Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1626

1 Tuesday, 20 January 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 [The accused Hadzihasanovic not present]

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please

8 call the case number.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the case number is IT-01-47-T, the

10 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

12 As usual, could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.

13 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel.

14 For the Prosecution, Mrs. Tecla Benjamin and Ekkehard Withopf, together

15 with the case manager, Mrs. Kimberly Fleming.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf. And

17 could we have the appearances for the Defence.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.

19 Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Edina Residovic, counsel;

20 Stephane Bourgon is our co-counsel; and Mirna Milanovic is our legal

21 assistant. We represent General Hadzihasanovic.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

23 And could we have the appearances for Mr. Kubura's Defence.

24 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

25 Mr. Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Mr. Mulalic, our legal

Page 1627

1 assistant, represent Mr. Kubura.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to

3 greet everyone who is present: The Defence, the Prosecution, and the

4 accused, and the administrative personnel present in the courtroom.

5 Today we will be hearing two witnesses, but there were certain

6 matters that we had to deal with before we hear them. So I'm going to

7 ask the Registrar to go into private session.

8 [Private session]

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4 [Open session]

5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness XB, you've been called

7 here as a witness for the Prosecution. The Prosecution will ask you some

8 questions; they're to your right. The Defence, to your left, will ask

9 you some questions when the Prosecution has finished with its

10 examination. The Judges who are before you, if necessary, might ask you

11 some questions.

12 You will testify about events that you have witnessed, and you

13 must provide complete answers to the questions, to the extent that it is

14 possible. And if you do not understand a question, ask the person who

15 has asked you the question to put it to you again. Have you understood

16 me well?

17 Could the Prosecution start with its examination-in-chief. But

18 I should point out that we also have another witness. And given the time

19 that we have used, I know that you will ask questions in a very efficient

20 manner. Please proceed.

21 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: I'm grateful, Mr. President.

22 Mr. President, I would appreciate if we could go into closed

23 session, please.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall continue

25 in closed session for a couple of questions.

Page 1636

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13 [Open session]

14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are in open session.

15 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

16 Q. Witness XB, I'll just refresh your memory. We were at the

17 point --

18 THE INTERPRETER: Now the English booth and the B/C/S booth have

19 a problem with hearing the floor and hearing the protected witness.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the interpreting

21 services is warning us that we cannot hear either the Prosecution or

22 yourselves, and we are not receiving any translation at all.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we are going to break and

24 wait --

25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

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Page 1641

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to break, and we

2 are going to hope that this technical problem will be resolved very

3 quickly. We are adjourned.

4 --- Break taken at 9.49 a.m.

5 --- Upon commencing at 10.34 a.m.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will

7 continue. We have an hour and 15 minutes for this session. We are going

8 to have a break after that time, after an hour and 15 minutes.

9 We are in open session. Can I ask the registrar to confirm that

10 we are in open session.

11 Yes, we are in open session. That means that the voice and the

12 face are distorted.

13 Prosecution, you have the floor.

14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Q. Witness XB, at the interruption, you indicated to the Trial

16 Chamber that the attacks actually began on the 8th of June, 1993. Could

17 you now briefly describe what you heard and saw during those attacks.

18 A. Shooting started, and we realised that we had been attacked.

19 Q. Witness XB, do you know by whom you were attacked?

20 A. BH Army.

21 Q. Could you tell us how you knew that it was members of the BH

22 Army, please.

23 A. They wore multicoloured uniforms, and they wore green bandannas

24 on their arms.

25 Q. Witness XB, can you assist the Trial Chamber with the physical

Page 1642

1 appearance of these soldiers.

2 A. They sported long beards. Among them there were black men and

3 there were also foreign citizens.

4 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber for how long did this

5 shooting last.

6 A. This shooting lasted for a couple of hours.

7 Q. And would you be able to assist us, if at the time the attack was

8 taking place on you, if there were other simultaneous attacks in other

9 areas as well.

10 A. Yes. The attack started simultaneously at Cukle, Brajkovici,

11 Guca Gora, Grahovcici, Rudnik. All these are villages with Croatian

12 population.

13 Q. Thank you. And in your opinion, how would you describe these

14 attacks?

15 A. The attacks started by mortar fire, continued with small-arms

16 fire -- rifle fire, that is.

17 Q. Witness XB, did it appear to you that these were ad hoc attacks,

18 or did it appear to you as a well-planned attack? How did it appear to

19 you?

20 A. These attacks were well-planned ahead.

21 Q. For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you tell us why you

22 said that they were well planned.

23 A. Because within the space of only one day, a lot of Croatian

24 population was expelled from Travnik municipality. The town of Travnik

25 fell that day.

Page 1643

1 Q. Thank you. And during the attack, did you leave the village of

2 Postinje?

3 A. During the attack, we withdrew to Maljine village because we

4 could not stay in Postinje.

5 Q. Did the Bosnian Muslim army advance towards you on your way to

6 Maljine?

7 A. Yes, they did.

8 Q. And during that time, did you experience any encounter with the

9 army of any sort?

