1 Friday, 5th 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. Before we
11 continue with witness Vrebac, I would like quickly to
12 deal with two sort of housekeeping matters, namely the
13 two pending motions from Defence counsel, one
14 concerning Witness DD, you may remember, Witness DD,
15 and the other one concerning Mr. Mirsad Omsarovic.
16 I think Defence counsel will by now have
17 received the Prosecutor's response concerning
18 Mr. Omsarovic, and this response, I think, was filed
19 yesterday in response to the Trial Chamber's decision
20 of the 2nd of March, '99. In that response, the
21 Prosecution discloses to the Defence an annex which has
22 been designated as annexe 5, and contains potentially
23 exculpatory information relating to Drago Josipovic.
24 Now, this Trial Chamber considers that the
25 Prosecution has now fulfilled its duty under Rule 68,
1 namely the duty to disclose exculpatory information in
2 this regard, and, therefore, the matter is at a close.
3 With regards to Witness DD, the Prosecution
4 filed yesterday a response, ex parte, in which it
5 averred that it had in its position no further
6 exculpatory information or evidence on this witness.
7 The Trial Chamber believes this declaration of the
8 Prosecution to be convincing and in good faith, and so
9 this matter is likewise close.
10 We may now continue with witness Vrebac, and
11 I would call upon Counsel Slokovic-Glumac to continue
12 her examination-in-chief.
13 THE WITNESS: ZDRAVKO VREBAC (RESUMED)
14 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
15 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
16 Mr. Vrebac.
17 I should like to ask you to take a look at
18 the photographs first, and to tell us which the houses
20 May I ask the usher to hand the photographs
21 to the witness, please?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document D98/2.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
24 Q. Mr. Vrebac, could you tell us which house is
25 on the first page?
1 A. The house on the first page is the one
2 belonging to Milutin Vidovic.
3 Q. The house of Milutin Vidovic is located
4 across your house -- opposite your house; is that
6 A. No. It is in the same row as my house, the
7 same side of the road. We're on the same side of the
9 Q. And what about the building opposite?
10 A. You mean the second photograph?
11 Q. Yes, the second photograph.
12 A. The second photographer shows Milutin's
13 house. Opposite that house is Ljuban Santic's house,
14 and below you can just see the entrance and part of the
15 roof of my sister's house. My sister's name is
16 Jelina. That's all.
17 Q. That house served as a shelter, did it not?
18 A. Yes, it did.
19 Q. And what about your father's house? It is
20 opposite that house, is it not?
21 A. Yes. My father's house is opposite my
22 sister's house, and you can just make out the contours
23 of the roof. You can see a small section of the roof
24 from the auxiliary building belonging to my father.
25 Q. Thank you. You said in your testimony so far
1 that you also took part in the work of the cultural and
2 art society of the SPS. Is that true?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What was that society renamed later?
5 A. Well, in the course of 1992, it came to be
6 known as the Citizens' Cultural Art Society of Vitez,
7 which for us members -- it took us a little time to
8 adopt the new name, to get used to it.
9 Q. What about the composition of the members
10 after 1993, before the conflict broke out, when the
11 society got its new name?
12 A. Well, the composition of the members did not
13 change, just some of the professional structures in it
14 changed. That is to say Lili, I don't know his
15 surname, we used to call him Lili, he played the
16 harmonica with the folklore group, and he wasn't able
17 to come because of his professional duties in Zenica.
18 Drago Kozomovic was another case in point, but
19 we did co-operate closely with them and ask their
20 advice on various matters from time to time, that sort
22 Q. How many Muslims were members of that
23 cultural and art society in 1993?
24 A. Well, let me tell you. I can't tell you the
25 exact number because there were three groups. There
1 was the first group, which were the players that had
2 already had a lot of experience, then there was the
3 second group which we used to help us out and to
4 replace anybody if need be, and the third group which
5 was just learning the basics of folklore and folklore
7 So I can't really say, but I think that the
8 ratio was 50/50, half Croats, half Muslims. There were
9 some Serbs as well together with us. That is what it
10 was like more or less.
11 Q. Zoran Kupreskic and Mirjan Kupreskic were
12 members of that society at that time, were they not?
13 A. Yes, they were. They were members at that
14 time. Zoran Kupreskic was the main choreographer in
15 the cultural and art society. Mirjan saw to the
16 musical part, and so did I, as well as Fahrudin Ahmic.
17 We were in charge of music. So it was up to the four
18 of us to -- we -- the four of us in the cultural and
19 art society were the principal ones.
20 Q. At that time, between the two conflicts, did
21 you have any rehearsals and performances?
22 A. Yes. As I said, every second or third day,
23 depending on how we could distribute the rehearsals in
24 the course of the week and whose turn it was, which
25 group was to have its rehearsals. We didn't have
1 regular performances, but we did from time to time.
2 For example, for UNPROFOR. We had performances for
3 UNPROFOR, and to celebrate some events in Vitez and the
4 surrounding area.
5 Q. You said in your testimony before that you
6 played professionally in a band or group of some kind.
7 Was Mirjan Kupreskic with you? Did he play together
8 with you?
9 A. Yes, he did, and I can enumerate for you.
10 For example, that band, the band we had, was composed
11 of Mirjan Kupreskic; Zdravko Vrebac, that is to say,
12 myself; Vlatko Kupreskic; Fahrudin Ahmic; Nedzad
13 Barucija; sometimes Ivo Jandric; and Naib Mekic. It
14 all depended on the requirements, the person that asked
15 us to play for them, what they wanted.
16 Q. Fahrudin Ahmic, Nedzad Barucija -- and who
17 was the other one you mentioned?
18 A. I said Naib Mekic from Busovaca.
19 Q. Yes, Naib Mekic. Are they Muslims?
20 A. Yes, they are.
21 Q. After the first conflict, that is to say, in
22 November and December, did you have normal
23 performances? Did you have any performances?
24 A. Yes, we did. For example, we performed at
25 UNPROFOR. We played there together with the cultural
1 and art society from Travnik, and that society was
2 called Borac.
3 There were weddings. We played at weddings.
4 For example, Zoran Vidovic's wedding, we played there.
5 I can't remember the exact date but it was in that
6 period, before the New Year, at all events. So we had
7 different kinds of guest appearances.
8 Q. Did you perform on television, in a
9 television programme for the new year in 1992-1993,
10 that New Year?
11 A. Yes. As far as I remember, it was sometime
12 in December, and as I say, it was before the New Year
13 when this television programme was filmed so that it
14 could be broadcast within the New Year's programme.
15 This we did for the local Vitez television station
16 owned by Pero Gudelj. He was a well-known man this
18 We were all up there. I don't know whether
19 you want me to enumerate, the Muslims, the Serbs, the
20 Croats, who were there. That was quite normal at that
21 time. It was nothing strange that we were all there
23 Q. After the New Year, you had two other
24 performances, one for the Muslim festival Bajram and
25 one for Easter and Mali Mosunj. Did you attend both of
1 these performances?
2 A. Yes, I did. I attended the first
3 performance, the Bajram celebration which was held at
4 the fire brigade building in Old Vitez, and it was in
5 the locality called the Mahala. That was a big
6 celebration, a big festivity, and all of us were
7 there. Anybody who had ever taken part in the cultural
8 life of the region, which means that there were many
9 members of the intelligentsia, and I think that there
10 is a recording of that. It was a very nice
12 Q. Were Zoran and Mirjan together with you
14 A. Yes. As I've already said, all the members
15 of our cultural and art society took part in the
16 performance on that occasion, everybody who worked for
17 it, because it was at the municipal level, at the level
18 of the town of Vitez, and it was a very large
19 festivity, a major ceremony.
20 Q. What about in Mali Mosunj for Easter? Did
21 you have a performance with all the members there, and
22 were you part of that performance?
23 A. Yes, I was. In Mali Mosunj, we performed for
24 Easter, and the group was once again in full
25 composition. That is, we had the whole orchestra with
1 all its members. The folklore group had all its
2 members taking part, all the dancers, just as we had
3 done for the Bajram performance. This was how we
4 worked. We would always give the best we could.
5 Always for our audience we would give an all-out
7 Q. After that performance, did you go anywhere?
8 Did you go off anywhere, continue the celebration
10 A. Yes. After that performance, we went on
11 together, the whole of our folklore and art society,
12 the folklore music group. We went to my own cafe in
13 Vitez, and we stayed there until about 4.00 or 5.00,
14 and then we went on. As I had a car, we went to
15 Fahrudin Ahmic's so that he could say hello to his
16 wife, say where he was, and then we went off to Mirjan
17 Kupreskic's house where we stayed until late at night.
18 We sat around talking about different things. In fact,
19 we continued the festivity.
20 Q. Were Muslims with you on that occasion?
21 A. Yes, they were.
22 Q. Do you know whether for Bajram, you would
23 also go visiting the Muslim houses? Did Zoran and
24 Mirjan Kupreskic and the Croats go to congratulate the
25 Muslims on their Bajram festivity?
1 A. Yes. And that was -- usually it was standard
2 practice in our environment, because Vitez, as a town,
3 was a multi-ethnic community, and there really was not
4 any discord. We always supported each other. I can
5 guarantee that. By all that is holy in the world, I
6 can guarantee that.
7 For Bajram, quite naturally, we went to
8 Fahrudin Ahmic's once again, that is to say, Zoran
9 Kupreskic, Mirjan and myself. I don't remember who
10 else. I think Zoran's family perhaps was there on that
11 occasion. I'm not quite sure. Perhaps I mix up the
12 visits we made because we went visiting very
13 frequently. We would go to them. They would come to
15 Q. Was it usual for the New Year to be
16 celebrated together?
17 A. Yes. However, at that time, the hotels were
18 not working, and so many of the larger premises for
19 this kind of celebration, the buildings were taken over
20 by UNPROFOR. For example, Tisa, the Tisa building in
21 Busovaca, and other buildings and premises, for
22 example, in Kiseljak. So there wasn't the space and
23 the necessary halls to have an orchestra performing in
24 the way that we were accustomed to. So on that
25 particular year we would have these celebrations
1 privately, in private houses.
2 Mirjan and Zoran went to Mirko Vidovic to
3 celebrate at their house, together with Naib Mekic and
4 the neighbours. I went to see them there. I came in
5 either before 12.00 or after midnight, I'm not quite
6 sure, because on that particular evening I had -- as I
7 am an electronics expert and I work in maintenance, I
8 went to look at the equipment at Television Vitez,
9 which was owned by Pero Gudelj, as I said. So I went
10 up there and did part of my work. I serviced a piece
11 of equipment, in fact, the equipment that was to show
12 our television programme when we were at the television
13 station, to record our musical programme.
14 Q. You mentioned Naib Mekic, who also saw the
15 New Year in with Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic and who was
16 also a member of the cultural and arts society. Where
17 did he live at the time? Do you happen to know?
18 A. He lived in Kacuni, in his father's house
19 there, and that is on the road between Busovaca and
20 Kiseljak. Not far from the road. I can't explain,
22 Q. I'm just asking you the locality. Do you
23 know whether Mirjan Kupreskic tried after the war to
24 contact him and how he did this?
25 A. Yes, in 1994 -- I don't know when, exactly.
1 Maybe it was in May or June -- we went -- Mirjan
2 Kupreskic and I, that is -- we went to the point at
3 Kacuni which separated the Croatian from the Muslim
4 part. We went there and we told the police on the
5 Muslim side, if possible, to call Naib Mekic to come
6 up, because it's not far from there, perhaps one
7 kilometre or so to his house. They did. They went to
8 call him, and Naib came. I cannot describe to you that
9 meeting. We hadn't seen each other for such a long
10 time, and we were all pleased to see each other. He
11 was pleased to see us and we were pleased to see him,
12 at that time.
13 Q. How long had you not seen Naib Mekic? How
14 long was he not able to go to Vitez and you were not
15 able to go to Kacuni?
16 A. Well, we saw each other -- the last occasion
17 was prior to the conflict, several days before the
18 second conflict broke out. Perhaps a few days before
19 that. I think that we even had a rehearsal or were
20 going to have a rehearsal, but I know that we saw each
21 other at that time.
22 Q. What was the name of Fahrudin Ahmic's wife?
23 A. We called her Sutka. I think her real name
24 is Suada. Yeah, Suada, Suada Ahmic.
25 Q. Do you know whether Suada Ahmic was in
1 contact with Mirjan Kupreskic since the war?
2 A. Yes, yes. She did have contact with him. I
3 don't know where they saw each other. I think they
4 were in touch over the telephone. Since Mirjan
5 realised that he was in a very, very difficult
6 financial and material situation -- he told all of us
7 about this, all of us from the cultural and arts
8 society. Then we managed somehow, because we were not
9 in a much better position. We managed to get a few
10 things and some money, so that she would at least have
11 something for the children. We all knew her and her
12 children, and especially we did this for the sake of
13 the late Fahran, and of course for the sake of the
14 children, of course. We did that for him and another
15 member of our society. His last name is Dzidic. I
16 hope you won't mind, but we just know him by his
17 nickname, Dzida, and I really can't remember his first
19 Q. Perhaps Ahmed?
20 A. Dzida possibly. Possibly. Honestly, I
21 cannot tell you exactly. If I had a picture of his --
22 I could show you exactly who the man is.
23 Q. What happened to Dzidic?
24 A. Well, he was also in that kind of a difficult
25 material situation, and then he came to ask for help
1 from those whom he believed would want to help him. So
2 it wasn't a question of whether they would want to, but
3 simply whether they could. Naturally he came to see
4 Mirjan. This was 1994. Mirjan worked in Vitez, again,
5 in the company Sutra, and he gave him -- of course,
6 with the permission of his director, he gave him some
7 more assistance in a material sense.
8 Q. The assistance that was given to Suad Ahmic;
9 what year was that?
10 A. That is also 1994. That is to say at the
11 time of the checkpoints and everything, when she
12 couldn't even come to see us. She didn't even have the
13 money for the bus fare.
14 Q. You said that before the war, Mirjan
15 Kupreskic worked for a certain period of time in ^
16 Relaprovljak, in Ahmici, and after that at the retail
17 in Vitez?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where did he work after the war, in '94, '95,
20 and '96?
21 A. After the war, I think this was April or
22 May. I cannot say for sure.
23 Q. Which year is this?
24 A. 1994. They started working with this
25 warehouse and the shop in Vitez. Mirjan worked in
1 Vitez, '94, '95, '96, until he came here.
2 Q. You know that he was employed at that time,
3 and you saw him at the time?
4 A. Yes. Yes, I did. Well, let me just say
5 another thing: He was not only employed, he was
6 overemployed. He was way too busy. The entire company
7 ^ Pepe Sutra was on his shoulders. He did everything.
8 He was a manual worker. He was a bookkeeper.
9 Q. During that period of time after the war, did
10 you leave the country?
11 A. Yes. Yes, we went to Switzerland.
12 May I just have a look at something?
13 Q. No, it's not necessary, just tell us?
14 A. It was in 1995.
15 Q. What did you want to see?
16 A. I wanted to have a look at my passport. I
17 want to see the date of issue because the date of issue
18 is actually the date when we departed for Switzerland,
19 and you can see it in the passport which day this was.
20 We went there on a visit, the entire cultural and arts
21 society went, and of course now, since this was after
22 the conflict, it was without the Muslim part of the
23 cultural and arts society, but again, I can say that
24 there were Muslims who remained there, and I must say
25 that some of them were very good dancers.
