1 Wednesday, 2 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. I see that it has been possible
6 for all accused to be present today, which is reassuring.
7 Are we ready to continue -- oh, Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. I wish to give to the Chamber a brief
9 update as to where we are with regard to Mr. Bala's health. He was at
10 the hospital yesterday. He was checked, apparently, with regard
11 specifically to cardiac function and was cleared for those purposes and
12 then returned to the Detention Unit. Approximately 7.00 last night he
13 once again was experiencing, from what I understand his reporting to me,
14 extreme pain; requested the assistance of medical staff, which did not
15 arrive. He is in better shape today than he was before, and I have
16 discussed with him whether or not he is in a position and a condition to
17 proceed. Because quite frankly, my looking at him, he does not look
18 particularly well to me and I have seen him over a period of time and I
19 have noticed that on occasion he manifests his physical disability quite
21 He has told me he does not feel particularly good today. He has
22 also told me that he can carry on and wishes to carry on because he does
23 not wish to delay the proceedings or have anyone feel at any point in
24 time that he is trying to delay these proceedings and is quite concerned
25 about a perception someone or some peoples might have in that regard.
1 I've told him that if he is comfortable proceeding today, I'm
2 willing to proceed. I've asked him in the event that if anything comes
3 up such that he is experiencing any further pain or further discomfort,
4 that he immediately notify me so that we can attend to the matter
6 I don't know if this is the appropriate time to raise the issue
7 again. We have previously discussed a comprehensive medical examination
8 for this gentleman. This is not the first time he has been in crisis.
9 Something is going on. I am not a doctor. And I would certainly never
10 wish to take the position that I know what is going on, because I don't.
11 There is something going on in this man that is a bit more profound than
12 normal and we are not reaching an understanding of what it is. I think
13 it would be prudent for the Trial Chamber, if you feel it appropriate, to
14 order another comprehensive medical examination of Mr. Bala to see if we
15 can get to the bottom of this for many, many reasons, not the least of
16 which is his health as well as the ability to make sure that the case
17 which he wishes to proceed in an expeditious manner is able to do so.
18 Other than that, I have very little to report with regard to that
19 particular issue.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith. I will make some
21 inquiries to see whether there is in the view of those presently
22 responsible for his care any reason to follow up your suggestion. Beyond
23 that, the position that you have indicated is very much what the Chamber
24 would think appropriate. Clearly, if your client feels significantly
25 unwell, that should be drawn to the Chamber's attention. Otherwise, if
1 we're able to continue, that is desirable. The -- your client should not
2 at any time feel that he should not draw attention to his health out of
3 concern that it may be thought he's trying to delay the trial.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour --
5 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
6 MR. WHITING: -- if I may briefly just add on this issue just one
7 piece of information, which is that this issue has come up before and in
8 fact it is my understanding that it's either in 2003 or it may have been
9 in 2004 there was a comprehensive medical examination ordered for this
10 very reason. It was done and the results were made available and the
11 case proceeded. Obviously one's health can change over time. It's been
12 -- it has -- there has been a passage of time and so perhaps it is
13 appropriate to do such an examination again. But I thought it should be
14 made clear that this issue has been addressed in the past and such exams
15 have been done. It may have been before Mr. Guy-Smith started
16 representing Mr. Bala; I don't recall.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Certainly before this Chamber was appointed to try
18 this case, if that has occurred.
19 MR. GUY-SMITH: It was indeed before this Chamber was appointed
20 to try the case. And Mr. Whiting is correct; other examinations have
21 been done. There is what I understand to be some unspecified aetiology,
22 although all parties seem to acknowledge that something is amiss. As we
23 all know, the science of medicine is somewhat inexact, although we wish
24 it not to be.
25 JUDGE PARKER: We won't compare it with law.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: No, not at all. I would never do such a thing.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Topolski.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honours, the present witness is out of court
4 at my request. It is, as I understand it, the case that Mr. Whiting has
5 finished his examination-in-chief of the witness. I was able to indicate
6 to him this morning a matter that I wish to raise before
7 cross-examination began and I should like to raise that in a moment. But
8 first may I place on record the position regarding Mr. Limaj, and Mr.
9 Mansfield. And may I thank the Court for its involvement and help
10 backstage this morning.
11 Nothing runs smooth as far as Mr. Mansfield's other case is
12 concerned and yet again he was confronted with yet another sick juror.
13 However I am able to tell you at the Central Criminal Court this morning
14 he concluded his closing speech and he is on his way back to this city as
15 we speak.
16 Your Honours, I think I shall be the only Defence counsel this
17 afternoon asking Mr. Qeriqi questions. Even if I went very slowly
18 indeed, I do not think I could take up the time it would take between now
19 and Mr. Mansfield's potential arrival -- subject to snow -- which is at
20 about into this building something at about just before 6.00. I know in
21 those circumstances, and I know Mr. Limaj is very grateful, as I
22 understand it the Court would not be overconcerned if Mr. Qeriqi went
23 over until tomorrow to enable Mr. Mansfield himself to cross-examine him
24 should that be necessary. And I know Mr. Whiting and I discussed whether
25 he, Qeriqi, could be interposed after the next witness has begun and for
1 a variety of reasons, all of which I sympathise and I know the Court
2 does, that was not thought by counsel to be desirable. With those pieces
3 of information and thanks to the Court, that is the position as far as
4 Mr. Mansfield is concerned.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that, Mr. Topolski.
6 Although we all appreciate it's unfortunate, it would I think be in the
7 best interest of Mr. Mansfield's client if Mr. Mansfield had time to draw
8 his breath after arriving and time to become familiar with what has
9 happened in the course of the evidence and your cross-examination.
10 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes.
11 JUDGE PARKER: For that reason, don't feel under any obligation
12 to hasten slowly. Get on with it and we'll enjoy the break.
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: I hope the phrase "get on with it" and "Topolski"
14 might be becoming synonymous in the Court's mind, but I don't push for an
15 answer to that question.
16 Your Honours, may I raise the matter I wanted to raise at the
17 conclusion of Mr. Qeriqi's evidence in-chief, and it's unusual to raise
18 it. It's unique in this case thus far to raise it, but I do so and I
19 should indicate straightaway what it is. What I seek from Mr. Whiting on
20 behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor is an indication as to what the
21 Prosecutor's position is with regard to this witness's evidence thus far.
22 Of course one appreciates and understands well that ultimately these are
23 matters for the Trial Chamber when it comes to consider guilt or
24 innocence of these accused, but, Your Honour, it impinges on the subject
25 matter of some of my cross-examination. I indicate now how, we submit,
1 this arises uniquely with regards to Qeriqi. First of all, there has not
2 been and there will not be any application for him to be regarded as a
3 hostile witness. Second of all, certainly in the jurisdiction from which
4 I practice and I know from which Your Honours do, too, and I know -- I
5 believe also Mr. Whiting's, the concept of a witness being called by the
6 Prosecution as a witness of truth is a concept that holds good for all
7 these jurisdictions and certainly for this one.
8 The next point is this: that one recognises certainly when the
9 Prosecution and perhaps even the Defence call a witness, it might be the
10 position that one is not necessarily calling a witness who one thinks as
11 prosecuting or Defence counsel is giving honest, truthful, and reliable
12 answers in relation to all matters, but only some. Here the situation
13 with regard to this witness is qualitatively different, we submit. And
14 that difference generates the need, as we perceive it to be, for Mr.
15 Whiting, to a degree at least, nail his colours to the mast.
16 And these are the reasons why, we submit, it arises. First of
17 all, this witness is and for all we know remains a suspect. He was
18 clearly told so in the opening lines of his interview -- at which Mr.
