1 Tuesday, 8 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: The delay is due largely to me. I must apologise.
6 A meeting I was in went longer and everything was pushed back.
7 I understand there may be some short matter to be raised. Mr.
9 MR. POWLES: Yes, I'm very grateful.
10 JUDGE PARKER: We haven't heard from you for a week.
11 MR. POWLES: Yes, Your Honours, it's that time.
12 Your Honours may be aware that the joint Defence response to the
13 Prosecution's motion on the admission of Ramadan Behluli's prior
14 statement was due yesterday after a kind extension of time to yesterday.
15 Your Honour, there is work underway in terms of agreeing a joint
16 Defence position to present to the Trial Chamber so the Trial Chamber
17 only have to deal with one document as opposed to three separate
18 documents and three different teams. That would take approximately one
19 more week to complete. I've spoken to my learned friend Mr. Whiting from
20 the Prosecution who has indicated that from their point of view they
21 would have not concerns about an extension of one week of time to the
22 Defence, and my application now is for a further week to prepare such a
24 JUDGE PARKER: You have the week, Mr. Powles.
25 MR. POWLES: I'm very grateful, Your Honour. Thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: The witness.
2 MR. WHITING: That a week from today or a week from yesterday?
3 JUDGE PARKER: A week from when it was spoken would be the
4 normal, would it not?
5 MR. WHITING: That's fine.
6 JUDGE PARKER: That's and extra day that's being cribbed. I
7 recognise your own point, Mr. Whiting: It means you're owed one. Is
8 that it?
9 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, I missed it.
10 JUDGE PARKER: You're owed one?
11 MR. WHITING: That's right. I'm just trying to bank the credit
12 for future use.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It has been mentioned to me that there is some
14 occasion to mark the International Women's Day and that it would be
15 perhaps convenient if people were able to attend that. I do not know
16 whether it will prove practical in the flow of the evidence today for
17 that to occur, but it will be kept in our mind.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 MR. WHITING: That's at what time, Your Honour, if I may, that
21 JUDGE PARKER: The registry officer knows exactly. I think it
22 was 5.30. Would that be confirmed? That can be confirmed during the
23 course of the afternoon.
24 Mr. Buja, good afternoon. If I could remind you of the
25 affirmation you took at the beginning of your evidence which still
2 Mr. Whiting.
3 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 WITNESS: SHUKRI BUJA [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
7 Q. Mr. Buja, are you able to hear and understand me clearly?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Sir, I want to carry on from an answer that you gave at the end
10 of the day yesterday in response to a question that I put to you about
11 the diagram that you drew in the interview that you had with the Office
12 of the Prosecutor in 2003. And what you said is, and I'm going to just
13 read it from the transcript, you said -- you said: "I'm saying that
14 through Jakup Krasniqi we were conveyed orders by the General Staff. He
15 was the only member of the General Staff that we knew and through which
16 we could take orders of the General Staff."
17 Now, what I'm going to suggest to you through my questions, Mr.
18 Buja, is that what you have done is you have changed your story and you
19 have inserted Jakup Krasniqi here in the place where you previously had
20 Fatmir Limaj. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to the first
21 part of your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor where you began
22 the story with your arrival with Fatmir Limaj in Drenica in March of
23 1998, and I'm going to show to you parts of the transcript about those
25 MR. WHITING: And if the transcript could be provided to the
2 And for the record the diagram -- the diagram that was being
3 referenced yesterday is U003-3675 is also being put before the witness.
4 I would draw the witness's attention to page 22 of the Albanian and in
5 the English it's page 23 of the transcript.
6 Q. Mr. Buja, at the bottom -- at the bottom of page 22 of the
7 Albanian, do you see the question: "When you arrived in Drenica, were
8 you still together as a group of 30 people until the moment when you
9 arrived in Drenica?"
10 Do you see that question? It's the last question. Do you see
11 that, sir, that question at the bottom of the page?
12 A. Yes, Your Honour, even though before that in -- during the
13 proofing I already explained that I cannot come up with a statement that
14 I'm seeing for the first time here and that I suspected that
15 manipulations were made. I suspected about the veracity of the
16 translation, and especially it seemed to me kind of blackmail on the part
17 of Ole Lehtinen when he didn't enable me to see it, knowing that the
18 statements are usually translated, as the case was in the Milosevic trial
19 when I had to meet three times with the Prosecutors and amend -- improve
20 the statement three times because of the mistakes made by the
21 translators. This is why I demanded that this statement be given to me
22 so that I make the necessary improvements. Now that I see the statement
23 it doesn't make any sense to me because I see many mistakes, many
24 misinterpretations which might be due to poor translation.
25 So I would ask this Trial Chamber to interrupt this procedure of
1 facing me -- of putting me the statement which I do not consider valid.
2 Q. Mr. Buja, first of all I want to explain to you that the
3 transcript that you have before you is the -- the Albanian words that you
4 -- that were put to you during the interview and the Albanian words that
5 you spoke during the interview. So there is no issue about translation,
6 and the rest of us have a translation of the words in Albanian that were
7 put to you and the words in Albanian that you spoke.
8 Now, if you could just simply answer my questions and you'll have
9 an opportunity to explain these parts of the interview. And I'm -- so
10 that there's no question about the translation or the circumstances of --
11 circumstances of the interview or the questions, I'm going to play the
12 interview for you. Now, starting at this page at the bottom of page 22,
13 I'm going to play this portion of the interview.
14 [Videotape played]
15 "O.L.: When you arrived in Drenica, the group of 30 persons were
16 still together. Is that correct?
17 "S.B.: Yes, the group was -- there was 30 members of the group,
18 'til the arrival in Drenica. Yeah, in Drenica, we were assigned to
19 private houses. On our arrival there we were assigned to private houses.
20 Yeah, we've spent days there. I don't know how many days, but we stayed
21 definitely for several days. And then an order was issued that we had to
22 go to this area, including Malisheve, Suhareke" --
23 THE INTERPRETER: And the other named places. I can't --
24 "S.B.: So it was about the area outside Drenica.
25 "O.L.: During the time in Drenica, were you informed about the
1 organisation and division of the KLA at that time?
2 "S.B.: We only -- we had no possibility to get informed. At
3 that time UCK had very limited scope of activity, but it's -- I'm by
4 nature not curious. As a person being in prison, I knew from my
5 experience that.
6 "O.L.: Who was the one giving the order for you to go to this
8 "S.B.: Well, I don't know who is the person who issued the
9 orders, but who conveyed this order to me was Hashim Thaqi.
10 "O.L.: Okay. And did Hashim Thaqi tell you that Fatmir Limaj is
11 the one who is going to be the commander of this unit going to the area?
12 "S.B.: Well, no, but we knew that Fatmir Limaj -- we knew Fatmir
13 Limaj was a more competent person in terms that he knew -- he knew -- he
14 knew the terrain better than the others. Fatmir Limaj was assigned to
15 coordinate the things in -- with the general headquarters. And my task
16 was to coordinate things with Fatmir.
17 "Right, it was -- it was a sort of -- if the -- if -- the moment
18 would come of starting setting up units or other forms of military
19 organisations, I would relate to Fatmir and then Fatmir to the general
20 headquarters, and then back to -- this way back."
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Mr. Buja, I want to go through point by point that part of the
23 interview. You said at the beginning that when you arrived in Drenica
24 you were still together, a group of 30 people. That's correct, isn't it?
25 You were approximately 30 people when you arrived in Drenica?
1 A. Yes, I have said this and I'm saying this again to the Trial
2 Chamber that we were about 30 persons.
3 Q. And you -- the next thing you say is that you spread out among
4 the houses, and that's also correct, isn't it?
5 A. Yes, we spread out among the houses in the villages that I
6 mentioned to this Trial Chamber.
7 Q. And you were there for several days, and that's correct, isn't
9 A. Yes, this is accurate.
10 Q. And you were given an order to leave and organise in areas of
11 Suhareke, Malisevo, Lipjan, Stimlje, Prizren, Kacanik, and that's also
12 correct, isn't it?
13 A. No, it cannot be correct because the term "order" has been
14 wrongly used, as you already mentioned to me because at that time we
15 didn't get orders from anyone. I --
16 Q. Sir, you used the word "order" in the transcript -- in the
17 interview, didn't you? You said: "We were given the order." Isn't that
19 A. This is why I'm saying -- I mean the mistakes that I might have
20 made during the interviewing. I demanded that the fair procedure, the
21 normal procedure, be used in my case, that is I should be given the
22 transcript just for me to go over it and see what mistakes I may have
23 made. I had to recollect events which have taken place five, six years
24 ago. It was a hard task for me to recollect all those things in the form
25 they happened at that time. It was later that I realised that -- the
1 words that I -- were conveyed to me by the General Staff, I interpreted
2 them as orders, but in fact they were not orders.
3 Q. Mr. Buja, between yesterday and today, have you talked with
4 anybody about your testimony here today, about your testimony here at the
5 Tribunal between yesterday and today?
6 A. I have talked about the testimony, but I didn't go into details
7 as what exactly we talked here. I called my family, my brother, and my
8 wife telling that I am okay and the trial is going on. That's it.
9 Q. Did anybody tell you to come in here and say that you wanted to
10 have your transcript and go over it and make changes, the way you have
11 suggested today? Did anybody say that to you between yesterday and
13 A. I have constantly demanded to be given the transcript by Ole
14 Lehtinen so that I could correct the mistakes. You know very well that
15 even during proofing I was not given the transcript. We only talked
16 briefly together and that I have already pointed out that -- with an
17 interview recorded which -- whose text I didn't see, to find out any
18 possible mistakes I cannot sit here and tell the truth as I am supposed
19 to do under oath. I am here under oath and I have to say as they truly
20 were. This has tormented me for a long time, that is to recollect events
21 as they truly were and not as they were after the war.
22 Q. Well, you're going to -- I'm going to give you an opportunity
23 here to go through important parts of your transcript and if you have
24 explanations or want to correct mistakes, you can do that.
25 So you have said that you were not given an order in fact. Can
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you explain to me how it is that you said during the interview that you
2 were given an order to organise these various areas. Can you explain how
3 you made that mistake, if it was a mistake.
4 A. Yes, of course. I can explain it. I spoke, as many others do,
5 in interviews on the basis of what we found out later, that is on the
6 basis of the people whom we knew later whose words we took for orders by
7 the General Staff. At that time I didn't know that Hashim Thaqi was a
8 member of the General Staff. It was later during the war and especially
9 after the war that I knew him to be a member of the General Staff. So
10 this is where the mistake may have occurred. This explained why I
11 perceived it as an order instead of putting it in the context of the time
12 and the circumstances of the time.
13 Q. So what you're saying is that at the time you didn't think it was
14 an order but later you realised that it was an order. Is that your
16 A. Later I interpreted it as an order, even though at the time it
17 was given it was not given to us in the form of an order. It was not --
18 we were not told that Hashim Thaqi is a member of the General Staff; it
19 is said that he is a man who has links, connections, with the General
20 Staff. You have to understand that in the period we are talking about
21 and even at a later time the members of the General Staff were in
22 profound illegality. No one knew who the members of the General Staff
24 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, may I raise --
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield.
1 MR. MANSFIELD: May I raise a matter. I'm obliged. I think
2 we're very concerned about what the witness is saying concerning his
3 request to have a copy of the transcript of the interview which took
4 place some time ago now, 2003, about events that took place even longer
5 ago than that. It is a matter of course that was part of the submissions
6 that we made to Your Honour, and I don't know of --
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you're thinking of putting it again, we've
8 considered it and it is our view that the course of the examination and
9 cross-examination will -- in the ordinary way deal adequately with that
11 MR. MANSFIELD: It's a slight, if I may put it, refinement on
12 that, because --
13 JUDGE PARKER: It had better be a markedly different refinement.
14 MR. MANSFIELD: It's merely a question of fairness that in most
15 cases in fact --
16 JUDGE PARKER: We're very conscious of fairness and we've thought
17 about this quite a time.
18 MR. MANSFIELD: And it is -- normally a witness will have had a
19 copy -- whoever they are, they will have had a copy before they give
20 their evidence.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The problem is not that the witness doesn't
22 remember or is confused about that; the issue is whether he used words or
23 not, whether they were put to him by others rather than himself and so
24 on. And we think what is being manifested here is one that is not going
25 to be assisted by an opportunity to go through the statement and identify
1 errors on his own. If there are errors, they will be identified in the
2 course of those matters being put to him.
