1 Tuesday, 31 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Selimi, the affirmation you made at the
7 beginning of your evidence still applies.
8 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 WITNESS: REXHEP SELIMI [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
13 Q. Mr. Selimi, I just have a few final questions. With the
14 assistance of the usher I'm going to show you some more photographs, and
15 if they could be placed on the ELMO, please.
16 MR. WHITING: If they can be placed one at a time. The first one
17 is 3704, U008-3704.
18 Q. Mr. Selimi, could you look to your left, please, at the
19 photograph. Now, looking at the photograph on the lower part of that
20 page, could you identify who those individuals are?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'm having some trouble with my earphones.
23 Okay. Could you tell us who these three people are and when, if
24 you recall, this photo was taken and where.
25 A. It's myself, in the middle, with Sahit Jashari and Muse Jashari.
1 Sahit Jashari is on my left in the photo. Muse Jashari is on my right
2 side in the photo. This photo, from what I can see in the background, was
3 taken in Likovc. I don't know exactly the time when it was taken.
4 Q. Do you know approximately the time? For example, do you know the
6 A. It may be in 1999; it may be.
7 Q. Could you look at the next photograph which is 3708, please.
8 Drawing your attention to the photograph on the lower part of the page,
9 can you identify who the individuals are in that photograph, when you
10 think it was taken, and where.
11 A. Yes. It's myself. Next to me is Daut Haradinaj and on the other
12 side is Sylejman Selimi. This photo must have been taken in Albania
13 during 1997.
14 Q. The next photograph is 3709. Can you identify the individuals in
15 this photograph, when you think it was taken, and where. And maybe the
16 best way to do it is do the -- identify the four people who are standing
17 and then the person who's kneeling.
18 A. Beginning from my left side is Muje Krasniqi; he's a martyr to the
19 nation. Second is myself. The third person is Adem Jashari. The fourth
20 standing is Xheladin Gashi and the person sitting is Hamze Jashari.
21 Q. Are you able to tell us when this photograph was taken and where?
22 A. It must be the beginning of 1997 in Prekaz in the yard of
23 Commander Adem Jashari.
24 Q. The next photograph is 3721. I think we have to pull out for this
25 one. Do you recognise the individuals in this photograph?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us who they are?
3 A. From what I see, it's Fatmir Limaj and Ismet Jashari, Kumanova.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please ask the witness to wait for the
5 translation of the question before answering.
6 MR. WHITING:
7 Q. Mr. Selimi, the interpreters have asked that, if you could, wait
8 until the translation of the question is completed before you answer the
9 question; it will make their job easier.
10 A. I will.
11 Q. The next photograph is 3726. Drawing your attention on this page
12 to the top photograph, can you identify who the individuals are in that
13 photograph and when and where you think it was taken.
14 A. Yes. On my left side is Bashkim Jashari, then Fatmir Limaj,
15 Sami Lustaku, myself. A few others I cannot identify very well. This
16 picture must have been taken in the Pristina stadium in September 1999 on
17 the day of demilitarisation and transformation of the KLA into the TMK.
18 Q. The next photograph is 3730, and it's the lower photograph that I
19 want to ask you about, the one on the bottom. Can you identify the
20 individuals in that photograph and, if you know, when it was taken and
22 A. Yes. It's myself when I was part of the KPC or TMK. You can see
23 that from my uniform. On my left is Xhavid Haliti. On my right, if I can
24 be right, is Fatmir Limaj. Next to him is Sylejman Selimi.
25 Q. Do you recall when that photograph was taken and where?
1 A. I don't know the exact date. It must be the year either 2000 or
2 2001, given by the uniform I'm wearing. Probably we've been in some
3 memorial rally. I don't remember exactly when because we had plenty of
4 such ceremonies.
5 Q. Finally, if you could look at paragraph 3729. And I draw your
6 attention to the top photograph on this page. Same question: Do you --
7 can you recognise who's in the photograph, when it was taken and where it
8 was taken?
9 A. I don't know exactly where. It may be during one of the rallies
10 which we used to hold in memory of the martyrs. It might be the same
11 year, 2000, or 2001 because I'm wearing uniform. The people close to me
12 are Ram Buja and Fatmir Limaj, even though the quality of the photo is
13 very poor.
14 Q. Is Ram Buja on your right or your left in the photograph?
15 A. He is on my right side, but I want to stress the fact that it's of
16 a very poor quality.
17 Q. I understand?
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this group of photographs be
19 given a number, please?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. This group of six
22 photographs is given the Exhibit number P248. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 MR. WHITING: I think there were seven photographs, just so the
24 record is clear.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Will you allow me to say something?
1 Until now, I am hearing only the English version. I can't get Albanian
2 translation so far. I didn't say this before, not to interrupt you.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. Okay. I understand that. I will alert the usher --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Could the usher please check the channel. We may
6 have been on the wrong channel. Are you now hearing me translated to your
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. That's sorted.
10 And it would appear there were seven rather than six photographs
11 in the exhibit. Thank you.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Selimi, just so there's no difficulty with the record, did you
14 have any difficulty understanding my questions, even though they weren't
15 being translated to you in Albanian?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't have any further questions. I
19 did want to raise one small matter with the Court, which is -- which I've
20 raised with Defence counsel and it's with regards to the video-clip that
21 was played yesterday. Of course there was no translation again during
22 that clip, which was the procedure we had adopted with the testimony of
23 Mr. Limaj. May I ask, we have prepared a transcript -- a translation of
24 the words that were spoken on the video. I've provided it to Defence
25 counsel, and I would just ask that for the purposes of the record that
1 that transcript be inserted into the record at the places where the video
2 was played. I don't think Defence counsel has a problem with that as long
3 as they have an opportunity to check the transcript.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It appears to me it may be better if it's an
5 exhibit rather than inserted into the transcript.
6 MR. WHITING: That's fine. I've provided it to the Court and to
7 Defence counsel. If it could be given an exhibit number.
8 JUDGE PARKER: If it's done that way, if there then emerges, when
9 it's looked at, any problem with the translation, it will be much more
10 readily corrected and dealt with.
11 It will be received as an exhibit if that's been provided.
12 THE REGISTRAR: With the explicit provision that the registry gets
13 a copy, yes, it will be P249, Your Honour.
14 MR. WHITING: I have a copy, if that could be provided to the
16 With that, I have no further questions. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
18 Mr. Mansfield.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Mansfield:
20 Q. Mr. Selimi, I want to start by asking you some more questions
21 about a recorded interview which is before the Tribunal at the moment,
22 although not exhibited, where you were interviewed by the Prosecution on
23 the 2nd of April, 2004. Do you still have the transcript in front of you?
24 It was there yesterday.
25 MR. MANSFIELD: I would ask Your Honours, please, to ...
1 Q. Now, it's clear from this transcript that you had been asked to
2 attend as a witness, and that is how you were interviewed. Is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now I, therefore, don't go through those pages, but I do want to
5 go through the context of some of the questions you've been asked. Could
6 you kindly turn to page 38. You have been asked questions about topics
7 further up this page, but I'd like you to look at the bottom of this page
8 where you're being asked about the formation of the operational zones and
9 who was in charge of them. Do you see that? It's at the bottom of
10 page 38.
11 A. Only the question in English, but maybe the answer is on the
12 following page.
13 Q. That's correct. Now, on the following page, 39, you indicate that
14 a preferred person becomes the commander of a zone and you were asked who
15 those persons were. Do you see those questions?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you indicate you know them all and then you name the first one
18 as being Sylejman Selimi; that's at the bottom of page 39. And if you
19 turn over the page to 40, you specify in turn all the zones. Now, in the
20 context of that answer you mention, third zone down, Drenica you've
21 mentioned at the top, is Pastrik and the commander, the first one, was
22 Muse Jashari. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And later on, others. Just pausing for a moment. Who were the
25 others who came later?
1 A. The Pastrik Operational Zone in the beginning of the plan, of the
2 idea, the commander of this zone was envisaged to be Muse Jashari, but it
3 was difficult. And later continue when Muse Jashari became a chief of
4 communications at the General Staff, Ekrem Rexha became commander of this
5 zone. And when Ekrem Rexha assumed another duty and position at General
6 Staff, Tahir Sinani became commander of the Pastrik zone. In other words,
7 the Pastrik Operational Zone ended the war with three commanders, with
8 Tahir Sinani the commander, the last one.
9 Q. Now, in terms -- you started the answer there by indicating that
10 there was a plan at the beginning. Could you clarify when -- if you can
11 remember, when the plan was being discussed and talked about.
12 A. During the developments, as for the organisation of the Drenice
13 Operational Zone, it was necessary for it to become a zone. It was Muse
14 Jashari who preferred to take part in the formation of this zone. He went
15 to Malisheve because at that time there were many guerrilla units
16 scattered in many areas, and Muse Jashari did not manage to restructure
17 the zone.
18 Later on it was asked from Ekrem Rexha who came from abroad, I
19 don't know from where, he was asked to take responsibility for the
20 organisation of this zone. In other words, the Pastrik Operational Zone
21 faced many difficulties in its restructuring.
22 Q. What were the many difficulties in the attempt to restructure that
24 A. I wouldn't say "restructuring" before it being structured.
25 Because at that time it was necessary to structure a zone, not to
1 restructure it, because there was no previous structure. One of the most
2 important issues was the stretch-out of the terrain. The Pastrik
3 Operational Zone began from the Pastrik mountains, which was on the border
4 with Albania, west from Prizren. Another problem was that there were many
5 fightings going on and the flux of information of - correction - of
6 population coming from endangered area to this area, either from the
7 municipality of Suhareke or other municipalities.
8 Q. So could you give us some idea when you think the first structure
9 of any kind could be said to have existed in Pastrik -- in the Pastrik
11 A. In the beginning, it was envisaged for the Pastrik Operational
12 Zone to begin from Pastrik Mountain and to include Prizren, Rahovec, and
13 Malisheve, and extend up to the mountains of Berisa. The other side of
14 the Berisa Mountains could be adjoined to the Nerodime Operational Zone,
15 because the majority of the villages there belonged to Lipjan
16 municipality, which was intended to be part of the Nerodime zone.
17 However, this plan did not come true and the Pastrik Operational
18 Zone was formed as it was until the end of the war. We can say without
19 hesitation that the structuring of the Pastrik zone began in August 1998,
20 and the planning of the future brigades that would belong to this
21 operational zone began without knowing the exact number of the brigades.
22 Q. Now, just going -- yes, I'm asked if you would be kind enough to
23 just keep it a little slower for the interpreters. I appreciate it's
24 sometimes difficult.
25 Now, just going back to the transcript on pages 40 and 41 - I
1 don't read them all out, they're all there - you give the names of other
2 commanders. Now, I want to just come to a section where you say -- you're
3 talking about the level of organisation --
4 MR. WHITING: Excuse me. I'm sorry, Your Honour. I -- I don't
5 really understand why for these questions it's necessary to go through the
6 transcript, why these questions can't simply be put to the witness rather
7 than led through the transcript.
