1 Friday, 26 August 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, please call the case -- oh, Mr. Registrar. I
8 beg your pardon.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case
10 IT-04-84bis-T, the Prosecutor versus Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj, and
11 Lahi Brahimaj.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
13 Could we have appearances for the day, starting with the
14 Prosecution, please.
15 MR. MENON: For the Prosecution, Aditya Menon, Daniela Kravetz,
16 Barbara Goy, with our case manager, Line Pedersen. Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 And could we have for the Defence, please.
19 MR. EMMERSON: For Mr. Haradinaj, Ben Emmerson, Rod Dixon,
20 Annie O'Reilly, and Andrew Strong.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Emmerson.
22 And for Mr. Balaj.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good morning, Your Honours. Gregor Guy-Smith,
24 Colleen Rohan, Chad Mair on behalf of Mr. Balaj.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Guy-Smith.
1 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
2 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of
3 Mr. Brahimaj, Richard Harvey, Paul Troop, and assisted for the last time
4 by our case manager, Sophie Rigney, who sadly leaves us today.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
6 Mr. Menon, we were still arguing your page and I guess the
7 parties have finished now. The Chamber can rule?
8 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
10 Objection overruled.
11 Carry on, Mr. Menon.
12 MR. MENON: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Bislim Zyrapi.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 [The witness takes the stand]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, Mr. Zyrapi.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 Mr. Zyrapi, just to remind you that you're still bound by the
19 declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony yesterday to tell
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth.
21 Yes, Mr. Menon.
22 MR. MENON: Your Honour, if we could call up 65 ter exhibit
23 number 03002. And if the witness could just be shown the Albanian
24 version. And if we could go to -- excuse me, Your Honour, if we could --
25 I jumped ahead of myself. If we could go to Exhibit P160, admitted
1 Exhibit P160 and if the witness could just be shown the Albanian version
2 and if the English and Albanian versions could be shown to the court. If
3 we could go to page 9 of the English version and page 12 of the Albanian
4 version. I think we're still on the wrong exhibit, actually. P160,
5 admitted Exhibit P160 -- or, we're on the wrong page, excuse me. So page
6 9 of the English version and page 12 of the Albanian version. I see in
7 front of me page 9 of the Albanian version. What I need is page 12 of
8 the -- oh, excuse me, page 9 -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. Page 9 of the
9 English version and page 12 of the Albanian version. I had it the wrong
10 way around. And only the Albanian version for the witness.
11 WITNESS: BISLIM ZYRAPI [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Menon: [Continued]
14 Q. Sir, do you see paragraph 46 in front of you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you read that paragraph to yourself, and when you get to the
17 end of that can you let us know so that we can scroll to the next page of
18 the Albanian version.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. MENON: Could we scroll to the next page of the Albanian
21 version, page 13.
22 Q. Can you read the remaining part of that paragraph, sir.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Sir, there's a reference to a book in this particular paragraph.
25 Can you tell us what that book is called.
1 A. The title of this book is: "Dialogue with
2 Commander Ramush Haradinaj."
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. MENON: And now can we call up --
5 Q. And I just want you to remember what has been said in this
6 particular paragraph that you read to yourself, sir. Keep that in mind?
7 MR. MENON: Can we call up 65 ter 03002 and for the time being
8 can we stay on the first page of the Albanian and English versions and
9 obviously just the Albanian version for the witness.
10 Q. And, sir, can you read out the title of this book.
11 A. "A Narrative About War and Freedom."
12 Q. And what else?
13 A. And below is "Dialogue with Commander Ramush Haradinaj."
14 MR. MENON: And now can we go to page 138 in the English version
15 and page 132 in the Albanian version.
16 Q. And, sir, do you see that there's a question on that page in the
17 Albanian version. I'd like you to read everything under the question.
18 And when we get to the -- when you get to the end of that page can you
19 let us know so we can scroll to the next page.
20 A. Okay.
21 MR. MENON: Can we scroll to the next page of the English and the
22 Albanian versions.
23 Q. And can you read that page to yourself, sir.
24 A. Okay.
25 Q. Sir, can you tell us when you say in your statement at paragraph
1 46 that:
2 "At a later meeting of members of the General Staff including me
3 and Ramush during August/September 1998 we discussed logistics problems.
4 More details about what was discussed with Ramush can be found at pages
5 134 to 138 of the book entitled 'A Narrative about War and Freedom:
6 Dialogue with Commander Ramush Haradinaj.'"
7 When you said that in your statement, sir, were you referring to
8 the excerpt you just read?
9 A. Yes, that's what I said in my statement. I gave details about
10 the reasons and so on, but the book has a number of other details which
11 were not known to me.
12 Q. And can you tell us why they are not known to you?
13 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think stay on the topics.
15 MR. MENON: Okay.
16 Q. Well, sir --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The topic is this page. It's not other details.
18 MR. MENON: Fair enough.
19 MR. EMMERSON: I understood the witness to say that in these
20 pages there were other details that were not known to him.
21 MR. MENON: Fair enough. I will rephrase the question,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: We probably mis -- heard different things.
24 MR. EMMERSON: Perhaps we might ask Mr. Menon to clarify that.
25 MR. MENON: Well, I was about to.
1 Q. Can I sir -- sir, you referred to a meeting in your statement in
2 August/September 1998. And when you say there are more details about
3 what was discussed at that meeting, are those details captured within the
4 excerpt you've read? I'm only interested in the meeting, sir.
5 A. Yes, during the meeting we discussed logistic problems which are
6 reflected here, the logistics from Albania, that is.
7 Q. And when you say they're reflected here, are you referring to the
8 document in front of you marked 65 ter 03002?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. MENON: Your Honour, I would seek to have the two pages which
11 the witness has read, so that would be pages 132 to 133 of the Albanian
12 version and pages 138, I believe, to 139 of the English version of this
13 particular exhibit admitted into evidence.
14 MR. EMMERSON: Well, could Your Honours defer that decision until
15 after cross-examination so that we can clarify exactly which passages
16 within those pages the witness is able independently to verify?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think you can cross-examine on those passages
18 that you don't want to have -- that you don't believe -- I don't see how
19 we can defer this order.
20 MR. EMMERSON: Well, Your Honours don't need to admit the exhibit
21 until the end of the witness's evidence.
22 MR. MENON: Your Honour, if I can be heard.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Menon.
24 MR. MENON: I think the basis for admissibility has been
25 established. The witness -- the basis is a prima facie showing of
1 reliability, and I think the witness has established that he's
2 indicated -- he's made a statement in his 92 ter -- he's made an
3 assertion in his 92 ter statement about a meeting that he participated
4 with Ramush Haradinaj and he's indicated that details about that
5 particular meeting are reflected indeed the text which he's read in this
6 particular book. And so there is the basis for admission and I see no
7 reason to postpone that.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Menon.
9 The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given
10 an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the relevant pages of
12 65 ter number 03002 will be Exhibit P283, and, Your Honours, if counsel
13 can notify the Registry when those pages are uploaded in the e-court.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 MR. MENON:
17 Q. Sir, I'd just like to change the topic here and I'd like to move
18 on to your visit to the Dukagjin zone in mid-July 1998.
19 MR. MENON: And if we could pull up P159 and go to e-court
20 page 41.
21 Q. Now, sir, in your evidence -- if we could just enlarge the page a
22 bit so it's a little bigger.
23 MR. MENON: And, Your Honours, for reference I'm alluding to
24 lines 8 and 9.
25 Q. Sir, in your prior testimony in the Haradinaj case you indicated
1 that you had met Ramush Haradinaj in Jabllanice in mid-July 1998, and you
2 refer to a meeting that was held, a meeting between the General Staff of
3 the KLA and Ramush Haradinaj. Can you tell us, sir, what was discussed
4 at this meeting?
5 A. Yes, the meeting at Jabllanice was held in mid-July 1998 and it
6 was a meeting between the General Staff and the commander of the
7 operative zone of Dukagjin. We discussed problems which were pertinent
8 at the time, ways of co-ordinating the work of the operative zone and the
9 General Staff as well as other zones. We discussed questions of supply
10 or logistics as well. If I recall correctly, this was the array of
11 issues we discussed at the time.
12 Q. And when you say "we discussed ways of co-ordinating the work of
13 the operative zone and the General Staff as well as other zones," can you
14 elaborate on that. What did that co-ordination relate to, sir?
15 A. When I mentioned co-ordination, you have to remember that it was
16 the time to improve the co-ordination of work between the operative zones
17 and between the zones and the General Staff.
18 Q. But what was the co-ordination about? What were you trying to
19 co-ordinate, sir ?
20 A. When I say co-ordination between the zones and the General Staff,
21 was that there were a number of local units which were outside the
22 command structures and they needed to be unified and co-opted into these
23 zone of commands so that the zones and the staffs would co-ordinate their
24 work better between themselves as well as between these operative zones
25 and the General Staff.
1 Q. And, sir, when you said that "we discussed questions of supply or
2 logistics," are you able to elaborate on that as well?
3 A. Yes, on the issue of logistics and the supply, the issue was that
4 the main supply route came from Albania via the operative zone of
5 Dukagjin and on the way to other zones, so that we wanted to co-ordinate
6 this passage towards the other zones, given that the main zone
7 responsible for it was the Dukagjin zone. So they had the responsibility
8 to -- way to welcome these supplies and to make sure that they were
9 transited towards the other zones from Albania, i.e., to these other
11 Q. And can you elaborate on what supplies you're referring to. What
12 kind of supplies are you talking about?
13 A. I'm talking about weapons supplies and other technical equipment
14 that is needed to conduct a war.
15 Q. Can you tell us what specific steps were taken or discussed at
16 this meeting to ensure that there was adequate co-ordination in terms of
17 the supply of weapons through the Dukagjin zone?
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'll object to the question. It assumes facts
19 not in evidence. It calls for speculation. Discuss how the plan was,
20 but the use of the word "ensure" presupposes that such a thing occurred.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Menon.
22 MR. MENON: Well, Your Honour, the witness was -- he was at the
23 meeting, he indicates that "we wanted to co-ordinate the passage towards
24 the other zones" -- excuse me -- yeah, he indicates the "Dukagjin zone
25 had the responsibility to welcome these supplies ..." so he's talking
1 about supplies, he's talking about the fact that they transited through
2 this particular zone. I'm simply asking to elaborate whether there were
3 any steps to ensure that that was effected. Surely if he was at the
4 meeting he can either say yes or no.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, Your Honour, he's changed his
7 question. If he's asking whether steps were taken, he can ask yes or no.
8 That's different. But he said: Can you tell us what specific steps,
9 specific is in the context of this particular question also leading, and
10 what it does is it suggests something, specific steps to ensure. Now, if
11 his answer is yes or no, can you tell us what was done? Yes, I can; no,
12 I can't. I'm in your hands.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Objection overruled.
14 MR. MENON:
15 Q. Sir, can you tell us whether at this particular meeting in
16 mid-July 1998 in Jabllanice, whether there were any steps taken to ensure
17 that supplies of weapons were adequately transited through the Dukagjin
19 A. If I recall correctly, we agreed and work started in this
20 direction, i.e., to ensure the transiting of weapons through the
21 operative zone.
22 Q. But can you elaborate on what -- on what, if any, steps were
23 taken, what responsibilities were -- what responsibilities were given to
24 the individual participants in this meeting to ensure that there was
25 adequate transiting of weapons through the zone?
1 A. The details I cannot remember because a long time has elapsed
2 since then, but these are the main elements of what was discussed at the
4 Q. Very well. If we could move on to - staying on the same
5 exhibit - move on to page 213 in e-court, lines -- and I'm --
6 MR. MENON: Direct Your Honours' attention to lines 14 through
8 Q. Now, sir, in your prior testimony you indicated that when you
9 visited Jabllanice in mid-July 1998 you visited certain units in
10 Jabllanice. Can you tell us, sir, who accompanied you on these visits?
11 A. When I visited Jabllanice after the meeting of the General Staff
12 and the staffs from the operative zones, alongside me when inspecting
13 those units was Salih Veseli and if I remember correctly at the time
14 Driton Zeneli as well.
15 Q. And, sir, do you recall who these men, Salih Veseli and
16 Driton Zeneli, whom they reported to at the time?
17 A. Salih Veseli and Driton Zeneli reported to the commander of the
18 zone, Ramush Haradinaj, at the time.
19 Q. Thank you very much, sir. I'd like to move on to another topic,
20 sir. Can you tell us whether you've ever met a person named
21 Faton Mehmetaj?
22 A. Yes, I have met him but I cannot recall the meetings. I think I
23 met him in July or in August.
24 Q. And, sir, can you tell us where you've met him, where you've --
25 the first time you met him, where did you meet him?
1 A. As far as I can remember, I think I met him in Gllogjan at the
2 command of the zone. He was based at a house there, but I can't remember
3 exactly where.
4 Q. And can you tell us, sir, at the time that you met him did he
5 have an official position within the KLA staff of the Dukagjin zone?
6 A. At the time I met him, he was assistant commander regarding
7 intelligence, intelligence and counter-intelligence.
8 Q. And can you tell us, sir, given that position as assistant
9 commander regarding intelligence and counter-intelligence, what his
10 functions would have been?
11 A. I didn't know what position he had before, but at that time he
12 was assistant commander for intelligence and counter-intelligence and
13 their duty was to gather information about the enemy and those pieces of
14 information had to be passed on to the command.
15 Q. And can you tell us, sir, whom he would have reported to at the
17 A. At the time I was there, he reported to the commander of the
18 operative zone of Dukagjin, Mr. Ramush Haradinaj.
19 Q. And can you tell us, sir, when you first met him, who introduced
20 you to Mr. Faton Mehmetaj?
