1 Monday, 28 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon to all.
6 Mr. Whiting.
7 MR. WHITING: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Just before we begin
8 with the next witness I'd like to take a moment to introduce to the Court
9 another member of the Prosecution team, who is seated to my right at the
10 end, Mr. Milbert Shin. He's been working with the team for a while, but
11 behind the scenes, and today he makes his first appearance in the
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Welcome, Mr. Shin.
14 MR. WHITING: We just wanted to confuse you further, Your Honour,
15 with another face on our side.
16 We're ready with the next witness, and he can be brought in.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Would you please make the
19 affirmation which is on the card placed before you now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Read it aloud, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down now.
25 Mr. Whiting has some questions for you.
1 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 WITNESS: RAMIZ QERIQI
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examined by Mr. Whiting:
6 Q. Sir, could you please state your name.
7 A. My name is Ramiz. My last name is Qeriqi.
8 Q. Have you ever been known by any nicknames?
9 A. Yes. I felt more honoured when I had the nickname Luani.
10 Q. And when did you get this nickname?
11 A. I got this pseudonym in -- sometime in 1991.
12 Q. Did you have that pseudonym during the war in 1998?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, were you subpoenaed here by the Court to testify
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. In April of 2003 were you -- did you have a summons from the
18 Office of the Prosecutor to appear for an interview as a suspect?
19 A. Yes. On 22nd of April, and I was announced. I reported on the
21 Q. Did you tell the truth during that interview?
22 A. I tried to tell the truth, and I believe I did so.
23 Q. Could you tell me the date of your birth, please.
24 A. 1950.
25 Q. I'm sorry. The date of your birth again?
1 A. 15 of April, 1962.
2 Q. Where were you born?
3 A. In Kroimire.
4 Q. And that's in Kosovo?
5 A. Kroimire is in Drenice, part of Northern Albania, which is today
6 called Kosova.
7 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us how far you went in your education.
8 A. Unfortunately I finished only the primary school in my native
9 village and the high school in Lipjan. I began university studies in the
10 faculty of biology in Pristina in 1981. But as the case was for us
11 Albanians, the Serbs -- the Shkji, meaning the Serbs -- drove us out of
12 the faculty, even though my faculty was not one that could create
13 problems for them. But they did their best to drive they the authorians
14 [as interpreted], the scholars, all Albanians from Kosova.
15 Q. After 1981 when you were kicked out of the university by the
16 Serbs, what did you do?
17 A. Many Albanians, some of us were imprisoned. The intellectuals
18 who has graduated of faculty, those who said no to the Serbs, telling
19 them Kosova is ours, were imprisoned, whereas myself and many others were
20 forced to leave the country. I could go to Slovenia, where my brother
21 was working, and I took shelter there with some friends of mine.
22 Q. After that were you at some point required to do your military
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When was that?
1 A. I did my military service in 1982/1983 in Slovenia. At that time
2 it was the Yugoslav army.
3 Q. What did you do after that?
4 A. After finishing the military service, I returned to Slovenia
5 again where my brother was to make a living, to work there, as a
6 labourer, manual labourer.
7 Q. How long did you stay in Slovenia?
8 A. In Slovenia I stayed until 1991 when the war broke out.
9 Q. From 1983 until 1991 did you have occasion to return to Kosovo?
10 A. Yes, many times, many times.
11 Q. Can you tell me what kind of work you did in Slovenia during that
12 time from 1983 to 1991.
13 A. In Slovenia I worked as a construction worker. Initially I
14 worked at some firms which were Albanian and Slovenian firms, joint
15 firms. After some time, after I learned the profession, I created my own
16 private construction company.
17 Q. What happened in Slovenia in 1991?
18 A. The Slovenian people loved freedom and independence. They wanted
19 to break away from Yugoslavia which was artificially created, something
20 which we too, Albanians, wanted to do, but we didn't have any support.
21 So the Slovenians began their war. At that time I became a volunteer
22 soldier to fight on the side of the Slovenian people, to protect the
23 children and old people. I called on my Albanian friends there. There
24 were about 33 of us who reported there as volunteers. I informed the
25 people concerned that we were willing and I gave them the names of the
1 people who were willing to fight, and they told us that they would let us
2 know if the need arose for us to fight. But the war was very brief, as
3 you all know, and there was no need for us to join the war. We only
4 wanted to give our humanitarian contribution to another war.
5 Q. Did you return to Kosovo in 1991?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Do you remember when in 1991?
8 A. Yes. The Slovenians offered to give me their papers, nationality
9 and so on. But at the end of 1991, in December it was, I returned to
11 Q. What did you do in Kosovo after you returned?
12 A. I returned to Kosova and tried to do some odd jobs here and there
13 when I managed to find a job, but most of the time I lived underground.
14 Q. What do you mean you lived underground?
15 A. I meant illegally from the then-government; from the Shkji, from
16 the Serbs, that is.
17 Q. Why were you living illegally in Kosovo?
18 A. Because I was an Albanian, I was born in Drenica, and my family
19 didn't speak Serbian.
20 Q. And so just to be clear, who considered you to be illegal?
21 A. Who considered us? I am saying that I lived as an illegal
22 because the Serbs at the time -- even before they had beaten me because
23 they had the power and it was considered normal thing to beat an
24 Albanian, and they were looking for an alleged weapon that I was supposed
25 to have, they wanted, I don't know, to throw me in jail. They wanted to
1 find a pretext, not only for -- in my case but in the case of many
2 Albanians they always found a pretext just to declare them, us Albanians,
3 as undesirable persons for the government.
4 Q. With the assistance of the usher I'm going to show you a map.
5 It's map 6 from Prosecution Exhibit 1.
6 MR. WHITING: And if it could be put on the ELMO, please.
7 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, could you please find your -- the village of your
8 birth, Kroimire.
9 MR. WHITING: And if he could be given a pen.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 MR. WHITING:
12 Q. Do you see it, sir?
13 A. Yes, I have a pen. This is here.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. WHITING: If the record could reflect that it's -- that the
16 witness has circled the village of Kroimire but I don't -- maybe you
17 could use that pen, maybe it will be more clear. Thank you.
18 Q. Now, could you draw a circle --
19 MR. WHITING: Actually, if you could pull out a little bit for
20 this next question on the ELMO.
21 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, could you draw a circle for us, please, around the
22 area that you referred to as Drenica. It may -- the whole area may not
23 be on the map but that part -- whatever's Drenica on that map, could you
24 draw a circle around it.
25 A. Not the whole of Drenica is here. I can describe it in words if
1 you want, as much as I know. Drenica is composed of several
2 municipalities: Skenderaj; Drenoc, Gllogovc it was called before; some
3 villages in Kline municipality; Lipjan municipality, Malisheve
4 municipality, some villages in Mitrovica, some in Vushtrri. Maybe I have
5 left out some villages, but these are more or less what it is comprised
6 of. Here I see only a small part of it.
7 This -- I see only a small part of it. Drenica is larger.
8 Q. I understand --
9 A. I couldn't pinpoint it properly here.
10 Q. Okay. But you've drawn a line that is in a U-shape that goes
11 from -- approximately from Korretice, down south towards Carraleve and up
12 around -- towards -- I'm having trouble -- Arlat and Negrovce. Is that
13 right? Is that the line that you've drawn?
14 A. Yes, that's it.
15 Q. And that area that is inside of that U-shape, that area is part
16 of the Drenice region?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. WHITING: Could this be given a number please, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This is P151.
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, you made a reference to having been beaten by the
23 Serb authorities. When did that happen?
24 A. That happened in 1990. I'm not accurate about the time, 1990 or
25 1991 probably.
1 Q. And can you describe for us what happened.
2 A. It was around 11.00 in the evening. I was returning from
3 Slovenia, where I had worked, and in a village, Rusinovce before going to
4 my village. After Rusinovce comes Shale; then Kroimire, my village. It
5 was there that, as I said the Serbs did with all the Albanians, they did
6 the same to me. They asked me -- they stopped me and asked me to show
7 the papers. He said, You didn't give me the documents properly. Put
8 your hands on your car, they told me, and they started to beat me. But
9 in fact that didn't weaken me; it made me stronger because I knew, and
10 this made it clear to me, they were our enemies.
11 Q. How many were there?
12 A. Five.
13 Q. And were you alone?
14 A. I was with a relative of mine.
15 Q. Now, in -- going back to the time when you returned to Kosovo in
16 December -- at the end of December 1991, did you -- during 1992, were you
17 involved with training people from Kosovo?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And where was this training?
20 A. This training was done in our mountains, first around Kroimire.
21 There is -- there are high mountains in a village called Karaqice. Then
22 we organised ourselves and we -- in 1992 we reached an agreement. I was
23 not the only one; there was a considerable group of people. And we found
24 the best location to go and we decided to go to Tirana to get trained.
25 It was myself, a friend of mine, Ruzhdi Saramati and Merita Mazreku. She
1 was responsible for the girls; I was responsible for the boys. My duty
2 was to help them cross the border.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Can you tell him to slow down, please.
4 MR. WHITING:
5 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, what you say has to be translated by the interpreters
6 and you're speaking very quickly. If you can slow down a little bit so
7 they can keep up with the translation.
8 A. Yes. I can repeat it again.
9 Q. I don't think you need to repeat. Just you can continue, but
10 just speak a little more slowly, please. You were telling us who was
11 involved, that Ruzhdi Saramati and Merita Mazreku --
12 A. Yes. Myself and Merita were responsible to take the people to
13 the training site. Halil Alidemaj and Ruzhdi were responsible for
14 collecting the means and -- so that we could use them and we tried to
15 train ourselves knowing the enemy we were facing, knowing that many times
16 we had used the soft language, but the they didn't want the soft language
17 so we prepared ourselves to use the language of force.
18 Q. Were you and these other people you've identified, were you part
19 of some group or movement or organisation at this time?
20 A. Yes. It was a Party of National Unity that undertook to do that.
21 We were groups of volunteers who wanted to contribute to the national
22 question irrespective of the sacrifices required. We were willing to lay
23 down our lives for this purpose. People from Skenderaj, Kroimire,
24 Prizren were involved. We had our centre in Prizren but we held many
25 meetings in Kroimire as well.
1 Q. Did you bring people from Kosovo to Albania for training?
2 A. Yes. Yes, we did.
3 Q. And when did this happen?
4 A. This happened -- we signed an agreement in 1992 -- we reached an
5 agreement in 1992. In 1993 we took a group.
6 Q. How many people were in the group?
7 A. Ten boys and five girls.
8 Q. Where were these people from?
9 A. I said earlier I think they were from the villages of Skenderaj;
10 from my village there were some. There were some from Prizren, from the
11 surrounding village of Malisheve. Here with me I have a photo of my
12 friends and myself, but not of all of us were -- are in this picture. If
13 you like, I can show it to you.
14 Q. That would be fine, if you could. And if you could put it on the
15 ELMO, please.
16 A. This picture is ...
17 Q. What is this a picture of, please?
18 A. This is a picture of the persons who were trained for a guerrilla
19 or frontal war to -- as the need might arise to respond to the Serbs.
20 Q. And where are you in this picture?
21 A. This person here is me. I don't think I have changed much by
22 this time.
23 MR. WHITING: The witness has identified the person in the second
24 row of the photograph all the way on the right, standing, with a white
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here. This is me, here.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Is Jete Hasani in this photograph?