8 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, Your Honour, I'm going to ask, in fact, if
9 there's no objection that this transcript -- so far it hasn't been
10 exhibited, that in fact it's exhibited, and in that sense obviously I
11 don't have to read it into the record. If there's no objection to that, I
12 can do that now.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Is there objection, Mr. Whiting? And secondly,
14 does that overcome your objection? Two different objections.
15 MR. WHITING: I understand. Well, I -- I have -- I frankly
16 haven't considered whether this -- I have a practical problem of this
17 transcript coming into evidence, but that's not been the practice that
18 we've followed of prior statements of witnesses coming into evidence.
19 That's --
20 JUDGE PARKER: It was relied upon you in cross-examination.
21 MR. WHITING: Right. And the passages that I relied on were put
22 into the record, which has been the practice. And it has not been -- with
23 one exception, it has not been the practice to put in prior statements.
24 In fact, it has been strictly the rule that we have not, and that's
25 been --
1 JUDGE PARKER: That's you, the person calling the witness. Now,
2 this Mr. Mansfield in re-examination.
3 MR. WHITING: And it's his witness. He's trying to put in the
4 prior transcript.
5 JUDGE PARKER: On which you cross-examined.
6 MR. WHITING: Right. But when the Defence has cross-examined on
7 using transcripts we have then sought to put in, there's been objection
8 and they have not gone into evidence. So I don't -- I don't understand
9 why --
10 JUDGE PARKER: I take it, Mr. Mansfield, there is objection. I
11 did what I could for you. Now --
12 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, I will continue without the transcript for
13 the moment.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
15 MR. MANSFIELD: And perhaps the argument about the mission of this
16 transcript can come later.
17 Q. Can I just continue -- we're talking about the level of
18 organisation. You were talking about it to the Prosecutor in the
19 interview. Was the level of organisation in the various zones, as they
20 came into being, the same for each zone?
21 A. No. The level of organisation was not the same and could not be
22 the same. I will try to be helpful in order to provide you with a clear
23 picture of the level of organisation at the war zones in that time.
24 Q. Yes, if you could do that, and could you remember the interpreters
25 while you do it, please.
1 A. I will do my best. The Drenica Operational Zone, which became
2 such in May 1998, was the zone more advanced in comparison to others, both
3 to the number of its fighters and other. The Drenice Operational Zone was
4 Jashari's -- Adem Jashari's zone, a zone where many fightings had taken
5 place. Therefore, it was the first zone who had the circumstances under
6 which it could be formed. And other villages and other zones were not
7 equal in doing the same as Drenica.
8 The structuring of units in different positions and in different
9 areas, Drenica was like a year ahead compared to other zones. Therefore,
10 seeing and facing all these advantages, we concentrated in Drenica in
11 order to create the zone. In the beginning, a command was established in
12 the Drenica Operational Zone. All the soldiers in that area and on basis
13 of their will, Commander Sylejman Selimi was appointed the commander of
14 the zone, and other zones now could follow the example of Drenica, zones
15 that were to be formed in the future. So for a relatively long period,
16 the Drenica Operational Zone was structured and became a model for
17 structuring other zones. It was in summer of 1998 when Drenica zone had
18 acquired its profile, and now we had to start creating the other
19 operational zone, the Dukagjini and Pastrik Operational Zones, and with
20 this we began in the end of the summer. We began to apply this model to
21 the new zones.
22 In addition, in structuring the Drenice Operational Zone, only the
23 borders of this zone were delineated without interfering with the borders
24 of other operational zones. The circumstances in the terrain caused us
25 this delay, information and establishment of other operational zones of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the KLA.
2 Q. Now, I want to ask you a few more questions about Fatmir Limaj.
3 You were -- you were asked about, in particular -- I think there can't be
4 objection to me at least quoting the transcript that was quoted to you.
5 It's -- in fact, if you need to see it it's on page 68. If you just turn
6 to page 68. This part of the transcript has already been asked about,
7 pages 68 and 69.
8 Now, in particular you were asked about the fact that when he went
9 to Malisheve he was looking for people. Can you just expand on that. Was
10 that -- first of all, was that an official role, a military position, that
11 he had at that time, looking for people, or what?
12 A. As I said and repeat, Mr. Fatmir Limaj went to his birth place to
13 look for people. That means we hadn't enough people or structures enough
14 to form an operational unit at that time.
15 Something else. I want to repeat that Fatmir Limaj had no call
16 and no role and no obligation from anybody to plan or to design an
17 organisational or operational plan at this zone. It was a rule that was
18 imperative -- model imperative for every soldier who was a member of KLA,
19 at the beginning to go to his birth place and to recruit his own people.
20 The same thing he did in Switzerland some years before. Fatmir Limaj
21 didn't go to his birth place to visit his family but to look how he could
22 serve his forces. With the possibility and with the circumstances
23 existing, it was the first still unit that was formed in this region and
24 in this region -- this vicinities.
25 Q. Now, in this context, another word was put to you from the
1 transcripts, the word being "coordinating" or "coordination role." Can
2 you just explain that for the moment?
3 A. Allow me to explain you. In the transcript it's
4 written "coordinating person." Fatmir Limaj or neither -- no personnels
5 could go to Malisheve without previous coordination. Without agreement
6 with whom he would go and with what car, which vehicle he should go. Each
7 of his actions and of his collaborators were previously agreed with his
8 collaborators. We spoke to each other. We were in a battle. We were a
9 well-coordinated, and we previously knew in our structure. I personally
10 knew and I said that one of the coordinators who looked for more recruits
11 was he. I interpret his function in this way, one of the best recruiters.
12 Q. Having recruited people to join the KLA, would he have any further
13 role after that?
14 A. Fatmir Limaj at the beginning worked with the unit Celiku 1 at a
15 specified place; I think it was the Malisheve region. At September
16 1999 -- 1998, excuse me, after all the units were concentrated in certain
17 places, the units after Celiku, Lumi, [indiscernible], Sokoli, Luma and
18 others, he was assigned commandment of the Ismet Jashari, Kumanova, zone.
19 Q. I just ask you about the name "Celiku." Do you know by what name
20 he was known in the first place?
21 A. To me he was known as Fatmir. As soon as he arrived from
22 Switzerland, several persons who knew him knew him with the name Daja.
23 And during his stay in the Malisheve zone, in Malisheve commune or
24 municipality, in intercommunication between us he was known to me as
25 Celiku 1.
1 Q. And do you happen to know how that name came about?
2 A. Again, I will not call it a name or a pseudonym. Celiku 1 was a
3 communication code for us during communication between myself and him and
4 other co-fighters. This name was given when I gave him two radios that
5 would be used for communication between us. As I gave him two radios, I
6 suggested that one of them should be called Celiku 1 and the other
7 Celiku 2 so that I have the coded name in order to know where Celiku is
8 and to be able to contact him. So I suggested this and Fatmir accepted.
9 He was in a position not to accept if he wanted to, but he did accept it
10 and that's how it happened.
11 Q. Now, I want to turn from topics that arise in the transcript to
12 some other questions that you were asked. When did you become interior
13 minister in Kosovo?
14 A. During the international conference for Kosova organised at
15 Rambouillet and Paris, the Albanian delegation had reached an internal
16 agreement, according to which a provisional government should be formed
17 upon return to Kosova, which task would be to surpass the problems that
18 Kosova was going through at that time.
19 So a delegation of the KLA, of LDK, and another party that was
20 active at that time in Kosova known with the initials LBD drafted an
21 agreement for the provisional government of Kosova and the mandate was
22 given upon agreement to one of the KLA members. Those who undertook the
23 formation of this provisional government gave this post to me. And at
24 that time, I fulfilled the duty of the general inspector of the KLA and I
25 was in this post until the end of the war. So in April 1999, the
1 provisional government of Kosova was established.
2 Q. It was in this context that you were asked by the Prosecution
3 about being stopped and detained at a NATO checkpoint. And the suggestion
4 was that this happened in August of 1999. Now, if it's right that it is
5 1999, you were then interior minister. How often were you stopped at
6 checkpoints yourself in 1999?
7 A. I don't know exactly, but it wasn't a problem for me to be stopped
8 at KFOR checkpoints because KFOR at that time was on a peace mission.
9 And, therefore, for me it wasn't a problem, whether I would be stopped at
10 checkpoints or not, despite the fact that I was a Minister of the Interior
11 of the provisional government of Kosova. This, as I said earlier, was a
12 routine control and to me it was not a problem. What is said in that
13 report, most of it is not true; I don't know the reason why and I don't
14 know who received misinformation regarding the events at that time. I was
15 never against the rules of KFOR in Kosova and I never wanted to be against
16 such rules.
17 Q. Well, we don't have the details. If there are some I'd certainly
18 appreciate them being proffered to us. But the suggestion is that on an
19 occasion in August 1999 you pointed a gun at British troops. Now, first
20 of all, is there any truth in that?
21 A. Absolutely not.
22 Q. Have you ever been questioned on the basis that you had done that?
23 A. I don't remember.
24 Q. Have you ever been charged with any offence related to pointing a
25 gun at British troops?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. The next question you may not be able to answer but please pause
3 if you can't. If you had have pointed a gun at British troops in 1999,
4 what would have happened?
5 A. I would have been killed.
6 Q. Now, want to move on because the next suggestion to you was that
7 it was your house, but then qualified, not your house. A house that was
8 used by you was -- as a meeting place with others was searched and various
9 items were found; they were then listed. Now, can you recall that
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Were you present when this happened?
13 A. To my recollection, I wasn't present but I arrived there after
14 KFOR had started their search.
15 Q. And what was the place itself; do you recall?
16 A. This place was a private house in Pristina, property of an
17 Albanian living in the United States, who voluntarily after the war had
18 given this house to the KLA units to use it in Pristina. After this, as
19 we needed a facility that we could use for our work in the government,
20 these fighters showed us this house and told us that we could use it
21 because they no longer had need for that house. This house is situated in
22 Ulpiani neighbourhood in Pristina. I don't know the name of the owner. We
23 didn't stay long in that house. We just spent some time in order to make
24 the computer connections and to establish other things necessary for the
25 functioning of the administration.
1 Q. So far as the items found, the weapons and so on there, were they
2 anything to do with you?
3 A. No. They had nothing to do with me personally because this
4 facility had been previously used by a KLA unit, and I cannot be certain
5 whether they left behind equipment from the war.
6 Q. Again, were you ever questioned about any of this, yourself, at
7 the time?
8 A. I was never invited for questioning regarding this issue.
9 Q. I want to move on. You were then asked about something in 2000 --
10 an event in 2001, in June of 2001, and being placed on a blacklist by the
11 United States government. Now, do you remember that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And some other names were put who were also apparently on this
14 list. Were you ever told why you were on this list?
15 A. No, I was never told, despite the fact that I had made two
16 official requests for me to be informed for the reasons of putting my name
17 on this list, which I do not call a blacklist. But some names who were
18 previously on this list are now partners with EU international community
20 Q. The suggestion being made, at least by the United States
21 Government, according to the question, is that you posed a risk of
22 threatening peace in the region. That's part of it. Now, in this period,
23 2001, were you engaged in any activity at all that was posing a threat to
24 this region? The peace of the region, sorry, to be more precise.
