1 Tuesday, 18 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.27 p.m.
5 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, before the witness is brought in, perhaps
6 I can just say that to assist the Prosecution I have served upon them a
7 transcript of the interview that the Defence conducted with this witness,
8 at which they were present. So, Your Honours, that's submitted simply as
9 a one-off as assisting the Court in this matter and hopefully dealing
10 with it in an expeditious manner.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Khan, that is greatly appreciated. It no
12 doubt will resolve one of the issues of interest to the Prosecution.
13 Thank you.
14 Now, Mr. Nicholls, we were in the middle of your submission.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour. If I could --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps near the end of it than in the middle.
17 But nevertheless --
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I will try to be brief, Your Honour. What I've
19 done since we finished yesterday is had a chance to go through the
20 transcript, go through the prior interviews, and I will try not to repeat
21 too much but show Your Honours what you asked are the difference between
22 previous statements and the witness testified to before you yesterday.
23 If I could first very briefly do two small bits of housekeeping
24 from yesterday. The report that I showed the witness at tab 6 which he
25 identified with his signature, that's U000-7650 to 51. I would move to
1 admit that exhibit. It needs to be given a number.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That is his previous statement?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour. That is the order I showed him
4 regarding groups of people moving and the dangers of shelling. That's at
5 tab 6.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit Number P93.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 The second point is I saw that on the transcript on pages 35 to
10 37 I was showing the witness a map. I identified that as a map from P1,
11 but it's not clear on the record which map that was. It is in fact map
12 6, U008-3706.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I think you also showed him map 10 as well.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, and that is clear on the record. This is the
15 map which was shown just before map 10.
16 And I'm not sure what's just been handed to you, if that's --
17 that's something else -- from looking through the back of the paper.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
20 Now if I can, I'll try to quickly go through some of the
21 principal discrepancies and try to keep the record clear as to page
22 numbers. Yesterday, as Your Honours will recall, there was testimony
23 about when the witness met Fatmir Limaj and when he learned the pseudonym
24 Celiku, as opposed to when he knew Fatmir Limaj as Fatmir. That appears
25 in the transcript principally at pages 44 to 47, which you have. The
1 witness testified in court that,
2 "First there was -- no name was introduced me... at the time --
3 it was not clear to me whether he was introduced to me as Fatmir or
4 Celiku, but it was the time when I knew him as Celiku. I'm not sure...
5 It might be possible that he was introduced to me as uncle, "Daja," if I
6 remember it well." [sic]
7 "... but for the period we met," a little further on, "it's not
8 clear whether he was introduced to me as Daja because it was short. It
9 was short."
10 Now, as Your Honour pointed out that wasn't a particular clear
11 passage of testimony, but what's clear is that the witness was stating
12 that he couldn't remember, initially, after meeting Fatmir Limaj in March
13 1998, what name he knew him under.
14 In the interview with the Prosecution in 2003, the transcript
15 which you have from November 2003, it's much clearer and more precise,
16 his answers. He's asked:
17 "Q. Did you know that Fatmir Limaj was called Celiku?
18 "A. Not in the beginning. When I knew him, I knew him as
19 Celiku. Afterwards I learned his name as well."
20 A little bit further on:
21 "Q. But when he arrived with the group in Switzerland you didn't
22 know his name at that time, in March, in 1998?
23 "A. No, I didn't know the name.
24 "Q. But you did at the time then, when he went to the area on
25 the other side of the road. You didn't know who it was, or did you know
1 him as Celiku, or how did you know him?"
2 The witness responded:
3 "A. After a month or two I knew his name as well. It was
4 Fatmir, but in the beginning it was more the Celiku unit's commander."
5 I brought up yesterday our investigator notes, which have been
6 provided to you, which - from the interview with the Defence and the
7 investigator's notes which have also been provided to the Defence -
8 states that the witness was asked by the Defence if he knew the pseudonym
9 of Fatmir Limaj and he replied that he always knew him as Celiku.
10 We've been kindly provided with a transcript of the recording
11 just a few minutes before court. I thank my colleagues for that, for
12 helping to make this clearer. If you look on page 7 of that transcript
13 at the top, you've got the question from the interviewer of the Limaj
14 Defence team.
15 "Q. You said you had known Fatmir. With what nickname did you
16 know him?"
17 Answer from General Selimi:
18 "A. I knew Fatmir with the nickname Celiku."
19 JUDGE PARKER: You said page 7?
20 MR. NICHOLLS: That's the pagination on the --
21 JUDGE PARKER: We've got a document looking quite different from
22 the one you --
23 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry. I'm talking about the English
24 transcript of the questioning of the witness by the Defence team in
25 October 2004. I believe Mr. Khan said he had provided it to the Court as
2 And for the chart which Your Honours have referred to, I'm on
3 pages 1 and 2 of the chart I've provided. So again, Your Honours, our
4 investigator's notes and the actual transcript of the interview in
5 English are quite close. In October 2004 when asked by the Defence the
6 witness stated simply: "I knew Fatmir with the nickname Celiku."
7 Now, although the questioning, as I said, was not clear at that
8 particular part of testimony yesterday, what is clear is the witness was
9 adamant that he wasn't sure when he learnt the name Celiku, which name he
10 learnt first, and in every prior statement he has given regarding Fatmir
11 Limaj's nickname, it has always been Celiku. The nickname "Daja" has
12 never come up.
13 Another area of contention, and I'm now up to page 6 of the chart
14 which I've provided you of the differences in testimony yesterday and
15 prior statements, that is the document Your Honour was holding up
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: We have the issue of Fatmir Limaj as the commander
19 of the Celiku units who were operating in the Pastrik zone adjacent to
20 the witness's Drenica zone in May 1998. On the transcript on page 39 --
21 in the trial transcript the witness stated in answer to the witness
22 stated in answer to the question "Which units -- on the other side of the
23 road, which units operated?
24 "A. On the other side of the road there were no formations.
25 There were some units, Celiku -- some units named Celiku, which at that
1 time started being organised. But they were working independent of each
3 Later on I asked the witness specifically at page 47 of the
4 transcript: "Who was the commander of the Celiku units in the battle for
5 Lapusnik gorge in May 1998?"
6 And the witness answered: "It's clear, I explained it earlier
7 where the units acted. The units did not -- the units that existed did
8 not act on the other side, they did not have a commander. They were
9 independent and acted -- were acting independently."
10 Further down he says: "The units, as I said, were not uniform,
11 did not have a commander."
12 And again, further down on page 7 of my chart: "So at the time
13 the units acted as independent ones."
14 This is clearly a material issue and one in which in previous
15 statements the witness's answers have been different. On the right side
16 of the page, 6, we have the transcript from page 32 and 33 of the
17 transcribed Prosecution interview with the witness in 2003. On pages 32
18 to 33, as indicated, questioning about when Fatmir Limaj arrived from
19 abroad in March 1998. Did he come to your area first?" The question was
20 put to the witness.
21 A little further down the witness stated: "I don't know exactly
22 if he was based in Klecka. The General Staff was also based in Klecka at
23 that time and Fatmir himself wanted that also because he was from that
24 area. He had connections there and knew the territory."
25 And then the witness stated: "Naturally he had some directive in
1 the General Staff to create the units operating with other Celiku units."
2 Now, on page 7, continuing: "Did you as commander, did you have
3 direct communication with Fatmir Limaj about these issues, about the
4 gorge, about Lapusnik?" Again concentrating on this time period.
5 And the witness stated, "No we didn't get out orders from the
6 General Staff."
7 The witness has previously explained that the hierarchy was the
8 General Staff, the zone commanders or area commanders like himself, and
9 below that the units.
10 Further down on page 8 of the chart --
11 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interject. I'm trying to
12 restrain myself. It's not clear what my friend is trying to do. If it's
13 been said that there are clear disparities between the testimony Your
14 Honours heard yesterday and an interview with the Prosecution, I'm sure
15 that can be done in a far more succinct manner in which Your Honours can
16 be rightly pointed to the alleged change of story.
17 Your Honour, my friend is simply going through reams of documents
18 that's now being condensed before you, somewhat. But, Your Honours,
19 that's hardly, in my submission, the way one seeks to make a witness
20 adverse. And Your Honour, of course, later on -- yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
22 It is, I've got to confess for my own part, a little difficult to
23 follow everything you're putting, Mr. Nicholls. But I think the essence
24 of what you're trying to do is to compare testimony given yesterday, or
25 contrast it, with statements made by the witness on previous occasions.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: The precise point of difference is not always easy
3 to pick up as you go through it. You may well have it in your head, but
4 you'll understand that the Chamber at least is not familiar with these
5 previous interviews and the precise point of distinction is one which has
6 escaped me on a couple of the matters you've been referring to.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll try to be clear on
9 The first point I was making is that there is a strong and clear
10 discrepancy on which order and when the witness knew Fatmir Limaj by
11 different names. In court it was a bit muddled, but he stated that he
12 didn't remember in 1998 how he was introduced and he came up with -- for
13 the first time with this nickname of uncle or Daja. In previous
14 interviews it's been very clear that he first knew the witness [sic] as
15 Celiku, as Commander Celiku of the Celiku units and some months later
16 learnt that this person named Celiku, who was the commander of the Celiku
17 unit, had the real name of Fatmir Limaj. That was point one --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Point one, to which I would put in the additional
19 [inaudible] given by the witness by way of clarification, that from March
20 1998 he knew the accused by the name Celiku.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right. He did know the name Celiku.
22 However, what is different is that he stated earlier that he knew him as
23 a Commander Celiku and that he did not even know this person's name was
24 Fatmir Limaj. And in previous interviews the only nickname he's ever
25 referred to was Celiku.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Well, an additional nickname comes in, but has the
2 nickname Celiku ever been disavowed by the witness as one he knew that
3 from the beginning?
4 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour, just when he was -- it's the
5 original point, and that is -- That is not the most important point of
6 discrepancy; however, it is a relevant point.
7 The second point which I've been talking about, more importantly,
8 is who was in command of the Celiku units.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: In the time frame from -- starting with May 1998.
11 The witness testified in court yesterday, stating twice these units in
12 May 1998 during the battle for Lapusnik gorge had no commander. That was
13 his testimony. In prior statements --
14 JUDGE PARKER: And at what point of time was that answer directed
16 MR. NICHOLLS: May 1998. The question at page 47: "Who was the
17 commander of the Celiku units in the battle for Lapusnik gorge on May" -
18 and I think it's left out May 9th - "1998?" Is what I actually said. It
19 says on May 1998 in the transcript.
20 And then the answer is again: They had no commander.
21 In the previous section of transcript I've pointed out where he
22 knew the name Celiku, he knew him in the first couple of months, which
23 would have been this period, as the Celiku, Commander of the Celiku
25 JUDGE PARKER: Where does that appear? Are you referring to the
1 top of 7?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: That appears at -- that should be on page 37, Your
3 Honours. It's on page 37, the Prosecution's transcript of our interview
4 with him.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Which one is that, Mr. Nicholls?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: That's page 2 of the chart, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Page 2 of the chart.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: On the right-hand column, which is prior
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. And so you're relying on the -- at the
11 beginning, "it was more the Celiku unit's commander?"
12 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is that what you rely on?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, that is not only what I rely on; that is one
15 of the statements.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. But before you leave that, where is the
17 apostrophe in the word units? It's not there, of course, but if you put
18 it in one place, it's singular, which seems to accord with his testimony;
19 if you put after the "s" it's plural, which is the way you're reading it.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct, Your Honour. I'm reading it
21 plural. There are other statements that would indicate plural that I
22 will get to. And there were, of course, multiple Celiku units.
23 Now I'm looking at page 8 of the chart, referring to pages 35 and
24 36 of the witness's interview with the Prosecutor. This, continuing on
25 to page 9, the witness was asked where he -- where the name the Celiku
1 units -- where the Celiku units got their name from. And after some
2 questioning he said -- he first said he didn't know and then said:
3 "A. It was because of his character. It was because of maybe
4 his character, the way the units fought."
5 "Q. Fatmir's?
6 "A. Yeah."
7 That also, as an aside, contradicts his testimony yesterday, page
8 47. That's not in the chart. He was asked where the Celiku units got
9 their names from and he just said "I don't know."
10 If you continue to page 10 of the --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Will you just pause a moment, please.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Sorry to delay you.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 If you go to page 10 of the chart on the right-hand side, this is
16 from the Prosecution's interview in the top square of page 39. The
17 witness was asked:
18 "I do wonder if you know who was in command of the forces on --
19 in Lapusnik on the other side of the road lower than Fatmir Limaj."
20 And the witness states: "Lower?"
21 "Q. Yeah, lower.
22 "A. I didn't know anyone of the command structure around that
23 area except for Fatmir, whose name I knew. I didn't know anyone else in
24 that area."
25 Below that from interview -- from our interview, the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Prosecution's interview, on page 40. The interviewer tries to clarify
2 this issue.
