1 Thursday, 9 June 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I apologise. The Chamber was delayed a few minutes
6 this morning.
7 Mr. Guy-Smith.
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: Good morning. We would call as our next witness,
9 Mr. Ferat Sopi, if that is convenient.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Sopi.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read allowed the affirmation on
15 the card that is offered to you now.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
19 WITNESS: FERAT SOPI
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith has some questions for you.
22 Examined by Mr. Guy-Smith:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sopi.
24 A. Good morning, sir.
25 Q. Where do you presently live, sir?
1 A. I was born in Lapusnik village, Gllogovc municipality. After the
2 war, I live in the city of Prizren in Kosova.
3 Q. How old are you, sir?
4 A. I am 66 years old.
5 Q. And are you presently employed?
6 A. No. I'm a retired person.
7 Q. Before you retired, what did you do for a profession?
8 A. I worked in the health service. I worked in a pharmacy. Mainly
9 in the health service.
10 Q. And how long a period of time did you work in the health service?
11 A. I worked 43 years, until I retired. From 1961 onwards until now
12 that I retired when I turned 65.
13 Q. Do you know Haradin Bala?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. How do you know him?
16 A. First of all, Haradin Bala lives in a village which is not far
17 away from my village. It is called Korretice e Larte, upper Korretice,
18 and we exchange visits. The second, he is a nephew in my village in
19 Lapusnik. Thirdly, he has often come for check-ups in Gllogovc medical
20 centre, and he has received medicine and I have seen him. This is how I
21 know him.
22 Q. When you say that he has come for check-ups in Gllogovc medical
23 centre, when did that occur?
24 A. Like all the other patients, he came, because the entire suburbs
25 of Gllogovc know me, and I know them, because that was the only place for
1 them to receive some medical service. There was no other medical centre
2 in that municipality other than the one I worked for.
3 Q. I understand. My question to you is a bit more specific in
4 dealing with time. Could you tell us when he would come to you for
5 medical treatment. What years did he come to you?
6 A. I knew him better in 1991, 1992, and after that, because he was a
7 sick person and came there regularly to get medicine on the basis of a
8 doctor's prescription. With his father, we knew -- we knew each other
9 because his father had a store next to the place I was working, and he was
10 a folk singer, so I knew him. Personally, I didn't have any relationship.
11 Q. Apart from your treatment of Haradin Bala which you have just told
12 us about in early 1990, did you, as you sit here today, treat or be
13 involved in the treatment of Haradin Bala in 1998?
14 A. Yes. It's true that I knew him from before, and in 1998, in the
15 makeshift infirmary in my home where I, together with some other friends,
16 worked. Like other sick persons he came and received medicine from my
17 personally. I knew him from before, as I said, and whenever he came and
18 he felt the need for taking medicine, he came to me.
19 Q. Now, you mentioned that you had a makeshift clinic in your home.
20 When did you open the makeshift clinic in your home in 1998?
21 A. I regret to tell you, sir, that I cannot give you an exact date,
22 but after the events that occurred in our municipality and in particular
23 after the 28th of February, namely the events in Likoshan, Prekaz, and
24 Qirez, the situation became worse, and being unable to go elsewhere to get
25 medicine and for check-ups, I was some ten kilometres away from Gllogovc,
1 so I took some medicaments from the pharmacy and brought them to my house
2 which was situated not far from the asphalt road. So whenever the
3 citizens were in need --
4 Q. Excuse me -- if you could slow down a bit I think it might be
5 helpful for all of us.
6 When you say that you took the medical supplies to your home after
7 the events in February, do you recall whether that was closer to the end
8 of February or the beginning of May when you did this, when you brought
9 the medical supplies to your home to help the people?
10 A. It was by the end of February, after the events in Likoshan.
11 Q. After you brought these medical supplies to your home in Lapusnik,
12 did you remain at the same home in Lapusnik during the month of May?
13 A. Until the 9th of May I remained in Lapusnik.
14 Q. And when you say until the 9th of May you remained in Lapusnik,
15 could you tell us where your home was in Lapusnik that you remained at
16 until the 9th of May?
17 A. Your Honours, I had two homes. One was beside the asphalt road,
18 and the other was some 1.200 metres up in the mountain. But I lived in
19 the new house which was beside the asphalt road, Peja-Pristina road. That
20 was where I was situated. But after that, due to the worsening of the
21 situation, I was afraid to remain there because the police and the army
22 used to patrol the road. They fired. They attacked us. So we were
23 afraid. So together with my family, I went to the other house I had up in
24 the mountain.
25 When I left, then I know that on the 9th of May the Serb police
1 forces entered the village. Above my house there is a stone, a rock which
2 is called Glladina. Then they started to fire. We looked at what was
3 happening. At that moment we were eating. The entire family was eating
4 around the sofra, we called it, a kind of wooden table. And we went to
5 the mountains. The police fired at us up the mountains but we were lucky
6 not to get hit.
7 Q. When you moved to your home away from the asphalt road, what did
8 you do with the medical supplies that you had initially taken to your
9 first home?
10 A. After that -- after that, after the Serb police withdrew from the
11 village, after their forces withdrew, the situation became calmer. And
12 from the house near the asphalt road, I transferred the medical supplies
13 to the other house because I had two spare rooms and they were suitable to
14 hold these supplies, because the population left the village and took to
15 the mountains out of fear, and they were in need of medical supplies
16 because they couldn't go back to Gllogovc. So afterwards, I took the
17 medical supplies to my next house.
18 Q. The next --
19 A. About ten days later, I think.
20 Q. The next home where you took the medical supplies, that home, did
21 you work at that home alone or did you work at that home with other
23 A. No. There were three nurses besides me, but they were young.
24 Some of them -- one of them had just finished school. The others had not.
25 And there was a doctor, a general practitioner.
1 Q. The doctor who was a general practitioner, what was his name?
2 A. Zeqir Gashi.
3 Q. When did you begin working with Zeqir Gashi at the clinic?
4 A. After I moved from Lapusnik while we were -- while I was going to
5 the mountain, I hurt my right knee and it got swollen. I had great pains.
6 I went to Berisha. From Berisha I went to a friend of mine with whom I
7 stayed for 12 days. I don't know the exact date. And then I returned.
8 In the meantime, my elder son, together with these nurses and the
9 doctor, transferred the medical supplies I had in the house near the
10 asphalt road to the old house up the mountain. So when I returned home, I
11 found them in those two rooms that I mentioned. And they explained to me
12 that they had brought the medical supplies for me there to administer to
13 the people in need. So Zeqir Gashi -- Ganimete Gashi was the name of the
14 nurse, and two others. Indira Gashi and another. I think her name was
15 Naim. Together with them we stayed until the 26th of July.
16 Q. I'll speak to you about the 26th of July in a moment.
17 A. 1998.
18 Q. But before then, what month did that occur in? In 1998, what
19 month did you return and see Dr. Gashi and others working at your home in
20 this makeshift clinic?
21 A. In the month of May, around 20, 25. I cannot give you an exact
22 date, but around that date. From the 20th to the 25th. So the second
23 half of May. But I know that it was the month of May.
24 Q. During the month of May when you were at the makeshift clinic with
25 Dr. Gashi, did you see Haradin Bala?
1 A. I have seen him. I have seen him because he came to the clinic
2 for check-ups and to get medicine. I remember giving him medicine.
3 Q. You mentioned that you remained at this makeshift clinic until, I
4 believe, July 26, 1998; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Now, apart from treating Haradin Bala at the makeshift clinic, did
7 you have occasion to treat any other of the gentlemen who are sitting in
8 this room at that clinic?
9 A. Your Honours, I want to tell you that the makeshift clinic was
10 available to all the citizens in need who got sick while they were staying
11 in the mountains. Whoever came there, we provided assistance. Not only
12 to Haradin but to everyone who needed it, both soldiers and civilians.
13 Irrespective of what nationality they belonged to, we provide assistance,
14 as much as we were capable of.
15 Q. Do you know Fatmir Limaj?
16 A. I know -- I know him.
17 Q. Did there come an occasion before you left the makeshift clinic in
18 July of 1998 when you treated Fatmir Limaj?
19 A. Before we opened this makeshift clinic, you said so? Excuse me?
20 Q. No. Before July 26, 1998, when you left, did you treat Fatmir
22 A. After we opened the clinic, Fatmir was there two or three times,
23 because there is like a crossroads there where people move to and fro. So
24 I have seen him, and he came there to get something for his headache, but
25 he didn't have any serious illness.
1 Q. Did you ever administer an IV to him or have anybody else or be
2 present while an IV was being administered to him around July 25th?
3 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm just notice that we're starting lead here. I
4 think that could have been asked in a much different way, just what
5 treatment was offered.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: I do apologise, and I will rephrase the question.
7 Q. Before the fall of Lapusnik gorge -- excuse me. I have to ask you
8 a question.
9 A. May I?
10 Q. No, I have to ask you a question, sir.
11 Before the fall of Lapusnik gorge, right before, did you or did
12 you not have occasion to treat Fatmir Limaj on or about the 25th of July?
13 A. It was precisely on the 25th of July, in the afternoon hours,
14 Fatmir Limaj came in a very sick situation. And when he entered the room,
15 he fell down. He lost his conscious. He was unaware. His eyes were
16 closed. We took him from the door. We dragged him to a better place, and
17 we administered him an IV drip as the doctor prescribed. We wrapped his
18 eyes with an ointment because they were red and swollen. I don't know
19 whether he was in a position to see who we were, but we saw him very well.
20 He was moving his hands even though when you get an IV drip you shouldn't
21 move your arm. So I personally kept his arm.
