1 Tuesday, 24 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.43 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Regrettably the last session in this courtroom had
6 to run overtime, so we have a late start.
7 If I could remind you, Mr. Limaj, of the affirmation that you
8 made at the beginning which still applies.
9 Mr. Whiting.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: FATMIR LIMAJ [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Whiting:
14 Q. Mr. Limaj, at the end of yesterday we looked at Mr. Krasniqi's
15 statements on the 11th and 12th of July in an interview in Koha Ditore
16 and he said in that interview that "the KLA is a regular army, that it
17 has its own staff and its military hierarchy, that it is an organised
18 army." And when those statements were put to you, your answer was that
19 that was not true at the time. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Limaj, do you recall participating in a making of a
22 documentary about is a Sadik Shala?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Sadik Shala was killed in Rahovec; correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Do you know what date he was killed?
2 A. On the 19th of July.
3 Q. The documentary about Sadik Shala was made and was broadcast in
4 2002; right?
5 A. It must be like that, because I don't know exactly which year it
6 was. It could be that year.
7 Q. You have no reason to think it was any other year?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 Q. And that was after the war?
10 A. No. Yes, it was after the war, yes.
11 Q. You were truthful in that documentary?
12 A. I made a description, a general description. You know, like in
13 documentaries you try to give a general description of the personality
14 and the figure of a martyr.
15 Q. My question, Mr. Limaj, was were you truthful in what you said?
16 A. Yes. And my answer what -- what I just gave, that in these cases
17 when you try to describe the biography of a martyr you try to make a
18 description of his personality. And I tried to say the truth in what I
19 said there.
20 Q. Let's look at what you said in that documentary about the
21 organisation of the KLA, that the organisation that had been achieved and
22 became public by June 14th, 1998, the date that Jakup Krasniqi made his
23 first public statement. And this is a clip that -- it's from P34. It's
24 clip number 5. I think we need to switch to the Sanction.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "In 1998, Mr. Jakup Krasniqi made
2 his first public appearance as KLA spokesman, which also caused great
3 reverberations in international opinion.
4 "Fatmir Limaj: It is true, the Berisha Mountains have seen
5 special days which were historic dates for the history of the KLA through
6 a spokesman or appearance of a spokesman of the KLA for the first time,
7 Mr. Krasniqi, who from there, from the Shala family, from their Kullas,
8 made his first public announcement in the name of the KLA and as
9 spokesman for the Kosovo Liberation Army.
10 "And I think this was one of the most important moments in our
11 war for liberation because this was the moment when our war for
12 liberation entered a new phase, a phase which would show the world and
13 public opinion at home and abroad that the Kosovo Liberation Army was an
14 organised structure with an authentic political and military structure,
15 with a clear vision and a clear political and military platform, and with
16 people who are capable and ready to go all the way to realise these
17 objectives our success. The importance of the first appearance of Mr.
18 Krasniqi or his first address --"
19 JUDGE PARKER: I would like to thank the interpreter for her
20 steadfast effort at trying to keep up with the speed of that.
21 MR. WHITING: I don't know if it's better with those clips for
22 the interpreter -- if it's better to read it or not. I'm not sure. It
23 does go very quickly.
24 Q. But, Mr. Limaj, there in that documentary you stated that at the
25 occasion when Jakup Krasniqi made his first statement on June 14, 1998,
1 when you were present, you identified that as one of the most important
2 moments in our war for liberation because you could then "show the world
3 abroad and at home that the KLA was an organised structure with an
4 authentic political and military structure." That was true, wasn't it,
5 Mr. Limaj?
6 A. This is your interpretation, how you interpret the interview.
7 The interview says something else. You -- the things that you mentioned,
8 that it was an important moment and that the KLA was entering a new
9 phase, these are all true. That was a new important phase because the
10 KLA was entering a new part of its life, and after that the events
12 When I spoke about that, I said that it's an important phase for
13 the KLA because the spokesperson spoke for the first time. And secondly,
14 it was important because the KLA was entering this phase when it would
15 become an organised structure and wage a war as an army, and this is how
16 I meant the things I said in the interview.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, I can provide the text if you like or we can watch it
18 again, but what you say is that it's a -- and what I submit here is that
19 it's a -- it's a new phase of publicity, that it's the first time, the
20 first public announcement in the name of the KLA and that what this new
21 phase is is making public the KLA and showing the world that the Kosovo
22 Liberation Army was organised and that it had a structure already by the
23 14th of June, 1998. Isn't that what you're saying there, Mr. Limaj?
24 A. Your Honours, of course the things that I said about Mr. Krasniqi
25 are true. But I also mentioned that the KLA is entering a new phase, and
1 a new phase does not mean just a spokesman coming public. A new phase
2 means organisation entering a new phase of war. And the appearance of
3 Jakup Krasniqi is a symbol of the new event, the new developments in the
4 future. This is how I interpret those words and you can give those words
5 to me again but this is how I interpret them.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, the interpretation you put on these words today, there
7 is no obvious relationship between Jakup Krasniqi making a public
8 statement and what you're describing as a coincidental new phase in the
9 war, when in fact in the statement you put the two things together.
10 Jakup Krasniqi is going public with the KLA and what is being revealed to
11 the world is an organised KLA. Isn't that what you were saying, Mr.
13 A. No. Please. Please, Your Honours. If you follow the logic of
14 the people who made the documentary, then you will see that they put the
15 Jakup Krasniqi declaration first and then mine. My statement was that
16 the appearance of Jakup Krasniqi in the eyes of the public meant a new
17 phase for the KLA, and that is clear.
18 Q. Let's stay for a moment on the subject of the organisation of the
19 KLA. Do you recall that on the 23rd of February, 1998, Robert Gelbard,
20 Special Envoy from the United States to the region, described the KLA as
21 terrorists? Do you recall that?
22 A. I remember that, and I also remember another statement that
23 showed that he made a hasty description, because it was a shock to us in
25 Q. Let me focus on this first statement, the 23rd of February, for a
1 moment. The KLA reacted to that statement by trying to demonstrate to
2 the world that it was not in fact a terrorist organisation and it was
3 nothing like other so-called terrorist organisations like the IRA or ETA;
5 A. The KLA wanted to show something else. The KLA wanted to show
6 that it's an organisation that has one purpose, the liberation of the
7 country. With his actions, it wanted to show that the target of its
8 action were -- was not the territory outside Kosova, it was only the
9 Serbian police and the Serbian army within the territory of Kosova. And
10 personally, I did not like it when KLA was described as a terrorist
12 Q. And you didn't think that the KLA was a terrorist organisation,
13 did you?
14 A. Of course I did not think that it was a terrorist -- sorry, a
15 terrorist organisation. First it was a guerrilla movement and then it
16 became a spontaneous popular uprising. And then there were steady
17 efforts to make this movement, a movement that would protect the
18 independence of Kosovo.
19 Q. And just sticking for a moment on the issue of a terrorist
20 organisation, in that respect you don't think the KLA was like the IRA or
21 ETA; correct? It was different from those groups.
22 A. Your Honours, I don't know how IRA or ETA are organised, so I
23 can't speak here or analyse what ETA or IRA are. I can't make any
24 distinction or how they are different from each other.
25 Q. But you thought that the IRA and ETA were terrorist organisations
1 and the KLA was not a terrorist organisation; right?
2 A. It was not what we thought. It was things that were known in the
3 world. People spoke about that. That's what the western world
4 characterised them by.
5 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm interested in what you
6 thought. Is that what you also thought?
7 A. I'm saying it again. There was nothing to think about, because
8 it was characterised like that by the public opinion in the world, so
9 that's what we were given by the world public opinion, and we did not
10 want to be characterised like them, that's for sure.
11 Q. You agreed you thought that the KLA was not a terrorist
12 organisation and the IRA or ETA were terrorist organisations, right?
13 A. Your Honours, I am sure that if the KLA went on doing the things
14 that it was doing until then, and if the March event -- events had not
15 happened there would be great danger, great risk that the KLA would be
16 characterised as a terrorist organisation. And the warning of Mr.
17 Gelbard that if the KLA continued on that road it would make the list of
18 terrorists organisation.
19 So the events of March and the mistakes that the Serb authorities
20 and the police made it possible for the KLA not to be described as such,
21 I mean as terrorists. And the KLA did not have at that time clear
22 objectives and clear actions.
23 Well, the KLA was more of a popular uprising. It became a
24 popular uprising, and that is what made us not be described by other
25 people as a terrorist organisation. That's how we escaped that.
1 Although there were an attempt to describe us as such.
2 Q. Mr. Limaj, just to be clear on this point I'm going to show a
3 clip from the interview that we saw yesterday. It's clip number 9 it's
4 on page of P36.
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters opted not to translate because of
7 the remarks that were made earlier. So we need to know whether we need
8 to read those passages or not.
9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's -- in my opinion, it's
10 better to have them not read. It's easier to have them not read.
11 However, it does create the problem that the transcript that is
12 played is not in the transcript. That, however, can be dealt with later.
13 We can provide the transcript that has been played. But I'm -- I don't
14 know what others think.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It seems more practical for it to be provided
16 later and incorporated into the transcript.
17 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Which will make life a lot easier for the
19 interpreters as well.
20 MR. WHITING: A very important thing.
21 Q. Mr. Limaj, you --
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm sorry to interrupt. On previous occasions
23 where we've played certain clips there has been a recognition between
24 discrepancies between the actual words spoken by the individuals in the
25 clip and the words on the bottom of the clip. So the written words
1 sometimes deviate from what the interpreters have said. So I point that
2 out because it may be of some importance at some point.
3 I'm not wishing to make the interpreters' job any more difficult
4 whatsoever, but I know it's come up in earlier times.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE PARKER: We would propose as before to leave it to counsel
7 to identify any such discrepancies if they appear and to discuss it
8 between themselves with a view to resolving it. Most of them, to the
9 extent that they occur, seem not material to the issues in the case. But
10 if there should appear some material difficulty, it might be raised if it
11 can't be resolved between counsel.
12 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Limaj, you say -- you heard and saw in that clip that you
14 said that the Kosovo Liberation Army had nothing in common with ETA or
15 the IRA or other terrorists organisations; right?
16 A. Well, I think that the summer developments showed that it became
17 a popular uprising. Well, as far as I know, the developments in Kosova,
18 the summer developments, showed that it had become a popular uprising.
19 Q. Didn't it become a popular uprising after the events in Prekaz?
20 A. I think that that was the turning point. It was an important, a
21 key point that triggered the events of summer -- of that summer, summer
22 1998. I think of course Prekaz is the turning point of later
23 developments, that led to later developments.
24 Q. Mr. Limaj, are you trying to push all of the events further and
25 further into -- later into 1998? That is, events that occurred in March
1 and April you're pushing to the summer and the summer events to the fall?
2 Is that what you're trying to do in your testimony?
3 A. No, Your Honours. In fact, I am willing here, I'm ready to treat
4 the events week by week until summer, even autumn. I can tell you week
5 by week what happened. I'm speaking here about the developments in a
6 period, in a phase. But if you want me to speak about the events week by
7 week, I can do that. But what you're saying, that the KLA was organised
8 earlier, that's not true, because I followed the development of the KLA.
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, let's keep our focus on this clip that we just saw
10 where you talked about the KLA. You said that you were -- you were
11 motivated to show the world that the KLA was not like some other
12 organisations in Europe and had nothing in common with ETA and the IRA.
13 And that was at the time, that is in February and March, you were trying
14 to show the world that you were not like ETA and the IRA; correct?
15 A. We were trying to show the world that we did not have terrorist
16 objectives. Even earlier, not only in March and April, as you're saying.
17 No organisation would like to be called terrorist, but the statement Mr.
18 Gelbard made rang an alarm bell. It was very dangerous for us because it
19 came from a well-known personality. So there was continuous danger at
20 that time that the KLA would be described as terrorist, although we did
21 not want it to be like that. But as I said, later developments made us
22 become otherwise. So we were not described as terrorists because of
23 later developments.
24 Q. Mr. Limaj, on the second day of your testimony you described the
25 KLA in the early months, let's say March, April, May, as being a
1 guerrilla army.
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. You testified on the third day of your testimony, when you were
4 talking about Rahovec, you said that the KLA was still a guerrilla army.
5 You said Rahovec shows that the KLA was still a long way from being --
6 from being responsive to the new reality. It had remained still under
7 total confusion, a guerrilla unit. Do you remember that testimony, Mr.
9 A. I think I said it a little differently. I said that Rahovec is
10 an example that shows the confusion that reigned supreme at that time.
11 But events of -- after the 29th of May -- the KLA, after the 29th of May
12 did not have either guerrilla units or any kind of units, and you here
13 are trying to say that the KLA was well organised and so on. So it was
14 the events of that time that rang the alarm bell and told us that we had
15 to get organised.
16 Q. After the 29th of May, the KLA started fighting a frontal war,
17 didn't it?
18 A. I don't know what you mean by frontal war. I said that on the
19 29th of May without any military operation, Malisheva -- Malisheva [as
20 interpreted] prevented the Serbian forces from entering Malisheva because
21 different units were placed at the entrance of Malisheva.
22 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. What I mean by a frontal war is KLA
23 engaging the Serb forces directly, in a frontal fashion. That was the
24 strategy after the 29th May, wasn't it?
25 A. After the units were placed at this point, there have been
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1 confrontations in several cases. But in some other cases there were no
2 confrontations until the end of July. For example, in Rahovec, there
3 were no confrontations at all until the Rahovec fighting. The same with
4 Klina. There have been confrontations in Blace from the direction of
5 Duhla, and there have been confrontations in the Lapusnik gorge time and
6 again and also in several points.