21 A. As far as I remember, Salih Veseli was together with me at the
23 Q. And can you tell us --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, just -- are you saying, sir, that
25 Salih Veseli is the one who introduced you to him? To say you were
1 together with him doesn't say that he introduced him.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Salih Veseli was with me when
3 I met Faton Mehmetaj for the first time.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, the question is: Who introduced you to
5 Faton Mehmetaj?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I remember, it was
7 Salih Veseli who introduced me to Faton Mehmetaj.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
9 MR. MENON: Your Honour, I have no further questions for this
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Menon.
12 Yes, Mr. Emmerson.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Emmerson:
14 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, I just want, if I may, to ask you some general
15 questions to give the Trial Chamber a flavour of the degree of real
16 organisation that was in operation on the ground. I'm not asking you to
17 answer that yet. I'm just indicating the topics on which I'm going to
18 put some questions to you.
19 First of all, you, I think, had some military experience; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you remember roughly when it was you were asked to join
23 the General Staff?
24 A. I joined in June 1998, as an officer at the operations department
25 of the General Staff.
1 Q. And the General Staff had been in existence for how long -- so
2 let me put that in the form of a clearer question to translate. How long
3 had the General Staff been in existence before you were asked to join?
4 A. I don't know for how long he had been in existence, but it was
5 long before I joined it.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you talking about the same thing?
7 MR. EMMERSON: I think it's a mistranslation. It's "it" rather
8 than "he."
9 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, was the General Staff in existence, let us say, in
10 January 1998?
11 A. I don't know. I knew that it existed as a central staff at the
13 Q. In January 1998 you're saying you knew it was already in
15 A. According to the information I had. I was not there at the time,
16 but according to the information I received from Rexhep Selimi, the
17 General Staff already existed.
18 Q. And do you know from that information that you received whether
19 it already existed, for example, in June of 1997, just so that we can
20 confine the period?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. Now, when -- when we talk about the General Staff, let's just
23 perhaps help the Chamber what the reality of that was. First of all, the
24 members of the General Staff that you had dealings with, were they based
25 in Albania?
1 A. The members of the General Staff at the time were part of them in
2 Albania but some of them were also in Kosovo.
3 Q. I was careful in my question. The members of the General Staff
4 that you yourself had dealings with directly, were they in Albania?
5 A. The ones I had dealings with in 1998, in early 1998, in March and
6 April, yes, they were in Albania, the ones I had contact with.
7 Q. Because you didn't -- you say you had contact with them in March
8 and April, but you didn't join the General Staff until June; is that
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. At the time you joined the General Staff, did you know the names
12 of the other members of the General Staff that were inside Kosovo?
13 A. Yes. In Kosovo, when I arrived there, I got to know the other
14 members of the General Staff.
15 Q. And so that we're clear, did the General Staff at this period of
16 time, let us say from January till June, when you joined, did the
17 General Staff have a premises at all from which to operate or did they
18 meet in one another's flats?
19 A. If you are talking about Kosovo, within Kosovo, the staff was not
20 based in one place and they had to move around because of various
21 activities, operations. When I went there in June, that was the time
22 when I met the staff for the first time and they were at the time in
23 Likovc, but they used to move to different place, sometimes in Dukagjin,
24 Berisha mountains, et cetera.
25 Q. That's the General Staff members in Kosovo. I'm asking you about
1 the General Staff in Albania. Did they have a premises or did they just
2 meet in cafes and in people's flats?
3 A. As far as I remember, in Albania there was not a premises for the
4 General Staff. The members of the staff that I met at the time, we
5 usually used to meet in various flats. And as I said, the members of the
6 staff that I used to meet there, we met in different flats or in various
7 places outside.
8 Q. And it's right, isn't it, Mr. Zyrapi, that you even at that time
9 didn't know who all the other members of the General Staff inside Albania
11 A. Yes, I didn't know all of them.
12 Q. So does it follow you never met together as a composed
13 General Staff at any time at that point? You didn't have meetings,
14 regular meetings, as a full General Staff?
15 A. No, we didn't, not in Albania.
16 Q. So basically you'd meet in groups of twos and threes; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But you weren't -- you weren't properly constituted in any sense,
20 were you, as a General Staff, as you understand that from your experience
21 in the JNA?
22 A. At that time, you should remember, I was not a member of the
23 staff yet, but according to my experience the staff should have the
24 premises and they need to meet regularly and take decisions about the war
25 or operations and how to go on with their work.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might just interrupt, Mr. Emmerson, when you
2 say "at that time," can you just give us the date, month and year. What
3 do you mean "at that time," which time are you talking about?
4 MR. EMMERSON: Okay.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I responded to the counsel's
6 question and he asked me about the time in Albania. I was not a member
7 then, and this was the period March, April, May.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: What year, sir?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1998.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 I'm sorry to do that to you, Mr. Emmerson.
12 MR. EMMERSON: No, I'm grateful to you.
13 Q. But can we be clear, Mr. Zyrapi, the reality is, dealing with the
14 time-period, all the way through 1998 up to and including September I'm
15 asking you now, I'm going to put some general propositions to you now, up
16 to and including September 1998, first of all, I suggest to you
17 throughout that period the General Staff never had regular meetings?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: In Albania.
19 MR. EMMERSON:
20 Q. In Albania or anywhere.
21 A. I explained the situation in Albania. There were no meetings
22 there and I was not a member.
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. But in Kosovo --
25 Q. Sorry, just let me pause. I don't know whether you heard the
1 introduction to my question, but I'm now asking you to deal with the
2 period right the way through to September 1998. Because obviously we
3 have your testimony from the last trial. In the last trial you told the
4 Trial Chamber that from the period right up to September 1998 there were
5 no regular meetings. Is that right? Is that correctly understood?
6 MR. MENON: Can --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Menon.
8 MR. EMMERSON: Well, let me just understand the witness's
10 MR. MENON: If we could have the transcript references if
11 Mr. Emmerson refers to the last trial.
12 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I'll give you a series of transcript
13 references: T-3279, T-3281, 3291, 3292, 3293, 3299.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slowly.
15 MR. MENON: And I would also ask that the witness's exact
16 testimony be put to him rather than Mr. Emmerson paraphrasing.
17 MR. EMMERSON: Let me put a question to the witness if it
18 troubles Mr. Menon.
19 Q. Is it right, Mr. Zyrapi, I'm suggesting this to you that
20 throughout the period up to September 1998 there was, first of all, no
21 General Staff premises in Albania; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. There were no regular meetings of the General Staff in Albania;
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Emmerson.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, yes.
2 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: The witness says as far as I know because I
4 wonder if he is able to know for the period before he was a member.
5 MR. EMMERSON: He's already told us that the period before he was
6 a member, as far as he can tell, there were none.
7 Q. But from the period even after you were a member, Mr. Zyrapi,
8 there were no regular meetings, were there, up to September 1998?
9 A. There were no regular meetings. There were some meetings where
10 not all the members of the General Staff were present.
11 Q. Even during that period, there were people who were members of
12 the General Staff who you didn't know their names, weren't there, even in
13 the period up to 1998, September 1998?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And so, what we're really looking at is a group of men meeting in
16 twos and threes and fours in flats and cafes without any formal
17 operational structure in place throughout the period up to
18 September 1998; that's right, isn't it?
19 A. We are talking about meetings in Albania where part of the staff
20 was, but as I said, in June and July some members of the staff were in
21 Likovc, in the mountains of Berisha. But as I said, this is only part of
22 the staff. The other part of it was based in Albania.
23 Q. Yes, and my question was: Right up until September 1998, so that
24 we have the picture, the General Staff within Albania was meeting in twos
25 and threes in flats and cafes; correct?
1 A. As far as I know, yes, but I don't know what other meetings they
3 Q. Now, the people whom you say were members of the General Staff
4 inside Kosovo, they were not based in one place either, were they?
5 A. The members of the staff that were inside Kosovo were placed
6 in -- were based in different places, this for security reasons.
7 Q. So they never met together either, did they, during this period
8 of time?
9 A. I think that in July we met. There was a large number of us
10 meeting then and then there was another meeting in August, but these were
11 not frequent meetings.
12 Q. And communication as well between those individuals who you say
13 were floating inside of Kosovo and the members of the General Staff who
14 were inside Albania, the communications were very poor; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. At the time the communication was very poor. It was either
16 direct, personal communication, or through radio.
17 Q. And focusing now on --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Through courier.
19 MR. MENON: Can we just have a clarification as to which
20 time-period that last answer related to.
21 MR. EMMERSON: Well, I think the transcript is clear. The
22 witness is talking about two meetings, one in July and one in August, and
23 on the basis of that I'm asking him whether during the period, which
24 we've been discussing, which is right up to September 1998 -- let me put
25 it again to avoid any doubt.
1 Q. The question, just for clarification, Mr. Zyrapi, is this: I'm
2 suggesting to you that communications were very poor between those
3 members of the General Staff inside Kosovo and those in Albania right up
4 to and including September 1998. That's fair, isn't it?
5 A. Yes, communications were very poor at the time.
6 Q. And just -- if we can then just stand back and summarise the
7 position right up to and including September 1998, there were members --
8 and even after you yourself were a member, there were people who were
9 calling themselves members of the General Staff inside Albania who you
10 didn't know; correct?
11 A. I don't know. I didn't meet all of them. The ones I had contact
12 with, they told me they were members of the General Staff. I don't know
13 who other -- who were the other people that were members of the same
15 Q. And at that time, between June and September 1998, was anybody --
16 when you first joined initially, was anybody able to tell you who were
17 the members of the General Staff inside Kosovo?
18 A. Yes, in July when I took the post at the operations department,
19 Rexhep Selimi introduced me to the members of the General Staff. He told
20 me the names.
21 Q. And so that we understand the position, did any other members of
22 the General Staff have military experience, apart from you?
23 A. Of the members of the General Staff there were no other people
24 with military experience or educated as soldiers.
25 Q. So this body calling itself the General Staff that had been in
1 existence for at least six months before you joined it contained no one
2 with any military background, had no premises, had no regular meetings,
3 and met in groups of twos and three that couldn't communicate with the
4 field in Kosovo. Is that fair?
5 A. It was like that at the time, yes.
6 Q. Now, if we can then turn to what was going on on the ground
7 inside Kosovo. It's right, isn't it, that following the Serbian
8 offensive in Gllogjan on the 24th of March, there was a greater
9 willingness of the population and a general view amongst the Kosovar
10 Albanian population that war was inevitable?
11 A. Generally, from March when the attack on the Jashari family
12 occurred, then there was open war between us and the army and police
13 forces of Serbia.
14 Q. But if we go back to the time when that occurred, let us say the
15 beginning of March so that the Trial Chamber have it clear, there were
16 two military operations, were there not, in March, one against the
17 Jashari family compound and then on the 24th of March against the
18 Haradinaj family compound in Gllogjan; correct?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. Yes, and -- but if we go back to that period of time when those
21 attacks occurred, there was no substantial Kosovo Liberation Army in
22 existence, was there? I mean, we were dealing at that point in time with
23 just a handful of individuals?
24 A. I can't say about March, April, and May, but in June and July
25 there were small groups self-organised that were carrying out defence.
1 Q. So by the time we get to March, April, and May, you say there
2 were self-organised groups. Now, let me just explore what you mean by
3 "self-organised." Is it right to say that villages throughout Kosovo
4 would one way or another try to put in place whatever they could to
5 protect themselves, first of all?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. There were several groups in various
7 villages that were self organised and they were trying to protect their
8 villages and their homes.
9 Q. And generally, is it right that either the village elder or the
10 village mayor would come to be, by popular agreement, regarded as the
11 commander of the village defences?
12 A. I can't speak about earlier times, but from June there were
13 groups in the villages that were self organised. And according to the
14 tradition in our villages, the elder of the village would be the head of
15 such groups.
16 Q. And so we know that there - if I can be absolutely blunt about
17 it, Mr. Zyrapi - there was nothing, you would agree, that was a
18 functioning General Staff, you've already told us that I think, as you
19 would understand it?
20 A. From what I explained, I can't say that there was no
21 General Staff in existence, but there was no proper co-ordination and no
22 proper co-ordination between the staff and the operational zones as well.
23 Q. Well, I was going to come onto that in a moment. But just let's
24 look at what was going on on the ground. You've told us village mayors
25 effectively leading village defences. Very few people with uniforms, is
1 that right, at that time?
2 A. Yes, very few of them had uniforms at the time.
3 Q. And, at least initially, very few people had weapons before
4 weapons began to come in across the border from Albania?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I mean, in fact, the position is, is it not, that under the
7 Serbian authority in Kosovo, it was not easy for ethnic Albanians to
8 possess weapons?
9 A. Yes, correct.
10 Q. And we've heard, obviously, and there's no dispute about this,
11 that an operation began to smuggle in weapons from Albania after the
12 collapse of the Albanian government. But those weapons that very often
13 came across, they were old, poor quality, some of them Second World War
14 issue; is that right?
15 A. Yes, there were such kinds of weapons as well.
16 Q. And so into this - if I can use this term without being
17 rude - but into this chaos over this period that we're dealing with,
18 attempts were being made at every level to try to impose some kind of
19 order; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I mean, you can't have -- you can't have self-commanded village
22 defences all over the place with no one co-ordinating anything and expect
23 to protect the community against the Serbs, can you?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. And that partly involved using titles that didn't really reflect
1 what was going on on the ground, didn't it, giving people names and ranks
2 that weren't a reality in any conventional military sense?
3 A. I don't understand the question very well.
4 Q. All right. Let me put the question a different way, Mr. Zyrapi.
5 You've told us that there was a group of men calling themselves the
6 General Staff, but they were not a General Staff in reality as you
7 understand that term; correct?
8 A. As a General Staff, it was formed out of a political party and
9 the movement, popular movement for the liberation of Kosova, but at the
10 time you cannot talk in a military sense about the General Staff.