22 So this happened on Saturday, on the 25th, when the fighting in
23 Lapusnik occurred.
24 Q. You mentioned that you treated Haradin Bala in the month of May.
25 As you sit here today, do you recall whether or not you treated Haradin
1 Bala in the months of June or July?
2 A. I regret to tell you, but I really don't know because we moved a
3 lot. I know that in the beginning of May I treated him, but later on I
4 really didn't pay attention because there were others who came for
5 treatment from the civilian population and the soldiers as well. So to
6 tell you the truth, I don't know whether I saw him after the month of May.
7 I didn't see him.
8 Q. Well, have you had an opportunity to follow these proceedings
9 either by television, radio, or newspaper?
10 A. Yes, I had the opportunity. We have followed it, but partially
11 because sometimes there's no electricity, sometimes there is. But most of
12 it, yes, we have followed.
13 Q. Have you had an opportunity to have a conversation with members of
14 the Prosecution concerning your following these proceedings on television?
15 Did you meet at any time with members of the Prosecution, maybe
16 about a month ago, and talk to them about this case?
17 A. Yes.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd rather we don't -- I don't think that's
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: Oh, I'm sorry. And a translator who spoke your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 If you want, we can move to redact that.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be redacted.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. GUY-SMITH:
6 Q. About how long a period of time did you spend talk with them?
7 A. According to our tradition, I received them as guests. I didn't
8 know why they came to see me. I didn't want them to interview me, and I
9 didn't want to give them an interview regarding these events. I did
10 invite them in because, as I said, our tradition is to receive guests
11 because they found me on the way to my house. I was playing chess in a
12 tea shop, so I invited them in. I offered them coffee or tea, and they
13 told us that -- they told me that they had something official with me, and
14 I told them that I wasn't ready -- for anything official, that I have
15 completed that era in my life of giving statements and interviews. So
16 this was what happened. My attitude was not to give them any statement.
17 Q. I understand what you've said. My question was: About how long
18 did you take with them?
19 A. Well, how long does it take to have a coffee or tea? Ten or 15
20 minutes. I don't think they stayed longer than that.
21 Q. When you met with them were you asked any questions about watching
22 television concerning these proceedings?
23 A. Yes, they asked me questions.
24 Q. Were you asked any questions about reading the newspaper
25 concerning these proceedings?
1 A. Yes. Yes. They asked me this question. But I think now and even
2 then that that was like a free conversation, nothing official, something
3 to talk about while someone is having coffee.
4 Q. During the time that you were speaking with them was anybody that
5 you know taking notes?
6 A. One of them, I don't know who it was, a laptop, something like
7 this, he opened it. He tried to write, and then I told him, "Please don't
8 write anything. Put it back because I am not ready to give any
9 statement." We call it a statement. And he didn't write. He didn't even
10 take notes. I told him not to do that, and he didn't. This is what
12 Q. Did anybody at that time have a tape recorder or show you a tape
13 recorder? They were tape recording your conversation with them?
14 A. I didn't see it. Whether he had, I don't know, but personally I
15 didn't see it.
16 Q. During the conversation that you had with them, did you -- did you
17 tell them that you had read the newspaper concerning Dr. Zeqir Gashi's
19 A. Yes. He asked me. He asked me whether I saw his testimony on TV,
20 and I said yes, partially, and he asked me why not all of it. I said
21 because there was no electricity all the time. And he asked me then if I
22 read about it in the newspaper, and I said yes, I did.
23 Q. When you discussed reading about it in the newspaper, did he ask
24 for your opinion or what you thought regarding whether or not everything
25 that Dr. Gashi said being accurate or not?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: That's extremely leading.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: I can rephrase the question, but I beg to differ,
3 and rather than to fight the issue, Your Honour, I'm happy to rephrase the
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will save time and will end in the same result,
6 Mr. Guy-Smith.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH:
8 Q. Did you tell the people that you met with that day, Mr. Whiting
9 and any others, what you thought of Dr. Gashi's testimony?
10 A. He asked me, "Did you read it?" I said, "Yes, I did." And he
11 said to me, "Was it the way he described it?" And I said, "Well, there
12 were three pages of interview. Somewhere it is how it was, somewhere it's
13 not. Now, I cannot go into details for each and every question. Some
14 parts are true and some are not."
15 Q. Did you have a discussion with him or with the members of the
16 Prosecution about whether or not you would be willing or unwilling to have
17 a formal interview with them if members of the Defence were also present?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters couldn't hear the witness.
19 MR. GUY-SMITH:
20 Q. Let me ask you the question again.
21 Did you have a discussion with them in which you said that you'd
22 meet with them for a formal interview if members of the Defence were
24 A. Yes. I would have accepted to give an interview not only to them
25 but to any other party if I had someone who would advise me. This was
1 unexpected for me. I was outside in the town. They came and fetched me
2 and told me that, "We are here about this issue," so I wasn't ready to
3 give any statement.
4 Q. You mentioned that you presently are living, I believe, in
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Your home where you had the makeshift clinic, is that a home where
8 you could presently live?
9 A. This is a question that I asked these gentlemen who came to see
10 me, because they said they saw my house where I used to live. But this,
11 as I said, was just a friendly conversation. I didn't know that an
12 interview was going to be brought up. And then I asked them, "Did you see
13 the house was levelled to the ground?" They said, "Yes." And I asked the
14 interpreter to translate it properly, that I had built that house for my
15 old age, as a place where I could retire. It's in a very good area,
16 mountainous area where the air is very clean. And I asked them, "What did
17 I do to them, to Serbia, for them to level my house to the ground? I had
18 the pharmacy there to help the citizens. Did you see what they did to my
19 house? Why don't you charge them for what they do, not only to me but to
20 the entire village?" And then they saw where I was living, in a small
21 room in a small house where they came to see me. This is how it was.
22 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Sopi. Please remain there. There may be
23 others to ask you questions.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Mansfield.
25 MR. MANSFIELD: No questions thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Topolski.
2 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, for the first time in this trial I'm
3 going to ask for a little time before I decide whether I have any
4 questions for this witness. I know it's very early in the session, but I
5 wonder whether I could have ten minutes or maybe Your Honours would want
6 to take the first break a little early.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I would join in that request, Your Honour, because
8 the 65 ter in this case is seven sentences. It doesn't mention Haradin,
9 Bala, it doesn't mention Fatmir Limaj, and I wouldn't mind a few moments
10 to talk before we begin the cross.
11 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume - excuse me - at five minutes
12 past 10.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 9.44 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.08 a.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Topolski.
16 MR. TOPOLSKI: Can I thank Your Honours for the early break which
17 has been productive in this sense that Your Honours are not going to hear
18 any questions from me. I've had a very helpful brief conversation with
19 Mr. Nicholls and he understands my position, and all being well, there
20 will be no necessity for me to ask this witness anything, and I certainly
21 don't ask him anything at this juncture.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sopi, can you hear me?
1 A. Good morning, sir. Yes, I hear you.
2 Q. I have just a few questions for you today. If you don't
3 understand me at any point, let me know right away, okay?
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. You're living in Prizren now, but you spent most of your life in
6 Lapusnik, is that fair?
7 A. Yes, that's fair.
8 Q. And we know that you still have a large extended family living in
9 Lapusnik; correct?
10 A. Correct. I have two sons living there. They are married. Each
11 of them has four children.
12 Q. The first thing I want to ask you about is just where some places
13 are in Lapusnik, so I'm going to show you an aerial image.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: This is a new one, Your Honours. It's an image 9
15 of P001. However, it has some new markings on it. And it's also in
16 Sanction if anybody wants to look there.
17 Q. I'll wait for you to put your glasses on. Yes. We have it on the
18 ELMO so that you can point if necessary.
19 Now, the first area I want to draw your attention to, sir, is the
20 red square marked D on the map. That's towards the middle, towards the
21 bottom of the image. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, I see that. I see number 2.
23 Q. Not number 2. D is what I'm referring to is marked.
24 A. Yes. I can see letter D, yes. It's a red square. And I see
25 number 2.
1 Q. Within that red square is the clinic that was in the Sopi
2 compound; correct? I know you may not have looked at aerial images
3 before, but can you tell that that's true?
4 A. I am not able to understand properly this square, but in my house
5 there was a clinic. This is a fact.
6 Q. That's not the question. In that red square, if you can tell,
7 just look at the image for a moment, that's your house that -- in Lapusnik
8 which was not close to the Pristina-Peja road; correct?
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: Well, I think there is a difficulty here which is
10 the manner in which Mr. Nicholls is asking the question. If the witness
11 can identify the area, that's fine, and work with an aerial map, that's
12 good, and I'm sure that that way Mr. Nicholls can achieve the answers that
13 he wants. However, if the witness is having some difficulty, then he
14 needs to spend some time with the map to try to orient the witness to it
15 as opposed to assuming facts that this witness may not be able to testify
16 to. I think it's really a question of recognition and he's moving a bit
17 quickly, and I'd like this to be accurate.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm happy to let the witness spend as much time as
19 he needs to look at it. It's cross-examination. I think I can direct him
20 to areas on the map.
21 JUDGE PARKER: No question of that, Mr. Nicholls, but aerial maps
22 are many things that people are not used to and some people cannot adjust
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I appreciate that, Your Honour.
25 Q. Let me give you a couple of other reference points and see if that
1 helps you, sir. There's a big red circle to the left of square D, and in
2 it are three squares marked A, B, and C. Do you see that section? Yes,
3 you're pointing to it.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You see the square --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- the area in the square which is marked with the letter B?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, I suggest to you that that is a compound owned by Gzim Gashi.
10 Do you think that's right?
11 A. I know very well the house and the yard of Gzim Gashi's house
12 because we are neighbours. But in the map it's difficult for me to
13 identify things. I may make some mistakes, and for that I apologise
15 Q. All right.
16 A. If this is the house of Gzim Gashi, I know that it is Gzim Gashi's
17 house because I know that house.
18 Q. Right. And between the Ferat Sopi house marked in D and Gzim
19 Gashi's house in B, does that familiar to you, the field which is in
20 between them?
