1 Tuesday, 16th March, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Counsel
11 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, having consulted
12 the accused and discussed the matter, I have given up
13 asking any questions because they are not of any
14 special importance. So I won't be asking any
15 questions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier?
17 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.
18 WITNESS: IVICA KUPRESKIC (Resumed)
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kupreskic. My name is
21 Franck Terrier. I'm one of the Prosecution attorneys,
22 and, as I'm sure you've been told, I'm going to ask you
23 a few questions further to your testimony of
25 First of all, I would like to know whether
1 you kept any kind of record or log of the events you
2 experienced during the war?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. I asked you the question because yesterday
5 you gave us a great deal of detailed information, and
6 your memories apparently were very detailed.
7 My first question has to do with the
8 relationship that you had with the Muslims who lived in
9 Ahmici. You told us, of course, that the relationship
10 was excellent, and I would like to know, however,
11 whether that relationship didn't change unfavourably
12 during 1992 and 1993. If so, I would like you to
13 explain to us why that happened.
14 A. Well, there was no deterioration in the
15 relations with the people that I had been special
16 friends with, especially with my godfathers or kum.
17 Particularly with next door neighbours, we would go to
18 restaurants together and so on.
19 Q. Could we say that the lower mosque in Ahmici,
20 the one with the minaret, in 1990, let us say, if I'm
21 not wrong, did that not give rise to discussions?
22 Didn't that change the climate among the communities in
24 A. I wouldn't say that for the simple reason
25 that many Croats, to Mr. Hasim Ahmic who had built his
1 private mosque, had helped him, first of all, to get
2 all the necessary papers and documents necessary to
3 build the mosque. He also had a certain amount of
4 difficulty with regard to his own people from Upper or
5 Gornji Ahmici. When construction was under way of the
6 minaret itself, he was not able to find the necessary
7 quantities of nails that he needed, a large quantity of
8 these nails. I personally bought the nails for him in
9 Kakanj, and I presented them to him as a donation for
10 the mosque.
11 Let me add to that the following fact: When
12 the mosque was opened, a lot of invitations were sent
13 out to the Croats as well.
14 Q. Were you yourself there when the mosque was
16 A. Yes, I was personally present there.
17 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, yesterday you said that the
18 population of Ahmici had doubled in 1993, that is, the
19 beginning of 1993, because of the influx of refugees.
20 Is it correct to say that these refugees, who settled
21 in Ahmici in large numbers, were mostly Muslims?
22 A. Well, with the fall of Jajce, from Jajce,
23 both the Croats and Muslims left, and all of them
24 stayed for about a day or two in the region of Vitez.
25 However, many Croats who were expelled from their own
1 homes, quite simply, did not wish to remain there in
2 Vitez, so they continued their journey towards
3 Tomislavgrad and Herzegovina. However, the Muslim
4 people, practically all of them, remained in the area
5 of Central Bosnia.
6 Q. But, Mr. Kupreskic, how can you explain the
7 phenomena that Croatian refugees did not settle in the
8 region of Vitez, not in Ahmici, that they would go to
9 Tomislavgrad or even further to Herzegovina, whereas
10 the Muslim refugees, they did settle in Central
11 Bosnia? How do you explain that?
12 A. Well, I don't really know how to explain that
13 fact. I myself at that time gave the two houses
14 belonging to my brothers because Didaci had not fallen
15 yet, the village of Didaci from which refugees came
16 later on. They only stayed for two or three days and
17 then went on towards Tomislavgrad and Herzegovina.
18 Some of them went to Croatia. Others went abroad to
19 Deutschland, Germany, to Holland, wherever they had any
20 relations or friends, in fact.
21 Q. However, in the region of Central Bosnia,
22 around Busovaca or Vitez, the refugees, as you
23 demonstrated yesterday, easily were able to find a
24 place to stay, that they could obtain help from friends
25 or members of their families. That isn't what led them
1 to go further away. Could we say that the explanation
2 can be found in the political climate or the ethnic
3 composition of Central Bosnia at that time? Is that
4 the explanation for the desire of the Croatian refugees
5 to go further and not to stop in Vitez?
6 A. I really can't say.
7 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, I would like us to speak about
8 your professional activity, specifically, the business
9 that you were responsible for at that time in the Vitez
10 region. First of all, it seems to me that in the city
11 of Vitez itself you were running a restaurant; is that
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. When you left the area with your wife and
15 children, that is, when you left Vitez to go to
16 Germany, what arrangements did you make for running the
18 A. In view of the fact that my wife's brother
19 was also in the catering business, at that time when I
20 left with my wife and children for Germany, I left the
21 restaurant to him, my brother-in-law, to run the
22 restaurant, and he ran it until the very beginning of
23 the conflict.
24 Q. But you yourself, you remained the owner; is
25 that correct?
1 A. I remained the owner; however, he rented the
2 restaurant from me, actually.
3 Q. Does that restaurant still exist today?
4 A. Yes, it does. It exists to the present day,
5 and today it is run by my wife.
6 Q. Let's speak now about the company whose first
7 name was Stefani-Bosna, and then after 1992, it changed
8 to another name. We have a document that shows the
9 change of name of the business, which was tendered
10 yesterday as D23/3. I would like you to tell us why
11 you changed the name of the business.
12 A. I changed the name of my business because I
13 stopped working with Greece, and we had been in a
14 partnership. I formed the company and gave it the name
15 of Stefani because we worked with Greece a lot. Then I
16 changed the name to Sutra because we were all referred
17 to by the nickname of Sutra.
18 Q. You mean that the Greek company you worked
19 with was called Stefani; is that correct?
20 A. Stefani Athens. There was Stefani Ljubljana,
21 which was run by Mr. Dusan Sever, and I formed the
22 Stefani-Bosna company in Vitez.
23 Q. I understand. Could you tell us, speaking
24 about the Sutra company, what was its legal structure
25 and what specific role did Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic play at
1 that time?
2 A. Vlatko Kupreskic was in the SPS in Vitez. He
3 was an economist by profession. In view of the fact
4 that the company, quite simply, its business dropped
5 off, he was sent home to wait for more work. I wanted
6 to take advantage of his professional capabilities, as
7 he is, as I say, a graduated economist and worked in
8 the firm, and so I took him into my own company. After
9 several jobs that he had done for me, I appointed him
10 co-partner of the company.
11 Q. But what was the legal structure of that
12 business? Was it a corporation with limited
13 responsibility or was it an individual company? I'd
14 like to know exactly what legal category it falls in.
15 I believe that this can be explained under Croatian
17 A. It was a company with full liability.
18 Q. The capital, the capital of the company,
19 among which people was it distributed?
20 A. No, the capital was exclusively my own.
21 Q. At some point, before 1993 or after April
22 1993, did Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic become one of the owners
23 of that company?
24 A. He only became co-owner when he built a
25 facility, what we referred to as Veleprodaja in Ahmici,
1 the warehouse for wholesale goods.
2 Q. What was the main activity of that company?
3 We're speaking about the period 1992, the end of 1992,
4 the beginning of 1993. What was the main activity of
6 A. For the most part, it was for the sale of
7 mixed types of goods, that is to say, food stuffs,
8 clothing, and generally goods of that kind.
9 Q. Where did you buy the merchandise?
10 A. We bought the merchandise in Croatia, for the
11 most part, as well as in Herzegovina, and we added on
12 to our assortment from Kiseljak.
13 Q. To whom did you sell this merchandise? How
14 did you sell it?
15 A. We sold the merchandise to all buyers, both
16 as wholesale and retail.
17 Q. Is it possible to have an idea of the amount
18 of your sales, your sales figures, the total amount of
19 purchasing that you did over the year; is that
21 A. Well, about, let me say, approximately
22 200.000 German marks.
23 Q. Over a year; right?
24 A. In '93 -- no, '92, I would say.
25 Q. So in 1992, can we say --
1 A. 1992.
2 Q. In 1992, did the company make a profit?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. A large profit? Could you give us an idea of
5 what the profit was in 1992?
6 A. It was a long time ago, so I couldn't tell
7 you exactly, but there was profit.
8 Q. How did the financial situation of Sutra
9 develop in 1993?
10 A. Well, in 1993, we continued to work normally
11 right up until the 15th of April, that is to say, the
12 16th of April, when all work stopped, all activity
13 stopped. That is to say, all activities carried on
14 normally until then. We made no balance sheets or
15 anything like that because the war interrupted
16 everything. All we did was to see that the goods that
17 were left at the beginning of the war that we had on
18 our hands, that we solved that somehow, and our idea
19 was to turn the goods into money because the army, in
20 part, took some of our goods away from us in the form
21 of foodstuffs, mostly, and cigarettes.
22 Q. Would it be right to say that in 1992 and
23 1993 you were a prosperous businessman in Central
25 A. Well, we could say that, yes.
1 Q. Is it correct that in 1994, shortly after the
2 conflict, you once again became prosperous, that
3 prosperity that you had developed through your
4 commercial activities to a large extent? And I refer
5 to what you said yesterday referring to imports from
6 the entire world of a large number of sheep.
7 A. Yes, I began working straight afterwards,
8 sometime in April 1994, and the development of events
9 was such that at the time, the prices were extremely
10 high in Central Bosnia and not everybody was able to go
11 and buy goods elsewhere. So we returned fairly quickly
12 to the level we had beforehand.
13 As far as the sheep are concerned, the sheep
14 that I imported from Australia in 1996, the Rijaset of
15 the Islamic community opened an accreditation directly
16 with the Bavag Bank in Vienna, and for the Australian
17 bank, a letter of credit to the Australian bank in
18 Sydney which would be transferred, it was transferable,
19 which meant that we imported the sheep with the funds
20 from the Rijaset of the Islamic community. The
21 transportation of it, itself, the Alfares Shipping
22 Company from Freemantle port to the port of Ploce cost
23 1.600.000 German marks.
24 Q. We could then say, if I look at the numbers
25 that you've just given us, that today you are a
1 significant businessman, an important businessman?
2 A. Something like that, yes.
3 Q. Let's go back to 1992, beginning of 1993. I
4 would like you to explain to us what relationship you
5 had with the HVO authorities for the conduct of your
7 A. Well, I can tell you that I did not have any
8 great problems. Whenever I needed anything, any type
9 of permit to travel, for example, and to go and get the
10 goods, I would get this authorisation without any
11 problems. This is borne out by the fact that I was the
12 best supplier of the type of preserves that I produced
13 for the whole of the municipality in 1992.
14 Q. We therefore could even say that you had
15 excellent relations with the HVO authorities?
16 A. Yes, excellent.
17 Q. Who were the people who were responsible --
18 who were the officials in the HVO that you had contacts
19 with? What were their names?
20 A. At the time, there was Mr. Ivica Santic; he
21 was the mayor.
22 Q. Yes. However, in the economic sphere, or in
23 supplies, there were other people who were responsible?
24 A. Yes. At the time, Dragan -- I can't remember
25 his surname.
1 Q. It doesn't matter.
2 Did you have competition at that time in
3 Central Bosnia?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. How is it that you were able to replace your
6 competitors so easily with the people in charge of the
8 A. Well, it was like this, you see: Some
9 companies, even bigger companies, were engaged in other
10 activities. I exclusively dealt with foodstuffs.
11 There were other companies on a par with me, but not
12 many like that. However, the market is such that the
13 one who offers the best prices wins.
14 Q. In order to be so well considered by the HVO
15 authorities, weren't there certain conditions that had
16 to be satisfied?
17 A. Yes, of course, conditions existed. First of
18 all, that you can supply good quality goods, that you
19 respect all the terms, and, of course, that the payment
20 should be made.
21 Q. Did you often go outside, travel outside of
22 Bosnia? I'm talking about the second quarter of 1992.
23 A. Yes, I did, often.
24 Q. Where would you go for your business?
25 A. Well, I would go on business trips, most
1 often to Croatia and to Herzegovina, in view of the
2 fact that I obtained most of my goods in those areas.
3 Q. When you came back to Ahmici on the 19th of
4 October, 1992, you told us yesterday that you had come
5 back from Split at that point and that you had
6 discovered that there was a checkpoint at Ahmici. Were
7 you coming back from that kind of a business trip?
8 A. First of all -- oh, you're referring to the
9 19th of October? I'm sorry.
10 Q. Yes, the 19th of October.
11 A. Yes, I was on my way back from Split.
12 Q. Were you alone during that trip?
13 A. Yes, I was alone.
14 Q. Ordinarily, when you would travel to Split on
15 business or to go to Croatia, would you go alone?
16 A. It all depended. Sometimes I went alone and
17 sometimes Vlatko went with me.
18 Q. Why would Vlatko Kupreskic accompany you?
19 Was there a specific reason?
20 A. Well, yes. In view of the fact that he was a
21 graduated economist, he had a number of friends with
22 whom he had connections in those companies, and, of
23 course, because of his friendships. This helped us to
24 do business.
25 Q. Could one have an idea about how frequently
1 you would travel to Croatia at that time? Once a
2 month, or twice a month, or what?
3 A. Well, on the average, it was at least once a
5 Q. Had you ever been convicted for something?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You don't remember having been convicted in
9 A. I apologise. It was a suspended sentence. I
11 Q. Why were you convicted? For what?
12 A. Well, I was sentenced because at that time
13 there was a fuel shortage, and I was running a
14 restaurant between Zenica and Zepce, and there was a
15 terrible shortage. My house was about 50 kilometres
16 away from the restaurant. A friend of mine offered
17 some fuel from a tank; it was about 120 litres of gas.
18 Because I had to, I bought this petrol. After that,
19 the police arrived because someone had reported me, and
20 I was taken to court in Zavidovici, and I was given a
21 suspended sentence.
22 Q. So it was for theft, that sentence was for
23 theft; is that correct?
