1 Thursday, 18th March, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
10 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, please?
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning, Your
13 WITNESS: NIKO SAKIC (Resumed)
14 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. Yesterday, we stopped at the part of the
18 first day, towards the end of the day. Could you
19 please tell us, since there were problems with the map,
20 could you tell us the first time that you saw Zoran and
21 Mirjan Kupreskic with their family --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- could you tell us in which direction did
24 they go and which direction did they come from?
25 A. Should I indicate that on the map?
1 Q. No. Just describe it, please.
2 A. Well, this map, in relation to the terrain
3 where I live, it's the other way around. So I said
4 that they were going towards the shelter of Jozo
5 Vrebac, but I actually showed with my hand that they
6 were going in the direction of their houses. Well,
7 it's logical if I said that they were going with their
8 families in the shelter, that they were going there and
9 not the way I indicated.
10 Q. All right. So you saw them coming from which
11 direction with their families?
12 A. From their houses, past my house in the
13 direction of the shelter at Jozo Vrebac's house.
14 Q. What road leads from their house? Where does
15 it lead to?
16 A. Should I indicate it -- no. That road leads
17 from their house, it's a footpath, and leads to my
18 house. Then there is a kind of widening so that you
19 can go by car, and it goes in the direction of the
20 house of Jozo Vrebac.
21 Q. When they were going along that footpath --
22 A. I'm sorry. The question is not clear to me.
23 Q. Just one moment, please. When they were
24 walking along that footpath --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- you saw them coming from the direction of
2 their houses?
3 A. Yes, I saw that they came from the direction
4 of their houses. They came up to my house, and then
5 they went in the direction of the shelter with their
6 family, the shelter of Jozo Vrebac.
7 Q. Is there a road there that leads from the
8 warehouse of Vlatko Kupreskic towards your house?
9 A. Yes, there is. It's a footpath. You can't
10 go any other way because that's the configuration of
11 the terrain, that it's only a footpath up to my house.
12 Then from my house, there is a wider, normal road that
13 goes further.
14 Q. So there are two paths?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. So they were coming from their
17 houses and not from the warehouse of Vlatko Kupreskic.
18 A. No. No, they came from my house, and they
19 were going in the direction of the shelter of Jozo
21 Q. You mean from their house?
22 A. Yes, from my house towards the shelter of
23 Jozo Vrebac.
24 Q. The army that you saw that was coming, which
25 direction did they come from?
1 A. Well, the soldiers that I saw came from the
2 direction of Zume towards my house. They passed by my
3 house on the upper side, next to the garage, and they
4 went in the direction of the warehouse of Vlatko
6 Q. When Mirjan and Zoran came back, you said you
7 saw them coming back from Zume.
8 A. Yes, I saw them coming back from Zume.
9 Q. Where did they stay?
10 A. They stayed at my house. That means that
11 they settled their families in the shelter, and they
12 came back to my house.
13 Q. Why did Zoran Kupreskic go back once more?
14 A. He went back -- he was taking two women from
15 the Didak family, refugees, Manda and Marica, and their
16 children. I don't remember the children's names. He
17 took them in the direction of Zume as well, to the
18 shelter of Jozo Vrebac.
19 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you tell how many times you
20 saw Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic on that day? Was it
21 once, several times?
22 A. You mean the 16th?
23 Q. Yes, the 16th, the first day of the
25 A. I saw them four or five times, maybe more,
1 but I'm sure of that much because my son was with them
2 so I paid attention. I was concerned about them, where
3 they were. They came to my house. In the course of
4 the day, I saw them four or five times.
5 Q. Did you go anywhere from the shelter on that
7 A. On that day, at about 5.00 or 6.00 p.m., we
8 moved from that shelter to the shelter in the house of
9 Niko Vidovic where they said it was safer, and we
10 assumed it was safer. So that's where we moved. We
11 found a lot of people there, men, women, and children,
12 in the shelter where we were.
13 Q. Where is this shelter in Niko Vidovic's
14 house, approximately in which part?
15 A. It's in the direction of Zume, from my house
16 towards the shelter of Jozo Vrebac, but it's closer to
17 my house than the shelter of Jozo Vrebac.
18 Q. It's in the same direction, so it's in the
19 area of Santici?
20 A. It's on the border of Santici and Pirici. I
21 think even that the house belongs more to Pirici than
22 Santici, the house of Niko Vidovic where we moved to.
23 Q. Could you please look at these photographs so
24 you can tell us whose house is depicted?
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please
1 show the witness the photographs?
2 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
4 A. Can I proceed? Well, this is the house of
5 Niko Vidovic where the shelter was (indicating).
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
7 Q. Do you see all the other photographs?
8 A. Well, I see this house. This is his house
9 (indicating), and there's the road on one side which
10 leads towards my house. It's on the left side. In
11 relation to us, this is the entrance from the north
12 side. This is the section of the shelter where we
13 were, in the basement. This is the entrance to the
14 basement, under these beams.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please
16 put the photographs on the ELMO so that we could see
18 Q. Mr. Sakic, was it a large house?
19 A. Yes, it was a large house. As you can see on
20 the photograph, it's large. The basement is also
21 large, but it wasn't appropriate. There was a lot of
22 dampness there. It wasn't well insulated.
23 Q. So the house on photograph number 1 is the
24 house of Niko Vidovic?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. We can put photographs 2 and 3 on the ELMO so
2 that we can see the size of the basement.
3 A. This is also the house. Yes, you want to see
4 the inside of the basement. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. That's the path; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. That's the entrance to the basement
7 from the upper side. Well, we still can't see the
9 Q. So this is photograph number 3. Photograph
10 number 4?
11 A. Yes. This is the entrance to the basement,
12 photograph number 4.
13 Q. Photograph number 5?
14 A. Yes. Well, this is a part of the basement.
15 It was partitioned, I think, into two parts, but it was
16 very unsuitable. There was no proper floor. There was
17 no electricity or water. So there were no conditions
18 really there for living. Not only for living, but even
19 to stay for longer than eight hours, you really
20 couldn't stay there for long.
21 Q. Could we look at photograph number 6?
22 A. Yes, number 6.
23 Q. And number 7? This is the interior of the
24 basement. Could you tell us what the size of that
25 basement was, and how many people were there in the
2 A. Well, I couldn't tell you exactly, but maybe
3 it was about 40 or 50 square metres. That was the size
4 of it. I don't know exactly how many people there
5 were, but basically nobody could lie down except for
6 the children. No one could lie down except for the
8 Q. Who did you see in the shelter? Did you see
9 both Croats and Muslims, and who were they?
10 A. There were both Muslims and Croats in the
11 basement. From the Muslims, there were three
12 families: Ramo Bilic, his wife and his three sons, his
13 small sons at that time; Zijad, the brother of Ramo
14 Bilic, his wife, and his two small sons; their
15 brother-in-law, Miralem Strmonja, with his pregnant
16 wife and one or two children. I don't remember
17 exactly. I think there was one, a little girl. We
18 were all there.
19 Q. When you left on the first day to the
20 shelter, to the shelter of Niko Vidovic, on that first
21 day, did everybody who was in your house go?
22 A. Yes, we all went to that shelter from my
24 Q. Did anybody tell you to go there or did you
25 go by yourselves, on your own initiative?
1 A. Well, nobody told us to go. We just
2 spontaneously went. We were thinking that if there
3 were more of us, we would be safer. That's what it was
4 all about.
5 Q. Were you afraid that day?
6 A. Was I afraid? I will just tell you one
7 thing: My grandson Bruno, I was holding him in my
8 arms, and I asked my daughter-in-law, "Where is he?"
9 That's how afraid I was. I don't know if you can be
10 more afraid than that.
11 Q. Who were you afraid of? What were you afraid
13 A. I don't know exactly what I was afraid of,
14 but I was scared of the gunfire and everything that was
16 Q. Were the Muslims who were in the shelter with
17 you also afraid, in the shelter of Niko Vidovic, the
18 Bilic and the Strmonja families?
19 A. They were not afraid of us, the neighbours,
20 but they were afraid just because of the gunfire. I
21 don't think that they would have been there if they had
22 been afraid of us.
23 Q. So you think that they were not afraid of
24 their neighbours?
25 A. No, because Ramo, as soon as the war stopped,
1 called me on the telephone, and I talked to him.
2 Q. Did your son Mirko Sakic come to see you in
3 the shelter and to see his family, his wife and
5 A. Yes. Mirko came and Zoran Kupreskic came
6 with him, they came together, saw us, how we were
7 doing, and then they returned.
8 Q. Did they know that the Ramic and the Strmonja
9 families were in that shelter?
10 A. Yes, they did. From my house, from Mirko's
11 apartment on the first floor, Mirko came and Zoran
12 came, and they called some woman called Ranka, who used
13 to work in UNPROFOR with Mirko, to take out the Bilic
14 and Strmonja families, to get them out of there. I
15 don't know if they succeeded in that.
16 Q. Who told them to call UNPROFOR?
17 A. Because they could see them there -- I don't
18 know who told them. I talked to them, and I said it
19 would be good to get those families out of there.
20 Q. On the second day, you were in that shelter.
21 You saw your son, Mirko Sakic?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. You saw Zoran Kupreskic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you see them once or several times?
1 A. Well, I saw them several times because they
2 would come to eat something, to the house, and then I
3 would also see them because I would go to the
4 depression where they were.
5 Q. Well, we're now talking about the second day
6 when you were in the shelter of Niko Vidovic.
7 A. Yes, I saw them; they came. When I went home
8 to feed my livestock, I would see them there in the
10 Q. Did you see Mirjan Kupreskic?
11 A. Yes. I saw five or six men there in that
12 depression, and Mirjan was with them.
13 Q. In the evening on the second day, did
14 anything happen when you were already in the shelter of
15 Niko Vidovic?
16 A. On the second day, between 20.00 and 21.00 in
17 the evening, there was some information which arrived.
18 They said that the Mujahedeen had broken through the
19 line and that we had to flee from there, so we set out
20 in the direction of Rovna and Radak's Bridge.
21 Q. Where did you remain?
22 A. On the road, the people from the Vrebac
23 shelter and the shelter we had been in met, so there
24 were a lot of people there. We all set off in the
25 direction of Rovna, and when we passed Radak's Bridge,
1 people went into the houses. I went into the last
2 house, and Nermin Strmonja and his wife and children
3 were with me. We spent the night in the house of
4 Slavko Santic.
5 Q. In the house of Slavko Santic, Nermin
6 Strmonja was there?
7 A. Yes, the brother of Miralem who was with us
8 in the first shelter.
9 Q. And Nermin Strmonja is a Muslim?
10 A. Yes, he's a Muslim. I still see him from
11 time to time. We say hello. We have a chat.
12 Q. Did he go on from there or did anything bad
13 happen to him then? Did he leave Rovna?
14 A. We spent the night at that house, and nothing
15 bad happened to us there, either to him or to us. We
16 were all there under the same conditions. The
17 following morning, he went to Vranjska with his family
18 where the majority population is Muslim.
19 Q. So you and the people who were there didn't
20 do anything bad to him?
21 A. No, everybody knows that, and thank God
22 everyone is alive and well.
23 Q. Could you please repeat the name of the
24 person whose house it was in which you sheltered in
1 A. The house of Slavko Santic, also known as
3 Q. Is he a Croat or a Muslim?
4 A. He's a Croat.
5 Q. When did you come back from Rovna?
6 A. I came back from Rovna, where I had spent the
7 night, at 4.00 in the morning to feed my livestock and
8 to see about my house.
9 Q. Why did you come back? Weren't you afraid to
10 go back to your house because you left because of fear?
11 A. Yes. I left because I was afraid, but I was
12 just as afraid in Rovna as I was at home. So I
13 thought, "Well, it doesn't really matter whether I'm at
14 Rovna or at home. I'm still afraid, wherever I am."
15 Q. So you came back home in the morning?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That was the third day, that is, the 19th; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I want to say "the 18th."
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On the 18th in the morning, you came home.
23 Did you see these people around your house on that day
24 whom you had seen before?
25 A. When I arrived on that day, I saw them in the
1 depression, not right away in the morning, but after I
2 had seen to my livestock. I looked for something to
3 eat because I had had nothing to eat the previous day
4 and night, and then I saw them.
5 Q. Where were they? Where did you see them?
6 A. They were moving up to my house to make a
7 telephone call and back to the depression.
8 Q. Who did you see?
9 A. Well, I saw my son Mirko Sakic. I saw Mirjan
10 and Zoran Kupreskic, Miro Vidovic, the late Miro
11 Vidovic, Dragan Vidovic, Dragan Samija, and I don't
12 remember seeing anyone else.
13 Q. On that third day, did they go anywhere?
14 A. On the third day, maybe in the afternoon,
15 they moved up the road toward the Kupreskic houses.
16 Q. Do you know who led them?
17 A. I don't know who led them there. I don't
18 know anything about it.
19 Q. Did anyone take you up there above the
20 village of Pirici and Ahmici?
21 A. Well, after the conflict broke out, seven,
22 eight, ten days later, all the elderly people,
23 including me, were taken to that line.
24 Q. How long did you stay at that line?
25 A. Unfortunately, I stayed in the trench for a
2 Q. Were you the only person who was rather
3 elderly who was taken there, or were there others from
4 the village who were the same age as you who were taken
5 up there?
6 A. Yes, there were people older than me and
7 people my age, as well as younger people.
8 Q. At the line, you were in the trench?
9 A. Yes, we were in the trench.
10 Q. Thank you. Just a few more questions about
11 your neighbours. Do you know Sakib Ahmic?
12 A. I know Sakib Ahmic well, his whole family,
13 from his father and his generation. I know less about
14 the younger generation, about the children.
15 Q. What are your relations with Sakib Ahmic?
16 A. I never had any kind of quarrel or conflict
17 with that man in my whole life. His father, when I was
18 building my first house, helped me, and I am still
19 grateful for that.
20 Q. What was Sakib Ahmic like as a person? You
21 say you never had a conflict with him.
22 A. Well, I didn't, but his Muslim neighbours
23 had problems with him, and as I say, I never did.
24 Q. What kind of problems did his neighbours have
25 with him?
1 A. Well, he used to fight. Then he divorced his
2 wife. He built fences on other people's land, and in
3 the end, he moved to the basement of his house.