4 A. Yes. He's in the middle but he was not trained. He only helped
5 us economically. The Serbs had beaten him, some policemen from Shtime,
6 Godance. They had beaten him so badly he had to go to Tirana for
7 treatment. After he recovered he met us. I knew him from before.
8 When he saw what we were trying to do, why we were in Tirana, he
9 began to help us financially because he got a good pay, and that's why
10 he's there with us in the picture.
11 Q. Can you point him out with the pointer, please.
12 A. I said in the middle standing.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. WHITING: The witness has pointed to the person in a blue
15 shirt standing in the middle of the second row.
16 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask, with your permission, that we be allowed
17 to make a copy of this photograph to be placed into evidence. I'm sure
18 you want to keep the original.
19 A. You can take it if you like. I have others at home. I can give
20 it to you.
21 Q. Um --
22 A. As you wish.
23 Q. Well, I think -- all right.
24 MR. WHITING: If this photograph could be marked, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, it will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That's number P152.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. How long did the training last?
4 A. Sometime between six and seven months.
5 Q. Can you describe the training for us?
6 A. The first part of it was held in a room. There we were trained
7 morally, physically, and psychologically. Then part of it was -- was
8 done in the forest and then another part in the city. I will explain to
9 you each and every one, if you want. Those who have an idea of training
10 know what it means to get trained in the forest and in the city.
11 Q. Well, let me just ask a few specific questions about the
12 training. Was there any training with weapons?
13 A. Not in Albania. Only when we returned to Kosova we did -- we
14 used the weapons because in Albania we worked illegally, even there.
15 Q. And can you tell me where it was in Albania that the training was
16 actually held?
17 A. I'm sorry, but it's a secret. It was a sports -- all kind of
19 Q. Well, I won't press it because it's not particularly important.
20 But did you -- you talked about bringing this group in 1993. Did you
21 bring any other groups after that to Albania for training?
22 A. Yes. We formed another group, but because of economic reasons we
23 had to turn them back. And we trained them in Kosova.
24 Q. Where did you do that training?
25 A. In the mountains around Kroimire, some around Pola [as
2 Q. And when you did that training, how many people were involved --
3 how many people were being trained?
4 A. Always in groups of ten. Sometimes in groups of five, but not
6 Q. Were you leading the training?
7 A. Not all of them, but I always was responsible for a group or was
8 involved with a group.
9 Q. Did -- drawing your attention to 1994, did you go somewhere in
10 that year?
11 A. In 1994 I went to Germany.
12 Q. Do you remember when in 1994?
13 A. On the 11th of February, 1994, I arrived in Munich.
14 Q. Why did you go to Germany?
15 A. Some friends sent me there to meet someone. There were some
16 friends who had collected some funds for us to keep doing what we were
17 doing. But with the friend that we started [as interpreted] we had false
18 documents, false papers, so my friend couldn't make it. Only myself made
19 it to Germany. And there I started to work regularly until 1998 --
20 excuse me. For seven months I did not report to the authorities,
21 thinking that I would return to my homeland again but I didn't because
22 things didn't change. So I had to report myself as a refugee and I
23 informed them of all the problems that I had in Kosova. And they granted
24 me asylum, gave me a German passport as a refugee, not as a German.
25 Q. And you said that you worked until 1998. Can you tell us what
1 kind of work you did.
2 A. Yes. I worked in construction and in some restaurants. After 12
3 we cleaned this restaurants. I worked for a firm called Whitman [phoen].
4 I worked for a construction company and I didn't feel shy [as
5 interpreted] to do this kind of work because I saw there Albanian
6 professors, academicians, doing similar jobs, even worse jobs. I
7 remember once a professor, a former professor of Kosova University, he
8 told me, Since you know this kind of job very well, you are a good
9 worker, please take me as your assistant. So this is what I did.
10 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, did you -- while you were in Germany, did you become
11 involved with a movement that related to Kosovo?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What was the name of the movement or the group?
14 A. Germany I worked with several movements, but mostly with Kosova
15 Popular Movement. There there were people of the National Unity Party
16 and LKCK. And the PD, that is Democratic Party of Albanians. This
17 movement was more organised; it had more activists. They were more
18 involved in the national liberation movement and I felt -- I related
19 better to this movement and I gave them -- I helped them. I found a hall
20 for them to get together. I only announced the people to come to this
21 meet -- to come to these meeting and found a place for the meetings.
22 Q. You said that the group was called the Kosovo Popular Movement.
23 Was that known by certain initials, that group?
24 A. Yes, LPK.
25 Q. And you referred to some other groups that the LPK was involved
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in, the LKCK. And what other groups besides the LKCK?
2 A. The Party of National Unity.
3 Q. Was that known by any initials?
4 A. UNIKOMB.
5 Q. Any other parties?
6 A. There was a party called PRSH, Revolution Party of Albanians. I
7 mentioned those with whom -- with which I worked because there were other
8 parties, but all of them moved towards this direction because the entire
9 people were of the opinion that without fighting we could never be
10 liberated. So other parties also went on the same lines. But LPK
11 undertook to work more and to conduct the legal warfare that was
12 organised in Kosova. And I thought that this is where I could render a
13 greater contribution since I was trained, I felt prepared.
14 Q. So just to be clear, the -- and I'll ask you some questions about
15 the LPK. The LPK advocated fighting in Kosovo to fight back against the
17 A. Not only LPK, but the entire nation. They were all against the
18 Serbs. But as I mentioned earlier, the LPK had members, had distinctive
19 members. Many of them had been prisoned [as interpreted] and had been
20 removed from Kosovo by Serbs by force. They wanted to leave -- to live
21 in Kosovo, but the authorities at that time wouldn't let them so they had
22 to leave. And to my opinion, they left the country only to return one
23 day and not to leave it forever. That's why I think that these members
24 had a stronger foundation as patriots and in their national work.
25 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, who was the leader of the LPK, if you know, at that
2 A. I might be mistaken here. Now it's Emrush. Maybe he was then at
3 that time. I know that these persons were there: Gafur Alushani, Ali
4 Ahmeti, Azem Syla, and many others whom I didn't know. But mainly they
5 were people who were well-known by the Albanians of Kosova.
6 Q. You mentioned Emrush. What is Emrush's last name? Or family
8 A. Xhemajli.
9 Q. Do you know where he was located at this time?
10 A. I don't know where, but the meetings were held at the canton of
11 Aargau in Switzerland.
12 Q. Did you go to Switzerland for meetings?
13 A. I went there when -- to ask for the permission to go and fight,
14 not earlier.
15 Q. When was that?
16 A. This was in January 1998. I had been there before, but I mainly
17 sent messages through some friends. I went there myself in January of
19 Q. Why did you go in January of 1998?
20 A. I believe that the entire world knows, not only myself, that at
21 that time Serbs massacred many families; and simply, it was a pre-war
22 stage in Kosova or even a war stage in Kosova. And I went there to ask
23 them to give me a permission to come to fight.
24 Q. Who did you ask?
25 A. I filed a written request. The presidency was there, those
1 persons whom I mentioned earlier, and some others whom I don't remember.
2 And the respect I had towards them and the trust that they enjoyed, I was
3 ready, actually, to go whenever they would tell me to go.
4 Q. And what was in the written request? What did you ask for?
5 A. I asked to be allowed to come to fight, to pay for my travel
6 expenses, because I wasn't alone. I was with several friends of mine.
7 The time was like that. You couldn't just come to a war; you had to
8 report somewhere. And this is what I did, I reported myself there and I
9 came legally to join the war.
10 Q. And were you asking to join the KLA to fight?
11 A. Not there but in Kosova. Maybe it was a misinterpretation
12 because it was said to fight there. "There" was Switzerland. I was
13 asking for permission to come and fight in Kosova.
14 Q. No, I understand that. You're right; it was a misinterpretation.
15 But my question was: Were you asking to fight with the KLA in Kosovo?
16 A. Of course. The KLA was all of us who wanted to fight, all the
17 Albanians at that time were KLA. Many times you could see the slogans on
18 the streets "We are the KLA" because it was the only force that actually
19 brought back the identity to the Kosova people, and I was part of it.
20 Q. You mentioned that you -- it was not just you, you were with
21 several friends of yours. Do you remember how many?
22 A. We were several, but despite the fact that I filed the request
23 and although all of us were volunteers, half of the group decided not to
24 come. So just one-half of the group went to Kosova. I don't know what
25 was the reason why they didn't come. Maybe they weren't prepared enough.
1 I think I have a paper here with me with the names of persons who were
2 there at that time.
3 Q. The names of the persons who were with you, who went to Kosovo
4 with you?
5 A. The names of the persons who filed a request to go and fight in
6 Kosova. And as I said, from that group there were some who went to
7 Kosova and some who didn't.
8 Q. Can you remember who went with you to Kosovo or do you need to
9 look at the paper that you say you have with you?
10 A. Excuse me. This is the paper with the names of persons who
11 requested to go to fight. Some of the persons who did some to fight are
12 here on the list and some others didn't. They didn't have the means to
13 come to Kosova. There are three or four here who actually came. Maybe
14 there are others who joined later, but I don't know.
15 Q. Can you get that list out?
16 A. I will find it now. This is the list that I comprised [as
17 interpreted] at that time. This is the way I originally compiled it, and
18 together with a request --
19 Q. How many people are on that list?
20 A. There are 12 persons on this list.
21 Q. And how many people ultimately went to Kosovo from those 12
23 A. Around six persons. Out of these 12, there are five or six.
24 Some came after me. Maybe a total of seven, but together with me five
25 people out of this list came to Kosova, and three or four others whose
1 names are not on this list.
2 Q. You can put that list away. When did you go -- did you get
3 permission to go with this group? I take it you did.
4 A. Yes. I obtained the permission later in March 1998. I did have
5 permission, but in March they called me and I went to collect the money
6 in Switzerland, the money was with Jashar Selihu and we began our journey
7 to Duraj.
8 Q. When you were in Germany, did you know Isak Musliu?
9 A. Yes, he was a friend of mine and we were very close.
10 Q. Was he involved in the LPK?
11 A. I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know as far as this
12 question is concerned. He was a friend of mine, a friend of my family.
13 And we did meet during information meetings for the KLA at the time when
14 Abedin Rexha and Ilaz Kodra were there as well and many other activists.
15 At that time he swore an oath to join the war as well. We didn't know
16 each other from before, although we don't live much -- far from each
17 other in Kosovo. After he swore the oath to join the war, we were
18 unseparable [as interpreted] in Germany, meaning I would go to see him in
19 his apartment, he would come to my house where I was staying with my
20 family. We would go together to these information meetings for the KLA.
21 We went together to the war.
22 Q. What do you mean you went together to the war?
23 A. We came to Kosova together. The group I came with, he was there,
25 Q. You said you went to Duraj. Was that in March of 1998?
1 A. End of March, sometime in end of March. I'm not quite accurate
2 about that month, but it should be late March/beginning of April.
3 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, this group that ultimately went to Kosovo, was any
4 person in charge of the group?
5 A. The group that I came with?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who was in charge of the group?
9 A. I was the leader of the group or the person responsible.
10 Q. When you got to Albania, what happened?
11 A. Friends waited for us there to give us instructions how to enter
13 Q. And did you receive instructions how to enter Kosovo?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who gave you the instructions?
16 A. Later on I realised that he was the general commander of the KLA.
17 He was Azem Syla and it was a pleasure for me to meet him because to my
18 opinion having him in such a position I thought that everything would go
19 for the better.
