1 Friday, 15th January, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.47 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.
5 Mr. Registrar, have the accused brought in.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Everybody is in his position.
8 Good morning to the interpreters. We can now resume
9 our work with the testimony of the next witness.
10 Mr. Nobilo or Mr. Hayman?
11 MR. HAYMAN: Good morning, Mr. President.
12 Good morning, Your Honour. This morning, our first
13 witness will be quite brief, but it is necessary to
14 call this witness in closed session, and I can give
15 further explanation, but I would ask to do that also in
16 closed session.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Does the Prosecutor have any
18 objections? I know it's always a sensitive issue
19 because we're asking for a closed session without
20 really knowing why, but we have to have a closed
21 session to find out why.
22 Mr. Cayley?
23 MR. CAYLEY: You've stated the position,
24 Mr. President, so I have nothing to add to what you've
1 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We can move into
2 closed session so we can have an explanation as to why
3 we need a closed session. A completely closed session
4 or a private session?
5 MR. HAYMAN: Completely closed session. I
6 can give my explanation in private, but the witness
7 would need to be in closed session.
8 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We'll make things
9 simpler. We'll simply have a completely closed session
10 with the agreement of counsel.
11 (Closed session)
13 Pages 17049 to 17065 redacted in closed session
6 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.40 a.m.
8 (Open session)
9 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume our work now.
10 Have the accused brought in. No, the accused is
11 already here. There is no problem, so we can resume.
12 Where are we, Mr. Registrar? Are we going to
13 hear the testimony of another witness?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. The Defence has to tell
15 us that there is going to be another witness in now.
16 JUDGE JORDA: All right. And then after that
17 we can see what we are going to do with the previous
19 All right. Mr. Nobilo, this is apparently
20 not a protected witness?
21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President --
22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Cayley. Excuse me.
23 MR. CAYLEY: Just, actually, a point of
24 order. If I could introduce to the Court, Mr. Simon
25 Hooper, who will be our case manager, the gentleman on
1 my left. I know we've had a number of people coming
2 through as case manager. I think Mr. Hooper will be
3 with us until the end of the trial.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I think I can speak for Judge
5 Shahabuddeen by welcoming your assistant, although I
6 didn't quite catch his name. Mr. Hooper -- yes, I see
7 it on the monitor. Mr. Hooper. Welcome, Mr. Hooper.
8 Welcome to this Trial Chamber. Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
9 Mr. Nobilo?
10 MR. NOBILO: The next witness is Mrs. Ivanka
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Madam?
14 THE WITNESS: I do.
15 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to tell us your
16 name, your first name, the date and place of your
17 birth, your profession, your current residence, and
18 then you are going to take an oath. All right.
19 Proceed, please.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone wasn't on.
21 The interpreters couldn't hear the beginning.
22 THE WITNESS: I am an assistant worker at the
23 public library and I live in Vitez.
24 JUDGE JORDA: (No translation) All right.
25 All right. Is it working now? Does anybody hear me?
1 Just stop for a moment, please. Let me begin again.
2 All right. Excuse me. Please repeat your name, your
3 first name, the date and place of your birth, your
4 current place of residence, and if you have a
5 profession, tell us what it is, and then you will take
6 an oath. And then after that you will be seated.
7 All right, so first name, date and place of
8 birth and your current residence.
9 THE WITNESS: Ivanka Valenta, born on the 6th
10 of April, 1964, in Poculice, employed as an assistant
11 worker at the public library in Vitez, where I also
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Please take the
14 oath now by reading the statement which is on the piece
15 of paper the usher has given you.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Madam. You may now
20 be seated. The Tribunal thanks you for having come to
21 participate in the trial of General Blaskic, who at the
22 time of the alleged facts was a Colonel. He is in the
23 courtroom to your left. You are going to answer the
24 Defence Counsel's questions because the Defence is the
25 one who brought you here, and then the opposing party
1 will ask questions, that is the Office of the
2 Prosecutor, and, perhaps, Judges questions as well.
3 Mr. Nobilo, you may proceed.
4 WITNESS: IVANKA VALENTA
5 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. First of all, I would
7 like to have a document distributed, a map.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This is D519.
9 Q. While the document is being distributed, you
10 said you were born in Kruscica?
11 A. No, in Poculice.
12 Q. Could you tell me where you got married and
13 where you lived before the conflict between the Muslims
14 and the Croats in the Lasva River Valley?
15 A. I got married in Kruscica, and I lived there
16 for 11 years before the conflict broke out.
17 Q. Please tell the Court -- rather, look at this
18 map. You can see it on the monitor too. Is the
19 village of Kruscica on this map?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We can see that the village of Kruscica is a
22 very long, stretched out village. Tell me, which part
23 of the village did you live in, near Vitez or the
24 other part?
25 A. No, at the other end of the Muslim part of
1 the village.
2 Q. Before the actual conflict, or before the
3 15th of April, did you notice something which now seems
4 important to you?
5 A. I noticed that BiH Army soldiers were dug in
6 in the part of the forest near Rijeka.
7 Q. When was this?
8 A. This was immediately after the new year, the
9 beginning of 1993.
10 Q. Two days before the conflict did something
11 happen which you were not aware of then, but now you
12 know what it was all about?
13 A. Well, I happened to be going for a walk, this
14 was during the Easter holidays, and I saw an unusual
15 detail, a tractor going into the forest, and it was
16 covered with twigs and branches. Because it was funny,
17 usually you take branches out of the forest rather than
18 into the forest. And two days later, when the fighting
19 broke out, we concluded or, rather, I concluded on the
20 basis of the detonations that I heard that these were
22 Q. Let us directly move onto the 15th of April,
23 1993, the day on the eve of the conflict, the war
24 between the Croats and the Muslims in the Lasva River
25 Valley. Tell me, where were you then and what did you
1 notice? Could you please tell the Court about this.
2 A. I was in the village in the house on the
3 other side of the black house.
4 Q. Could you please explain to the Court what
5 the black house is.
6 A. The black house is a camp from the Second
7 World War which was used by the BiH Armies. I don't
8 know what they used it for, but they spent quite a bit
9 of time there, and we saw quite a few soldiers there.
10 And around 3.00 in the afternoon I was supposed to go
11 home, and I looked at it and there was an enormous
12 number of soldiers there. At 1.00, as I was passing
13 there, there was no one, and then I was really
14 surprised at 3.00. And then we decided to wait and see
15 what was going on. At first I thought that perhaps
16 maybe they were gathering there because they wanted to
17 go to Sarajevo to fight against the Serbs. However,
18 since they remained there and the owner of the house
19 that we were in looked through the window and he said
20 that they are not only up there, but they are also at
21 the other road too.
22 And we waited there for about an hour, or
23 two, we waited until about 5.00, and then we finally
24 had to go home. And we had to pass that way. We had
25 to. There was no other way to go. As we were passing
1 by the gate of the yard of the black house, there was
2 an enormous number of BiH Army soldiers and there was
3 only one person among them from the neighbourhood whom
4 I knew. And we said "hello" very nicely and nobody
5 responded in any way. So we continued to our home
6 truly frightened.
7 Around 6.00 or 6.30 my husband had to go to
8 work, and I did not dare stay at home on my own. And
9 when it became dark, I went to the neighbouring house,
10 which was closer to the HVO soldiers. And everything
11 was quiet, nothing was happening, and around 2.00 my
12 husband came and said that we had to withdraw because
13 something was in the making.
14 Q. Please, before you continue, I would like to
15 put a few questions to you at this juncture. You said
16 that at 3.00 in the afternoon, until 5.00, when you
17 left, in front of the black house where the BiH Army
18 was there were two enormous groups of soldiers, you
20 A. Yes. One was in the yard around the black
21 house, and the other one was at the lower road to
22 Kruscica where the road leading to the so-called
23 Glivara (phoen) is too. I can't remember the name of
24 the owner. I can't remember his last name. There were
25 a lot of people scattered about. You could really see
1 that they were waiting for something.
