Reports in Case : Limaj et al.
Fatmir Limaj, Agim Murtezi, Haradin Bala, Isak Musliu
ACCUSED OVK MEMBERS PLEAD NOT GUILTY AGAIN
The accused pleaded not guilty to an amended indictment. Three former KLA members are accused of crimes against Serbian and Albanian civilians in the Lapusnik camp in Kosovo
DIVISIONS AMONG KOSOVO ALBANIANS
A report explaining the factors that led to internal conflicts among Kosovo Albanians in the 1990’s has been tendered as supporting material for the charges against former Kosovo Liberation Army members accused of crimes against Serbs and Albanians.
TRIAL OF FORMER OVK MEMBERS TO START 15 NOVEMBER
A status conference today - the first to have been held before Judge Parker's Chamber - brings to an end the preparations for the trial of Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala
TRIAL OF FORMER KLA MEMBERS BEGINS
In its opening statement, the prosecution says the crimes in the Lapusnik camp were committed in the context of an armed conflict and were part of a systematic and wide-spread attack on the civilian population. According to the prosecutor, Serbs were targeted “simply because they were Serbs,” while Albanians were attacked because they were suspected of “collaborating with Serbs.”
CRIMINALS OR SCAPEGOATS?
As the only people accused of crimes in Kosovo in 1998, the three KLA members in the dock are “scapegoats” and the prosecution is using them to “meet the wishes of Belgrade,” says the first accused, Fatmir Limaj, in his opening statement.
THE BLINDFOLD PROBLEM FOR “HIGH-RISK” PRISONERS RESOLVED
Since the Dutch Ministry of Justice approves that three former KLA members no longer need to be blindfolded en route to the Tribunal, the accused return to court
SETTING THE SCENE FOR KLA VICTIMS’ TESTIMONY
With the testimony of Oli Lahtinen – leader of the team investigating the Lapusnik camp case – the prosecutor sets the scene for the testimony of surviving victims and eyewitnesses to crimes the three former KLA commanders and members are charged with.
HOW TO “CALM DOWN AND RELAX” WITNESSES FROM KOSOVO
The trial of former KLA members was adjourned after Haradin Bala was sent to hospital. Before the adjournment, the leader of the prosecution team investigating the Lapusnik case finished his testimony and the current representative of Javier Solana in Kosovo started testifying.
WITNESSES TO ABUSE IN LAPUSNIK
The prosecutor supports the claim that the accused Limaj, Musliu and Bala were present or participated in the abuse of the detainees in the Lapusnik camp through testimony of two survivors: Vojko Bakrac and his son Ivan
TRAITOR AND SPY
Russian reporter who was briefly detained by the KLA on 20 July 1998 described the last time he had seen his interpreter Shaban Hoti
WOMEN AMONG THE “VISITORS” TO LAPUSNIK CAMP
Protected witness identified accused Haradin Bala as the “man who beat him” in Lapusnik and who allowed “visitors to the camp”, including women, to abuse the prisoners
BRITISH COLONEL AND COMMANDER CELIKU
Former military attaché from the British Embassy in Belgrade gave testimony at the trial of three former KLA members, charged with crimes against Serbs and Albanians detained in the Lapusnik camps in Kosovo in 1998
GENERAL SELIMI STARTS AS UNWILLING AND ENDS UP AS HOSTILE WITNESS
Major General Sulejman Selimi, former commander of the KLA Main Staff, currently Deputy Commander of the Kosovo Protection Force, was subpoenaed to testify at the trial of three former KLA members accused of crimes in the Lapusnik camp.
AN ARMY WITHOUT A COMMANDER
After the Chamber rejected the application of the prosecutor to treat former KLA Chief of Staff General Sulejman Selimi as a “non-cooperative witness”, Selimi continued his testimony in the same vein, denying all his previous statements in which he had spoken of the accused Fatmir Limaj as “Commander Celiku”, KLA commander in the Pastrik region in the spring and summer of 1998. The Celiku units – the witness now claims - “did not have a commander.”
