1 Tuesday, 23 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I understand, Mr. Guy-Smith, the news in respect
6 of your client's health is encouraging.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: It seems to be.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 I see we're at full strength. I understand there is some matter
10 to be raised before the witness comes in.
11 MR. BLACK: That's correct, Your Honour, I believe Mr. Nicholls
12 would like to make an application regarding the following witness.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Black.
14 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
17 Your Honours, I apologise for the lateness of this application,
18 but I would like to apply for a variance in the protective measures which
19 you have granted for the next witness who is subject of the decision
20 which was handed down yesterday. I move that his entire testimony be
21 heard in closed session rather than private session. I have spoken with
22 counsel for all three accused today, this morning and just now, and there
23 is no objection to that motion. It is based on reviewing the facts and
24 circumstances of this person's testimony as well as with meeting the
25 person recently.
1 JUDGE PARKER: What is the expected duration of his evidence in
3 MR. NICHOLLS: It's a little bit hard for me to say, Your
4 Honours. I haven't been in this courtroom for a while, but I think I
5 will take, in chief, probably around three hours.
6 JUDGE PARKER: You propose the whole of the examination,
7 cross-examination, and re-examination be in closed session?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. The great majority of his
9 testimony, I believe, would need to be in private session anyway under
10 the existing orders, because the substance of the testimony could
11 identify the person.
12 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not immediately clear which is the witness you
13 intend next to call.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: It's number L-7, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE PARKER: L-7, yes.
16 And is there any observation any counsel for the Defence wishes
17 to make? If --
18 MR. KHAN: Thank you, no.
19 MR. GUY-SMITH: No, Your Honour.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: Nor I. Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be ordered accordingly, then, Mr. Black.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 If I may be excused.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. And if the present witness could be called
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Kickert.
4 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Two things: The apologies of the Chamber for the
6 interruption to your evidence yesterday because of a health problem of an
7 accused; and if I could remind you of the affirmation at the beginning of
8 your evidence which is still applicable.
9 Yes, Mr. Whiting [sic].
10 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: JAN KICKERT [Resumed]
12 Examined by Mr. Black: [Continued]
13 Q. Mr. Kickert, when we finished yesterday we were finishing with
14 your first meeting with the KLA, sometime in late July, I think you said,
15 1998. When was the next time that you met with members of the KLA?
16 A. I believe it was just the very next day, when I again went to
17 Malisevo and this time on my own without the Secretary-General who left
18 Kosovo already.
19 Q. With whom did you meet at this second meeting?
20 A. I did see Number 7 again, but I also met with what was called a
21 Number 3.
22 Q. Do you know now who number 3 is?
23 A. Yes, Hashim Thaqi.
24 Q. Was that the first time you had met Hashim Thaqi?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And do you know what his position within the KLA was at that
3 A. No, I did not know. But after having met Number 7, I assumed
4 that Number 3 would be higher in the hierarchy.
5 Q. Mr. Kickert, did you prepare a report of this meeting after it
6 was over?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. I believe you should have a bundle of documents that was given to
9 you yesterday. If you could look at the first of those documents bearing
10 the number U008-1196 at the top.
11 A. 1197 --
12 Q. To be -- do you find that document, Mr. Kickert? To be clear,
13 that's the German version, I believe.
14 A. Okay. Yes, I have it.
15 Q. And what is the date of that document?
16 A. It's 24th of July, 1998.
17 Q. And could you identify it for the Trial Chamber, please.
18 A. Yes. This is a document I have written. It's -- it states on
19 top -- it says: "SB" which means "Herr General Secretaire," so I am the
20 author of this report and it states my name next to it.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, could this be given the next Prosecution
23 Exhibit number, please.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P56.
1 MR. BLACK: And with Mr. Younis's assistance, I would like to put
2 the English version of this document on the Sanction system.
3 Q. Mr. Kickert, do you see that on your computer screen in front of
5 A. No.
6 MR. BLACK: Perhaps if the usher could assist him.
7 THE WITNESS: Now I see a document, but I can't read it. Can you
8 focus it a little more?
9 MR. BLACK: Mr. Younis has now zoomed in on a part of your
11 Q. Is it legible on your screen, Mr. Kickert?
12 A. Hardly, but I can read it. The italics are a little difficult.
13 Q. Sorry to get into the technicalities. In front of you, you have
14 several buttons. One says computer evidence.
15 A. Yes. Now it's legible.
16 Q. Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Kickert, if you would look at heading 1 of that document
18 which says "Government of nationality or round table." And please read
19 the highlighted section which has now been blown up on your screen.
20 A. "The embassy reports that it met with high-ranking
21 representatives of the KLA, number 3 and 7, who are also ideologists of
22 the KLA," which is, may I allow, not a perfect translation of what I have
23 written in German, because I -- "who are considered to be the ideologists
24 of the KLA," is what I have written in German, "in a very open and
25 constructive debate on 23 July in Malisevo."
1 Q. Thank you for that and thank you for the correction. I would
2 invite you any time you notice a discrepancy in the translation, please
3 do mention it.
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. Could you continue with that part highlighted there.
6 A. In italics it was a remark of mine, where I stated that probably
7 "no. 1 either does not exist at all or has a seat abroad; no. 7 who was
8 met by head of office" -- this is a wrong translation again, with the
9 secretary-general, somebody. "HGS" in German would be the Herr General
10 Secretaire -- said that he was aware of the position of the
11 secretary-general "at the time but excused his conduct by stating that
12 they were primarily soldiers in the KLA and had no experience dealing
13 with the diplomats.
14 It continues, "Gani Krasniqi was a KLA commander and took part in
15 setting up the KLA in Malisevo," so this is what I thought at the time.
16 And then it continues: "'Spokesperson' Jakup Krasniqi is only no. 11 or
17 12 in the hierarchy." This is also an assumption of mine.
18 Q. Thank you. That was my next question. Where does this
19 information come from, if you recall?
20 A. It might have come from talks I had [inaudible] in Pristina,
21 speculations more than any proof. I had no direct information which
22 number Jakup Krasniqi was.
23 Q. Thank you. I'd ask you and -- with Mr. Younis's help to look a
24 little further in the document under heading 2, KLA. It's on your screen
25 now, and if Mr. Younis could blow up the highlighted section.
1 Mr. Kickert, would you read that to me and I promise I won't just ask you
2 to read all day today.
3 A. "The dissension within the KLA, which has been obvious to
4 observers in recent days, was found to have dissipated for the most part
5 in Malisevo." Yeah, that's a more or less correct translation. "It was
6 supposed that the Decani KLA wanted to ensure the support of the U.S.A.
7 for the KLA by coming closer to the LDK (according to the KLA's
8 headquarters a commander of the 1st KLA brigade never welcomed the
9 constitution" -- I think this is a wrong translation. This is a very
10 wrong translation, sorry to say that. If I may try to translate. It was
11 supposed that the UCK of Decani wanted, through a line which was near to
12 the LDK, which is a political party of the then Gllogovc, tried to get
13 the support of the USA for the UCK. And then in brackets it says that --
14 meaning that the UCK Decani had welcomed the constitution -- not the
15 constitution, or the getting together the parliament, and this was done
16 by a commander of the 1st UCK Brigade. And in my talks they refuted
17 that. A 1st UCK Brigade didn't exist at all.
18 Q. Thank you. If you could continue reading, and I apologise you're
19 having to correct the translation a little bit, but I think this last
20 sentence on this English translation which continues to the next page, if
21 you could read that, please.
22 A. "This is interpreted by the KLA headquarters as an attempt to
23 create division by the --
24 Q. We will move on to the next page, Mr. Younis.
25 A. "By the LDK. An article by Enver Maloku, leader of the Kosovo
1 Information Centre of the LDK, in which he accused the KLA of
2 irresponsible behaviour in Orahovac which took the lives of hundreds of
3 civilians, also contributed to the increasingly fractured relationship
4 between the KLA and the LDK. (Maloku was recently the victim of the
5 mysterious assassination attempt.)"
6 If I may look at the German translation.
7 Q. Yes, please do.
8 A. Yes, that is correct translation.
9 Q. Mr. Kickert, I think you have briefly alluded to this, but could
10 you explain to the Trial Chamber what the LDK was, please.
11 A. The LDK is a political party -- it was and it still is headed by
12 Ibrahim Rugova. It is the Democratic League of Kosovo and it was the
13 main political party in Kosovo.
14 Q. Thank you. I would direct your attention to the second-to-last
15 line. Mr. Younis, if you could just put that back.
16 If I could direct your attention to the phrase: "increasingly
17 fractured relationship between the KLA and the LDK." Could you please
18 explain that reference.
19 A. I think there is two things I would add to that. At that time
20 there was talk of an armed group called FARK, which is the armed forces
21 of the Republic of Kosova, which was a group supposedly supported by the
22 LDK, more concretely by Mr. Bujar Bukoshi who was the prime minister in
23 exile at that time.
24 And the second issue is that those who took up arms were
25 dissatisfied with the policy of the LDK, which they found as too passive.
1 So those who criticised the LDK and Dr. Rugova were in my assessment two
2 groups: those who wanted to have a more activist policy but still stay
3 in an unarmed -- by an unarmed means, mainly students with the
4 demonstration but also some political parties in Pristina; then they had
5 the KLA which took up the arms struggle.
6 Q. Do I understand that these different positions caused certain
7 tension between the KLA and the LDK?
8 A. Yes, I think that's an assessment I did take and I stick to that,
10 Q. One other thing I would note before moving on. There are several
11 references in these paragraphs that you've read to "KLA headquarters."
12 Is that a reference to Malisevo that you described earlier?
13 A. Yes. We believe that the headquarters were in Malisevo at that
14 time, but we had nothing to corroborate it. But it's -- it was our
15 feeling at the time.
16 MR. BLACK: With Mr. Younis's assistance I would like to direct
17 your attention to the last highlighted section of this page. If it can
18 be blown up, please.
19 Q. Mr. Kickert, would you also read this.
20 A. "With regard to the disputes within the KLA it now appears that
21 the breakaway KLA factions of the central command in Malisevo where the
22 commanders of the Drenica region (Likovc) are directly represented, have
23 again been brought into line."
24 If I may take a look at the German version just to check.
25 Maybe more correct would be: The KLA factions which -- and then
1 I have it [French spoken] from the central command, who did not follow
2 the central command in Malisevo. This is a reference where I thought the
3 central command was, as they claimed, were brought into line.
4 It continues: "A simple soldier risen to stardom, Lum Haxhiu,
5 who placed himself in the right-hand side of the photo during Holbrooke's
6 visit to Junik and afterwards had people talk about him was, according to
7 the headquarters in Malisevo, instructed not to make any further comments
8 which he is now respecting."
9 If I may give some background. Lum Haxhiu was a KLA soldier who,
10 when Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy visited Junik in western Kosovo, had
11 pictures taken and cameras, some film footage taken with Richard
13 Q. Thank you, then. This reference to "breakaway KLA factions," as
14 it appears in this translation, was that just this particular incident or
15 did you know that to be a problem for the KLA more generally?
16 A. Well, I don't think that -- I think we should be careful. Lum
17 Haxhiu was not somebody who broke away from the KLA. He was talking to
18 the press and I think that was not welcomed. There was a general problem
19 I understood or I assessed at the time that in western Kosovo there were
20 some armed groups who would not -- who would do their own things and not
21 necessarily follow any other command.
22 Q. To your knowledge, was Fatmir Limaj ever in that position of
23 being at odds with the KLA leadership?
24 A. I never heard of that.
25 MR. BLACK: I think we're finished with that document.
1 Q. I do have one more question regarding this meeting. It's not in
2 the report, but do you remember if you raised the Geneva Conventions with
3 Hashim Thaqi?
4 A. Yes, I did. Because the same day I was in Malisevo, the ICRC
5 representatives were also looking for interlocutor because they wanted to
6 flag the issue of respect of Geneva Convention.
7 Q. Do you recall if Mr. Thaqi made any statements regarding that?
8 A. Yes. He did assure they would respect the Geneva Conventions,
9 because they are regular army.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert. We'll leave that meeting now. And if I
11 could ask you, when was your next meeting with members of the KLA?
12 A. That was later on, still in July 1998 when after Malisevo was
13 abandoned by the KLA. So I -- we got lost -- we were at loss who to
14 speak to within the KLA. So my next, if you like, target or interlocutor
15 I was looking for was somebody who appeared in July as the spokesperson
16 of the KLA. That was Jakup Krasniqi.
17 Q. How did you arrange to meet with Mr. Krasniqi?
18 A. That was through local journalists.
19 Q. Where was this meeting held?
20 A. In Klecka.
21 Q. Do you remember the route you took to travel to Klecka?
22 A. It was a little bit of a detour. We went through this nature
23 reserve park, where also hunting took place. We went through that. And
24 then very south of the Londenica valley [phoen] we crossed into the
1 MR. BLACK: With the assistance of the usher I would like to hand
2 the witness a map that we used yesterday. It's map 6 in the maps
3 booklet, Prosecution Exhibit 1, Your Honours. If we could please see the
4 ELMO on our computer screens.
5 Q. Mr. Kickert, in the meantime, if you could see if you could find
6 the pointer that we used yesterday as well.
7 MR. BLACK: And could we zoom out from the map --
8 MR. KHAN: Your Honours, I'm sorry. Perhaps before we move to
9 the next document, I wonder if the Prosecution are seeking to exhibit the
10 translation of the German document which has been put in. Obviously it's
11 been referred to by the witness in English as well, but currently there
12 is no exhibit number assigned.
13 MR. BLACK: Absolutely. Your Honour, my preference would be to
14 exhibit the English and the German versions together under one number or
15 it can be .1, however you would prefer.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I had assumed that is what you were doing. But I
17 think you can take it that both language versions will be the one exhibit
18 number. Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 MR. BLACK: May I continue, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Black.
22 MR. BLACK: Thank you. And I was going to ask the audio/visual
23 booth to zoom out from the map if we could, please. That should be
24 sufficient. Thank you.
25 Q. Mr. Kickert, please point out to the Trial Chamber the route that
1 you took to this meeting in Klecka.
2 A. I wouldn't be able to describe the route with 100 per cent
3 certainty. So -- I just know what we went through what is called
4 Lipovac. It was the nature reserve I was mentioning earlier. And how we
5 got there from Pristina, I don't know. But we went through this and
6 crossed here, this valley in the south to get up to Klecka here. So this
7 is the route I'm sure about, that -- Lipovac up here and to here.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 Mr. Kickert, once you were in Klecka, where was this meeting
10 held, if you remember?
11 A. In a house. I can't recall how it looked like.
12 Q. Did you recognise the room that the meeting was held in?
13 A. The only thing I remember is that I had a deja vu entering the
14 room, that there was a computer, an image I had seen on a local -- a
15 photograph, or local media before.
