1 Tuesday, 25 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Whiting.
6 MR. WHITING: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Before the witness is
7 brought in, one small matter, and that is that just before we broke a
8 photograph was put into evidence as P098.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
10 MR. WHITING: It was put in under seal, though I didn't request
11 it and it need not be under seal.
12 JUDGE PARKER: When that comes up, that will be unsealed, if
13 that's an adequate description of the process.
14 Is that all.
15 MR. WHITING: That's all. We're ready.
16 JUDGE PARKER: So we can bring in the witness then. Thank you.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. If I could remind you of the
19 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence, which still
20 applies. Now, Mr. Whiting has some more questions for you.
21 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, before we proceed, I think the screens
22 need to be put up.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS L-96 [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
3 Q. Good afternoon, Witness L-96. We are, I'll remind you, still in
4 open session and so I'd just ask you to take care on not using your name.
5 Do you understand?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Witness, before we stopped yesterday, you had described for us
8 witnessing the beating of Shaban Hoti on the first full night when you
9 were at Lapusnik. Do you remember telling us about that yesterday?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, Witness, after that night did you on a night following that
12 night see anything happen to Shaban Hoti?
13 A. Yes. Before the second night, something else happened during the
14 day. So before Shaban Hoti was beaten for the second time, something
15 else happened during the day. If you're now asking me about the second
16 night, the group consisting of the persons from the first night, at least
17 it resembled that the group that was there during the first night, I
18 think that they arrived just before midnight. I didn't have a watch, so
19 I cannot say what exactly the time was. So they entered the room where
20 Shaban Hoti was, and they beat him again. So as far as we could see from
21 our room, they beat him really badly. They were jumping on him. When
22 they finished with Shaban Hoti, they came back to our room.
23 Q. Witness, before we get to that, I'm going to ask you a few
24 questions about what you saw regarding that second beating. You said
25 that the soldiers resembled the soldiers who had come in the first group.
1 This second time, could you tell us approximately how many soldiers you
3 A. On the second time, there were five or six. I can't say whether
4 this figure is the exact one, but at least there were five or six.
5 Q. And do you remember what they were wearing?
6 A. They were wearing KLA uniforms, military uniforms, camouflaged.
7 The KLA emblem could be seen on some of them because it was dark. One of
8 them was carrying a torch light in his hand. So from this light what you
9 could see is that there were five or six persons.
10 Q. And, L-96, when you say that they went into the room where Shaban
11 Hoti was, was that the second room on the upper floor?
12 A. It was the second room on the upper floor where Shaban Hoti was.
13 And myself and the friends who were with me were in the first room. But
14 in order to get into the second room, you had to go through our room.
15 Q. And can you describe what you saw in terms of the beating that
16 occurred on this second occasion. What do you remember seeing?
17 A. On the second time I remember that they entered the room where
18 Shaban Hoti was. I saw people stepping on Shaban Hoti, jumping on him,
19 cursing him, shouting at him. That's what I saw.
20 Q. You say they were shouting at him. Do you remember what they
21 were shouting?
22 A. They were asking him, Will you ever come to KLA zones to
23 translate? We will kill you. So very harsh words.
24 Q. And could you see, was Shaban Hoti standing while this was
25 happening or was he lying on the ground?
1 A. Shaban Hoti was lying down. He was very tired. He couldn't
2 stand. His hands and feet were tied, and you had no idea whether he was
3 alive or dead.
4 Q. Now, Witness, after the second beating, what happened? What's
5 the next thing that happened?
6 A. Next thing that happened after the second beating is that these
7 persons came to our room. One of them was holding the torch light and
8 was looking at us on our faces. This person addressed (redacted)
9 He -- with his torch light, he came to (redacted)’s face. And a
10 person who was standing behind the person with a torch light, I don't
11 know who he was exactly, but he told, No, Commander, this is not the
12 person; this is the person. And then the person with the torch light
13 directed the torch on my face and said to me, We will beat you to a pulp.
14 And when he said that, We will beat you to a pulp, I realised that there
15 was someone else that I knew there as well. I realised that there was
16 not only one person in question, but there were at least two.
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. L-96, we're now back in public session.
12 You said that this person who had the flashlight had been
13 addressed as commander. Did you -- were you able to see this person?
14 A. No, not there because the flashlight was directed on my eyes, so
15 you couldn't see. I couldn't see any face, I couldn't see who it was, I
16 couldn't even see the other persons who were with him because of the
17 dazzling light.
18 Q. After this person who had the flashlight said this to you, what
19 did he and the other soldiers do?
20 A. That night this was what was said to me, nothing else. Just
21 shortly after they said this, they left, the door was locked, and nothing
22 else -- nothing special happened that night.
23 Q. Witness, after the soldiers left, did they -- the door between
24 the room you were in and the room that Shaban Hoti was in, was it closed
25 or was it left open?
1 A. They had left the door open. The door was at all times while I
2 was there was open. During the day you could see Shaban Hoti lying with
3 his hands and feet tied, so you couldn't tell whether he was alive or
5 Q. Was he able to move at all?
6 A. While we were there and while we could see him, personally I
7 never saw him move.
8 Q. Did he make any sounds?
9 A. No. During that time, during my stay there, I never heard him
10 speak, I never heard him shout. I heard nothing coming from him.
