1Friday, 4th September 1998
2 (The accused entered court)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.
4 (Open session)
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the
6 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
7 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic and
8 Vladimir Santic also know as Vlado.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
10 Before we start, let me turn to Mr. Zoran
11 Kupreskic. I will ask you to stand and let us know
12 whether yesterday evening you were given the
13 opportunity to enjoy fresh air for one hour in the
14 detention unit.
15 THE ACCUSED: Yes, Your Honours, we did have
16 that opportunity.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit. I'm
18 very pleased that our request was complied with, and --
19 because, of course, this is a basic right of detainees,
20 particularly while they are standing trial, but I had
21 been told yesterday that repairs were underway, so it
22 was extremely difficult. I would like, therefore, to
23 express publicly the gratitude of the court to two
24 persons, Mr. Edgar Hoppe, the Deputy Commanding
25 Officer, and Mr. Christian Rohde, a legal officer in
1the registry, who both made it possible for the accused
2 to enjoy one hour of fresh air. I understand in the
3 big courtyard, in a better location than usual, and the
4 same will apply to them this evening.
5 Of course, as I said before, this is a basic
6 right, but not very often it's not a privilege or a
7 concession but very often basic rights may not be
8 implemented because of practical difficulties.
9 Again, let me also take the opportunity to
10 thank Mr. Radovic for raising this issue. We may now
11 proceed. I will turn to the Prosecutor.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Before we proceed to our next witness, I would like to
14 update the Court on the recent development with a
15 witness, and I would like to do that, if possible, in
16 closed session.
17 (Closed session)
13 Pages 1855 to 1883 redacted - in closed session
10 (Open session)
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Sakib
13 Ahmic. Could you please make the solemn declaration?
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I shall
15 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, you may be
18 seated. Mr. Moskowitz?
19 WITNESS: Sakib Ahmic
20 Examined by Mr. Moskowitz:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Good morning, Mr. Ahmic. And for the record,
23 could you please state your name?
24 A. Good morning. My name is Sakib Ahmic.
25 Q. Mr. Ahmic, could you tell us how old you are,
1or if it's easier for you, tell us what year you were
3 A. I was born on the 17th of January, 1933.
4 Q. And in April of 1993, where did you live?
5 A. In the village of Pirici.
6 Q. Would that be a part of a village known as
8 A. Yes, precisely. It is a part of Ahmici. All
9 this comes under Ahmici, Pirici, a part of Zume, but as
10 I was born in the village of Pirici, then I usually say
11 Pirici, though it all belongs to Ahmici and it is, in
12 fact, Ahmici.
13 Q. Thank you. How long did you live in the
14 village of Ahmici?
15 A. You mean since my birth.
16 Q. Exactly.
17 A. I was born in the village of Pirici, and now
18 I'm residing in the territory of Ahmici and Pirici. I
19 have been living in the territory of Ahmici since 1957,
20 when I built my house there.
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ: At this point, may I ask the
22 usher to show the Prosecution Exhibit next number?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 150.
24 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
25 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, you see before you an exhibit
1that we've called Exhibit 150. You can feel free to
2 move that exhibit around in any way that you like in
3 order to better familiarise yourself to what that
4 exhibit shows. And if you look at it, can you tell us
5 what that exhibit shows?
6 A. This exhibit shows my area, my
8 Q. Now, you mentioned that you built a house in
9 the 1950's?
10 A. 1957.
11 Q. And before coming to court today, I believe
12 you had a chance to look at that map and make some
13 circles around houses that you recognise, and that then
14 afterward we transferred those circles through the
15 computer so that they would look neat. Do those
16 circles correspond or match the circles you made on the
17 map when you looked at it before coming to court?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, can you find your house on this Exhibit
20 150, and if so, could you point to it with the pointer
21 that you now have in your hand and tell us what number
22 or letter is next to that circle?
23 A. Yes. My house has been marked with the
24 number 56.
25 Q. Who were some of your closest neighbours,
1both Croatian and Muslim, in that neighbourhood that is
2 displayed in that Exhibit 150?
3 A. My neighbours had their houses nearby. They
4 were Vlatko Kupreskic here. This is his house.
5 Q. Could you read out -- as you point to these
6 houses, could you read out the letter or number that
7 they correspond to, so we can be clear in the record?
8 A. The letter B.
9 Q. Do you see any I other houses marked that you
10 can identify as being your neighbours' or relatives'?
11 A. Yes, I can. Letter L is Franjo Kupreskic's
12 house. He is Vlatko's father. Number 56 -- 55 is
13 Sukret Ahmic. He is next to 56. Then K is the
14 warehouse of Vlatko Kupreskic. C is Zoran Kupreskic's
15 house. D is Mirjan Kupreskic's house. J is Ivica
16 Kupreskic's house.
17 Q. Now, you mentioned Sukret's house. Could you
18 tell us who Sukret is?
19 A. Sukret. Sukret is my son.
20 Q. Can you give us the composition of his
21 family, without giving any names, please?
22 A. I can. You mean his immediate family?
23 Q. Yes, please.
24 A. He had a wife and three daughters.
25 Q. Now, you mentioned Vlatko Kupreskic's house.
1How long have you known Vlatko Kupreskic?
2 A. I have known Vlatko Kupreskic since he was
3 born. From his childhood to the present day.
4 Q. And how long did you know Zoran Kupreskic?
5 A. Likewise. I know him from his birth to the
7 Q. And how well have you known Mirjan
9 A. Also the same. Since he was born until the
10 present day.
11 Q. Could you give us an idea of how often
12 through the years, and under what situations through
13 the years you would associate with, or see Vlatko
14 Kupreskic, Zoran Kupreskic and Mirjan Kupresic.
15 A. Yes, of course. We would see others in
16 passing, as neighbours. They would be working in their
17 garden, I would be working in mine, so we would see
18 each other more or less every day because we are the
19 closest neighbours. We are next-door neighbours. Our
20 houses are next to one another.
21 Q. Now, in 1993, were you working or were you on
22 a retired status?
23 A. I was retired.
24 Q. Could you give us an idea of what you did
25 when you were working, what your job was and where you
2 A. I was a driver of passenger vehicles. I used
3 to drive managers. I worked in a company called Sipad
4 Sebesic, branch office Travnik, Department Impregnacija
5 Vitez. I was always driving passenger vehicles,
6 driving heads of the accounting service. I even drove
7 the Minister of Fianance of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Drago
9 Q. And as part of your employment as a driver
10 for the Impregnacija, did you receive regular medical
11 examinations to determine your fitness to be a driver?
12 A. Yes. Every year we had regular obligatory
13 check-ups. This applied not only to me, but all of us
14 who held responsible posts.
15 Q. Would these check-ups include eye
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you tell us if you recall how you did
19 on those eye examinations?
20 A. On the optical device, they ask you to
21 recognise numbers and that's how they did the check-up.
22 Q. Were you ever prescribed glasses?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Were your eyes in good shape? Could you see
25 well enough to be a driver for these important people?
1A. Yes. Yes, good eyesight, and good hearing
2 and great care are required.
3 Q. Now, would I ask the usher at this point to
4 show to the witness previously admitted Exhibit 138.
5 Now, Mr. Ahmic, you described some of your
6 neighbours, on that blow-up. Now I would like you to
7 look at Exhibit 138 and tell us, first of all, what you
8 see in the foreground of this photograph, the object --
9 the biggest object at the foreground of this
10 photograph. Tell us what that is, please.
11 A. My house. This is my house.
12 Q. This is not the way your house looked in
13 1993, is it?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now look behind your house. Can you identify
16 any of the houses depicted in that photograph behind
17 your house?
18 A. Yes, I can.
19 Q. Could you look at the house that has the 1 on
20 it first and tell us what that is?
21 A. House number 1 is Mirjan Kupreskic's house.
22 Q. What about house number 2?
23 A. House number 2 is Zoran Kupreskic's house.
24 Q. And house number 3?
25 A. House number 3 is Ivica Kupreskic's house.
1Q. Can you identify any of the other houses not
3 A. I can. Just behind number 3 you see a roof,
4 and that is the house of Ivo Kupreskic, Ivica's
5 father. This one here is Jozo's house, and this one
6 behind, his brother Ranko's house.
7 Q. Could the witness be shown previously entered
8 Exhibit 139?
9 Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you look at Exhibit 139
10 and see if you can identify any of the houses in this
11 photograph? And if a house is numbered, could you
12 refer to the number so we're clear for the record?
13 A. Yes, I can. Yes, I can tell you exactly that
14 house number 1 is Mirjan Kupreskic's house.
15 Q. Do you see any other houses that you
16 recognise from this photograph?
17 A. Yes. Yes, I can. House number 2 is Zoran
19 Q. Do you see any other houses?
20 A. Yes. I see a house, the house of Sukrija,
21 the late Sukrija Ahmic. I see the house of Vlatko
23 Q. Does the house of Vlatko Kupreskic have a
25 A. Vlatko Kupreskic's? Does it have a number?
1Q. Yes, if you see on the photograph a number
2 corresponding to Vlatko Kupreskic's house?
3 A. Yes, I do. It's number 3.
4 Q. You mentioned seeing the house of Sukrija.
5 Could you point that out again using your pointer so we
6 can see what that is?
7 A. Yes, I can. I can show it to you. This is
8 Sukrija's house, the late Sukrija.
9 Q. Would that be the house that appears to be
10 near that evergreen tree in the centre of the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you see your house --
14 A. This part here is my field toilet, my outside
15 toilet, and this is a fir tree behind it.
16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Can we show the next exhibit,
17 which would be 140, please?
18 Q. Please look at this exhibit, if you would,
19 Mr. Ahmic, and tell us if you can identify any of the
20 buildings in this photograph.
21 A. Yes, I can. Number 4 is the house of Vlatko
22 Kupreskic, number 3 is the Hrustanovic house, number 2
23 is Sukrija Ahmic's house.
24 Q. The first house you pointed to, you said it
25 was number 4, and the marking on it is a little
1confused. Could you point to it again just so we can
2 see which house you're referring to, using your
4 A. You mean the house under number 4; is that
5 what you're asking?
6 Q. Yes, the one that looks like number 4 on that
7 exhibit but which is, in fact, number 1.
8 A. My apologies. It is my mistake then. But it
9 is this house marked with 1 that is Vlatko Kupreskic's
10 house. As I said, number 3 is Hrustanovic's house, and
11 number 2 Sukrija Ahmic's house.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, you've mentioned that some
13 of your neighbours included Zoran, Mirjan, and Vlatko
14 Kupreskic and that you've known them since they were
15 born. Could you give us an idea what kind of relations
16 you had with these three people and their families in
17 the years before the attack in 1993? Were they good or
19 A. Good relations. I had nothing bad towards
20 them, nor did I receive anything bad from their part.
21 Q. Over the years, did you have an opportunity
22 to observe Zoran, Mirjan, and Vlatko grow up into young
24 A. Yes. And their growing up was fine, decent,
25 well-behaved young men.
1Q. Could you tell us generally what the
2 relations were between Muslims and Croats in Ahmici in
3 the years before the trouble in '93 and '92?
4 A. I can honestly say that they were very good
5 relations, generally speaking, and on average,
6 everybody was in a good relationship with everybody
7 else, as far as I know.
8 Q. Did you notice, though, that those relations
9 tended, over time, to worsen, that there were
10 problems? I am now trying to focus your attention on
11 the period before the attack, in '92, '93.
12 A. I don't know. There was nothing, really. We
13 lived well.
14 Q. Now, prior to the attack in '93, do you
15 recall a situation that took place in Ahmici in '92
16 over a barricade?
17 A. Yes, I heard about it, but, frankly, I do not
18 know anything about that.
19 Q. Do you recall where you were during that
20 period of time? Were you at your house in Ahmici or
21 were you somewhere else?
22 A. To be honest, I myself cannot really tell
23 where I was at that time.
24 Q. Now, could you tell us something a little bit
25 about the village guard or the Territorial Defence?
1What do you know about that and were you part of that?
2 A. Yes. There was the Territorial Defence which
3 patrolled around the village at night so that nobody
4 would bring in any extremists, or maybe set a barn on
5 fire, or something like that.