19 Whiting, I add in parentheses, was present -- when he was interviewed by
20 the ICTY. It is clearly the case indicated in evidence before you that
21 he submitted to a summons to appear for interview as a suspect and he
22 submitted to a subpoena to appear before this Court. I certainly would
23 propose to ask him whether he still believes himself to be a suspect in
24 this case. Whether or not Mr. Whiting is prepared to indicate whether he
25 is still a suspect or whether any indication has been given to him that
1 he is no longer a suspect we shall wait for Mr. Whiting's response.
2 The second matter is this: that other witnesses, and I pick one
3 example as an obvious one and we're in open session so I shall simply
4 refer to him by pseudonym, L-07, has given evidence of an interrogation
5 by people at which this witness was said to be present, an interrogation
6 that this witness was invited to deal with yesterday, in relation to
7 which he gave answers regarding the carriage of beer and cigarettes to,
8 as it were, both sides of the argument in Kosovo at once. What was not
9 put to him, of course, was the very serious allegation that L-07 made
10 that at that interview L-07's teeth were knocked out by a rifle butt; in
11 other words that this witness, in a position either as a perpetrator of a
12 criminal act or in a position of a command responsibility in relation to
13 a criminal act, was directly implicated.
14 One remembers clearly the tone in which Mr. Whiting perfectly
15 properly but firmly put to this witness in-chief a number of names of
16 disappeared and dead. And the unspoken allegation behind each and every
17 one of those was plainly that this witness knew or knows or might have
18 known of more than he was prepared to say. No application for hostility
19 was made. In effect, he denies or continues to deny any matter that
20 could link him to criminal behaviour.
21 Your Honours, this is not a public inquiry. Neutrality on this
22 by the Prosecution is not, in our submission, an option. We are entitled
23 to know the case we are obliged to meet and I am entitled to know how to
24 cross-examine this witness, given what Mr. Whiting's response to this
25 submission, if any, is or may be. May I just give two examples of why I
1 say it is relevant to my forthcoming cross-examination. This witness
2 gave evidence yesterday regarding what he understood to be my client's
3 position in Lapusnik. I'll put it no higher than this at the moment
4 because the Court is never blessed with the texts of interviews that have
5 preceded these proceedings. Let us put it neutrally and say that
6 contrasts with answers he gave in interview to Mr. Whiting and others. I
7 use the word "contrasts" in its proper sense. Whether I go down that
8 route or not depends to a degree at least, I can assure the Court, on how
9 Mr. Whiting responds to this submission, if invited to do so.
10 And the second matter is this, and I've already touched upon it
11 by giving one example of it, and it is not the only example, the position
12 of Ramadan Behluli is another example. But this Court has heard
13 allegations by other witnesses regarding this witness's conduct. And it
14 could be thought that in the spirit of fairness that if those allegations
15 are to hang in the air, this witness ought to be given an opportunity of
16 dealing with them. That is an area in relation to which I seek the
17 guidance of the Court in response to my submissions now because I want to
18 know whether, as it were, from my point of view that is an appropriate
19 and/or safe area in which to go. Of course matters of safety are matters
20 entirely for me; I appreciate that.
21 But, Your Honours, this is the situation we face as I have said
22 uniquely I think in the case thus far, and therefore it seem to us to be
23 both necessary and appropriate to raise this matter now. Of course, if
24 the Court's view is: Well, this is all a matter for the Court at the end
25 of the day and I must take my own course, well then of course I shall
1 abide by that and do so. But I hope the Court can see that there are
2 particular potential difficulties here. And it is well worth, in our
3 submission, airing them now, given this situation than leaving it until
4 it may be too late.
5 Your Honour, forgive me for taking a little time developing that,
6 but that is the matter upon which I seek the Court's assistance.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. --
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: I will join in the remarks made thus far by Mr.
9 Topolski. I have one second thought, but that also depends on the manner
10 in which Mr. Whiting responds to the issue presented in the event that
11 you're going to invite him to respond.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Mr. Whiting.
14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the Prosecution is quite resistant at
15 this point, in the middle of a witness's testimony, to begin a process of
16 evaluating that witness's testimony and offering the Prosecution's views
17 or opinions or judgement about what parts might be true, what parts might
18 not be true, what parts ultimately the Prosecution will rely on, what
19 parts it will not rely on. There's several reasons for this, and some
20 have been touched on by Mr. Topolski. The first is that it's not up to
21 the Prosecution but up to the Court to make the evaluation about the
22 witness's evidence, about whether to accept the evidence in whole or in
23 part. And therefore, even if the Prosecution were to put forward its
24 position on the witness, I wouldn't expect the Court would do the same,
25 and therefore Mr. Topolski would be in the same -- in really no better
1 position in terms of figuring out where to go on his cross-examination.
2 Ultimately it's going to be the Court's judgement that will matter, not
3 our judgement. So Mr. Topolski will have to keep that in mind.
4 The second point is that this evidence, as with all evidence in
5 this case, has to be evaluated in light of all the evidence that comes
6 in. Of course it may be possible during the case to make certain kind of
7 snap judgements about evidence, but ultimately witnesses -- their
8 evidence, documents, whatever comes in as evidence has to be evaluated in
9 light of everything at the end, and that is the appropriate time to --
10 for the Prosecution to make submissions about which evidence it intends
11 to rely on and for -- of course for the Defence to do so the same and for
12 the Court to make its evaluation.
13 As a general matter, I think it's -- it frequently happens in --
14 it will happen, I expect, in this trial if it hasn't already happened and
15 it happens in every trial in this building that witnesses will tell the
16 truth about certain matters and on other matters will not be accurate,
17 either intentionally or unintentionally. In particular, witnesses may be
18 less than candid about their own involvement in matters or the
19 involvement of their side in a conflict in matters. I think that is
20 common. And in fact, it's addressed in paragraph 7 at the very beginning
21 of the Strugar judgement of this Chamber, the fact that witnesses are
22 truthful on some matters, not on other matters; exaggerate certain
23 issues, minimise other issues. And it's up to the Court to weigh all of
24 that and to make a determination about whether to accept the witnesses'
25 evidence in whole or in part.
1 Now, Mr. Topolski in his submission stated that it is to be -- I
2 think he accepted this principle and said -- I don't have the line in
3 front of me, but said it's quite common for the Prosecution or the
4 Defence to call witnesses who will be truthful on some matters and not
5 truthful on other matters, but then he seeks to distinguish this witness
6 as a unique situation and made a few points on that which I will address.
7 The first point was that the witness was interviewed as a suspect and the
8 question is: Is he still a suspect or not? On this matter I see one --
9 one point where I should respond, and that is: The witness was told that
10 he was a suspect. If he -- at some point he received a different piece
11 of information or other evaluation of his status, I could accept that
12 that would -- could affect his evidence, and that is something that I
13 would -- I would be under an obligation to disclose. That has not
14 occurred. There has been no such information given to the witness. And
15 there -- on that -- on that specific point I think it's proper for the
16 Prosecution to be required to disclose if a witness has been informed
17 that his status in that regard has changed.
18 However, whether he is a suspect or not, what's going to happen
19 with him, those are matters -- aside from what he has been told, because
20 that might affect his evidence, what his status is in the mind of the
21 Prosecution I don't think is a relevant matter.
22 The second point is that Mr. Topolski said that -- or the
23 certainly doesn't distinguish this witness from any other witness who
24 might have involvement or have allegations of involvement in activities
25 and who might come and testify in this courtroom. The second point is
1 that Mr. Topolski asserts that the witness's evidence about his client's
2 position is different in the prior -- in his prior interview. Well,
3 that's -- well, that's -- that certainly doesn't distinguish him from
4 other witnesses who come into this courtroom and may tell the truth about
5 some matters and not other matters or be truthful entirely, and that's
6 something that Mr. Topolski can explore on cross-examination. That's a
7 proper subject for cross-examination. And I don't see any impediment to
9 The third point is that there -- Mr. Topolski said that the Court
10 has heard allegations against this witness and that the witness should be
11 given an opportunity to deal with them. That is precisely what I sought
12 to do at the end of my direct examination, is confront the witness with
13 the allegations that -- and the evidence that have been made against him
14 and give him an opportunity to deal with them and let the Court evaluate,
15 in light of all the other evidence, whether it believes that the witness
16 is being truthful in his responses on those subjects.
