A Kosovo Roma woman testified today at the trial of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj. In May 1998 she and her family were expelled twice: first from Ponosevac and then three weeks later from Junik. The witness "doesn't know" and "hasn't seen" Haradinaj. Last week her sister-in-law claimed that she had seen him at a mill where she had been detained and abused by KLA members

Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Baljaj and Lahi Brahimaj in the courtroomRamush Haradinaj, Idriz Baljaj and Lahi Brahimaj in the courtroom

A Kosovo Roma woman testified today at the trial of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj under the pseudonym 58. In the spring of 1998, she was expelled twice from where she lived. First, in the beginning of May she and her two daughters were expelled from Ponosevac, and then at the end of May she was forced to leave Junik where they had taken shelter with her two sisters-in-law. Both times they were expelled by the KLA because her older sister-in-law from Junik "worked for Serbs".

The older of the two sisters-in-law testified under the pseudonym 38 last week about the events in Junik, described in the first two counts in the indictment against the three former KLA commanders. She was accused of "working for Serbs". For the most part, their evidence tallied: the KLA members entered their apartment in Junik and ordered them to leave, accusing the older sister-in-law that she "killed Albanians". First they went to a mill in the village of Gacifer where the KLA member they knew abused the older sister-in-law and her father and tried to rape the younger sister-in-law. They were then taken to the Jasic mountain where they spent the night in the rain and then left for Djocaj. The KLA members lined them up at the side of the road, pointed the rifles at them and told them that they "would kill them all". A man by the name of Gani from Istok prevented them from doing so.

Witness 58 failed to corroborate at least two important details from the previous testimony given by her sister-in-law. First, witness 38 claimed last week that she "was stripped naked" at the mill and that she had walked the Jasic mountain naked for two days. When Haradinaj's defense counsel repeatedly asked witness 58 today about that, she replied that she had been "lost and scared" and "didn't pay any attention" to whether her sister-in-law was "dressed or not".

Last week, Witness 38 claimed that at one point a Jeep had stopped by the mill. A soldier stepped out. The others called him "commander" and she later identified him as Ramush Haradinaj. In the examination-in chief today, the prosecution did not ask Witness 58 if anyone had come to the mill and talked to the KLA soldiers who had held them there. At the beginning of her cross-examination, Witness 58 kept repeating, “I don’t know him" and "I have never seen him", even before she was asked any questions. At first, it seemed that she was referring to English attorney Ben Emerson. It soon turned out that those words - "I have never seen him" and "I don't know him" - actually referred to Ramush Haradinaj who according to her sister-in-law was present at the mill in Gacifer.

The defense counsel of the two other accused, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, did not have questions for this witness.