1 Wednesday, 19th August 1998
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
8 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic,
9 Vladimir Santic, also known as "Vlado."
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Mr. Moskowitz,
11 before we start, do you mind if I, first of all, thank
12 Mr. Krajina for kindly drawing our attention yesterday
13 to the need to put the record straight.
14 Actually, I checked the transcript, which I
15 got this morning, and it is not very clear what the
16 witness said about Vlatko Kupreskic. Actually, in
17 English, it is very clear that you have the feeling
18 that he said that he saw Vlatko Kupreskic.
19 So I think, again, Mr. Krajina is right, we
20 should probably put it straight, and I wonder whether
21 Mr. Moskowitz could ask a question at this point to the
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Mr. President, and, in
24 fact, at the break yesterday afternoon, after hearing
25 from Mr. Krajina, I spoke briefly with the witness, and
1 he immediately said that he had simply misspoken and
2 wanted to make the record straight, and so we intend to
3 do that first thing this morning.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I proceed?
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you.
8 WITNESS: ABDULAH AHMIC
9 Examined by Mr. Moskowitz (continued):
10 Q. Yes, Mr. Ahmic, you told me yesterday that
11 you wanted to set the record straight on a misstatement
12 that you had made about Vlatko Kupreskic. Essentially,
13 you said that while you were in the ditch on April
14 16th, 1993, and you were seeing various waves of
15 soldiers coming through Ahmici, that two of those
16 soldiers you recognised in particular, Blazo Tutic and
17 Safradin Ivica, and that you said that they had some
18 sort of relationship with Vlatko Kupreskic.
19 Now, let me ask you. Did you, in fact, see
20 Vlatko Kupreskic at that time in Ahmici while you were
21 in the ditch?
22 A. I made a mistake. I mentioned Vlatko
23 Kupreskic. It's on the record. I was thinking of
24 Zoran and Miro Kupreskic because they were working in
25 Masinogradnja, the factory where I used to work. I
1 didn't see Vlatko that morning.
2 Q. Let me further clarify. You are not saying
3 and you did not mean to say that you saw Vlatko, Zoran,
4 or Mirjan that day; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's correct. I only said that
6 they used to work with the two men I saw. They used to
7 work in that company.
8 Q. So you were merely saying that these two
9 people, Blazo Tutic and Safradin Ivica, were co-workers
10 with Zoran and Mirjan, and your mistake was that you
11 had said that they were co-workers with Vlatko. That's
12 what you intended to convey yesterday; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes. Yes, that's it.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: And we do apologise for that
16 Q. I also want to clarify and make sure we have
17 clear on the record one other thing that you testified
18 to yesterday, and this is an incident that occurred the
19 night before, on April 15, 1993, when you were at your
20 uncle Sakib's house and you were walking out of his
21 house that evening to return to your home when you
22 overheard a conversation between Ivo Papic and his son
23 Dragan Papic.
24 Please tell us, at approximately what time in
25 the evening you overheard that conversation between
1 those two people?
2 A. It was at about 10.00 p.m.
3 Q. That would be on July 15th, 1993 -- I'm
4 sorry, April 15th, 1993.
5 A. Yes, the 15th of April.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you. At this point, I
7 would ask the usher's assistance in handing a series of
8 photographs to Mr. Ahmic in the order that I'm
9 presenting them to the usher so that he can briefly
10 identify the photographs and tell us about them in a
11 manner that might illustrate his testimony of
13 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, Exhibit 28 is now on the
17 machine next to you. Could you briefly tell us what
18 that shows?
19 A. It shows the mosque in the lower village of
20 Ahmici before the attack on the 28th of October, 1992.
21 Q. So that's the way the mosque looked before it
22 was damaged in 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Can we have the next
25 photograph, please?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
4 Q. Could you tell us what that shows? This is
5 Exhibit 29.
6 A. This shows the damaged mosque after the
7 attack on the 28th of October, and the greatest damage
8 was at the top, and this was done, as we learned from
9 Croatian services, by Nenad Santic, who shot from a gun
10 from Zume -- recoilless gun.
11 Q. I believe you referred to the attack in
12 October --
13 A. Yes, in October 1992.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Can we have the next
15 photograph, please?
16 Q. Before we remove that photograph. Does this
17 picture portray the entire damage done to the minaret
18 during the attack in October 1992, or was there more
19 damage done that this picture does not show?
20 A. Yes, there was more damage, as I've already
21 said. The top was damaged and some roof tiles were
22 broken, but you can't see that from this angle. It is
23 probably on the other side.
24 Q. The minaret in October 1992 was not taken
25 down, though, was it?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Was this damage that you see and the other
3 damage that you've described repaired between the two
4 attacks, between 1992 and the attack in April 1993?
5 A. Yes, it was repaired.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
10 Q. Could you tell us what Exhibit number 30
11 shows, Mr. Ahmic?
12 A. This shows the house of Dragan Papic and Ivo
14 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that before the
15 attack in April of '93, you witnessed an anti-aircraft
16 gun on the back of a truck in the vicinity of the Papic
17 house and that you saw Dragan Papic on that truck using
18 the weapon, and could you point for us where you saw
19 that anti-aircraft gun in relation to the Papic house?
20 A. It was here, in this yard. This is where the
21 road passes, and it was here (indicating).
22 Q. You're pointing to an area alongside the
23 Papic house looking like the driveway area of the Papic
24 house; is that right?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, please?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Now, this is Exhibit 31. For
5 the benefit of the Court, it is a blow-up area of the
6 large map, focusing now in Ahmici on what Colonel
7 Watters described as the turnaround area in the centre
8 of the village.
9 Q. Before we came to court, you placed some
10 circles around some various landmarks and houses in
11 that area, Mr. Ahmic. Are those circles approximately
12 or exactly where you want them to be?
13 JUDGE MAY: Can we have a copy, please, of
14 this, Mr. Moskowitz, so we can mark it?
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Before the evidence is given.
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour. May I
18 proceed, Mr. President?
19 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, are those circles around the
20 landmarks that you provided us prior to coming to court
22 A. Yes, yes, they correspond.
23 Q. Now, looking at the number 55 on the map,
24 could you tell us, if you can, what house that is?
25 A. The house of ^ Sukrija Ahmic which, on the
1 morning of the attack, I saw burning first.
2 Q. Could you tell us whether Sukrija was killed
3 during the attack on April 16, if you know?
4 A. Yes, he was killed.
5 Q. His wife is ^ Sadeta, is she not?
6 A. Yes, and he had three daughters.
7 Q. They survived; is that correct?
8 A. Yes. I'm not sure that his wife's name is
9 Sadeta, but I know that he had three daughters.
10 Q. Now, turning to the circle marked "J," could
11 you tell us whose house that is, if you know?
12 A. This is the house of Ivica Kupreskic.
13 Q. Now, before the attack in April of 1993, is
14 that the house where you witnessed materials being
15 loaded and unloaded into that basement of that house?
16 A. Yes, this is where materials were unloaded
17 into the cellar of that house, yes, that's exact.
18 Q. Could you tell us, to the best of your
19 ability, what kinds of materials you observed being
20 unloaded into the basement of House J, Ivica
21 Kupreskic's house?
22 A. These were crates, probably wooden crates,
23 quite long, military crates. You could see that.
24 Q. Did you notice the kind of truck that was
25 being used to unload the crates into the basement of
1 that house, if you recall?
2 A. It was quite a big military truck. It was
3 green. It was a military truck with four-wheel drive.
4 Q. Now, across from House J, there's a circle
5 labelled "C." Do you see that? And could you tell us
6 whose house that is, if you know?
7 A. This house belongs to Zoran Kupreskic.
8 Q. And right behind House C is House D, or a
9 circled marked "D." Whose house would that be?
10 A. The house belongs to Miro Kupreskic and his
12 Q. Miro and Zoran, what is their relationship to
13 each other, if you know?
14 A. They are brothers.
15 Q. Now, do you see on this blow-up an area that
16 would correspond to the house of Vlatko Kupreskic?
17 A. I think it could be here. This is their old
18 house, and this should be Vlatko's new house.
19 Q. You say "their old house." Is that the house
20 that was occupied by Vlatko's father ^ Fanjo?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you take the red marker in front of you
23 and, to the best of your ability, and I know this is a
24 bit of a fuzzy picture, but approximately mark by a
25 circle where you think Vlatko's house is in this
1 photograph or blow-up, Exhibit 31?
2 A. (Marks)
3 Q. Finally, there's an area marked "K." Could
4 you tell us what that represents?
5 A. It's a warehouse and shop belonging to Vlatko
7 Q. Now, do you see that white area in front of
8 "K," Mr. Ahmic? Do you see that?
9 A. I can see it.
10 Q. Back in 1993, was that white area, in your
11 recollection, as large as it is in that photograph?
12 A. Vlatko Kupreskic levelled the ground with a
13 bulldozer. There used to be a hill there. He
14 destroyed a field belonging to Hazim Ahmic, and he
15 pushed all the soil there.
16 Q. So back in April of 1993, there wasn't such a
17 large white area in front of "K" and in front of Vlatko
18 Kupreskic's house; is that a fair statement?
19 A. No, there was only an asphalt road there, and
20 there was a hill there.
21 Q. Finally, before we leave this, has there
22 been, to your knowledge, some additional construction
23 next to the area that you've described as a store, I
24 believe, designated as "K" on this map? Has there been
25 additional construction since April of 1993?
1 A. As I learned, and once I passed through and I
2 saw that probably during the war, a much bigger
3 warehouse had been built, twice as big as the old one,
4 a much bigger warehouse has been built there.
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ: If we could now move to the
6 next photograph?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
10 Q. Exhibit number 32 is a photograph,
11 Mr. Ahmic. Do you know this house?
12 A. This is the house belonging to Vlatko
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, if you
16 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
19 Q. Exhibit 33 is also a photograph. Could you
20 tell us what that shows, Mr. Ahmic?
21 A. It shows this is the old warehouse of Vlatko
22 Kupreskic and this is the new one, part of the new
23 one. It's much bigger than the old one.
24 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Again, the old warehouse is
25 marked "K" on that blow-up map that we've just looked
2 Next photograph, please?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
6 Q. Exhibit 34 is also a photograph. It shows
7 two houses. Could you identify those houses, if you
8 would, please?
9 A. This house belongs to Zoran Kupreskic and
10 this house belongs to Ivica Kupreskic (indicating).
11 Q. Could you point that out again? I actually
12 missed where you were pointing as you were describing
14 A. This house belongs to Zoran Kupreskic and
15 this other house belongs to Ivica Kupreskic
17 Q. Again, it was Ivica Kupreskic's house that
18 you observed the unloading of what you believed to be
19 materiel, military materials, prior to the attack in
20 April of 1993; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Now, not shown in this picture is another
23 house behind Zoran Kupreskic's house. It is blocked by
24 Zoran Kupreskic's house. What house is behind Zoran
25 Kupreskic's house?
1 A. The house behind this should be the house of
2 Miro Kupreskic and his father, here behind this house
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, please?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
8 Q. Again, Exhibit 35 now shows a photograph of a
9 house. Whose house is this?
10 A. The house belongs to Miro Kupreskic and his
11 father, Ante. They lived here.
12 Q. Again, this is the house just behind Zoran's
13 house on that road; that's correct, right?
14 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, please?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: If we can have the ELMO maybe
19 back up a little bit so we can get the whole picture?
20 Yes. Thank you very much.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you tell us what is
22 displayed in this exhibit?
23 A. This is the house to which I was brought when
24 Ivo and Simo brought me to this house here. This is
25 the main road. So it's the third house. It's this
1 house when you go in this direction (indicating).
2 Q. So when you testified yesterday that you were
3 walked down the main road to Santici and then taken to
4 the third house off the main road, that's the house you
5 were referring to?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next picture, please?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
10 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
11 Q. Now, Exhibit 37 has been placed on the
12 machine. It is a photograph of a young man. Who is
14 A. This is my brother, Muris.
15 Q. And he died on the morning of April 16th,
17 A. Yes, yes. I've already talked about that.
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes. Next picture, please?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
22 Q. Exhibit 38 depicts a woman. Who is this?
23 A. This is my mother when she was a girl. I
24 didn't have a recent photograph of her.
25 Q. Did she survive the attack on Ahmici in 1993?
1 A. No, she didn't. She was killed. She was
2 killed together with my sisters.
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Next photograph, please?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
7 Q. Could you tell us who is in that photograph?
8 A. This is my sister, Alma, the youngest. This
9 is she (indicating). And my cousin, Samir, who was
10 also killed on the 16th of April, '93. And this is my
11 relative, she used to live in Vitez, and I don't know
12 who the other two children are.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you have a -- I believe you
14 testified that when you left the house, your mother and
15 your sisters were still in the house. Do you have a
16 theory as to what happened to them?
17 A. Yes.
18 A. The first thing I heard, on the 17th of April
19 -- I'm sorry, the microphone was off -- as I've
20 already said, I understood that she was still alive,
21 and when Ivo Papic was taking me toward the place in
22 Zume, he told me he had taken my mother and my sisters
23 to the Bosnian lines, and that they had taken two cows
24 and a calf which we had, and I thanked him.
25 However, when I managed to get out into the
1 territory controlled by the Bosniaks, I learned that my
2 mother had not come out of there, and I learned that on
3 the television, CNN report had been shown where Bob
4 Stewart, an English Colonel, said that a woman with her
5 daughters had been killed in a house in Ahmici, and
6 they showed two charred male corpses, and in the
7 translation it said that these are the father and son
8 who are probably trying to protect the mother and
9 daughters who are in the cellar. However, a maniac
10 killed them and then he rushed into the cellar and
11 killed the women and the daughters and threw bombs,
12 and poured gasoline over all this and set it on fire.
13 I think that -- I blame Zoran Kupreskic
14 exclusively for these events, because he was in that
15 area as a kind of commander and he was leading the
16 people in that area.
17 Later on, a commission went to this village,
18 together with UNPROFOR, and they found charred bones.
19 This was then put into bags and buried in Grabovi, in
20 the cemetery as unidentified victims. I know that
21 later on the woman who was killed in Ahmici was not
22 killed together with several of her daughters, but I
23 still believe that this could only have been my mother,
24 based on Colonel Stewart's statement, but Ivo told me
25 that Ivo had taken them there, that he had taken
1 them -- I don't know exactly to which location, and I
2 don't know exactly who he turned them over to. I'm
3 referring to Ivo Papic.
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. Ahmic.
5 At this point I would turn the witness over
6 to the defence.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, may I ask you
8 a question? Since the witness has mentioned one or two
9 accused, do you intend to have him identify those
10 particular accused? In particular I'm thinking of
11 Mr. Dragan Papic.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I can do that, certainly.
13 Q. Mr. Ahmic, do you see Dragan Papic in court
14 here today, the Dragan you have referred to in your
16 A. Yes. Dragan Papic is sitting in the last
17 row. He has a beard.
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I think the record should
19 reflect that he has identified Dragan Papic.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I now turn to
21 Mr. Pavkovic to ask him whether he has consulted with
22 the other legal counsel so that he may tell us who is
23 going to cross-examine the witness. Mr. Pavkovic, I
24 hope you don't mind if each time I turn to you, because
25 you can tell us how many legal counsel are going to
1 cross-examine the witness each time.
2 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
3 My colleagues have decided that almost every single one
4 will conduct a cross-examination of Mr. Ahmic. Some of
5 us will do this over a longer period of time and some,
6 if that is necessary, may follow up very briefly, but I
7 would like to announce that all of the Defence counsel
8 will take part in the cross-examination. Of course,
9 taking into account the time that we have available, we
10 will make sure that we do not repeat any questions, but
11 with your permission, I would now like to turn the
12 floor over to Madam Glumac, and she is going to start
13 the cross-examination of Mr. Ahmic.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mrs. Glumac
15 Cross-examined by Ms. Glumac:
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ahmic, I am Jadranka
18 Slokovic-Glumac. I am Defence counsel for Zoran and
19 Mirjan Kupreskic. I'm going to ask you several
20 questions regarding the events to which you have
21 already testified for the Prosecution, and this is just
22 to clarify certain situations. Let's start with the
23 conflict of 20th October, 1992. Could you please tell
24 us who erected a barricade in Ahmici?
25 A. It was erected by the Bosniaks.
1 Q. Was this barricade erected by the Territorial
2 Defence or by the local villagers? In other words, was
3 this a spontaneous thing, or was there an order?
4 A. It came by an order.
5 Q. Who did order this?
6 A. This came from the headquarters of the
7 Territorial Defence in Vitez.
8 Q. Who was the commander of the staff of the
9 Territorial Defence in Vitez, do you recall that?
10 A. No, I do not recall that.
11 Q. Could that have been Esad Dzananovic?
12 A. I assume so. I don't know.
13 Q. Do you know that name?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know if this man worked for the
16 Territorial Defence?
17 A. That is possible.
18 Q. Can you tell me why was the barricade
19 erected? What was the basic reason why it had been put
21 A. It had been erected because, as early as 3.00
22 in the afternoon, there were -- there was fighting in
23 Novi Travnik. Croats had attacked Bosniaks in Novi
24 Travnik in order to occupy a weapons factory, and I
25 heard the Croat forces were amassing in Kiseljak,
1 Kresovo and they had large forces, and we received
2 orders to prevent them from passing so that they would
3 not go to Novi Travnik to assist people over there.
4 Q. Who did you receive this information from?
5 A. As I already said.
6 Q. Was this from the Territorial Defence
7 headquarters in Vitez?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How many people were manning the barricade?
10 A. There were only three or four men there.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Glumac.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes, I have a problem
13 because I don't know how fast--.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: If you can just wait a few
15 seconds, yes.
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Okay.
17 Q. Can you please tell me: You received
18 information that large forces are on route to Novi
19 Travnik, and this is why you erected the barricade,
20 which only three men were controlling?
21 A. Yes. They were directly on the road
22 controlling it.
23 Q. Did it make much sense putting just three men
24 there? Were there additional people there who guarded
25 the barricade who were in the vicinity?
1 A. Yes. There was security around, because not
2 all of them could be on the road.
3 Q. How many people did guard the barricade?
4 A. Not many. I did not count them.
5 Q. How about 20 to 30?
6 A. Yes, that is fair number, 20 to 30.
7 Q. Were all these men armed?
8 A. No, no, not all of them.
9 Q. How did they expect to offer resistance
10 without weapons if there were all these big forces
12 A. We had to take fighting the way it came to
14 Q. Can you tell me, did you have any trenches
15 next to the barricade?
16 A. Yes, during the night we dug up some.
17 Q. Did you also have trenches in the Catholic
18 cemetery which was nearby?
19 A. I believe that we did not have -- I think
20 there were three or four young men from Santici who
21 came, and I believe that they did see that no trenches
22 were dug in the cemetery.
23 Q. Were there any men in the Catholic cemetery
24 who were guarding the barricade?
25 A. I do not know that. I wasn't there.
1 Q. Can you tell me: How did this barricade
2 look? What did it consist of?
3 A. As I said, I did not see this barricade, but
4 I heard that some mines had been laid on the road.
5 Q. But were there also some physical obstacles
7 A. That is possible, yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me something about these mines?
9 Where did you get these mines from?
10 A. They had been brought from the depot at
11 Sljemena which had been destroyed, and somebody had
12 brought them from down there.
13 Q. After the fall of Sljemena when these
14 barracks were taken, did a number of Bosniaks, that is
15 TO members, did they manage to acquire some arms
17 A. A lot of these weapons were destroyed. Some
18 had been taken , and the Croats established because
19 they lived in that area. I heard that Croats had taken
20 a lot of weapons away from these people. They had a
21 number of checkpoints there.