6 Q. Did you, as a retired person, have any
7 particular role in that Territorial Defence or village
9 A. Yes, I did. I had watch duty in a school for
10 this Territorial Defence and civilian protection, so to
11 speak. In fact, it was civilian protection. I had a
12 post in a school in Ahmici where we had a radio
13 transmitter, and that is where I had my duty post.
14 Q. Did you have a weapon?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, you mentioned a school. Is this that
17 elementary school building in Ahmici that is across
18 from the mosque with the minaret?
19 A. Yes, exactly. That is that building, the
20 school building.
21 Q. How would you describe this village guard?
22 Was this an army or was this something else?
23 A. No, this was not an army. Let me describe it
24 to you. It's very simple. These people were civilians
25 who were on guard duties every night, and they had
1two-hour shifts on this night patrol. It was not a
2 guard, it was a patrol. They would walk through the
3 village from one end to the other, they would walk
4 around, and in that sense, it was how this patrol
6 Q. I want to focus your attention to the day
7 before the attack in 1993. Do you recall seeing
8 anything that aroused your suspicions, or was
9 everything perfectly quiet, as far as you recall?
10 A. Not everything was as usual. There were
11 patrols in the village, and on the eve of the conflict,
12 I went with my two sons to visit my sister who lived
13 near Kaonik, and we were told that someone tried to get
14 out on the main road, but the HVO apparently had put up
15 a ramp there, so we couldn't leave.
16 That day, sometime between 11.00 and 12.00,
17 the three of us got into a car and went to the main
18 road, and indeed, on the main road, I saw the HVO
19 soldiers with rifles sitting there, and among them was
20 Brcko Milicevic. I don't know his first name. His
21 nickname is Brcko. And then a son of Simo Vidovic was
22 there, then Vlatko Kupreskic was there with them and
23 Ivo Kupreskic was there with them, and Ivo had a chair
24 behind the school and he had a bottle of cognac in
25 front of him. Nobody told us anything. We came down
1to the main road. We went to Kaonik, to my sister's,
2 and we had no problems doing that. This is what I
3 actually could see.
4 Q. In the days prior to or before the attack,
5 did you see anything that struck you as odd or
6 suspicious with respect to Ivica Kupreskic?
7 A. Yes, I did see Ivica Kupreskic wearing a
8 military uniform, and I had also heard that he was
9 giving orders to these men.
10 Q. Were you able to notice any activity around
11 Ivica Kupreskic's house that you found interesting or
13 A. Yes. I remember very well. This could have
14 been on the 13th or 14th in the evening, around 9.00.
15 A small tonne truck, 1.5 tonne truck, came in front of
16 the Ivica Kupreskic's house, and that evening there was
17 no outside light that was on in front of their houses,
18 on their houses, and it was usual that every night they
19 had those lights on.
20 That truck was parked there for the night,
21 and in the morning, around 7.00, this truck left Ivica
22 Kupreskic's yard. As it passed Zoran's house, it
23 honked. It went onto the main road and turned off and
24 went to Vitez.
25 Q. Despite these incidents, did you have any
1idea of what was about to happen on April 16, 1993?
2 A. I did not expect what we then experienced.
3 Q. Could you, at this time, tell us a little bit
4 about your house? I believe you told us when it was
5 built, but can you give us an idea of how big it is, or
6 was, and how many rooms were in the house, and how many
7 people were in the house so that we have an idea of
8 what your house was like in 1993?
9 A. Yes, I can describe it for you. This house
10 was 8 by 9.3 metres in section. It had two rooms. On
11 the lower part, there was a living room and a kitchen,
12 and then we had a verandah with a small hallway and
13 then there was a bathroom there and a small living room
14 area and a little pantry. That was in that part of the
16 Q. Is this a large house or a small house, or
17 how would you describe it in terms of size?
18 A. It's medium size, so to speak.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I ask the usher to --
20 A. I apologise. There was also a basement.
21 Half of the section also had a lower level where there
22 were two rooms.
23 Q. So to be clear, the house was built on a kind
24 of -- on a kind of a hill where part of the house had a
25 basement and part of the house did not have a basement;
1would that be accurate?
2 A. I do not understand. You mean there was a
3 part with a basement, and what was the other part?
4 Q. I'm sorry. It was probably not a very good
5 question. But if you can describe the house as being
6 built not on a flat piece of land, but on a land that
7 sloped downward so that there could be lower floors
8 only on part of the house, and no lower floor on the
9 other part of the house?
10 A. Yes, that is correct. There was a certain --
11 the terrain was sloping, it was an incline -- or
12 decline, so we used that decline to build two
13 additional rooms under the main level.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I ask the usher to show
15 the next exhibit, please?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
19 Q. Mr. Ahmic, could you look at exhibit, what
20 has been marked 151, and you can move it any way you
21 want so that you can make the most sense out of it.
22 Don't be afraid to turn it around so that it makes
23 sense to you. Is that better?
24 A. Yes, this is more convenient for me.
25 Q. Would you tell us generally what that shows?
1A. This represents the foundations of the
2 house. It represents the house.
3 Q. Could you, with your pointer, take us through
4 your house as if we were coming in through the front
5 door and show us where the rooms are and tell us
6 anything else of interest that you think of as you go
7 through the house? Take us first through the front
8 door and then show us your house, please.
9 A. This is my house. This is the front entrance
10 to the verandah. Here is a little bathroom and here is
11 a pantry; three windows. The door to the living room;
12 one window, the second window. This is the door to the
13 room where I was staying, and this is the entrance to
14 the second room, and there is one window and another
15 window in the other room. So this would be my house.
16 These are all the entrances to all the rooms
18 Here was a stove, around this area, here was
19 a couch, here there was a sink, there was another couch
20 here, here there was a little cabinet. There was a
21 little side table with a television set. There was a
22 table with chairs, and here was a small cot for a baby
24 Q. You mentioned a baby. On April 15, 1993, the
25 day before the attack, could you tell us who was in the
1house that evening beside yourself?
2 A. On 15 April, is that what you said?
3 Q. Yes, Mr. Ahmic. The day before the attack.
4 A. On 15 April, in the evening, we went to visit
5 Redzib Ahmic; myself, the late Naser and his wife and
6 the children. We stayed out till about 10.00, and
7 thereupon we came back home and went to sleep.
8 Q. Could you tell us who was in the house when
9 you all went to sleep that night?
10 A. In the house, there was the late Naser, his
11 wife, my daughter-in-law, Elvis, his stepson and their
12 son Sejo, also deceased now, and I was in my room here.
13 Q. Now, you mentioned first Naser. He was your
14 son; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And then you mentioned his wife. That would
17 be your daughter-in-law?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then Elvis. Who was Elvis again, please?
20 A. Elvis was the son of Naser's wife. Naser's
21 wife had been married before. She divorced and then
22 she remarried my son Naser. Elvis is her son with her
23 first husband who happened to be at our place. He was
24 there for about 15 days, visiting.
25 Q. Do you recall roughly how old Elvis was that
2 A. I don't know exactly, but I thought he was
3 six or seven. I always thought he was six or seven,
4 whereas I do know about Sejad.
5 Q. So Elvis was essentially a young boy?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Now, Sejo, tell us about Sejo. Who was he
8 and about how old was he?
9 A. Sejo was the new-born baby, he was three
10 months old, and on the morning of the Friday of the
11 16th of April, he was three months old.
12 Q. How do you recall that so specifically, that
13 on the morning of the 16th of April, he was three
14 months old?
15 A. You know how I know? Let me tell you. On
16 the evening we went to Redzib Ahmic's house, he also
17 has a male child, and he was to have the circumcision
18 done, and on that particular night, we talked to them,
19 and we agreed that I would go to Zenica, to the
20 hospital there, to see when they had free time to
21 perform the circumcision rite, and that is how I know
22 exactly when he was born.
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I ask the usher to show
24 the next exhibit, please?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 152.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you look at Exhibit 152
3 and again tell us -- move it around any way you like so
4 that you're comfortable with it, but tell us, once you
5 are comfortable with it, what that shows?
6 A. On this layout, you can see the furniture
7 that was in the rooms. Let me describe it. This is
8 the fixed couch along the wall. This is the body of my
9 late daughter-in-law, this is the couch on which the
10 late Elvis slept, this is the stove, this is a chair
11 that was there by the door, and this is the cot in
12 which Sejo, the late Sejo slept. This is the
13 television table, and this is a little cabinet, a
14 cupboard (indicating).
15 Q. Now, could you tell us where you were
16 sleeping that night, and use this diagram to display
18 A. I slept in this room here, in this part of
19 the room, and it says here exactly (indicating).
20 Q. Now, looking at the bed where Elvis slept,
21 could you point to that again?
22 A. Yes, I can. This is Elvis's bed, the couch
23 he slept on (indicating).
24 Q. Could you describe that couch and tell us
25 what that couch looked like and what kind of couch it
2 A. This couch, you could pull it out to sleep
4 Q. Do you recall whether the couch was pulled
5 out that night to sleep on?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. What kind of arms did that couch have?
8 A. The couch had arms like this, for example,
9 like this chair, the arms of the couch were like this.
10 It had an arm on one side and an arm on the other side.
11 Q. Now, were these arms in the shape of the arms
12 on that chair; that's what you're meaning when you're
13 saying "similar," curved like that?
14 A. Well, there was material there, they
15 were upholstered, a lot of material on the arms. This
16 thick. The arms were this thick with material,
17 upholstered. That was the shape, more or less. And it
18 had sponge inside, a foam interior.
19 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention on the
20 events of April 16, 1995 -- 1993, excuse me. Tell us
21 where you were again that morning before the incident
22 occurred, and use your pointer to show us.
23 A. At that particular moment, I was here in this
24 room, in the bed (indicating).
25 Q. What is the first thing you recall happening
1that morning, the first thing you saw or heard that
3 A. That morning, I heard the morning
4 call-to-prayer; and at the end of the prayer, I heard
5 an explosion. First I heard a child who was awake, and
6 I heard my daughter-in-law tell Naser to give him
7 his pacifier. After that, I heard an explosion, and I
8 jumped out of bed and went to the door. When I came to
9 the door, I saw the light had been turned on, and I
10 told Naser, "Turn the lights off."
11 At that moment, when I said this, at the
12 door, a soldier appeared. He had a black uniform on
13 and he had black on his face, and Zoran Kupreskic
14 entered through the door. Naser was somewhere around
15 here, in front of the television set. He shot Naser.
16 Mirjan had some liquid coming out of a bottle, some
17 flam -- and the couch was set on fire. He shot at my
18 daughter-in-law, fired at my daughter-in-law, and then
19 went towards Elvis.
20 At that time, I fell down and knocked my head
21 against the wall. That was where my body was and he
22 was standing here (indicating), and he shot at me.
23 Through the arm of the couch, I heard a bullet, a shell
24 falling. I went back. The child cried out. I heard
25 the child again. And then there was shooting. They
1shot at the child and then left.
2 At that moment, I got up, shot up, and went
3 to the window. I opened the right-hand side of the
4 window, looked through the curtains, and saw in front
5 of Vlatko's house the Ustasha, members of the HVO. I
6 did not dare go outside. I wanted to jump out of the
7 window, but when I saw them, I did not dare jump out of
8 the window to fall into their hands. So I just stayed
9 there. I was beside myself.
10 I saw a cable to the light bulb, I heard
11 cries. They said, "Jure, Jure," and in my opinion,
12 that was from Suhi Hrast, the cry came from Suhi Hrast,
13 and he said, "Don't shoot, it's me." At that moment, I
14 knew that it would be Gavrilo Vrebac and his brother
15 Jure. Gavrilo, who was at the Urdelic house, and his
16 brother, who was at Suhi Hrast's, more or less. At
17 that moment, I knew that it must be them. I stood
18 there, I waited for my fate. I was not able to jump
19 out of the window. I did not dare jump through the
20 window. The door was on fire. Part of the ceiling was
21 on fire and fell down into the room. I could see that
22 the window and the door had been burnt down.
23 I looked through the window again and I saw
24 Vlatko Kupreskic going out of the yard from the late
25 Sukrija's yard, from the top, across my garden and in
1front of his own house, down towards his house.