24 A. Well, yes.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Kupreskic, let's speak about the
1 circumstances under which your family and yourself --
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Excuse me, Mr. Terrier.
3 Counsel Radovic?
4 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the Prosecutor
5 obviously has precise data as to why the witness was
6 sentenced because the document that he has mentions the
7 number of the article under which he was sentenced. So
8 I would like the Prosecutor to state the legal article
9 because it would not be theft; it would be
10 concealment. The difference is that he bought goods
11 which he had reason to know were stolen because the
12 goods were stolen by the driver of the tank truck and
13 not by him. This is a milder crime under the
14 legislation which was then in force in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. Thank you.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, thank you.
17 Counsel Par?
18 MR. PAR: If I may only say briefly, with
19 regards to the suspended sentence. The suspended
20 sentences awarded in 1985 have been rendered null and
21 void, and in our country, the persons who were
22 sentenced in that year are allowed to say that they
23 have never been sentenced, under the law.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 Perhaps you could give us the essential
1 elements of that criminal record, that is, having to do
2 with the sentence because, in principle, any questions
3 having to do with the criminal record of a witness are
4 not relevant unless the party questioning the witness
5 explains why. What is the relevance of the question
6 being asked?
7 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, by asking the
8 question of the witness, I believe that the witness has
9 given us enough information. What I was looking for
10 was to help the Trial Chamber -- perhaps I did it in a
11 clumsy manner. If I did, please excuse me -- it was in
12 order to evaluate the credibility of the witness. The
13 witness told us that, in fact, he had been convicted
14 for theft in 1985 and that the sentence had been
15 suspended. I am not placing any greater importance on
16 it than that.
17 I would like to tell Mr. Radovic that the
18 legal article on the basis of which the witness was
19 convicted is Article 147, paragraph 1, unless I'm
21 MR. RADOVIC: I can say at once that the
22 offence was concealment and not theft. He bought goods
23 which he had reason to know were stolen, so he was not
24 the direct perpetrator of the theft. He only bought
25 the goods.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, do you have any
2 documents about this?
3 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to do it now, but
5 perhaps in due course you could produce them and give
6 them to the Defence too, and then the matter would be
8 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, I'd like to speak now about
10 the departure of your family and yourself into Germany
11 in March of 1992. You told us that the decision had
12 been taken in order to ensure the safety of your
13 family, your wife, and your children, that is, your
14 three sons. You told us that in March of 1992 the
15 situation in Central Bosnia was particularly uncertain,
16 that it was threatening, and that you had the
17 possibility of obtaining for your family a place to
18 live in Germany. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. I would like for you to explain to us why the
21 decision was taken -- that is, a year later, in April
22 of 1993 -- to bring your entire family back to Ahmici.
23 A. Mostly I was moved by the fact that my
24 youngest son told me that he was so fed up with Germany
25 that if I didn't come and fetch him, he would jump from
1 the third floor of the building. As I have already
2 said, is there anything more valuable than one's
4 Q. Well, I am not contesting your reasons, of
5 course. But simply speaking, my question is the
6 following: Your wife told us here when she testified
7 some time back that if she came back, it is because you
8 had ensured her that the situation had arranged itself,
9 had settled down, and that in April of 1993, the
10 situation was better in Central Bosnia than it had been
11 in March 1992. What do you think about that statement
12 of your wife's?
13 A. Well, let me tell you this way: At that
14 moment, the situation really had settled down. In
15 fact, there were no problems in the area except for
16 that first clash in Ahmici, which, in my opinion, was
17 already behind us because many people had reconciled
18 themselves with each other, started leading a normal
19 life, many people were sitting in cafes, and I simply
20 thought that there should be no more problems in
22 Q. When you left in March of 1992, what were
23 your intentions? Your family was supposed to settle in
24 Essen with your brother, but as regards yourself, what
25 was your intention? Did you plan to stay in Germany or
1 did you plan to come back?
2 A. I planned to stay in Germany when I left with
3 my children and my wife in March 1992. However, since
4 my father told me about the threats that my house might
5 be destroyed, that my property might be confiscated, I
6 came back.
7 Q. But you told us yesterday that you were
8 considered as a deserter when you went to Germany. Who
9 considered you a deserter?
10 A. Well, the people who were members of the
11 Croatian people considered me a deserter. Of course,
12 I'm referring to people holding official positions.
13 Q. Doesn't that mean that all the Croatian
14 citizens in Central Bosnia at that time were considered
15 as having, in fact, been mobilised? We're talking
16 about March 1992. Therefore, at the very beginning,
17 even before the establishment of the HVO, all Croatian
18 citizens were considered as mobilised into the service
19 of the Croatian nation?
20 A. I wouldn't put it like that, and I wouldn't
21 say that they were considered to be mobilised.
22 However, these were simply threats made by individuals
23 which my father heard about, and then he rang me up by
24 telephone and told me to come back. He said, "If you
25 don't come back, your property might be confiscated.
1 There's a possibility you will be considered a
3 Q. Do you have the name of these people who
4 threatened you or who threatened your property?
5 A. Well, you see, my father told me this on the
6 phone; however, he himself heard this from others.
7 These were actually village rumours. As to specific
8 names, I don't know because I wasn't there, and he
9 couldn't tell me.
10 Q. That means that the people who were
11 threatening you, threatening your property, belonged to
12 that village?
13 A. No. No, they weren't from the village. They
14 were simply from the Croatian authorities of the time.
15 Q. When you came back from Germany in May 1992,
16 unless I'm mistaken, you told us yesterday that you
17 contributed to humanitarian aid in Central Bosnia,
18 specifically medicines. I would like to know by whom
19 this operation was funded, how you obtained the
20 required authorisations, and possibly who mandated you
21 to carry out that mission?
22 A. All the humanitarian aid in medicaments and
23 vehicles was organised by my relative, Vlado Sucic, who
24 owns a restaurant in Feldberg, but he appointed me his
25 assistant because he needed people to drive the
1 vehicles to Central Bosnia. We agreed that part of the
2 medicaments should be given to Novi Travnik, and two
3 vehicles, I was driving the Granada, should also be
4 donated to Novi Travnik, and the rest was given to
6 Q. But how was the operation financed?
7 A. A collection was made by Mr. Vlado Sucic, and
8 the people living in Feldberg and the surrounding
9 towns, who were from Central Bosnia, would bring their
10 contributions, whether in medicaments or in money, in
11 cash, at least that's what he told me. They had three
12 people who were in charge. If someone brought cash,
13 the money was used to buy vehicles and medicaments. If
14 someone gave medicaments, this was sent on to Central
16 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, now let's speak about the
17 period following the first conflict, the conflict of
18 October 1992. You spoke to us about a meeting which
19 followed that conflict, that is, a meeting during which
20 the return of the Muslims was decided. You told us
21 yesterday that, during that meeting, Nenad Santic, Pero
22 Skopljak, and Zoran Kupreskic participated. Does that
23 mean that these three individuals, each at his own
24 level and within his geographic sphere, was a director,
25 a leader?
1 A. I would not put it that way for the simple
2 reason that Fuad and Junuz Berbic, who insisted upon
3 that meeting, they were very good friends with Zoran.
4 He is a mechanical engineer, and he worked in the same
5 company as they did. They told Zoran, if he could, to
6 convene a meeting with the leading figures of the
7 municipality itself and to have some of the
8 representatives there, and they would come anywhere
9 that they decided to have the meeting, wherever the
11 The meeting was held on the terrace of my own
12 house, in fact, and I learned about it when my aunt
13 phoned me up in Vitez, in the restaurant where I was at
14 that time, so that I joined the meeting later. Whereas
15 Pero Skopljak was a man representing the Croatian
16 people of the Vitez municipality, he was that kind of a
17 representative; on the other hand, there was Sulejman
18 Kalco, as I said yesterday.
19 Q. You're telling us that Pero Skopljak
20 represented the Vitez Croats. Who represented the
21 Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici Croats?
22 A. Well, you see, I said yesterday as well that
23 Nenad Santic was the man who formed the HDZ in that
24 region, and probably, I don't know exactly, but quite
25 possibly, he was the main representative of the
1 Croatian people in that region. I'm not quite sure.
2 Zoran was in the role of somebody who was
3 there to organise the meeting at the initiative of
4 Mr. Fuad Berbic and Junuz.
5 Q. Could you tell us what decisions were taken
6 during that meeting?
7 A. Well, I do know that, as far as I recall,
8 decisions were taken for the most part, that each side
9 should work with its own people in the regions they
10 lived in and, of course, to bring the situation back to
11 what it was beforehand, that each man should talk to
12 his own people so that life could go on normally, and
13 to bring back a sort of joint guard which will stand
14 guard at the entrance to our village. I decided to be
15 the first representative, just to show that there were
16 no problems as far as we were concerned.
17 Q. Do you remember a decision which ordered the
18 Muslims to give up their weapons?
19 A. That was not at the meeting in my house. I
20 did hear that there was talk at a previous meeting of
21 that sort of thing, I think on the first or second day
22 after the conflict, that weapons, some four rifles were
23 to be returned which had been seized from the army
24 which was stopped at the barricade at the cemetery, and
25 that a vehicle had been confiscated as well; however,
1 the vehicle was returned and the rifles in question
2 were not. I just heard talk of this, that is to say,
3 it was not a subject of discussion in my own home on my
4 own terrace.
5 Q. But were you informed of a decision which
6 requested or ordered the Muslims of Ahmici and Santici
7 to give up their weapons?
8 A. I heard about that decision, but I wasn't at
9 that meeting.
10 Q. What do you know about that meeting during
11 which the decision was taken, that is, the decision to
12 order the Muslims to give up their arms?
13 A. Everything I know about it, I told you a
14 moment ago, in fact, what I had heard.
15 Q. Therefore, what you know is that the decision
16 was taken during another meeting, but you don't know
17 who was present at that meeting?
18 A. I don't know. I know that a decision of that
19 kind was taken, but I really don't know who was present
20 at the meeting.
21 Q. Let's speak about the guards, first, the
22 joint guards and then the individual guards, that were
23 carried out for the safety of those who lived in
24 Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici. Who organised those
25 patrols on the Croatian side?
1 A. Well, believe me, I don't know because when I
2 returned from Germany, the guards already existed, and
3 it was just up to me to become included because they
4 had already treated me as a deserter of sorts. When
5 they told me that I was to join the guard, I found time
6 and went to do this duty, but it was only during the
7 night. During the day, there were no village guards,
8 except for the fact that there were people on duty
9 standing by the radio transmitter, which was located in
10 the school building.
11 Q. Did you yourself and your friends, your
12 Croatian friends, when you were on patrol, were you
13 dressed in uniforms?
14 A. At that time, no.
15 Q. Did you have a weapon?
16 A. I know that only Mirko Sakic had a rifle at
17 that time and Zdravko Vrebac on the occasion of the
18 first conflict.
19 Q. When did you put on a uniform?
20 A. I put on a uniform sometime -- about 10 to 15
21 days after the first conflict.
22 Q. Let's go back to 1992, the end of that year
23 and the beginning of '93, that is, those patrols. Your
24 cousins, Vlatko, Mirjan, and Zoran Kupreskic, were they
25 also in the village guard?
1 A. Zoran and Mirjan were but Vlatko was not, as
2 he was not capable of doing his military service in
3 Yugoslavia either.
4 Q. Now, let's speak about April 1993 and the
5 trip to Split.
6 MR. TERRIER: I would ask the usher to give
7 the witness Defence Exhibit D24/3.
8 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, the document which was given
9 to you yesterday, this is it, are you the signatory?
10 A. No. The signatory is Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic.
11 Q. Would you explain to us, perhaps you already
12 did so yesterday, and if you did, I beg your
13 indulgence, but I didn't really understand the
14 explanation for this document, why this document
15 exists. Why was this document drafted and to whom was
16 it given?
17 A. This document -- that is to say, every person
18 who travels on behalf of his company must have a
19 document of this kind to justify his business travels
20 and the costs incurred during the trip taken.
21 Q. Is this a rule that was put into effect
22 because of the circumstances, that is, a rule that the
23 HVO had set up, that is, the Croatian Community, or was
24 it a rule which already existed in the former
1 A. It was a regulation that existed in the
2 former Yugoslavia. On the basis of this document, a
3 report is drawn up as to what was accomplished during
4 the business trip taken, what business was agreed upon,
5 and it serves for justifying the costs of the business
7 Q. Did the HVO expressly maintain the
8 regulations of the former Yugoslavia?
9 A. Well, I couldn't tell you that, whether it
10 adhered to all the regulations, but it did to some of
12 Q. In the document that you have in front of
13 you, was an authority indicated? What authority?
14 A. No, the document does not specify any
15 particular authority. This is a document of the
16 company, a company document.
17 Q. Well, I understood that it was a company
18 document, but it's a document which is not intended to
19 be given to an authority, to justify authorisations; is
20 that not correct?
21 A. That is true, but it is submitted throughout
22 the year. When we make a final balance at the end of
23 the year, it goes to the incomes revenue inspection of
24 the municipality where the company is registered.
25 Q. Document D24/3 that you have in front of you
1 is a copy of an original?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But wasn't the original sent to an
4 administration, as you just said?
5 A. No, the original is not sent to any
6 administrative office. We have to have it in our own
7 archives, in our records, so that if a control is sent,
8 an inspector is sent from the revenue, it just sees
9 whether everything is in order, and the document itself
10 stays in the company by --
11 Q. I understand. Let's now speak about the trip
12 from Vitez to Split. Could you remind us of the date
13 that you left and what time, rather, you left and what
14 time you arrived in Split? Of course, I'm not asking
15 you to tell us the story of this trip, which you
16 already did yesterday, but simply the date and the
18 A. We left on the 14th in the morning at about
19 6.00, and we were in Split sometime between 1.00 and
20 2.00 p.m.
