1 Thursday, 6 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: SHUKRI BUJA [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, I put a question to you and that's
11 where we broke off, that you were forcing villagers to leave villages and
12 then you fortified these villages and conducted attacks against the police
13 and then you proclaimed these attacks to be attacks against the civilian
14 population. You said that that was not true.
15 Let me just read something out to you. Page 8, paragraph 2. It
16 says: "We had to evacuate the villagers of Zborce in the municipality of
17 Stimlje, and later it was -- later, it was levelled to the ground as a
18 result of the shelling."
19 So you can see quite nicely there that you removed the population,
20 and then later there was fighting there. Does that confirm these
21 particular tactics of yours or not?
22 A. No, it doesn't confirm that because we established ourselves at
23 Rance in 1998, and the civilian population left subsequent to the
24 offensive of August 1998. It is true that there was fighting on a
25 continual basis in Rance throughout 1999. Rance was burnt down twice.
1 Q. Is it correct that you took advantage of the cease-fire in order
2 to obtain arms and train KLA members?
3 A. Yes, that is true.
4 Q. So when the Verification Mission came, it made it possible to
5 revitalise the KLA; isn't that right?
6 A. We certainly used the time when there was a lull in fighting. Not
7 only during the time the verifiers were there but also when we were not
8 under attack, under fierce attack by your army and police. So that is the
9 time we used to rearm and regroup and reorganise. This happened in the
10 course of 1998, after the first offensive.
11 This was certainly not a violation of the agreement, because the
12 agreement does not envisage that. A breach of the agreement actually was
13 constituted by the repositioning and deployment of your forces at the
14 Pishat, Kodra e Geshtenjeve and such positions that lent themselves the
15 possibility of staging the massacre at Racak.
16 Q. All right. What a violation is and what a violation is not was
17 for the Verification Mission to determine, not for you. Is it true that
18 as far as the Nerodimlje zone is concerned, the KLA headquarters were in
19 Stimlje and the positions above Racak continued along to Rance where you
20 also had your forces? And by the way, tell me, how far away is it from
21 Racak to --
22 JUDGE MAY: One question at a time. There are a series of them
23 there. Was the headquarters in Stimlje? That was the first question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The staff was not located at
25 Shtime. It was in the village of municipality of Shtime, the village of
1 Mullopolc in the municipality of Shtime.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell me, the positions above Racak continued on to Rance where you
5 also had your forces; right?
6 A. The positions overlooking Racak and up to Rance, yes, they were
7 KLA positions.
8 Q. How far away is it from Racak to Rance?
9 A. Two to three kilometres.
10 Q. So how did you link up your positions between the two?
11 A. By using soldiers. By the positioning of soldiers.
12 Q. The members of the KLA were supposed to operate at the pass of
13 Laniste in the municipality of Stimlje because that was of vital
14 importance for the KLA, wasn't it, for the route through Pastrik and
15 further on towards headquarters; isn't that right?
16 A. No, this is not correct, because the positions that we had were
17 aimed at defending the gorge of Lluzhak and Llanishte, which was vital to
19 Q. Well, that's precisely what I've been saying, that your task was
20 to hold the pass of Laniste because that was the key route to Pastrik and
21 your headquarters.
22 A. It was vital to the headquarters of the Nerodime operational zone
23 because this was the route we used to pass on to the operational zone of
24 Pashtrik and through that to reach the general headquarters of the KLA.
25 Q. The KLA killed a policeman in January 1999, in your zone, and yet
1 another one was wounded; isn't that right?
2 A. We're not aware whether there was a policeman killed and another
3 one wounded. All we know is that the units of Mullopolc went to defend
4 the civilian population which began leaving the villages after the entry
5 of Serbian police forces. And in the course of this process, they came
6 under fire, and our soldiers went to defend the civilians and about 40
7 minutes of fighting ensued. We're not aware of whether this resulted in
8 the killing of one policeman and the wounding of another.
9 Q. As for the killing of the policeman, you refer to it in your very
10 own statement, on page 10, in the last paragraph. How can you bring it
11 into question now?
12 Is it correct that in that region - that is to say, the region
13 Racak, Petrovo, Rance - in mid-January 1999, the situation with regard to
14 armed soldiers in that area was about 1.400; that was their actual number?
15 A. I did not understand the question. Can you repeat it, please?
16 Q. I asked you whether it is correct that in that region - Racak,
17 Petrovo, Rance - in that zone of yours, in mid-January 1999, the actual
18 number of armed members of the KLA was about 1.400. Is that right?
19 A. No. In my statement, I said that the number of soldiers varied in
20 the course of time, and at the time of the Recak massacre, the entire zone
21 counted about a thousand soldiers.
22 Q. All right. It's not that much of a difference. But page 6, last
23 paragraph, this is what it says:
24 "I commanded two brigades, one between Stimlje and Urosevac, and
25 the other one between Kacanik and Strpce, at the time when the massacre in
1 Racak took place." So I'm asking you about that period, and that was
2 contained in my question. So in the village of Racak, municipality of
3 Stimlje, the number of armed soldiers was around 1.000. "In the entire
4 zone I had about 1.400, including personnel from all sections. I had
5 about another 300 to 400 in training," et cetera, et cetera.
6 Please go ahead.
7 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish. Yes.
8 Yes, Mr. Buja.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This paragraph relates to the time
10 of the massacre at Recak, where it says that there were about a thousand
11 soldiers, and it later refers to the overall numbers up to the end of the
12 war. But the questions coming from the accused seem to be a bit removed
13 from the actual statement.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. All right. Let's not go into the extent of the deviation
16 concerned. I asked you of the actual numbers in the crucial time that you
17 are referring to, and it says here that there was about 1.400. But let us
18 go on.
19 Is it correct that you had bunkers and trenches in the area above
20 and around Racak?
21 A. It is not right that I said 1.400. What I said was there were
22 about a thousand soldiers in the entire zone.
23 Yes, we did have bunkers and trenches, not only on the hills
24 overlooking Recak, but also other positions at Petrova, Mullopolc, Jezerc,
25 and other positions within the operational zone of Nerodime.
1 Q. Again, you've gone back to your assertion that in the entire zone
2 you had a thousand soldiers. But in the last sentence in the paragraph on
3 page 6, you say: "In the entire zone I had 1.400 men," lest there be any
5 JUDGE MAY: He has dealt with this and you've pointed out the
6 statement. Let us move on to another question.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have moved on to the next
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Bunkers, trenches above and around there, et cetera, et cetera.
11 You got the drafts, you approved them, and they started working on this
12 the beginning of 1998, isn't that right, December 1998?
13 A. Work on opening the trenches overlooking Recak and the bunkers,
14 yes, they began in December 1998, and I think I clarified this in the
15 course of my testimony yesterday.
16 Q. And you explained that you had this in other parts of your zone,
17 all over, that is to say, both bunkers and trenches; isn't that right?
18 Also, is it right that your soldiers were given automatic weapons and
19 mortars: RBG-500, machine-guns of 7.9 calibre, and also heavy
20 anti-aircraft guns of 12.7-millimetre calibre? Then you had a recoilless
21 gun, two light mortars, 60-millimetre calibre, and also, in the zone of
22 Pastrik, you had mortars of 120 millimetres. Isn't all of that right? Is
23 all of that right?
24 A. No, that is not correct. In my statement, I said that the weapons
25 we had in Nerodime was mortars of 500, machine-guns of 12.7, 60-millimetre
1 mortars, whilst at Pashtrik operational zone we had the
2 120-millimetre-calibre weapon, and this latter category reached the region
3 of Pashtrik very late in the course of the war.
4 Q. I really don't know what the difference is between what I had
5 asserted and what you asserted. It says here in your statement, in the
6 middle of the seventh page: "Soldiers were given automatic weapons."
7 JUDGE MAY: We don't have to go over it again. We can read it.
8 We've got his response.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course you can read it, but I
10 wish to remind you that that is what he mentioned in his very own
12 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues] ... read that. The
13 question may be this: What did the soldiers have available? What weapons
14 did they have available to them in January 1999?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our soldiers were equipped with
16 automatic rifles, mortars, machine-gun of 7.9 calibre, machine-gun 12.7,
17 60-millimetre grenade launcher, and rifles M-48, AK-47, the mortar of 500
18 millimetres as well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. All right. We have clarified that, then, your
21 weapons, starting from automatic weapons, going all the way to heavy
22 guns. I'm pleased that you've clarified this, because Bilall Avdiu, a
23 witness from Racak, said that your soldiers were armed with hunting rifles
25 My next question: According to your statement, in Racak you had
1 only 47 soldiers; is that right?
2 A. I do not know what previous witnesses said because civilian
3 witnesses could have various statements to put forward. Yes, it is true
4 that there were 47 soldiers in the positions near Recak.
5 Q. You explained yesterday during the examination-in-chief that for
6 these purposes you had, at the very entrance into Racak, five or six
7 houses. That's how you had put it. That is in the LiveNote as well.
8 Isn't that right?
9 A. That is not correct, because those five or six houses are located
10 at the end of Recak, on the entrance to Recak.
11 Q. That's exactly what I said. At the entrance into Racak, these
12 five or six houses. That's what you had. Does that mean five or six
13 houses that you had for putting up 47 soldiers? Does that mean that every
14 soldier had a room to himself?
15 A. Excuse me. What I said was that our base consisted of four,
16 five -- four or five houses at the end, at the very end or extremity of
17 Recak. Those four or five houses were used for accommodation, kitchen,
18 catering. One of them served as a kitchen, another one was used by the
19 commander and his deputy, another one by the sentry and the other guards,
20 and the other ones were used as accommodation.
21 Q. All right. Yesterday you said five or six, but this is quite
23 So your base was in Racak. There is no doubt about that. Whether
24 it was at the entrance of Racak or whether it was at the end of Racak as
25 you had put it just now, at any rate, your base was in Racak; isn't that
2 A. It is important [as interpreted], because it -- it was at the
3 gorge at the very end of Recak, and it was secluded from the civilian
4 population of Recak. We had a guard who did not allow civilians to enter
5 the zone, that area, that -- without business.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. In the transcript, instead
7 of saying, "It was a base," it says here, "It is important." That is a
8 serious difference in respect of the witness's answer because his answer
9 was, "It is indeed a base." And then he explained it further on.
10 JUDGE MAY: I don't see it. He's used the word "base." Let's
11 move on.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. You showed the investigator who took your statement
14 the position where KLA headquarters was in Racak, the place from which you
15 killed two Serb policemen on the 15th of January, 1999, the place where
16 your commander was wounded.
17 JUDGE MAY: Just a minute. If you're going to make allegations of
18 that sort, let us deal with it one by one.
19 First of all, did you show the investigator your base or
20 headquarters in Racak?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Next, it's suggested that this was -- just a moment.
23 Let us deal with it one at a time.
24 It is suggested that this was the place from which you killed two
25 Serb policemen on the 15th of January, 1999. Can you assist us as to
1 that? Is that right or not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not correct, because Recak
3 and Slivove, where the event occurred, is at a great distance from Recak.
4 You can't shoot from Recak towards Slivove. There were the units of
5 Mullopolc which went to the defence of the civilian population at Slivove,
6 and fighting ensued for 40 minutes. And we are not aware of any
7 casualties or not. Public information, however, suggested that a
8 policeman had been killed and another one had been wounded. And this
9 information came from state-owned Serbian television.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Please. In relation to this controversial issue, I would like to
12 quote point 14 on page 22 of the statement. Could you please take a look
13 at that? Page 22, point 14 says: "GPS position, EM 01580 96481,
14 elevation 741 metres, relates to the area from where, on the 15th of
15 January, 1999, two Serb police officers were shot and killed."
16 Of course that's not all, because it says: "On the 19th of
17 January, from the same location, Mira LNU, Shtime police commander, was
18 shot and killed from the same location," et cetera, et cetera.
19 In this paragraph number 14, it also says: "It is the -- the
20 bunker in Recak is located on the far side of this hill." And then what
21 these photographs refer is not really important.
22 So is that right or is that not right?
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Buja, have you got this part of your statement?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very long. I found point 14
25 but not the other one.
1 JUDGE MAY: Just read point 14 to yourself.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says the elevation and the EM
3 01580 96481 in the map coordination system. And this shows the place on
4 15th of January where two Serb police officers were killed.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. It doesn't say "in which." It says "from where," "from where"
7 they were killed, not "in which."
8 A. I'm reading it as it is -- I'm reading paragraph 14 - I still
9 haven't finished - as it is in the statement. May I go on reading this
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "On 19th of January, 1999, Mira LNU,
13 Shtime police commander, was shot and killed from the same location. It
14 is the hill that Shaqir Berisha was shot from. The bunker in Recak is
15 located on the far side of this hill. Roll 3, photographs 16 to 18
17 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us and tell us what the position was to
18 which you are referring in the statement? Can you do that or not?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, because -- if you wish,
20 I could use the map. We were firing from --
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even though it's not actually on the
23 map, I can show you approximately because Shaqes Hill is here behind the
24 bunker, and the hill from which there was firing is down over in this part
25 here. And firing came Shaqes Hill, and there was firing that I explained
1 in my evidence, on the 16th of January on the Krajkova road with the
2 police that was positioned at this point over here. 15th of January. And
3 I could also use the photographs that are taken of this position.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Well, perhaps the interpretation wasn't good. I heard 16th of
6 January and then the 15th of January. So I just want to clarify. It was
7 on the 15th of January; is that right?
8 A. It was on the 15th of January that there was the murder of two --
9 the two Serbian officers were killed. And on the 16th -- on the 19th, the
10 Shtime police commander was killed. And this happened during the fighting
11 that we were engaged in during those days.
12 Q. Well, some of your people were killed during the fighting as
13 well. You said this right.
14 What I wanted to ask you about this is the following: You showed
15 the position where the KLA headquarters was located in Racak. This is
16 under item 16, paragraph 16. So we read out the 14th, and now in the
17 16th, it says such-and-such position -- I'm not going to read the
18 coordinates and so on, they're in paragraph 16. But it says that this
19 pertains to the KLA headquarters in Racak where 47 soldiers were together
20 with the staff. And then it says here: "The view of the side of the
21 house indicates the direction of the bunker over the trees in relation to
22 the HQ," and so on. And then it shows the direction behind the house
23 where Afet Bilalli, nicknamed Qopa, Racak unit commander, was located.
24 So therefore, you showed to the investigator where 47 soldiers
25 were housed together with the staff. And you also show to him the place
1 where this commander of yours was wounded.
2 Under paragraph 22, it says also that on the elevation of 620
3 metres, this -- this refers to the location where Afet Bilalli was wounded
4 and Skender Qarri killed, and so on.