3 "Q. So actually as a conclusion the only name and position you
4 know of in the area on the other side of the road of the Celiku units is
5 that Fatmir Limaj was the commander of this area?"
6 And the witness says: "Sorry?"
7 And the question then is:
8 "Q. Okay. The only name and position he knows about in the
9 Celiku unit is that Fatmir Limaj was a commander."
10 And the witness says: "Fatmir, and Kumanova's name as well. But
11 I didn't know him. I had only seen him once."
12 So again, there the witness affirms that Fatmir Limaj was the
13 commander of the Celiku units.
14 On page 11 of the chart --
15 JUDGE PARKER: If I could ask you to pause again, please. I'm
16 both absorbing and noting.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, Your Honour, I raised this yesterday. This
19 is behind tab 18 of your binders. It's the article given in 2000 by the
20 witness, interview in Zeri. On page 12 of that interview in English we
21 see the translation in English stating --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Now, this was an interview with a journalist. Is
23 that it?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, Your Honour. A lengthy -- multi-part
25 interview. And on page 12 the heading for this section is: "How and why
1 we closed the Lapusnik gorge."
2 On page 13 the interviewer asks the question:
3 "Q. The battle for the gorge of Lapusnik presents one of the key
4 moments of the war. What was the contribution of your units -- of the
5 units of your zone in this battle?"
6 The witness goes on to talk about the significance of the battle
7 of 9 May in exactly -- this has to be the battle of 9 May because later
8 on in the article they talk about the Serb offensive and the -- towards
9 the end of July, where the gorge was lost. And the significance which
10 the witness describes in the article to this battle is the same as he
11 described in court yesterday, that of opening you have an arterial
12 highway for the KLA to use.
13 And the witness stated, in answer to the question by the
14 interviewer, that these soldiers belonged to the 113 and the 121st
15 Brigades and stated: "The units of the future 121 Brigade led by their
16 Commander Celiku, Fatmir Limaj, were operating on the other side."
17 Now, that's exactly what he said yesterday, except that when he
18 spoke yesterday they were under -- operating under nobody's command,
19 these units which would become part of the 121st Brigade.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. Now, this isn't in the chart, but
22 referring to the transcript of the interview which the witness gave to
23 representatives of the Defence last year in October 2004. If you look at
24 page 5 of that transcript, Your Honours. The third question asked of the
25 witness on page 5 is: "What was his area of operation when he joined the
1 KLA? What were his tasks?"
2 Now, in context, it's clear that the question is referring to
3 Fatmir Limaj. The previous question asks when the witness met Fatmir.
4 And I won't read the whole answer but part of the answer is: "At this
5 point when Fatmir came in Drenica, Fatmir went to the area where he was
6 born, and was involved in the creation of fire positions, where there
7 were several people or groups, like Celiku 1, 2, or 3." And it states
8 "and ex-Celiks." But this was this period when I was zone commander. He
9 exercised his responsibility in Pastrik.
10 Now again, other than having a responsibility in this zone, it's
11 the same as the testimony yesterday: that he came and went to the area
12 where he was -- to that area, but not that he was -- set up these units
13 and had a responsibility in the Pastrik zone on the other side of the
15 The last question asked on the page, 5: "But these units, as you
16 call them, Celiku 1, 2, 3, did you know more how they operate and act?
17 Who is in charge of those positions?"
18 And the witness states: "I don't know how they operated because
19 I had another responsibility. The responsibility where I was commander
20 and the brigades that existed in the Drenica zone were divided by the
21 line of responsibility. The line of responsibility with Fatmir, or the
22 operating zone, was the asphalt road starting from Komorane, near Klina,"
23 and then he talks again about the 121st Brigade.
24 So he speaks of that road there as the dividing line of the
25 responsibility with Fatmir Limaj at this time period when the Celiku 1,
1 2, 3 units are created after Fatmir Limaj has come back from the west,
2 which, contextually, puts it in the March/May 1998 period.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, Your Honour, the last issue I'll highlight
5 are disciplinary measures. There was a long exchange on pages 29 to 34,
6 about five pages of transcript, on this issue. And after a lot of
7 questioning and going around the houses and some difficulty - and I'm
8 talking here now pages 12 to 17 of the chart - the witness stated that it
9 was possible that a soldier would be told to leave the unit and that they
10 could be removed. That was after a great deal of, in my view and in my
11 submission, efforts on his part to resist answering the question.
12 If you contrast to that on page 12 of my chart, which refers to
13 pages 44 and 45 of the interview, the taped interview which Mr. Selimi
14 gave to the Office of the Prosecution, he's asked a quite simple
16 "Q. So what would happen if there was a fight between soldiers
17 or if a soldier left his post? What sort of disciplinary measures were
18 available to you."
19 The witness responds:
20 "A. The team commander, the company commander, could report it
21 and the brigade commander could decide. At that time we were not
22 prepared for it -- for the experience, and in other words, we had to
23 learn by trial and error."
24 The next question was:
25 "Q. So what, for example, if somebody did something really bad,
1 something more than a fight? Could you discipline that person from the
3 And the answer was:
4 "A. A lot of times, a lot of times that happened. And they take
5 the weapons away from them and the uniform. That was the worst they
6 could do, actually. They couldn't do anything else at the time. And I
7 would say that you could never work for -- never be a member of the KLA
9 So although that testimony ended up in the end consistent, I
10 include that as an example of the witness's efforts to resist answering
11 questions and to try not to give us the same information he's clearly
12 stated earlier in his prior statements.
13 We've passed out today a letter which I think the Court has
14 already received. It's addressed to the Trial Chamber, sent by the
15 witness on 23 November 2004, where he says he will not be a witness for
16 the Office of the Prosecutor.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We don't have it.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry. I think it has been distributed, Your
20 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the first page in the bundle you have been
21 taking us to is your analysis of the Prosecution interviews. We haven't
22 seen it until now.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Oh. I include this letter, Your Honour, because
24 there are two issues which are slightly different but they are related.
25 The first is the witness is an adverse witness under the Rules which I
1 practice on, as he aligned himself with the opposing party. That,
2 clearly, the case with this witness. He's openly stated he did not want
3 to come for us. Mr. Khan stated yesterday the witness refused to be a
4 Prosecution witness; he's happy to be a Defence witness. He considers
5 himself adverse to the Office of the Prosecutor.
6 The second issue, besides -- and under the US rules of evidence
7 611, at that point I would be allowed to use leading questions if he was
8 declared as adverse. In addition, though, the witness -- I think I've
9 demonstrated --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Not in addition though. I don't believe we're at
11 that point in this Tribunal.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. I'm just pointing out that he through
13 this letter and through his statements when he was served with the
14 subpoena to come here, he again said to the person serving him: I don't
15 want to come. He obeyed the subpoena. He's adverse. He's an adverse
16 witness. Through the examples I've shown Your Honours he's also a
17 hostile witness, in that he's trying to avoid giving this information and
18 he has given materially different statements on -- in court yesterday
19 than he has in previous interviews to us, to the Defence, and to the
20 press on important points. And there is a direct contradiction that it
21 is a clear effort from him to try to avoid answering the question.
22 So I think the law's fairly settled. I won't go into that now
23 unless I have to, but I think we've met that burden and I ask that I be
24 allowed to use leading questions and to put these prior statements to
25 him. That's to clarify these points to allow him to explain any of these
1 discrepancies. There's no lay jury here. It will allow the Court to
2 better evaluate his evidence. And I can go more into that, but I think
3 I've established that he's an adverse witness and a hostile witness in
4 the legal in the meaning of that phrase. If the Court, after it
5 considers this, feels that I have not reached that point, I ask leave as
6 the questioning goes on to make that application again if there are more
7 occasions where he divulges on material issues from statements he's made
8 in prior interviews which are material issues in this case.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think we can indicate now that this application
10 is made at this point in the evidence. If it should not succeed, there
11 is nothing in the way of you renewing the application if something new
12 emerges as it progresses. So you don't need leave.
13 Is that the end of your submission, Mr. Nicholls?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Are you a volunteer, Mr. Topolski?
16 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I was turning to Mr. Khan.
18 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm a volunteer.
19 We submit this application is without both foundation or merit.
20 We submit that Your Honours can, absent as we understand it any
21 jurisprudence arising from this Tribunal on the point, safely adopt the
22 principle that adverse means hostile and not merely unfavourable. In
23 indicating that is the principle we invite you to apply, we be no means
24 concede in that that position has been arrived at here or indeed anywhere
25 near it. We hope it might be of assistance to make one or two
1 submissions, as it were, to place this application in context. We submit
2 context is important. For a consideration of the context, we'll
3 culminate in a submission as to what ought to have been the course here
4 without ever having got to this pass.
5 First of all, this is in the shape of this witness a KLA
6 commander of considerable seniority. He comes to us today as a serving
7 general in the KPC. And it is in the light of that that we invite the
8 Court to read the last sentence of the letter written on his behalf
9 indicating his lack of preparedness to give evidence, for the reason he
10 gives for that displays, in our submission, as we read the words, no
11 animus; still less hostility to the Office of the Prosecutor, but is
12 rather a recognition of the delicate position in which historically and
13 today he finds himself.
14 He -- this is the third matter of context -- as we are told by
15 Mr. Nicholls yesterday, and we agree with him, is the only witness
16 interviewed by any Defence team who specifically requested the attendance
17 of the OTP during the interview. That of itself another indicator, we
18 submit, of a position very far from animosity towards the party calling
19 him. He made no signed statement to the Office of the Prosecutor. He
20 was the subject of a subpoena compelling his attendance, having written
21 the letter or it having been written on his behalf at the back-end of
22 last November.
23 Nonetheless, notwithstanding all of those matters, they chose to
24 call him, to set up this skittle in order to knock it down. There was
25 from 1946 a precedent they could have adopted, the medical case, this
1 Nuremburg case. They could have invited the Tribunal to call the
2 witness, had they feared what they now say has come about. And given the
3 context, given the history and given the personality that we are dealing
4 with here, it may be thought by the Tribunal that that would have been an
5 application that would have found some favour.
6 Can I turn from the context to what happened yesterday and make
7 these submissions. First of all, it must be important to recognise, as
8 with all witnesses who come before this or indeed any other court
9 anywhere else in the world: If they are not speaking or being asked
10 questions in their own language, in other words through an interpreter,
11 there are potential difficulties in that fact alone. But like any
12 witness, we submit, this witness would and would continue to benefit from
13 being asked clear, concise, and precise questions. It is with regret
14 that, we submit, there are examples throughout the examination-in-chief
15 yesterday when that was not the case.
16 May I give an example of a question that, on my account, contains
17 four questions within one. Page 13 of the uncorrected transcript, line
19 "Q. And why would he have contact with the General Staff, what
20 was the nature, what would the General Staff tell him to do or what was
21 -- what was the reason for these contacts?"
22 Four questions in one. To which the answer from this witness
23 who's now characterised as having animus: "I hope it's a question for
24 the members of the General Staff and not for me."
25 We submit that questions of that kind and questions in a leading
1 form has been a feature of this examination-in-chief thus far to the
2 extent that it was only as a result of the intervention from the Court
3 did we achieve any understandable clarity at all regarding the meeting
4 with Limaj, whose case, as I've understood it for the last six weeks, has
5 never been to dispute that he is Celiku.
6 An example of a leading question on a matter of some controversy
7 is, as Mr. Nicholls well knows, when the brigades were created and by
8 whom is of some importance in this case when one looks at the issue of
9 armed conflict. And at page 39 this is the question:
10 "Now, on the 9th of May, 1998, you probably remember that date.
11 What was going on with the 113 Brigade, the Pellumbi units, starting then
12 in their zone?"
13 Whatever I think that question, means it presupposes there was a
14 113 Brigade on the 19th [sic] of May, and that is very much an issue for
15 this Court to decide. We submit that however careful a textual analysis
16 we've been presented with this afternoon, however carefully that is done,
17 of course when somebody's giving statements to the press, or interviews
18 to others, a detailed textual analysis is going to throw up
19 inconsistencies of one or another. But Mr. Nicholls gave the game away,
20 we submit, when he took you to page 12 and said of the interviewer's
21 question that he was asked quite a simple question. And look what the
22 simple question was:
23 "What would happen if there was a fight between soldiers or a
24 soldier left his post? What sort of disciplinary measures were available
25 to you?"
1 That question generates an answer. It's a simple, clear,
2 concise, precise question. That's been the problem here, we submit; not
3 an attitude of animus or hostility to the Prosecution.
4 The application to cross-examine him, because that's really what
5 Mr. Nicholls is asking to do now, to cross-examine him on the newspaper
6 interview in a sense puts the cart before the horse because as yet there
7 is no evidence that that interview is an accurate record of what was
8 said. And that is certainly a hurdle over which Mr. Nicholls would have
9 to climb or jump, were he, in our submission, to be entitled in the first
10 place as a matter of first principles to put a newspaper interview to a
12 Your Honours, that, we submit, is the context; that, we submit,
13 is the position as indicated in those submissions; and that is why we put
14 it as high at the outset of our reply as saying that this submission,
15 this application, is both without foundation or merit and should fail.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 Mr. Khan.