21 Q. What did you do when you got to Split?
22 A. We went to the marketplace where we had some
23 friends of ours who brought in goods directly from
24 Turkey, and, in fact, it was a question of jeans. When
25 we went on this trip, because of my wife, we made use
1 of it and took some of the jeans, as much as we could
2 fit into the boot of our car. That's what we did, and
3 then we went to collect my wife at the airport in the
5 Q. Could you tell us, what was the business
6 transaction that you carried out at that point and
7 would justify Vlatko Kupreskic's having gone with you?
8 A. We were together in a large house, which is
9 called Koteks in Split; it was a firm. We were
10 discussing the purchases of large quantities of salt.
11 Q. On that day in Split, you didn't only buy
12 jeans. You also negotiated a contract for significant
13 amounts of salt?
14 A. In the Koteks Split company, yes.
15 Q. Did you sign any business documents?
16 A. On the occasion, we discussed all the terms,
17 but the shipment of that salt came later, 30 days
18 later, because they were not able to cater to our
19 requirements immediately.
20 Q. Is there a single commercial document which
21 was drafted by one of your partners, your Croatian
22 partners, which refers to the meeting on the 14th of
23 April, 1993 in Split in which Vlatko Kupreskic was a
25 A. It was a long time ago. I really couldn't
1 say whether the document exists now.
2 Q. In respect of these textiles, these jeans
3 that you bought in the market, were they paid for by
4 some kind of a bank cheque or some kind of a money
6 A. The jeans were paid for in cash.
7 Q. Now, this business trip of the 14th of April,
8 1993 to Split, of that meeting, there is no bank record
9 which has survived; is that correct?
10 A. Everything we had was listed in a log that we
11 kept related to the agreements we reached. Afterwards,
12 we did this business with Koteks from Split.
13 Q. I was asking you to be as specific as
14 possible in respect of the name, the address of the
15 company where you went to negotiate a salt contract and
16 the names of the people that you met.
17 A. Well, for the most part, I know that it was
18 Koteks of Split, but I really couldn't tell you now the
19 names of the people we met on the occasion. I would
20 have to look it up in my notebook because it was a long
21 time ago.
22 MR. TERRIER: I would like to ask the usher
23 to give the witness Exhibit D25/3, which was tendered
24 yesterday into the record.
25 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, this document was drawn up by
1 the HVO and signed by Marijan Skopljak. Is it right to
2 say that Marijan Skopljak was an individual whom you
3 knew very well?
4 A. One could say that, yes.
5 Q. Is it true that the document was drawn up by
6 the HVO at your request?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Was the request made in writing, or merely
10 A. In written form.
11 Q. What type of written document did you provide
12 in order to get that authorisation?
13 A. We wrote it on a memorandum, a company
14 memorandum, requesting permission to go on a business
15 trip for -- to conduct such-and-such business. Of
16 course, then they would issue this permit on the basis
17 of that.
18 Q. When you made the request, did you specify
19 what the dates of your business trip were to be?
20 A. Yes, I did, in my request, state the date,
21 and my request referred to the 13th. It was the 13th
22 of April, for the 14th of April. Usually you would ask
23 for a longer period of time, so if you return earlier,
24 there would be no problems there.
25 Q. Are you the one who said that the date was
1 from the 14th of April to the 24th of April?
2 A. Usually we would get about ten days for trips
3 of this kind.
4 Q. Did you sometimes take ten-day trips?
5 A. Yes, I did. I went for even more. I went to
6 my family in Germany, and then I would ask for 30 days,
7 for example.
8 Q. So the dates that are on this authorisation
9 for travel do not imply that you had either interrupted
10 or shortened your trip in order to come back home
12 A. Sometimes we would use this same permit
13 twice, if we, for example, went for the first time on
14 the 14th and returned on the 17th. So that means we
15 could go again on the 20th and come back by the 24th.
16 But if we have not returned by the 24th, then
17 automatically we would have problems at the various
18 roadblocks that we encountered by the HVO. Without
19 this document, quite simply, we were not able to
21 Q. On the document which you have in front of
22 you, we can see a stamp which mentions the fact that
23 you were crossing the border at Metkovic on the 14th of
24 April, 1993. Who put that stamp on the document?
25 A. This was placed by the policemen who were at
1 the border crossing. Sometimes they wouldn't even look
2 at it.
3 Q. What police? Were they HVO police, or police
4 from the Republic of Croatia?
5 A. These were policemen from the Republic of
7 Q. The stamp that we can see on D25/3, what
8 direction were you going when this was put on? Had you
9 crossed the border on the 14th of April from Bosnia
10 into Croatia, or from Croatia into Bosnia?
11 A. From Bosnia into Croatia, via Metkovic.
12 Q. When you crossed the same border, coming back
13 at the same place, but this time from Croatia to
14 Bosnia, were you not asked anything? Nothing at all?
15 A. Well, first of all, we did not cross the
16 border at the same border crossing. We crossed it at
17 another place, called Crveni Grm, that is to say, on
18 the road from Makarska-Vrgorac-Ljubuski. They did not
19 stamp the document there because we were exiting from
21 Q. You didn't cross the border at Metkovic,
22 then, when you came back? That's what I've understood.
23 A. No.
24 MR. TERRIER: I would like to ask
25 instructions from the Trial Chamber. The Office of the
1 Prosecutor has heard Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, on the 11th
2 of June, 1998, as part of Rule 64, that is, at the
3 specific request of Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, and in the
4 presence of his attorneys, Mr. Krajina and Mr. Par and
5 Mr. Gradac.
6 The meeting was recorded on video and gave
7 rise to a transcription of everything that had been
8 stated by Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic on that occasion. On
9 the same day -- that is, the 11th of June, 1998 -- a
10 copy of the videotape was given to Mr. Vlatko
11 Kupreskic's attorneys as is provided for in the Rules
12 of Procedure and Evidence. I would like to refer to
13 some of the statements of Vlatko Kupreskic that were
14 given on the 11th of June, 1998, and give to your Trial
15 Chamber the videotapes of that testimony as well as the
16 transcript of the same hearing.
17 I'm saying to you that shortly before the
18 beginning of this hearing, we gave to those counsel
19 which did not have it, the transcript of the hearing,
20 but of course Mr. Par and Mr. Krajina, who are here,
21 have had that since June 1998. I'm also indicating to
22 the Trial Chamber that the questioning had to do with
23 Vlatko Kupreskic and does not have to do with the
24 situation of the other accused who are in this
25 courtroom. Therefore I await the decision of Your
1 Honours, hoping to be able to refer to certain very
2 specific points.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: You referred to 64 --
4 MR. TERRIER: I meant 63.
5 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
6 MR. PAR: (In English) Mr. President?
7 JUDGE MAY: Counsel Par?
8 MR. PAR: Your Honours, we as Vlatko
9 Kupreskic's Defence counsel confirm everything that has
10 been said by our esteemed colleague, the Prosecutor, as
11 to the method of the interview and the documents and
12 tapes which we received on that occasion. We also do
13 not contest that these are materials which the
14 Prosecutor has the right to use as evidence.
15 However, we consider that at this stage of
16 the proceedings, there is no point in presenting
17 something that Vlatko Kupreskic said to the witness.
18 We propose that this should be presented when Vlatko
19 Kupreskic gives evidence and that it can be used to
20 cast doubt on the credibility of some other witness
21 statements, but we see no point in presenting something
22 that Vlatko Kupreskic said to this witness today,
23 especially since the Prosecutor has the possibility of
24 putting questions to the witness to prove this.
25 So we propose that the Court not permit the
1 Prosecutor to present this material now, but that the
2 Prosecutor might present it when the accused gives
3 evidence. Thank you.
4 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, very briefly, I
5 would like to answer Mr. Par. It seems to me that in
6 the statements that were given freely on the 11th of
7 June, 1998, by Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, one can find a
8 certain number of contradictions -- flagrant ones -- in
9 respect of what was declared by the witness before this
10 Tribunal. This has to do with the trip to Split and
11 the circumstances of that trip.
12 I would like to reconcile these
13 contradictions. Perhaps this is not the time to give
14 the Trial Chamber that document, but I would like to be
15 authorised to invoke these documents under the
16 supervision of Mr. Par and Mr. Krajina, and to remind
17 us what Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic said in order to get the
18 point of view of the witness. If we let this occasion
19 go by, when Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic testifies -- if he
20 does -- we will no longer have the witness here in
21 order to learn his point of view in respect of the
22 statements that Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic gave.
23 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: We consider that the
25 document, at this point, should not be tendered into
1 the record, but -- and here you are right -- it can be
2 useful to bring out what you consider to be
3 contradictions. But in that case, or rather in that
4 limited framework, for you to ask questions, but to ask
5 neutral questions, that is, without referring to the
6 statements of Vlatko Kupreskic. That is, explicit
8 Do you understand what I mean? That is, you
9 have the document in front of you, and Defence
10 attorneys also have the document. You can allude to
11 it, that is, you can base yourself on the documents in
12 order to ask questions of the witness. We consider
13 that it would be more appropriate not to say, "Here,
14 this is what Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic said," at this
16 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour. I will
17 comply with the instructions of the Trial Chamber.
18 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, could we not think that the
19 trip from Vitez to Split and then from Split to Vitez
20 did not last two days, but three days, and that, in
21 fact, you spent a night in Split and a second night at
22 that friend's house -- the friend that you spoke about
24 A. No, because it wasn't like that. We arrived
25 in Split on the first day, concluded our business, went
1 to the airport, picked up my wife. We had an hour's
2 drive from Split to Baska Voda, under an hour. We
3 spent the night there because this was a good friend of
4 ours, and we continued on our way the next day. There
5 was no reason for us to stay two days.
6 Q. Could one not think, Mr. Kupreskic, that as
7 regards the commercial part of the trip, that what was
8 involved was exclusively the purchase of textiles, and
9 that there was no question of negotiations having to do
10 with salt?
11 A. Well, of course, one might think that.
12 However, we did have these talks by the way, but
13 simply, in the given situation, Vlatko was keeping me
14 company so that I wouldn't have to travel alone.
15 Q. Would it not be logical to think that, of
16 necessity, the commercial-type documents, such as bank
17 documents or contracts, were signed during that
18 business trip?
19 A. Well, of course you might think that. We
20 didn't conclude any contract on that day. It was only
21 later. In fact, during the talks, we simply agreed
22 that a month later we would conclude the deal.
23 Q. Wouldn't it be logical to think, under those
24 conditions, Mr. Kupreskic, that an agreement, if there
25 was an agreement on that day between you and your
1 business partners, would necessarily be a draft
2 contract, and would be referred to even if the contract
3 was drafted a month later?
4 A. Well, you see, it couldn't have been a month
5 later because there was a conflict, and we were
6 practically unable to leave the area until April '94.
7 But on that occasion, we simply agreed in principle
8 that in a month's time we would obtain certain
9 quantities of salt from the salt works on Pag, the
10 Island of Pag, through them.
11 Q. Very well. I'm no longer referring now to
12 the document that we spoke about a few minutes ago, but
13 I would like to understand, Mr. Kupreskic, why
14 Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic went with you because, according
15 to what you said, it seems that Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
16 was both a negotiator, a type of negotiator that you
17 wanted to have with you, and also that it was simply a
18 question of -- I think you just said that a few minutes
19 ago -- it was a question of sparing you a journey all
20 by yourself.
21 A. Yes, of course. First of all, I was going on
22 a trip, and I wanted to see if we could agree on some
23 business, and we would get some jeans, and we would
24 also fetch my wife. Since, at that time, it was not
25 advisable to travel alone, because there had already
1 been murders on the part of the road between Novi
2 Travnik and Sebesic, people were stopped and killed,
3 especially those who had money with them.
4 Q. Therefore it wasn't in order to negotiate a
5 purchase of jeans in Split that you brought Vlatko
6 Kupreskic with you?
7 A. Well, no, he had some friends there who
8 brought those jeans from Turkey, and we simply went to
9 get the jeans. We dropped into Koteks to see the
10 people from whom we had bought goods before.
11 Q. Do you have the original of the document that
12 you have in front of you, that is the document D26/3?
13 A. I don't have this document, but I think that
14 there is a copy, that the counsel have a copy.
15 Q. Isn't it possible to have the original?
16 A. I don't have it with me now.
17 Q. Do you have it at home, at home in Bosnia, in
19 A. I can't have it because there is only one
20 original of this document, and that original is
21 somewhere with the counsel.
22 Q. It hasn't been lost? You're saying that the
23 original has not been lost. It was given to a counsel?
24 A. Well, it shouldn't have been. I gave it to
25 Vlatko Kupreskic's wife because she was collecting
1 these documents for Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic. Whether it
2 is still in the possession of Ljubica Kupreskic or if
3 the counsel have it, I wouldn't know.
4 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, perhaps this is
5 time to take a break.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, very well.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
10 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, you explained to us yesterday,
12 as your wife had done before that, that afterwards you
13 went back to a friend's house, and there you spent the
14 night, the night of the 14th to the 15th of April,
15 1993. Yesterday, to a question from Mr. Par, you
16 showed us on a map the location where you spent the
17 night, the location where that friend lives.
18 Here's my question: Does any type of written
19 trace remain from that trip that you and your wife and
20 Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic took when you stayed at the
21 friend's house? Did you pay for a room by a bank
22 cheque or by some kind of a credit card? Did you
23 announce your arrival by fax or any other written
24 method that would constitute a trace of that stay?
25 Does that trace exist?
1 A. No, for the simple reason that this person
2 was a good friend of ours. So we just rang him up from
3 Split and said that we would be spending the night at
4 his house. As a friend of ours, of course, he didn't
5 take any payment from us.