4 Q. What did he do in the basement?
5 A. Well, he had one or two rooms. I don't
6 know. I never went in, but I know he lived in the
7 basement because he told me that himself.
8 Q. Do you know whether he liked to drink
9 alcohol? Did he have any problems because of that?
10 A. Well, we would often get drunk together at my
11 house, and I know that he was even treated for
13 Q. Do you know, just before the conflict in
14 March or April, did you see him?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Very well. When did you find out how many of
17 your Muslim neighbours were killed on the 16th? Did
18 you find out then or later?
19 A. I found out, and most of the Croatian
20 population found out that unfortunately a lot of people
21 were killed when they started taking away the bodies to
22 be buried, but during the first three or four days, I
23 didn't know how many people had been killed.
24 Q. Do you know who did that?
25 A. I know who didn't do it, but I don't know who
2 Q. Well, who didn't?
3 A. Well, I can say now that these people who are
4 here didn't do it, but I don't know who did. But
5 that's what I know.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sakic.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I would
8 like to ask that D104/2 be taken into evidence.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
10 Counsel Krajina?
11 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I will put a few questions to you connected
16 to the accused Vlatko Kupreskic. To begin with, could
17 you tell us whether you knew Vlatko and his family?
18 A. I know Vlatko's father, mother, even his
19 grandfather. I have known Vlatko ever since he was
21 Q. Can you tell us whether you know what Vlatko
22 Kupreskic did for a living in 1992, 1993, and what
23 activities he engaged in before and during the
25 A. Vlatko had always tried to be a businessman,
1 and he was then engaged in business.
2 Q. Could you tell us whether you know if Vlatko
3 was mobilised then or at any time?
4 A. Vlatko was not mobilised, and he couldn't
5 have been mobilised, because of his health. I know
6 that he had heart surgery, and that he did not serve in
7 the former JNA, and that he did not participate in the
8 war that occurred in our part of the world.
9 Q. Very well. Can you tell us whether you have
10 ever seen Vlatko Kupreskic in uniform or carrying
12 A. Throughout the war, I never saw Vlatko in any
13 kind of uniform except in civilian clothes.
14 Q. Very well. Do you know whether Vlatko
15 Kupreskic was active in politics? Did he ever play a
16 prominent part in any political rallies?
17 A. I think he didn't have time because of his
18 business, and I think he didn't want to.
19 Q. Did he ever belong to any kind of political
21 A. I don't know, but I think he didn't.
22 Q. Can you tell us, if you know, whether Vlatko
23 had any kind of negative attitude toward Muslims, his
24 neighbours and other Muslims?
25 A. I can't tell you names, but I know that he
1 had a lot of Muslims who were friends who came to his
2 home. His house was closer to the Muslim houses than
3 mine was, and I know he had a lot of Muslim friends and
4 that he never had any problems with them.
5 Q. Let us now talk about the 16th of April, the
6 day when the conflict broke out. You said that on that
7 day, you were in your home the whole day until
8 5.00 p.m.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You probably know, but let me ask you, where
11 is the house of Vlatko Kupreskic exactly?
12 A. I know.
13 Q. Do you know whether there is a path leading
14 from Vlatko Kupreskic's house to your house and further
15 on in the direction of Jozo Vrebac's house?
16 A. Yes, I know that.
17 Q. There is?
18 A. Yes, there is. I know it.
19 Q. Does that path pass by your house?
20 A. You can come up to my house by car, but from
21 my house, you have to take a footpath.
22 Q. Yes, but when you are going from Vlatko
23 Kupreskic's house to Jozo's house, do you have to pass
24 by your house?
25 A. Yes, you have to pass by my house and then go
2 Q. Let me ask you now, on the 16th of April,
3 1993, did you see, on the path or road that we have
4 just talked about, that Vlatko or some members of his
5 family passed by the house?
6 A. Yes, Vlatko, his wife, two children, and
7 mother passed by.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. Well, it was about 5.00, half past five. I
10 can't tell you exactly.
11 Q. Very well. You saw them well?
12 A. Yes, I was on the edge of the asphalt road,
13 and they passed about one and a half metres away from
15 Q. Can you tell us how he was dressed at that
16 time, if you remember?
17 A. I remember very well.
18 Q. Was he in civilian clothes?
19 A. Yes, he was in civilian clothes.
20 Q. In civilian clothes?
21 A. Yes, in civilian clothes, as he was always.
22 Q. Did he have any weapons?
23 A. No.
24 Q. On that day, the 16th of April, 1993, did you
25 see Vlatko again, Vlatko Kupreskic? And if you did,
1 when was it?
2 A. I saw him at about half past ten, when he was
3 going back from the direction of Jozo Vrebac's shelter
4 and I was standing beside my garage. So I said, "Where
5 are you going, Vlatko," because you could hear gunfire
6 from behind his house. And he said, "My father stayed
7 behind. I have to see him." His father was ill. He
8 had broken his leg, and on that morning they were
9 unable to evacuate him from the house.
10 Q. Can you tell us how long Vlatko stayed with
11 you, or did he stay, or did he continue towards his
13 A. Well, I tried to persuade him not to go
14 because I thought it was too dangerous for him to go
15 there. So I tried to get him to come into my house,
16 into the ground floor, and we stayed there for about an
17 hour, an hour and a half, but then he insisted on going
18 to his house to see his father.
19 Q. What time was it, about?
20 A. Well, about half past 12.00, 1.00.
21 Q. Very well. So he left?
22 A. Yes. He went in the direction of his house.
23 Q. Can you tell me, throughout this time when
24 Vlatko came, until about half past 12.00 or 1.00 when
25 he left your house, do you know that he was there all
1 the time?
2 A. Well, we talked. Well, we didn't talk all
3 the time, we were also silent, but we looked at one
4 another. We were together all time.
5 Q. Was that the last time that you saw Vlatko on
6 that day?
7 A. Yes, on that day. I didn't see him again
8 that day.
9 Q. Mr. Sakic, let us summarise. Can we say, on
10 the basis of what you have said, that on the 16th of
11 April, 1993, you saw on two occasions, in the morning
12 between half past 5.00 and 6.00 and from about half
13 past 11.00 to about half past 12.00 or 1.00, you
14 personally were with Vlatko, and Vlatko at that time
15 was in your house without interruption. Can we
16 conclude this?
17 A. Yes, I can guarantee this with my life, if
19 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sakic. I have no
20 further questions for you.
21 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, I have
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Terrier?
25 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
2 Good morning, Mr. Sakic. My name is Franck
3 Terrier, and I'm one of the representatives of the
4 Prosecution in this case. I think that you were told
5 that I would also put questions to you which you will
6 need to answer.
7 Q. First of all, I would like us to talk about
8 the responsibility that you had within the civilian
9 defence which you talked about yesterday. You said
10 that in your neighbourhood, your part of the village,
11 you were responsible for civilian defence, and on the
12 16th of April, just like on the 20th of October, you
13 were in charge of informing your neighbours about what
14 was going to happen. Do you remember stating that?
15 A. Yes, I remember. But this wasn't civil
16 defence. We, at our own initiative, divided ourselves
17 within the village in order to be able to inform the
18 people more easily, those who were living closer to our
19 houses, because during the bombardment of Vitez and
20 Busovaca we organised ourselves, so then we would at
21 each alert call people to come to the shelter. So when
22 we got this information, we would inform people to come
23 to the shelter. There was no other kind of
25 Q. You said that this was an agreement, an
1 organisation, amongst yourselves and others. Who were
2 these other people that you had agreements with, that
3 you organised yourselves with?
4 A. I didn't make an agreement with anybody or
5 organise with anybody. On two occasions I was
6 informed, for the first time by the late Jozo Tomic
7 Bobas and the second time by Dragan Vidovic, that I had
8 to tell the population to go to the shelter.
9 Q. I understood that well, Mr. Sakic, but I
10 wanted to know who, for example, entrusted you with the
11 task of informing the population of those ten houses in
12 your part of the village. You said that yesterday.
13 You said that you were in charge of informing people
14 who lived in some ten houses in your neighbourhood. So
15 now I would like to know who told you that, and how
16 were you organised in this sense?
17 A. Well, like I said, we organised in that
18 way -- well, like I said, I was informed by those
19 people. I don't know who they received some other kind
20 of information from. I don't know that.
21 Q. Mr. Sakic, that was not my question. I
22 understood well who you informed that you needed to go
23 to the shelter. What I would like to know is who
24 entrusted you with informing the families who lived in
25 those ten houses?
1 A. Well, let me say it again. The first time I
2 was woken up by Jozo Bobas, the second time by Dragan
3 Vidovic, and I then alerted the citizens to come to the
5 Q. I will pose the question in a different way.
6 You told us yesterday that you were entrusted with
7 duties regarding civilian defence. Maybe that wasn't
8 strictly civilian defence in the strict meaning of that
9 term, but amongst your duties you also were entrusted
10 -- for example, in case of a fire or war, danger --
11 you were entrusted with informing the families who
12 lived in your part of the village. Do you remember
13 saying that?
14 A. Yes, I remember.
15 Q. So my question is the following. Mr. Sakic,
16 who entrusted you with this? Who entrusted you with
17 the duty of informing these families?
18 A. Oh, who entrusted me with informing the
19 families? Well, Ivica Vidovic was there, his nickname
20 was Jevco, and I got that from him.
21 Q. Let's not mention Ivica Vidovic for the time
22 being. Let's forget him. I will try to put the
23 question again to you. For example, if there had been
24 a fire -- and this is possible, isn't it? -- were you
25 the person who was charged in that case with informing
1 the families? I think you said something like that
3 A. (No audible response)
4 Q. Now I will ask you several questions about
5 the meetings that were held in the school in Ahmici
6 following the first conflict. You attended the first
7 meeting, that's what you told us, in the course of
8 which about 150 people were present, and about 55 or 60
9 of those people were Croats; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said that that meeting was spontaneous.
12 Could you tell us some of the people who spoke at that
13 meeting, at that first meeting?
14 A. Yes. Hazim Ahmic Hadzija spoke, Ivo
15 Josipovic, Hajrudin Pjanic, Abdulah Ahmic, and many
17 Q. That first meeting, was any of the accused
18 present at that meeting, as far as you know?
19 A. I don't remember. I don't remember.
20 Q. Let's talk about the second meeting now. You
21 told us that the second meeting was attended by Pero
22 Skopljak and Ivica Santic, among others, as far as I
23 understood, and like you said, those two people chaired
24 the meeting, they conducted the meeting?
25 A. They didn't conduct the meeting.
1 Mr. Kajmovic was there as well. But they didn't
2 conduct the meeting. They simply observed how we would
3 reach agreement, how we would talk, and to try to
4 direct us, but there was no official meeting. Nobody
5 officially conducted the meeting.
6 Q. The second meeting, was it attended by any of
7 the accused?
8 A. I don't know. No.
9 Q. You mean they were not there, or that you
10 don't remember?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. At the second meeting, did the Croat
13 population of Ahmici speak, did members of the Croat
14 population --
15 A. Yes, everybody who wanted to speak, anybody
16 who knew anything positive or nice, they talked.
17 Q. Do you remember what the Croat population,
18 members of the Croat population, those who spoke at the
19 second meeting, do you remember what they said?
20 A. Well, I know what I asked, but I don't know
21 what the others said. A long time has passed, so I
22 don't remember what they said. But mainly positive
23 things were said.
24 Q. Of course. But, Mr. Sakic, yesterday you
25 very specifically talked about some things about -- for
1 example, Sulejman Ahmic and what people said at that
2 meeting, that there were also some extremist speeches,
3 and you quoted some of them, and I think, according to
4 your memory, you could probably tell us what the Croats
5 who attended that meeting said.
6 A. What the Croats were saying, I don't know
7 exactly what the Croats who were there were saying, but
8 I know what the Muslims who were at the meeting said,
9 and I can say exactly what the Muslims said.
10 Q. You said that yesterday already, Mr. Sakic,
11 so we don't need to repeat that. I just wanted to note
12 that you remember what the Muslims said very well, but
13 you don't remember anything that the Croats said.
14 A. I don't remember the nice things that the
15 Muslims said, but the not-so-nice things that the
16 Muslims said have stayed with me.
17 Q. Let's talk about the guards now that you
18 participated in, in the period between October of '92
19 and April of '93. You told us that you took part in
20 those village guards, and that you had a hunting
21 rifle. Could you tell us how were the guards organised
22 and who organised them?
23 A. The village guards were not organised by
24 anyone. They were on our own initiative. That means
25 you could go and not go. There was nobody that we were
1 responsible to or there was no order in this regard.
2 They were just something spontaneous that happened in
3 the population.
4 Q. Mr. Sakic, I understood that the guards
5 functioned on a democratic principle and that this was
6 voluntary. I wanted to know who decided that evening,
7 for example, that you would be on guard duty, and then
8 on some other evening some other person? Who made
9 these decisions?
10 A. Simply, we would just agree. One evening,
11 the late Anto Kupreskic came, the father of Zoran and
12 Mirjan, and he would say, "Well, why don't the two of
13 us go on guard tonight?" So I would take my hunting
14 rifle. We would walk around until we were tired, and
15 then we would come back home. We were not relieved by
16 anyone, neither did we relieve anybody. That's how
17 these night watches were.
18 Q. Did your son Mirko take part in the village
20 A. Yes, I think he did, in the same way.
21 Q. You think or you're certain? Did you see
23 THE INTERPRETER: I didn't hear the answer of
24 the witness.
25 MR. TERRIER:
1 Q. Did your son have any weapons?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What kind of weapon?
4 A. Some kind of a gun, a Kalashnikov or
5 something. I don't know what it's called.
6 Q. Did you know where he got the weapon from?
7 A. Well, he is not underage. I don't know where
8 he got the weapon from. Well, he was here so he
9 probably told you. I don't know.
10 Q. In order for the transcript to be clear, I
11 will ask you the question that I asked you awhile ago.
12 I asked you, "Did you see your son taking part in the
13 village guard?" I'm asking you this question again
14 because it's not in the record.
15 A. I did not see him, but I know that he did go
16 to the village guard.
