1 Thursday, 4th March, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-16-T the Prosecutor versus Zoran
8 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
9 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Mr. Terrier.
11 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: MIRKO SAKIC (RESUMED)
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakic. I think that you
15 are ready to answer the questions that I would still
16 like to ask you today.
17 Yesterday you spoke about the events of 20
18 October, 1992. I'm not going to ask you any questions
19 about that part of your testimony. However, I would
20 like to ask you a few questions about the period from
21 20 October, 1992 to 16 April, 1993, and after the
22 questions we'll move to the events of 16 April, 1993.
23 You told us, Mr. Sakic, that at the end of
24 that day, that is the 20th of October, 1992, the
25 Muslims who were living in Ahmici and Santici, or most
1 of the Muslims in those cities, fled. They left, left
2 their homes. Does that mean, as one might reasonably
3 assume, that since they were conquered the Muslims were
4 in fear for their security?
5 A. I said yesterday that the majority of the
6 Muslim population from the lower part of Zume or the
7 lower part of Ahmici, which is part of that region,
8 Zume are hamlets, these are hamlets, not small towns,
9 that it had moved deep -- deeper inside the village. I
10 didn't claim that they were vanquished, defeated,
11 because there was no fighting in that part. The
12 shooting could be heard from the direction of the
13 Catholic cemetery, at the place where the barricade
15 Q. Nonetheless, I seem to recall that you said
16 that three or four days after these events, the events
17 of 20 October, 1992, the Muslims came back to their
18 homes. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it's correct I said that three or four
20 days after the conflict, near the Catholic cemetery,
21 all the citizens came back to their homes.
22 Q. And you also told us that at the same time,
23 that is three or four days after the events of 20
24 October, 1992, the Kupreskic families, who had left
25 their homes, came back. Did I understand what you
1 said, correctly?
2 A. I said that at the same time that the Muslims
3 came back to their homes the Kupreskic family, which
4 was practically in the same part of the village, also
5 came back to their homes.
6 Q. That means that the Kupreskic families were
7 away from their homes for three or four days?
8 A. Yes, of course. They came back together at
9 the same time as the Muslims, so three or four days
11 Q. But why? Why did these families, these
12 Croatian families, leave their homes for three or four
13 days, which apparently the other Croatian families
14 living in Ahmici and Santici did not do?
15 A. The only families that were directly living
16 in Ahmici were the Kupreskic families. The rest was a
17 mixed population in lower Zume. They were bordering
18 with the Muslim part. Since there was shooting, it's
19 quite logical and understandable that both of them were
20 afraid. I don't see anything unusual in that. Of
21 course, after shooting you would be afraid to come
22 back. These are bullets.
23 Q. Mr. Sakic, let's move to the negotiations
24 that took place shortly afterwards, after the events of
25 20 October, 1992 that you spoke about, negotiations
1 whose purpose was to re-establish peace and trust among
2 the communities.
3 You spoke about a meeting at the Ahmici
4 school. You told us that you yourself were not present
5 at the meeting, but that your father was. You told us
6 that certain well-known Croatian people were there, and
7 you mentioned Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak.
8 The Croats living in Ahmici, Santici and
9 Pirici, were they represented during that meeting?
10 A. My father lives in Pirici, so he was there
11 for sure, and then the majority of the neighbours were
12 there also at that meeting.
13 Q. Do you know that Zoran Kupreskic participated
14 in that meeting?
15 A. I don't know. I can't say whether he did or
16 did not.
17 Q. Aside from your father, do you know the names
18 of Croatians living in those villages who participated
19 in the meeting at the Ahmici school?
20 A. I have to admit that I didn't really gather
21 any information about that. I wasn't interested who
22 was there when I was talking to my father; I was more
23 interested in the end result. So I don't know.
24 Q. Let's speak about the results of that
25 meeting. The principle result of the meeting, which
1 was held for negotiations, was the return of the
2 Muslims, that is all the Muslims, to their homes; is
3 that correct?
4 A. No. At the time of the meeting the Muslims
5 were already back in their homes, so the
6 conversation -- the talk at the meeting, was to try to
7 establish -- once again to re-establish trust and to
8 alleviate these negative feelings that were beginning
9 to happen during the conflict.
10 Q. I understand. Yesterday, as an example, as
11 an example of measures that were taken during that
12 meeting, you mentioned assistance for reconstruction of
13 the destroyed building on the 20th of October, 1992.
14 Specifically I believe that you mentioned the home
15 which belonged to Mehmed Ahmic. Can we say that that
16 decision produced any results?
17 A. I can't confirm whether these events took
18 place or not. One house was destroyed and then a few
19 farm buildings, a couple of them on the Croat side and
20 a couple on the Muslim side, but one house. I know
21 that there was a decision made to repair the damage,
22 and I even think that some help in construction
23 materials was provided, but I can't be sure about
25 Q. Were you informed about a decision taken by
1 the Croatian community to -- to take weapons away from
2 the Muslims?
3 A. First of all, I was only an inhabitant of the
4 village. If such a decision did exist, I was not in
5 the position to be informed about it or not to be
6 informed about it, so I can't really answer that
8 Q. When you spoke yesterday about the situation
9 in Ahmici, Santici and Pirici, during that period
10 following October of 1992 and which precedes the 16th
11 of April, 1993, you spoke about a situation in which
12 insecurity seemed to reign, and this was an increasing
13 insecurity as time went by.
14 It seemed to me that one of the reasons for
15 that situation of insecurity was the issue of
16 refugees. Have I correctly interpreted what you said?
17 A. I think that you did.
18 Q. You told us that the Muslim refugees from the
19 front area came to settle down in large numbers in
20 Ahmici, whereas the Croatian refugees from the front
21 area went to settle further away in other villages.
22 As regards the situation, can we say that
23 there was an imbalance that was a concern for the
25 A. I think that I said the following: After the
1 fall of Jajce, which is a town 80 kilometres away from
2 Vitez, it's not a village, there was a large migration
3 of the population, so the entire Muslim and Croat
4 population moved in the direction of Vitez. Apart --
5 some of these people, Muslims, remained in Vitez, some
6 of them left for Zenica. A larger number, practically
7 all of the Croats from Jajce, went towards the
8 direction of Tomislavgrad and Herzegovina and a small
9 number remained in Busovaca.
10 This was a vast number of people on tractors,
11 on horse-drawn carts, without any clear direction or
12 aim. They were armed. So any such presence, that
13 state of chaos, was a cause for insecurity. Also, the
14 closeness of the Serb front line, which was 20
15 kilometres away from there, close to Travnik, was also
16 a factor.
17 Q. Mr. Sakic, I would like to move to the day of
18 15 April, 1993. Yesterday you told us that you came
19 back from your work in Vitez between 6.00 and 7.00 in
20 the evening. You told us that at that point, through
21 your father you learned that Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's
22 family was together, that mister -- that his wife was
23 back after having been in Germany, and at that point
24 you went to visit them.
25 What were the relationships that you had with
1 that family?
2 A. My relations with the Kupreskic family were
3 good, neighbourly. We grew up together. Some of us
4 were younger, some were older. The husband, Ivica, is
5 four or five years older than me. We used to play
6 football together, we used to visit one another. Very
7 good relations. Excellent.
8 Q. But were you invited to go to visit them that
10 A. In Bosnia you don't have to be invited in
11 order to visit. In Bosnia if you don't see a friend
12 for a long time, you can go uninvited and he will greet
13 you as if he had invited you.
14 Q. Did you go alone?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know how Mrs. Kupreskic, that is Ivica
17 Kupreskic's wife, came back from Germany?
18 A. I don't know the details, but I know
19 approximately, and I can say that the children of Ivica
20 Kupreskic came four days before the wife came to Vitez,
21 and then Ivica came alone with his wife in a car. He
22 came from Split to Vitez.
23 Q. You told us that the next day you were
24 supposed to go to Grebak.
25 A. Yes. I said that I was supposed to go to
1 Grebak at 6.30 from Kaonik via Kresevo, Sarajevo,
2 Trnovo to Grebak.
3 Q. This is a question I want to ask because I
4 don't know the answer: When one comes from Split to
5 Ahmici by car, do you go past Grebak?
6 A. No. No, it's on the other side of the
7 country and it's 300 kilometres away from there. It's
8 approximately the distance between Split and Ahmici,
9 and Ahmici to Grebak, only this is in the opposite
10 direction. It's close to Goradze, which -- it's the
11 Muslim enclave that was encircled. It was in the news
12 a lot.
13 Q. Therefore, Mr. Sakic, Mr. Ivica Kupreskic
14 could give you no information about the condition of
15 the roads going to Grebak?
16 A. Well, of course I didn't even ask him for
17 that information, I was going to Grebak with the
18 international committee, and only humanitarian vehicles
19 could pass, no others could.
20 Q. But if I ask you the question, it's because I
21 seem to remember that yesterday you told us that you
22 went to Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's house on that 15th of
23 April, in the evening, in order to get some information
24 about the situation, about the road conditions. Am I
1 A. Yes, you're absolutely right in what you just
2 said. I wanted to get information about the road
3 towards Split. It was the only road that was a
4 civilian way out of Central Bosnia. It was a main
5 road. So everybody was interested in that.
6 Q. Yesterday you told us that on that evening,
7 at Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's home, there were of course
8 Mr. Ivica Kupreskic and his wife, yourself, Mirjan and
9 Zoran Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, as well as two other
10 individuals, Miroslav Pudza and Miro Vidovic; is that
12 A. Yes. I also think -- I think I mentioned
13 Dragan Vidovic; Stipan. I think that he was there as
15 Q. Are you sure that you haven't forgot anybody?
16 A. Well, I'm not sure. Of course, it's possible
17 that I did forget someone; that was seven years ago.
18 Q. I understand. Are you sure that all the
19 individuals that you mentioned were present?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you tell us whether the wives of these
22 men that you mentioned were present as well?
23 A. No. At the time that I was there, only
24 Mrs. Kupreskic was there, Ivica's wife, Ankica
25 Kupreskic. She brought us a bottle to drink.
1 Q. As regards these meetings in which there were
2 almost only men, could we say that that's a rather
3 generalised custom? Or does that correspond to a
4 specific event?
5 A. Well, I wouldn't call it a meeting. I didn't
6 come to an agreed meeting. I came there after I had
7 heard that Mr. Kupreskic, Ivica, had arrived from
8 Germany. And there I met his cousins, who were
9 probably there for a while, and neighbours. So it
10 didn't have any particular kind of form, or could have
12 Q. Perhaps I'm wrong to ask this question, but
13 it did seem to me that since you were celebrating
14 Mrs. Kupreskic's return, who had been away for over a
15 month -- actually more than a year -- the wives, his
16 friends, might have been present as well.
17 A. Well, if it was a celebration, yes, but this
18 was more of an informational kind of thing. The woman
19 had arrived only a couple of hours before that, and we
20 had come to see her. So I don't see anything unusual
21 in that, in a good neighbourly atmosphere, and it's a
22 normal thing in our area.
23 Q. I understand.
24 You told us that you spoke about the
25 situation, the day's news and the kidnapping of
1 Commander Totic. Among yourselves, could we say that
2 the idea of tension, significant tension, during that
3 day, was there, was an issue?
4 A. Well, up until about 6.00 I was in Vitez, at
5 work. And I was getting ready to go to Grebak the next
6 day. So I heard the information in Vitez. I can't
7 describe the tension. It's not tangible to me. But
8 you could sense the tension.
9 That evening, when we were talking, we didn't
10 have any information based on which we could come to
11 any kind of conclusion. So it was -- I more or less
12 came to see them, to talk a little bit with him. We
13 touched on this briefly, and then I just turned around
14 and I went back. So I spent an hour or two there.
15 Q. You said that you came back around 10.00 in
16 the evening; did the others remain after you had left?
17 A. I left first, so I don't know how long the
18 others stayed. But I know that I left at 10.00.
19 Q. Therefore, as far as you can remember, Vlatko
20 Kupreskic remained after you had left?
21 A. I think that they probably could have stayed,
22 but I can't confirm 100 per cent. It's possible that
23 they did, and it's possible that they didn't. At the
24 time, I didn't know that it would be something that I
25 would have to talk about later, so I can't remember all
1 the details.
2 Q. It's just out of curiosity that I'm asking
3 you the question, but I see open in front of you a kind
4 of a log or a handwritten book of some type. I'm not
5 asking you to show us the notebook, because you don't
6 use it during your testimony; but is that a diary that
7 you kept during the events?
8 A. Well, if you wish, I'm prepared to give you
9 that page, the page that I'm looking at. I will give
10 it to you right away, and it can be translated. It's
11 just a little summary containing dates.
12 Q. During your testimony yesterday, you told us
13 that your father woke you up around 4.30; that you
14 thought that it was a false alarm. Isn't it a bit
15 strange to think about a false alarm, insofar as there
16 was the precedent of the 20th of October 1992, and
17 especially the idea of tangible -- almost tangible and
18 growing tension that you mentioned in respect of the
19 day of April 15th; that is, the day before?
20 A. As I said yesterday, the alarms were an
21 everyday occurrence, unfortunately, and they had been
22 going on from the first, Serb strikes against us during
23 the entire year. So really we didn't take them all
24 that seriously later.
