1 Tuesday, 7 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: While the witness is being brought into court, let
6 me deal with the Prosecution's motion to amend the date for the testimony
7 that was projected by videolink conference later this week. It's proposed
8 now that that should be the week of the 27th of November. I take it
9 there's no Defence objection to that. Therefore, we will authorise the
10 change, and in doing so, we will include in the order authority to the
11 parties to reach agreement on varying the date for any videolink testimony
12 in future so that it doesn't need to come back to the Chamber unless there
13 is controversy between the parties. And each time we do grant an order
14 for videolink testimony, that provision will be included in the order to
15 avoid this situation being repeated.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 WITNESS: BISLIM ZYRAPI [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Zyrapi.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Your evidence will now continue. Please remember
22 that the solemn declaration you made at the beginning of your evidence to
23 tell the truth continues to apply to your evidence today.
24 Mr. Marcussen.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Marcussen: [Continued] .
2 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, good afternoon. Mr. Zyrapi, yesterday we finished off
3 discussing uniforms used by the KLA, and I'd like to move on to some
4 related topics about the equipment used by the KLA. First, if we could go
5 through the kind of weapons that the KLA used.
6 Could you describe the weapons that the KLA had, maybe starting
7 with personal weapons of individual soldiers and then move up to heavier
9 A. Yes. The KLA used these kinds of weapons, starting from personal
10 weapons, such as pistols, AK-47s or Kalashnikovs, which were of different
11 makes, Chinese, Albanian, former Yugoslav. Then they used semi-automatic
12 rifles, which made up 70 to 80 per cent of the weaponry used. Then there
13 were light machine-guns of the calibre 7.9 and 7.62. I can't remember. I
14 don't know the exact number of these weapons. Then 20 -- correction,
15 12.7-millimetre heavy machine-guns. I do not know the exact number of
16 these guns. Anti-tank weapons, RPGs, with a range of 150 to 500 metres.
17 There were also Zoljas. There were only a few of them because it was
18 difficult to find them. Some of them used mortars, 82-millimetre mortars.
19 I don't know the approximate number of these mortars, but I know that
20 there were just a few of them and only a few shells, maybe only five to 10
21 shells per mortar. There were only two 120-millimetre mortars. One was
22 used in the Llap zone and the other in the Berisha mountains.
23 In addition, there were other weapons of various calibres. I
24 don't know the exact number. There were a few recoilless guns, cannons,
25 but just a few of them. As I said, I don't know the exact number. But as
1 far as I know, these were generally the weapons that were used by the KLA.
2 Q. Did individual soldiers also have, for example, grenades,
3 hand-grenades they could use?
4 A. Yes, they did, hand-grenades. An average number of grenades would
5 be two or three grenades per soldier. That would be the average number.
6 Q. And did the KLA also possess mines; in that case, if that is the
7 case, what kind of mines?
8 A. It was difficult to transport mines. There were only very few
9 anti-tank mines. As I said, it was very difficult to transport them. It
10 was either the choice of carrying them on one's shoulder or using horses,
11 so it was difficult. They were very heavy. I don't know how many there
12 were, but very few I would say.
13 Q. What was the -- sorry, maybe we should just clarify. What is a
15 A. A Zolja is a hand-held mortar. It's a kind of RPG,
16 64-millimetres. It's a single-use weapon.
17 Q. Thank you. Where did the KLA obtain its weapons from, if you can
18 describe that.
19 A. The weapons, and especially ammunition, was obtained from Albania
20 mostly, so the majority came from Albania.
21 Q. Was it imported into Albania by the KLA, or had you -- or was it
22 just purchased in Albania?
23 A. It was imported from other countries as well, but the majority of
24 them were purchased in Albania because there were factories there such as
25 weapons of 7.62-millimetre calibre. Those were obtained from Albania
2 Q. Now, I'd like to move on to communications equipment. Generally,
3 what kind of communication did you use during your time as Chief of Staff
4 of the KLA to communicate with units on the ground in Kosovo?
5 A. In general, our communications within the KLA were done through
6 radio, Motorolas, or satellite telephones, but we also used couriers.
7 Q. And then transport, you talked about carrying mines on horses or
8 on individuals' backs. But apart from your feet, did you possess other
9 means of transport?
10 A. As I said earlier, it was very difficult to transport things, and
11 the soldiers used to either carry the weapons on their backs or use
12 horses, while, within the territory of Kosova, we used private vehicles,
13 trucks, buses. These vehicles were mostly used in the areas that were not
14 under Serb control until March. After March, it was difficult to use
15 them, so most of the transportation was done on foot or using horses.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zyrapi, in relation to communications, when you
17 talk about Motorolas, what are you referring to?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I speak of Motorolas, these are
19 hand-held radios that we called Motorola, but those were mainly of
20 Motorola make. But there were also other makes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And satellite telephone, what do you mean by that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I speak of satellite
23 telephones, this means telephones that use satellite for communication,
24 satellite waves, not the normal mobile phones. That was a very secure way
25 of communicating between the staff and the various zones.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Marcussen.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN:
4 Q. Thank you. Maybe I should have completed the picture a little bit
5 more on the Motorola radios. What is the range of a Motorola radio, to
6 your knowledge?
7 A. Well, the radios were mainly in the possession of the commanders
8 of the zones or brigade commanders, but their range was not very large
9 one; it was only a few kilometres. So sometimes we could not communicate
10 with those radios, if people were very far. Sometimes their range reached
11 up to 50 kilometres.
12 Q. And did the KLA possess any relay stations which would enable you
13 to increase the range of these kinds of radios?
14 A. No, there weren't. There was only one in Pastrik area. There was
15 a repeater in the Pastrik area which increased the range of communication,
16 but that was the only one.
17 Q. Now, we earlier touched upon training activity, and at one point
18 you were responsible for that part of the training. I'd like to show you
19 some material in that regard, but before I do that, could you just repeat
20 for the court, please, what were the main kinds of training that were
21 given to KLA forces during your time as Chief of Staff?
22 A. From January to March, the staff was conducting training, and this
23 training was focused on use of weapons, training commanders and officers
24 from the lowest level to the battalion level, and also preparation for
25 operations and combat actions at these levels.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like if we could see Prosecution Exhibit
2 P2459, please.
3 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And as the case was with some of the documents yesterday, is it
6 correct that this is also a document that you provided to the Office of
7 the Prosecutor?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And, generally, this bundle of material, what is that?
10 A. This was a document that was used as an example in the training of
11 the commanders - company commanders, battalion commanders - and we used
12 these examples to train them.
13 Q. And the first -- the sheet we see now on the screen, what is that?
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: I should indicate to the Court that we do have a
15 translation of this document.
16 A. As I said earlier, this is a document that was used in the
17 training of officers. "Combat Activities" is the title.
18 Q. Looking at the English translation, I can see that it has a number
19 of blanks. Is it essentially a template that could be used subsequently
20 by officers? The sheet we see now, what's on the screen now.
21 A. Yes. It's a kind of template, a form that was used by the
22 officers of various ranks.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: If we could go to the next page, please.
24 Q. And, Mr. Zyrapi, this particular document that you just described
25 briefly - I think we can zoom out again; I'm not going to show any of the
1 specific text - but what is this document, and how did this fit into the
2 training? What kind of training?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: We don't have the
4 translation into English of these documents.
5 A. This document is also a form that was used in the training of
6 battalion commanders. It's a document. It's a plan for the commander
7 observation on this date. The date is blank. And it describes the way --
8 how to observe the terrain before carrying out operations.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen, when a document comes up on the
10 e-court, do the interpreters not have access to it on e-court?
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think the problem for the Albanian translators
12 is that they do not have access to it, but maybe they can confirm that.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Ah, so it's one booth that doesn't have access, is
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: No booth has access to
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's contrary to the information we were
18 given earlier in the trial.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Anyway, we have to proceed, obviously, on the basis
21 that they don't for the moment, in which case you really should give a
22 hard copy to them.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: We will make an effort to do that. And with the
24 remainder of this document, we're not going to go into --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: -- much of the text, so I think we can get by.
2 If we can go two pages further on in this document, please.
3 Sorry, only one page on. So go to the next page. My apologies. We need
4 to go one page back now. We need to go to page 3.
5 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, I think it reads someplace on the heading here, it
6 reads, "To the Commander." Could I get you to just read out that part of
7 the document, please.
8 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. "To the Commander." Under that is: "Order to
9 Attack," then number, operative number, and there is a blank.
10 Then "Section." It's the scale of the map that it refers to, 1:200.000
11 and 1:50.000. Then it describes the territory in the municipality of
12 Malisevo, the road Malisevo to Orllat. "The enemy is positioned in this
13 order," and it goes on to describe where the enemy forces are. Number 2
14 relates to the units, our units.
15 Q. And this format, would that also be the standard format of a
16 combat order then used by the KLA?
17 A. Yes. This was used in the training as well, but it was issued
18 also later on, while carrying out actions. They were used as forms that
19 would be filled with regard to operations. This is an example of that.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The bit that's missing from this appears to be the
22 map references.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, you gave the different -- the scales of the maps, and
25 then it says "Buqimit [phoen] ..." Why is that?
1 A. I did not understand the question. There was an interruption in
2 the translation.
3 Q. Sorry. It seems as if there is no indication of what map is being
4 used in connection with this particular document. Why is that?
5 A. The map reference is not here because this is just an example, and
6 the part that is a blank, the "...", that would be filled later on. In
7 case of military operations, that would be carried out.
8 Q. So, again, this is because this is a template that could be used
9 in the future. Is that a correct understanding?
10 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like to move to page 5 of this same exhibit,
13 please. My apologies, my notes are wrong. We'll need to go to page 6.
14 Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, what is this document? If you could just very briefly
16 describe that.
17 A. This was also used as a sample during the training of the
18 officers. It's a plan of engagement of the zone -- operative zone
19 commands, and this particularly deals with Pastrik on the D day. It's
20 just a sample, as I said. And this describes the duties of each sector in
21 this operative zone, when they had to be engaged and how.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: And then if we can just go to the last page of
23 this exhibit. This time I got it right.
24 Q. And, Mr. Zyrapi, this last page of the bundle, what is this, and
25 what does that -- what is this?
1 A. This is also a sample document that was used during the training.
2 It's a document that speaks about the engagement of units in various
3 territories. In this concrete example, it speaks about the municipality
4 of Prizren, and then it says who gives the order. Then it says, "Order."
5 Then number 1 speaks about the unit that receives their order, deployment
6 of troops, the aim of the deployment, and further explanation about this
7 order to deploy forces.
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. I will move now back to the
9 situation in Kosovo or the situation on the ground. Could you describe
10 the military situation in Kosovo in the winter 1998/1999?
11 A. Well, in 1998/1999, during the winter period, the military
12 situation as far as KLA forces are concerned in Kosovo were in
13 development. The training and their preparation was going on from lowest
14 levels to the highest level. For example, the KLA followed this example
15 and that's how it prepared for further action, for the further -- in the
17 Q. How about fighting? Was there any fighting during this period?
18 A. I remember there were combat operations in the Nerodimlje
19 operative zone in January. There were no major-scale combat activities in
20 other areas at that time. And after March, when the NATO air-strikes
21 begin, the combat activities began to increase.
22 Q. Before getting to the situation after the NATO bombing, you said
23 there were no, I think you said, major-scale combat activity. Were there
24 more localised combat activities up until the NATO bombing started?
25 A. Very small ones, I would say. I mentioned some in January, even
1 in Pastrik area, the activities in Recak village. There was also smaller
2 activities in Prizren area, in Drini valley, but no, as I said,
3 major-scale combat activities during this time.
4 Q. Was there any offensive -- offensive -- sorry, offensive combat
5 activity on the part of the KLA among these smaller incidents you've
6 referred to?
7 A. There was no big offensive on the part of the KLA at that time.
8 They were actually defending themselves in those territories where
9 smaller-scale combat activities were going on.
10 Q. During this period, were there attacks on roadblocks or ambushes
11 or that kind of smaller operations, or not during this time period?
12 A. Yes, there were such operations, attacks on check-points, that
13 constituted a kind of obstacle for our forces.
14 Q. This seems there was -- it seems you gave quite a long answer. It
15 was translated as, "there were such operations, attacks on check-points,
16 that constituted obstacles to our forces." I don't know. Did you give
17 more explanation than that? Otherwise, I'll just follow up with some
18 questions, but I just wanted to be clear on that.
19 A. What I said was there were attacks on check-points, check-points
20 that constituted an obstacle for our forces during the movement, and
21 that's why they were attacked. But these attacks were not of a great
23 Q. And when you say they constituted obstacles, in what sense did
24 they constitute obstacles? Obstacles to what?
25 A. In a sense that they constituted an obstacle when the brigades
1 were moving from one zone, let's say, to another. That's why the
2 check-points in relevant areas were attacked.
3 Q. You also described smaller-scale operations of a more defensive
4 nature. How did they come about?
5 A. The smaller-scale operations, for example, in Nerodimlje
6 operations zone, the attack of the Serb forces on Recak village, our
7 forces were used -- were engaged in defensive action. In addition, in
8 Prizren area, in Drini valley, the KLA forces were also attacked. And
9 this is when the KLA forces were engaged again in defensive action.
10 Q. Okay. I'd like now to move on to the period after the beginning
11 of the NATO bombing. Maybe we can start with the days just before the
12 NATO bombing started. Could you describe the military situation as you
13 saw it at the time?
