Case No IT-95-14
1 Tuesday, 18th November 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar, would you have
4 the accused brought in, please?
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Are the interpreters all ready? Good morning,
7 is everybody ready? Does the Defence hear, does the
8 Prosecutor hear? General Blaskic, do you hear?
9 MR.. BLASKIC: Good morning, your Honour, I hear you well.
10 JUDGE JORDA: We can then resume our work. Perhaps before
11 beginning, on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to
12 say that we can set up a status conference for Friday,
13 28th, in the morning. We will set the hour, perhaps
14 9.30 for example, and the conference will deal with
15 certain points which are still pending before us. First
16 of all, is the 28th, Friday, a good date for you? There
17 will not be a hearing on the 28th, therefore we could
18 devote the morning to the status conference. I know
19 that for my colleagues, this would be a good date.
20 Would it be suitable for the Prosecutor, for the
21 Defence? Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Hayman? The date is all right,
22 all right.
23 This is a status conference which would allow us,
24 once the elections of the judges are completed and the
25 constitution of the Trial Chambers has been renewed,
1 would allow us to discuss among ourselves in camera to
2 take measures for various issues which are arising.
3 There are issues that have to do with scheduling, others
4 for the two applications which are still pending, one on
5 the review of the decision on the testimony -- whether
6 the exculpatory statements, whether they have been
7 accepted. There is also the request from the Defence on
8 indirect testimony, hearsay evidence. There are all
9 these questions which have to do with the subpoena which
10 now can no longer be called a subpoena, which is the
11 result of the decision of the Appeals Chamber.
12 Therefore we also have to see how all of this is going
13 to be dealt with again.
14 Then there are scheduling issues in order to
15 shorten the proceedings, which we asked you to think
16 about, and to suggest things that we might do, measures
17 that we might take that might be practical before the
18 Trial Chamber takes a decision which might be
19 necessary. These are all the issues.
20 There is also the issues of substance which are
21 much more important, substantive issues having to do
22 with relations there might be between this case of
23 General Blaskic, but possibly other trials which deal
24 with the same acts that took place in the Lasva Valley.
25 As you know, they are relevant since the arrest of a
1 certain number of persons who are assumed guilty, and
2 I say that they are assumed to be guilty. These are all
3 of the questions which we may deal with on the 28th,
4 Friday, in the morning, starting at 9.30.
5 If there are no other comments, we could then
6 continue. I see that Mr. Harmon will continue now for
7 the following witness, and the Registrar has told me
8 that there was perhaps a problem when it would come to
9 reading the declaration.
10 MR. HARMON: Thank you and good morning Mr. President, good
11 morning your Honours, good morning counsel. The next
12 witness the Prosecution calls is Ms. Fatima Ahmic.
13 (Witness entered court)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, madam?
15 THE WITNESS: I hear you.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please tell me your name and your
17 first name?
18 THE WITNESS: Ahmic Fatima.
19 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to read a declaration to you and
20 you would tell us if you agree with the statement.
21 Perhaps it is a bit difficult for you to read. The
22 Registrar might read it for you. Would you read the
23 declaration for her?
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I could read it and then it would be
1 THE WITNESS: I do not know how to read it.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, and the witness will repeat it. The
3 Registrar is going to read a declaration which is an
4 oath which every witness must take. The Registrar will
5 read it and you repeat it after him, please.
6 MS. FATIMA AHMIC (sworn)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be seated now, ma'am.
8 Ms. Ahmic, you have come here at the request of the
9 Prosecution. I believe that the Prosecutor explained to
10 you how everything would take place. First we would ask
11 you to relax, you are sitting before judges who will
12 listen to you. Do not be afraid, you have nothing to
13 fear, nothing will happen to you. The Prosecutor will
14 simply ask you some questions.
15 A. I am not afraid of anything.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then the counsel for
17 General Blaskic will also ask you some questions. All
18 of this I am sure has already been explained to you. Is
19 that all right?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, you can begin.
22 Examined by MR. HARMON
23 Q. Good morning, Ms. Ahmic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Let me begin by asking you some questions. How old are
2 A. I am 63 years old.
3 Q. Are you a Muslim?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you born and raised in the village of Loncari?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Loncari is a small village that is a few kilometres away
8 from Ahmici, is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Ms. Ahmic, when you were 19 years old, did you get
11 married to your husband, your late husband?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you move from the village of Loncari to the village
14 of Ahmici?
15 A. Yes, I married my husband.
16 Q. Did you and your husband eventually build a house in the
17 section of Ahmici known as Zume?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On 16th April 1993, were you living in the house that
20 you and your husband built?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Ms. Ahmic, what was your late husband's name?
23 A. Hasim.
24 Q. On 16th April 1993, how old was Hasim?
25 A. He was born in 1951, I think he was 63 years old.
1 Q. Was he working or was he retired?
2 A. He was retired.
3 Q. What did he do before his retirement?
4 A. You mean what he did at work?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. He worked in his enterprise in the Zenica steel works.
7 Q. In April 1993, did he have a serious medical condition?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you describe to the court what that medical
10 condition was?
11 A. He had health problems with his kidneys.
12 Q. Did those health problems limit his daily activities?
13 A. Yes, he could only do small errands, he could not do any
14 hard work.
15 Q. Ms. Ahmic, I am going to show you a picture, if I could
16 have the assistance of the usher in placing Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 127 on the ELMO. Ms. Ahmic, to your right there
18 is a picture that appears on the ELMO and it may appear
19 in front of you on the television screen. First of all,
20 who is in that picture?
21 A. My husband Hasim and I.
22 Q. Was that picture taken in front of the house that you
23 and your husband built in the Zume section of Ahmici?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Approximately when was that picture taken, do you know?
1 A. I think that it was about ten years ago at the most,
2 seven or eight years ago. I cannot tell you exactly.
3 Ten years at the most.
4 Q. Again with the assistance of --
5 A. The picture, right?
6 Q. That is correct. With the assistance of the usher, if
7 I could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 110/4 placed on the
8 ELMO as well? Mr. Usher, I am interested in the top
9 picture. Ms. Ahmic, do you recognise that picture?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Who is in that picture?
12 A. My husband -- this is my husband Hasim, this is my
13 granddaughter Aida and this is me.
14 Q. When was that picture taken, Ms. Ahmic?
15 A. About 12 or 13 years ago. Sorry, 12 years ago.
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would move to admit Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 127 into evidence.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, is this 127?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this is Exhibit 127.
20 MR. HARMON: Ms. Ahmic, on 16th April 1993, was your husband
21 in the Territorial Defence?
22 A. Yes, he would stand guard.
23 Q. What exactly would he do?
24 A. Nothing. He would just stand guard from time to time
25 when they would ask him to. When this TO was
1 established, you know, then they would go together to
2 stand guard.
3 Q. Would he do that very often?
4 A. When he was told to go, he went. It depends whether he
5 was healthy, whether he was all right.
6 Q. Ms. Ahmic, on 16th April 1993, did you have any guns or
7 other type of weapons in your house?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How many children do you have, Ms. Ahmic?
10 A. I had three, they killed my son Fahrudin and now I have
11 a daughter Saima and a son Nevzudin.
12 Q. Did your son Fahrudin build a house next to your house
13 in Zume?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How far away was his house from your house?
16 A. About ten metres away, not more than that. It was right
17 next door.
18 Q. Was Fahrudin married and did he have children?
19 A. Yes, he was married, he had three children.
20 Q. On 16th April 1993, how old were his three children?
21 A. I only know that Aida, that is what I said then, I do
22 not remember exactly, but Aida went to second grade,
23 Semin and Emir did not go to school then. One of them
24 was perhaps eight and the other one five, and the little
25 one, Emir, was six -- I do not remember what years they
1 were born in.
2 Q. What did your son Fahrudin do for a living?
3 A. My son Fahrudin worked in Princip, which was a military
5 Q. He worked in the factory as a manager, did he not?
6 A. Yes, he was a manager in his enterprise.
7 Q. Was he also a musician and did he play music to support
8 his family?
9 A. Yes, when they were building their house, he worked
10 extra, he played the drums, he played the guitar. He
11 also had an accordion. He would only play the accordion
12 at home, but he would play the guitar, he would play
13 drums and he had all these instruments.
14 Q. Ms. Ahmic, was Fahrudin a member of the TO?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What did he do, to your knowledge, in the TO?
17 A. He would say who would stand guard when and he would say
18 who was supposed to go. That is what he did.
19 Q. To your knowledge, Ms. Ahmic, on 16th April 1993, did
20 Fahrudin have any weapons in his house?
21 A. My Fahrudin had weapons, but you want me to tell you
22 what kind of weapons he had?
23 Q. Yes, please.
24 A. He had weapons. In the village of Slemenje there was
25 some kind of barracks and the Serbs burned down the big
1 barracks. They went to collect the parts of various
2 weapons, so out of five or four rifles, they would make
3 a single rifle. Drago Josipovic helped my son make a
4 new rifle. A month or two afterwards, Nenad Santic took
5 away this rifle from him and he gave it to Drago
6 Josipovic and Drago Josipovic carried this rifle of
7 his. They took away all our weapons, not only from my
8 son, all our weapons.
9 Q. Was that following the events in October 1992?
10 A. It was somewhere in between, you know?
11 Q. Between the attack in April and the previous attack in
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You mentioned, Ms. Ahmic, somebody by the name of Drago
15 Josipovic. Drago Josipovic was your neighbour and he
16 was a Croat, is that correct?
17 A. Drago Josipovic was my next door neighbour, there was
18 only a fence between our houses.
19 Q. He was a Croat, is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You mentioned the name Nenad Santic. Nenad Santic was a
22 Croat as well, is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So sometime between April and October, I should say
25 October and April, Nenad Santic ordered that guns in the
1 possession of your son and other Muslims be turned in,
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You personally observed your son turn over to Drago
5 Josipovic the rifle that had been made from many
6 different parts of other rifles, is that correct?
7 A. I happened to be at my son's house and somebody rang at
8 the door and my son was told that Nenad came to see him,
9 so my son went out and he said, "Nenad asked me to hand
10 in my rifle", so he gave him his rifle and Drago
11 Josipovic then carried this rifle of his.
12 Q. Let me ask you to focus your attention on 15th April
13 1993, the day before the attack. Were you watching
14 television on 15th April 1993, Ms. Ahmic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you see a television programme in which
17 Tihomir Blaskic and Dario Kordic were present?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Please tell the judges what you saw.
20 A. I was sitting there with my husband, we were drinking
21 coffee, it was 3.00. From 3.00 until 3.30 there was not
22 always a programme from Busovaca. My husband said,
23 "please turn on the TV", I turned on the TV and we saw
24 their army, you know, the Croat army. They were walking
25 around and all of a sudden that disappeared, and all of
1 a sudden you can see a room this big in Busovaca.
2 Tihomir Blaskic was on television and Kordic, and a
3 woman. Tihomir Blaskic said the following, "in the
4 village of Ahmici, our soldiers were attacked", he
6 Did I spoil something hear? I cannot hear
7 anything, you know, now, in my headphones. I cannot
8 hear this voice, you know. It may be something went
9 wrong here. Maybe I did something wrong. Sorry, I did
10 something wrong.
11 Q. Can you hear me now?
12 A. Now I hear you. Repeat what you said.
13 Q. You had just described what Tihomir Blaskic said on the
14 television programme. Can you continue your description
15 of that programme, Ms. Ahmic?
16 A. I can. He said, "our soldiers were attacked in the
17 village of Ahmici at the bungalow". This Blaskic then
18 went silent and he had some kind of book in his hands
19 like a book, you know, something like this, a paper, and
20 he said, "we have nothing to talk about to them any
21 more. We are not going to talk, we are only going to
22 wage war. We are just waiting for our orders". All of
23 a sudden, we were terrified, my husband and I. We
24 thought something really went wrong. Can I go on?
25 Q. Ms. Ahmic, who said that? Was that Blaskic or was that
1 Kordic who said --
2 A. Kordic said that they were waiting for orders and that
3 they would attack.
4 MR. HAYMAN: Who said "it"? Could the Prosecutor clarify as
5 to all the statements the witness has recounted, who
6 said "it"?
7 MR. HARMON: I was attempting to do that, Mr. President, and
8 if counsel does not like the term "it" I will rephrase
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, what do you mean by your
11 objection? First of all, could you explain what your
12 objection is?
13 MR. HAYMAN: The Prosecutor used a term that was vague, your
14 Honour, "who said that?". I would ask that it be
15 clarified, is it only referring to the immediate
16 statement which was, "we are waiting for our orders", or
17 does it apply to the entire narrative that the witness
18 has attributed to a speaker on the television
19 programme. I would kindly ask the Prosecutor to clarify
20 that for us all.
21 JUDGE JORDA: It was a clarification that was being sought.
22 That was the point. All right, Mr. Harmon. Would you
23 please give us that clarification by having the
24 objection repeated? We can see that it is being much
25 more calmly -- when you object to something, please
1 explain what it is that you are objecting to. Therefore
2 please ask the witness more clearly.
3 MR. HARMON: Ms. Ahmic, can you please explain what Dario
4 Kordic said on that television programme?
5 A. Dario Kordic said the following, "we will not negotiate
6 or talk to them any more. We are only waiting for our
7 orders and that is it". Then the next morning they
8 attacked us.
9 Q. What was your reaction to seeing that television
11 A. How should we have reacted? We did not sleep all
12 night. We saw that something dangerous was going on,
13 that something dangerous was being prepared. Since he
14 stated that on television -- may I say this? My son
15 Fahrudin came around 10.00 also and he said, "father,
16 did you watch the Busovaca television?". He said,
17 "yes". He said, "father, the same tape was shown in
18 Vitez just as in Busovaca. I just saw it". I told him
19 in a raised voice, "son, why did you come to tell me
20 this now? I am getting ready to go to sleep. Go back
21 and be with your family. You have no bad relationship
22 with anybody, with the Croats".
23 Q. Ms. Ahmic, I would like to turn your attention to the
24 morning of 16th April 1993. Were you and your husband
25 at home on 16th April 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you tell the judges what happened that morning?
3 A. That morning it happened around 5.30, I heard a large
4 detonation, I was sleeping in the room and he was
5 sleeping in the kitchen because he was ill, he liked it
6 where it was warm. Then I heard this detonation and
7 then I related it to what had happened on television the
8 previous day, and then I said, "okay, it is starting,
9 they are attacking us". Then downstairs the toilet was
10 separate from the bathroom and I looked -- went into the
11 toilet and I looked and I wanted to alert my son to get
12 the children out. I could not see him. As I was
13 looking through the window, they were coming out of
14 Drago Josipovic's house and walking towards my house.
15 As I was standing at the window, a Croat appeared and he
16 told me at the window, he said, "do not budge, just stay
17 where you are", and I did. Then they asked me, "where
18 are your sons?" I said, "this is my son's house, that
19 is my only son". "Where is your husband?", "here he is,
20 he is in bed". They said, "do not budge, just stay
21 where you are".
22 Then they started breaking down the fence. It was
23 house to house, so that was the fence separating. Then
24 they broke down the fence and they positioned themselves
25 on the corners of the house, at the corners. Then when
1 I looked, one of them took a hand grenade and threw it
2 in a small room at my son's. It was like a pantry, and
3 I immediately ran into the room and I told my husband,
4 "Hasim, dear, something is going on, something
5 dangerous is going on at Fahran's", that is my son's
6 nickname, "they threw a grenade into the house". We
7 came and sat down on the edge of the sofa and we were
8 saying what is going to happen to Fahran, what is going
9 to happen to the children. Meanwhile I am hearing the
10 shooting going around his house. I never thought about
11 what would happen, that something like this would
12 happen. But somehow I thought nothing would happen to
14 Three or four minutes later, they threw a grenade
15 into my bedroom upstairs. When it threw, the whole
16 house shook.
17 Q. Ms. Ahmic, let me interrupt you here for just a second.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you say that you saw people coming out of the yard
20 of Drago Josipovic, were those HVO soldiers?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How were they dressed?
23 A. They all had camouflage uniforms.
24 Q. Were their faces covered or uncovered?
25 A. Yes, they were uncovered.
1 Q. Okay. What happened after they threw a hand grenade
2 into your house? Would you continue telling the judges
3 what happened?