21 A. Yes, I can tell that now. Yes. It's this field here.
22 Q. Okay. Well, you've looked at it for a while. I'll just ask you
23 one more time. If you can't tell, that's fine. If you can be sure,
24 that's fine.
25 Is the area in the square marked D the location of your house in
1 Lapusnik where the clinic was? If you can't tell from looking at this
2 map, that's fine.
3 A. Maybe it's the same place. I really am not clear, and I'm sorry,
4 but in the map I can't be sure, because I see some small marks. I know my
5 house, of course, or the location of my house.
6 Q. Okay. Well, we'll leave that, then, if you're having difficulty
7 with it.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I would move this into evidence. He's
9 had some difficulty with it, but for the record it will be clear what he
10 was looking at and what these questions pertain to.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Well, the record may be much ahead of me, but it's
12 not clear to me at the moment.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, it may not be, but he's looked at the area
14 in D, said he wasn't sure.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Looked at B said that may be Gzim Gashi's.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Is that going to help us?
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I think it may, Your Honours, because it -- I
19 accept he's had difficulty with the map, but it will show what his
20 questions and answers -- which areas he was talking about and was directed
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 MR. NICHOLLS: These locations have been talked about by other
24 witnesses as well.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Well, they have been, but this purports to identify
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 certain things that have been talked about by witnesses.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
3 JUDGE PARKER: But no witness has satisfactorily identified the
4 markings as the places they've talked about. That's the problem.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE PARKER: We won't receive the aerial image.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
8 Q. I'd like to show you some photos now. This may be easier for you.
9 The first one is U0083697. If that could be put on the ELMO. The
10 ERN numbers are very difficult to read on these photos. The one I'm
11 referring to is the photo of a wall with a gate. So that's, I believe,
12 not the correct one that's on the ELMO now. That's right.
13 Sir, could you take a moment to look at that photograph?
14 A. Yes. I can see, and I know what it is.
15 Q. Is that one of the entrances to your -- to the Ferat Sopi -- to
16 your compound in Lapusnik?
17 A. This photo shows the entrance of my -- of the upper -- of the
18 lower side of my house. This is on the lower side. It's my -- I put it
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I now have U0083690. Those numbers are on
22 the top right hand of the photographs in small letters. I can assist the
23 usher if necessary. It's a photograph of a building being seen through
24 the trees. That's right.
25 Sir, take a moment to look at that photograph.
1 A. Yes. I am looking at it, but I don't remember what it is. I
2 can't identify anything.
3 Q. Well, you see the white building through the trees which is
4 directly above where your pointer is at the moment? That building, yes.
5 A. This one? This one here? Yes, I see it.
6 Q. I'll suggest to you that that is Gzim Gashi's compound seen from
7 the house you just described in the last photo we looked at. Can you
8 recognise that or are you unable to?
9 A. Give me a little time.
10 Q. Take all the time you need. This would be the view down the field
11 we talked about towards Gzim Gashi's compound.
12 A. In this picture I am not sure, because Gzim Gashi's house has two
13 storeys and is taller, and the house I look at now seems to be of a lower
14 height. This one could be just a room, an oda. Gzim's house was near
15 this oda but it was taller. That's why I'm confused, because I see they
16 are in the same height.
17 Q. Let me ask you another question and see if it helps you. Do you
18 see on the bottom portion of that photograph just to the left of where
19 your fingers are there's a part of a brick wall. Do you see that? Down
20 lower. Right on the very bottom of the photograph against the white
21 border. It's where your fingers are on the photograph right now. Yes.
22 A. Here or here?
23 Q. Below, down. Right against the white border on the bottom towards
24 the left of the photograph. Exactly.
25 I suggest to you that's a corner of the wall of your house. Does
1 that help you looking at this photograph? That's one of the corners of
2 the wall surrounding your house. Can you tell that that's Gzim Gashi's
3 compound down the hill?
4 A. This cannot be the wall of my house. Maybe it is, but it seems to
5 be a -- far, far away from here. I think my house stands above Gzim's
6 house. Maybe it is, but I can't see even the wall properly. I just see a
7 red sign here.
8 Q. All right. We'll leave that one.
9 JUDGE PARKER: For the record, Mr. Nicholls, I believe that was
10 actually the photo ending 3696 rather than 3690.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe you're correct, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
13 As I said, I have a lot of difficulty reading red on green. It's a
15 JUDGE PARKER: And if it is helpful to you, the photograph ending
16 3690 may show the house in a perspective nearer to that which the witness
17 is accustomed to.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: You've jumped right to my next question.
19 JUDGE PARKER: And 3693 might show a little more of the fence.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: It may. Could we have 3690, please.
21 Q. Take a moment to look at that photo, sir. Do you recognise --
22 A. Yes, I can see it now. I see it. The white one here and this
23 wall here, from that I can see that it must have been Gzim Gashi's house.
24 But I am confused because the other house was not there then. He must
25 have added it afterwards.
1 Q. But --
2 A. And this wall is the wall of his yard. That's it.
3 Q. But you're clear that the white house you pointed to, which is the
4 large white house in the foreground of the photo with a pole in front of
5 it with a sign is Gzim Gashi's house?
6 A. Yes. Yes, yes. I know. I can recognise it. This must be it.
7 Yes. There is a pasture above his house here.
8 Q. Lastly, U008 -- it's actually 3695, I believe.
9 Take your time, sir. Look at that.
10 A. Yes, I can see it.
11 Q. Now, just if you can, are you familiar with this view? Can you
12 tell this is a view from the area of your house down to Gzim Gashi's
13 compound through the -- seen through the trees?
14 A. It must be this one, this white one here. This must be the house
15 of Gzim Gashi. I think so, because the picture is not very clear. But
16 I'm looking at other signs, because I know that there wasn't any other
17 house. The other houses were lower, so I think it must be Gzim Gashi's
18 house, even though it is very unclear.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we give the witness a black pen to circle
20 Gzim Gashi's house on this image.
21 Q. Take your time.
22 A. I'm trying to figure it out properly, because Gzim's house has a
23 road or a path passing by, and I can't see it. From the area I'm looking
24 at, it seems like this one that is Gzim's house.
25 Q. Could you circle it, please.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. Yes, I circled it. I hope it's this.
4 Q. And this would be the view looking down from your house, down the
6 A. This should be it, yes.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I'd move to exhibit the three which
8 he has positively identified, 3690, 369 --
9 JUDGE PARKER: If you went back to 3696, having seen 3690, you may
10 have more luck, Mr. Nicholls, if you see any point in it. Otherwise,
11 we'll receive the three.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I'll take a chance, then, Your Honours. If
13 we could have 3696 back.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It's easy to be led astray by a judge,
15 Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have 3696 again, please. No.
17 Q. Okay, sir, one more time. Please take your time to look at that.
18 Tell me if you can see Gzim Gashi's house in this photo now that you've
19 looked at some other photos.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you circle that, please, as you did on the other photo.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: If the witness could be given the pen again.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, I just want to clarify
24 something in order to avoid misunderstandings. Gzim Gashi's house is
25 taller than all other houses, and from this angle it looks like it's not
1 that tall. It looks as if it's on the same height with other houses. I
2 must be wrong, but as I see it from this angle, it is of the same height
3 with the house that you asked me to circle.
4 This house here, the one-storey house, looks like the room, but
5 it's of the same height, the two-storey one from this angle with the one
6 that is the one-storey one. Maybe I am wrong, but it is confusing me a
7 little bit because from this angle it looks like it is a one-storey house.
8 I apologise.
9 Q. There is no need for you to apologise. I'll suggest to you that
10 you're looking at Gzim Gashi's house down the hill, and what you're able
11 to see is the top floor. If you can recognise the house, please circle
12 it; and if you're not sure, you don't need to.
13 A. I know Gzim Gashi's house, but specifically on this picture I have
14 my suspicions because as you can see, this house here is on the same level
15 with the one-storey house. Now, if I circle it maybe it's wrong. If I
16 don't circle it, maybe again it's wrong. So --
17 Q. Sir, don't circle it. We're done with that photo.
18 JUDGE PARKER: We'll receive three, Mr. Nicholls.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry to have delayed you.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: It's all right, Your Honour.
22 Your Honour, I think it's -- that's correct. It should be 3690,
23 95 and 97 as one exhibit, please.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecution Exhibit P251, the three
25 photographs, the three images.
1 MR. NICHOLLS:
2 Q. Sir, you first met with the Defence for Haradin Bala in Kosovo; is
3 that right?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Is that in Prizren or Lapusnik or somewhere else?
6 A. In Prizren.
7 Q. How many times did you meet with them?
8 A. Once.
9 Q. Just once. And you spoke with them for quite some time in order
10 to make a written statement; correct?
11 A. Yes. Just one second, please. I, on that day, as I said, was
12 playing chess downtown. My brother came. He was very angry. He
13 said, "Get up and come home. Some people from The Hague are looking for
14 you." So I just stood up, left the game unfinished, went to my house, and
15 in the road in front of my house I met them, greeted ourselves. So they
16 told me, "We're here to take a statement." And I said to them, "Welcome
17 to our Kosova." And they said to me, "Let us sit somewhere and talk."
18 And I said, "No. You will come to my house. We will have a coffee or
19 tea. And as for statements, there's nothing we can talk about."
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 A. So I went inside their car and then we went to my house.
22 Q. Let me stop you there. I'm talking about when you met Mr. Bala's
23 attorneys, probably Mr. Guy-Smith. Have you met Mr. Guy-Smith in Kosovo?
24 MR. GUY-SMITH: [Microphone not activated].
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. Have you met Mr. Harvey in Kosovo?
