1 Friday, 12th December 1997
2 (9.30 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the accused brought
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
18 JUDGE JORDA: We will take up the question immediately. Let
19 us move into a closed session, please.
20 (In closed session)
13 Pages 5193 to 5205 redacted - in closed session
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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
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
18 A. In the village of Ocehnice, in the Busovaca
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 how to hit each other, he would demonstrate it for
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
24 MR. KEHOE: Just a few questions.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
25 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, let us move ahead to April 1993. What was
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
24 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me?
25 A. Now I can hear.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
24 Q. Moving ahead on your narrative, Mr. Nuhagic, you said
25 that ultimately you went to your cousin's Saban's house
1 and that you were forced out of that house, is that
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
24 Q. Mr. Nuhagic, you said this was a collection centre; was
25 it patrolled by HVO soldiers?
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
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.
1 I also saw Tihomir Blaskic, Ante Valenta, Ignjac
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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,
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
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. KEHOE: If we could move to the next exhibit with the
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
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.
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
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
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
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
25 A. At the time, some men were in Maglaj on the front-line.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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?
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
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.
1 Q. Did he say that he personally would torch the village of
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
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
25 A. Yes.
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
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)