11 Q. Exactly. But similarly, in the last trial you were shown a
12 document dated the 23rd of June, which is -- which was recorded as a KLA
13 document from the Dukagjin zone, which gave people certain ranks. For
14 example, a man called Muhamet Berisha was appointed chemical and
15 biological defence co-ordinator. There was no chemical and biological
16 capability within the KLA, was there?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry, I think the question may have been lost in
20 Q. The KLA did not have the capability to use chemical or biological
21 weapons, did they? They didn't have any chemical or biological weapons?
22 A. No, they didn't. They didn't have the weapons or the capability
23 to protect against these weapons.
24 MR. EMMERSON: That was going to be my next question.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Menon.
1 MR. MENON: If Mr. Emmerson could give us a reference to a
2 document because he's referred to a document from the Dukagjin zone which
3 was --
4 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
5 MR. MENON: -- shown to the witness at the last trial. If he
6 could just give us an exhibit number.
7 MR. EMMERSON: It's 65 ter 00141 and it was exhibited at the last
8 trial. And indeed this witness -- presumably it's exhibited to this
9 witness's testimony.
10 Q. Just to be clear, to make sure your answer was clear, not only
11 did the KLA not have any chemical or biological capacity themselves, but
12 they also had no possibility to defend the population against chemical or
13 biological weapons; correct?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. And so that title, as the person militarily responsible for
16 chemical and biological defence, is just a name, isn't it, to give the
17 appearance that the organisation is coming together?
18 A. At the time we were distributing these titles, there was -- they
19 were part of the development of this structure from a military point of
20 view during this period, that is.
21 Q. Yes, but they were also partly about morale, weren't they, giving
22 the impression that all these disparate villages could find somehow some
23 sort of structure to operate in, same as the use of the term
24 "General Staff." Wasn't that the reality, Mr. Zyrapi? Trying to impose
25 some order on the chaos.
1 A. It was a -- an attempt to introduce some order during that
3 Q. But -- so we got a person responsible for chemical and biological
4 defence. We've also got somebody charged with commanding an
5 anti-armoured unit, in other words, anti-tank combat. Did the KLA have
6 anti-tank weapons in the middle of 2008 or not -- I'm sorry, 1998, or
8 A. From the middle of 1998, as far as I recall, there were some
9 anti-tank weapons, but they were of a smaller calibre. However, there
10 was no unit, no anti-tank unit, in existence.
11 Q. And do you know where in Kosovo - because of course Kosovo is a
12 very comparatively large area - do you know which region of Kosovo had
13 anti-tank weapons and which did not, even small-calibre ones?
14 A. Yes, I'm referring to the period that I inspected, that is, from
15 June 1998. Some zones did have small-calibre anti-tank weapons. I'm
16 talking about rocket-launchers, hand-held anti-tank rocket-launchers;
17 however, not in sufficient quantity to enable us to protect ourselves or
18 to attack.
19 Q. All right. So we've got a bit of a picture on the ground, if
20 I've got this correctly, that essentially the KLA operated as it was
21 during this period, up to September 1998, first of all, as independent
22 pockets; and then coming together in an attempt to form sort of structure
23 that was cohesive. Is that right?
24 A. Yes. In the beginning it was not very well organised; however,
25 from this period onwards until September and October there were more
1 efforts to set up a purely military structure.
2 Q. But let's be completely honest about this, Mr. Zyrapi, because
3 it's important. It's no shame to admit that the KLA did not operate as
4 an army at any time up to 1998 in a way that you would recognise as
5 having conventional command structures, did it? I'm sorry, September
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. So we have to -- I mean, you would agree, would you, with me that
9 the Trial Chamber would have to be very, very careful not to assume that
10 a title that's given to somebody reflects any conventional military
11 authority that would normally be associated with that title? You would
12 agree with that?
13 A. For the period we're talking about, yes, that's true.
14 Q. And can I come back to there being separate power bases. So
15 we've heard about the Jashari family compound. Can you tell the
16 Trial Chamber where that compound was located?
17 A. The Jashari family compound was in the Drenice territory.
18 Q. And it's an incident of livid national memory that the Serbian
19 forces mounted an operation against the Jashari family compound in which
20 every living thing was killed at the beginning of March 1998; correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. But can we just look at the situation before that operation. So
23 you had a family power base in Drenice around the Jashari family, but did
24 you also have in western Kosovo a separate power base around the
25 Haradinaj family in Gllogjan and yet another separate power base around
1 the Brahimaj family in Jabllanice, three different family power bases
2 within western Kosovo?
3 MR. MENON: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Menon.
5 MR. MENON: It doesn't appear that there's any foundation for
6 that particular question.
7 MR. EMMERSON: There doesn't need to be. It's a question.
8 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Zyrapi --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, let's rule. Overruled.
10 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry.
11 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, there were three separate family power bases in
12 western Kosovo, let us say, at the end of February: The Jasharis in
13 Drenice; the Haradinajs in Gllogjan; and, quite separately, the Brahimajs
14 in Jabllanice. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. But apart from these families there were
16 other families which gave their own contribution.
17 Q. Yes, I was going to say those are three, but there were other
18 power bases in different parts of Kosovo also organised around families
19 or clans, weren't there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Then can we just look at the position at the beginning of this
22 period, at the beginning of March. It would be absurd, wouldn't it, to
23 suggest that the Haradinajs had the power to tell the Jasharis what to do
24 or what not to do? That would be absurd, wouldn't it?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. And it would be absurd to suggest that the Brahimajs could tell
2 the Jasharis what to do, isn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it would be absurd to suggest that the Brahimajs could tell
5 the Haradinajs what to do or what not to do within their own compound?
6 MR. MENON: Your Honour, objection.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Menon.
8 MR. MENON: It's completely unclear to me on what basis the
9 witness is in a position to answer these questions. What knowledge would
10 allow him to respond to those particular questions?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you object after he has answered.
12 MR. MENON: Well, no, I'm objecting to the last question,
13 Your Honour, and he has not answered that last question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought you used the word in plural, questions.
15 MR. EMMERSON: Can I respond. This man is being called by the
16 Prosecution as the military expert who joined the General Staff in June
17 and is in a population to describe command structures within the
18 Kosovo Liberation Army. Now, obviously as a person who joined in June he
19 needed to know what the military position was that he was joining. So
20 the suggestion that he's not in a position to argue about -- to give
21 evidence about relative control or the existence or absence of command
22 structures prior to then is absurd.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Emmerson, you're now talking about
24 family relations here, the Jasharis, the Brahimajs, and the Brahimajs.
25 You have moved away from the question of command structures.
1 MR. EMMERSON: Then --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm just saying I don't think anybody needs to be
3 an experienced military person to know what the relations are between
4 various families and what the power bases might be if he lives in that
5 area he can know that and be able to tell that. So what I'm saying is
6 your response -- your answer doesn't respond to the objection. But I
7 still say to Mr. Menon he's objecting after the horses have bolted.
8 MR. EMMERSON: But I think Your Honour's also indicated, I can
9 develop it if it assists, that the objection would be overruled in any
10 event because as a person inside Kosovo he's in a position to give
12 MR. MENON: Your Honour, if I can just clarify one thing,
13 Mr. Emmerson indicated that the Prosecution is calling this witness as a
14 military expert. That's not the case, he's being called as a fact
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Menon. I think that
17 correction is taken on board.
18 MR. EMMERSON:
19 Q. I'm sorry for that diversion, Mr. Zyrapi, we were going through
20 the relationships between the military power bases that were associated
21 with the main families in western Kosovo. And you've told us that it
22 would be absurd to suggest that either the Brahimajs or the Haradinajs
23 could tell the Jasharis what to do or what not to do inside their
24 compound and you've told us that it would be absurd to suggest that the
25 Brahimajs could tell the Haradinajs what to do or what not to do inside
1 their compound. The last question, which is the obvious concomitant of
2 the first three: It would be absurd, would it not, to suggest that the
3 Haradinajs were in a position to tell the Brahimajs at that point in time
4 what to do or what not to do?
5 MR. MENON: Your Honour, it's the same problem. There's no basis
6 for that question being put to this particular witness. It's not clear
7 to me how he can comment on that particular family tie that Mr. Emmerson
8 is referring to, the Haradinaj-Brahimaj family tie.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sure the witness can tell us if he's not able
10 to comment on that tie. Overruled.
11 MR. EMMERSON:
12 Q. It would be absurd, wouldn't it, Mr. Zyrapi, to suggest that in
13 March 1998 the Haradinaj family could impose their will or discipline on
14 what was or was not done by the Brahimajs inside Jabllanice?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. And just so that it's clear about the period that
17 we're concerned with up to September 1998, you've told us about the
18 General Staff, you've told us about what was going on on the ground,
19 you've told us about attempts to create the impression of a structure of
20 command. What I want to be clear about is - and it may be obvious from
21 what you've already said but it's important that the Trial Chamber should
22 understand this - the General Staff weren't issuing military directives
23 to any of these separate groupings, were they? They weren't telling them
24 how to engage in combat, they weren't issuing with them any kind of
25 military orders or instructions at all during that period of time?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm happy to wait for the next answer; however,
3 I'm a bit confused by Mr. Zyrapi's answer to Mr. Emmerson's question from
4 lines 5 to 7.
5 MR. EMMERSON: Oh, I see.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: And also I note the time.
7 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I think -- if I can just clarify that one
8 point before we break.
9 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, just so that we can be absolutely clear because I
10 think there may have been a translation issue. We're back at the
11 beginning of March now, of 1998, you've told us that the Brahimajs
12 couldn't tell the Jasharis what to do; correct?
13 A. At the time I don't know because I wasn't there, but surely the
14 experience would show that, yes, that would be correct.
15 Q. And similarly, the Haradinajs couldn't tell the Brahimajs what to
16 do and what not to do inside their compound?
17 MR. MENON: Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. --
19 MR. MENON: Objection. I mean, that calls for speculation. The
20 witness said:
21 "At that time I don't know because I wasn't there ..."
22 So essentially what Mr. Emmerson is inviting the witness to do is
23 to speculate.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, I think that question has been asked and
25 answered. What was confusing Mr. Guy-Smith was your question at lines 5
1 to 7 of page 32. It would be absurd, Mr. Zyrapi, to suggest in March
2 1998 the Haradinaj family could impose their will or discipline on what
3 was or was not done by the Brahimajs inside Jabllanice.
4 Now, I think if Mr. Guy-Smith is confused, he must get -- he will
5 get himself cleared when he cross-examines.
6 MR. EMMERSON: Yes --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: So you --
8 MR. EMMERSON: -- I think the confusion arises because the
9 witness was agreeing with the proposition but it records on the
10 transcript as a no.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think that's not the question Mr. Guy-Smith was
13 MR. GUY-SMITH: That's precisely what I was raising.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said you are confused by the question and not
15 by the answer, Mr. Emmerson is saying you were confused by the answer but
16 you are saying you were confused by the question.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: Your Honour, I said I'm a bit confused by
18 Mr. Zyrapi's answer at line 21: I'm a bit confused by Mr. Zyrapi's
19 answer to Mr. Emmerson's question from lines 5 to 7.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Line 21 of what page, Mr. --
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: Page 32.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, 32.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: 32.
24 MR. EMMERSON: I think the point is simply this, the witness was
25 plainly answering no to the question about whether or not it was possible
1 for one family to impose their will on another.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fair enough.
3 MR. EMMERSON: That's certainly the way that it came out, but I
4 think that because of the translation he appears to have answered no to
5 the proposition that it was absurd to suggest that.
6 MR. MENON: Your Honour, perhaps the question can be put to the
7 witness instead of Mr. Emmerson testifying.
8 MR. EMMERSON: All right. Let -- I think Mr. Menon was objecting
9 to the question but let's put it to the witness one final time before the
11 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, I want to suggest to you that in March 1998 none of
12 those three families had authority to impose their will on one another.
13 That is correct, is it not?
14 A. I wasn't there at that period to be able to know, but experience
15 would show that, yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be an opportune moment then? We will
18 take a break and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Emmerson.
23 May the witness please be brought in.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Emmerson.
1 MR. EMMERSON: Can we please have on the screen P78.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Emmerson, just before we do that, just so that
3 the record is clear, what are your intentions with respect to 65 ter
4 00141? You're not tendering it?
5 MR. EMMERSON: Just give me a moment.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You used it to cross-examine.
7 MR. EMMERSON: No, I'm going to return to it and I'm going to --
8 it's already an exhibit.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it already --
10 MR. EMMERSON: I'm pretty -- Your Honour's referring to the
11 minutes dealing with chemical and biological warfare. Is that right?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not able to say what it is. All I know is it
13 is 65 ter 00141.
14 MR. EMMERSON: Give me a moment.
15 Can somebody help me, please, is that ...
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer].
17 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, that is already Exhibit P191 in this trial.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
19 MR. EMMERSON: Could we call up, please, P78. And if we can just
20 enlarge the portion in the centre. If we can just go in a bit, please.
21 That's perfect.
22 Q. Now, before we look at this map, Mr. Zyrapi, let me just explain
23 to you what it is. You've told us about the situation at the beginning
24 of the year with different power bases and the relationships between
25 them. This map was produced and is admitted in these proceedings by
1 Rrustem Tetaj, who was the commander of one of the subzones, and reflects
2 the establishment of subzones at a meeting on the 23rd of May. All
3 right. So that we're clear what it is that you're looking at. And you
4 can -- you're comfortable with the geography. Do you need my help to --
5 that's the main Pec-Decani road running down north to south. Do you see
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The agreed evidence in this case is that on the 23rd of May at a
9 meeting in Gllogjan, an agreement was made to establish these different
10 village defences that you've described into four subzones. And you can
11 see them numbered --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Menon.
