International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Monday, 27th April 1998

    2 (2.30 pm)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Would the

    4 Registry, please, have the accused brought in.

    5 (The accused entered court)

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Prosecution, you have the

    7 floor.

    8 We have a relatively short week ahead of us.

    9 I believe we are going to be sitting today, this

    10 afternoon, tomorrow, Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

    11 How is that going to happen, then? What is happening

    12 on Wednesday?

    13 THE REGISTRAR: We are also scheduled to sit

    14 in the afternoon.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. So we are not

    16 sitting in the morning, Wednesday morning?

    17 THE REGISTRAR: No, we are not.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, we have the three

    19 afternoons, Mr. Prosecutor. It is up to you, then, to

    20 do what you can so that things are arranged as best as

    21 possible.

    22 The other witness had to leave so the

    23 cross-examination will have to take place at a later

    24 date for that witness.

    25 Mr. Prosecutor, please introduce your next

  2. 1 case.

    2 MR. HARMAN: Thank you. Good afternoon,

    3 Mr. President, your Honours and counsel.

    4 My next witness, Mr. President and your

    5 Honours, is Deborah Christie. Deborah Christie is an

    6 executive from the BBC. In 1993 she was a journalist

    7 and a film-maker employed by Granada Films in the

    8 United Kingdom. They made a film in 1993 entitled "We

    9 Are All Neighbours".

    10 It is a film about the village of Visnjica,

    11 one of the villages which is listed in the indictment

    12 and one of the villages which was attacked by the HVO

    13 in the Kiseljak municipality in April of 1993.

    14 Your Honours have already heard two witnesses

    15 who have testified about this attack; those are

    16 Witnesses AA and Witness CC.

    17 Ms Christie and her film crew were in

    18 Visnjica and in Kiseljak from 22nd January 1993 until

    19 14th February of that same year. Following the attack

    20 on the village of Visnjica, she and her crew returned

    21 to Kiseljak and to the village on 29th April for

    22 additional film-making. She remained in Kiseljak and

    23 in Visnjica until 3rd May 1993.

    24 Her testimony will relate to her observations

    25 in and around Visnjica and Kiseljak before and after

  3. 1 the attack by the HVO. She will describe the village

    2 of Visnjica, what it was like; what life was like in

    3 the village before and after the attack.

    4 She will also testify about events that

    5 occurred on the night of 4th February in Kiseljak.

    6 That specifically relates to the destruction of Muslim

    7 shops and businesses that were destroyed, some within

    8 400 yards of then Colonel Blaskic's headquarters of the

    9 Kiseljak army barracks.

    10 She will testify about seeing the HVO forces

    11 in Kiseljak. She will describe them as being in

    12 absolute control of the city of Kiseljak and the

    13 surroundings. She will identify some of the types of

    14 weapons that they had at their disposal, including

    15 a tank. She will testify, Mr. President and

    16 your Honours, about personally meeting then

    17 Colonel Blaskic at what was described as his

    18 headquarters in the Kiseljak barracks. She will

    19 testify that she obtained a film permit from

    20 Colonel Blaskic. She will describe what effect that

    21 film permit had, in terms of her being able to do her

    22 business throughout the municipality on both of her

    23 visits.

    24 Lastly, Mr. President and your Honours, we

    25 will introduce into evidence the film. We will play

  4. 1 the film, "We Are All Neighbours" and she will make

    2 observations about that film and describe certain parts

    3 of that film in greater detail.

    4 In respect of the indictment, Mr. President

    5 and your Honours, her testimony relates to the

    6 authority exercised by the accused, specifically

    7 paragraphs 3 and 4 of the indictment; it relates to

    8 persecution, paragraph 6.1; attacks on villages; and

    9 paragraph 6.3, destruction and plunder of property.

    10 Her testimony also relates to counts 2 to 4,

    11 unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian objects, and

    12 counts 11 through 13, the destruction and plunder of

    13 property. Lastly, it relates to count 14, the

    14 destruction of religious property.

    15 That concludes my summary, Mr. President and

    16 your Honours.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. I would

    18 like to ask you also to the intention of my

    19 colleagues. I would like to know approximately how

    20 much time you think your examination-in-chief will

    21 take?

    22 MR. HARMAN: My examination-in-chief should

    23 take less than half an hour, Mr. President. The film is

    24 approximately 55 minutes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: You have the intention of

  5. 1 showing the whole film?

    2 MR. HARMAN: Yes.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Without any further

    4 delay, will the Registry please then bring in the

    5 witness, Ms Deborah Christie.

    6 (Deborah Christie enters court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain -- we have a new

    8 usher here, so we have to make sure the usher takes on

    9 the good habits. Please have the witness remain

    10 standing. Madam, do you hear me?

    11 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: I am sorry to have you remain

    13 standing for a few moments. This is how the procedure

    14 is carried out here before this Tribunal. I would like

    15 to ask now, do you hear me in your language?

    16 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please remind us of

    18 your last and first name?

    19 THE WITNESS: My name is Deborah Christie.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing so that

    21 you may read the solemn declaration that the usher will

    22 put before you.


    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Please be

    25 seated.

  6. 1 Madam, you have agreed to come and testify at

    2 the request of the Prosecutor before the

    3 International Criminal Tribunal in this case, in the

    4 matter of the Prosecution versus Colonel Blaskic, who

    5 is present in this courtroom. The Prosecutor has

    6 explained to you how this is going to proceed.

    7 I understand from the summary given by the

    8 Prosecution that you are a professional. The

    9 Prosecution has given us some background about you.

    10 The Prosecutor will guide you into areas which are of

    11 importance. There will be some introductory remarks or

    12 questions and then after that the Prosecutor will ask

    13 some questions.

    14 Please, you have the floor, Mr. Prosecutor.

    15 Examined by MR. HARMAN

    16 MR. HARMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.

    17 Good afternoon, Ms Christie.

    18 A. Good afternoon.

    19 Q. Could you, please, tell us about your

    20 background?

    21 A. I was trained as a journalist with the BBC

    22 and I then worked as a film-maker/journalist for

    23 Granada Television for six years working on their prime

    24 time news and current affairs programme which is called

    25 "World in Action".

  7. 1 I came to work on a project, a strand called

    2 "Disappearing World" in 1993.

    3 Q. Can you tell us what you currently do?

    4 A. I am currently an Executive Producer at

    5 BBC Television. I am responsible for 25 staff who are

    6 making factual television programmes.

    7 Q. As a film-maker and as a journalist, have you

    8 won any awards and, if so, could you describe which

    9 awards you have won?

    10 A. I have won five awards; two of them

    11 specifically were for the Disappearing World programme

    12 in Bosnia. One of them was an international EMI award

    13 and the other one was the Royal Television Society in

    14 Britain's award.

    15 Q. Now, Ms Christie, were you in the Kiseljak

    16 municipality and in the village of Visnjica from

    17 22nd January 1993 to 14th February 1993, and then again

    18 from 29th April 1993 until 3rd May 1993?

    19 A. Yes, I was.

    20 Q. Why were you there?

    21 A. I was there to make a film. I was working

    22 with an anthropologist called Tone Bringa who knew the

    23 area well. It was the first time I had been in

    24 Bosnia.

    25 Q. When you give your answers, if you could give

  8. 1 them in a narrative form. The court prefers that you

    2 give your testimony and I ask as few questions as

    3 possible.

    4 If you could tell us, please, about the

    5 background of the film, the genesis of the film, who

    6 Tone Bringa is, what she had done in the village before

    7 and what you then sought to achieve by making this

    8 particular film.

    9 A. Sure. The programme was made for a series

    10 called "Disappearing World". It is a series of

    11 television programmes which had been running for

    12 10 years on Granada Television.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Madam, I am going to ask you to

    14 speak a little more slowly for the interpreters. Thank

    15 you.

    16 A. The film that I was making was for a strand

    17 on British television called "Disappearing World".

    18 This was a programme that had been running for

    19 10 years. The style of the programme is to work with

    20 an anthropologist who has specialist knowledge in an

    21 area with a group of people and to try to make a film

    22 using the anthropologist's knowledge to reflect what is

    23 happening in that particular place or village.

    24 I was working with Tone Bringa, who is

    25 a Norwegian anthropologist. She had lived in the

  9. 1 village of Visnjica for 15 months, five years

    2 previously; that is in 1988. She had studied the

    3 village. She was looking particularly, as an

    4 anthropologist, at the co-existence of different groups

    5 within the same village. The interest in the village

    6 was the co-existence primarily of Croat and Muslim.

    7 That was her specialist area.

    8 She knew the village very well, she had lived

    9 actually in the village for 15 months and when we

    10 returned to make the programme, Tone Bringa lived in

    11 the village of Visnjica for the dates described and the

    12 TV crew, camera and sound, lived in Kiseljak. I was

    13 living partly in Visnjica, partly in Kiseljak for that

    14 period of time. So, as well as making the film, I was

    15 actually living in the village and in Kiseljak.