25 Q. Did your father tell you who and under what
1 circumstances he had this idea of an alert from?
2 A. No, he didn't tell me. Of course, he just
3 rang the bell and said, "It seems to be an alarm of
4 some kind, and it would be a good thing for you to come
5 down." We didn't really go into it very much. Like I
6 said before, it was an everyday occurrence -- not
7 literally every day, but very often there were alarms,
8 so it wasn't anything unusual for him to say that to
10 Q. I understand. But perhaps you could tell us
11 more specifically how these alarms or alerts were made
12 known to the population.
13 A. Well, my father -- probably somebody else
14 told my father, and he came. I can't really tell you.
15 It's possible, but I don't know. I know only what he
16 told me, and I didn't really pass that on further to
17 anybody in order to know.
18 Q. However, it seems to me that you could tell
19 us whether your father had been informed by telephone
20 or through a messenger.
21 A. No, I can't really say one way or the other.
22 I would have to make it up. That was the least
23 important thing that I wanted to ask him at that time.
24 Q. Yesterday you told us that after having been
25 woken up by your father, you thought there was a false
1 alarm. You left your family, that is your wife and
2 your two daughters, you left them sleeping, and then
3 you went down in front of the house where neighbours
4 had gathered. When you went out, were you armed?
5 A. No. I have a son and a daughter.
6 Q. Excuse me. Your neighbours or some of the
7 neighbours in front of your house, were they armed?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What kind of weapon did you see on that
11 A. With whom?
12 Q. Well, with those of your neighbours who were
14 A. The neighbours? Not all of them; they were
15 not all armed. Some of them had an M-48 rifle. I had
16 a Kalashnikov, like I said yesterday, but I only
17 brought that down later. So they were armed with bad
18 and outdated firearms.
19 Q. You told us that around 5.00, you saw first
20 Zoran Kupreskic and his family going by -- that is, his
21 wife and children -- then Mirjan Kupreskic and his
22 family, and his mother-in-law as well. You told us
23 that they went by your house, and they were moving
24 toward Zume. But you also told us that your house was
25 considered as a kind of safe shelter should there be
1 any difficulties. Why were the families of Mirjan and
2 Zoran Kupreskic -- why did they not stop in front of
3 your house in order to seek shelter?
4 A. This shelter at my place, that's where the
5 neighbours who lived in the four or five houses in the
6 neighbourhood sought shelter. It's a basement covering
7 an area of about 16 square metres, and not many people
8 could really fit in. They probably knew about that,
9 and also they didn't come there before when there were
10 alarms, alerts, and that is probably the reason why
11 they didn't stop, why they went on.
12 Q. Does that mean that there was an organisation
13 among the Croats in Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici, and
14 that each family knew which shelter it should go to?
15 A. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. As I said
16 yesterday, the depression by our house was showed on
17 maps in the former system as a place where people were
18 to seek shelter when greater masses of people and
19 civilians were on the move. I wouldn't say that this
20 was a specially elaborated plan. We simply knew, after
21 this large number of alarms and alerts, where we should
22 all seek shelter. As I said, we had been trained, so
23 to speak, because of the Serb attacks, the aviation
24 attacks, there were so many from the beginning of the
25 year, so we all knew which way to go.
1 Q. Five or ten minutes after the Kupreskic
2 families had gone by moving toward Zume, you saw coming
3 from Zume, at least from the direction of Zume, a group
4 of soldiers whom you described as being heavily armed
5 and you told us that probably they belonged to a unit
6 of the military police of the HVO. I would merely
7 like, further to your description, to ask you whether
8 you noticed whether any of the soldiers had a coloured
9 ribbon on their shoulders: That is, red, blue, or
10 white, or orange, or yellow.
11 A. Yesterday, in my statement, I said that on
12 their shoulders they had a light ribbon. I don't know
13 if it was white or blue, but it was very light. It was
14 dark, so I couldn't exactly tell.
15 Q. When the soldiers went by your house, where
16 exactly were you?
17 A. Do you want me to show this to you on the
18 map? On the road in front of my house.
19 Q. We have in our minds the photographs that
20 were given to the Tribunal yesterday that are now
21 D92/ -- I know that the house was facing the road and
22 behind it was a garage and behind the garage was the
24 When the soldiers went by your garage, were
25 you in front of your house, between your house and the
2 A. I'd like to show this on the map. This would
3 be easier for everyone to understand that way.
4 I was approximately 25 metres towards Zume,
5 or 30 metres. It's on the map. It's shown very nicely
6 on the map, so perhaps it would be more concise if I
7 simply showed it to you.
8 Q. With the assistance of the usher, could we
9 give D92/2 to the witness?
10 Mr. Sakic, if we look at photograph number 1,
11 is it correct to say that the facade where you can see
12 the balconies face the road, and, therefore, face
14 A. No. It doesn't face the road. The
15 entrance -- the middle of the house, that is the one
16 that faces the road. That is to say, the direction of
17 Zume. And the front part of the facade with the two
18 terraces, it faces an internal part that goes into the
20 Q. Therefore, on photograph 1, one cannot see
21 the road that the soldiers took.
22 A. You can, of course. It's only 20 metres
23 long; right? Of course you can.
24 Q. Mr. Usher, could we put photograph number 1
25 on the ELMO so that the witness can show us where the
1 road was in relation to his house?
2 Mr. Sakic, on photograph number 1 which is on
3 the ELMO, could you show us exactly where the road goes
4 by your house?
5 A. Of course I can, but I'm a technical person.
6 We're doing this the wrong way. It's easier to show it
7 on the map, and it's better to put it in context by
8 showing it on the map. I can show it to you on the
9 photograph too --
10 JUDGE MAY: Would the witness listen? Would
11 you kindly just answer the questions that counsel is
12 putting, rather than arguing with him? Now, he's
13 asking you to do something and show us something on the
14 photograph. Would you kindly do that, please?
15 A. This is where the road is, where the soldiers
16 passed (indicating). It goes from the garage towards
17 here, about 30 metres this side, and there's a small
18 crossroads here, and this is where the entrance to my
19 house is, from this road (indicating). So here from
20 the garage there is a path leading that way to the
21 crossroads, and then from the crossroads here to the
22 house (indicating). And that's why I thought it was
23 better to show it on the map.
24 MR. TERRIER:
25 Q. I think we understood these explanations very
1 clearly, the explanations that you've given us.
2 Could you show us now, on photograph number
3 1, the location where you were when the soldiers went
4 by on the road?
5 A. I cannot show it. Here on the crossroads,
6 the one that you can not see on the photograph, it's
7 here, about 15 metres approximately from here.
8 Q. Thank you. When the soldiers went by, did
9 they stop to say anything to you?
10 A. (No audible response)
11 Q. Since you speak the same language and you
12 have the same nationality, did you ask them anything?
13 A. I indeed did not ask them anything.
14 Q. Isn't that a little bit strange, because
15 there was an alert, you were in front of your home with
16 your neighbours, some of your neighbours took -- had
17 taken their families to shelters, nothing is
18 happening. You don't know anything at all, according
19 to your statement, about what was going on or is about
20 to happen. You saw soldiers but you asked them
21 absolutely no information.
22 A. I must admit, from this advantage point here
23 it seems a bit strange to me, but at that point,
24 indeed, I did not ask them a thing.
25 Q. And none of the neighbours with whom you
1 found yourself asked any questions either; is that
3 A. Well, I don't know if they did. It seemed
4 too dangerous. It seemed too dangerous, and we didn't
5 really want to exhibit any unnecessary curiosity. I'm
6 saying this from my very own point of view.
7 Q. And we'll take it as a very personal point of
9 But if the situation was apparently so
10 dangerous, why did you take no -- make no arrangements
11 at that point to protect your family, which, if I
12 understood correctly, was still sleeping on the upper
13 floor of the home?
14 A. You did not understand this well. My family
15 went downstairs perhaps 20 minutes after I descended.
16 So they went downstairs before 5.00, but they did not
17 join me immediately. They didn't go downstairs exactly
18 when I did.
19 Q. Let's go back to the group of soldiers
20 passing in front your house. Yesterday you told us
21 they moved toward the Kupreskic homes. You told us
22 yesterday, I think, that they moved toward the
23 Kupreskic homes, going through that depression. Have
24 I -- did I understand you correctly?
25 A. Yes, you did understand me correctly, yes.
1 Q. Could I ask you, Mr. Sakic, to show us, on
2 the aerial photograph of Ahmici, the road that the
3 soldiers were going along in order to go from your
4 house to the Kupreskic house?
5 A. This is where my house is (indicating). This
6 is where the crossroads is, the one I mentioned a few
7 minutes ago (indicating). This is a forest which is
8 naturally higher, and this is a depression, and the
9 soldiers took the lower part of the forest, so that is
10 to say they went below the forest to the Kupreskic
11 houses (indicating). This is the path they took.
12 Q. In order to get into the depression, did the
13 soldiers go by your garage? Excuse me.
14 This was my question: In order to go down
15 into the depression and to join up with the Kupreskic
16 houses, did the soldiers go near your -- or, rather,
17 did they pass near your garage?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You may be seated.
20 Let's say a few things about this
21 depression. If I understood correctly, this was a kind
22 of a ground which had crumbled in, where formerly there
23 had been a mine.
24 A. Partly, yes.
25 Q. Well, that's not a very important detail.
1 Yesterday you told us that this depression was used in
2 the former Yugoslavia as a refuge for villages in cases
3 of fires?
4 A. Actually, there are two depressions. The
5 soldiers took the one below, underneath the forest, as
6 I showed you on the map a few minutes ago. They went
7 straight on, and the depression on the left-hand side
8 was the one where, in the times of the former
9 Yugoslavia, we -- we have this -- what should I call
10 it -- place where we could seek refuge.
11 Q. Mr. Usher, I'm asking you to give D85/2,
12 85/2, which was tendered in evidence yesterday.
13 Mr. Sakic, what I'm interested in for right
14 now is the road that the soldiers went along going from
15 your house to the Kupreskic houses.
16 When you look at these photographs, and
17 specifically let me call your attention to photographs
18 number 8 and 11, can one see and reconstitute the road
19 that the soldiers took?
20 A. Part of the road, yes. On photograph number
21 11 one can see part of the road. On photograph number
22 8 that's not it. It is quite the opposite.
23 Q. Therefore, the soldiers went down into the
24 depression through the access that you can see on
25 photograph number 11?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On one of the photographs can one see the
3 location where they would have -- from which they would
4 have access to the Kupreskic house? Would that be
5 photograph number 7, for example?
6 A. On photograph number 7 it is quite the
7 opposite, like photograph number 8, in terms of the
8 road which they took. On photograph number 11, by this
9 tree, I can show it over here too, you can see the road
10 they took. They went straight ahead, they did not turn
11 left by the tree.
12 Q. The houses that you see on photographs 7 and
13 8, you can see a group of houses, two or three at
14 least. Aren't they the Kupreskic houses?
15 A. No. No, these are not the Kupreskic houses.
16 On photograph number 7 is a farm building owned by Ivo
17 Kupreskic, and you can only see the top and a new farm
18 building that was not there at the time of the
20 Q. Could you show us, Mr. Sakic, so that we
21 understand things well, on the aerial photograph could
22 you show us exactly where the house that we see in
23 photographs 7 and 8, at least one of the two -- of
24 those houses which was in existence at the time? Could
25 you show that to us on the aerial photograph?
1 A. I shall start once again from my garage. The
2 soldiers took the lower depression by the garage,
3 straight ahead, that is to say, underneath the forest
4 toward the Kupreskic houses and Ahmici (indicating).
5 The depression from which the picture of the house was
6 taken goes to the left, and that is to say that those
7 buildings that are on the photographs 7 and 8, if I'm
8 not mistaken, are there, are over here (indicating).
9 Q. I understand. It's the house which is a
10 little bit above the houses occupied by the Kupreskic
12 A. Could you please repeat your question?
13 Q. I was saying that the house that you showed
14 us is a house which actually is a little bit above the
15 houses in which the Kupreskic family lived.
16 A. Approximately in a straight line from Ivo
17 Kupreskic's house.
18 Q. Mr. Sakic, can we say that when you come from
19 Zume and you go in the direction of the houses that the
20 Kupreskic family lived in, the most natural road, the
21 most direct road and the fastest road, was to move by
22 going into the depression near your garage and then to
23 follow the depression until you reach the Kupreskic
25 A. One could say the following: Both our paths,
1 pedestrian paths, the lower one and the upper one too,
2 they were mostly taken by children when they went to
3 school and adults when they went to the cemetery. So
4 these were pedestrian paths. And the road that one can
5 take by car ends at my garage, so only these pedestrian
6 paths go on from there. The upper part is more
7 directly leading towards the Kupreskic houses and the
8 other one goes around a bit, and they probably -- these
9 soldiers, they did not have to take paths and roads,
10 they could move through forests and fields as well.
11 Q. The fact that they used that road does show
12 that they were very familiar with that part of Ahmici,
13 Santici and Pirici?
14 A. Obviously they were familiar with it.
15 Q. You mentioned the names of the people -- of
16 those people with whom you spent part of that day, or
17 spent the day specifically in that depression, but I
18 see that you didn't speak about your brother.