18 MR. KHAN: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. I was not on the air. I think Mr.
20 Topolski, and I call on you, Mr. Khan.
21 MR. KHAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I hopefully will not repeat
22 the submissions that have been made by my learned friend. But in my
23 submission, and whilst I don't mean it personally, I have the greatest of
24 affection for my learned friend, we have wasted more than an hour of
25 valuable court time. Your Honour, we on this side of your bench are
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 making every effort to expedite this trial as far as possible. Only this
2 morning we had meetings with the Prosecution agreeing a whole raft of
3 expert witnesses. We are not belabouring any point, we hope, when
4 witnesses are before you. And in that context trying to keep the ball
5 rolling, trying to get to a fair determination of this matter, it does
6 cause me, unfortunately, Your Honours, discomfort to say that the
7 submission that my learned friend made has been frivolous and it has been
8 utterly devoid of merit. Indeed, Your Honours, under the Rules you had
9 power, if anybody on this side of the bench would dare to make such an
10 uninformed and baseless submission, to direct that our legal fees not be
11 paid. Your Honour, the application has been made. And once again a slur
12 has been cast against a senior official of Kosova.
13 Now, Your Honour, of course there are many witnesses who may hold
14 my client in high esteem. You will remember the opening, perhaps, given
15 by my learned friend Mr. Mansfield and the statements made by various
16 internationals, head of the OSCE, head of Democratisation, the prime
17 minister of Kosova. It may be that other witnesses who come to this
18 court say good things about Mr. Limaj. Your Honour, if the Prosecution
19 wish to call those witnesses as witnesses of truth, they must take the
20 consequences. But to seek to allege that a general of the TMK operating
21 under UN auspices is not a man of his word - and the Prosecution have
22 said today that he has changed his story. To a man in uniform, that is
23 to call him a liar. And, Your Honour, I do take exception to this
24 unnecessary attempt by the Prosecution to impugn the credibility of their
25 own witness simply because, with the greatest of respect, they have
1 failed, due to very inartful and rather confused examination-in-chief, to
2 get evidence out of him that they wanted. But, Your Honour, the
3 Prosecution have utterly failed, in my submission, to show any hostile
4 animus on the part of the witness that has appeared before you.
5 The witness has been contacted a number of times by the
6 Prosecution. Your Honour, on the 19th of November of 2003 he was
7 interviewed. You have that before you. He again was interviewed on the
8 4th of May of last year, and the Prosecution had some technical problems
9 and lost that interview; it wasn't recorded. And the notes also I think
10 were not up to much. And, Your Honour, the Prosecution were present when
11 the Defence spoke to that witness, both on the 11th of October, 2004, and
12 again on Sunday. He is here before you.
13 Now, Your Honour, some cultural sensitivity is required in any
14 international trial, civil or criminal. Many of these witnesses come
15 from a civil-law system in which ownership of witnesses is not known.
16 The concept of a Prosecution witness or a Defence witness is something
17 alien to them. And, Your Honour, your brothers in previous cases have
18 encountered that. And in fact I think it was in the Blaskic case it was
19 decided in at least one decision, and perhaps it has been overturned, but
20 once a witness comes to court, he's a Court witness. And, Your Honour,
21 that's what the witness was seeking to clarify yesterday, and, Your
22 Honour, in my submission, that was clarified and he sought to answer
23 every question honestly.
24 Indeed, Your Honour, you will remember before he left the room
25 yesterday at the Prosecution's own invitation or application, he again
1 said, "I am willing to explain."
2 Your Honour, this can hardly be consistent with a man that is
3 seeking to obfuscate and not tell the truth. Your Honour, I cannot even
4 say that the discrepancies are more apparent than real. In my
5 submission, the discrepancies are nonexistent. I rather feel,
6 unfortunately, like the young boy who shouted out: "The emperor has no
7 clothes." But Your Honour, when I look at the alleged discrepancies,
8 that's how I do feel. Because all this, in my submission, if not
9 baloney, this distraction about the name Celiku, the witness was quite
10 candid that he knew Mr. Limaj as Celiku. He can't remember his name in
11 1996. He remembers his name from 1998 but he can't seem to remember -
12 and this is where questioning is so important - he can't remember the
13 first time he was introduced what he was introduced as. Well, in my
14 submission, besides everything else, how is that relevant? How is that
15 relevant? Was that really necessary to justify so much of our precious
16 court time?
17 Your Honour, once again, and we see plenty of examples of leading
18 in this court, and as Mr. Mansfield said with the previous witness, he's
19 stopped or he's very slow to object now on the basis of leading
20 questions. But of course at that leading-type of question pollutes also
21 the interview process. Your Honour, at page 35 of the Prosecution
22 interview, the witness is asked about the name Celiku's units -- the name
23 Celiku units and, in my submission, gives a very honest answer:
24 "I don't know. I don't know where they got the name from. Maybe
25 Celiku means something strong. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. I don't
2 Now, Your Honour, when the Prosecution investigator seeks to say
3 later on, well, are you talking about Mr. Fatmir's units, of course you
4 will judge for yourselves the relevance of that. But a witness may
5 speculate and he may also testify as to core evidence that he knows. And
6 many times, many a time, in my submission, difficulties are encountered
7 when a witness is asked to deviate from what he knows and enter the
8 uncertain and dangerous realm of speculation. And on repeated occasions,
9 both in interview and here whilst the witness is in the box, witnesses
10 are invited to engage upon this task of speculation. And, Your Honour,
11 that's another problem that has been encountered.
12 Your Honour, my learned friend touched upon the absurdity of the
13 comments about newspaper article. It's not for us, with the greatest of
14 respect, to tell the Prosecution how to prosecute. It is very basic when
15 it comes to this newspaper article. There's no journalist before you.
16 The witness has not even been asked by Mr. Whiting [sic] whether or not
17 every word of that interview is a true record of his conversation with
18 the journalist, and he is seeking to impugn the credibility of his
19 witness on the basis of the witness's unadopted, unverified and untested
20 interview with a newspaper. Your Honour, again, hardly the basis, hardly
21 the solid legal foundation that could eat up so much of your precious
22 court time.
23 Your Honour, when it comes to the disciplinary measures - this is
24 my final point, because you will make up your own minds when it comes to
25 the witness - Your Honour, in page 44 of his interview he's asked about
1 the disciplinary measures that were available to him at the time, and of
2 course he described the fact that the Drenica unit was at a more advanced
3 side of evolution than other units. His answer, in my submission, again
4 is not inconsistent of the tenor of what he said yesterday. He said at
5 the top of page 45 in fact:
6 "At the time we were not prepared for it. We were not prepared
7 for disciplinary measures. We were not prepared for the experience at
8 all. In other words, we learnt by trial and error."
9 And, Your Honour, then of course he does say that weapons can be
10 taken away and people can be dismissed, but that's exactly what he said
11 yesterday. Now, it may not all be served up on a silver platter by Mr.
12 Whiting -- to Mr. Nicholls, but the question is when is the witness is
13 asked a specific question, he answers truthfully and consistently.
14 Your Honour, for those reasons and many others it's my submission
15 that the application, with the greatest of respect, is frivolous and is
16 devoid of merit and indeed should be summarily rejected. Your Honour,
17 unless I can assist, those are my - I've tried to be brief - submissions
18 on this point.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
20 Mr. Guy-Smith.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: I think that in large measure the difficulty with
22 Mr. Nicholls' application is a failure of the art of the questions that
23 he has asked thus far, as opposed to the substantive answers that have
24 been given by the witness. And since Mr. Nicholls suggested yesterday
25 that we practice in the same jurisdiction and that I would share his
1 thoughts with regard to how this witness is treated, I would
2 unfortunately have to at this point say that Mr. Nicholls has
3 unfortunately taken my name in vain, because with regard to his
4 performance, and by that I mean the kinds of questions asked this witness
5 and the responses given, in the courts in which I practice, this
6 application would be denied based upon what he has done thus far.
7 With regard to the issue of this gentleman's demeanour, I find it
8 curiously strange that he would be in any sense whatsoever characterised
9 or defined hostile. We've actually had an example of a witness who
10 exhibited some hostility towards questioners in this court, and that was
11 Mr. Safiulin who engaged in banter with us, and as a matter of fact you
12 could say was pugilistic in some of his responses. Such is not the case
13 with this witness; as a matter of fact to the contrary: In one situation
14 where he was presented with a map that failed to have sufficient
15 information on it for him to give the Prosecutor that which he desired,
16 he attempted on his own to worry through the document and point out the
17 very fact for which the Prosecutor was looking.
18 With regard to issues concerning, for example, discipline - and
19 now I refer to the very page that you've been referred to before - the
20 Prosecutor did not seek or elicit information on page 44 of their
21 interview at the top of the page when their investigator asks:
22 "Q. What were the duties of the military police?"
23 And he responds:
24 "A. The main one was to discipline soldiers inside, but
25 sometimes, Inakovic [phoen], for example, they also keep law and order.
1 So" -- several words were unintelligible.
2 But that did not happen very often cause -- since we were always
3 on attack, on the defensive. We had to move a lot of times. So they
4 mostly," - referring to the military police - "they were busy with the
5 wounded and they took them and they transported them, and so on."
6 That answer was not sought. That answer, as a matter of fact,
7 was not given. Is the failure of him to give such information in these
8 proceedings, based upon the questions that were given to him by Mr.
9 Nicholls, such that you would define him as being hostile? I think not.
10 In sum, the application is without merit and should be denied.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Nicholls, any response.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll be very brief, Your Honour. It's settled in
14 this Tribunal in the case law Brdjanin and Talic case, the Blagojevic
15 case, that a party calling a witness may treat a witness as hostile.
16 Hostility does not mean in anger, hostility in the normal sense of the
17 word. Hostility can normally be demonstrated simply by changing their
18 statements from ones which the party calling them reasonably expect them
19 to rely on.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Is it too concise to say that it's a witness who's
21 not prepared to answer truthfully and willingly?
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Quite right, Your Honour, or who is not prepared
23 to answer with a great deal -- will take every step possible to avoid
24 answering the question; and then, you're right, will not alter or answer
25 truthfully in line with prior statements.
1 Mr. Topolski's made the point, it's a bit contradictory, that the
2 witness did cooperate with us, did allow us to go to his interview with
3 the Defence, and has expressed all along that he was willing to come here
4 and testify but he did not want to be called by the Prosecutor. Based on
5 that I think we're entitled to expect that when he comes to testify he
6 will say the same things as he's said consistently in his interviews.
7 The magazine article, the newspaper article, is not the be-all
8 and end-all, but it's consistent with the thrust of the other statements.
9 The name issue, paragraph 26 of Mr. Limaj's Defence brief states,
10 his pre-trial brief, that: "Mr. Limaj, when he came to Klecka soon
11 gained the nickname "Daja," uncle, in Albanian, as well as a previous
12 nickname "Arben." Whilst it is true that Fatmir Limaj was also later
13 known as Celiku, he gained that name because it was the call sign of one
14 of the units that was subsequently formed. He did not give his name to
15 some of the units nor were they named." I just raise that to show that
16 that issue was not entirely without dispute from the Defence side.
17 Finally, we did not call this witness to knock him down. I am
18 not attempting to slur -- to cast any slurs. What I -- the purpose of
19 this application is to be allowed to use leading questions to show the
20 witness his prior statements, allow him to explain to the Chamber these
21 discrepancies, and there are, I think I'm demonstrated, some marked
22 discrepancies on material issues.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber is of the view that the application
1 should be refused. The issue which we are to consider is, commonly put,
2 whether or not the witness should be declared hostile. The essence of a
3 hostile witness is usually regarded as one who is not prepared to speak
4 the truth. That can be by simply refusing to answer or by giving false
5 testimony or withholding relevant information. And the submissions of
6 Mr. Nicholls suggest that on some views of prior statements, that view
7 could be taken of aspects of the present evidence in this hearing of the
9 The matters that have been identified by Mr. Nicholls each bear a
10 possible interpretation which supports the application. We, therefore,
11 are not of the same view of the application as was advanced by at least
12 one counsel for the Defence. It is not without possible merit. But the
13 matters that have been identified are not such, in our view, as to
14 persuade us that the view ought to be taken that this witness is hostile
15 in the sense that I have identified.
16 Of the matters that have been referred to, the reference on
17 meeting in May 1998 to the name "Celiku" was certainly confused; the
18 clarification in the end, however, was in relatively straightforward
19 terms. And apart from the possible refinement that there may have been
20 an actual introduction by another name or even two potentially different
21 names, the end result was that it was Celiku and that was, as we would
22 understand it, exactly the point of the previous statement that was
23 relied upon in this connection. So there appeared no material
24 distinction in the end on the point.
