"KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY"
Freedom Fighters or...

Truth in facts and testimonies

Reporter, Banja Luka
Issue 190, December 12, 2001
http://www.reportermagazin.com/rep190/0006.htm

Crimes of the KLA: Command responsibility of Ramush Haradinaj

Massacre in the village of his birth

The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo was the commander of the district where several dozens of non-Albanians were killed in 1998

By Jelena BJELICA

The village of Glodjane is located in Metohija, approximately seven kilometers from Decani and about 20 kilometers from the border with Albania. Glodjane is a purely ethnic Albanian village. In its immediate proximity in the village of Dubrava, at the beginning of which is a house belonging to the only non-Albanian family in the ten or so surrounding villages, some 100 meters from the last house in Glodjane, belonging to Eljmija Haradinaj. The Haradinaj family has been quite involved in crimes against Serbs.

The commander

"The local Albanians say that everything began when a police patrol leaving from Glodjane tried to stop and obtain the identification cards two young men, Rasim Selmanaj, an activist of the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo, and another young man whose name is not mentioned. According to another version of the story, the police opened fire on Rasim and the other young man when they refused to stop. According to the official report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) of Serbia, on March 24, 1998 at 10:45 a.m., an armed terrorist attack was carried out against a police patrol in the village of Dubrava, Decani municipality, Kosovo and Metohija.", it is stated in the report of the Humanitarian Rights Foundation (Fond za humanitarna prava - FHP) from May 1998. On that day, as confirmed by a KLA statement from May 1998, during "a successful operation against the occupier" near Glodjane, fighters Gazmend and Agron Mehmetaj and Him Haradinaj were killed. The police withdrew from the village at about 8:00 o'clock in the evening. After these clashes, the Kosovo Liberation Army established control points at the entrance and exit from the village and took control of it.

At the beginning of the same year, Ramush Haradinaj returned permanently from Switzerland to Kosovo and joined this Albanian paramilitary formation. His brother Daut was one of the key people of the KLA, responsible for its organization in the Metohija district. Daut was one of three members of the KLA who appeared for the first time in public in the village of Drenica at the funeral of a teacher killed by the Serbian police. At that funeral, he gave a speech in which he stated that the KLA officially exists. At the beginning of April, the command headquarters of the KLA, under the command of Hashim Thaci, appointed Ramush Haradinaj commander of the Metohija region. Haradinaj's headquarters was located in Glodjane, where he was born, according to the book "Stories of War and Freedom" by Bardah Hamzaj, the deputy editor-in-chief of the Pristina daily "Zeri", prepared in the format of a dialog with Ramush Haradinaj.

The crimes

Not knowing that his father had been taken from his house, on the morning of April 22, 1998, Novak Stijovic headed for the village of Pozar with the intent of accompanying his father to Decani. Stanisa Radosevic and his mother Rosa went with him in search of Slobodan Radosevic (the father) who one day earlier had decided to remain in the village of Dasinovac with Milica and Milos Radunovic and look after his property after the KLA took control of the village. In the village of Pozar, they were stopped by a group of armed Albanians. In a statement made for FHP, Novak said: "There were about 30 of them; we recognized them. They pointed guns at us. They searched us and said that they had to take us to the headquarters in Glodjane. One of them held a gun pointed at my head. On the road to Rznici, there were 50-60 armed civilians every 50 meters; from Rznici to Glodjane, everyone was in uniform." All three were released later that same day but they were not allowed to go to Dasinovac to get Slobodan.

Almost all citizens who were stopped on any of the local roads in spring of 1998 were taken to the headquarters in Glodjane. In the headquarters in Glodjane, members of the KLA applied well-known methods. "They took us to the headquarters in the house of Nasim Haradinaj, abandoned back in 1990; we had heard that the owners were living in Sweden," said Mijat Stojanovic in a statement for FHP. Stojanovic is the owner of the only non-Albanian house in Dubrava; on April 18 he was arrested in his house, together with his brother Dragoslav and cousin Veselin Stijovic, and they were taken to the headquarters. "We were forced to lie down on concrete. First they took Dragoslav into a small room where there were two chairs. There were two soldiers there and a third who interrogated him. Nemonaj Zici, whom I knew from before, ordered me to remove my clothes. Two of them beat me with clubs and rifle butts. This lasted approximately 40 minutes."

