1 Wednesday, 25 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: If I could remind you, Mr. Limaj, of the
7 affirmation you gave at the beginning of your evidence which still
9 Mr. Whiting.
10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, before I continue, there were just two
11 brief matters to take up with the Court. The first is with respect to
12 the observation of counsel that was made at the end of the evening
13 yesterday, the basis for a question that I put to the witness. I have
14 discussed it with Defence counsel. We have, I think it's fair to say,
15 agreed to disagree but in that way we have settled it and need not take
16 up any more time of the Chamber with it.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Sounds almost as good as some of the decisions
18 we've had to give.
19 MR. WHITING: The second issue has to do with scheduling. And I
20 don't know if this has already been raised with the Court, but there is a
21 plan to interpose a witness and I maybe allow Defence counsel to raise
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mansfield.
24 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, the Prosecution are very kindly
25 agreed because of the general difficulties of timing to interpose this
1 afternoon - I think not this session, the next session - the expert who
2 we have brought here from commitments abroad. I'm afraid it's the only
3 week he could be here. To allow for time for cross-examination as well
4 as any other questions. It would be desirable to make a start on him
5 today because he has to be away by tomorrow night. He in fact arrived at
6 the beginning of the week. His name is Mr. Churcher and you do have his
7 report. I am obliged to the Prosecution for allowing us to do that. I'm
8 sorry it's split up a bit.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, well, circumstances obviously warrant that
10 course being taken.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: FATMIR LIMAJ [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, do you recall being present in Kroimire on the 17th of
18 June, 1998?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And --
21 A. I was there in one of the battles when he came out publicly. I
22 think that must be the date.
23 MR. WHITING: I didn't have the right channel on here. Sorry.
24 Q. You were there in Kroimire because there was fighting there.
1 A. I was in Kroimire because fighting had taken place there, and I
2 went to visit to see how they were, how everything was, because that was
3 the first battle. In the evening I went to visit them.
4 Q. Haxhi Shala was with you?
5 A. Yes, Haxhi Shala and someone else. I think we were two or three
6 persons. We went there by car.
7 Q. When you returned from Kroimire to Klecke, you took with you
8 Ramadan Behluli. Correct?
9 A. To tell you the truth, I don't recollect it very well. I accept
10 what Ramadan has said. Personally, I don't have anything special to add
11 to that, because myself I can't remember everything accurately.
12 Q. You said that on this occasion Haxhi Shala and someone else. The
13 someone else in -- was identified or described, I should say, by Ramadan
14 Behluli as the driver. Do you recall who the driver was?
15 A. Haxhija was the driver, Haxhija was on the wheel. He is known as
16 a professional driver; this I know.
17 Q. Did he -- was -- did he drive you places on other occasions?
18 A. No. There have been other occasions. We were friends. Some of
19 us took the wheel, but not necessarily him. Sometimes it has been him.
20 Sometimes I have driven myself. Sometimes someone else.
21 Q. Now, I appreciate you say that your memory of this event is not
22 particularly clear, but do you recall on this occasion or any other
23 occasion telling Ramadan Behluli that if he saw the Serb police
24 approaching his position in Carraleve he should not wait for orders but
25 he should attack? Do you recall telling him that?
1 A. No. Mr. Prosecutor, no. No, Ramadan has not said what you are
2 putting to me. I didn't need to give any orders because every member of
3 the KLA was there to attack the Serbian forces. I didn't need to give
4 any orders. They were there for that purpose.
5 Q. Mr. Limaj -- Mr. Limaj. Why don't you just tell me what you
6 remember, if you remember at all, what you said to Ramadan Behluli on
7 this subject.
8 A. I don't remember what we had discussed in real terms, but what
9 you are putting to me about attacking the Serb forces when they -- if
10 they come to Carraleve, that doesn't -- that is not true. As I said, no
11 member of the KLA had need for any orders to attack the Serbian forces
12 because it was known to all that they were there for that. I can't tell
13 you specifically what I've told him. I don't remember. Because this was
14 nothing of any importance for me to remember. All the time we took -- we
15 discussed with soldiers, not only with Ramadan, we always discussed such
16 issues, how things were, what they had been doing, and so on.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, I want to ask you some questions about the 121
18 Brigade. You testified on the third day of your testimony, it's at page
19 39, that - and tell me if I'm summarising your testimony correctly - that
20 soldiers who were part of units that later became the 121 Brigade and who
21 were killed before the 121 Brigade was formed at the beginning of August
22 were later considered to be part of the 121 Brigade.
23 Is that a fair summary of what your testimony was on the third
24 day on this point? I can say it again if you ...
25 A. Most of the time, yes. But we maybe specified better. Most of
1 it is as you put it to me. But if you allow me, I could specify it
3 Q. Please do.
4 A. Your Honours, all the soldiers who had laid down their lives as
5 martyrs at various periods of time before the structuring of the KLA,
6 before its organisation, on the place they were killed, depending on the
7 unit they operated, and the brigade that covered that territory, all
8 those martyrs were later considered as martyrs of the units which formed
9 a brigade. And they are considered martyrs of the brigade in the
10 territory they were killed and which covered that territory, depending on
11 the unit they fought and depending which brigade comprised that unit
12 because we have soldiers that were killed at different points of time.
13 Q. I understand. So -- now, this is something that occurred for
14 martyrs, people who were killed during the war. Correct? You've talked
15 about this being for martyrs.
16 A. Yes. For the concrete case we are talking, it is for martyrs,
17 for the martyrs.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Limaj, have you ever said you were a commander of the
19 121 Brigade in June or July of 1998, at that time?
20 A. What time do you mean? I don't understand the question.
21 Q. Have you ever described yourself as being a commander of the --
22 you made the point about martyrs and now I'm asking about yourself. Have
23 you ever said that you were a commander of the 121 Brigade in June or
24 July of 1998? Do you recall ever saying that? Is that yes or no?
25 A. Your Honours, if we look at it from a later perspective, all the
1 developments that occurred in that region, they were described as linked
2 with the Brigade 121. In this context it is possible that I may have
3 said that the members of Brigade 121st, without referring to a specific
4 date. So in this context, it is possible that I have said what you put
5 to me.
6 Q. But you're telling us that you have not then said with respect to
7 a specific date that you were a commander of the 121 Brigade before
8 August of 1998. Is that your testimony?
9 A. No, no. I am trying to sum up developments. Let's talk about
10 the logistical base, not only about the martyrs. And when we talk about
11 the logistics, for example, of Brigade 121st, that is based on this
12 place, on that place. So without specifying the time, it is possible to
13 say this. I am trying to explain to you that nothing concrete happened
14 before Brigade 121st, because before the brigade was formed there were
15 units of villages. And within villages, there were several units. So
16 you couldn't refer to them -- to each and every one of them in
17 particular. So you talk in general about Brigade 121st because that is
18 as a landmark for us when we talk about that period, about those
19 developments. So in this context, it is possible that I have said what
20 you told me, Mr. Prosecutor. I can't tell you for sure. I'm looking at
21 it from this perspective.
22 Q. Mr. Limaj, isn't it the case that you could talk about the 121
23 Brigade with relation to events in June and July 1998 because, in fact,
24 when the 121 Brigade was given its name in August of 1998, nothing
25 changed; it was simply -- the structure remained the same. It was just
1 given a name in August of 1998. So for that reason, you could talk about
2 -- you and others can talk about events in June and July of 1998 as being
3 -- involving the 121 Brigade, because for all respects except for name,
4 the 121 Brigade existed at that time. Isn't that in fact the case?
5 A. I know very well, Mr. Prosecutor, I know very well what Shukri
6 Buja said in his interview. You are very clear about that. You know
7 that Shukri Buja said he was zone commander on the 3rd of July. He
8 showed you the villages, the region he was responsible for. How is it
9 possible for a zone commander -- he was appointed to form that zone. How
10 is it possible that a commander of Nerodime zone has also Brigade 121st?
11 You must know it very well because you have had the facts in front of
12 you. There was no Brigade 121st. What you are staying, it was intended
13 to be the Nerodime zone, and I think Shukri Buja mentioned that in his
14 testimony. He said, I was appointed as a zone commander and he indicated
15 the zone and the municipalities.
16 It cannot be that a brigade of one zone covers another zone; it
17 cannot be. How can that be, please, that a unit commander gives orders
18 to a zone commander? You don't need any military rationale to draw such
19 conclusions. How can brigade commander, even that commander, give orders
20 to a zone commander? You know very well that you have the Pastrik zone
21 commander, Nerodime zone commander, and you are trying to present me as a
22 region commander. Then why didn't I become the commander of the Pastrik
23 zone? If I was such a commander, then why should someone else give
24 orders to me? Please, facts speak differently. You know the facts very
25 well and I'm surprised that you want to misinterpret them --
1 Q. Mr. Limaj, the answer to my question is: No, you don't agree
2 that the reason people talk about the 121st Brigade in relation to June
3 and July 1998 is because the structure was, in effect, in place already
4 by that time? The answer to that question is no from you. Right? You
5 don't agree with what I have stated?
6 A. There was no brigade structure. There was no brigade. Even --
7 it didn't exist as a perception, as an idea at that time. Even the
8 elements of such brigade, as you are saying, existed. That is the truth.
9 Q. Mr. Limaj, in June of 1998 you presided over an oath ceremony in
11 A. Yes, that's true.
12 Q. And also --
13 A. At the end of June I think it was or beginning of July.
14 Q. And also present were Muse Jashari and Kumanova. Right? Is that
16 A. Yes. Muse Jashari, Ismet Jashari, and outside there were others.
17 There were representatives of the General Staff.
18 Q. Who were the representatives of the General Staff who were
20 A. They were not filmed because that was shown, broadcast, on
21 television. But the cameras didn't film the other persons. It was
22 Hashim Thaqi, chairman of the Democratic Party; it was also Sokol
23 Bashota; Kadri Veseli; and two officers whom I have mentioned earlier,
24 Agim Xhelaj and Byslym Zyropi. But the camera didn't focus on them.
25 Q. You said it was broadcast on television. I take it it was
1 broadcast on Albanian television, television from Albania?
2 A. Yes, sir, because that was the first programme. It was for the
3 first time it was shown on television. A special programme was
4 programmed on -- for television broadcast for the KLA. Kosova saw it for
5 the first time. The General Staff -- I don't know how they managed to
6 have a television crew come there. They wanted to prepare such a
7 programme, so we improvised there, the environment. Like, we organised
8 an oath ceremony. They visited some positions, but that is the first
9 programme prepared deliberately for -- to make public the KLA. That was
10 an exclusive feature, if I might say so. It was an agreement between the
11 General Staff and the television crew.
12 Q. Was it broadcast shortly after it was filmed at that time? It
13 was broadcast at the same time?
14 A. I don't remember. I think it was broadcast after four or five
15 days or a week, because we couldn't broadcast it in Kosova; we had to
16 send it to Albania. And it was broadcast by the Albanian television. I
17 don't know how they transported it to Albania.
18 Q. It was broadcast from Albania, but it could be watched on
19 television in Kosovo. Correct?
20 A. Yes, through satellite antennas or satellite dishes. That was
21 the only way of communication. Whoever had a satellite dish could
22 receive such programmes.
23 Q. The oath ceremony that took place, was that a real oath ceremony
24 or was it one that was staged for television?
25 A. If you remember, when we discussed this, I remember I talked
1 about this either with you or the Defence lawyers, when we talked about
2 the rules. The rules contains the oath ceremony. After we took hold of
3 these rules, before that, the 20th of June, we don't have any oath
4 ceremony. So an organised form of oath, we didn't have before that time.
5 After we received the rules, we started to organise these oath
7 With relation to this specific case, I am telling you that we
8 staged it for television programme -- in fact, there were people who
9 really took the oath, but it was organised then because there were people
10 from various units present because we wanted the story to look as nice as
11 possible on television.
12 Q. So there were people -- the people who were took place -- took
13 part in the oath ceremony were not just from Klecke; there were soldiers
14 from other units in the area. Correct?
15 A. The members of the General Staff had talked with about the
16 coverage in Drenica and elsewhere, so they had collected some soldiers
17 and weapons. I saw some weapons that day for the first time; they were
18 there just for the purposes of being shown on television. I never saw
19 them after that day. For us, it was a problem to have uniforms because
20 we didn't want the soldiers to appear on television without uniforms.
21 Some soldiers, as I said, came from various places. There were my
22 soldiers, soldiers from Kumanova, some soldiers from Drenice who came
23 along with some of the representatives of the General Staff --
24 Q. Do you recall if there were any soldiers from Lapusnik?
25 A. It may have been -- there may have been some soldiers. I don't
1 remember. You must bear in mind that most of the soldiers were my own
2 soldiers, so I don't -- I didn't care about the others.
3 Q. You've answered the question. In June of 1998, there was also a
4 large funeral with a march that took place in Carralluke.
5 A. Yes, that's true.
6 Q. I'm just going to show you a little clip.
7 MR. WHITING: This is from the beginning of P -- Exhibit P35, and
8 if we could switch to the Sanction, please.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Limaj, is that the funeral march in Carralluke?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. And we of course see you in the march. Is that Isak Musliu who
14 is behind you?
15 A. Can you rewind it, please?
16 Q. Yes. We'll play it again.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The second person on the
19 right. It -- as you look at it. Behind me is Shaban Shala.
20 MR. WHITING:
21 Q. I'm just going to continue playing it and if you recognise anyone
22 else, could you tell me, please.
23 A. Okay.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is difficult to distinguish them
1 -- Gani Koci. I see him. It's not very clear.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. I understand. If you -- we'll just continue.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are soldiers. One I could
6 tell, he was from Suhareke municipality; his name is Isuf Krasniqi, I
7 think. There are many from Malisheve, many. Most of them are from
8 Malisheve. But there are also people from Drenice, from all parts of
9 Kosova I think.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. The funeral was for a man by the name of Ymer Krasniqi?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And he was killed on the 16th of June, 1998. Correct?
14 A. I don't remember the date very well. I thought it was on the
15 9th. Maybe it is on the 16th. I can't tell for sure.
16 Q. This march, though, took place in June. Correct? It took place
17 some -- a few days after -- whether it was the 9th or the 16th, it took
18 place a few days after the funeral?
19 A. After -- if he was killed on the 16th, probably two or three days
21 Q. And this march was also broadcast on television. Correct?
22 A. I want -- if you allow me, I want to explain. That day I didn't
23 know, but I found out later. When we went to the burial place, we saw
24 thousands of reporters. Someone prevented them from going to the place
25 where the corpse was, the coffin was. Someone from the General Staff, I
1 don't know who it was, allowed only the reporter of the Albanian
2 television to film this grave. Only this part is recorded. One minute
3 or two minutes were reported, because no journalist -- no foreign
4 journalists were allowed to record anything at the burial place. Maybe
5 five or six seconds someone has managed to film, but as far as I know it
6 was the same journalist who was allowed to film there one or two minutes,
7 only that part that is shown here. And we were told that a brief
8 recording would take place, and we prepared that line of soldiers that
9 you see there to be filmed also for propaganda purposes, for the world to
10 see that there was an army.
11 Q. Let me see if I understand your testimony correctly. The -- what
12 you're saying is that the person -- the Albanian -- you think that the
13 Albanian television journalist filmed that portion of the march and also
14 some portion -- brief portion of the burial site, and that that was --
15 those -- those portions were broadcast on Albanian television. Is that
17 A. No. Maybe I wasn't clear. I will try to be clearer this time
18 because this -- at this time KLA members were reserved. As for -- as far
19 as media is concerned, they didn't want to contact the media and they
20 didn't know how to behave with the media.
21 It was like this: There were hundreds of journalists. Here you
22 cannot see the burial site, and at the burial site there were hundreds of
23 journalists, both foreign and from the country but they were not allowed
24 to film. Only the cameraman from the Albanian television was allowed to
25 film. But as for whether he then sold this story to EuroNews or other
1 news agencies, I don't know. I don't know what happened afterwards.
2 What I know is this person was allowed to be next to the KLA columns and
3 he can film them from there; and as for other journalists, foreign
4 journalists, they were not allowed to film at the burial site. I don't
5 know why they were not allowed.
