; if you can't, it's
20 understood. It's been some time ago.
21 A. Yes. There was a Romanian lady with a French guy. I think the
22 name of the French guy was Rene, at least this is what I remember. They
23 showed me photographs. There was a Czech guy and Shahzada Sultan.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, the witness now used the word "photo"
25 and "photograph" twice whereas you asked about photo-spreads. Can you
1 ensure that there is no confusion.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: Sure.
3 Q. Following up on the Judge's question you indicated -- you said
4 that you were shown photos. When I say a photo-spread what I'm referring
5 to is a sheet of paper on which there were a number of different
6 photographs of people, sometimes perhaps eight. That's what I'm referring
7 to when I use the term "photo-spread."
8 A. Yes, I remember this very well. Now I am clear about question.
9 Yes, they showed me a photo-spread with various photos, out of which I
10 recognised three persons, two by name, and one only by sight.
11 Q. During the time that you were being shown those photo-spreads, did
12 you sign -- after you recognised the two by name, did you sign a document
13 and then give it to any of the investigators or the people that you've
15 A. Yes, I did. I signed it.
16 Q. Do you recall one of the investigators who showed you a
17 photo-spread that you signed was the gentleman that you named, Sultan, I
18 think it's -- I'm sorry, it's a woman, Shahzada Sultan?
19 A. Yes, I remember this person. I know that it's a man, actually,
20 not a woman, and is from Pakistani and works here.
21 Q. I'll make further inquiries about this issue someplace else.
22 During the time that you were giving statements to the
23 investigators, do you recall if you were ever audiotaped or videotaped?
24 A. Every time I was called for an interview, they informed me that it
25 was being audiotaped, but this didn't prevent me in any way. I was told
1 that it was being recorded. And they asked me whether I had any problems
2 if it was recorded; I said, okay, I don't have a problem. But I don't
3 know where it was actual recorded.
4 Q. You were never shown a transcript of any audiotapes of any
5 interviews that you had with the Office of the Prosecutor, were you?
6 A. No, I don't remember to have been shown any.
7 Q. I'm going to move on now to another issue which is when you first
8 took over responsibility for training the young men that you've testified
9 about, could you tell us what colour, if there was a colour; or what
10 uniforms, if there were uniforms, that those young men wore?
11 A. Yes. It was February, end of February/beginning of March, and
12 there were almost no uniforms. All of us were dressed in civilian
13 clothes, and with some KLA patches on the arm, you know, because we didn't
14 have any real uniforms. We had civilian clothes.
15 Q. Did there come a time when some people started wearing black
16 clothes as a kind of uniform with a KLA patch during the summer of 1998?
17 A. Yes, and this was the first time we saw uniforms in Malisheve, and
18 we heard that it was the military police that wore this uniform. Some
19 individuals purchased uniforms with their own money; those who couldn't
20 afford didn't have uniforms.
21 Q. And the individuals who were wearing black uniforms, were those
22 such people as Mete Krasniqi, Fadil Nimoni, for example?
23 A. Mete didn't have for a while, but then he bought the uniform in
24 Malisheve. Once Fadil didn't have uniform, but a time came when he did
25 buy the uniform. So at the beginning they didn't, but later they did.
1 Q. By -- when you say "later they did," could you help us out and
2 give us a month or a period of time in which that occurred. Would that
3 have been by June or July?
4 A. I don't know. I know that it was summer and I know that in
5 Malisheve they started wearing uniforms earlier, but I don't think it was
6 of any importance to us.
7 Q. What about in Baran? In Baran did people wear -- did soldiers
8 wear black uniforms?
9 A. Yes, in Baran there were some who had uniforms but not every one
10 of them. They also bought the uniforms with their own money, and the
11 people who we thought would serve in the police unit had similar uniform,
12 the same uniform.
13 Q. And by saying "people who served in the police unit," those would
14 be people such as Avni, your cousin; correct?
15 A. Yes, they bought the uniforms and they wished to serve in the
16 military police. It was their wish to be there.
17 Q. And Iber, he was another individual who wore a black uniform;
19 A. No, I don't think he had such uniforms. I am not sure.
20 Q. Would it be fair to say that in the area where you were stationed,
21 there were also civilians who wore black clothing in support of the KLA?
22 A. Yes, correct. There were people in our area who wore those
23 clothes. They thought they seemed more interesting if they wore such
25 Q. And by "interesting," it was also an indication of support for the
1 UCK and for the fight against the Serbs; true?
2 A. Yes, that was their aim, to express their support for the KLA.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, you are aware that these questions are
4 of a rather general nature and that the answers are of a similar general
5 nature --
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: I do appreciate this. Unfortunately I don't have
7 civilians about me, and all I can do is give this information to the
8 Chamber to use as it will.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at the same time it's general, very general.
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: I appreciate that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: I appreciate that.