19 A. I didn't mention my brother. I didn't.
20 Q. Where was your brother?
21 A. From the beginning of 1992, my brother was in
22 the anti-aircraft defence. That is to say that he was
23 at three or four places around Vitez. That is where
24 these anti-aircraft guns were placed. He was a reserve
25 officer from the former Yugoslavia in the anti-aircraft
1 defence, and he also had regular tours of duty there.
2 Q. Did he live in the same house as you did?
3 A. No. No. He had a house of his own.
4 Q. What's his first name, please?
5 A. Slavko Sakic.
6 Q. He was born in 1961; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you see him on that day in Ahmici?
9 A. No. That day he was in Vitez, that evening.
10 Q. How do you know that?
11 A. In the evening my sister-in-law, Jasna, his
12 wife, told me that.
13 Q. What contact did you have with your
15 A. What kind of a relationship I had? I had a
16 normal relationship, like any brother-in-law living
17 next door. And she was there in the shelter. I
18 mentioned her.
19 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Sakic. What I was asking was
20 that the following: You said that -- if I understood
21 you correctly, you said that on the evening of the 16th
22 of April, you learned from your sister-in-law that your
23 brother Slavko was in Vitez. I want to know how you
24 learned that. How did that information get to you?
25 A. Oh, I really don't know. Perhaps we talked
1 at home. I don't know. It's quite customary over
2 there at our place to have a cup of coffee, talk. I
3 simply don't know.
4 Slavko had been going on this duty for a year
5 already, and he stopped working at the factory, and all
6 these people who were in the PZO had already been
7 mobilised. It was a routine thing. There was nothing
8 unusual about it.
9 Q. Was he still living in Pirici?
10 A. Yes. Yes, Slavko lives in Pirici.
11 Q. What do you say about the following fact: On
12 the 26th of September, 1998, in this Tribunal, a
13 witness who testified under the pseudonym "X" said that
14 he had seen, on the 16th of April, 1993, your brother,
15 Slavko, wearing a uniform, with other soldiers near the
16 Kupreskic houses.
17 A. I don't know how he could have seen that,
18 honestly. At that time my brother certainly was not
20 Q. Could you tell us how Zoran and Mirjan
21 Kupreskic were dressed that day?
22 A. Zoran Kupreskic? I'll try to remember. I
23 think that he might have been wearing black trousers,
24 and what was characteristic was a big jacket that he
25 had. It was at least two sizes too big for him and it
1 was unbuttoned, and he had a sweater. I think he could
2 have had a sweater underneath that jacket. And some
3 kind of ankle-high shoes, boots. That was it,
5 Q. The description is the one you've got for
7 A. I remember Mirjan Kupreskic by an unusual
8 detail. He had woollen socks, knee high. He was
9 always sickly, and his mother always made him dress
10 properly, and I don't think that he could have had any
11 kind of camouflage jacket. I think that he had
12 civilian clothes. I think that's the way it was.
13 Q. What colour were the clothes that Zoran and
14 Mirjan Kupreskic were wearing?
15 A. Well, it's difficult to say that with
16 certainty now.
17 Q. Mr. Sakic, if you don't remember, just tell
18 me that you don't.
19 A. No, I don't remember.
20 Q. Do you remember whether Zoran and Mirjan
21 Kupreskic were -- had a weapon?
22 A. Yes. Yes. Mirjan Kupreskic had a rifle, I
23 think, an old M-48, and Zoran, I think, had a shotgun.
24 I found out later that day that he got it from his
25 cousin, Ivica Kupreskic. It was a hunting gun.
1 Q. Yesterday, during your testimony, you told us
2 that you spent part of the day in the depression that
3 we spoke about a few minutes ago. I don't really
4 understand the explanations that you gave yesterday
5 about the fact that you were in the depression. In
6 what way could the depression serve as a shelter?
7 A. I said before that the depression was a
8 natural shelter. It is very close to my house,
9 practically begins. The path goes down towards the
10 depression from my garage, and then it goes to the
11 right towards the Kupreskic houses and towards Ahmici.
12 So it was quite logical that we go there. I can't
13 explain now. It was just logical for us to be there,
14 it's as simple as that. That's where we were sheltered
15 from everything.
16 We were close to the first shelter, where
17 several families were, in my house, and that's where we
19 Q. You said that you were sheltered from
20 everything in that depression; however, you were not
21 sheltered from mortar shells. And yesterday you said
22 that a shell fell near the place where you were.
23 A. Yes. The depression could only be penetrated
24 by a mortar.
25 Q. Excuse me, but I'm trying to go back to the
1 logic that you used yesterday: Wouldn't it have been
2 logical, since there was a danger that mortar shells
3 might fall on that depression, would it be logical for
4 you to withdraw to a shelter which would have a kind of
5 a concrete covering over it?
6 A. In view of the fact that this was only one
7 mortar shell, there weren't more than that one, we
8 thought that it was not necessary for us to move from
10 Q. Very well. Yesterday you told us that the
11 first shots began around 5.30, and that about
12 15 minutes later -- that is, about 5.45 -- you saw the
13 light from the first fires, the glow of the first
14 fires. Am I correct in respect of those details?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You told us that the smoke or that the glow
17 of the first fires was coming from the direction of the
18 Kupreskic houses, but that you could not see from where
19 you were which house was in the process of burning; is
20 that correct?
21 A. I said that the firing was coming from
22 several directions. The place where we were, the first
23 team (sic) that we saw -- the first smoke that we saw
24 was from the direction of the Kupreskic houses.
25 Q. But you said that particularly from where you
1 were, you could not see what house was burning?
2 A. Yes, I did say that.
3 Q. Might one not be surprised by the fact that
4 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic apparently did not feel the
5 need to go to see what was happening, particularly if
6 it was their house or another house that was burning?
7 A. Well, as I mentioned, the firing was so
8 strong, and you could hear the sounds of the bullets;
9 they were whizzing through the air so much that we
10 couldn't even raise our heads up, because we had no
11 military experience at all. Shortly before that, a
12 mortar shell fell close to us, so that we were frozen
13 to the spot.
14 Q. I understand. But during that morning of the
15 16th of April, wasn't there a lull during which Zoran
16 or Mirjan, or both of them, could have gone to see
17 whether their houses had been hit or not?
18 A. There was no lull, absolutely. I think the
19 firing was escalating. It was growing stronger
20 throughout the day.
21 Q. Therefore there was no moment during that day
22 of the 16th of April when it was possible, without
23 risking one's life, to see clearly what was going on
24 with the Kupreskics' house?
25 A. I don't think it was possible. Maybe for
1 somebody it was possible, but in view of our
2 inexperience and our fear, the first -- this was the
3 first shooting that we had experienced on that day, and
4 it was happening around us. So in view of the fear
5 that we felt, we could not have gone to see that.
6 Q. Mr. Sakic, when you say that someone else
7 might have been able to, when you say someone else
8 might have, who do you mean?
9 A. I mean those who were shooting, of course, if
10 they are shooting, then --
11 Q. During that morning, at around 9.00 or 10.00,
12 you went to Zume with Zoran and Mirjan to see whether
13 the people who had taken shelter were all right; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Between 9 and 10.00 we came from the
16 depression; then we went down to the shelter in my
17 house. After that, we went along the road towards Zume
18 to see how their families were doing. That's what I
20 Q. At any point during that morning, on the Zume
21 road, did you run into Vlatko -- Vlatko Kupreskic?
22 A. (No translation given)
23 Q. You mentioned another incident then that was
24 your meeting with Nikola Omazic, and you said that
25 Nikola Omazic was a neighbour, he was a little bit
1 drunk, and he told you that Mirjan Santic had been
2 killed near the Kupreskic houses. Was he a soldier?
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Just for the record, for the
4 record, because when you asked "At any point during
5 that morning, on the Zume road, did you run into Vlatko
6 Kupreskic?" He said no, to the best of my
7 recollection, he said no, and here it doesn't appear on
8 the record. So there is no answer from the witness.
9 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: He said no, he didn't meet
11 Vlatko Kupreskic.
12 MR. TERRIER:
13 Q. Mr. Sakic, let's speak about that person,
14 Nikola Omazic. You told me that it was a neighbour, he
15 was a little bit drunk, and that he told you that
16 Mirjan Santic had been killed, and had been killed near
17 the Kupreskic houses. My question was the following:
18 Was Nikola Omazic a soldier?
19 A. Not at that time.
20 Q. Was he wearing a uniform?
21 A. I don't think that he was wearing a uniform.
22 I don't think so. But I can't say it with certainty.
23 He could have been -- have had a part; nobody there had
24 a whole uniform.
25 Q. Was he armed?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Having -- wearing part of a uniform, with a
3 weapon, near the Kupreskic houses, where you just said
4 it was very dangerous to be, how could one not think
5 that it was not a soldier?
6 A. I saw Nikola Omazic that morning at my house,
7 and then when I came back from Zume, I saw him next to
8 my garage.
9 Q. Perhaps you were near your garage at one
10 point or another in the day, but these locations are
11 very close to one another. I wanted to ask the
12 following question: Were you really sure that that day
13 that Nikola Omazic was not a soldier?
14 A. On that day, Nikola Omazic was just like the
15 rest of us civilians. He was armed, as I said; he was
16 there next to the garage. He was together with Dragan
17 Vidovic -- Ivica Kupreskic first, then Dragan Vidovic,
18 Stipe, Mirjan Kupreskic, and Zoran Kupreskic. They
19 brought Mirjan Santic down to my garage; then Mirjan's
20 body was taken by his parents. I think Nikola Omazic
21 possibly went with them in the direction of Zume.
22 I'm absolutely sure that he was not a soldier
23 that day.
24 Q. Mr. Sakic, with the assistance of the usher,
25 I'm going to show you a document.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Number 354.
2 MR. TERRIER:
3 Q. Mr. Sakic, Nikola Omazic, who is the son of
4 Ante, who was born in 1958 in Ahmici, is that the
5 person that we're speaking about?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You can see in the document that -- under the
8 signature of Mario Cerkez, you can see that Nikola
9 Omazic was wounded on the 16th of April, 1993, in
10 Pirici, whereas -- while he was fighting with the
11 Muslims, and that he was carrying out the combat orders
12 that had been given to him by the appropriate
14 A. I can confirm that Nikola Omazic was there,
15 as I confirmed in my earlier testimony. I can also
16 confirm that in the late afternoon hours, he was
17 wounded, because as I had said before, he was slightly
18 drunk; so probably this was a consequence -- the fact
19 that he was drunk and not careful was the reason why he
20 was wounded. But I found out the next day that he was
21 wounded. I didn't know that on that day.
22 Q. And in light of this document, might one not
23 think that Nikola Omazic was a soldier who had had a
24 bit too much to drink?
25 A. Well, I don't know if you would think that
1 based on this document.
2 Q. Mightn't one think, when we look at this same
3 document, that on that day he was a soldier who was
4 under the command of the Vitez Brigade, and not the
5 military police unit?
6 A. Well, I don't know the hierarchical
7 structure. During that first day, when I saw Nikola
8 Omazic, he was not wearing any kind of army uniform,
9 and I don't know if he was in a unit or not. Later,
10 because three days later I left, so it's quite
11 possible, and I believe that after that he did become a
12 member of some unit, because later everybody did become
13 a member.
14 Q. But from what you've just said, Mr. Sakic,
15 couldn't one conclude that on that day in Ahmici there
16 might have been soldiers there who were not wearing
17 uniforms? That is, not all of them had to be wearing
19 A. Well, just the fact that he was wounded,
20 based on that, I couldn't conclude that. Bullets were
21 falling everywhere, and anyone could have been wounded,
22 anybody who was not careful.
23 Q. I don't think you've answered my question.
24 I'm going to ask you a different question, a few
25 questions about the death of Mirjan Santic.
1 Yesterday we were given a death certificate
2 that had been issued by the appropriate authority of
3 the Bosnian Croat government, and it was given to the
4 Tribunal as D86/2. Apparently on -- we can see on that
5 official document, which is a death certificate, that
6 the death of Mirjan Santic took place on the 17th of
7 April in Santici.
8 A. As I said yesterday, I'm absolutely sure that
9 Mirjan Santic was killed on the first day of the
10 conflict, close to the houses of Mirjan and Zoran
12 MR. TERRIER: Once again I'm going to ask the
13 usher to give you a document; this is Prosecution 337.
14 As you can see on the first page of the
15 document, it's a document called "List of members of
16 the HVO who were killed," which has the date 24
17 February, 1994, and which has been classified as
18 strictly military secrets, strictly confidential.
19 Would you please look at the -- 445. I made
20 a mistake; excuse me, Your Honour. 435.
21 Q. Mr. Sakic, did you find the order number 435?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could we not consider, when we read this
24 document, that Mirjan Santic died on the 18th of April
25 -- the year on the original is illegible; we assume
1 that it was 1993 -- in Santici? 18 April, and not 16
3 A. Well, I can say the following: Mirjan Santic
4 was killed for sure on the first day of the conflict.
5 I'm absolutely sure. Here it is also undoubtedly
6 written that he was killed or that he was buried a day
7 or two later, here on this paper. But I am absolutely
8 sure that he was killed on the first day, because that
9 was the first dead person that I had ever seen.