2 Q. Could you please speak a bit slower for
3 purposes of interpretation, and we should also make
4 small pauses between questions and answers.
5 According to your assessment, how many
6 soldiers were in every one of these two groups?
7 A. In each group, there were at least a hundred
8 men, according to my assessment.
9 Q. You know your Muslim neighbours who were in
10 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Territorial
11 Defence. Were they foreign soldiers or were they local
12 soldiers? How would you define them?
13 A. I only recognised two of them. One is Ahmic,
14 I don't remember his first name, and the other is my
15 next door neighbour, Ibrahim Hidic, and I don't know
16 anyone else. All of them were unknown to me.
17 Q. Tell me, around your house, were there some
18 barricades, roadblocks, that were put up that evening?
19 A. Yes. Well, that evening when my husband came
20 to the house where I was staying, he said that there
21 were roadblocks near our house.
22 Q. Who put up these roadblocks?
23 A. The BH army. I didn't take anything along.
24 I just put my jacket on my shoulders. I didn't even
25 take my ID or anything, although we all did have
1 something prepared, like, we had bags packed because we
2 were afraid of the air force at that time, and I didn't
3 even go home to get some warmer clothes. Actually, I
4 wanted to but my husband wouldn't let me, and he said
5 that there were roadblocks in front of our house made
6 of rocks and big tyres that are used for trucks, and a
7 hundred metres away towards the Croatian houses --
8 Q. Let us recall what this is. We are talking
9 about the evening of the 15th of April, so this is
10 before the conflict broke out?
11 A. Yes, before the conflict broke out.
12 Q. When did you definitely leave your house?
13 A. At 6.30, at 6.30 p.m. on the 15th, and I
14 didn't go back there.
15 Q. And where did you go?
16 A. We went to the house of Lojza Miskovic,
17 perhaps 500 metres closer to HVO soldiers.
18 Q. And when did you leave the house of Lojza
20 A. On the 16th in the morning at 4.00.
21 Q. Where did you go?
22 A. We went to a building called Lovac where HVO
23 soldiers were stationed, and we sought safety there.
24 Q. How many HVO soldiers were at Lovac?
25 A. My estimate was about 15. I didn't really
1 count them, but there were very few of them.
2 Q. What happened after that? When did the
3 shooting start and how did this happen?
4 A. We came there at 4.00, and, well, we were
5 afraid, and we all went to the basement. And I think
6 that it was at 6.00 that we felt the first detonation,
7 and the building that we were in had quite a bit of
8 glass, perhaps a quarter of the building was in glass,
9 and the glass shattered, and there was panic all over.
10 Shooting broke out, and I personally thought that we
11 would not live to see the next day.
12 Q. Was this shooting directed at the Lovac Hotel
13 where you were staying?
14 A. Yes, yes, definitely, and we should give
15 credit where it's due. Not a single shell missed its
16 target. None of them missed their target.
17 Q. At one point in time during a brief lull in
18 the shooting on the 16th of April, you peeked and saw
19 part of your house. What did you see?
20 A. We were staying in the basement, and there
21 was no water there and there wasn't a toilet, and it is
22 only human that we had to relieve ourselves. So I had
23 to find some place that could serve as a toilet, and I
24 found an ironing board in part of this basement, and I
25 climbed up to this ironing board so that I could see
1 through the window what was going on outside, and I
2 could see my house. I could see two men at the front
3 door who -- they got out of my house carrying the TV
4 set, and they were taking it to the house next door,
5 and I was so hurt by this that I couldn't bear watching
6 this anymore.
7 Q. What about the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 did they manage to get close to the Lovac Hotel?
9 A. No, not in daytime, but when night fell, they
10 came only 100 metres away, and one soldier got in, and
11 he wanted to activate a grenade amongst us. He was
12 panic-stricken, and he said, "We're finished. They are
13 only 100 metres away from us."
14 Q. The soldier you're talking about was one of
15 the HVO soldiers; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So how did you manage to escape? Could you
18 please describe this to the Court?
19 A. Behind this building in part of the forest,
20 there was a water installation, waterworks, and there
21 were also seven Croat houses, and sometimes before that
22 during the night, somebody would, for example, turn off
23 the water, and then the waterpipes would freeze and
24 then we would all have problem with the water, and this
25 was the only way through which the BH army could reach
1 us, that side, from the waterworks.
2 And that night, there was no light, no
3 nothing, and this soldier didn't want to turn on the
4 lights, and this area was mined, but he managed to
5 demine it, and then we went there, went through this
6 area, on the morning of the 17th at 4.00 in the
7 morning, escorted by the HVO.
8 Q. And now we're going to finish describing
9 these events. After the war, did you manage to go back
10 to your house in Kruscica?
11 A. No, no, in my house in Kruscica, there is a
12 family from Veceriska. They are living there now.
13 Q. What happened to your property?
14 A. My property, the property from all our
15 houses, to the best of our knowledge and according to
16 what I saw and according to what some of the Croats
17 told us who remained imprisoned for a month, all the
18 houses were looted on that very same day.
19 MR. NOBILO: That would be all,
20 Mr. President. This concludes the
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You went right to
23 the essentials.
24 Mr. Dubuisson, I suppose you've got a number
25 for the card.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. This would be 519.
2 JUDGE JORDA: 519. Mr. Cayley -- no, excuse
4 MR. CAYLEY: Could I just have a moment,
5 Mr. President? Mr. Harmon wants to speak with me.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course.
7 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:
9 Q. Good morning, Ms. Valenta. My name is
10 Cayley. I'm from the Office of the Prosecutor. This
11 is my colleague, Mr. Harmon. I only have a few
12 questions for you.
13 Now, you stated on the 15th of April that you
14 were passing through Kruscica and you made a number of
15 observations. Now, can you tell me where the school is
16 in Kruscica?
17 A. I did not say that I was passing through
18 Kruscica, through the whole village, but that I was on
19 the opposite side of the black house, the crna kuca,
20 because my house is up above, and I came in from the
21 opposite side, from the black house side.
22 Q. Can you tell me where the school is in
24 A. In the middle of the Muslim part of the
1 Q. On the 14th or 15th of April, did you have
2 occasion to pass the school at Kruscica?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, you stated, I think, that on the morning
5 of the 16th of April, you went to the Hotel Lovac; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what time was that?
9 A. Four.
10 Q. And who told you to go to the Hotel Lovac?
11 A. My husband came to the house where we were,
12 and he said that we should withdraw amongst the HVO
13 soldiers for safety reasons.
14 Q. How many Croats withdrew to the Hotel Lovac?
15 A. Nineteen.
16 Q. Now, you're aware that the Hotel Lovac was an
17 HVO military headquarters, aren't you?
18 A. I know that the HVO army was there, but what
19 it actually was, I don't know. I'm not acquainted with
20 military matters.
21 Q. No, I understand that. Now, can you tell the
22 Court what time the conflict began?
23 A. Six a.m.
24 Q. Thank you. Ms. Valenta, are you aware that
25 the HVO commenced an attack in Vitez and Ahmici at 5.30
1 in the morning on the 16th of April?
2 A. Sir, I didn't even know what my name was at
3 the time. Ahmici is a long way away from the part in
4 which I live.
5 Q. I understand. Thank you very much,
6 Ms. Valenta. I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Let me turn to
8 Judge Shahabuddeen. There won't be any further
10 Thank you for having come, Ms. Valenta.
11 Excuse me, did you want to add something?
12 MR. NOBILO: No.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. It's true there was
14 a cross-examination. All right.
15 Thank you, Ms. Valenta, for having come to
16 The Hague to testify. We wish you Godspeed back to
17 your country, and the usher will escort you out of the
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Hayman, the
21 next witness, please?
22 MR. NOBILO: The next witness is Andzelka
24 JUDGE JORDA: Let me look in the notes that
25 were given to me. All right. Andzelka Matic, yes,
1 yes, I have it here. All right. We can have the
2 witness brought in.
