Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 5092

1 Thursday, 11th December 1997

2 (10.30 am)

3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Mr Registrar, please have

4 the accused brought in.

5 (Accused brought in)

6 JUDGE JORDA: Are our interpreters ready? Yes, thank you.

7 Can everyone hear me, my colleagues, the Prosecution,

8 the Defence, General Blaskic, you hear me?

9 MR BLASKIC: Good morning, your Honours, I hear you well.

10 JUDGE JORDA: Please forgive us for this delay, the Trial

11 Chamber is very much in demand, which is flattering for

12 the judges. We have many motions to deal with and we

13 need time to discuss them, so we take advantage of all

14 the time we have available, so please we wish to

15 apologise for this delay.

16 Ms Paterson, will you please continue, we wish to

17 remind you that we are listening to the testimony of

18 Major Hunter. Thank you, Judge Riad, for reminding me

19 of that.

20 Mr Registrar, can you have -- not the accused,

21 I am sorry, I am a bit distracted, have the witness

22 brought in, please.

23 (Witness entered court)

24 JUDGE JORDA: Is everything in order, Major? Do you hear

25 me?

Page 5093

1 A. Yes, I can hear you.

2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Have you had a good rest?

3 A. Thank you, yes.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Ms Paterson, shall we continue

5 with your witness? You have just told us about the

6 first series of incidents relating to 19th May 1993,

7 when fire woke you, I think. Ms Paterson, it is up to

8 you now.

9 MAJOR ROY HUNTER (continued)

10 Examined by MS PATERSON

11 MS PATERSON: Thank you, Mr President.

12 Good morning, Major Hunter.

13 A. Good morning.

14 Q. I would like to direct your attention this morning to

15 the events of 20th May 1993. On that day, did you have

16 an occasion to attend a meeting at the Hotel Vitez?

17 A. Yes, after lunch, I took two Warriors and an interpreter

18 and went to the Hotel Vitez in order to meet some of the

19 leaders in the hotel. It was my first meeting with

20 them, in fact it was my last meeting with those people,

21 the one and only occasion I met them.

22 I will just carry on. The people I went to meet

23 were Mr Ante Valenta, Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic.

24 They identified themselves, Ivan Santic as the mayor of

25 Vitez, Ante Valenta as the deputy President of the HVO

Page 5094

1 in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- deputy President of the

2 Croatian Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Pero

3 Skopljak identified himself as the -- I will have to

4 check my notes. I have forgotten.

5 Q. Major Hunter, perhaps if I show you an exhibit that may

6 help to refresh your recollection.

7 Could we have, Registrar, the usher show the

8 witness exhibit number 174?

9 A. Sorry, yes --

10 Q. Just a moment, Major Hunter. Let me just clarify for

11 the court what it is you are looking at.

12 A. These are the business cards the three individuals gave

13 me on arrival at the Hotel Vitez and I made notes on

14 them to translate it into English as they related it to

15 me. Mr Pero Skopljak's card says he is the President of

16 the Croatian Democratic Community in Vitez. On the

17 cards in manuscript, they added their new telephone

18 numbers, because obviously their cards showed their

19 usual telephone numbers before the start of the

20 conflict, so I have the numbers which were either inside

21 Hotel Vitez or in the PTT building, which was next

22 door. These were the two principal headquarters

23 buildings for the HVO in the town of Vitez and for the

24 whole of Central Bosnia, that region.

25 I was met at the entrance to Hotel Vitez, I cannot

Page 5095

1 remember who met me, went through the foyer and just

2 beyond the foyer, in a corridor, was a row of tables on

3 which I noticed there were some radios. These were

4 manned by two or three uniformed soldiers as watch

5 keepers. I was then taken further into the hotel on the

6 ground floor into what I would describe as the manager's

7 office. It was well furnished, there was a large desk,

8 some armchairs, a coffee table. I was in there with an

9 interpreter from our battalion, a Bosnian girl, for

10 about 90 minutes. Over coffee and Slivovic, we just had

11 a long discussion. It was my first chance to meet these

12 characters. We spoke in general about what UNPROFOR was

13 doing in the area, and they gave me their views of the

14 best way forward for solving the conflict in that part

15 of Bosnia.

16 Mr Valenta showed me a small pamphlet he had

17 written a few years earlier, in 1991 or 1992. This was

18 explained to me as a pamphlet which showed the ethnic

19 composition of the various towns and municipalities in

20 Bosnia. There were many pie charts, for example, a town

21 would be shown as 40 per cent Croat, 45 per cent Muslim,

22 5 per cent Serb, these sorts of charts for each town.

23 His main conclusion at the end was that he had forecast

24 ethnic strife in his pamphlet several years before it

25 had started and that since it was clear that the

Page 5096

1 different communities were unable to live together, it

2 would be necessary for them to live apart. This

3 I interpreted as a requirement to have ethnically pure

4 areas in Bosnia.

5 I was also given a proposal which I made some

6 brief notes of and I took the proposal back to my

7 headquarters so I could brief my commanding officer.

8 I was told the proposal would follow in writing from

9 Colonel Blaskic, but I am not sure whether that letter

10 ever actually arrived. However, the proposal was for

11 the problem of Stari Vitez, which is where some 2,000

12 Muslims had been contained in the old quarter. They had

13 been held there, unable to move out, since the explosion

14 of the lorry bomb, which I believe was on 16th April,

15 some two weeks before I arrived.

16 The proposal there was that UNPROFOR should go and

17 take the weapons from the ABiH, who were inside

18 Stari Vitez. We would then escort ABiH soldiers out of

19 the old quarter of the town across the lines towards

20 Zenica, and the HVO would then guarantee the safety of

21 any Muslim civilians who remained in Stari Vitez and

22 that the alternative to that proposal, were it not

23 accepted, would be the use of force, which I took to

24 mean the use of force against the military, the ABiH in

25 Stari Vitez.

Page 5097

1 I took notes of that proposal, and briefed my

2 commanding officer when I returned back to the base at

3 Stari Bila and as I said earlier, I do not know whether

4 that letter was actually followed up, whether the letter

5 from Colonel Blaskic actually came to the CO.

6 After some 90 minutes of this conversation, I left

7 the Hotel Vitez. I then had to go around the town,

8 although I was only going about 1,000 metres, I wanted

9 to go to the Franciscan church of Saint George.

10 Q. Major Hunter, let me interrupt you at this point to ask

11 you a few additional questions about the meeting at the

12 Hotel Vitez.

13 Do you recall why it was you went to this meeting

14 in the first place? Was it because you wanted to meet

15 these gentlemen, or did they ask to meet with you?

16 A. I cannot remember exactly. I think it was in order for

17 me to meet personalities for the first time, so I was

18 familiar with some of the leaders in the HVO in Vitez.

19 I should add perhaps that I never went back to the Hotel

20 Vitez, because the system that the commanding officer

21 wanted to use in future, after these very early days,

22 was to have a permanent liaison officer who would liaise

23 with the Hotel Vitez, and that is a man by the name of

24 Captain Lee Whitworth, so he became the CO's personal

25 liaison officer in Vitez, so there was no follow-up

Page 5098

1 meeting, certainly in the Hotel Vitez, for me. I went

2 back one more time a few days later to the PTT building

3 for a second meeting.

4 Q. Major Hunter, I just want to remind you, as I did

5 yesterday, that you and I need to slow down and take a

6 pause between our questions and answers.

7 A. Sorry.

8 Q. You said that when you entered the Hotel Vitez, you

9 walked through a foyer to another room, and that when

10 you walked through the foyer you saw some radios. Could

11 you describe in some details the radios that you

12 observed at that location?

13 A. With great difficulty. I have really forgotten, I did

14 not pay them a great deal of attention. Because I knew

15 it was the military headquarters, it was no surprise for

16 me that the radios were there. In fact for a long time

17 I was not able remember seeing them at all. It came

18 back to me in April that I had seen them. I paid more

19 attention to the watch keepers, I looked at the people

20 as opposed to the equipment. I believe they were

21 military radios, I think there were two or three, they

22 were what I would expect to have seen in a headquarters

23 of that size, so I am unable to describe the type. They

24 were table-mounted, they were the sort of radios that

25 would also fit in the rear of a vehicle, probably VHF.

Page 5099

1 Certainly if they were British radios of a similar size

2 and were VHF, they would give sufficient coverage over

3 the Lasva Valley, but maybe not as far as the likes of

4 Kiseljak or Gornji Vakuf.

5 Q. So were these radios similar in size and power to radios

6 that you had within the British military?

7 A. Similar in size, I did not pay sufficient attention to

8 the power, but assuming that the radio technology is of

9 a similar nature then yes, it would be similar to ours.

10 Q. You stated that part of the reason you went was to have

11 a discussion with them about a proposal they had to

12 solve the, as you said, problem in Stari Vitez. Do you

13 recall what the situation was in Stari Vitez on that

14 day? You said that the Muslims were still in that

15 area. Can you describe in just a little bit more detail

16 what the situation was?

17 A. Yes, the old quarter in Vitez, centred on the mosque,

18 was perhaps 1,000 metres long and 700 metres wide. The

19 HVO controlled the rest of the town, so this was a small

20 enclave. I understood there were some 2,000 people

21 living in that enclave. The only way in which was still

22 available for use was the main road which ran past the

23 Hotel Vitez, the PTT building, and the police station,

24 which were astride the road. Some 200 metres past those

25 buildings, there was a chicane with some anti-tank mines

Page 5100

1 and then you entered, that was the gateway into

2 Stari Vitez, the chicane was on the HVO side.

3 The other exits from the old quarter had been

4 completely blocked. At the other end of that same road,

5 by the Saint George's church, the road was blocked by a

6 large furniture lorry and an earthen embankment, which

7 was impossible to get by, so there was no movement in

8 and out except for UNPROFOR, we were able to go in and

9 out of Stari Vitez, which we did to take food in to meet

10 with the leaders in Stari Vitez. So that situation

11 remained until I left, actually, until after I left

12 Bosnia in November 1993, in the old town. There were

13 incidents of rifle fire certainly from both sides,

14 mortars, RPG-7, the anti-tank shoulder-launch fire, but

15 there were no major offences. It is very difficult to

16 size an area of buildings of that size, it swallows very

17 many soldiers to seize built-up areas, so there were no

18 major attempts to secure Stari Bila by the HVO -- sorry,

19 Stari Vitez.

20 The ABiH on the high ground around the

21 Lasva Valley --

22 Q. Major Hunter, let me just interrupt for a minute. The

23 translators have asked that you slow down a bit.

24 A. The ABiH to the north of Vitez did make several

25 concerted attempts to break through across the bottom of

Page 5101

1 the valley to relieve Stari Vitez, and they tried that

2 over many months. That was from what we call the

3 mountain road, which was the road from Zenica to

4 Dubravica.

5 Q. Major Hunter, let me just interrupt at this point. When

6 you went to the meeting on 20th May 1993, do you have

7 any idea approximately how many Muslims were still

8 living in the area of Stari Vitez?

9 A. I understood there were some 2,000. I went into

10 Stari Vitez maybe 12 times, a lot of times in May and

11 June 1993. I had a lot of dealings with the Hodza in

12 the mosque, the Muslim priest, so he gave me a lot of

13 information about the number of people who had been

14 buried at the back of the mosque, which included many of

15 the victims from Ahmici. He gave me numbers of people

16 who had been arrested and numbers of people who were

17 missing.

18 Q. Okay, Major Hunter. Let me ask you a question about the

19 discussion you had with Mr Valenta in which he described

20 for you his writings and his view of the ethnic

21 situation in Central Bosnia. I believe you stated that

22 Mr Valenta was of the opinion that ethnic division was

23 inevitable. Did he explain to you in this conversation

24 how this ethnic division would be achieved?

25 A. No, I was able to witness on the ground the way it was

Page 5102

1 being achieved, or the way it was occurring, but he did

2 not say that in any words whatsoever.

3 Q. Okay, at this time I would like to show Major Hunter an

4 additional exhibit, it is a photograph already in

5 evidence, 80/7. Would you put it on the ELMO please?

6 Okay, Major Hunter, do you recognise any of the people

7 in that photograph and if so, would you explain to the

8 court who you recognise?

9 A. Yes, this man is Ante Valenta. This is the man I had

10 the meeting with in the Hotel Vitez, the author of the

11 pamphlet on ethnic composition. This man I recognise as

12 Dario Kordic (indicates). I saw him attend meetings at

13 our headquarters, although I never met him personally to

14 talk to. This man's face I recognise, but I do not know

15 his name or what position he held. I do not recognise

16 the man in civilian clothes at all.

17 Q. So just for the record, the man in the photograph with

18 the sunglasses you recognise as Ante Valenta?

19 A. Yes, at the front.

20 Q. And the man standing behind his right shoulder also with

21 glasses on you recognise as Dario Kordic?

22 A. Correct.

23 Q. Regarding this meeting at the Hotel Vitez, I have one

24 additional question. You said it was your understanding

25 at the end of the discussion that if this plan was

Page 5103

1 agreed to, that the plan would be put in writing in the

2 form of a letter, and the letter would be sent to the

3 British command under the signature of then

4 Colonel Blaskic, is that correct?

5 A. Yes, those were the notes I made.

6 Q. So even though Colonel Blaskic was not at the meeting

7 with you, you were told that it was his signature that

8 would go on that letter, is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Major Hunter, I would like to continue discussing

11 20th May, but move to a little bit later in the

12 afternoon. Did you have an occasion then to go on

13 patrol to the area of Donje Veceriska?

