1 Tuesday, 28 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.25 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-84-T, the Prosecutor
9 versus Ramush Haradinaj et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 The Chamber has received a motion for trial-related protective
12 measures for Witness 17, who's the next witness in line to testify. We'll
13 briefly go into private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Page 7544 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 The Chamber has decided that the requested protective measures for
7 Witness 17 are granted, reasons to follow.
8 That means, Mr. Kearney, that we could start the examination of
9 Witness 17 I think for him entering the courtroom the curtains have to be
10 down in relation to face distortion, and then to be opened again once the
11 witness has taken his seat.
12 I also can inform the parties that the suggestions I made during
13 the meeting held this morning on redactions on the 92 ter statement of
14 this witness that my colleagues agree with the guidance I gave. For the
15 public this is just to know that there was some disagreement about what
16 was or was not admissible in the 92 ter statement for this witness to be
17 tendered through him, and that instead of taking a lot of time in court,
18 the Chamber decided to invite the parties for a meeting this morning in
19 order to give the -- to give the parties guidance to resolve this matter.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Witness 17, because that's how we will
22 call you since the Chamber has granted the protective measures requested
23 by the Prosecution just a while ago, protective measures being the use of
24 pseudonym, that means that we'll call you Witness 17 rather than to use
25 your own name; that your face cannot be seen by the outside world; your
1 voice, your own voice, cannot be heard by the outside world, although the
2 content of your testimony is public. Before you give evidence, the Rules
3 of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that
4 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 Witness 17, may I invite you to make that solemn declaration, of which the
6 text is handed out to you by Madam Usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Witness 17. Please be seated. The
10 curtains can be -- can be raised again.
11 Witness 17, you'll first be examined by Mr. Kearney, counsel for
12 the Prosecution.
13 Mr. Guy-Smith.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes, I note that when the witness came into court
15 today he brought with him a satchel of some sort. I don't know if those
16 are documents that are going to be used during the course --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 17, whatever you brought I don't know it.
18 You should not consult any documents unless you asked permission to do so.
19 So if you need to consult either any notes or anything else, would you
20 please ask me whether you're allowed to consult these notes rather than to
21 testify just from your memory.
22 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, perhaps I can provide some guidance in
23 that regard. The witness, I believe, has a binder with his original 92
24 ter statement in it as well as all the annexes that are appended to it. I
25 will ask the Court's permission since we'll be referring to both the
1 statement and the annexes that the witness be allowed to have it in front
2 of him during his testimony.
3 JUDGE ORIE: If you make it clear whenever you invite the witness
4 to consult any of these documents so that's clear because I can't see it
5 from here so we know what is in front of the witness and why and when he
6 uses them. Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
7 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: WITNESS SST7/17
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examination by Mr. Kearney:
11 Q. Witness 17, good morning. Thank you for coming to The Hague.
12 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, with the Court's permission, I would
13 like to call up 65 ter document, if I may 1958.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is that a pseudonym sheet?
15 MR. KEARNEY: It is.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Which should not be shown to the public.
17 MR. KEARNEY:
18 Q. Witness 17, please look, if you will, at the document on your
19 screen. Look at the information contained on that document, and tell us
20 if that is your personal data and if that is correct, please.
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 JUDGE ORIE: I did not receive translation of the answer of the
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that they cannot hear the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then we should ask the assistance of the technicians.
2 Did you hear the witness when he gave his solemn declaration?
3 THE INTERPRETER: From the floor, Your Honour, not directly on the
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have to ask the technicians to make sure
6 that the microphone is functioning well.
7 Witness 17, we have to resolve this technical matter first because
8 the interpreters can't hear you. Could you speak one or two words to see
9 whether it's any better now.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already said that it is okay.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that now they can hear the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's -- that's fine.
14 Then could you please repeat your answer you apparently gave to
15 the question by Mr. Kearney whether your personal data appeared correctly
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the data that I see on the
18 monitor are correct and accurate.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, necessary to draw your attention to the
20 witness information on top of the 92 ter statement gives a different date
21 of birth. I don't know whether you want to clarify that, yes or no.
22 MR. KEARNEY:
23 Q. Witness 17, the date of birth that is listed on the sheet on the
24 screen in front of you, is that your correct date of birth?
25 A. No.
1 Q. What is your correct date of birth, please?
2 MR. KEARNEY: And we are still in private session, is that
3 correct, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ORIE: We are not.
5 MR. KEARNEY: I would ask that we go into private session for this
7 JUDGE ORIE: But there seems to be perhaps similar problem with
8 hearing the witness because I didn't receive translation of his last
9 answer either.
10 But first of all we'll go into private session.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 7550-7552 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry for the interruption.
14 Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we should have waited.
16 So the witness will have copies in front of him, and you will
17 guide him what to consult.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you.
20 Q. Witness 17, do you have a binder with your statement and annexes
21 with you today?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. Could you please --
24 A. You mean do I see them on the screen?
25 Q. No, do you have a physical binder with you today, including your
1 statement with its annexes?
2 A. I only see the page of the statement, the last page where I
4 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 17, we're not talking about what you see on
5 the screen, but whether you have a hard copy of your own statement with
6 the annexes available to you. I can't see it from here, but ...
7 Madam Usher, could you please assist the witness in ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean the one that I have in my
10 MR. KEARNEY:
11 Q. Yes, that's the one.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney will tell you when and what to look at,
13 but you have got it in front of you.
14 Mr. Kearney, by any chance a hard copy -- I have not seen any of
15 the annexes. Do we only see them on the screen or is there one hard copy
16 for the Chamber?
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, I'm informed they were provided in hard
19 copy to the Court last week -- electronically to the Court last week and
20 it was my understanding that that would be printed out for the members of
21 the Trial Chamber, but perhaps I'm mistaken in that regard.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think you are.
23 Let's proceed. We'll allow for some additional time for the
24 Chamber to consult what it can find on the screen. Please proceed.
25 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Witness 17, I'd like to direct you to paragraph 15, if I may,
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In this paragraph you detail a meeting you had -- the first
5 meeting you had with Mr. Haradinaj and Mr. Balaj on the 26th of June,
6 1998, in Jasic. I'd like you to describe at the outset, if you can, for
7 the Trial Chambers the relationship between Idriz Balaj, Toger, and Ramush
8 Haradinaj as you observed it during your time in Kosovo in 1998.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, in view of the guidance I gave, I don't
10 think that it would be appropriate for the witness to read now the
11 statement in this respect. If you take him through what you find in
12 paragraph 15, which is of a factual nature, and then ask him to further
13 elaborate on the relationship between Haradinaj and Toger.
14 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you for that guidance, Your Honour.
15 Q. Witness 17, can you please tell us, just from your memory, the
16 number of times that you saw Idriz Balaj and Ramush Haradinaj together
17 during your time in Kosovo in 1998.
18 A. I would say about three to four times that I've seen them together
19 when we had meetings.
20 Q. The -- the meetings that you saw them together in, can you tell us
21 anything about their travelling to those meetings. Did they come
22 together, did they arrive at the same time, did they come separately, did
23 they leave together? Can you give us more details about that, please.
24 A. This I wouldn't know, but during the meetings that we held with
25 Ramush, especially the first one at Jasic, we were in one room. They came
1 there. Now, as to how they travelled, whether on one car or separately,
2 this I wouldn't be able to specify.
3 Q. During your time in Kosovo in 1998, did you ever see them travel
5 A. They were together at the meetings that we had, but I was not
6 there when they travelled together. That's why I wouldn't be able to say
7 anything about that.
8 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chambers their relationship in
9 terms of military rank, in terms of subordinate/superior, were they
10 equals? Can you tell us anything about that, please?
11 A. As far as ranks are concerned, there weren't any at that time.
12 Nobody was called by his rank, but rather by his position. So when Ramush
13 came to Jasic and had contact with us, he said to us that he was the
14 commander of the Dukagjini Plain, while Idriz Balaj, a.k.a. Togeri, was a
15 commander or his subordinate. He was a commander of the Black Eagles.
16 Q. I want to clarify your last answer. You said that Togeri was a
17 commander or his subordinate. Whose subordinate was Togeri?
18 A. Subordinate of Ramush.
19 Q. Based on your contact with both men and your dealings with the KLA
20 in Kosovo in 1998, can you tell us who it was that Togeri reported to as
21 the head of the Black Eagles.
22 A. He wasn't the president but the commander of the Black Eagles.
23 When I said he was Ramush's subordinate, that means that he had to report
24 to Ramush.
25 Q. Do you know who appointed Togeri to that position as the commander
1 of the Black Eagles?
2 A. This I wouldn't know. I don't know who appointed him and at what
3 time, but when the Dukagjini Plain headquarters was established sometime
4 in the spring of 1998, the staff was formed and the people were appointed
5 to positions within that staff. Maybe Ramush was appointed commander of
6 that staff.
7 Q. Thank you for that answer, Witness 17. I want to move on now to
8 another area --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, may I ask one or two clarifying
10 questions about the relationship between Haradinaj and Balaj during these
12 Who would be the one who would present the position of that party,
13 who would speak? Was that --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the meetings that we
15 had were directly with Ramush, while Idriz Balaj accompanied him, and he
16 was responsible for his security during the travel to and back from the
18 JUDGE ORIE: Did Mr. Haradinaj consult with Mr. Balaj during these
19 meetings or was Mr. Balaj just present?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he did not consult him. From
21 what I was able to see at those meetings, he did not consult him.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
24 MR. KEARNEY:
25 Q. Witness 17, when you say that Idriz Balaj was responsible for
1 Ramush's security during travel to and back from these meetings, can you
2 elaborate on that for us, please. Tell us exactly what his role was.
3 A. I can only say the following: the Black Eagles were the special
4 unit of the Kosova Liberation Army and was under Ramush's command. At
5 every meeting the travels to Jasic, and later in Prapaqan and in Lluk, the
6 arrival at Baran, the oath that the brigade took, this solemn event, on
7 all these occasions Idriz Balaj was present, too, in the capacity of the
8 person responsible for security because, as I said, the Black Eagles were
9 a special unit. So together --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- As much as I could observe his
12 duty was to provide security for Ramush.
