1 Thursday, 13th November 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar, have the accused
4 brought in, please.
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Are all the interpreters ready? Everybody
7 hears me. Good morning, everybody. Does the Defence
8 hear, does the Prosecution hear, General Blaskic, do you
9 hear? We can now resume the hearing of Witness F. who is
10 a Prosecution witness. Mr. Harmon?
11 WITNESS F. (continued)
12 Examined by MR. HARMON (continued)
13 Q. Thank you and good morning, Mr. President and
14 your Honours, good morning counsel.
15 Witness F., before we continue with where we left
16 off in your testimony on Tuesday, let me clarify some
17 points with you that you testified about on that day.
18 On 16th April 1993, when you went to Niko Vidovic's
19 house and you saw a nurse in the house with medical
20 supplies, did it appear to you that a first aid station
21 had been set up in the house before the attack on Ahmici
22 had begun?
23 A. Yes, it did. That is what it looked like to me.
24 Q. Likewise, did it appear to you that a shelter had been
25 set up in the basements of that particular house for the
1 Croats before the attack on Ahmici began?
2 A. Yes. We often stayed in that basement before the attack
3 on Ahmici when the Serb airforce was shelling Busovaca
4 and Vitez, and at the time, there were just wooden
5 benches, but that morning, as I entered the basement
6 there were beds there. On the beds there were pillows,
7 covers, blankets, then there was a large wooden stove
8 with a fire burning. There was a big pot on the cooking
9 stove and one could smell beans cooking. The children
10 were well clothed, they had their toys with them. There
11 was a pram, everything seemed to be ready.
12 MR. HARMON: Now Mr. President, if I could have, with the
13 assistance of the usher, Exhibit 114A placed on the
14 ELMO. Mr. President and your Honours and counsel, 114A
15 is a different perspective of the previous exhibit and
16 again a portion of what is Exhibit 53. There are
17 numbers that are identical to the exhibit that appeared
18 on 113A, that is numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9, but on
19 this particular exhibit, there are letters A through G
20 which will be identified by the witness and as the court
21 and counsel can see, instead of looking in the direction
22 of Rovna, this, 114A, shows a perspective of the
23 opposite direction, the direction depicting Ahmici and
24 the village of Pirici.
25 Witness F., during your testimony, you said that on
1 16th April, when you had left the basement, you saw the
2 houses of Cazim Ahmic, Eso Ahmic and Sulejman Ahmic on
3 fire. Can you, using the pointer, please point to the
4 house of Cazim Ahmic?
5 A. That is Cazim Ahmic's house (indicates).
6 Q. You are indicating for the record the house on 114A with
7 the circle and the letter D next to it. Can you point
8 to the house of Eso Ahmic?
9 A. (Indicates).
10 Q. You have placed the pointer on the circle marked with
11 the letter C, is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is Eso Ahmic's house.
13 Q. Now can you point to the house of Sulejman Ahmic?
14 A. (Indicates).
15 Q. You have placed your pointer on the circle with the
16 letter B next to it on Prosecutor's Exhibit 114A, is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes, that was Sulejman Ahmic's house which I saw
20 Q. Now you mentioned in your testimony, Witness F., that on
21 16th April in the morning a Bosnian Croat, identified you,
22 came down and said two cousins by the name of Muharem
23 and Nedzad Djidic had been killed. Can you point to
24 their houses on Prosecutor's Exhibit 114A, please?
25 A. (Indicates).
1 Q. You have placed your pointer on the letter F. Whose
2 house was that?
3 A. It was Djidic Nedzad's house.
4 Q. Could you now indicate to the court where Muharem
5 Djidic's house was located?
6 A. (Indicates).
7 Q. You have placed your pointer on the circle with the
8 letter E next to it, is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. While you were in the basement of the house, you also
11 heard that a man by the name of Fahrudin Ahmic had been
12 killed. Can you indicate with your pointer where his
13 house is located, indicated on Prosecutor's Exhibit
15 A. (Indicates).
16 Q. For the record, you have placed your pointer on the
17 circle with the letter G next to it, is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it was Fahrudin Ahmic's house.
19 Q. Inside that circle, there are three structures. Was one
20 of those houses the house of Fahrudin Ahmic and the
21 other two structures, did they belong to his mother and
22 father, Fatima Ahmic and her husband?
23 A. Yes, the house next to Fahrudin's was Fatima and Hasim
24 Ahmic's and the third structure was a stable.
25 Q. On that Prosecutor's Exhibit 114A there is a green
1 line that is indicated. Do you see that line on
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 114A?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What does that green line represent?
5 A. That green line marks the path along which we fled to
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, I am finished with that exhibit for
8 the time being, thank you.
9 Witness F., on Tuesday, you also described a
10 conversation that you had heard on the morning of
11 16th April while you were inside the house belonging to
12 Niko Vidovic, and I have had a chance to review the
13 transcript and show you a transcript of what is quoted,
14 have I not?
15 A. (Witness nodded).
16 MR. HARMON: For the record, counsel, I am referring to
17 page 3663, lines 12 through 14. After reviewing that
18 quotation, did you inform me that that is not what -- it
19 is not properly quoted?
20 A. Yes, that is what I said.
21 Q. Please would you tell the court what you overheard being
22 said by the men who were in the house of Niko Vidovic?
23 A. When I went outside (redacted)
24 toilet, I saw, standing next to the house, Anto
25 Kupreskic, Anto Dudzo and Frano Vidovic. Passing by
1 them, Frano pointed with his hand to a small window,
2 which led to the part of the basement where we were in
3 and he said to the two of them, "look here, we should
4 not kill them here, we should keep them and maybe some
5 of our own will be captured and then we could exchange
6 them". I realised then that we were captured, and that
7 there was no question of any attack by the Mujahedin or
8 anyone else. I saw the houses burning of Sulejman Ahmic
9 and the others, and that was when I saw soldiers in the
10 yard eating and talking about a job done.
11 I went downstairs to the basement, I went up to
12 (redacted) who was sitting on a wooden bench, I wanted to
13 tell him what I had heard, and tears were coming down
14 his face and he just nodded. Then I went to (redacted)
15 and told him what I had heard. Then he started
16 breathing heavily and he told me to pick up (redacted)
17 and go outside so they could kill us outside.
18 Q. All right, Witness F. Thank you very much for
19 clarifying that point. Now let me return to where we
20 left off in your testimony on Tuesday, and where we left
21 off (redacted)
22 (redacted), fled with Croats in the direction of
23 (redacted), is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you cross a bridge over the Lasva river?
1 A. Yes, we crossed the bridge called Radakov bridge.
2 Q. In Prosecutor's Exhibit 113A, is that bridge located --
3 if I could have the assistance of the usher, if we could
4 place 113A on the ELMO. Mr. Usher, that is fine right
5 there. Could you please, Witness F., with your pointer
6 put the pointer on the bridge that (redacted)
8 A. (Indicates).
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Usher. After you crossed that bridge,
10 could you tell the judges what happened?
11 A. We crossed the bridge, and then groups of Croats, women
12 and children, started going to various houses in
13 Rovna. We stayed alone on the road, we were walking
14 along that road, we reached a house in front of which a
15 (redacted) was standing, (redacted)
19 As we were walking (redacted)
20 (redacted), there was a heavy artillery weapon firing
21 bullets that were whizzing by our heads. I was afraid,
23 I tripped and fell, but (redacted),
24 "do not be afraid, it is our people shelling
25 Poculica". When I went in, (redacted)
2 (redacted), "how come you are alive? How
3 come you are here?". (redacted) tried to explain that
4 we had spent two days and one night in Niko Vidovic's
5 basement and that we had followed them.
6 Then he got lost, first he whispered something
7 with this (redacted), and then the (redacted) came in with a
8 (redacted) and told us we could spend the night there, but
9 we must leave before dawn and we must never tell anyone,
10 if we survived, that we had spent the night there
11 because (redacted) was afraid (redacted).
12 We spent the night there and in the morning about
13 4.00, we went out, it was still dark and foggy --
14 Q. Why did you leave the house, Witness F., the next
16 A. Because the (redacted) was afraid that somebody might come
17 and find us there in that house, so we had to leave and
18 we told (redacted) that we would head for UNPROFOR, across the
19 fields, and (redacted) said, "I hope you succeed". That is how
20 we left. We crossed the bridge.
21 Q. Again with the assistance of the usher, if we could have
22 Prosecutor's Exhibit 113A placed on the ELMO -- that is
23 114A. If the other one could be placed, 113A?
24 Mr. Usher, the section I am interested in is the other
25 half of that. If you could move it to the left? If you
1 could continue moving it to the left so that numbers 5,
2 6 and 8 are visible on the ELMO. Mr. Usher, if you could
3 move that to the right a little, I think 6 will become
4 visible, and down a little. That is fine, thank you.
5 Witness F., you (redacted) were attempting to
6 get to the UNPROFOR base, is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is that indicated on Prosecutor's Exhibit 113A with the
9 number 7 on it?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I would like to interrupt for a
12 second here. Is it absolutely necessary for the witness
13 to have to indicate precisely? Perhaps there will be a
14 challenge on the part of the Defence, but do you not
15 think it is going perhaps a little too far? One can see
16 how much this witness is suffering when she has to
17 recall all these locations. If the witness says that
18 she tried to reach the UNPROFOR base then she tried to
19 reach the UNPROFOR base. It was already identified, a
20 long time ago in fact. I do understand that it should
21 be marked in the transcript that the witness has
22 indicated 7 or 8 or the UNPROFOR base, but is it really
23 necessary for your strategy, Mr. Harmon, to allow the
24 witness to express herself the way she likes? If the
25 Defence contests things then you can, of course, reply.
1 This is really significant suffering this woman is
2 experiencing in order to specify the houses, locations.
3 The witness has just expressed what happened,
4 because it was important for the Prosecution and for
5 General Blaskic as well, but perhaps you could try to
6 simplify somewhat, to clarify things, to get to the
7 essential part of the matter. You are looking at
8 someone who is suffering, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Thank you, your Honour, I will proceed.
10 Witness F., would you tell the judges then what
11 happened after you crossed the bridge and what you saw.
12 A. When we crossed the bridge in the Lasva river valley,
13 I saw four mortars and several soldiers taking off
14 blankets from them or wiping them, I did not really
15 watch. We tried to pass them without them noticing us
16 and they did not, they probably thought we were Croats
17 who had spent the time in Rovna, because there were
18 many Croats spending the night in Rovna that day. So
19 we followed the course of the Lasva river, the fog was
20 rather thick and we wanted to get to UNPROFOR. For two
21 days we had nothing to eat, we had not slept, we moved
22 very slowly, and we approached the UNPROFOR base. We
23 could already see the wire fence of the UNPROFOR in the
25 Then we heard a voice calling, "stop, stop".
1 I saw three human figures approaching us from the field,
2 they were running. (redacted)
4 One of the three knelt on the ground, one of the three
5 soldiers who were approaching us knelt on the ground and
6 targeted (redacted). At that moment, (redacted) called,
7 "Ilija, stop, do not shoot". (redacted)
8 "Ilija, stop", I called out (redacted), "stop, come
9 back, come back", and he stopped and started running
10 back. This soldier who was kneeling said, "who was it
11 that said Ilija? I fuck his mother".
12 They started towards us, they surrounded us, then
13 I recognised Ilija Livancic, whom we had called Pican,
14 and Jure Livancic, also Pican, and also a third soldier
15 whom I had never seen before. Jure threw a shell across
16 our heads, it went off, we fell to the ground, there was
17 an explosion. Then he said, "get up you (redacted), you
18 motherfuckers, where are you going to?" (redacted)
19 (redacted) tried to tell him that we had spent the night at
20 Jevdjo's with them, (redacted)
21 (redacted). Jure told him, "shut up you
22 motherfuckers, I will put a grenade into your mouth".
23 Then he said, "let us take them back in case
24 anybody from the UNPROFOR notices something", so they
25 took us back about 100 metres and then Jure said, "stand
1 closer to the river", and we did. (redacted)
2 addressed Ilija once again and said, "Ilija please, do
3 not kill women and children, let them go and do what you
4 will with us". He said, "(redacted)
5 and I am sorry, but we have been given orders to kill
6 all the Muslims, and the Muslims will never live here
7 again, and anyway I am not sorry (redacted)
8 (redacted). It is all Alija Izetbegovic's fault, the
10 Then I took (redacted)
11 (redacted), we lined up and they said, "get closer", and Jure
12 said, "you see this Lasva river? She took many Muslims
13 away and she will take you too". (redacted)
14 (redacted), his wife and three children, we were all
15 crying, no one was saying anything. (redacted),
16 (redacted) who had put my
20 (redacted) She caught hold of my hand, I put my other hand
21 on my stomach, (redacted), and
22 then the soldier said to Jure, "how am I going to do
23 it? Am I going to kneel down or do it standing", and he
24 said, "you will have to kneel down because they are too
25 small, you will not be able to get them all". Then I
1 closed my eyes and I could not see anything, I was
2 waiting for the bullet. I could hear the guns being
3 cocked and I was waiting.
4 I heard an unusual sound, and I saw a bird flying
5 over our heads. I begged the bird to tell (redacted)
6 where we were, and at that moment, Ilija, who was about
7 20 metres away from me, said, "wait, wait, somebody is
8 waving from Nenad's house", and Jure said, "we will not
9 stop, we have a job to do, Ilija. We must do it".
10 Ilija cried out, "Jure, do as you have been told, run up
11 there and see what they want". Jure did not want to and
12 then he repeated the order, he came back soon and he
13 said somebody was waving from Nenad's house. He told us
14 to pick up (redacted) and follow him. Jure went in
15 front and this unknown soldier and Ilija behind us.
16 Jure was threatening as to what Nenad would do with us
17 as we went along. Ilija was saying how all the Muslims
18 had been killed and he said (redacted),
19 Rasim, he was our schoolfriend, he too was killed in
20 front of his house". We got close to Ilija Pican's
21 house, Livancic's, and his father was standing in front,
22 who came up and said, "where did you catch them? They
23 tried to get to UNPROFOR. I would kill all of them, all
24 (redacted), I would take
25 them away". Then Ilija said, "you old man, you are not
1 the one to decide. Nenad will decide". Nenad Santic
2 was standing in front of his house with Drago Josipovic
3 and they were talking.
4 Q. Witness F., let me interrupt you there for just a
5 minute. These three soldiers who informed you that they
6 had orders to kill all the Muslims, can you tell the
7 court first of all how they were dressed?
8 A. They wore camouflage military uniforms, and they had the
9 HVO insignia.
10 Q. All three of them?
11 A. All three of them.
12 Q. When you arrived at Nenad Santic's house, was he there
13 with Drago Josipovic?
14 A. Yes, he stood in front of the door of his house.
15 Q. How was Drago Josipovic dressed?
16 A. He wore camouflage military uniform and had a white
17 belt, like military police.
18 Q. How did Nenad Santic appear dressed?
19 A. Nenad Santic wore a camouflage uniform, he had a cap on
20 his head. He looked at us, (redacted), he told
21 him -- he said, "where did you think you were going?".
22 He said, "we were going towards the UNPROFOR. We did
23 not know ourselves where to go". He started laughing,
24 "you think that UNPROFOR would help you?".
25 Q. Witness F., let me just clarify one thing. You said
1 Nenad Santic was in a camouflage uniform. Did he have
2 any white belts that signified that he may have been a
3 member of the military police?
4 A. He had a wide white belt on his jacket and the other one
5 had -- Drago had the thin white belt.
6 Q. Did they have any insignia that indicated they were in
7 the HVO?
8 A. That day I did not see it, but I knew that they were
9 members of the HVO, because all Croats that I knew were
10 swearing to Nenad Santic.
11 Q. All right, Witness F. Would you please continue then
12 with what occurred in front of Nenad Santic's house?