16 MR. BLACK: If we could see Sanction on our computer screens once
17 again, I would like to show the witness a clip from Prosecution Exhibit
18 P34. For the record, this clip begins about 16 minutes, 51 seconds into
20 Mr. Younis, could you play this, please.
21 [Videotape played]
22 MR. BLACK: If you could pause there, please.
23 Q. Mr. Kickert, do you recognise the room in this video?
24 A. I recognise this image, yes.
25 Q. Was this the place where your meeting was held?
1 A. Yes, it was.
2 Q. Can you identify any of the men in this photo or in this video?
3 A. Yes, I can recognise two persons: Jakup Krasniqi sitting, and to
4 his right is Fatmir Limaj.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. BLACK: I'm finished with that exhibit, Mr. Younis.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Could I just interrupt there.
8 Mr. Kickert, when you said "to his right," did you mean that
9 literally, that is, the right hand of the person sitting in the middle?
10 Or did you mean to the right as we view it?
11 THE WITNESS: At the right as we view it or at the left from the
12 sitting person.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.
14 MR. BLACK: Thank you for the clarification, Your Honour. Now I
15 believe we're done with that exhibit.
16 Q. Mr. Kickert, who attended this meeting from your side?
17 A. I was accompanied by David Slinn, my colleague from the British
18 embassy in Belgrade.
19 Q. And for the KLA?
20 A. For the KLA there was Jakup Krasniqi, who we wanted to go see,
21 and there was also Rame Buja and also Fatmir Limaj.
22 Q. How was Fatmir Limaj introduced to you at this meeting?
23 A. He was introduced as Commander Celiku.
24 Q. Was this the first time you had met Fatmir Limaj?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you eventually come to know him fairly well?
2 A. After the war, yes.
3 Q. When did you first learn Commander Celiku's real name?
4 A. Much later, probably 1999 sometime. Either -- I'm not sure, but
5 maybe at the Rame Buja or just after the bombing campaign.
6 Q. While we're on this -- if I could also show on Sanction --
7 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, this is a photograph bearing the ERN
8 U003-3244. It was included in Prosecution Exhibit P24. So we have seen
9 this before.
10 Q. Mr. Kickert, do you recognise anyone in this photo?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you please name them for us.
13 A. Yes, at the left from how we view it is Rexhep Selimi; in the
14 middle is Hashim Thaqi; and to the right is Fatmir Limaj.
15 Q. Is this how Fatmir Limaj appeared when you met him in July 1998,
16 as near as you can recall?
17 A. Yeah. I did see him in 1998/1999 once with beard, once without
18 beard. So I don't know if at that meeting he had a beard or not. But
19 most probably he had, and I saw him afterwards without a beard.
20 MR. BLACK: We're finished with that photograph. Thank you.
21 Q. Turning to the content of this third meeting. Mr. Kickert, had
22 you prepared an agenda in anticipation of this meeting?
23 A. Yes, I did -- or I did it together with David Slinn, my British
25 Q. I'd like to show you another document on Sanction. It bears the
1 ERN U008-1333. By the way, Mr. Kickert, you also have these documents in
2 that bundle, so if you do have trouble seeing what's on the screen, feel
3 free to refer to the hard copy. Do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes, I do. It's my handwriting.
5 Q. Is this the agenda for the meeting?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 MR. BLACK: At this point, Your Honours, I would ask that it
8 receive the next Prosecution exhibit number.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P57.
11 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
12 If Mr. Younis could assist us once again.
13 Q. I would ask that you look at the first highlighted section there.
14 It may be a little hard to read, but could you read that for us, Mr.
16 A. Yes. It says: "Cease-fire is not a defeat (war crimes on all
17 sides are not amnestied).
18 Act responsible.
19 Window of opportunity."
20 Q. And the third highlighted section on that page, if you could read
21 that for us, please.
22 A. "Prisoners of war, Geneva Convention - no civilians access to the
24 Q. Can you please explain what you intended to raise here.
25 A. The idea was that we would remind a spokesperson of the KLA,
1 Jakup Krasniqi, that the KLA should respect the Geneva Conventions and
2 that no civilians should be taken into custody.
3 Q. Do you recall if anything in particular prompted you to raise
4 this issue?
5 A. It was just a general concern. There was a lot of media talk
6 about abduction and detentions, but we had not had any confirmation on
7 that whatsoever.
8 Q. Do you recall whether the issue was in fact discussed at the
10 A. No. I have no recollection.
11 Q. I would point your attention, then, to the second highlighted
12 section, which is at the middle of 3, I believe.
13 MR. BLACK: We can close those others. Thank you.
14 Q. Please read that for the Trial Chamber.
15 A. "The IC," international community, "may well accomplish idea of
16 sending troops to northern Albania."
17 Q. Can you explain this?
18 A. Yes. There was a contemplation of sending NATO troops to
19 northern Albania to stabilise the region. And this we may have raised
20 for, if you like, the carrot-and-stick approach; as a possible stick
21 saying if NATO troops are in northern Albania, then it would not be as
22 easy as it may have been before to have bases in northern Albania for the
24 Q. Did you have information that the KLA had such bases in northern
1 A. I had no real information on that, but it was the assumption.
2 But I had no proof.
3 Q. Thank you. We've finished with that document. I'd like to show
4 you the next document which bears the ERN U008-1332.
5 MR. BLACK: And I just mention, Your Honours, both the last
6 document and this document are attached to his statement as well if
7 that's an easier place to find them.
8 Q. Mr. Kickert, do you recognise this?
9 A. It's my handwriting.
10 Q. Are these the notes of your meeting with Mr. Krasniqi?
11 A. Yes, they are.
12 MR. BLACK: At this point I would ask that they be given a
13 Prosecution Exhibit number, please.
14 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P58.
16 MR. BLACK: If I could ask Mr. Younis to zoom in on the first two
17 highlighted sections together, I suppose.
18 Q. Mr. Kickert, that's difficult to read. Perhaps on the hard copy
19 could you indicate what those say.
20 A. Yeah, the top one says: "Celiku," and the left one says
21 "COMM."and then the wrong writing, so "Sheliku," S-h.
22 Q. And Comm, what does that refer to?
23 A. Commander.
24 Q. Is that a reference to Fatmir Limaj?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. If we could move on to the next section, please. Please read
2 just the first, the small highlighted two words, please.
3 A. "VJ mainly."
4 Q. Can you explain this note, please.
5 A. VJ is the Yugoslav army, and that was that -- I suppose, but -- I
6 read the report, but that means their concern was mainly on the VJ.
7 Q. Why do you think the KLA was mainly concerned with the VJ?
8 A. I don't know. Maybe they were -- had better equipment, tanks.
9 Q. Better than whom?
10 A. Than the police, the MUP.
11 Q. If we could move to the next highlighted section -- well, it's
12 still there, it's already blown up. If you could read that, please.
13 A. "Army to retreat, all people to return, checkpoint away." And
14 then these were the -- then: "3 conditions for not attacking."
15 Q. Does this correspond generally to cease-fire that you had
16 mentioned in your agenda?
17 A. Yes. One of our aims was that we were pleading to them to
18 refrain from any attacks, because at that time, just to give the
19 background, we were attempting to form a joint Kosovar platform to be
20 able to negotiate with Belgrade. So our aim was that through their
21 military restraint it would be made easier for us to come to this joint
23 Q. Thank you. I direct your attention to the next highlighted
24 section. What does that say?
25 A. "Serbs not accept
1 No longer front war (people removed)."
2 Q. And what does this mean?
3 A. Well, this as I have written in my report, it says that if these
4 conditions are not accepted we will change the tactics from a front war
5 to guerrilla war.
6 Q. You mention your report. Perhaps we'll return to this with the
7 next exhibit. Before we move on, the last highlighted section. Could
8 you read that for us, please.
9 A. Yes. It says: "Very wrong if people think the roads are free."
10 Q. What was meant by this?
11 A. For a long period in May and even June of 1998, some of the main
12 roads through Kosovo were blocked by the KLA. And probably at that time
13 they had the Serb security forces may have re-established control of the
14 main roads. And this is just reference that they could at any time
15 attack these roads.
16 Q. Thank you. I believe we're finished with that document. And
17 I'll take you to a third and final document with regard to this same
18 meeting. If I could show you ERN U008-1193, which you should have in
19 hard copy as well if that's easier.
20 Do you recognise this document, Mr. Kickert?
21 A. Yeah, I recognise the German one, yes.
22 Q. And could you identify it, please.
23 A. Yes, I have written this report.
24 MR. BLACK: At this point I would ask that it be given a
25 Prosecution exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Prosecution Exhibit P59, that's the
2 German version. The English translation will be P59A, and the Albanian
3 translation, Prosecution Exhibit P59B.
4 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much.
5 Q. We have the English version on the Sanction screen.
6 MR. BLACK: Mr. Younis, could you zoom in on the first
7 highlighted section.
8 Q. Mr. Kickert, please read that paragraph.
9 A. "After the EU troika was unable to establish contact with the
10 high-ranking KLA representatives regarding the consequences of the most
11 recent combat activities" -- that is a wrong translation: Due to the
12 consequences of the most recent combat activities -- "on 30 July the desk
13 officer and a British colleague drove (for approximately two hours in an
14 armoured British Land Rover in part on side roads built by the KLA
15 itself) to the new KLA 'headquarters' that was moved to the area of north
16 of Crnoljevo, where they met with KLA spokesman Jakup Krasniqi, the
17 regional commander Celiku, and Rame Buja, former LDK secretary and now a
18 KLA staff member." General Staff member would probably be a more correct
20 Q. Thank you. You read "the new KLA headquarters moved to
21 Crnoljevo. Is that a reference to Klecka that you referred to before?
22 A. Yes, it is. I deliberately left out the name of the exact
23 location, because even if that report was confidential, you never know if
24 somebody drops a name somewhere else and I didn't want to do that.
25 Q. In other words, you omitted the name to protect the KLA
1 headquarters, the security of that place.
2 A. Well, I lost my interlocutors when the KLA abandoned Malisevo. I
3 didn't want to have it happen a second time.
4 Q. The word headquarters, as you noted, appears in quotation marks.
5 Why is that?
6 A. Because there was no certainty, so that is why I put it into
7 quotation marks.
8 Q. What made you think that Klecka may have been a headquarters, as
9 you say there?
10 A. Because I met the spokesperson, Jakup Krasniqi, there.
11 Q. In that same paragraph, you refer to the "regional commander
12 Celiku." Is this something you were told or is this your own impression
13 of him?
14 A. That was my own impression. He was introduced me as Commander
15 Celiku and my assumption is if he is in that meeting he might be a
16 regional one.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. BLACK: Let's move to the next -- I believe it's the next
19 page of the document. And if Mr. Younis would highlight both of those
20 highlighted sections, if he would zoom in on those.
21 Q. Mr. Kickert, please read just the first part there.
22 A. "Viewed on the whole, the overall impression remained that the
23 KLA had not yet completed its internal opinion-forming process."
24 Q. What is this a reference to? Could you explain.
25 A. Yeah, the main aim of this meeting was to talk on, as I said,
1 this formation of a united Kosovar political platform to enter
2 negotiations with Belgrade. So my impression was that the internal
3 opinion-forming process within the KLA has not yet been completed, which
4 means they were still discussing it. They were critical of some issues.
5 There was a list of persons presented actually the day before, if I'm not
6 mistaken, in another place in the north, in Likovc, by the designated, if
7 you want to call it, at that time, Prime Minister Mehemet Hajziri, who
8 went there with the U.S. envoy Chris Hill to see the KLA in Likovc.
9 Q. So did the opinion-forming process referred to here have any
10 connection with military decision-making?
11 A. No. I am a diplomat. I was never interested in military
12 hierarchies. I just wanted to have a person who would be able
13 politically to speak authoritative [sic] in the KLA.
14 Q. Thank you. I think we can move on to the last or the second-last
15 page of this document. There we go.
16 MR. BLACK: Mr. Younis, please zoom in on the top highlighted
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters require that the witness
19 please will speak a little bit more slowly.
20 MR. BLACK:
21 Q. Mr. Kickert, I think I would ask you to read this paragraph for
22 the Trial Chamber as well.
23 A. "In an initial reaction KLA representatives completely rejected
24 Nekiba Kelmendi of the LDK and demanded participation from the LPK,"
25 another political party, "at the desk officer's objection that the LPK is
1 actually a party of Albanians abroad, it was claimed that a wing existed
2 even within the Kosovo itself) the LDK representatives are causing
3 problems for the KLAs as a matter of principle; it was made clear by
4 Austria/UK that no common platform would be possible out LDK
6 If I may just look at the German version.
7 Q. Of course.
8 A. Yeah, well, that's okay.
9 Q. Thank you. First, it may be helpful if you would explain what
10 the LPK was.
11 A. This is a political party which was actually to -- what our
12 understanding was was active abroad and a lot of the -- or many of the
13 KLA fighters came out of the LPK, to my understanding. But not
14 necessarily as -- those persons I also met in this meeting, Jakup
15 Krasniqi, for example, and Rame Buja both came from the LDK.
16 Q. Thank you. I direct your attention to the phrase: "The LDK
17 representatives are causing problems for the KLA as a matter of
19 Could you explain that, please.
20 A. Yeah, there was a friction between the KLA and the LDK. I may
21 try to recall the context. When the KLA emerged and they are in --
22 openly in 1998 and then gained ground in spring of 1998, the LDK tried to
23 exert its dominance and was calling for elections, presidential
24 elections. So there was sort of a little bit of friction of who would
25 dominate the political scene.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, I would direct your attention a bit further down
2 the page. Yes, under heading 3, KLA.
3 MR. BLACK: Mr. Younis, please zoom in on the first highlighted
5 Q. Please read this, Mr. Kickert.
6 A. "The KLA representatives who were met with" -- "who we met with,"
7 it should read -- "confirmed the change in their tactics. It is clear
8 for them that a conventional war with well-defined front lines is not
9 possible and they will therefore confine themselves to guerrilla
11 "Confine themselves" is not a correct translation, but they would
12 "move to" guerrilla actions.
13 "The threat was reiterated that actions in big towns, such as
14 Pristina, could always be started." Yeah.
15 Q. Mr. Kickert, was this essentially what you alluded to in your
16 notes with the words: "If the Serbs no longer accept a front war"?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you understand the KLA to be saying that they were going to
19 use guerrilla tactics as a tactical decision?
20 A. Again, I'm not a military expert, but that was a time when they
21 had to retreat from certain areas like Malisevo. So the change of --
22 yeah, military tactics, yeah. So what they've done before in the very
23 beginning of 1998.