20 Q. Had you heard of him before you went to Albania?
21 A. I had heard of him as a name. We knew him as a name, as an
22 activist in the national issues. We respected him as a person. He was
23 wanted by the Serbs as well.
24 Q. For what, do you know?
25 A. For being Albanian and for knowing that Kosova belongs to
1 Albanians, and this is the reason why to my opinion. He knew this better
2 than we did.
3 Q. How long did you stay in Albania before going into Kosovo?
4 A. I don't know exactly, perhaps a week or two. I don't think it
5 was more than two weeks. Maybe a week, ten days, I'm not quite sure.
6 Q. And you said that Azem Syla gave you instructions on how to enter
7 Kosovo. Did he tell you where to go?
8 A. He came with us up to Krume.
9 Q. And what happened after that?
10 A. He then gave us the instructions where to go. He gave those
11 instructions to me.
12 Q. Where did he tell you where to go?
13 A. In Likovc.
14 Q. And did you go to Likovc?
15 A. After some difficulties, we managed to reach Likovc.
16 Q. What were the difficulties?
17 A. Of course the border itself, it was difficult to pass the border
18 because the Serbs had come from Serbia to guard the Albanian/Albanian [as
19 interpreted] border. So we had to be cautious. Although it was Albanian
20 territory, Serbs had built their border stations and were guarding the
21 border so that we wouldn't be able to penetrate. We had difficulties.
22 It took us several days to cross the border.
23 Q. You've made a few references to it, but just to be clear. Is it
24 your view that Kosovo is part of Albania?
25 A. Historically speaking, I think it is part of Albania. And
1 whenever I read history, it is clear to me that it has been secessed [as
2 interpreted] unjustly and that there shouldn't -- that it isn't
3 necessary, actually, to fight a war. But with diplomatic discussions,
4 something should be -- a solution should be found. 90 per cent are
5 Albanians; only 10 per cent are other nationalities.
6 Q. How long did it take you to get to Likovc?
7 A. From Krume it took us almost a week to get there.
8 Q. What happened when you got to Likovc?
9 A. There we saw that the army was well organised and it was a
10 pleasure for us to see that.
11 Q. Did you meet anybody?
12 A. Yes, the person who I was told to meet.
13 Q. And who was that?
14 A. I was told by Azem Syla to meet Agroni and number 10, pseudonym
15 number 10, meaning Rexhep Selimi.
16 Q. Did you bring -- give something to Rexhep Selimi?
17 A. Yes. I brought him a letter in which it was written where I was
18 supposed to go, what were my tasks and duties, although I was told about
19 that orally. To my knowledge in this letter it was stated that I should
20 be positioned in Kroimire area because I came from that village and I was
21 familiar with the terrain.
22 Q. How long did you spend in Likovc?
23 A. I stayed there for a week. Then I went to Klecke and then to
25 Q. When you went to Klecka, did you go by yourself or did you go
1 with somebody?
2 A. There I accidentally met Celiku and Sadik Shala, who is a martyr
3 now, and I went together with them.
4 Q. You went with them from Likovc to Klecka?
5 A. In Klecka, yes.
6 Q. When you accidentally met Celiku, did you have a conversation
7 with him? Did you talk with him?
8 A. He possibly heard from Rexhep Selimi that I was going to Klecke;
9 we didn't know each other from before. But during the conversation he
10 asked me whether I was going to Klecke; I said yes. For me it was a
11 great satisfaction to find out that soldiers of the KLA were in Klecka
12 knows the geostrategic importance of this place. We didn't discuss any
13 other matters. We just travelled together.
14 Q. Can you explain what you mean by the "geostrategic importance of
16 A. Klecka was a mountainous region and it was very easy to defend
17 ourselves from the Serbs, from the Serb army.
18 Q. Now, when you went from Likovc to Klecka, is this still in March
19 or is it in April?
20 A. No, this was in April.
21 Q. And the person you've referred to as "Celiku," did you know his
22 real name?
23 A. At that time I didn't.
24 Q. Did you later learn his real name?
25 A. Later I did learn his name.
1 Q. And what did you learn?
2 A. I learned that his name was Fatmir Limaj, same like me when many
3 soldiers didn't know my real name, since at that time we used pseudonyms.
4 Someone envisioned this that it is much better to use pseudonyms than
5 real names, and I think whoever that person was, he was right.
6 Q. You referred to Sadik Shala and you said he was a martyr. Do you
7 know what village Sadik Shala was from?
8 A. From Klecka.
9 Q. And when was he killed, if you know?
10 A. To my knowledge he was killed during the Rahovec battle.
11 Q. Did Celiku tell you what he was doing in Klecka?
12 A. No, there was no need for him to tell us that because we are
13 travelling there together. He just said that they had based themselves
14 in Klecka, that things were doing -- going well, nothing else.
15 Q. Did you -- when you went to Klecka, did you stay in Klecka or did
16 you continue right away to Kroimire?
17 A. I spent two nights in Klecka and then I proceeded to Kroimire.
18 Q. Did you go by yourself to Kroimire?
19 A. I went by myself simply to organise things, to call my friends
20 from the past and I was told -- I had the message with me to pass to them
21 so that we all mobilise and stop the Serb forces from penetrating in
22 villages in that area and stop them maltreating the population.
23 Q. How long did you stay in Kroimire?
24 A. I stayed there two nights, then I returned to Klecka. Then I
25 went back again. This happened for a week, Klecke-Kroimire,
1 Klecke-Kroimire. It went on for a week.
2 Q. And is this still in April of 1998 to your memory?
3 A. Yes, yes. This all happened within a week, as I said.
4 Q. And what happened after that week?
5 A. I had to go back to Likovc again and take my friends who were
6 there and together with them return to Klecke.
7 Q. I'm going to show you a photograph.
8 MR. WHITING: It is U003-3680. It's been provided to the Court.
9 It's the fourth item, number 4. And if it could be placed on the ELMO,
10 please. If it could be raised up so the whole photograph is visible.
11 Could it be slid up a little more, please. Thank you.
12 Q. Sir, do you recognise this photograph?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. When was -- do you know when this photograph was taken?
15 A. This photograph could have been taken in the end of April or
16 beginning of May.
17 Q. And who is in this photograph?
18 A. On this photograph there is Kumanova, Ismet Jashari; Isak Musliu,
19 Qerqizi; Celiku, Fatmir Limaj; and Luani, Commander Luani, who is me,
21 Q. There's some handwriting underneath the typewritten text, is that
22 your handwriting?
23 A. This is my handwriting and I confirm now that this is what I
24 wrote on the day when you first interviewed me.
25 Q. Can you just read what is written there in the handwriting.
1 A. This photograph was really taken in Klecka in the oda or
2 guestroom of Hafir Manit. The handwriting is correct, meaning I do
3 certify that this is my handwriting. Then it's my name and signature.
4 Q. The oda of Hafir Manit, is Hafir Manit related to Sadik Shala?
5 A. He is Sadik's father. So the oda was of Sadik, but usually we
6 say it belongs to the person, to the head of the family, the elderly
7 person of the family.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. WHITING: The photograph can be taken off the ELMO.
10 And could this be given an exhibit number, please, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. WHITING: The photograph and the translation that goes with
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P153.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
16 Mr. Whiting, I think this might be a convenient time and we'll
17 resume -- we'll have a break now and resume at 10 minutes to 4.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.25 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 3.53 p.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
21 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I want to draw your attention to the beginning of May
23 1998. Were you involved in any fighting at that time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where?
1 A. In Lapusnik.
2 Q. Do you remember the date of that fighting?
3 A. 9th of May.
4 Q. How did you get to Lapusnik?
5 A. At the time we were in Klecke and from Klecke we went to
6 Lapusnik, because we could hear shots. And we went to their rescue, to
7 the rescue of the persons who were fighting.
8 Q. Who else went to Lapusnik, if anybody?
9 A. We were three groups that left from Klecke. Each group had five
11 Q. Were there persons in charge of each group?
12 A. One group was chaired by me, one by Topi, and one by Celiku.
13 Q. Was anybody in charge of all three groups?
14 A. It was not that there was some person in charge. In Klecke there
15 was Fatmir, Celiku, who was in higher position, who was in charge.
16 Q. And with respect to the three groups that you said travelled to
17 Lapusnik from Klecka, was anybody in charge of those three groups at that
18 time? Just for the fighting in Lapusnik.
19 A. When we went to Lapusnik, Fatmir went with the first group. Then
20 Topi and myself went with our respective groups. Topi had a radio
21 transmitter; Fatmir didn't. We came later, maybe 20 minutes or so later.
22 Q. But my question is, Mr. Qeriqi: Was there any one person who was
23 in charge of the three groups who travelled from Klecka to Lapusnik?
24 A. Fatmir was in charge in Klecka, not myself, neither Topi.
25 Q. So you're saying that he was in charge of the three groups?
1 A. Yes, because he was responsible for the people who were in
3 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, what happened in Lapusnik?
4 A. In Lapusnik there was a fight going on. It was a great success
5 on the part of the KLA, but we who went there from Klecke - I'm talking
6 about my own group - didn't do much because when we came there the war
7 was about to finish. There was a pit [as interpreted] where -- by the
8 Serbs was in flames. For me, this was a great pleasure to see because
9 for the first time, I realised that we could be in a position to resist
10 the Serb attacks, that we were capable of protecting our lands because we
11 were in our own country. We were fighting for its liberation while all
12 the arsenal of weapons had come there from Belgrade. I think that nature
13 was on our side, because the means we had at our disposal compared to
14 what the Serbs had were -- it couldn't be compared. The Serbs were more
15 technically prepared, but the will, the just war, triumphed so we could
16 drive them back from that place where they were stationed. I think the
17 greatest success was scored by the other group that I didn't know, the
18 group that was situated on the other side of the road. I think it was
19 called Pellumbi, I am not sure. So they scored the greatest success. It
20 -- that day the soldiers rejoiced; they were very happy. And this gave
21 us greater strength to go on with our liberation war. We won against a
22 greatest force. So this is how I saw that battle.
23 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, did the KLA forces suffer any losses?
24 A. I don't think the Serbs had any casualties but one of our
25 soldiers was killed and another was injured.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And you said that you drove them back from that place, speaking
2 about the Serbs. Where did you drive them back to?
3 A. The Serbs returned to their former position, to Komorane. From
4 the position they had, they withdrew and they went back to Komorane.
5 There is a hill called Cuka I think. Cuka, I think, in Komorane. This
6 is where they went. Some of them settled in -- were stationed in -- at a
8 Q. You --
9 A. Kris [as interpreted].
10 Q. You referred to another group on the other side of the road and
11 you said you think that they were called Pellumbi. What road is that
12 that you're referring to?
13 A. The road that -- the main road, Peja-Prishtine.
14 Q. Did you see Ymer Alushani during that fight?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Did you know him before that date?
17 A. I did, but not in this circumstance -- in these circumstances. I
18 knew him as an individual, as a person. He was a person that struck
19 everybody's eyes. He was very tall. Sometimes when I went to Komorane
20 or some other villages, I happened to see him. So I knew him, but not in
21 the course of the organisation fighting.
22 Q. What was his nickname during the war?
23 A. At that time I didn't know his pseudonym. It was an occasional
24 meeting, but later I found out that his pseudonym was Voglushi.
25 Q. What village was he from, if you know?
1 A. From Komorane, as far as I know.
2 Q. After that fight on the 9th of May, do you know how long Lapusnik
3 stayed under the control of the KLA?