4 A. No. No, I didn't meet him.
5 Q. Who did you meet for Mr. Bala's Defence team in Kosovo?
6 A. Let me think of his name.
7 Q. It may be from one of the other occasions.
8 A. I know his name. He's from Korretice. Yes, I met him, and they
9 told me to give a statement. I gave a statement. His name was Zeqir
10 Bekolli, yes. He told me to give a statement for Haradin Bala. I gave
11 him my statement. I signed it. I don't know whether he is here now or
12 not, but I gave my statement to him, and whatever I said in that
13 statement, I stand by it.
14 Q. And that was about three or four pages typed; is that right?
15 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know. Two pages maximum. It
16 wasn't that long. Two to three pages I would say.
17 Q. When did you --
18 A. But I'm not sure.
19 Q. When did you arrive in The Hague before your testimony here today?
20 A. I arrived in The Hague yesterday at 7.30, at the airport, and here
21 around 9.00, 9.30, at the hotel.
22 Q. And were you able to meet with Mr. Guy-Smith who has kindly stood
23 up for us, or Mr. Harvey, who also stood up, before you testified today?
24 A. Who are they, if I may see them? Oh, these two. Yes. I met them
25 last night.
1 Q. You met them last night.
2 A. In the hotel while I was dining.
3 Q. Did you go over your statement with them?
4 A. No. No, we didn't have any statements.
5 Q. Did you talk about your testimony here today with them?
6 A. We discussed briefly, not in details.
7 Q. And was one of the things you discussed your reading of Dr. Zeqir
8 Gashi's testimony in this case? Is that something you discussed? That's
9 the only question, is whether you discussed it.
10 A. At the hotel, they asked me, "Did you give a statement?" And I
11 said, "No, I didn't give any statement." "How come they said so?" I told
12 them I was not going to give any statement. And they said, "No. You gave
13 a statement, and you spoke of Zeqir Gashi." And I said, "No, that's not
14 true." I told them that I received them in my house, offered them a
15 coffee, and then they said to me, "No, you gave a statement." I
16 said, "No, that's not true. It's possible they have written something
17 without my approval." This is what I told them last night.
18 Q. Answer the question, please. Did you discuss with the Defence
19 whether you had read Dr. Zeqir Gashi's testimony in the press?
20 A. He asked me, "Did you read this?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Is it
21 the way you've described?" I said, "Yes, partially."
22 Q. We'll get to that. You've answered the question, you discussed
24 I'd like to give you a copy of the article, the transcript in
25 Epoka E Re that you read.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith?
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: I'm standing to assist my client. I apologise.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Now, listen to my question. This is the transcript that you read
5 of Dr. Zeqir Gashi's testimony, isn't it, in Epoka E Re?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you remember testifying just a few minutes ago --
8 you don't need to read that. I'm done with that now.
9 A. I was just glancing at it.
10 Q. That's fine. You remember testifying about how you met with
11 Mr. Whiting and Mr. Lehtinen at your house in Prizren. That was on
12 May 4th; right?
13 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't remember the date, but
14 correct, I met them in Prizren and they were in my house.
15 Q. And that was last month; right? You don't need --
16 A. Most probably, yes.
17 Q. You explained you extended them your hospitality, invited them in
18 and gave them something to drink; correct?
19 A. Correct, yes.
20 Q. You've answered the question. You explained that you were a
21 Defence witness and that you had met with the Defence; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You were asked whether you would like to discuss your testimony,
24 and you said you would check with the Defence and get back to Mr. Whiting
25 and Mr. Lehtinen, and they left you their business cards; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In fact, you never called either of those men back. There's
3 nothing wrong with that, but you didn't, did you?
4 A. I told them that, yes, and they left me their phone numbers, and I
5 intended to contact them and discuss it with them, but my wife is very
6 ill, so some things came up and that's why I couldn't contact them. She
7 suffers from high blood pressure.
8 Q. I understand.
9 A. That's why I couldn't contact them.
10 Q. You were asked one question. You were asked whether you had seen
11 Dr. Gashi's testimony. You answered that you had seen it except for some
12 power cuts, and then you offered that, however, you had read the
13 transcript of the testimony in the newspaper and you thought that
14 everything Dr. Gashi said was accurate; right?
15 A. What you're saying is correct. What I said there was that I had
16 seen Zeqir Gashi's statement, partially, I have read it in the newspaper,
17 but I had not analysed it in details because, as you can see, it's very
18 long. There were things that were true, and there were things that were
19 not true, and this is what I told them that day and this is what I'm
20 saying now.
21 Q. No. I'll put it to you that's not what you told them that day.
22 You read the transcript because of the power cuts, and you said that it
23 was all accurate. I'll give you one more chance. That's what you said
24 when you met Mr. Whiting and Mr. Lehtinen in May; correct?
25 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me. I don't believe that it's appropriate
1 to talk about giving anybody chances or not giving people chances, one
2 more or any more.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. You told Mr. Lehtinen and Mr. Whiting that you'd read the
6 transcript in the newspaper, the one which I've placed before you, and
7 that everything Dr. Gashi said was accurate; right?
8 A. No. I really apologise here, but let us be clear on this. The --
9 sir, I don't know who they were, these two who came to my house. He asked
10 me, "Did you see his entire testimony?" I said, "No. I just partially
11 followed it because there was no electricity." Then he asked me whether I
12 read about it in the newspaper. I said, "Yes. I read it in the
13 newspaper." And, "Was it true?" I said, "Yes." But as I said earlier, I
14 will repeat it now, partially it is correct and there are things that are
15 not correct. We didn't analyse it in details. Some things skipped to me.
16 I didn't read it entirely. This is what I told them.
17 Q. Well, I'll leave it, sir, but that's not what you told them, and
18 you know that. You've changed your testimony since coming here to
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Nicholls, I've had occasion in the past to put
21 to you that you do not ask questions, you make assertions and then move
22 on. And you've done it then again.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I'd like him to have a chance to answer it.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Put it then, "Did you say this," not say "You said
25 it and now I'll move on."
1 MR. NICHOLLS: It was meant as a question, sir.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it comes across differently and it can
3 confuse the witness.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. All you were told by Mr. Lehtinen and Mr. Whiting was that the
6 transcript you had read was accurate; right? That's a question, sir.
7 A. I have repeated my answer three times now. I told him that it is
8 partially correct, not entirely correct. I did not analyse it in details
9 to see whether every word in it is correct. It is true that I had told
10 them that partially it was correct and that not everything what he said
11 was correct.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I'd move the Epoka E Re article into
13 evidence, please.
14 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received. Before that's done, could I
15 mention the last exhibit I believe is P251, not P351 as appears in the
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the article will be given
18 Prosecution Exhibit number P252.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: I have nothing further.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
21 Mr. Guy-Smith.
22 MR. GUY-SMITH: I apologise. I missed the number of the last
23 exhibit. 252. Could you please give Mr. Sopi a copy of 252.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Guy-Smith:
25 Q. I'd like to you take a look at the exhibit just introduced by the
1 Prosecution. The very first column of this exhibit, this article. And if
2 you look at the very first column under where there's a name it says Burim
3 Etemaj, Bajram Lani, I believe. I may have pronounced them incorrectly.
4 Do you see where those names are in the very first column? At the top.
5 The very top, sir. Do you have that? Mr. Sopi? At the beginning where
6 the names of the journalists are. Do you see that? Mr. Sopi?
7 A. No, I haven't found those names that you just read.
8 Q. All right. Very well. Do you see in the very first column of the
9 paper, sir, the word Pristina? At the very top. 11 Prill, which I assume
10 is April?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Perfect. If you would -- from there --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If you would count down with me one, two, three, four, five, six,
15 seven, eight lines. On the eight lines do you see it starts with a word
16 that looks like "Prokurorise." I may be pronouncing that incorrectly.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you -- could you read the next part of the article starting
19 with the words "Zeqir Gashi" to the end of that paragraph. Could you read
20 that out loud, please.
21 A. "The witness: Answer: My name is Zeqir Gashi. Prosecution: Do
22 you understand me? Witness: Yes. Very well."
23 Q. Before that it, sir, it says: Zeqir Gashi "i cili giate," I
24 think. I'm not doing this well in terms of pronouncing your language.
25 But do you see where it says that?
1 A. Yes, yes. "Peter Norbert Bouckaert testified that the Prosecution
2 witness, Zeqir Gashi, who during May, June, and July of 1998 worked as a
3 doctor at a clinic in Lapusnik."
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. And when you read that, that was accurate; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like you to go over to the next column of the
9 newspaper. And I would like you to go down -- at the next column there
10 is -- it starts and it's in bold letters, it says "deshmitari."
11 A. In the beginning, on the top of the column?
12 Q. At the top of the column. It says "deshmitari" and it says
13 "prokurori." Then "deshmitari" again; "prokurori" again; "deshmitari"
14 again; "prokurori" again.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... again?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then there is the next line it says "prokurori." And what
19 does it say right there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What is the question that the Prosecutor asked Dr. Gashi according
22 to this article?
23 A. "Prosecutor: In May 1998, were you working at your clinic?
24 Witness: Yes." The witness said yes, in May 1998.
25 Q. And when you read that, that to your mind was accurate, wasn't it?
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, we're still on redirect.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, accurate.
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: And I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Your objection is well-founded,
5 Mr. Nicholls.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I should just say because of the time
7 we had portions of this translated which can be submitted, but we will
8 submit as soon as possible a full translation of the Epoka E Re article if
9 we may.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. GUY-SMITH: Because I said I had no further questions, I would
12 appreciate it if Mr. Sopi could be relieved so that he can quickly get to
13 the airport and get back on a plane since he was allowed to come for a
14 very brief period of time here. At this point, I would extend my thanks,
15 and I think all of our thanks to the Canadian government for expediting
16 his quick travel here and the ability to return back to Canada to visit
17 his family.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Sopi, thank you very much. The questions that
19 are sought to be answered by you have now been completed, and we -- you
20 may now leave and return to your family, it seems, in Canada. So thank
21 you. The court officer will show you out, and you're free to go.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you all very much, and I wish
23 you a pleasant work, and for these accused to be released as soon as
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith.
