1 Thursday, 26 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It appears the technical problems have been
7 remedied and we are now able to start.
8 Mr. Churcher, if I could remind you of the affirmation you made
9 at the beginning of your evidence, which is still applicable.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: ROBERT CHURCHER [Resumed]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Churcher, I've been asked -- it's my fault, not yours -- to
16 ensure that we have a gap between questions and answers so that the
17 translators and the recording can keep up with us. So let's try to
18 remember that. Okay?
19 A. All right, sir.
20 Q. This one point from yesterday, I want to make sure I have it
21 clear. When you were working in Tanzania on the indigenous miners
22 project, is the name of the company you were employed by Tanzania
23 company, KK?
24 A. It was a Kenyan company, KK. KK Security.
25 Q. All right. When we left off, we were just talking, and I just
1 have a few more questions about how you prepared your report in this
2 case. And we were talking about drafts. How many drafts were there?
3 A. 16.
4 Q. So that's the one we have, is the sixteenth draft.
5 A. Yes, version 16.
6 Q. When you sent drafts to the Defence, did they comment on the
7 drafts you provided them?
8 A. I think I only sent one draft to the Defence. The rest were for
9 my own internal use to track changes. And after that we had a telephone
10 conference, but it wasn't directly about the report, only that they
11 wished me to continue and to expand, and that was in about January.
12 Q. Okay. And --
13 A. You asked me yesterday, by the way, about what reports I'd
14 received, and of course in fact they are on the back of the -- the
15 reports I'd received in effect are all listed here at the back of the
16 report, because if I received something, I'd commented on it. So largely
17 it was Mr. Coo's report, which I was commenting on, and one or two
19 Q. I see. So there's not a list on the back of your report but all
20 of the reports and transcripts you received, you've commented on in the
21 body of the report.
22 A. All that I received before I wrote version 16, I commented on in
23 the body of the report.
24 Q. All right. Thank you.
25 A. All -- specifically actually the back of the report, as you'll
1 see, under various headings.
2 Q. That's clear, then. Thank you.
3 And just if you know, did you receive complete transcripts and
4 statements, or partial copies?
5 A. I'm afraid I don't know, but I assume that the majority of them
6 were complete. But some were in different formats. Some were translated
7 formats. Some were direct.
8 Q. And when you got those, were you directed to any portions which
9 the Defence thought were particularly relevant?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Then when you speak on page 6 - it's paragraph 1 of your report -
12 you probably don't need to look at it for this question. You say: "In
13 reading the papers of the Fatmir Limaj case." Is that referring to all
14 the documentation sent to you by the Defence?
15 A. That would be referring to everything I'd seen, yes.
16 Q. Well, from the Defence?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. I hadn't seen anything from anyone else.
20 Q. Okay. Just one quick question: Before their arrest, had you met
21 any of the three accused?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. And the Defence asked as a courtesy --
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, you should have a packet of possible
25 new documents. And this packet was provided to the witness at the end of
1 his testimony yesterday.
2 Q. Is that right, sir?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. And have you had a chance to look through the documents?
5 A. I have. Thank you.
6 Q. What I want to ask you about first is your relationship, if any,
7 to Shirley DioGuardi. Do you know that woman?
8 A. Yes. I've met her twice, talked on the telephone with her
9 perhaps three or four times over a period of many years, and she forwards
10 me e-mails occasionally with articles of interest.
11 Q. And she is one of the directors, I suppose you would call it, of
12 the Albanian American Civic League in the United States.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. When did you first meet her?
15 A. We first met briefly at Heathrow sometime in the late 1990s, but
16 I -- I'm afraid I couldn't say which year. I didn't meet her again for
17 some very long time.
18 Q. And did you have any type of professional relationship with her,
19 or is this just a social relationship because you're both interested in
20 Kosovo Albanians?
21 A. The latter would describe it exactly.
22 Q. Are you still in contact with her?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what about her husband, Joseph?
25 A. I've met him on the same occasions that I met her, but on both
1 occasions they were not for any form of substantive talks. We said
2 hello, had a coffee, nice to meet, and that was it.
3 Q. All right. And are you generally in accord with their position
4 towards the problem, I'll call it, in Kosovo?
5 A. I'm afraid I wouldn't describe myself as "generally in accord,"
6 no. As you know, there are other organisations interested in Kosovo, and
7 I remain in contact with many people, but I wouldn't describe myself as
8 "in accord," although I haven't opposed her on anything particular that I
9 can think of.
10 Q. I want to ask you about the document which is behind tab 2, the
11 record of hearings before the Committee on International Relations in the
12 House of Representatives, and these hearings were chaired by Congressman
13 Henry Hyde.
14 If we go to page 52. This is testimony by Shirley DioGuardi.
15 And she states on the record: "And by the way, for the record, with your
16 permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit a statement from Bob
17 Churcher, who works for the British Foreign Ministry, formerly head of
18 the international crisis group in Pristina on this very issue. His
19 contention is that most Serbs will actually not return except to sell
20 their homes and leave."
21 And then it continues. And on the following page, we have a
22 short report or letter by you entitled "The Solution for Kosovo
23 Independence." And --
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. All right. Now, when did Ms. DioGuardi ask you to provide this
2 A. Judging from the date on the letter, I assume it was sometime in
3 April, but I'm afraid I don't know particularly. This letter is simply a
4 slight rewrite of something I'd done probably two years before for the
5 International Crisis Group following the publication of a small book by
6 the Swedish committee on independence for Kosovo, Conditional
7 Independence. She asked whether she could use something and I said yeah,
8 I'll redo that for you.
9 Q. Okay. And I should say these hearings were on May 21st, 2003,
10 and your letter is dated May 4th, 2003.
11 I just have a couple questions about your letter. In the first
12 paragraph, towards the middle of the first paragraph you state: "The cry
13 of the United Nations and Europe has been 'standards before status.'
14 This has really been interpreted as more rights for the remaining Serbs
15 in the province. However, this is unlikely to happen yet when those
16 Serbs were recently both dictators and oppressors and might well be so
17 again if the province is returned to Serbian rule."
18 Do you still stand by that statement?
19 A. In that, I'm reflecting the views of Kosovars, not my personal
21 Q. Well, the statement says flat out these Serbs were recently
22 dictators and oppressors. It doesn't say "in the view of Kosovar
24 A. No, possibly I should have included that.
25 Q. Right.
1 A. But you can see the political thought there, that if people don't
2 like being ruled by somebody else, they're likely to try and push them
3 out so they don't get ruled again.
4 Q. So you didn't mean to say that the ordinary Serbs living there,
5 many of whom are now refugees, were all dictators and oppressors, I hope.
6 A. As you know, towards the end of the Kosovo war, almost all
7 Serbian adult males of military age were engaged in the security forces
8 in one way or another, and that of course was likely to cause problems
9 with their Kosovar neighbours when they came home again.
10 Q. Did you mean to say by this what it says in the plain meaning,
11 that these Serbs -- the Serbs living in Kosovo, which is what it's
12 talking about, were recently dictators and oppressors, or did you not
13 mean that?
14 A. What I meant to say is that their Kosovo neighbours, or many of
15 them, probably a majority, would view it that way. We're talking about
16 how to enable Serbs to come home here, not my personal opinion of who
17 Serbs are. I've got a number of Serb friends, including Serbs from the
19 Q. But isn't that -- you say perhaps you should have written it
20 differently. Isn't it a bit reckless to put a statement like this in
21 something which is going towards congressional hearings on Kosovo which
22 states that the remaining Serbs were dictators and oppressors?
23 A. Looking back there, I think you're -- you're bringing out one
24 interpretation which is not one that I meant.
25 Q. Let's turn the page, the top of page 54. "The sensible way to
1 solve this problem is to make Kosovo independent, perhaps all by strong
2 safeguards for minority rights."
3 Now, "perhaps"? Do you think that's optional, strong safeguards
4 for minority rights?
5 A. Now, that's steering a balance between the Conditional
6 Independence book and Kosovars' demands for immediate independence, and
7 you have to read this paper in context for the context at the time it was
8 written. And I assume that a number of people would understand exactly
9 what I was talking about.
10 Q. I'm sorry, I don't completely understand your answer. What
11 balance is there where strong safeguards for minority rights are not
13 A. I could also equally have said "of course with strong
14 safeguards." I'm afraid I wasn't necessarily choosing that precise word
15 "perhaps," anything other than as a conjunctive.
16 Q. So --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would please ask Mr. Churcher
18 to stand closer to the microphone.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 THE WITNESS: My personal opinion is that there should be strong
21 safeguards while I was writing a piece.
22 Q. Mr. Churcher, could you please -- and maybe the usher could
23 assist. I want you to be comfortable -- the microphones need to be
24 closer to you in order for the recording to pick up.
25 At the bottom of this page, you write: "There might seem to be
1 an obvious solution by exchange of creating two real states, Serbia and
2 Kosova, where people actually want to live together, but Europe is of
3 course utterly against any form of border changes."
4 Now, that sounds quite strongly as though you're advocating
5 ethnically pure states.
6 A. Now, I'm advocating mixed states where people feel secure because
7 they know who rules them. We've seen conflicts in the area of what is
8 now Kosova since 1913, on and off roughly every decade, and I think it's
9 about time we found a solution.
10 Q. That's right. But Ms. DioGuardi introduced your report for the
11 proposition that the Serbs don't really want to live in Kosovo.
12 A. At the moment, regrettably not of course after the events of 1998
13 and 1999. No Serb can make a living there. There simply aren't jobs for
14 anybody, Kosovars, yet alone Serbs.
15 Q. Right. So your position, then, is that no Serbs want to live in
17 A. Not -- not at all. No, I certainly haven't said that anywhere.
18 What I was inferring there is that Serbs of working class age who need
19 jobs and want to bring up families and send their children to school have
20 considerable difficulties. And so far UNHCR's experience has been that
21 returning Serbs have sold the houses they've been given and moved off.
22 Q. Have you spent any time talking to Serb refugees from the war?
23 A. I've spent a great deal of time talking to Serb leaders and Serb
24 refugees inside Kosovo.
25 Q. You haven't heard them talking about their only wish is to go
1 back to their houses, farms, place where is their families have been for
2 generations in Kosovo?
3 A. Particularly older people, yes.
4 Q. Further down page 55 -- let me just continue with the sentence
5 and I'll let you explain it, the next sentence: "It has gone so far --"
6 speaking of Europe, "as to use enormous pressure and threats to keep
7 Serbia and Montenegro together, despite it being obvious that there was a
8 majority of Montenegrins who wished to separate and quite a number of
9 Serbs who would be happy to see them go."
10 A. And ...?
11 Q. And your meaning there is --
12 A. Sorry. You'll have to phrase that question more carefully.
13 Q. What exactly do you mean by this sentence?
14 A. I'm talking in the context here of the European Union idea that
15 if Montenegro and Serbia would separate, that would automatically create
16 the conditions for Kosovo to become independent. That's not actually a
17 view that legally I would share but it is a view and you would possibly
18 be familiar with the phrase "Selanija" which refers to the idea of
19 keeping Montenegro and Serbia together as some sort of Yugoslav entity.
20 I was saying there that my experience in Montenegro and in
21 talking to Montenegrins at the time, the government there, was that they
22 wished to separate.
23 Q. And the Serbs would be happy to see them go; that's your
25 A. Many Serbs would because of the economic burden of keeping
2 Q. In the next paragraph you state - I'll slow down - "UN agencies
3 are of course well known for exaggerating numbers elsewhere in the world,
4 since more numbers mean more resources and more money for the UN."
5 Well, when you were working in Timor, did you exaggerate numbers,
6 exaggerate problems to get more money?
7 A. I wasn't working on numbers in Timor, to I wouldn't have needed
8 to. But it's a continuing source of conflict between WFP and UNHCR as to
9 registrations, and registrations have always been an extremely difficult
10 problem, which rather naturally people doing the registration tend to err
11 on the high side because to say no to somebody is much more dangerous
12 than saying yes.
13 Q. Right. But again, isn't this a rather recklessly broad statement
14 that UN agencies exaggerate for more resources for more money? Isn't
15 that a bit irresponsible to put in this type of document?
16 A. No. It's true.
17 Q. And then in the next paragraph: "Most Serbs who are thinking of
18 returning to Kosovo" -- in context -- "are planning to coming" -- it
19 should be "planning to come back to get grants to rebuild their houses in
20 order to sell up and leave. Those who remain are the social cases."
21 A. If you've travelled widely in Kosovo, you would of course observe
22 that, as a matter of fact, on the ground.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. Outside the traditional enclaves such as Srpska where a viable
25 community remains, in other areas people have left. It's not viable for
1 them to return.
2 Q. All right. And the whole point of this document is to help Ms.
3 DioGuardi convince the Congress that the Serbs don't really want to live
4 in Kosovo, they don't really want to return there, they're just coming
5 back to try to rip off the system.
6 A. "Rip off the system" is far stronger than I would have intended
7 to say, but if you wanted to follow that up, there have been a number of
8 papers published recently which have confirmed that. The Lausanne
9 principle, for instance, the recent paper on the subject.
10 Q. And the only people who want to remain are social cases; there
11 aren't any people who want to remain because that's where their families
12 are from and that's where they were born?
13 A. I said "most," not "any."
14 Q. All right. The next document I want to show you is behind tab 1.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Which starts off, Your Honours -- I found this on
16 the website over the last weekend, so the first pages you see are the
17 cover on the Albanian American Civic League website. The last three
18 pages are the letter posted there. And the link can be shown on the
19 cover pages.
20 Q. You read -- did you read this article last night --
21 A. I did.
22 Q. -- by Shirley -- let me finish the question, please, Shirley
23 DioGuardi, "Kosova: Breaking the Silence"?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. This is dated March 11, 2003, so that's round about a month
1 before you provide her with your report to provide to the Congress;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You need to speak up a bit. Sorry.
5 A. Sorry.
6 Q. And I won't go through this entire article, but it's really an
7 editorial, isn't it, commemorating and reflecting on the fifth-year
8 anniversary of the terrible events in Prekaz and the Jashari family.
9 A. It is.
10 Q. What I want to look at is the second-to-last paragraph. It's on
11 page 2, where Ms. DioGuardi writes: "If we are to keep faith with the
12 Albanian heroes like Adem Jashari, then we have to vigorously oppose all
13 attempts to misrepresent Kosova on the world stage as a pretext for
14 carving it up and I think there is no better place to begin than to
15 impose the criminalisation of the UCK and the recent indictment of Fatmir
16 Limaj, Haradin Bala, and Isak Musliu by the War Crimes Tribunal in The
17 Hague. These men have been charged with crimes allegedly committed
18 before the war. Bowing to pressure from Serbia and its allies, The Hague
19 is creating a false parody between the UCK freedom fighters struggling
20 for the liberation of a people and a Serbian war -- and Serbian war
21 criminals who committed state-sponsored terrorism, occupation, and
22 genocide. We must educate the west about this travesty of justice and we
23 must also expose the Albanians who have collaborated in these arrests."
24 Now, isn't that a disturbing statement?
25 A. It is. I haven't read this piece before. I looked at it and
1 thought, This is probably some sort of fund-raising speech in the
2 American style, trying to exaggerate for the sake of emphasis to get
3 money. But it's certainly not something that I would have agreed with.
4 And that's all I can say about it. I didn't write it. It's not part of
5 my opinion.
6 Q. And the term "collaborator" has got a very grave and special
7 meaning in Kosovo, doesn't it, in the Albanian community?
8 A. It certainly does in the propaganda of the time, yes.
9 Q. And you didn't feel the need to check a little more into Ms.
10 DioGuardi's views published on the website at this same time that you're
11 providing documentation for her to use in her advocacy?
12 A. As I explained initially, that document is a rerun of something I
13 did while I was in the International Crisis Group, supporting a
14 particular publication of the Swedish committee, and no, I didn't see any
15 problem in publishing that publicly.
16 Q. But I'm talking about a problem of you acting through this person
17 as an advocate for the Albanian cause at the same time that she's calling
18 for exposing collaborators who led to the arrest of the accused in this
20 A. Personally I don't see that supplying documents to the United
21 States Congress is acting in collaboration with anybody.
22 Q. That's not what I was saying. I'm just --
23 A. I'm sorry, I misunderstood you then.
24 Q. -- suggesting that you have advocated -- you have act as an
25 advocate for the Albanian Kosovar cause in this way, providing something
1 to Ms. DioGuardi that you know she's going to use to try to persuade
2 Congress to follow the views of the Albanian American Civic League. You
3 know that that's what the document you are giving her is for.