11 Q. Now, Witness, you said that before the night of the second
12 beating of Shaban Hoti something occurred during the day. Can you tell
13 us what it is that occurred during the day?
14 A. During the day - I don't know the exact time, whether it was noon
15 or afternoon - Shala opened the door and brought Musli Belince inside. I
16 knew Musli Belince from before; he's a very old person. He had in his
17 arm a bag with medicine because he was using medicine at that time. So
18 as soon as they opened the door, they just threw him in the room and he
19 rolled several times on the floor. They started beating him with a
20 wooden stick which was about 1 metre long, and they brought him to the
21 room where Shaban Hoti was. Shaban -- Musli Belince could not stand on
22 his feet. This happened during the day, so before the second night when
23 the group came to Shaban Hoti's room.
24 Q. L-96, who beat this man with a stick, could you see?
25 A. Shala.
1 Q. And the stick, can you describe the stick, please?
2 A. It was about 1 metre long, like a piece of wood from the woods.
3 It had -- it resembled a wood that grows in the mountains, like a branch,
4 a thicker branch. So this is the piece of wood that Shala used to beat
6 Q. And could you see where on his body he beat him with the stick?
7 A. Musli Belince was lying on the floor. We call him Mus. His
8 short name was Mus. He would hit him on his feet, on his body. You
9 couldn't tell whether he was alive or dead. He was ill anyways, even
10 when he wasn't in the situation he was using medicine. I don't know what
11 he was suffering from, but he was using medicine. This is what I saw.
12 Q. And, Witness, did -- can you describe how he hit him with the
13 stick? Were they hard blows? Was he hitting him -- can you try to
14 describe it.
15 A. Well, Shala grabbed the wood with both his hands. So we call it
16 in Albanian a wooden stick. And he hit him on his feet, on his back, as
17 hard as he could. Musli Belince was lying on the carpet and with his
18 belly down, so his back was exposed. This is what I saw.
19 Q. And did the beating occur in the room you were in or in the room
20 that Shaban Hoti was in or both?
21 A. As soon as he opened the door in our room, he just threw him
22 inside, threw him on the floor, and he started beating him there in our
23 room. And as far as I remember, he dragged him to the second room. And
24 then he placed him in the room where Shaban Hoti was. The door remained
25 open. It wasn't any other person in the room except for Shala. So he
1 continued to beat Mus Belince in the room where Shaban Hoti was. This
2 was it. In the end when he finished beating him, he returned him to our
3 room. Musli Belince could not sit like normal people do, so he couldn't
4 sit -- of course not on a chair because there were no chairs, but he
5 couldn't sit on the floor. He wasn't fit to sit.
6 Q. Now, Witness, you told us yesterday about somebody by the name of
7 Muje Muslia from Belince. Is there any relationship between Muje Muslia
8 and the man you've just been talking about?
9 A. Muje Musliu was Mus's son. He was son of Mus Musliu, because we
10 use Mus for Musliu, Mus Belince. So Muje was his son.
11 Q. So this man who was beaten was referred to both as Muje Belince
12 and Muje Musliu?
13 A. No. The man who was beaten, his name was Mus Belince. His last
14 name was Musliu. And Muje who you mentioned was the son of this person.
15 Q. And is Belince the village that he is from?
16 A. Belince is a village situated between Shtime and Carraleve. It's
17 about 3 kilometres from Shtime, 1 kilometre from Racak. It's not a very
18 big village. It's a small village.
19 Q. And, Witness, is this the village that this man who was being
20 beaten was from, Belince?
21 A. He was from the village of Belince, Mus Musliu.
22 Q. Thank you. Did Shala say anything while he was beating this man,
23 if you remember?
24 A. No, he didn't say a word, he just beat him. And he looked like a
25 mad person, like a savage person. And he was looking at us while he was
1 beating Mus. We were scared to death. When someone can beat such an old
2 person, what can someone say about us who were much younger?
3 Q. Witness, I'm going to ask you some questions about another topic
4 now. I'm going to bring you to the next day, the day following the
5 second beating of Shaban Hoti. Do you follow me?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did something happen on that day?
8 A. The second day after Shaban Hoti was beaten, is this what you
10 Q. Yes. I'm talking about the day after -- the day after the second
11 beating of Shaban Hoti.
12 A. After Shaban Hoti was beaten, it was midnight, we were still
13 there. Someone was sleeping, someone was awake. The morning arrived.
14 It was a usual morning.
15 Q. And that day, did anything happen?
16 A. Yes. Something very important for me happened that day. Isak
17 Musliu came to the door that day. Behind him was a soldier with a
18 Kalashnikov. I didn't know who he was. Behind him was Murrizi. They
19 passed through the room and went to where Shaban Hoti was. As the three
20 of them entered the next room, after a short time, I would say one or two
21 minutes, Murrizi mentioned my name. He said, Hey you, come here. He
22 mentioned my name. So I got up on my feet and went to them. When I
23 entered the room, he told me -- he ordered me to stand next to the wall.
24 Isak Musliu said to Murriz, Tie his hands up with a chain. Murrizi was
25 following Isak Musliu's orders, so he chained both my hands up, as I'm
1 showing at the moment. After they chained me up, the soldier wearing a
2 uniform and with a Kalashnikov, he was in a state of readiness. I was
3 scared to death. Because when you see someone like that, you know that
4 death might be close.