17 Q. Now we will move to the 16th of April. You
18 told us that you were woken up by Dragan Vidovic, that
19 you went out of your house, and you went to wake up the
20 different people that you mentioned. Among those
21 people, you mentioned, I think, Miralem Strmonja; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where did Miralem Strmonja and his family
25 live? Could you please tell us? Maybe it's a little
1 difficult for you to find your way on this photograph.
2 Maybe you don't have to indicate it on the aerial map,
3 but maybe you can explain to us where and how far from
4 your house did Miralem Strmonja live?
5 A. Yes, gladly. This map is very inconvenient
6 for me. Miralem Strmonja was maybe 250 metres away
7 from my house, going towards Zume from my house. If
8 necessary, I will try to indicate it on the map.
9 Q. Yes. The south is up; the north is down. If
10 you think that you can find it, it may be good for you
11 to point it out for us.
12 A. It's here -- no, it's here. Here it is
13 (indicating). Two of his brothers-in-law are there,
14 and he's there in their house.
15 Q. Thank you. You told us that, very quickly,
16 at about 4.30 a.m., people gathered in front of your
17 house. Would you please sit down, Mr. Sakic?
18 You said, Mr. Sakic, that at around 4.30,
19 people gathered in front of your house. Was it
20 planned, in case of an alert or problem, for people who
21 were there to collect in front of your house? Was that
22 organised? Was this planned in advance?
23 A. Well, it was not planned in advance, but
24 before the bombardment, my basement was set aside, even
25 though it was small, as a safe shelter. So we knew
1 several times before to come without any kind of
2 alert. People would just say somebody told them. Five
3 or six of them would come in front of the basement, and
4 then if nothing happened, they would go back to their
6 Q. So then we can say that there was some kind
7 of organisation in case of an alert or a danger and
8 that people, and specially those who were living in
9 your neighbourhood, knew exactly where they had to go
10 in case of danger or in case of an alert?
11 A. Well, if a person was in danger, of course,
12 he had to find a shelter for himself. They would find
13 my house a safe place, and this is where they would
14 come to take shelter.
15 Q. You talked about the soldiers who passed in
16 front of your house between 4.00 and 4.30 in the
17 morning. You said that those soldiers were wearing
18 insignia, but you didn't say what kind of insignia.
19 Can you tell us that?
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I don't
21 know how to behave in this situation. The Prosecutor
22 is talking about other times than the times mentioned
23 by the witness. He didn't say they gathered in front
24 of his house at 4.30. So is the Prosecutor doing this
25 on purpose, trying to confuse the witness? I don't
1 know. I'm not sure whether I should intervene or not,
2 but the wrong times are being mentioned all the time.
3 MR. TERRIER: If I have made a mistake ...
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
5 MR. TERRIER: If I have made a mistake, I am
6 willing to correct it. I believe it was in good faith
7 because Mr. Sakic talked about people meeting in front
8 of his house at half past four. I may have made a
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Ms. Slokovic-Glumac?
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. Terrier, I am not
12 trying to create problems, but he never mentioned
13 anything in front of his house at 4.30, and he never
14 talked about soldiers at this time. The times are
15 essentially different. I don't know what you see on
16 your transcript.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: I believe that Mr. Terrier's
18 last question as regards soldiers was not connected to
19 the time, to 4.30. He didn't say that the witness saw
20 the soldiers at 4.30. I seem to remember that the
21 witness mentioned the soldiers and that he saw them
22 between 4.30 and 5.00.
23 MR. TERRIER: That's what I said. We will
24 ask the witness.
25 Q. Can you tell us, at what time, as far as you
1 can remember, you saw soldiers in front of your house?
2 A. At about twenty minutes to -- 5.30; that's
3 when they passed by my house.
4 Q. Mr. Sakic, I will put my question again.
5 Yesterday, and I'm certain of this, you mentioned that
6 the soldiers were wearing insignia on their uniforms.
7 Can you tell us today what the insignia were?
8 A. Yes, I can. I will tell you. They had white
9 belts and pistol casings, holsters.
10 Q. Did they have any insignia showing what unit
11 they belonged to?
12 A. I didn't notice that, but I noticed some kind
13 of bands tied to their shoulders. They were painted,
14 their faces were painted, so I couldn't recognise any
15 of them.
16 Q. When you mentioned bands on their shoulders,
17 were they coloured bands?
18 A. Yes, they were coloured. I couldn't see very
19 well, but I could see that there were bands.
20 Q. Do you remember how long they were, these
22 A. Well, 20, 30 centimetres, perhaps, like this
24 Q. Do you remember the colour of these bands?
25 A. Well, I can't specify because of the
1 prevailing conditions and because I was in a state of
3 Q. Did these soldiers say anything to you, ask
4 you anything?
5 A. No. No, they didn't ask anything.
6 Q. Did you think, considering the route they
7 were taking, that they knew the location very well?
8 A. Well, most probably they did; however, at
9 that moment, I didn't think about anything. I was just
10 wondering where they were going with those weapons and
11 the paint on their faces.
12 Q. If not at that moment, but did you think
13 later perhaps that the soldiers you met on the road
14 either knew the place well and were well informed of
15 the situation on the ground or that one or more persons
16 who knew the place well were guiding them? Did you
17 think that, maybe not at that moment but a little
19 A. Well, I'm thinking about it now, and if they
20 hadn't known the road to take, they would have asked
21 for instructions, but I would have recognised someone
22 who was guiding them.
23 Q. Let us make this quite clear: On the spot
24 where you saw them, the road ends; therefore, someone
25 who didn't know the terrain would find it hard to find
1 what way to continue?
2 A. Certainly.
3 Q. Let us recall the depression, which is
4 located behind your house and which is entered along
5 the path that goes by your garage. Can you tell us the
6 exact time it takes on foot to reach the Kupreskic
7 group of houses from your house? Can you tell us how
8 long it would take?
9 A. It depends on how fast you walk, but you can
10 get there in five or six minutes, maybe even sooner.
11 Q. Therefore, it's a very short distance.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On that morning, was it raining?
14 A. I know there was snow, but I don't know
15 whether it was raining. I know there was snow, but I
16 don't know if there was any precipitation. I really
17 can't remember.
18 Q. We are talking about the 16th of April, 1993,
19 Mr. Sakic, and you say that it was snowing?
20 A. No. There was snow on the ground. I didn't
21 say snow was falling. I didn't say it was snowing. I
22 just said that there was snow on the ground.
23 Q. So there was snow on the ground. How much
24 snow? How deep was it?
25 A. There was a little.
1 Q. Approximately, as far as you can remember?
2 A. Well, something like this (indicating).
3 There was a little snow.
4 Q. Can you show me the depth of the snow because
5 I couldn't see very well?
6 A. Like that (indicating), that much.
7 Q. Ten centimetres?
8 A. Well, ten in places, five in places, none in
9 other places.
10 Q. Certainly. Are you certain?
11 A. Yes, I'm certain.
12 Q. Mr. Sakic, can you explain why some people,
13 including your son Mirko and Zoran and Mirjan
14 Kupreskic, considered it useful or necessary to take
15 refuge in the depression behind your house, and how
16 could this depression, with snow on the ground, be a
17 shelter in those circumstances?
18 A. This depression is about 30 to 40 metres away
19 from my house and my garage. The configuration of the
20 terrain is such that small arms fire cannot hit
21 anything in it, so they felt it was safe. However,
22 they could see our house from it, they could see other
23 houses behind, and they were close to the Kupreskic
25 Q. Would you agree with me that in this
1 depression you could feel safe only if you were certain
2 that no enemy would come to the edge of the depression
3 or enter the depression and that the fighting was
4 taking place at a certain distance?
5 A. Well, there was no really safe place, but
6 this was one of the safest places for people who were
8 Q. The other condition for someone to feel safe
9 in that depression is that they would be sure that no
10 shell from a mortar launcher or a cannon could land
12 A. Well, of course a shell could land there, but
13 you weren't safe in a basement from that. You weren't
14 safe anywhere from shells.
15 Q. Don't you think that in a basement with a
16 concrete ceiling you would feel a little safer from a
18 A. Well, you would feel a little safer, but if I
19 had felt safe in my basement, I wouldn't have left it.
20 I'd have stayed there.
21 Q. So you say, Mr. Sakic, that the people in the
22 depression were safer in the depression, in the open,
23 than they would have been in a basement?
24 A. I don't know how they felt or how safe they
25 felt, but as regards safety, it seems to me that the
1 people in the basement were no safer than the people in
2 the depression.
3 Q. At the beginning of your testimony yesterday,
4 you mentioned your son Slavko. Your son Slavko was
5 living with you; is that right?
6 A. He has his own house next to my house and
7 Mirko's house. My son Mirko and I have a house which
8 is divided into two, and he has a house next to ours.
9 Q. What did your son Slavko do for a living at
10 that time?
11 A. You mean during the war or in peacetime? I
12 didn't understand you well.
13 Q. In April '93, what was your son Slavko
14 doing? What did he do?
15 A. My son Slavko was in PZO. He was in the
16 anti-aircraft defence, and he joined it when the
17 Serbian aggression started against Slovenia and then
18 against Croatia and then against Bosnia. He was in the
19 anti-aircraft defence, PZO.
20 Q. Where is the place you call "PZO"? Is that a
21 place or a military unit? Could you explain this to
23 A. Well, it's a unit. The letters "PZO" mean
24 "anti-aircraft defence."
25 Q. Thank you for this clarification. On the
1 16th of April, in the morning, where was your son
3 A. Slavko wasn't at home. He was in Vitez.
4 Q. Where in Vitez?
5 A. Where in Vitez? I don't know.
6 Q. How do you know he was in Vitez?
7 A. Well, whenever he left, I asked him where he
8 was going, and he always said, "I'm going to the PZO."
9 That's what he would answer when I asked him.
10 Q. When did he leave?
11 A. I don't know whether he left a day before,
12 two days before, that morning. I can't remember
13 exactly the time when he left. It wasn't that morning,
14 but it was before that morning.
15 Q. How can you be sure that he wasn't there that
17 A. Where, in the house?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Well, I woke up my daughter-in-law and his
20 two children, so I know that he wasn't at home.
21 Q. So you thought that he was in Vitez because
22 he wasn't at home?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So your son was a member of the HVO?
25 A. I didn't say he was a member of the HVO. I
1 said he was a member of that PZO before the war, and he
2 remained there until the end of the war.
3 Q. But that anti-aircraft defence unit, under
4 whose command was it?
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. What kind of a uniform did he have?
7 A. Well, he had a regular military camouflage
9 Q. You said a while ago that, in front of your
10 house, at about 5.00, 5.30 a.m. -- I think I'm not
11 making a mistake regarding the time now -- you saw
12 Vlatko Kupreskic and his family, and they were going
13 towards the shelter. You said that at 10.30 or around
14 10.30, you again saw Vlatko Kupreskic, who was coming
15 back from the shelter in the Vrebac house.
16 As far as you can remember, is it quite clear
17 that Vlatko Kupreskic, between your house and the
18 Vrebac shelter, that he was taking the most direct
20 A. There was no closer route than by my house,
21 from his house to the house of Jozo Vrebac and back.
22 There was no other shorter road that he could take on
24 Q. As far as you can remember and as far as you
25 know, he was walking along the road that everybody had
1 taken, obviously, which leads from your house to Zume?
2 A. There was no other road. He was going from
3 my house in the direction of Zume. He was going from
4 his house, passed by my house and ...
5 Q. You told us that Vlatko Kupreskic was
6 concerned about his father, but he spent about an hour
7 or an hour and a half with you and that at about 12.30
8 or 1.00, he left, so this is approximately the time.
9 But you claim that when he came from the Vrebac
10 shelter, that Vlatko Kupreskic stopped at your place,
11 stayed there for awhile, before he continued on his way
12 to his house towards the Kupreskic houses?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you in your house during all of that
16 A. Occasionally, I was outside. I was in the
17 house, and occasionally, I was outside because it was
18 not possible then to sit in one place because you were
20 Q. But were you in the basement? Were you in
21 your basement, you and Vlatko Kupreskic?
22 A. No. We were in the house, in the kitchen,
23 the two of us.
24 Q. So practically all the time, you were in the
1 A. Well, we lost a little time while we were
2 talking in front of the garage and while we were
3 entering the house, and then we sat in the house for a
4 little bit, and then we came back. So we spent that
6 Q. But you are aware of the fact that, since you
7 were not in the basement or in the depression, you were
8 not in any kind of shelter?
9 A. Well, I had the shelter. The garage is like
10 this (indicating) and the shed in relation to where the
11 action was, and because of that, nothing can happen to
12 the house. You can see that in the photographs.
13 Q. Were other people there with you?
14 A. At that time, no, only Vlatko.
15 Q. So for an hour to an hour and a half, you
16 remained in the kitchen or in front of the garage, you
17 and Vlatko Kupreskic, and nobody else saw you together?
18 A. No.
19 Q. What did you talk about, can you remember,
20 you and Vlatko Kupreskic?
21 A. Well, I can tell you we were more quiet, and
22 we just looked at one another out of fear. We didn't
23 talk about anything in particular that was happening.
24 Q. Mr. Sakic, do you remember, in January '98,
25 you gave a statement, which the Prosecution received
1 from the Defence. You say in that statement that at
2 around 10.00 a.m., Vlatko appeared in front of your
3 house because, according to what you understood, he had
4 to help in the evacuation of the wounded. He remained
5 there for about three hours, and because there were no
6 wounded, he left. Do you remember making that
8 A. When Vlatko came back -- excuse me. When he
9 came back from the Vrebac shelter, I was thinking the
10 following: Since he was unfit for military duty, he
11 was not a member of any army or any political or social
12 organisation, I thought that -- this is my personal
13 opinion -- and because he has a driver's license, if
14 necessary, he could provide medical assistance. That's
15 my personal opinion.
16 Q. According to your personal opinion, the
17 opinion that you expressed; on the 16th of April, 1993,
18 since he was not physically fit for active military
19 duty and he had a driver's license, he was supposed to
20 help in the evacuation of the wounded. But if somebody
21 is fit for military duty, then he would be assigned to
22 some kind of military unit; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Was your son Mirko physically fit for duty?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Under those conditions, which military unit
2 did he belong to?
3 A. You're thinking of my son Mirko?
4 Q. Yes, I'm thinking of your son Mirko.
5 A. Well, he didn't belong to any unit, just like
6 I did not belong to any military unit. In the same
7 way, he did not belong to any military unit at that
9 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, should we take
10 our break now?