25 There certainly is and there apparently remains a difference
1 between the evidence of the witness given here as to the units fighting
2 on the southern side of the Pristina-Pec road and those fighting on the
3 north, as to their leadership. This is anything but a straightforward
4 issue, though, both in the way the questioning was conducting in this
5 hearing and the way in which the questions and the answers proceeded in
6 each of the previous statements to which we've been referred.
7 Difficulties clearly exist in time frames, in that the
8 organisation of units and their eventually becoming so-called brigades
9 appears to have been progressive over the relevant period. And the most
10 critical reference that most apparently supports Mr. Nicholls' submission
11 refers to the area in which the future 121st Brigade functioned, and
12 that, as far as the Chamber presently understands, was a brigade that was
13 commanded by Celiku. And the question of which time sense these various
14 references intended when they speak to earlier units or points which came
15 in the end to comprise or be part of the 121st Brigade.
16 Without going through each of them individually at this point,
17 it's sufficient to say that there is uncertainty about that as the
18 Chamber reads the evidence. Sufficient to leave it at the moment unclear
19 whether the difference is due to some reasonably simple explanation or is
20 a change of position absolutely on the part of the witness. But whatever
21 the answer to that may be - and we have no means of knowing that at the
22 moment - we are left without a view that this is motivated by a hostility
23 in the relevant sense.
24 The matter of disciplinary measures was the only other
25 significant distinction, and the end position reached, admittedly with
1 difficulty, appears to be exactly the same as in the previous statements.
2 For those reasons, the Chamber is not persuaded that there would be
3 justification for treating the witness at the present time at hostile to
4 the Prosecution.
5 Given the time, this would appear to be an appropriate time for
6 the first break, and we will resume at -- I guess precisely 10 past, but
7 we seem to have difficulty getting precision in all the various aspects
8 of this organisation coming together at a precise moment. But we will
9 live in hope at 10 past.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, General. Thank you for your
14 patience in waiting. We've resolved the difficulties and we are ready to
15 continue with the evidence that you give to this Tribunal. Could I
16 remind you of the affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence;
17 it still applies.
18 Now Mr. Nicholls has some more questions before counsel for the
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
23 WITNESS: SYLEJMAN SELIMI [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examined by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Good afternoon, General.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. I'm going to try to continue asking you some questions where we
4 left off yesterday. And I also apologise for the delay of the time
5 you've had to wait probably in a rather small room outside the courtroom.
6 At one point yesterday we were talking about the Lapusnik battle of May
7 9th, 1998. Do you remember we were discussing that battle?
8 A. Yes, I do remember. It's clear to me.
9 Q. Thank you. You began talking about the significance of that
10 battle for the KLA, what that battle achieved strategically. Could you
11 expand on that a little bit. What you said yesterday was you were
12 talking about how there is now a free corridor for transporting weapons.
13 I'd ask you to explain a little bit more how that corridor was used and
14 why it was important.
15 A. Yes, I explained it yesterday but I can tell it again today.
16 This was because our movement and the supply of weapons and the
17 circulation of citizens -- because all citizens were isolated and they
18 were in other parts.
19 Q. And can you describe the types of weapons or munitions that you
20 were able to bring in or that were transported now down this corridor?
21 A. There were mainly light weapons which you could carry on -- on
22 your shoulder.
23 Q. And in addition to weapons, was any ammunition for those weapons
24 transported in along this corridor which had been opened up?
25 A. It is normal then when we took weapons, they were taken together
1 with ammunition.
2 Q. Very briefly can you describe where these ammunition and weapons
3 came from. Where did they originate?
4 A. We were -- got supplies mainly from the motherland, Albania.
5 Q. And the ammunition which came from Albania, can you tell me what
6 manufacturer that was, where it had been manufactured prior to you
7 obtaining it?
8 A. I don't know where they were manufactured, but we got supplies,
9 as I said, from Albania. They were the weapons coming from Albania, from
10 the Albanian state, the Albanian citizens, which we used at the time.
11 But we had also weapons that were used and we also used weapons of a
12 Yugoslav manufacture.
13 Q. Okay. And the last question on this, I'm just trying to be
14 clear. You say Albanian weapons and ammunition. Does that mean that
15 these were munitions or weapons actually manufactured in Albania?
16 A. Yes. They were of an Albanian -- manufactured in Albania or in
18 Q. You also spoke about the free movement or the circulation of
19 citizens once this corridor had been opened. Can you describe a little
20 bit -- expand on what you mean by that and why that's important.
21 A. This was important because we were limited. People needed
22 various things, the elementary basics of -- to make a living.
23 Q. Now, after the May 9th battle, how long did the KLA forces remain
24 in control of the corridor or this arterial road?
25 A. I do not know. I cannot tell you exactly how long. It was a
1 long period.
2 Q. Can you give me an estimate in months, weeks?
3 A. As I said earlier, I don't know because very often the Serbian
4 forces moved and it was completely blocked. So I don't know how long.
5 Q. Now, towards -- excuse me for my voice. Towards late July, 25th
6 July, can you describe what military operations were occurring, if any,
7 in the Lapusnik gorge zone?
8 A. I cannot remember.
9 Q. You have no memory of that at all?
10 A. The date of 25th July -- I cannot recall the date, not because on
11 the 25th but also during 1998 and 1999 I was operating in the zone of
12 Drenica. I was in the operational zone of Drenica.
13 Q. Now, once this road had been opened, or corridor, after 9th of
14 May, which units on the Drenica side -- did any units of the Drenica side
15 participate in defending the road after 9 May?
16 A. Yes, they acted as units, as I explained yesterday. The Guri
17 units, Alpha, and Pellumbi units have acted at the time. This was all.
18 Q. And at this point after 9th of May, you've already described
19 yesterday the Drenica zone, the boundary of the Drenica zone being the
20 Tarmac highway, the Pristina-Pec highway. Does that continue to be the
21 boundary zone after 9th of May?
22 A. Yes. From the beginning, at the end, we, this was within the
23 operational -- the boundary zone of the operational zone of Drenica.
24 Q. Now, on other side of the road in the Pastrik zone, what units
25 operated after 9th of May, 1998?
1 A. The Celiku units operated at the time.
2 Q. And what was their responsibility, if any, with regard to the
3 road which formed the northern border of their zone of responsibility?
4 A. The units were not linked to each other and they were not
5 normally along the road. They were also operating in other areas.
6 Q. Right. What I'm asking you -- I'll try again. Which units on
7 that side were responsible for the road?
8 A. I don't know because this area did not belong to me, but I know
9 that they were the Celiku units.
10 Q. What communication was there between units of these two different
11 zones regarding the road or security for the road after 9 May 1998?
12 A. The units communicated with each other as they could, either with
13 radio communication or, if they were close to each other, they
14 communicated in various ways.
15 Q. And if you could please give us some examples of the types of
16 issues that they would have communicated about. What was important for
17 them to talk about regarding that road which formed the boundary between
18 the zones?
19 A. Regarding this road, I do not know the types of issue they
20 talked. But in general, if a village was attacked somewhere by the
21 Serbian forces, then we coordinated with each other in order to come to
22 the help of this village. As for the Lapusnik gorge, all the units that
23 were on my -- under my control, the majority of the units went to help
24 their -- as regards the Lapusnik gorge.
25 Q. All right. You also stated yesterday that this road, the
1 Pristina-Pec road, had been used by the Serb forces to mount attacks on
2 civilians. Is that -- do I remember that correctly?
3 A. Yes, that's what I have said.
4 Q. Once this road had been secured by yours forces and the Celiku
5 units on the other side, what steps were taken to monitor traffic on the
7 A. It has never been blocked, as it was said, because the Serbian
8 forces very often managed to penetrate there.
9 Q. Right. But you've explained that this was an important road and
10 the road was used for movement of civilians and ammunition. Now, during
11 the time that the road is under the control of the KLA after May 9th, is
12 there any effort made to monitor what is going up and down that road?
13 Isn't it -- would that be important?
14 A. It was not that important because the road was free. And then we
15 tried to get consolidated and to deal more with the brigades, with
16 improvement of infrastructure and the -- operate the other operational
18 Q. So is your -- if I understand -- Well, the road itself, the
19 actual Pristina-Pec highway, who was responsible for the road and traffic
20 on the road? Was that your units on the Drenica side or the Celiku units
21 on the other side?
22 A. Both. Both units.
23 Q. And was any part of that responsibility control of traffic, in
24 other words, seeing who and what was being moved up and down that road?
25 A. I do not know. I cannot recall because it was a period of units.
1 But my soldiers who were under the area of responsibility were told not
2 to go to the other side or not to go to the other side without first
3 getting permission by official persons or commanders.
4 Q. And who would grant that permission or permits on your side?
5 A. There were the units, and of course it was normal for the
6 commander of the unit to give such an order, such a permit. The person
7 in charge of the units. This was as long as the units existed.
8 Q. Let me go back now to another topic you were talking about
9 yesterday, and that was your meeting with Fatmir Limaj after he returned
10 from the west in 1998. Do you remember we were beginning to talk about
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When he came back in 1998 and you met him, you stated that he was
14 at that point a soldier, whereas in 1996 he had been a student. Is that
16 A. Yes. I met him as a student in 1996, where in 1998 I met him for
17 the first time as a soldier in uniform.
18 Q. And tell me again if you can when it was in 1998 that you met him
19 as a soldier in uniform.
20 A. Sometime after March, after the tragic events of the fall of the
21 legendary commander. It was probably after April.
22 Q. Now, can you describe just briefly your relationship to Mr.
23 Limaj? I mean your personal relationship, how you consider him, what
24 terms you were on with him normally.
25 A. For the period I met him --
1 Q. From when you met him until today.
2 A. When I met him, I met him as a -- he was an unknown person to me
3 and as a soldier. During the war, I met him as a soldier first on the
4 other side and then later as Commander Celiku.
5 Q. And can you tell me -- what do you mean you met him as a soldier
6 first on the other side?
7 A. When I say "the other side," this is because the first time we
8 met he was on the other side in Klecka or on that side, on that area
9 where he was born, on the Berisa side.
10 Q. Okay. Just to be clear, that's on the other side of the
11 Pristina-Pec highway in the Pastrik zone?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What I mean is: Now, today, how do you consider Mr. Limaj? As a
14 friend? As a colleague? Can you describe how you feel about this man.
15 A. I have respect for him, for Limaj, and all the members of the
16 KLA. And all those who are present here such as Isak Musliu and Haradin
17 Bala. I have represent for all those who fought and shed their blood for
18 the Kosovo Liberation Army. I have the same respect for Fatmir Limaj as
20 Q. And can you tell me after you met him in 1998 when he returned
21 where he went next, where he was assigned as a soldier.
22 A. As I said previously, and you said it, when he went to the other
23 side, other part of Berisa -- and his stay was -- he can explain it
24 better here. But as far as I know he was in the nearby villages and I
25 think it was in Klecka.
1 Q. Now, he, you stated, became a commander. What was his first
2 point of command? Can you tell us, from your knowledge and from what you
3 know about his military career after he arrived, where did he -- what
4 assignments did he carry out?
5 A. What assignments and what responsibility he had you can ask him
6 himself. I can reply -- give you answers here only about my
7 responsibility. As far as I can remember this was at the time when he
8 was commander of the 121st Brigade.
9 Q. And when did he assume that command?
10 A. I do not know exactly.
11 Q. Approximately?
12 A. If I do not err, it might have been September 1998 or October. I
13 cannot tell it for sure. Probably it was the end of 1998.
14 Q. And before he assumed the command of the 121st Brigade, what were
15 his duties? Who was he command -- what was his role then?
16 A. I knew him at the time simply as Celiku and as Fatmir in that
18 Q. Which area?
19 A. When I say "that area," it's implied, it means the area or
20 Berisa. We can call it the operational zone of Pastrik.
21 Q. Now, the Celiku units in May and June 1998 -- you've stated that
22 there was some communication regarding the road between the Pellumbi
23 units on your side and the Celiku units.
24 A. Yes. That's correct.
25 Q. And this was the zone adjacent to you, your zone. Who was
1 commander of the Celiku units in May and June 1998?
2 And could I ask what you're looking at? You've taken out some
3 papers, for the record.
4 A. These are the transcripts when I've given my first statement and
5 which also you have it in front of you.
6 Q. And would you like to use those to refresh your memory? Is that
7 why you've taken them out, to help you remember?