22 Q. Can you tell me who attacked this barracks in
24 A. I don't know who. I believe that it was a
25 joint attack by the Croats and Muslims.
1 Q. Who had occupied Sljemena?
2 A. It was the Yugoslav People's Army.
3 Q. When was this?
4 A. I believe that this was in 1992, early '92.
5 I don't know exactly.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, I hate to
7 interrupt, but it appears to me that these questions
8 about Sljemena appear to be well outside the scope of
9 direct-examination, and I see no relationship between
10 the direct-examination and these questions on cross.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Yes, you are right, but
12 you know that we have a rule now, Rule 90(H)
13 stating: "Cross-examination shall be limited to the
14 subject matter of the direct examination and matters
15 affecting the credibility of the witness. The Trial
16 Chamber may, in exercise of its discretion, permit
17 inquiry into other matters as if on
19 I think we will allow Mrs. Glumac to go on,
20 but with the appeal -- I'll make an appeal that you
21 should confine yourself as much as possible to the
22 facts relevant to our case.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I apologise, but the
24 situation is such that the Prosecution alleges that
25 there were no weapons in the village and that there was
1 no organisation there, and the indictment covers the
2 period including the 20th October until 16 of April of
3 1993, and this period has been presented in the
4 indictment, so it is in the indictment. All I'm saying
5 is -- all I'm trying to find is how it happened that a
6 certain amount of weapons were accumulated in the
7 village, because the Prosecution alleges that the
8 village had not been armed at all.
9 So I am just responding to the allegations
10 that have been set out in the indictment.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, you were about
12 to ask questions or raise objections.
13 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I was actually raising, for
14 clarification from the Court, on the phrase in the Rule
15 "As if on direct-examination." I take that to mean if
16 new subjects are raised on cross-examination, there is
17 a lot of sense in allowing examination at this point
18 rather than having to call the witness back in the
19 Defence case, but I take that phrase to mean that as if
20 on direct the questions must be placed in a
21 non-cross-examination style, that is open-ended
22 questions rather than leading questions as I am used to
23 being permitted.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. In principle I agree
25 with you. However, you may be aware that you put a lot
1 of leading questions, and we were fully aware that many
2 of your questions were leading questions. We thought
3 that we should not object to those questions, because
4 we think, in a bench trial, when there is no jury
5 proper, when there are professional judges, of course,
6 they are able to find out where the -- I mean, to
7 accept and to see whether or not the questions are
8 leading. Therefore, I think it is only proper to take
9 some latitude vis-à-vis the Defence and also allow some
10 leading questions, within, of course, some limits.
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I fully agree some
12 flexibility in that area is good. It speeds things
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: But I was asking for clarity
16 for the phrase "As if on direct." Thank you.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: You may go on with your
18 questions, but, as I say, please try, as much as
19 possible, to limit yourself to the period relevant to
20 our case. Thank you.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
22 Q. Very well. Can you tell me: Did you have
23 any business or did you work in the communications
24 centre that night between 19th and 20th October 1992?
25 A. I was communications person, but that night I
1 was -- I did not work.
2 Q. Were you there at all in this communications
4 A. That was not a communications centre, it was
5 some kind of a radio transmitter place.
6 Q. Where was it?
7 A. That was in the school in Ahmici.
8 Q. And that's where you were the communications
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. During that night, did you come to the school
12 at any time?
13 A. Yes, did I come to the school.
14 Q. Did you hear anything over the radio about
15 stopping a vehicle with four HVO soldiers?
16 A. No. I did not hear that over the radio. I
17 heard that from people who talked about it. They were
18 talking in a backyard. I heard that four -- four
19 soldiers in the vehicle had been stopped.
20 Q. And who were these people that--?
21 A. There were four military policemen and they
22 had been disarmed.
23 Q. Weapons had been taken at the barricade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know what type of weapons these were?
1 A. These were, I believe, automatic rifles.
2 Q. I see.
3 A. Four automatic rifles.
4 Q. Were they returned to these military
6 A. Yes, I heard that they had been returned.
7 Q. Were these the four rifles which -- of which
8 you said that the people from Ahmici were supposed to
9 return to the HVO, condition speaking at time of --
10 when -- the return of Bosniaks were negotiated?
11 A. I was not part of those negotiations. I
12 don't know what happened during these negotiations.
13 Q. But you allowed that this may have happened?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell me how many people on your side
16 did take part in this conflict on the 20th?
17 A. That was not a conflict, this was an attack.
18 Q. Very well. How many people on your side did
19 defend themselves?
20 A. With weapons? I believe that there were
21 30 -- up to 40 people, and without weapons we could not
22 defend ourselves. There were many other people who did
23 not have weapons.
24 Q. Very well. Did anybody else come from
25 elsewhere from the BiH army, from surrounding villages
1 to reinforce your positions?
2 A. Yes, some assistance did come.
3 Q. How many people about?
4 A. Mostly people without -- who did not have any
5 ammunition, and poorly armed. I can tell that about 50
6 to 60 people, generally speaking.
7 Q. Very well, where did they come from?
8 A. From the direction of Vhrovine.
9 Q. In other words, up to 100 people were
10 defending the village at that time, about 40 to you and
11 50 to 60 of the others?
12 A. No, you could say 50 to 60 people, because
13 many people who had come from down there also did not
14 have weapons. So if anybody got killed, they could
15 take the weapon.
16 Q. Very well. But can you tell me, was anybody
17 killed on the Croatian side. You said something about
18 Halid Pezer, but do you have any knowledge about
19 anybody being killed from the Croatian side?
20 A. I heard a long time has elapsed since, so I
21 heard that some people were killed on the Croatian
23 Q. Did you hear whether soldiers were killed?
24 A. I can't answer that.
25 Q. Do you know that Andzelko Vidovic from
1 Kiseljak was killed? Did you hear anything about
3 A. I don't know. I don't know this man, but
4 what is a person from Kiseljak doing there?
5 Q. You knew that somebody was coming?
6 A. Yes. And people who arrived, arrived from
7 the direction of Busovaca.
8 Q. But let me ask you this. Was there fighting
9 going on in Jajce at that time?
10 A. Yes, Jajce had been attacked at that time by
11 the Serb forces.
12 Q. Did Croats provide assistance to the Muslims
13 in defending Jajce; as far as you know?
14 A. Had the Croats given assistance in Jajce they
15 would not have engaged in this, they would have gone to
16 Jajce to defend it.
17 Q. But could the Croats have been going in the
18 direction of Jajce?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. Can you tell me who was the commander at this
21 barricade, who was making decisions there, whether to
22 remove it or not, who assembled the men?
23 A. It was my brother Muris.
24 Q. He was the TO commander near the village at
25 that time?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was he at the barricade?
3 A. He probably went there.
4 Q. Can you tell me how long did the fighting go
5 on that day?
6 A. It went on until, I believe, 2.00 in the
7 afternoon. You could hear fire. And then houses were
8 being set on fire all the way through the dusk.
9 Q. Yesterday you testified that after this event
10 at the barricade, your brother Muris was relieved of
11 his duty. Why was he relieved of his duty?
12 A. I don't know. He suffered a shock. I don't
13 know whether he resigned or was removed. That I don't
15 Q. And Fuad Berbic was assigned to his position?
16 A. No, it was Midhat, son of Fuad Berbic.
17 Q. Now I would like to focus on the period
18 between the two conflicts. Can you just tell me when
19 the Territorial Defence in Ahmici was established?
20 A. In April '92.
21 Q. The Territorial Defence in Ahmici was linked
22 to Vitez Territorial Defence or was independent? You
23 said that your headquarters was in Vitez?
24 A. Yes, this was all linked up regionally
1 Q. What was the role of the Territorial
3 A. The role of the Territorial Defence was to
4 protect the population which lived in a particular
5 territory. The Territorial Defence had regional
6 headquarters, and it was like we had in our village.
7 It was exclusively to protect the villages.
8 Q. Were people sent to the front-lines, for
9 instance, in 1929? You already had war with the
10 Serbs. Were they sent from the Territorial Defence to
11 the line?
12 A. Yes, but these would have been volunteers
13 which volunteered to go there. For instance, Visoko,
14 there was danger that Visoko would have been taken, but
15 these were volunteers.
16 Q. Can you tell me what area did the Territorial
17 Defence headquarters of Ahmici cover what was the
18 territory that it covered?
19 A. It was Ahmici and Santici, and only the
20 Bosniaks were members of it.
21 Q. Bosniaks were members of the Territorial
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you tell me what types of weapons did
25 they have? Did they have any and how much did they
2 A. The weapons were of inferior quality and
3 there may have been up to 50 rifles, but when Croats
4 took Zume, they took all the weapons away from the
5 people there, so that maybe up to 20 rifles had
6 remained in the village.
7 Q. When did the Territorial Defence change its
8 name to army of BiH?
9 A. This was in December 1992.
10 Q. Where was the main staff, the headquarters of
11 the Territorial Defence in Ahmici, I mean? Who was in
12 command? Did it remain the same? Did they report to
13 Vitez or did the situation change?
14 A. The situation did change. It became
15 different but organisationally speaking. This was an
16 initial type of organisation of the army. Some
17 battalions had been established at first, but this was
18 just on paper because there was no equipment
19 and materiel to establish an army or a brigade. I was
20 a member of the battalion at Preocica, but I never went
21 there. I never had any weapons. I never had -- but I
22 was assigned to the Preocica battalion.
23 Q. To which brigade did the Ahmici belong?
24 A. That was the Vitez brigade. I believe it was
1 Q. Where was its command post?
2 A. I believe it was in Vitez or in Kruscica. I
3 don't know exactly.
4 Q. Did members of the BiH army from your village
5 go to any military training?
6 A. There was no -- well, there was sometimes
7 some type of military training in Kruscica or Preocica.
8 Q. Did you go there?
9 A. No, I never went there.
10 Q. Who was the commander of the BiH army for
13 Q. So that was the same commander who had been
14 the commander of the Territorial Defence?
15 A. Yes, and he automatically took over when the
16 army was established. He just remained in his post for
17 our village, to coordinate for the village. But now
18 there were organisational matters regarding the
19 establishment of the BiH army.
20 Q. Do you know whether general mobilisation was
21 declared by the Bosniak side and when was that?
22 A. No, I do not know this.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you. I would like to just
24 ask a couple more questions regarding the village
25 guards. When did the village guards -- when were they
1 established and did they remain in place even after the
2 BH army was established?
3 A. The village watches started in the summer of
4 1992 and Croats also had their own watches. I already
5 testified to that. In the hamlet of Zume, Croats and
6 Muslims had joint watches. They did not have any
7 particular purpose because the war was raging in
8 eastern Bosnia, so this was more in terms of being on
10 However, during the attack in October, after
11 the attack in October, everything changed with respect
12 to Croats. Our own also continued with watches and
13 patrols, especially at night. We were protecting
14 ourselves from any surprises.
15 Q. Did village watches divide, that is, did the
16 Croats man the Croat parts and Muslims the Muslim
18 A. I lived in a part of the village where night
19 watches were not allowed at all. The Croats had
20 allowed patrolling, but they only gave them a
21 particular route where they could go, and I'm not sure
22 whether they had allowed them to carry weapons. I
23 doubt it. But in the upper part of the village, the
24 Croats had no control.
25 Q. You mean up in Gornji Ahmici?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were there watches in Upper Ahmici as well?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How about Lower Ahmici? I'm not sure whether
5 I'm giving it the proper name because sometimes it's
7 A. Yes, it was Krcevine.
8 Q. So in Krcevine, there were Muslim watches?
9 A. Yes, you could say so, but relatively
10 speaking, because they were always under Croatian
11 control. There was mixed population in that area.
12 Q. Very well. You said that a curfew had been
13 introduced. That did not affect the watches. They
14 continued to keep watch?
15 A. Yes, that was allowed to the people up there,
16 but the part where I had lived in Zume, that is where
17 the curfew was in force.
18 Q. Was the curfew in force for the Croats as
19 well? Could the Muslim watch stop a Croat and ask him
20 where he was going in the evening? Did it apply to
22 A. Believe me, in the village where,
23 conditionally speaking, people held watch, I doubt that
24 they were allowed to stop the Croats at any time. I
25 doubt that. In the upper village, they certainly
2 Q. So in the upper part of the village, they
3 could stop them, so the curfew applied to the Croats as
4 well there?
5 A. The Croats had no need to go up there because
6 it was a dead-end street, so to speak. They had no
7 need to go there.
8 Q. Can you tell us who determined who was to
9 keep watch, and you didn't say whether the village
10 watches remained at the same time as the army of the
11 B and H was established?
12 A. No, no, the village watches -- could you
13 explain the question?
14 Q. Did this organisation connecting the two
15 village watches remain separate from the army of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina? Did people from the army keep watches
17 or were there village watches?
18 A. The village watches were held both by people
19 belonging to the army and by old age pensioners who
20 volunteered to keep watch.
21 Q. What was the situation with the Croats?
22 A. I didn't know how the Croats were organised.
23 Q. Did the people who kept the village watches
24 wear uniforms?
25 A. No, they were dressed in civilian clothes.
1 They had no uniforms.
2 Q. Were there any consequences for those who did
3 not keep -- want to keep watch? Was anyone punished
4 for not doing so?
5 A. Rarely. Perhaps, but very rarely, because we
6 didn't have any military police, and I was a witness to
7 events when people said, for example, "I can't keep
8 watch tonight -- or today, I have to go to work." But
9 it was rare.
10 Q. Was there a barracks in Ahmici, a place where
11 the people who were members of the army of B and H come
12 back before they went to the front-line?
13 A. No, no, there certainly wasn't.
14 Q. Where did these people go when they came
15 home? Where did they stay? Did they stay at home?
16 A. Yes. These were people who lived in Ahmici.
17 Q. So did they carry their arms with them?
18 A. No. Perhaps some of them did, but very
19 seldom because arms were required at the front-line in
20 defence against the Serbs, and they couldn't carry
21 their arms because the Croats had checkpoints in
22 Puticevo and other places, so if they had taken their
23 weapons, they would have been taken away in the bus.
24 Q. So you say that there were no arms in the
25 village or there were few?
1 A. There were few arms in the village, Madam.
2 If there had been a lot of weapons, not so many people
3 would have been killed. There would have been
4 resistance. The Croatian forces were not so superior
5 that they could have taken the village so easily. If
6 we had had weapons, they couldn't have done it.
7 Q. At that time, did refugees arrive in Ahmici,
8 Muslim refugees?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were there a lot? Can you give us a figure?
11 You probably know that people arrived.
12 A. No -- well, not too many, not too few, the
13 same as everywhere, because there were masses of
14 refugees from eastern Bosnia, Karaula, northern Bosnia,
15 and they were all over the place.
16 Q. Were these refugees included in the army of
17 B and H or in the Territorial Defence when they stayed
19 A. Some did and some had to go to their units,
20 like the people who arrived from eastern Bosnia. They
21 would stay for only two days, and then they had to go
22 to the front via Kiseljak. They had to go back to
24 Q. So some joined the Territorial Defence in
25 Ahmici and the army, in B and H, there, and some
1 returned to their homes?
2 A. Yes. I know that there were two or three
3 people from Prijedor who didn't have anywhere to go,
4 and they kept watch with us.
5 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I have a few more questions.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Well, I don't have too
7 many questions, but I do have some detail, so I won't
8 be finished very quickly.
9 Q. Could you tell me whether you know Safet
10 Imsirovic? Is this name familiar to you, and was he a
11 member of the B and H Territorial Defence, or do you
12 know anything about him? If not, say you don't.
13 A. I didn't know Safet Imsirovic. This might be
14 a young man who will take the witness stand, but I
15 didn't know him by name. However, I have heard the
16 surname. I think that this is a young man who will be
17 a witness here, but I didn't know him in Ahmici.
18 Q. Did you know a person named Esad Rizanovic in
20 A. No.
21 Q. You didn't know him?
22 A. No.
2 Q. Did they join the Territorial Defence or the
3 army of B and H in Ahmici, as far as you know?
4 A. As far as I know, they didn't.
5 Q. Rifet Buskic (phoen)?
6 A. I don't know. Believe me.
7 Q. Mujo Rupovic (phoen)?
8 A. No. I don't know their names.
9 Q. No, no. It's not your fault if you don't
10 know them. I'm simply asking whether you know them or
11 not and whether you know whether they were in the
12 army. You said you don't know.
13 A. No. I know Rifet, who I think was from the
14 Krajina, but I don't know him by name.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. The situation after
16 the first conflict, when negotiations were held on the
17 return to Ahmici, were these negotiations held at the
18 political or the military level? Who took part in
19 that, as far as you know?
20 A. Believe me, I know my brother went to these
21 negotiations and some other people. At what level this
22 was done, I don't know. All I heard was that there had
23 been an agreement.
24 Q. Were meetings held at the school?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did Fuad Kaknjo (phoen) come there from
2 Vitez; do you know?
3 A. I don't know. I didn't go there.
4 Q. Do you know that at the Vitez municipality, a
5 decision was reached to help you repair your damaged
6 houses? Did you know that some people had received
8 A. Yes, some material arrived, but very little
9 arrived. My father got some building material, but a
10 cow shed had been burnt down. We didn't get any roof
11 tiles. The damage was so bad that not enough material
12 was sent.
13 Q. But you did get some help?
14 A. Yes, we did get some help.
15 Q. Let us now come to the events of the 16th.
16 The two soldiers who came to your house and who took
17 you and your father out to be shot, did they talk about
18 Dusina Zirovic?
19 A. Yes. One of them mentioned him.
20 Q. What did he say?
21 A. He said -- I asked him, "What does this
22 mean?" And he said, "What you people have done in
23 Dusina Zirovic?" And I said, "I don't know what
24 happened there." And he said, "You'll know now."
25 That's what he said.
1 Q. What had happened there? Do you know
2 something about it?
3 A. I learned later, after a long time -- I know
4 about Dusina, that certain Croatian units from Busovaca
5 had tried to take the communications point, the
6 cross-roads, and to control the road between Zenica and
7 Sarajevo, and the Bosniak soldiers managed to stop them
8 doing that, and the population from Dusina tried to
9 support the Croatian units and then the Croatian
10 population was driven away, was expelled from Dusina.
11 Q. Were there any civilians, Croats, killed
13 A. I heard that there were.
14 Q. Do you know when this happened, how long it
15 was before the attack on Ahmici?
16 A. As far as I can remember, it was two or three
17 months before.
18 Q. Can you tell us about these negotiations --
19 or, no, the talks, sorry, you said that the taller of
20 the two men, as far as I remember.
21 A. The shorter one. The taller one was
22 searching the house.
23 Q. The soldiers who were guarding you in the
24 house into which the bomb had been thrown in the second
25 event, was Busovaca mentioned there?
1 A. Yes, yes, they mentioned Busovaca.
2 Q. What did they say?
3 A. I said that when they arrived by car, the one
4 who was guarding me said, "What's new in Busovaca?"
5 And they said, "Everything is all right." And then he
6 said, "Commander, we have a Mujahedin in prison here."
7 Well, I talked about that, that Busovaca was mentioned.
8 Q. Can you conclude from this that these were
9 soldiers from Busovaca?
10 A. You could say that because when he said to
11 him, "Commander," I presume -- I can't be sure.
12 Q. Let us talk about your movements in the
13 morning, when you came to the drain pipe or the
14 creek -- I don't know exactly what it was -- where you
15 hid. What time was it exactly? Do you know how long
16 it took you to get there?
17 A. I think it was maybe half past six, between
18 six and half past six.
