1 Wednesday, 17th March, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 This is case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic,
9 Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning.
11 Counsel Radovic.
12 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I forgot to ask
13 yesterday for the newspaper article to be admitted into
14 evidence, the newspaper article that talks about how
15 the witness saved the Muslim. Thank you.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, D14/1. No objection?
17 It is admitted into evidence.
18 Good morning. Could you please make the
19 solemn declaration?
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
25 Counsel Radovic?
1 WITNESS: GORDANA CUIC.
2 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
3 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Cuic. Would you please
4 introduce yourself?
5 A. I am Gordana Cuic, born Vidovic. I was born
6 in Pirici on the 5th of May, 1956. I am currently
7 living in Vitez.
8 Q. Are you married?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you have children?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you please tell us your education?
13 A. It's high school. I'm a tailor, a man's
15 Q. Do you work for a company, or are you an
16 independent contractor?
17 A. I'm an independent contractor. I have my own
18 private store from 1973.
19 Q. Could you please tell us if you had ever made
20 military uniforms?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Not even in the period from 1991 onwards?
23 A. No.
24 Q. What about your clients? As a man's tailor,
25 who were your clients? Were they only Croats, only
1 Muslims, or did you have clients regardless of their
2 nationality or religion?
3 A. People came regardless of their nationality
4 or their religion.
5 Q. Where did you live in 1992 and 1993?
6 A. In Ahmici. Meaning in Pirici.
7 Q. Who did you live with?
8 A. With my mother.
9 Q. Would you be so kind and point out on the
10 aerial map of Ahmici, point out the place where you
11 lived, and also could you please tell us who your
12 neighbours were, indicate their houses, and tell the
13 Court which neighbours were Muslims and which ones were
14 Croats. So would you please stand up and use the
16 So start with your house.
17 A. This is the main Travnik-Sarajevo road. On
18 the left is the road for Ahmici. This is my house
19 (indicating), my mother's house.
20 Q. Could you please tell us who your neighbours
22 A. My neighbours were -- this is the house of
23 Zoran Kupreskic (indicating), this is the house of
24 Mirjan Kupreskic, his parents' house (indicating). Now
25 I'm coming back. This is the road to Ahmici. There is
1 the house of Vlatko Kupreskic -- I'm sorry, I skipped
2 over -- when you go on the Ahmici road, the entire
3 right side is inhabited by Muslims, which means that on
4 the left side are the Croats.
5 Q. Could you please tell us some of your Muslim
7 A. My next-door neighbour is Smajl Pezer.
8 That's here (indicating). The second is Sulejman
9 Pezer. Those are my closest neighbours.
10 Q. What relations did you have with your Muslim
12 A. Good.
13 Q. What does that mean, that you had good
15 A. Well, we visited one another from time to
17 Q. Did you take part -- did you celebrate their
18 religious holidays in any way?
19 A. Yes, I did take part.
20 Q. In what way?
21 A. I was present at the ceremony, the opening
22 ceremony for the mosque. There was a special
23 celebration which I attended.
24 Q. Did you go by yourself, or were you invited?
25 A. I was invited.
1 Q. Who invited you?
2 A. The owner of the mosque.
3 Q. Who was the owner of the mosque?
4 A. Hazim Ahmic.
5 Q. When you were invited to the opening ceremony
6 of the mosque, please tell us, did you attend the
7 prayer inside the mosques, or were you just outside the
9 A. I attended the prayers inside the mosque, in
10 the section where the women were.
11 Q. The prayer with the Muslims, women are
12 separated from the men?
13 A. Yes, they are.
14 Q. And during the opening ceremony, were there
15 any music groups present, some bands?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Yes. Please sit down so that you don't have
18 to stand any longer.
19 So we were talking about the musical part of
20 the opening.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was there?
23 A. There was a band, an orchestra from Sarajevo,
24 the so-called Ilahije and Kaside.
25 Q. What were they singing?
1 A. They were singing their special prayers. I
2 couldn't understand that in Croatian.
3 Q. Was that in Arabic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When you started to work as an independent
6 businesswoman, tailor, did you work alone, or did you
7 have any employees? I'm not interested whether that
8 person was reported as a worker or whether they worked
9 for you.
10 A. Yes, yes, I did.
11 Q. What was her name?
12 A. I had a lady, her name was Izeta Ribo. She
13 was from Kruscica.
14 Q. What was her nationality?
15 A. She was a Muslim.
16 Q. Until when did she work for you?
17 A. She worked from 1985 until 1989.
18 Q. Why did she stop working with you?
19 A. Her children were sick. She had twin girls,
20 so she had to be with them every day.
21 Q. What about your work, where did you work, at
22 home or did you have rented premises?
23 A. No, not at home. I had rented premises on
24 the outskirts of Vitez.
25 Q. Who was the owner of the house where these
1 premises were?
2 A. Mahir Merdan.
3 Q. So how long were you renting the space from
5 A. From 1984 until the war.
6 Q. So Mahir Merdan, what was he by nationality?
7 A. He was a Muslim.
8 Q. What relations did you have with him?
9 A. Very good. Very good. And when the war
10 ended, when I started to work again, I couldn't go back
11 to that facility again, to that space. I had been
12 there for a long time, and I was emotionally connected
13 with them. They were very good to me.
14 Q. Did they go back to Vitez?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Where are they now, as far as you know?
17 A. As far as I know -- the owner visited me when
18 I started to work again.
19 Q. After the cease-fire?
20 A. Yes, after the truce. And she said, without
21 going into it in detail, that they are just currently
22 living in Zenica.
23 Q. But she didn't say anything whether she was
24 coming back or not?
25 A. No. No.
1 Q. In 1991, the first elections were held in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Were you involved in political
3 activity at all, or was that something you were not
4 interested in so you can't really give us your view of
6 A. Well, I wasn't interested. I worked, I did
7 my work, so I'm not really well informed about
9 Q. After the elections, were there any changes
10 in the national composition of the clients in your
12 A. No. I didn't notice that.
13 Q. So everybody who came to you before,
14 regardless of whether they were Muslims or Croats, they
15 continued to be your clients? Did I understand you
17 A. Yes, they were my clients, because I worked
18 very well.
19 Q. Could you please tell me now -- this will be
20 important to explain some things later -- what were
21 your business hours?
22 A. My business hours, from 8.00 to 12.00, then I
23 had a break from 12.00 to 3.00, so I would come back to
24 work from 3.00 to 6.00 in the evening.
25 Q. So please tell us, how did you get to work?
1 Did you use public transport?
2 A. Yes, I used public transport.
3 Q. So can you please tell me, after the first
4 free elections did you ever see Muslims with weapons?
5 A. Yes. I would see them on the section of the
6 road when I was going home, mostly around the mosque,
7 around the mosque. Groups, small or larger groups. I
8 really didn't pay them that much attention.
9 Q. Did they have weapons and uniforms, or
10 weapons without uniforms?
11 A. Both.
12 Q. So arms and weapons also, as well as civilian
13 clothes and weapons?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you see Croats with weapons?
16 A. No, I didn't have the opportunity to see
17 them, because when I come to my house, the first Croat
18 house is my house, when I come home from the main
20 Q. So if I understood you properly, going to
21 work and returning from work you would pass through the
22 part that is inhabited by Muslims?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So according to what you indicated on the
25 aerial photograph, did you pass by the mosque?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you remember when the first armed conflict
3 broke out between Muslims and Croats in the region of
4 the Vitez municipality?
5 A. I think that happened on the 20th of October
6 in 1992.
7 Q. So what were you doing on that day?
8 A. Well, it was a normal work day, so I set out
9 for work. Across the street from my house is the house
10 of Smajl Pezer.
11 Q. Did you see something unusual in front of
12 Smajl Pezer's house?
13 A. Yes, I did see something unusual, so I came
14 back. I was frightened and I came back. There were
15 about 20 people who were not known to me. I couldn't
16 tell who they were. They were Muslims and they were
17 gathered there. Probably something was wrong.
18 Q. How did they look? Could you describe them?
19 Did they have any slogans, any signs with them, or did
20 they have something more concrete with them?
21 A. They had weapons and uniforms, as far as I
22 could see, and the distance is about 50 metres, so it's
23 halfway from my mother's house.
24 Q. Did you recognise anyone?
25 A. No. No, I didn't recognise anyone.
1 Q. Could you describe that group of Muslim
2 soldiers that you had seen? Were they holding a
3 position or were they sitting around smoking? What
4 were they doing when you saw them?
5 A. Well, I didn't see the whole group. I
6 couldn't because next to Smajl Pezer's house there is a
7 concrete fence, and it's of uneven height. In some
8 places, it was half a metre high. Some places it was
9 lower; some places it was higher. I really couldn't
10 see exactly what they were doing, but the section that
11 I could see -- the people who I could see were in
12 uniform. This part here (indicating), they had
13 something. Whether there was a gun or a rifle, I don't
14 know. They did have something.
15 Q. Were they in a group or were they dispersed?
16 A. They were aligned. They were standing next
17 to the fence.
18 Q. What does that mean, one next to the other?
19 A. Yes, one next to the other.
20 Q. Could you describe, when they were standing
21 like that next to one another, how were they holding
22 their weapons?
23 A. Well, I can't really -- I really can't say
24 how they were holding their weapons.
25 Q. So then what did you do when you saw that
1 group of Muslim soldiers? What did you do then?
2 A. Well, there was shooting that started.
3 Q. This group that you saw was shooting or not?
4 A. Well, I didn't see whether they were shooting
5 or not, but just below my mother's house where I had
6 arrived, well, of course, we were afraid, so we went to
7 the shelter in my brother's house.
8 Q. What's your brother's name?
9 A. Rudo Vidovic.
10 Q. Why did you go to Rudo Vidovic's house?
11 A. Well, that was the closest shelter. The
12 house is newly built, and it's safer than in my
13 mother's house.
14 Q. Who did you go there with to the shelter?
15 A. With my mother.
16 Q. Just the two of you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When you got to the shelter, then what
20 A. Well, before we went in, I heard somebody
21 shouting, "Don't shoot. It's Milka."
22 Q. And Milka is?
23 A. That's my mother. When I went inside, when
24 we went inside, there were five Muslims in the shelter.
25 Q. Five Muslims?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What were they wearing?
3 A. Three of them were my neighbours --
4 Q. I was asking you what they were wearing.
5 A. Partially in uniform. Two of them were in
6 partial uniform and three were in civilian clothes.
7 Q. Were they armed or they didn't have weapons?
8 A. They all had weapons. They all had weapons.
9 Q. Tell us, the ones who were wearing uniforms,
10 were they wearing full uniform or were they partly
11 dressed in uniforms and partly in civilian clothes?
12 A. Two of them were dressed in full uniform,
13 from head to toe.
14 Q. And the other three?
15 A. The other three were wearing civilian
17 Q. Also from head to toe?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What happened next? You heard them say,
20 "Don't shoot. It's Milka."
21 A. Yes. We went inside. They moved to give my
22 mother room to sit down. I asked them what was going
23 on, why there was gunfire, but none of them answered my
25 Q. Can you tell us how long you stayed in the
1 shelter with those Muslims?
2 A. Well, for quite a long time. I wasn't
3 wearing a watch. I didn't know what time it was, but
4 it was for about three or four hours that we stayed in
5 the shelter.
6 Q. During these three to four hours that you
7 spent in the shelter with the Muslim soldiers, did you
8 have any conversation?
9 A. Yes, of course. It was so long. Of course,
10 we had some conversation.
11 Q. Of the five who were there in the shelter,
12 did you recognise any of them?
13 A. Yes, I recognised three of my neighbours.
14 Q. Can you tell us their names?
15 A. Yes. Nevzudin Pezer, also known as Pedza.
16 He's my next door neighbour.
17 Q. Let's talk about him now. Was he wearing a
18 uniform or civilian clothes?
19 A. He was wearing a uniform.
20 Q. Did he have any weapons?
21 A. Yes. He had a rifle, but I don't know what
23 Q. And then?
24 A. Then there was Mujo Ahmic.
25 Q. What was he wearing?
1 A. Civilian clothes.
2 Q. Did he have any weapons?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. A rifle?
5 A. Yes, some kind of rifle.
6 Q. Go on, please.
7 A. Then there was Ibrahim Karic. He's an
8 elderly man. He was also wearing civilian clothes, and
9 he had a rifle. From the conversation, I gathered it
10 was a hunting rifle because he was a hunter.
11 Q. You didn't recognise the fourth and the fifth
13 A. No, I didn't, but, of course, while we were
14 having a chat, I asked where they were from.
15 Q. What did they say?
16 A. One of them said he was from Vrhovine and
17 that he had arrived the previous night from the war
18 theatre at Visoko.
19 Q. And the fifth man?
20 A. The fifth man was a refugee who was staying
21 in Ahmici, but I don't know his name.
22 Q. Do you know what part of Ahmici he was
23 staying in?
24 A. Yes, I do. How can I explain it?
25 Q. Well, we talk about Donja, Lower Ahmici --
1 A. Yes. Yes, he was in Lower Ahmici, in Donja
2 Ahmici. I didn't know exactly where, but he told me
4 Q. Did the Muslim soldiers, with whom you spent
5 a few hours in the shelter on the 20th of October,
6 1992, make any trouble for you? Did they provoke you
7 or mistreat you in any way?
8 A. No. No. No.
9 Q. So they were polite?
10 A. Yes, they were really extremely polite.
11 Q. During that time, did you smoke?
12 A. I smoked, but I ran out of cigarettes, and I
13 asked Ibrahim Karic, since he was the eldest of them,
14 and said I would go to my mother's house which was some
15 20 or 30 metres away to fetch some cigarettes and to
16 make some coffee. So I left the shelter, and when I
17 came back --
18 Q. Did your mother stay?
19 A. Yes, my mother stayed in the shelter. When I
20 came back, none of them were there anymore.
21 Q. During the time you spent in the shelter with
22 them, what were they doing in the shelter?
23 A. I don't know with what intention they came to
24 the shelter.
25 Q. Did these people leave the shelter at any
1 moment during the shooting?
2 A. No. They were in the shelter the whole time,
3 but I tried to go out a few times, and they prevented
4 me. They said, "No, there is gunfire." They didn't
5 leave the shelter for a moment during the time I was
7 Q. Did they shoot?
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. None of them?
10 A. No, none of them fired any shots.
11 Q. What was your impression? The Muslims in the
12 shelter, do you think they were holding a position or
13 do you think they were hiding so as not to be wounded,
14 killed, or can't you say?
15 A. I can't say. I really don't know why they
16 came to the shelter. I don't know what their aim was.
17 Q. So you couldn't gather that from their
19 A. No. No, I couldn't.
20 Q. So you went home and you came back, and they
21 had gone. Did your mother perhaps tell you when they
22 had gone and why?
23 A. No, they didn't say anything. When I left
24 the shelter, they simply went, and my mother didn't see
25 in what direction they'd gone.
1 Q. They hadn't told her why they were leaving?
2 A. No. No, they didn't say anything.
3 Q. How did that day end?
4 A. When the gunfire stopped, we went home, of
5 course, to our house.
6 Q. Do you know that the Muslims in Ahmici, after
7 this armed conflict, left Ahmici?
8 A. No. No, I don't know that.
9 Q. You don't know that they left and that after
10 a certain time they came back?
11 A. I don't know. The part where I passed
12 through, they were all there. Either they were all
13 there or I wasn't really paying attention.