1 We were in Zug in Switzerland.
2 Q. You said this was 1995; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Just one more question. When you talked
5 about the time between the two conflicts, and Mirjan's
6 and Zoran's efforts in the cultural and arts society --
7 A. Yes?
8 Q. -- their professional efforts, they played
9 their instruments, et cetera. Also the fact that both
10 of them had jobs at the time. I also have to ask you
11 whether Zoran had a job at the time too?
12 A. Yes. Yes, he worked in the SPS. I'm not
13 sure. You see, at that time, it was not really
14 compulsory, but it was customary to go on leave, and
15 this leave what go on for five days or five months. He
16 was certainly one of the best people that the company
17 had, that that part of the company had, and I think
18 that he worked all the time, practically. Often we
19 would meet after work. I remember that distinctly.
20 In '92, we would meet after work and all the way up
21 to'93, we would meet at the cafe of the cultural and
22 arts society that was owned by Sedzad, one of the
23 members of the cultural and arts society.
24 Q. In view of these activities of theirs and
25 their job and all the work they had, do you know
1 whether they were part of the village guard or not?
2 A. I think -- I don't know if I can really
3 assess this. I don't know for sure, but I think, I
4 think they were upset because we were often absent, and
5 people were upset about that, you know, like, why would
6 he guard your backyard from thieves? We were often
7 absent in the evening. For example, we would play in
8 Turbe until the very eve of the conflict with the Serbs
9 in that part, and I remember that it was very difficult
10 for us to get our instruments out and we played out
11 there every evening in the restaurant centre which was
12 to say that our neighbours were kind of upset that they
13 were guarding our houses.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I have concluded, but I
16 would just like to tender into evidence D97/2 and
18 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection? Yes. So they
19 are admitted into evidence.
20 Counsel Pavkovic, is there any
22 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
23 No, the other attorneys are not going to examine the
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill?
1 MR. BLAXILL: Good morning, Mr. President,
2 Your Honours. Thank you.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
4 Q. Mr. Vrebac, good morning to you, sir. My
5 name is Michael Blaxill. I am one of the prosecuting
6 lawyers in this case, and as a result of your
7 testimony, I would like to ask you a number of
8 questions, sir. Starting with, I believe you lived
9 close to a gentleman by the name of Mr. Ivo Vidovic; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I believe he was a cafe proprietor and had a
13 cafe near your home?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. He was also, I believe, a member of the
16 village guard?
17 A. Yes. Yes, from time to time.
18 Q. Did you ever perform village guard duties
19 with Mr. Ivo Vidovic?
20 A. Possibly, but we would see each other in
21 cafes more often because that's the way we took this
22 guard duty.
23 Q. Well, that was going to be my next question:
24 Did you frequent his cafe as a customer?
25 A. When I had the time, yes.
1 Q. Did you have anybody in particular who
2 assumed a kind of authority to coordinate and organise
3 the village guard?
4 A. No. No. No, no one special.
5 Q. Did you, sir, know a man by the name of
6 Mr. Nenad Santic? I hope I pronounced that correctly.
7 A. Yes, you pronounced it correctly, and yes, I
8 did know him. Although there was a generation gap
9 between us. So yes.
10 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Nenad Santic had any
11 particular position or role with the HVO or in
12 connection with running any kind of village guards or
13 other organisation?
14 A. I don't think so. I think he was one of the
15 first supporters of the HDZ in our community, but
16 whether he had any special military or political
17 significance, that, I do not know.
18 Q. If I could take you forward even to the time
19 after, say, the first conflict, when the conflict had
20 actually broken out: Do you recall if Mr. Nenad
21 Santic, at that time, assumed any kind of military or
22 quasi-military role?
23 A. I don't think so. Nothing more than any one
24 of us.
25 Q. Thank you, sir. Would it come as a surprise
1 to you if I said that Mr. Ivo Vidovic stated that on
2 the morning, indeed, of the second conflict, he
3 received orders from Nenad Santic which he then
4 obeyed? Would you find that a surprise?
5 A. I would. It would be a surprise for me.
6 Q. I believe you generally, as a village guard,
7 would patrol very close to your own homes, so within a
8 village, the patrols would be very local to the
9 particular residences of the members of the guard.
10 Would that be so?
11 A. Yes. Yes, we mostly patrolled that part of
12 the village by the neighbouring houses.
13 Q. Would you say particularly after the
14 separation of the guards, when the Muslims patrolled
15 and the Croats patrolled separately, did you stay very
16 much close to home in your performance of your guard
18 A. To tell you the truth, after the second
19 conflict, from time to time, we were in patrols
20 together. For example, I, Mehmed Podojak, Islam Ahmic,
21 Hadzija -- a neighbour of mine down the road, everybody
22 called him Hadzija. I don't know his real name.
23 Q. I'd like to take you back in time, if I may,
24 to prior to the first conflict or between, let us say,
25 the first and second conflicts: Is it not true that
1 you performed those duties as individual guards of
2 Croats and of Muslims and that you performed those
3 duties close to your homes? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, nearby, that is to say in that
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vrebac. On the 20th of
7 October you have stated you were awoken by an explosion
8 at about 5.00 in the morning; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You stated that you then went to Zume,
11 straightaway; is that correct?
12 A. Not immediately. Not immediately. After
13 some time, when I got dressed, and I stayed there a
14 bit. I don't know, perhaps around 6.00.
15 Q. Around 6.00. Thank you. I believe you
16 stated you went to the house of Mr. Ivica Vidovic.
17 A. No, not into the house.
18 Q. But to the house --
19 A. I simply passed that way.
20 Q. -- the vicinity of the house. Just to
21 clarify for my own understanding, if you would, sir,
22 Mr. Ivica Vidovic and Mr. Ivo Vidovic: They are
23 different people, or they are the same person, just
24 different usage of the name?
25 A. No, these are two persons. Ivo Vidovic --
1 Q. Thank you. I just wanted that clarified.
2 I'm grateful to you. When did you find out about the
3 cause of that conflict on the 20th of October, namely
4 being the Muslim barricade or checkpoint that had been
5 erected on the main road?
6 A. I found out about the cause that day, but I
7 found out a day earlier that the roadblock had been set
8 up, although we didn't really think this would be a
9 special problem.
10 Q. So in fact you knew about the existence of
11 this on the previous day. So when you awoke on the
12 morning of the 20th of October, can you tell us what
13 immediately crossed your mind, having heard that
15 A. My first thought -- well, I really didn't
16 think about anything. I was only afraid when I heard
17 that detonation. Afterwards, perhaps, I did connect
18 this with the erection of the roadblock. But again, I
19 didn't know for sure what was going on, or the rest.
20 Q. At that time, after that explosion, I believe
21 you stated you heard shooting coming from the direction
22 of the Catholic cemetery; is that right?
23 A. Yes, but not immediately. Not immediately
24 after the explosion, but perhaps around 6.30.
25 Q. And by 6.30, where were you?
1 A. I told you a few minutes ago
2 that I got dressed and I went to Zume. I saw this
3 around 6.00. That is to say, I was passing by Ivica
4 Vidovic's house, and I went to this place where there
5 is a natural depression, and around 6.30 this shooting
7 Q. Had you taken a weapon with you when you left
8 your home?
9 A. Yes, yes. I took my M-48 rifle. Its popular
10 name was Tundzara. I already explained what the
11 purpose of this rifle was and who it was owned by.
12 Q. So by 06.30 that morning of October 1992, you
13 had reached that area of depressed land which I believe
14 is not far from the house of Mirko Sakic; is that
15 right, roughly speaking?
16 A. No. No. About 30 to 50 metres away, in that
17 area. That is to say, between the house of Niko Sakic
18 and below Ivo Kupreskic's house.
19 Q. Thank you. At that time then, at about
20 06.30, you started hearing shooting; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say that shooting was coming from the
23 direction of the Catholic cemetery?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How far away from you was the Catholic
1 cemetery at that time? From where you were to the
2 Catholic cemetery, how far?
3 A. As far as I can tell, about 800 metres.
4 Q. About 800 metres. You have given this court
5 a description that from where you were, you described a
6 hail of bullets, that there are bullets flying thick
7 and fast in the area where you were. Is that correct?
8 A. I didn't mention a hail of bullets in that
9 area, I said that when we went to pick up Zoran and
10 Mirjan Kupreskic's family, that is to say, in that
11 area, between their houses and Ivo Kupreskic's house.
12 Q. From the depression where you say you were at
13 that time, how far was it to the houses of Zoran and
14 Mirjan Kupreskic?
15 A. About a hundred metres, I think.
16 Q. So you say that 100 metres away from you, by
17 those houses, you say there was a hail of bullets, the
18 bullets were flying thick and fast. Is that now
20 A. No. No, no, this is not accurate. I said
21 that at the moment when we were going to carry the
22 children of these people, these bullets were flying
23 above our heads. That is to say, in that area. That
24 is to say, we had already picked up the children. That
25 is to say, when the shooting had already started, after
2 Q. How far was it from the houses of Zoran and
3 Mirjan Kupreskic to the area of the Catholic cemetery
4 where the fighting was going on?
5 A. Well, I don't know. I don't have a very good
6 sense of distance, but perhaps about 700 or 800 metres,
7 roughly speaking.
8 Q. So, in point of fact, it would appear, from
9 what you're saying, that when you went to collect those
10 children there were lots of bullets flying around you
11 that emanated from a conflict taking place over half a
12 kilometre -- three-quarters of a kilometre away from
13 you; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, when you went to the houses of Zoran and
16 Mirjan Kupreskic, could you tell me what time that
18 A. Well, just after the shooting started. I
19 don't know how much time would have gone by. Perhaps
20 only five minutes, because we were afraid, because
21 their families were in the houses.
22 Q. So let us say it was sometime shortly after
23 half past six in the morning. Is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it correct that there were shelters at the
1 houses of either Mirko Sakic or one of the Vidovic
2 houses close to that depression where you had been?
3 There were shelters there?
4 A. Yes. Yes. Shelters were in the garage of
5 Niko Sakic, and as one goes from Sakic's house to my
6 house is the house of Niko Vidovic, son of Juko,
7 because there are three Niko Vidovic's in Zume. So
8 this is very important to highlight this. Yes, there
9 were these shelters.
10 Q. Presumably from what you've said about the
11 distances, these shelters would be within a hundred to
12 a hundred and fifty-odd metres from the houses of Zoran
13 and Mirjan Kupreskic. Would that be about right?
14 A. That would be correct in terms of Sakic's
16 Q. To be precise, we will say that the first
17 available shelter would have been at about that
18 distance, is that so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you, in fact, with Zoran and Mirjan
21 Kupreskic, you said that you took their families all
22 the way down to nearby where you live, the house of
23 your sister; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell me, sir, why you, with all these
1 bullets flying around at that time, as you say, why you
2 did not try and seek shelter in the first available
3 safe shelter to be had?
4 A. Well, let me repeat. These bullets were
5 flying around in the area. We had to pass from their
6 house to Ivo Kupreskic's house. Further on there was
7 no danger to us.
8 The reason why we went up to the shelter to
9 my sister's house, was quite simply a question of
10 space, how many people could be accommodated into a
11 certain premises.
12 Q. Did you check the other shelters before
13 moving on down to your sister's house to see how many
14 people were in there?
15 A. At Niko Sakic's there were a lot of people
16 there. There were people from neighbouring houses, and
17 the space is small, so it was a restricted space. Niko
18 Vidovic's house, Juka's, we didn't go to because -- let
19 me explain something to you. Each of us had a place
20 they liked to go to and a place they didn't like to go
21 to, so we would choose places where we would rather go,
22 and so that was probably what they felt in my house,
23 that is to say, my sister's house.
24 Q. So are you saying that, in fact, it was a
25 matter of personal choice, not just a matter of space?
1 A. Space is the first thing we considered, and
2 of course, everybody has the right to choose where he
3 wants to go. The safety of the premises at my sister's
4 house was not brought into question because it was the
5 firmest built house in the locality.
6 Q. Thank you. I will, however, ask you just one
7 question again, and you may answer if you will, sir,
8 with just a "Yes" or a "No". Did you personally check
9 as to any available space in the shelters at Mirko
10 Sakic or Niko Vidovic's houses? Did you check yourself
11 or did you not?
12 A. At Niko Sakic's, yes.
13 Q. Now, after you went down to your sister's
14 house and the families of Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic
15 were delivered into safety, what did you then do?
16 A. We then returned to the depression. We then
17 had put the children in safety and we went back to the
19 Q. Were Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic with you in
20 that depression at that time?
21 A. Yes. The entire time we were together, from
22 the morning, from about 6.30, till the end of the day.
23 Q. Were all of you armed during that period?
24 A. No.
25 Q. -- weapons?
1 A. As far as I remember, only myself and Mirko
2 Sakic had weapons.
3 Q. I think you've referred to the depression as
4 being an area that was to be commonly used as an area
5 to shelter the population in a time of potential
6 danger, but did you have any -- as village guards, did
7 you have any kind of instructions or even understanding
8 of any kind of guard duty you would be performing by
9 being in that location?
10 A. No. There was no guard duty going on there.
11 I would rather put it through a sort of instinct.
12 Instinctively. I don't know how to put it. Probably
13 you can see from the map, if you can see the depression
14 on it. The hill divides -- above the depression
15 divides Ahmici, and the depression, that hill is like a
16 two-storey building, which means it is six to seven
17 metres high, and it instils a feeling of safety.
18 Q. So what you're saying, sir, I believe, is
19 that the depression itself gives -- about six to seven
20 metres deep; is that right?
21 A. Yes, according to my assessment.
22 Q. Very well. How many people sort of turned up
23 at the depression, rather like yourself?
24 A. At that time, with us, there was Mirjan,
25 Zoran Kupreskic, myself, Mirko Sakic, Milutin Vidovic,
1 Dragan Vidovic, Nikica's son Ivica Kupreskic, Niko
2 Sakic, Drago Grgic, Dragan Samija, Mirko Grgic, and
3 Anto Brnada.
4 Q. You're saying to us, sir, that there was no
5 pre-arrangement or instructions regarding people
6 turning up at this depression; is that right?
7 A. No, there wasn't. I mentioned a moment ago
8 the instinct that guided us. We were like bees,
9 behaving like bees. It was warmer there. That is to
10 say, we felt safer being together there. We felt lost,
11 and if we were altogether we found it easier to bear.
12 Q. Very well. So you're saying essentially that
13 the fair number of people that you have named all
14 essentially must have shared an instinct to go directly
15 to that place; is that correct?
16 A. Well, let me tell you. When I say instinct,
17 I don't say a natural instinct. I mean something that
18 has been learnt from previously. I said why that
19 particular spot was so interesting. In the former
20 Yugoslavia was it designated as such.
21 Q. I believe, sir, the firing ceased at
22 something like 16.00 hours, 4.00 in the afternoon; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Well, around 3.00 or 4.00. I can't tell you
25 the exact time, because, first of all, there would be a
1 lull, first of all, and then about 4.00 it ended
3 Q. Up to that time of 4.00, had you caught sight
4 at all of Mr. Ivica Kupreskic?
5 A. Ivica, yes.
6 Q. Whereabouts had you seen him?
7 A. I first saw him in the morning. That is to
8 say, when the shooting started. I saw him in front of
9 his house when we peaked through to see what was
10 happening. I saw him, and Mirjan and Zoran when we
11 went to fetch the children. Then he moved away,
12 because his house is up on the hill. It is exposed.
13 Q. Did you by chance see a Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
14 at all during that day?
15 A. No. I think that Vlatko was in his own
16 house, that he didn't go anywhere. That's my opinion.
17 Q. I believe the house of Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
18 is very close to that of Mr. Zoran and Mr. Mirjan
19 Kupreskic, the houses of Mr. Zoran and Mirjan
20 Kupreskic. Is that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, if we may, sir, move on. After the
23 first conflict on the 20th of October, it seems that
24 the Muslims who had left town came back about three to
25 four days later. Is that so?