3 (The witness entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Madam? Do you
5 hear me?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Please tell us your name, your
8 first name, your date and place of birth, your
9 profession, if you have one, and your current
10 residence, and then please remain standing for a few
11 more moments, as long as it takes to take an oath.
12 Please proceed.
13 THE WITNESS: My name is Andzelka Matic. I
14 was born on the 16th of October, 1951 in the village of
15 Gacice which is where I now live, and I'm a housewife.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Would you take the
17 oath, please, reading the declaration which the usher
18 is going to give you?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes. I solemnly declare that I
20 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
21 the truth.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Madam. You may be
23 seated now.
24 You have agreed to testify at the request of
25 the Defence in the trial initiated by the Office of the
1 Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal
2 against General Blaskic who, at the time, was a Colonel
3 and who is in this courtroom on your left.
4 First, you will be asked some questions by
5 those who had you come, that is, the accused's Defence
6 counsel and then questions from the Office of the
7 Prosecutor, if there are any, and possibly questions
8 from the Judges.
9 Mr. Nobilo, you may proceed.
10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 WITNESS: ANDZELKA MATIC
12 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
13 Q. Mrs. Matic, you lived and live in Gacice. By
14 profession, you're a housewife. You're married and the
15 mother of two children?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. My colleague has been signalling to me to
18 tell me that, although you and I speak the same
19 language, we should slow down a little. So when I ask
20 you the question, make a slight pause, and then give us
21 your answer.
22 I should like to hand out a map at this point
23 for you to identify your village.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This is D520.
25 MR. NOBILO:
1 Q. You are going to see in front of you on the
2 ELMO a map which shows Vitez and a red arrow. Does the
3 arrow depict your village correctly?
4 A. Yes, it does.
5 Q. Tell us, please, is your village near the
6 military explosives factory?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. And how big is it? How many houses is the
9 village comprised of?
10 A. There are about 100 houses. I don't know the
11 exact number.
12 Q. What is the ratio of the population between
13 the Muslim and Croat households? How many of one, how
14 many of the other?
15 A. I would say it was about half/half.
16 Q. Tell me, please, at the beginning of the war
17 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you form village watches of
18 any kind?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were they uni-national or were they Croat and
21 Muslim village watches?
22 A. They were Croat/Muslim watches jointly set
24 Q. Up until what time? When were these village
25 watches separated?
1 A. The village watches were jointly manned up
2 until the time when the Muslims, overnight, stole two
3 anti-aircraft guns which were positioned at our
4 cemetery because of the Serbian aviation which had
5 launched an assault on our factory on one occasion, and
6 since the time that the guns were stolen, the village
7 watches became separate.
8 Q. Where did they take the guns, the Muslims
9 from your village?
10 A. The guns were taken to Vitez, to the section
11 that they refer to as the Mahala.
12 Q. Let us move on to April 1993. Tell us, on
13 the eve of the conflict, how do you assess
14 relationships between the Croat population of the
15 village and the Muslim neighbours? What were the
16 relationships like?
17 A. As far as incidents are concerned, there
18 weren't any. In view of the circumstances, that is to
19 say, there was general tension, and people were
20 restless and divided. Some people would say hello to
21 one another, others wouldn't. Everybody was in a
22 general state of panic as to what would be in store for
24 Q. But there were no incidents or conflicts, as
25 you say?
1 A. Yes, no incidents, no conflicts.
2 Q. Let us now move directly towards the events.
3 On the day of the 15th of April, 1993 which is the day
4 before the conflict broke out in the Vitez municipality
5 between the Croats and Muslims, some people will say
6 that the Croats, others say that the Muslims attacked,
7 what information did you receive on that particular
9 A. We didn't receive any kind of information at
11 Q. Where were you on that particular day?
12 A. I was at home.
13 Q. Did you notice anything out of the ordinary?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Would you describe to us now what the 16th of
16 April, 1993 looked like? What did you hear?
17 A. On the 16th of April, shooting could already
18 be heard.
19 Q. Where?
20 A. In Donja Veceriska which is the village
21 across the road from our factory. On one side, you
22 have the village of Gacice and on the opposite side is
23 Donja Veceriska, a village we can see quite well, and
24 as it's fairly close, we could hear shooting and see
1 Q. What about your own village?
2 A. The people were panicking, and in my own
3 village, people began, quite simply, to talk to each
4 other to decide what they were going to do, and our
5 people decided to assign one man who would be a sort of
6 commander in the village on the Croat side, and this
7 was also done by the Muslims. They also appointed a
8 man of their own to represent their side. And so our
9 people sent this man, the man who had been elected from
10 amongst us, to negotiate with the Muslims, and we tried
11 to reach decisions on two or three occasions,
12 agreements, but they were not successful.
13 Q. Tell us, please, on the 16th of April, the
14 17th, 18th of April, right up until the 20th of April,
15 was there any shooting in your village?
16 A. No, there was not.
17 Q. What could they not agree upon, the two
18 representatives, the Croat and the Muslim
19 representatives from your villages?
20 A. As far as I was able to understand, both
21 sides asked that arms be surrendered. The Croats asked
22 the Muslims to surrender their arms, and the Muslims
23 asked us to do so, and they did not reach any agreement
24 on that score.
25 Q. So between the 16th and 20th of April, there
1 was no fighting in your village; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. On the 20th of April, 1993, what happened on
4 that particular day? Could you describe this for the
5 benefit of the Trial Chamber?
6 A. On the 20th of April at around 7.00, I heard
7 two to three strong detonations.
8 Q. Were you in your house at the time?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. Were you informed that a conflict would break
12 A. No, we had no information of that kind.
13 Q. Who was in your house with you?
14 A. I was in the house with my two daughters, and
15 my husband's brother was there, he's an elderly man, a
16 pensioner, and his wife, my brother and sister-in-law
17 with their three small children. We would often gather
18 there in my own house because we had a basement, and we
19 used to do this because of the Serbs and because of the
20 factory. We were afraid that they might use their
21 planes to attack the factory, and we were safest
22 there. And as the situation was generally tense with
23 the Muslims as well, we would, out of simple fear, all
24 collect there. Several families would be in a house
25 with a basement.
1 Q. What did you see on that particular day from
2 the morning onwards? What do you remember of it?
3 A. Well, after those two or three strong
4 detonations, there was a lull. When I went out of the
5 basement and looked through the kitchen window, I saw
6 smoke at the end of the village, I did not know what it
7 was, and after the lull, shooting started from all
9 Q. Tell us, please, up until noon, you spent
10 that time in the basement.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But did you leave the basement from time to
13 time to see what the situation was like in the village
14 around your house?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. At one point, did you look towards the house
17 of Fabijan Matic, a Croat, your brother-in-law? What
18 was happening there?
19 A. Well, perhaps in the second hour of the
20 shooting I saw smoke. It is my brother-in-law's house,
21 Fabijan Matic, which was already on fire, and I saw
22 three men, my next door neighbour, it is the brother of
23 Marko Matic who was in the basement, and I saw standing
24 by the window three men. I tried to recognise them. I
25 saw their checkerboard insignia on their caps. I
1 thought it was one of ours. However --
2 Q. What were they doing? Describe this for us?
3 A. When they were standing by the window, my
4 brother-in-law's house began to burn, the shed which is
5 right next to the house and the barn as well. And they
6 went out onto the road and moved along the road and
7 they had a cannister, an oranged coloured cannister in
8 their hands, and when they walked along the road they
9 were passing my own house, and at that particular
10 moment the shooting stopped from the Muslim section.
11 Q. Before we go on, when you saw this cannister,
12 what is a cannister usually used for, the orange
13 coloured cannister? What did you think?
14 A. Well, I thought they were carrying some
15 inflammable liquid, petrol or gas or something, and
16 they used it for setting things alight. When they drew
17 close, I went out and stood at the door, more out of
18 panic and fear than inquisitiveness, in order to
19 recognise them. I saw that they did have a
20 checkerboard insignia on their foreheads, but that they
21 weren't Croats because I recognised the Muslims who
22 were my neighbours.