13 MR. KEARNEY:
14 Q. Now, we just spoke of a meeting between the FARK and KLA on the
15 26th of June, 1998. I want to move now to another contact between the
16 FARK and the KLA which happened on the 4th of July, 1998, this is
17 contained in paragraph 26 of your statement.
18 Now, in that paragraph you describe a conflict between four
19 soldiers of the FARK and Toger and Ramush and other KLA members in
20 Gllogjan on that date. I want to ask you, Witness 17, if this incident
21 affected KLA and FARK relations going forward from that date; and if so,
22 how, please?
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, if I might, since this is the first time
24 that there has been a mention of FARK in open testimony, perhaps there
25 should be some clarification of precisely who FARK or what FARK is so that
1 we're proceeding along a better line of understanding what's going on.
2 The word "FARK" was not mentioned or the organisation was not mentioned
3 before Mr. Kearney posed it in a question.
4 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, we are proceeding on the basis of a
5 92 ter statement, which of course gives quite some information about the
6 FARK and how it entered Kosovo.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kearney, page 16, line 16, you introduced a
9 meeting by: "Now we just spoke of a meeting ..."
10 Of course we didn't speak of that meeting at all. Could you
11 please properly introduce that by saying that paragraph so-and-so deals
12 with a meeting or describes a meeting, and then as far as FARK is
13 concerned, first of all, the Chamber of course has received quite some
14 evidence on FARK. It is explained in the earlier paragraphs of the 92 ter
15 statement, so there's no need at this moment to further clarify that.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KEARNEY:
18 Q. Witness 17, just by way of background, the first contact that you
19 described earlier between yourself, Mr. Haradinaj, and Mr. Balaj occurred
20 on the 26th of June, 1998, in Jasic; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Just generally, if you would, we don't want to repeat what's in
23 the 92 ter statement, but if you could just generally outline for us,
24 please, that meeting. What was discussed at that meeting, what was the
25 purpose of it, how long did it last, please?
1 A. I can say that the reason for this meeting was the following:
2 the operative units of the KLA under the command of the Ministry of
3 Defence of the Republic of Kosova had already entered the Kosovan
4 territory. Since the KLA had already become operative in Kosova and
5 carried out certain activities and because the Dukagjin Plain staff was
6 operative, there started to be frictions between the two from the
7 institutional and organisational point of view. From this point of view,
8 the arrival of Ramush at this meeting was to tell us that there was an
9 organisation present there that should become part of ours. We also had
10 our command, the command of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of
11 Kosova, and as professional soldiers it was somehow difficult for us to
12 change our agendas, our plans, our route plans.
13 So we wanted to make it clear to him as well that there was
14 nothing bad in our view that we had arrived there in order to carry out
15 the plans in the phases that we had determined by taking the oath in -- on
16 21st of June in Tropoje in Albania. So Ramush explained to us the
17 character of the KLA and its activity in the Dukagjini Plain and in the
18 territory where we were, and he said to us that we had to systemize to
19 become part of their command. So as I said, we had already our command
20 and it wasn't that easy to leave to abandon them and to enter another
22 Q. And during that first meeting, Witness 17, was an agreement
23 reached between your command and the command of Ramush?
24 A. We were not able to reach a full agreement; however, we made it
25 clear that we were in Kosova to carry out military activities and that we
1 would respect the plans and military strategies in phases, that the first,
2 the second, and the third phase should be carried out. So there was no
3 concrete agreement I would say.
4 MR. KEARNEY: And, Your Honours, if that's enough of a background
5 I'll now move on to my earlier line of questioning, if I may.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so, Kearney. I have to apologise for
7 making not a -- I was a bit unfair when I said we did not speak of that
8 meeting at all. We did not speak of that meeting of the 26th of June as a
9 meeting between KLA and FARK. It was just a meeting between persons
10 rather than between two organisations. So I was not very fair as I said
12 Please proceed -- perhaps one additional question.
13 You told us that what, as you said, Ramush explained about the
14 character of the KLA and its activity. What -- did you observe anything
15 that would explain why you couldn't reach an agreement? Were your goals
16 different? What was it that kept you off from reaching an agreement on
17 how to proceed?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The aim was the same. We both aimed
19 at the liberation of Kosova. We had no disagreements or differences on
20 that. In my opinion, we were told that we were late in joining the war.
21 The war had already started in Kosova, and if we put as a date the attack
22 on Prekaze, that could be the beginning of the war. So some time has
23 passed since, and we were told that we were late in joining the war and
24 that there was an army already in place and that we do not accept other
25 commands from abroad who decide to send units and organise operations in
1 Kosova from abroad, although operations in Kosova should be handled from
2 inside and we -- that we should join the organisation that existed in
3 Kosovo already. These were the differences, but we had our own command
4 and we could not give up the orders of our own command and start
5 implementing orders from another, whereas the KLA wanted to have us under
6 its control and this was why we could not reach an agreement.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If I understand you well, therefore it was a kind of
8 a competition between who would be in command of armed forces and that it
9 was -- yes, I see --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we could say that. We could
11 say that it existed.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
13 MR. KEARNEY:
14 Q. Did Ramush or anyone in -- within the KLA tell you why they wanted
15 you - "you" being the FARK - under their control?
16 A. Yes. I already said that. If you want me to repeat the same. We
17 were told that we were late in joining the war and that the war had
18 already started. We have an organisation already. There is an operative
19 staff in the Dukagjin Zone, and all the rest should join this command and
20 be under the command of this headquarters.
21 Q. Now, Witness 17, we had begun to talk earlier about a conflict
22 that arose between FARK soldiers and KLA soldiers on the 4th of July,
23 1998, in Gllogjan. This is described in paragraph 26 in your statement in
24 great detail. I want to ask you if this conflict on that date affected
25 FARK and KLA relations going forward from that date.
1 A. Yes, surely, because incidents like the one on the 4th of July
2 reflected negatively on the relations amongst ourselves, but we tried to
3 smooth the relations and go forward from there. But again, we have -- we
4 told them openly that incidents like these are intolerable, unacceptable,
5 and they should not happen again.
6 Q. Did that incident impact in any way the FARK's ability to travel
7 within the Dukagjin Zone?
8 A. It had a negative impact in the sense of affecting the morale of
9 the soldiers because they were informed about what happened on the 4th of
10 July, what happened to the four soldiers of FARK. All soldiers wanted to
11 go in Kosovo and join the war and confront the enemy rather than have
12 problems amongst ourselves. In a way, it had a negative impact; on the
13 other hand, a kind of uncertainty was created among the soldiers. If we
14 were to send them somewhere to carry out an operation, they didn't know
15 what was going to happen to them.
16 Q. Can you tell us about that, please. Explain what you mean by an
17 uncertainty being created among the soldiers.
18 A. A kind of insecurity I said because of what happened, because of
19 this incident. They were skeptical in as -- in carrying out their duties,
20 their future duties. So there was this insecurity, this fear, that if
21 they were to be sent somewhere to carry out a task they would face
22 obstacles, and they wouldn't be in a position to carry out that task.
23 Q. Obstacles presented by whom, Witness 17?
24 A. We are talking about the incidents -- the incident between the
25 soldiers of the FARK and the military people of the headquarters in
1 Gllogjan, because this incident took place in Gllogjan.
2 Q. I want to talk to you, if I may, about another conflict between
3 FARK soldiers and the KLA which occurred on the 10th of July of 1998 in
4 Prapaqan. You detail this event in paragraph 41 of your statement. In
5 the third full sense of that statement you say, quoting:
6 "I noticed a group of approximately 15 KLA soldiers dressed in
7 black standing in the yard pointing their rifles towards the barracks
8 entrance in a state of combat-readiness."
9 I would like to ask you: Which unit were those soldiers wearing
11 A. It was the special unit of the KLA, the Black Eagles.
12 Q. On that day in Prapaqan, this is 10 July of 1998, who was leading
14 A. They came together with Togeri and Ramush, and as I said earlier
15 their leader was Togeri.
16 Q. Witness 17, I would like to direct you, if I may, to the
17 second-to-the-last sentence of that paragraph in which you state
18 that: "He," being Ramush, "accused us of being Milosevic collaborators
19 and said, 'You officers have 30 minutes to leave the premises or it will
20 become a fratricide.'" ?
21 I want to ask you if you ever heard Ramush on another day use that
22 word "collaborator"?
23 A. On another day or the same day are you asking?
24 Q. On a different date. On any of the approximately 20 times you
25 had contacts with Mr. Haradinaj during the time you were in Kosovo, did he
1 ever express a concern to you about collaborators?
2 A. No, no. On this occasion, on the 10th of July when they came to
3 the barracks of Prapaqan, that's when this term was used. At that moment
4 Ramush was not himself. There was no self-control. He was frustrated and
5 I couldn't tell what the reasons were for that, and he said what he said.
6 In other words, we were given an ultimatum to leave the barracks within 30
7 minutes, and the pretext for this was a row between him and Tahir Zemaj in
8 the kitchen because our soldiers, that is, FARK soldiers, they greeted,
9 they saluted, a stretched hand, whereas the KLA soldiers who were -- had
10 already been organised in form of an army before we arrived, they saluted
11 with a fist. And because of this difference as far as saluting was
12 concerned, the confrontation broke out and the incident happened between
13 Ramush and Tahir, and it continued in the barracks, as described in the
14 statement on paragraph 41 of the statement.
15 Q. And also in that paragraph, Witness 17, you use the
16 word "fratricide" as being threatened by Ramush during that -- during --
17 on that date. Was that the actual word he used when he was speaking with
19 A. This incident could very well lead to a war -- to a war between
20 brothers, as it were, and could lead to a bloodbath.
21 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you to carefully listen to the question put
22 to you by Mr. Kearney. Mr. Kearney was not asking what could have been
23 the consequences but whether the word "fratricide" was used literally at
24 that moment by Mr. Haradinaj. That was the question. Would you please
25 answer the question. You're invited to -- your statement is clear in that
1 respect. Mr. Kearney is checking your memory, whether that in your
2 recollection was the actual word he used at that moment. If you don't
3 know, please tell us; if you do know ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you're asking me whether this
5 word was uttered by Ramush, it's difficult to say now nine years on. But
6 the very fact that he fired above our heads with his Kalashnikov and the
7 ultimatum that we were given showed that it was close to fratricide. But
8 I cannot say specifically whether he uttered that word.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
10 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness 17, I want to move on to a different topic, if I may, this
12 is -- the discussion we're going to have relates to paragraph 45 of your
13 statement, specifically to the latter portion of that paragraph, I believe
14 it's the second-to-the-last sentence. I'm going to quote this for you and
15 ask you to comment on it.