14 A. In my opinion, and pursuant to the reports from the terrain, at
15 that time there was a lot of movement by the Serb forces. They moved in
16 different directions and took positions in different areas in the
17 territory of Kosova. They were deployed even before the NATO attacks, but
18 now I'm speaking about the time around the time when the NATO air-strikes
20 The KLA forces did not move a lot. They were in a state of
21 readiness and followed the movement of the Serb forces and their
22 positioning. So they followed their movements, they were in state of
23 readiness, and they took up defensive positions.
24 Q. And then once the NATO bombing started, what happened?
25 A. Once the NATO bombing started on the 24th of March, at around 9.00
1 p.m., that's when the NATO air-strikes began, and immediately -- an hour
2 or an hour and a half after the NATO bombing, the Serb forces launched an
3 artillery attack on KLA positions. In the early morning hours on the
4 25th, the Serb forces also launched other attacks on territories
5 controlled by the KLA.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like us now, if we could -- call it up so we
7 can see it, Exhibit P2447, and then I think we'll need the usher to assist
8 in distributing something from that document.
9 What we have done is, this is a map that has been marked by the
10 witness. As it doesn't come up so clearly in the e-court, we have printed
11 out a part of that exhibit and blown it up, and then we have marked some
12 letters that were indicated by the witness on the map in a clearer form.
13 Yes. We have for the usher another copy we can put on the ELMO.
14 Maybe the witness could be given a pen in case he would like to point to
15 the map.
16 Well, maybe what we should do -- we cannot zoom just a little bit
17 more out. We might have made the copy a little bit too big for the
18 equipment. Okay. I think that will do for our purposes. I think that is
19 fine, as everybody also has copies. It should be working fine.
20 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, on this map there are two areas -- well, we have two
21 areas indicated. One is an area on the upper part of the map indicated by
22 E, F, G, and on the lower part, we have A, B, C, and then we have an area
23 marked with a D. Those areas, what are they?
24 A. Though this scale is very small for me to be precise in defining
25 the line, these areas designate the territories that were under the
1 control of the KLA up to the 24th of March.
2 Q. So, before the NATO bombing started on the 24th of March, the KLA
3 held -- well, approximately, but held the areas you have indicated on the
4 map. Is that a correct understanding?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, did the KLA also hold areas in other parts of Kosovo but
7 which you have not marked on the map?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. I'd like, first, if you could explain the chronology from
10 the 24th, from when the NATO bombing started and the following days, and
11 if we could concentrate first on the area marked with A, B, and C. So
12 before the NATO bombing started, in this area, A, B, and C, were you
13 present in that area?
14 A. Yes. I visited earlier, before the NATO bombing started. These
15 were the positions and zones controlled by the KLA up to the 24th of
17 As I said earlier, once the bombing started, an hour or two later,
18 the Serb forces launched an artillery attack on positions in a territory
19 marked with A, "KLA positions." Subsequently, in early morning hours on
20 the 25th of March they launched other attacks. They launched their
21 attacks from the direction of Rahovec on the villages of Nagavc and Hoce,
22 and Nishor. Considering the concentration of Serb forces in this
23 territory from earlier, in the area starting from Pirane and up to the
24 Gjakova junction and Bellacerkva, the attacks that were launched early in
25 the morning of 25th of March, there was combat activity.
1 I want to mention this: Before the artillery attack started --
2 correction. After the artillery attacks started, we wanted the population
3 in this area to move out for security reasons. The KLA forces, together
4 with the population, began to withdraw. The population in Randubrava was
5 withdrawn and sheltered in Mamusa village. There was no KLA presence in
6 this village before, not even KLA positions. It is inhabited by Turks,
7 people of Turkish ethnic group.
8 The village of Reti Ulat also was moved out and withdrawn in the
9 direction of Mamusa. I'm still speaking about the 25th of March. The KLA
10 also withdrew sometime in the afternoon on the 25th, in Kolobar, and left
11 in the direction of Neprebishte village, Samadraxhe village, and moved to
12 the territory of Doberdolan village.
13 Why our forces withdrew in this direction, it was because the
14 attacks were launched in the direction of Rahovec, Suhareke. That's why
15 the KLA withdrew to the mountainous area.
16 Q. Sorry for interrupting you. So the area indicated by a B, when
17 were the KLA forces established there?
18 A. Starting from the 25th and the 26th. So all forces that were in
19 the territory marked with A, when this attack was launched, there were two
20 brigades here engaged in defensive actions, 124th and 125th Brigade. As I
21 said earlier, these forces withdrew in the afternoon hours, together with
22 the population to Doberdolan village. However, the combat was still going
23 on from the direction of Rahovec and Suhareke, towards Samadraxhe village.
24 Q. And so the front line towards Orahovac and the front line towards
25 Suva Reka -- my colleague is on his feet.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for
2 interrupting, but, with your leave, I have one thing to say. We followed
3 the testimony closely, but we cannot clearly see the directions he was
4 showing. Perhaps we have the technical means for showing that as well.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean we could turn the map the right way up?
6 MR. CEPIC: I would be grateful.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: A technological innovation into practice.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not sure that would solve the problem because
9 I don't think the areas that are being mentioned are on the map. But we
10 can try this, for starts.
11 We then need to move the map up. Upwards, please. There we are.
12 I think Mr. Fila is waving to you. Would you like to move in further? I
13 think we're fine here.
14 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, what KLA units were on the front towards Orahovac?
15 A. Towards Rahovec you can see the village of Opterush here, and
16 here, in this area, this is where the 124th Brigade of the Pastrik
17 Operational Zone was. From this part here and up to here was the 125th
18 Brigade of the Pastrik Operational Zone. Here, in Neprebishte, there was
19 some units of the 123rd Brigade. So these were the units that were in
20 this area. The units of the 123rd Brigade then continued along this front
21 line here, which goes through Studencan, Pecan, Sllapuzhan, and you can
22 see where the line ends between Blace and Temeqin. And here begins the
23 area of 121 Brigade, which was deployed in the defensive positions here in
24 this area above Blace.
25 Q. You said that the civilians and the two brigades were withdrawing
1 together. Could you explain how this removal of the civilians worked in
2 practice? Did they move all together in one group, or how did it work?
3 A. No, in practice this was the case. First, from Randubrava, they
4 withdrew in the direction of Reti or Kolobar village and went to Mamusa
5 village. The units were waiting for the population to withdraw first, and
6 afterwards, once the population was withdrawn, they went to Reti. The
7 population that that withdrew from Reti, Opterush, Neprebishte,
8 Samadraxhe, Studencan, went in the direction of Doberdolan. Some from
9 Neprebishte and Studencan village went in the direction of Mamusa, but the
10 majority went towards Pagarusa where they withdrew.
11 Q. And there's a line between the area A and B. What does that line
13 A. The line between A and B denotes where the forces were withdrawn,
14 125th, 124th and 123rd Brigade.
15 Q. And when were they -- when were they at that line?
16 A. As it is shown on the map, this line goes above the village of
17 Doberdolan, includes the hills and Sematishte villages, and the hill above
18 Pecan village. This is the situation at that time, on the 25th and 26th
19 of March. The attacks were continuous at that time, the attacks that I
20 mentioned earlier, one from the direction of Suhareke and the other from
21 the direction of Rahovec on Opterusa, Samadraxhe, Studencan and Doberdolan
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm struggling to see Doberdolan. Can you ...
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: We have one of these problems of multi-lingual
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You're on what I assumed it was. It's written
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Doberdol.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN:
5 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, there's also a line between the areas B and C. Just
6 so we get the overview, what is that line, if we first could set that out.
7 A. This is the line through which the Brigade 125, 24 and 23
8 withdrew. So the population that withdrew from the villages in the A area
9 moved to the area marked with B.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: There are markings of two colours on the map. Now,
11 it's not clear to me exactly what we're referring to. Are the orange
12 markings simply showing boundaries of areas, or do they signify something
14 MR. MARCUSSEN:
15 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, it might be more simple: First, the red markings,
16 what are they?
17 A. The orange markings show the front line, the line where the KLA
18 forces were positioned, while the red lines represent the Serb forces and
19 the direction of their attacks.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. The line that you have made between the areas B
21 and C, when did the KLA forces arrive at that line?
22 A. Between zone B and C you can see here the front line. All these
23 units that I mentioned earlier, the three brigades, and part of the 122nd
24 Brigade were withdrawn here around the 31st of March, because the front
25 line here was penetrated on that date in Gajrak. That's why they started
1 withdrawing on that day, because this point fell and this endangered both
2 the military people, our forces, and the population.
3 So the population and the forces from the B area went towards the
4 Berisha mountains, here in C. This happened in the early hours in the
5 morning, on the 1st of April. The forces and population were positioned
6 in this area here that I marked.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like, if we can see now in -- we'll swap the
8 screen over so we can see an exhibit for a moment, Exhibit P2457, please.
9 We do have an English translation of that document.
10 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, do you now have a document in front of you on the
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: We have an English and an Albanian version, I
13 think, up now, at least on my screen. Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, can you see the document on the screen?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is that a document, again I'll have to ask you, that you provided
17 to the OTP?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And where did you get that document from?
20 A. From the archives of the General Staff.
21 Q. What is this document?
22 A. This is an order for combat operations. It is addressed to the
23 commander of the Pastrik Operational Zone. It speaks about the
24 withdrawing of the KLA forces. It says where these forces should withdraw
25 to, which front line, in order to organise their defence.
1 Number 2, form a group, and who would be the commander of the
2 group, because there would be three brigades in this area, so who would be
3 the leader of the whole number of forces.
4 Then number 3 says that the population should withdraw from
5 Bellanice to Ngucat. And then also the deployment of the military
6 hospital. It was in the B area we saw in the map, in Pagarusa, and it
7 says which direction should the military hospital go.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can just scroll down a little bit so we
9 can see the signature.
10 Q. This is an order issued by you; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. This is an order issued by me. It's signed and stamped.
12 Q. Now, if we go back to the map again which is on the ELMO. The
13 line described in this order, does that correspond to the line between B
14 and C, or is that a different line that you ordered to be established?
15 A. No. This order refers to this line here.
16 Q. To the orange line between B and C, approximately; is that
17 correct? Or part of that.
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. So when that line was established, if I can see the map correctly,
20 was the line running through the village of Bellanice or outside the
22 A. No, it was above the Bellanice village. You can see from the map
23 here. It doesn't run through Bellanice. It's above. You can see the
24 village Ngucat here, and then towards Temeqin.
25 Q. And in your order [Realtime transcript read in error "around"],
1 you say that the civilian population should move. Did the civilian
2 population actually move?
3 A. Well, as a matter of fact, the population in Bellanice did not
4 obey the order and they remained in that territory.
5 Q. Now, why did you order the population in Bellanice to move?
6 A. The order for the withdrawal of the population from Bellanice, but
7 also other villages, was given for security reasons, for the security of
8 the population, so that they wouldn't have any problems in case of
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I need the assistance of the usher now. Well,
12 let's see if we can cover --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Fighting about what? What were you hoping to gain
14 here by fighting?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we were hoping to defend the
16 population, which was at that time under the KLA control, and for the KLA
17 to defend itself from the attacks at that time.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid there's something missing from this
19 picture for me. I mean, I understand we have other evidence about this,
20 but so far as this witness's presentation of evidence isn't concerned,
21 this doesn't bear any relationship to reality. That may not be your
22 purpose, but it's not clear to me what they're defending if the population
23 want to stay where they are.
24 MR. MARCUSSEN:
25 Q. Mr. Zyrapi --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just the transcript, a
3 technical problem. Line 5, in paragraph -- page 21, line 5, the word
4 "around" appears there and what he said was "order," "and in your order,
5 you say," and that could be important in a future reading of the
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, what you have described, the period you have described
10 from the 24th, when the NATO bombing started, and up until the 1st of
11 April, would it be a correct description of those events to say that you
12 were -- the KLA was withdrawing from the area it had been holding on the
14 A. Yes, that's correct. This is the period when the KLA was
15 retreating because of the Serb forces who were attacking.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. I understand you're in
17 control -- you claim to be in control of territory from which you're
18 retreating, but the impression I have at the moment is perhaps the
19 population were in the way. What was happening to the population that
20 required you to have them moved?
21 I can't lead you on this. I want to know what you're -- we have
22 other evidence in this, but I want to know what your evidence is about
23 what was happening in Bellanice and that area which gave rise to the
24 order, you say, to leave it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The order was issued before all this
1 happened in zones B and C. The order was for the population to leave the
2 Bellanice area because other villages were evacuated earlier for security
3 reasons. These villages were formerly under the KLA control, because
4 there was fighting here between the Serb forces and them. So it was a
5 question of safety for the population.
6 While the population from Bellanice did not relocate, they
7 remained there -- most of the population remained in Bellanice.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Zecevic.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I was just noticing that the witness was pointing on
11 his --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And it's not on the ELMO.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: And not on the ELMO but --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thank you.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: -- on the screen. That's why I was standing up.
16 Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be that I missed the date of the order,
18 then. I assumed it was about the 31st of March or the 1st of April. Has
19 the order a different date?
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, Your Honour, the order bears the date of the
21 1st of April.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm now more confused, then, I'm sorry.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. When this order was issued on the 1st of April, were -- when you
25 issued this order on the 1st of April, was the KLA line of defence north
1 or south of Bellanice?