14 A. I did, yes. After leaving the hotel, I had to go all

15 the way around the town, because the road through was

16 closed, as I explained. I had a meeting first of all at

17 Saint George's church with the Franciscan priests and

18 was then returning back towards the base at Stari Bila,

19 but on the way, I took time to drive through Donje

20 Veceriska, with an aim really of just going on to the

21 high ground to a vantage point in order to familiarise

22 myself with the geography.

23 Q. Major Hunter, let me just interrupt you at this point.

24 Perhaps it would be helpful if we put an exhibit in

25 front of you that you could refer to as you talk about

Page 5104

1 this. Could we have Exhibit 175 put on the ELMO,

2 please? Okay Major, you may continue and refer to the

3 map when appropriate.

4 A. This village lies maybe three kilometres to the south

5 west of the town of Vitez. The large industrial things

6 you can see here (indicates) are all part of the Vitez

7 chemical and explosives works, which are obviously a

8 very sensitive location for the HVO. My patrol came up

9 the main road through the village. I noticed in the

10 centre of the village, which I already knew to be a

11 Croat village at this stage, Croat controlled, in the

12 centre of the village, at this junction were a number of

13 civilians and some HVO soldiers in uniform, but not

14 carrying arms.

15 I continued up the road and simply drove to this

16 high point here (indicates). That allowed me to have a

17 very good view of the whole of the Lasva Valley and the

18 town of Vitez. I had already noticed on my way through

19 that there was smoke coming from this area of the

20 village. This is down the side of a hill, it is

21 difficult to tell from this picture, but this factory

22 here is in a very deep valley and these houses were

23 already down a slope. As I drove by, I could not

24 actually see the houses but I could see smoke.

25 It was not an uncommon occurrence to see burning

Page 5105

1 houses at all at that time, but on my way back through

2 the village, I just thought I would go and investigate.

3 As you can see, it is a very sharp corner. The vehicle

4 I was in was a 28 tonne trekked armoured vehicle, so it

5 took me some time to negotiate that corner. It was a

6 neutral corner. It was already clear that my presence

7 down that road was not wanted by either the civilians or

8 the HVO soldiers, but I was in a large vehicle so it was

9 not a particular problem to continue.

10 I stopped the vehicle at the bottom of the hill

11 and dismounted. Here there were four or five houses

12 ablaze, completely ablaze. Their roofs had collapsed.

13 There was no activity, there was no sign of any

14 occupants and I already knew that this village had been

15 cleared of Muslim families five weeks earlier, in the

16 middle of April. I took a few photographs of these

17 burning houses, and at this time one of the HVO soldiers

18 approached me. He had followed down the road on foot,

19 and he wanted me to stop taking pictures, he wanted me

20 to leave the area altogether. He was not aggressive,

21 I had no interpreter with me, but it was quite clear

22 from his gestures that I had no business there and

23 should not be taking pictures of burning houses.

24 I finished what I was doing, left the location and

25 returned to the base. As I say, this was not unusual.

Page 5106

1 In fact, after that, I do not think I took any more

2 photographs of burning houses because it was a daily

3 occurrence.

4 Q. Major Hunter, before we move on to a couple of other

5 questions, I just want to clarify a couple of points in

6 relation to this photograph. You had an opportunity to

7 look at this photograph before coming to court, is that

8 correct?

9 A. Yes, I did.

10 Q. Did you compare the legend in the corner with the

11 numbers on the diagram?

12 A. The legend, number 1 is the intersection where there

13 were civilians and HVO soldiers. Number 2 is the

14 burning houses and number 3 is the vantage point I had

15 used to look at the valley.

16 Q. When you said you came to that intersection number 1 on

17 the diagram you saw some HVO; can you describe again how

18 many and how they were dressed?

19 A. Yes, there were only four or five, they were not armed,

20 they were in clean combat uniform. Some of them wore

21 the HVO red and white chequerboard badge, clean shaven,

22 clean boots, had not been involved in anything dirty

23 that day at all.

24 Q. Okay. Then you stated that after going to the vantage

25 point number 3, you returned to the village and went to

Page 5107

1 point number 2 on the map, where you saw the houses

2 burning, is that correct?

3 A. That is correct, yes.

4 Q. It was at that location that you took this photograph,

5 is that right?

6 A. Yes, I took four or five photographs.

7 Q. Okay. Can we show the Major exhibit number 176, which

8 is another enlargement of this photo?

9 Major Hunter, does this photo show the area where

10 you took this photograph that you have described?

11 A. Yes, it does. The arrow is the spot where my vehicle

12 was parked. The photograph I am talking about was

13 taken, I was in this position taking a photograph

14 looking this way (indicates), and you will see that

15 there is an HVO soldier stood in front of my vehicle

16 there, waving me away.

17 Q. Can we show Major Hunter exhibit number 177, please?

18 Major Hunter, is this the photograph that you took

19 on that occasion of the soldier who was encouraging you

20 to leave the area?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Would you just describe for the court in a little bit

23 more detail what this photograph shows?

24 A. It shows my vehicle in the background, the HVO soldier,

25 who is not armed, he is in the normal combat uniform

Page 5108

1 that soldiers were wearing. The badge, which is very

2 unclear to see on this copy, is the HVO red and white

3 chequerboard badge.

4 Q. Did you have an interpreter with you on that occasion?

5 A. No.

6 Q. So you were not able to have a conversation with this

7 gentleman.

8 A. No, I did not see much point in asking, talking to him,

9 so I finished taking pictures, got in the vehicle and

10 went back to my base.

11 Q. Okay, Major Hunter, you stated earlier that when you

12 went to location 3 on the diagram that you were able to

13 get a vantage looking over much of the valley and back

14 to the village of Donje Veceriska. From there you could

15 see the burning smoke in the village. Can you estimate

16 whether it would have been possible to have seen the

17 burning smoke from this village in the town of Vitez

18 itself?

19 A. Yes, you would. The town lies -- I will put this back

20 on. The town centre lies in this direction, to the

21 north east. You would be able to see the smoke, but you

22 would not have seen the flames of those houses, because

23 they were in dead ground. But the smoke would have been

24 clearly visible. But as I say, from any point in the

25 Lasva Valley in those days in May, on a daily basis, you

Page 5109

1 would see houses burning.

2 MS PATERSON: Mr President, I have no further questions, but

3 before we allow cross-examination, let me just move into

4 evidence the exhibits that we have introduced. First of

5 all, exhibit number 172, which is the large aerial

6 photograph. I should explain that as with other such

7 large aerial photographs that have previously been

8 introduced, this photograph was provided to us by the

9 government of Great Britain, pursuant to Rule 70, and

10 I am informed that this photograph was taken on or about

11 9th November 1994.

12 We would also move into evidence exhibits --

13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Ms Paterson. 172 is the

14 enlargement. It seems to have been -- it is a montage,

15 what I have here. It seems like a montage.

16 MS PATERSON: Mr President, the very large photograph is

17 number 172. Number 173, you are correct, is a montage.

18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, I understand. Any comments from

19 the Defence?

20 MR HAYMAN: We have previously stated our position, your

21 Honour. Under Rule 70, these photos are supposed to be

22 disclosed to us in advance and they have not been,

23 including this photo.

24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. But you are not objecting that

25 they be moved into evidence and you will then discuss

Page 5110

1 them, in any case.

2 MR HAYMAN: That is our only comment, your Honour. We have

3 no other comment.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well then, if there are no further

5 comments, we will number the other exhibits.

6 MS PATERSON: Yes, Mr President. Just so the record is

7 complete, I am moving into evidence Exhibits 172, 173,

8 174, which is the three business cards that Major Hunter

9 identified, 175 and 174, the two aerial photos of Donje

10 Veceriska, and number 177, the photograph of the

11 soldier. Thank you.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. We can now ask Mr Hayman to

13 cross-examine.

14 Cross-examined by MR HAYMAN

15 Q. Thank you, Mr President.

16 Good morning, Major Hunter.

17 A. Good morning.

18 MR HAYMAN: First I would like to ask you a few questions

19 about the events of 19th May 1993 concerning the houses

20 which you described on Exhibit 173, which -- perhaps

21 that can be retrieved, your Honour, and provided to the

22 witness for reference. Would I be correct in stating

23 that as a result of holding the position marked 4 and 4A

24 on Exhibit 173, that the BH-Army controlled the main

25 road at that juncture between Travnik and Vitez?

Page 5111

1 A. Yes, they prevented the use of that road by the HVO.

2 Q. When I say the main road from Travnik to Vitez, in fact

3 is that the road which you can see abutting the

4 line which is 4A on Exhibit 173 after that line turns

5 the corner?

6 A. Yes, it is the main road that runs straight through the

7 centre of the picture.

8 Q. Because they were not able to use that road, did the

9 HVO -- were they forced to use a rough dirt track in

10 order to avoid areas where they would be exposed to fire

11 by the BH-Army?

12 A. Yes, the HVO had significantly improved a track about a

13 kilometre and a half to the south of this road, it went

14 behind a very significant hill feature. It had been

15 graded -- it was a very usable road, in fact I used it

16 quite often for my Warriors.

17 Q. That is a road they had to construct, basically?

18 A. That is right. They had made that themselves.

19 Q. Is that visible on this map?

20 A. No, it is not. It is visible on the large photograph on

21 the easel.

22 Q. To go into Vitez on that road, would you ultimately have

23 to go up into some hills and then go back down what is a

24 rougher track?

25 A. It was a bit of military engineering, if you like, to

Page 5112

1 allow HVO movement between Novi Travnik and Vitez.

2 Q. You were aware in the course of your tour, were you not,

3 that the BH-Army desired to cut the HVO or Croat enclave

4 which was the Vitez-Busovaca enclave, correct?

5 A. Certainly after the start of the conflict between those

6 two sides in April, with the clearing of Ahmici and

7 other villages, the BiH organised itself during the

8 month of May and began to close down on the Croatian --

9 on the HVO enclave, and their main targets were

10 obviously places like the explosives factory, the

11 control of the road through the enclave and the

12 liberation of Stari Vitez from the HVO siege.

13 Q. All important targets to the BH-Army.

14 A. Indeed.

15 Q. In fact, when you arrived in the theatre on 28th April

16 1993, there was active fighting between the HVO and the

17 BH-Army just north of the village of Santici, do you

18 agree with that?

19 A. Yes, that was the mountain road across to Zenica and

20 there was fighting in that area through May and into

21 June.

22 Q. With respect to the houses marked on Exhibit 173 as

23 point 2, do you have that, Major?

24 A. Yes, I do.

25 Q. Would you agree that use of those houses was of concrete

Page 5113

1 military value to the HVO?

2 A. Yes, seizure of that ground and the houses allowed them

3 a better control and a better vantage point across the

4 bridge and across the road.

5 Q. There is a bridge here because there is a river on this

6 map, Exhibit 173, correct?

7 A. Yes, a small river.

8 MR HAYMAN: Perhaps this could be placed on the ELMO, your

9 Honour, so that the witness could point out, with the

10 usher's assistance perhaps, point out the river so we

11 can see the bridge and exactly what the strategic

12 significance of this location was.

13 A. The important thing about this is the bridge over the

14 river. This is the only road -- at that time the only

15 road from Split all the way through to Tuzla and it was

16 the road the UN used for all the aid convoys.

17 Q. Can you first indicate the general flow of the river?

18 A. Yes, the river flows from here in this direction. It is

19 quite small, it is only about 8 or 9 or 10 metres wide,

20 and about knee deep.

21 Q. But is it a river such that a bridge is a very useful

22 thing if you are trying to move trucks, cars and the

23 like?

24 A. Indeed. You could cross it on foot with ease and in

25 fact the BiH used to cross it on foot in this area.

Page 5114

1 Q. Could you point out the bridge that crosses the river?

2 A. (Indicates).

3 Q. So it is just to the left of the white area adjacent to

4 points 2 and 3 on this map?

5 A. It is, yes.

6 JUDGE JORDA: Try to wait after you ask your question. It

7 complicates things otherwise for the interpreters and

8 for the judges. Thank you for your understanding.

9 MR HAYMAN: Yes, your Honour, I know it is very distracting

10 to listen to the presentation otherwise. I will

11 redouble my focus on that.

12 Major, were you ever made aware -- if the map

13 could be moved down slightly on the ELMO, were you ever

14 made aware whether the structure, which is roughly in

15 the shape of an U -- yes, exactly, the one you are

16 locating within the area marked 4 -- behind the

17 line marked 4A on Exhibit 173. Were you ever made aware

18 whether that structure was the command post of the

19 3rd Battalion of the 325th Brigade of the BH-Army?

20 A. I do not know the name of the unit, but I did go into

21 that building. It was occupied by the ABiH. I actually

22 went in as the result of a request from Pero Skopljak on

23 23rd May.

24 Q. Let me ask you, if you wished to strengthen your

25 position with respect to this bridge and an opposing

Page 5115

1 warring party at 4 and 4A, would you order the houses at

2 point 2 to be occupied by your forces?

3 A. I would, yes, but I would not expect them to shoot an

4 old man.

5 Q. You would not order them to shoot an old man, would you?

6 A. No.

7 Q. You would tell them that these houses are important, go

8 occupy them, correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. With respect to the 60 year old man who was killed on

11 this occasion, do you know how he was killed?