    16 The film was an attempt to show what happened

    17 to civilians at a time of war; it was an attempt to

    18 document how peoples' lives changed, how their

    19 relationships with their communities and their families

    20 changed.

    21 It was made from an anthropological

    22 background, but it was designed to -- for an audience

    23 who we assumed would have no knowledge of Bosnia.

    24 The intention was to try to capture what was

    25 happening in peoples' lives and to hear those people

  10. 1 talk candidly about what they were experiencing, what

    2 they were seeing and how their relationships with their

    3 family and their community were changing.

    4 MR. HARMAN: In the course of making that

    5 film, you had ample opportunity to observe both the

    6 people in the village of Visnjica and the people in the

    7 village of Kiseljak. I am going to be asking you about

    8 those observations, and relate some of those

    9 observations to the Chamber, in just a minute.

    10 Once you started to make the film, did you

    11 have problems with the ability to move around and

    12 actually prepare that film? Could you describe those

    13 problems to the Trial Chamber and what you did to

    14 resolve those problems?

    15 A. Sure. We had already got accreditation from

    16 UNPROFOR, which is an ID card which we had reason to

    17 believe would enable us to work as journalists, as

    18 film-makers, in the area.

    19 In the first three or four days when we were

    20 in Visnjica and Kiseljak, on two or three occasions we

    21 were stopped by HVO soldiers who were inquiring what we

    22 were doing and why we were doing it and, on each

    23 occasion, required us to stop filming.

    24 On 29th January, we went with a Croat

    25 translator -- I went with a Croat translator to what

  11. 1 I understood to be the HVO headquarters in Kiseljak,

    2 and we asked for permission from Colonel Blaskic, for

    3 a letter to make it clear what we were doing and to

    4 give us permission to operate in the area.

    5 We had been advised, both by UNPROFOR and by

    6 people within Kiseljak, that if we wished to move in

    7 the area, we must have some permission, particularly if

    8 we wanted to interview civilians.

    9 Bozica, who was the translator working with

    10 us on that day, we were taken into an office that

    11 I understood to be Colonel Blaskic's office. She went

    12 in, she spent some time in there. She came out with

    13 a piece of paper which was our permission.

    14 Colonel Blaskic came out, we shook hands, I took the

    15 piece of paper and I went.

    16 Over the next two and-a-half weeks, we used

    17 that piece of paper at least seven times --

    18 MR. HARMAN: Excuse me, before we get into

    19 that, I am going to ask you that in just a minute. If

    20 I could ask for the assistance of the usher to place on

    21 the ELMO, Prosecutor's Exhibit 307.

    22 Mr. President, this is an enlargement of

    23 a previously admitted exhibit, Exhibit 75. I will ask

    24 that it be placed on the ELMO and I will going to ask

    25 the witness to identify it. (Handed).

  12. 1 Now, Ms Christie, prior to coming to court,

    2 did I show you this photograph and did I ask you to

    3 circle the building where you met then Colonel Blaskic?

    4 A. Yes, you showed me that picture and I circled

    5 the office where I remember going in.

    6 Q. That circle appears on the lower left-hand

    7 corner of the photograph?

    8 A. Yes, it does.

    9 MR. HARMAN: Okay.

    10 Now, if I could again have the assistance of

    11 the usher? I would like to have Prosecutor's

    12 Exhibit 308 put on the ELMO.

    13 Mr. President, Exhibit 308 is a copy of the

    14 permit that was issued to Ms Christie and to

    15 Granada Television by Colonel Blaskic. Exhibit 308A is

    16 an English translation of that permit. I regret to say

    17 at this point I do not have a French translation of

    18 that and I will endeavour to get one. (Handed).

    19 Mr. Usher, if I could have the original

    20 language, not the English language version, but the

    21 Bosnian language version put on.

    22 Ms Christie on the ELMO is a permit. Do you

    23 recognise the document that is on the ELMO and can you

    24 tell the judges what that is?

    25 A. Yes, I do recognise the document. That was

  13. 1 the document that we were given in Colonel Blaskic's

    2 office on 29th January. We were extremely grateful to

    3 him for that document and we used it many times over

    4 the next two weeks.

    5 Q. Now, let me stay with a couple of other

    6 questions before we move on to the use of the permit.

    7 You say you went into an office that was described to

    8 you as the office of Colonel Blaskic. Can you describe

    9 the office?

    10 A. I went in. There was a main waiting area

    11 with two soldiers. There was a room to the left, there

    12 was a room to the right. In the room to the right was

    13 where Bozica, who I was working with, went in to speak

    14 to Colonel Blaskic to get the permission. I waited

    15 where the guards were.

    16 Q. Now, having secured what is Prosecutor's

    17 Exhibit 308, the permit, could you tell the judges what

    18 effect, and what force this particular document had in

    19 permitting you to conduct your business in the Kiseljak

    20 municipality?

    21 A. We were stopped on a regular basis, I would

    22 say two or three times a day, while we were filming,

    23 either at checkpoints or by HVO patrols in the village

    24 or in Kiseljak.

    25 On seven occasions that I wrote in my diary,

  14. 1 we explained what we were doing, we showed the document

    2 and, on production of the document, we were then

    3 allowed to proceed.

    4 For example, I used the document three times

    5 on Saturday, 30th January: once in the village of

    6 Visnjica where we were stopped by an HVO patrol and

    7 I showed them the document and the gentleman who was

    8 looking at the document shouted to his colleague and

    9 said: "Blaskic, Blaskic", so we were allowed to

    10 proceed.

    11 Once in Kiseljak, when we were filming on the

    12 same day down by the market, and once on that same day

    13 when we were going towards Fojnica on the road at an

    14 official checkpoint.

    15 Perhaps most specifically, I used it the next

    16 Thursday, the 4th February, when we were stopped in the

    17 street in Kiseljak and we were asked to go with

    18 soldiers to see Josip Boro who we were introduced to as

    19 the President of the Opstina in Kiseljak. He wished to

    20 ask us questions about what we were doing and why we

    21 were there. I showed him the letter from

    22 Colonel Blaskic and, after some discussion, he went

    23 away. He showed it to someone, he came back. He was

    24 content, having seen the letter, that it was okay for

    25 us to proceed.

  15. 1 We were, at the time, trying to make an

    2 arrangement to film in a factory. He said he would try

    3 to facilitate us filming in the factory.

    4 On Monday, 8th February, the cameraman and

    5 I were again stopped in Kiseljak and asked to accompany

    6 the soldiers, first to what was known as the police

    7 station in the main street in Kiseljak. Then we were

    8 taken on to the HVO headquarters in Kiseljak.

    9 We were detained for about an hour and-a-half

    10 in the HVO headquarters in Kiseljak. Again, a lot of

    11 questions about what we were doing. Again, we showed

    12 the piece of paper. On that occasion they particularly

    13 wanted the original, not just a photocopy -- we had

    14 photocopied it. We gave them the original. They took

    15 it away; they came back and they were satisfied by the

    16 piece of paper that we were in order, we could proceed

    17 about our business and it was fine for them to film.

    18 We used it at checkpoints where there was an

    19 HVO checkpoint crossing the road. Sometimes you would

    20 be waved through a checkpoint, sometimes you would be

    21 stopped. I can remember occasions when we were

    22 stopped. Everything in our van was taken out,

    23 everything was searched. There was a definite sense

    24 that they did not wish us to proceed.

    25 Then we showed them the letter and they were

  16. 1 satisfied with that. They went on to continue their

    2 search, but the tone was very different after we had

    3 shown the letter.

    4 So, for example, on that occasion, they

    5 started to search our picnic box, but after they had

    6 seen the letter they made a joke of it and said it was

    7 funny that we had a picnic box. The effect of that

    8 letter -- which we were grateful for -- was that it

    9 enabled us to film, it enabled us to go about our

    10 business. It was a letter that a variety of soldiers

    11 on different checkpoints seemed to understand. On

    12 several occasions, although I do not speak Serbo-Croat

    13 myself, I heard reference to Blaskic as something being

    14 shouted to their colleagues as an acknowledgement of

    15 what the piece of paper was.

    16 Q. Did you also use the same permit when you

    17 returned to Visnjica and Kiseljak on 29th April and use

    18 it through 3rd May 1993, and did it have the same

    19 effect?

    20 A. Yes. I used it on two occasions. Once in

    21 the village of Visnjica. It was, by that time,

    22 extremely difficult to get into the village. There was

    23 an HVO checkpoint at the entrance to the village and we

    24 went in with the Canadian Battalion convoy. We were

    25 driving at the back of the convoy. As we drove into

  17. 1 the village after the mosque, we were stopped -- the

    2 convoy proceeded, we were stopped and asked what we

    3 were doing. Again we showed the Blaskic letter and we

    4 were told that we could stay for an hour to do what we

    5 needed to do, but the letter, again, was significant.