13 A. Ilija said, "Nenad, what shall I do with them? Why did
14 you call us?". He told him, "I thought that it was
15 somebody more important", and Jure said at that point,
16 "Nenad, you know that nobody ran away of us, so they
17 will not either". Ilija said again "Nenad, what shall
18 I do with them?". Nenad said, "I do not know what to
19 do. Do whatever you want, fuck their mothers, they are
20 not interesting. You can also take them where the other
21 garbage is, in Ilija's shop". Ilija said, "so tell me
22 what to do". He said, "take them to the shop". Ilija's
23 brother Mirko showed up from somewhere, he was going in
24 front of us and he said "cross the road slowly to go to
25 Ilija's shop", that is where all the survivors were.
1 Q. You arrived at a location that was a shop and was also a
2 house, was it not? It had two purposes, a house and a
4 A. Yes, that was the property of Miso Livancic, called
5 Pican. Before the attack to Ahmici it was a shop and we
6 were calling it the shop at Ljiljo's. That is how we
7 called the man who kept the shop. In front of that
8 shop, Anto Babic was standing. He opened the door for
9 us, we entered. I was the last one to come into the
10 shop and in there there were women and children. Nobody
11 was saying a word.
12 Q. Do you know how many women and children were in that
14 A. We were 85, because later we were counted. At the time
15 when I entered, I thought that we were 1,000. Women
16 were crying, children were crying, they were Muslim
17 children and women, that I knew. Ahmic Fatima, she was
18 sitting up front, she got up, (redacted) and
19 told him, "my dear son, are you alive? Yesterday they
20 killed my Fahran, today my Hasim was taken, Amir, Munib
21 Heleg. My son, they will kill you too, women, let us
22 get up to protect the three of them". Some women got
23 up, the three of them sat down. I turned around, and
24 behind the door, I saw a man who was all muddied, who
25 was all singed, and I asked Fatima who that was, she
1 said it was Jula Brandza, she said, "I did not know he
2 was alive". (redacted)
3 (redacted). Then we again kissed each other goodbye
4 and we only waited when somebody was going to open the
6 The time was passing and the door opened and at
7 the door Nikoslav Plavcic was at the door, called
8 Slikica, and he said, "women, I did whatever I could for
9 you. You will be taken to the railroad station, you
10 will be exchanged".
11 Q. Witness F., were there any Croats in detention in that
13 A. There were no Croats, there was only Anto Papic, called
14 Babic, who was guarding us in front of the door. He was
15 wearing military camouflage uniform and carried a gun.
16 Q. Were you taken then from that location where you were
17 detained to another location?
18 A. Yes, we went outside and Nikica Slikica told us to go
19 two and two and not to make any noise, not to try to
20 escape, that we would be exchanged, that we would be
21 taken to the free territory and he mentioned Zenica.
22 Q. Did he have any form of mobile communication with him?
23 A. Yes, he was walking in ahead of us, he had a small bag
24 over his shoulder and at the belt, he had a
25 walkie-talkie. He was talking something in it, but
1 I did not hear what it was. We went down the road and
2 while we were walking, vehicles were passing us and
3 there were soldiers in camouflage uniforms there and we
4 were afraid all the time that some of them would stop
5 and catch up with us. We went to the railroad station,
6 Nikica said to go towards the school.
7 In the school yard, when we got there, there were
8 soldiers in both black and camouflage uniforms. They
9 were waiting for us there, (redacted)
10 (redacted). As we
11 entered the school building, they separated us. The
12 last I saw was a soldier in a black uniform who was
13 putting the barrel of his gun (redacted)
14 (redacted) in the opposite direction. Then I entered
15 the class room with my children and suddenly the door
16 opened and a soldier came in and he said, "get up, get
17 up", and I got up and he put the barrel of his gun here
18 (indicates) and he said, "why are you crying? Why are
19 you whining? Fuck your (redacted) mother". I said, "I am
20 afraid, I do not know where (redacted)
21 are" and (redacted) were crying too. He said, "shut
22 up, I cannot stand it when (redacted) are crying". I put
23 my hands on both of their mouths and he said again, "why
24 are you crying?", and I said, "I did not know where my
25 (redacted)". He said, "you think we are
1 killing someone? We do not kill anyone. You Muslims,
2 you are trash. If I hear you cry again, I will kill
3 you, fuck your (redacted) mother".
4 Q. Witness F., to your left there are some tissues.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Witness F., would you like us to take a break
6 for a few moments? Would you like us to suspend the
7 hearing for about ten minutes?
8 A. (Witness nodded).
9 JUDGE JORDA: You prefer to take a break? Very well, we
10 will resume in ten minutes.
11 (10.40 am)
12 (A short break)
13 (11.05 am)
14 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing, please
15 proceed. Witness F., do you feel better?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE JORDA: If you have any other problems, please do not
18 hesitate to say it and, of course, the Tribunal will do
19 everything it can so that your testimony can be
20 conducted under conditions that are not too difficult
21 for you. I am sure that the Prosecutor will be
22 sensitive to that. Mr. Harmon?
23 MR. HARMON: Witness F., did you remain at the Dubravica
24 school until 5th May 1993?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Between the time you arrived at the Dubravica school and
2 5th May, did you ever (redacted)?
3 A. I saw him when they were going out, when a soldier was
4 escorting them to a truck and their hands were like
5 (indicates), and later (redacted) told me that every
6 day, every night they were coming for them, that they
7 were digging trenches for them at Krcevine, at Kratine,
8 Mahala and other places.
9 Q. Witness F., you indicated that (redacted) were
10 like "this". Could you show the court what you mean by
12 A. There were several men who were walking and they had
13 their hands like this and they were going to the truck.
14 Behind them there was a soldier with a rifle escorting
16 MR. HARMON: For the record, your Honour, the witness
17 indicated with both of her hands behind her head that
18 that was the position of the (redacted).
19 JUDGE JORDA: If you like, Mr. Harmon, but I would like to
20 emphasise that the Tribunal did understand what was
21 meant when you said that a prisoner has his hands behind
22 his head.
23 MR. HARMON: Witness F., was (redacted) when he was
24 digging trenches?
25 A. Yes, he was wounded in (redacted). He was digging trenches
1 at Krcevine and on that occasion, two of these prisoners
2 died from the school in Dubravica and several of them
3 were wounded and he was one of those who were wounded.
4 One of the more seriously injured persons there needed
5 to have an IV held for him on the way to Travnik, and
6 one of the soldiers whom (redacted) knew who lived in
7 (redacted) and he asked (redacted) whether he would be
8 able to hold the IV bag while this person was being
9 transferred to Travnik, and while (redacted) stayed in
10 (redacted), I did not know of his fate.
11 Another day, a Croat soldier came and brought his
12 jacket and threw that jacket into the class room there.
13 I did not dare approach it until he left the room and
14 then when he did, I approached and took the jacket and
15 recognised it (redacted). I overheard the soldiers
16 in the hallway saying that some Muslims were killed and
17 some were injured and I did not know what happened to my
18 (redacted) until I reached Zenica. When I came to Zenica,
19 I was accommodated in an orphanage and the director of
20 this orphanage went on the air to ask whether anybody
21 knew anything (redacted), and several days later,
22 she said that (redacted) while my
24 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have concluded my examination of
25 Witness F. and I would now ask that Prosecutor's Exhibit
1 113A be admitted into evidence and 113B, which is the
2 legend, be admitted into evidence as well, but the
3 legend 113B be placed under seal and remain
4 confidential. I would also move to introduce
5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 114A and the legend.
6 JUDGE JORDA: There are no comments from the Defence,
7 therefore we will put the exhibit under seal. This is
8 for identification purposes?
9 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I am moving into evidence, not for
10 identification purposes but for purposes for the Chamber
11 to consider all of the exhibits, but I only ask that
12 113B, the legend, be placed under seal, because
13 identifying information is contained in it.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. That is what I thought I had
15 understood. Anyway, now I turn to the Defence.
16 Witness F., we are here before a Tribunal in which when
17 there is somebody who is accused of serious crimes who
18 is in the box of the accused, you understand we must
19 give the floor to the Defence as well to ensure an
20 equitable system. You will now be asked questions by
21 one of Colonel Blaskic's attorneys. He will ask
22 questions. The Tribunal, of course, is here to ensure
23 that the questions asked continue to protect you as best
24 as possible, and this Tribunal will hear all of your
25 statements in order to reach truth.
1 Turning to the Defence now, who is going to do the
2 cross-examination. Is it Mr. Hayman, Mr. Nobilo?
3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I am going to conduct the
5 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
6 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I only have one or two questions
7 which might identify the witness, so I would suggest
8 that we turn off the sound in the gallery.
9 MR. HARMON: No objection.
10 JUDGE JORDA: We will now move into a private session.
11 Registrar, would you please ensure that that is done,
12 and as soon as we are ready, Mr. Nobilo can begin his
14 (In private session)
11 (In open session)
12 JUDGE JORDA: All right, the witness is still being
13 protected, do not be concerned, these are simply
14 specific measures that had to be carried out.
15 Mr. Nobilo, go ahead.
16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, your Honour.
17 Witness F., you stated that you saw the Jokers and
18 the Vitezovi soldiers. How do you distinguish between
19 them? How do you distinguish the unit of Vitezovi,
20 their members and Jokers and their members?
21 A. Because they have different names.
22 Q. Can you describe these name tags?
23 A. Shall I draw it for you?
24 Q. No, can you describe it in words?
25 A. The Vitezovi wore black uniforms and they had the name
1 written, "Vitezovi", and Jokers had the insignia there
2 (indicates) and also had the name "Jokers" on them.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge about these units? How do you
4 separate them out from the rest of them and what kind of
5 information do you have?
6 A. I am no military expert, (redacted)
7 (redacted), so I do not know.
8 Q. Can you tell us, the person who came down to the
9 (redacted) with you for a (redacted) and he was ordered to kill
10 you, what was his name?
11 A. Nobody came down to the (redacted) with
12 me, (redacted), came and he said that he
13 was ordered to take the three of them so that they would
14 be killed.
15 Q. Can you tell us what his real name is? (redacted)
17 A. (redacted).
18 Q. (redacted)
19 A. (redacted)
20 Q. (redacted)
21 A. (redacted)
25 Q. So the Plavcic stables, how far was that?
1 A. (redacted), so I do not know how far that
3 Q. Tell me, how many women and children were going with you
4 across the Lasva river to (redacted)?
5 A. I think it was the entire Croatian population there,
6 women and children. They were moving in groups and we
7 did not go with them, we were the last ones who crossed
8 the bridge.
9 Q. So the entire civilian population was moved out that
10 way. Were there any men with them?
11 A. Yes, there were, but Nenad met them and he said, "you
12 motherfuckers, why are you leaving the frontline
13 positions? Come with me". He said that to Jevdjo
14 Vidovic who was walking in front of us. He said to
15 Jevdjo, "you gypsy motherfucker, do not leave your
17 Q. Tell me, what was the atmosphere like, was there panic
18 there or was it disciplined?
19 A. There was not much panic, people were going to take
20 shelter, because they saw that the Plavcic stables were
21 on fire.
22 Q. Did anyone say that the Muslims were attacking?
23 A. Yes, Jevdjo said on 16th April at 5.10 in the morning
24 that 8,000 Mujahedins were coming and were attacking
25 Vitez and that we should take shelter and Mujahedins do
1 not make any difference between Muslim and Croat
2 population and we trusted him, so we went with him.
3 Q. But when you were going towards Rovna, when you were
4 leaving Zume, before you left, did anybody bring any
5 word of some kind of danger, why were people fleeing at
7 A. I do not know, I only know that (redacted),
8 opened the door and she said that the Plavcic's stables
9 were on fire and that the best thing would be for
10 everyone to take shelter in Rovna.
11 Q. Plavcic is a Croat?
12 A. Yes. That was in Mahala, it was not in Zume, about a
13 kilometre maybe from Zume, in the direction of Pirici.
14 Q. So a kilometre from Zume from where you lived, the Croat
15 stables went up in flames?
16 A. I did not see that.
17 Q. But you heard it?
18 A. Yes, I heard that.
19 Q. Was there any mention of soldiers from Herzegovina?
20 A. From Herzegovina?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. I do not know, I only know that Ivica Jevdjo at one
23 point came to the basement and said that the Jokers and
24 the Vitezovi found out about us and he has to protect
25 himself because now it is his life that is to be risk.
1 He turned to the women and said, "women, go find your
2 men and remember our agreement to protect them". When
3 I came to the school, I learned about the soldiers from
4 Herzegovina. There was talk about them, there were
5 soldiers caught there and I saw an ID card from somebody
6 who was from the (redacted), and (redacted)
8 Q. Do you recall when you talked to the investigators
9 beforehand and you stayed at -- some soldiers from
10 Herzegovina found out about you?
11 A. (redacted)
12 Q. (redacted)
14 A. (redacted)
15 Q. (redacted)
16 A. (redacted)
17 Q. (redacted)
18 A. (redacted)
19 Q. (redacted)
20 A. (redacted) had camouflage, a pair of trousers and a soldier's
21 jacket and (redacted) had a camouflage uniform and he had a
22 jacket which he later took off because he must have been
23 hot because he was running after us.
24 Q. There was a third unknown soldier. Did he say anything?
25 A. He was talking to (redacted), not to us.
1 Q. And the grenade that they threw, how far from you did it
3 A. I do not know.
4 Q. You mentioned Nenad Santic and that all the Croats that
5 you know sweared on him. What does that mean?
6 A. That was before the attack on Ahmici. I was a neighbour
7 and I had friends from school and the neighbours with
8 whom I talked and they were talking about Nenad, how,
9 "while we have Nenad, we should not be afraid of
10 anything". They were proud of him.
11 Q. Well Nenad, (redacted). Where did he live
13 A. He was with Picans.
14 Q. What was his position in the local commune, that is in
15 military terms?
16 A. As I told you, I do not know anything about the
17 military, I was not interested in that. I only knew
18 that from their conversations among the Croats that
19 Nenad was the commander, but who he was commanding, that
20 I did not know.
21 Q. Was he commanding these neighbours of yours?
22 A. Yes, that was my understanding.
23 Q. You mentioned Anto Papic, Babic, who guarded you. Where
24 was he from?
25 A. From Papici.
1 Q. Where is this in relationship to (redacted)?
2 A. This is across the road but in the opposite direction.
3 You take a different road towards (redacted).
4 Q. What is the difference, approximately?
5 A. (redacted) .
6 Q. So again your (redacted)?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When you came to that shop, was there any shooting going
9 on in that area or was there a lull?
10 A. There was a lull when we got there.
11 Q. So there was no shooting around the shop?
12 A. No, there was not.
13 Q. Nikica Slikica Plavcic, (redacted)?
14 A. He was part of the local commune of Santici. (redacted)
17 Q. (redacted). In the school where you
18 ended up, which unit was controlling it?
19 A. I do not know, the HVO members were coming into the
20 class rooms and I saw at one point a man with whom
21 I went to school, Bralo. He was looking at us, how
22 miserable we were, he had the HVO insignia. Some wore
23 black uniforms, some wore camouflage uniforms. At first
24 I did not dare look at them because the first time
25 I did, one of the soldiers told me that we should always
1 close our eyes when they come in, because we were not
2 worthy of looking at them.
3 Q. When you came to that school, you said mostly there were
4 people in black uniforms. Were there any insignia?
5 A. As I said before, I did not look because I was ordered
6 not to look around much.
7 MR. NOBILO: This is all, your Honour. I have completed my
9 JUDGE JORDA: The cross-examination is complete, I now turn
10 to my colleagues to see whether they have any additional
11 questions they would like to ask. But before that, I do
12 see Mr. Harmon who perhaps would like to make some
13 clarification. So first we will have the Prosecutor --
14 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no questions.
