1 Monday, 15th February, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Before our
10 next witness is brought in, I would like to raise two
11 issues with the parties. The first issue about the
12 testimony by Defence witnesses about the character of
13 the accused.
14 Now, I went through the transcripts and I
15 found a statement made by the Prosecutor on the 27th of
16 January, Mr. Terrier, where he said and I quote, "As
17 far as the Prosecution is concerned, there's no doubt
18 as to the character of the witnesses. We are not
19 aiming to prove before this Court that the accused,
20 before the conflict, were horrible human beings who had
21 terrify relations with their Muslim neighbours. I
22 think the contrary is true, and we're not contesting
23 that particular point."
24 In light of this statement, I think it is the
25 character -- the good character of the accused is not
1 an issue in dispute, so, therefore, we should not waste
2 our time hearing witnesses here who testify about the
3 character of the accused. Please, therefore, refrain
4 from asking any questions about their character,
5 because as I say, this is not an issue which is in
6 dispute. The Prosecutor is not disputing the good
7 character of the witnesses.
8 Second point about the possible testimony by
9 witnesses, Defence witnesses, on massacres or alleged
10 massacres or atrocities committed by Muslims. Again,
11 at least we have raised the question of the
12 extent -- on whether what extent this issue was
13 material to our case.
14 In spite of our repeated appeals, the Defence
15 counsel have continued raising issues relating to the
16 massacres committed by Muslims.
17 Now, from now onwards we would like to ask
18 the Defence counsel, if they intend to go into this
19 matter, before they do so to explain the relevance of
20 the testimony on this particular matter to our case, so
21 that we can decide whether or not this evidence is
23 I think this is a sort of fair compromise to
24 take account of the rights of the Defence while at the
25 same time safeguarding the rights of the accused to an
1 expeditious trial.
2 We will now, if there are no matters to be
3 raised by the parties, we are in a position to move on
4 and, I would like to ask the registrar -- yes,
5 Counsel Susak first and then Counsel Radovic.
6 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, we had a
7 discussion on Friday, and the Presiding Judge was Judge
8 May. He requested me to inform him when the gate in
9 the warehouse was filmed. This was done on the 18th of
10 December, 1998. That is my answer that I owe him.
11 I see that there was some confusion in the
12 courtroom, so allow me to say a few words.
13 This is the western gate of which a
14 photograph was taken by SFOR on the 17th of April, and
15 that is the gate on the videotape and on the photograph
16 taken on the 18th of December, 1998. There is another
17 gate shown on another photograph which the Prosecutor
18 has tendered into evidence, and that is on the southern
19 side and facing the road, and many did not realise that
20 there were two gates, and this one on the west is the
21 one shown on the photograph in the video. Thank you.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you.
23 Counsel Radovic?
24 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, we have heard
25 your ruling regarding witnesses that may be called as
1 character witnesses. The fact that the Prosecutor
2 agrees that these are persons with a good character can
3 be considered mitigating circumstances. However, we
4 wanted those witnesses to be heard to illustrate a
5 model of behaviour on the part of the accused, which is
6 part of the factual evidence, and this model of
7 behaviour is used to prove whether anyone is guilty of
8 anything, and it is envisaged in the Rules of Procedure
9 and Evidence. A certain model of behaviour throughout
10 a person's lifetime shows whether a perpetrator could
11 have been a perpetrator at all at a point in his life,
12 and that is why the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
13 envisaged the proving of this model of behaviour in the
14 Court of the proceedings.
15 So we are using this testimony as factual
16 evidence rather than character evidence, that is, to
17 illustrate a certain model of behaviour, not to testify
18 to the character of the accused but to the model of
19 behaviour applied by the accused throughout his
21 Regarding your other rulings, we would like
22 to ask to receive it in writing, please.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 Counsel Pavkovic?
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
1 Mr. President, last week when Judge May was
2 the Presiding Judge, I asked a question and asked the
3 Trial Chamber to help me deal to with it. I'm
4 referring to your ruling and its implementation
5 regarding the possibility of the Defence to provide
6 investigators with a contact with witnesses.
7 The place where this interview would be held
8 remained disputed. The Defence organised it in Vitez
9 and the Prosecution, for security reasons, at least
10 that is the reason they give, have proposed Sarajevo.
11 I, therefore, asked a decision to be taken about this,
12 because we have fixed the 20th of February, and we have
13 notified you on time about this. Could you please
14 address this matter because it appears the two parties
15 are unable to come to an agreement.
16 If security is in question, and if the
17 Prosecutor can provide security for the Defence
18 witnesses in Sarajevo, I see no reason why that same
19 kind of security would not protect the investigators
20 when they come to Vitez.
21 So I ask you kindly, and I apologise for
22 taking up your time with this, to help us deal with
23 this matter and come to a solution, a matter which we
24 consider to be important.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Pavkovic.
1 We will, of course, issue a written ruling as requested
2 by Counsel Radovic on the question of the tu quoque
3 principle. We will also issue a reflection. Probably
4 it's better for us to issue also a ruling in -- a
5 written ruling on this issue of character witnesses, to
6 see whether the argument made by Counsel Radovic about
7 the model of behaviour of the accused is relevant.
8 As for the question of -- just raised by
9 Counsel Pavkovic, let me ask the Prosecution to see
10 whether they can offer the solution. I would be
11 grateful to the Prosecution if they could also say a
12 few words -- a comment on the other two points, to the
13 issues I raised this morning. Mr. Terrier?
14 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.
15 Good morning, Mr. President. In response to
16 Mr. Pavkovic with regards that question; yes, indeed it
17 was brought up last Thursday. Judge May had requested
18 that a compromise be reached between Mr. Pavkovic and
19 the Prosecution.
20 I'd like to repeat that for our own reasons
21 and for reasons of security, which were particularly
22 underlined by SFOR, it is not possible to go to Hotel
23 Vitez to carry out interviews at Hotel Vitez.
24 However, we may make another proposal to
25 Mr. Pavkovic, which would be to meet in Zagreb. We
1 believe this compromise is acceptable to Mr. Pavkovic
2 and to the witnesses who, in a way, they represent.
3 Then this meeting can take place at the office of the
4 prosecutor in Zagreb with, of course, all parties. The
5 security of all parties, of course, will be assured
6 there. That's the first point.
7 In respect of the second point you
8 underlined, Mr. President, in response to Mr. Radovic,
9 the Prosecution reiterates its declaration in which,
10 yes, indeed, we have not yet indicated that any of the
11 Prosecutors (sic) had, before the war, any type of
12 unfavourable behaviour or criminal behaviour, or that
13 the behaviour of the accused before the war can explain
14 the crimes of which they are accused today.
15 Mr. Radovic made a statement which, if you
16 will, is philosophically stated that the criminal
17 behaviour can be -- always explained by the behaviour
18 of the person since their childhood, and that the
19 biography of an accused -- in one's biography one would
20 always find history of crime.
21 However, we believe that in the particular
22 circumstances, or to the ones that we are to examine --
23 which we must examine and which the Tribunal will
24 examine that, the explanation of the crime will not
25 necessarily be found in the biography of the accused
1 but rather in the circumstances which will be submitted
2 to this Trial Chamber.
3 So we believe, indeed, that the character
4 witness who have come to talk about the behaviour of
5 the accused before the war will not be relevant to this
6 trial, and we believe that the decision that was made
7 by this Trial Chamber was very much incontestable.
8 Mr. President, would you like for the
9 Prosecution to give its point of view on other aspects
10 as well?
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, on the relevance of the
12 presentation of witnesses dealing with massacres
13 committed by Muslims against the Croats.
14 MR. TERRIER: Once again, Mr. President, the
15 Prosecution does not contest that in the circumstances
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time that there were
17 massacres committed against the Croat population, and
18 that since we are not here to contest the evidence
19 which will be submitted to the Tribunal in this vein.
20 However, it may be useful for this Tribunal to know the
21 context in Bosnia-Herzegovina at this time, in the
22 early months of 1993, in the last months of 1992,
23 however, we do not believe that we should necessarily
24 use too much time in this area.
25 We believe already that we have heard
1 witnesses by this Tribunal which have presented
2 sufficient information about this point, and this has
3 been submitted to the evaluation of the Judges, and,
4 therefore, I believe that today we should not lose any
5 more time -- or spend more time, if you will, on the
6 various questions in this vein. I believe that the
7 decision by this Tribunal is again undisputable. Thank
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
10 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, regarding the
11 question of testimony on a model of behaviour of the
12 accused, we have reached a point when there may be an
13 inequality of arms between the Defence and the
14 Prosecution. Why?
15 We have tried to prove and we wish to prove a
16 certain model of behaviour of the accused throughout
17 their life, and in accordance with certain rules, that
18 is, Rule 93 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
19 The Prosecutor is calling in question the need of
20 presenting evidence under that Rule and is proposing,
21 at the same time, and this is being accepted by the
22 Trial Chamber, that evidence be presented in the form
23 of the testimony of the wife of the former Ambassador
24 Galbraith, who speaks about a completely different
25 location with a different profile of the population,
1 and is trying, by analogy, to transpose the situation
2 there to the situation in Ahmici.
3 Therefore, it is our submission that if we do
4 not hear testimony about a model of behaviour, then we
5 need not hear the testimony of the former -- of the
6 wife of the former Ambassador, which relates to a
7 village distant from Vitez and Ahmici in which the
8 population is absolutely rural, a rather isolated
9 environment as opposed to Ahmici, which is a suburb of
10 Vitez, and which all the population was employed in the
11 factory, in industry. So these are entirely different
12 milieuxs and yet they are being used to make
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I shall
16 be very brief. The fact that you feel that it is
17 unnecessary to call witnesses who will testify about
18 the character of the accused will put us in a situation
19 as to be unable to discuss some factual matters,
20 because those witnesses also speak about certain facts
21 which are outside the framework of character, namely,
22 the Prosecutor in his opening statement and in the
23 Pre-Trial brief in several places underlined that the
24 motives for the behaviour of the accused in the 16th,
25 he finds in their nationalist and extremist views.
1 Through character witnesses we are trying to prove that
2 these persons never behaved in that manner, that they
3 never thought along those lines, that they were not
4 members of any political parties, nor did they
5 demonstrate any such positions.
6 Therefore, this is a part of our defence, and
7 I think that we will need either through evidence on
8 models of behaviour or to call those witnesses as fact
9 witnesses in order to hear them describe these matters
10 for your benefit. Thank you.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we move on, can I
12 clarify one point. When this morning I was talking
13 about character witnesses, of course I was referring to
14 the witnesses we heard the last two weeks who were fact
15 witnesses testifying about specific facts relating to
16 Count 1 and who in passing -- but this took a lot of
17 time. They were also questioned about the character of
18 the accused. They all consistently said that the
19 accused were good neighbours, nice people, friendly,
20 good workers. They took part in circles, groups and so
21 on, and without any aggressive behaviour.
22 So the point, first of all, is that therefore
23 what I said this morning was only referring to fact
24 witnesses, and my appeal was to try to refrain from
25 asking questions to these witnesses about the character
1 of the accused.
2 This has nothing to do with the character
3 witnesses proper. This is a question we had already
4 discussed, and on that matter we had asked to apply
5 Rule 94 ter. You may remember. We have already
6 tackled this matter a few weeks ago when we asked the
7 Defence counsel to try to submit affidavits relating to
8 those character witnesses, affidavits. That means that
9 at least one character witness could be called here in
10 Court, one for each accused, of course, plus we would
11 have the production of affidavits. And I remember that
12 on that occasion I asked the Prosecutor whether the
13 Prosecution was agreeable, and Mr. Terrier said, well,
14 we will decide on it by a case-by-case basis. So we
15 can't in advance say that we will accept all the
16 affidavits. As I said, this is a separate matter which
17 relates only to character witnesses.
18 We are now discussing the issue of fact
19 witnesses, and the appeal was to try to set time -- the
20 appeal of the Court to try to save time by simply
21 refraining from asking questions which, and this is my
22 second point, are repetitive, because we always listen
23 to the same response, which is always the same. They
24 are good, they were good people, they are good people,
25 they behaved very well and so on.
1 Since the Prosecution is not contesting this
2 point, we don't see why we should spend hours and hours
3 listening always to the same statements. These are the
4 two points I wanted to make.