10 A. No, we did not have any encounters, because we were withdrawing

11 and they were following us.

12 Q. Kindly tell the Trial Chamber where did you go to once you got to

13 Maljine.

14 A. Once we arrived in Maljine, there was a house there. I don't

15 know what to call that house. It was like a headquarters, and it was

16 there in case somebody was wounded. That's where we came. We came to

17 that house.

18 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber how many of you were in this

19 group at that time.

20 A. About ten or so.

21 Q. And would you be able to assist us with the ethnic background of

22 the members of that group?

23 A. We were all Croats.

24 Q. Would you be able to tell the Trial Chamber where were the other

25 members of the original group? Where did they go to?

Page 1644

1 A. They all arrived in Maljine village. But we were not all

2 together.

3 Q. Once you got to the house that you described for us in Maljine,

4 could you tell us who you met there.

5 A. In the house, there were a lot of women, children, elderly

6 people.

7 Q. Were there any wounded people in this house?

8 A. Only one.

9 Q. Witness XB, did there come a time when anybody asked you to

10 surrender?

11 A. Yes. The BH Army was on surrounding -- on the surrounding hills.

12 We couldn't stay there, and we simply had to surrender.

13 Q. And how did you surrender?

14 A. A lady put up a white flag through a window, and that's how we

15 surrendered.

16 Q. Tell us what transpired after you surrendered.

17 A. After we surrendered, the soldiers put their arms in one place.

18 Then the BH Army troops came, and they separated women and children from

19 the soldiers.

20 Q. Why do you say that these soldiers were soldiers of the

21 7th Muslim Brigade of the BiH Brigade?

22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to the

23 transcript, the witness didn't mention the 7th Muslim Brigade in his

24 testimony.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right. He has

Page 1645

1 answered, but he never mentioned the 7th Brigade. He has mentioned the

2 BH Army, the Muslim army, but the 7th Brigade has never been mentioned in

3 the testimony so far. So your objection is correct. It doesn't appear

4 in the transcript.

5 Can you please rephrase your question, and bear in mind that the

6 witness has never mentioned the 7th Brigade up to now.

7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: My apologies, Mr. President. I stand

8 corrected.

9 Q. Witness, why do you say that the soldiers were members of the BH

10 Army?

11 A. Because in Travnik municipality and the entire area, there was

12 the 7th Muslim Brigade.

13 Q. At this time, Witness, were you able to recognise any other army

14 personnel?

15 A. No, I wasn't.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At this stage the Judges would

17 like to ask you how come you recognised these people as members of the

18 7th Brigade? What made you think that?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had insignia. They had

20 patches on their uniforms.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you could tell by the

22 patches, by the insignia?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

24 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Much obliged.

25 Q. Having surrendered, did the BH Army soldiers do anything?

Page 1646

1 A. At that moment, they didn't do anything, when we were

2 surrendering. They didn't do anything.

3 Q. After the surrender was completed, did you go anywhere?

4 A. When the surrender was completed, they told us to start walking

5 towards Mehurici, Mehurici village, both columns, the columns containing

6 women and children and the other column containing men.

7 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what position were you in the

8 column.

9 A. I was at the end of my column.

10 Q. And, Witness XB, can you describe for the Trial Chamber what you

11 were wearing at that time.

12 A. I had a pair of jeans, a red shirt, and a vest.

13 Q. At that time, Witness XB, did you belong to any army?

14 A. No. I was 15 at the time. I couldn't belong to any army.

15 Q. Could you tell us approximately how many people were in this

16 column.

17 A. 160, I think, women, children, and able-bodied men.

18 Q. And would you be able to assist us with approximately what was

19 the ethnicity, approximately, of the members of the column?

20 A. We were all Croats.

21 Q. At that point, Witness XB, where did you think that you were

22 being escorted to?

23 A. At that moment, I thought we were being escorted to Mehurici,

24 because at the school there was some sort of headquarters or something.

25 I don't know what.

Page 1647

1 Q. On your way, were you stopped at any point? And if so, by whom?

2 A. We were stopped. Somebody ordered us to stop. A group of

3 soldiers was coming towards us from the direction of Mehurici. I don't

4 know how many of them were there in the group.

5 Q. Were you able to recognise this group of soldiers, Witness XB?

6 A. No, I wasn't.

7 Q. Could you assist the Court with the distance between Bikose and

8 Mehurici.

9 A. No, I can't tell you. I never travelled that distance before

10 this event.

11 Q. Thank you. At any time, Witness XB, on your journey to Mehurici

12 were you interrupted in any way?

13 A. Yes. We were told to stop. And when we stopped, the soldiers

14 that were coming towards us told the last column to turn around, and they

15 took the women and the children towards Mehurici.

16 Q. Kindly tell the Trial Chamber where were you taken to, you and

17 the members of your group.

