International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Case No IT-95-14

  1. 1 Tuesday, 25th November 1997

    2 (10.00 am)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Please bring in the accused, Mr.. Registrar.

    4 (Accused brought in)

    5 JUDGE JORDA: So the interpreters are ready? Are they,

    6 yes? Everyone is ready, all set? Everyone can hear

    7 me? General Blaskic, you can hear me? The parties,

    8 Defence, Prosecutor, assistants, fellow judges? Great.

    9 Well, let us resume our proceedings, I see that

    10 Mr.. Harmon is about ready to speak. Go right ahead,

    11 sir. I suppose it is a protected witness?

    12 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President and your Honours,

    13 good morning counsel. The next witness, Mr. President

    14 and your Honours, is a protected witness. I will

    15 explain to the court what the court can expect from the

    16 testimony of this witness.

    17 First, Mr. President, the witness, who will be

    18 identified as Witness M, is a Muslim resident of middle

    19 Ahmici. The witness will testify about the presence and

    20 pre-positioning of HVO troops in the village before the

    21 attack. The witness will describe the attack on her

    22 house and the killing of her husband, she will testify

    23 about large concentrations of HVO combat troops in her

    24 part of the village on the morning of April 16th 1993.

    25 She will testify about her observations of intentional

  2. 1 fire setting to Muslim property by HVO troops. She will

    2 describe that she was used as a human shield. That is

    3 what the witness will be testifying about,

    4 Mr. President.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Mark Harmon. Now I would like

    6 to insist on what the court is looking for in terms of

    7 testimony. Yesterday, we had three witnesses, and quite

    8 frankly I am happy to see you are setting off this

    9 morning, Mr. Harmon, because yesterday morning I had the

    10 feeling that we went straight to the essentials a little

    11 bit quicker than usual, because there was testimony and

    12 then there were questions that related only to points of

    13 clarification. We did not do quite as well -- I say

    14 "we" because we are all in this together -- we did not

    15 do quite as well yesterday afternoon, so let us see

    16 whether we can abide by what we have said we will do,

    17 that is to say the witness will give us her narrative

    18 and then you will put a number of questions. This is a

    19 public session, and I would like to recall what the

    20 point of the trial is, it is a matter of going to the

    21 essentials in the case against General Blaskic for

    22 crimes of humanity committed in the Lasva Valley

    23 region. So I suggest we begin.

    24 Mr. Registrar, if you would please have the blinds

    25 lowered, Witness M will be brought in and we will read

  3. 1 out the solemn declaration while seated. That is the

    2 procedure we follow with protected witnesses.

    3 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I will abide by the court's

    4 desires. I would, however, request the court's

    5 indulgence in being able to ask this witness a number of

    6 focus questions before she gets into her narrative in

    7 order to properly set up the narrative part of her

    8 testimony.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course, Mr. Harmon. As you know, the

    10 judges, I am speaking on their behalf, never take a

    11 dogmatic stance while looking for the truth and for the

    12 essentials and the judges do not want to go into any

    13 investigations to one of the other tragic events and

    14 that would not be in the Tribunal's interest. I do not

    15 think any court could work along those lines. But the

    16 judges are not opposed to you putting questions, that is

    17 not the point, rather that you go into elements that

    18 emerge spontaneously, we keep all this in the

    19 transcript, but needless to say, you will ask the

    20 questions that you deem to be relevant, but insofar --

    21 I would ask that you let the witness go ahead with her

    22 testimony. There is no point dwelling on points except

    23 for those which you deem to be essential to your case

    24 and I think all this is perfectly compatible.

    25 MR. HARMON: Thank you.

  4. 1 (Witness entered court)

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Witness M, can you hear me, madam?

    3 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you on behalf of fellow judges for being

    5 here at the Prosecutor's office's request. Please read

    6 the solemn declaration that the Registrar is going to be

    7 putting before you.

    8 THE WITNESS: Should I get up?

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain seated because you are a

    10 protected witness and read the declaration, please.

    11 WITNESS M (sworn)

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness M. We are going to be

    13 referring to you as Witness M because you are, as

    14 I said, a protected witness. Now the Prosecutor is

    15 present here, the Defence is here, it is the Prosecution

    16 which has called you in its case against

    17 General Blaskic, who is present in the courtroom. It is

    18 a matter of testifying about events which you and

    19 unfortunately a large number of other people were

    20 affected by in the course of April 1993.

    21 The counsel for the Prosecution told us you had

    22 something to say about the HVO positions, what happened

    23 on 16th April; also in respect of how the soldiers set

    24 fire to your house; also the fact that you were taken

    25 hostage and used as a human shield. That is just a

  5. 1 number of events, of course, you can touch on others as

    2 well. Now the counsel for the Prosecution is going to

    3 be putting a few questions to you and thereafter you

    4 will comment in your own words about the events I have

    5 just mentioned and thereafter at any point of time the

    6 counsel of the Prosecution will put, as and when

    7 necessary, questions to you.

    8 Now madam, Witness M, please look and read what is

    9 on that paper, without saying what your name is, just

    10 for the sake of identification. That is you?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. So then, Mr. Harmon,

    13 please proceed.

    14 Examined by MR. HARMON

    15 Q. Witness M, good morning.

    16 A. Good morning.

    17 Q. I am going to ask you a series of focused questions

    18 before we get to your narrative, so let me begin with

    19 those questions. How old are you?

    20 A. 34.

    21 Q. Did you move to the village of Ahmici in October 1992 in

    22 order to care for the house and livestock of one of your

    23 husband's relatives?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Was that residence located in the middle part of Ahmici

  6. 1 just below the lower mosque?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. In April 1993, were you married and did you have a three

    4 and a half year old child?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Were you and your husband Muslims?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Let me ask you just a quick series of questions about

    9 your husband. Was he a soldier?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Did he fight against the Serbs at the front-lines near

    12 Turbe?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. In that regard, did he rotate to and from the front-lines

    15 from the village of Ahmici?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Would that rotation include spending ten days at the

    18 front-lines, then ten days at the barracks and then ten

    19 days at your residence in Ahmici?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. When he returned home from the front-lines, would he

    22 bring his rifle home or did he leave his rifle

    23 elsewhere?

    24 A. No, he would not bring it home. He would leave it to

    25 another soldier who would take over the shift from him.

  7. 1 Q. He would leave it at the front-lines, is that correct?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Did he participate in village guard duties in the

    4 village of Ahmici?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. When he participated in those guard duties, did he have

    7 a weapon with him?

    8 A. No.

    9 MR. HARMON: With the assistance of the usher, Mr. President,

    10 I would like Prosecutor's next exhibit, which is exhibit

    11 number 147, disseminated to your Honours, counsel and to

    12 the witness. I would ask that it not be placed on the

    13 ELMO.

    14 For the record, Mr. President, this is a detailed

    15 portion of one of the other exhibits, it has locations

    16 identified by number and it has a corresponding legend

    17 attached to it.

    18 Witness M, let me ask you, before coming in to

    19 testify today, did you point out a number of locations

    20 on what is the exhibit before you that will be relevant

    21 to your testimony?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Are those locations marked with numbers and arrows?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Did you also have an opportunity to check the legend and

  8. 1 what is indicated on the legend to determine if it

    2 accurately represents what is depicted on the exhibit,

    3 the aerial photograph?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Is the legend accurate?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Now I would like to direct your attention just briefly

    8 to the Tuesday before the attack on April 16th. Did you

    9 have a conversation with your husband about what he had

    10 seen at the Pican cafe and could you explain that

    11 briefly to the court?

    12 A. Yes. On Tuesday he came from Vitez and came by the cafe

    13 called Man, which was very close, kind of next door to

    14 Pican's cafe. He had a drink in this cafe, he saw

    15 Pican's cafe, a large number of soldiers wearing

    16 uniforms and carrying arms.

    17 Q. Were those HVO soldiers he saw?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Was he concerned and frightened about what he had seen?

    20 A. He was concerned how come there were so many soldiers

    21 there, there was no need for them to be there.

    22 Q. Now I would like to turn your attention to the night

    23 before the attack, the night of 15th April 1993. Did

    24 your husband participate in guard duties in the village

    25 of Ahmici on that night?

  9. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Would you explain to the judges what unusual

    3 observations he reported to you that he had seen?

    4 A. Around 12.30, we entered the house and we each lit a

    5 cigarette, and a shot rang out, some kind of detonation

    6 rang out in the vicinity. They stepped out of the house

    7 to see what the sound was about. He came to the dugout

    8 which the HVO members had prepared and he noticed that

    9 there was a large number of soldiers in this dugout,

    10 which was unusual. He returned but he could not see

    11 them.

    12 Q. Is the dugout indicated on Prosecutor's Exhibit 147 with

    13 a circle and the number 2 next to it?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. Did he also report seeing anything unusual at the house

    16 of Ivica Kupreskic and could you explain to the court

    17 what he reported seeing there?

    18 A. When he came back from the guard duty, he called me --

    19 he wanted me to look through the window at the house

    20 next door, which was owned by Ivica Kupreskic. In the

    21 basement there were a lot of soldiers, they were armed

    22 and they were in uniforms.

    23 Q. Is the house of Ivica Kupreskic indicated by the number

    24 1 and is it circled?

    25 A. Yes.

  10. 1 Q. Now Witness M, on 16th April, the morning of 16th April,

    2 were you at home with your husband, your small son and

    3 your husband's sister, who was aged approximately 20 or

    4 21?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Was there a pistol in the house?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. There were no other weapons, is that correct?

    9 A. No other weapons.

    10 Q. Now would you kindly tell the judges what happened to

    11 you and to members of your family on the morning of

    12 16th April 1993.

    13 A. Yes. We were awakened in the morning, we heard somebody

    14 running through the yard, I woke up, then we heard a

    15 shot and my husband was awakened and he said, "they are

    16 shooting, go and protect the child". We were in

    17 pyjamas, he was in pyjamas because we were asleep, and

    18 he went outside and at the moment he touched the knob,

    19 there was an explosion, it was probably an explosive

    20 device which had been put on the door, and then he was

    21 shot through the heart and it came out through his back

    22 and he was only able to say a word.

    23 As the shooting started through the door, at the

    24 same time the shooting started through the windows from

    25 the other side. They were shooting savagely. I took my

  11. 1 son down to the floor and I awakened his sister and

    2 I told them to be quiet. I saw that it was 5.35 in the

    3 morning. I saw that he was hit in the heart area, and

    4 his arms were also bloodied. I saw the exit wound on

    5 his back, it was large. Then he started shivering.

    6 I managed to get some water to wash his face. Then the

    7 blood started coming out of his mouth. I turned him to

    8 the side, but there was nothing I could do. He died.

    9 I checked his pulse and here the pulse (indicates), and

    10 there was no sign of heart beat.

    11 We tried to stay composed. I knew that if we

    12 utter a voice or if we made any noise that they would

    13 come in and shoot us too. Then they threw a grenade

    14 into the room where my mother-in-law was asleep --

    15 sorry, my sister-in-law. We were afraid. The glass on

    16 the windows was already shattered, there was still

    17 shooting going on and they were calling out, "come out,

    18 traitors. We fed you and you betrayed us".

    19 I apologised a little bit but they said, "fuck Alija",

    20 and they cursed our balijas mother and things like

    21 that.

    22 My sister-in-law proposed that we should come out

    23 and surrender. I was not prepared to surrender because

    24 I knew if we would surrender that we would be killed,

    25 both we and the child, and the shooting went on

  12. 1 constantly.

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 house below was also empty. There was a bag in my room

    8 which I took, it was an empty bag, I put my robe in it

    9 and the pistol. I returned to my sister-in-law and

    10 I told her that we should jump out of the window. We

    11 were afraid, but we had no other way out, because the

    12 smoke was already coming into the room and also the dust

    13 from the bullet fire, and we were choking. I told her

    14 that I would go first.

    15 When I came back from that room, and while I was

    16 saying this to her, as I was closing the door, the door

    17 slammed, and after that there was a burst of fire and

    18 the glass shattered and another hand grenade was thrown

    19 into that room. It exploded and we were protected by

    20 the wall. We pulled back as far as we could, and then

    21 there was a lull. I saw that we had no way out, we

    22 could not use the door because we heard them out in the

    23 yard, we heard footsteps and we overheard their

    24 conversation, I was too frightened to listen to what the

    25 conversation was about.

  13. 1 We both kissed my husband, we went to the room and

    2 I jumped through the window first. When I was about to

    3 jump, there was nobody around. As I was jumping, two

    4 soldiers approached.

    5 Q. Witness M, let me interrupt you in your narrative right

    6 there just to ask you a couple of questions to clarify.

    7 Witness M, how was your husband dressed when he

    8 approached the front door when he was killed?

    9 A. My husband was wearing the pyjamas in which he was

    10 sleeping.

    11 Q. When he approached the front door, was he armed or

    12 unarmed?

    13 A. No, he was not armed.

    14 Q. All right. Could you please continue then with your

    15 narrative?

    16 A. Two soldiers approached me, one of them asked me whether

    17 I had weapons. I told him that I did not. The other

    18 one took the bag and took the pistol out and he said,

    19 "what is this?"; I said, "a pistol". They asked me

    20 whether I had any other weapons. I told them that I did

    21 not. "Do you have any grenades", I told them I did not,

    22 as we did not have any. Then my sister-in-law threw the

    23 child out of the window, which I took in my arms and

    24 then she jumped. They then asked me where my husband

    25 was, while she kept silent. I told him that they had

  14. 1 killed him. I told them, "you killed him, what did he

    2 do to you?".(redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted) I had no idea where to go, in

    9 which direction to go. I asked him, "can I please take

    10 my husband out?". They said, "no, you cannot". "May

    11 I take the shoes for my child?"; she was barefoot, in

    12 fact we were all barefoot, we had not put on any shoes.