1 A. Thereabouts, yes.
2 Q. Prior to that there had been a meeting or
3 meetings to try and resolve some terms whereby they
4 would feel reassured and return to the village of
5 Ahmici; is that so?
6 A. I don't know whether they agreed on terms. I
7 think they agreed on just the way in which people could
8 be convinced to go back, because of course, all the
9 people were terrified.
10 Q. Do you have any idea of what ways were
11 agreed? Do you have any idea of what matters were
12 settled to achieve this?
13 A. I don't know the details, but it was agreed
14 that a trust be returned, because the people were
15 afraid of the conflict, and they wanted to try to
16 convince them to go back to find a formula for this.
17 There was no other way but just for them to try to go
18 back. This was what was done in the end.
19 Q. Do you have any knowledge of who attended the
20 meeting or meetings that resulted in this?
21 A. According to what my father said and as far
22 as I'm able to remember the story that was told
23 afterwards by my father, I think that some of the head
24 people from the Croatian part of the municipality were
25 there, Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak, I think. Some
1 of those prominent individuals from the world of
2 politics. Whereas on the Muslim side, I think that
3 there was Sefkjia Dzidic, and Berbic, I think. I'm not
4 quite sure, because I don't know those people very well
6 Q. To your knowledge, were any of the local
7 people involved, local Croats or Muslims from Ahmici
8 and surrounds?
9 A. Well, yes, all the elderly and prominent
10 individuals, people who had more understanding for
11 things like that. That is to say, people who had more
12 experience through life, quite simply, to put it in
13 simple terms.
14 Q. Do you recall if any members of the Kupreskic
15 family were involved?
16 A. My father told me, yes, that Anto Kupreskic
17 was there.
18 Q. Were you aware of any involvement of
19 Mr. Zoran Kupreskic?
20 A. I know because I heard about it. That is to
21 say, my father told me. Niko Sakic -- there were quite
22 a number of people there. Zoran Kupreskic enjoyed, at
23 the time, great respect in the village.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, you stated that obviously
25 the Muslims returned and a relative calm returned to
1 the area of Ahmici; is that so?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. However, would it be true to say that the
4 tensions between the ethnic communities still remained
5 somewhat high? There were tensions in the air; was
6 that not so?
7 A. I think that there were tensions, that's my
8 opinion, but not with all the people.
9 Q. Now, if I understood your evidence correctly,
10 sir, you stated that there were a number of further
11 alarms or alerts that occurred in the months between
12 the first conflict, in October '92, and the one in
13 April 1993; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell me on how many occasions you
16 recall there being an alert?
17 A. No. I can't remember. Two or three times,
19 Q. Maybe two or three times. On those
20 occasions, do you recall anybody taking to the shelters
21 in and around Zume and Ahmici, Pirici, et cetera?
22 A. Well, yes, it was a normal reaction on the
23 part of the ordinary people.
24 Q. On those two or three occasions, do you
25 recall, what did you do in response to the alarm?
1 A. I went to the warehouse because there wasn't
2 a guard there all the time, but we would take turns,
3 take shifts, when we could, when we had some free time.
4 Q. So on each of those occasions, you went to
5 your warehouse?
6 A. For the most part, yes. Sometimes I didn't
7 even go home because I wasn't married at the time. I
8 was a bachelor. So I went around. I got around. But
9 mostly I would go to the warehouse, yes.
10 Q. Because you have told this Chamber that, on
11 the 20th of October, you followed an immediate instinct
12 to go across to the depression in response to an alarm,
13 and yet you're saying that subsequently when there were
14 alarms your response was very different; isn't that so?
15 A. Well, let me tell you, there's a difference
16 between night and day. It's different when you're
17 thinking about it. You think differently during the
18 night and day. My duties vis-à-vis the warehouse,
19 particularly as my brother was taken prisoner during
20 the first conflict, at Opara, and I didn't have
21 anything to do in the warehouse because it wasn't
23 Q. What time of day or night were these other
24 alarms that you recall then?
25 A. I can't say exactly. Generally, during the
1 night, when people are most afraid.
2 Q. Let's move on, if we may, sir, to April of
3 1993 -- oh, no, I'm sorry, I have one further
4 question, if I may, in respect of the first conflict.
5 You heard the sounds of shooting and so forth. You
6 have not mentioned hearing any other kinds of sounds.
7 You heard no broadcasts or anything of that nature in
8 the course of that day, broadcast of voices in any way,
9 in October?
10 A. No, I just heard from my father's stories.
11 Q. But you certainly, then, heard nothing by way
12 of any kind of message or voice being broadcast over
13 loudspeakers during the warning of October the 20th?
14 Just to be sure about it.
15 A. I was woken up by detonation. What my father
16 told me, according to what he said, that had happened
17 before the detonation.
18 Q. Now, if we may now move forward, as I've
19 said, to the 15th of April. You were now at that point
20 running a cafe in Vitez; that's correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say it was a perfectly normal day for
23 you, normal business?
24 A. Yes, quite normal. Like any other day.
25 Children were going to school. Why wouldn't it have
1 been a normal day?
2 Q. Did anything become a kind of hot item of
3 conversation, you know, an important item of
4 conversation with your customers, in the course of that
5 day? Any particular piece of news?
6 A. No, not that day. We didn't get any special
7 information about anything going on.
8 Q. So on the 15th of April, 1993, you didn't
9 hear, then, about the apparent kidnapping of a Croat
10 military commander by the name of Mr. Totic that
11 occurred in Zenica that day?
12 A. That day I heard this when I came home at
13 about 8.00 p.m. or 9.00 p.m.
14 Q. Now, considering your return home, you've
15 said about 8.00 or 9.00 p.m. Where did you go
16 initially when you came back from Vitez?
17 A. When I came back from Vitez, I've already
18 said that we stayed with our relatives for a little
19 time above the warehouse at Slavko Vrebac's. That's
20 where we stayed. We sat around there for a little
21 time. Iva and Marijan were there. They're my
22 generation, so we had a lot to talk about, so we sat
23 around and chatted for some time.
24 Q. Did you, at any time that evening, call by on
25 Mr. Ivica Kupreskic?
1 A. No.
2 Q. So from the house you have mentioned, of
3 Mr. Slavko Vrebac, you then went to your own home; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were woken up at about half past 5.00 in
7 the morning, I believe -- I'm sorry, no, at 5.00 in the
8 morning of the 16th -- by your father?
9 A. Yes, my father woke me up at about 5.00.
10 Q. On this occasion, at that time there was no
11 firing going on or anything like that, at 5.00; is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On this occasion, you responded, it seems, as
15 you had with the other previous alarms in '93, and you
16 went to your warehouse; is that so?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Just to confirm the times that I've observed
19 from -- this was probably about -- what, about 6.15 you
20 arrived at the warehouse, or shortly after 6.00, and
21 you noticed smoke, pillars of smoke over Ahmici by
22 about 06.15, 06.30; is that about right?
23 A. No, that's not the way I put it.
24 Q. Are those timings accurate, or not?
25 A. Well, look. The shooting started about 5.30
1 in the morning. At that time, I was already in the
2 warehouse, and I was already with a guard who had been
4 Q. I'm just trying to check that I have noted
5 the times correctly, sir. I believe it was between
6 06.00 and 06.15 you and the guard noticed the smoke
7 over Ahmici; is that so?
8 A. Yes, yes, approximately at that time.
9 Q. At about 06.30, you telephoned your brother
10 in Split?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, do you recall, when your father woke
13 you, any information he gave you as to who had alerted
14 him or how he came to know there was a problem or an
16 A. He was awakened by the people who came to the
17 shelter. They were from Krtine Mahala, from that
18 area. They came to ask him for the keys so that they
19 could get in there.
20 Q. I see. Thank you. So that's what alerted
21 your father. He in turn woke you up. Thank you, sir.
22 Now, you then came back from the warehouse
23 and brought some food to the shelter; is that right?
24 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
25 Q. Can you tell me roughly what time that was
1 that you came back down to the shelter?
2 A. Well, I can't say exactly what time it was.
3 Between 9.00 and 10.00. Around 9.00, I think.
4 Q. At 21.00. So we can make it absolutely clear
5 that you had not seen Mirjan or Zoran Kupreskic up to
6 this point of 9.00 on the morning of the 16th of April;
7 is that right?
8 A. No.
9 Q. When you got to the shelter, I presume, sir,
10 that was the shelter at your sister's house; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I believe you said it was at that point that
14 you saw Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic, on the morning of
15 the 16th; is that correct, sir? Or have I made ...
16 A. I took that food. I put it into the
17 shelter. I gave it to the people. When I was leaving
18 my sister's house, I saw them coming in front of the
19 shelter so they could see Mirjan Kupreskic's family.
20 Q. So you encountered them there. Did you or
21 had you up to this point of the day seen Mr. Vlatko
22 Kupreskic at all?
23 A. My father told me that he was there at the
24 shelter, but I didn't see him because I didn't go down
25 into the shelter itself, only into the hallway where
1 the staircase is.
2 Q. So you personally did not have any encounter
3 with Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic to that point on that day?
4 A. Personally, no.
5 Q. Did you see or did you have any kind of
6 contact with Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic subsequent to 9.00?
7 In other words, at any time during the rest of the 16th
8 of April.
9 A. No, I don't know when after that, but not
10 those days.
11 Q. So after that visit to the shelter, you were
12 there at about, you said, sometime after 9.00; what did
13 you do from there? Where did you go from the shelter,
14 having delivered the food?
15 A. Well, as I said, we talked. Mirjan
16 Kupreskic, Zoran, Mirko, and I, we talked about
17 everything that was going on, and then we realised that
18 our friend and a member of our orchestra was killed.
19 What did we do? We cried, in response to all of that.
20 Q. How long do you think, sir, your conversation
21 was with Zoran and Mirjan in the vicinity of the
23 A. I don't know. I don't know. At that time, I
24 don't see who could have measured time. But perhaps
25 half an hour or 45 minutes.
1 Q. Regarding the sad news of your friend being
2 killed, who was it again who gave you that news?
3 A. I was told by Mirjan, Zoran, and Mirko
4 Sakic. They were told by Vidovic Anto, called Satko,
5 who on that day, was with Fahrudin Ahmic's mother, and
6 she had told him about this.
7 Q. Yes.
8 MR. BLAXILL: I don't know if the exhibit is
9 still there, Your Honours. I'd like to refer briefly
10 to D97/2, the last of the maps we've been using. I
11 will say that is the only paper exhibit I have in the
12 course of my cross-examination, Your Honours. There
13 will be no more.
14 Q. Mr. Vrebac, I would be grateful, sir, could
15 you please point out the home of Mr. Fahrudin Ahmic on
16 the map that is on the machine next to you? Would you
17 just point to it with that device?
18 A. Over here in this part of the houses
19 (indicating). I cannot exactly pinpoint the house.
20 Q. Does the mother of your late friend live
21 nearby to his house?
22 A. She lived in the house right by the main
23 road. That's where the mother and the father lived.
24 Q. You heard that she had been encountered by
25 Mr. Anto Vidovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sir, had Mr. Vidovic ever been to that part
3 of the territory, if you like? Did you know that or
4 were you told that?
5 A. Yes, I was told that, that he was with her in
6 Ljuba Vidovic's house, or Alojzije Vidovic's house.
7 I'm the not sure, but Ljuba Vidovic -- let me just show
8 you that house.
9 Q. Yes, if you would, please.
10 A. Here (indicating).
11 Q. It's down there. Is that close to, I
12 believe, a place called the Pican cafe? Is that close
13 to where you pointed to?
14 A. Pican's cafe.
15 Q. Do you recall what time of day Mr. Anto
16 Vidovic was supposed to have met this lady?
17 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know what time.
18 I don't know about those details. I just know that he
19 was with her.
20 Q. You say you obviously received this news
21 somewhere between 9.00 and 10.00 in the morning?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, when you parted company with Mr. Mirjan
24 and Mr. Zoran Kupreskic, again, can you estimate
25 roughly what time that was?
1 A. I said perhaps half an hour after our
2 encounter, 40 minutes afterwards. I don't know. I
3 think I -- I left there. I left my parents' place. I
4 went from the shelter to the warehouse around 10.30,
5 around 10.30.
6 Q. Do you recall where Mr. Mirjan or Mr. Zoran
7 Kupreskic went at that time? Did you see them going
8 any particular direction?
9 A. Yes, yes. They went in the direction of
10 Milutin Vidovic's house, because that's where Zoran's
11 family was. They went in that general direction.
12 Q. Where did you go at that time, sir?
13 A. I went to my parents to see whether they
14 needed anything, and then I went straight to the
16 Q. Did you see Mr. Zoran or Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic
17 at any time during the rest of that day, the 16th of
18 April, 1993?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you have any form of contact with them,
21 perhaps by telephone or anything like that, for the
22 rest of that day?
23 A. No.
24 Q. I believe you stated in your
25 evidence-in-chief here, sir, that on the second day of
1 that event, the 17th of April, 1993, you did not see
2 Zoran or Mirjan Kupreskic at all. Is that right?
3 A. No, not on the second day, only on the third
4 day we met.
5 Q. Yes. I was going to say, sir, yes, the third
6 day. You did, in fact, see Mr. Mirjan and Mr. Zoran
7 Kupreskic. Can you just refresh my memory, sir, as to
8 what time of the day you can say that you saw them?
9 A. As I already said, on the third day of the
10 conflict, sometime around noon. That is to say,
11 sometime around 12.00.
12 Q. Where did you encounter them?
13 A. I did not really encounter them. It would be
14 more accurate to say that I went out looking for them.
15 I went to find them to see what was going on, what was
16 happening. I was curious. I found them behind Niko
17 Sakic's house, in that same depression.
18 Q. Can you recall what they were wearing at the
20 A. Zoran, I think, was only wearing a camouflage
21 shirt, and it was much bigger than what he would need.
22 Mirjan wore civilian clothes. I don't know exactly
23 what they were like. I think he was wearing a brown
24 jacket, but he was wearing civilian clothes, at any
1 Q. Were either of them armed with a weapon at
2 that time?
3 A. Yes. Yes. They both had weapons.
4 Q. Can you describe for us, please, what weapon
5 was in the possession of Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic?
6 A. He had the same kind of rifle as I did, M-48,
7 popularly called Tandzara.
8 Q. What weapon was in the possession of
9 Mr. Zoran Kupreskic?
10 A. He had a smaller gun, a smaller hunting gun.
11 I'm not very knowledgeable as far as hunting guns are
12 concerned. It was a carbine, if that's the right
14 Q. Now, I believe you said that sometime on that
15 day, I believe the third day, some HVO soldiers came
16 and ordered you to go to Barin Gaj. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes. They came into an area between the
18 warehouse and my uncle's house, and we were at my
19 uncle's, that is to say, my other cousins and I, and
20 that is when they took us down there below Barin Gaj.
21 Q. What is it precisely that you had to do
22 there? Were you put into some kind of line, or dug
23 into a trench or something like that? I wasn't quite
24 clear from what you said as to what you had to do
1 A. We had to dig trenches, and we had to set up
2 a defence line. That is to say, we were digging these
3 trenches for ourselves.
4 Q. You stated that then, I think, you had to
5 spend 20 days, 20 further days at that location. Is
6 that right?
7 A. Approximately. I cannot say what the exact
8 date was when I left that place. About 20 days.
9 Q. Were you given time off at all during this
10 duty? Could you go home to sleep at any time? Could
11 you take a break and have some rest, or did you have to
12 stay in that spot continually, 24 hours a day?