2 A. When the order was issued -- as I said on the 31st, the forces
3 started to withdraw from zone B, together with the population. When I
4 issued the order, this line here was not there. I wrote it at midnight.
5 The order was for the 123rd, 124th, and 125th Brigade to withdraw and go
6 to this line.
7 Q. But when you issued the order, was the civilian population behind
8 the KLA line? Basically, were they still in the area held by the KLA?
9 A. Yes. It was in the KLA-held zone, and the order says, after
10 12.00, after midnight. It's an order for the withdrawal of the 123rd,
11 124th, and 125th Brigade, and also the withdrawal of the population from
12 these areas.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: I know it's time for a break, I think. Am I
15 JUDGE BONOMY: No. The break will be at 10 minutes to 4.00.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Okay, good.
17 Q. So, Mr. Zyrapi, when, in the execution -- in the execution of --
18 when your order was being executed, were the forces referred to in your
19 order to withdraw through the area of Bellanice and up northwards to
20 establish the line between B and C? Is that a correct understanding of
21 the situation?
22 A. Yes, that's a correct understanding. The units that I mentioned
23 had to withdraw from zone B, withdraw through the territory of Bellanice,
24 because the Serbs were attacking from Gajrak and Banja and then also from
25 Blace. So the territory through which they could withdraw narrowed quite
1 a lot. That's why they had to withdraw in the territory -- through the
2 territory of Bellanice and establish themselves in this line that I
3 mentioned earlier.
4 Q. So when you earlier said that you ordered the withdrawal of the
5 population for safety reasons -- I'm not sure how I can do this without
6 leading. When you ordered the population to withdraw for safety reasons,
7 did that have to do with the movement of KLA forces and the front line?
8 A. The order was for the population to move alongside the withdrawal
9 or the movement of the front line of the KLA - it's parallel - so that the
10 population would not be at the front line where these units were at the
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: Is the picture still very confused, or should I --
13 is it clearer now what the situation is? I can try to explore it further.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What was ordered and what the witness wanted to do
15 is clear, but why it was done remains unclear. But you may be relying on
16 other evidence for that, so we can move on.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN:
18 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, why did you --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I find it very difficult at the moment to
20 understand how keeping the population, in the large numbers we've heard
21 about, behind the KLA line was going to protect them, but that's -- and
22 that's my difficulty, if I can spell it out for you. It's not clear to me
23 what this witness thought was happening to them that gave rise to the need
24 for them to move, or would happen to them.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN:
1 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, in your experience as a military officer, when you
2 have a moving front line, is it normal procedure to order the civilian
3 population away from the front line?
4 A. Especially when we speak about the type of combat that was carried
5 out in Kosova, it was normal for us to order the movement of the
6 population but also of the KLA, because the Serbian forces were attacking.
7 Q. Is it normal procedure to order the civilian population out of an
8 area where there's combat?
9 A. Well, it's not normal procedure, a regular procedure, but keeping
10 in mind the developments at the time, we issued the order for the
11 population to move because they were at risk.
12 Q. What were they at risk from? What caused a risk to them?
13 A. Well, there could be fighting between the forces; there could be
14 use of heavy weaponry, not only light weaponry. So that could cause the
15 death of civilians during that time, especially in the territories where
16 the KLA was in control.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, let's try to move the map on the ELMO.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: By all means, move on, but that answer, if it's
19 been translated accurately, suggests that you increase the risk by keeping
20 the population in the area where the KLA are in control, unless I've,
21 again, misunderstood what's being said.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Excuse me. We still do need the upper part of the
23 map before ...
24 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, while we move the map, where did you move the
25 population to go -- where was the population supposed to go?
1 A. According to the order, the population was to withdraw towards the
2 village of Ngucat.
3 Q. My apologies. Excuse me -- yes.
4 A. So towards the village of Ngucat and the Berisha mountains,
5 because they could be sheltered there and they would be safer there, in
6 this territory. This is a small map and you cannot see all the details,
7 but the Berisha mountains are here.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you point again to the Berisha mountains,
10 THE WITNESS: [Indicates].
11 MR. MARCUSSEN:
12 Q. So what would be the distance from the newly established front
13 line to the area where the civilians --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it's important, when you asked him to point
17 again to the Berisha mountains, that the record show that he pointed to
18 the area around the letter C on the map, so that the record will show
19 where he was indicating.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The official record will be the video and that's my
21 reason for not doing that, as I would normally do in a domestic case.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But you may be right where there may be occasions
24 where it's important to do this. I think we would be here forever in
25 relation to this witness if he had to do this every time he pointed to
1 something on the map. It will be available to you to see in due course if
2 you need it. This is one section -- a section like this of the video
3 would be made available, if necessary.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand, but for appeal purposes, we rarely
5 work from video and we always work from transcripts. I don't recall ever
6 seeing a video of a trial session during an appeal.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Just give me a moment.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated].
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry.
12 For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Zyrapi, would you point again to
13 the Berisha mountains.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Berisha mountains start here.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And you're pointing generally to an area which
16 is below C and it's roughly to the right of the map from Ngucat and above,
17 is that Temeqin?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Temeqin is on my right, here. I'm
19 pointing at it. I'm pointing to the Temeqin village, and this is Ngucat
20 village. So the Berisha mountains, this whole area is the Berisha
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You're pointing now as far up as Kerzharek. Thank
24 MR. MARCUSSEN:
25 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, the civilian population that -- was any part of the
1 civilian part of the population moved into the area C?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you indicate with a pointer there where, in the area C, they
4 were located.
5 A. As I said, this is a small-scale map and I cannot be very precise,
6 but they were located here from Ngucat village, between Ngucat and Javor,
7 in the direction of the passes here, towards Divjake --
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. -- the whole territory here.
10 Q. Thank you. So the area that has been indicated is just below the
11 C and to the eastern part of the C.
12 A. Also, to the east, this part that I already mentioned, because
13 this is a flat area but there are other parts deep there between Divjake
14 and Kroimire. There are some passes there.
15 Q. Thank you. What was the distance between the KLA front line and
16 the location of the civilians?
17 A. The front line was here, while the population was behind the front
18 line, about 500 metres away. Even more than that.
19 Q. But is it -- no. Well, let's move to the other area.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: If the usher would be kind enough to move the map
21 so we can see the area indicated with E, F, G. Let's pull it a little
22 further down, like the top -- sorry. Other direction. Yes. I think
23 that's -- that's fine. Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, you've already indicated that when the NATO bombing
25 started, the KLA in this part of Kosovo held the areas E, F, and G. When
1 did the KLA forces reach the area F?
2 A. When the attacks started, part of the population - I don't know
3 the exact date now; it's on the 25th or the 26th - part of the population
4 in this zone withdrew and went to the area marked with F.
5 Q. And --
6 A. To my recollection, it was one or two days after the attacks had
8 Q. Were you present in this area yourself?
9 A. No, I wasn't. I wasn't personally present in this area.
10 Q. So how do you know that this was the position of the KLA forces in
11 this area?
12 A. Based on the reports that were submitted by zone commanders at
13 that time.
14 Q. And then when did the KLA forces move out of the area and
15 establish the line between F and G?
16 A. Based on the reports of zone commanders, the Serb forces
17 penetrated this area very quickly, in a matter of three or four hours.
18 And from these reports, since I was not personally present, I know that on
19 that day, part of the population and of the forces withdrew in the F and G
20 areas. Part of the population and forces withdrew also in this direction,
21 in the direction of the area marked with C.
22 Q. So when had the withdrawal to the area G been completed?
23 A. I don't know exactly, because I wasn't personally present, but
24 according to the reports, until the end of March. So the KLA forces and
25 the population from this area moved to this area by the end of March.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if I could ask the usher just to move the map
2 down again so we can see the area D.
3 Q. Now, the area indicated by a D, did the KLA remain in this area or
4 did you also move out of that area after the NATO bombing?
5 A. With the beginning of NATO bombing, the KLA forces remained here
6 until -- well, when the intensity of attacks lowered in area C, I went two
7 or three days earlier - I don't remember exactly - to the D area. I
8 visited this area to see how the situation was. In this area, the
9 population and the KLA stayed, remained there, for some time, even after I
10 left, but I don't know exactly how long they remained in this area.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I have one exhibit, but we can do that maybe after
12 the break.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We will have to break now, Mr. Zyrapi, for 20
14 minutes. Could you please go with the usher. He'll show you again where
15 to wait.
16 [The witness stood down]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And we will resume at 4.15.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.54 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you. Could we see Exhibit P2462, please.
23 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, do you recognise the document that you have on the
24 screen before you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you provide this document to the Office of the Prosecutor?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And where did you get that document from?
4 A. From the archives of the 125th Brigade.
5 Q. And did you collect the document there yourself?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, would you please read the title of this document?
8 A. So it's "Kosovo Liberation Army, Pastrik Operational Zone, 125th
9 Brigade." Below, it's written: "Report on the Gruesome Tragedy of Serb
10 Offensives in Medevce Village, Prizren Municipality." And it continues.
11 It reads: "As all over Kosovo ..."
12 MR. SEPENUK: I object to him reading from this document. I don't
13 think Your Honours will appreciate the objection, quite frankly, until you
14 see the English version, which I would ask --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's in front of me at the moment.
16 MR. SEPENUK: Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You can have it on the other screens.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not asking -- actually, I don't need the
19 witness to read from the document. I will ask the witness to maybe --
20 sorry, there's more.
21 MR. SEPENUK: Our essential objection, Your Honours, is that this
22 is polemic, is what it is. It's not a first-hand account. It's a second-
23 or third-hand account. Unless I'm missing a point, the village of Medevce
24 is not even charged in the indictment. The report is in June of 1989, and
25 supposedly there was a prior report, which is not being introduced into
1 evidence, which would be more accurate, if, under these circumstances,
2 anything could be accurate, dated April 12, 1999. That's on the last page
3 of the document.
4 There's a number of reasons, Your Honour, why this should not come
5 into evidence.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, I was going to get from the witness
8 who had signed the report and what his familiarity with the report is, and
9 then I was, indeed, going to request its admission. It is a summary
10 report, as I understand it, of events that occurred in the zone of
11 responsibility of this commander, summing up the period from the beginning
12 of the NATO bombing until June 1999. We submit it is --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's find out from the witness, through your
14 questions, what this document is, who compiled it, and the likely sources
15 of his knowledge.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Could we go to the last page of this document,
17 please, and could we zoom in on the signature block. Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, can you see who have -- who has signed the document?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who is that?
21 A. This is an officer who was in the 125th Brigade. His name is
22 Hasan Morina.
23 Q. Before testifying today, did you read the report?
24 A. Yes, I've read this report.
25 Q. Is --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the purpose that you seek to achieve by
2 referring to this, Mr. Marcussen?
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like to ask the witness what he knows about
4 how the document has been compile -- how it has been drafted up, what it
5 is, the contents of the document.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm allow you to at least go that far to establish
7 its authenticity.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN:
9 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, from your reading of the document, how has this
10 document been compiled, if you know?
11 A. As you can see, this document is a report that covers the time
12 from the beginning of the NATO air-strikes up until April and May. It is
13 written by the officer who was in that zone and it pertains to the
14 happenings in that relevant territory.
15 Q. So am I correct that what you're saying is that the report
16 concerns the area in which this officer was operating and within his zone
17 of responsibility?
18 A. Yes. This is a report by an officer who was operating within his
19 area of responsibility.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I ask you the question I asked a moment ago,
21 Mr. Marcussen: What is it you seek to achieve by referring to this
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: We submit this puts in context the events in
24 several of our crime sites, but in the area where some of our crimes were
25 committed, and this puts in context what was happening at the time that
1 all crimes were -- the crime sites in the indictment were being committed,
2 Mala Krusa, this area.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we go back to the first page again, please.
4 Mr. Sepenuk, the document does contain reference to the area that
5 we've been concerned about. I note the point you make about the
6 particular so-called tragedy which is not in the indictment and therefore
7 will be of no significance. But there are parts of the document which do
8 relate to the area, and we're told by the witness it's compiled by an
9 officer who was active in the area at the time within his own zone of
11 MR. SEPENUK: But, of course, Your Honour, the reference to
12 Medevce experiencing three offences, that's, as I understand it, not part
13 of the case.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: No, that's the point I'm making. But it does refer
15 to the movement of population to Mamusa, and it also refers to the
16 offensive that the witness has been telling us about.
17 MR. SEPENUK: Well, if Your Honours would find it helpful, then I
18 would withdraw my objection.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I think it may be. But we are conscious of the
20 need to distinguish the parts of it that are relevant from the parts of it
21 that are irrelevant.
22 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we see the second page again, please. Is there
24 a problem with showing the second page? And then the final page, please,
25 if the third one is, indeed, the final.
1 Yes, carry on, Mr. Marcussen. Thanks.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, that actually completes -- if this
3 document is admitted, that completes the Prosecution's direct examination
4 of the witness. I would note that we have received very late notice of a
5 number of documents that are going to be used in cross-examination of this
6 witness. As a matter of fact, just an hour before, even while the session
7 has been going on, we've been notified of a number of documents the
8 Defence --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen, I think I would hold my fire on
10 that, if I were you.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I just wanted to indicate to the Defence that we
12 are not, on this particular occasion, going to object to the use of these
13 documents. We have been discussing this. So this is why I'm just taking
14 this opportunity to indicate it.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: The documents that the witness has been referring
16 to so far, when were they first notified to the Defence?