4 A. We just remained seated, one next to another. I did not
5 unlock the door, and they came and kicked the door
6 rather forcefully a couple of times. We kept silent, we
7 did not respond and they shouted, "come out, fuck your
8 balija mothers, did I not tell you not to budge from the
9 window?". I could see as they were kicking the door,
10 they could not kick it in. They broke the automatic
11 rifle on the lock. As they shot at the door, the door
12 fell in and they said, "come out, fuck you, did I not
13 tell you not to budge from there?".
14 I came out and I shouted at them, "what is the
15 matter? What do you want? Call Drago, call Miro, call
16 Luca and ask them what neighbours we are, how we live
17 with them". "I do not want to ask those questions", he
18 said, "call your husband out and you go back into the
19 house". There were three next to him and they pushed me
20 back in. They had a plastic bottle of sorts, and there
21 was like a spray and they started spraying the curtains
22 and the sofa. He sent me back in and he called my
23 husband out. As I looked and I told him, "come out,
24 they are calling you". He came out and he was shaking
25 like this, he could not make a step. I said, "come out,
1 they are calling you".
2 Then when he came out, he said, "stand against
3 this pillar". As I looked, he took the rifle and he
4 pointed like this and he said that he would kill him and
5 I jumped, ran from the window and I embraced the soldier
6 and I said, "do not kill him", and I was crying "be
7 alive", and so he said he felt pity and he almost
8 dropped his gun. I had a feeling that he was about to
9 drop his gun. Then he said, "go". I said, "where do
10 I go?". He said, and I apologise, he said, "go fucking
11 wherever you want". We went to my son's house, it is
12 ten metres away.
13 Q. Ms. Ahmic, let me interrupt you for a minute. These
14 soldiers who were confronting your husband with a gun,
15 were they also dressed in camouflage uniforms?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You mentioned that you saw one soldier spraying a liquid
18 on your curtains and on your sofa. Did you see what
19 happened next?
20 A. When he took a lighter and then he started lighting the
21 curtain, and in several spots on the sofa. I saw that,
22 but I came out to see what was going on with my husband
23 and they stayed in there and they set it on fire and
24 then it started burning. As I told him, "do not kill
25 him, may you live forever", and they stayed in the house
1 and I just wanted to take my slippers, but the soldier
2 said, "do not take them, you will not need them". So we
3 started towards my son's house, my husband and I.
4 I did not know whether they were going to kill my
5 husband from the back and I wanted to defend him, and so
6 I started and I spread my arms like this so that I would
7 protect him (indicates). When we arrived at my son's
8 house, the children were screaming as if they were
9 putting them on fire. I said, "please, I have a
10 daughter-in-law and I have a son here, I want to see
11 what is going on with them". I knocked on the door and
12 my daughter-in-law opened the door, and meanwhile they
13 called my son out. There were three doors to the house,
14 there was a glass door and then they were going there
15 and they called him through that door. So I entered the
16 house and the children were screaming and I said, "what
17 is going on?". My daughter-in-law said, "they are going
18 to kill my children" and I said "no, no".
19 Meanwhile the soldier behind me keeps nudging me
20 with the barrel into my back. I said, "where is
21 Fahran?". The little one said, "they killed father".
22 I said "where?", and he said, "look down at the door".
23 When I came to the door, I saw him down lying, he was
24 dead, and I yelled, "my son Fahran, what did they do to
25 you?". He told me, "look at him now, I will shoot your
1 eyes now you have seen him. I did not shoot him, it is
2 Alija who shot him. Look at him now". I wanted to look
3 at him again and he said, "get away from here". Again
4 he cursed my balija mother.
5 Q. Ms. Ahmic, how was your son dressed when you saw his
6 body on the ground?
7 A. He had like a blue work smock and he had jeans as far as
8 I recall, and shoes, and I was so frightened, I could
9 not see well. I was as if in a coma, you know, when you
10 see your own child lying down.
11 Q. If I could have the assistance of the usher in placing
12 Prosecutor's Exhibit 128 on the ELMO. Mr. Usher, I will
13 also be referring to 110/4 as well. Do you see the
14 picture, Ms. Ahmic, on the television monitor in front
15 of you?
16 A. I see it. My son. Look what they did. How could they
17 do something like this? How could they have killed
19 JUDGE JORDA: Do you have many other pictures that you want
20 to show?
21 MR. HARMON: Ms. Ahmic -- Mr. Usher, could you place one more
22 photograph on the ELMO, please? That would be 110/4,
23 the lower picture on that two photo page.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Would you like to rest for a few moments,
25 Ms. Ahmic?
1 A. I rested, thank you. I am not going to have rest until
2 I am dead. They killed my son and he was innocent. He
3 was good with everyone. He had best friends among
4 Croats, he played music with them, he went to school
5 with them, he worked with them, everything.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Do you wish to continue? Do you feel able to
7 continue, Ms. Ahmic? Would you like us to suspend the
9 A. Yes, I can. Please continue.
10 JUDGE JORDA: I believe the Prosecutor still has another
11 photo to show you. Are you going to show that
12 immediately, Mr. Harmon.
13 MR. HARMON: It is on the ELMO, but it does not appear on the
14 screen, Mr. President, I am not sure if we are having a
15 technical problem. I will identify it, Mr. President, it
16 has been presented before, photograph 110/4. Ms. Ahmic,
17 do you see the photograph at the bottom, with the young
18 man and the woman. Is that also your son Fahrudin?
19 A. This is my son Fahrudin, this is Fahrudin's wife Suada.
20 This is my darling son.
21 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would move into evidence
22 Prosecutor's Exhibit 128.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Have you finished with the photographs,
24 Mr. Harmon?
25 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President.
1 Ms. Ahmic, can I continue asking you some
2 questions, or do you need a couple of minutes of quiet?
3 JUDGE JORDA: Would you like us to take a five minute
5 A. Yes, I am a bit ill.
6 JUDGE JORDA: All right, we will begin again at 11.00.
7 (10.50 am)
8 (A short break)
9 (11.00 am)
10 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing. Ms. Ahmic, do you
11 feel a bit better?
12 A. Better.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Have courage. We will try to concentrate your
14 questions, focus things. Do not make this distress last
15 too long. Go ahead, please.
16 MR. HARMON: Ms. Ahmic, did you eventually leave the house of
17 your son Fahrudin?
18 A. Yes, we did.
19 Q. Who did you leave with and where did you go?
20 A. We went down towards -- down a field, the nearest
21 house -- I was thinking of going to the house of Zarko
22 and I went through the field, the door was open,
23 I looked inside, I cannot recall now -- Carlo. Carlo
24 was shooting from the hallway to the Ahmic Mekrema's
25 house and I went towards the house and he closed the
1 door. I knocked on the door because I wanted to save
2 the children and so that we could stay in this house, so
3 we would be protected from the shooting. Nobody opened,
4 then I went to the next house, it was Ljuban's and
5 I heard and the house was also full there, but they
6 would not open it for me.
7 Then we went down the field towards the Lasva,
8 that is the name of the river.
9 Q. Ms. Ahmic, let me interrupt you for just a moment.
10 While you were going toward the Lasva river, did you
11 turn around and look back at your son's house, and what
12 was its condition?
13 A. When I turned around, the flames were already coming out
14 of the windows, you see it had been set on fire, the
15 house was.
16 Q. Please continue.
17 A. Then we started down towards, down the field -- my
18 husband was carrying a child, my daughter-in-law was
19 carrying a child, they were in pyjamas, they would not
20 let us put on some shoes or bootees on them, they just
21 said, "go, go, go" and I said, "where do I go? Tell me
22 where to go?". They said, "go wherever you want, go to
23 Alija, fuck him", so we went down and Drago was coming
24 out of the woods, there was some fence and Anto Papic
25 was there too.
1 I started weeping, "dear Drago, why did you not
2 save my Fahran?" He tells me -- he approached me to
3 give me condolences. I said, "why do I need your
4 condolences when you did not save my Fahran? Do you
5 know who killed my Fahran?". He answered, "I do not
6 know who killed him. I did not kill him". "Do you know
7 who killed him?". "It was the force majeure who ordered
8 it. The orders came from above", that is how he said.
9 "I could not save him, I did not dare save him, I did
10 not kill him". Then I yelled, "you know who killed
12 Q. Then what happened, Ms. Ahmic?
13 A. "Since they came from your yard, the military did, you
14 could know who killed my son", and he said, "I do not
15 know who killed him". That is when he told me that the
16 orders came from above. Then I asked him to go and sort
17 of cover him so that the body would be protected.
18 Q. You are talking about Drago Josipovic, is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then what happened, Ms. Ahmic?
21 A. I asked Drago Josipovic where to go to save my children,
22 and he said, "I do not know". Then I asked Anto Papic,
23 "can we please go to your house Anto?", and he said,
24 "I am in danger too". Drago Josipovic then said,
25 "however, your house is in the woods. Let them be in
1 your house", and that is where we stayed, in his house
2 the entire day and that night, we also spent in his
4 Q. While you were at that house, Ms. Ahmic, did you leave
5 that house and return to go back in the direction of
6 your house?
7 A. Yes, I left the children down there and my husband and
8 I started up the field towards my son's. I thought
9 maybe he was just wounded and I could still save him.
10 Nikola's house was there and next to the house there
11 were Croats, they were all armed and they were standing
12 by the fence and they would not let me pass. They said,
13 "where are you going?". "I want to see if my son was
14 only wounded and then I can save him". They would not
15 let me go so I had to go back down.
16 Q. Ms. Ahmic, you said there were some Croats there.
17 Approximately how many were there?
18 A. I did not count them, maybe 12, 13 approximately.
19 Q. What were they wearing, do you remember?
20 A. I do remember, it was all camouflage uniforms.
21 Q. Then did you return to Anto Papic's house and spend the
22 night of the 16th at Anto Papic's house?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let me clarify one point with you, Ms. Ahmic. The
25 person who said that orders came from above, was that
1 Drago or was that Anto?
2 A. It was Drago who told me.
3 Q. Now let me turn your attention to the next morning,
4 17th April 1993. Can you tell the judges what happened
6 A. When they first attacked us, is that it? When we were
7 attacked for the first time?
8 Q. No, on the morning of the 17th. The night of the
9 16th you spent the night in Anto Papic's house. What
10 happened --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What happened the next morning?
13 A. The next morning Anto came and Drago Josipovic came
14 several times and they were saying Razim was killed,
15 Asim, Munib, they counted about 20 people by their
16 names. Drago Josipovic was the one who counted who was
18 Q. They were referring to Muslims, is that correct?
19 A. Yes, Muslims who were killed, yes. I shouted, "dear
20 Drago, what is this? What is going on? Why are they
21 killing all the Muslims here and torturing everything?"
22 He also then, "I do not know, I did not order this,
23 I did not order these killings". That is what Drago
24 told me when I asked him. When I asked him, "why is it
25 that people are being killed when all these neighbours
1 were named?"
2 Q. What happened on the morning of the 17th?
3 A. Then Drago and Anto both came again and they said, "you
4 Hasim and you Zenur and you Amir are going to be
5 carrying the corpses into Ramiz's back yard". I said,
6 "Hasim cannot carry the bodies. He is sick and he
7 cannot take that". Then he said, "you Zenur and you
8 Amir and Munib Heleg", he was there, "they will be
9 carrying corpses to Ramiz's yard", and they went there.
10 We stayed there until about 3.00 and Drago and Anto
11 Papic came again and said, "get ready, you are going to
12 go to be exchanged". "Where?", "to Zenica, you will be
13 exchanged in Zenica". We started -- there were several
14 families there in Anto Papic's house, there were about
15 five or six families who spent the night there and we
16 took the main road and so these people, my neighbours
17 who spent the night there, and we went up a field to see
18 whether our son had been carried away.
19 When we arrived in front of the house, he had been
20 carried away, there was only a big puddle of blood where
21 he had been killed. My house was completely burned.
22 When we came to his house, it was all burnt, and a pipe
23 had burst from the heat, and so that prevented the top
24 floor from burning completely.
25 Then we took a bag and we climbed upstairs to take
1 some clothes, we took a couple of coats, so that we
2 would be warm. Then we left the house, so now he is
3 going around the house and he is trying to feed the
4 chicken. I said, "Hasim, they have all left, we are
5 alone, let us go". Drago Josipovic was standing in his
6 yard and I am asking him, "Drago, please, could Hasim
7 and I stay in this summer kitchen?". It had not burnt.
8 He said, "for all I know, you can stay, but the others
9 will come and kill you". Then I was telling my husband,
10 "come on, come on", and he was still closing the
11 garage, the shed, and I was walking and I looked at the
12 entrance gate as he was closing the gate and he had the
13 bag with him and I was going up the road and there was
14 towards Ramiz's house and there was a van. They all had
15 black uniforms, these Croats were in the van.
16 As I passed them, they did not say anything to
17 him. I met Nikica Slikica who was coming down and
18 I asked him -- he had a stocking over his head, but
19 I recognised him. I asked him -- I said, "Hasim is
20 coming, please just keep an eye on him so that nobody
21 would say anything to him". Covic was with him.
22 Q. Ms. Ahmic, let me direct your attention to the van that
23 you passed that had people with black uniforms in it.
24 Did you hear any of those people talking in the van?
25 A. There were three people in black uniforms standing by
1 the van and one of them had a walkie-talkie, and he had
2 the antenna pulled out a little bit, and he was saying
3 into the walkie-talkie, "yes, the operation was
4 successful, they are lying in front of houses like
5 pigs". My husband passed the van and they stopped him,
6 they asked him where he was going and he said his name
7 was Hasim Ahmic and he said they all went to Ljiljo's
8 shop near the Pican's cafe. "What is in the bag?".
9 "I am carrying some stuff for the children, my son was
10 killed yesterday and I have three grandchildren, I am
11 taking some clothing". He also had a blanket over his
12 arm and they said, "come on, we will come for you, you
13 will come with us to have coffee".
14 He came to this room, I was in one corner and he
15 told me, "they will come for me". I said "who?", "the
16 ones from the van, did they tell you anything?". I said
17 "no". "They told me they will come for me now".
18 Q. I take it you and your husband then arrived at the shop
19 where other Muslims were being detained, is that
21 A. It was full of Muslims, it was like -- it was a store, a
22 shop, so it was also like a storage room there and that
23 is where we spent the night, and he comes to me and he
24 says --
25 Q. Is that where your husband explained to you what the men
1 had said to him in the van?
2 A. Anto Papic came here, sat down and he says, "dear
3 Fatima, they will come for me now". I said, "who?",
4 "those from the van". I said, "do not worry, do not be
5 afraid, take off your cap, maybe they will not recognise
6 you". That is what he did, he took off his cap.
7 Minutes later, three or four men arrived -- there
8 were at least three, I do not know if there were four,
9 but I am sure there were three at least. As he was
10 sitting, he pointed the finger and he said, "you, old
11 man, get up". Munib Heleg was standing there and he
12 said, "you too". Zenur and Amir were among the children
13 and the women and they sort of ducked as if they were
14 hiding. Then this one said, "what are you doing there?
15 You two, get up and come along with us". They got up.
16 When my husband got up, he was shaking like this, he
17 could not, and I also got up, and I said, "please do
18 not. He is old, he is my husband, do you know that he
19 is going to dialysis?", and they said, "he is going to
20 get a dialysis right now", that is what they said. He
21 just pushed me like this, I was holding a rifle and he
22 just pushed me like this with it and I went back.