4 A. Trying to persuade Congress of something is a perfectly proper
5 and legal activity. I don't have any difficulty with it.
6 Q. And you don't have any problem being associated with people who
7 write that type of article, that type of editorial?
8 A. I'm not associated with that person at all, in any way.
9 Absolutely no association whatsoever. She introduced something I wrote
10 to Congress. Anybody can do that. I don't have any difficulty with that
11 at all.
12 Q. All right.
13 A. I didn't get paid for it, I might add.
14 Q. Okay. The next document briefly. Let me just ask you this,
15 talking about, finally, this topic of the document which you provided
16 which was introduced in these hearings: "Do you agree with your source
17 that you cite, Stacy Sullivan, that in the 1980s and 1970s there was a
18 concerted but unstated effort to drive Serbs out of Kosovo?
19 A. I'm sorry, I don't recall citing that.
20 Q. You didn't cite that. You cite -- you list the book as a source,
21 the Stacy Sullivan book.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. "Be Not Afraid." Do you agree with that source that she makes on
24 pages 40 to 41?
25 A. I don't recall that statement, but I wouldn't have agreed with
1 that, no.
2 Q. There wasn't a concerted campaign?
3 A. Not that I'm aware of, no.
4 Q. Okay. Let me just go to tab 3 briefly. This is an ECMM report,
5 "Kosovo, Current Trends in Kosovar Politics." Do you recognise this
7 A. I looked at it last night and, judging by the time and some of
8 the phrases, I think I do -- though there's no signature block on it.
9 Q. Yeah. Do you think you wrote it?
10 A. I think I did because I can't think of anybody else who was
11 present at the time in the mission, and as I said, it contains some
12 phrases which are familiar to me. But I couldn't say that for certain.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, could we, I'm sorry, go into private
14 session for one moment?
15 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
16 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: -- the copies.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 MR. NICHOLLS: And could we provide one to the witness, please.
17 And I should say for the record that what we're looking at is R0057722
18 through 24, an ECMM report from January 1995.
19 Q. Could you look at the last page, sir, and can I just ask you if
20 that's your signature.
21 A. That is, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Do you remember writing this report?
23 A. I didn't, no. If I'd remembered it, I'd have told you so
25 Q. Okay. I mean now do you remember, now that you see your
2 A. I certainly accept that I wrote it. I mean, I don't remember
3 writing it, but I accept that I wrote it.
4 Q. Okay. Just two questions: At this time, in 1995 - if you'd look
5 at the last page, Section E - you're of the same view, aren't you?
6 "E: Lastly comes a possibility" -- and here you're forecasting
7 possible future events -- "which comes in most conflicts of the FRY
8 realising that it simply cannot afford the cost of police and army
9 repression in Kosovo and that basic facilities like new schools and
10 hospitals are lacking due to the cost of holding a province where few, if
11 any, Serbs actually want to live."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that was your view, then, in 1995. Here it's not most; it's
14 few, if any, actually want to live.
15 A. If you look at the census figures, 1971, 1981, 1991, if you watch
16 the declining trend, most Serbs moving out of Kosovo. It was a fact at
17 the time.
18 Q. But, again, don't you think that's just a bit -- a bit of a broad
19 brush for the topic, a bit reckless to say "few, if any, actually want to
20 live" when in fact there were thousands and thousands of people who
21 wanted to live there, who still want to live there, who happen to be of a
22 Serbian or Serb ethnicity?
23 A. Yes. But as a percentage of the total that was dropping at all
24 time. Old people were staying and unfortunately younger people were
25 moving out to get jobs.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. And that wasn't, again, because of any concerted
2 campaign to drive them out in the 1970s and 1980s. You disagree with
3 Stacy Sullivan on that point.
4 A. Didn't see any concerted campaign. I never believed in one.
5 It's the normal economic pressures of moving through rural areas to
6 cities, jobs and factories weren't being created. There wasn't the money
7 to do it. Yugoslavia was collapsing after Tito's time. It was a trend.
8 Q. I want to ask you now some questions about your views on the
9 KLA's structure -- military structure in 1998. On page 4 of your report,
10 you describe in the summary section: "The KLA of the late 1990s as being
11 composed of disparate groups with different sources of support, different
12 political opinions, differing allegiances, although perhaps with shared
13 aspirations, but without any coherent or effective command in the
14 military sense until perhaps rather tenuously after the war." And "after
15 the war" means what, June 1999?
16 A. After June 1999.
17 Q. All right. Okay. And you address the General Staff in your
18 report. On page 5 you say "it is perfectly possible to see more than one
19 General Staff." On page 6, paragraph 3, you state: "There is no
20 concrete evidence of the existence of such a group or of the location of
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And on page 27, you state: "If there was a General Staff in
24 reality, as distinct from a series of disconnected numbered individuals
25 and a mythical title."
1 You cite the Selimi interview on page 27 of your report. Now,
2 are you aware that he testified that he was on the General Staff?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you cite Krasniqi on page 30. You've read his testimony.
5 You know that he says he was on the General Staff.
6 I'm just letting them catch up.
7 And you realise that both of these men and all the other
8 testimony in the case and probably all the documentation that was
9 provided to you by the Defence says that there was a General Staff and
10 there was only one General Staff; right?
11 A. I do. Would you allow me to explain that?
12 Q. In a minute. There's been evidence that the General Staff in
13 this case has been based for a time in Divjak. Are you aware of that?
14 A. I am, yes.
15 Q. And there's been evidence that the General Staff moved around for
16 its own security.
17 A. There is, yes.
18 Q. And Mr. Limaj has testified that he was a member of the General
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He probably knows a bit more about the General Staff than you do.
22 A. I'm sure he does.
23 Q. Now, you can explain, I think it's fair --if you've written
24 several times "no General Staff" or "several General Staffs" or -- yeah,
25 I guess that's it. There's either none or several. You can explain what
1 you meant by that.
2 A. General Staff back in 1998, certainly to an outsider, was not at
3 all clear. Later on it became apparent that there might be various -- I
4 can't really describe it well in English -- but circles within the
5 General Staff. But the General Staff was a political organisation along
6 the lines of a Politbureau. It was not a military command structure in
7 the way that you or I would understand a military command structure.
8 Certainly in 1998, it consisted of a number of individuals.
9 As you will also see from Limaj's testimony, which wasn't
10 available to me at this time, he didn't distinguish between
11 representatives of the General Staff and members of the General Staff.
12 He himself, as quite an important person, didn't know what was going on
13 on the ground at the time. In that sense, it's difficult to see a
14 General Staff in what people interpret as the meaning of the word, which
15 is some sort of all-encompassing military command structure. What you've
16 got is a series of individuals in different places at different times who
17 come together in groups of two or three; a number of them set up in
18 Divjak, and that is actually unknown even to the people in the area
19 immediately around them, 10 kilometres way in Klecka. Well, that's not a
20 military command structure. Nobody knows who's in the headquarters;
21 nobody knows where it is.
22 So the General Staff remains a mythical concept, as I said,
23 comprised of individuals moving around with a political direction to
24 start a guerilla insurgency, not to provide a military command in the way
25 that people interpret a General Staff would.
1 Sorry, does that answer ...?
2 Q. That's fine. I want you to be able to explain where you need to.
3 That's an interesting explanation.
4 I want to -- since you brought it up as well, talk a little bit
5 about what Mr. Limaj said on Day 69, here. Mr. Mansfield asked him --
6 "We were in June at the moment, and" -- I'm sorry, I don't have the -- I
7 have the page reference of page 43, so this would be on the 43rd page of
8 the LiveNote, although it's a different number in the official.
9 Mr. Mansfield asked his client the question: "We were in June at
10 the moment. What other developments in June so far as you are concerned
11 and the KLA are concerned, what other things happened in June that you
12 can recall of significance?"
13 And Mr. Limaj answered - and it's a very long answer, so I won't
14 read the entire answer - "As I said earlier, the meeting with Mr.
15 Krasniqi came as a result of the concerns from what was seen in the
16 terrain and what was going on in the terrain. The people began to come
17 with the request to join the KLA. And they wanted to get weapons and
18 join the ranks and they came in great numbers."
19 Now I'm going to skip ahead a bit: "Secondly, as Mr. Krasniqi
20 told me, almost the entire General Staff had engaged in procuring weapons
21 because of the question of weapons was a number one question. So they
22 were all interested in getting as much weapons as possible and arming
23 people who wanted to get armed."
24 That describes the General Staff engaging in a military function,
25 providing weapons for the KLA, doesn't it?
1 A. It describes General Staff as apparently doing nothing except
2 trying to procure weapons for the KLA. It doesn't describe a military
3 command structure in the way that many people here have interpreted the
4 phrase "the General Staff." It implies a whole series of individuals all
5 trying to acquire weapons. That doesn't amount to any sort of meaningful
7 Q. Well, it was an answer to a specific question about what Mr.
8 Limaj remembered from events in June. I'm not asking Mr. Limaj to give a
9 treatise on the General Staff. My question to you was very simple: If
10 the General Staff is engaged, as he said, in trying to get weapons to
11 distribute to all these people who want to join the KLA, that's a strong
12 military function, isn't it?
13 A. That's one of many military functions.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. A staff should be capable of carrying out many more functions
16 than that to be an effective staff.
17 Q. We may not need to go through this topic too much, but you agree
18 that in the -- throughout late 1997 into 1998, the KLA was an
19 organisation with a great deal of secrecy?
20 A. Yes. Although, I would distinguish between the periods of 1997
21 and 1998.
22 Q. But in both of those periods - let's talk about 1998, then - KLA
23 members and the KLA structure tried to maintain a great deal of secrecy.
24 A. Particularly before the Jashari massacre. I think you should see
25 March 1998 as the turning point.
1 Q. And there were very good reasons to maintain that secrecy.
2 A. There were at the time, of course, because it was an entirely
3 different idea -- a political idea by different groups of how they would
5 Q. And that's why KLA members wore masks.
6 A. I presume they wore masks for secrecy, but I'm certainly -- I
7 can't answer that question.
8 Q. Well, I believe it was Ramadan Behluli testified here that they
9 took off their mask -- that they felt they could take off their masks in
10 June 1998?
11 A. I've heard that, yes.
12 Q. Because at that point they began to feel more secure.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you also realise and have heard that KLA members used
15 pseudonyms rather than their real names.
16 A. They did.
17 Q. And the evidence in this trial has been that many KLA soldiers
18 didn't know each other's real names until late or even after the war.
19 A. That I've heard.
20 Q. Which made it difficult for the MUP and Serb forces to know who
21 was in the KLA.
22 A. I'm not entirely sure that statement is correct, but it was
23 possibly the intention.
24 Q. That was the intention. You -- you're not sure that's correct,
25 that it -- you think the MUP and the VJ knew exactly who was in the KLA?
1 A. No. No, I don't. I don't necessarily see the connection between
2 those things, but there's something.
3 Q. And that also makes it difficult during the time period for
4 outsiders to know who was in the KLA.
5 A. Yes, because, as I said, at that particular time there wasn't one
6 KLA. There was a whole series of armed groups all calling themselves the
8 Q. In which particular time is that?
9 A. That period between March and June 1998.
10 Q. Well, we'll -- we'll talk about that in a moment. You talk about
11 that actually at page 9, paragraph 15. That's where you're talking about
12 this point. You state: "They were making their own uniforms and
13 travelling to Albania to buy their own weapons, yet these groups had no
14 command structure outside of their own informal and consensual
15 arrangements, and even then what they call orders were first discussed.
16 Indeed, in the main they were mostly unable or unwilling to leave their
17 own villages to help anybody else unless pushed out by organised Serb
18 military or paramilitary forces. Despite their enthusiasm, they had no
19 command structure."
20 A. Yes. I think that's been clear from the evidence so far in this
22 Q. You state similarly - and I'll just run through it - on page 14,
23 in paragraph 33: "They were little localised groups incapable of
24 supporting each other and not in any form of military command structure."
25 A. That's correct. And as I said, I think the evidence which has
1 come out in this case reinforces my view, although I wrote that before
2 I'd heard that.
3 Q. Now, you're not suggesting that first -- in that first paragraph
4 15 that individual KLA members travelled to Albania to buy weapons, came
5 back with a rifle -- or a couple of rifles just for their village and
6 that was the extent of the way the KLA was armed, are you?
7 A. No. As I said, a number of groups operating in different ways.
8 Q. But what you appear to be saying in that paragraph is that these
9 different groups all went to Albania just individually to buy their own
11 A. That's certainly what you can see in Northern Albania. There
12 were literally arms bazaars with villagers coming across the border and
13 starting to haggle about the price of a Kalashnikov.
14 Q. Yeah. And one of the books you cite is, again the Stacy Sullivan
15 book, about Florin Krasniqi.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. On page 6 she talks about how he raised personally 30
18 million dollars for military supplies and weapons for the KLA.
19 A. I think you should take both Stacy Sullivan and Florin Krasniqi
20 with a pinch of salt on those sort of figures. Again, it's an American
21 book published for an American public.
22 Q. Then why do you cite it in your report as good for -- as -- I'll
23 try to find your words -- as worth reading about the build-up of the KLA?
24 A. Because of the way it indicated diverse supply lines with one
25 group being supplied by its own chain of supply, in the same way that
1 other groups in Dukagjini maintained entirely separate lines of funding
2 back to Switzerland. There were a whole series of different lines of
3 supply into Kosovo, not one line which then found out.
4 Q. That's my point, is that there was an organised shipping of
5 millions of dollars of weapons into Kosovo. It wasn't just villagers
6 crossing the border coming back with their own personal weapon.
7 A. If you read Stacy Sullivan's book completely, you'd see that in
8 actual fact, although they talk about those figures the numbers of
9 weapons they talk about shipping is actually very small. And whether any
10 of those weapons actually reached the front lines and were used would be
11 another question entirely.
12 Q. So when she talks on page 6 about how this individual smuggled
13 tens of thousands of weapons across the border into Kosovo, you don't
14 consider that a large number of weapons? That's a very small number?
15 A. I didn't consider that that was true. If you actually read his
16 statements within the book, he's talking about individual weapons, buying
17 two or three here, 15 there. She's writing for an audience. You don't
18 have to take everything in these books as serious.
19 Q. And there's no caveat in your report about that, is there?
20 A. I'm not talking about that particular thing in my report. I was
21 talking about the precise part reinforcing the idea that each group had
22 its own line going back.
23 Q. All right. And those groups smuggled in weapons for
25 A. To what extent that happened or what extent they smuggled in
1 weapons for their own members, I'm not clear. But I think the latter is
2 mostly the case. People knew who those weapons were going to as they
3 brought them in. It was much too dangerous an activity simply to be
4 taking weapons in for general distribution.
5 Q. And, again, page 6, para 3: "In terms of time, there was never
6 any effective command structure in any military sense during any part of
7 the Kosovo conflict," in your view.
8 A. That's my view. That's precisely why NATO or the American
9 government or whoever we would like to suggest did it, brought in, again,
10 Agim Ceku towards the end to try and get some kind of command structure.
11 If you look at General Ralston's comments to Wesley Clark, they were
12 having enormous difficulties in getting anybody on the ground to produce
13 any coherent answers about targeting. They couldn't do it.
14 Q. Okay. My question was whether that was your view, and you've
15 answered that.
16 Do you know which brigade Fatmir Limaj commanded?
17 A. I've heard the number, I'm afraid, but I haven't -- I don't
18 recall it.
19 Q. Okay. Do you know when he became brigade commander?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Do you know which zone he commanded?
22 A. I don't believe he commanded --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down for interpretation, please.
24 THE WITNESS: He was one of the leaders in the area of Klecka,
25 which is on the boundary of about three zones or subzones. But as you'll
1 know, the zone terminology changed during the war because it reflected
2 one particular political party's political intentions.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Well, let me tell you what Fatmir Limaj said in this courtroom on
5 the 24th of May. He was asked: "And you never gave orders to Luan?
6 That's your testimony?" And his answer was -- this is Day 72, line 64:
7 "With Luan it's something different. When the brigade was set up, it was
8 established in August, I was his brigade commander, and from August I
9 issued orders to him."