5 He started to slap me hard on the face. I fell on my knees.
6 When I was on my knees, Isak Musliu made a karate move and hit me and it
7 was a really hard blow, and I fell on the ground with my hands tied.
8 When I was on the ground, I know very well that he started kicking me
9 without any control on himself. I know that for a short time I lost
10 consciousness because of the beating.
11 So when he hit me like that, he stopped. Then he said to Murriz
12 again, Make him stand up. He -- Murrizi grabbed me by the hand and
13 helped me to stand up. Isak told Murrizi to blindfold me. Murrizi found
14 a towel somewhere. This towel was in the room. So he blindfolded me
15 with a towel. I couldn't see anything else there. I know that Murrizi
16 grabbed me by my two hands. I know that the chain was about half a metre
17 long, and then Murrizi was dragging me. I know that he was dragging me
18 towards the first room, and then he was dragging me down the staircase.
19 I had no idea where he was taking me because I was blindfolded. He was
20 just dragging the chain.
21 When he removed the blindfold, I saw -- I realised where I was
22 standing. As I turned my head, I saw Isak Musliu and Murrizi asked Isak
23 Musliu, Where shall I put him? He told him, Put him in the first room,
24 not in the other, (redacted). I didn't know who was
25 where, but he told Murrizi, Put him in the other room, not where (redacted)
2 So Murrizi opened the door, put me inside, and he locked the
3 door. It was a door made of metal. So now I was in the room.
4 Q. Witness, you said that when the blindfold was taken off you could
5 see where you were. Where were you?
6 A. I was -- if you have the picture, I can show you exactly where I
7 was. I was opposite the metal door on the way to the toilet, in the same
9 JUDGE PARKER: Do you need a redaction, Mr. Whiting?
10 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE PARKER: There's a reference to a relative there.
12 MR. WHITING: If we could switch the monitor to Sanction, please.
13 Q. Witness, can you see on the screen an image, and it's -- for
14 purposes of the record, it's the --
15 A. Yes, I can see it.
16 Q. It's the image on page 11 of P006, and this is an image -- we're
17 looking at P005.
18 Witness, do you recognise this?
19 A. Yes, I know this image very well.
20 Q. And what is this?
21 A. This is the door where Murrizi stopped me, where he removed the
22 blindfold. So from the second room to this location, I was blindfolded
23 and I didn't know where I was heading to. But on this point, he removed
24 the un -- blindfold. So when I turned my head, I saw Isak Musliu, he was
25 somewhere in the yard. He -- Murrizi then addressed Isak Musliu and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 asked him, Where shall I put him? He said, Put him in the first room,
2 not in the other room, because (redacted) is there. I didn't know that
3 there was a second room. I just knew that there was a toilet there
4 because we used that toilet. So Murrizi opened the door, placed me
5 inside, and then locked the door.
6 MR. WHITING: We can take that image off now.
7 And, Your Honour, if we could have another redaction. Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 MR. WHITING:
10 Q. Witness, can you describe, please, for us the room that you were
11 placed into.
12 A. Yes. The room had a low ceiling. It was about 3 metres -- 2 and
13 a half to 3 metres long. The floor was made of -- it was a concrete
14 floor. There was hay on the floor. Behind the door there was a bucket,
15 a plastic bucket, that was used for -- as a toilet. There were two
16 shelves. It looked like a stable. Litter, hay, you could even see
17 blood. It had a window next to the door; we could see it on the image.
18 So this is my description of the room.
19 Q. How long did you stay in this room?
20 A. I think that I spent four days and four nights in this room.
21 Q. And can you tell us what the temperature was in the room?
22 A. The temperature and the smell cannot describe -- be described.
23 There are no words that can describe them. It was July, midsummer.
24 Nobody could stand the smell.
25 Q. Witness, did you -- were there other people in the room?
1 A. When I entered the room, I saw I think around six persons, but
2 what is interesting as a fact is that I knew everyone who was in that
3 room. They were all from our municipality. From their appearance I can
4 say that I knew some better than the others. I don't know exactly which
5 villages they came from, but basically I knew all of them.
6 Q. Can you tell us who these people were?
7 A. Yes. The first one lying next to the window was Emin Emini from
8 Carraleve village; I knew him from before the war. Next to Emin Emini
9 were two other persons from Carraleve; they were from Xhemtafa family. I
10 didn't know their exact names. I had seen them before -- before the war
11 on the markets. I didn't know their first name, but their family name
12 was Xhemtafa. In the line, so after these two persons, was Hyzri
13 Belince; he used to sell limestone before the war. After Hyzri was Luta.
14 He used to be a forest ranger. I knew him before the war as well. As
15 far as I remember next to Luta was Bashkim, I think that was his name. I
16 had seen him in Shtime a couple of times before, but I don't know exactly
17 whether he was from Shtime or the Shtime district. After him was Adem
18 Godance, and after Adem Godance was (redacted)
19 (redacted) who used to work as an
20 electrician; he had been an electrician for 20 years. (redacted)
21 (redacted) After (redacted) was me, myself. So there were no others on that
22 day in that room.
23 Q. Witness, you referred to a Hyzri Belince. Is that a person by
24 the name of Hyzri who is from Belince or is Belince the family name?
