International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Friday, 12th December 1997

    2 (9.30 am)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the accused brought

    4 in.

    5 (Accused brought in)

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning, everybody. Is everybody ready.

    7 Does everybody hear? The Prosecutor, my colleagues, the

    8 Defence, General Blaskic, do you hear me? Very well.

    9 Mr. Prosecutor, perhaps we might resume now, or do

    10 you have a motion you would like to present first.

    11 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President, your Honours, good

    12 morning, counsel.

    13 Mr. President, I have a rather sensitive issue

    14 I would like to raise with the court in closed session,

    15 private session; if I could do that either before or

    16 after the witness testifies I would greatly appreciate

    17 it.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: We will take up the question immediately. Let

    19 us move into a closed session, please.

    20 (In closed session)

    21 (redacted)





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    13 Pages 5193 to 5205 redacted - in closed session













  1. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (10.50 am)

    8 (A short break)

    9 (11.10 am)

    10 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing. Have the accused

    11 brought in, please.

    12 (Accused brought in)

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, do you think that we might conclude

    14 by around 1.00 or 1.15, does that seem possible to you?

    15 MR. KEHOE: It is possible, Mr. President. I am not sure how

    16 this witness is going to do. He is an elderly

    17 gentleman, as you know it is difficult to know how

    18 quickly they will move.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. This is not a protected witness,

    20 if I am not mistaken. Who are we talking about here?

    21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I would like to bring that to

    22 your Honours' attention. He was going to be a protected

    23 witness and literally at the break this morning he

    24 decided he did not want protection. The gentleman's

    25 name is Ibrahim Nuhagic, that is I-B-R-A-H-I-M, last

  2. 1 name N-U-H-A-G-I-C.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Ibrahim, Nuhagic, all right.

    3 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, consistent with the prior

    4 presentations by the Office of the Prosecutor concerning

    5 the relevance of the testimony, we will once again be

    6 moving to another village and this is the village of

    7 Ocehnice, as your Honours can see in counts 2 and 4 of

    8 the indictment.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: What is the name of the village again?

    10 MR. KEHOE: Ocehnice. It is on page 7 of the indictment. It

    11 is O-C-E-H-N-I-C-E.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Page 7 of the indictment in the French

    13 version, of course.

    14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, of course.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you are right. Go ahead.

    16 MR. KEHOE: Likewise in counts 11 and 13 and hopefully it is

    17 page 9 in the French version as well, relating to the

    18 destruction and plunder of property, the village is

    19 named there as well. In this particular aspect, we

    20 will, as I said at the outset, move into the

    21 municipality of Busovaca, following along on the

    22 testimony that the Chamber heard concerning the village

    23 of Loncari. This witness will talk about the events

    24 that began in the municipality of Busovaca in January

    25 1993, where the HVO came to their village in late

  3. 1 January, incarcerated the men at the Kaonik Prison, beat

    2 them along the way, took them to dig trenches for a

    3 significant period of time. Some of the Bosnian Muslim

    4 men taken to dig those trenches were in fact killed.

    5 They were released in February with the assistance of

    6 the ICRC.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: July 1993, you said?

    8 MR. KEHOE: January 1993, Mr. President. After this witness

    9 and the other Bosnian men were released, they were then

    10 attacked on 19th April 1993, this witness's village, the

    11 village of Ocehnice was burnt to the ground. His

    12 mother, his wife, his sister and his two nieces were

    13 machine-gunned to death. He escaped with several other

    14 individuals in the village. He then, after being

    15 questioned on one occasion by the police, moved into a

    16 relative's house in Busovaca.

    17 Shortly after that, approximately 30 days, the

    18 Muslim residents of that house were thrown out, the

    19 house was occupied by Bosnian Croats; they went to a

    20 second house, they were thrown out of that house. Then

    21 they went to a third house and they were thrown out of

    22 that house, all by the HVO.

    23 They were then taken to a village called Skradno

    24 and the village Skradno is in the area between Vitez and

    25 Busovaca. Skradno was a village and essentially they

  4. 1 were in custody and prevented from moving in Skradno and

    2 from Skradno the HVO took them to dig trenches over a

    3 period of time in and around the Skradno area,

    4 specifically on the front-lines in Kula. He will talk

    5 about having seen the accused along with Kordic,

    6 Kostroman and Valenta frequently on television. He will

    7 talk about an individual who we have not introduced to

    8 date, by the name of Zoran Maric.

    9 Zoran Maric was the President of the Busovaca

    10 municipality. He will talk about a particular speech

    11 that Maric gave at a rally which the accused attended.

    12 Finally he will talk about an individual who is a member

    13 of the Jokers who gave an interview to the media that he

    14 observed concerning the excellent job that the HVO

    15 troops did in the village of Loncari.

    16 All of the items I have addressed, Mr. President

    17 and your Honours, deal with the counts on the

    18 indictment, specifically 2 and 4, directly counts 5 and

    19 10, count 11 --

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. You are going a little

    21 fast. I know we have to go fast, but let me try to

    22 follow you here. Two to 4, paragraph?

    23 MR. KEHOE: Counts 5 to 10 and counts 11 through 13, and all

    24 of the evidence, Mr. President, goes to count 1, which is

    25 the persecution count.

  5. 1 JUDGE JORDA: I am not doing this just for the sake of doing

    2 it, you understand that the judges want to be sure that

    3 in the questions you ask, the facts are illustrated in

    4 light of the charges that you brought against the

    5 General. Very well, you may have the accused brought

    6 in.

    7 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: How old is he?

    9 MR. KEHOE: At this juncture, Mr. President, he is approaching

    10 his 63rd birthday. He was born on 10th January 1935.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: You think that is old? Okay.

    12 MR. KEHOE: It is not old by our standards, Mr. President, but

    13 I think that people age a little more quickly in the

    14 former Yugoslavia.

    15 (Witness entered court)

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Do you hear me? Please stand up.

    17 Please stand. Thank you. Please tell the Tribunal --

    18 have no fears, rest assured, tell us your name and your

    19 first name, please.

    20 THE WITNESS: Ibrahim Nuhagic.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing, and the usher is going

    22 to give you a solemn declaration which you will be asked

    23 to read in your own language.

    24 THE WITNESS: Shall I do it out loud or shall I just read it

    25 to myself?

  6. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Read it out loud, please. It is an oath that

    2 you are taking.

    3 MR. IBRAHIM NUHAGIC (sworn)

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nuhagic. You may be seated.

    5 The Prosecutor -- do you hear me?

    6 A. I do.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: You have agreed to come to testify before this

    8 Tribunal, and the Tribunal thanks you for doing so. You

    9 may speak without fear, you are before judges who will

    10 listen to you, of course, ask you questions, the

    11 Prosecutor will ask you questions and then the Defence

    12 attorneys will also ask you questions.

    13 The Prosecutor has told us briefly which events

    14 you were witness to and which you experienced and which

    15 through you suffered. Speak to us specifically first of

    16 all of the events of January 1993 at the time that the

    17 HVO came and committed a certain number of acts against

    18 you. Then we will speak about the events of April 1993,

    19 the attack on your village, the fires. Perhaps you

    20 might even speak to us, even though it would be very

    21 painful, of the death of people close to you, deaths

    22 under difficult conditions, and then this long flight

    23 through several villages. These are the essential

    24 points which the Tribunal would like to hear you speak

    25 about. The Tribunal will occasionally ask you some

  7. 1 questions. Have no fears, and then he will specify

    2 certain points in light of the serious charges that have

    3 been brought against General Blaskic.

    4 Mr. Kehoe, perhaps you have some preliminary,

    5 general type of questions to ask before the witness

    6 makes his statement.