12 A. Only that he was shot.

13 Q. Do you know what the circumstances were?

14 A. No, I do not.

15 Q. I take it you were not there to see it?

16 A. No, as I said yesterday, I heard the rounds being fired,

17 just the one instance of ammunition being expended from

18 that direction. There was no return fire. I do not

19 know the circumstances, but he was shot.

20 Q. He was killed?

21 A. He was killed.

22 Q. Was there a fire in each of these houses on this

23 occasion, within the circle which is marked 2 on Exhibit

24 173?

25 A. At least two of them had fires on the ground floor --

Page 5116

1 are you talking about fire as in conflagration as

2 opposed to bullets?

3 Q. Yes, I am speaking of fire as in flames and smoke.

4 A. Yes, two of them were, the large house here that

5 actually stood above the river and had a very good

6 vantage across it and I think possibly this one here,

7 I am not quite sure (indicates).

8 Q. If you could point on the ELMO, Major?

9 A. Sorry. This one here was burning and I think this one.

10 I went as far as here (indicates). I stayed in my

11 vehicle, I did not dismount.

12 Q. So you recall that perhaps two out of the five or six

13 structures within this circle had some sort of fire

14 within them?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Did those fires consume the structures?

17 A. No, as you can see from this photograph taken later, the

18 roof is still intact.

19 Q. The roofs are intact on all of these buildings, correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Of course, that would be in the interest of the warring

22 party taking over these buildings not to destroy them if

23 in fact they wanted to use them, correct?

24 A. Yes, it would.

25 Q. Do you know whether any soldiers at the scene

Page 5117

1 participated in putting out any fires that may have

2 started?

3 A. No, I do not know.

4 Q. You can turn back from the ELMO for the moment, thank

5 you Major. You spoke in your testimony of a later

6 conflict or military action involving this same terrain

7 in September 1993, correct?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Before we come to that in September, would I be correct

10 in stating that throughout the summer of 1993 the

11 BH-Army continued to hold the positions at 4 and 4A on

12 Exhibit 173?

13 A. Yes, that was very significant ground for the BiH.

14 Q. And the HVO continued to be denied the use of the road,

15 the bridge and so forth during that time period?

16 A. Yes, until September.

17 Q. Do you recall in late August or early September of 1993

18 the death of four or five Croat children from sniper

19 fire at a location near the UN club, which is a bit

20 above the point marked 3A, that is the letters 3A on

21 Exhibit 173?

22 MS PATERSON: Objection, your Honour, I believe this is

23 going outside the scope of direct.

24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, this is going outside the scope of

25 direct. I am sorry, Mr Hayman, this is completely

Page 5118

1 outside the scope of direct.

2 MR HAYMAN: I will state for the record, your Honour, the

3 witness described the attack on this location in

4 September 1993 by the HVO. If I am not allowed to

5 establish a rationale and a purpose for that action,

6 then I submit that I would urge the court to rethink

7 that ruling.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Ms Paterson, with the assistance of the

9 witness, can you tell us what happened during that

10 attack.

11 Major, could you remind us about what you said,

12 please?

13 A. Yes, I described an attack in early September. At this

14 time I was not in Vitez, I was in Germany. I returned

15 on 8th September the day after the attack had been

16 completed. When I returned to the house here, which had

17 actually been very badly damaged by a mortar round, at

18 this time the HVO had succeeded in securing all of the

19 high ground here and the road was now open and there was

20 free traffic, HVO traffic, pedestrians and vehicles, now

21 crossing the bridge. From my colleagues who were in the

22 house who watched it from this location, they described

23 a very successful dismounted attack, with mortar

24 support, which very very quickly indeed secured that

25 feature.

Page 5119

1 JUDGE JORDA: You yourself were not there? That is you came

2 after the attack, in other words?

3 A. During the final attack, I was in Santici, unable to

4 proceed along the road to that location.

5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.

6 MR HAYMAN: Your Honour, this attack is charged in the

7 indictment under counts 11 and 13, destruction and

8 plunder of property, as an attack on Grbavica in

9 September 1993, that is at page 9 of the second amended

10 indictment.

11 JUDGE JORDA: I agree. Yes, that is part of the indictment,

12 that is true, but the Prosecutor did not consider that

13 it was important to dwell on that aspect in the

14 testimony at this point. The witness was not there at

15 the time.

16 Ms Paterson, do you wish to add something?

17 MS PATERSON: Just, your Honour, that the statement made by

18 the Major on direct was quite limited, simply

19 acknowledging that an attack did occur in September,

20 without going into any significant detail. As he

21 himself has said, he was not present on that occasion.

22 It is our position that this detailed questioning

23 concerning the attack is well beyond the scope of

24 direct.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is correct. I agree with the

Page 5120

1 Prosecution. When you argue your case, Mr Hayman, you

2 can supplement things if you so desire, that is during

3 your part of the trial. Move to another question now,

4 please.

5 MR HAYMAN: I will move on, your Honour. We would ask that

6 Major Hunter regrettably be made available in the

7 Defence case so he can address these issues and

8 illuminate them for the court.

9 JUDGE JORDA: You will do as you like in accordance with

10 your strategy, Mr Hayman. The presiding judge is not

11 going to be the one to tell you who to bring in and who

12 not to bring in. Go on.

13 MR HAYMAN: I am simply seeking the assistance of the court

14 in securing the reappearance of Major Hunter so we do

15 not have to go through a motion for him to appear and so

16 on and so forth. If the court does not wish to address

17 it now, I will not belabour the point.

18 JUDGE JORDA: No, we will not take up that issue right now.

19 MR HAYMAN: Let me direct your attention, Major, to your

20 meeting in the Hotel Vitez on 20th May 1993. You met,

21 as I understand it, with Messrs Santic, Valenta and

22 Skopljak?

23 A. Yes, that is correct.

24 Q. Did you understand them to be political or civil

25 authorities?

Page 5121

1 A. I understood them to be the political leadership, or

2 representatives of the political leadership, of the HVO.

3 Q. When you say political leadership of the HVO, what would

4 the parallel be in the British military, political or

5 civil authorities?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. You spoke of seeing some radios in the Hotel

8 Vitez.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I take it you are not able to identify the models?

11 A. Not at all. I actually made eye contact with the

12 operators rather than look at the equipment.

13 Q. Are you able to tell us that they were not British

14 manufactured radios?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So one could not draw a direct analogy between these

17 radios and a radio in the stock of the British military?

18 A. Only that radio technology is the same all around the

19 world and some of the equipment I was initially trained

20 on was quite old, dating from the 1960s, so I am

21 familiar with what a set of a certain size is capable of

22 doing.

23 Q. Did these look like old sets?

24 A. Yes, I would say probably 60s, 70s technology.

25 Q. A proposal was made to you concerning the BH-Army

Page 5122

1 presence in Stari Vitez, correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Would you agree that the presence of the BH-Army in

4 Stari Vitez was of military significance to both warring

5 parties?

6 A. Yes, clearly it was.

7 Q. Can you illuminate that answer for us?

8 A. More important was the presence of the Muslim civilian

9 population. I am not sure of the strength of the ABiH

10 in Stari Vitez. It was not large.

11 Q. Let me ask you this. Would it be a drain on HVO

12 military resources and manpower to have to devote

13 resources to the containment and defence against

14 possible military actions from Stari Vitez?

15 A. It would be fairly easy to contain people within that

16 old quarter. What would be much more difficult would be

17 to capture it.

18 Q. You yourself said that during the course of the summer

19 there were attacks in the form of rifle fire, mortar

20 fire, RPG fire, both coming out of Stari Vitez as well

21 as going in?

22 A. Yes, generally more going in than going out. There were

23 clearly more HVO troops on the outside than there were

24 BiH on the inside.

25 Q. Those attacks that were coming out of Stari Vitez could

Page 5123

1 directly threaten the Hotel Vitez, the HVO command

2 location, correct?

3 A. There was not a line of sight.

4 Q. Could a mortar?

5 A. Yes, of course.

6 Q. An RPG?

7 A. No, it was line of sight.

8 Q. Only a mortar?

9 A. Just a mortar.

10 Q. When you came into the theatre, did you read any reports

11 or were you briefed on snipers firing on and indeed

12 hitting HVO negotiators as they were leaving UN Warriors

13 and entering the Hotel Vitez? Does that refresh any

14 recollection?

15 A. I do not recall anyone being hit.

16 Q. Would you agree that if there was a line of sight sniper

17 fire from BH-Army positions in Stari Vitez to the area

18 of the Hotel Vitez, that would add to the military

19 threat to the HVO from that BH-Army presence?

20 A. There was clearly a threat from that presence, a threat

21 both ways.

22 Q. Would you also agree that the BH-Army had as a strategic

23 objective the linking up of other forces such as the

24 Third Corps forces in Zenica with BH-Army forces in

25 Stari Vitez?

Page 5124

1 A. Yes, a linking up with the aim of relieving the people

2 besieged in the old quarter.

3 Q. And providing munitions and new ammunition, arms and the

4 like, correct?

5 MS PATERSON: Mr President, we object again that this is

6 beyond the scope of direct.

7 JUDGE JORDA: I will try to bring some serenity back into

8 this courtroom. We have established a principle which

9 you are familiar with. This comes out of a certain

10 desire for finesse and not for Cartesian geometry. The

11 presiding judge speaking to you is attempting to ensure

12 that the questions of the examination and

13 cross-examination do not fundamentally go beyond the

14 scope of the examination, nor is the presiding judge

15 here in order to stop all possibilities which the judges

16 might have in order to get to the truth. Please, on

17 behalf of my colleagues a while back, I took a decision,

18 because it seemed to me that this was an attack for

19 which the witness had not been present at all. We can

20 allow the Defence to continue and I will be here to stop

21 things if things move too far away from the

22 examination-in-chief.

23 Continue, Mr Hayman.

24 MR HAYMAN: Would you agree that there was a strategic

25 objective on behalf of the BH-Army to relieve the forces

Page 5125

1 within Stari Vitez?

2 A. More a humane one, I would have thought, because people

3 in there were quite hungry, obviously, and in fear for

4 their lives. I think the aim would have been to get

5 them out perhaps, or to make the place safer for them to

6 remain.

7 Q. You said that Mr Valenta expressed views which could be

8 described as being in favour of ethnic division,

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Did you ever hear of Tihomir Blaskic expressing any such


13 A. No.

14 Q. You were asked about whether Colonel Blaskic followed up

15 on this proposal with a letter or not and to your

16 knowledge he did not.

17 A. No, I do not know.

18 Q. You do not know either way?

19 A. I do not know either way.

20 Q. But you do know, correct, that this proposal was

21 followed up on 23rd May 1993 by Mr Skopljak in another

22 contact with UNPROFOR, correct?

23 A. I had a meeting with Skopljak on 23rd May.

24 Q. Did he state in that meeting, page 4 from your written

25 statement, third full paragraph:

Page 5126

1 "That the BH-Army troops in Stari Vitez should

2 hand over their weapons to UNPROFOR, the Army of BiH

3 would then be allowed to leave Stari Vitez and the HVO

4 would guarantee the safety of the Bosnian Muslims in

5 Stari Vitez."

6 A. Yes, this is a repetition of the original proposal.

7 Q. Was that proposal passed on to your commanding officer?

8 A. I briefed the commanding officer and as I said earlier,

9 I do not know whether the letter from Colonel Blaskic

10 was ever received.

11 Q. But you do know, do you not, that this proposal was

12 relayed to the Army of BiH and was rejected, correct?

13 A. Yes, that is correct.

14 Q. Now let me ask you to turn to your visit to Donje

15 Veceriska later in the day on 20th May 1993. This

16 village was located adjacent to the chemical works or

17 factory, also known as the SPS factory, correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. That was one of the largest explosives and munitions

20 factories in Bosnia, correct?

21 A. It was.

22 Q. Of tremendous military importance to both warring

23 parties, correct?

24 A. Absolutely vital.

25 MR HAYMAN: If I could ask the assistance of the Registrar,

Page 5127

1 your Honour, in retrieving Exhibit 164. I do not

2 believe there is any reason this should not be shown to

3 the witness, but I would ask the prosecutors to examine

4 the exhibit before it is given to the witness and to

5 confirm that. I do not believe this was a sealed

6 exhibit, Exhibit 164, involving the testimony of

7 Witness R.

8 MS PATERSON: I am sorry, Mr Hayman. I was speaking with

9 Mr Harmon. Can you repeat my question?

10 MR HAYMAN: My question to my learned colleagues across the

11 bar, your Honour, was simply to confirm that there is no

12 reason why this exhibit should not be shown to this

13 witness, Exhibit 164.

14 MS PATERSON: Yes, your Honour. The only reason -- there is

15 no problem showing it to the witness per se but it

16 should not be put on the ELMO, because it would identify

17 the witness who testified concerning that exhibit. So

18 as long as it is not put on the ELMO and made public in

19 any way, it is all right for them simply to refer to

20 it.

21 JUDGE JORDA: You know, I know that you have systems

22 according to which judges are a little bit outside the

23 debate. My practice is somewhat different, so I do not

24 like it too much when you talk about exhibits amongst

25 yourselves. We can have a private session if you like,

Page 5128

1 but to participate in some kind of an agreement in front

2 of the judges, I do not find that quite convenient, and

3 I do not think it is acceptable in any legal system in

4 the world. I do not know what exhibit we are talking

5 about. If we have the agreement of the Prosecution, all

6 the better, but I want to know which exhibit we are

7 talking about, please.

8 MR HAYMAN: Of course, Mr President.

9 JUDGE JORDA: We can cut off the sound, if you prefer, but

10 the judges would like to know which exhibit we are

11 talking about.