24 Q. And the last sentence you read was: "The threat was reiterated
25 that actions in big towns, such as Pristina, could always be started."
1 Was the KLA capable of attacking a big town like Pristina or I should say
2 of undertaking actions in a big town such as Pristina at that time?
3 A. I wouldn't be able to judge that. There were some armed actions
4 not too far from Pristina. But that I really can't assess.
5 Q. Thank you. In that same paragraph, if we could highlight the
6 next sentence. Please read that sentence.
7 A. "In addition, they stated that it would be wrong to presume now
8 that the streets are safe and passable."
9 That's a correct translation.
10 Q. One translation issue I would ask about. In your notes you refer
11 to roads being safe, and I believe in the German you use the word
12 "strassen," which here is translated as streets.
13 A. No, it's roads. It is a main artery is what is meant by that.
14 So it would be, rather, roads.
15 Q. You say the main arteries. Do you refer to roads between cities
16 and towns as opposed to streets, I guess, in cities and towns?
17 A. Yes. I refer to roads in the main towns, say from Pristina to
19 Q. Thank you. And if we could briefly look at the last highlighted
20 section there. You don't need to read this out, but I would ask you if
21 these are the three requirements we saw in your notes.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. We're finished with that document.
24 Mr. Kickert, did you continue to meet with the KLA after July
1 A. No. These meetings were interrupted as since sort of mid-July
2 1998, the Serbian security forces launched an offensive. So the places
3 where I used to meet them I could not meet them anymore. And then in
4 1998 -- in August of 1998 we were concentrating our activities more on
5 the IDP crisis. Through the offensive of the Serbian security forces a
6 lot of people left their homes. And so we in August tried to see how we
7 could counter that. And at the same time the US had taken the position
8 to form a negotiation team with LDK representatives only. This decision
9 was endorsed by the contact group. So the KLA was no longer welcome in
10 this negotiation team.
11 Q. Nevertheless, did you have occasion to meet with Commander Celiku
12 again during 1998?
13 A. Yeah. Later on in the fall of 1998 when at that time the KVM or
14 the Kosovo Verification Mission of the OSCE was established we did have
15 contact with KLA representatives again. It was Hashim Thaqi mainly.
16 Q. Did Fatmir Limaj ever accompany Hashim Thaqi at those meetings?
17 A. Yes, at least in one of the meetings in Banja, he was with Hashim
19 Q. To return briefly to one thing we discussed earlier. You said
20 when you first met Hashim Thaqi he introduced himself as Number 3. Do
21 you remember when you learned his real name?
22 A. I actually learnt his name right away, but I never used it. Only
23 when it was -- it became public knowledge, that was in the fall of 1998,
24 I suppose, did I use it as well.
25 Q. Did you come to see Hashim Thaqi more as a military or a
1 political figure?
2 A. We were just interested in political figures. I saw him as a
3 political figure.
4 Q. What about Fatmir Limaj? In the summer of 1998, did you see him
5 as a military or political figure?
6 A. He was present at the meetings, but he was not my interlocutor.
7 Q. If you remember, did he appear at those meetings in uniform?
8 A. Yes; so did Hashim Thaqi also.
9 Q. Thank you. We've been discussing 1998. Mr. Kickert, did you
10 later work with UNMIK after 1998?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And what were your duties briefly?
13 A. I was the political advisor to the SRSG, Bernard Kushner, from
14 summer 1999 until the end of 2000.
15 Q. And in that position did you have contact with Fatmir Limaj?
16 A. Indeed. Fatmir Limaj became an official of the PDK political
17 party, which was established in 1999. And in this role we met actually
18 more often than we ever did in 1998.
19 Q. Did you have a good relationship with Limaj?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. What was your impression of him in 1999 and 2000?
22 A. I regarded him and I still regard him very highly. I think he's
23 a person -- in my dealings with him, I could -- I sensed that he had --
24 is a man of responsibility and of pragmatism and somebody who was not an
25 ideologist or somebody who -- with radical ideas. He was open for
1 reconciliation. Since we didn't have a common language, we spoke
2 Serbo-Croatian with each other. So a very open person.
3 Q. At this time did you ever hear allegations that troops under
4 Limaj's command were abducting civilians?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Had you ever heard of a KLA prison in Lapusnik?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you ever have occasion to visit Fatmir Limaj in his home?
9 A. Yes, I did visit him in 1999.
10 Q. Could you please briefly describe that visit.
11 A. Well, it was one of my trips on weekends. As you tend to stay in
12 Pristina too much and you won't grasp Kosovo if you don't go outside the
13 capital, I did my weekend outings. In one of the outings I went to Banja
14 where without any planning we just asked whether Mr. Limaj was in his own
15 village. We did meet him and he received us in his house.
16 Q. Did that visit tell you anything about the status which Fatmir
17 Limaj enjoyed in that area?
18 A. Yeah. When we met him, there were -- we were not alone. There
19 was some other persons with him, also elder people. And we were sitting
20 the traditional way on the floor and drinking tea and -- I don't smoke,
21 but smoking. Yeah, I could sense that he commanded a lot of respect in
22 his community.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, I am about to change topic somewhat.
25 We're done with Mr. Kickert's meetings with KLA members and I think it
1 may be an appropriate time to take the break, as you please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: [Microphone not activated] we'd normally be
3 sitting for another 20 minutes.
4 MR. BLACK: I'm perfectly happy to continue.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. BLACK: I'm still getting used to the times of the breaks. I
8 Q. Mr. Kickert, I'm now going to go through a few documents with
9 you, I think five, from the months of June and July which I hope may
10 assist the Trial Chamber to understand the situation in Kosovo at the
11 time. The first one I would show you is an 8 June 1998, report from the
12 Belgrade embassy to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If Mr.
13 Younis could put this up. The German version bears the number U008-1208
14 to 1209. The English translation is U003-7981 to 83.
15 Have you found that report -- excuse me, have you found that
17 Mr. Kickert, did you write this report?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 MR. BLACK: I would ask that it be assigned an exhibit number,
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P60, the German
22 version; the English translation P60A; and the Albanian translation P60B.
23 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
24 Q. By way of introduction, I suppose, Mr. Kickert, I would ask you
25 to read the highlighted summary and if Mr. Younis could zoom in on that
1 for us, please. Thank you.
2 A. First sentence reads: "Serbian security forces appear to have no
3 control over road links Pristina-Pec and Kosovska Mitrovica-Pec."
4 Q. Just read each point. Just the bullet points, please.
5 A. I just check with the German version first.
6 Second one: "Stretch of road between Djakovica and Pec still
7 closed to private traffic.
8 "Fighting along the Pec-Djakovica road has ceased; now evidently
9 concentrated around the Decani and surroundings." This is a wrong
10 translation. It should read that the fightings which have ceased on the
11 road between Pec and Djakovica were evidently concentrated on Decani and
12 its surroundings. So not now evidently concentrated. They had ceased.
13 The fighting has ceased when we visited.
14 Fourth bullet point: "UCK seems to have interrupted road links
15 for a certain period." This is a correct translation and it refers to
16 the third bullet point, the Pec-Djakovica stretch of road.
17 And the next bullet point: "Considerable devastation in Decani,
18 but less than alleged by LDK and less than in Drenica in March," and I
19 put Lausa, but it could have been also other places as well.
20 "Conspicuous fire damage (arson).
21 "Situation in Decani tense; majority of inhabitants appear to
22 have left.
23 "Areas bordering on Albania were not shown.
24 "Fresh assurances by Yug. For. Min. that battle region is now
25 open to diplomats."
1 Q. Thank you. And I would now direct your attention to the
2 highlighted section at the bottom of the document. I won't ask you to
3 read that -- actually -- well, perhaps the second part. Beginning: "It
4 was noticeable," please read that.
5 A. "It was noticeable that the direct road connection between
6 Pristina and Pec, and between Kosovska Mitrovica and Pec, through the
7 Drenica region, were avoided."
8 Q. And if I can ask Mr. Younis if we can continue on to the next
9 page, just to complete that thought.
10 A. "The reason given in response to inquiries was that safety could
11 not be guaranteed on this stretch of road."
12 Q. So, Mr. Kickert, in other words, you were told in 1998 that the
13 Pristina-Pec road was blocked or unsafe. Is that correct?
14 A. That it was unsafe for us to travel, us diplomats. Just to give
15 the context, this was a trip organised by the Yugoslav foreign ministry
16 for diplomats based in Belgrade to show them the region which is called
17 in Albanian, Dugadjin Gorani, in western Kosovo.
18 Q. Thank you. It might be helpful with the assistance of Mr. Younis
19 and the usher if I could show you a map. It's -- I would ask for map 4
20 from the maps booklet to be given to the witness and placed on the ELMO.
21 Mr. Kickert, again with your pointer if you could indicate the
22 route that you took to the Trial Chamber, please.
23 A. Yes. We were flown into Pristina and then instead of taking the
24 direct road from Pristina to Pec/Peja, we were taken northwards through
25 Mitrovica and then all the way to Rozaj [phoen] in Montenegro down to
1 Pec/Peja. And we continued south to Decani and to a village which was
2 called Prileb [phoen], or so-called Prileb. And we continued this whole
3 trip in southwards to Prizren and this road back to Pristina.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Could you just pause there for a moment.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes seem to be having subsisting problems with
8 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, whilst there's a pause in proceedings, I
9 needn't be recorded. My client states that the translation into Albanian
10 appears rather rushed, so perhaps if we slow down it will make the
11 translators' jobs somewhat easier.
12 MR. BLACK: Thank you for the reminder.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE PARKER: I think we may be operational now. Yes. Please
17 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. Should I go back and --
18 JUDGE PARKER: I'm told that it is all being recorded so that it
19 will be included in a short time.
20 MR. BLACK: Okay. Thank you very much.
21 If we could move then back to the document that we were viewing
22 before. I don't have it on my screen. I think it's -- okay. Thanks.
23 I've got it now. And if Mr. Younis could -- yes, if you could zoom in on
24 that entire paragraph, please, go down -- yeah, that's great.
25 Q. Mr. Kickert, could you please read the first highlighted section
2 A. It says "Decani: Considerable devastation, but by no means as
3 drastic as described by LDK (80 per cent destroyed; a second Vukovar)".
4 Q. Could you briefly describe what you saw in Decani.
5 A. Well, if I may give the background. Our information on what was
6 going on in Kosovo at that time was very scarce. So informations that we
7 got or either official Serb information or what we got from the LDK. And
8 I refer to this description of LDK, is allowing descriptions of LDK.
9 Q. There's a reference to Vukovar. Had you yourself in fact been at
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. Could you briefly explain it to the Trial Chamber. I'm not sure
13 if they are aware of the reference, although they probably are.
14 A. Well, Vukovar was a city in eastern -- or still a city in eastern
15 Croatia which was heavily shelled by Serb forces and the devastation
16 there could still be seen when I was in Vukovar in 1997.
17 Q. And so the reference here is to say that the destruction was not
18 as serious as that in Vukovar. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes. The destruction was not at the same level. Not to say that
20 there was no destruction, but it was at the same level. My assessment
21 what we had heard from the LDK was an exaggeration. And we have to know
22 that both sides in this tried to give their own spin, knowing that the
23 western diplomats didn't have information, what was going on on the
25 Q. But just to be clear there did appear to be evidence of fighting
1 at Decani?
2 A. Absolutely. No doubt about that.
3 Q. And the last phrase I suppose of that paragraph which is
4 highlighted. Could you read that, please.
5 A. It states: "Colleagues who visited the Drenica region in March
6 reported comparatively little destruction (no shelling with heavy within
8 Q. Does this indicate that the destruction in Drenica in March then
9 was more than what you saw in Decani? Am I reading that correctly?
10 A. I referred to colleagues and they were most probably military
11 attaches which were also on this trip. And they had seen the Drenica
12 region where the March events happened. I didn't, at that time. And
13 they made a comparison and their comparison was that in Drenica they were
14 shelling, where there was no shelling from tanks in the Dugadjin Gorani
15 area at that time.
16 MR. BLACK: Thank you. If we can close that box and if it's
17 possible to highlight that entire last box. Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Kickert, this refers to a briefing by the Yugoslav foreign
19 ministry and minister of the interior.
20 A. "Police activity a response to murders and abductions of
21 policemen, but especially to an attempt by 'terrorist gangs' to block the
22 main road."
23 Q. Just to be clear, the reference to police activity, does that
24 refer to the Serb forces who were responsible for the destruction that
25 you had seen?
1 A. Yes, the police activity, that refers to what was going on in the
2 Dugadjin area in this stretch we saw between Pec/Peja, Betonaj [phoen],
3 and then to Prila [phoen].
4 Q. I know you're not a military expert, but I wonder if you could
5 indicate to the Court: When they talk about police activity this is not
6 regular patrol of the streets or regular police activities we're used to.
7 It's something more; is that right?
8 MR. KHAN: [Microphone not activated] this issue.
9 MR. BLACK: Thank you. I apologise. Maybe I misheard. Was the
10 objection that I was leading him or --
11 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I can repeat myself. I simply stated the
12 obvious, with respect, that the witness can answer for himself. He can
13 describe, no doubt, what was the police activity that he was alluding to.
14 I don't think Mr. Black needs to press him in a certain direction.
15 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Have we addressed that adequately?
17 MR. BLACK: Yes. In fact, I'll move on to the next part of the
19 Q. In the next bullet point, Mr. Kickert, I have highlighted:
20 "Border is secured by the army."
21 Do you if the VJ was concentrated on the borders?
22 A. Well, this is where -- the army was there for border security,
23 but I didn't see any army, no VJ when I was there.
24 Q. Okay. I suppose what I was trying to ask very inartfully before:
25 Can you briefly indicate to us the difference between army activity and
1 what is called police activity in your report.
2 A. Well, in this section, I cite out of the briefing of the Yugoslav
3 foreign ministry, so they refer to police activity. And this is not an
4 assessment of mine, but just mirroring what we were briefed on.
5 Q. Okay. I don't think there's any reason to belabour the point.
6 The last phrase of that bullet point makes a reference to
7 ensuring safety on the roads.
8 What roads does that refer to? If you remember.
9 A. Well, it was this stretch which -- between Pec/Peja and Decani, I
10 suppose. Because this was a road which was accessible again. That's why
11 they took us there.
12 Q. Please read the next two bullet points.
13 A. "Dramatic increase in 'terrorist attacks' since beginning of year
14 (409 by 3 June, with 53 fatalities including 18 police)."
15 Q. And the next bullet point.
16 A. "Albanians accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing."
17 Q. Just to be clear, these are figures and allegations of the Serb
18 authorities. Is that right?