6 Q. But the footage that we've just seen, that was broadcast on
7 Albanian television, wasn't it? Do you --
8 A. Well, I think it was broadcast. There is no spot in some clips
9 that this scene is not used.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to talk you about Sadik Shala, or ask you
11 some questions, I should say, about Sadik Shala. He -- he is one of
12 these -- one of the people you were describing earlier who was killed --
13 he was killed on the 19th of July, 1998, but he's sometimes described as
14 being a member of the 121st Brigade. Correct? Does he -- is he one of
15 those people you were talking about earlier, a martyr who ...
16 A. How can I describe Sadik Shala? I cannot say that Sadik Shala
17 was a unit leader because --
18 Q. Mr. Limaj --
19 A. -- that later became 121 Brigade --
20 Q. My question --
21 A. -- and it was one of the cells.
22 Q. My question simply was: Was he -- after he -- after the war, has
23 he sometimes been described as being a member of the 121 Brigade? Right?
24 He has been sometimes.
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell me what his duties were -- was he -- was he in your
2 unit in Klecke before he was killed?
3 A. Your Honours, as I said earlier, we settled at Sadik's house and
4 he covered all the expenses for us for two or three months while we were
5 acting in profound illegality. After two or three months, things changed
6 and Sadik started to procure supplies for the unit there, and not only
7 for us, for others as well because he supported his extended family and
8 it was easy for him to support my soldiers and other soldiers as well.
9 And he gave all his fortune for the KLA. I can here tell you an
10 example --
11 Q. Mr. Limaj --
12 A. -- he presented the KLA with cattle at that time.
13 Q. Mr. Limaj, just focus on the questions. So he provided supplies
14 to the soldiers in your unit and in other units as well?
15 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said that he helped everyone. Whoever he could
16 help, he helped them. He helped soldiers. He helped others.
17 Q. So does that mean he helped soldiers in your unit and soldiers in
18 other units as well? Yes or no.
19 A. As for my unit, I was staying in his unit and whoever asked him
20 for help, he helped them.
21 Q. Did he provide help for other units?
22 A. As I said, he helped soldiers and other units, whoever asked for
23 help, and I am repeating this for the third or fourth time now.
24 Q. I'm going to play a little clip from Exhibit P34, which is the
25 documentary of his life. I'm going to play a little portion of it. It's
1 clip 2. It starts at page 4 of the exhibit.
2 Before we play it, Mr. Limaj, I'm going to ask that you pay
3 attention to what Lahi Brahimaj says about the tasks of Sadik Shala
4 because I'm going to ask you some questions about that. So if you could
5 listen carefully to what he says, please.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, in the last sentence of what Lahi Brahimaj says about
9 what Sadik Shala did it says: "At the same time Sadik Shala provisioned
10 Celiku's units," units, "in the Pastrik Operation Zone, but he also
11 performed some services for the KLA General Staff."
12 A. I already said, Mr. Prosecutor, approximately because this is a
13 documentary and everybody's trying to present him at his best, although
14 he doesn't know all things as they were. Sadik Shala helped soldiers in
15 different units because he had the means to do that. The tendency to
16 present him as one who was a sector leader of the KLA units, this is not
17 true. The truth is that --
18 Q. Mr. Limaj, what I'm focussed on is that he said "Celiku's units."
19 You had more than one unit; you were responsible for more than one unit,
20 not just the unit in Klecke. But he supplied Celiku's units. That's in
21 fact what he did, didn't he? He supplied your units?
22 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. You're trying to --
23 Q. Do you have any explanation --
24 A. -- say something else here.
25 Q. No. I'm saying what's on the tape. Do you have any explanation
1 for how -- why Lahi Brahimaj said "Celiku's units," if that's not what in
2 fact was the truth?
3 A. Of course I have. First of all, Lahi Brahimaj at that time was
4 never there. Do you know where he was active, where he operated? And he
5 has no idea what was going on in that area. He was in a totally
6 different area, in a Dukagjini zone, which is 80 kilometres far from our
7 area. So he wasn't at all at that time in our area. He rarely came
9 Your tendency, secondly, to present units as joint units, this is
10 not correct. He did help. He helped everyone. He helped people in
11 Malisheve, in Suhareke, in Drenice. He helped hundreds of thousands of
13 Your Honours, he sent tonnes of flour to Drenica and you cannot
14 now label him as someone who had been tasked to do such a thing because
15 his personality was such. He for all his life helped people. He was
16 rich, he and his family, and he had the means to people. He helped
17 soldiers; he helped units. But the tendencies to present him as a
18 supplier of all units, as someone who was tasked to do that, this is not
19 true. As for Lahi, I already told you that he was not there at that
20 time. And I don't know why he said that.
21 You personally know that Lahi Brahimaj at that time was in
22 Dukagjin. You know that.
23 Q. Mr. Limaj, I want to talk about Lapusnik. You testified that the
24 -- that the KLA was - and I'm quoting your words. It's from the third
25 day on page 69 - that the "KLA was concentrated in Lapusnik."
1 That was your testimony. Correct?
2 A. Of course, after the Lapusnik gorge was taken that the KLA units
3 were positioned on the gorge.
4 Q. And -- and the unit that was in Lapusnik below the Peja-Pristina
5 road was the Celiku 3 unit. Correct? It was known as the Celiku 3 unit?
6 Yes or no.
7 A. By one of the units.
8 Q. The -- you testified that the five positions that you identified
9 on the map were within -- that those were all -- those were five
10 positions of the Celiku 3 unit. Right?
11 A. It should be so because that line of front was covered by
12 soldiers from Celiku 3, and later on another unit covered that.
13 Q. When was that? Later on another unit covered that? You mean
14 after the end of July 1998?
15 A. No. What I meant was along that front line, the front line that
16 is connected with Celiku 3; that is what I meant.
17 Q. Let's try to be clear here. The five positions that you
18 identified on the map, and we can put the map in front of you again if
19 you like, but those five positions were Celiku 3 positions. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And those were Celiku 3 positions in June and July of 1998, until
22 the fall of the Lapusnik gorge. Right?
23 A. Yes. This was a front line.
24 Q. Starting in May of 1998, Isak Musliu was the commander of
25 Celiku 3. Correct?
1 A. We should explain this to the very end, how this happened. If
2 you want to know the truth, if you're interested in the truth. But if
3 you just want to go to the bottom line, Isak Musliu was commander of
4 Celiku 3 unit.
5 Q. Thank you. When you went to Lapusnik with Byslym Zyropi and Agim
6 Qelaj to observe the unit you met with Isak Musliu and Ymer Alushani.
7 Correct? That's your testimony.
8 A. Byslym Zyropi, Agim Qelaj, and someone else, I don't know who,
9 they went to visit all the points and as part of their visit they visited
10 Celiku 3 for 10, 15 minutes. I was with them. I was with them also on
11 the other side of the terrain in Drenica. I also was with them in
12 Aqareve [phoen].
13 Q. Please focus on my questions. I know you understand my
14 questions. I know you're understanding them. Please focus on them and
15 try to answer my questions. When you went to Celiku with Byslym Zyropi
16 and Agim Qelaj you met with Ymer Alushani and Isak Musliu. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You know that when soldiers -- when men came to Lapusnik to the
19 Celiku 3 position to join the KLA, they were interviewed by Isak Musliu.
21 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. What interview are we talking about here?
22 He could not stop anyone from joining the KLA. My experience speaks
24 Q. Let me use a different word. They would meet with Isak Musliu.
25 Correct? That would be the normal practice, to meet with Isak Musliu?
1 A. No. No, Your Honours. I will tell you how it was. If someone
2 had a friend, if someone had an uncle or a nephew or a relative, he
3 immediately went to that friend or nephew or family member and joined the
4 KLA immediately. At that time, volunteers were gathering to join the
5 KLA. At that time it was just enough to have someone you know in the KLA
6 and join. You could not stop anyone from joining. You could not prevent
7 anyone from the right of joining the liberation war; the war was ours.
8 Q. Just to be clear, your testimony is: Men who came to Lapusnik,
9 whether they knew somebody there or not, men who came to Lapusnik to join
10 the KLA in June and July of 1998 were not normally met by Isak Musliu -
11 that's your testimony - or do you not know?
12 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm trying to explain to you a general
13 experience. I'm not speaking here specifically for Lapusnik, but giving
14 you a general picture, what happened here and there. I am sure that --
15 Q. Mr. Limaj, my question is about Lapusnik. Do you know the answer
16 with respect to Lapusnik or not?
17 A. My answer is what happened everywhere. Things did not happen
18 differently in Lapusnik than in other places. Whoever wanted to join the
19 KLA joined. This is my answer. This was how things worked at that time.
20 Q. Do you remember at this time period in June and July of 1998 that
21 Chris Hill, Christopher Hill was the United States ambassador to
22 Montenegro? Do you remember that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were aware that during the summer of 1998 that he was
25 involved in trying to resolve matters between the -- in Kosovo, between
1 the Serbs and the Albanians. Correct?
2 A. To tell you the truth at that time I didn't know it was Mr. Hill
3 concretely. I knew it was an American who was dealing with this issue.
4 Later on I knew that and I had the opportunity to meet him as well.
5 Later on I learned he was the head of the delegation.
6 Q. On your various trips to Lapusnik in June and July 1998 - and
7 you've testified it was approximately 20; it might have been more, it
8 might have been less - but on those various trips, did Isak Musliu tell
9 you that he had met with Chris Hill at the barricade in Lapusnik at the
10 end of June 1998? Did he tell you about that?
11 A. No. In this case to my knowledge it was Shaban Shala who met
12 with him, not Isak. I don't know whether Isak accompanied Shaban Shala
13 when he met with him; I don't know that. At that time Shaban Shala was
14 there and Jakup was in a nearby village. This is to my knowledge -- you
15 know who Shaban Shala is.
16 Q. Yeah, I do. Jakup -- you're referring to Jakup Krasniqi?
17 A. What I said was that Jakup and Shaban Shala are co-villagers.
18 They came from the same village. There is a road nearby Orlat-Lapusnik.
19 Q. You don't remember Isak Musliu telling you that he had met and
20 spoken to Christopher Hill and other US diplomats at the barricade? You
21 don't remember that? He didn't tell you that?
22 A. No. He didn't tell me that and I don't think he knew him. We
23 neither knew him because we didn't know the delegation at that time. For
24 us it was a normal, ordinary diplomatic representatives who were visiting
25 the area at that time. I don't think he knew him.
1 Q. Well -- okay. Let me -- I'll ask you about that in a moment.
2 But did you talk to -- let me just ask you this question: Did you talk
3 to Shaban Shala about this meeting? You said you believed that Shaban
4 Shala had the meeting. Did you talk to him about it?
5 Mr. Limaj, it's a simple question. Yes or no, did you talk to
6 Shaban Shala?
7 A. No, no. No, I didn't.
8 Q. What makes you think he was the one who talked with Christopher
10 A. After developments later on, I think it was after the war, it was
11 said that Shaban Shala discussed -- talked with him. If you remember
12 Holbrooke's visit, this happened approximately at the same time and there
13 is a notorious statement that was given at that time as well about
14 Kijeva. Holbrooke proclaimed Kijeva as one of the most dangerous places
15 at that time, and Kijeva is just 10 kilometres from Lapusnik. These were
16 all words that were spoken around this time and this occasion. But later
17 on, I don't know exactly when, it was said that it could have been Shaban
18 Shala at this meeting.
19 Q. Did you meet with any of these US representatives during that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. During June and July of 1998?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Okay. You're not telling me that a United States ambassador
25 coming to Lapusnik in June of 1998 was an ordinary event, are you? That
1 was -- that would in fact be an extraordinary event. Correct?
2 A. I agree with you that that in fact would be an extraordinary
3 event, but thing is we didn't know. Holbrooke's visit was an
4 extraordinary event, but he met with an ordinary soldiers. We didn't
5 know who was coming in and who was going out. And you don't have
6 information who is meeting who, as was the case with Mr. Holbrooke.
7 Q. So is it your testimony that you -- you knew nothing about
8 Christopher Hill or any US representative coming to Lapusnik in June of
9 1998? You didn't know that. Is that your testimony? That did not come
10 to your attention?
11 A. Well, it should be clear to you. At that time, I didn't know who
12 was coming in, who was going out. Later on I learned, I learned from
13 friends, from Jakup, or from someone else because such a visit was
14 important for such a delegation to enter KLA territories. But for the
15 event in question and for the day took place, I really don't know. I
16 never really heard about it at that time.
17 Q. With respect to this visit of US representatives to Lapusnik at
18 the -- on June 26th, 1998, do you remember when you learned about it and
19 how you learned about it?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this was not the visit to Lapusnik. I think you
21 agree with me that this was not a visit to Lapusnik. This was a visit to
22 Kijeva and Decan, I think. And they were passing through that road.
23 Q. Okay. The visit -- okay. The -- let me be more specific. It's
24 a -- it's a -- a visit to the barricade on the Pristina-Peja road, the
25 KLA barricade, at Lapusnik. Whether they went somewhere else afterwards,
1 the point is -- the point is that they stopped at the barricade at
2 Lapusnik and spent some time there. Do you -- did you -- did you learn
3 of that and then --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Then my next question is: When did you learn of it and
6 how did you learn of it?
7 A. I may have learned it in the meantime because I think it was a
8 public demand made by Mr. Hill to open the road. It was a demand put
9 forward by the delegation. So I don't remember when that was.
10 Q. But --
11 A. I may err as to the timing, but I know what it is about.
12 Q. If I represent to you that the date was on the 26th of June,
13 1998, can you tell us approximately how long after the visit you learned
14 of it? Was it within days? Was it within weeks? Months?
15 A. It is possible that I learned about it when the meeting was with
16 Jan Kickert with the European troika and the journalist Baton Haxhiu. It
17 was then that I learned about the aim, but I can't tell you precisely
18 when. But that was in the wake of these things that I mentioned --
19 Q. That meaning --
20 A. -- maybe even earlier.
21 Q. That meeting that you just referred to with Jan Kickert was on
22 the 30th of July. Correct?
23 A. I thought you were asking me about the 26th of July. I am not
24 clear. I don't know when I learned about that.
25 Q. Do you remember how many days after the event happened that you
1 learned about it? Was it within days? Weeks?
2 A. Really, I cannot tell you for certain. But to tell you the
3 truth, that was not our concern. That was the business of those who were
4 supposed to deal with that. So I can't tell you when I learned about
6 Q. Do you remember --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, we've slipped from the 26th of June
8 to the 26th of July. Perhaps we could get a clarification what it is
9 you're putting.
10 MR. WHITING: What I'm putting is the 26th of June, and I think
11 the witness misunderstood and thought it was the 26th of July. But it's
12 the 26th of June.
13 Q. Do you remember if you learned about it before the fall of
14 Lapusnik, before the 26th of July? Do you remember that?
15 A. I'm trying to think harder. I know about the famous statement by
16 Mr. Holbrooke because that was an extraordinary event; it was all over
17 the media. What I told you about Kijeva being the most dangerous place.
18 I also know that they demanded the unblocking of Kijeve. But I don't
19 know for sure when I heard about that because that was not my personal
20 concern. I just know that I learned. I am trying to help you, but I
21 cannot give you an exact time.
22 Q. Mr. Limaj, do you remember how you learned about it? Do you
23 remember who told you about it?
24 A. This is -- I am trying to explain. I heard, probably from the
25 media or from someone, from Mr. Krasniqi maybe, or we may have talked at
1 the meeting with Jan Kickert later. I don't know exactly when. Really,
2 I don't.
3 Q. Mr. --
4 A. That was not our concern, to tell you the truth.
5 Q. Mr. Limaj, is it is it your best approximation that you went to
6 -- between the 9th of May, 1998, and 26th of July, is it your best
7 approximation - I know give or take one or a little bit - but it's your
8 best approximation that you went to Lapusnik 20 times, as is stated in
9 your pre-trial brief? Is that your best approximation?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Now --
12 A. Yes, if you want it to be greater, the number, then let it be
14 Q. I just want the truth, Mr. Limaj. Your best approximation is 20,
15 maybe more?
16 A. I'm trying to tell you the truth, the truth that I know, but you
17 haven't given me the opportunity before to tell me [as interpreted] the
18 truth. If you had, I would have told you the truth earlier.
19 Q. I'm trying to give you every opportunity to give us your
20 evidence, Mr. Limaj.
21 Now, you testified that you went to -- one of the reasons you
22 went to Lapusnik was that you went there on your way to Likovc.
23 A. No, no. I said one of the reasons. Sometimes I have gone there
24 to visit Isak. I have visited other points. Sometimes I have gone to
25 Likovc and on the way I have stopped and visited them. I said that was
1 one of the reasons.