15 JUDGE JORDA: I had almost felt that. Now I turn to my
16 colleagues, Judge Riad, who is going to ask several
17 additional questions, after which we will be complete.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. I will call you Witness F. I am sorry if I do not treat
21 you properly and say your name. I just would like to
22 know, when you were arrested by this man called Ilija
23 and some other persons with him, he told you that they
24 had been given orders, this is what you said, they have
25 been given orders to kill the Muslims and that the
1 Muslims will never live there any more, that the Lasva
2 river is full of Muslim corpses. When he spoke of
3 having been given orders, did he indicate from where
4 these orders came?
5 A. He did not say where the orders came from, but he just
6 said, "we have been given orders to kill all the Muslims
7 and the Muslims will never live here again".
8 Q. Did he appear to be a regular soldier, according, of
9 course, to your limited knowledge, the way he was
10 dressed, the way they were talking, the way they were
11 perhaps receiving messages from other people?
12 A. He appeared to me to be an ordinary soldier, and I think
13 he was giving orders to Jure Pican, because at one point
14 he said to Jure, "do as I have told you, do as you have
15 been ordered to do".
16 Q. So there was some kind of hierarchy, as if it was in the
18 A. Yes, Jure is older than Ilija, but Jure was listening to
19 what Ilija told him.
20 Q. You mention that (redacted) when he was
21 digging trenches. What happened to him after that? You
22 did not tell us this, the rest of his experience.
23 A. They took them out to dig trenches daily, and then to
24 one place one day and to another place another day. One
25 day he was digging trenches at Krcevine in the direction
1 of Bukva, and there was shooting all around, and the
2 soldiers that were guarding them were under shelter,
3 whereas they had to continue digging. Suddenly, that is
4 what he told me when he came to Zenica, he felt that his
5 arm had dropped into the trench. He caught hold of it
6 and he saw behind him a man who was covered in blood and
7 holding on to his leg. Then he called the guard, he
8 knew him by name and he said -- he told him that they
9 had been wounded and he called back that they should
10 crawl back to the house and that is what they did. Then
11 he bandaged (redacted) and he tied the leg of the
12 other person with his belt, and then he asked (redacted)
13 whether he was capable of holding the intravenous
14 infusion as he would be driven to Travnik for the
15 benefit of this other man who was wounded in the leg.
16 He said that he could, and I think that the fact that he
17 said that he could saved him, because otherwise the
18 Croats would have certainly taken him back to the camp,
19 and that is how he got to Travnik.
20 At that time, there were Croats and Muslims
21 together in Travnik, they were still together, and
22 members of both armies went there for treatment, to a
23 joint hospital.
24 Q. Where were these trenches exactly which they were
25 digging? Did your (redacted) inform you about it?
1 A. Yes, that day that when he was wounded, the trenches
2 were at Krcevine, in the direction of Bukva, between
3 Bukva and Krcevine. Krcevine was a Croatian village and
4 Bukva was a Muslim village.
5 Q. There was fighting going there?
6 A. I do not know.
7 Q. How did he get wounded?
8 A. I do not know. He just said that he felt his arm twitch
9 and fall into the trench, as he was trying to use a
11 Q. You said that other people died, two others died, so
12 there must have been shooting then?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You do not know where from it came. Were they shot by
15 the Croats, by the Muslims?
16 A. I do not know. He himself does not know.
17 Q. But he knows that there was shooting?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Just for my knowledge, what (redacted)?
20 Were they harmed or are they safe?
21 A. They were not harmed. I stayed in the elementary school
22 in Dubravica and then UNPROFOR took me to Zenica and
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE SHAHBUDDEEN: Witness F., did you see any Mujahedins?
1 A. I never saw any in my whole life.
2 Q. In some places in your evidence, you spoke of seeing
3 Vitezovi and Jokers and HVO soldiers. I want to ask you
4 a question about the Vitezovi soldiers. Did you see the
5 insignia which they wore, if any?
6 A. They were wearing them.
7 Q. What were the insignia? Can you describe it?
8 A. The Vitezovi had the word "Vitezovi" and the Jokers the
9 word "Jokers". As far as I know, and saw, the Jokers
10 wore camouflage uniforms that morning.
11 Q. I see. Did you at any stage see soldiers from all three
12 groups together or in the vicinity of each other? Did
13 you see Jokers together with Vitezovi and with HVO
15 A. Only once or twice in the school in the class room, when
16 they came in, men, Croats, whom I knew would come in who
17 were HVO members, and they came in together with the
19 Q. I see, thank you. One last point. You said to us that
20 you spent a night in the home of a (redacted), is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. (redacted)?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And (redacted) called you in and offered you shelter?
25 A. (redacted) was looking for the (redacted)
1 (redacted). (redacted) was not looking for any Muslims.
2 Q. I see. I am glad you clarified that. But (redacted)
3 nevertheless gave you shelter that night?
4 A. We had already entered, and (redacted) did not know us, but --
5 Q. I see.
6 A. -- in that house, a man was sitting there, a neighbour
7 of ours who recognised us and then (redacted) realised that we
8 were Muslims and (redacted) was terrified, her hands started
9 shaking and (redacted) was saying, "why on earth did you have
10 to come here?".
11 JUDGE SHAHBUDDEEN: I am grateful to you for that
12 explanation which should have been clear enough to me
13 from your earlier evidence. Thank you.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Witness F., I wanted to ask you whether at any
15 point during these tragic events you heard anybody say
16 anything or hear about Colonel Blaskic, around you, in
17 the cellar, at the school or anywhere else, did people
18 speak about Blaskic, or not at all?
19 A. After the 16th, 17th and 18th April, I never heard
20 anyone mention Blaskic, but before 16th April, I did
21 hear his name mentioned on television and on the radio.
22 Q. Did you make the connection between the responsibilities
23 that he had and the events, or did other people make any
24 kind of connection between him and what was going on
25 around you?
1 A. When?
2 Q. At this time that the events took place, which went over
3 several days. Did you or any of the people near you
4 make any connection between what they had seen on
5 television in the previous weeks when the accused would
6 appear on television in his uniform and the time when
7 these dreadful events took place? Was this connection
8 made or not? Just answer very simply.
9 A. Yes, throughout that time, we believed that the Croats
10 would not hurt us and we believed their stories, that
11 they were holding us only on account of the Serbs and
12 that they would not hurt the Muslims. Then we saw that
13 they had betrayed us, all those on television as well as
14 our neighbours. They were all working against us.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Turning again to my
16 colleagues, who have no additional questions, the
17 Tribunal is very sensitive to your having come here to
18 confront this difficult work of testimony and
19 cross-examination. Things are now complete. You are
20 being taken care of by the Witness and Victim Unit, who
21 will ensure that you continue to be protected. Perhaps
22 we should draw the curtains before the witness leaves.
23 Might that not be better?
24 The Registrar has just told me that we will take a
25 break, because the testimony of Witness F. is complete.
1 We will resume in 20 minutes, that is at 12.00. For the
2 time being, please do not move and we will take care of
3 you to be sure that you are properly protected. The
4 hearing is now suspended and will resume at noon.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 (11.40 am)
7 (A short break)
8 (12.00 pm)
9 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please have the
10 accused brought in.
11 (Accused brought in)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor? It is Mr. Cayley, all right.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, your Honours. We
14 are ready to proceed with the next witness, who is
15 Mr. Abdulah Ahmic.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, I did not have my microphone
17 adjusted properly, at least the console was not right.
18 Would you repeat yourself, please?
19 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning, Mr. President, your Honours. The
20 Prosecutor is ready to proceed with the next witness,
21 who is Mr. Abdulah Ahmic.
22 JUDGE JORDA: This is not a protected witness then, is that
24 MR. CAYLEY: That is correct, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE JORDA: I would like just to speak with the Registrar
1 for a moment. (Pause). All right, can we have the
2 following witness brought in, please? About how much
3 time have you scheduled for this witness?
4 MR. CAYLEY: I would estimate, your Honour, between two and
5 three hours.
6 (Witness entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the witness stand first. The
8 usher should know what to do. Please have the witness
9 stand. First, you are Mr. Abdulah Ahmic, is that
10 correct? Can you hear me?
11 THE WITNESS: I do.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Are you Abdulah Ahmic?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Abdulah Ahmic, we are going to give you a
15 declaration which you will be asked to read before
16 giving testimony. It must be read out loud, sir.
17 ABDULAH AHMIC (sworn)
18 JUDGE JORDA: You may be seated. Mr. Abdulah Ahmic, the
19 Office of the Prosecutor in the trial which is being
20 conducted against Tihomir Blaskic before the
21 International Tribunal has called you. I believe the
22 Office of the Prosecutor has explained how things will
23 be conducted. You are before judges who will listen to
24 you. You may speak without hatred, without fear and now
25 I will turn to the Prosecutor, who will begin to ask you
1 questions. Once he has finished asking his own
2 questions, you will then be asked to answer questions
3 asked by the counsel for Colonel Blaskic. In the name
4 of the International Criminal Tribunal, it is Mr. Cayley
5 who is going to conduct the examination.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, one point before we begin. During
7 the war, Mr. Ahmic was very seriously injured and he has
8 lost partial hearing in one ear so I would only ask for
9 the court to be aware that he may, at times, have a
10 problem in hearing me. If he does, he will let me
11 know. That is a point for the court and for the party
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, we will take that into
15 Examined by MR. CAYLEY
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ahmic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you can leave the microphone on in front of
19 you. Mr. Ahmic, you are of Bosnian nationality, is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I think you are of the Muslim religion?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where were you born?
25 A. I was born in the village of Ahmici, municipality of
1 Vitez, on 29th January 1963.
2 Q. How old are you, Mr. Ahmic?
3 A. I am 34.
4 Q. Before the war years, had you travelled widely
5 throughout the former Yugoslavia?
6 A. Yes, I was in Serbia and Croatia.
7 Q. Very briefly, can you describe to the judges how life
8 was in Ahmici and the Lasva Valley before the war?
9 A. We lived, one might say, in harmony, without any
10 problems. Our life was quite normal, the way all other
11 normal people live.
12 Q. Can you broadly describe to the court the different
13 ethnic groups that lived in the Lasva Valley?
14 A. There were the Bosniaks, the Croats and the Serbs. The
15 Bosniaks and the Croats were in the majority, the Serbs
16 were a small group, and in terms of religion, the
17 Bosniaks were Muslims, the Croats were Catholic and the
18 Serbs were Orthodox.
19 Q. The village of Ahmici, your home, what was the
20 composition, the ethnic composition of Ahmici?
21 A. In Ahmici, Bosniaks lived and the Catholics.
22 Q. Prior to the war, do you remember any problems between
23 the Catholics and the Muslims in Ahmici?
24 A. No, there were no problems.
25 Q. Could you just very briefly explain to the court when
1 the trouble began in the village of Ahmici between the
2 two different groups, the Catholics and the Muslims?
3 A. I think that the problems in our municipality as a whole
4 started after the multi-party elections. This was
5 probably reflected upon the village of Ahmici.
6 Q. I know you were unemployed shortly before the war, but
7 where did you work before you were unemployed?
8 A. Yes, I worked in a military factory in Vitez for a year
9 and a half to two years.
10 Q. So you are familiar with the military industrial complex
11 factories in the Lasva valley in the Vitez and Travnik
13 A. Yes, I worked in all three or actually this was one
14 factory, but it had three different sections, and
15 I worked in all three.
16 Q. By April 1992, who was in charge of these factories, who
17 was running them?
18 A. The factories were jointly run, they were run both by
19 Muslims and Croats, and some Serbs were among the
21 Q. By April 1993, were the Bosniaks still working in these
23 A. Very few of them were still working, they were mostly
24 laid off or "put on hold", as we called it.
25 Q. Were these people excluded from the work place?
1 A. In a sense.
2 Q. In April 1993, who was running these factories, who was
3 in charge of them?
4 A. In April 1993, full control over the factories was held
5 by the Croats. They even brought some soldiers from
6 Herzegovina, allegedly to guard the factory.
7 Q. Are you familiar with the Croatian Defence Council?
8 A. It is a military formation of the Croatian people.
9 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I know you are not an expert on the HVO, but
10 can you briefly describe to the court your impression of
11 the HVO in the municipality of Vitez and in your
12 village, Ahmici?
13 A. I can. The HVO was not just a military formation, it
14 was actually the authority. The HVO was in power and
15 they were involved in all walks of life. They were more
16 than just a military organisation.
17 Q. When you say "all walks of life", what do you mean by
19 A. They influenced the economy, the political life, the
20 cultural life, and virtually -- how can I put it -- it
21 was a kind of military rule that interfered in all
22 aspects of life.
23 Q. Thank you. In 1992, and up until April 1993, were there
24 organised units of the Bosnian army garrisoned in
1 A. One could not really talk of an army. We had the
2 Territorial Defence, which was in the process of being
3 formed, but it was more of a civil protection factor.
4 Q. So there was no Bosnian army in Ahmici during the time
5 period that I mentioned?
6 A. No, no. One cannot say that.
7 Q. The Territorial Defence in Ahmici, were you a member?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. What were its functions?
10 A. The functions of Territorial Defence were exclusively to
11 hold guard duty during the night, and to protect
12 property, in case of any unforeseen incidents, like
13 torching and the like.
14 Q. Did all members of the Territorial Defence have weapons?
15 A. No, they did not.
16 Q. How many would you estimate were armed with weapons?
17 A. In my estimate, only a third of them were armed.
18 Q. Did the Croats in your village join the Territorial
20 A. No, they did not.
21 Q. What did they join?
22 A. They had the HVO, they joined the HVO army.
23 Q. Moving on, Mr. Ahmic, before the war, with whom did you
24 live in the village of Ahmici?
25 A. I lived with my father, mother, three sisters and a
2 Q. Your father's name was Alija?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in 1993, he was aged 57?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And your mother's name was Latifa?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And in 1993, she was aged 49?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Your brother was Muris?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And he was aged 27 in 1993?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then your sisters, Smaila was aged 24, Sabira 23 and
15 Alma aged 16, and that was their ages in 1993?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us briefly talk about the events in
18 Ahmici in October 1992. Am I right in saying that the
19 villagers erected a barrier across the Busovaca Vitez
20 road on 19th October?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Why did they do this?
23 A. The Croats, or rather a report came that the Croats were
24 being mobilised in Busovaca, Kiseljak, Kresevo Kakanj,
25 because there had been a conflict broken out in
1 Novi Travnik, and they had mobilised very strong forces
2 which they wanted to transfer to Novi Travnik. So we
3 set up this barrier to prevent them in our village.
4 Q. Was there a factory that the Croats were interested in
5 in Novi Travnik?
6 A. Yes, yes. It was a struggle for a military factory,
7 most probably that was why the conflict broke out.
8 Q. Did the HVO tell you to remove the barrier?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What happened on the early morning of 20th October 1992?
11 A. About 6.30, they started shooting at our men at the
12 roadblock. Our people ran for shelter and about 7.00
13 they hit with a recoiless gun the minaret of the mosque,
14 and about 8.00 an infantry attack started against our
15 houses. The houses were hit by incendiary shells, as
16 well as our stables.
17 Q. I think you removed the barrier, or not you personally
18 but members of the village removed the barrier that
19 morning, is that correct?
20 A. Yes, the roadblock no longer existed already. At about
21 6.30 the barrier no longer existed.
22 Q. Am I right in saying that the women and children who
23 live near to the road were evacuated to the upper part
24 of the village?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I think you were involved in that process, is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How many civilians were evacuated from the village at
5 that time?
6 A. I think I can talk in percentages, I would say about
7 80 per cent of the people were evacuated.
8 Q. Of the Muslim population of the village?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Were they mostly women and children or men as well as
11 women and children?
12 A. Mostly women and children, and the elderly.
13 Q. Was there any damage to property during this attack?
14 A. Yes, they set fire to four houses and about ten stables
15 and other smaller structures, and they damaged some
16 houses too.
