1 Tuesday, 26th January, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours,
5 IT-95-16-T. The Prosector versus Zoran Kupreskic,
6 Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic,
7 Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning. We
9 resume with the examination-in-chief of Mr. Grebenar.
10 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
11 WITNESS: DRAGAN GREBENAR (Cont'd)
12 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
13 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning.
14 We stopped yesterday with the order or report that you
15 got from the guards and why you went to visit Ms. Marin
16 Papic to see what this was all about.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. After that you called Mario Cerkez and then
19 after some time he called you back and you received
20 information to remain on watch?
21 A. Yes. I didn't speak to Mario, I spoke to the
22 person on duty at the command office. Mario called me
23 back later.
24 Q. What did you do after that, after you
25 received this information?
1 A. After talking to Mario and his advice to
2 continue with our watch, that there were some reports
3 that even he wasn't sure about on how truthful or
4 reliable they were, so to continue with our watch.
5 Then with the two men who woke me up, I agreed with
6 them for one of them to go towards the upper part of
7 the village, one to tour the central part of the
8 village, and then I went to the lower part of the
9 village to see if the men who were on watch were still
10 there, and to make sure that they remained there,
11 because the guard was supposed to stay there until
12 5.00. So the watch would stop at 5.00.
13 We agreed to look for these men and to stay
14 with them for some time to see.
15 Q. Your watches went on until 5.00 a.m.; is that
17 A. Yes. At that time, they were from 9.00 in
18 the evening 'til 5.00 a.m. It was some kind of
19 internal agreement. The Muslim watches too went on
20 from 9.00 in the evening 'til 5.00 in the morning.
21 Q. Did anything happen in the village at that
23 A. Nothing unusual. I went towards the lower
24 part of the village and when I got there to look for
25 the men who were on watch, I didn't find them on the
1 road or around the houses, but at that time you could
2 already hear shooting from the direction of Vitez, from
3 Mahala. So you could hear shooting already at that
4 time. So I went into the house of one of the men and I
5 found the other two men who were supposed to be on
6 watch. They had finished their shift. They were
7 drinking coffee. So there was no point in them going
8 to bed any more. So they just sat down to have some
10 I told them, well, there is shooting coming
11 from the direction of Vitez and Ahmici, we would really
12 need to go out to see what was going on. So that's
13 what we did.
14 Q. Did you evacuate the civilians at that time?
15 Did you tell them to go to shelters?
16 A. No. At that time, no. We felt there was
17 still no need to do that. We weren't aware of what was
18 going to happen or whether anything was going to
19 happen. The civilians were still asleep. I didn't
20 even go to my house to see my wife, my children, my
21 mother, my father. They were all sleeping at the
23 It was only around 7.00 or 8.00 people
24 started to get up. The detonations, the shooting
25 became louder, and then it became obvious that
1 something really serious was happening. So as people
2 started to wake up, they started to go to cellars.
3 Q. When did the shooting begin in the village,
4 and from what side?
5 A. The shooting in the village -- well, the
6 shelling started first. The shelling in the lower part
7 of the village around my house, and then underneath,
8 below my house. There was also a warehouse of
9 construction material there, so this seemed to be a
10 good orientation point because all the Croatian houses
11 were around that warehouse. So the shells started to
12 fall sometime before 9.00 a.m., around 9.00 a.m. a
13 couple of shells dropped. And then shortly after that
14 you could hear artillery from the direction of Vrhovine
15 and Prnjavor. It was sporadic, nothing --
16 Q. So which weapons, what kind of firing was
18 A. In the beginning there were shells and then
19 infantry weapons. I'm not a military expert, it's hard
20 to tell, but as time went on I could notice that these
21 were some more powerful weapons because then they
22 started to hit us from Sljivcica, Tolovici, Vjetrenica,
23 Vrhovine, I don't think this could have been done with
24 just regular automatic rifles. It had to have been a
25 range of at least 1.000 or 1.500 metres. So I assumed
1 there were more powerful weapons such as brownings or
2 machine guns.
3 Q. The shelling, which direction did the shells
4 come from?
5 A. Well, to us, it seemed that they came from
6 every direction. When the shelling began, depending on
7 where everywhere was, and since we didn't have any kind
8 of organised defence, we had no trenches, no defence
9 line in the village. It was impossible to structure
10 that. So simply people would come out of their houses
11 and they would take some kind of defensive position.
12 I tried from the lower part of the village to
13 the central part, all the way to the upper part of the
14 village at around 9.00, 9.30, I tried to go and tour
15 all of the positions to see what was going on, whether
16 there were any wounded people, because the grenades
17 were falling. I heard that there was one person that
18 was wounded, but it turned out to be just a scratch on
19 his neck. It was a young man, so we bandaged him.
20 Q. Could you please show us on the map where the
21 shelling came from. You mentioned Sljivcica, Vrhovine,
22 Vjetrenica, Tolovici.
23 A. Yes. I didn't respond fully where the shells
24 came from. I just wanted to say that when I went from
25 one group to another, so in the lower part of the
1 village they were saying we are getting shelled on from
2 Sljivcica. When I got to the centre of the village
3 they said the grenades are coming from Vrhovine. The
4 upper part of the village was saying that the shells
5 were coming from Preocica and Tolovici. So it was very
6 hard at that time to determine where the shells came
7 from. But they had grenade launchers also from the
8 direction of Tolovici where the Muslims were after the
9 Serbs left. I can show you this on the map. Will you
10 be able to hear me?
11 So Poculica is here. So from here from the
12 direction of Tolovici, the direction of Vrhovine, and
13 then in that part. So towards Barin Gaj, since this is
14 an inhabited area, this is where the forest is, and the
15 mortars were probably from the forest and from the
16 lower part of the village. Then from Vjetrenica, but I
17 can't see it here on the map, Preocica should be
18 somewhere around here. Then Tolovici is right here
19 from the lower part of the -- of Tolovici, as far as we
20 could tell. Sljivcica, it's not very easy to see, but
21 it's there. It's close to Sivrino Selo. That's where
22 Sljivcica should be. There's a kind of elevation
23 there, a hill, and it's an elevation, a dominant point
24 as compared to the village.
25 So this is where the mortar shelling came
1 from and machine gun fire. I'm not sure whether it
2 could have been mortar shelling from there.
3 Q. Did the shelling start also from the back
4 besides the shelling that you are describing now? Was
5 there any shooting in the village between the upper and
6 the lower part of the village, perhaps, or did this not
7 happen at that time?
8 A. At that time, so this was probably some time
9 between 9.00 and 9.30 in the morning, there was no
10 direct fighting in the village itself. It all came at
11 a distance. They were shelling us from a distance.
12 And then at around 9.30 in the central part of the
13 village, where we -- there was one Muslim house there,
14 two or three Croatian, and then a Muslim. So this was
15 the mixed part of the village. Then the son of Hasim
16 Krehic, I think his name was Hamid or Ahmed, I'm not
17 sure about his first name. At about 9.30 he came with
18 an automatic machine gun and he went towards the upper
19 part of the village, towards the mosque. And since the
20 Croats were there in front of their houses with guns
21 also, there were neighbours, so there were old Croatian
22 houses around this house. I asked him, "Where are you
23 going?" And he said, "I am afraid I don't know what's
24 going on, so I am going up there to see what's
1 In the meantime, going around the village
2 with another two men, I came by that place and he said
3 he was going to the upper part of the village to
4 shoot. And I said, "Well, it wouldn't be good for you
5 to go up there with that rifle, because you could fire
6 at us from there. There is no problem, you can leave
7 your rifle and then go up there and see what's going
8 on, and see if there is anybody there that we could
9 talk to, because this is something that seems to be
10 serious, and I don't think that things will turn out
11 well." He did seem afraid, and he thought about it for
12 a little while. He was standing there with his rifle.
13 He was afraid to go there and he was afraid to stay.
14 So this is what I could tell. This was a
15 young man, he was maybe 18, and I knew him. So he
16 trusted us. But he was afraid, simply afraid.
17 In the meantime, Abaz Causevic came by and
18 asked us what's going on. "They are saying up there
19 that the army has arrived and the Mujahedins are taking
20 your people to Prnjavor, and they told everybody that
21 they will kill one person every five minutes unless
22 Hasim gets up there, because they received information
23 up there that we had killed Hasim's son, so they wanted
24 to take revenge."
25 And I said, but Abaz, you can see that this
1 young man is here and he has a rifle and we are just
2 discussing what the best thing is to do. We talked.
3 "He can go, he can leave the rifle here, but we don't
4 want to let him go up there if he is going to shoot
5 against us. So he can go, he can leave the rifle, he
6 can leave the rifle at his house, go there with you,
7 Abaz, and see if you can do something."
8 Then I also asked Abaz, "Well, is this really
9 war, what's the situation up there?" And he just waved
10 his hand and he said, "Well, I am in a hurry now. I
11 want to take him up there and I'll come back later and
12 we'll try to do something." Abaz would participate in
13 our talks before. He was a person whom it was possible
14 to talk to. So that's what happened, the two of them
15 went up there together.
16 Then after half an hour, I don't know the
17 military expressions, but I think a frontal attack, I
18 think that's what it's called, started from the area of
19 the mosque, also the infantry from the direction of
20 Vjeternice, Preocica. They came, they were
21 approaching, they were capturing our houses, and you
22 could hear stronger firing. So I found out about all
23 of this because my neighbours, my Croatian neighbours,
24 who were there around there houses had escaped, and
25 they came to the lower part of the village. This is
1 what they told me. They said it was chaos up there, it
2 was full of the army. They were shooting. So they
3 simply fled to the lower part of the village.
4 Q. Please tell us, at the time the attacks
5 started from the upper part of the village, did you see
6 Muslim civilians in the houses?
7 A. When Ahmid went to the upper part of the
8 village, after that I went up there up to maybe just
9 below the mosque, and that's where my people were
10 around their houses. So coming back from there I saw a
11 man called Pektas, he was in front of his home with his
12 wife. I said, "Well, neighbour, what's happening?" And
13 then later, at about 11.30, when Anto Jurecevic was
14 wounded above the mosque, he was a civilian, he was
15 going to his barn to feed his cattle, so he was wounded
16 while he was coming out of the barn.
17 So some people brought him to the central
18 part of the village. We took him. And the shooting
19 was much, much stronger at that time. It was going on
20 in between the houses. And that's where I saw Pektas
21 and his wife. They had been in the cellar. And when
22 we came by, they came out and they were asking,
23 "Neighbour, what's happening? Is this possible?" They
24 were asking about Anto, how is he, was he seriously
1 Q. Did you manage to get in contact with anybody
2 regarding the wounded person? Were the telephone lines
4 A. Yes. I managed to get in touch with the
5 headquarters. I had the number of the headquarters,
6 but it was very difficult to get through because it was
7 busy all the time. I think this was the communication
8 centre. So I had some kind of -- I had a number of one
9 of the people on duty there, and I said that there was
10 chaos in Poculica. I had a wounded person and would
11 somebody tell me what to do, what was going on. We
12 simply weren't prepared for any of that. We didn't
13 know what to do.
14 So then they said that they would try to send
15 an ambulance or some kind of vehicle. And this is what
16 happened, I think sometime before 11.30. Even though
17 already at that time in Dubravica on the road, the
18 Muslim army was there near Sivrino Selo, because when
19 the driver came he said they -- I had problems getting
20 through, and I told them there was a wounded person in
21 question. But I don't know whether they were going to
22 let me go back. So he couldn't get all the way to the
23 upper part of the village in his vehicle, because he
24 had to leave it in the lower part, because there was a
25 lot of shooting already. So then we took the wounded
1 person in between the houses to the lower part of the
2 village. We put him in the ambulance and he was
3 transported to Vitez.
4 Q. When you say that you could see the Muslim
5 army near Dubravica, what did the driver of the
6 ambulance tell you? Was this towards the road, in the
7 direction of the road? Could you please indicate to us
8 where Dubravica is?
9 A. Here, on this map, Dubravica is here
10 (indicating) but we call that lower Dubravica because
11 that's a separate road which leads to Tolovici, but
12 there is upper Dubravica as well, and that is this road
13 which goes straight to Poculica. So all the inhabited
14 places are here, as far as I can see, so this is the
15 Dubravica that I'm talking about, upper Dubravica, and
16 then Sivrino Selo is there and then Sljivcica, and they
17 were right here. They came up to this part of
18 Dubravica, upper Dubravica, and the other place is
19 called Donja Dubravica, lower Dubravica, or Krizancevo
20 Selo. So this is a different road that goes through
21 Donja Dubravica to Krizancevo Selo towards Tolovici, so
22 this is a dead-end road. And then this is the other
23 road that goes straight to Zenica.
24 Q. Could you please tell us if you saw the army
25 in the village? Did you see soldiers? What kind of
1 insignia did they have or did you just shoot blindly?
2 A. I wasn't shooting at that time, and I didn't
3 see anybody to shoot at then. In the lower part of the
4 village, the only thing that we could shoot in -- I
5 mean, we didn't really see. They were shooting from
6 quite a distance, so we didn't have strong weapons to
7 shoot as far as Sljivcica, and you couldn't see
9 But the people in the upper part of the
10 village had close encounters. The people who escaped
11 had said that they had seen the Mujahedin and people
12 they hadn't seen until that time. They had various
13 uniforms, camouflage uniforms, black uniforms, and
14 there were even some who had scarves wrapped around
15 their heads, and according to what they said, and they
16 were afraid so they could have exaggerated, but from
17 the talks we had with them, they said there were at
18 least three or four different kinds of uniforms.
19 Q. What happened at 12.00?
20 A. In around 12.00, I was again in the lower
21 part of the village, and I was going around visiting
22 all the civilians. I was trying to encourage them. I
23 don't even remember what exactly we were doing. We
24 weren't quite sure what to do. We weren't doing
25 anything radical.
1 Before that, at around 11.30 when I was in
2 the central part of the village, Krehic Asim, the young
3 man had come back, the one who had gone up there. I
4 was maybe a couple of houses below, and then somebody
5 came and said, "Krehic is looking for you," Hamed or
6 Ahmed, I'm not sure of the name. She said, "He's come
7 back and he's asking about you. He's looking for you,"
8 and this other guy who is with me, Jura, I think.
