1 Friday, 20th February 1998
2 (In Open Session)
3 (9.15 am)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Can everyone hear me? Can the
5 interpreters hear me? Are they refreshed and ready to
6 go? Fine. Thank you. We are going to start the
7 hearing. Where did we leave it at yesterday? We are
8 going to finish the week and we are going to work until
9 12.30, at the latest. How many witnesses do you have
11 MR. HARMON: After this witness concludes,
12 Mr. President, we have two witnesses remaining and we
13 have one small matter to take up with the court at the
14 conclusion of the testimonies of the three witnesses.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Well, you may proceed,
16 but first we are going to have Witness BB. Is that
18 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
19 JUDGE JORDA: So without further ado, let us
20 have the witness come in.
21 (Witness enters court)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me? Witness BB,
23 can you hear me?
24 A. Yes, thank you.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Are you rested?
1 A. Yes, thank you.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Are you ready to go on with
3 your testimony?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, then. Mr. Harmon?
6 WITNESS BB (continued)
7 Examined by MR. HARMON (continued)
8 Q. Good morning, Witness BB.
9 A. Good morning.
10 Q. When we concluded the examination yesterday,
11 you had started to tell the judges about your arrival
12 at the Kaonik prison camp. That was on 15th April
13 1993. First of all, how long did you remain in the
14 Kaonik prison camp from 15th April until what date?
15 A. Until the 19th of June.
16 Q. When you arrived at the Kaonik camp, did you
17 discover that the HVO had arrested all the Muslim men
18 from the village of Jelinak?
19 A. As soon as we reached the camp, we found
20 there some locals from the village of Jelinak. Not all
21 of them, but most of them were there.
22 Q. Can you tell the judges what happened to you
23 and to the others once you arrived at the Kaonik camp?
24 A. As I said yesterday, we were searched. Money
25 and all valuables were seized. The next day the local
1 people from Loncari were brought in. They too were
2 searched, and in the course of the day some drivers
3 were brought over. They used to drive humanitarian aid
4 convoys to Maglaj, Tesanj, Zavidovic, and there were
5 six or seven of them who were temporarily employed in
6 Switzerland, and they were on their way home for
7 a holiday, and an enormous amount of money was taken
8 from them. Something between 30 and 40,000 German
9 marks. They had some gold watches, everything was
11 They also took from us our clothing,
12 footwear, so that we were given some torn shoes. When
13 we went to dig trenches, though it was muddy, we had to
14 work like that.
15 Q. Witness BB, were your valuables ever returned
16 to you, the valuables that had been confiscated?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And was it the HVO who took the valuables
19 from you?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. HARMON: Now, I would like to turn your
22 attention to trench-digging, and if I could have the
23 assistance of the usher, presenting to the court, the
24 witness and counsel, Prosecutor's Exhibit 251, and your
25 Honours and counsel, 251 is an exhibit copied from
1 Exhibit 29(c) and it has identified on it nine
2 locations where the witness was forced by the HVO to
3 dig trenches. He will describe each of those locations
4 and the events at each of those locations. Attached
5 behind that is a legend and the legend identifies the
6 locations and the manner in which the witness will
7 identify them throughout his testimony.
8 Now, Witness BB, did you make the marks on
9 Prosecutor's Exhibit 251, the green marks?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. Do those green marks represent the
12 approximate locations where you were forced to dig
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review the
16 legend that is attached to Exhibit 251 and compare the
17 numbers and names on the legend to the numbers that are
18 found on the map itself?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And is the legend accurate?
21 A. It is.
22 Q. Okay. Now, Witness BB, you were taken by the
23 HVO to dig trenches at a number of locations. What
24 I would like you to do is tell the judges in your own
25 words about your experiences at each of those
1 locations, and what I would like you to cover in your
2 description and narrative answer is who took you there
3 to dig trenches, who guarded you, when you were digging
4 trenches, whether you were at a front-line in and around
5 combat, how long you stayed there, what the conditions
6 were like, what the food was like, if any, what the
7 communications that you saw were like, and if we could
8 start with the location which is marked on the legend
9 number 1 which is Bare, could you tell the judges about
10 your experiences at Bare. Wait just a minute, please.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, Mr. Harmon. Please carry
13 on. This is a light way of putting questions. Try and
14 answer accurately all the questions raised by the
16 A. When we reached the camp on the second or
17 third day we were taken to the location known as Bare.
18 A man called Sumar, I do not know his real name, they
19 boarded us into a big truck. The make was Ravna. And
20 they drove us to the school, in front of the school at
21 Bare. There they told us they would give us some food,
22 and we were given a loaf of bread and 400 grams of
23 salami to be shared for four or five people. Something
24 like that. I do not remember exactly. And then we
25 were taken in the direction of the village of Rovna or
1 rather Kovacevac which was already burned down and
2 under Croatian control.
3 When we reached our destination, two Croatian
4 soldiers who were taking us there took shelter and
5 suddenly shooting started so we too ran for shelter but
6 they prohibited us from doing that. They said, "do not
7 run, your people will not kill you". That was when Ramo
8 Zlatagic and Salih Sunulpasic were wounded. Ramo in
9 the neck and Salih in the head.
10 The shooting lasted about 10-15 minutes, then
11 it stopped. They took us on further. However, when we
12 got to the exact place from where the fire had come,
13 there was a large group of HVO soldiers there, so my
14 conclusion was that it was they who had fired at us
15 because it was not possible that they had fired at us
16 from where the trenches were being dug.
17 So, we were kept there for a short while,
18 what was -- the trenches that needed to be dug we dug,
19 and then we were transferred to another location also
20 in Bare, but at the other end, on the other side of the
21 village of Rovna. There too we were digging two
22 dug-outs and some trenches. During the digging of
23 a dug-out that I was working on, I noticed a soldier
24 with an HV sign, and when I asked him to give me some
25 water to drink, as I got up, he hit me with his rifle
1 butt on the back and told me to go on digging so
2 I acted as I was told, though it was very hard. But
3 I had no choice.
4 Q. Let me ask you some questions quickly to
5 clarify your experiences at Bare. Did you go to the
6 Bare location on one occasion or more than one
8 A. I cannot remember exactly. Maybe once or
10 Q. And when you say you went, were you
11 accompanied by other Muslims, and how many were there
12 that went with you to dig trenches?
13 A. When I went, with me were only the
14 inhabitants of the village of Jelinak and only a few
15 from Loncari.
16 Q. Approximately how many Muslims were there
17 that went with you to dig trenches?
18 A. About 30.
19 Q. How old were they?
20 A. Between 18 and 50 or 60. Something like that.
21 Q. And Witness BB, they were all Muslims, is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Now I would like to turn your
25 attention, Witness BB, to the second location marked on
1 the map, and it is identified and the legend is Kula.