6 Q. I would like to now speak about your return
7 on the 15th of April, 1993 to Ahmici and Santici in the
8 late afternoon.
9 You said that you arrived at around 5.30 in
10 the afternoon, and at that time, you and Vlatko
11 Kupreskic separated, and you let him off in front of
12 his house. Did you give him any instructions for the
13 next day, any type of professional instructions?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
15 MR. PAR: I apologise, Your Honours. I think
16 the witness said "half past six," but this can be
17 checked in the transcript. Thank you.
18 MR. TERRIER: Mr. Par is correct. Yes,
19 unless I made a mistake, I meant "6.30." 6.30.
20 Q. My question of the witness is the following;
21 I'll repeat it: Did you give Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, on
22 the 15th of April in the evening, did you give him any
23 kind of professional instructions for the following
25 A. Yes. Along the way from Novi Travnik to
1 Vitez, we talked about how we would leave the jeans at
2 his house and how, on the following day, he would take
3 some of those jeans to Travnik, to his sister's
4 boutique. His sister lives in Travnik and has a
5 clothing shop. We came to his house, unloaded the
6 jeans, and my wife and I then went on to our own
8 Q. How do you explain that your wife, when she
9 testified and who I asked what you were transporting as
10 merchandise, was unable to tell me and simply said that
11 she didn't know and didn't see what you were
12 transporting, whereas you just said that she helped
13 with the unloading?
14 A. No, she didn't help with the unloading.
15 While Vlatko and I were unloading the jeans, she was
16 saying hello to my aunt and Vlatko's wife. It wasn't
17 such a large amount of goods for my wife to have to
19 Q. Yesterday, you told us about the evening that
20 you spent in your house together with friends and
21 people from your family, and you mentioned many people
22 who came to visit you, especially your wife who had
23 returned from Germany.
24 In front of this Trial Chamber, another
25 witness, Mr. Mirko Sakic, made somewhat different
1 statements in respect of the people who were present
2 and in respect of the statements and conversations that
3 had taken place at that point. He specifically said
4 that Zoran and Mirjan were present but not their wives,
5 and that Vlatko Kupreskic was present. What would you
6 say to that?
7 A. I don't know what Mirko Sakic said, but I do
8 know that certainly Zoran, Mirjan, and their wives
9 dropped in, but Zoran's wife and Zoran stayed for a
10 very short time because they themselves had guests at
11 home. People came and went all the time, relatives,
12 friends. Those closest to us came to say hello to my
13 wife, to have a chat, and then they would go home
14 again. They would have a drink, of course.
15 Q. You said yesterday that on the 16th of April
16 at 4.00 in the morning, someone came knocking on your
17 door to tell you that the Muslims were going to attack
18 the village and that it would be appropriate to find
19 shelter. You told us that that person was Dragan
20 Vidovic. Could you explain to us who Dragan Vidovic
22 A. Dragan Vidovic was my neighbour who lives
23 some 150 metres away from my house. He was then a
24 member of the civil defence. Where he got the
25 information, I really don't know, but it was he who
1 woke me up, and then I woke my family.
2 Q. Was Dragan Vidovic a member of an HVO
3 military unit?
4 A. Not at that time. I know that he was a
5 member of the civil defence.
6 Q. When he came to your door on the 16th of
7 April at 4.00 in the morning, was he wearing a
9 A. I don't remember because it was dark
10 outside. He knocked on my door and he said, "Don't
11 turn the light on." I don't remember because I really
12 didn't see exactly what he looked like at that moment.
13 Q. Do you remember whether he had a weapon with
15 A. I didn't see that either, since he suggested
16 that I shouldn't turn on the light.
17 Q. When you left your house, your wife, your
18 three sons, and yourself, in order to go to the shelter
19 which had been assigned to you, how were you dressed?
20 A. I was wearing a civilian uniform.
21 Q. Did you have a weapon?
22 A. No, at that moment, I did not have any
24 Q. You told us yesterday that you took your
25 family in the direction of the Vrebac shelter but that
1 you let them go at Ivica Vidovic's house, and then you
2 went back to your house. How could you be sure that
3 your family would be taken in at the shelter, to be
4 sure in Vrebac that there would be enough room in that
5 shelter in order to take them in?
6 A. First of all, I didn't say I left them in
7 Ivica Vidovic's house, but I left them near Ivica
8 Vidovic's house because they went on in the direction
9 of Jozo Vrebac's house. We had been in close relations
10 with that family for a long time. I didn't even think
11 about whether there would be room for them or not
12 because I was simply lost.
13 Q. How could you be sure, since you were
14 speaking about an attack by the Muslim forces on the
15 village, how could you be sure that the Vrebac shelter
16 would be a safe area and that there would be no
17 shooting that would be able to hit it and that the
18 dangerous area was only the Ahmici area?
19 A. I did not know this, but I know that whenever
20 there was any alarm, this was the largest shelter, and
21 usually people went there. Everybody took their
22 families there. I remember that while my family was in
23 Germany, even then it was the case. All other shelters
24 were much smaller.
25 Q. Therefore, when you left your family in front
1 of Vidovic's house, you were sure that, in the shelter,
2 they would not only be taken in but that they would be
3 absolutely safe?
4 A. I was not certain that they would be safe
5 anywhere, but Dragan suggested that they should go over
6 there. Perhaps he had some better information in that
7 regard on that morning.
8 Q. You told us yesterday that you went back on
9 the road in the direction of your house, more
10 specifically, in order to go to meet the refugees who
11 lived in your brother's house, and that on the road,
12 you met first Zoran and his family, Mirjan and his
13 family, and that then near Mirko Sakic's house, you met
14 soldiers. Did I understand your statement of
16 A. When returning from Ivica Vidovic's house, I
17 first met Mirjan and Zoran's parents, and around
18 Pudzine Kuce, I met Zoran and Mirjan with their
19 families and saw Mirjan driving his mother-in-law in a
20 wheelbarrow. In front of Mirko Sakic's house, since I
21 was walking a bit faster, I caught up with this group
22 of soldiers who were going in the direction of this
24 However, when I took my family to the
25 shelter, I had already called Marica, who was at her
1 brother Branko's, and Manda, who was in my brother
2 Josip's house. They, at that time, declared that they
3 had had enough of all these alarms, and they refused to
4 go. However, when I encountered these soldiers, I
5 realised that the situation was serious, that something
6 could happen, and then I hurried over there to them to
7 direct them to go to the shelter as soon as possible.
8 I'm not sure whether I have been clear now.
9 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, let's go back to those
10 soldiers you met on the road. All of you were on the
11 same road and were walking in the same direction?
12 A. Yes. I caught up with them.
13 Q. All right. You caught up with them. I'm
14 having some difficulty understanding how it was
15 possible that at that point you didn't meet them, meet
16 the same soldiers at that moment when you were driving
17 your family in the direction of Vrebac.
18 A. I'll tell you why, because there were at
19 least five other paths they could have used to get to
20 that point from other directions, not just from the
21 part of the road I was taking. They could have come
22 from the main road in the direction of Mirko Sakic's
23 house or in the direction of Pudzine Kuce. They could
24 have arrived along a path leading through the wood,
25 which is between Mirko Sakic's house and Pudzine Kuce.
1 They could have come from the upper side. It doesn't
2 mean that they had to have come along the same road
3 where I was driving my family along.
4 Q. Don't you think it's logical that one would
5 think that those soldiers had certainly come in a
6 vehicle and that the vehicle had stopped on the road or
7 near the road, specifically in Pirici or in Zume? Did
8 you ever learn where their vehicle had come from?
9 A. I never found out. I don't know how they
10 arrived there. I just caught up with them at
11 Mr. Sakic's house.
12 Q. About how many of them were there, about?
13 A. Well, perhaps some -- about 30 soldiers.
14 Q. How were they dressed? As far as you
15 remember, how were they dressed?
16 A. When I caught up with them, it was still
17 dark, but I was able to notice that some had camouflage
18 uniforms and some had black uniforms, and they were
19 well masked with black bands and with pale blue bands
20 on their sleeves.
21 Q. Did you recognise one or the other of them?
22 A. No, it was impossible to recognise these
23 soldiers because they were very well masked.
24 Q. Did you speak to them? Did you ask them any
25 questions about what had happened?
1 A. No, I didn't talk to them at all because I
2 turned left immediately, and they went on in the
3 direction of the warehouse. They didn't stop there, so
4 I couldn't stop and talk to them.
5 Q. You told us yesterday that, after the meeting
6 with the soldiers, you went back home. At that point,
7 you called your cousin, Vlatko Kupreskic, in order to
8 be sure that he was also going to go to a shelter and
9 then that you went to your brother's house, your
10 brother Josip's house. At some point during that
11 morning or during the day of the 16th of April, did you
12 notice or did you meet Vlatko Kupreskic?
13 A. No. I didn't meet Vlatko Kupreskic again. I
14 only talked to him on the telephone after I had left my
15 family, when I'd sent Marica and Manda there, and I
16 went to try to persuade my aunt, Manda, and Marica's
17 mother-in-law. Then I called him up to tell him I had
18 seen a group of soldiers and that he too should take
19 his family to a shelter.
20 Q. But subsequently, you didn't see him, and you
21 didn't know where he had gone during that day?
22 A. Later I heard that he had gone in the
23 direction of the shelter with his family and that only
24 his father stayed behind in the house. He had broken
25 his hip, and he simply refused to go anywhere.
1 Q. My question doesn't have to do with what you
2 learned, but what you personally saw that day. You did
3 not see Vlatko Kupreskic on that day; is that correct?
4 A. Except when I was on my way to the shelter
5 carrying food, at one moment I saw him. I can't
6 remember precisely whether it was at about 1.00 p.m.,
7 or in the evening, about 6.00 p.m. I don't remember
8 when it was exactly, but I saw him in front of the
10 Q. You mean the Vrebac shelter?
11 A. Yes, the Vrebac shelter, in front of the
12 Vrebac shelter.
13 Q. In front of the shelter you saw Vlatko
14 Kupreskic, either at 1.00 or at 6.00?
15 A. Yes. Yes. That's right. I think it was at
16 about 6.00 p.m. I think it was in the evening.
17 Q. I would like you to explain to us why you
18 considered it necessary to stay where you did for most
19 of the day -- that is, in the boiler room of your
20 brother Josip's house -- whereas you were alone, you
21 were near the fighting, if there was fighting, and all
22 of your friends and members of your family were further
23 away, either in the depression or in the various houses
24 in Zume. Was the place where you were staying a place
25 which seemed particularly safe to you?
1 A. Well, at that moment, that place seemed to me
2 to be safer than the shelter where they were. It was
3 quite close to the gunfire, but my house was nearby.
4 My elderly aunt and the other lady, Luca, were in the
5 house, and that was the main reason. I saw houses
6 burning, and I thought my house might burst into flames
7 and then I could try to put out the fire. That was the
8 main reason.
9 Q. I would like to understand, Mr. Kupreskic,
10 because you're telling us that, for instance, you were
11 visited by two soldiers during the morning, rather
12 early in the morning, two soldiers whose behaviour you
13 said yesterday terrorised you. Although the location
14 seemed very unsafe and very exposed, you still remained
15 there, without moving, and without finding it necessary
16 to go find your friends and your family in a place that
17 was further removed. I don't understand why you
18 remained at that location, all by yourself, and
19 apparently in a position where you could be threatened
20 by the soldiers.
21 A. Well, you see, of course I was afraid,
22 because one of the soldiers took his gun off his
23 shoulder and pointed it at me, asking me who I was. Of
24 course I was afraid. But I brought some brandy for
25 these people, they had a drink, and they went away
1 again. So I stayed behind, and it's really hard to
2 explain why, why I was there, except the reasons I have
3 already given.
4 Q. As regards the two soldiers that you gave
5 brandy to, did they tell you that they were members --
6 they told you they were members of the Jokers. Were
7 you familiar with the Jokers? Did you know what that
8 unit was?
9 A. Well, I had heard that there was a unit
10 called the Jokers, but I didn't know much more about
11 them. I knew they were some kind of a special unit,
12 and they told me that themselves that morning.
13 Q. Had you already gone past the Bungalow before
14 the 16th of April, 1993?
15 A. Well, I did go in that direction, beside the
16 Bungalow, as well, and I saw that a unit was located
17 there, of course, but I couldn't even now tell you
18 which unit was there, but I did know that there was
19 some sort of army in the Bungalow.
20 Q. Yesterday you spoke to us about Nikola
21 Omazic. When you met him, how was Nikola Omazic
22 dressed? Was he wearing a uniform or not? Was he
23 carrying a weapon or not?
24 A. I don't remember what he was wearing. I
25 think he did have a rifle. I think he had a rifle. He
1 was a little tipsy and teetered around a bit, but I
2 couldn't tell you how he was dressed.
3 Q. From a document that was tendered in evidence
4 during a previous hearing, P354, that Nikola Omazic, on
5 that day, was in Ahmici. He was on duty with the HVO.
6 What does this bring to your mind?
7 A. I don't think he was. I don't think he was
8 on duty. I do know that I saw him for the first time
9 at the entrance to the depression when I went to find
10 people to help me take Mirjan Santic, who was already
11 in my garage. When we brought him to the depression,
12 Nikola, Zoran, Mirjan, and Dragan Vidovic took him off
13 further. After that, I didn't see Nikola any more.
14 Where he was, I cannot say.
15 A. Mr. Kupreskic, a witness who testified at
16 this Tribunal under the pseudonym "H" stated that he
17 saw on the 15th of April, 1993 -- that is, the day
18 before the events that are of interest to us here --
19 that he saw HVO soldiers in front of your house, into
20 which they were putting military-type equipment. What
21 comment would you make about that?