18 A. We were taken to Bikose village.

19 Q. Were you arranged in any particular way?

20 A. We were walking --

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have just said

22 that you were taken to Bikose village. A little while ago you said that

23 you were 15 at that time. Which group did you belong to, the group which

24 contained women and children or the group which contained able-bodied

25 men? Where did you belong to at that time?

Page 1648

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we were captured, that's how

2 we were separated. Men were put on one side; women and children were put

3 on the other side.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what group were you put

5 with?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was put in the group with the

7 men.

8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

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15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have ordered protective

16 measures, so you -- so the name of the cousin has to be expunged from the

17 transcript, because this could serve to identify the witness. So can you

18 order this to be done.

19 May we continue, please.

20 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Much obliged.

21 Q. And at any point in time while you were walking did you receive a

22 command to stop?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Did there come a time when you stopped at all?

25 A. No, we didn't stop at all.

Page 1649

1 Q. Tell us what transpired while you were walking along the road to

2 Bikose.

3 A. As we were walking towards Bikose, we were walking normally. We

4 didn't -- were not allowed to look around too much. There were troops

5 around us. Our heads were bowed down.

6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think we may need to go

7 into closed session now.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

9 Can we go to private session, please.

10 [Private session]

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12 [Open session]

13 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: During this time, could you describe for --

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar has to confirm

15 that we are in open session.

16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.

17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: My apologies.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue.

19 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

20 Q. During this time, could you describe for the Trial Chamber how

21 you felt.

22 A. I felt confused, afraid. I don't know. I felt exasperated.

23 Q. Can you, Witness XB, tell the Trial Chamber what happened on your

24 arrival to Bikose.

25 A. When we arrived in the village of Bikose, we carried on walking

Page 1651

1 normally, and all of a sudden they started shooting at us. I lied down

2 on the ground.

3 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us what you mean when you say "they

4 started shooting at us." Could you tell us who you're referring to.

5 A. I'm referring to the members of the BH Army and the foreigners

6 who were with them.

7 Q. Could you tell us how close the members of the BH Army were to

8 you when all this shooting was going on.

9 A. They were about 15 or 20 metres away.

10 Q. And could you tell us for how long did this shooting last.

11 A. Several minutes.

12 Q. At the end of the shooting, what did you and the members of your

13 group do?

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17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're in open

18 session again, so in line 6 and 7 it's necessary to redact the reference

19 to a relative.

20 I note that in the English version no reference is made, whereas

21 there was an explicit reference in the French translation. So I assume

22 that what the witness said in B/C/S was translated into French, but it

23 doesn't appear in the English version. So no reference is made in the

24 English version; whereas, I heard the reference in French. So the

25 witness must have made a reference to his relative in his language. I

Page 1652

1 draw the attention of the Defence so this fact. So it is necessary to

2 redact this reference from the B/C/S and French version. In the English

3 version, this reference is not made.

4 Please continue.

5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Your Honour.

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8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have the same

9 problem again. Again, in the English version, no reference is made to

10 the relative; whereas, in the French version, this reference was made. I

11 assume that he must have said this in the B/C/S version, or not, unless

12 the French interpreter has added something.

13 Nothing has been added; very well. The interpreter has stated

14 that the witness did mention his relative, so it should be redacted from

15 the B/C/S and French version.

16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Much obliged, Mr. President.

17 Q. Did you go anywhere at this point in time?

18 A. Yes. I stood up. Once I'd got up, we jumped over a wall half a

19 metre high, perhaps, and we hid behind two houses.

20 Q. Could you tell us where these houses were.

21 A. When we got up -- well, the houses were in that village, the

22 village of Bikose.

23 Q. And did you move from the village of Bikose?

24 A. Yes. We set off from the village of Bikose, the five of us. We

25 descended to the village of Postinje. And from the village of Postinje,

Page 1653

1 we descended to the Bila River. That's what it's called. There was some

2 kind of a trench there, and the young men who were all wounded -- well,

3 we all went to that trench to bandage ourselves, to put bandages on.

4 Q. Thank you.

5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think we may have to go

6 into closed session at this point.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

8 Mr. Registrar, can we go into private session.

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10 [Open session]

11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

13 Q. Thank you, Witness, for appearing for the Prosecution.

14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is the

15 examination-in-chief of this witness.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 As the Trial Chamber has a few questions to ask, we'll go back

18 into private session.

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21 [Open session]

22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence may now commence

24 its cross-examination.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 1660

1 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:

2 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. XB. My name is Edina Residovic,

3 and I am Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. As the Presiding

4 Judge has already told you, I will be asking you some questions. I would

5 be grateful if you could answer them. And whenever I mention a fact that

6 might in any way help to identify you, I will attempt to go into private

7 session.

8 First of all, I would like you to answer a number of general

9 questions. Would it be correct to say that you've already given a number

10 of statements about everything that you experienced on that day?

11 A. Yes, that's correct.

12 Q. In the last statement which you gave -- that last statement was

13 given to investigators from the OTP in the year 2000 and 2001; is that

14 correct?