7 Q. And those were frontal confrontations, not guerrilla
8 confrontations; correct?
9 A. Well, when these points were established there, that was frontal
10 confrontation, because it was known that the KLA was placed there.
11 Q. Ramiz Qeriqi testified that on the 14th of June - which,
12 incidentally, is the same date that you were talking about in the clip
13 that we saw earlier today when you were talking about Jakup Krasniqi's
14 first public declaration - "On the 14th of June," he said, "we came out
15 openly as an army. It was a frontal war." He said -- in this courtroom
16 he said, "From the 14th of June when we went on a frontal attack it was
17 no longer guerrilla warfare."
18 You agree with that, right, Mr. Limaj?
19 A. Your Honours, this is an example of how things developed. From
20 Likovc to Malisheva, these were how things developed. This is an example
21 until the date that Mr. Prosecutor is speaking about here. Until that
22 date this was a guerrilla unit. But after that, it became out [as
23 interpreted] and carried out public actions if I can call them and
24 created a line. And in fact, if I may say so, they copied or they did
25 what other units did in other places. But in the beginning, they were a
1 guerrilla unit and did the same things that the other guerrilla units did
2 in other places.
3 Q. So guerrilla -- guerrilla warfare; but that changed in the middle
4 of June 1998. That's your testimony.
5 A. Yes, exactly. That is the phase we're entering -- we were
6 entering. The KLA, from guerrilla activities, was entering a new phase,
7 new circumstances, and the General Staff was not ready to respond to this
8 uprising, to what was happening on the terrain. So in the beginning they
9 functioned as guerrilla units, but after that they entered a new phase
10 and there were attempts made to find other ways of organising the KLA.
11 And even the meeting with Mr. Krasniqi was about this. The events on the
12 terrain showed that --
13 Q. I'm going to interrupt you. I think you've answered the
15 Let's go back to the subject of collaborators. You agree, don't
16 you, with what Mr. Jakup Krasniqi said in this courtroom that commanders
17 in the KLA had the discretion to identify and deal with collaborators?
18 And I'll read you more specifically what he said. He said, "The
19 operational units were separated from each other. But they could make
20 their own decisions. When a person was harmful to the KLA, when such a
21 person is giving information on the movements of the KLA to the Belgrade
22 regime, in these instances the unit had all the power of discretion to
23 conduct such acts without any -- without taking the extra approval or
24 supplementary approval for such acts."
25 That's how it was, wasn't it, Mr. Limaj?
1 A. You can interpret Mr. Krasniqi's statement as you wish, but what
2 I'm saying here what I know and what I've been through.
3 Your Honours, as for attacks against the Serb police, this was
4 direct attacks because we were in war with the Serb police and those who
5 participated actively with the Serb forces.
6 Q. I'm talking about collaborators.
7 A. You're -- Mr. Prosecutor, you have mystified the term
8 "collaborator" so much here, and to tell you the truth, I don't even know
9 whether my parent here is considered as a collaborator here as well. I
10 am speaking of those collaborators who participated actively in violence,
11 in raids, in murders together with the Serbian police. And those were an
12 objective, a target for us. And these are the collaborators for me, but
13 others, no.
14 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm not talking about who are collaborators, I'm just
15 talking about who had the power to decide who were collaborators. And
16 what I'm putting to you, Mr. Limaj -- Mr. Limaj, please listen to my
17 question. I'm putting to what Mr. Krasniqi said and that is that
18 individual commanders had the power to decide who was and who was not a
19 collaborator. You agree with that, don't you, Mr. Limaj?
20 A. I am given trying to explain this to you. For us, collaborators
21 were those who were active with the Serbian police. We were in open war
22 with them. There wasn't any special request from the staff for someone
23 to fight the Serbian police, and whoever was fighting with the police,
24 together with the police, they were our target, our military target.
25 This is what I understand. And what Mr. Krasniqi understood, then that I
1 don't know. And if you're trying to interpret this differently, then I
2 do not agree with you because my entire activity shows the different
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, you're still not listening to my question. My
5 question is: Who had the power to decide who was a collaborator? It was
6 individual commanders. They could decide if somebody in their village or
7 in their area was a collaborator; correct?
8 A. Your Honours, I will try to give you my answer again. In a
9 certain village, let's say, in case the Serbian police and collaborators
10 attacked the population or undertook an operation the commander of that
11 unit was permitted to take actions against that police unit or to attack
12 police patrols or launch a direct attack.
13 Q. And, Mr. Limaj, you agree with Mr. Krasniqi, don't you, that
14 there were no procedures, no -- there was no trial, there was no
15 investigation, there was no hearing afforded to people who were accused
16 of collaboration, was there?
17 A. I agree fully that at that time we lacked these things, but I
18 don't know what you mean by people who were accused. As for those who
19 participated directly, there's no need for that; but as for others, then
20 I agree fully that there weren't any such proceedings and trials at that
22 Q. Let's talk about -- let's go back and talk about when you came to
23 Kosovo. Before you came to Kosovo in March of 1998, you were living with
24 Ismet Jashari in Switzerland; right?
25 A. I was not living with Ismet Jashari in Switzerland. I lived
1 alone, but I was in contact with him. We knew each other. I went to
2 visit him. He came to visit me. We went together on gatherings. So we
3 socialised. We met there. I did not live in Ismet Jashari's house.
4 Q. Did you ever live with him for any period of time either in his
5 house or some other place in Switzerland?
6 A. It could be, Your Honours, until I found an apartment because we
7 were changing apartments. Maybe I might make a mistake here, but it is
8 possible when we were moving from one apartment in one city to another to
9 -- it was possible for me to stay for a week with a friend or with
10 family, and this could have happened for four or five days or maximum one
11 week until I found my own apartment. However, I later on had my own
12 apartment. And I had my nephews and most of the time I stayed with my
13 nephews. I stayed mostly at Haxhi Shala's place.
14 Q. Your nephews, which nephews are you referring to?
15 A. I'm referring to my nephews that we mentioned two, three days
16 ago, my nephews from Klecka. Because part of them lived in Switzerland.
17 Q. Can you tell me their names?
18 A. I -- correction I lived at Shefqet's place, Shefqet Shala's
19 place. Shefqet lived in Lausanne, and since I was there as well I lived
20 with him. And then Dalip, Skender, these are the nephews with whom I
21 stayed, whom I visited. But those of the time I lived with Shefqet
22 because he was in Lausanne. And as I was living there, too --
23 Q. And that's Shefqet Shala, Dalip Shala and Skender Shala?
24 A. They are brothers.
25 Q. You testified you decided to come back to Kosovo after the events
1 at the end of February, beginning of March; right?
2 A. What I said is that the events in March accelerated this.
3 Q. You already had plans to come back to Kosovo, didn't you?
4 A. To tell you the truth, I had such a plan. I wanted -- whenever I
5 was given the opportunity to return back to Kosova I was thinking of
6 going back to Kosova, but as circumstances were such it wasn't --
7 impossible for me to go there immediately. I had to find the appropriate
8 moment to go back and that was when the Prekaz events took place.
9 Q. You testified that when you decided to go back you contacted Adem
10 Grabovci; correct?
11 A. We used to see each other quite frequently with Adem Grabovci on
12 these gatherings for fund-raising, but we also spent some time together
13 at Bardhyl Mahmuti's place. I know that Adem Grabovci travelled
14 frequently to Albania. He had such connections. And he was trying to
15 offer me the opportunity and to find me the proper route to go back to
16 Kosovo through Albania.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, if you focus on just answering my question this will
18 be a lot faster. Otherwise it's going to take a very, very long time,
20 After you decided to go, you contacted Adem Grabovci; right?
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 Q. How long after you contacted him did you actually go to Kosovo?
23 A. If I'm not mistaken, I think it was the gathering in Geneva after
24 the protests in Geneva in front of the UN building in Geneva. I think it
25 was that day. Many Albanians had gathered in front of the UN building to
1 show their revolt for the events in Kosova. I'm not sure now about the
2 date, but it was 5 or 6th, around this date.
3 Q. What, on the 5th or 6th of March that's when you told -- that's
4 when you spoke with Adem Grabovci?
5 A. It should be around this date, yes.
6 Q. And you left around the 11th of March; right?
7 A. If I'm not mistaken because you should bear in mind I may give
8 you the wrong date. I tried to go back once, but I missed the flight,
9 and the following day I took another flight. It should be around this
10 date, the 10th or 11th.
11 Q. You testified that you told your nephews in Switzerland that you
12 were going to London.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And are these the nephews that we were talking about just a
15 moment ago, these same nephews?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I'm going to show another clip from P34, the documentary on Sadik
18 Shala. This is from page 1.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. WHITING:
21 Q. So, Mr. Limaj, in fact you were planning from November 1997 to go
22 back to Kosovo; correct?
23 A. No, that's not correct. The truth is different, and I will
24 explain it here before you.
25 As I said, my idea was to go back to Kosovo and Prekaz
1 accelerated my attempts. But what you're trying to put to me here from
2 this documentary, the idea was whenever we would go back we didn't want
3 that person to be surprised. In fact, Rexhep Selimi could go to this
4 place as well because he knew that they were my nephews. And the same
5 with me. The idea was not for them to be surprised. Whoever goes to
6 them, we didn't want them to be surprised.
7 Q. It's also -- it's not true, is it, that you told your nephews
8 that you were going to London. You told Skender in November that you
9 would be coming to Kosovo?
10 A. Is Skender saying here that I was going to Klecke, and is he
11 saying that I'm going to Klecka as a KLA member? Skender is saying
12 something totally different. He's saying that Fatmir told me there is a
13 possibility for three up known persons to come there and to Skender I was
14 not an unknown person. I was his uncle. And here he is not saying that
15 three persons are going or who is going there. And from that
16 perspective, Skender is then saying that later on Daja, Haxhi and
17 Kumanova came. Please make -- separate the moments. This is produced in
18 2002 and reproduces some events that took part in the past. I did not
19 tell my nephews. I told them that I was going to London in order to
20 raise funds for Vendlindja Therret, Homeland is Calling.
21 Q. What Skender actually says in the tape is that you told him you
22 were -- that three people would come in November and that two or three
23 months later it happened and you and Haxhi Shala and Ismet Jashari came.
24 So at least he thought you were talking about yourself. That's what he
25 thought, that you were saying that you were coming.
1 A. Your Honours, I'm saying here that I was a witness to that event.
2 The reality is not what is seen on this video. I'm telling you for a
3 fact that his family, they didn't know that he was in Kosovo until June
4 and let alone this. We did say three persons and he's saying secret,
5 unknown. This is true that it happened, but it's not that he didn't know
6 who was going or when that person was going. And please separate the
8 Q. Mr. Limaj --
9 A. There's no need to confuse things here.
10 Q. In that clip you also talk about the importance of the area of
11 Klecka and Divjak to the General Staff; right? You're nodding your head
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. And in fact, the General Staff moved around during the months of
15 May, June, and July, but one of the places it operated from was from
16 Divjak, correct? During those months.
17 A. Your Honours, I can say that from the day when Mr. Krasniqi was
18 proclaimed a spokesperson this place can be considered as one of the
19 bases of the KLA, which was first a temporary basis [as interpreted] and
20 later on it was a permanent one.
21 Q. Rexhep Selimi was on the General Staff at that time; correct?
22 A. I said this yesterday as well. As representatives of the General
23 Staff, we had no idea what a general staff meant. I had no idea what a
24 general staff meant regardless of our background.
25 Q. Mr. Limaj --
1 A. As a representative --
2 Q. My question was simple. He was a member of the General Staff in
3 May 1998; correct? You know that now.
4 A. My answer is simple as well. I knew that Rexhep Selimi was a
5 member of a general staff, a full member in November 1998 when I was told
6 about my membership as well. Before that date, I didn't know that he was
7 a full member of the General Staff. I only knew that he was a
8 representative of the General Staff, and this is the logic.
9 Q. But in November 1998, you learned that he had -- that in fact he
10 had been a full member of the General Staff for some time; right?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. He was a member of the General Staff, but
12 we didn't know that.
13 Q. He stated in an interview that the General Staff operated -- one
14 of the places it operated from was from Divjak starting in May of 1998.
15 Again I'm going to suggest to you, Mr. Limaj, that you're pushing the
16 dates further and further into 1998 at every opportunity. In fact, it
17 was in May of 1998 when the General Staff started operating in Klecke;
19 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. You're trying to represent me as such here.
20 I'm -- in my statement, I said that the KLA, the General Staff had a
21 base, a KLA base -- not in May 1998 but in May 1997, and I also mentioned
22 the name of the owner of that house, Mr. Zogaj who was arrested around
23 the same time when my brother Demir was arrested. So as a base it
24 existed even before in Divjak, near Klecke. But I didn't know that. And
25 in that house it's there where the General Staff settled, and that house
1 today is a museum.
2 It's not true that I'm pushing you further and further into 1998,
3 but I'm taking you back to 1997 and telling you that that base had KLA
4 representatives even at that time. I'm just telling you the way how
5 things developed.
6 It is possible that Rexhep Selimi was in Divjak, because this
7 came to be true later on. It is possible.
8 Q. Just to be clear, I'll read to you what Rexhep Selimi said. He
9 said that from March until May, the general headquarters was in the
10 region of Drenica in the zone that they were discussing, but from this
11 day, from May, it passed in the zone of Pashtrik to the Berisha Mountains
12 in the village of Divjak.