    13 One of them told me that I could.

    14 I started for the entrance door to the house and

    15 then I saw there was a new house being built next door

    16 to where we lived. I saw about 15 soldiers. They had

    17 camouflage uniforms on and weapons. Their faces were

    18 painted black, and one of them shot at us. He said,

    19 "back", and he cursed our mothers. We went back and in

    20 order to get to the main road, I had to pass Meho

    21 Hrustanovic's house. Next to the house and in the

    22 garage, in the yard, there were between 20 to 30 HVO

    23 soldiers. They told us again to run, and I can quote

    24 them verbatim, "go now towards the wood, run. If your

    25 people start shooting at us, we will kill you", so we

  15. 1 had to.

    2 As it was raining and we were barefoot and it was

    3 a macadam road, muddy, we slipped, but they hit us with

    4 rifle butts in our backs and (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 they took out the cow, another soldier opened a door,

    9 there was a staircase, that is where the hay was kept,

    10 and tossed in something and set the barn afire. Suad's

    11 wife and children also came out of the house and then

    12 they threw hand grenades into that house too and set it

    13 on fire.

    14 We passed his house, and we were looking for

    15 shelter where we would hide. We hid behind a house

    16 which had been under construction, was not completed, so

    17 the bottom part was finished and there was a concrete

    18 slab put on top, and that is where my sister-in-law and

    19 my child and Suad's family, his wife and his children

    20 and his father, mother, sister and their children and

    21 myself were all -- went. The father came back and saw

    22 that the barn was on fire. He wanted to let the

    23 livestock out so that it would not burn alive, but that

    24 is where he was killed. When I looked towards my house,

    25 I turned around and I could see it. The barn was on

  16. 1 fire, the summer kitchen, the shed where we kept wood

    2 and the house itself. It was all on fire. I knew that

    3 my husband was burning.

    4 We spent a short while in this shelter, I did not

    5 see the soldiers any more, I was not even aware what was

    6 going on with me. We took the road leading to the

    7 forest and the village of Vrhovine. When we walked

    8 along that road, they shot at us. We fell down, we

    9 started crawling, there was a curve in the road and we

    10 crawled until we got into the shelter of the trees.

    11 There was a clearing of field, there was nothing there,

    12 that we had to pass. It took a long time to cover that

    13 space, but we could not, they shelled us from Hrazne,

    14 from their positions. We crawled to a barbed -- to some

    15 thorny bushes and somehow we passed through there and we

    16 reached the forest and started going towards Vrhovine.

    17 Q. All right, Witness M, thank you. Let me ask you some

    18 questions now to clarify parts of your testimony.

    19 You testified that when you jumped out of your

    20 house you saw two soldiers. Can you describe what those

    21 soldiers were wearing, how they were dressed, how they

    22 were equipped?

    23 A. Yes. The soldiers wore camouflage uniforms, they had

    24 caps on their heads. Their faces were painted black

    25 with some kind of black cream. They were armed, they

  17. 1 had guns, and I saw that on their belts they had

    2 grenades. The man who took my pistol away put it on his

    3 belt, like this (indicates). They had knives.

    4 Q. You also testified, Witness M, that you saw two large

    5 groups, two concentrations of soldiers. One was

    6 approximately 15 and the other was a concentration of

    7 soldiers approximately 20 to 30. Those were two

    8 separate groups of soldiers you saw, is that correct?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Were those soldiers dressed in the same way that the two

    11 soldiers you have just described were dressed?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Referring to the exhibit that is in front of you, let me

    14 orient you through this exhibit. Number 3 represents

    15 the location of your residence in middle Ahmici, is that

    16 correct?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Number 4 represents the location where you saw these 15

    19 heavily armed soldiers, is that correct?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Number 5 is the area where you saw another group, a

    22 separate group of approximately 20 to 30 heavily armed

    23 soldiers dressed in camouflage uniforms, is that

    24 correct?

    25 A. Yes.

  18. 1 Q. The line that is in the pink, that represents the route

    2 that you and your sister-in-law and small child and

    3 others took to get away from what had happened in middle

    4 Ahmici, is that correct?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. While you were walking, fleeing the village, were you

    7 being followed by a group of soldiers immediately behind

    8 you?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. In your opinion, were you being used as a human shield

    11 when you were being followed by those soldiers and can

    12 you explain to the court why you believe you were being

    13 used as a human shield?

    14 A. Yes. That part of the road, where they told us, "run,

    15 if your people start shooting we will kill you", it was

    16 a clearing, a meadow. There were not any houses there.

    17 Perhaps it was about 50 metres long, not more than

    18 that. Roughly about 50 metres. They used it to get to

    19 the upper part of the village of Ahmici, in order to

    20 take positions up there, because this is where Suad's

    21 house was, his father, and also there was shrubbery,

    22 there were bushes there. They took up positions there

    23 in order to get to the other part of the village of

    24 Ahmici, so that they could do up there what they did to

    25 us.

  19. 1 Q. At a certain point, the soldiers let you proceed and

    2 then you said in your testimony, "they shot at us". Who

    3 is "they"?

    4 A. The soldiers who were following us.

    5 Q. When you looked back toward your house, there were a

    6 number of other Muslim houses in and around your house.

    7 What was the condition of those other Muslim houses?

    8 A. All of them were on fire, all of them were set on fire.

    9 Q. There were also houses that belonged to Bosnian Croats.

    10 What was the condition of their houses?

    11 A. These houses are undamaged until the present day.

    12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, with the court's permission

    13 I would request that we go into private session because

    14 I would like to show the witness a photograph and have

    15 her identify it. I have explained -- actually,

    16 Mr. President, we do not have to go into private session,

    17 I can do it without a private session, but I have

    18 explained to the witness that I will be showing her a

    19 photograph. I have told her about the court's concerns,

    20 she has informed me that she would like the court to

    21 have this photograph in evidence, and that she feels

    22 strong enough that she can identify it. After the

    23 identification of the photograph, Mr. President, then

    24 I will be requesting that we go into private session.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Well, fine. We will proceed in that manner.

  20. 1 I think the best thing would be to go straight into

    2 private session. No objection from the Defence? Fine.

    3 So Witness M, we are going to go into a private

    4 session. You are still under protection, of course.

    5 (In closed session)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

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    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

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    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

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    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

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    23 (redacted)

    24 (In open session)

    25 JUDGE JORDA: There we go, we are in a public session.

  24. 1 Please proceed.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Tell me, we are not going to mention

    3 your husband's name, but generally speaking, what unit

    4 did he belong to?

    5 A. The 325th.

    6 Q. The 325th. What battalion?

    7 A. I do not know that.

    8 Q. Thank you. You said that there was a dugout, it has

    9 been circled as number 2.

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Tell me, is that a new dugout, or did it exist before?

    12 A. It was newly made.

    13 Q. When was it made?

    14 A. From January to April 1993.

    15 Q. The night before the attack, you said that your husband

    16 was on guard with his partner Kermo and then that he

    17 came over for coffee to your place. Did he also watch

    18 television?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. What was on television? Did you also watch it?

    21 A. There was --

    22 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I object. I think that is outside

    23 the scope of the direct examination.

    24 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President --

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I was not sure, I am not sure that

  25. 1 that is outside the scope right now, so please do

    2 proceed, Mr. Nobilo, but do focus your question.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Yes, exactly. In her

    4 examination-in-chief, the lady spoke of the evening

    5 before, so just a few more details. What was on

    6 television --

    7 A. Broadcast from --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I am afraid that question is not illegitimate,

    9 Mr. Harmon, so please do proceed, Mr. Nobilo.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. So what was on television, once

    11 again?

    12 A. Studio Busovaca HTV from Busovaca was showing a telecast

    13 and as soon as it ended on Busovaca, then TV Vitez took

    14 this over.

    15 Q. Did you see Dario Kordic, specifically, speaking? Did

    16 he say something about the situation?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. What was on TV, could you tell us about it?

    19 A. As far as I can remember, he was calling upon the

    20 Croatian people to defend themselves and he mentioned

    21 that they were attacked by the Muslim forces. He did

    22 not call the BH army "the army", he called them "the

    23 Muslim forces".

    24 Q. Was our defendant Tihomir Blaskic on television?

    25 A. I am not sure.

  26. 1 Q. Did he say anything about that, do you remember

    2 something like that?

    3 A. I cannot remember.

    4 Q. When was your husband's shift up?

    5 A. At 2400.

    6 Q. Who did he hand the shift over to?

    7 A. I do not know.

    8 Q. Did he go to sleep that night?

    9 A. When he came back, he called me into the room and he

    10 asked me to look through the window to see Ivica

    11 Kupreskic's house because in the basement of that house

    12 he saw a lot of armed soldiers, which was unusual

    13 compared to other evenings.

    14 Q. Did he watch television again, listen to the radio, or

    15 did he normally go back to sleep?

    16 A. We went to bed, but he kept watching television and he

    17 also had a small transistor radio, battery operated, and

    18 he was listening to it, it was by his ear and I fell

    19 asleep and he woke me up once again, because he was

    20 listening to the news.

    21 Q. What is your assessment? Was he disturbed, was he upset

    22 or was he simply listening to the news?

    23 A. He was quite upset after he had seen the soldiers at

    24 Pican's cafe and after everything he had seen over the

    25 past few days, he was very upset. He had a feeling that

  27. 1 something would happen, and he kept saying that he would

    2 get killed, that he would be killed.

    3 Q. Tell me, do you know whether he told the people who took

    4 over the guard from him what he saw?

    5 A. He was in Thursday -- on Thursday he was at home all

    6 day, so no one came to see us and he did not go

    7 anywhere. He was upset, he was quite upset. He was at

    8 home. He did not tell anyone.

    9 Q. You did not understand me. That night, when he handed

    10 over the shift to someone else at 2400, did he tell

    11 anyone that he saw a concentration of soldiers?

    12 A. I do not know.

    13 Q. When the shooting started at dawn --

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. -- did you phone someone?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Who did you phone?

    18 A. I called a friend, a lady from the upper part of the

    19 village, and I told her that my husband was wounded and

    20 that she should somehow try to get in touch with the

    21 UNPROFOR forces so that they would come and get him out.

    22 Q. Did you call her husband Musa -- did you want to call

    23 her or Musa Berbic?

    24 A. Anyone from that house. Musa was a good friend of my

    25 husband's, his father and his mother, so we were family

  28. 1 friends. Whoever had answered the phone, I just thought

    2 it was absolutely necessary to try to call someone

    3 urgently from Vitez UNPROFOR to help my husband to get

    4 out.

    5 Q. Why did you call them? Why did you not make an urgent

    6 call? Why Musa Berbic?

    7 A. Because I did not know the number. He was simply a good

    8 friend of my husband's.

    9 Q. When the soldiers came and when they asked about Sakib

    10 Ahmic's house, did they ask about something else, about

    11 trenches, positions?

    12 A. Yes, they asked, "are there any of your people in the

    13 forest? Where are your positions? Are there dugouts?

    14 Where are your trenches", et cetera.

    15 Q. What did you answer?

    16 A. I said I did not know.

    17 Q. Now about the live shield. At the moment when the

    18 soldiers were following you, was there anyone shooting

    19 from upper Ahmici, the Muslims?

    20 A. No, no one was there.

    21 Q. So no one was shooting towards you?

    22 A. I did not see anyone. No one was shooting, there was

    23 not any shooting at all.

    24 Q. During the investigation, you did not talk about this

    25 live shield, you were just saying that the soldiers were

  29. 1 following you?

    2 A. That meant that we were being used as such a shield. It

    3 was not that they were following us nicely.

    4 Q. My colleague is telling me that the word in English

    5 should be "escorted", that the soldiers were escorting

    6 you, so it was not that they were behind you, that you

    7 were being used as a living shield. Did you talk about

    8 this living shield to the investigators?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Did you tell them that they were accompanying you,

    11 coming with you?

    12 A. That is not company when somebody is hitting you in the

    13 back with a rifle butt.

    14 Q. You said that they were shooting at you. How do you

    15 explain the fact that you were not killed when you were

    16 close to them and when they were shooting at you while

    17 you were far away?

    18 A. When we moved from the yard of Suad Ahmic, when we went

    19 along this line (indicates), you have it there in the

    20 diagram, and we were moving towards the forest and they

    21 were shooting at us. They did not want to kill us, they

    22 wanted to frighten us.

    23 Q. Did you see who was shooting and in what direction?

    24 A. No, no, they were shooting in our direction, because

    25 they were down here (indicates) and they were shooting

  30. 1 behind us.

    2 Q. Did you see who was shooting?

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. Just as you told us now, is that what you told the

    5 investigators too, before?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Thank you. I am going to read a quotation to you and

    8 tell me whether this is what you told the investigators

    9 and whether it is true:

    10 "Ahmici was on the main road and that was the only

    11 Muslim village between Novi Travnik, Vitez and

    12 Busovaca."

    13 A. By the road?

    14 Q. Yes.

    15 A. Exactly.

    16 Q. Did you tell them that Pero Skopljak was director of TV

    17 Vitez?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Just a minute, Mr. President, may I consult with

    20 my colleague? (Pause).

    21 Another quotation, my colleague reminded me, these

    22 two soldiers, did they say, "do not shoot because there

    23 are women and children here"?

    24 A. "Do not shoot, there are women and a child here".

    25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, we have thus

  31. 1 concluded.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Counsel for the Prosecutor's office, any

    3 points of clarification.

    4 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.

    6 Re-examined by MR. HARMON

    7 Q. Mr. Nobilo asked you, Witness M, whether or not you were

    8 being "escorted" by these soldiers down the road that is

    9 indicated on the exhibit that is in front of you. Can

    10 you tell the judges in your own words what the soldiers

    11 were doing to you, what they were saying to you and what

    12 they did to you after they left your company, so we can

    13 describe this "escort" clearly.