25 A. During this time I was member of the Kosova Protection Corps and
1 commander of the defence academy. I was involved in training KPC members
2 who are building peace, and they never participated in anything that could
3 pose a threat to the peace in the region.
4 Q. Specifically, were you, yourself, licensed or authorised to
5 possess any weapons of any kind?
6 A. Yes. I had an authorised weapon by KFOR.
7 Q. And you mentioned bodyguards in answer to these questions earlier.
8 Did you have one bodyguard or more than one?
9 A. At that time I had two bodyguards who were also in possession of a
10 weapon authorised by KFOR.
11 Q. And what about ammunition for the weapons?
12 A. Of course we did.
13 Q. A final question: From 1999 until the present have you been
14 charged with any offences arising out of any of these suggestions that
15 have been made?
16 A. No, never.
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honours, that's all I ask unless Your Honours
18 have any ...
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.
20 Mr. Selimi, thank you very much. That concludes the questions
21 that are asked of you, so you're now free to go with the court officer and
22 go back to your country. I'm sorry you had to be delayed over this last
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Your next witness.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: She's here. It's slightly out of order. You will
3 understand immediately I announce why she is being taken slightly out of
4 order. Her name is Carolyn McCool and essentially she knew this defendant
5 after the war.
6 Carolyn McCool, please.
7 There is an updated curriculum vitae which has been provided to
8 everyone, and I think Your Honours have a copy of that. May I just
9 indicate there is a further filing, annex 5, which relates to the
10 organisation for which this witness worked at the time from Dan Everts.
11 You will recall in fact I read some of this in the opening in November.
12 I think there's been a mild hiatus here because -- could someone
13 very kindly -- perhaps someone from our team could go -- there's no usher
14 so she hasn't been actually asked for. I think she's just behind the
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, without being too explicit, I think
18 when she comes in it will be obvious she's been suffering from an illness
19 over the recent past, and one of the reasons she has to leave is to
20 continue the treatment.
21 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Whoever is behind the door is not the witness you
23 were anticipating.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: The person behind the door was expecting to be
1 called next.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, he was expecting to be called next. But --
3 yes --
4 JUDGE PARKER: So --
5 MR. MANSFIELD: I can understand why there's been a confusion.
6 But I know Carolyn McCool is here myself because I've spoken with her
7 myself just before we came in. I'm sorry, if we could perhaps break
8 shortly while this is sorted out.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps we will have an early break now and stretch
10 the next two sessions as a consequence.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: I do apologise. I'm sorry for this.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. We will adjourn now and resume at 20 minutes
14 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: That should give you time enough.
16 MR. MANSFIELD: Fine. Yes.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.16 p.m.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 --- On resuming at 3.45 p.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, Mrs. McCool.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the
23 card that's been given to you.
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
25 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: May I thank Your Honours for the time in locating
3 the witness and apologise to the witness for the hiatus.
4 WITNESS: CAROLYN McCOOL
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examined by Mr. Mansfield:
7 Q. Is your name Carolyn McCool?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. And Their Honours have your curriculum vitae. It is clear that
10 there was a time when you had an intimate involvement in events in Kosovo.
11 Is that right?
12 A. I was in Kosovo from August 1999 until September of 2002.
13 Q. We can see from your -- the curriculum vitae I've mentioned that
14 you're a qualified lawyer. You've held a large number of different
15 positions both for government and non-government agencies over a number of
16 years. Is that right?
17 A. Yes. I was called to the bar in the province of British Columbia
18 in Canada in 1977 and practiced law in that province until I went to
19 Kosovo in 1999.
20 Q. Now, we can see on the first page of the CV itself the dates
21 you've mentioned. You were a director of the mission in Kosovo of the
22 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE, which had
23 at that time responsibility for supporting the development of institutions
24 of government and civil society in line with the principles of the rule of
1 A. Yes, that's correct. It had that mandate under UN Security
2 Council Resolution Number 1244, I believe, if memory serves me correctly,
3 and was the -- one of the four pillars of the United Nations Mission in
4 Kosovo with the responsibility for what is called institution-building,
5 and I was a director of that mission in two different capacities from 1999
6 until 2002.
7 Q. And again, just linking it with Kosovo, it's clear on the third
8 page of your CV that in June 2004 you were awarded the Canadian
9 peacekeeping medal for service in the cause of peace in Kosovo during
10 those years?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Now, just briefly before we return to Kosovo, again it's on the
13 first page of your CV, you've done a number of things since being in
14 Kosovo. Most recently, from August to December 2004, you were
15 commissioned by another international government organisation on
16 constitution building in Afghanistan. Is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. I -- if I understand correctly the reference
18 that you're making to that page of the CV, I was asked to co-author a
19 paper on constitution building in Afghanistan by an organisation which is
20 based in Sweden called the International Institute for Democracy and
21 Electoral --
22 Q. IDEA.
23 A. IDEA. International IDEA. And we almost never use anything but
24 the acronym, so I was struggling with the full name. Yes, along with a
25 young Afghan-American colleague wrote a paper on International IDEA in
2 Q. Yes, I pause so -- for the interpreters because it's being
3 translated. I think the A is assistance in IDEA.
4 A. I think you're correct.
5 Q. And then in January of 2005 you were drafting another paper for
6 the establishment of an appeals commission in connection with electoral
7 matters, again in Afghanistan?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Now, can I take you back to Kosovo. I want to ask you about
10 Fatmir Limaj. Do you remember when you first met him and where you first
11 met him?
12 A. I've been trying to remember, anticipating that you would ask me
13 that. I believe that the first time I met Mr. Limaj was early in 2001 at
14 a reception that was hosted by the American embassy or the USAID for
15 someone who was leaving or arriving. I don't remember the exact
16 circumstances, but it was at a restaurant in Pristina, and I believe that
17 was the first time that we met, although I'm not 100 per cent certain but
18 I'm almost 100 per cent certain that that was the first time we ever met
19 each other. I was the newly appointed as the director of democratisation
20 in Pristina. Up to that point in time I had been living in Mitrovica, in
21 the north of Kosovo and Mr. Limaj had been -- was in Pristina, so we had
22 not known each other prior to my having gone to Pristina.
23 Q. Do you recall at that time what his position was?
24 A. Well, I think of Mr. Limaj being a vice-president of the political
25 party, the PDK, the Democratic Party of Kosovo. And he later, after being
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 elected to the central assembly of Kosovo, became the head of the
2 parliamentary group for the PDK in that assembly, if I remember correctly.
3 Now, whether he held that first position of vice-president early in 2001,
4 I can't confirm absolutely, but I believe that is so. He was a very
5 senior member of the PDK from as far back as I remember.
6 Q. Now, having met him early in 2001, thereafter did you have regular
7 contact with him?
8 A. Yes, I did. In a variety of different ways, which included
9 meetings in his offices, meetings in my offices. Between the two of us
10 alone as well as in the context of larger meetings between Albanians and
11 Serbs and representatives of different ethnic communities in Kosovo.
12 Q. Did you get to know him well?
13 A. I think so. We -- Mr. Limaj became one of those leaders in Kosovo
14 whom I trusted implicitly. We would talk about politics in ways which I
15 found it very difficult to talk to a lot of people, in a way that was open
16 and candid in which he would disclose the difficulties that he had as a
17 leader. I would talk about the difficulties that I had as a foreigner.
18 And it was really in the course of developing that relationship, if I may
19 call it that, that I came to learn some of the things I didn't know I
20 didn't know about Kosovo. And I think Mr. Limaj may have come to realise
21 some of the things he didn't know about institution-building. So it was
22 very much a mutual relationship in which I think we I think learned from
23 each other, and I found it a source of -- it helped to increase my
24 confidence level in Kosovo enormously because of the manner in which he
25 spoke to me and the trust which I placed in his judgement.
1 Q. Now, as that relationship developed, can you just describe how he
2 approached the problems that you both were facing in that year and
4 A. Mr. Limaj approached these problems which were enormous and
5 remained enormous. The whole question of the development of a
6 multi-ethnic society in Kosovo is one which is moving very slowly, very
7 slowly, in its resolution. Mr. Limaj's approach, more and more, as I knew
8 him, was to try to resolve that -- those problems, that host of problems,
9 by talking to people. And by that, I don't simply mean foreigners like
10 me. I mean by talking with representatives of other ethnic communities,
11 most notably the Kosovo-Serbian community. And of course it's the
12 relationship between the Albanian and the Serbian people which is at the
13 heart of the history of Kosovo since at least the 1980s.
14 Mr. Limaj, in my view, and in the period I knew him developed
15 qualities of leadership, which included a vision of a multi-ethnic Kosovo.
16 And he did this not simply by sitting in his office and talking to his PDK
17 colleagues, but by leaving those offices and talking with Serbs as well as
18 representatives of other ethnic communities, as well as foreigners such as
20 So he was one of those people that Serbian leaders were prepared
21 to talk to and he was prepared to talk to them. This was in the context
22 of sometimes rather public meetings, meetings that the media had been
23 advised of and would report on later, as well as more private meetings,
24 sometimes involving just a very few number of people which were not
25 publicly known at all. Because one of the things that Mr. Limaj was
1 having to do as he grew in stature as a leader was balance his vision of a
2 developing multi-ethnic society against some of the views of some of his
3 constituents which were still locked in the sort of historical embrace of
4 antipathy, indeed hatred, at some levels. And he was indeed moving beyond
5 that and prepared to talk to people about how they were going to make this
6 thing work in the end. And this was, in my view, one of the things that
7 was most interesting about Mr. Limaj, is that this was not done simply for
8 the benefit of the donor community, in order to get the funding or the
9 benefits that go with pleasing the donors in a post-conflict situation.
10 One of the reasons that I felt continually interested in talking with him
11 was because it was clear that he was doing this because he was developing
12 a vision of Kosovo for the future which would serve all of the people of
13 that land.
14 Q. Now, I appreciate it's sometimes difficult looking back to
15 remember particular examples or events that you recognise at the time and
16 then they're flooded out by events that happened. But are there any
17 particular examples or events that address the issues you've just ...
18 A. Well, yes. There -- there were a series of -- there are a couple
19 of ways in which I can answer that question. There were a series of
20 meetings that were held at our offices at the OSCE, which included
21 representatives of all ethnic communities and of course predominantly the
22 Albanian and the Serbian people of Kosovo. Mr. Limaj was regularly one of
23 the Albanian representatives in these meetings and regularly spoke at
24 these meetings in a very impassioned manner. He has a -- almost a
25 charismatic way of speaking at times. And he -- I can remember him
1 sitting across the table in our boardroom from Serbian leaders and
2 speaking with vehement passion about the position of the Albanian people
3 in Kosovo, while at the same time proposing a path forward which would
4 allow them all to get to a better future. He, in these meetings, was one
5 of the -- regularly one of the most articulate people present without
6 any -- without any question whatsoever.