13 In May -- in May of 1998, the General Staff started -- one of the
14 places it started operating from was Divjak; right?
15 A. As I'm speaking for myself here, until the public appearance of
16 Jakup Krasniqi, I did not know that representatives or members of the
17 General Staff had a base in Divjak. As I said, the representatives of
18 the General Staff came to my base. Until that time, I didn't know that
19 they had a base in Divjak, and I found out about that after Mr. Jakup
20 Krasniqi settled there in that base and after it became a seat for the
21 KLA General Staff.
22 Q. Going back, Mr. Limaj, to your trip to Kosovo in March of 1998,
23 you testified that you travelled to Albania with Haxhi Shala and Ismet
24 Jashari, but -- but that you had no plans to continue with them to
25 Kosovo. That was your testimony; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you arrived in Albania, you met up with a large group
3 and you went into Kosovo with this large group of approximately 30
4 people; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And there were some very impressive people in that group; right?
7 A. Some that I knew, yes, and who later I learned.
8 Q. Hashim Thaqi and Kadri Veseli the two men who you say led the
9 group were in fact at that time on the General Staff of the KLA; right?
10 A. At that time we didn't know that they were members of the General
11 Staff. And this should be clear to you. Make separations. Separate the
12 time. Don't confuse me.
13 I'm telling you clearly. At that time we didn't know that they
14 were members of the General Staff. I didn't even know what was Hashim
15 Thaqi's name, and I didn't even know what was Kadri Veseli's name. I
16 didn't know their names. I had seen them in Switzerland during a
17 gathering, but I didn't know his name.
18 Q. You learned later that they were members of the General Staff at
19 that time; correct?
20 A. In September 1998, I think it was around this time, Your Honours,
21 the General Staff came out with a statement in which Mr. Hashim Thaqi was
22 appointed political representative of the General Staff, and it's then
23 when I learned that he was a member of the General Staff. And later on I
24 learned that he was the leader of the political wing of the directorate,
25 correction, of the General Staff.
1 Q. Let's just talk about today. You knew that when you travelled
2 with Hashim Thaqi and Kadri Veseli in March of 1998, they were members of
3 the General Staff at that time. You know that now; right?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Adem Grabovci, he later became a member of the General Staff;
7 A. Adem Grabovci and myself became members of the General Staff on
8 the same date.
9 Q. Fehmi Lladrovci, Shukri Buja, Haxhi Shala, Ismet Jashari all
10 became important commanders within the KLA; correct?
11 A. This shows you the situation in which the KLA was, the level at
12 which it was before we went and when we went, because there was no other
13 who could deal with the organisation at that time to bring the KLA
14 activities into life. And it is true that the majority were appointed
15 later on.
16 Q. Mr. Limaj, the truth is that this group didn't just happen to
17 come together but this group was brought together, wasn't it? This group
18 was organised.
19 A. No. I don't think it was a coincidence, not in the way you're
20 thinking. They were people who were ready to self-sacrifice. It was not
21 that they were organised or that someone ordered them to go there. It
22 was because they were willing and ready to sacrifice themselves because
23 the Jashari family had given them the example of sacrifice, and we were
24 thinking that by sacrificing ourselves the issue of Kosova would be
1 And this is how I thought, Your Honours. I was ready to
2 sacrifice myself for my country and hoping that my sacrifice would open
3 the eyes of the public.
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm not talking about the motivation of the people in
5 the group. I'm talking about the fact that this group was brought
6 together. These people didn't just happen to arrive in Albania all at
7 the same time ready to go to Kosovo. This group was organised and
8 brought together; correct?
9 A. What do you mean by coincidence?
10 Q. What I mean is that the -- these people were told to come at a
11 certain time. They were told that there would be a group coming at a
12 certain time and they came from Switzerland and elsewhere to travel to
13 Albania at the same time.
14 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. After the March events, after the killing of
15 Adem Jashari, hundreds of thousands of people wanted to join the KLA.
16 Hundreds of thousands of people from the streets wanted to join. That's
17 why it's not true what you're saying.
18 We did meet in Tirana. Someone had organised that trip. Someone
19 had organised the passing of the -- the crossing of the border. There's
20 no dilemma about that. But it's not true what you're saying that someone
21 was designated to organise these things.
22 Q. But the trip was not just organised from Albania. It was
23 organised from Switzerland; correct? That is, these people arrived in
24 Albania at the same time because they were organised to arrive in Albania
25 at the same time and travel to Kosovo. They had been selected to travel
1 to Kosovo.
2 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, they were not selected. I'm telling you the
3 truth. I don't want to speculate about others, but I'm telling you my
4 story. Who selected Haxhi Shala and Ismet Jashari? I went. They came
5 with me to Albania. It's when they came to Albania it's then that they
6 realised that I was going to Kosovo and that I was a member of the KLA,
7 and it's then when they heard it for the first time from my mouth. And I
8 cannot speak on others' behalf because then that would be speculation.
9 As to how others were organised, I don't know but I'm speaking of my own
10 experience. But as you're saying it was then when lists were made, when
11 uniforms were started to be purchased.
12 But at the time when we went, Your Honours, except for myself and
13 these two guys, they only knew and found out about that in Albania where
14 I was going. I don't want to speculate about Fehmi or other friends, but
15 I know the truth about myself.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, because we had a late start I assume
17 we have a late break or would you prefer to remain with the schedule
18 or --
19 JUDGE PARKER: We will break at about 4.00.
20 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. You testified that when you entered Kosovo you and your group
22 went to Drenica because, as you said, that's where the fighting was going
23 on. Do you remember testifying to that? You said that the only address
24 was Drenica.
25 A. Exactly. The only address to which we could go was Drenica, and
1 we headed to Drenica because the fighting was going on in Drenica.
2 Drenica was known as a place that had KLA.
3 Q. You arrived with a weapon and a bag of ammunition; right?
4 A. Yes, with a bag of ammunition.
5 Q. And specifically you went to Likovc.
6 A. To tell you the truth, these two or three villages, there are two
7 or three villages in a row. I didn't know at the time where I was, but
8 later on I learned that it was Likovc. We arrived at 3.00 or 4.00 in the
10 Q. When you arrived in Likovc, you said -- you testified that you
11 found the people there scared because they feared retaliation from the
12 Serbs. Do you remember that testimony on your first day in this
14 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, because at the time Serbia had only already
15 surrounded part of Drenica. Events had taken place. Not only Likoshan
16 and Qirez had seen massacres and that's why this was evident with the
17 population, with the local population of these villages.
18 Q. You said that they were not capable of protecting their village.
19 Do you remember that, remember testifying to that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You testified that the situation was very grave.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. So your testimony, then, is that seeing this, arriving at this
24 situation with a weapon and ammunition, seeing a scared population that
25 could not protect itself, you then had the idea on your own to head in
1 the opposite direction and go to your village of Klecke which you
2 described in your testimony as a "remote, mountainous village." Is that
3 your testimony?
4 A. No. Let us be clear. After we arrived at Likovc, as you
5 described it, that was the situation there.
6 Your Honours, civilian population were standing guard duty in the
7 village. And this was even happening in the 1990s in Kosova. But as
8 people who had come from the west, we wanted to meet KLA representatives.
9 Q. Let's keep our focus on March of 1998, okay? If -- your
10 testimony is that seeing this grave situation, population that feared
11 retaliation, that could not protect itself, you went -- instead you
12 decided on your own to go to a remote mountainous village, in the
13 opposite direction. Is that your testimony, Mr. Limaj?
14 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not saying this, and you're trying to
15 impose that on me.
16 Your Honours, the situation was such -- fear was evident.
17 There's no dilemma about that. We stayed there for a week. It was a
18 poor village. Villages did not have the means to support themselves let
19 alone us.
20 Seeing this reality and seeing that a part of Serbian forces was
21 withdrawing, we decided to leave Likovc. This is the truth. And we
22 wanted to begin with our military activities so that to avoid the
23 possibility of the Serb forces to localise the attacks only in one area.
24 This was our reason -- these were our reasons for leaving Likovc. It was
25 not that people were frightened and that's why we left. We went there in
1 order to sacrifice ourselves for them, for that -- for the people.
2 Q. The truth, Mr. Limaj, is that you were sent from Likovc to
3 accomplish a bigger mission, isn't it, for the KLA, that is to organise
4 the area in the other parts of Drenica.
5 A. I told you already, Mr. Prosecutor, because the situation was
6 such I decided to go to a place where I could operate, to my own
7 municipality. It was in our interest to expand the war, to expand the
8 ranks of the KLA. Simply, Malisheve was my municipality. I was going
9 back to my birthplace.
10 Q. You were sent by the KLA to that area. You were sent there.
11 A. You should know how guerrilla warfare operates and what a
12 guerrilla units means. By the nature, the very nature of the guerrilla
13 warfare, it is logical for a small group - two, three like we were - to
14 go there to find a base where they could shelter, to carry out the action
15 and come back to the base. Secondly, the task is to recruit another
16 person in order to expand. And these are the activities that we
17 performed at that time. I didn't know at that time of any person who was
18 member of the KLA in that region.
19 Q. Sylejman Selimi stated in his interview he said -- referring to
20 you he said, "Naturally I think he," Fatmir Limaj, "had some sort of
21 directive in the General Staff to create the units." That's true, isn't
22 it? You had a directive.
23 A. I'm not saying here anything differently. What I'm saying is
24 that we met with Mr. Rexhep Selimi. I said to him, "Rexhep, there's no
25 need for me to stay here. I will contribute more to the KLA if I start
1 with the activities in my area." And he agreed with my idea. And from
2 this conversation, I set off for my municipality. Of course I didn't
3 leave Likovc without telling where I was going. We discussed the best
4 interests for us. I wanted to find out about their experience, to
5 exchange experiences.
6 Q. It wasn't just Rexhep Selimi. It was Rexhep Selimi and Hashim
7 Thaqi; correct?
8 A. Yes, that's correct. I think that Hashim was present during the
9 second meeting if I'm in the mistaken. Maybe he was present in both
10 meetings but I don't remember. I know that he was present in one of
11 them. I knew that he was there with Shukri, because he addressed me with
12 Shukri. He told me to take him up to a part where he could pass to his
13 own municipality. Hashim was there as well.
14 Q. Well, since you raise Shukri, Shukri Buja stated that you were
15 appointed to lead a group to Klecke and the purpose of the group was to
16 organise the KLA in the area of Suva Reka and Malisheva, but you were
17 appointed to do that job by Rexhep Selimi and Hashim Thaqi. That's what
18 Shukri Buja says. It's in evidence in this case.
19 A. Your Honours, I'm telling you the truth. Your Honours, I
20 couldn't have led the group from Drenica to Malisheve, neither could
21 Shukri Buja because he doesn't know the terrain and not even Ismet
22 Jashari because it was the first time he was in that terrain. Not even
23 Haxhi Shala because he was for years in Switzerland. So even myself I
24 didn't know that road, but at least I had a better knowledge than the
25 others. But if you want, I have been the leader of this group up to
2 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think that's a convenient time.
3 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, may I just interpose before we rise,
4 just one matter.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: I've listened very carefully to the
7 cross-examination so far yesterday and today, and the method of
8 cross-examination here I would submit is misleading, and many in
9 jurisdictions the idea that you put to a witness what another witness
10 says for comment is usually prohibited. However, I understand here
11 there's a different approach.
12 If, in fact, what is going to happen, and it happened yesterday,
13 a selection of witnesses so far are put before this witness - this is a
14 very good example - in order to make a point, which is more of a speech
15 point than anything else, then I would ask that Mr. Whiting puts all the
16 other witnesses that deal with this very point, one of which he's just
17 mentioned, who was disclosed very late, and that is what Mr. Thaqi says
18 about this very point.
19 At the end of the day, there isn't a clear position, and that --
20 Mr. Whiting was present at that particular interview, then these matters
21 must be put fairly and squarely, in my submission. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will adjourn and resume at twenty
23 past four.
24 --- Recess taken at 4.01 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Before you commence, Mr. Whiting, could I
2 indicate, Mr. Mansfield, we feel there is no reason to take any action in
3 respect of your words before we broke. It is a matter which can be dealt
4 with clearly in final address and even, if necessary, at some particular
5 matters in re-examination.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. Thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
8 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, focusing constituent on when you arrive in Likovc.
10 You testified on the second day in this courtroom that when you arrived
11 in Likovc "You were eager to hear from Rexhep," meaning Rexhep Selimi, as
12 to "what to do, how to act when we arrived there." Remember that
13 testimony on the second day?
14 A. As I said, yes. I said here today that we discussed and we
15 wanted to know what the situation was. We wanted to know what the
16 reality was and how things were going. We discussed as friends and with
17 others too.
18 Q. You were eager to hear from Rexhep because you knew already then
19 that he was a higher person in the KLA; right, Mr. Limaj?
20 A. No. No, sir. I wanted to talk to Rexhep because he was a
21 schoolmate. He was a friend of -- of the schooltime, and it was quite
22 normal to talk to him. And I thought that he -- he was going to tell me
23 how things were going, as a friend.
24 Q. You wanted to know from him "what to do, how to act." That's --
25 those are your words. You wanted to find out from him "what to do."