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Some in the witness notification and some in a
18 supplemental information sheet that was sent to the Defence last week.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: When you say "witness notification," do you mean
20 the original 65 ter list of witnesses and exhibits?
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: It was also in the 65 ter filing, but then we
22 filed these weekly. On Thursdays, I think, we file a witness notification
23 indicating the exhibits that are going to be used. The exhibits that were
24 included there were exhibits -- Exhibits P2447 through P2453, and then by
25 a supplemental information sheet, we indicated that we were also going to
1 use P2457 through P2468. The original witness notification also --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, my notice, P2469, and that was intimated on
3 the 31st of October.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's correct, Your Honour, yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. O'Sullivan.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. The order will be, first,
8 counsel for General Ojdanic and then we'll follow the indictment.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What about the motion requesting assistance and
10 guidance? Is that now redundant, as I was hoping it might be?
11 Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think we kind of have a consensus
13 about how to do this. Even though I've requested guidance from the
14 Chamber, I'm going to make a suggestion to you.
15 There are a number of documents that are in Albanian and have not
16 been translated and they're in the process of being translated by CLSS,
17 and my guess is that's about a two-week process to get that accomplished.
18 I tried to find somebody that could give me just some sense, at least, of
19 what they contained beyond the bare indication from the Prosecution and
20 failed in that regard, so we've asked CLSS to translate them for us.
21 The second thing is that there's an 84-page document provided
22 under Rule 68 that is in B/C/S that is not translated, has been sent to
23 CLSS, is in the process of being translated, and what I'm told about its
24 contents, it appears to be perhaps quite significant in terms of
25 cross-examining this witness, and it would be important for Your Honours
1 to be able to see the translation for that cross-examination to make
2 sense, I would think.
3 And the third thing is a rather short, I think, six-page Albanian
4 statement of a witness that was provided as Rule 68 material with regard
5 to this witness.
6 What I'm suggesting, Your Honour, that we do is this: That we go
7 forward with cross-examination now and try to complete cross-examination
8 of this witness, and then once we get those translations, if we can make
9 the case to you that there is information in there important enough to
10 justify bringing him back, then you get to make that decision and decide
11 whether to bring him back or not. And I think that's probably the logical
12 way to do it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we're extremely grateful for that positive
14 approach --
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: -- and welcome it.
17 So Mr. Visnjic -- no. Mr. Sepenuk.
18 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, just before you start, Judge Chowhan does
20 have a question he would like to ask the witness.
21 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to have intruded while you were
22 standing, and thank you for allowing me this.
23 Now, you've given us the details about the administrative
24 structure of this organisation you were talking of, dealing at length, and
25 the various echelons it had in its working system, the way it was
1 commanded, the way it was ordered, and all of that, but it would be
2 functioning only when it had funds. Nothing has been stated as to the
3 funds and how this part of the organisation was being conducted and who
4 was giving the salaries and who was receiving it and what was your salary,
5 while being there, so on and so forth. This question did arise. Because
6 for an organisation as huge as you've depicted really needs a good deal of
7 money, and that is what I thought I should request you to apprise us
8 with. And I'm thankful for that.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, to my knowledge, the funding
10 of the KLA was from Vendluadja Therret, the Fatherland Calling Fund, which
11 was based in the diaspora, and also from funds raised from voluntary
12 donations inside Kosova. These funds were dedicated to the development
13 and functioning of the KLA. These are the two funds that were used for
14 the KLA.
15 As far as salaries are concerned, starting from me and to the
16 lowest-level soldier, nobody received salaries. Nobody was paid. The KLA
17 was a voluntary army. To the very end, we fought without any payment.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Now, Mr. Sepenuk.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Sepenuk:
21 Q. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Mr. Zyrapi, I'm Norman Sepenuk, and I'm an attorney for General
23 Ojdanic. Good afternoon, sir.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. I'm going to start with your testimony yesterday, and, in fact,
1 I'd like to start in early March of 1998, where you talked about the
2 attack on the Jashari family, marking the beginning of the conflict
3 between the Serbian forces and the KLA. And that refers to the March 2nd
4 fire-fight between Adem Jashari, who, I think it's fair to say, was a KLA
5 hero, and his family and Serb forces, ending with the deaths of Mr.
6 Jashari and a number of members of his family. And you, I take it, regard
7 that as the beginning of the conflict between Serb forces and the KLA.
8 A. Yes. I take it as the beginning of the conflict, and this is what
9 I stated in my statement.
10 Q. Thank you. And then just a few months after that, in May of 1998,
11 May 28th, 1998, you entered Kosovo as a KLA member; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And at that time, as you also said yesterday, from the point of
14 view of the KLA, the KLA was not at the required level of development and
15 organisation. Both at the local staff level and the general level, it was
16 not well organised. It was more of a guerrilla organisation than a
17 regular army. Those are your feelings; correct?
18 A. Yes. As I've already stated in my statement, the KLA army at that
19 time was a guerrilla force, and it consisted of voluntary soldiers.
20 Q. Thank you. And despite the fact that it was a guerrilla army,
21 though, is it fair to say - and we've had testimony at this trial, and
22 I'll ask you, Mr. Zyrapi, if you agree with it - that by mid-July of 1998,
23 the KLA held up to 50 per cent of the territory of Kosovo, including three
24 of the four main access roads? Is that a fair statement?
25 A. I don't know the exact percentage, but more or less it is an exact
2 Q. Thank you. But you, Mr. Zyrapi, and others, your colleagues,
3 recognise that to reach your ultimate goal of controlling Kosovo or maybe,
4 to put it in your terms, to reach your ultimate goal of liberating Kosovo,
5 you needed more than a popular guerrilla army. Isn't that a fair
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. You needed a stronger army.
9 A. Yes, that's correct, stronger and more organised.
10 Q. Thank you. And your colleague Ramush Haradinaj, I think it's fair
11 to say, agreed with you, because you shared with us yesterday the
12 Prosecution Exhibit 2453, which was the work meeting of the Dukagjin
13 upper level concerning organising that zone. Dukagjin was one of the
14 seven zones in the KLA at the time; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this document, Prosecution Exhibit 2453, states - and, again,
17 this is the meeting where Mr. Haradinaj was there and a number of his
18 high-ranking assistants - and Mr. Haradinaj, who is called Smajli, states,
19 in the first page, "Underground activity has yielded its results." And
20 that, I take it, refers to the success that the KLA had reached by that
21 point. That's a question.
22 A. Well, his success that he achieved through combat at that time has
23 made him deserve the level that he was in.
24 Q. All right. And he says, or at least the document says:
25 "This war today belongs to the entire people, not to one group.
1 It's about the liberation of the country through a general insurgency.
2 Knowing the requirements of the war of an area which is of geostrategic
3 significance, our war must be extended. We need to have a regular army."
4 And I think it's fair to say you felt the same way, did you not?
5 A. Yes, and we worked in that direction.
6 Q. Right. And, as you said yesterday, this document refers to the
7 whole notion of unity of command in the operative zone of Dukagjin. In
8 the document, on page 6, the statement is made: "The formation of the
9 operational staff of the plain of Dukagjin was agreed and proclaimed
10 unanimously," and then the document goes on to say: "It was decided by a
11 majority that the commander of the operational staff of the plain of
12 Dukagjin should be Smajli," which is Ramush Haradinaj; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in this document, on page 7, Mr. Haradinaj says: "The central
15 staff has not been giving us the instructions we require. It has been
16 absent." And Mustafa, who was one of his assistants, as I understand it,
17 says: "We are attempting to construct --" excuse me, says: "If we do not
18 create a regular army, we cannot be victorious. I am in favour of
20 So the general consensus at that meeting was that the zone had to
21 be organised, Mr. Haradinaj was the head of the zone, and they were in
22 favour of proceeding with -- in a more organised fashion so that the army
23 and their zone could become stronger. Is that fair?
24 A. Yes. That is how you can interpret this. As for what you
25 mentioned about the staff, to what level it was involved, that I don't
1 know for that particular time.
2 Q. Thank you. So continuing with the chronology. In July, the Serb
3 offensive started against all the territories, as you testified yesterday,
4 where the KLA was in control, and this was essentially the beginning of
5 the Serb summer offensive to regain control of the lost territories;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you continued yesterday by saying that the general situation
9 in August and September could be described as fighting in the area where
10 the KLA was in control; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And September and October were a continuation of the fighting that
13 started in August and even earlier.
14 A. Yes. This is according to the information I received, because
15 during September and October, I was not in Kosova at the time.
16 Q. I understand. And is it fair to say that by the end of October,
17 roughly, the end of October, 1998, Serb forces had recaptured most of the
18 territory previously controlled by the KLA?
19 A. Yes, yes. That's correct.
20 Q. And then at the end of October, 1998, as I'm sure you recall, we
21 had what's called in shorthand the Holbrooke-Milosevic cease-fire; it's
22 also the Clark-Naumann-Milosevic cease-fire, pursuant to Security Council
23 Resolution 1199. But the short of it is, there was a cease-fire and the
24 Serbian forces pull back their troops, both army and police, to pre -- to
25 the earlier levels. Do you remember that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And during the time immediately after that, late October and then
3 November and December, is it fair to say that the KLA used this time to
4 regroup and consolidate your forces?
5 A. Yes. That time was used to consolidate.
6 Q. And you became Chief of Staff, Chief of the General Staff, in
7 November, 1998; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And by the way -- thank you. And I've yet to see an exact date.
10 Do you know the exact date you became the Chief of Staff of the KLA?
11 A. I can't remember the exact date. It was sometime in the second
12 half of November, but, as I said, I can't give you an exact date.
13 Q. Thank you. And at the end of December, 1998, you summarise, sort
14 of, the year-end state of the KLA in a document introduced by the
15 Prosecution, Prosecution Exhibit 2460, which was the operative directorate
16 composed of the written statements, based on the written statements, of
17 the operative zone commanders of Dukagjin, Pastrik, Nerodimlje, Sala, and
18 Llap. Do you recall that testimony yesterday?
19 A. Yes, it was a report. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. And you mentioned in your testimony that you received
21 this document from the General Staff archives; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where are those archives?
24 A. The archives of the General Staff of the KLA, part of them were
25 collected by the TMK, and then they were sent to the central archives of
2 Q. Right, but -- and thank you for that. But my question is: Where
3 are these archives? Where? What city? What village? Where are they
4 located? Where the archives located?
5 A. The archives of the General Staff are in Prishtina, where the
6 staff of the TMK - in English, Kosova Protection Corps - is.
7 Q. And how long have they been at that location, the archives?
8 A. The documents were lodged there immediately after the war, while
9 some of the documents were sent later on to the central archives of
10 Kosova, which is still in Prishtina.
11 Q. Well, let me ask you this: This Prosecution Exhibit 2460, that
12 shows a copy going to the archive. So after this document was generated,
13 did a copy immediately go to the archive?
14 A. Every document that was written was archived both at the staff and
15 in the zones.
16 Q. And it also notes, by the way, that it had a seal. Did the
17 General Staff have a seal?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when did the General Staff acquire a seal, at what point; do
20 you recall?
21 A. The seal was obtained later. It was by November or December.
22 Q. Okay. And when it was archived -- you say this document, for
23 example, was immediately archived. Where at that time was it archived?
24 Where was it archived on December 28, 1998?
25 A. It was archived immediately with the staff --
1 Q. And --
2 A. -- where we were operating.
3 Q. And where was that, sir?
4 A. At that time, it was in Divjake.
5 Q. Which is where? Enlighten me on that, please.
6 A. This is the village of Divjake. It's located in the Berisha
8 Q. And how did you happen to choose this document to bring to the
10 A. This is a document that I brought here as an example of
11 disciplinary measures taken by the KLA, disciplinary measures against the
12 soldiers or officers.
13 Q. Sir, actually we're talking about a different document now, so
14 let's be clear about it. I'm talking now about the document, Prosecution
15 Exhibit 2460, which is a report on statements. It's your year-end summary
16 of what's happening in the Kosovo Liberation Army. Do you remember that
17 document? You testified about it yesterday.
18 A. The document that was written at the end of the year was written
19 on the 28th of December, and it was a report based on the reports coming
20 from the zones, written reports from the zones.
21 Q. I appreciate that, and I'm going to ask you some questions about
22 that in just a few minutes. But I'm just asking, sir, how you happened to
23 choose this document to bring to the Tribunal.
24 A. This was the first document that was submitted in written form.
25 This was the first one written.
1 Q. Had you had a conversation with Mr. Marcussen or any other member
2 of the Prosecution's office or any investigator with the Prosecution as to
3 the existence of the archives? In other words, before you came here, did
4 you acquaint the Prosecutor's office with the fact that there were
5 archives for the KLA?
6 A. When I made the statement, I also said that there were archives of
7 the KLA.
8 Q. Right. But did you have a discussion about that with the
9 Prosecutor's office before you came here?
10 A. When I gave my statement.
11 Q. You told him about that when you gave your statement? You gave
12 two statements, one in October, 2005, and one in January, 2006. Is it
13 your testimony that at those times you advised the Prosecutors, or the
14 representative of the Prosecutors, that there was such a thing called the
15 KLA archives?
16 A. The statement I gave in July, I think I mentioned there that there
17 is an archive of the KLA.
