1 Friday, 19th 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 Mr. Terrier?
11 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: JOZO ALILOVIC (Resumed)
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Alilovic. Mr. Alilovic, I
15 would like us to go back to what you said at the end of
16 your testimony yesterday. You said something that
17 seemed a little puzzling to me, a bit unusual. I asked
18 about what the boy you received in your house might
19 have said. I asked you whether he had told you about
20 everything that had happened. Do you remember what you
21 said about this yesterday?
22 A. I remember quite a lot because the young boy
23 spent almost 13 days, 12 days with me, and we talked
24 about quite a lot of things. I can say one thing: His
25 father was not to blame for the last conflict, as much
1 as he was to blame for the first one, but I said that
2 he got it on his back. He even brought explosives from
3 the Vitez company, the company in Vitez which was
4 called Princip. He told me quite a lot of things. I
5 have forgotten some of them after all these years, but
6 I remember quite a lot. I don't know what else I could
7 say about this young boy who stayed with me.
8 Q. This young man told you that his brother had
9 been killed?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. This young man also told you that they had
12 tried to kill him?
13 A. He told me this: That his brother had been
14 killed, that his brother had been killed some 20 metres
15 away from their house, and that the other soldier had
16 said, "The child is not to blame for anything. Let the
17 child go." Another soldier told the young boy to go in
18 the direction of the road, and that's what the boy did,
19 where he was found by other soldiers who brought him to
20 my house.
21 Q. Let us talk about those two soldiers,
22 Mr. Alilovic, who brought the child to your home; did
23 you know them?
24 A. No, I didn't. I don't know that I ever saw
25 them again after that, but let me add that what I find
1 interesting is that the soldier called me by my name,
2 and yet I didn't know who he was.
3 Q. Yes, I noticed that. Did you see a vehicle?
4 A. Yes. A vehicle was parked in my yard or,
5 rather, between the road and the yard.
6 Q. What type was the vehicle?
7 A. I didn't pay attention. I can't tell you.
8 Q. Let us talk now about the three soldiers who
9 arrived at your house after that. Two of them used the
10 telephone. Did you know them?
11 A. (No audible response)
12 Q. Did you know the soldiers or some of the
13 soldiers who were in the Bungalow?
14 A. I don't remember that I knew any of them.
15 There were a few soldiers in the Bungalow, but they had
16 all come from elsewhere, and I didn't know them.
17 Q. Did you go to the Bungalow before that?
18 A. Since I have a meadow across from the
19 Bungalow on the other side of the road, and I went to
20 work in my meadow occasionally, I would come up to the
21 Bungalow. There was no need to go into the Bungalow,
22 and maybe I was forbidden to enter, but I never even
23 tried to enter the Bungalow.
24 Q. But did you know any of the soldiers who were
1 A. (No audible response)
2 Q. When those three soldiers came to your home,
3 was Pezer's house already burning?
4 A. No. It was set on fire early in the
5 morning. The soldiers arrived at nine, and it was
6 already burning.
7 Q. You didn't see from which direction the
8 soldiers had come, from Ahmici or from the Bungalow?
9 A. No. I was just awakened by gunfire.
10 Q. Do you know in what direction they left? Did
11 they leave in the direction of the Bungalow or Ahmici?
12 A. The soldiers, who used the telephone at my
13 house, left in the direction of the Bungalow.
14 Q. Let us now talk about the fourth soldier. If
15 I understood you well, the fourth soldier arrived while
16 the first three were still at your house?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. These soldiers, if I understood you well, had
19 the same kind of uniform and the same insignia?
20 A. One was wearing a black uniform, two were
21 wearing camouflage uniforms, and the fourth soldier who
22 arrived after them was also wearing a camouflage
24 Q. Had you seen the fourth soldier before?
25 A. No. No.
1 Q. But it seems that there was some kind of
2 connection with your wife's family?
3 A. No connection with him and my wife because my
4 wife was from his village. She knew his mother and she
5 knew his father, but she didn't know him because he
6 belonged to the younger generation.
7 Q. To clarify this for the record, one of your
8 answers is not in the record. You didn't know either
9 the first three soldiers or the fourth soldier, and you
10 had never seen any of these soldiers before?
11 A. (No audible response)
12 Q. You said yesterday that the fourth soldier
13 was crying and that he mentioned the massacre of his
14 family which had taken place in Dusina; is that right?
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, for the record,
16 there was no response.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't
18 hear any response by the witness.
19 MR. TERRIER:
20 Q. To make everything quite clear for the
21 record, I said, you didn't know any of the soldiers who
22 came to your house in the morning, either the first
23 three soldiers or the fourth soldier, and you had never
24 seen them previously?
25 A. I had never seen them before, and I didn't
1 know them. I didn't know the younger soldier who came
2 fourth. I didn't know him either. I didn't even know
3 he was Jure Kegelj's son until he told us so himself.