    7 Examined by MR. KEHOE

    8 Q. Yes, I do, Mr. President, thank you.

    9 Good morning, Mr. Nuhagic.

    10 A. Good morning.

    11 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, can you tell the court how old you are at

    12 this point?

    13 A. 62.

    14 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, are you a Muslim?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, prior to 19th April 1993, where did you

    17 live?

    18 A. In the village of Ocehnice, in the Busovaca

    19 municipality.

    20 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, beginning in January 1993, and if we can

    21 extend this through your period of time in Skradno in

    22 September 1993, can you tell the judges what happened to

    23 you and your family, sir.

    24 A. Shall I start with 1993, April 1993 or January of 1993,

    25 when we were taken to prison?

  8. 1 JUDGE JORDA: January 1993, please.

    2 A. In January 1993, at night, it was dusk, the HVO soldiers

    3 came to the village. They rounded up myself and my

    4 neighbours. We had some weapons from before which we

    5 shared with the HVO in 1992 and 1993, in the beginning,

    6 and on 27th January, they rounded us up, both us and the

    7 weapons, and we had to keep our hands behind our heads

    8 all the time, all the way to the camp.

    9 On the way, they abused us, there were blows up

    10 until we came down to the road. As we were entering the

    11 bus, there was a cordon of these soldiers, and we passed

    12 through this gauntlet. Nobody could pass without

    13 receiving a blow, in whichever part of the body it

    14 came. From there, the bus started in the direction of

    15 Busovaca. It came to stop in the bus station in

    16 Busovaca, an auxiliary platform, and then they ordered

    17 us out of the bus, and to turn and face the wall of the

    18 bus station.

    19 Then a van arrived which had a four-barrel

    20 anti-aircraft gun on it. When this vehicle stopped,

    21 came to a stop near us, the crew dismounted the vehicle

    22 and started hitting us there, and I received the most

    23 blows in my back. I still suffer consequences of that.

    24 Meanwhile, one of the HVO soldiers objected to this, why

    25 they were beating us. They started arguing over this

  9. 1 among themselves, so that they stopped beating us. Then

    2 they again ordered us in the bus, and the bus went along

    3 the road towards the blue 11. When we came to -- there

    4 was a unit whose commander was Mladen Agatic, and his

    5 deputy was Ivan Akrap. Again, as we got off the bus,

    6 they kept beating us all the way until we entered the

    7 building.

    8 In there, there was a lot of mistreatment and acts

    9 of provocation, and among -- the person that I noticed

    10 the most there was Ivan Popovic. He was the most

    11 prominent among them in this. We spent some time there,

    12 and the order again came for us to get back on to the

    13 bus. There again a gauntlet, a cordon on the way to the

    14 bus and again nobody could escape blows. Fehim,

    15 nicknamed Borovo was singled out. When they got him off

    16 the bus, they beat him a lot. He was trying to get on

    17 to the bus away from them, but Ivan Akrap prevented him,

    18 and he said that he was now in command there.

    19 When this beating was finished and he had entered

    20 the bus, we came to the Kaonik camp. In Kaonik, we gave

    21 our first and last names, and we were put in the

    22 improvised cells. Other cells were filled with

    23 prisoners who were all of Muslim ethnic background. We

    24 could not all fit in one cell, so we were all together

    25 six and so we were put into three separate cells, one in

  10. 1 one, two in another and three in another. I was feeling

    2 the blows that I had received a lot and I could not

    3 sleep that night, and I asked to be seen by the doctor

    4 that they had.

    5 They took me to their physician, but I could not

    6 stay in the room with him by myself, there was a HVO

    7 soldier who had escorted me there, he stayed in the

    8 room. I could not say that I was hit by the HVO

    9 soldiers, but instead I lied that I had fallen off the

    10 barn as I was feeding my livestock on that day when

    11 I was detained. It was very tight there in those, they

    12 were small cells and we were many. There were some

    13 boards there only, which were laid down in these cells.

    14 There was some hay, some dried grass that was thrown on

    15 top of it. There was some clothing from the former JNA,

    16 there were some coats and some blankets, things like

    17 that.

    18 The conditions were very poor. There was only one

    19 toilet for 400 or maybe 500 people, so if somebody

    20 needed to go and relieve himself, they took us out, and

    21 we were surrounded with these HVO soldiers who carried

    22 weapons so that someone would not try to flee, and then

    23 they would be taken back to the cells in the camp and

    24 were told that nobody was to ask to be taken out in

    25 another hour or two. The food was very bad and there

  11. 1 was very little of it. The portions that we were

    2 getting would not have been enough for one person, and

    3 we had to split that portion in two. The utensils were

    4 not washed, the cutlery. One group would leave and the

    5 next group would arrive at the same table and the food

    6 would be just poured into those same plates.

    7 People were taken out to dig trenches. I did not

    8 go to dig trenches. The doctor gave me a certificate

    9 and some pills for my pains, so that I would not be

    10 forced to go to dig. Since I could not sleep and there

    11 were even no conditions for it, I could not lie down

    12 anywhere. I was in pains and at night, we could hear

    13 moans in the -- some of the soldiers would take people

    14 out from the cells and they would beat them and mistreat

    15 them. They were asking for money, watches, valuables

    16 that people had on them. We could not keep those

    17 things, we could not protect them. We had to give them

    18 away.

    19 The Red Cross came and they registered us, and the

    20 people who went to dig complained that they were being

    21 treated poorly, that the soldiers who were guarding them

    22 were beating them, and were even ordering that they beat

    23 one another. They did not want to hit each other hard,

    24 and that soldier takes that same shovel and then he

    25 would tell the two who were supposed to hit each other

  12. 1 how to hit each other, he would demonstrate it for

    2 them.

    3 There were some people who even succumbed from all

    4 the beating they received during the digging.

    5 I remember well Mustafa Ibragic, whose nickname was

    6 Cakara. He was beaten up and he was tied to a vehicle.

    7 He came back to the Kaonik camp with the rest of them

    8 who went out digging, his comrades from the cell asked

    9 for help so that Mustafa Ibragic would be given some

    10 medical help. Apparently they took him out of the cell

    11 but no one knows where they took him and how it went.

    12 He was returned to the cell and in the cell he died.

    13 I also heard of two others, whose names I do not know.

    14 We were there until February, and then we were let

    15 go, we were allowed to go back home and most of us

    16 decided to return to our homes. We were told that

    17 nobody would bother us. Until April 1993, it was like

    18 that and so we even started to work on our fields. Some

    19 time in the afternoon, the HVO soldiers simply walked in

    20 the village. We had nothing at that time and there was

    21 nobody to put up any resistance and we could not do

    22 anything, because we were under the HVO control. They

    23 started burning and killing whoever they could reach.

    24 At the time I was in the outhouse and I was able

    25 to escape and save myself. They noticed as I was

  13. 1 fleeing and they shot after me, but fortunately I was

    2 not hit by any bullets. As I was fleeing away from the

    3 house, there was about 50 metres of a clearing, I was

    4 going zigzig, and I jumped into some kind of a trash

    5 heap, and the soldiers who were shooting after me,

    6 I think, reckoned that they had shot me down. I waited

    7 there for a while, I could not hear any footsteps in the

    8 vicinity, and after a while, I even raised my head a

    9 little bit, so that I could see what was going on in the

    10 village, what was all that heavy shooting about.

    11 As I looked up, I saw that my barn was on fire.

    12 Then I came to understand what it was about. I had to

    13 wait a little bit more and I had to hide a bit better.