17 Now, there may be -- I tried to cover the ground as thoroughly as
18 I could, asking both general and specific questions. It may be that
19 there are specific allegations that I did not directly put to the
20 witness. Mr. Topolski has identified one about -- regarding L-07, but I
21 certainly -- I haven't reviewed the transcript on that inquiry about
22 L-07, but it's my memory that I covered that incident pretty thoroughly
23 and with both general questions and specific questions. And the witness
24 was quite clear in his testimony about that incident.
25 So in my submission, there is nothing that distinguishes this
1 witness from any other witness that will come and testify in this
2 courtroom and that should require the Prosecution at this stage in the
3 proceeding to begin a mid-course evaluation of the credibility of the
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE PARKER: The position is clear that the Prosecution in
8 calling in witness and leading evidence from him does so on the basis
9 that it will advance him as a witness whose evidence could, at least in
10 part, be accepted by the Chamber. It is not the position, as we
11 understand it, that by calling the witness the Prosecution is advancing
12 thereby the proposition that all of his evidence is evidence of a witness
13 of truth. I would think that the matters raised by Mr. Topolski are
14 really indications of the degree to which some of the matters in this
15 witness's case are more evident and of greater force than is the case
16 with many other witnesses. There are significant allegations to be found
17 elsewhere in the evidence against this witness. There are other issues
18 concerning his own involvement in certain matters, to mention just some
20 The degree, though, does not appear to the Chamber as affecting
21 the underlying principle. The witness has been called on the basis I
22 have suggested by the Prosecution. The Prosecution has canvassed with
23 him some aspects of these significant allegations to be found elsewhere
24 in the evidence. The effect of his evidence, as the Chamber understands
25 it on those matters, is to deny that he has had any involvement of the
1 type suggested by the other evidence, and that appears to have been the
2 position he takes without qualification in respect of any of the
4 If the Prosecution had a clear and firm position at this point,
5 it could have been a matter of considerable convenience and assistance to
6 the Defence to have that position indicated. The Prosecution, however,
7 indicates that the task of evaluating the extent to which it may in the
8 end rely upon the evidence of this witness in support of its case is one
9 that in the circumstances it would prefer to deal with in the ordinary
10 way, that is after there has been an opportunity to evaluate the totality
11 of the evidence. The Chamber does not feel that the circumstances
12 warrant any intervention to alter that position, which it seems to be one
13 which is correct in principle and open to the Prosecution to take as a
14 matter of fairness in the conduct of the trial.
15 For those reasons, Mr. Topolski, we will not call specifically on
16 the Prosecution to indicate its position further, but I think that you
17 may now see well that it certainly will perhaps be picking and choosing
18 over the field of this witness's evidence at the end of its case. So I
19 suggest wherever you see a need, you should explore.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm very grateful. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Could we have the witness.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mr. Qeriqi.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You will see that fortunately all accused are now
1 able to be present so that we can continue with your evidence. If I
2 could remind you that the affirmation you made at the beginning of your
3 evidence still applies.
4 Mr. Whiting, is there anything further?
5 MR. WHITING: I have no further questions. Thank you, Your
7 JUDGE PARKER: In that event then, counsel for the Defence will
8 now ask questions of you, Mr. Qeriqi.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I -- if you allow me, I would
10 like to have it translated in my language.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry. The equipment needs to be tuned to the
12 correct channel, it seems.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's okay.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Are you getting me in Albanian now?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am now.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 Is there anything you want me to repeat of what's been said or
18 did you understand it enough?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I understood it because I
20 already stated that I know four other languages besides my language.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you then, Mr. Qeriqi. The Defence counsel
22 will now perhaps have some questions for you.
23 Mr. Topolski.
24 WITNESS: RAMIZ QERIQI [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Topolski:
2 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I represent Isak Musliu and I would like to ask you
3 some questions this afternoon, if I may.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When you attended for an interview in April of 2003 with
6 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor, you did so as a suspect.
7 That is correct, is it not?
8 A. Yes, that is correct. I don't know if that is correct or not,
9 but this is how it was.
10 Q. As far as you are aware, today as you sit here in front of us do
11 you believe you are still a suspect?
12 A. Everyone has a right to suspect, but I think they have no longer
13 this right.
14 Q. Have you ever received any communication of any kind in any form
15 from the Office of the Prosecutor that indicates you are no longer
16 regarded as a suspect?
17 A. I didn't understand the question. I don't know what you mean by
18 any communication.
19 Q. Any letter, telephone call, fax, text, e-mail, anything of that
20 kind at all from the Office of the Prosecutor telling you that you are no
21 longer regarded as a suspect. Have you received anything of that sort?
22 A. I have not received anything in writing.
23 Q. Very well. In the interview with the Office of the Prosecutor
24 and indeed I think yesterday, you referred to joining the war as a KLA
25 soldier and hiding your identity. And I just want to ask you briefly
1 about that. Your pseudonym, your nom de guerre, was Luani. Is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And would I be right in suggesting, Mr. Qeriqi, that you and
5 many, many others took that -- a pseudonym for two reasons:
6 predominantly to protect your own identity from the Serbs. Would that be
8 A. Yes, to protect myself but also to protect the families at the
9 relatives, because at that time the then-government if it knew that
10 someone was against it he would take it out on the entire family, either
11 by imprisoning them or ransacking their houses in the middle of the
12 night, maltreating them and so on. That was the reason why we did that.
13 Q. Well, thank you for that answer in such detail, because I was
14 going to suggest that was the second of the two reasons why you would
15 want to protect your identity, to protect your family, and you've dealt
16 with it.
17 I want to now ask you some questions about Germany and your time
18 in Germany because it is there, Mr. Qeriqi, I suggest that you met with
19 and became a friend of Isak Musliu, my client. Do you agree?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You may remember that Isak Musliu was staying in a place called
22 Degendorf. Do you recollect the name of that place?
23 A. Not in Degendorf, not then, but when he came near my place, near
24 Barkenberg. Something like that.
25 Q. Did you know that he was a member of a local karate club and
1 played football, too?
2 A. After I met him I realised that.
3 Q. You became in your words yesterday inseparable. I'll use
4 another: You became close friends. Is that right?
5 A. Yes, at a later phase. When you ask me later when we became
6 friends, I can tell you about that.
7 Q. I'll come to that. I want to deal with your very first meeting.
8 I suggest that he was working in an agricultural job in a village called
9 Arnhofen near the town of Neuseddin in Germany. It was a cold day. He
10 was working in the fields with two cousins and a man brought some tea in
11 a thermos; that man was you. Do you remember this, Mr. Qeriqi?
12 A. Yes, that's right. I didn't buy the tea. My family was close
13 by, so I brought the tea to them because this is where I lived. I had my
14 wife and a son there. And the place they were working was very close to
15 my family. And I had -- I felt pleased to serve some of my compatriots,
16 at least to give them some tea.
17 Q. I think I can go through this part of the events swiftly. These
18 are parts of my client's case; I want to put them to you for your
19 comment. You started working together in an organisation that helped
20 with security for gatherings held to support the KLA, working with an
21 increasing number of those who would volunteer to participate in meetings
22 and the organisation of meetings for what was to become the KLA. Do you
23 agree, Mr. Qeriqi?