    14 MR. HAYMAN: I would just note, your Honour, it misstates my

    15 co-counsel's question. His question was, "did you tell

    16 the investigators when you were interviewed that you

    17 were escorted?".

    18 JUDGE JORDA: I do not agree with you at all on that,

    19 Mr. Hayman. You yourself raised this point, which I do

    20 think is quite important. When it comes to the criminal

    21 legal terminology, since it is a matter of human shield,

    22 and you in your cross-examination, or Mr. Nobilo, had

    23 spelled out in particular as far as the translation into

    24 English goes, the use of the word "escort". Please let

    25 me finish. I do not think it is illegitimate for the

  32. 1 counsel of the Prosecutor's office to make it clear

    2 exactly what it was the witness was trying to say. You

    3 do not look convinced, go ahead.

    4 MR. HAYMAN: I do not object to Mr. Harmon going into the

    5 area. My objection was that he stated in his question

    6 that Mr. Nobilo characterised the event as an escort. He

    7 did not. He asked the witness if she had characterised

    8 it as an escort when she was interviewed. He misstated

    9 my colleague's question and that was my point.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Let us not get too bogged down by details.

    11 The main thing is to know how Witness M experienced that

    12 moment and that is what the judges would like to know,

    13 so I have taken note of your point, Mr. Hayman, so do not

    14 worry about that. You were clear.

    15 Counsel for the Prosecution, I take it then that

    16 what you are going to ask is exactly what it was that

    17 the witness experienced at the point in time in

    18 question. Please proceed.

    19 MR. HARMON: That is correct, Mr. President. Please proceed,

    20 Witness M.

    21 A. When I came to the house of Meho Hrustanovic and when

    22 they said we should run, run away, run towards the

    23 forest, "if your people start shooting at us", I mean at

    24 them, "we are going to kill you". That is what they

    25 said. We were walking slowly, we were barefoot, we did

  33. 1 not have any shoes on our feet, we were slipping and

    2 they were forcing us to go faster, to run, and they were

    3 hitting us in the back with rifle butts.

    4 Q. After they left you, then you were shot at, is that

    5 correct?

    6 A. They stayed in the yard of Suad Ahmic. Above Suad's

    7 house we came to a shelter, so they remained at the

    8 first house over here, they stayed here in the yard and

    9 then they were shooting after us.

    10 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions, Mr. President.

    11 I would like to have the Exhibit 147, the accompanying

    12 legend and the photograph placed under seal, because it

    13 could indirectly identify the witness if it is public.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: No objection? Fine, let me look at fellow

    15 judges. Judge Riad I am sure will have some points of

    16 clarification before we let Witness M go. Go right

    17 ahead, Judge Riad.

    18 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, I will call you Witness M,

    19 I should not say your name.

    20 I would like to have some idea of where you

    21 exactly lived. You were in the middle of Ahmici, right,

    22 of the village of Ahmici?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Ahmici is a Muslim village, all of it?

    25 A. The majority are Muslim houses, there are a few --

  34. 1 Q. I am sorry. Would you please repeat?

    2 A. The majority of the houses were Muslim, and a few houses

    3 marked here were owned by Croats.

    4 Q. Is it surrounded by Croat villages or the other villages

    5 around are also majority Muslims?

    6 A. Surrounded by Croat villages.

    7 Q. So it is almost the only Muslim village in the centre,

    8 in the middle?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. You said your husband saw, when he was coming from

    11 Pican's cafe, he saw large agglomerations of HV soldiers

    12 and he was very disturbed to see that. Was there any

    13 clear reason why these soldiers were coming to take

    14 their positions in Ahmici? Was there any fighting in

    15 this area? Were the Muslims attacking? Did you notice

    16 any attacks?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. No attacks?

    19 A. No attacks, no.

    20 Q. So the area was peaceful?

    21 A. It was quite peaceful.

    22 Q. Where were the Muslim forces? Do you have an idea where

    23 the Muslim forces were? Were they fighting on the front

    24 with the Serbs or were they fighting the Croats? What

    25 were they doing?

  35. 1 A. They were on the front-line, they were fighting the

    2 Serbs. There was no resistance in Ahmici, if that is

    3 the word to use.

    4 Q. You said that your house was burnt and all the Muslim

    5 houses when you looked were burnt, but not the Croat

    6 houses. Were these Muslim houses, to your knowledge,

    7 just houses of families living in it, or were they

    8 centres of resistance from where there were shots or

    9 anything? Were there just people living inside,

    10 children, women or concentration of people, Muslims

    11 fighting back?

    12 A. These were Muslim houses where people lived with their

    13 families, their children, a normal life. There were not

    14 any centres of resistance.

    15 Q. Nobody started shooting from there and provoked the

    16 whole situation?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. You mentioned that while watching TV, you heard Kordic

    19 calling upon Croats to fight the Muslims, is that

    20 right? Could you precisely say what you heard, or you

    21 cannot remember.

    22 A. Yes. All day on television these Easter celebrations

    23 were telecast, and Kordic, Dario Kordic was making a

    24 speech. There were other people present there, and in

    25 that speech, among other things, because I was not

  36. 1 following it non-stop, but I saw that part, my husband

    2 said, "come over and listen to this". He called upon

    3 the Croat people to fight against the Muslims. He

    4 mentioned that the Croats are attacked by Muslim forces,

    5 and he also mentioned that technically, they are

    6 superior and they could beat the Muslim forces.

    7 Q. Was there any attack from Ahmici? Were there any Muslim

    8 forces? I am sorry, I am repeating my question. Was

    9 what he said -- more or less, did it correspond to the

    10 situation on the ground and was there a Muslim attack?

    11 A. No, no.

    12 Q. Do you have an idea where the people of Ahmici went

    13 after their houses were burnt? Did they stay or were

    14 they kicked out of the village?

    15 A. A few were taken away to a camp and from this part, my

    16 neighbours, quite a few were killed. The survivors fled

    17 with me. The family of Suad Ahmic, his father was

    18 killed, and I, we went towards Vrhovine. Vrhovine was a

    19 Muslim village which was free, although it was under

    20 grenade attacks on the outskirts, but there were not any

    21 soldiers in the village.

    22 Q. So no Muslims were left in Ahmici after these events?

    23 Nobody could stay?

    24 A. No.

    25 Q. Did people come back after that to Ahmici? Did Muslims

  37. 1 come back?

    2 A. Muslim, no.

    3 Q. So it is now being completely inhabited by Croats?

    4 A. All the Muslim houses have been burned down, the Croat

    5 houses are undamaged. The Croats lead a normal life,

    6 there is not a single Muslim. They have nowhere to live

    7 because all their houses have been burned down.

    8 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen? Thank you, Judge Riad.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Witness, you described some of the

    11 soldiers you saw as being in camouflage uniform. You

    12 had been in the area for some time. Can you help the

    13 court to identify these soldiers a little more clearly?

    14 Were they Muslim soldiers or Croat soldiers?

    15 A. All the soldiers I saw that morning were members of the

    16 HVO.

    17 Q. They were all members of the HVO. Thank you. Defence

    18 counsel, Mr. Nobilo, asked you a question about TV shows

    19 which you saw on the night of 15th April, and I think he

    20 asked a question about General Blaskic.

    21 A. Excuse me.

    22 Q. Sorry. You gave a certain answer. Did you know

    23 General Blaskic before that date?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. How did you know him? Did you see him physically?

  38. 1 A. I did not know him personally. Physically, I had not

    2 seen him. Every time I saw him, I saw him on

    3 television.

    4 Q. Did you see him alone on television or in the company

    5 with others?

    6 A. A couple of times when I saw him on television he was in

    7 the company of Dario Kordic and Ignjac Kostroman from

    8 Busovaca.

    9 Q. Did you have the impression that he belonged to the same

    10 group as Mr. Kordic?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Did you see him on television during the day of

    13 15th April?

    14 A. No, I am not sure, because I was watching the part when

    15 Dario Kordic was speaking, I had housework to do, so

    16 I could not watch all of it.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    19 We have concluded, Witness M. The Tribunal would

    20 like to thank you. It is quite an ordeal to come here

    21 several years later and tell us about these tragic

    22 events. We do hope that you will return home and that

    23 you will find, insofar as possible, more peace of mind.

    24 Now the court is going to take a break for 20

    25 minutes and we will be resuming with the next witness.

  39. 1 Thank you very much, Witness M.

    2 (The witness withdrew)

    3 (11.20 am)

    4 (A short break)

    5 (11.40 am)

    6 JUDGE JORDA: The court is back in session. Have the

    7 accused brought in.

    8 (Accused brought in)

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Counsel for the Prosecutor's office, please?

    10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, your Honours, good morning.

    11 The next witness is not a protected witness, her name is

    12 Habiba Pjanic. If I could say at the outset,

    13 Mr. President, your Honours, Ms. Pjanic is not feeling

    14 particularly well so I just bring that to your Honours'

    15 attention. She informed me this morning. However, she

    16 does want to proceed.

    17 With regard to the factual basis for Ms. Pjanic's

    18 testimony, she, along with her family, lived in the

    19 lower Ahmici area. The focus of her testimony,

    20 your Honours, will be directed towards the events of

    21 16th April 1993, where her husband had departed earlier

    22 in the morning to go to the morning prayer at the

    23 mosque, which you will see from the map is directly up

    24 the street from her residence. Shortly thereafter, just

    25 after the commencement of the morning prayer, HVO

  40. 1 soldiers came to her house, shot incendiary bullets

    2 through the house, came into the house, took her then

    3 oldest residing son, who was in the house, by the name

    4 of Muamer, up to the top floor, forced him to jump off

    5 the second floor balcony and then shot him in the head.

    6 After that murder, they continued with the

    7 youngest son, who also jumped off the balcony, but

    8 miraculously escaped. Their youngest daughter was

    9 likewise living at the residence, and the soldiers told

    10 her that she was going to be taken to the bungalow and

    11 raped at that location. However, because she was in the

    12 middle of her period at that time she was not raped, and

    13 after they lost attention, or did not keep their

    14 attention on the daughter, she escaped along with the

    15 mother and they then escaped up into Gornji Ahmici, as

    16 with the prior witness, went into a Muslim village that

    17 was outside of Pirici, by the name of Vrhovine.

    18 In addition, Mr. President, while she was there,

    19 she heard orders of HVO soldiers to burn everything,

    20 burn all the houses. We will likewise identify several

    21 photographs, Mr. President, your Honours, that we

    22 previously introduced into evidence. I have put those

    23 photographs next to the ELMO for their display and for

    24 the record, those are Exhibit 47/71 and 47/72. That is

    25 essentially the crux of the witness's testimony,

  41. 1 Mr. President.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, thank you, Mr. Kehoe. Registrar, perhaps

    3 you could ask the usher to show Ms. Habiba Pjanic in.

    4 How long do we expect her testimony to last, Mr. Kehoe?

    5 MR. KEHOE: I would say, Mr. President, approximately 45

    6 minutes.

    7 (Witness entered court)

    8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could ask, as with my

    9 colleague Mr. Harmon, several preliminary directed

    10 questions so we can focus the balance of our time on

    11 16th April, I would appreciate it greatly.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Can you hear me, madam?

    13 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Could you tell the Tribunal your first and

    15 last names, please?

    16 THE WITNESS: My name is Habiba Pjanic.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Now the usher is going to provide

    18 you with the text of the solemn declaration. Would you

    19 please read that?

    20 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    21 MS. HABIBA PJANIC (sworn)

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, madam. Please be seated. There is

    23 nothing to be afraid of, madam. You have shown a lot of

    24 courage to make it this far, you are under the

    25 Tribunal's protection. The counsel for the Prosecutor's

  42. 1 office has asked you to come to court, you will be

    2 answering his questions, you are going to be telling us

    3 about what happened at the mosque, about your husband,

    4 your sons, what happened to your daughter, what you

    5 heard. So you will be providing your testimony. First

    6 you will be asking some -- you will be answering some

    7 preliminary questions from the Prosecutor, and then you

    8 will give us your own narrative about what you

    9 experienced and we will be putting some questions to

    10 you. So that would be it. Go right ahead, Mr. Kehoe.

    11 But first, if there is anything that is not all

    12 right, madam, do not be shy, let us know, we will

    13 interrupt and we will do what it takes to see that you

    14 feel better. Speak with your mind at rest. Please

    15 proceed, counsel.

    16 Examined by MR. KEHOE

    17 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

    18 Good morning, Ms. Pjanic.

    19 A. Good morning.

    20 Q. Ms. Pjanic, how old are you?

    21 A. I was born in 1943.

    22 Q. Ms. Pjanic, are you a Muslim?

    23 A. Yes, I am.

    24 Q. Until 16th April 1993, did you and your family live in

    25 the village of Ahmici?

  43. 1 A. I was born in Ahmici and I lived there, except for one

    2 year and a half. I only spent a year and a half outside

    3 of Ahmici in my whole life. I lived there throughout my

    4 life.

    5 Q. You lived with your husband and your children, is that

    6 correct, Ms. Pjanic?

    7 A. With my five children.

    8 Q. On 16th April, you were actually living with three of

    9 your children because two had gotten married and moved

    10 out, is that correct?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Before we go into the events, your husband, how old is

    13 your husband today, or when was he born?

    14 A. In 1939, my husband was born in 1939.

    15 Q. Prior to the events of 16th April 1993, was your husband

    16 in the Territorial Defence?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. What did he do in the Territorial Defence?

    19 A. I cannot say when it was formed. It was a short period

    20 of time, because he was a retiree and so they released

    21 him. He only spent a very short period of time there.

    22 During the conflict and before he was not there.

    23 Q. So at the time 16th April, your husband was already a

    24 retiree, is that correct?