2 Could you please tell the judges your experiences
3 trench-digging at Kula?
4 A. When we were being taken to Kula, I do not
5 know exactly how many times we were taken there, but we
6 went there many times to dig trenches. This was the
7 second location we were taken to, that is Kula, and
8 there too there was a lot of digging to do. Our hands
9 were already bleeding from the blisters because we had
10 no protective gloves. The conditions were awful, the
11 food was terribly poor. We would just get a slice of
12 bread, a very thin slice of bread, and just some sort
13 of a soup, but there was nothing in it, really. For me
14 that could not be called soup and in spite of such poor
15 food we had to dig and endure all kinds of insults.
16 The first time we went there, we stayed for
17 a day and a night. The second time, already, we stayed
18 longer. Four to five days we stayed there and we had to
19 dig day and night with very, very small breaks to rest,
20 but that could hardly be called a rest. I hardly had
21 time to look around me before it was time to continue
22 digging again.
23 As I said, we were taken there many times,
24 though in between we were also taken to other
25 locations, but I remember Kula as the place I went to
1 most often.
2 Q. Now, let me ask you, how many people, how
3 many forced labourers went with you to the Kula lines?
4 A. About 30 men, sometimes up to 40, though
5 again, sometimes we would meet the local people from
6 Busovaca there, because when I was brought to the
7 location where I was to dig I found three men from
8 Busovaca there and also people from the village of
9 Skradno. They were also brought there to dig, and were
10 also given such very poor rations, though from -- some
11 people from Skradno were able to take some food with
13 Q. Were the people who were forced to dig
14 trenches at Kula, were they Muslims and were they
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, while you were at the Kula location, was
18 that in and around exposed confrontation lines?
19 A. It was actually on the front-line, because the
20 point was to provide trenches for the HVO soldiers for
21 them to dig in so as to be protected from the fire.
22 Q. So the civilian trench-diggers were exposed
23 to fire going in either direction. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I would like you to tell the judges, if
1 you could, about the time that UNPROFOR came to the
2 Kula region and what happened to you and the other
3 trench diggers.
4 A. I do not exactly know which route we took to
5 go to Kula, but on that occasion we had started digging
6 and the firing broke out suddenly from all sides. At
7 that moment I was lost, so to speak, but I could notice
8 that there were Croatian soldiers who were wounded. We
9 heard the sound of a motor, and when I turned around to
10 the right, away from us, I saw UNPROFOR transporters
11 heading towards the location at Kula. The Croatian
12 soldiers then hid us in a small pine wood, and there we
13 were exposed to even heavier fire. As far as I was able
14 to notice everyone was shooting. Both the Muslims and
15 the Croats, at us, because, of course, the Muslims were
16 firing at the Croatian lines and we were on those
18 Then one of the HVO soldiers told us that the
19 commander at the time, Sefer Halilovic would be coming
20 to inspect the lines, although I did not know him in
21 person, I did not personally see him, but I saw the
22 UNPROFOR transporters and other vehicles. The shooting
23 stopped abruptly. When the UNPROFOR left we stayed on
24 to dig. We were brought back where we had been before.
25 Q. So, you were essentially hidden from view
1 from UNPROFOR while they were at the location of Kula.
2 Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Could you now turn to the third
5 location that is marked on the legend, which is
6 Podjele? Could you tell the judges your experience as
7 a trench digger at Podjele? Who took you there, who
8 guarded you, whether it was a combat area, how many
9 people were taken there...
11 A. Regarding the actual location of Podjele,
12 a man were Kotor Varos came to pick us up who was
13 living in the village of Podjele. He selected about 30
14 of us and he took us to the village of Podjele and in
15 the village itself he lined us up, and he ordered us to
16 point -- stretch out our hands, to roll up our sleeves
17 with our palms up. He probably wanted to see whether we
18 still had any valuables left, a ring or a watch or
20 After that he ordered us to take out
21 everything we had in our pockets, though we had nothing
22 in our pockets. My trousers did not have any pockets
23 in, so this man, known as Zare, told me to turn out my
24 pockets. I said I did not have any pockets in my
25 trousers, so he repeated the order. He said, "do it or
1 I will kill you". So there was nothing I could do,
2 because he was pointing his gun at me. I heard the
3 shot. At that moment I did not really know what had
4 happened. I was so frightened. I did not know whether
5 I was dead. I know that I fell down. After a couple of
6 minutes, when I heard voices again, I realised I was
7 still alive.
8 All I know is that I could not see anything,
9 because when he fired the shot, the bullet hit the
10 ground between my feet, and there were pebbles on the
11 path, and these pebbles scattered and I think it was
12 also probably fragmentation of the bullet, and I had
13 injuries on my hands and there were small pebbles or
14 maybe even shrapnel over my body and hands, and I know
15 I took out a piece from my lower lip. What it was, I do
16 not know.
17 Then he ordered us to go to a location where
18 we had to dig trenches. This is a location facing the
19 village of Merdani and he said, he told these people
20 that if I moved they should kill me. So one of our men
21 tried to lead me on. I do not know who it was. I just
22 heard him say, "let him go. He can walk alone", so
23 I heard them moving. I managed to hold on to the
24 shoulder of my brother whose voice I recognised. He was
25 in front of me, and I followed him.
1 We were taken from the village to do the
2 digging. He was a house painter, I do not remember his
3 name exactly, and his brother's name was Hrvoje. He
4 used to work with me. They brought us to the spot where
5 we were expected to dig, and then Hrvoje and his
6 brother protected me for a while, because I could not
7 see anything because of the blood, and we did not have
8 any water to wash my wounds. Then I sat there for about
9 fifteen or twenty minutes with my hands -- I managed to
10 wipe away the blood, and then I too joined in the
12 They said, "Well, you do not have to dig
13 yet", but I remembered what Zare had said, because if
14 he were to see that I was sitting there, he would kill
15 me, because I saw that he also had a sniper so he could
16 see me from the village. Again, there were about 30 men
17 there. I do not know the exact number. We did not have
18 a chance to count.
19 Q. Were the 30 men that were taken to dig with
20 you, were they all Muslims and were they all civilians?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was Zare a member of the HVO, and how do you
24 A. Yes. He had the insignia of the HVO on his
25 sleeve. As far as I know, they were from Kotor Varos
1 and they were refugees in the village of Podjele, which
2 used to be inhabited by Serbs.
3 Q. And were the people who guarded you while you
4 and your colleagues were digging trenches, were they in
5 the HVO as well? Were they HVO soldiers?
6 A. Could you please repeat the question?
7 Q. Were the people who guarded you while you
8 were digging at Podjele HVO soldiers?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you receive any food while you were
11 digging at Podjele on this occasion?