16 "Tahir Zemaj got letters every day from villagers complaining
17 about KLA behaviour, both in our AOR," A-O-R, I assume that means area of
18 responsibility, "as well as in KLA AORs. I saw and read the letters."
19 I want to ask you, Witness 17, can you tell us, please, anything
20 in more detail about those letters. What were the -- for instance, what
21 were the complaints being made by villagers regarding the KLA?
22 A. The letters were describing incidents that had taken place and --
23 like the ones that we described earlier, because the local population was
24 familiar with such incidents and that was causing a loss of confidence
25 among the population and in their letters they asked from the -- from the
1 commanders -- they were asking that the command of the Dukagjin area be
2 under Tahir Zemaj and this was a demand by the territorial headquarters
3 from the villages in the area where Tahir and his operative units,
4 Operational Staff units were operating.
5 Q. Now, when you say, Witness 17, that these letters --
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might just for the purposes of the
9 proceedings there will be a standing objection here for lack of
10 foundation, unsourced information, no ability to adequately, at any point,
11 meet this information at a later point in time unless Mr. Kearney can
12 produce sources and/or documents that establish what the witness is
13 claiming at this time.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Kearney is invited to get as much details
15 in this respect as possible. The objection as such is denied to the
16 extent that we will not prohibit Mr. Kearney from further questioning the
17 witness about it and it will not result in a non-admission of the lines
18 just quoted by Mr. Kearney.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. KEARNEY:
21 Q. Witness 17, you say that these letters described incidents that
22 had taken place like the ones that we described earlier. Can you tell us
23 what those are, please. What types of incidents were these letters
24 complaining about?
25 A. What I was saying is that in their letters they were demanding
1 that the command of the Dukagjini Zone be under Tahir Zemaj and that
2 professional officers, military officers, be in command. And secondly,
3 the incidents that we mentioned earlier, which was our going into Jasic
4 and blocking the armed forces there and us not being allowed to pass
5 through Junik and then the other incident was the beating of the four
6 soldiers on the 4th of July, and then the other incident on the 10th of
7 July. And all these irritated the local population, and all this
8 irritation and frustration led to the writing of these letters. We cannot
9 have a document for every single word, but there is a document which I
10 have already handed over. I gave it to Hashim Thaqi, and that one showed
11 that the incidents like these had taken place and that had caused a lot of
12 frustration among the population.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
14 MR. EMMERSON: I wonder if the witness might remove his earphones
15 at this point.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether the witness understands any
18 Witness 17, do you understand the English language?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Understand, but not well.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know what you want to raise.
21 MR. EMMERSON: Well, I'm in Your Honours' hands as to how to
22 proceed in that respect. The basis for the objection to this part of the
23 evidence was discussed in a meeting this morning. It's now been explored
24 by Mr. Kearney and the answers that the witness has given do not support
25 the basis for which the Prosecution sought to adduce this material. Now,
1 I'm prepared to leave the matter there at this stage --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I would seek clarification, as a matter of
3 fact, rather than anything else. And I might take an initiative in this
5 Witness 17, you -- in your statement you say that villagers were
6 complaining about KLA behaviour. Asked about the incidents they referred
7 to in their letters, as far as I understand, you mainly referred to
8 incidents in which, at least at first eye, it wasn't the villagers but it
9 was rather FARK soldiers that were bothered through these incidents. Is
10 that what the villagers were writing about, about the inconvenience of
11 these incidents by -- the inconvenience experienced by FARK soldiers or
12 was there anything else?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said earlier, I probably repeat
14 it again, such letters arrived from the regional headquarters of the
15 Territorial Defence in the villages, because every village had its own
16 Territorial Defence headquarters. And such concerns existed I said on the
17 part of the villagers, but they were connected to the headquarters. They
18 were -- they were acquainted with the incidents through these regional
19 headquarters, and that's how they came to write these letters, through
20 which they asked for Tahir Zemaj to be leading, to be the chief commander
21 of the Operational Staff zone.
22 JUDGE ORIE: These were letters not of ordinary villagers but of
23 their -- but of their local people in charge asking for a change -- asking
24 for Tahir Zemaj to be the commander?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember how many of these letters you
2 have seen approximately?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At a meeting in Broliq, the last
4 meeting we had, I personally took those letters from Tahir Zemaj and I
5 gave it -- them to Fadil Haderxhonaj who was responsible in Tahir Zemaj's
6 brigade and I asked him to take those letters to the people in charge at
7 the KLA General Staff and they were taken to Hashim Thaqi. He saw these
8 letters. He only kept one letter, the rest he threw away. He tore them
9 to bits and threw them away on the floor, he threw them on the floor in
10 the room.
11 I cannot remember how many exactly they were, but I could say
12 there were tens of those letters.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
14 MR. KEARNEY:
15 Q. Witness 17, you mentioned two terms that I want to inquire with
16 you about in greater detail. One was "Territorial Defence" and one was
17 "local villagers." Can you tell us in your mind if those are the same
18 thing, are they different. Can you explain the relationship between those
19 two groups, please.
20 A. There weren't separate groups. The villagers were ordinary people
21 who were involved in the organisation of the units in their own villages.
22 The Territorial Defence, on the other hand, were some elderly people and
23 you could have people ranging from 35 to 60 years old, and they were all
24 involved in the defence of their own village. Others were younger people
25 from 18 years upwards, who were either members of the KLA
1 or FARK units. So when we talk about local villagers and the Territorial
2 Defence we could give this sort of explanation.
3 Q. In any of these --
4 A. The difference being just in terms of age.
5 Q. In any of these tens of letters that you were referring to, was
6 there ever any mention or complaint of criminal activity being undertaken
7 by members of the KLA?
8 A. No, I haven't come across such letters.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
10 MR. EMMERSON: In those circumstances, given the basis upon which
11 this material was put forward, we again renew our objection to it.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll consider that.
13 MR. KEARNEY:
14 Q. Witness 17, I'd now like to move on to -- or to discuss a meeting
15 that you had with Mr. Haradinaj on either the 10th or the 11th of July,
16 1998, which is detailed in paragraph 50 of your statement. In the second
17 sentence of that paragraph --
18 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry, I object -- I object to the form of this
19 examination, both in relation to the way in which it's presented by
20 reference to the 92 ter statement and in the way in which Mr. Kearney
21 seeks to go to the second sentence. Paragraph 50 needs to be read in
22 conjunction with paragraph 40 for any proper examination of this
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just have a look. One second.
25 Yes, perhaps, Mr. Kearney, if you want to elicit evidence in
1 relation to paragraph 50 perhaps do not take the witness to the -- to his
2 statement but rather elicit that evidence in -- not using the statement,
3 although you may refer to that a meeting was held on the 10th of July and
4 then ask the witness whether he remembers what he raised during that.
5 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, it had been my intent to, in discussing
6 paragraph 50, ask this witness why he asked Mr. Haradinaj to dismiss --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Ask him -- okay. But do it without -- I mean,
8 if we are seeking clarification or if we are seeking further -- further
9 information about these events, then please do not use the text of the
10 statement given because it might be that apart from it being an
11 introduction that, the witness also reads portions of which we try to
12 elicit his evidence without specific reference to his statement.
13 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Witness 17, on 10 or 11 July 1998, I believe in the village of
15 Luka, did you request of Ramush Haradinaj that he either dismiss or
16 discipline Toger?
17 A. Yes, in a way I did draw his attention to this issue because the
18 previous day there was an instant at the traffic junction between Prilep
19 and Gllogjan, and this was an incident between myself and Idriz Balaj. I
20 was going to the military hospital to visit a friend who was wounded
21 during the first attack -- operation in Loxha, and Togeri asked me for a
22 permit, whether I was allowed to move around. Initially I tried to
23 consider it as a joke, but when he insisted then I reacted, and I asked
24 him whether he knew me, who I was. He said, No, I don't know you, and
25 then I told him if he remembered the meeting at Jasic and -- and then
1 someone -- then I tried to give him some detail and said it was me there
2 in that room. Then I -- I showed him an automatic weapon and a few
3 hand-grenades, and then that was what caused the incident and I told him
4 that I was the commander of a brigade, and I had permission to move around
5 the area and that nobody could stop me from going to the military hospital
6 to visit a friend. And that is why I asked Ramush to either dismiss him
7 or to discipline him, because incidents like these could lead to greater
9 Q. When you say -- first of all, before we explore that last
10 statement, were you in uniform when this contact with Toger took place?
11 A. Yes, I was wearing a uniform at all times.
12 Q. What type of permit was Idriz Balaj demanding of you?
13 A. I really don't know. He just asked for a permit, for an
14 authorisation that would allow me to be there in that territory. I don't
15 know in concrete terms what he had in mind, because we didn't have a
16 lengthy conversation. He asked for permission, and I told him that for me
17 an authorisation to be there were the automatic rifle and the
18 hand-grenades that I took from the battle in Loxha. And I made it clear
19 to him that I had to go there to the military hospital and pay a visit to
20 my senior officer who was wounded.
21 Q. When you say that contacts such as the one you had with Idriz
22 Balaj could lead to greater consequences, what did you mean by that,
24 A. Well, such incidents created frustrations amongst ourselves, and
25 you know that when one is frustrated he cannot carry out his activities
1 properly, he cannot fulfil tasks properly in the designated area. And
2 this can only grow and grow and lead to something bigger.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, I'm looking at the clock. Would this be
4 a suitable moment for a break?
5 MR. KEARNEY: It would, Your Honour, yes. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a break until quarter past 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.19 a.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, you may proceed.
10 MR. KEARNEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Witness 17, when we left off, we were talking about a meeting you
12 had with Mr. Haradinaj on 10 or 11 July 1998 in Luka, and tell us on that
13 day did you ask Mr. Haradinaj to discipline Togeri based on what had
14 happened after the first battle at Loxha?
15 JUDGE ORIE: It seems that the witness does not receive
16 translation. Still -- of course we have to speak a few words in order to
17 test the --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving interpretation. I
19 can't hear anything.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I can hear you, yes, and you can
22 repeat your question.