19 Q. When did you see these units moving into
20 directions as you showed on the map?
21 A. It was very soon after that.
22 Q. So can you try to be more precise? Was it
23 just after half past six?
24 A. Madam, it was in the morning, but I wasn't
25 wearing a watch and I couldn't check it. I can only
1 say it was early in the morning.
2 Q. You said that people wearing various patches
3 arrived, obviously from various units. That's what I
4 understood. Can you tell us the total number of people
6 A. I think that there were about 80 to 100 men
7 from the north side and 50 to 60 coming from the south.
8 Q. Was that all at that time?
9 A. The ones who came from the north came very
10 soon afterwards, and the ones from the south arrived at
11 various time intervals of about an hour.
12 Q. What do you mean by "south"?
13 A. I mean from the direction of my house. It
14 wasn't the woods, it was a valley, it was from a
16 Q. You saw the units, the special units of the
17 HVO, the Vitezovi; is that what you said?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Men in civilian clothes?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. These two groups that arrived, did they
22 arrive together or did they arrive separately? I don't
23 mean from the two separate directions, but I mean, did
24 they come unit by unit or did they come together?
25 A. The first group, which included civilians,
1 military policemen, it was very diverse. It came and
2 it was close to me. The other group was wearing black
3 uniforms and they were further away from me; and the
4 ones who came from below, in platoon-size units, were
5 exceptionally well-armed.
6 Q. Did you see anyone coming down from the
7 direction of Ahmici towards the road or did you only
8 see people leaving while you were there?
9 A. I couldn't see anyone coming from the
10 direction of Ahmici. I was in a kind of hole, and I
11 could see only those soldiers.
12 Q. As far as I could understand, you said that
13 you saw houses burning?
14 A. Yes, I saw my house when it was set on fire
15 and a few other houses while I was still on the road.
16 While I was still on the road, I saw houses being
17 burnt. When I went down to the cellar, I saw my house
18 and two other houses bursting into flames.
19 Q. For how long could shooting be heard? Until
20 what time?
21 A. Well, the shooting, the artillery; I couldn't
22 hear very well because of the noise of the water in the
23 creek. I heard the artillery throughout the day,
24 almost the whole day but at certain time intervals.
25 Q. Did you have the feeling that there was a
1 battle going on?
2 A. No, no, I couldn't hear that.
3 Q. Did you find out or -- rather, until what
4 time did you hear shooting? You said that day until
5 the evening. Did it go on the other day, on the 17th?
6 A. As I told you, I was in the creek, and I
7 couldn't hear the shooting, and the soldiers that ran
8 up, they weren't shooting, they weren't fighting, they
9 were simply preparing. I didn't see any fighting.
10 Q. Could you hear artillery?
11 A. Yes. Yes, I could hear it.
12 Q. You said something about the village of
13 Mahala near Santici. You said yesterday, it wasn't
14 quite clear to me, that there had been artillery shots
15 towards Mahala, but Mahala is inhabited by Croats.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So what reason would the Croats have to shoot
18 at their own village?
19 A. I learned later. I didn't know what it was
20 about then, but I learned later that there was an
21 incident in that village so that they were supporting
22 the Croats. They were shooting above the village, not
23 into the village, supporting the Croatian army in the
24 village. I think that's what it was.
25 Q. I heard that you also said yesterday, when
1 you were brought to the school in Dubravica, that you
2 had been told that you had to be exchanged for Croats
3 taken prisoner in Poculica; did I understand you
5 A. Yes, Nikica Plavcic said that there would be
6 an exchange of prisoners. He brought us to the camp.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, may I interrupt
8 just briefly, and I hate to interrupt this, although I
9 note we're close to the 11.00 hour, but we do have
10 something of a semi-emergency nature to take up I think
11 quickly in closed session, it will not take long, but I
12 think we would request that we do so now. It involves
13 something that happened about 10 or 15 minutes ago on
15 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Sorry,
16 Mrs. Glumac. Probably we should now move into a closed
17 session. If you don't mind, you may continue after the
19 So let us now move into closed session for a
20 few minutes and then we will take our break. Thank
22 (Closed session)
13 Pages 357 redacted in closed session
12 --- Recess taken at 10.55 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
14 (Open session)
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Before I ask Mrs. Glumac to
16 continue with her cross-examination, I had raised an
17 issue and I am grateful to the Registrar for drawing my
18 attention to this issue. I wonder if Mr. Moskowitz
19 intends to tender the various exhibits as evidence so
20 that they're admitted into evidence, the exhibits we
21 have received so far.
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, I was intending to do
23 that, although I perhaps was under the misapprehension
24 that merely offering it without objection would be
25 equivalent to the evidence being accepted. I thought I
1 heard that ruling earlier, but maybe I'm mistaken.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no, no. The ruling is
3 that if there is no objection -- whenever a party
4 tenders a document into evidence, then if there is no
5 objection, it is admitted into evidence. But you have
6 to formally say, "I would like to tender this as
8 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume there is no
10 objection to the various exhibits to be regarded as
11 evidence. So far there's been no objection. Yes.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would, at this point,
13 formally tender all of those exhibits.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Pavkovic?
15 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, the Defence
16 counsel object to this, and they do formally object
17 that the documents offered by the Prosecution be
18 tendered into evidence.
19 First of all, we believe that the Prosecutor
20 presented certain photographs on the basis of which it
21 is not possible to determine that they were made in the
22 period of time which is covered by the indictment. So
23 we are -- I don't know if we can enter a discussion on
24 every single exhibit. We would then -- if we did this,
25 we would then be able to tell you individually which
1 exhibits we would accept and which not because some of
2 them simply are not documents of the period of time
3 covered in this indictment, and in particular, they do
4 not refer to individual accused.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: May I suggest a practical
6 solution? As far as the documents which have been
7 produced so far are concerned, may I suggest that you
8 and the Prosecutor, you get together maybe at lunch time
9 or in afternoon and agree upon those exhibits which are
10 not objected to by the Defence so that we save time?
11 If there are some documents to which you want to
12 object, then we can maybe pick up this matter maybe
13 tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But in future,
14 each time a document is tendered by the Prosecutor, you
15 are asked kindly to decide whether or not to object.
16 If you don't object, we take it that you don't object,
17 and they are accepted into evidence.
18 But, as I say, for the time being, let us now
19 avoid a discussion now in court also because I think we
20 are in the process of having a witness cross-examined
21 by Defence counsel, so it would be sort of a
22 digression, it would disrupt the pace of our hearings,
23 and I think it's better if you try to come to some sort
24 of agreement, you and Mr. Moskowitz. Is it fine with
1 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
2 accept your suggestion.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 At the suggestion of Judge May, I would ask
5 the Prosecutor whether he could provide the Court and
6 Defence counsel with a list of the dates on which the
7 various photographs were taken. This might probably
8 facilitate our job and also probably be of some help to
9 the Defence. Later on, of course, in the afternoon
10 or --
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: And before talking with the
13 Defence counsel.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. Let
16 us then move on, and I would like to ask Mrs. Glumac to
17 continue with her cross-examination.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the counsel,
20 MRS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I'm sorry.
21 Q. All right. Let me take you back to the
22 second conflict and what we talked about before the
23 break. I don't think that we need to go much into
24 detail there, but it seems to me that either in your
25 testimony or in the previous statement, I cannot
1 distinguish between the two now, you saw that Sakib
2 Ahmic's house was the first which was set on fire; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. From the vantage point at which you were, did
6 you also see Sakib Ahmic's house?
7 A. It is -- that house is a bit more tucked
8 away, but you could see the flames. However, I did
9 refer to Sukrija's house.
10 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Just a point of
11 clarification. There are two Sakib Ahmics in Ahmici,
12 and I'm not sure which one she's referring to. So I
13 would ask that a clarification can be made on the
14 question so that the answer can be clear.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: May I just ask you, please,
16 when you refer to the Defence counsel, may you use his
17 or her name, not "she" or "he"?
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm sorry.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: As a matter of courtesy.
20 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to suggest that we
23 somehow have a way of distinguishing between the two
24 Sakib Ahmics. You ask counsel to distinguish. How are
25 we going to distinguish between the two?
1 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would suggest that Sakib
2 Ahmic -- there's one Sakib Ahmic who is his uncle and
3 the other Sakib Ahmic is not a relation, not an uncle.
4 So perhaps a reference to "Sakib Ahmic, your uncle," or
5 "Sakib Ahmic, who is not your uncle." You might make
6 that distinction. Would you agree?
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you.
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
9 Q. So let's use also -- or patronymic. This is
10 Sakib Ahmic to who I'm referring, is the one who lived
11 in middle Ahmici, and his father is Rasid; is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So Sakib -- Rasid Ahmic. He is farther away
15 from your house. The house of other Sakib Ahmic, your
16 uncle, his father, is who?
17 A. Mehmed.
18 Q. So this is the house that is closer to you,
19 it is Lower Ahmici?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Very well. So from your vantage point, you
22 could have seen Sakib Ahmic's house on fire, but you
23 saw Sukrija Ahmic's house; correct?
24 A. Yes. There was a big fire, so I think that
25 Sakib Ahmic's house also was on fire. However, I do
1 say 100 per cent that it was Sukrija Ahmic's house that
2 was on fire.
3 Q. Was Meho Rustanovic's house also on fire?
4 Did you see his fire (sic) burning later on as well?
5 A. I cannot speak to that. I believe that this
6 was enough, what I had seen.
7 Q. Very well. This is fine. I'm just asking
8 whether you subsequently saw something else.
9 Yesterday you said that from an intersection
10 you saw a truck being off-loaded. These were some
11 crates that were being unloaded in front of Ivica
12 Kupreskic's house?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How far is this location from Ivica
15 Kupreskic's house?
16 A. I believe about 500 metres.
17 Q. And this was -- you had a clear view?
18 A. Yes, very clear. You could see the house
20 Q. Could you tell me exactly when this took
21 place? Was this earlier or was it the 17th or 18th?
22 A. No, no. This was maybe about a month
24 Q. I see. About a month.
25 In your testimony, you also mentioned the
1 destruction of the lower mosque, that is the -- you
2 said that you saw that on the second day in the
4 A. No, the second day but at noontime.
5 Q. Noontime. So you stay by that statement?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was the minaret of this mosque still standing
8 at that time?
9 A. I don't know. Only at the moment of the
10 explosion I saw that something was flying. I didn't
11 see whether it was -- I just saw the top of the minaret
12 flying down.
13 Q. So what you're saying is that it was
14 destroyed on the second day?
15 A. Yes. Maybe there was some additional damage
16 done, but I saw the top of the minaret falling.
17 Q. Very well. How is this part of the village
18 called, the part of the village where you lived? Is
19 that Zume, the part below the road?
20 A. We call it Tuk.
21 Q. Is that part of Ahmici or Zume?
22 A. Ahmici.
23 Q. And the road which passes between Tuk and
24 Ahmici, you said officially this is Ahmici. Does this
25 road pass through Ahmici?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So this is the road Busovaca-Vitez?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you now tell me what is the area of
6 A. Grabovi is the central section of Ahmici,
7 between the Upper and Lower Ahmici.
8 Q. Where do the Lower Ahmici stop or finish?
9 A. You see, there is no strict line, it is just
10 to facilitate it. There is no particular border or
11 line, strictly speaking.
12 Q. Very well. Let's see. The part that you
13 called Grabovi, how many Croats live there?
14 A. The Kupreskic family live there.
15 Q. Very well. So Kupreskic. That would be in
16 Grabovi. So that would be at the houses of Vlatko
18 A. Yes. That is what we called Grabovi. And
19 there's also Zoran's house. Where Zoran's house is,
20 that's already called Pirici, but we called it
22 Q. Very well. How many Croats did live there?
23 What is it, five or six Croat houses?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Glumac, could you please
1 slow down, in particular, wait a few seconds after
2 putting a question? Thank you.
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
4 Q. So five or six Croatian homes would
5 constitute Grabovi. How many people live there
6 approximately? Just approximate numbers.
7 A. You mean the total population of Grabovi?
8 Q. No, I just mean the Croats. You said that
9 these were five or six families.
10 A. Twenty, 20 to 30 people. Twenty maybe.
11 Q. All right. So 20 people. Very well.
12 You said -- in fact, does Grabovi also
13 encompass or touch or border on Upper Ahmici, Gornji
14 Ahmici or Upper Ahmici, to the right of the road up
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And generally they don't border?
18 A. Yes, they do border. There's no big distance
19 between houses, there is just one forest there.
20 There's high ground, and then up there, the Upper
21 Ahmici start.
22 Q. Very well. So you said that Zoran Kupreskic
23 was the HVO commander in Grabovi?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How do you know this?
1 A. Madam --
2 Q. I'm just asking you about the source. Did he
3 tell you this?
4 A. No, he did not tell me this. I've learned
5 this from other people talking, because people went to
6 Zoran Kupreskic's house for negotiations, so he was one
7 of the commanders for this area. This is what I
9 Q. Very well. This is your assumption?
10 A. Yes. Well, this is what I said.
11 Q. A moment ago you said that -- you mentioned
12 negotiations. Was that concerning the return of
13 Muslims to Ahmici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You previously said that these negotiations
16 were taking place in the school building.
17 A. Yes, but, you see, there were some incidents
18 before, so sometimes people would go to Nenad Santic's,
19 sometimes to Zoran Kupreskic's, and sometimes to Dragan
20 Papic's house because there had been some incidents
21 before that.
22 Q. Very well. If he was the commander of the
23 HVO for Grabovi, which is what you assume based on
24 certain indications, who was he commanding? You said
25 that there were 20 to 30 people living there. Let's
1 say maybe one-third of that was men, the rest were
2 women and children; right?
3 A. Madam, I mentioned before that they were
4 getting reinforcements from other areas, from Zume or
5 Nadioci or Rovna. So he would place people for these
6 watches. They had other men from elsewhere.
7 Q. Very well. You say that there were people,
8 that is, that the HVO commander at Zume was Slavko
9 Papic. This is what you just said. And then Nenad
10 Santic was in charge of the lower part. This is also
11 what you said?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the commander of Grabovi for those, let's
14 say, 20 persons there. In other words, those people
15 had their own commander if we --
16 A. Zoran Kupreskic was the commander of Grabovi,
17 and Zarko Papic was the commander in Zume. In the part
18 where I was, Slavko Milicevic was in charge, I
20 A lot of work was done in Ivo Papic's house,
21 and we could observe that very easily, where their
22 headquarters were. I don't know exactly where they
23 were, but I believe that in Ivo Papic's house, a lot
24 was going on. That is what concerned area where I was.
25 Q. But this was not Grabovi. You said that
1 Slavko Milicevic was in charge of that area?
2 A. Yes, but Slavko Milicevic also did something
3 in Vitez. He always went to Vitez in some green van.
4 He always went there. So he was commander above these,
5 so he was very active in that respect.
6 Q. Very well. What do you know about Zoran
7 Kupreskic's activity specifically? Did he assign
8 people to watches in Grabovi?
9 A. I saw Zoran Kupreskic very often. He was
10 armed, and he went with Slavko Sarkic fully armed and
11 equipped. He would often go to the front-line in
12 Busovaca because that's where the fighting was. He
13 would often pass by. I often saw him with weapons and
14 full gear. So not only was he there as somebody who
15 was in charge of watches, but he also had -- was tasked
16 with going to the front-line.
17 Q. Very well. So you say that he was assigning
18 watches and that he went to the front-lines.
19 A. And since this front-line was very close, it
20 was very easy to commute there. It was very fast.
21 Q. Do you know what Zoran Kupreskic did there?
22 Where did he work?
23 A. He worked in the Princip company.
24 Q. And that is where you also worked?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know that he worked throughout the
2 period, that he went to work every day until the
4 A. No, I did not know that. But on the eve of
5 the conflict I did not work at that company, so I
6 couldn't have seen him. A year or two before I stopped
7 working at this company.
8 Q. Why did you stop?
9 A. Because I resigned.
10 Q. Why did you resign?
11 A. I don't think that that is essential for
13 Q. Were you, in fact, on hold?
14 A. No, no, no. I had resigned.
15 Q. Very well. Now we come to the part of your
16 testimony where you said that you believed that Zoran
17 Kupreskic was responsible for the death of your mother
18 and your sisters. Can you tell me, what do you base
19 this assumption on?
20 Can you first tell me where is the house in
21 which you presume were the bodies of your mother and
22 your sisters?
23 A. I still have not identified it. I believe
24 that it's either Nasid Ahmic's, or Aziz Pezer's house
25 or Husein Pezer's house. I have not yet been able to
1 identify the house. But as far as what do I base this
2 on --
3 Q. I apologise. If I may just interrupt you for
4 a moment. The houses which you have just mentioned,
5 are these houses all in the Upper Ahmici?
6 A. Yes. One is in Grabovi and two are in Upper
8 Q. Which one is in Grabovi?
9 A. It is Nasid Ahmic's house. That is the one
10 in Grabovi.
11 Q. You said that Colonel Stewart discovered
12 these bodies. That's what you said?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. He discovered them, and what was particular
15 about it? Two bodies were on the staircase in front of
16 the house. This is how you described it.
17 A. Yes. And that it was a woman with daughters,
18 which was in the basement.
19 Q. Does Nasid Ahmic's house have a basement with
20 a staircase?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Colonel Watters was here and he provided
23 certain documents. He said that this house was in
24 Upper Ahmici.
25 A. I am also looking for this house. I have not
1 been able to fully analyse all these documents and
2 photographs, but his statement about a woman and her
3 daughters being killed, I don't know why -- there's
4 only bones now remaining.
5 Q. It is important that we try to determine what
6 actually happened. You still are operating with
7 certain assumptions, so these are theories. So you are
8 not sure whether this is your family. So that's one
9 thing. And the photographs and the description of the
10 event is identical to the description offered by
11 Colonel Watters. So this is a house in Upper Ahmici,
12 and this is a house which is away from Grabovi. So
13 what is it that forms the basis for your theory whereby
14 Zoran Kupreskic is responsible for the deaths of your
15 family members?
16 A. Madam, the distance between Grabovi and the
17 upper village is not really that great. But let me
18 tell you why I have the theory that Zoran Kupreskic is
19 responsible for the deaths of my mother and the girls.
20 I was at Zume. There was another commander
21 there. I think his name was Zarko. And in that area,
22 there was no killings of women and children. We were
23 placed in a camp. Maybe one or two women, I think
24 there were two women who were killed, but in the area
25 where I lived and in Grabovi in general, a child of --
1 a six-month-old child was killed there. I know that
2 Zarko Papic who told these people, "Don't kill women and
3 children," while over there they did it without any
5 In Grabovi and Upper Ahmici, they are so
6 close that when he finished in Grabovi, he could have
7 come to Gornji Grabovi very quickly. So there was no
8 line there. He did not have a front-line. Zoran
9 Kupreskic could have taken the soldiers up there and he
10 could have done something, and also because a
11 six-month-old baby was killed there and some women.
12 Q. Very well. So you were a member of the BiH
13 army until 1996. Does it seem acceptable to you that a
14 person who is in charge of assigning village watches,
15 and you earlier described what the units were which
16 were involved, you said that these were people who had
17 a lot of equipment, who had flak jackets, who were very
18 well-armed, some of them wore masks, and yesterday you
19 even used the word "Commandos." Does it make sense to
20 you that such people would be under the command of
21 Zoran Kupreskic who, until that day, was working and
22 he, as we say, was only in charge of village watches,
23 would he be capable of doing that?