13 MR. MENON: Can Mr. Emmerson be a little more specific when he
14 refers to the agreed evidence in this case.
15 MR. EMMERSON: It's the evidence of their own witness
16 Rrustem Tetaj which has been admitted by this Trial Chamber by agreement
17 from the Prosecution.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Emmerson.
19 MR. EMMERSON: The testimony of Mr. Rrustem Tetaj. Mr. Rogers
20 opened it if Mr. Menon was watching the opening.
21 Q. So we have four subzones then created which were bringing
22 together the different village defences that you've described. Do you
23 understand what I'm saying, Mr. Zyrapi?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's so small, I can't see.
25 MR. EMMERSON: Does Your Honour need it enlarged further? We
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: That would be very helpful.
3 MR. EMMERSON: Can we enlarge it further, please. Okay. That's
4 better still.
5 Q. So if we can just, Mr. Zyrapi, first of all, just familiarise
6 yourself. We've looked at the road running north to south. We can see
7 now on our screen on the bottom left-hand side Junik. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And so the Judges understand, the border ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 MR. EMMERSON:
12 Q. So the Judges understand, the border between Kosovo and Albania
13 would be on the west side of this map, is that correct, it would be to
14 the west of this map?
15 A. Can you say it one more time. Where? The border?
16 Q. The border between Kosovo and Albania would be off this map but
17 to the west.
18 A. Yes, it would.
19 Q. So Junik, lying as it does on the west side of the Pec to Decan
20 road, Pec-Decan Road, Junik was close to the border; is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. So if the Judges are trying to understand the route by which
23 weapons entered the country, they'd be coming on this map from left to
24 right; correct?
25 A. Yeah.
1 Q. And the area to the west of the main road there, that was an area
2 where there was often very intense fighting, is that correct, close to
3 the border?
4 MR. MENON: If we could have a time-period for that, Your Honour.
5 MR. EMMERSON:
6 Q. During the period up to September 1998. There was often intense
7 fighting between --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Starting from ... ?
9 MR. EMMERSON:
10 Q. January 1998 -- well, March 1998, March to September there was
11 fighting intensively along that area close to the border, wasn't there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the Serbs controlled that road throughout this period of
14 time, did they not, that runs north to south on our map on the left-hand
15 side, that was always under effective Serbian control apart from a few
16 occasions when it was interrupted?
17 MR. MENON: Can Mr. Emmerson be specific as to the road he's
18 referring to.
19 MR. EMMERSON: Three times now, Mr. Menon, if you've followed the
20 evidence, please.
21 Q. The road that runs north to south on the left-hand side from Pec
22 to Decan and beyond. That road was consistently under Serbian control
23 over a few very brief interruptions. Is that right, Mr. Zyrapi?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The entire road?
25 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: All of it?
2 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was.
4 MR. EMMERSON:
5 Q. Which made it very difficult to control or communicate -- I'll
6 put the question more clearly. Which made it very difficult to
7 co-ordinate between forces on the east of that side of the road and
8 forces on the west; is that correct?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. I think you in fact visited that area on the west of the main
11 road in your July visit; is that correct?
12 A. Not in June, but in July 1998.
13 Q. I said July. And it was difficult, wasn't it, for you to get
14 across the road. You had to travel by night; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And did you have to do part of the journey on foot?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Why did you have to do part of the journey on foot and travel at
20 A. For security reasons and because the route we followed to go to
21 Junik was controlled by the Serb forces, and we had to walk in order not
22 to be seen by those forces.
23 Q. So in real terms it was always going to be very difficult, wasn't
24 it, to bring the forces of the KLA that were stationed on the west side
25 of the road into an effective joint command with any forces on the east
1 side of the road. That was always going to be a problem, wasn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, going back to the map, we're now, as I said to you, on the
4 23rd of May. And the agreed evidence is that on the 23rd of May, four
5 subzones were created. Subzone 1, which included Gllogjan; subzone 2,
6 which included Irzniq; subzone 3 which included Gornja and Donja Luka and
7 Dashinoc or Dasinovac as it appears in the Serbian; and subzone 4 which
8 included Istniq, Prapaqan, and Strellc. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And as we can see clearly, Jabllanice appears to the east of
11 subzone 3 and is not included within the subzone formation; correct?
12 A. According to this map, yes.
13 Q. So this, presumably, then was the first rudimentary attempt to
14 create a co-ordinated command; is that right?
15 MR. MENON: Objection, Your Honour, calls for speculation.
16 MR. EMMERSON:
17 Q. Do you agree --
18 MR. EMMERSON: Can I put it -- I'm accepting the objection,
19 putting it a different way.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
21 MR. EMMERSON:
22 Q. Do you agree that this was the first rudimentary attempt to
23 establish a co-ordinated structure?
24 MR. MENON: Objection. Again, it's unclear to me, Your Honour,
25 on what basis this witness is in a position to comment on events in May
1 1998 in the Dukagjin zone.
2 MR. EMMERSON: Well, I'm sure Mr. Menon has read the transcript
3 of this witness's evidence from the previous trial, during which the
4 Prosecution led him precisely through all of these documents and invited
5 him to comment on them. So he is in a position to deal with it. Perhaps
6 the witness can say. Obviously if he doesn't understand any part of it
7 or if there's any part he wasn't at any point familiar with, he'll be in
8 a position to tell us.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled.
10 MR. EMMERSON:
11 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, we have agreed evidence, I underline agreed again for
12 Mr. Menon's benefit, that these four subzones were established on the
13 23rd of May for the first time. In other words, it was the first attempt
14 to create any kind of subzone command. And I'm simply inviting you to
15 confirm the obvious, which is that this was the first rudimentary attempt
16 to create a co-ordinated series of commands. Do you agree?
17 A. I don't know what occurred at the period. I can speak about the
18 period from July onwards and I saw what the situation was at the time.
19 Q. Very well. Well, that's a fair answer.
20 So what we can see, though, for sure is that Jabllanice was not
21 in one of the original four subzones?
22 MR. MENON: Your Honour, objection. The witness has answered as
23 to the -- the witness has indicated what the limits of his knowledge are.
24 He's indicated that he cannot comment on the map based upon the fact that
25 he was not present in the zone until July 1998.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, Mr. Menon, you are mis-characterising
2 what the witness said. He never said he can't comment on the map. He
3 said he can't comment about the time in May because he was not there.
4 But the question that is being put to him is an obvious one. According
5 to how this map stands and how the subzones are delineated, the question
6 is: Does the witness accept, not that it is what he knows from previous
7 knowledge, but looking at this map does he accept that Jabllanice is
8 outside the zones. That's the question.
9 For that, you are overruled, Mr. Menon.
10 MR. EMMERSON:
11 Q. Well -- so, Mr. Zyrapi, it's a question that almost doesn't need
12 asking and answering, but it's obvious that Jabllanice is outside the
13 four subzones; correct?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Virtually a rhetorical question.
15 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, let me leave it, because it's so obvious that
16 it doesn't need putting on the record.
17 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, what I wanted to get from you, which is not obvious,
18 is that it took you, didn't it, about two hours, is that right, to drive
19 from Jabllanice to Gllogjan on the day of your visit?
20 A. I can't remember exactly how long it took us, two hours or three
21 hours, but I know that it took a long time to get from Jabllanice to
23 Q. Just to give the Judges a sense of the geography and the terrain.
24 Now, I want to ask you, please, to look at a document that you've
25 been shown before by the Prosecution but which is exhibited in this case
1 as P177, which takes us on in the chronology. This is the end of May or
2 the 23rd of May, rather, the map. The next document I want to take you
3 to is the 8th of June. Now, if we can have the English translation on
4 the right side of the screen, please.
5 Now, the minutes, as they are, of this meeting -- did you ever
6 see minutes like this at the time?
7 A. At the time, no, I didn't see such minutes.
8 Q. But you were asked by the Prosecution to look at a lot of
9 contemporary minutes and to comment on them, weren't you, before your
10 evidence in the last trial?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, this, we can see, is a staff meeting on the 8th of June
13 within that structure of the subzones of Gllogjan, Gramaqel, Rastavica,
14 Carrabreg, Decan, and other places. And can you see just beneath the
15 second horizontal line that the aim of the meeting is the defence of the
16 positions and their movement.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. First of all, as somebody who's been in a real army, would you
19 expect to see minutes in handwriting like this as the only record of
20 what's being considered? Would you expect them to be simply handwritten
21 on a piece of paper like this or would you expect them to be properly
22 typed up and produced if you were in the JNA?
23 A. The minutes of meetings in a normal army are kept and they should
24 be typewritten. However, in the period we're talking about, in
25 June/July, it was not possible to typewrite them so they were
2 Q. Because the resources just weren't there. Is that what you're
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Now, if we can turn in the English translation to the next page,
6 page 2; and in the Albanian original also I think also to page 2 --
7 sorry, it's -- just to be clear. Could we turn to page 3 of the
8 Albanian, keeping page 2, because they don't coincide. I've lost it now.
9 I'm looking for this for your benefit. And one more page over, please.
10 There should be two further tram lines. There we are. Do you see the
11 passage of text between those two lines? Yes? On the left-hand side, in
12 the Albanian original, can you see two lines going across the page,
13 horizontal lines?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And just beneath the first line, do you see an entry which says:
16 "RH," Ramush Haradinaj, "a new front has opened in Dujaka ..."
17 Yes? Do you see that?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. Dujaka is Jabllanice, is it not?
20 A. No, it isn't.
21 Q. Sorry, have I mispronounced it, Duskaja, is that the correct
23 A. Yes, Duskaja is close to Jabllanice.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which is Duskaja here?
25 MR. EMMERSON:
1 Q. Does the minute refer to Duskaja?
2 A. As far I can see here, it says "new front in Dujaka." I can't
3 see any Duskaja.
4 Q. Very well. I'll leave the document then. Perhaps we can just --
5 before leaving it, just as an example of the way in which requests were
6 then being made to the staff meetings in the four subzones, we see that a
7 new front has opened in Dujaka. And it goes on:
8 "They are asking for people there. The requests for flour are
9 being met, while those for officers are being reviewed."
10 Do you see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, is Dujaka inside any one of those four subzones?
13 A. From what I saw in the map, yes.
14 Q. So this is a request from one of the villages in -- within the
15 four subzones for the provision of support, military and food; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we move now to --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, Mr. Emmerson.
19 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for my own edification, and may I apologise
21 in advance for my poor pronunciation of the names. I see that the
22 interlocutors are RH and somebody called Decan, if that's the correction
23 pronunciation, but Decan then says:
24 "We have moved from Decan to Carrabreg."
25 Is Decan the name of both a human being and a place?
1 MR. EMMERSON: Well, I can't give evidence --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, I would like to check it with the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Decan is the name of a town.
4 There's a town called Decan.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: And could that name also be given to a human
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. From what I can see here, it's
8 the place where the staff of that village was.
9 MR. EMMERSON: Can I give Your Honours a general steer on this.
10 You'll see in a number of these minutes that sometimes speakers are not
11 identified by name but by the place that they are representing because
12 they are the representatives of the independent village defence of Decan.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Emmerson.
15 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: I would like to put a question to the witness as
17 well. Just one moment. He said -- I can't find the exact place. But he
18 said that he had from the map that Dujaka was in one of the four
20 Mr. Witness, could you please elaborate on that. Did you see
21 that name on the map?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I saw it on the map that was
23 shown to me earlier.
24 MR. EMMERSON: Does Your Honour want to have the map displayed so
25 that the witness can point it out?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, please.
2 MR. EMMERSON: Could we re-call, please, P78.
3 Q. Can you help us as to where within those four subzones Dujaka is?
4 A. According to the map, Dujaka is in subzone 1 on the road from
5 Gjakove to Decan. It's on the right of the road from Gjakove to Decan.
6 Q. So it's not in subzone 1, in fact, at all, it's beneath it, is
7 that right? It's the circled area outside of subzone 1?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. So in fact, we need to qualify your last answer in relation to
10 that minute. This was a request from an area outside of the four
11 subzones for assistance to be sent to them; correct?
12 A. Yes, according to this map, yes.
13 MR. EMMERSON: I'm very grateful for Your Honour's clarification
14 because that's an important point.
15 Can we now, please, call up P179. And in the English
16 translation, please, on the right-hand side.
17 Q. Now, in fact, I'm going to ask -- this is -- well, first of all,
18 we can just look at the document. This is a document headed: "Meeting
19 of the Gllogjan staff." 13th of June, 1998. And we can see that,
20 amongst other people, Ramush Haradinaj is present. Do you see that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And so we're now -- I'm doing this chronologically. We're now
23 into the middle of June. If the Registry can bring up the following page
24 in the Albanian but keep the existing page in the English. I'd like you
25 to focus in, please, on -- you can focus in even further on the entry
1 beginning HA and the following entry against RH. I think we can just --
2 I think for the assistance of the witness it would be good if we went in
3 further and have HA -- exactly. Sorry, I just saw the area being marked,
4 but it hasn't been enlarged. Oh, you can't enlarge it any further. Very
6 In the English I'm looking, just bear with me, because -- this is
7 a slightly different translation. If you look towards the -- if
8 Your Honours look towards the bottom of the right-hand page, an HA and an
9 RH. Do you see that? Perhaps that can be enlarged. And for you,
10 Mr. Zyrapi, we're looking at the entry where on the left-hand side of the
11 page the letters HA appear. Do you have that? Do you see that?
12 So HA, and we can see from the list of attendees that that's
13 somebody with the name H. Abazi. Do you know what part of the Dukagjin
14 area H. Abazi represented or came from?
