1 Tuesday, 15th September 1998
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. May I ask the
6 registrar to call the case number, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the
8 Tribunal versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
9 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic,
10 Vladimir Santic, also known as "Vlado."
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we proceed
12 with our witness, let me just tell you that, as you may
13 know, Thursday afternoon there is an evacuation
14 exercise in this building, so we have to stop at 1.30.
15 As a result, we decided that in order not to waste
16 time, we will start at 8.30 and go on until 1.30 on
17 Thursday. On Friday, as we have to wind up our
18 proceedings at half past 12.00, again, we would like to
19 start at 8.30; so therefore from 8.30 to 12.30. There
20 will be no hearing in the afternoon. So neither on
21 Thursday, because of the evacuation exercise, nor on
23 (The witness entered)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So this is a way
25 of carrying on rather quickly while taking into account
1the various needs.
2 Good morning. Please be seated.
3 If there is no matter for discussion, no
4 housekeeping matter, we will start with the
5 cross-examination, and I wonder whether we could know
6 the order of cross-examination.
7 May I ask Counsel Pavkovic to let us know who
8 is going to speak first?
9 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I
10 wish to inform you that Ranko Radovic will be the first
11 person who question, then Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac, and
12 then Borislav Krajina has a few questions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much. Counsel
15 WITNESS: Sakib Ahmic (Resumed)
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakib Ahmic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. We are all well-rested and we can continue
20 with our work; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you please briefly tell us what your
23 relationship was with the Kupreskics, Mirjan, Zoran,
24 and their parents? Were they good, bad? What did you
25 think of them, et cetera, until this event of the 16th
1of April, 1993?
2 A. I can say that our relationship was a very
3 good one, ever since we were young children.
4 Q. But tell me, you belonged to a different
5 generation, so you and them could not have had a good
6 relationship from early childhood.
7 A. No, no, no. When I thought of that, I was
8 referring to their parents, really.
9 Q. So if I understood you correctly, you and
10 their parents are more or less the same generation.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you grew up together, you knew each other
13 very well, and you had a good relationship; did I
14 understand you correctly?
15 A. Yes, you put it right. That is true. We
16 always had a good relationship.
17 Q. Tell me, when Zoran and Mirjan were born and
18 when they grew up, they, approximately -- well, sorry,
19 I don't want to make any mistakes again, so can we work
20 behind closed doors now?
21 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand you, sir.
22 Q. No, no, no, no, no. This is a technical
23 thing and this relates to the Court itself and third
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you suggesting that we
1should move into a closed session?
2 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, yes. Names will be
3 mentioned now of protected witnesses, of their family
4 members, et cetera, so I don't want to make any
5 mistakes and say something I shouldn't be saying.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: It is closed because they
7 can't hear us, I understand from the registrar, so it's
8 safe. You can proceed. You may proceed.
9 (Closed session)
13 Pages 1985 to 2023 redacted - in closed session
9 (Open session)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: We are in open session.
11 MR. RADOVIC:
12 Q. I have rested a bit now, so we can continue.
13 Tell me, Mr. Ahmic, we had stopped at the
14 following question, that is, at the point where you
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You said in your statement that you fell at
18 different points in time, so I would present all these
19 different points in time to you, and you decide which
20 is the right one.
21 In the first transcript of the videotape, you
22 do not mention at all any kind of fall. When you made
23 a statement to UDBA on the 22nd of April, 1993, you did
24 not mention any fall either. When you were heard by
25 the investigative judge in Zenica, you said that you
1fell or that you lost consciousness when your son was
2 killed; and later, in your later statements, you said
3 that you remained on your feet throughout and that you
4 fell only after your daughter-in-law was killed.
5 So could you explain to us why you gave these
6 different views of these events, and why did you
7 present it in different ways? It is important for us
8 because you claim that you saw some of these events
9 with your own eyes as you were standing on your feet.
10 A. Yes. Perhaps, at that moment, I thought it
11 was unnecessary to say this or that.
12 Q. Well, wait a second, Mr. Ahmic. All right, I
13 can accept that you didn't mention it at UDBA at all
14 because you did not think it was relevant, but you
15 mentioned it at the investigating judge's, that you
16 fell and you said at what point in time you did fall.
17 So as you were speaking about this, you said, when you
18 fell, at what point in time, and then after that, you
19 moved it to another point in time which made it
20 possible for you to say that you saw all the things
21 that you said you saw with your own eyes.
22 A. Well, to tell you the truth, you know, at
23 that moment --
24 Q. Mr. Sakib Ahmic, I'm just asking you why are
25 you stating different points in time of this fall
1behind the couch that you have been referring to, so
2 could you explain that?
3 A. Perhaps I was not asked exactly for this
5 Q. Mr. Ahmic, as you were freely recounting
6 these events, and this is the umpteenth time that I'm
7 repeating this, you said this yourself, it's not the
8 judge who asked you whether you fell or not. As you
9 were freely recounting your story, you said that you
10 fell, but you are saying that you fell at different
11 points in time in different statements, so could you
12 please explain that to us now?
13 A. When I saw Naser.
14 Q. Killed. You mean killed.
15 A. When I saw my daughter-in-law Edina fall, at
16 that point, he was walking up to the late Elvis's bed,
17 then I fell.
18 Q. Yes, that's what you said at this trial. But
19 I'm saying that when you talked to the investigating
20 judge, you said that you fell and lost consciousness
21 immediately after your late son was killed. I can even
22 read it to you.
23 A. No, perhaps that's some kind of a mistake,
24 but I was an eyewitness of what happened to my
25 daughter-in-law Edina too.
1Q. So let us proceed, and then I finish this
2 line of questioning.
3 Your first statement registered anywhere was
4 the one that was videotaped for television.
5 A. Yes. To the best of my knowledge, I mean.
6 Q. Do you know whether anyone else talked to you
7 before this TV videotape or recorded what you had to
9 A. I think so. I think someone did come and
10 take a statement from me at that point in time.
11 Q. Was it perhaps someone from Mr. Mazowiecki's
12 office or somewhere else, or perhaps you don't know. I
13 mean, that is --
14 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know. I
15 don't know who this person was.
16 Q. All right. Then the statement made before TV
17 cameras. Do you remember, when you were making this
18 statement before TV cameras - and we are claiming that
19 that is the part that is missing from the videotape -
20 did the TV person ask you on camera who did this and
21 did you reply on camera who did it?
22 A. No, no.
23 Q. Are you sure that you didn't?
24 A. I think that I did not say at that moment who
25 did that.
1Q. No, no, no. Again, I'm asking you literally,
2 lest there be any misunderstanding, I'm asking you,
3 literally, when you made the statement which was given
4 to us through the kindness of the Prosecutor, in this
5 TV interview, were you asked who did this to your
6 family and do you know these people? That is what I'm
7 asking you.
8 A. I don't remember being asked that question.
9 Q. So can I satisfy myself with that answer,
10 that maybe it wasn't or maybe it was, but that you do
11 not remember?
12 A. I do not remember.
13 Q. After that, do you remember whether, after
14 the TV people, a gentleman from the office of
15 Mr. Mazowiecki came to see you, or did he come to see
16 you before the TV crew or after the TV crew?
17 A. I don't remember.
18 Q. Do you remember the substance, the contents
19 of the conversation you had with him, or let me be more
20 precise: Do you remember the name of this man, this
22 A. (redacted)was his name.
23 Q. Well, we know who you are referring to as
24 soon as you said (redacted).
25 A. Yes, yes.
1Q. Do you remember the contents of your
3 A. I remember when he came --
4 Q. I shall be very direct. I mean, let us not
5 go around in circles. Did he directly ask you who did
6 this and whether you recognised the attackers?
7 A. I don't know if he asked me that, but I
8 remember very well another thing, because that was
9 important for me, where my family members who were
10 killed would be buried, where did I want them to be
11 buried, and I said, since we had two cemeteries in
12 Ahmici, that I would like to have them buried in
13 Ahmici, at either one of the two cemeteries, and if
14 these two were not accessible, then, if possible, that
15 they be buried by the mosque in Vitez.
16 Q. You mean by the old mosque?
17 A. Yes. And then, if that was not possible,
18 that they should bring them to Zenica and that they
19 should take me there so that I could attend their
21 Q. Now, do you remember, during that
22 conversation, whether any mention was made of the fact
23 that the ruins of your house should be checked to see
24 whether there were other dead bodies there and that you
25 were not sure whether death was caused by gunfire or by
1the fire itself?
2 A. I don't remember those words.
3 Q. Perhaps my words were too nice, but was any
4 mention made of the cause of death?
5 A. No, I don't think so, no.
6 Q. You're not sure?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. After that, after that, according to these
9 documents that we have received, and there is part of
10 the court documents, there is a statement that you made
11 with UDBA in Zenica. We have already explained what
12 UDBA is, and there is no need to go back to that.
13 Do you remember -- this record is dated the
14 16th of May, 1993, that is to say, approximately one
15 month after those events. That is Prosecutor's
16 document 005428 or 23. Do you remember whether the
17 policeman came to hear what you had to say in the
18 hospital or did you go to the police station?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. Do you remember that during this questioning,
21 you mentioned the names of many Croats and you thought
22 that they might have known something about these tragic
23 events that occurred inter alia to you and your family?
24 A. I don't know. All of that was a long time
1Q. I'm not going to read the names because the
2 names are clearly stated in the record, but I can say
3 that among the names that you mentioned in this record
4 of the 16th of May, 1993, there are not the names of
5 Mirjan or Zoran Kupreskic. How come?
6 A. Well, you know, at that time, I did not dare
7 mention the true perpetrators because at that time I
8 did not know what would happen to me because the war
9 had just broken out in that area.
10 MR. RADOVIC: I'm sorry, my papers -- there's
11 something wrong with my papers. The record that I'm
12 speaking of is dated the 22nd of April, 1993. However,
13 the names remain, the ones that I mentioned or, rather,
14 I said that the names of Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic
15 were not mentioned. I'm sorry. The date is the 22nd
16 of April, 1993, so all of it is more or less the same.
17 Q. So now, tell me, when you were in UDBA, did
18 you say anything about what the persons who entered
19 your house looked like?
20 A. I think that I did not mention their names.
21 Q. You didn't mention their names, but did you
22 describe the persons who entered your house?
23 A. Even if I did describe them, I certainly
24 described these persons as being camouflaged by Magic
25 Marker marks all over their faces.
1Q. What kind of Magic Marker?
2 A. I don't know how to put this. I don't know.
3 Chalk, you know, for example, as big as my finger.
4 Q. Okay. I understood you. And tell me, did
5 you say anything about caps?
6 A. I don't remember mentioning caps.
7 Q. I shall take the liberty of reading this
8 section: "At the same time, uniformed persons with
9 caps on their heads barged into my house. These caps
10 were black and they only have an opening for the eyes
11 and they call them Ninja caps."
12 Your Honours, those are caps that go over
13 one's face and they are usually worn by people on
14 bicycles. They're balaclavas.
15 A. Well, you know, it's true that they had Magic
16 Marker marks on their face.
17 Q. I know, but the policeman who questioned you
18 certainly could not have invented this fact had you not
19 recounted it, and what was written down was that these
20 people had caps over their faces and that they only had
21 openings for the nose, eyes, and ears.
22 A. It is possible that I say one thing and they
23 write down another thing. I never said that a cap was
24 on their heads. I always said that they used Magic
25 Markers to camouflage their faces.
1Q. I'm only reading what you said.
2 A. That's a mistake. That's a mistake.
3 Q. Had I been reading something else, there
4 would have been an objection.
5 A. No, but this is a mistake.
6 Q. Tell me, do you remember how you described
7 what these persons did, the persons who walked into
8 your house and how they got into your house? Do you
9 remember that: How they got into the house?
10 A. I remember that. Of course I do.
11 Q. So could you please repeat it? What did the
12 first person who got into your house do?
13 A. Zoran Kupreskic.
14 Q. No. Now we are talking about your first
15 statement. You are talking about the first person who
16 got into your house. You can call this person any
17 name. But what did that person do?
18 A. That person first killed the late Naser.
19 Q. Well, you see, according to your first
20 statement of the 22nd of April, 1993, you said the
21 following: "Immediately upon entering the house, one
22 of them fired a burst of gunfire in the hallway," and
23 that person did not kill anyone, according to your
25 A. I think that's a mistake.
1Q. "This person saw Naser, then my son, and then
2 this other person fired a burst of gunfire and killed
4 A. That is true, yes. That was Zoran Kupreskic.
5 Q. All right. But I'm asking you whether this
6 is exactly what you said. Is this exactly what you
7 said, this, what the police record says?
8 A. I don't think that I said that a burst of
9 gunfire was fired in the house itself.
10 Q. But that's what it says here. Is this your
12 A. I said a few minutes ago that I would say one
13 thing and that they would write something else.
14 Q. Your Honours --
15 A. I'm sure that I signed this.
16 Q. So this is your signature?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Because, finally, it says at the end, "I have
19 nothing further to add to what I have said in this
20 statement and I claim that this is truthful and I
21 certify this with my signature."
22 A. Yes, that is true, although there are
23 mistakes in there.
24 Q. And now --
25 JUDGE CASSESE: I'm so sorry to interrupt
1you. Just for the -- to put the record straight also
2 because I can't find the words you are quoting. Are
3 you referring to the statement made by the witness on
4 the 4th of December, '93? Because the one you are
5 referring to, 22nd of --
6 MR. RADOVIC: No, no, no.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Because the one I have, it's
8 just one page.
9 MR. RADOVIC: The 22nd of April, and it
10 states everything that I have just read out. It is in
11 the brief statement of the 22nd of April. We are now
12 going to move on to the second statement.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry. Let me just ask the
14 Prosecution. I think we don't have this particular
15 statement which is being mentioned by the Defence
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Your Honour, I see the piece
18 of paper you are holding up, and we have that piece of
19 paper in our files as well. I think that's a
20 summary --
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: -- of the statement that the
23 Defence attorney, Mr. Radovic, is now questioning the
24 witness about, and that is a three-page statement dated
25 April 22, 1993, which you should have.
1JUDGE CASSESE: I don't have it. No, we
2 don't. We have -- the subsequent statement was made on
3 the 4th of December, '93.
4 MR. RADOVIC: That is something else. That's
5 with the investigating judge. This is the statement at
6 the police station in Zenica, and we don't have the
7 three pages that the Prosecutor mentioned, we just
8 received the statement of the 22nd of April, 1993.
9 That's the only one we have. But it doesn't matter.
10 This is enough for me.
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Particularly the statement
12 that Mr. Radovic has is in Bosnian, so it's reduced to
13 two sides of one page, and the English translation is
14 two pages plus a third.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. I wonder whether you
16 could provide us a copy.
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We will. Absolutely.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you,
19 Counsel Radovic, please do proceed.
20 MR. RADOVIC:
21 Q. Now, as far as the burning goes, in your
22 first statement to the police, that is to say, to the
23 man who is specially trained to see who did what and to
24 try to identify perpetrators, you once again do not
25 name the individual, but you say that a masked attacker
1with a bottle in his hand poured everything over the
2 room, so not only on two points but all over the room.