5 As for the model of behaviour, I think, with
6 all due respect, Rule 93 on pattern of conduct is not
7 relevant to that. It's not relevant because I think I
8 was part of the drafting -- I took some part in the
9 drafting of this Rule 93, and I can tell you this
10 consistent pattern of conduct was -- this rule was
11 conceived of as relating to crimes against humanity.
12 When you may have to prove the existence of a
13 consistent practice or systematic practice, I don't see
14 why and what extent Rule 93 could relate to the issue
15 of character. Not the issue of persecution. In that
16 respect it may be relevant. But it's a different
17 issue. Now, we are discussing the question of the
18 character of the accused.
19 So therefore I would submit that 93 is not
21 But let us now move on. I wonder whether
22 Counsel Pavkovic could react to the proposals made by
23 the Prosecutor about Zagreb as the possible place.
24 Counsel Pavkovic.
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, the Defence of
1 Vladimir Santic accepts with satisfaction this
2 reasonable proposal by the Prosecution. However, I am
3 faced with the organisational task. So I cannot say,
4 as of this moment, whether this meeting can be held on
5 the 20th. So I beg for understanding. But in
6 principle I do accept this proposal to mutual
7 satisfaction, and we are pleased that the Prosecutor
8 has understanding for our suggestion.
9 As for the technical side of it, I don't wish
10 to tire you with those details, but I will inform the
11 Prosecution in due course. Thank you.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I am sure that
13 the Prosecutor will make it possible. And they will
14 negotiate with you also on the dates, probably, if you
15 have problems, the date can be put off. Probably not
16 on the 20th, but the following week. I don't know. I
17 hope both parties will reach an agreement also on the
18 details concerning the date of the interviews.
19 Mr. Terrier.
20 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I am happy that
21 Mr. Pavkovic has accepted the proposal I have just
22 made. We will make efforts to agree upon a date and I
23 hope that we will be able to inform this Tribunal very
24 soon of the results of these discussions.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Krajina.
1 MR. KRAJINA: Good morning, Mr. President. I
2 apologise for referring very briefly, once again, to
3 the previous matter. If I understood well, and that is
4 why I am asking for the floor, regarding the
5 presentation of evidence regarding the character of the
6 accused. Maybe I misunderstood, and I shall be glad to
7 be corrected. I think that what we have discussed does
8 not exclude entirely the presentation of evidence
9 regarding the character of the accused. And my
10 understanding is based on the fact that I believe that
11 some evidence, such as in the case of our client, the
12 accused Vlatko Kupreskic, which we intend to present,
13 is not such as to be a burden for these proceedings.
14 What I mean is that we have a couple of
15 witnesses who are Muslim by nationality, and we believe
16 that their testimony about the behaviour of our client,
17 and these witnesses are also victims of the conflict
18 that occurred in 1993, and we feel that it would be
19 useful for a fair and lawful determination for the
20 Trial Chamber to hear the testimony of those two or
21 possibly three witnesses of Muslim ethnicity.
22 Therefore, my question is whether the ruling
23 made by the Trial Chamber a moment ago excludes calling
24 in this particular case one or two Muslim witnesses to
25 testify to this matter, because we consider this to be
1 significant for our defence.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Krajina, the Trial
3 Chamber agrees with you. The two or three character
4 witnesses you intend to call should be called and will
5 be called here, because they, as I said, they are not
6 fact witnesses. They will be character witnesses and
7 you attach particular importance to their testimony. I
8 imagine they will not repeat what we have been hearing
9 so far. There will be no repetitious evidence. And so
10 therefore they are fully admissible. What we are
11 against is the repetitive character of some evidence
12 about the personality of the accused. So there should
13 be no doubt in your mind, that will be admitted.
14 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: I think we should now move on
16 because it's high time for us to bring in the next
18 (The witness entered court)
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you
20 please make the solemn declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 WITNESS: ZELJKO BLAZ
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Your
4 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Blaz. Will you please
6 introduce yourself to the Court and give us the
7 fundamental data about yourself, your name, place of
8 residence, date of birth, place of birth.
9 A. Good morning. My name is Zeljko Blaz. I was
10 born in Travnik on the 14th of December, 1964.
11 Q. Where do you live?
12 A. My permanent place of residence is Vitez.
13 Q. Can you tell us where you were employed
14 before the war?
15 A. I was employed in the Princip factory in
17 Q. Until when?
18 A. Until 1991.
19 Q. Were you made redundant or did you resign
20 your job?
21 A. No, I was made redundant.
22 Q. Where did you find a job after that?
23 A. After that I started working in Caritas at
24 the parish office in Vitez, at the beginning of 1992.
25 Q. Caritas was established by the parish office;
1 is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's correct, by the parish office
3 that is by the church.
4 Q. What area did the Vitez Caritas cover?
5 A. The municipality of Vitez.
6 Q. Can you tell the Court to whom did the
7 Caritas offer help in 1992?
8 A. Caritas, as we all know, is an organisation
9 and we provided help to all those who were imperilled,
10 who were at risk, to old-age pensioners, the elderly,
11 persons who needed homecare, all those who needed
13 Q. Did you help refugees?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What number of refugees are we referring to
16 at that time who passed through your system of
18 A. In the first half of 1992 there were fewer
19 refugees, but there was a larger wave of refugees in
20 the second half of 1992. Mostly from Kotor Varos and
22 Q. Can you give us any figures? Can you say
23 something about the numbers.
24 A. There were about 7.000 refugees at that
1 Q. How many of them were Muslims, how many
3 A. Well, about 5.000 Muslims and about 2.000
5 Q. Was Caritas involved in finding accommodation
6 for these people, helping them to find accommodation?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did Caritas offer assistance to Muslims and
9 Croats in Vitez?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did Caritas also help Muslim refugees as well
12 as Croatian refugees?
13 A. Yes. It helped all refugees and all people,
14 regardless of their ethnicity or religion. There was
15 no distinction.
16 Q. Was any other organisation established in the
17 Vitez area in 1992, in the second half of 1992?
18 A. Well, we started operating in the beginning
19 of 1992. In mid-1992, Merhamet was established in
21 Q. Who was the founder of Merhamet?
22 A. I think the Islamic community. This was a
23 religious organisation.
24 Q. Was the UNHCR active on the territory of the
25 Vitez municipality?
1 A. Yes. The UNHCR was active in the second half
2 of the year, and actually at that time there was an
3 office in Vitez and they had a warehouse in Prahulje,
4 in the direction of Travnik. They were active in Vitez
5 until the -- and of October, and then they moved to
6 Zenica, I believe.
7 Q. What about the economic conditions in 1992,
8 early 1993, did they worsen? Is that right?
9 A. Yes. Yes, they worsened noticeably. People
10 were unemployed and there was more and more need for
11 humanitarian aid.
12 Q. In that period after the founding of
13 Merhamet, did Caritas continue to help both Muslims and
15 A. Yes. Caritas helped all before Merhamet was
16 established and after it was established.
17 Q. Did Caritas also help people remaining in the
18 Vitez municipality after the beginning of the war?
19 A. Yes, of course.
20 Q. And the people who remained there and were
21 Muslims by ethnicity?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How long did this go on?
24 A. This went on -- well, from the beginning to
25 the end, almost. Throughout this time, we helped all
1 the people living in Vitez, whether they were Muslim or
2 Croat or Serbian, both before the war and during the
3 war and after the war.
4 Q. On the 16th of April, conflict started in the
5 Vitez municipality and the Muslims who were there were
6 cut off from Merhamet; is that right?
7 A. That's correct. They all went over to your
8 side. All the Muslims who were in Vitez at that time
9 used to come to Caritas, where they were given help.
10 Q. Was there any other way that welfare could be
11 provided for them, apart from Caritas, at that time?
12 A. During the war? No. I think that at that
13 time, they were entirely supported by Caritas.
14 Q. Do you know how many families you were
15 looking after at the end of the war? I'm referring to
16 Muslim families.
17 A. About 50.
18 Q. Can you please look at these documents. This
19 is only a brief selection, so can you describe the way
20 this assistance was provided very briefly, and by what
22 THE REGISTRAR: (No microphone).
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the
24 registrar could again tell us the number of this
1 THE REGISTRAR: D80/2.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
4 Q. Could you just have a look: This is about
5 the assistance of the parish Caritas of Vitez which was
6 sent to the humanitarian organisation Merhamet. And
7 the dates are different; there is one document from
8 1992, another from 1993, and further on in 1993, I
9 think the last one we have here is from July 1993. So
10 can you tell us how this assistance was delivered?
11 A. This is how it was. We gave help in an
12 organised way, but also on an individual basis. So
13 whoever came to us to ask for aid was given aid. Apart
14 from this, when I say in an organised manner, I am
15 referring to old-age pensioners, according to the list
16 we received from the pension fund, and we helped all
17 the old-age pensioners in the Vitez municipality.
18 These documents here, which I'm very familiar with,
19 because I signed them all and I issued them, show that
20 regardless of this way of helping, we also gave
21 assistance to Merhamet as an organisation so that they
22 could forward this to those who needed it.
23 In the same way, there is a firefighting
24 organisation here. We know that firemen are very
25 important for a municipality, and since they were not
1 paid at that time, we provided assistance to them as
2 well. Because the firefighters were not paid.
3 Q. So the last of these receipts dates from July
4 1993, and it refers to aid given to local Muslim
5 families. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, yes, yes.
7 Q. And you signed all these receipts?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell the Court whether these are the
10 only receipts that were issued? Were these the only
11 cases where aid was given, or was there much more?
12 A. No, these are only some of the many more
13 receipts that exist, because this period in which we
14 helped all people lasted much longer than can be seen
15 from these documents.
16 Q. Could you please tell the Court whether,
17 apart from this aid in food and clothing which was
18 provided as can be seen here, whether there was also a
19 pharmacy with medicaments that were donated.
20 A. Yes, there was a pharmacy which operated in
21 the same way as the parish Caritas. It was, in fact,
22 called the Caritas pharmacy.
23 Q. Did it issue medicine to Muslims in the same
24 way as it did to Croats?
25 A. Yes, yes. Even in one period in late 1992
1 and early 1993, many more Muslims came to the pharmacy
2 than Croats did. There were persons who worked there.
3 Q. And did this go on during the war?
4 A. Yes. No distinction was made either before
5 or during or after the war.
6 Q. Let me just ask you one more question: Can
7 you say whether anyone tried to influence Caritas in
8 any way, or to influence you as the head of this
9 organisation, to prevent you from giving help to
10 Muslims or to reduce that help before or during the
12 A. No, there was no attempt to influence me.
13 When I started working, this was one of the
14 conditions: I was to have total freedom in my work,
15 and in deciding -- in agreement with others, but my
16 decision was final, and there was to be no outside
17 influence into my work -- on my work. So there was no
18 influence by anyone on the work of Caritas.
19 Q. Either by political or military bodies?
20 A. No. No.
21 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Blaz. I have
22 finished. I would just like to ask that D80/2 be taken
23 into evidence.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So it is admitted
25 into evidence.
1 Is any other Defence counsel going to examine
2 in chief or cross-examine this witness?
3 Mr. Pavkovic?
4 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honour, I have only one
5 question; I would like to clarify one point.
6 Re-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
7 Q. Mr. Blaz, I am Counsel Petar Pavkovic. You
8 stated that Caritas was established by the parish
9 office. You also stated that Caritas made no
10 distinction in giving aid with reference to ethnicity
11 or religion, that you helped Muslims and Muslim
12 refugees also. I would just like to ask you, since
13 there were various religious community, is Caritas
14 Catholic? Did it belong to a Catholic religious
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. PAVKOVIC: That's all. Thank you, Your
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Terrier?
21 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I will also be
22 very short.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
24 Q. Witness, my name is Franck Terrier. I am one
25 of the members of the Prosecution. I would like to ask
1 you very briefly a number of questions about Caritas.
2 It seems that -- I seem to have understood
3 from what you said that Caritas, for which you worked
4 at that time in the Vitez area, was affiliated with
5 Caritas International, which is a humanitarian
6 organisation based on Roman Catholicism; is that right?
7 A. Yes, we were affiliated to other Caritas
8 organisations. We were in contact with them as far as
9 this was possible.