24 A. No, I just say that I had seen him before
25 very well-armed and he looked like a Commando. They
1 had very good equipment and uniforms. This man could
2 have undergone a certain kind of training. People who
3 entered the houses and were killing people had someone
4 to guide them, and as Zoran Kupreskic was one of those
5 who were in charge there, he could have directed people
7 Q. So in your theory, was he a commander or was
8 he a guide?
9 A. He could have been a guide.
10 Q. So he did not determine -- I mean, the
11 question that I'm asking you is ugly, if I may say so,
12 but he was not in charge of who was going to be killed
13 or not?
14 A. Let me tell you. I don't know how Zarko
15 acted, but he could have influenced people if he chose
16 to do so, to at least save women and children.
17 Q. You said that at one point there were about
18 100 people just on one side of the village, entering
19 it. Remember you said that they were coming from two
20 directions, and that there would have been 100 people.
21 This would have been 6.30, 7.00 in the morning, that is
22 an hour and a half after the beginning of the attack.
23 How could Zoran Kupreskic have had these
24 people under his command, or people in the village?
25 And let's not go too far in our theories and
1 conjectures. You said that this was a special purpose
2 unit, that they knew exactly what they were doing.
3 A. Madam, the morning when the attack took
4 place, I heard a voice of a neighbour of mine. He
5 said, "Quickly, quickly, to that house. There is no
6 one there," meaning our house. And I realised that all
7 these commandos had guides who were our neighbours.
8 Q. Did you see a single neighbour of yours at
9 that time? The people which you have described were
10 not people from your village.
11 A. No.
12 Q. So you did not see them?
13 A. But I did hear Ivo Papic's voice. I believe
14 that he was directing people to our house, and this was
15 at a time when Fahrudin Ahmic's house was being set on
17 Q. So Ivo Papic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was Ivo Papic some kind of a commander?
20 A. No. I just said that this was a
21 headquarters, that the organising took place there. I
22 don't know if he was a commander of any kind.
23 Q. Well, I have one more question to ask.
24 Please tell me, when did you meet Sakib Ahmic after
25 what happened in Ahmici? I'm referring to Sakib Ahmic,
1 the son of Rasid. When did you meet him for the first
2 time; do you remember?
3 A. I don't remember. Perhaps three to four
4 months after that because he was in hospital. I can't
5 tell you precisely when.
6 Q. Did you talk to him about what happened in
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. What did he say to you?
10 A. He said that he had been attacked, set on
11 fire, and that his son had been killed and his
12 daughter-in-law and his grandchild and that it had been
13 very hard for him to recover. His face had burns on
15 Q. Did he tell you who had done this?
16 A. Yes. He said that Vlatko Kupreskic and Miro
18 Q. That they had done it?
19 A. Yes, that they had been the first to barge
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: All right. Thank you
22 very much. I am finished.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I ask
24 Mr. Pavkovic who is next?
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I would like to
1 announce counsel Petar Puliselic.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel for Papic. Yes.
3 Thank you.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Puliselic:
5 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I am the defence counsel for
6 Dragan Papic. I would like to say in advance that I am
7 sorry about the tragedy you have experienced. I am
8 sorry about the loss of your father, the loss of your
9 brother, because of the loss of your mother and
10 sisters. I regret that you were wounded and that you
11 have gone through trauma and that you are still
12 suffering from this trauma. I have to tell you that I
13 condemn very strongly those who have done this.
14 I understand fully your frustration, yet
15 still, I would like to ask you to be completely
16 objective and to help so that those who really had
17 nothing to do with this being charged and those who did
18 not participate in all this.
19 Yesterday, I listened to your testimony very
20 carefully, and I did so today. A part of yesterday's
21 testimony was, in my opinion, rather -- well, I found
22 it, from my own point of view, rather unconvincing, and
23 I found this to be quite evident.
24 On the other hand --
25 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, Mr. Puliselic, you
1 mustn't make a speech now. You can make your comments
2 about the evidence in due course. Would you ask
4 MR. PULISELIC: Very well. Yes. Well, very
6 Q. I would like to ask you whether you remember
7 how many statements you have made about these
8 unfortunate events so far and when you made them.
9 A. I think I have made five to six statements,
10 and these have been presented to you, the Defence
11 counsel. The statements were made at certain time
13 Q. So you made five to six statements?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Do you remember to whom you made all these
17 A. It was mostly to the investigators of the
18 Tribunal in The Hague.
19 Q. Did you make statements to anybody else apart
20 from the investigators of The Hague?
21 A. Yes. I made statements to the television
22 crew of Bosnia and Herzegovina television and to
23 others. I made a statement to -- this was an office in
24 RMK Promet Zenica. That was my first statement. It
25 was supposed to be some kind of government committee to
1 investigate this.
2 Q. Did you make any statements immediately
3 before coming to the International Tribunal in The
5 A. No.
6 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I have to let you know that your
7 previous statements, to a large extent, do not
8 correspond to what you have said here at the trial, and
9 this applies especially to your incrimination of the
10 accused Dragan Papic. Yesterday, you incriminated
11 Dragan Papic very seriously while you made no mention
12 of this in your previous statements.
13 Firstly, at the trial you said that, on one
14 occasion, I think you said it was in 1991, you met
15 Dragan Papic and that he told you he was studying some
16 literature about military strategy and that this was
17 even literature dating from the time of fascist Germany
18 and then some literature about the persecution of the
19 Jews and that Papic glorified Hitler, considering that
20 Croatia should establish this model of a state and so
22 Just a short while ago, you said that you had
23 given five to six statements. However, according to
24 the material which has been disclosed to the Defence
25 counsel by the Prosecution, first you made a statement
1 to the State Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the
2 10th of May, 1993; then you made a statement to the
3 investigator of the International Tribunal on the 3rd
4 of February, 1995; and then again to the investigator
5 of the Tribunal within three-day intervals on the 23rd,
6 27th, and the 28th of March, and this was put together
7 into a single statement. You spoke in detail about the
8 events taking place in the period pertaining to the
9 charges against the accused. But in all these
10 statements, you never mentioned what you are now
11 adducing against Dragan Papic, especially the
12 conversation about glorifying Hitler and so on.
13 I would now like to ask you how this
14 inconsistency came about between what you stated
15 earlier and what you are saying now at this trial. I
16 would like you to explain this inconsistency, if you
17 can, because I know for a fact that Dragan Papic is not
18 prone to reading. I have been his counsel for quite
19 some time --
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Puliselic, we must have a
21 question. Now, what is the question for the witness?
22 MR. PULISELIC:
23 Q. The question is: Can the witness explain the
24 inconsistency and why he is only now saying that Papic
25 liked reading literature about Nazi Germany and so on?
1 Why didn't he mention this before?
2 A. I don't know whether you are aware of the
3 fact that I was a witness here last year in the Blaskic
4 case, and I made quite detailed statements. I think
5 that statements can be extended. I think it's allowed
6 to add more details, more information as it comes to
7 mind, as one remembers it.
8 When this trial started, the investigators
9 visited me again, and they said that there was to be a
10 trial of this group, and I extended these statements I
11 had made previously with what I remembered about Dragan
13 Q. Well, it's strange that you didn't say this
14 before since you spoke in such detail. You are one of
15 the witnesses who spoke at greatest length.
16 A. Well, sir, perhaps I didn't remember then. I
17 did make an extensive statement, but I didn't want to
18 waste time then. Now I am focusing on this case, and I
19 think that's the proper thing to do.
20 Q. You are now saying that you were shot at from
21 Dragan Papic's house on the 20th of October, 1992, from
22 a sniper. You never mentioned this before. Can you
23 explain how far away were you from the house when you
24 were shot at from a sniper?
25 A. About 250 to 300 metres.
1 Q. How do you know that the shot came from
2 Dragan Papic's house?
3 A. Well, when a bullet whizzes past your head,
4 it's quite easy to tell where it came from.
5 Q. At what time did this take place; can you
6 tell us?
7 A. It was at about 10.00 a.m.
8 Q. A.M. Was there any other shooting? This was
9 on the 20th of October, when the barricade was being
10 shot at.
11 A. Well, there was other shooting as well. But
12 since I was in the ground floor, the sniper couldn't
13 have shot at me. He had to have shot from a higher
15 Q. How could you have heard this shot among all
16 this other shooting and how did you know where it came
18 A. Well, because the bullet passed directly by
19 my head.
20 Q. Did you see who was shooting from the house?
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. How do you know that the shot came from a
24 A. Because the aim was very precise.
25 Q. If it had been precise, he would have hit
2 A. He was a poor shot.
3 Q. I would like you to answer how come you
4 didn't talk about this before. Why are you talking
5 about this only now, at the trial, after a period of
6 five years has elapsed? When you stress that Goran
7 Papic -- he is Dragan's brother, is he not? You say
8 that Goran Papic and Pero Papic brought crates with
9 ammunition into the house. Why are you saying this
10 only now? You never mentioned this in your previous
11 statements. You are saying this after five years have
13 A. Well, sir, as I told you, my statement was so
14 extensive that if I had spoken about all the details, I
15 would have had to spend a few days testifying at the
16 court. Now that this case is beginning, I am focusing
17 on the details which are important for this trial. I
18 have already said that.
19 Q. I have to point out that you are now
20 mentioning that you saw Dragan Papic and his brother
21 Goran on a certain occasion carrying a sniper and
22 carrying a strangulation device. You never mentioned
23 this previously.
24 A. Yes. Well, I was testifying against Blaskic
25 then, but now I am testifying against this group here.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic, you have
2 already made this point. You have already asked this
3 question. Please, don't repeat the same question many
4 times. It's very clear. You made your point. Now we
5 can move on to other questions. Thank you.
6 MR. PULISELIC: Very well. Very well. Your
7 Honour, I think I have to -- I have to put before this
8 witness the new information he has stressed now which
9 he never mentioned before.
10 The witness, for example, said that there had
11 been shots from some kind of gun, that Dragan Papic had
12 shot from some kind of gun. I have to ask him about
13 this because he never mentioned this before and I have
14 to ask him why he is doing so now, why he is saying
15 that only now.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: There is no point, however,
17 asking for the reasons for the inconsistency. It's
18 very clear. You made your point that there is an
19 inconsistency between what he said before and what he
20 is now saying in court. You may stress that there are
21 new facts, you may draw the attention of the Court to
22 those new facts; however, please don't ask again why he
23 refrained from mentioning those facts previously.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. PULISELIC: Yes, yes, yes. Very well.
1 Very well. I understand, Your Honour.
2 So a new inconsistency is that, at the trial,
3 the witness is saying that Dragan Papic shot from a
4 cannon above the houses, over the houses, thus
5 provoking the population.
6 The witness also -- the only thing -- the
7 only time when he mentioned Dragan Papic in his
8 previous statements, he mentioned the uniform, but now
9 he is saying that he wore both a black uniform and a
10 camouflage uniform and civilian clothes; then the
11 witness said that there was probably some kind of
12 military headquarters in Dragan Papic's house. He
13 never mentioned this before. He says that he concluded
14 this by the fact that there were many cars parked there
15 before the day in question, the 15th of April, 1993.
16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, again, I must
17 insist that a question be posed to this witness and he
18 give no speeches.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I agree. Yes,
20 Mr. Puliselic, please do ask questions.
21 MR. PULISELIC:
22 Q. You remember, Mr. Ahmic, that before the war,
23 there were always cars parked around Dragan Papic's
25 A. No, no, not a large number of cars.
1 Q. But there were cars?
2 A. Yes, yes. His friends would come to visit
4 Q. Why did his friends come to see him? Do you
5 know whether Dragan was very good at fixing cars?
6 A. He did a little work in that way before the
8 Q. I would like to ask whether you know, whether
9 you are familiar with the fact that immediately before
10 the war and during the war, in Ahmici and its environs,
11 it was not only the Croats but also the Muslims who
12 were arming themselves, or was it just the Croats?
13 A. The Muslims armed themselves but to a far
14 lesser extent.
15 Q. Can you reply as to what kind of firearms you
16 yourself possessed at that time? Did you have one
17 rifle or more than one, and what type?
18 A. I didn't have any kind of rifle, but I would
19 be given one only when I kept watch. That was in
20 1992. I would be given a type of gun, but I never
21 owned a gun.
22 Q. Were there guns in your house or weapons in
23 your house which were not owned by you?
24 A. No, no.
25 Q. Did you carry any kind of uniform, camouflage
1 uniform, or any other kind of uniform?
2 A. I never wore a uniform.
3 Q. Were you a member of the Territorial Defence?
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. Do you remember an occasion when you
6 allegedly told Papic that you were afraid that you
7 would be killed by your own people because you kept
8 company with Croats a lot?
9 A. No, I never said that.
10 Q. Do you know or did you know Esad Ahmic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where did he live?
13 A. In the upper village of Ahmici.
14 Q. Did you ever talk to anyone about how the
15 Muslims had shot at Esad Ahmic's house and burned his
16 hay because he kept company with the Croats?
17 A. No, I never told anyone about this and I
18 never knew about this.
19 Q. Can you say whether, in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, someone perhaps exerted some influence on
21 you as regards your testimony at the International
22 Tribunal in The Hague?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Were you contacted by any services?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. Are you perhaps, in some way, taking your
2 revenge against Ivo Papic because you said you blamed
3 him for the death of your mother and your sisters,
4 although I don't understand quite well why he should be
5 guilty of that because you said --
6 A. I am not taking revenge against anyone. I am
7 simply stating the facts, what I experienced.
8 Q. We have mentioned Ivo Papic's house so many
9 times. Please, you probably know, can you tell me who
10 is really the owner of that house? Is it Ivo Papic or
11 Dragan Papic, because this house has been mentioned as
12 belonging to Dragan and Ivo Papic.
13 A. I think Ivo Papic was the owner and Dragan
14 also lived in that house.
15 Q. Did your brother, Muris Ahmic, was he
16 detained after he was replaced after a while?
17 A. I don't know about that.
18 Q. Was the reason why he was replaced that the
19 HVO removed the barricade on the 20th of October, 1992?
20 A. As I've already said, I never asked him, and
21 I don't know why. I really don't know why I didn't ask
22 him. He is my brother, but I didn't, believe me.
23 Q. You said that your brother had experienced
24 some kind of shock. What was the reason; can you tell
1 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, I think these
2 questions have already been posed by Ms. Glumac in her
3 cross-examination. We seem to be going over some old
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, to some extent they have
6 already been posed. Could you please move on to other
8 MR. PULISELIC: I apologise.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
10 MR. PULISELIC:
11 Q. I would like to ask the witness whether you
12 perhaps experienced some kind of shock, whether you had
13 any health problems before the war, not to mention
14 after the war. Can you tell us something about this?
15 A. I have been suffering from a kidney disorder
16 for quite some time as well as a heart disorder, but
17 this is not so bad. I was even sent to a hospital in
18 Travnik before the 16th of April, but in Putivevo and
19 Novi Travnik, they sent me back, the Croats sent me
20 back from the checkpoint. They looked at my identity
21 card and they wouldn't let me through, and I was on my
22 way to hospital.
23 Q. Did you have any psychological problems after
24 your wounding?
25 A. No, I was never given any kind of sedative or
2 Q. The Prosecution has shown a photograph of Ivo
3 Papic's house. You then showed the place where the gun
4 had been placed, which was on a lorry. You showed the
5 driveway where this had been located. Can you tell us
6 how far this was from the main road, from the
7 Busovaca-Vitez road?
8 A. It was some 10 metres.
9 Q. Would it be logical for such a big gun on a
10 lorry to be put in such a clearing, in a driveway,
11 which would even block the yard behind Ivo Papic's
12 house? Would it be logical for such a gun to be put
13 there where it could be seen by everyone?
14 A. Well, this was a situation in which the
15 Croats had complete control over this road. This gun
16 was dragged along several times and then Dragan Papic
17 would say, "Well, give it to me for a while so I can
18 shoot from it" and so on, and we had to suffer all
20 Q. Can you tell us what Ivo Papic's position or
21 function was in the village, what post did he hold?
22 A. Do you mean what his trade was?
23 Q. No. But there is information that he was in
24 charge of the Civil Defence. Do you know something
25 about this?
1 A. I presume that he was the head of the Civil
2 Defence because I asked him to bury my father and my
3 brother, and he said there are people whose job it is
4 to do that, and Simo and he went around these burnt
5 houses. Perhaps that had something to do with it,
6 because he was an elderly man.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic, I'm sorry to
8 interrupt you. I would like to ask you whether you
9 have many more questions because --
10 MR. PULISELIC: One short question. Just one
11 very short question.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: I don't want to cut you off.
13 Only because of the break. If you have just one
14 question, you had better put it down so that we can --
15 MR. PULISELIC: Only one question, to which
16 the reply will be brief.
17 Q. Do you know where Dragan Papic was employed?
18 A. He was a forester.
19 Q. Do you know until when?
20 A. I don't know exactly when, but I used to see
21 him quite often around the house.
22 MR. PULISELIC: Thank you. Thank you very
23 much. I'm finished.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we break,
25 may I ask Mr. Pavkovic about the number of Defence
1 counsel who are intending to cross-examine the
2 witness? Are there many more Defence counsel going to
3 cross-examine the witness in the afternoon so that we
4 can make some plans about the next witness?
5 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. Krajina, Mr. Susak, and I
6 will ask for a clarification on one point, and
7 Mr. Radovic. I can advise you, as we go on, how long
8 this will take.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: That means four Defence
10 counsel will be cross-examining the witness this
12 All right. So we break now and we will
13 reconvene at 2.00 sharp.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.08 p.m.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. I must
3 apologise for the delay, but we were held up by matters
4 pertaining to our trial.
5 I am very happy to report that in a matter of
6 a few days, Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic will undergo medical
7 examination according to your request. You probably
8 saw an urgent request to the Registrar that he should
9 undergo medical examination, and we're happy to report
10 that this will happen quite soon.
11 The registry kindly drew our attention to a
12 legal issue, formally speaking. According to our
13 Rules, legal counsel can only act on behalf of one
14 accused. There seems to be some confusion about
15 Mr. Zoran Kupreskic and Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic, because
16 Mrs. Glumac has been talking on behalf of both of them,
17 and actually you have signed two motions, which I think
18 it's quite proper to sign motions, as long as, of
19 course, you were authorised by both accused and by the
20 other counsel, Mr. Radovic.
21 However, when formally addressing the Court
22 in cross-examination or even in examination, we would
23 like you to concentrate on your client only, namely
24 Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic, simply to avoid any confusion,
25 and also to stick to the Rules, because in future,
1 probably it's not our case, there might be a conflict
2 of interest between two accused. So if you speak on
3 behalf of both of them there might be some problems.
4 Let us avoid any complication.
5 Now, after that, may I ask Mr. Krajina to
6 cross-examine the witness.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Krajina:
8 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. I have one single question for Mr. Ahmic as
10 Defence counsel for Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic.
11 When asked by my colleague, Madam Glumac, the
12 last questions, you answered that Sakib Ahmic told you
13 that in the execution of the members of his family,
14 Vlatko Kupreskic also took part.
15 As we have been making certain corrections
16 with regard to names in your statements, could you
17 please tell me whether you had Vlatko Kupreskic in mind
18 or whether you made a mistake there?
19 A. I don't know if this is in the transcript. I
20 meant Miro and Zoran, so that is a correction, and I
21 hope that it is in the transcript.
22 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Krajina.
24 Mr. Susak.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
1 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. I am Defence -- my name is Luko Susak, and I
3 am defending Mr. Drago Josipovic.
4 Mr. Ahmic, in your testimony, you mentioned a
5 person by the name of Nikica Safradin. Can you tell me
6 where is this person from?