19 A. Yes. I am just giving there what we were told in the briefing.
20 It's just that my ministry knows what we were told there.
21 Q. And were the Serbs alleging that the Albanians were attacking
23 A. Well, if they refer to ethnic cleansing, I suppose so. But it's
24 not me to interpret them [sic].
25 Q. Please read the next bullet point.
1 A. "UCK attempting to connect Drenica and Malisevo areas with
2 western Kosovo."
3 Q. To your knowledge, did the KLA control the Drenica and Malisevo
4 areas at this time?
5 A. Yes. This is what we thought at that time, yes.
6 Q. And what would be the advantage of attempting to connect those
7 areas with western Kosovo?
8 A. Well, two areas of fighting and the western Kosovo was adjacent
9 to northern Albania, which was considered as a -- for logistical reasons
10 for smuggling in weapons.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. BLACK: If we could turn briefly to the next page and I'll
13 wrap this up with this document -- well, wrap up this document. Thank
15 Q. Could you read just that last bullet point please, Mr. Kickert.
16 A. Well, this is again from the briefing of the Yugoslav Serb side.
17 "Training camps and ordnance depots for UCK in Albania (at least three)".
18 Q. I apologise. Next bullet point.
19 A. Presentation of weaponry: Arms, including 2 bazookas and a small
20 Howitzer belonging to the JVA." And then comes my assessment: "Looked
21 old, partly rusted or unused (but SB lacks expertise in this sphere)".
22 Q. It may be obvious, can you explain for the record what a bazooka
24 A. Something you put on your shoulder.
25 Q. And a Howitzer?
1 A. It's a little cannon.
2 Q. You mentioned that you lacked of experience in this sphere, Mr.
3 Kickert. Have you ever served in the military?
4 A. No, I haven't.
5 MR. BLACK: We're finished with that document, Your Honour, it
6 may be an appropriate time for the break.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be and we will resume at 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Black.
11 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Mr. Kickert, I've been reminded that I need to pause after your
13 answers before my question. And I would ask that you also pause for a
14 second, if you could remember, after my questions before answering. And
15 perhaps also on those occasions where I ask you to read, if you could
16 just be conscious to read a little bit more slowly. Thank you.
17 Mr. Kickert, I would like to show you another document. It bears
18 the ERN 0081-1205. It's a 27 June 1998 document. If you could locate
19 that, please. Mr. Kickert, did you write in report?
20 A. Yes, I wrote this report together with my ambassador.
21 MR. BLACK: The English version is there on our computer screens.
22 I would ask Mr. Younis to zoom in on the first bullet point, please.
23 Q. Mr. Kickert, would you please read just the highlighted text.
24 A. "UCK blockade of the mainly Serbian town of Kijevo soon to be
25 ended (the US believes that the FRY army could breach the blockade at any
1 time but is holding back for political reasons)."
2 Q. We may return to this topic with another document, but just one
3 question before we move on. Was the KLA capable of blockading entire
4 towns like Kijevo?
5 A. Well, as far as I understood at that time, the main road where
6 Kijevo was located on, meaning the road between Pristina and Pec/Peja,
7 was blocked. And therefore the town or the village of Kijevo had or no
8 secure access to these main towns.
9 Q. For how long did that situation exist, if you know?
10 A. It must have been for a couple of weeks. A US envoy even called
11 Kijevo the most dangerous place on earth at a certain stage, referring to
12 the possibility of escalation due to what was perceived as a blockade of
13 this town.
14 MR. BLACK: If we could highlight the next bullet point, please.
15 Q. Mr. Kickert, please read that.
16 A. "Visible increase in militarisation and professionalisation of
17 the UCK, according to the US military attache."
18 If I may, I think it's incorrect if you use the word
19 "militarisation." It sounds more like an ideological thing. What was
20 meant is they had more military armament.
21 Q. Thank you. Could we zoom in on the final highlighted bullet
22 point, please. Mr. Kickert, please read that bullet point.
23 A. "The UCK command structure nevertheless remains something of a
24 mystery, according to the US. Although the UCK operates with terms such
25 as 'General Staff,' in the US view it is more a matter of diffuse
1 horizontal command and coordination structures. This could be
2 problematical in terms of involving the UCK in the political dialogue."
3 Q. Thank you. Before it slips my attention again, could I have this
4 document marked as an exhibit, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Prosecution Exhibit P62, the German
6 version; the English translation will be P61A; and the Albanian
7 translation P61B.
8 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Kickert, there's a reference that "the UCK command structure
10 remains something of a mystery according to the US." Do you know what
11 the basis was for that assessment?
12 A. The assessment was probably also to find interlocutors, and that
13 they were as much as we were puzzled as who would be it. And since you
14 had no idea of the structure of this organisation, it was difficult to
15 identify somebody.
16 Q. The term "General Staff" appears in quotation marks. Why was
18 A. It was used, but we were not sure or not aware of its existence.
19 Q. Had you heard of a KLA general staff by June of 1998, the time of
20 this document?
21 A. Since I use this term, it must have been in use, yeah.
22 Q. I believe you mentioned a KLA central command in some of the
23 documents we viewed earlier today. Is that a reference to the same thing
24 as "general staff," or is that something different?
25 A. No, that would be the same. Again, I'm not a military person.
1 And if I use these terms I either have heard them or I wouldn't be using
2 them maybe in the correct military sense.
3 Q. Mr. Kickert, again in your understanding, taking into
4 consideration the fact that you're not a military expert, did you
5 understand that central command or general staff to be regional in scope
6 or to cover all of Kosovo?
7 A. Well, my assessment -- I think during 1998 and I don't know when,
8 there was certainly an effort that it would be all of Kosovo. But my
9 feeling was that the coordination between different regions was very
11 Q. What about coordination within regions?
12 A. I can't tell. I was involved in the political scene. And
13 whenever we brought them a proposal to consider, it took them a
14 considerable time -- actually, a very long time to come up with a
15 decision and I think throughout my dealings with the KLA I had the
16 feeling that there was a larger group involved in decision-making and the
17 decisions were taken more on a consensus, less on a hierarchical basis.
18 Q. I think we'll move on to another document. I'd like to show you
19 a 1 July 1998 report from the embassy to the ministry of foreign affairs.
20 It bears the ERN I believe 0081-1203 to 1204.
21 Mr. Kickert, did you write this report as well?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I would be asked that it be given an
24 exhibit number, please.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P62.
1 MR. BLACK: Thank you.
2 If Mr. Younis would highlight the first section there.
3 Q. Mr. Kickert, please read this text to the Trial Chamber.
4 A. "According to," and this in translation into English would be
5 local press reports, "Kosovo's prefect, Veljko Odalovic, confirmed to the
6 Reuters on the 30th of June that the Yugoslav army (VJ) participated in
7 operations in relation to Balacevac. This would be the first time that
8 participation of the VJ in inland operations had been confirmed by the
9 Serbian side."
10 Q. Thank you. And I would ask you to read the other highlighted
11 section of that document.
12 A. "Odalovic is also believed to have stated to Reuters that
13 (police) action is also scheduled to take place at the end of this week
14 in order to liberate the strategically important place of Kijevo (along
15 the Pec-Pristina road, which connects the UCK-controlled areas of Drenica
16 and Malisevo). For weeks, the UCK has surrounded this place, as well as
17 200 Serbian civilians and dozens of police officers."
18 Q. Thank you. We touched briefly on Kijevo before.
19 MR. BLACK: At this point, if -- I would like maybe with the
20 usher's assistance to have map 6 from Prosecution Exhibit P1 back on the
21 ELMO. Perhaps if we could zoom out a little bit more, if possible.
22 Q. Mr. Kickert, can you point to Kijevo on this map, please.
23 A. [Witness complies]
24 MR. BLACK: Is it possible to zoom the map out any further -- no,
25 I guess we can't. There now, we've moved it.
1 Q. Are you pointing to Kijevo now.
2 A. Yes, I'm pointing to Kijevo.
3 Q. Mr. Kickert, the document uses the words "strategically important
4 place of Kijevo along the Pec-Pristina road."
5 Could you explain why this area was strategically important.
6 A. One, it was on the main road between Pristina and Pec/Peja. And
7 this is also a junction where the road leads to the south.
8 Q. I believe earlier you mentioned that this road could somehow
9 assist in access to northern Albanian. Would control of this area or
10 this road by the KLA have any impact on Serb forces?
11 A. No. I think I have to correct you. The road which I was
12 mentioning which was important to have access to northern Albanian if you
13 controlled it, it was the one south -- going south from Pec/Peja to
14 Decani, and not this east/west between Pristina and Pec/Peja.
15 Q. Thank you for the correction. Was the Pec-Pristina road also
16 strategically important?
17 A. Of course. It went through the middle of Kosovo and it connected
18 two big towns: the capital, Pristina, and Pec/Peja.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 If I could direct your attention back to the document and ask Mr.
21 Younis to turn the page for us on Sanction. If you could read that first
22 highlighted sentence, please.
23 A. "Pavle Bulatovic, Yugoslav Minister of Defence, stated on the
24 30th of June that up to 55 persons had been kidnapped, including 50 Serbs
25 and Montenegrins."
1 Q. Had you heard other information about kidnappings of civilians?
2 A. Here I'm just citing an official from Belgrade. There had been,
3 time and again in Serb media, allegations of kidnappings.
4 Q. And if you could please look at the last highlighted section. If
5 you would read that for the Trial Chamber, please.
6 A. "Serbia claims that they control all the cities and a large
7 number of connecting roads in Kosovo, despite the areas controlled by the
8 UCK (estimated at approximately 30-40 per cent Demaqi: 50 per cent) is
9 true in relation to the cities, but completely false in relation to the
11 May I take a look at the German version?
12 Q. Please do.
13 A. It's fine. It's okay.
14 Q. Please take your time if you want to have a look at it. There's
15 no rush. I believe it's the last paragraph of that document, if that
16 should help.
17 A. Yeah. It would be probably the bulk of the connecting roads.
18 Yeah. But that is a mix of what they claim, and then my assessment
19 saying, well, they don't have control of the roads.
20 Q. What about the estimations of area controlled by the KLA, 30-40
21 per cent or Demaqi 50 per cent?
22 A. Well, this is just speculation. You could never -- never really
24 Q. Were they numbers that you came up with yourself or had you heard
25 them, had you been told these numbers?
1 A. Just heard them and being told. That's why directly I -- Mr.
2 Demaqi who is a politician who claimed that 50 per cent were under
3 control of the UCK. And other estimates were 30 to 40 per cent, it would
4 have been media, it would have been maybe some military attaches. Or at
5 that time -- at that time we had already our observers on the ground, so
6 it may have been their estimates because they were travelling through
7 Kosovo outside of Pristina.
8 Q. Thank you. We'll proceed to the next document. It should bear
9 the ERN 0081-1201 to 1202, and it's a 6th July 1998 report from the
10 embassy in Belgrade to the ministry in Vienna.
11 Mr. Kickert, did you write this report?
12 A. Yes, I did. And it is largely in English because from the
13 beginning, 1st of July, Austria had taken up the presidency of the EU.
14 So I wrote it in English to it could be communicated to all other EU
15 member states.
16 MR. BLACK: At this time I would ask that it be given an exhibit
17 number, please.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P63.
19 MR. BLACK:
20 Q. Mr. Kickert, could you please read the highlighted section of
21 this document.
22 A. "The route taken led from Pristina north to Kosovska Mitrovica,
23 eastwards to G. Klina and Srbica (Albanian: Skenderaj) up to Donji Prekaz
24 where the Jashari family compound - target of Serbian security forces
25 actions in early March - was visited. The same route was taken in
1 returning to Pristina.
2 "The convoy did not enter UCK controlled areas."
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. BLACK: I don't know if the witness still has map 4, if that
5 would be helpful with that.
6 Q. Mr. Kickert, if you would, please indicate that route on the map.
7 A. From Pristina, north, to Mitrovica, and then south to Skenderaj.
8 And there, just very near Skenderaj is Prekaz, where the compound of the
9 Jashari family is situated.
10 Q. You write that the "convoy did not enter UCK controlled areas."
11 If you had any UCK controlled areas in mind, could you point to them on
12 the map.
13 A. That was south of Skenderaj.
14 Q. Thank you. I think we can move to the next document now, please,
15 and we're done with the ELMO for the time being. Mr. Kickert, this is a
16 7 July 1998 report from the embassy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
17 I believe it bears the ERN 0081-1198 to 1200 on the German version.
18 Did you write this report?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, if it could be given an exhibit number,
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P64.
23 MR. BLACK: We have the English version on the Sanction.
24 Mr. Younis, could you please highlight that first section.
25 Q. And Mr. Kickert, please read that highlighted two sentences.
1 A. "In relation to the UCK: Holbrooke himself says that it is not
2 known whether the UCK has an internal chain of command. He doubts that
3 there is."
4 Q. Do you know what Mr. Holbrooke was basing his opinion on?
5 A. No.
6 Q. If we could turn then to the next page under part 3 which is
7 headed "Demaqi talks." Could you please read that highlighted section as
8 the last paragraph on the page.
9 A. "In relation to the organisation of the UCK:
10 "Clear organisational structures and a hierarchy were present,
11 and he had met persons who identified themselves by using numbers (No.1,
12 No.2, etc).
13 "Spokesperson Jakup Krasniqi was an official UCK spokesperson,
14 not only for the Drenica region, but for the whole of the UCK.
15 "Although the uniformed people who Holbrooke had met were UCK
16 members (one of them was a poet with family in Scandinavia) they had no
17 particular ranks or positions.
18 Those portraying themselves as UCK spokespersons abroad were not
19 official ones."
20 This is -- I was just citing what Mr. Demaqi told me, or the
21 ambassador as well, told me.
22 Q. Who was Adem Demaqi?
23 A. He is a politician who had served I don't know how many decades
24 of jail sentences in Serbian jails. And at that time he was the head of
25 a party called Parliamentary Party of Kosovo, PPK, one of the parties in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 opposition to the leading LDK.
2 Q. Was Adem Demaqi connected to the KLA?
3 A. At that time, I do not know. Later on in 1998 when we were
4 lacking contact to KLA, he was designated the UCK spokesperson or the UCK
5 representative in Pristina. But apparently he did have some sort of
6 contacts, because he refers to a certain hierarchy with numbers.
7 Q. These four bullet points apparently coming from Adem Demaqi, are
8 they consistent with the opinion of Mr. Holbrooke that we saw on the
9 prior page?
10 A. No. But they helped me as he named Mr. Jakup Krasniqi as an
11 official UCK spokesperson. That meant that I was looking after -- I
12 couldn't see anybody in Malisevo anymore. I was looking to see Mr.