15 A. Yes, it is.

16 Q. In addition to that statement --

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we first go into private

18 session.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we go into

20 private session.

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14 [Open session]

15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. In the night between the 7th and the 8th of July, together with

19 some 30 villagers, you were in an old house which was used as the

20 gathering place for those people who participated in the defence of the

21 village; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. About 20 armed villagers were members of the first shift. They

24 went to their positions, and the rest of you remained in the house. Is

25 that correct?

Page 1665

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. When you heard shots early in the morning, you took your rifle

3 and went to a trench; is that correct?

4 A. I didn't have a rifle.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am turning towards the

6 Defence. The interpretation that I received in French, you asked him

7 whether he took his rifle up. To that moment, he'd never said that he

8 had a rifle. Maybe you should have asked him whether he had a rifle,

9 whether he was armed as a member of the defence of the village. In his

10 answer, he answered, "I didn't have a rifle." So can you rephrase and

11 continue.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for your

13 remark. In my cross-examination, I am putting it to the witness to

14 confirm something that he already mentioned in his statement. That's why

15 I put my question in the way that I did.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] However, I don't have this

17 statement in front of me, so when you ask your questions, I don't know

18 why you're asking it. I don't have the context that you have.

19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. The witness answered

20 as he did. I'm not going to confront him with his statement. I shall

21 move on with my questions.

22 Q. Is it true that earlier you had dugout trenches around your

23 village?

24 A. I didn't dig anything. Others did.

25 Q. Is it true that all of you from that house went to the trenches

Page 1666

1 from which you put up strong defence?

2 A. Yes, that is correct.

3 Q. Once you ran out of ammunition, a decision was made for all of

4 you to withdraw towards Maljine, which is about 2 or 3 kilometres away

5 from your village and is behind a hill that is between these two

6 villages; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Because of the hills that surround your village, you found it

9 very difficult to see what was going on in the general area from the

10 positions where you found yourself at the time; is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. The only thing that you could see from your position was that

13 there were sounds of small arms coming from all directions.

14 A. Yes. And I could also see smoke.

15 Q. So apart from the smoke, you did not see any combat activities in

16 any other part of the general area of your village; is that correct?

17 A. Yes, it is correct.

18 Q. Earlier in your testimony, when you said that the BH Army had

19 attacked Guca Gora, Ovnak, Grahovcici, and other villages, it was just an

20 assumption. You only learnt that later on.

21 A. Yes. But we didn't attack ourselves, did we?

22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we go into private session,

23 please.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have only four minutes left

25 before the next break. That means that you're going to put a number of

Page 1667

1 questions and then you're going to continue after the break.

2 Very well, then. Can we go into private session.

3 [Private session]

4 (redacted)

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Page 1668

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14 [Open session]

15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Mr. XB, you have told us that at one point you withdrew to a

18 trench. You stayed in the trench putting up fierce resistance until the

19 moment the BH Army approached --

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are still in private

21 session.

22 We are moving into open session.

23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. XB, you have told us that at one point you withdrew from the

Page 1669

1 old house to a trench, from which you put up fierce resistance. My

2 question is as follows: You stayed in the trench until the moment BH

3 Army troops approached some 100 -- a couple hundred metres away from you.

4 Is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. After that, you started walking across the hill towards Gornje

7 Maljine, and this decision was made by Predrag Puselja, who was the

8 leader of your group; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. When you arrived at the top of the hill which separates Postinje

11 from Gornje Maljine, you saw that BH Army troops were already in Gornje

12 Maljine; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Before that, because of the distance at which BH Army troops were

15 and because of the fierce fire that you were exposed, to you couldn't

16 recognise exactly which troops were in question. You only assumed that

17 those were BH Army troops. Is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. From the top of that hill, you also saw that one part of Gornje

20 Maljine was still not occupied, and that's where you headed off with your

21 column; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. There was a makeshift surgery there, so some of the soldiers from

24 your group entered that makeshift surgery; is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 1670

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Page 1671

1 Q. BH Army troops asked you to surrender your weapons. You said

2 that one woman waved a white flag as a sign that you were surrendering.

3 Is that correct?

4 A. Yes, that's correct.

5 Q. That woman --

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private

7 session.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, can we have please go to

9 private session.

10 [Private session]

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Page 1672

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Page 1673

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20 [Open session]

21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Do you have any

23 questions for this witness?

24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.

25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, given that the

Page 1674

1 witness has answered Mrs. Residovic's question and said that he wasn't

2 familiar with the organisation and structure of the BH Army and that he

3 wasn't familiar with the insignia of the BH Army, the Defence for

4 Mr. Kubura has no questions for this witness.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the Prosecution have any

6 additional questions?

7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, there'll be no re-examination

8 for this witness at this time.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness XB, thank you for

10 having come to The Hague and for having answered the questions put to you

11 by the Prosecution and the Defence. You have also answered questions put

12 to you by the Judges. We wish you a good trip home.