3 MR. MANSFIELD: Well, Your Honour, I can't take the matter
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 Mr. Whiting.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. So your testimony is that you did not know at the time that
9 Hashim Thaqi was a member of the General Staff. Right?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. But Hashim Thaqi told you to go and organise those areas, Suva
12 Reka, Malisevo, Lipjan, Shtime, and so forth. Isn't that right?
13 A. We were told that we had to go to these places where there were
14 not yet guerrilla units, as I mentioned Suhareke, Malisheve, Stimlje,
15 Prizren, and Kacanik. And I have already explained even earlier that I
16 had demanded to be posted in areas of Shtime and Lipjan, whose territory
17 I knew very well.
18 Q. And you say this was communicated by Hashim Thaqi. You say that
19 in the interview, and that's correct, right? And then you say -- you
21 "Fatmir Limaj was assigned the task of coordinating work with the
22 General Staff while I had to coordinate with Fatmir. That is in fact how
23 the organisation would work, because there had not been any organisation
24 for some time, that is any organisation of units. An information had to
25 be brought to Fatmir, and then from Fatmir to the General Staff and they
1 -- we -- could then come back to us with what we had to do next."
2 And that is what happened, isn't it? Fatmir --
3 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me. At this time I'm going to object to
4 any question because it's compound. He already has asked for an answer
5 with regard to receiving information from Hashim Thaqi; he has not
6 received an answer to that question. We are now moving on. Because of
7 the delicate nature of what we're dealing with I think it's important
8 that we get answers to any question asked and we do not have more than
9 one question compounded at any one time to this witness.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It's entirely a sensible proposition, Mr.
11 Guy-Smith. There may be occasions when it appears to the questioner at
12 the end of a question that what he said isn't clear and he goes on to
13 make it more clear, and I think you have been very skilful in managing to
14 incorrect any imperfections in your first question that way. If that
15 occurs, it would not be a problem.
16 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. Let me break this up a little bit. You have told us that this
20 was communicated -- the instruction to go organise those areas was
21 communicated by Hashim Thaqi, and that's right, isn't it?
22 A. Can you repeat it, please.
23 Q. Certainly. The -- you have already told us that Hashim Thaqi was
24 the one who communicated to you the instruction -- who told you to go
25 organise those areas. Right? Suva Reka, Lipjan, Malisevo, that came
1 from Hashim Thaqi. Right?
2 A. The instructions were given to me to go to Lipjan and Shtime. In
3 the case of Malisheve he asked Fatmir Limaj to go. In the case of
4 Suhareke it was thought that Kumanova should go. For Kacanik it was Agim
5 Bajrami who went.
6 Q. When you say "he," this is Hashim Thaqi that we're talking about.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And then you say in the interview, you say, and I will read it
10 and then I will ask you questions. You say: "Fatmir Limaj was assigned
11 the task of coordinating work with the General Staff, while I had to
12 coordinate with Fatmir. That is in fact how the organisation would work
13 because there had not been any organisation for some time, that is any
14 organisation of units, an information had to be brought from Fatmir and
15 then from Fatmir to the General Staff and they -- we -- could then come
16 back to us with what we had to do next."
17 Now, it's true, isn't it, that Fatmir Limaj was assigned the task
18 of coordinating work with the General Staff. That's true, isn't it?
19 A. This is a very major mistake because in fact Fatmir Limaj wasn't
20 given the task to coordinate the work with the General Staff as it is
21 said here. Fatmir Limaj had to coordinate my trips and I had to
22 coordinate Agim Bajrami's trip to the General Staff. It was this
23 coordination that we had to do to arrive in Drenica where we had met
24 Hashim Thaqi even earlier. This was a form of organisation then, until
25 May, when I undertook to coordinate the unit -- the operation of units in
1 Kacanik, Lipjan, Shtime.
2 Q. Mr. Buja, can you explain -- these are your words from the
3 interview. This is you speaking when you say: "Fatmir Limaj was
4 assigned the task of coordinating work with the General Staff." Can you
5 explain how you made that mistake when you were being interviewed?
6 A. I made this mistake because I thought that the word "coordinate"
7 covered actions that had to have been carried out by Fatmir Limaj in the
8 -- because the territory where he was located was closer to Drenica
9 compared to the place where we were. And the territory where I operated
10 was closer compared to that where Agim Bajrami was operating. So in
11 order to coordinate the work with the General Staff, Agim Bajrami had to
12 come to me and I was -- took measures to ensure his trip to Fatmir and
13 then Fatmir would take care of the part of the trip to Drenice. So the
14 word "coordinate" or "coordination" meant this, that is the form of
15 escort. But this is why it has been misunderstood probably.
16 Q. But, Mr. Buja, that's not what you say when you explain your
17 answer because what you say is: "This is how the organisation would
18 work: Information had to be brought to Fatmir and from Fatmir to the
19 General Staff, and they would come back with what we had to do next."
20 So what you say is information was transmitted to the General
21 Staff through Fatmir Limaj and instructions on what you had to do next
22 would be transmitted from the General Staff back through -- through
23 Fatmir Limaj to you. That's what you say, isn't it?
24 A. Yes, I see that this is written so.
25 Q. Can you explain to me, sir, how you made that mistake. If that's
1 a mistake, how is it possible that you said that? Can you explain why
2 you said that if it's not in fact the truth?
3 A. As a piece of information, I cannot explain to you why I gave it.
4 Because even at the time of the interview I was studying journalism, and
5 the way I understood the meaning of the word "information" is a simple
6 piece of information. And I don't understand why it's been used in this
7 way. What I know is I recollect events very well and I clearly underline
8 the form of coordination of events of operations among us. And I want to
9 explain to you that I'm telling the truth and I'm giving you an example
10 that I was appointed commander of the subzone.
11 If Fatmir Limaj was at a higher level as you are claiming here,
12 how can it be that he wouldn't be appointed at least commander of a
13 subzone? It means as if I was the commander of my commander; it doesn't
14 make sense, this form of organisation you are claiming has existed then,
15 as if Fatmir Limaj was my superior. Even during proofing I explained
16 that Fatmir Limaj has never been my superior.
17 Q. Sir, we're talking about a period in March and April and May and
18 June before you were appointed to the command of the subzone of
19 Nerodimlje. Now, you -- when you gave this interview to the OTP, you had
20 already testified in this courtroom in another case, hadn't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you have told us now that you recollect events very well and
23 that you were studying journalism at the time you gave this interview
24 with the OTP. That's correct, right?
25 A. Yes, I think it is.
1 Q. And is it your testimony that you have no explanation -- you
2 cannot give us an explanation for why it is you said here that that is
3 how the organisation would work: Information would be brought to Fatmir
4 and passed to the General Staff and then instructions on what you should
5 do would come from the General Staff through Fatmir back to you? Are you
6 saying you cannot now give us an explanation for why you said that?
7 A. Sir, before this trial I explained clearly the form of
8 organisation we had. I have explained up to what time, and that is until
9 the end of April it wasn't possible for me to contact Fatmir Limaj. And
10 the form of organisation that is described here could not have existed
11 because it was impossible for me to go to Fatmir Limaj until April, end
12 of April 1998, and my contact with Fatmir Limaj at that time, the purpose
13 of this meeting was not to contact the General Staff but to contact
14 Hashim Thaqi who I thought was in Drenica, could be found in Drenica --
15 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm going to interrupt your answer because I think
16 you're repeating what you said before and you're not answering my
17 question. My question is: If this is not in fact the truth, what you
18 describe here in your OTP interview about the structure, then why did you
19 say it?
20 A. I don't understand why it was said in this way, simply because
21 for some time I had to think about this. At the time when I gave this
22 interview I thought a little about those events hoping that we will have
23 the chance to check these documents and make the corrections, the
24 necessary corrections in these documents. I hoped that after my meeting
25 with the investigator in Milosevic's case when I was told that I will be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 given the opportunity to correct -- to make the necessary corrections,
2 and simply without paying much attention I gave an interview thinking
3 that I will have a chance to make corrections. Now you are using this in
4 order to put me in a not very desirable situation. I am clearly stating
5 here in this trial the form of organisation we had.
6 Q. Mr. Buja, it's not a very desirable situation because what you
7 said in your OTP interview is the truth, isn't it? Isn't that why it's
8 not a very desirable situation?
9 A. I was not in a situation to say until today to the Office of the
10 Prosecutor whether it was true or not true because I didn't have this
11 statement. And here I am telling the truth because I am under oath, and
12 I made it clear to you without seeing this statement beforehand, it isn't
13 possible for me to claim whether it is true or not.
14 Q. Mr. Buja, in this interview that was recorded over several hours,
15 did you ever ask for the opportunity to review the transcript or ever
16 indicate that you had not -- were not clear about your answers or you
17 wanted to correct mistakes? Did you ever say that during the interview?
18 A. During the interview, I clearly told you that some things were
19 made clear but not everything and that additional clearing is necessary
20 because it had been some time since those events had happened. I
21 believed in the honesty of the OTP after the contact I had with the
22 investigator Ole Lehtinen and the investigator in Milosevic's case, who
23 explained to me that the procedure will be the same. I believed that
24 this was the procedure that was going to be applied in this case. After
25 my meeting with Ole Lehtinen, I asked for the transcript because I
1 thought that mistakes could have happened. I asked for this transcript
2 even later when I contacted again Ole Lehtinen.
3 Q. Since you've brought up your meetings with Ole Lehtinen, isn't it
4 the case that when Ole Lehtinen later contacted you to be a witness in
5 the trial, you refused to be a witness? You refused to come and testify?
6 Isn't that true?
7 A. This is completely true because I could not come to this trial
8 and testify about something that I hadn't seen beforehand. Therefore, I
9 asked Ole Lehtinen to give me the transcript, but it wasn't given to me.
10 I suspected that my interview could have misused by this investigator [as
11 interpreted]. I surely wanted to contact the Defence to clarify the
12 possible misinterpretations.
13 Ole Lehtinen clearly told me on the phone when I phoned him --
14 actually, he phoned me in order to schedule a contact. I told him that
15 it would be possible to meet the next day. After ten minutes of this
16 conversation, he called me again and asked for an urgent meeting because
17 I was going to meet the Defence. I told him clearly -- I told Mr.
18 Lehtinen clearly that I am giving a statement, a voluntary statement, and
19 I don't have to render account to anyone. He told me that I should not
20 go to this meeting. The next day he called and he apologised because he
21 said it was a -- something -- a misinterpretation by the interpreter. I
22 then conveyed my criticism to him for in a way ordering me by phone not
23 to go and give a statement to the Defence; therefore, I refused to become
24 a witness for the Prosecution.
25 Q. Mr. Buja, isn't it in fact the case that you came to the ICTY
1 office in Pristina and told Mr. Lehtinen that you did not want to be a
2 witness in this trial because you were afraid? Isn't that in fact what
4 A. This was not the meeting we had with Mr. Lehtinen, but it was a
5 meeting that we had with Ole Lehtinen and you, Mr. Prosecutor, where I
6 clearly put it before you that I do not want to become a Prosecution
7 witness and I didn't want to be misunderstood from my own population.
8 Because the statement might be misinterpreted by the population, and
9 therefore I didn't want to be part here as part of the Prosecution.
10 I did in fact respect the subpoena and came here because as Ole
11 Lehtinen said, if I did not obey and respect this subpoena I could be
12 arrested and punished. I told you that I was not concerned about the
13 consequences for me as an individual, regardless of the punishment
14 because these would be individual consequences and -- that would not
15 involve my family and the entire Kosovo. This is what I said clearly
16 during that meeting where you attended as well.
17 Q. And isn't it in fact true that Mr. Lehtinen never told you not to
18 go to an interview with the Defence? He never said that to you, did he?
19 A. Through the phone, meaning through the interpreter who translated
20 Mr. Lehtinen's words, I was told that we should meet and not to go and
21 give a statement or interview to the Defence. This is true and I can
22 testify about this. The Defence, when I went to see them, I explained to
23 them clearly the way I was told by the phone [as interpreted] through the
24 interpreter who was interpreting Mr. Lehtinen's words.
25 Q. Mr. Buja, you went to an interview with the Defence?
1 A. Yes, of course I did go.
2 Q. During the interview with the Defence, did you review your
3 transcript of your interview with the OTP?
4 A. I was in contact with the Defence, and they explained my
5 interview and they said that if I gave a statement for the Defence, that
6 statement would be recorded and then would be given to me so that I could
7 check possible mistakes. And after reviewing the statement, then I would
8 be able to sign it. This is a form of interview that was -- that I was
9 familiar with even during my experience with the OTP. Therefore --
10 Q. Mr. Buja -- Mr. Buja, I'm going to interrupt you. My question
11 is: During your interview with the Defence, did you review your
12 transcript of your interview with the OTP?
13 A. During the interview with the Defence, I did not have the
14 opportunity to see this transcript, the OTP transcript.