13 Q. Now, when you first were approached by Avni and Iber, your
14 cousins, concerning Sanije Balaj, you were in the presence of Nazif
15 Ramabaja; right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And as a matter of fact, he is the person who told you that it
18 would be appropriate for you to talk to her about the concerns that your
19 cousins had raised; right?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. When you went to go speak with her, initially you were talking to
22 her in a room where there were your two cousins and somebody you later
23 learned was Galani; true?
24 A. Yes, of course. So there was Sanije and that person and then
25 myself and my two cousins.
1 Q. And when you first saw her, as you were discussing with
2 Mr. Emmerson a few minutes ago, you were surprised because she -- you
3 thought she was a member of our army, and you had seen her in a video
4 wearing a UCK uniform singing patriotic songs; correct?
5 A. Yes, correct. There was a video-recording where she was featuring
6 in that video, but I don't know whether she was a regular member or not.
7 Q. That was information, as a matter of fact, that you gave to the
8 Prosecution in your first statement in March of 2006; right?
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: And referring the Court and counsel to
10 paragraph 12 of the statement of 5 March 2006, the ERN number is U0094451.
11 Q. Now, after you spoke with her, you were satisfied, based upon your
12 conversation with her and the information that you reviewed, that it was
13 okay for her to be released; correct?
14 A. Yes, of course.
15 Q. And --
16 A. After, or rather, because I did not have the possibility to speak
17 longer to her, then I told her to go to her own house.
18 Q. And as a matter of fact, you told Galani, Avni Krasniqi, and
19 Iber Krasniqi of your conclusion regarding the fact that she could be
20 released and go to her own house, didn't you?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And after you told those gentlemen of your conclusion, you went
23 back to your commander, Nazif Ramabaja, and you told him the whole story
24 and he said to you that you had done a good job by releasing the woman;
1 A. Yes, correct.
2 Q. After that, your next real involvement with the questions about
3 what had happened to Sanije Balaj was when you went to the inquiry where
4 you made the statement that you made in Prapaqan, where the commanders
5 were all present and interested in what had happened; true?
6 A. Yes, of course, because this issue had come up, people were
7 speaking about her and people wanted to know what happened to her. Her
8 family wanted to know what happened to her.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, the Chamber is not united yet on
10 whether it's 70 per cent or 80 per cent repetitious, the evidence you are
11 eliciting from the witness at this moment. Almost everything that he
12 answered now he has been -- he has said before.
13 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
14 Q. After you were involved in that inquiry, you had no further --
15 well, let me put it to you this way.
16 I'm going to read something to you and I'm going to ask you, when
17 I finish reading this to you, whether you have any comment on this. And
18 this comes from the statement of Shaban Balaj, which is dated the
19 15th of October, 2002, and I received in the supporting materials for the
20 amendments to the proposed third indictment and it's statement number 4?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph would be, Mr. Guy-Smith?
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: It would be on -- unfortunately it's not -- the
23 end of paragraph four, it would be U0030892 at the top of the page -- it
24 would be paragraph -- page 3 of the statement --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: -- and in terms of the document itself, it's page
2 20.159. This is the statement of Shaban Balaj.
3 Q. "I reported the incident to Commander Tahir Zemaj, Hasan
4 Gashi became the main investigator, Fadil Nimoni. Fadil is dead but
5 Hasan Gashi still lives in Peje. Hasan and Fadil started investigating
6 the case and I went to Prapaqan every day to get progress. They
7 questioned soldiers involved, and on the sixth day I was given the
8 official information that my sister had been killed. I also received a
9 statement saying that she had done nothing illegal.
10 "I gathered together some 20 men of my family and we went to the
11 house of Mete Krasniqi in Vranoc. We got inside and we met the brother of
12 Mete's. I don't know his name. We told him why we came, and he said Mete
13 was not at home, and he didn't know where Avni was.
14 "We asked for the commander of their group who was Din Krasniqi
15 and also a member of the same family. Din arrived at the house and
16 greeted us. The oldest member of our family," I turn to the next page,
17 "Shaqir Balaj started discussing the issue with Din on behalf of our
18 family. Shaqir asked where Sanije Balaj was and said he wants to have an
19 answer before the next morning" --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, your speed, please.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: Oh.
22 Q. "When we left we saw Mete coming together with someone else. We
23 went to speak to him and got into an argument. Mete said that he didn't
24 kill Sanije, but he couldn't guarantee anything about Avni and Idriz.
25 Shaqir told Mete to bring Sanije home to our" -- excuse me, "to our home
1 dead or alive by the evening or something bad would happen.
2 "After this, we left and we went to Strellc to wait. We stayed at
3 home, but nothing happened. Three days later, the imam of Vranoc,
4 nowadays imam of Drenica, came to the house of Shaqir, together with
5 Mete Krasniqi, Ramadan Gashi, my nephew, Zeqir Gjoci, another nephew, and
6 Xhavit Uka another friend of my nephew. All of the men, approximately 50
7 persons from the Balaj family, were invited to Saqir's house. A
8 discussion started and Mete again said he didn't have a murder on his
9 conscience, but that he couldn't guarantee for Avni Krasniqi and Idriz
10 Gashi, also known as Galani. He said that Galani killed Sanije by
11 shooting and Avni was with him. Shaqir told Mete that he had done the
12 wrong thing by stopping Sanije, knowing who she was, but that he is clean,
13 considering the murder. That was the end of the meeting."