5 This is what you --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, if it is
7 possible, could these questions be shorter? Because it's very difficult
8 to answer these very long questions.
9 JUDGE MAY: There isn't a question so far. We'll wait for it.
10 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So these 47 soldiers stayed in the house whose owner was Mehmet
13 Mustafa, a soldier of the KLA who was one of the killed -- one of the
14 members of the KLA that was killed; isn't that right?
15 A. Your Honour, first I must -- I must explain that I have an
16 additional statement, because the headquarters -- the word "headquarters"
17 is used here, and the -- I wanted to stress the word "base," because these
18 terms are very different, because a headquarters means having auxiliary
19 personnel, and we didn't have such personnel at our base. We only had
20 soldiers, the commander of the unit, and his deputy. So we weren't
21 dealing with a headquarters but what the commander, Ahmed [as interpreted]
22 Bilalli and his deputy, uh-huh, with 47 soldiers.
23 JUDGE MAY: You were asked whether these were the houses belonging
24 to one of the soldiers who was in fact killed, a Mr. Mehmet Mustafa. Is
25 that right?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it is, but I don't have any
2 evidence about whose house it was.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In the second paragraph on page 12, you speak of these 47 soldiers
5 who stayed on the pass in Racak, and they were -- they stayed in the house
6 of Mehmet Mustafa, who was one of the members that got killed; isn't that
8 A. He's called Mehmet Mustafa, not Mustafaj [phoen]. And after the
9 war I did find out that it was Mehmet Mustafa's house. During the war, we
10 didn't really record whose houses we used and whose were not.
11 Q. I didn't say "Mustafaj." Perhaps that was the interpretation that
12 you got. I said "Mehmet Mustafa," which is what it says here. And the
13 point is as follows: Not only it was his house, but it also says here
14 that he was one of the KLA soldiers that got killed. So he was a soldier
15 of the KLA; isn't that right? This is what it says in your statement. Is
16 that right or not?
17 A. Yes. Mehmet Mustafa was a soldier for KLA.
18 Q. So Mustafa was a soldier of the KLA, and he got killed as such, as
19 a soldier of the KLA. And this person, gentleman, can be found on the
20 list on the following pages, on the list of killed civilians. You can
21 find his name there.
22 JUDGE MAY: We can check that out, yes. Yes, Mr. Buja.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In which paragraph is this?
24 JUDGE MAY: The accused is making the point that this name appears
25 on the list of civilians. We can check it out. No need to look it up
2 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not speaking about his list of
4 civilians; I'm referring to the list of civilians that got killed, and
5 this is Mr. Nice's list.
6 JUDGE MAY: I understood that. Let's move on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. On the 13th of January, you spoke to those who were -- to the
9 villagers of Racak, and you told them that there was a danger of imminent
10 attack, and you said that the majority of residents left that place; isn't
11 that right? I mean, this is in your statement. Do you remember this?
12 A. Yes. I said that I talked to the inhabitants of Recak about the
13 danger they faced, and it was up to them to decide whether to leave or
14 not. Our duty was to warn civilians of danger. Most of them left Recak,
15 but those who wished to remain, regardless of the danger, did remain.
16 Q. Very well. I wanted to clarify what I just said, which is that
17 most of the residents had left the place.
18 Is it true that on the 13th you had a meeting in the command in
19 Racak, at which time it was ordered to take great caution in Belince area
20 because of great concentration of Serb forces near Ceska Hill and another
21 place, Trnobro [phoen]?
22 A. No meeting was held at the Recak base. It was held at the command
23 base of the zone, which was at Mullopolc, whereas the soldiers at Recak
24 were given instructions to be careful about the Belinca area because
25 Serbian forces were positioned at the pine trees of Shtime and the
1 Caraleva gorge and near Belinca, and so the KLA soldiers at Recak had to
2 be very careful about these positions.
3 Q. Is it true that on the 14th of January you declared a state of
4 high alert due to movements of Serb forces that you just referred to?
5 A. Not only on the 14th, but this state was proclaimed whenever
6 Serbian forces started shelling. During the 14th, during the night, there
7 was shelling, so we went on the alert. And we responded to every shelling
8 with a state of alert, not because we were scared of Serbian forces, but
9 we were anxious about the villagers.
10 Q. Very well. Based on these last few questions, can it be clearly
11 concluded that it was no surprise for you that the police intervened, that
12 you also had your base in Racak, that you killed policemen from there,
13 that you expected a conflict with police - because you just told us in
14 your two previous answers that you were expecting this and you were
15 waiting for the police - and that this is all about a conflict between the
16 police and your terrorist group, which, based on your statement --
17 JUDGE MAY: That's enough, if you're trying to ask a question.
18 You know that speeches are not permitted. Your question, such as it is,
19 contains one matter which has been denied and in dispute, when you allege
20 again that the witness killed policemen from the base in Racak. The
21 witness has denied that and has explained what has happened.
22 The question appears to be this, interpreting it, that it was no
23 surprise to you when the police attacked. Is that right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not a surprise, because there
25 were warnings, signs, with the sighting of Serbian forces at Kodra e
1 Geshtenje, at the Shtime pine trees, at the arrival of Vojislav Seselj and
2 the activities of the Black Hand. These were sufficient warning signs
3 that we should be careful, even if we were unable to tell whether it was
4 Recak and Dramjak that would be attacked. These two villages were the
5 most imperilled. And before the Recak massacre happened, there had been
6 police intervention in Slivove and in Dramjak, when civilians were
7 arrested. And for these reasons, you can -- and about these events you
8 can look at the OSCE report, because we reported all these incidents to
9 the Kosova Verification Mission.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Very well. I think we drew our conclusions and you answered
12 affirmatively with respect to these orders concerning Racak and also
13 pertaining to the fact that on the 14th you declared a state of high
14 alert. This is all contained in your statement.
15 And now the firing started in the morning of January 15th, between
16 6.00 and 7.00 in the morning. This is what you're claiming, thereabouts;
18 A. The state of alert, I repeat, was not only on the 14th but was
19 continually during those days, because there were four or five days before
20 the Recak massacre when there was shelling during the night. And in my
21 statement, I have stated that there was shelling, and I said that whenever
22 there was shelling, we declared a state of alert and took positions. This
23 manner of operation on the part of Serbian forces was precisely in order
24 to wear down our soldiers and to put us into difficult positions from our
25 exhaustion, as indeed happened on the 15th of January.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Buja, but in your statement you didn't mention a
2 shelling at that time. You only said that you declared a state of high
3 alert only because of the movement of the Serb forces. Is it right?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which paragraph in the
5 statement you're referring, but I might explain that four or five days
6 before the massacre, there was shelling during the night. It was
7 sporadic. And this alarmed us. The OSCE was always informed about this.
8 And I wrote in my statement that this shelling took place at night so that
9 it couldn't be checked by the verifiers. I might find the place where I
10 have stated this.
11 JUDGE KWON: That's enough. Thank you.
12 Please go on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very much.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, let us turn to the battle itself, the battle around Racak,
16 which Mr. Nice here analysed in much more detail than his countryman had
17 analysed the Waterloo battle.
18 The question was: Who was the first to start shooting? And you
19 naturally replied that it was our forces, or, as you call them, "Serb
20 forces," and I call them "our forces." So you say that they started
21 shooting first. And you also contradict yourself by your statement. So
22 could you please comment on this, because it is obviously not true that
23 the Serb forces were the first one to start firing. Because on page 12,
24 you say that --
25 JUDGE MAY: Besides comment on the Prosecution which is
1 unnecessary, we now have a question which has lasted more than a minute,
2 insofar as it's a question. Now what is the point? If you want to bring
3 a witness's attention to what is alleged to be a contradiction, you should
4 point it out to him in the statement and then give him the opportunity to
5 deal with it. Now, what is your question here?
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In your statement, on page 12, paragraph 2, it says -- this is how
8 the paragraph itself begins:
9 [As interpreted] At night, Serbs, without -- got to our positions
10 silently, and at that point three bullets were fired on the Serbs, and it
11 seems that a Zolja anti-tank grenade hit some people who were in the
12 bunker, and so on.
13 You say in your statement that your soldiers shot a short burst of
14 fire as a warning to other members of the KLA. Is that right? So if
15 there was any shooting before that, and if our forces did shoot before
16 that, then I suppose that your soldiers were sufficiently warned by this
17 firing and that there was no need to warn them additionally by any short
18 bursts of fire. Isn't that logical?
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Buja, look at the paragraph before, read the two
20 together, and then you can answer the question, which seems to be: Was
21 there a short burst of fire or not?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have found it hard to
23 find the page because I don't have page numbers. It's hard to find it.
24 Can you tell me in which part this is? Perhaps I should number the pages.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Buja, did you find the sentence when you say "the
1 high alert"? The two sentences next from this sentence.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think the witness is now looking at the
3 Albanian version, which doesn't have page numbers. If he can look for -
4 at page 12 or thereabouts, because the page numbers do not coincide - the
5 paragraph beginning, "On the morning of the 15th of January, 1999..." that
6 may be the best way for him to locate it.
7 JUDGE KWON: It's in the next paragraph from that paragraph.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "On 15th of January, in the --"
9 JUDGE MAY: Just read the two paragraphs to yourself.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We're wasting too much time this
11 way. I don't think that we can challenge the authenticity of this
12 statement. This is what the witness is looking at.
13 JUDGE MAY: He can read the statement. It's fair that witnesses
14 should have a chance to refresh their memory if questions are being asked
15 about it. Now, then, Mr. Milosevic, he's had a chance to read the
16 statement and you can ask your question again.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Therefore, you say that the Serbs approached the village without
19 making a sound, a single sound, and that your people saw that something
20 was wrong. They fired a short burst of fire from this heavy anti-aircraft
21 machine-gun. So Mr. Nice asked you, and you replied that the Serbs were
22 the first to shoot, and that is not true, because you were the first ones
23 to shoot. This is what appears in your statement. Isn't that right?
24 A. That's not right. I could explain this if you wish.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Clarify it, if you would.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't know when the Serbian
2 operations started that day, but after analysis, it showed that the
3 operation started much before, long before the shots were heard. And the
4 positioning of Serbian forces behind our bunker, behind our positions, was
5 before the fighting started. And between 6.00 and 7.00 in the morning,
6 Serbian forces that were positioned behind the bunker were unable to
7 distinguish, make out the place where the bunker was, and they -- they
8 started firing from Cesta to provoke return fire from the bunker. And the
9 bunker replied with a short burst of fire after the provocation, after
10 which, Serbian forces discerned where the bunker was and fired at its
11 entrance with a Zolja.
12 This bunker was eliminated, and at this time, the Ismail Luma, the
13 soldier, was killed. And the soldiers gave a signal with a 12.7, because
14 these were not -- this was not incessant firing but only a short burst.
15 And our soldiers started leaving the base, and some of them like
16 Mehmet Mustafa, Sadik Mujota, were hit on the steps as they left the
17 house. This is what happened on the 15th of January.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Buja, that's not the sequence that you
19 outlined in your statement. You didn't mention in your statement that the
20 Serbian forces positioned behind the bunker started firing from Cesta to
21 provoke return fire from the bunker. You appear to be saying that now for
22 the first time. Why is that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is not the first time I
24 mentioned this because this exists in my statement. I don't know which
25 paragraph. If I went through all of it, I could pinpoint it, certainly.
1 The paragraphs that were read here were in order to clarify the killing of
2 the soldiers.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You said that from this heavy machine-gun they shot a burst of
6 gunfire in order to respond to provocations, because the Serbs had been
7 shooting. And two lines up you say that these three bullets were fired as
8 a signal, as an alert. You say that this automatically represented an
9 alert, an alarm, for the soldiers in Racak. This is again on page 12,
10 that this automatically was an alarm for the soldiers of the KLA in
12 Did you shoot by way of an alarm or in response to gunfire?
13 Before that, you said that the Serbs had come silently, without a sound.
14 JUDGE MAY: You can't have questions of this length. It's quite
15 impossible to follow. Now, either ask short questions, or we'll have to
16 bring this to an end.
17 He's dealt with it. He's explained what he said happened, how the
18 Serbs fired first and then they fired as an alarm.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Then you've explained all of this. Then we can go on, because
22 that's not hard at all.
23 So Ismail Luma and Enver Rashiti, KLA soldiers, were killed in
24 Racak; is that right?
25 A. At the bunker position which overlooked Recak.
1 Q. All right. Is it correct that the unit in Racak was called the
2 Racak unit and that they had positions of their own and they patrolled
3 there, et cetera?
4 A. No. The Recak unit, as it was known amongst the people, was part
5 of Battalion 2 of Brigade 161.
6 Q. I asked you whether this Racak unit, as you call it, was deployed
7 there and positioned there and patrolled there precisely in that area.
8 And I did not ask you about any further formations. Is that right or is
9 that not right?
10 A. I did not understand the question.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, the point can be seen if you read on from the
12 paragraph which you were reading. You will see there's a reference to the
13 Racak unit having specific areas to patrol. Do you see that paragraph?
14 It begins: "They patrolled mostly in the area of Belince."
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You say that they called it the Racak unit. They had certain
17 places where they patrolled and positioned. And if attacked, they had to
18 be in trenches or bunkers in that area.
19 Now, tell me, when this short burst of gunfire was sounded by way
20 of an alarm, did the soldiers rush, thus alarmed, to take bunkers and
21 trenches, according to your description, or did they start running away?
22 A. The soldiers of this unit were under orders that in the event of
23 shelling from Serbian forces, they ought to emerge and occupy the trenches
24 that led over to the bunker overlooking Recak. During the Serbian assault
25 from Cesta and the burst of gunfire from the 12.7 from the bunker, they
1 started filing out of the base at the Recak gorge, and outside the house
2 Mehmet Mustafa and Sadik Mujota were killed. There were also soldiers
3 killed in the yard of the base. The deputy commander Ali Beqa and Nazim
4 Kokollari, who was also known as Budakovc.
5 Some soldiers managed to move towards our positions. They faced
6 the Serbian fire. And Kadri Syla, one of our soldiers, was killed in the
7 vicinity of the trenches that led to the bunker. The commander of the
8 company came under fire as well whilst attempting to reach our positions,
9 and he sustained heavy injuries. Also the -- our soldier Skender Jashari
10 was killed. He is the one who was with the commander of the Recak unit.
11 JUDGE MAY: So what was the -- what was the upshot? Did they
12 occupy the trenches, as far as you know, or were they killed? What
13 happened when they left the base?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The soldiers of this unit attempted
15 to file towards the bunker and the positions around it. The soldier named
16 Kadri Syla was killed following the killing of Ismail Luma at the bunker
17 and Rashiti at the bunker. The other soldiers who went towards the -- our
18 positions around the bunker were also killed. Two in the yard of one of
19 the houses of that base. This is Nazim Kokollari, and the deputy
20 commander of this unit, Ali Beqa.