15 Q. Did you see any transcript of your interview with the OTP?
16 A. After the meeting the following day, meaning after the meeting
17 with the Defence, when I met with the OTP and after my remarks that I
18 presented to Mr. Ole Lehtinen, he brought me five CDs which I was never
19 able to open. I even attempted to open these CDs by the help of experts,
20 computer experts.
21 Q. These CDs contained the transcript of your interview with the
22 OTP, didn't they?
23 A. I had requested the transcripts, both from my statement in
24 Milosevic case and this one. I wanted to have all the recordings and all
25 the transcripts, so I was given five disks. I tried to open the five of
1 them and I did not manage, even by the help of some experts who were my
2 soldiers in the past.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Buja, did you ever contact Mr. Lehtinen to tell him that
4 you were unable to open those disks?
5 A. I did not contact Mr. Lehtinen because I thought at that time and
6 I am convinced even today that the attention was to manipulate with my
7 statement and therefore I did not want to contact Mr. Lehtinen because of
8 these reasons.
9 Other reasons for me not to contact the OTP are: In March last
10 year I was arrested for the March events under an indictment where it is
11 stated that I violated 1244 Resolution and that although there wasn't any
12 base for that. During this detention I was visited by the Prosecution,
13 who explained to me that a letter had been sent by the Prosecution to the
14 commander, a KFOR commander, in which it said that I was sincere and I
15 had given a statement in Milosevic trial and that I was going to testify
16 for crimes committed by Albanians. I had never said such a thing and I
17 did not have this conviction that Albanians committed any crimes. This
18 letter which arrived 15 days after my detention, two days after it was
19 received I was released and I interpreted as a way how the OTP had force
20 in power in Kosovo, and I interpreted it as a blackmail.
21 Q. After you -- after you were released was when you told the OTP
22 that in fact you would not be a witness in the Prosecution -- in the
23 trial, isn't it? You told the Prosecution that you would not be a
24 witness. Isn't that true?
25 A. I don't understand your question, sorry.
1 Q. You said that in the March events you were arrested and held for
2 a certain time by KFOR, and my question is: Wasn't it after you were
3 released that you told the Prosecution you would not in fact be a witness
4 in the trial? Isn't that true? In the fall of last year you told the
5 Prosecution you would not be a witness.
6 A. I said that this happened in March last year, this letter, and
7 the meeting with Ole Lehtinen took place later. And the phone call from
8 Ole Lehtinen of course made me even more suspicious in the OTP intentions
9 to misuse my interpret -- my interview.
10 After the call when Ole Lehtinen told me that I would receive
11 this transcript and the intention to accuse these people who I know that
12 did not commit any crime and that are not guilty, during that time that
13 we had this meeting I made it clear that I have a high esteem for these
14 sons here and I am convinced that they did not commit any crimes.
15 I consider the KLA warfare as a very fair one and a clear one, a
16 pure one. I made it clear through the entire time of my interview that
17 the KLA did not commit crimes. And you later -- or sorry, Ole Lehtinen
18 later insisted that I should admit that mistakes might have happened.
19 And my answer was clear, that mistakes might have happened and even
20 mistakes might have happened on behalf of NATO during the bombing
21 campaign. I was not given an opportunity to correct any possible
23 MR. GUY-SMITH: Excuse me, by virtue of the witness's answer, I
24 don't know whether or not such a letter is in the possession of the
25 Office of the Prosecutor; however, I would request on the behalf of the
1 Defence that we receive a copy of any letters that may exist in this
2 regard. I also would request at this time that we receive any notes,
3 memorandum, or any memorialisations that exist with regard to any
4 conversations or contact Mr. Lehtinen had with this particular witness
5 during this particular time.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, with respect to the letter, I believe
7 it's been disclosed, but if it hasn't I can certainly make sure that it
8 has been. I can check if there are any notes --
9 JUDGE PARKER: If you could let Mr. Guy-Smith know in due course.
10 MR. WHITING: I will certainly, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm going to take you -- since you have said - you have
14 said repeatedly - how you thought the interview would work and that you
15 wanted to have an interview to review it, I'm going to take you to the
16 end of the interview and see what you say at the end of the interview.
17 In your version it's on page 104 in Albanian and in English it's page 86.
18 It starts -- on page 104 it starts about a third of the way down and I'm
19 going to play it for you.
20 [Videotape played]
21 "A.W.: This time period, the spring and summer 1998, about this
22 area, about Lapusnik. You've told us what you do know; you've told us
23 things that you don't know. Is there anything else that you think is
24 important about the things that we've talked about that we should know or
25 have we covered everything?
1 "S.B.: I believe most of the -- we've covered most of the
2 issues, although I might -- I might -- it's pretty hard to understand --
3 to understand that period. It's hard to have a comprehensive view about
4 the form of organisations about -- because of the mess at that time --
5 well, some things are beginning to sorted out -- to be clear -- well, I
6 can say that generally speaking you must have -- you must have a clear
7 view or -- about things now -- by now. Yeah, if there's something
8 unclear to you, then I'll -- I'm always available at any time you need to
9 get in touch with me to clarify the point or the issue that's unclear to
11 "A.W.: Okay. That actually leads to my next question which is:
12 If you were called to be a witness in The Hague, would you be willing to
13 tell the Court everything you've told us today?
14 "S.B.: The position of a witness is a bit sensitive --
15 difficult, but what I've declared here today so I would declare them
16 openly and with no hesitation, publicly. But you must understand what's
17 also my position. So I wouldn't prefer to be put in a difficult
18 position. Yeah, well, on the fact of being called as a witness to
19 testify in a case against my former comrades-in-arms puts me into a very
20 difficult position, but I'm willing at any moment because I've made up my
21 mind to be as transparent as possible, as open as possible, and I don't
22 think it will be a big problem for me to come -- to come over there and
23 to testify what I've testified today to you."
24 MR. WHITING:
25 Q. Mr. Buja, do you see there at the end of the interview that you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 said: "In general things have been clarified." Do you see that you said
3 A. I'm saying that in general it was clarified but not everything
4 was clarified. There was space for possible mistake because here the OTP
5 will -- stuck on a word. Let's say as I earlier said about that
6 information and therefore we needed to correct these mistakes. I said
7 that I was ready to testify although the position of a witness, the very
8 presence here even without talking before the comrades-in-arms who I
9 believe are innocent -- I say it again here that things in general have
10 been clarified but still there have been things that were not clear. And
11 it is -- it can be clearly seen during this interview now that we played.
12 And as I said, I believed we would have the possibility to make the
13 necessary corrections and I expected this to happen, but it never
15 Q. Mr. Buja, you have stated that many, many times; I don't think
16 you need to say it again. But isn't the reason that you are changing
17 your story here not -- isn't it -- it's not because there were mistakes
18 or misunderstandings; it's because you believe these men to be innocent
19 and it is difficult to come here to give evidence against the men you
20 fought with. Is that why -- isn't that the reason you are giving a
21 different account here today about the structure?
22 A. It's not a different story, and this Chamber can investigate this
23 statement even by means of other witnesses who I have mentioned in this
24 interview. My difficulty was to be a Prosecution witness and the most
25 difficult part was at that time and even today I was convinced that these
1 boys are innocent and I cannot act and state things that were not true of
2 that time. I stated clearly that I cannot be a person who through this
3 statement given without thinking twice about the events that happened in
4 April, May, and June.
5 As for these events they were all like a story in themselves, and
6 it is a pity that they're misinterpreted and put in a different form.
7 And it's a pity that there was not a possibility for them to be
8 clarified. I said that I was ready to give a statement when I would be
9 able to correct that statement, make clear things that were not clear,
10 and come as such before this trial.
11 Q. Well, let's continue and see if we can get some further
12 clarification. I'm going to ask you to turn to page 33 in the Albanian
13 of the transcript, and I'm going to submit to you, sir, that it's not a
14 matter of a word or a matter of misunderstanding but in fact, as I stated
15 at the beginning of your testimony today, you have changed your account
16 of the structure and you have now put Jakup Krasniqi in the place where
17 you previously put Fatmir Limaj.
18 And it's page 33 in the English at the top of the page and on the
19 Albanian it's about a third of the way down the page on 33.
20 And I'm going to play this portion of the tape which pertains --
21 you talking about May and June of 1998 when you're in the area -- you're
22 working in the area of Kacanik, Ferizaj, and Stimlje.
23 [Videotape played]
24 "O.L.: To collect weapons?
25 "S.B.: These sort of activities were conducted in the period of
1 May/June. It was during that time that a corridor was created from
2 Albania to Kosovo. At that time my position consisted in being a
3 coordinator for the area covering Kacanik, Ferizaj, Shtime. So I would
4 coordinate -- I was coordinating things in connection with Limaj, who was
5 placed in Klecka at that time."
6 MR. WHITING:
7 Q. Now, you've already said in the interview, and we've spent some
8 time on it, you've said that the -- that -- that Fatmir Limaj when you
9 left -- when you arrived in Drenica that Fatmir Limaj was -- in March,
10 that Fatmir Limaj was assigned to be the point between you and the
11 General Staff, that you would send information up to the General Staff
12 and instructions would come back down. Now, here you're talking about
13 how things worked in May and June of 1998 when you were a coordinator of
14 activity in the area of Kacanik. And you say that "my coordination was
15 with Fatmir Limaj who was established in Klecka."
16 Do you see that? Do you see where you say that?
17 A. Yes, I see it.
18 Q. And that was true, wasn't it? When you were coordinating those
19 activities in the area of Kacanik, Ferizaj, and Stimlje, you were
20 coordinating with Fatmir Limaj, who was established in Klecka. Isn't
21 that true?
22 A. In June I already explained that the spokesperson of the KLA
23 appeared in public as a member of the General Staff. It seems illogical
24 at that time when I could contact Jakup Krasniqi to contact instead
25 Fatmir Limaj. Why should I? The public appearance of Krasniqi as a
1 member of the General Staff made it possible not only for me but for all
2 the guerrilla units to contact the General Staff.
3 Q. But, sir -- sir, let's talk about before that happened, before
4 the 14th of June, 1998. Here you're talking about May and June when
5 you're in Kacanik, Ferizaj, and Stimlje. And it says you coordinated
6 with Fatmir Limaj, and that's true, isn't it, that you coordinated with
7 Fatmir Limaj?
8 A. I have explained this issue much earlier. It was in May 1998
9 that I was appointed by Hashim Thaqi to coordinate the operations of
10 units in Kacanik, Ferizaj, Shtime, and Lipjan. This was an extra
11 supplementary task given to me apart from the duty I had to coordinate
12 the work for the supply line. It was at the end of May when I returned
13 to Kroimire when the first unit was formed. Right after that I went back
14 to Kacanik. Given the great need for armaments and supply in June, I
15 didn't have any need at all after my return to contact Fatmir Limaj in
16 the sense of organisation that you put me here. In June I contacted only
17 Jakup Krasniqi. And my contacts with Fatmir Limaj in May and early June
18 couldn't be possible because at that time I was in Kacanik and Ferizaj
20 Q. If that is true, then can you explain for us, please, why it is
21 that you said in the interview that you -- your coordination was with
22 Fatmir Limaj who was established in Klecka. You weren't -- that wasn't
23 put to you; you said it yourself. Can you explain why you said that?
24 A. The meaning of the word "coordination," I think I explained it
25 earlier. By this word "coordination" I understood the action to contact
1 the General Staff and that Fatmir Limaj was supposed to make this contact
2 possible. In June it wasn't necessary for Fatmir Limaj to do that, to
3 escort me to the General Staff because by that time I could contact the
4 member of the General Staff himself, who had just given a public
5 interview in Klecka.
6 Q. And Fatmir Limaj's job when he was coordinating was not simply to
7 show you the way to Drenica, but it was to be the -- a contact point with
8 the General Staff. You could give information to the General Staff
9 through Fatmir Limaj and get instructions from the General Staff through
10 Fatmir Limaj. Isn't that right?
11 A. I already explained that this was not so because coordination had
12 another meaning, not the meaning of hierarchy but the meaning of the
13 operation, that is for me to contact the General Staff, as Agim Bajrami
14 did, too. But my contacts with the General Staff were established in
15 June when I returned from Kacanik, that is with Jakup Krasniqi. I am
16 repeating here --
17 Q. So -- and there's no need to repeat, sir. But is it your
18 testimony then when you -- then that when you said here in the interview
19 that: "My coordination was with Fatmir Limaj who was established at
20 Klecka," is that what you are trying to say there is that -- is that
21 Fatmir Limaj's role was to show you the way to Drenica if you wanted to
22 meet with Hashim Thaqi? Is that what you're saying? Is that your
24 A. I'm putting it to you that the task of Fatmir Limaj at that time
25 vis-a-vis myself was that from Klecka he should show me the way to
1 Drenica, should accompany me to Drenica because that was an area that he
2 knew well. It was the area he was born in. That's why we did -- this
3 action was done; that is, I had to pass through this territory to Drenica
4 where I always hoped to contact the members of the General Staff even
5 though this never happened, because I didn't go to Drenica either in
6 April, May, or June. But in June I managed to contact Jakup Krasniqi who
7 was a public figure then.