WITNESS THAT SURVIVED HIS OWN EXECUTION
Protected witness L-96, a Kosovo Albanian who was detained in Lapusnik was both a victim and an eyewitness of many of the crimes described in the indictment against three former KLA members, including the killing of ten detainees on the Berisa mountain in late July 1998
WHAT TO DO WHEN A WITNESS CHANGES THE “TIMEFRAME” OF HIS STATEMENT
Lieutenant Ramadan Beluli, the unwilling prosecution witness testifying at the trial of three former KLA members, is trying to place his evidence outside of the timeframe of the indictment
WITNESS BEATEN FOR REPORTING A CRIME
Protected witness testifying at the trial of former KLA members claims that after his release from the Lapusnik camp in late July 1998 he was taken to the Urosevac police station where he was first questioned about where he was and what he saw and then beaten
“REFRESHING THE MEMORY” OF UNWILLING WITNESSES
Did Fatmir Limaj become “Commander Çeliku” in June 1998, or did he refuse the honor because some soldiers laughed at his words that the KLA “must show care to all civilians, regardless of their ethnic background”?
UNWILLING WITNESS FROM TOP KLA ECHELONS
Jakup Krasniqi begins testimony at the trial of the three men charged with the crimes in the Lapusnik camp. He is a former member of the KLA Main Staff and spokesperson of that organisation. He has been subpoenaed to testify in The Hague
LIQUIDATION OF “COLLABORATORS”: IS IT A CRIME?
Former member of in the KLA Main Staff and its spokesperson does not deny that there were “liquidations” of Kosovo Albanians who “collaborated with the Serbian authorities”, but denies vehemently that KLA members committed any crimes or executed any prisoners
DOES THE SERBIAN SECURITY SERVICE “PREP” WITNESSES TESTIFYING IN THE HAGUE?
A failed attempt to present the Lapusnik camp case as a “frame-up” by the Serbian secret service. Three former KLA members are accused of the crimes in the camp
“COMMANDER LUAN” STICKS TO HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENT
Unlike the other unwilling witnesses from the KLA ranks, Ramiz Qeriqi known as Luan did not recant in his testimony before the Tribunal his previous statement given to an OTP investigator. He was interviewed as a suspect.
COMMANDER BUJA’S SECOND VISIT TO THE HAGUE
After testifying at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in 2002, former KLA commander Shukri Buja returned to The Hague after a subpoena was issued to him. He appears as an unwilling prosecution witness at the trial of his former fellow fighters accused of crimes in the Lapusnik camp
MAIN STAFF SENT “WORDS, NOT ORDERS”
In his testimony at the trial of the three men charged with the crimes in the Lapusnik camp, Shukri Buja tries desperately to explain how he could make so many “mistakes” in his previous interviews with the OTP investigators
ENCOUNTERS WITH COMMANDER ÇELIKU
Former KLA member testifies with full protective measures – under the pseudonym and with facial and voice distortion – about his war-time encounters with the first-accused Fatmir Limaj, known as Commander Çeliku
“COOPERATIVE WITNESS” AT THE LAPUSNIK CAMP TRIAL
Former KLA member, who was stationed in Lapusnik village between May and July 1998, confirms that there was a camp there and that the three accused – Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala – played the roles the prosecutor alleges they did
FROM PARTIAL TO FULL TRUTH
After first telling the investigators "partial truth" about the events in Lapusnik in the summer of 1998, Dr. Zeqir Gashi changed his mind and recounted everything he knew, since the truth "comes to the surface sooner or later, anyway"
FATMIR LIMAJ IS THE FIRST DEFENCE WITNESS
The prosecution has rested its case at the trial of the three former KLA members accused of the crimes in the Lapusnik camp. The trial will continue on 17 May with the testimony of the first accused, Fatmir Limaj, also known as Commander Çeliku
“COMMANDER CELIKU” ON THE WITNESS BENCH
Fatmir Limaj, the accused in the trial of the former KLA members who have been indicted for the crimes against Serb and Albanian civilians in Lapusnik, changed roles today and appeared on the witness bench.