14 Were you present at that meeting?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you have any awareness of this meeting?
17 A. I heard about it, but I was not there myself and I don't know what
18 they talked about. Because, as I told you, I was not present there. I
19 didn't even ask what they talked about.
20 Q. Well, when Shaban Balaj says: "Shaqir, who was the head of the
21 family, told Mete that he had done the wrong thing by stopping Sanije,
22 knowing who she was, but that he is clean considering the murder," would
23 it be fair to say that that was a kind of trial for Mete as to whether or
24 not he was guilty of that murder?
25 A. Well, there are different circumstances in our part of the world
1 the way things are done there are different, and the family who has
2 somebody taken from them and don't know about their fate have the right to
3 do that. However, this is his statement. He's been present there. He
4 knows what he's talking about. I was not there. I don't think it was a
5 trial. This was a traditional way of solving this. The village and the
6 family wanted to know about the fate of one of their member and wanted to
7 ask why that happened.
8 Q. Is the fact that Shaqir stated that he is clean considering the
9 murder such that there is no blood debt that would be owed by
10 Mete Krasniqi?
11 A. Well, I don't know. Maybe there's a mistake here. From what I
12 understand, what was said there is that Mete had not committed the murder.
13 And then the statement says that Galan committed the murder, but Avni
14 was with him; this is what I understood. And maybe -- probably Shaqir
15 alluded that he was present there with them.
16 Q. Very well. Based upon your conversation with Sanije, I'd like to
17 know whether you could comment on this part of Shaban Balaj's statement
18 which would be page 5, Your Honours and Mr. Re.
19 "I cannot think of any other reason for what happened to Sanije
20 than money. She had 2.000 Deutschemarks with her when she left home for
21 Peje. I think the suspects would have only taken the money and let her
22 go, but they couldn't because they knew they would get caught."
23 A. Well, I don't know whose statement this is, Shaban's statement or
24 somebody else's, but this is not something I said. I don't know who said
1 Q. Based on the information that you had after you spoke with her,
2 does that seem like a reasonable possibility why Sanije was killed?
3 MR. RE: Well, I object to the question. There's absolutely no
4 foundation for Mr. Guy-Smith to put it in that form without leading up to
5 it with a lot more foundational questions.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, the objection is sustained.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH:
8 Q. If I understood your testimony correctly, you've been a police
9 officer for some period of time, have you not, sir?
10 A. Yes, correct.
11 Q. And the reason that you were chosen by your commander Ramabaja --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith, I'm going to stop you here. The
13 witness has testified as to what was the subject of the conversation.
14 You're asking him now on the basis of the conversation whether this could
15 be a reasonable explanation, that calls for inferences at a level, unless
16 there would be something else in the conversation which has not been
17 established yet. Because I understand from the conversation that the
18 witness did not find any reason to believe that there was collaboration.
19 Okay. Then all other reasons in the world are open to do something to
20 another person --
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: Except for the fact that he did find a substantial
22 sum of money about her person --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: And that -- so it's not all other reasons and
25 that's where I'm going.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then if that's the case, don't you think
2 that the Chamber could understand if someone has a considerable amount of
3 money, that that could be a reason to attack a person? I mean whether --
4 if the witness would say, No, no, it could not possibly be if someone has
5 a huge amount of money with them could not possibly be --
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: If the Chamber is satisfied that that is a
7 reasonable alternative explanation for the murder of Sanije Balaj --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Just as reasonable as many others, but reasonable.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: Reasonable, that's all I care about.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber considers that this could explain,
12 just as many other matters could explain what happened.
13 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. GUY-SMITH:
16 Q. I'd now like to turn to a couple of issues concerning this
17 statement you made which has been called your 92 ter statement, and I'm
18 not going to go over that which you said in great detail; but I would like
19 to talk to you about two specific issues, if I might. You said that
20 you -- in your statement that you heard about Togeri for the first time in
21 May of 1998 and that you met him briefly as he was travelling on his way
22 to Pozhare. And my question is this: In your 92 ter statement it says,
23 and I'm at paragraph 60, the very last line, and I'm moving to the last
24 page: "He looked rather weak."
25 In a previous statement which is a statement you gave on
1 January 7th and 9th of 2007, paragraph 61, you said: "He looked rather
3 Is your impression of how he looked the same - and by that I mean
4 he looked sickly to you and at that point he didn't look particularly
5 well, he looked weak. Is that what you were trying to say?