2 MR. GUY-SMITH: We have one remaining viva voce witness for
3 today's proceedings, and he will be questioned by Mr. Harvey.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 MR. HARVEY: Your Honours, before we start with Mr. Puka, I just
6 wonder whether you would like to give an indication of when you would like
7 to take our next break, given that we've had a rather chopped-around
9 JUDGE PARKER: We will run to the normal tape time. About 25
10 minutes to 12.00.
11 MR. HARVEY: Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: If that fits in with your questioning.
13 MR. HARVEY: I'm sure it will.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Puka. Would you please read
16 allowed the words that are on the card given to you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
20 WITNESS: AVDULLA PUKA
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Harvey.
23 MR. HARVEY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Examined by Mr. Harvey:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Puka.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Can you hear me clearly?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'm going to ask you a number of questions and then there may be
5 other gentlemen who have some questions for you. If there is anything
6 that I ask you or that they ask you that you don't understand or you'd
7 like clarification, please stop me or them and ask us to make our
8 questions clearer. Okay?
9 A. All right. Yes.
10 Q. Is it correct you were born in 1959? That would make you 46 years
11 of age, I believe, now.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And do you live in the village of Javor.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Have you lived there all your life?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what is your occupation, sir?
18 A. I'm a farmer. I work in my land.
19 Q. Have you ever met Mr. Haradin Bala who sits in the middle behind
21 A. Yes, during the war. From June until the end of August. By the
22 end of June until the end of August.
23 Q. Do you recall how you came to meet him?
24 A. Yes, I do recall. The first time I saw him was when Commander
25 Kumanovo brought him to my house during an evening in late June. I don't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 remember the exact date.
2 Q. Do you remember now how you're able to say that it was late June
3 rather than early June or July?
4 A. The reason I remember it is because in the first week of July, we
5 began to mow the lawns, and that's why I remember that it is in this
6 period, in late June.
7 Q. The translation we have is lawns. I'm not sure if that's the
8 agriculturally correct expression. What were you cutting, sir?
9 A. Yes. We mowed the grass that week.
10 Q. Thank you. And you're mowing the grass for what purpose? What
11 did you do with the grass? Forgive me. I'm a city boy.
12 A. We feed our animals with that.
13 Q. This is hay for feeding the animals?
14 A. Yes, hay.
15 Q. And you start cutting that in early July; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct. In the first week of July we begin.
17 Q. At the time that Haradin Bala first came to your house it was
18 before you had started cutting the grass?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is there any reason why you wouldn't cut the grass later than
21 the beginning of July?
22 A. The reason is that the grass is ripe at that time. If you leave
23 it for a longer period it will be rotten.
24 Q. And no good for feeding the horses or the cows.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When Kumanova and Haradin Bala came to your house, what did he do?
2 Did he stay in your house or did he leave?
3 A. He stayed there.
4 Q. And whereabouts in your house did he stay?
5 A. In a room, in an oda. In the guest room --
6 Q. Your oda.
7 A. -- we have. Yes.
8 Q. Was it just Haradin or did others stay in that oda?
9 A. For the first time it was only Haradin who stayed, then some
10 soldiers came. I don't remember exactly when. Maybe after two or three
11 days. But that night it was only Haradin.
12 Q. And for how long did he remain staying with you in your oda?
13 A. He stayed from June until the end of August.
14 Q. What happened at the end of August that makes you remember that
16 A. After the fall of Luzhnice, we all left that place. After that I
17 don't know anything.
18 Q. Now, is your oda separate from the house in which you sleep?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What kind of distance separates them?
21 A. It is about 30 metres far from my house.
22 Q. And so in order for Haradin Bala and the other soldiers to go in
23 and out of the oda they don't have to pass through your house?
24 A. No, they don't. Because it is -- there is a separate entrance.
25 It has an entrance from the yard, but there is another entrance from the
1 other side where there is a meadow.
2 Q. Okay. So during this period from the end of June until the fall
3 of Luzhnice, did you see Haradin Bala every day or most days or once or
4 twice? How often?
5 A. I saw him often, but I can't tell you that I saw him every day
6 because I didn't have to, but I recall that I saw him quite often. I had
7 to tend to my own businesses which I had to do then.
8 Q. Of course. Did you have conversations was him during that period?
9 A. Yes. We sat together. We talked.
10 Q. And did you observe his -- his physical condition at all, what his
11 health appeared to be like to you?
12 A. At that time, he seemed very weak. He seemed to have an ill
13 health. He could hardly stand on his feet.
14 Q. Did you observe him leaving your village to go anywhere else at
15 any time?
16 A. He told me sometimes that he was going either to visit his family
17 or to see a doctor.
18 Q. Do you know where he went to visit his family?
19 A. No, I don't remember that.
20 Q. Do you know where he went to visit the doctor?
21 A. I am not clear about the question. I am not clear about your
23 Q. When he told you he was going to see the doctor, did he tell you
24 where he was going?
25 A. Yes. He often told me he was going to Shale, Sedlare, or Klecke.
1 Q. You understood that he was a soldier in the KLA; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. At that time were you yourself a soldier in the KLA?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Was there any reason why you were not a soldier?
6 A. I don't have any reasons, but I think an entire people cannot join
7 a war.
8 Q. Somebody has to do the farming; right?
9 A. Yes, certainly.
10 Q. Did you know what he was doing as a soldier at that time and where
11 he was doing it?
12 A. He told me that he was responsible for logistical issues in
14 Q. And how far is Luzhnice from Javor?
15 A. Luzhnice may be about two or two and a half kilometres away from
16 Javor. At least from the place where my house is, because it may be even
18 Q. Did you yourself go to Luzhnice during that period? That's the
19 period of end of June until the fall of Luzhnice at the end of August.
20 A. Only once I went to Luzhnice, but I remember I was there before
21 Haradin Bala came, when Kumanova was with some three or four soldiers.
22 Q. So did you ever see Haradin Bala in Luzhnice yourself?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And you've mentioned that he sometimes appeared too weak to walk.
25 How did he get -- if you know, how did he get from your house in Javor to
1 either Luzhnice or Shale or the other places you've mentioned?
2 A. When I saw him, he was driving a white Lada. In a vehicle.
3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Puka. If you would remain there, please.
4 There may be some other questions for you.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 MR. MANSFIELD: No thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Mansfield.
8 Mr. Powles.
9 MR. POWLES: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
11 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Whiting:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Puka.
14 A. Good morning, sir.
15 Q. My name an Alex Whiting. I'm one of the Prosecutors with the
16 Office of the Prosecutor.
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. You recall we have in fact met before at your house in Javor at
19 the beginning of May 1998 [sic]. Do you recall that?
20 A. Yes, I do. On the 6th of May, and we had a coffee together.
21 Q. That's right. And I was with an investigator, Mr. Lehtinen, and
22 an interpreter. Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the house we met at in Javor is the house that you've been
25 testifying about; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. It's fair to say that that house is a little bit isolated in
3 Javor, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. It's --
6 A. It's a little bit isolated, that's true.
7 Q. It's at the end of quite a long road and there aren't really any
8 houses around you, are there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In fact, to drive to Luzhnice it's more like three kilometres,
11 isn't it, if you drive there on the road, because the road doesn't go
12 directly to Luzhnice, it goes kind of around and would you say it's about
13 three kilometres?
14 A. Yes. In the past, but now the road is damaged, and maybe two and
15 a half or maybe even three kilometres. I never measured it.
16 MR. HARVEY: Your Honours, I apologise for rising but there is a
17 rather obvious error in the transcript. At page 41, line 10, Mr. Whiting
18 is reported as having suggested that he was in the house in Javor at the
19 beginning of May 1998, which even by the efficiency of the Prosecution's
20 standards here is a little early.
21 MR. WHITING: That's correct. It was May of this year.
22 Q. We met in May of this year. Isn't that correct, Mr. Puka?
23 A. We met this year.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Puka, the first time that you ever told anybody about
25 Haradin Bala being at your house at any time was in October of 2004 when
1 you were interviewed by the Defence. Isn't that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you know --
4 A. In October 2004, I think.
5 Q. Right. That's the first time that you told your account; right?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Now, did you know Haradin Bala's name in 1998 or is that something
8 you found out only later?
9 A. After some time of staying there, he told me that his name was
10 Haradin Bala, but until then we knew him by pseudonym Shala. But even
11 after he told me his real name, I called him Shala.
12 Q. Were you aware of his arrest by this Tribunal in February of 2003?
13 A. Yes, I was, because I saw it on television when he was arrested.
14 Q. And you saw that he was being charged with committing crimes in
15 Lapusnik during the summer of 1998; correct?
16 A. Yes. We heard these charges.
17 Q. Now, I want to ask you some questions about the other soldiers you
18 say were staying in your oda. Some of those other soldiers were Gani
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Nexhmi?
22 A. Yes, Nexhmi Shala.
23 Q. Besim Zhurda.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And were there other soldiers staying in your oda?
1 A. Yes. There were others who came and went, but I didn't know their
3 Q. How many others came and went during July and August of 1998?
4 A. I don't remember.
5 Q. Do you remember approximately?
6 A. Maybe six or seven.
7 Q. Do you remember any of their names?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, the soldiers that you did remember, Gani Shala, Nexhmi Shala,
10 and Besim Zhurda, those soldiers were staying -- were in your oda at the
11 same time as Haradin Bala; correct?
12 A. No. I don't remember whether they stayed together at the same
13 time. Maybe the soldiers had other duties and Haradin had other duties,
14 so this I don't remember.
15 Q. Well, what I mean is approximately the same time. That these
16 soldiers were in your oda in -- during the summer of 1998; correct?