13 A. Well, let me tell you that I had a bit of a
14 more privileged position there. The reason for that
15 was that I actually -- I don't know whether this can be
16 translated. I was actually in charge of the warehouse
17 of the company of Trgogrozd, owned by my brother, and
18 there was quite a bit of food over there, so I had to
19 issue this food. I mean, I wanted to too, to give this
20 food out for people who were in shelters, and these
21 people who were on the line with me, et cetera.
22 At the time when I went to get these supplies
23 and to give them to them, I would also take a bath, get
24 some sleep, et cetera, but I cannot say the same as for
25 the others. They were there round the clock.
1 Q. Now, I think you said it was something like
2 the fifteenth day after the initial conflict that you,
3 in fact, drove Zoran and Mirjan's families into Vitez.
4 Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So logically and presumably, you were able to
7 take time off from that line duty to be able to perform
8 that favour?
9 A. I just told you now. The favour that was
10 done at that time to Mirjan and Zoran was to let them
11 leave the line to take care of this, because I said a
12 few minutes ago that everybody was there 24 hours a
13 day, and I already said that I had a bit of a
14 privileged position.
15 Q. So from this answer, you're saying that
16 Mr. Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic, they were in that line
17 with you? That's how it appears in the transcript. I
18 just want to clarify. Were they at Barin Gaj?
19 A. I could not see them, and I did not know
20 exactly where they were those days. They were
21 certainly in that part of the line, but I cannot
22 pinpoint the exact spot and I didn't see them.
23 Q. Right. So in other words, somehow,
24 permission was arranged for all three of you to take
25 the families into Vitez and leave the line to do so?
1 That would seem to be so; yeah?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, after the first day of the conflict, the
4 16th of April, did you see Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic in
5 subsequent days?
6 A. I did see him, but when, on what days, that I
7 do not know. Quite a bit of time has gone by. I saw
8 him somewhere in the area of Zume or somewhere around
9 there, perhaps when I was going home, but when I was at
10 the line, that is to say, sometime after that, I don't
12 Q. I'd just appreciate a moment to confer with
13 my colleagues if I may, Your Honour.
14 Mr. Vrebac, thank you for answering my
16 Your Honours, that concludes the
17 cross-examination. I'm obliged to you.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill. We
19 will now take a break.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
23 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
25 Mr. President.
1 Q. Mr. Vrebac, when you described the first
2 conflict which took place in 1992, you said that there
3 was shooting towards the Kupreskic houses.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know where the shooting was coming
6 from? Did you see the people who were shooting?
7 A. I didn't see the people, nor did I think of
8 looking at that time.
9 Q. Did you, in that part of the village, see any
11 A. No.
12 Q. The bullets that you said were showering,
13 hailing around the house, was it the shooting above the
14 houses, below them?
15 A. How do you mean above or below?
16 Q. How high was this?
17 A. Well, perhaps it was 50 metres high up in the
18 air, but at the time I thought it was just above my
19 head, so I can't really assess the distance. You could
20 see the sound of bullets whizzing past.
21 Q. The direction of the shooting, were you able
22 to determine that or not?
23 A. You mean the direction from which the
24 shooting was coming?
25 Q. Yes, from which the shooting was coming.
1 A. From the area of the cemetery, in that line,
2 but it's difficult to determine, particularly not at
3 that point. I could perhaps reconstruct it and do it
4 that way.
5 Q. So, in fact, you heard the bullets and you
6 saw that bullets were flying around the house?
7 A. Yes, I heard that.
8 Q. Tell us, at that point in time when you were
9 pulling out the children, were the people who were
10 there, the Kupreskics and the children, and those of
11 you who had come to take the children away, were you
13 A. Yes, very much afraid. I would say more for
14 the safety of the children that we were taking with us,
15 because there were two babies. They were up to the age
16 of one. There was little Marko -- and we were afraid
17 for the children, and, of course, for our own safety as
19 Q. You said that the shooting was in the area
20 between the houses of Mirjan Kupreskic and his father,
21 and Ivo Kupreskic. Have I understood that correctly?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This part of Zume, where you passed through,
24 was there any shooting there at all? Could you hear
25 bullets flying by, anything like that?
1 A. No, there was no shooting there, although we
2 could hear -- that is to say, there was the ugly sound
3 of a bullet. I don't know where it could have been
4 fired from, but you could always hear the shooting
5 coming from one spot, and that is the area of the
6 cemetery, from that particular locality.
7 Q. On that day, did you know what was going to
8 happen later on and how the conflict would expand,
9 whether it would expand?
10 A. No. We knew nothing at all, nothing about
11 the conflict or the cause of the conflict. We were not
12 certain whether the cause was the barricade or not, or
13 whether it would expand towards us. I don't know. We
14 were quite simply, totally uninformed, and we weren't
15 terribly inquisitive either, to go around asking
16 people. We just hid where we could and stayed there.
17 Q. Tell us, how many Croats live in Santici and
18 Pirici? Could you give us an estimate, in those two
19 parts of the village which are dominantly Croatian?
20 A. I can't even give a rough estimate. I'm
21 afraid that I'll give quite a wrong figure. I don't
22 know. Let us say about one thousand, one and a half
23 thousand -- I really don't know. I really can't say.
24 I'm not sure.
25 Q. The people that you enumerated having seen on
1 the 20th around the house of Niko Sakic, and you named
2 seven people, I believe -- seven to ten people, I don't
3 know exactly -- tell us, what area were these people
4 from? Where were their houses? We know about the
5 Kupreskics. What about the rest?
6 A. Well, the houses of the others were close by,
7 too, at a maximum distance of 300 metres from there.
8 They were all from the surrounding houses.
9 Q. Did any of these people fire a single bullet
10 on that day?
11 A. No. No. None of those people fired, not at
12 any event. They could not have. Only Mirko Sakic and
13 myself could have fired because we had weapons. The
14 others didn't even have weapons, so they couldn't have
15 fired. It was quite beyond us, the thought of firing.
16 We didn't think of it at all.
17 Q. Did you on that day see any other Croat from
18 Santici and Pirici who might have taken part in the
20 A. No.
21 Q. You also said that Zoran Kupreskic was
22 greatly respected in the village. Tell us whether he
23 was respected only among the Croats or among the
24 Muslims as well.
25 A. No. He was generally respected by the
1 inhabitants of the region. He was very well educated,
2 and he was, in principle, a good man, and that was why
3 people respected him. I know that for a fact, and from
4 what other people have said about him, both the Muslims
5 and the Croats, regardless of ethnicity.
6 Q. The second conflict, in April 1993, do you
7 know when the people left the shelters? Do you know
8 whether they got any information on the second day, of
9 any kind?
10 A. Well, I heard of this in the morning, that is
11 to say, they left on the evening of the second day in
12 the direction of Rovna. However, I did not know at the
13 time that anything was going on. In the morning, when
14 I went to visit my parents, I saw that there was nobody
15 in the shelters, nor were my parents in their house.
16 That is when I realised that.
17 Q. Do you know what information was conveyed to
18 the people in the shelters?
19 A. Well, they were told that the Muslim forces
20 -- in concrete terms the Mujahedeen. That was what the
21 information said -- that they had passed in the area of
22 Recez Creek. It is below the Krtina-Mahala region
23 and goes on up to the first houses in our own village.
24 Q. Apart from the fact that the Croats from
25 Pirici and Ahmici had left, do you know that people
1 from Krtina-Mahala had left as well?
2 A. Yes, people from Krtina-Mahala had also fled
3 because that is the most exposed section of that area.
4 If you look at the area as a whole, that is the most
5 exposed region, the Muslim area, next to them. So they
6 had left as well and went to Rovna.
7 Q. Did the Muslims really break through the line
8 at Krtina-Mahala?
9 A. Afterwards, we learnt that the line had not
10 been broken through, but that there was a strong attack
11 on that portion that evening. Probably it was a
12 reaction on the part of the people who were watching
13 this from the rear, that they had seen some people's
14 sheds set on fire and burning. So probably this was a
15 disinformation, in fact, but it was always good to be
17 Q. Therefore, that information was not true?
18 A. No, it was not.
19 Q. Tell us, you talked about the alarm and the
20 alert. How was this alert sounded? Was there a siren,
21 a sound signal, or were there couriers, or was there a
22 third way in which the alarm or alert was sounded?
23 A. Well, usually there was a sound alert from
24 Vitez, from the police building, I think it was, or
25 perhaps the PTT building, or the fire brigade building,
1 but it was done by means of sound, a sound alert.
2 Q. Was there any information conveyed in other
3 ways apart from this ^ soundtrack?
4 A. Well, I don't know. I don't know who could
5 give out this information. The way in which we -- and
6 I'm here thinking of my family, how we got to know
7 about it -- was that the people came who were looking
8 for shelter and wanted to be put up in the shelters. I
9 can't really tell you anything else about that. I
10 don't know, quite simply. I don't know who could have
11 told them and informed them.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I have no further
14 questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
16 questions for the witness.
17 Mr. Vrebac, thank you for giving your
18 testimony here. You may now be released. Thank you.
19 A. Thank you.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Now, we now have a problem,
21 because we have two more witnesses, and I wonder
22 whether we could get through with at least one of them
24 Do you think, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, that
25 the next one -- you don't have many questions for the
1 next one? Because it would be very awkward, you know,
2 to start the examination or cross-examination and then
3 resume with the re-examination or cross-examination in
4 one week's time. So if we could at least finish one.
5 Do you think it's worth trying?
6 Counsel Radovic?
7 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we're certainly
8 not going to be able to get through two witnesses, and
9 I think it will be difficult to get through one
10 witness, as well. So I fear that one witness will be
11 up for cross-examination, at least. If you feel that
12 it would be better to round off the examination of each
13 individual witness, then it would be a good idea to
14 start the first witness another time so that we have
15 the examination in chief and cross-examination at the
16 same time.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Since we can't afford to
18 waste time, I think we should maybe start with one
19 witness and see whether we may able to finish with
20 one. Thank you.
21 (The witness entered court)
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning,
23 Mrs. Kupreskic. Could you please make the solemn
25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
4 seated. Counsel Radovic?
5 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 WITNESS: ANKICA KUPRESKIC
7 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
8 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, can we start?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, could you please introduce
11 yourself to the Court. Could you please tell the Court
12 your date of birth, the day, month, and year, and also
13 your maiden name?
14 A. I'm Ankica Kupreskic, born Grabovac. I was
15 born in Vitez on the 15th of July, 1957. I'm a
16 catering worker by profession, and I have three sons.
17 Q. And please tell us your current address?
18 A. Petar Svacic street, Vitez.
19 Q. Before you got married, before you married
20 Ivica Kupreskic, could you tell me where you lived?
21 A. I lived in the village of Krcevine, by Vitez.
22 Q. And when did you get married?
23 A. I got married on the 26th of February, 1978.
24 Q. After you got married, where did you go to
1 A. After I got married, we left about seven
2 months later. We went to Kruscica. That is also a
3 suburb of Vitez, and that's where we lived for less
4 than a year. We built a house and then we went back to
5 our house.
6 Q. Where is this house of yours?
7 A. In the village of Pirici, by Ahmici.
8 Q. How many children do you have?
9 A. I have three sons.
10 Q. When you came to live in Pirici, do you
11 remember, in Pirici, who your neighbours were? First,
12 list your Croat neighbours and then list your Muslim
13 neighbours, please.
14 A. Well, there was Mirjan Kupreskic; his father,
15 Anto Kupreskic; my brother-in-law, Josip Kupreskic; my
16 other brother-in-law, Branko Kupreskic; my husband's
17 father, Ivo Kupreskic; and then the neighbour,
18 Vidovic --
19 Q. All right. So those were Croats. Could you
20 give us your Muslim neighbours now?
21 A. The Muslim neighbours were Enver, Sulejman,
22 Zulejha, Sakib --
23 Q. You also have to give us their last names.
24 A. Well, I don't know their last names, not all
25 of them. It's Sakib Ahmic, Sulejman Pezer, Enver Sehic
1 and Zulejha Ahmic. I think that was her last name.
2 Q. Could you please get up for a minute and look
3 at this large aerial photograph of Ahmici? Try to find
4 your own house, please, as well as the houses of your
5 neighbours. Then on a smaller map, or rather on a
6 smaller photograph, we're going to ask you to mark
8 So first of all, please show your own house,
9 and then show the houses of your Croat neighbours, and
10 then show the houses of your Muslim neighbours.
11 You won't be able to manage -- oh, you will.
12 Oh, it's a long wire.
13 When you show something, tell us what it is.
14 All right. So start with your own house. Where was
15 your house?
16 A. This is my house (indicating). This is my
17 house. This is my house. This is Josip's house, my
18 brother-in-law (indicating). This is Zoran Kupreskic's
19 house (indicating). This is the house of Mirjan
20 Kupreskic's father (indicating). This is the warehouse
21 of Vlatko Kupreskic. Up here is Enver's house, and
22 Alaman's house, and up here, Sakib's house
23 (indicating). This is the house of Vlatko Kupreskic
25 Q. All right, please take a seat. Thank you.
1 I would ask the usher now to hand out these
2 aerial photographs, and then we're going to give a copy
3 of this aerial photograph to the witness to put a
4 circle around some of the houses that she spoke of.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document is (inaudible) /1 --
6 MR. RADOVIC:
7 Q. Please take a marker now and put the
8 photograph on the machine next to you.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: The number of the exhibit?
10 THE REGISTRAR: D11/1.
11 MR. RADOVIC:
12 Q. Could you please put the photograph the right
13 way so that we can see it on the ELMO. First put a
14 circle around your own house and mark it with number 1?
15 A. This is my house (marks).
16 Q. Put number 1 next to it, then tell us what
17 you're putting circles around, your neighbours' houses,
18 and say, "This is the house of such and such a person,"
19 and then the next house, mark the next house, number
21 A. This is Josip Kupreskic's house (marks).
22 Q. That's number 2; right?
23 A. On the other side from my house is Zoran
24 Kupreskic's house (marks).
25 Q. All right. Then mark that with a number 3?
1 A. Then Mirjan Kupreskic's house and his
2 father's house (marks).
3 Q. Mark that with the number 4.
4 A. (Marks). Up here is the house of Enver
5 Sahic. He's a Muslim.
6 Q. Mark that with a number 5.
7 A. (Marks). Then Alaman's house is number 6
9 Q. All right. Six.
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Now Sakib Ahmic?
12 A. This is Sakib Ahmic (marks).
13 Q. Number 7?
14 A. And then Vlatko's house (marks).
15 Q. All right. Vlatko's house is number 8. So I
16 don't think we need the other houses. So now we have
17 completed the marking.
18 Now, tell me, often during this trial the
19 names of Ivica and Ivo Kupreskic were mentioned often.
20 Is this one person or are these two persons?
21 A. No, these are two persons.
22 Q. Who is Ivo Kupreskic and who is Ivica
24 A. Ivica Kupreskic is the son of Ivo Kupreskic.
25 Q. So Ivo Kupreskic is your father-in-law; is
1 that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Tell me now, your husband is related to Zoran
4 Kupreskic; right? And, of course, he is related the
5 same way to Mirjan Kupreskic?
6 A. Mirjan and Zoran -- or rather, Mirjan's and
7 Zoran's father and Ivo Kupreskic's father are
9 Q. So they are cousins; right?
10 A. Yes, they are.
11 Q. When you came to live in the village of
12 Pirici, and it's mentioned as Ahmici most of time, did
13 you see the house of Sakib Ahmic?