3 A. That's a mistake.
4 Q. So that means that's a mistake. And set fire
5 in two places?
6 A. That's true.
7 Q. And afterwards, as the crown to all this, you
8 say that "The whole time I was in my room next to a
9 door which was ajar, and I peeped through the door to
10 see what was going wrong, so that I'm not quite sure
11 even now why they did not enter my room."
12 That is the first statement in front of the
13 policemen, and Your Honours state, the Rules state,
14 that all evidence be assessed in the interests of
15 justice, so we're starting with this police statement.
16 A. I'm not clear as to the question, when you
17 state that the whole time I spent -- does that mean
18 after the individuals were killed?
19 Q. Yes, the whole time that you peeped through
20 the door which was ajar and that you were not quite
21 clear on the fact why they did not enter your room.
22 A. No, that's quite wrong. That's been written
23 down wrongly because I was standing by the open window
24 in my room and I was waiting for a moment to escape, an
25 auspices moment to escape and to save my skin, save my
2 Q. Well, yes, I recognise that you fled and it
3 is lucky that you did, but this escape of yours is not
4 quite clear to me. How is it that in the statement
5 that you gave to UDBA and where you wrote it down in
6 your own hand, that you said you jumped out of the
7 window first and then this was crossed out and it would
8 appear that you ran out of the door, which is what you
9 maintained later on.
10 A. Well, what I can say is that no statement --
11 I did not write any statement in my own hand nor did I
12 give this kind of statement.
13 Q. That means that the investigating individual
14 wrote it down.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, it doesn't matter. All right. Let us
17 now go to the statement you made with the investigating
19 Do you remember that in October 1993, you
20 were investigated by the investigating judge in Zenica,
21 and a lawyer was present as a Defence counsel on the
23 A. Well, I don't remember, but probably I was,
25 Q. Do you remember that the investigating judge
1cautioned you that you were to speak the truth?
2 A. Yes, I do. He kept warning me that I had to
3 tell the truth.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz? It's
5 December --
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, I just wanted to
7 clarify. I think the Bosnian statement that
8 Mr. Radovic has, in fact, does say October, and the
9 English translation for some reason says December, so
10 there is a mistake in that.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
12 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I just wanted to clarify that
13 for the Court.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: So we are referring to the
15 same document. This one.
16 MR. RADOVIC: We just have one statement.
17 A. Can I say something else in answer to that
19 Q. Just slowly. Take it slowly. So the
20 investigating judge cautioned you that you were to
21 speak the truth?
22 A. Yes, the truth, what I saw with my very eyes.
23 Q. And what you heard with your very ears, I
25 A. Yes, what I heard and did not see.
1Q. Very well then. These same cautions were
2 issued by the investigators of the International
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the Court here, the Trial Chamber,
6 cautioned you when you came here that you were to speak
7 the truth?
8 A. Yes, that's true.
9 Q. Now, as you have different statements with
10 different truths, I don't know how these changes in
11 truth can occur; for example, with the investigating
12 judge in Zenica, that is to say, an organ of
13 jurisprudence, not a police organ, and the deputy
14 prosecutor was present on the occasion and the Defence
15 counsel, because, according to the ZKP that was in
16 force in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, when any
17 investigation was being held for serious criminal acts,
18 it was compulsory to have the presence of a Defence
19 counsel so as to be able to verify the exactness of
20 what is entered into the statement, so it is not only
21 the investigating judge but both parties are present.
22 And you once again gave a description as to
23 the perpetrators, if you recall.
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Do you remember what you told the
1investigating judge on that occasion?
2 A. No, I don't remember. I've just said what I
4 Q. Well, I'll have to remind you then. You said
5 as follows, and, if possible, Mrs. Glumac can read the
6 text because we have a very bad photocopy and I would
7 need my glasses for that, so I'll give her the text to
8 read out.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: "On the critical
10 morning, I was in my house with my son Naser, his wife
11 Edina and two grandsons and their two children. The
12 older one is six and a half years old and the second
13 grandson was only three months and three days old. And
14 before 5.30 -- he was in the cradle. Before 5.30, I
15 was already awake and I heard" -- I can't see this
16 writing -- "I saw -- I heard the calling to morning
17 prayer. When he had completed, an explosive device was
18 thrown into the house so that we could hear the
19 explosion and I jumped up and entered the room where my
20 son with the rest of the family were located, and my
21 son was already awake. In that room, the light was
23 "At the same time, at the door of the house,
24 a uniformed individual appeared, and with him another
25 individual wearing black uniforms with caps on their
1heads and the caps were black so that only their eyes
2 protruded. Their faces were coloured with different
3 coloured bands so that we could only see the eyes from
4 these bands.
5 "As soon as they entered, one of them
6 immediately opened fire on my son, Naser, and killed
7 him straightaway. At that moment, I fell behind the
8 couch on which my grandson was lying, Elvis, six and a
9 half years old, and I heard and felt him shooting at my
10 daughter-in-law and the son and cartridge cases fell
11 all over me."
12 MR. RADOVIC: I think that I can continue
13 reading because the photocopy gets better at this
14 point, more legible.
15 Q. "The couch protected me so that none of the
16 bullets entered my body. From the first three fired
17 rounds that were shot, my son and my daughter-in-law
18 and my eldest grandson was killed."
19 Is that true?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, the essential point, we're getting to
22 the essential point, and perhaps you did not notice
23 this point because, at the investigating judge, you
24 said you fell immediately after Naser was killed.
25 A. That's a mistake.
1Q. So it means it's a mistake?
2 A. Yes, it is certainly a mistake.
3 Q. Is it your mistake or is it the investigating
4 judge's mistake?
5 A. It is not my mistake. It is not my mistake,
6 it is their mistake, and that's for sure, because I was
7 an eyewitness. I saw them shoot my daughter-in-law
9 Q. Now let's continue to the main point. "I did
10 not recognise who had done this, but they looked
11 like -- they looked like my neighbours, two brothers,
12 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic who were the sons of Ivica"
13 and so on and so forth.
14 A. Yes, that is another mistake. I could not
15 have named those individuals because I did not dare
16 name them at that time.
17 Q. But not much time passed after that and then
18 you named them.
19 A. No, that's a mistake.
20 Q. The investigating judge cautioned you that
21 you were to speak the truth.
22 A. Yes, that's all right, that is true, I was
23 cautioned at every meeting, but I did not give the
24 exact words and I was not able -- I did not dare say
25 those words.
1Q. Now, what happened that you were encouraged
2 to do so immediately after the events when you were
3 under the influence of the events, not to say before
4 the television cameras or anywhere, that the whole
5 world should know that your neighbours were the
6 perpetrators, but you were to tell this to the
7 representative of the Mazowiecki office who informed
8 the United Nations without informing UDBA, which was
9 the secret police, and this would mean that it would
10 remain in UDBA's archives? You did not inform the
11 investigating judge either, although the proceedings
12 were correct, according to the codes of criminal law in
13 Yugoslavia at the time, you did not seek protection for
14 your name and surname, you always appeared personally,
15 and therefore you had no fears, and suddenly you're
16 saying that you did not want to mention the names of
17 the perpetrators because you were frightened to do so.
18 I see no logic there.
19 A. I apologise. I did not have the strength to
20 tell the truth at that time. I had to protect myself,
21 because I believed I -- I did not believe anybody at
22 that point, because the fighting had just begun. There
23 were grenades all over the place in Zenica, shooting,
24 and I did not know whether I would remain alive in
25 hospital as well.
1Q. Well, it would have been more logical that
2 before something happened to you, that you make known
3 whom the perpetrators were?
4 A. Well, if I knew then what I know now, where I
5 am now, I would have said it straight away. But as I
6 did not know what would happen to us or what would
7 happen in Zenica, I kept silent.
8 Q. Mr. Sakib Ahmic, let's simplify matters. Do
9 you agree that we can say that you did not listen to
10 the investigating judge in Zenica when he cautioned you
11 to speak the truth?
12 A. I agree that I did not say -- tell the whole
14 Q. I'm satisfied that you have acknowledged that
15 you did not state the entire truth.
16 A. I didn't say it because I did not dare tell
17 the truth. I did not dare tell the truth for my own
18 personal safety.
19 Q. And for your own personal safety and your own
20 speculation, may I add.
21 Well, Your Honours, if I may, we have these
22 records in English, with the investigating judge in
23 Zenica, and we would like to tender this into
24 evidence. The prosecutor has this document, so there's
25 no need for me to hand him a copy.
1Do you remember, Mr. Sakib Ahmic --
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, we accept that they
3 should be admitted into evidence, but this particular
4 document has the date of 4th of October '93; is that
5 correct? Because in English it is December. But it is
7 MR. RADOVIC: The Prosecutor acknowledged
8 this was a mistake, because we only have one copy and
9 we received that copy from the Prosecutor.
10 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. Radovic is correct. The
11 copy that we have that is in Bosnian is dated October
12 1, '93, yes, October 1, '93, and it appears to be the
13 exact translation in English that is dated December 4,
14 '93. So I think it's the same document, but there's a
15 different date on it for some reason, and I don't know
16 whether that's a mistake or whether there's an
17 explanation, but I just don't know.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. It is admitted
19 into evidence as a document dated 1st of October, '93.
20 MR. RADOVIC: This is a mistake, slip of the
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 9-1.
23 MR. RADOVIC:
24 Q. Mr. Ahmic, do you remember when you were
25 questioned by the Prosecutor, that there was mention of
1what weapons were used when the members of your family
2 were killed?
3 A. Yes, there was mention of the use of weapons,
4 the kind of weapons that were used, and I said at the
5 time what I saw before my eyes. I cannot state whether
6 it was one kind of rifle or another, because I looked
7 at the individual. My whole gaze was on the individual
8 committing the killing.
9 Q. But when you were in -- questioned by the
10 investigator, you were shown a rifle which is not
11 widely used because it is produced in a limited number,
12 and it is the MGV type, and you were shown this rifle
13 and you said that that was, in fact, the rifle in
15 It is a rifle which has the upper part of the
16 drum above the barrel. Do you remember? You were
17 shown this particular rifle.
18 A. Yes. I said that -- because at that
19 particular moment I thought that it was that rifle, but
20 I can't say 100 per cent whether it was or not, because
21 my eyes were not riveted towards the weapon.
22 Q. But it is a fact that you told the Prosecutor
23 that that was the rifle in question, the one you were
25 Tell me, when you identified this rifle as
1being the MGV rifle, did you know anything about the
2 technical properties of this particular rifle?
3 A. What?
4 Q. The technical properties. That is to say --
5 let me speak in concrete terms. I don't want you to
6 think that I'm hiding anything behind your back.
7 Did you know the way the cartridge cases
8 separated and fall out once the rifle has been fired?
9 A. I was in a position lying down.
10 Q. No, you don't understand me, Mr. Ahmic. When
11 you identified the rifle according to the picture that
12 the Prosecutor showed you, you indicated -- in fact, I
13 don't know whether it was a picture or whether you were
14 shown the actual rifle, it's not important, but you
15 identified the weapon as being the MGV rifle. It's a
16 machine gun produced by Velenje, the factory Velenje,
17 and you said that that was the gun in question.
18 Now, when you said that was the rifle, at
19 that point did you know how that particular rifle fires
20 bullets and how the cartridge cases fall from the
22 A. I don't know to this day how that is done. I
23 know nothing about these cartridge casings, and I don't
24 know much about arms. But when I saw it, it sort of
25 came before my eyes and I thought that is the rifle.
1Now, whether it was actually that particular rifle or
2 not, I don't know, because I was looking at the person
3 and not the weapon. And when I say this, it was a
4 split second. It was only a few seconds and then
5 everything was over.
6 Q. But why did you identify the weapon if you
7 did not know whether it was that particular one?
8 A. Well, I'm not quite sure what kind of weapon
9 it was.
10 Q. I'm asking him this question, Your Honours,
11 because that MGV rifle, and you will be getting a
12 report on that subject, it has the property of not --
13 of letting the casings fall below it and not throwing
14 them out to the side.
15 Now, I'm interested in knowing whether before
16 you changed this part of the statement and said that
17 you were no longer sure as to the weapon used, did you
18 know the eyewitnessing that was done by the Prosecutor,
19 that is to say that the terrain was cleared, the
20 terrain was cleared around your house and they went to
21 look for various cartridge casings and so on, and that
22 no casings were found, which would correspond to that
23 particular MGV rifle?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know what happened
25 with that search.
1Q. Nobody told you then?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Did you know that no traces were found which
4 would indicate that combustion enhancing substances
5 were used, let us say, petrol?
6 A. I don't know. Nobody said that but I said
8 Q. Yes, I know you said that. But there was a
9 search on the spot to look for traces, and we have
10 received a report from experts in the Netherlands, and
11 I can only suppose that the Netherlands has highly
12 competent experts, and they gave us an analysis of the
13 material traces, and they said that there was no
14 cartridge case found which would correspond to the MGV
15 calibre rifle. And we also noted that you gave up your
16 statement as to the MGV rifle and you now state you
17 don't know what the weapon in question was.
18 A. Let me tell you, this was a split second at
19 that particular moment. And we're dealing here with
20 two or three -- several seconds. All the killings took
21 place in the space of several seconds. And I'm asking
22 you who could know -- when you're trying to save your
23 life, who could monitor all these different points and
24 explain in millimetre form everything that happened?
25 Q. Well, I accept everything you say.
1A. That is why I say that this is something that
2 just came to view in a split second. I don't maintain
3 that it was that particular rifle or some other rifle.
4 I don't know what happened, because I was looking at
5 the man.
6 Q. Yes, but I seem a little surprised that you
7 have identified it and then that you say this was a
8 split second moment. But never mind, let's go back to
9 that later.
10 Now, another question that we can ascertain
11 as to whether it was true or not later on, you stated
12 that on the 15th of April, 1993, between 11.00 and
13 12.00 in Ahmici, that you saw an individual called
14 Ivica Kupreskic. Do you remember that? Do you
15 remember saying that?
16 A. Ivica Kupreskic.
17 Q. In the village of Ahmici, yes, on the 15th of
18 April 1995 between 11.00 and 12.00.
19 A. At that time that I saw Ivica Kupreskic?
20 That I mentioned him? I doubt it. I don't think I
21 said that, because at that time -- that's at 12.00 at
22 night, isn't it?
23 Q. No, no, no. We're not talking about
24 night-time. We're talking about daytime. You know, I
25 say 24.00 when I'm talking about night and 12.00 when
1I'm talking about daytime.
2 A. I would see him --
3 Q. No. I mean, don't you say would see this and
4 that person. I'm trying to be very precise about this,
5 because I need it for a very specific purpose. You
6 said that between 11.00 and 12.00 you saw Ivica
7 Kupreskic too, and now I'm interested in the
8 following: What was he doing and what did he wear?
9 A. Where did I see him?
10 Q. In Ahmici.
11 A. We would meet each other, yes.
12 Q. No, but you said that he had people with him,
13 et cetera.
