1 Wednesday, 9 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. At the close of play yesterday,
6 Mr. Mansfield urged that if possible we might deliver our reasons on the
7 application which was decided on Monday. I'm pleased to be able to say,
8 Mr. Mansfield, we've managed to get some thoughts together in between
9 other matters.
10 MR. MANSFIELD: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The -- it's of course a decision in respect of the
12 application of the Prosecution to cross-examine the present witness. For
13 reasons which are obvious, the submissions were dealt with in private
14 session and for that same reason I propose to deliver the decision in
15 private session. If we could go there now.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 4003-4009 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Buja, good afternoon. If I could remind you
25 of the --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE PARKER: -- affirmation you took at the commencement of
3 your evidence, which still applies.
4 Mr. Whiting.
5 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 WITNESS: SHUKRI BUJA [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Buja. Are you able to hear me clearly and
10 understand me?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Sir, at the end of the session yesterday I asked you some
13 questions and you gave me some answers on the topic of Klecka's role in
14 organising units to go to the assistance of other units during fighting,
15 this during the period of June and July of 1998. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I'd like to draw your attention now please to the transcript of
18 the interview with the OTP. It's page 47 of the Albanian transcript and
19 page 43 of the English.
20 A. What was the page in Albanian, please?
21 Q. It's page 47, and it's about halfway down the page. And if we
22 could switch to the Sanction, please, on the monitors. And, sir, I'd
23 like to just have you watch --
24 [Videotape played]
25 "O.L.: All these fights in areas, the soldiers were fighting and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 overlapping each other?
2 "S.B.: That's correct.
3 "O.L.: When things like this were needed to do, was it the
4 headquarters in Klecka that organised it or where did the orders come
6 "S.B.: Yeah, Klecka.
7 "O.L.: Okay. And how was -- how were you communicating during
8 this time?
9 "S.B.: By messengers.
10 "O.L.: Okay. You had no phone or telephone?
11 "S.B.: So there was a scarcity of means of communication, so two
12 or three radios at most for the whole region of Lapusnik.
13 "O.L.: Did commander Celiku appear at different points, during
14 fighting for example?
15 "S.B.: Yes, what I've seen -- yes, I've seen him being present
16 during the fighting in Carraleve. That I was myself there or during the
17 fighting in Fushtice. So he's been in the front lines, so to say. He's
18 been when the fighting was going on.
19 "O.L.: On the other hand, between the fightings did he visit the
20 points? For example, did he come to Kroimire to see you?
21 "S.B.: Yes.
22 "O.L.: Okay."
23 MR. WHITING:
24 Q. So, Mr. Buja, when units had -- during this period that we're
25 talking about, June and July of 1998, when there was fighting and units
1 had to go to the assistance of other units, that was organised by Klecka.
3 A. This Klecka has got a different meaning from what is here. I
4 already explained that the period June/July is a long period. I have
5 explained that there was Jakup Krasniqi there.
6 I want to explain further that I met also other members of the
7 General Staff, since I was a commander of the subzone. So here I'm
8 talking about a rather lengthy period of time, June/July. I know that we
9 have coordinated the actions among the units. Yesterday I said that one
10 unit went to assist another unit when there was fighting.
11 Q. So who from Klecka would organise units going to the assistance
12 of other units during this time period, June and July of 1998?
13 A. I already stated yesterday that when in some fighting I needed
14 assistance, I asked for it or other units came without inviting them.
15 But when I saw that the situation was very hard -- difficult, then I
16 asked other units to help and they did come.
17 But when I talk about assistance, it's not what is being claimed
18 in the sense of organising the fight through the organisation of the
19 units. When there was fighting, the unit -- part of the unit of Klecka
20 came to assist us because not all the unit could come. I think I already
21 mentioned that Ymer Alushani or Voglushi, their units came or the
22 Luzhnice unit and others.
23 Q. But in the interview the question was: "When it was necessary to
24 send a unit to the assistance of another unit, who organised that?"
25 And you answered -- you said: "Klecka."
1 So my question is: Who in Klecka organised that? Who did that?
2 A. Even at the time of the interview I thought that in Klecka there
3 was a member of the General Staff. My brother was there, too, as a
4 member of the General Staff. He was an advisor to the staff. Likewise,
5 in Klecka in July other members of the General Staff came whom I got to
6 know in July. In given periods of time in Klecka there was a kind of
7 command, a sort of command. In June there was Jakup Krasniqi. Then of
8 course he was replaced by someone else. Other members of the General
9 Staff came there and they contacted also with Jakup Krasniqi. So this is
10 what I'm talking about, this form of organisation. I saw Klecka always
11 as the centre of visits or contacts that the General Staff kept with
13 Q. Who were the other members of the General Staff that were in
14 Klecka in June and July of 1998?
15 A. In July they didn't stay there. I saw that other members came to
16 Klecka like Hashim Thaqi; he even visited me to Blinaje. Then there was
17 Sokol Bashota, Azem Syla. So they were members that stayed there one
18 night, two nights, and then they went to other villages.
19 Q. During June and July of 1998, did Jakup Krasniqi ever organise
20 units going to the assistance of other units during fighting?
21 A. Yes -- no, he didn't -- he was not engaged in organisation, but
22 it was through this person, through Jakup Krasniqi, that we received the
23 necessary information, instructions from the General Staff as to how we
24 should operate. He -- in a way he was a kind of liaison between the
25 General Staff and us.
1 Q. In this role as a liaison, did he transmit orders or instructions
2 concerning units going to the assistance of other units during fighting?
3 A. He transmitted information from the General Staff. He gave
4 interviews. He gave -- he made communiques and he also relayed
5 instructions. I already explained that it was from Jakup Krasniqi that I
6 received the nomination, my nomination, as a commander of the subzone
7 issued by the General Staff.
8 Q. Mr. Buja, please listen to my questions carefully. The
9 instructions that he relayed, did they concern -- did they ever concern
10 during June and July of 1998 organising units going to the assistance of
11 other units during fighting?
12 A. I think I have to repeat what I already stated, that Jakup
13 Krasniqi passed to us, that is transmitted to us, the instructions of the
14 General Staff also regarding the organisation of the units, the form of
15 this organisation. I am saying and repeating that they were organising
16 units which was a horizontal form of organisation. And the assistance we
17 gave to each other or to one unit or another, as I say, was like this,
18 one unit went to assist another unit.
19 Q. Mr. Buja, you say that you're repeating yourself, but I submit to
20 you that you have not answered the question. The question is: Did these
21 instructions that were -- that you say were transmitted by the General
22 Staff through Jakup Krasniqi, did they ever relate to units going to the
23 assistance of other units during fighting? If you could please answer
24 that question.
25 A. I'm trying to answer the question. I'm saying you that I believe
1 I have explained it, namely that in June I contacted Jakup Krasniqi. He
2 gave me instructions on the form of organisation of the subzones, and I
3 began the coordination of the units which I mentioned earlier; that is,
4 Jakup Krasniqi gave me instructions on the organisation of the unit, the
5 coordination of this unit, which was something normal to us.
6 Q. Did those -- please focus on assistance during fighting. Did
7 those instructions on the organisation of the units include organising --
8 units assisting other units during fighting? That is the question.
9 A. I understand the question.
10 Q. Then please answer the question.
11 A. I'm answering the questions continuously. I'm saying that the
12 assistance given from one unit to another was part of the strategy of the
13 General Staff, because we couldn't help assisting a unit when that unit
14 needed us. It was a normal thing to do. The form of organisation, as I
15 said, was from one unit to another, and the coordination of actions among
16 all the units.
17 Q. You've now said that the assistance given from one unit to
18 another unit was part of the strategy of the General Staff. And that's a
19 partial answer, I would submit. But the question is in specific
20 instances, when there was fighting in an area and another unit had to
21 come assist that unit during fighting, would instructions be transmitted
22 by the General Staff -- by the General Staff through Jakup Krasniqi? Yes
23 or no?
24 A. Can you repeat the question; it was rather long. I couldn't
25 concentrate on it.
1 Q. Yes, I will repeat the question. The question is: You have now
2 said that "the assistance given from one unit to another unit was part of
3 the strategy of the General Staff."
4 The question is: In specific instances when there was fighting
5 in an area and another unit had to come to assist that unit during
6 fighting, would instructions be transmitted by the General Staff through
7 Jakup Krasniqi? Yes or no?
8 A. It's hard for me to say with yes or no. Anyway, my question --
9 my answer is no.
10 Q. I'll put to the same question with respect to the other members
11 of the General Staff that you identified spent time in Klecka, Sokol
12 Bashota and Azem Syla. Did either of them ever transmit instructions --
13 give instructions regarding one unit assisting another unit during
14 fighting? And if you could answer that yes or no.
15 A. It depends on the period. I said I met them in July.
16 Q. Let's focus on the area of June and July of 1998. In the area of
17 Klecka, when they were in Klecka, did they -- either one of them ever
18 give instructions regarding one unit assisting another unit during
19 fighting, yes or no?
20 A. Sir, I cannot answer with a yes or no. I already said that in
21 June I did not meet them; it was in July when I met them. And in July of
22 course we received information, instructions, because I was the subzone
23 commander. I was introduced to them as member -- they were introduced to
24 me as members of the General Staff. But I cannot say yes or no for a
25 two-month period which was rife in events, dramatic events, events that
1 developed very fast. So I couldn't say yes or no.
2 Q. Are you saying that you don't remember?
3 A. I remember things in July because at that time we contacted the
4 General Staff members, other members who introduced themselves.
5 Q. And in July did any General Staff member in Klecka organise one
6 unit assisting another unit during fighting?
7 A. I don't know for sure, but I know that the General Staff members
8 gave instructions at certain moments. When there was fighting somewhere,
9 the instruction was given for the unit to go to another unit when there
10 was fierce fighting.
11 Q. Did that ever occur from Klecka? Were those instructions ever
12 given from Klecka?
13 A. Yes, instructions came also from Klecka.
14 Q. Did that happen during June or July of 1998?
15 A. This happened especially in July when there was very savage
16 offensive and we tried to coordinate as best as we could affairs with the
17 General Staff.
18 Q. And in fact those instructions came from Fatmir Limaj in Klecka,
19 didn't they?