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, a 30-minute break.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier.
15 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Sakic, let me go back for a few moments
17 to the statement that you made in January of 1998. As
18 I said a little while ago, you said that Vlatko,
19 according to what you heard, was at your house because
20 he was supposed to help to evacuate the wounded, and I
21 was asking you to tell us who told you that.
22 Apparently nobody said -- that was an idea that you
23 had. Vlatko didn't say anything; is that correct? He
24 didn't say anything? Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic did not say
25 that he was responsible for evacuating the wounded? Or
1 did he tell you that?
2 A. I thought, myself, that he was entrusted with
3 driving somebody, but this didn't happen, and then when
4 he came to my house, I saw that he was talking about
5 his father and that he was shaken up by everything that
6 was happening, and I then saw that there was no duty
7 that he was charged with.
8 Q. But, Mr. Sakic, that was in January of 1998
9 that you said that that's what you were thinking. Was
10 there anything else that might have made you think
11 that? Did he have any material with him? Did he have
12 an automobile not far away? Was there something else
13 that might have made you think that that was his
14 mission, that is, to evacuate the wounded?
15 A. I thought, because he was unfit for military
16 duty, like I said before, because was not a member of
17 any unit, I didn't exclusively think that he only had
18 to drive Croats or Muslims, but nothing came out of
19 that. This was my personal opinion. I didn't hear
20 anything from anyone regarding this.
21 Q. So what you thought that morning was that all
22 the Croats who were of an age where they could do
23 something useful had a mission to carry out?
24 A. I wasn't thinking about that. I only was
25 thinking about Vlatko at that time.
1 Q. You told us that Vlatko Kupreskic was dressed
2 in civilian clothing. Do you remember more
3 specifically how he was dressed -- that is, what colour
4 his clothing was? If you don't remember, just please
5 tell us that you don't remember.
6 A. Well, I remember, when I think back about
7 him, civilian needle cord, thick cord pants, and he had
8 a civilian jacket. But I don't remember what kind of a
10 Q. The English transcript does not quite
11 correspond with the French version. Could you please
12 repeat how Vlatko Kupreskic was dressed on that
13 morning, as best as you can recall.
14 A. I said he had a jacket. I don't know what
15 colour it was. It was a civilian jacket. The trousers
16 were corduroy, long cord stripes. That's what we call
17 them, at least. Thick cord.
18 Q. Thank you. You told us a little while ago
19 that Mr. Kupreskic had stayed in your house between
20 1.00 and 1.30. When you testified in writing, you
21 spoke about 3.00. As specifically as you can, or as
22 precisely as you can, could you clarify that.
23 A. Maybe the person who was taking the statement
24 took it down wrong, because -- or maybe I expressed
25 myself wrongly, but it is the way I say it now.
1 Q. When Vlatko Kupreskic left, in what direction
2 was he going, as best as you can remember?
3 A. He was going in the direction of his house
4 because he said he was going to his house. He went
5 behind my garage toward his house, and I returned to
6 the house. Then I couldn't see him any more. I
7 couldn't see Vlatko any more.
8 Q. So he went behind your garage, and then he
9 went down into the depression?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At that point, as far as you know, did your
12 son Mirko, Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic, among others, at
13 that point, were they in the depression?
14 A. The depression is divided between two paths.
15 One goes straight towards Vlatko's house, and the
16 depression is semi to the left. So I don't know
17 whether you could see it or not.
18 Q. Do you remember what time and how many times
19 you yourself went to the depression on that morning, or
20 rather, during that day?
21 A. I don't remember exactly the time, but I went
22 at least three or four times.
23 Q. When you went to the depression on three or
24 four occasions on that day, where were the people that
25 you met in the depression? Where were they?
1 A. They were in the depression. It's not
2 large. They were sitting around on whatever they had
3 to sit on.
4 Q. Were they far from your house, or that part
5 of the depression which is near your house?
6 A. (No audible response)
7 Q. Could you tell us where they were in respect
8 of your house?
9 A. It's a depression which is above my house. I
10 said it was 30 or 40 metres away, and then somewhere in
11 the middle, I would use to find them closer to the
12 house. Sometimes they would be farther from the
13 house. They weren't only sitting down. Perhaps they
14 were nervous. They were walking around.
15 Q. In a document that was given to us by the
16 Defence, which is a summary of your testimony, it is
17 indicated that different people who were in the
18 depression -- and specifically your son, Mirko Sakic,
19 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic -- that they came to your
20 house on several occasions during that day. Do you
21 remember that?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. You also said that they made some telephone
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know whom they were calling?
2 A. Since my son worked for UNPROFOR, and he knew
3 a woman who knew the language of that unit, and he was
4 trying to call her so that they could take Bilic Ramo
5 and Zijad Strmonja out.
6 Q. You mean in order to evacuate the Muslims?
7 A. Not evacuate them, but these three families,
8 to take them out somewhere, to a safer place. We were
9 afraid, so to a safer place than the one where they
11 Q. Why the Muslims and not the Croats?
12 A. Well, because there were few of them there,
13 and because we heard gunfire in Ahmici, and we were
14 afraid that they might get hurt.
15 Q. But Mr. Sakic, doesn't that mean that in your
16 mind, that there were Muslims that were near you, and
17 not the Croats?
18 A. Well, according to what happened, they were
19 in greater danger than the Croats were.
20 Q. And you knew that on that day, on the 16th of
21 April, in the morning; is that correct?
22 A. No, I didn't know what was going to happen at
23 all, or who was going to get hurt. Because had I
24 known, I had very good friends, I would have told them
25 even at the risk of my life.
1 Q. From your house, Mr. Sakic, could you see
2 toward the direction of the main road going from
3 Busovaca to Vitez?
4 A. The Busovaca-Vitez road cannot be seen from
5 my house directly because there's a lot of shrubbery.
6 But I know where it is, and you can hear vehicles
7 passing along that road from my house.
8 Q. From your house, could you see the houses
9 that were between you and the road, or some of the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you, for instance, see the house of the
13 Karic family?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you see Nadira or Besim Ahmic's house?
16 A. No, the two Muslim houses closest to my house
17 were those of Refik Ahmic and Sulejman Ahmic.
18 Q. And that morning, during that day, around
19 those Muslim houses that were between yours and the
20 main road, did you see soldiers?
21 A. Those houses are about 150 metres away from
22 my house, and when they came in, I saw that, and that
23 house burnt down. Refik Ahmic was -- they left 20
24 years ago and lived in another house, and they used
25 this house only as a holiday home, and I didn't see
1 them entering the second house, but it burnt down like
2 the first one.
3 Q. So you saw soldiers going into a house which
4 then burned?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could I ask you -- take all the time you need
7 if it's difficult -- could I ask you to show us
8 approximately on the photograph where that house was
9 that you saw burning and into which you saw soldiers
10 going. Could you find it on the photograph?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if
13 possible, perhaps this map might be turned upside down
14 for the witness, because then it would be much easier
15 for him to find the house. He gets confused, so maybe
16 it will be simpler if we turn the map upside down so
17 that Ahmici is--
18 A. No, no, it's all right. I know this. I'm
19 not confused any more. You don't have to turn it
20 upside down.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Well, if the witness
22 wants it to be left the way it is, that's all right.
23 A. This is my house (indicating), this is Refik
24 Ahmic's house (indicating), and this is Sulejman
25 Ahmic's house (indicating). This is Refik Ahmic's,
1 this is Sulejman Ahmic's, and this whole plot of land
2 was their family inheritance, and they sold part of it,
3 and this is the area I saw and where I saw what
4 happened to these houses. This is Refik's house, this
5 is Sulejman's house, and this is mine. It's about 150
6 metres away.
7 MR. TERRIER:
8 Q. Yes, that's clear, Mr. Sakic. Could you tell
9 us exactly what time it was that you saw the soldiers
10 going into the house?
11 A. It was on the 16th, but I can't tell you the
12 exact time it was.
13 Q. Was it the morning, the afternoon?
14 A. I wouldn't know exactly. I don't know,
15 really. I can't tell you.
16 Q. In that area that you showed us, did you see
17 any people who lived there, any inhabitants, running
18 away or moving about? People who lived there.
19 A. I saw the Muslim inhabitants of Donja Zume
20 going this way, in the direction of Ahmici.
21 Q. Could you show us that, please?
22 A. Here (indicating) in Donja Zume, and they
23 were taking this route. There is a road here, not an
24 important one, and they took that road and went in the
25 direction of Ahmici.
1 Q. About how many of them were there?
2 A. I don't know because two or three would pass
3 by at a time. They were not organised in a file so
4 that they could be counted.
5 Q. Please be seated.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. Do you know, Mr. Sakic --
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, just a moment
9 please because the witness didn't have his headset on.
10 MR. TERRIER:
11 Q. Mr. Sakic, did you know that in that area
12 that you showed us, that six Muslims were killed?
13 Ibrahim Karic --
14 A. In my close --
15 Q. Ibrahim Karic, Nadira and Besim Ahmic,
16 Sahabudin Osmancevic, and Esad and Hajrija Ahmic. Did
17 you know that all of those people had been killed that
19 A. I didn't know that and I didn't find out
20 their names. This is the first time actually that I
21 have heard the names of the people who were killed
23 Q. You told us that on the second day at around
24 8.00 or 9.00 in the evening, correct me if I'm wrong,
25 you said that you left the shelter, where you had found
1 refuge, in order to go back. On the road that you took
2 going back, did you look around you, and if you did,
3 what did you see?
4 A. Let me tell you. When we set out between
5 20.00 and 21.00 in the evening from Luka Vidovic's
6 warehouse, on the main road, the group that had been in
7 Jozo Vrebac's house caught up with us. Then a column,
8 more or less a file was formed, and we went on
9 together. When we arrived at Radak's Bridge, I saw
10 some armed people on the other side of the bridge. It
11 was dark. I was carrying my two-year-old grandson in
12 my arms. I didn't recognise anyone. I didn't pay much
13 attention until we arrived at the house where they
14 spent the night.
15 Q. A few minutes ago, Mr. Sakic, you spoke very
16 unfavourably about Sakib Ahmic, and you said that "he
17 would come to my house and we would both drink and both
18 of us were drunk"; is that correct?
19 A. Yes -- no, I'm not saying that we were drunk,
20 but we would have a drink together. He would drink
21 with me, and he was always on very good terms with me
22 personally. But I heard from other people, including
23 his close relatives, that he was a difficult man. As
24 regards our personal relations, we were on very good
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sakic.
2 MR. TERRIER: I don't have any further
3 questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
7 Mr. President.
8 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
9 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you please tell us whether
10 you were on bad terms with any Muslim in the village?
11 A. No, there were no Muslims in the village with
12 whom I ever had any kind of conflict.
13 Q. Did you have any quarrels with the Croats in
14 the village?
15 A. Do I have to say that? There is a man, a
16 Croat in the village, with whom I am not speaking, even
17 today, but it doesn't matter who he is.
18 Q. So there is one man with whom you have had
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you consider yourself to be a tolerant
22 person, a person who is not prone to arguing?
23 A. Well, I think I'm more tolerant than not.
24 Q. Now that your Muslim neighbours have started
25 returning to the village, now that they are back, do
1 you encounter them sometimes?
2 A. You mean when Ahmici is being rebuilt?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I encounter these people. Individuals came
5 to my house, those who were my family friends, like
6 Sulejman Ahmic who had a house below mine. We meet, we
7 say hello, and we have a chat, just as we did before.
8 Q. Do any of your Muslim neighbours hold what
9 happened in Ahmici against you? Do they tell you that
10 they think you are responsible?
11 A. No, not me personally. They all tell me that
12 they are trying not to talk about it and that they hope
13 it will never happen again, but none of the ones that I
14 have talked to ever made any direct accusations against
16 Q. The two neighbours you mentioned as having
17 houses close to yours?
18 A. Refik and Sulejman?
19 Q. Yes. Which of them was in the village on the
20 16th of April?
21 A. Neither of them because, as I said, Refik
22 lives in Visoko and uses this house only on weekends,
23 and Sulejman has a flat in Vitez, and he built this for
24 retirement in his old age.
25 Q. Very well. You also said that, had you known
1 anything about the attack, you would have told some
2 people, even at the risk of your life. Which people
3 were you referring to?
4 A. Yes. I would have told Esad Ahmic, Hajrudin
5 Pjanic. I would have rang up Sulejman in Vitez. There
6 are other people whom I would have told.
7 Q. Does that mean you would have telephoned your
8 Muslim friends, had you known?
9 A. Yes, certainly. Well, I didn't have a
10 telephone, so I would have gone to tell them
12 Q. Is the reason you didn't call them because
13 you didn't have a telephone or because you didn't know?
14 A. No. I've just told you. I would have gone
15 personally to tell them, since I didn't have a
17 Q. Very well. Do you know where Mirjan Santic
18 is from?
19 A. Mirjan Santic is from the village of Santici
20 which joins Zume.
21 Q. So it's the neighbouring village to Pirici?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How far is Mirjan Santic's house from the
24 houses of the Kupreskics; can you tell us?
25 A. Well, about a kilometre and a half along the
1 road, 1.500 metres if you take the road.
2 Q. Could you please look at this map and say
3 whether you can see where Mirjan Santic's house is, if
4 you can? If you can't, we won't ask you to do it, but
5 could you tell us whether you can see it?
6 A. No. No, I can't. I'm certain of that.
7 Q. Very well. You mentioned Ivica Vidovic, also
8 known as Jevco, when the Prosecutor asked you about the
9 civil defence.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was Ivica Vidovic, Jevco, in the civil
13 A. I don't know what his post was in the civil
14 defence, but he said to me, "You take care of these 10
15 to 15 houses; Ivo Vidovic will take care of another 10
16 to 15 houses," and so on. I didn't have any other
18 Q. Do you remember whether the anti-aircraft
19 defence of which your son was a member, your son Slavko
20 Sakic, as you told us, do you remember when it was
22 A. It was organised, if you remember, I said
23 that, when the Serbian aggression against Slovenia and
24 Croatia began. That's when it was organised and came
25 into being. I don't know the year now. I can't
2 Q. That means it was organised before the
3 Serbian aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know whether this anti-aircraft
6 defence had any connections with the SPS factory in
8 A. I don't know. I never worked in Vitez. I
9 worked in the Zenica ironworks, so I don't know what
10 they did in there.