14 All right. Did you see him or did you not
15 see him? If you're now saying you did not see him, I'm
16 going to refrain from further questions.
17 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I would meet a
18 lot of people but I don't remember dates and things
19 like that.
20 Q. His statement is recorded, that he saw him,
21 and now I'm interested in the following: Can you name
22 some Croats whom you saw on the 15th of April, 1993,
23 even after 11.00?
24 A. On the 11th?
25 Q. No. On the 15th of April, after 11.00.
1A. Oh, the 15th of April. Oh, yes, the 15th of
3 Q. I'm saying exactly what month I'm talking
4 about so we and the Bosnians could be quite clear on
5 that, what month we're talking about.
6 A. I think that I did not name any person on the
7 15th of April. No, sorry, sorry. In the evening, yes,
8 I did.
9 Q. Tell me everything that you have to say. Who
10 did you see and where?
11 A. No, no, no, no, no. If we're talking about
12 the 15th of April, I don't know that I named a single
13 person at any point, that I met anyone.
14 Q. Well, now I would have to go throughout the
15 transcript from last time, and that would be a bit too
16 strenuous for me, so I won't go into all of that now.
17 When you got out of the house -- well, now
18 I'll have to put a question that has to do with names,
19 so could we have a closed session for a minute, please,
20 because it's just one name?
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you.
22 (Closed session)
13 Page 2054 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2055 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2056 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2057 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2058 redacted - in closed session
17 (Open session)
18 MR. RADOVIC:
19 Q. So I shall repeat my question so that it
20 would be in open session. When you were questioned by
21 the police, this was after you were questioned by the
22 investigative judge, how did this questioning go?
23 A. Well, believe me, I do not remember. I
24 cannot remember everything. I do not have a computer
25 brain. I cannot remember everything from the past.
1And may I say one more thing? Perhaps I am going to
2 remember at some point.
3 Q. Perhaps I can ask you directly: First when
4 you were questioned at UDBA, we already discussed this
5 first conversation, how did that questioning go? And
6 then after that -- I mean, there are different ways of
7 questioning a person. You can be asked questions and
8 then you answer them, or then you can just recount your
9 story, or you can recount your story and another person
10 can dictate what you're saying to a typist, so there
11 are different ways of doing it. Remember I read to you
12 about the Ninja caps to you?
13 A. That's a mistake.
14 Q. Okay. That's a mistake. But I'm interested
15 in the method of questioning that was applied.
16 A. I don't know. I don't know.
17 Q. Well, you see, and that -- on that record
18 there is, at the end, the signature of the person who
19 was questioning you, the signature of the clerk and,
20 finally, your signature, and I was just wondering
21 whether this text was dictated in front you, whether
22 you dictated it yourself, or whether it was dictated
23 without you present and you just had it read-out to you
25 A. I was probably the one who was dictating it,
1and the typist was typing it.
2 Q. So you were dictating it to the typist and
3 the person who was questioning you was following
4 whether this was correct or not?
5 A. No, no. I was answering the questions of
6 that person who was asking the questions.
7 Q. Oh, I see. And then that person was
8 dictating the text out loud in front of you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Well, that's the way it was in the UDBA.
11 That's the way it used to be in the UDBA, and that is
12 the way things were, to the best of my knowledge, so I
13 was wondering whether it was true in your case too?
14 A. Well, yes, I imagine that is the way it was.
15 Q. And then there was a statement you made
16 before the TV cameras. And we don't have to go back to
17 all of that, because the TV camera gave an answer in
18 its own right as to what was done, how this was
19 recorded, what was said, except the part where we claim
20 that a part is missing.
21 And now this questioning with the
22 investigating judge in Zenica. Again, I'm asking
23 you: Was it the same system? Did he first tell you
24 that you have to speak the truth, the whole truth, and
25 that if you would not say the truth that that would be
1a crime, and -- let me just finish my question, and
2 then you can answer when I finish. And if you're not
3 clear on something then I can clarify it later.
4 Did the investigating judge in Zenica first
5 say that you should freely recount, with your own
6 words, these events?
7 A. Yes. And he said I should speak truthfully
8 about what I saw with my very own eyes, that's all.
9 Q. Is that what he told you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is that the way you did it?
12 A. I could not be sincere with regard to
13 everything. You explained why you could not be
14 sincere, and the court is later going to see how this
15 should be judged.
16 Q. All right. Well, we'll get back to that
17 towards the end of the trial. But what I'm interested
18 in now is how was your statement dictated? How was it
19 taken down? Again, did you tell the judge what you had
20 to say and then the judge dictated this to the typist;
22 A. Right.
23 Q. And when you told your part of the story, as
24 you freely recounted this, did the judge put some
25 questions to you?
1A. I can't remember.
2 Q. All right. Did the Prosecutor ask you asking
3 after the judge?
4 A. I don't know that either. I can't remember.
5 I can't remember.
6 Q. But you had Defence counsel there too, and
7 Defence counsel is more or less always in an
8 subordinate position, so perhaps the Defence counsel
9 asked you something too, before the investigative judge
10 in Zenica?
11 A. I can't remember the date exactly. What date
12 was that?
13 Q. That was -- well, we just discussed that date
14 now. The beginning October 1993.
15 A. I don't know. I can't remember all the
16 details, but I know that there were questions.
17 Q. All right. But, you know, the court building
18 in Zenica -- we know the court in Zenica, don't we?
19 Okay. Let me ask you, finally, after you
20 were questioned by all, did the judge ask you whether
21 this was your statement that you were signing?
22 A. Of course he asked me.
23 Q. And then you finally signed it at the end of
24 the day?
25 A. Yes.
1Q. And then there is the statement that you made
2 at the AID, and that statement is dated sometime around
3 the 20th -- well, it's just one -- it's the 22nd?
4 A. But that's impossible.
5 Q. Yes, it is. Well, as far as I can see, it's
6 the 22nd.
7 A. Oh, yes, yes. It's possible, yes, the 22nd.
8 Q. So it's the 22nd. How did that questioning
9 go? Because this record is hand-written. That's why
10 I'm asking you. Was the same person who was putting
11 these questions to you writing it down?
12 A. I can't remember who this was.
13 Q. I can show it to you. You said that you
14 weren't taking this down yourself and somebody else had
15 to do it?
16 A. No. It is for sure that I did -- I was not
17 taking all of this down. I didn't write this down.
18 Q. So what was it like? So how did it go? And
19 the person from AID, did this person read your
20 statement to you?
21 A. Yes, she did.
22 Q. That means that she wrote it herself, or what
23 happened, in fact?
24 A. Probably everything she asked me, what I knew
25 I answered.
1MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, may I have a
2 point of clarification here? I'm totally lost as to
3 which statement he's referring to -- Mr. Radovic is
4 referring to. Is this the one in 1994 or 1993?
5 JUDGE CASSESE: '93, I think.
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: 1994.
7 MR. RADOVIC: '94, yes. '94.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: So it's 20th of February.
9 All right. So I also was -- I was confused, yes.
10 MR. RADOVIC: 20 February.
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: And this is the one -- this
12 is the one that says it was taken by the Bureau of the
13 Institute for Research of Crimes Against Humanity
14 - International Law?
15 MR. RADOVIC: Yes. Your Honours, I apologise
16 for giving you a hard time, but I am now concluded.
17 Thank you. It seems to be too precipitous at this
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I wonder
20 whether -- we have Counsel Slokovic-Glumac. Would you
21 like to start?
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I think it
23 would be better to have a break now for me to see what
24 questions Mr. Radovic asked because we have similar
25 questions. So may we have a break and then reconvene
1after it? Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Then I suggest
3 that we break now for lunch and then we reconvene at
4 quarter to two. Quarter to two. All right.
5 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
1--- On resuming at 1.51 p.m.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. Before we
3 start, may I ask whether we can get some air
4 conditioning. It is so warm. Modern technology ...
5 While we are waiting for the witness, may I
6 ask the Prosecutor whether they have made any inquiry
7 about the tape. Remember, I asked if you could see
8 whether we could get the whole tape?
9 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We have an investigator in
10 Sarajevo this week, and he is making those inquiries as
11 we speak.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I also understand
13 that your legal brief on persecution is going to be
14 filed today?
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: It will be filed today. We
16 are making some fine-tuning on it right now.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
18 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I might also address Judge
19 May, I believe, earlier in the proceedings requested
20 measurements in Ahmici, and we have an investigator
21 doing that now, so we should have something by next
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Radovic?
24 MR. RADOVIC: I just wanted to say that we're
25 not going to be able to have the graphological
1expertise of the protected witness because when the
2 signature in question was given, she was 13, she is now
3 18, and the signature has changed a great deal, so it
4 is impossible to have that identification made. That's
5 all I wanted to inform Your Honours about
6 (The witness entered)
7 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Counsel
8 Slokovic-Glumac, you may start.
9 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would just like to
11 ask Your Honours whether you have received the
12 statements because I am going to refer to them in my
13 cross-examination so that you are able to follow.
14 Q. Mr. Sakib Ahmic, good afternoon. I am
15 Counsel Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac, and I am going to ask
16 you some additional questions. I am going to try to
17 avoid repetition but, of course, some things will have
18 to be repeated.
19 Let us go back to your earlier statements to
20 see the differences that occurred in the earlier
21 statements that you made. In relation to your
22 position, my colleague, Mr. Radovic, asked you that.
23 You said before the court, and you repeated that today,
24 that you were standing at the doorway to the room and
25 that you saw how your son and daughter-in-law were
2 I am going to show you the statement given to
3 the police on the 22nd of April, 1993, and this was
4 also brought up today earlier on, but I would like to
5 have it once again, where you stated that, "For the
6 whole time, I was in my room next to the door, which
7 was slightly ajar, and I peered through the door and
8 saw what was going on. So that I'm not quite clear now
9 as to why they did not enter my room."
10 That is to be found on page 2 of the
12 After that, that is to say, it was probably
13 before that when you talked to Mr. (redacted), you
14 call him (redacted), and you talked to him on two occasions
15 or on one occasion; do you remember how many times?
16 A. I don't remember whether it was once, one
17 meeting, or whether there were two meetings, but I
18 think there were two meetings.
19 Q. And that was immediately after the events?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If I may, I would like to read out to the
22 Court something from the report by the Commission on
23 Human Rights, and this has already been entered into
24 the minutes, but I should like to read it out in view
25 of the differences.
1You then said, and that is something that
2 (redacted)conveyed to Mr. Payam Akhavan, and it is
3 the following: "The witness related how he had hidden
4 behind the couch in one room as Croat HVO soldiers
5 burst into the other. The family of the house were in
6 the next room, a father, mother, four-year-old boy, and
7 three-month-old infant. The witness heard a burst of
8 machine gunfire and saw the husband and wife fall to
9 the ground. The soldiers then poured petrol, which
10 they carried in glass bottles, all over the rooms,
11 including the couch behind which the witness was
12 hiding. The house was then ignited with matches. The
13 witness was unable to determine whether the family had
14 been killed by the gunshots before being set on fire."
15 You say here that, in fact, you were hiding
16 in the room behind the couch but in the room which was
17 not the room where the killing took place, but it was
18 your room behind your couch.
19 A. No.
20 Q. You didn't say that?
21 A. No. I fell down. I wasn't hiding. I was
22 completely lost at that moment, and I fell down by the
23 couch in the room where it had all happened.
24 Q. Is it possible that you told the story to
25 (redacted) differently at the time because he said he
1wrote the statement according to his notes?
2 A. I think -- I don't think that I could have
3 said anything different to what actually happened. How
4 these expressions came to be used, I don't know. But I
5 was in the room in which the killed members of my
6 family were, I was in that room, and that is where I
7 fell down by the couch upon which Elvis was.
8 Q. There is another statement governing these
9 circumstances and they're all three different
10 statements; that is why I am going to bring them
11 forward here. This one, this statement, represents a
12 transcript of the copy of the videotape that we saw.
13 And there you also stated: "I opened the door slightly
14 ajar and peeped through it." That means that there are
15 four versions, according to what we can see, as to
16 where you actually were at the critical point in time.
17 (redacted) talked to you, you signed the
18 police statement, and this statement that you gave on
19 television was your own statement.
20 A. Perhaps on that occasion it was misunderstood
21 that I was in my room and that the killed members were
22 in the other room. I think that it was mistakenly
23 understood and written down in that way whereas I was,
24 in fact, in the room where the killed people were.
25 Q. Very well. Let us proceed. The second
1important question in this proceeding as regards your
2 statement is what the attackers looked like. You said
3 at the hearing, and you repeated today, that they had
4 black paint on their face. As far as I understood,
5 this was done by a Magic Marker.
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. And that there were several lines across the
8 face. But despite those lines, you were able to
9 recognise the individuals in question.
10 In the statement that you gave to the
11 investigators of the court in The Hague, on the 13th of
12 October and the 14th of October, 1994, you changed,
13 that is to say, you described the attackers in a
14 slightly different way. For Zoran and for Mirjan
15 Kupreskic, you said -- that is on page 3 -- that you
16 saw Mirjan Kupreskic, who had paint or a band on his
17 face, and you also said this for Zoran: "I recognised
18 Zoran," you say, "although he had paint or a band
19 across his face." That is one description.
20 The next description which you give is a
21 description which you gave to the investigative judge
22 on the 1st of October, 1993, and there you stated that
23 they had black uniforms with caps on their heads, that
24 they were black, so that all that could be seen were
25 their eyes. Across their face they had different
1coloured bands so that only the eyes could be seen
2 apart from the bands.
3 A. Yes, I said that because I was afraid not to
4 make me give the names of the individuals.
5 Q. But you changed the colours of the bands and
6 the face marks. Why did you do that? You said that
7 they were multi-coloured, multi-coloured bands or
9 A. No, I always said that they were black.
10 Q. Was it a band or a Magic Marker, a felt-tip
12 A. Well, I don't know whether it was a band or
13 Magic Marker but it was black markings, black markings.
14 Q. In this connection, to the police on the 22nd
15 of April, 1993, you stated, that is on page 1 of the
16 statement, "that at the same time in my house,
17 uniformed persons came into my house with caps on their
18 heads which were black and only had slits for the eyes,
19 and they are called Ninja caps."
20 You also state at the end of that statement
21 that the perpetrators of these crimes you did not
22 recognise because they were masked with caps and
23 paint. So in that situation, those individuals had
24 caps not -- on their face, not only their head.
25 A. Well, yes, I said that because I was afraid
1that I would be made to name those individuals, to
2 state who they were.
3 Q. Why would the police exert pressure on you?
4 You did not have to recognise them.
5 A. Yes, but I did recognise them. I knew who
6 they were.
7 Q. But you could have said "I didn't recognise
8 them," rather than change your description of them.
9 A. Well, that's what I said.
10 Q. Let's proceed with regard to your recognition
11 of Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic. At the investigation,
12 you said that you recognised them immediately, as soon
13 as they appeared?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. In the transcript of the videotape, that is
16 to say, the transcript of the statement given by you
17 yourself, you state that the army of the HVO entered
18 the door, bashed down the door with their legs, and
19 with a burst of gunfire, fired across the verandah.