20 A. The instructions from Fatmir Limaj in the sense of hierarchy,
21 they were not; but during contacts, especially at the end of June and the
22 beginning of July, we discussed the possibility of coordinating the
23 actions of the unit. But instructions per se, in the hierarchic sense,
24 didn't come from Fatmir Limaj.
25 Q. Can you tell us specifically who they came from if they didn't
1 come from Fatmir Limaj? You've said that "the instructions came from
2 Klecka, that they came in July of 1998." My question is: Who gave the
3 instructions, if not Fatmir Limaj?
4 A. I received instructions and clarification or notifications,
5 orders, in July from the General Staff through Jakup Krasniqi. I said
6 there were also other members of the General Staff and -- whom I
7 contacted in July and through whom I got instructions or other
9 Q. No, but you told us that Jakup Krasniqi never transmitted orders
10 or instructions relating to units assisting other units. So the question
11 is: Who -- if it's -- not Jakup Krasniqi, if not Fatmir Limaj, who from
12 Klecka during July of 1998 transmitted instructions about units assisting
13 other units?
14 A. At that time I knew the members of the General Staff who were
15 dealing with the organisation of this form of warfare. I knew Azem Syla,
16 who much later I knew as general commander. I knew Sokol Bashota also as
17 a member of the General Staff, who also was engaged in the organisation.
18 And normally I received instructions from them. This was one form of
19 organisation at that time.
20 Q. And what kind of instructions did you receive from them at that
21 time, could you be more specific?
22 A. In July I received instructions, orders, orders which applied to
23 the Nerodime subzone, orders or -- on -- or the form of restructuring of
24 the units, the organisation of the command of the subzone, the
25 functioning of the units. That is, I received these circulars, orders,
1 from the General Staff in my capacity as commander of a subzone.
2 Q. And what about in July during what you described as the very
3 savage offensive? Were either Sokol Bashota or Azem Syla involved in
4 coordinating the units during that fighting?
5 A. Of course they were, because the offensive was very wide and they
6 moved in the territory of Malisheve municipality. There was -- at that
7 time the General Staff was active in that area.
8 Q. When they did that at the end of July during the offensive, were
9 either one of them in Klecka?
10 A. Yes, they were in July at different periods. There were frequent
11 visits by the General Staff members in Klecke, but I also met them in
12 other villages, especially with Sokol Bashota I met in Malisheve when we
13 had to send soldiers from my subzone to get armed supplies in Albania. I
14 contacted very often with the members of the General Staff then.
15 Q. My question was more specific. At the end of July during the
16 offensive when you say that these -- that Sokol Bashota and Azem Syla
17 were involved in coordinating the units, were either one of them in
18 Klecka when they were doing this?
19 A. I said that they stayed for certain periods, two, three days in
20 Klecke, and for some other days in other villages, like Javor, Terpeze
21 villages, villages which were close to Klecke; or in Malisheve for two,
22 three days. I could contact these people and more often I contacted them
23 in Klecke.
24 Q. I understand your answer, but if you could answer this question:
25 Do you know if either one of them was in Klecka during the first
1 offensive at the end of July 1998?
2 A. I said they have -- they stayed in Klecke for certain periods of
3 time and that in July I met them very often. I couldn't tell you whether
4 they were in Klecke each and every day, but I did contact them in Klecke,
5 in Javor, and in Terpeze.
6 Q. If we could go back to what you said in the interview, please,
7 when it was asked -- when the question was asked: "Which was the
8 commanding unit or centre that organised assistance going from one unit
9 to another unit?"
10 And you said: "Klecka."
11 Is it your testimony now that you were referring to what you've
12 just testified about, the first offensive?
13 A. Yes, during the first offensive, I am referring to Klecka
14 regarding contacts with the General Staff.
15 Q. Now -- but you didn't say that in the interview, did you?
16 A. I have often stated that it is because of the mistakes that may
17 have occurred during this interview and that often after the war I have
18 called the place Klecke without making any explanation -- detailed
19 explanations as to who was there and so on. So you have to understand
20 that it is very difficult after such a long period of time for someone to
21 recollect events and especially with such accuracy that you demand here.
22 I'm trying to say what I remember as it was then. And this is the truth
23 that I'm repeating every day.
24 Q. Mr. Buja, later in the -- later in this passage you say that:
25 "At this time communication was by courier," and that's right, that's
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 true, isn't it, that you communicated with other units by courier?
2 A. By courier I meant a soldier. It was not a designated person as
3 such. I just told the soldier, for example, to go from one unit to
4 another if I needed that. It wasn't any, as I said, designated person as
6 Q. I understand. I understand. And when you said there's no --
7 there was no radio or telephone at the time and you said there were no
8 more than two or three radio links in the whole area of Lapusnik, that's
9 true, isn't it?
10 A. I said what I could remember and even today I have this
11 impression that radio links as far as I could remember were very few.
12 Indeed where I was operated, I didn't know that there was any.
13 Q. And you then say that during -- you're asked if during the
14 fighting if Commander Celiku was present and you said that he came during
15 the fighting at Carraleve and the fighting at Fustica.
16 And that's true, isn't it, that happened? He came to the
17 fighting in Carraleve and Fustica. Isn't that true?
18 A. As for July, I know that Commander Celiku came to Kroimire. He
19 came to fightings. As well as for June I don't remember such a thing. I
20 mentioned it yesterday, that Fatmir mentioned me -- Fatmir visited me in
21 Kroimire and in Blinaje. We were comrades in arms and we were in a
22 closer relationship with each other than we had with others.
23 Q. And finally on this passage when "he would come also when there
24 wasn't fighting," and that's also true, you've told us that, he would
25 come to the units, for example, in Kroimire when there wasn't fighting.
1 Isn't that true?
2 A. I explained that in Kroimire there was no unit, but he came to
3 visit me. I was staying there, sleeping there. We went together to
4 Blinaje where we visited Blinaje in the capacity of a national treasure
5 because it was a place rich in flora and fauna. The visits with Fatmir
6 were very frequent in July.
7 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm going to move to a different topic and that is the
8 topic of Lapusnik. During June and July of 1998, did you ever go to
10 A. I cannot precise the exact time. As for June/July, I visited
11 Lapusnik region. For me it was difficult to know Lapusnik village where
12 the houses of this village were. As a region, I knew it as a mountainous
13 region. It has scattered houses and it is difficult to determine which
14 exact place is Lapusnik and from where to where it extends. Even today I
15 don't know exactly where the borders of Lapusnik village lie. I was
16 there during June/July in the region of Lapusnik.
17 Q. How many times did you go during June and July to the region of
19 A. I think I were -- I was there twice, although my going to this
20 region could have happened on another occasion in addition to these two,
21 but it is possible that I didn't know whether I was in Lapusnik or
22 somewhere else. I could have as well been in Negroc or in the territory
23 of Kishna Reka.
24 Q. Without -- I don't want you to give -- use a name in response to
25 this question, but did you go -- was there an occasion where you went to
1 Lapusnik for a particular reason related to a particular person?
2 A. I went for a designated person in the region of Lapusnik.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could we go into private session,
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 MR. WHITING:
23 Q. Mr. Buja, could you tell us why it is you went to the Lapusnik
24 region with respect to this person. What caused you to go?
25 A. What caused me to go was the visit that his father paid me and
1 his story that his son was taken by the soldiers of the KLA. He didn't
2 know the reasons, but he knew that the person who took his son, according
3 to him, was Voglushi, a soldier at Lapusnik. And myself, since I knew
4 Voglushi, I set off in order to meet him and explain this issue.
5 Q. Where were you when this person's father told you this story?
6 A. In the beginning I wasn't there, but I met him when I came back
7 from a place which I don't remember now. I probably was there with some
8 unit. So I met him when I arrived in Kroimire, where I was stationed.
9 Q. And did you then travel from Kroimire to Lapusnik?
10 A. Yes. I travelled to the region of Lapusnik to the positions or
11 to the places manned by soldiers of the KLA along that front line. I
12 thought I could find Voglushi in that region.
13 Q. And when you refer to the positions or places manned by the
14 soldiers of the KLA along the front line, that's in Lapusnik, isn't it,
15 Lapusnik village?
16 A. I know that Lapusnik as part of the place where the warfare was
17 waged comprises of a lengthy front line and certain units or their
18 scattering in the houses was quite wide.
19 Q. So where did you go precisely?
20 A. I thought I went to the village of Lapusnik.
21 Q. And when you got there, who did you see?
22 A. When I arrived I first met with soldiers who escorted me to
23 Voglushi, who was staying in a house in that region.
24 Q. During that trip did you also see Isak Musliu, Qerqiz?
25 A. I saw Isak Musliu in that region and there.
1 Q. On that same trip?
2 A. To my recollection, I think yes.
3 Q. Mr. Buja, what happened when -- what happened next when you went
4 to Lapusnik?
5 A. I contacted a person who I knew and with whom I had contacts even
6 before, that is Voglushi, and I asked him as for this person where he was
7 if he was there. Voglushi of course explained to me that that person was
8 there and that he was stopped by him due to some violations that he had
9 committed and some addresses that were found in his vehicles.
10 Q. Did he tell you what the violations were?
11 A. Yes, he told me because we were in good terms with him. He told
12 me that this person was driving very fast and put the life of the
13 civilians there at risk. He did not respect the stop sign by the
14 soldiers, so he was forced to stop. When his vehicle was checked,
15 certain addresses of Serbs were found and Voglushi thought that these
16 addresses could be of Serb inspectors.
17 Q. Did you get -- did he give you any other reason that he had been
18 stopped and brought to Lapusnik?
19 A. No, there weren't any other reasons except for his fast driving
20 and his refusal to stop. He was stopped to be verified.
21 Q. Do you know how long before you went to Lapusnik he had been --
22 he had been stopped?
23 A. No, I couldn't be able to remember this.
24 Q. And what did you tell Voglushi, if anything?
25 A. I told him that I knew this person's family and I knew that this
1 family had no suspicion -- it was not suspected of its activities. And
2 of course I guaranteed for him by saying that I knew his family and his
3 father, and I told him that his actions should not be suspected.
4 Q. When you say that you "knew his family had no suspicion or should
5 not be suspected of its activities," what exactly were you talking about?
6 A. It was precisely about those addresses, Serb names, that they had
7 found, those that Voglushi suspected were addresses of Serb inspectors.