2 Q. That's how I put the question, but maybe it wasn't translated
4 Just to be clear, when you go from Klecke to Likovc you do not
5 actually go through Lapusnik. Correct?
6 A. You go through Lapusnik, exactly. Exactly through Lapusnik.
7 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you in fact go from Klecke you
8 go to Novoselle, you go to Terpeze --
9 A. Yes, yes. Terpeze.
10 Q. You go to the main road. You take a right --
11 A. Orlat --
12 Q. Correct? You get to the junction.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Correct? And if you're going to Likovc you continue driving
15 across the Peja-Pristina road and you head towards Likovc. Can you
16 explain to me how it is you would go to the right, go into Lapusnik, and
17 that would somehow get you to Likovc?
18 A. No, no. If you want me, I can draw or I can show it -- I can
19 draw it. I can show you the route on the map.
20 Q. I'm just trying to get the map.
21 A. The problem is that you are talking about only neighbourhoods --
22 one single neighbourhood of Lapusnik; you are not talking about the
23 entire village. The village is very large.
24 Q. Let me put the question a little bit differently. You drew on a
25 map - and I don't have the exhibit number at hand - but on one of the
1 Defence exhibits you drew the road that you would take to come into
2 Lapusnik. When you came into Lapusnik you drew the road -- it's from the
3 Pristina-Peja road you drew the road that you would come down in -- to
4 get into Lapusnik. Right? Do you remember drawing that?
5 A. I think it's better if I look at the map now and I can draw the
6 road on it again to be clear.
7 MR. WHITING: I think it's DL4.
8 MR. MANSFIELD: DL4.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you.
10 And if it could be put on the ELMO, please. And it's not -- it
11 shouldn't be that, but maybe -- the map I was thinking of is image 8 that
12 he drew on.
13 MR. MANSFIELD: Image 8, that one.
14 MR. WHITING: Oh yeah, we have a copy of it here.
15 If it could be put on the ELMO, please.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Limaj, do you see -- you see the road that you drew red
17 on that goes from the Pristina-Peja road into Lapusnik? Do you see that?
18 MR. WHITING: If you could just point to it -- I believe it's
19 DL8. I apologise on behalf of Mr. Mansfield.
20 Q. It's -- Mr. Limaj, do you see the --
21 A. [In English] Just a second. I want to change this.
22 Q. Well, I -- I don't have a problem with the witness marking
23 further this exhibit, but I don't -- it's a Defence exhibit. I don't
24 know if -- no.
25 Let me -- can I just first draw your attention -- there's a red
1 line on the road that comes from the Peja-Pristina road to Lapusnik, into
2 that part of Lapusnik. Do you see that? Do you see the -- okay --
3 A. [Interpretation] yes.
4 Q. And you drew that red line as the road that you would take to
5 come into -- that was the road that you took to come into Lapusnik.
7 A. This is what I wanted to explain. You see this cross here? This
8 is the cross. From here you can go to Isak's positions. That is the
9 other road here, here. Here. It's like a crossroads which goes through
10 Lapusnik village in this part here. Through the village of Lapusnik it
11 goes to Damanek, Krajkove, Baince, Obrinje, Likovc. And the majority of
12 Lapusnik, Your Honours, lies on this -- as a village lies on this part of
13 the asphalt road. This is a very spread-out village. This is what I
15 Q. So, Mr. Limaj, if you're going to Likovc then you would come to
16 the Orlat junction which is not on this map. Right? The Orlat junction
17 is not on the map. Right? It's not on the map. Correct?
18 A. [In English] No, no, it's not.
19 Q. Then you would take a right on the Pristina-Peja road, you would
20 come on to the map, then at that road you've just marked you would take a
21 left to go to Likovc. Is that correct?
22 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Next to that blue mark --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, the witness doesn't have the exhibit
25 in front of him; he has your copy.
1 MR. WHITING: Oh, that's correct, Your Honour. Thank you, Your
3 JUDGE PARKER: The markings to date have been in red. You are
4 now wanting him to mark it further, I would suggest that it be in a
5 different colour.
6 MR. WHITING: Mr. Limaj thought of that and has a blue pen at
8 JUDGE PARKER: As always, you're both ahead of me.
9 MR. WHITING:
10 Q. So, Mr. Limaj, can you just put -- can you just mark on this map
11 where you marked -- had marked in blue before.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. The line you're drawing in blue is the line -- the road you would
14 take to go to Likovc. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. Can you -- can -- just so the record is --
17 A. Which goes through Lapusnik.
18 Q. I understand. Just so the record is clear, can you just put an L
19 next to the -- that blue line you've made.
20 A. [Marks]
21 MR. WHITING: And we'll understand that's an L for Likovc.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Limaj -- so on your way to Likovc, then, you would not
23 go down the road that you have drawn in red; that is going in another
24 direction, to go down that road in red. Correct? That's not going to
1 A. No, no. Who said that it goes Likovc? This goes to where I said
2 yesterday, the day before yesterday, in my testimony.
3 Q. I understand. So when you would stop in Lapusnik on your way to
4 Likovc, you would go to the right instead of to the left at that
5 intersection. Correct? And you would go into Lapusnik on that road that
6 you have marked on red. Is that correct?
7 A. Every time one wanted to go to Likovc, you go this way. But
8 sometimes you stopped on the way, met someone, had a coffee or a tea. At
9 this junction, Your Honours, there were soldiers. You see these two
10 lines, the red one and the blue one? There were soldiers at the
11 junctions who could follow the movements of the cars.
12 Q. Now, you -- I think the point has been made, so I don't think you
13 need the exhibit any -- or we'll leave it there for now.
14 You -- you also said that when you went to Lapusnik from Klecka,
15 the only way you would go is the way we just described, that is you would
16 drive to Novoselle, Terpeze, to the -- to the highway. You take a right
17 on - I call it the highway, the main road. You take a right to the Orlat
18 junction and then you would come into Lapusnik this way. Is that the
19 only way that you would go -- drive from Klecka to Lapusnik at this time,
20 in June and July of 1998?
21 A. To make it clearer, with the exception of the first time on the
22 9th of May when we came down the mountain to attack the Serb forces from
23 Berisa village for the first time, with the exception of the 9th of May,
24 usually the way to Lapusnik goes to where I have indicated. There is no
25 motor road that goes from any other direction.
1 Q. Another way you could go to Lapusnik from Klecke would be to go
2 to Sedlare/Shale, then drive up to Nekovc, and to Kishna Reka and then
3 from you could take a back road to Lapusnik that came up right at the
4 positions. Correct?
5 A. For me that was an unknown path and very dangerous. It is true,
6 as the Prosecutor is saying, from various villages, Kizhareke, Shale,
7 Nekovce, you can go to Vukovic from Nekovce, you can go there. But that
8 road was the target of the fire by the Serb and the KLA forces. For me,
9 that was an entirely unknown terrain, whereas this road that I indicated
10 was the normal, the usual one, because this was within our control, that
11 was a safe passage for us. Sometimes soldiers used the path you
12 indicated at night. But the main road was the one I showed.
13 Q. So if you were travelling -- if you were driving from Carraleve
14 to Lapusnik, what is the way you ordinarily would go then at that time?
15 When you got to Shale -- would people normally go from Shale to Klecka
16 and take the road you describe, or would they normally go from Shale to
17 Nekovc and Kishna Reka? What's the road that people normally would take?
18 A. I want to explain here, Your Honours. There was not a road to
19 Klecke -- a road as such because the infrastructure -- Klecke-Shale motor
20 road. There wasn't any. That was a very bad road. It was late that we
21 kind of built a road together with the villagers because that enabled us
22 to move more freely. But in May/June it was impossible for cars to go
23 there through this road. Villagers gradually started to build that road
24 for us to manage to penetrate from Klecke to Shale. Even if you used the
25 tractor you could use that road, but that, too, was very difficult. The
1 road began to be built because Malisheve, which was under our control,
2 the only supply line was from Pristina through -- using local roads to
3 come to Malisheve.
4 Q. So until the road got fixed up, normally people would --
5 travellers would go from Carraleve to Shale, then Nekovc to Kisna Reka to
6 Lapusnik. Correct? Until the road was fixed up and then --
7 A. No, no. It was impossible to go to Kishna Reka at that time. It
8 was impossible because this was the front line there. There was constant
9 fighting. What you're saying you had to go to Vukovc. What the
10 Prosecutor is saying this is the road, this here. This is the road that
11 he's saying, a road that links Kishna Reka, Shale, Nekovce, and then it
12 comes to Kroimire and Carraleve. I don't know. And this is where the
13 Serb forces were stationed.
14 Q. But, Mr. Limaj, before --
15 A. This road was under constant fire.
16 Q. I understand. But if you're coming from the south before you got
17 to that portion of the road you could come behind to Lapusnik to where
18 position 5 -- 4 and 5 were on a road from Kishna Reka -- you didn't need
19 to take that road; you could take a road behind that would go up to
20 position 4 and 5. Correct?
21 A. Where?
22 Q. I don't believe it's on the map. I'm just asking you from your
23 memory that there was a road -- you could go up from Kishna Reka directly
24 up to position 4 and 5.
25 A. No.
1 Q. So you --
2 A. I don't know that there is such a road. I don't know what has
3 happened later. I don't know that such a road exists from Kishna Reka to
4 come to Lapusnik. We saw the positions. You didn't have a road to link
5 one village with another, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 Q. Okay. Your testimony is you don't know?
7 A. I don't know that there is such a road.
8 MR. MANSFIELD: There is an ordinance survey-type map which has
9 got most of the roads on it. So if there is a road that is known to the
10 Prosecutor, then perhaps he could point it out on DL4.
11 MR. WHITING: I'm interested in the witness's memory.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.
13 MR. WHITING:
14 Q. Now, you were asking by Mr. Mansfield to show on the map the
15 places you went in Lapusnik. Do you recall being in Lapusnik for an oath
16 ceremony during June of 1998?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you recall that the oath ceremony took place in a yard across
19 the road from a compound where the soldiers would ordinarily go to eat?
20 A. Your Honours, if we look at this part, I think that day we
21 couldn't see much of it. The place is very green. There are many
22 pastures. We were on a pasture. There were some soldiers there; we took
23 the oath. That is the truth. But if you look at Lapusnik, it is a place
24 full of greenery. It has fields, pastures.
25 Q. Can you describe where in Lapusnik that oath ceremony took place?
1 A. I cannot, Mr. Prosecutor. I cannot describe the exact place
2 because every part is similar. There are all lawns and pastures all
3 over. It was just a lawn, a meadow.
4 Q. Did you give a speech at the oath ceremony?
5 A. No. No, I didn't give any speeches.
6 Your Honours, I simply read the text of the oath, the way you see
7 it on the -- on the clip. I was the one to read the military oath, then
8 the soldiers repeated after me. Nothing else happened. After 15, 20
9 minutes they dispersed. After the ceremony was over, then I talked for a
10 couple of minutes with the soldiers, how they were, how their families
11 were, and that's it. I was the one who read the oath text.
12 Q. Why did you read the oath text in -- at the oath ceremony in
14 A. Allow me to tell you why. Your Honours, you have a tradition and
15 you should bear in mind the circumstances in my country. With your
16 armies, you have a tradition, and maybe sometimes with your armies it's
17 monotonous. But in our history it was the first time that we had the
18 opportunity to read an oath ceremony text in Albanian language. It was
19 not something formal, as it is with other armies. For us, it was a
20 ceremony. It was a sign of respect. That's why we went to others when
21 they organised their oath ceremonies. And to our tradition, you always
22 give your guests the priority. Those young men there, they respected me,
23 they thought it was important that I read the text. But, Mr. Prosecutor,
24 I've read so many oath ceremony texts, I've read texts in Drenica, I went
25 to other places. This was a celebration for us. This was the first
1 opportunity for us to show that something serious was going on, that we
2 were really going to form a real army. Civilians, family members took
3 part in these ceremonies. There were people who fainted and needed
4 medical treatment. They fainted because of joy. There was a person who
5 was a former political prisoner who read the oath because we honoured
6 that person, we gave him the opportunity to read it.
7 You know, Mr. Prosecutor, hundreds of our soldiers were killed
8 inside the Yugoslav army ranks. Our nation had never had the opportunity
9 to read the ceremony -- oath ceremony in their native language.
10 Q. Mr. Limaj, I think you've answered the question.
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a convenient time.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 We'll resume just after 4.00 and I gather that's the point at
14 which you suggest, Mr. Mansfield, we might interpose the witness.
15 MR. MANSFIELD: Please. Yes, thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: That being so, Mr. Limaj will understand and will
17 take his place back in the body of the court.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: If I could say I'll be taking the next witness. I
21 have a short motion. I'm objecting to the introduction of one of the
22 exhibits on the Defence's list for the next witness, so perhaps that
23 should be done before the witness comes in so he doesn't have to sit
24 through that.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We'll attend to that when we return.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We were too hasty, Mr. Limaj. You can't have a
4 break, it seems.
5 Mr. Mansfield.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: I think out of courtesy to Your Honours I should
7 indicate that Mr. Whiting's very kind and allowed us a moment to go and
8 speak with Mr. Limaj because it was apparent that there was a little
9 concern about the plan we had. And of course, given the fact he's in the
10 witness box, we haven't spoken to him about the difficulties we faced
11 with Mr. Churcher and -- not at all in fact. So we explained what the
12 difficulties were. We did not speak of any of the matters he's been
13 deposing to in front of you. But I think you will understand that there
14 is after all this time an anxiety to move on as fast as possible.
15 So the compromise is that he will have another session with Mr.
16 Whiting, if I can put it that way. And then the last session today will
17 mark the beginning of Mr. Churcher, with a bit of argument. I hope it
18 won't take long, and then Mr. Churcher will commence. And I think so
19 we're still confident he will finish by the end of tomorrow. There are
20 nods from the other side. So I'm sorry to slightly re-arrange.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Does that indicate that it would not be desirable
22 for us to deal with the foreshadowed objection now but it would be better
23 to leave it until after the next break?
24 MR. MANSFIELD: That's right. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
1 Mr. Whiting, you better get underway, by the sounds of it.
2 MR. WHITING: No problem. Always ready.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We might finish the session a little earlier than
4 usual, though, if you find a convenient time at about 20 past 5.00.
5 MR. WHITING: I will, Your Honour. It's just become convenient.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, we were talking about your visits to Lapusnik. Do you
7 recall -- you testified that on one occasion - and you believed it was
8 after the battle of the 17th and 18th of May, 1998 - you went to a
9 kitchen that soldiers were using at that time nearby, and your best
10 memory was that it was nearby the position 1 or at the top of the rock,
11 guri. Do you remember testifying to that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. During your subsequent visits in June and July, do you recall
14 becoming aware of another location where soldiers would -- in Lapusnik
15 would gather to eat?
16 A. That was practical, Mr. Prosecutor. Of course soldiers ate
17 somewhere. Concretely, I don't know, but of course soldiers ate
18 somewhere. The case that I mentioned, it was in the beginning, it was an
19 improvised kitchen. It wasn't a kitchen in the full sense of the word.
20 Two or three school desks were joined together and they served as a
21 kitchen. It was immediately after the battle.
22 Q. I'm talking about June and July now. Do you recall ever going to
23 such a place in Lapusnik where soldiers typically gathered to eat?
24 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. It's not that -- whether I remember it or
25 not, but I know that I did not eat in such kitchens. At that time, we
1 had created a certain relation with some villagers that we didn't know
2 from before. As I mentioned earlier in my testimony, at Sopi's house I
3 used to stop and have a coffee or tea. I have done the same thing on the
4 other part of the terrain where we would go somewhere for a visit.
5 Q. Just to be clear your testimony is you would not go to the place,
6 wherever it was in Lapusnik, where soldiers were gathered to eat during
7 June and July of 1998. That's your testimony?
8 A. No, to my knowledge, I didn't.
9 Q. Now, with respect to Ferat Sopi's house or compound -- it was a
10 compound. Correct? Ferat Sopi had a compound?
11 A. No, Qerkin Sopi. Listen, Mr. Prosecutor, you have probably
12 visited Kosovo. Your tradition is that we have big families. Two, three
13 brothers, they live together within the same courtyard. All the
14 courtyards are surrounded by walls. And within those walls, there are
15 two, three, four houses. The same thing was with my family. My family
16 had two, three, four houses in one courtyard. One house served as a
17 guestroom. Usually when visitors came they would go there. And the
18 other part served as bedrooms. The same thing was with Qerkini's house.