24 A. Yes, that's true. It was a pleasure when we got together. All
25 those persons who were involved in this organisation or movement, if you
2 Q. I want to move on and deal with matters chronologically. I want
3 to deal with the time when it became the case that you and he and ten
4 others crossed or left Germany en route for Kosovo. First of all, Mr.
5 Qeriqi, you made an application, you told us the day before yesterday,
6 for permission to go. Is that right?
7 A. Yes, yes. I wanted to return to Kosovo. I wanted to leave
8 Germany; that's why we made the application because we wanted to join the
9 friend, the comrades, to defend our territories.
10 Q. Forgive me. I'm sorry for interrupting you. You kindly provided
11 -- you kindly provided to Mr. Whiting and his team a copy of that
12 application, which I'm not going to put in front of you but I've had it
13 translated together with a list of names attached to it. I just want to
14 ask you this: To whom did you make that application?
15 A. I made this application in Aargau with the members of LPK because
16 these were the persons who were dealing with this affair and they
17 undertook to do the organisation, more than the other parties.
18 Q. The list of names of 12 include Isak Musliu and yourself and ten
19 others. Would I be right in suggesting, Mr. Qeriqi, that it was the
20 martyrdom, as you would call it, in early March of the Jashari family,
21 specifically on the 5th of March, that was the event that drove you to
22 decide the time had come to return to Kosovo. Would I be right in
23 suggesting that?
24 A. Yes, you would be very right. Not only the family of Adem
25 Jashari, but the Serbs had started to bring pressure on us at an earlier
1 phase. I don't want to take your time to dwell on that and explain why
2 it was not only myself, Isak Musliu, and others that were involved, but
3 all the Albanians who could do so were willing to return and fight to
4 defend our lands and to uphold the identity of -- our national identity
5 as Albanians, to defend our children, our women who were powerless, weak.
6 So this was not the case only with a single family, but it was to serve a
7 broader interest.
8 Q. I don't for one moment diminish the significance of the event; I
9 was actually more interested in the date that this journey to Kosova from
10 Germany for you and your comrades starts, does it not, in early March,
11 Mr. Qeriqi. Am I right?
12 A. Yes. In March we have taken part in some rallies. I stress that
13 we had applied even earlier, but it was in March that we travelled. I'm
14 not sure about the date. I think it must have been the end of March or
15 early April, but I think more so at the end of March.
16 Q. For the most part, that journey you took, you took, I suggest,
17 with Isak Musliu -- I'm not going to go into the detail of it, but you
18 certainly spent, did you not, a few days, about a week, in Tirana, in
19 Albania? And you were, were you not, Mr. Qeriqi, in effect the leader of
20 this group returning to Kosovo. Do you agree with that?
21 A. Yes, I was the leader, but in Tirana there were other leaders as
22 well who helped us to get back into Kosovo.
23 Q. Did you go then to a place - and you'll forgive, sir, and others,
24 my mispronunciation - to place called Kukes to a house where you were
25 given uniforms and weapons? Do you agree with that?
1 A. No, we didn't take the uniforms in Kukes. We took them somewhere
2 else. We went to Krume then. From that place we entered Kosovo.
3 Q. Right. Perhaps the name of the village doesn't much matter.
4 Crossing into Kosovo I suggest you did as a group, about
5 somewhere at the end of March of 1998, you went to a house across the
6 border. You met a man called Abedin Rexha and Ilaz Kodra and you
7 discovered -- by which I mean you, Musliu, and others -- that the KLA
8 then was not as organised as you perhaps thought it might be. Now, I put
9 that all of a piece. I hope you followed what I said. I can break it up
10 if you wish me to, but do you agree with all of that or disagree with any
11 of it?
12 A. Regarding Abedin and Ilaz, we met somewhere else, in Germany, not
13 in this place where we cross into Kosova. Maybe you have misunderstood
15 Q. No, it's my fault if I have got that wrong. The rest of what I
16 suggested to you, does that accord with your recollection of events,
17 particularly, Mr. Qeriqi, the suggestion that I'm putting that you
18 discovered, all of you, that things were in no sense organised when you
19 got to Kosovo as far as the KLA was concerned. In particular, do you
20 agree with that?
21 A. Yes, the names are the same, the ones I mentioned yesterday; only
22 the place is different, is wrong actually, because we had met these two
23 other persons in Germany. When we arrived there, we met them in Likovc,
24 not in a house somewhere else. It was in Likovc that we met these two
1 Q. I would like to show you the photograph you were shown a couple
2 of days ago, P153, please with the assistance of the usher.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: Perhaps it could be put on the ELMO. Yes, thank
5 Q. As we look at the photograph together, if you look to your right
6 -- to your left, rather, Mr. Qeriqi, you can see it on the screen there
7 -- or is it on the screen in front of you as well?
8 A. Yes, I see it.
9 Q. Looking at the photograph, the gentleman kneeling to the right of
10 the photograph is Qerqizi, is he not, that is Isak Musliu?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. He has in that photograph, does he not, a significant beard that
13 became longer and fuller as the spring and summer wore on, didn't it?
14 And you can answer that because you certainly saw him up until the end of
15 May in Lapusnik. Do you agree with me that his beard grew and grew?
16 A. Yes, of course, the beard grew. But at that time he did have a
17 beard and he resembled Qerqiz Topulli, a hero of the past who fought for
18 the national question and that was from where he got the pseudonym.
19 Of course a beard would grow with the passage of time. I don't
20 know what to say about that. I don't have any other thing -- anything
21 else to say.
22 Q. No, you've answered the question; that's all I require of you,
23 Mr. Qeriqi. The significance of the beard is for others, not for you;
24 don't worry about it. Let's move on, please.
25 I want to deal with your dealings with Qerqizi and in particular
1 your dealings with him in Lapusnik. Your first visit to Lapusnik was on
2 the 9th of May. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And if I eve understood your evidence correctly, you participate
5 in the fighting on that day; you leave within 24 hours; and you return
6 for your second visit on the 29th of May and you don't go back again
7 during the war. Now, have I understood your evidence correctly or not as
8 far as you and Lapusnik are concerned?
9 A. Yes. Yes, you have understood it correctly.
10 Q. All right. Well, let's deal with it in the order in which it
11 happened; it will be easier to follow. First of all, the decision to go
12 to Lapusnik at all on the 9th of May was a decision taken by individuals,
13 was it not? No one ordered anyone there. Do you agree with that?
14 A. I already said yesterday we were in Klecke. We heard the shots
15 and we left Klecke and went there to help them.
16 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, please don't worry about what you've already said.
17 If anyone here thinks I'm wasting time, I'll be corrected by the Judges.
18 If you would be good enough to answer my questions; I'm trying to focus
19 them as best I can.
20 You were not ordered to go. You heard the shooting yourselves
21 and you all decided, those of you who wanted to, that you needed to go to
22 Lapusnik to help the village. Am I right or am I wrong?
23 A. You are right.
24 Q. Thank you. Sorry, please.
25 A. Our struggle was a liberation struggle. There are many cases; I
1 have not touched on all of them. In some instances people just joined
2 us. They had a gun, hunting gun, or anything. We were going to the
3 front, and people just joined our ranks. As I said, it was a voluntary
4 war; that is a fact, common knowledge. Like the case was with all those
5 persons who wanted to go to Kosova, some of them didn't make it. So
6 nobody dealt with them after that. Everybody who wanted came -- did so
8 Q. If I were to show you a map of Lapusnik, an aerial photograph,
9 would you be able to identify where it was you fought on the 9th of May
10 or not?
11 A. I may describe it in words without a map if you want.
12 Q. Did the place you fought have a name?
13 A. I explained the day before yesterday that we arrived there rather
14 late. After the APC was in flames, the group that I was leading arrived
15 there rather late. The Serbs were retreating by that time, and the APC
16 was there in a place -- near a place called Guri where even today there
17 is a flag.