23 Q. Can you give us their names? Who do you
24 recognise exactly?
25 A. Two of them were the sons of Ramulj Hamdija.
1 I don't know their names exactly. One of them was the
2 son of Avdo Herceg.
3 Q. And what was burning at that time of the
4 Croatian buildings which you could see from your front
6 A. My brother-in-law's house was on fire,
7 Fabijan's house was burning, and Ivo Matic, my other
8 brother-in-law's house, had started to burn, and Marko
9 Matic's house. So the first house next door to me is
10 Marko, and then Ivan and Fabijan, they are both
11 brothers of my husband.
12 Q. What of Marko Matic's property was on fire?
13 A. Well, two of his buildings were on fire. The
14 house had started to catch alight, but only the
15 windows, the curtains, part of the carpet was on fire.
16 But the whole of the shed and the barn were burnt and
17 the horse, the cow, the calf, they were all burnt. And
18 the pig.
19 Q. Let us return to the events. These three men
20 who set alight the house approached you. What happened
22 A. They stopped for a while and when I peeped
23 through the front door they cursed my ustashas mother
24 and said, "Well, you see that we are very good shots."
25 I didn't quite understand the word that they were
1 using, but I think that they shot at me with a sniper
2 from Serif Hrustic's house. And I was lucky it was one
3 or two centimeters off, away from my head, so that I --
4 just bits and pieces went into my eyes, and I went into
5 the house and didn't leave it after that.
6 Q. When did you hear something happening again?
7 What time was this and what did you hear?
8 A. Well, the shooting went on for about five or
9 six -- until about 5.00 or 6.00, towards evening, I
10 don't know exactly. But at that time I heard somebody
11 shouting, "Left wing forward. We are winning."
12 Q. What did you come to realise later on? Who
13 had come and who shouted this?
14 A. I went to the window once again and I saw
15 that it was our army, because they were not far off
16 from my own house. There is a crossroads there. And
17 after a brief space of time a group of Muslims went out
18 carrying a white flag.
19 Q. What did you hear? How did the fighting
20 cease? The one surrendered with the white flag. Did
21 all of them surrender?
22 A. It was one group. Another group went towards
23 the lower part of the village also carrying a flag.
24 Q. Did anybody succeed in escaping?
25 A. Yes. Yes. The Muslims who had been fighting
1 and had carried weapons went out towards the upper half
2 of the village and the forest towards Kruscica.
3 Q. Did the HVO intentionally leave them this
4 space to pass through?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After you went out and the fighting had
7 ceased, what did you do? What was your first concern?
8 A. When I went out, I saw that the shed and barn
9 was on fire, that is to say some of my brother's
10 facilities. This was by his house and it is about 100
11 metres off from my own house. I went outside. Two
12 soldiers came. I did not know them, but I asked them,
13 "May we go and put the fire out to stop the house from
14 burning down, put the fire out with these other two
15 facilities?" And the two soldiers gave us permission
16 to do so.
17 So we went out, we put out the fire. We
18 broke down the roof of the summer kitchen to stop the
19 rest of the house from burning down. And I did this
20 until nightfall.
21 Q. In the next few days, or perhaps on that
22 particular day, did you see any of the Muslim houses
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Where, in what part of the village?
1 A. The Muslim houses were burnt down in what we
2 call the old part of the village, the centre of the
3 village, in fact.
4 Q. In your assessment, how many Muslim houses
5 had burnt down?
6 A. I think between 10 and 15.
7 Q. Out of the total of the 50 or so houses that
8 you said existed in the village?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know what the casualties were from the
11 conflict, what you heard and saw? What were the
12 casualties on both sides?
13 A. Well, I heard, when I went with that soldier
14 out to put out the fire and to help my brother put out
15 the fire, I asked him whether there were any
16 casualties, and he said that one Croatian soldier had
17 been killed and that his name was Marko.
18 Q. And what happened on the Muslim side?
19 A. I heard that one young man had been killed
20 who had started to flee, and that he was killed by a
21 Muslim, Hrustic Nasir.
22 Q. Did you hear this from the Muslims or from
23 the Croats?
24 A. Well, both sides talked about that event.
25 Q. And the other casualties?
1 A. One Muslim was burnt alive in his house.
2 Q. Who was that?
3 A. It was Hrustic Fikret.
4 Q. How did this happen? What did you hear about
5 that particular incident?
6 A. I heard that Croats called out to him and
7 asked him to come out of the house, but, quite simply,
8 he either did not wish to do so or did not dare do so.
9 And that man used drink a lot, so that our people
10 thought that he was probably drunk at the time.
11 Q. Was he otherwise a well loved man? Did the
12 Croats like him too?
13 A. Yes. Yes. He was a very nice man, a very
14 fine man, and we all liked him. He liked to joke, he
15 played the harmonica, he was a builder by profession,
16 he worked at my house and he worked for my brother, and
17 everybody respected him.
18 Q. So those two people died, the young man who
19 fled and was killed by the Muslims, and Fikret
20 Hrustic who was killed in his house. The Croats called
21 him, but he did not leave the house. Were there any
22 other casualties on the Muslim side?
23 A. Yes, Herceg Ekrem, I think his name was, died
24 upon exiting the village. I don't know who killed him.
25 Q. And those are three victims. What about
1 anybody else? Were there any more casualties?
2 A. Yes, one other person was killed perhaps due
3 to shelling. A grenade got him. Yes. The other was
4 -- his surname was Hrustic, I don't remember his name,
5 but he was killed by a grenade in the village.
6 Q. All of these four individuals, to the best of
7 your knowledge, were they soldiers?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What happened with the Muslim civilians? You
10 said that two groups surrendered. Were they men,
11 soldiers who had surrendered in those two groups?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Where were the men taken?
14 A. Well, they were all taken together to Vitez,
15 but they returned quickly.
16 Q. Did the men return or just the women,
17 children and the elderly return?
18 A. I think that everybody returned, except those
19 who went on towards Kruscica.
20 Q. Did you visit that part of the village when
21 the Muslims returned? Is it close to your house or
22 further off from your own house?
23 A. Well, when the Muslims returned, they were
24 put up in a couple of Muslim houses at the bottom of
25 the village.
1 Q. And what happened then? Were they detained
2 there or were they allowed to move around freely? Did
3 they have any escorts? Describe what you saw to us.
4 A. The Muslims would spend the night in these
5 several houses and two of our men from the village
6 would watch over them during the night.
7 Q. Why?
8 A. For safety reasons, to prevent anything
9 happening to them, because somebody unknown coming to
10 the village might have done something.
11 Q. And what happened in the course of the day?
12 A. During the day the Muslims went back to their
13 own homes and went on with their daily duties,
14 attending to their livestock, sowing things in their
15 plot of land and so on, and they moved around the
16 village quite normally.
17 Q. How much time elapsed before you noticed that
18 they were no longer in the village?
19 A. About 15 days.
20 Q. Do you know who organised their departure and
21 how this was organised and why?
22 A. No, I do not. Their departure was organised,
23 but as they were all down at the bottom of the village,
24 the part that I did not go to, I don't know who
25 organised their departure.
1 Q. Did you take in any refugees into the village
2 later on?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Which and where from?
5 A. From Zenica.
6 Q. Today, after the war, did the Muslims return,
7 those of them who had lived in Gacice before the war?
8 A. Yes. The Muslims rebuilt the houses that --
9 their houses that had been destroyed. They had not
10 been completely destroyed, but they repaired their
11 houses and they all returned.
12 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. That
13 completes the examination-in-chief.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. Let me
15 turn to the Office of the Prosecutor for the
16 cross-examination of the witness. Mr. Harmon, will it
17 be you?