    14 I could hear as the glass was shattering in the houses

    15 in the village, so that more air would come in and so

    16 that the house would burn better. When my uncle heard

    17 the shooting in the village, he came out of the house to

    18 see what was going on. He saw the smoke coming out of

    19 my barn, he saw that the barn was on fire. He tried to

    20 go in and let the livestock out, but he did not manage

    21 to get there, because he was noticed by a soldier from

    22 my yard and this soldier shot at him and wounded him.

    23 He pulled back, there was a cellar in the house

    24 where the food was kept over the winter, he fled into

    25 that cellar where there were other villagers, neighbours

  14. 1 of his and mine. They were searching the houses, they

    2 went looking to the upper floors. They did not find

    3 anyone, they were yelling, "where is the old man, where

    4 did he hide?". They continued doing what they were

    5 doing in the village, that is setting the houses on

    6 fire, breaking windows, and my family, who attempted to

    7 leave the ground floor, did not succeed in doing so.

    8 The HVO soldiers killed them in front of the house at

    9 the doorstep. The roof construction was collapsing as

    10 the house was burning.

    11 I saw when it grew dark that the soldiers were no

    12 longer around, they had finished their job. I came back

    13 to my house and circled it. I saw that my mother was on

    14 fire, and my wife. I managed to put out the fire on

    15 them, and my uncle who was wounded came over to me down

    16 the road and he said, "Ibrahim, take care of yourself.

    17 We cannot save what is gone, but we have to think of

    18 ourselves". That is what I did with my uncle and some

    19 other neighbours, we got together that evening, and we

    20 went to Busovaca through the woods. We hid and we went

    21 very silently, so that nothing could surprise us.

    22 We reached Busovaca. My uncle and I decided to go

    23 and stay with my uncle's son. In the meantime, I was

    24 not feeling comfortable about my dear ones lying there

    25 unburied in the village, so I decided to go to the

  15. 1 Dzemat committee, which is the Islamic association in

    2 Busovaca, to ask them whether they could do anything

    3 through the Red Cross or the UNPROFOR to ask permission

    4 for burial.

    5 In the meantime, the HVO police learnt that I was

    6 there, and that I was a living witness of what had been

    7 done in the village, because the group that was doing

    8 this in the village had told their command that no one

    9 in the village had survived the operation.

    10 When they arrested me and took me to the HVO

    11 police station, I saw bloodstains on the floor and on

    12 the walls. They took me inside for interrogation. Then

    13 I was subjected to mistreatment, threats, and I myself

    14 felt scared, seeing where I was. During the

    15 interrogation itself, they tried in various ways to

    16 trick me into saying that the HVO had killed the people

    17 and burnt the village. I did not agree to those traps

    18 of theirs. Then they asked how come I had survived when

    19 my closest relatives had died. I lied, and I said that

    20 I was in a shelter with some other neighbours. Then

    21 this same interrogator cursed my balija God, and said,

    22 "where are those neighbours, then?" I said that we had

    23 together come down to Busovaca that evening.

    24 He asked me, "how many were you?"; I could not

    25 remember straight away before I started listing the

  16. 1 names. When I listed the names, there were 11 of us, 11

    2 persons. Then he realised I was not alone, so he told

    3 me that I would go to a cell next to the entrance

    4 downstairs, and I was kept in that cell for a time while

    5 they were checking whether I had told the truth when

    6 I had said there were 11 of us who had come down. When

    7 they had verified my story, and when they saw that it

    8 was true, then they asked me, "how come the whole

    9 village was burnt down?". Then I thought to myself,

    10 what am I going to say? I cannot say that they had done

    11 it. So I lied again, and said it was enough for one or

    12 two houses to start burning, and he asked, "was there

    13 any shelling there?"; I lied and said there was. I was

    14 afraid for my life, I did not dare say that they had

    15 done it.

    16 He asked me, where did they come from and I said

    17 I did not know because I was in a shelter at my other

    18 neighbour's, but they kept insisting that I should admit

    19 that they were the ones who had done it. So I said, you

    20 know that the village has wooden barns, wooden fences

    21 linked together, so it would be enough to set fire to

    22 one or two houses for all of them to catch fire in this

    23 dry weather. Then they shut me up again in the cell,

    24 and leaving the police station, after the interrogation,

    25 the soldiers were there at the door asking, "did they

  17. 1 ask about us?". When we came out, they asked the

    2 interrogator whether I had told about them, and the

    3 interrogator said that I had not.

    4 Then he told me that he would keep me in the cell

    5 for a while until he decided what to do with me. It was

    6 night-time, I do not know exactly what time it was, it

    7 seemed a long time to me, because I was terribly afraid,

    8 because I was listening. This was the HVO station that

    9 was on duty, and I heard Mato Ninic, who was formerly a

    10 member of the police, and he was on duty in the police

    11 station that night, and there were some others, young

    12 soldiers passing by who were full of themselves. They

    13 were using various threats, they were singing all kinds

    14 of songs, all kinds of goings-on. I was simply waiting

    15 when my turn would come.

    16 In the meantime, the door opened and he told me to

    17 come out, a policeman told me, a policeman I knew.

    18 I looked at him to see whether I could recognise him and

    19 I did. His name is Marijan Varesak. He asked me where

    20 I was going to sleep. I was astonished by his

    21 question. Was this a lie or was it true? He said,

    22 "calm down, everything has ended well". I said I did

    23 not know where I should go, because I had been taken

    24 into custody at my cousin's, Saban. They took me to the

    25 house, and the same man told me not to move anywhere,

  18. 1 not to go anywhere, to stay there at my relative's. So

    2 I stayed there about a month at my relative's, with my

    3 uncle.

    4 One evening, HVO soldiers came. They kept asking

    5 whether we had any radio stations or weapons. How could

    6 we have any of those things when we were in their hands,

    7 the HVO had control of this area, so it was impossible.

    8 But they kept pressuring us so much and hitting us, and

    9 they would say that there was someone who knows that my

    10 relative Saban had this, but he could not confess, since

    11 he did not have it. They took Edo Hidarovic back from

    12 the camp, where they had taken him three hours before

    13 they came to visit us. They had beaten him up and he

    14 had to confess and he was lying on the steps of Saban's

    15 building. He was the one who had confessed that Saban

    16 had this. He did have a hunting rifle, but that had

    17 been seized from him earlier on as it had from all the

    18 rest of us already in January. But this was an excuse

    19 for them to throw us out of the house.

    20 That evening, we were thrown out, myself, my uncle

    21 and Saban. They did not care where we would go, they

    22 just said we had to leave, and so we had no other way

    23 but to go and find accommodation elsewhere with another

    24 relative. That evening, when I was thrown out of

    25 Saban's house, I recognised Zlatko Aleksovski, who was

  19. 1 the prison warden. There were two small police cars,

    2 and in front of them was a van as the third vehicle.

    3 Zlatko Aleksovski asked me how old I was. I lied then,

    4 I said I was older than I was, over 60, because I was

    5 afraid that I would be taken to prison, together with

    6 Saban. He said we had to go wherever we wanted, but as

    7 long as we would not still be on the road, so we did.

    8 There was a fence and we quickly entered the yard of

    9 another relative called Mustafa on the other side of the

    10 road. We spent a night there at our relative Mustafa's.

    11 Then the soldiers, or rather the HVO police, came

    12 again, and they threw us out of that house too,

    13 Mustafa's house. Then another relative, Hazim, and

    14 again they rounded us all up from Hazim's house and took

    15 us to the village of Skradno. This village of Skradno

    16 was some kind of a collection centre, and it was also

    17 under the HVO control. In that village, there were two

    18 HVO soldiers on patrol. I know one of them, Pero Sapic,

    19 who was a member of the patrol, and I stayed in Skradno

    20 until the end of September.