    6 The second time in the April/May period was

    7 we were stopped coming back from Fojnica on the road

    8 between Fojnica and Kiseljak. Again, we showed the

    9 paper and we were allowed through the checkpoint.

    10 Q. Now, Ms Christie, I would like to focus your

    11 attention on the village of Visnjica. I would, first

    12 of all, as you to just make your general observations

    13 to the judges. What was the village of Visnjica like

    14 between January 22nd and February 14th of 1993? Could

    15 you just give us some general impressions and views?

    16 A. It is a small village in which everybody knew

    17 everybody else, although there were obvious changes

    18 caused by the war. For example, the men who would

    19 normally be working in Sarajevo were in the village

    20 rather than working. People were attempting to get

    21 about their normal lives. They were looking after

    22 animals, they were chopping wood, they were

    23 occasionally going to Kiseljak to the market to buy

    24 things or sell things. There was a level of tension,

    25 but Muslim and Croat were still going in and out of

  18. 1 each other's houses, they were taking tea, they were

    2 taking coffee.

    3 While they were anxious about the war at that

    4 time in the village, there was a sense that they would

    5 get on with their ordinary lives. There were things to

    6 be done, they had to manage their animals, they had to

    7 look after their houses and gardens.

    8 As I say, when we first arrived the Croats

    9 and Muslims were still visiting each other's houses.

    10 That changed in the three weeks we were there.

    11 Q. While you were there on your initial trip,

    12 did you see any HVO military patrols come through the

    13 village of Visnjica?

    14 A. We saw patrols that would be two soldiers on

    15 foot, armed, patrolling the village on three or four

    16 occasions. They would walk up through the village, up

    17 the hill, round and down again, those were day-time

    18 patrols. We saw three in that period.

    19 Q. Can you describe to the judges the presence

    20 of Bosnian military soldiers, military depots,

    21 communication centres? Were there any military targets

    22 of any kind in the village?

    23 A. I never saw any Bosnian Army presence in the

    24 village of any type.

    25 We were aware that some of the Bosnian Muslim

  19. 1 men had their own guns, which they had had as

    2 reservists in Tito's army. When we were there, the

    3 Bosnian Muslim men were still going about once every 10

    4 days up to Sarajevo to fight on the front at Sarajevo

    5 with their own guns, that was the most I saw.

    6 Q. During the time you were making your film,

    7 you were in and out of Muslim homes in the village at

    8 various times unannounced and announced and the like?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Did you, at any time -- any time while you

    11 were in the village -- see anything that resembled

    12 a military presence of the Bosnian Army, aside from

    13 these few soldiers who would go to the front-line and

    14 back?

    15 A. We moved very freely in the village and we

    16 were welcomed in everybody's house, even unannounced,

    17 for the whole period we were there. We would sometimes

    18 simply knock on peoples' doors. No, I did not see any

    19 presence of Bosnian Army. I was aware of five Muslim

    20 men who went up to the Sarajevo front. I was also

    21 aware of the presence of a patrol, which, in the week

    22 prior to us being there, had been a joint Muslim Croat

    23 patrol around the village. In the week we arrived,

    24 that had changed and it was no longer a joint patrol.

    25 For a period of about 10 days, the Bosnian

  20. 1 Muslim men decided to conduct their own patrol within

    2 the village. This amounted to six men who would gather

    3 in a house and two at a time they would walk around the

    4 village at night, between about 10.00 and 1.00 in the

    5 morning to patrol their own houses.

    6 By the third week we were there, that patrol

    7 had finished because the HVO had put a curfew in the

    8 area.

    9 Q. Did each of those Muslims who participated in

    10 the patrol -- you said there were six -- did each of

    11 them have a gun?

    12 A. No. I remember on the evening we spent with

    13 them there was some discussion because, between the six

    14 of them, they only had five guns and also the evening

    15 that we were there, they asked to borrow our torch

    16 because, between them, they did not have a torch, so

    17 they were extremely ill-equipped.

    18 Q. Now, focusing your attention on your first

    19 visit to the Kiseljak/Visnjica area, I would like to

    20 focus your attention on Kiseljak. Could you tell the

    21 judges your observations of Kiseljak before the attacks

    22 in April of 1993?

    23 A. Sure. Kiseljak was still functioning very

    24 well as a large village, a small town. Most of the

    25 shops were still opened when we arrived, they were

  21. 1 still trading. There was quite a strong HVO presence.

    2 I would say that any time when you were standing in the

    3 street, if you waited in the street for five or 10

    4 minutes you would see an HVO patrol of some kind in

    5 Kiseljak, but it was still definitely functioning.

    6 People were going about their business. The market was

    7 running two, sometimes three days a week. The shops

    8 were open. There was a factory in Kiseljak which was

    9 running the whole time that we were there.

    10 Over the period of the three weeks we were

    11 there, the situation became much more tense in

    12 Kiseljak. On two or three occasions we saw the HVO

    13 clear the streets, perhaps at 3.00 in the afternoon

    14 they would come with a convoy on one occasion led by

    15 a tank. On other occasions it would simply be jeeps

    16 with Croatian flags and soldiers. They would clear the

    17 streets, they would instruct everybody to get off the

    18 streets for a period of time. They would clear the

    19 streets for maybe one or two hours. Then life would

    20 resume and the shops would open up again. But there

    21 was a clear sense that the HVO were in command of that

    22 town, that village.

    23 We used the shops to buy our own food in

    24 Kiseljak, so we were regular visitors to the shops in

    25 Kiseljak. We noticed that on -- around the

  22. 1 2nd February, it appeared that all the Muslim shops

    2 were closed, we were unclear why that was, but we

    3 believed that it was possibly because they had been

    4 stopped at checkpoints and had not been allowed to come

    5 in to open their own shops. We did not know but our

    6 observation was that around the 2nd the Muslim shops

    7 were closed. Some of the Muslim shops were open again

    8 on the 3rd. On the morning of the 5th we went into

    9 Kiseljak and we observed that at least eight of the

    10 Muslim shops had been smashed and vandalised.

    11 We did not see any Croat shops that were in

    12 any way destroyed or damaged and the shops were very

    13 well-known to Tone Bringa, who knew the area very well,

    14 so she could identify very clearly which ones were

    15 Muslim and it seemed very clear that the Muslim ones

    16 had been targets.

    17 Q. Let me ask you a couple of specific questions

    18 about points that you mentioned: did you ever see in

    19 Kiseljak any Bosnian Army soldiers?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. Now, you described the tank.

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. What kind of markings did the tank have on

    24 it?

    25 A. The tank had red and white chequered Croatian

  23. 1 colouring on the side.

    2 Q. You also described at least eight Muslim

    3 shops that had been destroyed in the village of

    4 Kiseljak. Approximately what was the distance between

    5 those shops that had been destroyed and

    6 Colonel Blaskic's headquarters at the Kiseljak army

    7 barracks?

    8 A. They were spread throughout the town between

    9 half a mile -- half a kilometre and a kilometre from

    10 the HVO headquarters, the shops that were damaged.

    11 Q. Now, let me turn your attention to your visit

    12 of 29th April to 3rd May.

    13 A. Uh-huh.

    14 Q. Tell us, first of all, why you returned?

    15 A. We had been in telephone contact with

    16 UNPROFOR in Kiseljak, which was our only way of getting

    17 any knowledge about what had happened in the area, and

    18 we understood -- we phoned on either the 21st or

    19 22nd April and we were told by UNPROFOR that there had

    20 been a lot of fighting and military activity in the

    21 Visnjica area.

    22 So, we made the decision to return to see

    23 what had happened and to complete the film. We

    24 travelled up through Mostar to Kiseljak. When we

    25 arrived at Visnjica, the village was completely sealed

  24. 1 off by HVO checkpoints and we were uncertain what the

    2 situation was.

    3 So, we went back to UNPROFOR and we went back

    4 into Visnjica two days later, accompanied by Canadian

    5 battalion.

    6 On that -- by now you will appreciate we knew

    7 the village quite well, but also Tona Bringa knew the

    8 village very intimately; she had been there for 15

    9 months. So, we drove in on the back of a Canadian

    10 battalion convoy. It became clear, as we went up the

    11 main street in Visnjica, that all the Muslim houses had

    12 been destroyed. On some occasions, there would be

    13 a Croat house, then a Muslim house then a Croat house

    14 and the Muslim one in the middle would be destroyed,

    15 severely damaged and on several occasions burned out.

    16 The mosque was also severely damaged. Many

    17 of the houses where we had filmed with Muslim families

    18 were completely destroyed. It was clear from the state

    19 of the houses, which we knew quite well by then, that

    20 the people had had to leave in a terrible hurry, that

    21 they had taken absolutely nothing.

    22 There was, right the way through the village,

    23 evidence of Muslim houses being destroyed. I should

    24 add here, just as a detail, we were stopped on that

    25 occasion in the village and we once again showed the

  25. 1 pass. I mentioned that before.