13 The usher will escort you out of the courtroom.

14 [The witness withdrew]

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll turn to the Prosecution.

16 We have another witness now?

17 MR. WITHOPF: Yes, Mr. President, Your Honours, we have another

18 witness.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Protective measures have been

20 requested for this witness; is that right?

21 MR. WITHOPF: That's correct, Your Honours. This is the witness

22 we discussed the protective measures yesterday evening, and the

23 protective measures have been granted as requested.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

25 Mr. Registrar, protective measures have been granted for this

Page 1675

1 second witness.

2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that as part of the

4 protective measures we will be using a pseudonym; there will be voice

5 distortion and facial distortion. Could you please remind us of the

6 protective measures that were requested.

7 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honours, we requested assignment of pseudonym.

8 We requested facial distortion. However, we did not request voice

9 distortion. And the Chamber granted pseudonym and facial distortion.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we will be using a pseudonym

11 and there will be facial distortion. As far as the technical measures

12 are concerned, there shouldn't be any problems, since we've already had

13 facial distortion for the previous witness. So the technical measures

14 taken should be the same.

15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll call the witness into the

17 courtroom, but we will go into private session.

18 [Private session]

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Page 1676

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Page 1677

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11 [Open session]

12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness XC, you will now have

14 to answer the questions put to you by the Prosecution over to your right.

15 After they have concluded their examination-in-chief, the Defence for the

16 accused, who are to your left, will also ask you some questions and the

17 three Judges, who are before you, may ask you questions, if necessary.

18 Try to answer the questions as extensively as possible. And if there is

19 a question that you fail to understand, ask the person who is putting the

20 question to you to ask you the question again.

21 It's 12.33. We'll be working until 1.45 without a break. So if

22 the Prosecution wants to avoid calling this witness tomorrow, I would

23 like to ask the Prosecution to proceed rapidly, to the extent that this

24 is possible. Otherwise, the witness will have to appear tomorrow.

25 Mr. Withopf, you may take the floor.

Page 1678

1 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, it can be anticipated

2 that the examination-in-chief will not last longer than 1 hour and 30

3 minutes. However, anticipating some questions in cross-examination, I

4 think it cannot be avoided to recall this witness tomorrow morning. I

5 will, however, focus my question -- my questions to the highest extent

6 possible.

7 May I please ask you, Mr. President, to go back in private

8 session, since the likely answers to my very first questions may contain

9 some identifying features.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll go into private session.

11 [Private session]

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Page 1679

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Page 1680

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24 [Open session]

25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

Page 1681

1 MR. WITHOPF:

2 Q. Witness XC, did there come a time when you noticed foreigners

3 arriving in the area you used to live in 1992?

4 A. Yes. That's something I noticed around the month of July 1992.

5 Q. These foreigners you noticed arriving in the month of July 1992,

6 what sort of foreigners were they?

7 A. On the whole, they were from Arab countries. They were different

8 from us. We would see them at the market in Mehurici when we went there,

9 but on the whole they were from Arab countries.

10 Q. They were different from you. Can you please go into some sort

11 of more detail. What were the differences?

12 A. Well, the colour of their skin was different and the clothes they

13 wore on the whole. When they would go to the market, they were wearing

14 these long robes, white ones and black ones. Those sort of things. That

15 was at the beginning, when they first started arriving.

16 Q. Witness XC, after you noticed them arriving, do you know where

17 these foreigners were living?

18 A. Most of these foreigners that arrived in my village stayed in

19 Serbian houses, as far as I know. Those Serbs had moved out, and the

20 village was Poljanice. Many came and got married very quickly, and

21 that's how they found their accommodation. In any case, they were

22 concentrated in Gornje Poljanice village while we were still in that

23 area.

24 Q. Were these foreigners also seen in Mehurici?

25 A. Yes. At that time, I would often take my mother-in-law to

Page 1682

1 Travnik to the hospital there, and I would see them around the hospital

2 in Travnik. We saw them in various places. Everybody who resided in the

3 area could see them. They didn't hide their presence. Everybody knew

4 that they were there.

5 Q. At that point in time, was there a certain word you used in order

6 to refer to such foreigners?

7 A. We used the term that the local Bosniak Muslims gave them. They

8 called them Mujahedins. I didn't know what the meaning of that word was.

9 I believe that it means a holy warrior or something like that. Before

10 that, I didn't even hear this name.

11 Q. You were mentioning just a few seconds ago that you have seen

12 many of such Mujahedin in the area of Mehurici and also in the area of

13 Travnik. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber in more detail about

14 the number of such Mujahedin you have seen arriving in mid of 1992 in

15 that area.

16 A. At the beginning, there were not many of them arriving. I

17 wouldn't be able to give you the exact number, because I was never aware

18 that I would ever have to discuss that in this place here. However, as

19 the conflict progressed, as the war progressed, their numbers increased.