9 So we went up there together, and I asked
10 him, "What's going on?" This young man was really
11 scared. There were tears in his eyes. He said,
12 "Dragan, I really don't know what's going on, but it's
13 full of the army and the Mujahedin up there. The army
14 has arrived from Zenica. They're taking your people to
15 Prnjavor. They've been captured, and they're preparing
16 to take the village, to kill everybody, to burn it."
17 His voice was shaking, and I said, "Well, is there
18 anyone there that we could talk to? What did you tell
19 them?" And he said, "No, there's nobody there. Nobody
20 amongst us is being asked anything."
21 Then I asked him, "Why did you come to see
22 me? What did you want? What can you tell me? What
23 can you convey to me?" And he said, "Well, I don't
24 even know myself. I just wanted to tell you. I mean,
25 I don't know what I wanted to tell you, but I just
1 wanted you to know about all of this." And then he
2 turned around and went back.
3 So then from what he told me, from what he
4 did, I could really see that something serious was
5 about to happen, that it wasn't some kind of game, and
6 I became more afraid then. Then I went to the lower
7 part of the village to see where everybody was, to see
8 what was happening there. And then at about 12.00, we
9 could hear either the -- we could hear the Hodza
10 saying, "Croats, you have about five minutes to
11 surrender or there will be a massacre something to that
12 effect. So we had this deadline of five
13 minutes. "Croats, you have five minutes to surrender
14 or there will be slaughter."
15 So panic broke out at that time. Everybody
16 was afraid. The civilians were in cellars. Some of
17 them were already in the woods near the stream. A lot
18 of civilians stayed in their homes. We didn't know
19 anything. I was going around trying to meet as many of
20 my people as possible to see what we could do. The
21 majority that I spoke to said, "Well, there's no
22 question of surrender. Did you manage to get in
23 contact with Vitez? What's going on elsewhere?" And I
24 said, "Well, I couldn't reach anybody else in the
25 command. I called about the car and we sent Anto
1 away," and so on. They said, "Well try again."
2 Then I tried to telephone again. I reached
3 the communications centre. I thanked them for the car,
4 and I asked them if they had information whether the
5 ambulance had passed and managed to get to Vitez. They
6 said that they didn't have this information. They
7 would check. They also said that, "We have an
8 ultimatum from the mosque that we have five minutes to
9 surrender, and we have no idea what to do. Is there
10 anything that you could do?"
11 The person that I spoke to from
12 communications, I don't know who was on the phone,
13 things were crazy, we had no time to introduce
14 ourselves, he only said, "Well, UNPROFOR is here right
15 now, and they're going to come to the dividing lines,
16 and then I will convey to the people who are talking
17 there now that they should try to send UNPROFOR
19 Then maybe around 12.30, it wasn't that long,
20 we could hear from upper Dubravica that transporters
21 were approaching and there was celebration. We were
22 very happy. And two UNPROFOR APCs arrived at that
23 warehouse that I mentioned. I ran there with another
24 colleague who could speak French a little bit, and I
25 learned a little bit of English in school, so in our
1 bad English and French, we tried, because they were
2 just standing there on the road. So we were behind a
3 bank because we couldn't really come out onto the road
4 because this was from the direction of Jatrenica,
5 Sljivcica, and Vrhovine. It was a clearing, so we were
6 standing on the bank behind some bushes. We were
7 peeking out from there, and we were trying to tell them
8 to move ahead.
9 One of the soldiers had opened the APC door
10 at the top and he looked out, and he was asking us,
11 indicating with his hands, what's going on, and then in
12 English, I spoke English, "Please come here," and for
13 him to go forward about 500 metres, and I hoped to God
14 that they would reach the upper part of the village so
15 that there could be some kind of dividing line
16 established and that shooting could stop, but he just
17 kept on shaking his hand. And then a shell fell some
18 15 metres away from the APC, and we hid behind the
19 bushes and the bank. They turned the APCs around in
20 the direction of Vitez, and they left. So they never
21 reappeared in the village while we were there.
22 Q. What happened after that? Did you evacuate
23 civilians then?
24 A. Well, not yet. That was, perhaps, around
25 1.00, 2.00. I don't know. We were afraid. I really
1 have no idea. I was running up and down, and I even
2 had two holes in my trousers. Perhaps a bullet had
3 grazed me or something, but in that moment, you
4 couldn't really be aware of the danger involved.
5 Around 2.00 or 2.30, we were pushed away to
6 such an extent, these Croats around their houses, that
7 they came exactly to the dividing line where the last
8 Muslim house was, that is, the middle part of the
9 village, and our line was below that house. That was
10 around 2.00 or 2.30. So we talked then and we said,
11 "There's nothing to wait for anymore. We can try to
12 organise things. What do we do with the women,
13 children, the elderly? And we could also try to
14 withdraw after they had withdrawn."
15 In peaceful times, there were such
16 discussions, what should be done in the case of
17 emergencies, heaven forbid, so either to Mahala or to
18 Krizancevo Selo, those were the two options.
19 Q. What's the first place you mentioned? It's
20 called Krtina Mahala?
21 A. Yes, yes. The place is called Krtina
22 Mahala. We thought that perhaps we could go through
23 that village and forest. There's a creek here, and
24 this is where Krtina Mahala is, approximately; however,
25 on this side (indicating), there was a forest too and a
1 creek that went through Gornja Dubravica, and it went
2 through the forest here to Krizancevo Selo, rather, to
3 Donja Dubravica; however, at that time, none of these
4 roads seemed safe, nor did we believe that we could
5 pull it off.
6 This is Krizancevo Selo (indicating) and then
7 Sljivcica. You could see the forest from down there,
8 but we had to go through Sljivcica, perhaps about 200
9 metres as the crow flies, so we were aware of the fact
10 that they could hit us with a rifle, a mere rifle, and
11 Sljivcica is over here (indicating). In addition to
12 that, we would have to go on this side towards
13 Vrhovine, and that is where there were far more of
15 For about half an hour or so, we were running
16 about, trying to reach an agreement with the civilians
17 too, talking to people who were older, more
18 experienced, wiser, and we sought their advice, and
19 then we finally decided that we would withdraw towards
20 Krizancevo Selo. This was, perhaps, around 3.00, and
21 we agreed that we would go from house to house so that
22 we would be moving from the last Muslim house in the
23 village. So up there, we had no chance to go back
24 because they had already reached -- I mean, the Muslim
25 army had got into the village.
1 Q. Were there any Croats in the upper part of
2 the village?
3 A. Well, believe me, at that time, I did not
4 know. I knew in the morning or, rather, around 11.30
5 when this young man Krehic came back and Abaz too.
6 They said, "Well, you know, there are quite a few
7 military people up there from the outside, and they got
8 quite a few of your people." And then the young man
9 said after that, "Well, they've rallied all the Croats
10 and they've picked them up, and they've taken them to
11 Prnjavor," but I didn't know how many people were
12 actually involved in this.
13 We tried to see whether there were many
14 people staying in houses, and we remembered an elderly
15 woman who lived on her own, and two men went to pick
16 her up. She didn't even manage to get to the shelter
17 on her own. There was one shelter in my house until
18 around 11.00. I have a two-story house. There are
19 these big concrete slabs, and I also had a heating
20 system for central heating, and there was a furnace
21 there. This was a pretty big shelter, about 25 square
22 metres, and about 15 of my neighbours, women and
23 children included, were there.
24 However, later when they started shelling my
25 house more intensely and when the barn was hit and when
1 the windows burst on the house, then we had to evacuate
2 from my house even to the lower part of the village, to
3 other people's places. And then around 3.00 or 3.30
4 already, we started sending civilians to this creek
5 here (indicating), here (indicating) and --
6 Q. Towards Krizancevo Selo?
7 A. Yes, towards Krizancevo Selo. So I was at
8 that house. We were in Brankovic's basement. That's
9 where my family was staying too, my mother, my father,
10 my wife, my two children, my sister-in-law also with
11 two children, and the elderly neighbours, the
12 Jurcevics, the Knezevics, and there is a clearing there
13 about 100 metres, and then you reach the forest. Then
14 about 50 metres away is a creek, and then that creek
15 goes to Krizancevo Selo.
16 At that point, Vlado Ramljak came to see me,
17 and he said, "Dragan, I've come to get you or somebody
18 else too, but they sent me. I was taken prisoner, my
19 wife was taken prisoner, my two sons too, so we are all
20 being held captive in Prnjavor. They sent me to look
21 for some of you guys to come up there to negotiate
22 because the house in Prnjavor is full of our people,
23 and they're asking for your surrender."
24 Q. What is this house in Prnjavor? What is the
25 house you're referring to?
1 A. Oh, the house, the house before the war was
2 called the youth house. That is where dances were held
3 in the evening. For example, in Poculica, it was at
4 the elementary school, and I remember when I was head
5 of the youth organisation in the village, I remember in
6 the evening, we would organise dances there. So in
7 Prnjavor, there was this house called the youth house,
8 and that's where there was a shop on one side, and on
9 this other side, there was this big hall for the young
10 people where they would have dances in the evening.
11 Vlado said to me that they told him that if
12 he didn't come back, they would kill all the rest of
13 his family and that he would have to bring some of us
14 to negotiate, and I said to Vlado, "No problem
15 whatsoever. I'm here, and we'll try to get somebody
16 else. As we move towards the central part of the
17 village where our people are around the houses, we will
18 try to talk to somebody else too and see what the best
19 thing to do would be, but now let us just evacuate the
21 Actually, these few people who had some kind
22 of weapons, some kind of rifles, we had already sent
23 them off with the civilians so that there wouldn't be
24 an ambush or something. We were quite discouraged. We
25 were frightened. We were afraid that from Sljivcica or
1 Gornja Dubravica they would cut off our road, and this
2 was only about 100 metres away. I mean, the creek was
3 about 100 metres away from the road, so it could easily
4 have been expected for them to come down and to take
5 all these civilians prisoner.
6 The civilians went towards the forest, and
7 Vlado and I went towards the central part of the
8 village along this road that leads to the main road.
9 So he moved onto the main road, but then I thought that
10 I wouldn't take the main road, that I would walk
11 between the houses because my own house was up there
13 Our dog was still there, it was still tied
14 up, and also the cattle were there. My wife had left
15 only with a little shopping bag with our children's
16 things because we thought, "Well, come on, we'll be
17 coming back in an hour or two," but what happened
18 happened, and everybody only had their bare
19 necessities, their IDs, their documents. I mean, that
20 is how people left the village, those who managed to
21 leave, that is. I wanted to let my cattle go. The
22 barn had already been hit, but there was a concrete
23 roof so the cattle hadn't been hurt in any way.
24 As we were moving along, there was such a lot
25 of shooting directed at me and Vlado that you couldn't
1 believe it. It was a macadam road. It wasn't an
2 asphalt road. It was terrible. There were bullets
3 flying around us, rocks, stones. Vlado ran towards the
4 main road, and I turned to the left.
5 I stopped by the Jurcevic house, those are my
6 next door neighbours, and then I heard shooting, but
7 the bullets weren't flying around us anymore, and all
8 of this was about 100 metres away from me. The forest
9 was there, and I heard women and children screaming.
10 Then I realised that this somebody who was shooting
11 from Sljivcica was not aiming at Vlado and me any
12 longer, but they had turned their guns towards the
13 civilians because probably he had seen them as they
14 were passing over that clearing I mentioned, and then
15 they started shooting at them in the forest.
16 I tried to run from that house to my own
17 house, this is about 50 metres, and then I thought
18 Vlado would take the right-hand side of the road and
19 I'd take the left-hand side of the road between the
20 houses so nothing would happen. But what happened? I
21 was wounded as I was running that way. I really don't
22 know how come. At first, I had lost consciousness
23 perhaps for 15 or 20 minutes, and I didn't even know
24 how I was wounded, so I'm not sure, but I know that
25 this didn't last long because I managed to catch up
1 with the civilians later on, the ones I had dispatched
3 Q. Where were you wounded?
4 A. You mean in terms of my body? I was wounded
5 in the right part of my shoulder blade, and also part
6 of my right ear was torn off, and then also there were
7 some small shrapnel pieces that hit my face and my leg;
8 however, my right shoulder blade was the biggest
9 problem I had. I was even operated on about ten days
10 later and the shrapnel was taken out, and I felt sharp
11 pain there. I was afraid.
12 When I regained consciousness, I simply felt
13 as if I had no legs, as if my legs had been cut off. I
14 tried to crawl to my neighbour's house, they are
15 practically next door, only a few metres away, and then
16 I thought, "Well, if I manage to crawl to his house,
17 I'll crawl to my own house, and perhaps there I will be
18 able to find the simplest way of committing suicide."
19 I simply was not prepared to surrender alive to these
20 Mujahedin, these Muslim forces.
21 Then I started thinking, "What would be the
22 simplest way of killing myself if I didn't have any
23 legs left?" I remembered a boy who had committed
24 suicide earlier on by throwing himself on a hand
25 grenade, and I thought, "Oh, my God, I wish I had a
1 grenade." Then I looked around and I saw that my legs
2 were still there, and I tried to get up, and it was a
3 miracle. I managed to get up and I didn't feel any
4 pain in my legs. So there was blood all over me and I
5 ran down to the forest in the same direction at which
6 the civilians had gone. I found two or three elderly
7 people who were there and they were so excited, one of
8 them was a heart patient, one of them had asthma, so
9 they were sitting there and resting up a bit.
10 When they saw me, they said, "Oh, what
11 happened?" The young men who had already escaped to
12 the forest from their own houses, and they wanted to
13 proceed with the civilians, they bandaged my wounds a
14 bit there and they washed off some of the blood,
15 because I asked them to get the blood off my face,
16 because I knew that I had to hurry. I had to see these
17 civilians, and who could carry me, because this was a
18 forest and it was a difficult terrain, water, rocks, et
19 cetera. It was hard for me to pass by my own children
20 and my mother and my wife, all bloody.
21 So they washed my face a bit, they bandaged
22 my wounds a bit, and I proceeded with another one. So
23 we practically ran in order to catch up with them. We
24 tried to get there as soon as we could, to Krizancevo
25 Selo, so that they could transfer me to a clinic
1 because I was bleeding pretty heavily and I was afraid
2 that I would bleed --
3 Q. All right. When you reached Krizancevo Selo,
4 it was the afternoon, right?