14 Q. After this event and before the war broke
15 out, did you see armed Muslims, Muslim soldiers, either
16 individually or in groups?
17 A. Yes. I would see them when they were coming
18 back from the front, Visoko, and I don't know the names
19 of all those places, but they would shoot. I was
20 frightened. I didn't know why they were shooting, and
21 I would find out later why they were shooting.
22 Q. Did you ever see the Muslims from your
23 village going for some kind of training or exercise?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Can you describe that?
1 A. Well, it was a normal working day.
2 Q. Can you tell us what month it was, what year?
3 A. Well, it was approximately in mid November
4 1992. I have already said that I had a break at noon,
5 so this was between 2.00 and 3.00 p.m. On the road, I
6 met a rather large group of Muslims --
7 Q. You couldn't tell us the exact number?
8 A. No, I couldn't, but it was a big group.
9 There were quite a lot of people in the group who I
10 didn't know, and they were led by Fuad Berbic. In the
11 group, there were quite a few Muslims whom I knew who
12 lived in Ahmici.
13 Q. Can you tell us whether you talked to Fuad
14 Berbic when you met them?
15 A. Yes. I said hello. He didn't respond.
16 Instead, he said, "Neighbour, don't be afraid. This is
17 only an exercise." So I waited to let them pass, and
18 then I went on to work, as usual.
19 Q. In the group, you said there were quite a few
20 people you didn't know.
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. But were there also people whom you knew?
23 A. Yes. Yes, there were people I knew. Yes.
24 Q. Can you enumerate the names of the people
25 whom you knew and who were in that group and whom you
1 remember now?
2 A. Yes. Yes, I could. Midhat Berbic, Hasko
3 Berbic, Vehbija Ahmic, Fehim Ahmic, Mirsad Ahmic, Smajl
4 Pezer, Sulejman Pezer, Osman Pezer, Nevzudin Pezer,
5 Nedzad Dzidic, Besim Ahmic. That is as far as I can
6 remember at the moment.
7 Q. When you met this group of Muslims, what did
8 the group look like? Were the members dressed in
9 civilian clothes or in military uniforms?
10 A. Some of them were in uniform. Some of them
11 were in uniform, and most of them, the ones I didn't
12 know, were wearing civilian clothes.
13 Q. Were they wearing any kind of insignia on
14 their sleeve showing that they belonged to some kind of
16 A. I didn't notice. I didn't look at them that
17 much because I was afraid.
18 Q. Could you tell us what your feeling was, how
19 you felt when you heard gunfire in your village and
20 when you heard that these were Muslim soldiers on their
21 way back from the front and shooting? Did this have
22 any kind of effect on you? Were you afraid?
23 A. Of course, I was afraid. I was terribly
24 afraid of gunfire.
25 Q. You said that when you met this group of
1 soldiers, you were frightened. Why were you
3 A. Well, I was frightened because wherever they
4 were gathered together in a large group, they would
5 take the opportunity to shoot, and they had weapons.
6 So of course I was afraid.
7 Q. Could you describe where you met that group
8 of soldiers, near what houses?
9 A. On the way out of my mother's yard, so the
10 way I take when I'm leaving Ahmici.
11 Q. Can you show this on the map?
12 A. This is my house (indicating). I went out
13 onto the road, and just here I met them, so
14 approximately across the road from my mother's house.
15 Q. Thank you. You may sit down. While you were
16 living in Ahmici in these turbulent times in late 1992,
17 were there any alarms which were false, so that people
18 had to run and hide?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Do you remember any specific event, and can
21 you place it, tell us the time?
22 A. Yes, I remember very well. One evening, it
23 was after 11.00 p.m., my relative, Miro Vidovic, rang
24 us up on the telephone and said that 50 Mujahedeen had
25 come to Barin Gaj and that I should take my mother and
1 that we should take shelter.
2 Q. Barin Gaj, how far away from your house is
4 A. Well, I couldn't say how far it is.
5 Q. Well, if you have to walk there, how long
6 does it take?
7 A. Maybe half an hour.
8 Q. Very well. If we don't know how many
9 kilometres it is, we know how long it takes us to walk
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So what did you do?
13 A. I took my mother and the cow, and we set out
14 toward the house of Niko Sakic. My mother said, "Let's
15 go back. For God's sake, it's late at night." So we
16 went back.
17 Q. And nothing happened?
18 A. No, nothing happened that evening.
19 Q. I'm sorry if you've already said this, but I
20 think you haven't: What month was this?
21 A. Well, I think it was in November, but I
22 couldn't tell you the date.
23 Q. But it was after the first conflict?
24 A. Yes. Yes, it was after the first conflict.
25 Q. Why did you take the cow with you? This may
1 not be very important, but it shows the way of life of
2 the people.
3 A. Well, we needed milk because my brother had a
4 baby, and we had to look after the baby, of course.
5 Q. After the first conflict, you went on living
6 in Ahmici. Some of the Muslims stayed; some of them
7 came back. So the Muslim houses were inhabited as
9 Can you tell us what the relations were
10 between the Croats and the Muslims after the first
11 conflict or, to put it more precisely, how did the
12 Muslims treat you personally?
13 A. It's true that there was a change in the way
14 they treated me. I would pass through the Muslim part
15 of the village four times a day, and, of course, I
16 would always say hello to them, but 90 per cent of them
17 refused to say hello when I said hello.
18 Q. These were Muslims in the village?
19 A. Yes, just the Muslims in the village.
20 Q. How did the Muslims in the town treat you,
21 because you were working in town, in Vitez, as far as I
22 can tell?
23 A. Yes. Yes, they would treat me normally,
24 quite normally, as usual.
25 Q. So there were no changes among the town
2 A. No, at least I didn't notice any changes.
3 Q. In December 1992, did you attend some kind of
4 gathering or party or celebration where there was a
5 mixed Muslim-Croatian attendance?
6 A. Yes. I attended a wedding in town.
7 Q. Whose wedding?
8 A. Zoran Vidovic.
9 Q. Who was he marrying?
10 A. He was marrying Marica Sakic.
11 Q. What is his mother by nationality?
12 A. She's a Muslim.
13 Q. So what about the guests at the wedding?
14 A. They were mixed, of all nationalities. We
15 all celebrated together. We sang together.
16 Q. Were there any incidents between Croats and
18 A. No. No, there were no incidents.
19 Q. The celebration, the wedding went well?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you remember where you celebrated the New
22 Year of 1993?
23 A. Yes, I remember, in the hotel in Vitez.
24 Q. Were there any limitations on the arrival of
25 Muslims or the entry of Muslims into that hotel?
1 A. Not that I noticed, no.
2 Q. At this New Year celebration, was there any
4 A. Yes. Yes, there was music.
5 Q. What did they play?
6 A. They played all kinds of music for the New
7 Year celebration.
8 Q. Were there any incidents between Croats and
9 Muslims at that party?
10 A. No. No.
11 Q. At the wedding, Zoran Vidovic's wedding, do
12 you remember who played?
13 A. Mirjan Kupreskic and his band were playing.
14 Q. Was Zoran part of the group or is he just a
16 A. No, he doesn't play any instruments, but he
17 was there as a guest.
18 Q. Did you see who they associated with?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. With whom?
21 A. Well, in the band, Fahrudin Ahmic played an
23 Q. What did he play?
24 A. The drums.
25 Q. What is he by nationality?
1 A. A Muslim.
2 Q. Did he play there all the time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did anyone provoke him because he's a Muslim?
5 A. No.
6 Q. We have passed the New Year. Can you tell us
7 whether anything significant happened in the period
8 between the New Year and the 15th of April, 1993,
9 something that would stay in your memory and something
10 that you feel should be said here in this court?
11 A. No. I think that nothing significant took
13 Q. Can you tell me now what you were doing on
14 the day before the war broke out, that is, on the 15th
15 of April, 1993?
16 A. I had a normal work day until 6.00 p.m.
17 Q. Did you go home?
18 A. Yes, of course, I went home.
19 Q. Then what happened? You came home. Around
20 what time did you come home?
21 A. After 6.00 p.m. I'll explain that. I did
22 all my normal house chores, and I went to Zoran
23 Kupreskic's house with my mother.
24 Q. Did you stay there long? Were you there with
1 A. Well, with interruptions. I visited my
2 neighbour who had just -- with Zoran, I went to visit
3 my neighbour who had just arrived from Germany.
4 Q. What is this neighbour's name?
5 A. Ankica Kupreskic.
6 Q. Do you know who brought her? Do you know how
7 she arrived?
8 A. I don't know. Well, for me it was important
9 only that she had arrived. I don't know how she got
10 there. I don't know the details.
11 Q. When you came to the house of Ivica
12 Kupreskic -- because it's the habit in Bosnia, the
13 custom, to have that name go by the man's name -- so
14 was only Ivica there, and Ankica Kupreskic, or were
15 there more people there?
16 A. Yeah, there were more people.
17 Q. Were those people there all the time, or were
18 they coming and going, some were arriving, some were
20 A. Well, we didn't stay there long, so there
21 were people when we arrived, and then when I went, when
22 I left, the same people remained. How long they stayed
23 after that, I don't know.
24 Q. Could you name the people that you remember
25 being in the house of Ivica Kupreskic?
1 A. Ivica Kupreskic's grandfather, Ivo Kupreskic
2 was there, Ljubica Kupreskic was there, Vlatko's wife,
3 Ljubo Kupreskic, Mirjan's wife was there, Mirko Sakic
4 was there, Miroslav Pudza, Mirjan was there.
5 Q. Mirjan who?
6 A. Mirjan Kupreskic. I think that's as much as
7 I remember.
8 Q. Yes, so you can remember that much?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. So after the visit, how long did you stay?
11 A. Well, very briefly. There were a lot of
12 people there.
13 Q. So when you were in that room where everybody
14 was, what was the discussion about? Were they talking
15 about that there's going to be a war tomorrow, they
16 need to cleanse Muslims from Ahmici, or were they
17 discussing some other topics?
18 A. Well, these were just casual topics. We
19 remained in Ivica's house for a short while.
20 Q. While you were there, tell us what you talked
21 about. Of course, you don't know what they were
22 talking about when you weren't there.
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. So only what they were talking about.
25 A. Well, nothing significant. Just the usual
1 talk was there, and we were there for only a short
3 Q. So what do you understand to be just normal
5 A. Well, about the trip. We were very glad that
6 they had arrived. They were away for a long time.
7 Q. Yes, tell us.
8 A. I can't remember the details, exactly what we
9 talked about. There were a lot of us. I didn't really
10 pay attention too much to the others who were also
12 Q. After you left Ivica Kupreskic's house, where
13 did you go?
14 A. I went back to Zoran Kupreskic's house, where
15 my mother was.
16 Q. What about Zoran?
17 A. Yes, Zoran came back with me. He returned
18 with me to his house.
19 Q. Could you please tell us how long you stayed
20 in Zoran Kupreskic's house?
21 A. Well, we stayed late, but I don't know
22 exactly what time it was.
23 Q. What did you talk about?
24 A. Just the usual topics. We socialised, so we
25 always had things to talk about, all kinds of things.
1 Except politics, of course.
2 Q. Could you try to remember at least some of
3 the topics, and tell us what it was that you talked
4 about when you were socialising.
5 A. Well, I remember well that evening we were
6 watching an interesting tape.
7 Q. What about?
8 A. Well, there was music, mostly music, on the
10 Q. Do you remember, was that a domestic tape, or
11 was that a Western-produced tape?
12 A. Yeah, it was local music.
13 Q. During your visit to Zoran Kupreskic's house,
14 at any time did Zoran tell you what was going to happen
15 the next day?
16 A. No. No.
17 Q. Did he indicate in any way that he knew that
18 war would break out the next day?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And your relationship, yours and Zoran's,
21 were they good?
22 A. Yes, they were perfectly good.
23 Q. In your opinion, do you think that if Zoran
24 had known that the conflict would break out the next
25 day, would he have told you?
1 A. Yes, if he had known, he would have told me
2 for sure.
3 Q. Why would he have told you?
4 A. Well, we were so close. We grew up together,
5 we lived together, so why wouldn't he tell us if
6 something like that was about to happen, and if he had
8 Q. When you returned home, you said that in the
9 visit to Zoran Kupreskic's house, your mother
10 accompanied you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did your mother come back home with you, or
13 did she go back by herself?
14 A. No, she came back with me.
15 Q. You came home, and what did you do then?
16 A. Well, we went to bed, of course.
17 Q. So now this is the first day of the war, the
18 16th of April. How did you wake up?
19 A. We were woken by my cousin, our next-door
20 neighbour, Dragan Vidovic.
21 Q. Could you tell us the time? Well, if you
22 didn't look at the watch, approximately, or if you did
23 look at the watch, then the exact time he woke you up.
24 A. I don't know the exact time, but it was after
25 4.00 a.m. I don't know whether it was 4.30 or 5.00
1 a.m. It was morning. So the circumstances were such
2 that I really can't remember exactly what time it was.
3 Q. So when he woke you up, tell us, did you look
4 at the clock, or is this an estimate of the time?
5 A. This is my estimate of the time.
6 Q. So what did Dragan Vidovic tell you?
7 A. Well, there were no explanations. He just
8 said to take my mother and to go to the shelter.
9 Q. Did he say which shelter? Or was there just
10 talk about "a shelter"?
11 A. He didn't say what shelter. I decided myself
12 which shelter I would go to.
13 Q. Dragan Vidovic, you said he was your
14 neighbour and that he was your cousin?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Of course he still is your cousin. So tell
17 us, did he hold some kind of position, a post in
18 Ahmici, and how did he find out that you had to go to
19 the shelter?
20 A. I don't know. I don't know that.
21 Q. So he didn't tell you where he got this
22 information from?
23 A. No, he didn't tell me anything. There were
24 no explanations.
25 Q. Did he take some particular care of you, for
1 him to come and tell you this?
2 A. Well, yes. The two of us were alone.
3 Q. Women?
4 A. Yes, my mother and I lived alone, and, of
5 course, he was afraid for us.
6 Q. So you needed some male protection, and he
7 saw himself as your protector. Did I understand that
9 A. Yes. Yes, you understood that properly.
10 Q. So you were going to the shelter, which
11 shelter did you go to?
12 A. Jozo Vrebac's house.
13 Q. Could you describe the road to the shelter in
14 Jozo Vrebac's house?
15 A. Well, on the road, I met Zoran Kupreskic and
16 his family and Mirjan Kupreskic and his family. They
17 were driving -- they were pushing their grandmother in
18 a cart, in a wheelbarrow.
19 Q. Did they go in the same direction as you did?
20 A. Yes. Yes. I can't remember in detail what
21 we were talking about, but we came up and we passed by
23 Q. Yes, you caught up with them; let's be more
25 A. Yes, since they had small children, we caught
1 up with them.
2 Q. So you caught up with them. So where did you
3 go with your mother?
4 A. I went to Jozo Vrebac's shelter.
5 Q. Did anybody else, from the people that you
6 knew, go to that shelter?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Well, I want to be direct, I'm interested in
9 Zoran, Mirjan, and their families.
10 A. Well, yes, I already said that. We caught up
11 with them and we passed them. There were other people
12 from the neighbourhood who were going towards the
13 shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house. If I need to tell you
14 who they are, I can remember that.
15 Q. Well, yes, please tell us who they were, if
16 you can remember how many.