19 Q. Let's refer -- you've called it a courtyard. Let's refer to it
20 as a compound. And were -- were -- was Ferat Sopi's house and Qerkini
21 Sopi's house in the same compound or were they different compounds?
22 A. No, they weren't in the same courtyard, Mr. Prosecutor. I cannot
23 refer to it as a compound; I will refer to it as part of our tradition.
24 Let's say one house is of the head of Sopi family and the other houses
25 are also part of the Sopi family.
1 Q. I need a word that will refer to a group of houses surrounded by
2 a wall. I'm offering the word "compound." If you have a different word,
3 please tell me. Just so we can understand each other with these
5 A. [In English] Okay.
6 Q. Compound is okay?
7 A. [Interpretation] Let it be so.
8 Q. Ferat Sopi's house was in one of these compounds, was in a
9 courtyard surrounded by a wall?
10 A. No, that's what I'm saying because I cannot refer to it according
11 to your way. The houses within the walls are of Qerkini Sopi's. And
12 these are the houses of his sons. And Ferat Sopi's house is separate,
13 it's outside the wall.
14 Q. So Ferat Sopi's house had no wall around it?
15 A. To tell you the truth, I'm not quite sure because as you pass by
16 Qerkin Sopi's courtyard, as you go to his house there is a small hill,
17 ridge. And the nature itself allowed him not to build a wall there. On
18 the part below, behind his house, I don't know whether there was a
19 courtyard or not.
20 Q. Were there two roads that went by Ferat Sopi's house, one that
21 was a little bit above the other one on the ridge? One road in front of
22 the house and one road in back of the house?
23 A. I will describe it to you now, how I went there. Mr. Prosecutor,
24 you can enter Qerkin's house through his courtyard. And from the upper
25 part, you can go to Ferat's house. There are two gates. From Qerkin's
1 courtyard, you could go to Ferat's house. So when I went to Ferat's
2 house, I passed through Qerkin's courtyard.
3 Q. You described some vineyards where you would sit and drink
4 coffee. Were those behind the house, in front of the house? Where were
5 those in relation to the house?
6 A. The place that I visited -- now, I don't know if Ferat has
7 another house or not. There was a sort after a terrace, a balcony, in
8 front of the house and it looks to the mountains. The view is on the
9 mountains, and that's why I'm telling you that I don't know whether there
10 was a courtyard. I don't know whether there was a wall, but from the
11 vineyards, the view is directly on the mountains.
12 Q. And the mountains you're referring to -- it's not the ridge where
13 the positions were but the mountains -- the big rock -- the big mountain
14 is what you're referring to? When you say the views of the mountains,
15 you're talking about --
16 A. [In English] Yeah yeah.
17 Q. Which mountains are you talking about?
18 A. I'm talking about the ridge. It's in the direction of the
19 position, to my knowledge. From there you can see them, if I'm not
21 Q. Do you know if Ferat Sopi's house was destroyed during the war?
22 A. No, I don't know. I was never there, Your Honours, because the
23 majority of villagers after the war left. And not only from that
24 village, from the neighbours villages as well. Some settled in cities,
25 in towns, and some got apartments and basically they didn't go back
1 because they maybe had nothing to go back to. Their houses were
2 destroyed. So to tell you the truth, I don't know what happened after
3 the war because I was never there. After the war, there was a great
4 movement of the population; they moved from one place to another, and
5 this happened with the majority of the villages.
6 Q. So the answer is: I don't know?
7 A. No, I don't know.
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, yesterday we looked at an article -- it was an
9 interview -- it's not an article. It's a transcript of an interview that
10 you gave to Albanian television on the 3rd of June, 1998. It's
11 Prosecution Exhibit 37, and we had a -- the translation was incomplete.
12 We've -- we now have a complete translation and I ask that it be put in
13 front of you so we can just finish -- complete talking about that.
14 Do you remember that we talked about this yesterday?
15 Now, the part that I wanted to focus on that wasn't on the
16 translation yesterday was -- there's a question which was: "Can you tell
17 us something about the actual results of this resistance?"
18 And your answer is: "The greater part of the Drenica territory
19 and of Llapushe in general is free and under the control of our forces,
20 that is, under the UCK's control. Our forces have had control of the
21 Pristina-Peja highway for one month now starting with the checkpoint at
22 Komorane and further."
23 That's what you said in the interview. Correct?
24 A. Excuse me for a second.
25 Q. It's the second question.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. That's what you said in the interview. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it was true? What you said there was true?
5 A. I did explain the developments, the Lapusnik gorge fell. There
6 was a great battle. The road to Malisheve was blocked, and part of it is
8 Q. Just -- the sentence I read just now, that's true, what you said,
9 the second answer? That's true?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. Just a moment. "Our forces controlled the Peja-Pristina road for
13 a month now from Komorane checkpoint onwards" -- no, no. Not the
14 checkpoint at Komorane, that belonged to the Serb forces.
15 Q. So --
16 A. It means from the gorge, from Lapusnik gorge and onwards.
17 Q. Okay. And then you were asked -- the next question that you're
18 asked is: "We have received reports that you are increasingly supported
19 by the native population there. Can you tell us something more specific
20 about this phenomenon."
21 And your answer is: "Like everywhere else in Kosovo, in Drenice
22 and Llapushe as well, we have encountered full support on the part of the
23 population of this area who has put everything at the disposal of the
24 war. Thus in Kosova the people and the UCK are one in the same just as
25 flesh is joined to the bone."
1 Did you say that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And was that true?
4 A. I already explained this, Mr. Prosecutor, as I described it
5 earlier after the 29th euphoria -- not 29th, it was even earlier.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm not asking you to repeat yourself. I'm just
7 asking is that true, yes or no?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I believe that the translation that is
10 with the exhibit is incomplete. If this complete translation, Albanian
11 translation, could be substituted or added in with the exhibit, that
12 would be appreciated. It's P37.
13 JUDGE PARKER: The Defence have a copy, do they?
14 MR. WHITING: Yes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Yes, if that could be --
16 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. We'll arrange that with
17 the registrar.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 MR. WHITING:
20 Q. Mr. Limaj, you testified that "Some people might pretend today"
21 -- you're talking about Lapusnik and you said that: "Some people might
22 pretend today that they weren't there, that they never visited the
24 Do you recall saying that, that --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And that -- and that's because there was a prison camp in
2 Lapusnik and those who are able to say that they weren't there will now
3 say that they weren't there. Correct?
4 A. No, I wouldn't interpret it this way. This is because of fear
5 that you have instilled in them. Even Ibrahim Rugova was scared that
6 there might be an indictment against him.
7 You, Mr. Prosecutor, didn't allow me to explain about my
8 pseudonym Celiku. I don't know why now we are not going on with the
9 interview. I don't know whether you don't want to hear the truth. I
10 wanted to explain why it was that I got the pseudonym Celiku. You were
11 saying that I was escaping the truth here. From this point, this is a
12 turning point as far as my naming Celiku is concerned, and I want to
13 explain that. You mentioned two matters from that interview, but you're
14 not mentioning the main issue. This is the most important moment in this
15 interview as far as my pseudonym Celiku is concerned. And for the sake
16 of the truth, allow me, Your Honours, to explain it.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, which interview are you talking about?
18 A. There have been remarks that I'm speaking too fast.
19 The interview you just gave me, the interview dated 3rd of June
20 and which is directly linked with the pseudonym Celiku, I think that for
21 the sake of the truth I should explain this Trial Chamber what you are --
22 Q. Mr. Limaj, please give your explanation. It relates to this
23 interview that we -- P37 that we were just looking at?
24 A. Yes, 3rd of June --
25 Q. What is the explanation that you wanted to give to the Trial
1 Chamber about this interview?
2 A. Explanation about Celiku, about the pseudonym Celiku. This is
3 what I want to explain. I want to tell you how I got the pseudonym
5 Your Honours, after the battle of the 29th at Lapusnik gorge, a
6 journalist -- the journalist who composed this, who made this interview
7 is Ismet Sopi. I knew him from before because his niece used to study
8 with me in Pristina. And after the battle at Lapusnik, which echoed in
9 Kosova, he came to Klecka to visit me. We sat down, we discussed, and I
10 asked him, Why are you not presenting the KLA properly before the media?
11 And he replied, Well, how shall we do it when nobody is ready to discuss
12 with us, to talk with us? And from this conversation, he insisted that I
13 gave an interview for the Albanian television, for the media. I
15 We went to a house that had an antenna, a satellite dish, because
16 you had to be in such places in order to have reception with a phone.
17 And what I told him is as follows. I can speak, but I cannot speak with
18 a name. So how shall we do it? And we decided to use one of the KLA
19 commanders as a name. We agreed to use this, that a commander of the KLA
20 is calling from the Drenica zone. And we continued. This was the first
21 time for a KLA member to give an interview for the Albanian television by
23 And, Mr. Prosecutor, this interview was prepared at 5.00 and was
24 broadcast at 6.00, 6.30. When he finished with his questions and I
25 finished with my answers, I was quite emotional - it was a first time I
1 spoke with the media. I went back to my base to listen to the interview.
2 When I heard it on the news, I heard that they used Commander Celiku.
3 And immediately the following day I found this journalist and I asked
4 him, What happened, Ismet? He said to me that the editorial board in
5 Tirana did not accept for this interview to be broadcast without a name
6 of the person who was being interviewed. And he said he decided to use
7 that name because he had heard from the radio Celiku 1, Celiku 2, Celiku
8 3, and that's why he decided to choose that name so that the interview
9 could be broadcast.
10 I want to add that this was heard in Kosova and the diaspora
11 because the interview was mainly for the diaspora because they had the
12 dilemma whether there was or was not a KLA.
13 Q. Mr. Limaj --
14 A. Excuse me, I just have one more second and I'll be finished. So
15 the diaspora then used this interview in their gatherings because it was
16 the only document in Albanian. So they used this interview in order to
17 raise funds. And when people started to come to Kosova from the
18 diaspora, whoever came wanted to meet Commander Celiku because that's
19 what they heard on TV and on these gatherings for fund-raising. And this
20 is how it started. And again, with my soldiers and amongst my soldiers,
21 I was known as Daja, with the pseudonym Daja.
22 This is what I wanted to explain.
23 Q. Mr. Limaj, this was broadcast on television. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. You can see it here that he did not address me with any other
2 name, that that was added in the editing as the journalist described to
3 me. They added the name.
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, I want to be clear on your position. Is your position
5 that there could have been a prison camp in Lapusnik and you did not know
6 about it, or is it your position that there was no prison camp no
8 A. As for my position, I would like to explain here before the
9 Honoured Judges that I was shocked when I saw the indictment. I would
10 like to say, based on myself and my views, I had never seen or heard
11 about such a camp. And what is more, I was never a witness to such
12 developments. There was no prison camp in Lapusnik, as you allege. And
13 I'm saying this from my own experience, Mr. Prosecutor.
14 Q. Now, I'm going to give back to you the pseudonym sheet that -- so
15 that I can refer to witnesses.
16 MR. WHITING: And if I could have the assistance of the usher.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, you see the Witness L-07?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You heard the testimony of Shukri Buja, who said that he went to
20 Lapusnik to obtain the release of L-07.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you explain how that would be possible if there was no prison
23 in Lapusnik?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I heard Shukri's testimony. And even without
25 hearing his testimony, out of my own experience, as for detentions, one
1 or two days, tops, they happened everywhere. And this is how I saw it,
2 as things that could have happened. And I believe that this is what Mr.
3 Buja intended. Such things happened everywhere. People were being
5 Your Honours, my -- my father-in-law was stopped for six or seven
6 hours because he was coming from another territory, and until it was
7 verified that he was coming to me nobody was allowing him to proceed with
8 his journey. So things -- such things might have happened. This is how
9 I looked at it.
10 Q. Mr. Limaj, the truth is that you yourself were involved in the
11 release of L-07, weren't you?
12 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, never. I have never seen that person in my
13 life until he came here. I never saw him in my life and I never
14 participated in his release. I only saw him when he came here.
15 Q. Shukri Buja vouched for him, and based on that vouching you
16 ordered him released?
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I said that I saw that person for the first time
18 here. It is true what -- that Mr. Buja said that here, but that is not
19 the truth. Mr. Prosecutor, you want to make me a criminal in three
20 months, but you cannot do it because facts speak differently. Please, I
21 saw this person for the first time here.
22 Q. You made him write a statement that he wouldn't say anything
23 about Lapusnik or he would be killed. Do you remember that?
24 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. Look at my biography. Why didn't I continue
25 that after August? Such a criminal, such a person, dealing with such
1 matters will have a history of doing such things. These are stories.
2 For me, it's not true, Mr. Prosecutor. Please.
3 Q. Mr. Limaj, can you tell us who a person by the name of Naim is?
4 That's N-a-i-m.
5 A. I don't know him.
6 MR. WHITING: Could Mr. Limaj be shown Prosecution Exhibit P30,
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, these are notes that were --
9 A. [In English] Sorry. Wait a second.
10 [Interpretation] Yes.
11 Q. They were found in your house in a storage room next to the
12 kitchen in your apartment in a search at the time of your arrest.
13 They're signed -- they have the name Naim on them. Can you tell us now
14 who Naim is?
15 A. I don't know him. There's nothing else I can say.
16 Q. How did these notes get into your apartment?
17 A. Your Honours, after we left, Mr. Prosecutor, after we entered
18 Pristina when the KFOR and NATO forces entered Pristina, the Defence
19 Ministry, because I was a spokesperson for that ministry, that ministry
20 is located 10 metres away from my home, in front of my home. That is
21 where the ministry is and the General Staff and various sectors are. But
22 because that building had formally been an insurance company which left
23 and until they could not find the location where to keep the
24 documentation, the documentation was kept in my house because it's across
25 the road from my home. Instead of taking them away somewhere in some
1 other place far away, they decided to keep the documentation in my house.
2 That's the only explanation I can give. And that's why they found this
3 document in my home, but there is -- I have nothing to do with this
4 document. This is the truth or the explanation I can give you, Mr.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, do you recall the other documents that were found in
7 your home?
8 A. Yes, various documents were found. Yes. People in their homes
9 have various documents, keep various documents.
10 Q. Do you recall some identifications that were found in your home
11 of -- your identifications?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you recall where those were stored?
14 A. No, I can't remember.
15 MR. WHITING: If I could just have a moment.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. Mr. Limaj, on the first page of this document, if you look at
19 the first page, is the name Lutfi Xhemshiti.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It refers to Lutfi Xhemshiti and his four children.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You know that Lutfi Xhemshiti was kidnapped from his house in
24 Breg i Zi on 30 July 1998?
25 A. I know about one thing and that is from the indictment that I
1 read. I never heard about this person before that.
2 Q. You don't know that he was seen in Lapusnik, that his body was
3 recovered in Berisha? You don't know anything about that?
4 A. As I said, for the first time -- or the first time that I heard
5 about this was when I read the indictment.
6 Q. And it's just a coincidence that a document with his name on it
7 is found in your apartment? That's just a coincidence?
8 A. I tried to explain what the issue of the documentation was like.
9 There is no other explanation for it. I kept documentation for the
10 ministry at my home because it's only 10 metres away from the ministry.
11 Q. Can you tell us what other documents you kept for the ministry or
12 what other kinds of documents?
13 A. The ministry had one floor, occupied one floor, of the building.
14 And the other floors were occupied by the General Staff. And there were
15 -- these were documentations about the martyrs, about the veterans, how
16 many members of the General Staff there were, how many soldiers and
17 weaponry they had after demilitarisation. On the second floor there were
18 other sectors, sectors of the General Staff who were located there
19 because they had no other location.
20 The company had to move from that place, so what we had to do was
21 get the documentation and store it. There was no place to store it, so
22 I, together with other people, took some documentation and stored the
23 documentation in our homes.
24 Q. Where did you store it, this documentation, that you say you
25 stored? Where in your house did you store it?
1 A. Well, people in the staff of the ministry took it away and left
2 it, possibly, in the balcony or in one room. They put it there. They
3 tried to put it where they would not be an obstacle to our everyday
4 living. In fact, it was my wife who told them where to put it.
5 Q. So my question is -- my question is: Where in your apartment was
6 this documentation stored? And your answer is that it was in the balcony
7 or in one room?