18 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President. Good
19 morning, Mr. President, good morning Judge
20 Shahabuddeen, good morning counsel, and good morning
21 Mrs. Matic.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:
23 Q. If I could start by putting this aerial image
24 on the easel. And while that is being done, I will ask
25 Mrs. Matic --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we could put it on an
2 easel. Actually, there is no easel here.
3 About how much time are you going to need,
4 Mr. Harmon, so that we can organise this morning's
6 MR. HARMON: I would say at least half an
7 hour to 40 minutes.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. How long did the
9 direct examination take, Mr. Dubuisson?
10 THE REGISTRAR: I need some time in order to
11 figure it out. Not very long, in any case.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Mrs. Matic, what I am going to do is I am
14 going to put an aerial image on the easel next to you.
15 Mr. Usher, if you would put the whole image
17 I will come over there and I will orient you
18 and then I would like to ask you to identify where your
19 house was located. Have you seen this image before?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Let me come over there, and I will probably
22 be joined by my colleague, Mr. Nobilo, and I would like
23 to orient you on this image so it will assist in
24 identifying where your house was located.
25 May I, Mr. President, approach the witness?
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course. And I would
2 like to ask that the map be projected so that the
3 public gallery can see it. Mr. Nobilo, if you want to
4 approach the easel, you may, of course.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Mrs. Matic, let me just orient you on this
7 village, on this image. This is the town of Vitez,
8 this is the factory, as you will see, here is the smoke
9 stack with smoke coming up. This is the village of
11 JUDGE JORDA: Please speak louder,
12 Mr. Harmon, so that the interpreters can hear.
13 MR. HARMON: All right. I will raise my
15 Q. This is the village of Vitez, the village of
16 Gacice, this is the factory about which you spoke, and
17 this is Donje Veceriska. And you will see a number of
18 roads, perhaps, come up into the village. What I would
19 like you to do, please, is take a look at this for a
20 minute or two and please tell us where your house was
22 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, Mr. Harmon. I'm
23 trying to make this map match. It seems to me some of
24 it was upside down or it was backwards. Can you show
25 me where Vitez is, please? And Gacice?
1 MR. HARMON: I didn't hear you,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: And Gacice?
4 MR. HARMON: Right here. This is the factory
5 right here.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Okay. So that I can make the
7 match with the two -- with the map.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot
9 hear the witness.
10 MR. HARMON:
11 Q. Mrs. Matic, you will have to speak into the
13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it's very difficult for
14 the interpreters to work under those conditions.
15 Mr. Dubuisson and Mr. Usher, perhaps you can
16 have a portable microphone brought over.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Can you point out your house?
19 A. You said that this was the factory, right?
20 Q. I'm sorry, could you repeat your answer. I
21 didn't hear it.
22 A. You said that this was the factory, right?
23 Q. This is the factory. This is a large smoke
24 stack at the factory. This is smoke coming out of that
25 smoke stack.
1 A. I cannot exactly tell whether my house is by
2 this crossroads or that crossroads. I have trouble
3 with this map.
4 Q. Did you live far from the location where the
5 Muslims who had been taken to Vitez and were returned
6 to Vitez were housed? Did you live near that part of
7 the village or did you live in another part of the
9 A. My house is near the crossroads, about 20
10 metres away from the road, and 20 metres on the other
11 side of the road is the distance from that intersection
12 to where the Muslim houses begin. And the Muslims,
13 where were they? They were in a couple of houses, at
14 the end of the village facing Vitez, but I am having
15 trouble with this map.
16 Q. Let me try to assist you further, and if we
17 can't make any progress, then we will abandon this
18 effort. But let me assist you. This is Vitez and this
19 is the road that came down into your village, the main
20 road that came up into your village. Can you please
21 tell me, as you came up the main road, where you
22 lived? Did you live to the right, did you turn left on
23 the main road?
24 A. From the main road, the centre of the
25 village, I think this is here. If this is the road
1 from Vitez, leading from Vitez to Gacice.
2 Q. That's correct.
3 A. Then the Muslims were staying somewhere
4 around here, in these houses, and then my house would
5 be somewhere around here. I keep sticking to the
6 crossroads on this map too.
7 Q. I need some additional clarification. Did
8 you live in the upper part of the village or did you
9 live in the lower part of the village?
10 A. The upper part of the village.
11 Q. I didn't get a translation.
12 A. The upper part of the village.
13 Q. Because, obviously, I have a technical
15 JUDGE JORDA: We don't have to dwell on this
16 point too much. Madam, take your time in order to find
17 a location of your house. It's an aerial photo. If
18 you can't find it -- Mr. Harmon, perhaps you could move
20 MR. HARMON: Yes, if we could have just one
21 or two more minutes.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Unless, of course, it's very
23 important for you.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Are you able to, looking at this map,
1 Mrs. Matic, are you able to tell us where your house
2 approximately was located, considering that this is the
3 main road that comes up from Vitez?
4 A. Yes. If this is the main road, then my house
5 could be somewhere around here or here. I don't know
7 Q. Can you put just a circle in the general area
8 where you think your house was approximately located.
9 That's very faint, so I am going to take this pen and I
10 am going to mark around that circle, and you tell me if
11 I've correctly marked. Is it in that area,
12 approximately, where your house was located?
13 A. I think so. I think so. Although I am
14 having quite a bit of trouble with this map.
15 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I think that's all.
16 MR. HARMON: If you turn around, and I'll
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Congratulations,
19 Madam. It's not an easy task. All right. Mr. Harmon,
20 ask your questions.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
22 Q. I appreciate your taking the effort,
23 Mrs. Matic, to work through that map. I know it's
25 Mrs. Matic, let me start by taking your
1 testimony in the order in which you gave it. You said
2 that at some point in time two anti-aircraft guns were
3 stolen from a location in your village. Can you give
4 me the date or the approximate date when that occurred?
5 A. Well, perhaps that was four or five months
6 earlier. I do not know exactly. It was the end of
7 '92. I don't know exactly when.
8 Q. And do you know where, in fact, those guns
9 ended up?
10 A. As far as I managed to find out, in Vitez, in
11 the Muslim section, in the Mahala that is.
12 Q. Do you know if they remained in the Muslim
13 section in Mahala in April of 1993?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Now, it's true, is it not, Mrs. Matic, that
16 on the road that led to Gacice, in April, before the
17 conflict started, there was a HVO checkpoint?
18 A. A checkpoint? A local checkpoint? Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And that checkpoint was manned by HVO
20 soldiers, was it not?
21 A. Our people from the village were there at the
22 checkpoint. They took turns.
23 Q. Now, let me ask you, were any Muslims at that
24 particular checkpoint manning the checkpoint, or were
25 they only Croats?
1 A. I don't understand whether you are asking me
2 about before the conflict or after the conflict.
3 Q. I am asking you before April 16th, 1993.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, at that checkpoint were there only
6 people who were Croats who manned that checkpoint?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did Muslims man that checkpoint?
9 A. I simply don't understand. What date are you
10 asking me about? The Muslims did not man anything with
11 the Croats after the guns had been stolen, and after
12 the conflict there were none left in the village.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. I think, then, to
14 just clarify, after the guns were stolen, the two
15 anti-aircraft guns were stolen, some four or five
16 months before the conflict started, the checkpoint that
17 was at the base --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- of your village was not manned by Muslims;
20 is that correct? Am I correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, you said, in your testimony, that
23 on the 16th of April you could hear shooting in Donje
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What time did you hear that shooting? What
2 was the first shooting that you heard?
3 A. Well, I don't know exactly what time it was.
4 Q. Was that shooting in the morning?
5 A. Yes, morning. Yes.
6 Q. Was that --
7 A. Beginning of the day, yes. The morning.
8 Q. When you say the beginning of the day, you
9 mean at dusk?
10 A. Oh, no. No. I do not remember exactly.
11 JUDGE JORDA: When you answer, Madam, would
12 you please turn to the Judges. Thank you.