8 Of course I said that it was a good family and that there was no way that
9 they had any connections with Serb inspectors.
10 Q. Before you arrived, do you know if anybody had done any
11 investigation of this person after he was stopped?
12 A. As for questioning, investigation, I don't know. I don't know to
13 this date. But I know he was stopped for the reasons that I mentioned
15 Q. Do you remember where you met with Voglushi?
16 A. It was a region of Lapusnik. I thought I was in Lapusnik, but I
17 don't remember the period of time.
18 Q. No, I meant -- I meant were you in a house? Were you outside?
19 What kind of a building, if any?
20 A. To my recollection it was a village house.
21 Q. Who else was present when you met with Voglushi?
22 A. There were many soldiers during that meeting with Voglushi
23 because soldiers were staying there.
24 Q. Was Qerqiz present during that meeting?
25 A. This was a visit that I paid to Voglushi; it wasn't a scheduled
1 meeting, a special meeting. I just went there. And to my recollection,
2 Qerqiz was amongst them there.
3 Q. Was Fatmir Limaj amongst them there during that visit to
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 Q. I don't think your answer was heard. You have to speak up a
7 little bit.
8 A. No. I said no.
9 Q. Are you sure about that?
10 A. I am sure.
11 Q. What happened after you gave this information to Voglushi?
12 A. Voglushi called this person, and this person came. I saw him
13 with his hands untied, his hands were not tied. I even asked him if --
14 in case he was maltreated. He said, No, at least he said no, and I did
15 not notice any changes on his appearance.
16 Q. What's the next thing that happened?
17 A. After this, I took this person with me and we wanted to set off
18 for Kroimire. We tried to give him his vehicle back, the vehicle that he
19 had, but he didn't want to accept this although we insisted, both myself
20 and Voglushi, we insisted that he took his car. But he swore and -- in
21 the name of his children, saying that he wanted to leave his vehicle to
22 the service of the KLA, which he called his army.
23 Q. And so what happened? How did you leave that place?
24 A. I walked back to Kroimire.
25 Q. Do you know how he left?
1 A. As far as I remember, we left that place together but I'm not
2 quite sure because it's difficult for me to remember all these moments
3 from the war, but I believe that we left together.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think it's a convenient time.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 We will assume at just after 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Buja, during June and July of 1998, did you hear of other
12 instances of Albanians being arrested or detained because they were
13 suspected of being collaborators?
14 A. Every unit, for your information, had its own place of detention.
15 We had asked them to give us their bio data and when they were not from
16 the region where we were stationed we asked them why they were there, to
17 give us the reasons why they were there. So this happened in June/July
18 of that year.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "Stopping place,"
20 probably he meant.
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. My question was: Were there other instances of Albanians being
23 arrested or detained because they were suspected of being collaborators?
24 A. In cases of collaborators, I have not heard; but as I have
25 explained earlier, we have stopped people because I myself have stopped
1 some people and asked them, as I explained earlier.
2 Q. Can you elaborate on the circumstances when you would stop
4 A. Yes. Often soldiers, myself, have stopped someone who wanted to
5 penetrate a territory controlled by the KLA. We asked him to show us his
6 ID and also asked him why he had been to that place where he wanted to
7 go. I can give you many examples, but another example that I remember
8 very well is that of my brother. He also went to that territory and
9 soldiers stopped him and they detained him for some time, one or two
10 hours I think. And after my arrival there, I too started to suspect what
11 he was saying, namely that he wanted to meet Jakup Krasniqi in Negrovce.
12 I was suspicious of how my brother, my own brother, could know where
13 Jakup Krasniqi was, where I personally didn't know that he was in
14 Negrovce. My brother lived and worked in Pristina and for me it didn't
15 make sense that he knew about Jakup Krasniqi's whereabouts. After my
16 brother insisted that he didn't know that Jakup Krasniqi was in Negrovce
17 but that he was born in that place and probably he could find some
18 information from his family as to his whereabouts now, that is then. So
19 in that circumstance, I accompanied my brother with a soldier in the
20 direction of Klecke so that he could penetrate in Negrovce, where he
21 wanted to go.
22 There have been other cases with doctors in July who we prevented
23 -- we delayed from going to treat soldiers wounded in the fighting in
24 Rahovec and in other places.
25 Q. And why did you delay those doctors, for what reason?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. If those doctors told us that they were doctors, we would have of
2 course have tried to find that out or to find out whether they harboured
3 another intention in trying to go to that place. So keeping them there,
4 stopping them from one or two hours in Blinaje once, the General Staff
5 criticised us for doing that because we had delayed them. But if we
6 didn't know people, who they were, we stopped them, did not allow them to
7 go into the war territory. So it was only when they insisted very much
8 then we could think twice.
9 Q. Let's put aside cases where people were stopped or delayed simply
10 because they were unknown. Were there instances where Serbs were stopped
11 or arrested?
12 A. I once detained -- stopped a car in Carraleve where -- when I saw
13 a young Serb boy who was stopped by the soldiers there. Since the
14 soldiers saw him to be a Serb, they thought that maybe he was one of the
15 security or the military or the police. He was a very young boy and I
16 told them, It can't be that he's a member of any of these forces, so they
17 released him.
18 Q. Do you recall any of the soldiers who stopped this young boy?
19 A. I cannot recall the name of the soldiers who stopped that boy,
20 but I do know that he was stopped by the soldiers in Carraleve.
21 Q. Were you ever involved in collecting weapons from people, from
22 their houses or from their persons?
23 A. Yes, in the war period. Either the civilians who possessed
24 weapons came and surrendered those weapons to the KLA or there were other
25 cases when people were in legal possession of arms given to them by the
1 occupiers. So in those cases we intervened and made sure that these
2 weapons could be used by the KLA.
3 Q. Did you ever go to a house to collect weapons?
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. Where did you do that?
6 A. I went to get a weapon of someone who had -- in Magura it was,
7 someone who had a weapon with permission and that place was close to the
8 positions of the KLA.
9 Q. And what happened when you went there?
10 A. We went to that house. It was night. We couldn't move during
11 the day in territories where the occupiers where. We went there. We
12 knocked on the door and the owner of the house appeared. And then we
13 asked him is that he has information about a weapon given to him by
14 permission of the occupiers, and then he handed us over the weapon.
15 Q. Were there any other instances where you went to a house to
16 collect weapons?
17 A. Other instances that I recall were after my return to Kosova,
18 when I came subzone commander. When I went to Katim [phoen] village and
19 got some weapons there.
20 Q. Are you aware of any other instances aside from the case that you
21 described of the young boy who was stopped of Serbs being arrested or
22 detained because they were suspected of being either police or military?
23 A. I didn't say he was arrested. He was stopped at that stopping
24 place that we had, and that after my arrival there and after my comment
25 on his young age and my words to the soldiers that he couldn't be a
1 member of the violent forces of Serbia, then he was allowed to continue
2 on his way. So it wasn't an arrest. It was a stop at this checkpoint,
3 let's say, and then I remember another case of a car, emergency car, that
4 I myself stopped.
5 Q. Where was that?
6 A. This was also in Carraleve.
7 Q. And what happened after you stopped him?
8 A. I had information that the Serb occupiers were moving by
9 ambulance cars and in disguise they moved about. That's why I went to
10 Carraleve pass to observe and see whether Serb forces were moving by such
11 cars, and I stopped one such and ordered it to go in the direction of
12 Kroimire where I thought to send it. And he -- the driver came and
13 followed me up to Kroimire.
14 Q. What happened when you got in Kroimire?
15 A. When we got to Kroimire -- when he came out of the car, I saw
16 that he had become very scared. He was trembling and shaking. Probably
17 this was the first time for him to see KLA soldiers. And he was speaking
18 not in pure Albanian, even though he was trying hard to speak Albanian.
19 But later on I realised that he was a Goran or Turk, of Turk nationality.
20 And in my talk with him I told him not to worry, that we are the army of
21 Kosova and we don't want to deal with the civilian population of any
22 nationality it may be, and he became calmer. On the next day, that night
23 he stayed there. He stayed at the same place where I stayed as far as I
24 remember. On the next day he left for Prizren. Before he left where his
25 place of birth was, Prizren, I remember I gave him 100 marks,
1 Deutschmarks, because he had a family, he had children, and he had no
2 money to go back to Prizren.
3 Q. Aside from these examples that you have given us, are you aware
4 of other instances, whether you were involved or not, of Serbs being
5 stopped or detained?
6 A. These are the instances that I recall, but I know that every unit
7 had a place, a stopping place, where they asked people to show them their
8 identification papers, respecting the rules of the KLA.
9 Q. And you -- before the break you talked about an example of a
10 person who was stopped you said for driving too fast, dangerously, and
11 then addresses of Serb inspectors were found in the person's car and he
12 was detained on suspicion of having a -- some improper relationship with
13 those Serb inspectors. Are you aware of other instances during June and
14 July of 1998 when Albanians were stopped or detained for similar
16 A. It was either misinterpreted to me or mistranslated or
17 misinterpreted by you. I didn't say that they found addresses --
18 addresses of Serb inspectors, but there were suspicions that those Serb
19 addresses might be addresses of Serb inspectors. But as to other cases,
20 at least now I don't seem to recollect any.
21 Q. When -- during June and July of 1998 when individuals were
22 stopped or detained in areas where you were, did you ever send those
23 people to Klecka?
24 A. During July especially, the Blinaje unit had taken firm orders
25 not to allow any civilians to penetrate into that national complex which
1 was a national asset. So people's insistence to go into that place was
2 not granted to them, only in very special cases, as the case was with my
3 own brother. Then we accompanied them with soldiers in the direction of
5 In July Klecka became the passing -- a place where many people
6 went. A new road was opened from Shale that led to Klecka or from
7 Negrovce to Klecka, to people could go in the direction of Malisheve.
8 Even when we didn't want to allow people to go further, I didn't feel I
9 had the power or the competence to prevent people from going further
10 because they insisted on going to Malisheve. There were many of them.
11 Because in Malisheve there was a marketplace for the region.
12 Q. When you say that you would accompany people with soldiers in the
13 direction of Klecka in July, when was that in July?