1 Isn't that right, Mr. Limaj?
2 A. After those days we sat to talk about the situation. Why should
3 I stay here? It would be better for me to go to my municipality. What
4 do you think about this move? And he agreed with my idea that it would
5 be better to go to my municipality in Malisheve.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, Shukri Buja stated and it's in evidence, it's P160,
7 page 24, he said that at this time when you were in Likovc he said,
8 "Fatmir Limaj was assigned the task of coordinating work with the General
9 Staff while I had to coordinate with Fatmir." That's what happened in
10 Likovc; right? You were assigned to coordinate with the General Staff,
11 and the others like Shukri were assigned to coordinate with you; right?
12 A. No, it's not true. I heard him say otherwise in spite of what
13 you're saying. What I've heard him say is different, and he cannot lie
14 in front of me, and the truth is the one I'm saying, and it's not true
15 what you're saying. But he has said it differently. It's different from
16 what you're saying.
17 Q. He can't lie in front of you or he can't tell the truth in front
18 of you, Mr. Limaj?
19 A. No. I'm talking about this Court, this Chamber, in front of this
21 Q. I'm talking about what you said, "in front of me." He can't lie
22 in front of you or he can't tell the truth in front of you, Mr. Limaj?
23 A. Mr. Prosecutor, in spite of all efforts, all efforts that you
24 have done to terrorise me and my family, you must realise that the
25 strength of the argument is on my side. You are trying to put pressure
1 on me, and this is not true. The truth is the one that I'm saying, Mr.
2 Prosecutor. I'm saying it again. That man has said the truth and the
3 reality in front of this Chamber, and he knew what the truth was, and he
4 knew that my Defence would use arguments to support that.
5 Please do not try to change and misinterpret my words, please.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, Haxhi Shala, Topi, when he was interviewed he said
7 that when he went to Drenica as part of your group he was appointed by
8 the General Staff to supply weapons from Albania to Kosovo, that that
9 would be his job when you all went to Klecke. That's what he said in his
10 interview, and that you were, in April of 1998, you were the commander in
11 Klecka and that you were responsible for the organisation in the Malisevo
12 area. That's what Haxhi Shala said in his interview. That's true, isn't
14 A. No, it's not truth. Why don't you bring Haxhi Shala to testify
15 here? He will tell you what the truth is. The truth is after April, in
16 June, sometime in June it happened.
17 Your Honours, after that great amount of people started to get
18 organised, then people started to think about it because some people sent
19 money. Some people went to buy weapons in Albania. Then the General
20 Staff issued an order there should be two units who will be responsible
21 for supplying weapons, and this happened sometime in June when the road
22 of Junik was opened. It's not possible in April or May.
23 Q. Once again, Mr. Limaj, you're pushing forward the dates of all
24 these events. The events that occurred in March you're now saying
25 occurred in June. Isn't that what you're doing here, Mr. Limaj?
1 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. I'm trying to tell you what the situation
2 was. You are trying to change the direction of things. The truth is
3 this: In March, what can I say -- what -- what weapons do we need for
4 three people in March? Up until after the 9th of May, we were about
5 seven people, and we were in deep secrecy. We operated in deep secrecy.
6 The activity that was taking place at the time I told you, things
7 happened later, and this is the reality. It is common knowledge in
8 Kosova. When roads started to be opened and -- Junik is on the border
9 with Albania, and at that time people started to move stuff with lorries
10 and mules and everything. It was the end of June and the beginning of
11 July. That's when the offensive started.
12 Q. Let's stay focused on April if we could, Mr. Limaj. In -- after
13 you went to Klecka and, I submit, to coordinate matters with the General
14 Staff, you remained in contact with Rexhep Selimi in Likovc in April;
16 A. First of all, your suggestions are incorrect, and I cannot accept
17 them. Whereas my movements, Your Honours, of course after I went to
18 Klecka in March, time after time I went to Drenica, contacted with
19 Rexhep, sometimes with Sylejman, sometimes with Muje Krasniqi, Muse
20 Jashari, depending on who was around. It's true. But it's not as you
22 Q. In April you went several times to Likovc; correct?
23 A. I think we were on two or three in Likovc, in Likovc. For the
24 first time it was the end of April. It was Rexhep Selimi, because he had
25 to go somewhere. I can't remember where, but he was in transit.
1 Q. You think the first time you went back to Likovc was at the end
2 of April?
3 A. No, no, no. Rexhep Selimi came to Likovc in April for the first
5 Q. I'm talking about your trips to Likovc. You went to Likovc
6 several times in April; correct?
7 A. I told you. Two or three times during April. It may be one more
8 time, but two, three, at the most four, because it was difficult, Your
9 Honours. We operated in deep secrecy. To go from Klecke to Likovc --
10 Jusuf Jashari was injured because it was a difficult trip. It had to be
11 done at night, and we were very limited and restrained in our movements
12 at that time.
13 Q. And you told us that Rexhep Selimi came to Klecke for the first
14 time at the end of April.
15 A. Yes, approximately. Yes, it should be for the first time. After
16 the 20th of April, of course.
17 Q. Now, you said a moment ago that you were operating in deep
18 secrecy; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you testified before that secrecy was one of the reasons that
21 you and other members of the KLA wore masks.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You -- in your case you continued to wear masks until the 9th of
24 May; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You know -- you know that others in the KLA wore masks even after
2 that date; correct?
3 A. Here it depends of when we are talking about. We should clarify
4 the circumstances. For example, after the 9th of May, for the first time
5 we -- we came out during the day without masks. We -- we used the masks,
6 but it was then that we removed them. I'm talking about ourselves.
7 Whereas in Malisheva there were still units who were in secrecy,
8 operating in secrecy, because the points were not set up in Malisheva.
9 Where there were Serb checkpoints around, then the masks were needed.
10 And we're talking about the 15th of June in Kroimire, that depended on
11 how the events moved.
12 Q. And in addition to wearing masks, you used pseudonyms to protect
13 your identities?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. You would also hide your role or your function from those who did
16 not need to know what your functions were; correct?
17 A. What roles are you talking about when we had a unit of three
18 people? Who were we going to hide stuff from? Because we were friends.
19 Q. For example, you told us earlier today that Rexhep Selimi was a
20 member of the General Staff but you didn't find that out until November
21 of 1998.
22 A. Please, we should make a distinction here. It's not the same as
23 member of the General staff or member of the guerrilla unit. And Rexhep
24 Selimi as a member of General Staff, he did not reveal his identity
25 because it was a different importance. But a guerrilla unit that we
1 were, we were only three people, and we -- we couldn't hide anything from
2 each other.
3 Q. Mr. Limaj, my question was about the KLA in general, about -- it
4 wasn't about you. It was about the KLA in general, that people --
5 commanders in the KLA would, as part of this deep secrecy, would hide
6 their role -- for example, Rexhep Selimi and others would hide their
7 roles from those who did not need to know what their role was, what their
8 function was. Isn't that true?
9 A. No, it's not accurate. The units are a different thing, and the
10 General Staff is another thing. In the case of the General Staff, yes,
11 but in the case of the units there is nothing to hide. Everybody has --
12 has shown the fact that they were members of the KLA. And if there are
13 five people in the unit, one is the leader and that's known.
14 Q. I understand. I'm talking about people with roles, for example,
15 on the General Staff or other commanding roles. They would hide their
16 functions from those who did not need to know; correct?
17 A. There have been no commanding roles or functions. They were
18 members of the guerrilla units, and you know that there were no
19 commanding roles. And the international opinion knows that, but you are
20 trying to introduce something which did not exist. Please, Mr.
21 Prosecutor, let's not say things which did not exist. In spite of the
22 attempts you're making, these are things that did not exist.
23 Q. I'm just trying to find out the truth, Mr. Limaj. Speaking about
24 the General Staff, they would hide their roles, and they did that -- they
25 hid their roles until November; correct? The members of the General
1 Staff hid their roles until approximately November of 1998; correct?
2 A. Your Honours, if someone knew who -- who was a member of the
3 General Staff, you had all these educated people like Hashim Thaqi,
4 Krasniqi and others who had university degrees, and we -- we are not
5 talking about a General Staff with military trained people. This is my
6 opinion. As for the units they are quite a different thing.
7 Q. You are answering a different question than the one I put to you.
8 My question simply was: The members of the General Staff they hid their
9 roles from those who did not need to know until approximately November of
10 1998; correct?
11 A. Yes, that's true. For example, we should -- Hashim Thaqi and
12 another group, they came out in September or October as political
13 representatives, whereas other representatives like, for example, the --
14 Rexhep Selimi as a general inspector of the army, I heard that later on.
15 And that was December, when he became -- when I knew that he was a member
16 of the General Staff.
17 Q. So your testimony is that there were many people even within --
18 who were within the KLA who did not know who was a member of the General
19 Staff; correct? Before November 1998.
20 A. Now -- now there are people who say there are -- we started the
21 war with Adem Jashari and that's how we fought the war. But I must say
22 that very few are the people who knew who the members of the General
23 Staff were. And then after the war ended, then everybody started talking
24 as if they knew things, who the members were. But at the time, for the
25 time that we are talking about, very few people knew.
1 Q. And one reason to maintain this kind of secrecy was so that the
2 Serb forces, the Serb authorities, would not find out who these people
3 were; correct? That was one reason to maintain secrecy.
4 A. Yes, of course, one of the reasons. That was one. It was their
5 families who were affected. And if the Yugoslav army knew who were
6 organising the war, and it would be much easier for them to crush the
8 Q. Of course. And that also -- as a result of that secrecy, it was
9 also difficult for others, for outsiders, to know who were the members of
10 the General Staff, who were the commanders of the KLA; correct?
11 A. I'm saying it again. We -- within the KLA we didn't know, let
12 alone the outsiders.
13 Q. Now, just to focus back again on the secrecy for the ordinary
14 soldier, let's say, the masks, the pseudonym. That secrecy was also to
15 protect the members of the KLA from Serb forces, from Serb authorities;
17 A. Yes, but this was in territories which were under Serbian control
18 or where there were families exposed to danger.
19 Q. And would you agree, Mr. Limaj, with what Shukri Buja said in his
20 testimony here in this courtroom? He said that one strategy that was
21 used by the Serb police was to attempt to compromise Albanians by
22 bringing them to the police station repeatedly and then -- forcing them
23 to come to the police station repeatedly and then spreading rumours that
24 they were giving information. That was one tactic that was used by the
25 Serb police. Would you agree with that?
1 A. Your Honours, I cannot speculate. Anything could have happened
2 under the rule of the secret police, Serbian secret police, or under the
3 rule of that regime. They have used different methods that you cannot
4 think of. Anything that one could bring to mind, they have used it.
5 Q. Certainly one method that you would -- one method that you were
6 aware of was what Ramadan Behluli described in this courtroom when he
7 said that the Serbian MUP tried to get information from Albanians about
8 the KLA by interrogating them in the streets or in the police
9 departments. That was certainly one tactic that you were familiar with;
11 A. That was done as a rule by the Serbian police. They were
12 interested in finding information. And that was especially happening in
13 territories under their control. This happened where they -- in
14 territories where they knew that there was KLA movements, and they --
15 they have done this to villages in my area too.
16 Q. Now, let's go back to March and April and May. Well, let's --
17 March and April of 1998. In fact, Mr. Limaj, you've described yourself
18 repeatedly as a guerrilla commander of just a few men during that time
19 period, but in fact you were one of the early -- one of the early leaders
20 of the KLA. You're laughing.
21 A. I'm laughing because --
22 Q. You've considered yourself one of the early leaders of the KLA;
23 correct? You've described yourself that way.
24 A. I'm sorry because I laughed, but I laughed because of this: Your
25 Honours, when we went to Klecka, we were only three people and we did not
1 have a leader. And if we had had a leader, he would have told us, "You
2 have to wake up in the morning, do this during the day," and I wouldn't
3 be able to deal with that. The only motive to go there, to enter the
4 country, was to do something for my country, to come to the aid of my
5 people, and I was ready to sacrifice my own life for that. I was ready
6 to sacrifice myself for the Kosova cause. I had no idea. I had no
7 preparation. All my life speaks about a different orientation. But
8 there was nobody else in the long-run. We saw it later on, there was
9 nobody else. So that's why I had to do the things that I have done.
10 Q. Mr. Limaj, after the events in Prekaz --
11 A. But I didn't see myself as a leader.
12 Q. Well, we'll get back to that in a moment. But after the events
13 in Prekaz, there were many, many men in Kosovo, men and boys in Kosovo
14 who were joining the KLA. Not just you. Not just you and the three men
15 in Klecka but --
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. -- many, many.
18 A. No. I'm not saying that there were only three of us all the
19 time. I'm speaking about my experience. At that time, I did not know
20 that there were other people. I am sure about this.
21 You're asking me about myself, and I'm showing you or I'm telling
22 you about my experience. I told me about my thoughts at the time, the
23 situation. Of course the Prekaz events brought many people to our ranks.
24 Of course.
25 Q. Precisely. Many people started joining after the events of
1 Prekaz. Just like you did. There were many other people in Kosovo who
2 started joining the KLA, correct, after Prekaz?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. But this happened time after time. It
4 didn't happen overnight. You can't just push a button and bring people.
5 For example, after the Prekaz massacre, the protests started. Popular
6 protests in Pristina, and then they expanded to other cities outside
7 Kosova as well, in Albania. Wherever Albanians lived. And he there was
8 the women's protests. So everything increased. The revolt increased.
9 So after the Prekaz events, hundreds of thousands of people came out in
10 Pristina and cheered slogans in favour of the KLA. So this also happened
11 in the west.
12 And if I may continue?
13 Q. Well, I think you've answered the question. Let's move on to
14 other questions, otherwise we'll be here, as I said, for a very long
16 Mr. Limaj, let's go back who how described yourself from a leader
17 from the start. I'm going to show you another clip. It's P36.