13 Krasniqi in Klecka.
14 Q. Mr. Demaqi said he had met persons who identified themselves by
15 using numbers. Was that something you were later able to confirm in your
16 own meetings?
17 A. Well, as I've mentioned, in my meetings in Malisevo they
18 identified themselves with numbers, 3 and 7 at that time.
19 Q. He says that Jakup Krasniqi was an official UCK spokesperson, not
20 only for the Drenica region, but for the whole of the UCK. Was this
21 confirmed by your subsequent experience?
22 A. I mean, he was speaking in the name of the UCK and I could not
23 judge whether the UCK was covering the whole of Kosovo. He was a UCK
24 spokesperson as such, not challenged.
25 Q. The next two bullet points refer to people that Holbrooke had
1 met. It says: "They had no particular ranks or positions."
2 And then the next, I'm not sure if it's also related to Mr.
3 Holbrooke, but it says: "Those persons portraying themselves as UCK
4 spokespersons abroad were not official ones."
5 Did this also turn out to be correct?
6 A. No, I wouldn't say so, because at that time the US had contact
7 with UCK spokespersons in Geneva, Switzerland. And they have proven to
8 be connected to the UCK afterwards.
9 Q. What about the people who had met with Holbrooke at that time?
10 Do you know what that is a reference to?
11 A. Yes. What we had mentioned before, Mr. Holbrooke, it must have
12 been about mid-June, approximately, of 1998, went to Munich and he was
13 photographed with this one KLA member in uniform with a Kalashnikov. And
14 this refers to this meeting Holbrooke had, which was not planned as the
15 US had told us, but going there it just happened.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kickert. At this time, I have no further
17 questions for you.
18 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, if I could have your indulgence for a
19 second and check that I have exhibit numbers for all the documents I
20 intended to exhibit. Thank you.
21 That seems to be the case. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 Mr. Kahn, is it?
24 MR. KHAN: If it pleases Your Honours.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Kahn:
1 Q. Mr. Kickert, my name is Karim Khan and I appear with lead counsel
2 Mr. Mansfield and we represent Mr. Limaj. Hopefully we won't take up too
3 much of your time, but your evidence is very important so please bear
4 with us.
5 We haven't spoken before, have we?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I don't think I've had the pleasure of meeting you either. Is
8 that right, isn't it?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. You know that the Prosecution say that Mr. Limaj is guilty of
11 very serious offenses.
12 A. I have heard about the allegations.
13 Q. And are you pay ware that Mr. Limaj denies all those offenses?
14 A. I'm aware of them or that.
15 Q. You've been involved with Kosovo for quite a number of years. Is
16 that right?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Starting off in 1997.
19 A. No. In early 1998 -- I was covering since 1997, but the first
20 time I went to Kosovo was in 1998.
21 Q. But even in 1997, when you were based in Belgrade, the focus of
22 your responsibilities was Kosovo.
23 A. The political field, yes, but I also had responsibilities in the
24 field of media and culture.
25 Q. And that no doubt was because as you say --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Kahn, we'll have to slow down the pace a bit
2 for the interpreters. Thank you.
3 MR. KHAN:
4 Q. And Mr. Kickert, that was no doubt because, as you said
5 yesterday, the Austrian government, like many others, were concerned with
6 escalation of the crisis in Kosovo?
7 A. Indeed, and all the efforts of the international community in
8 general but also of the Austrian foreign ministry and later the EU was
9 trying to be able to contain this escalation which -- how we perceived
11 Q. Because of course you were aware that for many, many years the
12 Kosovar Albanian people had been subjugated, in effect, by the Serbian
13 regime in Belgrade.
14 A. I'm very well aware of that, yes.
15 Q. And you and your government were aware that people were reaching
16 the point of no return, and as you said yesterday, were growing
17 increasingly impatient with their continued aggression at the hands of
18 the Serbs.
19 A. Yes. We assessed that they became very impatient, especially the
20 young people; that's why we had student demonstrations. And after the
21 armed conflict escalated, I am sure, because of this also, many young
22 people joined the ranks of the KLA.
23 Q. And of course to conduct your -- or to properly involve yourself,
24 you and your colleagues in the international diplomatic corps were trying
25 to find somebody to talk to in the KLA.
1 A. Absolutely. We needed some interlocutors who could speak
2 authentically and authoritatively in the name of the KLA, so that we had
3 somebody to involve in the political process.
4 Q. And that wasn't easy, was it?
5 A. Not at all.
6 Q. As you said yesterday, it wasn't clear to you, was it, what the
7 KLA structure was?
8 A. Indeed, for the longest time it wasn't clear to me and probably
9 it isn't until today, how it operated.
10 Q. And, of course, your foreign minister and the secretary-general
11 of the foreign ministry took a great interest in Kosovo.
12 A. Absolutely. It was own of our main topics. We were warning for
13 years, especially the secretary-general, of a potential escalation of
14 this region. And Austria took a very great interest in the region and
15 also supporting the Kosovar Albanians. For example, Austria was the only
16 country which recognised the parallel university of Pristina and
17 accepting their diplomas so they could continue studying in Austria.
18 Q. That was a problem, wasn't it, that in other countries the
19 diplomas obtained from Pristina University were often not accepted.
20 A. That was the rule. The exception was some private universities
21 or maybe Turkey or some Turkish universities. But Austria was the only
22 one as such accepting diplomas.
23 Q. And the concern and foresight that the Austrian government had
24 regarding Kosovo no doubt kicked up a gear once you took over the
25 presidency of the EU.
1 A. Yes, it did.
2 Q. And, of course, in your capacity as part of the foreign ministry
3 with concern for Kosovo, no doubt you tried to read whatever information
4 that was available concerning Kosovo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. No doubt, those included open sources like newspapers.
7 A. Also. And then we had our observers on the ground, our monitors,
8 starting in May of 1998. And then the observing and monitoring missions
9 would be growing in the course of the year, of 1998.
10 Q. And of course those observer missions, no doubt, would send you
11 confidential briefings.
12 A. Yes. They had daily reports and they had weekly and monthly --
13 yes, there were many, many, many reports.
14 Q. And no doubt they were supplemented by your own intelligence
15 reports of the Austrian government?
16 A. No. There were no intelligence reports that I would be seeing
17 from the Austrian sources.
18 Q. Some of the reports by the mon stores on the ground, they weren't
19 all public, were they?
20 A. No. They were restricted.
21 Q. And despite all the resources that were at your disposal, as it
22 were, despite your struggle to find out who was the leadership of the
23 KLA, you couldn't find out at the beginning who were in the leadership.
24 A. The monitoring missions, they had a very different mandate. They
25 were not there to find out or to find the high-ranking interlocutors.
1 They were, if you like, monitoring the situation: whether there's a
2 security issue, whether there is destruction, where there were IDPs, but
3 it was not in their mandate to identify the high-ranking structure of the
5 Q. But, of course, it was one of your tasks to try and find a valid
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And when you went on various missions and you were accompanied by
9 such people as Mr. Slinn, you were jointly trying to find who was in the
11 A. Not necessarily the leadership, but somebody who was a political
12 representative and could speak in the name of the KLA so that we had
13 somebody to talk to and include them in the broader Kosovo/Albanian
14 spectrum to be able to form a platform for negotiations with Belgrade, to
15 solve the situation, the problem, politically.
16 Q. And, of course, you are aware that other governments were also
17 similarly trying to find out who was in the leadership of the KLA.
18 A. Absolutely. As we've seen in these reports which were made
19 available in May 1999 to the Tribunal, I was citing the US also in search
20 of somebody to talk to.
21 Q. Yes. You did cite the United States's position, and you say that
22 Ambassador Holbrooke didn't know whether or not the UCK had an internal
23 chain of command. You reported that, didn't you?
24 A. I did report that. That's a -- that's sort after a mirror what
25 he said.
1 Q. And you of course reported his comments, that he doubted that
2 there was an internal chain of command.
3 A. Yes. That's what I wrote. Yes.
4 Q. And in addition to exhibit P64 that I've just referred to, you
5 also referred in your memo of the 27th of June, Exhibit 61, that "the UCK
6 command structure remains something of a mystery according to the United
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you talk about the United States's view that as far as there
10 is a General Staff, it's more a matter of diffuse horizontal command and
11 coordination structures.
12 A. Yes, that's what I wrote.
13 Q. And of course you go on to highlight the same problem we have
14 been talking about, that the United States's view was that that lack of
15 chain of command could be problematic in terms of involving the UCK in
16 political dialogue.
17 A. That horizontal command and coordination structures could pose a
18 problem, yes.
19 Q. And in your visits with the KLA, no doubt you struggled
20 repeatedly to try and get the KLA to give you somebody that would be
21 their spokesman.
22 A. Yes. At a certain moment I thought I had identified somebody,
23 but then because of the retreat from Malisevo, I was not able to contact
24 this person anymore.
25 Q. Would you agree that it's possible that the difficulty in finding
1 out who was in the leadership of the KLA was because there was not a
2 clear command structure in the KLA at the time you were making these
4 A. I don't know. It could be speculation, yeah. I don't know. I
5 don't know of any clear command structure when I was talking to the
6 people. The nearest indication I had were these numbers assigned to
7 certain persons I was talking to.
8 Q. And you talk about Mr. Thaqi having the number 3.
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And you talk about Mr. Kadri Veseli having the number 7?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And you gave evidence that you thought Mr. Krasniqi had the
13 number 11?
14 A. 11 or 12.
15 Q. You never heard a number being assigned in relation to Mr. Limaj,
16 did you?
17 A. Never.
18 Q. And you thought that the numbers designated, perhaps, people in
19 the hierarchy?
20 A. This is what I assumed, yes.
21 Q. Perhaps in the General Staff?
22 A. May well be, yeah.
23 Q. And you say that when you went to Malisevo for the first time,
24 you met with Mr. Gani Krasniqi?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I believe you referred to him as Commander Krasniqi?
2 A. No. We -- I don't know whether I have written that, but our
3 understanding was that he was the civilian representative. And I don't
4 know where we got that from, most probably from an ECMM report. Because
5 ECMM had been in Malisevo before. So for us he was the -- sort of the
6 mayor of Malisevo.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. And he was also appearing in that talk in civilian clothes.
9 Q. Bear with me a moment. If you look at Prosecution Exhibit 56,
10 that's your memoranda to the foreign ministry dated the 24th of July,
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I'm sorry. If I may refer to the English. Can you see the
14 portion in italics which deals with remarks?
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. Of course, you say in your remarks that Mr. Gani Krasniqi was a
17 commander and took part in the setting up of the KLA in Malisevo.
18 A. Yes. But at the time when we met him, he was the mayor and in a
19 civilian position.
20 Q. Yes. And when you met Mr. Limaj on the 30th of July, he was
21 introduced as Commander Celiku?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. He was never introduced to you as a regional commander; is that
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. You talk about spin. It's right, isn't it, that all sides were
2 concerned to put forward the face that was the most favourable to the
3 international community?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you agree with that?
6 A. Yes, I agree.
7 Q. And you agree that the KLA of course was concerned about
8 complying with all the necessary protocols, so it would seem that they
9 were organised and they could be given a voice in international
11 A. Well, I mean, we just wanted to have an interlocutor. And if
12 they -- the way they presented it was not our issue.
13 Q. You remember that when you saw Mr. Thaqi, Number 3, they were
14 concerned -- he was concerned about protocol. He was apologetic that he
15 was meeting a senior official and said that he excused their conduct
16 because they were soldiers and they were not familiar with the niceties
17 of protocol --
18 A. I may have been a little unclear in the report, but that was
19 Number 7 who apologised for the previous meeting with the
20 secretary-general where he was a little unprepared. And he then said,
21 well, he sort of knew who he was. But at the end of the day, I think he
22 had no clue who he was talking to.
23 Q. So a few days later when you did them the great courtesy of going
24 to Klecka, no doubt they were trying to make a good impression with you.
25 Would that be fair?
1 A. I wouldn't want to comment on that. I don't know. I don't know.
2 Q. You saw a photograph a little bit earlier with Mr. Krasniqi
3 sitting on a chair by a table. Is that right?
4 A. That is right, yes.
5 Q. And you identified, looking at the photograph, that Mr. Limaj was
6 to the right and somebody else was to the left.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. You couldn't identify that person on the left. Could you?
9 A. No, I couldn't.
10 Q. Would you say that you have met most of the important people in
11 the KLA, as far as you are aware or you know of them?
12 A. No, because I was meeting them three times before -- in June,
13 July, so there cannot be -- I cannot met them all.
14 Q. And when you went to Malisevo for the first time, you saw -- you
15 went past the Komorane checkpoint. Is that right?
16 A. We passed the Komorane checkpoint very often. Sometimes we tried
17 to avoid it, but sometimes we tried to go through. Sometimes the Serb
18 police led us through, and on many occasions they sent us back.
19 Q. That is a Serb checkpoint?
20 A. Sorry?
21 Q. That is a Serb checkpoint?
22 A. That is a Serb checkpoint, yes.
23 Q. Now, when you went to Malisevo for the first time, did you see
24 any KLA checkpoint?
25 A. Yes, we did.
1 Q. Where was that?
2 A. That was at the outskirts of Suhareke.
3 Q. And you described that in Malisevo you thought that perhaps there
4 was a central command there.
5 A. That's what we had hoped to find there, to find the main
6 interlocutors there.
7 Q. Can you describe Malisevo at the time you went there.
8 A. It was a bustling town. It's in a crossroads, north/south and
9 east/west connections. On the roadside there were many stands, people
10 selling cigarettes, whatever. It was very lively.
11 Q. And did you see any refugees in Malisevo at that time?
12 A. At that time, no. No.
13 Q. Now, before you went to Malisevo, if I remember rightly you had
14 heard the name Mr. Gani Krasniqi.
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Before you went to Klecka, had you heard the name Celiku or
17 Fatmir Limaj?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You say that the KLA had to pull out of Malisevo in face of the
20 Serb summer offensive. Is that right?
21 A. That's right. After the fighting in Rahovec/Orahovac, the Serbs
22 thought that they had the perfect chance to launch an offensive, because
23 the way they portrayed it, that Rahovec/Orahovac was attacked by the KLA,
24 they had the right to retaliate. And under this pressure, as far as we
25 understood, the KLA retreated from Malisevo into the mountains.
1 Q. Now, you have described the journey from Pristina via Lipljan
2 towards Stimlje en route to Klecka?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Did you see any KLA checkpoint on that road before you got to
6 A. Yes. There was very far already up in the hills there was -- we
7 were stopped -- it wasn't a checkpoint as such, but there was a soldier
8 stopping us. We had to wait there so that the arrangements could be made
9 before we continued to the building where we had the meeting.