5 A. Yes, that's right. It was the evening,
6 around 5.30 or 6.00. I'm not sure.
7 Q. At that time did you find out that the
8 Croats, a certain number of Croats were taken prisoner
9 in Poculica?
10 A. Not at that point. Not yet. Because when I
11 came to Krizancevo Selo, they took me to Vitez in a car
12 to this war clinic. They cleaned my wounds, they
13 bandaged them, they gave me some medicine, and they
14 wanted me to spend the night there. And I asked them,
15 that if there was no special treatment that was to be
16 administered to me, that I would like to go back to
17 Krizancevo Selo. I didn't know where my brother was,
18 where my neighbours were, where my wife and children
19 had ended up. So I said that I would like to go back.
20 And they let me go. They said, "No problem
21 whatsoever." They had given me some shots and they
22 gave me some pills and they said, "If things get worse,
23 try to get someone with a vehicle to bring you back."
24 So then I returned to Krizancevo Selo, and as
25 we were coming in we started to talk and I found my
1 wife and my children in a house there. There was a
2 total of 42 persons there who had sought refuge.
3 Forty-two. So I spent the night sitting in a chair
4 and, you know, people had children sitting in their
5 laps, and my mother and father were there and my uncle
6 and my aunt and my wife, but my aunt and uncle were
7 staying in a house next door. And most of my own folk
8 coming in heard that I was wounded and they wanted to
9 see me.
10 So then I managed to collect some information
11 from them too. I realised that quite a few of our
12 people had remained behind, somebody mentioned 100
13 people, women, children. However, later on it was
14 realised that in Poculica there were about 70 Croats
15 who remained prisoner. All of them were taken to
16 Prnjavor, some of them to the house, the youth house,
17 and some to the local Muslim houses.
18 Ninety per cent of all the cases it was the
19 Mujahedins who had taken them prisoner. They simply
20 took them prisoner, just like that, and they would take
21 them to a Muslim house and they'd tell the owner of the
22 house, they would say, "Close the downstairs floor and
23 we are going to keep them there."
24 However, we had some very nice examples of
25 some of these local Muslims who were truly embarrassed
1 and they didn't really want their Croat neighbours to
2 be kept prisoner in their houses. So they really
3 treated them nicely. But then also there were some
4 ugly examples of some of the local Muslims.
5 Q. Tell me, when were these Croat prisoners set
7 A. The Croat prisoners were set free -- well,
8 let me think. I was on sick leave then and I went to
9 see my own folk in Krizancevo Selo, and I think that --
10 Q. Were they exchanged?
11 A. Yes, yes, they were. And, as far as I can
12 remember, one of the main exchanges took place on the
13 15th of May, I think, perhaps a month later.
14 Q. Were all the prisoners exchanged?
15 A. No. After that exchange, about four or five
16 of them remained in the village, elderly people, and
17 also some younger people, a family. They thought that
18 everything would stop within a month's time or so. We
19 had all hoped originally. At the beginning they took
20 them all to the house, the youth house, and finally
21 they let them go and they said they could stay at their
22 houses. So they didn't really want to leave. There
23 were three or four of them, I think.
24 And may I finish, please. A month later they
25 were seeking ways and means of getting to Vitez, and
1 one of them told me that he had given 1.000
2 Deutschemark to one of these soldiers who were there to
3 take him to the Croat side in Vitez. So after that,
4 after two or three months -- two or three months after
5 the conflict had broken out, not a single Croat had
6 remained in Poculica.
7 Q. Did they all return alive? That is what I
8 wanted to ask you.
9 A. Regrettably, no. The first day, after I was
10 wounded, I was told in the evening that Anto Kristo had
11 been killed. He was a man who was born in 1929. So he
12 was the only person who was killed, if one may say so,
13 in some kind of armed conflict. But the rest were
14 taken prisoner and, about a week after they had been
15 taken prisoner, it could have been on the 23rd or 24th
16 of April, perhaps even the 22nd, there was some 20 men
17 and women in this house, in the hall of the youth
18 house, there were about 50 there before, but some were
19 already taken out to dig trenches. And also to bury
20 the cattle that was killed.
21 So at that point there were about 20 of them
22 at the building. And at one point in time they heard
23 clamour in front of the door and also bursts of
24 gunfire. One, two Muslim soldiers shot a burst of
25 gunfire at the door, and in this way at the civilians
1 too. They killed Croats on that occasion who were
2 prisoners. They were my neighbours, Pero Papic, Ivo
3 Vidovic and Jozo Vidovic. And they wounded about six
4 or seven persons. I think two or three were heavily
5 wounded and there were some women too. But they were
6 not local women from Poculica. They were from the
7 village of Putkovici, also a Croat village that the
8 Muslims had taken, and they brought in their prisoners
9 to Prnjavor.
10 When the youth centre in Prnjavor was full,
11 then they sent them to other houses in Preocica and
13 Q. Tell me, the Croat houses in Preocica -- I'm
14 sorry, in Poculica, were they burnt down?
15 A. Yes. I keep talking about the lower and the
16 upper and the central part. The lower part of the
17 village, this Croat part of the village, was totally
18 burned down, all the houses were burned down. In the
19 upper part of the village there were also some houses,
20 and way up towards the border with Vjetrenice, the
21 Tatarevic houses. So a total of 42 Croat houses were
22 burned down in Poculica.
23 Q. And the houses that were not burned down?
24 A. Well, the ones that were not burned down,
25 that were in this central and upper part of the
1 village, they housed Muslim refugees there, refugees,
2 from Jajce, from Ahmici, Vjetrenica, Travnik, from all
3 over. Now I know that, after the war. At that time I
4 didn't know. But now I know, because these refugees
5 are still staying up there. And I know that recently
6 two or three Croat houses were freed, so-to-speak, that
7 is to say the refugees from Ahmici had left, because
8 their own houses in Ahmici were reconstructed, so they
9 went back there.
10 So these keys moved from hand to hand. They
11 did not return these keys to the Croat owners, but they
12 gave them to a Muslim refugee from the Serb republic
13 who cannot return to there. So, at any rate, all these
14 houses now have a Muslim population -- rather, house
15 Muslim refugees.
16 JUDGE MAY: There's a matter that I want to
17 clarify with the witness. Could you point out on the
18 aerial photograph the village and the upper part and
19 the lower part, so that we can see the bits that you
20 are talking about, please, Mr. Grebenar.
21 THE WITNESS: All right. Fine. I am not
22 very familiar with maps, but looking at it from here,
23 this is the settled part, so this part is where there's
24 no -- it's the unpopulated part. And this is the
25 border of Upper Gornja Dubravica and Poculica.
1 Poculica starts from here and then it goes, after this
2 big curve, it goes all the way up to Vjetrenica, along
3 the road.
4 On this curve, the road to Prnjavor forks off
5 and then this is where Poculica borders. So in that
6 part all the houses are mixed, the houses of Croats and
7 Muslims, perhaps the ratio is two Croat homes, two
8 Muslim homes and so on.
9 So this part is mixed. However, this part
10 from here all the way to maybe the centre of the
11 village, this is where the school was. This is where
12 the last Muslim house is. It belongs to Mr. Krehic and
13 Mr. Disdaric, their houses are next to each other. So
14 these are the two houses that I was talking about when
15 I was talking about the village guard. This is where
16 the Muslim guard was and our guard came up to these
18 So this is the central part of the village.
19 And percentage-wise this was 60 to 40 per cent compared
20 to the Croats -- in favour of the Croats.
21 This part here was 100 per cent Croatian.
22 JUDGE MAY: Just point, if you would, to the
23 upper part. When you refer to the upper part of the
24 village, where are you referring to?
25 A. (Indicating).
1 JUDGE MAY: What was the bit which was
2 further on, if you follow me further, towards the bend,
3 beyond the bend? Was that part of the village or not?
4 Going the other way. Going this way.
5 THE WITNESS: Here?
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: You mean here? Yes. This is
8 the part of the village. There are five or six houses
9 there, because that part of the village is unpopulated,
10 and then there's a kind of secondary road that leads to
11 the cemetery, but along this part of the road all the
12 houses are Croatian. So all of this belonged to the
13 Poculica local community. This is the border of the
14 municipality of Zenica and Vitez. And then this
15 secondary road where it had maybe five, six or 10
16 Croatian houses, this way there were maybe also 10 to
17 15 Croatian houses. All the houses were Croatian
19 Then along this road, all the homes along
20 this road were Muslim homes, all the way to
21 Vjetrenica. And then in Vjetrenica again these homes
22 here were purely Muslim. And then along, a little bit
23 further along were both Croat and Muslim homes.
24 So this part to the left we had Croatian
25 homes and then to the right of the road were Muslim
1 homes. So the mosque was there. Around the mosque
2 there were both Muslims and Croats. That's where it
4 Then this part here is purely Muslim.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Your
7 Honour. You really helped us a lot in this part.
8 Q. Where is Gola Kosa here? Can you see it on
9 this aerial photograph?
10 A. I'm not really that good when maps are
11 concerned, but Krtina is here. This is Krtina Mahala.
12 I don't know if that's what you meant. Vrhovine is
13 here. Gola Kosa is east of Vrhovine. So it should be
14 somewhere around here. Well, Nadioci is there, so
15 above Nadioci and above Vrhovine. So it should be
16 somewhere around here. So simply it's kind of more to
17 the right, southeast from Vrhovine and north of
19 Q. Now, if I'm right, were there any Croats in
20 Gola Kosa?
21 A. Yes, Gola Kosa -- I'm not 100 per cent sure,
22 but I think it was 100 per cent Croat. There were some
23 houses scattered there. They bordered on Vrhovine.
24 But they were separate. I don't know how many families
25 there were. It wasn't a big village. I think there
1 were three or four families there with their children,
2 with their wives, parents.
3 Q. On the 16th of April did the Croats from Gola
4 Kosa flee as well?
5 A. Yes. I know that they fled, but I don't know
6 whether they did it on the 16th or before that. But I
7 know that there are no more Croats in Gola Kosa.
8 Q. What about Putkovici? You mentioned some
9 captured women from Putkovici who were later
10 accommodated in Prnjavor.
11 A. Well, I only heard about Putkovici, and I
12 know they are about the Muslim village of Bukve,
13 Sadovace, I heard about that village of Putkovici. I
14 have never been there. I heard about that village from
15 my folk who were captured. I know that there were
16 these women who were brought from Putkovici. So I
17 heard about Putkovici from their reports. I don't know
18 how many families there were.
19 I also know that it was captured by the
20 Muslims and there are no more Croats there. They were
21 expelled then and captured.
22 Q. Could you please clarify for the Court where
23 Barin Gaj is, because we will need that. Could you
24 show us that on the aerial photograph.
25 A. Well, it should be in this part here. I
1 think that's the part. Krtina is to the left, then
2 there is Pirici, Ahmici, so above Ahmici and Pirici. I
3 think it's this part here. And then there are some
4 small vegetation there. We weren't really that
5 expert. We couldn't really locate where the mortars
6 were, but I think that's where they came from.
7 Then the people who were in the lower part of
8 the village told us that some heavy weapons were being
9 fired from this part here.
10 Q. Could you also indicate where the line of
11 defence was after the conflict of the 16th, the 17th
12 and the 18th, how far in front of your village were
14 A. Well, the line was moved three or four
15 kilometres below our village below Gornja Dubravica, so
16 the line of separation was here. This is the road to
17 Zenica, the Vitez-Zenica road. This is where the road
18 forks off for Sivrino Selo. So the lines of separation
19 were around this road.
20 Our people were below the road and they were
21 above the road. So in the course of the war this would
22 shift 100 metres up or down. And then on one occasion
23 they came as far as 500 metres below, when there was an
24 attack on Krizancevo Selo. That's this part here. So
25 the line went this way up to Krizancevo Selo and then
1 it went around the village to below Tolovici. And then
2 it went on.
3 In the beginning, in peaceful times, our
4 lines were here, up here around Poculica, then above
5 Vrhovine. If this is Barin Gaj. So it is around
6 here. I can't really see. These were all kinds of
7 some points of orientation where we observed, our
8 observation points, observation points for Croats.
9 Q. So the line of defence at that time was
10 established three or four kilometres below the village
11 towards the main road; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in relation to Ahmici, it was in Barin
14 Gaj; is that right? That's where they link up?
15 A. Yes. It started from Sivrino Selo, as we
16 said, and then in Krtina Mahala, then Sljivcica was up
17 above there and they would link up here, around Sivrino
18 Selo, and then closer to the road towards Buhine Kuce.
19 This is where Buhine Kuce is.
20 So they were here. This is where the line
21 went. Then it kind of turned back along the outskirts
22 of Krtina Mahala, and then it would link up, go towards
23 Barin Gaj and then up above to Kuber. So that's how
24 the line went, from Barin Gaj to Sljivcica, below
25 Krtina Mahala, this was our line of defence, and then
1 it would drop to Sivrino Selo. And then above Buhine
2 Kuce there was a kind of curve. That's how the line
4 Then it came out on the road. Then it went
5 around again.
6 Q. So it was the closest towards the road?
7 A. Yes. With the expulsion of Croats from
8 Poculica and Gornja Dubravica, they automatically, they
9 automatically gained three or four kilometres of free
10 territory, so they could move the line of defence and
11 link it with Sivrino Selo, Barin Gaj, Tolovici. My arm
13 Q. So the line was established a couple of days
14 after the conflict?
15 A. Yes, yes, a couple of days, the second or
16 third day. Well, I went to the health clinic for
17 bandaging, but the wounded people would come often and
18 then, from talking with them, I would find out where
19 the lines were located.
20 Throughout the war the line didn't really
21 shift significantly. When the war stopped the line of
22 separation or the checkpoints in '94, when the war
23 stopped, was right here where the road forks off for
24 Sivrino Selo. That's where it remained throughout the
1 Q. If we could please look at a very short
2 videotape to see the topography of Tolovici. It's
3 quite interesting because it ties into Ahmici in one
4 part of it and then you could see what the terrain is
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
7 (Videotape played)
8 THE INTERPRETER: My name is Dragan
9 Grebenar. My house was set on fire a week after we
10 were expelled from here. We can see the accompanying
11 buildings with also a burnt stable, the garage was
12 destroyed. Behind you can see the house of my brother
13 Parica, which was also set on fire and destroyed.
14 Up there further you can see the houses that
15 are not demolished. Opposite is the house of neighbour
16 Ljubo Duvnjak which has also been burnt.
17 All this happened within several days. My
18 house was burnt and then the others were burnt a few
19 days later.