    25 A. Yes, that is correct.

  44. 1 Q. Your two sons that were living with you on 16th April,

    2 Muamer and Mirza, when were they born?

    3 A. Muamer was born in 1972 and Mirza in 1979.

    4 Q. Were they also in the Territorial Defence?

    5 A. Muamer yes, but Mirza was too young. He was under age

    6 at that time.

    7 Q. And your daughter that lived with you at the time was

    8 Muamera, is that correct?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Ms. Pjanic, let me direct your attention to the events

    11 that began on 16th April 1993. Can you tell the judges

    12 what happened on the morning of 16th April 1993?

    13 A. On 16th April 1993, my husband and I and my daughter

    14 Muamera got up for the Sabah. He went to the mosque, he

    15 unlocked the door and he wanted to lock behind him so

    16 that we would not have to get up. We waited that he

    17 come back from the Sabah. I heard a strong powerful

    18 explosion and that is when the mosque was hit. That is

    19 when they all were already praying to God, when the

    20 mosque was hit. Then shortly thereafter, my house was

    21 attacked. They started shooting at my house. My

    22 daughter was praying to God and I was preparing coffee,

    23 so that we could drink it, and a bullet flew past my

    24 head and hit the wall, and my daughter was still

    25 praying, and when she was done, I went to see what was

  45. 1 going on with my son Muamer, who was in the other room,

    2 and he was putting on clothes. I told him, "Muamer,

    3 they are shooting from all sides", the glass was

    4 shattering all around. I said, "Muamer, my son, we have

    5 been attacked".

    6 I went to the other room to see where Mirza was.

    7 Mirza was also awakened by the shooting and he was

    8 putting on a track suit. Then we all went into the

    9 pantry. That is where we went when the first conflict

    10 happened. That is where we were waiting for our fate.

    11 Then I heard someone say -- they had come in front of

    12 the house and there was a barn there too, it was about

    13 20 metres away and I heard them say, "burn here, burn

    14 everything that is here". They set the barn on fire and

    15 the livestock all burnt alive. I did not want to let

    16 them burn my cows, but they said, "come out", and I said

    17 I could not because we were locked inside the house.

    18 They said, "who is at home?" I said, "just myself and

    19 my children".

    20 Then a soldier came into the room and then through

    21 the hallway to the pantry, with the rifle pointed at

    22 us. His face was painted with something, I could not

    23 recognise him, and he had something on his head.

    24 He took my son Muamer from the pantry, and took

    25 him down the hallway, and he kept his rifle pointed at

  46. 1 his head, and he took him to the room -- took him out to

    2 the balcony and I overheard him say, "jump". A few

    3 shots rang out and then he came for Mirza and myself.

    4 He left my daughter in the back pantry and told her not

    5 to move from there. When I came out to the balcony,

    6 Mirza jumped down. I saw him running across a field,

    7 there was an open field, and one of them said, "you will

    8 see, I can hit him". I did not know where to look

    9 first, whether at Mirza or Muamer, because Muamer was

    10 already dead, and I saw blood coming out of his head.

    11 At that moment, I felt lost, and he said, "jump",

    12 and I said, "no. If you are going to kill me

    13 downstairs, you might as well kill me here". I saw my

    14 life was over. When I looked again, my neighbours'

    15 houses were on fire all the way down. I saw that we

    16 were all finished. I think that I would not survive.

    17 Again he yelled at me "jump" and I said, "no. If you

    18 are going to kill me down there, you can kill me here".

    19 He said, "break the door open", it was a thick oak door,

    20 then he kicked it a few times, he could not open it,

    21 then he shot at it and he shot it open.

    22 Then he left me there, he said, "do not budge. If

    23 you move, I will kill you. You will see now what we

    24 will do to your daughter". At that moment I forgot

    25 about the death of my sons -- I thought that Mirza was

  47. 1 killed too -- now I was focusing on what is going to

    2 happen to my daughter. I was worried, I was very

    3 thirsty, I had just gotten up. I started towards the

    4 old house so that I could get some water to drink.

    5 I was resigned that I would be killed, the bullets were

    6 flying around my head, but I decided to have a drink of

    7 water.

    8 When I came to the tap, I turned on the faucet and

    9 I started to drink. Something exploded, I do not know

    10 what it was. I sat back and then I came to, and I ran

    11 and hid behind the old house. Then I thought of going

    12 back to see what was happening to my daughter, even if

    13 I would be killed. Then I came and he was leading her

    14 and keeping his rifle against her head, the same way

    15 where he led me. She had a blue sweater and a scarf,

    16 she was in prayer and before that, she had a long dress,

    17 but they had torn everything off of her.

    18 Then I hid behind the house so that I would watch

    19 what they would do to my daughter. They took her under

    20 the balcony and she told me later that they said that

    21 they would take her to the bungalow, that they were

    22 kicking Muamer and they were asking her, "who is this?",

    23 and she said, "this is my brother", that is what my

    24 daughter said. They were kicking him in the head, in

    25 the face and they were laughing and, "I am sorry, buddy,

  48. 1 but you are dead now, you are in God's garden picking

    2 tangerines".

    3 I again went to see what was going on with

    4 Muamera, and the soldier was taking her to the tap

    5 because she was also thirsty. They let her drink water,

    6 but she promised she would go with them.

    7 Apparently, she thought that I was somewhere

    8 around and she thought that I might not be found.

    9 I again hid behind the corner of the house, and she came

    10 to the same spot to drink water, and she asked them to

    11 let her go to her mum. The soldier told her, "your mum

    12 is dead, I killed her. She is definitely dead". She

    13 said, "please let me go". Then he told her something,

    14 I could not hear what he told her, and the livestock was

    15 burning alive, there were screams coming, the sheep and

    16 cows, and as he was going towards the barn, he ran over

    17 towards me. She saw me there, she took me by the hand

    18 and she said, "mum, run, run, they will kill you".

    19 We went to the weekend house of Osman Dzambeg,

    20 down a road. He started running after us, but he fell,

    21 the ground was slippery so he fell. Nobody followed us

    22 after that. So we hid there for a while, and then the

    23 refugees from Karaula saw us. They were in the weekend

    24 house of, what is his name, Ibro; "Habiba, run over

    25 here, through the bars in the basement", but there was

  49. 1 shooting going on, there was a big fence, somehow we

    2 managed to get across and we got there.

    3 When we arrived there, there was Said from Morvac,

    4 and he was in the Chetnik camp before. He had a son

    5 Amir and a wife and there was Kazim and Kazim's wife and

    6 his two girls. I told them, "run, because they killed

    7 all of my family". Said said, "I am not going to wait

    8 for them, I have no teeth left in my mouth, they were

    9 all knocked out and they will break all my ribs", so he

    10 went in the direction of Gornji Ahmici and he fled by

    11 himself. I waited for my Muamera, she was resting a

    12 little bit. I started -- she could not follow me, she

    13 was waiting for the other girls who were there. I came

    14 up to a hill. When I saw there my house is on fire, all

    15 the houses on fire. It was misty, so we were able to

    16 get out, they could not see us. I went to my sister's

    17 in Gornji Ahmici, in upper Ahmici.

    18 As I was walking towards my sister's house, we

    19 were going through a clearing and the shooting was all

    20 around. I could not orient myself well, because I was

    21 very depressed, I thought that my husband was killed

    22 too, because when he was coming back from the mosque, he

    23 was wounded, but I did not know his whereabouts at the

    24 time.

    25 I came to my sister's, to the basement of my

  50. 1 sister's son's house. (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 through the wood and they were able to rescue

    9 themselves. So we all stayed there, somebody said it

    10 was 9.00, I know it was not 10.00 yet. They said that

    11 they saw -- a fire was built and we cooked some food for

    12 the children, for the little ones. They said, "they are

    13 150 metres away from us, we have to leave here". This

    14 is between upper Ahmici and where we were, that is the

    15 mosque in the upper Ahmici, that is where we were, in

    16 the basement.

    17 When we came to upper Ahmici, a sniper was

    18 shooting and it was dark, so we hid again in the bushes,

    19 in the hedge and we entered Petko's house. We all

    20 started from there. They were holding Kratine and Borik

    21 and they went to see whether they cut it off so we could

    22 go out to Vrhovine. They came back and said that we

    23 could pass through and we did. We started, there were

    24 also elderly people whom I held, there were very small

    25 children. We arrived at Vrhovine around 12.45. That is

  51. 1 where we spent the night, some people in the garage,

    2 some in the mosque, some wherever they could find a

    3 place. So how ever each person could find best where to

    4 spend the night, that is what we did.

    5 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Ms. Pjanic. I would like to ask you a

    6 couple of questions now about the testimony that you

    7 just gave to the judges.

    8 Mr. President, your Honours, if I could first then

    9 direct the court and the witness to Exhibit 149, if we

    10 could place that on the ELMO, it is again a map of lower

    11 Ahmici with only one location designated. I do not

    12 think you have it yet, Mr. President, your Honours.

    13 Mr. Usher, if we could place that on the ELMO,

    14 please?

    15 Ms. Pjanic, you see on that map the house that is

    16 circled with the number 1 next to it. Is that the house

    17 that you lived in with your husband and three children?

    18 A. I think it is. It is small. I think this is my house,

    19 yes.

    20 Q. Ms. Pjanic, is your house relatively close to the

    21 building that you talked about before, the bungalow?

    22 A. Shall I tell about my house or any building?

    23 Q. Tell us about the bungalow, Ms. Pjanic. Do you know

    24 where the bungalow is?

    25 A. Yes, I do. The bungalow is before my house on the main

  52. 1 road to Travnik. That is where it is, the bungalow is,

    2 about 1,500 metres before my house, but I do not know

    3 exactly, so it is before my house. I was on an elevated

    4 ground.

    5 Q. Ms. Pjanic, before the fighting, the events of

    6 16th April 1993, did soldiers come to the bungalow?

    7 A. Whoever survived this incident after October, we were

    8 mistreated. We were leaving our houses, we felt

    9 unsafe. I would go to my sister's or I would go to my

    10 neighbour's or Osman Dzambeg's weekend house. We were

    11 leaving our houses because we did not feel safe. They

    12 were throwing grenades or shooting from cars at night,

    13 they were verbally abusing us. They put explosive to

    14 the house of Salkic from Nadioci and his wife and

    15 children were there and they jumped out of the windows.

    16 They destroyed him and the house with that explosive.

    17 They brought him to the mosque the next day so that we

    18 would give him a proper funeral and I saw that the son

    19 was brought a piece of his head, they said, "it was all

    20 destroyed", see they come always from the bungalow and

    21 they killed Eso. I do not know, and in front of the

    22 bungalow, they would come at night, they would bring the

    23 explosives.

    24 Ahmic Smail also left his house because soldiers

    25 came from the bungalow. They did nothing to my

  53. 1 daughters, but they kept provoking them, they kept --

    2 then they demolished another house and Muhamed Pezer's

    3 house, which was also there, and my sons went to help

    4 him put out the fire because he was our neighbour. The

    5 older one did.

    6 Q. Ms. Pjanic, let me stop you there and ask you a

    7 question. Did your sons go over to the bungalow and did

    8 your sons, when they went to the bungalow before the

    9 events of 16th April, recognise soldiers from the

    10 bungalow?

    11 A. They never went to the bungalow, our own boys, because

    12 that is where they were going, not our own people. It

    13 was only they who were there, the Croats, and those who

    14 were passing through, the travellers, that is where they

    15 would stop off, but our own, no, they barely ever went

    16 to the bungalow. I do not know of anybody who did.

    17 Q. Did your sons tell you that they recognised some of the

    18 soldiers that were in the bungalow and that those

    19 soldiers from, not from Herzegovina but from Nadioci,

    20 Santici and Vitez?

    21 A. When they set Muhamed Pezer's house on fire, then the

    22 next one there was a group of refugees, this was Enver

    23 from Zenica. I do not know who it was, because the

    24 municipal government gave us the keys. They drove those

    25 people out, they threw in hand grenades, they went to

  54. 1 Kazim Pezer's whole family, father, mother, sons,

    2 daughter-in-law, grandchildren, then they came to take

    3 this wood --

    4 Q. Ms. Pjanic, did your sons go to talk to the soldiers

    5 about the wood and did they recognise those soldiers

    6 from the bungalow?

    7 A. Yes, only the older one, not the younger one and he

    8 talked to them and he said, "you should be ashamed,

    9 these people have been driven out of their houses, they

    10 got this wood for themselves. Why are you taking what

    11 is theirs?". That is what my older son told me he told

    12 them. He recognised them because some of them went to

    13 school with him, I do not know who it was, but he said

    14 that they were his school friends, that they were from

    15 Nadioci, from Santici, from Vitez, they were not just

    16 the outsiders, that is what my son was telling me.

    17 Q. Ms. Pjanic, do you know a man by the name of Dragan

    18 Papic? He used to go to the bungalow as well, is that

    19 correct?

    20 A. I would meet him when I went to Dzemila Ahmic, because

    21 my field is right next to the main road. He was often

    22 passing there to go towards the bungalow. Earlier we

    23 used to visit each other, before the war. He did not

    24 even say, "hello", he would pass by me in a black

    25 uniform, I saw him personally. Not once, many times.

  55. 1 Q. Ms. Pjanic, I am going to ask you several questions

    2 about the events of 16th April that you discussed

    3 previously. When you went outside, did you see HVO

    4 soldiers in front of your house?

    5 A. They were all under the balcony. I do not know, I think

    6 that our own were being part of the Defence, I was not

    7 aware of what was going on, I do not know what was going

    8 on. I know that there was shooting all around, I could

    9 only leave by one -- from one side of the house and

    10 I saw Zahir's house, somebody was walking around there,

    11 but that was too far. He was my first neighbour, but at

    12 that point that seemed very far, because I was almost

    13 beside myself at that time.

    14 Q. Ms. Pjanic, let me ask you a question. How many

    15 soldiers were in front of your house, how many soldiers

    16 did you see from the balcony?