20 Q. These Mujahedin, did they have arms?

21 A. Yes. They had pistols and automatic rifles.

22 I would like to add to that that while I was detained - it

23 occurred to me to only mention this yesterday - we detainees worked. And

24 at one point a group of Mujahedins came. One of them had a sword which

25 he was waving some 30 or 40 metres away from us. And that was already

Page 1683

1 when -- during the time of conflict. Up to that moment, I had never seen

2 that kind of a weapon. It was some sort of a short sword.

3 Q. These Mujahedin, did they wear uniforms or something similar to a

4 uniform?

5 A. Yes. They wore uniforms. They wore white robes. Some had

6 uniforms. It varied.

7 Q. The Mujahedin in Mehurici, what did they do in 1992 after they

8 had arrived?

9 A. Having arrived in Mehurici, these Mujahedins rallied local Muslim

10 population around themselves, asking them to join their movement. They

11 had training in the village. We had problems with that, because my

12 village, Postinje, is in such a position that there is no other road

13 through the village but the road leading to our village. They would come

14 to our village, the locals and the Mujahedins. There would be two or

15 three Mujahedins and the local Muslims would be running after them

16 shouting "Tekbir, Allah." They would be passing through the village. I

17 don't know what their intent was when they were passing through the

18 village. I didn't see any need for them going through the village.

19 Our local guys took some of the people from some international

20 organisations to a place above Mehurici, where they were in training.

21 The local young Bosniak and Muslims who wanted to join their group were

22 trained. I know a colleague of mine from work. His son, who was not

23 even 18 when he joined the movement, was killed while he was fighting on

24 their side. This is the kind of people that these Mujahedins took under

25 their wing.

Page 1684

1 Q. Witness XC, you were telling us that the Mujahedin had training

2 in the village. What sort of training are you referring to?

3 A. They would just run through the village. They would go to the

4 far end of the village. And then they would come back. It was probably

5 some sort of physical training. Why did they choose a Croat village to

6 run through it? One could only guess. And I believe that this was just

7 to intimidate the population who resided in that village. There were

8 other villages which would have been much more conducive to their

9 training than our village, with only one road through it.

10 Q. This training you are detailing, do you recall the time as to

11 when it actually happened?

12 A. The first time this happened was in September, and then a

13 neighbour of mine and I went to the police to ask them to prevent that,

14 because people were scared. However, this continued for a while. And

15 later on, I remember that I was on my way to the defence line on Mount

16 Vlasic. It was in the morning. And again, I heard shouts through the

17 village. This could have been in February of the same year. So they

18 started their exercises to the village again.

19 Q. For clarification, the village you are referring to, which one is

20 it?

21 (redacted)

22 Q. Witness XC, moving on to April and May 1993, how would you

23 describe the relationship between the Croats and the -- the Croats, on

24 the one-hand side, and the Muslims, on the other-hand side, in the area

25 your military unit was based at this point in time?

Page 1685

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Page 1686

1 A. To be honest, up to that moment the relationship was not bad.

2 This is all very close. In April 1993, together with my squad, I was on

3 my way to the line on Mount Vlasic, and we were together, us and the BH

4 Army. This was the line facing the Serbs. And around the 11th of April

5 we received our information that the bridge in Sarici had been mined.

6 Since there are very few of us in the village, a colleague of mine and I

7 were ordered to go back to the village and stand guard because the

8 situation had already -- getting to be rather complicated at the time.

9 From that moment up to the moment of the first conflict, we had

10 village guards to provide security for the village. And up to the moment

11 of the open conflict, there were minor provocations from their side. We

12 complained, to no avail.

13 Q. You're making reference to the moment the conflict started. When

14 actually did the conflict start?

15 A. The conflict started on the 8th of June. And I'm referring to

16 the attack on our village and other villages. Three days before that,

17 some Croat houses in Barici village were set on fire. This village had

18 been abandoned. Nobody was guarding it. One night one stable was set on

19 fire and then a house, a house whose owner was Franjo Bobas. And then a

20 day or two before the open conflict, they started opening sniper fire on

21 our village.

22 On the 5th or 6th of June, a villager from another village was

23 wounded on the way to my house. He was not armed. It was in the

24 morning. They opened fire on him. He was wounded in the leg, and he

25 lost his leg. The real conflict, the attack, started about half past

Page 1687

1 3.00 in the morning. I was standing guard until 3.00 in the morning.

2 Q. Witness XC, we will come to these details in a few seconds,

3 please.

4 You're making reference to the 8th of June. Just for

5 clarification, are we talking about the 8th of June, 1993?

6 A. Yes, that is the year.

7 Q. All right. And you were mentioning that a few days prior to the

8 8th of June, 1993 "they started sniper fire." Do you have any knowledge

9 as to who "they" actually were?

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted). From those trenches, they

12 opened sniper fire. They could have been either locals or somebody else.

13 They were standing guard there. They were the ones who opened sniper

14 fire. We couldn't see them.