10 Now, your contention is that throughout any period, any time,
11 there was no structure, no orders given, Fatmir Limaj never gave an order
12 to Luan as his subordinate in the brigade?
13 A. No, the ability to give orders to one individual is not
14 representative of a command structure. A command structure, to be an
15 effective command structure, in the meaning of what we're talking about,
16 requires many more things than that. The ability of one individual on
17 the ground to tell somebody else to go and make the coffee or whatever is
18 -- is not indicative of a military command system in the sense of what
19 we're trying to establish here.
20 Q. All right. But if it's not one person asking somebody else to
21 get them a cup of coffee but a brigade commander talking to a unit
22 commander ordering him and his unit to carry out tasks, that is a form of
23 military command.
24 A. If it was, then that would be one form of military command in a
25 very small limited area of both space and time. You need a whole system
1 right across the whole thing.
2 Q. Well, let me stop you there because you don't know the space,
3 time, and area of Fatmir Limaj's command, do you?
4 A. I'm aware of the general point. You asked me which zones. Well,
5 it's on the border of three zones, isn't it?
6 Q. Well, you don't -- you don't know the time he was commander, you
7 don't know the name of the zone he was commander of, and you don't know
8 the area under his command; right?
9 A. No. But I'm saying that across the whole of the KLA, to have a
10 functioning military system and a military command system would require
11 much more than one individual giving orders to another individual in one
13 MR. MANSFIELD: I wonder if -- I wonder if Mr. Nicholls would be
14 kind enough to name the zone, please, in which Mr. Limaj was the
15 commander of.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: The Pashtrik zone.
17 MR. MANSFIELD: He was the commander of that zone, was he? Is
18 that the Prosecution case?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: He was the commander I'm sorry, I should say of
20 the brigade, of the 121 Brigade.
21 THE WITNESS: Which was located across the boundaries of three
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. And do you know the AOR of the 121 Brigade?
25 MR. MANSFIELD: I would ask -- I would ask for very great care if
1 the cross-examination is going to be at this level of detail that the
2 detail is right, please.
3 THE WITNESS: If you could produce a map, I can give you what I
4 understand roughly to be that area, but I'm not an expert on Mr. Limaj's
5 brigade or his area of operations. I'm talking about the general command
6 structure or lack of it of the KLA, overall.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. You've read General Selimi's transcript, of his testimony here.
9 A. I have, yes, but not recently. I didn't reread it last night.
10 Q. You're aware, then, that he testified that before he was a
11 commander in his area at the Drenica region, Adem Jashari was a
13 A. I would certainly accept that.
14 Q. Selimi was appointed commander of the 1st Operational Zone
15 Drenica in May 1998 by the General Staff.
16 A. If you say so. I'm -- I'm not aware of that, but I was -- I am
17 aware that he became the commander in Drenica for a time, yes.
18 Q. Well --
19 A. I would point out, of course, that Adem Jashari was not in any
20 way a military commander, had no command of anything other than his own
21 farmhouse, which he lost in a valiant battle for a political principle.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. Or misguided attempt, depending on your view.
24 Q. I --
25 A. I would also point out that Sultan, Sulejman, a young man, no
1 previous military understanding or knowledge, trying to assume a position
2 which he knows nothing about. He has no idea about what a commander is
3 supposed to do. He has no idea of military command systems. It was not
4 until Ceku [sic] came in that anybody explained to him what a staff was
5 supposed to do.
6 You can't simply say that by assuming a title or indeed calling a
7 disparate group of fighters a brigade makes it a brigade in the military
9 Q. Well, actually Selimi did have one year of military training.
10 I'm not sure if you're aware of that.
11 A. You may well be right, yes. He may well have done a
12 conscription. But conscription as a private soldier in the Yugoslav Army
13 is hardly likely to prepare you for a military command system.
14 Q. I agree. And that is the fact in many insurgent, colonial wars
15 for liberation. Not all of the people who form up to resist have formal
16 military training. In some cases they do, but not in all cases.
17 A. In most cases, probably not. That's why they don't have command
19 Q. And you make the point in your report - and Selimi testified
20 that - there was no intermediate body between the General Staff and the
21 zone commanders.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. And you're aware that General Selimi was considered a good
24 commander, an effective commander during the Kosovo conflict.
25 A. I'm also aware that he was replaced.
1 Q. You're aware he had that reputation?
2 A. Yes. A good fighter. It doesn't mean a good commander.
3 Q. After his --
4 A. A good fighter.
5 Q. After his appointment as zone commander in May 1998, Selimi
6 testified that he immediately began to consolidate the points into
7 brigades and he appointed commanders, i.e., he gave -- he appointed
8 commanders to the 112, 113, 114 Brigades. Are you aware of that?
9 A. Yes. I'm certainly aware of the way they started to try and
10 impose order and impose a system. But trying to do something and
11 establishing it in times of wartime when there's fighting all around you,
12 they were just about to lose most of the ground that they thought they
13 had taken. Of course, there simply weren't any Serbs to take it from.
14 And the whole thing was complete chaos. Again, they didn't succeed in
15 establishing a command system simply by appointing people to positions.
16 Q. No, but in May --
17 A. They had no means of communicating with each other.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: In May 1998 --
19 [B/C/S interpretation on English Channel]
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I think there's a problem with the interpretation.
21 THE INTERPRETER: It should be okay now.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Now, in May Selimi testified that when he wasn't present, his
24 subordinate chief of staff could sign orders for him when he was
1 A. That's correct. But they had no means of distributing those
2 signed orders.
3 Q. Well, that's not what Mr. Selimi testified to, and I think he
4 probably knows more about it than you.
5 A. No, I would say that Mr. Selimi very reasonably as a young man
6 wished to put a good gloss on what they'd been trying to do, which was a
7 constant threat throughout this conflict that the KLA would like to have
8 become something that at the time it didn't have the time to become.
9 MR. MANSFIELD: And perhaps the means could be specified, please.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: He said he was -- well, you can look at the
11 reference and do that on redirect. It's on page 22:31. Mr. Selimi did
12 not recall exactly how but that all unit commanders would be notified of
13 his written orders.
14 A. But he couldn't recall exactly how.
15 Q. Well, whether they were delivered, sent. That's right.
16 Ramiz Qeriqi testified at the end of May. He was asked a question:
17 "Q. You've testified in May 1998 that Shukri Buja came and that
18 he was commander of the area. At that time, there was a higher commander
19 above you and Shukri Buja.
20 "Of course there was. We weren't there without having people
21 above us. I said from the beginning when I came there, I came from
22 Albania, I met with Asim Syla, who was above all of us, Rexhep Selimi, I
23 went to Klecka with Fatmir. I went to Kroimire every time. In war this
24 is how it is. Not everybody can do what he likes. There is a chain of
25 command. People are not appointed at will."
1 A. And yet all the evidence we've seen is that people in effect
2 appointed themselves in most cases. The whole situation is totally
3 confused --
4 Q. Which evidence are you referring to?
5 A. The evidence you've heard so far, that "I went there. Nobody
6 told me to go." "We discussed the orders to see whether they were good."
7 Q. And you're completely discounting Selimi stating that the General
8 Staff appointed him and approved his appointment.
9 A. No. I think it's entirely true. What I'm saying is that he
10 couldn't, having done that, having been appointed, he couldn't exercise
11 command in a military way. He couldn't run a military command system.
12 He didn't have the staff, the knowledge, communications, the
13 transportation, or anything else.
14 Q. And that is based on, again, material just that you've received
15 in this case.
16 A. No. That was -- as you saw, I wrote that report before I
17 received the majority of this material. That was based on my knowledge
18 of how the campaign was being conducted, the huge difficulty that NATO
19 had in finding anybody to talk to, the huge difficulty that ICRC had in
20 finding anybody to talk to.
21 Q. I'm talking specifically now about General Selimi and his
22 position in May. There's nothing in your report, in the body of your
23 report, about General Selimi --
24 A. No, I discounted it, because being appointed to a position
25 doesn't mean that you're actually producing effective military command
1 out of that appointment. You've got a title. And it's great. You've --
2 you now feel on top of the world. You're really feeling important. But
3 it doesn't mean you can command.
4 Q. But if you have men under your command, organised in units,
5 you're appointing their leaders, you're issuing orders, they're carrying
6 out those decisions, you are effecting command.
7 A. If you can get as far as those men, if you can get more --
8 further than the immediate group around you, if you can distribute those
9 orders and see them effectively obeyed. And I've not seen and didn't see
10 anywhere in the Kosovo war any examples of effective tactical command in
11 the movement of units.
12 Q. All right. And when you've seen, again, you're not talking about
13 any personal observations but something you learned later after coming
14 back from Tanzania.
15 A. No. I'm talking about -- if you remember, I was there on -- at a
16 time on the ground in June.
17 Q. And in --
18 A. And listening to people coming back into in Tirana and sitting on
19 the cafe on the boulevard, talking about it coming backwards and
20 forwards, people going up north, coming back; myself going up north,
21 talking to people, talking to friends about what was going on. We were
22 very concerned, of course.
23 Q. Yes. This is when you're catching up, learning things on the
24 cafe at the boulevard.
25 I want to talk to you now about something else that Mr. Limaj
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 said on Day 69 at line 46: "Either on the way going to Drenica, both
2 during July or June. Now, I just remembered an incident which is
3 important and can be linked with what will be said. During that time for
4 the first time I was able to see official officers, professional ones.
5 It was a group of three or five officers -- maybe there were more of
6 them, but personally I see three of them, officer who is had completed
7 the military academy, who had come from abroad and joined the KLA, and
8 with -- via the General Staff they were observing the terrain. And if I
9 can say, they were in a way surveilling the terrain and every unit."
10 He continues to describe that: "We were very happy to see the
11 presence of these officers. I know that Agim Qelaj from that small
12 training centre that I mentioned, since Agim Qelaj was specialised in
13 military training, he took three or four of my soldiers. He was inspired
14 to create an intervention unit, so he took three or four soldiers from my
15 unit and some soldiers from other units -- this was by the end of June.
16 So he prepared them, trained them, and sent them to Negrovce village
17 somewhere at the Vucjak gorge, there is a place between Negrovce and" --
18 it's mispronounced here, "Turiqevc village which is suitable for such
20 This is Mr. Limaj talking about an event he observed in June
22 A. In June 1998?
23 Q. Yes, the General Staff is present with professional --
24 representatives of the General Staff are present with professional
25 militarily trained officers from abroad."
1 A. Three of them.
2 Q. That's right.
3 A. And somebody trained three or four soldiers as an intervention
4 unit, which implies, of course -- that's the first intervention unit that
5 anybody has thought of or heard of. Three or four soldiers.
6 Q. Excuse me. Stop. How do you get that that's the first
7 intervention unit?
8 A. By the tone of your voice in describing that sentence. They
9 don't appear to have had one before. This seems to be something new, by
11 Q. They're surveilling the entire territory.
12 A. And this also seems to be a new event. It doesn't amount to a
13 structure, does it?
14 Q. They're visiting every unit.
15 A. Three people, trying to get round Kosovo visiting every unit?
16 They're -- I mean, I know what they are. They're probably returning
17 officers from the Croatian conflict, but they don't have time to start
18 organising things.
19 Q. And you can tell all of that from the passage I've just read?
20 That they didn't have time?
21 A. From the -- from the -- of course you can. You know how
22 difficult it was to move around at the time, how much time it took you --
23 if nothing else, you've read those descriptions.
24 Q. Well --
25 A. Moving by night, having to stay in houses before you found a
1 guide to move on.
2 Q. Well, we'll get to --
3 A. They weren't moving -- they weren't using maps, for a start.
4 Q. We'll get to ECMM's assessment of moving around at that time.
5 They're selecting soldiers for an intervention unit and taking them
6 somewhere else to train them; right?
7 A. Three or four soldiers, he said.
8 Q. And some from another area. So my point is this is not as you
9 describe in your report villagers simply taking up arms to defend their
10 individual villages, which you say.
11 A. No. I would say this was exactly what I was describing. And by
12 June somebody is saying, Hang on, we ought to try and reinforce somewhere
13 if they get attacked. There's take three or four soldiers and try and
14 train them to move forwards as reinforcements. That's the way these
15 things develop. But it doesn't mean that you've got a coherent military
16 structure capable of enforcing orders and discipline and so forth. Is
17 just the very embryonic beginnings of an army which never had time to
19 Q. We've also looked at it, and you've stated a couple of times in
20 your report that "The KLA did not support each other."
21 A. "But units were unable to support each other."
22 Q. Right.
23 A. They didn't have any transport. They didn't have any
24 communications. They didn't know how to move from place to place. What
25 happened was various groups converged on the sound of firing and saw
1 whether they could intervene or not. That, again, is not military
2 command or military operations.
3 Q. That is not an unwillingness to assist other people from villages
5 A. I didn't say they were unwilling. I said they were unable.
6 Q. Okay. Look at page 9, paragraph 15: "Indeed, in the main, they
7 were mostly unable or unwilling to leave their own villages to help
8 anyone else."
9 A. Unable or unwilling. I mean obviously some people didn't want to
10 move from their village. Some people didn't know where to go.
11 Q. Now, you've just gone back on that a bit, that they were willing
12 to say -- to assist, you say now, if they knew there was an attack or --
13 A. I said some were.
14 Q. And you've seen that in this case. You've read Ramadan Behluli's
16 A. I'm afraid I don't recall the testimony precisely, but ...
17 Q. Do you remember him testifying that soldiers would come to assist
18 wherever there was fighting at Carraleve or Kroimire?
19 A. I don't. But certainly I've heard similar statements on a number
20 of actions. But, of course, coming to assist, when they're coming from
21 different directions, nobody's got any idea of where the firing points
22 are or how --
23 Q. I'm focussing --
24 A. -- how to do it.
25 Q. -- now on your assertion that KLA soldiers were "unable or
1 unwilling to leave their own villages to help anyone else." Now, that --
2 "unless pushed out by the Serbian military." Now, that's just not true,
3 is it?
4 A. Some groups, of course -- I didn't -- I didn't in any way dispute
5 that, as I've just said. Some groups went to help. But going to help is
6 not the same as military direction. It's not the same as military
7 orders. Nobody actually knew where the firing was coming from. Nobody
8 knew what was actually going on. They came to the top of the hill and
9 looked down. Then they left somebody at the top of the hill and four of
10 them went down the hill to see what they could do. That's extremely
11 noble, very brave, and so forth. People got killed doing it. But it's
12 not a military system.
13 Q. Is it an example of military command from a unit is sent to
14 assist another unit?
15 A. If it happened in a sustained way over a period of time, then
16 yes. If it happens on an individual occasion, well, I'm afraid that can
17 just be chance.
18 Q. All right. Now, there's a witness - we have to use the number
19 for him -
20 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, when are we taking the
21 break? It's normally now but should we go a little bit longer because of
22 the ...?
23 JUDGE PARKER: You've got at the most about two minutes.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll come back then.
25 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the first break now and resume at
1 five past 4.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Churcher, during the break I was asked again if we could both
7 slow down a little bit.
8 A. I'm sorry. I'll try.
9 Q. Just a couple more questions about your assertion that the
10 villagers were unable or unwilling to assist in other villages.
11 A witness here, L-95, testified that he was sent - this is page
12 49, 4207 - to another -- to assist another unit because that territory
13 was in jeopardy, and he stated that he was sent, his special unit, when
14 the need was for interventions. He was asked to go and assist Celiku
15 because the territory there was in jeopardy, and he explained that "in.
16 Jeopardy" meant that they were likely to be attacked by the Serb forces.
17 And the witness also testified that when he was there, he was under
18 Celiku's command. So there we have a unit of men being sent to another
19 area where there was a danger of combat being subordinated to the local
21 That is no evidence of any command structure in any sense to you?
22 A. I think that might well be evidence of an embryonic start to
23 something. I noticed you used the words "he was asked to go and assist."
24 Not that he was ordered to proceed to point X and take part in the
25 defence of. So -- and in your previous remarks you said they took three
1 or four people to start an intervention unit.
2 Well, here we can all see efforts at ideas on militarily
3 supporting each other, but my position would remain that we have a group
4 of young men here without any substantive military experience, no
5 knowledge of command structures, no methods of command, no method of
6 communication, or no workable method of communication in an emergency.