25 A. Hyzri is from Belince village, of the same village that Muje and
1 Muslia are.
2 Q. And do you know the family name of Hyzri?
3 A. I don't know his family name.
4 Q. And you also referred to Adem Godance. Is that somebody --
5 again, same question: Is he from Godance or is that -- or is Godance his
6 family name?
7 A. I mentioned Adem, saying that I didn't know his family name. I
8 know only that he was from Godance. That's what I said Adem from
9 Godance. I didn't know for sure. Even now I don't know his last name.
10 Q. Witness, with the assistance of the usher I'm going to give you a
11 blank piece of paper and a pen. And I'm going to ask you, please, to
12 draw the room for us, and if we could put it on the ELMO. And can you
13 show -- draw the room and then show where these people were lying and
14 show us the door and the window and the bucket.
15 A. This is the door. This is where the window was. The bucket, the
16 plastic bucket, was here. Here lying was Emin Emini. Next to him, the
17 two from Xhemtafa family. After those two from Xhemtafa family came
18 Hyzri. After Hyzri was Luta. After Luta was Bashkim. Next to him was
19 Adem. Next to Adem was (redacted) I -- I couldn't fit in in the corner;
20 there was no room. So I was staying here because there was no more room
21 to lie there at the corner.
22 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would just ask that the record
23 reflect that on the picture that's been drawn by the witness, on the side
24 of the box that has the circle, square, and another square, the witness
25 identified the circle as being the plastic bucket, the square to the
1 right of that circle as being the door, and the square to the right of
2 that, which he has just put an X in, as being the window. The lines that
3 are drawn along the side that is perpendicular to that line are -- he has
4 identified as people -- individuals who are lying on the floor. And he
5 has identified who they are, starting from the line that is closest to
6 the box with the X in it. And then the final line, which is by itself on
7 the opposite -- on the line -- on the wall that is opposite to the door,
8 he has identified as himself.
9 Q. Witness, did another -- after that first day, did there come a
10 time when another prisoner came into the room or was, shall we say,
11 brought into the room?
12 A. Yes. On the next day they brought Shaban Hoti there.
13 Q. And do you remember where he was placed?
14 A. In the same room. There was only one place, across the window,
15 for someone to lie, between the window and me. This is where Shaban Hoti
16 was lying on the next day. Because there was no more room here. When he
17 came in, Shaban Hoti, he stood here. There was an empty place where;
18 whereas, the bucket, as I said, was in this corner here.
19 Q. Witness, how many windows were in that room, just to be clear?
20 A. There was only one window here. There was also steel mesh above
21 the window.
22 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'd ask that the record reflect that
23 the witness has drawn a line and identified that place as being the place
24 where Shaban Hoti was and he has put a line identifying himself. And I
25 would ask that this paper be given a number, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P99.
3 MR. WHITING: And if we could switch from the ELMO to the
4 Sanction, please.
5 Q. Witness, can you see that image again in front of you, the same
6 one you saw before?
7 MR. WHITING: And for the record, the image that we're showing is
8 from P005, and it's the same image from page 11 of P006.
9 I'm going to ask Mr. Younis to bring us inside of that room.
10 Q. Witness, can you see the inside of that room? We'll do that
11 again. This is the outside of the room that you had seen before. And
12 now we'll go inside the room, which is identified as storage room A5.
13 L-96, do you recognise the inside of that room?
14 A. Yes. Yes, I do, very well.
15 Q. Can you tell us what it is, please.
16 A. This is where I stood shut up for four days and nights, in this
17 very place.
18 Q. Is this the room that you were just -- that you just drew a
19 picture of?
20 A. This is the room I just draw. I remember very, very well that
21 this is where we were kept prisoners, myself and the others.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. WHITING: You can take the image off.
24 Q. Witness, can you describe the physical condition of the other
25 prisoners in the room, please.
1 A. Yes, I can. The physical condition of the prisoners in that room
2 was bad. Two of those, those from Carraleve, Xhemtafa family, were in
3 worse condition; they looked traumatised. They never uttered a word. We
4 couldn't tell whether they were sleeping, awake. Sometimes they drank
5 some water. I saw them drinking, but they were lying there just inert.
6 After that worse was -- for the moment was Shaban Hoti after that. He
7 too was completely passed out I would say. Then came Lut Shomari
8 [phoen], this is how we called him, or Luta Ahbete [phoen]. He was the
9 forest ranger I said earlier. He, too, was -- I saw it with my own eyes
10 when he was peeing in that bucket, he was peeing blood. Personally, I
11 felt very bad. Shefqet Godance seemed to be in a better condition.
12 Adem, he didn't look very bad either. Bashkim, so, so. And Hyzri also
13 so so. And Emin Emini was in a very bad state. He said, I have been
14 here for 55 days. This is what I heard him say, this word, I've been
15 here for 55 days.
16 Q. Witness, you may have already said this, but Luta, the forest
17 ranger, do you know what village he was from?
18 A. Yes, Luta was from Crni Breg village. I know it very well that
19 he was from that village. He worked (redacted) as a
20 forest ranger.
21 Q. After you were placed in that room, did you see Shala again?
22 A. Yes, I saw him several times during the time I was in that room.
23 Q. And can you explain to us how you would see him? What would
24 happen that would cause you to see him?