22 A. They could not have seen that at all because
23 there was no military materiel in my house. Only
24 trucks bringing goods came to my house which was to be
25 sold, and to the warehouse, if Vlatko's premises and
1 his warehouse at Veleprodaja was unable to take any
2 more goods in. So all the goods that were superfluous,
3 were surplus. They went to my premises, and no
4 military materiel or weaponry was in my basement at
6 Q. Did your commercial activities ever have to
7 do with military-type equipment? I'm not only speaking
8 about weapons, weapons systems, but also other military
9 equipment, such as uniforms, or all the objects that
10 soldiers might need, soldiers who were on duty.
11 A. At that time, there was nothing interesting
12 there. However, when the war ended, then some offers
13 were coming in, and as there was a demand for military
14 uniforms, my company too would offer military
15 uniforms. But this was all in the course of 1994 and
16 1995 -- such as blankets and other coverings and so
18 Q. Therefore, you never had any commercial
19 activity in the -- that is, before April 1993 -- having
20 to do with specifically military material and certainly
21 not weapons?
22 A. Never.
23 Q. You told us that on several occasions during
24 that day you saw Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic. Do you
25 remember how they were both dressed?
1 A. I remember. Mirjan had a civilian uniform,
2 and Zoran had a camouflage shirt which was several
3 sizes too large and could have fit me better than him.
4 I think that he was wearing trousers as well -- jeans.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: In French, I heard "military
6 uniform." Perhaps I'm wrong. Mirjan was wearing a
7 military uniform; is that correct?
8 MR. TERRIER: Yes, that's what I heard in
9 French as well.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Whereas in the transcript it
11 says "civilian uniform."
12 MR. TERRIER: Let me ask the question again.
13 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, could you tell us again, as
14 far as you remember, how Mirjan Kupreskic was dressed
15 on that 16th of April.
16 A. Civilian clothing, I said. But I used the
17 term "civilian uniform." I used the term "uniform,"
18 but he was wearing civilian clothing, in fact. He had
19 civilian clothing from head to foot. Zoran had a
20 camouflage upper part, shirt.
21 Q. This notion of a civilian uniform that you
22 mentioned, was there such a thing?
23 A. Well, it was -- what I had in mind was
24 civilian clothing, in fact. I just used the wrong word
25 and said "civilian uniform." I meant "civilian
2 Q. Were Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic armed on that
3 16th of April?
4 A. Yes, they were. Zoran had a hunting rifle, a
5 carbine, and Mirjan had an M-48 rifle.
6 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Kupreskic, you were shown a
7 document, a log, and you were asked to authenticate, if
8 you could, the signature of Mirjan Kupreskic. On the
9 document -- which is D352, unless I'm mistaken -- you
10 asserted that this was not Mirjan Kupreskic's
11 signature, and you told us that you were absolutely
12 sure because as part of his professional activities in
13 the Sutra company, Mirjan Kupreskic signed many
15 So here's my question: Did you bring to The
16 Hague, or could you send to The Hague, perhaps through
17 Mirjan Kupreskic's attorney, a specimen of Mirjan
18 Kupreskic's handwriting?
19 A. I have brought it with me, and you have it
20 with the attorneys.
21 Q. Do you know, are you in a position to
22 identify the signature of Zoran Kupreskic?
23 A. No, I could not because I did not do anything
24 specific, have any dealings with Zoran. But Mirjan
25 would send papers to me every day with his signatures,
1 and so I know his signature very well.
2 Q. You told us yesterday that you left Ahmici
3 and that now you lived in Vitez, and that if you moved,
4 it was largely connected to these events that we're
5 speaking about, that's the events of 1993. You said
6 that in the same way, the families of Mirjan and Zoran
7 Kupreskic lived in Vitez, and for the same reasons,
8 apparently. Is there a reason why Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
9 and his family remained living in Ahmici?
10 A. I really couldn't say why Vlatko stayed down
11 there. That's his opinion.
12 MR. TERRIER: I have no further questions,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
15 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
17 Mr. President.
18 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
19 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, linked to the meeting that you
20 mentioned and which took place on the terrace of your
21 house after the first conflict, that is to say, in
22 October 1992, tell us, please, you also mentioned that
23 you know something about a decision about the return of
24 rifles. What decision was that? What rifles, how many
25 rifles? What decision?
1 A. I think that I have already said that. It
2 was just mentioned, brought up at the meeting, the
3 return of those rifles, and the decision was made at a
4 previous meeting of some kind, and I said that what was
5 in question were four rifles and that a vehicle had
6 been confiscated at the roadblock down there. I really
7 can't tell you any more than that.
8 Q. (No translation)
9 A. That's what I heard, at least.
10 Q. At that meeting, was it also decided that
11 guards would be set up at the entrance to the village?
12 A. Yes, that is correct, and I have already
13 stated that.
14 Q. Do you recall what direction the meeting
15 took? That is to say, what decisions were made, and
16 whether there was any mention of any official type of
17 decision. What was the tone, general tone of the
19 A. Well, first of all, I was a little late to
20 arrive at the meeting because I was in Vitez, as I
21 said, and my aunt phoned me there, so I turned up late,
22 and they had already discussed matters, so that I was
23 included at a belated date. We had a bottle of drink,
24 we drank a little, and I suggested that if necessary, I
25 would take the first shift doing the guard duty, and
1 there wasn't to have been any problems along those
3 Q. Would you once again repeat who was present
4 from the Muslim side?
5 A. From the Muslim side there was Mr. Kalco
6 Sulejman, the representative of the municipality --
7 Q. And who was Mr. Kalco Sulejman in the
9 A. He was in charge, as far as I know, of the
10 Defence Department or Office, something along those
11 lines, as far as I know, at that time.
12 Q. Kalco Sulejman was there for the Muslims.
13 Who else was there of the Muslims?
14 A. Mr. Berbic Fuad was there, and his brother
15 Junuz, and Ahmic Zikrija, Sakib's son, who was a
16 military man.
17 Q. Do you know in what capacity he attended the
18 meeting? Was he in uniform? Was he a representative
19 of the army? Was he there in any other capacity?
20 A. I really couldn't say.
21 Q. Was he wearing a uniform?
22 A. I don't remember.
23 Q. How do you know he was a military man at the
25 A. Well, I know that he had gone to military
1 school within the system of the JNA, and I think that
2 that is why he represented the army. I am trying to
3 remember. I do actually think that he might have been
4 wearing a uniform.
5 Q. Do you know what he did otherwise?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Very well, no. Tell us, Ahmici, which
8 municipality do they belong to?
9 A. They belong to the municipality of Vitez.
10 Q. And what function did Pero Skopljak have?
11 A. I can't remember what function. I know that
12 he had performed several functions, and at one time he
13 was the chief of police. He was president of the HDZ
14 for a time, but at that particular moment, I really
15 don't know what functions he performed.
16 Q. Did he take part in the municipal
18 A. I think he did.
19 Q. Was this authority established for Vitez, the
20 town of Vitez proper, or for the municipality of Vitez?
21 A. For the municipality of Vitez, which is quite
23 Q. Would you please indicate on the map the area
24 in which the houses belonging to Jozo Vrebac are
25 located, as well as Niko Vidovic and Milutin Vidovic.
1 What part is it?
2 A. This is Jozo Vrebac's house (indicating), and
3 that was the shelter.
4 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, could you stand aside so that
5 we can all see the aerial photograph.
6 A. This is Milutin Vidovic's house (indicating),
7 and that is the shelter and Jozo Vrebac's house
9 Q. And what name does that part of the village
10 go by?
11 A. That part of the village is called Santici.
12 Q. Tell us, please, in that part, the houses
13 there, how many Muslims were there?
14 A. Well, there were Muslims in this part as
16 Q. I'm asking about the area you pointed out.
17 A. You mean this area here?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. There were no Muslim houses here. Only
20 across the creek were there some Muslim houses. I
21 think this was a Muslim house as well (indicating), and
22 up here, in this section (indicating), where Balici --
23 Q. In that overall area, that is to say, above
24 the road, how many houses are there?
25 A. In this entire part, this part here
1 (indicating), there might be five or six houses, not
3 Q. And how about the Croatian houses? How many,
5 A. There are many more Croatian houses. I don't
6 know the exact number, but I think that there must be
7 at least 50 households.
8 Q. Very well, thank you. You may sit
9 down again. I'm sorry, while you're still standing,
10 can you point out another place, where you saw Zoran
11 and Mirjan Kupreskic?
12 A. What do you have in mind?
13 Q. I have in mind the 16th, the morning of the
14 16th, when they were on their way to the shelter.
15 A. Well, it was approximately at Pudzine Kuce,
16 in this part here.
17 Q. And you also stated that the army that you
18 saw at Sakic's house, that it could have got there
19 using different routes. Which routes existed in that
21 A. Well, if you look at the map, you can see
22 there is a road this way (indicating). They could have
23 taken that route. They could have taken the upper
24 route. There's a path here (indicating). There's a
25 footpath running along here, and another little road
1 here. There's a route here, a path, that is. So they
2 could have used any of those paths, and they could have
3 even come from this direction here, from this side, and
4 used this road. They're all small paths that could
5 have been used.
6 Q. Thank you. You saw the direction in which
7 they were moving. Where did you, in fact, see them?
8 Was the first place by Niko Sakic's house?
9 A. Yes, the first time I saw them was there
10 (indicating), and they went in the direction of the
12 Q. You don't know which direction they actually
13 had come from?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. And you can't tell us that, can you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Thank you. You may sit down again.
18 Tell us, please, were you a member of the HDZ
19 at that time?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you know whether Zoran and Mirjan were
22 members of the HDZ?
23 A. No, they were certainly not, especially
24 Zoran. Zoran had a lot of pressure exerted on him to
25 join the HDZ. Most of the pressure was exerted on him
1 by Slavko Milicevic. I think he came to visit him at
2 least ten times to try and convince him to join the
3 HDZ, however, he didn't want to.
4 Q. How do you know that? How do you know that
5 Slavko Milicevic asked Zoran to join the HDZ?
6 A. Well, I knew that because I was present on
7 several occasions when he called him up, and he said
8 that they needed a man like him because he was an
9 intellectual, he had graduated from university, so on
10 and so forth, but each time, he would decline and did
11 not want to accept.
12 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that
13 Mirjan Kupreskic, while he worked for you, that is to
14 say, after the war, had some contacts with Mr. Emir
15 Perenda whom you mentioned. I think you said that you
16 had a very large business, conducted a large business
17 transaction for the Islamic community in 1995?
18 A. Yes. Mirjan worked with me all the time, and
19 on many occasions, he took Emir from Vitez to Travnik
20 to his house there because Emir did not have a car of
21 his own. He was included all the time, non-stop, and
22 he would give goods to the Muslims with deferred
23 payment. Sometimes I knew about this; sometimes I did
24 not. One case in point was the person Mustafa Dzidic,
25 called Dzida, who danced in the folklore group with
1 him. He cried and said that his family would not be
2 able to survive, and he prevailed upon him for two
3 days. He asked me, and then Mirjan said okay, and he
4 has never paid me for the goods until this day.
5 Q. With reference to Emir Perenda, do you know
6 him well?
7 A. Yes, I can say I know him well.
8 Q. Did you have a discussion with Emir Perenda
9 concerning Mirjan Kupreskic?
10 A. Yes, I did talk about Mirjan Kupreskic with
11 Emir Perenda. Emir Perenda only got to know Mirjan
12 Kupreskic after the war, and he liked him as a person.
13 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that, as
14 soon as this indictment was issued, Emir Perenda and
15 Mirjan Kupreskic had a meeting --
16 A. After the indictment?
17 Q. Yes, after the indictment in '95, after
18 Mirjan Kupreskic found out.
19 A. Yes, they did, and Emir was very surprised to
20 hear that Mirjan Kupreskic was indicted, since he knew
21 him well.
22 Q. Did Emir Perenda talk about Mirjan
23 Kupreskic's reaction to the indictment?
24 A. Yes. He said that he was very hard hit by
25 it, which is quite logical, because, in my opinion,
1 Mirjan should not be accused of such a thing.
2 Q. With reference to these activities of Zoran
3 and Mirjan Kupreskic after the war, you said that you
4 knew that both of them had worked. Can you say that
5 Zoran Kupreskic also went abroad with a folk dancing
7 A. Yes, because the Vitez folk dancing group
8 could not be imagined without Zoran and Mirjan.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Just a moment, please.
10 Q. Just one more question: In connection with
11 the jeans you bought at the market in 1992 --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- who did you buy them from? Did you buy
14 these jeans in a shop or from a private individual with
15 a stall?
16 A. From a private individual who had a stall at
17 the market.
18 Q. At that time, was it usual for persons
19 holding stalls at the market to be paid by bank
20 transfers, for example, especially persons who were
21 from another country, another state?
22 A. No. At the market stalls, everything was
23 paid for in cash, as it is today.
24 Q. With reference to the negotiations you had in
25 Koteks, Split --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- you said you had some kind of memo?
3 A. Yes. I have my diary, my appointment book,
4 because I never threw away these diaries, so I should
5 have a diary. So it's a kind of business appointment
6 book where you make notes of your business meetings,
7 your business negotiations, whether a deal is concluded
8 and so on.
9 Q. So you think you haven't thrown it away?
10 A. I think I haven't. I think it should be
11 somewhere, but I can't be absolutely sure that I'll
12 find it.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.