8 Q. So -- in fact what you're saying here today now is that when you
9 were organising in the area of Kacanik, Ferizaj, and Stimlje, you did not
10 coordinate with Fatmir Limaj? That's your testimony now, isn't it?
11 A. I did not coordinate with Fatmir Limaj because most of this time,
12 that is March, April, I spent in Mullapolc. After my first attempt to
13 contact with the members of the General Staff which failed, I returned
14 again to Mullapolc to organise together with Imri Ilazi the unit in
15 Ferizaj -- in order to enable me to go to Agim Bajrami and for Agim
16 Bajrami to come to me. That period was the period when we didn't this
17 form of have organisation.
18 Q. And if the truth is that you did not coordinate with Fatmir
19 Limaj, then I'm going to ask you again: Why did you say in the interview
20 that you did coordinate with Fatmir Limaj? "My coordination was with
21 Fatmir Limaj." Can you explain that?
22 A. I explained even earlier that the form of coordination was in the
23 sense of coordination of the efforts to go to Drenice. This is why I
24 mentioned the word "coordination"; this is what I had in mind, not
25 something else.
1 Q. Did you say that at the time in the interview? Did you say that
2 that's what you meant?
3 A. During the interview I didn't make any necessary explanations in
4 the hope that things could be clarified at a later stage.
5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm not sure what the schedule is
6 for --
7 JUDGE PARKER: That's a convenient time, I take it?
8 MR. WHITING: It is, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 5 minutes past 4.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, just quickly before the witness is
14 brought in, I would just like to put on the record that the Prosecution
15 located and disclosed notice of investigator Ole Lehtinen pertaining to
16 meetings with Shukri Buja, as requested by the Defence.
17 The letter that was referenced certainly exists; I thought it had
18 been disclosed. We can't seem to put our hands on it at the moment, but
19 we're working on it.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
21 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, I wonder if I could just ask, forgive
22 me, whether the document that has just been handed over which is headed
23 "Investigator's Note" purports to be a contemporary document or one that
24 has been helpfully but more recently compiled from other material.
25 MR. WHITING: It's -- I'm almost certain, it was prepared in the
1 last day or two and I think it's a contemporary document, prepared within
2 days of the events described in the document, but that is also something
3 I'll confirm.
4 JUDGE PARKER: The witness, please.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Buja, I've had an opportunity to get some notes pertaining to
9 your meetings with Mr. Lehtinen. I want to ask you a few further
10 questions about those matters, if I may.
11 Isn't it the case that after your meeting with the Defence --
12 your interview with the Defence that you met with Mr. Lehtinen and you
13 discussed with him what he had told you before the meeting with the
14 Defence and you agreed with him that there had been a misunderstanding,
15 that he had not in fact told you not to meet with the Defence but that
16 there had been a misunderstanding on that subject? Isn't that what
18 A. He told me that there was a misunderstanding and a
19 misinterpretation by the interpreter, and that day that interpreter was
20 not present at the meeting with Ole Lehtinen.
21 Q. And isn't it true that you could not remember what had been said
22 to you, the exact wording of what had been said to you?
23 A. I remembered how the interpreter put it, but it seemed to me as
24 an imperative form of saying "don't go." But on the insistence of Ole
25 Lehtinen, I agreed that was a misunderstanding and I said, Okay, it is a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 misunderstanding. I -- in the meantime I put my critical remarks of the
2 way the interview was conducted and I insisted on having the interview
3 transcript, because without that I couldn't do anything.
4 Q. And in fact you asked for -- you had your meeting with the
5 Defence on the 17th of June, 2004. And the following day you asked Mr.
6 Lehtinen for your transcript of your OTP interview. Isn't that right?
7 It was the day of your interview with the Defence. On the 18th of June,
8 2004, you asked for your transcript. Right?
9 A. It is a rather long question, so I don't understand -- I don't
10 seem to recollect the date.
11 Q. Well, let me just put it -- does it sound right to you that it --
12 it was -- your interview with the Defence was on the 17th of June, 2004?
13 Does that date sound right to you?
14 A. It may be that date, although I don't remember the exact date.
15 Q. And was it the day after your interview when you asked -- you met
16 with Mr. Lehtinen and you complained about not having your -- the
17 transcript of your interview and you asked him for it? Was it the day
18 after your interview with the Defence?
19 A. Yes, it was on the next day when I made known my remarks about
20 the way of the contacts we were having with Ole Lehtinen and the absence
21 of the transcripts.
22 Q. And isn't it the case that four days later you were -- Mr.
23 Lehtinen gave you the five CDs that contained your recorded interview and
24 your prior testimony in the Milosevic case? Didn't that happen just four
25 days later on the 22nd of June, 2004?
1 A. I don't remember the date. It may have been two, three, or four
2 days, I can't be accurate, when -- after that when I received those five
3 diskettes that were alleged to be the transcript of my statement in the
4 Milosevic case.
5 Q. And, sir, you've already told us -- it was your transcript in the
6 Milosevic case and also it was your transcript of your OTP interview;
7 that's what you were told, isn't it?
8 A. Yes. This is what Mr. Lehtinen told me.
9 Q. And you've already told us that you never went back to Mr.
10 Lehtinen to tell him that you were unable to open those CDs. Isn't that
12 A. I didn't try to open them immediately, but after some time, a
13 rather long time, I tried to open them but it was impossible for me to
14 open them. I didn't try to do that right away because I wasn't that keen
15 on doing that immediately, thinking that the trial wouldn't start very
17 Q. And you've already testified before the break that when you were
18 unable to open the CDs, you did not go back to Mr. Lehtinen to tell him
19 that you were unable to open them and to ask again for your transcript.
20 Isn't that right?
21 A. That is right, because I began to create the impression that a
22 game was being played with these transcripts and I didn't go back to Mr.
23 Lehtinen about this.
24 Q. Let's continue, if we could, with the -- your interview with the
25 OTP. I'm going to ask you to turn, please, to page 34 of the Albanian
1 and it's 34 also of the English. On the English it's towards the bottom
2 third of the page -- no, I'm sorry. It's at the top of the page. And on
3 the Albanian on page 34 it's in the middle of the page, and I'm going to
4 play this portion of the interview for you.
5 [Videotape played]
6 "O.L.: But fighting or not, I'm saying that there have to be a
7 certain kind of structure in the area. I know that already in April 1998
8 there was regularly weekly meetings in Klecka. Did you join these
10 "S.B.: Because -- no, because I was not part of the command
11 structure in Klecka. There was occasional -- I would occasionally take
12 part in these meetings, for example in May. So for the most -- the most
13 period -- sorry, the most time during the May I spent staying in Kacanik
14 and Ferizaj. It was due to the fact that I was -- I was engaged in
15 coordinating the whole work with Agim Bajrami, commander Agim Bajrami.
16 My specific task was to -- was to -- was as far as weapons supply was
17 concerned. Right. When I would happen to be there, in Kroimire I'm
18 talking, I would help in things like these bunkers or trenches -- I would
19 rather put it point in Kroimire rather than call it company or battalion
20 or things like that. At that time I -- well, I thought Fatmir Limaj was
21 -- must have -- was a member of General Staff at that time, I thought.
22 But at the end of 1998 I realised that he hadn't been the member of
23 General Staff. Yes. So I was free to put suggestions as to whom, for
24 example, to assign to Petrastica, to deal with Petrastica. Of course my
25 proposals were not always taken into consideration, but I had enough -- I
1 had enough -- let's say contacts with Fatmir. So you'd be -- so as to be
2 free to put forward proposals. And the same way that I thought about
3 Fatmir or allegedly being a member of General Staff, most of the people I
4 know thought the same about me, that I probably was a member of General
6 "A.W.: Can I" --
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Mr. Buja, in April and May of 1998 you thought that Fatmir Limaj
9 was a member of the General Staff, didn't you?
10 A. I have made it clear here that in April and May I was in Kacanik
11 in the other part of the operations and it's something else what I might
12 have thought, after a meeting I had with Fatmir in the April of 1998
13 during which we discussed political issues. And at that time he left me
14 a good impression of a man with intellectual potential and political
15 expertise. That's why I created impression of him being a member of the
16 General Staff, but that was just my impression; it was not a fact.
17 I explained that I realised later that he became a member of the
18 General Staff at the end. I think it was November/December of 1998 when
19 my brother too became a member of the General Staff.
20 Q. Mr. Buja, isn't it true that you thought he was a member of the
21 General Staff because during this time period he was the person through
22 whom you would communicate with the General Staff?
23 A. No. I don't think that was the reason why I created that
24 impression; it was because of his abilities, I think. Because if we were
25 to look at the reality as you are saying, how could I have thought of my
1 own brother as such when he did become a member of the General Staff? It
2 often happened that we thought of each other or of some third person of
3 being in some position when in fact he was not, just because we knew him
4 to be a member of the Presidency of the LPK or General Council of the
5 LPK. So positions were different from reality. And I understood that
6 Fatmir Limaj became a member either in November or in December of 1998.
7 I explained here how people believed that I, too, was a member of
8 the General Staff but in fact they were simple -- merely suppositions of
9 soldiers or some superior.
10 Q. And people thought that you were a member of the General Staff
11 because you were exercising a coordinating role in the area that you were
12 organising, as you say here in the interview. Isn't that true?
13 A. People may have created the impression which I cannot account
14 for, but I have believed and thought when people have asked me whether I
15 was a member of the General Staff when in fact I was not. Maybe because
16 of the -- of my duty as responsible for the supply of arms and for the
17 actual shipment of these arms or because of the political or military
18 talks I gave to people; maybe this is why they created that impression.
19 Q. Mr. Buja, do you see here in this portion of the interview where
20 you say: "We had not even defined companies or battalions but only
21 posts"? This is -- you're speaking about the time you were in Kroimire.
22 Do you see where you say that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's true, isn't it, that at that time there were -- there
25 were posts in different villages. Isn't that true?
1 A. I have already explained I think this -- the use of the word
2 "point," why I used that word. And I am explaining again. In fact it
3 was the unit of Pjetershtice. If it was called "point" I don't know what
4 it's meaning would be when in fact the unit in Pjetershtice was operating
5 along this Carraleve-Belince line and covered two villages. Today I
6 cannot describe to the Trial Chamber as a point because the form of
7 organisation that existed then was the guerrilla unit which operated in a
8 village or a town and it operated in a horizontal line in its positions.
9 That was the form of organisation then. But the other organisation that
10 is claimed to be as battalion -- in the form of battalions and companies
11 was not in existence at that time.
12 Q. I think you told us earlier that in your mind the word "point"
13 has a special military meaning. Can you explain to us what you
14 understood the word point to mean.
15 A. Not a special military significance. The word point is
16 translation from a foreign language which I never wanted to accept as
17 authentic expression to be used in my own language. In fact, it was
18 borrowed by the Serb expression, "policijski punkt," something which I
19 never wanted to use because the word point implies a limited existence as
20 a military expression. And as an expression of the Albanian language,
21 which describes better the time when the units operated in a frontal
22 line, is in fact a "frontal line." This is why I never wanted to refer
23 to them as points because at that time the form of organisation
24 irrespective of the interpretations didn't seem to me as points but only
25 as guerrilla units. I already explained that the strategy of the General
1 Staff was the horizontal spread of the guerrilla units.
2 Q. And is it still your testimony that the reason you used the word
3 point in your interview here is because of propaganda that you had heard?
4 Is that still your testimony?
5 A. Yes, of course it is because the description of this period has
6 been constantly done using the word point and this word has affected also
7 me. That's why I have used the word point. It's the fact of the
8 propaganda and agitation then by the war waged of the KLA and which has
9 often accounted for not given a truthful description of its real
10 organisation. This is the reason why.
11 Q. And here when you say you that had support -- when you were
12 surveying positions, bunkers, and other things, you had support from
13 Fatmir. You're talking about your time in Kroimire. You had support
14 from Fatmir. Can you tell us what kind of support you had from Fatmir?
15 A. Of course I can. The positions, the trenches, and the bunkers
16 began to be dug sometime in the middle of June and were continued
17 constantly. When I mentioned the support of Fatmir I meant both,
18 materielly and observing, supervising, these positions, whether
19 everything was okay, whether the trench was dug properly. I meant that
20 we talked about these issues. We helped each other as co-fighters.