2 He had a coat. He was carrying something
3 under the coat. He was carrying a coat and he had
4 something underneath in his arms. It was a blue coat.
5 But I stayed there for as long as I could.
6 And as everything began to fall down from the ceiling,
7 I had no more -- I couldn't breathe, and then I ran
8 through the fire.
9 I braced the fire and I reached the shed. I
10 opened the shed, got hold of the handle, ran up by the
11 hay. And was hay in the stable, some 70 or 80
12 centimetres high, all over the barn. I hid under the
13 hay towards the wall, and that's where I hid, and
14 that's where I watched what happened. And afterwards
15 Flala Sukret (phoen) came out into the yard.
16 Q. Before we go on to the barn, let's go back a
17 little bit and clarify some things about what happened
18 in the house?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you tell us where your son Naser was
21 when you came to the door of your bedroom, using your
22 pointer, where he was before the shooting started?
23 A. Naser was standing about here.
24 Q. Could you take that marker that's next to
25 you, and with the help of the usher perhaps, and put an
1X so we can identify where Naser was when you saw him
2 before the shooting started? Make an X there so we can
3 really see it.
4 And where was the light switch in the house?
5 A. The light switch was here, here on the wall.
6 Q. Could you just put a little mark next to that
7 so we know where the light switch is? You don't need
8 to put an X but maybe just a little dot with the
10 A. The light switch was there. We had two light
11 bulbs in that room. One of them was on the ceiling
12 above the table, and the second light bulb was about
13 there, and the switches were where the dot is.
14 Q. Can you draw little circles where the light
15 bulbs were in that room, please?
16 A. Yes. They were about here. Hereabouts.
17 Q. Now, I perhaps forgot to ask you this earlier
18 and I should have asked you this earlier, but could you
19 describe the kind of bed your daughter-in-law was
20 sleeping on that night?
21 A. It was not a bed, in fact, it was a
22 mattress. No bed. The floor, and on the floor there
23 was just a mattress, and they slept on that mattress.
24 Q. Now, on this drawing it looks like it's quite
25 a distance from where Naser was to where the light
1switch is. Was it a long way in your room actually
2 between Naser's position and the light switch?
3 A. A metre and a half thereabouts. It's a
4 small -- it's a small room, not a big room. Maybe a
5 metre and a half. Maybe two metres, for example, from
6 the switch. Two metres, let's say.
7 Q. Can you show us again, with your pointer,
8 where you were when you saw Naser before he was shot?
9 A. Yes, I can. That was where I was. I was
10 standing here at the doorway.
11 Q. And could you put a little mark there,
12 perhaps a circle?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And could you tell us where the man who came
15 into the door was when you first saw him, who you say
16 is Zoran Kupreskic?
17 A. Yes I can. He was here.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
19 MR. RADOVIC: The witness said that he first
20 saw a soldier and that behind the soldier he saw Zoran
22 JUDGE CASSESE: No, I can't remember, but we
23 will check the transcript. In any case, I think the
24 question was, "The man whom you saw."
25 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I will certainly ask that
2 MR. RADOVIC: Would you check, please,
4 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps it could be clarified, in
5 fact, with the witness. The witness referred to a
6 soldier. He then referred to Zoran. He didn't say
7 where they were.
8 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I will be happy to clarify
10 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you tell us where the
11 soldier was when you first saw him enter the room?
12 A. Yes, I can. It's this part when he entered
13 the room. It was Zoran Kupreskic. Perhaps I was wrong
14 in what I said, but -- I was wrong to use the term
15 "soldier" instead of saying Zoran Kupreskic.
16 Q. And could you put a mark there to show us
17 where you first saw Zoran Kupreskic enter the room?
18 A. Yes, I can. Here.
19 Q. Now, from your position at the doorway of
20 your room, did you have a clear and unobstructed view
21 of the man, Zoran Kupreskic, as he entered your room --
22 or entered the living-room?
23 A. Yes, completely clear. No impediments. Just
24 as we're sitting here and I can see you all. Quite
25 clear air space. Nothing to cloud vision.
1Q. Did you look at this man's face as he entered
2 the room?
3 A. All -- I looked at him completely. I could
4 see him all -- I could see the black where paint --
5 with the marker across his forehead, his nose, his
6 face, but I could see his eyes and I knew exactly that
7 it was Zoran Kupreskic. His forehead, his hair, it was
8 him, my neighbour.
9 Q. How far away were you from him when you first
10 saw him as he entered the room? And you can perhaps
11 use me as a reference. If you look at me, and if you
12 could tell us whether you were closer to him than I am
13 to you or further away.
14 A. A little further. About that far. Up by the
15 table behind you, about there. The table behind you.
16 About that far. Yes, that table. That was more or
17 less the distance. That was the distance more or
19 JUDGE MAY: We need to get that for the
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ: For the record?
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, what that distance is.
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I believe I was standing in
24 front of the table now occupied by Mr. Pavkovic.
25 JUDGE MAY: What's that in terms of metres?
1MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm not very good in
2 estimating metres.
3 A. About four metres, in my opinion.
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Now, you say that Zoran--
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic? Sorry.
6 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honour, perhaps we could
7 measure in steps, measure the distance in steps so that
8 we have a more exact notion, because we know how much a
9 male step is, it is 75 centimetres.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. This can be done
11 maybe later on.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
13 Q. Were the lights on in the room at the time
14 you saw Zoran Kupreskic enter the room?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You say that Zoran Kupreskic had some black
17 paint on his face. Could you describe what that looked
19 A. Yes, I can. Across his forehead here, as if
20 somebody had drawn a line but with a black felt-tipped
21 pen, over his nose, as well along his chin. He made
22 himself look like that. He was masked in that way so
23 that you couldn't notice immediately who somebody was
24 if they had this paint.
25 Q. Did you know immediately who this person was
1when you saw him?
2 A. Yes, I did, immediately, from the very first
3 time I laid eyes on him. I looked at him and I saw
4 that it was Zoran and his brother Mirjan.
5 Q. Let's stay with Zoran for a moment. How
6 could you be so sure that this was Zoran when you first
7 saw him as he came into the room?
8 A. How could I not be sure. I know the child
9 since his birth. I knew him even before he was born.
10 I know his face, his shape, the shape of the man.
11 Q. Now, tell us what you saw Zoran Kupreskic do
12 after he entered the room?
13 A. Well, his rifle was aimed. When he entered
14 the room he saw Naser, and he shot Naser immediately.
15 Q. Was Naser still standing, to the best of your
16 recollection, by the table when he was shot?
17 A. No. I apologise, but let me say this
18 truthfully. A moment ago I described the same thing,
19 the same situation when he entered the room and how he
20 killed everybody in the room. And if I may say, I
21 don't want to have to repeat this again, this incident
22 again. I think I explained what he did and how he
23 entered the room.
24 If you want me to describe his entry into the
25 room again and the killing of all of us; he entered, he
1was at the door, the lights were on at that moment. He
2 saw Naser, immediately, standing up. He shot Naser
3 down immediately. And at the same time he also shot my
4 daughter-in-law Zehrudina, and at the same time went on
5 to put some flammable liquid on the couch and there was
6 a fire. He killed Elvis, at the same time, on the
7 couch up here.
8 I dropped down to the floor, and I knocked my
9 head against the wall, and the lower part of my body
10 was in front of him. He stood there and he shot at me
11 through the arm of the couch, and luckily I was not
12 hit. I think that the rifle butt was slightly up
13 higher so that the bullets missed me and went behind my
15 After that, they left --
16 Q. Mr. Ahmic, may I interrupt? I know this is
17 quite difficult for you to talk about it, but it is
18 important for the Tribunal to hear what happened in
19 some detail, and we need to, I'm afraid, take you
20 through it slowly and carefully. And I know that is
21 difficult. If you need a rest or some time, please say
22 so and I will request the Tribunal if they would grant
23 that for you. We are near the lunch-hour.
24 A. No. I don't need a rest. Let us continue
25 with our work. I don't know how clear everything has
1been to you from what I have said so far. Do I need to
2 repeat anything, the same things all over again?
3 Q. I will need to ask you some detailed
4 questions about what you saw in the room that day, and
5 I will have to ask you to repeat a little bit.
6 A. Very well.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, we're going to
8 be going into some detail now and this may take a
9 little while.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Let us adjourn now
11 until 2.00.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. While we are
15 waiting for the witness, let me tell you that I have
16 just received from Mr. Bauduin, the head of the Victims
17 and Witnesses Unit, who has thus confirmed once again
18 to be extremely competent and efficient, a copy of the
19 medical report and a covering letter from Mr. Bauduin
20 himself. I will now ask that photocopies should be
21 made and a copy given to both parties, and then later
22 on, we will come back to this issue.
23 (The witness entered)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon, Mr. Ahmic.
25 You may be seated.
1THE WITNESS: Good afternoon. Thank you.
2 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, may I
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ahmic. If --
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Yes. If, during the course of the afternoon,
9 you feel the need for a rest, please let me know and I
10 will ask the Tribunal if you can take a rest. I know
11 this is tiring for you.
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. Now, we left off this morning at the point of
14 going in step-by-step detail, to the best of your
15 recollection, of what happened in your house on April
16 16, 1995. Just to retrace our steps a bit so we can
17 begin, could you look at the exhibit in front of you,
18 which is the schematic of your house, and tell us again
19 where you were standing when you first saw Zoran
20 Kupreskic come into the house? If you could use your
21 pointer, please?
22 A. Here. This is it. This is where I was at
23 the moment that Zoran Kupreskic entered (indicating).
24 Q. We're just going to stay now with Zoran
25 Kupreskic and follow him the best we can through your
1testimony and your recollection. Where was Zoran
2 Kupreskic when you first saw him enter the house?
3 A. Here, at the door leading to the room
5 Q. Now, what did you see first Zoran Kupreskic
6 do as he entered the room?
7 A. He looked around the room, he saw Naser
8 standing, and he opened fire at him.
9 Q. Did you see this yourself?
10 A. I myself saw that from here (indicating).
11 Q. What did you see Zoran Kupreskic do after he
12 fired at Naser, your son?
13 A. I saw him turning towards my daughter-in-law
14 and opening fire on my daughter-in-law.
15 Q. Did you see that yourself?
16 A. I myself saw that.
17 Q. Tell us what then did you see Zoran Kupreskic
18 do after he fired at your daughter-in-law?
19 A. At that moment, he headed in this direction
20 (indicating). I fell for a moment --
21 Q. Let me stop you there before you describe
22 what you did. Did you remain standing in the doorway
23 while Zoran Kupreskic shot your son Naser?
24 A. Yes, I was in the doorway.
25 Q. Did you remain standing in the doorway when
1you saw Zoran Kupreskic shoot at your daughter-in-law?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, after you saw Zoran Kupreskic fire at
4 your daughter-in-law, did you see Zoran Kupreskic make
5 any move or movement?
6 A. I saw him move towards me and Elvis.
7 Q. Move towards you and Elvis?
8 A. Yes, yes. And for a moment, I lost control
9 and fell.
10 Q. Let's stop there for a moment. Before you
11 lost control and fell, I want you to now backtrack just
12 a moment and tell us whether you saw another individual
13 enter the room that day.
14 A. Yes, yes. At the same time, when Zoran came
15 in, immediately after him came Mirjan.
16 Q. Were you able to observe and look at Mirjan
17 Kupreskic's face as he came into the room?
18 A. I looked at him in a haze because I was
19 focusing on Zoran.
20 Q. Did you recognise Mirjan Kupreskic when he
21 came into the room?
22 A. I did. Yes, I recognised him. I'm quite
23 sure of that. I recognised both Zoran and Mirjan.
24 Q. Could you tell what Mirjan did as he entered
25 the room?
1A. He poured liquid from a small bottle onto
2 this couch here (indicating) and he set it on fire.
3 Q. Were Mirjan and Zoran close together in the
4 room so that you could observe both of them at the same
6 A. At the same time came Mirjan, just after
7 Zoran. One after the other they entered.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
9 MR. RADOVIC: We are again on the verge of
10 leading questions because the question was whether the
11 two of them were close enough for the witness to be
12 able to observe them at the same time. This means
13 suggesting the answer to the witness to say, yes, they
14 were close to one another. The real question would
15 have been: Where were the two of them in the room, if
16 I may put it that way? So I would suggest that the
17 Prosecutor be asked to rephrase the question.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you,
19 Mr. Radovic.
20 Yes, Mr. Moskowitz, could you please rephrase
21 your question?