8 A. Well, I said there was documentation in the balcony or other
9 places, but it -- because the apartment is a small apartment, my wife
10 told me -- told them where to store it, where to put it. It's only 75
11 metres -- square metres, sir, so it's a small place to live in.
12 Q. Can -- it's important. Can you tell me where in your apartment
13 it was stored, this documentation. Was it stored all together? Was it
14 stored in different places?
15 A. I am trying to explain. I'm trying to help you. This is
16 something that I did not pay too much attention to. These were documents
17 that were left temporarily at my place. This documentation was left,
18 sometimes part of it in the storage room, part of it in the balcony.
19 Even the computer was left in the balcony until we found another place to
20 put it. I'm trying to help you. The only thing I can say is that we put
21 the documentation in places where they would not be an obstacle to our
22 everyday living. We lived there. There were 13 of us, my father, my
23 mother, there were my brothers and their children, and it was such a
24 small place to live in for so many people.
25 Q. This document was found in the storage room next to the kitchen.
1 Were there other documents like the ones you describe in the storage room
2 next to the kitchen, according to you?
3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'll say it again. There might have been other
4 documentation there from the ministry or other documents, because the
5 storage room is a place where they could leave it for longer time because
6 it was not an obstacle for us to live there. You have it in your
8 Q. Were these documents kept in boxes or folders or how were they
10 A. Frankly, I don't know. They were in binders or boxes. Of course
11 it must have happened to you to move office, to go from one office to
12 another, and you put things in boxes. But at that time we did not have
13 all those means, so they did what they could. This was immediately after
14 the war in 1999 and we did not have many things. We did not even have
15 notebooks. So this was immediately after the war, Mr. Prosecutor. It
16 was the beginning, and those documents were there from that time.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, if you could look at the second page of the document,
18 please, and it's the second page in the English. There's a line -- it's
19 the -- it's the third entry. If you see the little dashes, and it says
20 "Zejn Petrova, always stays" -- do you see? It's the second page.
21 A. Are you referring to the numbers in written -- written in blue?
22 Q. It's the number 2 there.
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. The third entry down is "Zejn Petrova, always stays with a" --
25 and the word is written "Shka [sic]" "with a Serb"? "Shka" is --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That's a derogatory term for a Serb, isn't it, Mr. Limaj, "Shka"?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. The next entry says -- if you could look at it it says: "Syle
5 Llugiqi goes to work at 7.30 and stays at his work until 10.30 and then
6 sits in the 'Galerija' pizzeria until 1030. Always drinks coffee.
7 Generally goes with a Serb (I don't know his name) and then goes back to
8 work. Comes out at 1430 and goes home via road to Konjuh in white Lada
9 Samara." And his licence plate is given.
10 Then it says, "At 1630 Syle goes out in the town (Lipjan) again
11 and goes again to the 'Galerija' pizzeria and sits there with a Serb who
12 works for Lipjan SUP... I don't know his name."
13 And the next entry is: "Syle sat with that criminal of the
14 Serbian police in the 'Napoli' pizzeria from 2000 until 2100 on 2
15 November 1998."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Your testimony is that you know nothing about this record or what
18 this is referring to. Is that your testimony?
19 A. No, absolutely not. I know nothing about this.
20 Q. Do you have any explanation for why the KLA would retain such a
21 document which appears to be -- on its face which appears to be
22 monitoring the movements of somebody meeting up socially with a Serb?
23 A. Well, I don't want to speculate here. You must look at the zone
24 or region referred to here, where this Zek or Zec [as interpreted] or
25 wherever he is from lived and the intelligence services there. There is
1 no other explanation. The place referred to, they know what they mention
2 by this. It's part of their job, the intelligence services job.
3 Q. The -- turning to page 3 -- actually page 5 -- page 3 on the
4 English. It's -- there's a date it's about a third of the way down the
5 page it says "3 November 1998." And it says, "There is a plan to kill an
6 Serbian woman but the KLA has to be asked before the matter is carried
7 out." And it says, "Will you ever release that Serbian woman? Is she
8 coming to you because she wants to or by force? What age is she? Did
9 they introduce themselves as people authorised by the KLA?"
10 Is it your testimony you know nothing about what this refers to?
11 A. What do you think, Mr. Prosecutor, that everything that happens
12 in Kosova I know about? These are things that the intelligence services
13 dealt with and they -- you are making me commander of intelligence
14 services, commander of the KLA, everything. I have no idea who made
15 these notes. Look at the date, 3rd of November, 1998. While the victim
16 or the massacre, according to you, happened in July. I have no idea
17 about the things you're mentioning here. I don't know personally
18 anything about it.
19 Q. Mr. Limaj, you have talked about collaborators. You've said
20 nothing about Serb civilians. You would agree with me, wouldn't you,
21 that there is no justification for kidnapping, detaining, maltreating,
22 torturing, or murdering civilians during wartime, wouldn't you? You
23 would agree with me on that, Serb civilians or any other type of
25 A. I fully agree, and not only that -- but, Your Honours, look at my
1 biography. From the time I've been a commander of that brigade, you
2 cannot find a single case of a civilian -- of a Serb civilian or Albanian
3 civilian that has been kidnapped or maltreated or tortured during the
4 time that I was a commander of the brigade, and you have an example of
5 how I behaved with the Serbs, the Tanjug journalist. You're trying here
6 to present a systematic case. Tell me about one case when a Serb house
7 has been attacked by me or a case of violence against a Serb house
8 against [as interpreted] me. I have always tried for these things not to
10 Q. We'll get to that subject in a moment, Mr. Limaj. Finally, the
11 last entry is -- it's on your page 5, our page 3 -- "Qerim Hamiti,
12 lecturer from the Faculty of Mining Engineering --
13 MR. WHITING: I apologise to the translators and the transcriber.
14 Q. "I talked to him about the collaborators about the enemy in our
15 faculty. Qerim is someone who has given a lot of help to the KLA and he
16 is totally trusted regarding cases of the spying of Albanians who work
17 with the enemy."
18 Now, this sounds like a very different type of collaborator than
19 the one that you defined for us during your testimony. Would you agree
20 with me, Mr. Limaj?
21 A. I will say again that these are different circumstances. Each
22 unit wanted to have more information about the developments. With regard
23 to collaborationists, I told you what my position is. This is a summary
24 of different information, pieces of information.
25 Look here, Mr. Prosecutor, it says "faculty" and it's in
1 Pristina. There was no other faculty but the one in Pristina. And here,
2 this is about developments in Pristina. Of course everybody wanted to
3 have more information, but I don't know who was looking for this
4 information. It was not part of my job. I did not deal with that. And
5 I can give you a concrete example. There was Serbs who can -- who gave
6 us information, a general, a Serb who was member of the General Staff of
7 the Serbian army who was fired by Milosevic after the Bosnian and
8 Croatian conflicts, and he was dissatisfied with the Milosevic regime and
9 he contacted Albanians abroad and gave them information.
10 And quite by chance, because members of the General Staff could
11 not meet him, they -- he tried to contact me. Jashar Selihu was the one
12 who told me he would come and meet me. And we had that meeting, Mr.
13 Prosecutor, in Shale. He came in the evening, he gave me some documents,
14 it was just 20 minutes, and then he left. I gave those documents to the
15 General Staff. These things happened from both sides. And this document
16 later was known as the horseshoe document, but I didn't know at the time
17 what they referred to.
18 Q. Mr. Limaj, you know that on the 12th of July, 1998, in that
19 interview that we looked at before that Jakup Krasniqi gave from Klecka?
20 Remember that interview that we looked at from the 12th of July, 1998?
21 You --
22 A. Yes. The picture with Shukri and the other one.
23 Q. Correct. It's in P -- Exhibit P48 and P49. Do you remember -
24 and I can show you the interview if you like - but do you remember that
25 Jakup Krasniqi said --
1 A. If I can look at the interview, Mr. Prosecutor, so that I know
2 which interview you're talking about.
3 Q. Certainly.
4 MR. WHITING: If the witness can be given P49 in the large
5 format. We have it in the large format. The ERN in English is U003-8589
6 and in the Albanian it's U008-1606.
7 Q. Do you have that page?
8 A. [In English] Yes.
9 Q. Now, if you could look at the third column and the question that
10 is put to Mr. Krasniqi is: "The international community has criticised
11 the violation of human rights and the kidnapping of Serbian and
12 Montenegrin civilians. What can you say about this?"
13 Do you see that question?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And Mr. Krasniqi says: "It does" -- and I believe it's on the
16 Sanction. Is it.
17 "It does indeed seem to us ridiculous to equate the operations of
18 the UCK with those of the Serbian occupier which are notorious throughout
19 the world. On this point it seems to me that the international community
20 is not respecting its conventions, starting with the UN charter, because
21 the UCK has never dealt with civilians or only if they have been in the
22 service of the army and the police and have done serious harm to the
23 people and the Albanian national cause. There have been cases in which
24 they have been kidnapped, but in this -- but in this event they have been
25 handed over to the international organisations, of course when they have
1 been innocent. First of all, all Serbian forces whether the police and
2 military armed civilians are enemy."
3 And then it continues: "From the start we have had our own
4 internal rules for our operations. These clearly lay down to the UCK
5 recognises the Geneva Convention and the conventions governing the
6 conduct of war even though it has not been offered the chance of signing
7 them as we would have done. We do not go in for kidnapping. Even if
8 some people suffered, these have been more Albanian collaborators than
9 Serbian civilians. We do not deal with civilians. We return those whom
10 we take as prisoner of wars."
11 And this is the sentence I'm particularly interested in and going
12 to ask you some questions about:
13 "A few days ago we handed over two Serbs originating from Croatia
14 to the International Red Cross. Those we have kidnapped are either
15 announced on a list -- but we do not behave in a base fashion like
17 The two Serbs that he is referring to, Mr. Limaj, was -- were the
18 Bakracs. Correct?
19 A. It could be. It could be them. However, it's not specified here
20 who they are, but they could be the ones, yes.
21 Q. You know that they were kidnapped in Carraleve on the 30th of
22 June, 1998?
23 A. I don't know where they were kidnapped from and I don't know
24 either where they were sent.
25 Q. You don't know that they were taken to Lapusnik?
1 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, I don't know.
2 Q. Mr. Krasniqi -- you never talked to Mr. Krasniqi about these two
3 Serbs, what the story was with these two Serbs?
4 A. No.
5 Q. This was a time when you testified you were meeting regularly
6 with Jakup Krasniqi.
7 A. Of course we met with Mr. Krasniqi, but there were many other
8 things that we talked about, and this was not under my area of
9 responsibility. And maybe he thought I didn't know about it so he didn't
10 talk to me about it. And he had no obligation, in fact, to speak about
11 it with me. There were so many problems at that time that we had to
12 discuss with Mr. Krasniqi, but we never discussed this.
13 Q. You never learned that they had been kidnapped in Carraleve and
14 taken to Lapusnik and held in Lapusnik for approximately a week?
15 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. I heard it only here from you. I never
16 heard it before, not even in the media. We didn't have newspapers at the
17 time. It was only very rarely that we got any newspapers, and there was
18 about this, about people taken to Lapusnik or away from Lapusnik. The
19 Serbian newspapers spoke about these terrorist actions of Albanians and
20 kidnappings, but I have never heard about this case.
21 Q. In fact, you were in Lapusnik when they were there and you were
22 involved in their release. Isn't that true?
23 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. I told you about my activities. You're
24 trying to place me in Lapusnik all the time, but that's not true. You
25 can say anything you want but there is only one truth, and that is that I
1 never in my life participated in such a camp, and this is my truth, Mr.
3 Q. Mr. Limaj, the -- when the Bakracs were kidnapped they were
4 kidnapped with two people by the name of Stamen Genov and Djordje Cuk.
5 And a statement written by Stamen Genov and an identification card from
6 Djordje Cuk were found in Lapusnik when the forces went into Lapusnik on
7 the 26th of July, 1998. Do you have any explanation for how those
8 documents got to Lapusnik?
9 A. Can you argue or prove that they were found in Lapusnik, really
10 found in Lapusnik? Can you prove it here that they were found by the
11 Serbs in Lapusnik? The Serbs had everything in their hand. They could
12 do everything they wanted. I read in your exhibits that Stamen Genov was
13 found in Kline. That's what the Serbs say to you and the document says
14 that he was found in Kline.
15 I don't know. I can't explain anything to you about these
16 things. I don't know what the Serbs did. They could do anything. I
17 don't know whether it's true or not. I know what the Serbs did, however.
18 We had such experiences. I can give you thousands of examples of the
19 ways and means they used against us.
20 Q. Mr. Limaj, we've had evidence in this case about three Russian
21 journalists and an interpreter who were stopped at Lapusnik on the 20th
22 of July, 1998. Do you remember that evidence? And they were with Shaban
24 A. Yes, I remember them, yes.
25 Q. You heard about that at the time, didn't you? You knew about --
1 that that had happened at the time?
2 A. Your Honours, I want to explain the developments as they
3 happened --
4 Q. Mr. Limaj --
5 A. On the 18th, 19th, and the 20th --
6 Q. Please if you could just answer the question. Did you learn
7 about these men -- these journalists being stopped and about Shaban Hoti
8 at the time, on the 20th of July, or shortly thereafter? Did you learn
9 about that?
10 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, I didn't. And that's why I was trying to
11 explain how the events unfolded. That was my point.
12 Q. When's the first time you heard about it?
13 A. I heard about this case -- I think his daughter is in Pristina in
14 the Ministry of Defence. I don't remember the name. He was a professor
15 of the university -- at the university. And there are very few of them,
16 so they are known. Somebody from his family came and asked about him --
17 Q. Mr. Limaj --
18 MR. WHITING: Could we go into private session briefly, please?
19 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
20 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. You wanted to explain.
12 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. At that time, Your Honours, after people
13 had left and came back to Kosovo, many people had disappeared and members
14 of their families came to various institutions or various bodies to learn
15 about them. They came also to the Ministry of Defence. They said
16 this-and-this person, we lost him, we don't know where he is. Do you
17 know anything about him? And I told them, as I said to many other
18 people, We don't know. Go to the International Red Cross, go to other
19 organisations, they might know more. Or maybe go to the General Staff
20 because they might know more, especially the zone commanders might know
21 more about these cases.
22 Q. So you're --
23 A. But I remember this because it was mentioned there that he was a
24 professor. That's why I remember it.
25 Q. And so -- just to be clear, your testimony is: After the war
1 somebody from the family came to inquire -- ask you about this person.
2 Is that correct? Just to be clear about your testimony. This was after
3 the war --
4 A. Yes, yes. It was right after the war in 1999 I think it was, or
5 maybe 2000. 1999/2000, after the war.
6 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm not going to go through all the other victims in
7 the case because your position is that there was no camp, that there was
8 no mistreatment, no torture, no murders. So I'm not going to go through
9 with you all the other items. I'm going to move on --
10 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, sorry --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry --
13 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm so sorry --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, you have stated then a position that
15 I don't believe I've gathered from the evidence so far. Now, is that
16 your point, Mr. --
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you, it is.
18 MR. WHITING: I can rephrase it.
19 Q. Your position is that there was no camp in Lapusnik in June and
20 July of 1998, and therefore no mistreatment there of prisoners, no
21 torture of prisoners, no murder of prisoners in Lapusnik. That's your
22 position. Correct?
23 A. What you are putting it on me is making me very sad. I don't
24 think it's a victory just to sentence someone, but the victory is also to
25 prove the innocence of someone, Mr. Prosecutor. My sense is this, Your
1 Honours: I was shocked when I heard that. I have never seen, never
2 heard, never in my life have I been involved in such things. That is my
3 answer, Mr. Prosecutor, and I have no other answers to give you.
4 Q. For that reason, I won't go through and ask you about the other
5 victims in this case.
6 MR. WHITING: I do have more questions but it's now almost 5.20,
7 so perhaps it's a convenient time.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 20 minutes to 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.18 p.m.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours. I'll attempt to be
14 brief. In their filing on the 23rd of May, the Defence have -- which I
15 believe Your Honours have -- have given a list of exhibits, additional
16 exhibits, for Fatmir Limaj. The only one I raise issue with is the
17 other, which is an interview conducted by the OTP with Mr. Thaqi.
18 And let me just describe the background to that interview. The
19 interview was tape recorded -- was attempted to be recorded on the 5th of
20 May, 2004. Unfortunately there was an equipment failure. There was no
21 recording of the interview. The interview, the essence of the questions
22 and answers asked was then put on paper. There was a meeting with Mr.