4 A. I think up to the first offensive. I believe so because I was
5 not in charge of Lapusnik.
6 Q. And the first offensive that you're referring to occurred when?
7 A. I think it was in July, 25th, 26th.
8 Q. On the occasion of the 9th of May, how long did you stay in
10 A. Only the day of the fighting.
11 Q. Where did you do after that?
12 A. After that, I returned to Klecka.
13 Q. You referred to -- you said that Fatmir Limaj had a unit of five
14 persons who went. Did that unit have a name?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What was the name?
17 A. At that time, no, I don't know about the name.
18 Q. Did you learn about the name later?
19 A. Later they called them "Celiku," but on the day of the fighting
20 it didn't have a name.
21 Q. When did you hear the unit being called Celiku?
22 A. I'm not sure. It might have been end of May.
23 Q. Was Isak Musliu involved in the 9th of May fighting?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Which unit was he in? Your unit, Topi's unit, or Celiku's unit?
1 A. I want to explain. They were like squads because we were part of
2 the same unit more or less. I don't want to be misunderstood. When we
3 fought, when we attacked, we attacked in three groups of five. Isak was
4 with Celiku.
5 Q. Did you -- later in May did you have occasion to be involved in
6 fighting again in Lapusnik?
7 A. I went back on the 29th of May with three other soldiers that
8 were -- we were four people altogether, so help there because the Serbs
9 mounted an attack in Lapusnik. We went to a neighbourhood there, a
10 neighbourhood of Komorane, to assist -- I said to assist. So we started
11 to fight on the side -- on the wing. We waited until it became dark, and
12 then the forces withdrew, went back to the place I mentioned earlier, to
13 that crossroads, in Komorane.
14 Q. When you went to Lapusnik on the 29th of May, where did you come
16 A. I was in Kroimire at that time. And from Kroimire, I went to
17 Lapusnik, that is in a neighbourhood of Komorane.
18 Q. Why did you go to Lapusnik?
19 A. As I explained earlier, I went to assist there because we were
20 part of the same army.
21 Q. I understand. How did you know that assistance was needed?
22 A. My village and Komorane are very close. I heard the shots and I
23 went there to help.
24 Q. How long were you there on that occasion?
25 A. Only that day. I arrived there in the afternoon and I stayed
1 there until the evening and then I went back to Kroimire.
2 Q. During May or early June of 1998, were you involved in any other
4 A. I was involved also, I'm not sure about the date, in Ratkoc.
5 Q. Do you remember approximately about the date?
6 A. I don't remember the date. I could have found out if I wanted
7 because it is known when that battle was waged, the battle of Ratkoc.
8 Q. Do you remember what month?
9 A. I believe it was June. I think it was June.
10 Q. Where is Ratkoc?
11 A. Ratkoc is near Rahovec.
12 Q. When you went to Ratkoc, where did you go from?
13 A. That day I was in Klecke. From Klecke, I went to Ratkoc.
14 Q. Why did you go to Ratkoc?
15 A. We went to help there because there was fighting going on. The
16 day I went together with some five or six or eight persons.
17 Q. How did you know there was fighting going on there?
18 A. I believe someone must have told us that there was fighting going
19 on in Klecke. So a team of us left from Klecke. It was myself, Topi,
20 and some others whose names I don't know.
21 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, did you go on your own or did somebody tell you to
23 A. We couldn't go on our own anywhere without someone telling us.
24 When I was in Kroimire, for example, later none of the soldiers could
25 leave the place without me knowing or without me ordering him to go to a
1 fighting. So it was quite normal for someone to instruct us.
2 Q. Who instructed you to go to Ratkoc?
3 A. From Klecke every instruction came from Fatmir, as the case was
4 with me in Kroimire or with other people in other places.
5 Q. I want to go back to Kroimire and focus on May of 1998 because
6 you've told us that you were in Kroimire during that -- at times during
7 that month. Can you tell us what you did there?
8 A. In Kroimire I organised the people. I -- we started work, to dig
9 trenches, not in Kroimire but in Carraleve because Kroimire was kind of
10 protected from Carraleve, from Zborce, Blinaje, Fushtice. So we started
11 to dig trenches, build bunkers. We admitted new soldiers. It was the
12 time when we came out openly.
13 Q. In May of 1998 and to the beginning of June of 1998, how many
14 soldiers did you have under your command in Kroimire?
15 A. I have a register somewhere. I think in Zborce and in Blinaje I
16 have been less times. I had about 100 persons, maybe 70 up to 100.
17 Q. Did you have a soldier by the name of Ramadan Behluli under your
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What was his position?
21 A. At first he was a squad commander.
22 Q. When was that? When was he a squad commander?
23 A. At the beginning, in May or in June. In June I think.
24 Q. When was he based?
25 A. He was linked with us. He worked with us. He was in Carraleve.
1 His positions were in Carraleve. He worked mostly to build the bunkers
2 and dig trenches there. They were in the vicinity of his home, because
3 that was his home place.
4 Q. Did you ever give orders to Ramadan Behluli?
5 A. I don't know -- of course in the war if a person in a higher
6 position assigns a task to someone, it's a kind of an order. Just to
7 give you an example, I told him to take the positions, to build the
8 bunkers and to be prepared, to be ready. Then when we were ready, we
9 should attack the Serb forces.
10 Q. When you told him to do those things, did you consider it --
11 those things to be orders?
12 A. Of course. In war this is an order. Of course.
13 Q. During -- during fighting that occurred in your area - and I'll
14 ask you more questions about that later - but during fighting that
15 occurred in your area, did you give orders?
16 A. I'm telling you how things happened during the war. We had a
17 place where all the soldiers went. I, who was their commander or leader
18 in charge of them during the war, I distributed them to several points.
19 We didn't have so many soldier -- as many soldiers as the Serbs had. We
20 had to spread them out by -- in threes in many places. And I consider it
21 an order because they heard me. When I told them, Go here and there in
22 threes, so I positioned them in these points. It's an order; it's not an
23 agreement. We didn't have time to reach agreements. So it was a sort of
24 order, I would say. So I ordered them to take up positions and not to
25 allow the Serbs to enter the place. This is how it was.
1 In the front -- they never went to the front without me being
2 there, maybe because I had greater experience. And then also I was
3 appointed as a kind of leader or a commander, if you like, when I was
4 there in the war.
5 But there is another thing. By the end of May I was not alone.
6 There was always someone else there.
7 Q. I'll ask you about that in a moment. But first, you mentioned
8 that you distributed -- you had soldiers in different points. Can you
9 tell me where those points were.
10 A. These points were in Carraleve. I have a sketch of how we
11 operated them. There was -- where we built our positions, but in some
12 places we couldn't finish building the positions, we didn't have bunkers.
13 So we had to find a suitable place to fight.
14 Q. You -- excuse me. You were based in Kroimire. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And you said you had a point in Carraleve. Did you have points
17 in any other places around Kroimire?
18 A. Yes, in Zborce, in Fushtice, and in Blinaje. But I went less,
19 very rarely, to the last two.
20 Q. And what about in Petrastica? Was there a point in Petrastica or
22 A. There was a barracks in Petrastica for the soldiers to sleep.
23 Excuse me, but I think I understood you meaning fighting points.
24 Q. You understood me correctly, and you've answered my question.
25 You mentioned that something happened at the end of May, that you
1 weren't alone. What happened at the end of May regarding the command of
2 your area?
3 A. I had been there earlier. I had organised the comrades. I had
4 called on them to join, but it was not -- it was done secretly because
5 not everybody could join, only those who we thought could join the war.
6 I found the people who could give us food, co-villagers. At this time
7 there was another leader who came, Shukri Buja.
8 Q. And what happened when he came?
9 A. I became like his assistant, his deputy. He had a greater
10 position than me.
11 Q. What did he say when he came, if anything? What did he tell you?
12 A. He came [as interpreted] that now I will be in charge from here
13 to Kacanik area. But I continued to do the same job in Carraleve, to
14 build positions and to prepare for defence.
15 Q. And did Shukri Buja concentrate on particular areas? Was he more
16 focused on particular areas?
17 A. He was more in Blinaje and in Fushtice. Sometimes he came to see
18 what we were doing, where I was.
19 Q. And you concentrated on Carraleve?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who -- if you know, who appointed Shukri Buja to this position?
22 A. I cannot know this. But probably someone higher up must have
23 appointed him. He couldn't have come on his own.
24 Q. Now, you've testified that in May of 1998, Shukri Buja came and
25 said that he was the commander of that area. At that time was there a
1 higher command above you and Shukri Buja?
2 A. Of course there was. We weren't there without having people
3 above us. I said from the beginning, when I came there, I came from
4 Albania. I met with Azem Syla who was above all of us. Rexhep Selimi.
5 I went to Klecke with Fatmir. I went to Kroimire every time.
6 In war this is how it is. Not everybody can do what he likes.
7 There is a chain of command. People are not appointed at will. Because
8 if you ask the people, they might have said, You can appoint this, you
9 should do that.
10 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, at this time when was the command that was just above
11 you and Shukri Buja? Where was it based?
12 A. I think Shukri knows better. I said I came from Likovc to
13 Klecke, from Klecke to Kroimire. And this is how the organisation line
15 Q. The organisation went from Likovc to Klecka to Kroimire?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And who was the commander in Klecka?
18 A. I think you must have forgotten. I said earlier that Fatmir was
19 the commander in Klecke. In Likovc it was Rexhep Selimi. The general
20 commander was Azem Syla. I think I already stated this earlier.
21 Q. During June and July of 1998, did you ever meet with Fatmir Limaj
22 in Klecka?
23 A. In June?
24 Q. In June and July did you ever meet with Fatmir Limaj in Klecka?
25 Did you ever see him there?
1 A. I have -- I met him when the fighting was going on. Otherwise at
2 this time -- I met him but I didn't take any orders or any assignments
3 from him because I was no longer the first person in charge, I was the
4 second one in Kroimire.
5 Q. When you met in Klecka did you tell him what was happening in
6 your area?
7 A. Not only with Fatmir, but every time we met with one other we
8 spoke about the successes we had scored. We talked about the successes,
9 about the work that was going on well in the front line. This is more or
10 less what we talked about.
11 Q. So is that answer yes, you would tell Fatmir Limaj what was
12 happening in your area, the successes, the work --
13 A. Yes, yes. Yes, yes.
14 Q. With the assistance of the usher I'm going to show you an
15 exhibit, a map.
16 MR. WHITING: It's map U003-3679. It's been provided to the
17 parties in the court. It's the third attachment. It's 3679.
18 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you see this map? Do you recognise this map?
19 A. Yes, yes, I did.
20 Q. Do you see your signature on this map? You might have to look on
21 the left there. I draw your attention to --
22 A. Yes, I can see it here.
23 Q. Do you see that there's a line drawn on that map? It's drawn --
24 do you see where the line is drawn? It's drawn around -- it's a big
25 circle that's around Klecka. It goes from Lipovica, Carraleve, all
1 around. Do you see that line on the map that's been drawn?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you draw that line?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. What does that line represent?
6 A. This represents the zone -- part of the zone where I served.
7 That is, it represents the four battalions that were in Klecke.
8 Q. And --
9 A. Under Klecke.
10 Q. And is this the zone as it existed at the time that we've just
11 been talking about, May/June 1998?
12 A. This zone existed even before that time but my battalion was not
13 organised in the way that I have drawn it here.
14 Q. And at the time -- at the time that we're talking about or even
15 earlier, as you've said, was this zone under the command of Klecka?