    2 When we were in the village, we were in the

    3 village only for about an hour. We saw, I would say,

    4 a maximum of 10 Bosnian Muslim people. That includes

    5 one elderly woman who we knew to be senile, her family

    6 had not persuaded her to leave. That included some

    7 refugees who had come to Visnjica as refugees and had

    8 not moved on, but a maximum of 10, I would say, Bosnian

    9 Muslim people in the village.

    10 We stopped to speak to Slavka, as you will

    11 see in the film. This was a Croat woman who we got to

    12 know very well and we had been into her house many

    13 times. We asked her what had happened and she

    14 explained that the Muslim houses had been burned.

    15 She also explained that she had been -- that

    16 the Croats had been warned in advance that this was

    17 going to happen, so she and her family had left.

    18 Q. Did she explain to you who burned the Muslim

    19 houses?

    20 A. She told us the Croat soldiers had burned the

    21 Muslim houses.

    22 Q. Did it appear to you that there had been

    23 systematic destruction in targeting of Muslim houses

    24 and outbuildings, such as barns, in the village of

    25 Visnjica?

  26. 1 A. Yes, I was very clear it was not random. One

    2 of the interesting things about Visnjica is that the

    3 houses are completely intermingled, Croat house, Muslim

    4 house, Croat house, Muslim house. There was very clear

    5 targeting of Muslim houses which had been destroyed and

    6 Croat houses that had been left standing. In the same

    7 road there would be Muslim houses destroyed and Croat

    8 houses left standing.

    9 We asked Slavka if any of the Croat houses

    10 had been damaged and she said she thought that two

    11 barns had been damaged but no Croat houses had been

    12 damaged.

    13 Q. Now, in a few minutes we are going to play

    14 the film "We Are All Neighbours", the film that you

    15 prepared. I would be very interested in your, very

    16 quickly, summarising for the judges the film. Then

    17 I am going to ask you about a couple of the points on

    18 the film in advance so the judges and counsel can be

    19 alert to particular parts of the film. Could you give

    20 us first a brief summary of the film?

    21 A. The film is 50 minutes. It is -- as I said

    22 before, it comes from an anthropological perspective.

    23 It is an attempt to hear the people of the village talk

    24 about what they are seeing, what they are

    25 experiencing.

  27. 1 What we witnessed over the period of the

    2 first three and-a-half weeks that we were there was the

    3 progression from a village where people were still

    4 neighbours, were still going in and out of each others

    5 houses. Three and-a-half weeks later on, that had

    6 completely broken down. The HVO patrols were regular

    7 within the village. There was a belief that the HVO

    8 had built a gun implement above the village. So the

    9 first 40 minutes of the film charts that three weeks in

    10 the life of the village when relationships in the

    11 village broke down.

    12 We then went back to Britain and what you see

    13 in the last eight minutes of the film was when we

    14 returned. When we returned, we filmed, as I say, just

    15 for one hour in the village itself and we also

    16 interviewed some of the Muslims who had fled from the

    17 village who were now in Visoko and in other areas

    18 outside of Kiseljak.

    19 So, what you hear in the last eight minutes

    20 is their account of what happened in the three days

    21 when, as they describe it, the village was destroyed.

    22 Q. Now, when the film is played, feel free to

    23 make comments as the film is shown. I want to direct

    24 your attention to a few particular points. The film,

    25 itself, shows the few Muslim villagers who went on

  28. 1 these patrols, does it not?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. It also shows a Bosniak by the name of Nurija

    4 who was the principal Muslim in the film. It shows him

    5 walking with about four or five other men, armed,

    6 walking up a hill, then returning from a hill. Where

    7 was that particular part of the film shot?

    8 A. That was shot outside Sarajevo. We filmed

    9 the men going out of the village. They then, in fact,

    10 went in a bus, which we did not film, and we picked

    11 them up at the front-line in Sarajevo where they were at

    12 that time part of the Sarajevo Defence against the

    13 Serb offensive. So that is the context in which

    14 their visit to the front-line was at that time, about

    15 once every 10 days.

    16 Q. I would appreciate it if, during the showing

    17 of the film, you could inform us when these shots are

    18 at the front-lines positions in Sarajevo and in the

    19 village of Visnjica.

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Second of all, I would like to draw your

    22 attention to a part of the film where there is

    23 a Bosniak man with a walkie-talkie?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Do you remember that part of the film?

  29. 1 A. Sure.

    2 Q. Could you tell the judges now who that man

    3 was, if you know him by name or by ethnicity, and what

    4 happened to the walkie-talkie and when?

    5 A. That man was a Bosnian Muslim who went to the

    6 front-line every 10 days. We film him in somebody's

    7 sitting room talking on a walkie-talkie. On

    8 30th January, he was detained for about four or five

    9 hours and his walkie-talkie was taken from him.

    10 As I understand it, in the next

    11 two and-a-half weeks that we were there certainly, he

    12 no longer had a walkie-talkie.

    13 Q. Who took the walkie-talkie from him?

    14 A. The HVO took the walkie-talkie from him. He

    15 was detained on the 30th for four hours.

    16 Q. Lastly, there is a portion on the film where

    17 the sister of a woman named Slavka appears on the

    18 film. She is very upset and she describes events where

    19 Muslims attacked her village and the surrounding area.

    20 Can you tell us what happened to that woman

    21 and what happened to her home?

    22 A. Sure. Slavka's sister, who is a woman you

    23 will see in red in the film, arrived in some distress

    24 at Slavka's house. She had heard they were going to

    25 attack her village, her village was about 12 miles

  30. 1 away. She had heard that they were going to attack the

    2 village and she had fled and come to stay with her

    3 sister, Slavka.

    4 Psychologically, this was an important moment

    5 for Slavka because it was a moment when she suddenly

    6 became extremely frightened.

    7 We went back to Slavka's house two days later

    8 and we understood that, in fact, her sister had gone

    9 back to her own house; that the rumour that there was

    10 going to be an attack had been unfounded and her house

    11 was okay. She was particularly anxious about the

    12 freezer. She was worried that the freezer would be

    13 spoilt. That is why I remember it so well. She had

    14 gone back to her house and her house had not, in fact,

    15 been damaged. Slavka confirmed that to us because when

    16 Slavka herself fled from Visnjica she went to stay with

    17 her sister whose house was still intact.

    18 There is a point in the film where the

    19 impression is that Slavka's sister's house had been

    20 destroyed but, in fact, we discovered that her house

    21 had not been destroyed and Slavka went to stay there

    22 later.

    23 There is one other point I should perhaps

    24 make, at the very end of the film, there is a shot of

    25 a dead horse and that is the only shot that is not shot

  31. 1 in Visnjica. It was shot in a different village on the

    2 UN patrol that we were with.

    3 Q. Was it shot in the area of Gomionica?

    4 A. Yes, it was.

    5 Q. Feel free, in the course of the film, to make

    6 comments and point out these areas and other areas you

    7 think are relevant about the film.

    8 If we could have the lights dimmed, please

    9 and if we could play "We Are All Neighbours".

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    11 (3.20 pm)

    12 (Film played to court)

    13 A. On the right is the Bosnian army volunteer.

    14 (Film continued)

    15 That is the walkie-talkie radio I was talking

    16 about, which was confiscated two days later by the

    17 HVO.

    18 This is at Sarajevo, on the front in

    19 Sarajevo.

    20 (Film continued)

    21 Again, all of this sequence is just outside

    22 Sarajevo.

    23 (Film continued)

    24 A. Still outside Sarajevo.

    25 (Film continued)

  32. 1 A. This is back at Sarajevo on the front-line.

    2 (Film continued)

    3 A. Back at Sarajevo on the front-line.

    4 (Film continued)

    5 A. This is coming back down from the front-line

    6 in Sarajevo, then got on a bus and drove back to the

    7 village.

    8 (Film continued)

    9 A. This woman had arrived from Rogatica.

    10 (Film continued)

    11 A. This is near Visoko, outside the village.

    12 (Film continued)

    13 A. This is the woman I was referring to who

    14 returned to her house two days later and it was still

    15 intact.

    16 (Film continued)

    17 A. This was our second visit.

    18 (Film continued)

    19 A. This is in Visoko.

    20 (Film continued)

    21 A. This is the Canadian battalion.

    22 (Film continued)

    23 A. This is the only shot that is not in

    24 Visnjica, with the horse.

    25 (Film continued)

  33. 1 A. These pictures are contrasting what it was

    2 like in January to what it was like in May.

    3 (Film continued)

    4 (4.17 pm)

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Are we going to take a recess,

    6 Mr. Prosecutor?

    7 MR. HARMAN: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. If I could

    8 move for the admission of the exhibits, which would be

    9 307, 308 and the film, then I have concluded my

    10 examination.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We are now going to

    12 take a 30-minute recess, so the interpreters will have

    13 an opportunity to rest. We will reconvene at quarter

    14 to the hour.

    15 (4.17 pm)

    16 (A short break)

    17 (4.54 pm)

    18 JUDGE JORDA: The court is now in session.

    19 Please bring in Colonel Blaskic.

    20 (The accused entered court)

    21 JUDGE JORDA: The interpreters, I hope, are

    22 well rested. Very well.