25 A. Yes, I think once or twice after I went down he brought us bread.
1 Shala and Murrizi were the ones who brought it to us. Then one evening
2 it was a little before dusk, one of the prisoners, I think it was Shefqet
3 Godance, asked Shala to go out because the stench was horrible and we
4 couldn't stand it. It was very hot. He asked Shala -- he kindly asked
5 him to take us out in the open air for some minutes. Then Shala let us
6 go out to the door. There, around the door you can see the place. Shala
7 was standing there beside us with his Kalashnikov. We were sitting down
8 to breathe some fresh air. Without asking him, he said to us of his own
9 free will, Don't worry, 60 people have left -- six people have left -- 60
10 people have died -- died in this prison. Then after some minutes, after
11 ten minutes, he made us go in -- back inside. After us I asked Shefqet
12 Ramadani --
13 Q. Witness, I'm going to interrupt you for a moment. I'm going to
14 ask you to repeat what it was that Shala said, because there was a little
15 difficulty with the translation. Just so it's clear, can you repeat what
16 it is that Shala said?
17 A. When we were at the door, Shala knew that we were sad, that we're
18 afraid. Without ask -- any one of us asking us, we didn't want to ask
19 him any questions. He said, Don't worry too much, you who are prisoners
20 here, because from this prison so far 60 people have died. This is what
21 he said to us. And that was the end of it. He asked us to go inside.
22 He closed the door.
23 Q. Now, Witness, you said that -- you said that sometimes Shala and
24 Murrizi would bring you food in this room. During the four days that you
25 were there, did you get food every day?
1 A. No. The first day I was taken there I know they gave us to eat.
2 During the second day, I know they brought us water. And during the last
3 two days, I think it was two days or maybe more, I don't remember well,
4 they didn't give us anything to eat and nothing to drink.
5 Q. When they brought water, can you describe how they would give you
6 the water?
7 A. Yes, they brought us the water in plastic bottles of 1 litre and
8 a half. They brought us three, four such bottles, just threw us them
9 there on the floor. Every one of us got a bottle or two people shared a
10 bottle; it depended. This is how they gave us the water.
11 Q. Witness, did you -- during those four days did you talk to any of
12 the other prisoners in the room?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I have, mostly with (redacted) from Godance
14 because he was a friend. Even today he's a friend of mine. And I felt
15 closer to him.
16 Q. And he was --
17 A. [Previous translation continues] ...spoke also with Lut.
18 Q. I'm sorry. And also with who?
19 A. With Bashkim, with Lut who said some words. But mostly as I
20 said, I talked with (redacted).
21 Q. And (redacted) was lying next to you. Is that right?
22 A. Yes, he was lying next to me.
23 Q. Were you able to talk freely in that room?
24 A. When Shala was not there, yes; when he was there, none of us
25 dared utter a word. Shala always told us not to talk with each other,
1 not to say anything. But some time passed, he went out, and we could
2 exchange some words. We did speak to each other.
3 Q. Did Shala give you any other instructions or orders?
4 A. Yes. Each time he came, he told us not to go to the window and
5 look out to see what was going on.
6 Q. Now, (redacted) did he tell you how long he had been in
7 the room?
8 A. Yes. He said, I've been here for 22 days when I went there.
9 When I was -- went there, he told me, I've been here for 22 days.
10 Q. Did he tell you how he had been brought to the room?
11 A. No. We didn't discuss this. No, we didn't discuss that. I
12 remember this. We didn't.
13 Q. Did he tell you anything about other prisoners who had been there
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What did he tell you?
17 A. Please, I want to know whether we are in closed session or in
18 open session?
19 Q. We are in open session, Witness.
20 A. I'll tell you what (redacted) told me, only I want it to be
21 in closed session if possible.
22 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session please, Your
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 2342-2345 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. We're now back in public session -- open session. Did you talk
12 with Shaban Hoti after he was brought into the room?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you remember what he told you?
15 A. Yes. For example, at that time Shaban Hoti for us was an unknown
16 person; we didn't know him. According to his words he was from Pristina.
17 I didn't know at that time where he came from. He started to say that --
18 to explain how he was taken and brought there. He said that he was a
19 professor. He told us that his economic situation at home was very poor.
20 He told us that some Russian journalists had asked for a translator that
21 could speak Russian and Albanian and who could work with them as a
22 translator. So Shaban had met them, and they asked him to work with him
23 in war zones to carry out some interviews with some KLA personnel
24 commanders. So Shaban told me that they gave him 50 Deutschmarks so that
25 he could go and translate with him -- with them, so translate from
1 Russian into Albanian and from Albanian into Russian. And he then said
2 -- he didn't mention the zone exactly where, but said that he was
3 captured by the KLA while working with the Russian journalists. This is
4 what I heard from Shaban Hoti.
5 Q. And, Witness, you told us yesterday that you had also heard
6 information about Shaban Hoti from Shala. Had you -- had Shala already
7 told you that information? Was that before you talked to Shaban Hoti
9 A. In the first room, in the room where we were for the first time,
10 Shala said, Look, a person who goes to translate for the Russians, look
11 what will happen to him. But he didn't say anything about Shaban going
12 and translating for the journalists or where he was captured or that he
13 took 50 Deutschmarks. He just said, Look who will happen to a person who
14 translates for the Russians.