12 MR HAYMAN: Yes, your Honour. I know these have been given

13 to the court, but I know retrieving them is very

14 burdensome and difficult. Exhibit 164 is an aerial

15 photograph and an accompanying legend that was utilised

16 during the testimony of Witness R, which was yesterday

17 and the day before, which I believe is public

18 testimony.

19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

20 MR HAYMAN: This witness was in Donje Veceriska.

21 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, I see. You see, all we needed was a bit

22 of explanation, so I register too that we are not going

23 to have this exhibit on the ELMO, because it could

24 identify the witness. So please continue now.

25 MR HAYMAN: Major, I was looking at Exhibit 175, which if

Page 5129

1 you do not have it I would ask that you be provided with

2 it. That is the exhibit you have utilised to indicate

3 the points where you saw various things in Donje

4 Veceriska on 20th May 1993. Do you have that?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Are you able to find the location of Exhibit 164 that is

7 what it depicts, on Exhibit 175 --

8 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, Mr Hayman, please. I should

9 like the judges to have a copy of this exhibit. At

10 least one, please.

11 MR HAYMAN: Perhaps I can approach the witness and the court

12 can use my copy.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue. I think that we can all talk

14 about this now.

15 MR HAYMAN: Yes, Mr President.

16 Are you able to tell us, Major, on Exhibit 164,

17 which houses you saw burning on 20th May 1993, without

18 reference to the house identified as the house of a

19 particular witness. Utilising only the letters, please,

20 and the configuration of circles.

21 A. It is difficult to remember. Some of these houses were

22 burning.

23 Q. Some of the houses that are circled on Exhibit 164 at

24 the extreme right-hand edge?

25 A. Some of them were alight and the others had already been

Page 5130

1 burnt and there was no fire there. I cannot clearly

2 state which of the ones they were. I do have

3 photographs, but not with me, of the buildings which

4 would clarify that point.

5 Q. Do you think all of the houses you saw burning on that

6 occasion were houses that are circled on Exhibit 164, or

7 are you not able to make that statement?

8 A. Each of these circled houses was either alight or had

9 been burnt already.

10 Q. Were there any other houses burning, other than the

11 houses that are circled on the far right-hand extreme of

12 Exhibit 164?

13 A. None that I was aware of. The other houses shown as

14 burnt had already been burnt earlier.

15 Q. Thank you.

16 JUDGE JORDA: Have we finished with this exhibit,

17 Mr Hayman?

18 MR HAYMAN: If I could just consult with my colleague, your

19 Honour? I think so, but I would like to consult.

20 (Pause). We are concluded with that exhibit,

21 Mr President.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Then, Mr Registrar, we should like to return

23 this exhibit, because we have it in our record from

24 yesterday's testimony. Thank you.

25 MR HAYMAN: Major, during your tour in Central Bosnia, did

Page 5131

1 you encounter any soldiers wearing HV patches, of the

2 Republic of Croatia, in Central Bosnia?

3 A. No, I never saw any. I understood that they were

4 present, but I never saw those badges.

5 Q. Where were they present? What was the basis of your

6 understanding in that regard?

7 A. Briefings which came from the intelligence officer of

8 the British battalion, who received that information

9 from superior headquarters.

10 Q. Where in Central Bosnia were you briefed that HV

11 soldiers were present?

12 A. I was not given specific locations.

13 Q. Were you ever told that HV soldiers were present in the

14 Lasva Valley in Central Bosnia?

15 A. I understood them to be present in the Lasva Valley, but

16 I never saw the badge.

17 Q. Can you tell us where we might find that information, if

18 you were briefed on some specifics, do you know where we

19 might find that?

20 A. It was never a specific detail, with a place name or

21 that sort of specific information. It was just that it

22 was thought that HV troops were present in the

23 Lasva Valley.

24 Q. But there was never a confirmed sighting by UNPROFOR, to

25 your knowledge?

Page 5132

1 A. Not to my knowledge.

2 MR HAYMAN: Thank you, Major Hunter. No further questions,

3 Mr President.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Ms Paterson, do you have any further points to

5 clarify in the re-examination?

6 Re-examined by MS PATERSON

7 Q. Yes, just very briefly, your Honour.

8 Major Hunter, when you went to the meeting at the

9 Hotel Vitez, you stated that you went to meet with three

10 what you thought to be civilian leaders, is that

11 correct?

12 A. I do not see the clear distinction between civilian and

13 military in the context of Central Bosnia. Yes, they

14 identified themselves as occupying civilian functions,

15 but a lot of people wore uniform, Mr Ante Valenta

16 himself wore a uniform. I saw it as part of the same

17 organisation.

18 Q. When you went to the Hotel Vitez for this meeting, was

19 it your understanding that you were going to the

20 military headquarters of the HVO?

21 A. Yes, the three buildings, the police station, the PTT

22 building and the Hotel Vitez were three prime control

23 places for the HVO in Central Bosnia.

24 Q. Were you also aware that the Hotel Vitez was where then

25 Colonel Blaskic also had offices?

Page 5133

1 A. That was his headquarters.

2 Q. Finally, Major Hunter, in reference to the 2,000 Muslims

3 you said that were detained in Stari Vitez, that were

4 the subject of this discussion at the Hotel Vitez, can

5 you give us a rough estimate of how many of those 2,000

6 people were civilians, women and children, and

7 non-military people?

8 A. The great majority. Obviously, before the explosion of

9 the lorry bomb, most of the men of fighting age would

10 not have been in the town, they would have been on the

11 frontline engaging with the Bosnian Serb Army. The

12 explosion of that lorry bomb and the sealing off of

13 Stari Vitez left a predominantly old or young

14 population.

15 MS PATERSON: Thank you, I have no further questions,

16 Mr President.

17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge Riad?

18 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Major Hunter.

19 A. Good morning.

20 Q. With regard to your meeting at the Hotel Vitez with

21 Santic, Ante Valenta and Pero Skopljak, you discussed as

22 you mentioned the problem of the ethnic strife, and they

23 came with the conclusion, as you mentioned it, that

24 there should be ethnically pure areas.

25 A. Yes.

Page 5134

1 Q. In the light of those, what would be done with the

2 minorities? Where were the minorities supposed to go,

3 were they supposed to be evacuated or killed or what?

4 A. The method of achieving the aim was not explained to me,

5 but the aim was made clear, that the HVO wanted a

6 Croatian Community and only a Croatian Community in

7 Central Bosnia in the Lasva Valley and that any Muslims

8 could go somewhere else.

9 Q. Would that mean that all the minorities would leave or

10 any place where there are Croats should be left to the

11 Croats?

12 A. The proposal was tied in as well to the Vance-Owen Plan,

13 which was still alive at that time. This created

14 cantons in Bosnia, and these would be under the control

15 of one of the factions, and the canton that was proposed

16 in the Lasva Valley would have been a Croatian canton,

17 and the canton to the north, Zenica, would have been a

18 BiH Muslim canton, so this would tie in with Valenta's

19 policies, that any Muslims in the Lasva Valley ought

20 perhaps to be on the other side of the line in the

21 Muslim canton.

22 Q. So the idea was that the Lasva Valley would become

23 Croatian?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. That was the bottom line?

Page 5135

1 A. That was quite clear, that this was a Croatian place and

2 Muslims really should not be there --

3 Q. The Lasva Valley?

4 A. The Lasva Valley.

5 Q. The proposals you mentioned, one of them that was

6 concerning Stari Vitez, one of them was that UNPROFOR

7 would take weapons from the Muslims and in case they do

8 not give up their weapons, the HVO will use force, is

9 that right?

10 A. Yes, that was the alternative.

11 Q. That was to use force in Stari Vitez?

12 A. Yes, to remove the weapons.

13 Q. To remove what, the civilians or the weapons?

14 A. He did not specify. It was the use of force -- the use

15 of force to solve the problem. He did not specify

16 exactly what that meant.

17 Q. In another -- when one of your other statements, you

18 said that you were also discussing it I think with Ante

19 Valenta, who did not indicate a solution, but you said

20 that you saw how it was done on the ground. I noted

21 that. How was it done on the ground?

22 A. By the forceful removal or killing.

23 Q. Removal or?

24 A. Killing.

25 Q. Of?

Page 5136

1 A. Of the Muslim people.

2 Q. Of the Warriors or of the civilians?

3 A. Of anybody, and then followed by the burning of the

4 houses, barns and the destruction of mosques.

5 Q. You mean the cleansing?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You mentioned that the BiH organised itself in the month

8 of May?

9 A. Yes, I think the BiH had not expected the attacks of mid

10 April by the HVO.

11 Q. That was after the attacks then?

12 A. Yes, they had to get together sufficient fighting men

13 back into the central Lasva Valley in order to create

14 defensive lines and, as I explained, to try to relieve

15 Stari Vitez. That took quite a long time, there was not

16 a great deal of transport, the movement of armies,

17 soldiers was quite medieval, it was on foot or on

18 horseback. It took time to get men and material in the

19 right place.

20 Q. But all that was after the events of April?

21 A. That is my understanding.

22 Q. After Ahmici and Stari Vitez?

23 A. After Ahmici and the explosion.

24 Q. So this did not provoke the events of April?

25 A. No, that was a response to those attacks.

Page 5137

1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Major.

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

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Major, Defence counsel was talking to

4 you about fires burning in certain buildings, and about

5 HVO soldiers being present in the vicinity.

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. I think he asked you about whether any of them

8 participated in putting out the fires, and you said you

9 did not know. Was that your best answer, did you not

10 know, you saw them participating in putting out fires or

11 you saw them not participating in putting out fires?

12 A. These are the houses opposite the UN base on 19th May.

13 I did not even -- I went across the investigate the

14 buildings. I was aware of some movement amongst the

15 houses, but not a great deal. There were very few

16 soldiers there, maybe just eight, that sort of small

17 group. But they were not -- they did not make

18 themselves come out in the open, they were inside the

19 buildings. I just occasionally could see some fleeting

20 glimpses. Of course, that was a dangerous location,

21 they could be fired on by the BiH, as indeed happened on

22 a daily basis across that bridge. So I cannot clarify.

23 The fires did go out or were put out because the HVO

24 wanted those houses, they became part of their defensive

25 line.

Page 5138

1 Q. Let me ask you another question. The HVO were in Vitez

2 proper.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And ABiH were in Stari Vitez. When you take everything

5 into account, as an experienced military officer, what

6 judgment did you then make as to which side had the

7 military advantage?

8 A. The BiH in Stari Vitez were at a significant

9 disadvantage. They could only survive on any food that

10 we brought in, although they were able to grow food as

11 well, there were some fields and gardens they could grow

12 food in the summer, but there was no way they could

13 resupply themselves with ammunition.

14 Q. Let me go to a question which Judge Riad asked you. You

15 were talking about the conversation Mr Ante Valenta had

16 with you about ethnic division. Your words, as I took

17 them down, Judge Riad also took them down, were to this

18 effect:

19 "I was able to witness on the ground the way it

20 was being achieved, or the way it was occurring, but he

21 did not say in any words whatsoever."

22 Do I gather from that what you were saying was you

23 understood him to be declaring a policy of ethnic

24 division and an intent to implement that policy, but he

25 did not specify in words the methods by which the policy

Page 5139

1 would be implemented?

2 A. That was my understanding. In fact in my diary that

3 day, I used the word "fascist policy", as a shorthand

4 way.

5 Q. Let me ask you a little question about the military

6 significance which contending military forces may attach

7 to the territory they are defending. Could it be like

8 this, that if you have two opposing military forces,

9 each force may see a distinct military advantage in

10 holding on to its own territory for its own sake. Then

11 you have another situation in which a military force may

12 not see any independent military advantage in holding on

13 to its territory, but would hold on to it merely for

14 some ancillary reason, such as protecting civilians; in

15 other words, if they were not there, that military force

16 would not see any military significance in holding on to

17 that territory. How do you react to this rather

18 convoluted statement of mine?

19 A. In Stari Vitez?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. My understanding, the BiH presence was there because

22 they could not get out, you have to accept that there

23 was I think very little movement. There may have been

24 some foot movement across the fields at night, but very

25 low level. My understanding was that they were there to

Page 5140

1 protect the civilian population of Stari Vitez, and that

2 there was no particular advantage from a military point

3 of view of the BiH remaining there, other than the

4 protection of property, a very old mosque from 1590,

5 I think it was, but no military significance.

6 Q. May I sum up this phase of your testimony to mean this:

7 that while the BiH was there protecting civilians, they

8 would have seen some incidental military advantage in

9 holding on to some specific position for the purpose of

10 affording that defence to the civilians, but that if the

11 civilians were not there, they would not have seen any

12 military significance in holding on to Stari Vitez?

13 A. If somehow when the lorry bomb had exploded there had

14 been no civilian population in Stari Vitez but the BiH

15 had been there, I suspect they would not have remained.

16 Probably using UNPROFOR, they would have left.

17 Q. Against all that you have told us, what, in your

18 judgment as a military officer, would have happened to

19 the civilians in Stari Vitez if your military unit had

20 escorted the BiH soldiers out of the area?

21 A. I do not think they would have stayed there very long.

22 I suspect there would have been the use of force to

23 encourage them to leave straight away.

24 Q. You heard from your intelligence unit that the HV

25 soldiers were present in the Lasva Valley. Did you

Page 5141

1 understand that the HV soldiers were there acting

2 independently or acting in co-operation with the HVO?