23 Then they took them down towards Mujo's house.
24 That is where they took them and I remained silent and
25 there was a burst of fire. The house was burnt and
1 there was a barn next to it and a little while later,
2 the barn was aflame. Nikica Slikica was going there and
3 I called him over and said, "please Nikica, come over
4 and tell me, where did they take them, the three of
5 them?". He approached, "they took them for some
6 exchange". I said, "please Nikica, tell me the truth,
7 what happened to them? Do not hide it from me. You
8 know that I was friendly with your mother Mara, I swear
9 with your dead mother"; "since you did that, just the
10 order came and they were killed, just do not ask about
12 Q. Ms. Ahmic, let me clarify a couple of points of your
13 testimony. First of all, in the transcript that I saw
14 on the screen next to me, it said that Anto Papic came
15 and sat down next to you and said, "they are going to
16 come for me". In fact it was your husband saying
17 "they", referring to the men --
18 A. My husband was saying this, but Anto Papic was sitting
19 there when my husband told me this, Anto Papic got up
20 and he went to ask some women to get some milk for the
21 children, and then five minutes later, these men came
22 and took these -- the four of them out and went to Mujo
23 Dedic's house.
24 Q. Ms. Ahmic, were the men who came to get your husband and
25 take him out, were those men the same men or different
1 men that you had seen earlier in the combi?
2 A. They were in the camouflage uniforms, they were not in
3 black uniforms. The ones who came for my husband -- the
4 ones in the van were in black uniforms and the ones that
5 came for my husband and for Amir and Zenur and Munib,
6 they were in camouflage uniforms.
7 Q. Since April 17th 1993, have you ever seen your husband
9 A. No.
10 Q. Have you ever seen Munib Heleg alive?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Have you ever seen Amir and Zenur Ramic alive?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Let me very quickly show you three photographs and ask
15 you if you can identify the people and with the
16 assistance of the usher, if I could have photographs 121
17 and 110/5 placed on the ELMO for the witness?
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I was going to intervene on behalf
19 of my colleagues for the following witness. The three
20 of us have conferred and decided from now on, when there
21 are emotional things happening, which might be, we would
22 like you to turn to the Defence and to state what your
23 intention is, that is as far as the tendering of
24 exhibits goes. If there is no opposition from the
25 Defence, they could be put into evidence immediately
1 without having to go through the Defence. I was going
2 to wait until the next witness in order to explain this
3 position of the judges. If the Defence thinks that he
4 wants to raise objections, at that point but only that
5 point we will show the photographs to the witness.
6 I thought that you were going to show other types of
7 photographs, I suppose that these are also photographs
8 of members of the families, Ms. Ahmic's family that is.
9 You are the only one who can tell us. If these things
10 are too emotional, please tell the Defence what they are
11 and if necessary, show them to him and then we can put
12 them into evidence. If not, we do not have to show them
13 to the witness. We will do this for all the witnesses,
14 whether they are Defence or Prosecution witnesses.
15 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I do not believe -- these
16 photographs are photographs of the three men who were
17 taken out along with her husband on the morning of
18 17th April 1993, Munib Heleg, Amir Ramic and Zenur
19 Ramic, and she will testify that those individuals in
20 the pictures that will be presented to her are those
21 individuals who were taken out. I do not believe the
22 reaction will be similar to what occurred earlier,
23 Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Under those circumstances, show them, please.
25 MR. HARMON: Let me start with 121, Ms. Ahmic, the single
1 picture, Mr. Usher. I am sorry, that is not the picture
2 that -- yes, Mr. Usher, that is the picture right there.
3 Ms. Ahmic, before you is 110/5, is that a picture that
4 you recognise?
5 A. Yes, I can. This is Zenur and this is Amir.
6 Q. The two men in the picture are Zenur and Amir Ramic, is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, two brothers, yes.
9 Q. If we could turn to 121, can you tell me who is in that
11 A. This is Munib Heleg.
12 Q. Thank you. Ms. Ahmic -- Mr. Usher, I am finished with
13 the pictures, thank you. Ms. Ahmic, why did you leave
14 the shop on the morning of 17th April?
15 A. They came to us and they said, "go now wherever you
16 want" and we said, "where are we to go?" Then they
17 stood there and -- I do not know, they were talking
18 something over and then they said, "come out and
19 line up", and we all came out of that room, it was a big
20 column that formed, there was women who were pregnant
21 among us, and then he said, "you will be going with
22 Nikica", so Nikica was going ahead and we went along the
23 road towards the railroad station, and there they said,
24 "stop, wait here". Then they went up to Dubravica, we
25 saw when he went up to Dubravica after about half an
1 hour he came back and he says, "you are going to go to
2 the school in Dubravica".
3 Q. Did you stay in the Dubravica school until 1st May 1993?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you put in a room, Ms. Ahmic, with other women and
7 A. I was there -- it was a big room there with people,
8 young people, there were a lot of people, a lot of women
9 and children, and I was in a class room with the
10 grandchildren, and those who had small children, they
11 allowed them to be in the class rooms. Then the men,
12 they were all put in a big room, it was all Muslims.
13 Q. Ms. Ahmic, were there drawings on the walls in the room
14 where you and the other Muslim women and children were
16 A. Yes, there were drawings, there were such drawings that
17 we could never sleep from, all the terror that was in
18 these drawings. They were putting them up, they were
19 drawing heads and they were writing something and there
20 would be a head drawn and the knife was stuck through
21 like this (indicates) and they said, "this is how we are
22 going to slaughter balijas", and the Muslim women, there
23 would be -- "this is how we would rape Muslim women".
24 I could not read this, but those who could read read
1 We spent about ten days in that school building,
2 the Red Cross was enquiring about us and the Red Cross
3 came and found us and then they --
4 Q. Ms. Ahmic, before you move on in your testimony, let me
5 ask you: what was the reaction of yourself, the other
6 Muslim women and the children to those drawings that
7 were on the walls in the building where you were
9 A. We were frightened. Every day we waited to see if they
10 would come and do to us what was on the drawings, every
11 time the door would open we expected something would
12 happen like the things that were drawn on the walls. We
13 were all scared, the children and us. It is terrible,
14 how they were able to draw something like that, what
15 they would do to us.
16 Q. The other women who were with you in detention, were
17 those also survivors from Ahmici?
18 A. Yes, we were all from Ahmici, but there were some
19 refugees in Ahmici, down there, and they were in that
20 school building with us too.
21 Q. Were you provided with food?
22 A. We were receiving food, this is what they said. "We
23 kept a few balijas around, so if they want to come and
24 bring some food, fine; if not, you can just croak".
25 They were coming -- we had a little bit of food to give
1 to the children, there was some fish cans and that is
2 what we were giving them. When the Red Cross found out
3 about us, where we were, they brought us biscuits and
4 prepared food in small jars so the children could eat,
5 and my daughter-in-law Suada too. They were coming
6 every morning and they said to go and clean the rooms
7 upstairs, and my daughter-in-law always volunteered
8 because there would be bread up there and then they
9 would bring bread for the children and there was also
10 some margarine. There was also a little bit of jam that
11 was given, that was if you went to clean the rooms, and
12 so they went.
13 I also would go and I looked to see which soldier
14 to ask, to ask for some bread. I would tell him that
15 the children did not have food, to give us some food,
16 because the children were crying. We did not have
17 anything, we had no conditions, and as I said, the
18 children were crying. They were taking the young ones
19 to dig trenches, they were threatening us, they were
20 bringing some kind of letters and they would read it to
21 us, "see what yours have done, you will see, we will
22 come tonight", and then they had too much alcohol, they
23 would drink too much and then they would take women,
24 they would take them to rape them. They would come with
25 flash lights, so at night, they would come, because
1 there was no electricity, so they would take and look
2 for younger women to take them out.
3 I also recognised one of our neighbours, his name
4 was Anto -- wait a minute -- Miskovic. I told him,
5 "Anto, I know you from somewhere. You drank coffee in
6 my yard", and he said, "I also recognise you, you were
7 friendly with my grandmother, but I am ashamed at what
8 these idiots of ours have been doing. If someone comes
9 to look for women, I will be in the room next door, and
10 whoever has the strongest voice should yell and you just
11 yell as hard as you can and I will come over, so do not
12 be afraid". They were coming to the other rooms, they
13 would take them to other rooms and he was sleeping in
14 the room next door, right next door to us and whenever
15 we needed any help, he would help us.
16 There was also another one, he was a young man, 17
17 or 18 maybe, he was also in the class room where I was
18 and he lost a chain and there was also a cross on this
19 chain and he tells me, he was at the door and he said,
20 "you, the old woman, I want that chain by the dark.
21 You see this knife here?", and he touched himself, "I am
22 going to carve a cross right here" (indicates). My
23 grandchildren started crying, and then again this Anto
24 came in and he said, "what happened?", and I told him,
25 "this young man is telling me, I do not know, he lost
1 some chain and I should produce it for him. If I do not
2 find it, he is going to carve a cross into here, on to
3 my forehead". He again told me, this Anto did, "do not
4 be afraid while I am here". He had a little bit to
5 drink, but I said, "I am afraid of him".
6 Q. Ms. Ahmic, you left the Dubravica school on 1st May
7 1993. Were you given an opportunity to return to the
8 summer kitchen in your home, or back into the Vitez
10 A. No way, there were no houses left, all of the houses
11 burnt down, all of them were in flames, all the Muslim
12 houses were burned down. Not a single one remained
13 intact. You can have a look at those pictures, there is
14 not a single Muslim house left that was not set afire.
15 All of them were set on fire. Where could I go back?
16 They would not let us go back.
17 When the Red Cross came, when they asked us who
18 wanted to go home and who would go where and who had
19 someone in Zenica, some relatives or something, we could
20 only write down that we wanted to go to Zenica or to
21 Travnik, nowhere else. We could not write down Vitez
22 because we did not have anywhere to go in Vitez. They
23 gave us those little cards from the Red Cross and they
24 found buses for us. They took us all to Zenica and then
25 in Zenica, every one of us tried to do his or her best.
1 I said that I wanted to go to the village of Arnauti
2 because I have two of my husband's sisters living
4 When I came there, dirty, barefoot, we were there
5 for about 15 days almost and you could not change and
6 you could not wash yourself, and I was standing there
7 like a gypsy over there at the station. I can see
8 myself now the way I looked. My daughter-in-law's uncle
9 came to pick her and the children up and he told me,
10 "come with us", and then my daughter was living as a
11 refugee in Raspotocje and she found out that we had come
12 and she sent a man to bring me over, but she did not
13 know that her father was killed. She sent a man to pick
14 us up and when I got out, she said, "mother, where is
15 father?". I said, "father has been killed, dear", and
16 she went to the door over there in this house where she
17 was staying at Raspotocje and I followed her and that is
18 how it was.
19 You know, the things they did to us, you cannot
20 imagine, you have never seen it even on film, it was
21 horrible, you cannot imagine. They did not pay any
22 attention to whether someone was old or young or ill or
23 a child, they would kill everyone whom they saw, and
24 whoever they would find in houses or in front of
25 houses. I really wonder why they did not kill me. Many
1 women were killed, children were killed. Three month
2 old babies were killed. My sister-in-law, a three month
3 old baby of theirs was killed. Terrible, these things
4 were awful. May God not allow things like that to
5 happen to anyone, the kind of things that we went
6 through in the village of Ahmici. Everything was
7 destroyed, everything was burnt down.
8 We cannot even go there until the present day to
9 see where our homes were, they will not allow us. We
10 would go two or three times to the mosque, but they
11 would send their escort with us, their policemen,
12 somebody wanted to go to their burnt down houses to take
13 something they would find, at least as a memento, a
14 little something from the burnt down houses, but no,
15 they would never allow anyone to do that. They would
16 not allow anyone to stop there at their own houses, only
17 at the mosque, because there were houses nearby near the
18 mosque, but they would never let anyone stop at the
19 houses, no.
20 MR. HARMON: Ms. Ahmic, thank you very much for your
21 testimony. Now General Blaskic's lawyers will have an
22 opportunity to ask you some questions. I have
23 concluded, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you Mr. Harmon. We will resume at noon.
25 (11.40 am)
1 (A short break)
2 (12.00 pm)
3 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Please have
4 the accused brought in.
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Ahmic, do you hear me?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE JORDA: This is a trial, there is an accused and he
9 has counsel. The attorneys for General Blaskic will now
10 ask you some questions that they consider proper to ask
11 you. Do you feel a bit rested, are you all right?
12 A. Yes, I am fine.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Nobilo?
14 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
15 Q. Thank you, your Honour. Hello, Ms. Ahmic.
16 A. Hello.
17 Q. My name is Anto Nobilo and this is my colleague Russell
18 Hayman and we defend General Blaskic. I am sorry that
19 I will be troubling you a bit further, but only with a
20 few questions.
21 You told the Prosecutor that your husband, the
22 late Hasim, went on guard. Who was his commander? Who
23 said when he would go on guard?
24 A. There was Ramo Bilic, there was Mirsad Ahmic, they are
25 the ones who said who would go and my son also, he said
1 who would go to stand guard. They did not say that they
2 would go to stand guard in order to defend themselves
3 from the Croats, because everybody knew that the
4 Chetniks were threatening us, because they used to go on
5 guard together, the Croats and the Muslims before, but
6 when we were first attacked, then they started
7 separating themselves from us, and they would not allow
8 our people to go on guard with them, no, not at all.
9 Q. Tell me, your late husband Hasim, did he stand guard
10 only in your hamlet, or did he go to Gornji Ahmici?
11 A. No, he would take the road from the cafe to the road to
12 Ahmici, that was the road where he stood guard. He was
13 an elderly man and they would not let him go further
14 than that.
15 Q. Tell me, your hamlet, is it called Grabovi?
16 A. No, Zume.
17 Q. So you are from Zume?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell me, your son Fahrudin, who was his commander?
20 A. No one, they did not have a commander, they did not have
21 any kind of a commander. What kind of a commander?
22 Q. You just said -- who told him when he would stand guard,
23 your son?
24 A. No one, I do not know who he took his orders from. I do
25 not know. Ahmic -- you know those three brothers who
1 were killed, I cannot remember his name now, his brother
2 was a witness here, Muris Ahmic, so he was the
3 commander, yes.
4 Q. Tell me, where was their command, where would they go?
5 A. No, there was no command at our place, no.
6 Q. Was there something at the elementary school in Ahmici?
7 A. There was some kind of conference at the school, I do
8 not know. I know at the beginning when we were first
9 attacked by the Croats that older Croats and Muslims
10 would meet there in order to do something about it.
11 Q. When your son obtained weapons from Slemenje, did other
12 people from the village get some too or was he the only
14 A. No, other people too, other people from Zume.
15 Q. They all got weapons?
16 A. Yes, they made new weapons from old ones. Drago
17 personally helped my son make the rifle that he had and
18 Drago's brother-in-law took that rifle away from my son
19 and I gave it to Drago Josipovic. You can ask Drago
20 Josipovic about it and he will tell you it is the
21 truth. They took weapons from all of us.
22 Q. Did you see weapons being taken from other people?
23 A. They ordered my son, Nenad ordered my son that if arms
24 were not surrendered by 6.00 that they would all be
25 blown up, that is what he said.
1 Q. Ms. Ahmic, before, did you make any statements to
2 anyone, did you tell anybody else about all these events
4 A. Yes, I did, when I made a statement, I made this
6 Q. When did you first make a statement?
7 A. How can I remember, honey, I have no idea when this
9 Q. Was it closer to that event? Was it a few years ago,
10 several years ago?
11 A. There is more than a year since then, it has been more
12 than a year.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I would like to ask you
14 specifically, what is the purpose of asking three
15 questions to know whether Ms. Ahmic had made a
16 statement. I assume that she did make a statement, you
17 have the right to the statement, you said "in the
18 statement", why are you asking these questions? I do
19 not quite understand.
20 MR. NOBILO: It will be clear from the sequel, your Honour,
21 because I will try to show there is a considerable
22 difference between the previous statements and this one.
23 JUDGE JORDA: And right now, you have just said what I knew
24 you were going to say. You ask the same questions of
25 each witness, you say you made statements and I have
1 begun to understand, as have my colleagues, in order to
2 get her to see what discrepancies there would be in the
3 statements, there are discrepancies, there would be
4 some, of course, she has the right to make some, we are
5 wasting time.
6 MR. NOBILO: I understand, but I would like to know how soon
7 after the events the statement was made. Was her
8 recollection better then than now?
9 Excuse me, Ms. Ahmic, I have another question to
10 put to you. When you made this first statement, were
11 all these events fresh in your memory or do you remember
12 better today?
13 A. Of course, how could I not remember when I first made my
14 statement and now, a year later.