11 Q. Can you tell us what you did at the ironworks
12 in Zenica?
13 A. I worked at the furnaces. I was a smelter,
14 and I worked there for 40 years. I retired in 1990.
15 Q. Did you ever see your son, Mirko Sakic,
16 keeping guard?
17 A. No, I didn't see him, but I know he went. He
18 went once or twice, I'm not sure exactly, but he did
20 Q. So he didn't go all the time?
21 A. No. No one went all the time. No one had to
22 go all the time. You could simply find a friend or a
23 neighbour and patrol the village a few times and then
24 go home and go to bed.
25 Q. Do you know when your son started working for
1 the humanitarian organisation?
2 A. No, I don't know the exact time. All I know
3 is that it was before the war.
4 Q. Very well. Tell us, was Mirko away from home
6 A. Well, I don't know. He's a grown man. I
7 can't have any influence on him. I don't know where he
8 goes and what he does.
9 Q. Okay. But you could see whether he was going
10 on a business trip, if he was away for a few days;
11 could you see that?
12 A. I don't know. I don't remember if I saw
13 that. I don't remember.
14 Q. Could you please also tell us, the depression
15 that we talked about, can you see when a person walks
16 along the path which leads from the Kupreskic houses?
17 Can you see from the depression if somebody is taking
18 that road?
19 A. The one that leads from the warehouse towards
20 my house, is that the one you mean?
21 Q. No. From the Kupreskic houses.
22 A. Yes, from the Kupreskic houses, well, you can
23 see partially if something is coming.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Sakic.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I have no further
1 questions, Mr. President.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Krajina?
4 MR. KRAJINA: I will be very brief in order
5 to clarify some matters.
6 Re-examined by Mr. Krajina:
7 Q. Mr. Sakic, the question by the Prosecution,
8 you said that, on the 16th of April, 1993, there was
9 snow. Yes. You were indicating that there was maybe
10 five centimetres of snow. Could you be more specific?
11 Could you tell us whether there was any snow on the
13 A. There was no snow on the road, but there was
14 snow in the depressions. Where there was more shadow,
15 there was a little bit of snow there, but the snow did
16 not cover the whole ground or the road.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. Just one more
18 sub-question: This is quite a high section; this is not
19 a plain, the region where Pirici is. So you could have
20 a kind of sprinkling of snow, patches of snow?
21 A. Yes, this is what I meant. Those patches of
22 snow, we called them that too, they would remain
23 perhaps until the beginning of May in such
24 configurations of terrain.
25 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you. I have no further
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
3 questions for the witness.
4 Mr. Sakic, thank you so much for coming to
5 The Hague to give evidence. You may now be released.
6 Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 JUDGE CASSESE: While we are waiting for the
10 next witness, let me quickly deal with two housekeeping
12 First of all, we received a motion filed on
13 the 16th of March and submitted by Counsel Radovic and
14 Slokovic-Glumac about Mrs. Samija, the substitution of
15 Mrs. Dragica Samija for Mrs. Kata Samija. The motion
16 is granted.
17 The second matter, we hope that you don't
18 mind if we hold the afternoon sitting on Monday, next
19 Monday, instead of Wednesday? Is that fine? We will
20 bring forward the afternoon sitting. We will be
21 sitting on Monday morning and afternoon, Tuesday
22 morning, Wednesday morning, and Thursday morning.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if I may
24 just briefly say, we will reduce our list of witnesses,
25 and probably tomorrow we will be provide a list for you
1 for the second week where there will be fewer
2 witnesses. I believe that we will finish with all of
3 our witnesses in the second week.
4 I would like to know, if we call the
5 remaining five or six witnesses, whether on Thursday
6 the Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic should begin on
7 Thursday or should we leave that for the beginning of
8 April? Because I think that we will probably give up
9 more than half of our witnesses. There was a plan for
10 us to have the whole of that week and then also a week
11 at the end of April. Now we have changed our plan, and
12 we will definitely agree today with the Victims and
13 Witnesses Unit that we will not have so many witnesses
14 and that we will probably finish with the Defence in
15 the second week.
16 Then there is the technical question, whether
17 the Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic should begin in the
18 second week or should we leave that for the beginning
19 of April? They will start with witnesses who are more
20 important and who will need more time, so they would
21 not want to have that interrupted.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: When you say "second week,"
23 you mean next week? Because you anticipate that you
24 would probably finish with your witnesses by Wednesday,
25 Wednesday at 1.30?
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: If we work on that
2 afternoon, then under our programme, that would be on
3 Wednesday. Well, we never know how the Prosecution
4 will react and how long their cross-examination will
5 be. We have a kind of review of witnesses, and we
6 believe that we will have that number and that we will
7 be finished by Wednesday. But we are interested, as
8 far as the Vlatko Kupreskic Defence is concerned, they
9 intend to start with witnesses that will take more
10 time, so should we leave that for next week or should
11 we leave that for the beginning of April?
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
13 MR. PAR: If I may say something on this
14 matter too, we're meeting with the Victims and
15 Witnesses Unit, and, as my colleague
16 Ms. Slokovic-Glumac said, the first witness we intend
17 to call is the President of the Supreme Court of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina who will testify about Count 1.
19 Our position is such that we have discussed
20 that with the unit, that it may happen that he will
21 start his testimony on Thursday and will not finish, or
22 he may not even have time to start on Thursday because
23 we don't know when the witnesses for Mirjan and Zoran
24 Kupreskic's Defence will finish.
25 We have made different kinds of arrangements
1 with the unit to have this witness wait or to have him
2 brought urgently to The Hague, which is all pretty
3 complicated. In a way, it doesn't really suit us or
4 the witness.
5 A representative of the unit perhaps said
6 that he would discuss this problem with the Trial
7 Chamber, I don't know if he had already contacted you,
8 but we are having this meeting today. It is in the
9 interests of the Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic to bring
10 out their evidence in its entirety. We would like to
11 start that in April so that we're not brought into the
12 position with a witness that we consider important,
13 that we begin, and interrupt, and then begin again.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: I think we agree with the
16 point made by Counsel Par. I think it's better for the
17 Defence counsel for Vlatko Kupreskic to have a few days
18 in a row, a period of time. It would not be good for
19 you to start with one witness and then maybe to go on,
20 even to stop before he has finished. Therefore, let us
21 try to finish on Wednesday or Thursday with the
22 witnesses called by Counsel Radovic and
23 Slokovic-Glumac. Probably we will need three or four
25 On the other hand, I've got some bad news for
1 you and for us as well; namely, we will not be able to
2 sit in Kupreskic in April because we three Judges, we
3 are busy in other cases. Judge Mumba and I are in a
4 particular case, and Judge May in another case. We
5 will, therefore, have to put off our hearings until the
6 3rd of May. We will start on the 3rd of May, so we are
7 going to lose four days, four working days. Remember,
8 we had decided to sit in Kupreskic for four days
9 towards the end of April. We will try to catch up,
10 maybe either in May or in June, so that we can find
11 time to try to finish by, say, July or by September.
12 Probably, there is some hope that we may finish by
13 July, by the end of July, so that we can take some time
14 to draft the judgment.
15 Therefore, we will start with the witnesses
16 for Vlatko Kupreskic on the 3rd of May. You can make
17 arrangements with the unit so that they can come here
18 on the 3rd of May.
19 By the way, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, did I
20 understand you correctly when you said that you have
21 shortened your list, but next week, we will have a few
22 more witnesses, in addition to probably one on the
23 present list? I hope that we can finish with these two
24 remaining witnesses this week, today and tomorrow.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Next week, we plan to
1 finish with the eight remaining witnesses. We will
2 give up the rest, but the witnesses who will be here
3 next week will be much shorter because they will only
4 testify to certain circumstances. These will be brief
5 testimonies, and we will be able to finish that by
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Susak?
8 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I only have one
9 question. I see that court witnesses have already been
10 called for the 26th of April of this year. I wanted to
11 know what will happen with that date.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, you're right. Court
13 witnesses, I think, for Vlatko -- these are the
14 three -- no, for Mr. Josipovic.
15 MR. SUSAK: For Josipovic, there are three
16 witnesses altogether, I think, three court witnesses
17 which have been called for the 26th.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We have to reschedule
19 this because, of course, it would be awkward to have
20 them on the 3rd of May and then the witnesses for
21 Vlatko Kupreskic. We will probably put off -- when are
22 you going to call your witnesses, the other ones?
23 MR. SUSAK: After the witnesses for Vlatko
24 Kupreskic, yes.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: We will first hear the
1 witnesses for Vlatko Kupreskic, and then we will call
2 the court witnesses, plus the other witnesses you
3 yourself are going to call.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, two of
5 those witnesses are ours, two court witnesses were also
6 called at our request, but the time for their testimony
7 was the 26th of April. It's the same day. One of the
8 witnesses is a joint witness. Perhaps we could finish
9 with those witnesses because they are common witnesses
10 for Kupreskics, for Santic, and Josipovic. These are
11 joint witnesses.
12 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Possibly a good solution
14 could consist of first of all calling two out of three
15 court witnesses, those two court witnesses who are
16 common to the brothers Kupreskic, Mirjan and Zoran, and
17 also the other two, Mr. Josipovic and so on. We will
18 first hear those two. Then we will move on to
19 witnesses for Vlatko Kupreskic. Then at the end,
20 before we start with your witnesses, we call the third
21 witness who, if I understood you correctly, only
22 relates to Mr. Josipovic. Is it fine with you?
23 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, the third witness
24 is for the Defence counsel Petar Pavkovic. Two
25 witnesses are for Josipovic and for the Kupreskic
1 brothers. I will say this again.
2 Two witnesses have been called for the 26th
3 of April. I think those are the witnesses Ajanovic and
4 another person, SA. These two witnesses need to be
5 questioned first, and then the third witness should be
6 questioned after that. I think that would be a good
7 way. The third witness is the wife.
8 I'm just saying the names that we got in the
9 information, that I was informed by the Court that this
10 would be court witnesses. I have been informed about
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you suggesting that we
13 should then call the three court witnesses? No? Or --
14 I didn't understand you. First, on the 3rd of May, the
15 three court witnesses, then move on to the witnesses to
16 be called by Vlatko Kupreskic, and then go back to the
17 other ones, to your --
18 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I only referred to
19 the two witnesses who have been called for the 26th of
20 April of this year, but in your decision I think you
21 had placed the third witness -- you confused him, and
22 you placed him first.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Correct. Thank you.
24 I would like to take up a point just made by
25 Judge Mumba, a very good point, that we should not now
1 decide on this matter, in order not to waste time, and
2 maybe you can get together and make a suggestion, and
3 then we will also consult with the Prosecutor, or you
4 can consult with the Prosecutor, and then we could
5 reschedule these witnesses and decide who is going to
6 be called when. In any case, those three witnesses
7 can't come on the 26th because there will be no
8 hearing. We will see whether you can make some
9 suggestions after consulting with the Prosecutor.
10 Thank you. Would you bring in the next
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Alilovic? Yes.
14 Good day, Mr. Alilovic.
15 A. Good day.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please make the
17 solemn declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit
23 Counsel Radovic?
24 WITNESS: JOZO ALILOVIC
25 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
1 Q. Good day, Mr. Alilovic. First of all I would
2 like you to introduce yourself to the Court, to tell us
3 your full name, your father's name, date of birth, and
4 your address.
5 Shall I repeat the question? Or have you
6 heard it?
7 A. Yes, yes, I heard it, but this doesn't fit
9 Q. We shall continue after you adjust it.
10 Is it all right now?
11 A. Yes, it's all right.
12 Q. Very well. Will you now answer my first
13 question, and my first question refers to your general
14 data so that the Court knows who you are.
15 A. My name is Jozo Alilovic. I was born on the
16 27th of October, 1927, in the village of Nadioci in the
17 municipality of Vitez.
18 Q. What is your address now?
19 A. My address is the same because I still live
20 where I was born.
21 Q. Does the house have a number?
22 A. It's number 3.
23 Q. In 1992 and 1993, what were your family
24 circumstances? Who were you living with in your house
25 in 1992 and 1993? I'm not referring to guests you may
1 have had, but to the members of your household at that
3 A. It was just my wife and me.
4 Q. How many children did you have altogether?
5 A. Altogether I had six daughters, and they are
6 all married, so none of them live with me.
7 Q. What is your occupation now?
8 A. Well, I'm retired now.
9 Q. Where did you work?
10 A. I worked in the Zenica ironworks.
11 Q. For how long?
12 A. For 34 years. I worked for 34 years.
13 Q. What year did you retire in?
14 A. I retired in 1972 -- sorry; I mean '82. I
15 apologise. '82. Five and three is eight.
16 Q. In 1992 and 1993, how many living brothers
17 and sisters did you have?
18 A. I had two.
19 Q. What were your brothers' names?
20 A. Marko and Tomislav.
21 Q. How old are they?
22 A. Marko is ten years younger than me. That
23 means he was born in '37. And Tomislav was born
24 in '52.
25 Q. How many sisters did you have?
1 A. Eight.
2 Q. Eight sisters? So eight sisters, two
3 brothers, and you were the eleventh?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. It was a bit hard to calculate how many of
6 them there were altogether.
7 When you retired, did you have a hobby you
8 engaged in? For example, did you collect stamps, did
9 you go hunting, fishing, gardening?
10 A. When I retired, and before I retired, I was a
11 hunter. I didn't go fishing. I went hunting.
12 Q. Hunting game?
13 A. Yes, hunting game, in the woods.
14 Q. Slowly.
15 So as a hunter, were you a member of a
16 hunting society?
17 A. I was a gamekeeper.
18 Q. No, I'm asking you whether you were a member
19 of a society.
20 A. Yes, I was a member of the hunters' society,
21 and I still am.
22 Q. What was the name of the society then of
23 which you were a member?
24 A. It was then called -- and I don't know if
25 it's still called that, because everything has been
1 interrupted -- but it was called Banovac.
2 Q. Are you still a member?
3 A. Yes, I still am.
4 Q. As a member of the hunting society and as
5 hunter in 1992 and 1993, did you have the right to
6 carry a hunting rifle?