12 A. On that occasion, we were given no food at
13 all. I know this man who was a painter. I do not know
14 his name. He went and he told us that he had stolen
15 some dates, and being so hungry, we could not eat them
16 because it is so sweet. It would only make us sick. At
17 least I did not eat any. Some did, and there was no
18 other food.
19 Later on they gave us just some biscuits
20 packed in a tin of about 5 kilos in weight.
21 Q. When you say, "later on", are you referring
22 to another occasion when you and others went to dig
23 trenches at Podjele?
24 A. Yes. This was another occasion when we went
25 to Podjele again.
1 Q. How many times did you go to Podjele to dig
3 A. We went three or four times, though once we
4 went as far as the actual road to Podjele, not far from
5 Kaonik where the railway bridge used to be.
6 Q. Witness BB, on all of the occasions when you
7 went to dig trenches at Podjele, were you in the
8 presence or accompanied by a large number of Muslim
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And on each occasion when you went to Podjele
12 were you taken there by the HVO and were you guarded
13 there by the HVO?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when you went to Podjele, your group of
16 30 or so Muslims went to Podjele. When you arrived
17 there did you find other Muslims who were digging
19 A. No, but once a shift came from the barracks,
20 people who were also imprisoned there, some 30 of them,
21 they came to replace us, but we stayed in the barracks
22 itself three or four hours and then we were brought
23 back to Podjele again. We did not really have
24 replacements, because the people who came to replace us
25 were still there and we had to continue working on
1 another set of trenches.
2 Q. Let me turn now, Witness BB, to location
3 number 4, Carica? Could you tell the judges about your
4 experiences at Carica?
5 A. As far as I know regarding Carica we went to
6 two locations near Carica. I do not know the exact
7 names of the places. At Carica itself they told us to
8 dig some kind of star-shaped trenches. I had never
9 heard of such trenches, and I did not manage to dig
10 one. Then later they said that we should just dig some
11 ordinary trenches.
12 Q. Approximately how many people went with you
13 to Carica?
14 A. Again, the number was more or less the same.
15 Wherever I went, whether other groups went to other
16 locations, I do not know, but I know that with me there
17 were always about 30 people.
18 Q. And were they always Muslim civilians?
19 A. Yes. Yes. Because only the Muslims were
20 detained there.
21 Q. Was the area of Carica an area that was
22 exposed to combat?
23 A. Not really. They were more like provocations
24 there. That was when Fuad, Fikret, known as Hodza, was
25 wounded. He comes from Tesanj. I do not know his exact
1 name, but I know he was called Hodza. They were also
2 brought to the barracks. They were not given any
3 treatment, they were just left in the cell, wounded,
4 they were just dressed with bandages, no disinfectant
5 was used or anything.
6 Q. The other three wounded trench diggers were
7 Muslims again. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, Witness BB, could you turn to the fifth
10 location, marked Strane. Could you tell the judges your
11 experiences at Strane, please?
12 A. Going to the location at Strane, again, up to
13 30 people were taken there, and when we
14 arrived a Muslim was killed who was detained with us.
15 I do not know his name, but I know he came from Tesen.
16 He is a businessman, one could call him that, because
17 he owned two large Mercedes vehicles and there was
18 a wife and four children left when he died. He had
19 quite a bit of land, and his neighbour was detained
20 with us, and with the permission of the Red Cross he
21 transported his dead body, this neighbour of his, to
23 At the time there were two dug-outs that we
24 were digging and trenches facing Merdani and the
25 village of Putis. I know that I went there once. I was
1 not taken more often to the village of Strane and as
2 I said, again, they were about 30 people taken there,
3 though if we wanted to mention the exact figure, one of
4 them got killed, so 29 of us returned.
5 Q. While you were at Strane did you see any
6 soldiers with walkie-talkies?
7 A. Yes, I saw one, but I do not know whether he
8 was a commander, possibly, because as far as I know,
9 ordinary privates could not have that equipment.
10 Q. Now, did you also see walkie-talkies at Bare?
11 A. This man, nicknamed Sumar, had
12 a walkie-talkie on him.
13 Q. Now, I would like to turn to location number
14 6, which is marked on the map. In the legend it is
15 marked at Kuber. Could you again tell the judges your
16 experiences at Kuber?
17 A. The actual location was one we were also
18 taken to five or six times, I do not know exactly, but
19 only during the night, and we were brought back before
20 dawn, because there were very fierce combat operations
21 during there at the daytime. The HVO lost some
22 positions so that if we spent one night digging, the
23 next night we would have to move back 100 metres and
24 dig more trenches. We were extremely exhausted, but we
25 had to go on digging, and because they were really
1 angry and fierce. They treated us, I do not know how
2 to describe it, but inhumanely, certainly. They would
3 curse us, insult us. I did not see them hitting anyone,
4 but they did not hit me on that occasion.
5 Q. Next could you turn to your experiences at
6 Loncari? Item number 7 on Prosecutor's Exhibit 251.
7 A. When we were taken to the Loncari location,
8 that was above the village of Loncari, there was
9 a chapel there, a Serb chapel, and I think that that
10 was one of their strongest fortifications. There was
11 one dug-out next to another, and they were all
12 connected by these trenches.
13 We were taken there once or twice. I do not
15 Also, all the ones who were taken there were
16 Muslims, about 30 of us. I do not know who the
17 commander was, because many of them ordered us, that so
18 I do not know who exactly was the commander there.
19 Later on I heard that he was called Sisko. I do not
20 know this person. I just heard this from someone else.
21 Q. Let me ask you, Witness BB, how did you get
22 to Loncari? Were you transported in vehicles or did you
23 walk, you and your fellow trench-diggers?
24 A. We were brought to the village of Loncari in
25 a large vehicle, and at Strane we were just brought to
1 below Strane and then we had to walk up, and -- over to
2 Loncari we were actually driven to the actual location.
3 Q. So when you went to dig trenches at the
4 village of Strane, did you leave Kaonik camp on foot
5 and walk to your trench-digging locations?
6 A. We were taken to the end of the main road,
7 and from there we went on foot.
8 Q. I see. Okay. Could you tell the judges next
9 about location number 8, Kaonik? First of all, tell the
10 judges how you got there, to that trench digging, or
11 that labour location.
12 A. We were taken there and we just needed to
13 work on the bridge, or to pour concrete there. There
14 were six of us there. Because there used to be
15 a railroad track passing through there, while there was
16 still steam engine-propelled trains there, so we were
17 taken there to put concrete... and I could not see
18 UNPROFOR passing through on that road. If they did,
19 they would hide us.
20 So if the UNPROFOR would come in our -- would
21 pass us, we would have to lie down in the vehicle, so
22 that the body of the vehicle would hide us.