3 A. I believe, this is an opinion, that they would have

4 identified themselves as being of the same group of

5 people, working towards the same end.

6 Q. Major, drawing on your military experience what is the

7 general position in this scenario, a scenario in which

8 different military units are co-operating with a view to

9 achieving a common objective. Is it the general pattern

10 that to achieve coherence, they would tend to act under

11 a single supreme command?

12 A. It would be very dangerous not to.

13 Q. From your information and from your observations, was

14 there a supreme military command on the Croatian side?

15 A. Yes, the organisation based in Hotel Vitez.

16 Q. And who was that commander?

17 A. Colonel Blaskic. You may be aware that there was during

18 the summer a Croatian helicopter landing frequently in

19 the quarry about two kilometres south of the British

20 battalion location, so this obviously gives the

21 possibility of communication and bringing in valuable

22 items such as detonators perhaps, which are low in

23 weight but high in value, so there was the possibility

24 of communication right the way through the summer of

25 1993 between Croatia proper and the HVO enclave in

Page 5142

1 Central Bosnia.

2 Q. Would I be right in supposing that the pattern of

3 organisation on the Croatian side was this, that there

4 would have been a political department and the military

5 department, but both acting in co-operation with each

6 other?

7 A. Yes, the brain and the arms, if you like, of policy.

8 Q. Would Colonel Blaskic then have been the military

9 officer tasked with the responsibility of implementing

10 the policies of Mr Valenta and other senior political

11 Croatian leaders?

12 A. That would be the logical conclusion.


14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major, for following these

15 questions. I have only a few clarifications.

16 Concerning the meeting in Hotel Vitez, you spoke about

17 the Vance-Owen Plan. You are not a politician, so you

18 would not like to make any judgments, but you were on

19 the spot. In your opinion, what interest was there in

20 putting into effect by force the provisions of the

21 Vance-Owen Plan, when that plan envisaged that this

22 canton, including the Lasva Valley, was to be Croatian

23 in any event? Was there any particular interest in

24 evacuating by force and violence a territory which, in

25 any event it would appear would have come under Croatian

Page 5143

1 control?

2 A. I believe the Vance-Owen Plan gave that process a

3 deadline. It was better to achieve this ethnic

4 separation as quickly as possible, so that when the plan

5 came into operation and the cantons were created, the

6 Croat community would have a more secure canton; they

7 would have avoided any problems in the future, perhaps

8 when the area was more peaceful. They were trying to

9 clear the decks, if you like, before the Vance-Owen Plan

10 came into effect.

11 Q. In a sense it would not be wrong to say that they were

12 preparing against the possible return in the future when

13 this canton really became Croatian?

14 A. I believe they were attempting to remove any future

15 problems which a Muslim minority could have caused in

16 the government and the policies of that canton.

17 Possibly there may have been -- I would not have thought

18 there was an imperative perhaps towards that area

19 becoming a part of a greater Croatia, to some sort of

20 union federation with Croatia proper.

21 Q. At that same meeting that you attended, was reference

22 made to the customs, the rules and customs of war,

23 respect of civilians, protection of protected persons?

24 Was it referred to by these leaders who were both

25 military and political leaders, or not at all?

Page 5144

1 A. There were no military leaders present at this meeting.

2 In the words he used, which came to me through an

3 interpreter, I would add, he implied, it was implicit,

4 I think, that the involvement of UNPROFOR would

5 guarantee that this process would be carried out in that

6 manner, but I would say also that I had little faith in

7 that being the case. I saw it as a polite way of

8 explaining the policy.

9 Q. Would you characterise the situation you found in the

10 field during your tour as a situation of war, classical

11 war, or terrorism or -- how would you describe this, as

12 a military man?

13 A. In the Lasva Valley it was -- it was not classical war.

14 The position perhaps on the front lines, which had

15 stabilised with the Serb Army, you could call it

16 19th century-type of warfare, with trench lines and

17 bunkers and some movement, but inside the Lasva Valley,

18 in May and June, no, it was a very unpleasant murderous

19 business. There were purely military operations, of

20 course, and I am also aware that there were very

21 reasonable and decent people involved on both sides, but

22 at the same time, there were some extremely unpleasant

23 personalities and some very unpleasant deeds were

24 committed.

25 Q. Is it indiscreet to ask you why you took photographs?

Page 5145

1 A. Of the burning houses?

2 Q. Yes, the burning houses.

3 A. Not at all, no. I had my camera with me throughout the

4 tour, I had only been on the ground at that stage for

5 nine days, it was something that I thought it was worth

6 recording. I did not take many more such pictures

7 afterwards because it was an everyday occurrence.

8 Q. My last question, and do not answer it if you consider

9 it to be too personal. You have referred to your diary;

10 a personal, intimate diary?

11 A. Yes, I kept a diary from my day of arrival until I left

12 in November. I have it with me, it is just my thoughts,

13 mainly, of what I had witnessed, where I had been, the

14 sort of jobs that we were doing, a lot of personal

15 details as well.

16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. I turn to my colleagues, no

17 additional questions? In that case, the Tribunal should

18 like to thank you for coming to testify about your

19 experiences. You can now rejoin your unit.

20 The judges are going to have a 20 minute break and

21 we will resume work at 12.20. The hearing is

22 adjourned.

23 (12.05 pm)

24 (A short break)

25 (12.30 pm)

Page 5146

1 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume. Have the accused brought

2 in, please.

3 (Accused brought in)

4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Harmon?

5 MR HARMON: Good morning, Mr President, your Honours and

6 counsel. Our next witness is a protected witness, she

7 will be identified as Witness Q. Mr President, her

8 testimony relates to the following counts of the

9 indictment: count 1, counts 2 to 4, counts 11 to 13 and

10 counts 15 to 16.

11 Mr President, with this witness we will be moving

12 out of the Vitez municipality and into the Busovaca

13 municipality. This witness lived in a Muslim village of

14 Loncari and if I could have the ELMO turned on, I have

15 indicated with a pointer, Mr President and counsel, the

16 location of the village of Loncari.

17 JUDGE JORDA: Have the ELMO come on, please. In the future

18 perhaps if this could be prepared in advance during the

19 20 minute pause. The document is ready. There is a

20 slight technical problem. All right, continue

21 Mr Harmon, please.

22 MR HARMON: I will continue, Mr President. Witness Q will

23 testify that before 16th April, she saw Dario Kordic and

24 the accused on television on a number of occasions and

25 she will tell your Honours what she remembers about

Page 5147

1 those television programmes. Then, Mr President, she

2 will turn her attention to events that immediately

3 preceded the attack on the village of Loncari.

4 Specifically, Mr President, she will describe an

5 ultimatum by the HVO to the villagers of Loncari to turn

6 in their weapons, under guarantee that their safety

7 would be assured if they did that.

8 She will testify about events that took place

9 after that guarantee was given, how in the ensuing days,

10 the HVO came to her village, how they rounded up

11 civilian males and removed them from her village. She

12 will also then testify about the attacks on adjacent

13 villages, the adjacent villages being Jelinak, Putis and

14 Merdani, and her observations of those attacks. Lastly,

15 Mr President, she will testify about how HVO soldiers

16 came to her village, after the men had been rounded up,

17 and how they systematically burned every house in the

18 village of Loncari with gasoline, with the exception of

19 one Muslim house.

20 She will describe how she left the village and

21 lastly, she will describe how she never again saw her

22 husband alive. Those are the points, Mr President and

23 your Honours, about which she will be testifying.

24 Mr President, on the ELMO is now the image 29C with the

25 pointer pointed to the village of Loncari.

Page 5148

1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Harmon. We can now have the

2 witness brought in and have the curtains lowered.

3 Perhaps this could be done in advance.

4 (Witness entered court)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Witness Q, do you hear me?

6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can hear you.

7 JUDGE JORDA: We will first ask you to look at a paper and

8 see your name, but ask you not to say it out loud. Just

9 look at the name but do not say it.


11 JUDGE JORDA: Now while you are still seated, we will ask

12 you to read the solemn declaration which has been given

13 to you. Go ahead. Please read the declaration aloud.

14 WITNESS Q (sworn)

15 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Witness Q, you agreed to testify

16 here as part of the trial in this Tribunal of General

17 Blaskic, and the Tribunal is appreciative of that. The

18 Prosecutor must have explained to you how things will be

19 conducted, he gave us the general outlines of your

20 testimony. You will explain all of that in your own

21 words, the Prosecutor will ask you some questions,

22 either while you are testifying or afterwards.

23 Naturally General Blaskic's attorneys will also ask you

24 questions, as will the judges. You have nothing to

25 fear, you are under the protection of the Tribunal and

Page 5149

1 you are enjoying protective measures which are very

2 careful.

3 Mr Harmon, you may begin.

4 Examined by MR HARMON

5 Q. Thank you, Mr President.

6 Good morning, Witness Q.

7 A. Good morning.

8 Q. Let me ask you some background questions first. Are you

9 25 years old?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Are you a Bosnian by nationality and a Muslim by

12 religion?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In April 1993, were you married and did you have two

15 small children, ages three and a half and aged 11

16 months?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In April 1993, was your late husband employed at the

19 steel factory in Zenica and were you employed in the

20 home as a housewife?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. In April 1993, were you living in the village of

23 Loncari, and had you been living there for five or six

24 years?

25 A. Yes.

Page 5150

1 Q. Is the village of Loncari located in the Busovaca

2 municipality?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Lastly, was the village of Loncari a Muslim village?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Let me turn briefly to just some preliminary questions

7 about your late husband. In April 1993, was he in the

8 Territorial Defence?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did he perform guard duty in and around your village?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. When he performed that guard duty, did he have any

13 weapons?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. At some point in time, and I would like you to tell the

16 judges in your own words, what happened to the weapons

17 that the Muslims in the village of Loncari had? Would

18 you turn your attention to the judges, please, and tell

19 the judges in your own words what happened to those

20 weapons?

21 A. The weapons that we had, that is our men, were taken

22 from us by the HVO soldiers.

23 Q. If you could give a narrative form and add some detail

24 and just tell the judges the circumstances under which

25 those weapons were taken.

Page 5151

1 A. Yes. They gave us an ultimatum that we had to turn over

2 these weapons and then we would be safe. Then they

3 turned them over.

4 Q. As a result of that ultimatum, Witness Q, did the

5 Muslims in your village turn over all of their weapons,

6 to your knowledge?

7 A. Yes, they turned over everything that they had.

8 Q. After they turned in their weapons and prior to the

9 attack on the villages surrounding your village, did you

10 see any weapons in your village?

11 A. I did not understand you. Could you repeat, please?

12 Q. Yes. After the weapons were turned in as a result of

13 the ultimatum, did you see any weapons in your village?

14 A. No, there was none left in our village.

15 Q. Before I direct your attention to the attacks that took

16 place on the adjacent village and your village, I would

17 like to first have you examine the next exhibit which

18 I believe, Mr Dubuisson, is Prosecutor's Exhibit 178, is

19 that the correct number? Then if I could have the

20 assistance of the usher, Prosecutor's 178 placed on the

21 ELMO.

22 Let me ask you some questions, Witness Q.

23 A. Very well.

24 Q. Have you had an opportunity to see a large map and have

25 you circled on that map the villages of Jelinak, Putis

Page 5152

1 and Merdani and Loncari?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Is the village of Jelinak indicated by the letter A, the

4 village of Putis by the letter B, the village of Merdani

5 by the letter C?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Please, Witness Q, I would like to now turn your

8 attention to the attacks that took place starting on

9 16th April. In your own words, can you tell the judges

10 in a narrative form what you observed on 16th April in

11 respect of attacks on other villages, to carry them

12 through all the way to the attack that took place on

13 your village. Take your time, in your own words, please

14 tell the judges what you saw.

15 A. On April 16th, just before dusk, we saw a lot of

16 soldiers, and we saw their women, that is the women and

17 children of the HVO, who were going in the direction of

18 Busovaca. After that, the shooting started, and

19 shelling, which was terrible. They were shooting

20 throughout the night, and shelled those surrounding

21 villages. This went on the whole night, the shooting

22 and the shelling.

23 In the morning, when the HVO military arrived to

24 search our houses, and they took our men away. They

25 were searching the houses, and then I saw in front of my

Page 5153

1 own house three soldiers who were standing there and

2 were banging at the door very hard.

3 I went up to see what they wanted, and to open the

4 door for them. Then they asked me where my husband

5 was. I told them that I did not know. I said that he

6 was probably in Zenica. I was lying then, because I was

7 afraid for my husband. Then they started cursing me,

8 they cursed my balija mother, and saying that I was

9 lying to them. Across from my house, about 30 metres

10 away, there was another house and he asked me, "who

11 lives there?". I said that a man lived there, an

12 elderly man lived there. Then he asked me, "how come an

13 elderly man lived there when there is a laundry up on

14 the line there, being dried?", and I said that probably

15 somebody was working there for him, because he was too

16 old to work.

17 Then they told me to walk in front of them, and

18 I went to my mother-in-law's house and my

19 brother-in-law, the late brother-in-law. In front of

20 this house, he asked me if there was anybody in that

21 house, and I told him nobody except my sister-in-law who

22 was pregnant. He said if I go in there and find

23 somebody, find a man, I am going to kill both you and

24 the person I find in there. I told him, "there is

25 no one there". After that, he came to my

Page 5154

1 mother-in-law's house and he asked my mother-in-law

2 where her husband was. She said that her husband died a

3 long time ago. He also started cursing her balija

4 mother, and he asked her where her sons were, and then

5 she said that she did not know where her sons were.