21 JUDGE MAY: So that I can understand it, they attempted to occupy
22 the trenches and the bunker, but a number of them were killed and the rest
23 left. Is that what happened?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because there were eight
25 soldiers who were also wounded, and those ones were taken away by the
1 other members of this company, away from this position.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. All right. Is it correct that this is how it happened: So the
4 soldiers got out of the house and they went to their positions. I am
5 quoting what it says in your statement.
6 "They were sure that our soldiers would be there, but they were
7 in crossfire, and they did not know where it was coming from. A number of
8 them tried to escape through a stream at the back of the yard. Some got
9 wounded there. Those that survived managed to get over the hill to Luzak
10 in Stimlje municipality. The unit commander, Afet Bilalli, nicknamed
11 Qopa, was shot and badly wounded in the leg trying to escape to Luzak.
12 Skender Qarri, who was with him, was killed at the same location."
13 Now, is that how it happened, the way you've just described it?
14 A. I cannot find this paragraph.
15 Q. It's right behind the paragraphs I've just quoted to you, because
16 it's all in the proper order.
17 A. I stated that soldiers of the Recak unit came under fire as they
18 attempted to reach the bunker which had previously been taken by the
19 Serbs. We learned of this later. At those very moments, the soldiers
20 were unaware of where the fire was coming from because there was crossfire
21 from all over the place from the Serbian positions overlooking our own
22 positions. So there was a degree of confusion amongst the soldiers.
23 What I've stated here was based on the reports, on the accounts as
24 reported to me by the soldiers of the Recak unit. However, the soldiers
25 themselves, during that period, were to a degree confused. Some of the
1 soldiers emerged from the base heading towards the position of the
2 bunker. Kadri Syla was killed at those moments. Two others were killed
3 in the yard of the house. Two were killed as they emerged from the base,
4 on the staircase of the house.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I think we have that picture.
6 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. This description more or less corresponds to the
9 description that the previous witness, Agron Mehmeti, mentioned as well.
10 I draw your attention to this gentleman. Except that he said that they
11 had all been civilians.
12 JUDGE MAY: No. You're examining this witness now, not commenting
13 on the evidence.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't want you to forget. All
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I mean, they coincide, except that one says that they were KLA
18 soldiers and the other one says they were civilians.
19 Well, yesterday, the other side --
20 JUDGE MAY: Are you going to put -- are you going to put it to
21 this witness? If so, you should put it in terms, that the people who were
22 killed in the ravine, shot, were KLA soldiers? Is that what you're going
23 to put? If that's the suggestion, you should put it clearly to the
24 witness. The 20 and more civilians were, in fact, KLA soldiers. Is that
25 what you're suggesting, Mr. Milosevic?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Allow me, first of all, to use this
2 document that the other side submitted yesterday. As far as I can see,
3 this is a report, this daily report that the police sent to the higher
4 authorities through their own chain, that is.
5 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit 211.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In relation --
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know which exhibit this is.
9 It says here OTP reference 2873. And which exhibit of yours this is, I
10 really have no idea.
11 This is a report that was signed by the shift leader, junior
12 sergeant first class, et cetera, et cetera. This is a regular report
13 which says the same thing that this witness here says, except that the
14 words used are a bit different, that the police was shot at from heavy
15 weapons, that is to say a 12.7 millimetre heavy anti-aircraft gun.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And we have confirmed that; right?
18 JUDGE MAY: Where are you reading from?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon?
20 JUDGE MAY: Where in the report are you reading from?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For example, right here. It says --
22 I'm going to read what it says about Racak.
23 "On the 15th of January, around 0300 hours, measures of blocking
24 the village of Racak were taken in order to capture and destroy a
25 terrorist group. We had had information that they had carried out several
1 terrorist attacks in the municipality of Urosevac with lethal
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now, is it contested that there was a group of 47 soldiers there?
5 I imagine it is not being challenged.
6 JUDGE MAY: We don't need to go over this again. Read on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So that is quite clear and correct. It says: "At 0630 hours the
9 village of Racak was completely encircled as a special police unit of SUP
10 Urosevac was entering --" that's what the abbreviation means -- "at the
11 very entrance of Racak from the direction of Stimlje (the road by the
12 special institution) and the Siptar terrorist bands opened fire from a
13 hand-held rocket launcher and small arms. Fire was responded to and the
14 terrorists, as the police approached, withdrew into the village of Racak
15 and incessantly opened fire against them. The struggle with the
16 terrorists went on until 1530 hours, and while the village was searched,
17 police were shot at from 12.7 millimetre Brownings and mortars. The
18 terrorist group was liquidated with maximum efforts exerted by the
20 Did you confirm this, please, that you had used mortars against
21 the police on that day?
22 A. Yes. We used --
23 Q. So you confirm that you used mortars, that you used 12.7
24 millimetre heavy weapons.
25 JUDGE MAY: Just pause. Pause.
1 It's right that you used mortars, is it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First, can you please allow me to
3 clarify that at Recak there were 41 civilians killed, and one --
4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The fate of one is still unknown.
6 JUDGE MAY: This is a report -- just a moment.
7 This is a report which has been produced by the police. It's
8 merely put to you for comment, and you're being asked about the references
9 to various weapons which it's alleged were used. It's alleged that a
10 hand-held rocket launcher was used. Would that be right?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the beginning of the conflict
12 and after the first shots from Cesta, from the position which I've shown
13 on the map, position number 10, a hand-held grenade launcher, calibre 500,
14 was used from the position at the Muri i Petroves, the wall of Petrove,
15 whilst on the 15th I spoke about the short burst of gunfire from the
16 bunker and the bunker was eliminated.
17 On this report, there is misinformation of various kinds because
18 this is staged-up or a false report that says we launched an attack. And
19 that is what the accused is trying to pass it as.
20 What is important, though, is that Serbian forces initiated the
21 attack, and we reacted from the position at Muri i Petroves by a mortar of
22 the 500 millimetres only when the APC appeared in view or within range at
23 the Cesta Hill. This was the only position that had the capability of
24 being operational up until 11.00. After 11.00, however, when soldiers
25 were regrouped, fighting started at the Krajkova road, which --
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You've dealt with enough now. You've had a
2 chance of commenting on it.
3 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I think that in the report you saw that they were out to capture a
6 terrorist group, so it is not being challenged that heavy weapons were
7 used against the police that had come to capture people who had killed
8 people all over. It moves further on to say --
9 JUDGE MAY: This is all argument and a waste of time. Now, what
10 else have you got to ask this witness, if you have some more?
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Further on, it says in this report -- I haven't brought it in,
13 it's the other side that brought it in. This is a report of our police:
14 "In the action, about 60 members of the Siptar terrorist bands
15 were liquidated. Towards the end of the action, investigating judge of
16 the district court in Pristina, Danica Marinkovic, came to the crime
17 scene, and deputy public prosecutor Ismet Shufta [phoen]."
18 JUDGE MAY: We will pause there and will not pass over it.
19 What is alleged in this document is that 60 members of a terrorist
20 band, i.e., the KLA, were liquidated. Now, what is your comment as to
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what it says there, 60
23 terrorists, and that includes the nine soldiers of the KLA but also all
24 the civilians that were massacred at Recak. The number is not 60
25 overall. The overall number should be about 50. So what's happening
1 there is that the same figure appears to include the KLA soldiers and the
2 civilians of Recak, and all of them under the term of "terrorist." So
3 they were all those people killed at the Bebush valley and inside the
4 village of Recak, as well as the soldiers killed at the gorge where our
5 base was located.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Yes, precisely that is the question. It says here in the report:
9 "While this action was being carried out, not a single civilian
10 person was killed."
11 Please, the report was sent on the 15th of January, 1999. It's a
12 regular report. It is sent along the regular chain of command. It has to
13 be accurate. It has to be signed. So here, in the official report of the
14 authorities, it says that during the -- while this action was being
15 carried out, not a single civilian was killed. The police had very strict
16 orders not to open fire if a civilian could be hit, and they were
17 duty-bound to report on that. And the report indeed said that not a
18 single civilian had been killed, and that is what my claim is as well.
19 JUDGE MAY: We can read it.
20 Is there a word of truth in it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no truth there, because, as
22 the verifying mission of the OSCE, as well as witnesses from Recak, who
23 were able to corroborate it, they all suggested that the majority of the
24 people killed at Recak were civilians, with the exception of nine soldiers
25 belonging to the Recak unit. The rest were all civilians. This report is
1 a staged-up report by the police, which compiled such reports in order to
2 misinform and to allege that no civilians at all were killed. These
3 reports were compiled based on the orders or on the commissioning line
4 that existed. Forty-one civilians. The truth is that 41 civilians were
5 killed. The fate of one is unknown.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. All right. Now, whether they were civilians or not, there are
8 many findings that refer to that, so let's not discuss this any further.
9 Who had fabricated Racak is well known all over the planet by now, and
10 that is William Walker, who we will have the opportunity of hearing and
11 seeing here.
12 JUDGE MAY: Move on. What he said is that this report is a
13 fabrication. Now, we'll move on.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you can see, it coincides largely
15 with witness statements with regard to weapons, with regard to the timing
16 involved, and the fact that there was a battle, no doubt, not a massacre.
17 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... comment by you.
18 Have you got any more questions for the witness?
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please. It was challenged here considerably that some of the
21 persons killed were of an age that KLA soldiers were certainly not. The
22 age of 60 was mentioned, for instance. So I would like to ask you kindly
23 to comment on a paragraph in here, on page 13, which reads as follows:
24 "Two other soldiers - Sadik Mujota, 61 years old, from Malopoljce
25 --" It's the first paragraph on page 13 of the Serbian version. That's
1 how it starts:
2 "Two other soldiers - Sadik Mujota, 61 years old, from
3 Malopoljce, was staying with his relative, and also a soldier, Mehmet
4 Mustafa, 62 years old..."
5 So you are talking about the soldier Mujota, aged 61, and Mustafa,
6 aged 62, brother of Ahmet Mustafa, and you emphasise this: Civilian
7 killed on the 15th of January. So they were staying with his relative in
8 Racak, these two soldiers of the KLA. They do not belong to those 47
9 people of yours. They were staying with their relatives in Racak, and
10 they are 61 and 62 respectively. And now, where the house is, that
11 doesn't really matter. And then towards the end of the paragraph it says:
12 "When the firing started it was the duty of all soldiers to go to
13 the command, and that is what they were doing at that time. After Sadik
14 was killed, his 15-year-old daughter, Hanemshah, was killed while running
15 to him."
16 It was claimed that this little girl was massacred as a civilian.
17 And you say here yourself that she was running up to him as he was killed,
18 and he was a KLA soldier. Have we clarified that point at least?
19 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let the witness deal with this.
20 You've put two points or more. Let's divide them.
21 The first point which is being made is this: that there were KLA
22 soldiers, it appears from this, who were over 60. Now, can you confirm
23 that, Mr. Buja?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I will clarify. If we had
25 wanted to trump this up, to fabricate this, we would have said that these
1 two elderly soldiers were civilians. The truth is that they were KLA
2 soldiers, even though we were in great difficulty to admit them as
3 soldiers, largely because of their age, and it was at the insistence of
4 Mehmet Mustafa, who said that he would never give up his weapon, which had
5 always been his, and also Sadik Mujota had been involved ever since the
6 beginning of the war in Kosova. There were exceptions made of those two
7 people, largely owing to the fact because we did not want armed civilians
8 to remain in our vicinity, so that's why we admitted them as soldiers.
9 Whilst the claim raised by the accused that Hanemshah was
10 mentioned as one of those massacred, let me say here that he's
11 manipulating with names here, because the ranks of the massacred civilians
12 include another Mehmet, another Mustafa, and another Hanemshah. So
13 amongst the massacred civilians, we've got another Hanemshah, called
14 Hanemshah Mehmeti, which is certainly in the list that you possess, whilst
15 Hanemshah Mujota was killed after the killing of her father, Sadik
16 Mujota. She was the daughter of Sadik Mujota.
17 JUDGE MAY: It's now time to adjourn. It's time for the
18 adjournment. We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
19 Mr. Nice, there was one matter, administrative matter, which I
20 should have mentioned yesterday and overlooked. It's this: that at the
21 moment a Plenary of the Judges is fixed for the 10th, 11th, and 12th. We
22 propose to raise the issue as to whether it will be possible for us to sit
23 on the 10th and half the 11th rather than the Plenary.
24 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. That's very helpful to know in
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Nice.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the Chamber will recall the timetable
6 problem arising from Isuf Zhuniqi's need to return tomorrow. He's a
7 92 bis'd witness and would require, therefore, somewhere between 45
8 minutes and an hour, subject to less cross-examination by the accused, to
9 be dealt with.
10 JUDGE MAY: This morning.
11 MR. NICE: Yes, please.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The time available is now one hour for
13 cross-examination of this witness and we'll then hear the other one.
14 MR. NICE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In the third paragraph on page 13, you simply state that: "Other
18 soldiers dispersed. We know that some of them were wounded. We don't
19 know which way they took, but they ended up in Luzak."
20 My question is as follows, and it has to do with the large
21 paragraph on page 13: You say that: "Soldiers, one after another, were
22 coming into Luzak, and the stories were so confusing that some said that
23 only three to four survived and the rest were killed." Full stop.
24 So the question is this: When you deduct these three or four from
25 the number of 47, which is the number that you gave us, it seems that 43
1 or 44 got killed, which completely corresponds with the numbers of the KLA
2 members killed in Racak; isn't that right?
3 JUDGE MAY: Do you follow that or not, Mr. Buja?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understood it.
5 No, it's got nothing to do with this because the soldiers reached
6 Lluzhak and dispersed. And from three or four, we received information
7 that they arrived before 11.00, because they were carrying the wounded
8 with them. There were eight wounded. And from the information we
9 received, there was a confusion of information because those soldiers were
10 able to report, such as Sami, who was able to report on those killed, said
11 that we -- we had no information about the Recak soldiers until 11.00.
12 I wish to add that what is stated in the police document, that
13 there were 60 terrorists killed, if we look at the next day, it's said --
14 it states that 15 were killed, which implies that the remainder were
15 civilians. And we see this in the report made by the Serbian authorities
17 JUDGE MAY: Just deal with this passage in your statement that you
18 were asked about and so it's clarified. The passage which you've been
19 referred to says: "The soldiers were coming into Lluzhak one after the
20 other, and the stories were so confusing. Some said only three to four
21 survived. At about 11.00, the last of the soldiers came in."