23 MR. KEARNEY:
24 Q. When we left off we were talking about a meeting you had with
25 Mr. Haradinaj on 10 or 11 July 1998 in Luka, when you asked Mr. Haradinaj
1 to discipline or dismiss Togeri. Can you please tell us what
2 Mr. Haradinaj said during that meeting to you when you asked him that
3 question, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
5 MR. EMMERSON: Could we first establish on what basis this witness
6 was asking for dismissal or disciplinary action; in other words, what the
7 nature of the complaint was.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Not necessarily to be done by Mr. Kearney. If you
9 would like to -- of course it raises a question, but I leave it to
10 Mr. Kearney whether he wants to raise it or whether he should do it at a
11 later stage.
12 MR. KEARNEY: If it will make it clear, Your Honour, I would be
13 happy to.
14 Q. Witness 17, please tell us why it was you were asking to have
15 Togeri disciplined or dismissed.
16 A. I assumed that his behaviour during the Isniq incident was not a
17 proper behaviour and that's why I asked Ramush to do something about it,
18 to discipline Togeri, because when that occurred we were no strangers to
19 each other. We had already met each other on several occasions. We knew
20 each other very well, and he knew very well what was my role and position
21 in that zone. And that's why I found it illogical, I mean his behaviour
23 Q. What had Togeri done wrong in your mind?
24 A. It was a provocation on his part addressed at a person, that is,
25 me, who was there with a certain task. He knew very well that I was
1 operative, that I operated with my units there, that I was a commander of
2 a brigade, and that's why I took it as a provocation, his questions as to
3 why I was there and him asking me to produce an authorisation when I
4 already explained to him that I was on my way to visit a wounded
5 colleague, a colleague that was wounded during the Loxha battle.
6 Q. And what did Ramush say when you asked him -- you told him about
7 Togeri's actions and asked him to take some disciplinary action?
8 A. He smiled. He said to me, Yes, I know, Toger told me about this,
9 but it wasn't a good thing from your side to do, to show him your weapon.
10 But I will speak to him. This is what he said.
11 Q. Based on your own observations, after that meeting of Toger and
12 Ramush, was Toger ever disciplined for the interaction you had with him?
13 A. No, I have no knowledge about this.
14 Q. Witness 17, I'd like to --
15 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: I was initially going to object because it called
18 for speculation. He said based on his observations. Now he says he has
19 no knowledge of this. So it's a question of, once again, of whether or
20 not he's speculating as to whether or not there was any discipline or if
21 there need be any discipline, if there was any basis for discipline.
22 There are a whole series of predicates that are being assumed here that
23 are not necessarily relevant to these proceedings.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney just wanted to know from this witness
25 whether he was aware of any disciplinary action taken against Toger at the
1 time. That's how I understand it.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
4 MR. KEARNEY:
5 Q. After that discussion that you had with Mr. Haradinaj in early
6 July of 1998, from your own observations did Togeri retain his role as the
7 commander of the Black Eagles?
8 A. Yes, he did.
9 Q. Did you ever ask Mr. Haradinaj on another occasion or any other
10 occasions to discipline Togeri?
11 A. Later there was a meeting between Tahir and Ramush when the
12 Operational Staff command in the Dukagjini Plain was formed, and this is
13 when we discussed these issues.
14 Q. Do you remember approximately when that conversation with
15 Mr. Haradinaj was?
16 A. As I said, it was when the command of the Dukagjini Plain was
17 established, around the 21st of June, 1998.
18 Q. Regarding that date, the 21st of June, Witness 17, is that
19 correct? I understand from your statement you didn't arrive in Kosovo
20 until after that date.
21 A. Yes, I want to clarify here. I meant 21st of August, because we
22 are speaking about the month of July at the moment. What I meant was 21st
23 of August. I apologise.
24 Q. On that occasion when you asked Mr. Haradinaj to discipline
25 Togeri, why were you asking on that occasion? What had he done wrong in
1 your mind?
2 A. It was said that his behaviour were not suitable to the time and
3 the activities, and through those letters that we received before, we had
4 knowledge that something was wrong.
5 Q. And what was the knowledge of things you had that were wrong that
6 you were referring to?
7 A. As I said, these incidents and his contact from the very beginning
8 to that particular time. It was said that Toger's behaviour was of
9 special kind compared to the behaviour of other fighters and commanders.
10 The population was also irritated by his behaviour.
11 Q. What was the special kind of behaviour you're referring to?
12 A. I mentioned the incidents that had occurred up to that moment and
13 the letters that we received from the staffs of Tahir Zemaj. And Tahir
14 also had personal conversations with other persons, from which he learned
15 that Toger's behaviour was not proper.
16 Q. On this second occasion that you asked --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Guy-Smith.
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: I interpose the standing objection that I have
19 with regard to this kind of testimony.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Witness 17, could you be more specific. You say: "Tahir also had
22 personal conversations with other persons."
23 Were you present during these conversations?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't there when he spoke to
25 these persons, but pursuant to the military hierarchy and command we did
1 speak with each other on these matters. If I was in another place, than
2 him, it doesn't mean that our contacts were not daily. We did have daily
4 JUDGE ORIE: So what you're saying is that in your conversations
5 he told you about those conversations with other persons. Is that
6 correctly understood?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Did he tell you what kind of persons these were?
9 Were these ordinary citizens or were they persons in any specific
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were ordinary villagers who
12 had experienced different types of things, let's say whose family members
13 were maltreated or beaten or who didn't know about their family members,
14 about their whereabouts. These were persons from these villages who had
15 their family members gone missing.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, how in these conversations, how could these
17 ordinary villagers establish a link between Toger and their missing family
18 members, because that's what you said, these were complaints about
19 behaviour of Toger. How did they explain that Toger was involved? Did
20 they explain that at all?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tahir had said that if someone was
22 detained and sent -- taken to Gllogjan and if his whereabouts are unknown,
23 then it is Toger's responsibility who carried out these detentions. And
24 that's why the villagers were interested in these things and provided
25 Tahir with information on these incidents, since something was wrong. It
1 was said that the missing persons, those that were detained and who went
2 missing, these persons were sent to Gllogjan.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now you said Tahir had said that if someone was
4 detained that it's Toger's responsibility. Did he explain why he blamed
5 Toger for that or not someone else?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he reached these conclusions
7 and he collected this information through these conversations with these
8 persons. I don't know in details what he spoke with persons who visited
9 him in the military premises, but he did have such information.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
11 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry to interrupt.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
13 MR. EMMERSON: I'm left with a lack of clarity so far as my client
14 is concerned in response to questions and answers that have just preceded
15 that interchange whether this witness is contending that specific
16 allegations of particular offences were reported to Mr. Haradinaj at this
17 meeting as having been committed by Idriz Balaj; in other words, whether
18 the witness is in a position to relate any specific allegations.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, although this could have been asked in
20 cross-examination, I take it, Mr. Kearney, that there's no objection
21 against -- when this matter was raised during this meeting, the - as it
22 was said - the behaviour of Toger which was not proper, were any specific
23 incidents raised during that meeting or was it just a general complaint
24 about what Toger was supposed to be responsible for?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no specific incidents were
1 mentioned. We spoke about this in general terms.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
4 MR. GUY-SMITH: If I might.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: It seems, based on the responses received, once
7 again we're talking about that fatal and dangerous beast known as rumour.
8 I don't know what, if any, weight or the extent of weight that the Chamber
9 would give to this but I would point out that I'm left in a position where
10 I virtually cannot do any kind of cross-examination with regard to these
11 kinds of allegations based upon the state of the record.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's perfectly clear. Mr. Guy-Smith, I take it
13 that it must be clear to you by now that the Chamber, in addition to the
14 parties, endeavours to clearly find out what the basis for whatever
15 allegations there are, and I would say the weaker the sources are the less
16 probative value of course the material gains. But at the same time, as
17 I've said at various occasions including during the meeting this morning,
18 that the final assessment, the final evaluation of the evidence will be
19 done on the basis of the whole, but for every single detail of the
20 evidence the Chamber tries to get as good an impression as possible as to
21 how solid or insolid the material is on which we'll --
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: Understood, thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- Consider.
24 Mr. Kearney, please proceed.
25 MR. KEARNEY:
1 Q. Witness 17, I want to direct you to paragraph 109 of your
2 statement where you talk about this meeting that you and Mr. Zemaj had
3 with Mr. Haradinaj. In the second sentence of that paragraph you state
4 that you told Mr. Haradinaj that KLA members, Maliq Ndrecaj, Faton
5 Mehmetaj, and Idriz Balaj should be removed from his Dukagjini staff as
6 these members were committing crimes against civilians. I want to ask
7 you, is that true, did you tell Mr. Haradinaj that these men were
8 committing crimes against civilians?
9 A. When the staff or the Joint Command of the Dukagjini Plain was
10 established on the basis of this agreement on the 21st of August, a joint
11 meeting was held, but this command did not comprise of these persons
12 except for Faton Mehmeti, who remained there. That's why myself and Tahir
13 made it very clear that those persons who were involved in such incidents
14 should not be part of the command. We have later on the case of
15 Sanije Balaj, we had information that she was missing, and we collected
16 information about how it happened from her detention to the moment she was
17 dead. So based on information of this nature, we asked for such persons
18 not to be part of the command.
19 Q. And when you asked Mr. Haradinaj during this meeting to remove
20 those men from his command, what did he tell you?
21 A. He said that he was aware about the rumours concerning Toger and
22 his doings. He said that he would speak to others, but I don't know if he
23 did. However, we continued to witness a same situation, persons remaining
24 in the positions that they held in the past. We didn't see any
25 change in the structure, in the military structure.
1 Q. I want to now follow-up on activities of the KLA directed at
2 civilians, specifically to a list of wanted persons that you describe in
3 paragraph 57 of your statement.
4 MR. KEARNEY: And I would like to call up annex number 1 which is
5 65 ter number 757 in this regard. And with the Court's permission I'm
6 going to ask that we show page 13 of the English translation on the
7 screen. I believe the witness has his own copy of his original notes in
9 JUDGE ORIE: If they are shown to him on the screen, it should not
10 be for the outside world.
11 MR. KEARNEY: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. If we could scroll
12 down a little bit, please.