8 A. No, there is no need for this because it is clear to me.
9 However, if I don't remember anything then I might have a look.
10 Q. Okay. And I --
11 JUDGE PARKER: It would help the Chamber, General - and you
12 understand you're giving the evidence for this Chamber so that we can
13 learn what happened - it would help us if we heard your recollection,
14 your memory, first. If you don't remember a particular matter and would
15 like to refer to some original record of yours or statement, indicate
16 that and then we can know whether that's your present memory or something
17 you may have remembered earlier.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is clear to me now.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
20 MR. NICHOLLS:
21 Q. Now then I'll ask you: Do you remember now who commanded the
22 Celiku units in May, June, and July 1998?
23 A. The units, as long as they were units, no one commanded those
24 units. Each had a responsibility in those units and the units were
25 separated. I said it yesterday, and I have not said this in the
1 transcript before. I'm saying it now just to argue, to give you
2 arguments, that the units were independent of each other. And starting
3 from my logic when I operated in this area, this means that on the other
4 side the units were independent of each other. There has not been a
5 commander, someone who commanded the unit or someone who was a -- who had
6 command about these units -- over these units.
7 Q. You say in your answer that you said it yesterday and you've not
8 said it in the transcripts before. Why haven't you said that in the
9 transcripts before when you've been interviewed?
10 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honour, perhaps it can be asked what he
11 means the transcript before.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Continue with your question, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. You may answer the question, General.
15 A. Yes, I'm answering this question exactly. I would like to dwell
16 on this point more elaborately, if I'm allowed to. When I received the
17 first summon by the Prosecution -- by the Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, it
18 was about giving the person -- my personal data, the military career, and
19 the activity of the KLA in 1998 and 1999. And Mr. Ole Lehtinen was the
20 Prosecution -- the investigator. At the time, they asked me to be
21 interviewed by them. I don't know whether Mr. Lehtinen is present here.
22 He asked me when I was available to be interviewed. And you can -- he
23 said, You can -- do you want to be interviewed today or do you want to be
24 interviewed tomorrow? I agreed to be interviewed tomorrow, and the next
25 day I gave that statement or was interviewed. The reason is that it was
1 not clearly defined because it was the activity during 1998 and 1999 and
2 this included a lot of things. And when it came to the Lapusnik gorge or
3 the units, I've said it and it's here in the transcript. Even when we
4 will discuss now, I've talked about the Celiku units if I'm saying it
5 clear. I've said things about the camp and the units. But this -- they
6 did not -- for some of the things they did not remind me -- they did not
7 ask me at that moment. And the fresh recollection of my memory, because
8 it was 1998 and 1999 and it was a long period and I was not prepared. I
9 just told them what they asked me.
10 I'm sorry. To continue. And given the fact that I did not give
11 arguments yesterday was that because I've solemnly declared here to speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And at the time I
13 could not remember a lot of things, many things related to that period
14 that they did not remind me of or they did not ask me about.
15 Q. Your testimony, then, to make sure I understand you clearly what
16 you've just explained, is that you did not state in your interview with
17 the Prosecutor that the Celiku units had no -- were all independent units
18 without a commander because you were not asked that question? You
19 weren't asked about that or you didn't remember at the time?
20 A. No. It is what I've said, and we can show it here. If you can
21 have a look at the transcript, even check the words that I've said - and
22 you have it in front of you and I have it in front of me as well.
23 Q. I'd like you to take me, please, to the part of the transcript
24 you're referring to, if you could.
25 A. This is tab 19, probably the middle of tab 19, when it says: "Do
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you know who was the commander of the forces on the other side of the
2 road under the command of Fatmir Limaj?"
3 And my answer is this, if you have it in front of you. Or my
4 answer has been that. May I read it here?
5 Q. Yes, please.
6 A. My answer has been as such: "No. In that part I've never known
7 -- I don't know who has the responsibility, which means who has commanded
8 a part -- except as Fatmir."
9 When I say "except at Fatmir," I just want to say simply not as
10 Celiku but simply as Fatmir, as a person whom I've known on that part
11 which means that -- I have not said that he has commanded there or I have
12 not said that he was responsible -- has commanded the units. However, I
13 have said that I have known him in that part as Fatmir.
14 Q. Could you give me the page number that you're reading from, if
15 you're reading from the Albanian.
16 A. It's page 19. It's -- transcript is V000-4792.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: And for the benefit of the Court, I think we're at
19 page 39 of the English translation.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the Albanian translation is
21 number 19.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Okay. Now, do you remember whether you ever said during these --
24 during this interview that Limaj was a commander, known as Celiku? That
25 Celiku was a commander?
1 A. Yes, I've said it and I'm saying it again now. I've said it even
2 earlier that he was commander. I've known him as a commander of the
3 121st Brigade.
4 Q. Could I ask you to look at page 18 of your transcript, the
5 previous page.
6 MR. KHAN: Well --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Khan. I think we may have a similar
8 thought, but you better put yours first.
9 MR. KHAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I hope it's similar. Your
10 Honour, of course I trust that my friend will not seek to go behind the
11 ruling that you made before the break. It seems that that is what he
12 has, if not already done, what he is about to do.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It could be.
14 MR. KHAN: Yes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. And he was therefore going to be cautioned
16 by me, and we're leading well into that.
17 You realise that the witness has volunteered certain matters
18 which you've been allowed so far to pursue, but you should pursue those
19 as examination-in-chief and not by way of cross-examination. Now, if you
20 want to you will be therefore under some restraint as you should proceed
21 from this point in dealing with the past transcript.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. It's just that the witness has
23 now put the transcript in issue, explaining that the transcript
24 reflects --
25 JUDGE PARKER: I know what you mean, but you cannot ignore the
1 restraints on your ability to deal with the situation because of that.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I just think that the situation is slightly
3 different now because the witness has explained that in the transcript he
4 has explained the issue of -- that he's talking about, the time and place
5 of command. So I think it's a bit artificial to focus just on one spot
6 in the transcript. The entirety of the transcript should be --
7 JUDGE PARKER: You might well ask the witness whether he said
8 other things about that issue and what he said and what he meant by them.
9 And subject to any objection as it progresses, as long as he is giving
10 the evidence and you are merely ensuring that we have his full account of
11 what he believes he said and what he meant, fine.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Right, Your Honour.
13 Q. That's where I was starting to ask you, Witness, if you talked in
14 other places in this transcript -- in your interview about Celiku's
16 A. You have the transcript in front of you. It might be possible
17 what you mean in other -- in other places, in the places where he was
18 located or something else. You mean something else?
19 Q. What I mean is, General: Do you remember talking at other times
20 during this interview which is in the transcript about Limaj's command,
21 who he was in command of, which units?
22 A. I do not know, I do not recall. As far as I can recall --
23 because you remember when they gave the transcript to me and when you
24 gave that subpoena. Even if I asked to have the transcript, it was not
25 given to me. As far as I can remember when Fatmir went, went to the
1 sight of the part of Berisa, where because he knew the area -- he knew
2 the area there. However, as a commander I do not know. I know him only
3 as a commander, Celiku. And I'm saying it again, I don't know -- I don't
4 know and I've said it. If I eve said such a thing, then I can give you
5 the clarifications.
6 Q. Let me ask you to explain, because it's not clear to me
7 completely, your answer regarding the part of the transcript you read
8 out. That was on page 19 of your version, on page 39 of the English.
9 I'm going to ask you because I don't understand your answer completely.
10 You were asked if you knew who was in command of the forces in Lapusnik
11 on the other side of the road lower than Fatmir Limaj. And your answer
12 was: "I didn't know of anyone of the command structure around that area
13 except for Fatmir, whose name I knew. I didn't know anyone else in that
15 Now, could you please explain what you meant by that.
16 A. It is clear and I'm explaining it again. It is clear. Besides
17 the only person whom I've known in that area and those units was Fatmir.
18 However, I have not said that those units were -- Fatmir was in command
19 of those units. Let us be clear now.
20 Q. Have you ever said -- have you ever described the units that --
21 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, once again I do object. This is clearly
22 an attempt to go behind the decision that's already been made by Your
23 Honours. The witness can be asked to describe Mr. Limaj's alleged
24 command responsibility. He can be asked to describe the alleged
25 structure of the KLA at the time, but that should be referenced to direct
1 questions and direct answers rather than a transcript which is not in
3 JUDGE PARKER: You were, I believe, Mr. Nicholls, going down a
4 wrong path at that moment. The objection was well-made. While you think
5 next to go, would you excuse me for a moment if I intervene with the
7 General, you've told us that you first met the accused Fatmir
8 Limaj as a soldier when he came again in 1998 to Kosovo. And you met him
9 then as a soldier and you came to know him as Celiku. Later, as I
10 understand your evidence, you learned that his name was Fatmir. Is that
11 a correct understanding of your position?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
13 JUDGE PARKER: A little while ago you mentioned that you knew him
14 as Commander Celiku.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said I knew him as
16 Commander Celiku because in the process of the formation of the units in
17 Berisa or in the Pastrik operational zone with the formation of Brigade
18 121, I knew him as Commander Celiku. That was how I came to know him.
19 JUDGE PARKER: So it's your evidence that you came to know him as
20 Commander Celiku only in the course of the formation of the 121st
21 Brigade. Is that correct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's how it is. After the
23 brigade was formed I recognised him after some time as Commander Celiku,
24 because fighting was going on and when the brigade was formed I was not
25 present. I didn't know under what circumstances it was formed, that
1 brigade. Therefore, I knew about him sometime in 1998. It was
2 September, I think. I'm not very sure of the time when I heard of him as
3 Commander Celiku.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Did you use the name Commander Celiku about him
5 after that when speaking about him or to him?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When I've talked about him I
7 have referred to him as Commander Celiku, but I think it's important the
8 time when we have operated and when we have communicated.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Did you ever hear him described as Commander
10 Celiku before the formation of the 121st Brigade?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe I have, as Commander Celiku,
12 commander of point 1 or so. Because often every unit was referred to
13 when they saw me as commander or another commander of war unit. In this
14 context he was referred to as commander; that was before the formation of
15 the brigade. And it is very likely I've heard about him in that context
16 and it is very likely I've referred to him as such.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Just to be clear, is that referring to him as
18 commander of one point or unit?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you, I'm not very sure how
20 the organisation was in that area, what operated. But when I heard
21 people say Commander Celiku, I knew it was Fatmir -- I knew it was
22 Commander Celiku. It might be Commander Celiku number 1, number 2, but
23 there were many Celiku units, as I said, which were in operation.
24 JUDGE PARKER: And you had no detailed knowledge of those units?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Or of who was the individual commander of each of
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, with exception of Fatmir whom I
4 met first and I said to you and I explained to you earlier. I didn't
5 know the other commanders of these other Celiku units.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. During the summer of 1998, May, June, and July, did you -- which
9 period, as best you remember, did you know of Commander Celiku as
10 commander of one of the Celiku units, Celiku 1 or one of the other units?
11 A. I can't tell you exactly at what period of time I got to know him
12 as such. I don't really remember.
13 Q. Do you remember stating that units you've talked about on one
14 side of the road would communicate with units directly on the other side
15 of the road?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was the Celiku 1 unit one of the units which units on your side
18 of the road would have to communicate with during May, June, July 1998?
19 A. They communicated with Celiku unit number 1, but also with other
20 Celiku unit.
21 Q. All right. And when were they communicating with these Celiku
22 units? During what period?
23 A. When the need arose for that or when one of them asked for
24 assistance, for help.
25 Q. And do you recall any incidents then of communication with
1 Commander Celiku during one of these communications for assistance?
2 A. For the moment, I can't think of it.
3 Q. During that period, May, June, and July, what was the main --
4 what were the main tasks of the Celiku units, of Celiku 1 and the other
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. How detailed is your knowledge of what operations were taking
8 place on the other side of the road, other than this specific request for
10 A. No, no, I did not. I did not know what operations they were
11 engaged in because I had to take care of my own responsibilities in my
13 Q. What operations, what activities, if you know, was Commander
14 Celiku involved in in May, June, July 1998?
15 A. [No interpretation]
16 Q. Excuse me. I'll have to ask you for your answer again. It
17 wasn't picked up for the transcript.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request the witness to
19 stand closer to the mike, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said I don't know.
21 MR. NICHOLLS:
22 Q. Now, during the battle on May 9th in the Lapusnik gorge 1998,
23 were the Celiku units - we talked about this yesterday - involved in that
25 A. Yes, they were involved in that battle.
1 Q. And was Commander Celiku, as commander of any of the Celiku units
2 or in any other capacity, did he take part in that important battle?
3 A. I don't know. But as far as I recall, yes, he took part in that
4 battle. He may as well say it himself.
5 Q. And can you tell us as best you remember what part what he took
6 in that battle. What actions did he take against the Serb forces?
7 A. I don't know what actions he undertook, but probably he has been
8 there in his capacity as Fatmir or as a soldier of the KLA he has tried
9 as best he could with his unit, like I did with my units, to contribute
10 to that battle.
11 Q. Now, do you remember in this battle against the Serb forces who
12 relatively had a better position against the Serb forces, your units or
13 the Celiku units on the other side?