10 Q. And that was right on the very outskirts of Klecka. Is that
12 A. That was on this ridge, yes. It was, I don't know, a few hundred
13 metres or something away from the building.
14 Q. But as far as the journey goes by road in the British armoured
15 Land Rover from Pristina to Stimlje and via the national park in
16 Lipovica, did you see any KLA checkpoints on that entire journey?
17 A. I can't recall any.
18 Q. The first one you saw was the one you described in the hills of
20 A. That was not a checkpoint as such, but we were stopped there
21 to -- that they check who we were and that they can prepare the meeting.
22 Q. In fact, after the KLA had to leave Malisevo, are you aware that
23 the Serb press was full of suggestions that the KLA had been defeated?
24 A. Could you repeat that question, please.
25 Q. After the KLA had to leave Malisevo, did you read in the Serb
1 press that the KLA had in fact been defeated?
2 A. I can't recall. But I don't think it would have been fair,
4 Q. Do you remember speaking to Mr. Limaj in Klecka on 30 July 1998?
5 A. No, I can't recall that I spoke to him. I spoke to Jakup
6 Krasniqi, and I don't know whether he talked or not. I can't recall.
7 Q. Let me try and refresh your memory, and please tell me if it's --
8 if I'm correct or not. Do you remember Mr. Limaj speaking to you through
9 the interpreter Baton Haxhiu that the talk of government was not
10 important to him, that what was important was the international community
11 persuading the Serbs to create a corridor so that the civilians could
12 leave the conflict area to go to a safe area?
13 A. I can't recall apart from what I wrote written in my notes, and
14 they are the only ones refreshing my mind, that they wanted the return of
15 the IDPs because there were some around.
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honours, I'm sorry, if you could bear with us a
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. KHAN:
20 Q. Mr. Kickert, could you have a look at Prosecution Exhibit 58,
21 that's your handwritten notes following the meeting in Klecka.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Have you got that?
24 A. I have.
25 Q. Bear with me a moment.
1 Now, you talk about the concern of the KLA members, Mr. Thaqi and
2 Mr. Krasniqi, to arrange in effect a cease-fire before negotiations could
3 proceed. Is that fair or not?
4 A. Mr. Thaqi was not at that meeting --
5 Q. Sorry, Mr. Krasniqi.
6 A. Yes, Mr. Krasniqi. The idea was, just to give you the context
7 again, we were talking about a united platform of the Kosovar Albanian
8 actors, and we thought this could only be done if the KLA would refrain
9 as much as the Serbian side from offensive actions, from attacks. And I
10 wouldn't call it cease-fire, but as I've written in my three conditions
11 for not attacking, not conducting offensive actions.
12 Q. And you make in your notes the comment that "if Serbs do not
13 accept, there's no longer a front war (people removed)."
14 Do you remember making that comment?
15 A. Yeah, it's written in my notes. It's not 100 per cent clear to
16 me what I meant -- what I -- what was the meaning of it. But in my
17 report, I have stated then that they said that they would change their
18 tactics from clear lines -- I mean they had Malisevo, and it was a clear
19 line which area they controlled, to guerrilla actions afterwards.
20 Q. Now, if you can think back to that day some years ago right now,
21 in fact what was being said was that if the KLA could no longer conduct
22 an offensive with a front line there was a danger -- there was a
23 difficulty for the KLA in that all these civilians had been displaced and
24 these civilians needed to be looked after.
25 A. The IDPs were there already. When they retreated from Malisevo,
1 Malisevo was empty. There was nobody there. The same bustling down
2 which I was describing to you before was almost empty. There was nobody
3 there except the Serbian security forces and a few leftover civilians,
4 but nothing compared to what I had seen before. So these people had to
5 be somewhere. They were IDPs.
6 Q. And those IDPs, they were looked after by the KLA in large
7 measure. Is that right?
8 A. I can't say, but they were in areas where the KLA was present as
10 Q. But you don't remember Mr. Limaj saying that his concern was for
11 the civilians and his primary concern was humanitarian to make sure there
12 was a corridor so they could go from places of conflict to places of
13 safety, or of relative safety?
14 A. Sorry, I can't recall. But the issue of safe return as such was
16 Q. And, of course, the weakness or relative weakness of the KLA is
17 made clear in your briefing of the 31st of July, that's Prosecution
18 Exhibit 59, when you say that the KLA confirmed that they were going to
19 change their tactics.
20 A. Well, I don't know whether that's a weakness or not, but it's
21 just an answer to a changing situation on the ground.
22 Q. And that if they didn't have the capacity to fight a war with
23 clear front lines, they would resort to guerrilla actions?
24 A. I think that's everywhere in the world. If you have a superior
25 opponent in weaponry, you have to change your tactics.
1 Q. And they did face an overwhelming superior force, didn't they?
2 A. The Serb police forces had APCs, for example, and I don't --
3 yeah, that's certainly something that the KLA didn't have.
4 Q. You heard an awful lot of Serb propaganda during your time in
5 Kosovo, didn't you?
6 A. There was a lot of -- I mean, especially on Kosovo. They
7 published white books they -- of what they called terrorist attacks and
8 how many people were missing or were killed. That was the regular and
9 updated thing they distributed to the embassies in Belgrade.
10 Q. And were these white books taken seriously by the embassies or
11 were they viewed with a great deal of circumspection?
12 A. We wanted to rely on our monitors and observers on the ground,
13 but they, of course, didn't have an overview because there were at the
14 beginning very view and later on you just don't get the full picture.
15 Q. But, generally speaking of course, you were in possession of the
16 white books and you heard what the monitors said. But is it right that
17 these white books were viewed with a great deal of circumspection by the
18 international community, as being in many places, nothing but Serb
20 A. We regarded them as being exaggerated.
21 Q. That's a kind word, isn't it?
22 A. Well, I'm a diplomat.
23 Q. Yes. And I'm afraid I'm a lawyer. You wouldn't disagree with me
24 if I said it was propaganda?
25 A. Well, I didn't give them much credibility.
1 Q. Because, of course, you talk about the reluctance of the Austrian
2 ministry to be drawn into propaganda games.
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You gave an example that you declined to take part in a visit
5 arranged by the Serb authorities to Prekaz.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Because your view was there was a very great danger that you
8 would be used as a pawn in a propaganda campaign that was conducted by
9 the Serbs.
10 A. Absolutely correct.
11 Q. And in fact you give another example that when in fact in early
12 May or in late May/early June 1998 when you went to Decani, that this was
13 also a propaganda stunt by the FRY.
14 A. We feared that, but in a way it was also a known goal by their
15 side because they had shown that they were not in control of what they
16 had tried to portray that they were in control of Kosovo.
17 Q. So an attempt at propaganda, but not very wise propaganda.
18 A. We had so much conflicting information that we took the risk to
19 participate at a low level -- meaning my level -- in this visit, where
20 some countries participate on an ambassadorial visit. Most of the EU
21 countries just sent second secretaries or first secretaries.
22 Q. That's very helpful. Could you look at Prosecution Exhibit 60.
23 That's your report to the foreign ministry, dated the 8 June 1998. Do
24 you have that?
25 A. I'm looking for it. I've got it.
1 Q. And if you can turn to the second page, in which you detail the
2 briefing given to you by the Yugoslav foreign minister and the Ministry
3 of the Interior. That's the five bullet points at the bottom of the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You report, don't you, that the foreign ministry and the Ministry
7 of the Interior of the FRY in effect were denying very largely the
8 international refugee problem?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So much so that the Serb propaganda, I say, extended to the fact
11 that they said that these refugees were all dressed to look the part.
12 A. This is -- yeah, well.
13 Q. It's fair to say, isn't it, that whenever the Serbs had a chance
14 to make allegations against the KLA or to minimise their role in the
15 crisis, the Serbian role in the crisis, they did so?
16 A. This is part of what I said, the spin, yeah.
17 Q. And, of course, apart from your dealings with the KLA, you dealt
18 with the Serbian authorities.
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Both in Pristina and in Belgrade?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You dealt with them right from your arrival in Belgrade in 1997
23 until perhaps your departure.
24 A. Yes, to varying degrees. I had little contacts in the foreign
25 ministry itself, because you would not have any frank talks there. But
1 it was, if I say, tradition that going down to Pristina and seeing Kosovo
2 bringing in party leaders, you would also see the prefect of Kosovo, the
3 Serb prefect, Mirko Dautovic.
4 Q. Was he a man who gave an awful lot of weight to what he said, the
5 prefect of Pristina?
6 A. It sounds very little, but I think he had quite a position in
8 Q. He knew what the Belgrade line was, didn't he?
9 A. He did.
10 Q. In all your time dealing with the Serbs during this period, you
11 never heard any allegations about a prison camp in Lapusnik, did you?
12 A. Never heard that.
13 Q. You never heard before or after your July meeting with Mr. Limaj
14 in 1998 allegations that there had been a massacre in the mountains in
15 Berisa conducted by the KLA, did you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. From your experience and your knowledge of the Serbs and the spin
18 that was used, are you of the opinion that if they had such information
19 they would not hesitate to have used it?
20 A. Well, they have used other information, whether false or correct.
21 They have alleged that there were I don't know how many people, but
22 killed in Klecka, for example. Then they brought up the issue of
23 Glodjena [inaudible]. So there were some issues they were mentioning to
25 Q. And going back to Klecka, what was the allegation that the Serbs
1 made regarding Klecka?
2 A. They found in a pit or something, they found --
3 Q. Had it been a lime pit?
4 A. It could be. They found human remains.
5 Q. And what did they say about that?
6 A. That they were killed by the KLA.
7 Q. Yes. And did anything take place after that allegation was made
8 by the Serbs?
9 A. You mean what was taken place by the Serbs or what they did --
10 Q. Did, for example, the a Finnish forensic team get involved?
11 A. Yes, it did. That was one of the outcomes of the October
12 negotiations which established the OCKVM. There was also pressure to
13 have independent forensic experts study the alleged killing sites. And
14 the Austrian EU Presidency was involved in that. And we had picked six
15 sites for them to study.
16 Q. And in fact no doubt you are aware of Serb press reports saying
17 that up to 200 people were killed in Klecka.
18 A. That I can't recall, but this lime pit thing I recall, yeah.
19 Q. Do you remember whether or not those allegations were found to be
20 founded or nothing more than Serb propaganda?
21 A. I don't know what the final outcome of the investigations by the
22 Finnish forensic experts were. For none of the sites I have seen a final
24 Q. But as far as your final understanding is concerned you're of the
25 view that that was Serb spin, in order to look as though they're somehow
1 the victims in all of this?
2 A. From the very beginning I didn't very much credibility to the
3 Klecka thing.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. KHAN:
6 Q. The main point, of course, that I put to you, Mr. Kickert, is
7 that despite this climate of spin, even spin based on total falsehoods,
8 you didn't hear anything about an illegal camp in Lapusnik during your
9 time in Kosovo in 1998, did you?
10 A. Not specifically. Just general allegations of kidnappings and
11 illegal detention camps. But I'm not aware that they said something
12 about Lapusnik.
13 Q. And you didn't hear anything about Commander Celiku being
14 anything other than a local commander in 1998? You made your own
15 assumptions perhaps, but you never heard it?
16 A. I just -- he was just introduced as commander.
17 Q. Of course you state that towards the end of 1998 you met Mr.
18 Limaj, together with Mr. Thaqi in Baja.
19 A. That's correct. A meeting with Ambassador Petritsch where I was
20 there as well.
21 Q. Was that around November 1998?
22 A. It could well be. It was winter, that's for sure, and foggy and
23 I think we were late. And we already drove back when we were called on
24 our cellphones to return so that the meeting could take place.
25 Q. But if again you could cast your mind back to that foggy day in
1 November 1998, do you remember that on that occasion Mr. Limaj was
2 introduced as a commander of the 121st Brigade?
3 A. No. I can't recall whether he was introduced at all. I mean, by
4 that time I knew his face, so I don't know whether he introduced himself
5 or not.
6 Q. And you mention another occasion when on your weekend off, or
7 your weekend anyway, you went to Mr. Limaj's home.
8 A. That was in 1999.
9 Q. You say that a lot of people were present on that occasion?
10 A. There was -- yeah, some people, some men. Yeah.
11 Q. And you inferred from that that people showed a great deal of
12 respect to Mr. Limaj?
13 A. Yes. He was -- I think my assessment that he was very
14 well-respected, but this wasn't a surprise to me because he was a
15 commander of the UCK.
16 Q. On that occasion you were with a newspaper reporter, is that
17 right, or not?
18 A. With a newspaper reporter and a US diplomat.
19 Q. And the reporter was who?
20 A. Dugadjin Gorani.
21 Q. Do you remember if Mr. Gorani had suggested that you go to Mr.
22 Limaj's home because his uncle had just passed away?
23 A. That I can't recall. It could well be. But it is the case that
24 since we were in the area that Mr. Gorani suggested that we go visit Mr.
25 Limaj. It would make a lot of sense if that was because his uncle passed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. And are you aware of a Kosovan tradition that when a someone
3 passes away the close surviving relatives stay in the house to receive
4 the condolences of people who are close to the family? Have you heard
5 that before?
6 A. Not really, no.
7 Q. If you would bear with me a moment, Mr. Kickert.
8 You give an example of Lum Haxhiu standing next to Mr. Holbrooke
9 and posing for a photograph. Do you remember that incident?
10 A. Yes. It was even on the TV screens. That's how -- why I saw it.
11 Q. You say that Lum Haxhiu didn't break away from the KLA [sic], but
12 that conduct was not welcome?
13 A. Yes. As far as I understood afterwards, he was just a regular
14 soldier and certainly not somebody who was in a position to speak on
15 behalf of the KLA.
16 Q. But it's the case, isn't it, that in fact from your understanding
17 of what happened that he just of his own volition decided as a person in
18 KLA uniform he would go into the picture. It may look good for the KLA.
19 A. Very well -- because, I mean, to be photographed with Richard
20 Holbrooke is something like an official recognition. He may have thought
22 Q. And perhaps you may think that in the absence of clear commands
23 from a centre, people did what they thought was best to help the KLA
25 A. It may be also that he wanted to have a picture taken. I don't
1 know. I was not there. I can't -- everything else would be pure
3 Q. Of course. But you also give an example of some Scandinavians or
4 a -- some UCK members in Scandinavia having discussions with Mr.
6 A. That was the same person.
7 Q. That was the same person?
8 A. That's the same person, yes.
9 Q. And you said those people, that particular family, had no
10 particular rank or positions. That's in your memo.
11 A. This is referring to Mr. Lum Haxhiu who was photographed or
12 filmed with Mr. Holbrooke. This refers to this very same person. I
13 think what you're referring to now is what I cite somebody, maybe Demaqi
14 or so.