18 [Videotape played]
19 MR. WHITING:
20 Q. So there, Mr. Limaj, you described yourself -- you were asked if
21 you and Hashim Thaqi and the others were in fact the real leadership of
22 the KLA from the very beginning and you said, "Of course, of course."
23 A. No. No. We have to interpret this as it is. It says clearly
24 here "the group," and amongst this group there were people like Hashim,
25 and Kadri Veseli, Fehmi Lladrovci, Sami Lushtaku and others. And as I
1 said, Your Honours, these 30 people --
2 Q. And you.
3 A. Just a moment, sir. Yes, of course, I was there. It's a well
4 known fact that I was there.
5 So when we entered, these were people who were ready to
6 sacrifice, and of course because they were ready to sacrifice, some
7 people of this group became one of the key figures of the KLA. I'm
8 mentioning one thing here --
9 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt, but you say that -- in this clip you say
10 that you were the real leadership of the KLA from the very beginning.
11 Not that you became leaders, but that you were the real leadership from
12 the very beginning. And that's how it was, wasn't it, Mr. Limaj? You
13 and the others you've mentioned, you were the real leadership from the
15 A. No, that's not true. It's about Hashim here, yes, and that is
16 true, but later on some of us became leaders in the war. Hashim, Kadri,
17 Fehmi Lladrovci, they were. In fact Fehmi Lladrovci was not a commander
18 there or in the General Staff. But Hashim Thaqi and Kadri Veseli were
19 from the beginning til the end. And in fact, Hashim Thaqi came out as
20 the political leader of the KLA. He was also in Rambouillet.
21 But if you're trying to say that all of us were leaders from that
22 moment, in the beginning, no, that's not true, Mr. Prosecutor. This
23 group went into Kosovo. Seventy per cent of the people of this group
24 later became commanders of the zones, of brigades, as well as member of
25 the General Staff, and this is the context of what I was saying there
1 about the leadership of the KLA. And I couldn't just give dates there to
2 say that this person was a member or a leader from this date on or the
3 other person was a member of General Staff or a leader from the beginning
4 or from the middle of the war. These are facts that everybody in Kosova
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, let's look at a document which was proceeded to you
7 yesterday and I assume you had a chance to read. It's some excerpts from
8 a book. I don't know if you have them there in front of you. You're
9 shaking your head yes.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now -- and this has been provided. It's starting with tab 1. If
12 you could just look at tab 1, please. This is a book -- could you read
13 the title for me please of the book?
14 A. Phoenixes of Freedom.
15 Q. And this is a book -- you're familiar with this book. It's a
16 collection of books; correct?
17 A. Just a second, please. Yes, now we can go on. That is problem
18 here with the --
19 Q. Maybe if the usher --
20 A. Yes, okay.
21 Q. Are you hear me now okay?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You're familiar with this book. It's actually a collection of
24 several books.
25 A. No, I'm not familiar with it. I saw it last night for the first
2 Q. You're familiar with the project to write these books; correct?
3 A. I had heard about this project, such a project, and I may say
4 that, yes. But this book, I had never read it before. I saw it last
5 night for the first time.
6 Q. Your testimony is you only heard about this project?
7 A. No. I said about the book, that I had not read the book,
8 while --
9 Q. The project, though, you were aware of the project to write those
10 books; correct?
11 A. Yes, there were some initiatives. I don't know if you can hear
13 Q. I can hear you. In fact, you sign the approval for the book;
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And if you turn to the -- if you turn to the third page of tab 1,
17 you'll see where you signed. You see your name about halfway there?
18 That's your signature; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But your testimony is that until last night you had not read
21 these selections?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor -- this is a project, Your Honours, to set up an
23 editing board for this project. But I did not read the book. So this
24 was about the board, but I have not read the book.
25 Q. Last night you had a chance to read these excerpts?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If -- if we could turn to the first one. It's at tab 2, which is
3 about Sadik Shala. Sadik Shala is your nephew; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And -- before he was killed in Rahovec on the 19th of July.
6 A. [No interpretation]
7 Q. I'm going to ask you, please, to turn to the second page --
8 A. On the 19th, yes. Sorry, Mr. Prosecutor. Before we go on, I
9 have marked those -- some of the pages. I have underlined some excerpts.
10 I don't know whether this is a mistake, whether this is wrong. Maybe it
11 is not allowed here. I don't know.
12 Q. There's no problem with marking it, but if you could just focus
13 on my questions, please.
14 If you could turn to the second page. It's page 210 on the
15 Albanian, and it's the second page of the English, and I just want to
16 read you -- it's -- on the Albanian it's -- I believe it's the last
17 paragraph of the Albanian, and it says: "On 21 March 1998, the KLA cell
18 was formed in Klecka. The first unit of this cell was named Celiku,
19 which consisted of Fatmir Limaj, Celiku; Ismet Jashari, Kumanova; Haxhi
20 Shala, Topi; and Sadik Shala with his brothers Nexhmi, Sabit and Bajram.
21 You're turning red, Mr. Limaj.
22 A. I did not understand the question.
23 Q. I said you're turning -- when I was reading that you're turning
25 A. No, no. I'm sorry. No. There is no reason to.
1 Q. This is true, isn't it, on the 21st of March when you arrived in
2 Klecka this cell, this first unit, the Celiku unit was formed, wasn't it?
3 A. Your Honours, yes. The cell -- the creation of the cell is the
4 21st of March, but it got the name Celiku later on.
5 Well, about what you said about getting red, blushing, there are
6 mistakes here. There are things that are wrong here, even fatal mistakes
7 I must say.
8 Q. In the passage I just read, though, that's correct?
9 A. There are grave mistakes here, and I need to speak about them.
10 Q. Let's focus --
11 A. There are mistakes. There are inconsistencies.
12 Q. Mr. Limaj, let's just focus on the passage I read. The passage I
13 read is true, isn't it?
14 A. On the 21st of March, the cell was there, yes. Three of us were
15 in this cell, and later on it turned into the Celiku unit. And after
16 that Celiku 1 and Celiku 2.
17 Q. In fact, it was Celiku already in March of 1998.
18 A. No, that's not true.
19 Q. You were Celiku and the unit was Celiku.
20 A. No, that's not true. No, and I can argue against what you're
21 saying. It's not true. The truth is different.
22 By the end of April, it got the name Celiku. We got two radios,
23 two radios to communicate with each other, and then we got the name
24 Celiku because we had to communicate with each other as Celiku 1 and
25 Celiku 2. It was not true until April, until the end of April. We were
1 a unit, and my nephews joined the unit with -- there were five of us
2 later, but it was not the Celiku unit until the end of April.
3 Q. Again, Mr. Limaj, I'm going to suggest that you're pushing
4 forward the dates. Once again another example of pushing forward the
5 dates. That's what you're doing, aren't you? Let's turn, please to --
6 A. No, no. On the opposite. You are trying to describe here a
7 reality that was not like that. The truth is different. You are trying
8 to create something that did not exist. It was not like that.
9 Q. Can you explain how that was -- how they got that -- the person
10 who wrote that in this book got that wrong?
11 A. Your Honours, I'm just taking an example. I have to explain here
12 because when I say mistakes have been made, on the 8th of January, 1997,
13 Sadik contacts the KLA and becomes a member of the KLA. 8th of January,
14 1997, Sadik manages to contact Fatmir Limaj and become a member of the
16 While we saw in the film, Your Honours, where I said that I sent
17 word to Skender, who is Sadik's brother that three people will come to
18 your place. If that was not like that I couldn't have sent word to them.
19 It's not true. What's said here is not true. It's a mistake.
20 Q. That's a typographical error, isn't it, Mr. Limaj?
21 A. No. I think this is a professional mistake made by the people
22 who compiled this.
23 MR. MANSFIELD: May I just intervene for a moment? I haven't so
24 far objected to this, but once again it would be helpful to know the
25 provenance of the book, who actually wrote this passage. If it's going
1 to be used to test the credibility of the witness which was the original
2 objective of this, apparently, then for his credibility to be tested one
3 needs to know a great deal more about this document and so far the
4 comments that are being made regularly, whether it's his turning colour
5 or his reaction to a particular passage and so on we say is not proper.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, the provenance is an issue of
7 materiality. If you would like to explore that.
8 MR. WHITING:
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, you were involved, were you not, in setting up the
10 board to write this -- write these histories of these individuals;
12 A. No. This is not true, Your Honours. I don't know who the author
13 of this book is. I know about the initiative. This was an initiative of
14 the veterans of war and some historians to create a board that would
15 collect all the materials about the martyrs in one place because people
16 did not know who the martyrs were, where they were from, what they had
17 done and so on. So that's why I supported this initiative to collect all
18 these materials together. And we were ready to have consultations with
19 them. And if they wanted to consult us, I expressed my willingness to
20 help. But this is as far as it went.
21 I never compiled or wrote or did anything in this book. Nobody
22 came to consult me. And at that time you must know that there were
23 several books that were published with all good intentions. There are
24 many mistakes made here. I see mistakes here about Sadik and Ismet, but
25 also about myself. There are mistakes here about what they say about me.
1 Maybe they did not consult the people, the concrete people who were
2 involved in order to write the things as they were.
3 You have -- you have my picture there, and in one of the lines it
4 says that "Fatmir Limaj was wounded on the 25th of June, 1998." I myself
5 know when I was wounded, and there are proofs here that show when I was
6 wounded. While here it says "Sadik, Fatmir and Ismet Jashari came in
7 1997." This is also a mistake, because I told you when we returned from
9 So I don't know. To speak the truth, I don't know who the
10 authors are, and they -- I can tell you that they did not consult me, and
11 that's unfortunate, because there are serious mistakes that have been
12 made here.
13 But this is a concrete example, typical example that speaks about
14 the fact that each person has his own truth in his mind, his own story in
15 his mind, because the situation was so confused that everybody saw the
16 situation in -- in their own eyes. And I'm expressing to you the way I
17 saw the situation with my own eyes. With all their goodwill and all the
18 best intentions they have made fatal mistakes here. There are several
19 other examples here as well.
20 Q. Mr. Limaj --
21 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I am sorry to intervene. I do try
22 to resist doing it. In view of the answer and the fact that this is all
23 going to credibility, in my submission there can be no further use of
24 this document. It's not a document he's compiled. It's not a document
25 he's authored. It's not his document. I accept, obviously, if it was
1 the question of credibility could be used further but at this stage I
2 would submit that's the send of it. It's a collateral matter, and there
3 should be no further questioning without that provenance being proved.
4 And one final remark. As I understand it, it's no intention for this to
5 be exhibited.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would just -- I appreciate Mr.
7 Mansfield's remarks. However, it is a published document, and the -- the
8 point that Mr. Limaj has testified about is repeated again and again in
9 the document, and I would just ask to have another question or two to
10 pursue this matter and then I'll move on.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Did you mean that you would be moving on to return
12 to it for cross-examination on other matters?
13 MR. WHITING: No. I'd move on to another issue.
14 JUDGE PARKER: But you feel you have not exhausted this question
15 of provenance; is that it?
16 MR. WHITING: No, I'm sorry on the issue of provenance I have no
17 further questions. I have one or two further questions on what is
18 actually in the text, because there is a repetition of the issue that
19 we've been talking about.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Whiting.
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Mr. Limaj, in reviewing these excerpts about Sadik Shala, Ismet
23 Jashari and Jete Hasani, you saw in all three excerpts it described the
24 Celiku units as being set up in March of 1998; correct? Did you see
25 that? Did you notice that? In all --
1 A. Yes, of course I noticed it. But it's not true, sir. There are
2 catastrophic mistakes here, and I gave you an example here. This person
3 who has written this had no idea about what went on. They said I was
4 wounded in June of -- June 1998, but I wasn't.
5 Q. Just to be clear, your testimony is that this mistake is repeated
6 again and again in the book, this same mistake?
7 A. No, Your Honours. This is the -- not the only mistake. There
8 are other mistakes as well, and this shows that the authors of this book
9 have not had even elementary knowledge, not about Sadik, not about
10 Kumanova and the organisation at that time. The biography is okay, but
11 when they speak about the organisation, it shows that they had no clear
12 view of the matters as they were at the time, and I gave you two or three
13 examples that -- of their mistakes that show that their information was
14 not correct.
15 On the 21st of March, 1998, there was no unit named Celiku in the
16 KLA. There wasn't. Of course they referred to Celiku units, and you
17 have Jete Hasani here. He never was a soldier in the Celiku unit in
18 Klecke. He was a member of the Kroimire unit. And Luani. And it speaks
19 here about Kumanova getting wounded. He was wounded in April, and here
20 it says 25th of June. He was wounded when we returned from Denica to
21 Malisheve where here it says that here he was wounded in Dukadjin
22 somewhere. And it says here that I was wounded in Loznica in Kijeve,
23 which is wrong of course. So this shows that the author had the wrong
24 information or the people he consulted did not have the right
1 Q. Mr. Limaj, let's go to -- let's talk about your pseudonym Celiku.
2 You testified earlier and again today that it wasn't until the end of
3 April that you even heard that name Celiku. You testified that on April
4 29th was the first time you heard that name Celiku.
5 A. No. No. I didn't say I heard. I said that Rexhep Selimi
6 proposed at the end of April for us to have a code because he gave us the
7 radios. And in fact, I told him that I would have liked the pseudonym
8 Arbeni as a proposal, but -- there were other proposals at well but this
9 was Rexhep's proposal.
10 Q. So before April 29th that name was not used is your testimony; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Absolutely. To my knowledge at least.