    17 A. When he took me out, there were maybe, five, six, maybe

    18 up to seven, I cannot say exactly, but they were around

    19 my Muamer where he was lying. I know that one of them

    20 laughed and said, "jump, the balija woman", and I saw

    21 that he had -- I did not see, he had something on his

    22 shoulder. When I saw my Muamer, I could not focus on --

    23 I thought that they would kill me too and I lost

    24 interest in everything, I did not think that I would

    25 survive that moment.

  56. 1 Q. Ms. Pjanic, did you see how these soldiers were dressed?

    2 A. I do not know, perhaps I could have told you then, it

    3 has been almost five years, I was very depressed. I do

    4 not know, I cannot. They were walking around in black

    5 uniforms most of the time. I would go to Vitez and

    6 before the conflict, I saw two trucks full of them, they

    7 were all in black, they wore something on their heads

    8 also, they were shooting. We did not have any buses,

    9 I had to go on foot, I had to go to see the doctor.

    10 They were shooting and when they came up to me, they

    11 said, "listen, you balija woman, you will not be going

    12 around here in Muslim clothes any more", but they were

    13 wearing black most of the time.

    14 Q. Ms. Pjanic, when the soldiers took your daughter, you

    15 said that they were going to take your daughter to the

    16 bungalow, is that correct?

    17 A. She told me, I could not talk about it very much,

    18 because I had had enough of everything, I talked to her

    19 about it very little. She just told me that they told

    20 her that they would take her to the bungalow and she

    21 only stopped to have a drink of water. She thought she

    22 could escape that way.

    23 Q. Did she tell you that the soldiers told her they were

    24 going to take her to the bungalow to rape her?

    25 A. That is what she said. I did not talk to her about it.

  57. 1 It was not easy for me, but that is what she was saying,

    2 that that is what was supposed to happen. Something

    3 happened to her, something bad, well, that is what it

    4 was. They could not do something. Because they tore

    5 her sweater and they took away her jewellery and they

    6 took away her headscarf and they were slapping her and

    7 they called her names.

    8 Q. Ms. Pjanic, did your daughter tell you that the reason

    9 they did not take her to the bungalow to rape her was

    10 because she was having her period?

    11 A. Yes, yes, yes.

    12 Q. Ms. Pjanic, let me move ahead to you hiding in your

    13 sister's basement in Gornji Ahmici. You said that there

    14 were wounded people in the basement?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Were these wounded people civilians, women, children?

    17 A. Yes, it was all civilians. Not a single soldier

    18 suffered that morning. It was only civilians who were

    19 hurt or killed, our civilians, only civilians. I did

    20 not see anybody else. Munir Ahmic was killed in his

    21 pyjamas, I think. He was hit in his pyjamas, and he was

    22 killed just like my Muamer.

    23 Q. Ms. Pjanic, when you were up in Gornji Ahmici, you said

    24 that you and the other civilians were being shot at.

    25 Were you being shot at from the direction of --

  58. 1 A. They were shooting from the Mejtef.

    2 Q. Were they also shooting from the houses of Vlatko

    3 Kupreskic and Zoran Kupreskic?

    4 A. That is what others said. I was not close to their

    5 house. The shooting was coming from that direction,

    6 where my sister's basement was, but where my house was,

    7 no, there was not any shooting from the Kupreskics, and

    8 I was in a corner towards the forest, but others were

    9 saying -- because we were in the basement, you know, so

    10 we could not orient ourselves where it was coming from,

    11 but people were saying it was coming from their house,

    12 people who were there, people who went out. They tried

    13 to protect us with furniture, you know, so that the

    14 grenades would not tear the walls down, but grenades

    15 were coming from all directions.

    16 Q. Ms. Pjanic, if I could turn your attention to two

    17 photographs that we have discussed previously and with

    18 the assistance of the usher if I could place 47/71 on

    19 the ELMO first?

    20 A. This is my house, this is where the soldier saw me and

    21 he said, "if you move, I will kill you" and he went back

    22 to get my daughter.

    23 Q. The soldier put you right in front of the door, is that

    24 correct?

    25 A. On those steps when you get out of the house, the first

  59. 1 landing, I went down the steps and he was pointing a gun

    2 at my head and he told me not to move, that he would go

    3 and get my daughter. He said, "you are going to see

    4 what we are going to do to your daughter".

    5 Q. The next photograph, if we could, Mr. Usher, which is,

    6 for the record, 47/72. That is also a photograph of

    7 your house, is it not, Ms. Pjanic?

    8 A. Yes, but house -- I mean, was not photographed from the

    9 side where it was hit, only from this other side.

    10 Q. The place where your house was hit and where the balcony

    11 is, is on the other side of the house, is that right, the

    12 part that is not depicted in the photograph?

    13 A. Yes, the other side, I mean I went by there a few days

    14 ago, this other side looks just like the roof over here.

    15 Q. It was on this other side of the house where your son

    16 Muamer was forced to jump off and was murdered, is that

    17 right?

    18 A. From the side down there, I had two balconies, two

    19 fences, and it was the second floor balcony that he had

    20 to jump down from. A group of soldiers was waiting for

    21 him down there and they shot him. When I got down, he

    22 had already fallen on his face, and I saw blood coming

    23 from his head. He was cutting firewood the previous day

    24 and he fell on the wood.

    25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the next exhibit is Exhibit 150

  60. 1 which is an exhibit which, among other people, depicts

    2 her deceased son Muamer. If I could hand that out to

    3 the court and the Defence. I have consulted with the

    4 witness on this and she has asked if I would identify

    5 her son in this photograph.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?

    7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, the photograph is a photograph

    8 of her son Senus's wedding, who is in the middle of the

    9 photograph, and the son that was murdered on the morning

    10 of 16th April 1993, Muamer, is on the top row, left-hand

    11 corner.

    12 A. This is my son Muamer and this is my son Senus.

    13 MR. KEHOE: At this time, Mr. President, the Office of the

    14 Prosecutor would like to offer into evidence Exhibit

    15 149, which is the map, and the photograph Exhibit 150.

    16 At this point we have no further questions of this

    17 witness.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, thank you, counsel for the Prosecution.

    19 Mr. Nobilo -- madam, the Defence counsel, one of

    20 the attorneys of General Blaskic will be putting some

    21 additional questions to you. If you need anything, we

    22 are here at your disposal and we will do whatever is

    23 necessary. Are you okay, do you feel all right?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Good.

  61. 1 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

    2 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

    3 Ms. Pjanic, good day. I am Anto Nobilo, and my

    4 colleague Russell Hayman and I are defending

    5 General Blaskic. In order to clarify this situation,

    6 I would like to put a few questions to you.

    7 A. Please do.

    8 Q. Thank you. Your husband, when was he mobilised? When

    9 did he join the Territorial Defence before this

    10 conflict?

    11 A. I do not know if it was in June or in May. Our people

    12 went up to Visoko and that is when he joined them. He

    13 was called by them.

    14 Q. Was this before or after the conflict?

    15 A. Before the conflict in 1992.

    16 Q. All right, was Sefkija Dzidic his commander, Sefkija

    17 Dzidic from Vitez?

    18 A. I think he was the protector of the Territorial

    19 Defence. Whether he was at the school then or not, I do

    20 not know, I was not involved in these affairs.

    21 Q. Did your husband have weapons at home?

    22 A. We did not have anything. Afterwards, my son got some

    23 because they made some rifles from old rifles from

    24 Slimane.

    25 Q. Which son got these weapons from Slimane?

  62. 1 A. My son Senus.

    2 Q. What happened?

    3 A. I do not know, they said that some barracks were burned

    4 and that some burned rifles were there and then our

    5 people made new rifles out of these old parts, but I do

    6 not know that anyone had any weapons then. Apart from

    7 this burned rifle from Slimane, I saw it when my son

    8 got it, the iron was burned down and I was laughing and

    9 I said, "you could not shoot a rabbit with this gun".

    10 I know that he was cleaning that rifle and trying to

    11 make something out of it, but it was all burned, I know

    12 that.

    13 Q. And your husband, when he was in the Territorial

    14 Defence, did he have weapons?

    15 A. I did not see anything.

    16 Q. Tell me, where was Senus on 16th April 1993 when all

    17 this happened?

    18 A. He was asleep at his home.

    19 Q. Do you know how he survived?

    20 A. I do not know. On 18th October, everything was torched

    21 at his place. He was in Visoko then, everything was

    22 torched. He lived in the weekend cottage of Muhamed

    23 Spahic, underneath my house where refugees were

    24 staying. All of that was given to refugees and my son

    25 was staying there in the neighbourhood.

  63. 1 Q. Your son, was he in the Territorial Defence or the

    2 BH army?

    3 A. I do not know about such matters, I am not very good at

    4 this. I think they were in the Territorial Defence.

    5 I do not know about it.

    6 Q. And your other son Muamer, did he join the army of

    7 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the Territorial Defence?

    8 A. The Territorial Defence, he went as a volunteer to

    9 Visoko when he came back from the JNA.

    10 Q. Your son came from the JNA, he was in Croatia. Did he

    11 take part in the war in Croatia?

    12 A. When the war was on in Slovenia, he was there. When

    13 this was happening in Slovenia, we know that he was

    14 there and we could not reach him at all. We had no

    15 contact with him while he was in the army there.

    16 Q. Did he tell you where he was? Did he tell you that he

    17 was in Vukovar?

    18 A. He did not tell me anything. Perhaps he told his

    19 brothers, but not me. I mean his brother, because they

    20 were very close, but I did not have such conversations

    21 with him.

    22 Q. Tell me, in the morning when the shooting began, did

    23 shooting come from the mosque? Was there some kind of

    24 Defence there?

    25 A. I do not know a thing. I was in the house, people were

  64. 1 on guard because we were in danger from October, so they

    2 were always on guard around our houses there and what

    3 happened there, I do not know, because the mosque was

    4 hit from afar. My husband was in the mosque when they

    5 went there to pray, the mosque was hit. A strong

    6 detonation was heard and that is when it all started.

    7 Q. Who are the people who were on guard? These were your

    8 neighbours? Can you tell us their names?

    9 A. Mirso Ahmic, I know him. I do not know the other

    10 names. Because my house is the last one and then

    11 I would only see the people who went by my house.

    12 I know Mirso who was on guard, but we women were not

    13 involved in such matters. We had trouble preparing the

    14 food, we were always afraid.

    15 We were always in danger from October onwards.

    16 For a period of time they would not even allow us to get

    17 out to the road. Ivo Papic would not let us get out to

    18 the road and he did not allow anyone to come and see us.

    19 Q. So between October 1992 and April 1993, your relations

    20 with your Croat neighbours were not very good, in your

    21 opinion?

    22 A. They were very good before they divorced themselves from

    23 us. We used to call on each other before that, we used

    24 to visit, but they would not come afterwards, not at

    25 all.

  65. 1 Q. When did the Croats divorce themselves from you?

    2 A. I cannot tell you exactly.

    3 Q. How do you know that the mosque was hit, did you see it?

    4 A. We were told by someone, somebody called me on the

    5 phone, Hajji from the mosque, she called me, and she

    6 said that the mosque was hit. I had a telephone in the

    7 house, and she told me that the mosque was hit, but they

    8 were not shooting at our house yet, but I could not get

    9 out because my husband had locked me in and he went to

    10 the mosque and she said, "Hajrudin is here", so she told

    11 me that the mosque was hit. Celebija Ahmic was killed.

    12 Q. Tell me, when you went to have a drink of water, you

    13 said that shooting was coming from all over. Could you

    14 tell us more precisely?

    15 A. The infantry bullets were flying all over. I know

    16 that -- I heard them above my head coming from all

    17 directions, but Zahir Ahmic was killed and Sacir from

    18 Karaula. He was a refugee, and his wife told me in the

    19 basement about Zahir and Sacir, Zilka her name was.

    20 I think they were shooting at me from Zahir's house as

    21 I was going to get a drink of water, because these

    22 houses were next door.

    23 Q. You said bullets were coming from this side and that

    24 side, from everywhere?

    25 A. Yes, from down there at the road, from everywhere, you

  66. 1 could hear it all over. Who was not there cannot even

    2 imagine it, you cannot even describe it. The shooting

    3 was coming from the Papics’, you could hear the shooting

    4 but mostly they were shooting directly at the houses.

    5 That is what the people in the basement told me, but as

    6 far as I am concerned, I think that these soldiers from

    7 Zahir's house were shooting at me.

    8 Q. When you said that you went to take a drink of water and

    9 that bullets were coming from this side and that side,

    10 does that mean from all directions?

    11 A. From the road and from the other side and the forest and

    12 the barn and the other side, so it was shooting all over

    13 from down there and up there, but then the barn and the

    14 forest and the house were some kind of protection.

    15 Q. When you were going to your sister in Gornji Ahmici, can

    16 you tell us where the shooting was coming from then?

    17 From Grabovi to Donje Ahmici, from Gornji Ahmici to

    18 Donje Ahmici?

    19 A. I could only see Gornji Ahmici when I came, that is

    20 where the sniper fire was coming from, but I could not

    21 see all the details. There was a lot of shooting but

    22 I was struggling to remain conscious, because I was

    23 greatly depressed, because two of my children were

    24 killed and I thought my husband was killed too. I did

    25 not mind being killed that much myself. I would go and

  67. 1 then I would stop and then I would go and then I would

    2 stop again, sit down and that is how I reached my

    3 sister's house.

    4 Q. Can I put a direct question? From Gornji Ahmici, was

    5 there any shooting coming from Gornji Ahmici towards

    6 down there --

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, we have been talking for about

    8 three or four minutes about this firing. I think the

    9 witness has told you everything she knows about the

    10 direction from where the firings come. The witness has

    11 lost one child, she may have lost two. With firing

    12 going on all over, I do not think you need to ask about

    13 the strategic origins or whatever of the firing. She is

    14 not a military expert, she is more a victim than

    15 anything else, so please let us proceed.