7 A. Yes, in 1991, 1992, I was a gamekeeper.
8 Q. What does that mean, that you were a
10 A. I was a gamekeeper.
11 Q. Well, who appointed you to be a gamekeeper,
12 and what were your tasks as a gamekeeper?
13 A. I was appointed by my organisation, my
14 hunting society.
15 Q. So it was the administration that appointed
17 A. Yes, the administration of the hunting
19 Q. And what was your job as a gamekeeper?
20 A. My job was, as a gamekeeper, whenever I
21 could, to make a tour of the territory, whenever I was
22 able to, to see whether, on the territory assigned to
23 me, there was anyone hunting without permission.
24 Q. As a gamekeeper, did you have a rifle?
25 A. I still do.
1 Q. I'm not interested in now, but in 1992 and
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What kind of rifle did you have?
5 A. I had a hunting rifle with two barrels. A
7 Q. On the big photograph to your right, can you
8 show where your house was?
9 You have to stand up, take the pointer, and
10 the usher will help you a little.
11 Could you stand to one side so that the Court
12 can see what you are showing. Show us your house
13 first, if you can find it. But take your time. Don't
14 hurry, because this is upside down from the way we are
15 used to looking at maps.
16 A. My house is here. Both houses, in fact.
17 Q. When you say "both houses," did you have one
18 house or several houses?
19 A. Two houses.
20 Q. Two houses. Did you build them both at the
21 same time or at different times?
22 A. No, I built one 30 years ago, the one closer
23 to the road, and I built the other one 10 years or 15
24 years ago.
25 Q. Now that you have shown us your house, can
1 you show us the houses of your neighbours and tell us
2 the names of your neighbours? I don't mind what order
3 you do it in, but please tell us whether each of these
4 neighbours was a Muslim or a Croat.
5 A. My closest neighbour was Redzep Elimanovic.
6 Q. What was he by nationality?
7 A. A Muslim.
8 Q. So when you tell us the name of each
9 neighbour, please tell us what he was.
10 A. My second neighbour was Muhamed Pezer, a
11 Muslim. My third neighbour was my brother Tomislav.
12 His house is here (indicating). Now, across the road
13 is the house of my relative, Nikola Alilovic. Is that
14 it? Here. Here, somewhere here (indicating), and then
15 Mato Alilovic, Mirko's brother and my uncle, and my
16 sister Kata. Probably around here (indicating).
17 Q. Very well. I think you have shown us enough
18 neighbours, and you needn't go on. Please sit down.
19 With reference to your Muslim neighbours,
20 what were your relations with them?
21 A. With my Muslim neighbours? Until the first
22 conflict, our relations were very good. After the
23 first conflict, they were terrible.
24 Q. Can you remember when the first conflict
1 A. The first conflict occurred, I think, on the
2 20th of October.
3 Q. What year?
4 A. '92.
5 Q. Can you tell us how this change in the
6 behaviour of Muslims toward you manifested itself?
7 A. I can't describe it exactly. I didn't avoid
8 them. I didn't try to avoid them. I even helped them,
9 as far as I was able, both during the first conflict
10 and later.
11 Q. Very well. We shall talk about that later
12 on. Can you tell us, your brother Tomislav, you showed
13 us his house, and he was mentioned in these
14 proceedings. Was he in his house, because you showed
15 us his house, on the day the war broke out in 1993, on
16 the 16th of April?
17 A. Please, I didn't understand your question.
18 Q. What I want to know is, when the war started,
19 on the 16th of April, 1993, was your brother Tomislav
20 in your village?
21 A. My brother was in Germany, and he had arrived
22 on the 15th of April, the day before the second
23 conflict broke out, and he was staying with me. He was
24 spending the night with me.
25 Q. So he came back from Germany the day before
1 the conflict, and he was a guest in your house. We'll
2 come back to that later. Can you tell us, since when
3 is your brother in Germany?
4 A. Well, he left 20 or 22 years ago.
5 Q. And he has been working in Germany all this
7 A. Yes. He is still working in Germany.
8 Q. Were you interested in the political events
9 taking place in your municipality -- that is, the Vitez
10 municipality -- since the first free elections?
11 A. No. I'm an elderly man. There are young
12 people, and they should deal with politics.
13 Q. So you lived as an old-age pensioner, and you
14 went hunting?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. We have now arrived at the spring of 1992.
17 Do you know anything about a former JNA barracks in
19 A. I heard about it. I didn't go there. I was
20 never there. But I heard there was a barracks. And my
21 neighbour, Muhamed Pezer, went there by car, with a
23 Q. What kind of car is that, when you say "FAP"?
24 A. Well, that's a truck. It's a big truck, and
25 he went there in early May, 1992, the 3rd or the 5th of
1 May. He loaded the truck with metal, with iron --
2 Q. No, I'm sorry, I'm referring to weapons.
3 A. Well, weapons are a kind of metal. So he
4 brought it home and distributed in his village of
5 Ahmici to the men, anyone who was over ten years old,
6 so that I saw young boys who were tending sheep and
7 carrying these weapons, and they shot at anything that
8 moved, even at birds, and I came to the conclusion that
9 I had to tell my superiors in the hunting society that
10 I was afraid to move around the territory I was
11 supposed to guard or patrol, and I didn't go out any
13 Q. So you were afraid of armed people?
14 A. Yes, because they were children, shooting at
15 anything that moved, shooting at birds. Then I told my
16 superiors that I could no longer perform my duty as a
18 Q. The Muhamed Pezer who brought these weapons
19 to the village, do you know anything about his
20 political activity? What kind of person was he?
21 A. I don't know because I was retired, and I
22 only took an interest in my own life, and I couldn't
23 know what activities he engaged in.
24 Q. Was Pezer Muhamed a Croat or a Muslim?
25 A. He was a Muslim, and he had a truck which he
1 rented out for transport.
2 Q. When you went to the woods to see if there
3 were any poachers there, did you have any unpleasant
4 encounters which made you stop going to the woods?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. With whom?
7 A. I don't know the date. It was June. I was
8 walking through the wood of Ivo Alilovic, Stipo's
9 brother, and Mato Alilovic, and a man whose surname was
10 Ahmic, but what was his name? Dear God, what's the
11 name of that --
12 Q. Fikret?
13 A. Fikret, yes, Fajkan's son, Fikret, that's
14 right. He came out not far from his house, about 300
15 metres in front of me. He was armed. He had an
16 automatic rifle, and he threatened me. He said I
17 should never turn up again because if he saw me again
18 at that place he would kill me and that I must never
19 pass by that way again. So I apologised. I had to
20 obey him because I saw that he was very tense, so I
21 went home, and that was the last time I went out there.
22 Q. Fikret Ahmic, is he a Croat or a Muslim?
23 A. He's a Muslim.
24 Q. Do you know whether he had any position?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Did he have any special reason to threaten
2 you? Were you in any kind of quarrel or dispute with
3 him? Why would he tell you you were not allowed to go
4 into the woods again?
5 A. I never had any kind of conflict with his
6 father. We were good friends, and as regards Fikret
7 himself and his brother Nusret, who is younger than
8 him, I was always on good terms with them, and we never
9 had any bad experiences, and that was the first time I
10 had an unpleasant experience with him.
11 Q. Well, did you ask him, "Fikret, what's the
12 matter? Why shouldn't I go and see if there are any
13 poachers in the woods? "
14 A. No, I was too afraid to ask him, so I didn't
15 ask him anything.
16 Q. Did you take his threat seriously?
17 A. Yes, I took it seriously. He threatened me
18 very seriously because he was pointing his automatic
19 rifle at me, and he said if he ever saw me again he
20 would kill me. That's how he threatened me.
21 Q. When you say he pointed his automatic rifle,
22 did he point it at you? Did he pull the trigger?
23 A. No, he pointed it at me. That's all he did.
24 He just pointed it at me.
25 Q. Do you know a person called --
1 MR. RADOVIC: I don't know if I'm allowed to
2 say the name, so I would like to ask the sound to be
3 turned off. May we have a break now, since it's time
4 for a break, and then we can start in a closed session
5 after the break?
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
10 MR. RADOVIC: I would just like to go to
11 private session for a moment, please.
12 (Private session)
3 (Open session)
4 MR. RADOVIC:
5 Q. He was a good friend of yours, you said.
6 Could you please tell us whether you had any
7 conversations with him that you remember in the summer
8 of 1992?
9 A. From the time we were children, that person
10 was a friend of mine and is a friend still. In June of
11 1992, I met with that person. He called me to go out
12 to a cafe to have a coffee or maybe a few cognacs. We
13 stayed there for awhile. I told that person that
14 Mr. Fikret turned me back, like I explained earlier.
15 That person asked me why had I been turned back. He
16 did this because, above the village of Ahmici, there is
17 a hill that is called Barin Gaj or Kruske (phoen), and
18 he said, "Up there on that hill, there are 30
19 Mujahedeen." I don't know if I pronounced that
21 Q. Yes, the correct pronunciation is
23 A. Well, these were not Mujahedeen. They were
24 people from Krajina, Muslims who had escaped from the
25 Krajina area and who were staying there. The village
1 fed those people. The village objected; they said it
2 was difficult for the village to feed them. So then
3 they made an agreement, and that person said that those
4 people should be transferred to the village of Lupac.
5 The village of Lupac is not far. "If necessary and
6 when necessary, they can easily come back."
7 Hazim Ahmic did not permit for them to be
8 transferred to Lupac. He took 20 and gave 10 of them
9 to his brother, Esad. This is what that person told me
10 in the cafe. We spent maybe two hours together in
12 Q. Did he perhaps say whether -- we won't call
13 them "Mujahedeen"; we will call them Krajisniks
14 (phoen). Were they armed or not?
15 A. No. He didn't say whether they were armed or
17 Q. So he didn't say whether they were armed or
18 not, only just that so many people from Krajina had
20 A. No. No, he didn't say anything.
21 Q. The village of Lupac, is that a Muslim or a
22 Croat village?
23 A. It's a Muslim village.
24 Q. What about Hazim Ahmic; who is that?
25 A. He's a Muslim.
1 Q. So he's a Muslim. Is that the Hazim Ahmic
2 who had a mosque? We talked about him.
3 A. Yes, he had a mosque in the village of
5 Q. In the month of September of that same year,
6 did you see anything that would be out of the ordinary,
7 as far as everyday living was concerned?
8 A. September, that's the ninth month; right?
9 Q. Yes. In September, did you have any kind of
10 incident with Fikret Ahmic?
11 A. I can't remember what happened in the ninth
12 month. I don't remember exactly. The cemetery that I
13 saw on the photograph, I have a field of 10 dulum, and
14 we were mowing the grass in September, six of us.
15 Should I say who was there?
16 Q. Yes. Name them.
17 A. Ilija Lukic, myself, Franjo Maric, Anto
18 Ninic -- Anto Ninic, I've said that -- Franjo Dujic,
19 and Nikola Alilovic. We had finished mowing the grass
20 early, maybe we had already finished by 4.00 or 4.30 in
21 the afternoon, and we were going towards my house. We
22 were passing below the cemetery to go out on the main
23 road to go to my house.
24 Across from the cemetery in the field, people
25 were digging in several places. They were digging
1 something. We came out on the road and we stopped, all
2 six of us, and we asked the closest person that was
3 there, what were they doing. They just simply answered
4 that they were digging in order to bring in water.
5 Q. Did you know the people who were digging?
6 A. Well, we knew some of them, and the others,
7 we did not.
8 Q. Which ones did you know, if you remember now?
9 A. Well, I remember that we continued to stand
10 there on the road and watch. Fikret Ahmic came up to
11 us. He was carrying an automatic rifle on his back,
12 and he either had a shovel or a pickaxe, and he said,
13 "What are you looking at," could we just continue on
14 our way? We should just go on where we were going. We
15 just shrugged our shoulders, all six of us, and we went
16 down the road to my house.
17 Q. So you didn't ask him why you had to go?
18 A. No, we were afraid to ask.
19 Q. Among those people who were digging, did you
20 recognise any of those people? You said that you did.
21 Could you tell us the names?
22 A. Well, they were all our neighbours, but there
23 were also some unfamiliar persons. From Ahmici, Nusret
24 was there, his brother. I recognised him. I
25 recognised several young and older people. They were
1 all from Ahmici.
2 Q. You said that there were several people that
3 you didn't know.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where did these people that you didn't know
6 come from?
7 A. I have no idea. I don't know where they were
9 Q. From September until the first conflict,
10 which occurred on the 20th of October in '92, did
11 anything happen that you would remember, anything
12 unusual? Well, I see that you can't remember, so
13 probably nothing did happen.
14 Let's move on to the first conflict now, the
15 conflict that happened on the 20th of October, '92.
16 Could you tell the Court what you remember about that
18 A. On the 15th of October, I was at my brother
19 Tomo's house. Ilija Jukic and myself, that's my
20 brother-in-law, my sister's husband, we were working on
21 something up there on the 15th.
22 At about 2.00 p.m. or maybe 3.00 p.m., not
23 far from my brother Toma's house, maybe 30 or 40 metres
24 away, people started to gather. They were beginning to
25 dig, work on something, and they were bringing in
1 different objects. They brought in a tripod, a metal
2 tripod that is placed in front of tanks, and they
3 placed it maybe 30 metres away from my house, next to
4 the stream. They also brought in a large tank mine,
5 and they had placed it on the road.
6 I told my brother-in-law, "Let's move away
7 from here because it's not good for us to be here." So
8 we went back, not taking the road but going through the
9 fields, back to my house. You couldn't hear anything.
10 We didn't know anything. I didn't know anything.
11 Q. We're talking about the day before, the 19th?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you recognise any of those people who
14 were placing the anti-tank mines?
15 A. Well, they were all of my neighbours.
16 Muhamed Pezer was there and Fikret was there --
17 Q. Okay. You don't need to name all of them.
18 A. They were all of my neighbours. There were
19 more of them. They would come and go. Some of them
20 were putting up roadblocks; the others were digging
22 Q. Let's move on to the next day.
23 A. That evening, I didn't hear or see anybody
24 passing, even though the main road passes about eight
25 metres away from my front door. I didn't see anybody
1 or hear anybody the whole night. Nobody moved
3 In the morning, I was interested in going out
4 to see what was going on. Somewhere, in some places, I
5 could see the occasional soldier in a uniform, but I
6 didn't get close because I didn't know who they were.