10 Q. Excuse me, but the date is not indicated on
11 the document, of the burial.
12 A. Well, you said the 18th, and here -- I can
13 hardly see it on that copy, but it's possible that it
14 says the 18th of April. Yes, that's what it said, the
15 18th of April.
16 I'm talking about the killing: He was killed
17 on the first day of the conflict, the 16th. And the
18 document -- well, it's clear here, it states clearly
19 the 18th.
20 Q. How can one explain, if we're only speaking
21 about this document, that there were two documents,
22 both of which were official; one gives the date of 16th
23 of April, the other one 18th of April? And in order to
24 find the date of the 16th, which would confirm your
25 testimony, we have only an indication in a book which
1 was published by the Ministry of the Interior of the
2 Croatian Community, about which one might think -- I'll
3 ask you for your opinion: One could consider this to
4 be a propaganda tool that was used for the special unit
5 that was represented by the military police?
6 A. I'm sorry, would you please repeat your
8 Q. I was saying, Mr. Sakic, that we have two
9 documents, both of which are official, and neither
10 mentions the date of 16 April as being the date of
11 Mirjan Santic's death.
12 I'm not referring to your testimony now. To
13 certify the date of 16 April as being the date of his
14 death, we have only a book that was published by the
15 Ministry of the Interior of the Croatian community in
16 April 1995, if I remember correctly, about which one
17 might think that it is a propaganda book which could be
18 used for a special unit of the HVO, which was the
19 military police.
20 This comment, which is more a comment than a
21 question, does that call for any comments from you?
22 A. Well, listen. As I said earlier, Mirjan was
23 killed on the 16th. Why one -- certain documents say
24 that this happened on the 17th or the 18th, I really
25 don't know. So that can be my only comment regarding
1 this matter.
2 Q. On the same document that you have in front
3 of you, please look at number 96.
4 Now I'm asking you a question, and this has
5 to do with number 96. We see the number of Ivanovic
6 (sic), Jure Slavko. Yesterday you spoke about the
7 death of a person named Slavko Ivanovic (sic) -- or
8 Ivankovic. Is that the same person?
9 A. I didn't say that yesterday. Yesterday I
10 said that Zlatko Ivankovic was killed, the son of Ilija
11 Ivankovic, and that his father was working in the same
12 company that I worked at, and that Zlatko worked
13 through the youth employment agency in my company, but
14 I did not remember Slavko Ivanovic.
15 Q. Please look at 481.
16 This person, Ivica Zepackic, the son of
17 Stipica, is that the person that we were speaking about
19 A. I said yesterday that I -- I know personally
20 Zlatko Ivankovic, son of Ilija. He is the -- Slatko,
21 son of Ilija Ivankovic, and I know for certain that he
22 was killed on the first day of the conflict, together
23 with a person named Zepackic, whom I don't know. So
24 based on this I don't know whether that was the same
25 Zepackic, but I know for sure that he was killed
1 together, on the first day of the conflict, at the
2 Catholic cemetery with Zlatko Ivankovic. That's what I
3 heard from Zlatko's father.
4 Q. However, yesterday the Trial Chamber was
5 given a death certificate in the name of Ivica
6 Zepackic, and on the list we see the same Ivica
7 Zepackic who died at a date which is -- on a date which
8 is illegible, but who did die not in Ahmici or Santici
9 but in Kruscica, and who was not a member of the
10 military police but of the Vitezovi. Would you like to
11 comment about that?
12 A. Well, I can only confirm the following: That
13 in the direction of the cemetery on the first day of
14 the conflict, Ivankovic Zlatko and Zepackic were killed
15 for sure, whom I don't know. I can absolutely confirm
16 that they died on the first day in the morning, which I
17 found out from Zlatko Ivankovic's father.
18 MR. TERRIER: A final question, Your Honour,
19 and then I'm finished.
20 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the Prosecutor
21 is giving the witness the name of a person who was
22 killed that has nothing to do with the name of the
23 person who was killed that the witness mentioned
24 yesterday, because if the book on the military police
25 and the members of the military police who were killed,
1 you could see that these are two different persons,
2 that this is a different person from the one that the
3 Prosecutor is asking about. So for the person that the
4 Prosecutor is asking the questions about, it's possible
5 that that is so, but that is not the same person that
6 the witness is talking about.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: I don't understand. In this
8 document you're talking about Ivica Zepackic, and you
9 see the same name on the list, 481. I have the
10 impression that it's the same person.
11 MR. TERRIER: It is a person who, in fact,
12 was mentioned only by his family name but not by his
13 first name by the witness, that is. Then
14 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac presented a death certificate
15 under the name of Ivica Zepackic, a document which was
16 tendered in evidence as D88/2, and my question was to
17 know whether that was the same person whose name is on
18 the list of the HVO members who were killed during the
20 Of course, the Judges must evaluate each of
21 the documents submitted to them, must evaluate them
22 according to their correct weight.
23 Q. My final question, Mr. Sakic is the following
24 one: You tell us that during that day, the day of 16th
25 of April, 1993, in Ahmici, the three members of the
1 Croatian forces died. Do you know how many Muslims
2 died on that same day in Ahmici -- in Santici, Ahmici
3 and Pirici?
4 A. I said before that I think five Croats were
5 killed in that conflict. Unfortunately, many more
6 Muslims were killed.
7 Q. Mr. Sakic, as regards the two other Croats
8 who were mentioned yesterday, from the documents
9 themselves which Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac showed, the
10 documents show us, from the statements that you made
11 yesterday, that three Croats, as far as you know and
12 according to what you've said, died on the 16th of
13 April in Ahmici. So here's my question: How --
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I
15 apologise for just a moment. Mr. Terrier is not saying
16 correctly. He had heard that five -- the witness had
17 heard that five Croats were killed in Ahmici on that
18 day. So I would like for Mr. Terrier to cite back the
19 witness's statements from yesterday correctly.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac, I have
21 my own notes, and according to the witness two Croats
22 were killed on the 16th, one in Ahmici and one in
23 Santici. Two Croats. Mirjan Santic and Zlatko
24 Ivankovic. And then three died in Vitez, three Croats
25 in Vitez, and that's confirmed by the documents that
1 you tendered. Therefore, these are people who died in
3 Mr. Terrier, you can continue.
4 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, the witness, in
5 fact, did say, as you recalled -- all I have to do is
6 look at the transcript, that there is no ambiguity in
7 the transcript in that respect -- that as far as he
8 knows, five Croats died in Ahmici on that day, but the
9 documents that had been given to the Tribunal by
10 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac, it shows that two of the Croats
11 had died in Vitez and not in Ahmici. Therefore, in
12 principle, my question does not relate to that.
13 Q. You said that three or five Croats died in
14 Ahmici. My question is: Do you know how many Muslims,
15 on that same day, were killed in Ahmici?
16 A. I don't know the exact number. Of course, I
17 know there were a lot of people, more than 60, for
18 sure. Later I heard that it was about a hundred, but I
19 heard this later.
20 Q. Do you know how many Croat homes were
21 destroyed in Ahmici on that day?
22 A. I think that there were no destroyed Croatian
23 homes in Ahmici.
24 Q. Do you know how many Muslim houses were
25 destroyed on that day in Ahmici?
1 A. I don't know how many were destroyed in
2 Ahmici on that day, but later I know for sure that all
3 the houses were destroyed in Ahmici.
4 Q. Under those circumstances, can one honestly
5 say, as one said yesterday, talk about fate or
7 A. Well, I can talk about myself and my friends
8 who happened to be there, and I would say that the only
9 misfortune of those people, of us who were neighbours
10 and did not take part in that, is the fact that we were
11 born there. We could not have any influence on what
12 was happening. It was beyond our control. I can say
14 I can also say that what happened was not
15 good, but from the position where I was then, where I
16 was living and from what I was doing as my work, I
17 could not, myself or any of my friends, have any
18 influence on the course of events. And we cannot, in
19 any way, none of us, be responsible because we had just
20 been born there. We were not able to choose that. We
21 were there, crimes were committed. We did not commit
22 them, none of my friends.
23 Without doubt, a crime was committed and the
24 perpetrators should be found, because that's the only
25 way to help them.
1 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I don't have any
2 further questions. I would like to tender as evidence
3 354 and document called "Three Years of Military
4 Police," In the Croatian version and in English.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is number 355.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: No objections from the
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. They are admitted
10 into evidence. All right. I think we should now --
11 it's high time for us to take a break, so a 30-minute
13 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
14 --- Upon resuming at 10.10 a.m.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Mr.
18 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
19 Q. Mr. Sakic -- actually, could we first ask the
20 usher to give the witness this document, Prosecutor's
21 document, and this shows who belonged to what unit and
22 who was wounded. Number 354.
23 Mr. Sakic, can you see in this document from
24 when Nikola Omazic belonged to the Vitez Brigade, was a
25 member of the Vitez Brigade?
1 A. It says in this document that Nikola Ante
2 Omazic, born in 1958, was a member of the HVO or the
3 Vitez Brigade from the 16th of April, 1993.
4 Q. Can you also see the date when this document
5 was issued on the top of there?
6 A. The date is the 27th of June, 1994.
7 Q. Could you please tell us whether on that day,
8 the 16th of April, you saw when, in which way, and
9 where Nikola Omazic was mobilised or included in HVO
11 A. Absolutely not.
12 Q. So did you see some other members of the
13 village guards, or rather people who were together with
14 you, were in any contact with officials from the HVO?
15 A. Had this been the case, I would have had to
16 have been on one of the lists too, as I was there. It
17 is certain that no one made any kind of list of that
18 kind at that time.
19 Q. Please, could you have a look at the text,
20 where it is mentioned that this person, Nikola Omazic,
21 was wounded by a sniper.
22 Tell me, was it possible to wound a person by
23 sniper shot, a person who was in Pirici or Ahmici?
24 A. It was absolutely possible to be wounded by
25 any kind of bullet, a straying bullet, any bullet -- I
1 mean, one cannot tell whether it was a sniper shot. I
2 don't see how it could be said that he was wounded by a
3 sniper shot. He was wounded by a bullet.
4 Q. Was there any shooting in the area of
5 Pirici? Could you tell us that once again, please?
6 A. There was shooting all over that day, and it
7 was practically constant.
8 Q. Please, could you have a look at these
9 photograph files?
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like to ask the
11 usher to hand them out.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document D94/2.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
14 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you tell us what you can see
15 on photograph number 1.
16 A. On photograph number 1, we can see part of
17 the garage and my woodshed, that belonging to me and to
18 my father, as well as part of the entrance into the
19 depression leading to the Kupreskics'.
20 Q. Can you show us where this road goes, what
21 direction? Towards the Kupreskic houses, I mean; can
22 you show that?
23 A. I can show the direction, approximately,
24 because I know where it leads. Yes, I can show it on
25 this photograph too, yes.
1 Q. Can you use a marker and show the direction?
2 A. (Indicating) This is the direction towards
3 the Kupreskics'.
4 Q. Is that the direction in which the unit that
5 you saw went?
6 A. No, the unit went in that direction.
7 Q. All right. Could you tell me, on the second
8 photograph, what can you see on the second photograph?
9 Whose houses are these?
10 A. On the second photograph, we can see the view
11 from the garage towards Zume. And on the left-hand
12 side -- you can't really see this very well -- on the
13 left-hand side are the Pudza houses. Then this is
14 Brnada Ante's house, and this road leads to Zume. That
15 is the road from the direction from which they came.
16 Q. So the soldiers came from that direction
17 along that road; is that right?
18 A. Yes, yes, from Zume.
19 Q. Please have a look at photograph number 3.
20 And what can you see there? Could you tell
22 A. Photograph number 3 shows the same direction,
23 but it was taken closer up. It was taken from the
24 crossroads where this small path leads to my house.
25 That is to say, approximately, it is about 80 metres
1 away from the garage -- this picture, I mean.
2 Q. You mean the place from which the picture was
3 taken; right?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 Q. Please, photograph number 4 now.
6 A. Photograph number 4 shows the following
7 crossroads, and this is part of the road that deviates
8 and goes to Nikola Omazic's house. That is to say that
9 on the right-hand side is Nikola Omazic's house, and
10 this is a house of a man called Brnadaman (phoen), who
11 lives in Sweden and works there; his father was there,
12 I think. And on the left-hand side is the house of
13 Brnad Gabriel (phoen), and that is where his son Anto
14 lives. And this is Samija Ljuba's house, and it's
15 unfinished, and I think he lives in Austria.
16 Q. This picture, is that a bit further away,
17 further along this road?
18 A. Yes, this is further along, in relation to
19 the previous photograph, of course, and now it shows
20 another direction towards Pirici.
21 Q. And these houses on the right-hand side, on
22 photographs 2, 3, and 4, all of that is the same house,
23 isn't it, just from different directions?
24 A. On Photograph Number 2, and on photograph
25 number 4 is one and the same house. And Number 2,
1 Number 4 -- no, not number 3. That is the house of
2 Ante Brnada. So that is to say on pictures 4 and 2,
3 this house is the same one.
4 Q. Just have a look at Photograph Number 5 as
5 well, please, and is this a continuation of that road?