15 Q. But when did you better recollect these events?
16 A. When I made my first statement.
17 Q. Ms. Ahmic, I ask my colleague Russell Hayman to read a
18 text in English, he will do it better than I will, and
19 the interpreters will interpret it to you.
20 MR. HAYMAN: Page 2, bottom, and I apologise, your Honour,
21 the copy of the statement we were given is not dated,
22 which required some additional inquiry by Mr. Nobilo.
23 The reference is to 1500 hours on the afternoon before
24 the attack on 16th April 1993:
25 "Kordic was holding a book and threw it on the
1 table and said there will be no more negotiations, only
3 This is a reference to the TV programme:
4 "Kordic said HVO soldiers from Bungalow Cafe were
5 attacked in Ahmici. Blaskic was sitting next to Kordic,
6 but I don't remember if he said anything."
7 MR. NOBILO: Is that true what you said then, what
8 you told the investigators then?
9 A. What did I say? I did not understand it correctly.
10 Q. I will tell you briefly. You said you watched
11 television and that Kordic said that HVO soldiers were
12 attacked in Ahmici at the bungalow and that Kordic said
13 that there would be no more negotiations, only war and
14 that he threw the book, but that Blaskic was sitting
15 next to Kordic and that you do not remember if he said
17 A. But I do remember, of course, how could I not remember?
18 Blaskic said the following, Blaskic said, "in the
19 village of Ahmici, our soldiers were attacked at the
20 bungalow", and some other people were sitting there at
21 the table and a woman was there with them. He said,
22 Kordic, he threw this book or paper, he was upset, and
23 he said there would be no more negotiations and no
24 talks, "we are only waiting for our orders and we are
25 going to wage war". We were terrified, my husband and
1 I and my son and whoever watched this on television, and
2 we were attacked the very next morning at 5.30.
3 Q. Ms. Ahmic, perhaps you did not hear me well. In your
4 first statement, you said that you do not remember that
5 Blaskic said anything --
6 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. President, I would object. The
7 witness made it clear that she did remember, she
8 remembers today what she saw on television and she has
9 testified about it.
10 JUDGE JORDA: I want to get back to the objection, which
11 seems well-founded to me. I want to do some pedagogical
12 work with you, as we do with the Prosecution. I think
13 it would have been much simpler if you had simply said
14 -- let me give you a demonstration, I am not Defence
15 counsel, you know that, but let me tell you, "Ms. Ahmic,
16 let us go back to the famous scene you saw on
17 television, to the Prosecution, Mr. Kordic said this,
18 Mr. Blaskic said that. We have the impression, we the
19 defenders of General Blaskic that you have a scene in
20 your memory which is a bit different from what you said
21 before. Do you agree with that or not?". We would have
22 immediately got to where we want to. Now we are getting
23 into a confused situation in regard of the witness, you
24 said, "you said this, you said that". No, you had the
25 intention to reconstruct what in your eyes were the
1 statements she made previously.
2 As for the Prosecutor's objection, I sustain it
3 because the witness has already answered. It is a
4 question of method I am talking about.
5 MR. NOBILO: Right, thank you.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I will ask the question. Ms. Ahmic, you
7 understand, I have explained things very clearly to you,
8 the counsel for General Blaskic are wondering about
9 something you said in your first statement, as to what
10 you heard from Mr. Kordic and what you heard from
11 Mr. Blaskic. For the sake of the Tribunal, could you say
12 very simply, while remembering what you said previously,
13 could you state what it was that Mr. Kordic said and what
14 it was that Mr. Blaskic said and answer the judges
15 directly, please. Go ahead.
16 A. Please, I will always tell you the way I have already
17 put it. General Blaskic said the following, "in the
18 village of Ahmici", he said this in person on
19 television, "in the village of Ahmici, our soldiers were
20 attacked", and Tihomir Blaskic at the same time took
21 something and threw this and he said, "there will be no
22 more negotiations, we are only waiting for our orders
23 and there can only be war". I cannot tell you
24 differently. Until my death if you ask me that, that is
25 what I will tell you.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. In general, contradictions,
2 Mr. Nobilo, I say this for the Prosecutor as well,
3 contradictions are not fundamental. They may be
4 important when things have been said two, three, four
5 years ago. What I think is of interest to the Tribunal
6 is what the witness is saying today. Of course the
7 statements that she made are important, because
8 I understand that you have based your whole Defence on
9 the written statements which were given to you and that
10 you are pointing them out as you go along, I think that
11 is your right, but you must understand that today, this
12 is a verbal procedure and the witness is looking at the
13 judges, the judges are looking at the witness. Go
14 ahead, please. Judge Riad would like to state something
15 as well.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Please try to be more precise. You said that
17 General Blaskic said, "you are going to be attacked at
18 the bungalow", and then who threw the paper and said,
19 "there will be war". Was it Blaskic too?
20 A. Kordic.
21 Q. It was Kordic who threw the paper?
22 A. Kordic through the paper.
23 Q. Did he say there would be war or there would be a
25 A. "We are only waiting for our orders", they attacked us
1 in the morning and there was a massacre. We were
2 massacred in the most terrible way. Please, gentlemen,
3 I remember the previous war, I was nine years old, but
4 what happened this time in the village of Ahmici, may it
5 not be repeated ever again. They killed everyone, the
6 young and the old, and it is not that there was some
7 kind of army that could defend us, it is not that
8 someone could come to our aid, they destroyed
9 everything, houses, women, children. In two or three
10 hours they destroyed everything that we had been
11 building up throughout our life.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Ahmic, I believe that you answered the
13 judge's questions, he is satisfied with your answer,
14 there will be some other questions that the judges will
15 ask you later on, but for the time being, I give the
16 floor back to Mr. Nobilo so that he can continue the
17 questions he wishes to ask.
18 Mr. Nobilo.
19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Ms. Ahmic, we are now coming to the part when
21 Drago and Miro walked up to you and offered their
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you remember that?
25 A. Yes. That was during the first fighting, when we were
1 first attacked, when we were first attacked. There was
2 six months between these two attacks, when we were first
3 attacked and the next time.
4 Q. Was it October 1992?
5 A. I do not know how to talk that way. I just know that
6 there were six months between these two attacks on us.
7 Q. When did this conversation take place? Was it when your
8 late Fahrudin was killed or was it earlier?
9 A. Please explain this to me.
10 Q. Drago and Miro Josipovic walked up to you and offered
11 their condolences on the occasion of the death of your
13 A. Yes, this was during the second attack.
14 Q. And the first time when you made a statement, you said
15 that you do not need their condolences and they replied
16 that they could not save him because they were afraid.
17 That is what you said when you first testified. Today
18 you said that the killing was ordered by a higher
20 A. When I said, "Drago, the murderers who killed my son
21 came from your yard, you know who killed my son", he
22 said, "do not ask me, it is a higher force that ordered
23 this". That is what he told me. This was after he
24 offered me his condolences.
25 Q. Is this the same thing that you told the investigators
1 before when they asked you about this?
2 A. I think I did. That is exactly what happened. I think
3 that is what I said. But for me, six months and then a
4 year, a year has gone by since I made my statement, I do
5 not remember, you know sometimes I really get lost.
6 Since this has happened to me, I am losing my memory,
7 I walk into the house, for example, into the room and
8 I start wondering why I walked into the house, you know,
9 when all these pictures come before my eyes, all the
10 things I have suffered, I wonder --
11 Q. Is it worse for you now or was it worse for you before?
12 How do you feel?
13 A. It is the same for me. As I loved my child when I had
14 him, I love him all the same and it is more difficult
15 for me now when my grandchildren, Fahrudin's children,
16 when they hurt my old wounds again. Less than a month
17 ago, Emir, my youngest grandson, he lives in Zenica, he
18 walked up to me and he said, "grandma, I saw a man, he
19 looked just like my father, he had hair like my father
20 and a jacket like my father, everything like my father
21 and I hid behind a house and I shouted 'father' and he
22 turned around". Can you imagine how this little boy,
23 his son, sees things? This is his youngest son and he
24 keeps seeing things.
25 Q. Thank you. Now I wish to draw your attention to your
1 conversation with Nikica Slikica, if you remember.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. During your first conversation with the investigators,
4 you said that you asked Nikica to tell you what
5 happened, and Nikica said, "do not look for them any
6 more, they are dead, it is better for you not to know
7 where they are".
8 A. No, I did not say that, that is not what I said.
9 I called him over nicely and I said, "Nikica, please
10 come here", and he said, "now what do you want?" That
11 is what he told me. I said, "Nikica, please come over
12 and tell me, where did they take the four of them?", and
13 he said "some kind of exchange". I said, "Nikica,
14 please swear by your dead mother, Mara, who was a friend
15 of mine, tell me the truth, do not hide anything from
16 me", and then he said, "look, if you are asking me to
17 swear by my dead mother, Mara, although she is dead, she
18 means a lot for me; orders came and they were killed, so
19 now they are killed".
20 Q. Is that what you told the investigators the first time
21 when you made a statement? Did you use the same words
22 to describe this?
23 A. Yes, I described it that way.
3 A. I do not know these other women, they were brought from
4 the other surrounding villages, younger women, they came
5 with torch lights and they were looking for younger
6 women and they would throw light on every woman and they
7 wanted to see who they liked and then they would take
8 them away. (redacted)
11 (redacetd). We women, we were
12 prisoners and we were not allowed to meet with each
13 other. Later on we were told they would use torch
14 lights and come looking for these younger women,
16 Q. Did you see this or did you see it?
17 A. We were there for 15 days, how would we not hear it? We
18 would hear them, they would drink beer all night and
19 they would yell, "we are going to look for balija women,
20 ones that suit us". This Anto I told you about,
21 I forgot his name again --
22 Q. Miskovic?
23 A. Miskovic, two or three days earlier, my son went to
24 Vujica's for cevapi, with his wife and this Anto came
25 and he was with him. When he saw my daughter-in-law,
1 when he asked, "are you Fahrudin's wife?", and she said
2 yes and he said, "it is impossible that you look that
3 way", she had changed so much during three days, she was
4 changed beyond recognition, she looked five years older
5 after all this suffering she had gone through and after
6 having seen her husband killed. Also his three children
7 and his wife saw my son being killed, you know?
8 Q. I appreciate that, and also did they come to your room
9 to look for women with a torch light?
10 A. Yes, they would come but they did not like any of the
11 women here. They said, "fuck these women, it is only
12 old women. We do not want them".
13 Q. I am just going to refer to an earlier statement of
14 yours and I am going to ask my colleague Russell to read
15 it out, please.
16 MR. HAYMAN: Page 6, last paragraph:
17 "About three months before the conflict, Pican
18 Juro", that is a person's name, "had carried some hay
19 for us. I had gone to the Pican cafe to pay him.
20 Juro's mother, Andja, told me that something is going to
21 happen. There are meetings in front of my stable. They
22 are trying to hide it from me but I know that something
23 is going on. Andja told me they were going to cleanse
24 Muslim people from Ahmici."
25 MR. NOBILO: Is that true?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. NOBILO: That will be all, Mr. President. We have
3 completed. Thank you.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I will turn to the Prosecutor again, who
5 perhaps might have some clarifications or other
6 questions, but only in relation to the
7 cross-examination, please. Clarifications, nothing more
8 than that.
9 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Ahmic, I am now going to turn to my
11 colleagues to know whether they would like to ask you
12 some additional questions. We will start with
13 Judge Riad. Judge Riad, have you any questions you wish
14 to ask?
15 JUDGE RIAD: Ms. Fatima Ahmic, you just said a few seconds
16 ago that Pican Juro said that they are going to cleanse
17 the Muslims from Ahmici. When was that exactly before
18 the events, before they started coming to your house?
19 A. This was in August, I do not know what date it was.
20 This Juro Pican was bringing me hay from my fields and
21 he brought in the hay and my husband wanted to pay and
22 he said, "Hasim, do not give me any money, just buy me
23 some cigarettes", that is what he said. "I bring money
24 to my wife, she spends it on other things and I do not
25 have anything to smoke". Then my husband said, "Fatima,
1 take this and give it to Juro, Fahran and I are going
2 out in the field". That is what happened. He said,
3 "five packs of cigarettes", and my son Fahrudin said,
4 "mama, this is not enough, I am giving two packs too,
5 let it be seven packs of cigarettes".
6 I came in front of Juro's house, Juro was sitting
7 in a chair and grinding coffee and he said, "ah,
8 Hasimovica" -- you know, my husband's name was Hasim, so
9 they called me Hasimovica. He said, "you are just in
10 time for coffee", and I said, "thank you, but I have
11 just had coffee at home". I said, "I am going to come
12 and see your mother because I hear she has been sick".
13 We are from Busovaca, all of us, you know, from one
14 municipality, so we always called each other neighbour.
15 She got up immediately, Andja, to make more coffee, and
16 I said, "no thank you, Andja, I had coffee at home just
17 before I left", and she said, "it is good that you came,
18 Hasimovica. Hasimovica, Hasimovica, you will not
19 believe the things I have to tell you. In front of this
20 stable of mine, this is where they come and they have
21 meetings, and I was wondering what was happening, and
22 one evening, I went there and I was eavesdropping,
23 I wanted to hear what they were saying. Dear
24 Hasimovica, people are going to be cleansed from here,
25 it seems they are going to cleanse all the Muslims from
2 You know when this meeting of theirs broke up,
3 I called my Juro, my Jozo and their grandson Zeljo and
4 Miso, the son, and this is what I told them, I said,
5 "what have you been saying that you wanted to cleanse
6 Muslims, dear children?" "Do you know how good Hasim has
7 been to me when your father died?", that is what she
8 said. I am telling you exactly what the woman told me.
9 "When your father died, Hasim would help me, and he
10 came to the store, he said, 'did your Frano die?'" She
11 said, "yes, it happened all of a sudden. Obviously he
12 had a heart attack, and he said, 'if you do not have any
13 money, I am going to give you money for your funeral',
14 so he was very good to me when I was building my house,
15 and he helped me a lot, so you do not have to turn to
16 other people, I am going to give you money for what you
17 need". That is what she told her children.
18 Q. I just want to know, was this exactly at the same time
19 when you heard on television General Blaskic and
20 Mr. Kordic? Was it approximately after it or before it,
21 do you remember, these meetings where they said they
22 will cleanse Muslims from Ahmici, was it almost in the
23 same period as the TV?
24 A. It was when I went to see her, when we were first
25 attacked, you know? I tell you, I cannot remember the
1 date. I just remember, I tell you, it was August,
2 because of the hay.
3 Q. Was it before, because you knew about the television
4 late at night when your son came, Fahrudin came and said
5 he heard on television, was that not right, so these
6 meetings were before the television programme?
7 A. I cannot remember, just a minute. I cannot remember the
8 date exactly. I do not want to lie, I do not want to
9 say a single word that would be false, so I cannot say
10 the exact date.
11 Q. You were surprised to listen, to know this, that there
12 were meetings and they want to cleanse, so that was the
13 first time you hear about it?
14 A. Would you let me just think about it? You know when
15 I tell you what I told my children when I came back
16 home, if you allow me to tell you about that, it is
17 going to come back to me. Can I tell you about that?
18 Q. I will not disturb you more with this question. When
19 this cleansing started, was there any discrimination?
20 Did they choose people, you mentioned a lot that
21 Fahrudin went on guard and others went on guard, did
22 they choose particularly those who used to go on guard
23 or was it a common action against everybody?
24 A. Against everybody. Could you please repeat against
25 who? I am here, you know, I cannot concentrate.
1 Please, I am sorry.
2 Q. Was the cleansing directed towards special people who
3 were on guard, or who had weapons, or was it against
5 A. Against everybody, against everybody. They drove us all
7 Q. They refused to let you go back, even to look for your
9 A. They would not let me take my slippers from in front of
10 the house, they drove me away barefoot.
11 Q. When you spoke of the walkie-talkie, I remember you said
12 that Hasim heard the soldiers talking on
13 walkie-talkies. Could he gather whom they were talking
15 A. No, it was not Hasim who heard it on the walkie-talkie,
16 I heard it, because I was walking by them and I heard
17 it. They did not tell me, they told my husband
18 something -- I was the first one who came up, because my
19 husband said, "you go and I will catch up with you".