14 A. After my appointment as subzone commander, the soldiers were
15 allowed to go -- to send people -- to allow people to go to Klecka. We
16 didn't want to create problems, especially after the concentration of the
17 Serb forces in the region I was operating. This was the period of July
18 when we acted in this form.
19 Q. And those people that you accompanied to Klecka, were those
20 people under arrest?
21 A. They were not arrested but they were escorted by soldiers because
22 normally we showed them the way where -- how -- the way which they
23 followed to go where they wanted. But we also saw it as -- as an extra
24 responsibility on our part to take care and see where the people were
1 Q. I'm going to ask you to turn to page 69 of the Albanian
2 transcript, page 60 of the English transcript. And on the Albanian on
3 page 69, it's about halfway through the page, and on the English it's
4 also halfway through the page. And if -- okay, I see we have the
5 Sanction up on the computer.
6 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honours, I'm sorry to interrupt. Before Mr.
7 Whiting embarks on that, what has been happening prior to this when
8 passages from this interview have been put, Mr. Whiting has been about to
9 cross-examine the witness. I have to say, and I may be the only one in
10 the room to say it, but in reading and listening carefully to your
11 ruling, I did not understand that to be a remit for cross-examination in
12 relation to matters raised in evidence beyond the point when the
13 application was made. If I have misunderstood the situation, then I'll
14 be corrected, of course. But if that's what is about to happen, may I
15 raise, therefore, the prospect, if I am right, that this would require
16 another application, and the foundation laid therefor.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It's not been my experience I must confess, Mr.
18 Topolski. A witness having been declared is then dealt with throughout
19 the balance of the evidence on that basis.
20 MR. TOPOLSKI: Right. Nor am I, particularly when a witness --
21 I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE PARKER: -- I think I'm saying the opposite.
23 MR. TOPOLSKI: You're saying the opposite?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
25 MR. TOPOLSKI: Well, then I am alone.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Don't feel concerned about it.
2 MR. TOPOLSKI: Well, no, it's sometimes the best place to be.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It's a matter of interest and significant to
4 raise, but without either of us going into detail at the moment, for
5 obvious reasons, I would not be minded to interrupt what is now
7 MR. TOPOLSKI: Very well.
8 MR. WHITING: If the clip could be played.
9 [Videotape played]
10 "O.L.: Were you -- can you tell us if you were involved in
11 arresting people that were considered Serb collaborators.
12 "S.B.: No, I haven't been involved directly in these sort of
13 operations or actions. So I've been involved in the weapons collections,
14 meaning from people who we knew that had weapons. There is a case in
15 Magura. We collected a rifle and a revolver. Also gorge of Carraleve is
16 another case. So I took a vehicle and the driver of that vehicle, he was
17 emergency aid vehicle. So he was frightened because he thought he was
18 being arrested because on the same day he was released because the target
19 of this action was not the person but the vehicle. Or another case is
20 that when I took a 17-years-old boy. He was a Serb. He of course was
21 released later. He serves actually as a police in Lipjan. But as far as
22 the arrest cases are concerned, yeah, there have been cases where arrests
23 are made. And the most difficult period was this period, June/July.
24 There have been cases that -- which I cannot name by first name and
25 family name because I don't know. But I can say also that there's a sort
1 of personal revenge, settling scores for personal motives because there
2 was enough -- there were sufficient conditions or enough spite to engage
3 in such acts. Because of these -- these scattered units operating in all
4 the area. But I am -- refused, I haven't accepted to set up or assign a
5 place as a place to detain or to arrest people because I -- I didn't
6 think of myself as competent for this job. And I didn't even consider
7 myself as a man who had such -- so much knowledge as to do so this. And
8 if -- when arrests took place and when I'm asked what to do, well, I just
9 would instruct the person who would approach and ask me these questions,
10 this case -- these case, bring him to Klecka or send him to Klecka.
11 Because as I said, I wasn't the person with well-defined
13 "O.L.: Yes. I'm sorry. We have to interrupt just for a minute.
14 I'll change the tape because the tape is at an end."
15 MR. WHITING:
16 Q. Mr. Buja, I want to ask you about a few things that you said in
17 that passage that we've just played. You said that "cases of arrests did
18 happen and indeed the most serious time was precisely June and July."
19 And that's true, isn't it, that cases of arrests happened and the most
20 serious time was June and July?
21 A. In this statement I mentioned the taking of this person with his
22 vehicle, but it wasn't an arrest. And other cases that could have
23 happened and were called arrests, because that's how I referred to them
24 according to the interpretation made by people about those who were
25 stopped at that time. Therefore, I did not exclude the possibility due
1 to the extension of the guerrilla units, the possibility of individual
2 revenge. I did not mention a particular case of individual revenge, but
3 there were such as hearsay.
4 Q. I'll ask you about cases of personal revenge in a moment, but
5 it's true, isn't it, that the most serious time of arrests was in June
6 and July of 1998, as you said in the interview? That's true, isn't it?
7 A. This time is the most difficult as per the words spoken in
8 relation to arrests. I did not know such -- of such an arrest, but this
9 was the most difficult time to -- when it was spoken of these arrests.
10 Q. Now, you then mention and you've already referred to it in your
11 -- in response to my previous question, but you mention in the interview
12 that there were cases -- there was also personal revenge and that there
13 was plenty of scope for acts of this kind. Can you explain what you
14 meant by that?
15 A. With this I wanted to stress that people were armed and in
16 addition there were places where people whom -- with whom we coordinated
17 later not to get out of control of the KLA. There were people who had
18 special reasons of their -- for their actions, to compromise us. And due
19 to the extension, wide extension of the guerrilla units, there was space
20 for individual acts that could have happened. Simply, the guerrilla
21 units extended in a wide area and be coming out of the people and the
22 units that were still not under our control could leave space for such
23 acts [as interpreted].
24 Q. Are you aware of instances -- any instances where in areas under
25 KLA control people were detained or arrested as the result of personal
2 A. I could not specify a case familiar to me, but there were words
3 about the Dukagjini area, where entire villages and villagers were armed
4 on their own initiative because this was an area close to Albania and
5 these villages could not be controlled by the KLA into the structures of
6 this army. In this -- such cases could have happened even in the
7 territory where we operated and it was difficult for us to control all
8 the cases. I cannot speak of a concrete case.
9 Q. I want to focus, please, on areas where the KLA was in control.
10 In those areas did you ever hear of instances where people were arrested
11 or detained as a result of personal revenge?
12 A. I heard that there were cases, but I do not remember a specific
14 Q. Do you remember hearing about any cases like that in the areas
15 around Klecka in the villages of Kroimire, Luznica, Lapusnik, Blinaje,
16 any of those areas during June and July of 1998?
17 A. Especially in July during the offensive there was gossip about
18 these events interpreted in different ways, but I do not know of any
19 particular case.
20 Q. Can you elaborate at all on what this gossip, as you describe it,
21 was? What did you hear during July?
22 A. During July, as I explained, a special war was waged against the
23 KLA and this war incorporated these rumours as well as per different acts
24 perpetrated by KLA members, that people were being taken, people were
25 being arrested. I would like to explain here that people who were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 stopped in order not to go directly to the hands of the enemy, this
2 stopping was interpreted by the population in a wrong way and the
3 population would react in that way by saying that they were arrested. In
4 other words, even if we have good intentions not to allow people to
5 penetrate into territories where they could have been killed, in this
6 context arrest was interpreted wrongly. There were cases when both
7 myself and Jakup Krasniqi, we were said to have -- these were words that
8 were circulating at this time when allegedly we had a person with 2.000
9 Deutschmarks in Switzerland, and we never actually have this person.
10 Q. At the end of the passage of the interview that I played for you
11 you said, "When I happened to be at an arrest and when I was asked what,
12 what should I do, I simply said: Send him to Klecka, meaning in fact
13 send him to Klecka because I did not know of anywhere else."
14 And that's in fact what you did, isn't it, Mr. Buja, during June
15 and July of 1998? When persons were arrested in your area, you gave
16 instructions to send them to Klecka.
17 A. When it is spoken of arrest here, it refers to the escort of the
18 person that we suspected had entered the war territory with special
19 intentions. Simply, this was about the isolation of that person so that
20 he could not harm our positions. We would then escort this person,
21 assign two, three soldiers to escort them to Klecka, and we controlled
22 the journey to the destination. This was kind of a security measure in
23 order to secure our position.
24 Q. And when this happened, when persons you suspected entered the
25 war territory with special intentions, are you talking about Serbs or
2 A. It refers to Albanians because Serbs did not enter that
3 territory. Serbs rarely entered that territory, only when they would use
4 the road Peja-Pristina. The Albanians who were suspect of being
5 collaborators were known to the entire population and they did not enter
6 this territory. The territories that were controlled by the KLA were
7 usually penetrated by different persons who we didn't know and whose
8 intentions were not familiar with us, therefore we had to be cautious in
9 our actions.
10 I will here illustrate this issue with another example. If the
11 person did not tell us the reason of his visit and insisted on going to
12 his destination, as is the case with Adem Demaqi, a well-known
13 personality, we would then keep that person for five hours in a row until
14 he told us the reason of his journey and then we would escort him to the
15 area of Klecka. I am not the person who could assume responsibility for
16 stopping those people were returning them back, but my responsibility was
17 to pay attention for the territories where I was operating and the
18 soldiers who I assigned to escort the persons in the direction of Klecka.
19 In Klecka there was also -- there were also civilian population who could
20 know the person that we stopped, and that's why we actually directed them
21 in that direction.
22 Q. I'm going to ask you to turn to page 73 of the transcript in
23 Albanian; it's page 62 in English. On page 62 it's towards the top that
24 we'll begin. On page 73 it's also at the top.
25 MR. WHITING: And if we could switch to the Sanction, please.
1 Thank you.
2 [Videotape played]
3 "A.C.: Your own sort of limited involvement in these events.
4 Here I'm talking about the abductions. But you were aware that many
5 individuals were being abducted, many Albanians and Serbs were being
6 abducted at this time, even if you personally were not directly involved
7 in abducting these people. So your answer is yes? Yeah, yeah. And
8 you're aware of Serbs that were abducted as well?
9 "S.B.: Yeah, I can talk about my case. I cannot talk -- I
10 cannot talk about the abduction of Serb civilians other than the cases
11 what I myself witnessed.