15 Q. You were mentioning, Witness XC, that the real conflict, the

16 attack started about half past 3.00 in the morning. What day are we

17 talking about?

18 A. This was on the 8th of June, I believe.

19 Q. And where have you been at this point in time on the 8th of June,

20 1993?

21 A. I was on duty, standing guard up to 3.00 in the morning. Then I

22 went to catch a short nap. I was replaced by my father. He woke me up

23 about half past 3.00. He told me that we were to withdraw because an

24 attack had started and that we were to withdraw towards Maljine village.

25 Q. All right. And where have you been on duty at 3.00 in the

Page 1688

1 morning? In which area?

2 A. I was in my village, by my house. I was patrolling. That's all

3 we did. That was our duty. We patrolled the village. We did not have

4 any trenches in my village. We only had one trench above my village, and

5 that was just in case of an attack, to be able to pull out the civilians.

6 And that was all.

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are in open session, and the

13 name of your village might identify you. I'm going to ask Mr. Registrar

14 to have this name redacted from the transcript.

15 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you, Mr. President.

16 Q. On the 8th of June, 1993, at 3.00 in the morning, do you know

17 which army attacked your village?

18 A. When I arrived in Maljine, our village had been attacked from the

19 direction of Mehurici. I wasn't able to tell which army was there at the

20 time, but I believe that it was the 306th Mountain Brigade together with

21 the 7th Muslim Brigade. Because it was not only my village that had been

22 attacked but also the villages of Orasac, Cukle, Grahovcici, Bukovica,

23 Guca Gora, Radonjici, Rudnik, Rudnik Bila, Podovi; all of the villages

24 which had been inhabited by Croats.

25 Q. The two military units you were just referring to - namely, the

Page 1689

1 306th Mountain Brigade and the 7th Muslim Brigade - to which army did

2 they belong to on the 8th of June, 1993?

3 A. Most probably to the BH Army. I don't know whether the 7th Corps

4 had already been established. I was -- I am not aware of that. And as

5 for this mountain brigade, whether it belonged to the Zenica Corps, I

6 wouldn't know. They are probably -- not probably, as a matter of fact.

7 They are most certainly parts of the BH Army.

8 Q. For clarification, Witness XC: So the 7th Muslim Mountain

9 Brigade and the 306th Mountain Brigade were for certain part of the BiH

10 army?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. What made you believe, Witness XC, that it was the 7th Muslim

13 Mountain Brigade and the 306th Mountain Brigade which was attacking the

14 area you were just describing?

15 A. Because the headquarters of the 306th Brigade was in Mehurici,

16 and this is where the attack was launched from. This brigade was mostly

17 composed by people from Krajina who had been expelled from Banja Luka,

18 Prijedor. So refugees and locals who belonged to the BH Army.

19 Q. You were just mentioning that you were forced to retreat, forced

20 by the BiH army. Whilst you were retreating, did you hear the members of

21 the BiH army shouting anything? And if so, what did they shout?

22 A. Yes. I withdrew towards Maljine. I saw the village of Bikose, a

23 Croat village, on fire. They arrived as far as our position, ask they

24 shouted "Tekbir," "Allah-U-Ekber," and similar things. I waited for my

25 father there. I saw that I couldn't pass through there. I lowered

Page 1690

1 myself down. (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 Q. Did there come a time, Witness XC, when you have been arrested on

5 the 8th of June, 1993?

6 A. Yes. It was sometime in the afternoon, around 2.00, when the

7 situation quietened down. It had started raining. After 2.00, they

8 started walking through the village. I noticed a group coming towards

9 the cowshed. There were three or four young men in the group. Among

10 them was an acquaintance of mine, a Bosniak, a Muslim. Together with my

11 father, we decided not to shoot but, rather, to surrender.

12 Q. Can you please briefly describe, Witness XC, as to how you

13 surrendered.

14 A. I called out to them. I shouted at them, "We are here. We are

15 willing to surrender." And then this acquaintance of mine, whose name I

16 mentioned while I was shouting, he told us, "Come out with your hands up

17 in the air. Throw out your weapons." (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber as to whom you

21 surrendered, meaning the army to which you surrendered, and if you know,

22 the military unit.

23 A. I knew this guy. They had white bandannas around their heads.

24 They were probably members of the BH Army. One of them wore the insignia

25 of the 7th Muslim Brigade, so I assume that all of them were members of

Page 1691

1 that brigade. Later on another man from the group, a neighbour of mine

2 whom I didn't recognise at first, told me later on that they were BH Army

3 members. The guy who bore the 7th Brigade insignia, whether he was its

4 member or not, I don't know, because in our parts everybody could wear

5 any uniform. There was no law and order that forbade that.

6 On one of the members of the BH Army, I even saw a helmet with a

7 chequer-board insignia that he must have taken from one of our fallen

8 soldiers. It was very hard to know just looking at people which unit

9 they belonged to.