17 A. Yes. By the end of June until August. On the 25th of August.
18 After that, no more.
19 Q. Now, are you aware that during July -- well, let me ask you this
20 before I ask you that question: Were these soldiers staying -- that
21 you've identified staying regularly in your oda from the end of June until
23 A. I don't remember them staying there regularly.
24 Q. Well, do you remember how often they stayed or what they were
25 doing? Do you remember anything about that?
1 A. No, I don't remember what they did, no.
2 Q. It's hard to remember everything that happened that long ago,
3 isn't it, Mr. Puka.
4 A. It may be hard, but I'll try to tell you what I know.
5 Q. Now, were you aware that Gani Shala was a soldier assigned to
6 Kroimire during June and July of 1998?
7 A. No, I don't know.
8 Q. You didn't know that?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Nexhmi Shala's from Klecke; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And wasn't he in Klecka during June and July of 1998?
13 A. I have seen him several times in my home in the evening or in the
14 morning. And as to where he was staying, this I don't know. But since I
15 have seen him often either in the morning or at night, I thought that he
16 was staying there too.
17 Q. But you're not sure. Is that right, you're not sure?
18 A. I thought that they -- I know that they slept there, but I
19 thought -- I am sure they slept in my house, because I've seen them often
21 Q. Now, in fact, Mr. Puka, these men we've been talking about, Gani
22 Shala, Nexhmi Shala, Besim Zhurda, and Haradin Bala all stayed in your
23 house in the fall of 1998; correct?
24 A. Not in the fall but in the summer, June to August.
25 Q. I'm not asking you about the summer right now. Do you recall
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that -- let's start with Gani Shala.
2 Do you recall that Gani Shala came to your house sometime maybe in
3 October, maybe November of 1998, and stayed in your house then?
4 A. This happened later. It is true that he came to my house later,
5 but he was also during the time I mentioned earlier.
6 Q. Let's focus on later. Later, Gani Shala stayed at your house and
7 Nexhmi Shala was also there, wasn't he?
8 A. What period are we talking about?
9 Q. We're focusing on the later period, in the fall, maybe October,
10 maybe November of 1998. You've already told us that Gani Shala was there
11 at that time. My question now is that Nexhmi Shala was also there at the
12 same time; correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And Besim Zhurda was there also?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You don't remember Besim Zhurda being there?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And Haradin Bala was also there; right?
19 A. No. From the end of August I didn't see Haradin Bala. I saw him
20 only when he came here to the Tribunal.
21 Q. You never saw him in your house during the fall or late period of
22 1998. That's your testimony?
23 A. No, he wasn't there, no.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, I'm sorry, I've been told time on the
25 tape is out. We must break.
1 MR. WHITING: Okay.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at five minutes to 12.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.34 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.57 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
6 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Puka, you're aware that to get from your house in Javor to
8 Shale, Sedlare, you have to drive, if you're driving, to -- first to
9 Luzhnice, then to Klecka and then over to Shale-Sedlare; correct?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Are you not aware of that or are you suggesting that there's
12 another way to do that drive, to get from Javor to Shale?
13 A. No. You don't have to go to Luzhnice to go to Shale from Javor.
14 From Javor you can go to Klecke and then to Shale.
15 Q. So you go from Javor to Klecke and then to Shale. That's what
16 you're saying.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You're aware that in June and July of 1998 that was a difficult
19 road to take; correct?
20 A. No. It was better than it is today.
21 Q. Really? When did it get better? What was -- let me put that
22 question differently.
23 In -- did you drive on that road in June of 1998?
24 A. No. No, I did not drive on that road in June of 1998. I didn't
25 have any business to do that. But it was a road that was used by people.
1 I remember I have gone once to get some stones, some limestones that we
2 used to burn for producing limestone, and I know that it was in a better
3 condition than it is today.
4 Q. And when was that, that you went to get some stones?
5 A. It was before the war. Maybe it was 1997, during the summer.
6 Q. But during June and July of 1998, you yourself did not drive on
7 that road, is that what you're telling us?
8 A. No, I did not.
9 Q. Now, your memory -- you testified earlier that Haradin Bala stayed
10 in your house until the end of August. That's your memory.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you sure of that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, at the end of June of 1998 or, let's say, from the middle of
15 June until the end of June, you know that there was fighting in Luzhnice;
17 A. Yes, there was fighting.
18 Q. On the 14th of June there was some fighting. Do you remember
20 A. I don't remember the date.
21 Q. Do you remember that at the end of June, around the 25th, there
22 was some very intense fighting in Luzhnice?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And how do you know that?
25 A. I heard the sound of fighting. I could hear that even in my
1 house. I could hear the Serb artillery firing, so I could hear that.
2 Q. After the Serb offensive started on the 25th, 26th of July, you
3 know that there were a lot of civilians and soldiers, KLA soldiers and
4 Albanian civilians who had to leave their villages that were attacked;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. They had to leave places like Zborce, Carraleve, Fustica,
8 Lapusnik, Malisevo; right?
9 A. I don't know about those areas because they are far away from
10 where I live. The only thing I know is that we left Javor.
11 Q. Well, you left Javor at the end of August. I'm talking about the
12 end of July. You're aware that at the end of July when the offensive
13 started people had to leave their houses in other villages that were
14 attacked first; right?
15 A. I have no knowledge about that. Maybe they had to leave because
16 of the fighting, but I don't know, because at that time I was staying at
17 my home, and I was not interested in asking or in knowing such things, but
18 I know that because of -- probably because of the war the population
19 always leaves the war zones.
20 Q. You weren't aware that the offensive had started at that time and
21 that people were moving, there were refugees in the mountains and people
22 were moving from their villages? You weren't -- you didn't hear that at
23 that time, the end of July 1998?
24 A. No, I didn't hear that because we are a little bit away from
25 Lapusnik, so I don't know what has happened there. But we know of course
1 that there was a war.
2 Q. Now, when Haradin Bala stayed at your house there would be days
3 that would go by where you wouldn't see him; correct?
4 A. He wasn't away for long. As far as I remember, he may have been
5 away for two or three days, but not longer than that.
6 Q. Do you remember telling us when we came and met with you that it
7 could have been two or three days but in fact you're not sure it could
8 have been longer than that? Do you remember telling us that?
9 A. No. You asked me whether he was away for a week or so, and I
10 replied that he wasn't away for more than two or three days.
11 Q. And after you replied that, do you remember saying but it could
12 have been longer, you're not sure?
13 A. No, I don't remember having said that.
14 Q. When Haradin Bala and the other soldiers were there, you were busy
15 with your own tasks; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You didn't pay close attention to what the soldiers were doing;
19 A. No, I didn't pay attention.
20 Q. Now, I'm going to put it to you, Mr. Puka, that after six years
21 that you've made a mistake here and that Mr. Bala, in fact, could not have
22 come to your house until after the end of July 1998, not at the end of
23 June 1998. Do you understand what I'm saying?
24 A. It is a fact that he was there from the end of June until the end
25 of August. He was there in my home. He slept there quite often. And I
1 even now remember his Lada car which he used to drive.
2 Q. Mr. Puka, do you accept that it's possible that after so much time
3 has passed that you're making a mistake? Do you accept that possibility?
4 A. I may make mistakes. Everybody does.
5 Q. And in fact, do you recall telling us when we met with you in your
6 home that sometimes you don't remember what you had for dinner a week ago?
7 Do you remember saying that?
8 A. Yes. One cannot remember everything, but some can be remembered.
9 Q. Mr. Puka, you told us that you -- you yourself did not join the
10 KLA. Did you ever suffer any consequences for not joining the KLA?
11 A. No. I didn't join the KLA during that period when the war broke
12 out, but later I did, in November of 1998.
13 Q. Where did you join the KLA?
14 A. In Javor.
15 Q. And did you serve in Javor?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Until when?
18 A. Until the end of the war when NATO troops entered the country. On
19 the 15th or the 16th of June, 1999.
20 Q. When you say you served in Javor, did you serve in your house or
21 in some other place in Javor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm sorry, I asked the question badly. Did you serve in your
24 house in Javor?
25 A. In my house, because there was a unit of the army that was
1 stationed there.
2 Q. And that unit was stationed in your house from November until the
3 end of the war. Is that your testimony?
4 A. Yes. From November 1998 until the end of the war in 1999.
5 Q. Did you ever engage in any fighting there?
6 A. No. During that period, we didn't have any fighting.
7 Q. How many soldiers were in the unit?
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. You don't remember how many soldiers were in the unit?
10 A. No. Frankly, I don't remember.
11 MR. WHITING: I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Mr. Harvey.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Harvey:
15 Q. Mr. Puka, my sympathies. I don't remember what I had to eat last
16 week either. But tell us this if you would, please: When Mr. Bala first
17 came to your house, who was he with?
18 A. He was with Commander Kumanova. I now call him Commander
19 Kumanova, because at that time we knew him only as Kumanova. But later on
20 we began to call him Commander Kumanova, after he was killed. At that
21 time we knew him only as Kumanova in the village.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if you remember.
23 A. I don't remember the exact date when he was killed, whether it was
24 the 23rd of August or 24th or 25th. He was killed in a battle in these
25 three days, in one of them. I was staying with my family. The fighting
1 was going on further from my house.
2 I don't know when I heard about it, but it was on the 25th or
3 the 26th that he was killed in a battle.
4 Q. I think the Tribunal already has some evidence about that, so I
5 won't trouble you further on it, Mr. Puka. I have no further questions
6 for you. Thank you, sir.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Puka, thank you very much. That completes the
8 evidence that counsel would like you to give, so you are now free to leave
9 and to return to your home. Thank you very much.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for giving me the
11 opportunity to testify.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. As indicated that, that completes the
15 viva voce aspect of Mr. Bala's defence.