14 Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
17 Counsel Par?
18 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honour. I have
19 only a brief clarification connected to D27/3, and I
20 would like to ask the usher to put D27/3 on the
21 overhead projector.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Par:
23 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, while the evidence is on its
24 way, it follows from today's cross-examination that it
25 is still unclear what border crossings were used and
1 what routes. Since you marked the route you used from
2 Vitez to Split and the route you returned by yesterday,
3 I would now like to ask you to draw an arrow showing
4 the direction of movement, showing, in fact, what route
5 you took to reach Split ...
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Can you please stop? Could
7 you please stop? Could we get this document?
8 MR. PAR: May we continue, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
10 MR. PAR:
11 Q. Mr. Kupreskic, could you please draw now,
12 because I see that you have drawn an arrow showing the
13 direction in which you moved from Vitez to Split, and
14 could you put a "1" next to it?
15 A. (Marks)
16 Q. I see that you have already drawn in an arrow
17 for your return journey. Could you mark it "2"?
18 A. (Marks)
19 MR. PAR: Thank you. I have no further
20 questions, Your Honours. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: We have no questions,
22 Mr. Kupreskic. Thank you for testifying in court. You
23 may now be released.
24 (The witness withdrew)
25 JUDGE CASSESE: May we now move on to our
1 next witness?
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mrs. Vidovic.
4 Could you please make the solemn declaration?
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
10 Counsel Radovic?
11 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, my colleague,
12 Mr. Par, would like to join the examination-in-chief of
13 this witness, my colleagues, Mr. Krajina and Mr. Par.
14 WITNESS: LJUBA VIDOVIC
15 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
16 Q. Good day, Mrs. Vidovic. First of all, would
17 you please introduce yourself to the Court? State your
18 name, surname, your family's name, your date of birth.
19 A. My name is Ljuba Vidovic. I was born in
20 1944, on the 20th of May, in Busovaca, and I married in
22 Q. Could you give us your present address?
23 A. I live in Santici, number 73, in my own home.
24 Q. Could you please say, in 1993, when the war
25 broke out, were you married then or were you a widow?
1 A. I was a widow at that time.
2 Q. Can you tell us how many children you had?
3 A. Four children. I had a son and three
5 Q. At the time the war broke out, who did you
6 live with?
7 A. I was living alone.
8 Q. During the war, we heard that you had a
9 numerous family. Were there any victims in your family
10 that were either killed or injured?
11 A. Yes. First of all, my son-in-law was killed,
12 then the sons of my other relatives.
13 Q. What about your granddaughter?
14 A. She lost her hand from a shell.
15 Q. Where?
16 A. In the centre of Vitez.
17 Q. Did she stay alive?
18 A. Yes. She's in Denmark now.
19 Q. Is she on her own or with her family?
20 A. With her family, her father, her mother, and
21 three sisters.
22 Q. Have you visited her?
23 A. Yes. I visited her in 1995. When she was
24 asked what she wanted for Christmas, she said she
25 wanted her grandmother. She kept asking for her
1 grandmother, and then her father sent me money, he sent
2 me 500 marks, so that I could come and visit my
4 Q. In Denmark, they are trying to rehabilitate
5 her arm?
6 A. Yes. She has an artificial hand, and they
7 are treating her there.
8 Q. So she has obtained Danish citizenship?
9 A. Yes, and she is permanently resident there.
10 Q. At the time just before the war, were you
11 employed or were you a housewife?
12 A. I was a housewife.
13 Q. Can you tell us what your education is?
14 A. Primary school, five grades of primary
16 Q. Were you interested in the political events?
17 A. I was never interested in politics.
18 Q. Do you know anything about the first conflict
19 between the Muslims and the Croats in October 1992?
20 A. I remember that the Muslims set up roadblocks
21 and that there was a little trouble, but it was a long
22 time ago.
23 Q. Do you know anything from your own
24 observation about the first conflict?
25 A. I know my next door neighbour Reuf came to my
1 house with his wife and children because he was afraid,
2 so he spent the night at my house.
3 Q. That was during the first conflict?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know anything about the events between
6 the first clash and the beginning of the war on the
7 16th of April, 1993?
8 A. Well, village guards were established for
9 security and because of the warplanes and the Serbian
11 Q. Do you know any details?
12 A. No. I was never interested in politics.
13 Q. Do you remember what you were doing on the
14 15th of April, 1993, a day before the war broke out?
15 A. Well, who would remember? A housewife is a
16 housewife. She thinks about what she's going to cook
17 for her children.
18 Q. On that day, before the war broke out, was
19 that day different in any way from all the other days
20 preceding that day? Could you speak a little more
21 slowly? Could there be a short break when I end my
22 question for the interpreters? The question was: Was
23 the day before the conflict broke out, as far as you
24 were concerned, different in any way from all the other
1 A. No, it was just an ordinary day, like every
2 other day.
3 Q. Did any of the neighbours warn you that
4 dangerous days were coming?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, could you tell us what happened on the
7 16th of April, 1993?
8 A. In 1993 --
9 Q. But before we discuss that day, could you be
10 so kind as to show us the location of your house on the
11 map? You have an aerial photograph of Ahmici. Could
12 you take the pointer and show it to us? Could you move
13 a little and stand sideways so that the Judges can see?
14 A. Well, this is where Ante Vidovic's house is.
15 This is Ivo Vidovic's house. This is Miso Lumic's
16 house. This is Ramiz Ramic's house. This is my
17 daughter's house. This is Reuf Podojak's, and this is
18 my house. This is my brother-in-law's son's house and
19 my other relative's house, and this is the house of my
20 other relative (indicating).
21 Q. Of all the houses you mentioned, could you
22 repeat the names and indicate the houses of the
24 A. Well, this is the house of Ramo Ramic. This
25 is Reuf Podojak's house (indicating).
1 Q. These are your only Muslim neighbours?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The house you pointed out as your house, was
4 there only one house on that plot of land or were there
6 A. My house.
7 Q. One house. Where was your daughter's house?
8 A. Across the road, above Ramo Ramic's house.
9 Q. Can you tell us the name?
10 A. Of my daughter? Lidija Sola.
11 Q. Your house, your old house, to call it that,
12 what quality was it?
13 A. It was an old house. It didn't have a
14 concrete base. It was unsafe, so I moved into my
15 daughter's house.
16 Q. So there were wooden beams?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And your daughter's house?
19 A. It was a three-story house, and it had
20 reinforced concrete parts.
21 Q. Did it have a basement?
22 A. No, it didn't.
23 Q. When did you move into your daughter's house?
24 A. When I returned from the shelter.
25 Q. So until the beginning of the war, you lived
1 in your own house, and when you came back from the
2 shelter, for safety, you moved into your daughter's
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where was your daughter at that time?
6 A. In Zenica. In Zenica.
7 Q. Did your daughter ever come from Zenica or
8 did she spend the whole war in Zenica?
9 A. She spent the entire war in Zenica until
10 there was a cease-fire.
11 Q. Tell us now what happened on the first day of
12 the war at your place.
13 A. In the morning, at about 4.00 a.m., a soldier
14 came and woke me up. I happened to look at my watch
15 and saw that it was 4.00, and I was terrified. I said,
16 "Why are you calling me? Who is it?" He said, "It's
17 not important who it is. Go to a shelter. If you have
18 livestock to tend to, do so, and then go to the
19 shelter." When I had seen to my livestock and did
20 everything that was necessary, there was no shooting
21 yet, I went to the shelter --
22 Q. Just slowly, please. The soldier who woke
23 you up, what was that like? He knocked. Did he knock
24 at the door, at the window?
25 A. He knocked at the door.
1 Q. As far as I was able to understand, you
2 opened the door?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What did you see outside the door? Did you
5 switch the light on?
6 A. No. He told me not to switch the light on
7 but to open the door and not to be afraid and to get
8 up. I went out. I didn't know the man. He was
9 wearing a camouflage uniform. He had paint on his
10 face. I didn't recognise him. He just said, "Tend to
11 your livestock and go to the shelter."
12 Q. What did he look like, this soldier?
13 A. Well, he was covered over in paint and a
14 camouflage uniform.
15 Q. What was his face like?
16 A. Well, it was painted black.
17 Q. Do you remember the colour on his face?
18 A. Well, I can't remember the colour on his
19 face, no.
20 Q. Did you notice whether the soldier was armed
21 or not?
22 A. Well, if the truth be told, he did have a
23 weapon of some kind, but I'm not very well up on
24 weapons myself.
25 Q. Was he alone or was there any other soldier
1 with him?
2 A. He was alone.
3 Q. Was the soldier a local or was he totally
4 unknown to you?
5 A. He was unknown. I had never seen him, nor
6 did I know him at all.
7 Q. Did you learn who he was later on?
8 A. No.
9 Q. So that means that that soldier is still
10 unknown to you; you never came to know who the soldier
12 A. Never.
13 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we now come to
14 more concrete matters, and this will be a short
15 witness. I think that we should continue after the
16 break. We will get through this witness during the
17 course of the day. Thank you.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: We will take a break.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
22 MR. RADOVIC:
23 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, we may continue. I think we
24 left off talking about the first day of the war, the
25 16th of April, 1993, when you were woken up by an
1 unknown soldier; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. After he woke you up, what did you do?
4 A. I went to the shed to tend to my livestock.
5 When I had done everything necessary, I went to the
6 shelter about 5.30, 6.00, and I saw a lot of people
7 coming to the shelter there, women and children.
8 Q. What shelter was that?
9 A. It was at Jozo Vrebac's, that is to say, his
10 daughter Jelena's place. That was the only large
11 shelter and secure shelter in the area.
12 Q. Why did you personally go to that special
14 A. Because it was the safest one. It was dug
15 into the ground.
16 Q. Did anybody direct you towards that shelter
17 or did you conclude yourself that it was safest there?
18 A. Well, we went to that shelter when the air
19 force was flying.
20 Q. Which air force?
21 A. The Communist Yugo Army.
22 Q. Tell us, please, what time did you arrive in
23 the shelter?
24 A. 5.30, 6.00 a.m. I'm not quite sure. I
25 didn't look at my watch.
1 Q. Did you find any people you knew in the
3 A. I knew everybody because they were all local
5 Q. I am interested in knowing about Zoran and
6 Mirjan Kupreskic. Did you see them anywhere?
7 A. Yes. When they came, that is to say, Mirjan
8 with his wife Ljuba, and their two children came, and
9 Zoran left Milutin, his wife, and children at Milutin
10 Vidovic's house.
11 Q. How do you know that Zoran left his wife and
12 children in Milutin's house?
13 A. I was on the pavement in front of the shelter
14 when they came, and the house is near Milutin Vidovic's
16 Q. Then you saw that Zoran and his family had
17 gone to Milutin Vidovic's house; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. What time was that?
20 A. It was about 6.00, a little before 6.00. I
21 don't remember the exact time.
22 Q. Can you describe how Mirjan was dressed?
23 A. Mirjan was dressed in civilian clothing.
24 Q. What does that mean for you, "civilian"?
25 A. Well, it meant he wasn't -- not like a
2 Q. And how was Zoran dressed?
3 A. Zoran -- I saw Zoran when he came to visit
4 his wife and children, and I saw that he had a
5 camouflage jacket and had jeans, and a multi-coloured
7 Q. When you say "multi-coloured jacket," is that
8 part of a military uniform or is it a civilian jacket?
9 A. Well, it's a multi-coloured -- I think
10 camouflage, the type of camouflage jacket.
11 Q. You mean a part of a camouflage uniform?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you recall how many times on that
14 particular day you saw Zoran Kupreskic?
15 A. Well, Zoran and Mirjan came to see their
16 wives and children about three times.
17 Q. When you say three times, you're talking
18 about the first day of the war?
19 A. Yes, the first day of the war.
20 Q. Can you tell us the approximate time that you
21 saw them?
22 A. Well, I saw them at about ten, one -- maybe
23 half past three, thereabouts.
24 Q. Tell me, do you have a watch, and were you
25 able to tell us on the basis of the watch or just
2 A. Approximately.
3 Q. How long did you stay in the shelter?
4 A. I stayed in the shelter until 7 p.m.
5 Q. What did you do then?
6 A. I then went to my daughter's house.
7 Q. While you were in the shelter, did you hear
8 any shooting?
9 A. Well, yes, I did.
10 Q. Were you able to determine the direction the
11 shooting was coming from?
12 A. Oh, who knows? When you're in a shelter, you
13 have no idea what direction the shooting is coming
15 Q. Can you determine when the shooting started,
17 A. At about 5.30, maybe, thereabouts. But I ran
18 to the shelter between the houses.
19 Q. So as soon as you got to the shelter, the
20 shooting started?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Did you see any flames, reflection of any
23 fire which would lead you to conclude that houses were
25 A. No, you couldn't see whether houses were
1 burning or not because we were on the other side of the
3 Q. So you went home, and you went to your
4 daughter's house; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. So that was also on the first day of the war,
7 was it not? How come you dared, on the first day of
8 the war, to go home at all?
9 A. Well, I'm alone. I have small children, and
10 there were a lot of people there, women and children,
11 and so it was very noisy.
12 Q. In the shelter, you mean?
13 A. Yes. So I went to my daughter's house
14 because it was safe there. Then I went home, attended
15 to the livestock, and saw Ramo Ramic standing at the
17 Q. Who is Ramo Ramic?
18 A. Ramo Ramic is my next-door neighbour.
19 Q. What happened next?
20 A. I asked him to come into my daughter's house,
21 him and his wife. His child was in Zenica. He said,
22 "I have six other wives and children," and that they
23 could all come in, and they all did.
24 Q. And what happened next?
25 A. (No translation)
1 Q. So all of them went to your house, did they?
2 Is Ramo Ramic a Croat, or a Muslim?
3 A. He's a Muslim.
4 Q. What about the five or six people that came
5 together with him?
6 A. They're all Muslims.
7 Q. They're all Muslims, you say. Thank you.
8 During the time that these Muslims spent in
9 your house, did anybody trouble them in any way?