14 A. Yes, I did. You can see it very well from my
15 house, Sakib's house.
16 Q. I'm sorry, I started the wrong way. I
17 started this question the wrong way. Can you describe
18 the appearance of this house?
19 A. Yes, I can. That is an older house. That is
20 to say, the lower part is -- I mean, it's not a
21 multi-storied building. There are rooms, and there's
22 an upper part. It's a very old house.
23 Q. Tell me, could you see, from your house, the
24 entrance to the lower part of that house?
25 A. Yes, you can see it very well.
1 Q. All right. So then you can see the entrance,
3 A. Yes, I can.
4 Q. Do you know that Sakib Ahmic had a divorce?
5 A. Yes. I heard that he was not living with his
7 Q. Can you say approximately when this
9 A. I don't know. No, no.
10 Q. Did you ever see something from Sakib Ahmic's
11 house, on the basis of which one could conclude that
12 for a certain period of time Sakib Ahmic lived in the
13 basement of his house?
14 A. Yes. Very often we would see him in the
15 garden sitting, walking. He would sit most of the
16 time, alone.
17 Q. In what part?
18 A. In the lower part of the house, in front of
19 the lower part of the house.
20 Q. Can you say for how long this kind of a
21 situation lasted?
22 A. Until I went to Germany, roughly.
23 Q. The day you came back from Germany, where did
24 he live then? Do you know or do you not know?
25 A. I do not know.
1 Q. Since we've been speaking about kinship,
2 could you tell me how are Branko and Josip Kupreskic
3 related to your husband, because their houses are there
4 too, if I understood you correctly?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. So who is Branko Kupreskic? How is he
7 related to him?
8 A. He is his brother.
9 Q. And Josip Kupreskic?
10 A. Josip Kupreskic is also his brother.
11 Q. And tell me, did Ivica have any brothers, at
12 that time, who worked in Germany, or any other kind of
14 A. Yes. Ivica had a brother called Branko
15 Kupreskic who lived in Germany, and who has been there
16 for the past 17 years, and who had opened a
17 restaurant. And another brother, in 1992, in
18 mid-February, went there. That's Josip. He went to
19 work as a cook for him.
20 Q. What about yourself, did you go to Germany at
21 some point in time?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. When did you go?
24 A. I went, my husband, my three children, and I
25 and also two children of my brother's -- or of my
1 husband's brother, Josip, went there. We went to stay
2 with Branko.
3 Q. When was this?
4 A. On the 30th of March, 1992.
5 Q. Could you please tell the Court why you went
6 together, all together, why you all went to Germany?
7 A. We went because of the Serb aggression
8 towards Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Tell me, in Germany, did you stay in Germany
10 on a tourist visa. Was this a tourist visit or did you
11 legalise your stay in Germany?
12 A. I went there and I was listed as a refugee,
13 and I got that kind of a visa.
14 MR. RADOVIC: I would like to ask the usher
15 to hand these documents out.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document D12/1.
17 MR. RADOVIC:
18 Q. You've just had a look at this document. So
19 could you tell me please if this is a photocopy of your
21 A. Yes, it is. This is my passport, a
23 Q. Now, please look at the part where the German
24 visas are, and could you explain for how long these
25 visas were valid?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters
2 please have a copy on the ELMO?
3 A. My last reporting was supposed to have taken
4 place on the 13th of March, 1993, and that is when I
5 was supposed to go there for an extension of this
6 duldung visa, which is exactly what I did. On the 13th
7 I extended it, although I said that I was going home.
8 They didn't want to interrupt this duldung visa because
9 we were under their control, under their supervision,
10 and they didn't want to take any responsibility for our
11 departure to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 MR. RADOVIC:
13 Q. Could you please tell us what this visa
14 means, the one you mentioned? What kind of visa is
16 A. It is the duldung visa. It gives you refugee
18 Q. Did this status give you any material
19 security in the Federal Republic of Germany?
20 A. Yes, it did.
21 Q. What did this consist of, this material
23 A. Well, when we went to get this duldung visa
24 at the appropriate office, we went to the social
25 security people, and then on the basis of this duldung
1 visa we got social security every month.
2 Q. Tell me, did your husband go back to Vitez at
3 the same time when you did or at a different point in
5 A. No. My husband took a plane back on the 13th
6 of March, 1993. He took a return ticket. Our car was
7 with me. Ivica came there.
8 Q. All right. But what did you say? You first
9 said that you (sic) went there with you?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. Now I am asking you what --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel is overlapping the
14 A. He first returned in mid-June. Ivica
15 returned in mid-June with cars full of humanitarian aid
16 for Bosnia.
17 MR. RADOVIC:
18 Q. Tell me, why did he return on his own without
19 you and the children?
20 A. Well, he returned because certain persons
21 threatened to blow up our house.
22 Q. Why was that?
23 A. Because he was supposed to be where everybody
25 Q. Do you recall the exact date when he returned
1 on his own?
2 A. The 13th of June, 1992. That was first time
3 that he returned on his own.
4 Q. When did your children return?
5 A. The children returned with my husband. My
6 husband took an aeroplane on the 13th of March, 1993,
7 he came on plane, and then we agreed that the children
8 and I could not stay on there anymore, and that they
9 missed their home and their father, and that they were
10 fed up, generally speaking, and we thought that there
11 weren't any problems in Vitez, as there weren't, that
12 his company was still working, and we agreed that Ivica
13 should go back with the car that I had already with me
14 in Germany, and that I'd take care of this duldung visa
15 on the 13th of March, 1993, and that I take a return
16 ticket and go back to stay with my husband Ivica.
17 Q. When you agreed that you and the children,
18 separately, in all fairness, returned to Vitez, did
19 your husband tell you that this was dangerous for any
21 A. No, no, he did not.
22 Q. What did he tell you then? How would he
23 describe the situation in Vitez then?
24 A. He said that it was normal, that the children
25 were going to school, the people were going to work,
1 that our company was working normally.
2 Q. So if I understood you correctly, when your
3 husband visited on the 13th of April, 1993, he did not
4 tell you in any way that he knew of any kind of
5 imminent threat or danger?
6 A. No, no, no.
7 Q. On the contrary. I think that he told you
8 that the situation was peaceful and that you could come
9 back. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you left Germany in which way? Which
12 means of transportation did you take? On what date, on
13 what airline?
14 A. I left Germany on the 14th of April, 1993.
15 My brother-in-law, Branko Kupreskic, took me to the
16 airport in Dusseldorf, by car. I was going back, and I
17 had a return ticket of my husband, Ivica, and the plane
18 left at 6.00 p.m., and we flew to Zagreb and Split. I
19 arrived in Split at around 9.30 p.m.
20 Q. And tell me, when you came to Split did
21 somebody meet you there or did you set out for Vitez on
22 your own?
23 A. I was met by my husband, Ivica, and by Vlatko
25 Q. After having said hello to him, of course,
1 how did you continue your voyage? Did you go straight
2 to Vitez or did you stop at some point?
3 A. They came in a Yugo 45 passenger car, and we
4 left the airport and went to Baska Voda.
5 Q. Sorry. You said a Yugo 45. What's a Yugo
7 A. It's a car.
8 Q. It's the make of a car; is that right?
9 A. Yes, yes. That's right.
10 Q. All right. It's important to say what this
11 is because it's not really a famous car, so it's not
12 that everybody in the courtroom has to know about it.
13 I apologise for interrupting and please continue.
14 A. We took the car and went to Baska Voda, and
15 then we spent the night at Vladislav Simic's place.
16 Q. Who spent the night at Mr. Simic's please?
17 A. I did; my husband, Ivica; and Vlatko
19 Q. All right. Then what happened?
20 A. Well, we sat there, we had some coffee, we
21 chatted, and then we went to bed.
22 Q. When did you continue your journey?
23 A. Around 6.00. We packed our things and went
24 to Vitez.
25 Q. Could you tell me which road you took to
2 A. Vrgorac, Capljina, Tomislavgrad, Vran,
3 Sebesic, Opara, Novi Travnik, Vitez and then we came
5 Q. On the way did you have any unpleasantness?
6 A. Well, yes. At Sebesici we were stopped by
7 soldiers and they didn't let's us pass. We said we
8 were going home, and I said that I had been in Germany
9 and that I have three children at home, and they said
10 that they didn't want to be held responsible for us if
11 anything happened to us. Then we continued.
12 Q. Tell me the discussion with the soldiers that
13 stopped you. Did you talk to them or your husband?
14 A. No. My husband talked to them.
15 Q. Well, if I understood you correctly, then he
16 would be able to give more detail of that talk than
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The towns you enumerated, will you tell us
20 which towns are in Croatia, which are in Bosnia, and
21 which are in Herzegovina, if any of them are there?
22 A. I didn't understand your question.
23 Q. You told us the route you took to Vitez, and
24 you enumerated certain towns. Would you try and tell
25 us a bit about geography and tell us which of these
1 towns are in Croatia, which are in Herzegovina, and
2 which are in Bosnia?
3 A. Well, Baska Voda, where we spent the night,
4 is in Croatia. We went by Vrgorac.
5 Q. And where is Vrgorac?
6 A. It is in Croatia.
7 Q. Please continue.
8 A. Then we crossed into Bosnia-Herzegovina, went
9 to Capljina.
10 Q. Capljina is a part called Herzegovina; is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes, it is. Then we continued on towards
14 Q. Where is Tomislavgrad?
15 A. That's also Herzegovina. Then we continued
16 our journey to Vran, Vran-Planina, Mount Vran. It was
17 a macadamised road surface. There was a lot of mud and
18 it was a very unpleasant drive, but we, nonetheless,
19 continued our journey and went across Vrana and then
20 down to Gornji Vakuf?
21 A. That is Bosnia; is it not?
22 A. Yes it is Bosnia. Across Vakuf, Sebesic to
23 Novi Travnik and Vitez.
24 Q. Tell us did you take the shortest route from
25 Split to Vitez or is this a longer route?
1 A. Well, this is longer than the normal route,
2 and it is a byroad.
3 Q. Can you give us a comparison? Is it double
4 the route going that way? Or --
5 A. Yes, I think, more than double. Over 400
6 kilometres if you take that route, the route we took.
7 Q. Otherwise how far is it?
8 A. Vitez/Split is about 210 kilometres going the
9 more direct route.
10 Q. Tell me, did your husband explain to you why
11 you were using this by-route?
12 A. No, he did not ask me and he didn't explain
14 Q. Now you arrived in Vitez. What was the date
15 that you arrived in Vitez?
16 A. I arrived in Vitez on the 15th of April,
18 Q. At what time?
19 A. At 6:30 p.m.
20 Q. When you arrived in Vitez, where did you go
22 A. I first went, quite normally, to my house,
23 and we took our luggage out there. I said hello to
24 Ivica's father, to my aunt, to my children and with
25 Gordana Vidovic as well. She had come to get some
1 water for just a minute because they had no water and
2 so she came to get some water and returned home.
3 Q. Tell me what about your mother. Did you go
4 to visit your mother?
5 A. Yes, we did. We just unloaded our luggage
6 and I said hello to my children and my mother-in-law
7 and then we went to my mother's house. They knew that
8 I was coming. There were my two brothers there, two
9 sisters there, and their children were there.
10 Q. How many brothers have you got?
11 A. I had three brothers.
12 Q. At that time you had three brothers; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How come only two of your brothers greeted
17 A. When I came we had a cup of coffee to drink,
18 and I said, "Where's Karlo?"
19 Q. You mean your third brother?
20 A. Yes. Karlo is my third brother. They
21 couldn't tell me where he was. It was only later, when
22 I returned home, that the telephone rang, and it was my
23 brother Karlo ringing up. I asked him why he wasn't in
24 the house, because he knew that I was coming, and he
25 said, "Doesn't matter, sister. We'll see each other
1 tomorrow." I was at the 2S (phoen) cafe, owned by a
2 Muslim named Osman, and it is in a part of Vitez known
3 as the Mahala.
4 Q. That is the Muslim part, is it not?
5 A. Yes, it is a Muslim cafe. That is to say the
6 owner of the 2S cafe is a Muslim by the name of
7 Osman, and he was in the cafe with friends.
8 Q. The next day, did you see Karlo? And what
9 was the fate of your brother? Could you tell the Court
10 about that? I know it is very difficult for you. He
11 was your youngest brother, was he not?
12 A. Yes, he was my youngest brother. While we
13 talked, he said, "There's no problem, sis, we'll see
14 each other tomorrow." But that never came to pass. It
15 never happened because my brother, on the fourth day,
16 that is to say the 19th of March, no, the 19th of
17 April; I beg your pardon. On the 19th of April, he
18 lost his life when a shell hit and some of the shrapnel
19 hit him here (indicating), in this part of the brain.
20 He was wounded and that's where it lodged. That's what
21 happened. My oldest brother transported him to Vitez,
22 to the emergency centre there. He spent the entire
23 night there because they were not able to transport him
24 to Travnik because there was shooting.
25 The next day, in the morning, Karlo was
1 transported to Travnik by UNPROFOR. He spent two days
2 lying in Travnik in a coma. They didn't do anything to
3 him. Two days later, UNPROFOR transported Karlo to
4 Zenica. In Zenica, he was lying in bed in Zenica for a
5 few days and was operated by Ivo Blajic several days
7 Q. The doctor was a Croat, was he not?
8 A. Yes. His name was Ivo Blajic. All the
9 telephone conversations were between the Zenica
10 hospital and the ambulance service in Vitez. Several
11 days after Karlo's operation, Ivo Blajic, Dr. Ivo
12 Blajic, called and said that it was not a good idea for
13 Karlo to stay in the hospital because somebody could
14 enter his room and take away the apparatus that had
15 been tied to him, that it wasn't a good idea for him to
16 stay there. UNPROFOR once again took Karlo from the
17 Zenica hospital and transferred him to Split, in
19 I beg your pardon.
20 Karlo was in Split until the 8th of June,
21 when he died. He died on the 49th day. He was in a
22 refrigerator for two weeks because the town of Split
23 did not allow him to be buried at the Lovrinac
24 cemetery. It was impossible for him to be transported,
25 his body to be transported to Vitez, because the Lasva
1 Valley and the town of Vitez were in a total
2 encirclement by the Muslims.
3 Q. So when did you bury him, ultimately?
4 A. Two weeks later.
5 Q. I mean in Vitez, when did you bury him in
7 A. Can I say what I want to say?
8 Q. Yes, go ahead. I apologise for interrupting?
9 A. Two weeks later, Karlo was buried in
10 Tomislavgrad. That was where he was. He was buried in
11 the presence of several locals, and a clergy man. His
12 mother wasn't there, his sisters and brothers weren't
13 there. Last year, that is to say 1998, at the
14 beginning of April, we transferred Karlo's body to
15 Vitez and let me just add that we didn't know where
16 Karlo was buried until after the war, until Karlo
17 Vrebac from Vitez came and he was in Split at the time,
18 and that's when we learned where Karlo had been
19 buried. In the summer of 1994, we started out to Split
20 to find our brother's burial site.
21 Q. Let us go back to the 15th of April when you
22 returned to Vitez. So you visited your mother and your
23 brothers, and I suppose you went back to your house
24 after that; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So we can carry on with events in your own
2 house, but before you continue to tell us about that,
3 can you continue, do you need a little time to recover?
4 A. Yes, you can continue. Thank you.
5 Q. Before I ask you what happened in your own
6 house, I'm going to ask you about a Bosnian custom that
7 you have, the customs in Bosnia. Before a friend comes
8 to visit a friend, or a godfather, or a cousin, is it
9 usual to ring up first and say, can I come and visit
10 you today say at 2205 hundred hours or can you come any
11 time and your welcome with open arms?