14 A. My position -- I don't know how I can explain it to you. The
15 position of Celiku units, they were closer to the enemy. We had better
16 position in terms of operation, attacks.
17 Regarding the concentration of forces, my forces were greater.
18 Our operational zone had a larger number of forces. Several units of our
19 operational zone in Drenica were involved in the Lapusnik gorge battle.
20 Q. And in particular, do you remember the position -- Commander
21 Celiku's position? What kind of position he was in? What kind of
22 advantage or disadvantage, how difficult it was for him in that battle?
23 A. His strategic position was -- I don't know if you have an idea of
24 Lapusnik gorge. So we -- both of us had taken positions. We were - when
25 I say "we," I mean the Drenica operational zone units and the other units
1 that operated there - both had taken their respective positions on the
2 other side of the road. When I say the opposite side of the road, I mean
3 the Berisa area.
4 Q. And if you remember during that battle who had the higher ground,
5 your unit or Fatmir Limaj's unit?
6 A. I don't understand what you mean by high ground. You mean in
7 terms of position, strategic position?
8 Q. Yes. This is a mountainous area.
9 A. Celiku units were closer to the road, but our units, too. When
10 they operated in this part there were some of them, some units, that went
11 to the rescue of Celiku units. I don't know how clear I am. But our
12 units were mostly concentrated in Lapusnik gorge.
13 Q. And just to be clear, when you're talking about going to the
14 rescue of Celiku units or any of those units commanded Commander Celiku,
15 is that one of the units that you assisted or not?
16 A. Commander Celiku did not have any commandeering position then,
17 in that operation. As I said earlier, this brigade was in the process of
18 formation. Even in my zone, when some units needed help, other units
19 went to their rescue.
20 Q. The transcript states commander Celiku did not have any
21 commandeering position. Is that what you -- can you clarify what you
22 said for the transcript.
23 A. You asked me who was the commander as far as I understood you, I
24 if got you right.
25 Q. You had earlier explained that at this period, in answer to some
1 of the Court's questions if I'm correct, that Commander Celiku had the
2 command of a unit, one of the Celiku units. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Now, what I'm asking you is that during this May 9th battle
5 you've talked about Fatmir Limaj's involvement. If you know, was his
6 unit one of the ones that was aided or that your units communicated with
7 or fought with?
8 A. We did not go to the rescue of Celiku's units. We went to help
9 those units that were stationed near this area, Guri, Pellumbi, as I
10 said. But usually normally during fighting it was possible for some
11 units to help other units; that was not the case only with Celiku unit.
12 Q. You talked about this being an important battle and that your
13 view now of Fatmir Limaj is one of respect. Can you tell the Court how
14 he acquitted himself in this battle, how his performance was.
15 A. I think Fatmir is best suited to answer this question. I don't
16 know how he fought, what his performance was, because that was a very
17 difficult moment. Villages were set fire to, inhabitants began to flee
18 their homes. So I cannot tell you how he fought. I think it's up to
19 Fatmir to say.
20 Q. Now, at any time after 9 May were you involved in any combat
21 operations together with units commanded by Fatmir Limaj?
22 A. I don't remember.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: One moment, Your Honour.
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Part of the border of your zone of responsibility we saw on the
2 map, the Pristina-Pec highway goes through the town of -- the village of
3 Lapusnik. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And did you go yourself to Lapusnik during May, June, July 1998?
6 A. Yes. When the fighting broke out I did, but I wasn't able to
7 penetrate into Lapusnik, only to Krekov [phoen], in the vicinity of
8 Lapusnik gorge.
9 Q. Do you know which units -- whether -- which units were
10 responsible for Lapusnik on the other side of the highway, on the Pastrik
11 zone side?
12 A. The Celiku units were responsible for that zone.
13 Q. And if you remember, which Celiku units?
14 A. I'm saying it several times. I don't know how many other Celiku
15 units existed. I know that there were several operating in that area,
16 but I don't know how many and which they were.
17 Q. Now, other than Fatmir Limaj, were there any other commanders
18 named Celiku operating in that area, the other side of the Pristina-Pec
19 highway, in May, June, July 1998 that you're aware of?
20 A. All the units had their respective commanders, but I didn't know
22 Q. I'm asking you whether there was any individual commander named
23 Celiku other than Fatmir Limaj who was operating in that zone during May,
24 June, July 1998.
25 A. There were, but I didn't know them.
1 Q. There were other commanders named Celiku in addition to Fatmir
2 Limaj. Is that correct, what you're saying?
3 A. I said that Celiku units had their own commanders, but I didn't
4 know them.
5 Q. I understand that. I'll try to clarify my question and ask it in
6 a better way. Did you know any individual KLA soldier who went by the
7 nickname Celiku during May, June, July 1998 in the zone we've just been
8 talking about, other than Fatmir Limaj?
9 A. Apart from Fatmir Limaj, I said I didn't know any commanders on
10 that part of the road. It was only Fatmir I contacted with after I
11 became acquainted with him.
12 Q. I may have asked you this, but do you know who participated in
13 forming the Celiku units? Which individual KLA soldiers or commanders
14 were tasked with forming these units?
15 A. Probably someone from the General Staff, but I don't know.
16 Q. Would the General Staff have dictated who was to form these
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Well, I'm sorry. Can you just explain what you meant by
20 "probably somebody from the General Staff," your previous answer, "would
21 have been responsible for forming these units," the Celiku units.
22 MR. KHAN: Well, Your Honour, it once again touches upon the
23 problem and the danger that I touched upon a while back, in that the
24 witness is being asked to speculate. This was a time of transition and
25 flux, and he states he doesn't know and he's being asked to speculate.
1 But really, it's not fair to the witness to ask him to go further than
2 that. Your Honour, that's my observation.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
4 The question -- sorry, the answer of the witness which preceded
5 the question indicated some regard for a role of the General Staff. The
6 next question may clarify whether that was entirely speculative or based
7 upon some knowledge, and we'll see.
8 So if you would proceed, Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
10 Q. Sir, I'll repeat the question. I won't go over it. You answered
11 my question about who participated in the forming of the units with
12 "probably somebody from the General Staff."
13 And I asked you: "Would the General Staff have dictated who was
14 to form these units?"
15 And you said you didn't know. So I'm asking what you meant by
16 "somebody from the General Staff" would have been involved in the
17 formation of the Celiku units. Can you explain why you say that, that it
18 would have been somebody in the General Staff.
19 A. I said so, given my experience, why I am saying this. Because
20 with commanders -- unit commanders I rallied around myself, there was
21 present a member of the General Staff when they elected me as the
22 commander of the Drenica operational zone. So present at that meeting
23 was someone from the General Staff. That was why I said that if the
24 other units merged and wanted to elect their commander, in this case
25 Commander Celiku, I assumed that there must have been somebody from the
1 General Staff. I may be wrong. Maybe there wasn't anyone. But just
2 because of my experience I presume that they would have done the same.
3 That was why.
4 Q. During May, June, July 1998 after your initial meeting with
5 Fatmir Limaj, did you meet with him or speak with him again?
6 A. I don't know. I have often met him. I don't know what relevance
7 this has. I have met him sometimes.
8 Q. And what would be the context of those meetings during that
10 A. They were -- we met like friends.
11 Q. And where did you meet with your friend Fatmir Limaj during May,
12 June, July 1998?
13 A. I don't remember.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I'm afraid I've lost track of when
15 our next break is.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It is in this present area. If you're saying
17 that's a convenient time for you to --
18 MR. NICHOLLS: If we're near, it would be fine and it may speed
19 things up.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. We'll break now and resume at 10 minutes to
22 --- Recess taken at 5.27 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 5.51 p.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. General, thank you very much. I don't have anymore questions for
2 you at this time.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 Mr. Topolski.
5 MR. TOPOLSKI: Again, the short straw I'm afraid.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Topolski:
7 Q. General, I represent Isak Musliu and I'd like to ask you some
8 questions, if I may. The KLA was an entirely volunteer army, was it not?
9 A. In the beginning it was a voluntary army organised by the General
11 Q. The answer you gave us just now begins with the words "in the
12 beginning." Does that mean that there came a time when it became a
13 conscription army, and do you understand what I mean by the question?
14 A. In the beginning, everything was voluntary.
15 Q. Did that ever change?
16 A. With the passing of time, the KLA developed and got restructured
17 by forming brigades and the operational zones.
18 Q. The KLA never had the power to force anyone to join it, did it?
19 A. No, never.
20 Q. As far as those who joined are concerned, General - and I'm now
21 concentrating on the early part of 1998 - some of the people who joined
22 had had some military training in their lives. That's right, isn't it?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Many had not. That is also right, isn't it?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. My next question deals with the period up to the formation of
2 brigades, and it is this: As far as military discipline was concerned,
3 would you agree, General, that it was at the very least very relaxed?
4 Would you agree with that?
5 A. Yes, that's correct. It was not strict discipline, until the
6 creation of the brigades. And it took some time to create them.
7 Q. Yes, indeed. And until the creation of the brigades, would it be
8 fair to say as far as military discipline is concerned that as you told
9 us yesterday there was often nothing anyone could do with a misbehaving
10 soldier. That's right, isn't it?
11 A. Because everything was voluntary and they voluntarily -- could
12 withdraw from the army if they wanted.
13 Q. Yes, indeed. The death in March 1998 of Adem Jashari of itself
14 brought forward many volunteers. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. An expression from my country would be, General, that the death
17 of Adem Jashari became a recruiting sergeant for the KLA. Do you
18 understand what I mean by the question?
19 A. Yes, I understand.
20 Q. Drenica, that area, that geographic area of Kosovo was very much
21 the place to which early volunteers used to go first. Is that right,
23 A. Yes, that's how it was.
24 Q. And it was from Drenica, that geographic area, that these
25 volunteers were spread out around Kosovo, I'm speaking now of the early
1 months before the formation of brigades. Do you agree?
2 A. Yes. Part of them who came to join came to Drenica. I don't
3 know whether all of them came to Drenica. Many of them did not come to
4 Drenica, they went to their own areas. This -- it doesn't -- it is not
5 -- it does not go without saying that everybody who came came to Drenica.
6 Q. No, no, no. I don't think my question suggested the totality,
7 but a large number came there first and I think you agree with me?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt.
10 General, I want to try and summarise how the KLA developed during
11 the spring and summer of 1998. And I wonder if you might consider this
12 as a way of summarising the situation: Men joined; men joined other men
13 and became units; units fought alongside each other; groups of units
14 became zones; and eventually zones became brigades.
15 Now, I hope I've taken that slowly. General, I'll repeat it if
16 you like, but do you follow me?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you agree with me? Do you agree with me?
19 A. Yes, I fully agree.
20 Q. As far as the early stages are concerned - and now I've defined
21 that I think twice already by being the period up to through the
22 spring/summer of 1998 - it's right to say, is it not, General, that
23 different zones developed their organisational abilities at different
24 rates; some did it quicker than others. Do you agree with that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can we just look, please, together at these areas that became
2 operational zones. And I want to do it through a map you were shown
3 briefly yesterday. It's P1. Mr. Nicholls was showing it to you
4 yesterday. It's map number 10, please, the last one.
5 General, I hope this may be the shortest and most efficient way
6 of doing this. First of all, would you look at this with me and would
7 you please bear in mind that this was created by the British Ministry of
8 Defence. All right. This is not created by anyone from the KLA. It
9 says in the right-hand corner of it, if I read it properly: "Produced by
10 Military Survey, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom, 1998."
11 But, General, it may be the case that you can agree with me that
12 the British Ministry of Defence may have got something almost right. So
13 let's have a look at it together, shall we. You see Lapusnik in the
14 middle of the map there, above the S of Kosovo.
15 A. Yes, I can see it clearly.
16 Q. Above it, bounded by the red markings, is the described as
17 Drenica. Does that correspond with your understanding of the zone that
18 was to become the Drenica zone?
19 A. With regard to the area that we see here -- it could do with some
20 improvement because there are many villages that are missing in this map,
21 with regard to the Drenica operational area. I don't know how detailed
22 this map is and the lines of responsibility, how detailed they are.
23 Q. General, because it was made by who it was made by, and no doubt
24 based on information, and because of when it appears to be created of
25 course I'm sure we all understand that it is not precisely accurate. And
1 that's why I use the phrase "correspond to your general understanding of
2 the layout." I just want to get the picture clear in the Court's mind
3 and, indeed, in mine.
4 Below Drenica and to the left of it as we look at the map, that
5 is another operation or zone or area. Is that right?
6 A. Yes. The Dukagjini area on the left.
7 Q. And as we walk around the map together, General, the next big
8 area includes places like Suva Reka, which we know about; Orahovac, which
9 we know about; is the Pastrik zone. Correct? You have to answer,
11 A. Yes, approximately.
12 Q. Of course approximately.
13 Next to it now, as it were, the other side of a broken line,
14 Nerodimlje; and next to that Karadak; and above that which includes
15 Pristina itself, Shales. Now, again, approximately do you agree that is
16 a reasonable representation of the way the operational zones came to be
18 A. Yes. Again, I would say approximately because the boundaries of
19 other zones -- I don't know them very well. I know the boundaries of my
20 zone. But I think they are approximately accurate.