20 I came up to them and their van was standing right next
21 door to Ramiz's house. Three or four of them got out of
22 the van, the van was full of people and one of them was
23 standing in front of there, he took this walkie-talkie
24 and he said, "yes, the action has been successful, they
25 are lying in front of every house like pigs". That is
1 what I heard.
2 Then when my husband came up, then they asked him,
3 "who are you? What is your name?". He told them, and,
4 "what are you carrying in that sack?". He said, "I am
5 taking some clothes for my children, I do not know where
6 they will be". He took two coats and a few shirts and
7 he came by, and that is what they told him. Then they
8 asked him, "where are you going?". He said, "I am going
9 up there, further above Pican's cafe, we are going up
10 there to the store". They said, "go on, go on, we are
11 going to catch up with you and you are going to have
12 coffee with us". He came to me terrified, I was sitting
13 in a corner, you know and he walked up to me and said,
14 "dear Fatima, they are going to come and get me now",
15 and I said, "who?", and he said, "those people who were
16 in the van". I said, "oh no, hopefully not, come on,
17 take off your cap, they will not recognise you". He did
18 take off his cap and he put it down under him.
19 Anto Papic was sitting near me and as Anto Papic
20 got up, he walked out and he said that he would order
21 them to bring children -- the children some milk, Anto
22 went out --
23 Q. You said that before, but they were soldiers?
24 A. Yes, they were wearing black uniforms, these people in
25 the van. They were all wearing black uniforms and the
1 people who came to get them at the store, they were
2 wearing camouflage uniforms.
3 Q. The people who came to get your husband and to get Munib
4 and then you said they were killed, were they also
6 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms, yes, and they had
7 a lot of weapons, they were fully armed.
8 Q. When you were in the school in Dubravica, and you said
9 that men came in and chose women and took them out and
10 so on, were they soldiers also?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. They were soldiers?
13 A. Yes, they also had camouflage uniforms on. They were
14 Croats, all of them, they were all Croats, only we
15 civilians were there too and all the rest, all them were
17 Q. You think it was some kind of a military police where
18 you were staying, this school? It was guarded by
20 A. They were there, we were their living shield, we were
21 prisoners, we could not go out into the hallway after
22 6.00 to get some water or to go to the toilet, I beg
23 your pardon. We had some kind of plastic buckets and
24 that is where the children relieved themselves and even
25 the adults too, because they were not allowed to go out,
1 we were all threatened that after 6.00 we were not
2 allowed to go out at all.
3 Q. There was a commander called Anto Miskovic and he was
4 kind to you and told you, "do not be afraid while I am
5 here". Was he the commander of the place? Did he have
6 any authority or what was he exactly?
7 A. He was a plain soldier, just a soldier. He was our
8 neighbour, and I knew him and I told him I knew him and
9 I knew the family he is from and he said, "I am ashamed
10 to say who I am and where I am from because of what
11 those fools did down there. I am ashamed of what I am
12 and who I am". Later on, I realised that I knew him,
13 that he was down there by the railway station, but I did
14 not know his name. He came to my yard and I made coffee
15 for him and for this neighbour of mine whose field work
16 he was doing. I said, "I know you from somewhere", and
17 he said, "I know you too, except I am ashamed to say who
18 I am and where I am from because of what those fools did
19 down there".
20 My son was killed and after that I heard the
21 Croats talking about him, they should not have killed
22 him, he was a good man. The women were mourning him
23 too, but nobody protected him. He had so many
24 colleagues and people were talking about war and I said,
25 "my child, something bad is happening, you are going to
1 Vlasik and to Visoko and they have all these weapons in
2 the hills, why are they putting all these weapons up
3 there in the hills, there are no Chetniks among us, why
4 are they putting all these weapons up there?". He said,
5 "mother, you are panicking", and I said, "listen, son,
6 something is in the making, I know it", and that night
7 on television when he saw what was said there and he
8 said, "something is wrong, mother, you are right,
9 everything you have been saying is right", that is what
10 my son told me.
11 Whenever I told him what I noticed, he would
12 always say, "mother, you are panicking too much", he
13 never thought something would happen to him, something
14 would be done by his own colleagues who went to school
15 with him, played music with him. They were friends, and
16 I remember we had Bajram once and there were six carloads
17 of Croats who came to congratulate him on Bajram and
18 then they came to kill him and he did not know that they
19 would kill my poor boy. May dear God in heaven punish
20 them for what they did.
21 It is not only us, it is our entire people, and
22 I heard what this action of theirs was called, "48 hours
23 of ashes", that is to say that after 48 hours, none of
24 us should be left, old or young or men or women or
25 children or old people, they would not spare anyone.
1 Q. Who gave it this name, "48 hours of ashes", do you
2 know? Where did this name come from?
3 A. I do not know, I just heard about it in the media. In
4 the media. Personally, with my own ears, I heard it in
5 the media.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Ms. Ahmic, I only have one question to
8 be put to you. You remember you were telling us about
9 Drago Josipovic and Nenad Santic. I think what you said
10 was that Nenad Santic ordered your son to hand over his
11 gun. Do you remember that part of your evidence?
12 A. I remember.
13 Q. When Nenad Santic ordered your son to hand over the gun,
14 did you think of any position which Nenad Santic held?
15 Did he hold some position?
16 A. He was their chief commander, and his sister was also in
17 the HVO, that is Slavica, Nenad's sister. She is still
18 in the HVO and she is Drago Josipovic's wife.
19 Q. So Nenad Santic was in the HVO?
20 A. Yes. He was their commander. He was the one to be
21 asked and he was ordering everything, what was going to
22 be done in our area.
23 Q. Drago Josipovic, was he in the HVO?
24 A. Yes, a soldier. He always wore the camouflage uniform
25 and always a rifle.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Ahmic, we have concluded. You are very
3 courageous and the Tribunal thanks you. You came all
4 this way to us to explain in your own words what you
6 Registrar, could we have Ms. Ahmic escorted from
7 the courtroom? Thank you very much.
8 A. Thank you too.
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, until 1.00?
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, the next witness we have is
12 Haris Hrnjic.
13 JUDGE JORDA: You can have him brought in, please.
14 (Witness entered court)
15 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Please give me your family name and your first
18 name, please.
19 THE WITNESS: My name is Haris Hrnjic.
20 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to give you a declaration and we
21 will ask you to read it while you are still standing,
22 after which you may sit down.
23 MR. HARIS HRNJIC (sworn)
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please be seated. The Prosecutor
25 has asked you to come to testify here as part of the
1 trial against General Blaskic who is here as well. The
2 Prosecutor will ask you the questions which he feels are
3 appropriate, after which General Blaskic's Defence
4 counsel will also ask you questions, as will the judges,
5 if they feel so inclined.
6 Mr. Kehoe, we have ten minutes. I would ask you to
7 begin and then we will resume in the afternoon. Please
8 have him spell his name, because I did not really quite
9 get it.
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I will. Haris, before we
11 begin, could you spell your name for the judges?
12 A. H-R-N-J-I-C H-A-R-I-S.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Kehoe?
14 Examined by MR. KEHOE
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Haris, how old are you?
16 A. 20, I will be 21.
17 Q. When the events took place in April 1993, how old were
19 A. I was 16 and I was going to be 17 that year.
20 Q. Haris, tell the judges a little bit about your family,
21 your father's name, your mother's name, your brother's
23 A. My father's name was Mehmed Hrnjic, he was born in
24 1945. My mother is Samija, she was born in 1948. My
25 brother, his name was Admir Hrnjic and he was born in
1 1969, and myself.
2 Q. How old was your brother Admir in April 1993?
3 A. He was 24.
4 Q. Haris, in April 1993, what village did you live in?
5 A. I lived in the village of Santici.
6 Q. How long had your family lived in the village of Santici
7 before April 1993?
8 A. About eight years.
9 Q. Before that, where did you and your family live?
10 A. Before we moved to Santici, we lived in Zenica in the
11 neighbourhood called Tetovo.
12 Q. Why did you move from Zenica to Santici?
13 A. We lived close to the steel mills in Zenica and so the
14 air was very polluted. That is why we moved to Santici.
15 Q. Did your family open up a business when you got to
17 A. Yes, my father first opened a restaurant and after that,
18 he also opened a shop.
19 Q. This building where the shop and the restaurant were,
20 did your family live in the same building?
21 A. Yes, I lived in the same building, in the same house.
22 Q. Let us go back to the first conflict. Do you remember
23 the first conflict in October 1992?
24 A. I remember it, the first conflict.
25 Q. You and your family were living in Santici at the time,
1 is that right?
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. Why did the conflict break out in Santici in October
5 A. I do not know exactly why it happened.
6 Q. No, I am talking about when. When approximately did the
7 first conflict break out?
8 A. On 18th October, around 18th October.
9 Q. Tell the judges what happened, Haris.
10 A. In the morning, around 6.00, I heard shooting coming
11 from various weapons. Outside my brother and I got up
12 and went to our parents' bedroom and my brother said
13 that there was shooting going on and the father said
14 that he heard it and that we should pull back into the
15 hallway of the house. We sat there and we took the
16 telephone with us. We stayed there, I entered into one
17 of the rooms and went to the window and saw the HVO
18 soldiers running through my yard, and I saw one soldier
19 running on the road towards Pican's cafe. After that,
20 I saw Nenad Santic going from his house in the direction
21 of their command, the HVO command.
22 After that, I saw Nenad Santic approaching with a
23 truck which had an anti-aircraft gun mounted on it, and
24 he was in this truck and this truck was going in the
25 direction of Ahmici. The truck passed houses and then
1 I did not see it any more. Then I heard shooting,
2 heavy, and after that the truck came back and came to a
3 stop at the parking area in front of my house. Nenad
4 Santic then trained a gun towards our house and then Ivo
5 Vidovic came and Anto Vidovic with him. They were
6 talking to Nenad about something, and then the truck
7 went to and parked in front of Ivo Vidovic's house.
8 Q. Let me stop you there for a second, Haris. Who was
9 Nenad Santic?
10 A. Nenad Santic was a commander of the HVO in Santici, in
11 the Santici area.
12 Q. Was he a Croat?
13 A. Yes, he was, a Catholic.
14 Q. You and your family were Muslims, is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You said that after he had been spoken to by Ivo Vidovic
17 they pulled the anti-aircraft weapon away, is that
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, it is 1.00, I am going to move to
21 another date after this, so it would be an appropriate
22 time to end.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is correct. We will resume at
25 (1.00 pm)
1 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing. Please have the
3 accused brought in.
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Haris Hrnjic, did you rest?
6 A. Yes, I have rested, thank you.
7 Q. We had begun with the examination, you are a Prosecution
8 witness. Mr. Kehoe, you may resume.
9 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Haris, before the lunch break we ended at
11 18th October 1992, when you were describing Nenad Santic
12 in possession of an anti-aircraft weapon. After the
13 18th, did your father have additional contact with Nenad
14 Santic, and did he ask Nenad Santic to -- did Nenad
15 Santic tell your father to come to the HVO headquarters
16 in Santici?
17 A. Yes, this was -- first they came to search the house.
18 Nenad Santic was there, Zeljko, I do not know his last
19 name and Miro Josipovic. They searched the house and
20 after that, they called my father to go with them to the
21 HVO command.
22 Q. What happened to your father at the HVO command?
23 A. A pistol was found in the house, for which there was a
24 permit too, so this was taken away, and Nenad Santic
25 threatened my father. Zeljko gave him some kind of a
1 certificate that this weapon was taken away.
2 Q. After that particular incident, did your family have
3 additional problems with members of the HVO at the
5 A. Yes, on the 23rd at night we heard shooting in front of
6 the house. My family was there, and I was watching
7 through the window. I saw an HVO van and in the front,
8 in black lettering, it was written, "HVO", and I saw a
9 soldier in the middle of our parking area, and another
10 one was over off to the side next to our house, one of
11 them was shooting in the air. I pulled back, I heard
12 the glass shattering. This was in our store.
13 A little bit later, we could hear the engines
14 start and a van pulled out and then it stopped again.
15 After that, there were two powerful explosions. My
16 father, since Nenad Santic had told him if there were
17 any problems that he should call him on the telephone,
18 that he would come; my father called him up and after
19 about 15 minutes he arrived at our house. We came
20 downstairs and we saw that the glass, the windows of the
21 store were shattered, that some things were taken away
22 and you could see where the grenades -- they were hand
23 grenades, you could see where they had fallen.
24 Nenad Santic arrived in a car and said that he was
25 going in the direction of Vitez, where the van had gone,
1 so that he would check to see who was in this van. Then
2 Ivo Vidovic came, an older man. They both had the HVO
3 uniforms on and carried weapons and were standing guard
4 there, of sorts. Later, Nenad Santic returned and told
5 us that he could not find the van and that the HVO
6 soldiers who were at the barricade not far from our
7 house, that they were asleep when he arrived there and
8 that they did not see anything.
9 Q. Haris, you said this was the 23rd and you are talking
10 about 23rd October 1992, is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. No HVO soldiers were ever arrested for destroying the
13 restaurant, were they?
14 A. Nobody was ever arrested and nobody ever came on the
15 part of the HVO, only Nenad Santic came, that was it.
16 Q. Did this instil fear in you and the other members of
17 your family?
18 A. Yes, yes, it did instil fear.
19 Q. Around this time in October 1992, did you see Dario
20 Kordic in Santici?
21 A. Yes, I saw Dario Kordic in front of my house. He was in
22 a car, I do not know the make, and I saw Nenad Santic
23 and Slavica Josipovic. They then entered the car with
24 him and left. Later I saw them on TV Herceg-Bosna.
25 Q. You saw Dario Kordic with Nenad Santic and then you said
1 you later saw who on television?
2 A. Dario Kordic and Slavica Josipovic.
3 Q. Did you also see Dario Kordic on television with the
4 defendant Blaskic?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Between October 1992 and April 1993, did you and members
7 of your family, or did members of your family continue
8 to receive threatening phone calls because you were
10 A. Yes, they constantly called us on the phone, they talked
11 in a provocative way.
12 MR. KEHOE: Haris, at this point we are going to move to
13 16th April 1993, but before we do that, with,
14 Mr. President, and your Honours, with your permission,
15 I would just like to hand the witness what has been
16 marked for identification as 129A, and also a legend
17 that goes with it that has been marked 129B. I would
18 also ask if we could, with the assistance of the usher,
19 put 129A, the legend, on the ELMO. . They have been
20 premarked, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE JORDA: What was marked? I think we saw this already,
22 but there is a legend here which does not perhaps
23 correspond to the other numbering.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, this particular exhibit is an
25 enlargement of portions of Exhibit 50. However, the
1 markings on them, in this particular case, 1 through 15,
2 are unique. They are markings designed to correspond to
3 Mr. Hrnjic's testimony.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore the legend would have a specific
5 number, is that correct? Mr. Registrar?
6 THE REGISTRAR: No, this is a new exhibit, the map is 129A
7 and the legend is 129B.
8 JUDGE JORDA: All right, fine. Continue, please.
9 MR. KEHOE: Haris, before we begin to talk about what
10 happened on the morning of 16th April, could you use the
11 pointer and point to the place where you lived and where
12 the shop and the restaurant was?
13 A. (Indicates).
14 MR. KEHOE: What number is that?
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, in order to speed things up a bit,
16 if what you intend to do is to designate with a pointer
17 all of the numbers that appear on the map, I think it
18 would be simpler to ask the witness, without
19 interrupting, to indicate to us all the numbers, unless
20 that is not your intention, of course.
21 MR. KEHOE: That is perfectly fine, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. I would speak directly to the witness.
23 One after the other, from 1 to 15, you would
24 indicate without being interrupted all the houses that
25 you recognise and the sites that you recognise. Is that
1 all right?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
4 A. This is my house.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Please say "number 1 is my house, number 2 is
6 the house of", et cetera. Go ahead, please.