    23 The Prosecution has the floor.

    24 MR. HARMAN: Mr. President, I have concluded my

    25 examination. Thank you.

  34. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.

    2 Ms Christie, you will now then be questioned

    3 in cross-examination, which will be led by Mr. Hayman,

    4 who is the Defence counsel for the accused.

    5 Cross-examined by MR. HAYMAN

    6 MR. HAYMAN: Good afternoon, Ms Christie.

    7 A. Good afternoon.

    8 Q. When the anthropologist, Ms Bringa, lived in

    9 the village of Visnjica in 1988, do you know whether

    10 she lived with a particular family?

    11 A. She lived, as I understand it, with two or

    12 three different families, but I do not know which ones

    13 she lived with.

    14 Q. When you and she were residing, at least in

    15 part, during your visits to Visnjica in 1993, did you

    16 reside with one or more particular families?

    17 A. Yes, we lived -- when we were in Kiseljak, we

    18 lived with the Komsic family, a Croatian family in

    19 Kiseljak. When we were in Visnjica we lived with

    20 Nusreta and Nurija, who you see in the film, so we were

    21 divided between a Croat and Muslim family.

    22 Q. Do you know whether Miss Bringa, in 1988,

    23 lived with the characters Nusreta and Nurija during

    24 part of her stay in Visnjica in that year?

    25 A. Certainly in part of her stay, yes.

  35. 1 Q. I would like to ask you about Exhibit 308.

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. I believe that is still on the ELMO which is

    4 fine. We can keep it there. I would like to ask you

    5 about the occasion on which you obtained this permit.

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Did you go in the office that you have said

    8 was represented to you to be Colonel Blaskic's office?

    9 A. Yes. I went with Bozica Komsic, who was

    10 translating for us, into a building where we were told,

    11 "this is Colonel Blaskic's office". I waited. She

    12 went through to an extra room to discuss with

    13 Colonel Blaskic. I did not go into the extra room.

    14 I stayed in the outside room. Then Colonel Blaskic

    15 came out with the piece of paper and we shook hands in

    16 the outside room.

    17 Q. I may pause for a moment after your answer to

    18 allow the interpreters to conclude.

    19 A. I understand.

    20 Q. Similarly, if you could pause after my

    21 question, it would be helpful to the interpreters.

    22 A. I understand.

    23 Q. Did you enter any office in this complex or

    24 compound that bore signs or indica of a personal

    25 office, such as pictures of family, or the like,

  36. 1 relating to Colonel Blaskic?

    2 A. I did not go into the inner office which was

    3 described as Colonel Blaskic's office. No, I did not

    4 go in there.

    5 Q. Were there any markings on any of the doors

    6 or buildings that indicated either that this was the

    7 headquarters of the operational zone for

    8 Central Bosnia, or that any particular office was the

    9 office of Colonel Tihomir Blaskic? Did you ever see

    10 any markings of either of that sort?

    11 A. I do not remember any markings.

    12 Q. In the course --

    13 A. The reason that I believed it was

    14 Colonel Blaskic's office was that we were working with

    15 Bozica Komsic, who was a resident of Kiseljak, who was

    16 also attached as translator to UNPROFOR, and she

    17 described to me that we would go to Colonel Blaskic's

    18 office to see if we could explain the situation and get

    19 a permit.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Ms Christie, when you respond,

    21 if you could turn towards the judges when giving your

    22 answer, as much as possible. I know you are also

    23 trying to follow the questions put to you by the

    24 Defence.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Was Colonel Blaskic helpful in

  37. 1 giving you this permit?

    2 A. Yes, he was very helpful.

    3 Q. Let me ask my colleague, Mr. Nobilo, to read

    4 the printed matter in the seal on Exhibit 308, which

    5 has not been translated in the translation. Could you

    6 read the seal for the record, Mr. Nobilo, please?

    7 MR. NOBILO: In the upper corner is: "The

    8 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatian Community of

    9 Herceg-Bosna", and in the bottom part of the seal,

    10 after "1", it says:

    11 "Kiseljak (...Spoke in Bosnian...) and the

    12 Defence Department."

    13 MR. HAYMAN: You have heard from the

    14 translation of this seal that this is not the seal of

    15 the headquarters of the operational zone,

    16 Central Bosnia, it is the seal of a local brigade

    17 headquarters, the Ban Jelacic Brigade, which was based

    18 in Kiseljak, BiH.

    19 Did anyone represent to you at any time that

    20 the building you were in was anything other than the

    21 command of the Ban Jelacic Brigade in Kiseljak, other

    22 than what you have already described?

    23 MR. HARMAN: Excuse me, Mr. President, I would

    24 object. She has testified what the office was

    25 represented to her as being; that is the office of

  38. 1 Colonel Blaskic. She never said that it was

    2 represented to her as being the office of the

    3 Ban Jelacic Brigade, so I would object to the

    4 question.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I sustain that objection.

    6 MR. HAYMAN: Then tell us, Ms Christie, why,

    7 if you were at Colonel Blaskic's headquarters, why do

    8 you not think he would have a seal from his own

    9 headquarters with which to put a stamp on the order --

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I do not agree with

    11 this line of questioning. The witness told you very

    12 exactly what she did and what she wanted to do.

    13 I think for this witness to be able to do her work she

    14 knew what she had to go and where she had to go to

    15 obtain what she needed to get. She felt she was at the

    16 office of Colonel Blaskic. I do not think you should

    17 continue with this line of questioning. Please go on

    18 to the next question.

    19 MR. HAYMAN: Were you told how long

    20 Colonel Blaskic had been in Kiseljak when you saw him

    21 on 29th January?

    22 A. No, not that I remember.

    23 Q. Did you learn any information about how long

    24 thereafter he remained in Kiseljak?

    25 A. My understanding from UNPROFOR was, prior to

  39. 1 29th January, that we would have to go to this office

    2 where we would find Colonel Blaskic in order to get

    3 permission.

    4 Once we had the piece of paper, I would have

    5 to say honestly I had very little further interest in

    6 that area. We were filming and, as far as I was

    7 concerned, I needed to know that this piece of paper

    8 would still work for me as a working document which it

    9 did on every occasion we tried to use it.

    10 As far as -- my concern was that the paper

    11 with Blaskic's signature continued to work for me.

    12 I had no further knowledge about Mr. Blaskic's

    13 movements. I asked no further questions about it

    14 either. It was not of particular interest to me.

    15 Q. Is that true, that you had no knowledge of

    16 Colonel Blaskic's whereabouts when you returned to the

    17 area and stayed between the 29th April and 3rd May

    18 1993?

    19 A. No, I had no further knowledge of where

    20 Colonel Blaskic was. I had no need to know where

    21 Colonel Blaskic was.

    22 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I am moving to

    23 a new area. I simply want to note that the Defence

    24 notes its objection that Exhibit 308 was not produced

    25 to us before today. It was discoverable under Rule 68

  40. 1 because it directly impeaches a witness that testified

    2 on February 24th, 1993, before your Honours in closed

    3 session, as to the whereabouts of Colonel Blaskic,

    4 vis-à-vis the conflict going on at that time in the

    5 Busovaca municipality. It is also a statement of the

    6 accused within the meaning of this court's order of

    7 January 27, 1997, interpreting Rule 66A. We will file

    8 a brief on this subject next week. I am not seeking

    9 a ruling from the court; I am not seeking a response

    10 from the Prosecutor. I am simply noting our

    11 objection.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I think we have

    13 a memory of it. Your note has been entered into the

    14 transcripts. Please try to be as brief as possible.

    15 If you wish to file a brief, then I must say that we

    16 are not going to spend our entire trial trying to

    17 resolve issues which are very important (sic), so

    18 I hope that you will be able to meet with the

    19 Prosecutor and then we will deal with this later on

    20 from reading the transcript.

    21 Does the Prosecutor have any objections at

    22 all with regard to the remarks made by Mr. Hayman?

    23 MR. HARMAN: They have been addressed

    24 previously, Mr. President, in respect of whether an

    25 order constitutes a statement. I have no further

  41. 1 remarks, Mr. President.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then that

    3 particular debate is closed. Please go on with your

    4 next question.

    5 MR. HAYMAN: Ms Christie, the village of

    6 Visnjica, is it fair to say the village is elongated

    7 and stretches along a road which goes to the south-west

    8 from Polje-Visnjica, which is on the main

    9 Kiseljak-Busovaca road; is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, that is correct.

    11 Q. You said that the village was roughly

    12 two-thirds Muslim, one-third Croat; correct? Can you

    13 give us a general idea of the size of the village; 100

    14 people, 200 people, 300 people, for example?

    15 A. I do not know exactly from memory and it

    16 would be difficult at that time to put an exact figure

    17 because the village was, at times, swollen by refugees

    18 arriving, and at times evacuated almost by people going

    19 away. I would say around 600-700 people, maybe

    20 a little more, but I would have to check that for

    21 accuracy. As I say, it was a village influxed with

    22 refugees.