17 Q. Can you recall the names of the owners of the property
18 that was destroyed and the particular piece of property
19 that that person had destroyed?
20 A. The houses of Mehmed Ahmic, Hahrudin Pjanic, two houses
21 of his were set on fire, Sakib Pezer's house and I think
22 Sefik Pezer's house too. Those were the houses. As for
23 the stables, Alija Ahmic's, my father's stable was the
24 first to be set on fire. Then Suljeman Ahmic's stable,
25 Hidjaret Bilic's, Sakib Pezer's, Sefik Pezer's, Kasim
2 Q. What happened to the -- excuse me, please continue.
3 A. I think Hahrudin Pjanic's stable was also burnt.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ahmic. What happened to the livestock
5 that was in your father's stable?
6 A. My brother Muris let them free and they were roaming
7 around simply and under the shower of bullets, he
8 somehow managed to let them go, so they were not hit,
9 they were not killed.
10 Q. Was anybody killed during this attack on the village?
11 A. Yes, Halid Pezer, who was a minor, he was hit by a
12 sniper. The sniper was operating from Ivo Papic's
13 house. A bullet whizzed right by my head too. That was
14 the bullet that hit Halid Pezer right in the heart.
15 Dragan Papic carried the sniper often, he was the son of
16 Ivo Papic. This was before this conflict.
17 Q. How old was Halid Pezer?
18 A. I think he was 15 or 16.
19 Q. When did the attack by the HVO on the village stop?
20 A. Just before nightfall, on 19th October.
21 Q. Did negotiations take place with the local HVO after
22 this time?
23 A. Yes, there were negotiations and our people, actually
24 they wanted us to surrender all our weapons, the
25 settlement of Zume surrendered their weapons. They were
1 mixed, of mixed ethnic origin. They all had to
2 surrender their weapons, they wanted the upper part of
3 the village to surrender too, but our people did not
4 agree. They did give up four rifles.
5 Q. When you say "they" demanded that you give up your
6 weapons, who are you referring to?
7 A. The HVO.
8 Q. The four weapons that you refer to that were given up,
9 to whom did those weapons belong?
10 A. Those rifles had been taken from military policemen who
11 were disarmed at the roadblock on 19th October.
12 Q. They were HVO military policemen?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did HVO soldiers stay by the houses, in the houses by
15 the roadside after the attack was completed?
16 A. Yes, they stayed there and I think they stayed for about
17 ten days.
18 Q. The civilians who had fled the village, when did they
19 return to Ahmici?
20 A. They returned gradually, and this went on for about a
21 month. My family was the last to return a month later
22 to their own house.
23 Q. Can you describe the atmosphere in the village between
24 the period of October 1992 and 16th April 1993?
25 A. It was rather tense. We were in a kind of occupation
1 zone, one might call it. There were frequent incidents,
2 shootings, explosions and threats by certain people.
3 Q. Who was responsible for these shootings, explosions and
4 threats in the village?
5 A. This was being done by the Croats.
6 Q. Can you give any specific examples of this type of
7 behaviour that went on in the village in this time
9 A. I can. In the settlement called Zume on the main road,
10 they blew up a car. A large amount of explosive was
11 used for this. Then I can mention another example, it
12 was Ramadan and we were praying on the grass and when
13 the people were going home, returning from prayer, near
14 Mirko Vidovic's house, a very strong explosion was --
15 occurred very close to these people, so this was a way
16 of intimidating the people. There were also
17 provocations using infantry weapons constantly.
18 Q. During this time in the evenings, were you able to
19 freely travel around the village?
20 A. No, no. They would not let us carry any kind of
21 weapons, they introduced a curfew, movement was limited
22 until 9 or 10, and they were the masters of the
23 communication line between Vitez and Busovaca, so that
24 there was very little movement during the night.
25 Q. When you say that, "they were the masters of the
1 communication line," who are you referring to?
2 A. I am referring to the HVO, because they had the
3 checkpoints in many locations.
4 Q. When you refer to the "communication line", are you
5 referring to the road between Busovaca and Vitez?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. From your own personal observations, was there any
8 change in the HVO between October 1992 and April 1993?
9 A. Yes, there were great changes. They were arming
10 themselves intensively. They were bringing in extra
11 personnel, probably from Herzegovina, and there was a
12 lot of material that was being brought in, we were
13 noticing this.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ahmic. We will now move forward in time
15 to 16th April 1993, but first of all, I would like to
16 place in front of you Exhibit 115. If you recall, when
17 you and I were speaking before your testimony, you made
18 some marks on an aerial photograph, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I arranged for those marks to be transferred into this
21 form by way of a computer-generated image.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Have you checked these marks on this photograph?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Are you happy with the various positions and the circles
1 that are drawn on the aerial photograph?
2 A. Yes, yes, they are correct.
3 Q. Would you tell the court what you remember of what
4 happened on the morning of 16th April 1993?
5 A. Around 5.30, we were awakened by the artillery fire.
6 Donje Selo was attacked, this was near the road, and
7 then the middle village also, Grabovi, they were under
8 attack. We were at home, my father, mother, three
9 sisters and my brother was sleeping down in the
10 basement. The first thing I noticed was that a house
11 was on fire. It belonged to Sukrija Ahmic.
12 After that, I was watching from the window -- in
13 fact before that, I called my brother Muris and we
14 consulted on what to do. He said, "we cannot go
15 anywhere, because the house has been surrounded by
16 soldiers". Then I looked out of the window, I saw
17 soldiers in two locations. Just a moment, please. In
18 the location marked number 2 --
19 Q. Could you wait, because there is no image on the screen
20 as yet.
21 A. Can it be seen now?
22 MR. CAYLEY: Not yet. If we just wait one moment. (Pause).
23 Mr. President, I think everybody has a copy of this
24 photograph in front of them, so if the technical
25 wizardry is failing us, we can still continue.
1 Mr. Ahmic, could you first of all --
2 JUDGE JORDA: I think yes, that would be simpler. I agree
3 with you.
4 MR. CAYLEY: Could you first of all inform the court of the
5 location of your house, your family house?
6 A. My house is at the location marked with 1. Continue?
7 Q. Please, yes.
8 A. Then I observed from the window of my house and
9 I observed five to six soldiers near Fahrudin Ahmic's
10 house, that is the location marked with number 2, and
11 the location number 3, that is Hajra Ahmic's house, also
12 four to five soldiers.
13 Q. Can you describe what the soldiers around Ahmic
14 Fahrudin's house were doing?
15 A. The soldiers at the Fahrudin's house, I saw that one was
16 carrying a gas canister and was setting it on fire and
17 the others were just there around the house. That means
18 they were all setting it on fire. The other house they
19 did not set on fire, they were just walking around it.
20 Q. You say the soldier was carrying a gas can. By that, do
21 you mean a gasoline can?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Did you see them pouring fuel on to Fahrudin's house?
24 A. Yes, I did. I did see it.
25 Q. Did you recognise any of the soldiers that were around
1 Fahrudin's house?
2 A. Yes, I recognised one from Nadioci, he is a man in his
3 middle age. I used to see him a lot by the beach down
4 in Nadioci, and he used to play an accordion quite
5 often. I never learned his name, but I saw him there.
6 Q. Did you have occasion to look into the centre of Ahmici
7 at this time?
8 A. The central part of the village, as I said, Sukrija
9 Ahmic's house and probably Sakib Ahmic's houses up in
10 Grabovi were already on fire.
11 Q. Did you observe any traffic on the main road at this
13 A. Yes, I observed a convoy, they were going down towards
14 Busovaca, that was the convoy of the UN.
15 Q. Can you tell the court what happened next?
16 A. After my having observed all this, I heard the voice of
17 a man who was shouting, "hurry up, do not stay by this
18 house", meaning Fahrudin's house, "move over here to
19 this house", meaning our house. After that I heard a
20 detonation of a grenade and then two shots fired from
21 small weapons, infantry weapons. Three to four minutes
22 later, no more than that, the entrance door to our house
23 was just showered with bullets. We were in the kitchen,
24 so nobody was hurt, but the door was riddled with
25 bullets. Then they started hitting the door so that
1 they would break it down, and my father and I came out
2 and we said, "do not, we will open up the door", so we
3 opened up the door and we saw two soldiers. They were
4 painted -- they had their faces painted like in
5 camouflage. They had bullet-proof vests and they had
6 automatic rifles with collapsible butts.
7 The first thing they asked of us was they asked
8 for weapons. Then I am going to now describe you how
9 they looked, these two soldiers. One was about 1.9
10 metres tall, big, blond, he had like a punk haircut and
11 the other one was about 1.70 tall, he had long wavy hair
12 down to his shoulders and he was much more thin. The
13 big one was pretty rude, and the smaller one was more
14 quiet. The tall one ordered me to come out of the house
15 to the yard, and he ordered the younger soldier to guard
16 us and my mother and sisters remained in the hallway and
17 were just watching everything silently, then he entered
18 the house to search it. After having searched it, he
20 At that time, I saw the UN convoy passing down the
21 road in the direction of Busovaca, and when this man
22 came out of the house, he ordered the younger one, he
23 said, "follow the orders", and the younger one says,
24 "I will not". He repeated this two more times, and
25 then to both these orders, he answered, "I cannot do
1 it". Then the big one says, "okay, I am going to carry
2 out the order, but you will remember this", and he said
3 it in a threatening voice. Then he ordered me and my
4 father to pass around the southern side of the side, and
5 he ordered that the younger one to guard my mother and
7 When we came around the house, we saw our brother
8 Muris, he was lying on the ground on his stomach and he
9 was dead, he was killed.
10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, can I interrupt you at this point? If the
11 witness could be shown Exhibit 116/1. Mr. Usher, if you
12 could actually take the photograph out of the plastic
13 file, and place the first photograph on to the ELMO.
14 Mr. Ahmic, who is this a photograph of?
15 A. This is my brother Muris, who was killed, as I was just
17 Q. How old was he at the time that he was killed?
18 A. He was 27.
19 Q. I think this is the only photograph you have of your
20 brother, but this was taken a number of years before
22 A. Yes, this photograph was taken when he completed his
23 secondary school.
24 Q. Please continue. Mr. Usher, if you could replace the
25 previous exhibit on to the ELMO, because we have not
1 finished with that yet.
2 A. When we came to the spot where my brother was lying
3 dead, the tall soldier ordered my father to step out two
4 steps. My father was barely able to do that, and then
5 from one metre distance, he fired a bullet directly in
6 his temple, he was I think dead right on the spot, and
7 then he told me to step out -- to make two steps
8 forward. Then from the left side he fired a bullet and
9 the bullet came in here and came out here (indicates),
10 and then he turned around and went back to the yard.
11 Q. Mr. Ahmic, if I can interrupt you, because this is
12 important, can you please indicate to the judges where
13 the bullet entered your head and where it left your
15 A. Here, I do not know if you can see it, but here, this is
16 where the bullet entered and this is where it exited, so
17 there is a scar here (indicates).
18 Q. So the bullet entered at your right temple and it exited
19 at your right cheek?
20 A. Yes, the left temple and it came out -- exited at the
21 right cheek.
22 Q. And passed through your soft palette?
23 A. Yes, through my head.
24 Q. Which is how you survived?
25 A. Yes, probably he was not aiming right.
1 Q. Please continue.
2 A. To he turned around and for a moment I was still
3 standing and I saw that I was still alive. Then I faked
4 a fall, as if I was dead. He turned around, he was not
5 sure about something, but when he saw my falling, he
6 turned back and went to the yard from where he had
7 brought us. For several moments, I remained lying
8 there, and after about a minute or two, I lifted my
9 head, looked around, if there were any soldiers I could
10 not see anyone. Then there is on the west side of my
11 house a slope, so I ran down towards the main road.
12 This is marked with number 7, so that is the line, and
13 I came to the location marked with number 4. I came to
14 the road and at that point, there were no vehicles on
15 the road. I sat there for about three or four minutes.
16 At that moment, I saw soldiers coming from the
17 direction of -- it is marked with number 5, and then you
18 see those three arrows. There was nothing else I could
19 do, there was like a small bridge, there was a creek
20 there, and I went into this canal, so in other words
21 I climbed down into it from the road.
22 Q. Mr. Ahmic, can I interrupt you at this point? You said
23 that you went into a small canal.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you indicate on the photograph the position of this
1 small canal or I think probably it is better called a
2 pipe under the road?
3 A. (Indicates). It is the location marked with number 4.
4 Q. Can you describe this space that you occupied to the
6 A. I climbed down from up above in this direction
7 (indicates), and I was observing the soldiers who were
8 running and spreading out into formation. Before
9 I climbed down, I already saw some houses on fire. That
10 is when I first observed soldiers, the houses were
11 already burning and from this position, I observed a
12 group of about 30 to 40 soldiers, so that would be a
13 platoon size, and they were spreading into formation.
14 Ivica Safradin, called Cico, was there, I recognised
15 him, I used to work with him in the Vitezit company in
16 Vitez. He was leading a group of military police, there
17 were five or six soldiers who wore the military police
18 insignia. In this group, there were some men who were
19 even in civilian clothes with weapons and in this group
20 of soldiers who arrived and who were taking positions,
21 I also recognised Dragan Santic from the village of
22 Rovna, he used to be an auto mechanic, and Nikica --
23 Ivica Santic, I think that was his name.
24 Q. Can you describe the uniform of the military policemen
25 that you saw?
1 A. They had belts, they had white insignia on their arms.
2 I recognised them only insignia I recognised with one
3 soldier, it was the special units, so I recognised even
4 that insignia, and I also recognised -- I do not know,
5 Ivica or Nikica Santic, he was from Mahala, he was
6 married with a woman from Nadioci, he had a big
7 moustache and he worked in Zenica, but he was from
8 Santici. I also recognised Blaz Totic from Vitez, who
9 also worked in the same company, Masino Gradina, which
10 is where I worked. I also recognised the son of Jozo
11 Matkovic from the village of Rijeka. I also recognised
12 the brother of Dragan Matkovic, who used to go to school
13 with me and Jako Krizanac from Krizancevo village.
14 I recognised other people too, I knew them by sight, so
15 these were people from Vitez or the places around
16 Vitez. After this group --
17 Q. Mr. Ahmic, can I interrupt you at this point? Can we
18 just confirm that the arrow on the photograph marked 5
19 shows the movement of these 30 or 40 soldiers that you
20 saw coming from Zume?
21 A. Yes, that is the direction from which they came and this
22 is how they were spread out.
23 Q. How many military policemen were amongst them?
24 A. There were five to six military policemen. The rest
25 were wearing military uniforms and as I said, there were
1 six to seven men with weapons, but they were wearing
2 civilian clothes. I think that Blaz Totic was in
3 civilian clothes.
4 Q. Did you see any badges on these soldiers that would
5 indicate to which army they belonged?
6 A. As I said, I noticed on a soldier who was closest to me,
7 it was the special unit with the chequerboard. I did
8 not pay too much attention to these insignia, but in any
9 event, I saw that Ivica Safradin was leading this
10 group. He was the first to arrive there and then he was
11 pointing them to the positions that they were to take.
12 Q. So you saw the chequerboard, the red and white
13 chequerboard flag?
14 A. Which means that these were Croatian soldiers.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I think now is an appropriate time
16 to finish, if you wish. We can carry on this
18 JUDGE JORDA: We will adjourn now until 2.30 pm.
19 (1.00 pm)
20 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume our hearing. Have the accused
3 brought in, please.
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: While the witness is coming in, that is
6 Mr. Abdulah Ahmic, I would like to point out that because
7 of the ceremonies next Monday, when our new colleagues
8 will take their oath, we will stop from 4.00 to 5.00
9 this afternoon. We will have a one hour break and we
10 will start then again at 5.00 and go until 6.00, unless
11 the interpreters have reached the end of their tether
12 and cannot go on. At that point, we will see whether
13 they have the stamina to go on. We will not ask them to
14 take the role of the judges.