LIMAJ DENIES ANY CONNECTION WITH LAPUSNIK PRISON
On the second day of testimony in his own defense, Fatmir Limaj responded to direct accusations regarding the Lapusnik prison and the shooting of prisoners in the Berisa mountains on 26 July 1998.
HOW TO DEFINE “COLLABORATORS”?
At the beginning of the cross-examination of Fatmir Limaj, the debate focused on whether in 1998 the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) targeted only those Kosovo Albanians who “actively worked for the Serbian police and participated in crimes” or those “suspected of collaborating with the Serbs.”
LIMAJ’S “CALENDAR SHIFT”
Prosecutor believes that in an attempt to move out of the time frame of the indictment, Fatmir Limaj is trying to “shift the calendar” and move what happened in the spring of 1998 to the summer, while pushing the summer events forward to autumn.
FATMIR LIMAJ "SADDENED AND SHOCKED"
The accused protested after the prosecutor said he would ask him no more questions about the victims of Lapusnik, since his view was that "there had been no camp, torture, abuse and murder there"
HAND GRENADES AS "A MESSAGE"
Cross-examination of Rexhep Selimi, defense witness at the trial of three former KLA members accused of the crimes in the Lapusnik camp
FATMIR LIMAJ'S DEFENCE RESTS
Three character witnesses describe former KLA commander as a soldier "with a humane spirit", "politician with a bright future" and "man with a vision of a multi-ethnic Kosovo"
BALA OFFENDED, CLAIMS PROSECUTION TREATS HIM THE SAME AS MILOSEVIC
Haradin Bala says he does not believe any member of his people would do the things he, Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu have been accused of. His defense counsel indicates he intends to prove Bala had alibi for the crimes and could not have committed them because of his ill health
ALIBI AND HEALTH
Defense witnesses claim the accused Haradin Bala was not at the scene of the crime at the time when the detainees from Lapusnik were executed and that he was not physically able to commit the crime because of his heart problems
DEFENCE CHALLENGES THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE ACCUSED
Through the report and testimony of the Dutch identification expert, the defense of the former KLA members tries to challenge the validity of the identification of the three accused by former detainees in the Lapusnik camp
LAPUSNIK: “A VIOLENT AND TERRIFYING PLACE”
Prosecution closes at the trial of Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala, former KLA members charged with crimes against Albanian and Serbian civilians in the Lapusnik camp. The prosecution contends that the guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt
PROSECUTOR SEEKS 20 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FATMIR LIMAJ
The prosecutor asked for 20 years in prison for the first accused Fatmir Limaj, 18 years for Haradin Bala and 15 years for Isak Musliu, noting in his closing argument that in most national jurisdictions the accused charged with such crimes would be jailed for life
LAPUSNIK CAMP TRIAL ENDS
The defense counsel for Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala and Isak Musliu consider that the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the responsibility of their clients and sought their acquittal. The prosecution, however, recommends 20 years for Limaj, 18 for Bala and 15 for Musliu
LIMAJ AND MUSLIU ACQUITTED, BALA SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN PRISON
The prosecution failed to prove that Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu had command or any other role in the KLA camp in Lapusnik and the crimes committed there in the summer of 1998. Camp guard Haradin Bala was found guilty of cruel treatment, torture and murder of 9 detainees on the Berisa mountain. He was then sentenced to 13 years in prison
WHY HAVE LIMAJ AND MUSLIU BEEN ACQUITTED?
Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu were acquitted of the charges relating to the crimes in the Lapusnik camp and the Berisa mountains because of problematic identification of the accused and failure to define the KLA command structure. The Trial Chamber found on the basis of evidence they had heard that there was a "strong possibility" that Limaj had participated in the crimes, but that it had not been proved "beyond reasonable doubt"