    16 MR. NOBILO: All right, I have more or less concluded this

    17 line of questioning, although I just wanted to ask two

    18 things concerning the directions. The sniper was

    19 shooting from the Mejtef, can I clarify that?

    20 A. When we came to Mejtef, our people were running from

    21 there because sniper fire was there and the Mejtef is

    22 high up and we were down there.

    23 Q. Under whose control was Mejtef?

    24 A. The Croats. Borik, Mejtef, Kratine, Bahra, Hrazne, all

    25 of that was under their control. We were surrounded all

  68. 1 over.

    2 Q. You said that, "the people who were defending us were

    3 saying that the shooting came from the Kupreskics and

    4 they put furniture up to defend ourselves". Can you

    5 tell me, what did you see? What kind of furniture and

    6 who was defending you?

    7 A. Around the house, these people who were with us were

    8 putting elements of furniture around the house. I saw

    9 some of this furniture there, because the house was in

    10 the forest and it was hit by shells and we tried to

    11 protect ourselves and my sister's son also tried.

    12 Q. What do you mean when you say "elements"?

    13 A. Blocks.

    14 Q. These are concrete blocks?

    15 A. Yes, that is what I mean by elements.

    16 Q. Not furniture.

    17 A. I did not see anyone. They tried to protect us with

    18 these little rifles, but I did not see anyone there.

    19 I mean, the men did not have any weapons, only a few men

    20 who would stand guard had some weapons, but we did not

    21 have a thing.

    22 Q. Let us go back to the transcript. "Elements" are

    23 concrete blocks, so can we improve on the transcript.

    24 "Elements" are concrete blocks.

    25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, your Honour. Is that a question, your

  69. 1 Honour? If it is a statement by counsel, I do not

    2 understand where it is coming from.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, is that a question?

    4 MR. NOBILO: No, my colleague told me that the reply of the

    5 witness was not included in the transcript, that is

    6 these "elements" meant concrete blocks, because perhaps

    7 the court reporter could not get that part of the

    8 testimony, that is why I asked the witness once again,

    9 so that we could correct the transcript, that is all.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, so it is not a question.

    11 MR. NOBILO: No. The people with these little rifles, how

    12 many were there?

    13 A. I do not know. I know that my son had a burned rifle,

    14 because we were in danger, he went to Visoko, I do not

    15 know if he had it there but I imagine that they leave

    16 their rifles behind when they go from the front-line.

    17 Q. I am asking about upper Ahmici.

    18 A. I did not see anyone, no.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: One second, excuse me. I was not paying

    20 attention. What is the objection, Mr. Kehoe?

    21 MR. KEHOE: The objection is repetition, your Honour. We are

    22 back talking about rifles in the hands of Territorial

    23 Defence personnel, which we discussed on

    24 cross-examination earlier.

    25 MR. NOBILO: The witness did not understand what I was saying

  70. 1 and obviously not my learned colleague either. I just

    2 asked how many people were armed in Gornji Ahmici.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: One second. I want to understand the point.

    4 Go ahead, repeat your question, Mr. Nobilo, please.

    5 MR. NOBILO: My question was, how many people were armed in

    6 Gornji Ahmici, upper Ahmici when she came to the house

    7 where she sought shelter?

    8 A. I did not see a single armed man then, only civilians,

    9 unarmed men went to see whether we could pass, whether

    10 they were holding the forest. I did not see anyone with

    11 a rifle there. It was women and children.

    12 Q. So can we conclude that throughout this event, you did

    13 not see a single Muslim with a rifle?

    14 A. No, not a single one.

    15 Q. You mentioned that the body of Osman was blown up by an

    16 explosive. Do you know who did that?

    17 A. Eso Salkic.

    18 Q. Do you know who did that?

    19 A. I do not know a thing, I just saw his father crying and

    20 he was carrying something in a bag, I did not dare

    21 look. I was coming back from my sister's, where I spent

    22 the night because we were in danger, and I saw him and

    23 he was crying and he said, "look at what they are doing

    24 to us. What are we going to do? They killed my Eso

    25 last night".

  71. 1 Q. Tell me, when your son was extinguishing the fire in

    2 Pezer's house, when was that?

    3 A. I cannot tell you exactly, but it was before the

    4 conflict, quite a bit of time before the conflict, they

    5 burned the house of Muhamed Pezer in front of my house,

    6 between the bungalow and my house.

    7 Q. Was it at the time when there was that roadblock?

    8 A. No, not then. They were torching houses at night only.

    9 Q. You said that the local commune gave keys of weekend

    10 cottages for the refugees?

    11 A. Yes, that is right.

    12 Q. How many refugees came to Ahmici, a lot?

    13 A. Yes, a lot, from Prijedor, Kozarac, Oborci, Karaula,

    14 from Karaula they mainly stayed in the neighbourhood in

    15 the weekend cottages near my house. Only my son was

    16 staying at Muhamed Spahic's house, the rest were

    17 refugees.

    18 Q. You said soldiers were hiding behind your balcony?

    19 A. Underneath my balcony, I was running away up there.

    20 Q. Tell me, this balcony, does it face the forest or the

    21 mosque?

    22 A. It faces the cemetery.

    23 Q. So it faces the cemetery. It is in the other direction,

    24 the opposite direction from the mosque?

    25 A. Yes, that is where the soldiers were, where my son was

  72. 1 lying dead and I did not see anyone else.

    2 Q. Tell me, while they were hiding underneath your balcony,

    3 were shells, bullets hitting your house?

    4 A. Yes, from a distance, from those two sides, not only

    5 bullets, shells also. Stronger explosions were heard

    6 and lesser explosions and that side of my house was

    7 destroyed.

    8 Q. Just one more question, I will not bother you any

    9 further. You said that your daughter did not tell you

    10 but somebody else about what happened?

    11 A. I heard her telling her friend, her girlfriend when we

    12 got out. I could not go into that line of conversation

    13 with her. I could not.

    14 MR. NOBILO: Just a moment, please. (Pause).

    15 A. She did tell me that they took off her gold jewellery.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, we have concluded.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Counsel for the Prosecutor's

    18 office?

    19 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE

    20 Q. Just briefly, Mr. President.

    21 The balcony that Mr. Nobilo was just asking you

    22 about that you said faces the cemetery, that balcony

    23 also faces towards the bungalow, does it not?

    24 A. Yes, the bungalow is a bit further to the left-hand

    25 side, but they were shooting at us from Bahra and

  73. 1 Hrazne, that area. Most of the shooting that morning

    2 came from that area, as far as my house is concerned.

    3 Whereas the people from Zume had a different story, they

    4 were hitting them from other places, from Radak, I do

    5 not know, but my house and what I went through, that is

    6 what I know.

    7 Q. Ms. Pjanic, just to clarify something, Mr. President,

    8 your son Muamer was murdered but your other son Mirza

    9 survived, is that correct?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. No questions.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    13 Fine, at present you have concluded your

    14 testimony, the Tribunal would like to thank you for

    15 clearing up these tragic incidents you experienced. We

    16 are going to adjourn now and we are going to resume at

    17 2.45 pm this afternoon.

    18 (1.00 pm)

    19 (Adjourned until 2.45 pm)







  74. 1 (2.45 pm)

    2 JUDGE JORDA: The court is in session. Have the accused

    3 brought in.

    4 (Accused brought in)

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Counsel for the Prosecution, I take it we are

    6 going to be hearing a protected witness?

    7 MS.. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President. This witness has asked to

    8 have her face distorted and has asked to be referred to

    9 by a pseudonym.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. So this will be Witness N then,

    11 Mr. Registrar?

    12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Can you tell us what you are expecting to hear

    14 from this witness before we bring her in, counsel?

    15 MS.. PATERSON: I did not, Mr. President. This witness is

    16 going to come a little bit out of order. She is not an

    17 Ahmici witness, she in fact lived in Vitez in April

    18 1993, but for a variety of reasons she was not available

    19 to come here to The Hague earlier, so we have brought

    20 her on this occasion. She will be testifying basically

    21 about the events of 16th April a few days after that.

    22 As I said, she was living in Vitez at the time. She

    23 will describe briefly how her son was taken away by

    24 soldiers that morning to the veterinary station and from

    25 there he was taken out to dig trenches. Then she will

  75. 1 discuss very briefly that a couple of days after that

    2 some three soldiers came to her house, basically looted

    3 the house, took money and gold from she and her family

    4 members and sexually assaulted her and raped her in her

    5 own home.

    6 She will discuss the fact that a night or two

    7 after that she unfortunately was sexually assaulted a

    8 second time in her home, by different perpetrators on

    9 that occasion. She will obviously describe the people

    10 involved, talk about the soldiers she saw in the area.

    11 She will talk about the fact that she was evacuated to

    12 some nearby homes, from which she saw a car full of men

    13 that she will identify as Vitezovi, pull up to the

    14 house, go into her house and essentially loot her house

    15 and steal her car. She will talk about some sightings

    16 of soldiers near houses that were burning and she will

    17 talk about how she was expelled from her home and a

    18 Croat family moved into her house after her family left.

    19 In addition, Mr. President, while we are very

    20 conscious of your desire to have us try and have the

    21 witnesses give their testimony in a narrative, because

    22 of the subject matter of this testimony this witness has

    23 specifically asked me that she not have to give this

    24 primarily as a narrative, that rather I put fairly

    25 specific questions to her and direct her testimony. In

  76. 1 addition, she is not feeling well, too well physically.

    2 She does feel well enough to testify and would prefer to

    3 go ahead and get her testimony over today, but because

    4 of that I hope the court will be understanding that

    5 I will be somewhat more direct in my questioning than we

    6 have been doing with some of the other witnesses.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. You have been rather direct so far, in

    8 fact, Ms. Paterson. But myself and fellow judges do

    9 agree, given the reasons given, that you direct the

    10 testimony along the appropriate lines. It is a matter

    11 of going to the essentials, really, whether it be the

    12 Prosecution or the Defence that is concerned. Our

    13 concern is that we all go to the essentials and if you

    14 bear that in mind, as you direct the testimony, I do not

    15 see that should be a problem at all.

    16 Maybe Mr. Harmon can answer this question, what

    17 does the rest of the week look like, because for the

    18 coming month we are going to have problems with the

    19 availability of the courtroom. We said Thursday morning

    20 we would not be able to sit because there was going to

    21 be a status conference relating to a different trial

    22 that would be lasting for a good while, that is before

    23 Trial Chamber II, and then Friday we will not be

    24 sitting. So we have this afternoon, all of tomorrow and

    25 Thursday afternoon; so Prosecutor, where do we stand in

  77. 1 respect of witnesses?

    2 MR.. HARMON: Mr. President, this afternoon we have one witness

    3 and tomorrow we have two witnesses and that will

    4 conclude the witnesses who are available to us this

    5 week.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: So given the time we have available, that is

    7 to say this afternoon, all of tomorrow and possibly

    8 Thursday afternoon, that should enable the witnesses to

    9 return home by Thursday evening at the latest, if not

    10 before that.

    11 MR.. HARMON: Yes, I would hope so, Mr. President.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Good. Then we have nothing to feel bad about,

    13 handing the courtroom over on Thursday morning to Trial

    14 Chamber II.

    15 Now Mr. Registrar, if you would please have

    16 Witness N brought in.

    17 (Witness entered court)

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Witness N, can you hear me?

    19 THE WITNESS: I do.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Now to begin with, this document will be shown

    21 to you. This has to do with verifying your identity.

    22 Do not say your name. Fine, thank you. Now please

    23 remain seated and read out the solemn declaration which

    24 the Registrar is going to put before you.

    25 THE WITNESS: May I start?

  78. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Proceed, go ahead.

    2 WITNESS N (sworn)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Now Witness N, you have agreed to

    4 come and testify before this Tribunal. You are a

    5 protected witness, special protective measures have been

    6 taken for you, so do feel safe, speak without any fear.

    7 The Prosecution will be putting some questions to you,

    8 I believe you have expressed the desire that questions

    9 be put to you by the Prosecution, with respect to the

    10 tragic incidents you lived through. Thereafter, as you

    11 were probably told, it is the Defence counsel who will

    12 be putting questions to you as well, and then the judges

    13 might be putting questions to you thereafter.

    14 If you do not feel well, please do not be shy, let

    15 us know, and we will interrupt as and when necessary.

    16 Ms. Paterson, please proceed.

    17 Examined by MS.. PATERSON

    18 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Witness N, perhaps before we

    19 begin you might want to pull your chair up to the edge

    20 of the desk, you may be more comfortable and it will be

    21 easier for us to hear your answers.

    22 Witness N, in April 1993 were you living in the

    23 town of Vitez in Bosnia-Herzegovina with your family?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Were the family members that lived with you at that time

  79. 1 your two sons, your brother-in-law and your

    2 sister-in-law?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Did your husband also live with you at your home in

    5 Vitez?

    6 A. He did not.

    7 Q. Why was your husband not present at that time?

    8 A. My husband was driving for the humanitarian aid vehicles

    9 from Croatia and so he was in Croatia at the time.

    10 Q. Are you and members of your family Muslims?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Okay, now I would like to direct your attention to

    13 16th April 1993, early that morning. Did two soldiers

    14 come to your house on that morning?

    15 A. Yes, in the morning, between 5.00 and 5.30, I do not

    16 know exactly. They arrived in front of the house, they

    17 knocked and banged at the door. When I opened up, they

    18 were -- their faces were painted and they were looking

    19 for my son. My son was under age and I was surprised

    20 they were looking for him. I did not know where they

    21 were taking him. They took them to the camp -- they

    22 took him to the camp, as well as my neighbours. That is

    23 what I saw when I saw him off to the street.

    24 Q. Can you please describe for the court what these

    25 soldiers looked like? I believe you said they had some

  80. 1 paint on their faces. Can you describe what clothing

    2 they were wearing?