The lake

In the general area of the village of Glodjane in the first half of September 1998 at least 39 bodies were discovered in various stages of decomposition. The bodies were found at three different locations on a collective farm in the village of Rznici, in a canal leading to Radonjic Lake and near it, and proximate to the canal in the village of Dasinovac.

During the course of events, after yet another clash between members of the KLA and the (Yugoslav) army and (Serbian) police on September 8, 1998, during "pursuit after terrorists and a search of the district," as written in the official police report, 13 unidentified bodies of civilians of both sexes and various ages were discovered in the canal supplying Radonjic Lake.


Bodies of victims killed by KLA (UCK) and thrown into the Radonjic Lake canal

The very next day the investigating judge of the District Court in Pec, Radomir Gojkovic, wrote a petition to the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Belgrade requesting the appointment of a group of experts for establishing the identity, causes and time of death and other data relevant for future activities in connection with the mass grave near Gl odjane. In the meanwhile, during the first phase of searching the district begun on September 11, at least 21 additional bodies were found. "During the first several days of the investigation the weather was dry, sunny and warm. Several days later it began to rain. The level of water in the canal rose significantly, carrying body parts, clothing and objects down the canal.", it is written in the report. Several days later, five additional bodies were found. During the autopsy 12 of these bodies were identified. The bodies of the above-mentioned Radunovices and Radosevic, last seen at the end of April, were found near the canal in the village of Dasinovac. "Due to various stages of decomposition, it was not possible to establish the cause of death solely on the basis of the conducted autopsy. However, in 19 cases traces of wounds were found on the bones and there is no doubt that they are made by bullets fired from weapons of a small caliber. In 24 cases signs of mechanical weapons were found; in two cases there were traces of sharp mechanical weapons, while in three instances, according to the marks on the bones and clothes of the victims, they were exposed to high temperatures (bodies found in Dasinovac). Several objects on and near the bodies (metal wire and adhesive tape) suggest that some of the victims were first tied up and tortured," it is written in the experts' report on the cause of death. All the victims were killed during the period between April 1998 and the end of August of the same year, give or take a few days.


Controversive Ramush Haradinaj

Epilog

At the end of 1999 the chief prosecutor of the Hague tribunal, Carla del Ponte, announced that an investigation had been started regarding war crimes against the non-Albanian population in Kosovo. The investigation was almost completely blocked until recently because information was not forthcoming from either side, the spokeswoman of the prosecutor's office of the Hague tribunal, Florence Hartmann (Florence Hartmann-Domankusic), told "Reporter". The new government in Serbia, according to Hartmann, has submitted all documentation to The Hague. "Indictments will be issued only against those persons against whom we have evidence," she explained. Zoran Zivkovic, the Yugoslav minister of internal affairs, told "Reporter" that "more than 30 kilograms of various documents were turned over to the head of the office of the Hague tribunal in Belgrade." In the meanwhile, the investigators of this tribunal have collected about 80 testimonials from family members of the missing and witnesses.

Despite increasingly frequent public discussion (in Serbia) that Agim Cheku, Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj are under investigation by the Hague tribunal, Hartmann said that "the investigation is in progress", however, she added that she "never confirmed that these three men are under investigation."

Biography

Ramush Haradinaj was born on July 3, 1968 in the village of Glodjane, municipality of Decani. He completed primary school in Rznici and secondary school in Decani and Djakovica. He wanted to study astronomy and enrolled at the University of Pristina in 1987. However, the same year he went to serve in the Yugoslav People's Army. He completed his mandatory military service in Pirot and Dimitrovgrad. After his return he wanted to continue his studies but in 1989 after (student) demonstrations, he emigrated to Switzerland. He has no permanent employment. Haradinaj frequently traveled illegally to Kosovo, hiding from the police. He left Kosovo for good in 1991 and worked as a bouncer in a nightclub in Switzerland. In the mid-1990's he lived in Tirana, where he began to prepare for "rebellion". He transferred arms to Kosovo through the Prokletija mountains. His two brothers were killed during clashes. A memorial to one of the two brothers was built in Pec. Ramush Haradinaj speaks Albanian, English and French. He was formerly married to a Finnish woman. He has a minor son, Skeljzen. He is the president of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, the fourth largest political party in Kosovo.