    23 Q. But that is your best estimate as to the

    24 total population? If you could respond audibly so

    25 there is an answer on the record?

  42. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Thank you.

    3 Were the two ethnic groups -- Croats and

    4 Muslims within the village -- were they interspersed or

    5 was one group collected in one area and the other group

    6 collected, say, at the other end of the village?

    7 A. They were interspersed throughout the

    8 village. So, on the main road, from the road up to the

    9 mosque, there were interspersed Croat and Muslim

    10 houses. On the right flank of the village, which was

    11 the newer side of the village as you went up to the

    12 mosque, again, there were interspersed Croat and Muslim

    13 houses.

    14 Q. Were you the narrator in the film or did

    15 someone else narrate?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. You told us, as narrator of the film, at one

    18 juncture, I believe, that the character Nurija,

    19 together with his immediate neighbours, formed a patrol

    20 to patrol their homes; correct?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. You said that patrol consisted of roughly

    23 five or six men?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. They had between them five or six weapons?

  43. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Some of which were depicted in the film;

    3 correct?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Now, would you agree: they patrolled an

    6 immediate area consisting roughly of their homes;

    7 correct?

    8 A. I did not go out on patrol with them, so

    9 I could not tell you exactly where they patrolled. My

    10 understanding was that they walked around their homes

    11 in the village, but I never went actually on patrol

    12 with them.

    13 Q. Did you discuss with anyone the presence of

    14 other Muslim patrols in other parts of the village

    15 where Muslims resided?

    16 A. No, I did not.

    17 Q. You did not ask and you were not told whether

    18 that existed; is that fair?

    19 A. I did not ask and I was not told, although

    20 I should make it clear that of the six men you see, to

    21 my knowledge, two of them live in the older part of the

    22 village and three of them live in the newer part of the

    23 village. Of the six that I saw, they came from

    24 slightly different parts of the village.

    25 Q. Did you ever discuss with anyone how many

  44. 1 members of the BiH Territorial Defence resided in

    2 Visnjica?

    3 A. No, I did not.

    4 Q. Is that again that you did not ask, or it

    5 never came up?

    6 A. I did not asked and it never came up.

    7 Q. You said at one point there was a curfew

    8 which impaired with the activity of these patrols.

    9 Were you told what the terms of this curfew were?

    10 A. We were specifically affected by the curfew

    11 because we were specifically told by the HVO in

    12 Kiseljak, when they stopped us once at 7.00 in the

    13 evening, that there was now a curfew from 8.00 and

    14 nobody must go out after 8.00. That was my first

    15 knowledge of the curfew.

    16 We heard of the curfew from a number of

    17 different people in the village, Croat and Muslim, and

    18 our understanding of the curfew -- which was sometimes

    19 at 8.00, sometimes at 10.00 -- was that no-one should

    20 venture out after that time.

    21 Q. You described a visit to Kiseljak, I believe,

    22 on 8th February 1993?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. And you saw what you believed to be certain

    25 shops that had been damaged?

  45. 1 A. The 5th February was when we saw the shops

    2 that had been damaged. The 5th, Friday 5th.

    3 Q. Thank you for that correction.

    4 Did you investigate yourself and speak to

    5 shopkeepers to determine whose shops those were or were

    6 you told in general terms: "These are Muslim shops", by

    7 someone?

    8 A. We asked -- you will remember that

    9 Tone Bringa knew Kiseljak very well, so she knew most

    10 of the shopkeepers. We asked Slavka, who is Croat, and

    11 Tone and Sabina and Sakreta who you see in the film

    12 walking past the shops. We were told by all of those

    13 three people that the shops were Muslim.

    14 Q. Were you able to determine who had damaged or

    15 vandalised those shops?

    16 A. No, we were not.

    17 Q. Now, you returned to the village of

    18 Visnjica. Are you able to tell us the date on which

    19 you returned? I understand you went back between

    20 29th April and 3rd May. Are you able to be more

    21 specific with respect to the date you returned?

    22 A. I am pretty certain we actually got into the

    23 village on 1st May with the Canadian battalion, but

    24 I do not have a specific note of that.

    25 Q. Did you determine out of the houses that had

  46. 1 housed the 600 or 700 people living in the village, how

    2 many of the houses were burned?

    3 A. I could not give you an exact count of how

    4 many of the houses were burned. We filmed all of the

    5 houses which we knew had featured prominently in the

    6 film that were burned and we were aware, as we went

    7 through the main road, which is the old village, that

    8 there was a very consistent pattern of, in the older

    9 part of the village, all of the Muslim houses had been

    10 destroyed or burned. I could not give you a count for

    11 the whole village, no. You will appreciate we were

    12 only allowed in for an hour so we had to prioritise

    13 what we were going to film.

    14 Q. In the course of that hour did you drive the

    15 length of Visnjica, given that Visnjica stretches out

    16 along the length of a road?

    17 A. Yes, we went right the way round the length

    18 of the road. We then went up to the right, as you are

    19 looking at the mosque, where there is the newer part of

    20 the village and we went through -- there is a network

    21 of roads there. We went all the way through all of

    22 those networks.

    23 It is a pattern of the UNPROFOR, what they

    24 call "routine patrols", that they attempt to go down

    25 each road within a village so we went down every road.

  47. 1 Q. Are you able to give us a proportion of the

    2 total number of dwellings that appeared to have been

    3 burned?

    4 A. I would not want to speculate on that.

    5 Q. At one juncture in the film, as narrator, you

    6 said that the fighting was coming closer and that now

    7 it was Croats and Muslims fighting; do you recall that

    8 juncture?

    9 A. Yes, I do.

    10 Q. Can you tell us when that was? When was it

    11 that that fighting was audible from Visnjica? I am

    12 directing your attention back to the first visit in

    13 January/February 1993.

    14 A. It would be between 1st February and

    15 8th February. You will appreciate that the manner in

    16 which we were collecting information at this stage is

    17 that we would hear what people were telling us. We

    18 would then do our best to check with UNPROFOR in

    19 Kiseljak what exactly was happening. So, I could not

    20 be more specific than that.

    21 Q. Did you learn from your interviews what had

    22 happened -- strike that.

    23 Were the sounds of fighting coming from the

    24 north-west, that is towards Busovaca, Kacuni, Bilalovac,

    25 from those locations towards Visnjica?

  48. 1 A. The people in the village told us that that

    2 is where the noise of the fighting was coming from.

    3 I am not a military expert, so I would not be able to

    4 tell you with any precision what the noise of the

    5 fighting was, which was why we only put things in the

    6 film which we actually clarified with UNPROFOR.

    7 Q. Did you learn from your interviews what had

    8 occurred in the course of that fighting in the

    9 direction of Kacuni/Bilalovac?

    10 A. No.

    11 Q. Did that fighting have an impact on the

    12 emotions and mental state on the inhabitants of

    13 Visnjica?

    14 A. Yes. Every time the fighting came nearer,

    15 the tension got higher.

    16 Q. Did the uncertainty and, in a sense, the

    17 competition, represented by the negotiations of the

    18 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, did that add to the tension in

    19 the village of Visnjica?

    20 A. You are asking me to make a generalisation

    21 about the mood of the village of Visnjica which I would

    22 be wary of. What we said in the film very specifically

    23 was that people were certainly watching the television

    24 every night to learn the latest developments in the

    25 Vance-Owen negotiations.

  49. 1 Q. You showed an image of an individual in

    2 a uniform speaking over a walkie-talkie in the

    3 residents, I take it, of someone in Visnjica?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Did you learn who that individual was talking

    6 to on the radio?

    7 A. No, I did not.

    8 Q. We saw in the film a description by a refugee

    9 from -- I believe it was Rogatica -- of events there.

    10 Is it your understanding that Rogatica was a location

    11 that was attacked by the Serbs?

    12 A. Yes, that was my understanding. The sequence

    13 is there in the film to show the movement of refugees.

    14 Q. Nusreta says at one point in the film that

    15 Nurija would rather fight than give up his gun; do you

    16 recall that passage?

    17 A. Yes, I do.

    18 Q. Did you talk to Nurija and confirm that,

    19 first of all, that was also his sentiment? This is,

    20 again, during your first visit, that was his mental

    21 state?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. In your second visit, did you confirm that,

    24 in fact, he had done that; he had fought and attempted

    25 to defend his location in the conflict that began,

  50. 1 I take it, on Easter Sunday, 1993?

    2 A. I do not know specifically what he did. What

    3 he told us in the interview was that they attempted to

    4 defend themselves over the three-day period.

    5 Q. Did he tell you that battle or fight lasted

    6 for three days?

    7 A. The description of the events of the three

    8 days from Nurija and Nusreta was that on the Sunday

    9 morning, most of the Croatian civilians left. On the

    10 Sunday there was fighting, and by Sunday evening, most

    11 of the Bosnian men had left and Monday and Tuesday was

    12 when the houses were burned. There were still

    13 civilians in the houses when they were burned.