    3 A. I cannot recall.

    4 Q. Do you recall if they were wearing any type of military

    5 clothing, or were they wearing civilian clothes?

    6 A. I think it was military clothes.

    7 Q. You said that they took your son away to the camp.

    8 Which camp are you referring to?

    9 A. To the vet station down there.

    10 Q. Was that your older son or your younger son that was

    11 taken away that day?

    12 A. The older son.

    13 Q. Did you subsequently learn what happened to your son

    14 when he was detained at that camp at the veterinary

    15 station?

    16 A. They were taken from the veterinary station to the

    17 school in Dubravica, and my son went to the cinema

    18 building.

    19 Q. While your son was detained at those different

    20 locations, was he also taken out to dig trenches at the

    21 front-lines?

    22 A. Yes, he was.

    23 Q. Okay, now Witness N, I would like to now direct your

    24 attention to a couple of days after 16th April 1993.

    25 Were you still living in your house in Vitez on that

  81. 1 occasion, two or three days after 16th April?

    2 A. When my son was taken away, I was left alone in my

    3 house.

    4 Q. On one day some time after the 16th, did three men come

    5 to your house?

    6 A. Yes, three men came to my house. They also knocked and

    7 banged. They broke down -- they broke the glass of the

    8 entrance door. When I opened up, the two of them went

    9 upstairs and one remained on the ground floor, where we

    10 were sitting. One of the two came and took me

    11 upstairs. He had a rifle. When he brought me into the

    12 room, he locked himself in the living room with me and

    13 the one who was downstairs, they were knocking on the

    14 door, they said, "do you want something?". I was not

    15 clear what he meant, do I want or not, because he

    16 threatened that he would break everything. This one

    17 said, "wait", and this one asked me whether I had any

    18 gold, any weapons, any money, and I said I did not have

    19 any weapons, any money, because my husband took the

    20 money to Croatia in order to buy some things.

    21 Q. Can you describe for us what these three men looked

    22 like? What kind of clothing were they wearing?

    23 A. They wore civilian clothes. One of them only had

    24 camouflage trousers.

    25 Q. Okay. You said that one of the men took you upstairs.

  82. 1 When he took you upstairs, did he sexually assault you

    2 at that time?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. After the first man had done that to you, did the second

    5 man come into the room and also sexually assault you at

    6 that time?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. While this was going on, while you were upstairs with

    9 the two men, was the third man downstairs with your son?

    10 A. Yes, he was. He also asked weapons and money and gold

    11 from him, and my son told him the truth, that we did not

    12 have any money or gold or weapons.

    13 Q. Do you recall a statement that the man downstairs made

    14 to your son when he did take some jewellery or some of

    15 your possessions away from your son? Do you remember

    16 what he said?

    17 A. Yes. He said, "my mother has something in her purse",

    18 and said that it was some jewellery, it was not gold.

    19 He said, "is this gilded?". The boy did not know and he

    20 said yes, and then the soldier said, "we need this for

    21 the army", and he put it in his pocket.

    22 Q. The man that was downstairs, the man that took this

    23 jewellery, was he the one that was dressed partially in

    24 camouflage, or was he in civilian clothes?

    25 A. He was not in civilian clothes.

  83. 1 Q. So could you describe what he was wearing then?

    2 A. He had a pair of trousers and a sweatshirt, some kind of

    3 civilian clothes, I was not looking at him very closely,

    4 because he remained downstairs and I was taken upstairs.

    5 Q. At some point in time, did the three men leave your

    6 house and do you know why they left when they did?

    7 A. Yes. When my boy dropped the contents of the bag, he

    8 said the ID card fell out, and so they all eventually

    9 left.

    10 MR.. HAYMAN: I apologise for interrupting the witness and

    11 counsel. I have spoken to my colleague, your Honour,

    12 and the answer that was translated, "he was not in

    13 civilian clothes" -- it has just gone off the screen,

    14 maybe it can be brought back down, I do not know --

    15 Mr. Nobilo advises that what was said was, "he was in

    16 civilian clothes", this is the man downstairs. A moment

    17 later the witness described he was wearing trousers and

    18 a sweatshirt, he was wearing civilian clothes. I do not

    19 know how we do this, but there was an error in the

    20 translation and the transcript, I wanted to note it.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman, these are translation

    22 problems by the interpreters.

    23 Mr. Registrar, could we fix that? Do we have a

    24 procedure?

    25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, we do and we will set it right, sir.

  84. 1 JUDGE JORDA: We do apologise. Please go on answering the

    2 counsel's questions, Witness N.

    3 MS.. PATERSON: Witness N, one more question concerning this

    4 day. There were three men who came to your house. Did

    5 you previously tell me that one of the men was in

    6 camouflage uniform, one was in civilian clothes and one

    7 was half in camouflage and half in civilian clothes?

    8 A. I cannot remember that very well, it has been five or

    9 six years now. I cannot recall that. I only know that

    10 the small man was in civilian clothes. When they came

    11 up to me, I was already too afraid. I could have

    12 remembered it then, but I cannot remember it now any

    13 more.

    14 Q. Okay, that is fine. As a result of these assaults that

    15 happened to you on that day, did you then become afraid

    16 to stay in your house?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Would you tell the court what you decided to do because

    19 of that?

    20 A. Yes, I know. My brother-in-law left and we put a

    21 woman's dress and scarf on him, because all men were

    22 taken to the camp and he was hiding in my pantry. My

    23 neighbour was there and she told me -- he said, "pack up

    24 your bags for you and your child, we cannot wait here

    25 any longer, to have all the things that have been going

  85. 1 on continue". I took the child's clothes and my own and

    2 put them in a bag and we were going to flee over to the

    3 neighbours. When I came to the road, I saw the houses

    4 on fire. Two soldiers noticed me and started running

    5 after me. They said, "where are you running? Fuck

    6 you". They had socks over their faces and I could not

    7 recognise them. They entered the house and looked

    8 around everywhere, went upstairs and one of them came

    9 over to me and he said, what was this. I said,

    10 "everything has been ransacked and everything has been

    11 broken". I told him, "you see what it is", "and what

    12 happened to you?", and I said, "nothing" because I did

    13 not dare talk. He asked me three times what happened

    14 and then I had to tell him what happened to me. One of

    15 them started to taunt me and the other one said, "fuck

    16 her, she is useless". Then they went out.

    17 Q. Okay. On that occasion when the two men came into the

    18 house, did one of those two men also sexually assault

    19 you on that occasion?

    20 A. No, neither of the two did.

    21 Q. I want to stay on that day for just a couple more

    22 questions. You said you went out into the street

    23 planning to go to a neighbour's house and you said you

    24 saw some houses on fire, is that correct?

    25 A. Yes, the houses were on fire and those two men came from

  86. 1 these houses, because I was going to go to the

    2 neighbours because I was afraid to stay in the house, so

    3 they noticed, I came halfway down the street, so they

    4 came running after me. They did not have their socks

    5 down their faces right away. When they closed in on me,

    6 they had these socks over their faces. So they came,

    7 the door was broken, the glass was shattered. They

    8 said, where was I running, fuck me. I opened the door

    9 and I said -- I was too afraid to say that I was looking

    10 for some kind of shelter in the neighbourhood. I said

    11 that I was going to the basement.

    12 Q. When you saw those houses burning, could you tell

    13 whether they were Muslim houses or whether they were

    14 Croat houses?

    15 A. Muslim houses.

    16 MR.. NOBILO: Apology, there is another problem in the

    17 interpretation. There was a curse here which was

    18 interpreted as if they were cursing her directly, but

    19 what they said was a more general curse which was not

    20 directed directly at a lady, and it was not rendered

    21 correctly. It is not the most important thing, but in

    22 the context maybe it has more significance.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: I do not know, I have to look at the

    24 interpreting booths. So far we have not had any

    25 problems. Mr. Nobilo speaks the same language as the

  87. 1 witness, I do not know what the interpreters think and

    2 what the counsel for the Prosecution makes of this. It

    3 is significant that we have precise rendition of the

    4 testimony.

    5 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, perhaps the easiest thing would

    6 simply be to put the question to the witness again and

    7 let her repeat it and see if we can get it correct. In

    8 addition, I have no problem at the end of my questioning

    9 to discuss any problems of this sort, but I request I be

    10 permitted to put my questions to the witness and then we

    11 deal with any challenges to the interpretation.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, we can rephrase the question to the

    13 witness, but it is not all that great a way of

    14 proceeding, having the witness repeat, because you

    15 yourself in this procedure, counsel, you know pretty

    16 much what the counsel was going to say, so did you hear

    17 anything that struck you as different from what you

    18 expected from the witness? You are the only one really

    19 who can tell us. It is not a matter of being

    20 indiscreet, it is really the only way. You knew in

    21 advance, having spoken to the witness, what the

    22 witness's reply was going to be, so you were not

    23 surprised by that answer.

    24 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, unfortunately I do not speak the

    25 language of the witness. I also must rely on the

  88. 1 interpretation, but the point is, she said that a

    2 derogatory comment was made to her. I do not honestly

    3 feel it is particularly significant what the exact words

    4 were. It was obvious it was meant to be derogatory and

    5 not a positive thing that was being said to her, but if

    6 I can tell from the way the witness is acting, I think

    7 she is prepared to answer the question again.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Okay, fine. We will put the question to the

    9 witness again, but still, Mr. Nobilo was not saying

    10 anything inappropriate, I think he is quite right with

    11 his point in wanting to set the record straight when the

    12 interpretation has not been perfect. So let us just

    13 hope that the incident is over and done with.

    14 Please, Ms. Paterson, if you would be so good as to

    15 put the question to the witness again.

    16 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President.

    17 Witness N, you probably heard the discussion we

    18 just had. Before when you were answering my question

    19 you said one of the men made a derogatory comment to

    20 you. Could you just please state again what this man

    21 said to you?

    22 A. Yes. When he came to the door, I thought that there

    23 were neighbours underneath these socks, and I said -- he

    24 said, "why are you trying to run away?". Then he said

    25 through the door, "I beg your pardon" -- I was not

  89. 1 saying this, they were saying it. They were cursing the

    2 mother of God to me through the door, and I said, "I am

    3 going to the basement". I do not know, I am perplexed,

    4 I am confused. I am trembling, I am shaking all over.

    5 Q. Okay, thank you. When you first saw these men near the

    6 burning houses, can you just explain where they were

    7 standing in relation to these burning houses. Were they

    8 standing close to the houses that were burning?

    9 A. They were standing near the houses, near the houses, the

    10 houses that were burning.

    11 Q. I am sorry, I did not hear your answer when Mr. Nobilo

    12 interrupted before. Did you say that these were Muslim

    13 houses that were on fire?

    14 A. Yes, they were Muslim houses.

    15 Q. These two soldiers that you saw near the burning house,

    16 can you describe what they were wearing? Were they

    17 wearing military clothing or were they wearing civilian

    18 clothing?

    19 A. I cannot remember.

    20 Q. Okay. You mentioned that you thought that perhaps these

    21 men were neighbours of yours. What exactly do you mean

    22 by that?

    23 A. Because they put socks over their faces so that I could

    24 not recognise them, that is what I think.

    25 Q. So you think they were trying to hide their identity

  90. 1 from you by doing that?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Okay. Later that same night, did some additional men,

    4 perhaps different men, perhaps the same, come to your

    5 house and again knock on your door?

    6 A. Yes, it was night-time. They came and they knocked at

    7 the door courteously, and I went out. There were two

    8 soldiers.

    9 Q. What happened when you went out and spoke with them on

    10 that occasion?

    11 A. Please repeat your question.

    12 Q. That night, you said that two soldiers came to your door

    13 and knocked on the door. When they knocked on the door,

    14 did they say something to you?

    15 A. Yes, they came and they had heard about the rape and

    16 they wanted to take me to another house. I went out,

    17 I do not know who it was, I went to the neighbourhood.

    18 Not one person, only there was a house next door, and

    19 I was there, I did not want to leave the house.

    20 I thought they would kill me again or something like

    21 that. They beseeched me to come out, because the next

    22 day others would come, so we all got out of the house,

    23 all of us who were there and I was watching through the

    24 window. There were soldiers with a car and it said,

    25 "Vitezovi" on the back. They went into the house, they

  91. 1 went around the house, they took my car away then.

    2 Q. Let me just ask you a couple more questions about that

    3 incident. You said that it was two soldiers that came

    4 to your door and they said they had heard you had been

    5 raped. Had you told anyone at that point in time what

    6 had happened to you?

    7 A. No, I did not tell anyone because I had not left the

    8 house before that.

    9 Q. So do you have any idea how these men could know that

    10 you had been raped?

    11 A. They probably heard from one another, I do not know.

    12 I had not left the house before that, until that night,

    13 and then I did not go back to my home any more, I was

    14 hiding in one house and another house.

    15 Q. These two soldiers that came to your house that night,

    16 were they Croats or Muslims?

    17 A. Croats, because all the Muslims were detained, there

    18 were not any Muslims walking around, only civilians,

    19 women and children, were in the houses.

    20 Q. Had you ever met those two soldiers before? Did you

    21 know them from the area?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. No you did not know those soldiers, is that your answer?

    24 A. When they came to evacuate us?

    25 Q. When the two soldiers came and knocked on your door and

  92. 1 said they had heard you had been raped, did you know

    2 either of those two soldiers?

    3 A. No, I did not. It was night-time and I was afraid, no,

    4 I did not.

    5 Q. Okay. You said that they mentioned something to you

    6 that you should leave the house because it was not safe

    7 to stay there. Can you recall exactly what it was they

    8 said to you and why they said you should leave the

    9 house?

    10 A. I cannot remember, I do not know.

    11 Q. Do you remember if they said that you should leave the

    12 house that night because more soldiers would come the

    13 next day and you would be killed by those soldiers; is

    14 that what they said to you that night?