15 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a little early for the
16 break, but it's a convenient time. I'm happy to press on, but if the
17 Court wishes --
18 JUDGE PARKER: I think another quarter hour, Mr. Whiting.
19 MR. WHITING: That's fine, Your Honour.
20 Q. I'm going to move to another subject, Witness, and that is the
21 last day you were in that room at the end of the four days. Can you tell
22 us what happened after -- at the end of four days?
23 A. During the last day, Shala came and opened the door and said to
24 us, Now you will all go outside. The one who will make any attempt to
25 run, I will kill him on the spot. He opened the door --
1 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 2349-2362 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 MR. WHITING:
17 Q. Witness, could you see what kind of weapon Shala had?
18 A. Shala had a Kalashnikov without a wooden butt. Murrizi had an
20 Q. And you said that Shyqyri - and I'm probably pronouncing the name
21 wrong - had to be carried by you and some others. Do you remember who
22 carried him?
23 A. Yes. Shyqa in the beginning when we got out of the gate, Milaim
24 Hoxha was carrying him; he was from Racak. After Milaim, we took it in
25 turns. Bashkim, Adem, myself, we all took it in turns for as long as we
1 could carry him. And Shala ordered us -- if he ordered us not to take a
2 turn, then we wouldn't. (redacted) -- I did not see
3 him carry him. There were some elderly people who could not even carry
4 themselves, walk themselves, let alone carry Shyqa. That's how we walked
6 Q. Witness, what time of day was it?
7 A. It was I think about 10.00 or 11.00 in the morning, an hour or an
8 hour and a half, something like that. It was very hot, a very hot day.
9 We had not eaten anything or drunk anything. It was very hot. This is
10 how it was.
11 Q. What happened next?
12 A. After that, we walked up the mountain, always escorted by Murrizi
13 at the front, Shala at the back, the last one. And we came up to a major
14 road. It was in fact a path, a major path, in the forest. And we went
15 towards Berisa, in the direction of Berisa, towards Kuriz [phoen]. I
16 remember there was a path that crossed there our path, and there we saw
17 some persons in a tractor -- on a tractor, civilians armed, and they were
18 coming towards us. I was the last one, close to Shala, and this was a
19 kind of a clearing in the forest. And there I heard Shala say, Commander
20 Celiku is coming and I'll ask -- I'll ask him what I'm supposed to do
21 with you. These people in uniform were probably 20 or 30 metres, they
22 were coming away from us. They were coming in the opposite direction,
23 from the opposite direction.
24 Q. And what happened after Shala said, Commander Celiku is coming
25 and I'll ask him what I'm supposed to do? What happened next?
1 A. Shala told us immediately to stop where we were, and they all
2 fell on the ground, (redacted) -- they just dropped there because they
3 couldn't stand on their feet. Shala went 7 or 8 metres away, and the
4 commander who was coming, they got together. They were talking, but I
5 couldn't hear what they were saying. They were 7 or 8 metres away from
6 us. They spoke to each other very briefly, but what they said I don't
7 know. Shala came to us and a soldier came together with Shala. He was
8 one of the people who was with the commander. Shala came and ordered us
9 to get up on our feet, and we continued our march.
10 Murrizi was at the front of the line; Shala the last one. And
11 this soldier that was given by the commander to Shala, he was walking up
12 and down the line. He did not stay exactly at the end of the line; he
13 sometimes went to the middle or the front of the line. And we went up
14 the mountain. So there was another soldier in addition to Shala and
15 Murrizi. We never knew his name. We never heard a pseudonym or a name.
16 This is what happened that day.
17 Q. Witness, the commander that Shala spoke to 7 or 8 metres away
18 from you, were you able to get a clear view of this person?
19 A. Yes. I saw his face very well. He did not have a hat. He was
20 in uniform, one colour uniform. He had a belt. We called it "opasac."
21 It was -- I saw a black satchel or bag across his soldier. And after the
22 conversation was over, he went down, went to the other soldiers, and
23 other -- there was some civilians who were armed -- there were some
24 people on the tractor, but he went to those people who were out of the
25 tractor, whereas us, together with Shala and Murrizi and the soldier that
1 was given by this commander to Shala, we continued on our way.
2 Q. L-96, do you -- were you able to tell approximately how old this
3 commander was that Shala spoke with?
4 A. This person that day looked young. He was not shaved, maybe an
5 unshaven beard for two or three weeks. He looked hollow, he had hollow
6 cheeks; black -- dark hair, but there was a lot of dust in the air that
7 day; tall. This is how he looked that day -- what he looked to me that
9 Q. And you said he was an unshaven beard for two or three weeks. Is
10 that what you remember?
11 A. Yes. It looked like that, that he had two weeks -- he had gone
12 two weeks without shaving. He looked like he had not shaved. I thought
13 maybe two weeks -- probably three.
14 Q. And how long approximately did Shala and this person speak?
15 A. Well, five minutes at the most. Shala came back, and when he
16 came back he had a soldier with him. Five minutes approximately. We
17 were all sitting down.
18 Q. Witness, you've already told us about being interviewed in
19 February of 2002 by UNMIK. During that interview were photographs shown
20 to you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you remember how they were shown to you?
23 A. I know that the interview was a long one with the investigators,
24 the UNMIK investigators. When the interview was over, the investigator
25 told me that now the interview is over and you have to look at these
1 pictures. He explained to me, There will be six pictures on a piece of
2 paper. Each photograph has a number on it. You have to round the number
3 of the person that you recognise, and when you circle the number you have
4 to write your name beside the circle. And I said, Yes, I understand.