6 After that, they pulled back about ten metres away

7 from the house and they started talking. Then they

8 returned, and they took me out of the house. One of

9 them ordered me, and he had a gun pointed at me, he

10 ordered me to open each one of the rooms in the house.

11 I was walking in front of him and I had to open up each

12 door, so that he could see that no one was inside. When

13 I opened up the kitchen door, my children were in there,

14 and my sister-in-law's son and only women were there,

15 and then he saw that there were no men there.

16 Then he asked whether there was anybody behind the

17 sofa, and I said no, there was not anybody there. He

18 did not believe me, and he told me and my sister-in-law

19 to pull the sofa away. We did this, and there was

20 no one there. Then they came out and they asked me

21 whether there was anybody upstairs. I told him that

22 there was not, and in fact I did know that there were

23 people there, my husband was there, and my

24 brother-in-law, who was 15, and my aunt's son, who was

25 15, and they were hiding up in the attic. He said that

Page 5155

1 if he found anybody upstairs that he would kill me and

2 whoever he finds up there.

3 I then swore on my life that there was nobody

4 there and they left, they did not search. After that,

5 I looked through my mother-in-law's window. There were

6 a lot of men, children of 15 who they found in the

7 houses, and whom they took to a road, and obviously they

8 were carrying weapons, rifles and they were pointing

9 them at these people and they also had the HVO patches

10 on them. There were 25 people who were taken away then,

11 including the children of 15, and I never saw them

12 again.

13 They took them away down in the direction of

14 Busovaca. After that, my husband and my brother-in-law

15 and the boy that was with them had to come downstairs

16 and to go and hide in the woods. We told them to flee

17 the house, and that is what they did. They left, in the

18 direction of the woods, of the forest that was there.

19 They went in and they hid there all day long.

20 After that, a neighbour of mine arrived who

21 brought me my husband's message, that I should prepare

22 some food both for him and the people who were there

23 with him. I went to my house, because my house was

24 about 30 metres away from my mother-in-law's house.

25 I went to collect some food. There was terrible

Page 5156

1 shooting at that time, I had to run, so I did. I came

2 to my house.

3 When I came in the vicinity of my house, I heard

4 some noise, behind my house there was a forest, and

5 somebody was saying, "stop, I will kill you". I took a

6 few things, food, that is, to go and prepare it for them

7 so they could have something to eat.

8 I came down to my house, I told my sister-in-law

9 that that is what I heard, that somebody was probably

10 captured there, so we prepared lunch or dinner. Nobody

11 was showing up from among our men. It was already late

12 in the evening when my husband and his relatives came.

13 They were very shaken, they could not speak, let alone

14 eat. My husband was just kissing my children and was

15 not saying a thing, not a word. He was just looking at

16 the children and filled with fear, what would happen to

17 his children, what was going to happen then. That night

18 the whole night we spent together, we were there.

19 In the morning, we had to get up early, because we

20 were not even sleeping. Early in the morning, I gave my

21 husband my robe and my scarf, so that he could put it on

22 and hide that he was a man. We went to the barn where

23 the hay was, and I covered him with hay so that he would

24 not be seen, and he told me not to say anything to the

25 mother about any captures, because he saw that his two

Page 5157

1 brothers were taken away by the HVO. I just kept silent

2 and I went back.

3 That day, there was also terrible shooting. It

4 was terrible, shelling and shooting. I went to see what

5 my husband was doing. He was very scared, he could not

6 talk and he did not eat anything that day either. We

7 were in the house and the shooting went on and on.

8 After that, I came out in front of the house. When

9 I turned around, I saw that Jelinak was on fire.

10 I entered the house to be with my children, and I was

11 not talking, I was crying, I was afraid.

12 After that, a relative of my husband appeared at

13 the door, who asked for my husband, where he was, to

14 tell him that they had to flee, because Jelinak was

15 already on fire and soon they will be coming to set our

16 own village on fire. Then I went to the barn to tell my

17 husband that they had to flee. My husband came out, he

18 came and he was still very afraid. He himself did not

19 know what to do. They saw that they had to run away and

20 they got ready for that.

21 After that, my husband came, came to the door and

22 asked me to bring out the children, to see his

23 children. He kissed them and he told me not to be

24 afraid, that nothing will happen to me, so he was trying

25 to keep me brave so that I would stay there with my

Page 5158

1 children. I was crying, he was kissing the children and

2 he had to go.

3 My husband left then, and I have never seen him

4 again. Half an hour went by, and terrible shooting

5 could be heard in the village, the shooting was terrible

6 and through the window, I saw the HVO military

7 approaching our house. My son was 11 months old then,

8 then I got him ready because I knew that I would have to

9 run and my daughter was three and a half at the time.

10 They came in front of the house, the HVO military, with

11 the HVO insignia. Some had stockings over their faces,

12 some did not. Then they told us to come out of the

13 house. We had to come out of the house.

14 I carried out my 11 month old child, and I was

15 barefoot, I was holding my daughter with my other hand.

16 They ordered us then to go to my sister-in-law's house,

17 and that is where we were standing in front of her

18 house, and HVO soldier entered into my sister-in-law's

19 house, he had a canister in his house. There was some

20 fuel, maybe petrol in it. I heard him banging around

21 the house and turning things over, breaking things.

22 I believe that he was looking for weapons then but he

23 did not find anything. I was standing in front of the

24 house.

25 I asked one HVO soldier whether I could enter the

Page 5159

1 house to take Pampers for my child. He said that

2 I could, but I had to come back right away, so I went

3 in, I took them and I came back right out and I already

4 saw that he had taken the canister and he was pouring

5 whatever it was, it could have been oil or fuel, but he

6 set my sister-in-law's house on fire. Then he also did

7 it to my mother-in-law's house, I saw it burning. Then

8 the HVO soldiers told us to go in front of them. We

9 went to the mektep, and there were a lot of our people

10 there. The HVO soldiers kept their guns pointed at us.

11 They had the HVO insignia, insignia of the HVO. There

12 were a lot of people there from Jelinak, Putis, they

13 were all underage children, elderly men and children, so

14 there were the HVO and the HV people there.

15 Near the mektep, there was a cow mooing terribly

16 because it was on fire. When they gathered us all

17 together, the HVO soldiers, they also kept their guns

18 pointed at us and they made us enter the mektep and we

19 did enter the mektep. There were about 200 people

20 there, mostly children and women and the elderly. We

21 entered there and we sat there. They told us not to try

22 to come out, because if anybody did, they would kill

23 him. We did not dare come out, because we were told

24 that we would be killed if we did.

25 After a while, we saw that everything was on fire,

Page 5160

1 there was shooting and it was terrible, terrible. We

2 were in great fear, fear when you see that everything

3 was burning, and what would happen to us. Then I had to

4 go and see what was -- I had to go to my house, because

5 my child was 11 months old and he was hungry, my

6 daughter was hungry, all the children were hungry.

7 I went to my house to see whether there was anything

8 that I could find him so that they could eat. I went

9 with my sister-in-law, we were in great fear because

10 everything was on fire, terrible shooting. I went to my

11 house which had already burnt down. There was nothing

12 I could find there.

13 I went to my mother-in-law's, to her house, and

14 that house was also on fire, but I found a T-shirt which

15 I put over my nose and mouth so that I entered the

16 house, even though it was on fire, it was filled with

17 smoke, but I had to go in and see if I could find

18 anything for my children, for the other children, but

19 no, there was nothing there either. Everything had

20 burned down. There was just a bag with clothing which

21 had started to burn. I took that and I brought it out.

22 I then returned to the mektep, because everything had

23 burned down and there was nothing to be found there.

24 So for a while we were there in fear, and after

25 that, we decided to go in the direction of Vrhovine, and

Page 5161

1 then whatever the fate would give us, whatever would

2 happen to us, because there was nothing for us there, it

3 was over, everything had burned down. Then we agreed to

4 get going, it was already night, and we went up in that

5 direction, there was mud on the road, my three and

6 a half year old daughter was barefoot. She could not

7 walk, and I had to carry the 11 month old son, and I was

8 hungry too, I had not eaten anything. The children were

9 crying, they had nothing to eat, and they could not

10 walk. So we walked for a while, and we heard some

11 voices which were telling us to stop. We had to stop.

12 When we approached, we saw the HVO soldiers with

13 the HVO insignia on them. They asked us where we were

14 going, in which direction we were going, and we told

15 them that we were going up towards Vrhovine. They said,

16 "nothing doing, you are not going anywhere". They

17 started taunting us, they started cursing our balija

18 mothers. They said, "Alija fuck your mothers, you are

19 not going anywhere. You have to keep silent", so we

20 did.

21 Then they ordered us to go into a house. We

22 entered this house, the house had three rooms, and 200

23 of us, women, children, we all had to accommodate

24 ourselves in those three rooms, and we entered and we

25 sat down. I was sitting on my knees, and holding on to

Page 5162

1 my two children. I had them in my lap, so I could not

2 turn, let alone move, because everything was packed. It

3 was a lot of children, helpless children, as well as

4 women and men.

5 We sat there, they brought in a candle for us

6 which could not last very long. The children were

7 crying because they were hungry. Then a soldier came

8 and was asking for me and my sister-in-law, and my

9 uncle's wife. I kept silent. I did not dare say

10 anything. So I was silent and I was looking at my

11 children. I covered them, because the children were

12 afraid.

13 After that, an HVO soldier came who was terrible,

14 he had a long coat on him, and the HV insignia on him.

15 When he entered the room, he started cursing, "where are

16 your men, balijas? This is no place for you. You

17 belong in Turkey, that is where you should be". So he

18 cursed our balija mothers. We had to keep silent. We

19 were helpless and we did not dare speak. Then he asked

20 where our husbands were. We just kept silent, because

21 we did not dare say anything.

22 After that, he pulled out a big knife, a knife

23 which had blood on it, and this HVO soldier was Cicko.

24 I know him as Cicko, I know his name, Miroslav Bralo.

25 He pulled out a big bloodied knife, which he showed us

Page 5163

1 and he said, "you see, balijas, you see this knife?

2 With this knife, I was slitting throats in Ahmici and

3 that is exactly what I am going to do with you". We

4 just kept silent, we did not dare even look. Then my

5 daughter who was three, three and a half then, she

6 started to scream and she said, "cover me, he is going

7 to kill me, the soldier is going to kill me". I had to

8 cover her, because he said, "if I hear any child scream

9 or cry in front of me ", he would kill them. So

10 I covered my daughter with a blanket so that he would

11 not hear her. After that he left. We were in great

12 fear because that man, the man who talked such things,

13 he is still walking around Vitez and he is still

14 terrorising victims. He is still free.

15 After that, a relative of ours went out to the

16 hallway to ask something, probably to ask something, and

17 then we heard him being beaten, beaten with rifle

18 butts. He quickly returned. When he came back in, his

19 face was bloodied. He just bowed his head and looked in

20 front of him. That night was terrible, we were in

21 fear. There was shooting going on around the house

22 where we were. They were scaring us. They were

23 shooting a lot. We were just scared, scared.

24 When it dawned the next morning, the poor children

25 were exhausted. We were keeping them in our laps, even

Page 5164

1 two, even three if we had to, in our lap or in our

2 arms. A relative came who said that we should get

3 ready, that we would be searched, that we would be

4 frisked and then apparently that we would be let go, so

5 we got ready, we got our children ready and we were

6 prepared to come out. The daughter was with my

7 mother-in-law, I only had my son with me. When I came

8 out, my daughter was about 10 metres away from me.

9 An HVO soldier who had the HVO insignia was

10 frisking me to see whether I had anything. I asked him,

11 "please let me die together with my daughter, she is

12 over there with my mother-in-law, we want to die

13 together". He let me, and then I went over to my

14 daughter and a HVO soldier whose nickname was Joza, he

15 showed us the road where we were going to go. We

16 thought then that we were going to be taken to be

17 executed. We went, carrying our children, we thought

18 that at any moment they would start shooting at us. We

19 wanted to have our children next to us. We went for a

20 while and then the HVO soldier, whom I know by the name

21 of Joza, he told us to keep going straight, that nobody

22 was to go anywhere off the road, because if they did,

23 they would be killed.

24 So we went for a while, we went for quite a while,

25 and we came to Vrhovine. When we came to Vrhovine,

Page 5165

1 there was terrible shelling there. Any moment you would

2 expect it when you would just fall, you would be killed,

3 they were shooting and it was terrible. There was

4 shooting and shelling. We were in the basement. We

5 were spending horrible days and nights because there was

6 not a moment without shooting or shelling. We spent

7 seven days in this basement, and there was heavy

8 shelling all around us, we were expecting to be killed

9 at any moment.

10 After seven days, an elderly man, he had remained

11 in Loncari, he had trouble walking, he was very old, he

12 was 70 or 80 years old, I do not know exactly. He

13 arrived up there and he told us that he was in Ahmici,

14 because this man did not know what had happened, he was

15 in Ahmici when the HVO military spotted him, the men

16 with the HVO uniform and they shot over his head. They

17 were scaring him, they were telling him, "old man, we

18 will kill you now". He then said, "kill me, I am not

19 afraid of death". Then they told him, these HVO

20 military, "no, we will not kill you, old man. We will

21 kill your youth, we will kill the young ones".