7 A. Number 1, that is my house. Number 2 is the house of
8 Pican, it is Pican's cafe. Number 3 is Ivo Vidovic's
9 house. Number 4 is the Colic house, that is where the
10 HVO command was. Number 5 is the house of Mustafa Mujo
11 Dedic. Number 6 is the garage of Mujo Dedic. Number 7
12 is Islam Ahmic's house. Number 8 is the house of Munib
13 Ribo. Number 9 is the house of Nesib Ahmic. Number 10
14 is the house of Heleg. Number 11 is the Ramiz Ahmic's
15 house, number 12 is Sefik Ahmic's house, number 13 is
16 Adem Siljak's house, number 14 is Hasan's house, number
17 15 is Ivica Vidovic's house.
18 JUDGE JORDA: All right, Mr. Kehoe?
19 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Under those conditions, you can now ask the
21 questions which would allow you to specify or to clarify
22 certain points that you wish clarified.
23 MR. KEHOE: Haris, let us go to the morning of 16th April
24 1993. Can you tell the judges what happened that day?
25 A. Around 5.00 or 6.00, we heard a powerful explosion. My
1 brother and I woke up, we went to our parents' bedroom,
2 our parents were awake and the brother said that we
3 heard a powerful explosion, and my father said that he
4 had heard it too and then we all moved to the hallway,
5 the whole family did. We were there in the hallway and
6 then my uncle called us from Zenica, from the Tetovo
7 neighbourhood. He had heard the explosion and he asked
8 us whether it was there where we were and we said it
9 was, and he told us to just remain there, because he
10 remembered that during the first attack we stayed in the
11 hallway, so we stayed in the hallway.
12 My brother wanted to take something from our room,
13 and when he opened the door the shooting started at the
14 house itself, the glass started shattering. The shots
15 came from the direction of Ivo Vidovic's house and the
16 house of Anto Vidosevic. My brother pulled back into
17 the hallway and we went and stayed under a staircase.
18 At that point, we heard the voices saying, "boss, boss,
19 come out of the house". My father opened the entrance
20 door, he put his hands up and he said that we were
21 surrendering, that we were not armed. There were two
22 HVO soldiers there. They took us out outside.
23 There was another house across and they told us to
24 go and look at the house and we should not turn around
25 and look at our house. Then they entered our house, but
1 there was a dog there, and he started for them and they
2 killed it. After they killed it, they entered the
3 house. When they brought us to this fence in front of
4 the Pican's cafe, there were several members of the HVO
5 there. They told them, "shoot", we turn around that we
6 should be shot on the spot. They went in and they were
7 banging around the house and they said, "if we find any
8 weapons, we will cut your throats". They were
9 searching, they did not find anything, they only found a
10 box where the pistol was, that was the pistol Nenad
11 Santic had taken. They asked where this pistol was, my
12 father said that Nenad Santic had taken this pistol and
13 then they were silent.
14 Then they called my father into the house and he
15 stayed there for about five minutes. When he returned,
16 he told us that they had taken his wallet. Then they
17 again ransacked the house and came out without finding
18 anything. When they came out, one of them was carrying
19 a gas can that was from our own house and they asked the
20 soldiers in front of Pican's cafe, "what shall we do
21 with them?". One of them said, "take them to where all
22 the rest of them are". Then they ordered us to start
23 going in the direction of Vitez, and we did, we put our
24 hands on our heads as we were passing the HVO soldiers
25 who were in front of the Pican's cafe. They were
1 laughing at us, they were making comments, and then told
2 us to move faster; we did.
3 We came to Mujo Dedic's house --
4 Q. Let me stop you there for a second, Haris. If we can go
5 back to the ELMO for a moment, originally you said
6 that -- earlier you said that the shooting in the
7 morning started in front of Ivo Vidovic's house. Would
8 that have been right in front of the house circled with
9 number 3?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said that soldiers came to the front of your house
12 number 1. Can you describe those soldiers to the
13 judges? What were they wearing, insignias, were their
14 faces painted or covered?
15 A. Yes, those were soldiers in camouflage uniforms. One of
16 them had a helmet, we were not allowed to look at them,
17 I could not see any insignia. They had paint on their
19 Q. But they had camouflage uniforms on?
20 A. Yes, they had camouflage uniforms on.
21 Q. You previously designated number 2 as Pican's cafe and
22 you said that there were soldiers standing in front of
23 Pican's cafe?
24 A. Yes, that is Pican's cafe, that is marked with number 2
25 and the HVO soldiers were in front of Pican's cafe.
1 JUDGE JORDA: In order to avoid repeating this, we are going
2 to run into the problem of having the confusion of all
3 kinds of methods at the same time. He will say what he
4 has to say. I think in his statement he said that he
5 did identify the cafe. I know that you are thinking
6 about the transcript, but in the transcript he did say
7 that that would be number 2, because we have the legend
8 here. Let us try to save some time here, because I do
9 feel we are going to go back again over the narrative
10 and ask the witness to repeat everything he has said,
11 and asking him to clarify things by saying "this is
12 number 1, this is number 2". We have to go forward,
13 Mr. Kehoe. Go ahead, please. Do not be afraid, please.
14 It is in the transcript, it is all right. We have
15 Pican's cafe there, it is number 2, the judges
16 understood that. Go on.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. How many soldiers were in
18 front of Pican's cafe?
19 A. About 10 soldiers.
20 Q. How were they dressed?
21 A. They wore camouflage uniforms and they all had their
22 faces painted, except for one.
23 Q. Did you recognise that one who did not have his face
25 A. I did not recognise him.
1 Q. You said that you left that area and were headed towards
2 the house of Mujo Dedic, is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 MR. KEHOE: Your Honours, that is number 5 on the chart.
5 Tell the judges what happened there.
6 JUDGE JORDA: If you wish to say it, say it, but let us not
7 repeat things, all right?
8 MR. KEHOE: Tell us what happened, Haris.
9 A. Two members of the HVO took us to Mujo Dedic's house.
10 When we arrived at the house, it was on fire, and there
11 I saw the bodies of Munib Ribo and Mujo Dedic, they were
12 killed. When we came there, they told us to stop
13 there. We did. Then they ordered me and my mum and my
14 brother to start towards the garage. We did that. Then
15 they ordered my brother to open up the garage and to
16 lock us inside and to come back to where my father was,
17 to that place. When they locked me up in the garage,
18 I heard shots after a while. When I peeked through the
19 door of the garage, I saw the bodies of my father and
20 brother lying there, they were dead, they were killed.
21 We stayed there and then the HVO members left this place
22 and left us behind. There were a lot of people there in
23 a small room, we did not have food or water.
24 Then around 5.00, three HVO members arrived, one
25 of them had a mask of sorts. We recognised him though,
1 that is Ivica Semren, his nickname was Zuti, which means
2 "blond". Drazenko Vidovic came and a third soldier
3 whom I did not know. They took us from -- from that
4 room, they took us to Nesib Ahmic's -- from the garage
5 of Mujo Dedic, they took us to the house of Hasim Dedic.
6 Q. Let me stop you before you move on to the garage of
7 Nesib Ahmic. You said that when you were walking up to
8 the garage there were two men who were already dead,
9 Mujo Dedic and Ribo Munib?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Were those two men Muslim?
12 A. Yes, they were Muslim.
13 Q. You said that you stayed in the garage until later on in
14 the afternoon and more HVO soldiers came. When those
15 HVO soldiers came, did any of the soldiers ask anybody
16 in the garage to come out?
17 A. Yes, they wanted to take out Haris Dedic, he was called
18 out by the third HVO member whom we did not know. He
19 said that he would not come out because he was afraid
20 that he would be killed just like they had killed his
21 brother and father. Then Drazenko Vidovic said to let
22 him be, that he was only 13 years old, that he was still
23 a child. Then this HVO member did not call him out
24 after that.
25 Q. So Haris Dedic's father and brother were also killed?
1 A. Yes, they were killed.
2 Q. On the way to Nesib Ahmic's house from the garage of
3 Mujo Dedic, did you see any other dead bodies?
4 A. Yes, I saw the body of Islam Ahmic in the yard of his
6 Q. Was Islam Ahmic also a Muslim?
7 A. Yes, he was Muslim.
8 Q. What happened when you got to the -- by the way, who
9 took you to the house of Nesib Ahmic, how many soldiers
10 and describe what they were wearing?
11 A. They wore camouflage uniforms, and it was those three
12 members, those three soldiers who had come.
13 Q. Then you went to Nesib Ahmic's house. Had that house
14 been burnt as well?
15 A. Yes, the house was also set on fire, but only the lower
16 floor was burnt and the attic had remained unburnt, so
17 they took us up there, to the attic and we were there,
18 it was very hot and we did not have any water.
19 Q. Haris, at this point you said that Nesib Ahmic's house
20 had been burnt. Were the rest of the Muslim houses in
21 that area that are depicted on the map 129A, were they
22 all burning as well or had they been burnt?
23 A. No, the house of Hasan was not burning. All the other
24 houses were on fire.
25 Q. Were all the other houses that were on fire, were they
1 owned by Muslims?
2 A. Yes, it was only Muslim houses.
3 Q. You said that Hasan's house, number 14 on the chart, was
4 not burning that morning, is that right?
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. But was it burnt thereafter?
7 A. Yes, it was burnt thereafter.
8 Q. That morning, was Hasan at home or was he abroad?
9 A. No, Hasan was not at home that morning, he was away, he
10 was working.
11 Q. Would it be correct to say that in every other house
12 where there was a man present, a Muslim man present,
13 that house was burnt?
14 A. Yes, every house was burning where there was such a
16 Q. You said that you went to Nesib Ahmic's house. What
17 happened when you went to Nesib Ahmic's house and where
18 did you go after that?
19 A. When we came do his house, we were taken to the attic
20 and we spent the night there. In the morning soldiers
21 came, but they had yellow patches here (indicates), and
22 they told us that we were to be exchanged from Nesib
23 Ahmic's house. They took us to the HVO command, to the
24 Colic house. When we came there, there were other
25 people there, Muslims, who were prisoners and we were
1 sitting there, we were guarded by Anto Papic there, and
2 I was with Heleg then, and he told me that if anything
3 happened to him I should know that he gathered dead
4 bodies near Ramiz Ahmic's house, and if anything
5 happened to him, that I should tell his son that Nenad
6 Santic is to be blamed for all of this that happened.
7 Q. Haris, let me stop you for a second. Can I show you a
8 photograph, with the assistance of the usher and the
9 Registrar, Exhibit 121/2 that has been received in
10 evidence. If we could place that on the ELMO, please?
11 Haris, is that the man that you know as Heleg that you
12 were talking to at Colic's house?
13 A. Yes, that is Heleg.
14 Q. What did he tell you about collecting bodies before he
15 went to collect bodies on this occasion? What did he
16 tell you he had previously done that day?
17 A. He said that he was collecting bodies and that he
18 brought them into the yard of Ramiz Ahmic, by his house.
19 Q. That is number 11 on the chart, your Honours. What
20 happened after that? You went in there, had this
21 conversation with Heleg, what happened after that?
22 A. After some time, two members of the HVO walked into the
23 room, and they started choosing people who would go and
24 collect dead bodies. They chose Heleg, Zenur Ahmic,
25 Amir Ahmic and Hasim Ahmic. They wanted to take Haris
1 Dedic too, but his mother got up and cried and she said
2 that they had killed her son and her husband and they
3 should spare him.
4 After that, Nikica Plavcic, called Slikica, walked
5 into the room. The women asked where these people who
6 were taken away were and he said that their special
7 units had killed these people and that they would not be
8 coming back.
9 Q. Killed who, Haris?
10 A. They killed Heleg, Ahmic Zenur, Amir Ahmic and Hasim
11 Ahmic. Also he told us that they were going to a place
12 called Pirici, that they would go there to burn and kill
13 as they did in Ahmici, their special forces.
14 Q. Who did Nikica say was going to do this? Who did he say
15 was going to go to Pirici and kill and burn?
16 A. The members of the HVO, these special units.
17 Q. This was on 17th April, is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. You lived through this, Haris. You heard Nikica talk
20 about special forces doing this in Pirici. Did these
21 soldiers operate together with your Croat neighbours in
22 Santici to commit these crimes?
23 A. Yes, they did it with the help of our neighbours, and
24 our neighbours did the same thing.
25 Q. Without the help of a village, would you be able to
1 distinguish a Muslim house from a Croat house in the
2 village of Santici?
3 A. No, you could not tell the difference.
4 Q. Explain that?
5 A. Because Muslim houses, allegedly, have a four sided roof
6 and Croat houses have two sided roofs. My house has a
7 two sided roof and Pican has a four sided roof, so that
8 shows that they could not tell, somebody had to take
9 them round and show them the houses and do it with them.
10 Q. Can we go back to 129A, please? If we can put that on
11 the ELMO? Haris, just pointing to this, number 2 is
12 Pican's cafe with a four sided roof.
13 A. This is Pican's cafe with the four sided roof, number 2.
14 Q. Is that owned by a Muslim or a Croat?
15 A. This is a Croat house.
16 Q. Was it destroyed on 16th April 1993?
17 A. No, it was not even damaged.
18 Q. Let us move to number 15. Do you see number 15 a little
19 further up on the page?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is that a four sided or a two sided house?
22 A. Four sided roof. It is a Croat house, and it was not
24 Q. Whose house is that?
25 A. Ivica Vidovic's house.
1 Q. Was that Josip Vidovic or --
2 A. I am sorry, Josip Vidovic.
3 Q. You said previously that your house was a two sided
4 house. Take a look, for example, at numbers 12, 13 and
5 14. Were they two sided roofs or four sided roofs?
6 A. There are two sided roofs there.
7 Q. And those houses belong to Muslims or Croats?
8 A. These houses belong to Muslims.
9 Q. Did you conclude prior to this attack that the people
10 that were attacking knew who lived -- what Muslims lived
11 in what houses and what Croats lived in what houses?
12 A. Yes, they knew which houses were Muslim houses and which
13 houses were Croat houses. Look at the map. Not a
14 single Croat house was damaged and all the other Muslim
15 houses were burned.
16 Q. After the four individuals -- we are done with the ELMO
17 now, thank you, Mr. Usher.
18 After this conversation with Nikica concerning the
19 special forces taking these individuals out to be killed
20 and that they were going to go to Pirici, did you ever
21 see any of these four men again?
22 A. No, I never saw these four people.
23 Q. What happened after that? Continue on with the story
24 and tell the judges what happened?
25 A. After that, we were locked up in this HVO command. Then
1 two UN transport vehicles came, personnel carriers,
2 women with babies went out and asked for help. Then
3 Ivica Vidovic ran from his house, waving to the UNPROFOR
4 soldiers, then he walked up to them, they talked for a
5 while, he went into the personnel carrier and he took
6 them to his house. After that, we were locked up in
7 there and then Plavcic Nikica, called Slikica, came and
8 told us he was taking us to be exchanged. He took us
9 all towards Vitez. We reached a place called
10 Dubravica. We stopped there, then they asked whether
11 they should take us to the school in Vitez or whether
12 they should take us to the elementary school there in
14 After a while, Franjo Krizanac came up, he was a
15 friend of Islam Ahmic, and he came to get Islam Ahmic's
16 wife. He asked about Islam and he was told that he was
17 killed. Then he took Mijda Ahmic, Amil Ahmic, Elmir
18 Ahmic and me, he took them into his car and Ahmic
19 Mirza. Then he took us to Vitez, to the apartment of
20 Dajic Sulejman. We spent 17 days there. After that,
21 Franjo Krizanac took us to the elementary school, he
22 registered us with the Red Cross, that we were to be
23 exchanged, but that was not the way it happened. It was
24 not the Red Cross there, I do not know what was there,
25 so then he took us to the road to Zenica, the road that
1 went around but that led to Zenica.
2 Then he left us there and he said that we should
3 go towards Zenica that way, but he could not help us any
4 further, so we set out along this mountain road towards
5 Zenica. When we took the road, we saw HVO soldiers at
6 the Muslim cemetery. There was a fence there, so they
7 got into the Muslim cemetery and they had set up a
8 line there and the Armija was on the other side, so we
9 went through all of that and the Croat soldiers were
10 drinking water. As we were passing by, a sniper started
11 shooting at us, we had to lie down on the ground, and
12 then we continued afterwards and we found refuge in
14 Q. Haris, Franjo Krizanac was a Croat, was he not?
15 A. Yes, he was a Croat.
16 Q. Did he try to help you and the other Muslims that he
17 took into the apartment in Vitez?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. KEHOE: If I may turn to the last and final exhibit,
20 Mr. President, I believe it is 130, I do not think there
21 is going to be any problem going through these
23 JUDGE JORDA: Are these personal photos? I would like to
24 ask a question of the witness, if you permit me to.