5 There was this piece of paper with six photographs. He asked me,
6 Do you know any one of these people here? At the moment, if I speak the
7 truth, I saw Shala, and I banged my fist on the table and I said, This is
8 the one. And he said, Don't hurry, you can have -- you can look at him
9 for five minutes, ten minutes. You can go outside, calm yourself down.
10 And I said, I don't need to go outside. And I underlined the number with
11 a pen and I wrote here (redacted) and I wrote here, this is
12 Haradin Bala, Shala. This was the first one.
13 The second --
14 Q. I'm going to interrupt you for a moment, Witness.
15 MR. WHITING: If we could show -- with the assistance of the
16 usher if we could show tab 7, please. And I would ask that it not be
17 placed on the ELMO.
18 Could we go into private session, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 2368-2371 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Witness, we're back into open session. You -- before we looked
7 at the photographs, you described how this encounter with this commander
8 who is referred to as Commander Celiku and then continuing the march with
9 a third soldier. What happened next?
10 A. We went up the path, and after some time Murrizi, as I said, he
11 was always at the front of the line. And I heard Murrizi once say, Where
12 are we going, to Berisa or Klecka? Shala did not answer. He did not say
13 Berisa or Klecka; he just said, Take a left. After a little bit of time,
14 there was a path there on the left and Murrizi took the left path. We
15 had to follow him, Murrizi.
16 From there, maybe a thousand metres from there, there was a
17 clearing, a meadow, and there was a cherry tree there and also a well, a
18 spring of water. It was a spring -- a source of water. At the cherry
19 tree, Shala ordered us to stop there and we all sat down. We were so
20 tired, exhausted. It was very hot. Shala, Murrizi, and the third
21 soldier - I don't know his name to this day - they sat down there with
22 their Kalashnikovs in their hands. Shala and the other soldier had a
23 Kalashnikov, while Murrizi had a rifle. We stopped there, had a break
24 for a while.
25 Q. Now, Witness, I'm going to ask the usher to show you image 7 from
1 P001. Witness, have you seen this map before?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did I show it to you when we were preparing your testimony before
4 coming here to court?
5 A. Yes, it was like that. Yes.
6 Q. Can you orient yourself on this map? Do you see where it's
7 marked Lapusnik?
8 A. Can I turn it like this? Yes. I will circle Lapusnik here.
9 Q. Actually, what I'm going to ask you is if -- are you able to draw
10 approximately the route that you think you took from Lapusnik to the
11 cherry tree?
12 A. Where the red circle is, that's where Lapusnik is and the prison.
13 This is the route from the prison to the cherry tree.
14 Q. Now, are you able to show approximately where the encounter with
15 the commander occurred?
16 A. Let me turn it this way.
17 Q. And if -- is that circle where you -- where approximately the
18 encounter where the commander occurred?
19 A. Here the encounter with the commander and the persons who are
20 with him took place, and here's where he assigned Shala another soldier.
21 Up to this point, we walked only with Shala and Murrizi.
22 Q. Witness, could you put a number 1 next to that circle.
23 A. [Witness complies]
24 Q. And the point where Murrizi asked, Are we going to Berisa or are
25 we going to Klecka, and Shala said, Turn left, are you able -- can you
1 put a 2 there?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'd ask that this be given a number,
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number P106.
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Witness, how long did you spend at the cherry tree?
9 A. I think we stayed two to three hours at the cherry tree.
10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
13 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Witness, after the two or three hours at the cherry tree, what
24 A. After some time, Shala received his lunch. We were watching
25 while he was eating in our presence. When he finished his lunch, he lit
1 a cigarette, because he smoked then, and then he stood up. And he said,
2 Now I will call out some names, and he who hears his name shall come here
3 and separate from the group. He took out a notebook from his pocket, a
4 pen, and he started to call names. I heard him when he said (redacted)
5 (redacted) then the person should reply, Yes, I'm here, and then go to the
6 other side, separate from the group. I heard him call the name of Adem.
7 I heard him call the names of the Xhemtafa family members; there were
8 three of them there. I know that the person from Varigovc also left with
9 the first group.
10 So he gathered them and said to them, Listen, I will take you to
11 another point. He said to Murriz, You will stay here and be careful; he
12 said the same thing to the other person whose name I didn't know. So
13 Shala set off with this group, and they walked downhill.
14 Q. Witness, you said he called out (redacted), Adem, the three
15 Xhemtafas, and the person from Varigovc. Do you remember any other of
16 the prisoners leaving with this group?
17 A. Yes. Milaim Hoxha was also in this group, Milaim Hoxha from
18 Racak. Muje from Belince.
19 Q. Witness, you said that Shala ate lunch. Do you remember how he
20 got a lunch?
21 A. Someone from uphill, from Berisa, brought him lunch. I don't
22 know who it was; I just saw that it was a man who brought him the food.
23 We just saw him eat there in our presence.
24 Q. Did this person bring food for anybody else?
25 A. It is quite interesting, the fact I mean that neither Murrizi or
1 the other soldier had lunch with Shala, and let alone us prisoners.
2 Q. You said that Shala left with this group. Did he -- did Shala
4 A. Yes. After some time Shala returned. I could say that about 40
5 minutes had passed; it was more than half an hour that had passed when he
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
10 [Private session]
11 Page 2378 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Witness, after Shala called out the names of this other -- this
12 second group, what happened?