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour.
23 Q. I believe you have already indicated, with
24 your pointer, where Mirjan was as you observed him, but
25 could you do that again for us so we can have an idea
1of his, that is Mirjan's, presence in the room, as you
2 observed it?
3 A. Yes, I can. At the same time as Zoran
4 entered the house, at the same time Mirjan followed him
5 in, which means that Zoran, seeing Naser standing,
6 fired at him immediately. At the same time, Mirjan was
7 throwing or pouring this liquid over this couch and
8 setting it on fire. So that I could easily see both of
9 them from my vantage point.
10 Q. Do you have any doubt whatsoever that the
11 people you saw in your house that day were Zoran and
12 Mirjan Kupreskic?
13 A. They were those persons, 100 per cent.
14 Q. Now, you told us that after Zoran shot your
15 daughter-in-law, he made a move towards you and Elvis.
16 Could you tell us what happened to you as Zoran came
17 towards you?
18 A. At that moment, I lost control and I fell and
19 hit my head against the wall.
20 Q. I can see you're pointing with the pointer,
21 but for the record, could you tell us where you recall
22 falling and hitting your head?
23 A. Right here (indicating), next to the couch
24 and the wall. Right here in this corner.
25 Q. Could you put a line where you fell so that
1we can refer to it later in the record, using that
2 marker in front of you with the assistance of the
4 A. (Marks)
5 Q. While you have the marker in your hand, for
6 clarity, could you put the letter Z where Zoran was
7 when you saw him first enter the room?
8 A. (Marks)
9 Q. And could you put the letter M where you
10 observed Mirjan Kupreskic lighting a fire?
11 A. Yes. Here, roughly. (Marks)
12 Q. Now, you indicated you fell against or near
13 the bed that Elvis was sleeping in. Where was your
14 head and where were your feet?
15 A. Yes. Shall I mark it with the marker?
16 Q. I think you can use the pointer and just
18 A. This is where my head was and my legs were
19 here (indicating).
20 Q. So your head was near the wall and your legs
21 were closer to the table?
22 A. Yes, my head was right against the wall, yes.
23 Q. Now, when you fell, I think you said you lost
24 control. What do you mean by that?
25 A. I think that very moment I had a heart
1attack, that second between life and death. I don't
2 know myself how to put it.
3 Q. Do you think you lost consciousness for a
5 A. For a moment, I'm sure I lost everything.
6 Q. Once you fell, could you see anything at that
8 A. No.
9 Q. Could you hear anything?
10 A. Yes. I heard shots.
11 Q. Could you tell where those shots, whether
12 they were near you or far away from you?
13 A. Closer to me, and I could feel the casings
14 falling on my right arm.
15 Q. What do you remember hearing next?
16 A. I heard shots.
17 Q. And then what did you hear?
18 A. I heard the baby crying.
19 Q. Is this Sejo?
20 A. Yes, the late Sejo. He was crying. I heard
21 him and I heard a burst of fire after that, and then it
22 was all over.
23 Q. Did you hear the baby crying after the shots
25 A. No. I heard -- the last thing I heard was a
1sigh by my late daughter-in-law in that room while the
2 house was in flames.
3 Q. Could you tell us what you remember doing
4 after you heard the baby cry, then the shots, and then
5 silence? What is the next thing you did?
6 A. I got up, I got to my feet. Once I got up, I
7 cast a glance at late Naser, who was lying here
8 (indicating). I saw a big pool of blood in front of
9 his chest.
10 Q. Did you go to him? Did you go to your son?
11 A. No, no. When I got to my feet, I saw Naser
12 lying in this pool of blood around his chest, and then
13 I went to my room, to this window (indicating).
14 Q. Now, while you were lying behind the couch,
15 did you get the feeling or the sense that shots were
16 being fired at you?
17 A. Yes, yes, precisely. There were shots,
18 bursts of fire, one, two, three bursts, I could feel
19 that they were in my direction, and I felt the casings
20 hitting my right arm. I didn't see that, but that is
21 what I felt.
22 Q. How, in your view, was it possible for you
23 not to have been struck by any of those bullets?
24 A. My assumption is that this was because I was
25 leaning against the couch, my head was turned this way,
1and so I assumed that the barrel of his rifle was not
2 pointed accurately so that the bullets went over my
3 back, which means -- and that is what I always
4 thought -- that if only his barrel had been pointed
5 further down, he would have hit me. Those are my
6 assumptions. That was what I assumed then and later,
7 and to this day, that is my conviction, that that is
8 how it happened.
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I ask the usher to show
10 the next exhibit, please?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 153.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
13 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- depicted in this photograph is a sofa or a
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, this is not the couch that was in your
19 house at that time, is it?
20 A. No, no, no. That is not the couch that was
21 in my house, but it was rather like the couch I had in
22 my house.
23 Q. How is it similar and how is it different?
24 A. The difference is that this couch that you
25 see now, it is lying on the floor. The couch we had,
1it had legs. So that is one difference. And also my
2 couch was a folding one. I don't know whether this one
3 unfolds or not. I don't know.
4 Q. I think you testified earlier that the couch
5 in your house was actually folded out into a bed, and
6 this one isn't, so that would be another difference?
7 A. I didn't quite understand your question, I
8 think. At that moment, the couch was folded out
9 because the child was sleeping on it.
10 Q. Could you look at the arm of this couch and
11 tell us whether that was similar to the couch you had
12 in your house?
13 A. Similar, yes, it is similar to the one we had
14 in our house. This too has an armrest like ours had.
15 Q. There's a person lying there. Was that
16 similar to the way you were lying beside the couch in
17 April of '93?
18 A. Yes, it's similar.
19 Q. Could you explain, using this photograph
20 perhaps to illustrate your testimony, how you believe
21 the machine gun bullets missed you that day?
22 A. They missed me because of the reasons I
23 mentioned a moment ago. He was shooting through the
24 armrest, but I assume that his rifle was tilted and the
25 bullets went over me. If it had been lower down, it
1would have killed me and I wouldn't be here today.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, do you recall how Mirjan and
3 Zoran Kupreskic were dressed that morning when they
4 were in your house?
5 A. In black uniforms.
6 Q. Do you recall seeing any weapons?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who had the weapon? Zoran, Mirjan, or did
9 they both have weapons?
10 A. I saw the weapon in Zoran's hands. I didn't
11 really pay attention to Mirjan. I saw him come in, but
12 I didn't pay attention to him so much. I was focusing
13 my view on Zoran.
14 Q. Did you focus on the kind of weapon that
15 Zoran had?
16 A. At that moment, I saw that it was a smaller
17 rifle with a transparent drum with bullets inside.
18 That is the impression I had that moment.
19 Q. Are you certain that that was the kind of
20 rifle he had?
21 A. I'm not sure because I wasn't really
22 looking. I wasn't interested in the weapon. I was
23 interested in the person that I was looking at, the
24 perpetrators who were doing this.
25 Q. Now, you said that after you got up from the
1area near Elvis's bed, you did not go to your son's
2 body. Where did you go?
3 A. I went to my room, to the window of my room.
4 Q. Why did you go there?
5 A. I thought to myself that I should try and
6 jump out. I opened the right-hand pane of the window
7 and I thought I should jump out and look for a way to
8 save my life. However, when I saw Vlatko Kupreskic in
9 the yard, a HVO fighter, combatant, I was afraid to
10 jump out because I thought they'd catch me alive.
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May I ask the usher to show
12 the witness the next exhibit, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 154.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you look at the
16 photograph placed on the ELMO machine next to you,
17 Exhibit 154? Could you tell us what that photograph
19 A. Yes, I can. This is the house -- this is my
20 house, and here is shown the lower level, and here on
21 the upper level there's one room and the other room.
22 That is the windows of one and then the other rooms.
23 Q. Now, you said that you re-entered your room
24 and looked out of the window. Does this photograph
25 show at least part of the window that you're referring
2 A. Yes. It is this window and this part of the
3 window, to the right.
4 Q. What does that window overlook?
5 A. It looks over to the house of both Vlatko and
6 Zoran Kupreskic. And I can also see Mirjan's house
7 over there.
8 Q. Could you tell us what you saw when you
9 re-entered your room and looked out of that window?
10 A. I saw a soldier in Vlatko Kupreskic's yard.
11 Q. Did you then proceed to climb out of the
12 window to make your escape, or did you remain in the
14 A. No. When I saw the soldier there, I stayed
15 in this room because I did not dare. I was afraid that
16 they would see me, that they would catch me alive, and
17 then that they would torture me, they would then burn
18 me like they burned my entire family. That was going
19 through my mind.
20 Q. What was going on in the rest of your house
21 while you stood at the window and had to decide how to
23 A. I heard a deep sigh of my daughter-in-law,
24 and that was her last moment. And she was burning, she
25 was engulfed in flames. Everything was in flames. The
1hall, living-room where all of them were lying, those
2 members of my family who were killed.
3 Q. Could you feel the heat from those flames
4 while you were in your room?
5 A. I felt tremendous heat and fire. My only --
6 the only thing that was helping was that the window had
7 been open and so there was some air, but I constantly
8 was thinking whether to jump out. But what I thought is
9 if I jumped out and I would be killed that would be
10 fine, but I did not want them to capture me and torture
11 me. So what I eventually decided to do was to move
12 from the house to the barn.
13 And then I heard somebody shouting, "Jure,
14 Jure." This was coming from Hrast's house, I assumed
15 that Jure was calling back from the old oak tree which
16 was dead, and he was saying, "Don't shoot, it's me." I
17 assumed and I still think now that these were the two
18 bothers, Gavrilo Verbac and his brother Jure, which
19 means that Gavrilo was near Cico Hirica's house near my
20 house, and that his brother was over at the Suhi
22 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, you heard this while you were
23 in your room?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, could you tell us at what point you
1decided to make your escape from the house?
2 A. I made the decision when I could no longer
3 stand the heat of the flames and fire. The flames were
4 going towards the lighting fixture, and it was as if
5 somebody was sawing it through the ceiling. It started
6 caving in, and the door from my room to the living-room
7 was already burned through, and as well as the flames
8 started coming through the window. So I could not
9 stand that any more.
10 I decided to run out of the house. I still
11 had it if my mind that they may not see me. There was
12 a Cypress tree in front of my house which blocked the
13 view to Vlatko's house, and then I also had some
14 construction supplies, I had cinder blocks, and that
15 was also protecting me from view from Vlatko's house.
16 There was also a barn there.
17 So I managed to get to the door of the barn.
18 I climbed up the ladder, I went to the far end of the
19 barn, and I went and stayed against the wall of this
20 barn or hayloft.
21 Q. Mr. Ahmic, before we get to the barn --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- could you tell us what exit you used to
24 leave the house?
25 A. Through the flames. Through the kitchen to
1the veranda, the front door and in the direction of the
3 Q. Am I right then in assuming that you ran
4 through the fire in the living-room, or in the main
5 room in the house?
6 A. That's how I said. Maybe you didn't
7 understand me. That's how I said. From my room I ran
8 through the living-room where all the children were
9 killed. I went through the living-room to the door
10 where Zoran first appeared, and then through the
11 veranda, main -- front door and to the barn. So I did
12 run through the whole house. You may not have
13 understood me.
14 Q. Did you suffer any injuries by running
15 through the fire?
16 A. It was already in -- back in the room where I
17 sustained burns, terrible burns, because I was there as
18 long as I could withstand. But when it was a question
19 of life or death, I decided to run through the fire and
20 seek shelter up in the barn.
21 Q. Could you describe for us, as best you can
22 now, what kind of injuries and where those injuries
23 were on your body?
24 A. I was singed all over, my head, my arms, my
25 hands, my face. I was exhausted.
1Q. Now, before you made your escape from the
2 house, while you were still in your room, I believe you
3 told us you heard a conversation, and you also saw a
4 HVO soldier. Do you recall seeing anything or anyone
5 else at that time?