7 But there were also smaller meetings which Mr. Limaj agreed to be
8 involved in with Serbian leaders at which more candid discussions took
9 place. And I remember one meeting at which Mr. Limaj in fact proposed a
10 whole plan of action whereby the assembly of Kosovo could engage in
11 dialogue with similar bodies in surrounding countries and jurisdictions -
12 with other parliamentarians basically - to work on -- he mentioned
13 economic development as being the greatest priority on a regional basis,
14 as well as other issues of mutual concern. And he and these Serbian
15 leaders were in fact in agreement on this kind of plan of action. This
16 was -- this was in the -- this was just before I left Kosovo in September
17 of 2002. And indeed, had not Mr. Limaj come to be here, I believe that he
18 probably would have pursued those plans. And it may be that in the end
19 something comes of that; we shall see.
20 So there were two ways -- in terms of actual examples, there are,
21 again, the two types of meetings that come to my mind which I've just
23 Q. Just one further question on that. At any time during the
24 occasions that you met or on any other occasion, did you ever hear him,
25 that is Fatmir Limaj, express any derogatory or discriminatory remark
1 about ethnic minorities, and in particular Serbs?
2 A. No, I did not.
3 Q. Now, finally this: You've expressed views very clearly this
4 afternoon. Were the views that you've expressed shared by those with whom
5 you worked, and in particular the head of the task force, Dan Everts?
6 A. I'm just waiting for the interpreters to --
7 Q. That's fine.
8 A. Yes. Mr. Limaj was widely regarded very, very well by the senior
9 members of my mission, and that includes the man who was my head of
10 mission for most of my time there, Dan Everts, who is from the Netherlands
11 and I believe is working here in The Hague at some point -- or at some
12 place these days. But Mr. Everts had a very favourable view of Mr. Limaj,
13 as did other members of the senior management team.
14 Q. I wonder as a postscript of that if we might exhibit as annex 5 --
15 it was originally annex 5. It is a letter from Dan Everts dated in 2003.
16 It's a letter which has already been before the Tribunal on an earlier
17 occasion and which -- part of which I read to Your Honours in the opening,
18 and the CV, yes, if they could be exhibited, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, they'll be received -- together, I think,
20 Mr. Mansfield?
21 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, please.
22 Q. Thank you. If you just wait there.
23 A. Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE PARKER: The court officer needs a copy, Mr. Mansfield.
1 MR. MANSFIELD: I think they have them but we'll provide another
2 one now. Thank you very much. Could we submit the CV a bit later; we
3 haven't got a spare of that at the moment. So it's just the letter.
4 MR. WHITING: I have a copy of the CV.
5 MR. MANSFIELD: Oh, thank you very much.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This paper is tendered into exhibit under the
7 reference DL14, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 Mr. Guy-Smith.
10 MR. GUY-SMITH: No questions. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Mr. Topolski.
13 MR. TOPOLSKI: Nor I, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 Mr. Whiting.
16 MR. WHITING: No questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
18 Well, Mrs. McCool, you'll be pleased and relieved. You're
19 familiar enough with the procedure to realise that that concludes your
21 THE WITNESS: Well --
22 JUDGE PARKER: May we thank you very much for your attendance and
23 assistance. It's been quite a long journey by the look, and we are happy
24 to tell you that you may now of course go back to your home and your own
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. It's been my honour and a
2 pleasure to appear in front of you today. Thank you.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE PARKER: I don't know whether it will speed up the process
5 or not, but the next witness, Mr. Mansfield.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I'm hoping this is the witness who is now
7 behind the door again. It's Elmi Sopi, please. Prosecution Exhibit 1
8 will be needed for this witness.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I just inquire before we begin, are we going to
11 have two directs? Is that the plan?
12 JUDGE PARKER: This witness is called by two of the accused; that
13 is my expectation.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: We had thought that Mr. Mansfield would do a
15 direct, I would do a cross, Mr. Topolski would do a cross, then I would do
16 a direct and Mr. Mansfield will do a cross. We don't want to load him up.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I think that could be a very sound procedure, but
18 perhaps in the interests of time we might limit you and Mr. Mansfield to
19 one examination-in-chief each.
20 MR. GUY-SMITH: Very well.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud
22 the affirmation on the card that is put before you. Are you able to
23 understand what is being said in your language?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
1 and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
3 Mr. Mansfield.
4 WITNESS: ELMI SOPI
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examined by Mr. Mansfield:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sopi. I'm standing over here, representing
8 Fatmir Limaj.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Speak slowly because, as you will appreciate, everything has to be
11 interpreted and then I wait for the interpreter to finish before I
12 continue. And it would be helpful if you could do the same. Is that all
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, your name is Elmi Sopi?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where were you born?
18 A. Lapusnik.
19 Q. Don't be worried. They're not imposing anything on you.
20 And if I may just lead you on your date of birth. You were born
21 in the year of 1955?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And throughout your early life in Lapusnik, did you live in the
24 same house all the time?
25 A. Yes. I have lived all the time in one house.
1 Q. Did you go to school?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And where did you go to school?
4 A. The primary school in Lapusnik and then in the high school
5 technical school in Drenoc. I did four years of high school in Komorane
6 and then a technical school in Drenoc.
7 Q. And after qualifying at school, what did you do?
8 A. I did the military service in Sarajevo [realtime transcript read
9 in error "Carraleve"]. After finishing the military service, I went to
10 Croatia to work in the construction business. And in 1979 I started to
11 work in Ramiz Sadiku construction enterprise in Pristina.
12 Q. And how long did you remain in Pristina, working in Pristina at
13 that job?
14 A. I worked until 1992.
15 Q. What happened in 1992?
16 A. In 1992, the Belgrade regime dismissed us. We were over 8.000
17 workers. In that enterprise, there were about 10.000 workers. 8.000 were
18 dismissed immediately. But this was a misfortune that befell not only to
19 the place of work where I worked. That was something that happened to all
20 the work establishments in Kosova, in education, in health, and in all the
21 other organisations.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry to interrupt. I was alerted to an error
25 I believe in the transcript. I think the witness said he did his military
1 service in Sarajevo. That's what I heard.
2 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I agree.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
4 MR. MANSFIELD:
5 Q. After you had been made redundant by the Serbian government, what
6 did you then do?
7 A. I worked with my brothers and sons in private enterprises in
8 Kosova until the war broke out mostly in construction work.
9 Q. Now, I want to ask you questions which concern your personal
10 position by the beginning of 1998. First -- sorry.
11 First question is: Where were you living in Kosovo at the
12 beginning of 1998?
13 A. I lived in Lapusnik.
14 Q. How many other members of your family lived in Lapusnik?
15 A. 35.
16 Q. And were they all dotted around in different places in Lapusnik or
17 were they concentrated in one area of Lapusnik?
18 A. They were concentrated in one area. We were six brothers, and we
19 lived in a compound, family compound.
20 Q. Now, if I were to show you an aerial photograph of Lapusnik, would
21 you be able to show us on the photograph where that house or compound was
22 where you lived with your brothers?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honours, I have a clean copy. It is in fact
25 image 8 of P1, aerial image of Lapusnik.
1 I wonder if it could be put on the monitor again, the ELMO.
2 Q. Would you very kindly just familiarise yourself with the
3 photograph, and then I'm going to ask if you could take a felt pen and
4 circle the place where your house was, if you can see it.
5 A. It's here.
6 Q. Yes. Could you just put a circle around it so we can see.
7 A. [Marks].
8 Q. Now, if you could -- because there may be other places we're going
9 to ring on this photograph, could you put very obviously the number 1
10 against that circle.
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. Thank you. Now, just to be as precise as possible, by the
13 beginning of 1998 how many of you were living in the family compound
14 within that circle you've just put on the photograph?
15 A. I think I told you earlier we were 35 members.
16 Q. So all 35 were in the compound?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were there any other relatives that you had that lived elsewhere
19 in Lapusnik?
20 A. Yes, nearby.
21 Q. Roughly within what distance of the circle there?
22 A. Ferat Sopi lives -- his house is divided from us by a wall.
23 Q. Anyone else?
24 A. There is Shaban Sopi, Afrim Sopi, Hajrush Sopi, Nazif Sopi. They
25 live a little bit further. On the lower part of the circle is the house
1 of Gani Gashi.
2 Q. Now, I want to ask you before we move on in 1998, by this time had
3 you joined the KLA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did you join?
6 A. I joined the KLA after the Likoshan-Qirez-Prekaz massacres.
7 Q. Where did you join?
8 A. I joined the KLA because I had two friends of mine who were
9 friends with Ferat Shala. At that time I didn't know Ferat Shala. They
10 talked with him and they came to me, these two friends of mine, and we
11 organised ourselves in our own village to protect the population. Before
12 the KLA came to Lapusnik, we organised ourselves, we organised guards to
13 protect the village from the 28th of February, 1998.
14 Q. Had anything happened before the 28th of February, 1998, that --
15 A. Before the 28th of February, 1998, on the 25th of February, 1998,
16 in my own house came 20 policemen, Serb policemen, with an Albanian
17 policeman who was working with them. His name was Hajdar Mustafa [phoen].
18 They came to arrest one of my brothers. But the day we happened not to be
19 at home but were working out in the fields. The father came out and
20 talked with the policemen. They told my father that they were looking for
21 Haradin; they wanted to arrest him. My father told them that for the
22 moment he was not there and that he would inform him and that the
23 policemen told him these words: If he -- if Haradin doesn't come to
24 report tomorrow to the police station in Gllogovc, we will arrest you and
25 your entire family.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And on the next day, I had, myself, to accompany my brother to the
2 police station. And there, Hajdar Mustafa told me that on Saturday I had
3 to go to Komorane, it was a market day, to meet him and to tell him in
4 which prison they had taken my brother. I went to Komorane, but
5 unfortunately I couldn't meet Hajdar. At 12.00 I saw him running to his
6 car, Niva, accompanied by some Serb policemen, and I couldn't speak to him
7 about my brother -- couldn't find out which prison my brother was. Then I
8 went to a village in Obliq municipality to a cousin of mine, the son of my
9 aunt, and decided to go to Lipjan prison to find out whether my brother
10 was there.
11 When we arrived at Lipjan checkpoint -- crossroads, the Serb
12 police stopped us. They asked me to come out of the car. I was from
13 Gllogovc communal assembly. They surrounded me. One of them asked
14 questions, whereas the others started to slander me and to curse me in the
15 way they used. They beat me but they didn't kill me.
16 On that day I decided not to go along the asphalt road. And
17 because of the violence used against us and the massacres perpetrated, I
18 made up my mind to join the KLA.
19 Q. What happened to your brother?
20 A. My brother was imprisoned. To my recollection, he did 30 days of
21 jail and then they released him.
22 Q. Now, I want to move to the 28th of February when you began to
23 guard the village of Lapusnik. How many of you were involved in that?
24 A. I cannot tell you the exact number, but those who were there aged
25 18 to 50, all of them participated in this action. Before the KLA arrived
1 in Lapusnik, we did -- we kept guard 24 hours.
2 Q. Did any of you have weapons?
3 A. No. Maybe some of us had some hunting guns, but we didn't dare
4 give them the arms because some of them hadn't done the military service.
5 Only those who knew how to use the weapon, the gun, we gave these hunting
6 guns, but we didn't have any other weapons.