7 It doesn't amount to a military command structure in the way that one
8 would understand it for operations. It certainly doesn't compare to the
9 military command structure that the Serbs had.
10 Q. Or the British Army. I take that point. It was not as
11 sophisticated as the commander structure you were in or the VJ. But
12 those are typical aspects of command, units assisting other units when
13 there is an elevated risk.
14 A. If it happens on a sustained basis in protracted operations, then
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. If it happens on an individual occasion, that's a one-off. It
18 doesn't amount to a military command structure.
19 Q. You say on page 14 of your report - this is paragraph 32 -
20 talking about the Racak incident up there, speaking of the KLA soldiers
21 and how they failed to defend -- to win that battle: "All they had were
22 weapons and a determination to defend their village. But that did not
23 constitute a military operation."
24 Are you suggesting that Racak was defended just by the villagers
25 of Racak? That's what your paragraph implies.
1 A. No. I'm -- I'm aware that -- or I understand that some other
2 people came and went and had a look at that. I'm afraid, like much of
3 your evidence, I was relying on a Serbian account here of this particular
4 conflict and in particular the way the sentries were smoking, there were
5 insufficient weapons between people they found, and so forth. It again
6 was the military operation, some villagers ending up getting killed
7 because two sentries were smoking and nobody else was standing to.
8 Q. Just so I'm clear, you're talking there about Serb newspaper
9 accounts; correct?
10 A. I'm talking about what was billed as a first hand account by one
11 of the police participants subsequently published in a Serb newspaper.
12 Q. Briefly, let me tell you what Fatmir Limaj said about that day,
13 18th of July. He says -- this is Day 69, line 67 -- "On the first part
14 of the next day, the 18th," setting the time, "on that occasion I met
15 with Agim Qelaj and with Rexhep Selimi and Muse Jashari, who had arrived
16 there at an hour earlier at the entrance of Rahovec. And at that time
17 the representatives" -- I'm moving ahead -- "of the General Staff, Rexhep
18 Selimi and Byslym Zyropi and Muse, they told me that they had heard for
19 the first time about the events in Rahovec this morning. And in a hurry
20 they came in order to see what the situation [sic]and to find the way
21 that would take us out from the position that the KLA was in and to avoid
22 the danger which the population was exposed."
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Is there a problem with the transcript?
24 MR. MANSFIELD: I think I can answer that one.
25 I'm sorry to intervene, but looking at the record, there are two
1 different places and different times being mentioned here. On the
2 record, it's Racak at the start and then Rahovec further down.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: Could the Prosecution please clarify with the
5 witness which place and which time they're dealing with. And they're
6 different years even, yes.
7 THE WITNESS: I think you've confused Rahovec and Racak, which --
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm talking now about Rahovec.
9 Q. Let's stick now to -- well, Rahovec, 18th July: "And the General
10 Staff, Byslym Zyropi and Sokol Bashota, they decided that Agim Qelaj
11 should become an operations commander for Rahovec and Agim became a kind
12 of coordination point for all those who were there."
13 Now, that is the General Staff involved in military matters, not
14 just political matters; right?
15 A. Just to clarify, this has nothing to do with page 14 or Racak.
16 Q. Fine.
17 A. And I haven't written about it. But I think your statement,
18 again, picks out exactly what I'm talking about.
19 "Became a kind of coordination point"? That's not a military
20 operation. "A kind of coordination point"? You can certainly see what
21 they were trying to do, but they didn't know what they were supposed to
22 do. They didn't have that sort of military experience. They didn't have
23 that sort of military command system. They should have taken charge, of
24 course, of Rahovec before it ever started. Rahovec was the classic
25 problem of a number of people accidentally going to visit their families,
1 kicking off a battle which nobody meant to be involved in, causing great
2 concern to everybody, and nobody knowing what to do and various people
3 getting injured or killed as a result.
4 Q. And --
5 A. It was a military disaster. It had nothing to do with a
6 military command system.
7 Q. And appointing an operations commander, is that not a military
9 A. After the event? It's a little unusual, isn't it? You usual
10 usually do that before the event.
11 Q. Is appointing an operations commander a military function?
12 A. Appointing an operations officer is part of the staff.
13 Appointing somebody to command an operation is also a military term. But
14 Rahovec was the classic example of the KLA's failure to have a military
15 command structure capable of controlling its troops. They failed to stop
16 Rahovec from happening, they failed to reinforce it, and they failed to
17 sort it out. It was extremely damaging. Various people were rather
18 upset about it. But it wasn't a military operation, and there was no
19 military command in the sense that we should understand it involved.
20 Attempting to appoint an operations commander was a good first step, but
21 it doesn't amount to producing a military system.
22 Q. And, again, this is based on your impressions, what you gathered,
23 in Albania and then on the evidence you've heard in this case.
24 A. Rahovec was very widely discussed as to why it happened. We were
25 all initially alarmed that the KLA should try and take a town which
1 clearly they couldn't hold. Before it fell, people like myself
2 understood that it couldn't be held, that it wasn't in a position to be
3 held. It's -- again, as I said, it's a classic example of the failure of
4 the fact that they didn't have a military command system.
5 Q. I want to talk now about your report on page 27. Do you remember
6 there you're commenting on the interview with Sultan, Mr. Selimi?
7 A. Mm-hm. Sorry, yes. So I haven't found page 27.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: The interview is at tab 6, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, referring to page 22 of the interview. Are you with me?
10 A. I'm not yet, I'm afraid. My page has only been partially printed
11 at the bottom and I've got the numbering ...
12 I'm with you.
13 Q. Okay. This is the part that you focussed on, Mr. Lehtinen's
14 comment about the lack of military structure and Sulejman Selimi
15 describing here that the General Staff was on top of it, there wasn't a
16 middle step. That's towards the bottom of page 22.
17 You state: "Comment: This seems to confirm the nature of the
18 General Staff -- that this General Staff was not a military structure.
19 It appears to be well established that if there was a General Staff in
20 reality" -- we've gone through this part -- "as distinct from a series of
21 disconnected numbered individuals, it certainly wasn't providing
22 effective military command in the sense of this indictment.
23 "Overall comment: Sulejman Selimi's interview is probably the
24 best record of how the KLA built up. In particular, the reference to
25 boundaries imposing themselves, i.e., not being directed, to the
1 establishment of units being reported to the General Staff, as distinct
2 from being directed or more properly ordered by them, of the lack of
3 arrests of prisons on the ground that there wasn't time and a democratic,
4 committee way of making appointments as late as post-war in a totally
5 unmilitarily way."
6 Now, we've already discussed that Selimi was fighting Serb forces
7 in May, June, and July 1998; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. I want to direct your attention now to page 32 and 33 of this
10 interview. Tell me when you get there.
11 A. I've got to page 32.
12 Q. Okay. At the bottom of the page:
13 "Mr. Lehtinen: Did you have cooperation with any other of the
14 Celiku units there, the ones that were along the tarmac road, like in
16 And Limaj responds: "They communicated with each other, for
17 example, the 113 Brigade, which went -- was -- which was -- which was
18 there. They coordinated.
19 "Q. But did you as commander, did you have direct communication
20 with Fatmir Limaj about these issues, about the gorge in Lapusnik?"
21 "No. We would usually get our orders from the general -- from
22 the General Staff. They issued our orders. But normally it was
23 communication from both sides of Lapusnik pass and there was fighting on
24 both sides -- were taking part in it, because of course he was not
25 obliged to give any information and I was not obliged to give him
1 information. But there was a commanding structure that gave us our
3 That's what it states; right?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. Now, you select the one portion from this document which we
6 looked at before on page 22. You put that in your report. You tell the
7 Trial Chamber this is the best record of the interview and it show there
8 is was no command structure because there was no middle step. And you
9 leave out this passage where General Selimi says "There was a commanding
10 structure which gave us our tasks."
11 Isn't it misleading to select just that part of the interview
12 which supports what you want to say and leave out the rest?
13 A. There are many parts of the interview which would support what I
14 want to say, including the investigator prefacing his remarks by saying,
15 "I know there was no military system." But this particular point
16 reinforces what I said. He's talking about, "We got our orders from the
17 General Staff," but the General Staff wasn't capable of producing orders
18 across the whole of Kosovo. It once again says there isn't a military
19 system. You have to have intermediate command levels which are capable
20 of coordinating at the local level. You can't just say, We got orders
21 from the General Staff.
22 Q. So when Selimi is saying that on both sides of this road he and
23 the commander on the other side received their orders through the command
24 structure from the General Staff, that means that there's no command
25 structure and the General Staff is not engaged in command there?
1 A. He couldn't possibly get orders about tactical events on the
2 ground for coordinating with each other from the General Staff in any
3 relevant time to have any tactical input. It isn't possible, is it?
4 Q. Well, how do you know that it was impossible? You state in your
5 report that radios are not the key to communication, and you -- how do
6 you know that the General Staff was unable to receive reports in time for
7 it to react to any situation?
8 A. It's a constant thread through everything which is written about
9 this year, the period. And you know they described at one point fairly
10 carefully the radios they had, which we all knew about anyway. They were
11 commercial Motorolas. They have a range which is strictly dictated by
12 line of sight. Normally it goes between 3 and 5 kilometres. If you get
13 up on a hill, you may get better at times. But it's likely to come
14 through broken.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. And therefore it's not a means of communication which can provide
17 an effective command structure capable of transmitting orders, imposing
18 discipline, and so forth.
19 Q. If -- sorry, my question was not about radios. My question is:
20 Even in the absence of radios, there is other ways to convey messages
21 within the area under the control of a rebel insurgency.
22 A. But not if you've got to go back to the General Staff and down
23 again. You would need an intermediate level of command to do it through.
24 You would need a level of command which is much closer to the site of
25 your action, just a kilometre or so behind it so you can have runners,
1 similar to Napoleon, who did it very well with men on horseback. But
2 you've got to have that system established.
3 Q. All right. You need --
4 A. And they didn't.
5 Q. Really you need a system to communicate with the commanding
6 level, but Selimi's point is that he received his orders on his side, the
7 commander on the other side received his orders from the same command
8 level. That is a commanding structure giving tasks to different units,
9 different commanders who have people in turn under their command.
10 A. Selimi here is clearly from the tone of the whole interview
11 trying to be helpful. Oh, yes, well, we got our orders from the General
12 Staff; but in reality that's a meaningless statement. You might get
13 orders that you're going to be a commander from the General Staff. It
14 can't amount to a military command system capable of controlling
15 operations at a tactical level.
16 Q. And yet you've called this the best record of the build-up.
17 A. In general. Sulejman's account of how things built up and how
18 disorganised it was, I think, is an excellent record.
19 Q. And the parts where he does talk about some organisation or
20 command you assume he's trying to be lying and not to be honest.
21 A. I certainly didn't say he was trying to be lying. I said he was
22 trying to be helpful. You have to explain to someone what a military
23 command system means and I'm not really sure that he fully understood it
24 at that time.
25 Q. And at that time, of course, you personally had no contact --
1 A. No. Although I knew him personally after the war.
2 Q. Okay. When was that?
3 A. When I was director of the International Crisis Group in
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I would propose to admit the Selimi
6 interview, simply because the witness calls it the best source of the
7 build-up, something he relied on. It was provided to him by the Defence
8 and he cites it. And not for the truth of the matter in the interview
9 but simply for the Court to ascertain the way things were chosen to be
10 included or not included in the report. But if there's not any objection
11 to that, I don't -- I don't press it.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Do you distinguish it from what was put to us
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. Because the witness was here. He testified.
15 He was cross-examined on this report -- on this interview. And it's been
16 used as a source. But I -- I don't press it. I just think it might be
17 useful. If the Defence doesn't want it in then -- then that's fine.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I'm looking to see whether there's any agitation.
19 MR. MANSFIELD: No. No. No agitation at all. Just mild
21 I'm happy for a fair approach to this. Could it be marked for
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be marked for identification.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P246, MFI.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me one moment, Your Honour. I want to see
1 if something is available on Sanction.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. I'd like to show you now, sir, an ECMM report.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: This is -- was included, Your Honours, in Phil
6 Coo's report and has been referred to by the witness in his report.
7 Q. Now, again, we talked about ECMM yesterday. You were in ECMM.
8 ECMM works on the ground, travelling through areas of conflict; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. This report is from the 22nd of June, and I think you remember
11 reviewing this report as part of your report to this Court.
12 A. I'm sorry? I didn't understand that.
13 Q. You've seen this report before. You refer to it in your report.
14 A. Right.
15 Q. Yes. This is an assessment of the UCK; correct? Do you see that
16 in the heading? Can you read what's on the screen in front of you?
17 A. I can only read the area which has been blown up, I'm afraid. I
18 can't read the whole report.
19 Q. All right. Well, let's -- let's go to the blown-up area.
20 MR. MANSFIELD: If there's a copy of the whole document, could
21 that be given?
22 MR. NICHOLLS: It's -- it's in evidence. I don't have a -- a
23 clean extra copy for the witness.
24 MR. MANSFIELD: I don't mind an unclean copy for the witness.
25 THE WITNESS: I'm quite happy to accept what you tell me about
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll blow up the portions. This is one of the
3 annexed documents. It may -- Mr. Hasan will find -- Mr. Younis will find
4 a copy for you.
5 Q. Now, in the introduction, which you can read, the reporter
6 states: "We have encountered UCK on numerous occasions and I personally
7 have been somewhat startled by the extent of their control." And then he
8 issues a caution: "The following is, however, the product of only one
9 week of monitoring, and our impressions must therefore be seen as
10 essentially limited." Correct?
11 A. Yes, although I'm sure you understand the meaning of "control"
12 here in the sense that this is the area of territory on which they've
13 found armed Kosovars who say they're members of the KLA. That doesn't
14 imply control in any military sense.
15 Q. You agree that at this time the KLA was controlling a large area
16 of Kosovo, 30 per cent? And I'm talking about 22nd of June.
17 A. I would agree that the KLA was present. I would think you would
18 have to be very careful about the word "control" since you might put
19 implications into it which ECMM would not have meant.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. "Control" means literally finding people in the villages, as
22 distinct from finding Serbian police in the village.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: I think we've got a paper copy for the witness.
24 Q. Now, the second heading --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Could you indicate the number, Mr. Nicholls.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: The ERN number?
2 JUDGE PARKER: Is it not an exhibit?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: It is an exhibit, but it's --
4 JUDGE PARKER: Can we have the exhibit number.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: It's -- the exhibit is -- I'm trying to remember.
6 It's Phil Coo's exhibit, which I think -- report, which is 220 or it's
7 230, I believe.
8 JUDGE PARKER: P230?
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Is the print on the paper large enough for you to
13 A. Yeah. Yeah. That's okay.
14 Q. In the next paragraph the observer states:
15 "UCK territory. Significant swaths of the central regions of
16 Kosovo west of Pristina are now in UCK control with Serb forces now
17 limited to one very vulnerable main supply route south from Pristina to
18 Prizren. Where once areas of concern such as Drenica were seen in
19 isolation, we are close to being able to see the vast majority of an area
20 west of Pristina as a whole. The UCK appear to control an area west of
21 Pristina that connects Drenica to the area immediately south, centred on
22 the town of Malisevo. Control by the UCK of the central section of the
23 main road west from Pristina to Peja has been the key to this linkage in
24 an area between Komorane and Kijeve which both remain in Serb police
25 control," and I don't need to continue there.
1 Further down at the bottom of that paragraph: "By far the most
2 extraordinary area is situated north-east of Orahovac with the central
3 town of Malisevo the focus of a so-called liberated territory that
4 virtually scrapes the edge of the main peripheral road. The Serbs MSR,
5 especially at Suva Reka."
6 The next paragraph, "Road infrastructure."
7 "The most striking aspect to much of the UCK-held territory
8 described is the extent to which the UCK have utilised and improved the
9 local infrastructure, with small roads now being used to ensure a wholly
10 integrated territory that can aid swift movement between areas. In
11 essence, it appears that much thought and probably more strategy has gone
12 into the taking of this territory than most observers felt was likely."
13 Now, that's the assessment on the people who were there on the
14 ground at the time.