16 A. It was under the command of Klecka, but when I drew it it was as
17 a battalion and I led that battalion.
18 MR. WHITING: I'd ask that this be given a number please, Your
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: P154.
22 MR. WHITING: And it can be taken off the ELMO, please.
23 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, to your knowledge did Shukri Buja report to Klecka?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know.
25 But I would kindly ask you to see what appears on the monitor
1 because I can't see -- it doesn't work, my monitor. Because I can see
2 when it's being translated and I don't hurry.
3 Q. Do you know if Shukri Buja got orders from Klecka?
4 A. This I don't know. You might ask Shukri about this.
5 Another thing I want to say, I think earlier it was -- follow the
6 translation if I have it on the screen. I don't want to see my picture;
7 I want to see the text, if possible.
8 MR. WHITING: I would ask the usher to put the transcript up.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now it's okay.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. I want to draw your attention to fighting that occurred in your
12 area. Do you remember when the first fighting occurred?
13 A. The first fighting which I led in Carraleve, the preparation for
14 it, it occurred on the 14th of June. That day I felt happier than in
16 Q. What happened on that day?
17 A. That day we were prepared, we were in our positions. The Serbs
18 started to penetrate in Carraleve and headed towards Pjetershtice first
19 and then Kroimire. And we prevented them from advancing further. The
20 fight was very severe, but even though the Serbs were heavily equipped
21 and armed we managed to repel the attack. And I believe that that day
22 the Yugoslav Army and police suffered casualties. I don't know if they
23 died or not, but they were injured. I didn't have any casualties myself.
24 It was the first frontal attack that we had in Carraleve. They were from
25 Belgrade, the Serbs. Maybe there were other allies with them because I
1 think they spoke different languages.
2 Q. Where -- before they started to penetrate to Carraleve and head
3 towards Petrastica, where were the Serb forces based?
4 A. They were based in Pishat e Shtime [phoen], shtime, pine trees.
5 Those came from somewhere in Pristina to Lipjan. They had very strong
6 arsenal of weapons. So when they came there they attacked us.
7 Q. How long did the fighting last?
8 A. About -- the whole day I think.
9 Q. And can you describe what -- you said they had a very strong
10 arsenal of weapons. What kind of weapons did they have?
11 A. I don't know what they didn't have. They had tanks, Pragas,
12 heavy mortar guns, machine-guns, all kinds of rocket launchers, a whole
13 arsenal of heavy armaments up to the light weapons. That day they used
14 all of them, they attacked all -- they fired at the village also. They
15 used the heavy weapons against the village as well.
16 Q. Could you tell if it was the Serb army and police or just one of
17 the two?
18 A. In Carraleve they attacked together with the army, not only with
19 the police. I remember once it has been said not to attack the army.
20 However, the reason why I said I felt great was because we fought with
21 the Serbian army.
22 Q. And what kind of weapons did you have?
23 A. We had bigger weapons than the Serb ones. One Kalashnikov that
24 we had was much bigger than one of their tanks. We had light weaponry.
25 The biggest one was the hand-held rocket launcher. This was the biggest
1 weapon that we had. Then we had Kalashnikovs and sniper rifles as well
2 as 48 rifles. There were persons who used hunting rifles as well. These
3 are the weapons that we used and that turned to be more successful than
4 the ones of the Serbs. They returned empty-handed. They wanted to
5 penetrate, but their attack was repelled.
6 Q. Were you in command of the KLA forces in Carraleve during that
8 A. I was leading the battle at this time. I was a sort of
9 commander, of course, but with a decision I became a commander later. At
10 this time I was, as I said, a sort of commander. I led several soldiers.
11 I accepted the soldiers who just joined. I was following the building of
12 trenches and bunkers of the positions in one word. So I was always in
13 the vicinity of the place where these positions were being erected. So
14 it is quite normal that I was a person responsible.
15 Q. Did you direct the fighting on the 14th of June?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was there any other fighting in our area after that?
18 A. There was on 17th of June. Until the time of the offensive there
19 were six fights, and all of them were successful. The seventh one was
20 not that successful. We had to withdraw from Carraleve.
21 Q. The seventh one, is that the offensive at the end of July 1998?
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 Q. You said the seventh fight --
24 A. The seventh, yes. The seventh fighting is the last offensive.
25 It occurred on the 25th and 26th of July.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And you said there were six fights before that. Is the first of
2 those six fights on the 14th of June and the second one on the 17th of
4 A. Yes. And four other fightings, but I don't remember the dates
5 when they occurred.
6 Q. Let me ask you about the 17th of June, 1998. What happened in
7 that fighting?
8 A. On that day, as I said earlier, I achieved a success. One of my
9 soldiers was lightly injured. He had a scratch on his arm. So this was
10 a successful fighting as well, and there were no damages on my side.
11 Q. The soldier who was injured, who was that?
12 A. He was Ramadan Behluli.
13 Q. And did he go somewhere to get treated for his injury?
14 A. He went somewhere, but I don't know where exactly, somewhere in
15 the direction of Berisa. And I could have asked him where he got
16 treated, but I didn't. It wasn't much of an injury; it was just a
18 Q. The 17th of June, what start -- how did that fight start? What
19 caused that fight to start? Did you attack the Serbs? Did the Serbs
20 attack you?
21 A. To tell you the truth, we rarely attacked the Serbs. They were
22 the ones attacking us. We mainly organised ourselves to defend from
23 their attack and we could not attack the Serbs in our place. We were in
24 Carraleve, which was entirely inhabited by Albanians. I don't think a
25 Serb was ever born in Carraleve or in Kroimire in the history of mankind.
1 If we attacked them, we would have attacked them in Belgrade or in Nis.
2 So I don't find this question proper, whether we attacked them. It was
3 them who attacked us.
4 Q. I understand. So did you repel the attack on the 17th of June,
5 is that your testimony?
6 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
7 Q. On the occasion of the -- on the 17th of June, did you see Fatmir
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where did you see him?
11 A. In Kroimire.
12 Q. Why did he come to Kroimire, if you know?
13 A. Whenever there was fighting going on, comrades would come to
14 assist us. Like, as I said earlier, when I went to Komorane to assist
15 Lapusnik, they came to assist me but it was too late. The fighting had
16 already ended. I didn't meet him at the fighting; I met him in Kroimire.
17 Q. Did -- during the various fights that you have talked about in
18 your area, the six different battles, did other units ever come to help
19 your soldiers in the fighting?
20 A. Of course. There was always assistance from the person who I
21 mentioned earlier, Ymer Alushani, and there were from all these different
22 sides who came to assist.
23 Q. At this time when Ymer Alushani came to assist your soldiers, do
24 you know where he came from?
25 A. Of course we knew.
1 Q. Where did he come from?
2 A. I said earlier he came from Lapusnik area.
3 Q. Did you ever -- let me ask you this question first: How did you
4 communicate with other areas?
5 A. I didn't have a radio myself. Maybe someone had one, but we
6 mainly used couriers. Then the villagers would tell us where there was
7 fighting going on, and then we were obliged to go and assist the unit who
8 was waging the fight. And this was a normal thing to do.
9 Q. Did you ever send somebody, a courier, to get assistance for
10 fighting, to get any help, for fighting in your area?
11 A. No, I don't think I ever sent one.
12 Q. Never? You never did --
13 A. They came to me themselves. It is possible that I sent one, but
14 I don't remember. Not at this time. Not at this time.
15 Q. How -- do you know how Ymer Alushani came to assist you? How is
16 it he knew there was fighting in your area? If you know.
17 A. When there was fighting in Carraleve, as I mentioned earlier,
18 Lapusnik and Kroimire were not very far from each other and firing could
19 be heard. And when there was fighting going on in Carraleve the firing
20 can be heard even further, even in Drenoc because they were using heavy
22 It happened that during a fighting in Carraleve they used mortars
23 and rocket launchers and they killed one civilian in Kroimire, a female
24 with the name of Afir Detaqeriqi [phoen]. How is it then possible not to
25 hear of any fighting in Komorane or in Lapusnik when from Carraleve to
1 Kroimire it's only 7 kilometres apart? So this is what actually made for
2 the fighting to be heard at a greater distance. And it wasn't necessary
3 for me to call anyone. We were under the same uniform, under the same
5 Q. In July of 1998 did you participate in the fighting in Rahovec?
6 A. No. Although someone came to fetch me, he said that you should
7 go to Rahovec, but we were in a state of readiness. I had only a few
8 soldiers with me and it wasn't possible for me to go. If I wasn't in a
9 state of readiness, I would have gone to Rahovec.
10 Q. The person who came to give you that message, where did he come
11 from, if you know?
12 A. A person came to fetch some food in Klecke and there he heard
13 that there was fighting going on in Rahovec. And he said that whoever
14 wanted to join the fight could go and join, but I didn't have enough
15 soldiers. And I wasn't able to go and assist them.
16 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you know if somebody sent that person from Klecka?
17 A. I find this a repetitive question. I don't know if you do not
18 understand me or maybe you forgot the answer I gave already. As I said
19 earlier, Celiku was in Klecke and everything that came from Klecka was
20 known that was from Celiku. The same thing was for Kroimire and myself.
21 So everything that came from Kroimire was known that it came from me, and
22 later on from myself and Shukri Buja. So we led that place where we were
23 assigned to. We were in charge of the fightings, of the cause,
25 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you know the date of the fighting in Rahovec in
1 July? Do you know the specific date that that occurred?
2 A. I don't know. Unfortunately, I don't know because it was a great
3 fight, but I don't know this date by heart since I didn't take part in
5 Q. I want to draw your attention to the offensive that you've
6 already talked about, you've already referred to, at the end of July
7 1998. Where were you when this offensive occurred?
8 A. Which offensive? You mean the first offensive?
9 Q. The one on the 25th and 26th of July, 1998.
10 A. I was in the fightings in Carraleve. I would again say that this
11 was a heroic fighting. We suffered a casualty in Zborce. I lost my
12 first soldier and it was a great loss for myself. In addition, they took
13 up our positions in Zborce. It was impossible for us to stop them. The
14 Serb forces on that day killed an elderly person, a civilian, paralyzed
15 civilian who couldn't move. He was about 70, 80 years old. They played
16 with him as they wished. They massacred him.
17 Q. How did they massacre him? Do you know how that happened?
18 A. I don't know exactly. I found out from his family that he was
19 capped [as interpreted], tortured before he was killed. I can just
20 reproduce here what his son told me, and he said that he was killed
22 Q. You said that you lost your first soldier. Who was that?
23 A. The first soldier that I lost was Ruzhdi Selihu, and the
24 battalion that I led carried his name.
25 Q. From Carraleve, where did you go? You went to -- did you go to
1 Zborce? Did you fight in Zborce yourself?
2 A. No. The fighting was going on both in Carraleve and in Zborce.
3 They were attacking us from two different places. At that moment I was
4 leading the fighting in Carraleve. After that, I took two soldiers and
5 wanted to go and assist those in Zborce because they were in a more
6 difficult position than us. But by the time I got there, the Zborce
7 point had been taken over. In this time, an order arrived and that was
8 for us to free the highway because the Serbs were going to attack the
9 population. They began to shoot not only at us but at the village where
10 the population was taking shelter, and not only taking shelter but living
11 in their own houses.
12 Q. This order you've referred to to free the highway, where did this
13 order come from?