7 Q. Did you have one of these hunting guns?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. Did any of you have a uniform of any kind?
10 A. No. At that time, nobody had uniforms.
11 Q. Was any one of you in charge of the rest?
12 A. No. It was a voluntary form of organisation because it was a
13 life-and-death issue for us, and everything we did, we did it on a
14 voluntary basis to help our families and our households.
15 Q. Now, this, as you say, is before the KLA arrived. When did the
16 KLA arrive?
17 A. The KLA arrived on the 9th of May in Lapusnik.
18 Q. Could you describe, please, what happened on the 9th of May?
19 A. On the date, on the 9th of May, Serb police forces came and took
20 positions in Gradines Guri at about 8.00 in the morning. We were all
21 following developments. They went to Gradines Guri above the school.
22 Without any pretexts, without any reason, they started to fire at the
23 entire village, all over the place. I went and took my sick father, my
24 grandmother, who was over 90, and my mother, and took out my car and we
25 couldn't move because the war -- the roads were unpassable, blocked.
1 There was a helicopter of the Serb forces that was flying above my car. I
2 asked my father, grandmother, and my mother to come out of the car and I
3 hid them in the forest and myself took refuge there until the helicopter
4 flew away.
5 And then at around 11.00 Ymer Alushani came with seven or eight
6 comrades. All of them were dressed in civilian clothes, but all of
7 them were armed.
8 Q. Before that day, did you know Ymer Alushani?
9 A. I knew him since childhood.
10 Q. Did he live in Lapusnik or somewhere else?
11 A. No. He lives in Komorane -- he has lived in Komorane.
12 Q. Now, when they -- when he came with seven or eight comrades, what
13 happened after that?
14 A. I told Ymer what was happening. He came and asked me what was
15 happening after having heard the shots. I told him of the situation and
16 showed him where the Serb police forces were deployed. I also showed him
17 where some youths from the village were, some of them who had hunting
18 guns. And I told Ymer to go to the house of Haxhi Gashi or Kadri because
19 there you can find these youths. I couldn't leave alone my parents and
21 Ymer went to this house and met these people. After one hour, I
22 saw another group of soldiers descending from the mountains. They were
23 about 16 persons, all of them were armed. Two or three or four were
24 dressed in military clothes, in uniform. I called my brother, Valdet, and
25 I told him to go and join this group that was sheltered at Haxhiu's house.
1 And the two groups got together there, and my brother, Valdet, and Ramiz
2 Sopi led these people to go to the place where the Serbs were stationed
3 because they didn't know Lapusnik, the terrain, and didn't know which was
4 the best place to come closer to the Serb forces.
5 At about 13 hours, I heard the fire. I was far away but I saw a
6 smoke, a black smoke, rising. I left my parents and grandmother and went
7 to another place to have a better look. I saw the Serb forces withdrawing
8 towards Komorane. Then I went to see what had happened on the site of the
9 fighting. I saw a Pinzgauer were in flames. It was a Serb police
10 Pinzgauer. And I saw munitions -- numerous arms and munitions -- no, the
11 Pinzgauer had a lot of munitions and it was all in flames. For a long
12 time we didn't dare go near the place because of explosives -- because of
13 explosions. Correction.
14 Q. You mentioned there that a second group of 16 descended from the
15 mountains. Did you know any of the 16 that you saw?
16 A. No, I didn't know any one of them.
17 Q. After this day, that is the 9th of May, 1998, please describe how
18 events evolved over the next few days and weeks in Lapusnik?
19 A. After 9th of May --
20 Q. Yes, after the 9th of May, sorry.
21 A. On the 9th of May, we have an action and the Serbian forces were
22 expelled. We, the villagers, remained alone because those who helped us
23 who wanted to go where they came from. We knew Ymer Alushan and asked him
24 not to leave us on the fate's sake, on the mercy of the fates and to help
25 us further and to look for the possibility to house us. We asked him
1 [indiscernible]. We can house him and can settle him and for all his
2 soldiers, only don't leave us alone. Ymer Alushan discussed that with his
3 friends, and it's for sure that he discussed that with the other group
4 which -- starting from 19th of May were placed in our houses -- 9th of
5 May, excuse me. At the beginning there were only a few of them and we as
6 villagers helped them a lot and to position themselves and to have
8 Q. What did you, yourself, do in those days and weeks after the
9 9th of May?
10 A. I engaged myself into helping the friends in digging up trenches,
11 in organising -- in better organisation in order to protect the population
12 because we were on the first front line.
13 Q. Is there any way you can help by looking at the aerial photograph
14 again, which is to your left. Would it be possible on that photograph
15 just to point out the trenches that you've mentioned you were digging?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Perhaps you could do it with a felt -- if you wouldn't mind doing
18 it with a felt pen, just circling the area where you were digging the
19 trenches and putting a 2, a number 2, next to it.
20 A. Here is the Lapusnik school.
21 Q. Can you just -- we're not quite on screen. Just pause one minute.
22 Right. It's now on screen. Can you just point to the school again.
23 You've just mentioned it. Can you point to it.
24 A. Here on this spot below the Pristina-Peja main road is the
25 Lapusnik school. Here on the 9th of May were the Serb positions. They
1 were positioned here at this guri or rock. Shall I mark it?
2 Q. Yes, all right. If you wouldn't mind just doing a --
3 A. So here is the school and here were the Serb forces. Here -- the
4 mountain shows a place where the Pinzgauer was burnt down. We established
5 some positions above the place where the Pinzgauer was. Shall I mark the
6 line where the positions were?
7 Q. Yes. Could you -- before you mark the line where the positions
8 were, could you just give a number to the circle you've just done where
9 the school and so on -- put a number 2 by that so we can keep up with it.
10 If you could put a number 2.
11 A. Mark the school 2.
12 Q. And Serb positions with 3.
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. And then with a line mark where you were digging trenches after
16 A. Starting from here there was a canal, a position, and it ran along
17 this line. This line was a trench where the positions were. Here there
18 was a sheltering place on the corner, and here is the road, up to this
19 field here. And here it continued again, the line of positions. There
20 were no positions here. And here there was some positions. And these
21 positions are along this road. Here the position enters the opposite side
22 of the road and continues like this. There was another trench that
23 continued along this line and up to this place. These are the positions
24 that existed at Lapusnik.
25 Q. Yes, thank you. Would you just concentrate on this for a moment.
1 It's plain that trenches as extensive as that cannot have been made
2 overnight. Can you help us as to when these trenches were dug and the
3 order in which they were dug?
4 A. There was no trench on the 9th of May. From 9th of May onwards,
5 every day we dug up canals. The canal here, we opened it here. After
6 three or four days, the other one, because every day there was constant
7 firing, shooting, and there was no place for us to shelter. In addition,
8 this road here at the gas station, Thaqi brothers, the road that goes down
9 here, we opened another position here in case the Serb forces came and
10 entered the village. These two positions were on the first day -- well,
11 not on the first day but they were there after seven or eight days.
12 Then for some time, the youths from the village engaged in this.
13 And as a number of soldiers grew in Lapusnik, the trenches were then
15 Q. By what time do you think that the exercise of building trenches
16 that you have described had finished? Are we still in May; the next
17 month, June; or even July?
18 A. No. This took us, if I can say, to the very fall of the gorge.
19 This was done in June and July and everyone, like, worked on his own, open
20 trenches on his own. But facing the risk then, we opened the positions in
21 order to be able to withdraw. So it took us up to the time when the gorge
23 Q. Now, we know the date of that, which was the 26th of July.
24 A. Yes, I do know that.
25 Q. Was this any other fighting between the 9th of May and the 26th of
1 July in which you were involved?
2 A. Yes. I will say this: As of 9th of May there were many
3 fightings; however, the most severe one was the fighting of the 29th of
4 May. The combat went on for 16 hours. There were fightings before this
5 date as well, but they were of insignificant intensity, in which the Serb
6 police forces always used the weekends for these attacks because those few
7 humanitarian organisations, international organisations, operating in
8 Kosova were on holidays during weekends. And Serb police forces took
9 advantage of this so that they wouldn't be seen by the international
10 community in their deeds.
11 Q. Now, before we come to the 29th of May, by that date did you have
12 a radio that you could use?
13 A. I don't have any knowledge whether there was radio or not. I
14 didn't see anybody communicating via radio, and therefore I cannot say
15 that there was one.
16 Q. By the 29th of May, did you have a uniform?
17 A. Not more than seven, eight, or ten persons had uniforms. Some
18 made their uniforms out of the material of some military tents. Otherwise
19 there were no uniforms.
20 Q. Did the members of the KLA you were serving alongside, did the
21 group have a name or anything like that?
22 A. Well, as of the second day I found out that the unit was called
23 Celiku 3.
24 Q. From whom did you find that out?
25 A. I was told by Ymer Alushani about this because I didn't know the
2 Q. And during this period, were orders or commands being given to
3 each of you, and in particular obviously yourself?
4 A. No. I didn't receive any orders because in the beginning we were
5 organised as villagers. Later on, they came and whoever came to Lapusnik
6 to protect the population was holy to us because we didn't go to wage a
7 war in Belgrade, but they came to our thresholds. And that's why I'm
8 saying that they were holy, sacred, to us for the help they provided us
9 with, for preventing the Serbs from committing massacres over the
11 Q. And so far as weapons are concerned, were you still using your
12 hunting rifle or did you have other weapons by then, that's by the 29th of
14 A. Some had Kalashnikovs, some had M-48, some had old weapons which
15 names I don't know, but mostly we had hunting rifles.
16 Q. What proportion of the people around you knew how to use the
17 weapons, were trained in using the weapons?
18 A. No. Most of them had not completed their military service, as I
19 said earlier. Even us as villagers, when we stood guard duty, many who
20 didn't know how to use a weapon were not given one. At positions, they
21 learned from each other, the one who had knowledge of how to operate a
22 weapon taught the other, and that's how all of us came to learn how to use
23 a weapon and to fulfil our duty.
24 Q. Now, may I return to the 29th of May. Can you just describe what
25 happened on that day, please.
1 A. I can tell you that fighting began at 7.00 in the morning, to my
2 recollection, on the 29th of May, and they went on until 9.00 or
3 10.00 p.m. On that day, many soldiers from different areas came to assist
4 us. I didn't know them, but on that time -- day, I saw Fatmir Limaj as
5 well as he came to assist us together with Kumanova, who is Ismet Jashari.
6 There was also Haradin Bala. When I heard Kumanova asking him, Why are
7 you not here? You should come with me. Because Haradin Bala was of poor
8 health. I don't have any knowledge whether they knew each other, Kumanova
9 and Haradin, but this is what he told him. And after the 29th of May,
10 Haradin -- I no longer saw Haradin at Lapusnik.
11 Q. Now, you mentioned Fatmir Limaj. Had you seen him in Lapusnik
12 before the 29th of May?
13 A. Yes. I saw him during the first fightings on the 9th of May.
14 Q. And had you ever met him before that, namely before the 9th of
16 A. No, never. I didn't know him, I didn't know who he was and where
17 he was from.