18 Q. Okay. And at that time did any member of the Prosecution's office
19 request the opportunity to see what was in the archives, to examine what
20 was in it?
21 A. When I gave the statement in July where I said that there are such
22 archives, I was here in The Hague, not in Prishtina.
23 Q. Right. But when you told whoever it was -- do you remember who
24 you told that to when you gave your statement in January, 2006? Do you
25 recall who you told that to in July of 2006?
1 A. I did not give a statement in January, 2006; it was July, 2006.
2 And I said what I said about the archives.
3 Q. Right. And did the person that you gave the statement to, or any
4 other member of the Prosecutor's office, ever follow up on that and
5 say, "We'd like to see the archives. We'd like to visit there. We'd like
6 to see what's in it"? Did you ever get any kind of inquiry like that?
7 A. Well, I submitted the documents that I got from the archives to
8 the Prosecution office in Prishtina, and they sent the documents here. I
9 was not approached directly from anyone to say that they wanted to have a
10 look at those archives.
11 Q. And is this document, 2460, which is the December 28th, 1998
12 document, is that one of the documents you gave to the Prosecutor's office
13 in Prishtina to send here?
14 A. Yes. This document was given to them, and it was sent here.
15 Q. And when did you give this document to them? Do you recall?
16 A. No, I can't remember, but it was before I came here.
17 Q. Was it in the last few weeks?
18 A. Yes, in the last few weeks.
19 Q. And so I take it, is the archives generally open? For example, if
20 one of the members of the Defence team was to make an inquiry, could they
21 have access to these archives, to your knowledge?
22 A. I don't know who has the right to have access to the archives.
23 It's their inner problem, their inner administrative issue.
24 Q. And based on your knowledge of the archives and the fact you were
25 Chief of the General Staff of the KLA, if we wanted, if one of the Defence
1 people, one of the Defence lawyers or one of the defendants wanted to have
2 access to the archives, who would be the person to talk to about that?
3 A. They have to go to the place where the archives are, both to the
4 staff and also to the Kosova archives.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm not sure that this is really
7 cross-examination. It sounds more to me like an exploration as to how the
8 Defence might get access to documents, which we could make the witness
9 available to discuss those issues, maybe, outside the courtroom.
10 MR. SEPENUK: Your Honour, not in the least. We've already
11 received -- excuse me, Your Honour. I didn't mean to interrupt if you
12 were going to say something.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: On you go, Mr. Sepenuk.
14 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. We've already received, very recently, Rule 68
15 material, and, my goodness, is it Mr. Marcussen's position -- and I'll ask
16 this: I take it the Prosecution's office has never made an inquiry from
17 the archives? I mean, there could be all sorts of material in those
18 archives. It could be very useful. In this case, my understanding is
19 that the Prosecution has never even inquired about it until Mr. Zyrapi,
20 the witness, voluntarily furnished some evidence a few weeks ago.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I personally don't see a problem with the
22 cross-examination on these lines. We're all agreed that it's perfectly
23 appropriate to follow this line, and we will repel the objection.
24 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. So maybe just one or two more questions on this, Mr. Zyrapi. As
1 precisely as you can, please tell us the person or persons who should be
2 contacted with respect to obtaining records from the KLA archives.
3 A. Well, the Kosova archives has a director; I don't know his name.
4 And as regards the archives at the staff, you can approach the commander
6 Q. And that is? Who is that person?
7 A. You mean the KPC staff?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Now the commander of the KPC staff is Sulejman Selimi.
10 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Zyrapi. Now, I'd like to just get to a
11 discussion of this document; that's the document of December 28, 1998.
12 It's a year-end summary of the situation in the KLA, and, of course, it's
13 signed by you, as the Chief of Staff, and based on the reports of your
14 zone commanders, at least five of the zones.
15 By the way, what about the other two zones? As I read this, the
16 other two zones did not submit reports; is that correct?
17 A. Yes. Two zones were not included because they did not submit a
18 written report. They gave an oral report and then followed up with a
19 written one.
20 Q. Okay. Now, we'll start with "Leading and Commanding," first page,
21 and it says: "It can be stated that they are at an appropriate level in
22 all operating zones." And then you go on to say, or at least the report
23 goes on to say: "There is a considerable lack of professional staff,
24 especially in the Dukagjin and Nerodimlje operating zones."
25 Now, do you recall whether steps were taken to improve that
1 situation that you noted?
2 A. Yes. I remember there were also requests for sending personnel to
3 this area. We sent officers there in order to complete the staff of the
4 operative zone, as far as I remember.
5 Q. And the whole point of this was to make the Kosovo Liberation Army
6 a stronger, more effective army; isn't that a fair statement?
7 A. Yes, you could say that, to strengthen the KLA both in leadership
8 and command.
9 Q. Right. And in that same paragraph, "Leading and Commanding," you
10 state -- or it is stated that:
11 "In most of the command positions of all the zones mentioned, at
12 all command levels from the squad to the operating zone level, people have
13 proved themselves in combat up to now, both in terms of bravery and
14 organisational, and command skills have been appointed."
15 And I take it that was a matter of some pride to you?
16 A. Yes. These were people who had some experience, and we wanted to
17 raise the level of leadership and command at that time.
18 Q. Okay. And then, going to part B, it's called "Combat Morale," and
19 it says:
20 "With the reorganisation and the filling of vacancies with staff,
21 with reappointments that have been carried out in all operating zones,
22 combat morale of the soldiers and the population that is joining the KLA
23 more and more by the day has risen considerably. In all the zones, great
24 interest is felt, especially by the young [Realtime transcript read in
25 error 'junk'], to join the KLA."
1 Did you find at this time and the months prior to this time that
2 there was a lot of enthusiasm, particularly among young men, to join the
3 KLA? And were you trying to take advantage of that?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: The transcript again. At 51, 13, it says "junk" and
7 it's "young," I think the witness said "young".
8 JUDGE BONOMY: That's one that I imagine would be sorted out in
9 the --
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry to interrupt.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It's very important to draw significant ones to our
12 attention. Where it's "no" and the answer was "yes," then it's important
13 to identify it. But where it looks as though it may be ironed out later
14 by the checking exercise, it's not so necessary to do so. But please
15 don't hesitate. If you are in doubt, raise the matter.
16 Mr. Sepenuk.
17 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. And you go on to state:
19 "High combat morale has been shown in clashes that KLA units had
20 with enemy police, paramilitary/military forces in different parts of
21 Kosovo, especially in the Dukagjin, Pastrik, and Llap operating zones.
22 The enemy suffered considerable losses in dead and equipment with minimal
23 consequences for our KLA units."
24 And, again, a matter which, I take it, was a source of
25 satisfaction for you.
1 A. This was a report that was sent by the operative zones, and then a
2 summary was made of all the reports and sent to the deputy commander of
3 the General Staff. So these were the experiences of the soldiers of the
5 Q. And on the next page, it talks about training. Again, this is the
6 situation as of December 28, 1998, and it says:
7 "More work should be done with new soldiers that join the KLA in
8 all operative zones in the following segments," and it mentions "knowledge
9 of the collective armament, knowledge of the tactical actions, military
10 rules in general."
11 Do you recall whether you did work on those areas after that,
12 January, February, March? Did you work on those areas?
13 A. Yes, we worked on all these areas, training, personnel, from
14 simple soldiers to the commanding levels, commanding levels at the squad
15 level and up.
16 Q. And the reason you did that, I assume, is a very simple one, and
17 that is that you wanted to improve the Kosovo Liberation Army and not be
18 satisfied with the status quo. You wanted to keep getting better and
19 stronger. Isn't that fair?
20 A. We also had a statute, and we worked in the direction of training
21 our personnel. We wanted to be ready. We didn't know what would happen
22 after the status quo.
23 Q. Right. So you wanted to be ready and continue to be prepared for
24 any situation that would arise.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. And then in item D, "Mobilisation and Matters of
2 Personnel," you state, or the report states, that: "Mobilisation in all
3 operative zones has been carried out on a voluntary basis which will
4 continue also in the future. Up until now, the level of mobilisation has
5 been high."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes. I remember mobilisation was carried out on a voluntary basis
8 and it continued like that even later.
9 Q. All right. And then further down in that paragraph is something
10 which struck me, anyway - and I don't think we should go into the incident
11 in any kind of detail - but apparently some young KLA members were killed
12 in a fire-fight, the thrust of this being that they were killed because
13 they didn't have the training and the discipline to handle the situation.
14 Is that, sort of, a shorthand summary of what happened?
15 A. Yes, it's a summary of what happened. During the summer
16 offensive, there were soldiers who were not trained and had no military
17 experience, and they were killed in the fighting because they were not
18 prepared, well prepared.
19 Q. And I'm sure it's fair to say that, as Chief of the General Staff,
20 you wanted to make sure that nothing like that ever happened again.
21 A. Yes. That's why we took steps to conduct training.
22 Q. So that people who were members of the Kosovo Liberation Army,
23 even the very -- younger members, could obtain the training and discipline
24 to be effective fighters. Is that a fair statement?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Then we turn to "Logistics," which is item E.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk, I understand the nature of this
3 cross-examination. It's one with which I'm much more familiar when
4 dealing with a jury, this emphasis of the strength of your position taken
5 from things which are in this document. But remember, please, that a
6 balance has to be struck here, and, no doubt, you've got that in mind.
7 And remember also, please, that we are able to read this document and you
8 can be sure it will be carefully read.
9 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. Well, you know, without -- I don't want to say
10 too much, Your Honour, but our point here is to -- well, I'm not going to
11 get into our point. But thank you for your comments, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And I also think, in case you were in any doubt,
13 that you're clearly pushing at an open door with this witness.
14 MR. SEPENUK: I don't understand that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, your going to simply get confirmation of
16 everything in that report in response to every question you ask. That's
17 just the nature of the way in which this evidence is being presented by
18 the witness, and we are alert to that.
19 MR. SEPENUK: Right. Well, I might as well say it, Your Honour.
20 We're trying to show that great efforts were made to make this a stronger,
21 more effective army, a more formidable army, that these six men sitting
22 behind me had reason to be very afraid of.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that message has already been clearly
24 presented through this witness's evidence.
25 MR. SEPENUK: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. Let me just move on,
1 then, to the combat situation, because I think we can add something to
3 Q. Where it says "Combat Situation, Enemy Forces," and that's
4 paragraph G, where it says that: "Following UN Security Council
5 Resolution 1199, enemy forces have withdrawn from some dominant points.
6 For example, Sukat and the Dukagjin Operative Zone, and some of them have
7 not been placed under the control of our forces."
8 I don't know whether that's -- is that a typographical error?
9 Should that be "and some of them have been placed" or "some of them have
10 not been placed." The English translation says: "Some of them have not
11 been placed under the control of our forces." So I'm simply asking you,
12 Mr. Zyrapi, whether you can help us on that.
13 First of all, let me ask you: You recall that -- it says: "Enemy
14 forces have withdrawn from some dominant points." That's correct, isn't
16 A. Yes, that's correct --
17 Q. And maybe --
18 A. -- and the report is correct.
19 Q. And maybe I can clear it up with the part under "Our Forces," and
20 that says:
21 "The increase in the number of soldiers is noticeable, especially
22 in the Dukagjin Operative Zone. Following the enemy offensive, the
23 repositioning of forces has been carried out in all operative zones, and
24 we can freely say that the territory controlled by our units is now of a
25 greater percentage than prior to the enemy offensive."
1 Is that what happened; the short of it being the Serb forces
2 pulled out and the KLA forces moved back in?
3 A. Pursuant to the reports that were sent by zone commanders, it is
4 evident that the Serb forces withdrew after this resolution. However, the
5 installment of KLA was not in large territories. It was narrowed.
6 Q. But you did fill in a number of positions, did you not,
7 Mr. Zyrapi? When I say "you," the KLA.
8 A. Yes. A number of positions we did fill in, but not all of the
9 positions. According to the agreement, we were supposed to stay away from
10 the roads, 2 to 3 kilometres away from the roads. Therefore, we were not
11 able to cover all the positions, all the points, that had previously been
12 under KLA control.
13 Q. And I'll ask you one final question from this document, and that
14 is, it says: "Proposals for the use of tactical and operational units for
15 combat activities in the future," and you set forth a number of items
16 here, "acting in commando groups in towns and inside the zones where the
17 enemy is active, cutting out enemy supply lines through diversion actions,
18 hitting everywhere the living enemy forces in order to inflict insecurity
19 at all times and everywhere."
20 Those are traditional guerrilla tactics, aren't they?
21 A. Yes, these are traditional guerrilla tactics which are followed by
22 certain regular armies as well.
23 Q. Right. So, in other words, you were trying to have the advantages
24 of a stronger, regular army combined with, when necessary, the use of
25 hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, when the situation called for that. Is
1 that fair statement?
2 A. Yes, when necessary.
3 Q. Yes. Thank you. And then continuing our narrative, the record
4 shows that, during January and February and March, despite the cease-fire,
5 the KLA continued its fight against Serb forces primarily by ambushes. Is
6 that a fair statement?
7 A. I can't see the report, but there are reports --
8 Q. No, no, I'm sorry.
9 A. -- which clearly show that --
10 Q. When you say "can't see the report," I haven't shown you
11 anything. We're through now with your December 1998 report. I'm going on
12 to another subject and I'm saying, during January, February and March of
13 1999, there were clashes back and forth with Serb forces; and even though
14 there was a cease-fire, the KLA did continue its attacking forays, a good
15 part of which were by ambush. Is that correct?