10 Q. After you surrendered, what did happen to you and the others?

11 A. When we came out of the cowshed, one of them started provoking

12 us. He started shouting, "They should be killed." And this guy, whom I

13 knew, wouldn't allow the others to do that. They escorted us through the

14 Croatian village. And as we were in the middle of Donje Maljine, which

15 was a Bosniak Muslim village, we came as far as that.

16 And then a man with somewhat darker skin was waiting for us

17 there. At first I thought that he was a Mujahedin, because he sported a

18 long beard and he bore the insignia of the 7th Muslim Brigade. He was

19 from Bukovica. He started beating me. I still have a scar. And then my

20 father shouted, "Don't do that. He is a father of several children."

21 Some other people came to my rescue. And then this guy stopped beating

22 me. Later on I learned that his name was Hadzija and that he was from

23 Bukovica village.

24 From there they took us to a building which was still under

25 construction. This building had a garage. This is a building in Maljine

Page 1692

1 which is currently inhabited by the local hodza. This is where they took

2 us and they kept us there for a while. Soldiers who would enter that

3 building would beat us and kick us. Some of them did; some didn't.

4 Then our neighbours realised that we were not safe there, and

5 then they took us into the Prcanovic house, to the basement of that

6 house, and this is where we came under the protection of one of our

7 neighbours. He was to protect us until the moment our further destiny

8 would be decided.

9 Q. Who was actually taking you from the one house to the next house,

10 and who was making the decisions?

11 A. There was a man called Taracija. He also had a beard. He told

12 us to find a better shelter, to avoid any bigger problems.

13 Q. Did there come a time when you have been brought to Mehurici?

14 A. Yes. This was about 4.00 or 5.00. A car came by. It was a TAM

15 with a canvas cover. They gave us two escorts, and they transported us

16 towards Mehurici.

17 Q. Once you arrived in Mehurici on the 8th of June, 1993, where have

18 you been brought to?

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 Q. Can I just interrupt you here for a second, Witness XC.

Page 1693

1 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm now going to show

2 Witness XC via Sanction a photograph.

3 Q. Witness XC, do you see a photograph on the screen in front of

4 you?

5 A. Yes, I can see it. That's the school.

6 MR. WITHOPF: For the record, this is Prosecution Exhibit P28.

7 Q. Can you please tell us what you can see on this photograph.

8 A. I can see the primary school in Mehurici, from the front.

9 Q. Is this the Mehurici Elementary School you have been brought to

10 at the evening of the 8th of June, 1993?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You were mentioning a sports hall. Was it the sports hall of

13 this Mehurici Elementary School?

14 A. Yes, it was.

15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I'm now going to show

16 via Sanction Witness XC a further photograph. This photograph is

17 Prosecution Exhibit P29.

18 Q. Witness XC, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can

19 see on this photograph.

20 A. I can see the sports hall of the primary school in Mehurici.

21 Q. Is this the sports hall you have been brought to on 8th of June,

22 1993?

23 A. Yes, that's where we -- that's where they took me.

24 Q. Did you voluntarily go to this sports hall?

25 A. No, I didn't. They simply took us to the sports hall. And as I

Page 1694

1 have said a while ago, there were over 200 civilians, women, children,

2 elderly people, and so on. They were all civilians who had been taken

3 captive in Maljine.

4 Q. You were mentioning the names -- not the names, sorry -- the

5 number of the people which you found in this sports hall. Is it your

6 recollection about 200 persons?

7 A. Perhaps 200. Perhaps more. Something like that. But the hall

8 was full.

9 Q. The about 200 persons you've seen in the sports hall of the

10 Mehurici Elementary School, did they volunteer to be in the Mehurici

11 Elementary School?

12 A. No. None of us volunteered to go there. These people all

13 surrendered. They were mostly civilians. There were some soldiers too.

14 But most of the soldiers suffered the fate that they suffered. They were

15 taken to this sports hall. Some people stayed on. (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It's necessary to

20 redact line 17, which would make it possible to identify the witness,

21 since he has mentioned his grandfather.

22 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much.

23 Q. Once you arrived at the Mehurici Elementary School, did you

24 notice anything at the building of the Mehurici Elementary School?

25 A. Well, at the beginning, at the front of the school there was a

Page 1695

1 big black Mujahedin flag on this window here, and lower down there was --

2 there were some beams, wooden beams that had been placed there as

3 protection from mines or grenades, something like that. And on the third

4 window here, there was a black flag. There must have been some sort of a

5 Mujahedin command there.

6 (redacted)

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9 (redacted)

10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We're still in open

12 session. It would have been better if we had gone into private session.

13 So let's go into private session.

14 [Private session]

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24 [Open session]

25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.

Page 1702

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're in open

3 session.

4 Mr. Withopf.

5 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, may I please suggest to go back in

6 private session, since I wish to inform both the Trial Chamber and

7 Defence counsel about the witness schedule for tomorrow, Thursday, and

8 Friday.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll go back into private

10 session.

11 [Private session]

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13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,

14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of

15 January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.

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