15 A. Hajdin Abazi, when I went there in July, he was based at Reka e
16 Keqe area, in the Reka e Keqe municipality.
17 Q. Thank you. We can see that Mr. Abazi is saying -- and he's from
18 the area to the west of the main road, which you've already told us was
19 difficult to consolidate. So may I make that clear in geography terms.
20 I may have asked this question already, but, Mr. Zyrapi, the area to the
21 west where Junik is where you've told us the intense fighting was, where
22 it was hard to reach and you have to go by night and on foot, that is
23 generally known as Reka e Keqe; correct?
24 A. Yes, this is the Reka e Keqe area.
25 Q. And so what we're seeing here is a representative from that side
1 of the road, if I can put it that way, close to the border making a
2 proposal. And the record of the minute says this:
3 "From what I understand, the first step would be consolidation.
4 The second is the creation of the subzone within the framework of the
5 Dukagjini zone."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So am I correct in understanding that what is being suggested
9 here is that in addition to those four subzones, a subzone covering
10 Reka e Keqe should be joined on?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. But it's right, isn't it, that there was no such suggestion, as
13 far as you're aware, from Jabllanice at this time?
14 MR. MENON: Your Honour, calls for speculation.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Overruled.
16 MR. EMMERSON:
17 Q. There was no such request, as far as you're aware, from
18 Jabllanice at this time, to be joined on to the subzones?
19 A. I don't know because I was not there at the time.
20 Q. Very well. Well, we'll look at another minute in a minute which
21 you've already been asked by the Prosecution to comment on?
22 JUDGE HALL: Sorry, before you go on, Mr. Emmerson, could you
23 assist me. The -- your -- the way you -- and I don't know whether it is
24 something which loses its significance with the translation, but your
25 question to the witness - and he replied in the affirmative - was whether
1 the subzone covering Reka e Keqe should be joined on. And then you asked
2 you -- you contrasted that with the position of Jabllanice. What I'm
3 wondering is whether you intended to say "could" or "should."
4 MR. EMMERSON: Perhaps if I can read the whole minutes I can pick
5 up Your Honour's question and see if it should be clarified.
6 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
7 MR. EMMERSON:
8 Q. So the representative from Reka e Keqe is saying at this meeting:
9 "From what I understand the first step would be consolidation.
10 The second is the creation of the subzone within the framework of the
11 Dukagjini Zone."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. To which RH replies after an unintelligible passage:
15 "Is in favour of the co-ordination of single directing body. If
16 we continue like this, with a multitude of staffs, it will be difficult."
17 Do you see that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when you were shown this document before, you expressed the
20 view - and I'm just inviting you to confirm that this is your view - that
21 this document is consistent with what you knew to be the position, which
22 was that local staffs were operating independently of one another.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And I think you are in a position to say this as well, are you
25 not, that meetings of this kind were taking place all over Kosovo in an
1 attempt to get these independently operating structures into some sort of
3 A. Yes, that happened in other areas as well.
4 Q. I don't know if you know how asparagus grows, but it grows from
5 an essential crown out of which there are maybe 20 or 30 spikes of
6 asparagus penetrating up from the ground. I'm just asking you to take
7 that on board first before I ask you the question. The reality at this
8 time is that there were headquarters sprouted up all over Kosovo, all
9 acting independently from one another, but with attempts being made to
10 find some method of communication and co-ordination. Is that fair?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that's exactly what we see going on here, in these minutes?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, fast-forwarding to your visit to Reka e Keqe in July, so
15 some weeks at least after this minute, would you agree that by then
16 Reka e Keqe had still not been co-ordinated or brought within the subzone
17 command, even in July?
18 A. As far as I remember from my visit there at the time, yes, that's
20 Q. Thank you. So the fact that we see these -- the suggestions
21 being made does not suggest for a moment that they've been effectively
22 implemented straight away, does it?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And this was a fledgling organisation, struggling to get on its
25 feet, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And without effective direction of its operations from the
3 General Staff, would you agree that the command structure, if there was
4 one, was horizontal rather than vertical. To avoid the risk of
5 mistranslation let me put the question in a shorter form. I'm suggesting
6 to you that there was no vertical command structure in operation
7 effectively on the ground at this time?
8 A. That's correct, yes.
9 Q. And all of these attempts to organise a structure were taking
10 place under the barrage of constant Serbian attacks, weren't they, in all
11 of these towns and villages?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And so the Trial Chamber has the flavour, I mean, they would
14 involve incursions by the Serbian forces on both sides of the road, in
15 which everybody in a village would be killed and their crops and homes
16 and livestock burnt?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And again, so the Trial Chamber has the picture, there were huge,
19 very large numbers of very well-equipped Serbian military forces
20 operating out of the area out of Decan, weren't there?
21 MR. MENON: Can we just have clarity as to the time-period.
22 MR. EMMERSON: The time-period up to September 1998, from
23 January -- well, from March to September 1998. So I put the question
25 Q. Between March and September 1998, there were large numbers of
1 Serbian military, military police, and paramilitaries, all very heavily
2 equipped, conducting these attacks on Kosovar Albanian villages on both
3 sides of the road; correct?
4 A. Yes, in the period from March to September, yes.
5 Q. And these villages were defended, as you've told us, by village
6 guards without uniforms, with or without weapons doing their limited best
7 to avoid massacres. Would you say that was fair?
8 MR. MENON: Your Honour, before the witness answers, it's a very
9 broad question. Mr. Emmerson is referring to "these villages." It's
10 unclear to me which specific villages he's referring to. Perhaps he
11 could put the question to the witness a little more specifically.
12 MR. EMMERSON: The villages under attack is the answer.
13 MR. MENON: But which -- it's still not clear to me which
14 specific villages he's referring to, which specific villages in Kosovo.
15 MR. EMMERSON: I'm making a rather more general point, but if
16 Mr. Menon requires me to formulate it, I will.
17 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, first of all, the Serbs attacked villages on both
18 sides of the road, didn't they?
19 A. During this period, yes, on both sides of the road villages came
20 under attack from Serbian forces.
21 Q. From Pec right down to Decani?
22 A. From Peje to Decan and then from Decan to Gjakove.
23 Q. And they would penetrate into the territory on both sides of the
24 road, killing everything that they found; correct?
25 A. The attacks occurred in these territories and these attacks had
1 their consequences, and I think that the KLA troops, to the best of their
2 ability, tried to protect these villages.
3 Q. And on top of the ground attacks, there was heavy artillery being
4 used on areas where it was thought that the KLA were organising; correct?
5 A. Yes, there were occasions.
6 Q. Shelling. Just to be clear, Mr. Zyrapi, and it may be an obvious
7 point. Did those conditions make it easier or more difficult for this
8 fledgling organisation to establish effective command and co-ordination?
9 A. This certainly made it more difficult, not only the attempts to
10 organise but also to stay put.
11 Q. Thank you. Can we please bring up P191. This is the document I
12 referred to earlier on which Your Honour asked me whether I was going to
13 seek its admission?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You haven't forgotten Judge Hall's question? I
15 thought it is -- it relates to this issue, whether it should be or could
16 be incorporated or consolidated.
17 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sorry, I thought I had moved on and dealt with
18 it in a different way.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
20 MR. EMMERSON: Let me --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you're happy with the answer?
22 JUDGE HALL: I'm content, thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
24 MR. EMMERSON: I think Your Honour will recall, we then -- the
25 witness then testified that even though that's what was being proposed,
1 weeks later when he went there it still hadn't happened. So it's perhaps
2 "should" at the beginning and "could" at the end because it was an
3 intention that could not, in fact, be put into effect. That's the
4 witness's testimony.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
6 MR. EMMERSON: By the time he visited in July.
7 Can we now look at these minutes, please, for the 23rd of June --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, what is the --
9 MR. EMMERSON: Exhibit number --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- exhibit number?
11 MR. EMMERSON: -- P191.
12 Q. This is -- the Trial Chamber will have an opportunity to read and
13 hear and consider other evidence about this meeting, but this is, I'm
14 going to suggest to you as we look at it, another meeting to try to bring
15 people together in some form of co-ordinated command. And you can see
16 that those present include Ramush, Captain Rrustem Tetaj, and Maxhupi,
17 and Nazmi Brahimaj, amongst a number of others. And the very first
18 substantial entry is Mr. Haradinaj, recorded as follows:
19 "R. Haradinaj: Explained the organisational structure of the
20 areas of competence of the Staff of the Dukagjin area, so far divided up
21 into six subzones.
22 "The purpose of the meeting: Co-ordinating, participating,
23 exchanging experiences, and organising a single command."
24 Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And if we can just, please, look in the English translation,
2 first of all, two pages further on for the heading "Rrustem Tetaj"
3 beneath the horizontal line. I think we have this slight problem of
4 inconsistent translation. Sorry, could we go back a page to page 2.
5 Yes. And if you can just -- now, if we can find the corresponding
6 passage, please, on the Albanian original. So we'll need to go through
7 page by page, I'm afraid. Yes, I think that is it.
8 So here on the 23rd of June, Mr. Tetaj, who is commander of
9 subzone 2, whilst Mr. Haradinaj is commander of subzone 1, Mr. Tetaj is
10 saying to all present:
11 "It's a historic day. It's a large zone with large forces. I
12 support my colleague. Let us determine tasks, let us," I'll slow down a
13 bit, "let us settle the direction of work and co-ordinate it. Of course
14 I am with Ramush who said that war is not only waged by defending posts.
15 Let us rout the enemy at the posts where they are and make them feel
17 And then Mr. Tetaj says this:
18 "In my opinion: There has been little use of our forces. There
19 is no excuse for self-satisfaction with what has been done. I cannot
20 call our territory a free zone while the enemy holds the routes -- the
21 road routes and towns.
22 "In order to proceed, we need co-ordination, a single command.
23 In order to go forward, I ... delighted about all the soldiers I see.
24 Today is not time for ranks but only the time to fight the enemy."
25 And then this:
1 "We took a step forward when we formed the Dukagjin staff."
2 Pausing there, and Mr. Tetaj has indicated that that's a
3 reference to the 23rd of May and the map that you've seen.
4 "The results have been evident. I mention Salih who came to help
5 at the critical moment." And then: "We have now taken another step to
6 lay the groundwork for preparing personnel, a military school."
7 Now, pausing there for a moment, you can see that Mr. Tetaj is
8 expressing the view that in order to be effective it is necessary for
9 these different commanders to form some sort of single command in order
10 to go forward, do you see that, some sort of co-ordinated command?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. So can we take it, Mr. Zyrapi, that right up to the 23rd of June
13 there was no such command in existence?
14 A. Yes, according to these comments, yes.
15 Q. And now if we can just go to the end of the document, please,
16 when ranks begin to be assigned. So that's the last page on the Albanian
17 and it's the previous page, perhaps the bottom half of the previous page.
18 So that we can see that at -- during the course of this meeting, as the
19 whole of the minutes show, a decision was taken to try to establish one
20 of these rudimentary command structures. And various roles are given to
21 various people. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, you've already told us that the different KLA power bases,
24 Gllogjan and Jabllanice, began in March as being entirely independent of
25 one another; correct?
1 MR. MENON: Objection, Your Honour. I don't think that the
2 witness gave --
3 MR. EMMERSON: Very well. I accept that. That's probably taking
4 that -- the transcript's capable of being read. I take the point.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Emmerson.
6 MR. EMMERSON:
7 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, we can see, as you've just told us in your last
8 answer, that there was no co-ordination into a single command prior to
9 this date, and we've seen from the map that Jabllanice is two hours'
10 drive away from the existing subzones that had been formed. This is the
11 meeting at which various ranks are assigned, including chemical and
12 biological defence, the one at the bottom, and anti-armoured unit combat
13 for Skenderi. Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And so this is the meeting about which you've already told us
16 that often, in trying to put things together, names are given which don't
17 reflect any military reality on the ground; correct? Names and ranks are
18 given which do not reflect any practical military reality on the ground?
19 A. According to the document, it appears to be the case. Whether it
20 was such in reality, I don't know. This document, however, shows it to
21 be like that.
22 Q. But it was the reality, wasn't it, even with the General Staff,
23 people calling themselves a General Staff that were not a General Staff
24 by any conventional military analysis?
25 A. Yes, but it was a staff in the process of being formed.
1 Q. Yes, exactly. And so too was this, would you agree, an
2 attempt --
3 MR. MENON: Your Honour, I believe the witness has answered that
5 MR. EMMERSON: I don't think he has.
6 MR. MENON: At lines 6 through 9 he's indicated what he knows
7 about this document.
8 MR. EMMERSON: I'm asking him, having read it, does he agree that
9 this too was an attempt to create a staff that was in formation, just as
10 the General Staff was. Does he accept that this too was?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I guess he answered that question at line 16 when
12 you said, "yes, exactly."
13 MR. EMMERSON: No, I'm sorry, he was answering a question about
14 the General Staff not being a General Staff in any conventional military
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right.
17 MR. EMMERSON: I'm asking him whether he agrees that this staff,
18 which is not a General Staff but the local staff, is in the same way
19 allocating titles which are aspirational --
20 MR. MENON: Your Honour, that question has been answered at lines
21 9 through 12, where the witness indicated: "According to the document,
22 it appears to be the case. Whether it was such in reality, I don't know.
23 This document, however, shows it to be like that." The witness has
24 indicated what the extent of his knowledge is and what his ability to
25 answer the question is. Objection. So I take an objection to that
2 MR. EMMERSON: If it's not helpful to Your Honours, I'm not going
3 to pursue it. Can I just indicate what exactly has happened in the
4 questions and answers because if one follows them it's reasonably clear.