17 A. There was Dragica Omazic, Luca Omazic, with
18 their children. We caught up with them. I can't
19 remember exactly who else I met.
20 Q. Well, what you remember is okay.
21 At the time you were going towards the
22 shelter, was the shooting already in progress, or not?
23 A. No, not when I was going.
24 Q. Can you determine when the firing started?
25 And where were you at the time when it broke out?
1 A. I was already in the shelter.
2 Q. Jozo Vrebac's house?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So did anybody from the family of Mirjan and
5 Zoran Kupreskic also come to the shelter in Jozo
6 Vrebac's house?
7 A. Yes. Zoran and Mirjan's parents were there.
8 Mirjan's wife, also, with the children, in the shelter
9 in Jozo Vrebac's house.
10 Q. Zoran?
11 A. Well, Zoran's family went to the house of
12 Milutin Vidovic.
13 Q. Did you find that out on that same day, that
14 Zoran's family was in the house of Milutin Vidovic? Or
15 did you find that out on the same (sic) day?
16 A. Yes, the same day. I came back, because
17 that's close, and I could see Zoran's family in the
18 house of Milutin Vidovic. I saw them. I didn't hear
19 about it.
20 Q. So you saw them?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So how was it that you left the shelter in
23 Jozo Vrebac's house and went to Milutin Vidovic's
25 A. Well, I wanted to see Zoran's wife, to see
1 where she was and why didn't she come to the shelter.
2 Q. So on that day, when you were in the shelter
3 in Jozo Vrebac's house and you went to visit the wife
4 of Zoran in the house of Milutin Vidovic, did you see
5 Zoran and Mirjan, except for the time that you
6 encountered them and they were taking their families to
7 the shelter?
8 A. Yes, I saw them, but I couldn't tell you the
9 time when I saw them. I couldn't do that.
10 Q. Could you tell us where you saw them? Did
11 you see them on the road, or did you see them in one
12 shelter or the other shelter?
13 A. Well, I saw them -- most of the time I was in
14 the shelter of Jozo Vrebac, and that's where I would
15 see them. That's where they would come.
16 Q. Why did they come?
17 A. They came to see how their parents were
18 doing, and Mirjan came to see how his family was doing.
19 Q. Yes, I'm asking, you have to explain to me
20 why they came.
21 A. Yes, yes, of course.
22 Q. Do you remember what Zoran was wearing on
23 that day?
24 A. I think that he was wearing jeans and some
25 kind of military jacket.
1 Q. And Mirjan?
2 A. Mirjan was wearing civilian clothes.
3 Q. He was dressed in civilian clothes?
4 A. Yes, in civilian clothes.
5 Q. Do you remember if they had weapons?
6 A. I think that they did, but I'm not sure. As
7 far as I can remember.
8 Q. Do you remember the kind of weapons they
9 had? Do you understand -- do you know -- are you
10 familiar with weapons?
11 A. No, no, I don't, I'm not familiar with
12 weapons. I don't know what kind of weapons they were.
13 Q. Could you tell us, how many times in the
14 course of that day did you see Zoran and Mirjan, if you
15 can't tell us the exact time?
16 A. Well, I couldn't really tell you how many
17 times they came because --
18 Q. So you couldn't?
19 A. No. No, I couldn't.
20 Q. So you went to the shelter. So on your way
21 to the shelter, did you see any soldiers?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Are there several roads from your house and
24 the Kupreskics' houses that you can reach that shelter?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So if I understood you properly, it's not
2 essential for everybody who takes one road from your
3 house to the shelter to meet others who would be going
4 in the other direction, because there are several
6 A. Yes, there are several roads, and we took the
7 shortest one.
8 Q. You told the Court earlier that during the
9 first escape, when you had heard that Mujahedeen were
10 coming to Barin Gaj, that you had taken your cow?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What happened to your cow that day? You left
13 it, as far as I can understand, at your house.
14 A. Yes. I left the shelter maybe at around
15 10.00 in the morning, and I went to milk the cow.
16 Q. Why was it necessary for you to milk the cow?
17 A. Well, because it was time to do that. You
18 usually do that early in the morning. I told you that
19 we needed the milk.
20 Q. So now you were going to milk your cow, and
21 what did you see on the road when you were going to
22 your house?
23 A. I didn't meet anybody until I got to the
24 house of Niko Sakic. So I didn't meet anybody until I
25 got to the house of Niko Sakic. There I met them, and
1 they were carrying the body of Mirjan Santic on a
3 Q. Who did you meet?
4 A. I met Nikola Omazic, Dragan Vidovic, Zoran
5 Kupreskic, and Mirjan Kupreskic. They were carrying on
6 a ladder the body of Mirjan Santic.
7 Q. Did they tell you anything about how it was
8 that they were carrying the dead body of Mirjan Santic?
9 A. No, they didn't, but nearby there was Mirko
10 Sakic, and of course I was afraid, so I asked him,
11 because I'm afraid of dead bodies, I asked him what was
12 happening, and he told me that there was shooting,
13 there was chaos, and I couldn't go to my house. So, of
14 course, I returned to the shelter.
15 Q. So in the end you didn't go to milk your cow?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Could you describe how the dead body of
18 Mirjan Santic was dressed?
19 A. Well, I only remember he had a pale blue
20 shawl, a scarf, around his neck, but the rest I don't
21 remember, because I was really frightened.
22 Q. So then what happened when you returned to
23 the shelter? Did you go back to Jozo Vrebac's house,
24 or Milutin Vidovic's house?
25 A. Well, I returned immediately to Jozo Vrebac's
2 Q. So then what happened?
3 A. All the people inside were upset because of
4 the shooting. Nobody knew what was going on, and you
5 can imagine what fear there was.
6 Q. So tell us what the talk was in the shelter,
7 where did you sleep that night, and so on.
8 A. Well, it was not very convenient for
9 sleeping, so there was no sleeping. I can't remember
10 exactly what we talked about. There were all kinds of
11 topics, important and not so important.
12 Q. So how did you eat in the shelter?
13 A. Food was brought to us in the course of the
14 day while I was at the shelter, so that means until
15 10.00, food was brought by Zdravko Vrebac, and then in
16 the afternoon, Ivica Kupreskic, Zoran Kupreskic, and
17 Mirjan Kupreskic brought the food a couple of times. I
18 can't remember exactly how many times that was.
19 Q. Well, we are now talking about the second day
20 of the war, the 17th of April. On the 17th of April,
21 did anything happen?
22 A. Yes. I started toward my home again, because
23 I wanted to fetch the cow, and I arrived at my house.
24 Q. And what happened next?
25 A. I saw from my mother's house a terrible
1 scene. The houses had been burnt down. The houses I
2 could see from my house had all been burnt down, all of
3 them. I don't know what happened, what had happened,
4 but I took the cow, and I took it to the house of
5 Ljupko Vidovic, where we were.
6 Q. Where is this house?
7 A. It's perhaps 200 or 300 metres away from the
8 shelter of Jozo Vrebac.
9 Q. Can you tell us whether you heard anything on
10 the 17th, or did everyone remain in the shelter, did
11 they move?
12 A. We all moved from the shelter.
13 Q. Why?
14 A. Because we were told that there were Muslims
15 in a nearby stream, that they had broken through the
16 front line and there was panic, so everyone left the
17 shelter. And I don't know, I didn't know that evening
18 who had gone in what direction, but Mirjan's wife and
19 children, my mother, and I stayed in the house of
20 Ljupko Vidovic.
21 Q. Did anything happen? Did any events occur
22 that were rumoured?
23 A. No, not as far as I know.
24 Q. You said that the wife of Mirjan or Zoran
25 stayed with you?
1 A. It was Zoran's wife, with her children.
2 Q. She stayed behind?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What about Mirjan's wife?
5 A. I didn't know where she went that evening,
6 but I learned later that she had gone to Donja Rovna.
7 Q. With whom did she stay there?
8 A. I think it was with Pero Santic, if I
9 remember well. I think it was with Pero Santic.
10 Q. You talked about rumours that you had heard
11 before about Mujahedeen. What did that word mean to
12 you, "Mujahedeen"?
13 A. To me the very word "Mujahedeen" was something
14 terrible, something that caused horror, because rumours
15 were rife abroad that they had come to help the Muslims
16 with a special intention to cleanse the area of
17 everything that was not Muslim. So the very word
18 terrified me. My mother wasn't so upset by it.
19 Q. On the first day of the war, that is the 16th
20 of April, what did you hear of the wartime events? You
21 said that you heard the onset of the gunfire at about
22 what time?
23 A. I didn't have a watch, but I think it was
24 about half past 5.00 or 6.00. I can't be precise.
25 Q. For how long did the gunfire go on that day?
1 Was it the whole day?
2 A. Well, it was almost the whole day, but I
3 don't remember whether it was more intense in the
4 morning or in the afternoon. I don't know.
5 Q. Can you tell light weapons from mortars,
6 recoilless guns?
7 A. No, no. I can't tell the difference. I can
8 only say whether it was more intense or less intense.
9 Q. So was it very intense, or less intense?
10 A. There were both kinds of sounds, I think, but
11 I can't tell you exactly.
12 Q. Can you tell us whether you were able to
13 assess from what direction the gunfire came?
14 A. No, no, I couldn't tell from what direction
15 it came. There were lots of houses, and I can't
16 really -- I don't know how to judge this. I can't
18 Q. So on the first day of the war, was there
19 shooting throughout the day, or were there lulls in the
20 gunfire? Did it stop at night?
21 A. I can't remember exactly. No, I can't
22 remember these details exactly.
23 Q. Very well. If you can't, you can't.
24 On the 17th, the second day of the war, was
25 there any gunfire?
1 A. Yes, but less than the previous day. Less,
2 so that I didn't have to run to my house to get the
3 cow. Less. There was less gunfire.
4 Q. Do you remember the second day of the war,
5 did you see Zoran and Mirjan?
6 A. Yes. Yes, they came to Ljupko Vidovic's
7 house, but I can't say how many times.
8 Q. Was it once, or several times?
9 A. It was several times, but I can't tell you
10 the number of times they came.
11 Q. Did they have any conversation with you?
12 A. Of course, I said hello, but they probably
13 had, that is Zoran, had private conversations with his
14 wife. I assumed they were discussing what to do next,
15 but I don't know, actually, what they were talking
17 Q. Afterwards, when the war was already going
18 on, did you stay in Ahmici, or did you move to Vitez?
19 A. We stayed in Ljupko Vidovic's house for a
20 certain time. I don't know how many days it was. Then
21 my mother and I returned to our own house in Pirici,
22 that is, in Ahmici.
23 Q. Who is living in your house now?
24 A. My mother. I live in Vitez.
25 Q. Is your mother alone now?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you go to visit your mother?
3 A. Yes, regularly. Almost every day.
4 Q. When you were talking to your fellow
5 villagers, did they ever mention anything that might
6 indicate intolerance toward Muslims, a desire to
7 cleanse Ahmici of Muslims, to expel the Muslims from
8 Ahmici, to burn their houses, and so on?
9 A. This never happened in my presence. I don't
11 Q. So what was your impression, as far as you
12 know, what were the relations between the Croatian and
13 Muslim villagers in Ahmici, between the individuals,
14 before the war?
15 A. As I see it, it was perfectly good. Our
16 neighbourly relations were perfectly good.
17 Q. Were you also a dancer, or did you play a
18 musical instrument?
19 A. Yes, but I gave that up a long time ago.
20 Q. What time did you stop?
21 A. In the '80s. I can't tell you the exact
22 year. It was a long time ago.
23 Q. Were you there before Zoran, or --
24 A. Yes. Yes, I was in the group before them,
25 and then Zoran and Mirjan came, and they continued, but
1 I stopped because of my work and my shop.
2 Q. So did you continue following the work of
3 their company? Did you go to their performances?
4 A. Yes, I did, sometimes.
5 Q. And in the group which played musical
6 instruments and danced, were there any Croats? Were
7 there any Serbs there, any Muslims, any Gypsies, or was
8 it a closed society for just one nationality?
9 A. No, all the nationalities were represented.
10 I can even enumerate the people I know. There were
11 Serbs, Gypsies.
12 Q. Can you tell us their names?
13 A. Cato Veljko, who is a Serb by nationality.
14 Then I know a Gypsy, Adil, but I don't know his second
16 Q. Very well. I know his second name, but let's
17 leave it at Adil.
18 A. Then a Muslim I know, Nedzad. I can't
19 remember their second names.
20 Q. Fahran?
21 A. Fahran, of course. That's understood. I
22 forgot to mention him. Fahran is well known.
23 Q. So it was mixed?
24 A. Yes, it was mixed.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I have finished
2 my examination of the witness.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 Counsel Pavkovic?
5 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Only Counsel Zelimir Par wishes to examine this
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Par?
9 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Examined by Mr. Par:
11 Q. Good day, Mrs. Cuic.
12 A. Good day.
13 Q. I will put a few questions to you concerning
14 Vlatko Kupreskic.
15 In today's testimony, you indicated on the
16 map that one of your next door neighbours was Vlatko
17 Kupreskic, so I assume you know him and his family
19 A. Yes, very well.
20 Q. Could you please start talking about the 16th
21 of April. We talked about it and you described it.
22 Can you tell us whether, on the 16th of April, 1993,
23 you saw Vlatko Kupreskic, when and in what
25 A. Yes, I saw him when he brought his family and
1 his mother to Jozo Vrebac's shelter, and I asked him
2 where his father Franjo was.
3 Q. Can you tell us about what time this was when
4 you saw him first?
5 A. I can't tell the time exactly. I can't tell
6 you what time it was, but they were among the last
7 people to arrive, and the shooting had already started.
8 Q. So we can say that the shooting had started,
9 and they were among the last to arrive?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you enumerate them?
12 A. I didn't understand the question.
13 Q. When you say "they," who are you referring to
14 of Vlatko Kupreskic's family?
15 A. Vlatko Kupreskic, Ljubica Kupreskic, Vlatko's
16 children, and Vlatko's mother.
17 Q. I interrupted you when you said you asked him
18 something about his father. Could you continue now?
19 A. Yes. I asked him where his father was. He
20 said that he had stayed behind at home, that he was
21 ill, that he couldn't walk to the shelter, and that the
22 Muslims would not harm him.
23 Q. Very well. That was the first time you saw
24 him that day?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were in the shelter the whole time. Did
2 you see him again? Did he stay in the shelter?
3 A. During the time I was in the shelter, until
4 about 10.00, he was there during that time in the
5 shelter. Later, when I left the shelter and came back,
6 after 10.00, I don't know exactly what time it was, but
7 he wasn't in the shelter then.
8 Q. When you went to milk your cow and came back,
9 he wasn't there anymore, but you saw him there before
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On that day, did you see him again at all?
13 A. Yes. I saw him in the afternoon. I can't
14 tell you exactly what time it was.
15 Q. Where?
16 A. In Jozo Vrebac's shelter.
17 Q. Let's try to establish this. You saw him up
18 to 10.00 and then in the afternoon?
19 A. Yes, but I don't know exactly when in the
21 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now I will put
22 another question to you from another area. Is Mirko
23 Vidovic your brother?
24 A. Yes, Mirko Vidovic is my brother.
25 Q. Can you tell us where his house is in
1 relation to yours and to Vlatko's house?
2 A. Yes. Shall I show it on the map?
3 Q. Well, you can describe it.
4 A. Well, it's in the immediate vicinity.
5 Q. So Mirko is also one of your next door
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. In April 1993, where was your brother Mirko?