12 A. No. Nobody has to ring up. You can come in
13 any time. Everybody is welcome at all times, and is
14 always made to feel welcome.
15 Q. So you don't have to be announced earlier?
16 A. No, you don't answer --
17 Q. Just to clear up the differences in certain
18 cultures and customs. Now you can go on to tell us who
19 visited you and what happened in your own house after
20 you had settled in on the 15th of April.
21 A. I spent very little time at my mother's place
22 and I went back to my own house where I found Mirko
23 Sakic, and Miroslav Pudza. Then three refugees came,
24 Marica Manda, and their mother-in-law Luca. So people
25 would turn up and leave. They were not all there at
1 the same time. One batch of people would arrive,
2 others would leave. There would be a general coming
3 and going. Zoran Kupreskic and his wife Mira turned up
4 for a very brief visit just to say hello and then they
5 went straight back home because they had guests at
6 their own house.
7 Q. Did they tell you who was at their house?
8 A. Yes, Gordana Vidovic had come visiting to
9 their place. Then Mirjan Kupreskic arrived with his
10 wife, Ljubica. There was Miroslav Pudza, Mira Vidovic,
11 Franjo's boy; Ljubica Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic's
12 wife. Vlatko wasn't there because we had come
13 together. There was Vlatko's mother, Marica, and also
14 Mirjan's and Zoran's mother. She was there too.
15 Q. So that would be more or less who was there;
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, why is this important? It is important
19 for you to enumerate all these people because it is
20 that, one of the witnesses talked about people who were
21 in your house and enumerated only men, so one would
22 have concluded that only men had come to visit your
24 A. Well, there were more men, but they had come
25 to joke with my husband and said, "Well, we've come to
1 see you," because he was recently married.
2 Q. Did you serve your guests anything?
3 A. Yes, I made some coffee. I offered them some
4 drink and little assortments to go with the drinks.
5 Q. What did you discuss on the occasion? Were
6 you in the room all the time? Tell us the topics you
8 A. Well, generally they asked me what it was
9 like in Germany, and because most of the people that
10 were there had never been to Germany. They asked me
11 what was life like in Germany, and how Branko's
12 children were, and how my husband and I were finding
13 life there, and so on. I asked them what had been
14 going on in my absence. So for the most part, that was
15 what we discussed.
16 Q. Were they interested in your journey from
17 Split to Vitez?
18 A. Yes, this interested them a great deal about
19 how we had arrived because, already at that time, there
20 were some checkpoints along the way, especially
21 Vran-Planina, Mt. Vran. That is to say, very rarely
22 did people go that way, take that route. So we talked
23 about our journey home.
24 Q. Now, tell us, please, when did you go to bed,
25 approximately? What time?
1 A. The guests dispersed at about midnight. I
2 cleared up, I washed the dishes, I had a shower, I went
3 to bed.
4 Q. How did you wake up, and why? What was that
5 like, your waking moments?
6 A. In the morning, a little after 4.00 a.m., I
7 was woken up by my husband, Ivica. He said that
8 something was wrong, and that I should get up. I said
9 that I didn't want to get up, that I hadn't had enough
10 sleep, and that I had just come to my own bed after a
11 year's absence and that I wanted to go on sleeping. He
12 shouted at me and said that I had to get up to get the
13 children ready, to get myself ready, to get some things
14 together, and that we had to escape from there.
15 Q. Did he explain why?
16 A. No, he didn't. He didn't say why. He told
17 me that something was wrong, and that we had to go to a
19 Q. What did you do then?
20 A. Well, I got up, I woke the children, we got
21 ready, I took some clothes with us and some food,
22 packed some clothes and food, and we left to the
23 shelter a little before 5.00 a.m. It was about 5 to
25 Q. Which shelter did you, in fact, go to?
1 A. We went to the shelter at Drevceva's (phoen)
2 houses. It's the shelter belonging to Dragan and
3 Jelena Trajanovski. That's where the shelter was.
4 MR. RADOVIC: I should now like to ask the
5 usher's assistance to hand out the next document.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
8 MR. RADOVIC: One more I know, but I need --
9 I shall give after my questions. Sorry.
10 Yes, I have. I have, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
12 MR. RADOVIC:
13 Q. Now please have a look at this photo file,
14 and could you please describe what you see on picture
15 number 1.
16 A. Picture number 1, I see the house where
17 Dragan and Jelina Trajanovski's shelter is.
18 Q. You are one of the very few persons using the
19 word "Trajanovski." I imagine that he is a Macedonian,
20 judging by his last name; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You're actually talking about Jozo Vrebac's
23 house, are you?
24 A. Yes, Jozo Vrebac or Jelina. Jelina is the
25 daughter of Jozo Vrebac, and she got married to Dragan
2 Q. All right. So it's the same building when
3 we're talking about the Trajanovskis' shelter. It is
4 actually the same building that people who say that
5 it's the Vrebacs' shelter. So we're trying to clarify
6 this so that we know that it's not two different
7 shelters but one. Please look at photograph number 2.
8 Please describe picture number 2.
9 A. At the entrance. This is the main door. The
10 entrance to the house. On the right-hand side you go
11 down into the shelter, to the basement.
12 Q. Could you tell us whether this basement was
13 underground or what did it look like?
14 A. Yes, it was underground, and there was
15 perhaps, I don't know, half a metre was above the
16 ground and all the rest was underground, and I know
17 that because of two small windows that were there.
18 Q. Could you please describe photograph number
20 A. This is the very entrance now, the very
21 entrance into the shelter.
22 Q. Picture number 4?
23 A. This is the shelter. This is the area that
24 we were in.
25 Q. Picture number 5.
1 A. The same thing. The same. The same area
2 that we were in, where there was a bed, a mattress,
3 where the few elderly and sickly people could lie and
5 Q. Now, picture number 6, please.
6 A. The same, the same shelter.
7 Q. Picture number 7?
8 A. The same thing. It's the shelter.
9 Q. Since this photo file was made much later, I
10 mean, after you were there, can you tell me, on the
11 basis of what you remember about this area and what
12 you've just seen on the photographs, whether there have
13 been any changes made in the meantime, or was it the
14 same in this basement?
15 A. Well, these sofas weren't there. There
16 weren't any beds. There was just one mattress that was
17 on the floor. Not these mattresses and sofas that we
18 saw here. It wasn't there when we were there.
19 Q. Were there any other changes?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Can you tell us how many rooms there were
22 altogether downstairs in that basement?
23 A. I didn't really look. I was in this main
24 room where we all were, and also, there was a small
25 niche where there was a mattress, where the elderly
1 people would take turns so they could lie down.
2 Q. So there was more than one room?
3 A. I don't know. I don't know. I just know
4 about this one room. It was dark, there was no
6 Q. When you came to this shelter, were there any
7 people there already? Were there a lot of people
9 A. No. There weren't a lot of people there.
10 There was only a few because I was one of the first to
11 arrive. My three sons and I were among the first to
13 Q. Did your husband go with you?
14 A. Yes. My husband went with me up to the house
15 of Ivica Vidovic, nicknamed Jevco.
16 Q. And then?
17 A. And then Ivica came back to wake up these
18 refugees, Marica Manda and their mother-in-law Luca.
19 Q. Do you know their last name?
20 A. Yes, Didak.
21 Q. They were refugees from where?
22 A. From the village of Didaci above Turbe. They
23 lived in Branko Kupreskic's house, the brother of
24 Ivica, and he lived in Germany.
25 Q. So now you reached the shelter. Could you
1 tell me who else came to this shelter, and in which
2 order, if you remember this, because nobody asked you
3 to tell us anything that you don't remember.
4 A. I remember. When I arrived, there were a few
5 people there, a few women and children. Very shortly
6 afterwards Mirjan Kupreskic arrived.
7 Q. Alone or with someone?
8 A. In a wheelbarrow he had his mother-in-law.
9 His wife, Ljubica Kupreskic was walking behind him,
10 carrying two small children.
11 Q. Just a minute. Did any of them remain in
12 this shelter that you were in?
13 A. Yes. Ljubica Kupreskic with her two children
14 and her mother.
15 Q. They remained in this same shelter?
16 A. Yes. They remained in this same shelter, and
17 they put her mother on that mattress in that niche that
18 was there. She was very sick. She couldn't walk.
19 Q. Can you tell us what was the time when you
20 first arrived in that shelter?
21 A. Well, ten past five, quarter pass five,
23 Q. Can you tell us approximately when Mirjan
24 arrived with his wife and children?
25 A. Mirjan arrived soon after I did. This was
1 approximately five or ten minutes later.
2 Q. Five or ten minutes; right?
3 A. Yes, five to ten minutes.
4 Q. Could you tell me whether any other
5 acquaintances of yours came to the basement?
6 A. Yes. Gordana Vidovic came; her mother, Milka
7 Vidovic; Dragica Omazic with her two children. Then
8 Andza Livancic, her husband Marko Livancic; Ivo
9 Vidovic; Mila Vidovic; Nevenka Marijanovic with three
10 children; Brankica Papic with two children.
11 Q. All of them were in this one same room that
12 you were talking about?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you tell me approximately how big that
15 room was? Could you perhaps express this in square
17 A. It was a small room. It wasn't big.
18 Q. Can you give us a rough estimate or not?
19 A. I can't. I can't. It wasn't big. No, no, I
20 can't really tell.
21 Q. At the time when you came to this room, was
22 there any reason for you to be terrified by anything
23 you heard or saw?
24 A. Yes, yes. There was a lot of shooting and
25 there were strong detonations.
1 Q. When you arrived?
2 A. I didn't understand what you asked me.
3 Q. Listen to me carefully. I'm asking you --
4 well, okay. You mentioned shootings and detonation,
5 but as you were walking along the road from your house
6 to Jozo Vrebac's house, did the shooting start already
8 A. I didn't hear anything.
9 Q. When you were in the shelter did the shooting
10 start then?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, how did these people who sought shelter
13 react to the sound of shooting?
14 A. I didn't understand your question.
15 Q. How did the people in that shelter react when
16 they heard shooting outside?
17 A. It was awful. There were only a few men
18 there. It was all women, children, and old people. It
19 was dreadful. The women were panicked, and the
20 children were crying, naturally.
21 Q. Did you receive any information within the
22 shelter as to what was going on outside the shelter?
23 A. No. No, I did not have any information.
24 Q. Did you talk about it as to what it might
25 have been or was it just guesswork?
1 A. Well, it was guesswork. At that moment, we
2 were so frightened and we were so terrified. We all
3 turned to our children to pacify them.
4 Q. Then tell me, how long did you stay in this
6 A. I was in that shelter until the 17th of
7 April, 1993, in the evening, until about 6.30 p.m.
8 Q. Then when did you leave this shelter and
9 where did you go to?
10 A. Then they told us that the Muslims, the
11 Mujahedeen, had barged into Krtina-Mahala, and many
12 women and children down there were running. They were
13 crying and screaming, and they were barefoot and they
14 hardly had any clothes on. They ran up to us, and all
15 these people who ran out of Krtina-Mahala were
16 evacuated to Donja Rovna.
17 Q. So you were there until the evening of the
18 second day; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So now let's go back to the events in this
21 shelter at Jozo Vrebac's place. It's easier for me to
22 also call it "Jozo Vrebac's place," so we're going to
23 call the shelter that from now on.
24 Did your husband, Ivica, show up during the
25 day at this shelter?
1 A. Yes, he did. Ivica came sometime in the
2 afternoon on the 16th. He brought in food. He brought
3 in food for me and the children.
4 Q. Only for you or for others?
5 A. Well, to all of us, of course. We didn't eat
6 it on our own. We shared the food.
7 Q. Did he come only once or did he come a few
8 more times?
9 A. Yes, he came in the evening too with Ivica
10 and Mirjan Kupreskic.
11 Q. Tell me, since you mentioned that Mirjan came
12 too, do you remember how many times he came, and can
13 you tell us the time when he came?
14 A. He came when Ivica brought us lunch. That
15 was in the afternoon, around 2.00. And Mirjan was with
16 Ivica, and also in the evening they came.
17 Q. Did Zoran come too?
18 A. Yes, Zoran did too, and Mirko Sakic.
19 Q. Tell me, did Zoran come alone or with
20 Mirjan? I mean, did Mirjan and Zoran come separately
21 or together, or do you not simply recall?
22 A. On one occasion they came together, both
23 Mirjan and Zoran, and Mirko Sakic.
24 Q. Tell me, when Mirjan came to this shelter,
25 why did he come?
1 A. He came to bring food to his wife as well.
2 Then his son Marko, who was very young at the time, he
3 was just over a year old, he was ill, he had a high
4 fever, and he came to see his son, to see his wife.
5 Q. Tell me, why did Zoran come?
6 A. Well, Zoran came also to see us, and Zoran's
7 wife was -- well, we were nearby. She was in Milutin
8 Vidovic's house. So he went to see Mira Kupreskic at
9 Milutin's, and then he would continue and see us
10 because it wasn't far away.
11 Q. Tell me, what is the distance between the
12 Vrebac shelter and Milutin Vidovic's shelter, I mean,
13 as the crow flies?
14 A. I wouldn't know.
15 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I believe this
16 would be a good time to take a break, and then we can
17 continue after the break.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we will take a
20 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
21 --- Upon resuming at 12.30 p.m.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
23 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you.
24 Q. May we continue?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell us whether you know what shelter the
2 parents of Zoran and Mirjan were in.
3 A. They were in the shelter I was in.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't
5 catch the name.
6 MR. RADOVIC:
7 Q. Would you try and enumerate all the people
8 who were with you, but slowly, please, so that -- for
9 the purposes of the record.
10 A. Vlatko Kupreskic was there, with his wife and
11 two children and his mother. Ljubica Kupreskic was
12 there, Mirjan Kupreskic's wife, with her two children
13 and her mother. I was there with my three children.
14 Gordana Vidovic and her mother. Dragica Omazic, with
15 her two children. Marko Livancic, Landza Livancic,
16 Anto Vidovic, Jela Vidovic, Slavica Vidovic, Ivo
17 Vidovic, Milan Vidovic; Nevenka Marjanovic, with her
18 three children; Papic Brankica, with two children; and
19 Papic Lucija, with her five children. Then there was
20 Marko Santic, Lucka Santic, Zeljka Santic, with one
21 child; Gordana Santic, with two children; Nevenka
22 Santic, with two children; Lucija Santic, also with two
23 children; Ana Santic; Jozo Vrebac; and Andja Vrebac.
24 Q. That would be all?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When you saw Mirjan Kupreskic on that day, do
2 you remember what he was wearing, perhaps?
3 A. Mirjan Santic?
4 Q. No, I'm asking about Mirjan Kupreskic.
5 A. Mirjan Kupreskic; I beg your pardon. Mirjan
6 Kupreskic was wearing a sort of brown jacket, and he
7 had some long socks, woollen socks. That was
8 particularly noticeable.
9 Q. Do you mean civilian clothing, or military?
10 A. No, he had civilian clothing.
11 Q. Do you remember what Zoran was wearing?
12 A. Zoran had civilian pants and a camouflage
14 Q. On that first day, the day you went to the
15 shelter and heard the shooting --
16 A. Yes, that whole day was terrible.
17 Q. -- could you assess where the shooting was
18 coming from? If you could, you could. If you
19 couldn't, you couldn't.