6 A. At that time, yes, he was much thinner than today, not only him.
7 All of us were much thinner and looked much paler.
8 Q. Okay. And finally I'd like to refer to -- finally I'd like to
9 refer to paragraph 81 of your statement and paragraph 76 of the second
10 statement of Cufe Krasniqi, which is dated January 7th and 9th. And I'd
11 like to ask you about the following. In your statement dated January 7th
12 and 9th you say the following on paragraph 76, page 13 of 17: "I heard
13 that the detainee allegedly said he wanted to be a member of the KLA with
14 his family. As he received the permission from Ramush Haradinaj and
15 Togeri to move freely in the area, he entered a house by force in an
16 Albanian house in the village Klina with the Serbian police."
17 And here's my question to you, sir: In the 92 ter statement, the
18 statement that we have before us, in paragraph 81, there is the following
19 said with regard to who he received permission from. It says: "As he
20 received the permission from Ramush to move freely in the area," and the
21 two words that I saw in your statement of January 9th, "and Togeri," are
22 missing. Is the statement that you made on January 7th and 9th which
23 reads as follows: "As he received the permission from Ramush Haradinaj
24 and Togeri" accurate?
25 A. Well, we're talking about Sali Shkreli now who was a collaborator
1 of the Serbs, together with his family, and he was interrogated. After
2 the police withdrew from the Qallapek station, Sali expressed his wish to
3 become a member of the KLA to protect his own village. He came and said
4 that Ramush, Toger, and whoever else was with them, they had said that he
5 was free to move in the area. I did not see that piece of paper. He told
6 me that he had been left free to move around in the area. I did not see
7 any piece of paper. Soldiers also told me that he had been given
8 permission to move freely; however, who gave him that permission, I don't
10 Q. But the information that you've given us was that he was given
11 permission to move around the area by most Ramush Haradinaj and Togeri;
13 A. Yes, correct, and then I thought if they gave him the permission
14 to move freely in the area, he came to the village of Kosuriq and I
15 thought that we must accept him. This is a person who wants to be with
16 us, and better with us than against us. But during the time, the short
17 time that he stayed with us, he went to the police station in Kliqine.
18 There was a young man together with his wife living in a house close by,
19 and he expelled them from the house and lived there with his family.
20 Q. I appreciate that, Mr. Krasniqi. The thrust of my question dealt
21 with the issue of who gave him permission, and you have answered that
22 question, that the permission came from both Haradinaj and Togeri. And I
23 thank you for your answers.
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: I said that I would do my best --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. --
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: -- to stay within the time and I'm six minutes
3 JUDGE ORIE: No one doubts that you did your best, Mr. Guy-Smith.
4 Mr. Troop.
5 MR. TROOP: Your Honour, time is short, but I will do my best.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Troop:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Krasniqi, I represent Lahi Brahimaj.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. In March 1998 you were in Jablanica with Dr. Din Krasniqi. That's
11 right, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. And Dr. Din Krasniqi was meeting Lahi Brahimaj. Isn't that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You were also in attendance; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In 1998, that was the only work meeting that you were present at
18 with Lahi Brahimaj. Is that right?
19 A. Yes. I went there with Din, so I met him in Jabllanice. That was
20 the first meeting in 1998.
21 Q. And you had no other work meetings with Lahi Brahimaj in 1998, did
23 A. No. Later we met, but the first time I met him was there. I
24 think we also met once or twice in Baran on the way going somewhere, we
25 also met in Vranoc, so two or three times.
1 Q. And I believe you may also met whilst you were fighting sometime
2 in September 1998. Do you agree?
3 A. Of course. It was the time of the September offensive, and I met
4 him. That was a terrible offensive.
5 Q. And in 1998, do you remember how many times you went to Jablanica?
6 A. I can't remember. I didn't need to remember those things.
7 Whenever I needed something, a vehicle or something else, I would go
8 there. But that does not mean that I met Lahi Brahimaj every time I went
9 there. Sometimes he would come to my area and he would not find me, he
10 would find somebody else.
11 MR. TROOP: Could we bring up document number 65 ter 1099, please.
12 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I'd like you to -- I'd like to ask you some
13 questions about the staff headquarters that you briefly described in
14 Jablanica. And the first question I'd like to ask is for you to confirm
15 that the building was at the entry to the village on the left-hand side as
16 you approach from Zhabel village. Do you agree?
17 A. Yes, more or less. The doors were wooden door, but I would look
18 at it from another angle, I think.
19 Q. This photograph that is on the screen should show the view of the
20 KLA staff as you approach from Zhabel village. Do you remember this view?
21 A. Yes, I remember.
22 Q. And I think you said that you recall it being used as a kitchen.
23 Is that right?
24 A. It is right. There was another facility before that, I think.
25 What I see here was a kitchen --
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. -- used for eating, you know, and cooking.
3 Q. I'll show you another view in a minute, but what I'd like to ask
4 you about is that this -- or these two buildings were in the middle of a
5 meadow. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right. There was a meadow between them, and they were
7 also surrounded by a meadow.
8 Q. And unlike many Albanian houses that have a wall all around the
9 compound, the meadow didn't have a wall around it. I think we can see
10 just a small fence on the left-hand side.
11 A. Yes, that's right. Whoever can afford it can have a wall built
12 around the house.