12 "A.C.: But you heard about other Serbs that were abducted even
13 if you were not yourself involved and present?
14 "S.B.: Yes. There was -- there were rumours that there were
15 people from the secret service and military personnel were being
16 captured. But there is never mentioned a case of civilians.
17 "A.C.: And you mentioned a moment ago that when an inquiry was
18 made of you, you actually directed that the person go to Klecka?
19 "S.B.: Yes.
20 "A.C.: Was that a collection point in Klecka during this time
21 period, during June and July of 1998, for people who had been arrested?
22 "S.B.: I don't know whether they might -- they were to be taken,
23 but I directed people there because I know they're people of higher
25 "A.C.: Because essentially Klecka was your superior sort of
2 "S.B.: Yeah, as a matter of fact I would get instructions from
3 the Commander Celiku.
4 "A.C.: Do you know any of the locations where people that were
5 arrested were taken after they left Klecka?
6 "S.B.: Well, there was -- I'm -- I know about the locations of
7 there being -- there being gossiping around amongst the soldiers and even
8 among civilian populations.
9 "A.C.: And Lapusnik was one of those locations. Correct?
10 "S.B.: Lapusnik was mentioned in the context of -- as a place of
11 where people were being detained and then later released. I myself
12 had -- I myself have escorted people on their way back home, people
13 released --
14 "A.C.: People that were released from Lapusnik?
15 "S.B.: Yes. People are being detained, interrogated, and then
16 later released.
17 "A.C.: So there was definitely a camp" --
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. Mr. Buja, did you see at the beginning of that clip that was
20 played you were asked -- it was put to you that you were aware of the
21 fact that many of the people, that is, Albanians and Serbs, were being
22 kidnapped at this time and you nodded your head "yes" on the tape. Did
23 you see that?
24 A. Yes, I did see that.
25 Q. And that's true, you were aware that at this time during June and
1 July 1998, many people, Albanians and Serbs, were being kidnapped.
3 A. Here I said that I heard about this. This is in a sense how I
4 interpreted the words that I heard and I stated that I could only speak
5 of cases that I attended, as were the cases that I described earlier.
6 The interpretation of the people being stopped was in many cases as
7 arrest. And this applies to the way I stopped the person from Prizren.
8 I cannot say that there were kidnapping or arrested, I just described the
9 words that were used by different people and by soldiers regarding these
10 actions. I of course could not accept or even think that there was a
11 camp or prison there. I simply thought at that time and I think today --
12 I'm convinced here that people were just stopped. They were identified.
13 The reasons of them being there were found out and then people were
14 released to proceed with their journey. It is something else how the
15 questions were asked, but this is the sense of it.
16 MR. GUY-SMITH: [Previous translation continues]... I understand
17 that Mr. Whiting has asked a question with regard to the body language of
18 the witness on the tape as opposed to the actual language used by the
19 witness in the interview. I'm not clear as to whether or not or perhaps
20 his interpretation of the language on the interview is somewhat distinct
21 from mine, but it seemed as if he is at this point, if I'm not mistaken,
22 attempting to use body language that he has seen on the tape to dispute
23 the actual language that is contained in the statement. I'm not positive
24 that's what he's doing, but I have that as a concern.
25 I also have as a concern, there have been a number of questions
1 now in which we have been dealing with gossip and rumours, and I
2 understand that hearsay is admissible in these proceedings, but I would
3 note for the record an objection with regard to the Trial Chamber's
4 reliance on any gossip or rumours that have been elicited.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Guy-Smith. I think you can be
6 confident of that not occurring.
7 MR. GUY-SMITH: Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Whiting.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Do you see then, Mr. Buja, where you say that you sent -- you
11 sent people who were arrested to Klecka because "I thought that the
12 people most responsible for these matters were at Klecka." And then
13 you're asked if that was because Klecka was a command post for you and
14 you say in fact I received instructions there from Commander Celiku.
15 That is in fact why you sent people who were arrested to Klecka,
16 isn't it, because the people most responsible for those matters were in
17 Klecka? Isn't that true?
18 A. Sir, I am telling you the truth for days now. Instruction is
19 something else, an order something else. I received instructions from
20 many others because in conversations with them of course I accepted those
21 instructions that were good and those that were not for me to use I did
22 not consider those instructions. This is not in a sense of order but in
23 sense of cooperation with Commander Celiku.
24 Q. Well, you've anticipated by -- you've given an answer to a
25 question that I haven't asked yet, but if we could go back to the
1 question that I did ask which is: You sent people who were arrested to
2 Klecka in this time period, June/July 1998, and -- the reason being you
3 thought people most responsible for these matters, that is arrests, were
4 in Klecka. Isn't that right?
5 A. The interpretation of the word "arrest" here is wrong. I cannot
6 say that I've arrested people. I stopped people. And when I was
7 suspicious of them, I of course tried to clarify what was in question why
8 that person was in that territory, and of course when I was not able to
9 decide I sent them to Klecka in a sense that there there were people who
10 could know them. There were also people from General Staff who could
11 orient these people and say what to do with them, where to send them,
12 whether they should be allowed to enter war territories or not. This is
13 the sense of this action and not the arrest you are putting here because
14 I believe that this interview I gave, in it I could not think that people
15 could be imprisoned because I understood that prison should have
16 investigation part and therefore I cannot interpret it as an arrest.
17 Q. And those people in Klecka who could say what to do with them,
18 where to send them, included Commander Celiku. Isn't that right?
19 A. In Klecke they knew of course to give people directions as to
20 where to go. They could tell those people if they wanted to go to some
21 village in Malisheve municipality or in Drenica or Dukagjin area. At
22 that time, people could move through war territories --
23 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you. My question is: The people in
24 Klecka that you're referring to included Commander Celiku. Isn't that
1 A. The people that were in Klecke, the soldiers, the population
2 there could give instructions to these people as to what route they
3 should follow or where to go.
4 Q. Mr. Buja, you have not answered my question and I just have to
5 ask it again then. The people who were in Klecka included Commander
6 Celiku. Isn't that right?
7 A. The people who were in Klecka of course comprised also --
8 included Commander Celiku, but in the sense that is used here I cannot
9 say that Celiku or Fatmir Limaj was included. He was there with his
11 Q. You say then that Lapusnik was always "mentioned as being a place
12 where people were detained, detained and released."
13 And that's true, isn't it, during this time period, during June
14 and July of 1998? Lapusnik was a place where people were detained and
15 sometimes released?
16 A. I was asked here specifically about Lapusnik. As to detention
17 places or otherwise stopping places or checkpoints, I explained to you
18 what I meant by that word. In this case I was asked about Lapusnik and I
19 knew that there was such a place also in Lapusnik where people were
20 stopped and they were asked to produce their identification papers. They
21 were asked about the purpose of them being in the war territory. And of
22 course when they had been released or allowed to go further with their
23 journey, this detention or this stopping of the people might have lasted
24 a couple of hours, one, two hours. That was the purpose of that process.
25 This is how I see it in my description.
1 Q. Were you aware in June and July of 1998 of people being detained
2 in Lapusnik for longer than one or two hours? For days?
3 A. I was aware of the fact that people were stopped, as they were
4 stopped in every checkpoint of our units. This is how I saw the meaning
5 of the word "detained." As to how long they were -- they were detained,
6 this I don't know.
7 Q. By the way, with respect to the case, the specific case that you
8 told us about - and again without mentioning the name - which caused you
9 to go to Lapusnik, how did you know that the person was in Lapusnik?
10 A. His father told me.
11 Q. You say here that you escorted people who were released from
12 Lapusnik. You've given us one example. Without mentioning names, were
13 there other examples when you escorted people who were released from
15 A. Yes, there have been other examples when either I myself or my
16 soldiers have escorted people, when they have demanded that, when they
17 wanted to go to other territories. The word "release" is used in the
18 sense of being allowed to continue on their journey after being stopped
19 for one hour or two or one day.
20 Q. But were there instances when you escorted people being released
21 from Lapusnik, aside from the one -- the specific example you've already
22 given us?
23 A. All the civilians who managed to enter into our territories were
24 stopped and there has -- may have been some instance, which I don't
25 recall now, of them being detained in Lapusnik and then being escorted
1 further on.
2 Q. But you cannot recall any other specific examples at this time?
3 A. I don't recall any specific examples, but I do know that during
4 the offensive, especially on the 23rd and 24th of July, I stopped some
5 tractors whose owners insisted on passing on to the territory controlled
6 by the Serbs. And I was -- I told them --
7 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, I didn't understand. Could you ask
8 him to repeat.
9 MR. WHITING:
10 Q. The interpreter could not understand -- hear or understand the
11 last part of your answer. You said you "stopped some tractors whose
12 owners insisted on passing on to the territory controlled by the Serbs"
13 and then you said something else.
14 A. As I said.
15 Q. Well, let me ask you another question on this topic. At this
16 time or shortly after, after the offensive at the end of July 1998 did
17 you meet a group of men on a tractor who said that they were from
18 Lapusnik, that they had been released from the Lapusnik prison?
19 A. This is what I tried to explain earlier. This is the way the
20 civilians interpreted the fact of us stopping them, in this case the
21 tractors that wanted to go in the villages of the plain. This happened
22 when we didn't want to allow them to go to Serb-controlled areas, and
23 they have interpreted it as an arrest or a detention. On the 23rd and
24 24th in the morning I stopped -- of July, I stopped some tractors.
25 Q. Was there a instance when you stopped a tractor with -- let me
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 finish the question, please -- when you stopped a tractor with a group of
2 men who said that they had been released or that they were from the
3 Lapusnik prison?
4 A. I know that I stopped tractors. I know that I stopped a tractor
5 with some men, five or six men - I'm not very sure about the number - who
6 interpreted it in their own way, something which I didn't like to hear.
7 They told me that they were detained in Lapusnik. And the way I saw it
8 was that they were prevented from going to other territories. If I'm not
9 mistaken, this happened on the 23rd or the 24th of July; it was morning.
10 Because in the evening there was fighting and I was taking part in the
11 fighting. So I stopped the tractors -- we stopped the tractors because
12 that was a rule. We didn't want to allow people to go in the direction
13 of the plateau, in the direction of the Serb forces, because it was
14 dangerous for them to enter that territory.