22 It's one or two paragraphs beyond the one about the 60-year-old
24 Can you help us with this: Is that right, that it was at about
25 11.00 that the last of the soldiers came into Luzak?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At about 11.00, the last
2 soldiers arrived, with the exception of the commander of the unit who was
3 left behind, wounded, in the position where he was wounded. But there was
4 a lot of confusion regarding information, because the soldiers themselves
5 were confused and gave different reports. They were all not killed,
6 because they arrived -- wounded soldiers came in, and the ones who had
7 survived arrived before 11.00.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. So I hope we can
10 Q. Is it true that around 11.00, the position above Racak was lost to
11 you, or that, rather, the positions were not under your control any more?
12 Is that right?
13 A. We no longer had control over the bunker above Recak, from the
14 very start of the fighting, and soldiers were unable to go to this
15 position. I explained earlier that eight soldiers were killed there and
16 eight others were wounded.
17 Q. Very well. So in this large paragraph on page 13, it says,
18 somewhere in the middle:
19 "The positions above Racak were not in our control any more. We
20 decided to attack with other units that we had. So this decision was
21 taken by the complete command for the zone. I gave the order to the
22 deputy commander, Imri Ilazi, 38 years old, from Komoglava, in Urosevac
23 municipality, to attack with the Rance Company and the Luzak Company in
24 order to regain the positions. I attacked with the unit of the Sabotage
25 Reconnaissance Battalion that came to assist us from the main headquarters
1 in Petrovo. We kept the Jezerce Battalion in the state of high alert in
2 the event of an attack from the other side."
3 Therefore, you decided to attack with other units that you had and
4 issued an order to this man, Imri Ilazi, to attack with the Rance Company
5 and the Luzak Company in order to regain the positions. So how many
6 troops did you have at your disposal to attack this time? How many people
7 did you have to attack the positions at Racak, based on your assessment,
8 in view of these units that you listed here?
9 A. We had about a hundred soldiers at our base, with whom we tried to
10 reclaim our positions. These soldiers were not from the Recak unit.
11 Because they were -- these were very worried, and some of them were
12 wounded and had to go to the field hospital. And so we attacked with
13 other units, such as the Rance unit, and other units who were under the
14 zonal command, and an attack was made with about 80 soldiers.
15 Q. All right. So that means that in addition to 47 that were based
16 in Racak, on that day, in Racak, according to what you just told us,
17 another 80 soldiers participated in combat, which gives a total of your
18 soldiers -- which brings a total of your soldiers to at least 127
19 soldiers, is that right, 127 that participated in the combat?
20 A. The soldiers were not 127, because the Recak unit was paralysed
21 because of the nine soldiers killed and eight wounded, and the soldiers of
22 the other units collected to attack and to reclaim the positions we had
23 lost. However, I also explained that heavy fire came in the direction of
24 our forces, and our deputy commander received a report that our forces
25 could not operate because of the intensity of the fire. And the order was
1 given to reclaim the Lluzhak gorge, which, as I explained before, was on
2 the Krajkova road.
3 Q. All right. In this last paragraph, on page 13, you say as
4 follows: "At 11.30 --" that means 11.30 a.m. -- "I gave the order to
5 regain the positions." At that time you introduced these other units into
6 combat in Racak, the other units that you mentioned, which means that the
7 fighting went on and it intensified when you introduced new units into it
8 at 11.30. Upon your orders, these units were introduced. Is that right
9 or not?
10 A. Yes, the soldiers did regroup, and we started an attack to regain
11 our positions. And I explained that we came across very intensive fire
12 from Serbian forces and we were unable to advance. And fighting started
13 sometime after 11.00 and went on until the evening.
14 JUDGE MAY: Where did you advance from and towards? Can you
15 indicate that on the map?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Buja, if you look at the left-hand side map,
18 there's a white arrow which is written as K1. Does it coincide with your
19 claims just now?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This position was always an
21 attacking position because -- and from this position I looked towards the
22 Lluzhak gorge, where I had received information, as I said in my
23 statement. And from the position in the Lluzhak gorge, we went on to the
24 Krajkova road in the direction of the positions which we had but which we
25 lost. But I could show the Krajkova road better on this other map,
1 because it's not here; it's off the bottom. We went on in the direction
2 of our positions, but we came across heavy fire from the Shtime pine
3 trees, from the army here, and also from the position marked with "C," at
4 Kodra e Geshtenjeve. And also there was heavy fire from Cesta, here.
5 This position marked with "10" was struck by the Serbian forces from
6 Cesta, and this prevented us from advancing in that direction and claiming
7 these positions further along. We didn't know what was happening in Recak
8 that day, because in this part here, this is where the civilians of Recak
9 were taken, and here was our base, as I explained yesterday.
10 JUDGE MAY: Did you get anywhere near Racak in that attack?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because from the report from my
12 deputy commander, there was very heavy fire. And according to the reports
13 from the KLA's intelligence service, there were large police forces
14 attacking in that direction, and according to their information, there
15 were about 600 infantrymen that were defending the positions that the
16 Serbian forces had secured. So it was very difficult to advance. And I
17 issued another order to remain where we were and to protect the Lluzhak
18 gorge, which was of vital importance for the unit, as I explained
19 yesterday, and of vital importance to the zone.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. How come you didn't know what was going on in Racak, when just
22 previously we concluded that members of the Racak unit had arrived into
23 Luzak and informed you that everybody but those three or four mentioned
24 got killed?
25 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 6399 to 6405.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me. The -- I said that the
2 information came about the soldiers of Recak. And the unit couldn't find
3 out what was happening inside Recak, because I explained where our base
4 was, which was in the gorge above Recak, and generally, we had no
5 information from the village itself because the Serbian police and army
6 were in there.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. Well, let us continue. So you introduced another 80
9 people into combat, and then in this last paragraph on page 13, you say as
10 follows: "From Petrovo, I attacked Serbs using mortars on the Cesta
11 Hill. We had to position our unit outside of Petrovo towards Racak, but
12 even -- it was impossible to move from there. The mortars had hit the
13 target, and the purpose was to use the armoured APCs to prevent the APCs
14 moving forward. This made it possible for the deputy commander to move
15 forward and take the front line. The direct line is about 600 metres to
16 Cesta Hill from where our positions were. This area we referred to as the
17 wall in Petrovo."
18 So based on everything you've said so far, the fighting in Racak
19 and around Racak, together with your counter -- your attack, lasted until
20 some 1500 hours. Is that right or not?
21 A. Yes. I must -- however, I must explain here that the position
22 that I attacked, which is marked on the map with 10, was a position at the
23 exit from the village of Petrova, and it was unable -- we were unable to
24 advance to see because they were able to strike at us directly. This was
25 a position which was intended to help us regain our old position. But
1 when the deputy commander enabled us to regain the front, this is the
2 front line that I explained before that was on the Krajkova road.
3 JUDGE MAY: You dealt with that. Is it right, then, that you were
4 using mortars on the forces on the Cesta Hill to prevent the APCs moving
5 forward? Is that right?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We used a 500 mortar from this
7 position. And this gave us a range of 500-metre range. And we were able
8 to use it in a parabolic manner, although this was -- made it weaker. And
9 Cesta Hill was about 600 metres away, as I explained.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Well, I just want to make sure one thing is clear here. So is it
12 clear that the fighting started around 6.30 and continued until some 1500
13 hours, as you claim? Is that right? Because later on, you go on to say
14 that at 1600 --
15 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer the question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, then.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please go ahead and answer.
19 A. I explained before, that until 11.00, we were unable to attack to
20 regain our positions because we had to regroup and to receive information
21 about what was really happening. After we got this information, we met as
22 a command and decided to attack to regain these positions.
23 JUDGE MAY: The issue at this stage is what time did the fighting
24 end, and your statement says 1500 hours. Is that right?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Based on what you say, the fighting went on from 6.30 until 1500
3 hours, and the same time is indicated in the police report.
4 JUDGE MAY: Now, we don't need to go back over that. At 11.00,
5 they were all back in the Luzak gorge, and it was after that that they
6 launched the attack.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, then I suppose that the fighting went on from 6.30, not that
9 the attack started at that time. Their counter-attack started after
10 that. But the firing from the machine-guns and mortars was in the
11 morning, not after 11.30. But let us move on.
12 So after 1600 hours, you say that your soldiers started towards
13 your old positions above Racak, but at that time, the fire was not
14 opened. You moved without any resistance because Serb forces had already
15 left. Is that right or not?
16 A. Yes, because Serbian forces, in general, didn't attack during the
18 Q. All right. So is it true that you regained the positions after
19 the police had withdrawn?
20 A. We returned to the positions with the intention of finding the
21 bodies of the soldiers we had lost or to find some of our wounded. We
22 returned to these positions on the basis of information that Afet Bilalli,
23 the deputy commander, sent by radio communications, and we set off to find
24 the bodies of these soldiers.
25 Q. All right. I'm not asking you why did you return. I simply asked
1 whether you did return, and you replied that you did.
2 And now you go on to say that Fehmi Mujota was in contact with
3 OSCE, that he was the officer in charge of moral and political issues,
4 that he was a member of the KLA, but he did not wear uniforms or weapons.
5 So he didn't even have a uniform; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I want to draw everyone's attention that yesterday, you claimed
8 that all your soldiers wore uniform. So my next question is as follows:
9 That evening, he met with OSCE in Petrovo and informed them of the
10 military reports. That means that the OSCE was informed of all of these
11 details of these events in Racak that evening in Petrovo by Fehmi Mujota;
12 is that right?
13 A. He informed about matters concerning the KLA soldiers, because we
14 didn't have any information at all about civilians in Recak, as I said in
15 my statement.
16 Q. Yes. But yesterday, you claimed that you had information, but you
17 did not want to go there. This is what you said here yesterday, that you
18 had information. However, you had not seen and you didn't want to go
19 there because you were waiting for Walker to come. Is that right or not?
20 A. That's not right. I said yesterday that during my meeting with
21 Fehmi Mujota, with OSCE, the civilians who had survived the Recak massacre
22 informed, told about the massacre taking place, and we received this
23 information as rather suspect information and wanted to check it the next
24 day. I didn't say that I was waiting for Walker to come, because on that
25 night, we weren't expecting him and we didn't know that he would come the
1 next day.
2 Q. All right. You said that you were waiting for the verifiers.
3 This is what the transcript reflects. And you also said, and let us
4 verify this, you did not go there because it was dark and there was snow.
5 This is what you said yesterday. I suppose you remember that.
6 A. Yes. I said yesterday that we didn't have any opportunity to
7 watch the terrain because it was dark and it was snow. And it was also
8 impossible because of the Serbian forces. So we waited until the next day
9 to verify this matter. And the OSCE also had to verify this information
10 from civilians. So Fehmi Mujota and the OSCE went to verify the Recak
11 massacre the next day.
12 Q. All right. You say that you couldn't do that because of the
13 police, and you entered Racak as early as 1600 hours because the police
14 had withdrawn. So isn't it somewhat contradictory what you said just now
15 and what you said previously? Because you did tell us that you entered
16 Racak at 1600 hours, after the police had withdrawn. Is that right or
18 JUDGE MAY: I don't follow the point. I don't follow the point.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the point is that he is
20 claiming now that because of the police, he couldn't go to Racak. And
21 prior to that, he said, and his statement says, that they returned to
22 Racak at 1600 hours, after the police had withdrawn. So how could the
23 police that had withdrawn be a hindrance to him?
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Buja, can you answer that, please?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I didn't say that
1 we returned to Recak but that we returned to the position of our bases in
2 order to find dead and wounded soldiers and to find the unit commander,
3 Afet Bilalli. And we didn't enter Recak because our soldiers' task was to
4 find the dead and wounded at the base, the base which is up here. Our
5 positions were up there. And there was no question of going into the area
6 of Recak. We returned to the base.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And if it was not a problem to go to Racak, then why did you use
9 this excuse that you couldn't go there because of the police, because of
10 the dark, because of the snow? If that wasn't a problem, then why do you
11 list these three things as a reason for not going there?
12 A. Because the police and army were in these positions at
13 Kodra e Geshtenjeve and could have fired from any of these positions if we
14 tried to enter the village itself. And even the next day, in the morning,
15 it was difficult for us to move because of these positions which could
16 have fired on this road.
17 Q. All right. All right. Since your forces returned to Racak as
18 early as 1600 hours, that takes care of that reason. And then this other
19 reason, you mentioned snow. What snow are you talking about when
20 yesterday on the videotape we saw that the grass was there and that the
21 grass was yellow and there was only traces of snow? So could it possibly
22 be that these traces of snow were a hindrance for your movements? There
23 was no snow? The footage that we saw yesterday. And when the camera
24 showed the environment, one could see the yellow colour everywhere.
25 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer, instead of these long
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was January, although it looks as
3 if it was summer, and it was very cold. It was winter. There was snow,
4 especially in those mountains. There was not much snow seen in the
5 pictures because of the trampling of the area, and the media had been
6 there the next day, but during the night it had been very cold and there
7 was snow.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. Let's not dwell on that much longer. It's quite
10 obvious. The answer is quite obvious and clear.
11 You say that then William Walker came to verify the massacre.
12 When you say that he came to verify the massacre, that is to say that you
13 first established that there was a massacre and then Walker came to verify
14 it. Is that right or is that not right?
15 A. We did not verify that. However, what happened in Recak, based on
16 information coming from the civilians, was able to be verified the very
17 next day, in the morning, when the OSCE team travelled to the site,
18 followed by members of the media. And William Walker, besides all of
19 this, had received information from his own teams, and that's why he
20 appeared in person: to try and verify it.
21 Q. And is it perhaps the truth that you brought some bodies there of
22 persons who were killed as they moved about and as they were engaged in
23 fighting, and then you brought Walker in to verify that they were there?
24 Yes or no.
25 A. No, because we had not been there at the crime scene. The first
1 to arrive there were the OSCE team, and with them was Fehmi Mujota. As
2 can be seen from the footage shown here yesterday, all the massacred can
3 be seen, the blood can be seen, the wounds from the bullets can be seen,
4 and all the stains left on their clothes can be seen. Everything can be
5 seen over there. And it would have been impossible to do that,
6 additionally because of the fact that they were inhabitants of Recak, and
7 in our units we had members of the KLA from Recak, and it would have been
8 impossible for them to try and imagine what you're imagining there, to try
9 and stage up this kind of massacre. Don't try and impose this on us.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: When you come to put your case in important
11 matters such as this, be unequivocal, not: "Is it perhaps the truth?"
12 You should put it to the witness. This is your case that they brought
13 bodies that were killed to that particular point. So I suggest to you,
14 don't be equivocal about it, because that is your case. Put it clearly.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I did say it clearly, loud and
16 clear and unequivocally: Did they bring the bodies in and then call him
17 to verify it?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the version that I see, you had: "Is it
19 perhaps the truth?" When you're putting your case, you must put it
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I've presented it
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The members of KLA who are inhabitants of Racak, although not all
25 of them were inhabitants of Racak, all the persons killed. Is that right
1 or is that not right?