10 Q. Regardless of the extent of this relation,
11 you respected their general guidelines with regards to
12 the actions of Caritas International throughout the
13 world or throughout conflicts during which it may
15 A. Could you please repeat the question.
16 Q. I simply wish to know, sir, whether you
17 considered at the time that you had to comply with the
18 general rules or regulations governing Caritas
19 International throughout the world and throughout all
20 conflicts during which this Catholic international
21 organisation would be called upon to act.
22 A. This is how it was. "Caritas" means giving
23 to all people and help to all people who need help.
24 And we were led by this, regardless of ethnicity,
25 religion, or anything else, absolutely without any kind
1 of prejudice. Which means that -- the very word
2 "Caritas" means giving to all people without any
3 distinctions among them.
4 Q. And would you agree with me in saying that
5 the principle of nondiscrimination is a fundamental
6 principle of all international humanitarian
7 organisations and in all countries in which these
8 organisations are called upon to act?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Sir, you mentioned the arrival of 5.000
11 Muslim refugees in the municipality of Vitez during the
12 second trimester of 1992. Would you please specify how
13 many of these 5.000 Muslim refugees the office of
14 Caritas, for which you worked, aided during the course
15 of that time period and the following time period:
16 That is to say in the course of the year 1993.
17 A. This is how it was. Since we made no
18 distinction among people when helping them, we did not
19 make any distinction in the numbers as to whom we
20 helped most. Whoever came, regardless of whether they
21 were a Muslim refugee or a Catholic refugee or any
22 other, they were helped, and of course we had to keep a
23 record of the amounts given so that we would know how
24 much we had in our warehouse. But we didn't pay much
25 attention to the numbers of the various kinds of people
1 who came to Caritas. And there were a lot.
2 Q. Did the Caritas office for which you worked
3 have relations with the civilian authorities and
4 military authorities who were Croats in the
5 municipality of Vitez?
6 A. Caritas had relation with the civilian
7 authorities in the sense that in contacts, if we needed
8 help, in vehicles, in fuel, in any other way, and we
9 were unable to get this for ourselves but we needed it
10 for our work, because we didn't have the means to get
11 all that for ourselves. And this is the only reason
12 why we contacted the civilian authorities.
13 Q. In April 1993, did the Caritas office visit,
14 for example, the school in Dubravica, where there were
15 Muslims detained?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did the Caritas office not consider that this
18 was a mission that was within its area of
20 A. The Caritas office was not aware of what you
21 are saying.
22 Q. What other humanitarian organisations were
23 intervening at the same time in that area, aside from
25 A. Are you referring to international
1 organisations as well?
2 Q. I'm now speaking of all humanitarian
3 organisations represented in the municipality of Vitez.
4 A. Yes. Caritas was the first organisation
5 which started working in the Vitez municipality. We
6 were the first to organise, and of course as such we
7 were the first to start giving aid. Then, in the
8 second half of the year, as I have already stated,
9 Merhamet was established. There was also the Red
10 Cross. There was an organisation called "Mother and
12 Of the international organisations which had
13 their offices in Vitez, there was the UNHC after a
14 brief period of time, and I think "Feed the Children."
15 There was also "Premiere Ogesse." (phoen)
16 Q. Thank you. One last question, sir. Getting
17 back to the Muslims who were detained in the Dubravica
18 school in April, it seems that the Red Cross intervened
19 in that school. How can you explain that the Red Cross
20 was informed of the detention of Muslims in the
21 Dubravica school and not Caritas?
22 A. Caritas was distributing food, and the Red
23 Cross -- it's logical that the Red Cross should be
24 informed of such things if they existed.
25 MR. TERRIER: No further questions,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
4 Mr. President.
5 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
6 Q. The Prosecutor, Mr. Terrier has asked you
7 about the principles of Caritas and international
8 humanitarian organisations, one of which was called
9 Caritas. Were those principles implemented by you in
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You also said that Merhamet was founded in
13 the second half of 1992, which is also a humanitarian
14 organisation guided by the principle of assisting
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did Merhamet extend aid to Croats? Are you
18 aware of any single such case?
19 A. I think not. At least I am not aware of any
20 such case. All the aid that we received and which we
21 stored in our warehouses was distributed very shortly
22 after being received, and this went on continuously.
23 As soon as aid arrived it would be distributed and then
24 we would wait for the next delivery, so that the people
25 who needed aid most would receive that aid almost daily
1 or at small intervals, so that they didn't need to go
2 anywhere else to seek assistance.
3 Q. With the foundation of Merhamet, was the
4 burden reduced for Caritas because Merhamet was giving
5 relief to the Muslims?
6 A. I think so, because when we started operating
7 most people would come to us. It was only natural that
8 once Merhamet was founded this would ease the burden on
9 Caritas, though people did come even after Merhamet was
10 founded, they still came to Caritas.
11 Q. And they received aid?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know why the UNHCR left Vitez? Are
14 you aware of the reasons?
15 A. I am sorry that they stayed for such a short
16 while in Vitez, and I asked why they were leaving, and
17 they said that they were leaving for either some
18 security or some other reasons.
19 In my opinion, there was no reason for them
20 to leave, but they probably knew more than I about
22 Q. Do you know remember when they left?
23 A. I think at the end of October 1992 or the
24 beginning of November roughly.
25 Q. Could you tell us who founded -- who actually
1 founded the Vitez Caritas? Could you give us the name
2 and the parish office?
3 A. Brother Blazevic, Bozidar Blazevic the parish
5 Q. Could you also tell the Trial Chamber whether
6 the refugees, and you said at a certain point in time
7 7.000 of them had reached Vitez, were the Croatian
8 refugees assisted by Caritas to leave Vitez? Do you
9 know anything about those efforts?
10 A. Yes. Most Croatian displaced persons spent a
11 very short time in Vitez. They were assisted by -- of
12 course, respecting the wish of each individual to live
13 where he wants and to go where he wants. We did not
14 try to influence them in any way. They were there for
15 a short while, they were given relief and then they
16 left in search of better conditions and a better life.
17 Q. And what about the Muslim refugees?
18 A. The majority of the Muslims, displaced
19 Muslims, stayed on in our area.
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I have no
21 further questions.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
23 questions, so thank you so much for coming to testify
24 in court. You may now be released. Thank you, Mr.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, are
4 you requesting any protective measures for the next
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we will bring
8 in the next witness.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Before hearing this
10 witness, Your Honour, I should like to say that this
11 witness will testify about a region adjoining Ahmici,
12 Loncari and Putis villages, and this testimony refers
13 to the testimony of Major Matthew Woolley. The
14 Prosecutor has already presented evidence about the
15 circumstances in that area, and that is why we are
16 going back to it now. So these are events that the
17 Prosecutor has already presented evidence about. So we
18 will present the events there from our standpoint.
19 (The witness entered court)
20 WITNESS: ANTO PLAVCIC
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you
22 please make the solemn declaration?
23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
3 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
4 Q. Good morning. Could you tell us your name
5 and your particulars, where you were born, when and
6 where you live now?
7 A. My name is Anto Plavcic. I was born on the
8 22nd of August, 1954 in Jelinak, Busovaca municipality,
9 the former state of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Where are you living now?
11 A. I'm now living in the municipality of
12 Busovaca. You can speed up a little bit.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could I ask the usher
14 for his assistance to show this map to the witness,
15 please, and Their Honours?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D81/2.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
18 Q. Mr. Plavcic, will you please look at this
19 map? It's on the ELMO.
20 A. May I use this pointer?
21 Q. Yes, but on the ELMO. Not on the screen,
22 over there. Yes.
23 A. I see now, yes.
24 Q. Tell the court, please, where you were living
25 in 1992 and 1993.
1 A. Ever since my birth until 1993, I lived in a
2 place called Jelinak. Here it is.
3 Q. Which are the larger towns close to the
5 A. Putis, Loncari, Bakije, and these are on the
6 slopes of Mount Kuber.
7 Q. What is the distance between these villages,
8 Jelinak, Loncari, Putis?
9 A. From Jelinak to Putis the distance is one
10 kilometre, from Jelinak to Loncari again about one
12 Q. Do those villages even touch on the fringes?
13 A. There are a few scattered houses linking them
14 together. Loncari and Jelinak are separated by this
15 cemetery here, so there may be empty space between them
16 of about 400 to 500 metres. I couldn't tell you
18 Q. What was the ethnic composition of Jelinak?
19 A. The ethnic composition of Jelinak was 50 per
20 cent, or, rather, half/half Croats and Muslims. There
21 were no other ethnic groups in Jelinak.
22 Q. How big was the village? How many houses
23 were there?
24 A. Jelinak numbered about 100 households, which
25 means that about 50 of them were Muslim and about 50
2 Q. The size of Putis and the ethnic composition
3 of Putis?
4 A. Putis is slightly smaller. It has about 80
5 households, I think. Roughly about 80. About 30 per
6 cent of those are Croat, 20 to 30 per cent.
7 Q. And the village of Loncari?
8 A. The village of Loncari, again there were
9 between 70 and 80 households. Loncari was inhabited by
10 Muslims but there were several Serb or orthodox
12 Q. And then there's also the village of Bakije
13 in that region, and who were the inhabitants of that
15 A. The village of Bakije was inhabited
16 exclusively by Croats and there were about 20
17 households. About 20.
18 Q. Those villages are on the slopes of Mount
19 Kuber, aren't they?
20 A. Yes. But the village of Bakije is, as we can
21 see, a bit further removed. There is another hill
22 there called Gradina.
23 Q. And what was the distance between those
24 villages and the village of Ahmici? Could you show us
25 Ahmici on the map, please?
1 A. Yes. Here, this is where Ahmici is. The
2 distance was about -- from Jelinak it was about four to
3 five kilometres, like this, but this was the road that
4 had to be used. So along the road it may be about
5 seven kilometres.
6 Q. So prior to the outbreak of the war in that
7 region you were living in Jelinak, and what were you
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, there is no
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No translation.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you hear? We could
13 not. Let's go on.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Can Your Honours hear us
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
17 Q. Tell us, please, what you were doing before
18 the war.
19 A. Before the war, I was working in the Mediapan
20 factory as a tool-maker. In the Mediapan company.
21 Q. Where was it located?
22 A. In Busovaca. Actually, Mediapan is in
24 Q. Were you working all the time or were you
25 laid off for a while?
1 A. When the conflicts and disturbances started I
2 was not working really. I went to the company now and
3 then, but mostly I wasn't working.
4 Q. You were a member of the Civil Defence?
5 A. Yes. I was a representative of the Civil
6 Defence in the Katici local community, and I was the
7 representative for Jelinak on behalf of the Civil
8 Defence staff.
9 Q. You were not a military conscript?
10 A. No, I was not, ever since 1972 when I
11 regulated my status.
12 Q. You are disabled, that is the reason, isn't
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Will you tell the Trial Chamber what happened
16 in 1993 in your area? Do you remember who had control
17 of the features and the peaks of Kuber?
18 A. In 1993, members of the Croatian Defence
19 Council had control of Kuber, but in this area here
20 there were members of the BH army, that is, to the
22 Q. What about relations in the village, were
23 there members of the HVO, of the TO, and the BiH Army
24 in the village?
25 A. In 1993 there were members of the HVO in the
1 village and there were also members of the Territorial
2 Defence, or the BiH Army. Relations in 1993 were
3 strained, so that there were few contacts between the
4 two and relations cooled after the shelling of
5 Busovaca, so that these people separated from us. They
6 didn't wish to work with us any more.
7 Q. So relations worsened after the conflict in
8 Busovaca in January, 1993?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, do you know who
11 held control of Kuber on that day and whether anything
12 unusual happened in that area, in view of the fact that
13 this was in your immediate vicinity?
14 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, I was at home in
15 the morning. We could hear shooting in the Kuber area,
16 so that this was something surprising, something
17 unusual, and we wondered what was going on.
18 Q. The fire started around noon. Did it go on
19 all day?
20 A. The shooting went on until nightfall with
21 different degrees of intensity, and in the afternoon
22 two members of the HVO were wounded and they were
23 evacuated via Jelinak in the direction of Kaonik. In
24 the direction of Kaonik.