22 This is what he told us when he arrived. The man

23 was very scared, he was a helpless man. This is about

24 it, I think.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness Q this was a very complete

Page 5166

1 narrative of what happened to you. We are going to

2 suspend the hearing and we will resume at 2.45, during

3 which time the Prosecutor will ask some additional

4 questions.

5 A. Thank you.

6 JUDGE JORDA: We will start again at 2.45.

7 (1.15 pm)

8 (Adjourned until 2.45 pm)


















Page 5167

1 (2.45 pm)

2 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now. Please have

3 the accused brought in.

4 (Accused brought in)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Harmon, Witness Q, you told us about the

6 essential events at which you were present and I believe

7 that the Prosecutor will now ask you more specific

8 questions in support of the indictment against General

9 Blaskic. You will not repeat everything you said, but

10 you will be asked to provide some clarifications by the

11 questions that the Prosecutor will ask you.

12 Mr Prosecutor, please proceed.

13 MR HARMON: Thank you, Mr President.

14 Good afternoon, Witness Q.

15 A. Good afternoon.

16 Q. You testified that on 16th April, when you were awakened

17 by shelling, that you saw the villages of Jelinak, Putis

18 being attacked and you saw Merdani being shelled. Can

19 you describe to the judges what you saw in respect of

20 HVO soldiers advancing on the village of Jelinak? How

21 many soldiers you saw, which route they were taking,

22 which road they were taking?

23 A. HVO soldiers were coming along the road leading from

24 Busovaca. They were coming from that direction. At the

25 time, I saw some people coming in a van, others in cars,

Page 5168

1 some were coming on foot, and the men on foot. I saw

2 very many of those soldiers, I cannot remember the

3 number because at the time I really did not care about

4 counting them, I just saw them. But in any event they

5 were very numerous.

6 I saw them shelling Merdani and Putis from

7 Busovaca. The shells were falling. When the soldiers

8 got there firing could be heard first and after that

9 shelling. The sound was terrible, and I saw them

10 passing through and I saw them taking their own families

11 away. They were taking their wives and children in the

12 direction of Busovaca, of course. They were taking them

13 to Busovaca.

14 Q. On 16th April, your village, the village of Loncari, was

15 not attacked, was it?

16 A. No, it was not.

17 Q. Now I would like to turn your attention to the next day,

18 the day that the men were rounded up in the village of

19 Loncari. Can you describe to the judges how the

20 soldiers who came to round up the Muslim men in your

21 village were dressed and how they were armed?

22 A. The HVO soldiers were dressed in camouflage uniforms,

23 and they had the usual HVO insignia on their sleeves,

24 they were well armed, they held belts across their

25 chests and they had automatic rifles.

Page 5169

1 Q. Approximately how many soldiers did you see -- HVO

2 soldiers did you see participating in a round up of the

3 Muslim men in your village on that day?

4 A. Approximately there were about, I believe there were

5 more than 30 of them, because there were those who

6 rounded up our men, there were 25 of our men, they took

7 those 25 men away, and they ranged between 15 and 30

8 years of age, and the boys of 15 that were taken away,

9 I never saw them again, nor anyone else among us ever

10 saw them again.

11 Q. Those soldiers who came to your village were insulting

12 you and insulting the other people who lived in the

13 village. Can you be a little more explicit about the

14 insults that you were hearing them direct toward you and

15 toward the other villagers?

16 A. This is how they insulted us. They said "balijas, go to

17 Turkey, this is not any place for you. It never was.

18 This is Croatian land. This is the land of the HVO

19 army". They would also say that Alija should fuck our

20 mothers, that he too should go to Turkey, and all kinds

21 of such awful insults.

22 Q. Now, is the term "balija" an insult?

23 A. I think it is, because after all, we are one people, we

24 are by religion Muslims and he was insulting us by

25 saying this.

Page 5170

1 Q. Now let me turn to the third day, the day that your

2 village was set on fire. Did you have an opportunity to

3 look in the direction of Putis and Jelinak, and can you

4 describe to the judges what you saw the state of those

5 villages to be?

6 A. Do you want me to show it or to describe it? I did not

7 quite understand the question.

8 Q. Describe it, please.

9 A. To describe it, I see. I did see Jelinak and Putis,

10 which was shelled heavily, and exposed to a lot of

11 fire. I saw the village in flames, burning. We saw a

12 large cloud of smoke. I also heard from neighbours from

13 Putis and Jelinak that they had been chased out of their

14 houses and when they had been thrown out, they had

15 poured fuel around the houses and set fire to them, that

16 they had sacked the houses, raided them but they did not

17 find anything.

18 Q. When you say you talked to neighbours from Jelinak and

19 Putis, are those among the refugees who found themselves

20 in the mektep in your village on the third day, some of

21 the 200 or so civilians who were put in the mektep?

22 A. Yes, they came to our village. They came over to our

23 place and they were with us, shut up in the mektaba.

24 That is where they were. They told us how their houses

25 had been set on fire, how they too had been insulted and

Page 5171

1 how they had shot in the air around them to frighten

2 them.

3 Q. You mentioned that the houses in your village were set

4 afire. Were the barns also set afire, and when the

5 barns were set afire, did they have livestock in them?

6 A. Yes, the houses were set on fire and so were the barns,

7 and the livestock in the barns burnt with the barns.

8 Q. On the third day, did you have occasion to see soldiers

9 wearing HV insignia?

10 A. Yes, I did.

11 Q. Can you explain to the judges what you saw in respect of

12 those soldiers?

13 A. What did I see? I saw the way they were dressed, they

14 were dressed in camouflage uniforms, some of them had HV

15 insignia, others had HVO insignia.

16 Q. Let me show you, with the assistance of the usher, if

17 I could, Mr Usher, and Mr Dubuisson, if I could have

18 116/2 and 100/2 placed on the ELMO in succession.

19 Witness Q, starting with 116/2, if that could be

20 placed on the ELMO, do you see that on your monitor,

21 Witness Q, and do you recognise that?

22 A. Yes, I can see it and I do recognise it. That is the HV

23 insignia. That is what it looked like in the HV and HVO

24 army. They did wear this.

25 Q. Now if I could have 100/2 placed on the ELMO. Could

Page 5172

1 I have your comments on this exhibit as well, Witness Q,

2 do you recognise that?

3 A. Yes, of course I do. Indeed. This is the insignia that

4 I saw most frequently among a large number of soldiers.

5 Cicko was wearing this same HVO insignia.

6 Q. In your direct examination, you have clarified that

7 particular point for me. It appeared on the transcript

8 in your direct examination that Cicko was wearing an HV

9 insignia. Was he wearing an HV insignia or an HVO

10 insignia?

11 A. No, Cicko was wearing an HVO patch.

12 Q. All right, thank you very much, Mr Usher, I am finished

13 with those exhibits.

14 Later, Witness Q, did you learn that your husband

15 had been captured by the HVO and killed?

16 A. Yes, I learnt that the HVO had captured my husband, and

17 it was Cicko with the HVO patch who had captured him and

18 he killed him.

19 MR HARMON: Mr President, I have the next exhibit which

20 I would like to introduce. It will be Exhibit 179.

21 I will not be showing it on the ELMO, it is a

22 photograph, I will ask the witness merely to look at it

23 and identify it. I would ask that this exhibit be

24 admitted under seal. I have explained to the witness,

25 Mr President, the concerns of the Chamber in that

Page 5173

1 regard.

2 The usher is showing you, Witness Q, a photograph

3 that is Prosecutor's Exhibit 179. Can you identify the

4 person in that photograph?

5 A. Yes, this is my husband who was killed by Cicko, and at

6 the time, he was wearing blue jeans and a blue T-shirt.

7 Q. Let me ask you to -- I am finished with that, Mr Usher,

8 thank you. Now I would like to turn your attention to

9 another subject area and ask you if, prior to the attack

10 on your village, you had ever seen then Colonel Blaskic

11 and Dario Kordic and other individuals on television,

12 and whether you had seen them together on television.

13 Had you seen them on television together?

14 A. Yes, I saw Blaskic and Kordic on television, as we were

15 forced to watch only the HTV, Croatian television. We

16 had no other programmes, so I watched and I saw Blaskic

17 and Kordic, who were saying that this was Herceg-Bosna,

18 that Herceg-Bosna would remain as it always was,

19 Herceg-Bosna. That is what I heard on television.

20 MR HAYMAN: Vague as to who, your Honour.

21 MR HARMON: Let me clarify it then, Mr President. I am

22 happy to do so. Do you remember what General Blaskic

23 was saying specifically?

24 A. General Blaskic and Dario Kordic were using the same

25 words. They would express approval to each other of

Page 5174

1 what they were saying. They were pleased with

2 themselves, both General Blaskic and Kordic.

3 Q. Now let me change the topic once again. Since the peace

4 accord, have you had an opportunity to return to the

5 village of Loncari?

6 A. Yes, I went to my house.

7 Q. Can you explain to the judges what you saw on the two

8 occasions that you returned to the village?

9 A. The first time I went home, I had to jump over mines,

10 because it was very hard to reach my house, there were a

11 lot of mines there, but I did, by jumping over the

12 mines, manage to reach my house. When I got there,

13 I saw that the house had been burnt down, and in red

14 letters, it was written on my house, "HVO army, balijas

15 go to Turkey, there is no room for you here, there never

16 was", and this is written on the walls of my house to

17 this day. And the second time I visited my house,

18 I went there with my little girl and my son and my

19 brother-in-law was there too, he was looking after my

20 little girl and I was holding my son, because there were

21 mines there still. We did not stay for more than ten

22 minutes, and then the HVO troops came, those who had

23 thrown us out of the village. There were people who had

24 tried to sow some of the fields, but they chased us all

25 away. They said this was no longer our land and that

Page 5175

1 they did not want to see us there any more, so we left,

2 and I have never tried to go back again.

3 MR HARMON: Mr President, I have concluded my examination of

4 Witness Q. I would ask that Prosecutor's Exhibit 178,

5 which is the collage of portions of Exhibit 59, be

6 admitted into evidence.

7 JUDGE JORDA: I see there are no comments from the Defence.

8 MR HARMON: I thought I had moved to introduce under seal

9 179, but now I would move to introduce 179 as well and

10 ask that it be placed under seal.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Now the counsel for General Blaskic will ask

12 you some questions. I believe it is Mr Nobilo.

13 Cross-examined by MR NOBILO

14 Q. Thank you, Mr President.

15 Madam Q, as you have heard, my name is Anto

16 Nobilo, my colleague is Mr Hayman, we are Defence

17 counsel for General Blaskic and I have only a couple of

18 questions by way of explanation. You said that your men

19 had surrendered their weapons and that the HVO had

20 guaranteed their safety. When was this, in what month

21 and what year?

22 A. Let me see. I cannot tell you the month exactly, that

23 was the first time when they attacked the village of

24 Loncari.

25 Q. So this was when the first conflict occurred in the

Page 5176

1 Busovaca municipality?

2 A. It was not a conflict, it was an attack, it was an

3 attack on the village of Loncari.

4 Q. How much before this event that you told us about today

5 was it?

6 A. I do not understand the question.

7 Q. You are talking about the attack on the village of

8 Loncari, or rather the disarming of men. How much time

9 elapsed before that and this event that you have told

10 us?

11 A. It was before this second event.

12 JUDGE RIAD: Let the interpreter say when it is a question

13 and when it is an answer, otherwise we cannot follow.

14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad. When the discuss is

15 being conducted in Serbo-Croat, that is extremely

16 important, thank you.

17 MR NOBILO: Thank you. I shall do my best.

18 How long before the April attack against the

19 village of Loncari were the men of the village of

20 Loncari disarmed?

21 A. About three months before the attack.

22 Q. Is it true that the Muslim men between 15 and 50 had

23 been mobilised for the BH-Army?

24 A. No, it is not true. We had no army at the time at all.

25 Q. You made two previous statements, and I should like to

Page 5177

1 draw your attention to something you said on 2nd and

2 5th February 1996, on page 3, right at the beginning.

3 I shall try and read it to you in English:

4 "All the men between 15 and 50 years of age in the

5 village were mobilised."

6 Is that what you told the investigators of the

7 Office of the Prosecution?

8 A. Yes, I do not exactly recall saying it, but if it says

9 that, I did. When I said "mobilised", it means nothing

10 more than that they kept nightwatch duty, so that in the

11 event of an attack, the population could withdraw.

12 Q. In the same statement, you go on to say:

13 "They fought against Chetniks."

14 A. I do not recall that, believe me. But if I made that

15 statement, I abide by it.

16 Q. Thank you. Was there any trench digging around the

17 village in order to protect it before or at the time of

18 the conflict?

19 A. Let me repeat, it was not a conflict, it was an attack

20 on the village and we had nothing, nor was anything dug,

21 nor did we have anything. It was an attack, not a

22 conflict.

23 Q. On page 7 of this same report, the investigator who had

24 the interview with you said:

25 "She does not know anything about trenches, except

Page 5178

1 the one which was dug near her house by the Bosnian

2 army."

3 Did you say that in your interview with the

4 investigator?

5 A. This is what I told the investigator. It was not dug by

6 the Bosnian army, it was dug out by my husband and his

7 brother, so as to protect his children, but it was not

8 to defend anything or anybody, because we had nothing.

9 It was not a conflict, it was an attack. We did have a

10 trench behind the house so that I and my children and my

11 sister-in-law could hide there.

12 Q. Very well, so I think we can go on, but it was a trench?

13 A. It was not a trench, it was a shelter for me and my

14 children and my mother-in-law and women, other women.