20 Therefore, there you don't mention anybody.
21 A. This burst of fire on the verandah, I did not
22 say that. I just said that I heard a detonation.
23 Whether it was in front of the house or next to the
24 house or below the house, I don't know.
25 Q. But this is your statement. That is what you
1said. Probably it is not a mistake. So that is
2 something that we heard here during the proceedings.
3 After that statement, we have the statement
4 in Zenica on the 22nd of April, 1993, the statement you
5 gave then, and you state what I read out a moment ago,
6 that you did not recognise the perpetrators of these
7 crimes because they were masked with caps and paint.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, to the court in Zenica, you state the
10 following, that you did not recognise the two
11 individuals but they looked like your neighbours, two
12 brothers, Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic who are the sons
13 of Ante, called Sutre, known as Sutre, and today you
14 also said that you did not tell (redacted) the
15 identities -- disclose the identities of those
17 A. Well, possibly -- it is possible that I said
18 that, but the facts are that they are those
20 Q. I am just enumerating what you stated under
21 different circumstances and the differences in your
23 A. They're different because I was not -- I did
24 not dare to tell the whole truth at those particular
1Q. All right. Well, let us go on and see why
2 you didn't give the names of the perpetrators.
3 You said during the hearing that you did not
4 dare to state their names because the war had flared up
5 in BH.
6 A. Yes, that is a reason. That's true.
7 Q. And that you could not know how the war would
8 end, and that that is the reason why you did not have
9 the courage to name the perpetrators.
10 A. Yes, that's quite correct. That's just how
11 it was. That is precisely the reason: for my own
13 Q. On the 2nd of September, 1995, you made an
14 additional statement, you gave it to the investigators
15 of the court in The Hague, and they asked you how was
16 it that there are differences between the statement
17 that you gave to the investigators in 1994 and the
18 statement you made for the Tribunal. You said on the
19 occasion the following:
20 "I do not think that the first investigator
21 posed any special questions. He did not ask me who
22 killed my son, my daughter-in-law, and my two
23 grandchildren. He only asked me general questions as
24 to what had happened in Ahmici."
25 Therefore, there you state that the reason
1was that you were not asked about the perpetrators.
2 A. I think that that is the reason. I don't
3 know what the real reason there was.
4 Q. So this has been recorded correctly, that you
5 told the investigators on the occasion that, quite
6 simply, you were not asked about the circumstances.
7 A. Not that I wasn't asked. Perhaps I was
9 Q. Now I am going to read you a statement given
10 by you yourself to the investigators of this Tribunal
11 with regard to the differences which occurred between
12 the statement you gave to the investigators and a
13 second statement with the investigative judge.
14 There you say that, "At that time, at that
15 moment, and therefore I have stated that they looked
16 like my neighbours."
17 Before that, you also say -- and the question
18 was: "Why did you state that I didn't recognise those
19 two people?" Answer: "I don't know why I said that.
20 I don't know how it came out. However, in the next
21 sentence I have stated that: But they looked like my
22 neighbours, two brothers, Kupreskic, Zoran and Mirjan,
23 who are the son of Ante, whose nickname was Sutre. I
24 was confused at that moment, and therefore I have
25 stated that they looked like my neighbours."
1That is once again a different explanation to
2 the one you gave during the hearing.
3 A. I was not confused as to those matters, as to
4 whether I personally saw those individuals, but, once
5 again, I think it was for security reasons, the talks,
6 the stories, because I did not have any confidence in
7 anybody. Although they asked me one thing and another,
8 I didn't really trust them. It was difficult to tell
9 the truth at the time.
10 Q. All right. You say you were afraid to name
11 the perpetrators.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. As to that assertion, that you did not dare
14 give the names of the attackers at the time, in your
15 statement of the 22nd of April, 1993, you said the
17 "The perpetrators of these crimes I did not
18 recognise because they were masked with caps and paint,
19 but one or two days before the attack, I noticed my
20 neighbours, Ivo Papic and Slavko Milicevic, Niko Cakic,
21 Toma Alilovic and Jozo Alilovic, Nikola Alilovic, Gabro
22 Vidovic and Ivica Vidovic, nickname Jevco, and Jure
23 Vrebac, who were members of the HVO unit and who moved
24 about the village and around our houses."
25 Apart from them, you also mentioned on
1several occasions in your first statement Matko
2 Kupreskic -- Vlatko Kupreskic, Nikica Safradin, alias
3 Cica, and an individual named Petrovic.
4 Therefore, how come you mentioned all these
5 individuals who could have been part and parcel of the
6 events in Ahmici on the 16th?
7 A. Well, this group mentioning of individuals
8 who went about the village, but they didn't do anybody
9 any harm, no killings associated with these people.
10 Q. And Vlatko Kupreskic did not cause any damage
11 when taking from your son's workshop some material,
12 your son that was killed?
13 A. That's another matter. But on the day of the
14 16th of April and the killing of my family in my own
15 home, at that time, while I stood by the window and
16 waited for an opportunity to flee --
17 Q. Yes, you say this in your statement. I'm
18 asking you how come you mentioned the other
19 individuals, including Vlatko Kupreskic, and you also
20 mentioned Cica Safradin?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Who was there at the time and who was very
23 near to the scene of the crime, of the killing?
24 A. Yes, he came below the house and he moved
25 towards Franjo Kupreskic, who was seeing to the
1chickens, and he came up to them and told him, "Go
2 back, Cico. Look at what has taken place in Sakib's
3 house." So Cico went back up to the front door of the
4 house, but the house was aflame, and he went back to
5 Franjo, and Franjo asked him, "What happened, Cico?"
6 And he said in a very high tone, high voice, "There is
7 nothing. Everything is dead."
8 Q. All right. This was nearby, in the immediate
9 vicinity of the place where all these events were
10 taking place?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Was he wearing a uniform, Cico?
13 A. Yes, yes, he was wearing a uniform.
14 Q. See? So he was wearing a uniform. Before
15 that, in the same statement on page 1, you said that he
16 also probably drove the TAM --
17 A. No.
18 Q. But that's what you said.
19 A. No. It was a different man, Ilkan's son, not
20 Cico Safradin who was driving the TAM and --
21 Q. This other, Safradin, you said about him that
22 he brought this TAM, that he brought it in, and that
23 things were being unloaded. This is just before the
24 conflict. You mentioned this two days earlier at the
1A. That's right.
2 Q. On the 13th or 14th. And that some things
3 were being unloaded, "and later on I discovered that
4 those were anti-aircraft machine guns, PATs. PATs are
5 anti-aircraft guns, recoilless guns, BSTs and MB and a
6 large amount of ammunition."
7 A. I think that I said very nicely what I had
8 seen, that I had seen the TAM around 9.00 in the
9 evening when it came into the Kupreskic yard -- of
10 Ivica Kupreskic, that is. However, there were no
11 lights on outside on their houses.
12 Q. You already mentioned that.
13 A. Yes, but it was customary with them that
14 there were outside lamps that were on every evening.
15 That evening the lights weren't on, the TAM remained
16 there overnight, and in the morning, around 7.00 --
17 Q. You said that. I'm asking you the
18 following: Did you see these things being unloaded?
19 A. No. No, no, no. That's a little mistake.
20 Q. All right. A mistake. All right. So you
21 mentioned other people, this Safradin, Ilkan's son, and
22 we said Vlatko Kupreskic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And some people who could have been involved
25 in these events.
1A. The fact remains that from the late Sukrija's
2 house, Vlatko came through my yard and went into his
4 Q. However, you are saying that it is an
5 undeniable fact that you recognised these people at
6 that given point in time?
7 A. Yes, I saw them, for sure.
8 Q. Yes, but you did mention the other people you
10 A. I don't understand what people you are
11 referring to.
12 Q. The names I read out to you. All right.
13 Let's proceed.
14 In your statement before this court, you also
15 said that fire was set at one point in the room?
16 A. No. No. The fire broke out at the -- at two
17 places at the same moment. That is to say where the
18 sofa was torched, and also where the little chair of
19 the late Sejo was. So in two places, that is where the
20 house was set on fire.
21 Q. According to the transcript you said one
22 place, but, all right, you're saying two places?
23 A. No, it is a fact in two places, for sure.
24 Q. All right. And what is your assertion? Who
25 did this? Who poured this liquid?
2 Q. And who set it on fire?
3 A. Mirjan.
4 Q. With regard to this matter, and you were
5 questioned on this by the investigative judge too, and
6 you told this investigative judge the following: "One
7 of the two of them poured liquid from a bottle all over
8 the room, and then at two different places in the room
9 they set it on fire."
10 That is not correct. That means that there
11 were two men who started the fire. And again, you told
12 the police, with regard to the same circumstance, you
13 said the following: "Immediately after the killing of
14 the family of my son Naser, a camouflaged attacker with
15 a bottle in his hand was pouring a liquid all over the
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. And it started a fire in two places and then
19 left the house?
20 A. No, no. I said quite clearly, as he got into
21 the house, on the left-hand side, he threw gasoline, he
22 set it on fire, and on the right-hand side he set fire
23 to a chair that was next to the late Sejo's bed. And
24 while he was doing this, this other one had finished
25 whatever else he had set out to do.
1Q. Tell me, where was this chair, on what side
2 in relation to the entrance door?
3 A. On the right-hand side. On the right-hand
4 side as you enter the room. That is where the little
5 bed was, and the chair between the bed and the door.
6 That's where the chair was.
7 Q. In the U.N. papers relating to the statement
8 you made to (redacted) you said something
9 different. You told (redacted) the following: "They
10 poured petrol, which they carried in glass bottles, all
11 over the rooms, including the couch behind which the
12 witness was hiding."
13 And then the house was set on fire. So there
14 you say that both of them were torching the house, that
15 is to say, pouring gasoline all over the house.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Moskowitz?
17 MR. MOSKOWITZ: It's probably now a little
18 late, but I didn't want to interpose. I have an
19 objection to referring to this statement from
20 (redacted) to Payam Akhavan. This is clearly not a
21 statement that the witness is familiar with, or signed
22 or read, and it seems a bit unfair to task him with a
23 statement that was given third-hand to somebody else.
24 It's not, in my view, a fair cross-examination.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I agree. Also, because
1I understand that (redacted)is being called by you as
2 a witness.
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Just one remark if I
5 may. Mr. Akhavan was heard, and he said he made this
6 statement according to the notes that were given to him
7 by (redacted), and that he relied, while composing this
8 statement, on the notes that he had. So these are not
9 people who happened to be there and who happened to
10 hear something, but these are people who were qualified
11 in terms of following certain events. I think that
12 what the official report says is a fact that bears
13 certain weight and a certain force, but I won't go
14 further into that.
15 Q. Just a few more things in relation to these
16 statements, because several statements were made, and
17 we think that all of them carry a weight of their own,
18 so we want to say a few more things about them.
19 In the statement made before this court, you
20 said that, first of all, Zoran walked into the room?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Immediately after him Mirjan?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you repeated that on several occasions,
25 so there's no confusion with regard to that.
1However, in the statement you gave to the
2 investigator, on the 13th of October, 1994, and the
3 14th of October, 1994, you gave a completely different
4 description of events and I'm going to read that to you
6 You said the following: "When I looked
7 towards Naser I saw Zoran Kupreskic enter the room, and
8 he was bending forward and holding a gun with both
9 hands as if he was getting ready to shoot. I
10 recognised Zoran, although he had colour or bands on
11 his face.
12 As Zoran walked into the room, he turned to
13 the right where Naser stood. Naser was wearing his
14 underwear, so he was not armed at all.
15 When Zoran saw Naser, he immediately fired a
16 burst of gunfire which killed Naser. Zoran then turned
17 towards Zehrudina who was still lying only the
18 mattress, shot a burst of gunfire into her, but did not
19 kill her with it.
20 Then he started walking towards the couch on
21 which Elvis was. As he started, I saw Mirjan Kupreskic
22 enter the living-room." Now, that is to say after two
23 killings -- now, please just listen to this to the
25 "Although he also had paint or some kind of
1band on his face, I did recognise Mirjan because I've
2 known him ever since he was born.
3 Mirjan was carrying bottle of something which
4 looked like gasoline. He went to the couch which was
5 on the eastern side of the living-room and poured some
6 gasoline on it. Then he went to the armchair that was
7 right to the entrance, on the right-hand side to the
8 entrance to the living-room. He poured out this
9 gasoline, and then he lit a match and set the armchair
10 on fire.
11 That was all that I saw, because I fell on my
12 stomach by the couch where Elvis was. I'm quite sure
13 that someone, and I'm sure that it was Zoran, because I
14 did not see whether Mirjan had any arms or not, came to
15 the couch and fired three bursts of gunfire on me."
16 In this statement you said that Mirjan walked
17 into the room after the first attacker, who, according
18 to you, was Zoran, killed your daughter-in-law and
20 A. At the same time, when Zoran walked in,
21 immediately --
22 Q. Mr. Ahmic. Mr. Ahmic. You said this at the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'm asking you how come you told the
1investigator, whom you had talk to for two days,
2 describe the event in the following way: That Mirjan
3 walked in after two killings were already committed,
4 and then when he started moving towards the couch where
5 your grandson was --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- Mirjan managed to start a fire in two
8 places in the room and only then does the firing take
9 place which you cannot even see.
10 A. Well, let me tell you, this is a moment in
11 all these events. These are a few seconds. Please.
12 Q. I believe you. That is correct. That is
13 correct. However, I'm just trying to tell you
14 something. You are claiming today, with 100 per cent
15 certainty, and you said that when you were testifying
16 on Friday, that the events happened in the way in which
17 you have explained them.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I am showing you that you described these
20 events in a different way before. So you cannot be
21 that certain now.
22 A. I'm 100 per cent sure.
23 Q. You are 100 per cent sure?
24 A. Yes, I am.
25 Q. All right. And these mistakes were, I
1presume, made by others, is that what you think?
2 A. Perhaps they were my mistakes, but I think
3 that this is true and truthful. When Zoran got in,
4 then Mirjan followed, and he poured gasoline, he set it
5 on fire, and then poured gasoline on the chair on the
6 right-hand side and set it on fire. While this was
7 being done, the other one committed the killings, that
8 is of the late Naser and my late daughter-in-law, and
9 the late Elvis. And at that point I was already lying
10 on the floor. And I said a few minutes ago this is
11 something that took place within a few seconds
12 practically. It's not that someone came there to take
13 pictures or to make a film.
14 Q. But in those -- you have several versions,
15 four versions about these few seconds. Perhaps you
16 cannot remember certain things, but every time you give
17 different answers. So just a bit more now in relation
18 to the rifle that was already mentioned.
19 You said, at the trial and then today again,
20 that you cannot exactly recall the rifle that Zoran
21 Kupreskic had?
22 A. Yes, I'm not sure. I'm not 100 per cent
23 sure, because I was not focusing on the weapon. I was
24 looking at the person who was doing this terrible
25 thing, killing all my nearest and dearest and trying to
1kill me too at the same time.
2 Q. On the 13th of October, in the statement made
3 to the investigative judge, you said the following:
4 "The rifle that he carried was about 48 centimetres
5 long. At the top it had a round drum."