14 A. This order was brought by Shukri.
15 Q. Where was Shukri Buja during this fighting?
16 A. He must have been in Blinaje and at this time he came. I didn't
17 personally see him but the soldier told me that he told them to withdraw
18 and that we had to free the highway.
19 Q. Did Shukri Buja have a pseudonym?
20 A. Yes. His pseudonym was Kushtrimi [Realtime transcript read in
21 error: "Kushtriti"], Gazetari, Sokoli.
22 Q. Did you --
23 A. It's Kushtrimi, not Kushtriti. It's written here Kushtriti and
24 it's not Kushtriti. It's Kushtrimi with an M.
25 Q. Thank you for the correction. Can you describe your -- did you
1 have problems with Shukri Buja during this time?
2 A. No, we didn't have problems. It was a little bit difficult for
3 me to accept that order for withdrawal because I was against this order
4 for withdrawal. This was the only problem. Because it looked to me as
5 if he did it on purpose. Maybe he didn't do it on purpose, but that's
6 how I observed it. There wasn't any other problem.
7 Q. What do you mean? I don't understand. What do you mean he did
8 -- looked like he did it on purpose? Did what on purpose?
9 A. Maybe this was my opinion and could have been wrong because I
10 didn't want to withdraw and I opposed his order to withdraw because I
11 didn't see a reason for withdrawal. This was it, nothing more to it.
12 Q. Was there any discussion about this withdrawal later on?
13 A. I don't know if there was anything, but he justified his deed by
14 saying that somebody else told him to withdraw.
15 Q. Did he tell you who had told him to withdraw?
16 A. At that time he said that he received an order from the General
17 Staff, but personally I don't think he received an order from the General
18 Staff. It isn't possible that he met someone from there.
19 Q. Now, after this offensive where did you go?
20 A. After this offensive we withdrew our forces and took up our last
21 positions. The population sheltered in the gorges while we remained in
22 the villages in Pjetershtice, in Kroimire, and built up another defence
23 line. We began with new positions. We began with the construction of
24 bunkers and trenches.
25 Q. And how long after the offensive did you start doing this?
1 A. Immediately after the offence and maybe within two or three days.
2 It was immediately after the offensive. It's a rule of war. When you
3 are removed from one place, then you should build up a new defence line
4 in another place. So it was immediately after the offensive, after two,
5 three days, one week.
6 Q. After the offensive, did you -- were you appointed to a position?
7 A. For some time we couldn't see each other. I remained only with
8 my soldier for two or three weeks, around two weeks. Later on after the
9 offensive I was appointed a battalion commander, officially appointed
10 according to a decision.
11 Q. And with the assistance of the usher I'm going to show you a
12 document which is dated the 16th of August, 1998.
13 MR. WHITING: This is a document which has been supplied to
14 Defence counsel but it has not been supplied to the Court and we have
15 copies for the Court right now. It's also on the ELMO.
16 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you recognise this document?
17 A. Of course I recognise this document. I brought you this
18 document, and it is a document saying that from this time I am a
19 battalion commander, and from this time I recognise the brigade as a
20 brigade, and from this time I reported to the brigade, and from this time
21 he was my commander; the way it is.
22 Q. And who signed this?
23 A. Commander Celiku.
24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'd ask that this be given a number,
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
2 MR. WHITING: With the translation.
3 THE REGISTRAR: P155.
4 MR. WHITING:
5 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, did this appointment to battalion commander represent
6 a change in the structure in your area, the commander structure I mean?
7 A. No. With the exception that Shukri was no longer there, I was
8 alone. In other words, I was leading that battalion. Minor changes took
9 place with some soldiers. Restructuring took place, but at this time we
10 didn't know all the things. I was the commander, but at that time the
11 assisting commander for logistics, for example, was not appointed and at
12 this time now this commander is appointed.
13 [No interpretation]
14 Q. Is the transcript now appearing?
15 A. Yes, yes, it's okay.
16 Q. Where did Shukri Buja go, if you know?
17 A. To my knowledge he went to Nerodime zone.
18 Q. To your knowledge did -- from April of 1998 until September of
19 1998 did Fatmir Limaj's duties change or did they essentially remain the
21 A. I couldn't know exactly because I did not report to Fatmir at
22 that time, with the exception of the time when I received the decision.
23 But it was the same person, same in Kroimire, same in Klecke. From this
24 day when I received the appointment I reported to him. I have the
25 material of these reportings. I held meetings with the squad commanders.
1 I explained to them where our positions were, how many soldiers we had,
2 how many new soldiers joined us because we had new soldiers joining us
3 every day. So mainly I informed them about the military life in general
4 from the 16th of August. Prior to this date, I don't know. I have
5 nothing to say. I don't have the right.
6 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I want to take you back in time now. You testified
7 earlier that Isak Musliu was at the fighting in Lapusnik on the 9th of
8 May, 1998.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know what he did after that?
11 A. I don't know what he did after that. He remained there at that
12 time so I don't know what he did after.
13 Q. He remained where?
14 A. In Lapusnik. I know that on that day he remained in Lapusnik.
15 Q. And do you know what his position was after that time -- after
16 that date?
17 A. As I said, you asked this question earlier. I think that he
18 could have been a platoon commander in charge of 20 soldiers, not more;
19 but it is possible that I'm not that accurate here. Commander of a
21 Q. And at what time do you think that was the case? When do you
22 think he was the commander of a platoon?
23 A. I mean before the offensive, because after the offensive Lapusnik
24 was taken over. And this is my personal opinion and it might as well be
1 Q. After -- you said that you also participated in the fighting on
2 the 29th of May in Lapusnik. After that, from the 29th of May until the
3 end of July 1998, did you yourself go to Lapusnik?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. How long were you battalion commander? How long did you hold
6 that position?
7 A. I held the position of the battalion commander from the date on
8 the decision up to 10th or 15th of January, 1999. So from August to
10 Q. What happened in January 1999?
11 A. Following the order of the General Staff, I went to Tirana in
12 order to take some of my soldiers who had remained there injured, and to
13 visit my family which was there at the time.
14 Q. Did somebody replace you as battalion commander?
15 A. I left a deputy. His name is Elez Dyrmishi.
16 Q. How long had he been your deputy?
17 A. For some time. Earlier he was at a level of a battalion,
18 something with logistics. But in this position he was for some two
19 months. It is somewhere in my materials. I don't think he was in this
20 position for more than two months.
21 Q. But before that he had a logistics position; is that your
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I want to take you back to the time of the offensive at the end
25 of July 1998. Did you see some people arrive on a tractor in Kroimire?
1 A. There were many people who arrived on tractors. I don't know --
2 which ones do you mean?
3 Q. I'm speaking in particular about a group of men on a tractor
4 shortly after the offensive at the end of July 1998. Did you see that?
5 A. I remember you asking me this question on the first occasion. In
6 the beginning, I didn't remember and as the conversation went on I did.
7 I have seen it. I know what you mean.
8 Q. How many men were on the tractor?
9 A. I believe there were 11, 12, or 13, something like that.
10 Q. Did you recognise any of the men?
11 A. Yes, two of them.
12 Q. Who were they?
13 A. They were from Godance. One of them was Shefqet and the other
14 Adem; these were their names. My in-laws live near them and that's why I
15 knew them.
16 Q. Your in-laws live in Godance?
17 A. Yes, they are family with them.
18 Q. What is the family name of the two men you recognised?
19 A. Ramadani. To my knowledge it's Ramadani. I'm not sure.
20 Q. What did you do?
21 A. They were a group of travellers. There was fighting on -- going
22 on on that day and I was afraid that they might get killed by the Serbs.
23 So I took them to my house. It was around breakfast time. I gave them
24 some breakfast. And later on I assigned a person to them to show them
25 which routes to use, routes that were without Serbs so that they could go
1 to their house.
2 Q. When you say you brought two -- brought them to your house, are
3 you talking about the entire group or just those two men?
4 A. No, just those two men. Those were the only ones that I knew.
5 And as for the rest of the group, I also told them which route to take.
6 But I took to my home only these two. If I took all of them, at that
7 time it wouldn't have been possible for me to find that much space and
8 that much food.
9 Q. Did you learn where these people were coming from?
10 A. No, I didn't. But they were coming from Shale, from that area.
11 But later on I learned -- I found them there in the morning. Early in
12 the morning when I woke up, I found them in the village. But it's only
13 when you told me that they were coming from that direction, otherwise I
14 didn't know that.
15 Q. Before that you had never learned where more specifically they
16 had come from?
17 A. I didn't know, no, no. I only knew where they were heading to.
18 They wanted to go in the direction of Carraleve.
19 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't know if this is a convenient
20 time, judging from when we last broke. I'm in your hands.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Is it difficult to go on for another ten minutes?
22 If it's a significant difficulty, we can break.
23 MR. WHITING: It's not a significant difficulty. We're going to
24 head -- we're going to go into a long -- into a -- actually a long
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will resume at 20 minutes to 6.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.42 p.m.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, Mr. Powles had a brief matter to raise
5 and we thought it would be convenient to do now rather than wait until
6 the end.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Powles.
8 MR. POWLES: I'm grateful. Two weeks ago, I think on the 14th of
9 February, the Prosecution filed the Prosecution's motion for the
10 admission of Ramadan Behluli's prior statement as substantive evidence.
11 As I understand it a response from the Defence is due today.
12 JUDGE PARKER: That is correct.
13 MR. POWLES: I was nominated, unbeknownst to me, to draft a joint
14 response on behalf of the Defence --
15 JUDGE PARKER: There are descriptions for that sort of opening
16 comment, but I refrain from them.
17 MR. POWLES: I feel a little bit like I'm back at school not
18 having done by homework before my teacher. It's not actually completed
19 as yet. The Prosecution are content for the Defence to file something
20 within a week, and my application would be for the Defence to be granted
21 an additional seven days to draft such a response.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I have nods on each side of me. That's a generous
23 spirit of a new working session.
24 MR. POWLES: I'm very grateful. Perhaps I could push my luck.
25 That's in relation to the alibi notice that's also due today --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You drew that one as well?
2 MR. POWLES: That we can have done within 24 hours, and certainly
3 by 4.00 tomorrow it can be filed.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
5 MR. POWLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: I better jump up quite quickly if I could, Your
8 JUDGE PARKER: What were you put in to do?
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: I was put in to finalise the alibi notice and it
10 is final as we speak, but we have missed the filing time.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure you were distracted by events here.
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes, most definitely.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you so much.
15 MR. MANSFIELD: I fortunately haven't been given a task, so it's
16 not an apology for not doing one, but it is an apology about tomorrow.
17 May I just indicate and I hope it will be the last time I ever have to
18 mention a trial in London; however.
19 Last week I was due to give my final speech, however for a whole
20 week we waited while different jurors fell ill and one fell off a
21 motorcycle, I'm afraid, so I wasn't able to give it at all. In London
22 they've arranged that I give it tomorrow in one day and I come back here
23 on Wednesday.
24 Mr. Whiting very kindly has agreed that if my learned friends go
25 before me, which is acceptable, which is likely to be tomorrow and they
1 don't fill out the afternoon, he very kindly will have the witness
2 available for me first thing on Wednesday for any questions that are
3 left. I do apologise. I'm most grateful to everyone for their
4 cooperation. I thought I better mention it now rather than later.
5 JUDGE PARKER: That's fully understandable and I'm sure that it
6 will be a great relief to you to be finally free of that matter.