23 As I said, we were just fixing the bridge and
24 at one point we just dug some dug-outs next to the
25 bridge. I think they just wanted it there for us,
2 Q. Now, Witness BB, how did you get from Kaonik
3 camp to this work location? Did you walk from the camp
4 to the work location? Did you walk along the main road
5 to the work location or were you transported there by
7 A. We were taken there in a vehicle.
8 Q. And this work location is right next to the
9 main road that goes to Busovaca. Is that not correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, lastly, I would like you to describe to
12 the judges what you were asked to do at Ravan, which is
13 location number 9. Who took you there, what were you
14 forced to do?
15 A. Yes. This is the last location. There were
16 six or seven of us who were taken there. We dug at
17 a place called Ravan, and these were -- we dug graves,
18 apparently three of them, because apparently three of
19 their soldiers were killed. We did not stay there long,
20 after about three hours we were taken back to the
22 MR. HARMON: Now, Witness BB, you mentioned
23 that when you were at Kuber on one occasion when an
24 UNPROFOR came you were concealed, and I think you were
25 telling the judges that when you were transported in
1 HVO vehicles to various trench-digging locations, if an
2 UNPROFOR vehicle passed by you and the other trench
3 diggers were asked to duck down so that the UNPROFOR
4 personnel would not see you. Is that correct?
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, this has been said
6 again and again. I fail to understand. Not only do we
7 come back to previous occasions but you ask the witness
8 to say again what he said perfectly. He told you that
9 every time, so we are not going to come back in detail
10 to every location because there are nine of them.
11 Witness BB said that whenever there was an UNPROFOR
12 convoy driving by they were told to hide. The judges
13 have understood that. Please, do not carry on that way.
14 After all, we are able to understand, Judge
15 Shahabuddeen and myself. We know what the witness said,
16 so whenever, on each of the nine locations, maybe not
17 all of them, but we understand that the UNPROFOR
18 convoys did not go through the nine locations, but we
19 are not going to move ahead in this way because this
20 has been said by the witness.
21 You have, according to your summary, one last
22 item to tackle. This is the meeting with Kordic, so
23 please, Witness BB, can you speak about this meeting
24 with Kordic, otherwise we are going to take the lead.
25 We cannot go on this way.
1 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, may I be permitted
2 to finish one part of my examination which deals with
3 efforts by the HVO to conceal civilian forced labour,
4 as he has described --
5 JUDGE JORDA: No, we are sufficiently
6 informed on the camps, so please move on to the fourth
7 item of your summary, because I remind you that you
8 announced four items that you were going to deal with
9 with this witness and the witness perfectly dealt with
10 the first three items. Now, if you fear that in the
11 cross-examination questions are raised, well, you have
12 the time thereafter to ask further questions, so I am
13 asking you to deal with the fourth item, the meeting in
14 Kaonik with Dario Kordic so please, Witness BB, please
15 tell us about that meeting. As far as the rest are
16 concerned, we are sufficiently informed.
17 So please, Witness BB, speak about Dario
19 A. Well, yes. When I was in the camp we were
20 taken out just to get some air, and then I saw that
21 there was a vehicle, I do not know the make of it, and
22 I saw Dario Kordic there, because I knew him. He used
23 to work with me before the war.
24 When he arrived we were taken back
25 immediately, so that I do not know where he went, and
1 why he came.
2 MR. HARMON: Let me ask you, Witness BB, as
3 a result of your experiences in the Kaonik camp and as
4 a result of being forced to dig trenches and being
5 poorly fed, how much weight did you lose?
6 A. We did not have scales to weigh ourselves,
7 so I would say for sure up to 15 kilograms.
8 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would now move to
9 introduce Prosecutor's Exhibit 251, the map and the
10 legend into evidence.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Is there any objections from
12 the Defence? And which is the number for this exhibit?
13 MR. HARMON: 251.
14 JUDGE JORDA: 251. That is right. Thank you.
15 Have you finished Mr. Harmon? Thank you very much.
16 Now, turning to Mr. Nobilo, are you going to
17 take the cross-examination? So Witness BB, you are now
18 going to hear the questions asked by the Defence.
19 General Blaskic has two lawyers defending him, and the
20 Prosecutor will be entitled to ask further questions,
21 if there are any items that are raised during
22 cross-examination so please go ahead, Mr. Nobilo.
23 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Witness BB, you described how you came to
1 Kaonik, and that the HVO members were taken away, and
2 especially the people who had come from Switzerland on
3 holiday. Do you know whether this money and gold was
4 just deposited there and was then given back to them,
5 or do you not know?
6 A. Anything that was taken away from prisoners
7 was put on a table, and one soldier collected it all.
8 Q. Do you know whether this was taken, given
9 back or do you know about it?
10 A. From my communications I do not know that
11 anything was given back.
12 Q. What was taken away from you?
13 A. Just a watch. That is all I had on me.
14 Q. You mentioned that a soldier hit you with
15 a rifle butt. Were you otherwise beaten while you were
16 digging trenches?
17 A. No. I only was hit at the Bare location.
18 Q. Other than that there was nothing?
19 A. No, nothing, except in the camp there were
20 beatings and some acts of provocation.
21 Q. So, in your statement on the 26th January
22 1993 which you gave to the police in Zenica, and which
23 you accept as your own, you said, "in my work details
24 there was no physical mistreatment by the members of
25 the HVO"?
1 A. That is not correct.
2 Q. Did you give such a statement to the security
3 forces in Zenica, though?
4 A. As far as I know, yes, I did give a statement
5 but not such a statement, but I know exactly what
6 I said.
7 MR. NOBILO: I would -- may I ask the usher to
8 show the statement which we received from the
9 Prosecution, and the witness had given the statement
10 and signed it. Could the witness please confirm that
11 this is his signature? It is the last page. (Handed).
12 Please, if you could just look if this is
13 your signature.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I would like to tender it in evidence, and
16 later we will provide additional copies, please.
17 A. There could be a mistake in the statement
19 Q. You mentioned the locations where you dug.
20 Could you tell me, on average, how far were the BH Army
21 positioned in relation to the places where you dug?
22 A. I could not tell you in metres exactly, but
23 approximately up to 500 metres, sometimes 1 kilometre
24 even. It depended on the location.
25 Q. But you would agree with the conclusion that
1 on average the BH Army positions were between
2 500 metres and 1 kilometre. Would you agree with that?
3 A. Yes, I agree with that.
4 (10.15 am)
5 Q. At Kuber, you said that the HVO were losing
6 their positions and so you had to dig new trenches
7 again. Could you tell us when this was? Was this in
8 April or May? Could you tell us at least a month?
9 A. I could not say because we were in fear, so
10 I was not really -- I could not remember the dates.
11 Even my name, sometimes, was hard.
12 Q. When you dug trenches, how far above the
13 village were you in Loncari?
14 A. As far as Loncari is concerned, maybe up to
15 100, 200 metres from the last house.
16 Q. So, the front-line was right next to the
18 A. Yes, it was right next to it there.
19 Q. When you dug at Strane, how far was the line
20 from the last house at Strane?