16 A. No, this is not correct, as far as January and February are
17 concerned. What I said yesterday referred to these defensive attacks.
18 These attacks were more defensive in nature than attacks.
19 Q. Okay. Well, we'll just go into a couple of those to illustrate a
20 point, one way or the other. But I do have an assessment from the Kosovo
21 Verification Mission, and it's an assessment of January 2nd, 1999. This
22 is just a few days after your December 28, 1998 report. It's Defence
23 Exhibit 3D0359, and it's the last page of that exhibit.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Marcussen.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: I don't know if the exhibit number is correct, but
1 I don't think there is such an exhibit in e-court. And we were notified
2 of a document, 3D356, and the next one was 352. But maybe it's a mistake
3 just in the citing of the number.
4 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. Well, this is -- heads will roll, Your
5 Honour. I'm sorry, but the number I have is 359. But let me tell you,
6 it's the KVM Blue Book for January 2nd, 1999. I don't think there's -- of
7 course, it's going to be in the English anyway, Your Honour, and if it
8 wouldn't offend the Trial Chamber, perhaps if I could just read from it,
9 because he's not --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Please do that and let's keep our fingers crossed
11 that it may appear yet.
12 MR. SEPENUK: All right.
13 Q. Here is what this assessment says, Mr. Zyrapi. This is an
14 assessment by the Kosovo Verification Mission; that's the OSCE Kosovo
15 Verification Commission. See if you agree with this:
16 "There are indications the KLA may be coming more closely unified
17 under a centralised command structure. Units of the KLA are now being
18 identified to KVM patrols by specific unit designation. Areas of
19 responsibility are being adjusted by the KLA, and loosely affiliated
20 groups may be coming under centralised control."
21 And I'm assuming that you agree with that statement.
22 A. I heard those statements. The organisation continued to the
23 extent that it covered every unit that operated in the territory of
25 Q. Okay. And the report goes on to say:
1 "An interesting trend is developing with the VJ becoming more
2 cooperative with OSCE and its operation and the KLA becoming more
3 belligerent and uncooperative at their security positions."
4 Do you agree with that statement?
5 A. To what I remember, that entire period, January and February and
6 even December, I know that there was cooperation. The OSCE came to check
7 and had contacts with the KLA. And I don't think that there was lack of
8 cooperation in this respect.
9 Q. So you certainly don't agree with that statement, then; is that
11 A. That's right.
12 MR. SEPENUK: All right. I'm going to take another crack at an
13 exhibit, Your Honour, Defence Exhibit 3D363. And this is from the
14 so-called Blue Book, January 9th Blue Book, of the Kosovo Verification
15 Mission, and it is numbered incident number 2. If the usher would put
16 that up on the screen. I think you have to just click on 2.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think it's the fourth page of the exhibit.
18 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, it is. It's the fourth page. Thank you,
19 Mr. Marcussen.
20 Q. And here's the report of the KVM. It says that:
21 "RC 1 reported that prior to 1040 hours, a MUP patrol, consisting
22 of one Lada Niva and two Pinzgauers, were ambushed 4 kilometres north-east
23 of Suva Reka vicinity, DM," and then a number. "The patrol was fired on
24 from well-constructed, well-camouflaged trenches which appeared to have
25 been occupied for several days. The following casualties were reported:
1 3 MUP killed in action, 3 MUP wounded in action, and 3 Albanian civilians
2 were wounded who happened to drive into the ambush accidentally. The KLA
3 departed the area immediately following the ambush. An examination of the
4 trenches revealed 7.62-millimetre and 12.7-millimetre shell casings. RPG
5 rounds were also fired. The MUPs apparently died while still inside the
7 Now, do you remember that incident?
8 A. No, I don't remember this incident, and I don't remember either
9 the date or the place where it happened.
10 Q. Assuming the incident occurred, as it sets forth here, under then
11 current -- under then existing KLA rules and regulations, would you have
12 been the person who ordered that ambush?
13 A. Of course, that the operations would be approved by the General
14 Staff. For this particular incident, I don't remember the date and the
15 place where it occurred.
16 Q. But, again, assuming that it did occur, as stated here, would you
17 have been the person to authorise that attack?
18 A. The zone commander also had the authority to carry out these
19 operations, but the operations had to be approved by the General Staff.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the date of this incident, Mr. Sepenuk?
21 MR. SEPENUK: It's the 8th of January, 1999, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this report from a minute after midnight until
23 the following midnight? I'm trying to understand the part at the top
24 where the 8 is, so that I can understand any future ones you refer to.
25 MR. SEPENUK: It's --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: But it looks like 801 up until 824.
2 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, I believe that's right.
3 Q. And in the latter part of that document - and I believe it's page
4 11 - here's what the Kosovo Verification Mission says about that attack,
5 Mr. Zyrapi. It says:
6 "The well-executed ambush against a MUP patrol near Suva Reka
7 indicates good training and planning, and validates the KLA's earlier
8 threats to retaliate against MUP/VJ patrols and check-points. It appears
9 that the KLA does not acknowledge the cease-fire any more and will most
10 likely strike again using the same tactics."
11 Is that a fair statement? Did the KLA have any intention of
12 abiding by that cease-fire that took place at the end of October, 1998?
13 A. Yes. The intention was to respect the cease-fire agreement that
14 was signed in 1998.
15 Q. Then what would the point of that ambush have been? Why was that
16 ambush authorised? Wasn't that a violation of the cease-fire?
17 A. I mentioned yesterday and today, when talking about these
18 small-scale attacks on the part of the KLA, that is attacking check-points
19 of the Serb forces, that constituted an obstacle for the KLA, the movement
20 of the KLA units from one territory to another.
21 Q. And that's the way you viewed it; is that right?
22 A. I don't know about this particular incident. I can see the date.
23 It is mentioned in the report, but it does not mention the location where
24 it occurred. I don't know exactly.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go on to another document. It's 3D374.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. I had lost track of the time there,
2 Mr. Sepenuk. I think we should break now and move on to that document
3 after the break.
4 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Again we have to break, Mr. Zyrapi. Could you go
6 with the usher, leave the court with him, please.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: We will resume at 6.00, and we will sit until about
9 10 past 7.00 or so.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Either, Mr. Sepenuk, the exhibit is wrongly
14 numbered or we're disappointed not to see it on the screen. We're still
15 on the last one, I think. You wanted 3D374, I think.
16 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, Your Honour. And I believe I asked him about
17 that, and I'm prepared to go on to another --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought that was the one you were about to deal
20 MR. SEPENUK: No, I don't think so, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you were interrupted.
22 MR. SEPENUK: I don't think so.
23 And by the way, this might be an appropriate time to bring it up.
24 The Defence is a little bit concerned about time in terms of -- I don't
25 really have that much more, Your Honour, and -- but we want to make sure
1 we don't exceed -- I take it, will there be the usual ruling or will there
2 be extra time for this --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I was concerned when I saw the line you were
4 following; that's why I intervened earlier. And the Prosecution took just
5 over 4.5 hours in chief, so I was hoping that that would be the guideline
6 for you.
7 MR. SEPENUK: All right. Okay. Well, I -- personally I don't
8 have that much more left, Your Honour. I'll certainly keep that in mind.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's carry on and see how we get on.
10 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, I'm just going to ask you, we're in the period now --
12 we started with -- we're in the period now January/February/March of 1999,
13 the period leading up to the war, and I'm just going to ask you a few more
14 questions about some incidents that happened during that period, and I'd
15 like the ushers to put up 3D362. Again, this is another Kosovo
16 Verification Mission document for the period 5 March 1999. And if we can
17 go to -- I believe it's page 9. It's incident number 8. Yes.
18 And according to this report, Mr. Zyrapi, at 1000 hours -- it has
19 to do with a KLA ambush of a MUP convoy, and it says: "At 1000 hours, a
20 MUP convoy was ambushed by approximately 15 to 20 KLA at," and it gives
21 coordinate. "The attack occurred while the MUP were rotating their
22 personnel and delivering food. The KLA fired two RPG 7 rounds followed by
23 machine-gun fire wounding 11 MUP, 6 seriously."
24 Now, first of all, in 5 March 1999, is this again an attack that
25 you personally would have ordered or approved?
1 A. Yes. If it required approval from us, of course we would have
2 approved it, but I don't remember this incident and the place where it
4 Q. And is it your testimony that assuming what the KVM says here is
5 true that the MUP were rotating their personnel and delivering food, is it
6 your position that what happened here was not a violation of the
8 A. In fact, yes.
9 Q. And that is because?
10 A. As I say earlier, yesterday and today, there were attacks on
11 check-points. I don't remember this specific incident. It mentions the
12 territory where the attack took place but not the exact location. It
13 should be in the reports that contain the dates of this period of time.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. SEPENUK: If the -- I'd like to put up another exhibit, 3D179.
16 Q. Okay. And Mr. Zyrapi, this is an OSCE, Organisation for Security
17 and Cooperation in Europe, KVM, Kosovo Verification Mission, background
18 report on compliance by the parties in Kosovo between the end of the
19 Rambouillet talks and the beginning of the second Paris talks. It's 23rd
20 February to 11 March 1999. That's the period covered. And in the opening
21 paragraph it states: "Unprovoked attacks by the KLA against the police
22 have continued and the number of casualties sustained by the security
23 forces has increased."
24 Does that -- does that refresh your recollection as to what was
25 happening during that period? Were you as the Chief of the General Staff
1 of the KLA approving increased attacks against the MUP?
2 A. To my recollection, during this period of time there were attacks
3 but not increased attacks.
4 Q. All right. And the report goes on to cite a number of these
5 attacks. I'm not going to mention them all. I'll mention a few.
6 On page 2 it says: "On 27 February, a police patrol was ambushed
7 west of Pristina airfield with one police officer killed and one wounded
8 apparently by KLA sniper fire."
9 Do you have any recollection of that at all?
10 A. No, I don't remember.
11 Q. Another -- in another part of the report it says: "Three police
12 officers were wounded and one of them later died in a Pristina hospital
13 after a static police patrol was attacked at a bridge in the centre of
14 Podujevo on 3rd March," on March 3rd.
15 Do you remember that at all?
16 A. I do not recall the specific incidents mentioned.
17 Q. Assuming the truth of what I just read, Mr. Zyrapi, is there any
18 conceivable set of circumstances that you can think of where attacking a
19 static police patrol in the centre of Podujevo could qualify as a
20 defensive action?
21 A. As I've mentioned earlier, there were attacks on check-points.
22 And as I said earlier, only when our units were moving from one area to
23 another, and if their movement was impeded, that's when these attacks were
24 carried out.
25 Q. All right. And I'll just mention one other part of the report.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Before -- before you move on.
2 Mr. Zyrapi, you're talking about your units moving and their
3 movement being impeded. Was there some reason in the cease-fire agreement
4 why the MUP should not have check-points?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In general where there should not
6 have been check-points but also in territories where there were
7 check-points and which constituted obstacles for the movement of our units
8 from one territory to another.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it within the contemplation of the cease-fire
10 that you should be able to move units from one area to another?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When speaking of the cease-fire,
12 there was an earlier attack in Rance, in the territory of Nerodimlje
13 Operational Zone carried out by the Serb forces.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zyrapi, that's an entirely different point. It
15 may well be that the Serb forces regularly breached the cease-fire for all
16 we have yet heard. That's not what I'm asking you about.
17 What I'm asking you about is whether the simple situation that you
18 paint of attacking MUP check-points to enable your forces to move from one
19 area to another was something that could be justified within the terms of
20 the cease-fire.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I speak within the framework
22 of the cease-fire. I refer to movement by the KLA in the territories that
23 they controlled.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk.
25 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Just another incident and we'll be through with this line of
2 questioning, Mr. Zyrapi.
3 The -- contained in the report, it says: "On 5 March,
4 approximately 15 to 20 KLA members ambushed a police patrol in an area
5 south-west of Pristina airport. According to police sources, 11 policemen
6 were wounded, six of them seriously, and two police vehicles were
7 destroyed by rocket-propelled grenades."
8 Again, do you have any recollection of this incident and would you
9 have either approved it or ordered it?
10 A. As I said earlier, I do not remember every specific incident that
11 occurred at that time. There are reports, but for the moment I do not
12 recall every particular incident.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that's the same incident as we've already
14 dealt with.
15 MR. SEPENUK: No. I think in the others there was -- it was
16 another incident, Your Honour, where policemen were killed.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no. There was one on the 5th of March. Ambush
18 of a convoy that was delivering food and rotating personnel. Is it not
19 the same incident?
20 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, I think you are right, Your Honour. Excuse
21 me. You are right.
22 Q. Let me ask you this, Mr. Zyrapi: In the report, it says:
23 "A new area of military engagement became gradually active since
24 the end of February as apparently the KLA from other regions moved to
25 villages south-west of Kacanik, near the southern border with the federal
1 FYR of Macedonia. This was followed by an increased concentration of VJ
2 and police forces. Reports of fighting in that area were received on 28
3 February when the security forces were attached by the KLA near Gajre," if
4 that's the proper pronunciation, G-a-j-r-e, "south-west of Kacanik. One
5 police officer, the commander of the Kacanik police station, was killed,
6 and four policemen wounded. An estimated 2.000 people fled villages in
7 the Kacanik area, some trying to cross a border to the FYR of Macedonia."