13 MR. HARMON:
14 Q. Now, let me turn your attention to the events
15 that took place immediately after the 16th of April in
16 your village. You testified that our people, meaning,
17 I assume, the Bosnian Croats, selected a
18 representative. Who was that representative that you
20 A. Anto Krizanovic was the representative on the
21 Croatian side and Kadir Hrustic on the Muslim side.
22 Q. Did you participate in those discussions or
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, when you testified that both sides asked
1 that arms be surrendered, you weren't present at those
2 negotiations, were you?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Are you aware that the Bosnian Croat side
5 demanded and gave an ultimatum to the Muslims to
6 surrender their arms within 24 hours?
7 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly what was
8 agreed upon.
9 Q. Are you aware that a counterproposal to that
10 ultimatum by the Muslims was that both sides disarm and
11 that that was rejected by the Bosnian Croats?
12 A. I don't know that.
13 Q. Now, let me turn your attention to the 20th
14 of April. I take it that at around 7.00 in the morning
15 when you first heard two or three strong detonations,
16 you were in your house?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Where were you in your house when you heard
19 the detonations, the first detonations?
20 A. I was in the kitchen.
21 Q. Did you --
22 A. And then we fled to the basement.
23 Q. Did you see what the source of those
24 detonations was? Did you see if it was a mortar? Did
25 you see if it was a rocket? Did you know?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you see where those detonations exploded
3 or those shells exploded?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know the source, who fired the shells
6 that caused the detonations?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So you don't know whether it was the Croats
9 or the Muslims who fired those shells?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Now, in your house, you said you were
12 present, your husband's brother was present, and your
13 brother and sister-in-law and three children. Were
14 there any weapons, any kind of a weapon, any rifle --
15 A. No.
16 Q. -- or any pistol in your house?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. After the two or three large detonations took
19 place, did you and all members, who I have just
20 identified as being in your house, go down into the
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How long did you remain in the basement, if
24 you can recall, until you first came up to kind of look
1 A. They all stayed almost throughout, but I was
2 the one who went to the window most often, and once, I
3 went to the door, and then I never went out.
4 Q. So, from your testimony, you went upstairs,
5 am I correct and correct me if I'm wrong, on two
6 occasions that morning?
7 A. From the basement to the kitchen, you mean?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Yes, yes, I went to the kitchen several
10 times, but outside, I tried to go out only once when I
11 saw these men with a canister, and as soon as they
12 started shooting at me, I never went out again.
13 Q. Would it be fair to say that the amount of
14 time you spent out of the basement on the 20th of April
15 could be calculated in a matter of minutes?
16 A. The time I spent outside the basement, you
17 mean, in the kitchen?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. It would be very short.
20 Q. Okay. The time that you spent outside, you
21 said you went outside briefly, was that also very
22 short? Was that a matter of minutes?
23 A. That was a matter of seconds.
24 Q. All right. Other than that, you spent the
25 remainder of the 20th in your basement until, I take
1 it, let me just find out, until approximately what
3 A. I don't know exactly.
4 Q. Well, did you remain in the basement then
5 until approximately 5.00 or 6.00 p.m. when you heard
6 someone shouting, "Left wing. We're winning."
7 A. Yes, at that time, I was in the kitchen.
8 Q. Now, when you first came up into the kitchen
9 from the basement after you heard the detonations, you
10 said you saw smoke at one end of the village.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you able to ascertain the origin of that
14 A. No, this smoke was in the lower part of the
15 village, but later on, I found out that first it was
16 Franjo Matic's haystack that was on fire. He was a
17 Croat. But when I originally saw the smoke, I didn't
18 know what was on fire.
19 Q. I would like to ask you just a few questions
20 about the village of Gacice. You said it was about 50
21 per cent Muslim, 50 per cent Croat?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was the village separated so that there was a
24 Muslim part of the village and a Croat part of the
25 village or did the Muslims and Croats have houses that
1 were in between each other?
2 A. Part of the village was purely Muslim, and
3 the rest was all mixed. There were Croat and Muslim
5 Q. Now, where was the all-Muslim part of the
6 village? Was it in the upper part, the lower part, the
7 middle of the village?
8 A. The upper part of the village, across the
9 road from my house.
10 Q. Approximately what time was it that you saw a
11 Muslim with a white flag?
12 A. Perhaps around 5.00. I do not know exactly.
13 Q. Now, are you aware that before 5.00 in the
14 late afternoon of the 20th of April, a large group of
15 Muslim civilians had already been taken down to Vitez?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did you see a large group of Muslims being
18 taken down to Vitez on the 20th of April or were you in
19 your basement when that occurred?
20 A. When the Muslims passed by with a white flag,
21 they passed by my house, and I saw them, and I only
22 heard that they took them to Vitez, but I could not see
24 Q. So you don't know whether the group that you
25 saw at 5.00 or 6.00 was the group that was going down
1 to Vitez or whether a group of Muslims had already been
2 taken down to Vitez, do you?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Now, let me ask you, when you came out around
5 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon of the 20th and you saw
6 that soldiers from the Bosnian Croat side were in the
7 village, could you identify to what units of the HVO
8 those soldiers belonged?
9 A. I heard them saying that they were Vitezovi.
10 Q. Okay. So you heard somebody say that they
11 were Vitezovi. Did you also see on the 20th of April,
12 1993 soldiers who had HVO patches on their shoulders?
13 A. I don't know what kind of patches they had.
14 To tell you the truth, I wasn't watching their insignia
15 or patches. I saw that they had camouflage uniforms,
16 and I went there to put out the fire, and I didn't
17 really look at these patches of theirs.
18 Q. Well, let me ask you, Mrs. Matic, you knew
19 that some of the local people, some of the local
20 Croats, in your village were members of the HVO, did
21 you not?
22 A. Well, at the beginning, the people of the
23 village had organised themselves, and what their name
24 was, I mean, at first, there weren't any other military
25 people from the outside in our village, that is to say,
1 until the conflict broke out.
2 Q. But you knew, did you not, that some people
3 in your village were members of the army, the Bosnian
4 Croat army, the HVO?
5 A. I don't know that they were in the army,
6 people from our village.
7 Q. Did you ever see any Bosnian Croat from the
8 village of Gacice, prior to the conflict on April 16th,
9 wearing a camouflage uniform and in possession of
10 military arms?
11 A. No.
12 Q. How big was your village? How many people
13 lived in your village?
14 A. I don't know. I said that there's about 100
15 houses, and how many people there are in the village, I
16 don't know.
17 Q. Is it your testimony that, of the Bosnian
18 Croats in your village who were of military age, none
19 of them were in the HVO?
20 A. I don't know. I don't know that they were
22 Q. Now, the soldiers that you saw then at 5.00
23 or 6.00 on the afternoon of the 20th of April when they
24 came through your village, the ones who were saying,
25 "Left wing forward. We're winning," were those
1 soldiers who were in the camouflage uniforms from
2 outside the village? Were they people who didn't live
3 in your village?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Now, let me read you some names, and I'm
6 going to ask you if these people were in the HVO.
7 Goran Strukar, son of Ante.
8 A. Goran Strukar, son of Ante, was taken
9 prisoner by the Muslims as he was cutting grass for
11 Q. My question really is very simple. I'm going
12 to read you some names, and I'm going to ask you if
13 these people were members of the HVO, and all you have
14 to do is, if you know them and you know the answer, you
15 can say "yes" or "no." So let me read you some names,
16 and let me ask you if these people were members of the
17 HVO. Stipo Krizanovic.
18 A. Stipo Krizanovic --
19 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I would object.
20 We would like to know the date when this list was made
21 out. Actually, after the conflict, everybody was
22 mobilised, so what does the question pertain to, to the
23 period before the conflict or after the conflict?
24 MR. HARMON: The conflict itself, April 16th,
1 JUDGE JORDA: There's the answer,
2 Mr. Nobilo. It's a relevant question, and there's the
4 So you're speaking about April of 1993; is
5 that correct, Mr. Harmon?
6 MR. HARMON: That is correct, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to add a
8 question. Isn't this going to cause a problem, that
9 is, citing all these names?