5 The witness accepts that the General Staff was not a General Staff in any
6 conventional sense. It called itself a General Staff because it was in
7 the process of formation throughout this period. He also accepts that
8 roles and responsibilities here, in the local staff, were being assigned
9 in the Dukagjini zone in circumstances where Jabllanice and Gllogjan had
10 never been in any joint staff priority the 23rd of June but a meeting is
11 taking place at which names and titles are being dished out. And I'm
12 asking him: From his consideration of this minute, which he's seen
13 before, is it the case that, just as with the General Staff, titles are
14 given to an organisation that's in the process of formation, so too in
15 relation to this, it's an organisation -- a local organisation in the
16 process of formation. That was the question. It may be too complicated,
17 it may not assist Your Honours, the answer may be rather obvious.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, and I think you asked that question -- I
19 think I'm following you, at line 13 of page 59, but it was the reality,
20 wasn't it, even with the General Staff, people calling themselves a
21 General Staff that were not a General Staff by any conventional military
22 analysis. And the question -- the answer is: Yes, but it was a staff in
23 the process of being formed.
24 MR. EMMERSON: Exactly.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you -- that's exactly what you said.
1 MR. EMMERSON: Yes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: As soon as you said that you said exactly.
3 MR. EMMERSON: I don't know whether we're talking at
4 cross-purposes, but is that analysis also applicable to the Dukagjini
5 regional staff as evidenced in these minutes. This is not a
6 General Staff meeting, it is a first meeting in an attempt to bring
7 together two wholly independent power bases on this witness's evidence
8 and is that therefore in the process of formation.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: To the extent that you are saying it doesn't refer
10 to the General Staff but to this --
11 MR. MENON: Your Honour, may I add something, I do believe,
12 actually, that Mr. Emmerson has put that particular question as it
13 relates to the Dukagjin zone to the witness and I refer Your Honours to
14 lines 6 through 9 on page 59 where he -- the witness is obviously being
15 shown the document and Mr. Emmerson asks whether the names and ranks that
16 are given whether they reflect any practical military reality on the
17 ground and the witness says:
18 "According to the document it appears to be the case. Whether it
19 was such in reality, I don't know. This document, however, shows it to
20 be like that."
21 So the witness has indicated what information he can give
22 concerning the ranks that existed within the Dukagjin zone in the
23 specific time-period of this document. He's indicated how much
24 information he can give.
25 MR. EMMERSON: Okay.
1 Q. Let me put the question to you this way, Mr. Zyrapi. When you
2 got there in July --
3 MR. EMMERSON: I'm just going -- not going to argue endlessly
4 here. The material is obvious from the evidence.
5 Q. When you got there in July, Mr. Zyrapi, you saw what was going on
6 across the zone isn't it true that the reality is that these structures
7 were still in the process of formation?
8 A. Yes, during the month of July when I visited, they were in the
9 process of formation, yes.
10 Q. So you're introduced to Ramush Haradinaj as the man who's been
11 recently elected as the zone commander, but that does not imply, does it,
12 operational effective control on the ground throughout the Dukagjin zone
13 at that time?
14 A. Yes, for the time we're speaking about, yes.
15 Q. Yes, you agree with what I said?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. So you met Mr. Haradinaj at Jabllanice because
18 Jabllanice was the first stop on your trip; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He came there to meet you, didn't he?
21 A. No. We [Realtime transcript read in error "he"] came from the
22 General Staff with the other members, and we met at Jabllanice where we
23 found Mr. Haradinaj.
24 Q. Yes, but you knew, didn't you, that Mr. Haradinaj was based in
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So he'd come over there to meet you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So whatever the position on paper, the practical reality on the
5 ground was that Mr. Haradinaj was the commander over in Gllogjan, but
6 others were in command in Jabllanice. Do you agree?
7 A. I do not know prior to that, but in July when I went to visit
8 Jabllanice was under the command of the operational zone.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's something that concerns me here that's not
10 clear to me, and I need assistance from the witness.
11 Mr. Zyrapi, you were asked:
12 "So you met Mr. Haradinaj at Jabllanice because Jabllanice was
13 the first stop on your trip; is that right?"
14 You said:
16 I need to understand the meaning of the word "met" in context.
17 Met as if introduced -- seeing him for the first time and being
18 introduced or you had a meeting -- you are going to meet there, did you
19 have an appointment to meet there as people who know each other already?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Me alongside a number of
21 General Staff members had certain appointment at Jabllanice between the
22 General Staff and the command of the Dukagjin operational zone.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, that suffices.
24 MR. HARVEY: Your Honour - I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Emmerson -
25 but there was another answer immediately following that which I think has
1 been erroneously recorded in the transcript and it could be important.
2 He came there to meet you, didn't he? The answer: No, he came from the
3 General Staff. I heard the witness say "we" and I think that probably
4 does need to be clarified.
5 MR. EMMERSON: Yes, I'm sorry. Thank you very much for that. He
6 said we came from the General Staff and Mr. Haradinaj obviously came from
7 his base in Gllogjan, and that's where they met, in the sense of
9 Q. You took a tour around Jabllanice when you arrived, didn't you?
10 A. When I arrived at Jabllanice, I visited the village of
11 Jabllanice, I mean the positions as they existed in Jabllanice where the
12 KLA units were.
13 Q. So you visited each of the -- each of the areas you were shown as
14 military facilities in Jabllanice?
15 A. Yes, I inspected the positions, the place where KLA units were
17 Q. And you've already told us that you know that Mr. Haradinaj was
18 based in Gllogjan. Were you with him when you toured the military
19 facilities in Jabllanice?
20 A. No. I visited alongside Salih Veseli and Driton.
21 Q. But you were visiting as a senior person in this fledgling
22 structure, coming to look at the facility; correct?
23 A. It wasn't a matter of premises. I'm talking about the front
24 lines, the positions occupied by the units.
25 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, you didn't see, did you, anything that looked to you
1 at the time of your visit to be a detention facility or a prison where
2 people were being detained?
3 A. No. As I mentioned it, I visited the front lines as well as the
4 house where the General Staff held its meeting with the commander of the
5 operational zone. I did not visit any other physical premises.
6 Q. You were not, as a result of your visit -- nobody suggested to
7 you, you were not aware, that there was a detention facility there?
8 Nothing struck you or you didn't see or hear anything that caused you to
9 believe that there was a detention facility or that people were being
10 detained there at the time of your visit?
11 A. No, I was not informed of that.
12 Q. Now, so that we're clear, just in terms of command, on the
13 command issue alone this is the last but one topic I'm going to touch
14 on --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it a whole topic?
16 MR. EMMERSON: Sorry?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it a topic or just a question?
18 MR. EMMERSON: This is one question and then I've got one more.
19 Q. If we were to take the theoretical position of commands as they
20 were emerging, you would be in command of Ramush Haradinaj, wouldn't you,
21 if we're to take what's written on paper as real, you would be his
22 commander, wouldn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be a convenient moment?
25 MR. EMMERSON: Well, just a follow-up question.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Follow-up question.
2 MR. EMMERSON:
3 Q. The follow-up question is this: I'm not suggesting anything
4 untoward did occur at Jabllanice, that's for other witnesses and other
5 moments. But if anything had happened there regarded as criminal, would
6 you regard yourself as responsible for that?
7 A. No. If I have no information of that and if I was not present.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we rise, may the witness be excused. Thank
10 you very much.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Emmerson.
13 MR. EMMERSON: [Microphone not activated]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: I noticed that one of your team members by
15 repetition after you put a question nodded slightly. I'm sure it doesn't
16 mean anything, but it is disturbing.
17 MR. EMMERSON: [Microphone not activated]
18 I understand. I'm sure we will all bear that in mind. Sometimes
19 these things happen involuntarily.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Of course.
21 MR. EMMERSON: I'm sure whoever it was, it was an involuntary
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. EMMERSON: We'll all be aware.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take a break and come
1 back at half past 12.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you continue, Mr. Emmerson, can I just
5 raise the point which has been reported to us. And what I'm going to
6 talk about didn't happen the last session but it might have happened in
7 the morning session. There is a request from the translation section
8 that we try not to overlap when we speak, and I know that at times
9 emotions go a little high and we get a little agitated. I have been
10 directed also to that. So can we be sure we give one enough a chance to
11 speak so the record can be -- the interpreters are having difficulty with
12 that problem.
13 MR. EMMERSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
15 MR. EMMERSON: I have no further questions for this witness.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Emmerson -- oh, Mr. Guy-Smith is on his feet.
18 Yes, Mr. Guy-Smith.
19 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm on my feet because Mr. Emmerson said that he
20 had no further questions, and I was waiting for guidance from the Court
21 to proceed, which is why I got on my feet because I didn't want all of us
22 sitting here wondering what was going to happen next.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, I have been remiss.
24 Did you say you have finished your questions, Mr. Emmerson?
25 MR. EMMERSON: Your Honour, yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 Mr. Guy-Smith.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Guy-Smith:
5 Q. If I might, Mr. Zyrapi, with regard to the questions and answers
6 you have given thus far, I'd like to focus on a couple of locations and a
7 couple of times if I could.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: And could we have P78 up on the screen, please.
9 Q. And as I understand your testimony, between the periods of March
10 and September there was intense fighting on both sides of the road, the
11 Pec-Decani road, and that during that period of time there were Serb
12 invasions or incursions to villages on both sides of the road. And it's
13 with that in mind that I'm going to be asking you the following
15 MR. GUY-SMITH: Could we have the map enlarged a little bit
16 around the area of Junik, please. And perhaps if it could be just a
17 little bit bigger just to make sure we all can see because I -- yes,
18 thank you so much.
19 Q. Now, I notice on the map - and this would be towards Albania - a
20 placed called Pobrdje. Do you see that on the map?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell us at the time that you were visiting the area,
23 first of all, whether or not that particular area, Pobrdje, is
24 geographically higher than the region around it.
25 A. As far as I can see from the -- second around the Junik area --
1 side the Junik area. It is a higher area than Junik -- which is a bit
2 higher --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, we're having a bit of a problem. We're
4 hearing two interpreters -- or is it only me?
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm getting --
6 MR. EMMERSON: I'm getting two.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm getting feedback, but I'm so used to that at
8 this point, so I don't know whether it's me or the machines.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: It didn't sound like feedback, but it sounded like
10 two separate voices, a male and a female.
11 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, let's see what we can do about that because
12 I want to make sure that we're dealing with a single-gender response in
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, try again.
15 MR. GUY-SMITH: Surely.
16 Q. And with regard to the area around Pobrdje, do you recall that
17 that area was under the control of the Serbs and was used as a place for
18 shelling? By that I mean they shelled the villages around the area from
19 that position.
20 A. The place where this Serb artillery was positioned was called
21 Kodri i Geshtenjave and it's close to the village of Pobrdje.
22 Q. Perhaps if it's of some assistance to the Chamber, are you in a
23 position to mark on this map where Kodri i Geshtenjave is and I'd ask the
24 usher for some assistance. And for purposes of this exercise, I don't
25 know what colour you are going to be using, perhaps it would be good to
1 use the colour blue, as I've been told there are other colours other than
2 the colour red available to us.
3 A. I will mark it approximately where it was, this place.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Because I can't be exact now. Here, in this area.
6 Q. And when you say "here, in this area," that is the station of the
7 artillery that was used by the Serbian forces for purposes of shelling;
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you do us the kindness, since you're there, of putting a
11 line under the village of Pobrdje, just a single blue line?
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Thank you. And with regard to the map once again, do you see the
14 village of Voksh on the map?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And could you put a blue circle around the village of Voksh,
17 indicating where it is located?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And just for purposes of clarity, because one of the things that
20 often occurs at later times when people are reading transcripts, could
21 you mark the first circle, that is, the area of Kodri i Geshtenjave with
22 an A for artillery. Just put an A right by where you made the first
23 marking so that we have a reference point of where the Serbian artillery
24 was placed.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you. Now, were you aware of the fact that Mr. Balaj and
2 his unit, the Black Eagles, were in Voksh in the month of June, as
3 reflected in the letter that you discussed with the Prosecutor in P162?
4 A. I was not aware of that at the time, but according to the letter
5 I was shown, the letter showed that he was there in the village of Voksh.
6 Q. And we will come back to the letter, but I've been told that you
7 can't move anything on the screen. So before we go any further what I'd
8 also like to do so we can do this in one complete session with regard to
9 the map is you have told us also that you met Idriz Balaj, who is known
10 to you as Toger, when you went on your visit in mid-July in Irzniq?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you circle on the map where Irzniq is, please.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And could you put a T next to that to indicate the place where
15 you met Toger.
16 A. [Marks]
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you. Could I have that admitted as a
18 Defence next in order or first in order, and I don't know what the
19 designation is that Mr. Registrar is using for those purposes. Because
20 it's -- because it's a -- it was P78. Now that I've put markings on it
21 I've got to re --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. Just before we do that, I just wanted to
23 find out from the witness if you do know, Mr. Zyrapi, how long Mr. Balaj
24 was for in the first village where you met him - was it in June?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I went there, it was mid-July,
1 and I only stayed with him about 10 to 15 minutes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, my question is: Do you know how long he was
3 in that village for in -- is it Kodri I Geshtenjave?
4 MR. GUY-SMITH: Kodri i Geshtenjave, Your Honours, is the place
5 where the Serbian artillery --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And you said he was with his unit where?
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: Voksh.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Voksh.
9 Do you know how long Mr. Balaj was in Voksh for, sir?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in Irzniq do you know?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how long he had been
13 in Irzniq, but when I visited Irzniq in July he was there.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
15 Mr. Registrar, will you please give an exhibit number to this as
16 a Defence exhibit. It's admitted into evidence.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, marked -- map marked in the court
18 by the witness shall be -- it's Exhibit P78 shall be assigned
19 Exhibit D144. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask again for guidance. The first time in
21 the Tribunal we handled -- or I have been involved in a trial of more
22 than one accused. Do we need to make a distinction between the Defence
23 attorneys whose exhibit this is?