15 Q. When you said that on 16th, 17th there was shelling and

16 shooting, was your village being shelled? Did a single

17 shell fall into your village?

18 A. On the 16th and the 17th?

19 Q. And the 18th.

20 A. And the 18th.

21 Q. In the village, did a single shell fall into your

22 village?

23 A. Not a single shell fell in my village when I was there,

24 but in the surrounding villages there was a lot of

25 firing and shooting and shelling.

Page 5179

1 Q. There was an interruption by the interpreters, we are

2 speaking too fast, because we are using the same

3 language. Can I repeat, did I understand you well to

4 say that the village of Loncari was not shelled on the

5 16th or the 17th or the 18th April when you left that

6 village?

7 A. No, it was not shelled while I was there, but the

8 surrounding villages that were very close to ours were

9 shelled.

10 Q. On 16th, 17th or 18th April, did anybody shoot at you,

11 at your houses using small arms?

12 A. Yes, the HVO army did shoot when it came into the

13 village. They were trying to provoke us and intimidate

14 us and frighten us.

15 Q. Did they shoot at the civilians to kill them or in the

16 air to frighten them?

17 A. They shot above our heads to frighten us.

18 Q. When all this was happening, was there any military

19 attack on the village, or did the HVO soldiers just come

20 into the village and shoot to frighten you?

21 A. The HVO soldiers could enter the village whenever they

22 wanted, because the little weapons we had had been taken

23 away, so they could have come in and do whatever they

24 wished and frighten us in any way they wanted to.

25 Q. So there was no military attack, they just entered the

Page 5180

1 village?

2 A. There was no military attack, of course it was a

3 military attack, because after all we are civilians and

4 they had rifles in their hands.

5 Q. Did HVO soldiers kill anyone in the village?

6 A. I did not see it.

7 Q. In your examination-in-chief, you said that they took

8 away men between 15 and 30 or 25, I do not remember what

9 you said, and that you never saw somebody again. Who

10 was that exactly?

11 A. There are ten persons that I never saw again, since the

12 day they were taken away. They never appeared, nor has

13 anyone else seen them.

14 Q. Do you know what happened to them?

15 A. Some of them were killed, and for others we still do not

16 know what happened to them, they are missing.

17 Q. Who was killed and where?

18 A. Who was killed and where? There are eyewitnesses who

19 were present and who saw them being killed.

20 Q. But I am asking you according to your own knowledge, if

21 you know anything about it.

22 A. I cannot say anything about it. There are eyewitnesses

23 who were there when they were killed.

24 Q. So somebody told you?

25 A. Yes, people told me.

Page 5181

1 Q. Who told you?

2 A. A man who saw my husband being killed told me about it,

3 and I know who killed him, Cicko killed him, and the

4 same applies to the others, there were eyewitnesses,

5 there were people who watched them killing people.

6 Q. Madam, I asked you regarding the 25 men who were taken

7 away, out of those 25, will you please tell me if you

8 know the name of the man who told you and described who

9 was killed and where and how, any one of those 25?

10 A. I cannot tell you that.

11 Q. So you cannot tell me that. So we have understood this

12 part, that Cicko killed your husband. We will not dwell

13 on that, I accept that.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Who was in control of the village of Merdani? Was it

16 the HVO or the BH-Army?

17 A. There was no BH-Army at the time, there were just the

18 inhabitants of Merdani.

19 Q. There was no BH-Army?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Madam, in that same report on page 5 in the middle, you

22 say, let me try and read it in English:

23 "From Loncari, she could see Merdani and she knows

24 that the Bosnian army was in Merdani."

25 Is that what you said?

Page 5182

1 A. The Bosnian army did not exist at all at the time, and

2 I believe even if there were any men there, they were

3 just defending their families to keep them alive and to

4 save them, but there were no military men, no army at

5 the time.

6 Q. Are you trying to say that in April 1993, there was no

7 BH-Army?

8 A. I do not know.

9 Q. Who controlled Putis, in those days, 17th and

10 18th April?

11 A. 17th and 18th April, there were the inhabitants of

12 Putis, only the inhabitants of Putis, who were attacked

13 by the HVO.

14 Q. Did the HVO manage to capture Putis or not?

15 A. You are asking me whether they succeeded? I do not

16 know.

17 Q. Jelinak, who controlled Jelinak, the village of Jelinak?

18 A. The HVO set fire to the village of Jelinak.

19 Q. Did it stay in Jelinak, or was the HVO thrown out, HVO

20 army thrown out of Jelinak?

21 A. In the village of Jelinak, there were only the people,

22 there was no army there. They could do with our people

23 whatever they wanted.

24 Q. Madam, on page 8 of the same report that we have already

25 referred to, in the middle:

Page 5183

1 "Many villagers from Jelinak went back, most

2 probably last year. This is so because the Bosnian took

3 Jelinak over and Loncari stayed in HVO controlled area."

4 Is that correct?

5 A. I do not know.

6 Q. You reached Vrhovine. Who controlled Vrhovine?

7 A. No one controlled Vrhovine, there were just the people

8 there, ordinary people just like us, because as I keep

9 telling you, we did not have an army at the time, we

10 just had the inhabitants that we stayed with.

11 Q. When Vrhovine was attacked, did anyone defend it?

12 A. I do not know, I was in the basement with my children.

13 Q. Did you see a single Croat in Vrhovine at the time?

14 A. I did not have a chance to go out, because there was

15 shelling and fire all around. I could not leave the

16 children to go out and look around.

17 Q. Let us now go on to another subject. In your

18 examination-in-chief, you mentioned a soldier near

19 Kratine coming looking for you, and you did not answer.

20 Was that a man called Joza?

21 A. Yes, it was, Joza.

22 Q. What did he say, why was he looking for you?

23 A. He did not say anything to me, I did not dare answer

24 him, but allegedly he told my sister-in-law that

25 apparently he would not hurt us, that he would save us

Page 5184

1 and if he saw our husbands there that if they are

2 brought under their control that he would apparently

3 help them, but that same Joza was there when my husband

4 was captured and he was there when he was killed.

5 Q. Is that the same Joza who showed you the way?

6 A. Yes, it is the same Joza, the road towards Vrhovine.

7 Q. How far is it from Kratine to Vrhovine?

8 A. From Kratine to Vrhovine, I do not know how far it is,

9 but it seemed ever so far away because I was thirsty and

10 hungry and I had to carry my children.

11 Q. Josip, this is probably the same man Joza, said that it

12 would be a good idea to go with him because if Cicko

13 came, you could be hurt?

14 A. Yes, he did say that.

15 Q. How many HVO patches did you see?

16 A. I saw so many that I could not count them.

17 Q. 30, 50 -- HV, I am asking for the HV.

18 A. I do not know exactly, but there were a lot.

19 Q. How many, roughly?

20 A. I do not know, because those were not times when you

21 wanted to count.

22 Q. Among the group in your village, that appeared in your

23 village, were there more or less than half with HV

24 patches?

25 A. The HV were much fewer. The HVO were far more numerous.

Page 5185

1 Q. The television incident with Blaskic and Kordic. How

2 often did you see Blaskic and Kordic together on

3 television?

4 A. I had occasion to see them two or three times, because

5 I did not watch television, my late husband did.

6 Q. Could you concentrate, please, and tell us exactly what

7 it is that Blaskic said; not what they were saying

8 together, but what did Blaskic say?

9 A. What one said, the other approved of, so they were

10 absolutely the same. They said that it was

11 Herceg-Bosna, that it would remain Herceg-Bosna and that

12 it was always Croatian land, and also that their time

13 had come for them to prove that they had attained their

14 Herceg-Bosna.

15 Q. How did they say that together, in one voice?

16 A. No, they did not. One would speak and the other would

17 support him, so when the other would speak then the

18 first one would support him.

19 Q. How, in what way?

20 A. In the sense that that was fine, that his words were

21 correct, that they were absolutely true.

22 MR NOBILO: Thank you, Mr President.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Harmon. Do you want some

24 further clarifications?

25 MR HARMON: No, Mr President, thank you.

Page 5186

1 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Riad.

2 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon.

3 A. Good afternoon.

4 Q. I have to call you by Witness Q. Why was the village of

5 Loncari attacked by the HVO? Had it any importance, any

6 military importance? Were there bases of the BH? Why

7 were they keen on coming to Loncari in particular, in

8 your opinion?

9 A. I do not know. There were no bases in Loncari,

10 nothing. They had no reason to come to mistreat us,

11 except that we were Muslim and I think that was really

12 the only reason.

13 Q. Then you said they collected 25 men and among them

14 children of 15 years old. Were they taken in fighting

15 as prisoners of war? Were they fighting, or were they

16 just civilians chosen from here and there?

17 A. No, they were not fighters or anything. We did not have

18 that. They came to the village, they simply gathered

19 these young men and men, they were civilians. At that

20 time, we did not have anything. They just rounded them

21 up and they took them away.

22 Q. Did they make any selection, did they just take anybody

23 they met, or they selected some special people, and why

24 did they select these people, in your opinion?

25 A. No, they rounded up all the ones that they could find,

Page 5187

1 all then they could find, regardless of the age, they

2 just rounded them all up and they took them away with

3 them.

4 Q. You said that one of them, I think it was an HVO -- I do

5 not know if it was an HVO, that you said a man told you

6 in Vrhovine that he would not kill you but would kill

7 your young ones. What was that, was he an HVO or just

8 somebody trying to be cruel?

9 A. This man was my grandfather, he is an old man and they

10 told this to him. They told him that they would kill

11 the youth, the young ones.

12 Q. Who are "they" who told him?

13 A. That was the HVO army, with the insignia, with HVO on

14 their shoulders, on their arms.

15 Q. You said that when you were on your way you saw HVO

16 soldiers coming in great numbers from Busovaca and

17 shelling Merdani and Putis. Merdani and Putis were

18 important bases with the BH-Army, or were just villages

19 like yours, do you know?

20 A. Those were the villages just like our own. There were

21 only civilians there. We had no army there at the

22 time. We had nothing, we were not armed.

23 Q. There was no attack from there on the HVO? There was no

24 shooting back?

25 A. I cannot recall, but I do remember seeing everything on

Page 5188

1 fire. I cannot say precisely. I just saw that there

2 were a lot of the military were attacking them, there

3 was a lot of shells and I saw the neighbours who came,

4 they came here barefoot and they were talking about it.

5 They did not have time to get ready.

6 Q. You mean the inhabitants of Merdani and Putis were

7 running away?

8 A. Women from Putis were with us in our village. They had

9 fled over to us, because they were setting houses on

10 fire over there and they had to flee over to us.

11 Q. They have set a lot of houses on fire in your village?

12 A. In my village?

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. In my village, all the houses were burned down, with the

15 exception of one house, which was later ransacked and

16 they demolished it. They took even the door frames and

17 window frames and they wrote some obscenities on the

18 walls. Everything else was burnt down.

19 Q. Just by the way, you mentioned that they insult you by

20 the name of "balija". What is the meaning of "balija"?

21 A. I do not know. I cannot say this.

22 Q. What does it indicate, do you know? It has no special

23 indication?

24 A. No, it was specifically an insult, because we did not

25 know that before.

Page 5189

1 Q. That is how they called the Muslims?

2 A. Yes, that is the name they used for Muslims, they called

3 us Muslims and gave us names.

4 Q. You went back to, you said you went back to Loncari, and

5 then you had to leave the village and go away. Did

6 other people stay in the village or all the inhabitants

7 of the village had to go away, as far as you remember?

8 It was your choice to go away or was it a decision all

9 the Muslims had to leave, were forced to leave. Of

10 course their houses were burnt, but they could still

11 stay, or they could not?

12 A. No, they did not -- we could not stay, we had to leave.

13 We had to leave.

14 Q. You felt threatened?

15 A. We felt terrible.

16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

17 JUDGE JORDA: Witness Q, we are finished. You were very

18 courageous, and the Tribunal thanks you for your

19 testimony. You may now go home, and I hope that you

20 will find some peace and some serenity.

21 Registrar, we will first ask the Prosecutor

22 whether he has another witness.

23 MR HARMON: No, Mr President. We have concluded for the

24 day.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Do you think that you will have a witness for

Page 5190

1 tomorrow morning?

2 MR HARMON: Yes, Mr President, we do.

3 JUDGE JORDA: You know that we only are going to meet

4 tomorrow morning?


6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Witness Q, please do not move

7 until after the judges have left the room. It will be

8 then easier to ensure your safety. All right. Do you

9 want us to start at 9.30 tomorrow, we are not going to

10 use the afternoon.

11 MR HARMON: Yes, Mr President, 9.30 is fine.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, 9.30 tomorrow morning then.

13 I believe my colleagues agree.

14 Mr Hayman, did you wish to say something? Do you

15 have a problem with that?

16 MR HAYMAN: No problem with 9.30, Mr President. We had

17 spoken about the possibility of taking five or ten

18 minutes for a further status conference this week. I do

19 not know if that would be convenient, to try and use the

20 time this afternoon, but I raise the issue for the

21 court's consideration.

22 JUDGE JORDA: I would agree, for us to see where we are in

23 the case. I would only ask that Olivier Fourmy be with

24 us. All right, we can adjourn until 4.00 and then come

25 back. The judges will remain at the bench but we will

Page 5191

1 not be wearing our robes. Mr Fourmy will be here as

2 well, for a status conference at 4.00. The hearing is

3 adjourned.

4 (proceedings adjourned at, 3.45 p.m. until

5 Friday, 12 December 1997, at 9.30 a.m.)