13 Q. In this case the buildings and the meadow were used for grazing
14 animals, so it was not necessary, was it, to construct a wall around the
16 A. For us it has no significance. Whoever can afford it can
17 construct a wall. There are many houses like the one I see here.
18 MR. TROOP: Could -- Your Honour, could that be tendered into
19 evidence, please.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, that would be number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that would be D117.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Any objection, Mr. Re? D117 is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. TROOP: Could we now bring up 65 ter document 1104, please.
25 Q. You were aware, were you not, Mr. Krasniqi, that this building was
1 where soldiers slept in 1998?
2 A. Yes, that's correct. I saw soldiers eating there and staying
4 Q. This shows a view from the meadow towards the two buildings. Does
5 that accord with your recollection of the two buildings you've previously
7 A. Yes, it does. It's a nice view of them. You can see the forest
8 and the meadow. You can see the door -- the gate and you can see that
9 they are wooden gates.
10 Q. And you can also see that on the left-hand side between the next
11 property or the second in the village, the wall only extends a short
12 distance from the entrance gate?
13 A. Yes, you can see the wall, and from that you can guess that the
14 person, the owner, couldn't afford to build to have the wall surround the
15 entire property.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Mr. Troop, sorry to interrupt --
17 MR. TROOP: I -- please go ahead, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Could you clarify if this meadow was used for
19 grazing animals.
20 MR. TROOP: Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, could you just confirm that the meadow shown in the
22 foreground of the photograph was the one which you described as being used
23 for grazing animals?
24 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I think you, Mr. Troop, gave this description, not
25 the witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the meadow is used for grazing
2 animals. The cows grazed there. The grass is eaten by cows.
3 MR. TROOP:
4 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I'd like to ask you about Lahi Brahimaj. You knew
5 that Lahi Brahimaj or the Brahimaj family were from Jablanica, did you
7 A. Yes, that's correct. They were from Jabllanice.
8 Q. And also, you've said that Jablanica, because of its particular
9 geographic location was very favourable to defend from an encroachment by
11 A. Yes, it's a village, a mountainous village, not a big one.
12 Bishtrica of Decan runs nearby. There aren't many houses and inhabitants
13 in it. It's just a mountainous zone.
14 Q. Can I ask you whether, Mr. Krasniqi, in 1998 you were area that
15 the KLA had a so-called General Staff?
16 A. You couldn't refer to it as a General Staff. There were some
17 soldiers, but I think a General Staff would be something else. We tried
18 to have a General Staff, but as I said earlier in our case every village
19 had a staff. And maybe this creates confusion among people whom I think
20 that every village has its own staff, has its own army, fighting against
21 an army belonging to a state.
22 Q. I understand, Mr. Krasniqi, that's why I refer to it as a
23 "so-called General Staff." The question was: Were you aware of an
24 organisation calling itself the General Staff?
25 A. I knew that the Serbian forces couldn't enter that area for a long
1 time, and it was a very nice thing to see because there were no police
2 patrols there, nobody was maltreated and so on. But if people left that
3 village and went to other places, whenever they were captured, detained --
4 they were detained, they were maltreated, and so this was left as a
5 pretext, I would say, for these people. They were left alone in the area,
6 but once they left that area, they were of course beaten up and
8 Q. I'd like to move away from Jablanica and even away from the
9 so-called Dukagjin Zone. Were you aware of another organisation which was
10 the KLA General Staff, unrelated from these zones? It may be that you
11 were not aware of it.
12 A. At that time, we were not informed. We were not aware of any
13 General Staff because there weren't genuine structures that effect. If we
14 had, we would have been very lucky, but we didn't. There wasn't any such
15 General Staff on the ground.
16 Q. Would it, therefore, come as a surprise to you to learn if I told
17 you that Lahi Brahimaj was on the so-called General Staff of the KLA?
18 A. No. If I'm not aware of something, I wouldn't be surprised at
19 things that I don't know.
20 Q. But you didn't know that during 1998, did you?
21 JUDGE ORIE: The Witness has answered that question, I think.
22 MR. TROOP: It was just the question of the time as --
23 JUDGE ORIE: He said at the time. He put it in a time-frame. "At
24 that time, we were not informed," he said and I understood that as
25 reference to 1998.
1 MR. TROOP: I'm grateful, Your Honour.
2 Before we move on, perhaps I can ask for that photograph to be
3 tendered into evidence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As D118, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No objections, Mr. Re, then D118 is admitted into
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. TROOP:
11 Q. And if you didn't know about the General Staff, you would not have
12 known where it was located nor what Lahi Brahimaj's responsibilities were
13 within the General Staff, would you?
14 A. No, I wouldn't, that's correct.
15 Q. And for your information, and as background to the questions which
16 I'm going to ask you, I'm just going to tell you that it's our case that
17 Lahi Brahimaj's responsibilities included logistics and finance, and in
18 particular the distribution of weapons across the different zones. Do you
19 follow that?
20 A. I knew that he was in Jabllanice and that when villagers went up
21 to him to ask for assistance, he helped them. He even gave them weapons.