20 This lower part of the village was populated
21 entirely by Croats.
22 Now we can see shots of destroyed and burnt
23 houses of the lower part of the village, and we said
24 before this was entirely populated by Croats. So we
25 are talking about 30 houses which are completely
1 devastated. Also there is one house in the upper part
2 of the village that was destroyed.
3 These are pictures of the house of my next
4 door neighbours, the Jurcevic brothers, and their
5 father whose house was also destroyed. This house had
6 a roof and one can only see the remains. It's been
7 levelled to the ground.
8 This house was also inhabited. It's the
9 house of my next door neighbour. Zdravko Jukovic's
10 house was next door to mine.
11 Now we have a view towards Vrhovine, the
12 neighbouring village, which also belonged to the local
13 community of Poculica, but it was a purely Muslim
14 village, had its separate own name, Vrhovine. It was
15 shelled and fired upon by heavy weapons.
16 Then we can see from this forest somewhere
17 around that that's where the mortars were placed, as
18 far as we could tell.
19 Then we are going down further now towards
20 Barin Gaj, and you can see the hill. That's Barin
21 Gaj. These are the positions where the village was
22 fired upon in the morning of the attack.
23 This is the east view of our village. This
24 is the part towards the upper part of the village where
25 the Croatian houses were untouched and then where
1 Muslims, Bosniaks moved in.
2 We can see here in the background the large
3 hill, it's called Proca Stana. The large Muslim
4 village of Preocica is to the left. This is where the
5 Muslim forces were stationed, or the army, or the
6 Territorial Defence, as it used to be called.
7 So to the north of the village was also a
8 strategic point which was used as a place to fire
10 Now we are going to the village of Tolovici
11 towards the northwest. It used to be entirely Serb --
12 well, not really. It used to be mixed before the war.
13 But the Serbs were expelled by the Muslims, so they
14 left the village before the conflict with the Croats.
15 So this position was also used for the attack on our
16 village. Some heavy weapons, most probably mortars,
17 were located there.
18 This is the view towards Vitez, so Vitez was
19 down towards the south, southwest from us. You can
20 also see the burnt Croatian houses in the village of
21 Gornja Dubravica. You can see the view below my
22 house. This is a stream. There used to be a large
23 forest there, so it was cut down. So it's a kopus
24 (phoen) now. This is where we were evacuating the
25 civilians along the stream withdrawing towards the
1 village of Krizancevo Selo.
2 We were met there by the local population of
3 Gornja Dubravica. That's where we met up below these
4 burnt houses. And then to the right, behind this
5 meadow you can see Krizancevo Selo.
6 This is the view towards Sljivcica. This
7 transmission line up there, it used to be an enemy
8 position, so if you look at it from the forest, this is
9 where they were. And their houses are there down
10 towards the stream, so we were in the forest with the
11 civilians. They opened up the fire from Sljivcica
12 against our civilians.
13 The strongest fire during our retreat came
14 from Sljivcica, because it was the closest point. And
15 you could see as the civilians were evacuating.
16 Now, you can see Barin Gaj again. That's
17 above the village of Ahmici or Gornji Pirici. Up to
18 the left in the forest, there were also mortars and
19 heavy artillery.
20 This is the view towards the village of
21 Vrhovine, and we can see Barin Gaj again, and then from
22 this point, we can see the forest below the village of
23 Krtina Mahala. We can see the houses. I think this is
24 Gornji Pirici above Ahmici. It's a hamlet which joins
25 Ahmici. We have been recording all of this from my
2 You can see the bullet holes and shell
3 fragments on the facade of my house, and this is all
4 that is left from the events of that day. There in the
5 background is Sljivcica, and this is the main
6 Vitez-Zenica road via Vjetrenica.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. We can stop
8 the tape.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Who is this video from?
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
11 Q. Mr. Grebenar, you taped this?
12 A. Yes, with a friend of mine.
13 Q. When was this?
14 A. This happened a couple of months ago, maybe
15 three or four months ago. If I can just add, the tape
16 was recorded because there is a committee for the
17 reconstruction and for the return of refugees to the
18 local organisation in Poculica, so we made some
19 documents. The humanitarian organisation taped the
20 villages so that Croats could apply for return, so
21 that's how this cassette, this tape, was made.
22 Q. But this tape was made for us.
23 A. Yes, and then after that, you asked for
24 something similar, and then I offered the original
25 tape, and you said you weren't interested in something
1 that was so detailed. So based on that previous tape,
2 we made this one.
3 Q. After you left Poculica and settled at
4 Krizancevo Selo, you went to Vitez; is that right?
5 A. Yes. I think about a week, I would go to
6 Vitez from Krizancevo Selo to be bandaged and to get my
7 shots, and it was getting crowded in the health
8 centre. There wasn't any room, but I was able to move
9 around, so I had to go and get treatment. I would go
10 from Krizancevo Selo and back.
11 So after a few days in Vitez, I met a friend
12 of mine from work, Jonic, and we're kind of related in
13 a way. My wife and his wife are cousins. So he told
14 me -- he was surprised when he saw me with my
15 bandages. He asked me where I was. "Where's your
16 family? Is everybody alive?" I told him I was in
17 Krizancevo Selo in a house together with my brother's
18 family, with my father, mother. He said, "Well, from
19 Travnik and Grahovcici, there's more and more refugees
20 every day, and I have keys to Sonja's apartment. I
21 think her name was Sonja Covic. She was our colleague
22 who worked in the lab at SPS. And I'm afraid she left
23 me to look after her apartment. She went to her house
24 in Brac."
25 At that time, she was doing some kind of
1 construction, getting her house ready for the summer,
2 for the season, so he offered me the keys to her
3 apartment knowing that I had good relations with
4 Sonja. "I think she would prefer for you to be in that
5 apartment than for some refugee to move in."
6 Q. So you then went to Vitez and also your
7 brother and his family?
8 A. Yes, that's right. Our whole family, my
9 brother's family, my family, my mother and father, came
10 to that two-room apartment that belonged to Sonja.
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, we can
12 take a break, and then we have another brief video
13 recording and maybe a few questions. So maybe this is
14 a good time to break.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we adjourn, let us now
16 have a number for this document.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The number of the videotape
18 was D59/2. The English translation is D59A/2, and the
19 BCS version is --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone?
21 THE REGISTRAR: The BCS translation D59B/2.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We will adjourn
23 now for thirty minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Counsel
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
4 Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Grebenar, we're going to look at the
6 other tape now. It's comprised of several parts, so
7 you can tell us what each part is about. The events
8 that are depicted is the shelling of Vitez in June of
9 '93, but in view of the fact that a lot of the
10 witnesses are going to talk about this event or they've
11 mentioned this event, including Witness DA/5 regarding
12 the case of Hakija Chengic, so if you can tell us what
13 it's all about.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Here is the
16 THE REGISTRAR: The number of the videotape
17 is D60/2, the English translation, D60A/2, and the BCS
18 translation, D60B/2.
19 (Videotape played)
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
21 Q. Mr. Grebenar, there is no translation for
22 this part. Could you tell us who these children are?
23 A. Yes. You can see me here bandaged, and the
24 first little boy is my brother's son. This is my
25 daughter and then my brother's daughter, and then on
1 the left, the smallest child is my son. This is my
2 brother's son who was 12 at the time. This was filmed
3 three or four days after we had arrived in Krizancevo
4 Selo when we were refugees. This is my daughter who
5 was 9 then, just like my brother's daughter who is
6 sitting next to her.
7 Q. How old was your brother's daughter?
8 A. She was also 9 at the time.
9 Q. And your brother's son?
10 A. He was 12.
11 Q. So this was filmed in Krizancevo Selo when
12 you went there as refugees?
13 A. Yes, yes. This is my father.
14 Q. He escaped together with you; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel.
17 A. At that time, he was 66 years old.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
19 Q. Can we proceed, please?
20 (Videotape played)
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
22 Q. Tell me, what can we see in this section of
23 the film?
24 A. This shows the evening of the 10th of June
25 when a Muslim shell fell on the children's playground.
1 You can see a bench here that they had made for
2 themselves. This was in town, in Vitez, in a suburb,
3 actually, right by the high school. A shell fell, and
4 on that occasion, it killed eight children. Five of
5 them died on the spot. Among these children were the
6 two children of my brother's whom you had seen, and the
7 boy is my brother's son whom we saw a few minutes ago
8 in the picture. My father brought him here, and you
9 can see my father in the background collecting the bits
10 and pieces of glass.
11 Q. The little girl we saw on that video, she was
12 also killed too; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes, the late Tina, yes, and she was
14 still showing signs of life. My brother went to the
15 hospital together with her, but she died during
17 Q. What is this that we see now?
18 A. That morning when we were burying the five
19 children who were killed on the spot, I was there on my
20 own with the late Velimir. My brother had gone to the
21 hospital. I don't know what had happened to the little
22 Tina. These are the parents of the children who were
24 Q. Why is no one attending the funeral, the
25 mothers, no one?
1 A. Well, this was taking place early in the
2 morning. We always conducted our funerals very early
3 in the morning or very late at night because they would
4 open fire on the cemetery and the people who were
5 involved, so it was a risky business. You see, we are
6 burying five children, and there are not more than
7 seven or eight of us altogether, including the young
8 men who were digging the graves.
9 These are Dragan Ramljak's parents, and I was
10 here and the late Velimir. At this moment, my
11 brother-in-law came and said that Tina also died during
13 Q. It's 6.00 in the morning, right, we can see
14 it on the film?
15 A. Yes.
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could we have the
17 volume up a bit? This is one of the wounded children.
18 Well, we can't really hear it.
19 THE INTERPRETER: We were sitting at the
20 table talking and laughing.
21 And what happened then?
22 All of a sudden, the shell hit the ground and
23 I heard only the sound, and then I saw people running
24 and crying.
25 Where were you wounded?
1 My legs and head were wounded.
2 How do you feel now?
4 Do you know who was wounded or killed?
5 Yes, I do. From the very most moment when it
6 happened, I saw everything and I knew everything, and I
7 was conscious all the time.
8 What do you think about all of that?
9 I don't know.
10 Thank you. Good luck and get better as soon
11 as possible.
12 How old are you?
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. We have
14 finished now.
15 Q. Tell me, this boy who was on this last piece
16 of footage, what's his name?
17 A. His name is Ivan Garic and his house is
18 there. He was not a refugee. He lived where my
19 brother and my mother and my father and my brother's
20 late children were staying.
21 Q. And his brother and sister, were they killed
23 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. This boy's brother and
24 sister were killed, so these were two families,
25 Mr. Mile Garic's two children were killed and my
1 brother's two children.
2 Q. And that was a terrible shock, this event,
3 wasn't it?
4 A. Well, what else could have it been? It was
5 terrible and incredible. It took us a long time to
6 find our peace. We will never find our peace with
7 that. I keep saying, until the present day, that this
8 was premeditated, that is to say that somebody actually
9 aimed at this, fully conscious of what he was doing,
10 inflicting such evil, because the defence line of the
11 HVO was about 1.000 metres away from that place. That
12 is where the closest point was. There weren't any
13 strategic facilities there, nothing was nearby,
14 headquarters or whatever.
15 This was a settlement, this was between
16 houses, it was a peaceful area. That is the only
17 playground that the children had. They didn't want to
18 go anywhere else because they thought it was much more
19 dangerous to go anywhere else because this was
20 surrounded by houses on all sides. This was about 100
21 square metres of clear ground where they had enough
22 space, and their parents and they themselves thought
23 they were the safest there.
24 They didn't even let them go out there very
25 often either. If the town was being shelled or
1 something, of course they stayed indoors. But that day
2 was peaceful.
3 Q. Tell me, did any of the Croats return to
5 A. No. No. None of the Croats.
6 Q. And the Croat houses, were they
7 reconstructed? We can see in this picture, in this
8 film that they were not.
9 A. No, not a single Croat house in Poculica has
10 been renewed as yet. I mentioned some time ago that we
11 are carrying out preparations for this, and we have
12 registered with various humanitarian organisations,
13 international organisations. We are trying to get our
14 turn to have our houses reconstructed. But, to tell
15 you the truth, the situation is such, I think, that it
16 is not really favourable for returning, because we have
17 our own cemetery there and during the war the Muslim
18 army totally devastated the cemetery, the fence, the
19 tombstones. The tombstones were devastated in 60 per
20 cent of all cases, the crosses, everything.
21 The small chapel that is at the cemetery, it
22 was burned down too. And after the war when the right
23 conditions were created, I think it was in '97 or so,
24 in '97, in agreement with the Muslim side, through the
25 municipality, the IPTF, the SFOR, we organised the
1 repair of the chapel at the cemetery and the
2 reconstruction of the fence.
3 We could not have built at that point the
4 beautiful kind of concrete fence that existed before,
5 but at least we put a wire fence around it because we
6 didn't want the cattle, at least, to go into the
7 cemetery and graze, as they had been doing until then.
8 So we did that with the assistance of the police, the
9 international police, the IPTF, the SFOR, and there
10 were no incidents. We did this during the course of a
11 single day. We, the villagers of Poculica had
12 organised ourselves and we made an announcement to them
13 and everything was done within one day, as I said.
14 The chapel was reconstructed, painted, and
15 then also the crosses that were knocked over were put
16 up again, and then the grass was taken care of, so it
17 is almost normal looking now.
18 However, unfortunately, this did not last
19 long. We have a video recording of that too, when we
20 did all of that during that one day, the fence and
21 everything else, but a few months later the same thing
22 happened again, they knocked over all the crosses. In
23 addition to the ones that had been knocked over before,
24 they broke a few other ones too. We went there and
25 repaired it once again.
1 Now, in '98, again they burnt down our chapel
2 for the third time. They took away this fence, this
3 wire that we put around the cemetery, and they broke
4 about seven to 10 tombstones.
5 The IPTF was informed of this and the local
6 police and everybody, but nobody ever did a thing.
7 As the inhabitants of Poculica, we are very
8 disappointed by this, and this makes the possibility of
9 our return unsafe too.