15 I'm repeating here that it was difficult for us to stop those
16 tractors, and we were in great dilemmas because this act was interpreted
17 in various ways, even though our goal was not to allow them to go further
18 because of the great danger facing them --
19 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm not focused on our act of stopping the tractor; I'm
20 focused on who you saw on a tractor and I will -- and what they told you
21 had happened to them. And you are putting it on the 23rd or the 24th.
22 Did you stop another tractor on the 26th or 27th, a few days later, with
23 a group of men who said that they had been in a prison in Lapusnik?
24 A. On the 22nd of July I returned from the fighting in Jezerce where
25 I was the commander of the subzone. On the 22nd and 23rd of July I went
1 to search weapons, I heard they had weapons in the village of Dukagjin.
2 There were armed villagers there. On the 22nd and 23rd I was on my way
3 to and from that territory. On the 23rd and 24th of value, I was in
4 Kroimire. On the 24th in the afternoon, as far as I remember, fighting
5 broke out in Fushtice, where I participated -- I even participated in the
6 operation to recapture the positions of the Fushtice unit --
7 Q. Mr. Buja, on the 26th and 27th of July, were you back in
9 A. I was going to explain precisely that. From Fushtice I went to
10 Blinaje area where fighting was going on. And on the 25th and 26th I was
11 in the fighting that occurred in Zborce; it was a combined operation,
12 Blinaje and Zborce units. I sent a soldier to inform the unit, on the
13 26th I think it was, the unit in Carraleve to withdraw. And until 2.00
14 p.m. of the --
15 Q. Mr. Buja, Mr. Buja, I appreciate the detail, but you're giving a
16 long answer to a very simple question. On the 26th or 27th were you in
18 A. I don't think I was in Kroimire on the 26th and 27th.
19 Q. You've told us about one tractor that you stopped with people who
20 said that they were -- had been detained in Lapusnik. Was that the only
21 tractor you stopped with people who said they were detained in Lapusnik?
22 A. The tractors that we stopped in Lapusnik - there were others, of
23 course - there were civilians, women, children on them. And they wanted
24 to go to the villages of the plain. It was the beginning of the fierce
25 offensive of 23rd and 24th of July. I may have stopped some other
1 tractors, but not in Kroimire, in Shale or somewhere else. After the
2 27th when I felt I was in a better situation than before.
3 Q. But was there one tractor where the men said they were -- they
4 had been detained in Lapusnik or did that happen more than once or was it
5 just once?
6 A. A tractor with only men as far as I remember. There was a
7 tractor I remember I stopped in Kroimire. It was on the 23rd or the 24th
8 of July. There were four -- five, six men at the most in that tractor
9 and I stopped them in order to prevent them from going to the place they
10 wanted to go, to the --
11 Q. After you stopped them -- first of all, did they tell you that
12 they had been in a prison in Lapusnik?
13 A. They told me that they had been detained in Lapusnik.
14 Q. After that happened, did you try to get in touch with Klecka?
15 A. Yes, I tried to get in touch with Klecka because I didn't know
16 what to do with those tractors whose owners wanted to go to the villages
17 of the plain. One of these tractors were the ones that I had stopped,
18 and I wanted to learn from Klecke as to what to do with the civilian
19 population that wanted to go to those villages. I was in a very
20 difficult situation because of the tendency of some civilians to go to
21 those villages and --
22 Q. Mr. Buja, could you please turn to page 88 of the Albanian
23 transcript. It's page 73 of the English.
24 MR. WHITING: And if we could switch to the Sanction, please.
25 [Videotape played]
1 "O.L.: On 25th and 26th of July there was a big offensive on
2 Lapusnik and Serb forces actually took over this place and the whole
3 place was empty and some prisoners were released at -- on this day.
4 Isn't it correct that you ran into a large group of released prisoners in
5 Kroimire that were brought there on a tractor?
6 "S.B.: Yes. Yes, I've seen them.
7 "O.L.: And can you describe this?
8 "S.B.: Yes, as far as I can remember it was this -- it was these
9 moments when the civilian population was moving, was fleeing. So it was
10 a total chaos, mess. Frankly -- frankly speaking, when I -- when I came
11 across this -- this tractor, I thought that they were civilians -- yeah,
12 I thought they were civilians -- civilian population and I wondered why
13 all males on this tractor. So I stopped the tractor and I asked, Where
14 are you coming from? And they say -- they said, We come from Lapusnik.
15 They explicitly said, We are coming from the prison of Lapusnik. And I
16 was taken a bit aback at this time so I didn't know how to react to this.
17 I told them to wait. So I told them to -- I told them to wait and I made
18 it clear to them that I was going to get -- to gather information on what
19 to do further with them. I'll -- I've tried to get -- to get and speak
20 on the phone. Fortunately there were people from Klecka there at the
21 time --
22 "O.L.: In Kroimire?
23 "S.B.: Yeah, in Kroimire. People from Lapusnik, people leaving
24 Klecka but coming from Lapusnik. And then there was -- there were
25 rumours that these detainees were released. I don't know how long it did
1 last for me to -- to gather information about this. But what I know is
2 that I returned to them and I said to them, You're free to go. And then
3 I just made a point. And as you understand, it's an offensive going on
4 and if you take the Lipjan direction you practically -- you practically
5 will run into the Serb hands. So that's all I could say -- offer to them
6 as a sort of information, because as I told you it was a total mess at
7 that time. But what I knew for certain is that if they would go from
8 this place to the Serbian hands that they would be killed for sure.
9 Yeah, well they might be -- I might be missing details because it's a
10 vague memory because of the circumstances at that time of -- this is more
11 or less all about this meeting with them. Later on I inquired about
12 this. Yeah, later I inquired simply because I was worried of probably
13 having made any mistakes or -- no, they just -- they just said to me --
14 they calmed me down, No, you've acted in the right way. You've treated
15 -- well, I -- I was rather worried about that because everybody was
16 running away from me at that time.
17 "O.L.: Do you remember them having documents that they had been
18 released from the prison?
19 "S.B.: I don't even remember of asking documents from them.
20 Well, I -- I -- as I said, I don't even think about asking their
21 documents. As -- it didn't come across my mind that during an offensive,
22 after this, documents will be issued. So I couldn't figure that out at
24 "O.L.: Okay. From who -- where did you get the confirmation
25 that these people actually had been released? Did someone give you this
2 "S.B.: Well, I came -- I realised it based on what was among --
3 what was discussed among the civilian population because I was afraid
4 myself -- yes, I was afraid myself because I didn't get any official
5 confirmation that they were released and so I was afraid of making any --
6 not the right thing. So I let them go further with no official
8 "A.W.: You said when you were trying to confirm you tried to
9 call on the phone. Where did you try to call on the phone?
10 "S.B.: Yeah, I'd like to get in touch with Klecka -- I tried to
11 get in touch with Klecka, sorry.
12 "A.W.: But you weren't able to get in touch with Klecka?
13 "S.B.: As I touched earlier this subject, I was -- there was no
14 -- there was nobody who was very eager to talk to me at that time because
15 of the problems that I was experiencing. So everyone was trying to avoid
16 or trying to run away from me.
17 "A.W.: Okay. You said that later on you were able to inquire
18 and find out that you had done the right thing to let them go?
19 "S.B.: Yes.
20 "A.W.: And who was it who told you that?
21 "S.B.: Jakup Krasniqi confirmed this. He told me that you've
22 done the right thing. Yeah, he thought -- Jakup Krasniqi thought first
23 there was a provocation on my side. So I asked their opinion being in
24 the main headquarters place when bigger suspicion were being circulated
25 around me. This helped -- this helped force -- this helped add further
1 this information, rumour around me.
2 "A.W.: And did you ever speak with Celiku about this?
3 "S.B.: Yes, I've talked to him. Being in my position, I was the
4 one who had to clarify this, to sort out these issues with everybody.
5 Well, even Celiku himself. I don't know whether he had these second
6 thoughts or not, his reserves about my -- my action, but nobody of them
7 in principle told me or told me openly that you didn't do the right
9 "A.W.: When did you talk to Celiku about it?
10 "S.B.: This happened later. After with -- after the population
11 had taken -- had taken shelter into these gorges. As it was -- as the
12 offensive was going on. And then there was a total chaos during the
13 offensive so we weren't able to talk with each other.
14 "A.W.: Do you think it was in days or in weeks?
15 "S.B.: Yeah -- so it was rather a matter of days. Three, four,
16 or five days later.
17 "A.W.: And where -- did you talk to him face to face or on the
19 "S.B.: Yeah, face to face.
20 "A.W.: And where did you have the conversation?
21 "S.B.: With -- I don't know whether -- where about the place I
22 talked with him about this case, but what I know is I've seen him and
23 I've met him in Luzhnice, I've met him in Klecka as well.
24 "A.W.: Okay.
25 "S.B.: It might have happened -- it might have happened that we
1 talked with each other about the case on the way from Luzhnice to Klecke
2 being in a Jeep.
3 "A.W.: And what did he say about it?
4 "S.B.: Very briefly but very to the point, concise. It's okay,
5 it's okay. No, he said, it's all right. There's nothing wrong. That's
6 all he said.
7 "A.W.: And you told him that you had seen these people on the
8 tractor and that they had come from Lapusnik and that allowed them to
10 "S.B.: Yeah, of course. I had to clarify the matter as I was
11 the one put in a difficult position. So I explained to him that I
12 decided to set them free, let them go further. I said, Have I done
13 anything wrong? He said, No, that's okay."
14 MR. WHITING: That's a convenient time, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: We'll resume at 5 to 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.33 p.m.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Whiting, before the witness comes in, we would
20 draw your attention to the fact that the witness has been giving evidence
21 since mid-morning of last Thursday and under leave to cross-examine since
22 late on Monday. And the process is extremely drawn out and the value
23 that might be obtained from this witness must inevitably be limited from
24 what has transpired, so that we would ask you give serious attention to
25 the time that has been taken.