22 He escorted unarmed young men to the mountains to go to Albania to get
23 weapons and come back. So two, three had weapons. A great majority of
24 young people didn't, so they had to go through the mountains to find
25 weapons, trying to avoid the Serbian forces. Some of them fell in
1 ambushes and were killed on the way back.
2 Q. One of the main things that Lahi Brahimaj was known for was the
3 ability to procure weapons, was it not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that was weapons not just for Jablanica but for other areas as
6 well, wasn't it?
7 A. All the other areas went to him for assistance because it's very
8 difficult for one to cross the border and to walk in that terrain without
9 knowing the place. So close to him there were people who knew the terrain
10 and they helped such people who wanted weapons.
11 Q. You explained to us that in early 1998 each village created a
12 so-called headquarters or staff. Is that right?
13 A. That's right that each village had its own commander and took care
14 of supplies they needed, including weapons and other means.
15 Q. And I think you've also said that each village did not have
16 authority over the next village?
17 A. No. If a village has its own command, it has its own logistics
18 and there are some documents which I don't see here, but in those
19 documents you can see the Gllogjan village -- Naberxhan not Gllogjan and
20 Kosuriq and Kryshec village which were captured by the Serbian forces and
21 in that document it says the quantity of weapons and what they had. There
22 is another document I signed which speaks about Naberxhan village and the
23 weapons we gave to them and how many weapons we gave to them. Everything
24 happened on a voluntary basis. People came to us on a voluntary basis and
25 asked from things and we gave them.
1 Q. Following on from your answer, as the villages got organised, the
2 most important thing which they needed and the primary thing which they
3 needed was weapons, was it not?
4 A. For that moment, yes. One would give anything just to have a
6 Q. You've explained, I think, in paragraphs 30 and 31 of your
7 statement that in February your relatives, Din Krasniqi and his cousin
8 Mete -- no, sent his cousin Mete Krasniqi to your house in February 1998?
9 A. Yes, Mete came. He was sent by Din, that's true.
10 Q. And at that stage it was agreed that Din Krasniqi was going to
11 be -- Dr. Din Krasniqi was going to be the commander for the Baran area,
12 Baran valley?
13 A. No. At the time he was the commander of Vranoc village alone.
14 Q. But there had already been an agreement that he was the commander
15 for that area by February 1998, was there not?
16 A. Not before February 1998, after February, and in March the battle
17 took place in Vranoc village and then this happened after the attack on
18 Vranoc village.
19 Q. Sorry. Excuse me a moment.
20 At paragraph 31 of your statement you say -- this was -- or first
21 you say: "In February 1998 Din Krasniqi sent his cousin Mete Krasniqi to
22 my house."
23 And then at paragraph 31 -- would you like to just look at
24 paragraph 30 of your statement.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The word "later" seems to create problems which
1 I would not mind if you would have explored them, but the way of
2 questioning is certainly not resolving the matter.
3 MR. TROOP: No, I thought I'd start again from paragraph 30
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. TROOP:
7 Q. So can you see that in paragraph 30 you describe that in February
8 1998 Mete Krasniqi came to your house. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And then can you look at paragraph 31 of your statement, please?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you can see at the first paragraph it says: "From that day, I
13 started training the UCK soldiers." That refers to February 1998. Is
14 that right?
15 A. Yes. This refers to 1998. On that day I agreed to go and talk
16 with Din, and from that day we -- it was decided that I train the
17 soldiers. On the next day, the soldiers came voluntarily and there was a
18 number of them. And we started training them on the next day.
19 Q. And then still on paragraph 31 of your statement you say: "At
20 that time Dr. Din Krasniqi was the UCK commander for Vranoc and later for
21 the Baran valley."
22 Is that right?
23 A. I mentioned it even earlier, that this happened at a later time.
24 That is correct. The first time he was responsible only for Vranoc, but
25 on account of his growing authority then we decided that he would be
1 responsible for the Baran valley.
2 Q. When Dr. Din Krasniqi and Lahi Brahimaj met in March 1998 in
3 Jablanica, Dr. Din Krasniqi had some authority and he had some agreement
4 that he was going to act as a representative of the Vranoc village or the
5 Vranoc area by that time, had he not?
6 JUDGE ORIE: The village or the area, Mr. Troop. If you put a
7 question with two different propositions it might be difficult for the
8 witness to answer.
9 MR. TROOP: Sorry.
10 Q. For Vranoc.
11 A. Yes, he was responsible for the -- only for the village. Because
12 after the war in Drenice, then the war spread in Dukagjin in our area.
13 There were injured soldiers in Jabllanice. Din was a doctor, and of
14 course he visited, not only the soldiers but also the civilians. He was a
15 very good doctor the people loved.
16 Q. He was --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop, I'm looking at the clock. It's 7.00. We
18 can do two things, take our time and then continue on Monday, or try to
19 finish, but then first of all with the assistance of interpreters,
20 transcribers, technicians, but then we really have to finish within the
21 next 10 to 12 minutes I would say if we get approval. That would mean
22 that since Mr. Re would need some time as well Mr. Re would have ten
23 minutes. Can you finish in two minutes?