21 I have also pointed out the support we got from the General Staff
22 to operate in this regard, that is to dig trenches and to build bunkers.
23 I have already I think clearly explained that that was a combined war, a
24 war that was unprecedented until then. It was a war waged through
25 guerrilla units positions, something which had never happened until then.
1 The General Staff supported this kind of warfare.
2 Q. Mr. Buja, you're aware that there was fighting in Carraleve
3 starting on the 14th of June, 1998. Isn't that right?
4 A. I don't remember the exact date of the fighting this Carraleve,
5 but I know that there was fighting in June.
6 Q. Approximately in the middle of June. Isn't that right?
7 A. You could say mid-June.
8 Q. And the trenches were already dug by then, weren't they?
9 A. No. There were fighting going on even before the trenches were
10 dug up.
11 Q. But by mid-June when there were serious fights with the Serbs in
12 Carraleve, the trenches were already dug, weren't they?
13 A. The trenches could not be dug within a day. These trenches
14 required a continuous work, a work that continued in June and July. Some
15 trenches were open in the beginning, in Pjetershtice, as the first
16 frontal -- front line. Later on we opened the canal and the bunker. I
17 cannot say when the positions were ready for a fight to defend Carraleve.
18 What I can say is there was work going on in June and July regarding the
19 opening of trenches.
20 Q. And did Fatmir Limaj come to Kroimire or Petrastica or Carraleve
21 to super -- to observe, supervise, the positions and see if everything
22 was okay?
23 A. I don't remember that Fatmir Limaj was at the bunkers and
24 trenches at that time, but I know that Fatmir Limaj visited me especially
25 in July in Kroimire. There was a visit that we paid together in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Blinaje National Park. Simply, in July I had frequent contacts with
2 Fatmir Limaj.
3 Q. Well, you've testified that when you -- what you meant by support
4 from Fatmir when you were doing the trenches and bunkers in Kroimire was
5 that -- you said "I meant both materielly and observing, supervising
6 these positions, whether everything was okay, whether the trench was dug
8 And my question is: Did he come to Kroimire in order to do that,
9 to give that kind of support?
10 A. In the form you're putting it, it wasn't so. He came on a visit
11 in Blinaje, as I said earlier, and during this visit of course we went
12 out to the positions lying along the Magura-Shale road above Laletic
13 village, and up to the village which name I cannot remember at the
14 moment. So it was Laletic, Blinaje, and I don't remember the name but
15 there is a village nearby. These are the villages where our positions
16 were. If he had any remarks, he would tell me what would be a better
17 solution and it was up to me to decide whether to accept or not to accept
18 his advice.
19 Q. And when was this? Was this in July?
20 A. This was in late June/beginning of July. It is very difficult
21 for me to remember these issues correctly.
22 Q. Was it before or after you were appointed to the Nerodimlje zone,
23 to this -- to the subzone of Nerodimlje, to be the commander of the
24 subzone of Nerodimlje, was it before or after?
25 A. I don't remember whether it was before or after, but surely it
1 was within the same period of time when I had received instructions to
2 operate from the General Staff concretely from Jakup Krasniqi to
3 coordinate the units in Lipjan municipality. More frequent contacts we
4 had after July when I was appointed the commander of the zone.
5 Q. And is it your testimony now that Fatmir Limaj didn't give you
6 any support with respect to trenches and bunkers in -- being built in
7 Kroimire or Petrastica or Carraleve?
8 A. Sir, I -- we did not open trenches in Kroimire but the trenches
9 were mainly along Carraleve. They were in Zborce and in the front line
10 of Blinaje. Fatmir helped me with his advice, and of course he helped me
11 in materials which were required by the soldiers and which I didn't have.
12 I mean here pickses [as interpreted] and spades. So he would advise me
13 what would be the better solution; this is what we discussed. You should
14 bear in mind that there were two ways of opening trenches. Some
15 preferred zigzag trenches and some trenches in a straight line. So these
16 were our discussions, what would be the better way to open the trenches,
17 whether in a zigzag or in a straight line. So I took his advice and I
18 acted the way I thought it was for the best.
19 Q. But did he give you any support for the trenches in Carraleve?
20 That's my question.
21 A. I don't think that Fatmir was in Carraleve when the trenches and
22 bunkers were opened. I know that he came for a visit in Kroimire and I
23 know that we visited together the national park in Blinaje because he
24 wanted to see this park that he hadn't seen before.
25 Q. And then you say that -- you say that -- that you were able to
1 say that a person should be established, for example, at Petrastica who
2 would command that post, a person who should be set up. And you said --
3 and then you say: "Often they did not -- they did not accept my proposal
4 but I made the proposals."
5 And my question is: Who did you make the proposals to?
6 A. Of course I made these proposals to the unit that was there and I
7 thought that I knew better the acts of soldiers who were members of that
8 unit. In Petrastica this opportunity was taken away from me and -- my
9 proposal as well, as was the case with Zborce.
10 Q. I'm going to move on in the transcript because there's further
11 discussion about these issues and the structure. And it's -- on the
12 Albanian it's page 35; on the English it's -- continues on page 34 where
13 the last one left off. And on page 35 it's -- on the Albanian transcript
14 it's in -- it's in the middle of the page.
15 MR. WHITING: I think we need to switch to the Sanction.
16 I'm not getting any sound --
17 [Videotape played]
18 "A.C.: End of April" --
19 [Videotape played]
20 "A.C.: Approximately?
21 "THE INTERPRETER: End of April?
22 "A.C.: End of April 1998?
23 "S.B.: I don't know whether it was end of April or beginning of
24 May. It must have been a unit made up of eight or ten people in
1 "A.C.: And you were the commander in Kroimire at that time, the
3 "S.B.: Yeah -- well, I don't know whether it was -- as I said
4 end of April or beginning of May, I was in Kacanik at that time. And on
5 my return from Kacanik I brought along also weapons. So we were placed
6 in Kroimire. So I found their soldiers coming from abroad. There were
7 three or four soldiers coming from abroad. There were people from
8 Kroimire as well. So these people would distribute weapons to the
9 persons they considered suitable to do the job. And as a matter of -- as
10 a course of a normal procedure, I got in touch with Fatmir. So I asked
11 Fatmir what our job was supposed to be in Kroimire and where to -- how to
13 "A.C.: So who's in charge in Kroimire at this time? You are?
14 "S.B.: There were two persons in charge at that time, so I
15 wouldn't -- I wouldn't know how -- who was number one.
16 "A.C.: So who was it? You and who else?
17 "S.B.: It was me and Luan, Ramiz Qeriqi.
18 "A.C.: So you and Luan were in charge in Kroimire at the end of
19 April 1998?
20 "S.B.: Well, end of April or beginning of May.
21 "A.C.: And Fatmir Limaj dealt directly either with you or Luan
22 at that time?
23 "S.B.: Well, I want also to clarify something here. I wasn't
24 able to take as many decisions as possible because I didn't know people."
25 "A.C.: Sorry, I wasn't actually asking that. Fatmir Limaj dealt
1 either with you or Luan at the end of April, beginning of May 1998?
2 "S.B.: Yes.
3 "A.C.: And Fatmir Limaj was dealing with the KLA Main Staff,
4 wherever that was?
5 "S.B.: Yes, he was a coordinator of this job.
6 "A.C.: So here we have a structure. We have the KLA Main Staff
7 at the top, Fatmir Limaj underneath, and you and Luan underneath Fatmir
8 Limaj. Correct?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Shall I ask him once again to clarify to
10 explain him better how did you put it?
11 "A.C.: What I want to just say is what you've outlined to me is
12 the basic structure: KLA Main Staff at the top; underneath, Fatmir Limaj
13 in Klecka; and then underneath you and Luan in Kroimire. That's what you
14 just said. Correct?
15 "S.B.: It was a different -- it was a different nature of things
16 that I and Luan used to deal with, so we were different in what we were
17 doing. Me and Luan.
18 "A.C.: Yeah, but let's go back to the question. I'm not
19 interested in what you and Luan were doing. I just want you to confirm
20 that at this time, at the end of April of 1998, there was a rudimentary
21 military structure: KLA Main Staff, Fatmir Limaj taking instructions
22 from them, and then you and Luan in Krajmirovce taking instructions from
23 Fatmir Limaj. Correct?
24 "S.B.: Yeah, that's correct. I just wanted to clarify that.
25 "A.C.: Yeah, that's fine. Thank you.
1 "O.L.: And at this" --
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Mr. Buja, I want to take this passage point by point, the
4 important points. You said at the beginning of this passage in the
5 interview that when you came to Kroimire there were some other soldiers
6 who had come from abroad and who had begun to set up in Kroimire, and
7 that's correct, isn't it?
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 Q. I didn't get an interpretation of what you just said.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter couldn't hear the witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I could go through this passage.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Please do.
14 A. Could you ask your question again, please.
15 Q. Yes. Partway through this passage at the beginning you say that
16 when you came to Kroimire you found some -- you found some soldiers there
17 who had come from abroad who also belonged to Kroimire. And there you're
18 referring to Ramiz Qeriqi and another soldier. Isn't that right?
19 A. Yes, but the month must have been mistaken because this happened
20 in May and not in April. It was in May when I contacted with these
21 soldiers after my return from Kacanik and when I brought the first
22 weapons supply. I found there three or four soldiers, I'm not quite
23 sure, who were from Kroimire. In the beginning of my testimony here I
24 stated that I knew or that Luan introduced himself to me and another
25 soldier, who was Fadil, and there were other soldiers, as it is said
1 here, who were from the village of Kroimire.
2 Q. And in fact you do say in the interview here that it's at the
3 beginning of May or end of April when you bring the weapons to Kroimire
4 from Kacanik. And you say that you distributed the weapons to the people
5 that they thought would be the best KLA soldiers. And then you say: "I
6 -- usually in contact with Fatmir, that is I asked where we should set up
7 and what operations we should carry out since we were in Kroimire."
8 And then you say: "I asked Fatmir what we should do."
9 That's what happened, isn't it? When you went to Kroimire you
10 would -- you would ask Fatmir what you should do, how you should set up
11 operations there. Right?
12 A. It is difficult for me to answer a question, such a long
13 question, but I'll do my best. Of course this is a false description
14 because it couldn't be that I was in Kroimire in April because in May I
15 left for Kacanik and in end of April and beginning of May I was in Shtime
16 area, where together with Ilaz we went to Kacanik afterwards. I
17 explained that this could not have happened overnight, that this process
18 took several days. If I'm not mistaken it took about -- it was around
19 10th or 12th of May and until the end of May that I moved from Shtime to
20 Kacanik, Ferizaj, that I did this journey, that I went to Gllobocice and
21 after my several-day stay in Kacanik, I returned here. So this
22 description is a false one.
23 Q. Mr. Buja, I don't want you to focus on the date at the moment.
24 You testified already in this courtroom that you brought weapons from
25 Kacanik to Kroimire. Isn't that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And here in your interview you talk about distributing the
3 weapons and -- and then you say: "I usually in contact with Fatmir, that
4 is I asked where we should set up and what operations we should carry out
5 since we were in Kroimire." And then you say: "I asked Fatmir what we
6 should do."
7 Do you see that where you say that in the interview?
8 A. I see it, yes.
9 Q. And that's what happened when you were in Kroimire, you asked
10 Fatmir what you should do. Isn't that true?
11 A. I could have advised or consulted myself with Fatmir, what to do
12 about Kroimire and with the soldiers in Kroimire especially after the
13 problems I faced in the beginning. The description here in a sense of
14 requesting things from Fatmir, it is simply consulting. I wanted his
15 advice what to do simply because Fatmir had created positions in Klecke
16 and was in a better position, an advanced position, as far as
17 organisation was concerned. The Celiku unit was advanced as far as
18 organisation was concerned and our unit was lagging behind. Therefore, I
19 wanted Fatmir to instruct us what to do in Kroimire.
20 I didn't know Ramiz Qeriqi very well. I didn't know the soldiers
21 in Kroimire very well. That's why I saw a need to discuss these matters
22 with these people and I discussed this matter with Ramiz Qeriqi as well.
23 Q. And you did this after you arrived in Kroimire. Right?
24 A. Yes. This was end of May/beginning of June. These three or four
25 days or two or three days, I don't remember exactly, that I stayed in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. And you said that -- you were asked if Fatmir Limaj at that time
3 either contacted you or contacted Luan directly and you said: "Yes, with
4 one -- that is another."
5 And you were asked again, "Fatmir Limaj was in contact with
6 either you or Luan?" And you said: "That's right."
7 So when you were in Kroimire, Fatmir Limaj was in contact with
8 you or with Luan. Isn't that right?