7 A. Ivica Safradin.
8 Q. No, no, no. Nikica Safradin.
9 A. This is Ivica Safradin, called Cico.
10 Q. In several of the statements it's stated that
11 -- very well, let's call him Ivica then?
12 A. Yes, it was Ivica.
13 Q. So my question to you is: Where is he from?
14 Where was he born?
15 A. In Santici.
16 Q. You also mentioned other persons like Totic
17 and others. Are they also from Santici or vicinity?
18 A. I believe that Blaz Totic is from Vitez. I
19 don't think he was from our area.
20 Q. How about the rest of them, Dragan Santic for
22 A. Dragan Santic is from Donja Rovna.
23 Q. Very well. Let me move on to another
25 In the morning of the attack, where did the
1 first attack on Ahmici come from? You said that the
2 attack came from different directions?
3 A. I just told you what my assumptions were,.
4 This is a large area. Most probably it came from all
5 directions, but first the attack came from the middle
6 village, because first of all, Sukrija Ahmic's house
7 was set on fire first, so I believe Grabovi, the middle
8 of the village, was attacked first so the rest of it
9 would be cut off, and later on the attacks came from
10 other directions.
11 Q. You said previously that the first attack
12 came from Zume?
13 A. This is what I first saw, and this is what I
14 described, from the direction of Zume.
15 Q. Can you tell me how long did the first attack
16 last that morning? Previously you said that it took a
17 short period of time only.
18 A. Which one do you mean, the Grabovi?
19 Q. No, no, no, the Zume one.
20 A. I believe that they were deployed within half
21 an hour, maybe up to one hour.
22 Q. No, no, no, I don't mean deployed, I mean the
23 attack, the firing.
24 A. No, no, no. I said that they spread out.
25 They deployed and they were prepared for the attack.
1 Q. Yes, but then when the actual attack took
3 A. I have already talked to your colleague,
4 Madam counsel, about it. These were preparations for
5 the attack, but I believe that Zume were attacked
6 previously. I don't know if they had already set
7 houses on fire by this time, but in any event, this is
8 the direction from which they came.
9 Q. Very well you said that Esad Safradine was
10 born in Santici. Do you know this area?
11 A. Yes, I know this terrain. He lived there in
12 that area.
13 Q. How about the others in his group? If they
14 were from the Vitez area, would they have known this
16 A. I believe that there was someone else who
17 would have known it. I did mention he was married to a
18 woman from Nadioci, but the men who were from Rijeka
19 would not know the terrain.
20 Q. My question really was with respect to Esad
21 Safradine, because he was the commander of this group,
22 as you have testified?
23 A. Yes, I said that he did know this terrain.
24 Q. In other words, they did not need a guide if
25 they knew this terrain, right?
1 A. Maybe there was another guide with them in
2 this group, but this was a man who was part of this
3 military formation, of this platoon. If he came from
4 this area he would not need a guide as stated in the
6 Q. Very well.
7 A. Sir, this was an infantry attack. There were
8 no houses around. This was an attack, a real military
9 attack. Regarding the houses, that's where I had said
10 that the soldiers were needed, because the houses were
12 Q. This was morning, during the first attack
13 when you heard shooting. What time was it?
14 A. Do you mean the first explosion?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. I believe that this was before 6.00, before
17 dawn. I couldn't tell you accurately.
18 Q. I have a question out of that question. What
19 was the visibility like?
20 A. The visibility was good.
21 Q. Was there any fog or mist around?
22 A. No, otherwise I wouldn't have seen Sukrija's
23 house. Maybe there was some farther away.
24 Q. Did you know Nikica Plavcic?
25 A. Yes, I did know Nikica Plavcic.
1 Q. You said that he took you?
2 A. No, not just me, he took the whole group.
3 Q. How does he look like?
4 A. He is short, stocky. He has a moustache.
5 Q. What age about? He was -- you said that
6 Santic was shooting at a minaret. You said that this
7 was in the area that was under control of Slavko Papic
8 and Nenad Santic?
9 A. At that time they probably did not have these
10 controls, strictly speaking. This was coming from
11 Zume, and this was where Zarko Papic lived and Dragan
13 Q. Nenad, you mean?
14 A. Yes, Nenad Santic lived below the road.
15 Q. You didn't answer my question. Where did the
16 shell come from?
17 A. From the area where Zarko Papic lived, but
18 this was during the first conflict.
19 Q. Now, please tell me how do you know that
20 Nenad Santic was aiming at the minaret?
21 A. A Croat person said that to someone and then
22 it spread out. And there may also have been a threat
23 in that respect. At any event, Nenad Santic was one of
24 the main organisers, one of the main people during that
25 stage of the HVO organisation, but there was
1 (inaudible) Santic and a man called Livancic who was
2 there with him all the time. I can't recall his first
3 name now.
4 Q. One more question. Can you tell me a person
5 called Ivica Karic?
6 A. Yes I do.
7 Q. Is he alive?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was he injured during the conflict?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Very well, I have no further questions.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Pavkovic
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
15 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours and Mr. Ahmic.
16 Let me take you back to a part of your testimony
17 regarding the events following the time after you were
18 shot, and let me try to help you remember this. You
19 said that you wanted to move down to the road as
20 quickly as you could so that you would leave this
21 area. This was not possible, so you hid under a
23 Can you tell me what type of a bridge this
24 is? Can you describe it for me?
25 A. Yes. It is a bridge which is about 130
1 metres high, and that was its width, and it had like an
2 arch and there was a creek running underneath.
3 Q. What was the creek called?
4 A. This area was called Mostinja, and the creek
5 didn't have a particular name. It was just sort of a
7 Q. So you spent hours in the waist high water,
8 and occasionally you would submerge yourself in order
9 not to be seen, did I understand you correctly?
10 A. Yes, this was from the early morning until
11 late in the evening. When the evening came I was not
12 in the water any more, I came out. So I was in the
13 water in -- during the day and then I sat on a rock in
14 the evening.
15 Q. Can you tell me what type of structure this
16 bridge is? Is it --
17 A. It was built of -- this was -- it wasn't
18 strong enough so that it could take the traffic.
19 Q. How deep is this creek?
20 A. The creek is about 50, 60 centimetres deep,
21 but under this bridge the depth was a bit longer.
22 There was some kind of a dam so that more water was
23 accumulated right there in that area.
24 Q. Was there a lot of growth, bush and such in
25 that area?
1 A. Yes, but not on both sides. Not both
2 upstream and downstream.
3 Q. Could you see well from where you were
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 Q. You said that from this location, which you
7 just described, and occasionally you would hide by
8 submerging yourself, you said that you could see the
9 directions in which a large number of soldiers was
10 moving around. When asked by my colleague Madam
11 Glumac, you said there was up to 100 persons there.
12 You also mentioned the insignia which you saw of
13 particular units?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How far were you from the area where the
16 soldiers were moving and deploying?
17 A. I believe that the soldier closest to me was
18 about seven to ten metres away, and then they were --
19 the rest of them were farther, up to 150 metres away.
20 Q. How could you have seen that if you were
21 under the bridge?
22 A. Sir, this was not a bridge that is very
23 deep. You could see.
24 Q. But you said that you were hiding at water
25 level or submerging?
1 A. Yes, but only if somebody came closer, then I
2 did crouch. So for the rest of it I observed, and
3 there was still no foliage in the trees so you could
4 see very rather well.
5 Q. Very well. Now, can you tell me: You
6 already spoke about the matters which you just
7 explained to us now and which you testified to earlier
8 in your statements. Had you told anyone previously
9 about the details of your arriving at the bridge?
10 A. Do you mean the two investigators?
11 Q. For instance, investigators?
12 A. Yes, I did mention to investigators that I
13 did come to this bridge.
14 Q. If you will allow me, I will remind you what
15 you said. After you had been injured, you stated, "I
16 crawled for about 50 metres and I went to a certain --
17 to a creek. I was wet and then I went to a bridge."
18 You did not mention the bridge, you did not mention
19 the --
20 A. Sir, this was a time when I -- this.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz?
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would request that if
23 Defence counsel is going to refer to a statement, that
24 it be identified and that the page number be specified
25 so that I can at least follow along and see what we're
1 talking about.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you. Yes, I
3 think it is quite sensible a request. Mr. Pavkovic
4 could you be so kind as to specify the document and
5 page you're referring to?
6 MR. PAVKOVIC: It is page 7 of the document
7 which was supplied to the defence by the Prosecution,
8 and the bottom half of the page, and I quote: "I was
9 completely wet" -- before this: "I crawled for about
10 50 metres along a creek, I was completely wet, so I
11 went to a house, which was burning, in order to dry
12 myself." So this is what you stated there, but
13 yesterday and today you said something that to me is
14 quite different. Can you clarify this discrepancy?
15 A. I don't know what you construed, but I was
16 there under this bridge, and then I decided to get out
17 of there. The soldiers were close by. I crawled past
18 them about 50 or 60 metres up, and then I decided to
19 dry myself in a house which was burning. So I don't
20 know that there's anything unclear here.
21 Q. Mr. President, forgive me for my insisting on
22 this, because it is crucial as far as the Defence is
23 concerned, because the witness claims that he had
25 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask you, are you
1 referring to a document, the witness statement taken on
2 the 3rd of February '95?
3 MR. PAVKOVIC: The 23,27 and 28 January
5 JUDGE CASSESE: And are you referring to the
6 Croatian version or to the English version?
7 MR. PAVKOVIC: I am referring to the Croatian
9 JUDGE CASSESE: You should enable the
10 Prosecutor to identify the corresponding page and line
11 in the English version. Mr. Moskowitz.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm having quite a difficult
13 time locating this passage.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I found it myself.
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I think we've located the
17 JUDGE CASSESE: It's on what page in the
18 English text? Seven as well?
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Page 8, towards the bottom
20 middle. If you see paragraph 52 --
21 JUDGE CASSESE: 52. Yes. Mr. Pavkovic,
22 could you again please put your question? Meanwhile
23 we've got --
24 MR. PAVKOVIC:
25 Q. A moment ago I asked you, why yesterday when
1 you testified to your experiences, you did not mention
2 the -- did you not describe the events in the way that
3 you had described it previously, but instead talked
4 about the bridge and that you were hiding underneath.
5 A. Listen, my lawyer was speeding things up,
6 because it was a very long statement.
7 Q. I don't understand. What lawyer of yours?
8 A. I mean the Prosecutor.
9 Q. I'm still not clear?
10 A. I don't know what you want.
11 Q. I am trying to ascertain how did this
12 discrepancy take place. You said that you hid?
13 A. I couldn't give my entire statement. I
14 cannot learn it by heart, so I probably will fail to
15 mention it.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz?
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I object to the
18 characterisation of the statement as being a
19 discrepancy from his testimony in court. As I read the
20 statement it is quite consistent with what he said in
21 court, but in any event it seems to me that whatever
22 point the Defence attorney -- excuse me the name
23 escapes me.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Pavkovic.
25 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Pavkovic is attempting to
1 make has already been made, and I think, at this point,
2 we're perhaps getting into a bit of witness harassment
3 on this issue.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Let me ask Mr. Pavkovic
5 whether he could move on to his next question. It is
6 now fairly clear what he meant.
7 MR. PAVKOVIC: Yes, that's fine,
8 Mr. President. I was just going to stop insisting on
9 this and to ask my next question.
10 Q. You, as you told us, said that you had been
11 shot through the head. Tell me, how long a time
12 elapsed from this injury until you arrived in hospital
13 and whether you were actually hospitalised?
14 A. I wasn't in a hospital when -- after six or
15 seven days, I was released from the camp, I went to the
16 hospital in Zenica where I was given some therapy but I
17 was not hospitalised.
18 Q. During these six days and immediately after
19 you were wounded, did you have any difficulties; for
20 example, did you bleed badly?
21 A. The bleeding stopped quite soon. By the time
22 I had arrived at the road and a little while later, I
23 saw that the bleeding had stopped.
24 Q. Did you have any other difficulties in all
25 this time?
1 A. No, I didn't. Except for the shock which I
2 had suffered.
3 Q. When?
4 A. When I was shot.
5 Q. How long did your shock last?
6 A. Well, it's still lasting. It's an event
7 which shakes up a person.
8 Q. Yes. We understand that. But could you tell
9 me, if I may take you back to that unpleasant moment,
10 after you were shot, through for the next hour, two
11 hours that day, how did you feel?
12 A. Well, it was very hard.
13 Q. Were you able to think about things in a
14 normal way?
15 A. Yes. I thought about things normally.
16 Q. Could you concentrate?
17 A. I was quite well-concentrated until I managed
18 to get out of this difficult situation.
19 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you. That's all I
20 have. No further questions.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much,
22 Mr. Pavkovic.
23 Mr. Radovic?
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
25 MR. RADOVIC: I will start with my
1 questioning directly, and my first question is ...
2 The witness did not reply to the question of
3 why he had given up his job in the factory. He said
4 that this was immaterial for the Court. However,
5 according to the Rules, a witness cannot refuse to
6 answer a question that is asked of him, and the witness
7 cannot decide what is material and what is immaterial
8 for the Court, so I would like to repeat this question,
9 why did he stop working in the explosives factory?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz?
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I fail to see the relevance
12 of such a question, such a personal question, and it's
13 our position that unless some proffer or offer is made
14 to indicate how that could, in any way, be relevant to
15 the issues in this case, we would object to that
16 question being asked. It's obviously an invasion of
17 this witness's privacy.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
19 MR. RADOVIC: Let me explain.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: We all feel that the Defence
21 counsel Radovic should indicate why and to what extent
22 his question may be relevant, so in a way, we are
23 taking up the point made by Mr. Moskowitz.
24 Could you tell us to what extent you feel
25 that this may be relevant and not an inappropriate
1 invasion of the witness's privacy?
2 MR. RADOVIC: Well, he might have had to
3 leave the factory for dishonourable reasons: For
4 example, it might have been a theft, or I don't know
5 why he left, but I understand privacy to refer to
6 family and intimate matters; and as to the reason why
7 he left the factory, that is not a private matter.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: But do you think any previous
9 criminal record might have an impact on the credibility
10 of the witness, assuming that there was a crime, a
11 crime was committed? Do you think it would be
13 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, I do.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: We think that you may put the
15 question as follows: You may ask whether he left
16 because he was sentenced, because of any crime he had
17 committed, without pressing this matter further. Could
18 you put it this way, whether the reason why he left his
19 job was because he had committed a crime and he had
20 been dismissed because of this crime, criminal
22 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, I can put the question
23 this way. I agree. Let the witness answer.
24 A. I will answer directly. It's no secret. But
25 it's not in your favour. I was working in a milieu in
1 which there were women and there were mostly Croatian
2 women, and I felt a great amount of hostility and even,
3 on one occasion, I felt that they were -- I thought
4 they were putting something in my coffee, and I was
5 rather tense in those moments. I had many problems in
6 that environment, so I decided to leave that job.
7 That's the reason, sir.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 MR. RADOVIC:
10 Q. When you felt that they were putting
11 something into your coffee, did you go to a doctor?
12 Did you try to identify what this was?
13 A. Yes, I had a medical check-up and I had
14 digestive difficulties, but the doctor was not willing
15 to give me sick leave, and then I decided to leave the
17 Q. Were you a member of the SDA party?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When?
20 A. In 1991, ever since the party was
22 Q. Until when?
23 A. Until the war.
24 Q. You are no longer a member of the party?
25 A. No, I'm not.
1 Q. Do you know whether Zoran Kupreskic was a
2 member of the HDZ?
3 A. I assume he was.
4 Q. I'm not interested in your assumptions. I
5 would like to know whether you know this or not.
6 A. I don't know exactly. I didn't look into
7 their archives.
8 Q. Have you ever heard that Zoran Kupreskic ever
9 said anything bad about the Muslims in order to incite
10 hatred among the Croats and the Muslims, and if you
11 ever heard of this, tell us who you heard it from?
12 A. I only talked to Zoran Kupreskic two to three
13 times in my life, and we did not discuss wartime
15 Q. You never had any personal conflicts with
17 A. We rarely had any contact.
18 Q. Did you ever have a personal conflict with
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you ever hear from anyone else that Zoran
22 Kupreskic had ever tried to incite bad feelings toward
23 the Muslims?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You said that the Croats from Vitez did not
1 go to fight against the Serbs; is that correct? Do you
2 know anything about who held the front-line against the
3 Serbs in Slatke Vode?
4 A. I had never heard of that place.
5 Q. Do you allow the possibility that the Croats
6 were there, or do we have to prove this in other ways?
7 A. Well, you have to explain where this
8 front-line is. I don't know where this place is.
9 Q. In the Territorial Defence of the Muslim part
10 of Ahmici, you said there had been a change because, to
11 begin with, it was your brother and later another
12 person arrived. How do you know that Zoran Kupreskic
13 was, let's say, the commander of the Territorial
14 Defence or the village guard in the Croatian part in
16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, I think these
17 questions have been asked and answered at least more
18 than once.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Moskowitz, would you allow
20 counsel to go about his task? In my judgement, this is
21 a matter which he is entitled to put. They are
22 important matters, and counsel must be allowed to put
24 MR. RADOVIC: I apologise, but one question
25 follows from another, because my next question would be
1 whether he knows whether Zoran Kupreskic was the
2 commander till the very end, until the 6th of April,
3 until a certain date.
4 Q. So do you know this or not?
5 A. I never went to Zoran Kupreskic's house. I
6 have no proof. I didn't go there, but some people went
7 to his house for negotiations, and then the word
8 spreads around, so I heard that this had taken place at
9 Zoran's or Dragan's.
10 Q. Well, please correct me if I'm saying
11 something that you didn't mean to say, but am I right
12 in saying that you do not know precisely whether Zoran
13 was the commander in Grabovina until the 16th of April
14 from your own observation?
15 A. Yes, that's what I said. It's just my
17 Q. Fine. That's your assumption.
18 A. Since he went to the war theatre so ...
19 Q. You say that Zoran went to the war theatre.
20 Did you see this with your own eyes?
21 A. I didn't see him at the front-line, but he was
22 equipped like a soldier at the front-line. He was
23 exhausted. His beard had grown, his clothes were
24 dirty, so I assume he had been at the front-line.
25 Q. So that again is your assumption. Fine. As
1 regards Ivica Kupreskic, whom you mentioned having seen
2 two months before that in a green lorry, does Ivica
3 Kupreskic own a company or a warehouse?
4 A. No. He had had a shop a long time ago, but
5 it was closed now. He didn't have a company at that
7 Q. How could you have seen from a distance of
8 500 metres that this was a four-wheel drive?
9 A. I know from experience what kind of truck
10 this is.
11 Q. Can you tell me what kind it was?
12 A. I think it was a TAM lorry. I think they
13 were TAMS, military trucks. I'm not exactly an expert,
14 but they have categories, and this was a higher
15 category. I'm not an expert.
16 Q. Not all TAMS, not even all military TAM
17 trucks, had four-wheel drives.
18 A. Probably.
19 Q. So you're not quite sure that it was a
20 four-wheel drive?
21 A. No, I'm not quite sure. They were powerful
23 Q. To the question about the sniper in the first
24 stage of your examination, we stopped there and you
25 didn't explain what kind of sniper it was, so would you
1 be so kind as to explain what you understand by a
2 sniper and what you actually saw?
3 A. A sniper is a rifle which fires single shots,
4 and it has an apparatus where an optical device can be
5 put on top.
6 Q. Yes. So that's what you saw. Can you
7 describe whether it was a single-barrel or a
8 double-barrel gun that you saw?