13 MR. GUY-SMITH: Just so we're clear, when Mr. Kearney says that
14 the witness has his original notes with him, I understand that to mean
15 that these are notes that very authored by him and are in his handwriting
16 or created at his direction. Is that correct?
17 MR. KEARNEY: Yes, and I should state, the document he's looking
18 at in Albanian is in Xeroxed copy of his handwritten notes that he made
19 back in the -- in 1998 at the time in question.
20 Q. Witness 17, I'd like to ask you when you received or how you came
21 to make this entry into your notes, this list of wanted persons. Please
22 tell us how you came to have that information.
23 A. I will try to explain. At around 12th of July, the operative unit
24 was established in Baran e Vogel, and we held a meeting at Vranovc with
25 the commander of Lugu i Baranit as it was called at that time,
1 Din Krasniqi, and with certain village commanders whom I didn't know at
2 that time. During this meeting, I was given this list, and I have written
3 in my diary, I have made this entry on the next day, the 13th, when we
4 were inspecting the terrain, trying to find the best option for setting up
5 the military premises. So we went to Baran e Vogel, and we came to a
6 conclusion that the village school would be the most appropriate place.
7 So what I'm trying to say is that I didn't make up this list but this list
8 was given to me during that meeting.
9 Q. And do you know who this list was given to you by, please?
10 A. I don't know, but it is possible that this list was made an entry
11 by a person who was taking the minutes, Din Krasniqi or someone else, but
12 I'm not able to tell you who exactly provided that list.
13 Q. Can you tell us if it was someone within the KLA who gave you this
15 A. This was a meeting with a representative of the KLA for the Lugu i
16 Baranit, Din Krasniqi, and the village commanders. So if you look at it
17 this way you can well say that these were the persons who had made this
18 list and who had brought it to my attention.
19 Q. At the time you made these notes or you transcribed this list into
20 your notes, did these names mean anything to you, the names on this
21 list --
22 MR. KEARNEY: And by the way, there's a second page, members of
23 the Trial Chamber, of this wanted list. Perhaps we could show that at
24 this time as well.
25 Q. Witness 17, the ten names on this list, did any of them mean
1 anything to you at that time when you were taking them -- when the list
2 had been given to you by a KLA member?
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, that's not what the witness testified
4 to. That's a misstatement of the witness's testimony as to who gave --
5 who gave him the list. He said he did not know who the list came from,
6 that it could be from either village commanders or either from KLA
7 representatives --
8 MR. KEARNEY: I would submit the same thing.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: I would submit it is not the same thing at all and
10 Mr. Kearney knows that.
11 MR. KEARNEY: I would completely object to my colleague's last
12 statement, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The last statement was -- the objection is
14 fine, Mr. Guy-Smith, but the suggestion that Mr. Kearney is with intent
15 misleading the witness is perhaps not at this point in time appropriate.
16 MR. KEARNEY: Shall I rephrase the question, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you rephrase it. I'm just re-reading exactly
18 what the answer was. Yes, I take it that -- Witness 17, perhaps before
19 you rephrase the question.
20 You earlier said it was at a meeting with the representative for
21 the KLA at Lugu i Baranit, Din Krasniqi and the village commanders.
22 Commanders of what type? Were these civilian people in charge or were
23 they KLA commanders for that village or was it -- what exactly did you
24 mean by "village commanders"?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were commanders of the villages
1 or representatives of the villages for the KLA. When we arrived there,
2 almost every village had a representative of theirs who was called the
3 commander of the village.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do I understand that now from your answer
5 that "commander" means those in command of the KLA in that village? Is
6 that how I have to understand it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, commanders who were responsible
8 for their respective villages. They were the persons in charge.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but now you leave out in your answer one thing I
10 included in my question, that if you say they were the persons in charge,
11 would that necessarily link them to KLA activities or could it be
12 unrelated to KLA?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't speak in any concrete
14 terms. They were responsible or persons in charge for their respective
15 villages in organisational terms. They were in charge of the organisation
16 and the activities in the villages, these commanders. So they
17 participated in this meeting.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And you mean that commanders could be persons who
19 were not having any position in the KLA?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were called commanders of
21 villages. This is how it functioned.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did they wear uniforms?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some did and some others, due to the
24 shortage of uniforms, didn't have any. Not all the soldiers were
25 uniformed, and I'm speaking about the beginning of the war.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is this to understand that those who were not
2 in uniform did not have any position different from those who were in
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those who did not have uniforms but
5 were engaged in the activities of the village in standing guard or so on,
6 you can call them members of the Territorial Defence of the village.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
8 MR. KEARNEY:
9 Q. I'd like to move on --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, earlier we were talking about a list
11 of ten. I'd -- I'd like to look again at page 13, where I find eight
12 names. Then I'd like to move on to page 14, where we start with some text
13 and then continue with 9 and 10. Are these names under 9 and 10 also
14 persons wanted or missing?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They are in the same list, I
16 believe, yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
19 MR. KEARNEY: I'd now like to call up annex 14, 65 ter number 724,
20 if I may, this is, I believe, a list of military police regulations.
21 Q. And again, Witness 17, I'd like to direct you to annex 14 --
22 MR. KEARNEY: And perhaps on our screens we could bring up the
23 English translation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, if you bring up for the witness the
25 English, wouldn't it be better to have the original one for him because we
1 can easily link to the English translation on our computers and it would
2 certainly help the witness to see it in the original language.
3 MR. KEARNEY: However you would like, Your Honour. He has a hard
4 copy in front of him at this stage.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's fine.
6 MR. KEARNEY:
7 Q. Witness 17, first of all, please tell us how you came to be in
8 receipt of this document.
9 A. Upon the establishment of the general command in the Dukagjin Zone
10 on the basis of an agreement between FARK and the KLA, basically between
11 Ramush and Tahir Zemaj, this -- these set of regulations came because
12 Tahir was the deputy and this was in the archives as a document, and Tahir
13 in Prapaqan, where I was the head of the staff in Kryshec, he gave me a
14 copy for that reason.
15 Q. And do you know how this document came into your archives
16 originally, who brought it?
17 A. I don't know who brought it there, but it's a document of the KLA
18 and it was of the Operational Staff of the plain of Dukagjin and it was
19 signed by Commander Ramush Haradinaj. How it was brought there I cannot
20 say, but I -- as I said, it was soon after the formation of the Joint
21 Command that this document may have been brought by Ramush, because the
22 contacts started to intensify with -- with Ramush. We had more contacts
23 with him.
24 Q. Do you recognise the letterhead on the Albanian original
25 when you say "the Operational Staff of the plain of Dukagjin," was that a
1 letterhead that you had seen before?
2 A. Yes, it says the Kosovo Liberation Army Operational Staff of the
3 plain of Dukagjin. It coincides with the -- all documents which were
4 drafted by the staff of which Ramush Haradinaj was the commander.
5 MR. KEARNEY: I'd like to scroll down, if I may, to the third item
6 on this list of military police regulations.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, Mr. Kearney, the witness said it was
8 signed by Ramush Haradinaj. In the original I -- at least the original as
9 I find it in my computer system that needs some clarification. We could
10 scroll down to the -- in the original to the -- yes.
11 You said the document was signed, Witness 17. I find a name under
12 it but no signature. Could you explain your answer that this document was
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said it writes "Ramush Haradinaj,"
15 but we may have misunderstood each other. I can see that there is no
16 signature there, but it writes, his name is written on there and there is
17 no signature.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
19 MR. KEARNEY:
20 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to the third item on the list of
21 military police regulations. And it says: "The PU," or military police,
22 "has the task of investigating and uncovering with persuasive facts all
23 those who collaborate in any way with the enemy."
24 First of all, is that an accurate translation? Is that what the
25 original reads in Albanian?
1 A. I can read it in the Albanian language. The regulations were
2 written in the Albanian language, that was the original language. I
3 cannot believe it that it has been translated from another language other
4 than the Albanian language.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, you are quoting in the English language
6 and you're asking the witness whether it's an accurate translation. Now,
7 it's retranslated into his own language, to the witness. How could he
8 possibly answer that question? Or would you like him to look at the
9 English as such, but then we should ask him whether his mastery of the
10 English language is sufficient.
11 MR. KEARNEY: That's a point well taken, Your Honour. I can move
12 on. I want to ask him about a particular phrase in that sentence.
13 Q. Witness 17, the item says that: "The military police had the task
14 of uncovering those persons who collaborate in any way with the enemy."
15 I want to ask you if anywhere on that document there is a
16 definition of what "collaboration" or "collaboration in any way" means.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: If we could -- first of all, before the witness
18 answers the question, if the verbatim statement could be read because it
19 has another series of component parts that have been left out of the
20 question, such as "investigating" --
21 JUDGE ORIE: I think of course everyone could try to --
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: The reason I'm saying this, Your Honours, is --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: -- As presently constituted doesn't deal with an
25 internal -- and in many senses internal definition which has: "Has a task
1 of investigating and uncovering with persuasive facts," so the question of
2 persuasive facts becomes paramount to the determination of how one would
3 define "collaboration" as it's written in the regulation.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: All I'm asking is he ask the question giving the
6 verbatim regulation. That's all I'm asking for.
7 MR. KEARNEY: And I did that originally, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think originally you quoted the whole of the
9 line and then asked whether it was a correct translation.
10 I can imagine that the parties will have further questions on the
11 language of paragraph 3, but at this moment, Mr. Kearney, your question to
12 the witness was - and he can answer that question - what to collaborate in
13 any way with the enemy means -- whether that's -- I think it's whether
14 it's --
15 MR. KEARNEY: Defined.
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- Defined. Yes.
17 Again, Mr. Kearney, that question again, we can all read that
18 document. Do you think that there's any doubt as to whether there is or
19 there is no definition of that?
20 MR. KEARNEY: I can rephrase that.
21 Q. Did the -- Witness 17, did the Operational Staff of the Plain of
22 Dukagjin, to your knowledge, ever issue a definition of "collaboration"?
23 A. The word itself "collaboration" means those who work with the
24 enemy and in every way and on every occasion work against the interests of
25 the people. This is what we mean by a collaborator. If we talk about
1 cooperation, we're talking about those people who are working with the
2 enemy against the interests of the population. This is the word -- what
3 the word "collaboration" means. But as far as this text is concerned, I
4 believe that these are the words which were written initially in the
5 original language, in the Albanian language, and then they were translated
6 into English. And this is how this regulation was drafted originally.