23 Thaqi. He made changes, which are indicated in italics, and then all
24 parties signed this as a reconstructed transcript or statement of what
25 occurred at the interview, and it's signed with a, attestation similar to
1 the OTP statement of witness statements.
2 The Defence knew about this interview at some point and requested
3 a copy of it apparently on the 29th of May, 2004. It was not disclosed
4 until 15th of April this year. That was our oversight. I believe that
5 soon before the 15th of April the Defence asked again. We said, Well,
6 we've already given it; we checked and we hadn't. So that's our mistake.
7 My objection to this statement being admitted through Bob
8 Churcher or any other witness is that it is, in fact, a statement; it's a
9 statement of a prospective witness. It's testimony prepared in advance
10 of trial. There are three ways that a witness's testimony can come in
11 before a Chamber in this: Live, 92 bis, or 89(F) under certain
12 circumstances. I have passed out the Milosevic decision of 30th
13 September, 2003, or it's being passed out now, which refers to the Galic
14 Appeals decision of the 7th of June. I haven't passed out Galic because
15 the essence of it is contained in the Milosevic decision.
16 The Galic decision states in paragraph 31 which is quoted several
17 times in Milosevic: "A party cannot be permitted to tender a written
18 statement given by a prospective witness to an investigator of the OTP
19 under Rule 89(C) in order to avoid the stringency of Rule 92 bis."
20 And it continues: "By analogy, 92 bis is the lex specialis which
21 takes the admissibility of witness statements of prospective witnesses
22 and transcripts of evidence out of the scope of the lex generalis of Rule
23 89(C). But Rule 92 bis has no effect upon hearsay material which was not
24 prepared for the purpose of legal proceedings."
25 This statement was prepared for the purpose of legal proceedings.
1 It is not in that universe of hearsay material which can come in through
2 89(C) or another way. The Thaqi interview falls squarely within the
3 holding in Galic. It's a reconstructed transcript of a prospective
4 witness prepared for the purpose of legal proceedings. The only
5 difference is that they seek to introduce it through an expert rather
6 than through an investigator.
7 I said Galic was followed in Milosevic; I would direct the
8 Chamber and counsel specifically to paras 9, 12, 13, 18, and the
9 disposition. In short, the Milosevic Chamber endorses the approach in
10 Galic but finds that "Under Rule 89(F) a statement which is not strictly
11 in compliance with 92 bis can be committed if three conditions are met:
12 The witness is present in court, the declarant is available for
13 cross-examination and questioning by the Judges, and attests that the
14 statement accurately reflects his or her declaration of what he or she
15 would say if examined."
16 And they make the point at paragraph 18 that in that case a
17 written statement of a witness can be introduced, although it doesn't
18 strictly comply with 92 bis because it is not being introduced in lieu of
19 live testimony.
20 Now, Mr. Thaqi is not a witness for the Prosecution; we've chosen
21 not to call him. As far as I understand, the Defence does not intend to
22 call him. So there is no way that this statement should come in other
23 than through him coming here and testifying or through Rule 92 bis or
24 somehow 89(F).
25 I'll just say that we have strong reservations with this
1 statement. Parts of it have been contradicted just recently by the
2 testimony of Mr. Limaj. Specifically, Mr. Thaqi --
3 JUDGE PARKER: I don't know that it would help the Chamber to
4 hear your views upon --
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
6 The last point I would then make is that although this was
7 disclosed late, Mr. Thaqi in the statement - whether it's true or not -
8 states, paragraph 32: "This is the same information that he has already
9 provided to the Defence of Fatmir Limaj."
10 So there's been access to this witness, he says. It's a
11 statement and the idea of getting it through -- in through an expert
12 witness is just an attempt, I would say, to end-run around the
13 jurisprudence of this Tribunal. Now, there is a specific category of
14 hearsay. Witness statements or transcripts prepared for legal
15 proceedings, those do not come in through other witnesses unless the
16 declarant is there to be cross-examined.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
18 Mr. Mansfield.
19 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. May I say at once, given the material that
20 the Prosecution almost invariably wishes to put in through other
21 witnesses, whether it's television programmes or whatever, I find it a
22 little bit ironic that the observation is made this is trying to get
23 something in the back door.
24 JUDGE PARKER: The shoe is on another foot, is what you're
25 putting, is it?
1 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, the back door is wide at the moment in view
2 of what has happened. However, this isn't an attempt to do that. May I
3 indicate what this is and the status of it as far as our position is
4 concerned. There is -- may I just check that Your Honours have it, a
5 supplementary sheet that certainly has been filed from the expert himself
6 which explains fairly shortly why we seek to put it in. If Your Honours
7 haven't had it, I'll just pause for a moment. It's very short, and I can
8 explain it as you look at it, as it were.
9 JUDGE PARKER: One Judge at least has had a chance to look at it,
10 but I certainly have not.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: May I just give an introduction to it and then
12 you'll see why -- there are only three paragraphs that are really -- the
13 position is this -- I'm not going into what has gone wrong in this case
14 at this stage. The fact of the matter is: so far as the Defence of
15 Limaj is concerned we did not have a statement or an interview with this
16 particular person, Hashim Thaqi. We didn't have anything like the notes
17 or whatever of the interview that the Prosecution did. We didn't have
18 that. Whatever he may say he thinks he's done in the past, we didn't
19 have it. But we did know, because he told somebody representing the
20 Defence, when declining an interview -- a formal interview with us that
21 he had already given one to the Prosecution; that's why we approached
22 them a year ago asking for it. He was telling us that all he'd to say
23 he'd already told the Prosecution. So we asked for it. There was this
24 delay. That has already been referred to.
25 In fact, the position was this: That Mr. Churcher at the time
1 that he was compiling his report did not have access to these notes of
2 this particular interview. And the time that it was served upon us was
3 after the close of the Prosecution case; that was on the -- the case was
4 closed on the 13th of April. And this set of notes was disclosed on the
5 15th. At that time our team was in Kosovo and the Churcher report was
6 finalised the day after they returned from Kosovo. And it was only after
7 that -- and he specifies, Mr. Churcher does, in this short statement when
8 he was directed to the Thaqi interview.
9 The significance, therefore, of this is as follows. And he's put
10 it in the last three paragraphs, that there's material in these notes of
11 an interview which entirely confirms the view that he'd come to based on
12 other materials. And it's significant, therefore, that somebody in the
13 position of Hashim Thaqi, whose name has come up very regularly in these
14 hearings and whose position is well-known to Your Honours as to the role
15 he played from the beginning in relation to the General Staff, that he is
16 alongside others whose names have been mentioned who plainly have been
17 witnesses in this case, and they are significant and important in terms
18 of providing material information upon which this expert can base his
19 opinion and observations.
20 In other words, may I compare it in this way. Supposing Hashim
21 Thaqi, instead of having an interview with the Prosecution in the way
22 that he did had actually put all those observations into a book, we would
23 have been quite entitled to ask this expert to look at the book, just in
24 the same way as you've been asked to look at the Human Rights Watch
25 report and other books for that matter in relation to the Kosovo period
1 1998/1999. And there would be -- of course the weight to be given to
2 anything said in a book or the weight to be given to anything said in an
3 interview is quite another matter. And Your Honours are very familiar
4 and well-experienced in making an assessment about that material in the
5 longer term. It is just as if this afternoon we were treated to an
6 interview with somebody who is not a witness and in fact a
7 cross-examination has been based on that. Is it not true -- and then the
8 suggestions come out of what is on the television screen. Well, not
9 objecting to that particularly, given the breadth of material that is
10 available to the Tribunal.
11 Now, this material in this way, we say, can be admitted under the
12 rules without breaching anything and without going behind anybody's
13 rulings in any other case, in other words trying the back door route.
14 That is absolutely not the point. Because this person is an expert he is
15 entitled to look at a whole range of materials and particularly where he
16 is able to say, Well, I had come to these conclusions well before I even
17 saw this interview and the interview confirms, and the features that are
18 confirmed are set out in that supplementary statement, and if you need to
19 be directed to the paragraphs in the Thaqi interview that support those
20 opinions, of course I'm well able to do that if you need it.
21 We say, therefore, that the routes that have been described this
22 afternoon by which materials may be placed before you are not limited in
23 the way that has been indicated. In other words, the three ways was:
24 Live, 92 bis, and 89(F). Well, in fact we would say that it isn't
25 restricted in that way. The first point we'd make, and I make it
1 quickly, is that 92 bis is in fact premised on a of factors even before
2 one gets to the safeguards and other provisos set out further down.
3 Basically, the Trial Chamber may admit in whole or part the evidence of a
4 witness -- well, may I pause. He is not a witness, either for the
5 Prosecution obviously because they haven't called him and I make it clear
6 because we have already obviously served of this, nor for the Defence.
7 So this isn't evidence of a witness in the form of a written statement in
8 lieu of oral testimony. That's not the point. It isn't being tendered
9 or received, whichever word one wants to use, in that context. 92 bis,
10 therefore, is not engaged.
11 I appreciate that the authorities here are saying that it is a
12 prohibitive section. In other words, if it is engaged, then it's only
13 within the parameters of 92 bis that a statement may be admitted. But if
14 it's not engaged, one has to return, in our submission, to the basic
15 general rule or lex generalis, namely Rule 89.
16 Now, Rule 89, looking at the other ways in which the Prosecution
17 are indicating, is not limited to 89(F) because -- and of course the
18 Galic case has a discussion about it; there's 89(C) which as it's worded
19 does not have any restrictions on it. "A Chamber may admit any relevant
20 evidence which it deems to have probative value."
21 And as you are aware, probative value plainly has to do firstly
22 with relevance - that goes without saying as s it's an earlier part of
23 that rule - and clearly you would have to look at the way or the manner
24 in which it's been obtained. Well, there's no doubt about the provenance
25 of this and it was conducted by the Prosecution themselves as part of
1 their investigation. And clearly one would have to look at some of the
2 content in order to weigh up whether it has not, as it were, definitive
3 probative value but whether it has some probative value. No one is
4 therefore saying it has to have probative value throughout. And of
5 course on occasions what the Prosecution are asking the Tribunal to do in
6 relation to some witnesses is to say, well, some of what they say is true
7 well some of what they say isn't true. The same applies to this. Some
8 of what this gentleman has told the Prosecution may be true and some may
9 be false. But that's beside the point. There is probative value, and we
10 say there is particular probative value when the coincidence is that it
11 accords with an expert, independent view arrived at by looking at other
12 documents. So that's the purpose of this. And we say that it does not
13 as it were triggered or does not trigger itself 92 bis. It comes in, as
14 we say, under 89(C), that you have that broad discretion to allow in the
15 context of an expert to look at a document such as this. So that's the
16 way we put it.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Before you sit, Mr. Mansfield, do we take it that
18 it is tendered on your submission in anticipation of the witness being
19 called or is there no intention to call Mr. Thaqi?
20 MR. MANSFIELD: I make it quite clear: He's not on our list. We
21 do not intend to call him. And I also make it quite clear I don't have
22 any interview or statement of him.
23 JUDGE PARKER: So do we understand the purpose of its tender
24 would be to establish the truth of the facts it contains?
25 MR. MANSFIELD: Not entirely, no.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I'm not sure what the word "entirely" means
3 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, obviously, to fulfil that function I would
4 have to call him. I appreciate that.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Well, then, you say, what --
6 MR. MANSFIELD: The --
7 JUDGE PARKER: -- force does it have in support of the opinion of
8 an expert --
9 MR. MANSFIELD: Because --
10 JUDGE PARKER: -- if it contents are not established?
11 MR. MANSFIELD: The same as a television interview being shown to
12 Mr. Limaj this afternoon.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid there are some leaps in logic there.
14 MR. MANSFIELD: There are a few, yes. The point is this: If it
15 is to be countenanced - which it is, and it was with the Human Rights
16 Watch and a number of other examples - that material may be placed before
17 this Tribunal which is not coming directly from any witness but it is
18 material concerned with the conflict - and I put that as in inverted
19 commas for the moment because that is the subject of the next witness -
20 but is relevant to the conflict, has been written about the conflict, and
21 there's been numerous interviews which the Prosecution have put in not
22 just with Fatmir Limaj but a large number of other people who are not
24 Now, on what basis is that being put in? It's being put in not
25 necessarily to prove the total truth because to do that they would have
1 to call all the people concerned and they haven't called any of them and
2 we haven't objected. It would be a matter for how much weight you attach
3 to material that's coming in via a television interview or via book when
4 you don't have the author. So for example, there was a book put to Mr.
5 Limaj. They are not exhibiting it. And I'm not -- if it comes to it,
6 I'm not suggesting necessarily that this interview -- sorry, notes --
7 should be exhibited. But I do require the facility to be able to
8 demonstrate that this expert having come to conclusions is able to say
9 Not only did I come to these conclusions when I looked at an interview
10 conducted by the Prosecution with a person who is central to events in
11 Kosovo throughout the whole of this period and still is to some extent, I
12 found considerable corroboration for certain parts.
13 And then obviously it would be a matter for Your Honours to
14 decide whether those certain parts which you would then have to look at
15 obviously, but not obviously in the context of all of it, you would look
16 at the certain parts and decide whether the certain parts that he's
17 talking about which are corroborated by other people and other materials
18 he's looked at then lends some weight -- so to that extent I use the
19 words "not entirely" -- lends some weight of the subsequent material, so
20 they have to be seen together. So it's an exercise you're familiar with
21 having to do. I make it clear, I'm not suggesting it can be regarded as
22 foolproof or the total truth. One can't do that any more than one can
23 with an interview any more than --
24 JUDGE PARKER: The question is whether it can be regarded as any
25 evidence, is it not?
1 MR. MANSFIELD: Well then, the same applies to the television
2 interviews, I'm afraid. What I would submit is it's material to which
3 you can have regard, and --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield, a number of matters to which you've
5 referred are matters that were done in the course of cross-examination of
6 a witness.
7 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
8 JUDGE PARKER: And I think that is a very different position from
9 the one you're attempting to sustain.
10 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, interestingly -- yes. Anticipating
11 something, I think. But may I say straightaway, some of the materials
12 I'm mentioning, in fact, didn't only arise in cross-examination. In
13 other words, it was the Prosecution in their opening was suggesting that
14 materials such as -- and they were quoted in interviews and so forth,
15 even though at that stage provenance and so on wasn't gone into. The
16 question of weight comes much later.
17 So in a sense, although there is a logical leap and I understand
18 your point that a lot of it does come out of cross-examination, but it is
19 not entirely cross-examination provenance. Some of this material is
20 coming out, as it were, as part of the Prosecution case. Now, when you
21 have examples such as that, then I think -- the Human Rights Watch is an
22 obvious example. They haven't called anybody who actually compiled the
23 report. If you remember, the person who came was an editor of the report
24 and wasn't able to speak to some of what's in it. But you're being asked
25 to look at it. I haven't objected to that, your being asked to look at
1 it. That's a fair enough observation. How much weight you attach to it
2 in the end I think you yourself passed that observation at that time we
3 were dealing with it with that particular witness.
4 So I do make that comparison. And plainly, we say that this is a
5 matter for you to decide in the long run as to whether this is material
6 that assists you or not. But if it were a marginal figure in this case,
7 then obviously I wouldn't even attempt it. But he is a crucial figure.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Which neither side is intending to call.
9 MR. MANSFIELD: That's right.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Well, you will appreciate that one distinction in
11 addition to what I have mentioned between the matters such as Human
12 Rights Watch report and others was that there was no objection to their
13 admission. There is an objection to the admission of this report.
14 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Or this statement.
16 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
17 JUDGE PARKER: So we are forced then to look at it.
18 MR. MANSFIELD: But then in -- yes, I appreciate --
19 JUDGE PARKER: There's a slight question of admission.
20 MR. MANSFIELD: May I say this --
21 JUDGE PARKER: It doesn't deny your propositions about weight.
22 MR. MANSFIELD: No. And also whether there's an objection or not
23 doesn't actually make a difference as to whether it's admissible.
24 Because in fact had you yourselves taken the initiative -- I'm not saying
25 you should -- but had you thought at the time Oh, we're not having this,
1 you could have stepped in and said no, no.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We could shorten this case a great deal, Mr.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If we were to be that interventionist in the
6 absence of some glaring breach of the rules.