9 A. My brother Mirko went to Germany in March
10 1993. He went to visit his family who was there.
11 Q. Can you tell us why his family was in
12 Germany? Did they leave because of the war?
13 A. No. My brother's wife was in Germany for a
14 long time because she had family there, and then he
15 went to visit her.
16 Q. So he left in March 1993 from Ahmici to
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When did he come back?
20 A. He came back in early June 1995 to attend my
22 Q. It was in June?
23 A. Yes, it was in June.
24 Q. So between March 1993 to June 1995, did Mirko
25 come to Ahmici?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Is it possible that on the 15th of April,
3 1993 he was in Ahmici?
4 A. Oh, no.
5 MR. PAR: Very well. I would now like to ask
6 the Court whether we can go into closed session for one
7 minute because I would like to mention a name, and that
8 will be my last question.
9 (Private session)
18 (Open session)
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier?
20 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
22 Q. Good morning, Madam Cuic. My name is Franck
23 Terrier. I'm one of the members of the Office of the
24 Prosecutor. I would like to ask you a number of
25 questions after the testimony you have just given.
1 I've learned that you had very good relations
2 with Zoran Kupreskic. Will you please tell this
3 Tribunal how these relations began and what your
4 relations were with Mr. Zoran Kupreskic's family?
5 A. I'm sorry. I can't hear you very well. I
6 can practically not hear you.
7 Q. I'm now going to repeat my question, Madam.
8 I would like for you to tell me exactly what your
9 relations were with Zoran Kupreskic and his family,
10 when these relations began, and what brought you
11 together with his family.
12 A. We, Zoran's family and my family, have known
13 one another ever since I was born, which means that
14 this has been inherited from our parents.
15 Q. Did you have the same relations with Mirjan
16 Kupreskic and his family?
17 A. Yes, both with Mirjan's and Zoran's parents,
19 Q. How would you characterise the relations that
20 you had with Vlatko Kupreskic and his family?
21 A. Yes. They were good, good relations. But
22 Vlatko likes to work a lot, he likes business, so he
23 had less time for us.
24 Q. Today, the relations with the family of Zoran
25 and Mirjan Kupreskic, have they continued?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Today or recently, have you been in contact
3 with Zoran and Mirjan, either by letter or by
5 A. No, unfortunately not. I'm very sorry that I
6 hadn't even sent a Christmas card. I had a lot of
8 Q. Madam, I would like to now turn to the
9 climate that was in Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici before
10 the month of April 1993. It seems to me that you
11 stated that, on several occasions before the month of
12 April 1993 and even before October 1992, you saw groups
13 of armed Muslims, in particular, around the mosque.
14 Did I understand your statement correctly?
15 A. Well, I didn't specify what time that was and
16 how many times because I don't remember exactly, but I
17 saw them often, generally near the mosque, because that
18 was a direction that was necessary for me every day. I
19 would pass that way.
20 Q. Therefore, to the best of your knowledge,
21 there was a frequent presence of armed Muslims around
22 the mosque?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. However, you did not see and you could not
25 see armed Croats in the village of Ahmici or Santici
1 and, even less so, groups of armed Croats?
2 A. Yes. Yes, I think that I was clear enough.
3 The section of the road that I was taking is -- my
4 mother's house is the first house, so I didn't have the
5 opportunity. Even if there had been any, I didn't have
6 the opportunity to see any.
7 Q. In your mind, given the results of that
8 situation, the presence of armed Muslims and the
9 absence of armed Croats, did this create an imbalance
10 which perhaps was a provocation and a threat to your
11 own security?
12 A. Yes. It was terrible. In the last few
13 months, the number of the citizens in Ahmici grew; it
14 almost doubled. Of course, this frightened me, in view
15 of the fact that I lived alone with my mother.
16 Q. Therefore, within the last months that
17 preceded April 1993, you felt terrorised and extremely
18 threatened by the Muslims?
19 A. I'm sorry. I didn't say that. I was just
20 afraid. But direct threats with regard to me and my
21 mother, there had been no direct threats.
22 Q. What exactly were you afraid of, Madam?
23 A. I was afraid -- well, I'll give you an
24 example. When they would come back from the front,
25 they would shoot, and also the group itself. In view
1 of the fact that I'm a woman and I would pass by five
2 or six of them and they had arms, of course, I would be
4 Q. Madam, I'm trying to understand. The men who
5 you would see, the armed men, you said that they were
6 coming from the front.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The front against the Serbs, they were
9 fighting against the Serbs?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The Serbs were a common enemy. The Muslims
12 were fighting against your common enemy. How would
13 such a situation threaten your security or cause you to
14 be afraid when they returned from the front?
15 A. Well, look, I don't know what their reason
16 was for shooting, but when a rifle fires, I get afraid,
17 regardless of the reason why it was fired. So, of
18 course, I can't define that, what you're asking me. I
19 don't know why and against who they fought. I only
20 heard that from talk.
21 Q. Did you never see Croatians or Croats,
22 rather, returning from the front?
23 A. No, I didn't see that because we did not have
24 a man in the house. So it wasn't something that was of
25 particular interest to me.
1 Q. But there were Croats living in the houses
2 around your own. Did you never see any Croats or did
3 you not know of any Croats coming from the front?
4 A. The Croats who lived close to my house, as
5 far as I know, did not go to any front. Well, I say
6 that, as much as I know.
7 Q. Let's now turn to the events in October of
8 1992. You stated a moment ago that you do not remember
9 that the Muslims had left Ahmici and only returned a
10 few days later. Do you remember at least the
11 discussions which took place at that time between the
12 representatives of the Croatian community and
13 representatives from the Muslim community concerning
14 the conditions for their return and the conditions for
15 the establishment of peace and trust between those two
16 communities; do you recall that?
17 A. Well, I've already said that the part that I
18 would pass through, I didn't notice that the Muslims
19 had moved away. All those agreements I was not aware
20 of. I didn't know that and I was not familiar with
22 Q. Did your friend, Zoran Kupreskic, never talk
23 to you about these discussions, about these agreements,
24 and the return of Muslims?
25 A. No. No. No.
1 Q. And you never heard it said that the Muslims
2 living in Ahmici were asked to give their weapons, to
3 surrender their weapons to the Croats?
4 A. No, I don't know about that. I can't
5 remember that anybody ever in my presence talked about
7 Q. In your own mind, at the end of the conflict
8 on the 20th of October, 1992, was there a victor in
9 that conflict?
10 A. I don't know. Believe me, I don't even know
11 who started it, who was firing, and who ended it. I
12 don't know anything about that.
13 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned a group of
14 soldiers, some wearing uniforms and others in civilian
15 clothing, that you saw on the road near your house, and
16 this group was led by Fuad Berbic.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It seems that you had a very exact memory of
19 this because you named nine other persons, Muslims, who
20 were in this group. Since your memory of this is very
21 sharp and you remember the names of persons in this
22 group, can you please tell me what that group was doing
23 on that road at the time in which you saw them?
24 A. I only met them, and, of course, I stopped so
25 that all of them could pass. Where they went after
1 that and what they did, as far as I remember, I didn't
2 say that the first time either; I didn't know what
3 their objective was, and, of course, I didn't ask
4 them. I only greeted them. I've already said that.
5 MR. TERRIER: Perhaps this might be a good
6 time to adjourn.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
11 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Madam, I would like to return for a few
13 moments to the group led by Mr. Fuad Berbic that you
14 saw on the road. You don't remember at all what they
15 were doing on the road?
16 A. I met them. They were just walking along. I
17 didn't see any more than that. I didn't see what they
18 were doing, their objective, or where they were going.
19 I stopped so that they could pass by, and I have
20 already said that.
21 Q. So they weren't doing anything in
22 particular. They weren't firing. You could not guess
23 what their intentions might be. Nonetheless, you said
24 that their simple presence frightened you a great
1 A. They weren't firing, but there were a lot of
2 them, yes. I stopped. They frightened me because they
3 were all carrying weapons.
4 Q. Madam, how can you be sure that this took
5 place in mid November 1992, as you stated?
6 A. Well, I didn't specify the time or the day,
7 but I think that I said that this was in mid November.
8 I don't know exactly what date, what day.
9 Q. Madam, I'm not going to ask you for the exact
10 day, but I would like to know the period. How can you
11 be certain that it was in mid November 1992 when this
12 took place and not in October or perhaps in September
14 A. I remembered it because the first conflict
15 occurred before that, yes, on the 20th of October.
16 Q. Therefore, you are absolutely certain that
17 the scene that you described took place after the 20th
18 of October, 1992?
19 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. Madam, I'm asking you this question because
21 the Tribunal received several statements from Croat and
22 Muslim witnesses who stated that, after the Muslims
23 returned to Ahmici, that no activities of this type
24 were noted by them.
25 A. Well, I saw that group, and after that and
1 before, I didn't happen to see them. Whether they
2 gathered in those groups before or after, I don't know
3 that. I'm only talking about what I saw in that
5 Q. But is it impossible that you saw this group
6 before October 1992?
7 A. Well, it's possible that they grouped, but I
8 didn't see them.
9 Q. Madam, let's return to the day of the 20th of
10 October, 1992. If I correctly understood your
11 testimony, you left your house with your mother to seek
12 shelter at your house, Vidovic, and that in this
13 shelter, you encountered five armed Muslims who were
14 dressed in uniforms; is that correct?
15 A. I'm sorry. I said that of the five of them,
16 two of them had uniforms and the other three were
17 wearing civilian clothes.
18 Q. Yes, you're correct. I'm sorry. I
19 apologise. Nonetheless, there were five Muslims, all
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you specify at what time these five
23 Muslims entered the shelter?
24 A. I can't say that more specifically because I
25 didn't have a watch, and I didn't see them when they
1 arrived to the shelter. I only already met them in the
2 shelter. I found them in the shelter.
3 Q. When you arrived in this shelter, what was
4 the general situation? Was there firing? Could you
5 hear any exchange of canon fire or rifle fire around
6 the road or in the area of Vitez, the road leading to
7 Vitez? What was the situation at the time?
8 A. Yes, there was firing, and that's why we went
9 to the shelter. I don't know. I couldn't determine
10 now from which direction the shooting came.
11 Q. If there was shooting, could you draw the
12 conclusion then that there was fighting?
13 A. I don't know. I don't know whether there was
14 fighting. I know that there was shooting. I couldn't
16 Q. If there is shooting, perhaps you wouldn't be
17 too far off to conclude that there was fighting; do you
18 agree with me?
19 A. Yes, probably, but I don't know what the
20 reasons would be for the shooting.
21 Q. The five Muslims in the shelter, were they
22 taking shelter in order to escape the fighting, in your
24 A. Well, I don't know. I think I said that,
25 what their intention was, their reason for being there,
1 but they weren't provoking my mother or myself. They
2 were even kind.
3 Q. You weren't frightened by their presence
5 A. I was frightened when I was going in, but
6 later, I wasn't because we had no choice. What was
7 there was there. If they had wanted to, they could
8 have done anything to us, but they were very correct.
9 Q. And you thought that these five Muslim
10 soldiers were hiding at the moment of this fighting and
11 what might have been fighting were harmless?
12 A. At that time, I wasn't thinking at all. We
13 had taken refuge there, and I didn't feel that I was in
15 Q. At that time in October or November 1992 or
16 in the ensuing months until 1993, did you see or hear
17 the village guard made up of empowered Croats and
19 A. In view of the fact that the time period was
20 the autumn, going onto winter, yes. In the evening,
21 when I would come home from work at 6.00 p.m., I had
22 the opportunity to see them in groups, most frequently
23 near the mosque, but I didn't go further into the
24 village because there was no need for me to go
1 Q. The persons you just mentioned, were they
2 Muslims or Croats or a mixture of Croats and Muslims?
3 A. I think that they were Muslims because they
4 were on the side where the Muslim inhabitants were.
5 That road, in fact, divides Ahmici and Pirici.
6 Q. So at that time then, you had no knowledge of
7 any guard made up of Croats?
8 A. No. No.
9 Q. You never saw them and no one ever talked to
10 you about them?
11 A. No. I didn't pay much attention to that
12 because, as I have already mentioned, I lived alone
13 with my mother, and I didn't know anything about it. I
14 couldn't say anything about it specifically.
15 Q. You just stated and you stated earlier that
16 you were living alone with your mother, that in this
17 village, you saw a number of events which frightened
18 you and which frightened you given your situation. You
19 had no knowledge of any reassuring presence of Croats,
20 and you did not seek any information, for example, from
21 your friend Zoran Kupreskic, to find out what was
22 happening, to find out whether the Croats who were
23 guaranteeing the security of the Croats in the village,
24 you did not look for any information of this type at
1 A. Well, you see all the insecurity that I felt
2 at that time I regularly communicated to my brother,
3 Rudo Vidovic, and if anything happened anywhere in the
4 surrounding area, for example, in Bugojno, he would
5 always come and tell us to go to the houses of the
6 Kupreskics. So I did not feel any need to talk to
7 Zoran about it.
8 Q. A moment ago, I believe we referred to
9 November 1992, when you mentioned a false alert, false
10 alarm. You said that it was stated that the Mujahedeen
11 were located in Barin Gaj and that, therefore, you had
12 to seek shelter. Do you remember that episode?
13 A. Yes, I remember it very well. It was after
14 11.00 p.m. when my relative, Miro Vidovic, rang us up
15 on the telephone and told us that 50 Mujahedeen had
16 arrived in Barin Gaj. Of course, in few of the
17 circumstances, I took my mother and the cow, and we set
18 off toward the shelter. We arrived at the house of
19 Niko Sakic, and my mother said, "Let's go home. Who
20 could have counted them at this time of night?" Of
21 course, my mother was right because on that evening,
22 nothing happened.
23 Q. In other words, that was incorrect
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, your relative that alerted you by
2 telephone, what happened in that episode?
3 A. No, I don't -- we weren't given any detailed
4 explanations. He only said what I told you, that the
5 Mujahedeen had arrived and that we had to flee.
6 Q. Did you, at that time, discuss with other
7 persons, Zoran or Mirjan Kupreskic, this feeling of
8 insecurity that you had, this feeling that there was
9 mounting tension in the village between the two
11 A. Well, there was talk about this because all
12 the villagers living in this area noticed that, from
13 day to day, the population was growing, but the
14 explanation was that these were all refugees coming in
15 because, as far as I can remember, sometime around
16 October, Jajce fell, and a lot of these people were
17 allegedly from there. But we did not discuss any
18 specific details.
19 Q. Did your mother, for example, have the
20 feeling that, due to the situation and due to the
21 presence of Mujahedeen in the area and due to the influx
22 of Muslim refugees who were settling in Ahmici, that
23 her situation, her own personal safety was threatened?
24 Did your mother have the same feelings that you did?
25 A. No. My mother is very old, and she's a very
1 placid woman. She was not frightened by any of this
2 information. For example, when I told you about the
3 Mujahedeen, my mother would always go to the shelter for
4 my sake.
5 Q. Are you aware of any explicit threats that
6 were made against the Croat numbers of Ahmici or Croats
7 in the area at that time, threats that might explain
8 the feeling that you had that your safety was
10 A. I personally, personally, did not have any
11 threats made against me. So that I didn't feel so
13 Q. Did the persons who you may have met during
14 the course of your work in Ahmici, your friends, or the
15 information that you may have learned by watching
16 television, if you had a television, or perhaps a
17 radio, if you had a radio, or perhaps by reading the
18 newspapers, did all of this give you the feeling that
19 your security was threatened by the Muslims?