    14 Q. I believe you said in the film that Nusreta

    15 and Nurija left after five days of violence; is that

    16 right?

    17 A. Yes. Nusreta left after five days of

    18 violence.

    19 Q. I see. Nurija then left after three days --

    20 A. They were separate at that time. Nurija --

    21 I am not sure when Nurija left, my understanding was

    22 that he left on the Monday.

    23 Q. Have you been given any additional

    24 information concerning how many Muslim fighters or

    25 Croat fighters took place in the battle you are

  51. 1 describing on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so forth?

    2 A. No, let me be clear that my understanding

    3 from the people we spoke to was that the fighting, the

    4 crossfire was on Sunday and on Monday the houses were

    5 burned. You appreciate that we were not in the area at

    6 the time, we returned 10 days later, so we were going

    7 on only the witnesses we spoke to.

    8 Q. With respect to the persons that were killed

    9 in that conflict, did all of the information you

    10 obtained, with respect to specific perpetrators of

    11 those killings, were all the perpetrators neighbours of

    12 the deceased persons?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. In the film there are several passages to

    15 that effect; would you agree?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. What other information did you obtain in the

    18 course of speaking with residents of Visnjica?

    19 A. Specifically in the witnesses that we spoke

    20 to; there are five or six people within the village who

    21 they identify, who were involved in the fighting.

    22 They then refer, on Monday, to outsiders

    23 coming in, in HVO uniform. That is confirmed by

    24 Slavka, the Croat who we interviewed in the village,

    25 who told us that it was what she calls "foreigners",

  52. 1 then she calls "outsiders", by that I mean they were

    2 Croats, but not Croats from the village. That is her

    3 description of who was involved in the fighting on the

    4 Monday and Tuesday. That tallies with what the Muslim

    5 witnesses also told us.

    6 Q. So the fighting on Sunday, April 18th, 1993,

    7 insofar as you were able to determine, was between

    8 neighbours; that is local inhabitants of the village of

    9 Visnjica?

    10 A. And outsiders.

    11 Q. And outsiders as well?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Who told you and what did the persons tell

    14 you about outsiders participating in fighting in

    15 Visnjica on Sunday, April 18th, 1993?

    16 A. Slavka, who is Croat, told us that the

    17 soldiers arrived on Sunday morning.

    18 Q. Are you referring now to the statement she

    19 makes on the film or some additional statement she made

    20 to you?

    21 A. We discussed with her in -- for about 10 or

    22 15 minutes and that is what she told us.

    23 Q. When you returned in April, you said , as

    24 narrator, that the village had been sealed off by the

    25 HVO?

  53. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Do you know the purpose of that sealing off?

    3 Was it to prevent looting or for some other purpose?

    4 A. I do not know the purpose. I know only that

    5 when we drove up to Visnjica on 29th April, we drove up

    6 to the turning off the main road into Visnjica. There

    7 was an area checkpoint and when we drove close to it

    8 they picked their guns up from the floor and armed

    9 themselves. We had been advised by UNPROFOR that they

    10 believed that the village was sealed off by the HVO and

    11 they would advise us not to go in. On the basis of the

    12 UNPROFOR advice and the checkpoint we did not go in,

    13 but I have no knowledge why it was sealed off.

    14 Q. You described seeing a tank in Kiseljak?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Do you have any pictures of the tank?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. How do you date your sighting of the tank?

    19 Do you have notes or a log or diary or is it your

    20 recollection you are relying on?

    21 A. I am relying entirely on my recollection.

    22 When we stayed in Kiseljak we stayed with a Croat

    23 family on the main road in Kiseljak, and this

    24 particular sighting we were actually just washing and

    25 preparing food in the place where we were staying. We

  54. 1 saw out of the window on to the main road. I did not

    2 make a note of it.

    3 Q. Did you stay in Kiseljak during all the

    4 portion of your second visit in April/May 1993?

    5 A. Yes, we did.

    6 Q. The scenes from the front near Sarajevo where

    7 there is a picture of uniformed men going down into

    8 a bunker, if you will; do you remember that?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Do you know the location of that portion of

    11 the front?

    12 A. I could not give you an exact location of

    13 that, no.

    14 Q. Do you recall the scene in the film when

    15 Nusreta picks up a plate that was three portions of

    16 a dessert and says in substance; Croatia, Bosnia,

    17 Croatia?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Did you come to understand that what she

    20 meant by that was, first, Croatia, that is portions of

    21 the Kiseljak municipality; then portions of the

    22 Kiseljak municipality in and around Bilalovac as being

    23 part of Bosnia; then the other half of the middle

    24 portion, those portions of the Busovaca municipality in

    25 and around Kacuni; then finally Croatia being

  55. 1 Busovaca -- the remainder of the Busovaca municipality;

    2 did you gain that understanding from that incident?

    3 A. No, I did not. I should give you a little

    4 more context from it. This was a social evening. The

    5 women was singing and joking. This was not an attempt

    6 to give us a military briefing on the situation. This

    7 was something by way of a more light-hearted comment

    8 which expressed their views.

    9 If you listen, I think there is a voice of

    10 another woman saying: "So Bosnia will only be 18 inches

    11 wide". It was not in any sense an attempt to give us

    12 a military briefing, it was an attempt to try to

    13 describe the psychology of how they felt at the time in

    14 the context of an evening with a lot of women who were

    15 singing and talking and conversing. It certainly was

    16 not an attempt on Nusreta's part to draw a specific

    17 military map for it. It was more to give us a sense of

    18 their emotion at the time.

    19 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Ms Christie. I have

    20 no further questions, Mr. President.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harman?

    22 MR. HARMAN: I have no questions.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Riad?

    24 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Ms Christie.

    25 A. Good afternoon.

  56. 1 JUDGE RIAD: When you started your

    2 enterprise, you mentioned that you had permission of

    3 the UNPROFOR?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 JUDGE RIAD: And this permission did not

    6 serve you much, so you went and obtained the permission

    7 signed by Colonel Blaskic?

    8 A. Yes, that is correct.

    9 JUDGE RIAD: It is his signature from his

    10 office?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 JUDGE RIAD: I can see the signature in

    13 the -- at least on Serbo-Croat paper?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 JUDGE RIAD: This permission opened the doors

    16 for you? You said that you were stopped on seven

    17 occasions by checkpoints, police stations, and when

    18 they saw the permission, they shouted to each other:

    19 "Blaskic, Blaskic", and they submitted to the order?

    20 A. On the seven very specific occasions

    21 I documented in the period of two and-a-half weeks,

    22 they would stop us; there would be an atmosphere of

    23 some military authority. I would not say hostility,

    24 but military authority. They would attempt to block

    25 our way. We would show them the piece of paper. On

  57. 1 every occasion that would change the mood and they

    2 would agree to let us go on our way.

    3 On three occasions they specifically talked

    4 amongst other: "Blaskic, Blaskic", and there was

    5 a very clear sense that if we had this piece of paper

    6 it was okay. They would let us past, they would let us

    7 continue our filming.

    8 JUDGE RIAD: Did they not mention any other

    9 name?

    10 A. No.

    11 JUDGE RIAD: No-one challenged the order

    12 openly or implicitly?

    13 A. Nobody challenged the order. When we went to

    14 see Josip Boro, who was introduced to us as the

    15 President of the Opstina in Kiseljak, he asked us

    16 questions about what we were doing in Kiseljak. We

    17 then showed him the order. He was then very happy with

    18 what we were doing. He took the order into another

    19 room to show it to somebody else and he came back, and

    20 that further clarification seemed to make him

    21 completely comfortable that we could then proceed. As

    22 I say, after we had shown him the order, he tried to

    23 help us a little with our filming.

    24 JUDGE RIAD: So, the order had its effect on

    25 everybody?

  58. 1 A. Everybody.

    2 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that this lady,

    3 Slavka, declared that she was speaking, saying that the

    4 Muslim houses are burned?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 JUDGE RIAD: And these houses were clearly

    7 targeted, I use your words. Did she say by whom they

    8 were clearly targeted?

    9 A. She said that soldiers came from the

    10 outside. By that I mean they were Croatian soldiers,

    11 but they were from the outside, is what she said.

    12 JUDGE RIAD: Were they HVO or from --

    13 A. She did not specify.

    14 JUDGE RIAD: "Outside", does that mean

    15 Croatia?

    16 A. My understanding was when she said "outside",

    17 she meant outside the village. That was my

    18 understanding at the time. She did not specify whether

    19 they were HV or HVO. She did not specify.

    20 JUDGE RIAD: She said that they had been

    21 informed beforehand about what was going to happen?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 JUDGE RIAD: By the soldiers too?

    24 A. She was informed -- her own son was in the

    25 HVO, and the way that she described it to us, the HVO

  59. 1 had come to the village and warned the Croat villagers

    2 to flee, to leave, at 4.30 in the morning; 8.00, the

    3 fighting started.