18 Q. Today the word guri meaning rock has the red two-headed eagle
19 flag flying from it, doesn't it?
20 A. Yes. The two-headed eagle is our national symbol and it has its
21 significance to it.
22 Q. You left Lapusnik that same day, the 9th of May, and you were not
23 to return again for another 20 days, as you've already agreed. I want to
24 ask you then about your return on the 29th of May.
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. Wait for the question, Mr. Qeriqi. I haven't asked you one yet.
2 A. I apologise.
3 Q. It's all right. Again, was it a case of you being ordered back
4 to Lapusnik on the 29th or a decision you and others made to go and
5 assist the village again? Which was it?
6 A. At that day I was in Kroimire and we heard the shots. I took
7 three other comrades and we went together in a neighbourhood of Komorane
8 which is in the -- closer to Lapusnik; that's where we took up positions.
9 And from that place we attacked the Serbs. They fired back at us with
10 heavy weapons, with all sorts of weapons, in the direction of Lapusnik.
11 It was only an assistance that we wanted to render them. This is what we
12 did every time we heard shots. We felt we had to go there and help
13 because we were fighting under the same emblem. We were all members of
14 the KLA.
15 Q. Did you meet with Isak Musliu, Qerqizi, on the 29th of May?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you become aware that his position within Lapusnik had
18 changed between the 9th and the 29th of May?
19 A. I don't know anything about that. I have no knowledge about
20 that. I don't know whether it changed or not because I was not there.
21 Q. Well, let me put to you the specific change that occurred to see
22 if you'd heard anything about this. Somewhere around the 14th of May he
23 was asked by other soldiers in Lapusnik to become the leader of one of -
24 and I underline the words "one of" - the KLA units in Lapusnik. Did you
25 hear that at all before you went back on the 29th?
1 A. I already stated that Isak might have been a leader of some unit,
2 a squad probably or a platoon; this is what I believed. But I have never
3 said for sure because there was no way how I should know. That was my
4 idea and I think it coincides with what you are saying.
5 Q. I only want to deal with knowledge that you had yourself at the
6 time. Did you know anything at all about the organisation and structure
7 of the KLA in Lapusnik or were you - and I don't mean the word rudely -
8 ignorant about the way they organised themselves? What was the position?
9 A. I was ignorant of that.
10 Q. Very well. I want to ask you another aspect of organisation and
11 I want to move away from Lapusnik in doing so.
12 JUDGE PARKER: If you're moving to another topic, I think it may
13 be convenient --
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: Sorry --
15 JUDGE PARKER: It was a short session from your point of view
16 because we had some preliminaries.
17 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honours, forgive me; I completely lost track
18 of time.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume then at 4.00.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Topolski -- oh, you -- cross-examination
24 will conclude very quickly.
25 MR. TOPOLSKI: Very successfully, probably.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Topolski.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, I just have a few more questions for you. As I say,
5 I want to try and deal with things continuing in date order. We dealt
6 with the 9th of May and the 29th of May. You also gave evidence two days
7 ago regarding fighting on the 14th of June. Do you remember telling us
8 about that?
9 A. Can you explain again, please.
10 Q. Yes. You told us about some fighting in your area of Carraleve
11 on the 14th of June of 1998. Do you remember telling Their Honours about
12 that two days ago when you gave evidence?
13 A. Yes. Yes, I gave evidence the day before yesterday.
14 Q. That's right. You told us you were leading that battle and you
15 indicated to us the weaponry that was at your disposal. I want to ask
16 you about one particular weapon. You told us that the largest weapon you
17 had was the hand-held rocket launcher. Mr. Qeriqi, do you mean to tell
18 the Court that there was only one of those on the 14th of June?
19 A. It was that 150-millimetres hand-held rocket launcher that was
20 the biggest one. There were a Kalashnikovs, automatic rifles; snipers,
21 we had, too, some very old snipers; and in some cases people fought with
22 hunting guns. What I meant was our weapons were more powerful than the
23 enemy weapons. This is what I wanted to say.
24 Q. Did the 150-millimetre hand-held rocket launcher have to be
25 shared between units because there was only one of them?
1 A. Yes, that's how it was.
2 Q. So if - and I'll just use this as an example, not the names that
3 were the case - if unit called number 1 needed the rocket-propelled
4 grenade launcher, someone would have to go and get it from somebody else.
5 Was that the position in June 1998?
6 A. Yes. Sometimes we used it in Zborce, sometimes in Carraleve, and
7 even in Blinaje, not somewhere else as far as I know.
8 Q. I'll move from weaponry to equipment. You told us the day before
9 yesterday dealing with this same period that you didn't have a radio, you
10 used couriers. Mr. Qeriqi, for how long were you without a radio; or put
11 another way, can you tell us when you first got use of a radio during the
13 A. In my unit we didn't have one. For the first time I used a radio
14 in the fighting in Koshare.
15 Q. Can you tell us in what month that took place, please?
16 A. It took place in - as far as I remember, I stressed it the day
17 before yesterday - in April 1999. There were many radios there. It was
18 a regular army. The means were different.
19 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, do you mean to tell the Tribunal that you as a local
20 commander did not have the use of a radio throughout the year of 1998?
21 Is that your evidence?
22 A. I did not have the use of a radio at all.
23 Q. Thank you. Moving on through the calendar, I want to deal with
24 an event, if you can recollect it, on the 24th of July of 1998. Mr.
25 Qeriqi, we know from other evidence in this case uncontested that
1 Lapusnik fell at around this time during the course of the summer
2 offensive by the Serbs. I want to ask you about a particular place and a
3 particular date and see if you can help us. I suggest that you and
4 Shukri Buja were near a village or outside of a village called Fustica at
5 around July 1998. I'm being very specific about this. First of all, can
6 you remember being at a place called Fustica?
7 A. I don't recall to be at home. We went there to help the war in
8 Fushtice, but until we went there -- I don't remember about Shukri. I
9 remember we went there with some soldiers. But when we arrived there the
10 enemy forces had taken over the place so we were unable to penetrate
12 Q. Well, let me see if I can bring it back to life for you, as it
13 were. I suggest apart from Shukri Buja also met Qerqizi there and
14 Qerqizi had just come from Rahovec. You're nodding your head. Do you
15 remember this, Mr. Qeriqi?
16 A. Qerqiz was with another group. I was with another when we went
17 to help Fustica. This is true.
18 Q. Sorry to press it. I haven't had quite an answer to my question.
19 I'm trying to be specific with details. If you can't help me, say so.
20 I'm suggesting that Qerqizi may have told you that he'd just come back
21 from Rahovec and that he met you and Shukri Buja and in fact he then
22 decided to attack Serb forces in Fustica. Now do you remember any of
23 this or not?
24 A. I remember that Qerqiz and many others, Voglushi, were there,
25 because our aim was to prevent the Serb forces from entering Rusinoc but
1 we were unable to go into Fustice before the war. We had some places
2 outside Fustice, between Fustice and Rusinoc village. This was the place
3 from where we fired, but we were unable to enter Fustice.
4 It is true Qerqiz was there. He might have told me what you have
5 mentioned, but I don't remember now. If he had said so, then it's true.
6 But if you mentioned -- when you mentioned Fustice I wanted to point out
7 that we were unable to enter there and we fired from those positions
8 between Fustice and Rusinoc.
9 But there were many groups there. I had some five or six people
10 with me and then I returned to Carraleve because I had to be there in
11 case of a possible attack there.
12 Q. Thank you. I'd like just your help with a geography lesson, if
13 you wouldn't mind.