    21 In September, there was an illegal exchange.

    22 Apparently, it was done in secret, so that not even the

    23 police or the HVO or anyone knew about it. This was

    24 carried out by soldiers from Zenica, the Zenica

    25 municipality, and I do not know who else who came to

  20. 1 Busovaca, and their families stayed behind in Zenica and

    2 the villages around Zenica. So I know Darko Arapovic,

    3 who helped us get out of the village of Skradno.

    4 Then the family of one of the HVO soldiers from

    5 Zenica had to come here, for example, and I would go

    6 there. I was staying with Atif Barucija and then Darko

    7 gave him an address in Zenica municipality, telling him

    8 which families need to come over, and until Atif brought

    9 those families over, we could not go. I myself, his

    10 mother and his wife. That is how it was done, so that

    11 the whole village left, and in Skradno, 90 per cent of

    12 the people were exiled from Busovaca, people whom they

    13 had chased out of their homes and brought to Skradno.

    14 I saw that there were people from Jajce there too,

    15 who first stopped in Vitez and then they were chased out

    16 of there and brought to Skradno. There were people from

    17 Vitez too, from the village of Loncari there were

    18 people, but all of them were illegally exchanged,

    19 illegally.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have any additional

    21 questions for the witness, something that the witness

    22 has not told us in connection with the events? Please

    23 proceed.

    24 MR. KEHOE: Just a few questions.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

  21. 1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Nuhagic, can you tell the judges how big a

    2 village Ocehnice was?

    3 A. It was a village with about eight houses, maybe nine

    4 families were living in the village. It was not a large

    5 village.

    6 Q. Did the village include just Muslims or did it have

    7 Muslim and Croats in it?

    8 A. Just Muslims, and on the other side was also Ocehnice,

    9 but they were Croats. They were there until 1993.

    10 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, in January, when you said the soldiers had

    11 come to your village on 27th January and took the men,

    12 were these HVO soldiers?

    13 A. Yes, HVO.

    14 Q. Did you see how they were dressed and did you see them

    15 with any HVO insignia?

    16 A. It was night-time, they had masks over their faces. The

    17 two of those I recognised by the way they spoke among

    18 the group that attacked us.

    19 Q. Now you also mentioned that on the way down to the bus,

    20 all of the men were beat and then you had to walk

    21 through a column of soldiers and you were beat again

    22 then, is that right?

    23 A. Yes, that is right.

    24 Q. Were all of the victims of those beatings Muslims?

    25 A. Yes, they were.

  22. 1 Q. You mentioned that you also got off the bus when you

    2 came across a truck with an anti-aircraft weapon on it

    3 and the soldiers got off of the truck and beat the

    4 people on the bus, is that right?

    5 A. Yes, that was when I was beaten the worst.

    6 Q. Again, Mr. Nuhagic, were the soldiers that did the

    7 beating HVO soldiers and were the victims Muslim men?

    8 A. That is right, HVO.

    9 Q. When you were taken on the bus and taken into Busovaca,

    10 did you come in contact with Ivan Papovic?

    11 A. Not Papovic, I do not understand the name Papovic.

    12 Perhaps Popovic Ivan.

    13 Q. Excuse me. Did you come across Popovic Ivan? Was he an

    14 HVO soldier and did he abuse you in any way?

    15 A. Yes, in the "11 Blue" in Donje Polje, "Jedanest Plavih".

    16 Q. What did he do to you?

    17 A. He made up various things, saying that we were balijas,

    18 that we all need to be got rid of, all the worst

    19 possible things he could think of. Allegedly, he did

    20 not have a knife on him, and he sent the soldiers to go

    21 and fetch a knife. We expected him to get hold of a

    22 knife and do who knows what, but in the meantime, the

    23 bus came, but we had to pass between these two columns

    24 and be beaten. There was no way we could avoid it. He

    25 was in the bus too, as far as Kaonik. He was saying

  23. 1 various things and mistreating people, I know he beat

    2 Hamdija Lusija, and he asked him for his brother,

    3 Hamdija's brother, where he was and he answered he did

    4 not know, and he did not. He would frequently come to

    5 the camp and mistreat people, open the cells and

    6 threaten them.

    7 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, at some point did someone search you and

    8 take a calendar away from you and force you to eat that

    9 calendar?

    10 A. Yes, this same person, Ivan Popovic.

    11 Q. Why did he force you to do that?

    12 A. Because it had the symbols of Bosnia-Herzegovina on it.

    13 I had to eat it, because he was ready to beat me up and

    14 out of fear, I had to eat it and I must apologise, but

    15 I wet my pants in the process, because he was getting

    16 ready to beat me up. So I had to swallow. I was forced

    17 to swallow it.

    18 Q. Moving ahead to your time when you were imprisoned in

    19 Kaonik Prison and you said there were between 400 and

    20 500 prisoners in the camp. Were they all Muslims?

    21 A. Yes, they were.

    22 Q. How many people were there, how many men were there in

    23 each cell?

    24 A. It depended. In some cases, up to 25, in others 18. It

    25 depended how many people could be crammed in. They did

  24. 1 not care, nobody could lie down, we had to sit in the

    2 cells, because they were overcrowded.

    3 Q. You mentioned that you were put in cells. Were these

    4 cells newly built, Mr. Nuhagic?

    5 A. No -- yes, they were improvised. They had not even been

    6 completed. This was the warehouse of the former JNA.

    7 Q. Did it appear to you, Mr. Nuhagic, that they were

    8 planning for all of you prisoners to be incarcerated in

    9 the camp?

    10 A. At first, we thought we would be kept there all the

    11 time, and the camp was intended for Central Bosnia. But

    12 it had not been completed, it was terrible, it was

    13 intolerable there. There was no heating, there was

    14 nothing. The cells were overflowing, and then in

    15 another warehouse, there were no wooden boards or

    16 anything. When they brought in people from the village

    17 of Skradno to this other warehouse, and I was taken

    18 there too when they took me out of the cells, only the

    19 working groups allegedly stayed on, whereas those of us

    20 who were not capable of working were taken to this other

    21 ordinary depot where it was really intolerable.

    22 They told us that we should find a pallet outside,

    23 a pile of bricks or anything we could find outside, and

    24 they gave us one blanket each. So I spent several days

    25 there in this empty warehouse. It was cold, it was

  25. 1 January/February, you know how cold it gets in Bosnia in

    2 those days, and especially since I had suffered such

    3 terrible blows.

    4 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, you said that individuals were taken out to

    5 dig trenches, that Bosnian Muslim men were taken out to

    6 dig trenches. How many were taken out to dig trenches?

    7 A. I could not have figured it out, but I could hear them

    8 calling them out in the hallway. A lot of them went,

    9 because when they were arriving in the camp, their names

    10 and their birth dates were taken down, and in the

    11 morning, when the time came to go to work, the soldier

    12 in charge would yell loudly in the hallway that

    13 everybody should listen to the names being called out,

    14 and whoever is called out would have to come out into

    15 the hallway. So there would be one group, two groups,

    16 however many they would need for the day. For instance,

    17 during the day, the cells would be nearly empty, all of

    18 them. In the evening, they would return very late, and

    19 sometimes some people would not be coming back for

    20 several days, no one would see them.

    21 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, you said soldiers would call out names; were

    22 these HVO soldiers?

    23 A. It was the HVO soldiers who were calling people out.

    24 Q. Do you know where these individuals were taken to dig

    25 trenches in January 1993?

  26. 1 A. I know, Kula, Bare, Strane, I also heard of a place

    2 called Prosje.