15 I do see both counsel standing, which is a
16 wonderful and special favour for the Tribunal, since
17 I think we will ask Mr. Hayman who wanted to say
18 something, or perhaps Mr. Cayley. Mr. Hayman, you wanted
19 to say something?
20 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. Cayley, may I? I apologise for interrupting
21 and I do not want to take significant time from the
22 court but there is a matter the Defence feels it needs
23 to put on the record. If the usher could assist by
24 placing a document on the ELMO and distributing it.
25 This pertains, your Honour, to the redirect examination
1 yesterday of Colonel Watters. He was examined
2 concerning --
3 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, I was not sure what you were
4 talking about. Okay, you are talking about Colonel --
5 MR. HAYMAN: Bryan Watters. I am not seeking any relief at
6 this time, I am not seeking a response or explanation
7 from the Prosecution, we intend to file a written brief
8 on this incident, but I wanted to raise it at the first
9 opportunity, because we do believe it is very important.
10 The court may recall, during the redirect
11 examination, there was testimony concerning the offer of
12 a cease-fire by Colonel Blaskic on 18th April 1993, and
13 that was an offer which Colonel Watters characterised as
14 a naive and blatant attempt to grab land. It was an
15 offer that was never agreed to by the Army of BiH,
16 according to Colonel Watters. We have obtained, since
17 the conclusion of that -- if this could be put on the
18 ELMO, please, so there can be a sight translation -- we
19 have obtained a portion of the Mil Info Summ --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. I am wondering about something.
21 I know -- I am intentionally interrupting you before we
22 get into the wrong track. I see that Mr. Kehoe is
23 standing now. Am I to understand that you want to raise
24 the issue of a reply to a reply? Ordinarily, only the
25 Prosecution replies to your cross-examination, if I have
1 understood that correctly. Before we go any further,
2 let us be very clear about this. You are indicating a
3 document which in some ways could be, from the point of
4 view of method, interpreted a right to reply to the
5 reply, which will be something new and it will be the
6 first time this has happened. Before we even look at
7 the document, could you first give us a few short words
8 of explanation as to the principle, as this is the first
9 time this is occurring and that is to have the
10 examination, cross-examination, then the right to reply
11 and then a reply to the reply, I am not even sure what
12 to call it --
13 MR. HAYMAN: Re-cross is the term, your Honour. We do not
14 know what the proper remedy is. What I seek to put on
15 the record today, so it is clear when we learned this and
16 what our position is, is a very serious violation of the
17 Prosecutor's obligations under Rule 68, namely that
18 while they were eliciting testimony from Colonel
19 Watters -- Rule 68 provides that exculpatory information
20 and information that may tend to affect the credibility
21 of a Prosecution witness must be disclosed to the
23 While they were eliciting testimony from Colonel
24 Watters that then Colonel Blaskic was engaged in a naive
25 land grab and had not in good faith agreed to a
1 cease-fire, that there had been no cease-fire, so that
2 Colonel Blaskic's later complaints of a violation of the
3 cease-fire were, I think, absurd and ridiculous, which
4 was how Colonel Watters phrased it, while they were
5 eliciting that testimony, they had in their possession a
6 portion of the Mil Info Summ from April 18th 1993, which
7 had been redacted from the version that was provided to
8 the Defence, which clearly provides, and I quote from
9 the first full paragraph, last sentence, it may be
10 highlighted on some of your copies:
11 "Commanding officer 1 Cheshire has agreed with 3rd
12 Corps BiH and Central Bosnia HVO that the national
13 cease-fire signed by Boban and Izetbegovic should be
14 effective from 23.59 B hours tonight."
15 I can represent to the court, this is a page that
16 was redacted from the Mil Info Summ of 18th April 1993
17 that was given to us, we have obtained it from our own
18 confidential sources, and thank goodness we were able to
19 get it, because we should have had it a long time ago,
20 it was exculpatory, and we certainly should have had it,
21 as after Colonel Watters testified to the absolutely
22 opposite proposition, that there was no cease-fire and
23 he blamed Colonel Blaskic for acting inappropriately
24 with respect to that subject. I simply wanted to put
25 that on the record. We will file a legal brief on this
1 by Monday or Tuesday, I am not sure what the remedy is,
2 but I felt we had an obligation to raise it and bring it
3 to your attention.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I am not blaming you for having
5 asked for the floor when there are serious issues
6 involved, whether they come from the Defence or the
7 Prosecution. It is absolutely legitimate to raise the
8 issue. We must have living discussions and nothing
9 should be fixed once and for all. I am sorry that in
10 the procedure that we must carry through, the
11 discussions are sometimes too closed off one from the
12 other, you know, that is part of my system for which
13 I am not blaming you.
14 Secondly, I am asking that you file the brief as
15 you said you would, with the proof, the evidence that
16 you can bring to support what you are saying, but it is
17 also correct that I ask Mr. Kehoe to supply some
18 explanations, even if they are only partial and even if
19 Mr. Kehoe or Mr. Harmon respond to your brief in writing.
20 I would turn now to Mr. Kehoe to respond to the serious
21 accusations which have been stated by Mr. Hayman. As you
22 see in Rule 68, it says:
23 "The Prosecutor shall, as soon as practicable,
24 disclose to the Defence the existence of evidence known
25 to the Prosecutor which in any way tends to suggest the
1 innocence or mitigate the guilt of the accused or may
2 affect the credibility of Prosecution evidence."
3 We are all conscious here of the fact that we are
4 all professionals. A document can be ambiguous and
5 sometimes the Prosecutor is not able to know in advance
6 whether the document will be exculpatory. There are
7 documents which are obviously exculpatory, but there are
8 others which are more subtly exculpatory. However, the
9 point raised here is somewhat different, it would appear
10 that in the document which you provided to the Defence,
11 you in some way failed to give the entire document to
12 the Defence. We are not accusing you here of anything,
13 you will have the opportunity to respond in writing if
14 necessary, but since the question has been raised,
15 interrupting the rest of the proceedings and in an
16 impromptu manner, I wonder whether you have any
17 explanations which you could give us immediately before
18 these things are put into writing in briefs which both
19 you and the Defence will file.
20 Mr. Kehoe, would you prefer to reflect about what
21 I have just said?
22 MR. KEHOE: I can fill in the facts that counsel left out
23 when he was discussing this right now, and that has to
24 do with what the Prosecution actually did give to the
25 Defence. If we look to the bottom of the particular
1 page that counsel is referring to, there is an annex to
2 that, that is the cease-fire agreement itself, the one
3 that was introduced into evidence by Defence counsel.
4 In the spirit of exculpatory evidence, that is what the
5 Office of the Prosecutor gave to the Defence.
6 That particular issue, the 18th April cease-fire
7 signed by Blaskic, was not the subject of direct
8 examination. This particular issue came up in
9 cross-examination. Counsel asked Colonel Watters what
10 he thought of this particular cease-fire agreement which
11 he, in his opinion, gave short shrift to, because it had
12 not been negotiated, neither by ECMM or by BritBat. At
13 the time we were having this discussion, I candidly was
14 not aware of one sentence in literally thousands of
15 pages of Mil Info Summs, Mr. President and your Honours.
16 Nevertheless the particular cease-fire agreement was
17 given to the Defence as part of discovery and was
18 brought out during cross-examination, not on direct
20 JUDGE JORDA: I think that this is a relatively complex
21 question. I therefore think that for the time being we
22 will resume our work today and I invite Mr. Hayman and
23 Mr. Harmon or Mr. Kehoe, first Mr. Hayman, to file a brief
24 to the Tribunal and in the brief, the charges will be
25 indicated and the response can be filed by the
1 Prosecution. I would also like to point out that if
2 I recall correctly, it seems to me that Colonel Watters
3 did not attach very much importance to that cease-fire
4 since according to him, he had not -- it had not been --
5 the signature of that document had not been authorised
6 by the other party, at least that is what it appeared.
7 Mr. Hayman is therefore invited to present a brief to
8 the Tribunal. If despite the Prosecutor's explanations
9 he continues to request such a brief, if Mr. Kehoe feels
10 that he has additional explanations to give, he can also
11 respond in writing and that point will be settled later.
12 Thank you. Usher, could we please have the
13 witness brought in --
14 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, on that point, the Prosecutor will
15 gladly bring Colonel Watters back for further
16 examination, if the court desires it. We can take that
17 up any time the court wants to do that. That is
18 certainly open for any opportunity and we will bring
19 Colonel Watters back.
20 JUDGE JORDA: That would be a possible solution, but the
21 Tribunal will decide on that issue once we have read
22 what you will have written. For the time being, we have
23 not reached that point, and we are asking that
24 Mr. Abdulah Ahmic be brought in. (Pause).
25 The Registrar has just mentioned that he needs to
1 know how the exhibit is going to be put in. For the
2 time being, it relates to an incident which has been
3 raised by the Defence who will produce the document.
4 This document in my opinion will be attached once again
5 in the annex in the application which Mr. Hayman will
6 present. It will be the subject of the Prosecutor's
7 answers. Only at that point and according to the
8 solution which will be arrived at for that incident we
9 will see whether or not it should be attached as a
10 document in the file. It seems premature for that. For
11 the time being, the transcript indicates that he will be
12 able to put that into the record for the time being, but
13 only once it has been indicated that it interrupted the
14 proceedings here. We can now have the witness brought
16 (Witness entered court)
17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Abdulah Ahmic, please be seated. Do you
18 hear me? Am I speaking loud enough? Do you hear me?
19 Are you rested?
20 A. I hear you. Yes, I have rested.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, please?
22 MR. CAYLEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, your Honours,
24 Good afternoon, Mr. Ahmic.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. Before the break, you were describing to the court the
2 30 or 40 soldiers that you had seen coming from Zume,
3 and you had stated that the three-pronged arrow marked 5
4 on the aerial photograph represented those particular
5 soldiers, is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see any other soldiers in the same area that
9 A. Immediately after this group that I saw, very shortly
10 after them, another group of soldiers appeared --
11 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Ahmic, could you pause for a minute because
12 the computer monitor is not showing the aerial
13 photograph. There we are. If the usher could move it
14 so it is straight? I am sorry for these interruptions,
15 Mr. Ahmic. If you could please continue.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, I also apologise for interrupting,
17 but in order to make things more concisely packed, since
18 everybody has the drawing before him, perhaps it would
19 be simpler for Mr. Ahmic to explain things, there is a
20 photograph, there are numbers, maybe that would simply
21 be easier, if that does not throw the pace of your
22 questioning out of balance. That might be a solution.
23 This may allow the witness a better opportunity to
24 express himself spontaneously, if you think that is
1 MR. CAYLEY: Please continue, Mr. Ahmic. If within the course
2 of your explanation you could refer to the aerial
3 photograph as the President is suggesting, then I will
4 not have to interrupt you to ask you to indicate what
5 you are talking about in visual terms. So if you
7 A. I can. After this group that I have already described
8 who positioned themselves close to me, near group came,
9 the size of a platoon, 30 to 40 soldiers, and they were
10 going along route 6, and they also spread out. These
11 soldiers, all of them, were wearing black uniforms.
12 They are uniforms of the Ustasha army from the Second
13 World War, as far as I know. Therefore they were the
14 size of a platoon, that is 30 to 40 soldiers. They
15 positioned themselves next to this group in this
17 As one of these soldiers was very close to me,
18 here at point 4, I moved further down so that they would
19 not see me in this hollow. When I reached this lower
20 part, I saw that these houses down here were already on
21 fire, my house, this house, this house (indicates), all
22 these were already burning. So I stayed there and I saw
23 these soldiers running around, but I did not pay much
24 attention, so I was on this side of the road and
25 watching more in that direction.
1 Q. Mr. Ahmic, when you moved across to the other side of the
2 road to where the arrow marked 7 is, what did you see
4 A. I saw groups of soldiers coming from the direction at
5 number 7 in my direction, and moving along the direction
6 of the arrow to the right. During the day, I saw five
7 or six such groups. They were very well equipped
8 soldiers with weapons of great destructive might, RPGs,
9 rocket launchers. Almost all of them had helmets,
10 bullet-proof jackets. They were excellently equipped,
11 and these groups consisted of ten to eleven soldiers
12 each. All of them had different ribbons on their right
13 hand shoulders. One group had red ribbons, another
14 group white, another yellow, another green. In any
15 event during that day five to six groups passed in this
16 direction. They reached close to me and then they
17 turned right as the arrow indicates.
18 Shortly after that, I heard that nearby, a mortar
19 had been brought in. I could hear it firing, it was
20 probably hitting Ahmici, and an anti-aircraft gun was
21 also brought there. I heard it, I did not see it. Then
22 I could also hear some tanks, UN tanks passing by, and
23 I heard some voices, but I could not understand because
24 of the hum of the river and I was down there in the
1 Q. Mr. Ahmic, did you identify any badges on the soldiers
2 that you saw moving in the direction of the arrow marked
4 A. Yes, some of them HVO insignia, some had HV insignia,
5 yes, they did have insignia badges.
6 MR. CAYLEY: If the usher could assist, first of all with
7 Exhibit 100/2, which is already in evidence,
8 Mr. President. Is that one of the badges that you saw
9 that day on the soldiers that were moving in the
10 direction of the arrow marked 7?
11 A. Yes, yes. That is the emblem of the HVO.
12 Q. If the witness could now be shown Exhibit 116/2.
13 A. That was the emblem of the HV, the Croatian army. There
14 were some of these too and I devoted particular
15 attention to that.
16 Q. Why did you devote particular attention to that badge?
17 A. In my view, that was indication that the Croatian army
18 was there too, because judging by how well equipped they
19 were, they probably came from a different country and
20 they had infiltrated themselves here, and these soldiers
21 had these HV badges on them.
22 Q. Thank you. If the aerial photographs could be replaced
23 on to the ELMO, please? Mr. Ahmic, you had been shot in
24 the head earlier that day. How was your wound at this
25 time? How did you feel?
1 A. The bleeding stopped quite quickly, so that I was not
2 having any very great problems at that time.
3 Q. After seeing these groups of soldiers, what did you try
4 to do next?
5 A. I stayed there in that water the whole day and in the
6 evening about 10.00 or 11.00, I decided to pull out,
7 because I was all wet all day, so I headed in this
8 direction (indicates) to this point 8. I had covered
9 only five or six metres when I saw a dugout here which
10 had been made earlier on, and I saw the little window,
11 which surprised me, which meant that this had been
12 prepared long ago to somehow secure this pass. So
13 I covered five or six metres and saw at this point 8
14 three to four soldiers sitting on a fence and smoking.
15 I could not pass by them, so I turned back to the other
16 side of the road again, and then I moved along this
17 route 7, and then I got to about 20 metres forward, but
18 these houses were burning, this one, house number 3 and
19 the stable next to it, then this house and stable, these
20 two were burning, they are not marked (indicates), so it
21 was light as if it was daytime so that they would not
22 see me, I went back to point number 4. I took a rest
23 and then going back, I saw at point 9 another three or
24 four soldiers sitting and smoking on the other side of
25 the road. I do not know whether they noticed me,
1 I rested for about half an hour, and then I went in the
2 opposite direction, this way, and I crawled along the
3 stream past these soldiers and reached the position of
4 Mujo Ahmic's house, position number 10.
5 As soon as I had entered this house, I was
6 noticed. The house was surrounded by two soldiers each
7 from all four sides, they held me there all night. They
8 did not do anything. I was surrounded. I dried up, the
9 house was still smouldering, but there was some flame
10 left, so I dried up and during the night, I noticed here
11 (indicates) two men in white uniforms, I think they were
12 European monitors. They were walking up and down, I saw
13 them three or four times. I considered that strange.
14 Q. Can I interrupt you there, Mr. Ahmic? You said you saw
15 two men in white uniforms to the right of the burnt
16 house marked 10, is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. If you can continue, please.