25 Mr. Haris, Hrnjic, these are personal photos, family
1 pictures, is that what these are?
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, they are family photographs
3 and a neighbour's photograph who was murdered at the
4 time, on the day that Ribo Munib --
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, thank you. I am turning to Haris
6 Hrnjic. We are going to show you some photographs of
7 people you know. Do you agree to see them? If you do
8 not want to see them, we do not have to look at them.
9 Are you strong enough to look at these pictures to
10 identify them?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Go ahead.
13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if we can take those out? If we can go
14 to the first photograph, Haris, is that your family?
15 A. Yes, my family and friends.
16 Q. About when was this picture taken and where was it
18 A. The photograph was taken in 1989, in 1990, in Skopje.
19 Q. Was this when your brother was in the JNA?
20 A. Yes, he was doing his service.
21 Q. Can you pick out your family on the photograph?
22 A. I can. This is my father, Mehmed Hrnjic. This is me.
23 This is my brother, Admir Hrnjic, and this is my mummy,
24 Samija Hrnjic.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Go quickly, please. We have already said it
1 this morning, these are photographs that cause a great
2 deal of suffering. Does the Defence have any intention
3 of contesting these photographs? Mr. Hayman, do you have
4 any intention of contesting these photographs?
5 MR. HAYMAN: Of course not, your Honour.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I will identify these
7 photographs and then the witness will agree with what
8 the photographs are.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to say something. You are going
10 to go through the pictures quickly and say if you
11 recognise -- these are photographs of people you were
12 very close to, your relatives, you will say yes, they
13 will be put in as exhibits, the Defence does not intend
14 to challenge them and we will try to mitigate the
15 witness's suffering. Let us go very quickly, please.
16 Haris, would you go through this album very quickly so
17 that -- we have all seen them, go through them very
18 quickly, you have it in front of you, and just tell us
19 if you recognise all the photographs. Do it quickly, go
20 ahead. Try to be strong, it will be over in a few
22 A. Yes, this is my brother Admir Hrnjic.
23 JUDGE JORDA: The next one?
24 A. This is Munib Ribo with his family.
25 JUDGE JORDA: The next one?
1 A. This is Ribo Munib with his family.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, you are very brave. The Defence is
3 not going to challenge these, these will be entered as
4 what number, please?
5 THE REGISTRAR: This will be 130.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Kehoe, you can go on.
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, just to clarify, the second picture is his
8 brother, 130/2, and the last two photographs are 130/3
9 and 4, which are Ribo Munib. I have just clarified so
10 we have it sequentially. Mr. President, your Honours,
11 I have no further questions of this witness.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Haris, you will now be questioned by either
13 the attorney or attorneys of General Blaskic. This is a
14 Tribunal. The accused is presumed to be innocent, he
15 has defenders and now you must answer their questions.
16 Do not be afraid at all, the judges are here and
17 I believe it will be Mr. Nobilo, is Mr. Nobilo going to do
18 it? Very well, I give you the floor.
19 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Haris, I am Anto Nobilo, attorney for
22 General Blaskic. This is my colleague Russell Hayman.
23 He is also an attorney of General Blaskic. I only have
24 a few questions for you. When that explosion occurred
25 in the shop downstairs, when those grenades were thrown
1 when Santic was there, the next day, did you report that
2 incident to the police station in Vitez?
3 A. I do not know.
4 Q. Tell me, you said that in house number 4, there was a
5 command. What command was there?
6 A. The command of the HVO.
7 Q. For what area, do you know?
8 A. For the area of Santici.
9 Q. Is that a private house, did somebody live there before,
10 or was the command there only?
11 A. Downstairs in the house was the HVO command and upstairs
12 the Colic family had their living quarters.
13 Q. When the soldiers came, somebody called out to your
14 father saying "boss, boss"?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you recognise the voice or did you know who called
17 your father that?
18 A. No, I think I do not know. A lot of people called my
19 father "boss", he had these shops there, you know. But
20 I did not recognise the voice.
21 Q. Did somebody steal 29,000 Deutsch Marks from your house?
22 A. Yes, on 16th April 1993, when my father was called into
23 the house and they took my father's wallet and money
24 away. He told me that, he told us that when he came
25 back, he told my family about it.
1 Q. When you went towards Mujo Dedic's house, can you tell
2 me what time it was, what time of the day it was?
3 A. When we were going to Mujo Dedic's house, it was about
4 8.00 in the morning.
5 Q. Is it true that at the Colic house, Anto Papic said,
6 "I will take care of you and nobody will kill you"?
7 A. I did not hear that.
8 Q. Is that what you told the investigators before?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You did not? Thank you. Do you know Bruno Santic, the
11 son of Nenad?
12 A. Bruno Santic is the son of Zvonko Santic, not Nenad
14 Q. Did he have insignia of the Croat army of the Republic
15 of Croatia?
16 A. Yes, he did have insignia of the army of Republic of
18 Q. Where does he live?
19 A. In Donje Rovine, near Santici.
20 Q. What unit did he belong to?
21 A. He was in the special unit of Dario Kordic, in Busovaca.
22 Q. Did you ever see our client on television,
23 General Blaskic?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Did you hear what he said?
1 A. No, I did not hear anything, I just saw him with Dario
3 Q. You never paid attention to his words?
4 A. No, I did not listen.
5 Q. On 16th or 17th April 1993 in Santici, did you perhaps
6 see Blaskic in Santici, or did you ever see Blaskic in
8 A. No, I said that I only saw Dario Kordic, not Blaskic.
9 Q. In Santici then, on 16th and 17th, did anybody mention
10 General Blaskic?
11 A. I did not hear anyone mention him because I did not dare
12 listen a lot. I did not even dare watch.
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, we have concluded.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
15 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. You said in response to
17 cross-examination that Bruno Santic was a member of a
18 special unit of Dario Kordic. Do you recall being asked
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Bruno Santic told you this prior to the first conflict
22 in October 1992, did he not?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I think I failed to introduce or
25 offer into evidence Exhibit 129A and B. If I failed to
1 do so, I do so now. I know, Mr. President, you accepted
2 into evidence 130, but I offer it if I have not done
3 so. I have no further questions, thank you.
4 JUDGE JORDA: No objection from the Defence? Then
5 Registrar, this will be put under that number. No other
6 questions, Mr. Prosecutor?
7 MR. KEHOE: No thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE JORDA: It will soon be over, Haris. I turn to my
9 colleagues, perhaps they have some questions.
10 Judge Riad.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, your Honour.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. You mentioned that the HVO could not have found the
15 houses of the Muslims by themselves, they had to have
16 the help of the Croat inhabitants of the village; was
17 that right?
18 A. They must have helped them, the villagers, because they
19 were also in the HVO, most of them were, and they did
20 help them.
21 Q. Was there, in your opinion, a reason for the people of
22 the village to hate the Muslims and what provoked this
24 A. I do not know what provoked it. When I came home on
25 15th April, I came back from the school, and everything
1 was normal. I prepared everything for 16th April. We
2 were together all the time, we were neighbours, but in
3 the morning, the attack occurred and I do not know what
5 Q. Did you notice any propaganda which conditioned the
6 Croat inhabitants against the Muslims, or were you too
7 young to notice that?
8 A. After the first conflict, the situation deteriorated,
9 because then they threatened my family, they were
10 targeting the house and things like that.
11 Q. Was that particular to your house, or was it a general
13 A. I think it concerned all the Muslims. After the first
14 conflict, it just seemed that they did not want us to
15 live there.
16 Q. You mentioned that in front of the Pican's cafe the HVO
17 soldiers asked that everybody would be shot, to shoot on
18 the spot. Did they do the shooting, or was it just
20 A. They just talked about taking us to where everybody else
21 was taken, and the two who came in front of the house,
22 and who had taken us over there, they shot my father and
23 my brother.
24 Q. They were HVO?
25 A. Yes, HVO.
1 Q. Somebody said, "Nenad Santic is to be responsible for
2 anything happening". What was the role of Nenad
3 Santic? Was he a commander in the HVO, was he a
4 soldier? Why was he responsible?
5 A. He was the HVO commander in Santici and he was the one
6 who worked the most against us Muslims.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen is going to ask a few
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Haris, you went to school on
11 15th April?
12 A. Yes, I went to school.
13 Q. Where was the school?
14 A. My school was in Vitez.
15 Q. There were Croat pupils in school?
16 A. Yes, it was a school like everywhere else, so all ethnic
17 groups were there.
18 Q. Did you have friends amongst the Croat pupils at school?
19 A. Yes, I had friends.
20 Q. When you came back from school on the afternoon of
21 15th April, did you then expect to go back to school on
22 the 16th April?
23 A. Yes, I expected that and I prepared my things to go back
24 to school on the 16th, books and such.
25 Q. I take it that you expected to see your Croat friends at
1 school on 16th April?
2 A. Yes, that is what I assumed.
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Haris, it is over now. I would like to ask
5 you what you do now. At the time you were 16, now you
6 are 21, what do you do, how do you live?
7 A. I am doing my regular military service in the army of
8 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Meanwhile,
9 I graduated from the secondary school for machine
10 workers in Zenica.
11 JUDGE JORDA: We have nothing else to ask you. Would you
12 like to add something that you did not have the chance
13 to say in response to the questions that were asked of
14 you? Do you have anything that you would like to ask?
15 Have you said everything that you want to say?
16 A. Yes. I said everything that I wanted to say.
17 JUDGE JORDA: The Tribunal thanks you. It took a great deal
18 of courage to come and say all that you did. We have
19 completed what we have to do here, we can ask the usher
20 to have the witness escorted from the courtroom before
21 the next one comes in. Thank you very much.
22 A. Thank you.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 JUDGE JORDA: The Registrar has just told me this is a
25 protected witness, I am saying this for the public
1 gallery, but it is not an in camera session. We are
2 going to lower the blinds and take a few minutes to
3 bring in the next witness. Then once the protective
4 measures have been set up, we will raise the blinds
5 again so that the testimony can begin.
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President?
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Kehoe?
8 MR. KEHOE: We were informed at lunch-time that there was
9 another concern, a medical concern regarding this
10 witness. At the time that we came into the courtroom at
11 2.30, she was not here. We do not know what her status
12 is right now.
13 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We will suspend the hearing for
14 ten minutes or fifteen minutes and then we can be
15 informed what will be taking place next. We will
16 suspend the hearing for ten minutes.
17 (3.40 pm)
18 (A short break)
19 (3.50 pm)
20 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing, please be seated.
21 Mr. Harmon?
22 MR. HARMON: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. We are ready to
23 proceed with the next witness who is a protected witness
24 and will be identified as Witness I.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Witness I, we will first verify your identity,
1 but you do not state your name. The Registrar is going
2 to show you -- do you hear me, first of all?
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do hear you.
4 JUDGE JORDA: The Registrar is going to show you a piece of
5 paper with your name on it. That is your name?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 JUDGE JORDA: We will now ask you to make a declaration.
8 Please relax, you are before judges, try to be calm.
9 The Registrar is going to read you -- it is not a long
10 oath, the Registrar will read it to you and you will
11 repeat after him. Please speak slowly, Mr. Registrar.
12 WITNESS I (sworn)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You have nothing to fear, Witness
14 I. You have come at the request of the Prosecutor, he
15 will begin to ask you questions.
16 Mr. Harmon?
17 Examined by MR. HARMON
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Witness I, I would like you to
19 relax while I ask you these questions. It is okay if
20 you turn your head in my direction and turn your head
21 back toward the judges. You do not have to sit as
22 rigidly as you are at the moment. Please make yourself
23 comfortable and feel at ease before I start asking you
24 these questions. Witness I, how old are you?
25 A. 49.
1 Q. Are you a Muslim?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Where were you born and raised?
4 A. I was born in Karaula and I grew up in Karaula, near
6 Q. Karaula, approximately 7 kilometres away from Turbe?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What is your educational background?
9 A. Four.
10 Q. You had four years of education, is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Witness I, when did you move to Ahmici?
13 A. I moved in 1992 on 19th November.
14 Q. Can you explain to the judges why you moved to Ahmici on
15 that date?
16 A. On that day, we got away from the Chetniks.
17 Q. Had they been attacking your village?
18 A. Yes, it was taken.
19 Q. As a result of that, did you become a refugee and move
20 to the village of Ahmici?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you reside in Ahmici with your late husband and your
23 two children?
24 A. No, I was a refugee.
25 Q. When you lived in Ahmici, did you live there with
1 members of your family?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Who were those, without identifying them by name?
4 A. It was me, my husband and two children.
5 Q. In April 1993, how old was your late husband?
6 A. 44.
7 Q. Was he a Muslim also?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In April 1993, how old were your children?
10 A. One was 19, the other one 16.
11 Q. I believe the oldest child was a girl and the youngest
12 was a boy, is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Witness I, are you relaxed in that chair?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. When you went to Ahmici, did you occupy the
17 bottom floor of a house?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did a Muslim man occupy the top floor of the house?
20 Please do not identify his name.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was that Muslim man your landlord?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How old was your landlord?
25 A. Around 48 to 50.
1 Q. Was the house that you lived in in Ahmici in the part of
2 Ahmici known as lower Ahmici?
3 A. Lower Krcevine.
4 Q. How far away were you, that house, located from the
5 lower mosque in the village of Ahmici?
6 A. I think about 100 metres.
7 Q. Looking out of your window from the house that you, your
8 husband and two children occupied, what could you see?
9 A. I could see when they killed the son of Ahmic.
10 Q. Before we get to that particular part of your testimony,
11 from your house, could you see the Catholic cemetery and
12 could you see a large field?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Let me turn briefly and ask you some questions about
15 your late husband. While you were living in the village
16 of Ahmici, was your late husband a member of the
17 Territorial Defence?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was he a member of the Territorial Defence in your
20 former village of Karaula, or did he also continue his
21 duties as a member of the Territorial Defence in the
22 village of Ahmici?
23 A. He was in Karaula but not down there.
24 Q. So he was not a member of the Territorial Defence in the
25 village of Ahmici in April 1993, is that correct?
1 A. He was not.
2 Q. Did your husband ever go out and participate in village
3 guard duties while he was in Ahmici?
4 A. He did not.
5 Q. On 16th April 1993, were there any weapons in the part
6 of the house that you, your husband and two children
8 A. No.
9 Q. To your knowledge, Witness I, were there any weapons in
10 the part of the house that was occupied by your
12 A. No.
13 Q. Let me turn, if I could, to 16th April 1993. First of
14 all, was your husband and were your two children also
15 present in the house on that morning?
16 A. Yes, we were.
17 Q. Was the landlord upstairs?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Please tell the judges what happened on the morning of
20 April 16th 1993.
21 A. On 16th April 1993, I heard shooting around 5.50. I got
22 up, I yelled and rose my husband and my children.
23 I said that we should run if we could. When we went to
24 the hole and opened the window, we saw that it was not
25 our own army. Then we withdrew to the room, we stayed
1 there. Then I stopped talking, then there was a burst
2 of fire and some crying. Then we came out again, and
3 again wanted to run, but we could not.
4 Q. Witness I, let me interrupt you for just a minute. When
5 you looked out the window, you said you saw some
6 soldiers. Can you describe those soldiers?
7 A. When I looked through the window, we wanted to get out
8 and then they killed Husein Ahmic at that time. We saw
9 we could not get out and we returned.
10 Q. Could you identify any of those soldiers or could you
11 describe what they were wearing?
12 A. I did not know them, but they were all in camouflage
14 Q. Were their faces covered or partially covered?
15 A. Yes, two had their faces covered and two did not.
16 Q. When you looked out of the window, did you see Husein
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell the judges how old Husein Ahmic was?