7 Whether -- as to when and who drafted it, I cannot say because I don't
9 Q. Thank you for that answer.
10 MR. KEARNEY: I will move on, Your Honours. I want to, in the
11 interests of time, direct the witness to paragraphs 100 through 103 of his
13 Q. In these paragraphs, Witness 17, you detail a meeting that took
14 place in Prapaqan on 20 August 1998 that was attended by 68 village
15 commanders. Can you please tell the Trial Chambers, what was the purpose
16 of that rather large meeting?
17 A. Yes, it was known that at the time, the beginning of August, up
18 until the 13th of August there was a massive offensive in the Lugu of
19 Baran and the villages of Gjakove and the aim was to destroy the
20 Operational Staff units and the KLA where it was operating. For this
21 reason, after the 10th of August, Gllogjan fell to the enemy, Irzniq did
22 the same, and the other villages which appear on this statement. There
23 was a joint demand of that only by joining in a unified command we can
24 confront the enemy and face the enemy successfully. And Ramush came to
25 the conclusion that something must be done to form this Joint Command. He
1 had contacts with Tahir, and this led to the meeting of Prapaqan with
2 participation of 68 representatives from the villages in the area, Ramush
3 was there, together with Tahir and myself. We chaired that meeting.
4 Q. When you say that the -- Ramush, Tahir, and yourself chaired that
5 meeting, what do you mean by that?
6 A. I mean that we explained the offensives and how we had come to
7 this point that so many villages had fell -- had fallen to the enemy and
8 what should be done in the future. It was aimed at a re-organisation,
9 restructuring of the forces in that region in order to conduct military
10 operations and confront and face the enemy in battles like those. So we
11 conducted a detailed analysis of what had happened up until then and what
12 should be done in the future.
13 Q. Now, also during that meeting did an individual --
14 MR. KEARNEY: And for this, perhaps, Your Honour, we should go
15 into private session for a moment.
16 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry for the interruption, Your Honours. We're
21 back in open session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
24 MR. KEARNEY:
25 Q. Witness 17, this FARK member who got up and addressed the room
1 during this meeting made statements that you recount in paragraph 101. I
2 want to have you -- I'm going to refer to that paragraph for a moment.
3 And in the fourth sentence from the bottom you state, quoting, that: "He
4 asked for the KLA to be disciplined and well-behaved and to stop
5 committing these crimes."
6 I want to ask you if this FARK member told the group that day what
7 crimes he was referring to?
8 A. Now I cannot go into the details of what he meant and -- but he
9 said that fish was getting fat on human flesh in Lake Radoniq, and I'm
10 referring to the fact that there were several people who'd gone missing
11 and there was detailed information about Sanije Balaj, the case of Sanije
12 Balaj. He did not, in fact, speak specifically, but he spoke on general
13 terms; and he called for these crimes to be stopped. It was difficult to
14 get into his head because he was not specific in what he said. He didn't
15 give out details, but he mentioned the crimes in that way.
16 Q. When he said that he was calling for these crimes to be stopped,
17 who was he calling on to stop committing these crimes? What -- what
18 people was he directing those comments to?
19 A. He was calling on persons who were members of the KLA, and he was
20 referring -- he meant these people, and it later came out that all the
21 people who turned out to be missing, all these cases were caused by them.
22 Q. This comment that he made, quoting: "The fish in Lake Radoniq
23 were getting fat on human flesh" --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. --
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm sorry, I interpose an objection to the legal
1 statement made at the end of the witness's statement.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, objections are there to stop the other party
3 from putting further -- I mean it's more or less comment on what you're
4 saying is that this is a legal conclusion, which is of course perfectly
5 clear to the Chamber as well --
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- That's -- if it would be that easy, Mr. Guy-Smith,
8 then it would be easy to write a judgement. Just listen to what the
9 witness tells you who is innocent and who is guilty and just repeat that.
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: I have full confidence that it's not easy to write
11 a judgement.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed. But before we do so, Mr. Kearney,
13 could I just seek one clarification.
14 You told us about what the FARK member said about the fish in Lake
15 Radoniq. You then said: "I refer to" -- I think you said people that
16 were missing. Did he, apart from talking about the fish, did he ever
17 refer to people that had disappeared or went missing or was it just you
18 who made that link between his comments and what you apparently had heard
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. With the exception to the
21 reference to the fish in Lake Radoniq, he did not say anything specific.
22 But as I was asked, I was trying to interpret what he meant and this was
23 from what I knew and what the information that was going around was. But
24 I could not get into his head to know exactly what he meant.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kearney.
1 MR. KEARNEY:
2 Q. Well, in paragraph 101, Witness 17, you say: "He asked for the
3 KLA to be disciplined and well-behaved and to stop committing these
5 My question to you is: Was he -- did he specifically mention the
6 KLA when he was discussing the fish getting fat in Lake Radoniq?
7 A. It's the -- he was calling for the -- those irresponsible people
8 to be disciplined and to stop committing crimes, and as I said in line
9 with the information that we had and with what we knew, and we knew who
10 was detained at that point, in those moments, and they, the people who
11 were detained, have referred to the KLA as being the perpetrator, the KLA
12 having detained them.
13 Q. But when he was directing his remarks at the irresponsible people
14 to be disciplined and stop committing crimes, did he specifically
15 reference people within the KLA at the meeting?
16 A. No. As I said, it was a call to those irresponsible people to
17 stop. He did not go into specifics and to mentioning names. He didn't
18 give any details.
19 Q. But -- and we understand that he didn't mention specific names,
20 but the irresponsible people he was referring to were members of what
22 A. I think I said this earlier. With regard to what we knew about
23 the disappearance of people, those irresponsible people were members of
24 the KLA on the ground.
25 Q. When this statement was said, was it -- was it loud enough for
1 people in the room to hear?
2 A. The discussion that takes place in such a meeting is organised and
3 takes place in such a way for everyone present to hear what is meant by
4 what is said.
5 Q. What was Ramush Haradinaj's reaction, if any, to this comment
6 being made?
7 A. There was no reaction.
8 Q. Did anyone in the room object to that statement or deny the
9 allegation made by that FARK member?
10 A. No, because at that time there was a very delicate subject to talk
11 about these things. So no comments were made.
12 Q. When you say it was a delicate subject, what do you mean by that?
13 A. People feared to raise these issues.
14 Q. Were you afraid to raise these issues as well, Witness 17?
15 A. To discuss them in -- to raise them openly, yes.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. You must understand at a meeting where -- which is attended by
18 more than a hundred representatives, it's not logical even to discuss
19 details such as those, but we worked through other channels to raise these
21 Q. Why was it not logical to discuss details -- those details openly
22 in that meeting?
23 A. But you got to think about the reprisals that could follow, in
24 this sense I think it was not logical to raise them. And you had to come
25 up with something very specific to raise this. So we were still at an
1 investigative phase and we could not yet come up with the specific
2 charges. There were indications, but we had not been able to firm up
4 Q. When you say that reprisals could follow if you mentioned these
5 things openly, what do you mean by that, that reprisals could follow?
6 A. By analysing the incidents that we were involved in since our
7 entry into Kosovo up until that moment. It was not the appropriate moment
8 to raise these issues which could -- which could bring about an
9 aggravation of the relations, especially at the moment when we had set up
10 this Joint Command and we had started to work together. And it wasn't the
11 time to look at these issues, but it would be better to work together and
12 come to conclusions together, conclusions together.
13 Q. I'm going to move on to my last area of inquiry, if I may, at this
14 time. This is --
15 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. EMMERSON: Just one matter of clarification, the last answer.
18 When the witness says it would be better to work together and come to
19 conclusions together," I wonder if he might explain what the word
20 "together" means, together with whom would he and the leadership been
21 working to investigate these matters.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, although the question could have been
23 put in cross-examination perhaps it clarifies the examination-in-chief.
24 Could you answer that question with whom work together?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was clear to me what this meant,
1 but for those persons who were responsible in Kosova, I don't know if you
2 can hear me. It was clear to me but for those persons who were engaged in
3 activities in Kosova whether they did not receive these information or
4 refused to receive this information that we had. We had a meeting before
5 entering Kosova in Oslo and we agreed on establishing a Joint Command.
6 This was around 23rd or 24th of May, this meeting. This command was
7 supposed to carry the name of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova,
8 shortly FARK, and it was supposed to include all the units of the KLA and
9 the Territorial Defence. This was an agreement that was reached between
10 the political representative of the KLA and the defence minister of the
11 Republic of Kosova at the meeting in Oslo.
12 So I was not clear whether this information had reached those in
13 charge in Kosova or whether they simply refused to receive this
14 information. We always tried in all possible ways for the Oslo agreement
15 to be implemented from the moment we enter Kosova. That's why I'm saying
16 that "together" means cooperation between the FARK and the KLA, a Joint
17 Command that would be Operational Staff in the Dukagjini Plain, while the
18 representative of this command or the person in charge in this command was
19 Tahir Zemaj. First it came out as a proposal, as a demand, of the
20 villages, and later on it was realised in concrete terms. So the
21 villagers proposed for Tahir Zemaj to become the commander of the
22 Dukagjini Plain staff.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Emmerson was -- question was more
24 limited. When you said -- do I understand that when you refer to working
25 together, that you meant that not in such a huge meeting but in your
1 future close cooperation between FARK and KLA, that you would deal with
2 these kind of matters as well. Is that how I have to understand it?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The establishment of the Joint
4 Command after the 20th of August had this goal, and this was our goal from
5 the moment we entered Kosova up to that time and even later on. The
6 disagreements, the incidents that followed, delayed this establishment and
7 had a negative impact.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, I'm -- you're entering the last area of
9 your examination-in-chief or --
10 MR. KEARNEY: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that will certainly take a couple of
12 minutes, I take it. Then perhaps we should first -- unless you say it's a
13 matter of three, four minutes, then we could continue; otherwise, I would
14 like to take a break now.
15 MR. KEARNEY: It's a three- or four-minute line of inquiry --
16 JUDGE ORIE: But perhaps it's better, more natural to have a pause
17 between the start of the cross-examination and examination-in-chief. So,
18 therefore, please continue but try to finish within the next-- not more
19 than the next three to four minutes. Please proceed.