15 A. That's the assessment of two monitors, and I think the key to
16 this, of course, is the phrase "than most observers felt likely." Most
17 observers thought that this was villagers improving tracks between
18 villages in the same way that villagers were giving their machinery out
19 and digging trenches in highly unsuitable places. There had
20 unfortunately been no direction to it, as was proved when the whole thing
21 collapsed like a pack of cards the next month. There was actually no
22 strategic ability to manage this territory. And as you saw, it collapsed
23 completely in the VJ offence of July, which swept everything before it.
24 This was a spontaneous rebellion of a whole series of villages who, as
25 you say, or as they say here, linked themselves with these dirt roads.
1 And then the whole thing collapsed in days.
2 And once again, it almost proves that this was not a
3 well-thought-out military operation, and indeed I from Mr. Limaj's
4 testimony the other day he had great concerns about the so-called
5 liberation of Malisevo, which again was shared by other observers. It
6 was once again -- it was certainly our opinion that they weren't going to
7 be able to hold this territory.
8 Q. So what's happened here is at this point in time in June the KLA,
9 according to these observers who were there on the ground, has been able
10 to link a large area of territory -- is at this point before the July
11 offensive keeping these Serb forces out of that territory, and have
12 developed a way of quickly moving through the area by developing the
13 roads. So it may not -- you may consider it an imperfect military
14 operation, but they have found that strategy and thought has gone into
15 creating this territory.
16 A. I wouldn't describe it as "an imperfect military operation." I
17 wouldn't describe it as "a military operation" at all. I would describe
18 it as a series of villagers getting out their hunting rifle, send ago few
19 of the boys back to Kukes or to Bajram Curi to try and buy an AK-47 and,
20 in tremendous euphoria, celebrating the fact they've achieved victory
21 only to see the whole thing collapse before their eyes at the first
22 movement of Serb forces.
23 We're not talking about expelling Serb forces here. We're
24 talking about expelling village policemen who had already retreated to
25 their police stations and were not patrolling very much in 1996 or 1997
2 Q. Well, the police fighting for the MUP, the Serb forces, those
3 weren't just village policemen.
4 A. The police before the offensive were largely village policemen.
5 That was the MUP's problem. The MUP was driven out of just about
6 everywhere because the MUP did not want to take risks and did not want to
7 confront things. They were good at arresting people but they were not
8 good at fighting for the control of territory.
9 And you'll also see that from senior VJ generals complaining
10 about the performance and behaviour of the MUP.
11 Q. And -- and asking that the VJ be given a greater role in taking
12 back control of the territory.
13 A. And they were. And that was a military operation. We saw the
14 results of it.
15 Q. And the other thing this observer notes when moving through the
16 territory: "In two recent instances, the team has been escorted by UCK
17 through the area of southern Drenica and in one instance was provided a
18 relayed escort through territory that has become a network of connecting
19 tracks and roads that have been upgraded through a recent local effort.
20 What was perhaps even more significant was a level of communication
21 between escorts that seemed to have expected our imminent arrival."
22 A. In the unit. I've never disputed that there was communication at
23 the local level. What there wasn't was an effective intermediary level
24 of command or series of intermediary -- there should have been a whole
25 series of nodes of command extending down from a central command which
1 was responsible to some sort of political authority up through brigade
2 commands, battalion commands, and so on down. The ability to liaise or
3 coordinate, as the KLA was so fond of describing itself, between units at
4 ground level, which did exist at times - after all, one little boy can
5 run to another little boy - is not indicative of a military command
7 Q. No, but it shows that --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the speakers to
9 slow down, please.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the KLA were able to
12 communicate rapidly with each other when necessary.
13 A. I didn't think it showed anything more than one village knows
14 people in the next village.
15 Q. That's all the ECMM reporters are reporting there, that the
16 villagers in adjacent villages know each other.
17 A. Could I tell you what I would see would have been a command
18 system, then? If the night before ECMM had been able to contact a
19 headquarters and arrange an itinerary going from village to village, that
20 would amount to some form of command system. But simply being able to
21 liaise neighbour to neighbour doesn't constitute one.
22 Q. Now, there have been other ECMM reports in this case. And I can
23 show it to you if you want -- which talk about the kidnappings of four
24 Serbs. And I can give the reference. That's R 254-4282, part of Mr.
25 Coo's report. Including two refugees from Croatia. These were the
1 Bakrac men. Have you heard before at all about that particular
3 A. I've heard about that particular incident, yes.
4 Q. You've also -- no doubt recall Mr. Krasniqi testifying in this
5 courtroom that he remembered that incident and that those men were in
6 fact released by the KLA to the International Red Cross.
7 A. Yes. Although, I -- in general, I would not give much weight to
8 Mr. Krasniqi's statements at the time which were by his own admission
9 largely propaganda.
10 Q. If you could look at P48.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: This is the Koha Ditore article from 12 July.
12 U003-8586. That should come up on Sanction, the last page.
13 Q. And we don't need to go through this whole document, which has
14 been seen by the Chamber before. But here Mr. Krasniqi stated: "First
15 of all, the Serbian forces, whether the police, the military, or armed
16 civilians, are our enemy. From the start, we have had our own internal
17 rules for our operations. These clearly lay down that the UCK recognises
18 the Geneva Conventions and the conventions governing the conduct of war,
19 even though it has not been offered the chance of signing them, as it
20 would have done. We do not go in for kidnapping. Even if some people
21 have suffered, these have been more Albanian collaborators than Serb
22 civilians. We do not deal with civilians and we return those whom we
23 take as prisoners of war. A few days ago we hand over two Serbs
24 originating from Croatia to the International Red Cross. Those we have
25 kidnapped are either announced on a list or reported to be executed, but
1 we do not behave in a base fashion like Serbia."
2 Mr. Krasniqi stated that on the 12th of July, 1998. He stated in
3 this courtroom that it was correct about those two civilians being
4 released. So you accept that that was not propaganda that the KLA had
5 released those two men?
6 A. In the sense of that precise line that those two people were
7 released; I certainly accept that they were released in general. Mr.
8 Krasniqi's statements by his own admission were part of a propaganda war,
9 which was normal in many conflicts.
10 Q. And that corroborates the ECMM report of these men being
11 kidnapped at a KLA checkpoint.
12 A. I'm sure it does, yes.
13 Q. And yet you rely on the Selimi interview to state on page 27:
14 "The interview shows that there were no arrests or prisons because there
15 wasn't time." That's your analysis.
16 A. I deal with kidnappings at the moment in Afghanistan. It
17 doesn't mean there was any precedents. We've simply got a case of
18 criminal kidnap. And this doesn't mean there's anything different here.
19 The very fact that it took several days for someone to negotiate their
20 release again shows the difficulty of finding a competent headquarters
21 with a capability of controlling or issuing orders or imposing
22 discipline. We are talking about a straightforward kidnap, as we deal
23 with in Afghanistan.
24 Q. This is confirmation of persons being arrested, detained, and
25 then released through negotiation; correct? Regardless -- you can call
1 it a prison -- let's just call it somewhere where people are detained.
2 A. Kidnap is a criminal offence anywhere in the world, and
3 "kidnapping" was the phrase that you used initially, not "detained" or
5 Q. "Kidnapping" is a phrase Mr. Krasniqi used. "Kidnapping" is a
6 phrase the ECMM used.
7 A. It seems to be very reasonable.
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. I have no objection to that. Again, I don't see that it in any
10 way implies a coordinated, functioning military command system which was
11 capable of recognising the fact that people had been arrested or capable
12 of organising their release in a timely manner.
13 Q. That wasn't my question. My question was why you put in your
14 report that the Selimi article is indicative of the lack of arrests or
15 prisons on the grounds, that there wouldn't have been time for that. You
16 don't think that's a recklessly broad statement?
17 A. I've continued to make the distinction between kidnaps and
18 arrests. I said I deal with kidnaps in Afghanistan.
19 Q. And on page 20, you state that "ECMM reports were largely staffed
20 by seconded or retired military officers and that they tried to impose
21 military order in their reports." Do you really think you can dismiss
22 the bulk of the ECMM documentation just on that basis?
23 A. I haven't said anywhere that I dismissed it. I'm indicating
24 that, as with all types of reporting, you need to look at the origins of
25 the people doing the reporting and you need to understand their strengths
1 and limitations. Therefore, you need to treat such reports with caution
2 if you don't know who the authors are personally.
3 Q. So in general, then, you would give credit to ECMM reports which
4 are corroborated by other evidence.
5 A. In general, I would give credit to ECMM reports dealing with
6 events on the ground. I wouldn't necessarily give a great deal of credit
7 to conclusions drawn from that.
8 Q. Now, your position, as you've stated, again is no command
9 structure, no conflict until sometime after the war.
10 A. That's my position, yes. No effective military command
12 Q. Let me ask you to look at tab 5 in your bundle. That's the
13 report that you did on Kresevo. And just to be clear, this is your
14 report; correct?
15 A. That's absolutely right.
16 Q. From 2002?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you just tell us quickly: There's a map on page 5.
19 Kresevo is this small area at the borders of Kosovo, Macedonia, and
20 Serbia; is that right?
21 A. It is, yes.
22 Q. Now, the paragraph I just want to ask you about is just on page 1
23 at the bottom, where you state: "The Albanian rebels in Kresevo were and
24 are not a unified movement. Both the Kosova and Macedonian rebellions by
25 Albanians against Slav rule, or misrule as they saw it, were reasonably
1 unified. Both had only one large and one small organisation involved in
2 commanding parts of the armed rebellion."
3 Now, you're referring there to the Albanian rebellions in Kosovo
4 that we're talking about as well as later in 2001 in Macedonia; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You distribute it here as "reasonably unified"; correct? The
7 Albanian KLA?
8 A. I didn't say here "militarily unified" or "militarily commanded."
9 There was one KLA by the end of the Kosovo conflict in which by and large
10 all believed they were part of the KLA. And I'm making a distinction
11 here that the UCPMB had an even-less organised structure. If we wanted
12 to go further and compare an Albanian rebellion which had a more
13 organised structure than militarily, the Macedonia conflict demonstrated
14 an effective chain of command on at least two occasions which was
15 commented on. Whereas the Kosovo conflict in my view never demonstrated
16 that chain of command.
17 Q. All right. You describe the Kosovo KLA rebellion as "reasonably
18 unified." You're not talking about people here, you specifically state:
19 "The Kosovo and Macedonia rebellions by Albanians were reasonably
20 unified. Both had one large and one small organisation involved in
21 commanding." What were the large and small organisations you were
22 referring to involved in commanding the Kosovo Albanian rebellion?
23 A. I'm referring to the fact that Dukagjini did not really ever come
24 under any form of agreement with the General Staff, although there use no
25 open conflict but they didn't actually really recognise the General Staff
1 in many ways. Although that's a very unclear area politically. But
2 we're talking about political recognition here. We're not talking about
3 a military command system.
4 Q. No, but you're talking about armed rebellions in this section,
5 aren't you?
6 A. I'm talking about the political intent behind those armed
7 rebellions and who started them off and who came together, not any system
8 of military command or control. I haven't used those words anywhere
9 there that I can see, and certainly didn't mean to.
10 Q. Well, you do. You say "were reasonably unified. Both had one
11 large and one small organisation in commanding parts of the armed
12 rebellion." Why didn't you just say in Kresevo the situation was the
13 same as in Kosovo; there was no command structure whatsoever, if that's
14 what you meant?
15 A. I wasn't talking about command structures here. I'm talking
16 about the political direction or incentive behind the creation of groups.
17 Q. That's what you mean by "commanding the armed rebellion"?
18 A. And you'll notice that I haven't used the phrase "military
19 command" and I've very carefully said "armed rebellion." And I haven't
20 suggested this is a force. I wouldn't have agreed with that.
21 Q. Let me move on now to discuss discipline. You say on page 5 of
22 your report: "There was no system of military discipline." On page 9,
23 para 16 you say: "There wasn't any form of military discipline."
24 A. Sorry, I was working on the wrong document. Page ...?
25 Q. The first reference was on page 5, and the second is in paragraph
1 16 on page 9.
2 A. Yeah, I think if you read that paragraph as a whole you can see
3 exactly what I meant.
4 Q. All right. You're aware that Sulejman Selimi testified that "If
5 soldiers misbehaved, their uniforms could be taken away, their weapons
6 could be taken away, and they could be kicked out of the KLA"; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And that's true, isn't it?
9 A. I certainly think that's true, yes. I don't regard being
10 dismissed from an organisation in that way as an effective system of
11 imposing military discipline.
12 Q. And you may have read in his interview at page 45 in addition
13 that he would tell them that they could never be in the KLA again.
14 A. Yes. I think I commented on that, that the ability to dismiss
15 somebody from a unit, whilst again, possibly, an embryonic - and these
16 are my words now - possibly an embryonic start to some form of
17 disciplinary system, it doesn't amount to an effective system of military
19 Q. Now, you also talk about the Kacak [phoen] tradition. And you
20 agree with me in -- for Kosovar Albanians in these rural areas, honour is
21 a very important thing. Defending one's honour, protecting one's honour,
22 and not offending anybody else's honour?
23 A. I would agree with that, yes.
24 Q. Okay. It's also - and this may be in your report. I don't
25 remember - it's what might be called "a gun culture." Gun, weapons are
2 A. I don't think that's in my report.
3 Q. But would you agree with that statement?
4 A. And I wouldn't agree with that statement particularly strongly,
5 but I would agree there are elements of truth within it.
6 Q. Now, my uncle was an RAF gunner in World War II. That was a
7 popular war, like the KLA rebellion and war was a popular war with the
8 Kosovar Albanians; correct? By "popular" I mean it was supported by the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Under those situations - let's just say it's England - if a young
12 man is joined up, and is kicked out and given a dishonourable discharge,
13 we call it in the US, goes home to a small village, people say, "What are
14 you doing here? I was kicked out of the KLA. They took my gun and my
15 uniform and told me I could never come back." How is that seen in the
17 A. Obviously and socially that's going to be difficult, but I don't
18 imagine social difficulties are part of a system of military discipline.
19 Q. Isn't being thrown out of the military a -- a form of punishment
20 in different professional militaries around the world?
21 A. It's not normally a form of punishment until after punishment has
22 been carried out.
23 Q. Well, let me just -- the only thing I've found, quickly, is from
24 the Canadian Forces, the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian
25 Forces, Volume 2, Chapter 104, "Punishments." And one of the punishments
1 listed is "dismissal with disgrace." That's a punishment.
2 A. In my experience, that only comes on top of other punishments.
3 It means that no one wishes to retain this person in the service because
4 of what else they've done and because of the way they've been punished
5 for it. Obviously the -- the difficulty otherwise with soldiers that any
6 soldier who wants to leave the army simply misbehaves and would get
7 thrown out. And you very rapidly have no army left if you can't be
9 MR. MANSFIELD: And to follow that, could the Prosecutor please
10 describe the system of discipline employed in the Canadian army.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I can't describe that and you can do that on your
12 redirect, if you like. I can provide you with a copy of the Code,
13 104.08, which describes Section 141 of the National Defence Act,
14 dismissal with disgrace as a form of punishment.
15 Q. Now, did you read the testimony of Fadil Kastrati in this case?
16 A. I'm afraid I'm not sure.
17 Q. Do you remember reading -- this is at 226, 17 to 18 [sic], about
18 how Commander Celiku took his weapon away from him?
19 A. Oh, the beer incident?
20 Q. No.
21 A. I'm just read you a particle of it then.
22 Q. "To my misfortune Mr. Commander Celiku came and he asked me are
23 you Fadil Kastrati? I replied, Yes, that's me. He said to me, You, sir,
24 have to be unarmed. It was very difficult for me when I heard these
25 words. I was very sorry. I was very cross with him. But now I'm
1 convinced that he was right and I have a deep respect for him and for any
2 other soldier of the KLA. I asked him, is it possible for you,
3 Commander, not to unarm me? Because I took this weapon with a great will
4 and wish."
5 I'll skip a sentence. He said to me, It's not up to you to
6 speak. I know when I should arm you or when I should disarm you or when
7 I should not unarm you. You disturbed the order in the village and the
8 discipline here. I said to him, No, I did not cause a disturbance but I
9 just reminded that person that he should not speak too loudly because it
10 can be -- it can harm our soldiers. Commander Celiku said to me, You
11 have to be unarmed because there are regulations and discipline in the
12 ranks of the KLA and for that discipline we have to act this way. And if
13 we allow the smallest mistakes to take place, it's better that you don't
14 have a weapon. And this was it."