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: Could the witness be given P6 from map 1, the
15 large map book. Perhaps it could be placed on the ELMO because I'm going
16 to ask you to point one or two places out to us, if you would be so kind,
17 Mr. Qeriqi.
18 I want to have it so the witness can see Lapusnik as well, so can
19 we come back.
20 Your Honours, I'm sorry, my screen is virtually unseeable, so I'm
21 having a little difficulty. Have we got Lapusnik on the map? Down,
22 please, Mr. Harvey says. Can you bring that down south on the ELMO. A
23 little more. That's it. Thank you very much. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Qeriqi, could you use the map to your left please, sir, if
25 you wouldn't mind and could you use the pointer because I want you to
1 point out one or two places to us. First of all, you'll see Lapusnik,
2 it's within a red square. If you look to your left, look at the map on
3 the machine, if you wouldn't mind, Mr. Qeriqi.
4 A. Yes, I can see it.
5 Q. With the usher's help I want you to look at that one. Thank you.
6 You see Lapusnik. First of all, we've just been talking together, you
7 and I, about Fustica. Can you point to Fustica on this map, please.
8 Thank you.
9 A. It's here.
10 Q. Can you tell us approximately how long it would take by car to
11 get to Lapusnik from Fustica, approximately.
12 A. It's hard for me to tell because there's no straight road. You
13 had to come from Nekovce and from Nekovce to Bajice. To come back here
14 -- I am unable to explain. I may make a mistake because I've never used
15 that road.
16 Q. All right. I was going to ask you if you've ever done the
17 journey, but never mind.
18 Can you show us Klecka on this map, please.
19 A. [Indicates]
20 Q. Have you ever done the journey from Klecka to Lapusnik yourself
21 by car?
22 A. I have done the journey from Klecke to Lapusnik, but never by car
23 only by -- on foot.
24 Q. How long did it take you on foot, approximately?
25 A. It took me a long time, maybe two or three hours. I may not be
1 very accurate because I didn't measure the time actually.
2 Q. No. Finally this, because you've mentioned it just now, can you
3 show us the village of Rahovec.
4 A. It is not a village; it is a town.
5 Q. I beg your pardon, the town of Rahovec.
6 A. I can't see it here in this map. I see only an arrow that goes
7 in the direction, that is the road going in the direction of Rahovec.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. I can't see it here. Rahovec is very far from --
10 Q. Have you -- well, I was going to ask you: Have you ever done the
11 journey by road or by car or by foot from Rahovec to Lapusnik? Have you
12 ever done that journey yourself?
13 A. I have done the journey only after the war when we went to play
14 football with the football team.
15 Q. Can you give the Court some idea, please, of how long it might
16 take you to drive from Rahovec to Lapusnik, approximately?
17 A. If you drive fast I think it would take you one and a half hours,
18 one, one and a half hours.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: I don't need the map anymore. Thank you.
21 Q. Now, I want to ask you I hope very few questions, Mr. Qeriqi,
22 regarding structure and organisation of the KLA. Again with the
23 assistance of the usher I wonder if you could have put back in front of
24 you P155. This you were good enough to produce to us two days ago, Mr.
25 Qeriqi, and it is the decision coming into force immediately as it says
1 to appoint you to be attached to the 121st Brigade. Correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. This brigade was otherwise known or otherwise came to be known,
4 did it not, as the Ruzhdi Selihu Brigade?
5 A. No, please. It is the battalion -- Ruzhdi Selihu Battalion.
6 Q. Yeah, my fault. Ruzhdi Selihu himself was killed, was he not?
7 A. Yes, he was killed on the 26th of July, 1998. Because of that
8 the battalion took his name because he was the first martyr.
9 Q. I want to suggest to you very clearly, Mr. Qeriqi, that brigades
10 and battalions did not exist before well into August of 1998 at the
11 earliest. Do you understand my question or suggestion?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Do you agree with it or do you disagree with it?
14 A. It is true. I said also the day before yesterday that before
15 this decision was taken Shukri Buja was there with me; I was his deputy.
16 And from this date on, I knew of the existence of Brigade 121 as such and
17 I was the commander of the Ruzhdi Selihu Battalion. From this time I
18 took the minutes and everything that was linked with the regular army.
19 Q. I want to try and be as clear about this as I possibly can be,
20 Mr. Qeriqi, and I need your help. I'm suggest to you that there were no
21 brigades and no battalions before, as I've described it, well into August
22 of 1998. They simply didn't exist. The organisation of them had not
23 happened. Do you agree?
24 A. I agree.
25 Q. Good. In that case we can move on to the last topic I want to
1 ask you about.
2 A. I want to say something. This is why I brought with me this
3 decision because at that time I was, as I should, be nominated properly
4 as a battalion commander and I tried to do the proper organisation of the
5 army that was done.
6 Q. Thank you for that.
7 The last thing I wanted to ask you about, please, is military
8 police. Again, you gave us some evidence about this the day before
9 yesterday and you may recollect you told us about their duties. Do you
10 recollect telling us about all that?
11 A. Yes, I can tell you without you asking me.
12 Q. Good. Well, we could proceed telepathically, but it may not
13 help. What I want to do again is see if I can be clear about it, Mr.
14 Qeriqi, and the formation of the military police. Again, I am suggesting
15 -- or I suggest to you that the military police as an organisation within
16 the KLA did not exist until later on beyond the summer of 1998. Now, do
17 you understand what I'm suggesting to you, first of all?
18 A. I don't understand what you mean by the end of summer; this I
19 don't understand. Can you please repeat it?
20 Q. Certainly. The military police, I suggest, did not exist as a
21 group until sometime after the brigades and the battalions were formed,
22 let's put it that way. Do you agree with that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. So when you told us yesterday that in your area you had two,
25 three, or four military policemen, I suggest that if that's right they
1 were not part of any military police unit that by then had been formed by
2 the KLA because they did not get formed until later on in the year. Do
3 you agree with that?
4 A. The police I had, I said that they were there to take care of the
5 soldiers and of the civilian population. When the decision -- as a
6 battalion commander, when I made the decision from that time they were
7 policemen at the level of the brigade. There was a special unit, that
8 is, after the formation of the brigade.
9 Q. So it follows from the previous answers that you've given
10 regarding formation of the brigades and so on, that that, what you've
11 just described, could not have happened before the middle of August at
12 the earliest. Is that right?
13 A. Yes. I can't remember for sure, but it was around the time after
14 I made the decision. The police were there in fact, but they were not
15 under the command of the battalion; they were separate.
16 Q. You were not in a position as a battalion commander to organise
17 or order anything until you became a battalion commander. Correct?
18 A. Until that time, I worked with the -- with building the trenches,
19 the bunkers as I explained earlier. And when there was a fighting
20 somewhere, we fought of course. And it was also a normal thing for me
21 not to command anything other than fight and build the positions, the
22 bunkers. From Carraleve to Belince we had our positions. I trained the
23 soldiers. This is what I did then.
24 Q. Did you become aware -- my final question. Did you become aware
25 that sometime much later in 1998 your old friend from Germany, Isak
1 Musliu, Qerqizi, became a commander of the military police? Did you
2 become aware of that or not?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Then in that case, I have no further questions. Thank you for
5 your patience.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Topolski.
7 Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
9 I seem to be the travelling warrior in this regard.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Guy-Smith:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Qeriqi.
12 A. Good afternoon to you.
13 Q. I represent Haradin Bala and I have a number of questions to ask
14 you and I hope that you're patient with me.
15 A. Of course.
16 Q. I'd like to start out with an understanding of what happened in
17 the most general of senses when you had the interview with Mr. Whiting on
18 April 23rd. Do you recall being at that interview?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you recall that when you were at that interview you started
21 early in the morning, about 9.00, 9.30 in the morning and then you took a
22 break after about three hours?