    3 Q. Let me move ahead, Mr. Nuhagic. You also mentioned that

    4 a man by the name of Mustafa Ibragic died in jail.

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Was he a Muslim victim as well?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. When the Red Cross came, did the men that were digging

    9 the trenches complain to the Red Cross about the digging

    10 of trenches and their abuse when they were digging the

    11 trenches?

    12 A. We did not dare, because the interpreters were also

    13 members of the HVO. Only if the Red Cross found someone

    14 digging the trenches on their way. This happened to

    15 Jasmin Ekmecic. He was in a group that was digging and

    16 the UNPROFOR prevented this and the UNPROFOR told them

    17 to be taken back to the barracks, but the UNPROFOR was

    18 not around every day to see these things.

    19 JUDGE RIAD: May I just ask, were these trenches on the

    20 front-line, could you ask him, Mr. Kehoe?

    21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Nuhagic, did you hear Judge Riad's question?

    22 Were these trenches on the front-line?

    23 A. It was the demarcation line, where the HVO held their

    24 line.

    25 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, let us move ahead to April 1993. What was

  27. 1 the day that the HVO soldiers came in and burned your

    2 village and murdered your loved ones?

    3 A. 19th April.

    4 Q. After that event, Mr. Nuhagic, had you heard that the

    5 reason for the attack was that the Bosnian army had

    6 shelled the Draga barracks? Had you heard that?

    7 A. I heard that from stories, that that was the reason.

    8 Q. Had you also heard that the HVO maintained that the

    9 shelling of the Draga barracks came from your village?

    10 Had you heard that also?

    11 A. That is the worst thing, Ivo Kristo, called Cajo, said

    12 this. He said that the shells were coming from

    13 Nuhagici, from Ocehnice. They could not come from the

    14 Nuhagici, from Ocehnice when we were under the HVO

    15 control, because in January, three rifles and my hunting

    16 rifle were taken away from us at that occasion, and

    17 there was none left.

    18 Q. So did any shelling from your village, was any shelling

    19 taking place in your village directed towards the Draga

    20 barracks, or anywhere else?

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Interpretation problem; do you hear me?

    22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I think he put his elbow on the

    23 button.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me?

    25 A. Now I can hear.

  28. 1 JUDGE JORDA: The Prosecutor will repeat the question for

    2 you. Please go ahead.

    3 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Nuhagic, did any shelling take place from your

    4 village towards the Draga barracks at any time?

    5 A. No.

    6 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, when these soldiers came into your village,

    7 did you see how they were dressed?

    8 A. They wore masks for the most part. They had like

    9 stockings and they had just slits for eyes and mouth, so

    10 that we would not recognise them. I could only

    11 recognise them by some of their nicknames.

    12 Q. Who were they?

    13 A. I beg your pardon?

    14 Q. Who were the individuals you recognised by their

    15 nicknames?

    16 A. The one who was in command were just to say Zare, Zeljo,

    17 Cigo, so he was calling them by their nicknames, so that

    18 is how he called them.

    19 Q. Did you know if these individuals were members of the

    20 HVO?

    21 A. Correct, the HVO.

    22 Q. You mentioned during your narrative, Mr. Nuhagic, that

    23 your wife's body was burning and your mother's body was

    24 burning. Were any other members of your family murdered

    25 that day in the same village?

  29. 1 A. Yes, my mother was killed there, my wife, my sister, and

    2 two daughters of my brothers who were staying with me in

    3 my house. When the soldiers came to do whatever they

    4 were going to do there, they all tried to flee, but they

    5 were all killed in the yard in front of the house.

    6 Q. When you went to look at your wife's body and your

    7 mother's body burning, did you see the other three

    8 bodies lying there also?

    9 A. They were together and as they were walking one behind

    10 the other, they were all one next to another. Had I not

    11 put out the fire on my mother, my sister and my two

    12 brothers' daughters would also have burned, because they

    13 were next to each other as they were falling.

    14 Q. So on that day, five members of your family were

    15 murdered and every Muslim house in the village was

    16 burnt, is that right?

    17 A. Yes, whatever could have burned did burn. Livestock was

    18 killed in the barns. One of the soldiers, I am not

    19 going to tell his name, he opened one of the barns and

    20 let the livestock out.

    21 Q. One of the soldiers tried to protect the livestock, is

    22 that right? One of the HVO soldiers?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Moving ahead to in Busovaca when you said that you were

    25 questioned by the police, and you noted in your

  30. 1 narrative that the police tried to get you to say that

    2 the HVO did the killing, but you did not want to fall

    3 for that trick. Why did you not want to tell them that

    4 you saw the HVO commit this attack?

    5 A. I did not dare, because my life was at stake. The HVO

    6 soldiers who did this said that they had killed, that

    7 they had annihilated everybody in the village and nobody

    8 had survived. I was assuming that I was the only

    9 witness left, and meanwhile, this interrogation took

    10 place as I already described it.

    11 Q. What did you believe was going to happen if you told

    12 those police that the HVO had done this attack?

    13 A. That I would be executed, that I would be killed.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: I think that the witness has already made that

    15 clear.

    16 MR. KEHOE: These policemen that were in these headquarters,

    17 did they have white belts on?

    18 A. I did not see that, they were sitting down at a table.

    19 But it was -- they had military uniforms on.

    20 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, did you also learn that the actual attack on

    21 your village was ordered by Pasko Lubacic?

    22 A. I learned that Pasko Lubacic was the leader of the

    23 group.

    24 Q. Moving ahead on your narrative, Mr. Nuhagic, you said

    25 that ultimately you went to your cousin's Saban's house

  31. 1 and that you were forced out of that house, is that

    2 right?

    3 A. That is right.

    4 Q. Did you see who moved into Saban's house after you were

    5 forced out?

    6 A. We were there two days and when they threw us out, they

    7 said, "our guys are going to be stationed here now".

    8 Q. When they said, "our guys", who did you understand them

    9 to be talking about?

    10 A. Meaning the HVO soldiers.

    11 Q. Ultimately you were taken to Skradno. Did the HVO take

    12 you to the village of Skradno?

    13 A. Yes, they put us in the truck, myself, my two cousins

    14 and their families.

    15 Q. When you got to Skradno, were there other --

    16 approximately how many other Muslims were in Skradno?

    17 A. I do not think that I could say that, but I have

    18 heard -- I do not think that one could have estimated.

    19 From the Barucijas, my relatives with whom I was

    20 staying, I heard there were people from Velika Bukovica,

    21 Travnik, that Mijo Batinic brought 97 of them, the

    22 elderly, women, children, to the village of Skradno in a

    23 truck.

    24 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, you said this was a collection centre; was

    25 it patrolled by HVO soldiers?

  32. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. You got there approximately when, in May 1993 and stayed

    3 until September 1993?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. During that time, did HVO soldiers come and take Bosnian

    6 Muslim men out to dig trenches?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. How often did this happen?

    9 A. They created shifts, they were digging through the night

    10 and during the day they would be at home.

    11 Q. Did this continue up until the time you left in

    12 September 1993?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Where did these men go to dig trenches?

    15 A. The one who went to dig at Kula, Strane, Bare.

    16 Q. Sir, let me move to some other topics. When you were

    17 living in your village in Ocehnice, did you have

    18 occasion to watch television frequently and see the

    19 accused, Colonel Blaskic, on television with other HVO

    20 leaders?

    21 A. Yes, those who had any desire could watch the Busovaca

    22 television every day, they had programmes between 4.00

    23 and 6.00 every night on HTV.