25 Q. Who were those wounded HVO members?
1 A. The first one was called Slavko Jelic, and
2 the other one was Dragan Andrijasevic.
3 Q. Were they inhabitants of Jelinak?
4 A. Yes. Both of them were living in Jelinak.
5 Q. They were HVO members?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see them being evacuated via Jelinak?
8 A. Yes, I did, because we were all frightened by
9 the shooting, we went to see what was going on, and
10 when they appeared and the other people who came to
11 carry them and to evacuate them and save them, we saw
12 them, and they went via Jelinak through the pass in the
13 direction of Kaonik and the hospital there.
14 Q. You said that the positions on Kuber were
15 held by the HVO, and that positions near Kicina were
16 held by the BiH Army?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know who was the first to attack or,
19 rather, who were the combatants?
20 A. On the 15th of April I don't know who
21 attacked whom, because I wasn't there, I was in the
22 village, and who was the one to carry out the attack.
23 But when these people were evacuated, we heard that the
24 HVO was attacked by the army from the direction of
25 Zenica. Here. Somewhere here. Yes. Along here
1 (indicating). And from these directions. In any
2 event, from Zenica, the HVO had been attacked.
3 Q. In view of the fighting that was going on in
4 the vicinity of the village, was anything happening in
5 the surrounding villages in Putis, Loncari; do you
7 A. As far as Putis is concerned, there were
8 fewer Croats there, and when the shooting was heard,
9 those people got scared and fled to Jelinak. Not all
10 of them. Some of them. So that they sought shelter
11 here and in the evening of the 15th they stayed with
12 relatives and friends, some of them, while others fled
13 without knowing where they should go. Anyway, they
14 took the road towards Kaonik, Saretovici and Busovaca.
15 Q. So on the 15th the fighting started. Did
16 they continue onto the 16th of April?
17 A. The fighting lapsed in the night of the 15th
18 and then in the morning of the 16th the fighting gained
19 in intensity, increasingly throughout the area of
21 Q. Where was the shooting heard?
22 A. In the area of Saracevac. There was no
23 fighting here (indicating), there was just shooting
24 from one side. The fighting was going on in this area
25 of Kuber here.
1 Q. Was there any shooting directed at the
3 A. On the 16th. On the 16th, yes, fire started
4 to be directed towards the village. First from this
5 direction here, from Kicin, I think.
6 Q. Yes, you've shown us that. Fine.
7 A. So that is when the village was exposed to
8 fire in the morning. Shells hit the Croatian part of
9 the village of Jelinak. There were mortar shells. You
10 can't really tell where they come from, but you can
11 hear them coming from here, I think.
12 Q. There's another arrow here from Merdani. Was
13 there any shelling from that direction, do you
15 A. In the afternoon there was fire coming from
16 the direction of Merdani, from this direction here and
17 here, from Vran Stijena.
18 Q. So the village was in a sense surrounded, and
19 the only free passage was towards Kaonik?
20 A. Yes. Along this road towards Kaonik, but
21 these people from Vran Stijena can see most of this
22 road leading to Kaonik.
23 Q. You said a moment ago that the Croatian part
24 of the village was shelled. How was that village
1 A. It was divided in such a way that the upper
2 part of the village, because the village is on a slope,
3 the ground is not flat, so on the higher part of the
4 village there were Muslim houses and at the lower level
5 the Croatian houses.
6 Q. On the 16th did the rest of the Croats come
7 from Putis?
8 A. Yes, the rest of the Croats came from Putis
9 to Jelinak saying that they were exposed to shelling
10 from the direction of Kicin. This I am showing you the
11 arrow now. So that these people arrived terrified and
12 passed through Jelinak and fled in the direction of
14 Q. Did you hear where the fighting was going
15 on? Was the frontline shift that they --
16 A. Well, the shooting intensified and came
17 closer on the 15th, and the 16th, in the morning,
18 fighting took place along the top of Kuber, while on
19 the 16th, in the afternoon, the fighting came closer to
20 the village and the intensity of the shelling
22 Q. Did people start leaving Jelinak?
23 A. Yes, the people from Jelinak fled together
24 with these other people in the direction of Kaonik as
25 well. They fled. In the afternoon shelling started,
1 but I already described that.
2 Q. And on the 17th of April, when did everyone
3 leave the village?
4 A. Well, on the 17th there had been fighting all
5 night. It grew less in the early morning hours, about
6 1.00, 2.00, 3.00 a.m. When dawn broke the shooting
7 came closer and those who had not fled already started
8 to flee because there was more and more shelling
9 against -- on the village from heavy artillery from the
10 direction of Kicin and these other two directions.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel, shall I propose that
12 we take a break now? Thank you. Thirty-minute break.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: (No translation)
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Excuse me. Again, we have no
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: (No translation)
19 THE INTERPRETER: Testing. Can you hear us
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes. Yes.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Can the technicians hear us
23 on this channel?
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Yes. All right.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: (No translation)
1 THE INTERPRETER: Hello. Can you hear the
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Yes.
4 THE INTERPRETER: You can now?
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
7 Q. We were talking about the 17th of April.
8 What happened next? You said that the civilians were
10 A. Yes. On the 17th of April in the early hours
11 the shooting became less intense, but it was closer, as
12 we said, so it was near, as we said. But in the early
13 morning hours it was less intense. On the 17th in the
14 early morning hours the shooting then became more
15 intense and reached a climax. It was like hell. They
16 were shooting from all the directions I have mentioned
17 on the entire village of Jelinak, which was inhabited
18 by Croats. So they were shooting from Vran Stijena.
19 Q. Did you hear that the fighting was in the
20 immediate vicinity of the village?
21 A. Yes, in the early morning hours the fighting
22 got very, very close and it was terrible. It was
23 dreadful. It was terrible shelling, shooting from
24 machine guns and the population was in a panic and they
25 were fleeing in the direction of Kaonik.
1 Q. Just a moment, please. Did the entire
2 Croatian population leave on that day?
3 A. Before noon the entire civilian population
4 left, all the civilians from the village of Jelinak,
5 but two elderly men stayed behind. One was killed, the
6 other was wounded later here near the cemetery, near
7 the cemetery, because a shell fell, and one of them
8 lost part of his leg and the other one was killed.
9 We continued fleeing in the direction of
10 Kaonik. When we arrived there and had to cross the
11 bridge to the village of Saretovici, in this spot from
12 the direction of Merdani here, there was shooting from
13 heavy machine gun in our direction, and when we came
14 here near Saretovici, there was no shooting at us any
15 more, and we could hear the shelling from behind us.
16 As I have already said, there was intense fighting.
17 Q. You said that they were shooting from the
18 direction of Merdani when you were fleeing as
19 civilians. Who was in Merdani?
20 A. Merdani was a purely Muslim village. There
21 were no Croats in Merdani. Above Merdani there was one
22 or two -- there were one or two Serbian houses. What
23 happened to these people, whether they had already left
24 or whether they stayed, I don't know. I don't know
25 what happened in Merdani. I only know when we were
1 passing along this part of the road, there was shooting
2 at us from this direction with a heavy machine gun.
3 Q. The village of Bakije is here. Did the
4 Croats from Bakije stay there or did they flee too?
5 A. The Croats from Bakije also fled, but they
6 were not with us. However, they arrived in Busovaca on
7 that day because this machine gun from Merdani and the
8 other one from the direction of Zarac. On the 15th or
9 the 16th -- on the 15th there was one, on the 16th
10 there was another machine gun, and from Zarac, and they
11 were able to shoot at this part of the Croatian village
12 of Jelinak.
13 Q. Considering the fact that, obviously,
14 Croatian villages, or parts of villages were being shot
15 at, could you see that there was any advance by the
16 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. We couldn't see it, but we heard, because the
18 shooting was coming close so fast when they started
19 shooting from Vran Stijena. It means that they were
20 moving, and they were following in the direction in
21 which we were fleeing. So the shooting got close to
22 the very edge of the village.
23 Q. Can you tell the Court when the HVO left this
24 area since you went to Busovaca?
25 A. On the 17th, in the afternoon, we arrived in
1 Busovaca and we were accommodated with family friends,
2 holiday houses which were empty. We were accommodated
3 there by members of the civil defence and the Red Cross
4 on the 17th. On the 18th we heard that there was
5 fierce fighting in the village of Jelinak itself.
6 Q. But you heard that apart from the fighting in
7 Jelinak, what other villages were caught in the
8 fighting? Where was the line?
9 A. On the 18th there was a line in the village
10 of Loncari as well.
11 Q. And when did you say the HVO withdrew?
12 A. On the 18th, the HVO withdrew. The army of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina took over the village of Jelinak
14 completely, so that the HVO retreated.
15 Q. And after the 18th, since then, has this
16 entire area been under the control first of the army of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina and then of the Muslims?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. So from the 18th of
19 April, 1993, the village of Jelinak, the village of
20 Bakija, Putis, have been totally under the control of
21 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and now of the
22 Muslims. So the Muslims have come back to the villages
23 of Loncari, Jelinak; they never left Putis. But the
24 Croats have not returned either to Bakije or Jelinak.
25 In 1998, the Croats returned to the village of Gavrine
1 Kuce. This was in late autumn.
2 Q. And this was also abandoned by the Croats
4 A. Yes, it had been abandoned earlier, and seven
5 Croatian houses now have been reinhabited since late
7 Q. What happened to the Croatian houses in this
8 area? Were the Croatian houses in Jelinak, Putis,
9 Bakija, left intact, or were they set on fire?
10 A. On the 18th, in the afternoon, when we
11 learned that the village of Jelinak was completely
12 under the control of the army of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, we heard that all the houses had been set
14 on fire, burnt down, and that the HVO had no access
15 there. I personally -- I think it was in 1995 -- I
16 visited the cemetery for All Saints' Day, and I managed
17 to come to my house in the village of Jelinak with a
18 police escort, and escorted -- escorted by the HVO
19 police and the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
20 saw that all the houses except for two houses had been
21 burnt down, destroyed, including my house. And the
22 Muslim houses --
23 Q. And what about these two houses?
24 A. These two houses had a roof on. There were
25 windows. I don't know what state they were in inside,
1 but I know that they had roofs and windows.
2 Q. So on the 19th, the 18th or the 19th, this
3 area was abandoned completely by the HVO?
4 A. Yes, the HVO left. As far as I heard, the
5 HVO retreated, and the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 took complete control over this area. This line at
7 Loncari, which passed through Loncari, was held by the
8 HVO, but the rest was fully controlled by the army of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. This Court has heard a witness who said that
11 on the 25th of April of 1993, he was in the village of
12 Jelinak, and that this village had been burnt; however,
13 he considered that this had been done by the HVO. Do
14 you know whether there were any other incidents after
15 the 19th of April, 1993, which might have led to the
16 destruction of these houses?
17 A. After the 17th, in the morning, when I left
18 the village with those civilians who were still there,
19 except for the two who stayed behind, I don't know what
20 happened afterwards. But I do know that early in the
21 morning on the 17th, above this upper part of the
22 village, because it has a lower part and an upper part,
23 in the early morning hours you could see a light, so
24 it's probable that something was burning there. But I
25 wasn't there, so I can't say what was burning and who
1 had set it on fire.
2 Q. This witness also said that he saw pigs that
3 had been killed in the village which had been burnt,
4 and that this left a very bad impression. Who had kept
5 pigs in the village?
6 A. Well, in the village of Jelinak it was the
7 Croats who kept pigs. The Muslims never kept pigs, as
8 far as I know. And I have heard that they never had
9 pigs, and I know that Muslims don't keep pigs. They
10 don't keep pigs today, either.
11 Q. Do you know what happened to the Croatian
12 houses in Putis?
13 A. The Croatian houses in Putis were all set on
14 fire. I heard this was done on the 18th when the HVO
15 retreated. When the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 took over control of this territory completely, we were
17 in Busovaca, and we heard that all the houses in Putis
18 had been set alight, like the ones in Jelinak, except
19 for the two I mentioned.
20 Q. What about the houses in Bakija?
21 A. The houses in Bakija were also set on fire,
22 but I don't know exactly when, whether it was on the
23 18th or later. I don't know.