6 On the 13th of October, 1994, you were shown
7 an automatic rifle, a MGV automatic rifle, and it seems
8 to me that that is precisely the kind of gun that Zoran
9 had on the 16th of April, 1993.
10 So you explain in detail the rifle. You say
11 how big it is, you say where the drum is. You say that
12 that is the kind of rifle it was, that it seems to you
13 that that was the rifle. So these are very precise
15 A. Yes. They showed me this rifle, but it is
16 true that it was shown to me at that moment, that
17 rifle. Perhaps it was a different rifle, a bigger one,
18 I don't know. I don't know.
19 Q. So why did you say then that it seemed to you
20 that that was the rifle in question?
21 A. How can I say? Perhaps it was even bigger.
22 Q. But these are your statements, you know,
23 that's why I'm asking you.
24 A. Yes. I told you very nicely that everyone
25 should try to put himself into that kind of situation,
1and I'd ask anyone how they would feel in that kind of
3 Q. Oh, yes, I can imagine that.
4 Tell me, how long did this event in the
5 house -- how long did it go on for?
6 A. A few seconds. Just like this. As long as
7 it takes to clap your hands. That's it.
8 Q. All right. Just one more thing that I wish
9 to ask you; who was it that was actually shooting in
10 the house? Because there are differences between your
11 different statements with regard to that particular
12 matter too.
13 In the Court you said it was Zoran Kupreskic
14 who shot.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That he killed Naser, Zehrudina, Elvis and
17 the baby, because Mirjan didn't have a rifle?
18 A. I don't know if he had a rifle.
19 Q. But you didn't see him with a rifle?
20 A. I don't know whether he had a rifle or not,
21 because Mirjan was bending forward. He was squatting,
22 so I'm not sure. I don't know.
23 Q. I mean, how did he walk into the room?
24 A. He walked in behind Zoran. He was bending
25 forward, I'm telling you, and then he crouched and then
1he started shooting at the bed. So he was --
2 Q. So he was practically crouching?
3 A. Yes he was.
4 Q. And Zoran?
5 A. Zoran was standing straight up, but his head
6 was bent forward a bit.
7 Q. How could you see Mirjan if he was crouching
8 and if he came after Zoran?
9 A. How could I not see him? How do I see you
11 Q. But you have a table there. You do have a
12 table there in the room.
13 A. I know, it's a table but it didn't bother me.
14 Q. It didn't bother you?
15 A. No, it didn't.
16 Q. All right. And now in relation to this fact,
17 you told the police the following: "Immediately upon
18 entering the house," that is the 22nd of April, "One of
19 them fired from the hallway, there was a burst of
20 gunfire from the hallway, while the other one saw the
21 light in the room and my son Naser standing up, and he
22 burst fire -- he opened fire, and going into the room
23 killed my daughter-in-law Zehrudina, and the little boy
24 Elvis, who was still asleep in the bed with her.
25 As they shot at them, everything was quiet
1for a moment and then my grandson began crying again."
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. "And the killer returned."
4 A. Did he not return, he just turned round and
5 opened fire.
6 Q. Yes. Well, I'm reading from this document
7 here. "And fired a burst of gunfire into the child's
9 From this statement it would appear that both
10 were firing, one on the verandah and one on the
11 other --
12 A. No. No, this burst of gunfire that was
13 mentioned refers to the killing of the late Naser and
14 not on the verandah, not shooting on the verandah.
15 Q. Very well. The statement given to the
16 investigative judge, in it you say that they came into
17 the room, one of them opened fire on Naser, and you
18 fell behind the couch where your grandson was sleeping,
19 and you heard -- "I heard and felt them shooting at my
20 daughter-in-law and son."
21 That is, once again, in the plural, so you're
22 referring to individuals opening fire, in the plural.
23 A. No. It was only one individual who shot --
24 opened fire in the room.
25 Q. And now to wind up, let me show you that in
1the transcript of the tape that we listened to, you
2 also used the plural, and you stated the following:
3 "In the meantime, the HOS members -- not the HOS, the
4 HVO army came to the door, they burst open the door
5 with their foot and opened fire on the verandah. They
6 entered the room, the light was on --
7 A. Yes, the light was on.
8 Q. -- and as they saw my son standing, they
9 fired at him immediately, and I open the door slightly
10 ajar and period through. They then opened fire on my
11 daughter-in-law, and my second grandson, my son, and
12 they went to the door. However, the little boy started
13 crying in the cradle."
14 And from that we can deduce that two men
15 opened fire?
16 A. No, only one.
17 Q. Only one you say?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you tell me, you say in your statement
20 that you made sure what had happened to Naser, you saw
21 him. When Naser fell down, when the house was set on
22 fire, you went to see -- you went to look at Naser.
23 You said that there was blood?
24 A. Yes. I glanced at him and in front of his
25 chest there was a pool of blood. I saw it with my own
1eyes. And I opened the window and tried to jump out to
2 escape to try to save my life, but when I looked
3 through the window I saw, in Vlatko's yard, two or
4 three Croatian soldiers. Vlatko came up to the
5 house --
6 Q. Well, we won't go further into that. You
7 told us about that and that is not the part that we are
9 Tell me, please, did you look to see what
10 happened to Elvis and Sejad? Did you see them or not?
11 A. How do you mean.
12 Q. Did you go up to them to see what happened?
13 A. No. I didn't go up to any of the people,
14 because I -- it was enough for me to look at them to
15 see what had happened, because it all took place in the
16 68 square metres of my home.
17 Q. So you didn't go up to any of them
19 A. No.
20 Q. In the transcript of the videotape, you state
21 that you tried to pull the children out into the room.
22 A. This is what went through my head. I thought
23 how I -- I wondered how I could save them, but that was
25 Q. You said, "I tried to pull the children out
1into the room over there where I was, so as to localise
2 this in some way, so that the children would not burn
3 if they were -- as they had been killed to prevent them
4 from being burnt."
5 A. Well, that is something I thought of doing,
6 but I didn't, in fact, pull them out of the room.
7 Q. Well, tell me just where Elvis was sleeping,
8 what place, what position Elvis -- yes.
9 A. Elvis was asleep on the couch.
10 Q. It is the same couch behind which you say you
12 A. Yes, precisely so.
13 Q. Well, we read out a moment ago from a police
14 statement, where you say that, "The soldiers, upon
15 entering the room, killed my daughter-in-law Zehrudina
16 and the little boy Elvis, who was still sleeping in the
17 bed with her."
18 A. Not with her in the bed, no.
19 Q. But these are all statements that you
20 signed. That is why I'm asking you once again, why
21 does this not correspond to what you're saying now?
22 A. Then it was the mistake -- a mistake made by
23 the individual who wrote that, because Elvis had his
24 own couch for sleeping on. The late Sejo had his
25 little cot for sleeping in, and the late Naser and his
1wife Zehrudina had a mattress on the floor and that is
2 where they slept.
3 Q. Did you make these explanations earlier on?
4 A. No. I always explained that in the way that,
5 in fact, it was. I can't explain it in any other way
6 than the way it happened.
7 Q. Let us now go -- move forward. You said that
8 below the house there was a basement. The basement was
9 equipped for living in. Was it a room with a kitchen
10 or what did it look like?
11 A. Yes, it was a room with a kitchen.
12 Q. I see. A room with a kitchen. Did you have
13 a toilet there?
14 A. What did you say?
15 Q. Was there a toilet?
16 A. No, no. I didn't understand you. No, there
17 was no toilet.
18 Q. So anybody living in the basement would have
19 to use the field toilet?
20 A. Yes, that's right, in an outhouse.
21 Q. Did you sometimes spend some time in the
23 A. Yes, we all did.
24 Q. In the summer months?
25 A. In the summer season, and in winter too.
1Q. And you often slept down in the basement?
2 A. Yes, we did. If I couldn't find peace
3 upstairs, I would go down for a bit of peace and sleep
5 Q. And did you sleep there at night?
6 A. Yes, at night too, or when I wanted a rest
7 during the day, both ways.
8 Q. So that means that in the -- on the premises
9 below -- down in the basement, you needed -- you had
10 everything you needed?
11 A. Yes. We had running water as well.
12 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, whether you had
13 a dog?
14 A. Yes, we had a dog.
15 Q. It was an Alsatian?
16 A. No.
17 Q. A German sheep dog?
18 A. Well, no, it was a vagabond, and we would
19 give the dog food and it sort of stopped with us.
20 Q. A stray dog. Did it go into the house?
21 A. No, it never entered the house. And dogs
22 will never enter the house because dogs are made to
23 live outside. But we all gave it food. We all fed
24 it. I fed him too.
25 Q. And was he with you when the events took
2 A. In the house you mean?
3 Q. No, in front of the house. Did you see the
5 A. No, I didn't, but I heard the barking of a
6 dog, and then there was a burst of gunfire and then
7 nothing more was heard from the dog, and I thought that
8 the dog had been killed.
9 Q. Was the dog tied?
10 A. No, it wasn't tied. It moved around freely.
11 Q. Tell me, please, of the Croatian houses,
12 which house was the first house down the road from your
14 A. Down the road? Yes. Well, I don't know. My
15 house lies between two roads, the road towards Ahmici
16 and the road leading towards Pirici, so I am there in
17 the corner, between the two roads.
18 Q. So that is going downwards?
19 A. Yes. I am linked to the road going towards
20 Ahmici on the main road.
21 Q. And whose house is the first house on that
23 A. It is the house of Vlatko Kupreskic.
24 Q. Very well. You said that this event took
25 place very quickly, it lasted two or three seconds.
1A. Yes, it was very quick, over very quickly.
2 Q. Tell me whether Naser worked in the footwear
3 shop between Vitez and Ahmici.
4 A. Yes, he was employed there all the time until
5 his very last -- until the last day, yes.
6 Q. Tell me, did he go with friends for a drink
7 after work and to relax with his friends after work?
8 A. Well, let me tell you, this depended on how
9 much free time he had. It depended on whether he had
10 any money or not. But at that time, we had very little
11 money. We had to work a great deal.
12 Q. But did he do that on occasion? Did he have
13 friends with whom he would go out for a drink after
15 A. Well, of course he had friends, yes.
16 Q. And just a bit more -- to go back to the
17 events in the house. You said that the door opened,
18 that is, that the hinges were on the right-hand side of
19 the door.
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. You said that you were standing in the
22 doorway or in front of the door. Which?
23 A. Well, along the -- the line of the wall.
24 Q. At the point when you saw the attacker moving
25 towards you, at that particular moment, or when he was
1moving towards Elvis, rather, you said you fell down
2 and you were unconscious.
3 A. Yes, I fell into a coma at that point.
4 Q. Tell me, how did you fall?
5 A. I fell with my head up against the wall. How
6 that happened, I can't explain it myself. I don't
8 Q. But, according to the picture that the
9 Prosecutor showed us, you fell with your legs towards
10 the north and you were lying straight and you were
11 lying on your stomach and you hit your head against the
12 wall. How did you do that?
13 A. Well, I didn't perform it.
14 Q. No, I'm asking you. You fell on your
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And now -- where did you hit your head?
18 A. On the floor.
19 Q. Not the wall?
20 A. Not the wall, no. I hit it on the floor.
21 That is what I think. Perhaps I did hit my head
22 against the wall as well, but I found myself prostrate
23 on the floor against the couch and the wall.
24 Q. So the manner in which you fell was that,
25 standing up straight by the door, you fell on your
1stomach and along the wall, vertically along the wall?
2 A. Well, I can't explain that moment to you, how
3 it happened. Perhaps I made a step towards Naser.
4 Then at that moment, I had a heart attack and fell down
5 and my brain reacted in that way.
6 Q. Were you watching Naser at that time, at that
7 moment? Were you looking towards him, because you said
8 that you went towards Naser.
9 A. No, I said perhaps I made a step towards
10 Naser, and they were all before my eyes as I was
11 standing there in that second.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I have
13 three more questions, but I would like a closed
14 session, please, for those three questions.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes.
16 (Closed session)
13 Page 2103 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2104 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2105 redacted - in closed session
13 Page 2106 redacted - in closed session
6 (Open session)
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Krajina:
8 MR. KRAJINA: With your permission, I wish to
9 ask the witness whether he said that Vlatko Kupreskic
10 was stealing the things that belonged to his son.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please answer this
13 THE WITNESS: It's me you're asking? I did
14 not say anywhere that Vlatko Kupreskic was stealing
16 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you.
17 A. Just a minute --
18 MR. KRAJINA: I'm sorry. Nothing else that
19 we're interested in. Thank you. That will do.
20 And now, with the permission of the Court, I
21 wish to address Sakib Ahmic, the witness.
22 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I am addressing you only to
23 clarify a certain point from your statement, nothing
24 else. Namely, at the trial on the 4th of September
25 this year, that is to say, just before the break, the
1last day of the trial before the break, you said that
2 on the morning of April 16th, 1993, as you were
3 watching through the window of your room, you saw, in
4 the yard of Vlatko Kupreskic, you saw a soldier of the
5 HVO and that therefore you did not dare go out of the
6 house and jump through the window; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you now say whether you
9 recognise that soldier?
10 A. No, I didn't recognise him.
11 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you. Mr. President, in
12 the transcript from the trial on the 4th, on page 43,
13 line 16, it has been said mistakenly that this soldier
14 was Vlatko Kupreskic. So could this mistake please be
15 rectified? I don't know how it happened, but it is
16 there and it is in the transcript, and we found it on
17 our laptops. And so let me just finish this --
18 THE WITNESS: I'm afraid that a mistake was
19 made there.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Krajina, sorry, are
21 you saying that the witness mistakenly mentioned Vlatko
22 Kupreskic, the soldier being Vlatko Kupreskic? So was
23 this mistake --
24 MR. KRAJINA: Yes, yes, that's it.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry. Are you claiming that
1he did not say Vlatko Kupreskic was the soldier, did
2 not identify the soldier with Mr. Kupreskic? So the
3 name --
4 MR. KRAJINA: That is what he said now too.
5 But probably it is the word "yard" that was missing,
6 Vlatko Kupreskic's yard.
7 THE WITNESS: Can we please understand each
8 other correctly? Please. As I was standing at the
9 window waiting for a good moment to jump out, I saw two
10 or three soldiers in Vlatko's yard down there. I
11 didn't dare jump out. I was afraid that they would
12 catch me alive because when I saw that they had killed
13 all of my people and that I had survived, in all this
14 killing, I was afraid that they would catch me alive
15 and that they would torture me and finally kill me and
16 that no one would ever hear of me --
17 Q. We know that. We heard all of that.
18 A. At that moment, Vlatko --
19 Q. Sir, I'm sorry, that's not what I asked. But
20 in your statement you said somewhat later, as you were
21 watching through the window, you were wondering whether
22 to jump out or not and you saw one soldier, a soldier.
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. So we are just talking about that one
25 soldier, and you said that you did not recognise him,
1and in the transcript we saw a mistake. It was
2 mistakenly written down in the transcript.