    15 A. I spoke about that, they were coming as I had already

    16 left the house, I saw it from my neighbour's place. The

    17 next day they came. I was terrified as I saw all of

    18 that. I saw their car, and "Vitezovi" was written on

    19 the back of the car.

    20 Q. When you saw this car --

    21 A. It was a blue "101".

    22 Q. When you saw this car that had the Vitezovi sticker on

    23 it, this was the next day after these men had come and

    24 knocked on your door, is that right?

    25 A. The very next day, yes.

  93. 1 Q. Do you recall approximately how many men got out of this

    2 car that had the Vitezovi sticker on it?

    3 A. I did not count them, some of them went into the house,

    4 others went around the house, I was not watching them

    5 very carefully, I was frightened and I feared for my own

    6 safety. It was terrible watching them.

    7 Q. Okay, and did you notice what these soldiers were

    8 wearing, whether they were wearing military clothing or

    9 civilian clothing and what colour it was?

    10 A. They were in those black clothes.

    11 Q. Did you know what the term or the phrase "Vitezovi"

    12 meant? Had you ever seen that before?

    13 A. No, I did not.

    14 Q. Were you familiar with the fact that there was an

    15 organisation in Vitez that was operating and going by

    16 the name of Vitezovi?

    17 A. Before the war, I knew about the HOS, they were called.

    18 What they turned into, I do not know; Vitezovi, I have

    19 no idea.

    20 Q. Okay. After this incident when the men came in this car

    21 and took things from your house, were you ever able to

    22 return to your house after that?

    23 A. Yes, because a soldier came after they had taken the car

    24 away. He said, "you can go back to your home now".

    25 I had animals, I had a cow and chickens and a neighbour

  94. 1 would go there and feed them, she did that, I did not

    2 dare go, and when they took the car away, then this

    3 neighbour said we could go back. Those who would pass

    4 by would not be coming back any more, he said, "you can

    5 go back freely". I was not the only one who returned,

    6 all my women neighbours returned to their homes then.

    7 So we were there for some time, but I saw that there

    8 could not be any safety there, so I disappeared from

    9 Vitez.

    10 Q. Was your house burned or significantly destroyed in

    11 April 1993?

    12 A. It was not burned at all. It was not burned at all. It

    13 remained intact.

    14 Q. Do you know if anyone is currently living in your house

    15 in Vitez?

    16 A. I do not know.

    17 Q. At some point in time, were you informed that a Croat

    18 family had moved into your house?

    19 A. Yes, a Croat family had moved in, but this changes,

    20 different people move in, yes, it was a Croat family

    21 that was moved in, yes. Not only my house but of all my

    22 neighbours, all my neighbours left, so it is only normal

    23 that Croats moved in.

    24 Q. When you say all your neighbours moved out, do you mean

    25 all your Muslim neighbours moved out?

  95. 1 A. Muslims, yes.

    2 Q. Would it be correct to say that some of the Muslim

    3 houses were burned, because you previously described

    4 seeing a house on fire, and some of them were left

    5 intact, is that correct?

    6 A. Yes, they were burned down, some were burned down while

    7 I was there in the neighbourhood and then as I was

    8 running away, two were on fire -- five or six, there

    9 were a lot of them that were torched, Muslim houses.

    10 Q. Do you recall the approximate date that you finally left

    11 Vitez and moved elsewhere?

    12 A. I cannot remember. It was shocking and I was very

    13 frightened. I cannot remember.

    14 Q. Was it some time in the summer of 1993 that you left

    15 Vitez?

    16 A. Yes, it was the same year, the same year. Perhaps I had

    17 not even spent a month there -- no, not a month, no,

    18 then I left.

    19 MS. PATERSON: Thank you, Witness N. Mr. President, I have no

    20 further questions of this witness at this time.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?

    22 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, this is an unusual request, but

    23 could we the Defence counsel have a moment to confer

    24 with the Prosecution?

    25 JUDGE JORDA: In the presence of the witness that you would

  96. 1 have a discussion? It is about this testimony?

    2 MR. HAYMAN: It is, and off the record. It is an unusual

    3 request, I can explain it to the court outside of the

    4 presence of the witness. I think we can walk over there

    5 and talk to them for 30 seconds and that would be my

    6 request.

    7 MS. PATERSON: We have no objection, Mr. President.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. How do you want to proceed? Should we

    9 ask Witness N to remain here, would you prefer a closed

    10 session?

    11 MR. HAYMAN: We can walk over, if the court will pardon us

    12 from walking through the well, and simply speak to them

    13 privately for a moment and then we will know how to

    14 proceed.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: The well is not insurmountable. You just work

    16 it out, but do tell us how much time you want to have

    17 available. It is not all that pleasant for the witness

    18 for the judges to remain sitting here. How much time

    19 are we talking about?

    20 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, I would think a couple of minutes,

    21 and I know it is not as respectful as I would like to

    22 be, to be keeping the court waiting.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: That is not the issue. The judges will not

    24 remain seated here in the courtroom. We are going to

    25 have a short break, the Registrar will inform us when

  97. 1 you are ready to resume.

    2 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, your Honour.

    3 (3.45 pm)

    4 (A short break)

    5 (3.55 pm)

    6 (In the absence of the witness)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: The court is back in session, please be

    8 seated. Mr. Hayman?

    9 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, before Mr. Hayman begins, we

    10 would like to request that this be done in a closed

    11 session, private session.

    12 MR. HAYMAN: I was simply going to say, your Honour, that we

    13 did have a chance to speak to the prosecutors during the

    14 break, I thank you for that. We were not able to reach

    15 any agreement that might shorten this witness's

    16 testimony and we are prepared to proceed with

    17 cross-examination. I thank the court for the

    18 opportunity.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Well then, if I have grasped all this, the

    20 judges have to note that there is non-agreement on a

    21 subject the judges know absolutely nothing about. So

    22 there is a disagreement. I take it the incident is over

    23 and done with and that the witness may be shown back in,

    24 Witness N. The matter is over with, is it,

    25 Ms. Paterson?

  98. 1 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, if you can just give me one

    2 moment to consult with my colleagues? (Pause).

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Paterson?

    4 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President. Mr. Hayman is correct in

    5 that there was not a meeting of the minds between

    6 Mr. Hayman and the prosecutors. However, we feel it

    7 should go on the record that --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Just a second here. What would you like to

    9 have on the record?

    10 MS. PATERSON: That the issue that Mr. Hayman raised with us

    11 is that he raised a Rule 68 ethical violation, claiming

    12 that the testimony of this witness was, according to

    13 him, significantly different --

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Hold it, Ms. Paterson. I would just like to

    15 hold it here for a second. The judges are willing to go

    16 along with anything you would like. Mr. Hayman just

    17 asked us for a break, it is rather unusual that the

    18 judges have to leave the courtroom when a matter is

    19 raised. I am willing to have everything go on record,

    20 but on behalf of fellow judges, I would ask that we be

    21 informed as to what it is about. I am not a public

    22 notary, I am not a scribe, I would like to know what is

    23 the issue here. We gave you a recess and we learned in

    24 the course thereof that the witness was not feeling

    25 well; we asked the Registrar to see the witness out, but

  99. 1 it is a matter of dignity here as well for the judges,

    2 it is not just of us taking stock.

    3 Mr. Hayman, can you tell us very briefly what the

    4 issue was, where the issue lies, why the witness is no

    5 longer here, and then we will put whatever in the

    6 transcript. I do not think it would be appropriate that

    7 you decide what goes in the transcript in respect of a

    8 matter we know absolutely nothing about. What was this

    9 whole incident about, please, Mr. Hayman?

    10 MR. HAYMAN: I will address that, your Honour. I would note

    11 that I think it is helpful at certain unique times for

    12 the parties to be able to have confidential discussions

    13 and to try and reach agreements to further the

    14 proceedings. That is what I thought I had in the

    15 corridor with the Prosecutor. It now appears they are

    16 intent on disclosing those discussions to the court, in

    17 violation of the confidence that I thought we had, but

    18 in any event, I would like to simply state that we

    19 suggested that the witness discontinue her testimony and

    20 that the parties stipulate to the court and recommend to

    21 the court that she be withdrawn as a witness. The

    22 parties were unable to agree on that and hence we

    23 believe we should proceed.

    24 As to why we suggested that, I think it was a

    25 matter that the Defence should be entitled to raise in

  100. 1 confidence as a confidential off-the-record matter with

    2 the Prosecutor. On the other hand, if the Prosecutor is

    3 determined to go into it, then I would like to speak to

    4 it at that time to share our views. Thank you.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much, Mr. Hayman. Thank you

    6 very much indeed. That is what I wanted. I did not

    7 want to know about the exact contents of your

    8 conversations with the Prosecutor. The only thing

    9 I wanted to achieve is not to be here with my colleagues

    10 as just spectators to a table tennis game and just there

    11 to register transcripts. This is not what judges are

    12 about, so Ms. Paterson, you confirm what Mr. Hayman has

    13 just said? I am not asking you why you did not agree

    14 together, that is your business, but you confirm what

    15 Mr. Hayman has just said so we can carry on, is that

    16 right?

    17 MS. PATERSON: Yes, in substance, I agree with what Mr. Hayman

    18 said. However, in the course of that conversation he

    19 raised what he felt was a Rule 68 violation and he felt

    20 we had not disclosed something we were obligated to

    21 disclose. We take that as a very serious matter and we

    22 felt that because of the nature of what was being raised

    23 that the court should be made aware of it and that it

    24 should go on the record, so that it is clear that what

    25 Mr. Hayman is claiming happened did, in fact, not

  101. 1 happen. We are prepared to address the issue, if need

    2 be we will submit the witness's statement for review.

    3 We just feel that it is a significant enough issue that

    4 the court should be made aware of it.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. We are not going to go into the actual

    6 contents of the dispute, but now we know what has to be

    7 put on record, we note that as far as Mr. Hayman is

    8 concerned, he thinks that there is a violation as to the

    9 Rule 68 provision. This will be submitted, we shall

    10 appreciate as judges when the time comes to assess the

    11 scope of the testimony as such. The matter is settled.

    12 Mr. Hayman, do you have anything to add? You are

    13 not happy with what Judge Jorda has just said?

    14 MR. HAYMAN: Only to say, I did not make any claim of a Rule

    15 68 violation to the court and I think for the Prosecutor

    16 to now put the statement of the witness in front of the

    17 court, I think that is wrong, it is an out of court

    18 hearsay statement. If they are going to do that then in

    19 our cross-examination we are going to have to go through

    20 all the material elements of that statement and it is

    21 going to greatly prolong the cross. I did not make an

    22 allegation to the court that they violated Rule 68.

    23 I had a private discussion with them and I sought their

    24 views. They shared their views with me and now they are

    25 trying to use this incident to put the witness's written

  102. 1 statement in front of the court and I object.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. I can only repeat what I have just

    3 said, the matter is settled. You shall proceed to the

    4 cross-examination as I originally intended. You

    5 insisted on being able to have a conversation with the

    6 Prosecutor, but the matter is now settled. We can have

    7 the witness in and the cross-examination will be what it

    8 is and we shall make sure it remains within the scope of

    9 the examination-in-chief. I hope that the witness is

    10 able to put up with cross-examination.

    11 You were finished, were you not, Ms. Paterson?

    12 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President, we had finished our

    13 questioning of the witness.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Is Mr. Nobilo going to lead the

    15 cross-examination?

    16 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, very, very briefly.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: We know how courteous you are when you

    18 cross-examine witnesses who are victims of this tragedy

    19 and we trust you once again.

    20 (Witness entered court)

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Witness N, can you hear me?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Do you feel better? Are you feeling somewhat

    24 better than before?

    25 A. I am upset.

  103. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Witness N, after the statements we have made

    2 to the Prosecutor, you are now going to have questions

    3 put by Mr. Nobilo, who is the Defence counsel of

    4 General Blaskic. Remember at all times that you are

    5 under protection and the protection of the judges, so we

    6 trust that Mr. Nobilo is going to proceed to the

    7 cross-examination of the points that are relevant for

    8 the Defence of his client, General Blaskic. Mr. Nobilo.

    9 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

    10 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

    11 Witness N, as the President said, I am going to

    12 put a few questions to you. I know that you are upset,

    13 it is going to be very, very brief so that we do not

    14 keep you very long. I am interested in the following.

    15 Before the Vitezovi came to your house and before they

    16 stole your car, the two soldiers that came and took you

    17 to the other house, did you take this as an act of

    18 protection?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Were they kind?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Tell me, this unfortunate incident that happened to you,

    23 during your stay in Vitez, did you report this to the

    24 police or to the military police?

    25 A. No, I did not report it to anyone, I did not dare go out

  104. 1 of my house. I did not go out at all.

    2 Q. Tell me, after the Vitezovi left and until you left

    3 Vitez, did anybody threaten you or come to your house?

    4 A. No, no one.

    5 MR. NOBILO: No further questions, your Honour, thank you,

    6 Mr. President.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Paterson, do you have any further

    8 questions?

    9 MS. PATERSON: No further questions, Mr. President.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: So Witness N, this is over, I hope you will

    11 get better and you will make your way home. Try and

    12 forget, if you can. The Tribunal thanks you very much.

    13 Make sure that all the protective measures are taken to

    14 allow Witness N to go out of the courtroom.

    15 (The witness withdrew)

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, are you the one introducing the

    17 next witness?

    18 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we do not have any additional

    19 witnesses for today. We have concluded with the

    20 available witnesses for today.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Well, so we shall resume again tomorrow

    22 morning at 10.00, and we are going to hear the last two

    23 witnesses for the week, is that right, Mr. Harmon?

    24 MR. HARMON: Yes, that is correct.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. The hearing is

  105. 1 adjourned. We will resume tomorrow morning at 10.00.

    2 (4.15 pm)

    3 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)