10 However, if our houses are reconstructed,
11 we'll go back, but we are not pleased with this, three
12 or four years after the war such things are still
13 happening and the local police, which is a joint one, a
14 joint Muslim-Croat police force now, they do not find
15 it in their interest, nor does the IPTF, to find the
16 perpetrators of all of this devastation.
17 There are also some local Muslims who said
18 they practically know the names of the people who did
19 this, and that it is people from other parts who do
21 Q. Mr. Grebenar, we also saw the mosque with the
22 minaret in this video footage. Which village did this
23 mosque belong to?
24 A. We actually saw two, if you are referring to
25 the video cassette that we saw before. Yes. One is in
1 the village of Vrhovine and that is where they had
2 their own mezar, their own cemetery. I am not very
3 knowledgeable as far as their religious places are
4 concerned, but there wasn't a mosque there. They only
5 had a cemetery.
6 Also we saw the mosque in Poculica. The
7 mosque has been there forever, but now it was
8 reconstructed, practically, with these joint funds.
9 The Muslims invested more, truth to tell, but
10 it was not --
11 Q. It was not damaged during the war, was it?
12 A. No.
13 Q. As regards Poculica, one more question.
14 Please tell the Court, what is the amount of weapons
15 that the Croats had on the 16th of April, 1993 when the
16 attack came?
17 A. Well, we think, I think, this Crisis Staff of
18 ours thought that we had about 30 odd rifles, some
19 hunting guns and others -- well, about 30 altogether.
20 Q. Did you have a rifle?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I did. I did.
22 Q. I am sorry. Just one more thing. I would
23 like to have Defence Exhibit 41/2 shown to the
25 Please read Section 5 of this report.
1 A. "From the direction of Vjetrenica and
2 Vrhovine the Muslim forces are shooting at Croat
3 houses. The locals are calling and panic-stricken,
4 asking what they should do, because their houses do not
5 have any basements."
6 Q. So this is a combat report of the Vitez
7 Brigade dated the 16th of April, 1993 at 9.00, and the
8 part that you read just now corresponds to the
9 situation in Poculica; is that correct?
10 A. Precisely. I didn't know at the time, but
11 quite a few of us had the numbers of the Crisis Staff
12 in Vitez. It wasn't that I was only in contact with
13 them, but other people were frightened and they sought
14 advice and help.
15 Q. Also the fact that they were shooting from
16 the direction of Vjetrenica and Vrhovine. That is
17 correct too, isn't it?
18 A. Yes, yes. I call this a frontal attack. And
19 it was taking place from there, from Vjetrenica and
21 Q. In your statement you also mentioned that on
22 the 15th of April, 1993 you saw Zoran Kupreskic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In Vitez. And he was together with Senad
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Tell me, how well did you know Zoran
4 A. Zoran Kupreskic, we were on very good terms.
5 How should I put it? We were the best of friends. We
6 visited each others homes, we also knew each other at
7 work. All of it started in 1983, when we started
8 working together in the factory, and then after about a
9 year, when we were stationed at the same facility and
10 where we shared the same entrance, the same hallway,
11 our offices were nearby. And we practically spent
12 about eight hours together every day at work, together
13 with Mr. Topoljak, and the others who were there,
14 Franjo Rajic.
15 Q. Senad Topolac, is he a Croat or a Muslim?
16 A. He is a Muslim.
17 Q. Who else were you on friendly terms with from
19 A. Well, at work we were friends with Franjo
20 Rajic, a Croat. I should mention who is who, right?
21 And Nisret Ramic, a Muslim; Ahmet Mahmutovic, a Muslim;
22 Zijad Tarahija, a Muslim; Zoran Kupreskic, a Croat too;
23 Dragan Grebenar, that's me, I am also a Croat; Hrustic
24 Sead, a Muslim, and so on. This was a group. And we
25 were closely linked together due to our work and also
1 we became friends at home, apart from work.
2 Q. During 1992 and 1993 very important things
3 took place. Politics prevailed in all spheres of
4 life. Tell me, what were the positions of Zoran
5 Kupreskic that he presented during your conversations?
6 A. Mr. Kupreskic's positions in relation to all
7 of this were sometimes beyond my own understanding,
8 because, as you said, politics prevailed everywhere,
9 and politics determined everything. The war had
10 already broken out in Croatia and I already mentioned
11 that we were friends, all of us there, the Croats and
12 everything. But we all had our own angle,
13 so-to-speak. For example, I condemned the Serb
14 aggression, whereas Mahmutovic, for example, and
15 Topoljak, a bit more moderately would try to find some
16 justification, and say, "Well, the Croats are to be
17 blamed too." And I was irritated in all these
18 conversations, because Mr. Zoran Kupreskic behaved
19 either by silently agreeing with Senad Topoljak and
20 sometimes voicing his agreement with him.
21 Sometimes, because of these views of his,
22 sometimes he and I differed in our views and we had
23 debated these points a bit.
24 He was apolitical. He did not look at things
25 politically. He tried to listen to both sides. He
1 didn't point his finger at anyone. Perhaps I am a bit
3 Q. Did you ever hear him express some extremist
4 nationalist views in any situation?
5 A. No way. Not him. I must tell the Court
6 about this, but all people who knew Zoran -- I mean,
7 such questions and even such claims sound ridiculous to
8 people who know Zoran. The locals of Vitez and the
9 villagers from his part know that he was very popular
10 among the Muslims and the Serbs there. He had so many
11 friends there. He really put his work and his family
12 first, and also this folklore, this music, this
13 cultural society where he was.
14 Then quite a few young people were there, and
15 they simply did not talk about different ethnicity or
16 whatever. Not very many people in Vitez did at that
17 time. But he was the one who preserved the cultural
18 society. After the elections when Napredek, a Croatian
19 cultural society, was supposed to be established, he
20 initiated the idea because -- well, naturally, the
21 Muslims who belonged to this cultural society before, I
22 can't remember the name, I think it was also called
23 Slobodan Princip Seljo before. And he found it kind of
24 embarrassing that it would be called a Croatian
25 cultural society.
1 He felt this before they did. He even
2 insisted with our own people who wanted to set up that
3 kind of a cultural society that they should remain
4 together under a different name. And I think that he
5 actually succeeded in this effort. And I think it was
6 called the municipal cultural society of Vitez, where
7 they continued to play instruments, sing and dance
8 together. Muslims, Croats and Serbs.
9 So, truth to tell, in those times Zoran,
10 perhaps, had Croats viewing him unkindly rather than
11 Muslims, because practically he did not work in the
12 interest of the Croats as much as he did in the
13 interest of all others.
14 Q. Do you recall that he would take food to
15 Gacice in 1993 to one of his co-workers from work, to
16 some of his co-workers?
17 A. Yes. I remember that because I saw him in
18 front of the building when the crime in Ahmici
19 happened. Zoran came to Vitez and he never returned to
20 this place, Ahmici. And we even lived in the same
21 building. And I saw him with another co-worker,
22 another Croat, and they were loading oil, flour,
23 something into a car. And I asked him, "Where are you
24 going?" And I thought that he was going somewhere,
25 taking this.
1 Then he said, "We are taking this to Sead
2 Hrustic." He had seen him in Vitez before and Hrustic
3 had asked him whether -- I don't know. He ran out of
4 oil and flour and Hrustic -- told him that he ran out
5 of oil and flour and that he needed it. And then Zoran
6 Kupreskic, together with this other co-worker, loaded
7 this into his car and they took it to Hrustic. I'm
8 sure that this gentleman can confirm this, although I
9 didn't go with them.
10 There are other examples, too, of Zoran's
11 help and co-operation and asking people whether he
12 could do anything to help. And the man I just
13 mentioned, Mr. Senad Topoljak, he also lived in Vitez.
14 He had his apartment awarded to him by the factory
15 where he lived with his sister. He was from the
16 village of Lupac. His sister worked in a store.
17 So in the chaos that ensued, that young man
18 really didn't really know what to do. So together
19 Zoran and I went to Senad's apartment and we took what
20 we could to him. From Caritas we would take flour to
21 the apartment. We would visit him. And we were in
22 touch with him all the time, for as long as Senad was
23 in Vitez.
24 Zoran was more in touch with him than I was,
25 because I had to go for bandaging. So I know that on
1 one occasion I was coming back from getting new
2 bandages and Zoran said, "Well, I don't feel
3 comfortable going by myself. But if you come with me,
4 would you please come so I could see if Majda Sivro was
5 still in the apartment."
6 Q. "Majda Sivro"?
7 A. Majda Sivro, yes, she's a Muslim.
8 Q. You mentioned that after the crime in Ahmici
9 Zoran did not go back to Ahmici.
10 A. No. Zoran never went back to his family
11 house there and he said that after all that had
12 happened there, he didn't have the will, simply, to
13 live there any more. He stayed in Vitez with his
15 Q. His house is empty? It's been empty since
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How well did you know Mirjan Kupreskic?
19 A. I met Mirjan through Zoran maybe in 1988,
20 1989, and then in '91, '92, already in '91, we would
21 meet because Zoran would usually -- we would go from
22 work, after 2.00, two or three times a week for a drink
23 and for a game of billiards. Since Zoran was in the
24 cultural society, they had their own premises in the
25 building, and there was also a room there where there
1 was a cafe where they had a billiards table and where
2 members of the cultural society would gather. And he
3 felt the most comfortable there probably, so he would
4 often take Senad and me there. He would suggest that
5 we go there for a drink and play a game or two of
7 That's where, on one occasion, I met
8 Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic, and he said -- well, I knew at
9 that time they were both Kupreskics, but I didn't know
10 they were brothers. So that's when I met Mirjan and
11 many other members of the cultural society, and when
12 they would go there more frequently, I would join them
14 Q. So how did Mirjan behave? What kind of
15 positions did he voice?
16 A. Mirjan's stand in all of that was similar to
17 the one that Zoran had. It could be said that they had
18 the same positions in many circumstances. They had the
19 same view of life. As far as the opinion about the
20 war, we all shared similar opinions, but for them,
21 music was important, their jobs, their family. They
22 tried to stay apart from everything, and I think they
23 succeeded in doing so.
24 Q. Did you know that they were socialising with
25 Fahran Ahmic?
1 A. Yes. Fahran Ahmic, Fahrudin, a Muslim, he
2 was my colleague from work. We were foremen at a job,
3 and that's where we met. And then later when I would
4 go to the cultural society offices with Fahran, then I
5 noticed that they were much better friends with Fahran,
6 that they knew each other through this music, and they
7 seemed to be extremely good friends, and we went
8 together to Fahran's house. We would meet up at
9 Zoran's house, Fahran's, Senad Topoljak's, so it all
10 functioned in the best possible way then. They didn't
11 make any difference -- they didn't differentiate
12 between their friends in the cultural society or
14 Q. At the end, could you please tell the Court,
15 since you had such good relations with Zoran Kupreskic,
16 would Zoran Kupreskic tell you if he had known anything
17 about the attack that was being prepared on the 16th of
18 April? If he had known something, would he have told
20 A. In any case, I'm convinced that he would tell
21 me. Not only Zoran, and I was exceptional friends with
22 him, but many people who lived there or in other
23 places, even people that I wasn't as friendly with as I
24 was with Zoran, if anybody -- especially Zoran, if he
25 had known anything, he would have either called me in
1 the evening or in the morning, and he would have
2 advised me to take shelter. We talked by telephone
3 often, so I'm sure he would have told me.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.
5 Mr. President, I have no further questions, and I would
6 just like D52/2 and D60/2 to be submitted as evidence.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: D59?
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: D59, okay, and D60.
9 Yes, D59 and D60. Thank you.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. They are admitted
11 into evidence.
12 Is there any cross-examination by other
13 Defence counsel?
14 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, I have two
15 questions for the witness, and the other Defence
16 counsel will not examine this witness.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
18 Q. Mr. Grebenar, I'm counsel Petar Pavkovic.
19 You mentioned on a couple of occasions Kuber. What is
20 that, in fact, Kuber? What is this about? Could you
21 please clarify this for us?
22 A. Yes. I mentioned Kuber because Kuber was a
23 dominant point, an elevation as regards Poculica,
24 Vrhovine, and Prnjavor. So in '92 when the village
25 guards were formed, we would contact all the villages
1 in between because behind Kuber, towards Zenica, there
2 were one or two larger villages that were populated by
3 Serbs. And also the road from Kuber led to Busovaca
4 where there was Kratine with some Serbs there as well.
5 So there were suspicions that supplies and weapons were
6 being transferred from there so that we, the three or
7 four villages, concluded that it would be good to go up
8 there for five days at a time with five or six men to
9 keep watch, and this is what we did.
10 But I was in charge to maintain contacts with
11 our neighbours, Muslims, who didn't keep watch at that
12 time to make it possible for us, to give us passage, so
13 that we would just go up there, five, six, ten men, and
14 this is how we did it.
15 Q. So from a military standpoint, this was an
16 important elevation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you recall any of those people who went
19 there to keep watch in this period that we're talking
21 A. Yes, I can, of course, remember. There were
22 people from Gornja Dubravica, people from Marosa. So
23 these men would come and then we would change shifts.
24 There were boys from Zume, from Santici, Vidovici,
25 Livancici, and Drebci, these were their last names. I
1 knew some of these men at that time and before, and
2 then some of them I got to know. I remember their
3 faces, their names. It was mostly Vidovici, Drebci,
5 Q. Does the name Zeljo Livancic mean anything to
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did he go there?
9 A. Yes. Zeljo would change shifts with us.
10 Zeljo's group would replace my group, so I knew him
11 very well. He took part in the agreements together
12 with us. He was a representative of the Croats. He
13 and four other people were there. So we thought these
14 were the people who would do this.
15 Q. So Zeljo Livancic, is he alive today?
16 A. No, he was killed.
17 Q. Do you know where he was killed?
18 A. According to my information or according to
19 what I heard, Zeljo was killed at Kuber.
20 Q. Did you perhaps find out from those talks
21 when he was killed, roughly, if you can tell us the
22 time? It seems that the 16th is a date that most
23 events are remembered by.
24 A. Yes. Well, according to some information,
25 this happened immediately on the 16th. According to
1 some, it happened a day after that on the 17th, but I
2 know that Busovaca also had a strategic point, so that
3 on the evening of the 15th, some one or two men were
4 already killed there, one or two Croats.