8 Now, I'll ask you whether the KLA was attempting to provide access
9 for a potential NATO ground invasion of Kosovo through this Kacanik area.
10 Was that something that you were planning during this period?
11 A. No. At that time we were not planning this, and at that time I
12 didn't know that there would be any infantry forces of the NATO.
13 Q. Mr. Zyrapi, do you remember a man or do you remember meeting a man
14 named Christopher John Clark? Do you know who he is?
15 A. I don't recall this name. What period are you talking about?
16 Q. I'm talking about this period that I just asked you about, which
17 would have been on 28 February of 1999. Mr. Clark is a warrant officer in
18 the British Army, and he was the Kosovo Verification Mission, KVM mission,
19 operations officer for Kosovo. He submitted a statement - and it's
20 3D386 - to the Office the Prosecution in March and July of 2001, and in it
21 he says as follows:
22 "Also, in late February or early March, 1999, KLA forces
23 infiltrated into the Kotlina area in southern Kosovo. This brigade had
24 not previously been seen in Kosovo and was believed to have been
25 infiltrated across the Macedonian border. After they came into Kosovo, we
1 identified them and placed a team with them. It was commanded by a man
2 known as Bardi," B-a-r-d-i, "who had previously been in the Dukagjin
3 zone. The brigade was made up of all Macedonian Albanians. They ordered
4 the local Kosovo Albanian population out of the area and forced them
5 across the border into Macedonia. This was in order for them to commence
6 an offensive against Serb forces in the area. I know this as this
7 information was relayed to us by the brigade. The KVM assessment at the
8 time was that the KLA was attempting to provide an access for a NATO
9 ground invasion through this area."
10 Does that refresh your recollection at all?
11 A. No, it doesn't. The territory that you mentioned, which was the
12 territory that this brigade entered?
13 Q. Kotlina, Kacanik, that area near the Macedonian border.
14 A. Kotlina and Kacanik, this was the area of the 162nd Brigade. I
15 don't know of any other brigade coming from the territory of Macedonia.
16 What I know is that this brigade was here; 162 was there.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 A. But I don't know of any preparation for any kind of offensive.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The brigade you've just referred to, the 162nd, was
21 that composed of Macedonian Albanians?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This brigade was composed of
23 Albanians from Kosovo, from the territory of Kacanik.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Does the name "Bardi" mean anything to you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Bardi" is the pseudonym of the
1 commander of the 162nd Brigade.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And what ethnicity was he?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Albanian.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Sepenuk.
6 MR. SEPENUK: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. In this report that I've just been reading from - and that's
8 3D179 - there are a number of incidents set forth of kidnapping and
9 abduction, and I'm not going to ask you about it because I think I know
10 your feelings about kidnapping and abductions, which I'll ask you about
11 now. Is it true that, by the summer -- actually, before I get to that,
12 before I get to that, let me just finish up with -- we've taken you to
13 January, February, and March of 1999, and I want to get into the wartime
14 period just briefly, just very briefly, and primarily, as it relates to
15 cooperation between the KLA and NATO. One of your zone commanders,
16 Mr. Haradinaj, in his book, "The Story of War and Freedom," 3D375, and I
17 might ask you if you're familiar with that book.
18 A. I have heard about this book that Mr. Haradinaj has written.
19 Q. As a matter of fact, two excerpts from that book were attached to
20 your 2005 statement; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in that book, here's what Mr. Haradinaj says about cooperation
23 with NATO. The question was: "How did the KLA and NATO cooperate during
24 the bombing campaign?" And Mr. Haradinaj said: "This must be assessed
25 realistically. From the military point of view, Kosovo was the field of
1 action for both NATO and the KLA. These two forces were allied but hardly
2 equal. They had common and closely connected interests with mutual." It
3 stops there, it just says "... with mutual." "I benefited from the
4 air-strikes, while the NATO pilots benefited from our firing lines which
5 forced the Serbian forces out into the open. That is how we cooperated."
6 Is that something that you agree with, Mr. Zyrapi?
7 A. I don't know, because it's him who wrote that. I was not in the
8 area at the time that he was, so I don't know what he was doing at the
10 Q. So you were in the area, as I understand it, through April; is
11 that correct? You were the -- as I understand it, you were the Chief of
12 the General Staff through April. Do I have that right?
13 A. No. I was not in that function through April. I left the
14 function at about -- it was the second half of April, and then I got the
15 duty of deputy minister of defence.
16 Q. So you were there at least during a portion of the NATO bombings;
17 isn't that so?
18 A. Yes, starting from the 24th, including the second part of April.
19 Q. Okay. And is it also fair to say that a large portion of NATO's
20 bombing targets in Kosovo came from the KLA commanders via satellite
22 A. I don't know after April, but before April it was not like that,
23 because the reports about our forces were sent to our ministry, which was
24 created out of the Rambouillet talks, at the Rambouillet talks. And then
25 after that I don't know where those reports went.
1 Q. And you are familiar or do you know Baton Haxhiu, who is a Kosovo
2 newspaper editor? Do you know him?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. He was quoted in an article in The New York Review of Books on
5 June 24th, 1999, an article called "Kosovo and Beyond," an article written
6 by Timothy Garton Ash, who essentially says what I just asked you. He
7 says that "a large proportion of NATO's bombing targets in Kosovo" - and,
8 by the way, this is 3D382 - "a large proportion of NATO's bombing targets
9 in Kosovo came from the KLA commanders via satellite phone." And is it
10 your testimony that that is not correct?
11 A. I speak here about the period when I was in that duty, carrying
12 out that function, and what we did, we sent reports to the Ministry of
13 Defence, which was based in Albania.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. The reports were about our forces and the Serb forces.
16 Q. Okay. And so, finally, by the time the war started, at least
17 during the time you were connected with the war, is it fair to say that
18 you had a much stronger, regular army, without being unduly modest, due,
19 at least, in some part to your efforts, with the capacity to use guerrilla
20 tactics when necessary and aided by a civilian population who assisted you
21 with food, lodging, and any other assistance they could give? Is that a
22 pretty fair summary of the situation that existed during the war?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm just going to turn to one other area, and
25 that is what I didn't ask you about just a few moments ago because I
1 believe you've already indicated your attitude about this, and that is the
2 killings and abductions of Serbian civilians and alleged Albanian
3 collaborationists. Is it true that by the summer of 1998, it was common
4 knowledge that Albanians were being killed because they were considered
5 collaborators with the Serbs?
6 A. Yes. At that time I heard about these cases.
7 Q. And these cases were also mentioned in communiques issued by the
8 General Staff and reported in the Kosovo press, such as in papers like
9 Bujku and Koha Ditore, et cetera; correct?
10 A. Yes. In many communiques of the General Staff you could find
11 these things, and also in newspapers.
12 Q. And you mentioned yesterday that you also heard from zone
13 commanders, from soldiers, and from the civilian population of
14 maltreatment of Serbian civilians and alleged Albanian collaborationists;
15 is that right?
16 A. I stated yesterday that I heard from zone commanders and civilians
17 that some soldiers and officers had exceeded their competencies.
18 Q. All right. And you wanted to do something about that; is that
20 A. At that time I could not do anything because I did not have any
21 function. After I became Chief of Staff, we mentioned yesterday what
22 measures I took to discipline the army.
23 Q. Yes. And after you became Chief of Staff, you entered an order -
24 and that's Prosecution Exhibit 2448 - which essentially banned improper
25 behaviour with respect to the civilian population; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there were also rules about that, too; right? You testified
3 about the KLA rules and regulations. That's Prosecution Exhibit 2499.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you issued an order about that - and that's Prosecution
7 Exhibit 20 - you didn't issue the order, but Prosecution Exhibit 2463, you
8 testified yesterday, was an order by an investigating judge about what you
9 said was investigating a serious breach. Is that a fair statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But you didn't remember when you testified what that breach was
12 all about; correct?
13 A. Yes, correct. I did not remember.
14 Q. Do you remember now, by any chance?
15 A. No, I don't. There have been other cases of killings that were
17 Q. You personally know about other cases of killings of, what,
18 Serbian civilians and alleged Albanian collaborationists? Is that a fair
19 statement? And you know about those that have been investigated?
20 A. Well, I personally don't know about cases of killings of Albanians
21 or Serbs, but there have been investigations in the period of January and
22 February. It was a very short period of time to do anything, but I know
23 that there were investigations carried out.
24 Q. Well, you certainly read about these killings in the communiques,
25 did you not, sir? And you heard about it from your commanders and your
1 soldiers and civilians.
2 A. I heard about such things, but I don't know of any specific
3 concrete case.
4 Q. Well, let me ask you: You mentioned this order yesterday, and you
5 said you received this order from the archives of the Pastrik Operational
6 Zone. Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Now, where are the archives of the Pastrik Operational Zone?
9 A. Most of them are at the General Staff of the KPC.
10 Q. And tell me again what that stands for.
11 A. And some are in the zones.
12 Q. KPC, again, stands for what? I know you told us before, but just
13 to --
14 A. Kosovo Protection Corps.
15 Q. And did you physically go to the archives in the Pastrik Operative
16 Zone to get this document?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Again, that's located specifically where? In what village or town
19 or city is it located?
20 A. The command of the zone is in Prizren.
21 Q. And did the Prosecutor's office ask you to obtain this record and
22 records like this?
23 A. They did not ask me directly, but they told me what I could
24 testify about when I came here.
25 Q. And what was that? What was that conversation? When you say they
1 told you what you could testify about, when was that? When did they tell
2 you that? And what is it they said you could testify about?
3 A. I said earlier - this was before I came here - when I gave my
4 statement in July.
5 Q. You said, if I'm not mistaken, that the Prosecution told you what
6 you could testify about. Could you just be a little more precise about
7 that. What was the conversation with the Prosecution?
8 A. Well, the Prosecution talked with me about things that I knew that
9 I could testify about. They did not tell me what to say here. They asked
10 me what I knew, and come and tell the truth here.
11 Q. Did they ask you to find records of disciplinary actions by either
12 a local commander or a military court against KLA soldiers who had either
13 murdered or abducted Serbian civilians or alleged Albanian
15 A. They said, in general, if I had any documents that I could find,
16 documents that could be useful. They did not specify what kinds of
18 Q. But they spoke to you about that specific topic, about finding
19 documents concerning disciplinary actions or court procedures instituted
20 against KLA members who were suspected of killing or abducting Serb
21 civilians or Albanian collaborationists. Is that your testimony?
22 A. No, not only about these ones but in general. Not only about
23 disciplinary measures but also other things.
24 Q. But the conversation did include disciplinary measures; is that
25 fair? Is that a fair statement?
1 A. Yes. One of the things we talked about was disciplinary measures.
2 Q. And so, pursuant to that discussion, you have produced here
3 yesterday, as I understand it, two documents. One is this order that the
4 investigating judge is to be executed [sic], making the commander of the
5 military police responsible for the execution of the order, and then
6 another order, as I recall, yesterday, based on the rules of discipline,
7 confining Hasan Obej, a soldier of the KLA, to detention for a period of
8 48 hours. Are those the two documents that you found regarding
9 disciplinary measures?
10 A. Yes. These were two documents I obtained, and they relate to
11 disciplinary measures.
12 Q. Okay. Now, tell us --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It should possibly be noted that it was the order
14 of the investigating judge that was to be executed and not the
15 investigating judge that was to be executed.
16 MR. SEPENUK: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. I can't say heads
17 will roll on that one. My head will roll, Your Honour. Thank you for the
19 Q. Let me ask you this overall question, Mr. Zyrapi: To your
20 knowledge, during the entire period of your being in Kosovo, from the time
21 you came to Kosovo on May 28th, 1998, to the time you left your position
22 in mid-April of 1998, do you personally know of a single case -- 1999 is
23 correct. I meant April, 1999. Do you personally know of a single case in
24 which the KLA disciplined or punished its own troops for killings or
25 abductions of Serbian civilians or alleged Albanian collaborationists?
1 A. Not personally, no, but I know that many measures were taken
2 between January and February. But, as I said, this was a very short
3 period of time to do anything.
4 Q. In the Limaj trial -- and, of course, you remember the Limaj trial
5 because you were a witness for Mr. Limaj; correct? You have to say yes or
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. A witness named Peter Bouchaert, B-o-u-c-h-a-e-r-t, who was a
9 human rights activist, testified that after a very thorough investigation,
10 he said, "We didn't document a single case" - and this is actually, to be
11 fair, the period between February and November of 1998 - "we didn't
12 document a single case in which the KLA disciplined or punished their own
13 troops despite our repeated requests for them to provide that
15 And I ask you again, sir, do you personally know of a single case
16 in which a KLA soldier was disciplined for the murder of Serbian civilians
17 or the abduction of Serbian civilians, or the murder or abduction of
18 alleged Albanian collaborationists? Do you personally know of a single
19 case where that happened?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The question has been answered, Mr. Sepenuk, by the
21 witness telling you he didn't personally know of any such case. I'm
22 beginning to wonder about the relevance of this.
23 MR. SEPENUK: Well, it's just I'm questioning the good-faith
24 nature of the disciplinary measures, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the relevance of that, also, I wonder about
1 in the overall context of the case.