9 A. I contacted with Fatmir on those days or in end of May or
10 beginning of June. I contacted Fatmir once. I cannot describe the
11 contacts with Luan, but as Luan said, there were contacts. I simply know
12 of my contact with Fatmir Limaj in June, in beginning of June, and as I
13 said here I did have a contact. I'm not denying that I had any contacts
14 with him. I did have contacts with Fatmir Limaj.
15 Q. And then you're asked if Fatmir Limaj is the person who had
16 direct links in the General Staff and you say: "In fact he was the
17 coordinator of this matter."
18 And he was the coordinator, wasn't he, at that time when you were
19 in Kroimire at the end of May/beginning of June?
20 A. I explained this earlier and I will do it again. I described
21 Fatmir Limaj as coordinator of contacts with General Staff because in
22 June, in the beginning of June, I did attempt to contact members of
23 General Staff because there was a great need, a necessity, for ammunition
24 and weaponry. I will say it again that the coordination of Fatmir Limaj
25 was in a sense of placing contact with the General Staff. I always
1 thought -- although it was difficult to know where the General Staff was
2 positioned, but I always thought that the contact could be made in
4 Q. And when you needed ammunition and weaponry at the beginning of
5 June, you tried to make that contact with the General Staff through
6 Fatmir Limaj. Isn't that right?
7 A. I don't remember if I contacted the General Staff in June,
8 although I know that in May I did contact the member of General Staff
9 Hashim Thaqi, who I learned later was a member of General Staff. In June
10 I stayed in Kroimire for three or four days, I don't know exactly, and I
11 returned to Kacanik. Therefore, the meeting with Fatmir Limaj could have
12 taken place in these days, although I don't remember of such a meeting
13 but it is possible that there was one. But I don't remember. As for the
14 contact with General Staff in June, it is quite questionable.
15 Q. And then as the interview proceeds, the structure is -- a
16 structure is proposed to you and the question is: "If we can describe
17 the structure: We have a General Staff that is above everything and in
18 the middle there stands Fatmir Limaj as a coordinating point, and then
19 the transmission is carried out. The other point where Fatmir Limaj
20 conveys it is where you and Luan are. Is that correct?"
21 And you say: "It is correct."
22 And then you go on to explain that you were also entrusted with
23 the area of Kacanik. But you agreed with the structure as it was
24 described to you, didn't you? General Staff at the top; in the middle
25 Fatmir Limaj as a coordinating point; and then you and Luan at the point
1 in Kroimire? You said that is correct. Right?
2 A. The way it's put here I wanted to explain some things, to
3 enlighten some things, which I think were normal for me to do because it
4 seemed to me that this -- there was something wrong with this
5 description, especially when it mentions the month of April when my unit
6 was not even organised then in Shtime or in Lipjan. And such form of
7 description was illogical to me. That's why I thought that it needs to
8 be revised, but --
9 Q. Sir, sir, I don't want to focus too much on the date because it's
10 discussing April and May here. The question is: When the structure was
11 put to you that there was a General Staff, then Fatmir Limaj, then you
12 and Luan at the points, when that structure was put to you, your answer
13 is: "It is correct." Right?
14 A. We cannot talk of a structure without pinpointing the period,
15 defining the period. First we have to agree on the period.
16 Q. Let's agree on the period when you are in Kroimire, whether that
17 was in May or the beginning of June. And that was a period that was
18 being talked about here. At that period when you were in Kroimire, there
19 was this structure that was described to you: The General Staff above
20 everything, Fatmir Limaj as a coordinating point, and you and Luan at
21 Kroimire. Isn't that true?
22 A. No, that is not correct. I'm saying what I already said
23 yesterday, that the way the structure is described is after the public
24 appearance of Jakup Krasniqi as the KLA spokesperson --
25 Q. But, Mr. Buja, Mr. Buja, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but is the
1 -- are you now saying this is the structure that existed after the public
2 appearance of Jakup Krasniqi: General Staff at top, Fatmir Limaj in the
3 coordinating position in the middle, and you and Luan at Kroimire?
4 A. No, sir. I think I explained it very well --
5 Q. Sir, if you can just answer my questions. Did this structure
6 ever exist?
7 A. At this period the coordinator between the General Staff and the
8 units that are described here, in the hierarchic sense of the word didn't
9 exist. I mentioned this several times --
10 Q. Sir, can you explain why in the interview when this was put to
11 you: General Staff above everything, Fatmir Limaj in the coordinating
12 point, and you and Luan in Kroimire, why did you say: "It is correct"?
13 Can you explain that for us, please?
14 A. This is not correct. During the interview I thought I might make
15 some mistakes during the description; that's why I demanded to make some
16 corrections --
17 Q. Sir, if this is a mistake, this description, can you explain to
18 us how you made that mistake?
19 A. Yes, I made the mistake because I wanted to explain the period
20 covered by this description. I wanted to enlighten many issues: The
21 flow of developments of organisation which did not exist at the time I
22 was questioned about. In April, I didn't have a unit at all --
23 Q. But, Mr. Buja, now you're saying this structure never existed.
24 So the mistake couldn't have been that you were talking about a different
25 period because you're saying that this structure never existed. Do you
1 have any other explanation for how you could have made this mistake, if
2 it was a mistake?
3 A. Sir, this structure that is described here may have been
4 described as such after June even though it is rather difficult for me to
5 explain the meaning of the structure as such. Even at that time I wanted
6 to explain these issues, but I thought after revising them I might make
7 the corrections and I went on --
8 Q. But is it your testimony now that this structure may have existed
9 after June? Is that your testimony?
10 A. Sir, the periods are rather short, three, four days. And you
11 could talk of a structure. I'm talking about the time when the
12 spokesperson of the General Staff was in Klecke. It is then that you can
13 describe the structure in these words. But when Jakup Krasniqi
14 instructed me that organisation was underway regarding the subzones and
15 they planned to form a subzone in this area, Lipjan, Stimlje, Ferizaj,
16 Kacanik, it was then that I started to work on an entirely new structure
17 of organisation until I was appointed.
18 Those brief periods of organisation that existed which might be
19 described as some structure, but which were in fact not such, might be
20 mentioned. But the form of the guerrilla unit and the links it had with
21 the General Staff, which we cannot say there was a General Staff [as
22 interpreted], but because of the location of Jakup Krasniqi it was in
23 Klecke. That's why we talk about the links of the units with the General
25 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm not sure I understand your answer. Are you saying
1 this structure did exist at some time? Did it ever exist, this
2 structure, or no, that you describe in the interview: General Staff,
3 Fatmir Limaj, you and Luan at Kroimire? Did that structure ever exist,
4 yes or no?
5 A. This form of the structure did not exist.
6 Q. Then do you have any other explanation for why you said it did in
7 this interview?
8 A. I said that at that time I didn't -- of the interview I didn't
9 focus much on this. I wanted to explain something but then just ignored
10 it thinking I could go back to it at a later time after I got the
11 transcripts. I just wanted to have that interview done and then later on
12 see how the structuring of the KLA was done because things may be
14 Q. Sir, it was put to you a final time in this passage that this
15 structure you -- there was -- Fatmir Limaj -- it's at the end of the
16 passage, it's at the bottom of page 36 on the English:
17 "Fatmir Limaj receives instructions from the central staff and
18 you and Luan in Kroimire receive instructions from Fatmir Limaj. Is this
20 And your answer is: "That is correct. I wanted to explain
21 something else but it is correct."
22 So now you have said -- in just this passage you have said at
23 least three times that the structure being described is correct. Isn't
24 that right?
25 A. Even here in the transcripts it is written and I am reading:
1 "You and Luan in Kroimire received instructions from Fatmir." And the
2 question is asked of me whether that is correct. And I said Yes, but
3 wanted to explain something else but it's okay. I didn't say accurate,
4 correct. I say Okay, because I wanted to explain something.
5 Q. What you wanted to explain was your relationship with Luan.
6 Right? That's what you wanted to talk about?
7 A. Not the nature -- not about the nature of relations with Luan,
8 but the nature of the description of the structure.
9 Q. And when you are asked by me at the end of the interview and the
10 part that we just -- we played already whether there was anything else
11 that you wanted to explain, did you go back and say: That structure that
12 you described, that wasn't correct? Did you do that at the end of the
13 interview? It's at page 104 of the Albanian, page 86 of the English.
14 A. Which page is it?
15 Q. It's page 104 of the Albanian. You were asked if there was
16 anything else that you wanted to say -- anything else you wanted to
17 explain. Did you say then that the structure that had been -- that you
18 had agreed with several times during the interview was in fact not
20 A. I can read you, sir, from the transcript what I said then. I
21 think most of the issues have been mentioned even though it is difficult
22 to grasp that period, the form of organisation, developments then.
23 However, I think that some have been clarified, that is my point was that
24 some issues were clarified but not the form of organisation. That was
25 not fully clarified. That's why I demanded to have the transcript to
1 correct that, to correct possible mistakes.
2 Q. You -- and you don't say there, do you, that the structure that
3 you had agreed with again and again in the interview was not correct?
4 You don't say that there, do you?
5 A. I say that things not all -- not everything has been clarified.
6 Among the things that have not been clarified is also the structure.
7 Some others were already enlightened. And this is what I had in mind,
8 which I mentioned also here, that is the form of organisation was very
9 difficult to explain. And it's very clear that I have stated some issues
10 have been clarified, implying that there are many others that have not
11 been clarified.
12 Q. Mr. Buja, I want to move on to the subject of who were assigned
13 to the different posts in the area, or units if you prefer to call them
14 that. You knew, didn't you, that at Lapusnik Voglushi, Ymer Alushani, or
15 Qerqiz was in charge of Lapusnik in May, June, and July of 1998? You
16 knew that, right?
17 A. I knew that Voglushi or Qerqizi -- which me seemed more
18 authoritative, Voglushi -- didn't have all of Lapusnik under his command
19 because there were other units there. But there was a unit that Voglushi
20 led; this is what I thought then because officially, even today, I am not
21 clear who the leader of the unit was.
22 Q. But you knew that it was either Voglushi or Qerqizi. Right?
23 A. I knew that Voglushi or Qerqizi was the commander of a unit in
25 Q. And the unit that they commanded -- either one of them commanded,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 one or the other, was the Celiku 3 unit. Right?
2 A. You may say Celiku 3, but I didn't know for sure whether it was
3 Celiku 3 under their command.
4 Q. Well, you knew that it was a Celiku unit under their command,
5 didn't you?
6 A. I knew that in Lapusnik there was a unit by the name of Celiku 3,
7 but as to who commanded that unit, this I don't know.
8 Q. Well, which unit did you think that Voglushi or Qerqiz commanded
10 A. I thought that they might be unit commanders, one -- of one and
11 the other of another unit. I couldn't figure that out then, whether one
12 of them was the commander of Celiku 3 or one was a commander of a unit
13 and the other of another unit. What I knew was that when I had business
14 to do, I addressed Ymer Alushani, Voglushi, who was one of the commanders
15 of the units there.
16 Q. And the -- you've already told us that the Guri 3 unit was on the
17 other side of the Pristina-Peja highway. Right?
18 A. I have described what I heard, but I didn't know this myself, how
19 they were stationed.
20 Q. But you heard that the Guri 3 unit was on the other side of the
21 Pristina-Peja highway. Right? That's what you told us at the end of the
22 day yesterday.
23 A. Yes, I had heard, but to speak here accurately I would hesitate
24 to speak on the basis of hearsay because they might have been just
25 misrepresentation of events. I had heard about this form of the
1 positions of the units.
2 Q. And you knew that the Lumi units or unit was in Malisevo. Right?
3 You knew that?
4 A. The Lumi unit in Malisheve? As far as I know there were Lumi
5 units elsewhere in other parts, like Lisi units or other units. I know
6 in the Lapusnik gorge there was a Lumi unit.
7 Q. You think that there was a Lumi unit in Lapusnik gorge?
8 A. Yes, I think that there was one Lumi unit in the Lapusnik gorge.
9 I cannot specify it, but not very certain. I may say that there was. I
10 can't be very accurate and can't say it in full certainty. There were
11 Lumi units either in Lapusnik gorge, which is quite an extensive area, or
12 in Negrovce, or in some other adjoining villages. I can't give you an
13 exactly location. I've mentioned some units that were located or
14 stationed in the Lapusnik gorge.
15 Q. When you say "the Lapusnik gorge," you're talking about an area
16 that is bigger than the village of Lapusnik. Right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to turn to page 43 of the Albanian
19 transcript, and it's page 40 of the English. And on the Albanian it's --
20 it's about at the top of the page 43, and on the English it's two-thirds
21 of the way down on page 43 -- on page 40.