23 A. No, we didn't take a three-hour break. To my recollection, and I
24 don't think I forgot, I think we were there the entire day from 9.00 in
25 the morning. And we didn't take a three-hour break; we made a
1 five-minute break just for me to smoke a cigarette. Then we took a small
2 lunch break. I had my meal for ten minutes --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... that was after you met for
4 about three hours you took a break, they changed some tapes, and then you
5 met with Mr. Whiting again in the afternoon. So there were actually two
6 phases of your afternoon. You met in the morning, took a lunch break,
7 and then you met in the afternoon.
8 A. A small break, not longer than ten minutes. I was inside the
9 entire day. I left that small room just to have my sandwich and then
10 went back to the room.
11 Q. When you first -- I'm sorry.
12 MR. WHITING: The transcript is available and I believe that
13 misstates the evidence, that the -- that it went for three hours. And I
14 would draw counsel to the -- counsel's attention to the first page that
15 the interview started at 9.23 and the first break occurred at 10.56. So
16 after an hour and a half.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: My apologies. I had the time of 12.57 and -- the
18 time is perhaps less critical, but I do -- I thank you so much for that
20 Q. When you first met with Mr. Whiting, he told you that you had
21 been called as a suspect. Correct?
22 A. This is how it was written on the summons that they brought.
23 Q. I appreciate that. What I'm getting at is: When you were
24 speaking with Mr. Whiting, when he first met with you he said: "In this
25 investigation we're conducting at the moment you're considered a
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I invite counsel to L010-9668.
3 Q. That's what he told you. Correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. After he told you that, you -- Mr. Lehtinen, an investigator,
6 spoke with you and he said to you: "We have decided to interview you and
7 invite you as a suspect. In practice, don't let this disturb you at
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: I invite counsel to the next page, 9669.
10 Q. Do you remember that being told to you?
11 A. Maybe I don't remember the entire interview, but it is true that
12 I was questioned in the capacity of a suspect. Naturally I can't
13 remember everything.
14 Q. After you took your morning break when you came back in the
15 afternoon, Mr. Whiting further described to you your status as a suspect
16 and was very clear with you about what your concerns should be and what
17 your status was by saying the following, and once again I'm asking you
18 whether or not you recall this particular statement being made to you by
19 Mr. Whiting.
20 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm referring counsel's attention to 109634 -- I
21 apologise. I've lost the page; I'll find it in a second. That's 9696.
22 Q. Mr. Whiting said a series of things to you. He said:
23 "And before you do, I want to say something.
24 "Mr. Whiting: What you have to understand is that as we've told
25 you, you are a suspect, but we are interested in your information
1 primarily as a witness. We -- we are interested in hearing what you have
2 to say as long as it's truthful. The way -- the best thing you can do
3 for yourself is to tell the truth here. It's our -- of course it's
4 difficult to talk about some of these things and certainly difficult to
5 talk about your own role in them, but if we want you to be a witness, you
6 have to be truthful otherwise we have to think about whether you are more
7 of a suspect for us than a witness. So this is an opportunity for you to
8 help yourself by telling the truth, even if it's difficult. Nobody is
9 saying that you were the -- at the centre of this, but you did
10 participate and you have to tell us that and you have to tell us why it
12 Do you recall Mr. Whiting discussing that with you, making that
13 statement to you?
14 A. Now I don't remember this, but if it's written there in the
15 minutes you read then he told me those things. In the beginning I told
16 him that I will -- I was going to tell the truth and I told the truth.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues]... but a few moments later him
18 telling you:
19 "Nobody is here to criticise the good and important things you
20 did and you've told us about some of the good and important things that
21 you did that you should feel proud of. But to get credit for the good
22 things that you've done you also have to take responsibility for the
23 things that weren't so good that happened. And nobody is -- we want to
24 know whether you -- whether you were there and you were involved or you
25 were there and you were not involved and you saw it."
1 Do you remember Mr. Whiting saying that to you?
2 A. Most probably he said that, but for the moment I don't remember.
3 Since it is written down, then he said that, but for the moment I don't
5 Q. During the course of the interview that you had with Mr. Whiting
6 in April, the subjects that you discussed with him at that time included
7 some of, if not all of the subjects that you've discussed with here
8 during your testimony. And by that, I mean the subject of Mr. Xhemshiti.
9 Do you remember discussing that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Also a discussion about some other people --
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I ask that we go into private session for but
13 a moment.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Open session.
4 MR. GUY-SMITH:
5 Q. At the conclusion of the interview that you had with Mr. Whiting,
6 Mr. Whiting invited you to come to The Hague to testify, saying --
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I invite counsel's attention to page 9738.
8 Q. -- "Okay. If you were called to The Hague to testify in court,
9 would you be willing to tell the Court everything you've told us today."
10 Do you remember that?
11 A. Yes, I told him that I am able to say these things and -- meaning
12 that I was not under pressure to come here by force. I was ready to come
13 here and testify about things that I've done and about things that I
15 Q. Since that discussion with Mr. Whiting back in April, have you
16 received any notification orally - since Mr. Topolski asked you about
17 anything that you may have received in writing - that your status had
18 changed as a witness to come to The Hague to discuss matters?
19 A. Not in writing. No, I did not receive it in writing. The other
20 person, Ole, or what was his name? I tend to forget his name. When we
21 met with him he told me that after the investigation that they conducted,
22 they found out that I was not a suspect. And this was in the end before
23 I came here.
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'd like to turn to another subject if I could.
25 If you could supply the gentleman with the map again.
1 Q. Do you have the map there in front of you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... oh, there it is. Good.
4 Now, could you with the pointer see if you could locate the village of
5 Sedlare or Shale.
6 A. Shale is here.
7 Q. And could you tell us approximately, if you know, what the
8 distance is from Lapusnik to Sedlare or Shale?
9 A. I might not be precise, but it could be 12 or 13 kilometres,
10 around 12 or 13. 13 kilometres.
11 Q. During the period of May through July, did you ever travel from
12 Shale towards Lapusnik?
13 A. From May to July?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. As I said, when I went to join the fighting. Otherwise I did not
16 go to Lapusnik.
17 Q. Were you on this particular -- in this particular path, is there
18 an asphalt road or a direct road that goes from Shale to Lapusnik to your
20 A. There's no asphalt road there. There's not one today and there
21 wasn't one at the time.
22 Q. Could you help us and tell us, if you know, about how many
23 different roads, if it's a matter of different roads, you would have to
24 take to get from the area of Shale to Lapusnik? Is it one straight dirt
25 road, a series of winding roads? Whatever it may be, if you know.
1 A. I wouldn't know because as I said I wasn't using those roads, but
2 it is possible that they're not good roads.
3 Q. With regard to travelling from Klecka to Lapusnik, you indicated
4 that you took that route by foot and it took you -- you weren't sure
5 exactly how long but some two or three hours. Did you go by way of a
6 road, a path, through fields? How were you able to get to Lapusnik on
7 May 9th to fight?
8 A. We used small paths, forest paths.
9 Q. Is Klecka on the same altitude as Lapusnik? Is it higher or
10 lower than Lapusnik or the same altitude?
11 A. What do you mean? Is it higher on the hill or -- I don't
12 understand your question.
13 Q. That's precisely what I mean. Is it higher on the hill?
14 A. I mentioned this two days ago, that it has a very good
15 geostrategic position for a war. It is on an upper position from all the
16 other villages we've mentioned.
17 Q. Are you in a position to tell us about how much higher it is from
18 all the other villages that you've mentioned so that we can get a better
19 understanding of it's geostrategic position?
20 A. I wouldn't know. I'm not able to describe it really.
21 Q. Having walked from Lapusnik to Klecka after the battle on May
22 9th, could you tell us at that time were you walking up a hill?