7 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm accepting that as an approach as it being
8 perfectly reasonable to do that. And therefore we say it isn't the
9 existence of an objection that makes the difference, only that you're
10 forced to look at it. But I can't take it further than that.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not overlooking Mr. Guy-Smith, but Mr.
12 Topolski has leapt to his feet.
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: It's been so long since you've heard from me, I
14 thought that you might be missing.
15 [Albanian on English channel]... deploy some of this material in
16 cross-examining Mr. Churcher which I intend to do. And consequently my
17 submission would be, if I'm required to make it, that different
18 considerations apply, before I cross-examine and before Mr. Nicholls
20 JUDGE PARKER: Does your case differ from that of Mr. Mansfield's
21 client in any respect upon which you would be cross-examining?
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: No, save that the considerations that apply to a
23 cross-examiner differ in important respects to that which applies to an
24 examiner-in-chief, particularly where one is dealing with --
25 JUDGE PARKER: That's a statement that isn't universal, you
2 MR. TOPOLSKI: I appreciate that, but it's certainly one that has
3 been adopted during the course of these proceedings; throughout them, if
4 I may respectfully say so.
5 JUDGE PARKER: You mean we haven't taken umbrage at some of your
7 MR. TOPOLSKI: I don't think Your Honour has taken umbrage any of
8 my questions.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I have had horse whispers on either sides of me at
10 times, isn't this cross-examination and leading, and we have let you go
11 on in peace, Mr. Topolski.
12 MR. TOPOLSKI: I shall let Your Honour live with the expression
13 horse whisperers when this case rises for the evening.
14 But Your Honours are right, I have noticed an absence of
15 interventions as far as I am concerned but that's because I always obey
16 the rules. That's not been necessarily so elsewhere.
17 But, Your Honours, seriously speaking, I would propose that I
18 would be entitled to ask Churcher two things: One, are you aware of this
19 -- the existence of this material -- three things; three, have you read
20 it; four, does it impinge in any way upon conclusions that you have
21 reached --
22 JUDGE PARKER: His answer would be: Well, if its contents are
23 correct then it's consistent with my view.
24 MR. TOPOLSKI: And Your Honour gives that answer whatever weight
25 you give it. It is not an inhibition, an embargo upon me introducing it
1 in that respect. For if we are very careful --
2 JUDGE PARKER: The question that is the obstacle to you doing
3 that is whether with co-accused your cases can be distinguished on this
5 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes. I would be on stronger ground if this is
6 what we call in my jurisdiction a cut-throat defence. Much stronger. We
7 don't know.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: We don't know. One never knows.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Are you suggesting that we should continue,
10 perhaps in contrast to Mr. Mansfield, to rest lightly on technical
11 objections unless they are positively raised and let you ask those
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: Well, Your Honour, thank you for the way out. The
14 answer is: Yes, please. But I -- Your Honour doesn't give me a way out
15 that is not enshrined in the rules of this Tribunal. What else could the
16 words "A Chamber may admit any relevant evidence which it deems to have
17 probative value added to," in (f), "A Chamber may receive the witness of
18 a witness orally or where the interests of justice allow in written
20 Do the interests of justice permit me to ask Churcher whether his
21 conclusions have been affected by, strengthened by, or if he gives me the
22 wrong answer, weakened by what is in the Thaqi interview?
23 And that is why I rise before Your Honours rule upon Mr.
24 Nicholls's application and Mr. Whiting's response, clear in the knowledge
25 that I would propose to cross-examine. Of course if your ruling is
1 against Mr. Mansfield, then it doesn't necessarily end it as far as I am
2 concerned, but I invite Your Honours to give a ruling as to the ambit, if
3 any, of any cross-examination on the point. Thank you for hearing me
5 JUDGE PARKER: You come as a sweeper, Mr. Guy-Smith.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: A wonderful position to be in. First of all, to
7 be perfectly clear, and I believe I speak also for Mr. Topolski in this
8 regard, I have never received any information from Mr. Thaqi. There have
9 been no interviews with him. So I think all members of the Defence
10 remain in the same position. I think this is important.
11 I think you've been offered two perfectly reasonable and
12 appropriate methods to consider this evidence. One is under 89(F) -- I'm
13 sorry, under 89(C) as relevant evidence, one is under the methodology of
14 cross-examination, which once again takes this same principles into
16 JUDGE PARKER: The third one, that it might not actually be
17 tendered in evidence was Mr. Mansfield's proposition.
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: It might not actually be tendered in evidence.
19 But I think as you would put it the issue has been well ventilated and we
20 trust that you will come up with the appropriate decision in this regard
21 and have this evidence introduced under 89(C) or some other fashion.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, gentlemen.
23 Mr. Nicholls.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll be very brief, Your Honour. Mr. Mansfield
25 may not like --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Well, we've taken 25 minutes of the precious time
2 of the witness so far, but I'm sure I'm partly responsible for that.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Mr. Mansfield might not like the Galic decision at
4 paragraph 31, but he's completely missing the point that statements,
5 material created for the purposes of legal proceedings are not the same
6 as books, they are not the same as articles. They are a different
7 animal. They are not within 89(C). If something is tendered to
8 corroborate then it necessarily has to be offered for the truth of the
9 substance, otherwise it's meaningless. If the expert says Yes, I've read
10 this and it's exactly what I say, and what I say is true because what
11 this says I believe to be true.
12 And third, just I agree with Your Honour's point,
13 cross-examination, this is being offered to corroborate; that's the
14 purpose. That simply because there are several accused, it does not
15 allow one to corroborate through cross-examination.
16 That's all. Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield, is this point to be reached this
19 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I'm afraid it is. I make it very clear, I
20 have to the Prosecution as well. I'm going to be remarkably brief, so
21 I'm afraid it --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. I would indicate at the moment the
23 Chamber's view is that we would receive the statement as marked for
24 identification and allow you to examine on it on that basis. But that
25 leaves it not as evidence as to the truth of its content and just so that
1 you appreciate. Yes.
2 Your witness.
3 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, Mr. Churcher, please, I think he's just
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon or evening I suspect Mr. Churcher.
7 Sorry you've been delayed. Would you be kind enough to read aloud the
8 affirmation on the card that is put before you.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
10 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. If you'd sit down.
12 WITNESS: ROBERT CHURCHER
13 Examined by Mr. Mansfield:
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield.
15 Q. Yes, Mr. Churcher, I'm sitting over here. If you wouldn't mind
16 answering a few questions from me and maybe a few more from others. Is
17 your name Robert Andrew Churcher?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. And are you currently a security sector consultant, also training
20 in the same areas as well as being a political analyst?
21 A. I am.
22 Q. And I want before just dealing very briefly -- you've tendered a
23 report already which the Tribunal has before them. It runs to 30 pages
24 and I'll come to the issue that it addresses in one moment. But before I
25 do that, may I just with certainly I hope no objection just lead you as
1 to your background just one or two matters only because it's all written
2 out in great detail. But what may be of importance so far as the
3 Tribunal is concerned is your experience vis-a-vis the Balkans. But can
4 I put generally: You've had over 30 years experience in security matters
5 and I'll deal with how that's divided up. Is that not right?
6 A. That's correct, sir.
7 Q. And the -- if I may put it, the starting point which we can find
8 on page -- may I use the pages at the top, 5372. Do you have a copy of
9 your own report in front of you? I think perhaps you should have.
10 A. I don't, I'm afraid, no.
11 Q. All right. Well, I think it's important that you have the same
12 that we have. You won't have the page, but I'm sure you'll be familiar.
13 I just wanted to indicate that you were an officer in the British army
14 for 23 years, having served in five different operational tours of duty
15 in that time. Is that not right?
16 A. That's correct, sir.
17 Q. And you were awarded an MBE, a Member of the British Empire award
18 for your work in field intelligence with regard to that service?
19 A. That's correct, sir.
20 Q. And after that, that is after your military service - again I'm
21 going to summarise it - between 1993 and 2002, in other words nearly ten
22 years, you have consistently worked from time to time in the Balkans?
23 A. That is also correct, sir.
24 Q. And you specify a number of organisations, I'm not going go
25 through them all, but they are not only international organisations such
1 as the United Nations and the European Union but also different
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, so far as the Balkans are concerned, you have in fact been
5 to Kosovo on a number of occasions, have you not?
6 A. I have. I have also worked there.
7 Q. And just looking so that the Tribunal can see what I'm asking
8 looking at, it comes in the curriculum vitae part of your statement
9 towards the beginning, where you've put in boxed form specific relevant
10 country experience, which is paragraph 13, specific relevant country
11 experience under the heading "Kosovo." I'll go a little slower. Sorry.
12 It's my fault. Kosovo in the left-hand column, between September and
13 August of 2001. You were director of an international crisis group
14 dealing with conflict analysis, as is set out there. Is that right?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Just a little further on the same page a period of time before
17 that, that is 1993 -- middle of 1993 until September 1999, again,
18 countries which you were covering during that period of time for all the
19 organisations you've put on the right-hand side, the European Union and
20 the United States of America government, the United Kingdom government,
21 and so on, covers Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bosnian?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Now, I'm not going to go through the detail of the rest because
24 under paragraph 14 there are numerous references to Bosnia, Kosovo,
25 Macedonia, and Albania and your work in all those arenas?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Now, as part of that, were you -- did you take an interest in
3 what may be termed the armed conflict within Kosovo in those years?
4 A. I did. From 1993 when I was asked to go to the -- first asked to
5 the Albanian/Kosovo border, I took a strong interest in events in Kosovo
6 from then on.
7 Q. Now, in relation to this case, as you may know we're dealing
8 with, as far as the indictment is concerned, a particular period of
9 time --
10 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid, Mr. Mansfield --
11 MR. MANSFIELD: I've speeded up again.
12 JUDGE PARKER: -- you're speeding. A break between question and
13 answer would help the interpreters.
14 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, sorry.
15 JUDGE PARKER: We're interpreting into several languages, Mr.
16 Churcher, and there is inevitably a delay.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 MR. MANSFIELD: Don't worry. It's entirely my fault because I
19 can't always hear when the translation is finished, but I'll pause.
20 Q. Now, in relation to the indictment in this case, we're dealing
21 with a particular period in 1998, namely April, roughly speaking, through
22 to August 1998. From the materials provided to you, which you list in
23 your report, and your own experience and observation, what is your
24 overall view about whether there was an armed conflict in that period?
25 A. My theory is that it was very difficult to say that there was an
1 armed conflict in that period since one of the parties didn't comply, in
2 my view, with the conditions for it.
3 Q. And is it right to say that your report indicates what those
4 conditions are?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. I'm not going to ask you about that. I want to turn to something
7 that wasn't in your report because you didn't have the material at the
8 time you made it, namely the interview notes with a gentleman called
9 Hashim Thaqi. Do you know the matter to which I've --
10 A. Yes, I've recently seen those.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm pausing again so that the interpreters are
13 Q. Having looked at those interview notes, do they have a bearing
14 upon the opinion to which you had already come?
15 A. Yes. Those interview notes very -- although they were brief very
16 much confirm what I was saying in my report, that there was no coherent
17 or effective middle chain of command at the beginning. People were
18 simply coordinating with each other, and that the whole situation was
19 confused and that you couldn't in any way rely on the communiques which
20 were pure propaganda in most cases.
21 Q. And what about the position of the General Staff?
22 A. The General Staff was not a military organisation in the way that
23 its title might indicate, but that it was a collection of individuals who
24 met in different places at different times and who were intending to
25 provide political direction but didn't actually understand what they were
1 doing by way of military command.
2 Q. And again, if it's required, you're able to indicate within the
3 interview notes the paragraphs that support that?
4 A. I can, yes.
5 Q. Thank you. I have no other questions.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.
7 Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: No questions.
9 MR. TOPOLSKI: Nor I, thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls:
12 Q. Good evening, Mr. Churcher.
13 A. Good evening, sir.
14 Q. Thank you for coming here. I understand you have to leave
16 A. That's correct, sir.
17 Q. Can you tell me briefly what your duties are in Afghanistan, what
18 you're doing there?
19 A. I'm working on a British government-sponsored project on
20 governance in Afghanistan.
21 Q. That's field work. Can you tell me a little bit more about what
22 actually you do for that project.
23 A. I'm actually in Kabul. I have been building a government
24 department which is -- can be brought in use and it's intended to improve
25 the governance of Afghanistan.
1 Q. And that's part of what you refer to in your CV as your
2 expertise, I think you call it on page 5, post-conflict environments?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you've spent a lot of time, as Mr. Mansfield's led you
5 through it, working in the field, what would be called the field?
6 A. Yes, I have.
7 Q. That's, generally speaking, demanding, hard difficult work.
8 A. Generally speaking, yes.
9 Q. It's not the same as a 9.00-to-5.00 office job with every weekend
11 A. No, it tends to be fairly full-time.
12 Q. You talked very briefly on the time from 1993 on, 1993 to 1995 I
13 think it was, on your CV, page 5 it says you were in Albania and Bosnian.
14 That's when you were working for ECMM. Correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Can you just tell me from 1993 -- I should probably slow down --
17 through January 1998, during that period how much time were you actually
18 stationed in Kosovo?
19 A. Between -- in Kosovo?
20 Q. In Kosovo.
21 A. None whatsoever.
22 Q. None whatsoever?
23 A. Nobody was stationed in Kosovo at that time. It wasn't possible
24 to be stationed in Kosovo at that time. That's why we sat on the border
25 and looked in.
1 Q. Okay. Well, I know you have to go back quickly. It's best if
2 you try just to answer my questions. If I need more clarification, I'll
3 ask. You answered that question completely when you said "none
4 whatsoever," but thank you for continuing.
5 How much of that time were you in Albania?
6 A. Between -- in 1993, the majority of the time. In 1994, much of
7 the time. In 1995, I went to -- in April 1995 I went to Western
8 Macedonia, which is also Albanian-speaking and obviously has a connection
9 to Kosovo.
10 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you a couple questions, again
11 continuing on your background. August 1997 to January 1998 you were
12 working on the issue of adoptions. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, following on from the Albanian elections, I got asked to
14 negotiate a memorandum of understanding with the Albanian government on
15 adoptions, which was a slightly tricky political issue, which is why I
16 came to it, because adoptions can be very profitable for some people.
17 Q. Right. That has nothing to do with the KLA. Correct?
18 A. Absolutely nothing, but it did keep me in Albania at the time.
19 Q. I understand. In Tirana?
20 A. In Tirana.
21 Q. One question I want to ask you just to clarify: When were you in
22 Tanzania working on gold-mining security?
23 A. February, March 1998.
24 Q. Let me say why I ask: Because on your CV on page 2 it says
25 January through June 1998, and on page 4 it says February to May. Do you
1 know, I'm wondering --
2 A. I was on contract but I got a serious case of malaria and came
3 back to the U.K. This is a World Bank CV which requires you showing what
4 you were doing at all times while you were on contract.
5 Q. I understand. There is this discrepancy about when you left and
6 when you returned to Albania. So were you in Albania in January 1998 and
7 in June 1998 or not?
8 A. I came back in June 1998. I have to say we're talking some
9 considerable time back now, but I think it was about June the 12th. I
10 have to say I'm not entirely certain there, and you'll see I came back to
11 do a security job for Kroll.
12 Q. And that had to do with winding up so-called pyramid schemes?
13 A. It did, yes.
14 Q. That was also busy, demanding work.
15 A. That was not busy, demanding work. High-risk, possibly, but a
16 fair amount of time off each day. I mean, I was looking at the overall
17 political risk and security of the thing, which meant spending a lot of
18 time talking to people.
19 Q. So you were sort of taking it easy during that period?
20 A. I don't know if taking it easy is right. It depends on what you
21 regard the stress of security work as.
22 Q. I'm not talking about stress. I'm talking about the amount of
23 hours you're spending working on these pyramid schemes, how much time it
25 A. Probably there no more than, on average, half a day.
1 Q. And just the last question on this point: When you were in
2 Tanzania from roughly January through June 1998, what are your duties
3 there? The CV says "negotiating or reaching agreement or removing
4 indigenous minors in remote rural areas." Could you tell us what that's
5 all about?
6 A. At that time a number of gold-mining companies were interested in
7 low ore rock, I mean low gold content. And they were covered in local
8 miners who were digging in the top 2 or 3 metres.