13 Q. And in fact, you said that even after April 29th, the soldiers
14 did not know you as "Celiku" but continued to know you as "Daja." That
15 was your testimony.
16 A. No. No. This is not my testimony, because now again you want to
17 make a confusion here. Allow me to explain this. It's not on the 29th
18 of April but in the end of April, not the 29th as a date.
19 Your Honours, I want to explain again. When we received the two
20 radios, we met with Rexhep Selimi. He brought the two radios. When we
21 received them, as a unit we had to have a name in order to be able to
22 answer when speaking on the radio. I could not possibly answer as Fatmir
23 or "Daja." And on that occasion Rexhep Selimi proposed what to do about
24 the code. I suggested that I should use the name Albanian, and then he
25 said no. Let's leave it Celiku.
1 Your Honours, it was a coincidence. My brother Demir, in the
2 Turkish language his name means steel, Celiku, in Albanian. So it was a
3 coincidence that my pseudonym --
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, you've already told the story. But -- on the second
5 day when you told the story, and it's at line 14 of page 13 of the
6 uncorrected transcript, it says that this event that you're describing,
7 you said, "I think this occurred on the 29th of April." That's where I
8 got that date, the 29th of April. Are you now saying that's into the the
10 A. No, no. I'm not saying that again. I'm stressing it again here.
11 I cannot be correct with dates all the time. I cannot tell you the exact
12 date. So that's why I'm telling you it should be the end of April, and I
13 cannot determine the exact date.
14 Q. I understand.
15 A. If you allow me --
16 Q. No. If we could just focus on this. You said -- you were asked
17 by Mr. Mansfield by what name you were known at this period, May the 9th,
18 and you said that you were known by the pseudonym "Daja."
19 A. That is true. That is true.
20 Q. Okay. So can you explain, then, how it is that Sylejman Selimi
21 testified that in April he knew you by the name Celiku, and Ramiz Qeriqi
22 testified in April he knew you by the name Celiku. In this courtroom
23 both testified this way.
24 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I wish to object again. These are
25 really not questions capable of being answered by the witness. If he
1 wants to say were you known by some other -- but to ask the witness
2 whether he can explain what another witness meant or how the other
3 witness came to know something, again, is not the proper way to go about
4 the questioning.
5 JUDGE PARKER: There is some substance in that, Mr. Mansfield,
6 but a slight reshaping of the question could make the point.
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, isn't it in fact true that in April, as Sylejman
9 Selimi and Ramiz Qeriqi testified, you were known as Celiku to soldiers?
10 A. This is not true because at that time we did not have soldiers to
11 know me by that name. I told you that we were only three or four. And
12 the reason why they said so is that because after August, everyone knew
13 me -- everyone in the world knew me by the name Celiku. And now I don't
14 know about the phase, how they -- the time, how they learned and when
15 they learned, but as Celiku the majority of them knew me. And in the
16 end, I don't know why Sylej and Luan said that, because during this time
17 we didn't even see each other, myself and Sylejman. Reality is
18 different. This is not true. Let me explain here.
19 Q. Mr. Limaj, I think you've answered the question, but just to be
20 clear, your testimony is that these two other witnesses are mistaken
21 about the dates and you are not. That's your -- that's a fair summary of
22 your testimony, isn't it?
23 A. I cannot be mistaken about myself, about my history, about things
24 that I've experienced. This is an example of what can happen when the
25 period is not specified. The truth is what I'm telling you, and the two
1 of them have wronged.
2 Q. Now, let's talk about the 9th of May, the battle in Lapusnik.
3 The -- it's true, isn't it, that the following people participated in the
4 battle of the 9th of May: Yourself, Isak Musliu, Ramiz Qeriqi, Sadik
5 Shala, Ismet Jashari, Haxhi Shala, Sabit Shala, Shaban Shala, Nexhmi
6 Shala, Ramiz Shala.
7 A. That's true. No, that's not true. The truth is what I've said
9 Q. Are you able to tell me of those names which ones did not
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. According to you.
13 A. Yes.
14 So after the attack was over, people did come there, but we were
15 others who went there. Ramiz Qeriqi came by the end of attack. Ismet
16 did not come because he was wounded in his leg. When we returned from
17 Lapusnik we saw him in Berisha. He was wounded. Haxhi Shala, he came
18 after the attack was completed. Shaban Shala I don't know for which
19 Shaban Shala we are speaking about, but he wasn't there. Shaban Shala
20 wasn't there in that action. It was myself, Isak; Sabit remained with
21 the radio in Berisha. We were five. Myself, Isak, Sadik, Bardhi and
22 Nexhmi Shala. These are the five people who participated in that attack.
23 As for others, they came after the attack was completed. Many of
24 others came, even civilians, but they did not participate in the attack.
25 Q. You were in charge of your unit; correct? In that 9th of May
1 battle, you were in charge of the unit that came from Klecka to Lapusnik.
2 A. Yes. You can see it clearly here. Your Honours, I was the
3 person who charge for my unit from Klecka, those five men. These were
4 guests, young men that were passing from one zone into another. And from
5 what we saw, from the developments on that road, we went out to see what
6 was going on on the Gjurgjice-Orlat road. It was daytime. Sadik --
7 because he comes from that region because for myself it was the first
8 time that I used that road, the road from Berisha. So Sadik took us
9 there by vehicle and we followed the developments there. So we decided
10 on the spot. We said let's go and we went.
11 With Sadik and Nexhmi who was with us and he wasn't a soldier
12 until that time, he joined us. Isak also came. He had come there with
13 me to see what was going on. And a certain Bardhi who was from the
14 village of Drenoc who had come to our base for a week until their base in
15 his own territory was prepared.
16 So when we saw the situation there, when we saw that the Serb
17 forces had placed a bus as a kind of a shield, we decided to go
18 downwards, downhill, and this is what happened.
19 Q. Mr. Limaj, that's a very long answer. My only question which you
20 answered at the very beginning was that you were in charge of the unit.
21 That was my only question. So if you could just keep your answers to
22 just answering my question and then we'll get through this.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you testified that Isak Musliu and Luan, Ramiz Qeriqi, just
25 happened to be in Klecka that day.
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Let's move back in time for a moment about those two men. You
3 also testified that you met them on one of your trips to Likovc in April
4 of 1998; correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And you came back -- you went with them to Klecka at that time,
7 and Sadik Shala. So it was you and Sadik Shala and Luan and Isak Musliu
8 back to Klecka in April of 1998; right? You made that trip; correct?
9 A. This was the first meet where they came with us yes. They came
10 with us from Likovc and joined us on the way to Klecka. This is correct.
11 Q. And after you arrived to Klecka, Luan continued and went to
13 A. Together with Isak. Together with Isak they went. And at that
14 time, to tell you the truth, I didn't know where they were going, whether
15 they were going to Kroimire. I don't know when they were heading to but
16 they went to their municipalities, to the municipalities where their
17 villages belonged they went together and this is the first time I saw
18 these persons. I saw the persons for the first time on this day. I
19 never saw them before.
20 Q. Your testimony is that you didn't know that Luan was going to
21 Kroimire to set up a KLA unit in Kroimire? You didn't know that?
22 A. Yes. On the first day, I'm speaking now about the first day. We
23 discussed it. We said that we would go to the villages, to birthplaces,
24 birthplaces, to our native municipalities, so Lipjan and Stimlje are very
25 broad municipalities. They might have gone to other places as well but
1 it is true that they headed to their native municipalities. This was on
2 the first day.
3 Q. And after Luan went to Kroimire he returned within a few days.
4 And he went back and forth between Kroimire and Klecka several times
5 during that initial period; right?
6 A. No. This is a problem because you're going only halfway towards
7 the truth. Let us go the whole way through. Not only Luan but also
8 Isak. They came again to Klecka. They rested because, as I said, the
9 trip was very tiring. They rested for some time in Klecke, and they had
10 to continue their trip to Likovc because they had left some friends there
11 who had come together with them from Germany. After they had secured a
12 base to that place where they had went to secure a base, they were going
13 to get them from Likovc and bring them to their respective territory.
14 They spent a night at Klecka. They spent the entire following day in
15 Klecka and in the evening they set off for Likovc and there was no need
16 for us to escort them because they knew the road. This is the truth.
17 Q. That was going to be my next question so you've anticipated my
18 next question. They came to Klecka and they went to Likovc and then they
19 came back to Klecka again; correct?
20 A. They returned from Likovc to Klecka. They had fetched two or
21 three soldiers with them. Just a moment, please. They had fetched two
22 or three soldiers with them, and it's around this time when the events at
23 Lapusnik occurred. It is in this period of time.
24 The event caught them there where I was, the events of Lapusnik.
25 Q. You testified also on the second day of your testimony that
1 during this time period in April you said that there were hundreds of
2 soldiers who went through your base at that time.
3 A. If I said so, then it's a mistake. What I meant is that during
4 this time, through Klecka -- it's in the future, not in April. But after
5 April not only hundreds but thousands of soldiers passed through Klecka.
6 I apologise if I made a mistake in my earlier testimony. But in this
7 time, if I'm not mistaken between 15 and 20 soldiers passed through
8 Klecka. Mr. Prosecutor, at that time a certain Ymeri Ilazi came who
9 passed to Jezerce with his group who went to Jezerce.
10 Q. I'm just referring to -- it's on page 21 of the uncorrected
11 transcript at line 14, and you're talking about when they were there on
12 the 9th of May and you said they were at my base and not more than that.
13 "People like Isak, hundreds of them passed through that base and later."
14 That's what I'm referring to. At that time were there hundreds of --
15 A. No, not about the time period. I wanted just to give you an
16 example that in the time after that, in May, June, November, December,
17 many hundreds passed through to Llap, to Nerodime, to other parts of
18 Drenica, to Karadak. And not only through Klecka but through other parts
19 as well. But mostly through Klecka because it was a suitable place to go
20 to the Nerodime zone and Karadak zone. But I'm not specifying the time
21 period here. I just use it as an example when I said that people like
22 Isak, young men like Isak, there were hundreds of them that passed
23 through Klecka.
24 Q. Is there something wrong? Do you need something?
25 A. If I could go to the toilet, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn and return at five minutes to six.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
5 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. If the witness could be
6 shown Exhibit P153, please. And it's being put on the Sanction as well.
7 The think the witness is having trouble with the microphone -- with the
8 earphone. It pops out.
9 THE WITNESS: Okay.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Limaj, you see this picture? It's Exhibit P153.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It's a picture of you, Luan, Kumanova and Isak Musliu.
14 A. Accurate.
15 Q. You agree that this is picture was taken in April of 1998 in
17 A. It can be ascertained, but it can be clearer. It is clearly seen
18 that I'm wounded, and I believe it's April. If we get a clearer picture,
19 then we can clearly investigate that. Both me and Ismet were wounded, so
20 I'm sure it must be April.
21 Q. So you think it is April.
22 A. Could be, yes.
23 Q. Do you remember the picture being taken?
24 A. Frankly speaking, I can't remember, but I know that up until then
25 we hadn't taken any pictures. When Luan came, he had a camera with him.
1 Until then, we didn't have a camera. And for the first time that we had
2 a picture taken was taken then. Therefore, I suppose it's April. When
3 he came in Germany, he had a camera with him. We didn't have. We didn't
4 have uniforms. We had nothing when we came.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. WHITING: I'm done with that exhibit.
7 Q. Mr. Limaj, talking -- talking about Kroimire now, Ramadan Behluli
8 testified in this courtroom that he was a soldier who joined the KLA in
9 Kroimire on the 20th of April, 1998; that after he joined, he took orders
10 from Luan in Kroimire; and that Luan -- he followed the orders and that
11 Luan got orders from above. That's all true, isn't it, Mr. Limaj?
12 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, that's not true. If you want to summarise,
13 you may, but the truth is as follows: He -- that man knows better, but I
14 know one thing. At the time, Ramiz Qeriqi, when he came to Klecke we had
15 nothing but our weapons. What he did in Kroimire, what he organised and
16 how things worked, I do not know. I'm talking about that time. That's
17 why I'm saying I don't know.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Limaj, Luan, Ramiz Qeriqi, testified in that courtroom
19 that by May of 1998 there was a chain of command that went from Likovc to
20 Klecke to Kroimire. That's true, isn't it, that there was a chain of
21 command from Likovc to Klecke to Kroimire and the other points?
22 A. I can't remember him saying things the way you're saying it. And
23 if that's the case, that's not true. If you want, I can tell you another
24 thing. Ramiz Qeriqi was directly connected with his friends, Your
25 Honours, in Drenica who -- who were involved with the other movement
1 before, and he was in direct communication with his friends in Drenica at
2 the time. And that was even before coming to the liberation war. So
3 it's not true that the network worked in the way you described it.
4 Q. So your testimony -- your testimony is that there was no -- at
5 this time, by May of 1998, there was not a chain of command that went
6 from Likovc to Klecke to Kroimire. Is that your testimony?
7 A. There was no such chain of command.
8 Q. Now, in -- in his interview which is now in evidence as P160,
9 Shukri Buja said that he would get orders from you, and when you didn't
10 know what to do you would consult with the General Staff in this time
11 period, in May -- May of --
12 A. I'm not understanding what you say.
13 Q. I'll repeat it.
14 A. What are you talking about?
15 Q. I'll repeat it. In the interview that is now -- that Shukri Buja
16 gave, which is now in evidence as P160, he said that in this time period
17 he would get orders from you, and when you didn't know what to do you
18 would consult with the General Staff.