22 MR. WHITING: And if we could have the -- switch to the Sanction,
24 [Videotape played]
25 "S.B.: Well, I can -- well, I used to know them mostly by their
2 "O.L.: Yeah, nickname is okay.
3 "S.B.: Voglushi or Qerqiz, one of them was for Lapusnik.
4 Voglushi would come -- would often visit Kroimire. So he would come and
5 bring along backup units to help us during the offensive. The soldiers
6 from Lapusnik were stationed here in Fushtice. So it was a sort of
7 competition who would set up more points among the commanders. It was
8 problematic in a way because you had to move soldiers from one point to
9 another point in order to [inaudible] -- so there was a sort of
10 overlapping responsibilities, interference with each other. So it's not
11 -- this is my responsibility now, these are my soldiers, these are your
12 soldiers. Yeah, I can't remember the name of the person in charge there
13 because of this fact.
14 "O.L.: Okay.
15 "S.B.: There's been -- there's been many changes here --
16 "O.L.: Okay.
17 "S.B.: -- meaning this point. Kroimire would serve as a
18 gathering point for soldiers. There was no such thing as a stationed
19 unit in that place. I and Luan used to stay here, so I -- Luan stayed
20 here often. Kumanova used to stay in Klecka.
21 "O.L.: Okay.
22 "S.B.: So Kumanova was thought at least at that time by us as
23 the highest-ranking person in Klecka, and Celiku was considered or was
24 thought to be by us some -- higher up than Kumanova.
25 "THE INTERPRETER: Can I ask again who was the highest-ranking
1 person in Klecka?
2 "O.L.: Yes.
3 "S.B.: According to what we thought, Kumanova was the
4 highest-ranking person in Klecka. Later Kumanova moved with units here
5 and was stationed in Luzhnice and also the other point. And on the other
6 side of the asphalt road in Grejcec. So anybody who tried to stand and
7 to -- to expand and increase the number of these points.
8 "O.L.: Okay.
9 Do you want to do a clarification on that?
10 "A.W.: Yeah. The way I understand what you're saying is that
11 Kumanova has responsibility for Klecka but that Celiku is above him in
12 the structure. That's at least what I've understood you to say. Is that
14 "S.B.: So we thought Celiku was above -- was above this
16 "A.W.: But he was also in Klecka?
17 "S.B.: Yes, he was in Klecka. Yeah, it was at that time end of
18 July, July 1998, that there happened to be that other members who were
19 thought to be members of the General Staff used to stay in Klecka, or at
20 least we thought that they were from General Staff, from main
22 "A.W.: But also during May, June, and July, all during those
23 months Celiku was in Klecka.
24 "S.B.: Yes, yes, he was there.
25 "O.L.: And I'm still trying to clarify a little bit the role of
1 Kumanova now, him being -- you're saying the highest ranking in Klecka.
2 Did that mean that he -- that he was giving orders to these other points
3 or was he just the leader of the soldiers in Klecka?
4 "S.B.: I can't say because my contacts, my meetings, were with
6 "O.L.: Okay.
7 "S.B.: But Kumanova would be -- would happen to be present there
8 as well during my meetings with Celiku. So it was more -- it was more
9 work based on consultations rather than orders. So let's say I was -- I
10 was consulted or I was consulting or I was discussing about the weapons
11 supply --
12 "THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry was a mistake.
13 "S.B.: Weapons supply, yeah, that's correct. So it was -- there
14 were sort of deliberations, so it's better not to do this or do that. If
15 Celiku was not able to give a definite answer to questions that would
16 arise then, he would turn to the general -- to main headquarters to get
17 clear instructions.
18 "A.C.: Can you just draw in above Klecka the linkage of the main
19 headquarters to the KLA, just to complete the diagram.
20 "S.B.: No, well it's -- yeah, I'll put momentarily as a main
21 headquarters. Also I can't say it was the other thing, but let's leave
22 it that way for a moment.
23 "O.L.: Just to" --
24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm mindful of the hour and what the
25 Court said earlier about --
1 JUDGE PARKER: Two things. The second matter: Given the
2 progress today and given that I understand the occasion will continue
3 beyond 7.00, I think the most we can hope to do is to conclude our
4 hearing a little earlier than 7.00 but otherwise continue on until then.
5 The second -- other issue is whether this is a convenient time or
6 do you want to ask some questions at this moment?
7 MR. WHITING: I could ask about ten minutes of questions about
8 this passage.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Buja, did you see in this passage where you said that you
12 considered -- you said: "We considered Celiku that is in fact above our
14 A. Yes, I saw it and I saw other mistakes as well. Kumanova was the
15 commander of Luzhnice unit, not in Klecke.
16 Q. That's right. He was the commander in Luzhnice. But my question
17 is: What did you mean when you said: "We considered Celiku above our
18 organisation"? What did you mean when you said that?
19 A. What I explained earlier. We supposed that he was in a higher
20 position than we -- than us because of his qualities that I mentioned
21 earlier, political expertise and general background. This is why we
22 thought that this man whom we respected was in a higher position, but
23 these were just suppositions.
24 Q. But then later in the passage that we've just looked at you say:
25 "When Celiku was unable to explain to me, that means in fact that
1 he asked for time to consult with members of the General Staff."
2 And that happened, didn't it? You would go to Celiku with
3 something and if he could not answer it he would ask for time to consult
4 with members of the General Staff. Right?
5 A. No. I explained I think very well. It was not the form of
6 orders; it was a form of consultation. We consulted one another about
7 many things related to our organisation. Of course when we failed to
8 find explanation, Fatmir insisted and I insisted that we clarify these
9 issues with the General Staff. But this doesn't mean that there was a
10 hierarchy and that Fatmir Limaj was asked or was supposed to clarify
11 these issues with the General Staff.
12 Q. And if issues had to be clarified with the General Staff, it was
13 Fatmir Limaj who would do it? He would clarify matters with the General
14 Staff and then get back with you later. Isn't that right?
15 A. In July I too went to the General Staff to meet the spokesperson
16 June/July to clarify things; we could do that. If we were unable to
17 agree on a common view about an issue, we took it up with the General
19 Q. Mr. Buja, can -- you said in the interview: "He asked for time
20 to consult with members of the General Staff." Did that ever happen,
21 that he would ask for time to consult with members of the General Staff?
22 A. I don't recollect that he has asked for time, but when it came to
23 issues we couldn't resolve we couldn't do that without contacting the
24 General Staff. This might be done through Fatmir or I could do that
25 through contacts with the General Staff.
1 Q. But that's not what you said here. You didn't say: One of us
2 would contact the General Staff; you said: "Celiku would contact the
3 General Staff." Right?
4 A. I keep repeating now and again that numerous mistakes occurred
5 during this interview. Normally during this period, end of
6 June/beginning of July, especially in July, was the commander of subzone
7 [as interpreted]. And didn't need anyone's intervention, or in this case
8 Fatmir Limaj's intervention with the General Staff, because as a
9 commander of a subzone, I kept direct links with the General Staff. As
10 of mid-July, I began to know almost all -- most of the members of the
11 General Staff and especially Jakup Krasniqi. In this period, I didn't
12 require Fatmir Limaj to establish contacts for me with the General Staff.
13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a convenient time.
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume just after 6.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, if I may again, just for the record.
18 Every break gives us opportunity to make further progress, and I've
19 confirmed that the notes were contemporaneous; they were prepared at the
20 time of the meetings. And secondly, the letter has been found and it
21 will be provided to the Defence counsel.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that, Mr. Whiting.
23 MR. WHITING: Now, I'm wondering if the Court has a sense of when
24 it wishes to stop today.
25 JUDGE PARKER: When you finish or a quarter to 7.00, whichever is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the earlier.
2 MR. WHITING: You've put me in a spot, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
4 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to please turn to page 64 of the
6 Albanian transcript; it's page 55 of the English transcript. And on page
7 -- on the Albanian I draw your attention to the middle of the page and if
8 we could have the clip. And on the English it's at the bottom of page
10 MR. WHITING: I think we need to have the Sanction on. We'll
11 start it again.
12 [Videotape played]
13 "O.L.: Okay. So once again I want to go back to the period of
14 June and July of 1998 and the area that was under the headquarters of
15 Klecke. So was this organisation that you -- that you've drawn to us on
16 this piece of paper, was this effective during this time period that
17 you're calling the first offensive?
18 "S.B.: Yeah, there were points at the time existent.
19 "O.L.: And this was approximately the organisation in -- under
20 the headquarters of Klecka?"
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Buja, in that part of the interview you're asked:
23 "You've already drawn the picture, the diagram," and I believe it's still
24 in front of you. If the usher could assist that it's still in front of
25 the witness U003-3675. I believe it's under the binder there.
1 You've already drawn this diagram during the interview and here,
2 at this part of the interview, you're asked if at the time of the first
3 offensive the organisation that you have described in this drawing is
4 effective, that this was approximately the organisation under the
5 authority or under the command of Klecka. And you say: "That's right."
6 And in fact, that is correct, isn't it, that this diagram that
7 you drew of the units under the authority or command of Klecka, this was
8 how it was at the time of the first offensive, wasn't it?
9 A. During the time of the first offensive, a system that functioned
10 and which you know very well, but I was appointed commander of the
11 subzone, operational subzone of Nerodime on the 6th of July, 1998 --
12 Q. Sir, I understand that you were appointed -- you yourself were
13 appointed to the subzone of Nerodimlje at this time; I understand that.
14 What I'm asking is: In the interview, the OTP interview, you say that
15 this structure that you have drawn is effective, that is it's in place at
16 the time of the first offensive. And that's how it was, wasn't it?
17 A. During the time of the offensive in July, the structure was built
18 up on the basis of subzones. There existed the operational subzone of
19 Pastrik and of Nerodime. The Pastrik subzone was on one side of Berisa
20 and the Nerodime on the other. This is how the guerrilla units
21 functioned during the first offensive. In the part where I was appointed
22 commander of subzone, I did my best to coordinate the units and their
24 Q. And in the Pastrik subzone at the time of the first offensive,
25 the structure looked like this: There was Klecka and these units in
1 these various villages. Isn't that right, the structure that you've
3 A. During the time of the offensive, Klecka was in the Pastrik
4 operational subzone, as was Luznica which belonged to Suhareke
5 municipality. And since it was determined on the basis of
6 municipalities, Drenica was in the municipality of Gllogoc and it
7 belonged to the subzone of Drenica. According to General Staff, the
8 subzones were organised as per municipalities and the units were to act
9 according to the municipalities that they belonged. This was a sort of
10 -- it can be described as three subzones. A restructuring began and the
11 121st Brigade was formed in the beginning of August. This structure, as
12 I said, existed for a short period of time when the guerrilla units
13 coordinated -- were coordinated or led by the General Staff spokesperson.
14 Q. But my question is: This diagram that you drew, and if you could
15 look at the diagram, this diagram. In the interview you said that at the
16 time of the first offensive, this structure that you drew was effective,
17 that it existed.
18 A. These units existed and were operational, but the link with the
19 General Staff was through the subzone commanders. I was the commander of
20 the Nerodime subzone and coordinated for the units that were operational,
21 as was the unit for Zborce, Pjetershtice. And these were the activities
22 that I coordinated with Klecka with General Staff or Jakup Krasniqi, who
23 was for a certain period of time in Klecka.
24 Q. But if that's the case, then why did you say -- can you explain
25 why you said, please, in the interview that at the time of the first
1 offensive, this structure that you've drawn was in place? Can you
2 explain that, why you said that, if that's not the truth?
3 A. I described the structure and I said that these points functioned
4 and I described it as a structure that could have functioned in one
5 period of time of one offensive that occurred sometime in mid-July. This
6 structure could have functioned in relation of General Staff, but there
7 was also a structure that was being formed, the structure of subzones,
8 and the subzone commanders were being appointed. This was in the --
9 early July when we were facing the offensive and were not able to
10 continue with the building of the commanding structure. This was a
11 period where we were not able to coordinate the activities and create a
12 subzone structure but the coordination was done with -- between the units
13 and the General Staff through Jakup Krasniqi whose role was dual and very
15 Q. So, Mr. Buja, just picking up on the first part of your answer
16 here, are you saying that this structure that you drew could have
17 functioned in mid-July, that this is --
18 A. I am saying that the form of subzone could have functioned. With
19 my appointment as commander of subzone I did my best to coordinate the
20 units. As for this structure, it could have functioned in a period that
21 I cannot determine. Simply, it is a very brief period and I don't know
22 if it is correct as a description because the guerrilla units were not
23 coordinated from the subzone but they coordinated directly from Klecka
24 and Jakup Krasniqi.
25 Q. Sir, are you aware that Jakup Krasniqi has testified in this
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And are you aware that he testified that that he did not have an
4 operational role but he was part of the political wing of the KLA?