15 And then he describes how his weapon was actually taken away for
16 15 days. He eventually got it back after 9 days, and he said, "When I
17 got my weapon back, I just don't know how to describe this event. It was
18 a great thing for me."
19 You don't see anywhere in that any form of discipline?
20 A. As I said before, I see the start in being able to dismiss
21 someone or take their weapon away of an embryonic system of discipline.
22 But without a system of control, without a system of confirming sentence,
23 without a system of a whole hierarchy, I don't see that as anything other
24 than isolated incidents which would not prevent someone from doing
25 something that they should not do.
1 I mean, let's say you're proposing to shoot somebody in an
2 illegal way. Do you think that having your weapon taken off you
3 afterwards is going to influence that decision?
4 Q. And that's what you mean by no -- not any system of discipline?
5 A. I don't know exactly, no.
6 Q. You also talk about --
7 MR. NICHOLLS: And this is P156, Your Honours, the KLA
8 Provisional Regulations For the Organisation of the Army's Internal Life,
9 which you describe as being like a boy scout manual or scouting guide.
10 A. I did, yes.
11 Q. Yes. And you stated that you didn't find anything. Well, you
12 weren't aware of that until it was provided to you for this case; right?
13 A. I wasn't, no.
14 Q. And you stated in your report: "Nowhere in it did I find any
15 reference to the laws of war or to any form of court-martial nor any
16 means of enforcing any form of discipline."
17 A. Correct. In any meaningful way, we might add.
18 Q. Well, you'll -- I don't want to go through this whole document,
19 but do you recall reading from it that it talks about the need, for
20 example, for discipline and order, Chapter 5, 2, "Obedience, respect and
21 orders, strictly follow the Chamber chain of the military hierarchy."
22 A. They hadn't got a military hierarchy. And they're talking about
23 doing it. But nowhere is it laid down as to how it's to be done.
24 Q. We're talking about the manual, the manual --
25 A. We're talking about aspirations. We're talking about an army
1 which wants to be an army, desperately wants to be an army, but in the
2 time it's got available to itself can't turn itself into an army.
3 Q. Listen to the question. My point is that type of language
4 appears several times in the manual, the need for discipline. It talks
5 about iron discipline.
6 A. Aspirational language.
7 Q. That language appears in the manual.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If you look at Chapter 8, it -- and I can give you a copy of it
10 or maybe we can -- sorry, it should be up on Sanction. I'll give you a
11 hard copy. It talks about the military police and its duties.
12 Point 3 states -- point 1 states, referring to the military
13 police: "It is organised and protect servicemen and civilians in the
14 territory of Kosovo, supervising and regulating traffic, pursuing and
15 detecting those who commit military and civilian criminal acts."
16 I'll give you a chance to read all this when it's brought to you.
17 Point 3: "The military police is organised in operational zones
18 and subzones to keep order and discipline in military units and bases in
19 inhabited areas and other facilities of special importance."
20 On the next page --
21 A. Sorry, which page are we on?
22 Q. These don't have page numbers. It's -- if you look towards --
23 it's the last two pages or so. It's Chapter 8.
24 A. My chapter 8 appears to be "Regulations for Health and Hygiene."
25 Q. Can I just see what you've been given?
1 A. Chapter 6, "Duties of Responsible Persons."
2 Q. I've got it for you here, sir. Okay. Do you have Chapter 8 now,
3 "The Military Police and Its Duties"?
4 A. Yes.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have the
6 said document.
7 MR. NICHOLLS:
8 Q. If you could read the portions that I've read to you, which were
9 in Sections 1 and 3.
10 And then on the following page, among the duties of the police:
11 "To seize the documents and weapons of servicemen and soldiers who break
12 regulations and to escort them to the appointed place. All those who
13 commit crimes are sent to the relevant organs with general notes relating
14 to them."
15 Now, did you read that when you reviewed this document for your
17 A. I did.
18 Q. And do you think that's consistent with your report that "this is
19 a boy scout for manuals [sic] without any means shown in it of enforcing
20 any form of discipline, no means at all of enforcing discipline?"
21 A. There's no means here, are there? This is an aspirational
22 document to be sent to the relevant organs. What are the relevant
23 organs? Where are they? Who commands them? Who controls them?
24 Q. Well, you don't say that in your report. What you say in your
25 report is that you're describing the manual. You describe the manual on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 paragraph 36 as a "very nonmilitary manual. The manual seems mainly
2 devoted to form and to aspects of personal life and so on, very much
3 along the lines of a boy scouts manual. Nowhere in it did it find any
4 reference to the laws of war or to any form of court-martial nor any
5 means of enforcing any form of discipline."
6 A. And the lines you've just described to me have nothing to do with
7 enforcing discipline. It's an aspirational document that the military
8 police should do this in a well-ordered world.
9 Q. But we talked about -- you don't state that your report, this is
10 an aspirational document, that it has references to mechanisms of
11 enforcing discipline. Your report is not very accurate concerning this
12 document, is it?
13 A. I'm sorry, this -- this document I looked at and I thought, We've
14 no evidence to the distribution of this document. I've seen a claim that
15 it must have been read to people. Well, it would have taken an awful
16 long time to read to people. Outside of that, where does it come from?
17 Who had it? Who did it go to? I wasn't aware of it before and frankly I
18 didn't take I want very seriously. This is something which somebody
19 produced in Pristina, by the look of it, as -- as I said, an aspirational
20 document. It's all part of the same thing of wanting to become an army.
21 But what we're examining is whether they managed to be an army with these
22 functions in this time frame and to which my answer is no, they didn't,
24 Q. Again, that is not what you're talking about in paragraph 36.
25 You're describing the manual. But I'll continue.
1 Just -- you would agree with me that disarming and arresting
2 persons who commit military crimes and sending them to the appropriate
3 organs is describing a way of enforcing discipline?
4 A. If we knew what the appropriate or relevant organ was, yes. But
5 as I said, this -- this starts with an idea, doesn't it? It's where we
6 would like to be and where we would like to go. But it is not describing
7 something which we know happened.
8 Q. You talked a little bit about your background yesterday and that
9 you didn't go to law school. I think you'd agree with me that somebody
10 educated at Stanford Law School, who was Stanford's public interest
11 lawyer of the year in 2004 and has spent his legal career working in the
12 field in human rights is more qualified than you to comment on legal,
13 jurisdictional issues. And there is an objection, so I --
14 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. I'm afraid I don't -- I do object to that.
15 That's not a proper question for an expert to comment on somebody's
16 ability or inability based on qualifications. So I don't see the
17 relevance of the question.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It's a matter for submission, if I might say, Mr.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Nothing further.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
24 We have about 10 minutes, Mr. Mansfield. Would that be
25 profitable or would you think an early break better?
1 MR. MANSFIELD: I think it would be profitable. I can't finish
2 what I have to re-examine you about, but we can make a start on just a
3 few of the topics.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Mansfield:
5 Q. The first question I have for you -- and remembering the gaps,
6 so I'll go slowly. Having listened -- having listened to all the
7 questions and materials put to you, is there anything that has been put
8 to you or any question that's been put to you that has caused you in any
9 way to modify your opinion about the absence of an armed conflict in the
10 relevant period in 1998?
11 A. No, none whatsoever.
12 Q. On a number of occasions, you've indicated, dealing with the lack
13 of a command structure, that there was no effective structure in place.
14 Would you kindly in summary form indicate what the components would be of
15 a basic, not sophisticated -- of a basic, effective, military command
16 structure that would qualify as such.
17 A. Yes. I think to some extent at the very basic level you can see
18 that in the NLA in Macedonia, where you have some form of central command
19 structure, a commander, a deputy, a chief of staff who we know about
20 commanding a number of defined brigades who were visible from the start
21 of the conflict, who are in turn commanding sub-units. It doesn't really
22 matter whether they're termed "battalions" or something else because
23 these brigades, are actually only about the size of battalions. But --
24 commanding-defined sub-units, and with the clear ability to transmit
25 orders. And we saw that in Macedonia, which was after this conflict,
1 where the commander, Alija Ahmeti could order a withdrawal on two
2 occasions, one of which we know was opposed by his chief of staff but
3 nevertheless the withdrawals took place, and that was then in turn
4 confirmed by the international community. Those actions were in support
5 of a defined political objective and was using a military system of
6 command to support those political objectives.
7 Q. Now, within -- within that answer, you've indicated one factor,
8 the communication of orders. I just want to deal with other facets that
9 you've mentioned, some this afternoon: staffing levels, knowledge,
10 transportation. How are these to be considered within this structure?
11 A. A military command structure needs a staff because without a
12 staff you can't implement the commander's orders. And that started to
13 develop within the KLA right at the end, when Ceku [Realtime transcript
14 read in error: "Celiku"] came in and various subdivisions between
15 supplies or logistics -- one of the people who has to be appointed is
16 somebody in charge of military discipline, and there has to be a system
17 of transmitting knowledge out through which people have to be known what
18 they're supposed to be doing. You have to, as you said, you have to have
19 transportation of some sort in order to move things around or you have to
20 have an effective radio system.
21 In Macedonia they continued to use the mobile phone system, which
22 provided an excellent way of transmitting orders. And, of course,
23 overall you have to have a way of imposing discipline.
24 Q. I'm sorry to pause. I think there's been a misinterpretation.
25 It is at line -- page 74, line -- sorry, line 18. The word "Celiku" has
1 been mistakenly put in when, in fact, if you just read it, you were
2 not --
3 A. Ceku.
4 Q. Yes, Ceku. So if that could be changed in due course.
5 Now, in the context of that answer, how do you regard, as the
6 Prosecution finally conceded in their question, someone like Selimi
7 claiming that he didn't know how his orders were communicated?
8 A. I saw it as a desire. I'm afraid the whole context of that
9 interview at times was indicating a desire in some ways to please the
10 questioner. I think when he said he didn't know how his orders were
11 communicated, what he actually means is they weren't being communicated.
12 Otherwise, a commander would have to know how his orders were
13 communicated. Because one of the things he'd want to be absolutely
14 certain of was if his orders had been communicated, that they'd been
15 received, understood, and that somebody was going to comply with them.
16 If he didn't know that, then he wasn't issuing orders.
17 Q. Now, one final matter before the break, still concerned with Mr.
18 Selimi. This comes in the examination of this witness here by Mr.
19 Nicholls himself, dealing with the appointment of Mr. Selimi. And what
20 he said -- it is, in fact -- I'll give a day later, but I've got the page
21 number. It's 2173, at line 21. What he told Mr. Nicholls was that "When
22 the unit [Realtime transcript read in error: "community"] commanders were
23 rallied round himself, there was a member of the General Staff present
24 when they elected me as commander of the Drenica Operational Zone." What
25 do you say about that in the context of a command structure?
1 A. The election of people who were referred to as "commanders," as
2 although they didn't have command abilities or functions in my cases, was
3 common throughout the KLA, particularly in 1998 and indeed early 1999.
4 Commanders are supposed to be appointed because if a commander
5 can be elected, he can be unelected if he doesn't do very well, and that
6 doesn't lead to a military system. You haven't got a military system
7 when commanders are elected. It would result in a very difficult way,
8 again, of imposing discipline, which means in turn you can't really
9 impose discipline with elected commanders. So you've got a series of
10 groups fighting by common intent; but again, you haven't got a command
12 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, would that be convenient?
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will resume at ten minutes to 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.52 p.m.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield.
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, just while the shutters are going
18 up, may I just indicate -- yes, it's line 25, page 75, where I quoted the
19 evidence of Mr. Selimi. I think there's one word wrong, and it's
20 probably my fault, and I will certainly take responsibility: "When
21 community commanders were rallied." In fact it's -- on the transcript it
22 reads: "When the unit commanders were rallied around himself, there was
23 a member of the General Staff." So I make that correction.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Churcher, in your last answer, you were dealing with
25 discipline and I want to ask a similar question as I did with regard to
1 the command structure. So far as you're concerned, what are the basic
2 elementary components of an effective system of military discipline?
3 Again, I'm not asking about a sophisticated system, just a basic
4 elementary system.
5 A. For a start, I think it's very difficult to have any form of
6 enforceable military system if you haven't got a state or a state-like
7 entity behind the command structure. But assuming that it might be
8 possible to have a system of military discipline by consent without any
9 form of legal basis, then at the top of the structure on the General
10 Staff or the General Command or whatever, you would need to have a person
11 who was responsible for disciplinary matters, and at every level of
12 command, even if somebody had joint responsibilities, somebody else would
13 have to be responsible for that. And you would have to have a laid-down
14 system of how you tried somebody, and at least in practice you would have
15 to see that. And you would have to have a system of graduated
16 punishments, so that if somebody did a little bit wrong, they would get
17 some sort of punishment and if somebody did something very wrong, they'd
18 get another sort of punishment. Without that, you're simply relying on
19 people's innate desire to be involved. But that doesn't amount to a
20 system of discipline.
21 Q. Now, you -- at the start of that answer, you had a caveat in the
22 form of referring to "a state or a state-like support entity behind the
23 command structure." Looking at the Balkans, did the situation in the --
24 in Kosovo differ markedly from the situation in other Balkan states in
25 relation to insurgency and armed conflict?
1 A. In the conflicts of the dissolution of Yugoslavia or however we
2 like to refer to those Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, every other
3 conflict had a state or a state-like entity, but I mean in fact state,
4 behind it. So when Bosnia decided to defend itself, it had a Bosnian
5 government. It utilised the Territorial Defence forces as the basis of
6 its defend even though they had been disarmed. There was a parallel
7 structure grew up but they managed to use a system of military discipline
8 to dissolve that power in Sarajevo at a later stage of the war. There
9 was a state. However embryonic, however insufficient, however broken up.
10 Whereas in Kosovo there was no state and there was no state-like entity.
11 The nearest thing there was to a state-like entity might have been the
12 structures of the LDK set up abroad. But the KLA did not relate to these
13 structures. Indeed, the KLA was opposed to those structures.
14 Q. Now, in that context, I'd like you to go back to a document is
15 that you were shown. I'm not sure whether you still have a hard copy in
16 front of you, but it links to that last answer. It is in fact the
17 Prosecution Exhibit 230. I think you were handed a hard copy. It's an
18 ECMM report which was cited to you.
19 A. I'm sorry, it's gone back again.
20 Q. Oh, I'll pause while it's brought back.
21 Now, I'm not going to go over the paragraphs which have already
22 been put to you, one entitled "UCK territory" and another "Road
23 infrastructure" but just looking down that page towards the bottom -- and
24 it may be -- if it could be brought up on a monitor so others can follow.
25 I just want to go through this paragraph, "UCK membership."
1 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm very grateful. It will just be slightly
2 easier this way since not everybody's got it. It's the last paragraph
3 entitled "UCK membership." I think that's legible.
4 Q. I think it may be quicker if I just read it and if you'd kindly
5 listen and then I'm obviously going to ask you for any further
6 observations in the light of the answers you've given. And I'll go
7 slowly, as it's being interpreted.
8 "UCK membership. Throughout the past week the team has
9 encountered probably more UCK" -- I think it should be "at checkpoints
10 than Serb, and has been greeted by all sorts of individuals from local
11 villagers carrying shotguns to masked UCK declaring themselves as
12 leaders. The gradation of UCK member that we had previously suspected
13 seems correct, with numerous villagers carrying weapons and even boys
14 helping with the construction of trenches. But uniformed membership
15 seems more substantial than first envisaged and is probably the result of
16 more recent recruiting following the expansion of UCK-held territory.
17 The hard core of" -- sorry -- "the hard core UCK membership appear almost
18 invariably to have emerged from the diaspora, with a significant number
19 from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They are confident and driven
20 and occasionally nervous but nearly always courteous. It seems they are
21 not aware of ECMM and so far have not wished to take advantage of our
22 presence to communicate their wishes, indeed the overall impression is
23 that they care little for the international community whom they distrust.
24 And whilst NATO airstrikes might be convenient for them, they have no
25 intention of waiting for them. The larger family unit to [sic] which an
1 Albanian so often derives support is still the most plausible overall
2 structure onto which the UCK is attached and will remain their greatest
3 strength. In this way, membership of the UCK becomes unlimited."