2 A. There were soldiers from Recak, but the ones who were killed in
3 Recak were civilians from Recak, with the exception of nine soldiers. One
4 can see that there were people from Mullopolc, from Kacanik. So there
5 were soldiers from everywhere, as well as there were soldiers from Recak
6 in other units. Those people who were killed there were civilians.
7 Q. All right. I claim that they were members of the KLA and you
8 claim that they were civilians. I think that that has been explained
9 sufficiently clearly.
10 At 12.00, you went to meet Walker in Petrovo; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is that the first time you met Walker since this operation had
13 started in Racak?
14 A. It was the first time I had met Mr. Walker. I met him at the
15 crime scene, where I went, and the meeting itself took place at 12.00, in
16 Petrova. It was the first time that I was meeting Mr. William Walker.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the question please be repeated. The
18 interpreters couldn't hear it because it came at the same time when the
19 witness was answering.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. When did you meet at the place where you claim was the crime
22 scene? Was it before the meeting or after the meeting?
23 A. It was before the meeting, at about 11.00.
24 Q. So that was when Walker came there?
25 A. Yes, that is where I saw him, and that is where he requested a
2 Q. All right. Yesterday you claimed, and today you repeated it, that
3 when Walker came there, the only member of the KLA who was there was Fehmi
4 Mujota. Is that right or is that not right?
5 A. That is correct. However, during those few moments, I arrived
6 there, as well as my two bodyguards.
7 Q. Oh, that means that you came there and you met him there. So it
8 wasn't only Fehmi Mujota. You were there, and some other members of the
9 KLA, when Walker was touring the place and when - we can see it on the
10 video footage - as he is examining the persons who were killed, the
12 A. Yes. That footage also shows my arrival there subsequent to the
13 arrival of Walker. The interval could have been brief after the arrival
14 of Walker. It is true that I went there and met Walker at the place where
15 the incident took place.
16 Q. When did you come to the place where this incident occurred? How
17 much time later? After Walker, that is.
18 A. I do not know, because I don't know what time Walker reached the
19 place. So I can only suppose that the interval must have been brief.
20 Q. Had he already come to the place where the incident had occurred
21 or did you tour the place where the incident had occurred together with
23 A. No. I saw him there. He went on his own and verified them, and
24 only after that I met him in Recak for a minute or two, where he requested
25 a meeting, and I said, "Let's go somewhere and sit down and talk."
1 Q. All right. So that means that Walker first toured the place where
2 the incident had occurred, and it was only after he had finished touring
3 it that you saw him there at the place where the incident had occurred;
5 A. I don't know whether he had checked all the bodies before meeting
6 me. All I know is that I met him there at the place where this incident
7 occurred. Our eyes met. We did not talk. We only had a minute or two
8 near the mosque together, where I said, "This conversation should not take
9 place standing," because even at that stage I was under huge emotional
10 stress, and I demanded that the meeting be held in Petrova.
11 Q. Please, let's clarify one thing, and let's hurry up, because we
12 haven't got much time left. Walker toured the place where the incident
13 occurred before you had come. Did he tour it once again after you came --
14 JUDGE MAY: We are wasting time on this particular point. We've
15 spent many minutes on it. It's a small point. What the witness has said
16 is that he arrived there subsequently to Mr. Walker. He doesn't know what
17 Mr. Walker did first. He may have toured the scene, he may not. It seems
18 to me you're not going to get any further on this.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. Does that mean that at the time when Walker was
21 touring the place where the incident had occurred, there were no members
22 of the KLA who were present, apart from Fehmi Mujota? Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. He was not in uniform; is that right?
25 A. He never wore a uniform, because he was a political personality of
1 the KLA.
2 Q. All right. So when Walker was touring the place where the
3 incident had occurred, there were no uniformed members of the KLA with
4 him; is that right?
5 A. There was me and two other soldiers.
6 Q. But you did not tour the place with Walker, did you? You said
7 that he had toured it without you. Is that right?
8 A. I certainly did not go shoulder to shoulder with Walker. He was
9 conducting his own business. What I went there to do was to verify the
10 information that had been reaching the zonal command.
11 Q. All right. All right. I haven't got time now, but I'm going to
12 give you a cassette, when a few members of the KLA who are in uniform can
13 be seen as Walker is touring the scene. But I'm not going to do that now
14 because I haven't got enough time. So let's proceed.
15 The meeting with Walker was attended by Fehmi Mujota and who else?
16 A. And also the translator for Mr. Walker.
17 Q. All right. And is it correct that you shot at Serbs from two
18 mortars as they were boarding the bodies into a truck by the mosque in
19 order to have the investigation, the post-mortem carried out and the
20 forensic examination?
21 A. Yes, we did fire, and we did stage an assault, because this was a
22 crime committed over the citizens of Recak. And the attack, in order to
23 retrieve the bodies, came before agreement had been reached on what kind
24 of experts ought to come -- let me clarify at some length, please, because
25 this is significant. They started their attack even before negotiations
1 had been completed, had been insisting that the forensics -- the forensic
2 team that ought to come -- to go and verify ought to include Serbians as
3 well as The Hague Tribunal. You very well know that Louise Arbour, the
4 Prosecutor --
5 Q. Please, that is not what I've been asking you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I ask you to tell the witness to
7 answer my questions only. I haven't got time.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You say that 17 people were killed during the attack, that you
10 killed 17 Serbs then.
11 A. I do not know how many Serbs were killed, but the fighting, which
12 we call the fighting over the bodies, was conducted by our own units, of
13 which I was a part, and we assaulted the vehicles of the Serbian police
14 and army. We used various kinds of weapons, including two mortars. And
15 we went into this kind of a wedge-like assault inside the Serbian
16 positions. We were not aware of the number of people killed, but from the
17 information coming from OSCE verifiers the very next day, we gathered that
18 there were about 17 soldiers -- Serbian soldiers or police that had been
20 Q. All right. You wrote here that -- that 17 of them were killed and
21 that 11 of you were shooting from a distance not greater than 300 metres
22 at the investigating Judge and these people that were boarding the
23 bodies -- that were loading the bodies into the truck. That's on page 17
24 but, I'm not going to dwell on that longer. I'm going to skip some
25 questions because -- you say that Danica Marinkovic tried to land in a
1 helicopter but she didn't manage to because you started firing at her.
2 And I imagine that that is not being challenged now; right?
3 A. Let me first clarify that in the statement, I say that verifiers,
4 without specifying who they were, told of 17 people killed while further
5 below I say that our own observers only related that they were hearing
6 Serbian voices coming from Serbian police and the army.
7 JUDGE MAY: Move on to the next point. Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. All right. Is it correct that on the 18th of January,
10 our forces broke down your positions from Petrovo and Krajkovo and Rance
11 and that part of your forces went to Rance and Mulliri e Kurtishit, as it
12 says here; is that right? Is that right or is that not right?
13 A. [Previous translation continues]... stand this. Once more,
15 Q. Please give me a brief answer. Is it correct that on the 18th of
16 January, our forces broke down the positions of your forces from Petrovo
17 all the way to Rance and that you went to your back-up positions? Is that
18 right or is that not right?
19 It's on page 16, in the last paragraph. "On the 18th of January,
20 they managed to break our positions from Petrovo all the way to Krajkovo
21 and Rance. A part of our KLA soldiers went to their back-up positions in
22 Rance," et cetera, et cetera. Is that right or is that not right?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. It is true that we withdrew.
24 Q. Yes. And then you claim -- you say: "The Serbs entered Rance on
25 that day, the 18th, and the KLA --" that is to say you -- "killed 20
1 Serbs." That is what it says here as well at the end of this paragraph
2 that I've been quoting to you. Is that right or is that not right?
3 A. Yes. If you wish, I can clarify how that occurred. I could tell
4 you which positions we were occupying, because the territory between
5 Rance, Petrova, and Recak is a mountainous area and the withdrawal of
6 Serbian soldiers took place via the Mulliri e Kurtishit, as it is called,
7 and towards Lluzhak. And all those were the positions that we occupied on
8 that occasion.
9 Q. All right. You say that the Serbs agreed to hand over all the
10 bodies after the post-mortem would be carried out and that the foreign
11 forensic experts joined in, and I imagine that that is not being contested
12 in any way. And that on that day, in February 1999, a large number of
13 civilians attended the funeral, that Walker was there, and that you were
14 there in uniform with three uniformed soldiers escorting you; is that
16 A. First, let me say that it was insisted that the bodies be released
17 one by one so that -- but the families of those massacred did not agree to
18 this. They wanted the -- the whole number to be returned as a group, as
19 they were taken. Some days later, they were released as a group, and
20 their burial occurred in February. William Walker attended this funeral,
21 and I also attended it, albeit briefly.
22 Q. All right. I didn't ask you that. You've given a sufficient
24 Why did you arrest a number of civilians, then, at the funeral?
25 Just briefly, please. Albanians.
1 A. We did not arrest any civilians. We detained for a very brief
2 period. We took the risk of intervention of Serbian paramilitaries of the
3 kind of the Black Hand in the midst of the civilians in order to cause
4 incident that could have huge repercussions and result in another
5 massacre. So what we did is we detained for a few hours, until the
6 funeral was over, all the people -- all the suspects that took part in
7 that funeral. All of them were released within the same day.
8 Q. All right. These stories about the Black Hand and paramilitary
9 formations are stories we've already heard. They are quite picturesque
10 and equally inaccurate, untrue. But since you've mentioned it, you claim
11 that all politicians, and you are referring to Serb politicians, had
12 military units in Kosovo.
13 I'm going to quote page 9 to you, this big paragraph in the
14 middle. You say: "Kostunica posed for a photograph when he toured the
15 Serb troops in Kosovo during the conflict. He wore a bandolier on his
16 chest, wearing an ammunition belt across his chest, holding an automatic
17 weapon. I saw Seselj on television in a military uniform several times
18 visiting his own units." Are you referring to Kosovo yet again?
19 A. Yes. Kostunica did pose, and that appeared in the dailies bearing
20 those images. If you want, Your Honour, we can procure a copy. We can
21 also find the recordings of Serbian radio television showing Seselj in
22 military uniform inspecting his own units, as was the case with
23 Raznjatovic, nicknamed Arkan, a member of the Serbian parliament, who also
24 was shown by the public media.
25 I can also say here that I have volunteered to the Court some
1 other information which shows the fund of so-called Dragan where workers
2 of the Kokollari family funded or contributed to this fund. And according
3 to the information that I have, it was part of a paramilitary formation.
4 Q. You said, and that's my point, all politicians have military
5 units. That's what you said. Are you aware of the fact that no
6 politicians had any military units and that you've invented all of this,
7 all of this about the paramilitary units? Why did you invent all of this,
8 the Black Hand and things like that? What do you need that for?
9 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. I can't find this particular comment
10 in the statement. No doubt I can be referred to it.
11 MR. NICE: It's page 9 that he's looking at. Your Honour's
12 probably found that. It's in the middle of the page, and it may be that
13 there's a different interpretation to be put on it than that which the
14 accused advances, and I'll probably deal with it in re-examination.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Towards the end of the paragraph, it
16 says: "All the politicians have military units. They all attacked Kosovo
17 in some way." That's what it says.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I have found it. It's at the bottom -- just --
19 don't interrupt. It's at the bottom of the English page 9.
20 What -- Mr. Buja, what it says: "The paramilitaries walked in
21 uniform unchallenged by police and army in all the towns and villages.
22 All the politicians have military units. They all attacked Kosovo in some
24 That's the English translation. Can you clarify what you meant by
25 that to us?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant there was the Serbian
2 political hierarchy. And I described some of the politicians like
3 Raznjatovic, Arkan, a member of the Serbian parliament, as was Vojislav
4 Seselj. And also at that time when Kostunica posed with a weapon in his
5 hands, he was a member of the Serbian parliament. And I'm referring to
6 senior members of the hierarchy. And as far as we know, in former
7 communist -- in former communist states, all senior politicians also bore
8 a military rank as reservists.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Oh, you mean that citizens of Yugoslavia have some kind of a
11 military rank as reservists? Is this some special bit of information?
12 A. Can you repeat the question, please?
13 Q. I did not understand what the point was of this assertion the
14 citizens of Yugoslavia, as reservists who had served their military
15 service, who had done their military service, have some rank in the army.
16 What's the point?
17 A. This was additional information, because the so-called
18 paramilitary units that belonged to Arkan and Seselj were also shown in
19 your radio and television station, and the visits of those politicians to
20 these units were also shown. And also, these units were never in any way
21 hampered by the Serbian police and the army. And it can easily be
22 inferred that all those paramilitary units received the commands from
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have one minute left, which is time
25 for one question more.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What did you say? One more question
2 only? Please. Mr. May, I think that the very fact that you bring such a
3 witness here shows that this institution of yours supports the --
4 JUDGE MAY: The Trial Chamber brings no witnesses. The
5 Prosecution are responsible for that.
6 Now, have the amici any questions? Bearing in mind that there is
7 the pressure of time. Mr. Tapuskovic, if you have any questions -- if you
8 have any questions, please deal with them as quickly as possible.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please state that I have objected,
10 and you will not let me speak.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I don't
13 know if I can complete very quickly. I'll try to do it within a few
14 minutes, but I do need some time.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, would you please try and complete at least so
16 there's time for re-examination before the adjournment, which is at
17 quarter past.
18 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Buja, I would like to start by asking you to
20 look at the map once again. And so far, we haven't shown the following:
21 Can you tell us where your base was? Can you show us that place, and can
22 you show us the place where the bodies of 24 people were found? If you
23 can show us this on the map, please.
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 Q. Can you tell us, how many metres are we talking about?
1 A. The base was here. There was --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter requests the witness to draw
3 near the microphone. The interpreter cannot hear the witness.
4 JUDGE MAY: Can you speak into the microphone, please. Could you
5 point out for us, if you would, if you can, the base and then the ravine
6 in which the bodies were found.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This was the base here where
8 the soldiers were killed. And here is where the civilians were killed.
9 There were civilians killed there and there, and here too. There were
10 civilians killed in various parts of Recak, but most were in that place
11 that is indicated here.
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 You pointed 2, number 2, as your base; is that right? Number 2
14 was commented as crime scene 2. Is it right or could you clarify?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can explain, because there
16 were eight people -- eight soldiers killed here and also six civilians,
17 including Hanemshah Mujota that I described. One was Mehmet Mustafa, the
18 owner of the house.
19 JUDGE MAY: You don't need to go into those details.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I'm interested in the following: What is the distance in metres?