5 A. Of course I heard him and I know his role, the role of Jakup
6 Krasniqi. I said earlier and even today I remember that Jakup Krasniqi
7 was the only member of General Staff whom we knew because he came out
8 publicly and we tried through him to coordinate our work. This doesn't
9 mean that he dealt with the operations, but through him we communicated
10 with other members of the General Staff and through him we received
11 orders, instructions, and information regarding further activities.
12 Q. But that's an operational role, isn't it? If he's communicating
13 orders from the General Staff, then he's then in an operational role.
15 A. No. He did not have an operational role. He informed us
16 because, realistically, we did not know the structure of the General
17 Staff and we didn't know who were its members. And through Jakup
18 Krasniqi we were informed and even the appointment of the subzone
19 commander of Nerodime was given to me through Jakup Krasniqi. As for the
20 rest of the General Staff members, we were not familiar with them. At
21 that time the General Staff was acting half illegally and the role of
22 Jakup Krasniqi was the one of a mediator. Or -- I don't really know how
23 to call it.
24 Q. Mr. Buja, can you explain why the General Staff would communicate
25 orders through somebody whose function was in the political wing and who
1 was spokesman rather than somebody who was on the operational side of the
2 KLA? Why would the General Staff do that, do you know?
3 A. Of course the reason was their illegality, to remain unknown for
4 us. Because it was a great danger to know a member of the General Staff
5 who dealt with operations because the aim of the occupying forces was to
6 attack and to know the General Staff's commander at that time. The
7 occupying forces would attack them, as was the case with Prekaz with the
8 concentration of Serb forces in Prekaz when the attack on the legendary
9 commander Adem Jashari was launched.
10 Q. Mr. Buja -- Mr. Buja, isn't it the fact that the orders were not
11 communicated through Jakup Krasniqi but they were communicated through
12 Fatmir Limaj, and that's why you thought that he was a member of the
13 General Staff?
14 A. No, no. Fatmir Limaj did not communicate the orders. The
15 orders, the instructions, they came from Jakup Krasniqi. If Jakup
16 Krasniqi was asked about this issue, he would have given explanation. If
17 we were given an order or instruction from the General Staff, that would
18 be conveyed to us through Jakup Krasniqi.
19 Q. Now, sir, I want to turn to a different subject. You have told
20 us that there was --
21 MR. WHITING: But before I do, I would ask, Your Honour, that
22 this diagram U003-3675 be given a number, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P159.
25 MR. WHITING:
1 Q. Mr. Buja, you have talked about fighting that occurred in
2 Carraleve in June of 1998. Right?
3 A. Yes, there was fighting in June.
4 Q. And were you present for that fighting?
5 A. Yes, I went to this fighting.
6 Q. Were you engaged in the fighting?
7 A. I went to these fightings and I was involved in them.
8 Q. Were you fighting in Carraleve?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember the date that you were fighting?
11 A. As for the dates, it's really difficult for me to remember them
12 but of course it was June, mid-June. I fought in July as well,
13 especially with the Zborce unit which was in a very bad position in July
14 when it was forced to withdraw. And for Carraleve-Belince line, I
15 happened to go there in June and July.
16 Q. In -- the fighting in Zborce in July when the unit was forced to
17 withdraw, was that during -- was that at the end of July?
18 A. This was -- the fighting occurred on the 25th or the 26th of July
19 in this period.
20 Q. Did you give the order to the unit to withdraw?
21 A. The withdrawal of this unit was carried out without an order.
22 And due to the attack of the Serb forces, on this fighting Ruzhdi Salihu
23 was killed and we had two or three injured soldiers, soldiers left with
24 very few weapons and ammunition; they were forced to withdraw.
25 Q. Did you later have problems about this withdrawal? Did that
1 cause you problems later on?
2 A. Yes. This withdrawal caused me problems, not only the problem of
3 the withdrawal of Zborce unit which was positioned on the second front
4 line as we called it. I carried out the withdrawal because on the
5 fightings of 24th of July, if not mistaken, after this there was fighting
6 in Fushtice and there the Fustica unit withdrew as well after an hour or
7 an hour and a half of combat. My going there and my meeting with Isak
8 Musliu, we started an operation to make these positions -- to take
9 possession of these positions again. There was fighting on the front
10 line of Blinaje unit as well, a front line which was quite long and the
11 number of soldiers was very small. On that night through Resinovc
12 village I was forced to leave Fustica and go to Blinaje and there I tried
13 to coordinate the activity of this unit which was at great risk. The
14 following morning there was severe fighting in Zborce as well. My
15 movement was mainly along Blinaje and Zborce, and on the 26th of July
16 when the fighting spread on 26th of July, the Zborce unit withdrew to its
17 second positions and the situation in which the units found themselves
18 forced me to withdraw the units because Komorane and Pjetershtice area
19 was at danger and I thought that the tendency of the Serb army was to
20 join their forces, those in Komorane and in Zborce. This tendency of the
21 Serb forces left an encirclement the Blinaje unit and also put at risk
22 the Pjetershtice unit which was positioned in Carraleve gorge.
23 I sent a soldier to request the withdrawal of Petrastica units in
24 Carraleve where fighting was ongoing, and I faced some problems. The
25 problem that I faced was of a strange nature because orders were not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 carried out, proposals were not heard, my proposals were not heard. This
2 unit was mainly under the influence of Ramiz Qeriqi, as was the unit in
3 Zborce. I during the 26th of July even after midnight I was with Blinaje
4 unit and I was forced to withdraw this unit and to seek positioning of
5 units in the defending of the gorge where the population, civilian
6 population, was sheltering.
7 Q. After -- after that happened, after that withdrawal, what kind of
8 problems can you -- can you describe for us what kind of problems you had
9 with regard to that issue?
10 A. After the withdrawal of these units, a propaganda was launched
11 against my personality and it was described as my desertion, as a wrong
12 move which damaged the KLA warfare, and it resembled a special war
13 against me as a war personality. This caused many problems and myself on
14 27th or 28th of July, I was forced to answer this propaganda which was --
15 had its roots in the special warfare waged by the Serbs. I found the
16 base of this propaganda the result of the old maxim divide and rule and
17 this had an impact on my personality and even jeopardised me physically.
18 That's why I withdrew to Javor village to consult Jakup Krasniqi about
19 further actions.
20 Q. And how did you respond to these accusations? What did you do?
21 A. Normally I was a person that did not -- did not refute these
22 allegations directly because I understood the underlying motive of these
23 allegations and the specific target aimed at me. That's why I went to
24 Jakup Krasniqi, explained to him my situation, told him about the
25 propaganda campaign being conducted and the fact that it was targeting me
1 specifically. I told Jakup Krasniqi that I would no longer be performing
2 my duties as subzone commander as a result of this propaganda. I
3 demanded that measures be taken against my if I had acted erroneously or
4 those that were spreading such misinformation should be held accountable.
5 I asked him that for me to continue to be in the position of the
6 commander of the Nerodime subzone, they had to specify my tasks as a
7 commander as well as a commanding structure that I had to organise along
8 with an area of responsibility.
9 Q. And who was it that you expected to either take measures against
10 you or hold accountable those who spread information?
11 A. I expected the General Staff of course as the highest body of the
13 Q. And when you say that you -- you said that measures should be
14 taken against you if you -- it was found that you acted erroneously, what
15 kind of measures were you talking about?
16 A. I am talking about the measures that could be taken by the
17 General Staff. I thought that I might be discharged from my duty or even
18 be imprisoned if -- even though I didn't know that any superior had been
19 imprisoned until then. But this is what I wanted the General Staff to
20 do, that is to take some actions, some measures because of this, as I
21 said, specific struggle aimed at me which had harmed me.
22 Q. And what did the General Staff do?
23 A. For the moment they didn't do anything specific, but Jakup
24 Krasniqi -- with whom my brother, Rame Buja stayed, he was his advisor at
25 the time -- explained to me they would see the possibility of the
1 re-organisation of the military structure and to try to clarify what I
2 wanted from the General Staff and that they would consider a
3 re-organisation of the military structure there. After some time, not a
4 long time actually, I -- from -- during which I didn't carry out my
5 function as Pastrik subzone -- zone -- subzone, we were discussing the
6 suggestions given by the General Staff about the re-organisation, that is
7 that the units that had created problems - Kroimire, Pjetershtice,
8 Zborce, Blinaje, and Fushtice - should be attached to the Pastrik
9 operational subzone and think of establishing a brigade in that area as a
10 result of the very good territorial ties these units had. And then
11 continue with the organisation of the units. After some time --
12 Q. Mr. Buja, is this at the end of July/beginning of August period?
13 A. It was the time period during which I went to Jakup Krasniqi to
14 inform him of what was happening and to demand these measures from the
15 General Staff was end of July, whereas the answer from the General Staff
16 to go to Albania came to me on the 10th or 15th of August.
17 Q. Did you go to Albania?
18 A. Yes, I did. I went through Malisheve municipality, Suhareke,
19 Prizren, and then I crossed over to Albania.
20 Q. During the time period of June and July of 1998 when there was
21 fighting, for example you've given us the example of fighting at
22 Carraleve, did units from other villages come to assist in the fighting?
23 A. Yes, some units have come to assist us because usually the attack
24 was done against -- one unit was organised against one unit and other
25 units came to assist that unit.
1 Q. And how did that happen? How did -- how did units get sent from
2 one village to assist another unit in another village with fighting?
3 A. Usually the unit helped another unit. It was an easy thing to do
4 because fire shots could be heard from Lapusnik to Carraleve or from
5 Klecka to Blinaje. It was an area from where the sound of fighting could
6 be heard and the unit went -- a unit went to the zone of fighting after
7 hearing the fire shots. Sometimes we have sent a soldier to ask other
8 units to help us.
9 Q. Was this assistance from one unit to another unit ever organised
10 by Klecka?
11 A. I can't say that it was organised by Klecka. I do know, however,
12 that I have organised the passage of one unit to Carraleve when there has
13 been fighting there or a unit in Fushtice, Blinaje, just as I have taken
14 part of the unit from Zborce to fight in Fushtice. There have been
15 instances when from Lapusnik gorge units have come to our rescue in
16 fighting, as the case was on the 24th of July in Fushtice.
17 Q. And when you say you can't say it was organised by Klecka, what
18 do you mean when you say that, that you don't know or that it wasn't?
19 A. I know very well how one unit helped another, at least in the
20 area of my responsibility when I was a commander. Initially I was a
21 coordinator and later the commander of the subzone. I knew very well
22 when this occurred in several instances. When it came to assist other
23 units like Luzhnice, Lapusnik, that was a marginal assistance.
24 Q. But my question is: Did -- was this ever organised by Klecka,
25 this assistance? Did Klecka ever play a role in -- in having a unit come
1 to the assistance of another unit?
2 A. The form of organisation of assistance from one unit to another
3 was not organised by Klecke, but the Klecke unit of course assisted other
4 units. Part of the unit came from Klecke to assist us in fighting.
5 Q. But your testimony is that other than occasions when the Klecka
6 unit itself went to assist other units, then Klecka did not play a role
7 in sending one unit to help another unit. Is that your testimony?
8 A. Yes, more or less this is how it was. I don't know that there
9 was any form of coordination of the units by Klecka, with the exception
10 of some instance when we have been unable to communicate with other units
11 and through radio use that could -- that there was in Klecke, they could
12 call some units to come for assistance.
13 Q. When that happened, would you radio to Klecka and then Klecka
14 would radio to the other units?
15 A. In the period up to when I went to Albania, I didn't have radio
16 communication, radio use, so I wasn't able to communicate by radio. But
17 in Klecka there was radio communication and if they heard that there was
18 fighting, of course Klecka must have invited the units to help.
19 Q. And did that happen? Do you know that that happened?
20 A. I don't know if that has happened, but I do know that the units
21 of -- the unit of Lapusnik headed by Voglushi and the unit of Luznica
22 commanded by Kumanova have come to my rescue.
23 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think that's a convenient time.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We'll adjourn now to resume tomorrow
25 at 2.15 --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I was off the air. We'll adjourn now and resume
3 tomorrow at 2.15.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I wonder if I could raise one matter
5 before we rise very quickly.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield.
7 MR. MANSFIELD: I anticipate that we might reach some
8 cross-examination tomorrow. That being so, certainly it would be of
9 assistance to us if it would be possible for us to have the reasons for
10 the decision, because clearly it may reflect on the current testimony. I
11 hope that's not too difficult.
12 JUDGE PARKER: It creates a problem because of other commitments
13 on our time.
14 MR. MANSFIELD: Right.
15 JUDGE PARKER: If it's possible, it will be done but I would not
16 think it likely.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.45 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
19 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.