10 A. No, nobody.
11 Q. Were you afraid because these people were in
12 your house?
13 A. Well, I -- nobody troubled them. Of course,
14 I -- and all our neighbours knew that the Muslims were
15 in my house.
16 Q. And nobody made any trouble for you?
17 A. No, nobody made any trouble for me, but I was
18 not easy.
19 Q. So this happened on the evening of the 16th
20 or the 17th?
21 A. No, this was on the 17th. They came on the
22 evening of the 16th, but this was on the 17th.
23 Q. What happened with the six Muslims who were
24 in Ramo Ramic's house?
25 A. As someone escorted them from this collection
1 centre for Zenica, and the two of them stayed at my
2 place, Ramo and his wife.
3 Q. So some of the people went to this collection
4 centre. How many?
5 A. Six women and a child.
6 Q. Are they all alive today?
7 A. Yes, they are.
8 Q. Why did they leave your house?
9 A. I did not have enough space. It was a newly
10 built house but was not completed yet and equipped.
11 Q. You left Ramo Ramic and his wife, Mejra,
12 nicknamed Dervisa. Did anybody come to your house on
13 the 18th?
14 A. The grandmother, Mejra Rasidovic. I know that
15 we used to refer to her as Rasidoca.
16 Q. And whose grandmother was she?
17 A. She was Mejra's grandmother.
18 Q. She was whose mother?
19 A. She was Mejra's mother's mother.
20 Q. And what is Sakib Ahmic?
21 A. Sakib Ahmic is the son of this Rasidoca
23 Q. So if I have understood correctly -- and
24 please correct me if I'm wrong -- Sakib Ahmic's mother
25 came to your place; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Tell us, please, at that particular moment,
3 your granddaughter was where?
4 A. At my daughter's house.
5 Q. Together with her mother, you mean?
6 A. Together with her mother.
7 Q. Could you please tell me now what Sakib
8 Ahmic's mother looked like when she came?
9 A. She was an old woman, dressed in the
10 traditional Muslim woman's wear.
11 Q. What kind of traditional Muslim wear was
13 A. Well, she had a scarf around her head, and
14 she had the pantaloons that Muslim women wear, called
15 dimija, the salvare type of pantaloon.
16 Q. What are they? They're a type of trousers,
17 are they not, pantaloons, so you can describe them?
18 A. Yes, they're broad pantaloons, the salvare
20 Q. Did you know Sakib Ahmic from earlier on?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. What did you know about him?
23 A. I knew him as Sakib Ahmic. He was always
24 there, his brothers were there, they were near us, and
25 his sister's daughter, Mejra, was there, so I knew him.
1 Q. But you weren't in any particularly friendly
2 relations with him?
3 A. Well, we weren't friends and we weren't
4 enemies. We just sort of -- you know.
5 Q. What happened next, when Sakib Ahmic's mother
6 came to your house?
7 A. She came in front of Mejra and Ramo's house.
8 Q. Would you speak a little more slowly because
9 this is an important part, and we would like it to be
10 recorded in the transcript.
11 A. When the old woman came in front of Ramo
12 Ramic's house, I happened to see her through the
13 window, by chance, and I ran up to her. There was
14 shooting, so I had to go around about and reach her
15 that way. I told her, "Rasidoca," and she said "Ha,"
16 and said "Where is Ramo and Mejra?" I said, "They're
17 at my place." So she kissed me, and I took her under
18 her arm and led her to the house. She had something to
19 drink, we made her a cup of coffee, let her rest up a
20 little bit, and we bathed her lips. She was slightly
21 wounded. She had been wounded by a bullet slightly,
22 and I asked her whether she wanted a doctor. She said,
23 "Don't bother calling a doctor. Just put something on
24 it, on the wound." We bound it up, and she didn't want
25 to see a doctor.
1 Q. How long was the Rasidovic woman at your
3 A. She stayed eight days, and on the ninth day
4 she left.
5 Q. She went with who?
6 A. With Mejra and Ramo.
7 Q. Where did they go to?
8 A. They went to Zenica, to Perin Han.
9 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I should just
10 like to ask the witness about the people who took them
11 to Zenica. So could we have a private session, that is
12 to say, without sound, while I mention those particular
14 JUDGE CASSESE: We are in private session.
15 (Private session)
4 (Open session)
5 MR. RADOVIC:
6 Q. What is the name of the father of Mirko
8 A. His name is Niko Sakic.
9 Q. Tell us, please, did you discuss -- what did
10 you talk about with the mother of Sakib Ahmic? Did you
11 discuss what was going on?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On the first day of the war, and the time
14 before she came to your place?
15 A. Yes, when she had rested, we talked about how
16 Sakib had come, and that when he was at the door she
17 opened the door and said, "Is that you, my son?"
18 Q. Would you speak slowly, please, so that we
19 can follow you. Would you tell us again?
20 A. When he came to his mother's house, he
21 knocked on her door, and he said, "Open up, Mother."
22 When she opened the door, she couldn't recognise him
23 because he was burnt, charred a little bit. She said,
24 "How come you're charred?" He said, "Well, I was
25 under a haystack. Some of the soldiers had set light
1 to the haystack, and I happened to be there."
2 He took some socks -- she give him some socks
3 and a pack of cigarettes, and then he left and went on.
4 Q. Did she tell you about what her son had told
5 her about the fate of the individuals who were in his
7 A. He said that he knew nothing, that he had
8 escaped while the haystack was on fire, and that he
9 went in the direction of the smoke so that he could not
10 be seen.
11 Q. But did he not say what had happened to his
12 son and daughter-in-law?
13 A. He said that his son had been killed
14 somewhere on the way.
15 Q. You don't recall the details?
16 A. That's right. He said that his grandson and
17 his son had been killed, but I don't remember him
18 saying where.
19 Q. What about his daughter-in-law?
20 A. I don't remember.
21 Q. Did he tell his mother who had done those
23 A. His mother asked him who had done this, and
24 he said, "Well, I can't say. I don't know."
25 Q. If I understood you correctly, did you ask
1 her who did these acts or did she say it herself?
2 A. She told us herself. Nobody asked her
3 anything. She just talked about it herself.
4 Q. Tell us, please, how did they learn about
5 this discussion between you and Sakib Ahmic's mother?
6 A. Well, I was watching television,
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina television, and the Tribunal and the
8 trial, and Sakib Ahmic was a witness. When he said
9 that Mirjan had given the petrol to Zoran and that they
10 had set fire and that he was behind the couch, I went
11 and told his mother this.
12 Q. What did you tell his mother?
13 A. Well, I said that he was -- how his mother
14 had said that he was by the haystack and not in the
16 Q. The television programme broadcast by
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was it a programme called "The
18 Hard Days," or "The Hague Hours," "The Hague Days," or
19 something like that?
20 A. Yes, it was.
21 Q. Tell us, please, the story about Sakib
22 Ahmic's mother is not quite clear to me in all its
23 details. Could you tell us whether he had seen
24 anything that had happened in his own house?
25 A. He saw that his house was on fire and that
1 his grandson and son had been killed. That's what I
3 Q. But did he say where he was when his son and
4 grandson had been killed?
5 A. He was under the haystack.
6 Q. But how could he see what was happening in
7 the house if he was under the haystack?
8 A. I don't know. That's what he told his
10 Q. Where was this haystack?
11 A. It was by his house, I suppose.
12 Q. All right. What is important, in my opinion,
13 is that she told Sakib's story and said that he did not
14 know who had done this?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Can you say whether Sakib Ahmic mentioned you
17 in his testimony?
18 A. In the newspaper, in Novi List of Rijeka, he
19 mentioned me and my son, and said he had been saved by
20 a Croatian woman.
21 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, this is the
22 newspaper article referred to. It's from Novi List,
23 which is published in Rijeka.
24 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
1 MR. RADOVIC:
2 Q. Would you have a look at this article and say
3 whether this is the article you just mentioned?
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic, sorry to
5 interrupt you. Could you please give us the date when
6 this article was published?
7 MR. RADOVIC: The witness has only a cutting
8 from the paper which we can show the Court, but this
9 does not include a date. This was sent to me by my
10 sister from Rijeka. It's just a clipping which arrived
11 from Rijeka because the paper, Novi List, is not sold
12 in the Vitez area.
13 This was probably when Sakib Ahmic testified
14 in the Blaskic case because that is when Bosnian
15 Television broadcast his testimony, and in his
16 testimony, he mentioned this lady as the woman who had
17 saved his mother and some other Muslims. If you
18 remember, when Sakib Ahmic testified before this Trial
19 Chamber, he mentioned that his mother had stayed with
20 this lady, so that now we have a witness here mentioned
21 by Sakib Ahmic in his testimony, where he mentioned her
22 as someone who had saved his mother and taken her in.
23 I would like to conclude my questioning.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Radovic.
1 Counsel Par or Counsel Krajina? Counsel
3 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
5 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, my name is Borislav Krajina,
6 I'm a lawyer, defence counsel for the accused Vlatko
7 Kupreskic. I will put a few questions to you in
8 connection with the accused Vlatko Kupreskic.
9 Would you please tell us, to begin with,
10 whether you know Vlatko Kupreskic and --
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. -- would you wait until I finish, please? Do
13 you know the members of his family and who do you know?
14 A. I know Vlatko, his wife, his children, his
15 mother, and his father. I know them all.
16 Q. Since when have you known them?
17 A. Ever since I married.
18 Q. When was that? How much time has passed
19 since then?
20 A. Well, I've known them since 1962 when I
21 arrived in the village.
22 Q. Since 1962. Very well. You said that, in
23 Jozo Vrebac's house or his daughter's house, you stayed
24 in the shelter the whole day on the 16th of April,
25 1993, from about 6.00 a.m. until about 7.00 p.m.; is
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Could you tell us whether you know or could
4 you say before that whether you had been in the shelter
5 throughout this time or whether you left the shelter?
6 A. Well, I ran to my shed to tend to my
7 livestock twice, and each time, I was away for about
8 ten minutes.
9 Q. Very well. May we conclude then that you
10 were in the shelter without interruption from 6.00 a.m.
11 to 7.00 p.m. on the 16th of April, with two brief
12 interruptions of about ten minutes each?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Would you now please tell us
15 whether you saw any members of Vlatko Kupreskic's
16 family in the shelter, and did you see Vlatko?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Who did you see?
19 A. I saw Vlatko, his wife, his children, and his
20 mother, but his father stayed in the house.
21 Q. When did you see them for the first time?
22 A. Well, in the morning, they all came to the
24 Q. What time was it?
25 A. Well, about half past five or six in the
2 Q. Very well. Can you tell us, if you remember,
3 how Vlatko was dressed? Was he wearing civilian
5 A. He was wearing civilian clothes.
6 Q. Was he armed perhaps?
7 A. No.
8 Q. No. Very well. Do you know how long Vlatko
9 Kupreskic stayed in Jozo Vrebac's shelter that day?
10 A. He stayed -- since his late uncle Anto kept
11 worrying about his brother, at about half past ten,
12 eleven, he said, "I must go and see whether my father
13 is still alive."
14 Q. So he left at about half past ten on that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you see him in the shelter again on that
19 A. Yes, since I was there with them all. We
20 were all in the shelter together. He came back and he
21 said very happily, "My father is alive."
22 Q. When was that approximately?
23 A. It was in the afternoon, about half past
24 three or four. I don't remember exactly because I
25 didn't look at my watch.
1 Q. So it was about half past three or four in
2 the afternoon, and he said that about his father?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us whether you found it
5 strange? Because this was a shelter mainly for elderly
6 people, women, children, people unfit to serve in the
7 army, were you surprised to see Vlatko there?
8 A. No, I wasn't surprised because Vlatko had a
9 heart condition, and he was not fit for military
11 Q. So he wasn't fit for military service?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I would like to ask you two or three further
14 questions. Did you see Vlatko earlier before the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you ever see him in a uniform or with
19 A. He was engaged in trade and nothing else.
20 Q. Did you see him?
21 A. I would go to his shop to buy things.
22 Q. Very well. Can you say decidedly whether you
23 ever saw him in a uniform or armed?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. Very well. Did you ever hear it rumoured in
1 the village or do you know whether Vlatko was actively
2 engaged in politics, whether he attended any political
3 rallies, whether he belonged to any military units, and
4 so on?
5 A. No. He was interested only in his shop and
6 his business. He wasn't interested in politics or
7 anything like that.
8 Q. Can you say, as far as you know, if you do,
9 what Vlatko's attitude was towards the Muslims?
10 A. Very good. They still come to his shop to
11 buy things. When there was a cease-fire, they came to
12 his shop to buy things, and I saw them there when I
13 went there myself.
14 MR. KRAJINA: I will be very brief,
15 Mr. President, because a lot of questions have already
16 been asked.
17 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, I will put just one more
18 question to you connected with another person.
19 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, I would like to
20 go into closed session just during the answer to this
21 question because we will mention a person who is a
22 protected witness.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Private session.
24 MR. KRAJINA: Very well. Thank you.
25 (Private session)
13 Pages 8110 redacted – in private session
11 (Open session)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
13 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mrs. Vidovic. My name is
16 Franck Terrier. I'm one of the attorneys from the
17 Office of the Prosecution. I'm going to ask you a few
18 questions, and I don't think that it's going to take
19 very long.
20 First of all, I would like you to explain a
21 point to me. We received, in respect of your
22 testimony, two summaries, and the summaries differ a
23 little, one from the other, on a point which, for me,
24 is important, that is, the time that you were awoken on
25 the 16th of April, 1993 and the time that you went to
1 the shelter.