20 A. Well, for example, in Dusina, something
21 happened. I don't know exactly when or where, but
22 whenever I heard something of that kind, I felt afraid,
23 but I was convinced, since I was a local villager and I
24 lived there -- in general, to put it briefly, I was in
25 two minds. There were times when I would get
1 frightened by all these events, and then I would feel I
2 had to come back again because I had no other home
4 Q. Madam, let us now move on to the evening of
5 the 15th of April, 1993. You told us that you returned
6 to your home after work at 6.00 p.m. and that you went
7 to the house of your friend Zoran Kupreskic. Did your
8 mother come with you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. During the testimony during examination in
11 chief by Mr. Radovic, you stated that during that visit
12 on the 15th, on the evening of the 15th, that the
13 village of Kovacevac, that there we can see houses
14 burning, and that you had seen this from the house of
15 Zoran. Can you please explain your memory of this
17 A. Well, just as Mr. Radovic wrote down, all I
18 could do was to see. I don't know any other details
19 about it because --
20 Q. Could you please confirm that when you went
21 to visit Zoran Kupreskic on the 15th of April, in the
22 evening, around 7.00 p.m., I believe, that the village
23 of Kovacevac was burning?
24 A. I think, as far as I remember, that it was,
25 but that village is quite far from the spot where I was
1 standing and from which I could see.
2 Q. Where is this village, Kovacevac, located,
4 A. It's parallel -- from the house of Zoran
5 Kupreskic you can see it, but it belongs to the
6 municipality of Busovaca.
7 Q. How far is it from Ahmici?
8 A. I wouldn't be able to estimate this, because
9 the terrain is hilly, so I couldn't say precisely what
10 the distance is.
11 Q. And why, in your opinion, what was your
12 opinion as to why this village was burning on the 15th
13 in the evening?
14 A. I don't remember exactly what I thought
15 then. I don't know.
16 Q. Is this something habitual, normal, to see a
17 village burning?
18 A. No. No. It wasn't something usual. When
19 there is a big fire -- but whether it was the village
20 that was burning or the woods around the village, I
21 don't know. Something was burning, but I wasn't able
22 to see exactly what it was because it's quite far. I
23 couldn't see precisely what was burning.
24 Q. Did you speak with Zoran Kupreskic about
1 A. No. I didn't attach any special importance
2 to it because they had probably seen it too. I don't
3 know how much importance they attached to it.
4 Q. Who lived in the village of Kovacevac? Was
5 it a Muslim or a Croat village?
6 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know who lived
7 there, what kind of people. I don't know.
8 Q. So in summary, madam, when you arrived at the
9 home of Zoran Kupreskic, you saw the village of
10 Kovacevac on fire, but you attached no great importance
11 to that, and therefore you said nothing to Zoran
13 A. No, I don't remember saying anything about
15 Q. You said that during the course of that
16 evening you, together with Zoran Kupreskic, visited
17 Ivica -- rather together with Ivica Kupresic, and that
18 you remained there for a very short time period. Can
19 you please tell us what that means, when you say you
20 were there for a very short time period. Does that
21 mean 5 minutes, 15 minutes, perhaps half an hour, or an
22 hour and a half? When you say "a short time," what
23 does that mean?
24 A. So short that we only said hello to her,
25 because she hadn't been here for a long time, and then
1 we went back to Zoran's house immediately. I can't say
2 whether it was two minutes or five minutes or ten
3 minutes; I don't know exactly. But it was very, very
5 Q. Yes, indeed, if you only came to say hello
6 and to leave, that would be a very short visit. But
7 how can you be certain and so specific about what
8 persons were there?
9 A. Well, since the living room was rather small,
10 there was not enough room for us to sit down. We might
11 have stayed longer otherwise. So I saw who was
13 Q. But is it possible that other persons were in
14 other rooms? For example, in the kitchen?
15 A. I don't believe so. I didn't see them,
16 because it's all interconnected, but I didn't see any
17 other people.
18 Q. But you cannot exclude the fact that some
19 persons may have come and gone before your visit, or
20 perhaps after that, of course?
21 A. I don't know. I didn't pay attention to
23 Q. At the house of Zoran Kupreskic on that
24 evening, your mother and yourself were invited, but
25 were there also other persons?
1 A. There were Zoran's parents, and my mother,
2 and briefly Mirjan with his wife, but they had to leave
3 because his child was ill, so they had to go home.
4 Q. Did Mirjan come with you to visit Ivica
5 Kupreskic and his wife?
6 A. I have already said, I think I remember well,
7 I said it was only with Zoran that I went to see
8 Ankica, and Mirjan was already there. In the meantime,
9 he went back again, but not with us, together with us,
10 as far as I can remember, to Zoran's house.
11 Q. On that evening, do you remember that the
12 telephone rang at Zoran's house and that there was a
13 telephone conversation?
14 A. No, I don't remember. Because that evening
15 we were watching a very interesting tape, and I was
16 concentrating on that. So there might have been a
17 telephone call, but I didn't notice one.
18 Q. And what was on this videotape that you
19 looked at?
20 A. Mostly music. It was mostly music.
21 Q. You stated a moment ago that on the 16th of
22 April, in the morning, that you were awakened by Dragan
23 Vidovic. You aren't able to specify the time at which
24 you were awakened by Mr. Vidovic, but you were quite
25 certain, as you stated, that it was after 4.00 in the
1 morning. How can you be so clear on this point, since
2 you did not know what time it was at that time?
3 A. I know because we arrived at the shelter --
4 my mother is old, so she needed more time than I did.
5 Then I asked the people who were already at the shelter
6 what time it was, and it was about 5.00 a.m., as far as
7 I remember. Whether it was quarter past 5.00 or
8 exactly 5.00, I don't know.
9 Q. It's because, therefore, that you knew that
10 you arrived at the shelter at 5.00 or 5.15 that you
11 knew how much time you took to arrive at that shelter,
12 and based on that, you knew you were awakened around
13 4.00 in the morning, or around that time; is that
15 A. Yes, it would be logical to think that.
16 4.00, sometime after 4.00. I don't know exactly.
17 Q. Do you have any family relations with Dragan
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What is that relationship?
21 A. He's the son of my half-uncle, step-uncle.
22 Q. Where does he live in Ahmici? Where was he
23 living at that time? Where?
24 A. Near my house. Quite close. Quite close.
25 Q. You saw him on that morning, you spoke with
1 him, did you not?
2 A. No. He woke us up and said, without any
3 explanation, for me to take my mother and to go to the
4 shelter. And he left. I don't know where.
5 Q. But you saw him, did you not?
6 A. Yes. Yes, I opened the door. Of course, I
7 asked who was it, and then I opened the door, and I saw
8 him. Of course.
9 Q. How was he dressed, to the best of your
10 recollection? Was he wearing a uniform, or was he
11 wearing civilian clothing?
12 A. I don't remember exactly what he was wearing,
13 because I had just gotten up. I was afraid. I didn't
14 know who would be ringing at the doorbell at that time,
15 so I don't remember what he was wearing.
16 Q. Do you remember whether or not he had a
18 A. No, I don't remember. I had just woken up,
19 so I don't know what he had. It was just him.
20 Q. Is he the one who told you to go to the
21 shelter in the house of Vrebac, or were you the one
22 that took that decision?
23 A. I made that decision. He didn't say
24 anything. He didn't give any explanations, like I
1 Q. Why, then, did you decide to go to the
2 shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house and not something closer
3 to your own home: For example, the house where you
4 took shelter in October 1992, at the house of
5 Mr. Sakic, or where you intended to go when there was
6 that false alarm about the presence of the Mujahedeen?
7 Why, then, off to the shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house?
8 A. There's a larger settlement there, around
9 Jozo Vrebac's house. Since it was morning and I had
10 just woken up and I wanted to go as far as possible,
11 and then I stopped at the shelter of Jozo Vrebac. I
12 didn't think which was closer, in order to go to Rudo's
13 house, my brother's house.
14 Q. Would you please clarify something for me.
15 I'm trying to understand. You said you decided to go
16 to the Vrebac shelter because you thought that would be
17 safer than others. However, at the same time, that
18 shelter was located in an area in Santici and Ahmici
19 which is almost exclusively inhabited by Croats. But,
20 madam, if you felt that the Muslims were going to
21 attack, do you think it is reasonable to believe that
22 they were going to attack the areas inhabited by the
23 Muslims, or the Croats?
24 A. At that time, I didn't think about anything.
25 I just went to the shelter. And I can't remember what
1 I was thinking about at that time.
2 Q. Madam, isn't it reasonable to think --
3 rather, you decided not to go to the Vidovic shelter
4 and not to go to any other shelter, but rather to go as
5 far as possible to the Vrebac shelter, which is as far
6 as possible from your own home? And you did this
7 because you were told or because you learned that a
8 fight would be taking place in the Muslim area of
9 Ahmici, is that what you are telling me, and not to the
10 Croat area?
11 A. I've already said that at that time, I wasn't
12 thinking anything specific.
13 Q. Can you please specify which path you used in
14 order to go to the Vrebac shelter from your house? And
15 if you like, would you please show us the path on this
17 A. This is my house (indicating). Just below my
18 house there is a depression, it's a field. Then
19 there's a shortcut, and it comes out exactly at Niko
20 Sakic's house. Then I go further, I carry on, and then
21 here (indicating) -- I can't indicate precisely here,
22 I've already said around Pudza houses, I caught up with
23 Zoran and his family, Mirjan and his family, and the
24 grandmother that they were pushing in a wheelbarrow.
25 So we passed them and went to the house of Jozo
1 Vrebac. That's --
2 Q. Madam, did you encounter any soldiers?
3 A. (No audible response)
4 Q. Please, madam, be seated. You may be
6 Madam, on this path that you just pointed out
7 which you took from the house of Niko Sakic to the
8 shelter of Jozo Vrebac, you encountered and passed the
9 family of Zoran Kupreskic. Now, were there soldiers in
10 that location, on that path?
11 A. No, I didn't encounter anybody.
12 Q. I will now ask for the usher to show the
13 witness Defence Exhibit D14/1.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: 13?
15 MR. TERRIER: 13.
16 Q. Madam, does this photograph indeed show the
17 house of Jozo Vrebac in which you took shelter on the
18 16th of April, in the morning?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And looking at this photograph, with numbers
21 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, can you show us the path that you
22 took, you and your mother, to arrive at this house?
23 A. As far as I can see, you can only see the
24 house and the rooms where we were during the time that
25 there was gunfire. And there is no road here that I
1 could show you. I've already done that on the map.
2 Q. Madam, perhaps I did not express myself
3 clearly. I would like for you to show us, if possible,
4 on these photographs, the place at which you took
5 shelter, you arrived at this house with your mother,
6 and I believe that you entered that house, and then you
7 went somewhere in that house. Can we see on this
8 photograph where, exactly, you went?
9 A. Yes. You can see -- if I can see my way
10 around here -- well, there's the front hall
11 (indicating). Then there's a smaller room and a larger
12 room. I put my mother in the larger room, and from
13 time to time I was in one and in the other, and in the
14 third room, in order to give room to the children and
15 the elderly.
16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, it was indicated
17 to me that there was no response on the transcript when
18 I asked whether or not the witness had seen soldiers on
19 the path leading to Jozo Vrebac's home. Perhaps all we
20 need is to specify that she stated that she did not see
21 the soldiers.
22 Q. Madam, you are now showing us a very large
23 room in which -- or do you see a large room on these
24 photographs where you and your mother were located?
25 And if so, can you please tell us what number
1 corresponds with that.
2 A. Yes, I think, as far as I remember, that this
3 is the large room (indicating). And it's under
4 number 5. But I'm not sure. I can only see a part of
5 it here.
6 Q. But in the basement of this house, were there
7 several rooms, as we see them here?
8 A. Yes, I told you there were several rooms.
9 There was the front hall, a smaller room, and a larger
10 room. But I can't tell exactly, with these photographs
11 here, which of these rooms is the largest, so I came to
12 the conclusion that it must be under number 5.
13 Q. When you arrived in that room, were there
14 already people there?
15 A. Yes. There were a lot of people. A lot of
16 children. And adults, men and women. And I don't
17 remember exactly who was there, but I could mention a
18 few of them.
19 Q. Can you simply tell us which people were
20 there? Of those you remember, that is.
21 A. Ivo Vidovic, Alojz Vidovic, Marko Livancic,
22 the Marjanovic family -- when I say "family," I mean
23 everybody was there. Ljuba Vidovic, Lucija Papic, the
24 Omazics -- just their surname, and so on. I can't
25 remember exactly who was there, but there were a lot of
2 Q. Do you recall seeing on that morning, when
3 you arrived or later, Ankica Kupreskic, the wife of
5 A. I saw them, but whether they were already
6 there when I arrived, whether they were there after or
7 before I came, I don't remember, but they were there
8 when I was there. I don't remember if they came before
9 I did or after me, but I remember they were there.
10 Q. Was there any light in the shelter?
11 A. At the time that I arrived there was, but
12 later there wasn't, no. So after that, there wasn't.
13 I can't tell after how much time the light was cut,
14 after half an hour or 15 minutes, but within a short
15 period of time, the electricity was cut.
16 Q. And when the electricity was cut, could you
17 see then what was going on in this basement?
18 A. Some of those present had something, they had
19 candles, I don't remember what it was. But it had
20 already started to get light, and there were small
21 windows where the light came, but not to an extent that
22 you could read by it.
23 Q. And these lanterns that we see in the
24 photograph on number 7 -- rather these windows, weren't
25 they blocked by boards? Do you recall?
1 A. Well, I didn't pay any particular attention
2 to the window. I don't remember. I didn't really pay
3 any special attention to the windows.
4 Q. In these rooms, were there mattresses, so
5 that children or elderly persons could lie down?
6 A. There was something, I don't know exactly
7 what, but mainly the elderly were sitting on something,
8 but I don't know exactly what that was, because I
9 wasn't sitting, of course.
10 Q. Given the way this room was arranged, did you
11 have the impression that this room had been prepared to
12 receive you?
13 A. I don't know what I was thinking at that
14 time. It was important for me to find a place for my
15 mother to sit down. Whether it was prepared or not, I
16 don't know.
17 Q. You stated a moment ago that you left the
18 shelter at 10.00. From the time of your arrival and
19 the time of your departure at 10.00, did you remain in
20 that one room the entire time?
21 A. No. No, from time to time, I would go
22 because all the people who were there were known to
23 me. From time to time, I would go out and in from one
24 room to another.
25 Q. During that entire period, did you remain in
1 the basement or did you leave the house?
2 A. From the basement, I didn't go up the stairs,
4 Q. We see on picture number 3 a photograph of a
5 stairwell. You state that from the time you arrived,
6 which was at 5.00 or 5.15 in the morning, until the
7 moment you left at 10.00, you stayed in the basement
8 and did not climb the stairs.
9 A. No, I didn't climb the stairs or go outside
10 to the terrace that is shown on this photograph until
11 about 10.00 or sometime after when I went to my house.
12 Q. Madam, you stated a moment ago that you saw
13 Vlatko Kupreskic and his family arrive last, I add, in
14 the shelter shortly after the shooting had begun, and
15 you exchanged a few words with Vlatko Kupreskic; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did Vlatko Kupreskic explain why his father
19 was not there?