15 Q. It is. I'm grateful for that.
16 After the war, you had occasion to speak to Mr. Limaj on several
17 occasions. Is that right?
18 A. That is right.
19 Q. And do you remember in fact his role during the Rambouillet
21 A. He didn't have the status of a member of delegation, but if I'm
22 not mistaken he was there and entered Rambouillet on these exchange
23 passes to -- as a -- an advisor.
24 Q. And are you aware at that time -- you were involved in
1 A. I was in Rambouillet.
2 Q. And if I might say so in quite an important role as far as the
3 Austrian diplomatic service is concerned.
4 A. Well, I wasn't there in my capacity as an Austrian, but as
5 assistant to Petritsch, the special envoy.
6 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Limaj was an advocate to the Rambouillet
7 signing up to the agreement. Are you aware of that or not?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And after the war in 1999, are you aware of Mr. Limaj's role
10 during the various -- I think in fact it was the administrative
11 agreement, but let me check.
12 How would you describe Mr. Limaj's role in 1999?
13 A. He was a high-ranking PDK official.
14 Q. And did you ever -- was he generally in favour of democracy or
15 was he rather militant?
16 A. No, he was absolutely in favour of democracy and reconciliation.
17 Q. And he spoke to you in formal settings, did he? In formal
18 meetings and informal meetings, both.
19 A. Both. We had no problems. In fact informally, when I went to
20 the headquarters of the party and we met and we, as I said before, he had
21 no problem speaking Serbo-Croatian to me, which was our only language of
22 communication, because normally I spoke German or French or English with
23 the KLA.
24 Q. And did you hear him espouse anything even approaching incitement
25 or violence or any racist attitude towards any ethnic group at all?
1 A. No, not at all.
2 Q. Was he in fact keen on establishing an inclusive and democratic
3 Kosovo, with rights for all?
4 A. This is fair to say.
5 Q. In fact including rights for Serbs, Roma, Bosniaks, and members
6 of other Kosovar Albanian political parties?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And, of course, many -- or perhaps many Kosovo politicians would
9 not like to speak Serbo-Croat with you. Would that be a fair assessment?
10 A. That's a fair assessment, especially 1999. I want to remind you
11 a UN employee, a Bulgarian, was killed in 1999 because most probably his
12 Bulgarian was mistaken for Serbian.
13 Q. And it's common knowledge the Serbs had banned the teaching of
14 Albanian in all institutions and government structures in Kosovo.
15 A. They had a parallel system where they did schooling in their
17 Q. So you viewed Mr. Limaj's willingness to speak in Serbian as yet
18 another example of him being a decent democrat.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you give any other examples of your involvement with Mr.
21 Limaj which would help show the Court what kind of man you think he is?
22 A. I think he was a good example of somebody who turned from a
23 soldier to a politician. And there are many of these examples in the
24 KLA, and I dealt with them from 1999 onwards until the present day. And
25 he was running, as far as I'm not mistaken, for mayor of Pristina. And
1 he was regarded highly by the internationals, as a person you could work
2 with very well.
3 Q. I'm very grateful for that.
4 I'm very grateful for your assistance. If you could wait there,
5 Mr. Kickert, my friend, Mr. Powles, may have some questions for you. But
6 thank you for bearing with me.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I think you're going to have to wait until the
8 break unless it's going to be a minute or two.
9 MR. POWLES: It will be slightly longer than that.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We have to break because of the tapes.
11 We'll resume at 10 to.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.27 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.54 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I take it, Mr. Guy-Smith, you don't feel
15 overlooked at this moment.
16 MR. GUY-SMITH: I don't feel overlooked, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Powles.
18 MR. POWLES: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Powles:
20 Q. Mr. Kickert, I appear with Mr. Michael Topolski on behalf of Mr.
21 Isak Musliu who sits directly behind me. As I indicated, my
22 cross-examination will be relatively brief and uncontroversial. You
23 first went into Kosovo in the first half of 1998.
24 A. Yes, I went into Kosovo in 1998.
25 Q. And initially you were went to Pristina with a view to get to
1 know people in Kosovo?
2 A. Political representatives, but I also had dealings with the
3 university because of what I mentioned before -- we recognised their
4 diplomas, so I had to make sure that the diplomas presented by Kosovar
5 Albanian students were real ones. And I was dealing also with student
6 leaders. But it was -- all of them were in Pristina.
7 Q. Right, yes. And it was in June of 1998 that a decision was taken
8 to start discussions with the Kosovo Liberation Army.
9 A. Whether it was in June or in July, but at that time, yes.
10 Q. And initially it was difficult to do that because, as you said,
11 the structure of the Kosovo Liberation Army was not clear.
12 A. Indeed.
13 Q. There was no clear spokesperson or contact point within the
14 Kosovo Liberation Army.
15 A. Until the naming of Jakup Krasniqi, there was nobody -- or there
16 was somebody in Geneva --
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. -- but -- who we didn't deal with. I was looking for somebody on
19 the ground.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. But until Jakup Krasniqi was named, there was no spokesperson as
23 Q. Are you familiar with the Kosovo report, the report of the
24 Independent Commission on Kosovo, which was I believe chaired by Justice
25 Richard Goldstone
1 A. Yes, I'm aware of this.
2 Q. If I may read you a short part of that to get your views upon it
3 to see if it was an accurate description of how things were at that time.
4 It's described in this way: "In July, the US Kosovo Diplomatic Observer
5 Mission, KDOM, was established and it's said in the report that KDOM
6 attempted to unite the disparate fragments of the KLA.
7 Would you agree with that?
8 A. I don't think it was KDOM as such. I mean, KDOM has various
9 arms. It has a U.S. arm, a Russian arm and an EU arm, the ECMM. But
10 KDOM was involved in these talks, yes.
11 Q. In trying to unite the disparate parts of the KLA.
12 A. Maybe they were doing that, but our aim was to get the disparate
13 political fragments of the Kosovar Albanian society together -- I mean
14 the KLA and the political representatives in Pristina, who were not
16 Q. And it's said in the Kosovo report that KDOM -- officially, in
17 effect, the KDOM office filled a vacuum, as one journalist put it
18 according to the report, finding there was a place where the KLA
19 leadership could be contacted. Is that something you would agree with,
20 that going through KDOM was a possibility of getting to the leadership of
21 the KLA?
22 A. That was a route the U.S. representatives were going. They used
23 KDOM in the field to get in contact with KLA representatives.
24 Q. Right.
25 A. But I don't know whether they -- which persons they had met.
1 Q. Right. Okay. You had three meetings, if I'm not mistaken, with
2 the KLA in July of 1998.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. The 22nd, the 23rd, and the 30th of July.
5 A. Yes, as I could re-establish through the reports, yes.
6 Q. Right. And the meetings on the 22nd of July, the one where you
7 met with Mr. Gani Krasniqi and Mr. Veseli and you went with a journalist,
8 Mr. Baton Haxhiu. And the meeting with organised by Mr. Nick Turnbull,
9 the ECMM monitor.
10 A. Everything is correct but Mr. Haxhiu, the journalist, was not
11 going us, not travelling with us. He appeared there, to our surprise,
12 but he was there.
13 Q. Right. And the second meeting on the 23rd of July, effectively
14 the day after, that was a meeting with Mr. Thaqi and Mr. Veseli. That
15 was a meeting that was -- were you introduced or taken to that meeting by
16 a journalist, Mr. Dugadjin Gorani? Is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And the third meeting on the 30th of July with Mr. David Slinn,
19 again the one where you met with Mr. Krasniqi, Mr. Limaj and Mr. Buja,
20 that was a another meeting arranged by a journalist, Mr. Baton Hazhiu?
21 A. Indeed, an at the same time, same thing we were there, there was
22 also a BBC TV crew there. So journalists were very good contacts to ...
23 Q. Yes.
24 Mr. Krasniqi became the spokesperson for the Kosovo Liberation
25 Army on the 11th of June.
1 A. That I don't know when, but in the course of July it was clear
2 that he was a spokesperson.
3 Q. Exactly. It became clear to you --
4 A. Me.
5 Q. -- in early July that he was the spokesperson.
6 A. Because the time we were not sure at the beginning whether he was
7 speaking authoritarily in the name of the KLA or not.
8 Q. So you heard I believe, certainly by the 7th of July, that he was
9 a spokesperson for the KLA?
10 A. By that time I heard more and more people saying, well, this is
11 really somebody.
12 Q. Yes. But you didn't get to meet him, it's fair to say, until the
13 30th of July.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And that meeting arranged through a journalist.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. It's fair to say, isn't it, that the situation on the ground in
18 Kosovo at that time, in terms of being able to make contact with those
19 that you may want to have made contact with, it wasn't an easy process?
20 A. It wasn't easy at all.
21 Q. A fairly chaotic situation.
22 A. Especially after the Serb offensive started and militia was
23 vacated. Then sort of I lost the point where I could meet them.
24 Q. But also fairly difficult to identify within the organisation who
25 were the right person to speak to and thereafter to make a meeting point
1 to go and meet them.
2 A. That's correct. I had thought that meeting Number 3 was quite a
3 good contact, but afterwards it was not possible to meet him.
4 Q. Yes. On the KLA side it's fair to say that there was some
5 confusion as to who the official spokesperson was. Would you agree with
7 A. I think you would have to ask the KLA whether they had a
8 confusion or not. I can just tell what my perception was.
9 Q. Can I take you through a few incidents. On the 24th of June I
10 think it was, that was the date that Mr. Lum Haxhiu met or was able to
11 push himself into the photograph with Mr. Holbrooke in Munich.
12 A. I don't know the exact date, but if you say so.
13 Q. I believe that's the right date; I may be mistaken myself. That
14 incident was referred to by Mr. Krasniqi at an interview that he gave to
15 Der Spiegel. That interview in the newspaper is contained -- have you
16 received a bundle of documents entitled "Documents which may be used in
17 cross-examination of Mr. Kickert"? I don't know if that's in front of
19 A. No, I haven't received that.
20 MR. POWLES: Allow me -- I'll make arrangements. Have Your
21 Honours received it?
22 JUDGE PARKER: No.
23 MR. POWLES: Have the Prosecution received it?
24 JUDGE PARKER: I gather we are about it.
25 MR. POWLES: Thank you.
1 I'm afraid it's not tabulated. Defence, as Your Honours know,
2 don't have the advantage of having the technology facilities that the
3 Prosecution have got and on this occasion we don't even have a binder and
4 tabs to assist. But if you allow me to draw your attention, I think it's
5 to the fifth document in the bundle, an entitled UCK spokesman's goal of
6 unification of Albanians. The U number is U008-3955. It's the fifth
7 statement-document behind.
8 Q. Have you found that, Mr. Kickert?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 MR. POWLES: Have Your Honours managed to locate the article?
11 Q. On the second page of the article about halfway down there's a
13 "Der Spiegel: Reportedly, the UCK is fragmented into several
14 groups that are quarreling about direction. Is there a central command?
15 Do the orders come from here or abroad?
16 Mr. Krasniqi's response is: "The UCK has only one main staff and
17 one supreme commander. The military decisions are made here in Kosovo.
18 At the moment, I am the only one permitted to speak on behalf of the
20 He then goes on, Mr. Krasniqi -- a question is put about Robert
21 Gelbard: "The U.S. special envoy to the Balkans, recently talked to one
22 of your activists in Switzerland.
23 And Mr. Krasniqi's response is: "This was an attempt by Rugova
24 to present to the Americans a UCK activist loyal to the LDK."
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down in reading
1 the document.
2 MR. POWLES:
3 Q. "We have our people in Switzerland, but Gelbard's interlocutor
4 was not an authorised representative of our movement."
5 The next question, I believe, is a question relating to the
6 meeting with Mr. Holbrooke of Lum Haxhiu.
7 The question is: "U.S. mediator Richard Holbrooke is obviously
8 in favour of including the UCK in search for a settlement to the
9 conflict. He met with UCK representatives in Kosovo. Do you feel
10 validated by that?"
11 And his response is: "No, Holbrooke did not speak with the
12 proper representatives and this was not his first mistaken evaluation of
13 the situation."
14 So Mr. Krasniqi there seeming to imply that Lum Haxhiu in his
15 meeting with Mr. Holbrooke was not an authorised representative of the
17 If you would turn to the first document in the bundle, it's the
18 ICG report, "Kosovo's Long Hot Summer," and turn to page 4. There's a --
19 the third paragraph, the last sentence of that paragraph. There's a
20 quotation of Mr. Krasniqi's from an interview that he gave to a Kosovo
21 newspaper, Koha Ditore, and he says about this about his interview that
22 he gave to Der Spiegel:
23 "There was a mistake in the interview I gave to Der Spiegel.
24 They are legitimate representatives of the UCK who have the authority to
25 talk in the name of the UCK with various representatives and diplomats
2 So would you agree, Mr. Kickert, that it seems that even Mr.
3 Krasniqi doesn't seem entirely clear as to who was authorised to speak on
4 behalf of the KLA at that time?
5 A. I cannot say what he meant, Mr. Krasniqi. But to my knowledge
6 the -- Mr. Gelbard met with Balrin Mahmuti [phoen] in Geneva and, as far
7 as I understood, he was speaking on behalf of the KLA.
8 Q. Yes. But in his initial interview in Der Spiegel, Mr. Krasniqi
9 indicated that they weren't official spokespersons for the KLA and it's
10 later he is himself corrected as to who was and who was not authorised to
11 speak on the part of the KLA.
12 A. You would probably have to ask Mr. Krasniqi.
13 Q. Yes.
14 In relation to something you wrote then. You refer to Mr. Lum
15 Haxhiu in I think it's Prosecution Exhibit 56, your memo of the 24th of
16 July. If you could turn to the last -- I think it's the last sentence of
17 your report. You refer to Mr. Lum Haxhiu, the simple soldier who placed
18 himself at the right-hand side of the photo during Holbrooke's visit to
19 Munich. And you say "according to the headquarters in Malisevo," that's
20 obviously the KLA headquarters, he's "instructed not to make any further
21 comments, which he is now respecting."
22 So you were told, and you'll correct me if I'm wrong, you were
23 told that an instruction had been given to Mr. Haxhiu not to given any
24 further comments.
25 A. Yes. The "simple soldier" is under quotation because this is
1 probably what I was told when I was in Malisevo.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. And there's a little translation error as well. It's not on the
4 right-hand side but it says "brought himself into the right picture." So
5 he wanted to be in the picture.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. And this, they have told him that he should not talk to the press
8 anymore, because after that visit he was looked for by the press because
9 they thought, meeting Holbrooke, he must be some important person. So
10 the press went after him.