6 A. I heard the conversation while I was in the
7 barn when they were letting out the livestock from the
8 barn, the HVO soldiers did not have any conversation in
9 the house. There was nothing except for the exchange
10 between Zoran and Mirjan.
11 It was when I was in the barn, when two
12 soldiers came whom I had not seen when they entered the
13 barn, but I just heard their conversation. He said
14 this, when they were letting out the cows, he said,
15 "Don't let the cows go into the garden, let them go
16 down towards the road." So they broke the fence to my
17 property, and they went into Vlatko Kupreskic's yard.
18 But I really did not see who those soldiers were
19 because they had their backs to me. So I could not see
21 Q. Now, you mentioned the barn.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Whose barn was that and where was that it
24 located in relation to your house?
25 A. At the entrance to my yard, in front of the
1late Sukrija's house, and it was to the right when you
2 entered my yard. So it was the right in my yard, and
3 to the right of my house.
4 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would at this time ask the
5 usher to show the next exhibit, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 155.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: And for information for the
8 Court, this exhibit was also taken by British soldiers
9 on the day of the event.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Moskowitz, do you know when
11 these photographs were taken?
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We will have a British
13 witness come in and give you the precise time or as
14 best as he can estimate, but my recollection, standing
15 here now, that it was sometime in the early afternoon,
16 perhaps 1.00 or 2.00, maybe a little later, maybe
17 earlier. It's not totally clear.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you look at the Exhibit
19 155, which is a photograph in front of you, and could
20 you tell us what that shows?
21 A. Yes, I can. This here shows the house of the
22 late Sukrija Ahmic. Here is the construction supplies,
23 the roof tiles, then the firewood. Also, chopped wood
24 pile here. This is the barn where I was staying, and
25 it was here where I was staying, and then farther down
1is the house. This is the house, part of it.
2 Q. Now, you pointed, I think, quite briefly to
3 where you were staying, or where you were on April 16,
4 '93 when you left your house. Could you point again
5 for us where you recall being on that day?
6 A. Yes, of course. I can do it 100 per cent. I
7 know exactly what I know. I was here exactly. This is
8 the wall, and it was against this wall. You see that
9 there's some netting here. This is the protective
10 netting for the construction material. What you see
11 red and yellow, that's the flames.
12 I was here at this corner exactly. And you
13 see that right at this time that the barn is still on
14 fire. At this time I was here.
15 Q. Could you describe how you placed yourself in
16 that barn?
17 A. Yes, I can. When I entered the barn, I was
18 here under the hay. I was lying there. And from there
19 I really did have a good view both down and over to one
20 side, the other side, everywhere. There were boards
21 and there were cracks between boards. And from the
22 barn -- while I was there in the barn, the soldiers
23 arrive. They let the cows out, then they left after
24 them. They went to Vlatko's yard.
25 While I was in the barn (redacted). I
1was looking from here. He was carrying someone, but
2 there was a stretcher. He was in front and two persons
3 in the back, and there was a wounded person on the
4 stretcher. They went down -- they went up to the
5 mosque in Upper Ahmici. That was one.
6 And then secondly, Eso Ahmic's wife passed
7 through with three children, with a bag on her -- slung
8 over her back, and then in the direction of Sukrija's
9 house, this is where Sukrija was killed. She was
10 pointing to the children to look at Sukrija as they
11 were going up there, and then I was observing from the
12 same position.
13 Franjo Kupreskic came. He came out to the
14 yard and he was letting the chickens out. And then
15 Nikica Safradin, called Cico, arrived, and this was
16 towards Franjo, below my house. And Franjo stopped him
17 and said, "Go over and see what happened in Sakib's
18 house." And I was listening to all of that from
20 Cico went back to the entrance of my house.
21 He couldn't see anything. He could just see -- just a
22 big fire burning there. Then Cico went back to Franjo,
23 and Franjo he said, "What did you see there?" He said
24 in raised voice, "There's nothing. Everybody's
25 croaked." And I'm thinking to myself not everybody's
1croaked. You don't know that Sakib is watching you. I
2 was listening with my own ears, but I was not in a
3 position to do anything there.
4 Four or five young men came up the path while
5 I was still there. They came(redacted)
6 (redacted) and they went through this
7 thicket or grove, and as they passed through there was
8 a burst of fire and these young men were just mowed
9 down by it. Three soldiers came out of Vlatko's
10 house. They came to the asphalt road, to those young
11 men over there. They looked -- they patted them over
12 and then all three soldiers went down back towards
13 Vlatko's house.
14 Following that --
15 Q. Mr. Ahmic, before you continue, let me ask a
16 couple of clarification questions and then you may
18 A. Very well.
25 Q. And you mentioned that he was carrying
1something. I wasn't all that clear on what you were
2 saying. Could you describe what you (redacted)
4 A. Oh, that's right. Now I understood your
5 question. First I did not understand it.
6 I saw (redacted), from the barn,
7 as he was walking down the road and was carrying a
8 stretcher. He was in front and he was carrying the
9 stretcher, and there were two persons behind him, and
10 each of these two persons were holding one of the
11 handles of the stretcher, and they were carrying a
12 wounded person. I don't know who this person was. I
13 don't even know who those two persons were in the back,
14 but I recognised (redacted)
15 And they went in the direction of the mosque
16 in upper Ahmici.
17 Q. All right. Now, you also mentioned someone
18 pointing at Sukrija's house. First of all, could you
19 see, from --
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- your position in the barn, Sukrija's
23 A. Yes. It was right in front of me. Sukrija's
24 house was right there. Sukrija's house is right next
25 to the barn. See, this is Sukrija's house, and this is
1the barn in which I was. I was here at this corner. I
2 could see everything. Of course, I could see all of
4 Q. Could you see --
5 A. I could see up front and to all sides I could
6 see from this barn.
7 Q. Could you see any bodies nearby?
8 A. Near the barn?
9 Q. From your position in the barn, looking out,
10 near your son's home, could you see any bodies?
11 A. No. From the barn, from here, I could not
12 see the body -- the late Sukrija's body. I didn't even
13 know that he was lying there, that he had been killed
14 there. It was only the following day when I was
15 fleeing for my life that I saw him there. And I
16 tried -- he was sort of bent, and I tried to straighten
17 him out. But then I realised that I could not do it,
18 and -- because I needed to save my life. I went on in
19 the direction of Pirici.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic. You indicated that you saw
21 someone looking at or pointing at the house of
22 Sukrija. Could you tell us who that was if you know?
23 A. Yes, yes. I know exactly. It is my nephew's
24 Eso's wife. She came from up there by Vlatko's house,
25 then by Sukrija and my house, and at Sukrija's house
1she saw the late Sukrija's body and she was pointing it
2 to the children. She was pointing at the body to
3 them. This is what I could see.
4 Q. At the time you saw her pointing at a body or
5 somebody, you did not know at that time that she was
6 looking at the body of your son, Sukrija?
7 A. No, no, I did not know what she was pointing
8 at, what she was observing there. I did not know what
9 she was pointing at. But later on, when I saw the dead
10 body of Sukrija, then I put these two things together.
11 Q. Now, I think you also said that you saw or
12 heard a burst of fire that appeared to strike some
13 men. Could you tell us where that fire came from, if
14 you can?
15 A. Yes, I can. When the young men came from
16 Vlatko's house, the shot rang from that area of
17 Vlatko's house, and those three Croat soldiers went
18 from Vlatko's house to where those young men were
19 killed and then later on went back to Vlatko's house.
20 Q. Could you recognise any of those soldiers
21 that came from Vlatko's house?
22 A. No, no, I could not.
23 Q. What do you recall happening in addition,
24 while you were in the barn?
25 A. Two armoured vehicles came, two tanks. They
1came from the main road up to Ahmici. One tank went in
2 front of the house of Ivica Kupreskic, into his yard,
3 and the other one came to the entrance -- to the gate
4 of my yard, and it came to a stop here (indicating).
5 So this tank came to a stop here. It was sitting right
6 there, where this sand is, and I was here behind this
7 wall. I may have been four to five metres away from
8 it, from this tank which was standing there.
9 When the tank came to a stop there, the
10 turret lid opened and a soldier emerged from the tank.
11 He looked around and went back down in. He lowered the
12 lid. The tank, which was in Ivica Kupreskic's yard,
13 joined him, and started in the direction of Ahmici.
14 This tank followed it, and they went in the direction
15 of Gornji Ahmici, Upper Ahmici.
16 Q. Mr. Ahmic, while the tank was parked in front
17 of your barn, did you give some thought to perhaps
18 leaving the barn and going to the tank and being
20 A. Yes, I did think about that, but I wasn't 100
21 per cent sure that they would take me in, that they
22 would take me into the tank, and so I was afraid that
23 they wouldn't take me into the vehicle and that the
24 people around Vlatko's house would see me, or from any
25 other side, and that they would kill me. I did not
1have the strength to make up my mind and so I stayed.
2 I had to rely on myself.
3 The tanks left Upper Ahmici. They did not
4 stay in the yard a long time. They returned. But at
5 that time, while the tanks were here, everything was
6 calm. There was no shooting whatsoever during that
7 time. I couldn't hear any firing.
8 When the tank went back to Ahmici and towards
9 the main road and went along to Vitez and came in the
10 vicinity of Pican's cafe, then firing began from all
11 types of weapons, and then it was calm again. So it
12 was a sort of platoon -- a gun blast, and then there
13 was silence again, and nothing else could be heard. No
14 gunfire could be heard after that burst, outburst.
15 I heard the honk of a horn in front of Vlatko
16 Kupreskic's house, and I also heard the siren from
17 Ivica Kupreskic's car, and then the municipal siren
18 could be heard, the fire alarm siren, and at that time,
19 I thought to myself that the emergency warning siren
20 was going on because of the successful action drive to
21 kill and massacre the people in the vicinity of Ahmici.
22 Q. Now, you said that while the tanks were there
23 or while you had them in sight, the shooting had
24 stopped. Had you heard any kind of --
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1Q. Had you heard any kind of shooting or firing
2 before the tanks arrived?
3 A. Yes, yes, there was shooting before that.
4 Until the tanks arrived, shooting could be heard
5 sporadically, but once the tanks got there,
6 silence reigned and no gunfire was heard anywhere.
7 When the tanks returned, as I described earlier on,
8 when they were near Pican's cafe, in my opinion there
9 was a general burst of gunfire from all types of
10 weaponry, and then once again silence reigned.
11 The siren could be heard from Vlatko
12 Kupreskic's house and Ivica Kupreskic's house and the
13 emergency warning siren from the municipality could be
14 heard for the fire brigade in the municipality of
15 Vitez, and what I thought at that moment, that this was
16 probably to celebrate the successful drive of the
17 massacre in the Ahmici region. That is what I think
18 today that it was. It was a celebration.
19 Q. Now, after the tanks left, were you able to
20 observe or see anyone that you could recognise?
21 A. I can't quite remember at this moment.
22 Q. Let me ask you this: Do you recall at what
23 point you left the barn and why you left the barn?
24 A. I can't say when I left the barn, at what
25 particular moment I left the barn, but I can say why I
1left the barn.
2 I did not see but I felt in the barn that
3 something hit, the sound of a hit. I had in the barn
4 two tyres, two tyres belonging to a passenger vehicle
5 at the entrance to the barn, and I heard this tyre hit
6 the ground, and so I thought that somebody was in the
7 barn, so I was even afraid to draw a breath and I
8 couldn't see, but that's what I felt, that somebody was
9 there. I heard some crackling, a crackling noise, and
10 I felt that something had been set alight to. And that
11 was what happened, in fact. I could smell the smell of
12 smoke, and it was the barn crackling, and I had to
13 think quickly what to do because the barn would go up
14 in flames.
15 I tried very slowly, very silently, to creep
16 up and look above the surface of the hay, beyond the
17 hay, to see if there was anybody inside. I did not see
18 anybody. I just even -- above or below the barn, and
19 then I thought, what shall I do next? Shall I go
20 through the barn and then down to take the forks, the
21 hay forks, for manure and so on and then get out that
22 way and to sort of make a hole, burrow a hole through
23 that fertiliser and to mask myself, to camouflage
24 myself with the manure there, with the fertiliser. I
25 had to think quickly. I thought that while I would be
1doing this and getting out of the barn and downwards,
2 that a soldier would appear, Croatian soldier might
3 appear, so that I felt it safer not to disclose my
4 whereabouts, that there was somebody there.