10 MR. HARMON: I don't intend to cite many,
11 Mr. President. I intend to cite people whom I believe
12 were members of the HVO and just to verify this with
13 this witness. These are people this witness should
14 know. They were villagers.
15 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Ask your
16 questions. Ask the names.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Stipo Krizanovic, was that person a member of
19 the HVO?
20 A. I don't know. These are young men from our
21 village, but they probably were members of the HVO, but
22 I don't know since when.
23 JUDGE JORDA: If you don't know, just say, "I
24 don't know." "Yes," "no," or "I don't know."
25 A. All right.
1 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry. There's some
2 confusion. Let me go very slowly for the reporter as
4 Q. Goran Strukar?
5 A. I said that I didn't know.
6 Q. Boro Krizanovic, son of Vlado?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Ivica Matic, called Iko, son of Nikola?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Now, you had sons, did you not?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Okay. Then who is Ride Matic, son of Franjo?
13 A. Oh, that's Franjo Matic, there's an elderly
14 man who is also called that. I have two daughters, but
15 my husband's name is also Franjo.
16 Q. Let's talk about Ride, R-I-D-E, Matic. Was
17 that man in the HVO?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Jozo Matic, son of Ivo?
20 A. Jozo Matic, son of Ivo, worked in the police
21 force. Whether he was a member or not, I don't know.
22 Q. Zlatko Matic, son of Marko?
23 A. I don't know. I don't know about our people
24 in April, whether they were members or not.
25 Q. Zoran Matic, son of Marko?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Dragan Matic, son of Marijan?
3 MR. NOBILO: I apologise, Mr. President. The
4 witness said that, "For our people," that is to say,
5 she means the Croats, "I don't know whether they were
6 soldiers before the conflict." Therefore, it is
7 superfluous to read out the names when she said she did
8 not know whether they were in the HVO before the
9 conflict. We're wasting time.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Of course we're wasting some
11 time, but don't try to take the place of your
12 colleague, Mr. Harmon, but I would like to recall that
13 the direct examination lasted for 25 minutes.
14 MR. HARMON: I'm trying to get through this
15 list as fast as I can, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's true. I recognise
17 that I interrupted you, but it was a good cause. I can
18 see that Mr. Cayley is already wriggling with
19 impatience to get to his cross-examination.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Vinko Matic?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Srecko Krizanovic, son of Pero?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know where our people
25 were in that particular month, whether they belonged to
1 the HVO or not. Afterwards, they did, but whether they
2 did at the time, I don't know.
3 Q. Let me ask you this question, Mrs. Matic: I
4 won't read you the complete list, because I take your
5 answer at its face value --
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that would be long, and I
7 will not accept having the entire list read. One last
8 question on these names, please.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Did any of those young men of military age in
11 your village participate in the attack on the village?
12 A. I don't know that either.
13 Q. Now, when you testified in direct examination
14 in response to a question of my colleague, Mr. Nobilo,
15 you said that the Muslims who had been fighting in the
16 village fled through the forest, and the HVO
17 intentionally left a space open through which the
18 Muslim fighters could pass. How do you know that?
19 A. I heard about it.
20 Q. Who did you hear it from?
21 A. It was told after the fighting was over.
22 Q. Was it told --
23 A. It was recounted.
24 Q. Was it recounted by one of these young men in
25 the village who was a Bosnian Croat of military age?
1 A. I don't know exactly who spoke about this.
2 There were groups of men and women, and everybody was
3 commenting on it.
4 Q. Now, you testified about the death of Fikret
5 Hrustic who, you said, drank a lot of alcohol, a lot of
6 liquor. Did you see Fikret Hrustic on the 20th of
7 April, 1993?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Do you know if he had been drinking on the
10 20th of April, 1993 when he was killed?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Did you see him killed and do you know the
13 circumstances under which he was killed?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, you testified that the Muslims who had
16 returned to the village of Gacice were put in a certain
17 limited number of houses, and they were free to move
18 around during the day. Do you remember that part of
19 your testimony?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, did you go down and visit those Muslims
22 in those houses while they were detained in them?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you talk to any of those Muslims who were
25 detained in your village about the conditions under
1 which they were being held?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Are you aware that approximately 267 Muslims
4 were put on trucks, driven to a checkpoint near the
5 Dubravica school and told to walk to Zenica?
6 A. I heard that they had left, but how they left
7 and where they went to, I don't know.
8 Q. You're not aware then that the HVO put them
9 on trucks and took them to the Dubravica school and
10 told them to walk to Zenica?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Now, let me ask you some other questions. Do
13 you know a man by the name of Sabahet Herceg? He was
14 called Car.
15 A. Sabahet Herceg?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I know a Sabahet Herceg, but they call him
18 Car, the Car.
19 Q. He had a small shop located near where you
20 lived, did he not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, what happened to his shop after the 20th
23 of April?
24 A. I don't know what happened. I know that his
25 house was knocked down, and that is near my brother,
1 where the facilities were on fire. I don't know what
3 Q. You don't know that his shop was completely
4 looted and all the goods in it were taken away, and yet
5 you lived only a short distance from that shop and
6 remained in the village of Gacice after the 20th of
8 A. My house is about 100 metres away from his
9 house and his shop. How do I know what happened
11 Q. Okay. Let me ask you another question then,
12 Mrs. Matic. Did Mr. Herceg also have a tractor?
13 A. Well, that Sabahet Herceg did not have a
14 tractor. His uncle had a tractor.
15 Q. Tell the Court what happened to that
17 A. The uncle of Sabahet Herceg had left the
18 tractor with a Croat, and after the conflict, he gave
19 the tractor back to him.
20 Q. Did you, after the Muslims left the village
21 of Gacice on the 20th, acquire any Muslim property?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you acquire a tractor that belonged to
24 Sabahet Herceg?
25 A. No. What would I do with a tractor?
1 Q. Now, you mentioned the death of a young man,
2 and his name, if you give me just a minute, was Ekrem
3 Hercegovac. I think I've pronounced his name right.
4 Was he one of the young men who was killed in the
5 village on the 20th of April?
6 A. Ekrem Herceg was not a young man. He was
7 about 50 years old at the time. I heard that he had
8 been killed at the end of the village, but I did not
9 see him.
10 Q. Did anybody on the 20th of April --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, if you have
12 important questions, go ahead, because time is moving
13 on. You've gone quite beyond the time that was used
14 for the direct examination. Get to the essential
15 points, please.
16 MR. HARMON: I will. I only have a few more
17 minutes, Mr. President.
18 Q. Did anybody from your house, on the 20th of
19 April, 1993, shoot out of your house and shoot toward
20 any of the Muslims?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, let me ask you, in respect of the attack
23 on your village, are you aware that before the attack
24 there was a rocket launcher that was placed near the
25 graveyard in the village? Did you know about that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. What about a large recoilless rifle, are you
3 aware that that was also placed in your village near
4 the houses, the Garica houses? Were you aware of that?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Now, are you aware of a rocket
7 launcher that was down in the factory, the factory that
8 was adjacent to your village, and that it was
9 positioned there before the attack? Do you know
10 anything about that?
11 A. Before the attack, nothing was positioned
13 Q. Now, one of the last areas I'd like to ask
14 you about is, the area where the Muslims were detained
15 in those limited number of houses that you've described
16 was across from a Muslim cemetery, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you remember that, during the time that
19 the Muslims were there, there was a large earth remover
20 that dug a long trench along the side of the cemetery,
21 inside the cemetery? Do you remember seeing that?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you ever hear that victims of the attack
24 on Ahmici were buried in that particular cemetery?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You mentioned in your examination-in-chief
2 that certain refugees from Zenica had come to your
3 village. Were those refugees Croats?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. HARMON: Mrs. Matic, thank you very
6 much. I appreciate your co-operation and assistance.
7 Mr. President, I have no additional
9 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We'll take a
10 break. Mr. Nobilo, do you have any clarifications you
11 want to bring?