9 I was brought in there to assist with drilling operations to see
10 what was down deeper and I what I did was negotiate it with local people
11 to say if you move out of the way we can provide a few jobs and we can
12 all get along with each other. We're not going to interfere with you,
13 you're not going to interfere with us.
14 Q. And again, at that time, nothing to do with the KLA?
15 A. Nothing to do with the KLA, but I maintained e-mail contact with
16 contacts in Albania.
17 Q. Now, this report which you wrote, you explained that you did not
18 -- you chose or were unable to heavily cite this report with footnotes
19 and things of that nature.
20 A. No. I mean, I wrote the report on the basis of the fact that I
21 remained interested in what was going on in Kosovo and I continued to
22 follow it throughout that time.
23 Q. Right. And that's where you're talking about on page 2 that you
24 continued to maintain a range of contacts, to keep in close contact with
25 events in the north of Albania and in Kosovo "out of personal interest".
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. You also state that from the point of view of writing the paper
3 you were not at that time -- "you were not at the time of the events
4 being considered particularly interested in dates or references." Is
5 that right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. You weren't paying attention to dates?
8 A. Not close attention. I mean, I wasn't sitting there trying to
9 write an academic paper at that time; I was simply maintaining an
11 Q. So for the period of January through June 1998, your sources of
12 information are through social contacts. Correct?
13 A. Through social contacts I think would be the right way of
14 describing them, yes.
15 Q. And were rather removed in time as well?
16 A. I obviously caught up when I came back. I watched the situation
17 throughout 1997. Catching up when I came back in June was not very
18 difficult, particularly because I had very close contacts in the north in
19 Bajram Curi and Kukes.
20 Q. So your report then is really not the result of analysis of the
21 situation which you sat down to do once you were tasked by the Defence.
22 You have written down what you remember from that time period?
23 A. No. I think if you read my report you'll see that it is analysis
24 based on what I remembered and based on what I knew from that time period
25 plus the sources I was asked to read.
1 Q. Right. But it's just -- like I said, it's based on your memory.
2 You've sat down and tried to think about what you remembered and written
3 down what it meant to you.
4 A. No, it's based on my memory and reading informed by that memory.
5 I was one of the people who was on the ground. I had lived in Kukes and
6 I had lived in Bajram Curi.
7 Q. And you said informed by what you were asked to read. Asked to
8 read by whom?
9 A. By the Defence team. I read a number of things that I was not
10 specifically directed to read, basically the reading which I've quoted
11 there, and I've read widely outside of that. But that was what I decided
12 to pick on here in my notes the sources, although there are many other
13 sources which you could use to back up the same information.
14 Q. We'll talk about what you were given to read a little bit later.
15 Let me talk about some different ways of writing reports. You've
16 read and you cite a Human Rights Watch report.
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. You know the way Human Rights Watch compiles and prepares
19 reports, do you?
20 A. I'm not familiar with the way they write reports, no, and you'll
21 notice, actually, that I -- although I cited it because I think it's
22 relevant, I was a little suspicious of their reporting, their
23 connections, so I didn't use it very much.
24 Q. Yeah. And that's the 2001 report. Correct?
25 A. Yeah.
1 Q. Okay. Well, do you agree based on your experience that one way
2 to gather information of a conflict situation is through field work,
3 including interviewing people?
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. Compiling data?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Using standardised forms?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Bringing that data into a database and evaluating the results of
11 A. Yes. It's not a route that I would choose myself, but it is a
13 Q. You are aware -- you were with OSCE -- that's the way OSCE works?
14 A. That's not the way they worked while I was with OSCE in
16 Q. What about the way KVM worked when they were in Kosovo?
17 A. I didn't work with KVM, as you can see, so it wouldn't be proper
18 for me to comment on that.
19 Q. My question is: Do you know how they worked, how they prepared
20 their reports?
21 A. No, I didn't follow that.
22 Q. Would you agree it would be helpful to meet with refugees and
23 parties to the conflict at the time the conflict is ongoing?
24 A. Yes, which of course I did on a large number of occasions. I was
25 responsible for setting up refugee camps and -- in Albania.
1 Q. At what time?
2 A. As they came across the border. From March 1999.
3 Q. It would also be useful in compiling a report to talk to KLA
4 commanders on the ground during the conflict in 1998.
5 A. That might have been useful, but it wasn't possible for me. I
6 wasn't on the ground in 1998.
7 Q. No. But you would agree that if KVM were able to do that, if
8 they were able to do those things, talk to refugees on the ground in
9 1998, talk to KLA commanders on the ground in 1998, and travel through
10 the area, that would be a good way of preparing an accurate report?
11 A. If they had sufficient experience to interpret what they were
12 hearing, yes.
13 Q. Yes.
14 Now, let me explain to you the way Human Rights Watch prepares
15 reports. They consult with diplomats, NGOs, and specifically Human
16 Rights Watch in this case, Kosovo in 1998; they consulted with Amnesty
17 International. You agree that would be helpful?
18 A. I would put that into context immediately. Diplomats often spend
19 very, very short periods of time on their posting and even shorter time
20 in country. And as you know, embassies carry out policy, they don't make
21 it. And therefore a diplomat is following a policy based on whatever
22 short-term experience he's got.
23 Q. But diplomats have access to information that ordinary people do
25 A. Often, yes.
1 Q. Often, yes. But working with Amnesty International, Humanitarian
2 Law Centre based in Belgrade, the Council for the Defence of Human Rights
3 and Freedoms, an Albanian-based NGO, that would all be helpful while
4 liaising with other people who were on the ground at the time during the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In addition, Amnesty -- Human Rights Watch worked with the Kosovo
8 Diplomatic Observer Mission, the Red Cross, and open sources,
9 journalists. That could also be helpful?
10 A. It could be, yes.
11 Q. They don't just talk to those groups, they carry out their own
12 investigations on the ground, talking to victims, talking to soldiers,
13 talking to commanders. That would be useful to understanding the
14 conflict in 1998?
15 A. Providing they had sufficient background, as I said, to
16 understand what you were hearing and to be able to put that into context.
17 Q. Yes, assuming we have somebody with a lot of experience and a
18 good background who has travelled in many countries. That would be very
20 A. It would also be useful to have experience of the build-up to the
21 Kosovo conflict over that relevant period.
22 Q. So you agree that their experience in Kosovo in 1990 would be
24 A. I would, yes.
25 Q. Now, the information you received through your social contacts,
1 how did you corroborate that information with the original sources of the
3 A. I spent a lot of time travelling on the border, as you know,
4 throughout that period. I built up a wide range of contacts in the
5 north. People came backwards and forwards between Tirana, and out of
6 interest we talked and I followed what was going on.
7 Q. I understand that. But I'm asking you if you heard from one of
8 your sources, there was a massacre here, this person was injured, the KLA
9 are in this area. Did you at any time speak to the original source of
10 that information to corroborate it?
11 A. No, but you'll also see from my report of course that I wasn't
12 actually following things like massacres. That was not of particular
13 interest. What I was interested in was the way the situation was
14 building up politically and the way it was likely to eventually spill
15 over, which is what we had been looking at since 1993. That was the
16 phrase that continued to be used.
17 Q. And massacres and crimes that occurred are not relevant?
18 A. They are a matter of news. What I was interested in was the
19 political developments.
20 Q. And the location of troop movements?
21 A. That's military intelligence; I didn't have any interest in that.
22 Q. You didn't have any interest in that. And the location and
23 movements of KLA units. Did you verify or learn anything to do with that
24 in 1998?
25 A. I wasn't aware that there were units and I wouldn't have accepted
1 there were units. There were scattered groups who were building up and
2 had been building up in a change which had been taking place from 1996
3 onwards. But I'm certainly not aware of any units.
4 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a bit about your educational background, if
5 I may.
6 A. Please.
7 Q. Have you been to law school?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Tell me a little bit about your military background. I'd just
10 like to know -- it's not clear to me. I may have missed it on your
11 resume. What rank did you achieve --
12 A. I finished as a major in January 1991.
13 Q. You talk in your report about teaching troops.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Instructing on laws of war and humanitarian law.
16 A. Yes. Very briefly, I might add; ordinary soldiers don't require
17 to know very much, but that's precisely what I taught. But it meant that
18 I had to do some background reading. But we're talking about a period
19 which is more than 15 years ago.
20 Q. That's all right. And you anticipated, I was going to say, if
21 you're talking to an ordinary -- you're instructing a private, he needs
22 to know what he's allowed to do, what he's not allowed to do?
23 A. I was teaching young officers, but --
24 Q. Young officers, how to treat prisoners?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. How to treat civilians?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Portionality, civilian objects, that kind of thing?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We talked a little bit about military intelligence. You correct
6 me if I'm wrong, I've never been in the military. I'm learning about it
7 as I go, working here, as much as I can. But basically military
8 intelligence involves an intelligence staff trying to be fed information
9 -- tries to receive information from various reliable sources. Right?
10 A. That's conventional military intelligence, yes.
11 Q. That's what I'm talking about, conventionally.
12 A. Yeah.
13 Q. That includes attache reports, reports generated by Mr. Crosland,
14 whose testimony you've read?
15 A. That would not normally be regarded as military intelligence, but
16 it might be used by people --
17 Q. That's what I mean. A military analyst might consider those
18 reports along with all the other information.
19 A. Yes, but that eventually comes down to considering newspaper
20 articles as well.
21 Q. That's -- was going to be another question on this. Open-source
22 material would also be included?
23 A. It can be, yes.
24 Q. Well, it is by -- I mean the British military intelligence,
25 doesn't it, when it's reviewing a situation look at all the sources,
1 including open-source material?
2 A. Including, yes. It depends on whether you want to source your
3 material or not. But we're going to get a bit technical here.
4 Q. But that is one of the things they look at -- they may look at?
5 A. That would depend on the precise nature of what you were doing.
6 It isn't necessarily so at all times.
7 Q. I know it's not necessarily so at all times. I don't think you
8 need to fight me on this one.
9 A. It simply depends on whether you're going to source your material
10 or not. If you're going to source your material you're not going to use
11 that material.
12 Q. And the other ones are intelligence gathered by operatives,
13 intercepts of signals and communications, and anything that could be
14 gained by aerial photography?
15 A. That's a material which I'm not -- the intercept material is a
16 field which I'm not familiar with.
17 Q. Now, the VJ at this time in 1998, you'll agree, wanted to know as
18 much as it could about the KLA?
19 A. That's correct, I assume.
20 Q. And as -- the MUP did as well?
21 A. Again, I would assume that. You're asking me something outside
22 of my direct knowledge.
23 Q. Okay. Well, if you don't know anything, that's fine. Tell me if
24 I ask you something outside of your knowledge. And the VJ -- well, you
25 talk about the VJ somewhat in your report. What -- do you feel you have
1 any expertise in the capabilities of the VJ to gather intelligence?
2 A. No, none whatsoever.
3 Q. I won't ask you questions about that.
4 Then you wouldn't really be in a position to dismiss VJ reports?
5 A. No, I would not be in a position to dismiss them on military
6 intelligence grounds, but it would -- often to dismiss them on propaganda
7 grounds. If you had spent that much time in the Balkans, you will
8 listened to enough propaganda from VJ or Serbian sources --
9 Q. Internal --
10 A. And determine what you can dismiss.
11 Q. That would come under the open-source, though. I mean, a
12 situation report from a commander to his superior, that's not propaganda,
13 that's not ever supposed to be released to the outside world at all.
14 A. That depends on what he wants to tell his commander, doesn't it?
15 Q. Now you're speaking very generally, aren't you?
16 A. I'm speaking generally, yes, but having been in the military
17 system, I'm moving slightly away from intelligence matters. When you're
18 sending a report up, what the report up says may well be predicated as
19 what you wish to do as a course of action on the ground.
20 Q. Right. But let's get back to basics. That would not be your
21 ordinary military report has propaganda value. Ordinary military reports
22 up a chain of command are because the subordinate needs to inform the
23 commander of what the situation is on the ground. Correct?
24 A. Sorry, I've just lost your sound.
25 Q. I'm sorry. I'll ask the question again. Let's talk about the
1 generic military command structure just for a minute. Okay?
2 A. Yes, yeah.
3 Q. When a subordinate sends a report, as required, to his commander,
4 it is an order to give the commander information he needs in order to
5 make decisions?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And that information needs to be accurate if it's going to be
9 A. It should be, yes. That depends on whether the commander knows
10 enough, of course, to make it accurate.
11 Q. Well, everything depends on the person doing it, but in general
12 that's what reports are about. They're not about propaganda. Right?
13 A. That -- as I said, depends on who wrote it and for what purpose.
14 Q. All right. Well, when you wrote reports in the military to your
15 superiors, were they propaganda containing statements which were not true
16 or were you truthful in your reporting?
17 A. I was truthful in my reporting.
18 Q. And you worked in ECMM?
19 A. I did, yes.
20 Q. In Tirana and Skopje?
21 A. In Bosnia, in Tirana, and in Skopje, yes.
22 Q. Now, I take it that when you worked in ECMM you wrote reports?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. Probably on a regular basis?
25 A. On a nightly basis.
1 Q. And I take it that you did your best to ensure that the
2 information in those reports was accurate and reliable?
3 A. I did.
4 Q. And you weren't the only person in ECMM who was conscientious
5 that way?
6 A. No, but as you know from ECMM's reputation, who was conscientious
7 and who was not varied very wildly.
8 Q. Which is again the point you've made, that in every endeavour --
9 in every human endeavour there is the factor of the person doing the job,
10 whatever it is.
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Now, how were you selected to be the expert in this case?
13 MR. MANSFIELD: I find that that's a rather odd question. I mean
14 -- I mean --
15 JUDGE PARKER: I quite agree, but I thought it would be
16 interesting to hear Mr. Churcher's response.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Well --
18 MR. TOPOLSKI: We drew lots.
19 THE WITNESS: I have to say -- the scapegoat answer is: I don't
20 know that. You've seen what my experience was. I don't suppose many
21 other people have got that comparable experience.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. What I meant was -- and I'm sorry it wasn't a good question,
24 obviously. But what I meant was: What contacted you?
25 A. The Defence team.
1 Q. When was that?
2 A. I think some time in November, but I'm not -- I'm not completely
3 clear. It was either late October or November.
4 Q. All right. And when did you provide the first draft of your
5 report to the Defence?
6 A. First draft, which was a great deal shorter than this, was in
8 Q. And when you were contacted -- do you remember who it was who
9 contacted you?
10 A. I think in fact I'd been contacted before that initially by
11 Steven Powles, and who contacted me when it became much firmer I can't
12 answer -- remember the name initially. It was probably Michelle, but I'm
13 not certain.
14 Q. That's fine. And based on that first contact or your first
15 talks, what did you understand your assignment to be? What was the
16 mandate, so to speak?
17 A. To report on the situation as relating to the command structure
18 of the KLA through the period that I had done.
19 Q. And what were you told to achieve in that report?
20 A. I wasn't given much direction, actually. I was given a very free
21 hand and I certainly didn't have any specific instruction as to what I
22 was to achieve nor how long it was to be or anything else. It was very
23 much a matter of the two sides exploring each other, to start with.
24 Q. And -- we're almost done. I just want to ask you the question
25 again. You said "to report on the situation as relating to the command
1 structures of the KLA."
2 Could you flesh that out a little bit. What were you supposed to
3 -- what question were you supposed to answer with this?
4 A. The title says it all. What I was asked to do was I was to
5 report on the organisation of the Kosovo Liberation Army and events in
6 Kosova in 1998. And within that -- well, I wasn't given any further
7 direction at all. I was simply asked to use that report. And it was
8 unclear to me at the beginning as to whether there was going to be used
9 or whether indeed it was going to be useful.
10 Q. And you were provided with material which you could use by the
12 A. Later on I was provided with a number of transcripts from -- by
13 the Defence and Stephanie Schwander-Seivers' reports.
14 Q. You may not know, but were you provided with all the open-session
16 A. I don't know that, I'm afraid. It was certainly a large amount
17 of reading. But that was not until much later on, by which time I was on
18 about draft 17 -- sorry, it would have been draft 14.
19 Q. So that draft 14 they sent you a bunch of transcripts to review?
20 A. I'm afraid I haven't retained any record of the chronology of
21 what I was sent when. I think if you're going to ask about that we'd
22 have to check. I can't answer that.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, it's maybe one minute early, but
24 that's good for me.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
1 We must adjourn now, Mr. Churcher, resuming tomorrow at 2.15.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
5 May, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.