6 A. Photograph Number 5 was taken from this
7 crossroads, and it goes further on towards Zume,
8 towards the house of Milan Samir, and it was taken from
9 Slavko Pudza's house.
10 Q. That is to say that this road leads to your
12 A. This was taken from the direction of Zume,
13 and in the opposite direction it leads to my house,
14 yes, that's right.
15 Q. And now, please, could you mark on this
16 map --
17 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President? So that we
18 understand the testimony correctly, wouldn't it be
19 useful to look on photograph 1 particularly, to have
20 the witness show us with a felt-tipped pen what the
21 road was that they took? Because he said that on
22 photograph 1, he said that this was the road that the
23 soldiers took in order to go to the depression. I
24 think he might able to mark it with a felt pen or with
25 an arrow of some sort.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Could we ask the
2 witness to do what the Prosecutor just asked. That is,
3 on photograph number 1.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: By all means.
5 A. The direction in which the soldiers moved was
6 as follows (Indicating), and the depression where the
7 Kupreskics are is in this direction. That is to say
8 behind the garage, towards the depression; that's where
9 they went. And this is the left-hand depression that
10 leads to the Kupreskic houses.
11 Q. Please, could you mark the direction in which
12 the soldiers moved by "A," or "1," and would you mark
13 the direction in which the Kupreskic houses are with a
14 "B. "
15 A. (Marks)
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, so that we
18 understand "B", the "B" that is on the photograph was
19 actually behind the house.
20 A. Are you referring to photograph number 1?
21 That of course is behind the house, yes.
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
23 Q. Please, on this aerial photograph --
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document D95/2.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you please put a circle
2 around your own house on this aerial photograph with a
3 marker, please.
4 A. (Marks)
5 Q. Could you show the road from which you saw
6 this unit coming? Could you please mark the road that
7 you saw, the road that you can see now where you saw
8 them coming?
9 You can also put an arrow in the direction in
10 which they were moving.
11 A. (Marks)
12 Q. And now could you mark the road that these
13 soldiers took as they were leaving.
14 A. (Marks)
15 Q. And would you mark that direction with the
16 letter "A," please.
17 A. (Marks)
18 Q. Could you mark the road that Zoran Kupreskic
19 and Mirjan Kupreskic took as they came to your house,
20 or rather as they came to this road.
21 A. (Marks)
22 Q. And mark it with the letter "B," please.
23 A. (Marks)
24 Q. Those are the two pedestrian paths at the
25 same time, are they?
1 A. Yes, they are. Yes, they are; both of them
2 are pedestrian paths.
3 Q. Just one more thing, please: Could you just
4 show where the entrance door of your house is? Which
5 side does it face?
6 A. There are two doors. There is one here that
7 faces this road, that is to say toward the Pudza
8 houses, and the direction in which they came.
9 Q. And where is the door and the shelter on that
10 side -- on which side is that?
11 A. Here (Indicating). Here, on the south,
13 Q. They face the Vitez/Busovaca road; is that
15 A. Yes, the Vitez/Busovaca road.
16 Q. Just one more thing. Could you please put a
17 circle around the building that can be seen in the
18 photo file that we showed you, that is to say, those
19 two houses on the -- in the photo file of the
20 depression? You said that these are farm buildings,
21 that one was built later and one existed at the time of
22 the conflict.
23 A. (Marks)
24 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
25 Please, one more thing. Could you just mark
1 on the aerial photograph where the crossroads is, the
2 one that leads to the house of Mira Samija and Mirko
3 Vidovic that we have in the first photo file. Can you
4 see it there?
5 A. Practically there are two roads leading to
6 Mira Samija's house. This is this one (marks).
7 Q. Can you please mark the crossroads that we
8 can see on photograph number 3?
9 A. On photograph number 3? It is this
10 crossroads here (marks).
11 Q. Just put an "X" here.
12 A. (Marks)
13 Q. Thank you very much. Also, I would like to
14 ask you, in connection with photograph number 1, can
15 you mark the place where you stood that morning? Can
16 we see here the place you stood when the soldiers were
17 passing by, that is to say, where you encountered the
19 A. You cannot see it on this photograph. It's
20 about 20 metres in front of the garage, that is to say,
21 in this direction at the crossroads, where the road
22 forks off toward the front part of my house, so to
24 Q. Could you please tell us about the conflict
25 on the 20th of October, '92? When did you see Muslims
1 fleeing? When were they leaving the village, do you
2 remember? What was the time of day?
3 A. I think they were fleeing in the course of
4 the entire day. I can't remember exactly, but I think
5 it was throughout the day. The first time that I saw
6 them was in the afternoon, on the road that was going
7 beneath my house, in the direction of Ahmici.
8 Q. At that time were -- was the fighting still
9 going on or had it stopped?
10 A. I think you could still hear shooting at that
11 time. It stopped in the late afternoon, I can't
12 remember exactly when, but you could still hear the
14 Q. Could you please tell us if you know how many
15 children, at that time, at the end of '92, did Mirjan
16 Kupreskic and Zoran Kupreskic have, and how old were
17 those children?
18 A. Zoran Kupreskic at the time had three sons.
19 He still has three sons. The oldest was going to
20 school with my daughter. The youngest was maybe about
21 a year old, and the middle son was maybe about two or
22 three. I can't remember exactly. Mirjan Kupreskic had
23 a daughter who was about four years old at the time,
24 and then another smaller child. I think that child was
25 less than a year old.
1 Q. Did the family of Ivica Kupreskic, during the
2 first conflict, stay in their house in Pirici?
3 A. Ivica Kupreskic's family was abroad. They
4 were in Germany. They were staying with Ivica's
5 brother Branko. They were refugees.
6 Q. Did the family of Branko Kupreskic stay in
7 Pirici at that time?
8 A. Branko Kupreskic's family was also in
9 Germany, just as the family of Jozo Kupreskic was. He
10 was Ivica's brother.
11 Q. So this is Jozo or Josip?
12 A. Yes, Josip. His nickname is Jozo.
13 Q. So those three families of Branko, Josip and
14 Ivica Kupreskic were away during the first conflict in
16 A. Yes. They were away. Branko was permanently
17 residing there; he lives and works there. The others
18 went shortly after the first Serb strikes, when a lot
19 of the population went abroad.
20 Q. So in the region where the Kupreskic houses
21 were, which families were there at that time?
22 A. At the time Zoran Kupreskic with his family,
23 Mirjan Kupreskic with his family, and Mirjan and
24 Zoran's father, with his wife, they were all at the
25 Kupreskic houses, and an old aunt of theirs. I think
1 it was Ivica Kupreskic's aunt. And there was nobody
2 else there at that time.
3 Q. Do you know if during the second conflict
4 Branko Kupreskic and Josip Kupreskic were in Pirici?
5 A. No. At the time of the second conflict, or
6 shortly before the second conflict, Ivica Kupreskic had
7 come back. He brought his wife and children. Branko
8 and Josip remained living and working in Germany.
9 Branko is still in Germany, and Josip came back just
11 Q. So you said that in that region during the
12 first conflict, only the families of Mirjan and Zoran
13 Kupreskic were there, and one of their aunts and their
14 mother and father?
15 A. Yes, their mother and father too.
16 Q. Did anybody else besides them have any small
17 children? Were there any small children there except
18 for the five small Kupreskic children?
19 A. Well, not at their houses, but in other
20 places, yes, of course there were. We all had
22 Q. I'm only talking about this part.
23 The Prosecutor asked you if you had -- or who
24 told you about the conflict, the possibility that a
25 conflict may break out, and you've said that you were
1 informed by your father when he woke you up, and that
2 he wasn't very definite?
3 A. Yes, that's what I said.
4 Q. You also said that you didn't know and you
5 didn't even ask who had informed your father.
6 A. No.
7 Q. Was there any talk at some other time with
8 other people about the way in which they were informed,
9 people who were there standing next to your house?
10 A. No, I didn't really talk. I stayed there for
11 three days. On the fourth day I left that location. I
12 went to Vitez, to the town, and a month and a half
13 after that I left Vitez. So at that time it was the
14 least important to know who informed who. It was
15 really very -- it was unimportant at that time.
16 Q. This unit that you saw, could you indicate on
17 the aerial photograph the exact place where you
18 encountered them? Can that be indicated? Is that very
19 close to your house?
20 A. Well, I could say, but I already marked that
21 place with a marker, so if you have another map
22 perhaps. It's very hard to see on this map.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please
24 give the witness another map in order to indicate the
25 place? Thank you.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document D96/2.
2 A. I will indicate the place where I first
3 encountered this unit (marks). So exactly where this
4 part of the road branches off, in front of my house.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
6 Q. Could you specify how far that place is from
7 your house?
8 A. Well, I will try to specify that. About 25
9 to 30 metres at the most.
10 Q. You can place the letter "A" there on that
11 map, and also mark the place where you were in the
12 depression for those three days.
13 A. (Marks). We were in the upper part of the
15 Q. So would you please indicate that place with
16 the letter "B"?
17 A. (Marks)
18 Q. Thank you. When you encountered the unit,
19 what did you think? You said yesterday that in a way
20 you were frightened.
21 A. Yes, of course I was frightened. It was
22 early morning. It was still a little dark, and a group
23 of armed men was approaching us.
24 Q. What were you afraid of? Were you afraid you
25 were going to be attacked?
1 A. No, I wasn't afraid that we would be
2 attacked, I was afraid -- well, at that time, as I said
3 before, there was a constant feeling of fear, and it
4 was quite a normal reaction for me to be frightened. I
5 had no idea what was going on. That was a group of
6 armed men approaching us under full military equipment,
7 so we were afraid. Everybody who was there was
9 Q. Was it usual to see at night, or in the
10 morning or in the evening groups of well-armed men
11 ready for action, with painted faces?
12 A. Well, in the terrain, in the area where I was
13 living, I had never seen such a group of men who were
14 armed and masked in such a way, camouflaged in such a
15 way, it was the first time, and I really thought that
16 this only happened on the front.
17 Q. Was there any kind of street lighting in your
19 A. Yes -- no, no. There was no street lighting
20 in the village at that time, and there isn't any
21 lighting now.
22 Q. At that time, at around 5.00, in view of the
23 time of the year, the season, what was the visibility,
24 in your opinion?
25 A. Well, it wasn't very good. It was
1 drizzling. We call it a drizzle. It was dark. Well,
2 I would say that the visibility was bad.
3 Q. I would like to ask you again to look at
4 evidence, Exhibit --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear
6 the number.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
8 Q. Exhibit 94/2 -- and I'm sorry that you had
9 put it away -- whether this place is there, depicted on
10 the photographs, the place where you encountered the
11 unit. If you can see it there, would you please mark
12 that place.
13 A. I could say that that was maybe 3, 4, or 5
14 metres in front of what photograph 3 depicts. So it's
15 a little bit in front.
16 Q. So this was the place where you met the unit;
17 is that before or after the crossroads, or at the
19 A. It's at the crossroads, towards my house.
20 Q. But you can't see these crossroads here?
21 A. Well, you can see it here. You can actually
22 see, where I'm pointing, that's the beginning of the
24 Q. So in that area, a few metres towards your
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you.
3 Could you please tell us where your brother's
4 house is, your brother Slavko Sakic? Is that close to
5 your house?
6 A. It's close. It's about 15 metres away from
7 my house. I can indicate that on the photograph.
8 Q. Yes, would you please?
9 A. Should I show it on the large aerial
11 Q. Yes, so that we could see the direction.
12 A. This is my brother's house. (Indicating).
13 This is the crossroads that we were talking about.
14 (Indicating). And that's my house. (Indicating). So
15 this is the road that leads in front of my house
16 towards my brother's house (Indicating). And this
17 section of the road leads towards the garage on the
18 upper part of the house, near the upper part of the
19 house (Indicating).
20 Q. You said that your brother's wife, Jasna
21 Sakic, also came to your house. Do you know who
22 informed her, and when she arrived?
23 A. I think she came at the same time that my
24 wife came downstairs, and I think my father probably
25 informed her. My father, Niko Sakic.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 So another question regarding your testimony
3 from yesterday: You said that you saw Mirjan Santic on
4 the 16th; that he was dead?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That he was brought to your garage and taken
7 home; is that right?
8 A. Yes. Mirjan Santic. Probably between 10 and
9 11.00, I'm not sure about the specific time, his body
10 was brought to my garage on the first day of the
12 Q. Who took the body home? Who came to get the
14 A. His father came from Santici, and a couple of
15 other men went in the direction of Zume and Santici
16 with him.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please
18 show the witness Exhibit Number D86/2.
19 Q. In the death certificate, it says that the
20 place of death is Santici. And, please, could you read
21 what it says in the attachment on page 3, by the name
22 of Mirjan Santic.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not
24 have the text. Could it be placed on the ELMO, please?
25 A. Mirjan Franjo Santic, born on the 5th of
1 June, 1956, Vitez. Married, two children. In the
2 military police from the 16th of January 1993. Killed
3 on the 16th of April, 1993, in Vitez.
4 Q. In the death certificate it also says that he
5 was killed in Santici?
6 A. In the death certificate it says that he was
7 killed in Santici, yes.
8 Q. Please, this place where you saw him brought,
9 that is to say on the edge of the depression, can one
10 conclude on that basis that he was killed in Santici,
11 or in Pirici?