1 MR. WHITING: I appreciate that, Your Honour. I do expect to
2 finish today. I would say that the Prosecution expects to make a similar
3 motion with respect to this witness's prior interview that was made with
4 regard to another witness. And for that reason, I think it's important
5 to give this witness an opportunity to comment, even though it's drawn
6 out, to comment on various passages in the transcript.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I must say we had anticipated the application, but
8 bear in mind my observations about weight in any context, given what has
10 MR. WHITING: I understand, Your Honour.
11 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honours, Mr. Powles pointed out to me some of
12 what Your Honour has been saying has been missed off the transcript.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Have I been edited out of mercy or some other --
14 MR. TOPOLSKI: You've been shortened and some of the good bits
15 have been left out.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be, I'm sure, picked up when the tape is
17 played at the end of the --
18 MR. TOPOLSKI: Your Honour, I hasten to say it's not remotely
19 critical. It's just an observation.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Topolski, your concern for my
21 well-being --
22 MR. TOPOLSKI: I'm not frighten of criticising Your Honour, it's
23 the shorthand reporter I'm afraid of.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the witness, please.
25 That gives you about 55 minutes to run, Mr. Whiting.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
3 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Buja, after hearing that passage of the transcript, do you
5 remember now that the tractor with the prisoner -- with the men on it,
6 that the men said that they were in fact from a prison in Lapusnik?
7 A. Sir, as we could see it here it's the 26th and 27th of July where
8 -- when I was not in Kroimire village, and you know the reasons why I
9 couldn't be in Kroimire due to the problems that I had and due to the
10 fightings that I took part in Blinaje and Zborce. I could stop a tractor
11 under a certain suspicion only on the 23rd and 24th of July. Otherwise,
12 on the 25th and 26th July there is no way that I could possibly be in
14 Q. Well, I just want to ask you about this event that you describe
15 here in the passage that we played before the break. Do you remember
16 this tractor of men that you -- you remember them telling you that you
17 were from the Lapusnik prison, regardless of the exact date?
18 A. I remember that because I was told that they came from Lapusnik
19 and the way -- how they interpreted it why they were in Lapusnik -- it is
20 another issue. Simply, as a prison I never concepted [as interpreted] it
21 and I told you as well that there's no way that there was a prison in
22 Lapusnik or a camp there. But it's a different story how civilians
23 interpreted it.
24 Q. Mr. Buja, I'm going to ask you another question. Did you -- you
25 then tried to make contact with Klecka when you saw this tractor of men.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Isn't that right?
2 A. The tractor that I stopped on the 23rd or 24th of July, I stopped
3 it because there were men on board, there was civilians, and they
4 intended to go in the direction of the villages in the plain and that's
5 why I stopped that tractor. And of course I wasn't in position to decide
6 what to do with this tractors.
7 Q. And you tried to get in touch with Klecka. Isn't that right?
8 A. Yes, I tried to establish contacts with Klecka in order to see
9 what to do, what the -- with the civilian tractors.
10 Q. And later you had a conversation with Fatmir Limaj about this
11 tractor from Lapusnik. Isn't that right?
12 A. I had conversation with many people regarding these issues
13 because I thought that I was I wasn't doing the right thing when I
14 allowed the tractors to --
15 Q. Sir, if you could focus on Fatmir Limaj. You had a conversation
16 with Fatmir Limaj. Isn't that right?
17 A. Yes, I had not only one conversation but many conversations with
19 Q. And you told -- you told him about the tractor and he told you
20 that you had done the right thing. Isn't that right?
21 A. I discussed the issue of the tractors that I allowed to proceed
22 in that direction and I always had this conviction that I did not do the
23 right thing. And for this issue, I discussed it not only with Fatmir
24 Limaj but with many others, especially with Jakup Krasniqi because I
25 suspected that I might have allowed them to proceed in direction of the
1 occupying forces.
2 Q. And Fatmir Limaj told you you had done the right thing. Right?
3 A. Yes. Fatmir Limaj told me that, You did the right thing with the
4 tractor because after their -- them insisting, it was necessary to allow
5 them to proceed.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, before I move into my next group of
7 questions - my last group of questions - I'd ask that the Court caution
8 the witness under Rule 90(E), please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Buja, I've been asked to remind you of
10 something you may well know already. It's done out of caution so that
11 you're aware of your rights. If any question is asked of you which you
12 think might tend to incriminate you, you may object that you do not wish
13 to answer that question. If you feel that some question is one that
14 might incriminate you, it's open to you to object that you don't want to
15 answer it for that question. That's just so that you're aware of that as
16 you are asked questions by counsel.
17 Yes, Mr. Whiting.
18 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, could we go
19 into private session, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
21 [Private session]
11 Page 4070 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, at this time I would move into
18 evidence the witness's prior OTP interview of the 28th of April, 2003,
19 the English version, the Albanian version, and the videotape of the
21 JUDGE PARKER: They will be received, but you will understand
22 that gives no indication of where any application might lead us.
23 MR. WHITING: I understand that perfectly well, Your Honour,
24 and -- I would, however, at this time move that the Court treat the prior
25 interviews as substantive evidence and consider them for the truth of the
1 matters stated therein for the reasons that are set forth in the
2 Prosecution's motion of 14 February 2005.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Your motion is noted. It will be considered along
4 with the similar motion in respect of another witness in due course.
5 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I think that --
6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution 160, Your Honours.
7 MR. WHITING: And just to be clear, all three -- the two
8 transcripts and the videotape are -- have one number?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
11 MR. WHITING: And, Your Honour, 40 minutes early and I have no
12 further questions.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Commended, Mr. Whiting.
14 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mansfield, is it fair to look at you at this
16 stage of the day?
17 MR. MANSFIELD: Certainly to look, but whether it goes much
18 further I'm not sure.
19 May I ask for a moment to address Your Honours perhaps in
20 fairness in the absence of the witness in relation to observations that
21 you made a little earlier after the break. It will only take me a few
22 minutes but it may shorten matters.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Buja, counsel wish to put some further matters
24 so us. Could we ask you, please, to wait outside the courtroom. It's
25 suggested it won't take long.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mansfield.
4 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, the matter in a sense of having for
5 some assistance in relation to where we go from here with regard to this
6 witness. Plainly there are a number of questions, substantial questions,
7 I would want to ask this witness. But in the light of the indication
8 given after the break about the value of this witness, then it may be
9 unnecessary. I certainly don't --
10 MR. WHITING: That's --
11 MR. MANSFIELD: I don't think any of us on this side would wish
12 to take up any more time if in fact even on a temporary basis --
13 MR. WHITING: Excuse me. I just wonder if we should be in
14 private session for this discussion about the witness.
15 MR. MANSFIELD: Yes, I don't mind.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Well, with the concurrence of Mr. Mansfield, yes;
17 otherwise you mightn't have induced me, Mr. Whiting.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 4074 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mansfield.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Mansfield:
19 Q. Mr. Buja, good afternoon. I represent Fatmir Limaj and I'm sorry
20 also you have been here some time and I do have a few questions which I'm
21 afraid I can't complete tonight but I should complete tomorrow. I want
22 to make clear that I'm going to concentrate --
23 MR. MANSFIELD: I apologise. I'm just trying to -- I'm not
24 getting any sound on my earphones. Maybe now. Yeah.
25 Q. I'm going to concentrate on the circumstances surrounding the
1 interview you've been taken through, and I'm not going to do any more of
2 that tonight, you've been taken through in April of 2003 with the Office
3 of the Prosecutor. Do you understand?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I want to -- if you wouldn't mind thinking back to the
6 situation in 2003. What was the first you heard about the Office of the
7 Prosecutor wanting to speak to you?
8 A. I received a summons from the Office of the Prosecutor pursuant
9 to Article 2 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence for an interview, and
10 before I was interviewed the investigator from the Milosevic case, whose
11 name was Barney, wanted to meet me to my recollection.
12 Q. Now, I'm just checking but is the second name or the surname of
13 the investigator from the Milosevic case who wanted to meet you, is his
14 name Kelly?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How were you informed that he wanted to speak -- or meet with
18 A. He called me by phone and through the interpreter he invited me
19 to meet him in his office in Pristina.
20 Q. Did you go to his office in Pristina and meet him?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was present in the office in Pristina?
23 A. It was him and the interpreter.
24 Q. Was a record being kept of this interview in Pristina or meeting?
25 A. To my recollection, records were not being taken during this
2 Q. And what was said at this meeting?
3 A. Barney Kelly explained to me that that meeting was organised upon
4 the request of investigator Ole Lehtinen, whose name I didn't know at
5 that time. He wanted to meet me and to interview me. So Kelly suggested
6 that I should accept this request for interview and to tell what I know
7 about this case. He explained to me that the procedure of the interview
8 would be the same as the one that we followed in Milosevic case. I
9 requested that only in the case that such procedures were being followed,
10 I would of course cooperate with the Prosecution.
11 Q. Now, what did you understand you were being asked to speak about
12 in relation to this case?
13 A. I don't understand the question.
14 Q. I'll put it more simply. Why did you think -- we'll come to what
15 was actually said. Why did you think that anyone wanted to speak to you
16 about this case from the Prosecution?
17 A. I thought - in case I can now express my opinion - that the
18 reason I was meeting them was because Prosecution has suspicion that I
19 might not want to meet them. Barney Kelly knew well my interest in
20 giving that statement in Milosevic case and he told me that I should be
21 interviewed by the investigators for my activities in 1998/1999 and that
22 I should cooperate with the Prosecution just to avoid any possible
23 misunderstandings of me not wanting to cooperate with them.
24 Q. In this meeting with Mr. Kelly, did he indicate to you that you
25 might be suspected of anything by the Prosecutor?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. We did not discuss this issue.
2 Q. Did you think that you were suspected by the Prosecutor?
3 A. The impression of many KLA soldiers is that all KLA soldiers are
4 looked from an angle of suspicion, and of course everyone, especially
5 senior figures, were suspicious that there was investigations that in
6 fact did not happen but that were rumours that were spread in the
7 population. My impression was that it could be also an investigation on
8 -- of my own acts.
9 Q. How long was the meeting, just roughly speaking? Are we talking
10 about 10, 15 minutes? Half an hour, or what?
11 A. No, it took longer. About an hour, an hour and 10 minutes.
12 Q. How long before the interview with the Office of the Prosecutor
13 that took place on the 28th of April, 2003, was this meeting with Mr.
15 A. About four or five days before my interview.
16 Q. When you went to the interview on the 28th of April, before the
17 recording began was anything said to you by Ole Lehtinen about the Kelly
18 meeting that you'd had?