2 MR. SEPENUK: I'll move on, Your Honour.
3 Q. I'll ask you one last question, Mr. Zyrapi: Are you aware of a
4 ditch located near the village of Decani where the KLA would dispose of
5 bodies of Serbs, informants and collaborators? Are you at all aware of
6 that? And I will represent to you that the same gentleman I mentioned
7 before ...
8 A. I'm not aware of that.
9 Q. You're not aware. Okay. Thank you.
10 MR. SEPENUK: That's all I have, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Sepenuk.
12 Mr. O'Sullivan.
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan:
15 Q. Sir, you've testified that in mid-April you became the deputy
16 minister of defence; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you remind us who the minister of defence was?
19 A. At that time the Defence Minister was Azim Syla.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell us, when was the Ministry of Defence established?
21 A. It was established right after the Rambouillet talks, when the
22 provisional government was established. So this is when the defence
23 ministry was established.
24 Q. And where was the ministry located?
25 A. As I mentioned earlier, it was based in Albania, in Tirana.
1 Q. You said a moment ago, and earlier, that your ministry was created
2 out of the Rambouillet talks, at the Rambouillet talks. Could you
3 enlighten us as to how that was -- how the Rambouillet talks effected the
4 creation of the ministry?
5 A. I don't know the effect, but I know that right after the
6 Rambouillet talks, the provisional government was established and, within
7 its frames, the defence government -- correction, defence ministry.
8 Q. Is it your understanding that the defence ministry was discussed
9 at Rambouillet and was created as a result of the Rambouillet talks?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Well, then, what connection do you -- you made a connection
12 between Rambouillet and the creation of this Ministry of Defence. Why do
13 you say -- why do you connect the two?
14 A. What I said was that after the Rambouillet talks the provisional
15 government was formed, and within that government the Defence Minister, as
16 part of it.
17 Q. So that would be early March of 1999; is that right?
18 A. No. A little bit later the ministries began to be established. I
19 do not know the exact time when, whether it was in early March or late
20 March. But it is around this period of time.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No further questions.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Petrovic.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Petrovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Zyrapi, I'm Vladimir Petrovic and I have a
2 few questions for you.
3 I would like to go back to the beginning of your evidence
4 yesterday where you spoke about the fact that, in 1985, you worked on the
5 establishment of the Albanian arm in Kosovo, and that some 30 officers and
6 non-commissioned officers participated in this effort together with you,
7 and that you received a suspended sentence of one and a half years in
8 prison. Can you please tell me whether all of those 30 officers and NCOs
9 were Albanian -- of Albanian ethnic origin?
10 A. The period that you mentioned, what I can speak of, at least for
11 myself, is that we did not work as officers in the direction of forming an
12 Albanian army, but all these 30 officers and non-commissioned officers
13 were Albanians.
14 Q. Well, I would just like to remind you of what you, yourself, said
15 yesterday. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding, but yesterday, when
16 asked by the Prosecutor, you said the following - that's page 33 of the
17 transcript yesterday:
18 "[In English] We were working to form the military liberation army
19 in Kosovo and the tribunal found us guilty and condemned us."
20 [Interpretation] Later on, when the Presiding Judge asked the
21 question, it was clarified that this was, in fact, an Albanian army in
22 Kosovo. Is your evidence different from what you said yesterday?
23 A. As it is stated in my statement - you have my statement - I did
24 not say that we worked in the direction of establishing an army but that
25 we were allegedly working to establish such an army. These were
1 allegations by the court. I did not say that we worked in the direction
2 of establishing an army, and this is clearly stated in my statement.
3 Q. Yes, it is contained in your statement. You did say, "allegedly,
4 we worked on it," but yesterday it was that there were no such caveats.
5 But we will not go into that any further. If this is your evidence today,
6 we will accept it.
7 Let me now move on to another area. Yesterday, you mentioned the
8 establishment of a court as part of the General Staff of the KLA, and,
9 among other things, you mentioned Mr. Sokol Dobruna, who had been
10 appointed a military judge in December, 1998. My question to you is
11 whether before this time period, anyone ever discharged any judicial
12 function in the KLA. Did any such post exist? I mean, the post of a
13 military judge or any other judicial authority within the General Staff of
14 the KLA.
15 A. To my knowledge, not until that period of time. It did not exist.
16 Q. Can you please tell us who appointed Mr. Dobruna to this post?
17 A. It was requested that a military court be formed, and following a
18 proposal of the general commander, this is how he was appointed.
19 Q. So the judge was appointed by the commander-in-chief of the KLA if
20 that's -- if my understanding is correct. But tell me, who was the
21 investigating judge that you mention in the document that was shown to you
22 by my learned colleague Mr. Sepenuk? Who is that man? If it's necessary,
23 I can give you the exact reference for the document, but I do believe that
24 you remember the document we're talking about.
25 A. I remember the document that we're talking about and that we
1 mentioned yesterday, but I don't remember his name, even not today.
2 Q. Was it some other person, not Mr. Dobruna, or --
3 A. As I mentioned yesterday, there were two or three other persons
4 who were working in the military court alongside Mr. Dobruna.
5 Q. Fair enough. So you tell us there was a military court and the
6 judge in the military court. Now, pursuant to what law or regulation did
7 Dobruna or any other military judges apply in the cases that you told us
8 about? You tell us that there were such cases, but you cannot recall any
9 specific case.
10 A. To my recollections, the military court abided by international
11 conventions and the KLA rules. It was not within my competence to follow
12 everything, but, more or less, these are the regulations that the military
13 court abided by.
14 Q. Are you aware of any cases that were tried applying the KLA rules
15 and the international conventions in which there were some convictions?
16 It doesn't matter. Maybe you don't recall the exact name, but can you
17 tell us whether there were any such cases at all?
18 A. There were such cases, but for the moment I can't remember them.
19 And as I said, it was not within my competence to check the work of the
20 military court and what they were involved in.
21 Q. I have just one question related to this topic. According to your
22 evidence, somebody who was convicted, who could that person appeal to?
23 Was there a second instance court, or did this Dobruna deal with appeals,
24 too? Was there a military prosecutor? What kind of a system was there?
25 A. I don't know the system. As I said, it was not within my
1 competence to see how this military court was organised. And, as I said,
2 I do not recall cases, specific cases.
3 Q. Fair enough. Now let me move on to something else. As a person
4 that was the Chief of Staff between November, 1998, and April, 1999, did
5 you, in this capacity, initiate any investigation or any proceedings in
6 cases where you heard reports that people were killed, tortured,
7 kidnapped, all those things that you spoke about to my colleague
8 Mr. Sepenuk? Did you personally launch any kind of proceedings against
9 any KLA troops at the time when you were at the most responsible post in
10 the Kosovo Liberation Army?
11 A. At that time, the most serious violations were referred to the
12 military court. Personally, I couldn't launch any kind of proceedings
13 against that because it was in the hands of the military court.
14 Q. So although you did hear about kidnappings, murders, you
15 personally did not do anything about that. You considered that to be
16 outside of your sphere of responsibility.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't answer that question just for a moment.
18 Mr. Petrovic, I raised this with Mr. Sepenuk already. What is the
19 relevance of this to the case?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. Sepenuk gave you
21 some of the grounds for this line of questioning.
22 Secondly, it is the intent of the Prosecution to show the Kosovo
23 Liberation Army as a structured military organisation that would be a
24 match for the Serbian and Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, through this
25 witness. It is my intention to challenge this argument. If you don't
1 consider this to be relevant, I can move on, because this was, indeed, the
2 last question related to this topic anyway. So I can move on.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You surprise me that it assists -- that you think
4 it assists the Prosecution to demonstrate the Kosovo Liberation Army to be
5 particularly structured. Indeed, I thought it was a stronger Defence
6 point than a Prosecution one. These questions seem to me, but I am not
7 really in a position to judge, to be rather undermining than enhancing
8 your case at the moment. But lay that aside, I really don't understand
9 the relevance.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Fine, Your Honour. I will move on,
12 Q. As regards the General Staff, can you please tell us when it was
13 established, the General Staff of the Kosovo Liberation Army, if you know
15 A. I don't know when exactly it was formed. It was formed in that
16 capacity much earlier, and I can only speak of the period of time when I
17 was appointed to that position.
18 Q. Do you know who established it?
19 A. It was established earlier, when the Kosovo Liberation Army was
20 being formed. Among those who participated in the establishment of the
21 General Staff was Azim Syla, who held that duty.
22 Q. Okay. But, to your knowledge, is there a decision to establish
23 the General Staff and the various organs within the staff? Do you know
24 anything about that?
25 A. No, I don't know.
1 Q. Was there a civilian organ that oversaw the work of the Kosovo
2 Liberation Army General Staff?
3 A. I don't know for the earlier times, but when the political
4 directorate was formed, later on, in January and February.
5 Q. You're talking about the political leadership of the KLA. I'm
6 asking you whether there was any authority outside of the KLA that would
7 be running the working of the KLA or controlling the KLA.
8 A. It was formed out of the Kosovo Popular Movement, the LPK. The
9 staff derived from this party, and it was controlled by this party, to the
10 information that I had at the time.
11 Q. Can you please tell me whether you know that, on several occasions
12 in Kosovo, there were elections that were not recognised but were
13 tolerated by the Serbian authorities? So there was an assembly; there was
14 the president of Kosovo. Did they have any influence over the activities
15 of the KLA? Do you know about that?
16 A. I've heard about this, but I don't know about their activities
17 during this period of time. And there was nobody overseeing the KLA at
18 that time.
19 Q. Very well. I would like to ask you something about the political
20 goals of the KLA. Is it correct that the KLA saw Kosovo and Metohija
21 solely as the occupied part of the territory of the Republic of Albania?
22 Was this the political views of the KLA at the time?
23 A. I don't know what view prevailed earlier, but during that time
24 that I held that post, Kosovo was considered as an occupied territory but
25 not as part of Albania.
1 Q. In this context I would like to read out to you a part of Exhibit
2 P2449. These are interim provisions on the internal structure of the
3 army. Right at the beginning of this document, we have the military
4 oath. This is the document we looked at yesterday; you confirmed its
5 authenticity. It says here - that's section 2, paragraph 1 - and I
6 read: "As a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army, I swear that I will
7 fight for the liberation of the occupied territories of Albania and their
8 unification." This is what it says in the military oath taken by the
9 soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
10 A. I stated yesterday as well that there were changes that were made
11 with the oath and the salute. I'm not saying that this did not exist
12 earlier, but at least for the period that I was at the post of Chief of
13 General Staff, this was not used.
14 Q. So it was not used. I have just two more questions. In this
15 period that we are now talking about when you were the Chief of Staff, did
16 you have any foreign advisors? Were there any people who assisted in the
17 training, the setting up of communications, the organisation of the Kosovo
18 Liberation Army, people from the outside? Also, in equipping it.
19 A. During my time in office, I did not have foreign advisors coming
20 from foreign states.
21 Q. Did you have any contacts with any other army, any other service
22 at the time when you were the Chief of General Staff?
23 A. No, not during my time.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
25 further questions.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
2 Mr. Marcussen, is it necessary to interrupt the evidence of this
3 witness to lead a different witness tomorrow?
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, that's our request, to start with
5 the witness Baton Haxhiu first thing tomorrow.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the estimated timing for him?
7 MR. HANNIS: Ms. Moeller told me she thought she would take 45
8 minutes to an hour on direct. I don't know how long the Defence estimates
9 for cross.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: There's also quite a lengthy statement from him.
11 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: So when should Mr. Zyrapi return?
13 MR. HANNIS: Well, I don't know what the estimate from the Defence
14 is as for cross-examine. I understood from an earlier conversation that
15 we thought we'd be done with him in two sessions.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan, can you help? Or should I look to
17 Mr. Lukic?
18 MR. LUKIC: I think that Mr. Ivetic would answer.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. LUKIC: This is for Mr. Zyrapi? Oh, sorry.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We're talking about the likely length of cross of
22 Mr. Baton Haxhiu.
23 MR. IVETIC: That's my witness, Your Honour. As I indicated to
24 Mr. Hannis, at present, I have about 30 or 40 minutes worth of cross.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you very much.
1 Well, Mr. Zyrapi, we need to interrupt now for today, and we are
2 being invited to hear a different witness for at least part of tomorrow,
3 probably the bulk of tomorrow, but you, nevertheless, need to be here in
4 anticipation that during the latter part of the day you will be able to
5 resume your evidence, possibly even finish it, although I can't say that
6 for sure. So you should be back here, ready to resume, at 5.00 tomorrow.
7 Meanwhile, it's vital, as I said to you yesterday, that you do not
8 discuss any aspect of your evidence with anyone at all. Otherwise, enjoy
9 the evening and return here ready to resume, if we can arrange it, at 5.00
10 tomorrow. Could you please now leave the courtroom with the usher.
11 [The witness stood down]
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: If Your Honour would allow me one brief thing. I
13 should have done this earlier, but I am seeing what is probably going to
14 be the notorious "A, B, C map" lying on the usher's desk. Maybe it would
15 be a good idea if we make it an in-court exhibit.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: And I think I forgot to do that.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: Now that I'm on my feet, maybe just one
20 correction. At page 74, line 9, of today's transcript, Mr. Sepenuk made
21 reference to a Prosecution exhibit as being Prosecution Exhibit P2499.
22 That should have been P2449. Thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC105, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 We'll adjourn now until 2.15 tomorrow.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.12 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
4 October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.