    24 Q. What HVO leaders did you see on this programme?

    25 A. It was known that Dario Kordic was the HVO leader.

  33. 1 I also saw Tihomir Blaskic, Ante Valenta, Ignjac

    2 Kostroman.

    3 Q. What were they talking about?

    4 A. They were talking, this was not on television -- this

    5 was at the end for the most part, Kordic would be

    6 talking certain things, but I remember very well Ante

    7 Valenta. I was not watching this television very much,

    8 it was for people who were interested in that, but

    9 occasionally I would watch it when I did not have other

    10 things to do outdoors. But I do remember very well Ante

    11 Valenta when he said that the mujezin, who was talking

    12 from the mosque, was bothering him.

    13 Q. Were these individuals on television frequently

    14 together?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. If I could show you a photograph and begin with, excuse

    17 me, with the assistance of the usher if we could put it

    18 on the ELMO, Exhibit 80/9 and then I will move to 80/8.

    19 A. I have to put on my glasses.

    20 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, do you recognise anybody in that

    21 photograph?

    22 A. Ante Stipac; Blaskic, Dario Kordic; Ignjac Kostroman.

    23 I cannot see Ante Valenta here.

    24 Q. Let us go to the next photograph, then, the next

    25 photograph 80/8. Is Ante Valenta in that photograph?

  34. 1 A. Yes, here he is.

    2 Q. You are pointing to Valenta. Do you recognise anybody

    3 else in that photograph?

    4 A. I recognise Zoran Maric.

    5 Q. Tell us about Zoran Maric. Come back to the microphone

    6 Mr. Nuhagic. You are pointing to the man in the middle

    7 of the photograph with the beard. Who was Zoran Maric?

    8 Who was he?

    9 A. Zoran Maric was the President of the Busovaca

    10 municipality.

    11 Q. Did you ever see him on TV giving a speech at a rally?

    12 A. Yes, at the stadium in Busovaca.

    13 Q. What did you hear him say?

    14 A. He was saying when the soldiers were swearing the oath,

    15 he said that in this area only one kind of plant should

    16 grow. I could not figure out at that time what it

    17 meant, until we figured it out later.

    18 Q. What did you figure out, Mr. Nuhagic?

    19 A. We saw when this cleansing started, this ethnic

    20 cleansing, that Busovaca was to be cleansed.

    21 Q. Was Blaskic at that rally?

    22 A. -- of Muslims.

    23 Q. Was Blaskic at that rally?

    24 A. Yes, Blaskic, Kordic, Tihomir Blaskic that is, Dario

    25 Kordic, Ante Valenta, Ignjac Kostroman.

  35. 1 Q. Moving ahead to another subject, Mr. Nuhagic, when you

    2 were in your cousin's house in Busovaca, did you see a

    3 television programme where Mirko Cosic was interviewed?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Who was Mirko Cosic and where was he interviewed?

    6 A. In Busovaca, in the park at the bus station.

    7 Q. What was he? Was he an HVO soldier as well?

    8 A. The commander of the unit called Jokers, who wore black

    9 uniforms, and they were for special purpose unit.

    10 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, did the interviewer ask Mirko Cosic about

    11 what his soldiers had done?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. What did he say?

    14 A. He was bragging that they were doing a good job for him.

    15 Q. Did he mention the village of Loncari?

    16 A. Yes, he first mentioned Kula, Polom, and he was

    17 especially satisfied with how they did the job in the

    18 village of Loncari. He did not make any additional

    19 comments into the camera, but I remember well him

    20 saying, "the time will show".

    21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I would like to put just several

    22 exhibits into evidence and I will complete my

    23 questioning of Mr. Nuhagic. The first exhibit is --

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.

    25 MR. KEHOE: It is Exhibit 180, it is again a Rule 70

  36. 1 photograph that has been given to the Defence. It is

    2 another aerial photograph that has been given to the

    3 Office of the Prosecutor under the restrictions of

    4 Rule 70. The next exhibit that I would like to move to,

    5 Mr. President, is Exhibit 181 and that is a portion of

    6 Exhibit 180. If I could put Exhibit 181 on the ELMO so

    7 that the witness can identify it?

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.

    9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Nuhagic, can you put your glasses on again,

    10 sir?

    11 A. I can.

    12 Q. If you can take a look at the exhibit on the ELMO,

    13 Exhibit 181, and there are two circles, one numbered 1

    14 and the other numbered 2. What is the number 1, sir?

    15 A. This is the former JNA, it is all under HVO control.

    16 Q. Number 2, sir?

    17 A. -- called Draga, and number 2 is my village. Number 2

    18 is my village.

    19 Q. Approximately how far is the Draga barracks from the

    20 town of Busovaca?

    21 A. About 1 kilometre, maybe 1.5.

    22 Q. That would be in the direction of Kiseljak, is that

    23 right?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 MR. KEHOE: If we could move to the next exhibit with the

  37. 1 assistance of the usher, which is Exhibit 182, and

    2 again, Mr. President and your Honours, 182 is an

    3 enlargement of Exhibit 58. Mr. Nuhagic, this is a

    4 photograph that has been in evidence of the Kaonik

    5 camp. Do you recognise the actual building that is

    6 encircled?

    7 A. Yes, I do.

    8 Q. What is that building? Is that where you were held?

    9 A. Yes, it is Kaonik.

    10 MR. KEHOE: If we could move to the last exhibit,

    11 Mr. President, which is Exhibit 183, which is an

    12 enlargement of Exhibit 29, the map. If I could put

    13 Exhibit 183 on the ELMO.

    14 Mr. Nuhagic, you see referenced, underlined in

    15 yellow, your village Ocehnice, is that right?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. You also see the area, as you are moving up the page ,

    18 Kula, and was that one of the areas where the prisoners

    19 were digging trenches?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Just going further up the page, the village of Skradno

    22 is highlighted, is that right?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. That is where you were being held until September 1993?

    25 A. Yes.

  38. 1 Q. Lastly on this map, you see the last highlighting, the

    2 notation of Kaonik where the prison was, is that right?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. Nuhagic. Mr. President, I have no

    5 further questions, I would just like to move into

    6 evidence Exhibits 180 through 183.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, the exhibits will be admitted with

    8 the numbers given by the Registrar. You can begin the

    9 cross-examination. Is it Mr. Nobilo?

    10 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, thank you.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please, I wish to consult my

    12 colleagues. (Pause).

    13 For various reasons, the Trial Chamber will

    14 continue with the hearing of the witness until the end

    15 of the cross-examination, the re-examination and the

    16 questions of the judges. We are just going to have a

    17 five or six minute break now.

    18 (12.50 pm)

    19 (A short break)

    20 (12.55 pm)

    21 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed, please bring in the

    22 accused.

    23 (Accused brought in)

    24 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, I should like to have the

    25 witness brought in. I wish to thank the interpreters

  39. 1 for their co-operation. It is a problem relating to

    2 security and we thank them and we will finish with the

    3 witness this afternoon, so he will not have to come

    4 back.

    5 (Witness entered court)

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nuhagic, do you hear me? Are the

    7 microphones switched on?

    8 A. I do.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Have you had a little rest?

    10 A. Yes, thank you. I hope you hear me too.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: You know that the accused has attorneys and

    12 now it is their turn, that of Mr. Nobilo, the Defence

    13 counsel of General Blaskic, to ask you questions.

    14 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

    15 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

    16 Mr. Nuhagic, good afternoon. As you have heard,

    17 I am attorney Anto Nobilo, my colleague, Mr. Hayman. We

    18 will not keep you long, just a few questions.

    19 A. Very well.

    20 Q. In January 1993, when HVO soldiers rounded up the men in

    21 your village, how many men were rounded up?

    22 A. Six, and I was one of them.

    23 Q. Were they all the men of the village, or were there

    24 more?