12 A. One cannot conclude it on that basis, because
13 that place is not Santici. That place is Pirici. The
14 border between Pirici and Ahmici, rather.
15 Q. Do you know the place where he was killed, or
16 did you hear where he was killed?
17 A. I heard where he had been killed. I heard
18 that he had been killed by the Kupreskic houses, and
19 the place where I saw him dead for the first time is
20 behind the house of Ivo Kupreskic.
21 Q. Please, could you also have a look at D87/2.
22 This is the death certificate of Zlatko
23 Ivankovic. Please, what does it say in the death
24 certificate, what is the place of death?
25 A. The place of death says the following:
1 "Ivankovic, Zlatko; day, month and hour of death, 16th
2 of April, 1993; place of death, Ahmici."
3 Q. Also, please, could you tell us -- could you
4 have a look at the third page of this document.
5 What does it say underneath Zlatko
6 Ivankovic's picture?
7 A. It also says "Zlatko Ivankovic, born on the
8 10th of August, 1971, in Travnik; unmarried; in the
9 military police from the 3rd of January 1993; died on
10 the 16th of April 1993 in Vitez."
11 Q. Please, you told us that you had seen Mirjan
12 Santic, and that you had heard that Zlatko Ivankovic
13 had been killed.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To the best of your knowledge, where was
16 Zlatko Ivankovic killed?
17 A. I heard that Zlatko Ivankovic was killed
18 somewhere around the Catholic cemetery; that is to say
19 in the lower part of Ahmici.
20 Q. And who was killed along with him?
21 A. I heard that along with him a man called
22 Zepackic was killed; I don't know his first name. I
23 didn't know him personally.
24 Q. Who else did you hear about? Who else was
25 killed on that day in Ahmici?
1 A. Out of the Croats, I heard that on that
2 day --
3 JUDGE MAY: You've given this evidence
4 before. We've heard it all once. We don't need to
5 hear it again.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Your Honour, the point
7 is that I think that what the witness said yesterday
8 was misunderstood. We heard claims being made today to
9 the effect that these five persons were killed partly
10 in Ahmici, partly in Vitez. The witness claims that he
11 heard that they were killed in Ahmici, and I want this
12 to be stated clearly in the transcript. I think --
13 JUDGE MAY: He has stated it clearly. It's
14 something he heard. We shall have to decide what
15 weight we give to it. And you have --
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: That's right.
17 JUDGE MAY: -- produced documents about it.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: That's right.
19 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Sakic. We will not
20 go into that subject any more.
21 One more thing related to the list that was
22 shown to you by the Prosecutor. This is a list of
23 killed members of the HVO. Do you know whether this is
24 an official document or not? Do you know anything
25 about this?
1 A. I don't know anything about this, I must
2 admit, nor am I in a position to have any kind of
3 information in this regard, no.
4 Q. Can you say in relation to Mirjan Santic that
5 the information on that list is incorrect?
6 A. I can absolutely state that. I shall repeat
7 once again that I was there, I killed --
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, interpreter's
9 mistake --
10 A. I saw Mirjan Santic who had been killed that
11 day and the date was on one day and this other date was
12 on another day. Again, I'm saying that Mirjan Santic
13 had been killed on the first day of the conflict.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
15 Q. You said that your brother, Slavko Sakic, was
16 a member of the anti-aircraft defence, if that is the
17 way we can put it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you say where he was during those three
20 days? Was he, at any point, in Pirici, or rather,
22 A. Absolutely not. These units had their own
23 positions, and it was well known for quite a bit of
24 time where they had been. They were on a position
25 above the Princip factory, and also in the main field,
1 and these were mixed units. I don't know when they
2 separated. So there were Muslims and Croats alike.
3 All the members of the anti-aircraft defence from the
4 previous system.
5 Q. And did you talk to him about this, where he
6 was after those events?
7 A. He was in Vitez, in the town of Vitez.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sakic. I have no further
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would just like to
11 have admitted into evidence Exhibits 94/2, 95, and 96,
13 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection? All right.
14 Admitted into evidence.
15 There are no questions for the witness from
16 the Court. Mr. Sakic, thank you for testifying in
17 court. You may now be released. Thank you.
18 I would like to ask the registrar to bring in
19 the next witness.
20 (The witness entered court)
21 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO VREBAC.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you
23 please make the solemn declaration.
24 A. Good day.
25 I solemnly declare that I will speak the
1 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
4 A. Thank you.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
6 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
7 Q. Good day, Mr. Vrebac, would you please
8 introduce yourself to the court?
9 A. I am Zdravko Vrebac, son of Jozo. I was born
10 in Santici. That is also where I live. I was born on
11 the 21st of May, 1966.
12 Q. Could you please show us on this aerial
13 photograph where your house is?
14 A. Yes, I will. My house is here (indicating).
15 Q. What are the first Croat houses, or, rather,
16 who are your Croat neighbours?
17 A. The first Croat houses are the houses of my
18 kinsmen, the Vrebacs. This is my brother's house, then
19 also the settlement along the road is Vidovici and
20 Santici in the neighbourhood (indicating). That is my
21 immediate neighbourhood around my house.
22 Q. And that part of the village, was it
23 primarily Croat?
24 A. Yes, it was primarily Croat, but in the
25 settlement of Zume, where there are new houses, for
1 quite some time there have been some neighbours who are
2 Muslims. And on this side, on the other side of the
3 stream, over here there are a few houses, and here
4 underneath the main road in Donja Zume (indicating).
5 Q. And what Muslim families lived in your
6 neighbourhood? Who were your closest neighbours who
7 were Muslims?
8 A. My closest neighbours were the Podojak
9 family, Reuf Podojak's family. Islam Ahmic. That's
10 it. Then Nesib was here (indicating). I don't know
11 his last name exactly. I think it's Ahmic too. Those
12 houses were built recently most --
13 Q. All right. Thank you. You may be seated.
14 Tell us, Mr. Vrebac, what did you do in
15 1992? Where were you employed?
16 A. In 1992 I was employed within the SPS
17 factory, within the Sintevit department. I'm talking
18 about electrical maintenance.
19 Q. And how long did you work there? Until
21 A. I worked there until the middle of the year,
22 when most of the workers were already on leave, and
23 then I went on leave too.
24 Q. And where did you work after that?
25 A. After that I started working in my brother's
1 warehouse. At that time he had a company called
2 Trgogrozd, and it exists to the present day.
3 Q. And where is this warehouse, in Vitez or in
5 A. The warehouse is in Santici, and that is the
6 wholesale department, whereas the retail was in Novi
7 Travnik, in Bare, and in the Vitezanka building in
9 Q. Tell me, in 1992 did you take part in the
10 village guards?
11 A. Yes. Yes. From time to time, yes. Since I
12 was employed by my brother, as I already said, so when
13 I had time and -- yeah, that's it.
14 Q. And tell me, these village guards, were they
15 organised in your part of the village in some official
16 way or was this an unofficial duty? How did you
17 perceive this?
18 A. Guard duty was not compulsory. It was
19 organised by -- by the villagers themselves, because at
20 that time there were shortages and nobody had any work,
21 and there were certain groups of people who were -- how
22 should I put this -- involved in certain criminal
23 actions such as car thefts and stealing other people's
24 property in general.
25 Q. Did you have any weapons at that time?
1 A. No. No. At that time I did not have any
2 weapons. We had weapons at the warehouse. The goods
3 that were in the warehouse were very valuable. That is
4 to say that the warehouse had to be guarded during the
5 night, and sometimes I would stand guard there and
6 sometimes one of the workers.
7 Q. So the rifle belonged to the company, is that
8 what you're trying to say?
9 A. Yes. Yes, yes. It was used to guard the
10 warehouse itself.
11 Q. Did you receive any monetary compensation for
12 guard duty?
13 A. No. No, not in any sense.
14 Q. And what about the Muslims in your part of
15 the village? Did they stand guard with you?
16 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, together with me. Very
17 often we had the opportunity of patrolling the village
18 in that part of Zume, in our neighbourhood, that is to
19 say, where we lived and where our closest Muslim
20 neighbours did.
21 Q. How long did these joint guards go on in your
22 part of the village?
23 A. Well, they went on until the end of October
24 1992, just before the conflict broke out. That's how
25 long the joint guards went on. And then after the
1 first conflict, I couldn't say exactly -- there was a
2 truce. I couldn't say a truce because we didn't have
3 any quarrel or war between us, but when the tensions
4 were reduced a little bit it seems.
5 Q. What happened on the 20th of October of '92
6 in your part of the village?
7 A. On the 20th of October, in the morning at
8 around 5.00 a.m., I was woken up by a powerful
9 detonation from the direction -- I mean, I knew later
10 that it was from the direction of Zume, Ahmici and so
11 on, but I was woken up, as I said, by this powerful
12 detonation, after which I got dressed, and I went
13 outside to see what had happened, but it was all quiet
14 after that explosion.
15 So I went to Zume, because I thought that
16 maybe someone from the people I would meet would
17 perhaps know something about it.
18 Q. Where did you find these people that you said
19 that you expected to meet on the road?
20 A. Well, I encountered the first people at Ivo
21 Vidovic's house. I met him there, his brother Anto
22 Vidovic, called Satko; Pero Jelic, I think. Well,
23 several people. Five or six people. They told me that
24 they didn't know what was going on, and I heard about
25 the barricade that had been set up the day before at
1 the cemetery in Santici, just below Ahmici, and that
2 that was probably the reason. So from there I went to
3 the depression behind Niko Sakic's house and below Ivo
4 Kupreskic's house.
5 Q. So what did you want to see there?
6 A. I didn't want to see anything. That place
7 was always a kind of shelter. So from the former
8 system, from the former state it remain as a kind of
9 natural shelter, as a place where during military
10 exercises, manoeuvres of the JNA, the population would
11 go there. The people who lived in those environs, they
12 would go there.
13 So when I got there I saw Mirko Sakic there;
14 Niko Sakic; Milutin Vidovic; Dragan Vidovic, son of
15 Nikica; and also the people who lived close by and
16 their families.
17 Q. These were people who had homes nearby; is
18 that right?
19 A. Yes, yes. That's right.
20 Q. So could you please tell us if anything was
21 happening there?
22 A. Well, nothing was happening at that time. It
23 was maybe at about 6.00 in the morning or 6.30. At
24 that time, around 6.30, we heard a lot of firing from
25 the direction of the cemetery and the elementary
1 school, from that area, as much as you can determine
2 the place from the depression.
3 Q. Was -- did you only hear artillery or were
4 there any other detonations from mortars perhaps?
5 A. No, not more powerful weapons. I think it
6 was just firing from artillery weapons, as much as I
7 know about that.
8 Q. And you said that you heard firing from the
9 direction of the cemetery?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So the only shooting that you heard came from
12 that direction?
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if this
15 is a good time we can go on break, since all the
16 preparations have been made.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes
18 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
22 Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Vrebac, you mentioned the shooting from
24 the direction of the cemetery and that there was no
25 other shooting, according to your impression. Is that
2 A. Yes. That's right.
3 Q. So what happened after that? What did you
5 A. After that we climbed up a little higher out
6 of the depression so that we could see what was going
7 on, as much as we dared, because we were afraid. And
8 then I saw in front of the house of Ivo Kupreskic, I
9 saw Mirjan Kupreskic, Zoran and Ivica Kupreskic. They
10 were standing there. I could see that they were really
11 afraid, because their families remained in their
13 So Milutin Vidovic and I, and Dragan Vidovic,
14 son of Nikica, ran up to them and from there up to
15 their houses. I ran up to Mica's house, the house of
16 Mirjan Kupreskic , and I took one of his children, he
17 took the other child, and also his wife, and Zoran,
18 with Milutin and Dragan. So we took the children over
19 to Ivo Kupreskic's house.
20 And it was my impression then, and as far as
21 I can remember now, it was terrible, because bullets
22 were whizzing all around us, a lot of bullets, and
23 since we didn't have any kind of experience, we were
24 very scared.
25 And we took the children to the shelter in my
1 sister and brother-in-law's house, Jelena and Dragan
2 Trajanovski. Then we came back to the depression and
3 we stayed there throughout the day.
4 Q. Could you please indicate on the map where
5 this shelter is, the shelter of Jelena Trajanovski?
6 A. Yes. The shelter is right here (indicating),
7 across from my house. So it's in the house of my
8 sister and my brother-in-law. That's where the shelter
10 Q. Where is your house in relation to that
12 A. It's directly across (indicating).
13 Q. So you said that that was your -- the house
14 of Jelena Trajanovski and her husband. What was her
15 husband's name?
16 A. Dragan Trajanovski.
17 Q. Was there any talk in the village that that
18 was the Vrebac house?
19 A. Well, it was built on the land which belonged
20 to my father, so all -- everybody in the village, they
21 don't know our family affairs, so the usual name for it
22 was "the house of Vrebac," "Vrebac's house."
23 Q. What is your father's name?
24 A. My father's name is Jozo Vrebac.
25 Q. At that time, during the first conflict in
1 '92, was your sister and her husband there?
2 A. No. They were working in Germany, in
3 Langefeld, to be precise, and at that time they hadn't
4 even been back to visit us for three years.