20 A. Yes. I asked him, and he said that he was
21 sick and that, allegedly, if something happens, the
22 Muslims would not harm him.
23 Q. So Vlatko Kupreskic had no concerns about the
24 safety of his father? His father was not at risk where
25 he was?
1 A. I wouldn't know. I don't know that.
2 Q. Until the time at which you left the shelter
3 at 10.00, would you see Vlatko Kupreskic?
4 A. Yes. During the time I was there, he was in
5 the shelter all the time. In which room he was
6 exactly, I don't know. I don't know which one I was in
8 Q. So you're telling us then that, between the
9 arrival of Vlatko Kupreskic and his family at the
10 shelter and the time at which you left at 10.00, he
11 remained, like you, in the basement of the house?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And he was still there when you left?
14 A. I don't know. I came back. I don't know how
15 long I stayed away. I was frightened when I saw them
16 carrying Mirjan Santic along, and by the time I
17 recovered from this shock -- I came back, I don't know
18 what time it was -- but Vlatko wasn't there.
19 Q. I understand. He was still there when you
20 left at 10.00, and when you returned, he was no longer
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was the apparent situation in Ahmici
24 when you left from the shelter, that is, around 10.00,
25 according to your estimations? Could one hear firing
1 or what could one see?
2 A. Yes. Yes, there was gunfire, but the houses
3 are close to one another in the part I was going
4 through. Then I ran across to Niko's house, and I
5 didn't go further.
6 Q. What would you see that was happening around
7 you at that time?
8 A. I couldn't see anything, except that I heard
9 the gunfire. I just heard it. I didn't see anything.
10 Q. I'll clarify my question. Did you not see in
11 Ahmici houses burning at that time?
12 A. When I was passing through at about 10.00, I
13 didn't look. I was running because there was gunfire,
14 and I don't remember noticing that at that moment. But
15 on the 17th, when I came home again, then I saw that
16 the houses had been burnt, that they were charred, and
17 I was able to see this from my mother's house.
18 Q. But at that time, at 10.00 on the 16th of
19 April, while you were on the road leading to the house
20 of Niko Santic -- was it Mirko Santic or Niko Santic?
21 A. -- Niko Santic.
22 Q. You did not see any houses burning, either
23 around you or further afield in Ahmici?
24 A. No, I couldn't see because I was moving
25 through an area from which I couldn't see that.
1 Q. I believe you stated this a moment ago, but
2 could you please remind us of why you decided to turn
3 around on that road at 10.00.
4 A. I became frightened when I saw them carrying
5 a corpse because I'm terrified of corpses. I couldn't
6 bear to look at my dead father's body either.
7 Q. So it's because you saw the dead body of
8 Mirjan Santic that you returned to the shelter?
9 A. Yes. I returned, but Mirko Sakic was nearby,
10 and he told me that there was gunfire and that I
11 couldn't go further in that direction.
12 Q. You mentioned a moment ago that the body of
13 Mirjan Santic had a blue scarf. What exactly was that?
14 A. You see, I saw the corpse on a ladder, and I
15 only noticed that, around his neck, there was a pale
16 blue scarf, and I saw nothing else at that moment. I
17 don't remember anything else. I asked Mirko, "Who is
18 this?" And he told me it was Mirjan Santic. I didn't
19 see the scarf on his body but around his neck.
20 Q. I see. You recall seeing Nikola Omazic; you
21 mentioned his name a moment ago. Do you remember how
22 he was dressed?
23 A. In civilian clothes, civilian clothes, as far
24 as I can remember, but I think I remember well.
25 Q. Do you remember whether he had a weapon?
1 A. I don't remember. I don't know. I don't
2 know about weapons.
3 Q. So you turned around at that time and
4 returned to the shelter in Vrebac's house. Do you
5 remember exactly what path you took?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you stay on the same path that you showed
8 to us a moment ago?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On that path, on your way back to the Vrebac
11 shelter, did you encounter Vlatko Kupreskic?
12 A. No, I didn't. I didn't meet him, but there
13 are several directions where he and I might have passed
14 one another, and I don't know when he left the
16 Q. Nonetheless, from the moment you left the
17 shelter, let's say it was around 10.00, and the time in
18 which you returned to the shelter, how much time may
19 have elapsed? I'm asking you for an approximation.
20 I'm not asking you for the exact time. How much time
21 do you believe it took for you to go from the Vrebac
22 shelter to the house of Nikola Omazic and to return?
23 Would it take 5 minutes, 20 minutes? I'm asking for
24 just an approximation.
25 A. Maybe my estimate is 40 to 50 minutes, but I
1 don't know. I don't know. I can't specify the exact
2 amount of time.
3 Q. You told us a moment ago that, during the day
4 that you spent in the Vrebac shelter, food was brought
5 to you, that Zoran brought food. Where did this food
6 come from?
7 A. At the house of Ivica Kupreskic, there were
8 two grandmothers, Ivica's aunt and a refugee who was in
9 the house of Branko Kupreskic and Josip Kupreskic.
10 They were elderly women, and, at that time, they were
11 not in the shelter.
12 Q. How did you know that these two people had
13 stayed in the house to do the cooking?
14 A. When they brought in the food, I asked one of
15 them -- I don't remember exactly whether I asked Ivica
16 or Mirjan -- who prepared the food, and then they told
17 me that these two women had stayed there.
18 Q. From what you learned at that time, from the
19 discussions that you had with Zoran and Ivica
20 Kupreskic, it seemed to you that these two women had
21 remained in order to prepare food for all the refugees?
22 A. I don't know that, but that's all they told
23 me. What their purpose was in remaining behind, I
24 don't know, but if it hadn't been for me, my mother
25 would not have left her house.
1 Q. When, during that day, did you go to the
2 house of Milutin Vidovic?
3 A. Early in the morning, when I had only just
4 arrived in the shelter, I left my mother there and I
5 went back to Milutin Vidovic's house because it's very
7 Q. Therefore, that was before 10.00 in the
9 A. It was early in the morning. I had only just
10 arrived. Whether it was 6.00 or 5.00 or half past
11 five, I don't know, but it was immediately. I left my
12 mother, as I said, and I went back to see where
13 Mirjan's wife was.
14 Q. You stated a moment ago that you stated that,
15 from the time you arrived in the shelter to the time
16 you left the shelter, you remained in the basement.
17 A. I'm sorry. I've forgotten that. I forgot to
18 say that, I mean.
19 Q. Who did you see in the house of Milutin
21 A. There was Zoran Kupreskic's wife and her
22 children. There were refugees. There was Manda Didak,
23 Marica Didak with her children. There was Milutin's
24 wife, Jasna, she was there, and I think that Jasna
25 Safradin was there too, as far as I remember.
1 Q. Madam, please don't say if you don't know,
2 but do you know what time you arrived at the house of
3 Milutin Vidovic?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly what time
5 it was, but it was early, as soon as I left my mother.
6 I don't know exactly when it was.
7 Q. Madam, you stated a moment ago that when you
8 returned to your house the following day, on the 17th
9 of April, 1993, with the intention of milking the cow,
10 you stated that at that time you noted that all the
11 houses had been burned, but had all the houses truly
12 been burned?
13 A. You see, I didn't say they were in flames.
14 What I saw was that they had already been burnt, that
15 they were charred. Whether they had burnt during the
16 night or that evening, I don't know. But Smajl Pezer's
17 house, of which I have a very good view and which is
18 nearby, had been burnt down and so had the house of
19 Sulejman Pezer. I can see that from my mother's house.
20 Q. Did you see a house belonging to a Croat
21 which was burned or damaged?
22 A. No, I didn't along the route I passed along,
23 and I didn't go any further at that time.
24 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Madam.
25 Mr. President, I have no further questions.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
3 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
4 will put only a few brief questions to the witness.
5 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
6 Q. Please sit down. In the area of Vitez, was
7 it usual for women to be involved in political and
8 military issues or was this exceptional?
9 A. In the circle in which I moved, the women
10 were not interested in politics, and I don't know about
11 other people.
12 Q. Were you a member of the HVO?
13 A. No.
14 Q. At any moment?
15 A. No, never.
16 Q. According to the Prosecutor's question, you
17 will have to explain further because it's remained
18 unclear. You were asked how you knew that the Muslims
19 were preparing to attack the Croats or the Croatian
20 houses, and you sought refuge in a Croatian house, even
21 though you knew that Croatian houses would be
22 attacked. According to the Prosecutor, you should have
23 gone to a Muslim house to seek refuge. Why didn't you
24 do that?
25 A. I don't understand the question.
1 Q. Let me repeat it. According to the
2 Prosecutor's question, you had information that
3 Croatian houses were to be attacked by Muslims. The
4 information was that the Muslims would attack Croats.
5 Wait. Wait. Now, the Prosecutor is asking
6 you, if you knew that the Croats were to be attacked,
7 why did you seek refuge in Croatian houses rather than
8 in Muslim houses?
9 A. Well, it's logical that I should go to the
11 Q. Why?
12 A. Well, I'm not -- for God's sake, I'm not
13 going to take refuge in Muslim houses.
14 Q. All right. That's clear. We needn't go into
15 that further.
16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I must object to
17 the formation of the question he put to the witness. I
18 understand, of course, that he would ask such a
19 question, but I would like to remind this Court that
20 that was not the sense of my question. I was not
21 asking why she took refuge in a Croat and not a Muslim
22 house, but rather I was referring to the area in which
23 there were Croat and Muslim houses. Thank you.
24 MR. RADOVIC: If I misunderstood the
25 Prosecutor's question, I apologise, but I put the
1 question in the way I understood it. So we can proceed
2 further now.
3 Q. You said that you saw flames and you thought
4 that they were in the village of Kovacevac; is that
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. From the spot from which you could see the
8 flames, could you see what was on fire?
9 A. No. As I said, I couldn't see what was on
11 Q. Was it the season of the year when weeds are
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How is that done in that region?
15 A. Well, all the weeds are burnt.
16 Q. Were there any cases when a wood would catch
18 A. Yes, very often.
19 Q. Do you know what the flames were?
20 A. No, I don't know.
21 Q. At the end, I would like to ask something
22 about the shelter because we talked about whether the
23 shelter was prepared or not. The Prosecutor mentioned
24 mattresses, and you said that there had been some
25 things which were not mattresses, but there was
1 something there.
2 A. Yes, there was something there.
3 Q. Well, can you explain anything that was
5 A. Well, I don't know what there was. There was
6 something you could sit on.
7 Q. Did you sit in the Bosnian way on the floor
8 or did you sit on chairs or benches?
9 A. There was something there. I think they were
10 chairs. We didn't sit on the floor.
11 Q. Okay. Let's talk about a prepared shelter.
12 Were there any food supplies in the shelter?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Were there any water supplies there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were there any blankets?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Were there any beds, bunk-beds, where you
19 could sleep?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Was there anything there that would indicate
22 that this was a prepared shelter?
23 A. No. No.
24 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
25 have no further questions.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
2 Mrs. Cuic, thank you for coming to The Hague
3 to testify in court. You may now be released. Thank
5 I suggest that we take a break now, a
6 15-minute break.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Sakic? Mr. Sakic. Good
11 morning. Could you please make the solemn
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
18 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
20 Mr. President. I just wanted to say before I start
21 questioning that the attorneys for Vlatko Kupreskic
22 would like to examine this witness because he is also a
23 witness from their defence. He is on their list.
24 WITNESS: NIKO SAKIC.
25 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
1 Q. Mr. Sakic, good day.
2 A. Good day.
3 Q. Would you please introduce yourself to the
5 A. My name is Niko Sakic. I was born on the
6 25th of September, 1939, in the village of Pirici,
7 where I am living today, municipality of Vitez,
8 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina today.
9 Q. You say that you live in Pirici?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you please indicate that on the aerial
12 map? Could you please point your house out?
13 A. My house is at the moment here (indicating).
14 Here it is. This is my house.
15 Q. Okay. Who lived with you in that house
16 in '91, '92, and '93?
17 A. I lived on the first floor, on the ground
18 floor, on the first floor, with an entrance on the
19 other side lived my son and his family.
20 Q. What is the name of your son?
21 A. His name is Mirko Sakic.
22 Q. Was the house of your other son close by?
23 A. Yes, this is where the house of my other son
24 is, on the other side.
25 Q. What is the name of your other son?
1 A. That son is called Slavko Sakic, who lived
2 with his family.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Why did you say that
4 it's currently your house? Was it somewhere else?
5 A. Yes, I had a house a little lower down, but
6 in 1985 I moved 200 metres further, I made a house in a
7 nicer place, and that's the house where I'm living now.
8 Q. Mr. Sakic, would you please show us where
9 your first Muslim neighbours were in relation to your
11 A. In relation to my house, my first Muslim
12 neighbours -- well, here it's Refik Ahmic and Sulejman
13 Ahmic. My late father took some land from them and an
14 old house which we later then knocked down when we were
15 making this one. Then further down I had neighbours,
16 Ramo and Zijad, and a brother of theirs who is working
17 in Austria. These are my closest Muslim neighbours,
18 that are closest to my house.
19 Q. And the other houses are Croatian; is that
21 A. Yes, along this road, they're all Croatian
22 houses, and then here there are two Muslim homes. But
23 in this direction, there are no more close to me.
24 Q. What part of those villages, Pirici, Ahmici,
25 and Santici, was exclusively Muslim? Could you please
1 point that out?
2 A. This part was exclusively Muslim. This is
3 the main road, Travnik, Vitez, Sarajevo, and then here
4 (indicating), on the left side, is the school here.
5 Q. That's the road that goes to Ahmici?
6 A. Yes, the road that goes to Ahmici. On the
7 right side, going towards Ahmici, there was exclusively
8 Muslim population, up until the warehouse of Vlatko
9 Kupreskic. Then up here (indicating) you have two
10 Kupreskic houses and then this road here (indicating)
11 and this settlement is 100 per cent Muslim.
12 Q. Okay. So when you go in the direction from
13 Vitez towards Busovaca, on the left side, you would
14 turn to Ahmici?
15 A. Then the Muslim homes are here, and then up
16 until the school here, there are three, four houses on
17 the left side, and then the rest are all Muslim houses
18 on the right side.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Would you please sit
21 You said that you were born in Pirici?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What were your relations with Muslims since
24 you were born and since your parents were there and
25 they lived with them? What were the relations, the
1 generational relations?
2 A. Well, I personally never had a quarrel with a
3 single Muslim. Regarding relations, they were the same
4 as the ones with the Croats, but you knew who was a
5 Muslim by religion and who was a Croat by religion. We
6 had a tradition which -- well, a neighbour of mine, who
7 was a good friend with my father, they would bring us
8 gifts for Bajram, and we would take them gifts for
9 Easter. Then they died, but we continued, Esad Ahmic
10 and myself exchanged gifts right up until the conflict,
11 and we exchanged visits.
12 The conflict occurred on the 16th, and then
13 on the 11th it was our Easter, and I went to Esad Ahmic
14 and I took him some painted eggs or something, and I
15 had some coffee at his house, I had some cakes, and
16 then I went home. They would come for coffee. We were
17 friends. Pjanic Hajrudin, Sulejman Ahmic, Refik Ahmic,
18 Hazim Ahmic. These were family friends. Of course not
19 all the Muslims were our family friends, just like not
20 all Croats are my family friends.