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: We did not at the --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Fair enough.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: -- at the initial trial.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I don't think from what I understand we are
4 going to do it this time either.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
6 The Defence -- what is the exhibit number, Mr. Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it's D144.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: D144.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 Sorry for interrupting you, Mr. Guy-Smith. You may proceed.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: Not a problem.
13 Q. And when you met Mr. Balaj in mid-July in Irzniq, you learned at
14 that time that he was the head of a rapid intervention unit; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you also learned at that time that the place where he and his
17 unit were billeted was near a school, about a hundred to 150 metres away
18 from a school in Irzniq; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, with regard -- and now I'm going to go back to a time before
21 you met Mr. Balaj. With regard to the month of June, are you aware of
22 the fact that Mr. Balaj was in Voksh fighting during that month with his
24 A. No, I didn't know about that.
25 Q. Did you receive any information with regard to members of the
1 Black Eagles who were killed, and specifically that on June 3rd in
2 Pobrdje Altin Haskaj was killed during battle and Rexhep Thaqi.
3 Was wounded?
4 A. No, I don't think I had that information at the time.
5 Q. Have you become aware of that information since that time?
6 A. Yes, now yes. But at the time I didn't know. I was not there to
8 Q. I understand that. And with regard to the date of June 14th at
9 the time, once again, were you aware that Armend Kukleqi and Blerim Lokaj
10 were killed, also members of Mr. Balaj's Black Eagle unit during combat?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And that would have been in Drenoc?
13 A. No, I didn't know then.
14 Q. And I take it, similarly, you were not aware at the time that
15 Valmir Ukaj had been wounded as a result of his involvement in combat
16 under Idriz Balaj's command as -- in the Black Eagles?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. Since that time have you become aware of the fact that
19 Armend Kukleqi and Blerim Lokaj were killed during combat operations and
20 Valmir Ukaj was wounded during fighting in the rapid intervention unit of
21 the Toger?
22 A. At that time I didn't. Later on, yes, I heard about all of these
24 Q. And with regard to these deaths and these woundings, could you
25 tell us whether or not these deaths and these woundings occurred while
1 the Serbian forces were, as you have previously told us, engaged in heavy
2 conflict on both sides of the road, attempting to enter and destroy
4 A. I know that there was fighting at that time, however, I was not
5 informed about these killings and the people who were wounded at the
7 Q. Subsequent to these battles, did you learn of this -- did you
8 learn of these killings and of these woundings?
9 A. At that time, no.
10 Q. After that time?
11 A. It was much later. It was not during that period. Even in July
12 when I went there, I did not have information about these events.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Zyrapi --
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Zyrapi, I'm sorry, it's not very well with me.
16 Please listen to the question. The question is after the time,
17 after you had been in this area, did you come to know of the deaths and
18 injury of these people that are mentioned here?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I explained that in June, July,
20 August when I visited, I did not know about the killings and the
21 woundings. I knew that there had been fighting in the territory.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Zyrapi, you are still not answering the
23 question. I'm going to try and say it one more time. It is understood
24 that during June, July, and August when you visited there you did not
25 know. The question is: After August, wherever you might have been, did
1 you come to know of these deaths and injuries?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Later I was informed that people
3 had been killed and wounded, but I didn't know the names and surnames. I
4 was not informed about the names of the people who were killed. Later
5 on, much later, I learned the names of the people who were killed, after
6 the end of the war.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: That approximates an answer.
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: That approximates an answer, Your Honour. Thank
11 Q. I want to go back to the map which has now been admitted as D144
12 and ask you another question. You were speaking with Mr. Emmerson about
13 the issue of formation, and could you tell me just this, Irzniq is in
14 subzone 2; correct?
15 A. Yes, as the map shows.
16 Q. And could you -- you'd mentioned earlier that the time that it
17 took to get from Gllogjan to Jabllanice was two hours. And would that be
18 approximately the same period of time to get from Irzniq to Jabllanice?
19 Or would it be longer or shorter as a result of the roads?
20 A. The time it took for us to get from Gllogjan to Jabllanice was
21 what I mentioned, and I think that from Irzniq to Jabllanice it takes
22 approximately the same amount of time.
23 Q. With regard to getting from Voksh to Jabllanice, which requires,
24 as I understand, among other things, travelling by foot, travelling at
25 night, and avoiding the Serbian forces that controlled the main road,
1 could you tell us how long a period of time it would take under optimal
2 conditions to get from Voksh to Jabllanice?
3 A. I never measured the time. However, to go to Voksh at the time
4 you would have to go through territories that were under Serbian control,
5 so you couldn't go there during day-time. And I would assume that it
6 would take much longer to get from Voksh to Jabllanice.
7 Q. When you say it would take much longer to get to Voksh from
8 Jabllanice, considering the factors that you have told us about, can you
9 give us any reasonable estimate of the time that it would take?
10 A. It's difficult to give an exact time because it would depend on
11 the situation and how able you were to pass -- to go through Serbian
12 positions. Everything was done at night and we tried -- it had to be
13 done quickly from Jabllanice to Gllogjan and then from Gllogjan to Voksh,
14 it could take four or five hours depending on the situation and where the
15 Serbs were exactly.
16 Q. Taking that into account - and as I said to you before, given an
17 optimal period of time, meaning that you had free sailing, it was a
18 period that you did not have to either wait or fight with the Serbs, can
19 you tell us how long that would take? Can you approximate it for us?
20 MR. MENON: Your Honour, I think the witness has given an answer,
21 he was asked initially at lines 22 to 23, can you give us any reasonable
22 estimate of the time it would take and he gave his answer.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Except in that I was not quite clear in my mind
24 whether the four to five hours relates from the strip to Gllogjan to
25 Voksh or from Jabllanice to Voksh so --
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: Let me try to break it down then. We have a
2 period of two to three hours from Gllogjan to Jabllanice --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, but I would like to hear from the witness
4 what the four to five hours relates to.
5 MR. GUY-SMITH:
6 Q. I was going to ask him with regard to travelling from Voksh area
7 or the Irzniq area to Voksh or back, from Voksh to Gllogjan or Irzniq,
8 what period of time would that take?
9 A. When I travelled through those areas, from Gllogjan to Junik, it
10 was about four hours, from Gllogjan to Junik. And from Junik to Voksh
11 you would need another hour or two. So overall you would have five to
12 six hours depending on the situation pertaining at the time. From
13 Jabllanice the time would be much, much longer. It could be from seven,
14 eight, ten hours.
15 Q. I think we have an answer.
16 And could I please have P162 up on the screen.
17 First of all, could you tell us what the date is of this
18 particular document.
19 A. The document in front of me dates -- has the date of the 3rd of
20 July 1998.
21 Q. And I'd like you to look down in the document and it starts
22 off -- there's a line that starts off with "Voksh is ..." do you see
23 that, particular line that says "Voksh is" and then goes on "grateful."
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. With regard to this particular language here:
1 "Voksh is grateful to the KLA special unit led by Togeri because
2 were it not for this fighter and his hinds, the village of Voksh would
3 today be in the hands of the Serbo-Slav-chauvinist enemy."
4 A. Yes. Yes, that's what I can read.
5 Q. Do you know what happened after the Black Eagles left Voksh?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Okay. Could you tell us whether or not in your experience you
8 have seen such commendations being made by other individuals or villages
9 for the efforts and protecting a particular village such as Voksh?
10 A. Attempts to defend villages were carried out all over the
11 territory, and the Rapid Reaction Force was created especially for that
12 purpose, to help these villages as well as the units tasked with
13 protecting the villages, i.e., to reinforce them. That was the main task
14 of the units of the rapid intervention force.
15 Q. If I understand your answer, would it be fair to say where there
16 was trouble, where the Serbs were attacking, the Black Eagles went? That
17 was their purpose.
18 A. The tasks of the Rapid Reaction Force were to go to the aid of
19 the villages and the fronts that came under attack by the Serbian forces
20 to help them protect their villages.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Guy-Smith.
23 Mr. Harvey.
24 MR. HARVEY: I think I'm going to need that podium again, if you
25 would just give me a second, please.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You can take two.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Harvey:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Zyrapi.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. And I think you know that I have the honour to represent
6 Lahi Brahimaj in these proceedings.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, may I just ask you about your first arrival inside Kosovo.
9 I believe you entered the country on the 28th of May of 1998; is that
11 A. That's right. Yes.
12 Q. And you went straight to the headquarters of the General Staff
13 which at that stage would have been in Likovc; is that correct?
14 A. For the first time - and I entered on the 28th of May - I stopped
15 at the village of Drenoc in the Rahovec municipality, where I stayed for
16 a few days. From there we proceeded to Likovc, where a part of the
17 General Staff was located.
18 Q. Yes, I didn't mean to suggest you could get there all in one day.
19 It was obviously difficulty travelling, as you've already told us,
20 travelling at night-time and having to stay in people's houses and be
21 very, very careful where you were at all times.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I see you nodding. When you got there, therefore, we're talking
24 about early June, probably the first week in June, would that be right,
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I -- obviously you can't remember everybody you would have
3 met on your first day or two there, but would I be right in saying that
4 Rexhep Selimi was there and introduced you to other members of the
5 General Staff who were already inside the country?
6 A. Yes. Rexhep Selimi and Hashim Thaqi who were with us introduced
8 Q. Correct. Rexhep Selimi, Hashim Thaqi, and was Jakup Krasniqi
9 there at that stage as well?
10 A. Jakup Krasniqi was there too, as was Sokol Bashota, people who I
11 met -- amongst the people I met at Likovc.
12 Q. And do you remember also that Lahi Brahimaj was there on that
13 occasion as well?
14 A. No, I don't remember.
15 Q. Are you saying you remember that he wasn't there or you simply
16 can't remember whether he was there on that occasion or not?
17 A. From what I recall, I did not see him.
18 Q. Did you stay for a long time in Likovc or did you go off and --
19 to other parts of the -- of Kosovo at that time?
20 A. I stayed for a brief period of time, after which I was appointed
21 in the operational director as the man in charge for the development of
22 the KLA, after which I went to inspect the different areas, and primarily
23 the Drenice one.
24 Q. Again, I don't expect you to be precise, but how quickly did you
25 leave for Drenice, within two or three days?
1 A. The Likovc staff was located in the territory of the operational
2 zone of Drenice. I cannot recall exactly how long I stayed, was it two
3 days or three days, I don't know, but it was a very brief period; after
4 which, pursuant to the orders issued by the operational commander at the
5 time, Rexhep Selimi, I was tasked with a duty to go to the operational
6 zone of Drenice in order to render my advice for the development of the
7 operational zone of Drenice.
8 Q. And so you spent some time in Drenice and which was the next
9 operational zone you went to after you had given your advice to the
10 people of Drenice?
11 A. After that I moved on to the Pashtrik Operational Zone.
12 Q. And approximately how long do you think you spent in the Pashtrik
14 A. I cannot recall exactly, but in both the Drenice and the Pashtrik
15 Operational Zone, I visited them in July.
16 Q. Do we understand that you would go to a zone like Pashtrik and
17 simply stay there for a period of time, or would you come back and forth
18 and spend some nights in -- with the other members of the General Staff
19 and other nights you'd be on the road or in the zone?
20 A. When I mean staying, I mean staying with the local units in the
21 positions where they were and where I was giving my military advice. I
22 wasn't moving to and fro and, i.e., from the zone to the staff
23 headquarters, and I'm referring to this period, from June to the
24 beginning of July.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, if I suggest to you that you, in fact, did meet
1 Lahi Brahimaj in your first days in early June of 1998 --
2 MR. MENON: Your Honour, objection. I think the witness has
3 answered the question as to whether or not he's met --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harvey.
5 MR. HARVEY: I haven't asked the question yet. I simply asked
6 him whether he met him on his first day there. The witness said he did
7 not remember. I think I'm entitled to pursue that. I have not put in
8 terms to him when, on instructions, I say he first met with my client.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Overruled.
10 MR. HARVEY: Thank you.
11 Q. So as I was just about to ask you, Mr. Zyrapi, do you recall --
12 sorry. If I suggest this to you, that you, in fact, did meet
13 Mr. Brahimaj in your early days in June before you went off to Pashtrik
14 or around Drenice, may that be correct? Can you rule out the possibility
15 that in fact you did meet him then?
16 A. I do not remember to have met him during that time.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not the question, Mr. Zyrapi. The question
18 is: Would you dispute that you met him is the question. That you
19 remember or don't remember is one thing, but are you in a position to
20 dispute meeting him if it's put to you that you did meet him?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't confirm or deny it because
22 I cannot remember it for the time-period we're referring to.
23 MR. HARVEY:
24 Q. That's all I'm asking. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. HARVEY: Thank you.
2 Q. I then want to come to the period when you were working with Lahi
3 for some time at the General Staff, weren't you, and you would see him
4 very frequently over a period of time; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And his duties were in -- to be in charge of finance and
7 logistics, procurement of weapons?
8 A. If I remember correctly, he was director of finances at the time.
9 MR. MENON: Your Honour, if Mr. Harvey could clarify what time
10 he's referring to. It's unclear. Because the previous question
11 obviously related to -- the earlier questions related to early June, so
12 it's unclear whether we're referring to a different time-period now.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any response, Mr. Harvey?
14 MR. HARVEY: I was about to ask that question, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you proceed.
16 MR. HARVEY:
17 Q. To the best of your recollection now, Mr. Zyrapi, can you recall
18 was that around the early to the middle part of July that you were
19 working with him on a regular basis?
20 A. The first part of July.
21 Q. Thank you. And the term "General Staff," Main Staff," "central
22 staff," all of these terms have been used. Are we talking about the same
23 body of people?
24 A. The General Staff or the central staff is one and the same. We
25 are talking about the same people.