16 I indicated the other day that there was a matter with regard to
17 the statement of Mr. Tucker. Just so the Trial Chamber is clear, that is
18 something that is in the process. It will be filed shortly, but it is not
19 yet completed. I had a conversation with Mr. Whiting. We're still
20 working on it to make sure that all Is are dotted and all Ts are crossed
21 and we are in agreement. And once that's completed, we will have that
22 filed with the Chamber, and it certainly will be well within the period of
23 time that has been contemplated in our discussions of yesterday when
24 people were in various stages of wet.
25 JUDGE PARKER: And chill.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes, and chill.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Well, then, subject to the matter of the statement
3 of Mr. Tucker, that closes your case.
4 MR. GUY-SMITH: That would be correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 Mr. Topolski.
7 MR. TOPOLSKI: May I return to water, cold or warm, please.
8 Your Honours, the Defence bar has discussed in some detail the
9 forthcoming timetable in the light of the position we indicated yesterday
10 with regard to Mr. Musliu. That, of course, still obtains, and the
11 Chamber will recollect there is one outstanding live witness, Professor
12 Wagenaar, to be dealt with, but notwithstanding that, we know that it
13 would be of assistance to both the Chamber and indeed the bar to see if we
14 can achieve either some consensus or some imposition of a consensus as to
15 the timetable to follow.
16 Your Honours, in the discussions we have had, we have very much
17 taken on board what Your Honour said yesterday. Although not written in
18 stone, the very clear thoughts of the Chamber were received loudly and
19 clearly. It is, of course, the custom and indeed the practice at the
20 various bars where we all practice in our home countries for final
21 submissions to follow swiftly if not immediately upon the close of the
22 evidence, even in the longest of cases.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I've been known to adjourn at 3.10 to allow
24 overnight, so it's not always inflexibly hard.
25 MR. TOPOLSKI: If only Your Honour's generosity was shared by your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 brothers in England. I have been asked to make a speech at the end of an
2 eight-month trial on 4.00 on a Friday afternoon when the evidence finished
3 at 3.00, so I'm sure we all have equal horror stories.
4 But, Your Honour, having said that, the task is a considerable one
5 in the preparation of a document such as the final brief on both sides,
6 and we are not in the business of making life any more difficult for
7 anybody else than it needs to be. But, Your Honour, doing the best we
8 can, and I know this does not find favour across the courtroom, but doing
9 the best we can we have a proposal to put forward tentatively, and it is
10 this: That final briefs be in a position to be, as it were, put on the
11 table, metaphorically speaking, filed, on or about Friday the 8th of July,
12 with a view to what I call final speeches, or submissions if the Chamber
13 prefers the term, to commence the week beginning the 18th of July.
14 Your Honours, that will, given that the Tribunal rises as we
15 understand it for the summer vacation on Friday, the 22nd, given that we
16 know no reason or at least have not been told that the Chamber would not
17 be sitting for the whole of that week, we have contemplated final oral
18 submissions from Mr. Whiting going into two days; Mr. Mansfield a day;
19 Mr. Guy-Smith and Mr. Harvey - I don't know who it would be - a day; and
20 myself, the final speech on Friday, the 22nd, and I would give the
21 assurance, of course, of being no more than a working day myself.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Can I say immediately a problem with that. We
23 cannot sit on the 21st and probably the 22nd because of a Plenary. It
24 would be three days of final submission from all counsel, not five, if it
25 was that week. Something that came to my attention last evening.
1 MR. TOPOLSKI: But immovable.
2 JUDGE PARKER: That's immovable for the Plenary.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: That is a problem.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It might mean that oral submissions have to be
5 after the break.
6 MR. TOPOLSKI: It might mean that.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Unless they can be accommodated in three days.
8 MR. TOPOLSKI: Impossible is the word I hear from my left, and --
9 MR. GUY-SMITH: And across.
10 MR. TOPOLSKI: And across. Yes. I was just about to say. At the
11 risk of making myself even more unpopular by the moment, starting those
12 final submissions the week commencing the 13th.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Monday the 11th.
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm sorry. I'm looking at the wrong number. I beg
15 your pardon. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: That's just a weekend after the written
18 MR. TOPOLSKI: Or the 18th. Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Well, anyhow, we will hear what others have to say,
20 Mr. Topolski. We're grateful that you've been able to concentrate thought
21 a little more clearly over the evening as the ice melted.
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, I should observe that this proposed
23 timetable is, in terms of presentation of the final brief, not going to be
24 easy, but I'm -- we all understand, from our side at least, possible. A
25 great deal of time is going to be needed to be spent upon it, but
1 therefore what we are saying is both the consensus of our view and
2 realistic. There seems to be no point in seeking to try and curry favour
3 even if we could for one moment by putting forward unachievable dates.
4 But they are, I'm told, achievable. From our side anyway.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Is there anything to be added or do you
6 speak for all?
7 MR. MANSFIELD: No, there's nothing to add really except -- I'm
8 just checking dates. I don't know whether bringing forward into the week
9 before, starting on either the 12th or the 13th, would solve some
10 problems. That's all.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
12 MR. WHITING: My turn to be in the cold water.
13 Your Honour, of course the Prosecution will comply with any
14 schedule that it's ordered to comply with. That should go without saying.
15 If we're given these sorts of dates that are being talked about, we will
16 find a way to meet it.
17 I also recognise as the Court said yesterday that finality,
18 efficiency, speed is important. It's not just important to the accused.
19 It's also important to the Prosecution, to the victims in this case, to
20 the interests of justice. However, equally important, in the
21 Prosecution's submission, is getting it right, and that is also important
22 to the accused, to the interests of justice, to the victims, to all the
23 parties, of course, in this courtroom. That goes without saying.
24 The deadlines that we are talking about here are extremely tight.
25 And the Prosecution, it's the view of the Prosecution that while it could
1 meet a deadline of July the 8th somehow, it would provide the Chamber with
2 a better result, a -- one that will be of more use to the Trial Chamber in
3 its deliberations if we were some more time. And I -- I think we would
4 save perhaps some time in the later stages of this process if we were able
5 to do a truly first-rate product, which is what we would like to do.
6 Secondly, I think the rebuttal time that is being talked about is,
7 frankly, very, very tight. Starting -- starting closing -- because we're
8 going to be doing simultaneous filings, of course a big focus of the oral
9 speeches will be to address arguments made by the other side, and time is
10 going to be required to prepare that, and the schedule starting on
11 the 11th or 12th leaves only a matter of days to do that, and I don't
12 think that that will benefit the Trial Chamber. I don't think that will
13 benefit the process if the parties are not given enough time to consider
14 the arguments and submissions of the other side and formulate coherent,
15 clear, well-founded responses to them.
16 Therefore, we would propose that oral submissions be made after
17 the break and that the due date be pushed forward by two weeks to around
18 the 22nd or shortly before, 21st, but sometime during the latter part of
19 that last week.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, can we pay attention for a moment to
21 what is to come before then, and that is the need to deal with the one
22 additional expert witness, and then there was a suggestion yesterday, I
23 think it was, that there may possibly be rebuttal. Are you in a position
24 at the moment to have assessed whether you will be seeking to lead any
25 rebuttal evidence?
1 MR. WHITING: At the moment my expectation is that the rebuttal
2 evidence will be very narrow and may not even require calling any live
3 witnesses. It may be that the rebuttal evidence could be accomplished by
4 agreed facts or by one, maybe two 92 bis statements going into evidence.
5 There is the possibility, as we prepare to deal with the expert,
6 there is the possibility -- I think it's very unlikely but I want to be
7 clear about this that there is the possibility that the Prosecution would
8 seek to call an expert in rebuttal. That, of course, would probably throw
9 the whole schedule out of whack, depending on the scope and various
10 agreements we might be able to work out with the Defence. I say the
11 possibility of that is very remote. I cannot make a final judgement about
12 that until we have completed our preparation for this expert.
13 I hope that answer was clear.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I got the drift clear enough. Now, what view does
15 the Prosecution take on the length of time for final oral submissions?
16 MR. WHITING: Well, it's very hard to predict, but I certainly
17 would think for the Prosecution a minimum of a day, and it could very well
18 go into a second day. Of course, we will -- having filed our brief we
19 will try to be focused, specific, not repeat things that are in the brief,
20 but we've been told that we're going to be confronted with a 500-page
21 submission from the Defence. Mr. Khan is shaking his head. Maybe because
22 he's --
23 JUDGE PARKER: I think the indication given of the completion by
24 the 8th of July may involve some reassessment of that estimate. Can I say
25 given the issues that are alive in the case, it would appear to the
1 Chamber that something very much shorter would do the job, but as we've
2 seen today, Judges can lead people astray.
3 MR. WHITING: Well, I certainly don't -- I certainly don't dispute
4 that. We won't be filing 500 pages. I can assure the Court of that. And
5 I'm sure Mr. Khan will keep it to well under 500 pages for the other side.
6 So it's very hard to estimate for oral submissions, but certainly
7 a day and perhaps more.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Still with the concerns expressed yesterday
10 afternoon and those of Mr. Whiting today in our ears and conscious that
11 there may be some need for a little flexibility in timetable because of
12 the contingency that could arise because of the expert witness and because
13 what the Defence have very helpfully put forward in response to the
14 Chamber's suggestions made yesterday, because that is in fact not possible
15 because of the Plenary sittings, it seems inevitable, although we had
16 rather hoped it might be avoided, that we cannot complete the process of
17 written and oral submissions before the vacation.
18 That being so, we certainly would think that to give the
19 Prosecution time to deal with the possibility of any rebuttal and/or
20 further expert evidence, we would take the view that fine written briefs
21 should be filed and will give an alternative and hear counsel on it either
22 by the last day before the commencement of the vacation or by the first
23 day of the new term, if you counsel think that the vacation would be of
24 use. Clearly it will not make a practical difference to the Chamber. But
25 we would make it clear that if there is to be any rebuttal expert
1 evidence, it will have to be accommodated before the end of this term,
2 which means that it must be over and done with before the Plenary, which
3 commences on the 21st of July.