22 You showed us, and it seems to be very close to your base. How many
23 metres away is it from the base to the place where 23 bodies were found?
24 A. It's between 500 and 1.000 metres, because it's a very high hill
25 that has to be crossed between the two.
1 Q. Thank you. I just wanted you to point to that on the map.
2 And now, please, Mr. Buja, here you described in detail a very
3 important matter. Just a minute, please. On page 4 of your statement,
4 the English version. The English [as interpreted] version is page 4 as
5 well. You described and you gave the number of seven zones of
6 responsibility, and you also listed their names. So there were seven
8 A. There were seven zones.
9 Q. Thank you. You said the number of people who at different times
10 belonged to zone 6, which was under your command, was between 1.400 and
11 1.700 people. That's what you said today as well. But you also said the
12 following: "All other zones had more people." My question is this: If
13 all other zones had had more people and there was a total of seven zones
14 and let's say that each zone had 2.000 people, is it true, then, that the
15 KLA had a total of approximately 14.000 people at that time?
16 A. No. You can't say that, that there were 40.000 people, because
17 it's -- I heard 40.000.
18 Q. No, no. I said 14.
19 A. Yes, it might be about that.
20 Q. So was that at the same time when the incident in Racak took place
21 that you had approximately that number of people?
22 A. I don't know the exact number of soldiers in all the zones at that
23 time because I was merely responsible for my own zone.
24 Q. Thank you. However, I would like to know something else as well.
25 You said here --
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And Your Honours, this can be
2 found on page 7, paragraph 3, of the English version.
3 Q. You say here as follows:
4 "Then an order came in from the Main Staff of the KLA for
5 mobilisation of Kosovo, because this order was given at the beginning of
6 the NATO intervention that everyone 18 years and older had to be
8 Is that true?
9 A. Yes, this order was public, but it was impossible to mobilise the
10 entire population because of the lack of weapons.
11 Q. I would like to hear your answer regarding the following: Were
12 there members of the KLA that wore civilian clothes? Was there a large
13 number of those?
14 A. No, there was not a large number. But there was the case of Fehmi
15 Mujota, or one or two others, whose task was to work with civilians, and
16 it was difficult to work with civilians in uniform because of the danger
17 of attacks. But except in these special cases, all members of the KLA had
19 Q. But on page 3, paragraph 2 from the top, the English version, you
20 say that you had no trouble recruiting people, men or women, recruiting
21 them for the KLA, but that on occasion, you were forced to take in
22 soldiers without military training, and they were generally assigned only
23 to dig trenches and build bunkers.
24 A. This is true, because we didn't have any problem recruiting
25 soldiers, because there was a great flood of young people to become
1 members of the KLA. But we lacked weapons. And when our unarmed units
2 made bunkers, we did this at the time of the NATO intervention, because we
3 had to expand because of the great influx of civilian population.
4 Q. So they didn't even have uniforms?
5 A. Most of them did have uniforms.
6 Q. Can you give us the number of those who did not have uniforms?
7 Because you also told us that at the end of the war, you had an entire
8 brigade that was not uniformed.
9 A. Yes, I can give the number, because we called a brigade a very
10 small number of soldiers. Our largest brigade was 1.200 soldiers, whereas
11 there were some -- normal brigades were 400 to 500 men. And at the end of
12 the war there was a brigade in the Nerodime operational zone, including
13 the people mobilised in Jezerc and Mullopolc, and there was another
14 brigade in the Kacanik area. And if you were to gather all these people
15 together, you might have formed one brigade out of them.
16 Q. And I would like to ask you something regarding Racak. I know
17 that it was a day in January. It was cold. Two residents of Racak,
18 witnesses here, told us yesterday that when the shooting started, they
19 went out in the clothes that they had on them at that time, and 24 people
20 that were killed in Racak on that day, based on what we have here as not
21 contentious, wore double socks and three layers of clothing. So how do
22 you explain that? Is it something typical for people who go to the
23 mountains or for people who are in the trenches?
24 A. That is normal in this area, because winter is very cold, and
25 people normally dress up warm because of the bitter cold. They were taken
1 from their homes, and so they put on their thickest clothes, because they
2 thought that they would be arrested. And that's what happened in the case
3 of the Recak civilians.
4 Q. Thank you. You said yesterday that what took place in Racak was a
5 planned operation of ethnic cleansing; however, you don't mention anything
6 of this kind in your statement. You mention other things that we heard
7 here. You said that this is something that was a result of the policemen
8 that were killed, and you never said before that this was a planned
9 operation of ethnic cleansing. Why didn't you ever mention this before?
10 A. I emphasised the things that the investigator asked me about, and
11 I didn't enlarge on explanations of this kind; I replied to questions.
12 And I would welcome other questions to explain what the operation was
13 really like, such as the operation on the plain, where there was no KLA at
14 all. This was an operation of ethnic cleansing, as were the massacres in
15 Hallac and Sllovi and other places. These were all part of a campaign of
16 ethnic cleansing.
17 Q. Thank you. Yesterday we saw the weapons on the ELMO. It was
18 manufactured by whom? Can you tell us? The weapons that we saw
20 A. But I can't say what kind of production they were because you
21 can't really see on the television, but they rather resembled automatic
22 rifles known as Kalashnikovs. But you can't really check from the
24 Q. You said that the quantity of weapons does not correspond with the
25 number of nine KLA soldiers that were killed, but does it correspond with
1 the number of 47 people that you had in your base?
2 A. No, of course it doesn't correspond. But let me say clearly that
3 our soldiers had weapons, and four automatic rifles were taken from our
4 soldiers. And I said that a 12.7 and a 7.9 were taken, and not the ones
5 that we saw. Because I stressed yesterday that our soldiers didn't have
6 rifles with bayonets, and it would have been extremely unusual to find any
7 weapon with a bayonet.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Buja, just now, when asked by Mr. Milosevic, you
9 spoke about the 27 Serb policemen that were killed in Rance, and then you
10 spoke about 17 that were killed in front of the mosque. However, in your
11 statement, you also said that seven Serbs were killed in Pustenik, seven
12 Serbs. That's what you said in your statement, page 17.
13 A. Yes. This is about Serbian soldiers and police killed in fighting
14 at Pustenik. This position was in Kacanik municipality, not far from Han
15 i Elezit.
16 Q. So together with the two policemen that were killed on the 15th,
17 the day of the event in Racak, we come to a figure of 47 policemen that
18 were killed during those days; is that right?
19 A. I can't be sure that all these people were killed, because the
20 number 17 said to have been killed at Recak, we were unable to confirm
21 this figure. It was the OSCE team that issued this figure. Nor can we
22 confirm the number of 25 soldiers in Rance, because there was firing all
23 the time, and from the position where we were fighting, it's very hard to
24 tell if anybody was killed or not. But we didn't have soldiers killed in
25 our area that we were able to certify as killed, and people died in their
1 own positions.
2 Q. And just one more question, Mr. Buja. What was your view of the
3 events that took place in the very beginning of the NATO bombing? What
4 was your opinion, since you were a soldier? What impact did it have on
5 the movements of the population or on the behaviour, attitude of people?
6 A. People were pleased at the start of the NATO bombing because they
7 saw some hope. They could see that they had a prospect of freedom, not to
8 be mistreated, killed, massacred. And so the NATO intervention
9 represented a hope that life in Kosova could become better in the future,
10 and we soldiers felt the same. Because our intention was not to wage
11 war. War was imposed on us. So we wanted this war to finish as soon as
12 possible, and it was in this light that we saw the NATO intervention, the
13 Rambouillet meeting, and the hope for political agreements. Our hope was
14 to be free and to have this fighting behind us.
15 Q. Both Albanians and Serbs got killed by NATO bombs; is that right?
16 A. It is true, and it is regrettable that people of both peoples were
17 killed. So let this be a lesson for both sides to live in one state in
18 freedom and democracy. And I think that the Serbian people will
19 understand that it was -- that bringing the international community and
20 the KLA was an impulse towards bringing the international community and
21 therefore played a constructive role [as interpreted].
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE MAY: Can you deal with it before the adjournment,
24 Mr. Nice?
25 MR. NICE: I'll do my very best. I don't actually have a great
1 deal to ask, just a few matters.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. You've been asked questions about ethnic cleansing, you've
4 identified other locations where you say ethnic cleansing occurred. Just
5 in a sentence or so, what, if any, similarities were there between events
6 in those other locations and what happened at Racak?
7 A. The connection is that civilians -- the same kind of civilians
8 were killed in these places, but these other places had similar cases but
9 have not been mentioned yet in this Court. There was Ribar i Madh, where
10 civilians were killed, where a very similar operation of Recak was
11 conducted, because it was part of a Horseshoe operation, involving attacks
12 on Banulla, Ribar, Recak, and other villages in this area.
13 Q. You were asked just now, or a little bit before just now, about 47
14 people in Racak for the KLA, of whom we know nine were killed. The
15 remainder, when deployed, would they leave their weapons behind in Racak
16 or would they take their weapons, their arms, with them?
17 A. I didn't understand the question.
18 Q. When KLA members based in Racak were deployed to various
19 locations, did they take their arms with them or did they leave them
20 behind at the base?
21 A. Usually, KLA soldiers, if they had a short rest, took their
22 weapons with them, whereas when they went home for a longer period, they
23 left their weapons behind at the command post. This was our normal
24 military practice.
25 Q. So you were being asked that question, I think, in connection with
1 the arms cache shown on the video we looked at yesterday. Is there any
2 possibility of any of those arms that we saw yesterday being arms of the
3 KLA that, for example, had been left behind in the base?
4 A. No, because the KLA soldiers were there, and the number of weapons
5 was far, far too big. And I explained yesterday that we didn't have any
6 kind of arsenal of this kind in the Rance and Recak units.
7 Q. His Honour Judge Kwon's question about site 2. You told us about
8 how the bodies of soldiers were recovered, the bodies of civilians were
9 not recovered. Were they in the same general location at site 2?
10 A. They were at the same position at our base, but the soldiers only
11 had the right to take soldiers' bodies, and there were civilian
12 organisations that dealt with civilians.
13 Q. So far as you can judge it, were the civilians killed at the same
14 time as the soldiers at site 2 or at a different time?
15 A. The civilians were killed at the same time, in the same period of
17 JUDGE KWON: Since we reached the issue of the map, could you look
18 at the map on the left-hand side? Could you go to the map, and with the
19 movable microphone. You notice number 6 on the left-hand side? That is
20 the ravine. Many civilians were killed at that point. You recognise it?
21 And number 7 is the location of your bunker. Is it right? Number 7
22 below. So your base is somewhere in the middle between the two points; is
23 it right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: So in order to go to the base, what way do the
1 soldiers usually take?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had a path and trenches
3 connecting the base and the bunker. You can see this in the photographs
4 that I can show, and that's how they got to the bunker. There were
5 trenches here.
6 JUDGE KWON: From Petrovo, in order to go to the base from
7 Petrovo, what way do you usually take?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was very difficult to follow the
9 normal road because of the positions by the pine trees, but we used to
10 approach from the rear, from Lluzhak. We went through Lluzhak to get in
11 around here.
12 JUDGE KWON: So you must go past the location of number 6 in order
13 to get to the base? Number 6, the ravine place.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because the Recak gorge is here,
15 and here is the -- what we call the Krajkova road. And you can see -- you
16 can go by the bunker to get to the base, and we always used this road,
17 because it was a very dangerous journey.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 MR. NICE: Please take your seat. I think I've only got three or
20 four more questions, and I'll cut out some of them in any event.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. One thing: It's been suggested to you by the accused that either
24 you did or that you could have attempted to re-enter the village, and
25 you've rejected that proposition. Just remind us: The soldiers killed at
1 location 2 were killed from the adjoining hills simply when they emerged
2 onto the street; is that correct?
3 A. Of the soldiers, Serbian soldiers, positioned in this ring, the
4 first soldiers were killed at the bunker with a Zolja, and from this
5 position it was -- this was where all the soldiers were fired on.
6 Q. But if you were in the street, for example, in the area of the
7 base, were you vulnerable to being fired on by the Serb soldiers, in the
8 way that the men were first thing in the morning?
9 A. The people who were killed were killed here, because you can fire
10 very easily from this position on the base, and that's where they were all
12 Q. Thank you. The suggestion has effectively been made by the
13 accused that all the people who died in Racak - and there are 45 listed in
14 the indictment - at the various sites were KLA members. I'm not going to
15 ask you to go through all of those names, but there are two women named:
16 Lute Asllani and Hanumshah Mehmeti. Were those women members of the KLA?
17 A. No.
18 Q. The 70-year-old Haki Metushi, was he a member of the KLA?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And then just to deal with one other name. There's been the
21 suggestion that somebody called Mustafa has crept into the list of the
22 civilians. The Mustafa of whom you spoke was the man aged, I think, 62,
23 who insisted on becoming a member of the KLA; is that correct?
24 A. Mehmet Mustafa is his name, and the accused intentionally put in
25 another Mehmet who is in the list of civilians.
1 Q. And the name in the -- civilians. Yes. The name in the civilians
2 is Mustafa. Well, the point's been made.
3 Perhaps to follow on from His Honour Judge Kwon's question,
4 because we don't have too much footage of the geography: How easy or
5 difficult is the terrain between the base at figure 2 and the gully where
6 the bodies were found? We can add to this by further footage or other
7 evidence, but just tell us yourself: What's the terrain like up to the
9 A. A very steep and mountainous terrain, and it's very difficult to
10 see this ravine from this position. It's a very jagged terrain, which you
11 can see here.
12 Q. You've been asked questions about the killing of a police
13 officer. We saw two reports yesterday, and there may be a third one being
14 served when it's been translated, each of which come from the Serb side
15 and refer to one policeman being seriously injured and no more casualties
16 than that. Do you accept that there may have been in Racak one policeman
17 seriously injured?
18 A. May have been injured from position number 10, but it's hard to
19 imagine that there were Serbs killed in the morning fighting.
20 Q. I better make this the last question because of time. You've
21 spoken of 1.400 KLA available generally. How many of those were in the
22 area of Racak and available to fight in Racak?
23 A. Ready to fight in Recak? This would have been a number of about
24 30, because there was also the catering staff who were unarmed. There
25 were auxiliary and operational staff who were unarmed, and other soldiers
1 who were in attendance there but who were also unarmed.
2 MR. NICE: Nothing else.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Buja, I have two questions. Before I move on,
5 I'd like the registrar to exhibit this witness because it is cited so many
6 times. Exhibit the statement.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 212.
9 JUDGE KWON: The inhabitants of Racak were aware of the existence
10 of KLA at their village?