21 A. It was the very last house next to the
22 village of Putis.
23 Q. And one last question, did you ever
24 personally see General Blaskic?
25 A. I did not see General Blaskic around there at
1 all. I only saw him on television when we were in
2 a village of Jelinak, and we were watching the Vitez TV
3 and I do not know, it could have been HTV. I know that
4 there was a TV in Busovaca so I personally saw the
5 gentleman there on television.
6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, this
7 concludes our examination.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,
9 Mr. Nobilo. Any further questions, Mr. Harmon?
10 MR. HARMON: No questions.
11 JUDGE JORDA: No questions. Judge
12 Shahabuddeen? I do not have any either. So Witness BB,
13 thank you very much for coming to testify in front of
14 this court, because this reminded you of very painful
15 events. Please do not move right now. We are going to
16 adjourn. We are going to break for some twenty minutes,
17 that is until twenty to eleven, and you can then leave
18 the courtroom being protected.
19 (10.20 am)
20 (Short adjournment)
21 (10.45 am)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, first, in respect
24 of the Defence exhibit that was introduced, a statement
25 of Witness BB, I would ask that that be placed under
1 seal since it has identifying information of the
3 Second of all, Mr. President, I would move to
4 introduce a copy of Witness BB's statement he gave to
5 the OTP in 1997 as an exhibit as well.
6 JUDGE JORDA: What are you asking for?
7 MR. HARMON: A copy of Witness BB's statement
8 that he provided to the Office of the Prosecutor in
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we object because
12 in this statement there are some other facts which
13 were -- to which the witness did not testify today, and
14 we had no opportunity to cross-examine him on this, so
15 in this way, certain facts would enter into evidence
16 without our ever testing their veracity, and without
17 our asking a certain number of questions that would
18 test these facts.
19 JUDGE JORDA: -- can we hold this in
20 abeyance? Otherwise it may reveal the Defence's
21 strategy and this is no urgent matter. By the end of
22 the proceedings, I mean, this could be recorded by the
23 Registry, especially if there are other elements. What
24 do you think, Mr. Prosecutor?
25 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President, I am prepared
1 to submit this without it being accepted, marked for
2 identification only, and we can come back and debate
3 this at a later time.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo? It is marked and
5 identified. There is a problem of identification here.
6 MR. NOBILO: We have no problem with it being
7 marked for identification, but maybe I was a bit -- the
8 interpretation came a bit late so maybe I missed the
9 whole thing, so I do not know what the purpose of this
10 being introduced would be.
11 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask
12 a question. This was a statement provided to the Office
13 of the Prosecutor, was it, Mr. Harmon?
14 MR. HARMON: Yes, that is correct,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, Mr. Nobilo, the
17 Prosecution knows what there is in that statement. I am
18 coming back to your initial objection. First I was
19 convinced and now I am having some doubts. The
20 Prosecution knows what there is in that statement and
21 you are now telling me, "I am objecting because I have
22 used only certain elements and I am going to use other
23 elements later on"? Am I wrong? Maybe I got it wrong.
24 MR. NOBILO: Maybe there was
25 a misunderstanding here. What I had said was that in
1 this statement there are certain parts, there are facts
2 to which the witness did not testify here, and so we
3 were unable to examine the witness on those issues,
4 which is why we object to introducing this statement
5 into evidence, because we have not been given an
6 opportunity to cross-examine the witness on -- and --
7 MR. HAYMAN: I add, Mr. President, by
8 contrast, we offered an exhibit, a 1993 statement of
9 the witness taken literally within days of some of
10 these events, as impeachment because the written signed
11 statement of the witness contradicted his --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Which statements are you
13 talking about?
14 MR. HAYMAN: This is the Defence exhibit.
15 There are two statements, Mr. President; defence
16 exhibit, I believe it is D86 which we offered and to
17 which there was no objection. I believe that is in
18 evidence. That is the statement which the witness
19 signed, stating that there was no mistreatment of
20 prisoners in one or more contexts. This statement,
21 I believe, we only have in BSC, Mr. President. It was
22 provided, I think, recently to us.
23 So that is the reason we offered that
24 statement. There was no objection.
25 Now, after the witness has gone, the
1 Prosecutor is coming in with a different statement to
2 which, as Mr. Nobilo points out, we have not examined
3 and cross-examined the witness as to all the contents
4 of this other statement, let alone why is the other
5 statement relevant. The witness was just here. They
6 could have elicited any facts in that 1997 statement.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, the statement you
8 are talking about, which is that? Is that the one
9 I have now in my hand?
10 MR. HARMON: It is another declaration,
11 Mr. President. It is a statement that he gave to the
12 Office of the Prosecutor on 29th July 1997. Now, if
13 I --
14 JUDGE JORDA: But we did not discuss that,
15 did we?
16 MR. HARMON: No, we did not introduce it.
17 What was introduced by the Defence was a statement in
18 Bosnian --
19 JUDGE JORDA: So you did not even ask your
20 own witness as to that statement.
21 MR. HARMON: Yes, I have interrogated him on
22 a variety --
23 JUDGE JORDA: But that statement should have
24 been given to the Defence, pursuant to Rule 66. It
25 should have been for a long time.
1 You have that statement, Mr. Nobilo. I am not
2 talking about the one you have there, I am talking
3 about another statement. Please, enlighten me on this,
4 because the poor civil lawyer that I am, does not
5 understand. This is a situation which is inconceivable.
6 The judges are going to assess the relevance of this
7 testimony only on the basis of what the witness said,
8 and not on the basis of his statement, but this is
9 a major stake for you, so this statement has been
10 communicated to you. You have it, have you not? So let
11 us forget this one because that one has been exchanged.
12 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that is correct. We did
13 receive, yes, we did receive the statement, but the
14 witness was not examined either in the
15 examination-in-chief, nor in cross-examination on those
16 facts, so we had the witness here, and this testimony
17 could have been introduced through the
18 examination-in-chief and then could have been subjected
19 to cross-examination.
20 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to discuss with
21 my colleague for a minute. (Pause).
22 The court turns down the tendering which is
23 challenged by the Defence. As has been explained by the
24 Defence, the witness is gone, and you said, Prosecutor,
25 that you had based your questions on that statement.