21 Q. You were asked a lot of questions by Mr. Nicholls regarding units
22 positioning themselves either side of the Pec-Peja road -- Pec-Pristina
23 road. General, I want to be clear about it if we can. First of all, as
24 far as you were concerned which units - and again in the spring and
25 summer of 1998, which units were your responsibility? What were they
2 A. In the spring after the 5th of March, it was only the Shkoza.
3 Q. It follows from that answer, does it not, General, that you had
4 no personal responsibility with any Celiku unit, so-called? Am I right
5 about that?
6 A. Yes, you're very right when you say that because there was no
7 such responsibility.
8 Q. It follows from that answer also, does it not, General, that you
9 had no responsibility -- personal responsibility for any Pellumbi or any
10 other unit other than your own. Am I right about that?
11 A. Yes, you're right. Until I was appointed commander, I did not
12 have any responsibility on these units.
13 Q. And so the Tribunal understands it, General, these units were
14 separate units from each other; some had people in charge of them and
15 some of them did not. Now, have I understood the position accurately or
17 A. Every unit had a person who was in charge. I don't know about
18 other units. And I did not know all of the units.
19 Q. Before I ask you some other questions of detail, I wonder whether
20 I could ask your help to understand something that you had written on
21 your behalf and which you signed, which was a letter addressed to this
23 General, I don't know, do you have with you a copy of a letter
24 written and dated the -- well, I don't know when it was written, but it's
25 certainly dated the 24th of November, 2004, signed by you and your lawyer
1 Mr. Krasniqi. Do you have that with you?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. You don't. Well, General, it's important, perhaps, for the
4 Tribunal to understand precisely what your position is in these
5 proceedings, and I want your help then.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I can provide you a copy of that letter if you
7 need it.
8 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm very grateful. Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
9 Q. General, you'll be given a copy.
10 MR. TOPOLSKI: Is this in English? Great.
11 Your Honours have this.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. TOPOLSKI:
14 Q. My first question has to be this: Can you identify this as a
15 letter that was signed by you in its original form and written on your
16 behalf and in accordance with your instructions? Three questions in one,
17 I'm afraid. First of all, was it written on your behalf? You have to
18 answer, General.
19 A. Yes, it was written on my behalf. I asked my lawyer to write
20 down the reasons why, and he has written them down.
21 Q. Was this letter written in accordance with your instructions to
22 your lawyer, General? In other words, did you agree with its contents?
23 A. Yes, I agree.
24 Q. And is the original signed by you?
25 A. This one has not been signed, but I agree that these are the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 things that I told him orally and he wrote them down and he submitted
2 this to the Tribunal.
3 Q. General, the important part of the letter was perhaps the second
4 paragraph. And perhaps the most important part of that paragraph is what
5 I shall read slowly to the end of it.
6 "I will not be a witness for the Prosecution. But if the Defence
7 proposes me, then I will be a witness for the Defence counsel of Fatmir
8 Limaj. The reason is that, based on the political circumstances in
9 Kosovo, my role as one of the first founders of KLA and later as Chief of
10 Staff of the KLA and now as Deputy Commander of the KPC, this has had
11 influence over my authority with the population."
12 General, I'd like to understand and others may also join in that
13 wish, to understand precisely what that sentence means. So as it was
14 written on your behalf, would you be good enough to tell us what that
16 A. Yes. I can say what is stated here and maybe elaborate it a
17 little bit further, why that was written the way it was written.
18 Q. If you would be so kind.
19 A. The reason was this. I'll start from the beginning because I am
20 under oath here. This is the second time I have taken an oath. The
21 first time I took an oath under -- in front of my flag and my legendary
22 commander; at the second time was here where I declared solemnly that I
23 would say the truth and only the truth. I always was willing to come to
24 the Tribunal and cooperate with the Tribunal because this is a
25 democratic, independent Tribunal. And the first time I was sent a
1 summons by Carla Del Ponte, I responded to that summons, before coming to
2 today's point.
3 Similarly, the office of the Defence asked me to be interviewed
4 and I said that I would with pleasure give my interview to them. And I
5 asked for the investigator from the OTP to be present. It is important
6 to say that I have been at the disposal and still am at the disposal of
7 the Tribunal, but with -- as regards my statement, this has one reason:
8 because I have heard that in the Tribunal there will be other former
9 commanders that have fought against the Serbian forces. And knowing
10 that, knowing what kind of genocide the Serbian forces have committed on
11 our people following the strategy of the Academy of Sciences led my
12 Milosevic and applied by the Serbian commanders, starting from the
13 general commander to the commander of a simple platoon, they inflicted
14 such suffering upon my people. This was genocide, and we still don't
15 know where many of the victims are, where their bodies lay. And to come
16 and give testimony here in this Tribunal about my soldiers, the soldiers
17 of the KLA who fought without uniforms, without guns, without weapons, I
18 was not willing to come and testify here on behalf -- on the side of the
19 OTP. That's the reason why.
20 But however, the summons ordered me to come here to this
21 Tribunal, and I accepted that because I was given the opportunity to
22 speak the truth and only -- nothing but the truth, so say how things
23 happened because we believe in justice. This was the reason.
24 I can declare here in front of this Tribunal, the Trial Chamber,
25 that I never hesitated to come and will never hesitate in the future so
1 say the truth and to protect -- to defend the truth, to say the truth
2 about the things that have happened to our people, the massacres that
3 have happened in Kosova. Many of you and many of the public -- a great
4 part of the public opinion don't still know what happened there, what
5 really happened there.
6 The next day I got the summons. The Prosecutor asked me whether
7 I could meet the Defence and then I wanted them to be present because I
8 wanted to be correct with both parties and I wanted to be transparent.
9 And I have never met a Defence lawyer. I'm saying it again because I'm
10 under oath, the oath that I took yesterday. There are many things that I
11 said, many things that I might have forgotten, but what I have said are
12 the truth. This is all.
13 Q. General, I want to read to you the last words virtually you spoke
14 on tape to the Office of the Prosecutor when you were interviewed on the
15 19th of November, 2003. And I want to ask you at the end of what I shall
16 read, which is only five or six lines, whether you stand by this now,
17 today, or not.
18 You said this - it's page 58 of the document if anyone wants to
19 follow - "Every democratic country should come to terms with people who
20 committed crimes during the war. Even countries that have perfected the
21 system, the democratic system, still have problems, let alone us, who
22 were just starting without any experience. There is no one above the
23 law. People may do things in the euphoria of the moment, but afterwards
24 they have to take responsibility."
25 General, do you stand by those words today?
1 A. Honourable Gentlemen, I've said it several times and I say it
2 again: Nobody is above the law. I've said that. In many countries --
3 in any country things could happen, crimes of this sort. And I've said
4 that because the state that exercised this genocide against us, it was an
5 organised state, an organised army, an army with years of experience;
6 while the KLA, we started to get organised in the conditions we were in,
7 with what we could do in those circumstances. But in any country of the
8 world, mistakes can be made. I'm not alluding here or pointing to a
9 certain point or individual. But in whatever country this happens or
10 might happen, these people should go and stand before the justice and pay
11 for the crimes. But in Kosova, the only genocide that happened was
12 carried out by the Serbian forces under Milosevic because they committed
13 crimes against the whole civilian population of Kosova.
14 Q. General, can I turn from, as it were, those general questions to
15 some more specific ones. There was, by the autumn, August, September,
16 October, of 1998, was there not, a plan or proposals that were being but
17 into effect for the creation of brigades and operational zones? We've
18 already established that, I think. Do you agree?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You were to tell the Office of the Prosecutor in that same
21 interview - again, if anyone wants to follow what I'm putting, it's page
22 16 - that "in 1998, the plan," these are your words, "starting being put
23 in effect. I think they existed before that because I had no knowledge,
24 no context, of what was going on in the General Staff. I don't know for
25 sure, but more competent people will know."
1 General, again, I think I should put it this way and I think you
2 should be able to answer this question yes or no. Do you stand by that
3 answer? Is that the position as far as you understood it?
4 A. Well, I said that because I was not a member of the General Staff
5 of the -- and I couldn't have known what things were happening there.
6 Q. Right. Would you agree with me that Shukri Buja would be someone
7 who would know what was happening there?
8 A. I could not say that. I don't know whether he knew or not.
9 Probably not because he was not a member of the staff. If he were, he
10 would have known, but as far as I know he wasn't a member.
11 Q. Was he not promoted around June 1998 to be a commander within a
12 subzone? Do you know that or not?
13 A. Even if he became a member of the General Staff, I don't know
14 when he became.
15 Q. Well, I have the advantage here. I'm looking at the statement
16 he's made to this Tribunal, and so I have that in front of me. I want to
17 put something to you for your comment, please. Were you aware of the
18 creation or the discussion to create political zones in the early 1990s,
19 in 1993 to be exact?
20 A. No, I don't know. I was not a member of the General Staff.
21 Q. The political plan at the time, it may be said, was based on the
22 idea of liberating all Albanian territory. Were you aware of that being
23 talked of in the early 1990s, General?
24 A. In the beginning of the 1990s when we started organising
25 ourselves and joined the KLA, we did not fight for the whole territory of
1 the Kosova. But I did not know about all these things that you mentioned
3 Q. Well, I think in the light of that answer it might be fruitless
4 for me to go on putting to you what Shukri Buja may eventually come and
5 tell us himself, so I'll move on.
6 I want to see if I can, with your assistance, paint a picture of
7 the situation in the spring and summer of 1998 again, General. So we are
8 talking about April, May, June, and so on, that period only for the
9 moment. Was it still the case in that period that some men who were
10 joining in the KLA had no weapon with which to fight? Was that still the
11 position then?
12 A. Yes. There were many cases when there were soldiers without
13 weapons. That's true, yes. And very often it happened that the same
14 weapon was used by one soldier and then used by another soldier when he
15 had to rest because we did not have enough weapons.
16 Q. Now, let's contrast that position with a position later in the
17 year, General, if we may. Doing the best you can and speaking only,
18 please, from your experience. First of all, did that sort of situation
19 change as 1998 wore on?
20 A. With regard to weapons, we always lacked weapons, enough weapons.
21 But we became consolidated later on and the situation improved. We still
22 did not have enough weapons, but -- and also soldiers that did not have
23 their own uniform.
24 Q. You were issuing, were you not, General, documents that purported
25 to be orders from where you were based. We saw one yesterday regarding
1 people gathering together in public places. Is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. I think in front of you will be some of these documents, and I
4 just want to ask you about one or two of them if I may, please. Yes.
5 Behind tab 3, first of all.
6 A. Can you give me that document, please, because I don't have it in
7 front of me.
8 Q. I can't, but I know a man who will any minute now.
9 General, I hope you're being given this in both English and
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. This seems to be dated the 27th of August, 1998, and it begins
13 with the words: "On the basis of military law and the regulations of the
14 Kosovo liberations and the need for the appointment of staff to the
15 special unit of the operational subzone of Drenica I appoint," and you
16 indicate appointment of someone there as a commander of a special unit.
17 The second paragraph of this document I'm interested in, General.
18 You appoint someone but you give him the right to appeal in the same
19 document. Do you see that? If it's been translated properly; is that
21 A. Yes. It is written -- this has been written to the General
22 Staff. They had to evaluate this person and then return -- come back
23 with an answer for me.
24 Q. And according to this document, if I've understood it correctly,
25 General, if this person didn't like the decision presumably to appoint
1 him, he could appeal against it. Is that what this document is saying?
2 A. Yes. He had the opportunity to appeal it, yes. Or to propose
3 something or to give his own opinion.
4 Q. To say, I don't want this job, how about giving it to somebody
5 else. He could have said that, too, presumably.
6 A. It depended on the circumstances. If he had a very strong reason
7 why not to take on that responsibility, we could have consultations and
8 he could propose somebody else or give another idea.
9 Q. There was quite a lot of these discussions going on, wasn't
10 there, with regard to the carrying out of orders and requests of
11 commanders and so on within the KLA, wasn't there, General? If someone
12 didn't like the idea of something, they could speak up, couldn't they?
13 And were expected to. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, they could express their own opinion because we were
15 re-organising. And when the units existed, all of us were equal. When
16 the commanders were appointed, then we started to apply some of these
17 rules, military rules.
18 Q. Can I turn to ask you some questions about Lapusnik itself,
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The evidence you gave us a little earlier on today, if I've made
22 an accurate note about it, when Mr. Nicholls, the gentleman over there,
23 was asking you questions, you said that in May, June, and July you were
24 not able to penetrate into Lapusnik itself.
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. Sorry, General?