11 A. They would have been able to know only that there were KLA
12 soldiers in the upper part of the village near and above Recak, at this
13 position here. But we didn't allow civilians to enter, so they wouldn't
14 have been able to know the number of soldiers or the -- their positions
15 because of the danger of them giving information under torture and
16 mistreatment. So that's why we put our guard here, so that civilians
17 wouldn't come in. So it would have been difficult for the residents of
18 Recak to know the number of soldiers or to know where our positions were.
19 JUDGE KWON: You gave warnings and advised them to vacate before
20 the attack to the villages. So they must have known after the attack
21 there was some KLA base in their village.
22 A. They will have been able to know that there was something in Recak
23 but not the number of soldiers. And when we warned them, we warned them,
24 and they would have seen soldiers and the movement of soldiers, because
25 this part where the soldiers moved over the hills to go to the Lluzhak
1 gorge, they would have been visible to the residents of Recak.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And my last question is about Judge
3 Marinkovic, the investigating Judge. Did your soldiers shoot at the
4 police that accompanied the Judge?
5 A. We didn't know whether the Judge was there or not. We fired on
6 the forces that fired on us and on the police and army that were
7 positioned in Recak and around Recak and at the pine trees. So we fired
8 at the police and soldiers that tried to enter this position here. And we
9 were not aware of the presence of the Judge. But we saw trucks and
10 Pinzgauers of the police and army.
11 JUDGE KWON: Did the Serb forces shoot first?
12 A. There was fighting going on throughout that day. On the 18th and
13 19th, there was constant fighting.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Buja, that concludes your evidence, and you're
16 free to go. Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well for the
19 opportunity to give my evidence.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
4 WITNESS: ISUF ZHUNIQI
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE MAY: We admit the statement under Rule 92 bis.
7 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
8 Examined by Mr. Nice:
9 Q. Is your full name Isuf Zhuniqi?
10 A. Yes. Zhuniqi Isuf.
11 Q. Mr. Zhuniqi, did you make a statement to the investigators of the
12 Office of the Prosecutor on the 4th of May of 1999, and did you, on the
13 31st of May of this year, go through that statement with a presiding
14 officer of this Tribunal and acknowledge by your signature that it was
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NICE: All right. Can I, in those circumstances, produce the
18 statement and the accompanying certification or attestation to become
19 Exhibit --
20 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 213 and 213A for the redacted
22 MR. NICE: May I, before reading the summary that I believe may
23 have already been distributed, reorient the Chamber, as it has to divert
24 from Racak for this witness to another location, by inviting you to look
25 at page 10 of the atlas which has been placed on the overhead projector
1 and in which I can explain as to its significance or potential
2 significance for you.
3 We can see Bela Crkva towards the right of the screen and
4 immediately above a railway line, but otherwise roughly in the middle of
5 the screen, slightly to the right, Bela Crkva, the railway line crossing
6 over. I'll come back to the geography that's shown there in a second.
7 Other villages that are referred to are, to the east and south
8 Celine and Nogavac, and then to the west -- and I'm sorry, it's my mistake
9 for not having checked the pronunciation of the town that is spelled
10 X-e-r-x-e, but one can see that the other side of the railway line and to
11 the west, and then south of that, sufficiently large to merit an orange
12 marking, is the town Rogovo.
13 If the Chamber now goes back to Bela Crkva, it will see -- it's
14 not very clear to see, but it will see, apart from the roads marked in
15 orange, that there is a blue line pretty well directly north-south that
16 crosses or is crossed by the railway line, and it's at that crossing, as I
17 understand it, the bridge there, that the awful events you're going to
18 learn about unfolded.
19 And can I next take you, for speed, to two photographs which can
20 be laid on top of the map. They come from the second of the Bela Crkva
21 binders, and they are within tab 1. And if the usher could place these on
22 top of the map so as not to disturb the map because we may come back to
23 it, in that order. First that one and then the second, and I'll explain
25 The first photograph is a view of -- come down a little bit. The
1 other way. Thank you. The view -- that's fine. Thank you. Is a view
2 from Bela Crkva. And the winding tree line is, I think, the line of the
3 river, the riverbed we're going to hear about. And one can see an almost
4 straight line running left to right on the screen, and that is the railway
5 line transected by the stream. So although what shows up on the map as a
6 rather straight blue line as a stream, in fact it's a little bit wavy, as
7 this tree line suggests.
8 If we can put the second photograph on top and focus on the bridge
9 itself, please. A little bit further up. Thank you. This shows the
10 riverbed with the bridge and the railway line, and it was at that bridge
11 that events unfolded.
12 And I will read from the distributed summary, but I shan't
13 necessarily read it word-for-word, in order to save a little time.
14 The 42-year-old farmer witness comes from this village, the
15 village of Bela Crkva. He spent some years in Switzerland, returning in
16 1996 in a position to purchase two buses and operate those buses as a
17 private business, living in Bela Crkva with his wife, two daughters, two
18 sons, his father and mother.
19 Before the NATO bombing, the witness was unaware of conflicts in
20 his village or the surrounding area, and there were indeed no Serb
21 residents in Bela Crkva.
22 At about 3.30 on the morning of the 25th of March, he woke to the
23 sight and sound of 12 green VJ tanks coming from Orahovac, stopping by the
24 mosque in his village. He gathered his family and other relations,
25 immediate family and other relations, and led them to a hiding place in a
1 field on the edge of the village where some 200 other villagers were also
2 gathered. And from this position, they initially saw tanks leaving the
3 village, leaving them to think that it might be safe to return, which they
4 did. But 15 minutes later, the sound of automatic gunfire as close as 200
5 metres from them led the witness to gather his family again and take them
6 to the stream that we have seen, if my understanding of the geography is
7 correct. The stream was not so far from his house, but opposite to the
8 direction he'd gone first for safety, for to have fled on this occasion to
9 the woods would have taken his family in the direction of the gunfire.
10 Some 700 villagers gathered in the stream. And the witness and
11 his family walked for about a kilometre in the direction of Rogovo, which
12 I have pointed out to the Chamber, occasionally taking cover because there
13 appeared to be snipers firing in their general direction. Other gunfire
14 and explosions could be heard.
15 They reached the railway bridge and took shelter underneath it.
16 At about 9.30, they observed, coming along in the same direction as that
17 which they had come, a squad of some 16 policemen dressed in camouflage,
18 wearing armbands. They were all armed with AK-47 assault rifles and had
19 foot-long knives in scabbards attached to their belts. Some policemen
20 also had pistols in their holsters, and one of them was recognised by the
21 witness as a policeman ordinarily conducting normal duties in Orahovac.
22 Shortly thereafter, the witness saw 13 Kosovo Albanian civilians
23 who were not yet at the bridge but coming towards it, and the police in
24 close proximity. They were fired on by the police, that 13, and only a
25 2-year-old boy survived. The people under the bridge were still locked
1 into their position by sniper firing coming at their general direction.
2 The police, who had thus committed the first 12 or so murders on
3 this session, split into two groups and took firing positions on the banks
4 on either side of the stream. An Albanian-speaking Serb policeman ordered
5 them to go towards the police, and he then gave various orders: First
6 that they should put their hands behind their heads and get out of the
7 stream onto the railway line; then that they should be split into groups,
8 women and children on one side and the men divided into two groups on the
9 other. The men were ordered to strip to their underwear before being
10 robbed of cash, jewellery, and identity documents. And one policeman, on
11 finding Mr. Zhuniqi's passport, asked who was Isuf Zhuniqi, and the
12 witness identified himself, to see his passport being torn up by the
13 policeman, along with his identity card and driving licence, the policeman
14 saying, "He might as well be dead."
15 The Albanian-speaking policeman then ordered the Kosovar Albanian
16 men to get dressed and to gather into a single group, instructed the women
17 and children to leave, following the railway track, in the direction of
18 Xerxe. When the women and children were about a hundred metres away but
19 still in view, a man called Shendet Popaj was knocked to the ground and
20 the leader of the police put his foot on Shendet Popaj's throat. That
21 young man's uncle - he was, I think, under 20 - his uncle, who was a
22 doctor from Bela Crkva, spoke to the leader of the police, saying, "Leave
23 us alone. We are simple farmers. We are not KLA." Without a word, the
24 police leader opened fire with a short burst from his assault rifle,
25 hitting the doctor in the chest and killing him instantly, then turning
1 his rifle on the young man lying on the ground under his boot. One shot
2 to that young man's head killed him instantly.
3 The remaining men, about 65 in total, were ordered to climb into
4 the stream. The order to fire was then given, and so far as the witness
5 could judge, all the policemen opened fire with automatic weapons. The
6 witness was hit in the shoulder and fell down, with others falling on top
7 of him, and he remained conscious but pretended to be dead during the
8 shooting that continued immediately for some five minutes. When it
9 stopped, policemen came into the stream and the witness heard some of them
10 saying, and on different occasions, "Well, this one's breathing." That
11 would be followed by a succession of single shots, and the witness
12 remembers well over ten such shots.
13 Later he heard one of the policemen say, "Well, now everyone is
14 dead. Let's go." The witness waited for some 20 minutes, until
15 everything was quiet. He got up and discovered the number of men around
16 him who had been killed or who had sustained horrifying injuries from the
17 gunfire. He witnessed over 50 bodies, of whom he is able to identify by
18 name 41 in his statement. Despite his injuries, he was able to make his
19 way to Xerxe, where he found his immediate family, where he was given
20 first aid, although he suffered lapses into unconsciousness for the next
21 few days.
22 Police arrived. This led the witness to leave his family and go
23 into hiding in the mountains, taking a basic medical kit with him, where
24 he found 40 or so more villagers from Bela Crkva, also in hiding, and who
25 informed him that the entire village can be destroyed, with only some two
1 houses not burnt down.
2 He felt able briefly to visit his family in Xerxe on the 31st of
3 March, and there he walked to Nogavac, where there were many displaced
4 persons who had been ordered by the Serbs to gather there. He was in a
5 barn in that village when a low-flying plane bombed it, or bombed the
6 area, causing the roof to collapse. From that he escaped, suffering some
7 further shrapnel injuries to his arms and head. He then lost
8 consciousness, waking days later in Kukes, in Albania, to which he had
9 been taken by a relation who had found him unconscious. The witness then
10 learned of the bullet that remained lodged in his shoulder.
11 The witness's statement states that there had been no KLA presence
12 in Bela Crkva, but he was never a member of the KLA himself, although a
13 younger brother of his, with whom he had not spoken for some 12 months,
14 had been a member some time prior to the campaign.
15 The binder contains -- the Bela Crkva binder contains photographs
16 of the x-rays and of the condition of the witness as injured, tabs, I
17 think, 4, 5, and 6.
18 That's the summary. There will now perhaps be further questions
19 from the accused for this witness.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, do you have any questions for this
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Certainly.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement, you said that before the 24th
25 of May, although you were aware of the incidents that had occurred in
1 Kosovo, in your village and in the surrounding area, nothing of
2 significance was happening; is that right?
3 A. No, nothing happened. I do not know what happened before -- I
4 mean, nothing happened before the 24th of May.
5 Q. So your troubles started when the war started; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now let's look at the preceding period. How far away is Orahovac
8 from your village?
9 A. Prizren is very far.
10 Q. I didn't ask you about Prizren. Where did you get Prizren from?
11 I asked about Orahovac.
12 A. Prizren is 80 kilometres away.
13 Q. I don't understand why you are giving me answers about Prizren.
14 I'm asking about Orahovac. We looked at Bela Crkva on the map, and
15 nearby, on the north-east, is Orahovac. So how far away is your village
16 from Orahovac?
17 A. Orahovac is very near. It's about ten kilometres.
18 Q. So your village is considered to be the outskirts of Orahovac; is
19 that right?
20 A. [In Serbian] Yes.
21 Q. Do you know that in the period between the 17th and the 22nd of
22 July, 1998, from the area of Orahovac, 39 Serbs and Albanians were
23 kidnapped, abducted, by the KLA terrorists? You were driving there, so I
24 assume that you are well aware of what was going on. Do you know about
1 A. On that particular day, the 16th, 1998, I was in Prizren, and I do
2 not know what happened in my village.
3 Q. You did not hear about these events, about the kidnappings of
4 Serbs and Albanians in Orahovac in July 1998? You don't know anything
5 about that?
6 A. I do not know anything. I was away until the OSCE arrived, and
7 it's only after that that I returned to Bellacerkva.
8 Q. All right. Do you know who Nuredin Kastrati is, a colleague of
9 yours, a bus driver from the village of Naspale?
10 A. I do not know this person.
11 Q. And do you remember an incident from April 1998 when a bus full of
12 passengers was stopped by the KLA? April 1998. It's not important as to
13 whether you know who the driver was. Do you remember the actual event?
14 A. At that time the KLA did not stop the bus, but it was Serbian
15 police and paramilitaries.
16 Q. So you do know about that event, but your claim is that it was the
17 Serbs that stopped the bus, right, in April 1998?
18 A. At that time the KLA stayed in mountains. It did not descend upon
19 the main roads, which were under the control of the Serbian police and
21 Q. Do you know who Xhelaj Hajda is, nicknamed Toni?
22 A. I do not know.
23 Q. Do you know about the KLA attack on Orahovac?
24 A. No, I do not know anything.
25 Q. But there is information that the KLA went through your village,
1 inter alia, when they were about to attack Orahovac. Did they spend time
2 there? Do you know anything about that?
3 A. I do not know. I've never seen KLA members in the village of
4 Bellacerkva, and I cannot say anything on this matter. I do not know.
5 Q. Do you know who Skender Hoxha is?
6 A. I have never heard of him.
7 Q. Do you know who the commander of the KLA was in that area of
8 Orahovac? Did you ever hear his name?
9 A. No, I haven't heard the name. I was not interested in that.
10 Q. Do you know that when they were moving to attack Orahovac, the KLA
11 not only spent some time in your village, but they also forcibly mobilised
12 some villagers from your village? Have you heard of that? Do you know
13 anything about that?
14 A. I even said it earlier: On the 16th I was in Prizren, and I'm not
15 aware of anything of that sort.
16 Q. All right. Since you don't know, never mind. You abide by your
17 claim that nothing of significance happened in your village before the war
18 broke out, so we have come to that conclusion. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. That is what the Serbian police and army did
20 to the village of Bellacerkva, and I know that very well.
21 Q. All right. Let's move on, then. In your statement, you say that
22 on the 25th -- you say in your statement that on the 25th of March, at
23 3.30 a.m., that is to say, in the middle of the night, you and your family
24 members were awakened by the sound of tanks. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. In order to refresh your memory, can you answer my
2 question: Are you sure that it was the sound of tanks that awakened you,
3 or was it the sound of the NATO bombing on the morning of the 25th, or
4 rather, during the night, as you had put it?