19 A. That's not correct. Absolutely. I can provide a hundred
20 thousand arguments, Your Honours, that prove the contrary.
21 Q. Mr. Limaj, I actually don't want arguments. I just want your
22 evidence, okay? Just -- so if you can answer the questions. So you're
23 saying that's not correct.
24 A. Never in my life have I given orders to Shukri Buja. On behalf
25 of General Staff, yes, but individually, no, never.
1 Q. So you did give orders to him on behalf of the General Staff.
2 A. When I became a member of General Staff, yes, I have conveyed a
3 decision of the General Staff, and that was part of what the General
4 Staff had decided upon.
5 Q. But your testimony is that in April, May, June, and July you
6 never gave orders to Shukri Buja?
7 A. No, never. Never.
8 Q. And -- and you never gave orders to Luan. That's also your
10 A. With Luan it's something different. When the brigade was set up,
11 was established in August, I was his brigade commander, and from August I
12 issued orders to him.
13 Q. In April, May, June, and July, your testimony is you never gave
14 orders --
15 A. Never. Never.
16 Q. No chain of command from Likovc to Klecke to Kroimire. That's
17 your testimony?
18 A. Never at that time. It did not exist.
19 Q. Turning now to following -- the period following the 9th of May
20 battle. You testified that in May of 1998, after the 9th of May battle,
21 you went to Lapusnik on two other occasions when there was fighting, once
22 on the 17th or 18th of May, and then the third time you said you thought
23 that it was the 21st of May but you were not sure of the date. Do you
24 remember that testimony?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. This is related to two battles. The second
1 battle, whether it was on the 22nd or sometime later, whether -- it seems
2 to me it was the 29th, but during this period it was the third time.
3 Q. You anticipated my question again. I was going to ask you is it
4 possible that that third battle was on the 29th of May.
5 A. It is possible. It is possible, yes.
6 Q. In fact, do you now think that that's the date when the third
7 battle was when you were in Lapusnik, the 29th of May?
8 A. Yes, but I'm still saying it is possible because it was the
9 biggest battle. I'm looking at it from the intensity, from its
10 intensity. It was a bigger battle. The one -- the one around about the
11 29th, it was quite big.
12 Q. And you were in Lapusnik for that battle?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Now, you testified that after the 29th of May, you were concerned
15 about the -- what you described as the euphoria, and you were concerned
16 that --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You were concerned that the KLA was vulnerable in Malisheva, that
19 the Serb forces could move in and take that area.
20 A. I didn't know whether I got the right translation. The KLA was
21 not unprotected, but the developments that took place -- Malisheva came
22 under control without any military action. It was not a result of
23 military operations. It was not the result of the KLA potential, but
24 it's a copy -- it's a phenomenon that was copied from Lapusnik and so on.
25 It was received with euphoria by the people. And I knew that the KLA did
1 not have the potential to defend Malisheve from the Serb forces if it was
2 attacked. That was what it was in relation to.
3 Q. I understand. So your testimony is that you were concerned about
4 this euphoria.
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. WHITING: I'm going to ask that Mr. Limaj be shown Prosecution
7 Exhibit 37, please. And with some luck it will be put up on the
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, do you recall giving an interview to the Tirana
10 television network on around the 3rd of June, 1998?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the document that's been put in front of you, Prosecution
13 Exhibit 37, that's a transcription of that interview; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I'm just going to read from the -- from the document certain
16 portions. At the beginning it says: "An interview with Mr. Celiku, one
17 of the liberation army of Kosovo UCK commanders in one area of Drenica."
18 And the question that's put to you: "Commander, can you please
19 tell us something about the resistance that the UCK guerrilla units are
20 putting up in the area you cover."
21 And your answer is: "The UCK is an organised force and enjoys
22 great support both in Drenica and in all the other areas of Kosova that
23 are gripped by the war. Our army assisted by the local population, is
24 putting up strong resistance to the enemy."
25 You said that, right, Mr. Limaj?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And that was true, wasn't it?
3 A. No. If you want me, I will comment all the statement. I cannot
4 bring the context out of this little clip how we came to this and so on.
5 Q. Well, I was -- I wanted to take it one step at a time. So you
6 say here that "The UCK is an organised force and enjoys great support
7 both in Drenica and all other areas of Kosova that are gripped by the
8 war." That's what you said and that was true, wasn't it?
9 A. Your Honours, this is not true. This is the first time that a
10 member of the KLA had spoke on television. There had been statements
11 here and there, but first time someone appeared with his face on
12 television, it was me, and that was in the Albanian national television,
13 and that was a programme about the diaspora, about Kosova. And for that
14 time, in that interview, a member of the KLA, I could have used even
15 bigger words to describe the KLA.
16 And this was, Mr. Prosecutor, this was after the battle in
17 Lapusnik. It was a big battle. We won that battle. And after that
18 battle, as a result of this battle, we came to this interview, and that
19 was the cue. That was the peg for that interview. And it was the
20 resistance in that place.
21 Q. And so you're telling us now what you said here in this interview
22 was not true?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters correction: It was an interview
24 with no image, only sound.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What are you expecting from a
1 commander? It was the first time to talk about the KLA, and that was the
2 first time -- the first opportunity to present the KLA, and it was the
3 first time I was appearing on a public media. And this -- this is where
4 the -- the pseudonym Celiku has been used. And if you consider my
5 position at the time, it was the first time and I wanted to present the
6 KLA in the best possible image, and that's what I've done. If -- the
7 reality wasn't the same, but we wanted it to be like that, and we wanted
8 to present the KLA in the best possible way.
9 Q. So your testimony is that you inflated the situation, that what
10 you said here was not true. That's your testimony; correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct. It was inflated. The situation was
13 Q. Now, what about this sentence: "Our army assist by the the local
14 population is putting up strong resistance to the enemy"? That was true,
15 wasn't it?
16 A. Yes. The population has assisted. There are certain things
17 which are realistic, because the civilians have taken part in various
18 actions in Lapusnik. Most of the people were villagers there.
19 Q. But "putting up strong resistance to the enemy"? I'll repeat my
20 question. The army was putting up strong resistance to the enemy.
21 That's true; right?
22 A. In that battle of Lapusnik, we have offered the resistance that
23 I've described. It was -- it was seen. That was -- it was a frontal
24 action. It was the first real battle.
25 Q. Mr. Limaj --
1 A. Or else --
2 Q. The next question is: "Could tell us something about the actual
3 results of this resistance?"
4 And your answer is: "The greater part of Drenica territory and
5 of Llapushe in general is free and under the control of our forces, that
6 is, under the UCK's control. Our forces have had control of the
7 Pristina-Peja highway for one month now, starting with the --"
8 A. I don't seem to have this part here. You haven't given that to
9 me. I've only got this one. If you can give me that page where the
10 quote is. All I've got is a very short script. I've only got four
12 Q. So you don't have a question, "Can you tell us something about
13 the actual results of this resistance"? That question doesn't appear on
14 your copy?
15 A. No, it doesn't.
16 Q. Does -- does this --
17 A. Only.
18 Q. Does this statement appear "The greater part of the Drenica
19 territory and of Llapushe in general is free and under the control --" is
20 that text --
21 A. No, it's not here.
22 Q. I'll leave this, then, and we'll get a better translation for you
23 to put these questions to you.
24 Now, Mr. Limaj, the -- the seizure of the -- taking control of
25 the Peja-Pristina road at Lapusnik, that was strategically very
1 significant for the KLA, wasn't it?
2 A. Later developments showed what you're saying now, that it was
3 strategically important. But when we had that battle, we were not
4 thinking about the events as they would go in the future. We just wanted
5 to stop the Serbs. We had this military action and then returned to our
6 bases. But of course later it was strategically important. We realised
7 that. But at that time we couldn't even imagine that the Serbian police
8 not be able to -- would tolerate the blocking of that road by the KLA.
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm just going to put to you what Sylejman Selimi said
10 about this in his testimony here. He said, "Our strategy for the area
11 was to have a free corridor and to be able to have this corridor for
12 transporting weapons for the KLA."
13 That's true. It was recognised as being an important spot to
14 take control in order to transport weapons into the territories
15 controlled by the KLA. Isn't that right, Mr. Limaj?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, please look at the way we participated in that
17 action. It shows how true that was. I am speaking about myself, what we
18 did there. What other units did, I don't know. Maybe Mr. Selimi had
19 such plans. In fact, we went there and I was wounded. I could hardly
20 use my arm. Whether the other people had planned it or had prepared for
21 it -- if you look at the events, they speak about a different truth
22 because the units when we went there to help, to assist them, they were
23 not in the Lapusnik gorge. The fighting was in Gjurgjice, Mr.
24 Prosecutor, and Orlat, towards Mr. Krasniqi's place of birth, and I think
25 at that time we didn't even think what the result of that battle would
1 be. And in fact, as I said, the fighting started in Gjurgjice. I don't
2 think there was planning or any preparation, but of course we developed
3 further as the KLA and with the help of God we achieved what we wanted.
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, you acknowledged that on the 9th of May battle at
5 Lapusnik it was not just your unit but there were other units
6 participating in that fighting; correct?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the fighting was going on in Gjurgjice and Orlat,
8 and then later a unit from Poterk came. Poterk is a neighbourhood in
9 Lapusnik. And this neighbourhood -- because the Serbian forces were all
10 along the road from Gjurgjice to Lapusnik. They had some distance
11 between them, but this unit from Poterk came to join and help the
12 soldiers who were fighting in Gjurgjice while us --
13 Q. And that unit -- I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Limaj, but that unit
14 was from the other side of the Peja-Pristina road; correct, not your
16 A. Yes, yes. It was from --
17 Q. And so ultimately when the fighting moved to Lapusnik there was
18 -- there were several units from different places involved in the
19 fighting; correct? Not just your unit but there were other units
20 involved in the fighting in Lapusnik; correct?
21 A. The development of the situation later, the fighting started in
22 Gjurgjice, and this unit from Poterk that was attacking the Serbian
23 forces, there were civilians there, volunteers from everywhere, from
24 various villages. For example, we were supported by civilians as well.
25 I don't know how many there were. I have no idea how many came to join
1 at that moment. But the main development or the main battle or the main
2 fighting was there. It was not during one day. It was a battle that
3 carried on from previous days because the Serbian forces wanted to
4 penetrate that village to go into Gjurgjice to raid the village. That's
5 why the fighting started there. And the unit that went to help there,
6 they did not allow the Serbian forces to get into the village. And then
7 on the third day happened what you mentioned in Lapusnik, when we went
8 there. But the first two days the fighting was not very intense. It was
9 of low intensity. And the Serbians -- the Serbs maybe did not think that
10 we would resist that much.
11 Q. Mr. Limaj, if we could return to my question. My question was
12 when the fighting moved to Lapusnik on the third day, on the 9th of May,
13 there were not just your unit involved but there were other KLA units
14 involved from other places; correct?
15 A. As I said, there were villagers, soldiers, various units. I did
16 not know where they came from, but there were many who took part.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. Whoever heard about it, they came to join.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. Just like us.
21 Q. That was my question.
22 MR. WHITING: I'm going to ask that you shown three exhibits at
23 one time, Prosecution Exhibit 119, Prosecution Exhibit 159, Prosecution
24 Exhibit 154.
25 Q. Now -- oh, I'm sorry. If you could look first at 154. Mr.
1 Limaj, looking at Prosecution Exhibit 154, you see the line that is drawn
2 in the area -- in the upper left-hand corner of the exhibit? Do you see
3 that? Yes.
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. This was drawn by Ramiz Qeriqi in his interview of the 23rd of
6 April, 2003, and adopted by him in court. And what he said in court
7 about it was that during May and June of 1998, this was the area -- the
8 area inside of this line was the area that was under the control of
9 Klecka, under the command of Klecka and that you were the person in
10 charge in Klecka.
11 A. First of all --
12 Q. Wait for my question. That's true, isn't it, that this was the
13 area under the command of Klecka in May and June of 1998?
14 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I can't remember Ramiz saying what
15 you're saying here. Maybe I've forgotten it, but it's not true.
16 Absolutely it's not true.
17 Q. If you --
18 A. What territory can you speak about? What zone can you speak
19 about when you have only three or four people only? We didn't even talk
20 about such things. We were only three or four or five, maximum, members
21 of the KLA.
22 Q. Please focus on the question because we're talking about May and
23 June of 1998, not -- well past the time when there were three or four.
24 Okay? But you still say that it's not true for May and June? Okay.
25 A. No. Such a definition is absolutely not true. Part of it is
1 what happened after August. This happened after August.
2 Q. Could we look at Prosecution Exhibit 119, please. Do you have
3 119 in front of you?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Now, this was -- this drawing was drawn on the 25th of April,
6 2003, during an interview with Mr. Ramadan Behluli, which is now in
7 evidence as Prosecution Exhibit 119. And what Mr. Behluli said when he
8 drew this line, which appears on this map, is that this was the area of
9 responsibility for Klecke in July of 1998 and that you were the commander
10 in Klecka. That's true, isn't it?
11 A. Well, Mr. Behluli himself said that he was not focusing on the
12 time. But this is not true, Your Honours.
13 Mr. Prosecutor, it was impossible at that time. This is
14 impossible. What you're trying to prove here is impossible. These are
15 things that are not true about the time that we're talking about. If it
16 were, I would have said it, but it wasn't. You're trying to prove
17 something that was not true about Klecka at that time.
18 As I said, many people had different ideas about what was going
19 on May, June, July, but if you speak about zones, territories, commands,
20 responsibilities, you can speak about those things only after August.