3 So we have finished this. Thank you.
4 Now, just one more question, Mr. President.
5 Just one more.
6 Mr. Ahmic, can you tell me what do you mean
7 when you say soldier, "bojovnik"? Are you referring
8 to an armed person in uniform?
9 A. For me, that is precisely what soldiers are,
10 that is, young men under arms.
11 Q. Uniformed and armed?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President. I
14 have no further questions.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Susak,
16 Counsel Susak?
17 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, as usual, I have
18 only one brief question, perhaps two for the witness.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
20 Q. You said that, I think, in Barin Gaj there
21 was some shooting and that five or six Bosniaks were
22 killed there; is that correct? Is that the right
23 place, the right location? Or was it somewhere else?
24 A. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I did not say ever that
25 anyone was killed in Barin Gaj, but there is one thing
1that I did say: On the 17th of April of 1993, I was
2 withdrawing in Barin Gaj. As I was getting out of
3 Barin Gaj, I encountered five or six young men who were
4 entering Barin Gaj with rifles and they were moving
5 towards Ahmici.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. I wanted to ask you
7 something else: Did you know Nenad Dzidic?
8 A. Nenad Dzidic?
9 Q. Yes. Did you hear of him, what happened to
11 A. Ah, Nenad, yes. Yes, I remember him now.
12 Nenad and Muharem; they were two brothers.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I heard that they were both killed. I heard
15 that they were both killed in the area of Zume.
16 Q. But I wanted to ask you -- well, all right --
17 whether you know whether it happened in that particular
18 place or elsewhere as you were moving in that
19 direction, as you were withdrawing towards your
20 mother's house?
21 A. No, no, no. It was completely in the
22 opposite direction.
23 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President. No
24 further questions.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I understand
1there are no further questions from Defence counsel, so
2 we can now take a break, a 30-minute break.
3 I imagine the Prosecutor would like to
4 re-examine the witness. Is it so, Mr. Moskowitz?
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So a 30-minute
8 --- Recess taken at 3.08 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 3:45 p.m.
10 (The witness entered court)
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I would
12 like to ask that these statements be tendered into
13 evidence, and may I hand them to the registrar? I can
14 enumerate them if you wish. It is the statement of the
15 13th of October and 14th of October, 1994. The minutes
16 from the 1st of October, 1993; the statement made on
17 the 22nd of April, 1993; and the statement given to
18 the investigators dated the 12th of November, '97; as
19 well as the statement from the 2nd of September, 1995.
20 Those are the documents, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
22 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would just say, Your
23 Honour, that for completeness sake, we would offer as
24 well the statement on February 20th, 1994, which should
25 complete the set.
1JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Yes, all the statements
2 made by the witness. Yes. All right. Admitted into
3 evidence. Good.
4 Mr. Moskowitz?
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Re-examined by Mr. Moskowitz.
7 Q. Good afternoon Mr. Ahmic. Just several
8 questions for you before you're through.
9 You were asked questions about Vlatko
10 Kupreskic, and just to make it absolutely clear, did
11 you see Vlatko Kupreskic on April 16, 1993?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And where were you when you saw Vlatko
14 Kupreskic that day?
15 A. I was precisely at the window of my room,
16 from which position I saw Vlatko Kupreskic, who was
17 moving from the house and the yard of Suhrija, my
18 Suhrija, and he went past his own house and behind the
19 house, and went behind the house and I couldn't see him
20 any more, because he went round by the back side and
21 under the house.
22 And while he was moving in this direction, I
23 think that he had something under his left arm, that he
24 was carrying something. What it was, I don't know.
25 Q. Do you recall how he was dressed?
1A. Yes. He had a blue coat on, and under the
2 coat what he had, I don't know. It was a blue worker's
4 Q. Now, you were also asked about -- about your
5 mother. Could you tell us, in what year your mother
6 was born?
7 A. My mother was born -- she is 1909, born in
8 1909. She is 90 years old.
9 Q. Does she live with you now?
10 A. Yes, she does. My mother is with me. And
11 she is in a poor state of health because the years have
12 taken their toll. She cannot move much. She needs
13 care and attention, and she needs medical attention and
14 so on.
15 Q. And does she sometimes get things confused in
16 her mind?
17 A. Well, it's normal that it is somebody who --
18 she's an old woman.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Of course, we are all aware
20 this was a leading question. On the other hand, I
21 think it's not -- I mean, it is relevant but it's not a
22 crucial matter. We were all aware that it was a
23 leading question.
24 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we respect the
25 age of his mother and we're not going to call his
1mother as a witness, and it's normally -- it's quite
2 normal that she should lose herself here and there, so
3 there's no point in suggesting what happened nine years
4 ago and so on.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Moskowitz?
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I don't want to belabour this
7 either, but let me just ask one more follow-up question
8 to that just to finish this area.
9 Q. Do you recall a time when I visited you and
10 your mother in Zenica, and could you tell us what your
11 mother -- who your mother thought I was?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Who did you mother think I was?
14 A. Yes, I remember very well. When the
15 gentleman, Mr. Albert came, she thought he was the
16 doctor. She thought he was the doctor who had come to
17 examine her, and she expected an examination. She
18 thought he would take her blood pressure. She expected
19 some prescriptions, him to write some prescriptions.
20 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, you know that we
21 are prohibited to asking questions as to what a third
22 party thought, and now the witness is precisely saying
23 what his mother thought when the Prosecutor turned up.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Why? I think it's quite
25 appropriate, because the Prosecutor is asking about
1the -- asking the witness about his work. Yes, you are
2 right. On reflection, you're right. Mr. Moskowitz,
3 move on. You're right, because he's asking the witness
4 to report about his mother's attitude vis-à-vis the
5 Prosecutor hearsay but --
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Only offered to show the
7 state of mind of --
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes but probably you can
9 simply move on, because it's not, as I say, a crucial
11 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
12 Q. You were also asked about a light in the room
13 that was hanging over the table. Could you describe
14 how far from the ceiling this light was hanging?
15 A. Well, the light was about 20 centimetres from
16 the ceiling. About 20 centimetres from the ceiling.
17 But it was the light of this room, of the living-room,
18 and it doesn't stop us from moving around or anything.
19 It's not in the way in any way. It had its height,
20 just as in all the other rooms and all the other things
21 in the room. It caused no -- it didn't hamper
22 anything. It didn't get in the way of me, or the
23 women, or the children or the guests coming to the
24 house. It wasn't in the way.
25 Q. And while you were standing in your door, the
1doorway of your bedroom, looking towards the entrance
2 doorway into that room, could you describe whether or
3 not this light hanging over the table was in your line
4 of sight in any way or obstructed your view in any
6 A. No. In no way did it obstruct my view.
7 Q. You were also asked about the table, and I'll
8 ask you the same question about the table. Did the
9 table obstruct your view in any way of the entrance
10 door to the room?
11 A. No. Not at all. The table was no
12 obstruction, nor could it have been, nor did it form
13 any obstruction.
14 Q. Now, Defence counsel also asked you about a
15 disciplinary action that was filed against you while
16 you were employed. Could you tell us how many years
17 were you employed?
18 A. For a full 40 years, and that -- those are my
19 full years of service, and I retired after them. I
20 worked for all of 40 years. I never used any social
21 funds. I thought that I would get a flat when I
22 retired. I requested a flat, 14, 15 years, but I never
23 got what was due to me following my 40-year investment
24 into the housing fund. I paid money into the housing
25 fund, and I was not able to buy a one-room flat, but I
1think that I could have bought a four or five-room
2 flat, according to the investments I had made over the
3 40 years of service.
4 Q. Now, just to be clear, this 40 years of
5 employment covered more than one employment or one job;
6 is that correct?
7 A. Yes, more than one job.
8 Q. So in 40 years of employment, you had one
9 reprimand over a vacation dispute. Is that the bottom
10 line? Is that what you remember?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Now, could you tell us whether on April 15th,
13 1993 you had anything to drink?
14 A. No. I don't drink. I'm not an alcoholic as
15 was stated -- as was represented by the other party, by
16 my late wife.
17 Q. Can you think of any reasons why your late
18 wife and your ex-wife might have alleged that you had a
19 drinking problem?
20 A. I think that the reason for this was for her
21 to be able to realise -- that is to get her alimony
22 from me. For her to get money, this pension, and she
23 had to find a reason to throw mud on me in any way,
24 and, unfortunately, they found something which was the
25 worst, that is they said that I was an alcoholic, that
1I was no good. I'm not a no-good man, I never was.
2 Nor was anybody in my family.
3 I was never an alcoholic. I worked. I
4 looked after my children. I put them through school.
5 I lived an honest life. I was good friends with all my
6 neighbours and my acquaintances, and I can say that I
7 always behaved in the right -- all doors were always
8 open to me in Ljubljana, in Croatia and Serbia and
9 Macedonia. I had friends all over the place, in all
10 parts of the country. But, unfortunately, my late wife
11 opted to choose this stand in order to incriminate me
12 and to achieve her own goals. That was unfortunate.
13 Q. Can you tell us whether you have any
14 specialised training in weapons?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, you were in the JNA for a period of
17 time, were you not, Mr. Ahmic?
18 A. Yes, I was. I did my military service
19 regularly in the army of the former JNA, the former
20 JNA, and I was in the Noncommissioned Officers'
21 Section. I was there for three years. And I went on
22 the 16th of September, 1992, to the Hrvatski Karlovac
23 area where I went to school for Reserve Officers. And
24 there was some changes with the commander in our area,
25 he was replaced, and he went to a -- was brought before
1a military court, and so my -- the managers put me in
2 the position of Company Commander. And the 5th
3 Military District at that time, Amnesty, reduced the
4 term of service, so that I did not have to spend 18
5 months doing my military service. I returned home.
6 Q. And can you tell us what years you were in
7 military service in the JNA?
8 A. It was from 1952 to 1954. From 16th
9 September, 1952 up to -- I don't know the exact date
10 but it was up until 1954.
11 Q. And what was your assignment while you were
12 in the JNA in those months?
13 A. I was the commander of the Pioneer
14 Department, that is the student unit, afterwards, and
15 they took me, and I performed the post of command in my
16 unit, in the company at the time.
17 Q. And while you were in the JNA, did you obtain
18 any kind of specialised or unique training on weapons
19 recognition or weapon use?
20 A. No. What we had was -- it was the engineer
21 unit -- engineering unit, and we dealt with mine
22 fields, and building bridges across rivers and that
23 kind of thing.
24 Q. Now, finally, you were asked questions about
25 how quickly this all happened on April 16, 1993, and
1you testified that it did happen quickly.
2 Can you tell us, who came into your house on
3 April 16, 1993 and killed your family?
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
5 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the question has
6 been asked several times, and it is the Court practice
7 that the same thing should not be asked five times. So
8 it's already been asked, who entered, the witness has
9 already answered. He answered the question from the
10 Prosecutor and he answered our questions. So I see no
11 reason for asking the witness once again something that
12 we started out with in his testimony. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, please, can
14 you --
15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I think, of course, this is
16 the crucial question for the Court to consider and
17 observe the demeanour of the witness in responding to
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Also, Counsel Radovic, it is
20 because the Defence counsel pointed to so many
21 discrepancies between what he said in court and what he
22 said on various occasions, so probably the -- as a
23 follow-up to your pointing to those gaps or
24 discrepancies or contradictions, probably it is quite
25 appropriate for the Prosecutor, in short, to put one
1crucial question. So I don't think it's improper. If
2 you don't mind, I think we should move on, because it's
3 really the crucial question.
4 Counsel Radovic?
5 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I agree both
6 with the Prosecutor and with Your Honours that it is a
7 crucial question, but what is happening now? We
8 indicated all the discrepancies in his statements where
9 the crucial element was shown in a vitally different
10 way, and now we come to the last question from the
11 Prosecutor, which is: "Did those two do that," and he
12 says, "Yes," and everything we did falls through,
13 because we cannot continue to prove that what the
14 Prosecutor had asked and the answer, whether that is
15 true or not.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Please --
17 MR. RADOVIC: And that is why I am opposed to
18 that question, because the question was already asked.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic, you should
20 please trust the Court. This is a court of
21 professionals. We don't decide on the basis of our last
22 impression. We, of course, weigh up all the evidence.
23 We make a close scrutiny of what has been said in
24 court, and we make our findings after very careful
25 scrutiny of everything. Do trust the three
1professional Judges. Thank you.
2 MR. RADOVIC: All right. All right. Then I
3 withdraw my objection to the Prosecutor's question.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz.
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
6 Q. Mr. Ahmic. Who came into your house and
7 killed your family?
8 A. Zoran Kupreskic came with his brother
9 Mirjan. Zoran actually killed the family, and Mirjan
10 set one fire, and he also started another fire, and
11 that is how it ended.
12 Q. And how sure are you of that?
13 A. One hundred per cent sure.
14 Q. When you talked to investigators in 1993, why
15 did you not tell them what you knew to be true?
16 A. I did not dare tell anyone that, for safety
17 reasons. For the sake of my own life. I did not know
18 what would ultimately happen and how all of that would
19 end. I wasn't feeling safe even in the hospital in
20 Zenica. I wondered how long we would be staying there,
21 and I was wondering whether we would actually recover
22 and get out of that hospital. I was wondering whether
23 we would be bombed, shelled, whether the whole place
24 would be set on fire, whether we would all be killed.
25 I didn't dare tell anyone what the situation was like,
1because I didn't know how all of this would end. Only
2 after the war ended in Bosnia and Herzegovina, before
3 that, I mean, nobody could predict what would happen.
4 That is what I wish to say.
5 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. Ahmic.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
7 A. Thank you too.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Ahmic, I think that we --
9 you must be tired, and I'm sorry for that, we fully
10 understand your feelings and also your sorrow for the
11 death of your relatives. Of course, we do understand
12 all that, but, you know, you may assist us a lot in
13 our --
14 A. Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: -- search for the truth. So
16 if you don't mind, I would like to ask you very few
17 questions just to clarify one or two points.
18 First of all, where did you live in April,
19 '93 --?
20 A. Please go ahead.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Where did you
22 live between April '93 and the end of '94, if you can
23 tell us?
24 A. In the hospital, Crkvica, Zenica.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Did you spend more than one
1year in hospital?
2 A. Well, I can tell you the exact date. On the
3 17th of April, 1993, in the afternoon, I was brought to
4 the hospital, and I stayed there for treatment until
5 the 1st of May, 1994. That is a bit over a year.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Now, you made
7 three statements in 1993 about the tragic events of the
8 16th of April and the deaths of your relatives. Then
9 in there you stated that you did not recognise the two
10 persons who had killed your relatives and set fire
11 to the house. You just told us that you did not dare
12 tell anyone for the sake of your own life.