24 Q. Very well.
25 A. In any case, they have all been completely
1 burnt, and I have not returned to my house yet.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I have
4 finished. I would like to ask the Court to accept
5 D81/2 as evidence.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
7 Any other Defence counsel?
8 Counsel Pavkovic?
9 MR. PAVKOVIC: No, Your Honour. No other
10 Defence counsel has the intention to question this
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Blaxill?
14 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
17 Q. Good morning, Mr. Plavcic. My name is
18 Michael Blaxill. I'm one of the prosecutors in this
19 case, and I do have a few questions I would like to ask
20 you as a result of the evidence you've given this
22 Now, you said that the Kuber area was under
23 the control of the HVO prior to April of 1993; is that
25 A. That is right. It is true that HVO members
1 were in the area, in the area of Kuber. But in this
2 part, there were members of the TO; in fact, the BH
4 Q. Now, in the village of Jelinak, is it not the
5 case that in January of 1993, there was a demand by the
6 local HVO that the Muslims should disarm and rely upon
7 the protection of the HVO in the region? Do you recall
8 that happening?
9 A. I do not recall that, because I'm a civilian,
10 and I was not familiar with those military information,
11 and I don't know what was happening, no, nor that that
12 was done.
13 Q. And later on, at around the 15th of April,
14 before the heavy fighting, do you recall the detention
15 of Muslim males in the village who were removed from
16 the village that day?
17 A. On the 15th? On the 15th, there were no
18 detentions. I don't know. As far as I know, no one
19 was taken in detention. The Muslims were in their part
20 of the village; we were in ours. But both were scared,
21 both they and us, when we heard the shooting in the
22 area of Kuber, and especially when these two men,
23 Slavko and Dragan, arrived in the village wounded, and
24 when they were transferred to Kaonik.
25 Q. So you are saying that on or before the 15th
1 of April, you do not recall the removal of any Muslim
2 males from the village of Jelinak? Just to be certain,
3 that's what you're saying?
4 A. I don't know of that.
5 Q. You had worked in Kaonik, you knew the place;
6 were you aware of a subsequent detention centre that
7 was set there in which Muslims were detained in some
9 A. I worked in the factory called Mediapan that
10 was situated right here. That is the company's name,
11 Mediapan. In the area of Saretovici, there was a
12 barracks where the army was quartered. And I know of
13 no other place that could be used as detention, for
14 detention purposes.
15 Q. Did you subsequently hear anything about
16 Muslims being detained in a facility at Kaonik camp?
17 A. When we arrived in Busovaca, we were fleeing
18 towards Busovaca, and when we reached Busovaca, we
19 heard that some Muslims -- how many and who, I don't
20 know -- were detained in the Kaonik prison, in the
21 barracks in Kaonik.
22 Q. Now, on and about the 15th of April, is it
23 true that the HVO forces on Kuber had become engaged in
24 military action against the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that correct?
1 A. I don't know what was happening at Kuber on
2 the 15th. All I know is that the shooting fell
3 silent. And as the HVO held positions here, and the BH
4 Army here, in this area, on the 15th, occasionally a
5 machine gun shelled the village of Jelinak, and there
6 was fighting on a smaller scale in the area of Kuber.
7 But on the 16th, another machine gun was heard firing
8 from this direction towards Jelinak and Bakija and
10 Q. If I could now turn attention for a moment to
11 the village of Loncari: Do you recall what happened
12 there on the 26th of January of 1993?
13 A. 26th of January? I don't know. I have no
14 idea what happened in Loncari on the 26th. Actually, I
15 don't know what was happening in general in Loncari,
16 because I was in Jelinak. That's far away. There's a
17 small pass here, and my house is a bit lower down
18 there, so that I couldn't see the village of Loncari,
19 nor did I know what was happening there. But when we
20 were fleeing, we passed by Loncari. The Loncari were
21 on our right as we fled towards Kaonik.
22 Q. You indicate that these villages are, on the
23 map, fairly close to one another; did you not at around
24 that date in late January hear of shelling and shooting
25 in the region of Loncari?
1 A. The village of Loncari? There was no
2 shooting or shelling of Loncari in January. There was
3 no shooting at Jelinak. There was no shooting at all.
4 Q. And if I turn to the village of Putis, would
5 you say the same there, that there was no gunfire heard
6 in that place in late January of 1993?
7 A. There was no gunfire from Putis or Jelinak.
8 There was no gunfire in January. Gunfire was heard
9 over here, in the direction of Merdani. These hills
10 and mountains here, Crna and towards Lasva, Kula, in
11 the Kula area.
12 Q. So if I would say to you, Mr. Plavcic, that
13 before another chamber there have been witnesses who
14 stated that both Putis and Loncari received fire from
15 the HVO in late January, would you say that was wrong?
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Ms. Slokovic-Glumac?
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I have
18 an objection, because not a single witness said that in
19 this Trial Chamber. There were comments about April,
20 but there were no witnesses who spoke about January
21 1993. So I think the Prosecutor was not correct in
22 mentioning this.
23 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, I'm referring in
24 fact to evidence in another Chamber, and I'm just
25 putting the factual proposition as to whether the
1 witness agrees or disagrees with that factual
2 proposition. It would be a matter for rebuttal at the
3 end of the day if that were of such significance.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I'm not
5 aware of this, and the defence does not know that any
6 witness made such a statement in another Trial
7 Chamber. If the Prosecutor wishes to ask this witness
8 about January, let him ask him directly, without
9 introducing the testimony of any other witnesses of
10 which we are not aware. So I think he can ask the
11 question directly.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: I think Counsel
13 Slokovic-Glumacvic is correct.
14 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, I will rephrase
15 the question to avoid further debate.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
17 MR. BLAXILL:
18 Q. Did you at any time yourself hear of such
19 shelling ever taking place in late January and
20 targeting Loncari or Putis?
21 A. There was no shelling that I know of. I
22 really don't know that there was any shelling in that
23 area. There was no shelling, no gunfire here.
24 Q. Did you, sir, at any time, hear of the
25 roundup of any Muslim males in those two villages on or
1 before the 15th of April of 1993?
2 A. I'm not aware of that.
3 Q. Now, you've referred to the intensity of
4 fighting, and there was clearly a substantial attack on
5 Kuber by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina against the HVO
6 on the 16th of April; is that right?
7 A. Yes, that is right. There was gunfire and
8 fighting on the 16th. They were more intense than on
9 the 15th because from the direction of Kicin, Zarac,
10 tromedza and Vran Stijena, they were shelling the
11 Croatian part of the village of Jelinak.
12 Q. Are you suggesting then that there was no
13 damage to the Muslim part of the village of Jelinak?
14 A. On the 16th there was no damage, only on the
15 17th in the morning hours I saw, in the upper part of
16 the village, the Muslim part of the village, that
17 something was on fire.
18 Q. In fact, would it -- to the best of your
19 knowledge, Mr. Plavcic, wasn't there, in fact, just the
20 area becoming a large battle zone with damage to both
21 Croatian and Muslim properties?
22 A. That is correct, that on the 18th all houses
23 in the village of Jelinak and Putis, in Putis the
24 Croatian houses and in the village of Jelinak all the
25 houses, were burning on the 18th. That is what I heard
1 in Busovaca, that all the houses were on fire. Which
2 were the ones to start burning first, I don't know. As
3 far as I saw, it was the upper part of the village, in
4 the early morning hours, that started burning first in
5 the village of Jelinak.
6 MR. BLAXILL: I have no further questions.
7 Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
10 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
11 Q. Thank you. Did you see, you yourself, any
12 Muslims being taken away from the village on the 15th
13 of April, 1993?
14 A. I did not see that. I do know that later
15 some Muslims were detained in the Kaonik Prison.
16 Q. Do you know whether anyone was taken from the
17 village on the 15th?
18 A. I do not know who was taken nor whether
19 anyone was taken. We heard that later.
20 Q. Regarding Kuber, you said that it's a hill
21 which represents a border between three municipalities,
22 Vitez, Busovaca, and Zenica, and it was held by the
24 A. There's a place called Lug where the borders
25 of the three municipalities meet and it was held by the
1 Croatian Defence Council.
2 Q. Since you could hear the fighting from Kuber,
3 would the HVO attack anyone on Kuber as the HVO already
4 had control of Kuber?
5 A. I really don't know whom they could attack up
6 there, I just know that there was gunfire. I don't
7 know who they attacked, because on the other side of
8 Kuber were more distant villages.
9 Q. Very well. They were held by the BH army.
10 But Kuber was under the control of the Croatian forces
11 at the time?
12 A. As far as I know.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. I have no further
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
16 questions. Mr. Plavcic, thank you so much for
17 testifying before the Court. You may now be released.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Puliselic, I wonder
21 whether you are requesting any protective measures for
22 the three witnesses you're going to call.
23 MR. PULISELIC: We're not requesting any
24 protective measures. I would just like to make an
25 observation, Your Honours, and that is to say that the
1 next witness is, at the same time, a witness for Vlatko
2 Kupreskic's defence, so I would ask the Defence counsel
3 for Vlatko Kupreskic to be treated on an equal footing
4 as me, only regarding certain aspects of the case, of
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So I assume,
7 therefore, this witness will be examined-in-chief by
8 yourself and by Counsel Krajina is what you meant.
9 Yes? Good. Thank you.
10 (The witness entered court)
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
12 Good morning. Could you please make the solemn
14 WITNESS: IVO VIDOVIC
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
19 seated. Counsel Puliselic.
20 Examined by Mr. Puliselic:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Would you please introduce yourself to Their
24 Honours, your name, where and when you were born?
25 A. My name is Ivo Vidovic. I was born on the
1 11th of June, 1944, in the village of Pirici, Vitez
2 municipality. I am now living in the village of
3 Santici, Vitez municipality.
4 Q. Will you please tell us what your occupation
6 A. I'm a private entrepreneur, a restaurateur in
8 Q. Where is your catering establishment?
9 A. In the village of Santici, a place called
11 Q. Is it in your own home?
12 A. Yes, in my own home.
13 Q. Your Honours, could we place an aerial
14 photograph of Ahmici on the easel, please? I think it
15 was Prosecution Exhibit number 2.
16 Mr. Vidovic, behind your back you see the
17 easel with an aerial photograph of Ahmici, and I should
18 like to ask you kindly to find your house on that
19 photograph and to point it out to us.
20 A. This is the Busovaca-Vitez road.
21 Q. Perhaps it could be put on the other side.
22 A. This is the main road.
23 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I have only asked you to show us
24 your house.
25 A. It is on the Busovaca-Vitez main road.
1 Q. Would you point it out to us?
2 A. Here it is.
3 Q. And what is the name of that part of the
5 A. Village of Santici, settlement of Zume.
6 Q. You may be seated now. Who were your
7 immediate neighbours?
8 A. Do you mean among the Croats or the Muslims?
9 Q. Both?
10 A. My closest neighbour is Anto Vidosevic. Then
11 there's Marko Livancic, Jozo Lovric and so on.
12 Q. And among the Muslims?
13 A. Among the Muslims my closest was (redacted)
15 Q. How far was his house from yours?
16 A. About 50 metres.
17 Q. Were there others?
18 A. Yes. Across the main road there were quite a
19 number of neighbours.
20 Q. Can you tell us what your relationships were
21 with the Muslims before the war?
22 A. Exceptionally good.
23 Q. Did you assist them on certain occasions?
24 A. Yes, on several occasions. We were so close
25 that I helped them on a number of occasions. I helped
1 them and they helped me.
2 Q. What did that help consist of?
3 A. Let me see. In every way we helped each
5 Q. Tell us generally, what were relations like
6 between the Croats and Muslims in Ahmici before the
8 A. Extremely good. We exchanged visits, on
9 religious holidays we visited them, and they came to
10 visit us on our holidays and so on.
11 Q. Can you tell us what you know generally about
12 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. Generally speaking, I know that the
14 aggression started against Bosnia-Herzegovina by the
15 Serbs or the Yugoslav People's Army.
16 Q. At the beginning did the Croats and Muslims
17 participate on the same side in the struggle against
18 the aggressor?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you personally engaged in the fighting
21 against the Serbs?
22 A. Yes. My son went on a number of occasions
23 and I went once, voluntarily, near Travnik on the
24 slopes of Mount Vlasic.
25 Q. When was this?
1 A. I couldn't tell you exactly, but roughly the
2 beginning of 1992.