7 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, it will. Don't let those remarks be
8 reported in London.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Oh dear. And at some time before it slips the
10 time of Mr. Guy-Smith, we have to deal with his objection to Exhibit
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: I had thought I would wait until the conclusion
13 of today's proceedings, but I'm more than happy to address any at this
14 very moment --
15 JUDGE PARKER: I think not now unless you want to say you've got
16 nothing to say.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: No, I have a little bit.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It may be that if there is some time tomorrow when
19 cross-examination has finished for those present, but before the end of
20 our session, it may be convenient to deal with it then.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: That would be fine.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It is to mind.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Did you have any task assigned to you, Mr.
1 MR. WHITING: Many, Your Honour. And the next one is to continue
2 with the witness.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Splendid.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Qeriqi.
6 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I'm going to start a different subject now and that
9 is the subject of rules within the KLA. Did you have rules within the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'm going to -- with the assistance of the usher I'm going to
13 show you a document, and the ERN is U000-0445 to U000-0461.
14 MR. WHITING: And I believe it's just -- it's being provided to
15 the Chamber and it's been provided to Defence counsel. To be clear, this
16 is a document that the witness brought to our attention. We had it in
17 our possession; however, we have not translated it. We are -- we've
18 asked for it to be translated now. I am going to, however, ask - and
19 I've alerted Defence counsel to this - to ask the witness some questions
20 about the document.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 MR. WHITING:
23 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I'm not going to ask you if you recognise this, but
24 I'm just going to ask you if you know what this is.
25 A. I have brought this here. I have the original and you can keep
1 this. I have mine here with me. This is a provisional rule for the
2 organisation of the internal life in the army. I have it, yes.
3 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, when did you get this book?
4 A. I may have obtained it in the end of June.
5 Q. You say "may have." Was it before the first offensive that you
6 obtained this book?
7 A. Before the offensive.
8 Q. Do you remember how you obtained it?
9 A. I think that we had it -- myself and Shukri had this book and we
10 had to give it to each and every soldier for them to read it. And every
11 soldier did so.
12 Q. Do you remember where you obtained the book from?
13 A. I don't know where it came from, but it must have come from the
14 General Staff. That's what I think.
15 Q. Do you remember who gave it to you?
16 A. As I said, Shukri, to my belief, brought it here and both of us
17 had it and we gave it to the soldiers for them to read it. This happened
18 in the end of June.
19 Q. 1998?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you turn to the first page, please, and --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Under the -- there's a Roman numeral I and then there's a Roman
24 numeral II. What does the Roman numeral II say? Do you see what I'm
25 drawing your attention to?
1 MR. WHITING: Maybe the usher could assist in drawing his
2 attention. I don't know if "Roman numeral" translates very well.
3 A. I know, I know. This is just an example, an example that was
4 taken as to how to report to the 1st or to the 2nd Company. It's just an
6 Q. No. I'm -- let me draw -- you see the number 1 on that page?
7 The -- there's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Look at --
8 A. Oh, you mean these numbers? Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. You see the number 1 there? Can you read what it
10 says there.
11 A. This is the oath and it says --
12 Q. Okay. Hang on --
13 A. -- "As a member of the KLA --
14 Q. I'm just going to ask you to read a little slower so the
15 interpreters -- and I hope the interpreters have a copy of this - they're
16 shaking their head yes - so the interpreters could follow along. Can you
17 read number I there. It's the oath. Go ahead and read.
18 A. This was the oath we swore when we joined the war. "As a member
19 of the KLA" -- excuse me.
20 "As a member of the KLA I swear that I will fight for the
21 liberation of the occupied territories of Albania and their unity. I
22 will always be a disciplined fighter, vigilant and ready to sacrifice
23 even my life for the sacred interests of the homeland. If I violate this
24 oath I shall be punished with the most severe laws of war. If I betray,
25 I will lose my life. I swear."
1 This was the military oath that was taken then.
2 Q. Were soldiers required to take this oath?
3 A. Not every day. They took the oath only once. It was just enough
4 for the soldier to read it and he would then understand it.
5 Q. When did you take the oath?
6 A. Unfortunately I just read it here. On the day when it was
7 supposed to be taken, I was on the front line and that's why I never took
8 it, but I did earlier, during the illegal times. My oath ceremony
9 happened even earlier, but as for this I don't remember giving it. I did
10 swear an oath in 1992 when I went to Albania to prepare.
11 Q. Could you turn to page 5 of the document, please.
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 Q. And you see it's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 there.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you read what's under number 2, please.
16 A. "The commander is direct to their subordinates. The unit
17 commander is the direct commander for the company soldiers."
18 Q. And then at the -- there's one more line I think of number 2
20 A. "The commander has the right to give orders to his subordinates,
21 to check their fulfilment. It is normal for the commander to have the
22 right to give orders to his subordinates and to check whether those
23 orders were fulfilled."
24 Q. Could you read what -- number 4, please.
25 A. Which page?
1 Q. I'm sorry. On that same page, on page 5.
2 A. "The higher ranking officer has the legal right to ask from his
3 subordinates the fulfilment of rules, regulations, orders, instructions,
4 while the subordinate is obliged to carry out orders, decisions,
5 instructions, and so on."
6 Q. Could you turn to the next page, page 6, please, and read what's
7 under number 1, the first number 1.
8 A. "These are the rules concerning the orders and their fulfilment.
9 The order expresses the decision of the higher ranking officer for the
10 problem seeking solution. The orders are given in hierarchical way,
11 orally, in writing, and with other means of communication and are
12 obliging for -- to be carried out."
13 Q. And then could you read number 2, please.
14 A. "Orders shall not be discussed but they should be carried out
15 with honour, rapidly and precisely. The soldier is obliged to report to
16 his superior for the order that he has carried out. The person
17 responsible for the possible consequences from the order is the
19 Shall I read all of them?
20 Q. No, that's fine. Thank you. Could you turn to page 8, please.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you read number 8, just the first sentence of number 8.
23 A. "The soldiers are obliged to behave properly vis-a-vis the
24 citizens and foreign journalists."
25 Q. Could you read the last sentence of number 8. That comes just --
1 A. "The persons who should communicate with them should be brief
2 without giving any military information."
3 I think this is normal.
4 Q. Could you turn to page 10, please. Do you see on the -- on that
5 page there are a series of sentences that begin with the word "te" which
6 I may be mispronouncing.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you count down to the sixth one, the sixth sentence, "te merr
9 masa", and read that sentence.
10 A. "To take adequate measures against the persons who have violated
11 the norms sanctioned in the rules as well as other norms that would
12 damage the morale and the authority."
13 Q. Could you turn to page 23, please. Do you see the fifth sentence
14 down which begins "njerezve te panjohur." Could you read that sentence,
16 A. "The military has with him secret documents. He should sleep
17 somewhere in a family. He should leave the documentation with the
18 commander of the closest unit and guard it."
19 Q. And then could you turn to page 27, please. Could you read
20 number 1.
21 A. "In our conditions the military police is the executive civil
22 military body that operates all over the territory of Kosova, and
23 especially in the free territory that has been created by the Kosovo
24 Liberation Army. It is organised and defends the military and the
25 civilians in the territory of Kosova, supervises and regulates
1 communication, follows up and discovers the perpetrators of military and
2 civil criminal offences."
3 Q. Finally could you turn to page 28. Could you read the third
4 sentence "qu ushtarakeve".
5 A. What, do you mean? Yes.
6 "That the military and the soldiers when they violate the rules
7 shall withhold documentation, weapons, and accompany them up to the
8 required place or given place."
9 Q. The sentence after that.
10 A. "Not to use physical violence but only in those cases when they
11 are attacked and prevented from carrying out their duties; should not
12 use, that is, physical violence with the exception of those cases when
13 they are attacked and obstructed from the performance of their duties."
14 Q. The next sentence.
15 A. "All the perpetrators of criminal offences shall descend to the
16 respected by the end [as interpreted], together with the person, the
17 generalities -- his generalities. Personal data."
18 Read the other one?
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. "Should be careful and behave in a proper way when they go into
21 families and especially into the family that have contributed and
22 continued to make a contribution to our national war -- national
23 liberation war."
24 Q. And then the last sentence.
25 A. Shall I read it? It's good to read I think. The last one?
1 Q. That last sentence just before 6.
2 A. The entire 6?
3 Q. No, no. The last sentence --
4 A. Only the last one. I understood it.
5 "It is not allowed to make use of your personal powers for
6 personal spites or ire," I think.
7 This is why I brought it for the Court, for the Tribunal, to see
8 that there were rules for our army and we didn't dare do what we like or
9 what took somebody's whim.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you to do a little more reading. If you can go
11 back to page 28, there was two more that I wanted you to read on page 28.
12 A. 28?
13 Q. Yes, please. Number 8, please.
14 A. "When carrying out duties in the roadblock, all the soldiers
15 should be treated equally. The control should be made for all. With
16 proper behaviour the traveller should be convinced that you are carrying
17 out your duties to the people and to the homeland."
18 Q. And finally number 10, please.
19 A. "PU," meaning military police, "should always bear in mind that
20 it carry out the activity in the war and the level of responsibility
21 should respond to this situation. For the enemies and all those who in
22 various forms try to prevent or sabotage our liberation war, we should be
24 I think -- I can't read it very well. It's not a very --
25 Q. Just what you can read.
1 A. I can't see very well.
2 "These rules enter into force immediately."
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'd ask that this document be given a
5 number with the understanding that the Prosecution will provide a
6 complete translation as soon as it's prepared.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P156.
9 MR. WHITING:
10 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, you said that when you received these rules you read
11 them and you gave them to all your soldiers to read. Did you follow --
12 did you follow these rules?
13 A. That's how it was, yes. I think we followed them.
14 Q. Did you require the soldiers under your command to follow them?
15 A. We requested they did so, but there wasn't time because we were
16 fighting. But of course every soldier had to understand this regulation.
17 Q. There were some references in these rules to the military police.
18 To your knowledge, when was the military police formed in the KLA?
19 A. I think that in my area there were only two or four policemen for
20 a very short time. It could be beginning of July or end of June.
21 Sometime in end of June/beginning of July.
22 Q. What were the duties to your knowledge of the military police?
23 A. The duties of the military police were to look after the
24 soldiers, to check them, to check their behaviour. They helped with the
25 civilian population. These were the tasks; for example, to see how the
1 soldiers behaved on the streets and when there was fighting going on they
2 came to fight with us.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm going to go into a new series of
4 questions but before I do I would ask that the Court caution the witness
5 under Rule 90(E).
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Qeriqi, I've been asked to remind you that
7 under the system here if you are asked a question which you think might
8 incriminate you, you may object to answer that question on that basis.
9 Do you understand that idea?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partly I do understand it, but if
11 you could repeat it once again please.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The essence is that you can object to -- against
13 answering any question which you think the answer might incriminate you;
14 that is, disclose that you yourself are guilty of some criminal offence.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My coming here says that I'm ready
16 to give answers to all the questions.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that. This is just a precaution to
18 ensure that you are aware of your right. If you do have an objection on
19 this basis, say so before answering the question and we can then deal
20 with the issue.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I swore an oath here to tell the
22 truth and I will tell the truth for things that I know. And I don't see
23 a need to avoid any question that has been asked -- posed to me here.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, if you could just keep in mind
25 what I've said as Mr. Whiting moves on with his questions.
1 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you know who Emin Emini is? Did you know who he
5 A. Emin Emini?
6 Q. Yes. Is that name familiar to you?
7 A. Yes. I knew him. I know you asked me about this person during
8 the first interview that we had.