18 Q. So far as you're aware, did Fatmir Limaj ever give you or anyone
19 else that you were aware of any orders or commands?
20 A. No. I didn't hear Fatmir Limaj giving order or command to someone
21 because he rarely came to Lapusnik. And on the occasions I saw him, he
22 did not come to Lapusnik to give orders but he came to fight. I always
23 saw him at the positions and in my courtyard and in my house.
24 Q. Now, during -- you mentioned obviously your house which you've
25 ringed. I want to ask you about a particular building. Did the -- did
1 your group of soldiers have a kitchen at any time which you used?
2 A. After the 9th of May for five or six days they brought us food
3 from Komorane, the villagers of Komorane brought us food. After five or
4 six days, we began to organise ourselves and we had our kitchen in the
5 house of Fadil Gashi.
6 Q. It may not be possible, but looking at the aerial photograph again
7 can we see his house on that, where the kitchen was situated?
8 A. I will continue for a bit more. The kitchen at Fadil Gashi's
9 house, we had it until the 29th of May. Shall I mark it, Fadil Gashi's
11 Q. Yes, please, with another circle. And I think we're up to
12 number 4.
13 A. [Marks].
14 If I may continue.
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. In this house was the kitchen, as I said, five or six days after
17 9th of May and until the 29th of May. On the 29th of May, as I mentioned
18 earlier, the combat went on for 16 hours. We went there to the kitchen to
19 have dinner. When we gathered, let's say we were about 50 soldiers except
20 for the guards who were on their positions, all of us were there in the
21 kitchen. The Serb forces from the field shelled us. And as of 29th of
22 May, we could no longer stay in this house because of the shelling and
23 also in the houses near the positions that I marked earlier, and therefore
24 went to the house of Gzim Gashi.
25 Q. Now, still looking at the aerial photograph, can you indicate
1 where the house of Gzim is?
2 A. Shall I mark it with 5?
3 Q. Please. Thank you.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. Now, before the kitchen -- kitchen moved from position number 4 to
6 position number 5, during these months, May, -- April/May of 1998, had you
7 occasion to go into the vicinity of the house at number 5?
8 A. Could you please repeat your question. Did you say before April
9 and May?
10 Q. No, it's my fault. It is in fact during April and May, did you
11 have occasion, were there times when you went to that part of Lapusnik
12 near Gzim's house where the kitchen eventually came?
13 A. Again, it's not clear to me, April and May when you say, because
14 before May there wasn't a kitchen there. I went to his house because he's
15 a neighbour of mine; he's only 200 metres away from my house.
16 Q. Right. No, you've answered the question. How often did you go to
17 his house because he's a neighbour during April and May of 1998, before
18 the kitchen got there and before the 29th?
19 A. I went there because the owner of the house and my father are
20 relatives; their mothers are first cousins. And I have family relations
21 with him; he is my neighbour and a relative.
22 Q. Yes, sorry. Can I just ask you again. About how often would you
23 go? I mean, once a week? Every other week?
24 A. I can tell you that from May until the end of July I went maybe
25 15 times. As for the kitchen, I went there every day to have my meal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I see the time. I'm trying to work
2 out where we should be at. I think probably this is the right time.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It's within the right range, Mr. Mansfield.
4 We will resume at 25 minutes to 6.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.09 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.38 p.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield.
8 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Sopi, I think it was entirely my fault that the questions just
10 before the break might have been confusing. So I just want, if I may, to
11 repeat them more clearly. I'm dealing with your visits to the house at
12 number 5 on the photograph, Gzim Gashi's house, and I will split up the
13 time period. Firstly, in March and April of 1998, how often do you think
14 you went to his house?
15 A. To my recollection, I went three to four times during March and
16 April 1998. I spoke with his sons. Only one of his sons is in his house.
17 And we discussed the issue of organising guard duty.
18 Q. And then in the period -- and I'll take it just May for the
19 moment. In the period of May, the month of May, how often do you think
20 you went to the same house?
21 A. Are you referring to Gzim Gashi's house?
22 Q. Yes, I am.
23 A. These two or three times that I mentioned I didn't go very often.
24 I went to Shajip's [phoen] house more often because he was there in his
25 house at all times, while Gzim did not stay in his house. He's a young
1 man; he went out often.
2 Q. Right. Now, may we just move on to the time after the 29th of
3 May. Can you describe what was happening on a daily basis from the end of
4 May through June and into July?
5 A. After the 29th of May, the kitchen was set up as Gzim's house
6 where almost all the soldiers had their meals, in his house. I, as well,
7 had my meals with them. Sometimes I didn't go there because I had my
8 house in the village, so I didn't go to have dinner in the kitchen.
9 However, soldiers who did not have houses at Lapusnik, they went three
10 times a day to have their meals at his house.
11 Q. And during the day in this period, that's after the 29th of May,
12 can you just describe generally what you were doing. Were you digging
13 ditches, standing on guard? What sort of things were you doing?
14 A. From 9th of May onwards, every day soldiers who were free would
15 take the weapons and stay in their positions. They would dig up the
16 trenches and they were helped in this work by the population, by the youth
17 from the village who were able to perform physical work.
18 I would like to explain you one thing. These positions that I
19 marked here with a line were built mostly at nighttime and not during the
20 day because you were not able to make any movement during the day because
21 of the Serb forces.
22 Q. Now, I want to move to a time towards the 26th of July. Did
23 you -- did there come a time when you changed units?
24 A. Yes. In the end of June, I, as I mentioned in the beginning, had
25 my friends with me, Jahir and Muhamed. There were in the Pellumbi unit
1 and I saw it reasonable for me to go to this unit. As the 25th and
2 26th July approached, I was in the Pellumbi unit. However, I would like
3 to point out that I stood guard duty and had agreed with my friends who
4 were standing guard duty in Celiku 3 unit. After completing my task at
5 the position, every day to go and sleep in my own house, whether it was
6 during the day or at night, depending on my shift. My house was only one
7 kilometre or one and a half kilometres away from the positions.
8 Q. Now, was the decision to move to the Pellumbi 1 one that you took
9 yourself or were you told to change? How did it work?
10 A. No. I decided myself because I had my brothers who were helping
11 the KLA. Therefore, I decided on my own without asking anyone because I
12 had my personal weapon. Nobody gave me this weapon. It was mine.
13 Q. Now, would you kindly look at the aerial photograph again. And if
14 it's possible on that same photograph, could you indicate where the
15 Pellumbi unit you joined was based.
16 A. In this part --
17 Q. Could we move it --
18 A. It's not shown here --
19 Q. Perhaps we could --
20 A. -- the place where Pellumbi was. But I can describe it in words.
21 As you see this road here, the gas station, there are some houses here. I
22 will make a mark with my pen outside the map.
23 Q. Could you number that number 6, please.
24 A. These were positions of Pellumbi unit; they were here. Along the
25 Pristina-Peja main road in the direction of Peja, when going towards Peja,
1 they were on the right side.
2 Q. Did the Guri unit -- I'm so sorry. Did the Pellumbi unit have a
4 A. I know for Guri 3, but I don't remember whether Pellumbi had a
5 number. I know it as Pellumbi unit only. Whether there were two -- there
6 was number 2 or number 3, I don't remember.
7 Q. Was anyone in charge of the Pellumbi unit you joined?
8 A. Yes. Commander of the Pellumbi unit was Ferat Shala.
9 Q. And just while we're dealing with it, can you show us on this
10 aerial photograph where the unit called Guri 3 was?
11 A. The place where Guri 3 operated, shall I mark it with number 7?
12 Q. Please.
13 A. It's here, but another part of Guri 3 unit was in one part of
14 Lapusnik, that part that is attached to Krajkove village.
15 Q. I take it that's not on the photograph?
16 A. No, it's not.
17 Q. Now, can I return to the events of July the 26th. Where were you
18 on that day?
19 A. I was where I marked number 6; I was in this place. These were
20 the Pellumbi positions.
21 Q. Where were your family at that time?
22 A. One part of my family who were not able to flee, they remained in
23 the house, but not the entire family. Some were in Berisa and some in
24 Fshati i Ri or Novoselle.
25 Q. Can you tell us what happened on that day, 26th of July?
1 A. On the 26th of July, I was in my house. I completed my guard duty
2 with the Pellumbi unit, returned home. And on the 26th of July, at
3 4.00 a.m., my friends called me and told me from Komri i Britit [phoen]
4 location the main road Pristina-Peja, they had seen a convoy of Serb tanks
5 and machinery moving towards Komorane. In Komorane, there was a
6 checkpoint before the 28th of February. They stopped there for some time,
7 and the tanks that were positioned at Quka e Komoranit and the Serb
8 machinery positioned at the radio Pristina antenna in Komorane and the
9 chicken farm in Krajkove, they all set off towards the Lapusnik gorge
10 time. Sometime in the morning the shooting started from all directions.
11 They were firing at us with Kaquqas [phoen] from the pine trees in
12 Krajkove with cannons of 220 millimetre from Golesh. And I can say that
13 more than 140 tanks were engaged in combat against KLA members at the
14 Lapusnik gorge, let alone APCs and Pragas, and other equipment with which
15 names I'm not familiar with. This was on the 25th of July, which was
17 On the 26th of July, we were not able to confront them and began
18 to withdraw from the positions. This was the most difficult offensive for
19 us throughout the war. The entire population moved from the Lapusnik
20 gorge to Negrovce, Orlate, Terpeze, and climbed up the mountains wherever
21 they could go. They had no food, no clothes, no conditions for life.
22 Q. Did you have at that time any weapons at all that could deal with
23 tanks and APCs, armoured personnel carriers, that sort of thing?
24 A. No, we didn't have those. We had some mortars, 150-millimetre
25 ones. And even if you shot at a tank or an APC with them, you could cause
1 no damage.
2 Q. Now, on this same day, that's the 26th of July, did you hear some
3 personal tragic news?
4 A. I didn't hear any news on the 26th of July, but I did hear news on
5 the 27th. I was informed by the martyr to the nation, Fehmi Lladrovci; I
6 met him at Negrovce village. I asked him about part of Celiku unit. He
7 told me that Ymer Alushani fell heroically and that Ali Zogi and Fetah
8 Zogu were injured. He had heard that my wife died on that day in
9 Novoselle village because of fear, but he didn't tell me that because the
10 circumstances were such that it was difficult to go to that part of Berisa
11 Mountains since the Pristina-Peja main road had a tank positioned on it at
12 every 50 metres. Even on the Malisheve road they had positioned such
13 equipments because they had plenty of military equipment. This is the
14 reason why Fehmi didn't tell me about the death of my wife.
15 After five or six days, I went out with some friends of mine. I
16 started my journey at 1.00 p.m. and arrived at Berisa Mountains at 5.00 in
17 the morning. A road that someone can make just in one hour or one hour
18 and a half, however it took me this long because of the Serb forces. I
19 went to Berisa, met a villager there, and he paid his condolences to me,
20 knowing what had happened. When he realised that I was not aware of my
21 wife's death, he said that he was mistaken, but I insisted that he told me
22 what had happened. And he said that out of fear she died because she
23 thought myself and my son got killed.