19 A. I was there in that house overnight. In the morning,
20 six of them left, two of them stayed behind, one on each
21 side and they were observing the house.
22 Q. Mr. Ahmic, just to return to the night, to that evening,
23 did you see or hear anything that night in the vicinity
24 of the house where you were lying?
25 A. No, I just saw these soldiers in white, nothing else of
1 significance. I was not really interested because of
2 what I had been through. I saw that I was surrounded
3 again, so I did not know what I could expect, so I did
4 not look around much that night.
5 Q. Did you sleep?
6 A. Yes, I fell asleep for a while.
7 Q. Please continue.
8 A. In the morning, about 7.30 or 8.00, I heard the voice of
9 my mother. She was here in Pero Papic's house at point
10 11, she had spent the night there and I heard her voice
11 calling out, "what shall I do? They have killed my
12 husband, my sons", she was wailing. I heard her but
13 I could not see her because there was a fog, but I will
14 tell you later how I learnt that she had spent the night
16 So about 8.00, I heard that, and nothing else of
17 significance until about noon. About noon, I noticed a
18 vehicle coming from the direction of Busovaca to point
19 12, they stopped there, two military policemen came out
20 and they headed in the direction of the village of
21 Ahmici. The vehicle stayed behind. Shortly after that,
22 somewhere around here, I noticed some black smoke, very
23 thick black smoke, and shortly after that, I heard a
24 very powerful explosion, it was probably the minaret of
25 the mosque that was blown up then.
1 A little later in the upper part of Ahmici
2 village, that would be about 1.00, again explosions
3 could be heard, rifle shots and several houses were set
4 on fire, so that is that moment. Then these soldiers
5 came back very quickly, they climbed into the vehicle
6 and they came to where I was, point number 10. I saw
7 that they had military police badges, I heard them
8 talking, and this one who was guarding me said, "what is
9 new in Busovaca?", and they answered, "nothing,
10 everything is under control. What is new here?". He
11 said, "I am holding a captured Mujahedin here, what are
12 we going to do with him?". The other one said, "throw a
13 hand grenade at him and kill him".
14 I was sitting in the room here (indicates) and
15 I saw his face well, he was fair, he had a cap, he had
16 wavy blond hair, he was about 24 years old, 24 or 26.
17 He threw a hand grenade, a black one, it fell about a
18 metre from me. I watched it, I did not even move far
19 away. It went off, all the walls were shattered by the
20 fragments, it exploded right next to me, and the burnt
21 remains of the house blew up into a cloud of smoke. It
22 hit my head a little and my ear went deaf. I still
23 cannot hear too well from that explosion on this area.
24 Then these men who had come from Busovaca started
25 to demolish -- there was a small factory, a small plant
1 here under construction. This is it (indicates).
2 Q. You are indicating the building beneath the building
3 that is ringed 10?
4 A. Yes, it was here.
5 Q. Who did that factory belong to?
6 A. Cazim Ahmic, with a Croat from Vitez, had planned to
7 open this factory, it was supposed to be producing
8 washing powders and antifreeze liquid, so they
9 demolished this factory, they set fire to a stable which
10 had been burnt earlier and repaired; then they burnt it
11 again. They also tried to set fire to a yellow Yugo, a
12 Fiat. While they were doing this, I was sitting in the
13 middle of the room coming to, so to speak, recovering,
14 and then the one who had thrown in the grenade came in
15 and another young boy, a 13 or 14 year old boy, he had a
16 rifle and he had a camouflage cap and they were watching
17 me. I again pretended to be dead.
18 There were flames around me, I could have burnt so
19 I had to turn over so as not to burn. They saw that
20 I was alive and I think they watched me for an hour or
21 two, maybe even three, they saw that I was alive.
22 Finally, the little one said, "let us throw a
23 couple of grenades at him. What are we waiting for to
24 kill him". The older one said, "no, look there is some
25 dynamite here, that will be more effective". So they
1 jumped out of the window, I got up, I started calling
2 them then, "boys, I am not a soldier, I am a civilian",
3 but this probably surprised them, so they did not do
4 anything. Then I saw Ivo Papic and Simo Vidovic, that
5 is not marked, but they were here (indicates).
6 I spotted them, I just waved to them and they came up to
7 me into this room, or rather near the house, they asked,
8 "who are you? What are you", and I said "save me, they
9 are mistreating me here". "Come with us", they said and
10 they took me out. Then we went in this direction --
11 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you can stop there. That is fine. If you
12 could just confirm for me on the aerial photograph that
13 1 -- what is the area marked 1?
14 A. That is my house.
15 Q. And the area marked 2?
16 A. That is Fahrudin Ahmic's house, my neighbour.
17 Q. And the area marked 3?
18 A. Number 3, that is Hajra Ahmic's, she was my aunt, her
20 Q. You referred earlier to hearing a large explosion from
21 the area of the mosque. Can you point on the photograph
22 again to the area where you think that explosion came
23 from after the arrival of the two military policemen
24 from Busovaca?
25 A. That is it, here (indicates).
1 Q. So you are pointing to the area and it says above it
2 "Ahmici mosque minaret".
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. After the arrival of Papic Ivo and Simo Vidovic, where
5 did you go?
6 A. They took me to Zume, the settlement called Zume. On
7 the way, Ivo told me, he said, "I took your mother and
8 sisters to your lines in the direction of Vrhovine
9 village and they took two cows with them". I said,
10 "well, thank you", and I asked him if he could bury my
11 father and brother and he said, "no, I will not be doing
12 that, but there is somebody who is in charge of burying
13 the dead". Then he took me to the Zume settlement: if
14 I could please be shown --
15 Q. Another photograph, but first of all, what actually
16 happened to your mother and sisters?
17 A. Ivo told me that he had escorted them to our lines, but
18 somewhere towards the village of Ahmici, they probably
19 came to upper Ahmici. They were probably killed by the
20 explosions that I heard at about 1.00 pm and the
21 shooting. The British officer Stewart, he confirmed
22 that a woman with daughters was killed in a house and
23 that was most probably when they were killed in that
24 settlement there. In that interview of his, he was
25 showing the house, pointing at the house and saying, "in
1 this house, in front of the house, there were two dead
2 men, a father and son were killed, they were trying to
3 protect the mother and daughters who were down in the
4 cellar. A maniac came, a HVO soldier, he threw a hand
5 grenade into the basement, he used automatic fire
6 against them and then he set fire to all of that". That
7 is I think how they met their death in the upper Ahmici
9 Q. In any event, whether that account is correct or not,
10 you have never seen your mother or three sisters again
11 after 16th April?
12 A. No, I have not.
13 MR. CAYLEY: If there are no objections from the Defence,
14 Mr. President, I would like to move into evidence Exhibit
15 115, which is the aerial photograph that is on the ELMO
16 at the moment, and if I could ask the usher to replace
17 that aerial photograph with Exhibit 117.
18 JUDGE JORDA: No objection from the Defence? That is in
19 fact 115, correct?
20 THE REGISTRAR: That is 115.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Ahmic, you were explaining how Anto Papic
22 told you that the burial of the dead was already
23 organised and that it was not necessary for you to have
24 to pay him any money to bury your father and your
25 brother, is that correct?
1 A. Ivo Papic.
2 Q. Ivo Papic.
3 A. I said to Ivo, "I have 400 Marks in my pocket, take
4 it". He said, "no, I do not need money", but later
5 I learned someone called Igor Calic, Miso's son, he
6 unearthed my father and took the 400 Marks from him, so
7 I learnt about this, that there were such cases too.
8 Q. You said that the money was in your pocket; the money
9 was in your father's pocket, was it not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This next photograph depicts the lower portion of the
12 road coming down from Ahmici towards Santici. Am
13 I right in saying that on this particular day, on the
14 17th April you were escorted down this road?
15 A. That was 17th April, yes. Yes, that is correct, I was
16 going along this road, it was Saturday 17th April --
17 Q. Mr. Ahmic, while you were proceeding down the road, did
18 you observe on either side of the road the houses of the
19 Muslim residents of Ahmici and the commune of Zume?
20 A. Yes, more or less all the houses had been burnt down.
21 Q. Could you follow the numbers from 1 to 24 on this aerial
22 photograph which you identified to me while we were
23 speaking before your testimony, and can you tell the
24 court what the state of the house was, and to the best
25 of your knowledge what happened to the occupants of the
2 A. Yes, I will. I will tell you about it.
3 Q. If you start with 1.
4 A. It is a bit too far away for me.
5 JUDGE JORDA: We can do what we did a little while back so
6 that the witness can speak as spontaneously as
7 possible. He has the map in front of him, I think
8 everyone else has the picture. Could he not simply take
9 each of the numbered houses, say what Muslim family was
10 the owner of that house, what happened to the owners?
11 I think that would be better for him. He would be
12 less -- it would be easier for him than if he tried to
13 use the pointer and to try to point out the numbers,
14 because everybody has the same photo, including the
15 Defence counsel. Go ahead.
16 A. Number 1 is the house of Hasim Ahmic, and his son
17 Fahrudin, they were killed.
18 Number 2, is the house of Ahmic Ezedin and his
20 Number 3 is the house of Mustafa Puscul, he was
22 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Ahmic, what happened to the occupants of the
23 house in circle 2?
24 A. Number 2, he was not there, Ezedin at that moment was
25 not at home. Only his mother was there.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to interrupt for a second. Since
2 this is a public hearing, I would like to have the photo
3 on the ELMO so the public gallery can see it as well,
4 but this does not change anything about the method we
5 wish to use.
6 Mr. Ahmic, do not worry about the projector, it is
7 for the public gallery to know what you are saying. Do
8 it as spontaneously as you can, say what comes to your
10 A. So, I was saying, house number 2, Ezedin Ahmic, he was
11 not at home then, his mother was there.
12 House number 3, Mustafa Puscul, he was killed.
13 House number 4, Rasim Ahmic, the son of Ramiz, he
14 was also killed.
15 House number 5, Nazif Ahmic, and both Nazif and
16 his son, who was a minor, were killed.
17 House number 6, Ramiz Ahmic, he was killed as well
18 as his son Ramsim.
19 House number 7, Islam Ahmic, he was killed.
20 Then here is number 8, Sefik Ahmic's house, he was
21 killed too.
22 House number 9, Nesib Ahmic's house, his son
23 Elvedin was killed, but he was not at home at the time,
24 he was away, he was in Croatia, so he was captured and
25 held in a camp in Mostar. He is now alive.
1 Houses 12, 13 -- 11, 12 and 13, I do not know
2 exactly the owners, I cannot remember, but Adem Siljak
3 was killed there and another two or three people were
4 killed there.
5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Ahmic, house number 10, was that a Muslim
7 A. Yes, yes. Number 10, 11, 12 and 13, I do not know
8 exactly who the owners were, because I did not live
9 there, but I know that three or four men were killed
11 Q. House number 14?
12 A. 14, this was the house of a man from Zenica, he came and
13 settled there. He too was killed.
14 Q. House number 15?
15 A. House number 15 is (redacted) house, (redacted)
16 (redacted), he was living in Vitez. Refugees
18 the father and son, were killed there.
19 House number 16, Ismail Ahmic, Ismail and his son
20 Mujo were killed.
21 House number 19 is Mehmed Ahmic's -- house number
22 17, I am sorry. That belonged to Mehmed Ahmic, he is
23 alive. He was in a camp with me, he was not killed. He
24 was wounded before the war in the head in a traffic
25 accident. He was hurt in a traffic accident.
1 House number 19 is Sabiha Djidic's, or rather
2 house number 18. Her two sons were killed, Muharem and
3 Nedzad. House number 19 is Nedzad's house.
4 House number 20 is Mustafa Pezer's house, we
5 called him Ibrahim. (redacted)
11 (redacted) and Sakib Pezer's
12 house, Pezer was killed and his son Mevludin. Sakib and
13 his son Mevludin.
14 House number 24 was Meho Hrnjic's. Both Meho and
15 his son were killed. I do not recall the name of his
17 Q. Mr. Ahmic, what was the state of all of these houses as
18 you walked down the road?
19 A. They were all burnt down, there was not a single one
20 still burning when I passed.
21 Q. Were there houses that were intact by the side of the
23 A. Yes, all the Croatian houses were absolutely intact.
24 Q. Indeed you can see that from the aerial photograph that
25 many of the houses still have their roofs on.
1 A. Yes, those are those houses, yes.
2 MR. CAYLEY: If there is no objection from the Defence,
3 I would like to apply for Exhibit 117 to be admitted
4 into evidence.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, this is 117?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this is Exhibit 117.
7 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be shown Exhibit 118.
8 Mr. Ahmic, before we get to this photograph, which
9 location were you taken to by these two individuals
10 after you left the settlement of Zume?
11 A. I was taken to a house, I think it is the third, the
12 photograph is from a great distance here. I think it
13 was the third house going in that direction. I cannot
14 see Santici in this photograph -- in fact Zume.
15 Q. Do not be concerned with this photograph --
16 A. It was the third house from the road in Zume in the
17 direction of Pirici looking on the right-hand side,
18 third or fourth house.
19 Q. When you got to this house, what did you find at that
21 A. In front of the house when they brought me there, Ivo
22 and Simo, there was Ivo's uncle Anto, he was carrying a
23 M 48 rifle and he was guarding the house. I found in my
24 estimate about 100 people there, Muslim women and
25 children and about three or four elderly men who had not
1 been killed. So that was some kind of a collection
2 point. I was also brought in there and I spent the
3 whole night there.
4 In the morning, around 8.00, Nikica Plavcic came,
5 he was a painter in Vitez. "I have good news for you,
6 I am taking you to be exchanged in Dubravica, in the
7 school in Dubravica", so we started in this direction,
8 it was a long file of people, maybe up to 500 metres
9 long. We were going down the road, there is the
10 UNPROFOR base here (indicates). I do not know how it
11 came that nobody from there ever helped us. So he took
12 us there by himself to this school in Dubravica, which
13 is here.
14 Q. What do the two marks on the photograph indicate?
15 A. It is the length of the group of the people that was
16 walking along that road.
17 Q. If the camera could be brought out now, could you please
18 point on the photograph to the location to which you
19 were taken?
20 A. You mean the school in Dubravica?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. It is here, the school building (indicates).
23 Q. For the purposes of the record, the witness is pointing
24 to the building with the label marked "Dubravica
25 school". Mr. Ahmic, can you describe the scene that you
1 saw when you entered the Dubravica school?
2 A. When we entered into the school yard, I was the last one
3 in the group. The moment we all came in, again these
4 were special units, they had insignia on their
5 shoulders, closed the door behind us. We immediately
6 understood that this was not an exchange, that this was
7 a camp. They started separating out younger women to
8 the right and the rest were put in the gym. I was shown
9 to go to the left to the gym, and there we found 30 to
10 40 adult men who had been brought from the suburbs of
11 Vitez, from Rijeka, from Novaci, Gacice and other
12 places. They had been brought there just prior to us, a
13 couple of hours before we did. We were all in this gym,
14 in this building.
15 The same night, new groups of arrested -- mostly
16 these arrested civilians started arriving, some adult
17 men. During the night they started taking groups of ten
18 people to dig trenches and they were taking them to the
19 frontlines in Santici, Krcevine, Nadioci and all around
20 Vitez, I do not know the locations. So they started
21 taking people out to dig trenches. This went on
22 throughout the time I was there. Some people would come
23 back wounded and one person even died. We were told
24 that he died from a sniper bullet. I think his name was
25 Tuso. He was from Nadioci. He was digging trenches and
1 was shot by a sniper.
2 I stayed in the camp five to six days. I did not
3 have any medical care and the food was bad. The last
4 day of my stay in the camp, I noticed that some women
5 were raped. A wife of a man who was lying next to me
6 came over and she was crying and I understood what had
7 happened based on the conversations that they had.
8 I understood that the women who had been separated out
9 to the right had been taken and there were incidents of
10 them being raped.