4 Now, I've taken a little time to read that.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me. No objection. I just believe the
6 first line states "more UCK checkpoints" but it's not a mistake, that it
7 should say "UCK at checkpoints." That make a difference --
8 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: -- whether it's talking about the number of
10 soldiers or the number of checkpoints.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I do understand that, and I'd misread it. I
12 thought it was "at checkpoints." Yes, I accept that. "Were UCK
13 checkpoints than Serb." Yes.
14 And having read that through, does that assist in the assessments
15 and opinions you've given or not?
16 A. I think that confirms what I was saying about the very diverse
17 nature of the KLA as it started up, which relied on people who knew each
18 other. And as you say, in particular, through the family connections,
19 because that was who they trusted. Trust at that time was very
20 difficult. There had been a number of false starts in the early 1990s
21 where people had been betrayed and they were deeply suspicious, and
22 therefore they returned to the wider family unit, to nephews and so
23 forth, for connections. But the whole point about this is once again
24 there's no military structure to it. There's a whole series of groups
25 with different relationships, different connections. They don't know who
1 each other are. People arrive in an area and start patrolling it only to
2 discover some weeks later that unknown to them there are actually a whole
3 series of self-appointed groups also patrolling the same area.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you. We can remove it from the monitor and
5 pass to another topic.
6 Q. You will recall in the recent questioning there was confusion in
7 the questions between two places, Racak and Rahovec. And I want to deal
8 with the latter, Rahovec. And Mr. Limaj's evidence was quoted to you.
9 Do you remember that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This afternoon? Well, a little later -- in fact, it's a few
12 paragraphs later, from the passage which was quoted, which concerned the
13 fact that representatives of the General Staff were revealing that they'd
14 only heard for the first time about the events at 7.00 or 8.00 in the
15 morning, namely, at a much later -- well, at a later stage.
16 Now, what Fatmir Limaj went on to say about this is -- and so
17 it's clear, it's Day 69, and it's line 22, in which -- and it's page 68.
18 Page 68, line 22, Day 69. He's been talking about a makeshift hospital,
19 and then he says: "This happened in Rahovec. And if there is a mark
20 about this period regarding the KLA, I think it's -- if there is is black
21 stain, it's this because nobody knows how things really developed. This
22 is one of the reasons I wanted to mention this, because I know this
23 incident as a black stain that made the KLA pay a high price, both in
24 casualties in its ranks and waivered people's confidence. Rahovec states
25 or purely mirrors the way the KLA organised -- was organised at that
1 time. It's a concrete example."
2 Do you agree?
3 A. The only thing I would disagree with there is, of course, the KLA
4 was not organised, and that is precisely why Rahovec happened entirely
5 accidentally. As we now know, a number of young men went back into the
6 town carrying arms to visit their families. They collided with some
7 Serbs. Fighting developed. People went to assist. And before the KLA
8 knew it, they'd taken Rahovec, but they couldn't hold it. And "disaster"
9 is too strong a word, but it was certainly a series public relations
10 failure in the sense that the outside world thought they'd intended to
11 take a town and then thought that they'd lost it, whereas in fact of
12 course they hadn't intended to take it at all in the first place. And,
13 of course, it was a personal disaster for a number of young men and
14 villagers who went there to assist things and, I'm afraid, got killed.
15 Q. A further topic: If you could take up the bundle that you were
16 provided with overnight by the Prosecution, tab 2. Contained within tab
17 2 is the letter headed "Southern Balkan consultants" with your name at
18 the top. I just wanted -- if you'd just turn that up, headed "The
19 Solution for Kosovo Independence."
20 Could you indicate -- you've given a -- a brief context, why this
21 letter was written both in its original form and in this form.
22 A. In its original form, it was written whilst I was in ICG as a
23 support to a small book which was released suggesting conditional
24 independence as a way out of the Kosovo problem, which would have been
25 back in 2002. And then I was e-mailed, I think, by Shirley DioGuardi and
1 asked to provide testimony to Congress and I pulled out that particular
2 text, slightly revamped it, and sent it to her. I'm afraid that I didn't
3 actually know that it was going to be used in this form or -- or appear
4 in this form, but that was the intention behind it.
5 Q. And the book that -- to which it was lending support suggesting
6 conditional independence, the book was being written or produced by
7 people you knew or ...?
8 A. No. These were some pretty senior international political
9 figures, High Minister of Sweden and senior figures in the US
10 administration and so forth, who got together to suggest a course of
11 action as a way out of the fact that the UN administration appeared
12 likely to go on forever.
13 Q. Now, no more questions on -- on that document. I want, if I may,
14 just finally to confirm through you so that it's clear, because you were
15 asked about it yesterday, that you -- in order to compile the report, you
16 were provided with a number of documents at different stages. And in
17 particular, were you provided or have you been provided with transcripts
18 emanating from this Tribunal from time to time for you to consider?
19 A. I have been.
20 Q. Quite a large number.
21 A. Quite a large number, yes.
22 Q. And also have you been provided with a correlation, as far as
23 possible, of every single armed-conflict reference on transcript that
24 could be -- as well as those other transcripts of evidence, that could be
1 A. Not very recently, but perhaps a month ago I was provided with
3 Q. Now, finally this: I obviously would like, with Their Honours'
4 permission, to exhibit your report. But before I do, is there any other
5 matter that you feel you would like to add or subtract from anything that
6 you've said so far?
7 A. No. I need to emphasise what I've said so far that if somebody
8 is in difficulty about what could be regarded as effective military
9 command, then I think the NLA in the Macedonia conflict demonstrates some
10 aspects of that, a clear ability to transmit orders and to advance or
11 withdraw on a set plan and set of orders which I, with hindsight, should
12 have put in my own report but I was tending to look backwards for
13 comparisons, and not forwards. But otherwise, no; I believe my report
14 should stand as it is.
15 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I wonder if, in fact, now I could
16 ask for his report to be exhibited. It would become DL12. I don't think
17 there's any objection to that. And attached to it marked for -- in the
18 way that -- the same way that has been done with other documents, that's
19 Mr. Thaqi's statement.
20 JUDGE PARKER: In fact, Mr. Mansfield, the investigator's notes
21 of Hashim Thaqi's interview --
22 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
23 JUDGE PARKER: -- of 2004 which were the subject of yesterday's
24 deliberations is marked for identification as DL12.
25 MR. MANSFIELD: I'm sorry, right.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think we may not have allowed time for that to
2 be announced yesterday. So that this report will be received and marked
3 as Exhibit DL13, I think.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be DL13, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: That includes the CV, does it, Mr. Mansfield?
6 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, it does. Yes.
7 And it remains finally for me, if I may, just to thank Mr.
8 Churcher for his patience, for Prosecution for allowing us to interpose
9 him, and Your Honours also for allowing that slight deviation of the
10 usual procedure.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE THELIN: Yes, Mr. Churcher. I wonder if you could clarify
15 a small matter for me. We've heard that you were the director of the
16 International Crisis Group, I believe, from September 2000 till August
18 A. I didn't actually become the director in --
19 JUDGE THELIN: I think that's what your CV says.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, in title. I think I became the -- I was
21 there. I took over in November, as far as I remember. There was a
22 period of handover.
23 JUDGE THELIN: Okay. And we have noted in the report no
24 reference to any ICG report on the matter of KLA, its organisation, and
25 development. That's correct? There isn't any? That's my clarification.
1 A. Not in my report, no.
2 JUDGE THELIN: And is -- to your knowledge, has there after your
3 tenure, as it were, at the ICG been produced any ICG report on KLA?
4 A. No. There were reports produced before my tenure. As you're
5 possibly aware, ICG reports are anonymous. I was aware of who'd written
6 them. But with hindsight, they didn't really provide a very good
7 picture, in my opinion, although, as I said, that's with hindsight. At
8 the time, they were producing the best they could on very limited
10 JUDGE THELIN: But there were -- were reports on KLA under the
11 label of ICG before --
12 A. Yes. Not on the KLA, no. They were reports on the whole Kosovo
14 JUDGE THELIN: Okay. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be pleased to know, Mr. Churcher, you may
16 now leave. And I know you're pressed for time and must be free this
17 evening, and we've managed to do that. Thank you for your assistance.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, sir.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think if Mr. Limaj could now return to the
21 witness box.
22 [The accused Limaj takes the stand]
23 WITNESS: FATMIR LIMAJ [Resumed]
24 JUDGE PARKER: As you know, Mr. Limaj, the affirmation you took
25 at the beginning of your evidence still applies.
1 Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
4 Q. Mr. Limaj, I would like to take up where we left off yesterday.
5 When we -- when we stopped, I put to you the question about crimes in
6 Lapusnik. I'd like to put the question to you more broadly. The
7 question is this: To your knowledge, Mr. Limaj, during 1998 did the
8 KLA - and when I say "KLA" I mean any soldiers of the KLA - did the KLA
9 ever detain Serb civilians, to your knowledge, during 1998?
10 A. As I said, Mr. Prosecutor, there might have been such cases that
11 have happened in various areas of Kosovo, but you have to keep in mind
12 that information at the time was very limited and I couldn't follow all
13 the developments in all the areas. But such things could have happened,
14 things that have been done in the name of the KLA.
15 Q. Do you have any knowledge of any specific cases during 1998? Or
16 are you just speculating?
17 A. I spoke generally. There is a specific case, Your Honours. For
18 example, in my brigade, we stopped two journalists - this is a concrete
19 example that has to do with us - the two journalists that were stopped,
20 the Tanjug journalists.
21 Q. We're going to talk about that a little bit later. Can you think
22 of any other examples during 1998? Are you aware of any other examples?
23 A. Personally I don't know any concrete examples, but things have
24 been said and I have heard, especially after the developments in Rahovec.
25 Things were said about Serbs, especially the Serb media spoke about these
1 things. At that time, we could not follow all the developments because
2 the offensive was going on. But the Serbian citizens were speaking about
3 these things and the Serbian media. But except that case that I
4 mentioned to you that I knew directly, I did not know of any other
5 concrete examples. I can't say now. I can't speak now of any other
6 concrete examples.
7 Q. Did the Albanian media ever talk about such things?
8 A. To speak the truth, as I said, at that time it was almost
9 impossible to communicate with the media at the time because of the
10 situation. The media did not come. Sometimes Albanian media could
11 penetrate and come to us. But, in fact, there was a lot of propaganda
12 going on, both on the Albanian side and the Serb side. So I don't know
13 for sure. I can't tell you.
14 Q. Do you recall any instance -- you -- you specifically mentioned
15 the Serbian media talking about these things. Do you recall any specific
16 instance of the Albanian media talking about such things?
17 A. There could have been a media body that used that -- in fact,
18 only two newspapers existed at that time. Maybe they asked Albanians
19 about things or there was an interview. For example, maybe Mr. Krasniqi
20 spoke to the media about those things. But, Your Honours, if I'm not
21 mistaken, during that day --
22 Q. I'm sorry, aside from the example that you've just given of Mr.
23 Krasniqi talking about such things - and some of that is in evidence -
24 can you think of any other specific examples of the Albanian media
25 talking about such things?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I can't remember any specific cases. It might be -- it could be
2 possible that there were reports, but I can't think of any now. I can
3 mention here a case. Maybe it's of interest?
4 Q. Well, I don't know what it is, so I can't say if it's of
6 A. When you asked about the information I had -- Your Honours, Mr.
7 Demaqi was appointed as a representative and also the International Red
8 Cross sent names of people -- of Serbs who had disappeared or people that
9 the Red Cross thought that they had disappeared. Maybe they communicated
10 with the media. So that's what I wanted to say. There were Serbs who
11 were -- were missing at the time.
12 Q. Mr. Limaj, I was going to ask about that later but I'll ask about
13 it now, since you've brought it up. I -- there's evidence in the case
14 that that list that you're referring to was provided by Mr. Demaqi to the
15 General Staff in 1998 and that it was then distributed by the General
16 Staff to zone commanders. Did you at that time -- according to your
17 testimony, you were the commander of the 121 Brigade. Was the list
18 distributed to you? Did you receive that list?
19 A. No. At that time, I did not see such a list. I mentioned Demaqi
20 because I heard it from the media that he had contacts with the
21 International Red Cross and the International Red Cross gave him such a
22 list. I think later this was discussed in January, I think.
23 Q. The -- the list, according to the evidence, was provided in
24 September of 1998. Did you hear about it in September of 1998 in the
25 media? I can show you the article that's in evidence, if that's ...
1 A. That's what I'm saying, Mr. Prosecutor, that I heard about this
2 meeting of Mr. Demaqi and the list that he had from the International Red
3 Cross, and this is what I heard from the media.
4 Q. My question is: When did you hear about it? Did you hear about
5 it when it took place in September of 1998?
6 A. Well, I don't know specifically. It could be September or
7 October, during that time.
8 Q. When you discovered -- was that the first time you heard that
9 there were Serbs missing in Kosovo, or had you heard that before?
10 A. Well, the Serbian media spoke about this every day, but there was
11 so much propaganda by the regime, so even if there were true things in
12 what they said, we had to take it with a grain of salt because we thought
13 it was all propaganda.
14 Q. Did you --
15 A. I heard it from the Serbian media before, yes.
16 Q. Did you think that the list provided by the ICRC was propaganda?
17 A. [No interpretation]
18 Q. Once you heard about that list and once you heard about the
19 missing Serbs, did you --
20 A. No. No.
21 Q. -- yourself, Mr. Limaj, to see if there was anything about
22 missing Serbs in your brigade?
23 A. Please, you have to separate these things. I was speaking about
24 Serb propaganda, which is one thing, and the ICRC list is another thing.
25 Q. Your answer was clear on that. My question now is -- though I
1 would note that the interpretation wasn't picked up, but your answer was
2 that you did not consider the ICRC list to be propaganda. My -- I moved
3 on to another question, which is: Once you -- when you heard about that
4 list of missing Serbs, did you in your brigade, Brigade 121, take any
5 steps to see if there was any information in your brigade about those
6 missing Serbs?
7 A. First of all, we did not know who these missing people were. We
8 heard about missing people, but we didn't know who specifically they
10 And secondly, the territory where my brigade was, it was Albanian
11 territory. There were no Serbs there. And we did not know the names of
12 the Serbs.
13 Q. By that time there, were no Serbs there; correct?
14 A. There were no Serbs even before in that territory, in that
16 Q. During --
17 A. There were never Serbs there, living there.
18 Q. Did Serbs ever travel through that territory on the roads?
19 A. Well, gentlemen, I don't know who travelled through those roads,
20 whether they were Serbs or Albanians, but in the territory of my brigade
21 no Serbs were living there, not before the war, not -- nor during the
22 war, neither after the war. So our territory was Albanian. Outside the
23 area, yes; there were Albanians and Serbs living together in different
24 towns, but -- and they could have travelled through the territory. But I
25 don't know about that.
1 Q. You're not aware that Serbs would travel on the main roads to get
2 from one city to another, for example, to go to Pristina or to go to
3 Stimlje? You're not aware of that? I mean, you must have known that.
4 A. I don't know what you're after. Of course people travelled on
5 those roads, but I don't know who those people were. It was a main road.
6 But of course, you must remember that that road was under the Serb
7 control for most of the time, so I don't know how many people and who
8 those people were who travelled on that road.
9 Q. Well, the road, the Pristina-Peja road was under KLA control from
10 Lapusnik on in June and July of 1998; correct? That was under KLA
11 control. There's no dispute about that, is there?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Okay. Now, just getting back to my question, I understand -- my
14 question about what, if anything, you did to find out about missing
15 Serbs. I understand your answer to be nothing.
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. You've given us reasons for it, but you did not do anything. For
18 those reasons, you didn't do anything; correct? You said because --
19 because your territory was all Albanian and you didn't know the names,
20 you didn't do anything. Is that a fair summary of your testimony?
21 A. I said it, Mr. Prosecutor. First you're speaking about July --
22 June and July, and then about September and October. In June and July
23 there were -- there was no 121 Brigade. You must be clear about this.
24 Then in August and September the situation was completely different. If
25 you speak about June and July, the road was blocked in Lapusnik. If you
1 speak about August, it was open.
2 Q. My question is --
3 A. I need to explain this. It -- we have to be clear about this.
4 Q. My question -- I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about the dates. I
5 was going back to September or October 1998, when you learned about this
6 list. And my question had been: What, if anything, did you do about it?