21 Q. How did you bring your sons up, Slavko and
22 Mirko? Did you bring them up to respect another
23 religion, their customs, in the same way that you did?
24 A. Well, of course. They never had any
25 conflicts with Muslims, and further along in my story I
1 will tell you where my son and the son of Ljubo Vidovic
2 and Mr. Bruno Buzuk where they took Ramo Ramic, his
3 wife -- Mejra, I think her name was -- and their
4 family, they took them to Zenica.
5 What I want to say is that my children never
6 thought of doing any harm to Muslims, of making any
7 trouble for them.
8 Q. Okay. Did you know about the roadblock on
9 the 15th of 1992, that there was a roadblock set up on
10 the Vitez-Busovaca road?
11 A. I didn't know about it, but I had heard that
12 there had been a roadblock. I didn't see it, but I
13 heard that there was one.
14 Q. When did you hear?
15 A. I heard that same day, maybe at about 9.00 or
17 Q. Who told you about it?
18 A. I don't remember now who told me.
19 Q. So did you have any information that because
20 of that roadblock there would be some problems, some
21 conflicts, on the 19th of October?
22 A. Well, when I heard that, there was talk that
23 there was a Muslim army which had set up the roadblock
24 and that some danger would come from there.
25 Q. So what happened in the morning of the 20th
1 of October?
2 A. On the 20th of October, at 4.00 a.m., I was
3 woken up by Jozo Tomic Dobac. That family has two last
4 names; I don't know which is their official one. And
5 he told me like this: He had seen or heard that there
6 was a lot of armed soldiers on the roads and that it
7 would be a good thing to go to the shelter.
8 Of course I woke up my family. I woke up my
9 son Mirko, his family, my son Slavko and his family,
10 and my closest neighbours, Nikola Samija and his
11 family, Nikola Omazic and his family, Drago Grgic and
12 his family, Miro Samija and his family, Milan Samija,
13 also his family, Anto Pudza and Slavko Pudza with their
14 families, who came to my basement to seek refuge.
15 Q. So the persons that you mentioned now, the
16 Samijas, the Grbics, the Pudzas, and I don't know who
17 else, the Omazics?
18 A. Yes, the Omazics.
19 Q. Where were the homes of those people?
20 A. Well, Milan Samija's house is maybe 120 or
21 150 metres away from my house, and the others have
22 homes which are even closer to mine.
23 Q. So these are your immediate neighbours?
24 A. Yes. And they still live there today.
25 Q. Why did you go to inform those people about
1 what you had heard, that there was some army on the
2 road? Why did you do that?
3 A. Well, when the bombardment started in
4 Busovaca and Vitez, we organised ourselves in such a
5 way so that there is somebody who can inform the
6 people, to alert them, so that not everybody would go.
7 I was a member of the civilian defence, so everybody
8 was assigned about 10 or 15 houses that they could
9 inform easily for people to take shelter in case of
11 Q. So this was a kind of civil defence duty?
12 A. Yes, I was a kind of civil defence member,
13 and this is what we did, because we decided it was easy
14 for everybody to inform 10 or 15 homes, depending on
15 how densely their area was populated.
16 Q. So you were in charge of that area
17 immediately around your house?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So how many houses is that, the ones that you
20 mentioned? About ten?
21 A. Yes, about ten.
22 Q. After you informed those people, then what
24 A. Well, when they all came -- I don't know
25 whether they all came, but most of the women and the
1 children and the elderly, when they came, then I came
2 out in front of my house with my son Mirko, because I
3 had heard from the direction of the school or the
4 cemetery -- should I indicate that?
5 Q. No. No, we know where the cemetery is.
6 A. I heard gunfire, and I heard some voices that
7 were not understandable for me from the direction of
8 the mosque. Then, at about 5.00, there was an
9 explosion in the direction of the mosque, then
10 everything went quiet. Then at about 6.30 or 7.00,
11 strong gunfire was heard from the direction of the
12 cemetery and the direction of the school.
13 Q. So from the direction of the road of Donji
14 Ahmic, Lower Ahmici?
15 A. Yes, from the main road, the direction of the
16 cemetery and Donji Ahmici.
17 Q. You said that you came out in front of your
18 house with Mirko. What happened when you heard the
20 A. Well, I ran into the basement. I was
21 frightened. He was somewhere around the house. We
22 were afraid, we were surprised, because we had no idea
23 what it was, where it came from, or what the shooting
24 was. Then after that, Mirko and some others were there
25 next to my shed, and I can say who they were. They
1 were Dragan Samija, Mirko Sakic, Milutin Vidovic, Miro
2 Samija. I can't remember everybody because I was
3 afraid at the time. So they went from my house to a
4 depression in order to stay there.
5 Q. On that day when there was the gunfire, did
6 you hear shooting afterwards, or only in the morning?
7 Did it go on for a while?
8 A. Well, it went on until the afternoon hours.
9 Then sometime towards the evening, it quieted down
10 almost completely.
11 While it was going on, I could see -- just
12 below my house there's a side road, I could see people
13 passing, fleeing their homes, the Muslims who were
14 living in Donja Zume. They were going towards Gornji
16 Q. When did those people pass?
17 A. Well, I can't tell you the time. They were
18 passing throughout the day in ones or twos, you could
19 see them. From my house, my neighbour Refik Ahmic, he
20 was making apple jam all day -- we call it pekmiz
21 (phoen) in Bosnia -- so he didn't leave his house all
22 day. That's this house right here (indicating).
23 Q. What about the rest of your Muslim
24 neighbours? You said that there were some other
25 neighbours there, Sulejman Ahmic?
1 A. He doesn't live there. He lives in Vitez,
2 and he had a house there where he would come
3 occasionally. He didn't live there all the time. He
4 had an apartment in Vitez. That was his house. When a
5 person retires -- well, that's what he used to say
6 because we grew up together, went to school together,
7 and we know each other well.
8 Q. The other neighbours, the Bilics, the
9 Strmonjas, do you know whether they fled?
10 A. Yes, they went to the shelter, but to the
11 house of Vidovic, because it was closer to them, only
12 some 300 metres. My shelter is small, some 16 or 18
13 square metres, and not everybody could fit in.
14 A. In the first conflicts, did the Bilics flee
15 from Ahmici, that is, from Pirici?
16 A. No, they didn't.
17 Q. You saw them there?
18 A. Yes, we saw them in front of their house.
19 They were at home. That evening I happened to pass by,
20 and I had a chat with Ramo, because his family was
21 there and everybody was there. Their brother, who
22 works in Austria, had a house, and his son-in-law,
23 Miralem Strmonja, was living there.
24 Q. On the 20th of October, did you see Mirjan
25 and Zoran Kupreskic?
1 A. Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic were in the
2 depression too, and their family, their father and
3 mother, went to Jozo Vrebac's shelter with the
4 children. After that, they went to their sister's,
5 Zorica's, in Santici.
6 Q. How do you know?
7 A. They told me that. The following day, there
8 was no shooting anymore, and they told me that their
9 children and their wives and their father and mother
10 were there, their sister, and they didn't come back
11 until the Muslims started coming back to their houses
12 because they were afraid. They had five small
13 children. The father and the mother were in poor
14 health. They wanted to protect them.
15 Q. Were you on good terms with their father,
16 Anto Kupreskic?
17 A. I grew up together with their father, and we
18 knew each other since we were children. We knew each
19 other all our lives until he died. I know that it's a
20 family which was poor. They were not prosperous. They
21 lived in difficult circumstances. They had children
22 whom they educated, and they made sacrifices to educate
23 their children. They were a patriarchal family. They
24 never deviated from their traditions. They lived in
25 family harmony, such as everybody might wish for, and
1 that's how they lived.
2 Q. When did their father die, Anto Kupreskic?
3 A. In '93, in August or September. He was a
4 good friend of mine, but I can't remember the exact
5 month when he died. It was either in August or
6 September. I can't remember exactly.
7 Q. What did he die of?
8 A. Well, he was so worried about his children.
9 He was so upset by the war and all these events, and
10 his health was very poor anyway, so perhaps this
11 speeded up his death.
12 Q. What speeded up his death? I didn't
14 A. Well, the whole situation such as it was. He
15 wanted the war to end, and that's why he was so
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us now return to
18 the 20th of October, the first conflict. Did any of
19 your neighbours, who lived around your house -- who
20 were in your house and whom you saw that day, use
21 weapons in any way against the Muslims?
22 A. I can affirm with certainty that they didn't,
23 because had any of them used weapons -- can I show the
24 house where this man was making jam and he stayed there
25 the whole day?
1 A. Well, you see, this is my house, my son's
2 house, and this is Refik Ahmic's house and his
3 brother's house. This whole plot of land belonged to
4 them. Here you can see the fence around my house, and
5 he was there making jam the whole day. He never left
6 the place. So had there been any shooting, of course,
7 he would have left. He wouldn't have known what had
8 happened, so he would have left.
9 Q. Very well. But there was gunfire elsewhere?
10 A. Yes, the gunfire came from the direction of
11 the cemetery --
12 Q. The cemetery is not there. Mr. Sakic, please
13 concentrate. I see that you are nervous. Please take
14 your time. You are showing Vlatko Kupreskic's house
15 and saying it's the cemetery.
16 A. No. Just let me find it. This is the
17 cemetery. Here it is (indicating). So from the
18 direction of the cemetery and the school and the
19 mosque, we could hear gunfire.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. You may sit
21 down. The Muslims who left, you saw yourself that some
22 of the Muslims left the village and went in the
23 direction of Upper Ahmici. Do you know when they came
25 A. After two or three days. They returned two
1 or three days later. Individuals would come to tend to
2 their remaining livestock, to fetch food, but within
3 three days, they all returned to their houses. When
4 they returned, the family of Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic
5 and their father and mother also returned to their
6 house because they live on the right-hand side where
7 all the people are Muslims. Vlatko Kupreskic also
8 lives there.
9 Q. Do you know anything about the meetings which
10 were held in the village after the first conflict?
11 A. After the first conflict, Hazim Ahmic,
12 Hadzija, invited me personally. I went twice to the
13 school, so that the ordinary people might help to ease
14 the tension.
15 Q. Could you please continue carefully? How
16 many meetings were there?
17 A. There were three meetings. I attended two of
18 them, and I wasn't present at one.
19 Q. Where were the meetings held?
20 A. They were held in the school across from
21 Hazim's house and across the street from the mosque.
22 Q. Very well. You said that you were invited by
23 Hazim Ahmic personally.
24 A. Once, yes, and the second time, I happened to
25 see people going there from Santici, so I joined the
1 group, but no one invited me personally to go.
2 Q. Could you tell the Court how many people were
3 present at these meetings? Can you establish the
4 number of people?
5 A. Well, there were about 150 of us. There were
6 about 65 to 70 Croats and the rest were Muslims. There
7 may have been more people, but that's what I think.
8 Q. Was it like this at the second meeting --
9 wait until I finish my question, please. At the second
10 meeting, was there such a large number of people?
11 A. At the second meeting, there were even more
12 people. At the meeting in the school where we were
13 trying --
14 Q. Very well. Can you tell us who chaired these
16 A. The first meeting I attended was not attended
17 by anyone from a political party, but the meeting
18 started spontaneously. People said, "What's going on?
19 How can we stop this? How can we continue living as we
20 did before?"
21 Q. Who?
22 A. The Muslims and the Croats.
23 Q. Do you remember if anyone chaired the
25 A. As I said, no one chaired the first meeting,
1 but the second meeting was attended by the
2 representatives of the political authorities, Mr. Pero
3 Skopljak, Mr. Kajmovic from the SDA party. I can't
4 remember his first name. I know his surname was
5 Kajmovic. There was Pero -- no, sorry, Ivica Santic.
6 I asked them why, at the democratic elections
7 when the government was elected, why things weren't
8 going as they should. Pero Skopljak said to me, "The
9 Bosniak Muslim side will not agree to the propositions
10 of the elections," and Mr. Kajmovic said something that
11 I could not understand. I didn't know what he was
12 talking about.
13 Q. I didn't understand what you said just now.
14 What did you ask him?
15 A. What did I say?
16 Q. What did you ask?
17 A. I said, "Why isn't power distributed
18 democratically according to the election results?" He
19 said to me, Mr. Skopljak, that the Muslim side would
20 not agree to this, and Mr. Kajmovic gave me such a
21 vague reply that I can't remember what he said because
22 he didn't give me a proper answer.
23 Q. Did any other people take part in the
24 discussion? What standpoints were put forward? What
25 conclusions were reached?
1 A. Well, everything boiled down to the fact that
2 the conflict should not escalate, and there were people
3 who were Bosniak Muslims who were a little more
4 aggressive and who tried to expel the Muslims from the
6 Q. What does that mean? What are you trying to
8 A. What I want to say is that they wanted to
9 break up the meeting. They wanted to dissolve the
11 Q. Who?
12 A. Individual Muslims, Suad Ahmic and Sulejman
14 Q. What was their political affiliation, the two
15 that you mentioned?
16 A. Well, they spoke untruths which were not
17 accepted by the local Muslims. They said that this was
18 not true, and they wanted to expel them from the
20 Q. Wait a little. Can you say whether the two
21 people you are referring to expressed opinions which
22 were not shared by most of the other Muslims? Is that
23 what you are saying?
24 A. No, they didn't say that. What they
25 wanted -- for example, Suad Ahmic, he even said that
1 the Muslims were not being sold cigarettes by the
2 Croats, and the others said, "No, that's not true. We
3 bought cigarettes from Muslims, and they sold them to
4 us," and so on.
5 Q. So these two were extremists?
6 A. Yes, they were extremists, more extreme than
7 the normal people.
8 Q. Very well. How did this meeting end?
9 A. It ended by us saying that we should reduce
10 the tension, ease the tension among the people, but as
11 to anything else, I did not hear that anything else was
12 agreed on.
13 Q. At this meeting, was there any talk about
14 returning weapons?
15 A. I don't know about that. I don't know who
16 had weapons or not, but there was no discussion of
17 handing in weapons.
18 Q. Do you know when the last meeting took place
19 approximately? Can you place the other two in time?
20 A. No, I can't tell you when any of the meetings
21 took place, but I think they all took place within a
22 period of 10 to 12 days.
23 Q. How long was this after the conflict; can you
24 tell us?
25 A. The conflict was on the 20th of October, and
1 this was after about -- I think it was in January of
2 the following year that these meetings took place, in
3 January 1993.
4 Q. Are you sure of this?
5 A. No, I'm not sure because I don't remember the
6 dates. I can't be certain it was then. I attended two
7 of the meetings, but I can't tell you the dates.
8 Q. Would there be any point in reducing the
9 tensions which happened in October in January? Would
10 that make sense?
11 A. No. No, it wouldn't make sense. That's
13 Q. So is it possible that these meetings were
14 held earlier?
15 A. Yes, but, as I say, I can't say when.
16 Q. Very well. You said that Pero Skopljak and
17 Ivica Santic were at the meetings. Do you know if
18 Kajmovic, whom you mentioned, was at the meeting?
19 A. The first time I saw the man was then, and
20 they said that he was representing the SDA political
21 party. I don't know what his position was in the
23 Q. And Pero Skopljak?
24 A. I don't know what Pero Skopljak's post was.
25 I heard that he was a member of the HDZ because the
1 people said, "Oh, well, now the representatives of the
2 parties are here," but I don't know what his position
3 was. Even today, I don't know who is who in the
5 Q. Ivica Santic, do you know what he was at that
7 A. I don't know. I know that later he was the
8 mayor, but what he was then, I don't know.