24 MR. TROOP: I cannot, Your Honour
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop, the Chamber expects you to finish in three
2 or four minutes. This decision is also based on the way you used the
3 time. If you ask for the necessity of a wall around a meadow, why not just
4 draw our attention to the fact that you -- by it seems at least that you
5 want to establish that through all these questions this Chamber might
6 think that it would not have been a real prison. That's really not -- you
7 underestimate I think the ability of the Chamber to understand situations.
8 You have four minutes left.
9 MR. TROOP: Your Honour, perhaps I can respond briefly.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You have got four minutes left, Mr. Troop.
11 MR. TROOP: I don't think I can finish in four minutes, Your
13 JUDGE ORIE: Try to do your best in four minutes.
14 MR. TROOP: I'll do my best.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see what happens.
16 MR. TROOP:
17 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, when Din Krasniqi met with Lahi Brahimaj, the main
18 reason for the meeting was to source weapons for Vranoc, was it not?
19 A. First he was supposed to check on some injured people and sick
20 people, and then he would talk with them about weapons. This is the
21 accurate version.
22 Q. Lahi Brahimaj at that time had no authority to appoint
23 Dr. Krasniqi as any type of commander, did he?
24 A. He didn't at that time, but every village appointed whoever the
25 village liked. And the other village -- another village couldn't have any
1 influence on that decision. So this depended on the village, not on Lahi
2 or Ramush or anyone else's wish.
3 Q. It was important, was it not, for weapons to be handed over to
4 someone who was considered trust-worthy and who was known to the person
5 supplying the weapons, was it not?
6 A. Yes, because if you give it to someone who you don't trust, he
7 might create a problem. That's why you give the weapon, you entrust this
8 to someone you know, and this is how it was. You give the weapon to a
9 reliable person who won't misuse it.
10 Q. And Dr. Din Krasniqi was known to Lahi Brahimaj, was he not,
11 because he was a well-respected doctor who had, in fact, treated members
12 of the Brahimaj family?
13 A. Not only Lahi's family members, but he was respected by all the
14 members of the area. He went to everyone who needed him.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop, let's -- if you are running out of time
16 start to make the whole list of patients of Krasniqi -- of Dr.
17 Din Krasniqi. Do you not understand what is happening at this moment? We
18 have gone over this several times, well-respected doctor, do we have to
19 know whether he has treated the measles of the children before we accept
20 it? That is really not the way in which you should use your spare time.
21 Please proceed for another minute.
22 MR. TROOP:
23 Q. The results of the meeting was that the agreement that was reached
24 was simply that Dr. Krasniqi was someone who could be trusted to be
25 provided weapons by Lahi Brahimaj. Was that the agreement reached?
1 A. Yes, he was trusted by him and he knew that he would give the
2 weapons to people he trusted.
3 Q. You've suggested that Lahi Brahimaj was commander in Jablanica
4 during 1998. I'm going to suggest to you that that is not correct.
5 Lahi Brahimaj's position was simply as provider of weapons as part of his
6 responsibility with the General Staff. Can you agree or disagree with
7 that question?
8 A. Whether I agree or not, this is how he was perceived. I told you,
9 I didn't know what role he had and what position he had, but when people
10 saw him they thought of him as you put it. They didn't know what role he
12 Q. There were other commanders in Jablanica at that time --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Troop, Mr. Troop, your time is over. You are
14 again asking now questions to the witness where he said he didn't know
15 about the existence of a General Staff. He has explained that Mr.
16 Brahimaj was good in providing weapons. He didn't know anything about the
17 task, and you now you say I put it to you as a part -- he has answered
18 those questions and he now correctly tells you that he earlier testified
19 that he didn't know about a General Staff and about the tasks and repeats
20 what he said before.
21 MR. TROOP: I agree, Your Honour. Perhaps I could just explain
22 why I was asking that question because --
23 JUDGE ORIE: No, because it's seven minutes past 7.00. So I'm not
24 asking for further explanation.
25 I'm giving an opportunity to Mr. Re for a very limited couple of
1 minutes and with the indulgence of interpreters, transcriber, and
2 technicians to put some questions.
3 Mr. Re.
4 MR. RE: Thank you --
5 JUDGE ORIE: And I also -- because of this, I may have been a bit
6 harsh to Mr. Troop, he's the victim of that, he's the last one, I'm aware
7 of that. At the same time what I say, and I'll say two words about it
8 later on that addresses all parties.
9 Please proceed.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Re:
11 Q. Mr. Krasniqi, I want to you to answer these questions with as few
12 words as possible. Firstly Mr. Emmerson asked you about an offensive in
13 August when the Serbs came into Gllogjan. Did the KLA then re-take the
14 area before another Serb offensive?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Was there -- were there two Serb offensives: One followed by the
17 Serbs leaving and then the Serbs coming back in?
18 A. That's correct. The Serbs entered once, destroyed it, set fire to
19 it, and left the village. When they wanted they came back.