5 I can't tell you exactly whether this was the
6 15th, the 16th, or the 17th, but I know he was killed
7 at Kuber, and then five days before, as I said, my
8 group from Poculica was there, I wasn't in that group,
9 and they came back. And then later Zeljo, with his
10 group, came to replace them.
11 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you very much. I have
12 no further questions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Pavkovic.
14 I think we can now move on to the cross-examination by
15 the Prosecution.
16 Mr. Smith?
17 MR. SMITH: Good morning, Your Honours. My
18 name is Bill Smith, and I appear for the Prosecution
19 with Mr. Terrier and Mr. Blaxill. With your leave.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Smith:
21 Q. Mr. Grebenar, thank you very much for your
22 testimony. I work for the Prosecution. It's my job to
23 ask you some specific questions about what you've said
24 in court today just to clarify some issues.
25 Firstly, I'd like you to look at a map which
1 I'll produce to you, and I'll ask you some questions
2 about particular locations on that map.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 345.
4 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, this is a segment
5 of an earlier exhibit that the Prosecution has tendered
6 already. It just focuses in on the Vitez and Poculica
8 Q. Mr. Grebenar, does that map look familiar to
10 A. I'm just trying to see. I haven't seen it
11 before, but I know the layout of these villages and the
12 settlements which are shown on this map.
13 Q. If I can get you to mark with the pen the
14 village of Poculica, if you can just place an underline
15 on the map.
16 A. I could but it's written wrong. Where it
17 says "Poculica" here is, in fact, where the village of
18 Prnjavor is. I will mark here where Poculica is. It's
19 not where it's shown to be. (Marks).
20 Q. Could you put a figure number 1 next to
21 that? Can you write the numeral 1 next to that?
22 A. Okay. (Marks)
23 Q. Now, the village where Poculica appears on
24 the map, that is Prnjavor, is that correct, where the
25 word "Poculica" appears?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Prnjavor is completely a Muslim settlement,
3 is that correct, people of Muslim origin?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That's the same for Vrhovine; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you stated in your evidence that the local
9 community of Poculica covered those three particular
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You also stated in your evidence that
13 Tolovici was initially a Serb village but they
14 evacuated prior to April '93?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Vjetrenica was a Muslim village, exclusively
17 Muslim village; is that correct?
18 A. Vjetrenica itself was -- the top of the
19 village was purely Muslim, but then as it went down
20 towards Vitez, it was mixed. There were Croats and
21 Muslims. So in its upper part, it was purely Muslim,
22 but then about 200 metres further down, it was mixed,
23 and then as it went further along, there were only
24 Croat houses.
25 Q. In relation to Poculica itself, the specific
1 village of Poculica, Muslims lived at the upper part of
2 the village and Croats lived at the lower part of the
4 A. Yes, and then in my earlier testimony, I
5 divided the village into three parts. So the lower
6 part was purely Croatian, the central part was 60 per
7 cent Croats, 40 per cent Muslims, and then the upper
8 part of the village of Poculica was maybe 50/50.
9 Q. Also on that map, do you see the Kuber range,
10 the Kuber mountain range? It's difficult to read but I
11 think you should see it there.
12 A. I'm trying to see. Kuber should be above
13 Vrhovine towards the right. Yes, Saracevica, Jelinak,
14 Loncari, Kratina. I'm sorry. I can't find Kuber. I
15 know roughly where it's supposed to be, but it's not
16 written down here, so I can't see.
17 Q. It is very difficult to read. It is,
18 actually, written on the map, but in any event --
19 JUDGE MAY: Where is it on the map, can you
20 tell us?
21 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, if you look at
22 Vrhovine, and just to the right, it runs at 45
24 A. Okay. I know where it is, but I thought that
25 you wanted me to read to you where it is. That's what
1 I thought you wanted but I, of course, know where it
3 Q. So Poculica is only a kilometre or so away
4 from the Kuber mountain range; is that correct?
5 A. No, no, that's not right. I've said that, as
6 the crow flies, we were maybe 700 metres away. So
7 maybe as the crow flies, it's less than a kilometre,
8 but if you walk, then it's about two and a half
9 kilometres away from Poculica.
10 Q. So the Croat population within Poculica was
11 largely surrounded by a Muslim pocket of villages;
12 would you agree with that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'd now like to show you a photograph, a copy
15 of an aerial photograph, which is a segment of
16 Prosecution Exhibit P1.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 346.
18 MR. SMITH:
19 Q. Mr. Grebenar, you see that that photograph
20 largely covers the area of Poculica; is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Poculica, Prnjavor, and Vrhovine, so
22 that's the complete local community.
23 Q. In relation to the lower part of Poculica,
24 could you put a mark on that map where the actual
25 village begins with a numeral 1?
1 A. The village begins here (indicating). At the
2 beginning of the photograph, that's where the beginning
3 of the village is. This road to the left that you can
4 see, that's the road to Sljivcica. It's a pebble road,
5 and it led to Mahala, but it's very hard to see.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, could
7 the witness place the map on the ELMO so that we could
8 also follow what he is marking on the map?
9 A. This is the beginning of the village
10 (indicating) from the beginning of the photograph.
11 MR. SMITH:
12 Q. That's where the Croat houses commenced; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Can you mark on the map, with a line just
16 going across the main road, the Vitez-Zenica road,
17 where the purely Croat houses finish before we get to
18 the next area? Perhaps if you can mark it with a pen
19 and then place it on the ELMO.
20 A. (Marks)
21 Q. About how many Croat houses are in that
22 purely Croat area of the village?
23 A. Yes. I'm not sure exactly how many. Just
24 give me a moment so I can figure it out in my head. Up
25 to about 40 houses.
1 Q. They were the houses that were destroyed; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes, the houses that were destroyed, but not
4 all of them were destroyed. Where I placed the mark,
5 that's where the last Muslim house is, and then below
6 that last Muslim house, there were ten houses which
7 were Croat houses, but they were untouched, and they
8 have now been settled by Muslims.
9 Q. Is the next part of the village along the
10 road as we go towards Zenica, is that a mixed part
11 where Croats were living and Muslims were living; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes. That ratio I mentioned, there were a
14 little more Croats there. The ratio was 60 to 40, and
15 then down here, further down, I can mark that for you
16 where it was half and half. That's this part here.
18 Q. That's just before the bend in the road as
19 you go up towards Zenica?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is there any specific point in the village?
22 You mentioned a school and a mosque. Does that point
23 correspond with the school or the mosque or any other
24 particular significant feature?
25 A. I'm sorry. I didn't understand. The mosque
1 corresponds to the mosque, it has a minaret, and the
2 school is where you go to school. I didn't understand
3 the question.
4 Q. That was my fault. Can you place on the map
5 where the mosque is in Poculica, please, and if you
6 could mark in pen with the letter "M"?
7 A. Yes. You can see it. I'll point it out.
8 The felt pen is red so you can see it (indicating).
9 Q. So where the pointer is is where the mosque
10 is. You also mentioned in your testimony a school?
11 A. Yes. Can I indicate it? (Marks)
12 Q. Can you indicate it again with the pointer?
13 A. (Indicating)
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. You're welcome.
16 Q. In the area that you've marked as the mixed
17 part of the village where it was 60 per cent Croat and
18 40 per cent Muslim, from the end point that you've put
19 on that map towards Zenica, is it purely Muslim from
20 there on?
21 A. No. You mean this part of the last line I
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. No, no. This is not purely Muslim. I said
25 that the part on from there was 50/50.
1 Q. There's a road. The road seems to turn off
2 towards Prnjavor, and the main road continues on to
3 Zenica; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Following the road that turns off to
6 Prnjavor, can you mark on the map where the purely
7 Muslim section starts?
8 A. Yes, I can. I can't be very accurate, but I
9 can mark this road where I placed the mosque. So you
10 can see here from the main road, there is a road, a
11 macadam road turning off the main road, and that used
12 to be the road to Zenica. But afterwards when the
13 asphalt road was built, this side road remained as this
14 macadam road, and on the right-hand side towards the
15 village, there were purely Muslim houses. And beneath
16 the mosque on the left-hand side and around the mosque,
17 there were Croat houses too, the Jurcevic, Papic,
18 Kristo families.
19 Behind the mosque, let me think, about 150 to
20 200 metres away was the border of the village of
21 Poculica, and then came the purely Muslim village of
22 Prnjavor. I'm going to show it to you right now.
24 Q. And that spot that you indicated with the
25 pointer, that is where the purely Muslim village
1 commences; is that right?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. In the area that you stated there was about a
4 60/40 Croat-Muslim mix, in that particular area of
5 Poculica were there any houses damaged in that area?
6 A. Yes, yes, two houses were torched. I marked
7 the school here for you, and about 15 metres away from
8 the school, roughly, on this side of the road,
9 Mr. Ramljak's house, Mr. Stipo Ramljak's house was
10 burnt down. Actually, two of his houses were burnt
11 down. He was a Croat.
12 Q. Once we move into the part of the village
13 above the mosque, where you stated that it was 50/50
14 Muslim and Croat, were there any houses destroyed or
15 burnt down as a result of the attack on the 16th?
16 A. Believe me, I don't know. We couldn't have
17 burned it. We couldn't have reached the upper part of
18 the village, let alone Prnjavor. Later in the
19 afternoon, I don't know, I have no idea. From our
20 side, not a single Muslim house was destroyed or burnt,
21 either in Prnjavor or elsewhere.
22 Q. So in terms of damage that occurred as a
23 result of the conflict on the 16th and after the 16th
24 of April, 1993, the main damage that occurred in
25 Poculica was in the lower part of the village where
1 about 40 or 41 houses were damaged, some very badly
2 damaged and destroyed, and some not so badly; is that
4 A. No, that's not right. I said that there were
5 Croat houses in Poculica, in the local community,
6 forty-two that were destroyed. And not all of them are
7 in this lower part of the village.
8 Q. (Microphone not on)
9 A. Well, yes, in the lower part and even in this
10 upper part. I am going to put some kind of a sign here
11 for you to see. X, for instance. This sign here, this
12 is where the macadam Road forks off leading to our
13 cemetery, Zvizda, and also the Papic, Tomic and other
14 family houses, these were Croat houses, 20 or 25 of
15 them, and they were totally destroyed as well. And
16 these houses, together with the houses in the lower
17 part of the village, make up a total of 42. So they
18 are on this side and that side.
19 Q. Can you place on the map where your house
20 is. I was wondering -- (no microphone). Can you mark
21 your house, the general area with a "DG.".
22 A. I didn't understand what you said.
23 Q. Can you find the general location of your
24 house and mark it with the initials "DG," please. Can
25 you also indicate that with a pointer?
1 A. I can. Just a minute. Let me find it.
2 Here. Here (indicating), exactly here where this road
3 turns off. This is also macadam Road that people used
4 when they were walking on foot or when they were going
5 by cart, and this is where my house is. When you get
6 off this road here. Here, right over here
7 (indicating). There was a monument here dedicated to
8 the partisan days here. Here. This is where my house
10 Q. Thank you. And you mentioned that
11 Mara Papic, you went to Mara Papic's house. Could you
12 place on the map the location of where her house is
13 with "MP," please.
14 A. Mara Papic, her house is here. Let me just
15 find it -- here (indicating). Right over here. The
16 last house bordering on the last Muslim house. That's
17 where the border line is. And right next to the border
18 line is Mara Papic's house.
19 Q. Thank you. And the distance from her house
20 to your house is about (no microphone)? You give the
21 figure. How far away is it?
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please try to
23 speak into the microphone.
24 MR. SMITH:
25 Q. About how far away from your house is
1 Mara Papic's house, please?
2 A. About 150 metres.
3 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honours. In
4 relation to this map, I think largely that's been dealt
5 with, so perhaps it's a good time to break.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We'll take a 15-minute
8 --- Recess taken at 12.11 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
10 MR. SMITH:
11 Q. If we can just concentrate on the 15th of
12 April and what happened that day before the shelling on
13 the 16th. I think you said that you went to Vitez on
14 the afternoon of the 15th, then you came back about
15 4.30 or 5.00 in the afternoon.
16 A. Yes. I set out for Vitez around noon,
17 perhaps around 12.00, I don't know exactly, and I spent
18 about three or four hours there, so possibly that was
19 the time when I came back.
20 Q. You came back and you said that the
21 atmosphere in the village was a little bit tense
22 because of the killings of some bodyguards in Zenica.
23 A. Yes. The bodyguards, escorts of the
24 commander of the Zenica brigade, Zivko Totic, were
1 Q. That was the only thing that in your mind
2 seemed to make things tense in that particular village,
3 that incident?
4 A. Well, that day was that incident. And also
5 before that it was a bit tense and it wasn't all the
6 same to us, all these other incidents that had occurred
7 before that. An HVO officer killed in Travnik and then
8 the incidents in Novi Travnik, Ahmici, Busovaca,
9 Dusina, all sorts of things were going on. It was
10 always tense. That day too.
11 Q. But, in any event, you decided to walk around
12 the village to see that everything was okay, and with
13 the Croats and the Muslims and, as far as you were
14 concerned, things were okay, despite the fact that
15 there was this fear in the village?
16 A. Yes, exactly.
17 Q. You went to bed that night? You weren't on
18 guard on the night of the 15th, were you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. The first thing that you heard of anything
21 unusual was when two guards woke you up about 5.00 in
22 the morning, and they had mentioned that some lady may
23 have said that there might be an attack either in the
24 village or in the area; is that right?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. And, as a result of that, you went to Mara
2 Papic's house that morning?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Then she told you that her sister had rung
5 from, I think it was Krtina Mahala, and said that there
6 was shooting in that particular area; is that correct?
7 A. That is not correct. I did not say that she
8 ran there. I said that her sister from Krtina Mahala
9 had phoned, so she had phoned Mara Papic.
10 Q. Sorry, that was my mispronunciation. I meant
11 that her sister had rung her. At the time that you
12 spoke to Mara Papic, could you hear shooting in distant
13 villages or in Vitez?
14 A. Probably I could have had there been any
15 shooting, but at that time there wasn't any shooting,
16 so I couldn't hear it.