9 Q. Was he the president of the municipality then
11 A. I don't know exactly.
12 Q. Very well. Can you tell us whether you ever
13 joined the village guards?
14 A. I took part in the guards, and that was a
15 spontaneous village patrol. I participated twice with
16 the late Anto Kupreskic, Zoran and Mirjan's father. I
17 had a hunting rifle. He didn't have anything. So on
18 one occasion, he said to me, "Let's stretch our legs.
19 Let's take a walk and patrol the village." It wasn't
20 obligatory, and these patrols took place to prevent
21 looting or burning or something like that, but no one
22 had to go.
23 Q. The hunting rifle you said you have, whose
24 gun is that? Whose rifle is that?
25 A. It's my father's rifle. My father was a
1 hunter. He had a proper license. Later, it was
2 registered in the name of my son, Mirko, who is a
3 hunter, and I'm keeping it as a souvenir, a memento of
4 my father, in the house.
5 Q. So that's the rifle that's registered to your
7 A. Yes, to Mirko.
8 Q. In your part of the village, which television
9 programme could you follow?
10 A. I could only receive, and my close
11 neighbours, we could receive television from Sarajevo,
12 the television of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We couldn't
13 receive any other television programmes. Because up
14 until recently, I had a black and white television, so
15 I really couldn't receive any other programmes, except
16 for those two channels on Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 Q. Okay. But did other people say that they
19 were watching Television Vitez?
20 A. Yes. People would say that, and I tried to
21 find it, but I could never tune in. Some people said
22 that they could, but I didn't, so I can't really tell
23 you anything about that.
24 Q. So the news from Television Vitez, you
25 couldn't receive that?
1 A. No. No, I could never tune into that, so I
2 couldn't watch that news.
3 Q. Did anybody from your neighbourhood say that
4 they could watch Television Vitez, from those houses
5 around yours?
6 A. Those people who I had woken up and who were
7 close to my house never told me that they could watch
9 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, that was the day
10 before the war broke out in the Lasva Valley, so that
11 was the day before the conflict, did you get any kind
12 of information that something was about to happen, that
13 something was being prepared, that some measures needed
14 to be taken, some cautionary measures, since you were
15 in the civilian defence?
16 A. Yes. I received information at 4.00 in the
17 morning. At 4.00 in the morning on the 16th, Dragan
18 Vidovic came to me and said, "There is an announcement
19 that we will be attacked by the Muslims," that we
20 should go to the certain shelters which I mentioned
21 before, the population should go there.
22 Q. I'm asking you about the day before.
23 A. No. The day before, I didn't know anything.
24 The whole day, I was working as usual, just like
25 everyone else, and I didn't know anything.
1 Q. On the 16th, in the morning, you said that
2 Dragan Vidovic came, and what did he say to you?
3 A. He said that he had heard information that
4 there is the possibility of us being attacked by the
5 Muslims and that we should go to shelters.
6 Q. Did he tell you that you needed to inform
7 anybody or not?
8 A. Well, he told me to inform those people that
9 I would usually inform, for them to go to the basement.
10 Q. So you informed your neighbours?
11 A. Yes, I informed my son Mirko, Slavko's
12 family, the family of my son Slavko, Nikola Omazic,
13 Nikola Samija, Drago Grgic, Miro Samija, Mirjan Samija,
14 Anto Pudza, and Slavko Pudza. I went to the houses of
15 Zijad and Rano Bilic and their son-in-law, Miralem. I
16 woke them up, and they crossed over to the shelter in
17 Niko Vidovic's house with their families.
18 Q. Are you sure that you woke them up?
19 A. Yes, I'm sure.
20 Q. Who are those people? Are they Croats or
22 A. They're Muslims. Ramo Bilic, Zijad Bilic,
23 with their families, and their son-in-law, Miralem
24 Strmonja, they're all Muslims by religion.
25 Q. When did you wake them up?
1 A. Well, when I left from my house, I woke
2 everybody up that I mentioned, and then I also went to
3 them to wake them up. That was right after Dragan told
4 me. At 4.00, of course, I woke up my own family, and
5 then I went to wake up everybody else.
6 Q. Did you wake up or inform by telephone
7 anybody else, or what did you do?
8 A. I didn't have a telephone at the time. My
9 son upstairs had a telephone, but his entrance was on
10 the other side of the house. So I didn't have a
11 telephone at the time, so I couldn't wake up anybody by
13 Q. Where did you go then, after you woke all of
14 your neighbours up?
15 A. When I woke my neighbours, the ones that I
16 mentioned, then I was standing there, surprised, in
17 front of my house. I didn't know what was going to
18 happen, where, what kind of an attack. Then from the
19 direction of Zume --
20 Q. What time was this, approximately?
21 A. This was at about 4.30, when I woke everybody
22 up and came back home, at about 4.30.
23 Q. Did your son come down?
24 A. Yes, my son Mirko came down first. Then
25 after a while my daughter-in-law with the children
1 came, then Slavko's family also came to the basement,
2 and those that I mentioned came to the basement, except
3 for the Bilics, who went to the other basement, which
4 was closer to them and where there was more room.
5 Q. All right. All of these families came to the
6 basement, you said; is that right? The men and the
7 women, they came to your house? Where did the men go,
8 and where did the women go?
9 A. The men and the women came to my house. The
10 men went above the house, next to the garage, my
11 garage. And from there they went towards the
12 depression, the one near my house, and the women and
13 the children and the elderly went to the shelter.
14 Should I say who was there in the
16 Q. No, you don't need to say who was in which
17 depression. Just tell me, how many people did come to
18 your basement, and how big is that basement?
19 A. Well, in normal conditions, you can't have
20 too many people there, but there were more than it
21 could fit. The basement is small. It's about 16 or 18
22 square metres. So only a few people could fit in
24 Q. When was the first gunfire heard? Can you
25 tell us?
1 A. The first gunfire could be heard at about
2 5.30, from the direction of Middle Ahmici: The school,
3 the main road, and -- the school and the mosque.
4 That's the main road. Then also from the direction of
5 the Kupreskic houses, that's where the firing came
7 Q. When you say "Middle Ahmici," what do you
8 mean by that?
9 A. I mean that the way the road goes and the way
10 the village is situated, you have the beginning of the
11 village, the centre of the village, and then the end.
12 That's what I meant.
13 Q. So which would be the central part? Could
14 you please show us that?
15 So that's the main road?
16 A. Yes. Just one moment.
17 Here (indicating). These are the Kupreskic
18 houses, Vlatko's house, near Vlatko's warehouse.
19 That's where the central part of Ahmici is. Then the
20 rest goes above the Kupreskic houses, and then the
21 other part goes from behind -- after the road.
22 Q. So the gunfire could be heard from that
23 entire area?
24 A. Yes, from the entire area, but it was the
25 strongest in these three places.
1 Q. Can you determine when you saw Mirjan and
2 Zoran Kupreskic for the first time that morning?
3 A. Well, it's difficult to say precisely, but I
4 can say that I saw Mirjan's father and mother. They
5 were going -- Mirjan was pushing his mother-in-law in a
6 wheelbarrow in front of the Pudza houses, and his wife
7 was leading the children. Then Zoran came. Zoran was
8 going before him. Zoran was taking his family, his
9 three children and his wife.
10 Q. Where did they go?
11 Mr. Sakic, if you can just concentrate, you
12 are indicating the direction towards Vlatko's house.
13 Could you please pay attention to where you are
14 pointing. Could you point in which direction they were
15 going, from where to where?
16 A. This is where I saw them (indicating).
17 Q. Okay. Is that your house?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. So now will you please indicate the road that
20 they were going along?
21 A. They were going along this road (indicating).
22 Q. They were going towards where?
23 A. They were going towards the house of Jozo
25 Q. All right. So could you please show us with
1 the pointer, which direction were they going?
2 A. They were going from the house towards the
3 shelter of Jozo Vrebac. These are the Kupreskic houses
5 Q. Well, those can't be Kupreskic houses. You
6 indicated nicely before. Do you see the white section
7 that you can see on the photograph?
8 A. Yes, this part. Yes.
9 Q. This is the warehouse of Vlatko?
10 A. Yes, that's Vlatko's warehouse. They came
11 from the warehouse through this path. There is a
12 pedestrian path there. They were going in the
13 direction of the shelter of Jozo Vrebac.
14 Q. So where did they pass?
15 A. They go this way (indicating). They're going
16 here, this way (indicating). So that's where the house
18 Q. So they're going from the Kupreskic houses,
19 the road past your house in the direction of the
20 shelter, okay. You may sit down. Thank you.
21 So you saw them in the morning. Did you see
22 them before the gunfire broke out or after that? Was
23 there firing when they were passing or not?
24 A. No, there was no firing when they were
25 passing. When they passed, there was no gunfire at
1 that time.
2 Q. Where were you at that time?
3 A. I was in front of the house, in front of my
4 yard. My yard is large, so I was next to the road
5 itself. I wasn't in the middle of the road, but I was
6 right next to the road. That's where I was standing.
7 Q. Do you know who was with you there? Who was
8 standing close to you at that time?
9 A. At that time, my son Mirko was standing with
10 me. I don't know if there was anybody else, but I know
11 about him for sure.
12 Q. Were there any other people next to your
13 house? Can you remember?
14 A. Well, Dragan Samija was there, Miro Vidovic,
15 near the garage. Zdravko Vrebac -- I can't remember
16 everybody now.
17 Q. So some people were there. You remember your
19 A. Yes, I remember him and the people that I
20 mentioned. There were others, but I've forgotten.
21 Q. Are you sure about Zdravko Vrebac?
22 A. I don't know. I think that he was there, but
23 I -- I know exactly my Mirko was there, but for the
24 others, I'm not sure, at that time.
25 Q. All right. Did you see, in that section of
1 the village, any soldiers?
2 A. In the area around my house, yes. Some
3 soldiers passed from my house towards the warehouse,
4 that way, maybe 30 or 35 soldiers.
5 Q. All right. Did you see the direction that
6 those soldiers came from?
7 A. No, I didn't see. They came from the
8 direction of Zume. As much as I can see the road in
9 front of my house, it's in the direction of Zume.
10 Q. How did those soldiers look?
11 A. They were painted -- their faces were
12 painted. They were well armed. They each had two
13 weapons. I didn't see what kind it was. They passed
14 by us next to my garage and went towards Vlatko's
16 Q. Were you frightened by that army?
17 A. Yes, I was frightened. I was frightened the
18 whole time anyway. I don't know how I survived from
19 that fear.
20 Q. Why were you afraid? Who did you think that
21 army was?
22 A. Well, I could see their markings. I didn't
23 think about anything else, just about my fear. At that
24 moment, I couldn't think of anything else.
25 Q. Where did those soldiers go?
1 A. They went in the direction of the warehouse
2 of Vlatko Kupreskic.
3 Q. How were they going? In a file, in a column?
4 A. Yes, they were going in a group, as if they
5 were walking down the street, five or six of them, or
6 ten in a group, or two or three. So that was the
8 Q. Were they loud or quiet?
9 A. They weren't talking at all. They just
10 passed by us. No one said anything to me, nor did I
11 recognise any one of them.
12 Q. When did the gunfire start in relation to
13 when they departed? After they left, how soon after
14 that did the gunfire begin?
15 A. Well, the gunfire started at about 5.30.
16 From the direction of the Kupreskic houses, you could
17 hear it, you could hear it from the school, and also
18 from the main road, the Travnik-Sarajevo road.
19 Q. Did you see Zoran and Mirjan coming again
20 from the direction of Zume in which they had left? Did
21 you see them coming back?
22 A. When they took their families there, Mirjan
23 remained at my house and Zoran took the Didaks,
24 refugees, Manda, Marica, and their children, and took
25 them in the direction of Zume.
1 Q. At that time, how long did you stand in front
2 of your house?
3 A. Well, I didn't stay there all the time. I
4 would go to the shelter occasionally, but I spent more
5 time outside as long as there was no gunfire. And I
6 could see that well.
7 Q. So as long as there was no shooting, you were
8 outside. So you went to the shelter when?
9 A. When the gunfire became intense, then I went
10 to the shelter.
11 Q. In the shelter, did you stay there the whole
12 time, or did you leave?
13 A. I left from time to time, because the father
14 and mother of Dragan Vidovic and their family were
15 there, and his mother asked me to go and see where
16 their children were, what they were doing and how they
17 were. They were about 40 metres or 50 metres, at the
18 most, from my house. From time to time they would come
19 to see their family and so on.
20 Q. Where were they in relation to your house,
21 and who do you mean by "they"?
22 A. In the depression, there were Mirko Sakic, my
23 son; Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic; Miro Pudza; Dragan
25 Q. Did you see them when you went out of your
2 A. No, I had to go around my house and come to
3 the garage above my house, and I would see them from
4 there because it's a depression and you can look into
5 it from that spot.
6 Q. Did you go to the garage to see how they were
7 doing and where they were?
8 A. Yes, I went there several times during the
9 day, and I saw them in the valley, in the depression.
10 Zoran Kupreskic and my son Mirko would come to the
12 Q. When you saw them, when you were standing in
13 front of the garage and looking down into the
14 depression, what were they doing in the depression?
15 A. They were just sitting there, or standing, in
16 various positions. Because you couldn't see very well
17 from the depression, but it's protected, so that you
18 could not be hit by a weapon unless a bomb was dropped
19 from the air straight above it.
20 Q. Did you see them shooting at anyone?
21 A. No, I didn't see them shooting at anyone, nor
22 could they have shot at anyone from there. They could
23 only shoot up into the air. You couldn't shoot from
25 Q. Why?
1 A. Because it's like being in a jug, so it's
2 impossible to shoot at anyone from there.
3 Q. So on that day, you saw them several times?
4 That's what you said?
5 A. Yes, I saw them several times. They would
6 come up to the house. Mirko and Zoran came several
7 times. The others came in front of the house, too, but
8 I know those two very well, and on the telephone as
10 Q. Do you know anything about Mirjan Santic?
11 A. They brought Mirjan Santic to my garage,
12 dead, on a ladder. He was brought there by Zoran and
13 Mirjan Kupreskic, Nikola Omaric, and Dragan Vidovic.
14 Q. And where was Mirjan Santic killed?
15 A. They told me that he was killed near the
16 Kupreskic houses. I don't know exactly where, but
17 that's what they told me.
18 Q. How long was Mirjan Santic in the garage?
19 A. Maybe about ten minutes, because they had a
20 close relative, Milan Samija and Miro, in a house
21 nearby, so they took him to the house of their
22 son-in-law, Stipo Brnada, and I don't know what
23 happened then.
24 Q. So that is the house they moved him to, the
25 house of Stipo Brnada?
1 A. That man is in Germany. He was taken away by
2 Milan Samija and Miro Samija, with Milan's wife. The
3 four of them took him away.
4 Q. On what day was Mirjan Santic killed?
5 A. The first day, the 16th, when the conflict
6 broke out.
7 Q. Are you certain of this?
8 A. I'm certain. I know it was the first day.
9 I'm sure of that.
10 Q. Very well.
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I think
12 we can stop here, and I will finish very quickly
13 tomorrow. Thank you.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: We are adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 1:30 p.m., to be reconvened on
17 Thursday, the 18th day of March,
18 1999, at 9.00 a.m.