23 A. Of course, uphill.
24 Q. Was it a steep hill?
25 A. At that time we were really fit and it didn't seem a problem, but
1 if I go now maybe it would be a problem for me.
2 Q. What is the distance between Lapusnik and Klecka?
3 A. What do you mean? How far they are apart?
4 Q. Precisely.
5 A. I wouldn't know, because as I said I did this journey just once.
6 Q. Now, is it fair to say - and help me here - that the Berisa
7 Mountains are part of the area in which Klecka is in?
8 A. You're right. I said that Klecka is upper in the hill. It is
9 possible that Berisa is even higher because the radio was stationed
10 there, Kosova Liv [phoen] radio, Free Kosova.
11 Q. And when you say the radio was stationed there, what radio was
13 A. Free Kosova.
14 Q. When did that radio station first come into existence, if you
16 A. I don't know. I really don't know. When it started to operate,
17 as I said, I had already left for Tirana, but I heard it was operational
18 there; to my knowledge it was later.
19 Q. Going back to the map again, do you see on the map the town of
21 A. Bajice is a village, not a town.
22 Q. Can you point to it with your pointer.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Now, is there a way of getting to Bajice from the Lapusnik by way
25 of an asphalt road?
1 A. No, not possible. Bajice can never have an asphalt road.
2 There's no asphalt road to Bajice.
3 Q. And by any chance could you help us in this regard. Could you
4 tell us what the distance is from Bajice to Lapusnik?
5 A. I wouldn't know. I just might be mistaken here. Approximately
6 when I spoke about Shale, Sedlare as you said, I said it was 12 or 13
7 kilometres based on Komorane. I wouldn't know really.
8 Q. And Nekovce, could you point Nekovce out on that map, please.
9 A. Yes. [Indicates]
10 Q. Was Nekovce an area that you were in between May and August of
11 the summer of 1998?
12 A. No, Shukri was in that area more than I was.
13 Q. Were you ever able to have contact with Shukri Buja when he was
14 in Nekovce by way of radio during those summer months?
15 A. No. I told you, I never had a radio earlier.
16 Q. To your knowledge were there other units that had radio
17 communication abilities during the summer months?
18 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. GUY-SMITH: We need the map no longer. Thank you.
21 Q. Part of your concern, I'm sure, as working with other soldiers
22 was what would occur when anyone was wounded. True?
23 A. Not only my concern. It was the concern of all of us. This is
24 quite natural.
25 Q. Absolutely. And in that regard, I'm hoping that you can be of
1 some assistance. Do you know whether or not there was a hospital or a
2 clinic in Lapusnik during the summer months?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. What about the in Malisevo?
5 A. I don't know that there was one in Malisheve. Maybe there was
6 one, but I don't know.
7 Q. How about Shale? Was there a -- somewhere in Shale that someone
8 could -- if they were wounded or otherwise needed medical attention get
9 some medical attention there?
10 A. There were two doctors.
11 Q. Do you recall the names of those doctors by any chance?
12 A. One of them, his name was Avdullah and the other Fetim.
13 Q. And the one whose name was Fetim, was that Fetim Selimi?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know if there was a clinic or a place where one could
16 receive medical attention in Klecka?
17 A. I don't know. I told you that I rarely went there and when --
18 after I was appointed commander of a battalion I went there every week.
19 But before that, as I stated earlier, I went very rarely. Even if there
20 was one, I wouldn't know.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues]... you've mentioned Avdullah
22 and Fetim Selimi. As you sit here today can you remember if there were
23 any other doctors that were serving this area, that were helping the
24 wounded, the sick and infirm during the summer of 1998?
25 A. They were in Kroimire as well. There was Dr. Jakupi, Dr. Nasir.
1 One was a general practitioner. There was a dentist as well. If it
2 wasn't for the doctors, it would have been very difficult.
3 Q. When you say if it weren't for the doctors, it would have been
4 very difficult, I take it these doctors were not only taking care of
5 members of the KLA who had been wounded and were otherwise sick, but they
6 also were taking care of the civilian population. Is that a fair
8 A. This is quite normal because we were in very close ties with the
9 population. We were like one family. They looked after the population
10 and after the soldiers simultaneously. At that time for the persons of
11 the zone where we were situated, it was very difficult to go and seek
12 shelter in other places, like in Pristina, because they could have been
13 imprisoned or killed. So they had to stay there with us. Of course, for
14 the children and for the elderly, they needed medical treatment.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues]... difficult to go and seek
16 shelter in other places like Pristina. Pristina is one of the areas
17 actually where there's a hospital. Correct?
18 A. It has a hospital but at that time only Serbs were working in
19 that hospital. I believe you know that our doctors were all expelled
20 from the hospital. If you didn't know, now you know. At that time only
21 few Albanians were there or maybe none of the workers there was Albanian.
22 Q. The hospital in Pristina where only the Serbs were working, and I
23 take it at that time -- were only Serbs allowed to be patients there
24 during the summer of 1998, if you know? Were there other hospitals where
25 Albanians could go when they were sick?
1 A. I didn't have time to go and check whether they had people
2 working or not, but I don't think so. If they had, then they had to pay
3 a lot of money to get treatment. For example, an Albanian, he had to pay
4 5.000 Euros now or at that time 10.000 Deutschmarks to get treated. I
5 don't think there was any other way. As I said, I came from Germany
6 straight to the war, and I wasn't able to know whether there were
7 hospitals working or to ask around which hospitals were working and which
9 Q. [Previous translation continues]... localities to you and the
10 question for all of them is the same, which is whether or not there was
11 an existing hospital where people could be treated during the summer of
12 1998. And those places are: Komorane, Negroc, Lapusnik, Fustica, Kishna
13 Reka, Berisa, Bajice, Shale, Klecka, Malisevo, Belanica, Luznica, Suva
14 Reka, Kroimire.
15 A. I don't have knowledge about this. I know that there was one in
16 Shale and in Kroimire. As for the other places, I don't know because I
17 didn't go to those places. It is possible that there were, but
18 personally I didn't go there.
19 Q. The one that was in Shale - and once again this is if you know -
20 was that a hospital where you could get operated on if you, for example,
21 had a problem with your heart?
22 A. The doctors who were serving there, they were prepared. They
23 were doctors out of hardship there. They had to treat people. Maybe
24 they were not specialised in a special illness, but they had to help
25 them. Personally I don't know what they had graduated from and what they
1 were specialised in. I know that many children were born in that
2 hospital. There are some doctors, for example, Jakup Ismajli, when he
3 speaks of that time he says that more than 150 children were born out of
4 his hands. In other words, what I want to say is that, that doctor, if
5 he wasn't a cardiologist, he would treat somebody with a heart disease.
6 Q. When Mr. Topolski was asking you questions, one of the things he
7 discussed with you is the type of weapons you had available. My question
8 is not focused on weapons, but rather focused on your knowledge of what
9 medical supplies were available. And once again, if you know. Do you
10 know with regard to the clinic in Shale whether or not it had a full
11 component of medical supplies or whether there were difficulties in the
12 doctors having even the basic medicines necessary to treat the Albanian
14 A. Sometimes even the hospitals don't have everything and not to
15 speak about war conditions.
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith.
18 I think that is the point at which we conclude what we can
19 usefully do today and waiting for Mr. Mansfield's return tomorrow.
20 Mr. Qeriqi, I must ask you to come again tomorrow morning at
21 9.00. Two counsel are absent, the counsel for Mr. Limaj. They will be
22 here tomorrow morning and there will be some questions for you then. So
23 we will adjourn shortly until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
24 Could I indicate for forward planning that the President has
25 called a further plenary session of the Judges on Friday, the 11th of
1 March, that is Friday week. So we will not be able to sit on that day.
2 We will adjourn until 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.07 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of
5 March, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.