13 Now my question is --
14 A. Yes, yes, that's for sure.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: On the 20th of February, '94
16 you changed your attitude and you said to the bureau of
17 the investigation for crimes against humanity in Vitez,
18 that you had recognised the -- Zoran and Mirjan
19 Kupreskic. This happened, as I say, on the 20th of
20 February, '94, while you were still in hospital.
21 Now, my question is: What prompted you to
22 change your mind? Why did you stop fearing for your
24 A. Well, let me tell you. According to the
25 Dayton Agreement that is on the cease-fire and on
1ending the war, this made me feel safer, and I thought
2 that I had no reason to fear anyone anymore. I had led
3 an honest life, I still lead an honest life, and there
4 is no need for me to hide from anyone that which is the
5 truth, and I am not afraid of anyone or anything and
6 I'm not afraid of ever stating what the truth is.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Nobody doubts that you
8 are a brave man, and in particular, that you have gone
9 through a terrible experience. However, may I remind
10 you that the Dayton Agreement was signed in '95, so
11 quite a few --
12 A. Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Later on. So my question
14 is: What happened before the 20th of February, '94,
15 which prompted you to feel safe or feel that at that
16 stage you could tell names, I mean, tell the
17 investigators or prosecutors, whatever, investigating
18 judges, the names of people you thought you had
20 A. Now I can say it quite openly. Before, I did
21 not really trust anyone. And look at us now. We're
22 sitting here and talking, and we didn't even know each
23 other a year ago. But probably I wouldn't have trusted
24 you even then in those times, to tell you the truth. I
25 didn't dare. I'm a terrified man. I was killed 70
1per cent, and I went through things that nobody has
2 gone through. I did not have the trust to.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but in this period,
4 again, this crucial period before the 20th of February,
5 '94, did you have an opportunity to talk to friends,
6 relatives, about what had happened in Ahmici on the
7 16th of April, '93? I mean, in our countries, normally
8 you have to talk, you need to talk to somebody about
9 tragic events which have occurred to you. I mean, this
10 is quite normal, to talk and to listen. So did you
11 have an opportunity to talk?
12 A. Naturally, I did talk. I talked to all of my
13 own people. I mean, when we were attacked and we were
14 attacked in such a cowardly manner, it is only natural
15 that we talked about it, but all of this was in very
16 brief terms, our hearts were wounded, and we avoid such
17 conversations. Until this very day, we try not to
18 mention these things to one another. I mean, until the
19 present day, I seek company where I can sit and talk
20 and laugh a little bit and joke a little bit, either at
21 my own expense or at your expense or at anybody's
22 expense, never mind. But I try to get a few laughs in
23 because I lost the nearest and dearest people in my
24 whole life.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you,
1Mr. Ahmic. I assume there is no objection --
2 A. Thank you too.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: -- to the witness being
5 Again, thank you so much for coming here to
6 give evidence in court. You have been of assistance to
7 the court, and we are most grateful to you. Thank
8 you. Thank you very much indeed. You may now be
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you too, and may I thank
11 all the gentlemen present here for all their
12 understanding and when they were putting questions to
13 me and when I was answering their questions, thank you
14 all very much.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz, I think we
17 have time for our next witness or your next witness,
18 who is Mr. Stevens?
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes, Mr. Stevens.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: While we are waiting for
21 Mr. Stevens, I must say that the head of the
22 interpretation unit came to see me to say that the
23 interpreters have a lot of difficulty in trying to
24 interpret particularly when Defence counsel are asking
25 questions to the witness. I am raising this issue
1because now Mr. Moskowitz will speak English with an
2 Englishman, so therefore, I hope that he will also now
3 try to stick to our rule whereby he should stop so that
4 what the witness is going to say will be translated
5 into Croatian, but this also applies to you, and I
6 really make an appeal to you. Otherwise, I understand
7 the transcript is then going to be very bad if we don't
8 wait for the answer because the interpreters can't
9 understand whether it is a question or an answer. All
11 (The witness entered court)
12 WITNESS: Charles Stevens
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon, Mr. Stevens.
14 Could you please make the solemn declaration?
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
19 Examined by Mr. Moskowitz:
20 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Could you please state your name and your
22 rank for purposes of the record?
23 A. I am Captain Charles Stevens, known as
24 Charlie Stevens.
25 Q. Captain Stevens, I can tell by your uniform
1that you are in an army. Could you tell us what army
2 you are in and give us a sense of your career and
3 background in that army?
4 A. I'm currently serving in the Royal Gloucester
5 in Wiltshire Regiment. I am a member of the British
6 army, the infantry. I have risen through the ranks. I
7 joined the army in September 1972. I have risen
8 through the ranks from private soldier to captain now,
9 my present rank.
10 Q. How old are you?
11 A. It's my birthday today. I am 42 years old.
12 Q. Good. Happy Birthday.
13 A. Thank you very much.
14 Q. Could you give us a sense of some of the
15 locations and countries that you've served while you
16 were and are in the British army for the last 22 years?
17 A. I've served a total of six years in Northern
18 Ireland, in Canada, Central America - Belize, Denmark,
19 Cyprus, and that's about it. And Bosnia, obviously.
20 Q. Yes. You mentioned Bosnia. When were you
21 deployed to Bosnia?
22 A. I arrived in Bosnia on the 13th of November,
24 Q. And what was your rank at that time?
25 A. At that time, I was the Regimental Sergeant
1Major. I was a Warrant Officer First Class.
2 Q. What is a Regimental Sergeant Major?
3 A. A Regimental Sergeant Major is the senior
4 soldier of the regiment. He is the highest rank
5 soldier a non-commission soldier can rise to. There is
6 only one in an infantry regiment.
7 Q. Now, you arrived in Bosnia in November of
8 1992. Approximately when did you leave Bosnia?
9 A. I left in May 1993.
10 Q. Could you give us a sense of what your duties
11 were and your assignment was while you were in Bosnia
12 as the Regimental Sergeant Major?
13 A. I mentioned I arrived in November and I
14 arrived two to three weeks after the advance party.
15 Initially, I was concerned that we didn't have a secure
16 base to operate from. I felt that the advance party
17 had been distracted somewhat, had lost the fact that we
18 need a safe place to work from, so initially, my duties
19 were the security of the base, the structure of the
20 base, the routine within the base, those type of
22 Q. Where was the base for the regiment set up?
23 A. The base was set up in the school in Novi
25 Q. And Novi Bila is where? If you can give us a
1sense of what city or town it's close to?
2 A. It's to the north-west of Travnik, the
3 south-west of Zenica, not over there, close to Vitez.
4 Q. Close to Vitez. By the way, what regiment
5 were you attached to back then?
6 A. I was then with the Cheshire Regiment.
7 Q. Had you come up through the ranks with the
8 Cheshire Regiment or through another regiment?
9 A. No, I came up through the ranks in the
10 Gloucester Regiment. The Cheshire Regiment did not
11 have a Warrant Officer Class 1 of their own. I was
12 offered the job and I took it.
13 Q. Is it somewhat unusual for an officer to be
14 given the regimental post of Sergeant Major of a
15 different regiment than he originally was assigned to?
16 A. It hadn't been known in my particular
17 division before.
18 Q. Now, you said part of your duties was to set
19 up the camp in Novi Bila, a place near Vitez. Did you,
20 in fact, do that, and then tell us what your duties
21 were after that?
22 A. That was my first priority, to provide a safe
23 base for the soldiers, basically. So I spent about
24 three weeks doing that. In that time, or after that
25 time, I became more concerned for the safety of Colonel
1Stewart, who -- we had never operated in an environment
2 like this before. I perceived him to be vulnerable in
3 many areas, so I then spent more time on his close
4 protection, security.
5 Q. You mentioned Colonel Stewart. Please tell
6 us who he is and was.
7 A. Colonel Stewart was the commanding officer of
8 the Cheshire Regiment.
9 Q. What was your function vis-à-vis Colonel
10 Stewart while you were in Bosnia?
11 A. My function was to provide his close
12 security, his personal security.
13 Q. How would you do that?
14 A. I would basically travel with him
15 everywhere. I travelled in the rear of his armoured
16 vehicle, and whenever he dismounted from the turret of
17 his vehicle, I would dismount from the back and provide
18 security for him.
19 Q. Now, while you were in Bosnia during this
20 tour of duty, providing security for Colonel Stewart,
21 did you have an opportunity to visit a place called
23 A. I visited Turbe on several occasions.
24 Q. Would you tell us where is Turbe and what it
25 was and what significance it had in those days?
1A. Turbe was to the west of Vitez and the west
2 of Travnik. It was the closest the Serbs had managed
3 to get to our area. It was the closest front-line with
4 the Serbs.
5 Q. Could you describe what you saw when you and
6 Colonel Stewart travelled to Turbe?
7 A. We always saw an increase in the amount of
8 forces in the area. There was always a great deal of
9 fighting going on in that area. The main impression
10 that I got was that it was an area that had more Muslim
11 forces in it than any other. If I were to put a ratio
12 to it, it was something like three-quarters Muslim
13 army, Bosnian army, and a quarter Croatian, Croat.
14 Q. Now, you said that there was fighting going
15 on at Turbe. Who was fighting against whom?
16 A. They were fighting the Serbs. The Serbs were
17 still advancing towards Turbe.
18 Q. Who was fighting the Serbs, based upon your
20 A. Based upon my observation, in the main, the
21 Bosnian Muslim army.
22 Q. Did you see much of a presence of the HVO or
23 the Croatian army in Turbe?
24 A. I didn't see a presence in terms of large
25 numbers of troops.
1Q. Did you see a presence of the HVO in other
2 areas in and around your operational area?
3 A. There was always a great number of troops in
4 Vitez area generally and other areas that were away
5 from the front-line.
6 Q. What sort of troops did you see in the Vitez
8 A. All sorts. I wasn't able to determine which
9 units they were from. Predominantly Croatian forces,
11 Q. While you were in the operational area for
12 the six months or so from November to May, do you
13 recall an incident involving the shelling of Zenica?
14 A. Yes, I do. That was towards the end of our
15 tour. I travelled an awful lot with Colonel Stewart.
16 Basically everywhere there was travel or a need, I
17 went. In the latter part of the tour, I did start to
18 lose some degree of, you know -- not orientation but
19 track of time, so it was towards the end of the tour.
20 I would say after, after the Easter break, Easter
21 holidays, when things seemed to sort of get out of
23 Q. What do you recall about the shelling of
24 Zenica, which you recall as happening towards the end
25 of your tour?
1A. I recall that on a Sunday morning, an
2 artillery piece close to our base opened fire. This
3 artillery piece had been silent for some time. Through
4 our operations room, I heard that Zenica had been
5 shelled. At this stage, at this time, there was
6 supposed to be a cease-fire in operation. I was
7 extremely angry about it.
8 Q. Why were you angry about it?
9 A. I was angry because this was a cease-fire
10 that we thought, BRITBAT thought, might hold. I was
11 angry because it was a Sunday, a religious day, and I
12 had become angry at things that I had seen throughout
13 the whole six months.
14 Q. So what did you do, if anything, after you
15 had heard that Zenica had been shelled?
16 A. Unusually, I called for another warrant
17 officer and an interpreter and left the base to find
18 the location of the gun.
19 Q. Did you have an idea of where this gun might
20 be located and who the gun belonged to?
21 A. The gun belonged to the HVO, and it was
22 between 150 -- a kilometre and a half and two
23 kilometres from our base.
24 Q. What did you then do?
25 A. I took the Sergeant Major and an interpreter
1with me to try to get close to the gun and find out if
2 there was an officer there, and for him to point out on
3 a map to me the target that he was firing at.
4 Q. Did you find an officer in the vicinity of
5 the gun?
6 A. No, I didn't. I found three or four men, all
7 who denied being in charge, and I asked them to get me
8 an officer.
9 Q. When you say three or four men, were these
11 A. They were soldiers dressed in HVO uniform
12 operating some sort of checkpoint before the gun.
13 Q. Did they allow you to go through the
14 checkpoint to examine the weapon?
15 A. No, they didn't.
16 Q. What did they tell you?
17 A. They told me that I couldn't -- I couldn't
18 see the gun, I was not to move from the position, at
19 which point I demanded that an officer come up to
20 explain what was happening.
21 Q. And then what happened?
22 A. Some 15 to 20 minutes later, an officer
23 arrived in a car. He wouldn't speak to me there, but
24 he would speak to me in a small cafe-type place further
25 away. So I got in the car with him with the other two
1people and drove off to this cafe to sit outside it and
2 get the maps out.
3 Q. What did he tell you, this soldier?
4 A. He told me through the interpreter that he
5 was a professional artillery officer, an ex-JNA, and
6 that he was firing at targets in the Brcko or Brdo
7 feature. There was a mountain there on the map. I
8 then radioed through to the ops room to try to get that
9 confirmed, and I was told there was no -- there was no
10 firing in that area.
11 Q. So you didn't believe him?
12 A. No, I didn't, no.
13 Q. How did this conversation end and what did
14 you do?
15 A. The conversation -- I did -- I thought I had
16 some sort of rapport with him. He had a bad case of
17 eczema. I had access to medical stores. So I
18 basically talked about his skin disorder, got him
19 some -- at a later point sent him some cream in the
20 hope that I could sort of -- that he would tell me what
21 targets he was firing at.
22 Q. Did he ever tell you what target he was
23 firing at?
24 A. No, he didn't.
25 Q. While you were in this operational area
1during this time period, do you recall an incident that
2 occurred in the town of Vitez involving a bomb?
3 A. I recall an incident, again round about the
4 middle of April onwards, that a petrol tanker had been
5 exploded in the Muslim part, the western part of Vitez,
6 that this tanker had been placed near what was thought
7 to be a munitions dump. I was told -- I arrived on the
8 scene the day after this explosion, and I was told by
9 local militia-type forces that two Muslims had been
10 strapped into the cab of the tanker, chained in there,
11 and the HVO fired RPG-7 rounds into the back to cause
12 the explosion.
13 Q. Did you see the effects of the explosion?
14 A. I did, yes. Massive destruction.
15 Q. This would be in what part of Vitez; do you
17 A. This would be the western part, in the
18 Muslim -- generally the Muslim side of Vitez.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: At this time, I would ask the
20 usher to show the witness the following exhibit.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Ms. Slokovic-Glumac?
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, the
23 Prosecutor is actually trying to present proof in
24 connection with events that took place after the 16th;
25 that is to say, the 18th of April and the shelling of
1Zenica at the end of April. So I think that these are
2 not circumstances that are relevant to our indictment
3 because our indictment refers to the 16th of April,
4 1993. Thank you.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Moskowitz?
6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We believe these incidents
7 are relevant on several grounds: First, there have
8 been statements from witnesses taken shortly after the
9 incident in Ahmici, and the witnesses are explaining
10 why there are some discrepancies in the statements and
11 some of those explanations involve the ongoing war and
12 the shelling of Zenica and the bombing in and around
13 the Vitez area that caused them great fear and concern,
14 and so this is being offered to demonstrate that, in
15 fact, this was going on at that time after the Ahmici
17 The incident in Ahmici is part of our
18 indictment, it's certainly the main part of our
19 indictment, but the indictment also talks about ethnic
20 cleansing throughout the Lasva Valley, and this truck
21 bomb in Vitez and the shelling in Zenica constitute
22 evidence of the greater ethnic cleansing operation.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Yes, you may
24 proceed. This is quite a convincing explanation.