20 A. In the shelter we were not able to say where
21 it was coming from. All we heard was loud shots and
23 Q. Tell us, was there shooting on the second
25 A. Yes, there was shooting on the second day as
2 Q. Can you, on this map of Ahmici, show us the
3 route you took when you went to Rovna on the second
5 A. Yes, I can.
6 Q. Well, then, please do so.
7 A. This is the shelter, the house I was in
8 (indicating). Then we went along this route. That was
9 a local road. Then we got up on to the main road here
10 (indicating), went left, and once again went right, on
11 to a local road, towards Donja Rovna. Across the old
12 railway line, across Lasva -- Radak's Bridge. That's
13 where I went, to Pero Santic's place.
14 Q. Thank you. You can sit down again.
15 Did anybody else of your family go to Pero
16 Santic's house, your broader family?
17 A. Yes. While we were going along that road, my
18 children, my eldest son, Dragan, who was 14 at the
19 time, carried his seven-year-old brother. I led my
20 father-in-law, who was very ill. He was born in 1925.
21 My middle son had with him -- was carrying some food
22 and clothing. My 14-year-old son was crying. He
23 called Ljubica Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic's wife. He
24 called out to her because she had two small children
25 and an ill mother that she was taking in a
1 wheelbarrow. We were not able to hear or see one
2 another. Dragan was crying.
3 We came to Pero Santic's house, and my eldest
4 son, the 14-year-old, was crying, and then he returned
5 under the hail of gunfire. He went back to look for
6 Ljubica Kupreskic, Mirjan's wife. He found them
7 amongst the mass of people. He took her mother, which
8 she had been taking in a wheelbarrow, and brought her
9 there, then went back again to help her with the
10 children because, as I've already said, the little boy,
11 Marko, who was a little over 1, was very ill at the
12 time. So he came back to Pero Santic's house with
14 Q. How long did you stay in Rovna?
15 A. I stayed about ten days.
16 Q. When you returned, which route -- where did
17 you go to?
18 A. From Rovna, I went to Kristo Niko's place. I
19 spent several days there. I was not able to stay there
20 any longer, so I returned to my own house after that.
21 Q. This house there, your house?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. While you were in the shelters, did you know
24 what was happening around you? Or did you know nothing
25 except for hearing the shooting?
1 A. Well, we guessed at what was going on, but we
2 didn't actually know. We just heard the strong
3 detonations and shooting and things like that.
4 Q. When you went to Rovna, did you know what had
5 happened after you had left? That is, who remained
6 after you? Did you know them?
7 A. No.
8 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
9 have completed my questioning.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much, Counsel
11 Radovic. I wonder whether there is any
12 cross-examination by other Defence counsel?
13 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, none of the
14 other counsel intends asking any questions.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier?
16 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
18 Q. Good afternoon, Madam. My name is Franck
19 Terrier. I'm one of the Prosecution attorneys. As you
20 were told, I'm going to ask you some questions
21 following your testimony.
22 You described to us your family, and you told
23 us that you have three sons. I believe that you said
24 that the oldest one was 14 years old at that time, that
25 is, 1993; that one of the other of your children was 7
1 years old. How old was the third one?
2 A. The third child was 13 years old. My middle
3 son was 13 years old.
4 Q. Could you describe to us what your
5 relationship was until you left Germany, that is, in
6 March of 1992 -- your relationship with your Muslim
7 neighbours? Specifically, the ones that you mentioned,
8 the ones whose names you mentioned.
9 A. We had very good relations. We even visited
10 one another from time to time. We never had any
11 problems, any disputes.
12 Q. For instance, so that we can have a clear
13 idea, did you have these Muslim neighbours come to your
14 house? That is, you and your husband. Did either of
15 you go to them?
16 A. Yes, we did, and they would come to us. We
17 would go to them. We even had Muslim godfathers for
18 our two sons, Dragan and Josip. Dragan is a godfather
19 to Varupa Vahid, and the middle son, Josip, the
20 godfather is Rasim Gradinovic, our neighbour.
21 Q. However, unless I'm wrong, when you came home
22 on the 15th of April, 1993, not a single one of them
23 came to your house.
24 A. They didn't have occasion to because we came
25 late. When I came, that is to say, I stayed there for
1 a very little time and then went to my mother's, and it
2 was already late, so they didn't come then.
3 Q. But the fact that they didn't come to see
4 you, can we say that the reason for that is that they
5 didn't have the occasion to? Or was it that the nature
6 of your relationships, the relationship between the
7 communities, had changed, and that these kinds of
8 visits could no longer take place?
9 A. I don't know. I don't know. I couldn't
10 answer that question. I don't know. I really don't
11 know why nobody came to visit us, to see me and my
13 Q. Before you left for Germany, did you have any
14 type of professional activity that you performed?
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter couldn't
16 hear "Yes" or "No."
17 Q. Could you tell us what that job was?
18 A. Yes. I am head of an independent catering
19 shop called Grill Ivica, and it was a meeting place.
20 Everybody came there, Muslims and Croats and Serbs.
21 There was no difference. Up until -- that is for as
22 long as I was there. Afterwards, I don't know.
23 Q. I didn't understand exactly where that
24 restaurant was.
25 A. It was in a street called -- it was in
1 Vitez. It was in Vitez.
2 Q. What was the name of the restaurant?
3 A. Grill Ivica. Grill Ivica.
4 Q. Who was the owner?
5 A. The proprietor was my husband at the time,
6 Ivica Kupreskic.
7 Q. Where in Vitez was that restaurant?
8 A. It was in Petar Svacic Street.
9 Q. I have to admit that I don't know where that
10 street in Vitez is, but could you explain where, in
11 relation to the Hotel Vitez, where the restaurant was,
12 that is in relation to the Hotel Vitez?
13 A. From the hotel you take the main road. From
14 the main road from the hotel, on the main road it is
15 about 500 metres, and then from the main road you go
16 into town. It's another, perhaps, 300 to 400 metres.
17 You go straight, and at the corner there is the
18 chemist's, the pharmacy on the left-hand side. You go
19 left, and some 50 metres from that pharmacist on the
20 right-hand side is where Grill Ivica is located.
21 Q. When you left for Germany in March of 1992,
22 what happened to the restaurant?
23 A. At the time, the restaurant was taken over by
24 my brother, Ivo Grabovac.
25 Q. But your husband remained the owner; is that
2 A. No. My brother stayed to work there in the
3 restaurant, Ivo Grabovac.
4 Q. But who became or who was the owner after
5 March 1992?
6 A. In 1992, in March, when we left for Germany,
7 the owner was my brother, Ivo Grabovac. He stayed on
8 as the owner.
9 Q. All right. I understand. You told us that
10 you had gone to Germany because of the fact that it was
11 not safe in the area of Vitez; is that correct?
12 A. No. My husband and I and our children left
13 because of the Serbian aggression on
15 Q. Perhaps we didn't understand one another,
16 but, in fact, it was a question of a lack of security
17 which led you to take that decision, that is, you
18 wanted to be sure that your family would be safe by
19 going to Germany?
20 A. In Vitez, there were no problems in Vitez.
21 Nothing could be felt in Vitez then, but we left
22 because of the Serbian aggression on
24 Q. Could you specify where in Germany you went?
25 A. We went to Essen, to an apartment, to the
1 apartment of Ivica's brother, Branko. Branko, at the
2 time, perhaps in mid-February, Branko went to Herne
3 where he took a restaurant. He lived and worked there,
4 and he left me and my children his apartment.
5 Q. Did you have a job in Germany?
6 A. No, I didn't work.
7 Q. How did you live? What were your resources?
8 A. I lived from the social security that I
10 Q. As regards this assistance that was given to
11 you by the German authorities, can you tell us what
12 your status was? You said that you were a refugee?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That is pursuant to the Geneva Convention?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You were permitted to stay in Germany as a
17 result of that convention; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, I got a duldung visa and refugee
20 Q. Excuse me, I don't know German law that well
21 in this respect. When one gets a refugee status, it
22 seems to me that one is not allowed to leave the
23 country that has taken you in.
24 A. Nobody made me leave the country. However,
25 they did not want to interrupt this duldung visa of
1 mine because they were held responsible for us. They
2 guaranteed our security.
3 Q. According to the copy of your passport, it
4 seems that the deadline, the last date where you were
5 allowed to remain in Germany, had been set as the 13th
6 of April, 1993, and that, in fact, you couldn't stay in
7 Germany beyond that date?
8 A. Yes, I could have, and it says there that
9 they extended it for six months. I did not go to
10 extend the duldung visa all the time. The longer I
11 stayed, the longer they extended it. Sometimes they
12 extended it for six months, sometimes four months or
13 six months, et cetera. Then on the 13th, on the 13th
14 of April, when I went, they extended it for another six
16 Q. Therefore, when you had taken your decision
17 to go back to your home in Bosnia, it was a voluntary
18 decision that you had taken?
19 A. Yes. Yes, a voluntary decision.
20 Q. You could have extended your stay in
22 A. Yes. Yes, I could have.
23 Q. If you had taken that decision, it's that it
24 seemed to you that there was no problem of safety in
25 Vitez or in the region at that date, in the area, for
1 you and your family?
2 A. Yes, because my husband said that everything
3 was normal in Vitez, that it was peaceful and quiet,
4 that children were going to school and people were
5 going to work and that there was no problem.
6 Q. Therefore, it seemed to you that in respect
7 of April of 1992, when the Serbian threat prompted you
8 to leave Bosnia, in respect of that date, the situation
9 had improved?
10 A. I left on the 30th of March, 1992. I went to
12 Q. I understood that, but what I was asking you
13 is that you decided to leave, in March of 1992, for
14 Germany because the situation seemed threatening to
15 you, and you decided, in April 1993, to return because
16 the situation no longer seemed to be problematic for
17 you, so, therefore, one would think that in your mind,
18 the situation had improved. Between March of 1992 and
19 April of 1993, the situation in that region of Central
20 Bosnia had improved, from your point of view and from
21 the point of you view of your husband; is that
23 A. In 1992, in March, I left because of the Serb
24 aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina. My husband and
25 I, in 1994 (sic), decided that I should come back, that
1 there were no problems in Vitez, the children were
2 going to school, that people were going to work
3 normally, and that there was a normal life and that
4 there were no problems.
5 Q. All right. You told us that you left Germany
6 on the 14th of April, 1993 --
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Excuse me. The interpreter
8 said that the interpreter mentioned 1994. Perhaps you
9 meant 1993. That was the French -- you came back in
11 MR. TERRIER: Yes. The correction was made.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: I was listening to the French
13 too, and in French it said that the witness did say
14 1994. Therefore, I'm asking the witness whether she
15 did, in fact, mean 1993, that is the year that you
16 decided to go back to Vitez. It was 1993, was it not?
17 THE WITNESS: I apologise if I said that. I
18 returned in 1993.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you.
20 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. You told us, Madam, that you left Germany on
22 the 14th of April, 1993, and that you were living in
23 Essen and that you had taken the plane at Dusseldorf.
24 What is the distance between those two cities?
25 A. Between Essen and Dusseldorf -- or rather,
1 when my husband had left, I already went to Herne to
2 stay with Ivica brother's, Branko, and then from Herne
3 to Dusseldorf it's about 30-odd kilometres.
4 Q. You told us that you took the plane in
5 Dusseldorf around 6.00 in the afternoon for Zagreb. Do
6 you remember what airline you used?
7 A. I went back using my husband's return plane
8 ticket. At 18.00 hours, the plane took off from
9 Dusseldorf and went to Zagreb, and then from Zagreb to
11 Q. What airline did you use?
12 A. Croatia Airlines.
13 Q. In order to take this trip from Germany to
14 Croatia at that point, did you need to have a visa, an
15 administrative visa either from the German or Croatian
16 authorities because I understand that you did not have
17 a Croatian passport at that point.
18 A. No, I didn't need any kind of visa.
19 Q. You told us that you changed planes in
20 Zagreb, and that you took another plane for Split and
21 that you arrived at 9.30 in the evening. What airline
22 did you take in order to go from Split to Zagreb?
23 A. Croatian.
24 Q. You told us that when you arrived at the
25 Split airport, Ivica and Vlatko Kupreskic were waiting
1 for you. Weren't you a little bit surprised to see
2 Vlatko Kupreskic there?
3 A. I was not surprised.
4 Q. Do you know what your husband's professional
5 work is, aside from the hospital -- excuse me, the
6 restaurant that you spoke about a little while ago?
7 A. It's the restaurant, the sale of food and
8 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. In addition to
9 that, my husband has a privately owned company.
10 Q. Leaving aside the restaurant, let's speak
11 about this private company. What do you know about
13 A. It was a privately owned company. Mostly it
14 was food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and
15 meat products, cured meat products.
16 Q. Did Ivica, your husband, and Vlatko
17 Kupreskic, did they make the trip from Vitez to Split
18 to come get you at the airport, or as far as you know,
19 was there another reason for their having made that
21 A. Yes, they came to pick me up, and also en
22 route, they collected some goods.
23 Q. You mean that the trip to Split also had as
24 its objective an order to pick up a delivery of
1 A. Yes. Primarily, my arrival, and in addition
2 to that, they could also collect some merchandise for
3 their company.
4 Q. Were you there when they picked up the
6 A. No. No. No, I was not there. They took it
7 as they were coming to pick me up. They first took
8 over this merchandise and then they picked me up.
9 Q. Before they came to get you; I see. What
10 kind of luggage did you have with you?
11 A. Well, I didn't have much luggage because
12 Ivica left by car with the children on the 9th of
13 April, so I sent all my luggage with Ivica, so I only
14 had my own bag and perhaps another smaller bag.
15 Q. You told us that your husband and Vlatko
16 Kupreskic came to get you in a Yugo 45. To whom did
17 that car belong?
18 A. That was my car.
19 Q. Did your husband have another car?
20 A. Yes, he had a Mercedes 240D.
21 Q. Could one say that the Yugo 45 was a very
22 little car?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Why didn't your husband take the Mercedes
25 with him?
1 A. Because the road across Mt. Vran is in poor
2 condition. It is not an asphalt road. It is a muddy
3 road, a very bad road.
4 Q. You mean that the Yugo 45 would be a better
5 car under those conditions than the Mercedes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What colour is that Yugo?
8 A. A mousy colour, grey, sort of bluish-grey.
9 Q. What colour is the Mercedes that belonged to
10 your husband?
11 A. Dark green.
12 MR. TERRIER: May I ask the usher to put
13 Prosecution Document 32 on the ELMO.
14 Q. I'm showing you that photograph, but it's not
15 about the house, but rather for the car that's behind,
16 that's near the garage. Could you confirm to us that
17 that's the Yugo 45?
18 A. Yes. Yes. That is a Yugo 45 owned by Vlatko
20 Q. But to the left on this picture -- that was
21 taken, of course, long after the period that we're
22 interested in -- we see a Mercedes. Who did that car
23 belong to, as far as you know? On the left side of the
24 photograph, you can see that there's a Mercedes there.
25 A. Vlatko Kupreskic.
1 Q. As far as you know, when did he acquire that
2 Mercedes, the one that we see on the left side?
3 A. That Mercedes? Vlatko Kupreskic bought it
4 from my husband. I could not exactly tell when. I
5 could not tell for sure. I know that my husband
6 brought this car in from Germany and Ivica sold that
7 car to Vlatko.
8 Q. When? At what time did your husband import
9 that car from Germany?
10 A. I can't say. I couldn't explain exactly,
11 because after the war, my husband and I often travelled
12 to Germany, went there and went back, and we bought
13 quite a few cars in the process. So I could not really
15 Q. You mean that your husband bought a lot of
16 cars in Germany so he could sell them or resell them in
17 Bosnia; is that what you're saying?
18 A. No, no. No, I meant that we bought a kombi
19 van for ourselves, and then we got a jeep, and then we
20 got a refrigerator truck, and it was all for our own
22 Q. Whatever the case may be, the Mercedes that
23 we see in the photograph, to the left of the house, is
24 not the Mercedes that your husband had in 1993; more
25 specifically in April 1993. It's rather, a car that
1 was imported after the war?