5 I knew that I could take a log off here from
6 the barn, and I decided to take a log away, a board, a
7 plank, and to place it on the hay but very, very
8 silently, no noise, because I didn't know if anybody
9 was in the barn or out around the barn. I had rubber
10 soles and so on.
11 What I did was I took off one of the planks.
12 I got hold -- I jumped down into the fertiliser,
13 manure, and then I went to this stack of logs here,
14 this log pile, firewood, and this particular stack here
15 (indicating) goes right up towards -- right up one
16 metre up by Sukrija's house, and in that space with the
17 stack of firewood, during the winter when they would
18 take firewood into the house for heating, there was a
19 hole left from the wood they had taken. I sat there, I
20 hid myself there, and there were two parts of -- top
21 parts of vehicles, passenger cars, the hub, and I took
22 away some of the logs so I had -- on three sides I was
23 protected by the logs and the firewood and on one side
24 I was protected by the bonnet of these cars, and that's
25 where I spent the whole day and the whole night, up
1until about 4.00 in the morning.
2 During that time, if I can continue? Do you
3 want me to continue my story, my recollection of what
5 Q. Yes, but can I ask a couple of clarification
6 questions first?
7 A. Yes, you can.
8 Q. Could you see, once you left the barn, the
9 body of your son Sukrija?
10 A. No, I did not. Well -- no, because I went to
11 hide myself amongst the wood, the logs. No, I did not
12 see his body.
13 Q. Do you recall how long you stayed in the
14 woodpile hiding?
15 A. Yes. The whole day. I was there the whole
16 day and the whole night.
17 Q. Could you describe for us what your physical
18 condition was during that time period?
19 A. I was in a terrible state, it was terrible,
20 because I was all burnt, I had no socks on, I had not
21 much clothing. I was in my pyjamas. It's difficult to
22 describe. I was almost naked. Only in my pyjamas, no
23 socks on my feet. I just had a sort of raincoat to
24 protect myself from the fire and from the heat. That's
25 all I had on me.
1Q. When did you leave the pile, the woodpile?
2 A. I left the woodpile in the morning, sometime
3 in the morning on the 17th of April. About 4.00 in the
5 Q. As you left the woodpile, could you see
6 anything, any bodies?
7 A. Yes. When I decided to move and that I
8 couldn't stay in the woodpile any longer, that I
9 couldn't make any presence known and that I had to do
10 this during the night, during the dark. When I left
11 the woodpile, I saw the car of Sukrija, the late
12 Sukrija, in front of his workshop, and his body was
13 lying in front of the car, somewhere here (indicating),
14 in the direction of that tree. That is where the road
15 is. He was lying there near the tree, near the fir
17 When I saw him, I saw that his body was
18 turned over. There was a ditch. I passed by from the
19 front part by his head and tried to take him up and to
20 pull him away so that he could lie straight, but I did
21 not have the strength to do this. I wasn't strong
22 enough to move him, so I left him lying the way he was.
23 Q. Could you tell us what you mean by not having
24 the strength and tell us how you tried to move him and
25 why it was so difficult for you?
1A. No, I couldn't move him. I wasn't able to.
2 It was difficult because he was lying -- he wasn't
3 lying straight. He was lying on his back. I wanted to
4 turn him over onto his back, but my hands were burnt
5 and I just couldn't do it, so I left him lying there as
6 he was and continued in the direction that I have
7 already described, that I already told you that I went,
8 the direction that I had told myself that I would take,
9 and this took me up to the main road and towards Redzib
10 Ahmic's house. I passed by Redzib Ahmic's and Suad's
11 house. When I found myself there amongst the houses,
12 the cattle smelled me and they knew that somebody was
13 there and they made some noise, and I think that in the
14 barracks, the HVO barracks, they thought that this was
15 just cattle moving about and in front of Andza
16 Kasakic's (phoen) house, the HVO soldiers -- and when I
17 passed through the thicket, I thought that they would
18 fire, but as the cattle moved about throughout the
19 night, this was better for me because they heard the
20 livestock and the cattle and they couldn't hear me
21 passing so I was able to pass through the thicket and
22 emerge towards Caza on the other side.
23 I sat down there; I had no more strength. I
24 sat down to rest a while, and then went on some 20 or
25 30 metres and had another rest, and once again, I
1emerged up on the plateau where there was a lot of hay,
2 where the hay was being stacked, and I sat there and
3 thought that I had made it because I had succeeded in
4 emerging from the HVO encirclement.
5 There is a little path linking up the village
6 of Ahmici and Pirici, and I went along that path which
7 took me to the house of my mother. I knocked on the
8 window, and she was there, and I said, "Mother, open
9 the door, but don't turn on the lights." My mother
10 opened the door. I went inside. I sat down on her
11 bed. I asked her, "Could you please light a fire as
12 soon as possible because I'm freezing?" My mother did
13 that; she lit a fire quickly. She made me a cup of
14 tea. I asked her whether she had any cigarettes. She
15 said, yes, she did, and took out a box of cigarettes
16 and some matches and lit a cigarette for me, gave it to
17 me, gave me a glass of tea to drink. I drank the tea,
18 I smoked the cigarette. I don't know whether I drank
19 all the tea or not.
20 And then I heard a burst of gunfire. I just
21 put the glass down on the cupboard. I went towards the
22 window. I heard another burst of fire west of the
23 house, some 250 metres away perhaps, and I went back
24 into the kitchen. My mother heard the firing. "Did
25 you hear the firing?" my mother said, "Yes. You must
1escape. If they catch you, they'll kill you," she
2 said. She took off her socks from her own feet. I
3 took the sock and put them on one foot and put the sock
4 on my other foot and I left through the door and went
5 up, upwards, and I went up towards Rifet's house, there
6 was nobody there, and I went through the garden towards
7 Barin Gaj, and when I went up onto the plateau in front
8 of Barin Gaj, away from the electricity lines, poles, I
9 stopped and turned to face Ahmici.
10 I turned towards Zume -- the woods. I turned
11 towards Zume, and I saw that everything that was Muslim
12 had been burnt to the ground, and I imagined that
13 everything below that had happened and everything that
14 happened in my own house down there -- I had two
15 brothers, I had a brother-in-law, my daughter, family,
16 relatives, everybody down there; and when I saw that, I
17 saw that there was nothing left, that there was nobody
18 left, and I continued along the road towards Vrhovine
19 upwards, towards Vrhovine, and upon leaving Barin Gaj,
20 I met four or five young men, they entered Barin Gaj.
21 They had rifles. And Vehbija Ahmic and behind them --
22 Vehbija looked at me and he said, "Is that you,
23 Sakib?" And I said, "Yes, it's me." "What's happening
24 down there?" they asked. I said, "Well, the HVO
25 soldiers came to Pirici and there was a burst of
1gunfire below my mother's house, another burst of
2 gunfire could be heard some 200, 250 metres away, and
3 you must go to Redzi Grehab (phoen) and one to Gavro's
4 house, Thurma's (phoen) house, and if you can, tell
5 them that -- to stop them, not to go up towards
7 I continued and reached the village of
8 Vrhovine. There was nobody in the houses. I entered
9 three houses, and there was nobody there. I went to
10 Hadzinica and Blahum (phoen). He was called Kustre.
11 The house was open, and there was nobody in his house
12 either. I went to Esfre Mujezinovic. His house was
13 open too, but there was nobody in the house either. I
14 couldn't go any further. I just could not.
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Ahmic, let me stop you
16 there for a moment and ask the usher at this time to
17 show the witness the next Prosecution Exhibit?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 156.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Ahmic, could you look at the --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you look at this Exhibit 156 and see if
23 you can tell us what that shows. If you have
24 difficulty orienting yourself, just let me know.
25 A. I didn't understand the question.
1Q. Could you look at the exhibit in front of you
2 on the machine and see if you can tell what that shows.
3 A. Yes. It shows the territory around Pirici
4 and Ahmici.
5 Q. Do you see that circle with the 56 next to
7 A. Yes, I can see the circle. I see the little
9 Q. Are you having trouble recognising that?
10 A. No, no trouble. It's quite a clear picture.
11 Q. Could you tell us, is that your house circled
12 number 56?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Does that white line that zigzags through
15 that map, does that indicate the route that you took
16 when you left Ahmici to your mother's house?
17 A. Yes, that's precisely it.
18 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, another leading
19 question. The first is: Is the house noted number 56
20 your house? The second leading question was: Does
21 this route on the map, does it represent your route,
22 the route you took? They are leading questions. The
23 right question would be: What does circle 56
24 represent, and can you tell us what the line, the white
25 line represents, rather than asking leading questions.
1This is a little too much.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic, I think it is
3 very clear that the witness had already indicated on
4 this other picture where his house was located and, of
5 course, as for the line, I assume the Prosecutor has
6 made this line on the picture on the basis of what the
7 witness told him before. I don't think it's worth
8 going into minute details. Yes, it is to some extent a
9 leading question, but I would move on.
10 Mr. Moskowitz?
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Now, you mentioned Barin Gaj in your last
13 narrative. Could you tell us what Barin Gaj is?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Not where it is, but what is it?
16 A. It's a sort of plateau, some high ground from
17 whence you can see the valley of Vitez below, the
18 territory of Ahmici, Santici, and so on; and Barin Gaj,
19 when you say Barin Gaj, it is a forest, in fact, a
20 wood, woodland.
21 Q. What was your physical condition as you
22 stopped at Barin Gaj and overlooked the village of
23 Ahmici? Had you eaten?
24 A. No. It was a terrible experience
25 altogether. I was quite lost. I was completely beside
1myself, and as I say, I was almost 70 per cent killed.
2 When I looked at the territory of Ahmici and everything
3 and when I saw what had happened and what had been
4 done, I was quite beside myself, and that is where I
5 looked down into the valley. From this vantage point
6 here, that's Barin Gaj. That's the plateau, the high
7 ground, and from there, I could view this entire area
8 here, and when I saw everything, I was quite beside
10 Q. Now, you've indicated Barin Gaj with the
11 pointer. Is there some sort of a letter or marker on
12 this map --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- that indicates generally where Barin Gaj
15 is? Could you read out the marker or the letter?
16 A. This. Here it is. That's it (indicating).
17 That is my route, the route I took. My house is there;
18 that's the exit to my house. This is between Suad's
19 and Ejeba's (phoen) house. This is the thicket. I
20 came out here onto this clearing. This is the wood.
21 When I got up onto the clearing, I felt that I had
22 managed to escape from the encirclement of the HVO down
24 This is the path which links up Pirici and
25 the village of Ahmici, which is over here, and I took
1this path which led me to my mother's house. That's
2 where my mother's house is located (indicating). This
3 is my neighbour's house, Hazim's, and from there, from
4 my mother's house, I went across -- this is the village
5 of Pirici, all this here (indicating), and I continued
6 via Bace and came to the village of Vidovici, through
7 the garden, and across -- along the path which led to
8 Barin Gaj. This is the path leading straight to Barin
9 Gaj; and when I got here, I went this way (indicating),
10 to this field which gave me a view of everything down
12 When I finished all that, and I was
13 completely lost and beside myself, I went back to
14 Vrhovine, up there, and came to the village of
15 Vrhovine; and when I got there, they took me in. A
16 young man -- all the village -- there were no
17 inhabitants in the village because the HVO soldiers
18 shelled Vrhovine and so the women and children left
19 their homes and went up above the village. And when I
20 came, I went out onto the road, and a man came towards
21 me out of the mass that was standing there, the mass of
22 people standing there, he came up to me and said,
23 "Sakib, well, why didn't somebody see to your
24 wounds?" And I said, I told him the truth, I said,
25 "You're the first people that I have encountered
1because there's no living soul down there in the
2 valley." And he did take out a sort of bandage and
3 bandage one hand and then the other hand, and he said,
4 "We have two more injured people. You're the third.