9 Q. Were you present when he was kidnapped on the 12th of June, 1998?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you participate in his kidnapping?
12 A. I said no. I don't even know that this person was kidnapped. I
13 didn't hear about this. I heard when you came to interview me.
14 Q. You didn't hear that he had been kidnapped in June of 1998? You
15 didn't know that?
16 A. I didn't know that.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me. Perhaps it's the vibrancy of Mr.
18 Whiting's tone as opposed to the question, but I believe we may be moving
19 into that oft-complained-of area of leading.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think it was not the substance of the question
21 that could found any such objection at the moment, but your ears, like
22 mine, noticed the tone.
23 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
24 MR. WHITING: I'll take, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I felt I didn't need to say that after the
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Do you know or did you Lutfi Xhemshiti?
4 A. Are you asking me? Because I didn't understand your question.
5 Q. I'll repeat the question. Did you know Lutfi Xhemshiti from
6 Bregu i Zi?
7 A. Lutfi Xhemshiti? No, I didn't know him.
8 Q. Did you know the Xhemshiti family from Bregu i Zi?
9 A. Yes. I had seen them once.
10 Q. Did you go to their house sometime in June of 1998?
11 A. Yes, I went there for a weapon. I collected a weapon at their
12 place and this was the first and last time for me to seize a weapon for
13 -- from a family. I felt very bad. When I entered the house in uniform,
14 the children were scared. I told them I -- the reason I was there was to
15 collect a weapon; but my entering there wearing a uniform, I didn't find
16 it just. That's why it was the first and last time I went to collect a
17 weapon. They gave me a weapon. It was a 48 rifle. I gave it to a
18 soldier and I never saw that family again.
19 Q. Did you go -- was that -- when was that, if you remember?
20 A. I couldn't be precise on the date. I don't know exactly.
21 Q. Do you remember what month?
22 A. It could be June, but again I'm not precise here.
23 Q. Was it before the offensive at the end of July 1998?
24 A. Before. Before the offensive I mean.
25 Q. When you went to the house, did you go during the day or did you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 go at night?
2 A. It was night.
3 Q. Do you remember what time at night?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know.
5 Q. Were the people in the house asleep when you went?
6 A. No, they were awake. All of them were awake.
7 Q. Who did you go with?
8 A. I was with several of my soldiers. I don't remember exactly who
9 was with me. Two or three soldiers were with me. It was evening, just
10 before dusk.
11 Q. Do you remember any of the soldiers who were with you?
12 A. I don't remember. No.
13 Q. Did you speak with anybody in the house?
14 A. Yes, with one person. I don't know whether he was his brother or
15 someone else. And to my knowledge Luta was there as well. He gave me
16 himself the weapon and a forest ranger's uniform.
17 Q. Did you have any conversation with Luta?
18 A. No. He just gave me the rifle and the uniform. As for the
19 uniform I said to him, I'm not here for the uniform. Thank you for the
20 weapon. But he said, I'll give you the uniform because it's identical
21 with the military uniform. And then I took the uniform as well, but it's
22 not that I asked him for the uniform. His family, entire family, was
23 there. His brother was there. I told him who I was. I gave him my name
24 and last name, everything.
25 Q. Do you know what his job was, Luta Xhemshiti's job? Do you know
1 what he did for work?
2 A. At that time somebody told me that he had a rifle, that he was a
3 forest ranger and that he had a rifle. So I went there for the rifle. I
4 didn't know anything else about him.
5 Q. Did he say anything about the KLA?
6 A. No, he just said to me that, I will come, too, nothing else.
7 Q. What did you say when he said, I will come?
8 A. I said to him, You'll come some other time. Today, just give me
9 the rifle. And then he said, Okay, I will get ready and I will come.
10 Q. Did you learn that -- did you later -- did you learn that a few
11 days later he was kidnapped?
12 A. No. No, I never learned this. I didn't know this thing.
13 Q. Did you ever learn that he had been kidnapped?
14 A. Later on, later on. Not at that time. Later on I just heard,
15 did not learn about it. His wife and one of his children were there and
16 asked if her husband was somewhere in that area. I don't know whether
17 she was with one child or two children. It was in Kroimire. I said to
18 her, I'm the person who came to your house and to whom you gave the
19 rifle. And there was no need for him to be kidnapped.
20 Q. When did that happen that you spoke to his wife?
21 A. I don't remember. I don't remember when but she was there. It
22 was during fighting.
23 Q. Which fighting?
24 A. I don't know precisely when this happened, but this was during
25 the time that I served in the army. This was probably after the
1 offensive, maybe September or October, but I can't give you an exact time
2 because I don't know exactly.
3 Q. And when she came to you to talk to you, what did she tell you?
4 A. She said to me, My husband is missing. Somebody took my husband.
5 And I said to her not somebody from the army, it's not possible. Nobody
6 from the army could take him.
7 Q. Did you ever hear anything else about what happened to this man?
8 A. No, nothing at all.
9 Q. Do you remember a man by the name of Hetem Rexhaj coming to your
10 headquarters in Kroimire?
11 A. I remember you asking me this question then and I needed quite
12 some time to remember this person. Two brothers were serving with me and
13 one of them was Hetem Rexhaj. Was that what you just said, that name,
14 Hetem Rexhaj?
15 Q. That's the name I said. Did you say two brothers were serving
16 with you? What do you mean?
17 A. Yes, two brothers. I don't know their names. They were not with
18 us but they came to us.
19 Q. What happened when they came to you?
20 A. One of them said, We were called to come to the KLA.
21 Q. What did you say?
22 A. I said to him, Just one of them or both? And he said, Just one
23 of us. And I said, Okay, one of you can stay and the other can leave.
24 And I also said to him that I was not the person who called them and that
25 it must have been somebody else who called them.
1 They set off for Shale. I told my soldiers to give them
2 directions. I had soldiers possessed in Kroimire, Shale, and Lapusnik.
3 They headed to Shale. Now, up to which point they got I don't know.
4 There was heavy fighting going on. It is just possible that they might
5 have been killed in fighting by the Serbs. I don't know.
6 Q. You said "one can stay and the other can leave."
7 A. No. The one will return home while the person who has been
8 called will stay. That person is alive. If one of them is not alive,
9 the other is and can face me. And if these are not the words I said to
10 him, I will be held responsible.
11 Q. And the one who -- what happened to the one who stayed?
12 A. I don't know. I just told him to proceed to Shale and that's
13 what he did; I never saw him again. My soldiers gave him directions for
15 Q. Do you know what happened to him?
16 A. I know that he went to Shale, that he set off for Shale.
17 Q. Do you know what happened to him after that?
18 A. I don't know anything more, nothing.
19 Q. Was he tied up?
20 A. No. There was no need for him to be tied up. When a person
21 comes and tells you that, I am called to join the army, then why should
22 you tie him up?
23 Q. I'm going to show you some photographs with the assistance of the
25 MR. WHITING: For the record the photographs are U003-2174, 2172,
1 2164, 2165. They don't need to be on the ELMO.
2 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, could you look through these photographs, please.
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Was there put on the ELMO a moment a photograph
5 that is subject to restriction?
6 MR. WHITING: The -- no, I don't believe so, Your Honour. It's a
7 -- the larger exhibit is under seal. However the photograph itself -- I
8 don't think there's any problem.
9 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you recognise any of the men in those photographs?
10 A. I don't. I looked at all the photos, but I don't know them.
11 Q. Do you know anything -- were you -- do you know anything about
12 four Serb men being taken from a bus in Carraleve on the -- around the
13 30th of June, 1998?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. Did you ever hear about men, Serb men, being taken -- stopped in
16 Carraleve --
17 A. No, I didn't.
18 Q. You have to let me finish my question before you answer.
19 A. Okay. I apologise.
20 Q. Did you ever hear anything about Serb men being taken from a bus
21 in Carraleve?
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. Do you know a soldier by the name of Rrahman Tafa?
24 A. I knew him; now he's a martyr.
25 Q. When was he killed?
1 A. He was killed on the 11th of April, 1999, in Koshare.
2 Q. In June of 1998 was he a soldier under your command?
3 A. Yes, Rrahman, yes.
4 Q. What about the Ramadan Lushi? Was he a soldier under your
6 A. There is not a person by this name; there has never been, Ramadan
8 Q. What about the Feradin [phoen] Gashi?
9 A. Feradin came later to be a soldier, but after the offensive, that
10 is. Before the offensive he was there only in passing, I think, with us.
11 He was engaged more in logistical affairs; he was not a regular
13 Q. I'm going to show you two more pictures, and for the record these
14 are U003-8699 and U003-8700.
15 A. I don't know him. No, I don't know them.
16 Q. Did you -- around -- This is around the 25th of June, 1998. Did
17 you hear anything about Zivorad Krstic or Srboljub Miladinovic being
18 taken from a bus in Carraleve?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Does that name, the second name, mean anything to you?
21 Miladinovic, a traffic policeman from Shtime.
22 A. I don't remember. I didn't hear anything.
23 Q. My question was: Is that name familiar to you? Did you know
24 that person?
25 A. No, I did not know him. I didn't live there to know them. I
1 told you, I lived abroad as of 1981. How could I know the Serbs?
2 Q. Did you ever hear about a traffic policeman being stopped or
3 arrested in Carraleve?
4 A. No, I did not, never.
5 Q. I'm going to show you some more pictures. For the record these
6 are -- it's U003-2166, U003-2167, and U003-2168. Mr. Qeriqi --
7 A. I don't know them either.
8 Q. Did you -- during June or July of 1998 did you hear anything
9 about three Serb men, two brothers and another man, being stopped and
10 taken from their car in your area?
11 A. I didn't hear and we didn't have the right to kidnap people. And
12 I don't believe people have been kidnapped by our soldiers.
13 Q. I'm going to show you another picture. This is U003-2171.
14 A. I don't know him either.
15 Q. Did you hear anything about two men being taken -- two Serb men
16 being taken from their delivery truck in your area during June or July of
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Did you hear -- during June and July of 1998 did you hear of any
20 Serb men captured in your area by KLA soldiers? Did you know of any Serb
21 men captured in your area by KLA soldiers?
22 A. No, I didn't hear. I told you earlier, nobody had the right to
23 kidnap anyone. It was not envisioned in our rules. I don't think
24 anybody dared do that. How could I hear this when we didn't do this?
25 Q. I'm going to show you some more pictures: 0323-1471, 0323-1436,
2 A. No, I don't know them.
3 Q. Do you know the names Agim Ademi, Vesel Ahmeti, Shyqyri Zymeri?
4 A. I never knew them before, but after the war I heard rumours about
5 them otherwise -- words about them. Otherwise I didn't know them. Agim
6 that you are saying, my in-laws live in his vicinity. I know he was
7 related to them, but I don't know more about that.
8 Q. These are the in-laws who live in Godance?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you involved with others in their kidnapping on the 27th of
11 June, 1998?
12 A. No, I did not take part in any kidnapping of these persons or
13 anyone else. I had no reason to do that. And I don't believe anyone did
15 Q. So I take it from that answer that you have no knowledge that
16 they were kidnapped in June of 1998. You don't know anything about that
17 is your testimony.
18 A. I have no knowledge about that and I am certain -- I'm fully sure
19 of what I'm saying that if I knew I would have certainly declared this
20 before this Tribunal. But I don't know anything. My admission is that I
21 don't know anything about this man.
22 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session, please?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 3624-3629 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn until 2.15 tomorrow.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of
20 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.