Translated by S. Lazovic (Dec. 27, 2001)

Additional articles from the international press related to Mr. Haradinaj:

Page with many KLA related articles and studies

OBSERVER, US "Cover Up" for Kosovo Ally, by Nicholas Wood, Sep 10, 2000

Reality Macedonia: Ramush Haradinaj
Controversial relationship between Ramush and Americans, Who is responsible for the murder of Suad Qoraj and other executed Serbs and non-conformist Albanians

ZERI, Musaj Family - We Were Attacked, July 11, 2000 - Abuses of KPC
A story about the post war gun fight between clans of Haradinaj and Musaj

More information on "Commander" Ramush Haradinaj, Balkanpeace.org
His men already are suspected of carrying out the Panda Cafe murders, when masked rebels opened fire in December on a restaurant the city of Pec, killing six Serbian youths. His men also are suspected of shooting at U.S. diplomatic monitors. And Hajredinaj himself is wanted by the Serb regime as a terrorist. Associated Press,

Observer London, UN Backed KPC's Reign of Terror, March 12, 2000

WP, Kosovo Albanian Unit Is Accused Of Abuses, March 15, 2000

TWO YEARS LATER 5 HIGHEST RANKING CORPS OFFICERS, ALL FORMER KLA COMMANDERS SUSPENDED - text by Associated Press, July 6 -2001

"Glodjane, further west in the Decane area bordering Albania, was fiercely contested by the Serbs and Albanians [during the year prior to the NATO takeover of Kosovo]. In September 1998 the Serbian media centre in Pristina claimed that the bodies of 34 people had been found in a canal there. They were a mixture of Serbian farmers, some gypsies and Albanians suspected of being collaborators. The local commander at the time was Haradinaj, now head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo." ('Sunday Times', London September 3, 2000)

Selected articles related to Ramush Haradinaj

Pravda.RU:
23:18 2001-03-18
http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2001/03/18/3032.html

Proved: United States Associates With And Actively Supports Albanian Criminals in the Balkans As Evidence is Hidden

It has long been rumoured that the USA equipped, trained and dressed the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) for use against the Serbs in Kosovo. Such an instrument would give the USA leverage over a crucial area of Eastern Europe and would also placate the Albanian Mafia pressure groups in New York.
Now evidence has been uncovered that the Americans indeed aided an Albanian criminal and faked evidence to free him from trial. He is reported to be involved in murder, drug trafficking and war crimes He is a former KLA commander and now leader of the Alliance Party, Ramush Haradinaj.

Ramush was indeed active during the Kosovo conflict, providing the Americans with information about Serb movements before and during NATO’s illegal bombing campaign in the province.

Now the United Nations is investigating him after a shooting incident, an investigation which the US has tried to interfere with. Here are the facts:
In June, 1999, Ramush ordered the killing of four members of FARK (Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo), a rival group to the KLA. As is Albanian custom, the brothers of one dead man went to the father of Ramush to ask for their brother’s bones. Ramush later that night went to the brothers, of the Musaj family, where a shooting incident took place.

Ramush was helicoptered to the US base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel and then to a United States military hospital in Germany to receive treatment. He is at present in Washington, the guest of congressman Benjamin Gillman, raising funds for his political party before next October’s elections in Kosovo.
United Nations investigators into this incident claim that while Ramush was away, Unites States officials left Bondsteel, went to the village of Strellic, where the incident took place, and removed forensic evidence that Ramush had been present, including the act of taking bullets from walls.

United Nations police reports link Ramush to two well-known Albanian Mafia men, Naser Kelmendi and Ekrem Lluka. Lluka is suspected by UN police of being involved actively in the trafficking of drugs in Kosovo, Greece, Italy and Albania.

British military sources, who asked to remain unnamed, classified Ramush as “a psychopath”.

“Someone would pass him information and he would disappear for two hours. The result would be several bodies in a ditch”.