20 Q. Okay. Secondly, the video-clip. Mr. Emmerson asked you about the
21 video-clip with Sanije Balaj. Where were you - one-word answer, please -
22 where were you when you saw it?
23 A. I was at the school, and we had a television there and the
24 video-recorder and I saw it there.
25 Q. How long was the clip, do you remember?
1 A. Very short.
2 Q. Was there commentary on it, do you recall?
3 A. No comment about anything. I just saw a group of girls, as I
4 already said, and I didn't know that she was there at the time. I was
5 told later.
6 Q. Did you see that video once or more than once?
7 A. Only once, in the beginning. But then later I saw it another
8 time --
9 Q. No -- okay. Finally on that -- on the video, just confine
10 yourself to the question. When was it in relation to when you interviewed
11 Sanije, before or after and what period?
12 A. I saw it before and I didn't know that she was in that recording.
13 The second time was after it was shown on television and it was a very
14 short. The whole group was there. This is all I saw.
15 Q. Okay. Mr. Guy-Smith asked you about a photo-board. In your
16 statement to UNMIK, it appears they showed you a photo-board. Is that
17 what you're referring to, UNMIK showing you the photo-board, rather than
18 the Office of the Prosecutor showing you the photo-board?
19 A. They were investigators. I gave you their names, and in the end
20 when the trial in Peje was on, I was asked again to look at photographs
21 and to -- to sign the photographs.
22 Q. Was the photo-board for the Peje trial investigation, not for the
23 ICTY one?
24 A. I did not ask them who they represented. I was asked, Who do you
25 know from these people in the photographs? There were no names under the
1 photographs. There were only numbers. I only marked the ones I knew and
2 signed them.
3 Q. Mr. Guy-Smith asked you about audiotaping. Is it the case the
4 only audiotaping of an OTP interview was with the videolink on the 15th of
5 May, 2007? Is that the only time that was audioed [sic]?
6 A. This was in Pristina, in the Prosecutor's office. I don't know
7 what they had there. I was told that everything would be there, they
8 would record everything. I just gave the statement.
9 Q. I'm only interested in -- is that the only time it was audioed,
10 when you spoke to the Prosecutors and like me and people in The Hague?
11 A. No, that was not the only time. There was once before with
12 Shahzada Sultan. He had a cassette recorder and also a small piece of
13 equipment, I don't know what it was.
14 Q. The last thing I want to ask you is Mr. Emmerson asked you about
15 rumours about Sanije Balaj, and you responded, this is at page 63, that
16 you thought that you were the one -- the rumours were that you were the
17 one who had ordered her killed. My question to you: Is that -- was that
18 because the -- was that because that she was suspected of being a Serb
19 collaborator that people thought that you had ordered her killed?
20 A. Well, people think in different ways, and of most concern to me
21 was the fact that I was one of the suspects and that an indictment was
22 raised against me. I have the indictment here, and here it says that I am
23 the only suspect in that case. However, I never meddled with the
24 investigation. I stayed a part of the investigation. And the rumours
25 don't bear any weight with me.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Re, rumours are already a rather difficult matter
2 to tackle in examination, but if you start asking what inspired the
3 rumours, then it even becomes more difficult. Was this your last
4 question? Yes.
5 Has this triggered any necessity for further questions?
6 Then since the Bench has no questions either, Mr. Krasniqi, this
7 concludes your testimony. There is a possibility that at a later stage
8 that the parties would like to ask you some additional questions. If that
9 happens, you'll be approached again. I think under the present
10 circumstances what I'd like to ask you is not to speak about your
11 testimony and I'm seeking also the assistance of the parties, a general
12 instruction for perhaps what could be a month is perhaps too much.
13 MR. EMMERSON: It is a sensitive situation. Having begun to look
14 at the evidence at trial, there are a number of different people involved
15 in this investigation, all of whom at one time or another seem to have
16 been blaming each other.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. EMMERSON: And I think, if I may say so, it would be wise for
19 the witness to be given a pretty firm direction.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Mr. Re, you would agree with that?
22 MR. RE: Oh, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 Mr. Krasniqi, I instruct you, since there is a chance that you
25 might be recalled, I cannot tell you how small or how large that chance
1 is, that you should not speak about your testimony with anyone until the
2 moment that you hear that you don't have to come back. Now, this
3 specifically also applies to everyone, everyone as a witness, as an
4 accused, as an investigator, whomever in relation to the ongoing
5 procedures in Pec, even after these proceedings have been concluded. Is
6 that clear to you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Agreed. No problem. I will stand
8 by it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Then I'd like to thank you very much for having come to The Hague
11 and I wish you a safe trip home again.
12 We adjourn and we'll resume Monday, the 18th of June, quarter past
13 2.00, Courtroom II, I think. I can't read it, as a matter of fact,
14 Mr. Registrar. Courtroom II, yes. We stand adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.19 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of
17 June, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.