17 Q. Did you hear any shooting coming from the
18 Ahmici area, Ahmici-Santici area?
19 A. Yes, later, when I set out for the lower part
20 of the village from that area, Santici, Ahmici, Vitez,
21 down from that area, yes, I could hear shooting.
22 Q. As a result of what Mara Papic had said to
23 you, you decided to ring your friend Mario Cerkez at
24 the Viteska Brigade command headquarters in Vitez; is
25 that correct?
1 A. That is not correct. I talked to the person
2 on duty in headquarters and he told me that Mario was
3 not there and that he would try to find Mario. And if
4 he would somehow get in touch with Mario, that he would
5 ask him to call me back, to try to call me back at Mara
7 Q. You intended to ring Mario Cerkez, though, is
8 that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And Mario Cerkez rang you back some minutes
12 A. Yes, perhaps some 10 minutes later.
13 Q. You stated to him that you felt there seemed
14 to be some fear in the village, because information was
15 coming in from other villages that there might be an
16 attack. That's what you told Mario Cerkez?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And he said to you, "Did you notice anything
19 unusual in the village?" And you told him that you
20 didn't. And, I think you said in your evidence, that
21 Mario recommended that you continue your observation in
22 the particular village and that you would talk later
23 with Mario Cerkez, if it was necessary.
24 A. Exactly.
25 Q. Then that's when the conversation ended?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So at that time you were of the view that if
3 something significant occurred in the village, you
4 would have rung Mario Cerkez and informed him; is that
6 A. I knew Mario Cerkez from the factory and we
7 worked together. And, as I knew that he was in the
8 headquarters there, that he was down there, I had no
9 one else to talk to. Yes, I asked to talk to him.
10 Q. After the phone call, you said at some time
11 later you heard some shooting from the village of
12 Ahmici and Santici, villages of Ahmici and Santici.
13 About how long after that phone call did you hear that
15 A. Well, perhaps after some 15 minutes.
16 Q. So that could have been about 5.30 in the
18 A. Well, yes. Yes. Yes. Something like that,
20 Q. Did you hear shelling coming from that
21 direction as well? Sorry, did you hear shelling noises
22 in that direction, the direction of Ahmici and Santici?
23 A. Well, then at that time I couldn't exactly
24 tell. Shooting could be heard, but then we were so
25 frightened, so it was difficult to tell the exact
1 location. It seemed at first that the shooting was
2 coming from the town of Vitez itself, and later on it
3 also came from the direction of Santici, Ahmici, all of
4 it was mixed up.
5 Q. You were the commander of the village guard
6 in Poculica, the HVO commander of the village guard in
7 Poculica; is that correct?
8 A. That is not correct. I was one of the
9 representatives of the Croat people in all these
10 negotiations, and there were five of us on this crisis
11 staff. We were not organised as an army at all, and I
12 was no commander.
13 Q. Perhaps I'll use a different term. You were
14 the coordinator of the Croat village guard in
15 Poculica. You coordinated the guard?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Did you have a deputy coordinator?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was his name?
20 A. I said that there were a few of them, Zoran
21 Jurcevic -- I'm sorry. It wasn't Jurcevic. It was
22 Marijan Grbavac, Tomislav Gruban ...
23 Q. They were coordinators as such. They
24 assisted you in the coordination. About how many
25 Croats did you have in the village guard in Poculica?
1 A. At the beginning, there were five or six
2 Croats in the village guards in Poculica with at least
3 one or two hunting guns. And as time went by, as the
4 situation changed, as there were more and more
5 incidents, the village guard was enlarged too. In a
6 normal situation, it could have been up to 30 or 40 men
7 who joined up because, at that time, there was looting,
8 and people were ashamed to be asleep while we were
9 patrolling the village. So later they came to join the
10 village guards.
11 Q. Just referring to April '93, about how many
12 men did you have in the village guard?
13 A. Well, perhaps around 40.
14 Q. There was a number of them that were in the
15 active Viteska Brigade as well; is that right?
16 A. No, no, those who were in the village guard
17 were not in the active component.
18 Q. Tomislav Jursevic, he was in the active
19 brigade, the Viteska Brigade; is that correct?
20 A. I'm sorry. I don't know a person called
21 Tomislav Josevic.
22 Q. I have difficulty pronouncing these names, so
23 if I can spell it. It's J-U-R-C-E-V-I-C.
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. He was in the Viteska Brigade?
1 A. Yes. When this active component was
2 established, yes, Tomislav Jurcevic was there.
3 Q. But he was in the Viteska Brigade before
4 April 1993, wasn't he, or are you not sure?
5 A. Well, I know that before April, this active
6 component or whatever was established. I don't know
7 exactly when in 1993 and I don't know how many men
8 there were there exactly, but I do know that the people
9 who were in this active component said that they would
10 not join the village guard anymore.
11 Q. When Mario Cerkez spoke to you when you rang
12 him about what Mara Papic had said, he didn't tell you
13 that there was going to be a Bosnian army attack coming
14 from the direction of Kuber and Zenica generally, did
16 A. No.
17 Q. You had no knowledge of a specific attack or
18 intended attack coming from the Bosnian army prior to
19 being shelled on the morning of the 16th, had you?
20 A. No, no, we hadn't noticed a thing, and we
21 hadn't received any kind of information from anyone
22 that there would be an attack that morning.
23 Q. You were completely surprised when the
24 shelling occurred?
25 A. Exactly that way.
1 Q. You know the commander of the Central Bosnia
2 Operative Zone is Tihomir Blaskic. You knew that at
3 the time, didn't you?
4 A. Yes, I knew from these conversations, but
5 until then I hadn't met him, or later for that matter,
6 Mr. Blaskic.
7 Q. On the 15th of April, you knew that Mario
8 Cerkez was the commander of the Viteska Brigade?
9 A. Well, I didn't know that he was the
10 commander, but I knew he was something in that brigade,
11 that he had some kind of a position in this chain of
12 command, but, believe me, I didn't know. I was not in
13 touch with the command, and I didn't know what their
14 hierarchy was.
15 Q. Then in your particular village, the shelling
16 didn't occur until 9.30, 9.00 or 9.30. I think that's
17 your evidence; is that right?
18 A. Well, not after 9.00 but before 9.00, rather,
19 so around 9.00, perhaps 15 minutes before 9.00, but
20 around 9.00.
21 Q. Between about 5.30 when you said that you
22 first heard shooting coming from the Vitez direction
23 and the direction of Ahmici and Santici and the
24 shelling of the village, that's about three hours,
25 three hours or so, did you hear intense fighting or
1 intense military activity in the area of Ahmici,
2 Santici, and Vitez? Did it increase?
3 A. Yes, yes. More intense and more frequent
4 shooting could be heard.
5 Q. You received no phone calls from anyone in
6 Ahmici or Santici in relation to the Croats being --
7 A. No.
8 Q. -- attacked in those villages? Zoran
9 Kupreskic didn't ring you and say that the village was
10 being attacked by Muslims or the Bosnian army?
11 A. No, no one called me from a single village,
12 and no one told me that they were attacked or that I
13 would be attacked.
14 Q. Apart from having a telephone, you also had a
15 radio transmitter in your house, is that correct, or in
16 your garage?
17 A. I don't understand. What kind of a radio
19 Q. A radio that you can use to communicate with
20 other villages or Vitez?
21 A. I did not have a radio transmitter. I did
22 not have a Motorola.
23 Q. But did you have some sort of transmitting
24 device, communication device, other than a telephone?
25 A. Well, this was a radio that belonged to
1 Mr. Tomislav Gruban who was one of my deputies, as you
2 call them. He got an old radio transmitter from a
3 friend, a Serb from Tolovici, and he had it. That day,
4 we tried to establish radio communications with that
5 device, but the batteries were poor or something. We
6 did not establish communications with anyone that way.
7 Q. But was that radio transmitter on your
8 property or was it on his property?
9 A. Well, then at that time, it was empty because
10 I had my car battery in the garage, and then we tried
11 to fill up that battery in my garage, and that is the
12 reason why we had the radio transmitter on my property
13 at that time.
14 Q. What was the intention of the radio
15 transmitter? Was it to communicate with other village
16 guards or the central Viteska Brigade in Vitez? What
17 was the purpose of it?
18 A. This radio transmitter was used by the
19 mentioned gentlemen to show off, that's the right way
20 of putting it, and it was only on that day that we
21 tried to use it because he said that he had a relative
22 living in the centre of Vitez, and he gave him the
23 right number and whatever, and then we tried to use
24 that radio transmitter, and we tried to reach that
25 relative of his who worked in the communications
2 Q. You said that at about a quarter to nine, the
3 shelling commenced in Poculica, and I think you said in
4 your evidence that it occurred initially in a sporadic
5 fashion, intermittent?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How often would that be? Would that be one
8 shell every 15 minutes or can you give us an idea of
9 the rate of the shelling in this early period?
10 A. Well, they would fire five or six shells one
11 after another, and then there would be an interval of
12 some 20 minutes or so without any shelling.
13 Q. How long did this rate of shelling go on
14 for? Did it ever intensify more than that or was that
15 the rate of shelling throughout the day prior to you
17 A. Twelve hours after we received the ultimatum
18 from the mosque, the shelling became more intense.
19 Q. The shelling, did that occur in the part of
20 the village that you lived in, in the purely Croat
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After the shelling occurred, you mentioned
24 that someone got in touch with you, I think, and Asim
25 Krehic said to you that he wanted to go to the upper
1 part of the village; is that right?
2 A. What is correct is that Asim Krehic's son was
3 the one who came to tell me how terrified he was after
4 he went to the upper part of the village, after having
5 seen all these Mujahedin and troops from the outside.
6 He simply came there to warn me or something, and he
7 did not know the exact answer either when I asked him,
8 "Well, all right, I mean, why did you come and what do
9 you mean?" And he said, "I don't know myself," but I
10 saw that this young man was frightened, and I realised
11 that he wanted to help us, to warn us, something like
13 Q. About what time did you hear the call from
14 the mosque, the speaker from the mosque, for you to
15 surrender? About what time was that?
16 A. About 12.00.
17 Q. Now, it was only the lower part of the
18 village that you saw that was shelled that morning, the
19 purely Croat part?
20 A. I think so, yes. I think so, yes.
21 Q. What was your role between 9.00 and 12.00?
22 What was your role during that period as the
23 coordinator of the village guards?
24 A. I didn't know what their role was myself --
25 what my role was. I really couldn't be -- I wasn't
1 actually sure what to do. I tried to visit as many of
2 my neighbours as possible to figure out what to do. I
3 was taking care of my family, tried to make sure that
4 they went to the shelters. So all of that time, we
5 were practically running around the village thinking
6 about what to do because we were taken by surprise. I
7 didn't have any kind of military expert or anybody who
8 could really think of something clever to do that day.
9 Q. Did you keep to the lower part of the village
10 or did you ever move beyond the purely Croat area,
11 namely, beyond Mara Papic's house that morning?
12 A. Yes, until 11.30, I was above the house of
13 Mara Papic at 11.30 for the last time, and, as I
14 pointed out on the map, that was behind the school. I
15 was behind the school at about that time to take care
16 of the wounded person, and then three or four times, I
17 went to that part around the school. Above the school,
18 to the upper part, I didn't go until that day.
19 Q. You didn't see any soldiers yourself on that
20 day, Muslim soldiers?
21 A. No.
22 Q. They didn't come into the lower part of the
23 village whilst you were there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Before the evacuation, did they come into the
1 next part of the village that was 60 per cent Croat and
2 40 per cent Muslim?
3 A. Yes, before the evacuation. That was the
4 reason we decided to evacuate. They captured that
5 part, that was 60 per cent Croatian and 40 per cent
6 Muslim. So my neighbours who were standing around
7 their houses, when they saw how many of them there were
8 and how armed they were, and how they were shouting,
9 they simply withdrew to the lower part of the village.
10 That was the reason we evacuated the
11 civilians, because that part was captured by the Muslim
13 Q. You said that some of the people in the
14 village told you that the shelling had come from
15 different places. You were told that in the lower part
16 of the village there was shelling from Sljivcica and,
17 in the middle part, shelling from Vrhovine and, in the
18 upper part, there was shelling from Tolovici and
19 Vjetrenica. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, they had the feeling when they were
21 patrolling. That's how it appeared to us. Some people
22 would say that it was fired from Sljivcica, somebody
23 else would say that it had been from Sljivcica in the
24 upper part. They thought that the shelling came more
25 from Tolovici and Vrhovine.
1 Q. You personally yourself didn't know where the
2 shelling had come from, apart from what people had told
3 you; is that right?
4 A. Yes, it's true and it's not true. The
5 shelling of my house, as far as that's concerned, I
6 think that came from the direction of Preocica
7 Stijena. So at the time I thought that they were
8 shelling my house from above, but, as I said, everybody
9 had their own opinion, and it's a fact that these
10 mortars were deployed at several points around the
12 Q. Is that the main reason why you assumed that
13 the shelling had come from those particular areas, is
14 because you had previous knowledge that mortars were
15 deployed prior to the 16th of April?
16 A. We didn't know exactly, but according to the
17 indications and the trenches that were being dug
18 towards Vjetrenica and in Banovac and in the forest
19 close to Vrhovine and then around Tolovici, the
20 trenches that we noticed there, we assumed that the
21 mortars were there. And some heavy weaponry.
22 Q. The village of Sljivcica is in the direction
23 of Vitez, is that correct, closer to Vitez than
25 A. Yes, but that Sljivcica is not a village.
1 It's like a little hill, a meadow, and there are no
2 houses there.
3 Q. About how far away from Poculica is that?
4 A. Well, that depends where you look at Poculica
5 from. The central part of the village to my house is
6 maybe 500 from the lower part of the villages, two or
7 three hundred metres. As the crow flies from the upper
8 part of the village to Sljivcica, it's maybe 1.000 or
9 1.500 metres, but if you walk it's about 2.000 metres.
10 Q. A witness has provided some information in
11 relation to where he or she believed that the shelling
12 came from. A witness has stated that on that morning
13 that he or she saw some shelling coming from the Vitez
14 area towards Poculica. Is that possible?
15 A. I doubt it. From the direction of Vitez I
16 didn't hear any shells or I couldn't see them.