5 You have a vehicle up by the crossroads, and you will
6 be taken by car, all three of you injured, will be
7 taken to the hospital in Zenica." And that's what
8 happened. The ambulance came, the car came, the
9 vehicle came, and they took us off to Zenica. We went
10 via the Dobriljeno village and then down towards the
11 town, towards-- past Mokosnjice, and a car, an
12 ambulance was waiting for us there and took us over and
13 took us to the hospital where they took us in and where
14 they gave us first aid. Our treatment, our medical
15 treatment was continued there. My entry into hospital
16 took place on the 17th of April, 1993. I left the
17 hospital on the 1st of May, 1994.
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, I note the
19 time, and this maybe a good place to break.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We rise now. Thirty
22 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
24 (The witness entered court)
25 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Mr. Moskowitz?
1MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Ahmic, we left off with your having been
3 taken to the hospital. What city was this in that you
4 went to the hospital?
5 A. The town of Zenica.
6 Q. And again, will you tell us how long you were
7 in the hospital?
8 A. I was admitted to hospital on the 17th of
9 April, 1993, and I left the hospital on the 1st of May,
11 Q. Are you aware of some inaccuracy in your
12 release date as noted in a report?
13 A. Yes, yes. There is an inaccuracy. They said
14 that I had been discharged on the 26th, according to
15 their date. And there's a difference also in the
16 month, there's a small error. Yes, there is an
17 inaccuracy, but minor inaccuracy. It's a difference of
18 a couple of days.
19 Q. Did you remain in the same hospital for that
20 whole period of time or were you transferred from one
21 hospital to another?
22 A. No, I wasn't in the same hospital all that
23 time. I was moved from the main hospital to the
24 medical school, as there were a large number of wounded
25 arriving and all the beds were occupied. There were
1people lying in the corridors. And so as to free some
2 beds for the heavily wounded, those who had recovered
3 to some extent were transferred to the medical school
4 where their treatment was continued in the same way as
5 in the hospital. We continued to receive the same
6 therapy, X-rays, check-ups of the heart function, et
8 Q. Could you briefly describe, to the best your
9 recollection, the kind of treatment that you received
10 when you arrived at the main hospital in Zenica?
11 A. I'm afraid I don't understand the question.
12 Immediately I was given first-aid treatment, and then
13 treatment was continued in hospital.
14 Q. How did they treat your burn wounds?
15 A. They treated them with some lotions, creams,
17 Q. Did you receive any medication, any pills?
18 A. Yes, yes, I did. We were given pills, and
19 shots and all kinds of things.
20 Q. Can you describe whether you were in any pain
21 at this time and tell us how severe that pain was?
22 A. I felt very strong pain at the very beginning
23 when they were giving me first-aid. I think the pain
24 was worse than while I was actually burning. The pain
25 was bad. My heart was examined many times. I was
1under constant medical control regarding the heart
2 function. I was never left unattended by a nurse in
3 the hospital.
4 Q. How long did the pain last?
5 A. For a long time. I had pain -- I felt pain
6 for almost three or four months. The treatment was
7 slow. It took time to heal. I had terrible problems
8 with these burns and wounds. My fingers were totally
9 stiff. I couldn't move any of them. All this is new
10 skin. I had lost all my nails from my fingers.
11 There was a shortage of medicines too. I had
12 a friend in the town of Zenica who managed to find
13 special lily oil which I used to massage my fingers,
14 except for this finger, which remains stiff. I don't
15 have any strength in that finger. You see, the finger
16 remains fixed. There is no strength in it. As for the
17 rest of my fingers, they're working well now.
18 Q. What about your face? Was that also injured,
19 and if so, what did they do to treat that?
20 A. My face was terrible. It was also badly
21 burned and scorched. It was treated in the same way,
22 with sprays. When I say "sprays," these were to fill
23 in the gaps so as to prevent infection. But the pain
24 was very bad. It is hard to describe.
25 Q. While you were in the hospital at this time
1period, do you recall giving two statements to
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Did you tell those investigators everything
5 you knew about what had happened in your house?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What didn't you tell them?
8 A. What I didn't tell them or why I didn't tell
10 Q. What you didn't tell them.
11 A. First of all, in that statement I didn't dare
12 name the killers of my children. I didn't dare name
13 Zoran Kupreskic, I didn't dare name Mirjan Kupreskic in
14 that statement.
15 Q. Why didn't you dare name the killers of your
17 A. I didn't dare name them because the war was
18 in full swing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I couldn't
19 know at the time how the war would end and how it would
20 come to a stop, and that is the reason why I didn't
21 have the courage to name anyone at that time.
22 Q. Now, in later statements you did name Zoran
23 and Mirjan as the killers of your children and your
24 family. Why did you do it in later statements? What
25 had happened?
1A. I came to a decision in my thoughts, and I
2 said to myself, why? Why should I protect the people
3 who killed my dearest ones, when they had the strength
4 to carry out this massacre, these murders, these evil
5 things they did? Who should I fear to tell the truth?
6 I'm not afraid of anyone any more. And I
7 shall never be afraid of anyone any more. All those
8 who did that, let them look after -- let them fear me.
9 They are the criminals and not me. That is one
11 And secondly, I always want the truth. I
12 always want to tell the truth. Each individual, each
13 person on this earth, my opinion that whatever he does,
14 he should suffer the consequences. If I work in a
15 company for a month, the company is obliged to pay me
16 for the labour I have invested in that company.
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Ahmic, at this time I
18 would like to show you a brief video and show the Court
19 a brief video, and as we look at it, it's a short one,
20 and after it's played I would like you to comment on
21 it, please.
22 With the permission of the court, I would at
23 this time ask for the video to be played.
24 (Videotape played)
25 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Ahmic --
1JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry. Mr. Radovic is
3 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we would be
4 grateful to the Prosecutor if he could tell us when
5 this tape was taken and where it was shown, because
6 this was obviously for a TV programme.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
8 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I will ask the witness if he
10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, was that you on the tape?
11 A. Yes, it was.
12 Q. Do you recall where that interview took
14 A. In Zenica, in the hospital at Crkvice. I
15 think this took place on the 18th or the 19th of April,
16 I'm not quite sure. But it was with -- one of those
17 two days, right after the event.
18 MR. RADOVIC: One further question. Which TV
19 company shot this?
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Moskowitz?
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
22 Q. Do you know which TV company shot this? Do
23 you recall that?
24 A. I think it was Radio Zenica. Zenica.
25 Q. Now, we could see from that tape that -- we
1could see from that tape that there was some injuries.
2 Could you tell us if you can recall how you were
3 feeling on the day you gave that tape -- that taped
5 A. I was in a very bad condition. I was not
6 feeling well at all.
7 It is hard to describe. I was still beside
8 myself. I felt lost. I had lost everything. And to
9 this day I feel awful. I was sick. I was in a shock,
10 in a state of shock for days, because I had lost all
11 that was dear to me. You can imagine how I could have
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, sorry to
14 interrupt you. I imagine you're going to provide the
15 Court with a transcript of that videotape.
16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, we will, and we have
17 transcripts prepared. Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: It may be, Your Honour, that
20 these transcripts have already been provided to the
21 Court as well as to Defence counsel, but we are happy
22 to provide another set of copies. In any event, we are
23 prepared to provide copies.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
1Q. At the time you made this videotape,
2 Mr. Ahmic, had you yet decided to come forward and
3 reveal the killers of your family?
4 A. At that time, at the time that this was
5 filmed, I don't know what I had in mind. At the time I
6 certainly was undecided whether to name those people or
8 Q. I think you indicated earlier that there was
9 a war going on. At the time that the war was going on,
10 did you know who was going to win that war?
11 A. No. No.
12 Q. Were you in the Zenica hospital when the city
13 of Zenica was shelled?
14 A. Yes, I was.
15 Q. At the time you gave this interview, did you
16 know where your family members were?
17 A. I didn't know. I didn't know where they
19 Q. Did you come to find out what had happened to
20 the bodies of your family members in that house?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I was informed about it. They
22 came to the hospital, and they told me about all these
23 killed members of my family in the house, that for each
24 person a coffin had been provided, a Muslim priest, a
25 Hajra, for the religious burial rights.
1They wanted to hear what my wish was
2 regarding where they should be buried, my children. I
3 told them we have two cemeteries in the area of Ahmici,
4 which were inaccessible at the time, both of them, so I
5 asked them to check and see whether it was possible in
6 Stari Vitez, and if possible, in Stari Vitez, they
7 should be buried there. And if that was not possible,
8 if not in Stari Vitez, if it was impossible to reach
9 it, then I asked them to bring them to Zenica. And if
10 they were to be buried in Zenica, that they should come
11 for me so that I should be present at the time my
12 children were buried. However, nobody came back
13 again. I heard that they had been buried in Stari
14 Vitez, and that is how it was.
15 Q. Do you recall the name of the person you were
16 talking to about the bodies of your family?
17 A. I think it was Thomas, Mr. Thomas.
18 Q. Can you tell us, if you can recall, the
19 number of your house as it was numbered in 1993?
20 A. Yes. It was number 5. Number 5 was the
21 number of the house.
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: At this time, Mr. Usher, I
23 would ask the witness be shown this exhibit.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 158. The
25 videotape has been marked 157.
2 Q. Mr. Ahmic, could you please look at the
3 Exhibit 158 and identify that, please?
4 A. This is my son Naser. Please, don't mind
5 me. Please don't.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Perhaps we should take a
7 brief recess.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: We'll adjourn for ten
10 A. Those are my eyes.
11 --- Recess taken at 4.26 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.39 p.m.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, the Court
14 considers that it is not necessary to show the witness
15 all those pictures. The fact that his relatives were
16 killed is not in dispute. Defence counsel, I imagine,
17 will not dispute that, and I don't see why he should go
18 through a most excruciating, terrible experience. So I
19 wonder whether we could move on to other matters?
20 (The witness entered)
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ: He indicated to me,
22 Mr. President, that he wanted that opportunity to show
23 his son. We have no other pictures of that nature.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
1Q. Mr. Ahmic, are you now capable of proceeding
2 just a little while longer?
3 A. I'll try.
4 Q. I only have just two or three questions now,
5 and they're also difficult questions.
6 A. All right.
7 Q. Could you please look around the courtroom
8 and see if you can identify Zoran Kupreskic?
9 A. Yes, I can. Zoran Kupreskic is to the right.
10 Q. Is he in the front row or the next row behind
12 A. In the front row.
13 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May the record reflect he's
14 identified Zoran Kupreskic.
15 Q. Could you look around the room and see if you
16 can identify Mirjan Kupreskic?
17 A. Yes, I can. Mirjan Kupreskic is next to
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May the record reflect he's
20 identified Mirjan Kupreskic.
21 Q. Were these the two men who were in your house
22 on April 16, 1993, while your family was killed before
23 your eyes?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Ahmic, you may sit.
1Please be seated.
2 A. Thank you.
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
4 Q. Can you also look around the room and
5 identify Vlatko Kupreskic?
6 A. Yes, I can.
7 Q. And where is he sitting, please?
8 A. To the left, left of Zoran and Mirjan is
9 Vlatko Kupreskic.
10 Q. Could you tell me what colour of clothing he
11 is wearing?
12 A. Vlatko is wearing a white shirt and a dark
13 tie, a blue tie.
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: May the record reflect that
15 he has identified Vlatko Kupreskic.
16 Your Honours, I have no more questions except
17 to formally offer the exhibits that we have entered.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibits from 150 to 158.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you. Those exhibits.
20 I note that there is time left in the day; however, I
21 wonder if, after this exhausting experience, Mr. Ahmic
22 is willing or capable to begin cross-examination today,
23 a process that undoubtedly will not finish today in any
24 event, and he needs to come back the week after next.
25 I think he is quite exhausted, but perhaps the Court
1can question him to see if he is able to proceed.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you,
3 Mr. Moskowitz. First of all, let me turn to counsel
4 for Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic to ask them whether they
5 would like to start cross-examining the witness today.
6 Mr. Radovic, you say no.
7 MR. RADOVIC: No, Your Honour, because when
8 we first learned that Mr. Sakib Ahmic was going to
9 substitute for the witness who was supposed to be
10 testifying, you yourself stated, and we also were made
11 to believe, that he was not going to be cross-examined,
12 so we would like to keep it that way.