2 A. Can you repeat the question once again, please.
3 Q. Yes. You told us a little earlier on this afternoon that you
4 were not able in May, June, and July of 1998 to, and I quote you I hope
5 accurately, to penetrate into Lapusnik itself. Do you remember saying
6 that to us a little earlier on today?
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. Sorry, I didn't get a translation.
9 A. It was the day -- it was the day when it was said about what was
10 said in Lapusnik. When I went there, I was not able to penetrate into
11 Lapusnik. It was not in May, June, or the months you mentioned. It was
12 just a day during the fighting.
13 Q. I see. During the fighting, during the war, and before the end
14 of July 1998, General, did you get yourself into the village of Lapusnik?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you taken to any buildings or houses or places in Lapusnik
17 where there were other KLA soldiers?
18 A. No, I do not recall.
19 Q. Well, think about it, please. Can you recollect now? Did you
20 spend any period of time in Lapusnik, by which I mean did you ever stay
21 overnight there during the war, the summer of 1998?
22 A. I've slept in many places, but I cannot remember the exact case,
23 whether I stayed in Lapusnik. But it happened that I had to spend the
24 night in many places.
25 Q. If I showed you -- sorry.
1 A. I cannot remember.
2 Q. If I showed you a photograph of a building or two, might that
3 help you to remember or don't you think it would?
4 A. Yes, you can show me.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. It would have been better.
7 Q. General, you can't trust anyone these days, least of all lawyers.
8 They take things from you when you least expect it, so sorry for the
10 General, could you be given P6, please.
11 MR. TOPOLSKI: Mr. Hasan has it. He's come to the rescue.
12 Q. General, just have a look at these photographs, if you would.
13 Perhaps if you could have them all in front of you in one go to save
14 time. Just have a look, please.
15 A. Yes, I'm looking at the photographs. I see some building, some
17 Q. Yes. This is the compound. Next one, please. No, that doesn't
18 help you very much, it's an aerial shot. Can we get down on the ground,
19 do you think? Yeah.
20 A. Yes, it's clearly seen.
21 Q. Typical house, General, no doubt. But I'm asking -- this is a
22 house in the village of Lapusnik. Do you remember -- recognise it at
24 A. No, no. I don't recognise it.
25 Q. Another building, same compound.
1 MR. TOPOLSKI: The one that looks like this, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't recognise this either.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI:
4 Q. The gates of the compound there, between a smaller building and
5 the Oda.
6 A. Yes, this is clearly -- it's clearly seen.
7 Q. Do you recognise it as a place you may have visited or not?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I want to show you one other. I wonder if the usher there has a
10 photograph that has a number 18 at the bottom.
11 This is a different set of buildings now, across the road. Does
12 that ring any bells with you, General?
13 A. No, it does not ring a bell with me.
14 Q. The first series of photographs I showed you are said to be a
15 prison camp run by soldiers of your army in the spring and summer of 1998
16 where people were held, tortured, and murdered. General, were you aware
17 of the existence of such a place, yes or no?
18 A. No, and I have said this to the Prosecution because they have
19 asked this many times and I said it was the first time that I heard of
20 such a thing, when they brought Fatmir Limaj here. I've never heard of
21 such a thing.
22 Q. Thank you very much. That's all I show you for the photos.
23 General, I want to move on to another topic, please. And the
24 reason I do so, it's military police, and the reason I do so is that my
25 client became a member of the military police later on in 1998.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I should ask you I suppose this rather obvious question: Did you
2 ever meet Isak Musliu, otherwise known as Qerqiz, as far as you
4 A. I do not recall I met him. It might be possible that I met him,
5 but I do not remember.
6 Q. Very well. Now, General, I want to ask you, please, about the
7 military police, and that is the reason why I do so. The first question:
8 When to the best of your recollection were the military police of UCK
10 A. In general, when the military police of the UCK was formed, I
11 don't know. But in my zone, when the brigade started to get formed it
12 was seen as reasonable and they started -- it was started to form also
13 the military police.
14 Q. Therefore, if we are fixing it by when the brigades started to
15 get formed, we must be talking, must we not, of a period after August,
16 now into the autumn of 1998. Would you agree, General?
17 A. This goes until the fall of 1998 but also up to 1999.
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. We were never able to consolidate it the way we wanted.
20 Q. Now, that's their creation. I want to look at their role with
21 you, please. First of all, it's right, isn't it, that you in your area
22 were responsible for the creation of the military police. So you had
23 direct involvement in their creation in your area. Is that right?
24 A. In my area, I started to assume the responsibility for the
25 creation of the zone, and this started with the creation, formation, of
1 the brigades as I mentioned earlier and with units or the military police
2 in my area.
3 Q. The purpose, was it not I suggest, was to improve discipline
4 within the ranks of the KLA. Would you agree?
5 A. Besides discipline, they thought it reasonable to deal with
6 caring the wounded, the policemen and civilians as well.
7 Q. Yes. Page 44 of your interview with the OTP, at least page 44 of
8 the English translation you say: "The main one," that is to say the
9 duty, "was to discipline soldiers; that sometimes they had to keep law
10 and order. That didn't happen very often. They were involved in
11 fighting and looking after people who were wounded and so on."
12 So general duties beyond that of discipline. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. They were given black uniforms to wear, were they not? Once
15 they'd been created, of course. Is that right, General?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. To, of course, distinguish them from other ranks and other units.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I want to go back, as it were, to the earlier days again, if I
20 may, General, dealing with the position in May of 1998. What I want to
21 suggest to you generally is this, and you would have had experience of
22 this I suggest and certainly knowledge of it from your dealings with your
23 comrades. In those early days when men were arriving across the border,
24 they were very much making their own decisions about where they would go
25 to take up the fight. Now, would you agree with me about that?
1 A. Yes, I agree.
2 Q. No one would point them in any particular direction. Often they
3 would simply get together and say, We've heard there's trouble in
4 such-and-such a place. We better go and see what we can do. Of course I
5 paraphrase it, General, of course I reduce it to its bare bones. But is
6 that the position that existed in May of 1998?
7 A. Approximately I can say yes because they were volunteers and they
8 had no address, where to go, soldiers in Albania.
9 Q. Indeed it wasn't until much later on in the summer, was it, that
10 you even had a record of who had joined up. Would that be right? You
11 didn't know the names even of all your comrades in your area. Would that
12 be right, General?
13 A. Yes. We did not have the names of many of those who joined.
14 Q. And as far as people going to places, I'll take -- pluck one out
15 of thin air. Lapusnik, for example. Went to fight in Lapusnik. If they
16 heard of a problem elsewhere, they would just up and go there, wouldn't
17 they? Didn't need an order; didn't need a request. They'd just do it
18 off their own backs, as we would say in England. Do you have experience
19 of that happening, General?
20 A. Yes, from my experience. As long as we were operating like
21 units, they acted voluntarily and went voluntarily there. Because if
22 they knew another unit and it was -- that thing was happening there, and
23 that's why that other unit came to help.
24 Q. And that situation, I suggest, in reality lasted until such times
25 as the brigades were formed. Now, would you agree with that, General, as
1 a general proposition?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: If Your Honours just give me a moment, I think
4 I've finished. Yes, I have. Thank you.
5 Q. That's all I ask you, General. Thank you for your patience.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Khan.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Khan:
8 Q. General, I represent Fatmir Limaj. Hopefully we may be able to
9 get through my questions for you this evening.
10 You say that after the death of Adem Jashari there was a huge
11 influx of people that swelled the ranks of the KLA. That's correct,
12 isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it was quite a challenge, it was quite difficult, for the KLA
15 to assimilate and absorb these people. Is that also correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in fact, one of the major challenges of the KLA through the
18 major part of 1998 in addition to surviving against the Serbs and
19 fighting was to try to give some semblance of organisation to these
20 civilians that were joining the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
21 Isn't that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Going back to the beginning of the conflict up to June 1998, you
24 say that -- well, apart from the KLA, are you aware of other armed groups
25 operating in Kosovo up until June 1998 against the Serbs?
1 A. No, I was not aware of other groups apart from the KLA and the
2 Serbian forces. If the paramilitary forces existed or various forces, I
3 was not aware of this.
4 Q. Had you heard of a group called the National Movement for the
5 Liberation of Kosova?
6 A. No, I have not heard of such a group at the time. If you're
7 talking about the LKCK, yes I've heard about that. But I've not heard
8 about the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo.
9 Q. Well, the LKCK, that operated until what period of time? Are you
10 familiar with that or not?
11 A. This group had started its activity even earlier on. I don't
12 know about its later activity, but you better ask those who've been
13 responsible in the LKCK or the members of the General Staff who are in
14 charge of that movement.
15 Q. Are you aware of an aware, and forgive my pronunciation, it's
16 atrocious, the region of Belacevac?
17 A. Yes, I know the area -- the region of Belacevac. There were
18 members of the KLA who fought there, but it was under the reign of the
19 UKLA [as interpreted].
20 Q. And what area or what zone was that area of Belacevac in, do you
21 remember that? What zone of operations was that in?
22 A. Belacevac is included in the border of the operational zone of
23 Drenica and also the operational zone of Shales and its bordering the
24 operational zone of Shales.
25 Q. And do you remember what KLA units operated in that zone?
1 A. I do not remember.
2 Q. You say that after September 1998 that you became aware of Fatmir
3 Limaj as a commander of the 121st Brigade. That's correct, isn't it?
4 A. Yes, it was only then.
5 Q. And at that time you were also a brigade commander. Is that
7 A. No, I was a zone commander.
8 Q. Yes, a zone commander. Now, are you aware of displaced civilians
9 being present in the Pastrik zone?
10 A. There were displaced civilians in my zone as well, but also in
11 the Pastrik zone as well. Displaced civilians were more placed in
12 Pastrik zone other than other areas.
13 Q. And these were civilians, largely, that had fled the onslaught
14 from the Serbs. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, exactly. They found it a safer place, a shelter, and they
16 went there from various places, went to that part.
17 Q. I beg your pardon. And indeed these were civilians, often, who
18 fled their homes in extreme fear with very little other than what was on
19 their back. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's very correct.
21 Q. And the condition that these civilians lived in was extremely
22 difficult. Is that right?
23 A. Yes, very correct.
24 Q. There was a huge shortage of food, medicines, clothes, children's
25 nappies, diapers, the rest of it. Things were very difficult for these
1 civilians, would you agree?
2 A. Yes, they lacked the elementary means. They did not even have
3 bread to eat, let alone clothes and other things, which -- there was a
4 huge shortage of those things and they were in a miserable state.
5 Q. Can you describe -- let me ask you one question and hopefully we
6 can finish for the day. Are you aware of how Fatmir Limaj dealt with
7 these civilians in his area? And if so, could you describe that to the
9 A. I would have liked to be in the position of Fatmir Limaj to
10 render help to those people who suffered, and I would have done the same
11 thing and rendered help to those people and population who were around
12 that area. However, with all the difficulties and the circumstances in
13 that area, Fatmir and -- with his soldiers and his friends and his group,
14 rendered help to those people. And this is such a thing -- this has to
15 be appreciated.
16 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, perhaps we can leave it there.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan. Well, that clearly is a time
18 when we must break for the day.
19 General, the time has come when we must finish once again. I
20 would ask that you return tomorrow. I think we can be confident that you
21 will complete your evidence tomorrow afternoon. We will start at 2.15.
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, I know that Mr. Cayley is in court
23 and I know that he's come to bid his farewell. May I please simply be
24 permitted to say on behalf of the Defence bar in this case that it's been
25 a great pleasure to have Mr. Cayley as an opponent. If I may be
1 permitted to say he has acted throughout in the very finest traditions of
2 the English bar. We will be sorry to see him go. We'll be sorry to lose
3 him, but he wish him well in the future.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Topolski. You indeed had perceived
5 Mr. Cayley.
6 Mr. Cayley.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Your Honour. I will be very brief. And
8 to make it clear for the purposes of the record, you know that I've
9 already written to the Chamber a letter which was copied to the Defence
10 explaining that I was leaving the Tribunal. There's nothing unusual in
11 this, Your Honours, there's no connection with this case. This was a
12 move that was planned over a year ago and which I knew and indeed the
13 Prosecutor knew was going to take place.
14 The case will be supervised from now on by Mr. Alex Whiting.
15 There will be another trial attorney that's joining the team towards the
16 end of this month, Milbert Shin.
17 I'd only like to thank you, the Chamber, for your patience over
18 the time that I've been leading the case and your attention. And I'd
19 also, obviously, like to thank Mr. Topolski for his very kind comments
20 about me. So with that, Your Honours, I bid you farewell. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Cayley, we share the views expressed so
22 generously by Mr. Topolski. We have been much assisted by the work
23 you've put into this case. We wish you well in your new position, and we
24 look forward to the continued assistance we'll receive from the other
25 members of the team that you leave behind.
1 We will now adjourn.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
4 January, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.