7 And I understand your answer to be because your territory was all
8 Albanian and because you did not know the names, you did not do anything.
9 Is that your answer?
10 A. My answer, Mr. Prosecutor, is that I heard about missing Serbs,
11 that the ICRC had a list. Second, with regard to my actions, in my
12 brigade there was no Serb family living in the territory before the war,
13 during the war, and after the war. My -- there might have been people
14 who went missing, but I did not have any such information. Practically I
15 did not have that information. It's a different thing when you say you
16 did nothing and another thing when you say we did not have information.
17 I am telling you the situation was such that we did not receive
19 Q. Mr. Limaj, the -- when we started off, I put the question to you
20 with respect to Serb civilians, and now I will put the question to you --
21 a different question to you, similar but different, which is: To your
22 knowledge, during 1998 did the KLA - meaning KLA soldiers - ever mistreat
23 or torture prisoners held by the KLA?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor and Your Honours, I never heard such a thing at
25 that time, that a soldier -- a KLA soldier has done such things.
1 Personally I never heard about something like that. I am not excluding
2 the possibility that such a thing might have happened, but I personally
3 did not hear of any such cases.
4 Q. Finally, to your knowledge, did -- during 1998, did the KLA -
5 meaning soldiers of the KLA - ever murder prisoners held by the KLA?
6 A. As far as I remember, you should take into consideration I am
7 talking only about the territory where I was -- such things never
8 happened in the part where I was working. I have not heard about that.
9 As to what the KLA may have done, the KLA was operating all over Kosova.
10 They were -- it was impossible to communicate among us. There were many
11 things which we found out after the war, even with respect to
12 organisation. Everything was difficult for us to learn, especially after
13 the August offensive. Here I am talking only about myself and the place
14 where I served. Such things did not happen.
15 Q. Do you have any knowledge of it happening elsewhere, outside of
16 the place you say you served?
17 A. It is possible they may have occurred in some place, but I cannot
18 give you any concrete example. There are [indiscernible] developments in
19 1998, but I cannot give you anything in real terms. I didn't see
20 anything, didn't hear anything, because of our very limited possibilities
21 to communicate. For a long time one brigade couldn't communicate to the
22 adjacent brigade, 121 to 122, because of the forces, of the Serb forces.
23 Let alone about other zones.
24 Q. Mr. Limaj, during the summer of 1998, June and July of 1998, one
25 of the pseudonyms that Shukri Buja used was Sokoli; is that correct?
1 Sometimes referred to as Sokoli?
2 A. No. His pseudonym was Gazetari. His unit was called Sokoli. I
3 know that his pseudonym was Gazetari. His unit was called Sokoli.
4 Q. When, then, was Commander Sokoli?
5 A. If you are talking about the same person -- because there were
6 many pseudonyms, such -- similar pseudonyms. There is a Sokol who was in
7 the Lapusnik gorge on the other side of the road when you go to Likovc,
8 at the junction that we said. There is a unit there not at the Lapusnik
9 gorge but in Krajkove. You pass Lapusnik and there is a neighbourhood
10 when you go to Likovc. There was a Sokol there. He was killed in
11 October or November, I think. I don't know his last name. Maybe his
12 name was Sokoli, I don't know. But he had his own unit there.
13 Q. Was he a commander?
14 A. Well, to say, I was -- I passed through Likovc once because to go
15 to Likovc you had to pass through his unit. He was as a sort of -- a
16 unit commander with maybe about 20 soldiers under his command. And I
17 think, if I'm not mistaken, he was killed in Poklek in September.
18 Q. Aside from that occasion you just described when you passed
19 through his area on the way to Likovc, did you have any other occasion to
20 see him during June and July of 1998, this person that you have
22 A. Each time I went to Likovc, I had necessarily to go through his
23 area. There was no other way. The road passed through the village where
24 he was located. You couldn't go to Likovc from any other way.
25 Q. Aside from going through his village, did you have during June
1 and July 1998, did you have any other interactions with him, dealings
2 with him?
3 A. I don't know what you mean by "interaction," but every time I
4 passed by, I stopped. I stayed for some time there. I remember an
5 occasion when myself and someone else were going to Likovc to get some
6 uniforms and on the way to Likovc there were lined-up soldiers taking an
7 oath. Now I remember, Sokol. It was on the central road that goes to
8 Likovc. The soldiers were lined up on the side of the road when they
9 were taking an oath. It's an interesting fact that the oath that they
10 had obtained in a written form, because they didn't have a written rule,
11 one of the soldiers had written it on a notebook and he was trying to
12 read it out to 20, 30 soldiers that were there. I had the rules with me
13 in my car and I stopped there and I stayed there until they finished the
14 oath ceremony and I gave a speech. Since I happened to be there, they
15 asked me to say a few words, and that I did. And I continued on my way
16 to Likovc. This happened on the way to Obrinje-Drenice area. I think
17 that is one of these occasions. But as I said, I have stopped there to
18 have a coffee or to smoke a cigarette. If he or someone else happened to
19 be there -- if I had time, of course, on the way to.
20 Q. Mr. Limaj, is -- the part of Drenica which is to the north of the
21 Peja-Pristina road sometimes referred to as lower Drenica and the part
22 that is south that starts with the Berisha Mountains, is that sometimes
23 referred to as "upper Drenica"?
24 A. As far as I know, yes. But there is not any explicitly divided
25 border. It depends how you look at it. Someone [as interpreted]
1 includes the entire Lapusnik and the area near Baince, Krajkove,
2 Kroimire, Damanek, Lapusnik is the upper Drenice, and the area from the
3 railway, from -- that divides Obrinje, they call it lower Drenice. From
4 Krajkove, Damanek, Vukovc, Lapusnik, this part is seen as the upper
5 Drenica. But I cannot tell you for certain because it's an
6 unconventional division, I would say. It's a popular division. There is
7 a railway which divides the area and they say on that part of the railway
8 and on this part of the railway. The railway passes through Obrinje to
9 Drenoc and Logovc [as interpreted] and continues to Kosova plain. This
10 must be it. They -- some people refer to the asphalt road. Some refer
11 to the railway. It depends. I personally, I can't give you a very clear
12 description of it because it is not a geographical division, as I said,
13 or an administrative one.
14 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm going to show you -- I'm going to show you
15 Prosecution Exhibit P37. No, I'm sorry, it's P39.
16 Mr. Limaj, this is a newspaper article in Bujku from 4th of July
17 1998 and it describes an oath ceremony and Commander Sokoli reported on
18 the units and Commander Celiku reviewed the troops. And it's in Drenica
19 e Eperme.
20 Now, this is referring to an oath ceremony with Shukri Buja,
21 isn't it?
22 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know. It may be the Sokoli I am
23 talking about. It may be the Shukri. I don't know. I know that
24 Shukri's pseudonym was Gazetari. But to rid you of your dilemma, I know
25 that I was and visited this Shukri. Maybe it is about the other Sokoli.
1 I am telling you that I visited Shukri and together with the Jakup
2 Krasniqi, who at the time was staying in Kroimire, Mr. Prosecutor, as a
3 representative of the General Staff because his wife had a problem with
4 her pregnancy.
5 So, Your Honours, his wife had just given birth --
6 Q. You're getting a little bit far afield from the question. My
7 question was: Is this -- is this oath ceremony with Shukri Buja, and I
8 understand your answer to be it could be, you're not sure. Is that your
10 A. I am trying to clarify things. This interview is possible to
11 refer to the Sokoli I mentioned or to the other person, but I am telling
12 you that Shukri's pseudonym was Gazetari. But to make things clear, I
13 have attended ceremonies also at Shukrija. But this case that you're
14 referring to me, I don't know.
15 Q. I think you've answered the question.
16 MR. WHITING: And the -- we can take the document back.
17 Q. Mr. Limaj, do you -- speaking of Shukri Buja, do you remember
18 meeting up with him a few days after the Lapusnik gorge fell on the 26th
19 of July, 1998? Do you recall seeing him?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, following the Lapusnik gorge, we met Shukri Buja
21 on a daily basis because there was no other place you could go other than
22 in Klecke or any other.
23 Q. You've answered my question.
24 A. So we met daily.
25 Q. Do you recall him telling you that he had released a group of men
1 from Lapusnik or he had allowed -- he had stopped them and allowed -- and
2 then allowed them to continue on their way? Do you recall him telling
3 you that?
4 A. No, I don't remember it, and I think what you are saying, it's
5 not true at all. The population used to move from one place to another,
6 but what you are putting to me is not true. He's never told me that.
7 Q. I'm not -- I'm just asking you questions. So you're -- are you
8 saying that -- that you don't remember him talking to you about people
9 coming from Lapusnik -- wait till I've finished the question. You don't
10 remember it or it did not happen, that conversation?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the population moved all about, from one place to
12 another. Find accommodation. They went from one gorge to another, from
13 one village to another. In this context, he may have said this.
14 Q. Okay. But I -- I thought you were going off on a long answer
15 again. If you can focus on the question. Do you remember having the
16 conversation -- or are you saying that you didn't have the conversation
17 or you don't remember having the conversation about men from Lapusnik
18 with Shukri Buja?
19 A. I'm trying to be brief. Such topics of people's movements were a
20 common topic. But as to what you are asking me, I don't remember Shukri
21 Buja to have told me anything about that.
22 Q. Well, this conversation, just to press on a little bit further
23 with this conversation, this conversation may have stood out because he
24 indicated he was concerned about whether he had done the right thing in
25 letting these people continue, which might have seemed out of the
1 ordinary with respect to the context that you have described of refugees.
2 Does that help you remember the conversation, the fact that he was
3 concerned about having allowed these men from Lapusnik to continue?
4 A. [No audible response]
5 Q. You're shaking your head. You still don't remember?
6 A. No. No. There were no such conversations. No, not the ones
7 that you are referring to. With me, never.
8 Q. Mr. Limaj, I'm going to move on to another topic, which is
9 Rahovec. Now, as I understand your testimony, you arrived to a
10 crossroads outside of -- of Rahovec at approximately 11.30 on July 17th,
11 11.30 at night. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes, I think so. Yes.
13 Q. You stayed there through the night, through the day on the 18th,
14 into the night of the 18th. At approximately 4.00 in the morning on the
15 morning of the 19th, you had an encounter with a Serb soldier. You
16 bumped into a Serb soldier. You then slept for approximately an hour and
17 a half; you then woke up and went to get some coffee, and then you
18 fainted. Is that -- is that your testimony? I'm just trying to fix the
19 time you were there.
20 A. Just to clarify something. I didn't bump into a Serb soldier. I
21 said that we didn't know that the Serbs had taken a position there. The
22 soldiers told me later when the attack started, the soldier told me that
23 the Serbs had been positioned in that place. It's not that I had seen it
24 with my eyes.
25 Q. I'm just --
1 A. The others are as you said.
2 Q. So is it fair to say that you -- when you fainted, it's
3 approximately 6.00 in the morning on the 19th?
4 A. No. No.
5 Q. What time -- what time do you think it was in the morning? Can
6 you give your best approximation of what time it was in the morning when
7 you fainted on the 19th?
8 A. Approximately? I am trying to explain and to be brief. In the
9 morning of the 19th, it may have been 5.00, 6.00, or 7.00, when the dawn
10 came, I went to the juncture that you mentioned and I saw Byslym and the
11 other representatives of the General Staff. I returned again, Mr.
12 Prosecutor, to that point, to the place I was before. And there I had a
13 coffee. After I had a coffee, I went again back to consult with Agim
14 about something. When I went there, there I fainted. This is more or
15 less 8.00 or 9.00. I may not be exact about the time, but it was not
16 6.00. I'm certain about that. It might have been either 8.00 or 9.00.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. Or less. You have to take it approximately.
19 Q. When did you see Isak Musliu?
20 A. I think I have already told you and told his lawyer as well in
21 that -- at that time I -- in this early morning, I was interested to see
22 what was going on. He might have been there. But when I went there, I
23 was very tired that morning, at 6.00 or 7.00 in the morning.
24 Q. So are you saying -- are you saying now --
25 A. My point is that I was interested to talk with the
1 representatives of the General Staff. Isak and many other members might
2 have been there, but I don't remember. On the second time, when I went
3 there he must have been with a group of soldiers because then I fainted
4 and I don't have a clear recollection of what happened. That's why I am
5 telling that I am not certain about that.
6 Q. Okay. Is it -- is it fair to say, then, that Isak Musliu -- you
7 might have seen Isak Musliu in Rahovec on that day, on the 19th, but
8 you're not certain about it, you don't have a clear recollection about
9 it? Is that fair to say?
10 A. Yes. I think that I was focussed on those people of the General
11 Staff, and then I fainted. He may have been there, but I am not certain.
12 Q. And aside from that moment when you fainted and he might have
13 been there, did you see him at any other time in Rahovec after you
14 arrived there at approximately 11.30 on the night of the 17th? Or is it
15 -- is it the same answer, that you cannot recall?
16 A. Are you talking about the 17th?
17 Q. I'll rephrase my question. As I understand your testimony now,
18 that you may have seen him on the morning of the 19th but you're not --
19 you don't have a clear recollection of it. Before the morning of the
20 19th, did you see him at Rahovec? Or is it the same --
21 A. No. No, I didn't see him.
22 Q. Okay. Now, you testified - and it's been referred to by your
23 lawyer again today - that Rahovec was a black stain. And what you said
24 is, "It's a black stain that made the KLA pay a high price both in
25 casualties in its ranks and in -- and waivered people's confidence." Do
1 you recall that testimony, Mr. Limaj?
2 A. [No audible response]
3 Q. Yes? You nodded your head but you didn't say anything.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. Was Rahovec a black stain for another reason, Mr. Limaj?
6 Is it a black stain for another reason?
7 A. Yes, certainly. The consequences were very major. The black
8 stain applies to all respects.
9 Q. In what other respects was it a black stain -- is it a black
11 A. In addition to what I already stated, that various units of the
12 KLA had -- had been involved in that adventure, in my opinion, a serious
13 adventure which led to deaths of the members of the KLA and some
14 civilians as well, there were -- I can't say hundreds. Maybe now I can't
15 speculate with the numbers, but there were many civilians. They were
16 saying thousands at that time. They were alleging there were thousands
17 of civilians who are killed, violated, a bloodshed was committed there.
18 This is what they were saying after the Serb forces entered.
19 When things became clearer, it appeared that in addition to
20 hundreds of Albanians there were Serb civilians killed as well or
21 kidnapped, as the Serbs alleged. So for these too Rahovec is a black
22 stain. There is no dilemma about that.
23 Q. Mr. Limaj, you finally at the end of that long answer made
24 reference to Serb civilians who were killed as well or kidnapped, and
25 then you add "as the Serbs alleged." Do you have any doubt, Mr. Limaj,
1 that more than 40 Serb civilians were kidnapped from Rahovec during that
2 weekend and have never been seen again? Do you have any doubt about
4 A. No, sir. You don't have in front of you a person who can behave
5 towards the victims in this way. You are misinterpreting my answer. I
6 do not be linked [as interpreted] to a people that can do such things.
7 If you ask me questions, don't misinterpret my answers or don't give
8 answers instead of myself. I can give the answers.
9 Q. But I'm asking you to give the answers, and I give you every
10 opportunity to give the answer. Do you have any doubt that -- about
11 that, Mr. Limaj? Because you said "as Serbs alleged." You added that.
12 Do you have any doubt about it in your mind, that that happened?
13 A. I tried to explain to Their Honours that thousands of people said
14 that a bloodshed was committed, that thousands of Albanians were killed,
15 but in fact there were not thousands who were killed. I'm talking both
16 about Albanians and Serbs. This rumour spread that thousands of people
17 were killed and that Rahovec was a bloodbath. But when things became
18 clearer, when the Albanians found out their victims, the Serbs on their
19 part - now I am referring to Serbian formation - they said that there are
20 Serbs who were killed.
21 Now, if you're asking me whether you are doubting that there were
22 Serbs who were killed or kidnapped, I don't have doubts because these
23 were informations that were certified later on by the International Red
24 Cross and other information. I could doubt -- I could question
25 Serb-provided information, but I couldn't doubt information certified by
1 other international organisations. I am not Dragan Jasevic, who says
2 that there were no massacres committed in Likoshan.
3 MR. WHITING: I'll have more questions about this tomorrow, but
4 it's 7.00.
5 JUDGE PARKER: We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day of
8 May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.