11 Q. Why were you not taken to dig trenches?
12 A. Because I was more severely injured, I was not taken.
13 There was Anto from Krizancevo village with a moustache,
14 he was the commander in the camp. His deputy head with
15 a blue arm band, similar to the blue arm bands that
16 those two who were shooting us, they also had that,
17 I forgot to say that. I do not know what his name was,
18 but he also had that blue arm band. Then it was not
19 him, somebody else came, I do not know where he was
20 from, but he was quite strict and so he pointed me,
21 "you", and I got up and I said, "I am wounded,
22 I cannot", and he said, "get up", so I started and Anto
23 said, "no, let him go, he is wounded", so I was not
24 taken out to dig.
25 Had I been taken, I do not know, I think I would
1 have fainted. I could not -- I was too weak and I was
2 all swollen. Then a CBS TV team came, that was the next
3 to last day there, I do not know if they are Canadian or
4 American television, and then also the Red Cross came
5 and registered us and gave us these ID cards that they
6 give out. Then the following day a medical team
7 arrived. There were five of us who were considered
8 serious medical cases and we were taken to the hospital
9 in Zenica.
10 Q. That was on 23rd April?
11 A. That is right, that is about right.
12 Q. You said that there was a special unit that was running
13 the Dubravica school. I would like to show you a badge
14 now to see if you recognise it, and if the usher could
15 assist, this is Exhibit 116/3. If you could wait one
16 moment, Mr. Ahmic? Is that the badge that you saw worn
17 on the arm of the soldiers who were at the Dubravica
19 A. Yes, probably. I can read, I could read this.
20 "Postrojba Posebne Namjene", which means "Special
21 Purpose Unit". At one point, the so-called HOS people
22 were there, there was the Croatian -- at some point they
23 had been disbanded after a conflict with the HVO, but
24 they were under the command of the HVO.
25 Q. So it was your impression that this unit was under HVO
1 command at this time in April 1993?
2 A. Yes, exclusively. Because one day in the camp, they
3 read us some letter from their supreme command, so that
4 meant that they had a command, their top command in
5 Vitez. This was about the establishment of the Croatian
6 state, so that was read to us, this proclamation. This
7 was made official to us, so that means that they were
8 under the command of the HVO, this unit was.
9 Q. So on 23rd April, you were taken to Zenica where you
10 were treated for your wounds, is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I would like to show you a number of
13 photographs, not too many, in fact only six, which you
14 have provided to me and which -- some of which you have
15 identified to me, others of which you provided to me.
16 First of all, if the witness could be shown Exhibit 47?
17 Do you recognise this photograph?
18 A. Yes, this is the masjid, this is a religious structure
19 in the central part of the Ahmici village called
20 Grabovi and it is destroyed, obviously.
21 Q. Who built it?
22 A. This was built by the contributions from the inhabitants
23 of Ahmici.
24 Q. Were you involved in the construction of this building
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. If the witness could now be shown Exhibit 116/4.
3 Mr. Ahmic, do you recognise this photograph which I in
4 fact showed to you?
5 A. Yes, this is the burnt house of my -- Sakib Ahmic, my
6 uncle. This is the kitchen, this is the stable and then
7 in the back was his house (indicates). This is right
8 next to the highway, Travnik/Zenica and Busovaca/Vitez,
9 that is where the house is. This is the road to Ahmici,
10 this here (indicates).
11 Q. Could the witness now be shown Exhibit 116/5. This is a
12 photograph that I showed to you, Mr. Ahmic, and you
13 identified it for me. What is this photograph?
14 A. This is the destroyed house of Sakib Ahmic, my uncle.
15 That is the same house that I referred to before, which
16 is next to the road Zenica/Travnik.
17 Q. If the witness could now be shown photograph 116/6?
18 Where was this photograph taken?
19 A. This photograph was taken in the summer kitchen at the
20 structure I saw, of Suljeman Ahmic, son of Sakib, and
21 this is a birthday celebration. This is my uncle,
22 Sakib, who was killed in the house which I showed
23 before, his wife Sadeta, and this is Suljeman. You can
24 see all of him. This was his summer kitchen.
25 Q. So your uncle Sakib and his wife Sadeta were killed on
1 16th April, is that right?
2 A. Yes, they were killed, and their son Semir.
3 Q. What year was this photograph taken?
4 A. I think two or three years before the HVO attack on our
6 Q. If the witness could now be shown Exhibit 116/7? Where
7 is this house?
8 A. This is a house in Grabovi and it belongs to Vlatko
10 Q. There is not a mark on this house.
11 A. That is obvious. Here, this is the house of Sukrija
12 Ahmic, you can see that it has been burnt down, it has
13 been destroyed. It is clear whose house remained intact
14 and who was attacking and who was destroying. Sukrija
15 was killed. His brother Naser, which was a baby of two
16 months, two months baby and his wife. It was all in the
17 vicinity of Vlatko Kupreskic's house.
18 Q. Was Vlatko Kupreskic a Bosnian Muslim or a Bosnian
20 A. He is a Bosnian Croat.
21 Q. Now the last two photographs, first of all photograph
22 116/8. Who is this a photograph of?
23 A. This is a paragraph of my mother when she was still a
24 young woman.
25 Q. Is this the only photograph that you have of Latifa?
1 A. Yes, it is the only one.
2 Q. And the last photograph, which is 116/9, if you could
3 point out on that photograph to me, Mr. Ahmic, the two
4 persons relevant to this proceeding that you identified
5 to me earlier.
6 A. This is Semir, son of Sakib Ahmic, my uncle. He was
7 killed in the house which I showed previously. This is
8 Alma, my youngest sister, she was also killed. At that
9 time she was 16 when she was killed.
10 Q. So this photograph was taken a little time before the
11 attack on Ahmici, but again this is the only photograph
12 you have of your sister.
13 A. Yes, it is not a few years, several years, maybe eight
15 Q. Fine.
16 A. Maybe five to six years.
17 Q. After you fled from Ahmici, am I right in saying that
18 you joined the Bosnian army?
19 A. Yes, I joined the Bosnian army.
20 Q. I think you were demobilised in 1996, is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I think now you are working in Zenica, is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Finally, Mr. Ahmic, just to make matters absolutely clear
25 to the court, am I right in saying that during the
1 attack on Ahmici on 16th April 1993, you lost every
2 single member of your family, apart from your brother
4 A. Yes, in the attack I lost my whole family, with the
5 exception of my brother Munir. But unfortunately he was
6 also killed after, during an HVO attack on the
7 frontlines, so I am actually the only one remaining of
8 the family.
9 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
10 I would like to apply purely for housekeeping purposes
11 for the admission of all of the exhibits, which I can
12 number off if the Registrar wishes and certainly if the
13 Defence have no objections.
14 JUDGE JORDA: It is the entire photograph album. You have
15 got the aerial photograph, that is 118, right?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, there is Exhibit 118 which has to be
18 JUDGE JORDA: No objection from the Defence to 118 being
19 admitted as evidence.
20 MR. HAYMAN: I have no objection, except for a question for
21 the Prosecutor about one of the exhibits.
22 JUDGE JORDA: We are now dealing with the numbering of this
23 photo album. Will the whole album be counted as one
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, the album is 116 and each of the photos
1 has a different number, so it is 116/1, 2, 3.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I see Mr. Hayman is showing us one of the
3 photos. Perhaps he has an objection to make before they
4 are filed.
5 MR. HAYMAN: The witness has identified this patch, your
6 Honour, I think it may be 116/3, but on our copy there
7 appears to be something at the top that has been drawn
8 over or blacked it. There is some confusion over who
9 created it, is this a picture of a patch or a drawing of
10 a patch? If this is a photocopy that has been altered
11 in some way, at least I want to make sure everybody's
12 copy has been altered in the same way.
13 JUDGE JORDA: All right, I can sustain that objection.
14 MR. CAYLEY: I can clarify the point very easily,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
17 MR. CAYLEY: The witness was able to identify a badge in the
18 format in which you see before you. There were certain
19 words on the copy of the badge from our source which he
20 could not identify for me, so the most accurate and true
21 representation of what the witness said he saw and he
22 described to me is in the format before you now. There
23 is no trickery, no magic, it is a simple explanation.
24 MR. HAYMAN: I guess what we would prefer and I will leave it
25 to the court is if the Prosecutor knows that a
1 particular badge actually exists, the witness can say,
2 "this is what I saw but I cannot say I saw the letters"
3 so we all know what were the letters.
4 JUDGE JORDA: This is the kind of incident that we can
5 avoid. I understand that the Defence asks this
6 question. Mr. Cayley, you have to try to avoid this kind
7 of thing, because then I have to ask the question of the
8 witness who has just told us he has lost his whole
9 family to tell us what is on this emblem.
10 I am very sorry, I understand this tragedy of
11 which you were the victim, Mr. Ahmic. We have great
12 feeling for that, but for clarity of our legal
13 discussions, can you remember what was on that emblem?
14 Otherwise the Prosecution has to give us a given copy of
15 it. Mr. Ahmic?
16 A. You know, the patch as such, the important part is the
17 chequerboard, because all Croatian units use this
18 chequerboard, and to me the most important part is that
19 I noticed this chequerboard and I cannot discuss the
20 shape of the letters, but I did not invent the letters
21 and what was written.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I turn to the Prosecution,
23 Mr. Cayley, could you have a copy, I know this is not
24 easy, there are too many exhibits in here which are not
25 explained, but perhaps you could do something so that
1 the exhibit can be put into the files or into the
2 record, otherwise -- other than the way it is right now.
3 MR. CAYLEY: Can I just confer with my colleagues one
4 moment? (Pause). Mr. President, we are perfectly happy
5 to put the patch in as it was before. The reason that
6 was done, and I emphasise this to the court and to
7 Mr. Hayman, was to present an entirely truthful account
8 of what the witness was able to say about this badge.
9 I am perfectly happy to put the badge in its full
10 format, but I object very strongly to any implied
11 allegation that I have doctored evidence in some way,
12 because that was not my intention at all.
13 MR. HAYMAN: There is no such accusation, your Honour. We
14 are just concerned as to whether this is an actual patch
15 or a drawing or a hybrid, or what, so that it is clear.
16 JUDGE JORDA: The Tribunal understands that no one is
17 questioning Mr. Hayman's honesty here. All right, we
18 will start again at 5.00 after suspending the hearing
19 right now.
20 (4.00 pm)
21 (A short break)
22 (5.00 pm)
23 JUDGE JORDA: We are now resuming our hearing. Please have
24 the accused brought in.
25 (Accused brought in)
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley?
2 MR. CAYLEY: The final matter, Mr. President, is the matter of
3 the badge. I provided a copy of it to the Defence and
4 to the court. If it could be placed in front of the
5 witness and he will be able to explain.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Ahmic, would you please give us an
8 A. This is the emblem that I saw on two occasions, the
9 first time when I was hidden, and I remember well that
10 I read these words, "Postrojba Posebne Namejene",
11 "Special Purpose Unit", and the chequerboard flag . As
12 for "Vitezovi", I did not pay much attention to that,
13 but I was intrigued by this name, "Special Purpose
14 Unit", so I assume they must be some kind of special
16 Also in the camp I devoted more attention to these
17 words, the "special purpose unit". That is my
18 explanation. As for the word "Vitezovi", I cannot claim
19 100 per cent that I saw that word.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. I think now the Defence is reassured
21 and we can incorporate this document as an exhibit, if
22 there is no objection from the Defence, and it will be
23 assigned -- we will use the old number?
24 THE REGISTRAR: I think the best thing would be to number it
25 as 116/3 bis.
1 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, on the basis that all the exhibits
2 are now in evidence, I have no further questions for the
3 witness on examination-in-chief and I can offer the
4 witness for cross-examination.
5 JUDGE JORDA: As in all equitable and fair trials, the
6 accused has two counsel, and one of them will ask you a
7 certain number of questions and this is known as the
8 cross-examination. Mr. Nobilo?
9 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Good evening, Mr. Ahmic. My
11 name is Anto Nobilo, one of two members of the Defence
12 counsel of General Blaskic. I am sorry to have to
13 bother you, the Defence certainly commiserates with you
14 for all that has happened, but I have to ask you a few
16 Talking about this emblem, were the relationships
17 of the letters as it is? Was this the proportion of the
18 letters between the words?
19 A. I cannot claim that with certainty, but I can claim that
20 that is what was written there.
21 Q. At the beginning, you said that in the area where you
22 were living, there were Croats and Muslims and a few
23 Serbs. Were there any Romanies in your area?
24 A. Yes, there were.
25 Q. Were they a significant group?
1 A. No, they were a small group.
2 Q. Tell me, in 1992, did you perhaps have any joint guard
3 duties with the Croats in Ahmici?
4 A. No, we did not. We did meet, but we did not have any
5 joint guards, but the guards would meet, exchange a few
6 words but then each one went on his own way.
7 Q. You never had jointly organised guard duty?
8 A. There was a little of that in the woods, but not in the
9 settlement in which I lived.
10 Q. Why did you have those guards in 1992? Where did the
11 danger threaten from?
12 A. The danger threatened from torchings, lootings and
13 unforeseen contingencies, from the possibility of the
14 infiltration of sabotage groups, because a war was being
15 waged not far away, so it is normal to have such guards.
16 Q. Where was the closest frontline, the frontline with the
18 A. Vlasik.
19 Q. How many kilometres away is that?
20 A. I think 200 kilometres.
21 Q. The special purpose factories, I think that is how we
22 used to call them in our country, that is the military
23 industry, who was the owner, do you know who owned them?
24 A. They were state-owned enterprises; however, the Croats
25 had a decisive role in those enterprises. At first the
1 Serbs, later the Croatians.
2 Q. Would you agree with me if I say that it was the Federal
3 Secretariat of National Defence of former Yugoslavia,
4 they were the owners of those factories?
5 A. Yes, but after the conflict in Slovenia and Croatia, the
6 Croats had the main say there.
7 Q. Tell me, do you know who was the general manager, the
8 technical manager?
9 A. I do, I know a technical manager, Santic, one of the
10 indicted, Santic, who was President of the municipality
11 in Vitez. He was the technical manager in Sintevit,
12 I know him personally because I worked there.
13 Q. But tell me, were there any Muslims in the management?
14 A. Very few.
15 Q. You said that you were "put on hold". What exactly do
16 you mean? What were your rights?
17 A. Waiting. The west does not understand that. I do not
18 know how to put it. I cannot claim that there was no
19 work, but people were systematically laid off so as not
20 to have insight into what was happening in the military
22 Q. Would you agree with me that this did not mean losing
23 one's job, but it was just being temporarily at home
24 because there was no work?
25 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
1 Q. During the war, and all the circumstances in the former
2 Yugoslavia, was there a reduction in the amount of work
3 available? There was a collapse of the system?
4 A. To some extent, yes.
5 Q. Were the Croats laid off too?
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. Do you know what were the results of the first elections
8 in Vitez municipality, roughly who won?
9 A. I do. The HDZ won in the local elections, but they had
10 a small majority, but the SDA won in the BH
11 Parliamentary elections in terms of the number of
12 deputies. Sero Muharem won in the second round of the
14 Q. So HDZ, the Croatian party, won in the Vitez
16 A. Yes, but it was a very close victory.
17 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you told us that there was
18 virtually a military government in Vitez?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you give us a few examples to illustrate what you
22 A. As far as the military rule of the HVO is concerned, in
23 1992, I was told this in person by Mladen Marinic, when
24 these people -- when we had the vote for the sovereignty
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina so I asked him how were things in
1 the HDZ, and he said "the HDZ is not affected, we have
2 the HVO rules", so I had first-hand information that the
3 Croats had formed their own HVO authority, not the HDZ
5 Q. Do you know that the Croats in Bosnia called both the
6 army and the civilian authorities by the name of HVO?