20 MR. KEARNEY:
21 Q. Witness 17, the last area of inquiry I have for you is related to
22 paragraph 66 of your statement. In that paragraph you state - and I'm
24 "around this time-period, July of 1998, I began to hear talk from
25 villagers and soldiers of people arrested by the KLA 'being sent to
1 Gllogjan.' My understanding based on these discussions was that those who
2 were sent to Gllogjan hardly ever came back."
3 I'd like to ask you, if you could, to tell the Trial Chamber in
4 more detail where you heard this phrase "being sent to Gllogjan" first of
6 A. I visited the entire region after I arrived in Kosova. I visited
7 the regional headquarters of the villages, and each and every commander
8 and each and every staff was informed by me about the purpose of our
9 arrival there, about the way the army was organised, and about the future
10 tasks and restructuring. So during these meetings that I had with these
11 representatives of operative units, I heard such information on things
12 that I've mentioned in my statement. I cannot speak in concrete terms
13 because I had just arrived in that area, and I did not know many people
14 except for these two persons that I usually held contact with. But as
15 time went by, I started to get to know people better in that area. So
16 this was the atmosphere that prevailed and how we discussed these matters.
17 But again I would like to say that we did not discuss them in concrete
19 Q. But that phrase, "being sent to Gllogjan" was told to you by
20 people in operative KLA units; is that correct?
21 A. By people who had been part of regional commands, village
22 commands, up to that moment.
23 Q. How many times did you hear this phrase from people in village
24 commands, about being sent to Gllogjan?
25 A. It was enough to hear it once, as far as I'm concerned; but I
1 cannot tell you the exact number, how many times I heard it. In other
2 words, I want to say that I heard this phrase at least once.
3 Q. The second part of your statement in that paragraph: "My
4 understanding based on these discussions was that those who were sent to
5 Gllogjan hardly ever came back," where did you learn that information?
6 A. I already told you earlier that I got this information during my
7 visits to the villages because I maintained contact with the area of
8 responsibility, and this was daily contact depending on the combat
9 activities. But I can say that at least I visited one village per day.
10 Q. And this information about people hardly ever coming back from
11 Gllogjan once they were sent there, can you estimate for the Trial
12 Chambers how many times you heard that information during these visits you
14 A. I already told you that I cannot pin-point a number, but at least
16 Q. And when you say "at least once," is the actual number or is it
17 one time?
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm going to object at this time because it's
19 asking for speculation and lacks strength it's also been asked and
20 answered on a number of occasions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney, that's -- "at least" is possibly more
22 than once but not necessarily. I mean, that question has been answered.
23 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honours, with that, I have no further
24 questions at this time.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to seek one or two -- you said that you
1 understood that those who were sent to Gllogjan hardly ever came back,
2 which suggests that you got information of people not coming back but not
3 always. Do you remember any information that people did come back?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And where -- when did you learn this? In a
6 conversation with whom as far as you remember?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I got this information from my
8 contacts with Din Krasniqi. He was the commander of Lugu i Baranit before
9 the operative units arrived there. It is about a certain Zenun, who was
10 believed to have been sent there and with my intervention that nothing
11 should happen to him but he should return, I know that measures were
12 undertaken and that this person came back.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now, did you ever have a conversation about persons
14 being sent to Gllogjan with anyone who specified the person that was sent
15 to Gllogjan? So, for example, to say, my father was sent to Gllogjan or
16 my uncle or -- I mean, not in general terms discussing people being sent
17 to, but person A or person B, do you remember any such conversation?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were such conversations,
19 for example, the one with the brother of Sanije Balaj. He visited the
20 command on many occasions trying to find out where his sister was. There
21 were occasions when he just said, I just want to know where her bones are
22 so that we can bury them according to our traditions. So such
23 conversations did occur on many occasions.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And you were earlier referring to the category of
25 people being sent to Gllogjan. Was that line introduced in that
1 conversation or are you talking about a person not necessarily linked to
2 being sent to Gllogjan?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, not in concrete terms
4 because when I visited these villages I was in the beginning of my
5 activities. I didn't know so many people so I couldn't enter into
6 conversation with just anybody. But as time went by and as the structures
7 and the operative units were set up, there was a person in charge who was
8 appointed for this particular task to collect information through
9 conversations with people.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But where you talked about this brother coming and
11 asking about the whereabouts of his sister, is -- do you have any
12 recollection of similar conversations where someone came and said this
13 person disappeared or was sent to Gllogjan or in whatever language he
14 used, do you remember any similar conversation -- conversations of a
15 similar character?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, except for Sanije Balaj's
17 brother, who visited very often.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you for that answer.
19 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson.
21 MR. EMMERSON: I just want to seek one matter of clarification
22 arising from the question that Your Honour asked in relation to the Sanije
23 Balaj incident and the report from the brother. It wasn't entirely clear
24 to me from the testimony, and certainly not from the 92 ter or previous
25 statements, whether the witness is suggesting that Sanije Balaj's brother
1 reported to him that Sanije Balaj had been taken to Gllogjan.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's a question that could be put to the
3 witness. I --
4 MR. EMMERSON: The reason I ask --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. EMMERSON: -- is because Your Honour's supplementary question
7 seemed from the assumption that there might be other examples.
8 JUDGE ORIE: When the brother of Sanije Balaj came to you, did he
9 just ask about the whereabouts of his sister or did he say, I would like
10 to know where she is because she was sent to Gllogjan? Did he -- I did
11 understand that he not necessarily used that phrase that she was sent to
12 Gllogjan, but rather that she disappeared. Is that correctly understood?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will explain it if you wish in
14 greater details, but I can do this in private session because certain
15 names will be mentioned and I wouldn't like to speak about those persons
16 in an open session.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I -- however, I suggest that we do that
18 after the break.
19 MR. EMMERSON: And I'm happy to do it in the course of
20 cross-examination when the matter arises.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you could give an opportunity right at the
22 beginning so it's fresh in the recollection of the witness.
23 MR. EMMERSON: In fact, I was seeking a very specific
24 clarification of a particular point that was suggested --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay --
1 MR. EMMERSON: If that's not clear --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kearney.
3 MR. KEARNEY: Your Honour, it's clear that the witness has an
4 explanatory answer he wants to give to the question of the Trial Chambers.
5 I would ask permission to have him give that answer before
6 cross-examination starts.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps that's the proper way to proceed, but
8 we'll do that after the break.
9 Witness 17, we'll have a break for -- until ten minutes past 1.00,
10 and then we'll resume in private session right away to give you an
11 opportunity to further explain your last answer.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.12 p.m.
14 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 Witness 17, you'll now be cross-examined.
20 May I take it, Mr. Emmerson, that you're the first one to
21 cross-examine the witness?
22 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honour, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please proceed.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Emmerson:
25 Q. Witness 17, I want to start, if I may, please, by asking you some
1 questions about the early stages of the entry of the officers with whom
2 you and Tahir Zemaj entered Kosova. First of all, your understanding --
3 A. Tahir Zemaj his name is, not Tahir Limaj.
4 Q. I think I said Zemaj.
5 Your understanding was that there had been an agreement reached in
6 Oslo during May between representatives of the government in exile and
7 representatives of the KLA General Staff; is that right?
8 A. I don't think, but I can assert here that there was an agreement
9 because I was indirectly involved in that meeting --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Emmerson, would you take care to switch off your
11 microphone when the witness answers a question in view of the voice
13 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. EMMERSON:
16 Q. Did you know who the KLA General Staff were, that is to say, what
17 the membership of the KLA General Staff was?
18 A. Are you talking about the Oslo meeting or in general?
19 Q. I'm speaking more generally. Did you -- were you aware at the
20 time that this agreement was made of who comprised the KLA General Staff
21 at that time?
22 A. I said it earlier, that there was a political representative of
23 the KLA who represented the KLA in Oslo, it was Mr. Adem Demaqi, and also
24 a member of the General Staff of the KLA known by the alias of Zeka.
25 These two people had talks with Ahmet Krasniqi, the defence minister, and
1 his deputy Agim Mehmeti, and the meeting took place in Oslo. That was
2 between the 22nd and the 24th of May, 1998. Zekaj was the alias of the
3 person who I can mention the full name is Xhavit Haliti.
4 Q. Apart from Adem Demaqi and Xhavit Haliti, did you have any
5 information about the structure or membership of the so-called General
6 Staff of the KLA?
7 A. At the time when we're talking about the Oslo agreement and the
8 talks between the 22nd and 24th of May, 1998, I knew nothing about who was
9 a member of the general staff of the KLA, and that's with the exception of
10 these two people who initiated this meeting and who participated at this
12 Q. So apart from what these two people said at the meeting, you had
13 no means of knowing whether they were representative of KLA forces on the
14 ground or in communication with KLA forces on the ground. Is that
16 A. I wouldn't put it that way because the organisation of this
17 meeting was done by people who were responsible and who knew both Ahmet
18 Krasniqi and Adem Demaqi, and it was through these people that this
19 meeting and agreement was organised.
20 Q. Your understanding it was that there was to be created an
21 integrated force under the name and insignia of the KLA when you entered
22 Kosovo; is that right?
23 A. A Joint Command was to be formed which would be called the Armed
24 Forces of the Republic of Kosova, whereas the KLA would be the gist of
25 that force. And according to that agreement, it was thought not to change
1 the name of KLA because this name meant something to the population. The
2 war had already started, and the Joint Command would be the Joint Command
3 with -- of a force, the bulk of which would come from the KLA.
4 Q. And so as you envisaged it at the time you crossed into Kosovo, on
5 the ground there would be no distinction between the two forces. They
6 would all call themselves KLA and all be part of the KLA. Is that right?
7 A. According to the Oslo agreement, after that agreement the staff of
8 the armed forces of the defence ministry was set up in Tirana, and under
9 the umbrella of that staff there would be representatives of the General
10 Staff of the KLA.
11 Q. You knew, presumably, when you entered Kosovo that the area of
12 Kosovo that you were entering was the Dukagjini Zone or the Dukagjini
13 area, western Kosovo, did you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As far as you are aware, did Tahir Zemaj or any of the other
16 senior commanders send an advanced party to establish communication with
17 the leadership of the KLA that was already operating on the ground in that
19 A. This was the responsibility of the defence minister of Kosovo,
20 Ahmet Krasniqi, and Adem Demaqi, who at that time did not come out in
21 public because he was living in Pristina. They had the task of informing
22 the groups who were operating in Kosovo, they would inform the people on
23 the qualities and the contents of this agreement.