1 Let me make a general statement. You know
2 that these proceedings are difficult, not only because
3 they are lengthy, because of the large number of
4 questions that are asked and often repetitive, and the
5 difficulty lies also in the number and in the diversity
6 of statements taken from witnesses, so we come up with
7 problems such as this one. There is an attempt, an
8 impeachment by the Defence on the basis of three or
9 four statements. This is no easy matter so we are not
10 admitting this exhibit for the moment, and let us move
11 on to the next item, Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: May I make some comments,
13 Mr. President, just some observations and then I will be
14 happy to move on, or may I reserve those for a later
16 JUDGE JORDA: It is not customary to have
17 comments following a decision issued by the judges. The
18 judges have conferred. They have made a decision, and
19 the court is amply informed as to the testimony by
20 Witness BB, and you are very lucky, Mr. Harmon, I am
21 saying this today, and also I will say this to the
22 Defence. You are very lucky, because facing the
23 sufferings endured by the witnesses, given the way they
24 are disturbed, given the time that is asked for them to
25 come here, we should wonder as to the relevance of
1 this. You are very lucky that I, unlike other judges in
2 the Tribunal, do not say, "Well, this is over, Witness,
3 you can leave the courtroom".
4 I believe that we need procedures. We have
5 been able to manage this very well. Yesterday and the
6 day before yesterday, but we have to be simple, so the
7 matter is settled. The decision has been issued, and we
8 have already lost a quarter of an hour in this. On to
9 the next item.
10 MR. HARMON: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
11 The next witness is a protected witness who has asked
12 for face and pseudonym protection. I can give you
13 a summary very quickly, Mr. President. The witness is
14 a Bosnian Muslim who resided in the Kiseljak
16 JUDGE JORDA: So how is he going to be
18 THE REGISTRAR: Witness CC.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Please proceed.
20 MR. HARMON: Witness CC resided in the
21 village of Polje Visnjica, which is a village different
22 to the Witness AA resided in. It is the village lower
23 than Witness AA's village and closer to the main road.
24 Her testimony will cover four areas. The
25 first is the attack on the village of Polje Visnjica,
1 which commenced on the 18th April 1993. She will
2 describe the results of that attack.
3 Second of all, she will describe the
4 circumstances of the attempted forcible exchange of her
5 daughter by the HVO, and her daughter's wounding, which
6 occurred on the 30th June 1993.
7 Thirdly, she will testify about her expulsion
8 by the HVO from her house, and lastly she will testify
9 about the expulsion of the Muslims who remain in the
10 village of Polje Visnjica thereafter.
11 Her testimony relates to count 1,
12 persecution, which includes paragraph 6.1, 6.3, 6.4
13 through paragraph 7. Counts 2-4, unlawful attacks on
14 civilians and civilian objects, paragraph 8. Counts 11
15 through 13, destruction and plunder of property,
16 paragraph 10. Counts 15 and 16, inhumane treatment of
17 detainees and hostages, paragraphs 13 through 15.
18 Because this witness is a protected witness,
19 Mr. President, Judge Shahabuddeen, I have instructed her
20 during the course of her deposition not to identify by
21 name her relatives, that she will be describing events
22 that occurred to them, and she is, however, as
23 I mentioned yesterday, prepared to do so in a private
24 session if that is required.
25 So with that, Mr. President, I would ask that
1 she be brought in.
3 (The witness entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, Witness CC?
5 A. I do.
6 JUDGE JORDA: You are here welcome, and we
7 are going to call you Witness CC, because the court has
8 ordered some protective measures. First, you are going
9 to identify --
10 A. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE JORDA: You are first going to
12 identify your name without pronouncing it, on that
13 piece of paper. Please read your name but do not
14 pronounce it.
15 Fine. And now you are going to swear the oath
16 on the basis of the paper handed in by the Registrar.
17 WITNESS CC (sworn)
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You are going to be
19 asked some questions by the Prosecutor and then you
20 will be free to relate the events as regards the three
21 or four items interesting for the judges.
22 Examined by MR. HARMON.
23 Q. Good morning, Witness CC.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Are you a citizen of Bosnia?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And are you a Muslim?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In April of 1993 did you live in the Kiseljak
5 municipality in the village of Polje Visnjica?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Prior to the attack on your village, how long
8 had you lived in that particular village?
9 A. I got married in 1968 and I lived there until
11 Q. Was the village of Polje Visnjica a mixed
12 Muslim and Croat village?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. I have asked you to come to this court to
15 testify about four particular areas and I would like to
16 start with the first area, which is having you describe
17 to the judges the attack on your village that occurred
18 on April 18th, and if you would proceed telling the
19 judges about that attack and then we will move to the
20 next area.
21 Please, tell the judges, in a narrative form,
22 about the events that occurred.
23 A. On 18th April 1993 some people were listening
24 to the radio, Radio Kiseljak, and the population was
25 told not to be disturbed because the UNPROFOR would be
1 doing some exercises in Kiseljak. I got up at 6 o'clock
2 on the 18th. I was awoken by strong detonations.
3 I asked my husband whether he knew what was happening.
4 He said he did not.
5 A woman came to see me. She too did not know
6 what was happening. Afterwards two men came by. I asked
7 them what was happening. They were in civilian clothes.
8 They were not armed, and they told us to go to
9 a shelter. We went to a house where there was one
10 storey and we were in the basement in a shelter and we
11 spent two days there.
12 On the third day we were told that we had to
13 surrender, that we should go towards the silo to the
14 checkpoint. One of our men, one of our Muslims carried
15 a white flag on a pole. We followed him to -- in a row,
16 two by two. We reached the barricades. They followed us
17 with their weapons. They cursed our balija mothers and
18 the dzana hidrija, the alesa state. We reached the
19 checkpoint, a big truck with a canvas cover came. It
20 took off our men to the barracks. We stayed behind.
21 Women, children, and some elderly people. They left my
22 husband with me because I asked them to leave him. We
23 spent two nights there in five different houses where
24 we were put up.
25 Kasim Handzic, Serif Cilas, Meho Cilas, Ibro
1 Cilas, all these houses were full of us Muslims who
2 were brought there to the checkpoint. We spent two
3 nights there.
4 We asked whether we could go back to our
5 homes, and while we were at the silo we saw thick
6 smoke, and I saw Rasid Bulic's house and stable on
7 fire. I did not see anything else except the smoke.
8 After that, we asked to go back to our own village and
9 they let us go. We returned to the village. When we got
10 there, our houses had been looted, the doors had been
11 broken, everything had been turned upside down in the
13 Rasid Bulic's house and stable and a cow had
14 been burned. In Omer Drinjak's house the stable and
15 cow, Rasid Drinjak's stable and two cows. Sljivar's
16 stable and a cow. Alija Dzina, a stable and a cow. Said
17 Ahmedic's house, shed and cow, but the cow did not
18 quite burn. She survived.
19 Nasid Handzic's house and stable were burned.
20 Enver Handzic's house. Ismet Handzic's house and
21 stable. Dzemil Karahmet's house and stable. Hasim
22 Sljivar's house and stable. Then further on, near my
23 sister's stable had been burned, and a cow.