7 A. Later on the HVO became everything.
8 Q. The civilian or the military HVO?
9 A. Yes, yes. In my view, it was a military administration
10 more than a civilian one. It was not a civilian one.
11 It was in fact in preparation for the war.
12 Q. Who was the President of the municipality of Vitez?
13 A. Ivan Santic, I think it was.
14 Q. Was he a military man or a civilian?
15 A. He was a civilian.
16 Q. Who was the Vice-President of the municipality, or the
17 President of the executive board, do you know that?
18 A. Fuad Kaknjo.
19 Q. Was he a Croat or a Muslim?
20 A. He was a Muslim.
21 Q. Was he a civilian or a military man?
22 A. He was a civilian, but -- may I? It was minimised,
23 their work was minimised in my opinion, because I know
24 Kaknjo would tell me the Croats would discuss who would
25 be doing what, so that the Croats were already taking
1 over all the leading, how shall I put it, results, they
2 channeled everything into their -- for their own
4 Q. Do you know that after some time, there were actually
5 two civilian authorities, a Muslim and a Croatian?
6 A. Yes, this was -- the separation was gradual.
7 Q. Did you ever attend a Municipal Assembly meeting or
8 other meetings that were held in Vitez at the
9 municipality level?
10 A. No, I was a member of the SDA, so I would learn about
12 Q. Finally for this part of my examination, do you believe
13 that the Croats edged the Muslims out of authority, or
14 was it the military wing of the Croats that excluded the
15 Muslims from the organs of authority?
16 A. I think that the military wing of the HVO took over all
17 power among the Croats as well as over the entire
18 municipality of Vitez. You know very well that the
19 Muslims had to sign allegiance to Herceg-Bosna or they
20 had to leave the municipality. I do not know whether
21 you are aware of that. I could give you the names of
22 two people, Mustafa Ahmic and a man from Kruscica who
23 was a porter in the municipality, he had to sign this
24 document of allegiance to hold on to his job.
25 Q. A loyalty to the civilian authorities?
1 A. Yes, the civilian, but the civilian was actually a
2 military authority, a military government.
3 Q. Give us some specific examples from which you infer that
4 it was the military wing that held authority in the
6 A. For instance, the words of Mladen Marinic, who said,
7 "the HDZ is not functioning, it is the HVO that is
8 functioning". Ask Mladen Marinic from Nadioci. He was
9 President of the HDZ in Nadioci and already then they
10 were distributing ammunition, people were voting for the
11 sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and people went up to
12 Mladen saying, "give me a rifle, bombs, grenades", so
13 the contingents were coming to the Croats from Croatia
14 in 1992. Believe me, I witnessed this. There were
15 people in military uniform coming to cast their votes.
16 His name was Carlo, and Livancic -- let me think. The
17 son of -- I cannot remember. That was already in 1992,
18 two men in military uniform, that was the first time
19 I saw them in uniform in 1992, so you must see that that
20 was already then a military organisation, and that
21 Mladen Marinic said to me, "it is the HVO that is in
22 power, the HDZ is not operative".
23 Q. 1992, had not the war with the Serbs already started?
24 Was it not normal for people to be in uniform?
25 A. Yes, but there was a war in Croatia, sir.
1 Q. There was no war in Bosnia still in 1992?
2 A. It started in 1992, in April, when Mladen Marinic said
3 to me, was talking to me, that was when the barricades
4 started, but when Mladen Marinic was talking to me there
5 was no war in Bosnia, this was in April 1992.
6 Q. Do you have any other examples which show that the army
7 had taken over power in the municipal bodies?
8 A. Believe me, in schools the Croatian curriculum was
9 introduced, our children were not willing to attend
10 those courses, and the joint Croatian and Muslim
11 authorities would never have agreed to such a measure,
12 but it was the military that imposed such a programme to
13 be introduced in the schools, so you see there was
14 somebody above the civilian HDZ.
15 Q. Very well. The Croats imposed their curriculum in the
16 schools, but how can you conclude from that that it was
17 the military wing that had imposed this and not the
19 A. Because in my view, they had not made any arrangement
20 with the Muslims. A compromise should have been found,
21 so they did what they wanted, according to their own
22 wish. The Croats are like that.
23 Q. But how do you conclude from that that it was the
24 military, the army that imposed this?
25 A. Because they probably had a document to that effect.
1 I have no evidence, but there must have been some kind
2 of a regulation among you for this to be solved in this
4 Q. But you never saw such a paper or a document?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. Do you have any other evidence that the army took over
8 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, objection. The question has been
9 asked five times now about evidence. The witness is
10 trying to explain as best as he can from his experience
11 what he saw. Counsel should be asked to move on.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I sustain the objection. He did not come
13 here with documents or written papers to prove what he
14 witnessed or what he did not witness. Please move on to
15 another question, Mr. Nobilo.
16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I agree that it was
17 sufficient and that is why I asked the question, to see
18 what it was the witness actually saw and experienced.
19 Mr. Ahmic, you said in the examination-in-chief by
20 the Prosecutor that people from Herzegovina had come to
21 protect the factory, the factory of explosives. When
22 was this?
23 A. This was -- I think it was in 1993 and maybe even before
24 that. You know that there was a conflict in Busovaca
25 before the conflict in Vitez, and we know for sure some
1 of our people were working in that factory and they told
2 us that some people from Herzegovina had come and they
3 were watching over the factory. This was the HVO army.
4 Q. When did they leave the factory, if they left it?
5 A. I do not know, perhaps that army is still there, your
6 army. I do not know when they left it, but they were
7 there until the HVO attack on Ahmici, I think they were
8 there all the time.
9 Q. You said at the beginning of your examination-in-chief
10 that the TO was actually civil defence among you. What
11 did you want to say? What is "civil defence"?
12 A. There is this concept of civil defence, we had it in our
13 educational system before the war.
14 Q. I am sure you have read about it and studied it.
15 A. Let me explain a little. It serves to protect property
16 and lives, as we Bosnians could not, like the Croats,
17 form an army because we were surrounded within zones, so
18 we limited ourselves to civil defence. We had little
19 weapons, we could not create any army. As far as Ahmici
20 is concerned, the little weapons we had were of a poor
21 quality, burnt, that had been brought over after the
22 explosion in Slimena, and we hardly had any ammunition,
23 so we cannot talk about any real army. We called it
24 Territorial Defence, to try and protect ourselves, at
25 least to some extent, from any enemy.
1 Q. Does civil defence, according to what we learnt at
2 school in the former Yugoslavia, does it have weapons or
4 A. It does not have weapons, but in view of the situation
5 we were in, we were the territorial Defence actually and
6 the Territorial Defence does have weapons, but our
7 function was more along the lines of Civil Defence,
8 something in between, between Civil Defence and
9 Territorial Defence. We cannot under any circumstances,
10 however, call it an army that we had in Ahmici.
11 Q. In 1992, prior to the conflict at the barricades, in
12 October 1992, is it true that your brother was commander
13 of the Territorial Defence of Ahmici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How many people were there in the Territorial Defence
16 under his command?
17 A. Close to 100 men.
18 Q. You told the investigators of the Prosecution that there
19 were 120, is that more accurate?
20 A. Those are rough figures.
21 Q. Tell me, how were these 120 people in the village
22 organised? Was there a separate organisation for Gornji
23 Ahmici, the central part and then the lower part?
24 A. Yes, you are right. According to the hamlets these
25 guards were organised.
1 Q. So that I am right when I say that Gornji Ahmici said it
2 had its own group?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How would you call central Ahmici?
5 A. Grabovi.
6 Q. So it is Grabovi, where the Kupreskic houses are?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And Donje Ahmici had their own?
9 A. And Zume, where the Muslims lived close to the Croats,
10 Santici, in the local commune of Santici.
11 Q. The Zume, were they separate or were they attached to
12 Donje Ahmici?
13 A. They were under our command.
14 Q. Now before this conflict in October, what I am
15 interested in is was your brother Muris a commander of
16 all the men from Zume, Donje Ahmici, Grabovi or
17 commander of all?
18 A. Yes, he was commander of all men.
19 Q. Who was his second in command and who was in charge of
20 the upper Ahmici, Gornji Ahmici?
21 A. He did not have a second in command. I know that his
22 deputy was Mirsad Ahmic and he did not have many
24 Q. Did he have someone who was responsible or who was
25 commanding in the upper Ahmici?
1 A. No, he was making the plan of all the watches, where the
2 watches would be located.
3 Q. Mirsad Ahmic was his deputy?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did your brother have any other assistants under his
7 A. Yes, he did, but for the most part -- it was not a real
8 strong command.
9 Q. (redacted)
11 A. (redacted)
12 Q. (redacted)
14 A. (redacted)
16 I think it is enough.
17 Q. Your brother was leading this weak organisation? Who
18 was his commander, to whom did he report?
19 A. It was the Territorial Defence headquarters in Vitez.
20 Q. Was Sefkija Djidic commander in the Territorial Defence
21 headquarters in Vitez?
22 A. I think that Sefkija Djidic at that time was not his
23 commander, up until the conflict in October, but yes, he
24 was later, but I do not know who was his commander at
25 that time.
1 Q. But he was subordinate to the TO headquarters in Vitez?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let us move on to the barricade in October now. What
4 did it consist of? How did it look specifically?
5 I have never seen a barricade in my life?
6 A. You could have seen it on television. I also was never
7 on that barricade, but they put -- they laid some mines
8 on the road and maybe the anti-vehicle barriers and then
9 people were out on the road, so that was the barricade.
10 Q. Were there also some trenches around the barricade?
11 A. No, there were no trenches. Then we dug up a couple of
12 them overnight.
13 Q. You said dug?
14 A. We dug them up.
15 Q. Did you do it?
16 A. No, our people did, I did not.
17 Q. Where were these trenches located?
18 A. They were near this barricade, they were not right next
19 to it.
20 Q. Were they both to the left and the right of the road?
21 A. They were only on the left-hand side towards Busovaca,
22 not on the right-hand side.
23 Q. How many mines were there laid?
24 A. They were on the road, but there were not many.
25 Q. Where was the ammunition kept?
1 A. Ammunition?
2 Q. Yes, and mines.
3 A. They were brought down from -- from when there was that
4 explosion in Slemenje, somebody brought them and
5 somebody laid them around.
6 Q. But if I am not mistaken, Slemenje happened in February
7 1992. Where were they kept until then?
8 A. They were not kept in any particular place. Everybody
9 brought some with themselves. There was not one central
11 Q. So they were kept around homes?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Before they were kept in the houses, you mean this was
14 in the homes in Ahmici, that is what you mean?
15 A. Yes, but it was not much ammunition.
16 Q. Were there any mortars there or any RPGs?
17 A. I think there was one, but it was broken. There was one
18 but it was not working and the Croats saw that. We did
19 not have shells for it.
20 Q. Who was commanding the people at the barricade?
21 A. Muris Ahmic -- you mean --
22 Q. The barricade.
23 A. The barricade was manned by four persons, Zahid Ahmic
24 and Ermin Ahmic. There were two or three other men
25 there, I do not know who they were.
1 Q. Could we say that it is correct that Zahid Ahmic was the
2 commander of the barricade?
3 A. Yes, you could say that, but that was not a great
4 command post, but yes you could say he was.
5 Q. Is it correct that Sulija Ahmic was at the barricade?
6 A. There are several Sulija Ahmics, I do not know which
7 one. The older one or younger one?
8 Q. Any Sulija Ahmic.
9 A. No, I could not say that because I was not there.
10 I know about these two men.
11 Q. Ramo Bilic, do you know, was he at the barricade?
12 A. I told you about the two persons of whom I knew.
13 I cannot tell you about the rest. I was not there.
14 Q. After this incident with the barricade, your brother
15 stopped being the commander?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What were the reasons?
18 A. He sort of psychologically was debilitated by this
19 torching of houses and that attack, and so
20 psychologically I know, but I do not know if the
21 military command ordered him to relinquish his duty.
22 I do not know about that.
23 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you said, "we put up a
24 barricade in the village". Did your brother receive an
25 order from the TO headquarters?
1 A. He did receive an order.
2 Q. From the TO headquarters?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In this small command, did you have a radio transmitter?
5 A. Yes, we did.
6 Q. Where was it kept?
7 A. It was in the elementary school in Ahmici.
8 Q. The night before the conflict at the barricade, were you
9 in the school where that radio transmitter was?
10 A. Yes, I was not manning it, but I was around. I was near
11 the school building in the woods.
12 Q. Were you able to overhear the radio traffic going back
13 and forth?
14 A. No, I did not, but the communications person was working
15 on that. I was not listening in.
16 Q. Were there communications with the TO headquarters from
17 that radio transmitter?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were instructions requested what to do in this
21 A. I was not commander and I was not a communications
22 person, so I cannot answer this question.
23 Q. Yes, please, feel free to say whatever question you are
24 unable to answer.
25 Please tell me about these houses and stables
1 which were torched in October of 1992. Where were they
2 located, near the road, near the barricade?
3 A. Yes, near the road, all of them. Only one stable was in
4 the upper --
5 JUDGE JORDA: These houses have already been identified.
6 MR. NOBILO: I think it was not in relationship to the
7 barricade. We are talking about the stables that were
8 torched in October.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, all right, go ahead.
10 MR. NOBILO: So, these houses and these stables were near the
12 A. Yes, but some were much farther away, those that were
13 torched in Zume, so none of them were around the
15 Q. Can we say how many there were around the barricade?
16 A. Three houses were torched near the barricade and one or
17 two over in Zume.
18 Q. You said that 80 per cent of the civilians were
19 expelled. Do you refer to the lower Ahmici or all of
21 A. All of Ahmici, because the people from Gornji Ahmici
22 were expelled to Vrhovine.
23 Q. Do you know that a Croatian soldier was killed on that
25 A. No, I do not.
1 Q. When the incident with the barricade was over, was
2 anything fixed and was anything repaired and who was
3 involved in this?
4 A. Yes, some construction supplies arrived.
5 Q. Did the municipality help, the Croats, did they help?
6 A. Trust me, I just do not know.
7 Q. Do you know anything about the negotiations after the
8 barricade was destroyed?
9 A. My brother Muris and Fejad went there and I know that a
10 compromise was reached. The Croats asked that all
11 rifles be turned over and our people said, "we will turn
12 in four rifles" and they agreed to that. Maybe there
13 was a political agreement reached in Vitez in higher up
14 structures, but I am not familiar with that.
15 Q. You mentioned that those four rifles belonged to the
16 Croat military policemen. Do you know, under what
17 circumstances was this taken away from them?
18 A. They had come to the barricade and were disarmed there.
19 This was a frequent type of case. The sides were
20 disarming each other at the barricades, but the Croats
21 had many more barricades, and much more arms.
22 Q. Do you know from where these military policemen were?
23 A. I heard that they were Kordic's military policemen, so
24 they were from Busovaca or from Vitez, I do not exactly.
25 Q. This conflict itself, from which side did the attack
1 come, from the side of Vitez or -- that is the attack on
2 the barricade?
3 A. That was from the Busovaca side, and from the direction
4 of the village of Rovna, that is where the houses were
5 torched, specifically my stable, from the south side.
6 Q. You said when there was this battle around this
7 barricade that Pezer was hit and that it missed you. So
8 where were you standing and where were you?
9 A. They were shooting from different locations. That is
10 not where it happened.
11 Q. So were you present where Pezer was killed?
12 A. No, I was not.
13 Q. Do you know where he was killed? Did you see it?
14 A. He was killed near the house of Hajrudin Pjanic.
15 Q. How far is that from the barricade?
16 A. That would be about 100 metres from the barricade.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we could stop here for this evening,
18 it is already 5.45. You are not going to finish with
19 your cross-examination tonight?
20 MR. NOBILO: No, I will not.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I think it would be better to stop here, for
22 the interpreters' sake as well. We can resume at 10.00
23 tomorrow morning. The court stands adjourned.
24 (5.45 pm)
25 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)