7 At about 9.00 a.m., maybe before that, maybe
8 at 8.30, I'm not sure, a shot was heard close to
9 Muhamed Pezer's house. I heard one or two shots. I
10 turned around, and I could see Muhamed Pezer coming out
11 of his house. He was carrying a rifle in his hands,
12 and they shot him and wounded him in the leg.
13 Q. You saw this?
14 A. Yes, I saw this. He threw the rifle away in
15 the middle of his field. He ran to the road because he
16 was halfway between the road and his house, maybe 20 --
17 there's 20 or 50 metres from his house to the road, so
18 he was halfway. He ran across the street into my
19 field, and then through my field, he ran away and ran
20 in the direction of my cousin Mato's house.
21 After about half an hour, I wanted to see
22 what had happened to him, so I went to my cousin Mato's
23 house. I found in my cousin Mato's house Elvid Sacir
24 and his wife, they are both Muslim; Pero Alilovic and
25 his wife, these are Croats; Mato Alilovic and his wife,
1 they're Croats. Then Ivo Alilovic and Mato's brother's
2 wife, they were all sitting there on the floor.
3 Muhamed Pezer was lying on the couch. They had wrapped
4 his leg in something. Mato's wife was sitting on the
5 floor and wiping his forehead with a towel. Mato
6 offered me a brandy to drink, and I didn't want to. I
7 was standing there for about ten minutes, and then I
8 went home.
9 When I went home, I started to go behind his
10 house, to go through the woods, but the earth started
11 to shatter in front of me. I could hear gunfire, and I
12 got scared, so I went back to Mato's house. They all
13 asked me, "What's the matter with you?" "Nothing is
14 the matter with me," but they said, "You've turned
15 white," and I said, "Well, I can't see. I don't
16 know." So then I told him to give me a brandy.
17 Mato gave me a brandy, a glass of brandy, and
18 then I said, "Please, can I have another one?" So he
19 actually poured me two. I stayed in Mato's house for
20 ten minutes. Then I went out on the road, and then I
21 went on the other side, behind Mato's house to my
23 I got to my house. I didn't go inside. A
24 car arrived up to my house, and I was called, "How can
25 I go to the house of Nesib Kajmakovic? He's a
1 Muslim." I answered, "Friend, in no case can you go to
2 their house because there is fighting. There is
3 fighting from here and from here," and he was supposed
4 to go through the middle. So I said, "Friend, there is
5 no way you can go to the Kajmakovic house. Nesib
6 Kajmakovic has been wounded." He was supposed to go to
7 take him. Then I told him, "There is a wounded man in
8 Mato's house. Take him."
9 Then he said, "Take me there so I can see
10 where it is." I went to the same road. I went in
11 front of the car. He went behind me in the car up to
12 Mato's house, and I told Mato at the door, "Take him
13 into the car." So he brought -- so Sacir, Elvid, Pero
14 and Mato, I don't know if there was anybody else, they
15 took him out to the car and sent him to the hospital in
17 Q. Was he seriously wounded or was that just a
19 A. I only saw that he was wrapped. I couldn't
20 see the wound, but he couldn't come out of Mato's
22 Q. When did the shooting start?
23 A. I don't know exactly when the shooting
24 started. I don't know how long it went on for.
25 Q. The wounded man that you talked about and
1 whom you helped to get to a medical aid, was he a Croat
2 or a Muslim?
3 A. He was a Muslim, Muhamed Pezer.
4 Q. Let's now go to the day before the war
5 started, so that's the 15th of April, 1993. Could you
6 please tell the Court what you did that day, so the day
7 before the war started?
8 A. I was at my brother Toma's house because he
9 was in Germany, so I was hoping he would get there. I
10 went up to his house to do some work there, to fence
11 something off. My brother came --
12 Q. How did he come?
13 A. He came in the evening quite late. He took
14 the bus to Vitez, and then he came up to his house.
15 Then we went to my house to spend the night, and that
16 evening, my brother Tomislav spent the night at my
17 house, not at his house. On the 16th --
18 Q. We're still talking about the 15th. On the
19 15th, did you know what would happen the next day?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You didn't know anything?
22 A. Nobody knew anything. Nobody had any idea.
23 Q. If I understood you right, on the 15th, the
24 day was like any other day?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We will now show what your house looks like,
2 and then we will continue with the examination.
3 MR. RADOVIC: Would the usher please assist?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document D15/1.
5 MR. RADOVIC: Would you please put it on the
7 Q. Mr. Alilovic, could you put this on the
8 machine beside you? Could you show us on this
9 photograph -- wait a minute. Just a moment, please.
10 Could you describe photograph number 1? Could you tell
11 us what photograph 1 shows?
12 A. Photograph number 1 shows my old house.
13 Q. Show us your old house with the pointer,
14 please. We can't see.
15 A. (Indicating)
16 Q. Very well. The old house. Can you see the
17 new house?
18 A. Yes, you can see the new house. This is it
19 (indicating), but you can't see the door because it's
20 behind the old house. This is the window. This is
21 the veranda of the new house. This is the roof of the
22 new house. This is my apple tree in front of my new
24 Q. Could you describe photograph number 2,
25 please? This is number 2. Could you describe
1 photograph number 2?
2 A. This one?
3 Q. Number 2. They are numbered on the
4 right-hand side.
5 A. Well, as I said, number 2, this is the old
6 house (indicating), and this is my new house right
7 behind it. There's a passage here between the houses.
8 Q. Both of the houses are inside the same yard;
9 is that right?
10 A. That's correct, yes.
11 Q. Could you describe photograph number 3?
12 A. Photograph number 3 shows my old house. You
13 can see the roof, the walls of the old house. You can
14 see the woods there further on.
15 Q. You can see part of the yard too; right?
16 A. Yes, you can see a good part of the yard, the
17 snow here.
18 Q. Since these photographs were taken much
19 later, they were taken this year, obviously while there
20 was still snow on the ground, from 1993 until the day
21 these photographs were taken, did anything change?
22 A. No, nothing has changed, no. Everything is
23 still the same.
24 Q. When your brother arrived on the 15th and
25 came to stay with you, did you stay in the old house or
1 the new house?
2 A. We slept in the old house. I still sleep in
3 the old house, even today.
4 Q. Who is in the new house?
5 A. There's no one. No one. I'm all alone. I
6 can't sleep in two houses at once.
7 Q. Now, can you tell us what happened on the
8 first day of the war, the 16th of April? How did you
9 wake up?
10 A. My brother, my wife, and I were awakened by
11 gunfire. I can't tell you exactly what time it was,
12 but it was sometime around 6.30 perhaps. I'm not
13 certain. There was gunfire, and we didn't know what
14 was going on.
15 Q. Did you know who was firing?
16 A. No. We knew nothing because neither my
17 brother nor I had gone out at night, and we knew
18 nothing and saw nothing. We were awakened by gunfire.
19 We jumped up. My wife was the first to jump up, and
20 she started running outside, but I stopped her and
21 said, "Don't go out because we don't know what's going
22 on," so she didn't go out.
23 Q. After the gunfire started, did you stay in
24 the old house or did you move to the new one?
25 A. We were in the old house that morning. We
1 happened to be in the old house when the gunfire
2 started. We hadn't moved to the new house. We were
3 afraid to go out because we didn't know what was going
4 on, so we didn't go to the new house.
5 The gunfire started, as I said, so we peered
6 out of the windows to see if we could see anything, to
7 see if we could see what was going on. We saw smoke
8 coming from the house of Pezer Ahmic. We saw it had
9 been set on fire and was smoking. I said, "Tomislav,
10 we should run and put out the fire, but how can we when
11 they're shooting?" So we didn't go out. We didn't
12 leave the old house all day. I don't the exact time,
13 the hour, a car arrived --
14 Q. Don't mention that name. We shall mention
15 the name in the same way as we did the first one.
16 MR. RADOVIC: Could we go into closed session
17 for a moment because we are now arriving at a protected
19 (Private session)
16 (Open session)
17 MR. RADOVIC:
18 Q. Be careful. If you mention the name, you can
19 be punished. So tell us what went on.
20 A. They called me out, and one of the soldiers
21 said to me, "Jozo. Keep this child with you until I
22 come back."
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. Then I recognised the boy, and I told him to
25 come in.
1 Q. Did you know his parents, his family?
2 A. Yes. Yes, I know his family very well. They
3 are my neighbours. Yes, I know them very well.
4 Q. Go on with your story.
5 A. The child entered my house. The child was
6 dressed in pyjamas and was all wet.
7 Q. Was he frightened?
8 A. Yes, he was terrified. He was all wet, so my
9 wife undressed him. She took his underpants off, his
10 pyjamas, and his slippers, and she gave him dry clothes
11 because the child was shivering. The child was cold,
12 shivering with cold and with fear. The child stayed
13 with us for 13 days or 12 days, and then INFOR came, it
14 was UNPROFOR, and they took him to Zenica.
15 Q. Did you let his mother know in any way that
16 her son was with you?
17 A. Since the little boy didn't know where his
18 parents were, since the boy said that his father and
19 his elder brother had left or, rather, had gone to the
20 mosque to a meeting and that his father had locked the
21 door from the outside and taken the key with him, when
22 some soldiers arrived at his house, nobody could open
23 the door, either those outside or those inside, but
24 they handed the boy and his elder brother and his elder
25 sister out over the balcony, and his mother as well.
1 The boy was told to go toward the road, and
2 it was cold, wet. There was a lot of water. That's
3 why he was wet when he arrived at my house.
4 Q. Did he tell you what happened to his family?
5 A. He told me that his brother had been killed.
6 I kept telling him, "No, no, they haven't done it," and
7 he said, "Yes, I saw it. They wanted to kill me, too,
8 but a soldier wouldn't let them." And he told me to
9 run to the road, and then two other soldiers came by in
10 a car and took him into their car.
11 Q. So I asked if you had told his mother.
12 A. Well, I had a telephone, and I knew the
13 number because he told he the telephone number in his
14 home but no one answered. So we called acquaintances
15 to find out where his mother was, and we found out that
16 she was in Travnik. So when I let his mother know that
17 the boy was with me, she dropped the telephone. I
18 didn't know what was going on, but it was because she
19 fainted. She fell to the ground and dropped the
21 Later they told me that everything was all
22 right, and then I said that she shouldn't worry about
23 anything because I would look after the child to the
24 best of my ability and that the child would want for
25 nothing, and that's how it was until they took him from
1 me, and when he left me he was well and he was
3 Q. What kind of vehicle did UNPROFOR use to pick
4 up the boy?
5 A. Well, they came with two small packages of
6 food, and I don't know what happened afterwards because
7 none of them contacted me later on to tell me how he
9 Q. Let us go back to the 16th of April. When
10 this boy came, did you put him in the old house or the
11 new house?
12 A. When he arrived, perhaps it was about 9.00 in
13 the morning, or half past nine.
14 Q. Was that the first day, the 16th?
15 A. No, the 16th? The 16th, yes. He came into
16 the room in the old house, and he followed me
17 everywhere. Then we moved from the old house because
18 it wasn't so stable. There were no concrete slabs, and
19 there are two in the new house, so because of the
20 shelling, we moved to new house, the boy and my wife,
21 and my brother while he was staying with me, and I.
22 Q. On that day when the war started, were you
23 afraid that your brother Tomislav might be mobilised?
24 A. Well, I wasn't easy, because they would come
25 to my house -- first three soldiers came, but they
1 didn't say anything to Tomislav. They didn't tell him
2 that he should go with them. I don't know.
3 Q. But weren't you afraid of this possibility?
4 A. Yes, we were. We were afraid.
5 Q. So when these soldiers came to your door, did
6 you put your brother Tomislav in the other house with
7 the boy? Do you remember?
8 A. That whole day, the boy and Tomislav and I
9 were in the old house, that whole day.
10 Q. So you were all together?
11 A. Yes, all together.
12 Q. So the boy was in the house, too, when three
13 soldiers came?
14 A. Yes. When the three soldiers came, the boy
15 was in the kitchen in the old house with me.
16 Q. At what time did the soldiers come?
17 A. On that day the soldiers came at perhaps
18 about -- hmm -- about 12.00, it might have been. I'm
19 not certain, but about 12.00.
20 Q. Can you tell me what they looked like? Were
21 they armed?
22 A. Yes, all three of them were armed.
23 Q. What weapons did they have?
24 A. One of them was wearing a black uniform.
25 Q. But I'm asking you about the weapons.
1 A. No, I don't know.
2 Q. It was some kind of rifles?
3 A. Some kind of rifles.
4 Q. So how were they dressed?
5 A. One was wearing black, and the other two were
6 wearing camouflage uniforms.
7 Q. Did you notice any kind of insignia?
8 A. They had HVO insignia, as far as I was able
9 to see and understand. They had HVO insignia on their
11 Q. You noticed nothing else?
12 A. No. It was a long time ago, and I didn't
13 think of paying attention to their insignia.
14 Q. Did you know these young men who arrived?
15 A. No, I didn't know them, but if I may say,
16 they came to my yard and asked me if I had a
17 telephone. I said I did. So all three of them entered
18 the house. One of them rang up his father and mother,
19 and another one rang up his girlfriend. My wife was
20 outside, and then a fourth soldier came in on his own,
21 into my yard, and my wife called to me to come out, and
22 a young man in uniform with weapons arrived.
23 Q. What kind of uniform?
24 A. A military uniform. A camouflage uniform.
25 HVO. He had the same kind of insignia as the first
1 three. He came to the yard, and he was weeping. He
2 was the neighbour of my wife's family from her native
3 village. She's from Busovaca, from Dusina.
4 Q. What was the name of that young man?
5 A. His father is Jure Kegelj, but I don't know
6 his name. This young man said, since he knew my wife,
7 he said, "Old woman, you're not asking me why I am
8 crying." So she said, "What's the matter, son? Are
9 you wounded?"
10 He said "No." So she said, "And what's the
11 matter?" And he said, "I have no family left. They
12 have all been killed and massacred."
13 He was asking for some water to wash his
14 face, and he went on weeping. So my old woman asked me
15 to come out of the house, and I did, and the third
16 soldier rang up someone, but I don't know who.
17 Q. Well, let's talk about the one who came to
18 the yard on his own.