13 Let me just add something else, if I may? I
14 see that we have had identification of the accused
15 here, but we believe that it, as a rule, is done when
16 the witness knows the accused. In this case, it is
17 not -- it is not -- there is no controversy there
18 because they were neighbours, so I see no particular
19 point in having this witness identify the accused who
20 were his neighbours. Thank you.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: The point is not that he
22 identified them as neighbours but as persons whom he
23 claims saw killing his relatives, so it is a different
25 Mr. Pavkovic?
1THE WITNESS: Yes. The dearest people to my
3 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, if you intend
4 to go on with the proceedings and if the witness is
5 able and is willing to accept cross-examination, our
6 colleague Krajina may have one or two relatively easy
7 questions for him, and if the witness is agreeable, I
8 would then turn the floor over to my colleague,
9 Mr. Krajina.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much,
11 Mr. Pavkovic.
12 Let me turn to Mr. Ahmic and ask him:
13 Mr. Ahmic, do you want to stop now and go back home
14 because you are exhausted, or do you want us to
15 continue, and in this case, counsel for one of the
16 accused will ask you questions. If you feel tired, you
17 are entitled to withdraw now.
18 THE WITNESS: To be honest and frank with
19 you, I am not just exhausted, I am really exhausted,
20 and I don't think that I have the strength to continue
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. All right. So you may
23 leave the courtroom now and we will continue with
24 procedural matters. You will come back when we resume
25 our --
1THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may go.
3 Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you too and good-bye.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Let us discuss a few matters
7 relating to some matters of relevance to our
8 proceedings. First of all, the question of Witness
9 number 6, the lady we mentioned this morning. Now, our
10 position is that we will request the physicians here in
11 The Hague to provide us with further medical reports
12 after the check-up, and we understand you have probably
13 seen the report which was circulated this afternoon.
14 The check-up was at lunch time. I assume probably by
15 Monday we will receive a detailed report from the
16 doctors. Meanwhile, she will be allowed to leave. I
17 understand she is very keen to go back to her house.
18 In light of the report, we will decide what to do, but
19 our intention is that she should be called back and
20 give evidence in court.
21 We are acting under Rule 89 -- sorry. I
22 think 98, it must be. Yes, 98, to be read in
23 conjunction with Rule 89, and on the strength of those
24 Rules, we intend to call back the witness. We will
25 take all the necessary steps short of, of course,
1forcing the witness to come back to The Hague. If, as
2 I hope, she is better, she will be given, at our
3 request, psychological support, she should be treated
4 while at home, if possible, and when she comes back, I
5 hope that the Witness and Victims Unit will provide
6 psychological support to her while she will be in The
7 Hague, and I think that she should testify, say, one or
8 two days, at the latest, after her return to The Hague,
9 because we understand from the persons working for the
10 Victims and Witnesses Unit that for the witnesses
11 spending a few days here, a lot of time here, is quite
12 taxing and they become exhausted and, of course, also
13 this becomes very difficult. So as soon as she gets
14 here, as soon as possible she should be called to
15 testify. But, as I say, we will let you know. We are
16 taking this matter in hand.
17 As for the other witnesses, I wonder whether
18 the Prosecution could provide both the Court and the
19 Defence with a list of the witnesses to be heard as
20 soon as we resume our proceedings, a list and the
21 order, and also I wonder whether the Prosecution at
22 this stage can give a rough idea of the number, the
23 total number of witnesses they intend to call so that
24 we can make plans to see whether we may finish by
25 mid-October, as we hope.
1In this connection, we feel now that we have
2 to go back to our old timetable. We can't afford to,
3 in a way, work for about four hours fifteen minutes?
4 No, we have to go back to the old schedule whereby we
5 spend about, I think, five hours, working hours, per
6 day, so we propose that when we resume our proceedings
7 on the 15th of September, we will sit from 9.30 to
8 12.30 and again from 2.00 to 5.00. So longer hours.
9 Friday afternoons will be off, but at some stage, if
10 need be, we may have to go back to longer hours as we
11 have done yesterday and today. But let us avoid that
12 because it is, of course, difficult and awkward for
14 I wonder whether the Prosecutor has some
15 information to provide at this stage? Mr. Terrier?
16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, regarding the
17 first question, regarding the order of appearance of
18 witnesses for the week beginning the 15th of September,
19 we have prepared the names of witnesses, and I think
20 that in view of the fact that the cross-examination of
21 Mr. Sakib Ahmic will certainly take several hours of
22 hearing, we have to review this order of appearance of
23 witnesses, and perhaps, at the beginning of next week,
24 we can fax to the Defence and the Court a list of
25 witnesses that will be properly corrected.
1As for the continuation of our proceedings,
2 right through until the month of October, we intend to
3 consult on these three weeks of hearings and prepare
4 for them, and I think that we will provide to your
5 Court an overview of the number of witnesses.
6 I wish just to say that our considerations
7 are the same as yours, that is, that we will do our
8 best to present the evidence within the time period
9 required by the Tribunal.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: When do you think you could
11 give us a transcript of the videotape? Is it ready?
12 Probably. It is ready. So if we could get it even
13 this afternoon? Yes. Thank you.
14 Well, I owe an apology to the Prosecution,
15 actually, now that I have got it, I realise, somewhere
16 in my file. This document was already to be found and
17 actually it had already been given to the Court, and I
18 imagine the Defence as well has got an original
19 transcript in Croatian.
20 Any matter? I wonder whether the Defence
21 wish -- oh, yes, Mr. Terrier?
22 MR. TERRIER: A question, a legal question.
23 We envisage the week from the 15th to the 18th of
24 September to call as witnesses police officers, Dutch
25 police officers, who accompanied us in Bosnia for some
1of our examinations on the spot, and the Court has at
2 its disposal the reports submitted by these police
3 officers. We are calling them, let that be clear, as
4 witnesses of fact, and therefore, they will be subject
5 to cross-examination. We have disclosed to the Defence
6 their names and the area, the substance of their
7 testimony in August 1998. That is in line with the
8 order that you gave. I think three or four days are
9 lacking, but I wonder whether, in accordance with Rule,
10 I think it is 127, you can allow this reduction of the
11 time required? We are not even quite sure that they
12 will be able to testify next week because of other
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
15 MR. RADOVIC: Regarding the videotape which
16 we viewed today, we have an objection. This videotape,
17 in fact, shows an excerpt from the interview of Sakib
18 Ahmic with either the journalist or whoever filmed
19 this. When videotapes are used, we cannot be sure
20 whether this videotape contains everything that Sakib
21 Ahmic said during this television programme. We have
22 certain information regarding this broadcast, and we
23 ourselves attempted to get a copy of it, but we see
24 that the Prosecution was able to do so.
25 We would like you to advise the Prosecution
1to show us the entire videotape containing the
2 interview with Sakib Ahmic so that we can see whether
3 the excerpt that we have seen contains everything that
4 he had stated in the hospital or whether this was just
5 an excerpt which would tend to support the case that
6 the Prosecution is trying to offer.
7 We believe that there may be other elements
8 in there, and I don't think that we need to go into
9 detail about that now here.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Radovic, I think
11 your request is quite reasonable, and I wonder whether
12 the Prosecutor -- I see Mr. Moskowitz. Could you
13 provide the whole text -- the whole videotape?
14 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'm not aware that there is
15 another one in our possession, but I will undertake
16 another search to see if there's a longer videotape
17 somewhere in the building, but it's my understanding
18 that this is the videotape that we have and that there
19 is not another one. There are other witnesses who are
20 on the videotape being interviewed in what we have.
21 I'm not aware, however, that we have a longer one of
22 Mr. Ahmic. But we will look again and see if we can
23 find it.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Also because we understand
25 from the witness that it was made by the Zenica TV.
1Probably you could ask the company in Zenica to provide
2 you a copy of the full tape, the whole interview.
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We will try.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Because I think that
5 Mr. Radovic is absolutely right.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We will try.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: However, Mr. Terrier had
8 raised the issue of the -- what we felt were expert
9 witnesses, but the Prosecution would like to call those
10 police officers as fact witnesses, I understand.
11 I wonder whether the Defence are ready to
12 waive their right of having 30 days? It is the new
13 Rule which we adopted about the expert witnesses. Do
14 you remember the number of the -- I don't have it
15 here. Thirty days. I remember there was 30 days. If
16 you don't waive this right, I mean, the witness could
17 be called a bit later, but really ...
18 Mr. Pavkovic, are you able to set out your
20 MR. PAVKOVIC: It seems to me, Mr. President,
21 that the Defence would be agreeable that these expert
22 witnesses be heard within a time frame; in other words,
23 we do not need 30 days' notice on the names of these
24 witnesses and their statements.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Also because I think Rule 94
1bis actually does not apply because you don't intend to
2 call them as expert witnesses. They are fact
3 witnesses, so the normal rules on the disclosure of
4 their statements apply, and I wonder whether, under
5 those Rules, the necessary time limit is met.
6 MR. TERRIER: Quite, Mr. President. The list
7 that I am referring to, this guideline envisages 30
8 days, but this has not elapsed, only 25 or 26 or 27
9 days have elapsed. That is the only problem that I was
10 referring to.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Am I correct in
12 understanding, Mr. Pavkovic, that you will not object
13 to the calling of those witnesses by the Prosecution
14 two or three days before the expiry of the delay time
15 limit of 30 days?
16 MR. PAVKOVIC: That is correct, Your Honour.
17 We do not object that these witnesses be called and
18 their testimony be heard within this time period.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any other
20 matter? Mr. Moskowitz?
21 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Mr. President, just
22 briefly. I would like to make the record absolutely
23 clear with regard to this videotape.
24 The videotape that we played today was shown
25 to Defence counsel I think a week ago Friday and they
1were fully aware of the videotape that we had in our
2 possession, and we have not heard, until this very
3 moment, that they are aware of another longer
4 videotape, so I am, first of all, a little bit
5 surprised that this was not raised sooner, and had it
6 been raised sooner, we would have done the search, and
7 if we had found a longer videotape, we would have
8 played it.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but they have a right to
10 raise objections at any time, and probably after seeing
11 the videotape, they realise that this might be just a
12 little bit of the whole videotape. Probably the
13 interview with the witness was much longer, and they're
14 entitled to see whether or not it was longer. So
15 whether or not they were right in raising this issue
16 today, I think they are right to do so, and therefore,
17 let us check. I mean, please --
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: No, I --
19 JUDGE CASSESE: To check, in particular, in
20 Zenica. I wonder whether you could ask them to be
21 careful and to send you the -- if not the original --
22 ideally, we should get the original.
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I will speak to the
24 investigator this afternoon about that very matter.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, the original. If we
1could get the original, if not, a copy certified by the
2 relevant people in Zenica, and if possible, the whole
3 interview. Thank you.
4 Mr. Radovic?
5 MR. RADOVIC: During the war, there was this
6 TV organisation called ZETEL. Apparently now it has
7 become part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Television
8 organisation. So maybe this search may not now be
9 limited to Zenica alone but maybe to Sarajevo as well.
10 We would like if the entire programme would be shown
11 here for the Tribunal so that this would save us
12 calling several witnesses who have seen the entire
13 programme and have been aware of it for some time.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. This is what I
16 intended, what I had in mind, namely, to try to have
17 the videotape with the whole programme, and I agree
18 with Mr. Radovic, probably since now the original copy
19 of that videotape might be in Sarajevo, I wonder
20 whether the Prosecution could carry out research,
21 undertake some sort of research even there, in
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I will ask the investigator
24 to do that.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Are there other
2 If there are no other matters, before rising,
3 I would like to take this opportunity to thank the
4 interpreters. You probably don't know that the
5 interpreters who, as we all know, are excellent, and
6 they yesterday came to see me to ask whether they could
7 have longer breaks because they normally work for an
8 hour and a half and then there is a break, and I
9 insisted, "No, we have to work for two hours without
10 any break," and they accepted, they were extremely
11 friendly and kind, and I would like to thank them most
12 warmly for being so understanding.
13 There are no other matters, so we will now
14 adjourn until Tuesday -- I think it's Tuesday, 15th of
15 September, 9.30 sharp.
16 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
17 5.08 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
18 the 15th day of September, 1998, at
19 9.30 a.m.