    25 A. At the time, some men were in Maglaj on the front-line.

  40. 1 Q. The persons you mentioned, Ivan Popovic, Akrap, were

    2 they neighbours, people living close by?

    3 A. It was the same local community that I belong to.

    4 Q. So we can say that they lived close by?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. When you reached Kaonik in January, were there any HVO

    7 Croatian soldiers detained there?

    8 A. No.

    9 Q. Did you look into all the cells and all the buildings,

    10 all the premises, or were you just put in one cell and

    11 stayed there?

    12 A. I was in one cell, but when we went out to eat for

    13 meals, lunch or supper, I would see many cells.

    14 Q. When you went to see a doctor because of your injuries,

    15 did anyone tell you that you may not tell the doctor how

    16 you were hurt, or was it your own decision out of fear?

    17 A. It was out of fear, because I was afraid when I went

    18 back I would be treated even worse than I was.

    19 Q. In your cell, how many prisoners were detained there?

    20 A. It is impossible to tell you when the number changes.

    21 They take some people out, bring new ones in, 17, 18,

    22 20. Some people went off to dig and never returned,

    23 they spent the night there.

    24 Q. Was anyone beaten in your cell during their stay in

    25 Kaonik?

  41. 1 A. Not from my cell.

    2 Q. How did the guards treat you in Kaonik?

    3 A. They treated me correctly.

    4 Q. Did anyone hit you in Kaonik?

    5 A. No, in Kaonik no one hit me.

    6 Q. You said that some people were robbing the prisoners in

    7 Kaonik.

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Did you personally see any such robbery, that is the

    10 taking of jewellery, valuables et cetera?

    11 A. Yes, there was an HVO soldier who came to my cell and he

    12 took the boots of my colleague who was with me there in

    13 the cell, because he liked those boots, they were good

    14 boots.

    15 Q. Was it a guard or someone from outside?

    16 A. From outside.

    17 Q. Did he leave his own boots in exchange for the prisoner?

    18 A. He told him to clean them for him and to hand them back

    19 to the guard.

    20 Q. You spoke about some things that occurred when trenches

    21 were dug. You were not there, you did not go to dig

    22 trenches?

    23 A. I did not.

    24 Q. Could you please tell us who it was that told you what

    25 had happened at trench digging?

  42. 1 A. There was somebody called Mustafa Ibragic who died, who

    2 succumbed afterwards.

    3 Q. And who told you about the way in which Mustafa Ibragic

    4 died?

    5 A. My two nephews were in the same cell with him.

    6 Q. What are their names?

    7 A. Ramiz and Ekrem Nuhagic.

    8 Q. In January, how many days did you spend in Kaonik?

    9 A. I know that I was taken into custody on 27th January,

    10 and in February, I do not recall the date, we were

    11 released.

    12 Q. Were you in Kaonik one or two weeks or a month?

    13 A. About three weeks.

    14 Q. Amongst you in Kaonik, were you all Muslim civilians or

    15 were there prisoners of war?

    16 A. Muslim civilians.

    17 Q. A few words now about the April event. You said that

    18 they killed whoever they could, the HVO.

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. You described the death of five members of your family.

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. With the exception of this truly tragic event, was

    23 anyone else killed in the village of Ocehnice?

    24 A. Those five persons.

    25 Q. Apart from them?

  43. 1 A. My uncle Ramiz was wounded.

    2 Q. And apart from that, was anyone else killed?

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. Did you see the members of your family die, or did you

    5 come across their bodies?

    6 A. I came across bodies burning.

    7 Q. And where had you left them before you found them after

    8 they were dead?

    9 A. They stayed behind in a room on the ground floor which

    10 was used as dwelling space.

    11 Q. Tell me, when Amidja was wounded in the arm and went off

    12 with other inhabitants, how many people were there?

    13 A. There were two cellars, two families, and they were in

    14 one where my uncle went, there were eight of them, and

    15 in the other cellar, there were two of them.

    16 Q. Thank you. You said that you recognised people by their

    17 nicknames, the people who did those terrible things in

    18 your village, and then you mentioned several nicknames.

    19 Could you tell us the names, the first and last names of

    20 those people who did this?

    21 A. I know their nicknames and I also know some of their

    22 full names.

    23 Q. Will you tell us then, please.

    24 A. Zarko Cosic, known as Cigo. Zeljo, Vujica, his surname

    25 is Vujica, Kologranic, known as Kole, Mlado, also

  44. 1 Kologranic.

    2 Q. Was Ranko Kologranic there?

    3 A. Yes, known as Kole.

    4 Q. And what about Zeljo Kologranic?

    5 A. Yes, Mladen Kologranic as well, known as Madjo.

    6 Q. Was Jure Lovric there?

    7 A. I saw him too, through the fence.

    8 Q. Where did they live?

    9 A. Who do you mean?

    10 Q. For example Zarko Cosic, where does he come from?

    11 A. He came -- he lives below my village, near the road. We

    12 knew each other, we would see each other.

    13 Q. And the Kologranics, where are they from?

    14 A. They are from Carica.

    15 Q. How far is that from your house?

    16 A. Maybe about half an hour.

    17 Q. Thank you. Will you please tell me, do you recall what

    18 Cosic Zarko said five days before the conflict to your

    19 sister Fatima? Could you repeat that to the court?

    20 A. I can. He told my sister and neighbour, a woman

    21 neighbourhood prepared coffee for him and they were

    22 talking, and he said if any shooting should occur, and

    23 if any one member of his family were killed or wounded,

    24 that the village of Ocehnice would be burnt down and all

    25 of us would be killed.

  45. 1 Q. Did he say that he personally would torch the village of

    2 Ocehnice?

    3 A. Yes, personally.

    4 Q. Did he do that?

    5 A. Yes, that was what was done, as it was done.

    6 Q. When you went to the police station, do you know the

    7 building of the police station from before?

    8 A. Yes, because it was during the communist system it was a

    9 police station too.

    10 Q. Tell me, the investigators when they were interviewing

    11 you and asking you who set fire to the village, were

    12 they taking any notes? Did they write anything down

    13 about what they were asking you and what you were

    14 telling them?

    15 A. I do remember they had a pen and paper in front of them.

    16 Q. And they wrote down?

    17 A. They wrote down my statement and my answers to their

    18 questions.

    19 Q. Thank you. How much time did you spend in the police

    20 station in Busovaca? How many hours?

    21 A. I cannot remember, but I stayed well into the night and

    22 I was taken there in the morning.

    23 Q. So you stayed there until night-time, late into the

    24 night?

    25 A. Yes.

  46. 1 Q. On several occasions, you said that these military

    2 policemen insisted that he should admit that they had

    3 done it. Who were you implying?

    4 A. The HVO.

    5 Q. How many inhabitants did your village have before this

    6 tragic event?

    7 A. I would need to take down a pen and recall the names and

    8 surnames and that would take a bit of time.

    9 Q. But just roughly, it does not have to be accurate.

    10 A. 18 to 20 members or families.

    11 Q. 18 to 20 families or members?

    12 A. Families.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, please do not lose too much time on

    14 details. Try and go to the substance, please.

    15 MR. NOBILO: I will explain. I think that the police were

    16 carrying out an interrogation and the witness thought

    17 that he was the only survivor, but the police were aware

    18 that he was not and that the interrogation had another

    19 purpose.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, I will say that to you, as

    21 I have told the Prosecution, please ask the questions

    22 you want. Tell him, "we think that there were survivors

    23 from the village, do you agree or not?", but these

    24 multiple questions, round about questions are not

    25 necessary. The judges need the actual question you want

  47. 1 to have answered, so please continue.