2 A. Yes. Yes. This is Vlatko's Mercedes and our
3 Mercedes is green.
4 Q. However, in April 1993, your husband and
5 Vlatko Kupreskic, in order to make the trip between
6 Vitez and Split in April 1993, preferred to use the
7 Yugo 45 than the Mercedes that your husband had and you
8 explained why to us.
9 My question is: What type of merchandise
10 were put into that car before your husband and Vlatko
11 Kupreskic came to get you at the airport?
12 A. I don't know. I don't know because they took
13 the merchandise before picking me up. I didn't see
14 it. I don't know what it was.
15 Q. You mean that it was wrapped up in boxes or
16 covered with bags, sacks?
17 A. Well, the merchandise was in the boot. I
18 don't know what was there or how it was packaged.
19 Q. You didn't see it. You didn't open up the
21 A. No, I didn't. I only had my bag and another
22 small bag.
23 Q. Could you give us further details about the
24 location of the house where you spent the night -- the
25 following night, that is, from the 14th to the 15th,
1 and the name of the person who took you in?
2 A. The 14th, between the 14th and the 15th, I
3 and Ivica Kupreskic and Vlatko Kupreskic were in Baska
4 Voda, at Radislav Simovic's. His house, owned by him.
5 Q. But who is Radislav Simovic? Who was that
6 person in respect of yourself?
7 A. Radislav Simovic at one time had, on the road
8 from Vitez towards Zenica, a restaurant, and we would
9 go to the restaurant frequently. We were friends. We
10 didn't visit one another frequently. We would usually
11 go to the restaurant, meet up there. Before the war, a
12 long time before the war, he went to Baska Voda, built
13 himself an enormous house where he rents out rooms to
14 tourists now and that's what he lives from.
15 Q. At the time, he was operating this type of an
16 establishment? That is, in 1993?
17 A. Yes. Yes. The house had not been completely
18 finished. He didn't have a facade on the house. The
19 parts around the house weren't completed, but otherwise
20 it was more or less completed.
21 Q. Did you meet other people at his house?
22 A. No. There was myself, we were there, and
23 then there was Radislav and his wife.
24 Q. When you arrived, did people know you were
25 coming? Had that been planned? Had it been planned
1 for some time?
2 A. I don't know whether Ivica and Vlatko said
3 they were coming. I don't know.
4 Q. Let's speak about your return home. You told
5 us that during the evening, after you had arrived, that
6 is, around 6.30, after your luggage had been unpacked,
7 which I think is something that you said, various
8 people came to see you. Unless I'm wrong, and you'll
9 tell me if I am, you did not mention the name of Mirko
11 A. I did mention Mirko Sakic, but when I
12 returned from my mother's house, that's when Mirko
13 Sakic came. He came for a brief moment, we said hello,
14 said a few words and then Mirko went home.
15 Q. As well as you can recall, and there might be
16 difficulty being specific about it now, given all the
17 time that's gone by, but how long do you think that
18 Mirko Sakic stayed in your house?
19 A. I couldn't really say, because I was very
20 excited, having come back after over a year, and I was
21 happy to see them all. I couldn't really say how long
22 he was there for. He didn't stay long, at any rate.
23 Q. Was Vlatko Kupreskic in your house at some
24 point during the evening?
25 A. No. We came together with Vlatko. He was
1 tired, of course, and that's probably why he didn't
2 come, and his wife came with her two children and with
3 Vlatko's mother.
4 Q. As regards your three children, did they stay
5 alone in the house when your husband came to get you in
7 A. No, they were not alone. They were with my
8 husband's aunt and Ivica's father, with their
10 Q. You said that during the evening people had
11 spoken a great deal about the situation in Germany, how
12 people lived there, the resources that the country
13 might offer. It doesn't seem that the situation in
14 Central Bosnia, specifically in the Vitez region was
15 the subject of much conversation, according to what you
16 said a few minutes ago. Is that correct?
17 A. The situation in Vitez was not discussed.
18 Nobody mentioned the situation in Vitez at all. We
19 discussed the time I had over there, how the children
20 were homesick and wanted Ivica, and we talked about
21 what had happened there, who got married, who had
22 died. Those were the kind of talks we had. We didn't
23 discuss anything about the situation in Vitez.
24 Q. Therefore among -- in all the conversation
25 that you had with the people you met that evening, you
1 never got the impression that there were problems in
2 Vitez and in the region, or that there was some type of
3 danger that one might foresee?
4 A. No danger, no. Nobody mentioned any danger.
5 Nobody could even think about any kind of danger being
7 Q. Do you remember the fact that Commander
8 Totic, in Zenica, had been kidnapped? Did you speak
9 about that?
10 A. We already heard that up at Sebisic, and we
11 asked what had happened, that the situation, the Totic
12 situation --
13 Q. Could you tell us exactly when it was that
14 you learned that Commander Totic had been kidnapped?
15 A. Up at Sebisic.
16 Q. When was that?
17 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, in the afternoon
19 Q. How did you learn that?
20 A. Well, my husband asked what had happened, why
21 the barricades were there, and then he explained to my
22 husband that that was, in fact, it.
23 Q. As regards the roadblock, how many did you go
24 through when you came back, after the border? After
25 the border, between Croatia and Bosnia, how many
1 roadblocks did you have to go through?
2 A. Before that roadblock at Sebisic, there were
3 several checkpoints, just traffic control. They would
4 ask to see your driver's licence. At Sebisic, that's
5 what we learnt, and at Opara as well. Those were
6 mostly Muslim inhabitants there.
7 We were stopped by a policeman there, and he
8 asked us where we were coming from, and Ivica said that
9 he was taking his wife home from Germany. He asked us
10 how we did, how we managed to pass, and we said we
11 passed without any problems. He then asked us where
12 are we going from, how did we dare go, and Ivica said
13 that his mother had died, and he apologised for having
14 taken up our time there and then let us pass on through
15 to Vitez.
16 Q. This event that you learned in the afternoon
17 was not something -- that event wasn't spoken about in
18 the evening; is that correct?
19 A. Well, for a very brief moment because it
20 wasn't essential. They were more interested in knowing
21 about my life in Germany and in knowing how I was
22 personally, how I had spent my time and what had
23 happened in my absence.
24 Q. As Mr. Radovic said to you, Mirko Sakic
25 testified before this Tribunal, and said first that the
1 wives were not there, that there was -- that was
2 without your being there, it was a men's meeting, and
3 that in addition, it was -- what was particularly
4 spoken about was the situation in Central Bosnia at
5 that time, and among other things, the kidnapping of
6 Commander Totic.
7 How do you explain that this very different
8 account was given by that witness, different from
10 A. I said that it was discussed but for a very
11 brief moment. Mirko was there. I don't know how long
12 he was there for. While Mirko was there, there was
13 also Miro Vidovic, Franjo's son; Miroslav Pudza was
14 there; my father-in-law was there. After that, Manda
15 and Marica Didak and their mother-in-law turned up; and
16 Mirjan Kupreskic's mother, Luca, came. Vlatko
17 Kupreskic's wife and mother came afterwards, after
18 Mirko had been.
19 Q. In order to reconcile such differing
20 testimony, could we not assume that during that meeting
21 that the men met by themselves, in order to talk about
22 things related to the current situation or the future
23 situation in Ahmici, and that you did not participate
24 in that men's meeting?
25 A. No. No. I said that when the men came alone
1 without their wives, it was a sort of joke, because
2 Ivica had got married, so they had come to Ivica, sort
3 of thing, to have some sweet meats.
4 Q. You told us that on the next day you were
5 awakened at 4.00 in the morning by your husband, who
6 didn't give you any reasons for having done so, but
7 asked you to get dressed, and to wake up the children
8 and to go to a shelter. You told us that you left the
9 house with your children at 5.00, and that you needed
10 about an hour to get ready and to leave the house under
11 the emergency situation, which apparently was going on
12 at the moment.
13 Isn't an hour somewhat long under those
15 A. My husband woke me up sometime after 4.00. I
16 don't know what time it was exactly. While I woke up
17 the three children, while they got ready, and while I
18 packed some food and clothes, and we left a little
19 before 5.00. I needed 15 to 10 minutes to reach the
21 Q. Might one not think, Mrs. Kupreskic, since
22 you used about an hour to get ready and leave the
23 house, that it's because you knew that you had a
24 certain amount of time to make your preparations, the
25 preparations needed to leave the house?
1 A. Well, I don't know. Everything was unknown
2 to me. I didn't know anything.
3 Q. Why didn't you stop at Mirko Sakic's house,
4 who apparently also had a safe shelter and was much
5 closer to your house than Mr. Vrebac's house?
6 A. I don't know why I went there, but I followed
7 my husband up to Ivica Vidovic Jozo's house.
8 Q. Was that the first time that you went to a
9 shelter, the time that you went to Mr. Vrebac's house?
10 A. Yes, it was my first time.
11 Q. You told us that mattresses were in the
12 basement. Does that mean that the shelter had been
13 readied for the morning?
14 A. No. Everything that was there in the
15 photograph, the couch and the -- a three-seat sofa and
16 the mattress that was there, there was just an old
17 mattress in part of a room. It was sort of a niche,
18 and the mattress was on the floor. It was an old
19 mattress. It was probably one that already had been
20 discarded, thrown out, and there was nothing else.
21 Q. Excuse me. Excuse me. What I thought -- I
22 believe is that you had spoken about plural, several
23 mattresses that had made ready, but I want to look at
24 the transcript.
25 We saw that in the basement of the house
1 there were several rooms, and you said there was no
3 A. There was electricity when we got there, when
4 we arrived, but soon after that it disappeared. What
5 the time was, I don't know, but there was electricity
6 for just a brief period after our arrival.
7 Q. Could you indicate specifically what room it
8 was that you were in, since we saw several rooms in the
9 picture? Perhaps you could look at D13/1.
10 Mrs. Kupreskic, it seems that we can
11 distinguish at least two different rooms, the one that
12 we can see on photograph 5 and 7, and the one that you
13 see on number 6 to the left. Perhaps there were
14 several others, but in these pictures, apparently you
15 can see there were at least two different rooms.
16 A. I entered at this door and was in this room,
17 number 7, room number 7.
18 Q. The room, when the photograph was taken,
19 where there was a red sofa?
20 A. Yes, but there was -- the sofas weren't in
21 the room. There was just an old mattress on the floor
22 at the time.
23 Q. People who were in the shelter on that day,
24 you mentioned many women's names, men's names,
25 children's names. It seems that the men that you
1 mentioned were all people who were middle-aged or a bit
2 older; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. They were elderly people. Among them
4 was Vlatko Kupreskic.
5 Q. Therefore, one found shelter in that shelter
6 that is there, that is the women, the older people and
7 Vlatko Kupreskic; is that correct?
8 A. Yes. Vlatko Kupreskic I saw in the morning,
9 at about 6.00, because in the basement it was dark. I
10 saw him in the course of the day and sometime between
11 5.00 and 6.00 p.m.
12 The elderly people who were able to move
13 about would go out into the corridor and into the
14 hall. They would sit around smoking. Whereas the
15 people who were ill, who were sick, they would take
16 turns on the mattress on the floor.
17 Q. I would like you to be as specific as you can
18 in this respect. You are telling us that you saw, at
19 6.00 in the morning, Vlatko Kupreskic. Where was he
20 when you saw him?
21 A. Well, Vlatko Kupreskic, in the morning, at
22 6.00, brought his wife, Ljubica Kupreskic, with two
23 children and his mother, Marica, to the shelter.
24 Q. When you saw him, where was he?
25 A. In the shelter.
1 Q. Where in the shelter?
2 A. In the part I was in.
3 Q. That means in the room that you have just
4 pointed out to us, where we see the red sofa?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But at the same time, you're telling us that
7 when Vlatko Kupreskic and his family arrived there, it
8 was dark, there was no longer any light.
9 A. At that shelter, there were two small
10 windows. There were only wooden boards there, so that
11 we would have a bit of air and light. We would take
12 off these wooden boards every now and then.
13 Q. Therefore, there was no electricity. There
14 were the windows that you can see in the picture, and
15 the windows were blocked by boards, or almost blocked
16 by boards. That is that the windows were closed up, or
17 partially, at least.
18 A. Yes. These windows, these boards, yes. But
19 we would take off these boards so that we would get a
20 bit of light and a bit of air.
21 Q. But at least the light in the room must have
22 been very weak?
23 A. Well, yes, it was rather weak, but, roughly,
24 you could see.
25 Q. You said that you saw Vlatko Kupreskic and
1 his family arrive at 6.00 in the morning, and that you
2 saw him again during the day. Am I correct?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Between 6.00 and the other time during the
5 day, you did not see him?
6 A. I did the not see him. I mentioned just now
7 that men, those who were sickly, stayed there on that
8 mattress. They would take turns. All of those who
9 could walk and could sit, would go out into this
10 hallway because there were benches there, and they
11 would sit there.
12 Q. Could you say for sure that Vlatko Kupreskic,
13 whom you saw at 6.00 in the morning, stayed in that
14 house and did not leave it the way the other men did
15 who had brought in their families? That is, for
16 example, your husband or Mirjan Kupreskic who brought
17 their families to that house and then afterwards left.
18 A. I am saying that in the morning I saw Vlatko
19 Kupreskic bring his wife, Ljubica, and his two children
20 and his mother in. I saw him in the evening between
21 5.00 and 6.00 p.m. I did not see him after that, but
22 possibly he could have been in that hallway where the
23 healthier men were, where they sat on those benches.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, excuse me --
1 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, if you will allow
2 me to ask one final question, and I think that most of
3 the questions I want to ask have been asked.
4 Q. A final question and then that will be all.
5 As you will be too. You told us that in the afternoon
6 your husband, Ivica, brought you some food, that Mirjan
7 had done the same thing for his family. Where did they
8 go to get that food?
9 A. Ivica -- well, at my home was the aunt who
10 was born in 1924, and this old lady had sent in this
11 food for us.
12 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Madam.
13 Mr. President, I don't have any other
14 questions. Again, maybe Mr. Radovic's questions, but I
15 don't have any further ones. No, I have no more
16 questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: You have finished with the
19 MR. TERRIER: I thank the witness.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic, I take it
21 you have quite a few questions in re-examination? How
23 MR. RADOVIC: I do not. I do not. I do not
24 have any additional questions, but just one more
25 thing. I would like to tender into evidence the
1 exhibits that I had asked to be admitted.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. There is no
3 objection, so these documents are admitted into
4 evidence. I am also happy because Mrs. Kupreskic then
5 can be released and go back home.
6 Thank you, Mrs. Kupreskic, for giving
7 evidence in court. You may now be released. Thank
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
10 (The witness withdrew)
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we adjourn, let me
12 just tell you that we will resume on -- as you know, on
13 the 15th of March with our next witness, Mr. Ivica
14 Kupreskic, I imagine, and we will go on until the
15 25th. We will not be sitting on Friday the 26th of
16 March. However, we will be sitting twice on Wednesday
17 the 24th, from 9.00 to 1.00, and from 2.30 to 5.30.
18 That means that you can go back home already on
20 I hope this will be pleasant news to you. We
21 will, as I say, stick to our programme except for this
22 small change.
23 All right. So we adjourn now until the 15th
24 of March.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
1 at 1.40 p.m., to be reconvened
2 on Monday, the 15th day of March, 1999
3 at 9.00 a.m.