9 A. It was a single-barrel, it couldn't have been
10 a double-barrel gun because that can't be made into a
12 Q. So it was a single-barrel gun. When did you
13 give your statement for Sarajevo television?
14 A. I think it was in 1994.
15 Q. As late as 1994. Can you remember what you
16 talked about?
17 A. Well, everything I said here, something
18 similar to what I said here.
19 Q. Do you have a videotape of this interview?
20 A. I think it was presented to the Court at the
21 first trial.
22 Q. And now, as regards the Territorial Defence
23 in your village, you said on one occasion that there
24 were no members of the B and H, military police, in the
25 village of Ahmici; did I understand you correctly?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know Zahid Ahmic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was he a member of a military police?
5 A. He was a reservist in the military police. I
6 was referring to the regular police.
7 Q. Is he from Ahmici?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know Sulejman Ahmic, nicknamed Cica?
10 A. He was also a policeman but regular
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What about him? Was he a policeman?
15 A. No, he wasn't.
16 Q. Neither military nor civilian?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Are you sure?
19 A. Yes, I'm sure.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was he a policeman?
23 A. He was also a reserve policeman. This was a
24 reserve police. The Croats were also reserve
1 Q. I don't mind whether they were Croats or
2 not. I'm simply asking whether people from Ahmici were
3 members of the reserve police.
4 A. You mean in Ahmici?
5 Q. Yes, because at that time, the distinction
6 between the civilian and military police was quite
8 Can we go on? Do you know Nedzad Pezer
9 called Peda?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What about him as regards the police?
12 A. Well, all these were reserve wartime police,
13 as it was called. All these people were members of
14 that police force, but it was not the military police.
15 Q. Nermin Ahmic, what about him?
16 A. He was also a member.
17 Q. Did he have the task of being a sniper?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know Ahmet Pezer?
20 A. Yes, he was killed.
21 Q. Was he also a member of the police?
22 A. Yes, they were all in the police.
23 Q. Yes. I have to ask these questions so that
24 we can identify these people. Edin Kermo?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. He was there too. Fehim Pezer, nicknamed
3 A. Yes, I know him.
4 Q. Was he a member?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Well, I'm not asking you to say anything you
7 don't know.
8 Now, as regards weapons on the Muslim side,
9 you said only that you had one hand grenade. What kind
10 of hand grenade was it? Was it an offensive or a
11 defensive weapon?
12 A. It was a normal bomb, a common bomb which you
14 Q. Yes, but in military terminology, there are
15 two kinds of bombs, offensive and defensive. Defensive
16 are more powerful and offensive bombs are less powerful
17 so as not to threaten the life of the attacker. If you
18 don't know, you don't have to say.
19 A. Well, it was a more powerful bomb.
20 Q. Do you know Mirsad Ahmic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did he have any weapons on the 16th of April,
23 1993, because he said that he had a 7.8-millimetre
24 machine gun?
25 A. Believe me, I don't know.
1 Q. Do you know Alaga Ahmic?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I am referring
4 to witness statements given to the Prosecutor who say
5 that they themselves, they say they had weapons, so I'm
6 trying to establish whether the witness knew anything
7 about this.
8 Q. Do you know Alaga Ahmic? Did he have a
10 A. Yes, he had a weapon. I know that.
11 Q. What kind of weapon?
12 A. He had a semi-automatic gun.
13 Q. Well, if you don't know something, just say
14 you don't know. I don't want you to give any wrong
16 Do you know Fehim Ahmic?
17 A. I know him.
18 Q. Did he have a weapon?
19 A. I don't know. Believe me.
20 Q. Do you know Vehbija Ahmic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did he have a weapon?
23 A. Yes, he had a handmade gun of some sort.
24 Q. Do you know (redacted)?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did he have a weapon?
2 A. Yes, he did. I think he had a gun of some
4 Q. Do you know Osman Pezer?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did he have a weapon?
7 A. They were brothers. I don't know whether
8 they had two weapons.
9 Q. Do you know Hazrudin Bilic?
10 A. I don't know who you're referring to.
11 Q. Do you know Zijad Ahmic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did he have a weapon?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Do you know Fahrudin Ahmic?
16 A. I know two. I don't know which one you're
17 referring to.
18 Q. There is one who is alive and one who is
19 dead. I'm referring to the one who is still living.
20 A. No, he didn't have a weapon.
21 Q. What about the deceased, Fahrudin Ahmic?
22 A. I don't know either.
23 Q. (The interpreter) I didn't catch the name.
24 A. Yes, he had a weapon.
25 Q. Zahid Ahmic?
1 A. Yes, I know him.
2 Q. Did he have a weapon?
3 A. I think he did.
4 Q. What did he have?
5 A. Probably a shotgun.
6 Q. Ehmid Ahmic?
7 A. I don't know if he had a weapon.
8 Q. Zeir Ahmic?
9 A. I don't know about Zeir. I think that their
10 weapons were taken away, Pirici and Zume.
11 Q. Ramo Bilic?
12 A. Also I think his weapons were taken away in
13 Zume. Whether they got any other weapons later, I
14 don't know.
15 Q. I'm interested primarily in the 16th.
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. I'm just telling you what date we're
18 interested in. Rasim Zirdelovic (phoen)?
19 A. I don't know whether he was armed.
20 Q. Sejo Ahmic?
21 A. I don't know about him either.
22 Q. Nevsudin Pezer?
23 A. He was in the police. I think he did have
24 something, a gun.
1 A. Well, he was a hunter. He had a hunting
3 Q. Sefik Pezer?
4 A. I don't know what Sefik had.
5 Q. Ahmed Pezer?
6 A. I don't know that either.
7 Q. Goran Semir?
8 A. I don't know that man.
9 Q. Senus Pjanic?
10 A. Senus Pjanic? I don't know whether he had a
12 Q. Sabahudin Muratovic?
13 A. Sabahudin Muratovic? I don't know about him
14 either, whether he had a weapon.
15 Q. Very well. We are finished with this part.
16 Let us go on.
17 When you said that Zoran was a commander in
18 Grabovi, my colleague asked you how many men there
19 were. In the meantime, you were in the army so that
20 you know about military units, and if you were to put
21 Zoran among the army, would he be the commander of a
22 squad or another size of unit?
23 A. A squad.
24 Q. You said that Zoran was a guide. Did you see
25 him acting as a guide?
1 A. No.
2 Q. On the basis of what do you conclude that he
3 was a guide?
4 A. I said I presumed that.
5 Q. So it's an assumption.
6 A. Yes, it's an assumption.
7 Q. Now we would like to talk about your meeting
8 with Sakib Ahmic. Please try to explain to the Court
9 the television in the part controlled by, let us say,
10 the Muslim side at that time. Was it based exclusively
11 in Sarajevo or was it also in Zenica, Zetel?
12 A. I think Zetel was based in Zenica only.
13 Q. But Sarajevo had a television station as
15 A. Sarajevo had a Bosnian television.
16 Q. I was unable to follow, so please forgive me,
17 but how many days after the conflict of the 16th of
18 April did you arrive on Muslim territory?
19 A. Within eight days.
20 Q. When you arrived on Muslim territory, I
21 presume that it was in the vicinity of Zenica?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you arrived on Muslim territory, did you
24 have any occasion to see the television programme?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. From the beginning?
2 A. Well, I didn't really watch television
4 Q. Did you happen to see a television programme
5 about the visit to the victims of Ahmici in the Zenica
7 A. No, I didn't.
8 Q. Did you perhaps hear about this television
9 programme which was made when the first victims arrived
10 in the Zenica hospital?
11 A. I think I did.
12 Q. Do you know by hearsay or through your own
13 observation that, in this first television programme
14 which was made in the Zenica hospital, Sakib Ahmic, the
15 one who is not your relative, was shown?
16 A. Yes, I heard that Sakib Ahmic had spoken for
17 the television and some other women as well.
18 Q. Did you hear what Sakib Ahmic talked about?
19 A. I said I didn't watch the programme.
20 Q. Very well. If you didn't watch the
21 programme, you don't know about the details, you only
22 know that it was mentioned on the television.
23 Would you only help me by saying whether this
24 was on Zetel or on the Sarajevo television according to
25 what you have heard?
1 A. No one was able to tell me in detail.
2 Q. Because it's hard for me to identify.
3 A. I think it was the Zenica television.
4 Q. So it was Zetel. Thank you very much.
5 Let me just ask you about Sakib Ahmic and
6 then we will be done. Can you tell me where you met?
7 I'm not interested in Sakib Ahmic who is your uncle but
8 the other Sakib Ahmic. Where did you meet with him?
9 A. This was in Zenica and we did not sit down,
10 so to speak. We just walked along, so it was a very
11 brief meeting.
12 Q. Could you reproduce this conversation to the
13 extent that it is possible to? Obviously, you did not
14 pay much attention at that time. Everybody had his own
15 worries. But can you tell me?
16 A. He told me that Zoran Kupreskic and Miro
17 broke into the house with weapons, to the house where
18 Naser was and that they killed his wife and his child,
19 that he hid behind some kind of armoire or something.
20 Q. Did he describe them, whether they had their
21 faces painted?
22 A. No, no, no. He just told me the main things.
23 Q. He told you -- did he mention to you that
24 they both were armed with rifles?
25 A. I don't know what they could have had in
1 order to shoot.
2 MR. RADOVIC: Very well, Mr. President. I am
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Radovic.
5 I wonder whether Mr. Moskowitz would like to
6 re-examine the witness.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour, just
9 Re-examined by Mr. Moskowitz:
10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I know it's been a long day, so
11 I'll be very brief.
12 You were just asked about your conversation
13 with Sakib Ahmic in Zenica. Could you tell us how
14 Mr. Sakib Ahmic appeared and looked while you were
15 speaking to him? I'm talking about his physical
17 A. His face was all burned and his arms were
18 also burned, but he had just come out of the hospital
19 so this was all sort of new skin that was growing, both
20 on his face and his forearms.
21 Q. Did Sakib Ahmic appear to you to be in some
22 pain as he was talking to you, physical pain?
23 A. Yes, certainly, certainly. He had been
24 weakened quite a bit and he suffered a lot of pain. He
25 had been burned.
1 Q. Now, you were also asked, I believe by
2 Mr. Grospic (sic), about your earlier testimony
3 regarding the October 1992 attack, specifically your
4 testimony about seeing shooting coming out of Ivo and
5 Dragan Papic's house on that day. Do you recall him
6 asking you about that?
7 A. Could you please repeat the question?
8 Q. Do you recall one of the Defence lawyers,
9 Mr. Grospic, asking you about your never having said
10 before that you had seen firing coming out of Papic's
11 house on October 22, on October 20th, 1992? Do you
12 recall him asking you about that?
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
14 MR. RADOVIC: Excuse me. Since the
15 Prosecution is sometimes raising questions -- I believe
16 that we will need to clarify that Ms. Grospic did not
17 question any witness, and the Prosecutor is referring
18 to Ms. Grospic, and I think he's confusing the
19 witness. I think we need to clarify who it was that
20 posed the question.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, yes, of course. I
22 hadn't realised that he was referred to Mr. Grospic.
23 Ms. Grospic is the legal assistant.
24 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I apologise. I looked at the
25 wrong name on the list.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic.
2 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Mr. Puliselic --
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
5 Q. -- suggested to you that you had never spoken
6 before about seeing firing coming from Ivo and Dragan
7 Papic's house. Do you remember him saying that?
8 A. I believe that I have said so. Maybe he did
9 not read the statements very well.
10 Q. Do you recall testifying at the Blaskic trial
11 and testifying on page 3 -- 3724 regarding what you had
12 seen, specifically that firing was coming out of Ivo
13 and Dragan Papic's house that day?
14 A. I believe that it was said in the statements,
15 and I did mention also in the Blaskic case, but I do
16 not -- I do not recall it right now.
17 Q. Now, you were also asked about never having
18 said before to investigators in the Blaskic case about
19 your conversation with Dragan Papic in 1991 regarding
20 Adolf Hitler and those matters. What you were
21 questioned by the investigators in the Blaskic case,
22 were you specifically asked to give details about
23 Dragan Papic from 1991?
24 A. Yes, at the end, they always asked about the
25 persons who are here now and about some additional
1 persons, whether I knew them, but they only asked very
2 briefly about them, including Dragan Papic. They also
3 asked about him.
4 Q. Did they ask you to think about anything that
5 you had, any contact you had had with Dragan Papic back
6 in 1991? Did they want you to focus that far back, or
7 were they interested only on the attack in Ahmici in
8 1993 and how that related to Blaskic?
9 A. In general, they just asked me to mention
10 these people very briefly, but they focused in much
11 more detail on the attacks.
12 Q. Now, you were also asked about the
13 Territorial Defence in Ahmici in 1993, and I'm afraid
14 the suggestion may have been made that the Territorial
15 Defence in Ahmici was, in fact, a military or a highly
16 sophisticated military operation. Was it, in fact, a
17 highly sophisticated military operation in Ahmici in
19 A. No, you couldn't say that because there were
20 no conditions for that. We did not have logistics, no
21 war materiel or the military police communications or
22 other facilities needed for the military. There were
23 no uniforms. There was no equipment, supplies.
24 Q. Bottom line, what was the Territorial Defence
25 in Ahmici in 1993? What was it in Ahmici?
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Radovic, do you have
2 an objection?
3 MR. RADOVIC: Yes. This question has been
4 asked and answered. The witness very comprehensively
5 answered that in late 1992, the Territorial Defence
6 became part of the BH army, and so this question has
7 already been asked and answered and I don't think we
8 need to repeat it.
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ: This is not the thrust of my
10 question. Perhaps I need to be --
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Can you rephrase it
12 probably? Are you asking for a sort of description of
13 the Territorial Defence?
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm asking for a realistic
15 description of what really was going on in Ahmici in
16 1993 with regard to the Territorial Defence and not
17 what was going on on paper. What was really happening
18 in Ahmici.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Ms. Glumac has an objection.
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I just wanted to
21 remind -- I would just like to point out that we have
22 already concluded, through the witness's testimony,
23 that in 1993, the Territorial Defence no longer
24 existed. He stated that in late 1992, the Territorial
25 Defence had become the BH army, so now we're going back
1 to something that had been established earlier.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I think Mrs. Glumac is
3 right. I have here in front of me my notes, and the
4 witness said in December '92, the Territorial Defence
5 was incorporated into the army of BiH. I take your
6 point. Thank you.
7 I wonder, Mr. Moskowitz, whether you could
8 maybe again rephrase your question?
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Let me put it this way then.
10 The transformation of the Territorial Defence
11 in 1993 to the army, was that, in fact, a
12 transformation that made a difference on the ground in
13 Ahmici or was it just a paper difference?
14 A. There were changes that were both real
15 changes on the ground and on paper. My personal
16 opinion is that by being absorbed into the BH army, the
17 organisation of the Territorial Defence in my village
18 was a bit weakened because people had to go to other
19 front-lines, so we had fewer people. Also, some weapons
20 had to be taken to the front-lines against the Serbs. I
21 can also state now that even elderly men started giving
22 these watches, so that the defence of the village was
23 weakened by this.
24 With the establishment of the army, we did
25 not receive any equipment or material, it was only on
1 paper. But we had no depot so we did not receive
2 anything. So by the establishment of the army and this
3 brigade, I think we were, in effect, weakened.
4 Q. Would it be fair to say that basically in
5 1993, whether you call it the Territorial Defence or
6 the BiH army, in Ahmici it boiled down to several men
7 in civilian clothes walking around the neighbourhood,
8 some armed, some not, at night to protect their homes?
9 Would that be a fair statement?
10 A. Yes, that is how it worked, just as it did
11 during the Territorial Defence period, only it was even
12 weaker now.
13 Q. Now, you also were asked about all these
14 people who had weapons and that lived in Ahmici. After
15 the attack in 1992, were the Muslims required to turn
16 their weapons over as a condition to return to their
18 A. Yes. They asked that all the weapons we
19 possessed be turned in, and they took weapons away in
20 Zume and in Pirici. I don't know how many rifles were
21 there, there were quite a number of them there, and the
22 upper part, the people there refused to turn them in,
23 and then there was the threat we would be attacked.
24 The attack did not take place, there was some
25 negotiations, and then the Croats agreed to have the
1 four rifles that were taken away from them be returned,
2 and I think that was it.
3 Q. Now, you were also asked, I believe, about
4 the curfew and about how Muslims were stopped by Croat
5 patrols in Lower Ahmici, but that wasn't it possible
6 for Muslim Territorial Defence patrols to stop Croats
7 in Upper Ahmici. Were there any Croats living in Upper
8 Ahmici at all, to the best of your knowledge?
9 A. No, not at all.
10 Q. Would there be any houses, therefore, for
11 Croat patrols to protect in Upper Ahmici?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know of any instance whatsoever where
14 a Muslim patrol made up of these civilian homeowners
15 and folks returning from the front, do you know of any
16 occasion at all where they stopped and questioned or
17 detained or disarmed a Croat in Ahmici?
18 A. I believe that they were not, except for the
19 four rifles at the barricade. I don't think that there
20 were any other instances.
21 Q. I'm talking about after the barricade,
22 between 1992 and '93?
23 A. No, no. As I said, they did not dare down in
24 the lower village, and Croats never came to the upper
25 village anyway.
1 Q. You say they would not dare. Why wouldn't
2 they dare? Why wouldn't the Muslims dare stop the
3 Croats in the lower village and impose a curfew on them
4 and take their weapons away? Why wouldn't they dare?
5 A. Because they did not have enough weapons, and
6 they were under constant threat, and rather strong
7 Croat forces had been deployed there in a place called
8 Bungalow, and I also knew that there were soldiers
9 there in some forests around. They had been brought
10 there to assist the Croats. And it is true that in
11 Ahmici they were not very numerous, but they had
12 assistance from people outside.
13 Q. In your estimation, Mr. Ahmic, who won the
14 battle in 1992 at the barricade?
15 A. I believe that the Croats won the control of
16 the Vitez/Zenica road, so they won. That was their
18 Q. And after the conflict in 1992, really who
19 was in control in Ahmici, was it the majority Muslims
20 or the minority Croats?
21 A. The minority Croats, I think you can say,
22 because our only way out to this road was there. You
23 we couldn't go either to Busovaca or Vitez, especially
24 Busovaca. There were checkpoints there. They often
25 would take vehicles away. We were blocked. We had a
1 forest road through Vhrovine. That was the only road
2 out that we had.
3 Q. April 16, 1993, who was in control of Ahmici,
4 the majority Muslims or the minority Croats?
5 A. On 16 April, 1993 --
6 Q. Who was in control of Ahmici?
7 A. That is when the attack of the Croatian army
8 took place, and they assumed full control over Ahmici
9 and all the population fled, all people who survived.
10 Q. On April 15, 1993, do you have an idea about
11 how many Muslims lived in Ahmici and in the
12 neighbouring hamlets like Zume?
13 A. I don't know exactly. Maybe 300 to 400
15 Q. That was on April 15th. And how many Muslims
16 do you know lived in Ahmici on April 17th, 1993?
17 A. I don't know. On 17 April, I believe that no
18 Muslim was in the village of Ahmici. I don't know
19 about the upper village. I don't know whether they
20 fled on the 16th or the 17th. I heard that they fled
21 in the evening, the night of 16 to 17, so that one
22 could say that on the 17 those who were killed stayed
23 there in the upper village. I know that there was some
24 elderly persons there, several of them, who did not
25 want to leave with those who fled at night. They
1 stayed there and the Croats came in the following
2 morning and killed them, and I believe that even a
3 small child was killed at that time. And probably my
4 mother and my sisters also arrived there on the 17th.