24 In one of my relatives' stable and cow, then
25 further on, the Begovic village, everything was
1 torched. Ibro's house and stable, Enver's stable and
3 JUDGE JORDA: I think we understand that all
4 the stables were torched. Please carry on. Carry on to
5 the next events, although these were bad enough, but
6 please carry on. So everything was burned down. No
7 need to enumerate all the people whose shed or stables
8 and cows were burned. Please carry on.
9 A. Very well. So we continued living there in
10 the village. There were various provocations. They
11 would come to take our men to dig trenches. They forced
12 my husband, my brother-in-law who managed to get away
13 one night through the woods with his brother.
14 Then there were provocations around my
15 daughter. They were -- they wanted her to get out. Then
16 they wanted to force her to go to Bilalevac to be
18 MR. HARMON: Witness CC, let me stop you
19 right there, because we are going to move into another
20 topic I am going to asking you about in a few minutes.
21 Let me clarify some points on your testimony about the
23 When you got to the area, the silos, can you
24 describe the uniforms that you saw being worn by the
25 men who were guarding you and the other civilians?
1 A. The men were wearing camouflage HVO uniforms.
2 They had the insignia and they had rifles. I saw two in
3 black uniforms, and on their cap they had the letter,
4 "U". I only saw two of them like that. There were many
5 soldiers there. All were wearing camouflage uniforms.
6 Q. Now, you gave an incomplete list of the
7 number of people's properties that you saw that were
8 burned. Two questions. One, were they all Muslims, the
9 houses that you described and the ones that you did not
10 testify about, by identifying the owners of those
11 houses? Were they all Muslim houses?
12 A. Yes. All were Muslim houses. All of them were
13 torched. There was not a single Croatian house.
14 Q. Now, when you left your house, surrendered
15 and went to the silos, were the houses that you have
16 identified, not burned? Were they intact?
17 A. When we went to the silos, Rasid Drinjak's
18 house and the others were all intact. Only Ismet
19 Handzic's stable and Dzemil Karahmet's stable were
20 burned. The rest was intact.
21 Q. So two days later when you returned, then
22 those houses that you identified and all the other
23 Muslim houses had been burned down. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes. Correct.
25 Q. Now, adjacent to the Muslim houses that you
1 have identified that had been burned down were there
2 Croat houses?
3 A. (readcted)
5 Q. And were any Croat houses that you could see
6 burned or robbed?
7 A. No. No.
8 Q. Now, while you -- did you remain in the
9 village, after you returned to your house?
10 A. Yes. Yes. I stayed there.
11 Q. Did your husband remain with you?
12 A. Yes, he did.
13 Q. While he remained with you was he ever taken
14 by the HVO to go dig trenches?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On how many occasions?
17 A. My husband went perhaps only three times to
18 dig trenches, while we were there.
19 Q. Did the HVO come and collect other people who
20 lived in Polje Visnjica and take them to dig trenches
21 beside your husband?
22 A. Yes. Hasan Karahmet was killed digging
23 trenches. Haris Begovic was wounded digging trenches.
24 Salko Fezic was seriously wounded also digging
25 trenches. That is as much as I know, personally. These
1 were all people were my village.
2 Q. Those are all Muslim people. Is that correct?
3 A. All Muslims.
4 Q. Now I would like to turn to the second event,
5 and that is the attempted forcible transfer of your
6 daughter by the HVO and her wounding that took place on
7 the 30th June 1993. Would you please tell the judges
8 about that event?
9 A. After my son-in-law fled, my daughter stayed
10 at home, and they tried to chase her out, and they gave
11 her four days' time to stay at home, and then Pasko
12 came to bring his father from Bilalac. The first day my
13 daughter refused, then Pasko came again, the next day,
14 to take her. She went to talk to Nikica Pravdic, called
15 Braco, and he told her that she had to go to the
16 Fojnica barricade, and he went with her as well as Ando
17 Palalija and this Pasko who had come there. He went
18 with them.
19 There they wrote down something on a piece of
20 paper, and said that she should contact Bilalovac for
21 an exchange. My daughter came home. She told me about
22 it. Then Marinko Bodula came. What his intentions were,
23 I do not know Marinko Bodula also asked that my
24 daughter should bring the old man from Brestovsko. He
25 came in a blue car. He picked his -- he got his pistol.
1 There was an extremist with him and I must call him an
2 extremist because he fired. He shot at my daughter.
3 Q. Witness CC, before you continue, were these
4 people who came to collect your daughter, were they HVO
5 soldiers, and how do you know that?
6 A. Soldiers. HVO soldiers, camouflage uniform.
7 This one had a rifle, and when I told him that she
8 could not be replaced for the whole of Bilalovac, he
9 took his rifle and shot at her roof, and the tiles
10 started falling on us. Her older daughter --
11 Q. Let me ask you, just to interrupt you very
12 quickly, did she have two small children, that is my
13 first question, and my second question is, did she want
14 to participate in this exchange?
15 A. She had a daughter of four and a half, and
16 a younger one of two and a half, and she did not want
17 to go for such an exchange, because she had small
18 children. The little one was already in bed with
19 a bottle. He cursed and swore at her God and threatened
20 that she had to go. I begged him, "please do not take
21 her. My son got killed last year. I have no more
22 children, only her". He cursed again and said that she
23 had to go or he would slaughter all of us, and then she
24 said, "Well, all right mummy, I will go and I will come
25 back", and then I said, "but I am coming with you". He
1 said, "you can go, but she has to go", and as we were
2 getting into the car my granddaughter was crying
3 saying, "mummy, I want to come with you".
4 My daughter said, "come here, dear. Sit in
5 your mother's lap". We got in and he continued
6 threatening, and this extremist was saying, "we will
7 kill all of you balijas if they beat him over there".
8 I just cried all the time.
9 When we reached a hill, no exchange had been
10 arranged. This was done by force because he did not
11 give her a white flag or anything. There was not any
12 prior notification. He simply let her go between the
13 lines. I asked to go with her, but they would not let
15 Marinko Tadic spoke to Marinko Bodula and
16 told him that I should go because I was wearing the
17 Muslim costume. He said, "no". He refused. Then my
18 daughter went off. I stayed there for a while. I heard
19 some shots. There were two shots fired, and a third
20 time there was a burst of fire. I cried and shouted,
21 "my daughter will get killed! I have no more
22 children!", and he said to me that their people would
23 not shoot, that our people would shoot. I said I did
24 not care who was shooting, all I cared about was my
1 So, a little later, Marinko Tadic came, who
2 accompanied my daughter up to a point. Then he came
3 back and said something to Marinko Bodula, I watched
4 the glances they exchanged. I saw that something was
5 happening. I said to him, "I am sure my daughter has
6 been killed". He cursed my country, he just said, "she
7 has only been slightly wounded. You see what your
8 people are doing?", and I said to him, "may God punish
9 you. What are you doing to my daughter?".