20 A. Approximately over 60.
21 Q. How was he dressed on the morning of 16th April 1993?
22 A. Just regular, a pair of pants and some sweater.
23 Q. When you saw Husein Ahmic, did he have any weapons with
25 A. No, for sure.
1 Q. When you saw Husein Ahmic, where was he in relation to
2 the soldiers?
3 A. He was in front of his house and then they killed him
4 and then they pulled him around behind the shed.
5 Q. Did you actually see these soldiers kill Husein Ahmic?
6 A. Yes, we did.
7 Q. At the time you saw the soldiers kill Husein Ahmic, was
8 his house on fire or was it not on fire?
9 A. It was not at that time.
10 Q. After you saw Husein Ahmic killed, what did you do?
11 A. I saw that we could not get out, so we withdrew to the
12 room, the four of us. We sat down, I put some foam in
13 the windows and then I heard more shooting and some
14 crying, and I heard them to our house, they immediately
15 shattered the window and the glass came over us, and my
16 daughter said, "let us get out because they will throw
17 in a grenade". No sooner did we leave the room than the
18 hand grenade was lobbed in and it exploded in the room.
19 Q. What did you do after the grenade exploded in the room
20 where you, your husband and two children had been?
21 A. I was first to come out, I unlocked the door and the
22 moment I stepped out, I saw everything. I saw Sabahudin
23 Zec lying killed in front of our house and his wife
24 Hajrija with a small girl was close by. I saw a
25 soldier, two of their soldiers who were standing in the
1 road, and somebody was lying by them. That was Adnan
2 Zec who was wounded. I saw Mirsad's house on fire, as
3 well as Husein's.
4 Q. Let me interrupt you right there and ask you, you saw
5 Husein Ahmic's house on fire, is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How soon after you had seen Husein Ahmic murdered by
8 these soldiers was it that you saw his house on fire?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many minutes was it between the time you saw Husein
11 Ahmic murdered and the time you saw his house on fire?
12 A. About ten minutes.
13 Q. Was your other neighbour's house on fire as well?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was that neighbour a Muslim?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Husein Ahmic likewise was a Muslim, is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You also testified that you saw certain members of the
20 Zec family who were dead.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you identify the members of the Zec family by name
23 who you saw were dead, and their ages?
24 A. Sabahudin Zec, around 45. His wife, Hajrija Zec and
25 little Melisa, who was 6 or 7. The son Adnan, he was
1 15, he was wounded.
2 Q. Where were these bodies in relation to your house?
3 A. The Zecs? The bodies were in front of our house in the
5 Q. How far away from them were you when you saw them?
6 A. Right in front of our house, the house where I lived.
7 Q. How old was -- you said you saw a boy by the name of
8 Adnan Zec, is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was he alive or was he dead?
11 A. He was unconscious at that time.
12 Q. Do you know his age?
13 A. 15.
14 Q. Were there soldiers next to the Zec family members who
15 you have just identified?
16 A. I did not understand the question.
17 Q. Were there any soldiers standing by the members of the
18 Zec family who you have just identified?
19 A. Yes, two were standing near Adnan and two approached us.
20 Q. How were those soldiers dressed?
21 A. They also wore camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. One last question about the Zec family; were they
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. After you came out on to the front of your house, what
1 happened next? What did you do and what did members of
2 your family do?
3 A. When I unlocked the door, then they told us to
4 surrender. All four of us surrendered and the two of us
5 who threw in the hand grenade separated my husband from
6 us. We continued down the road and I do not know
7 anything about him. I heard two or three bullets and
8 I went away with my children.
9 Q. How soon after you separated from your husband was it
10 that you heard the shots, the bullet shots?
11 A. 30 metres.
12 Q. So you passed by 30 metres and then you heard shots, is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, they did not allow us to turn around.
15 Q. Have you ever seen your husband since April 16th 1993?
16 A. Never again, neither dead or alive.
17 Q. What did the soldiers tell you to do? Did they tell you
18 to leave the house? Where did they tell you to go?
19 A. To run up there.
20 Q. Where was "there"?
21 A. Towards the upper Ahmici.
22 Q. Did you hear what the soldiers told the family members,
23 the surviving family members of Husein Ahmic's family?
24 A. Yes, they expelled Samira and her two small children.
25 They did not even allow her to put socks on them.
1 Q. Do you know what happened to your landlord on April
2 16th 1993?
3 A. No, he is also missing, just like my husband.
4 Q. Do you know what happened to the house that you occupied
5 on 16th April 1993?
6 A. They set it on fire and everything burnt down in one
8 Q. How do you know that?
9 A. We know because we were told by the people from Gornji
10 Ahmici who watched it.
11 Q. Did Husein Ahmic have a son?
12 A. Yes, Munir.
13 Q. Do you know what happened to him?
14 A. Yes, Munir escaped through the bathroom window towards
15 his -- in the direction of his brother's Nedzib's house
16 and he was then wounded and the UNPROFOR took him to the
17 hospital in Travnik.
18 Q. Witness I, what did you do after you fled your house?
19 A. I went to Nezir Ahmic's house. He asked me about my
20 husband, I said I did not know, that the two men had
21 separated him from us. He told me to stay with him and
22 I said that I did not dare wait for them there, because
23 I saw what they were doing, and the children led me,
24 because I could barely walk because I had lost my
1 Q. While you were fleeing from your house, did you have an
2 opportunity at all to look back on to the part of lower
3 Ahmici? Did you see what was happening to the other
5 A. Yes, all houses were in flames. They took over
6 everything at once.
7 Q. Where did you go that night?
8 A. I went up towards upper Ahmici, to a woman, and she gave
9 me a pill and she gave me a blanket and she gave
10 something to my daughter to put on her feet because she
11 had left barefoot. Then we were given some coffee and
12 some food, then we waited until 11.00, then we went
13 towards the village of Vrhovine. We finally made it
14 there by 1.00. We were there until about 4.00 and then
15 a man from there said, "whoever wants to go to Zenica
16 should go, and the rest will stay, but it is better to
17 go because there will be shells coming", and 40 shells
18 were lobbed in there. I went to Zenica because I had
19 nothing to eat.
20 Q. Witness I, let me clarify one part of your testimony,
21 and that is the part when you described seeing the Zec
22 family. Do you know how many girls were in the Zec
24 A. There was another one and she survived.
25 Q. Do you know the name of the girl who survived?
1 A. I am not sure, one was Elisa, one was Melisa, and I do
2 not know which one was killed and which one survived.
3 Q. In April 1993, do you know the ages of those two girls?
4 A. I do not know the name of the surviving one, but it was
5 the little one, the smallest one was the one who was
6 actually killed. She was 6 to 7, the little one, and
7 maybe they were a year apart.
8 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have concluded my questions of
9 this witness. I would request that we go into a closed
10 session for a matter of just a few minutes because
11 I would like to tender some exhibits that would possibly
12 indirectly identify this witness.
13 JUDGE JORDA: We will ask the Registrar to have us go into
14 closed session. Are you going to show some photographs
15 for identification purposes?
16 MR. HARMON: No, individuals, Mr. President. A picture of a
17 house and a picture of a portion of Exhibit 50.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. So we are talking about a private
19 session then, not a closed session, is that correct?
20 MR. HARMON: Private session is fine, Mr. President. The
21 exhibits will be in the possession of counsel and
22 your Honours, so that is fine.
23 (In closed session)
13 Page 4048 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 4049 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 4050 redated - in closed session
13 Page 4051 redacted - in closed session
4 (In open session)
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, we are now in public session.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
7 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Witness I, my name is Anto Nobilo and together
10 with my colleague Mr. Hayman, we defend General Blaskic.
11 I am going to put one or two questions at the most to
12 you. Do you know how many families together with you
13 came from Karaula to Ahmici as refugees?
14 A. There were a lot of us, but I do not know how many.
15 Q. Do you know whether there were any refugees from Jajce,
16 Prijedor, Mr.konjic Grad and Banja Luka?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you ever see General Blaskic?
19 A. No.
20 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, no further questions.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I now turn to my colleagues. Judge Riad, have
22 you a question you would like to ask?
23 JUDGE RIAD: I shall call you Witness I, I shall not say
24 your name. Among the things you related was the killing
25 of the members of the Zec family, and among them was
1 little Melisa, who was six years old and Adnan, 15 years
2 old, apart from Sabahudin and his wife and all that.
3 Who killed them, do you know? Were they killed by
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You mean the soldiers killed a little child, six years
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did it happen in other families too that you know of?
10 A. As far as I know, yes, they even killed younger
11 children, three months old, three months and three days
12 old in a cradle, babies.
13 Q. By shooting them or by burning them or what?
14 A. They would shoot them and they would burn them.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Witness I, we have finished, you have been
17 very courageous, the Tribunal extends many thanks to
18 you. We will suspend the session now, we will ask the
19 witness to remain seated and we will resume in about 15
20 minutes. We are now suspending the hearing.
21 (4.35 pm)
22 (A short break)
23 (4.50 pm)
24 JUDGE JORDA: We are now resuming the hearing. Please have
25 the accused brought in.
1 (Accused brought in)
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon?
3 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, in respect of the previous
4 witness, Witness I, I failed to move to admit
5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 131 and I would do so at this
7 JUDGE JORDA: No objections from the Defence, but it seems
8 to me, I think, that we are going to bring the whole
9 court back just in order to point that out.
10 MR. HARMON: No, Mr. President, I did not ask the court to
11 come back in order to introduce that exhibit. We have
12 concluded today, Mr. President. We anticipated we would
13 have a full day with three witnesses and we finished
14 some minutes short. I apologise, but those were the
15 witnesses who were available and prepared to testify
17 JUDGE JORDA: No more witnesses now. Since we have a few
18 minutes to talk, before we adjourn the hearing, how do
19 things look for the rest of this week and next week?
20 I would like to recall that, for the judges, there is no
21 hearing tomorrow. We will resume on Thursday and Friday
22 and then next week, it will be a regular week, except
23 for Friday, which I think is the 28th. We will not be
24 meeting on the 28th, except for in the morning where we
25 have scheduled a status conference.
1 Mr. Harmon, what do things look like for the rest
2 of the week here?
3 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, in respect of the remainder of the
4 week we have three witnesses scheduled for Thursday. We
5 have forward planning where we identify witnesses two
6 weeks in advance for ourselves and for the Victims and
7 Witnesses Unit. This week, we have had some
8 difficulties, Mr. President. We have had two witnesses
9 we have identified who will not be able to appear, and
10 we are in the process of attempting to essentially find
11 additional witnesses. We have witnesses coming in for
12 the following week.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I am not sure I understand. These are tragic
14 events, I do not want to make any jokes about this here,
15 but why are you -- it seems a little strange to me to
16 say, "we did not have the witnesses who could come, so
17 we will try to find some other ones". That should not
18 be necessary, should it? It seems a bit strange for me
19 to hear that. I hope you do not mind my saying that to
20 you, I say it in a friendly way.
21 MR. HARMON: I did not intend it in perhaps the way the court
22 understood it. What I mean to say is we have witnesses
23 coming in for the following week's session. We
24 anticipate the hearing on Friday, but at this point in
25 time find ourselves in a situation where witnesses who
1 we anticipated would appear on Friday are unable to
2 appear, and if the court desires the session to proceed,
3 then the witnesses who we have summoned for the
4 following week we anticipate will be arriving on
5 Thursday evening, and we could endeavour to prepare some
6 witnesses who would be arriving on Thursday night for
7 testimony on Friday morning, if the court so desires.
8 JUDGE JORDA: When will we know that, Mr. Harmon?
9 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, the flights -- we are advised on
10 Thursday night whether the flights have arrived
11 successfully here in The Hague. Sometimes they are
12 delayed for reasons that are beyond our control, and
13 that has happened once in this case where a flight was
14 delayed, it arrived very, very late at night and we had
15 to prepare witnesses for the following morning, so we
16 anticipate it will arrive on Thursday evening at this
17 point in time, subject to the weather in that part of
18 the world, and any other potential problems dealing with
19 the timely arrival of flights.
20 JUDGE JORDA: So one could then suppose that if there are no
21 witnesses on Friday, would both the Defence and
22 Prosecution be prepared to have the status conference
23 then, instead of on the 28th?
24 MR. HARMON: On behalf of the Prosecution, Mr. President, we
25 would be prepared to have that status conference on that
2 MR. HAYMAN: We will be filing tomorrow, your Honour, a short
3 reply brief on the hearsay matter and I intend to
4 file by Friday a short reply brief on the matter of
5 source and authenticity. If those briefs need to be
6 before the court, then we would suggest that those
7 matters be addressed at a later date. We could
8 certainly go ahead with all other matters on Friday, and
9 hopefully we could --
10 JUDGE JORDA: I am not sure I quite understood. Perhaps
11 I am not understanding correctly. Are you saying that
12 you are supposed to file two additional briefs on the
13 hearsay and on the exculpatory matters?
14 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, we filed a standing objection to
15 hearsay, and a motion concerning source. The
16 Prosecution has filed a response to both of those
17 filings, and I intend to file short replies to both of
18 their responses this week. I think it would be
19 helpful -- those will be short, five pages or less,
20 I think it will be helpful for the court to have those
21 before those matters are heard. We certainly would be
22 prepared to address all other matters at a status
23 conference on Friday. We would hope, if we do that,
24 that we could recapture the 28th as a trial day, your
1 JUDGE JORDA: We cannot have the whole day for the 28th, it
2 can only be in the morning, which is why we decided
3 there would be a status conference, that we would not
4 therefore meet on the afternoon of the 28th. Now I am
5 coming back to the two questions of the hearsay and the
6 sources. You are expecting to file short responses,
7 I am asking the Prosecution and the Defence, do you want
8 these two issues to be argued before the Tribunal or do
9 you want a response only to the briefs that you will
10 have filed, including those tomorrow, or do you prefer
11 that this be argued? Because if it needs to be argued,
12 I can tell you then your briefs first have to be
13 received, and we have to wait for the translation into
14 French, which means that it would not be argued before
15 December. But we have to have the agreement of our
16 parties. Do you wish to argue or not?
17 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, our filing on hearsay was not
18 styled in the nature of a motion, it was a standing
19 objection. If the court accepts that standing
20 objection, in that form, we do not feel the need for a
21 hearing, unless it would be helpful to the court. I can
22 say with respect to the matter of source and
23 authenticity, it might well be helpful to orally address
24 that matter before the court. Again, I think that is
25 within the court's discretion. The court is never
1 compelled in a matter such as this to hold a hearing.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I think that I can speak for my colleagues.
3 My idea was to try to gain some time, which would mean
4 that if this argument is going to take up witness
5 time -- Mr. Prosecutor?
6 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, in respect of both of those
7 pleadings, the Prosecutor is prepared to submit our
8 position on the written submissions to the court.
9 MR. HAYMAN: Our first choice, your Honour, would be to have
10 trial on Friday. If there is a witness here and the
11 Prosecution can make adequate preparation, let us use
12 the day, because the court's trial time is the most
13 precious resource we all have. We wish to conserve it
14 to the highest degree.
15 JUDGE JORDA: So you are speaking now about this Friday,
16 Friday of this week, is that correct?
17 MR. HAYMAN: Friday 21st, yes, your Honour.
18 JUDGE JORDA: So if I have understood, we cannot take a
19 decision at this very moment, but we will leave things
20 stand as they are. So (i), everybody's preference is
21 that we have witnesses on Friday; (ii) that the status
22 conference would be ready, unless we bring up the issue
23 of hearsay evidence, but the point of the status
24 conference was to see where we are in this Blaskic trial
25 and having to do with the two issues I would like us to
1 try to gain some time and that the Tribunal will see in
2 light of the applications and responses on both sides,
3 we will decide then at least for the hearsay, we might
4 not need to have pleadings,. But if you wish, or rather
5 if the Tribunal decides that we should have pleadings,
6 that this will be taking witness time up and then the
7 Tribunal will ask you to be brief in your arguments,
8 because we will have all the written documents for us to
9 reach a decision.
10 On that note, we will adjourn until the day after
11 tomorrow at 10.00.
12 (5.15 pm)
13 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am
14 on Thursday, 20th October 1997)