3 Q. You said it was on the foot of Mount Vlasic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you were a volunteer?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How much time did you spend there, if you
9 A. At the time I was there for four or five
10 days, together with my son, something like that.
11 Q. In the battles there, did the Muslims
12 participate together with the Croats?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. This unit of yours, the one you joined, did
15 it have a name? What was its name?
16 A. At the time we organised ourselves on a
17 voluntary basis. There was no formality. There
18 weren't any uniforms even. We wore civilian clothes.
19 One or two of us may have had a camouflage jacket,
20 that's all.
21 Q. And after returning from Vlasic what did you
23 A. We, the locals in the village, organised
24 ourselves to keep watch duty in the village. We
25 organised village guard duty.
1 Q. Did you participate often in guard duty?
2 A. Yes, we changed. We took turns in groups. A
3 group of us would keep watch one night and another
4 group the next night.
5 Q. In the area of your village, did you keep
6 guard duty jointly at first?
7 A. Yes, we did, both us and the Muslims.
8 Q. What was the purpose of that guard duty?
9 A. The purpose -- since Serb units would break
10 into the village at night, so we tried to protect the
11 village from such incursions. We were afraid of the
12 infiltration of terrorists into the village.
13 Q. When did you start keeping watch duty
15 A. This started, I think -- I cannot remember
16 exactly, but as local people, I think we separated
17 after the first Muslim-Croat conflict in the village of
19 Q. What was the immediate cause, in your view,
20 of that separation? Was it the multi-party elections
21 or something else?
22 A. Immediately after the multi-party elections
23 people started to split along ethnic lines.
24 Q. Did military structures organise those
25 village guards or not?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Well, how did they come about? Who organised
4 A. We, the local villagers, got together and
5 realised we needed to keep watch duty because of those
6 incursions of terrorists.
7 Q. Was there a person who was in command of
8 those village guards?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who was it in Ahmici?
11 A. In our village, in the village of Santici and
12 Zume, Nenad Santic was in charge.
13 Q. What happened to Nenad Santic? Do you know?
14 A. Nenad Santic was killed. I know that he was
15 ambushed by some Muslim units.
16 Q. Can you tell us roughly when that took place?
17 A. I think it was in the middle or the end of
18 June, 1993.
19 Q. Did you yourself as guards select Nenad
20 Santic as your commander?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell us how -- what kind of weapons
23 you had?
24 A. There were a number of hunters in the
25 village, so these were mostly hunting rifles. Some
1 people had licences to carry weapons, some had
2 pistols. There were a couple of M48 rifles.
3 Q. That is a military rifle?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you personally have a rifle?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did the guards wear uniforms in your village?
8 A. No. One or two of us may have had a
9 camouflage jacket, but mostly we wore civilian clothes.
10 Q. Do you know who was the commander of Muslim
11 village guards in that area?
12 A. As far as I know, it was Mehmed Ahmic, also
13 known as Suduka. Whether he had a lower level
14 commander, I don't know. I know that he was in charge
15 of the political activities and he was the overall
16 commander over there.
17 Q. What do you know about the first conflict in
18 Ahmici on the 20th of October, 1992? Could you tell us
19 where you were at the time?
20 A. I was in my shop and I heard the shooting,
21 and I went out. I heard from my guests that a conflict
22 had broken out between the Muslims and the Croats in
23 the village of Ahmici.
24 Q. Was that early in the morning, the gunfire?
25 A. It was sometime in the morning, yes.
1 Q. What did you hear? Why did the conflict
2 break out?
3 A. I learnt, subsequently, that the conflict had
4 broken out because Busovaca units were heading for
5 Jajce to assist the defenders of Jajce, and the Muslim
6 guards would not let them pass.
7 Q. Which were those units from Kiseljak and
8 Busovaca? Were they HVO?
9 A. Yes, probably HVO.
10 Q. Did you hear of any of the Croats from your
11 village or Ahmici having participated in the conflict
12 over the roadblock?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So what did you hear, that no Croats took
16 A. Yes, because there was a conflict between the
17 Busovaca units heading for Jajce and the Muslim units
18 in Ahmici.
19 Q. In that conflict did the local people, the
20 local inhabitants of Ahmici take part, the inhabitants
21 of Ahmici?
22 A. Yes, because they kept guard duty at that
23 roadblock as well.
24 Q. Where did you hear the roadblock had been
1 A. Near the Croatian cemetery.
2 Q. Did you know anything about any trenches
3 having been dug there?
4 A. Yes. In fact, there was one trench in the
5 Croatian cemetery itself.
6 Q. Did you see that later on?
7 A. Yes, I did, because we went to attend mass
8 regularly every Sunday there.
9 Q. What do you know about whether any buildings
10 were damaged, any houses on that occasion?
11 A. Well, in my neighbourhood no houses were
12 destroyed, but when I was going to mass at the cemetery
13 I saw that the house of Mehmed Ahmic, also known as
14 Suduka, had been damaged.
15 Q. Do you know about any other houses having
16 been damaged?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you hear anything about any casualties,
19 anyone killed or wounded?
20 A. I heard later that the first victim of that
21 first conflict had been a young man from Kiseljak, and
22 that a man called Pezer, whom I didn't know, had been
23 killed on the Muslim side.
24 Q. What about the man from Kiseljak, did you
25 remember his name?
1 A. I think his surname was Vidovic, but I'm not
3 Q. After that conflict, do you know that the
4 Muslims left Ahmici?
5 A. Yes. They had left the area where the
6 village of Ahmici is, but none of our neighbours left
7 in the area of Santici or Zume. None of the Muslims
9 Q. So none of the Muslims from Zume left?
10 A. No.
11 Q. What happened to the ones who left Ahmici?
12 Did they come back?
13 A. Some of them started returning the very next
14 day, but almost all of them came back within two or
15 three days.
16 Q. Do you know that their neighbours, their
17 fellow villagers, their Croats, asked them to come
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. According to your personal knowledge, did you
21 hear that?
22 A. Well, I know that we gathered together people
23 to invite them to come back.
24 Q. Do you know anything about some of these
25 houses having been broken into or looted or something
2 A. No.
3 Q. So nothing was missing from those houses?
4 A. I never heard that anything was missing.
5 Q. Do you know anything about what happened in
6 Busovaca in January, in early 1993?
7 A. I heard that there had been a conflict, but I
8 didn't have any information about it.
9 Q. What was your status in 1993? Were you still
10 participating in the village guards?
11 A. Well, I did my job until the beginning of
12 war, but every third night I participated in the
13 village guard duty, so I took part every three nights.
14 Q. What about the others, how many were there?
15 A. There would be about ten of us in each group.
16 Q. Do you know anything about the HVO defence
17 lines against the Serbs in the area?
18 A. I know that units went to the defence line in
19 Jajce and also below Vlasic to stop the Serbs from
20 penetrating to Travnik.
21 Q. Were there any defence lines against the
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Do you remember what was going on or what
25 happened on the 15th of April, 1993, that was the day
1 before the second conflict, did anything special happen
2 or was everything as usual?
3 A. Nothing, except that I learned through the
4 media that in Zenica the Muslim units had captured the
5 HVO commander, Zivko Totic, and that they had killed
6 three or four of his escorts, I can't say exactly how
8 Q. What were you doing that day?
9 A. As usual, I was working in my restaurant.
10 Q. What happened on the 16th of April in 1993?
11 Do you remember?
12 A. That night I slept and in the morning at
13 about half past 5.00, I can't be very precise, I heard
14 gunfire and noise in the street outside. I looked out
15 of the window and I saw people fleeing down the road
16 near my house, so I went out to ask what was going on,
17 and they said that Muslim units had attacked our
18 village and that they were fleeing to a shelter.
19 I went back inside, I took my two young
20 children and my wife, and I went to the shelter with
22 Q. Was the gunfire very intense? Could you tell
23 where it was coming from?
24 A. It was coming from the direction of Busovaca
25 and Ahmici.
1 Q. Where did you go with your wife and children,
2 to which shelter?
3 A. I started toward the house of Jozo Lovric
4 where all the others had been going because this had
5 been our shelter before. When the Serbian planes flew
6 over, we always took shelter there.
7 Q. Who did you meet there?
8 A. Well, the first person I saw was (redacted)
9 (redacted). He was standing in front of his house on the
11 Q. Did you leave the shelter after leaving your
12 wife and children there or did you stay there?
13 A. Well, I stayed for about ten minutes, then I
14 went out to see what was going on, and I met other
15 people coming to the shelter. I talked to them about
16 what was going on, because we didn't know what was
18 Q. Did you meet anyone who told you to go
20 A. I met Nenad Santic, the commander of my
21 village guard.
22 Q. What did Nenad Santic say to you?
23 A. Nenad told me that I had to go and defend the
24 bridge, Radakov Most, immediately.
25 Q. Why did he send you to Radakov Most?
1 A. Because the main road, the Busovaca-Vitez
2 road near the village of Buhine Kuce had been cut off
3 by the Muslims and we couldn't pass there.
4 Q. So what was the significance of Radakov Most
5 at that time?
6 A. Well, it was our only route towards Vitez,
7 and the only road from Busovaca to Vitez. Yes, it was
8 a country road, and the only one we could use.
9 Q. How far from your house, approximately, was
10 Radakov Most?
11 A. I can't be precise, but 300 to 400 metres.
12 Q. Can you tell us how far Buhine Kuce is from
14 A. Buhine Kuce is about 800 to 1.000 kilometres
15 -- metres, sorry, metres away from Ahmici.
16 Q. Is the village of Buhine Kuce near the main
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You said that Nenad Santic sent you to
20 Radakov Most. Do you remember what else he said?
21 A. He said that I would find Drago Vidovic there
22 and Dragan Papic.
23 Q. So he said that they would join you in the
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Had you already been in the area, or were you
2 already in the area of Radakov Most when Dragan Papic
4 A. When I arrived there, I found Drago Vidovic
5 there, and some ten minutes later we saw Dragan Papic
6 coming from the Busovaca side, from the village of
7 Rovna crossing the bridge.
8 Q. What time was it, approximately? Can you
9 tell us?
10 A. It was at about half past six, between half
11 past six and seven, I can't be precise as to the time.
12 MR. PULISELIC: Is it time for a break,
13 Mr. President?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Actually, we have five more
15 minutes. Would you like a break now?
16 MR. PULISELIC: No, we can go on. I thought
17 it was time for a break. I apologise.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Puliselic, before we go on,
19 could you have the bridge pointed out, please, so we
20 can understand what the witness is referring to.
21 MR. PULISELIC: Yes, I intended to do that in
22 a few minutes.
23 Q. Mr. Vidovic, would you show where the bridge,
24 Radakov Most, is?
25 A. Yes, this is my house here. This is the road
1 leading from the main road toward the bridge, and the
2 bridge is here.
3 Q. Where does the road go toward Vitez?
4 A. Here. Here. You can see a little bit of it
6 Q. The road goes on where?
7 A. To the village of Rovna.
8 Q. You can sit down now. You said that Dragan
9 Papic arrived from the direction of Donja Rovna over
10 the bridge?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What did he say? What had he been doing
14 A. He said that he was a little late because he
15 had taken his mother, wife and sister to the shelter in
16 Donja Rovna.
17 Q. His mother, his wife and his sister; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In Donja Rovna on the other side of the
21 bridge were there any guards? Did you see any guards?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you say who you saw there? Did you
24 recognise the people?
25 A. There were several. I knew two of them. One
1 was Zvonko Santic and the other was Jozo Alilovic.
2 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, perhaps we
3 might have a break now, because we have some aerial
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. A 15-minute break.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
7 --- Upon resuming at 12.30 p.m.
8 MR. PULISELIC:
9 Q. Mr. Vidovic, let us go back to this aerial
10 photograph. You said -- you showed us where your house
11 was. You said that the area was called Zume. You
12 showed us where the bridge, Radakov Most, is. Can you
13 now show us where Ahmici is, where Pirici is, where
14 Santici is, the direction of the road from Busovaca,
15 the location of the Catholic cemetery, and so on.
16 A. This is the main road, the Busovaca/Vitez
17 main road. This is the Croatian cemetery, and the
18 village of Ahmici begins here and stretches in this
19 direction. And this is the road that leads to the
20 village of Ahmici.