24 Q. And presumably you have no information one way or the other as to
25 whether or not they did, in fact, communicate the agreement to those on
1 the ground in western Kosovo?
2 A. Today I think I mentioned that, as far as I remember, that it was
3 not clear to us whether this agreement had reached each person in charge
4 in each and every area that the defence ministry units and the KLA had
5 reached an agreement or whether the agreement had reached them; but they
6 did not want to implement it, that agreement. I'm talking about that
7 time, not now.
8 Q. Yes, and to make it clear, all the questions I'm asking you are
9 also about your knowledge at that time, Witness 17. Does it follow from
10 the answers that you've given then that nobody was sent by Tahir Zemaj or
11 the commanders of the officers who were to enter Kosovo on the -- in the
12 second half of June, that nobody was sent by them to make contact and
13 communicate with the KLA commanders into whose area you were about to
15 A. According to us, there was no need to duplicate things to send
16 somebody else -- to send somebody else in addition to the people who were
17 tasked with going out to all the areas and inform people about the
18 agreement. We did not want to come out of what was said and agreed at the
19 meeting; on the contrary, we tried to implement every point as was agreed
20 at the meeting.
21 Q. Now, I think in your witness statement you mention three early
22 meetings that took place. I'm just going to remind you of what they were.
23 First of all you say - and these are all meetings that took place
24 incidentally before your march from Jasic to Isniq. You describe first of
25 all, a meeting on the 25th of June in Jasic at which Sali Veseli and
1 Naim Maloku spoke to you and Tahir Zemaj. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And certainly from what they said they did not appear to know
4 about the existence of the Oslo agreement; is that correct?
5 A. On the basis of the conversation with Tahir Zemaj about the -- the
6 people responsible at the time in Kosovo, namely Sali Veseli and Naim
7 Maloku, it turns out that they said that they had no knowledge about any
8 agreement and the arrival of the Operational Staff units in Kosovo. But
9 they said that they were going to be informed about this agreement, about
10 this new structure.
11 Q. The next meeting that you describe as having taken place the
12 following day, the 26th of June, at Jasic, when Mr. Haradinaj attended and
13 both Sali Veseli and Naim Maloku were present again and there were further
14 discussions. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, the discussions continued and this was because of the
16 disagreement surrounding our entering Kosova and the way it was
17 misinterpreted by certain persons who were operating in Dukagjini area.
18 That's why we continued with our discussions.
19 Q. Now, you describe in your witness statement Mr. Haradinaj in that
20 meeting of the 26th of June, you describe him as being controlled and
21 orderly. Is that an accurate description?
22 A. Yes, a very accurate description. He was a very constructive,
23 moderate, this is the impression I got.
24 Q. Thank you. And you were asked by Judge Orie some questions about
25 the nature of the disagreement. Does it come to this, that Mr. Haradinaj
1 was in effect saying: We have forces on the ground already located and
2 defending villages, and what we need to you to do is to distribute your
3 officers and soldiers in order to fortify the defences that already exist?
4 A. The disagreement was that, that he asked for the senior officers
5 to be distributed in the operative units and in the villages and to carry
6 out their tasks within the structure of the Dukagjini operative staff;
7 however, we were already an established military structure under the
8 command of the Ministry of Defence. These were the frictions that
9 continued. We were not in a position to do such a thing, to systemize 23
10 senior officers to destroy our own structure and enter the villages.
11 Q. But in summary, Witness 17, those first two meetings on the 25th
12 and the 26th, although of course there were differences of opinion between
13 the two sides, they were constructive discussions about how to move
14 forward and accommodate the new force. Is that right?
15 A. Of course, we were not crazy. Both sides were ready to reach an
16 agreement; however, none of the sides wanted to change its views, to
17 abandon its positions.
18 Q. Now, in your witness statement you go on to describe a further
19 meeting that took place in Junik on the 30th of June which you attended,
20 together with others, on behalf of the newly arrived force and Sali
21 Veseli attended on behalf of the KLA. You remember that meeting?
22 A. Yes, I do remember it.
23 Q. And in your witness statement - this is paragraph 18 - don't
24 bother to turn it up, you say that during the course of that meeting you
25 said, that is you personally said, that if anybody obstructed your march
1 to Isniq, then - and these are your words - "we would have to act
2 according to military rules." Is that what you said?
3 A. I was passing the words of my commander, that is, that we have
4 entered Kosova and we are implementing the second phase. The first phase
5 was positions at Jasic and the second was to go to Isniq, while the third
6 to establish the barracks. So I just passed on his words, that we must
7 fulfil, implement, the second phase; and if we see any obstacles as
8 military persons, we would act.
9 Q. Just so we're clear you were in effect saying that: If anybody
10 gets in our way, we will shoot them, is that correct, we will take
11 military action?
12 A. I don't know how you're interpreting my answer, but we made it
13 clear to them that it was a must for us to implement the second phase.
14 That did not mean that we would open fire, but the army had to carry out
15 its tasks and implement it plans. So we made it clear to them that we had
16 to go there and implement the second phase and that it would be nice if
17 there were no incidents accompanying the second phase. Later it was a
18 way -- it was implemented. We didn't have any incidents when we travelled
19 from Junik to Isniq.
20 Q. No, I understand that and I'm asking these questions to you,
21 Witness 17, for a reason. You say in your statement that you explicitly
22 told Mr. Veseli that if there was obstruction you would "act according to
23 military rules." Now, do I understand that correctly to mean that if you
24 were obstructed in your passage you would take military action against
25 those obstructing you?
1 A. Let me speak in more concrete terms. We were told clearly to
2 systemize in the villages to become part of the structures, existing
3 structures, in Kosova, or to go back because there was no place for us
4 there. So that's why it was necessary to make it clear to them that we
5 have an agreement, we have a command, we have a goal, we are in a phase
6 that needs to be completed, and we have to reach our destination. This is
7 the military language that should be understood in this way. We had an
8 order that needed to be implemented.
9 Q. It's, I hope, a direct enough question, Witness 17, and I'd like
10 if you would, please, just to answer it yes or no. I'm going to read to
11 you the words of your statement where you tell us what you said to
12 Mr. Veseli, and it says this, you said that: "If anyone got in our way
13 then we would have to act according to military rules."
14 And my question is: When you were threatening action according to
15 military rules if anybody got in your way, were you threatening to take
16 military action?
17 A. This is not a threat, rather, an explanation, detailed explanation
18 about the order that we have as an organised unit with its respective
19 command. We had to show to the existing forces in Kosovo the reason why
20 we were there, who had sent us there. So it's not a threat, it's an
22 Q. Thank you. That night, the 30th of June, the march was effective,
23 was it not; in other words, overnight you and the soldiers and officers
24 with whom you had come crossed over from Jasic to Isniq. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And just so that we're clear, prior to that time you say certainly
2 from the KLA side there had been no threats of the use of military force
3 against you?
4 A. We had an ultimatum either to join or become part of their command
5 or go back.
6 Q. You describe in your statement a meeting on the 2nd of July in
7 Isniq at which a man called Rrustem Tetaj was present and Mr. Haradinaj
8 present as well. Is that correct?
9 A. I don't know where you got Mr. Haradinaj's name as a person
10 attending this meeting.
11 Q. Well, I'll return to your statement in a moment or two and it may
12 be to do with the way in which I've read it. But you record at paragraph
13 24 in your statement Mr. Tetaj having told you at that meeting on the 2nd
14 of July that the KLA Dukagjin staff had been formed in Jabllanice on the
15 23rd of May, 1998. And I'm going to suggest to you that you are wrong
16 about what you have recorded there, either you're wrong about the date or
17 you are confusing two meetings because we have seen documentation of
18 meetings relating to May and June. And I want to suggest to you that the
19 first formed Dukagjin staff was formed on the 23rd of May in Gllogjan and
20 not in Jabllanice.
21 Now, could you be mistaken in that passage?
22 A. I was saying what Rrustem Tetaj told me at that time. He said
23 that a meeting was held and that the staff was established in Jabllanice
24 on that date. Now, whether it coincides or whether it was planned to be
25 that way, the date coincides with a date of the meeting in Oslo between
1 the KLA representatives and the representatives of the Ministry of
3 Q. Yes, it's simply the location I'm concerned about at the moment,
4 Witness 17, and we're shortly to adjourn. Can I ask you this, please:
5 You had available to you at the time that you made your witness statement
6 the notebook that is appended as annex 1, and I'm going to suggest to you
7 that where you deal with this meeting you have recorded the date of the
8 23rd but not the place of the meeting that was relayed to you by Rrustem
9 Tetaj as the place where the operative staff had formed. And I want to
10 again, in light of the fact that you were using your notes, ask you,
11 perhaps overnight, to consider whether or not you may be mistaken in that
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: What we'll do at this moment is we will adjourn. I
15 take it that my words are still -- there's no possibility to hear me --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters cannot hear anything from the
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We will adjourn and first thing tomorrow
19 morning we'll do is to establish in open court that there was a problem
20 with the electricity and that therefore the transcript, even of the words
21 I'm speaking at this very moment, is not available. Counsel for the
22 accused are invited to communicate this to their clients who could not
23 understand what I'm saying at this moment.
24 Witness 17, could you take off your earphones. Can you understand
25 me in the English language?
1 THE WITNESS: A little.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to instruct you that you should not
3 speak with anyone about your testimony, as you have given it today and as
4 you will continue to give it tomorrow. Do you understand this?
5 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Okay.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 Now, we'd like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in another
8 courtroom, that is, Courtroom III.
9 THE WITNESS: Okay.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We'll put on the record tomorrow what happened at the
11 end of today.
12 Would you please remain seated until, since the protective
13 measures are still in place. I would urge the parties not to say anything
14 that should be recorded because it will not be on the transcript and it
15 will be lost and to keep it for tomorrow morning, 9.00, Courtroom 3.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of
18 August, 2007, at 9.00