Case No IT-95-14
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
11 Q. When he approached the front door, was he armed or
13 A. No, he was not armed.
14 Q. All right. Could you please continue then with your
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
1 killed him. I told them, "you killed him, what did he
2 do to you?".(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
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)
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
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
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
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
25 A. Yes.
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
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
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.
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)
13 Page 4412 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 4413 redacted - in closed session
24 (In open session)
25 JUDGE JORDA: There we go, we are in a public session.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
13 A. By the road?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Exactly.
16 Q. Did you tell them that Pero Skopljak was director of TV
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
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
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
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
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 --
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?
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
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
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
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?
1 A. I did not know him personally. Physically, I had not
2 seen him. Every time I saw him, I saw him on
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
1 but you are dead now, you are in God's garden picking
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
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
25 I came to my sister's, to the basement of my
1 sister's son's house. (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
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,
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,
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
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
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
24 Ahmic Smail also left his house because soldiers
25 came from the bungalow. They did nothing to my
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 --
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
25 A. On those steps when you get out of the house, the first
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
25 Q. Which son got these weapons from Slimane?
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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".
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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?
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
1 your two sons, your brother-in-law and your
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did your husband also live with you at your home in
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
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
16 A. They were taken from the veterinary station to the
17 school in Dubravica, and my son went to the cinema
19 Q. While your son was detained at those different
20 locations, was he also taken out to dig trenches at the
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
1 occasion, two or three days after 16th April?
2 A. When my son was taken away, I was left alone in my
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.
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.
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
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
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, we do and we will set it right, sir.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
1 adjourned. We will resume tomorrow morning at 10.00.
2 (4.15 pm)
3 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)