24 Q. Now, you mentioned your son. Where was he serving as a soldier?
25 A. He served at Celiku 3 unit.
1 Q. I want to ask you this question: Are you aware of how many
2 Lapusnik villagers died at the hands of the Serb forces?
3 A. Yes. I can tell you that from the beginning of the war and until
4 the end, 33 civilians and soldiers killed by the Serb forces in the
5 village of Lapusnik. There were also mentally -- there was also a
6 mentally ill person who was killed and thrown in a well just to lose
7 traces of his body. In addition, bodies of elderly persons were burnt.
8 Q. Now, there came a time when you were able to return to the
9 Lapusnik village, and I believe you were one of the first villagers to
10 return. Is that right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. What had happened to your house meanwhile?
13 A. Together with some comrades, soldiers, I came down from the Berisa
14 Mountains and settled at the positions where the positions -- the Serbs
15 were positioned until one hour ago near my house. We checked for mines
16 just to prevent the population from a disaster. I went to the garden
17 which is above my house, and there I found five hand-grenades. The fuses
18 were ready to ignite. I removed them, the mines, and then I went first to
19 my home, then I went to all the other houses of the village to see whether
20 the Serbs had left behind mines or some other explosives. But we didn't
21 find any, with exception of the hand-grenades I mentioned earlier. We
22 didn't find anything. In the three neighbourhoods we went, Salihaj, Sopi,
23 and Guri, we didn't see any mines, but the houses were destroyed; people
24 couldn't live there. I returned to a cowshed we had, and our 35 members
25 slept there at that cowshed until I received some assistance and started
1 to build the roof of my home.
2 Q. Could you tell us roughly when it was that you returned to your
3 house and found what you've just described?
4 A. On the 13th of June, the Serb forces left the village, and that is
5 the last force -- Serb forces had left the village at Gradina rock. When
6 I went there, as I said earlier, to my house, the Serb forces were still
7 at Gradina rock, and this happened on the 13th of June.
8 Q. I think it goes without saying, you left the year out, but it's
9 1999 that you're talking about?
10 A. Yes, it is 1999.
11 Q. Now, I have one final question for you. During 1998 whilst you
12 were still living in Lapusnik in May, June, and July, did you hear of a
13 prison in the village?
14 A. I'm telling you the truth that it was only after the arrest of my
15 friends that I heard that, and not only myself personally but the entire
16 village were taken by surprise at that news because we've never heard
17 about that, we've never seen anything during that time.
18 Q. Yes, thank you. Would you wait there, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.
20 Mr. Guy-Smith.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
22 Examined by Mr. Guy-Smith:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sopi.
24 A. Good afternoon, sir.
25 Q. I represent Haradin Bala. Do you know Haradin Bala?
1 A. Yes. I have known him since we were children.
2 Q. And how is it you've known him since you were children?
3 A. Haradin Bala is a nephew in Lapusnik. In addition to that, we
4 went to the primary school in Komorane together. And to complete the
5 picture, I want to tell you that his father was a close friend with a
6 brother of my mother, so I knew him pretty well. I knew his families
8 Q. It certainly sounds as if you do. Could you tell us, please,
9 since you mentioned his father whether or not his father had any special
10 skills during the time that he was alive?
11 A. His father was a singer.
12 Q. And when you say that his father was a singer, did he sing
13 privately or publicly, if you know?
14 A. He sang publicly at weddings. He was a rhapsodic singer.
15 Q. Was Haradin a rhapsodic singer also? Did he inherit that quality
16 from his father?
17 A. No, I don't think Haradin can sing like his father. He can never
18 resemble his father for that matter in that respect.
19 Q. Very well. You mentioned that Haradin was a nephew of Lapusnik.
20 Can you explain what you meant by that?
21 A. I think I mentioned earlier that his uncles live at the gas
22 station some 50 metres away, and I've seen him visiting his uncles. And
23 in the school we went together. His mother was born in Lapusnik.
24 Q. When you say his uncles were at the gas station, which uncles is
25 that or were those?
1 A. Ali Thaqi; his father his called Hajdin. There is Afrim Thaqi. I
2 don't want to mention all of them now.
3 Q. Very well. You also, when speaking earlier, mentioned a gentleman
4 by the name of Ferat Sopi. Who is he?
5 A. He is my cousin, my -- our fathers have their father's brothers.
6 Q. Is he still alive?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And is he working? And if he is, could you tell us what he does
9 for a profession.
10 A. No, he doesn't work. He used to be a pharmacist.
11 I wanted to say something more about that. We have lived in the
12 same compound with him until 1969 or 1970. We lived in the same house.
13 And he worked, as far as I know, from -- until the beginning of the war in
14 Gllogovc in the public health house there. After the war, he is retired.
15 He gets 40 euros as a pension and sits at home. But he had another house
16 in Prizren, and for the moment he lives there with his wife and a son.
17 His two other sons live in Lapusnik. One is in England, I think,
18 somewhere, and I think three or four days ago he went to -- he travelled
19 to England -- or to Canada I think.
20 Q. When you said that he was a pharmacist, directing your attention
21 to the years 1990, if you know, was he a pharmacist working in Lapusnik at
22 that time?
23 A. He was working in the state outpatient clinic. It was called the
24 public health house in Drenoc. But he also had a pharmacy in his own
25 home -- house which is 10 metres away from the main road. There is
1 another house of his. There he had a pharmacy, a drugstore, which
2 belonged to Mother Teresa but he worked there. In his own home was this
4 Q. The Mother Teresa clinic that he worked with, do you know if there
5 was a doctor who also worked at that clinic? And by that -- this would be
6 in the period of 1998.
7 A. Before the 9th of May, Ferat, when I mentioned that pharmacy he
8 had, he had it in the other house. But before the 9th of May, he -- he
9 transferred all the medicaments he had in that Mother Teresa pharmacy and
10 brought them to the house -- his other house near my house in Lapusnik.
11 Before the 9th of May -- I'm telling you this because I don't remember the
12 date very well, but when I said earlier that we used to observe, to survey
13 the terrain, fearing the coming of the Serb forces, after what happened in
14 Likoshan, Qirez, and Prekaz, we kept on duty as I told 24 hours for 24
15 hours. And one day, I think it was four or five days before
16 the 9th of May, the Serb police forces brought a dead body, a corpse, on
17 the road that leads to Salihaj, Sopi, and Guri neighbourhoods in the
18 evening it was, and they placed it there.
19 The population of Lapusnik was displaced on that day because we
20 thought that the Serb brought that corpse in order to have a pretext to
21 act, as they did in Likoshan, Qirez and Prekaz. For the same reason,
22 Ferat moved his pharmacy from that lower place to the other house near my
23 house. And when you asked me the question whether the doctor Zeqe Gashi
24 came there and helped him, the population -- that catered for the needs of
25 the population.
1 Q. When you say that Dr. Zec Gashi came and helped him and the
2 population in Lapusnik, do you remember as you sit here today whether that
3 occurred before May 9th or after May 9th?
4 A. This happened after the 9th of May; that was when Zeqe came, but I
5 don't remember the date and I don't want to give you a wrong date. And I
6 think that was not very important for us to remember when Zeqe came.
7 Q. Very well. Could you help us here a bit, and this is important
8 and if you can that would be quite good; if you can't it's understandable.
9 Do you remember whether or not Dr. Gashi came to help Ferat and the
10 population of Lapusnik before the battle of the -- May 29th that you've
11 discussed with here today or after that time?
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I have -- if I may, just two points, Your
13 Honour. One, the witness says he doesn't remember and he doesn't want to
14 speculate. And second, I would point out that there's not one word about
15 this issue in the 65 ter summary. And we've discussed this actual 65 ter,
16 counsel and myself. There been no notice whatsoever that this issue was
17 going to be brought up in the direct.
18 MR. GUY-SMITH: He's correct that it's not in the 65 ter summary
19 and it's something that actually came to mind as a result of a document I
20 received yesterday from the Prosecution in which there was a discussion
21 specifically concerning assertions made by L-64 to the Prosecution on the
22 26th of May of this year in which that particular witness had discussion
23 concerning Dr. Gashi and Ferat Sopi's home.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Well --
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: And it is -- excuse me.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know exactly what's coming, but maybe it
2 should not be in the presence of the witness.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: And it's because of my receipt of this belated
4 information that this issue came to my mind because in fact it raises the
5 issue of Ferat Sopi and others who may have been about him and his home.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 JUDGE PARKER: It's clearly relevant, Mr. Guy-Smith. You may
8 proceed. But if there is significance in the issue and it produces
9 difficulty for the Prosecution because of lack of notice, there may be
10 time delay consequences. But that's something we can't immediately
12 MR. GUY-SMITH: I understand -- I understand the concern of the
13 Chamber. And if there are any time delay issues that arise, I apologise
14 before they do. However, I will keep this short, and I believe the issue
15 will be both well crystallised as well as well ventilated.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: May I just say, Your Honour, that the disclosure
17 may have refreshed his memory as to the issue, but this issue was alive
18 and existed well before the other disclosure had been referred to in other
19 disclosures and I believe in another 65 ter. Thank you.
20 MR. GUY-SMITH: To that extent, I thank the Prosecution for
21 assisting my feeble mind.
22 Q. Mr. Sopi, do you have my question in mind or should I ask it
23 again, because there's been a fair bit of conversation since I asked the
25 A. I remember when you said that Zeqe said -- you asked me whether
1 the clinic was open prior to or after the 29th of May. I'm telling you
2 that it's a long time since then, and I don't remember the exact date. I
3 don't remember whether it was the 29th, or the 12th, or the 15th. I
4 cannot tell you this because I don't remember.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 With regard to where the clinic was, was that clinic at Ferat
7 Sopi's home, next to your house, or was it somewhere else?
8 A. It was next to my house, in Ferat Sopi's house.
9 Q. And is that in the area that you have circled and marked with a
10 number 1 on Prosecution 1, image 8, the document that you discussed with
11 Mr. Mansfield?
12 A. Yes. Five -- it is five or six metres far from my house. Now
13 it's completely ruined.
14 Q. Now, I want to return to a discussion of Haradin Bala. Did you
15 have an opportunity to see Haradin Bala in Lapusnik in the month of May
17 A. Yes. Haradin Bala came after -- some days after the 9th of May.
18 I don't remember the date. I personally have seen him and told Haradin,
19 knowing that he had poor health, I told him, Why are you here? And he
20 said these words to me. He said, The house which is about 200 metres away
21 from the Prishtine-Peja road, he said, that house -- I cannot stay in that
22 house. I want to come and die here like a man. And I saw there and told
23 him that, You have ill health. I knew he was suffering from a heart
24 condition and that at that time it was very hot during the day; at night
25 it was cold. I saw him there. He stayed by the end of May, and I saw him
1 in the fighting of the 29th of May. And then Haradin didn't stay in
2 Lapusnik --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Sir, before you go any
4 further. You say that you knew that he had poor health. Could you tell
5 us how long you had known that he had been in poor health before him
6 coming to Lapusnik sometimes after May 9th?