4 So if you are led toward some other expert evidence, Mr. Whiting,
5 you'll have to be able to have it available within that time span. In
6 fairness to the accused, we really can't just let this go on beyond that.
7 But for the reasons indicated, certainly extra time in the written briefs
8 should ensure that both sides are in a position to put forward their
9 respective cases in best light and adequately.
10 Now, to enable people after the vacation to have mastered the
11 written brief of the other parties and to be ready with their thoughts, we
12 think the second rather than the first week after the vacation would be
13 appropriate for final oral submissions.
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm so sorry to interrupt. We certainly don't know
15 the week when the vacation ends.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We're looking at the week of the 22nd to the 26th
17 of August.
18 MR. TOPOLSKI: Of August.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Is there any immediate and obvious reason why
20 that is not possible? I see no indication of that.
21 We are a little concerned at the time estimate for final
22 submissions that have been given. What we would propose is that there be
23 one day for the Prosecution and a total of two days for the Defence, and
24 we might be persuaded to allow a half day leeway to each. In other words,
25 in total three or perhaps four days. If there is no other agreement
1 between Defence, we would divide the time equally between each of the
2 three Defence teams. But if there is mutual agreement, of course we would
3 accept that as to some other time division.
4 Just to facilitate people being here, we would, therefore, think
5 commencing Tuesday, the 23rd of August and concluding either Thursday,
6 the 25th or, if necessary, running into Friday, the 26th, but certainly
7 all concluded by that day.
8 I would think at that contains a measure of good and bad news, but
9 I think it is a realistic estimate to ensure in the interests of
10 everybody, including and especially the accused, that we can be sure that
11 the Chamber is provided with well prepared final briefs, that there is an
12 opportunity, if necessary, for any rebuttal evidence to be dealt with, and
13 that counsel are in a position to make final submissions that take account
14 of what has been put against them by the other side and by, in the case of
15 the Defence, by the other accused.
16 Now, that leaves the question whether counsel whether prefer
17 filing final written briefs by the end of term or by the commencement of
18 the next. When I say end of term, it would be, I think, practically the
19 Wednesday, the 20th of July, or it would be the -- Monday, the 15th of
21 MR. WHITING: Well, on behalf of the Prosecution, our preference
22 would be the 20th of July.
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: I -- we agree.
24 JUDGE PARKER: "Agreement" is a wonderful word. Thank you,
25 Mr. Guy-Smith.
1 MR. GUY-SMITH: There is some concern that has been voiced with
2 regard to the dates of argument.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 MR. GUY-SMITH: Contemplating as the Chamber's just proposed the
5 23rd to the 26th. I understand through quick whispers that it constitutes
6 some difficulties for some of us on this side of the --
7 JUDGE PARKER: Are there other dates that are more convenient?
8 MR. GUY-SMITH: I understand the week after unless -- the week
9 after would be fine. Any time during the third week -- the third week in
10 August would work. The week beginning --
11 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honours, I could just interrupt and ask if the
12 Chamber could rise for a few moments to enable us just between ourselves
13 to discuss these dates.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Let us put the options clearly on the
16 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: First filing of written submissions either by
18 Wednesday, the 20th of July -- I'll make a note of them as I go so I'll
19 remember them.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: And I'll do so as well.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Or by Monday, the 8th. That is the close of
22 business Monday, the 8th of August. Sorry, I'm one week out already.
23 Monday, the 15th of August, which is the first day of term. And oral
24 submissions either 23rd to, we'll say, 26th August, or if it's going that
25 long we wouldn't need perhaps -- well, it could be the 29th or 30th to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 2nd of September. Those two weeks. Yes. And whether it's a Monday or
2 Tuesday start, again it may be more practical for a Tuesday start.
3 MR. TOPOLSKI: Yes, I'm grateful. I think it would be beneficial
4 if we could just have a few moments.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Ten minutes?
6 MR. TOPOLSKI: Five. Five, probably.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We will take the air.
8 --- Break taken at 12.44 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Guy-Smith.
11 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. I think we remain agreed with regard to
12 the 20th for filing of the written submission.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 MR. GUY-SMITH: We would suggest commencing oral submissions on
15 the 29th, and we would further suggest that we reserve that week for oral
17 And I think it's fair for me to say that I've been pretty quick.
18 I've tried to keep a narrow and defined focus. My colleagues on this side
19 have also, I think, done the same. I know the extent to which we have
20 worked with the Prosecution in cutting needless examinations and agreeing
21 about things that can be better handled perhaps other ways, and I think it
22 would be fair to say that we probably saved somewhere between five to
23 seven months of just trial time based on all of the things that we were
24 able to agree upon with regard to the experts, which is not insubstantial.
25 There are, in fact, three accused. Our attempts, as you well know, have
1 been in large measure joint, but there are clearly individual concerns for
2 each of these gentlemen which I think need to be addressed fully, fairly,
3 and for all consideration. It's our submission, and I'm sure that my
4 colleagues have something to say with regard to this issue, that to
5 reserve that week would not only be prudent but also equitable and not
6 bring any violence to the -- or violation to the amount of time we have
7 spent in this case.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
9 Mr. Mansfield.
10 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes. If I may just add a few observations on the
11 last point. It may seem a relatively minor area, but in one sense it's
12 perhaps the most important area, namely the final oral submissions made on
13 behalf of these three accused.
14 You expressed on behalf of the Tribunal your gratitude only a week
15 or so ago when we closed our case on behalf of Fatmir Limaj in the sense
16 that we had focused on the essential issues which we've tried to do from
17 the very beginning, and I think there can be no question about that on
18 this side, I'm not suggesting on the other side there's been anything
19 different, but on this side there has been a considerable editing and
20 focusing on what is going to be relevant and helpful to the Tribunal, such
21 that I don't know whether it's a trial completed in record time for this
22 Tribunal, but it's certainly a trial completed in one of the shortest
23 times that anyone I've spoken to seems to have known.
24 And therefore, all our estimates, including the estimate I gave
25 for the length of the Defence case -- there's only occasion where I got it
1 wrong in terms of the amount of time for cross-examination. Other than
2 that, our time estimate was three weeks, perhaps four; it was three
3 weeks. And we very carefully indeed considered indeed how much time would
4 be necessary for final oral submissions, addressing material that has not
5 arisen in written form, in other words, responding to the other side, as
6 it were, would take in each case no more than one day, and I think in the
7 context of a case of this gravity with the fact that the defendants
8 themselves are having obviously to wait and they would prefer a sooner
9 schedule, and we have agreed to every single attempt to speed the matter
10 up, including filing and, if possible, final submissions before the summer
11 break. We were prepared to do that. So it's in the context of a great
12 preparedness on our part to complete all deadlines, to focus on the
13 relevant issues, the requests that I would maintain with a certain amount
14 of flexibility, because it may be that Mr. Whiting in the end might just
15 exceed one day. It might be I'll just go under one day. But in the case
16 of Mr. Fatmir Limaj, plainly I have a large number of broader issues to
17 consider as well as the finer detail.
18 So an estimate of one day, I would submit, in relation to a case
19 of this length for that purpose is not excessive and will not be usurping
20 time of the Tribunal in any way at all, so I would ask for reconsideration
21 on that matter.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 Mr. Topolski.
24 MR. TOPOLSKI: I agree.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You agree and have nothing to add. Thank you.
1 Mr. Whiting.
2 MR. WHITING: I have nothing to add, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE PARKER: As ever, the persuasiveness of counsel has its day.
6 We would then see the timetable to be Wednesday, the 20th of July for the
7 filing of written final cases for all parties. Final oral submissions to
8 commence on the Monday, the 29th of August. Prosecution to conclude no
9 later than the end of the 30th and Defence to continue for three days. If
10 Prosecution finishes a day or substantially earlier, we will expect
11 continuous flow.
12 Now, we thank you all for your assistance in seeing that way
13 forward. There will be need, just to make it clear, that we propose now
14 to adjourn until Monday, the 27th of this month, unless it is the Tuesday,
15 the 28th is more convenient. But can I indicate that on the Tuesday it
16 will be necessary, if we have to sit in the afternoon, which is probable,
17 that the Chamber would have to have -- it will be a very short day. The
18 Chamber will probably have to rise about 4.30. So Tuesday, the 28th, if
19 we must sit in the afternoon, of necessity will be a shorter day. And we
20 would sit during that week as is necessary to complete whatever the
21 evidence is that any party needs to offer at that point.
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, of course we can't speak in evidential
23 terms beyond Professor Wagenaar at the moment because there isn't any at
24 the moment. He is available to testify on Monday, the 27th. I think I
25 speak for all when I say we would positively invite the Chamber to hear
1 him on that day. It's going to be very much in Mr. Whiting's hands as to
2 how long he's going to be. My own proposal, because I will be taking him
3 in chief, would be not to be too long with him. So we'll be beholden to
4 Mr. Whiting as to that aspect of the matter. But for a variety of
5 reasons, not least, as it were, getting on with it as best we can, and
6 therefore concluding the evidence if that is going to be the position, we
7 would very much like to call him on the 27th. He's set those days aside.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Right. Well, we then adjourn now until Monday, the
9 27th of June.
10 MR. TOPOLSKI: Well, Your Honours, can I just add one rider to
11 that and I don't know whether this is going to be possible or not. I
12 should add the words unless he can be agreed. Over to Mr. Whiting.
13 MR. WHITING: Wishful thinking.
14 JUDGE PARKER: And that will be in the afternoon at 2.15.
15 MR. TOPOLSKI: Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: And we have availability during the week if it is
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.03 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 27th day
20 of June, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.