5 So probably on the evening of the 17th there
6 were no Muslims left in the village of Ahmici.
7 Q. Was Sakib Ahmic, not your uncle, one of the
8 Muslims who left Ahmici on that day? The Sakib Ahmic
9 you talked to in Zenica several weeks later, who was
11 A. Yes. I assume that he also had fled towards
13 Q. And to best of your knowledge, Zoran and
14 Mirjan Kupreskic, where do they live today?
15 A. Their families live in Ahmici and in the
16 hamlet of Pirici, part of Ahmici. That's where their
17 families live.
18 Q. Sakib Ahmic's family, do you know that?
19 A. They live in Zenica.
20 Q. And the ones that didn't survive, where are
22 A. I don't know. I don't know whether any of
23 the victims had been positively identified. I'm not
24 familiar with who of his kin has been identified and
25 buried. I actually don't know this.
1 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Moskowitz.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ahmic, how many sisters did
4 you have?
5 A. Three.
6 JUDGE MAY: And were they killed on the 16th,
7 all of them?
8 A. I assume that they were killed on the 17th.
9 JUDGE MAY: How old were they?
10 A. Can I say the years of their birth? The
11 oldest one, Smaila, was born in 1969, so she was born
12 in'69. Sabria in 1970, and Alma in 1977.
13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Ahmic, I've got a few
15 questions I would like to ask you, but you must be
16 exhausted, and probably we better take a break so that
17 you can have a rest. We'll take only 15 to 20 minutes,
18 if you don't mind.
19 So I suggest that we now rise and then we
20 come back in 30 minutes. So, say, five to four.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Ahmic, if you would
24 assist us on a few areas which are of relevance to this
1 I have two minor and specific questions and
2 two general questions. Let me start with the general
4 First of all, could you explain to us the
5 sort of relations existing prior to probably '92 in
6 Ahmici between the two communities, the Croats and the
7 Muslims? Were members of each community on friendly
8 terms with members of the other community? Did you,
9 say, take part in parties? Did you go, say, to shops,
10 coffee shops together? Did you talk to each other in a
11 friendly way? Was there any animosity between the two
12 groups, say up to '91, early '92?
13 A. No, there were no problems.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: And then gradually things
15 changed; is it so?
16 A. Yes. After the first multi-party elections,
17 things began to deteriorate.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: But before this gradual
19 deterioration, was there any case of intermarriage, for
20 instance, say a Muslim marrying a Croat?
21 A. Yes, there were such cases. Specifically, I
22 never had an argument with any Croat.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: In the Muslim community, was
24 there a particular emphasis on religion? Was there a
25 tradition of, say, a training? Were there many imams?
1 Because we have been told that probably in Ahmici, the
2 Muslim community was particularly strong and focused on
3 religion. Is it so, or what is your feeling? Do you
4 think that there was something which, in a way,
5 distinguished Ahmici from other villages with a Muslim
7 A. Imams in Ahmici were no more religious than
8 the Croats in our surroundings. Both were good
9 believers, so to say, but we were not any greater
10 believers than the Croats were. They had masses every
11 Sunday at the cemetery in Ahmici which were
12 well-attended, especially after the fall of Communism,
13 many people entered into religious customs.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, I didn't make myself
15 clear. I didn't want you to compare the religious
16 attitude of Muslims with that of the Croats in Ahmici.
17 I wanted to you to make a comparison, as it were,
18 between the Muslims in Ahmici and those in other
19 villages, Muslims in other villages.
20 Do you think that there was a particular sort
21 of tendency to be particularly strongly religious in
22 Ahmici so that it was an area, village, where religion,
23 within the Muslim group, did play a major role? Was
24 there any special school for, say, training of imams,
25 or was any particular ceremony ...
1 A. Well, in that respect, it's a question the
2 Croats have been raising. Ahmici was special because
3 there was a private mosque there. There was an
4 individual who had a lot of money and he built a
5 mosque. We saw that in a photograph. And this man
6 gave a lot of money for the building of a mosque. So
7 Ahmici was special because this mosque was built, which
8 was a kind of extra mosque, so to say, but this man had
9 a lot of money, and he decided to build a mosque. So
10 it made things look as if people were more religious.
11 And, as I said, after the fall of Communism,
12 in the Muslim community, people turned to religion to a
13 greater extent. You might say that this did take
14 place. But Ahmici was special because there was this
15 private mosque there, and this attracted attention.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: I see. Thank you. I move to
17 a different question. I think you said that prior to
18 December '92, only Bosniaks were members of the
19 Territorial Defence in Ahmici. Did I understand you
20 correctly? Only, I think at one point you said that
21 the Defence, the Territorial Defence in Ahmici,
22 consisted only of Muslims.
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you explain to us why,
25 why was it so. Because, in a way, Ahmici was a village
1 consisting of a majority of Muslims and a minority of
2 Croats. Now, we are talking about '92, say from
3 January up to, say, December '92. How do you explain
4 that no Croats were members of the Territorial
5 Defence? Can you think of any reason?
6 A. The Croats had established a military
7 organisation long before we did because there was a war
8 in Croatia, and they transferred the military structure
9 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were better
10 organised. And we started establishing our Territorial
11 Defence as best we knew how while the Croats already
12 had weapons and they had already experienced a war in
13 Croatia, because young men from our vicinity went to
14 fight in Croatia, and they had their strategy probably
15 not to enter the Territorial Defence. They already had
16 a well-established institution, the Croatian Defence
18 JUDGE CASSESE: So therefore there was a sort
19 of split along ethnic and religious lines between the
20 Croats and Muslims -- when did this sort of split occur
21 in '92, or was it in '92 or '91? When did you set up
22 the Territorial Defence consisting only of Muslims?
23 A. It was in 1992. In April '92, we established
24 the Territorial Defence. I think the Croats had
25 established the Croatian Defence Council earlier.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Let me now move
2 to minor and specific questions. There was an episode
3 you told us about which is interesting and also
4 puzzling. You mentioned that at one point, I think it
5 was on the 16th of April, you heard two Croats talking,
6 and the senior Croat told the junior Croat to execute
7 the orders, and this was said to him three times and he
8 refused to do so. I assume these were orders to shoot
9 at civilians, probably. Now, could you tell us -- this
10 is what I can infer from what you said.
11 Now, were those two soldiers wearing
12 uniforms, and if so, what sort of uniforms?
13 A. They were wearing camouflage military
14 uniforms and they were painted, their faces were
15 painted in different colours, and they had automatic
16 guns, automatic rifles, with the part that you hold.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Did you see whether there
18 were any insignia, whether they were wearing any
19 insignia, and what sort of rank the senior or older
20 soldier had?
21 A. They didn't have any insignia, they only had
22 blue ribbons, blue bands, on their right shoulder, and
23 they had probably taken their patches off, and I didn't
24 see any ranks.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: What is your guess? Did you
1 at that stage, at that particular time, think of the
2 place from where they probably came or whether they
3 belonged to Ahmici or to a group stationed elsewhere or
4 coming from other places in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Could
5 you think of that particular stage of sort of their, I
6 would call it, origin? Sometimes you can say, judging
7 from the language or the sort of accent somebody
8 speaks, you can say this person comes from that
9 particular village or area or region. Could you make
10 an inference at that particular time, point in time?
11 A. I may have mentioned in my statements, I
12 assumed that the tall man was from Herzegovina and that
13 the younger one was from Busovaca. As far as I can
14 remember, I had even seen him on several occasions in a
15 disco in Busovaca called the Butterfly, and I assume he
16 was from the village called Buselji, which is near, up
17 there, and I had seen him earlier in the disco. It's
18 my assumption.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: But did you conclude that
20 they were regular members of the HVO, professional
21 soldiers, I mean, or members of the HVO?
22 A. Yes, most probably they were because they had
23 strict orders.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: My final question is a minor
25 one. It's about your wound. I think you said that you
1 were taken to a hospital, you went to a hospital about
2 six, seven, or eight days after you were wounded, after
3 the 16th of April, '93. You were probably visited and
4 examined and treated by a doctor, by a medical doctor,
5 at that hospital. If this is so, did the doctor
6 explain to you why, how it came about that, although
7 you were shot at close range, you had not even
8 fainted? Did you get an explanation for this strange
9 phenomenon, which is quite usual, and luckily so. Did
10 you get an explanation? Did he explain to you how it
11 had come about?
12 A. He said to me, it's like when you put a
13 thread into a needle, that's how the bullet passed
14 through, so it didn't damage any of the major bones.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Did he find it quite normal
16 that you had not even fainted but you had recovered
17 immediately and you had been able to actually run away
18 and spend a whole day in the ditch, I mean, in water?
19 Yes? Did he explain this to you?
20 A. Yes, the x-ray showed that the bullet had
21 passed only through the minor, small bones, and he was
22 convinced that that's why I had fared so well and why I
23 hadn't fainted.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you. I
25 think I had a few more questions, but they are not
1 important, and I assume you are really now exhausted,
2 so I think you should go home and have a rest.
3 Is there any objection to our witness being
4 released? I see none.
5 Mr. Ahmic, thank you so much for coming here
6 to court to testify. You may now be released. Thank
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, will you now
10 call your next witness? Oh, Mr. Terrier.
11 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, the next witness
12 is Mr. Esad Rizvanovic. He's place number 6 in the
13 list of witnesses which was handed over to you on the
14 3rd of August. The reason why we call him today is
15 that we have some concerns. His wife is in Bosnia, she
16 is paralysed, she needs constant treatment and care,
17 and we made a commitment to him not to delay him
18 overduly here in The Hague, so that's why we asked him
19 to be called as soon as possible.
20 Mr. Rizvanovic wanted to have some protective
21 measures, face distortion, and the Defence shows
22 agreement to this request.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: So no pseudonym, only face
25 MR. TERRIER: That's right.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Therefore, we have to bring
2 close the blinds.
3 While we are waiting for the witness, may I
4 draw the attention of the parties to our guidelines? I
5 wonder whether you have kept those two pages, the
6 guidelines? Please, don't -- if you need more copies
7 of the guidelines, please tell us, because we attach
8 great importance to our guidelines.
9 My colleagues rightly pointed out to me that
10 we should not forget what is stated in Guideline
11 number C-1, where we stated: "The order of examination
12 and cross-examination will follow the order in which
13 the accused are listed on the indictment."
14 Now, that means that we would like now to
15 stick to this particular guideline and ask now, in this
16 case, the Defence, but this will apply, of course, to
17 the Prosecution as well in any other case, ask the
18 Defence to follow this order.
19 So therefore, we assume that the witness each
20 time should be cross-examined by legal counsel
21 according to the list of accused. So we would start
22 with Mr. Radovic and then -- yes, Mr. Pavkovic? Yes.
23 I think you had ...
24 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I have to
25 inform you that the Defence counsel do not have these
1 guidelines. It must be some kind of administrative
2 error. So I would like to ask the Court that we may be
3 given copies of these guidelines.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, on the 15th of May, we
5 mentioned those guidelines, and I think I read them
6 out, so therefore, they can even be found in the
7 transcript. However, however, it is very easy now to
8 make photocopies of those guidelines, and we will
9 provide you with a copy.
10 Mr. Radovic?
11 MR. RADOVIC: We respect the guidelines of
12 the Court and the desire of the Court for us to speak
13 in the proper order. However, the Defence counsel have
14 agreed in principle and we would like to ask you to
15 accept this principle, that the first Defence counsel
16 to start the cross-examination should be the one who
17 finds the witness most pertinent to his client and then
18 we may proceed in the order stated in the guidelines.
19 I think that this is a very practical solution because
20 this Defence counsel will be the one to have the most
21 questions to ask, so I would like to ask you to accept
22 this principle which will alter the guidelines a little
23 bit but not materially.
24 However, we agree in principle.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Yes, to my mind,
1 it's quite sensible. So we would then start with the
2 legal counsel who feels that his client is the most
3 directly concerned and then we will follow the order as
4 stated in our guideline. All right. I think that's a
5 good compromise, and we thank you.
6 We will now move on to our next witness, if
7 he is nearby.
8 Yes, you mentioned Mr. Rizvanovic.
9 MR. TERRIER: Yes. Mr. President, sometimes
10 there are some spelling errors, but he is indeed called
11 Rizvanovic with an R-I-Z-V-A-N-O-V-I-C.
12 (The witness entered)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Rizvanovic, good
14 afternoon. Could you please stand and make the solemn
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 WITNESS: Esad Rizvanovic
20 Examined by Mr. Terrier:
21 Q. May it please the Court ...
22 Mr. Rizvanovic, your first name is Esad?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In 1993, you were nearly 50 years old.
25 You're married and you have one daughter?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were born in the area of Prijedor. You
3 were driven away from the area of Prijedor after
4 fighting with the Serbs.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you came to settle in the area of
7 Ahmici. What time did you settle in the area of
9 A. Sometime in 1992.
10 Q. In which month?
11 A. I think it was in October. No, I apologise.
12 I left Prijedor on the 22nd of August, so it was
13 sometime in September. I apologise.
14 Q. What were the circumstances under which you
15 found some place to live in Ahmici?
16 A. Since I was in Travnik and there was no place
17 there, I spent a little while there. Then I went to
18 Vitez, and I was at a children's holiday centre for two
19 days. Then this village accepted us who were refugees,
20 and we arrived here and we were received by Hidajet
21 Bilic. He took us into his house.
22 Q. So Mr. Bilic made a house available to you;
23 it was a house which he didn't occupy?
24 A. He was where we were, together, the whole
1 MR. TERRIER: With the assistance of the
2 usher, I would like to show a photograph, an aerial
3 photograph, to Mr. Rizvanovic.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
6 MR. TERRIER: Can you please turn the
7 photograph around on the ELMO?
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, is it possible
9 for the Judges to have the photos at the same time so
10 that we can follow? Which is the exhibit number?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Number 40.
12 MR. TERRIER:
13 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, can you see the photograph on
14 the monitor?
15 A. It isn't switched on.
16 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, do you recognise the specific
17 neighbourhood in Ahmici on this photograph?
18 A. Please help me by pointing out the cemetery.
19 Q. The upper part of this photograph shows the
20 Catholic cemetery.
21 A. It's here, and this would be the road leading
22 down and this was the weekend house where I was.
23 Q. It might be better, Mr. Rizvanovic, if you
24 showed the area on the actual photograph.
25 A. This is the cemetery, this is the road, and
1 this is the weekend house where I was located.
2 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, this means that the houses to
3 be seen within the white circle on this photograph show
4 the house where you settled, which was made available
5 to you when you arrived in Ahmici in September 1992; is
6 that correct?
7 A. This was later, this was Djula's house, and
8 this, near the mosque, was his house, and then later I
9 moved to the weekend house. Where's the mosque?
10 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, the house I am now interested
11 in is the house where you settled with your family when
12 you arrived in Ahmici in September 1992, and it is
13 indeed the house that is located within the white
14 circle close to the Catholic cemetery --
15 A. No, no, no. That was later. That was
17 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, can you explain to us what
18 that house represented that is located within that
19 white circle in the photograph?
20 A. This should be the weekend house of Djulaga
21 Sarajlic below the cemetery which I occupied later, and
22 up here next to the mosque, or near the mosque, but I
23 can't find the mosque here, this was where Bilic's
24 house was, and I stayed with him.
25 Q. The mosque is in the lower right part -- or
1 the lower part of the photograph.
2 A. Oh, here is the Bilic's house.
3 Q. Can you mark, with a cross, the house where
4 Mr. Hidajet Bilic is? Can you see the mosque? Take
5 your time.
6 Mr. Rizvanovic, you are now pointing to the
7 main road between Vitez -- Mr. President, would you
8 allow me to help the witness locate the mosque?
9 That's the mosque. Yes, you can see the
11 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, if the
12 Prosecutor is going to testify on witness's behalf,
13 then we don't need the witness. Could the Prosecutor
14 please refrain from doing this?
15 JUDGE CASSESE: No, the Prosecutor asked me
16 whether he was allowed to, and I said yes. I guess
17 that the witness knows perfectly well where the mosque
18 is. That's not that essential.
19 MR. TERRIER: The Defence counsel is aware of
20 the problems faced by the witness in explaining what
21 happened. The Defence counsel is perfectly aware of
22 the situation. Emotions can make things a bit
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Quite.
25 MR. TERRIER:
1 Q. Did you mark it, with a cross?
2 A. Here. This is the house of Mr. Hidajet
4 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, during the late 1992 and
5 early 1993, you were residing in Ahmici. Did you get
6 to know people living in the neighbourhood of the
7 places where you yourself stayed?
8 A. I knew several houses surrounding the Bilic
9 house. There were Muslim houses, and then I also
10 knew -- vaguely knew some other houses, and then
11 farther up I did not go very much, so I did not know
12 anybody there.
13 Q. Could you name some neighbours residing in
14 Ahmici? Could you still name them today?
15 A. Well, there were -- let me see. Munir
16 Ahmic. I forgot his father's name. I also know
17 Nedzib. His last name as also Ahmic. I also knew
18 Nezir. I don't know his last name, but he had a house
19 over there, and let me see who else. These houses more
20 or less.
21 Q. You have just named a few people. All these
22 people are or were of Muslim faith?
23 A. Yes, Muslims, yes.
24 Q. You yourself are of Muslim faith; aren't
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you get to know, at the time, Croat
3 residents in Ahmici?
4 A. I never met them, but I know the Papic
5 house. There were others there, but I did not come to
6 know any of them down there in this settlement where
7 there were all these weekend houses.
8 Q. Where was the Papic house located?
9 A. Papic's house was when you go from the
10 cemetery up. I knew that house because I passed it
11 often, and then on the other side there were also some
12 Catholic houses.
13 Q. Are you familiar with the name of Dragan
15 A. Yes, because I passed by there frequently and
16 I saw him.
17 Q. What impression did you gain from seeing
18 Mr. Papic?
19 A. I once was going to a village down this road,
20 and there was somebody else with me, a neighbour, and
21 we were walking up this road to go to the village, and
22 I saw him wearing black clothes, and I saw him with a
23 sniper rifle and a hat on his head, and we just passed
25 Q. Would you be able to describe a sniper
2 A. It's a rifle which has this optical
3 instrument. How do you call that?
4 Q. When did this encounter take place? Could
5 you locate it in time to the best of your memory?
6 A. This was before the trouble, several days
7 before it. I don't know exactly the date. This was
8 when we passed by, so that was around that time. He
9 walked past us, we walked past him, and that's all.
10 Q. I did not quite understand your answer, Mr.
11 Rizvanovic. When did you see Mr. Papic dressed in that
13 A. Oh, that. That was -- I didn't have a watch,
14 but it was in the afternoon hours, more towards the
16 Q. And do you remember in which month this took
17 place, this encounter took place?
18 A. This was before this trouble, before the
19 attack on Ahmici, and this attack on Ahmici took place
20 on 16 April. So this was several days before this.
21 Q. Had you met Mr. Dragan Papic on several
22 occasions, or was that occasion which you have just
23 described the only occasion?
24 A. I just walked by. When I would go in to
25 Vitez I would pass by his house, and I would just kind
1 of glance over, and that's when I saw him. He was
2 walking in the direction of Busovaca.
3 Q. Did you see him on other occasions?
4 A. I saw him that one time, but, otherwise, I
5 would just see him like that. It was also a long time
6 ago. I saw him once in front of his house. He was
7 standing there. He was there with another two friends
8 of his, and they had some kind of automatic rifles. I
9 didn't pay much attention to that, I just passed by.
10 Q. And was he dressed in uniform?
11 A. Yes, yes, he was.
12 Q. And could you describe that uniform? What
13 kind of uniform was that?