7 A. Yes, I may freely tell you that because when I spoke earlier I
8 said I worked in that Ramiz Sadik enterprise. I worked as a driver. Then
9 they dismissed me from my work and then I had a lot of free time on my
10 hands and I met often with Haradin, both in the street, at his uncle's, in
11 the market-place in Komorane, and I asked him about his health because I
12 know that his father, too, had poor health and he told me that he was
13 suffering from a heart condition. And so I knew that he wasn't feeling
14 well. This is why I knew.
15 Q. When he told you that he was suffering from a heart condition,
16 this is -- is this information that you received before you saw him in
17 Lapusnik after May 9th, 1998?
18 A. I knew this since 1992 because I knew that he was sick since that
19 time. I explained to you that when they fired me from my job in Ramiz
20 Sadiku enterprise, I met him often and knew that he was suffering from a
21 heart condition. His brother, Hamdi, who is in Switzerland, was a good
22 friend of mine.
23 Q. You mentioned that you saw him in the fighting on the 29th of May
24 in 1998 in Lapusnik. My question to you is: After that time, did you see
25 him or did you not see him in Lapusnik again during the summer of 1998?
1 A. No, I didn't see him in Lapusnik, with the exception of seeing him
2 in August. From what I remember, it was either the mid or the end of
3 August. I saw him in the new village, in Novoselle, where I met him.
4 Haradin Bala was with a car. I talked with him. I went there to get
5 supplies and Haradin was there. I met him there and I asked him where he
6 was, and he replied that he was in Luzhnice and that his family was in
7 Bajice. It was settled there.
8 Q. When you say his family was settled in Bajice, this is a family
9 that you knew. Is that an accurate statement?
10 A. I didn't understand the question.
11 Q. I'm asking you whether -- you knew Haradin's family. And if I
12 might lead --
13 A. I know each and every one of the family members. I know his
14 brothers, I know the sons of the brothers. I know only one son of
15 Haradin's children, but I don't remember his name even though he showed me
16 his name.
17 Q. Do you know when Haradin's family moved to Bajice in the summer of
19 A. They were moved to Bajice village, and I told you that his wife is
20 born in that village.
21 Q. And my question to you is: Do you know what month that occurred?
22 Did that occur in March, April, May, June, July?
23 A. I cannot know when that happened, but I told you Haradin told me
24 that his family is in Bajice. But as to when or at the time when he took
25 the family to Bajice, this I don't know. But I know that he couldn't stay
1 long. Nobody could stay in their homes along the Prishtine-Pej main road.
2 That was nothing that mattered to me, to tell you the truth, when he moved
3 his family.
4 Q. One more question. Do you know what village Haradin lived in
5 before the war in the summer of 1998?
6 A. He lived in Korretice e Eperme, upper Korretice.
7 Q. And a final question which is -- that was one more and this is a
8 final question. Could you tell us, if you know, how far his village in
9 Korretice is from Lapusnik?
10 A. I cannot tell you exactly, but it may be five kilometres or five
11 kilometres and a half. About five kilometres, more or less.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sopi. You may wait there.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Topolski --
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: Mr. Powles.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Powles.
16 MR. POWLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Powles:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Sopi. Just a few questions on behalf of
19 Mr. Musliu, who sits behind me.
20 MR. POWLES: May we go into private session, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
22 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session.
11 MR. POWLES:
12 Q. Now, Mr. Sopi, the person that you just mentioned, did you see him
13 in Lapusnik during the period that you were there in 1998?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When did you first see him in Lapusnik in that year?
16 A. After May, after the 9th of May, some days of that date he came to
18 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Sopi. How many days after the 9th of May?
19 A. I cannot give you an exact estimate, but four or five days after
20 that date he came to Lapusnik. I met him in my own yard and he told me --
21 he introduced himself to me. We talked and he showed me in my own yard
22 how to train -- how to train the sniper weapon because he was a good
23 sniper. He stayed there in Lapusnik for a time --
24 Q. Pause there please, Mr. Sopi. During the period that he stayed in
25 Lapusnik, how often did you see him?
1 A. Every day.
2 Q. And how often during a day would you see him?
3 A. Once or twice, sometimes even three times.
4 Q. Did there come a time during the period that you were in Lapusnik
5 that you no longer saw this person in Lapusnik?
6 A. Listen. After a while, I can't tell you how long he stayed in
7 Lapusnik. He stayed in Lapusnik, yes. That person was -- his only
8 weakness was he was rather independent and individualistic. He didn't
9 like to spend time with comrades. He was polite but didn't like very much
10 to go out with friends, to socialise. Personally, I have met him outside
11 the positions in a place and told him, Why are you here? He said, I'm a
12 sniper and a sniper should stay alone. He was there in the position when
13 we had already prepared the trenches. And I envied him because he was
14 brave. It took a lot of courage and guts to be there where he was.
15 Q. I'm going to stop you there, Mr. Sopi. I'll ask you again. You
16 said you saw him two, sometimes three times a day. Did there come a time
17 during the period that you were in Lapusnik that you no longer saw him?
18 A. Yes. I said maybe after three weeks. I didn't see him anymore in
19 Lapusnik. You can make your own calculations. From the 12th or the
20 14th of May, he stayed until the end of May, and then after that I didn't
21 see him any longer.
22 Q. Moving on. Did there come -- well, let me put it this way.
23 Towards the end of July, were you involved in any operations outside of
25 A. Yes. I participated in the Rahovec fighting together with eight
2 Q. When did you go to Rahovec?
3 A. I don't recall the date but I know that it was a Saturday.
4 Whether it was the 17th, the 18th, or the 19th of July, I don't know. I
5 didn't have a calendar then, but I know that it was a Saturday around 4.00
6 in the morning and that I left Rahovec on Monday. As to the dates, I
7 can't give you exact dates.
8 Q. Who did you go to Rahovec --
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me. Sorry, Your Honours, I just want to
10 again put on the record there's been absolutely no notice whatsoever of
11 the testimony on the issue since Mr. Powles started. The witness appears
12 to be testifying now for three accused, not just two, and I'm curious why
13 we did not get a 65 ter with these topics.
14 MR. POWLES: Mr. Nicholls is as ever observant. There was no
15 65 ter summary in relation to this witness submitted on behalf of
16 Mr. Musliu. He is not called as a witness by us and according -- pursuant
17 to the Rules there is no necessity for us to submit such a 65 summary.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Well --
20 JUDGE PARKER: Anything further?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour. Just you've talked about earlier
22 in this trial about when there is a real cross-examination and when there
23 is a real contradiction between the witnesses between the interests of the
24 accused, and it seems to me to be the type of evidence that we should have
25 received some notice of.
1 JUDGE PARKER: There is one matter, that is whether Mr. Powles
2 might examine or cross-examine. So far he has not brought that issue
3 alive in the way he has questioned. There is a quite separate matter,
4 whether he might deal with issues with a witness called by another of the
5 accused, and that's where we are at the moment. I believe he is correct
6 when he says there is no specific rule. It's not all together surprising
7 because there are matters over which there is no specific rule; this is
8 one of them. We are finding our own way. Fairness and practicality will
9 guide the Chamber. I certainly do not propose to stop Mr. Powles at
10 present --
11 MR. NICHOLLS: And I don't request that.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Whether there is some consequential difficulty for
13 you, we will see.
14 Mr. Powles.
15 MR. POWLES: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Sopi, who did you go to Rahovec with?
17 A. I went together with eight comrades, but they belonged to Pellumbi
19 Q. And why did you go to Rahovec?
20 A. To assist the civilian population because we heard what was
21 happening in Rahovec and we decided, nine of us, to go. We informed a
22 person who was with us. We told him to tell Ferat Shala that we had left
23 for Rahovec. We took our cars, went up to Malisheve. In Malisheve, we
24 left the cars there. And then from Malisheve to the place. Some unknown
25 person -- to Rahovec, some unknown persons accompanied us. They took us
1 to Rasat e Rahovecit which is a crossroad that which leads to Xerxe and
3 Q. Now, Mr. Sopi, you mentioned you were in Rahovec from
4 approximately 4.00 until Monday. During the time you were in Rahovec, did
5 you see Mr. Musliu?
6 A. First I'm telling you that my friends, my comrades, told me that
7 they had seen Isak at the time. I didn't know him as such but as Qerqizi.
8 They told me that they had seen Qerqizi. Then I remembered that I had met
9 Isak Musliu at the Rahovec-Rasa crossroads, but as -- whether it was
10 Saturday or Sunday, this I cannot tell you. I don't remember.
11 Q. Now, you say you left Rahovec on Monday. When you left, where did
12 you go?
13 A. It was hard to leave Rahovec because we were staying at a cold
14 room or a cellar. It's a cellar in the middle of the city. That's where
15 our position was. And it was hard for us to leave because we were
16 surrounded by Serb forces. We set out towards a road that leads to
17 Hoxhe. It's a road which now I don't know in Brestovc. We left between
18 Brnjak and Rahovec, and we went towards Pataqen and Drenoc. And then I
19 returned to Malisheve. From Malisheve, I returned home.
20 Q. When you say "home," where do you mean?
21 A. When I say "home," I mean my own home.
22 Q. And where is your own home or was your own home at that time?
23 A. The home that I showed you when I marked number 1 in the map.
24 Q. So your home in Lapusnik?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, after you got to Lapusnik, did you at any time see Isak
2 Musliu or Qerqiz there?
3 A. I'm not sure whether because as far as I know Qerqiz and Ymer
4 Alushani were still in Rahovec because a friend of ours, a comrade, a war
5 comrade, Enver Mulaku was his name, he remained in Rahovec. He
6 couldn't -- he was unable to leave Rahovec. And they were searching for
7 him. I may not know but I think I saw Isak Musliu on the 24th of July.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues]... there please, Mr. Sopi. Where
9 did you see Mr. Isak Musliu on the 24th of July?
10 A. I met him in the courtyard of my own house. He was together with
11 some comrades. When fighting broke out in Fushtice, they had gone there
12 to assist in the fighting. That's where I saw him.
13 Q. That's all --
14 A. And if you allow me to complete it.
15 Q. Of course.
16 A. I knew that Ymer and Isak Musliu came and brought no news of Enver
17 Mulaku. That's why I remember very well because I asked them what
18 happened to Enver because Enver had disappeared at that time about 10 or
19 12 days. We didn't have news about him; we didn't know where he was.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. POWLES: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I'm -- I forgot to ask for the --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Tendering of the --
25 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes.
1 JUDGE PARKER: -- as an exhibit. I made a note to raise it in
2 re-examination, but we might as well do it now.
3 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, DL15 I think. Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received, yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. Indeed this piece
6 of exhibit marked today by the witness and representing aerial image of
7 Lapusnik is tendered into -- admitted into evidence under DL15, 1-5.
8 Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Nicholls, there were a number of matters
10 raised then you may want time to consider.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I don't think I could do that much in ten
12 minutes anyway, Your Honour. If it's just the same, we could start
14 JUDGE PARKER: It's whatever suits you.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine. Then if we just continue in the
16 morning -- in the afternoon.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.50 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
20 June, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.