19 A. To my recollection, it was said that the purpose of the meeting
20 with Barney Kelly was to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the
21 interest that the Prosecution had in my activities.
22 Q. And did Mr. Lehtinen indicate to you what the interest was that
23 they had in you?
24 A. The written summons I received to report to the Finnish KFOR
25 division in Lipjan, premises, was -- had three questions or issues, that
1 is my activity in 1998/1999, the functions I had during the war, and
2 third -- I don't remember the third topic. They were more or less the
3 main topics of their interest.
4 Q. Did Ole Lehtinen before the tape-recording began indicate to you
5 that what you'd been told by Mr. Kelly about the procedure to be adopted,
6 that that procedure would be the same as the one in the Milosevic case.
7 Did Mr. Lehtinen say anything along those lines?
8 A. No, he did not, but I think that he said that I assume you have
9 clarified this issue with Barn Kelly and he started the actual interview.
10 Q. Now I want to go back in time a little bit. Before April of 2003
11 but after the war itself in Kosovo, through 1999 to 2003, were you
12 yourself arrested at any time during those years, 2000, 2001, 2002, and
13 so on?
14 A. After my departure from the Kosovo Protection Corps, I was
15 treated to a very painful way. My -- I was surveyed wherever I went. My
16 place of residence was photographed, my car. And in 2000 I was arrested
17 by the KFOR troops or, to put it better, I was detained for ten days.
18 And after nine days of isolation, the judge who was an Albanian came to
19 me to read the indictment which consisted of two lines. Apart from my
20 name and last name it was written that I was charged for illegal
21 possession of weapons which constituted a criminal offence. And then he
22 started laughing, telling me that if I had a revolver -- a pistol without
23 permission then I would be accused of a criminal offence, too.
24 After my release I was again surveyed and every movement I made
25 was recorded. Life in Kosova for me and many other people like me has
1 become a true hell. People are being arrested like Ganu Ymeri [phoen] or
2 another person from Prizren whose name is Ruzhdi Saramati or Semi Veseli,
3 people who are arrested and then released after two or three years being
4 declared innocent. So all this pressure was brought to bear against me
5 even though no indictment was made against me and no charges were made
6 against me.
7 Q. Was there any truth in the allegation being made against you?
8 A. I explained, the charge was for criminal offence, which means a
9 serious offence, for arms possession -- for legal [as interpreted] arms
10 possession. I had a weapon which I had a permission for, and that was a
11 charge made against me by the court.
12 Q. By the time of this detention in the year 2000, were you still a
13 zone commander or had that ended in the TMK?
14 A. I had just left TMK on my own wish and I had joined the political
15 and civil life.
16 Q. Now, in the period between that detention in 2000 and the
17 interview in 2003, had you been detained on any other occasion in that
19 A. Detained, yes, in the sense that I was constantly surveyed and
20 spied on, in a way. They had the car -- they had a picture of every car
21 that I used and they followed every movements that I made, checked on my
22 house from outside, but that was all.
23 Q. Now, in 2001, you were approached by the Prosecutor in the
24 Milosevic case in order to provide material for that case, do you
1 A. If you mean in -- with regard to the procedures followed then,
2 the procedures for the interview --
3 Q. Well, I'll come to that if I may in a moment. I just want to
4 identify so you're clear. I'm talking about 2001 when you were
5 approached by the Prosecutor about Milosevic. So that's the period. All
6 right? Now, I have available the Albanian version to my right.
7 MR. MANSFIELD: I wonder if Your Honour would permit him to have
8 the Albanian version of this statement in front of him. I think Your
9 Honour has the English version.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
11 MR. MANSFIELD: This is a witness statement which was finalised
12 in October of that year, and I want to go through some of the dates.
13 It's finally signed off on the 4th of October, 2001, so it's that
15 Q. Now, Mr. Buja, would you look at the first sheet, first page, of
16 this statement which indicates the dates of the interviews in 2001 and
17 the places for that matter. If you just follow it for the moment. You
18 were interviewed on the 25th of August, 2001, the 20th, the 25th, and
19 29th of September, 2001, all of those interviews in Pristina; and then
20 another one on the 2th of October, 2001, at Recak. Do you see that? It
21 should be on the front page.
22 A. Yes, I see that.
23 Q. Now, just on the question of date, if you turn right to the end
24 of this statement you'll see what we have as a witness acknowledgment and
25 also an interpreter's certification both dated the 4th of October, 2001.
1 Do you see those at the end of this statement? You'll have to go through
2 the statement and you'll find page 26 and 27, it's the last two pages of
3 the statement, in the English version. I think it's the same in the
4 Albanian. Witness acknowledgment dated 4th of October; interpreter's
5 certification dated the 4th of October. Right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Right. Now, the question I have in relation to this is on the
8 occasions you were interviewed before the statement was finally signed
9 off on the 4th of October, were the interviews tape recorded so far as
10 you know?
11 A. They were not tape recorded, but notes or taken on the basis of
12 my answers. I don't know of any tape-recording.
13 Q. Okay. So was the procedure that the -- the interviewer, Barney
14 Kelly, who you met just before the April interview in 2003, took notes as
15 you spoke over those occasions in August and September and that sometime
16 after the last interview in September a statement was compiled in which
17 what you had said in the interviews was reduced into the statement? Is
18 that how it worked?
19 A. Yes, that was a procedure followed. These meetings lasted --
20 those notes were being taken and interpretation was sometimes wrong or it
21 was misinterpreted. That's why often it was necessary for me to
22 intervene when I saw that they were mistakenly translated. So they made
23 corrections. And at the next meeting I looked over those corrections and
24 this is how it went. I improved the mistakes or I corrected the mistakes
25 three times, even after I came here as a witness against -- I mean in the
1 Milosevic case.
2 Q. Now, the occasions before the statement was compiled at the end,
3 are you saying that you were in a position to have the notes taken by the
4 interviewer read back to you in Albanian so that you could then correct
5 what had been written down in the interview? Have I got that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right, because always the statement was translated to
7 me. I made the necessary remarks or changes in some parts of the
8 statement that was not correctly translated by the interpreter. And this
9 is why the procedure lasted longer.
10 Q. And when it came to the statement itself, we can see - but you
11 can confirm - that on each page of the 27 pages you have signed each page
12 yourself and dated it the 4th of October. Do you see that? Each page is
13 signed by you. Do you see that?
14 A. I don't see it here in the copy that I have, but I was told and
15 -- that I should sign each and every one of the pages of my statement.
16 Q. Well, what appears to have happened with the statement, if you
17 just bear with me, is according to your acknowledgment which is on page
18 26 of the English version, may I just read it. You will find it in
19 Albanian. I think it's the second-to-last page, page 26, should be. I
20 just pause to make sure you have to second-to-last page. Do you have
21 that with "witness acknowledge" at the top?
22 A. I don't have the numbers of the pages here.
23 Q. Oh, right. Well, will you bear -- because it's late I'm not
24 going to ask you to try and find it. I'm just going to read to you what
25 you signed in relation to this. And if you just listen carefully this is
1 what it says:
2 "This statement consisting of 27 pages has been read over to me
3 in the Albanian language and is true to the best of my knowledge and
4 recollection. I have given this statement voluntarily and I am aware
5 that it may be used in criminal proceedings before the International
6 Criminal Tribunal for the prosecution of persons responsible for serious
7 violations of international law committed in the territory of the former
8 Yugoslavia since 1991 and that I may be called to give evidence in public
9 before the Tribunal."
10 Now, is that an accurate description of what had happened, namely
11 that the 27 pages had been read over to you in Albanian and that you'd
12 then signed them?
13 A. Yes. The entire statement was read over to me in Albanian and
14 then I signed every page of that statement.
15 Q. Now, just on this topic continuing, were you given a copy of the
16 statement to take away with you, do you remember?
17 A. I don't remember to have been given any copy, but I could have
18 access to this statement every time I wanted. This happened when I came
19 in The Hague to testify. I was -- I read this statement for three days
20 and I made two corrections of mistakes that occurred during the interview
21 or during the compiling of this statement.
22 Q. Now, I want to ask you a slightly more difficult question. In
23 this statement, in the substance of this statement, you do deal with the
24 organisation and the structure of the KLA. Do you remember being asked
25 about that during interviews, and that it -- there is reference to it in
1 the statement? Do you remember that?
2 A. Yes, I remember that.
3 Q. Do you have a copy of this statement now? Do you have a copy of
4 this statement -- I know you have it in front of you. Sorry, what I mean
5 is do you have possession of a copy of this statement since the time that
6 Ole Lehtinen gave you a copy, it would appear, of this statement?
7 A. I didn't have a copy of that statement. I didn't think I needed
8 one, but after what happened with Ole Lehtinen I demanded that if they
9 really wanted me to cooperate with them then they should provide me with
10 a statement I made for the Milosevic case.
11 Q. Right.
12 A. And the recording. Everything, the transcript and the other
13 transcript as well.
14 Q. I'll come to the other transcript because what I want to --
15 probably overnight if you have a copy because you've been given one
16 before. The question is this: Can -- are you in a position to help as
17 to whether the statement describes everything you said about the
18 structure of the KLA or did you tell them more which they didn't bother
19 to reduce into the statement? Now, do you follow the question first of
21 A. Yes, I understand the question. I have always tried to explain
22 the part dealing with organisation -- my part in the organisation of the
23 KLA and I have always made the necessary corrections and improvements.
24 They asked me to make a brief description of my activity and my
25 engagement in that structure and then to pass on to the question of
1 testimony for the Milosevic case.
2 Q. Now, in 2001 when you were doing this, did Barney Kelly at any
3 stage ask you about Fatmir Limaj or Celiku in any detail?
4 A. He didn't ask me in any details, but he asked me about my
5 contacts with other soldiers and I gave him the answers that have been
6 included in the statement regarding the organisation of the KLA. It was
7 a brief history or description of the flow of events having to do with my
8 engagement in the KLA.
9 MR. MANSFIELD: Your Honour, I see the time. Would that be a
10 convenient moment?
11 Could I ask the witness if he would refresh his memory from the
12 Albanian version of this statement so I can ask him a few more questions
13 tomorrow on this.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Then we will adjourn tonight and
15 resume at 2.15 tomorrow.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of
18 March, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.