1 Q. And some people use the term "Main Staff." Is that the same as
3 A. Yes, the same.
4 Q. And there is no question -- am I right, there is no question,
5 Lahi Brahimaj was indeed a member of the General Staff, the central
6 staff, the Main Staff, whatever we call it?
7 A. Yes, from July when I was there, yes.
8 Q. And I appreciate, you're not in a position to say when he first
9 took up his position on the General Staff because you weren't aware of
10 who was on the General Staff before you arrived yourself?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. And now dealing with when you travelled from Drenice
13 to the Dukagjin Zone. Lahi accompanied you together with Hashim Thaqi
14 and Jakup Krasniqi; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And again, there's no question in your mind, Lahi Brahimaj was
17 accompanying you in his capacity as a member of the General Staff; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You understood that his family home was in Jabllanice; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did you understand also that at some earlier stage he had
22 been one of the commanders in that area?
23 A. Yes, according to the information that was given to me by the
24 former operational commander.
25 Q. And the former operational commander you mean who?
1 A. Of the operational department of the General Staff headed by
2 Rexhep Selimi.
3 Q. Rexhep Selimi had told you that Lahi Brahimaj was previously one
4 of the commanders in the Jabllanice area of the Dukagjin Zone?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you went with Lahi to Jabllanice, you went to his family
7 home there, didn't you?
8 A. When we went to Jabllanice, we stayed in the family home of
9 Lahi Brahimaj. That's where we had the meeting between the General Staff
10 and the commander of the Dukagjin Operational Zone.
11 Q. Do you recall how long the journey took you because you were
12 walking and travelling by night, I believe you told us, how long did it
13 take you to get from Drenice to Jabllanice?
14 A. I cannot recall exactly, but it took very long because of having
15 to go through security areas. It did take quite a long time, but I
16 cannot say how long.
17 Q. Were you able to accomplish the journey in one night or did you
18 have to stop somewhere along the way?
19 A. We travelled through the night. In fact, we set off at midnight
20 from the staff headquarters, and at dawn the next day we reached
22 Q. And did you happen to pass through areas that were under the
23 control of the Serb forces?
24 A. Yes, there were some areas controlled by Serb forces.
25 Q. You had the meeting in Lahi's family home, and what happened
1 then? Did you leave straight away with Mr. Haradinaj to go to Gllogjan?
2 A. After the meeting and, in fact, as I said even in the course of
3 the meeting, I inspected units at Jabllanice, after which I went to
4 Gllogjan command centre alongside Mr. Haradinaj.
5 Q. And when you say that you inspected units at Jabllanice, you went
6 to more than one place in Jabllanice to inspect those units; yes?
7 A. Yes, as I said earlier, I went to the front lines where the
8 positions of the KLA units were, meaning around Jabllanice.
9 Q. And I think you have, at least on a previous occasion if not here
10 today, you said that the person who took you was the commander at
11 Jabllanice, and his name was Driton Zeneli. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. When I inspected these units there was Salih Veseli and
13 Driton. They were all present when I went to inspect these positions.
14 Q. And which of them did you understand to be the commander at
16 A. At the time I think it was told to me that Driton was the
17 commander of the unit.
18 Q. And if my learned friends want a transcript reference for that,
19 it's at page 3388, Exhibit 159.
20 When you went together with Ramush towards Gllogjan, did Lahi
21 remain behind in Jabllanice or do you know what he did?
22 A. I can't remember, but I know that after leaving I went to
23 Gllogjan. Whether he stayed or returned in the company of the other
24 staff members, I do not remember.
25 Q. And I think the next you heard from Mr. Brahimaj was when you
1 received a message that you had to return urgently to Jabllanice in order
2 to accompany him to Rahovec, where there was a Serb attack underway; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And was it your understanding that Lahi Brahimaj had brought that
6 message from the General Staff, summoning you both back to Rahovec?
7 A. The message was to go from the operational zone of Dukagjin to
8 Rahovec, where the General Staff was concentrated, as a result of the
9 fighting around the Rahovec municipality.
10 Q. And it was Lahi who had brought that message to Jabllanice?
11 A. Yes, Lahi brought the message, and in his own car he took me to
12 the Rahovec municipality.
13 Q. I just want to clear up a couple of points in your statement
14 that's exhibited as P160. Perhaps it would help if we had that on the
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I clear one point --
17 MR. HARVEY: Please, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- which I don't understand.
19 As I understood the evidence, the witness left Jabllanice with
20 Mr. Ramush Haradinaj going to Gllogjan and he doesn't know whether --
21 what happened to Mr. Brahimaj while he was -- when he left. Now, you
22 then asked the question, Mr. Harvey, that -- saying Mr. -- I'm trying to
23 find this place. Give me a moment, please.
24 MR. HARVEY: I think I know what's troubling Your Honour. I
25 asked him if Mr. Brahimaj had brought the message from the General Staff.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] --.
2 MR. HARVEY: To Jabllanice.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Exactly. And I thought he was in Gllogjan with
4 Mr. Ramush Haradinaj at that time.
5 MR. HARVEY: No, let me clarify that with the witness if I may.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
7 MR. HARVEY:
8 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, am I correct in understanding you. Lahi Brahimaj did
9 not accompany you to Gllogjan with Ramush Haradinaj; am I right?
10 A. Yes, as far as I remember, yes.
11 Q. And I think you told Their Honours that you left and you don't
12 know whether Lahi returned to Drenice with the other members of the
13 General Staff or whether he remained in Jabllanice; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. But you were summoned to go quickly to Jabllanice; yes?
16 A. Two days later I was summoned to go to Jabllanice, and then from
17 there to Rahovec.
18 Q. And when you got to Jabllanice, there was Lahi Brahimaj with a
19 message from the General Staff, saying: Both of you, get to Rahovec as
20 quickly as possible, and you set off in his car?
21 A. When I got to Jabllanice, Lahi told me that fighting had started
22 in Rahovec and we needed to go to Rahovec at the order of the
23 General Staff. And then we together went from Jabllanice to Rahovec.
24 Q. And am I right in assuming you don't know one way or the other
25 whether Lahi Brahimaj had physically brought that order from Drenice or
1 from Rahovec or whether he'd received it by some other means?
2 A. I don't know that.
3 MR. HARVEY: Does that clear up matters, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, thanks. Thank you so much, Mr. Harvey.
5 MR. HARVEY: Yes.
6 Q. Yes, I'd asked if your statement at P160. Could we go to
7 paragraph 16 of that statement, please, page 4. Yes, if we could just
8 enlarge -- oh. We seem to have a redacted version of it there. I'm
9 comfortable with paragraph 16 at least. In fact, I see we've already
10 clarified the only issue of substance there, and it's really the
11 blanked-out paragraph 18 that I wanted -- can we go over the page to
12 paragraph 19. I think that's the only matter that's really significant
13 left to deal with. No, we can't. Oh. Very well. Well, in that case
14 I'm going to have to read what I have because I assume that Your Honours
15 do have the unredacted statement. Am I wrong about that?
16 MR. HARVEY: Would Your Honours just give me a moment because I
17 don't want to be cross-examining something in that should be out. Would
18 you give me a moment, please?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. Consider also in the light that there are
20 redactions do we need to go into private session.
21 MR. HARVEY: Of course.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. HARVEY: Your Honours, since this is not a matter before this
24 Court, I don't need to waste anyone's time with it.
25 Q. Let me just ask you this in conclusion, Mr. Zyrapi. You were in
1 Jabllanice second time I think towards the end of August/beginning of
2 September; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And on that occasion did you also inspect units in that region?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And in inspecting units and meeting with the soldiers,
7 presumably, you received reports of what was happening generally in that
8 region in and around Jabllanice; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you remember whether you talked to soldiers in Jabllanice
12 A. In my visit to the front lines and the unit commanders and the
13 soldiers, I talked with them, but I can't remember the details of those
15 Q. I wasn't going to question you about the details of
16 conversations. I'm more concerned with where you went to. Did you meet
17 with soldiers in Jabllanice itself?
18 A. In some of the positions where I went to inspect, yes.
19 Q. And do you recall going to inspect any of the soldiers' quarters,
20 see where they lived in Jabllanice?
21 A. No, I don't think I did at the time. I did go to the front line
22 and the commanders of the units, but not where the soldiers were staying.
23 Q. At any time, both on your first visit to Jabllanice and on that
24 second visit, at any time did anyone tell you, did you hear from any of
25 those soldiers any suggestion that people were being detained against
1 their will in Jabllanice?
2 A. To my recollection, both the first time and the second time when
3 I went to Jabllanice, I never heard such complaints.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. HARVEY: I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Harvey.
7 Mr. Menon, any re-examination?
8 MR. MENON: Yes, just a few questions, Your Honour.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Menon:
10 Q. Sir, can you tell us in the period from March to mid -- excuse
11 me, in the period from March to the end of May 1998 where you were based?
12 A. From March to May 1998, I was based in Tirana.
13 Q. And prior to March 1998, where were you, sir?
14 A. Before March 1998 I was living in the Netherlands with my family.
15 Q. And, sir, when you were referred to Tirana, do I take that that
16 that's in Albania?
17 A. Yes, Tirana is the capital of Albania.
18 Q. And, sir, from the end of May or from the beginning of June until
19 July 1998, sir, where were you based?
20 A. From June to July 1998 - I think I mentioned this earlier - in
21 the beginning when I entered Kosovo I stayed in Drenoc near Rahovec and
22 then in Likovc in the territory of Drenice and then I moved around in the
23 areas of Drenice and Pashtrik. I did not have a static base, so to
25 Q. And let's take the period from the July to September 1998. What
1 about that period? Where were you in that period?
2 A. From the attacks on Rahovec in July and then the rest of the
3 Serbian offensive, I was moving around in Rahovec, Pashtrik, Drenice,
4 Shala, these were the places where I was staying from July to September.
5 In September I left Kosovo, went to Albania, and then from Albania into
6 Kosovo back later on.
7 Q. And, sir, can you tell us when -- when you first met
8 Mr. Ramush Haradinaj, in which month and year?
9 A. The first time I met him was in April in Tirana, when he came to
10 the flat where I was staying with some colleagues, other officers.
11 Q. And can you --
12 A. -- and Mr. Ramush Haradinaj came there.
13 Q. I'm sorry for having interrupted you there, sir.
14 Can you tell us how long your encounter with Ramush Haradinaj on
15 that occasion lasted?
16 A. The first time I met him I don't think it was more than three or
17 four minutes.
18 Q. And, sir, when was the next time that you met
19 Mr. Ramush Haradinaj?
20 A. The next time was when we met in mid-July, and that was the time
21 when we went to have the meeting between the General Staff and the
22 operational zone commander.
23 Q. And if we could pull up Exhibit P159 and go to page 42 in
24 e-court. And, sir, I'm going to read from the transcript here. You were
25 asked, and this is from the previous trial:
1 "Do you know Lahi Brahimaj?"
2 And you said:
4 And then you were asked:
5 "Can you tell the Trial Chamber when you first met him?"
6 And you indicated:
7 "For the first time? I saw him in July in the General Staff."
8 Sir, do you adopt that answer now?
9 A. When I say "in July," yes, I stand by it because that was the
10 time when I saw him and then the contacts between us continued in the
11 framework of the General Staff.
12 Q. Thank you very much, sir. Sir, I want to take you back to an
13 answer that you gave earlier today to Mr. Emmerson. It was put to you
14 that in the period from March to September 1998 you had indicated that on
15 both sides of the Pec to Decani/Decani to Djakovica road, that on both
16 sides of that road villages had come under attack from Serb forces, sir,
17 in the period from March to September 1998. How did you acquire that
18 information, sir?
19 A. This information I received when I visited the Dukagjin area, the
20 first time and the second time, while the rest of the information was
21 given to me by the director of the operations department,
22 Mr. Rexhep Selimi.
23 Q. And do you know how Mr. Rexhep Selimi would have acquired the
24 information, sir?
25 A. I don't know whether at the time he was present in the area
1 himself or what other ways he could have had to gain that information.
2 MR. MENON: And, Your Honours, if we could pull up Exhibit P133.
3 Your Honour, if I could just have a minute. This is not the correct
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: How long are you going to be with the witness on
7 this exhibit?
8 MR. MENON: I needed another perhaps ten minutes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are at the end of the day. We can't go for ten
10 minutes. Maybe -- would you like to maybe deal with that next time?
11 MR. MENON: Yes, I mean it would be -- it would be unfortunate to
12 keep the witness over the weekend, but I do have another ten minutes of
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Another ten minutes of re-examination?
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- you need ten minutes to finish your
18 MR. MENON: I would estimate, based upon the answers -- obviously
19 it depends on the answers the witness gives and whether they require
20 clarification, but I would say 10 to 15 minutes.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: We can't give you that much, Mr. Menon. I'm
22 sorry, we will have to adjourn to next week. There are other commitments
23 that are calling on us this afternoon.
24 MR. MENON: Very well, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry about that.
1 Sorry, Mr. Zyrapi, we haven't finished with you. It's
2 unfortunate that you have to stay the weekend here, but that's how things
3 go. You are now being excused until Monday afternoon, I think it is. We
4 sit in the afternoon, same courtroom, quarter past 2.00, but I -- don't
5 take your headphones yet. I've got to warn you that you are still under
6 oath, you are still in the witness box, you may not discuss the case with
7 anybody, in particular not with the Prosecution whose witness you are.
8 We'll see you on Monday at quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon. You are
9 excused. You may leave the courtroom until Monday.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I can give you one minute.
12 MR. EMMERSON: Well, then I won't say a word.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's all right.
14 We have to adjourn, I'm sorry, to Monday, quarter past 2.00 in
15 the afternoon, same courtroom. Court adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 29th day of
18 August, 2011, at 2.15 p.m.