    2 MR. NOBILO: It is a question of style. I am trying to

    3 extract the facts and let the court draw its own

    4 conclusions. It is a question of style.

    5 Was anyone watching over you in the village of

    6 Skradno? Were there guards?

    7 A. There were guards or rather a patrol that was walking

    8 around, HVO patrol.

    9 Q. How many soldiers?

    10 A. Mostly two at a time, they were patrolling and

    11 controlling.

    12 Q. Was there any wire round the village?

    13 A. No, but we had nowhere to go anyway, because it was

    14 under the HVO control.

    15 Q. Did anyone attack you or disturb you in the village?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Who?

    18 A. HVO soldiers.

    19 Q. In what way?

    20 A. They would come in, demand money. In the evening, they

    21 would come and ask for valuables to be given to them, to

    22 be loaded on to trucks.

    23 Q. Did you complain to the patrol?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. What did they do?

  48. 1 A. They said they could not do anything, apparently,

    2 because they could be exposed to threats by the soldiers

    3 that were out of control and that were better armed than

    4 they, so they did not dare oppose them.

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Have you finished, Mr. Nobilo?

    13 MR. NOBILO: Yes.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, do you have any clarifications, but

    15 related to the cross-examination only?

    16 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE

    17 Q. Just very briefly, Mr. President. Mr. Nuhagic, you were

    18 asked some questions by Defence counsel about whether or

    19 not you saw your wife, mother and nieces and sister

    20 killed; do you remember those questions?

    21 A. Yes, I remember. They were killed by a burst of fire,

    22 because my uncle told me he had seen it happen.

    23 Q. They were alive before the soldiers came into the

    24 village, were they not?

    25 A. Yes.

  49. 1 Q. And they were dead after the soldiers left the village,

    2 were they not?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. And this attack and these murders was not carried out by

    5 Zarko Cosic alone, was it?

    6 A. No.

    7 MR. KEHOE: Nothing further, Mr. President, thank you. Thank

    8 you, Mr. Nuhagic.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I should like to tell the witness,

    10 as I have announced earlier on, that the judges may have

    11 additional questions for him. Judge Riad.

    12 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Nuhagic.

    13 A. Good morning.

    14 Q. I would just like to clarify some of the information

    15 which your testimony has included. You mentioned that

    16 when you went out from the bus in Busovaca, a van came

    17 with a four barrel anti-aircraft and the crew dismounted

    18 and started beating you. The point is, you heard an

    19 argument among them about this beating, some were saying

    20 no and some were saying yes. Did in this argument, did

    21 they mention any orders coming from above which

    22 contained beating or which forbade beating, or was it

    23 just a debate, a friendly debate among them?

    24 A. They dismounted this vehicle on their own, and this

    25 vehicle had this anti-aircraft gun, so they did it on

  50. 1 their own and started beating us. That is where

    2 I received the most blows.

    3 Q. Yes, but I am asking about the discussion which you

    4 heard. Did these people beating you, did they mention

    5 that they had orders to beat you, or perhaps on the

    6 other hand those who were against beating you, did they

    7 say that the orders forbid beating? Either way, did any

    8 of them refer to orders?

    9 A. No, no.

    10 Q. You mentioned that there were very bad conditions when

    11 you were in jail. You had one toilet for 500 people.

    12 Where did these 500 people come from?

    13 A. Yes. From Busovaca, from the town itself, from the

    14 village of Skradno, the village of Krcevine, Podkula,

    15 the village of Loncari, from Kaonik.

    16 Q. Speaking of Loncari by the way, you mentioned that Mirko

    17 Cosic, you heard him saying that they did a good job,

    18 that is what I noted down, that a good job was done in

    19 Loncari. Who was Mirko Cosic? Was he the head of any

    20 unit? What was he exactly?

    21 A. He was the commander of the unit called Jokers, which

    22 was a special purpose platoon or special unit.

    23 Q. He was a commander.

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. This "good job" meant what?

  51. 1 A. He meant that Loncari, the people from Loncari had been

    2 expelled like I was, and that a number of people were

    3 killed there and even today no one knows about the

    4 whereabouts of these people.

    5 Q. When you spoke about the interrogation at the police

    6 station, where you had bloodstains on the walls and that

    7 sort, in this interrogation, you felt or you noticed

    8 that your investigator was astonished to know that there

    9 were still survivors from your village. Is that -- what

    10 did you mean by that?

    11 A. I meant by it that they were told at the police -- that

    12 is the soldiers who had come down from there, they told

    13 them that nobody had survived.

    14 Q. The soldiers reported that the whole village was

    15 exterminated?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge Shahabuddeen?

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Actually 11 people had survived, is

    20 that right?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Do you know whether the police interrogated any of those

    23 11 survivors?

    24 A. No.

    25 Q. I apologise, I did not have my headphone on at the

  52. 1 time. You are living with a Croat person at the moment?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. You are living in a Croat house at the moment, is that

    4 right?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. How come you are living in a Croat house?

    7 A. I was expelled from Busovaca, Busovaca is cleansed and

    8 the Croats left their own houses and their own

    9 properties and moved to Busovaca. Under what

    10 circumstances they left that, I do not know.

    11 Q. Let us talk a little about Mirko Cosic. You saw him on

    12 TV and Judge Riad asked you a question and you gave an

    13 answer. The Prosecutor had also asked you a question.

    14 He had asked you this question: was he an HVO soldier as

    15 well, and your answer to the Prosecutor was, "the

    16 commander of the unit called Jokers, who wore black

    17 uniforms and they were for special purpose unit". How

    18 should I understand your answer? Was he or was he not

    19 an HVO soldier as well?

    20 A. He was a commander of the HVO unit called Jokers. He

    21 was in command.

    22 Q. I see, the Joker unit was a unit of the HVO?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Got it. Then one last question. You remember that some

    25 HVO soldiers came up to you at one stage, some of them

  53. 1 had masks, but you were able to identify some of them by

    2 their nicknames. Do you remember that evidence?

    3 A. Where, at what location.

    4 Q. I think this was on 19th April at your village.

    5 A. I said that I recognised them by their nicknames.

    6 Q. Good. And some had masks on them, so you could not

    7 identify them by their faces?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Were you able to see any shoulder patches which they

    10 had?

    11 A. You could only see the HVO insignia on their arms.

    12 Q. They had the HVO insignia on their arms?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you very much.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: We have almost completed. Was there any kind

    16 of particularly hostile attitude against you by the

    17 HVO? Were you part of the Territorial Defence or did

    18 you go on patrol? At the beginning of your narrative,

    19 in January 1993, you said, sometimes one gets the

    20 impression that people were looking specifically for

    21 you. Might you tell us very briefly or -- was it you

    22 specifically they were looking for, or was anybody who

    23 was Muslim being looked for?

    24 A. Any Muslim, all men from the village were taken away.

    25 Q. A second question: there was no artillery fire which

  54. 1 might have justified the impression, right or wrong,

    2 that the Draga barracks had been shelled from your

    3 village, that would have given them that impression?

    4 There were no reasons, no weapons, or were there?

    5 A. No.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, sir. You have gone through very

    7 painful experiences, you have been courageous in coming

    8 here. Ordinarily, you would have been a protected

    9 witness, but you said that you preferred not to be. You

    10 are now going to go home and we hope that one day your

    11 wounds will all have healed. Please do not move for the

    12 time being, the Tribunal will now suspend its sessions,

    13 the last of the week. We will begin to work again on

    14 Monday at 10.00. The hearing is adjourned.

    15 (1.30 pm)

    16 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am

    17 on Monday, 15th December 1997)