21 Q. Does the village of Ahmici stretch to below
22 the road?
23 A. Yes, there is part here with quite a lot of
24 Muslims who lived here, and there were more houses -- a
25 few houses below the cemetery.
1 Q. Where is the village of Santici?
2 A. Here (indicating). Santici is here. This
3 road passes by my house. And this road leads to the
4 village of Pirici, while this other one leads to the
5 village of Santici. And this area here is the village
6 of Santici.
7 Q. So the village of Santici is mostly only on
8 one side of the road, as far as I can see.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And your hamlet of Zume --
11 A. This is Zume. This circle here. There is a
12 sports centre here, a stadium, and so on.
13 Q. So we could say that Zume is between Pirici
14 and Ahmici; could we say that?
15 A. Well, between Pirici and Ahmici is where Zume
16 is. So from here, up there is Ahmici, and Zume is down
18 Q. Would you show us Donja Rovna?
19 A. Donja Rovna stretches here. Before the
20 turning for Santici, there is another turning, you
21 cross the bridge, Radakov bridge, and it's here, in
22 this area.
23 Q. Could we say that Donja Rovna was on the
24 right bank of the River Lasva?
25 A. Yes, downstream.
1 Q. Is this also in another municipality?
2 A. It's in the Busovaca municipality. The
3 Busovaca and Vitez municipalities are separated by the
4 River Lasva. Vitez is on the right and Busovaca is on
5 the left.
6 Q. Very well, Mr. Vidovic, you may sit down.
7 Thank you.
8 MR. PULISELIC: I would like to ask the
9 usher ...
10 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D4/5.
11 MR. PULISELIC:
12 Q. Mr. Vidovic, this is the same aerial
13 photograph you have been showing, but on a smaller
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I would now like to ask you to show us on
17 this photograph your house and to put a circle around
18 it with a felt pen.
19 A. Yes, there's one here.
20 Q. Could you take a red marker and put the
21 circle around your house on this photograph.
22 A. (Marks).
23 Q. Could you mark it with the letter "V."
24 I would now like to ask you to put a circle
25 round the bridge, Radakov Most. Could you put the
1 letter "B" here, where the bridge is.
2 A. (Marks).
3 Q. Now, could you put a line showing where you
4 were on guard with Dragan Vidovic and Dragan Papovic.
5 Could you mark it "1."
6 A. (Marks).
7 Q. On the other side of the bridge, could you
8 mark the area where the guards were on that side.
9 Could you mark this "2."
10 Now I would like to ask you on this aerial
11 photograph the road leading from Busovaca, and to mark
12 it as far as the turning towards the bridge, Radakov
13 Most. So would you mark the road.
14 Take your time.
15 A. (Marks).
16 Q. And the newly established route?
17 A. You mean towards Vitez?
18 Q. Yes, up to the bridge. And then as far as we
19 can see in the direction of Vitez.
20 This turning, it wasn't an asphalt road
21 leading to the village along the river?
22 A. No, it was a macadam road.
23 Q. And what was the first village along that
25 A. The village of Rijeka.
1 Q. And where do this road go on? Does it cross
2 the River Lasva again?
3 A. No, it crosses another river, a smaller
4 river, Rnska (phoen).
5 Q. And where does it come again?
6 A. Well, after the village of Rijeka, it comes
7 out on the Vitez-Busovaca main road again.
8 Q. And this junction, how far is it from Vitez,
10 A. Maybe one kilometre from the town.
11 Q. Thank you very much. You may sit down.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. PULISELIC: The usher, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D5/5.
15 MR. PULISELIC:
16 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what does this photograph show?
17 You can look at it on your monitor, if you like.
18 A. It shows the bridge, Radakov Most.
19 Q. Where does this road lead from?
20 A. It leads from the village of Rovna.
21 Q. No, I'm referring to the nearer road. Where
22 does it lead from? The village of Rovna would be on
23 the other side of the bridge; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. This road comes from the direction of
25 my house, from the main road. So it leads -- yes, it
1 leads by Ljubosove Kuce across the bridge to Donja
3 Q. So the houses we can see on the other side of
4 the bridge is Donja Rovna?
5 A. Yes, those are Radakove Kuce in Donja Rovna,
7 Q. Very well. Would you put an arrow on the
8 photograph showing the direction from which you came to
9 the bridge.
10 A. (Marks).
11 Q. And could you put a cross on the bridge
12 itself, to mark the bridge.
13 A. (Marks).
14 Q. You may sit down now.
15 MR. PULISELIC: Usher, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D6/5.
17 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, I don't know
18 whether the first document has been entered under the
19 correct number. What was the number? Was it 4, or
21 THE REGISTRAR: D4/5.
22 MR. PULISELIC:
23 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what does this photograph show?
24 What is this?
25 A. Radakov Most, the bridge.
1 Q. What side has this been taken from? Is it
2 taken from the side where you were on guard? It's not
3 a very good photograph.
4 A. Yes, we were keeping guard here, in this
5 area, on our side where we were keeping guard. And
6 this is Rovna.
7 Q. You were keeping watch; and were you standing
8 on one spot, or were you moving?
9 A. Well, we couldn't move across the bridge.
10 Q. No, I didn't mean across the bridge; I
11 mean --
12 A. Well, we walked up and down for about 50
13 metres along the river.
14 Q. You may sit down. Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D7/5.
16 MR. PULISELIC:
17 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what does this photograph show?
18 A. It shows the bridge, Radakov Most.
19 Q. From which position? From which spot?
20 A. Well, downstream, on the Busovaca side. From
21 the Busovaca side, yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. PULISELIC: We have two more
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D8/5.
1 MR. PULISELIC:
2 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what does this photograph show,
3 and where was it taken from?
4 A. It shows the bridge, Radakov Most, from the
5 Busovaca side. It was taken from the Busovaca side,
7 Q. The houses that can be seen on the other side
8 of the bridge, they're called Ljubosove Kuce. Pero
9 Ljubas's houses.
10 Q. Were you on guard continually, or did you
11 take a break? Did you have a rest?
12 A. Since we had only two weapons, two of us
13 always kept watch while one rested.
14 Q. Can you put a circle or an "X" where you
15 rested? Put a small circle there.
16 A. (Marks).
17 Q. You said that from time to time, when it was
18 possible, you moved from the bridge for some 20 or 30
19 metres upstream and downstream?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you draw a line on the other side of
22 the bridge showing approximately -- to show us where
23 you moved.
24 Where did you see the other guards on the
25 other side of the bridge? Where were they, roughly?
1 A. They were here.
2 Q. Did they also move?
3 A. Yes, only on the other side of the river.
4 Q. Do you know that the guards on the other side
5 used any trenches? Do you know anything about that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you.
8 MR. PULISELIC: One more photograph.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document D9/5.
10 MR. PULISELIC:
11 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what can be seen on this
12 photograph, and where was it taken from?
13 A. It is the Radak bridge, taken from Donja
15 Q. And again we see those same houses?
16 A. Yes, the Ljubas houses.
17 Q. Will you please mark once again with a circle
18 where the guards rested.
19 A. (Marks).
20 Q. Thank you. Please sit down.
21 On that day, the 16th of April, 1993, did you
22 keep watch duty throughout the day?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what about Dragan Papic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was it possible to move away from those
2 positions assigned to you for that day, the next day,
3 and the days that followed?
4 A. We had strict orders not to move away from
5 the Radak bridge. We were not allowed to move away
6 from there.
7 Q. You mentioned weapons: How were you armed?
8 A. We had two M-48 rifles, known as Tandzaras.
9 Q. They are military weapons?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. These are rifles with single shots, aren't
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you remember how you were dressed?
15 A. We were dressed, me and Drago Vidovic, in
16 civilian clothes. Dragan Papic had a camouflage jacket
17 and jeans on him.
18 Q. He had a camouflage jacket. Can you tell us
19 whether there were any insignia on that jacket?
20 A. No.
21 Q. From this spot where you were keeping guard
22 duty and that you have indicated on the photograph, is
23 it possible to see Ahmici from there?
24 A. No. No, because it is in the valley of the
25 Lasva River. All you can see is Donja Rovna at the
1 river and a couple of houses there.
2 Q. Did you notice anything special on Dragan
3 Papic's face?
4 A. What do you mean on his face?
5 Q. Do you recognise Dragan Papic here in this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you see anything on his face now?
9 A. Yes, but at the time he had a long beard. He
10 had a long beard.
11 Q. So he had a much longer beard than he has
13 A. Yes. His beard was up to here.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, Counsel Puliselic.
15 The interpreters are asking whether you could speak
16 into the microphone, please.
17 MR. PULISELIC:
18 Q. You said that Dragan told you that he had
19 taken his mother, sister and wife to Donja Rovna?
20 A. Yes, he said that.
21 Q. Do you know that his wife was in advanced
23 A. Yes. When he came to join us he said that he
24 had taken his wife, mother and sister away because she
25 was expecting, and she was expecting delivery any day
1 soon and that's why he felt he needed to move her
3 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, could we show
4 a videotape?
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
6 MR. PULISELIC: May I observe that this
7 videotape that we're going to see, that it was filmed
8 on the 21st of October, 1998, showing a part of the
9 road -- a part of Vitez and the road from Vitez along
10 Buhine Kuce, Ahmici and the Catholic cemetery, and then
11 we come back through Ahmici and turn off towards
12 Radak's bridge.
13 (Videotape played)
14 MR. PULISELIC:
15 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I'm now going to ask you to
16 occasionally comment on this videotape.
17 Can you please tell us where we are now?
18 A. This is the road coming from Rijeka and
19 joining the main road, and it leads across Radak's
20 bridge. Yes, this is the road to Radak's bridge viewed
21 from the direction of Vitez.
22 Q. Where we saw the car go?
23 A. Yes. The car has gone towards Radak's bridge
24 via the village of Rijeka.
25 Q. Can we fast forward the tape briefly? Slowly
1 please, slowly, slowly.
2 Where are we heading for now?
3 A. We're heading towards the former railway
4 station in Vitez, the plant called Impregnacija. So
5 this is the junction, separate where the road forks off
6 from the main Busovaca-Travnik road.
7 Q. Stop, please. Stop, stop, stop, stop. Will
8 you wind the tape back a little? Stop. Stop.
9 Slightly more forward. Can you see the signpost?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But Their Honours can't see clearly. Stop
12 there, please. So the signpost points towards Travnik,
13 to the left.
14 A. This is a transit road, and to the right
15 leading to Sarajevo. If you take the road to Sarajevo
16 you reach Busovaca passing through Ahmici.
17 Q. Let us proceed with the tape, please. You
18 can fast wind now. That's it. That's enough. Slowly,
19 please. Is Buhine Kuce anywhere near there?
20 A. Yes, we're just approaching there.
21 Q. Will you stop? A little further forward.
22 Forward, please. A little more. You can see them,
23 yes. It's fine. Stop there, please.
24 A. These are Ljubas's houses on the left, left
25 and right of the road.
1 Q. Let us go on, please, with the tape.
2 So the road was cut here somewhere?
3 A. Yes. Right here. Right here.
4 Q. Where is the road leading now?
5 A. It's leading to Busovaca, or, rather, the
6 village of Zume and Santici.
7 Q. We can fast wind briefly. Slowly now.
8 Slowly, please. This is the road leading to Radak's
9 bridge, to the right.
10 A. Yes, this is that road leading to Radak's
11 bridge. So when we're coming from the direction of
12 Vitez, then you turn right to Radak's bridge.
13 Q. But we mentioned another road, the Rijeka
14 street leading to Radak's bridge.
15 A. So this is the second road leading towards
16 the Lasva River.
17 Q. Where are we now?
18 A. We're close to my house now. This is the
19 road leading to Radak's bridge down there. The camera
20 is just turning around. Yes, this is the road
21 branching off.
22 Q. Now we can forward wind, quickly, please.
23 Stop. Stop, please. Will you wind back the tape
24 briefly? Mr. Vidovic, whose house is this?
25 A. That is Dragan Papic's house and the house of
1 his parents.
2 Q. Who owns that house?
3 A. Ivo Papic is the owner.
4 Q. That's it. Stop there, please. Do you know
5 who lived in that house?