5 A. On the 25th of March, at 3.30 a.m., I woke up and I saw 12
6 military tanks, 12 Serbian military tanks, rather.
7 Q. You say that you left your house and went into the field that was
8 on the outskirts of the village. Was that because you were afraid of
9 tanks or was there some other reason for that?
10 A. I was afraid of the tanks.
11 Q. The tanks just passed there. They didn't stay in the village. Is
12 that right? Or at least, that's the way you had put it.
13 A. I left the house and stayed away until the tanks left the
14 village. It's only then that I returned back.
15 Q. We saw just now on that photograph that between the fields and the
16 houses in Bela Crkva, there are trees. There's a forest. How can you see
17 what was going on in the village when there was not a proper view from the
18 field because of the trees in between?
19 A. No. When the village began to be burned, I was at home.
20 Q. I'm talking about when you left as you were frightened of the
21 tanks. And then you went back when you established that they had left.
22 How could you see that when there is a forest between the fields and the
24 A. I wasn't very far away, only about 200 metres away from the
25 village, because it was pitch darkness. It hadn't dawned yet.
1 Q. All right. What time was it when you returned to the village
3 A. I returned at 5.00.
4 Q. So you were away for a total of an hour and a half; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Why did you leave your house again?
7 A. I left because about 200 metres away, I saw the village burning,
8 and the police and paramilitaries were arriving on foot.
9 Q. What kind of paramilitaries? I don't understand. What is that?
10 Who are paramilitaries?
11 A. You ought to know these things. I don't know what those
12 paramilitaries were. The ones who slayed people, who killed people, those
13 were the paramilitaries. The ones who shot people dead.
14 Q. Did somebody shoot at you?
15 A. In the -- in the village I was not fired upon, but I was fired
16 upon at -- but people were fired upon at the ura, at the bridge.
17 Q. It's the bridge -- [French translation on English channel] -- is
18 that right, the one that was displayed just a few minutes ago? [French
19 translation on English channel]
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I see -- [French translation on English channel]
22 JUDGE MAY: We are getting French on the English channel. Yes.
23 Let's go on.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Since there are people on the bridge and we can see how wide the
1 railroad is, the bridge is not longer than ten metres; is that right?
2 A. It is longer than ten metres.
3 Q. All right. Let's say there's 11 metres. But it narrows further
4 down, and there is a river underneath it; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How could more than 700 inhabitants of the village hide underneath
7 the bridge? Could you please explain that to me?
8 A. We were not under the bridge. There's an irrigation canal over
9 there, and that is where we were hiding, not at the bridge.
10 Q. My understanding of your statement was that you were hiding
11 underneath the bridge and that you stayed there for several hours.
12 JUDGE MAY: He's given his answer.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. What time was it when you came to the bridge?
15 A. We arrived at the bridge at about 5.30 and stayed there until
16 9.15, until the Serbian police reached it.
17 Q. Well, something's not clear to me now. At 5.00 you came back to
18 your house after the tanks had passed. That's what you wrote in your
19 statement. And at 5.30, as early as that, you were under the bridge. So
20 how is that possible?
21 A. It is true that at 5.00 in the morning I was at home, and it took
22 me half an hour to reach -- to reach the bridge.
23 Q. But you say that at around 9.30 on that day, that morning, the
24 policemen started toward you, the armed policemen; is that right?
25 A. Yes. And about 15 or 16 policemen were there, because I saw it
1 with my own eyes. The Clirim family and Spahiu family of 12 members were
2 killed at a distance of 150 metres and only a 2-year-old son survived the
3 killing. Seven children died.
4 Q. All right. I'm asking you something else. When did the policemen
5 start towards you? Was it at 9.30, as you claim in your statement? When
6 did they start coming toward you?
7 A. At the time when the policemen came, they reached, yes, the
8 railway that links Prizren and Xerxe.
9 Q. And how far were they from that bridge under which you were
11 A. The police were on the railway, and in Albanian, they told us to
12 get up and approach. They said this to the first group. The second,
13 larger group, consisting of elderly women and children was told the same.
14 Q. And how far were the policemen?
15 A. The policemen were about 20 or 30 metres away from us when we got
16 up with our hands behind our backs to approach them.
17 Q. You say that they were armed with assault rifles. Can you tell
18 me, please, what an assault rifle is?
19 A. This is an automatic rifle that was used to shoot Albanian
21 Q. But you specified that that was an AK-47.
22 A. This is what it was, because I saw it with my own eyes. It was an
23 automatic rifle.
24 Q. Yes. But do you know that AK-47 is the very weapon used by the
25 KLA terrorists?
1 JUDGE MAY: That's a separate point. The witness identified the
2 rifles as AK-47s. Yes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want to remind you, Mr. May, that
4 it was the previous witness, Mr. Buja, who is the chief of one of the
5 terrorist groups, was the one who said that this was the weapon used by
7 JUDGE MAY: I don't want to get into an argument about this. Are
8 you suggesting that these were members of the KLA and not the police? Is
9 that the point or some other point?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm suggesting that this witness
11 doesn't know what an assault rifle is, nor does he know what an AK-47 is.
12 JUDGE MAY: Do you know what an AK-47 is? How were you able to
13 recognise it, Mr. Zhuniqi?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can describe it, because it was an
15 automatic rifle, and I knew that only these kinds of weapons were used in
16 the war.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you tell me what colour is the butt of the rifle?
19 A. I didn't see it at that time.
20 Q. Well, just roughly. Is it dark or light?
21 JUDGE MAY: No. We've gone far enough on this. Find some other
22 topic to ask the witness about. This is not important.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. May.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You spoke of a policeman who spoke Albanian, and you were sure
1 that he was a Serb. Is that right?
2 A. I am sure that he was a Serb.
3 Q. Based on what you claim that he was a Serb if he spoke Albanian?
4 A. I didn't know his name at that time, but when I returned from
5 Albania, I saw him, and his name was Nenad Matic.
6 Q. You said that under the bridge there was a shelter; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that an air raid shelter?
10 A. No. There was an irrigation canal for agriculture, and people hid
11 in this stream.
12 Q. All right. That means that this shelter was not prepared in
13 advance. You qualified this irrigation canal as a shelter; is that
15 A. We used it as a shelter because it was an irrigation channel. We
16 didn't think of preparing it for this purpose, no.
17 Q. And how often did you use it as a shelter?
18 A. This was the first and last time; on that day.
19 Q. You never used it prior to that or after that, did you?
20 A. We didn't use it that way. I only used it to irrigate the
22 Q. So how did it come about then that all 700 of you went to that
23 very spot to take shelter? Usually when there's a danger, people disperse
24 in different directions. So how was it that all of you went to that very
25 spot? Can you explain that?
1 A. Yes, I can explain. Because we didn't have any other direction to
2 go, because the Serbian army and police were on all sides, and the only
3 way out was to go -- to go to the bridge of Belaje, either to go to the
4 village of Xerxe or to Rogove.
5 Q. All right. You said here that the policemen who issued orders in
6 Albanian ordered the police to fire at a group when a relative, I think it
7 says here Clirim Zhuniqi, was killed. Is that right?
8 A. Clirim Zhuniqi's family was there, as well his friend from
9 Opterusha, Xhemal Spahiu, who was beaten and was killed. The only person
10 of this group to survive was the 2-year-old Dardan Zhuniqi.
11 Q. All right. But please answer me to my question. Why would a
12 policeman issue orders in Albanian? Why would a Serb policeman issue
13 orders in Albanian?
14 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to say. He says the
15 policeman did it. He cannot answer why the policeman did it.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Were there other Albanians in that group or other people who spoke
19 Albanian other than that policeman issuing orders in Albanian? Did you
20 hear somebody else speaking Albanian in that group?
21 A. I only heard him say, "Put your arms behind your back." And other
22 times he spoke only in Serbian. It was only when he ordered us to put our
23 hands behind our back that he spoke Albanian, when he shouted.
24 Q. Do you speak Serbian?
25 A. I speak a little bit.
1 Q. In what language did he issue the order to fire? Was it in
2 Albanian or in Serbian?
3 A. In Serbian.
4 Q. So you heard him order the firing; is that right?
5 A. Yes. I heard him because I was only two metres away.
6 Q. So they shot at you from a distance of two metres; is that right?
7 A. I was two metres away from the point where he shot Nisim Popaj,
8 the doctor, and Shendet Popaj, who was shot in the head.
9 Q. And how far away was he when he issued an order to fire at you?
10 A. About two metres. When he gave the order for us all to enter the
11 stream. And he gave, behind his back, the order to fire on the civilian
13 Q. All right. Well, let's not use that collective noun "civilian
14 population." You said that there were 700 of you. So he ordered that
15 fire should be opened at all 700 of you; is that right?
16 A. No. He had divided the men from the women, and he told some old
17 men to go to the village. And about a hundred metres from the village, he
18 accomplished the execution of the men.
19 Q. So how many men did he execute then?
20 A. By the stream, he -- they executed children, women, the elderly.
21 Sixty people in all. Two of them were paralysed, and they were immobile.
22 They couldn't move. And they were burned in their houses in Bellacerkva,
23 in the house of Mehmet Zhuniqi.
24 Q. All right. That means that you claim that out of 700 people,
25 after the men had been separated, he ordered that 60 of you should be
1 executed. But not just men but women and children as well. Why were the
2 men then separated before that, and how come that there were so few men in
3 that group of 700?
4 A. Because the women and the children and the elderly were 150 metres
5 from the point where Clirim Zhuniqi and his family were shot. And of
6 this, there were 38 that were killed in my group, and there are only six
7 survivors, and six were wounded.
8 Q. So out of 700 people, 60 perished there as you claim it; right?
9 A. There weren't 600 killed there. There were 60 killed, about 150
10 metres away from the bridge. Clirim Zhuniqi and his family from
11 Opterusha, and then Halim Fatoshi from Bellacerkva, was shot 150 metres
13 Q. I didn't ask you about that. Let us try to expedite this. Was
14 the NATO bombing going on during the event that you just described to us?
15 A. There was no NATO bombing in our area. On the 25th of March, we
16 only saw NATO planes flying up above.
17 Q. So you saw them high up there. And you also say here that at 2.00
18 a.m., NATO planes bombed Nogavac while you were there. Is that right? So
19 that was another event; right?
20 A. NATO did not bomb Nagavc, but it was Yugoslav planes who bombed
22 Q. Oh, so that's how it was. So the bombs were falling on Nogavac.
23 It doesn't matter now whose bombs were there.
24 Now, can you clarify this: You say that you still have a bullet
25 lodged in your arm, near a wrist. Did you receive this injury during that
2 A. Yes. No. I have one bullet in my shoulder from 25th of March,
3 but I have eight other wounds from 2nd of April, in the village of Nagavc.
4 Q. So that means that was during the bombing; right? Because on page
5 4, you say that you had lacerations on your head and on your right arm.
6 Is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. How many people were killed in that bombing? Do you
9 know that you were severely injured, as we understood it. And can you
10 tell us how many people were killed during the bombing?
11 A. At that time, at 1.00 in the morning, I arrived at Nagavc and I
12 heard very well MiG planes coming from Montenegro and firing on Nagavc
13 village. On this occasion, there were people seriously wounded.
14 Q. All right. All I want to know is how many people were killed in
15 that bombing.
16 A. I don't know, because I was very seriously injured myself.
17 Q. Did somebody tell you how many people got killed in that bombing?
18 A. I don't know. There were a lot of dead, but I don't know the
19 exact number.
20 Q. Did you perhaps mix up these dead with the other 60 that you claim
21 had been killed by police?
22 A. No, I didn't mix them up.
23 Q. Let me ask you a direct question: Are you trying to conceal with
24 your statement the fact that the victims that you listed were in fact
25 victims of NATO bombing, in view of the injuries that you described? Yes
1 or no, please.
2 A. NATO did not bomb the civilian population, but your planes bombed
3 Nagavc. And German KFOR, after we returned, found bombs with Cyrillic
4 letters on them.
5 Q. We heard about those Cyrillic letters. Are you aware of the fact
6 that our planes did not fly in that area at all?
7 A. I'm sure that it was the Serbian planes that bombed us.
8 Q. Based on what are you sure?
9 JUDGE MAY: He's given his evidence about that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. In that case, I'm not
11 going to ask any questions any more. This is quite enough.
12 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... what case is being
13 put about the [indiscernible] under the bridge, whether it's being
14 suggested it was bombing or --
15 JUDGE MAY: It's been suggested that it was NATO bombing, as far
16 as I understood it. Yes.
17 MR. KAY: No questions.
18 JUDGE MAY: Be very brief.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
20 Q. You understand, Mr. Zhuniqi, that the suggestion is that the
21 people under the bridge were in some way injured, so far as the few
22 survivors are concerned, or killed, so far as the balance are concerned,
23 by a bomb. Any truth in that at all? That's the accused's suggestion.
24 A. They weren't wounded by bombs but by the Serbian police, whom I
25 saw with my own eyes, with automatic rifles, and shooting all these
2 Q. And Nenad Matic, the man you spoke of, the man you saw after your
3 return from Albania, when did you last see him? Where was that?
4 A. On the last occasion I saw him at the -- for the first time, I saw
5 him at the Belaje bridge, and according to the photographs brought by
6 KFOR, and recognised him as Nenad Matic.
7 Q. Seven hundred people you've described as being in the riverbed
8 generally. That is not the number of people who were under the bridge,
9 and you never suggested as much. Seven hundred people. How much of the
10 village did that represent? Or, to put it another way, how many people
11 lived in the village altogether, for this 700 to be in the riverbed?
12 A. The village has about 350 houses, with about 3.000 inhabitants.
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Zhuniqi, you said that you saw the picture of Mr.
15 Nenad Matic, and the KFOR people showed his picture; is it right?
16 A. I recognised Nenad Matic because I used to work with a bus, but I
17 didn't know his name, and it was only when German KFOR showed me the
18 photographs that I recognised him and identified him by name.
19 JUDGE KWON: When they showed you a picture, that picture, did it
20 say anything about him, such as what he is doing, whether he's police or
21 whether he's military, or something else?
22 A. No. They only asked if I knew this person, and I said I
23 recognised him.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Zhuniqi, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
1 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
3 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now until tomorrow morning, 9.00.
4 One other change in the calendar, I'm afraid. Monday we shall be
5 sitting from 9.00 until 2.00.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, thank you very much. Hendrie tomorrow. I
7 think we've applied for 92 bis. We haven't a ruling yet.
8 JUDGE MAY: I think we've given a ruling.
9 MR. NICE: Very well.
10 JUDGE MAY: I'm informed we have given one.
11 MR. NICE: I'll pick it up.
12 JUDGE MAY: Tomorrow morning.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th day of
16 June 2002, at 9.00 a.m.