19 A. So I went out. I didn't know this young man,
20 but I knew his father, because I had gone to parties
21 with his father when we were young men. We are of the
22 same generation, and we were fellow workers, so I knew
23 his family, but I didn't know the children. I didn't
24 know the young man, but my wife told me whose child he
1 So I asked him, "Are you Jure's son?" And he
2 said "Yes." So he came in, and he just stood there
3 like a statue. He wouldn't sit down. I offered him a
4 glass of brandy, but he refused, and then that young
5 boy was in the house with us. When he was in the house
6 he didn't say anything. All four of them, all four
7 soldiers went out and left down the road to Busovaca.
8 Q. The boy you said was from Dusina, is that the
9 Vitez municipality?
10 A. It's the Busovaca municipality.
11 Q. So the younger soldier who arrived last was
12 from Dusina; what about the first three? Could you
13 conclude where they might be from?
14 A. Well, the two who used the telephone, who
15 talked on the telephone, I gathered that both of them
16 were from Kiseljak.
17 Q. On what basis did you conclude this?
18 A. Well, from what they said when they were
19 talking to the people they rang up. They were asking
20 about certain places, so they were ringing up their
21 families. One of them called his father and mother,
22 and the other one called his girlfriend. So I
23 concluded that they were from around Kiseljak. I don't
24 know about the third one because I didn't hear him
25 talking on the telephone because I was outside.
1 Q. Did they tell you what army unit they
2 belonged to?
3 A. No, they didn't say anything.
4 Q. Did they tell you what they'd been doing that
6 A. No, they didn't say anything at all. I
7 didn't dare ask them.
8 Q. Do you know Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic?
9 A. Yes. I do. They're my neighbours.
10 Q. Do you know them well?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Quite well?
13 A. Yes, I know them.
14 Q. On that day, the first day of the war, did
15 they come to your house?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Are you certain?
18 A. Certainly not.
19 Q. So the young man who was in your house
20 couldn't have seen them?
21 A. No one could have seen them. I didn't see
22 them. And the boy who was at my house, he never went
23 out that day.
24 Q. Could you please tell us whether you know
25 Sakib Ahmic, son of Rasid?
1 A. Yes, I do. Yes, that's also my neighbour.
2 Q. Did any of the Muslims ever thank you about
3 this boy and about that wounded person that you
4 mentioned before?
5 A. No. Unfortunately, no.
6 Q. Sakib Ahmic, did he stop by a couple of
7 months ago?
8 A. Yes, maybe one and a half months ago, he came
9 by. Zijo Kajmakovic came by. Zijo Kajmakovic has a
10 house in the village in the direction of my house, so
11 he came along with Sakib Ahmic. They stopped by my
12 house, on the road, they just stopped in the ditch, and
13 I came out to the road to them. Sakib Ahmic was in the
14 car, and Zijo Kajmakovic. We were talking about
15 everything, and I told Sakib, and he asked me whether
16 the boy was at my house, and I said, "Yes, but
17 unfortunately his mother or his father still haven't
18 contacted me."
19 Then he thanked me. He said, "Aferim to you
20 for doing what you did. We heard what had happened, so
21 bless you and thank you from me."
22 Q. So what kind of a man was Sakib Ahmic? Can
23 you tell us something about him?
24 A. I know him as a driver. He was mostly
25 driving around in Vitez, some officials there. I don't
1 know whether this was a company, Impregnacija.
2 Q. Do you --
3 A. He was very -- he was in very good relations
4 with me. There was no revenge. He never said a bad
5 thing to me, nor did I say anything bad to him, but I
6 don't know what he was like towards others, but I know
7 that he was a bit sharp. He liked to kind of quarrel
8 everywhere, to interfere. That's the only thing that I
10 Q. Do you know anything about Zoran and Mirjan?
11 Can you tell us anything about that?
12 A. I don't know what to say about Zoran or
13 Mirjan. Very few people knew about those boys. They
14 never bothered anybody. If there was some kind of
15 jolly company, that's where they would be. But if they
16 were somewhere else, then I wouldn't know about it.
17 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
18 have no further questions.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
20 MR. RADOVIC: I only would like for the
21 photographs to be admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. No objection, I
24 It is admitted into evidence.
25 Counsel Pavkovic, are any Defence counsel
1 ready to cross-examine this witness?
2 MR. PAVKOVIC: No, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Terrier?
5 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Alilovic. My name is
8 Franck Terrier. I'm one of the Prosecution attorneys.
9 I'm going to ask you a few questions following your
10 testimony. I would like to know whether at that time
11 in Ahmici somebody else had the same name -- that is,
12 the same first and last name -- as yourself.
13 A. No.
14 Q. I'm asking that question because at least two
15 witnesses who came to testify at this Tribunal stated
16 that Jozo Alilovic was seen keeping guard in 1993 on
17 the Radak Bridge, and in light of what you've said, I
18 was asking whether that was the same person or whether
19 there was another person who has the same name.
20 A. No. Nobody could have seen me anywhere on
21 that day other than in my yard and in my house because
22 I didn't move anywhere on that day. And not only on
23 that day, but maybe for several days.
24 Q. But you don't know anybody named Jozo
25 Alilovic, another person who has the name Jozo
2 A. I do, but in Vitez. He's a cousin of mine.
3 Jozo Alilovic, called Bego. That's my relative, but
4 he's in Vitez.
5 Q. How old is he? Can you tell us what year he
6 was born?
7 A. Maybe he is two or three years younger than I
9 Q. Does he have any children?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Boys, girls?
12 A. He has sons and daughters.
13 Q. Mr. Alilovic, let's speak for a few moments
14 about your experience as a hunter. You told us that
15 for a long time you had been a hunter, that you liked
16 hunting, that in 1991 and 1992 you were a gamekeeper.
17 What kind of game would you catch in the woods around
18 Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici? What kind of game did you
20 A. You could hunt only those animals that were
21 allowed, permitted, by the hunting society in the
22 season. When it was rabbit-hunting season, then
23 rabbit. Many animals you were not allowed to hunt.
24 Fawns, you couldn't hunt. Deer, maybe once or twice a
25 year there would be a period to hunt them. So the
1 whole society knew about that. That's why I was the
2 gamekeeper, in order to protect the animals and prevent
3 hunting out of season.
4 Q. In the woods that you would go to, in which
5 you were hunting, would you come up against any
6 dangerous animals?
7 A. Yes, wild boar. There were no other more
8 dangerous animals than that.
9 Q. What other animals were there?
10 A. There were no other dangerous animals except
11 for the wild boar.
12 Q. You spoke to us about the children to whom
13 weapons had been given and who began to shoot at
14 birds. I think that's what you said, isn't it? And we
15 put that episode in the summer of '92, unless I'm
16 wrong. Could you specify what kind of weapons the
17 children received?
18 A. When Muhamed Pezer brought the car with the
19 weapons from Slimena, he distributed to his neighbours
20 in Ahmici, to all of them, even children ten years old
21 and up. Those children would tend to sheep and cattle,
22 and they were carrying small automatic rifles. I saw
23 them, and they fired at anything. I already said that
24 they fired at everything that moved, even at birds, and
25 that's why I couldn't move around the terrain any more
1 that I was entrusted with guarding as a gamekeeper.
2 Q. Could you remind us what period that occurred
3 in? About what period was that?
4 A. What time of day, or the year? What do you
5 mean? I didn't understand you.
6 Q. No, I'm just speaking about the month, or
7 even the season, in any case, during a year.
8 A. Well, the question is still not clear to me.
9 What could you hunt at that time? Is that what you
11 Q. Let me repeat my question, Mr. Alilovic. In
12 respect of those children, some of whom were ten years
13 old, who had been given automatic weapons and who acted
14 somewhat dangerously, which upset you because they were
15 firing on the birds with those automatic weapons, what
16 period was that? Could you remind me of that?
17 A. Yes, I can. The arms were distributed to my
18 neighbours in Ahmici at the start of June and onwards,
19 and then in July in '92, I could see -- not only I
20 could see, but everybody else would see children going
21 to tend sheep, and that they would be shooting from
22 automatic rifles. This was in the month of June above
23 the village of Ahmici. I have a forest there. I found
24 three of them there, and all three of those children
25 were carrying weapons and tending sheep.
1 Q. In addition to yourself, who else saw that?
2 The reason I'm asking that is because you're the first
3 one who is telling us that, and I would like to know
4 who else besides yourself saw those ten-year-old
5 children using automatic rifles.
6 A. Nikola Alilovic, son of Ivo; Pero Alilovic,
7 also the son of Ivo; because they also have forest up
8 there, and they would go up there to cut wood. Then
9 Ivo Calic, Ilija Jukic; they're all from Nadioci.
10 They're all Croats.
11 Q. You told us that your brother Tomislav had
12 come back from Germany on the 15th of April, 1993, and
13 you told us that your brother Tomislav had been living
14 in Germany for a long time, is that correct?
15 A. 20 years.
16 Q. 20 years. Where in Germany did he live?
17 A. I can't say exactly. I don't know. We can
18 call him on the phone if need be, and he can tell us,
19 but I don't know.
20 Q. What region did he live in?
21 A. Towards the north, because he was all the way
22 up in Germany, in the north.
23 Q. What profession did he have in Germany at the
24 time? At that time, what was his profession in
1 A. My brother Tomislav is a railway man. He
2 works for the railways.
3 Q. Does he have family in Germany, or did he
4 have a family in 1993 in Germany?
5 A. My Tomislav has a family. He still has a
6 family today. He has a wife and a son and a daughter.
7 His son is married; he also works in Germany. His
8 daughter is married; she works in Germany. His wife
9 works in Germany, and my brother Tomislav works in
11 Q. Mr. Alilovic, why did Tomislav come back on
12 the 15th of April, 1993?
13 A. Why did he come back? Tomislav came -- he
14 wasn't expecting anything. He came, and within three
15 days he was looking for somebody to take him back to
16 Germany so that he wouldn't be there in such a
17 conflict. He didn't know that this would happen. If
18 he had known, he would not have come.
19 Q. I'm simply asking you to tell us why he came
20 back from Germany all the way to Ahmici on the 15th of
21 April, 1993.
22 A. Tomislav came to his house in order to see
23 what was happening at home. The house was empty, and
24 the house -- I look after it, I watch it. He comes on
25 several occasions. He's at home right now. He comes
1 to see what's going on with his house because
2 everything he has is in that house. He just works
3 there, but everything he has is there.
4 Q. Did he have any reason to be worried about
5 what would happen to his house?
6 A. Well, yes, he did have a reason, because in
7 that period, in the front and in the back, there was a
8 lot of theft. There were many break-ins into houses,
9 and things were taken from houses, and that's the main
10 reason why he came back, to see what was happening.
11 Q. When had he come back before that trip of
12 April 1993? Do you remember?
13 A. He comes every third month. My Tomislav has
14 been on sick leave for awhile. He doesn't have to work
15 there. He's there for a month or two, and then for 10
16 or 15 days, he comes home, and then he goes back. He
17 goes back and forth.
18 Q. Did he tell you that he was coming?
19 A. Yes. I knew he was coming. We talk on the
20 phone all the time.
21 Q. How did he come back from Germany?
22 A. He came by bus, the bus that goes from
23 Germany to Vitez.
24 Q. You mean he came in a bus from Germany all
25 the way to Vitez; is that what you're saying?
1 A. There is a bus from Vitez which goes to
2 Germany, and it returns from Germany to Vitez.
3 Q. I would like to go back to something that you
4 said about the young boy who had come to your house.
5 I'm not going to say his name; we know his name. I
6 would like to go back to what he said to you, according
7 to your testimony. If I understood what you said, this
8 young boy told you, "My father left the house taking
9 the key with him and so you couldn't open the entrance
10 door anymore, and that's why I had to go out of the
11 house through the balcony." Is that what you said?
12 A. Yes. I will repeat it. That boy told me
13 that they came out through the balcony, him, his
14 brother, his mother, and his sister because the father
15 had gone to the mosque for a meeting at midnight, and
16 he had locked them from the outside, put the key in his
17 pocket, and took it with them. So they didn't have a
18 spare key. That's what the boy told me.
19 Q. Did the boy explain to you how the soldier
20 had gone into the house?
21 A. No, he didn't. Because they didn't break the
22 door down, they had come through the balcony. If they
23 came out through the balcony, that must mean that they
24 didn't break down the door.
25 Q. Did the young boy explain to you why the
1 soldiers took him out of the house?
2 A. I have no idea. I don't know why. They told
3 him to come out, that if they couldn't come out through
4 the door, to come out through the balcony. Maybe the
5 balcony wasn't high.
6 Q. Did the young boy tell you under what
7 circumstances his brother had been killed?
8 A. I don't know. He didn't say under what
9 circumstances. Only when he had come out through the
10 balcony, they told him to move away 20 metres, and then
11 they shot him. I think that's what the boy told me.
12 Q. Is that what he said?
13 A. We talked a lot. He told me a lot about
14 other things too. But if I have a right to say it and
15 if anybody is interested in that, I can tell you.
16 Q. Mr. Alilovic, if these are facts which will
17 be of interest to the Trial Chamber and to the trial, I
18 would be very interested in hearing them.
19 A. It's not of interest to me, but if it's of
20 interest to you and if I have a right and if you permit
21 me, I will tell you. I could tell you a couple of --
22 talk to you for two hours, if you're interested.
23 Q. Mr. Alilovic, when the young boy told you
24 everything that had happened and everything that he
25 saw, did he name soldiers that he may have recognised?
1 Do you remember things like that?
2 A. He didn't name anyone nor did he recognise
3 anyone. If you permit me, he only told me, that boy,
4 that his father, in the second conflict, was not to
5 blame for anything, but in the first one, he was to
6 blame, so he got walloped.
7 Q. Could you make that a bit clearer, please?
8 Would you make that a bit clearer, please,
9 Mr. Alilovic?
10 A. This is what the boy told me: His father,
11 Babo, was not to blame for the conflict of this
12 morning. He was not to blame at all. But in the first
13 conflict, his Babo was to blame, but he got walloped on
14 his back, on his ass. That's what he said.
15 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I still have a
16 few questions. Perhaps we could ask them tomorrow.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: We will adjourn until
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
21 the 19th day of March, 1999, at
22 9.00 a.m.