17 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, in relation to that
18 piece of evidence or that question, the basis for it
19 was a witness statement that the Tribunal has. This
20 person's name, I don't think, is necessary that their
21 name be disclosed, and that's why the information
22 wasn't put to the witness. But I would like to tender
23 that document but have it sealed.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: This is a witness who was
25 called in another trial?
1 MR. SMITH: No, Your Honour, he or she hasn't
2 been called in another trial, but has provided a
3 statement to the Tribunal in 1995. I am not persisting
4 with this. Just so that the question was
5 substantiated. That's why the information was supplied
6 to the Defence, if there was some problem with that. I
7 am in Your Honours' hands in relation to it.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: No, we -- Counsel
9 Slokovic-Glumac, I was going to say we will not admit
10 this into evidence.
11 MR. SMITH:
12 Q. I think you said there was about 400 or so
13 Croats that lived in the village of Poculica; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Most of the Croats were evacuated on the 16th
17 of April. That's right, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I think you said about 70 of them that lived
20 in the part of the village towards <obscured> were
21 detained, one group was detained in a community centre
22 and another group was detained in some Muslim houses;
23 is that right?
24 A. It's true that I said that 70 of them were
25 captured that day, mostly from the upper part of the
1 village and the central part. Many more Croats lived
2 in that area and they managed to escape.
3 Q. You organised the main evacuation about 2.30
4 in the afternoon, or had people escaped earlier?
5 A. People had escaped earlier into the forest,
6 in the stream. Some of them were in their house
7 shelters, in the cellars, and then we talked about
8 5.30. Then after that fierce attack from the direction
9 of the mosque, when the people who were standing around
10 their houses had to withdraw below the last Muslim
11 house. Then at about 4.30 we came to the conclusion
12 that we had to evacuate all the civilians. I'm sorry,
13 at 2.30.
14 This then happened at around 3.30. And then
15 after an interval we tried to send everybody from the
16 cellars into the forest where some people already were
17 and then organize withdrawal towards Krizancevo Selo.
18 Q. I think you said that when the evacuation was
19 being carried out in relation to some of the Croat
20 civilians that they were being fired upon as they were
21 leaving the village?
22 A. Yes, I said that. They were shooting from
23 the direction of Sljivcica when they were coming down
24 this meadow. You could see that on the videotape.
25 There was a clearing, a meadow, and then they fired at
1 the civilians from Sljivcica with heavy weaponry.
2 Q. I think it's your evidence that no one was
3 killed as they were being evacuated whilst they were
4 under fire?
5 A. No.
6 Q. I think your evidence is that on the day of
7 the 16th of April there was one person, one Croat
8 killed, and I think you mentioned his name is Anto
9 Kristo. Do you know how he was killed?
10 A. I, after a couple of days when we went over
11 the events, I found out later from the men who remained
12 in that section, in the purely Croatian section, that
13 also while they were withdrawing Anto Kristo was
14 killed. They located the exact position where the
15 sniper shot him in the forehead. They assumed that the
16 sniper was in a house of one of the Muslim neighbours,
17 and the house was in the central part of the village.
18 Q. Are you aware of any Muslims being killed on
19 that day as well in the village? Redzo Bektas, was he
21 A. I found that out only after the war, maybe a
22 year back when I met one of my neighbours, a Muslim.
23 So we talked about everything that had happened. He
24 told me then that on the first day one person, I think
25 he said his name was Redzo, was killed. If that's the
1 person that I am thinking of, I knew this man, he was
2 from Prnjavor. So maybe about a year ago I found out
3 that on the first day in Poculica a Muslim soldier was
5 Q. I know some people in detention, you stated
6 that they were killed about a week after the attack on
7 Poculica. You said three people were killed in -- is
8 it the community centre?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could that have been about the 25th of April?
11 A. No. Maybe the 22nd or the 23rd of April.
12 Q. There were no people that were in detention
13 on the 16th of April that were killed, either the women
14 or children or the men? I think you stated that the
15 women and the children, or the people that were taken
16 to the Muslim houses, were treated quite well, some of
17 the locals were quite embarrassed?
18 A. The people who were killed at the hall, three
19 men, three Croat men, were captured on the 16th of
20 April in the village of Poculica. Among the women who
21 were wounded were women from Putkovici, who were also
22 brought to this hall. And then the children, I don't
23 know if they were inside at that time. I think that
24 they weren't. I said that usually women with small
25 children were placed in the houses of Muslims where
1 they were brought and left. So in most cases they were
2 satisfied with the attitude of the hosts towards them
3 at that time, as much as that was possible.
4 Q. You stated in your evidence that some of the
5 men kept at the community centre were sent out to dig
6 some trenches?
7 A. Yes. When they came from captivity, I heard
8 that from them, from the people who were captured. And
9 they told us these stories about digging trenches,
10 about burying the cattle in the village. All the pigs
11 in the village were slaughtered, the Mujahedins had
12 slaughtered all the pigs that remained in the village.
13 Then they made our captives bury them.
14 Q. This activity of trench-digging, are you
15 aware that that was an activity that was carried out by
16 the HVO as well?
17 A. Yes, I heard the same thing from the
18 stories. I didn't see it personally.
19 Q. Once you left the village of Poculica, I
20 think you were wounded and then you were evacuated by
21 some other people that assisted you; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You didn't have time, I would assume, to
24 examine what damage occurred on the 16th of April in
25 the Poculica village as a whole, damage to Croat
2 A. That evening there was no time. Naturally,
3 nobody thought about the material consequences. The
4 only thing we worried about was who was alive. We took
5 hours to evacuate. This wasn't organised, so we left
6 at about 3.30, and then there were men who came in the
7 evening, or in the morning, to Krizancevo Selo. And
8 there was no communication. The lower part of the
9 village didn't know what was happening in the upper
10 part. When they saw that there was nobody there, they
11 withdrew slowly and then they arrived.
12 Q. I think you stated in your evidence that your
13 house was burnt, completely burnt about a week after
14 the attack.
15 A. Yes, that's right. I think about a week
16 later. That's when it started, maybe the 3rd or 4th
17 day, because our men who had pulled out and had come to
18 Krizancevo Selo, they were on the lines above
19 Krizancevo Selo. And then from that part, which was
20 towards Tolovici, you could see the village of Poculica
21 very well. So every day they would watch one or two
22 houses being torched.
23 Before that, I think, that my house I could
24 watch from Vitez. I had gone to visit my sister after
25 being bandaged, so I could see with binoculars how the
1 tractor in front of my house was being loaded with the
2 heating radiators from the ground floor. Then I could
3 see a young man carrying the sun umbrella. He had
4 opened it and he was coming out of my yard onto the
5 street and waving it around.
6 After 45 minutes I could see smoke from my
7 bedroom. You could see the smoke from there first.
8 Also, my brother's house was torched the next
9 day after mine.
10 Q. And that's the case, isn't it, that a large
11 number of these houses were damaged and destroyed for
12 the ones you've mentioned sometime after the 16th of
14 A. Yes, that's right. Ninety-nine per cent or
15 100 per cent of them were burnt. There was some minor
16 damage from the shelling on that day, but later they
17 were torched; plundered and burnt.
18 Q. I think you mentioned that some of the men
19 that were detained were released, I think, about the
20 16th of May, '93?
21 A. Yes. Some of them were released earlier, but
22 at that time I was wounded and I had personal
23 problems. I was receiving treatment at the health
24 clinic. But I think on the 15th of May a larger
25 exchange was organised, and I think that the majority
1 of Croats from Poculica were exchanged at that time.
2 Q. The HVO were handing over the prisoners that
3 they had in exchange for the prisoners that the Bosnian
4 army had. Is that how you understand it?
5 A. Yes, I think this was done in that way
6 through the Red Cross and all of these organisations.
7 MR. SMITH: If I can just have a moment, Your
8 Honour. I think I am nearly finished my questioning.
9 I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Smith. We
11 have 10 minutes. I wonder, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, do
12 you think you could start now and finish as well?
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Probably I will not be
14 able to finish, Mr. President. I can start or maybe we
15 can leave this for tomorrow, if that is all right with
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no, let's start.
18 MR. SMITH: Excuse me, Your Honours, I seek
19 to tender those documents, subject to the one that --
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 345 and document
22 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection from the
23 Defence? I don't see any objection. They are admitted
24 into the evidence.
25 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
1 Q. Mr. Grebenar, in relation to the victims, the
2 persons who were killed in the hall in Prnjavor, you
3 mentioned this and you were asked whether these were
4 people from Poculica. Could you give us the names of
5 the persons who were killed?
6 A. Yes, Pero Papic, the son of Pero, born in
7 1960. I know this information because I went to school
8 with him. Jozo Vidovic, I think he was maybe born in
9 about 1947. Also, Ivo Vidovic, I think he was born in
10 1945 or '43, somewhere around that time.
11 Q. What about the people who were wounded on
12 that occasion? You said that there were five women in
13 question who were from Putkovici, and out of the nine
14 wounded persons, do you know any of their names or
15 rather, were some of them from Poculica?
16 A. I know two names, and I think they were
17 seriously wounded. They were from Poculica. Zeljo
18 Papic, son of Milko, I think he was born in 1965. And
19 Jozo Jucic, son of Ilija, I think he was born in 1942
20 or '43. They were gravely wounded, particularly, Zeljo
21 Papic, and then I really don't know the names of the
23 Q. What about Jozo Jurcevic, was he wounded?
24 A. Yes, Jozo Jurcevic, son of Ilija, was
1 Q. Do you know what year he was born in?
2 A. 1941 or 1942 perhaps.
3 Q. Anto Anic and Pero Papic, do those names ring
4 a bell?
5 A. Pero Papic is the person who was killed.
6 There's also his father, Pero Papic, I think he was
7 wounded. Anto Anic is not a familiar name. Perhaps
8 that's someone from another village. I don't know
9 him. He's not from Poculica.
10 Q. What about Milko Papic, was he from Poculica?
11 A. Yes. Milko Papic was the father of Zeljo.
12 Q. Was he wounded?
13 A. I'm not sure about that. I think he was
14 there -- he was wounded, but I don't know how serious
15 it was.
16 Q. Tell me, in relation to what you said to the
17 Prosecutor in response to his questions, when you
18 talked about your withdrawal from Poculica, you talked
19 about evacuation. Do you think that you were evacuated
20 then or do you think that you were expelled? What do
21 you think about that? Do you know what the distinction
22 would be between the two?
23 A. When I talked about evacuation, I talked
24 about the rescue of people, and my opinion is that
25 evacuation is carried out when a person is faced with
1 danger from a natural disaster or, in this case, it was
2 from the fact that the Muslim army forced us to
3 expulsion. That's a better word than "evacuation." We
4 had to escape.
5 Q. In relation to the houses, when you talked
6 about 40 Croat houses that were burned, you said that
7 the other houses that were not destroyed were used by
8 Muslims, that people moved into them, and that there
9 was no destruction of those houses; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, there was no destruction. They weren't
11 completely devastated, but they weren't being
12 maintained, so that those houses now, five years after
13 use by them, are not in the condition that they should
14 have been if their hosts had been living there and
15 maintaining them.
16 Q. Are those houses being used until the present
17 day by Muslim people?
18 A. All the livable houses of Croats in the
19 village of Poculica, meaning the local community of
20 Poculica, are in the possession of Muslims and occupied
21 by Muslims, so all of those houses that are in livable
23 Q. You said as far as Poculica itself is
24 concerned, that Croats did not return to that area.
25 Did they return to the surrounding villages that were
1 populated by Croats?
2 A. As far as I know, a small number returned
3 around Buhine Kuce, and there was some renovation
4 there. A little bit was done in Krtina Mahala, but I
5 don't have any information whether anybody returned
6 there. Then in the rest of the municipality, there has
7 been no significant change or progress as far as the
8 return of expelled Croats is concerned or the repair of
9 Croat homes.
10 Q. Do you know of any Croats returning to
12 A. I heard something, that there was a project
13 being carried out there, a return project, and there
14 was agreement between the parties, the HDZ and the SDA,
15 of return to Grbavica in exchange for the return of
16 certain Croats in those border areas. I know that for
17 Grbavica, it was implemented 100 per cent, but I really
18 don't know how many Croats returned to Kruscica. I
19 don't have exact information about that.
20 Q. What about the village of Bobasi?
21 A. Yes. This was all part of that concept, the
22 village of Bobasi, Kruscica, and the so-called Barisi
23 Kuce, and then on the other side, it should have been
24 Grbavica. Some work was done, some repair work, but I
25 don't think that that's at any kind of stage of
1 completion. The level of their completion really is
2 not such that it's possible for people to move in. I
3 think some people did return, but it's a very small
5 Q. You said before the conflict, that is to say,
6 before the 16th of April, 1993, that the number of
7 persons, Croats, involved in the village guards was 40;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's about the number. I don't have
10 the exact number written down, but I think, yes, that's
11 the figure.
12 Q. Do you know how many members from the Muslim
13 side there were in the village guards?
14 A. At that time, they had a much larger number,
15 but the number of persons who were on guard in this
16 part of the village, compared to Vrhovine and Prnjavor,
17 was much smaller. So in Poculica, maybe there were
18 about 50 of them, maybe more. We would meet, and we
19 also sometimes had watches together, but there was much
20 more of them than us in Poculica. And then in the
21 villages of Prnjavor and Vrhovine, they had a lot of
22 refugees and a lot of outsiders, so the MOS was formed
23 by some Mujahedin, so there were some units there. And
24 then in the evening from the mosque, we could hear the
25 music, and you could never hear this in Poculica
1 before, not particularly so loud so that the whole
2 village could hear it. There were many more of them in
3 the village guards on that side than on our side.
4 Q. You also mentioned in your statement, and
5 partly you repeated this during the cross-examination,
6 that at first, Croat guards were separate, and then
7 that Muslim guards were set up. Tell me, during which
8 period of time did you have joint guard duty?
9 A. Perhaps in the second half of '92. Maybe one
10 to two months we were together until what I just talked
11 about occurred, where you would see these very young
12 men who didn't even shave, they were acting as
13 Mujahedin, and they started to grow beards. That's how
14 they started to turn up for the guard duty. So in that
15 period, we had these joint watches.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: I see that you can't complete
17 today, so we will adjourn now until tomorrow at 9.00.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
19 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
20 Wednesday, the 27th day of January, 1999
21 at 9.00 a.m.