5 Q. After that, did they come back? Were they
6 there in '93? In Santici?
7 A. No. From '89 up until '97, they never came
9 Q. Who opened that house? You said you placed
10 Zoran and Mirjan's family in there.
11 A. Well, my father opened it. He has keys of
12 the whole house, and also from the shelter. It's an
13 improvised shelter which is located in the basement, in
14 the cellar of the house.
15 Q. Was that house used as a shelter, usually?
16 A. Yes. In '92, already, as soon as the war in
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina started, with the attack of the
18 Yugoslav army, when the bombardments of those
19 neighbouring towns began, and wider, there was a lot of
20 fear from air attacks.
21 Q. What other house in that area was used as a
22 shelter? Do you know?
23 A. Each house that had a cellar; or if it had,
24 for example, two floors, two concrete floors. So any
25 house that was built of strong material.
1 Q. Thank you. You may be seated.
2 Could you please indicate on the aerial
3 photographs your house, the house of your father, and
4 also the shelter in the house of Jelena Trajanovski.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please
6 take the map to the witness.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document D97/2.
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
9 Q. Could you indicate with a marker where the
10 house of your father is?
11 A. This is my father's house. (Indicating).
12 Q. And your sister's house?
13 A. That's my sister's house. (Marks).
14 Q. And also could you please indicate where the
15 house of Milutin Vidovic is.
16 A. (Marks)
17 Q. Also could you mark your father's house with
18 the letter "A," the house of your sister with the
19 letter "B," the house of Milutin Vidovic with the
20 letter "C"; and if you know where the house of Niko
21 Vidovic is -- do you know --
22 A. Which Niko Vidovic? There are two Niko
24 Q. The house of Niko Vidovic which was used as a
25 shelter. If you know; if you don't know, then we won't
1 indicate it.
2 A. I'm not sure which house. I know where --
3 its location, but I don't know which house it is.
4 Q. Okay. Then these two markings are
5 sufficient. Could you please indicate where are the
6 warehouses that you mentioned earlier. That was your
7 brother's property?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you return after you took the Kupreskics
10 to the shelter?
11 A. Yes. Yes, I came back to the depression that
12 I mentioned, where we all were.
13 Q. Did Zoran and Mirjan go with you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you see that Muslims were leaving the
16 village? Did you notice that from the place where you
18 A. Well, from the place where we were, I
19 couldn't see something like that. But later I heard
20 that they had left the area of Ahmici, lower Ahmici.
21 But I couldn't see that from the area around my house.
22 And then from there, nobody left.
23 Q. Did the families of Zoran and Mirjan
24 Kupreskic stay in the shelter in your sister's house?
25 A. No. They stayed there for some time; I don't
1 know exactly how long. After a while, they went to
2 Mirjan and Zoran's sister -- her name was Zorica Rajic
3 -- which is deeper inside Santici.
4 Q. Do you know whether their families stayed
5 there for some time, or did they come back on the same
7 A. No, nobody came back on the same day. As far
8 as I can remember, after three or four days, the
9 population was beginning to come back to Ahmici. And
10 then when they came back, the Muslim population of
11 Ahmici, then also the Kupreskic families came back.
12 Q. What time did the shooting stop on that day?
13 A. When? The shooting stopped at around 3 or 4
14 p.m. I can't say exactly when, because it waned a
15 little bit, and then it stopped completely.
16 Q. So what happened in the region of those three
17 villages after the conflict?
18 A. After the conflict itself, people -- more
19 prominent people from those hamlets of ours, Muslims
20 and Croats -- tried to calm down the tensions which
21 were caused by the conflict. Nothing important
22 happened except the agreement on the return of
23 everybody to Ahmici, to their homes. Naturally
24 everybody tried to calm down the situation. We were
25 all taken by surprise by it.
1 Q. Were there any incidents in the village
2 between the first and the second conflict?
3 A. As far as I know, no, but there were some
4 times -- because the tensions remained high, regardless
5 of the good will of the locals to have the situation
6 calm down, the trust was up in the air. There were
7 some alerts, and we went to the shelter -- I can't say
8 frequently, but several times. And not everybody
9 went. But there were reports that from some certain
10 region there would be an attack by the Muslims, and so
12 Q. Did the Muslims ever go to the shelter? Do
13 you know of such occurrences? Did they receive this
14 kind of information?
15 A. I cannot confirm that.
16 Q. How much do you actually know about this,
17 what was going on in Ahmici after the conflict, in view
18 of the fact that Santici, the part that you were in, is
19 predominantly Croat?
20 A. Well, I know as much as my father could tell
21 me: Namely, my father went to one meeting, or several
22 meetings, perhaps, at this time, immediately after the
23 conflict. I don't know exactly where this meeting was
24 held, or these several meetings were held. However,
25 from what he told me, I know that every possible effort
1 was made to alleviate the situation and to go back to
2 the situation that was before.
3 Q. Who did you socialise with from Ahmici -- or
4 Pirici, rather; who was your friend there?
5 A. Well, I had many friends.
6 Q. Who were you closest to?
7 A. I was closest to Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic,
8 because of the rehearsals we had all the time at the
9 cultural society in Vitez. Also Fahrudin Ahmic was
10 with us, and I can say in all fairness that he was with
11 us non-stop. And this was my immediate circle of
13 Q. And what about the relations between you and
14 Mirjan, Zoran and Fahran Ahmic; did they change after
15 the conflict in October of 1992?
16 A. No. No. As a matter of fact, I think that
17 after this conflict we actually became closer. I can't
18 really explain this. Nothing substantial changed in
19 our relationship, in our relations among these
20 friends. I mentioned that we went to rehearsals
21 practically every other day, and there were quite a few
22 other Muslims who danced with us. And no, there was no
23 tension or distrust whatsoever that could be felt
25 Q. And what did you do -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry,
1 one question before that: Where was your brother
2 during the first conflict?
3 A. During the first conflict, my brother was
4 taken prisoner by the Muslims at Opara, near Novi
5 Travnik. I don't know. For some six or seven days he
6 was held prisoner, and his goods and trucks were taken
7 away, those that he was taking from Herzegovina to
9 Q. Do you know the day when he was taken
11 A. I think that it was the 15th of October, in
12 the evening -- no, no. No, on the 19th, the day before
13 the conflict. The day before the first conflict in
15 Q. In the area of Novi Travnik, were there any
16 conflicts immediately before this conflict in Ahmici?
17 Do you know about that?
18 A. Yes, yes, I know about that. There were
20 Q. Between who?
21 A. Between Croats and Muslims. I think it was
22 some kind of a gasoline station that was involved, or
23 something like that.
24 Q. Were there any dead people at the time? Was
25 anybody killed?
1 A. That, I do not know.
2 Q. And do you know whether these conflicts were
3 between the Muslims and the Croats as neighbours, or
4 were they conflicts between the HVO army and the army
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. I think that it was between the HVO and the
7 BH army. That is my opinion.
8 Q. Did you ever find out what the main reason
9 for the conflict in Ahmici was on the 20th of October?
10 A. Well, yes. Yes. I found out that the main
11 reason was the placement of the roadblock by the
12 Muslims by the cemetery, by the Catholic cemetery,
13 between Ahmici.
14 Q. And do you know who took part in this
15 conflict, and whether the Croats from Ahmici and these
16 neighbouring villages, did they take part in this
18 A. I know for sure that the local Croats did not
19 take part in this conflict. And I know that at that
20 time, the new shift for Jajce passed by that roadblock,
21 because there was heavy fighting in Jajce at the time.
22 I think it was a unit from Kiseljak that was passing by
23 there, and that they were supposed to relieve someone.
24 Q. Out of the people that you saw that day in
25 the depression and who were with you on the 20th of
1 October, did anybody shoot?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So tell us, what did you do before the second
4 conflict, in April 1993?
5 A. Before the second conflict -- that is to say
6 between the first and second conflicts -- I continued
7 to work in the warehouse of the Trgogrozd company.
8 And, as I said, every other day or every third day we
9 had rehearsals at the cultural society of Vitez. And
10 quite often in the evening we would play in the
11 orchestra. And there would be parties, wedding
12 parties. And that's it.
13 Q. Did you do that professionally?
14 A. In the cultural society, we worked as one
15 does work in a cultural society. That is where all the
16 enthusiasm of the people involved is manifested; that
17 is to say, there is no compensation or anything.
18 When Mica -- I mean Mirjan Kupreskic and I
19 and Fahrudin Ahmic, we agreed in principle with the
20 head of the cultural society that we would get some
21 kind of per diems, because we were responsible for the
22 rehearsals. And as regards the parties and other such
23 things, we did charge for that, as much as you could
24 really charge anyone, because there was very little
25 money available.
1 Q. Did you at that time open a cafe in Vitez?
2 A. Yes. Yes. Actually, after the New Year. I
3 don't know. Five or six days. At the crossroads, the
4 main street, and at that time I think it was called the
5 Tito road, and the main road leading into that part of
7 Q. And what did you do on the 15th of April,
9 A. On the 15th of April, 1993 I worked just like
10 any other day. That is to say, I had various things to
11 do. In connection with my cafe, I went to get my
12 supplies. That was it. Nothing special really, just
13 like the previous days.
14 Q. Do you recall whether you saw Mirjan
15 Kupreskic that day?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where was he working at that time?
18 A. At that time he had transferred to Vitez. A
19 week before that he went to work in the Vitezanka
20 building, and he went to work there from this PP Sutra
21 company where he worked, from the warehouse in Ahmici.
22 That is to say, that is when this other retail was
23 opened, and that is where I got most of my supplies. I
24 also got some supplies in other places.
25 Q. I already asked you whether you saw him that
2 A. Yes, yes, at the usual time, around noon,
3 12.00. When I went out to get my supplies, that is
4 when I would see him, and I would buy these supplies
5 and we would chat. We chatted about the rehearsals
6 that were to be held at the cultural society. So this
7 was just chatting, just like any other day, and we
8 liked to be with one another for as long as possible,
9 as much as work permitted.
10 Q. Did you see him again on that day?
11 A. Yes. Every day when he would finish his
12 work, that is to say after 5.00 because working hours
13 were until 5.00 at his retail store, and then he would
14 stop by and see me, and then we talked whether we would
15 go straight to the rehearsal, or stay at the cafe or go
16 straight home. So that's what we did every day.
17 He came that day too, between 5.00 and 5.30,
18 that is to say, after the time it took to reach my
19 place, and we were sitting there in good company, may I
20 say. And the cafe worked well, because we socialised.
21 I mean, we -- from the cultural society there were a
22 lot of them who would drop by.
23 Q. How long did working hours go on otherwise?
24 I mean, of cafes in Vitez at that time.
25 A. Well, at that time, like throughout the war,
1 all cafes had shortened working hours. In the evening
2 they would work until 9.00 or 10.00 p.m., depending on
3 what the police had ordered, and also the town
5 Q. How long did you work that day?
6 A. That day, around 6.00 p.m. or 6.30, we
7 received orders orally from a policeman that we were
8 supposed to close up the cafe.
9 Q. Did that happen otherwise, that they would
10 close down a cafe or a shop?
11 A. Yes, it would happen. I can't say that it
12 happened very often, but it wasn't strange, because --
13 I don't know. It happened a few times.
14 Q. At that time did you go home, and who did you
15 go home with?
16 A. Well, we didn't go out immediately, because
17 we stayed on a bit longer, and then only when the
18 policeman had warned us for a second time we had to
19 close down. Then we went to my house -- or, rather, to
20 Slavko Vrebac's house. We were going there with --
21 with his daughter Ivana Vrebac, because she had a car,
22 because my car was being serviced that day, that day
23 when I got the supplies, so she gave us a lift.
24 Q. So you and Mirjan went together, you left the
25 cafe with that girl; right?
1 A. Yes, yes, and with my cousin Zarko Verbac and
2 Marin Pesa. I think there was about four or five of
4 Q. Did you go home then?
5 A. We parted there, all of us, but I just
6 stopped by to see my cousin, Slavko Vrebac and his
7 family, and we stayed there for, I don't know how long,
8 perhaps until 8.00, 8.00 or 9.00 in the evening.
9 Q. And where did Mirjan Kupreskic go; do you
11 A. Mirjan went to his house from there.
12 Q. On that day, since you were in Vitez in your
13 own cafe, and since there were people who were there
14 who came to the cafe and the police were there and you
15 said that they closed it earlier, did you receive any
16 information as to what would happen on the next day?
17 A. No. On that day we didn't know anything. We
18 just sat there as usual. In my cafe there was Zinka
19 Ibrakovic, a Muslim who was a waitress there, and Edin
20 Sabanovic was sitting together with us before we went
21 home. He was a great friend of mine. Then Islam,
22 Haris, Tudzo. We mixed, the Croats and the Muslims,
23 naturally. We did not separate one from the other. No
24 one knew a thing.
25 Q. And what happened on the morning of the 16th
1 of April, 1993?
2 A. In the morning I was awakened by my father.
3 I think around 5.00, perhaps a bit before that. He
4 woke me up and he said that I should get up and get
5 dressed, and that there was something wrong, because
6 people were coming to the shelter.
7 Q. That is to say that he awakened you because
8 people were coming to what shelter?