25 However, I would not -- since this is not the focus of
1our case, I wonder whether you could move on quickly to
2 other questions?
3 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We will move quickly through
4 this, yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 160.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
8 Q. Captain Stevens, could you look at that
9 photograph that's been placed next to you and see if
10 you can describe what that depicts?
11 A. I can confirm that that's a picture of the
12 site of that tanker explosion. It's pretty similar on
13 all sides, so within a radius of the road, that was the
15 Q. Is this a fair and accurate portrayal of the
16 scene in the Muslim part of Zenica following the truck
17 bomb as you remember it?
18 A. Completely.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, could you also tell us
20 whether or not you personally saw any evidence of
21 ethnic cleansing in and around the British camp in Novi
22 Bila near Vitez while you were in the operational area?
23 A. Again, towards the end of the tour -- as I
24 mentioned earlier, I was quite angry with the way that
25 the situation was developing around the base. I
1regarded it as the only piece of area we could
2 protect. At this time, there seemed to be a build-up
3 of refugees on both sides of the camp, Muslims on one
4 side and Croatians on the other side. Close to the end
5 of the tour, from the Croatian side of Novi Bila, they
6 made an effort to cleanse those people that lived by
7 the side of the camp. On one occasion, they attempted
8 to -- they started an attack that would run alongside
9 the base clearing people out of their houses.
10 Q. You said "they" made an effort. Who do you
11 mean by "they"?
12 A. The local HVO forces in Novi Bila.
13 Q. How did they conduct that effort, to clean
14 out the Muslims that were located near your camp?
15 A. I came across a section of eight to ten of
16 them. It was brought to my attention by sentries close
17 to the entrance to the camp. The Muslims in that area
18 adopted a defensive-type position in a trench with the
19 one rifle that they had in that area. I went out
20 between -- I stepped into the road between both sides
21 with my hand up trying to stop them opening fire.
22 Q. And what happened?
23 A. I sent the HVO back to their previous
25 Q. Did you do anything more to try to stop this
1kind of ethnic cleansing from coming again or
3 A. Yeah. The situation at that time was -- the
4 fighting was ferocious just about everywhere in the
5 valleys around the base, and all the more senior
6 officers were involved in that. I took it upon myself
7 to produce a document that I could take to both sides
8 to try and secure a thousand-metre exclusion zone
9 around the camp, a demilitarised zone, if you like, and
10 I took that document to the local HVO group.
11 Q. What did the local HVO group tell you when
12 they saw that document?
13 A. They read it and they told me that they
14 couldn't sign it, that they would take it and check it
15 with their commanders.
16 Q. Did they say where their commanders were?
17 A. They told me they were in the Hotel Vitez.
18 Q. Was there any response back after the
19 document had been taken to the Hotel Vitez?
20 A. Some two or three days later, I went back to
21 see them, and they said they had been told not to sign
22 anything. It wasn't a U.N.-produced document; it was
23 something I produced myself.
24 Q. While you were in the operational area, did
25 you have an opportunity to visit the Ahmici area
1accompanying Colonel Stewart?
2 A. I accompanied Colonel Stewart everywhere,
3 from Maglaj, Doboj, everywhere, and Ahmici. I
4 accompanied him to Ahmici towards the end of the tour.
5 Q. Was this more than one visit or was it only
6 one visit to Ahmici?
7 A. No, I was there on at least three occasions.
8 Q. Now, on one of the occasions that you visited
9 Ahmici, do you recall finding any kind of evidence of
10 bodies or destruction that you could describe?
11 A. As we arrived in Ahmici, it was quite clear
12 that the place was totally devastated, more than I had
13 seen, and I travelled quite a bit of Central Bosnia.
14 As we moved into the village and up past the mosque
15 area, it wasn't too difficult to notice that a serious
16 attack had taken place.
17 Q. What did you see specifically that you can
18 recall when you visited Ahmici the first time?
19 A. The first time I saw, as we moved in from the
20 main road, the mosque minaret blown down onto the main
21 building. No sign of life at all. As we moved deeper
22 in and up towards the sort of north of Ahmici, there
23 was some fire still burning, some smoulders, but no one
24 -- with some firing from the north, from the higher
25 features to the north. We searched around that day.
1Q. Did you find anything?
2 A. I was called to a building by a Lance
3 Corporal Higginson because it was normal procedure for
4 me to dismount in front of the Warrior vehicle and
5 clear before them. We had been told that some
6 atrocities had taken place. I thought we were in
7 another area. We were in another area; we were in a
8 place called Jelinak. So we got to Ahmici later in the
9 afternoon. I believe that afternoon to be the day
10 after the attack.
11 Q. Do you know that for certain or is that a
12 guess on your part?
13 A. That's a guess.
14 Q. Was keeping tracks of days and time a little
15 bit difficult during this period of time for you and
16 other members of the British battalion?
17 A. It was very difficult. We were going from
18 one village to another to try and -- to try and stop
19 what was happening, basically.
20 Q. When you arrived in Ahmici that day, I think
21 you indicated that you had seen the mosque, and
22 the spire had fallen down on the mosque.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Did you have an opportunity to examine the
25 mosque for a period of time that day and come to some
1conclusions about what had caused the spire to fall?
2 A. I did have an occasion to go inside the
3 building to investigate inside where I saw a number of
4 unexploded missiles. I noticed that the minaret had
5 been, in my opinion, it had been completely blown down
6 using explosives rather than anything else.
7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Can I ask the usher at this
8 time to show the witness the following exhibit?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 161.
10 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
11 Q. Could you look at Exhibit, what has been
12 marked 161, which is a photograph placed next to you,
13 and tell us what that depicts and perhaps you can tell
14 us who took that photograph?
15 A. I took the photograph, and I took it because
16 I hadn't seen that type of munitions before. To me it
17 looked like some sort of stick-type grenade.
18 Q. Where was this photograph taken?
19 A. It was taken inside the mosque.
20 Q. This would be the mosque with the minaret
21 that was down?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Did you see any other ordinance or explosive
24 devices inside the mosque that day?
25 A. I saw another RPG-7 warhead.
1Q. What is an RPG-7 warhead?
2 A. An RPG-7 rocket is a shoulder-fired
3 anti-tank -- light anti-tank system.
4 Q. Do you recall what the inside of the mosque
5 looked like when you went in there?
6 A. The mosque had been ransacked, basically.
7 All windows smashed; just about everything in it torn
8 apart, really.
9 Q. Now, you also mentioned that you had seen the
10 minaret of the mosque was, I think your words were
11 "blown down." What did you mean by that?
12 A. I meant that in my opinion, charges were
13 placed at the bottom of that minaret to blow it down in
14 exactly the position that it was.
15 Q. What led you to that view?
16 A. As I mentioned, I travelled everywhere in
17 Central Bosnia and witnessed -- or arrived in towns and
18 cities shortly after attacks, and this was the first
19 time I had seen a minaret completely down. Most of
20 them, even in areas where heavy fighting, in the north
21 of -- in the Tuzla area and places like that, they
22 could take heavy hits and still stay up.
23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I'll ask the usher to show
24 the next photographic exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P-162.
2 Q. Captain Stevens could you look at the
3 photograph now marked 162 and tell us what that shows,
4 and whether that helps illustrate your testimony that
5 it is your view that the mosque minaret had been blown
6 down by dynamite charges?
7 A. I can confirm this is a picture of that
8 mosque, and you will see, if you look close to the
9 base, it's difficult to see on the screen, but you'll
10 see that this is reinforced with steel wires. It's a
11 very thick structure. You would have to place charges
12 against it to bring it down anyway. I believe it was
13 brought down in exactly that position to cause further
14 damage to the mosque.
15 Q. And had it been brought down in another way,
16 would it have blocked the road in or out of Upper
18 A. Yes, it would.
19 Q. Now, we've talked about the mosque during
20 your trip to Ahmici. Did you see anything else of
21 interest during that first trip into Ahmici.
22 A. On the first -- as I mentioned earlier, on
23 the first trip into Ahmici, we'd gone there because
24 there were rumours of an atrocity committed. As we
25 passed that mosque and moved further up into the
1village and up into what I've heard you refer to as
2 Upper Ahmici, as we searched through the buildings to
3 try and find some evidence of atrocity, I was called to
4 a large structured building that had two bodies in the
5 doorway, one that appeared to be a child and one that
6 was of a man in the doorway. They had both been burnt.
7 Q. Perhaps to illustrate this a little better,
8 if I could ask the usher to set up the blow-up of the
9 village of Ahmici, and then ask the witness, with the
10 pointer in front of him, to show the route that they
11 took through the village that day, and where the house
12 was where those bodies were found.
13 A. I believe this large house to be -- this one
15 Q. And this is just your best estimate, you're
16 not certain?
17 A. It may have been further up here. It was on
18 this side of the road.
19 Q. Could you show us, perhaps, the route that
20 you took that day to get to that part of Ahmici where
21 you found those charred bodies?
22 A. The route we took that day, we were
23 travelling this way down the valley road, and we turned
24 right in towards -- past the mosque and up this main
25 route here. We drove as far as we could, but the
1armoured vehicles, it was very difficult, so we then
2 dismounted and started to look around these houses here
3 for signs of bodies and atrocities.
4 Q. And this would be, just for purposes of the
5 record, in an area that is known, I guess as Upper
6 Ahmici, past the spot marked "Upper Mosque", would that
7 be accurate?
8 A. That would be, yeah.
9 Q. And you say you found some burned bodies.
10 Could you describe a little more what you found?
11 A. We found -- on the steps of this house we
12 found a small child's body, and in the hallway and in
13 the doorway the body of an adult man. On further
14 investigating around that building, in the cellar we
15 found the bodies of another adult -- at least one other
16 adult and a number of children.
17 Q. And if I could ask the usher to show the
18 witness previously admitted Exhibits 17 and 22.
19 Captain Stevens, this is previously admitted
20 Exhibit 17. Could you tell us what that shows?
21 A. This shows us the picture of the adult male
22 in the hallway of his house.
23 Q. Is this one of the charred bodies that you
24 had found on the day you visited to Ahmici, as you just
1A. Yes, it was.
2 Q. Could you show Exhibit 22 now please? Thank
4 And what does Exhibit 22 show?
5 A. This shows the body of a child on the steps
6 leading up into that building.
7 Q. And again, are these the bodies that you
8 found outside that house on that day?
9 A. Yes, they are.
10 Q. And did you go inside the house?
11 A. I didn't go into the upper level of the
12 house, I went around the back into the cellar.
13 Q. And what did you see there?
14 A. I saw the bodies of a -- at least another
15 male and several small children, two to three children.
16 Q. In what conditions were these bodies?
17 A. They were burnt.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you, while you were in Ahmici
19 that day, have an opportunity to look around a little
20 bit and observe things, in addition to what you've
21 already described?
22 A. Yeah. We arrived there in the afternoon and
23 spent some time in this upper part when we found that
24 particular house. It was getting dark. It was clear
25 that there may be a risk of mines or any other
1booby-trap devices, so we quickly looked through the
2 other buildings. And I went down into this area.
3 Q. Now, pointing to an area, for purposes of the
4 record, near the centre of the map where there's a big
5 white space. Would that be accurate?
6 A. That's right. I did spot someone down in
7 this area with a -- someone moving around in there
8 caught my eye.
9 Q. This is not a person with the British
11 A. No. This was a person in half military
12 uniform and half civilian.
13 Q. Did you approach this individual?
14 A. Yeah. I basically went in sort of a wide
15 half circle behind him.
16 Q. Was he carrying a weapon, this individual?
17 A. He was carrying an AK-47.
18 Q. Were you able to have some sort of
19 conversation with this person?
20 A. My recollections were that this person called
21 himself Dragan, and he told me, by drawing in the dirt
22 on the ground, that he'd killed 32 Muslim men.
23 Q. How did he tell you this? How did he convey
24 this information?
25 A. "Muslim man," was how they spoke about the
1Muslim men. He made a hand across his throat and drew
2 it into the ground.
3 Q. What do you mean by "hand across his throat"?
4 A. A slashing.
5 Q. What did you take that to mean?
6 A. I took it that he was bragging to me that
7 either then or in his past he'd killed 32 Muslim men.
8 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Just to be, I guess,
9 absolutely clear as to where this person was, as best
10 you can recall, I would ask the usher to provide the
11 witness with the following exhibit.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit P-163.
13 MR. MOSKOWITZ:
14 Q. Now, Captain Stevens, could you look at
15 Exhibit 163 and see if you recognise that.
16 A. I recognise this area as the-- can people see
18 Q. If you use your pointer on the machine, I
19 think it's easier for people to see on the television.
20 A. I recognise -- this area here is where I
21 first saw this person moving around.
22 Q. Could you perhaps draw -- take one of those
23 markers in front of you, an orange one might show up
24 pretty well, and draw just a circle in the area where
25 you recall talking to this individual?
1Do you recall anything else that he said to
2 you that day, this person who called himself Dragan?
3 A. No, I don't. I just recall that -- I just
4 got the impression, and I really don't know why, that
5 he lived somewhere close by here.
6 Q. Now, in addition to the things you've already
7 mentioned, did you see any other signs of either a
8 battle or an attack, or of a -- anything else to
9 indicate that -- what had gone on in Ahmici?
10 A. There was a lot of expended cartridges.
11 Generally 762, which is the AK ammunition, short
13 Q. Do you have a recollection of where these
14 cartridges tended to be found?
15 A. Generally around the houses.
16 Q. Speaking about the houses, can you describe
17 the condition of the houses in Ahmici that you saw when
18 you arrived there the first time?
19 A. What I saw was virtually the whole village
20 burnt and sacked. To me it looked like a systematic
21 sacking of the village.
22 Q. Were you able to draw any conclusions, as a
23 professional soldier for 22 years in the British army,
24 as to what, in fact, had happened in Ahmici?
25 A. As I mentioned earlier, I've travelled with
1Colonel Stewart everywhere, to all the lines in various
2 places in Central Bosnia, and seen some horrendous
3 scenes at that time. This was the first time that I'd
4 seen a village totally destroyed virtually.
5 Q. Was it your view, as a professional soldier,
6 that what had happened in Ahmici was a battle, or was
7 it your view, as a professional soldier, that, in fact,
8 something else happened in Ahmici?
9 A. In my opinion, it was definitely not a
10 battle, it was an operation to remove the Muslim
11 inhabitants of the village.
12 Q. And, again, what led you to that conclusion?
13 A. Houses still good structured, wealthy owners'
14 houses still intact. As ballpark estimate, we -- any
15 four-sided roof type building we regarded as Muslim,
16 although that wasn't always generally true. But what
17 we regarded a Muslim house was burnt or ransacked in
18 that area, and the others weren't.
19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, I note the
20 hour. I don't know if we're continuing past 5.00. I
21 do have another area to get into.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Actually, I was wondering
23 whether you had many more questions.
24 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I have another area to get
25 into that will involve a videotape and some
1photographs, questions that may take a little time.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we'll adjourn
3 now until tomorrow at 9.30 sharp.
4 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.00
5 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday, the
6 16th day of September, 1998 at 9:30 a.m.