Indeed, Ramush has been linked with a series of beatings and killings in Kosovo. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe identified Ramush in a report on a beating of two people and a killing in Gornja Lucka last year. A previous report linked him to the killing of Suad Qorraj in June 1999, in Decani.
That Ramush operates criminal activities in his own birthplace is of no concern to anyone except he himself and his authorities. That a foreign power should associate with him is another matter. Criminal Association is a crime. That it should try to cover up evidence is a sinister twist to the tale, proof that the United States of America is behind the whole plot to destabilise the Balkans and orchestrated this diary of calamity from day one.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.RU
LISBON

"Hajradinaj might have damaged his standing by [...a] rash action he undertook on the night of 6-7 July in the village of Streoc, 5km south of Pec. The exact circumstances of his wounding are unclear, but it certainly was not an assassination attempt, as claimed in AAK party press releases. Hajredinaj led a small group, who went in the middle of the night into the family compound of the leader of the Musa clan. The Musas are a powerful clan and have not been on good terms with Hajredinaj for some time. He entered their family compound, armed - which in Albanian code is an insult and an attack - and, although it is unclear who opened fire first, he ended up wounded. Even if his health does not suffer, some may consider his political career to be over as the Albanians now see him as someone who breached the code of honour." ('Jane's Intelligence Review' September 1, 2000)

Ramush Haradinaj's file on the Macedonian site
Who is Who and What is What Among Albanians

Original Link

According to the website Who is Who and What is What in the Albanian Cause, Ramush Haradinaj is former commander in the KLA and former right-hand man of Agim Cheku, the head of the Kosovo Protection Corps, convicted war criminal. Formally, after a financial scandal, Haradinaj was removed from his post in KPC. His brother, Daut Haradinaj, former KPC commander for Metohija, is on U.S. President's black list of Albanian terrorists.

On May 25, 2000, Haradinaj participated in the Gnjilane meeting (also attended by Agim Cheku, Murat Jashari, Shaqir Shaqiri, and Shefket Musliu). The goal of this meeting was continuing of war in Serbia and preparation for war in Macedonia.

Haradinaj's main source of income is smuggling of tobacco and illegal drugs, under control of Naser Kelmendi and Ekrem Luka. On July 7, 2000, Haradinaj was wounded in the village Strelci, West Kosovo, and treated in an American Hospital in Germany. The motive for the wounding was inter-mafia conflict between the gangs belonging to Tachi-Haradinaj and Musaj families.

In 1999, the KLA unit under Ramush Haradinaj's command killed 40 civilians from the Kosovo village of Glodjani and threw the bodies into the Radonjic Lake canal.


Ramush Haradinaj

From the Emperor Clothes

Slaughter at a Children's Cafe

On December 14, 1998, six children were murdered when a masked gunman sprayed the Panda Cafe in Pec with bullets. The crime was so horrendous that even US Balkans envoy Richard Holbrooke denounced it. (Footnote 8)

'"Because of its cruelty and its cowardice, this crime stands above all crimes,' said Mirko Simonovic, principal of the slain teenagers' school'. (Agence France Presse Footnote 8)

The KLA was behind the attack. But who in particular?

".......His [Ramush Hajredinaj's] men already are suspected of carrying out the Panda Cafe murders, when masked rebels opened fire in December on a restaurant the city of Pec, killing six Serbian youths. His men also are suspected of shooting at U.S. diplomatic monitors......." (AP 3-8-99 Footnote 8, my emphasis)

Hajredinaj was also apparently involved in a slaughter of civilians in the town of Glodjane. This time the victims included non-Serbs:

"Glodjane, further west in the Decane area bordering Albania, was fiercely contested by the Serbs and Albanians [during the year prior to the NATO takeover of Kosovo]. In September 1998 the Serbian media centre in Pristina claimed that the bodies of 34 people had been found in a canal there. They were a mixture of Serbian farmers, some gypsies and Albanians suspected of being collaborators. The local commander at the time was Haradinaj, now head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo." ('Sunday Times', London September 3, 2000, our emphasis)

How did Ramush Hajredinaj judge whether an Albanian or 'Gypsy' was a 'collaborator'? Did it mean he or she was in the police or army? No, all that was required was to have good relations with Serbian neighbors, or speak out against the creation of a racially pure state, or work for the government, for example, as a forester. (Footnote 1)

When officials met with Thaci and Hajredinaj in Washington, could it be they did not know who these men were? Frankly, that's unbelievable.

"'Washington knows what we want,' he [Hajredinaj] added with a smile. 'We've been clear from the very beginning'" (For full interview, see Footnote 8)

Clearly Haradinaj and Thaci are cut from the ssame cloth. They are not squabbling because one of them is yearning for multiethnic society. But they are in fact squabbling:.