6 A. You mean before the war?
7 Q. Yes. Before the war who lived there?
8 A. Dragan's parents, Dragan, his wife, his
9 sister and his brother.
10 Q. Very well. Let us proceed. There are a lot
11 of cars there both in front and behind the house, isn't
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Fast forward, please. Stop. Stop, just for
15 a minute, please. There we see -- will you wind the
16 tape back a little so that we can see the whole house?
17 We can see some damage on the house, can't
18 we? There are some holes on the walls. You don't know
19 what caused those holes?
20 A. This happened on the 16th of April, when the
21 conflict occurred.
22 Q. We can go on then. We can fast forward now.
23 Stop. Stop, please. Where are we now? What can be
24 seen to the left?
25 A. This is the Croatian cemetery.
1 Q. You mean the Catholic cemetery?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So we have a view of the cemetery from the
4 direction of Busovaca. So really we should go back
5 now. Will you play the tape, please? Can you fast
6 wind, please? Stop, please. We can go on, fast wind,
7 fast wind. Stop there, please.
8 Where does this road lead?
9 A. It is leading to Radak's bridge.
10 Q. So from the main road going from the
11 direction of Busovaca, we have turned off the main road
12 and we're going along the road that you marked on the
13 photograph, towards Radak's bridge. We're going
14 downhill now. Whose house is this?
15 A. This is the -- the man is called Grebenar. I
16 don't know his first name. Maybe Nikica.
17 Q. So these are mostly Croatian houses?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now we see Radak's bridge, I think.
20 A. Yes. This is Ljubas's houses, and over there
21 is Radak's bridge and behind is Donja Rovna.
22 Q. This is where you kept guard duty?
23 A. Yes. Yes, right here.
24 Q. We can go on with the tape. So we're
25 crossing Radak's bridge?
1 A. And this, to the left is Donja Rovna and to
2 the right Vitez.
3 Q. What is this?
4 A. This is the road along which we came, leading
5 to the main road Busovaca-Vitez, and this is Ljubas's
7 Q. And this is where you rested?
8 A. Yes, right here.
9 Q. Where that garage door is?
10 A. No, not here, over there.
11 Q. Here. This is where you rested?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Fine. We can go on now. Fast wind forward,
14 please. Stop.
15 So this is a shot from where?
16 A. From Donja Rovna.
17 Q. And now -- where are we going now?
18 A. We're going towards the village of Rijeka,
19 towards Vitez.
20 Q. Upstream parallel with the Lasva River?
21 A. Yes, that is the macadam road, the only one
22 we could use.
23 Q. From Radak's bridge to Rijeka village, how
24 far is it, how many kilometres?
25 A. I don't know exactly. It may be two
2 Q. Fine. We can fast wind forward, please.
3 Towards Rijeka. Stop. Are we close to Rijeka?
4 A. Yes. There is a small stream here called
5 Vranjska, just before the village of Rijeka. There's a
6 small bridge across it.
7 Q. Have we reached the village of Rijeka?
8 A. Yes, once we cross the bridge. And to the
9 left again is the Busovaca municipality and this is
10 where we crossed the bridge. So we're now moving from
11 one municipality to another. The bridge is the
12 boarder. So we're now on the left bank of the Lasva
14 A. No, this is not Lasva. This is Vranjska.
15 This is the river of Vranjska. We're far from the
16 Lasva River now.
17 Q. So this is the village of Rijeka. We can
18 fast forward now, please. Stop.
19 Where are we now?
20 A. This is still the village of Rijeka. There's
21 quite a bit until you reach the main road.
22 Q. Fast wind, please. Stop.
23 A. So we're approaching the main road now,
24 which, to the right, leads to Busovaca and, to the
25 left, to Vitez.
1 Q. So we're now in the road that we saw at the
2 beginning called Rijecka Ulica.
3 A. Here we are reaching the main road now. To
4 the right it leads to Busovaca, to the left to Vitez.
5 Down there are Buhine Kuce, to the right.
6 Q. So we're now going towards Vitez. Thank
8 THE REGISTRAR: And the videotape is numbered
10 MR. PULISELIC:
11 Q. Mr. Vidovic, can you answer the following
12 question: For how many days -- for how long was Dragan
13 Papic on guard duty with you at Radak's bridge?
14 A. Not for long. Maybe eight to ten days. I
15 would not be able to tell you with greater precision.
16 And then he left. He told us that his wife had had a
17 baby, and he left.
18 Q. So he left when his wife had delivered the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us whether Dragan Papic, at any
22 point in time during that period of eight to ten days,
23 moved away from your guard duty area except for resting
24 in that house that you pointed out?
25 A. No, because we were not allowed to do that.
1 Q. Are you quite certain that he didn't move
2 away on the 16th and 17th of April, 1993?
3 A. I'm quite certain. Throughout that period
4 none of us were allowed to move from that area.
5 Q. You said that he left when he heard that his
6 wife had had the baby?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know anything about where he went
9 after that?
10 A. No. I heard later, maybe 15 or 20 days
11 later, that he had been assigned to the frontline, but
12 I don't know where or how. I didn't see him after
14 Q. Can you tell us for how long you remained on
15 guard duty?
16 A. Until the 24th of August there.
17 Q. So for more than five months?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Why did you leave then?
20 A. I fell seriously ill and I had to go for
22 Q. Do you know where Dragan Papic was employed?
23 A. Dragan Papic was employed in the forestry
24 administration as a forester.
25 Q. Was he a member of the HVO at the time?
1 A. Not as far as I know, because Dragan worked
2 as a forester until the conflict.
3 Q. So until the conflict of the 16th of April,
4 '93, he was employed in the forestry administration,
5 as far as you know?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What do you know about Dragan Papic and his
8 family? You said that his wife had delivered. What
9 did he get? Was it a son or a daughter?
10 A. I didn't learn anything about that.
11 Q. Do you know today, the children that he has?
12 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know even
14 Q. Before the conflict would he visit your
15 catering establishment?
16 A. Yes, frequently.
17 Q. Were there any guests there usually?
18 A. Yes. Yes, there were. There were both
19 Muslims and Croats who gathered there.
20 Q. Did you at any time hear Dragan Papic talking
21 about politics, discussing political topics, expressing
22 a negative attitude towards Muslims?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You never heard that? What did he usually
25 talk about?
1 A. Well, as far as I could understand, he liked
2 to discuss girls, he liked to talk about the cars he
3 was fixing, about anecdotes with regard to his forestry
4 work and so on.
5 Q. Did he repair cars? Was it a hobby of his?
6 A. I often saw him and there were usually
7 several cars in front of his house, but I personally
8 never had my car repaired there.
9 Q. Yes, but did you know that he fixed his
10 friends' cars?
11 A. Yes, and he always talked about it. He
12 always talked about how -- what a good mechanic he was.
13 Q. Did Muslims go to him?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know or did you ever see that he used
16 to go to the mosque when a Muslim who had died was
17 being honoured?
18 A. Yes, we all attended funerals, the Muslims
19 attended our funerals and we attended theirs. If
20 anyone died, we always went to each other's funerals.
21 Q. Did you ever see him there?
22 A. Yes, I saw him and his father.
23 Q. Did you ever see him occasionally wear some
24 kind of uniform before the conflict with the Muslims,
25 and since when?
1 A. Well, I often saw him wearing his forester's
2 uniform, and before the conflict he wore the forestry
3 uniform and the camouflage jacket with it. I can't
4 remember exactly what it was like, but it was some kind
5 of camouflage jacket.
6 Q. Do you know that occasionally he wore a
7 uniform since the outbreak of the conflict with the
8 Serbs? Did you see him wear any uniform considerably
9 before these events?
10 A. Well, I always saw him with a camouflage
11 jacket and jeans, so it was a combination, yes.
12 Q. You said that you knew his father, Ivo?
13 A. Yes, very well.
14 Q. You know him well?
15 A. Yes, very well.
16 Q. What was Ivo Papic's occupation?
17 A. He was the only plumber in the area for these
18 two villages, for Zume, Santici, Ahmici.
19 Q. So he had a lot of work?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did he do any plumbing in Muslim houses?
22 A. Yes. Water was brought in from Krusica and
23 he did the plumbing for everyone. There were no other
24 plumbers there.
25 Q. Do you know that he is still doing plumbing
1 for the Muslims returning to Ahmici in the area?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Have you heard about this?
4 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
5 Q. Did you sometimes see a flag on his house,
6 and what kind of flag was it?
7 A. Yes, I saw the chequerboard flag.
8 Q. Was it there all the time or only
9 occasionally, and if it was there occasionally, when?
10 A. Only on religious holidays, and then it
11 wasn't only on his house but my house too, because we
12 all had flags when it was a religious holiday.
13 Q. Did the Muslims also display their own flags
14 on their houses, on their holidays?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know Mehmed Ahmic? You mentioned
18 A. Yes, I know him very well.
19 Q. What was his nickname?
20 A. Suduka.
21 Q. And what was Mehmed Ahmic's occupation?
22 A. Well, to start with, he had a catering
23 establishment like me, until the elections. Then he
24 took over the party.
25 Q. Was he a member, was he in the leadership of
1 the party?
2 A. Yes, he was in the leadership. I think he
3 was the chief person in the party.
4 Q. In that area?
5 A. Well, in the Ahmici area. I don't know about
7 Q. Did his attitude towards the Croats change?
8 Do you know anything about his attitude toward the
9 Croats after the multi-party elections?
10 A. Well, after the elections everybody changed.
11 People were not the same as they had been before.
12 Everyone had their own ethnic affiliation, and so did
14 Q. Did you know Abdulah Ahmic?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you know Fahrudin Ahmic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you know that there were two Fahrudin
20 A. No. I knew only one. He was a musician. He
21 played seven days before the conflict broke out, he and
22 Kupreskic played in my establishment together.
23 Q. So this was in your establishment?
24 A. Yes, we were having a celebration celebrating
25 Easter. It was Easter.
1 Q. Where was Fahrudin Ahmic's house, in what
2 part of the village?
3 A. His house was on the Vitez-Busovaca main road
4 about 100 metres away from my house, in the direction
5 of Ahmici.
6 Q. On the 16th of April, 1993, you were probably
7 not aware, apart from the fact that you heard gunfire,
8 you probably didn't know what was happening in Ahmici.
9 Did you learn later what had happened there?
10 A. Well, as soon as I arrived in the shelter, I
11 was told by the women who had fled from Ahmici, the
12 Croatian women.
13 Q. So what did they tell you?
14 A. They said that Muslim units had attacked the
15 Croats, so they had fled, and that they had fled to our
16 area, because there were more Croats there.
17 Q. Yes. That was what the women said. But what
18 did you learn later? Were there many people killed
19 later? What happened to their houses?
20 A. Well, many people were killed on both sides.
21 That was the information I heard, that Mirjan Santic
22 was the first victim of the clash, that he had been on
23 the -- on the Croatian side and guard, and that he had
24 been killed by the Muslims.
25 Q. There were a lot of Muslims killed. Do you
1 remember, because you mentioned Mirjan -- what did you
2 say -- Santic, do you remember any other Croats who
3 were killed?
4 A. A lot of people were killed, Ivica Vidovic,
5 Zlatan Ivankovic. A lot of Croats. I can't remember
6 all their names, but if I saw a list I might remember.
7 Q. Are there Muslims returning to Ahmici now?
8 A. Almost all of them have returned.
9 Q. What is your relationship with them now?
10 A. I am on good terms with them now.
11 Q. As before?
12 A. Yes. They come to my catering establishment,
13 have a drink.
14 Q. What about the other inhabitants?
15 A. They pass by through our hamlet, regularly,
16 the ones from Pirici and Ahmici, and there has never
17 been an incident since they came back.
18 Q. So there are no incidents now?
19 A. No.
20 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, I have
21 completed my examination of this witness.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Well, we will now
23 break and adjourn until tomorrow morning. But let me
24 just ask Counsel Krajina whether he intends to examine
25 this witness in chief, tomorrow morning I mean.
1 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, my colleague,
2 Mr. Par, will examine in the morning and it will take
3 30 to 40 minutes.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. We
5 adjourn now.
6 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at
7 1.28 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
8 the 16th day of February, 1999,
9 at 9.00 a.m.