9 A. My sister's shelter, my sister Jelena's
10 shelter, and it's marked with a letter "B" on this
12 Q. Did he tell you what was going on in addition
13 to the people coming in? Did he know what it was all
15 A. No. No. He didn't say anything. And I can
16 tell you that at that time it wasn't really a strange
17 situation for us. As I said previously, sometimes this
18 would happen due to some kind of misinformation or
19 whatever, people from certain hamlets would come there
20 to the shelter. So we could not have assumed that
21 there would be a conflict at all.
22 Q. And what did you do then? Where did you go
24 A. I went to the Trgogrozd's warehouse, and I
25 went to see what the guard was doing there, because my
1 brother was away at that time too. He was in Split
2 getting the goods that he was supposed to bring in the
3 next day, and the day after that, depending on what the
4 traffic was like, especially on the Road of Salvation.
5 So I went there and saw the guard who was guarding the
6 warehouse, and I stayed there with him.
7 Q. What did you hear and at what time?
8 A. Perhaps half an hour later, that is to say,
9 around 5.30 in the morning, we heard terrible shooting
10 from the direction of Ahmici. At that time we were
11 taken by surprise too. How come? We didn't know what
12 was going on.
13 We tried to climb up the steps further up,
14 because this warehouse is near a hill, so you can go
15 up. So we tried to see what was going on, but then
16 since there were bullets flying all over it wasn't
17 really a thing that you should do, and we were afraid.
18 Q. Who was in the warehouse?
19 A. The guard was there, Ivan Plavcic, who had
20 already been working there for some ten days or so,
21 precisely as a guard because of these long trips that
22 my brother had to take in order to get these supplies
23 that he needed. Somebody had to be there all the time,
24 because I had commitments of my own. I could not be
25 there all the time.
1 Q. That is to say that you were there with that
2 guard; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You heard shooting. Did you see anything?
5 You said that you tried to see -- what did you see from
6 the direction of Ahmici?
7 A. Well, yes. Half an hour after the shooting
8 started we were a bit encouraged, so we went upstairs
9 and we saw from Ahmici -- we saw big pillars of smoke,
10 and I told Ivan then that I supposed that Zoran's and
11 Mirjan's houses were on fire, or one of them, in that
12 area. That's what it looked like then.
13 Q. What kind of fire did you hear, small-arms
14 fire or heavy gunfire, and from what direction?
15 A. Small-arms fire mostly. Perhaps some smaller
16 detonations. Perhaps these were hand grenades or
17 something like that.
18 Q. And what did you do after that?
19 A. Around 6.30 or 7.00, I don't know when, I
20 agreed with the guard that we leave the warehouse after
21 all, because it was not exactly advisable to stay there
22 in view of its position. On the other hand, it's a big
23 building and perhaps it would attract someone.
24 Therefore, I called my brother around 6.30,
25 and he was in Split at the time, and I told him that
1 there was heavy shooting and that I saw these pillars
2 of smoke in the direction of those houses, and I told
3 him to wait a bit because he was supposed to leave, and
4 I told him to wait and I was afraid for him. I was
5 afraid that he would be taken prisoner again or
7 Then we went to the house of Slavko Vrebac.
8 Just as we moved from the warehouse, some 30 metres or
9 so, behind us we heard a strong detonation and we
10 fell. Of course, we ran away from there, we went to
11 the house of my uncle, Marko Vrebac, but after that we
12 saw where a mortar shell had fallen. We recognised it
13 by its tip.
14 Q. By its tail?
15 A. Yes. Yes, by the stabiliser that it has. We
16 saw that only later.
17 We went to that place, and we were there with
18 these kinsmen of mine, Vlado Vrebac, Zarko Vrebac,
19 Marko Vrebac. They were all at home. Those are my
20 uncle and cousins.
21 Q. Did you go to your house, to your father,
22 Jozo Vrebac?
23 A. Not right away. I went there maybe at around
24 9.00, but first I took some food supplies from the
25 warehouse in order to take that up there, because I
1 could see these people who arrived at the shelter in
2 the morning.
3 So when I got there, I saw that the shelter
4 was full of people, too many people. More than it
5 could hold. There was a large number of people. So I
6 saw that I didn't take enough food. I expected to only
7 find a couple of families there.
8 Q. How many people were there, in your estimate,
9 when you got there? Can you tell us approximately?
10 A. About a hundred people approximately, perhaps
11 more. That's what I think. I don't know really
12 what -- how big the basement was but it was
13 overcrowded. I think it was about a hundred people or
15 Q. Did you see Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic that
17 A. Yes. When I was leaving the house, when I
18 left the food, mostly for the children who were there,
19 and the women, I met them, the two of them, Mirjan and
20 Zoran, and Mirko Sarkic also came with them. They came
21 because their families were there. Mirjan Kupreskic's
22 family was there. Zoran's family was in the house of
23 Milutin Vidovic. That's what he told me at that time.
24 So that's when we met. We talked about everything that
25 was happening. We were all shocked and surprised by
1 what was going on.
2 So Mica, Mirjan Kupreskic, told me then that
3 they met, when they were coming back from the Pudza
4 houses, from the depression, they saw Satko, Anto
5 Vidovic, and he told them that he was in tears too,
6 that he was with the mother of Fahrudin Ahmic, our
7 friend, and she had told him that Fahran was killed.
8 I will cannot describe to you the shock that
9 we were in when we found out about that. We were with
10 that man every day, and we couldn't have assumed that
11 something like that could happen.
12 Q. What time was that?
13 A. It was between 9.00 and 10.00 in the morning,
14 around that time. Maybe at about 9.30.
15 Q. Do you know, did Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic
16 tell you where they were?
17 A. Yes. They said they were behind the house of
18 Niko Sakic, in the same depression that I had talked
19 about earlier. So they were there. That's where they
20 were. At the last houses.
21 Q. Did you see them again on that day?
22 A. No, I didn't meet them any more that day,
23 because I went back to the warehouse. And I was going
24 back and forth from the warehouse to my cousin's and to
25 the house of Slavko Vrebac, so I was in that area all
1 the time.
2 Q. Did you have a gun?
3 A. I did have a gun that day. I took it from
4 the security guard. And then I left it where it
5 usually stays, in the office, in the warehouse, in the
6 office next to the warehouse.
7 Q. Were there any kind of fighting or combat
8 activities in the region where you were on that day, so
9 in the area between the warehouse and your house and
10 the house of your cousins?
11 A. No. No. But at my father's place, just
12 below his house, where I lived too, the clearing,
13 practically in the garden, a mortar shell fell, we
14 assumed from the direction of Sljibcica or Sivrino
15 Selo, or thereabouts. So that's what my father told me
16 on that day. And then afterwards we saw the traces.
17 Q. Were there any combat activities in the
18 region of Sljibcica and Sivrino Selo?
19 A. Yes. By the mortar shell in the morning,
20 according to that, I think that's where it came from,
21 at the warehouse. Because when they saw the security
22 guard and me coming out of the warehouse, I think that
23 they fired it then. But it's my assumption.
24 Q. Who was holding those positions?
25 A. Muslims. The BH army.
1 Q. Did you see Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic in the
2 course of the second or the third day?
3 A. Not during the second day. But I saw them on
4 the third day.
5 Q. On the second day, where were you? Could you
6 just tell us briefly?
7 A. Well, I stayed in the warehouse; also
8 occasionally I would go to visit my uncle; occasionally
9 I would go to visit my father, to see my family, how
10 they were doing, if they needed anything. Occasionally
11 I would take some food to the shelter.
12 Q. So then on the third day you say you saw
13 Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic; tell us where.
14 A. On the third day, I saw them. At the time,
15 it was noon. When I took goods, there was a lot of --
16 there were a lot of goods, so I took that with my
17 Citroen car to the shelter in my sister's house, and I
18 gave that for them there. And I wanted to find out how
19 they were doing, because there was constant shooting,
20 and I wanted to know this. So I went to Niko Sakic's
21 house, where I left the car, and I saw them right next
22 to his garage, in that depression.
23 The two of them, Mirko Sakic -- I don't know,
24 there were -- also Grgic was there. I don't know his
25 name. Mirko, something like that. I saw them. They
1 were there. And then Mirjan told me then that we need
2 to go to his house somehow to get the accordion.
3 So we went to his house, and we found that
4 the door had been broken in. There was a lot of --
5 there were a lot of holes from bullets on the facade of
6 the house. We saw that the door had been ripped open,
7 and everything in the house had been ransacked. The
8 windows were broken, and the door frames -- we could
9 see a bullet that had started a fire in the door frame,
10 but the fire didn't catch on, so nothing was burnt.
11 But the accordion was underneath the bed of one of the
12 children, so we took the accordion, and then he also
13 saw that some things were missing that had belonged to
14 his wife, gold, that these things had been taken.
15 So we had to go back quickly, because it
16 wasn't wise to remain there. So we took the accordion
17 back to the depression. And I placed it in my car and
18 I took it home, so that's where it was until the end of
19 the war, so until the first ceasefire.
20 Q. Why did you go to get the accordion? You
21 said there was still shooting in certain parts of the
22 village. Wasn't that dangerous?
23 A. Well, why did we go? It was dangerous. But
24 I know what my instrument, my musical instrument, means
25 to me, so I know also what it means to Mirjan, what the
1 accordion means to Mirjan. It's the most valuable
2 material thing that a man could have. I can't even
3 explain the love for a musical instrument. It
4 practically meant a half of his life.
5 Q. So where was the accordion placed, then? You
6 said --
7 A. Well, in my father's house.
8 Q. On the third day, were you mobilised? Were
9 you taken to the lines?
10 A. On that day, when I returned the car to the
11 warehouse, in the afternoon, before it got dark, maybe
12 at twilight, three soldiers came to my uncle's house,
13 which is where I came after I left the warehouse. And
14 they found me there, my cousin Vlado, Zarko Vrebac.
15 Marko was also there -- this is my uncle; he is an
16 older man. He is a grandfather.
17 They told us then to get ready -- or to
18 follow them immediately. And they took us to upper
19 Zume, to Marko Livancic's house. And then another two
20 soldiers accompanied us to Pirici, above the Muslim
21 cemetery, but below the forest. And it's called --
22 the forest is called Barin Gaj, and this is where they
23 placed us. And they gave us a shovel and a pickaxe and
24 told us to start digging.
25 Q. When you say your uncle was with you as well,
1 how old was he?
2 A. He was born in 1924.
3 Q. He was taken there with you?
4 A. No. No. He stayed in front of his house.
5 He wasn't taken with us. He's a very old man.
6 Q. So you remained on that line where you were
7 brought, and how long did you stay there?
8 A. How long?
9 Q. The whole war?
10 A. No, not the whole war. I remained there for
11 maybe 20 days; maybe a little longer. After that, I
12 went to Vitez, because they came to get me. They
13 needed me to maintain electronic equipment.
14 Q. Do you know how and when the family of Zoran
15 and Mirjan Kupreskic went to Vitez, and from where?
16 A. I know that on the 15th day, they left,
17 because I drove them. I had a small minivan, a
18 Volkswagen van, in my warehouse. So Mirjan and Zoran
19 told me that they needed to transfer them up there,
20 because the house of their sister, Ljubica Kupreskic,
21 was empty, because the sister and brother-in-law were
22 in Switzerland working.
23 Q. This house is in Vitez?
24 A. Yes, in Vitez. In the -- I don't know which
25 part; it's called Mlakici, next to the high school.
1 Q. Where was Ljubica Kupreskic until then,
2 before she went to Vitez?
3 A. Ljubica Kupreskic was in the house of Pero
4 Santic, I think, Radak. This is across the Lasva.
5 Across the bridge itself, when you go, so the house is
6 close to the bridge.
7 Q. And whose wife is Ljubica Kupreskic?
8 A. She's the wife of Mirjan Kupreskic.
9 Q. So is that where you picked her up?
10 A. Yes. We first picked up Zoran's wife from
11 Milutin's house, and the children, we picked them up.
12 Q. Whose house was she in?
13 A. In the house of Milutin Vidovic.
14 So we picked them up; then we went to the
15 Radaks, across the Lasva, and we picked up Ljubica and
16 the children, and we went across Rijeka in a different
17 road because you couldn't take the main road. So we
18 took a detour because of the snipers on the main road.
19 So it was very risky to use the main road.
20 Q. Did Ljubica Kupreskic -- who was she with in
21 Pero Santic's house?
22 A. She was there with her children. Ankica
23 Kupreskic was there with her children. There was --
24 there were a lot of people who had to leave their own
1 Q. Do you remember if Ljubica's mother was there
2 with Ljubica?
3 A. Yes. Her mother was very old and very sick,
4 and I remember that my father told me that they pushed
5 her in a wheelbarrow, and that they brought her to the
6 Radak houses in the wheelbarrow, and then from -- they
7 brought her to our shelter also in the same
8 wheelbarrow. So we picked them up, and then we took
9 them to Vitez, where we settled them.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I'm
12 finished with this part. I still have another half an
13 hour for tomorrow, but it's a completely different
14 part. So I would ask that we begin with that
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, indeed. So we adjourn
18 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
19 1:25 p.m., to be reconvened on
20 Friday, the 5th day of March, 1999,
21 at 9.00 a.m.