10 They brought my daughter on a stretcher. She
11 was covered in blood. My granddaughter was watching and
12 crying. I took her away so that she should not watch
13 this, and one of the HVO soldiers picked her up in his
14 arms, so she no longer approached her mother. One of
15 them was giving me a cigarette, and I refused. I said,
16 "God will reward you for what you are doing", and then
17 they took her to a hospital. They first went to
18 Kiseljak, the barracks there. They gave her some kind
19 of treatment, I suppose.
20 I asked them whether I could see her once to
21 kiss her. They let me do it, and she opened her eyes
22 and I saw that she was still alive for a moment. Then
23 they took her to Fojnica, and I did not see her again.
24 MR. HARMON: Witness CC, let me ask you some
25 questions surrounding that particular event.
1 The location where your daughter was taken
2 and from, where she was directed to walk across the
3 front lines, were there soldiers at that location? What
4 kind of soldiers were they and how many of them were
6 A. When we got there in front of a house there
7 were several soldiers there. Two of them, maybe, were
8 in civilian clothes. The rest were in uniforms. I do
9 not know them. I could not really recognise them. I was
10 not in my right mind. You can imagine how you feel.
11 Imagine if it was your child. You cannot concentrate.
12 Your brain does not work. So I do not know who they
14 Q. Were they HVO soldiers?
15 A. And I do not know how many there were. Yes,
16 they were HVO soldiers because we were in their
18 Q. And then when you referred to the barracks,
19 you are referring to the Kiseljak army barracks where
20 she was taken?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. As a result of the wound is your daughter
24 A. My daughter is 80 per cent disabled. She had
25 a third of her liver cut off, a third of her lungs,
1 a third of her stomach. She was wounded in the hand,
2 and in the stomach with the cluster bullet. Her whole
3 stomach is covered in wounds. She has no accommodation.
5 Q. Now let me turn to the third event in your
6 testimony and that is the expulsion of you from your
7 house in Polje Visnjica which occurred on or about
8 28th August 1993.
9 Could you please tell the judges how you were
10 expelled from your house by the HVO military police?
11 A. One day, after my daughter had left, when she
12 went to the hospital she was captured in Bokovice then
13 she came back. I do not know whether it was after
14 a month. The UNPROFOR took her to her children. We
15 stayed on to live there.
16 Two days later in the evening, some men with
17 stockings over their heads -- I was praying at that
18 moment, I was bending down. They came. One of them took
19 me by the neck and told me to lie down. My husband was
20 sitting to the right. The door of the kitchen was open.
21 I was praying in the corridor. My husband saw what was
22 happening, so when he released me I saw the stockings
23 over their heads and eyes. I screamed. I lost my voice.
24 My husband, another one, took me by the neck.
25 He pointed his pistol at my forehead. He demanded
1 money. I said we did not have any. My husband said,
2 "are you going to kill my wife as well? Please do not
3 kill her", and then this other one said, "lie down",
4 and he pointed his gun at him and so he lay down. I saw
5 that. And then this other one released me. I passed
6 through the kitchen onto the balcony, so I thought if
7 he started shooting I would jump and then I cried out
8 -- Nikica Pravdic, known as Braco, who was responsible
9 for our village, Visnjica, and I called out, "Braco,
10 help, these stockinged people have come demanding money
11 and we have not got any. Come quickly".
12 So I looked, my husband got up. I just asked
13 him with a nod where they were. I did not utter a word,
14 and he nodded to indicate that they had left. I went
15 into the yard, I was crying and screaming, or trying
16 to, because I had no voice.
17 Afterwards, a man called Anto, a refugee from
18 Podlugovi came and he asked me what had happened. He
19 asked me and I told him. Then he stayed a while with us
20 and then he left.
21 After that, they came to my house, the
22 police. They asked my husband, "how many of you are
23 there in this house?". He said, "just me and my wife";
24 "very well", and they left.
25 The next day, again the police came, HVO
1 police. They gave us 15 minutes to take with us some
2 food and to abandon the house. So we said, "okay".
3 I cried. I was standing there with another woman. Then
4 Slavot Miletic came up to me and his wife, and his
5 brother's wife. He was carrying a rifle, pointed at us,
6 but he said, "do not be afraid. They will not kill you.
7 I have got a document to move into your house", and
8 I said, "I am not afraid. You can kill me anyway
9 because I have lost my son. I do not need to live".
10 So he took this paper and said, "if you are
11 going to cry then my tears will reach me but I will not
12 move in, someone else will anyway", so I said, "never
13 mind, I am not crying because of that. Move in". I just
14 asked whether I could use the summer kitchen, and he
15 said, "of course". So my husband and I moved into the
16 summer kitchen. We spent seven days there, maybe eight.
17 And then orders came that all of us Muslims
18 had to go to the village of Rotilj.
19 Q. Let me stop you there Witness CC, and clarify
20 some points in respect of your expulsion from your
22 You said that first of all some policemen
23 came and said you had fifteen minutes to move out of
24 your house; were these HVO military policemen?
25 A. Yes. HVO, yes.
1 Q. You said that an individual who you have
2 identified had a piece of paper. Did you take a look at
3 that piece of paper?
4 A. Yes. I said that. No, no, I did not look at
5 it. I was not interested. I told him he could move in.
6 Q. Now, did he represent that that piece of
7 paper was a piece of paper from some authoritative body
8 that permitted him to move into your house and kick you
9 out of your house?
10 A. I suppose. It was given to him. It must have
11 been important for him. I do not know. He was holding
12 it and then he sort of threw it on the table when he
13 saw me crying, but I said, "never mind, you move in".
14 I just asked whether I could use the summer kitchen.
15 Q. Now, what happened to the few remaining
16 Muslims who still continued to reside in your village?
17 Tell the judges what happened in respect of their
19 A. All of us left on the 6th September to the
20 village of Rotilj under pressure. They said we had to
21 leave that village because they did not want to have
22 any Muslims in that village of Visnjica. HVO soldiers
23 came to every house and stuck on a label with the name
24 of the person who was moving in, and we just had to
25 move out.
1 MR. HARMON: Witness CC, wait just a minute,
2 please. (Pause).
4 JUDGE JORDA: For technical reasons, as was
5 explained by the Registrar, which I am not very aware
6 of, but there are technical reasons, I think it should
7 be better to have private session.
8 MR. HARMON: No objection.
9 JUDGE JORDA: No objection from the Defence?
10 The Registrar could explain this very quickly. I do not
11 want the decisions made by the judges not to be
12 accounted for.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. We can ensure that the
14 witness is safe if there is a name or a location that
15 could be identified, but technically, we can no longer
16 redact, so to ensure all safety, we are asking for
17 a private session.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Is it no longer possible today?
19 THE REGISTRAR: No.
20 JUDGE JORDA: So okay, we will have the
21 private session.
22 (In Private Session)
21 (Hearing adjourned)