11 Q. Yes. If you could turn to I believe it's the fourth or the --
12 sorry, the sixth document in the bundle that's been handed up. And I
13 think it's a document entitled "UCK predicts Successful March on
15 Have you found that document, Mr. Kickert?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And it's an article that appeared in Koha Ditore on the same date
18 I think that you wrote your report, the 24th of July 1998. And it's an
19 "'exclusive' interview with Lum Haxhiu, Kosovo Liberation Army officer
20 for Combat Morale, National Policy, and Information in the region of Reka
21 [sic]." So it would appear that the message had not quite got through to
22 Mr. Haxhiu.
23 If again you could turn to the first document, the ICG report,
24 "Kosovo's Long Hot Summer." If I may draw your attention to one part of
25 it which was the International Crisis Group's evaluation of Mr.
1 Krasniqi's abilities as the public relations officer of the KLA. It
2 starts at the bottom of page 4 of that document and goes on to page 5.
3 What I will do is if I can read you the evaluation of the International
4 Crisis Group, and if you could afterwards say if it's something that you
5 agree with it or not.
6 They say that: "In many ways Krasniqi simply epitomises the
7 understandably unsophisticated public relations of the UCK. While the
8 inconsistencies of his declarations could be dismissed as trivial, they,
9 nevertheless, illustrate the difficult task that the international
10 mediators have faced finding interlocutors in Kosovo."
11 Would you agree that as an international mediator you had
12 difficulties in identifying appropriate interlocutors in Kosovo?
13 A. Yes, I would agree to that.
14 Q. And they go on: "Similar liberation movements in other countries
15 are usually led either by a personality who came back from abroad or else
16 by some local leader gone underground and resurfaced in a guerrilla
18 And they go on: "With the UCK no such leader has emerged and on
19 what seemed to be a weekly basis, journalists interviewed UCK
20 representatives, each apparently claiming to be the rebels' "commandant",
21 each with a different story."
22 Would you agree with that evaluation that's given by the
23 International Crisis Group?
24 A. We certainly had no clear picture of the leadership of the KLA.
25 Q. Turning now to spin and, again, more evaluation of Mr. Krasniqi.
1 I think it's the fifth document that's been handed up. It's a -- an
2 article -- I'm so sorry. I think it's the fourth document. The fourth
3 document handed out. It's entitled beater seeks --
4 MR. POWLES: I am reminded to slow down.
5 Q. It's a document entitled "BETA Sees UCK 'Seriously Shaken.'" A
6 four-page document. If I could turn your attention to page 3 of that
7 article, third paragraph down. Some evaluation of Mr. Krasniqi:
8 "After Orahovac, many Albanian intellectuals started to criticise
9 in lowered voices 'adventurism' and 'irresponsibility' of the KLA
10 commanders and denied 'intellectual capacities' of some of the leading
11 'people in the woods.' Spokesman Krasniqi was the main target of their
12 criticism, because he could not cope with his duties."
13 And the article goes on: "To illustrate his 'stupidity and
14 illiteracy,' they often mentioned the fact that the KLA handed over 35
15 Serbian civilians to the International Red Cross, while it occurred to
16 no one to invite a foreign TV crew to report on the event, thus scoring
17 new points for the KLA."
18 So it would appear from that article that in terms of the spin
19 that the KLA were able to present in no way at all matched the
20 capabilities of the Serbian spin doctors, if you could call them that.
21 Would you agree with that?
22 A. Well, I couldn't comment on that. I just know that the statement
23 of Mr. Krasniqi, talk about a unified homeland for the Albanians didn't
24 serve them well, and he retracted from that. This is something which
25 didn't go well with the international community.
1 Q. And that was I think one of the inconsistencies of Mr. Krasniqi
2 that was referred to in the International Crisis Group report, where they
3 drew or made some criticisms of Mr. Krasniqi in terms of his being the
4 spokesperson for the KLA.
5 A. I don't know. Many times even spokespersons of international
6 organisations have to retract what they have said before. So, yeah. But
7 it's your call, what you want to qualify it.
8 Q. In -- it was from November of 1997 that you were based in
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. In the Austrian embassy in Belgrade?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And you, no doubt, received reports in your capacity -- in the
14 embassy in Belgrade, reports on what was going on in Kosovo.
15 A. At that time it was mainly media reports.
16 Q. And in those media reports, and indeed any other information that
17 you received, were you aware that Serb forces were conducting attacks on
18 the Albanian -- Kosovar Albanian, civilian population in Kosovo?
19 A. Are you referring to a certain incident?
20 Q. Well, perhaps you could assist. Were there any incidents that
21 you are aware of civilians being attacked in Kosovo in the early part of
23 A. Of the Serbian security forces?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I wouldn't be able to recall. I mean, what then triggered the
1 whole conflict to escalate were the operations the Serbian security
2 forces conducted in Drenica in the very end of February and the beginning
3 of March of 1998.
4 Q. And were there civilian casualties as a result of those
6 A. They were indeed, among the Jashari family. There were children
7 and women.
8 Q. Yes. I believe it was 18 women and 10 children.
9 A. It could well be. But there was a large number of women and
11 Q. And that was one amongst a number of districts where there was
12 civilian casualties on the Kosovar Albanian side at the hands of the
13 Serbian authorities in Kosovo.
14 A. Yes. And the civilians were those who suffered the most in the
15 whole conflict, in general.
16 Q. Yes. Indeed there were some -- as I think you've referred to
17 already -- some concerns by the Austrian government as to what was being
18 done at the hands of the Serbs in Kosovo at that time. Indeed, you were
19 invited by the Serb authorities to go to Prekaz in March 1998, and that
20 was something that was turned down by your government.
21 A. Yes. We considered that as a propaganda stunt. But at the same
22 time, two colleagues of mine, a Brit and a Swede, went on their own to
23 Prekaz to see what had happened, and from them I got first-hand report
24 how it looked like. And afterwards the military attaches of various
25 embassies were also in the area and also at the morgue in Skenderaj,
1 looking at the victims of these assaults.
2 Q. Yes. If I could turn your attention to the last document in the
3 bundle. In the right-hand corner you'll see the numbers or the letter R
4 and on 025-781. Have you got that document, Mr. Kickert?
5 A. Yes, I have.
6 Q. It's a report it seems from "EU KDG CC Pristina/Medical Adviser,
7 OPS, PIO." Do you know who the author of this report might be? Not the
8 person, but the authority.
9 A. It was certainly ECMM. It looks like an ECMM report. "Medical
10 adviser," there was at that time an Austrian doctor in the ECMM team in
11 Pristina. So he could be the author.
12 Q. And it says: "To: RC Belgrade HC ECMM Sarajevo." And then the
13 last thing: "Austrian Embassy."
14 Would that be your embassy, the Austrian Embassy?
15 A. That would be our embassy, because we had the EU presidency at
16 the time.
17 Q. So we would presume this was perhaps a document that would have
18 passed before you in your capacity in the Austrian Embassy at the time?
19 A. Absolutely.
20 Q. So if we may go through some of the things contained in the
21 report. "Headlines." It says:
22 "Thousands of Displaced People surviving in poor conditions.
23 "Signs of spreading communicable diseases.
24 "Urgent need of drinking water and nutrition.
25 Then it says, "Destruction and vandalism in the Malisevo area
1 increasing daily.
2 "Serb police forces looting shops in Malisevo, and torching
4 "Graves in Orahovac."
5 And I should say the date of this report is the 6th of August,
7 The summary indicates that it's a report relating to period of
8 July the 28th and August the 5th and the authors of the report are then
9 referred to.
10 Under July the 29th on the second page of the document it says
11 that: "Police was present along the road and seem to be in control of
12 the area between Komorane and Orahovac. Only one old man was seen in
13 Malisevo as he was escorted by some policemen into a building when patrol
14 entered the village." Can you see that under, July 29th?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. And, more importantly, at the bottom of the page under August
17 2nd: "Joint (EU&US&RussFed) patrol visited the Malisevo-Banja-Suva Reka
18 [sic] area." And then, crucially, they say driving through Lapusnik 5 km
19 west of Komorane patrol saw some burning houses but nobody being around."
20 The report goes on: "The number of dead animals around Malisevo
21 was larger than two days before. Patrol went to Banja 4 km south-east of
22 Malisevo and saw mortar attacks on the street and a destroyed mosque
23 tower in Banja. Approached by local civilians in Banja patrol learned
24 that almost all inhabitants of Malisevo and Banja left their homes before
25 the Security Forces offensive some days before."
1 And then it goes on: "They are still afraid of massacres and
2 hide in nearby hills. Patrol went up to Krvasorija 6 km southeast of
3 Malisevo to visit DPs there." Then they say, "Some 600 individuals were
4 hiding in the bushes and woods. Patrol saw them living without shelter
5 in poor hygienic conditions which facilitate the spreading of
6 communicable diseases. Medical Adviser saw some sick individuals,
7 suffering from febrile diarrhoea and respiratory infections."
8 And then it goes on to the third page. And then it says: "On
9 the way back through Lapusnik, a deserted village we saw some more
10 burning premises than some hours before," indicating perhaps there were
11 properties being burned in Lapusnik at that time.
12 And then under August the 4th, the last two sentences -- sorry,
13 the beginning of August the 4th. "Combined (EU&US) patrol went to
14 Malisevo and observed policemen looting shops there."
15 And then at the bottom of that paragraph under August the 4th:
16 "On the way back to Komorane policemen in Lapusnik were observed
17 setting fire in a farmhouse. Some dozens of premises were destroyed,
18 some still burning at that time."
19 And the reference to the forces and police forces, they would be
20 Serb forces in that report?
21 A. Yes, they would. And as I indicated before, when I travelled to
22 Malisevo after it was abandoned by the KLA, you would see -- every time
23 you would go through Malisevo you would see more destruction. So every
24 time there was -- even once we were there they used a bulldozer to take
25 down buildings in Malisevo.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. One of the ECMM observers also saw somebody - I don't know
3 whether that's the same incident - a uniformed Serb policeman with a can
4 of petroleum setting fire to a house.
5 Q. Yes. But from this report you would agree that from July 28th
6 onwards there's a report of Serb forces destroying property in Lapusnik
7 and indeed elsewhere?
8 A. It was a pattern which we saw that in villages, houses where
9 there was no inhabitants, we would pass by and then these houses were
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. It even happened to the EU political director's troika when we
13 went at the end of July, that on the way we saw fields which were okay;
14 on the way back they were burning.
15 Q. Serb forces responsible for that?
16 A. We assume, because there was no civilians around and just the
17 Serb police forces.
18 Q. And this report also referring to Serb --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly make pause between
20 question and answer.
21 MR. POWLES:
22 Q. Did this report refer to Serb policemen conducting looting?
23 A. They saw themselves the monitors and reported on that.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I didn't, but they did.
1 Q. And the consequences, it would seem, for the civilian population
2 in this area were quite devastating and that they were forced to flee.
3 A. That was the reason why we in August of 1998, we saw a
4 humanitarian crisis looming, not only because of this report - we were
5 aware of that. And this is why at that time the commissioner who was
6 responsible for humanitarian affairs was visiting. And we tried with the
7 deployment of our monitors to deploy them all other Kosovo so that
8 through their presence there will be some feeling of security so that
9 they would return out of the hills into the houses.
10 Q. Yes. You never actually went to Lapusnik, did you, Mr. Kickert?
11 A. Never.
12 Q. But you had heard of several fights being conducted there during
13 the war.
14 A. You could see that. If you used the main road, you would see the
15 impacts of bullets.
16 Q. Yes. It may not be something that you can assist with, but did
17 you know where the front line was in Lapusnik?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And, again, this may be outside your area of interest or
20 expertise, Mr. Kickert, but also it may be something that you're able to
21 assist the Trial Chamber with and it's on that basis it's something that
22 I put to you. In early 1998, Serb forces and in particular the
23 intelligence side of Serb forces, they were relatively sophisticated at
24 that side, certainly compared to the Kosovo Liberation Army?
25 A. I could not comment on that. I have no idea.
1 Q. Well, it's fair to say that the Serb forces had recent experience
2 or certainly experience conducting warfare in other Yugoslav republics.
3 A. I think it's your interpretation and they certainly had
4 experience, yeah.
5 Q. Were you aware of Serb forces infiltrating the Kosovo Liberation
6 Army with spies or informants?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you hear of Serb forces using any Albanians as informers
9 during that period?
10 A. No.
11 Q. That's not something you heard about?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Kickert.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: No questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 Mr. Black.
17 MR. BLACK: Your Honour --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please go a little more slowly than we
19 have recently. The interpreters are in difficulty.
20 MR. BLACK: I will.
21 Your Honour, I would simply ask that this exhibit with the ERN
22 U008-3969 which was presented to the witness, if that could be given an
23 exhibit number. A Prosecution Exhibit number is fine.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Prosecution Exhibit P65.
25 MR. BLACK: And the document with ERN --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Could you just pause one moment while we attempt
2 to find it again.
3 MR. BLACK: Certainly. I apologise.
4 Your Honour, if it's any assistance, if these go into evidence, I
5 don't feel that I need to put questions to the witness on them. So it
6 may not be necessary that you --
7 JUDGE PARKER: This is not a matter of assistance but this has
8 now become a Prosecution exhibit. That's the BETA article.
9 MR. BLACK: Correct, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. BLACK: And the other document bears the ERN U008-3955 on the
12 first page, and the headline is "UCK Spokesman: Goal is Unification of
13 All Albanians."
14 JUDGE PARKER: That is the Der Spiegel?
15 MR. BLACK: That's correct. And I would ask for a Prosecution
16 number for that document.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Prosecution Exhibit P66.
18 MR. BLACK: On that basis, Your Honour, I have no further
20 MR. POWLES: Your Honour, may I ask your indulgence. I omitted
21 to ask that the last document that was put to the witness, the report
22 dated the 6th of August, could that be made a Defence exhibit, please. I
23 believe that would be DM2, Your Honour.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Mr. Powles.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Kickert, as you may have gathered in all that
1 technical procedure just then, there are no further questions for you.
2 May the Chamber thank you very much for your attendance and the
3 assistance you've given, and we wish you well on your journey.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE PARKER: The question arises, I think -- Mr. Nicholls, is
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: -- whether 23 minutes is practical for you.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm at the Chamber's disposal. We need to prepare
11 the courtroom before the witness could enter. I'm happy to start or we
12 can start tomorrow. We won't get very much done today. I think I will
13 finish tomorrow, in any event, if I start tomorrow. So it's fine with me
14 if we were to break now and send the witness home. He has been here for
15 quite some time. Otherwise it's -- I'm at the Chamber's disposal.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE PARKER: We think it would be an appropriate course to
18 adjourn early this evening and resume tomorrow at 2.15.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.38 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
22 November, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.