12 MR. NOBILO: Just two questions. Only two
14 JUDGE JORDA: It's your right. It's your
15 right. I thought that Mr. Harmon had taken too much
16 time, but that doesn't mean I want to shorten your
17 time. I am simply asking whether you had any questions
18 to ask. If you do, go ahead. I think that perhaps we
19 should take a break after the witness answers the final
21 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Mrs. Matic, about the young men from your
24 village before the beginning of the conflict, before
25 the 20th of April, do you know whether they were only
1 members of the village watch or whether they were
2 members of the HVO as well?
3 A. I think they were only members of the village
5 Q. After the start of the conflict, did all the
6 men then become, in the course of 1993, members of the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The civilians that you saw in the village,
10 did you think they were prisoners or did you see them
11 moving freely around the village?
12 A. They moved freely around the village and
13 worked, and when they left, I don't know whether they
14 wanted to leave of their own free will or not, but many
15 of them left their belongings with the Croats. And
16 these belongings were looked after and returned to them
18 Q. Was there any violence against those
19 individuals or not?
20 A. No.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mrs. Matic, I think you
24 said that you looked out and you recognised some Muslim
25 men wearing checkerboard insignia and carrying
1 containers which they used to attack Croat houses. Do
2 you recall your evidence to that effect?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So you recognised some
5 Muslim men in your village who were attacking Croats.
6 Did you recognise any Croat men from your village who
7 were attacking Muslims?
8 A. I did not recognise any Muslims attacking. I
9 recognised the three Muslim men who were carrying the
10 containers and setting fire to our buildings.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well then, do forgive me
12 if I refer to that by speaking of Muslim men who were
13 attacking Croats. Did you recognise any Croat men from
14 your village who were in any way involved in the
16 A. When I saw a group of the army who said,
17 "Left wing forward, the victory is ours," I don't know
18 whether there was anybody there who was a Croat from
19 the village, because they weren't close enough to me
20 for me to be able to recognise them. Whereas around
21 the village, apart from those who set fire to the
22 buildings, I did not see either Croats or Muslims.
23 Quite simply, nobody moved around the village.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let us turn, briefly, to
25 Mr. Fikret Hrustic who died in his building. Is my
1 recollection correct that your evidence was to the
2 effect that he was burnt alive in his house?
3 A. Well, no, I did not say he was burnt alive.
4 I said he was burnt, burnt in his house. His house is
5 right next to a Croatian house and the family from the
6 Croat house entreated him to leave his house, because
7 they knew he was a harmless man, and that he would only
8 have to step out of his house and nothing would happen
9 to him. However, I heard tell, I wasn't there, but I
10 heard tell that either he did not dare or did not want
11 to leave. A shot was heard and flames were seen.
12 Later on they said that he had a rifle and that was why
13 he did not dare leave the house. Now, how the fire
14 actually started, I don't know.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is it your impression
16 that he was already dead or that he was alive when his
17 house was set on fire?
18 A. I don't know.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You don't know.
20 Now, you spoke of a group of Muslims who left
21 the village after a while, and I think you said you did
22 not know who organised their departure. I am trying to
23 locate you in your evidence. Do you recall saying
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mrs. Matic, did you
2 inquire as to who might have organised their departure
3 from the village?
4 A. No.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, then finally let
6 us talk a little about these two guns. I think you
7 said they were anti-aircraft guns which were stolen or
8 removed by the Muslims. They were removed by the
9 Muslims from whom?
10 A. Well, quite simply, they were taken from that
11 place where they were, without any agreement reached
12 with the Croats. They took them away during the
13 night. That's what I heard, at least.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Who had the guns before
15 they were taken away?
16 A. I think, as far as I know, they were guns
17 from the factory which were positioned because of the
18 Serbian planes which, very often, flew over our
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, that tells us where
21 the guns came from and what purpose they were intended
22 to serve. I ask you who had the guns before they were
23 taken away?
24 A. Well, I don't know. Probably owned by the
25 factory. I don't know.
1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Were there any people on
2 the site who were controlling the guns?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Were they Croats or
6 A. Both.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Both. I see. Now,
8 after the guns were taken, did the Croats have any
9 guns, any anti-aircraft guns?
10 A. I don't know.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.
13 Thank you Mrs. Matic. That's all. You can be released
14 now. The usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
15 We would again like to express our gratitude to you for
16 having come to The Hague. The Judges will suspend the
17 session now.
18 Let me turn to Mr. Kehoe. Do you think that
19 during the next sequence, we won't talk about that here
20 because of the closed session issue, but how much time
21 do you think you will need?
22 MR. KEHOE: I can finish it certainly in the
23 next sequence, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Because we finish at 1.30.
25 There might be some additional questions. All right.
1 We are going to -- I see Mr. Dubuisson is saying
2 something to me.
3 THE REGISTRAR: I simply want to know what is
4 to be done with the Prosecutor exhibits.
5 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much. I was
6 going to ask that that be marked as an exhibit and that
7 it be admitted into evidence.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?
9 MR. NOBILO: We would like to tender the last
10 exhibit, D520, but also the previous one, D519, and
11 then as regards D517 and 518, we suggest that they be
12 under seal.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Any comments from either of the
15 MR. KEHOE: With regard to 517 and 518, I do
16 believe that until we get a full translation of the
17 entire book, I just would ask that most respectfully we
18 hold that in abeyance. There may be no objection, I
19 just would like to see those documents in context with
20 the entire book once it's translated.
21 JUDGE JORDA: All right. For the time being
22 we will only give them numbers and wait until the
23 translation has been done. I hope you keep a very
24 careful count of these documents, because at the end of
25 the proceedings we have to decide what has to be done
1 with all of the pending documents.
2 I would like to remind you, Mr. Kehoe, that
3 the two documents in issue, I am talking about parts of
4 documents, and that it is very infrequent that a demand
5 is made for the translation of an entire document
6 before the document is tendered. You yourself at times
7 asked that three lines of a military communique be
8 admitted, and whereas the eight pages of military
9 communique in which the text was found, for example,
10 Colonel Watters, we didn't ask that we wait until the
11 translation was done. I am willing to do so, but I
12 would like to say that my concern is that at the end of
13 the proceedings the registrar will have to go back to
14 the entire list of all of the exhibits so that the
15 Judges deliberations can be done based on an agreement
16 between the parties in respect of all of the exhibits.
17 So when you ask for complete translation of
18 documents, that becomes the issue.
19 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE JORDA: So how do you feel about the
21 need for the translation of the entire thing? What is
22 your opinion? Do you have to have the whole document
24 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I would
25 like, because I would like to see this in context with
1 everything else, and I think it's significant that
2 these particular provisions that have been taken and
3 translated at the request of the Defence be looked at
4 in conjunction with the rest of the matters, which
5 could very well necessitate -- well, we can talk about
6 that in closed session.
7 JUDGE JORDA: The registrar suggests that
8 they could be admitted subject to. All right. We are
9 going to take a 20-minute break, because the
10 interpreters have done a lot of work.
11 Do you want to add something, Mr. Hayman?
12 MR. HAYMAN: Just that I think the two
13 exhibits, 517 and 518, they are either under seal or
14 they are open to the public, and depending on a request
15 for a change by the Prosecutor, we ask that they be
16 placed under seal.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I agree. All right,
18 Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON: I have no objection to those
20 documents being placed under seal, and we have no
21 objection to the admission of 519 and 520.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. We'll
23 take a 20-minute break.
24 Let me remind you, Mr. Kehoe, that we will
25 finish at 1.30. You have 20 minutes for the
1 cross-examination, and there could be 10 minutes of
2 redirect, and we will be finished at 1.30. This is a
3 decision. We stand adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume in closed
7 session. Have the accused brought in.
8 (Closed session)
9 (The accused entered court)
13 Pages 17134 to 17151 redacted in closed session
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
24 the 18th of January, 1999 at 10.00 a.m.