13 A. Shala said, Now we will go to another point. He ordered Murriz
14 to lead the group again. In the beginning, we took the same direction as
15 the first group; and after 2 to 300 metres he then said to Murriz to take
16 the right. It was a young forest there; it was like a mountain path, not
17 a path used by tractors. So it was kind of a clearing. We were down --
18 going downhill. And there nearby was a forest. We got to a main road,
19 if I can say so, a road that can be used by tractors as well. There we
20 crossed a small stream, and Shala stopped there and said to us that we
21 could drink some water. Some had some water; some didn't. Then there
22 was a meadow on a turn, and then we reached a junction, a crossroads.
23 Just before the crossroads, Shala said to Murrizi, Find a path that can
24 take us to the mountain. Murrizi kept to the left. We carried on for
25 another 100 metres on the left side. And then Shala saw a path used by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 pedestrians, which we followed for another 100 metres. There was a
2 clearing. Someone had can you tell the woods there, so it was a
3 clearing. And Shala said that we should stop there. We all stopped
5 As we were lined up, he ordered us to sit and we sat. I was the
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go briefly into private
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
10 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 MR. WHITING:
24 Q. Witness, what happened after you all sat down?
25 A. As we sat down, Shala, Murrizi, and the soldier all were at 7
1 metres away from us. Shala then furthered for another 5 metres. There I
2 saw Shala as he turned. He put a phone, a cellphone, in the pocket. I
3 don't know whether he spoke to someone, but I saw him put the phone in
4 his pocket. Then he came to Murrizi and to the soldier. He spoke with
5 them. I don't know what he told them. They took up positions. Shala
6 was in the middle, Murrizi to his left, the soldier to his right. So
7 Shala was in the middle.
8 Q. What happened next?
9 A. Then unexpectedly Shala said, This is your death penalty. When
10 he said, This is your death sentence, I saw him charge his Kalashnikov,
11 both Shala and the soldier who was opposite to me and Murrizi as well.
12 In that moment I just screamed, No. And as I was crouching, my hand was
13 (redacted). I couldn't escape in their direction, but I
14 could just run on the opposite direction. I was just about 1 metre away
15 (redacted) when I heard burst of fire coming from two Kalashnikovs.
16 The burst was directed on the people who were sitting down.
17 I remember that when I turned my head, the person who was
18 shooting in my direction was trying to get -- as I was running, I was
19 just falling down and standing up. And I just rolled down the road for
20 200 metres. There I stopped. I couldn't proceed because then it was
21 kind of uphill and I thought that I could be visible to them and they
22 would shoot me. There I found two stones and said to myself, In case
23 they come and catch me, I will use these for my defence. I could no
24 longer hear any bursts of fire, any scream, any sound, nothing.
25 Q. And where did you go?
1 A. I spent quite a long time there. I had to follow the situation
2 to see what was going to happen. It was clear to me that I left (redacted)
3 (redacted). I walked down the hill. It was somewhere between Kishna
4 Reka and Nekovce. I had to wait till it got dark.
5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 2384-2400 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 MR. WHITING:
1 Q. And what language was the interview in?
2 A. The interview was conducted in English and Albanian.
3 Q. Do you remember the next time you were interviewed by CCIU?
4 A. Yes. It was exactly a year later in 2001, it was August.
5 Q. And before that interview, did you go somewhere?
6 A. Yes. Before going to CCIU in Pristina in August, with (redacted)
7 and (redacted) we went to Lapusnik, to the prison. From Lapusnik
8 by car - I had bought a four-wheel drive at the time - we went to that
9 rock where we saw Commander Celiku. From that cross path, we went to the
10 cherry tree. We left the car there. And I explained to them, That's
11 where we came all together and where the two groups were divided. And
12 now we have to find where the killed people are. It took some time to
13 find the place where they were killed.
14 Q. Did you find it?
15 A. Eventually I found where -- the place where they were executed,
16 and they had put some soil on it. They had covered them but, you know,
17 the animals had passed there and there had been snow and the weather
18 conditions. And some of the bones showed. And I told (redacted)
19 (redacted), This is where I was. (redacted) This is
20 where (redacted) was. This is where I was crouching and my hand was on
21 (redacted) shoulder. And there were skulls there and bones there. And
22 (redacted) lost control and said, I will not go home without his body. I
23 want his body. Then we took him by the arms. We had to stop him because
24 he lost control completely. He could not control himself at all.
25 Q. Witness, did you -- when you were interviewed then by CCIU, did
1 you tell them where this place was where you saw these bones?
2 A. Yes. I went to CCIU in Pristina now, not in Lipjan, and I told
3 them how I had been to the prison, I went to the place of execution.
4 Q. And did you take them to the place of execution and show them
5 where it was?
6 A. Yes. I took them there to the place of execution and I told them
7 that, If you leave these victims here tonight, tomorrow there will be no
8 bones here for you to find.
9 Q. Thank you, Witness.
10 MR. WHITING: I think this is a convenient time to break, Your
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
13 We will adjourn now overnight, resuming tomorrow at 2.15.
14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry, there's just one small
15 matter, that is I think there is one redaction from this last bit. I
16 thank the registrar for alerting me.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
21 January, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.