2 In one of the summaries, it is stated that
3 you were awoken at 4.00 in the morning on the 16th of
4 April, which you confirmed a little while ago. The
5 other summary states that, at 5.30, when the shooting
6 began on Ahmici, you went to the Jozo Vrebac shelter.
7 Could you solve this contradiction for us and
8 tell us, very specifically or as specifically as your
9 memory permits, what time you were awoken, alerted, on
10 the 16th of April in the morning?
11 A. Yes. I was awoken at 4.00, but by the time I
12 had tended to the cattle in the shed, I didn't go to
13 the shelter immediately, because when something
14 happens, you know, you get lost. When I arrived
15 exactly, it might have been half past five or six,
16 because I had a calf, a cow, and some pigs.
17 Q. I understand that it's difficult for you to
18 give an exact time. Were you wearing a watch?
19 A. No, but there was a clock in the shelter.
20 Q. Perhaps you could be more assertive in
21 respect of the following point: You said, and I'm
22 asking you to confirm this, you said that when you
23 arrived in the shelter of Jozo Vrebac, the shooting had
24 not yet begun. There was still silence over Santici,
25 Ahmici, and Zume; is that correct?
1 A. I said that I ran to the shelter when the
2 shooting started. I was in the shed when the shooting
3 started, and I ran between the houses, since it wasn't
4 far to the shelter.
5 Q. I would like to insist upon this fact: Are
6 you absolutely sure of your memories? Because in the
7 two summaries that were given to us and which have to
8 do with your testimony, it says that when you
9 arrived -- well, you arrived at the Jozo Vrebac shelter
10 before the shooting began?
11 A. I said that I was at home in the cowshed when
12 the shooting started, and then I ran between the houses
13 to the shelter as soon as the gunfire began.
14 Q. That means that there was a mistake in the
15 summaries that were given to us. Likewise, in one of
16 the summaries, you mentioned the way that you were
17 awoken at 4.00 in the morning, and you speak about
18 soldiers whose faces were covered about paint. You
19 spoke about several soldiers, and a little while ago,
20 you only spoke about a single soldier.
21 A. No. There was only one soldier. He woke me
22 up, he was all painted, and I don't know him.
23 Q. But at that point, you only saw one soldier;
24 you didn't see several soldiers?
25 A. That's right, yes.
1 Q. Later on, during that day of 16 April, at any
2 point during that day, did you see other soldiers?
3 A. No, because I was in the shelter.
4 MR. TERRIER: With the assistance of the
5 usher, I would like the witness to be given Defence
6 Exhibit D13/1.
7 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, the house which is in this
8 photograph and which you can see clearly in photograph
9 1, that is the house where you found shelter; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Using these photographs to help yourself,
13 could you tell us where you went in the house when you
14 arrived on the 16th of April in the morning?
15 A. Down in the basement where these three doors
16 are, down there. There are three doors.
17 Q. Do you remember what room you went into?
18 A. There was a large room with women and
19 children, and the adults were here in this anteroom, in
20 the hall.
21 Q. You yourself, what room did you go into?
22 A. I personally, with my neighbours, was in the
23 hallway, in this part here (indicating).
24 Q. The part that we can see in which photograph?
25 A. In front of that door, there was a hallway
1 there as you go down the stairs. We didn't want to
2 disturb the children who were lying down in the other
4 Q. Can we say that it's the part of the basement
5 which we can see beyond the door which can be seen on
6 photograph number 3?
7 A. You go down the steps, the stairs, and then
8 it's there.
9 Q. And that's where you were?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was there electric light there when you
13 A. Well, there was electricity, but when the
14 electricity was cut, then there wasn't any light
16 Q. Where you were, was there good light? Once
17 the electric light went out, was there still good
19 A. Well, you couldn't see much. We had to light
20 candles. There were some tiny windows which gave us a
21 bit of air at the top there.
22 Q. Do you remember when Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic and
23 his family arrived? Specifically, his wife and
24 children, when did they come?
25 A. They came straight after me, after me, to the
2 Q. When you saw them coming, where were you?
3 Were you in the location that you indicated a few
4 minutes ago?
5 A. I was in front of the house number 1.
6 Q. How long did you stay in front of house
7 number 1?
8 A. Well, I stayed there an hour because there
9 was shooting down over there, and Jozo's house was down
10 there, so you couldn't go that way.
11 Q. I'm not sure that we've understood one
12 another correctly. You told me that when you arrived,
13 you went down into the basement and that there was
14 light and then there wasn't any. Then you lit
15 candles. Now you've just said that you stayed outside
16 for an hour. I don't quite understand.
17 A. That happened afterwards. When the light
18 went out, we went down, and when we wanted to light up,
19 we would go in front of the door.
20 Q. But is your memory very clear, very precise?
21 Since you were not yourself wearing a watch, are you
22 exactly sure what time it was when you went back
23 upstairs and how much time you spent down there? Do
24 you have a very clear memory of all of that?
25 A. Well, who would remember everything that took
1 place seven years ago, all the details and everything?
2 Q. No. No, I understand, Mrs. Vidovic. That's
3 why I'm asking you the question. I don't want you to
4 say things or to have you say things that you can't say
5 because it's very understandable, it's natural for you
6 to have forgotten certain things. But I'm also asking
7 that you not make specific assertions that do not
8 correspond to your true memories.
9 Therefore, is it true to say that you found
10 shelter in that house and that you spent some time in
11 the basement, you spent some time outside in front of
12 the house, but you're no longer really in a position to
13 say today what time you went down into the basement and
14 what time you came back up or how long you spent in the
15 basement and how much time you spent outside? All of
16 that today is a little bit difficult to state, given
17 the fact that, at that time, you didn't have a watch
18 and given the amount of time that has elapsed since
19 then. Is what I'm saying correct?
20 A. When I came to the shelter, the Kupreskic
21 family arrived, and we all went through the same door.
22 It was about six, half past five, six. I can't tell
23 you the exact time. We then all went down to the
24 shelter. When we wanted to light a cigarette, we would
25 go out to smoke it, so that we were all there together,
1 in contact together. We would see each other when we
2 were going in and going out and so on.
3 Q. You're telling us now, Mrs. Vidovic, that you
4 went down into the basement almost at the same time as
5 Vlatko Kupreskic and his family and that Vlatko
6 Kupreskic and his family stayed in the basement the way
7 you did?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can I call your attention to the fact,
10 Mrs. Vidovic, that we have a witness who was in that
11 same house and that you probably noticed in the
12 shelter, Mrs. Ankica Kupreskic, who noted the arrival
13 of Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic and his family, but who told us
14 that Vlatko Kupreskic had gone back upstairs and that
15 he had not remained in the basement, that only his wife
16 and children had remained. Does this match your memory
17 of that same event?
18 A. He stayed in front of the door, and we went
19 down to the shelter. He was there all the time until
20 his uncle Ante began crying and asking what had
21 happened to his brother.
22 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, it's very difficult to be
23 specific, given the amount of time that has elapsed and
24 also given the circumstances that you experienced,
25 which must have been very, very difficult, but you have
1 just said that Vlatko Kupreskic, if I've understood
2 what you said, remained outside the house in front of
3 the door of the house while you were going down into
4 the shelter; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's it. He would go down and go up.
6 We were not all in the same place. You couldn't sit
8 Q. Therefore, Vlatko Kupreskic, according to
9 what you just said now, did not remain in the basement
10 of the house until the time that you indicated a little
11 while ago, until 10.00, that he didn't remain until
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you yourself remain in the basement of
15 the house that whole time?
16 A. Yes. Yes. Fifteen minutes, ten minutes,
17 five minutes, it was that far from my house to there to
18 tend to the cattle, but when I came, I saw him, and it
19 was before 11.00. It was about 10.00 when his uncle
20 told him to go and see what was happening to his
21 father, and we just happened to glance at a watch -- a
23 Q. You said that you didn't have a watch.
24 THE INTERPRETER: It's either a watch or a
25 clock in the shelter. Interpreter's note: "Sat,"
1 "watch" or "clock."
2 MR. TERRIER:
3 Q. I would like you to speak about your
4 neighbour, Ramo Ramic, who greeted you at your house on
5 the evening of the 16th of April, 1993.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You told us a little while ago that Mr. Ramo
8 Ramic's house and his family's house was destroyed the
9 next day on the 17th of April; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, correct.
11 Q. In your opinion, why was the house destroyed
12 on that day?
13 A. Unfortunately, I don't know. Unfortunately,
14 I don't know.
15 Q. On the 16th or 17th of April, did you see
16 your other Muslim neighbour, Reuf Podojak, and his
18 A. On the same day, they went towards Poculica,
19 on the 16th at about 9.00 or 10.00. I don't exactly.
20 I don't know exactly, but they left, and they are all
21 alive and well.
22 Q. Did they leave voluntarily or were they
23 forced to leave?
24 A. I couldn't say. That's what I heard.
25 Q. When you met and then received at your house
1 Sakib Ahmic's mother, what mental state was she in?
2 A. She was in a terrible state. She's an old
4 Q. How old was she in 1993?
5 A. Well, she was over 70 at the time. I don't
6 know exactly.
7 Q. Therefore, in respect of what Sakib Ahmic
8 allegedly said to his mother, you remember what his
9 mother said, who was about 70 years old and who was in
10 a very difficult mental state, one can understand that,
11 and you are telling us what you remember today about
12 what that woman said.
13 A. When she had washed up a bit and had
14 something to eat, then she told us herself. We didn't
15 ask her how Sakib had come to her place and what he had
16 experienced, what I said a moment ago.
17 Q. But did her account seem very exact to you,
18 extremely clear? Did she seem to you to have a very
19 clear idea about what had happened? Was she really
20 affirmative in her statements?
21 A. Well, as we didn't ask her and she said what
22 she said herself, when I saw it on television
23 afterwards, it sort of got me, and I told their mother,
24 Luca Kupreskic, whom I had known for many years.
25 I was upset that these innocent kids were locked up
1 (in jail).
2 Q. Do you still live in Ahmici?
3 A. In Santici, number 73.
4 Q. Do you still live in the same place that you
5 lived at that time, in the same house?
6 A. During the war, I was at my daughter's
7 house. As a shell fell in front of my own house, the
8 glass was shattered. Now the house has been rebuilt,
9 and I'm in my own house now.
10 MR. TERRIER: I have no further questions,
11 Your Honour. Thank you very much, Mrs. Vidovic.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic?
13 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
14 Q. I will put just a few questions to you to try
15 to clarify some points.
16 Can you tell us what Mejra was to Sakib, what
18 A. Mejra's mother and Sakib were brother and
20 Q. So Mejra, what is she to Sakib?
21 A. She is his cousin, his sister's daughter.
22 Q. So he is her uncle?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you were talking to Sakib Ahmic's
25 mother, did you start the conversation about Sakib or
1 did she initiate the conversation?
2 A. She told us of her own accord. When she had
3 had a good rest, then she started talking.
4 Q. When she began her story, did she tell the
5 whole story or did you interrupt her with questions?
6 A. No. She just talked of her own accord.
7 Q. Did she perhaps explain to you when her son
8 Sakib visited her -- where exactly is her house; do you
10 A. Her house is in Pirici.
11 Q. Her house?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How far is it, as the crow flies, from your
15 A. Well, some 500 metres perhaps.
16 Q. It's a bit longer if you take the path?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But it's downhill, as far as I could gather?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I live there, and so I know.
20 Q. Could you tell us whether she explained why
21 her son Sakib came to her house, to his old mother
22 living on her own, and why he left his elderly mother
23 alone in the house and didn't take her with him?
24 A. Well, that's what she was wondering. He only
25 asked for some socks and some cigarettes.
1 Q. Did she tell you that, while Sakib was
2 finishing his visit with her, shooting had already
3 started in the direction of her house?
4 A. No, she didn't tell us that.
5 Q. But she herself could not explain why her son
6 was fleeing and leaving her behind?
7 A. No, she couldn't explain that.
8 Q. As regards the Prosecutor's questions, can
9 you tell us what your relations were with your Muslim
11 A. Very good.
12 Q. Your Croat neighbours, as far as you know,
13 what relations did they have with their Muslim
15 A. We would all invite each other over. We
16 would ask them over for Christmas, and they would ask
17 us over for Bajram.
18 Q. Did you or any of your Croat neighbours do
19 anything to drive away your Muslim neighbours?
20 A. God forbid, no.
21 Q. Was it your will and the will of your
22 Croatian neighbours to make the Muslims go away?
23 A. No. As far as I'm concerned, and I can speak
24 about my neighbours, no.
25 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. That's all.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Krajina?
2 MR. KRAJINA: I have only two short
4 Re-examined by Mr. Krajina:
5 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, please, at the time from about
6 half past five to six in the morning until half past
7 ten, while you were in the shelter or in front of the
8 shelter where the adults, as you say, would go in and
9 out to smoke a cigarette, were you there all the time?
10 A. I've already said, I left for a brief period
11 because it's some five, ten minutes away to my stable,
12 and I ran to tend to my livestock.
13 Q. When was it?
14 A. I didn't keep looking at the clock, or watch.
15 Q. Could you tell us, on the basis of your
16 testimony, could you confirm with certainty that Vlatko
17 Kupreskic was with his family in that shelter on the
18 16th of April, without interruption, from about
19 6.00 a.m. to about half past 10.00?
20 A. Yes, I can.
21 Q. And that he didn't leave the place in front
22 of the shelter?
23 A. Only when he went to see whether his father
24 was alive.
25 Q. That was about half past 11.00. What about
1 until then? Was he there all the time?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
6 Mrs. Vidovic, thank you so much for coming to
7 The Hague to give evidence in court. You may now be
9 We are adjourned now until tomorrow at 9.00.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
11 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Wednesday, the 17th day of March,
13 1999, at 9.00 a.m.