    4 JUDGE RIAD: And the Croats also left the

    5 village or did they stay and feel safe?

    6 A. Most of the Croat women and children left the

    7 village. When we returned -- as I understand it at the

    8 time of the meeting, when we were there, which was 10

    9 or 11 days after the fighting, it seemed to us that the

    10 Croats were back in the village. By that I mean all

    11 the Croats we knew were in their houses in the

    12 village.

    13 JUDGE RIAD: And their houses were intact?

    14 A. Their houses were completely intact.

    15 JUDGE RIAD: You said the village was

    16 two-thirds Muslims. What was the population,

    17 approximately? I am not asking difficult questions, if

    18 you do not know.

    19 A. I am guessing around 700, but I have to say

    20 specifically here that the population was in flux

    21 because people would go -- peoples' relatives would

    22 arrive from somewhere and they would expand and then go

    23 again. I do not know precisely.

    24 JUDGE RIAD: Whatever the number was, you

    25 said only 10 remained, 10 were there?

  60. 1 A. No, I only saw 10. I cannot tell you how

    2 many remained because I was only in the village for one

    3 hour. I could not go into every house. When I was

    4 there, in the hour I was there, I saw a maximum of 10

    5 Muslims. That included one woman who is in the film,

    6 who we understand has a little dementia, and her family

    7 made her come away but she had not, and some of the

    8 people who were themselves refugees, so were not

    9 inhabitants of the village but had been lives there.

    10 JUDGE RIAD: The rest of the people, were

    11 they residents of the village or Croats coming from

    12 other places?

    13 A. The people -- the Croats who we saw in the

    14 village were residents of the village. The ones that

    15 we knew. They were in the houses going about their

    16 business, looking after their garden.

    17 JUDGE RIAD: In the film I think there was an

    18 old woman crying and she said: 20 men were butchered

    19 and everything was destroyed, while she was crying.

    20 Her daughter was killed, her niece was killed, but she

    21 did not say by whom. Did you understand -- perhaps

    22 I missed that. Were they in the Serbian front or were

    23 they in --

    24 A. This is about halfway through the film, not

    25 at the end of the film, a woman in purple?

  61. 1 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.

    2 A. She came from Rogatica. My understanding was

    3 that that was Serb action against her family. But the

    4 reason she is filmed in our film is because she was

    5 demonstrating that refugees were coming into the

    6 village from different areas.

    7 So, as I understand it, the aggressors in

    8 that instance she was describing were Serb, but in

    9 Rogatica, not in the area we are talking about.

    10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much,

    11 Miss Christie.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: This is Judge Shahabuddeen.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Ms Christie, during your

    14 stay in the area, how many times did you see

    15 Colonel Blaskic?

    16 A. I saw Colonel Blaskic twice: once was at the

    17 headquarters where we went to get the permit on the day

    18 when we got the permit, and I thanked him because we

    19 were very grateful to have the permit; and once was in

    20 the UNPROFOR headquarters in Kiseljak.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do you see

    22 Colonel Blaskic today?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Where is he?

    25 A. (Indicating the accused).

  62. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That is the same

    2 gentleman to whom you were referring?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you said you

    5 thanked him for the permit. At the time when you

    6 thanked him for the permit, where was the permit? Who

    7 had it?

    8 A. I had waited outside his office. Bozica, who

    9 was a Croatian translator who was working with us, was

    10 in his office, she came out with the permit. She gave

    11 it to me and as she was giving it to me and explaining

    12 what it was, Colonel Blaskic came out of the office, so

    13 she said: this is Colonel Blaskic. I said: "thank

    14 you", and he passed on his way.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.

    16 Now, at various checkpoints, you showed the

    17 permit to HVO personnel?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And they would say

    20 "Blaskic, Blaskic", and let you through; is that it?

    21 A. They would -- every time we showed the permit

    22 they would let us through or let us continue filming.

    23 On three of the occasions they would, as it were, shout

    24 to their colleagues who were also around the checkpoint

    25 and I would hear "Blaskic" in what they were saying.

  63. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: On any of these

    2 occasions, did any HVO personnel question the

    3 authenticity of his signature on the permit?

    4 A. No, never.

    5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did it appear to you

    6 that they accepted that that was his signature on the

    7 permit?

    8 A. Yes, without question.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did it appear to you

    10 that they were familiar, both with Colonel Blaskic's

    11 position and with his signature on the permit?

    12 A. They were certainly familiar with

    13 Colonel Blaskic's position and they certainly perceived

    14 him to be a figure of authority because the effect of

    15 the piece of paper was -- every time it worked, it got

    16 us through a checkpoint.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Madam, I want to go back to the

    19 (Inaudible). I would like to instead look at the

    20 actual spirit of your film. It is a film which has

    21 a more sociological view than anthropological view,

    22 I would say.

    23 When you step back and look at this film

    24 again -- what kind of judgement do you make for this

    25 film if you, yourself, can make such a judgement about

  64. 1 your own film, about your own product, your own

    2 masterpiece? Do you find it objective, or would you

    3 find it subjective, or a few years later perhaps you

    4 might have thought you could have done it differently?

    5 A. It is very difficult to ask me to review my

    6 own work five years on, but the film was the -- the

    7 spirit of the film was to be an anthropological or

    8 sociological understanding of the effect of war on

    9 civilians.

    10 As you will see from the film itself, it was

    11 not a journalistic attempt to document exactly what

    12 happened, where or when. It was an attempt to try to

    13 capture what was happening, what peoples' perceptions

    14 of what was happening.

    15 It was a very difficult and a very tense time

    16 and we made it our business all the time to try to keep

    17 contact with both Croats and Muslim people.

    18 As I explained, we stayed half of us in

    19 Kiseljak with a Croat family and half of us in Visnjica

    20 with a Muslim family. So, our intention always was to

    21 keep a balance in the perspectives.

    22 We were very lucky because even in that very

    23 difficult time, everybody in the village was still

    24 prepared to welcome us, even when things were extremely

    25 tense, people were still prepared to welcome us. Even

  65. 1 when we returned at the end of April, the beginning of

    2 May, we were still warmly greeted by Slavka, the

    3 Croatian woman who you see being interviewed at the

    4 very end. She saw us coming, she waved, she beckoned

    5 us, she was very keen to see us.

    6 If you are asking me: do you think we managed

    7 to continue to try to reflect a breadth of opinion,

    8 yes, I think we did continue to try to reflect that

    9 breadth of opinion.

    10 It is not an attempt to -- it is what it

    11 stands as. It is the testimony of those people with

    12 whom we spoke and we attempted all the way through to

    13 continue to talk to both Croat and Muslim.

    14 You asked me if it is objective; that is

    15 a very difficult --

    16 JUDGE JORDA: No, I did not want to ask you

    17 that question. I wanted to know how you, yourself,

    18 would judge this film, now that you have been able to

    19 step back and look at it over time, to question

    20 yourself. Do you ever ask whether you could have done

    21 it differently?

    22 A. It was a difficult film to make and we were

    23 constrained, of course, by the intensity of the

    24 situation, but I still -- and, of course, I can see

    25 places where the shots could have been better or

  66. 1 whatever, but I still believe that it was an honest

    2 attempt to try to convey the effect of war on

    3 a civilian population.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, thank you. You have

    5 answered that question quite well.

    6 Now, in part 3, the title is: "Control by the

    7 Croatian Army of the Village", what do you mean by "the

    8 Croatian Army"; is this the HVO or did you have any

    9 encounters with members of the HVO?

    10 A. With members of the HVO?

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes.

    12 A. We encountered them on a daily basis, of

    13 course, at the checkpoints where we would often stop

    14 and talk with them. Slavka's -- members of Slavka's

    15 family were in the HVO and we talked informally to

    16 people in the village who were members of the HVO.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You have devoted an

    18 extended part of the afternoon to this Tribunal. The

    19 Tribunal thanks you. I think there are no other

    20 questions for you. Therefore, you may now return to

    21 your own activities. Thank you very much.

    22 Now, the Registrar will accompany the

    23 witness, Ms Deborah Christie, before we go on then to

    24 the next witness.

    25 (The witness withdrew)

  67. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.

    2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, good afternoon,

    3 Mr. President, your Honours. The next witness is the

    4 subject of protective measures. We have informed

    5 counsel of this and we have discussed him previously as

    6 well. Likewise, Mr. President, because of the

    7 information this witness is going to talk about, we

    8 have asked for a closed session because there is no

    9 circumstances under which he could give his testimony

    10 where individuals would not know who he is, because of

    11 his position.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: No objections?

    13 MR. NOBILO: No.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, Registry, please

    15 make proceedings for a closed session.

    16 (Proceedings in closed session)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  68. 1












    13 Pages 7901 to 7919 redacted - in closed session





    18 (6.30 pm)

    19 (The hearing adjourned until 2.30 pm on

    20 Tuesday, 28th April 1998)