21 And this is the truth, Mr. Prosecutor. Personally, there is nothing that
22 -- I'm not trying here to avoid the truth. I know myself, and I have no
23 reason to try to escape responsibility.
24 Q. If you could look, Mr. Limaj, please, at Prosecution Exhibit
25 P159. This is a diagram that was drawn by Shukri Buja during his
1 interview on the 28th of April, 2003. So all three exhibits drawn in the
2 same -- roughly the same week period -- week-long period in April 2003.
3 And in Prosecution Exhibit 159, which is the interview with Shukri Buja
4 which is now in evidence, he described this chart as being the points
5 that were under the command of Klecka in May and June of 1998, and he's
6 put your name along with Kumanova in the centre at Klecka. That's true,
7 isn't it, Mr. Limaj?
8 A. No, that's not true. Let's comment on this diagram, please.
9 Q. Well, let's me just --
10 A. That's not true.
11 Q. So your testimony is that all three diagrams are wrong.
12 A. Well, the way they are represented here now, they are not true.
13 Shukri tried to explain what was going on here. I was in Klecke. You
14 see here it's the General Staff. And where is the General Staff? It's
15 not outside Klecke. Of course I was commander in Klecke but where is the
16 place of the General Staff? It's in Klecke of course. But the General
17 Staff was the highest body in the organisation. But this was not
18 explained up to the end. We did not get to the bottom of this.
19 Q. Mr. Limaj, you recall of course that -- from seeing the clips of
20 Mr. Shukri Buja's interview you recall that he --
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. -- he drew the General Staff there not because it was in some
23 other place in Klecka but because it was above your command in Klecka.
24 You recall that, don't you Mr. Limaj?
25 A. Yes. I remember his interview very well but not the way you're
1 explaining it now. Many things -- about many things that he said there
2 he has been pushed. He was pushed by you.
3 He said that he never took orders from me, he had in connection
4 with Klecka while you tried to prove the opposite. He said he never took
5 orders from Klecka and now you have this diagram here.
6 I think Shukri explained what he was trying to say. And here I'm
7 saying the truth as I see it.
8 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, may I just intervene again? I'm
9 sorry to keep doing it, but if I may say so, it's completely pointless to
10 select parts of a witness's evidence - of course I can do it in
11 re-examination, of course I can do it in a final brief - but essentially
12 what should be put, if we're going to go down this road in the case of
13 all those three witnesses is the qualifications they've made to the
14 evidence they've made. What view you take about it in the long run, of
15 course, is another matter, but to select part of it and then say to the
16 witness, "Well that's true, isn't it," we say once again it is totally
17 improper and it is wasting time.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I certainly would share your view that there is a
19 lack of concern for timeliness about these matters, Mr. Mansfield, and
20 you can be well sure that we, as is your client it would appear, he
21 having heard the evidence and studied it closely, are well aware of the
22 differences in account, and because of that the concerns you express are
23 not going to have the effects that you are putting by way of submission
24 might be taken in respect of this.
25 Bear in mind that your client was present throughout the evidence
1 of these witnesses. It's not as though he is a witness who has no
2 knowledge of what was said in this court.
3 For that reason, we are not interfering at this point, but I'm
4 sure that Mr. Whiting has heard and needed to be reminded what has been
5 said and will take account of it as he pursues his cross-examination.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, for my next question I'm going to have to give you a
9 chart, and it's of the protected witnesses and their pseudonyms who
10 testified in this case. Because if I make reference to protected
11 witnesses I have to do it by pseudonym, but I can't expect you to
12 remember all their pseudonyms. Okay?
13 MR. WHITING: I don't know if the Court or Defence counsel need
14 copies of this chart. I'm seeing nods from the Defence -- no. I'm
15 seeing nods and shaking of head.
16 Q. Mr. Limaj, looking at the chart you see Witness L95?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. You recall his testimony?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Do you recall meeting him at the end of July of 1998?
21 A. Yes, I remember meeting him.
22 Q. And that was in Novoselle?
23 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. He was confused. After the offensive from
24 Malisheve, from Lapusnik. People did not know where they were going. It
25 could have been Novoselle or Klecka. They were there, and I found them a
1 place where to stay. Maybe I met them at the place they were staying.
2 Q. Well, tell us where you remember meeting them. Where is it that
3 you remember meeting this witness?
4 A. Well, it's difficult for me to remember the exact place, whether
5 we met on the road or whether we went to the house where they were
6 staying. Really, it's difficult for me to remember, but I believe I met
7 this person and not only once but two or throw times. I don't know
8 exactly where the first meeting took place.
9 Q. But -- I understand you don't remember exactly where it took
10 place, but do you remember that it took place in Novoselle?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And it took place either the day that Lapusnik fell on the 26th
13 of July or a day before or a day after; correct?
14 A. I could be mistaken here as well about the precise date because
15 the developments on the 25th, 26th, and 27th were such. But it should be
16 the 27th or 28th. It could be the 26th as well, but I'm not sure of the
18 Those were horrific developments. It wasn't anything particular
19 for me to remember. I'm not sure about the date.
20 Q. And you told him that if he needed anything that he should come
21 to Klecke?
22 A. That's correct. After they settled there, I told them, "Whatever
23 you need," meaning food or something else, I told them, "You can come and
24 report to Klecka."
25 Q. And you told him that he was in charge there. He would be in
1 charge of the soldiers there.
2 A. I don't know how they came, but it seems that I received a
3 message from his commander, a coded message, and I had to convey that
4 message to him. So I just conveyed a message coming from his leader.
5 Because it was a Dukadjini unit.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
8 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
9 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Limaj, you said you received a coded message. How was this
11 message relayed to you, by what means?
12 A. Well, Mr. Prosecutor, I think that those young men, they were in
13 those parts, in Malisheve, after the developments in Malisheve, and one
14 of the soldiers, now I don't remember whether he was one of my soldiers
15 who brought me that message. He brought me a letter. This is how it
19 Q. If you could avoid mentioning the name.
20 MR. WHITING: And if there could be a redaction, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Limaj, so your testimony is that the message was conveyed by
22 letter and it was in code.
23 A. It wasn't coded. Name, last name, message from this person.
24 This young man, tell him that he is in charge of that group. Do this for
25 me because I cannot come there, and that was it. So he said he wasn't
1 able to come, which means that he planned to come but he couldn't. So he
2 said that until I came there, tell this soldier that he was responsible
3 and things like that.
4 Q. I just -- at line 9 of page 79 on the transcript here you said
5 that "I received a message from his commander, a coded message." Now,
6 are you saying now that --
7 A. No, no, no.
8 Q. Was that misinterpretation or did you misspeak?
9 A. This might be a mistake with the interpretation. I didn't say a
10 coded message. I said a message. I didn't use a "coded message." To
11 tell you the truth even today I don't know what a coded message looks
12 like and how these coded messages are compiled.
13 Q. Now, you had another occasion to meet this person, this witness,
14 and that was in your headquarters in Klecka a couple of days later, one
15 or two days later; correct?
16 A. Yes, I met him. And I can tell you what he said, although I
17 don't remember, because it is possible that he came to Klecka and that he
18 met me.
19 Q. And the occasion when he met you there were various unit
20 commanders -- Isak Musliu, Kumanova, Shukri Buja -- who were there and
21 you were -- you were holding a meeting and they were reporting to you, or
22 at least Shukri Buja and Kumanova were reporting to you at that meeting.
23 Is that correct? Is that what happened?
24 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
25 Your Honours, this is not true. We had no place to stay at that
1 time. It's quite normal that Isak and other soldiers stayed with us
2 together in Klecke. We drank tea together. Even Shukri had no other
3 place to go because the Serb forces penetrated his village and his
4 soldiers, they all came to Klecke. What reports are we talking here
5 about? We just had a free discussion. We drank tea. We had an ordinary
6 conversation. This is not true.
7 Q. So you were not in charge of that meeting?
8 A. There was no meeting, Mr. Prosecutor. What you call a meeting,
9 meetings that we held in Klecka are different, and this person you're
10 referring to, he did not participate in such meetings. He just happened
11 to be in the zone and then went back to his own zone. There is no reason
12 for him to be part of such a meeting on the 5th of August or before the
13 5th of August. But this was when they would come to Klecka to get
14 clothes or cigarettes. Usually they came for cigarettes. Then this
15 person sat down with us. And all these soldiers, as I said, we were
16 under a Serb offensive, and all the soldiers in these parts were there.
17 So his interpretation -- his interpretation does not stand. That is not
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask the witness to slow
20 down, please.
21 MR. MANSFIELD: May we know which witness it is being suggested
22 indicated that Fatmir Limaj was in charge of this meeting so that this
23 can be checked.
24 MR. WHITING: It's -- it's Witness L95, and it's -- the
25 reference is Day 49, page 4218.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MR. WHITING: Now --
3 JUDGE PARKER: And you heard, Mr. Limaj, that you were speeding
4 up there.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I'm
6 doing my best not to speed up, but I tend to forget.
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Now, going back to June and July of 1998, there was -- during
9 those months there was fighting in various places like -- you can put
10 those aside, or perhaps the usher can take them.
11 During June and July of 1998, there was fighting in various
12 places like Carraleve, Blinaje, Luzhnice. Do you recall that?
13 A. Yes, there were fightings on these points that you're mentioning
14 and in other parts as well.
15 Q. During May, June, and July of 1998 was there any fighting in
17 A. No, there wasn't any fighting in Klecka, Mr. Prosecutor.
18 Q. I didn't think so. Now, the fighting in Carraleve was on -- you
19 recall were on the 14th, 17th, and 21st approximately of June.
20 A. To tell you the truth, I don't remember the dates. In Duhle I
21 think it was the 1st or the 2nd when they came out publicly, and I don't
22 remember the dates about the other fightings. There were confrontations
23 from time to time, but I don't remember the other fightings except for
24 the second one and the last one on the 25th of July.
25 Q. Do you recall the fighting that occurred in Luzhnice around the
1 25th of June, 1998?
2 A. I don't remember the date, but there was fighting in Luzhnice on
3 several occasions. There is a location there called Bajrak, and, Your
4 Honours, the Serbian forces there like in Cuka, they used this area for
5 their dislocation. The Serb forces tried on several occasions to
6 penetrate the village, and that's why there were several fightings with
7 these forces. And the Duhle gorge, as in other places, the Serbian
8 police made use of some bases that were formerly used by the Yugoslav
9 army. And that's why I'm saying that there were several fightings in
10 Luznica every now and then.
11 Q. When there is fighting in these various places like in Carraleve
12 and in Luzhnice, for example, units from other places would go to assist
13 in the fighting; correct?
14 A. Soldiers from different units, depending on where they heard
15 about the fighting, they went to assist, and this began after the units
16 became public. And first it functioned when one friend informed another,
17 and this is what happened with all KLA units.
18 Q. And on -- at times the assistance of one unit to another unit
19 would be coordinated by Klecka, wouldn't it?
20 A. There was never such a case, Mr. Prosecutor. If there was from
21 Klecka -- for example, let's say there were two fightings. One group
22 would go to one and the other to the other place. But what you're
23 saying, that it was coordinated by Klecka, that is not true. This was a
24 responsibility that the soldiers felt for themselves. Whoever felt that
25 he has this need to go and assist the others, they went, but it wasn't
1 coordinated by Klecka. And we were not in a position to coordinate them.
2 Q. Do you recall sending or instructing Ramiz Qeriqi and some other
3 soldiers, in June of 1998, to go assist in fighting that was occurring
4 near Rahovec in a village called Rakovc? Do you recall doing that?
5 A. No, this is not true. This is not true. The truth is different,
6 and I will tell you that. The developments in Rakovc/Rahovec, Luan was
7 in his traditional clothes. He came to Klecke for a visit. He was on
8 his way to Malisheve for oil. We were getting ready and we asked him,
9 Are you coming with us and he said no. And this was it. This is not
10 true what you're saying, that someone sent someone to Kroimire. This is
11 not true. It was a free choice, Mr. Prosecutor. You could not tell us
12 so, go here or help this unit. At -- in Klecka, to tell you the truth,
13 you could tell the soldier you can go here, you can go there, but at
14 Kroimire, no. At that time, no.
15 Q. About Luan go from that location to Rakovc? Just yes or no. Did
16 he go from Klecka to Rakovc on that occasion?
17 A. I think he did, but I don't know. To tell you the truth, I don't
18 know. I might make a mistake. It wasn't something special for me to
19 remember. Things like that happened on a daily basis.
20 For example, someone would go to Malisheve to his own house for a
21 visit and then he would find himself in a battle and stay there for three
22 days and nobody knew where he was. This was something that was going on
23 every day.
24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think that's a convenient time.
25 MR. KHAN: Your Honour, one matter. Perhaps overnight my learned
1 friend can check the transcript reference that he gave. Looking at the
2 official court transcript, the citation of which my learned friend gave,
3 there is no reference whatsoever that could possibly support, in my
4 submission, the question that was put. The only reference I can find,
5 perhaps my learned friend can consider it overnight, is page 4235 in
6 which that particular witness is asked about the meeting and all he says
7 that Celiku asked everyone to speak about the problems but this does not
8 mean that he took the floor first. But I can't find anything in the
9 transcripts in which it's said by the witness that that meeting was
10 headed by Mr. Limaj or that he was chairing the meeting. I ask that my
11 learned friend study that matter and perhaps clarify.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Khan.
13 We will adjourn now until 2.15 p.m.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day
16 of May, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.