14 A. Black, black uniform.
15 Q. Papic's house was along the road which you
16 often took to go to Vitez. Now, did the house stand
17 out in any way, in any special way?
18 A. Yes. It had two flags. One was a
19 chequer-board flag and one was a black flag.
20 Q. And you personally saw the two flags, the
21 chequered flag and the black flag from the house -- on
22 the house of Dragan Papic; did you?
23 A. This was flown from the windows. One was
24 small, and the chequer-board one was fairly long. You
25 could see that.
1 Q. When did you notice those flags flowing or
2 hanging from the house of Dragan Papic?
3 A. I did not understand the question. Could you
4 please repeat it?
5 Q. When in 1992 or 1993 did you notice that
6 there were flags, a black flag and a chequer-board flag,
7 on the house of Dragan Papic?
8 A. They were flying there all day long. I don't
9 think that he would take them down over the night too,
10 they were there all day long.
11 Q. And the fact that the flags were there was
12 such that that house stood out somehow in the village
13 of Ahmici?
14 A. I don't know how it stood out. You mean that
15 the other houses did not have flags and this one did?
16 I'm not clear on this question.
17 Q. Yes, that's right. That's perfectly right.
18 Did the other Croat houses have flags as
20 A. I did not see that. There were a lot of
21 chequer-board flags around, and as far as the other ones
22 are concerned, I did not pay much attention. Whenever
23 I passed by, I would sort of keep my eyes down so that
24 I would not be catching anybody's attention.
25 Q. And why were you afraid when you would pass
1 those specific houses?
2 A. Well, you know, I barely survived over there,
3 and here it wasn't very good either. You could see
4 that because of the shooting, and then at night there
5 was a lot of shooting going on in the forest, and
6 things were being thrown on the road, so I don't know,
7 I was afraid. It was similar to how it was in
9 Q. Do you mean that the feeling of insecurity
10 and lack of safety that you had in Prijedor, which
11 forced you to leave Prijedor, was present and was the
12 same, was as vivid as it was then in Ahmici?
13 A. Yes, it was the same, and I was afraid, I was
14 quite afraid, because if you throw devices, if you
15 shoot around forests, of course you will be afraid.
16 Q. Did you see a lot of black uniforms in Ahmici
17 prior to the 16th of April, 1993?
18 A. They moved around, for the most part. It
19 depended, and most of them were black uniforms. There
20 were a few of those others -- how shall I call them --
21 those camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. Yeah. Would you call them camouflage
24 A. Yes. I didn't understand you well. Could
25 you repeat it? You know, the camouflage, a little bit
1 green and a little bit red, green again. You know,
2 just like the armies wear now, but for the most part
3 they were wearing black things at the time.
4 Q. Are you aware of the fact that other
5 inhabitants, I mean inhabitants of Ahmici, other than
6 Dragan Papic, I'm talking about those people who lived
7 there together with their families, but other people
8 living in the village would wear black uniforms?
9 A. I could not distinguish among them. When
10 they would pass by there, they would put some paint on
11 them or dark glasses or hats so you couldn't make out
12 who was who.
13 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, I'll ask you to turn to the
14 photograph again, the one which is on your monitor.
15 Take your time, do not hurry, and please show and
16 circle with a circle the house of Dragan Papic. You
17 can take your time. I think now you've found your
18 bearings on this photograph, so try and find the
20 A. Oh, it's hard for me to orient myself here on
21 these photographs. This is the road.
22 Q. Can you see the main road -- or rather the
23 Catholic cemetery, can you see it?
24 A. Yes, I see it here. And then this is the
25 road going up to Vitez.
1 Q. That's it. Indeed.
2 A. So this is the cemetery. So somewhere around
4 Q. Now, do you want to draw a circle around the
5 place where, to the best of your memory and your
6 ability to orient yourself on this photograph, can you
7 draw a circle around the house of Dragan Papic?
8 A. This is our road, and this was this
9 settlement, and this would be somewhere up here, so I
10 think it would be maybe here, around here.
11 Q. Well, if this -- you know, the best you can
12 do, just draw a circle in red around the place.
13 A. So this was some distance away from the
14 cemetery, somewhere around there.
15 MR. TERRIER: This is fine. Yes. The Court
16 will be pleased with that.
17 Let us move to another question, Mr.
18 Rizvanovic. You answered such a question when you were
19 interviewed by the members of the Office of the
20 Prosecutor. You then said that in the evening of the
21 15th -- in the evening or the afternoon of the 15th of
22 April, '93, you had noticed some unusual, strange
23 movement in the village. Could you elaborate on that?
24 Could you tell us what you noticed on that day?
25 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, this is the
1 first we ever know here that this witness has talked to
2 anybody in the Office of the Prosecution, because we
3 only received a statement which -- from the Prosecution
4 which this witness gave to the security services of
5 Bosnia. So if the Prosecution has a statement given by
6 this witness, I request that we interrupt this
7 examination, that a statement be turned over to us and
8 that this witness be recalled in 48 hours, or within a
9 month as some of my colleagues suggest.
10 The only thing that we have is the statement
11 which was given to the Agency for Investigation and
12 Documentation in Sanski Most, and we had agreed that
13 this witness is examined based on this statement, but
14 if they have anything else, we first need to see it
15 before we proceed.
16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I may reassure
17 the Defence counsel so that we put an end to this
18 question. I made a mistake, and I do apologise to the
19 Court and to the Defence counsel. I did not mean
20 investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor. There
21 were, indeed, investigators from Bosnia who took a
22 statement on the 7th of May, 1998. It was taken by
23 Mr. Ibric and signed by Mr. Rizvanovic. This is the
24 only statement we have. It was disclosed to the
25 Defence on the 30th of June. Therefore, in keeping in
1 your decision of last Monday, there is no objection, no
2 inconvenience to us going into this matter today. I
3 can reassure the Defence counsel this is the only
4 statement we have. We have no other statement that
5 would have been provided by Mr. Rizvanovic, or I have
6 no statement relating to Mr. Rizvanovic.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: So you were mentioning this
8 very document.
9 MR. TERRIER: Indeed, the one drawn up on the
10 7th of May, 1998, from the Agency for the Investigation
11 and Documentation.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Glumac, is everything
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes.
15 MR. TERRIER:
16 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, we were speaking of the
17 somewhat unusual events that you witnessed in Ahmici
18 towards the end of the day on the 15th of April, 1993.
19 Could you recount them to us?
20 A. Yes, I can. On 15 April, in general, every
21 morning I would get up and I would look outside to see
22 what the -- what was happening on the road to Vitez and
23 Busovaca. It was sort of an observation post that I
24 established there. If there were vehicles passing
25 through, I considered that a good sign.
1 On the Thursday to Friday, everything became
2 a bit suspicious to me. First of all, that there was
3 some kind of traffic, increased traffic, going towards
4 Busovaca. I see that there were more people around,
5 and my weekend house had an upper floor, and if I
6 couldn't see well, I would climb up there, and I looked
7 out, and there were these vehicles moving about back
8 and forth. After dusk, I saw that the Catholics who
9 were there with us. I know that women always were
10 busy, about housework and such. I also saw that there
11 were no children or women around.
12 I saw some men in uniforms, they were walking
13 around, and I told my wife and to my daughter,
14 "Something is not right, because nobody is around."
15 They had been taking their people out to Busovaca and
16 to Vitez, women and children.
17 So when I figured this out, I saw that the
18 houses were empty, there were only those in which
19 refugees were staying were inhabited, and I said to my
20 wife and daughter, "We're not staying here tonight."
21 And I first told my daughters, "Go up the road and
22 through the village to the Bilic place." And then I
23 said to my wife, "You will later go and join her at
24 Bilic's, because we had initially stayed at Bilic's and
25 he was a wonderful man. And I told them, "I will
1 follow you later."
2 So later when I wanted to go, there was this
3 man after with me. I believe his name was Brkan,
4 Bruchan or something. He was also a refugee. And
5 there was also Fahim, and he was from Tjentiste, from
6 that area.
7 And I called him up and I said, "Do you see
8 this? Everything is empty. This is not good." So
9 Avdo smiled and he said, "I don't know which houses."
10 I said wherever you go, you should go because nobody
11 will chase you away there because there's nobody
12 there. So I told him this and I left and I went up to
13 the Bilic's place and that's where I stayed for the
15 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, this means that in the
16 evening of the 15th of April you moved from the house
17 where you were staying until then, and you went to
18 the --
19 A. Yes, to the Bilic's house.
20 Q. Because you didn't feel safe, you were
21 afraid; is that right?
22 A. That's right, that's right, exactly.
23 Q. To clarify this question related to the
24 houses, it wasn't very clear before, would you mind
25 taking the pointer and showing -- you can see the sort
1 of TV aerial-like pointer next to you?
2 A. You mean the Catholic ones? You mean the
3 Catholic ones?
4 Q. No, Mr. Rizvanovic, that's not what I mean.
5 I'll ask you to point to the house where you were
6 before you moved to the Bilic house. And I'll ask you
7 to show whether it is from that house that you noted
8 unusual movement and when you felt that you were no
9 longer safe.
10 A. I was here in this house belonging to Djulaga
11 Sarajlic. This was the first weekend house, right next
12 to the forest. That's the weekend house where I was
14 Q. This is the house that has a white circle on
15 the photograph, the one with the white circle around it
16 on the photograph; is that right?
17 A. Here on the left-hand side here it was.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rizvanovic. So this is the
19 house from which you made observations that you
20 described. You saw the people leaving, the house being
21 emptied out, all the locations where there usually were
22 women and children, and where, on that day, on that
23 evening, there was nobody.
24 A. Can you please repeat the question?
25 Q. So this is the house, which you've just
1 pointed out, the house with the white circle around it,
2 from which you made the observation of the strange
3 movement on that night?
4 A. Yes, yes, that's the one, yes.
5 Q. Thank you very much. On that occasion, did
6 you see Croat families leaving the village?
7 A. That's exactly what I noticed, that the
8 village was being emptied. They used vehicles and
9 everything, and they were transferring their families
10 both in the direction of Vitez and Busovaca. And in
11 the evening I climbed to the top of my weekend house, I
12 looked around, there was nothing there. Under normal
13 circumstances, women would be working around the house,
14 and they would go about their business, and that night,
15 I could only see a few persons in uniforms, and I told
16 my wife, and then later to the others, that things are
17 not good and there will be some trouble, and that's
18 what happened on the 16th.
19 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, given this situation of fear
20 in which you were on the 15th, on the basis of what you
21 saw, you decided to go to the Bilic house in order to
22 be in a safer place; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And Mr. Bilic's house is the house which you
25 showed earlier on and which you marked with a cross on
1 the photograph; is that right?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. So the house is close to the mosque, to the
4 mosque with the minaret?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, could you tell us what you
7 noticed in the morning or in the early morning of the
8 16th of April?
9 A. The night when I arrived in Bilics' house
10 there was another person there and I told them that
11 things were not good, because if you looked down from
12 Bilics' house, as it was growing dark, you could see
13 that everything was quiet. There was no movement on
14 the road.
15 A friend arrived from Vitez who worked in a
16 bakery owned by a Croat man, and he said that he was
17 going past some checkpoints and he said that they were
18 all armed, that they were wearing helmets, that from
19 Vitez all the way to Ahmici, it was all like that. So
20 I did not -- I couldn't sleep that night, and also I
21 didn't let my wife and daughter sleep, and I think that
22 that was the same situation with the Bilics'. They had
23 one room, we had another one.
24 So I kept controlling the situation, I kept
25 controlling the road, because I was really focused on
1 the road, and it was sometime around 5.00, 5.30, I
2 was -- I had been awake all night. I was very afraid,
3 I was concerned. That's when I heard the first shot
4 coming from up above, and it was a rifle shot, and
5 that, I believe, was some kind of a signal.
6 Then I took my wife and my daughter and told
7 them to get up, and they asked, "What happened?" And
8 they said, "I heard a shot." And a moment later, from
9 that upper side, I think that the sniper fire started
10 and then everybody got up, the Bilics and everybody
11 else, and from that side, the shooting increased.
12 Bullets flew like bees.
13 So we went down, and that's where we were
14 when it started spreading around the village, and then
15 it started like cross-fire and then larger weapons
16 started appearing; and from Bilics' house, we crawled.
17 When the fire would subside, then we would lie still.
18 And then little by little, we went to place owned by
19 Sreten Nedzib, like some kind of a basement, and we
20 barely made it there because the fire was very heavy,
21 because we were in some kind of a horseshoe there, and
22 we were there in this basement for a long time. There
23 were some wounded people there. There was a lot of
24 shooting. Some managed to flee, but we stayed in this
1 Shall I go on?
2 Q. Yes, you can go on, Mr. Rizvanovic, but
3 beforehand, I would like to come back to one point in
4 your statement.
5 You testified that you were awake because you
6 hadn't slept all night. When you heard the first shot,
7 and as you can remember, there is no doubt whatsoever
8 you heard a first shot before any other shots, and you
9 said that you felt like it was a signal, as if it was
10 the signal to launch the offensive or the assault --
12 A. Well, I imagine it was --
13 Q. The first shot, so you thought it was a
14 signal. I mean, that was your personal opinion, of
16 A. Yes, yes, that's what I thought.
17 Q. Could you indicate -- sorry, going back to
18 the photograph -- but could you indicate on the
19 photograph at which exact location you were when the
20 first shot was fired? Were you in the Bilics' house?
21 Were you outside the house?
22 A. I was in Bilics' house in the kitchen, and
23 the kitchen was facing toward the upper side. I was in
24 the kitchen of the house opposite.
25 Q. Was it the first floor?
1 A. Yes, it was on the first floor. My wife and
2 I were in the kitchen, and he and his family were in
3 the other rooms, and this is where the three of us
5 Q. So the three were you yourself, your wife,
6 and your daughter?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said that this first shot and the ensuing
9 shots were coming from the upper village. What do you
10 mean by this?
11 A. There's a cellar and it's this side, the
12 point where the Croatian houses were. They had a
13 cellar on that side over there, like this.
14 Q. Could you be very accurate, Mr. Rizvanovic,
15 because this is important testimony, and you say that
16 the very first shots --
17 A. Yes, it came from that side, on the upper
18 side, from up above. There was the mosque, and that's
19 where we were, and that's the direction it came from.
20 Q. Could you be more specific, Mr. Rizvanovic?
21 What do you mean by the upper part? Based on the place
22 where you were, in the Bilics' house, so you're not far
23 from the mosque with the minaret. So what do you mean
24 by the upper part? Where did the shots come from?
25 Where were the snipers, the shooters? Could you be
1 more specific?
2 A. I only say it came from the upper part of the
3 mosque where Sutre is, that side, where Kupreskics
4 were, on that side. That's where the first bullet came
5 from, and then even stronger bullets came from that
6 side towards us. And then cross-fire started because
7 it started to surround us.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: I'm sorry, Mr. Terrier. It's
9 ten past five. I suppose that you have a lot of
10 questions to ask of the witness. Do you want to finish
11 for the day on this?
12 MR. TERRIER: I don't have any other
13 questions, so I could be finished in ten minutes for
14 the examination-in-chief. I do not want to mention
15 other aspects of the question.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Well, ten minutes, no more.
17 MR. TERRIER: Thank you very much. I shall
18 endeavour to complete the examination-in-chief within
19 ten minutes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
22 MR. TERRIER: I shall tender Exhibit number
23 40 into evidence.
24 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, you now can see a photograph
25 of the upper part of the village in relation to the
1 area or the place where you were, that is in Bilics'
2 house; that is in the very centre of this photograph.
3 You have a parking area, the Sutre parking area. Can
4 you see this white spot in the middle of photograph?
5 A. Yes, I can see it.
6 Q. So you can see that white spot in the middle
7 of the photograph?
8 A. Yes, yes. Only it's bigger than it was
10 Q. You mentioned Croat houses in that
12 A. Yes. These were, you see, these were their
13 houses and those were the Muslim houses around here,
14 but these houses here were their houses, and then over
15 here, on that side, there were some Croatian houses, on
16 this side here too. This road leading here, those were
17 their houses. There were a lot of Croats there also.
18 And then this road leading up --
19 Q. Pardon me for interrupting, but how do you
20 designate the Croat houses in Sutre?
21 A. I used to pass by, and I would pass by on the
22 other side too, and I know that those people who were
23 here, that those were Catholic houses around this part
25 Q. I shall repeat my question, Mr. Rizvanovic.
1 How did you usually name those Croat houses? What name
2 did you give them?
3 A. I don't know what I would call them. Houses
4 are houses. What can I say? And this was a cellar
5 down here where there was a shop, and it was around
6 here somewhere.
7 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, when you gave the statement I
8 mentioned earlier on, which was disclosed to the
9 Defence on the 30th of June, you mentioned the house of
10 Vlatko and Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic's houses. You
11 mentioned some fire, some shooting from that
12 direction. Do you remember that statement you made
13 then? And is this in keeping with the memory you have
14 of the events of the time?
15 A. I know I gave that statement. That's what I
16 say. They were up here near the mosque and they shot
17 from up there where their houses were. From
18 Kupreskics' house, they shot down toward the mosque and
19 towards us, from Zlatko and Vlatko Kupreskic's house.
20 Q. What you are telling us is that, as far as
21 you can remember, the first shot was fired, which seems
22 to be a signal, and then the first shots fired during
23 that assault on the 16th of April, 1993, were fired
24 from the Kupreskic houses in that Sutre neighbourhood,
25 and all this was noticed by you from the house of Bilic
1 where you were, the house being close to the mosque; is
2 that right?
3 A. It was -- that's when it started.
4 MR. KRAJINA: Please, Your Honour, this is
5 really leading the witness. There is no point to it.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, we do
7 have an objection to this examination. The witness
8 doesn't know what to say. The Prosecutor is suggesting
9 what he should say. The first statement was taken six
10 years after the event. He seems not to have understood
11 it, and the Prosecutor is asking him in a leading way.
12 We really believe this is not a proper way to question
13 the witness.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, could
15 you try to formulate your questions in a different way
16 which would not be a leading way, not suggesting the
18 MR. TERRIER: Yes. I did not intend to ask a
19 leading question, but I shall take due account of your
20 remarks and put the questions in another way.
21 Q. Mr. Rizvanovic, you're telling the Court that
22 you clearly heard the first shot fired during the
23 attack. It doesn't matter whether it was a signal or
24 not, but that was the first shot fired, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. You heard it, didn't you?
2 A. Yes, yes, I did. I didn't sleep all night,
3 so I heard it, and it was at that time when the attack
5 Q. As far as you can remember, in relation to
6 you, to where you were, where did the first shot come
8 A. It came from the direction of the Kupreskics'
9 houses, up there. This is the cellar, and from there,
10 the fire came at us.
11 MR. RADOVIC: This question, where the first
12 shot came from, has been asked by the Prosecution five
13 times. This is the sixth time. I think there is no
14 point to this, and I think we should finally end this
15 question of where the first shot came from. If the
16 witness doesn't give him the answer he wants, it
17 doesn't mean he can ask him the same question six or
18 seven times until he gets the answer he wants to hear.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you very much,
20 Mr. Radovic. I think you're right. Yes, the question
21 was asked several times by the Prosecutor and it was
23 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I asked the
24 question in the way which you deemed appropriate. I
25 thought that the witness answered adequately, and I
1 have no further questions.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: So you're finished with the
4 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I am.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: The hearing is adjourned, and
6 we shall reconvene as usual at 9.30 sharp.
7 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
8 5.20 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
9 the 20th day of August, 1998, at
10 9.30 a.m.