"Hajredinaj might have damaged his standing by [...a] rash action he undertook on the night of 6-7 July in the village of Streoc, 5km south of Pec. The exact circumstances of his wounding are unclear, but it certainly was not an assassination attempt, as claimed in AAK party press releases. Hajredinaj led a small group, who went in the middle of the night into the family compound of the leader of the Musa clan. The Musas are a powerful clan and have not been on good terms with Hajredinaj for some time. He entered their family compound, armed - which in Albanian code is an insult and an attack - and, although it is unclear who opened fire first, he ended up wounded. Even if his health does not suffer, some may consider his political career to be over as the Albanians now see him as someone who breached the code of honour." ('Jane's Intelligence Review' September 1, 2000)

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are part of the Geg culture, also found in Albania. In an interview, Cedda Prlincevic, the former Chief Archivist in Pristina, Kosovo, describes an unusual feature of Geg culture:

"One book has a great hold over Kosovo Albanians. It's called the 'Canon of Leke Dukagjiniis'. It's a 15th century text that spells out codes of behavior. It goes into great detail on how to carry out blood feuds, when and whom it is proper to kill. It lays out the proper methods to use when killing, rules and regulations and so on.

"And this Canon is alive among Albanians today, especially since the fall of communism. This is an intensely tradition-oriented culture. Blood feud is a constant threat for Albanians. Thousands of people in Albania and Kosovo cannot leave their houses because they are being hunted; even a child in the cradle might be marked for death as part of a feud. It is for this reason that Kosovo Albanian houses are often built surrounded by high walls and with gun slits instead of windows.." (From "Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the NATO Bombing", at http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/keysa.htm)

When 'Jane's Defense' reports that Haradinaj insulted a powerful clan leader, this was a most serious matter. The insult may have been answered on July 11, 2000 when Sadri Ahmet Sheraj, Haradinaj's wartime aide, was having a meal in Decani:

"UNMIK police said Sheraj, 46, was killed Tuesday afternoon in a restaurant in Decani by a gunman firing an AK47. UNMIK said the gunman was recognised by people at the scene.

"The killing was believed to be a follow-up to an incident in the home area of Haradinaj, a former guerrilla fighter turned politician. Haradinaj was injured in a grenade attack last Friday in a village near Decani." ('Deutsche Presse-Agentur' July 12, 2000, )

But while Thaci and Haradinaj and their associates may derive their rules of behavior from a medieval Canon, they are fighting over modern prizes - such as the "control of certain petrol stations." ('Daily Telegraph', June 12, 2000)

In other words, they are gangsters.

'Jane's Defense Review' writes:

"[Thaci's] PDK has good links with Albanian exile groups in America, Switzerland and Germany, although the bulk of Thaci's funding is now believed to come from racketeering and other crime-generated sources." ('Jane's Intelligence Review' September 1, 2000, my emphasis)

How blase 'Jane's' is - as if it were reporting on networking among Business School grads. Gangsterism has become no big deal in Kosovo.

So is Kosovo simply being run by the Mob?

No, Kosovo is not simply being run by the Mob.

Quoting a secret UN report prepared secretly for Secretary General Kofi Annan, the 'London Observer' noted:

"The KPC stands accused in the document, drawn up on 29 February, of 'criminal activities - killings, ill-treatment/torture, illegal policing, abuse of authority, intimidation, breaches of political neutrality and hate-speech'."

"...Under the heading 'Activities against minorities, including hate speech', [KPC leader, former KLA boss Agim] Ceku is criticized for being present at a walk-out staged by Albanian members of the KPC when a speech was translated into Serbo-Croat - the language of the Muslim Slav minority suspected by the Albanians of collaboration with the Serbs.

"The report comments: 'It was the clear opinion of those present that this was a premeditated action..'" ('London Observer' my emphasis)

Intimidation, expulsion of minorities and hate speech - a culture dominated by patriarchal clans - enthusiastic visits by British Trotskyist Vanessa Redgrave and photo-ops for feminist star Hilary Clinton - thousands of teenagers are forced into prostitution - and in the midst of all this, gangland killings. What a mix.

The UN has crossed Al Capone, the Ku Klux Klan and Ms Magazine. The offspring is Weird Fascism.

Poor Kosovo, what else will you suffer?

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