4 Q. Do you know in what period the massacre of
5 this soldier's family had taken place?
6 A. Three weeks after the -- before the second
7 attack on Ahmici.
8 Q. I will repeat the question again because I'm
9 not sure you understood it properly. The young man was
10 weeping because his family had been massacred in
11 Dusina. You told us that yesterday. My question is
12 the following: Do you know or did he tell you when
13 this massacre had taken place?
14 A. As I said, three weeks before that, the
15 massacre had taken place, and the young soldier who
16 came fourth hadn't been at home that day. His brothers
17 and sister and mother and his brother's children were
18 at home, so he went and left my house crying because he
19 told me and my wife that they had killed his father,
20 his mother, and five brothers, and that they had taken
21 one of his brothers children, a four-year-old boy, and
22 that they had impaled him. That's what he told me.
23 There was nothing I could say to that. I just kept
24 silent. I had no words to say to him.
25 Q. So what this man told you happened, as far as
1 you know, three weeks before he told you about it?
2 A. Yes, three weeks before, he told me about it,
3 three weeks before.
4 Q. Do you know where this soldier had come from
5 when he arrived at your house?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Do you know in which direction he left?
8 A. He left in the direction of the Bungalow with
9 the other three soldiers.
10 Q. So they left together in the direction of the
11 Bungalow, the three soldiers --
12 A. Yes, the four of them left together.
13 Q. You said yesterday, Mr. Alilovic, that your
14 brother Tomislav was very frightened by the presence of
15 the soldiers. You also told us that he was afraid that
16 the soldiers would somehow take him to the war with
18 A. My brother was in the next room, in another
19 room, not the one where my wife and I were, when the
20 three soldiers came in. There's a sliding door, so my
21 brother kept the door slightly ajar. They saw him in
22 the room, and they became frightened and said to him,
23 "Why are you hiding?" But he wasn't hiding. That's
24 how it turned out. They thought he was hiding, so they
25 even pointed their weapons at him.
1 Q. But why was he hiding from these soldiers?
2 What was he afraid of; can you explain?
3 A. No, he wasn't hiding. He had just got out of
4 bed, and he wasn't dressed yet, so he kept the door
5 slightly ajar while he was getting dressed. It
6 appeared as if he was hiding. The soldiers suspected
7 that he was hiding because the door was not fully open
8 but only slightly ajar. Then I said to them or,
9 rather, they said to me, "Who is that there?" And I
10 said, "It's my brother."
11 Q. But let me remind you, Mr. Alilovic, that
12 yesterday you told us that your brother was very afraid
13 of being mobilised.
14 A. Yes, he was. Yes, my brother was quite
15 afraid of being mobilised. That's why, within seven to
16 ten days, he left again to Germany.
17 Q. But how did he know that he was in danger of
18 being mobilised?
19 A. Well, the war broke out, and he is an
20 able-bodied man, fit for military service, and whoever
21 was fit for military service was called up. They had
22 everyone come and fight with them.
23 Q. Did you tell him that he was in danger?
24 A. No. He could see for himself.
25 Q. Is Tomislav older than you or younger?
1 A. He is --
2 THE INTERPRETER: I didn't hear how many
4 A. -- younger than me.
5 MR. TERRIER:
6 Q. You said yesterday, Mr. Alilovic, that you
7 were in excellent relations with Zoran and Mirjan
8 Kupreskic who were your neighbours.
9 A. Yes. I was on very good terms with all my
10 neighbours, always. I never hated either the Muslims
11 or the Croats or the Serbs, and I still don't hate any
12 of them.
13 Q. You considered them your neighbours. Did
14 they ever come to your home? Did you ever receive
15 their visits?
16 A. Yes. They would come for coffee at my house,
17 and they would work on my meadows sometimes. We would
18 go to help each other. We helped one another without
19 drawing any distinctions. It didn't matter whether
20 they were Muslims or Croats because that was the custom
21 with everybody.
22 Q. Do you remember at that time that you would
23 go to help others? I'm talking about April '93. Do
24 you remember going to their house, either to Zoran
25 Kupreskic's or Mirjan Kupreskic's house?
1 A. No, I don't remember. I didn't go there.
2 Q. But you just said that you went there often.
3 A. Well, two or three years before that, but in
4 1993, I never went to see their parents at their house.
5 Q. In 1993 or 1992, did Zoran and Mirjan
6 Kupreskic come to your house?
7 A. No, they didn't. I don't remember that they
8 did, and my wife didn't tell me that they had come.
9 Q. But when you said before that Zoran and
10 Mirjan Kupreskic and yourself, that you met each other
11 often, what time were you thinking of?
12 A. Well, I was thinking about Sundays, at some
13 festivities, some meetings, assemblies, or some
15 Q. When you said a while ago that Zoran and
16 Mirjan Kupreskic could have worked in your fields, I
17 think you said that, what time were you thinking then?
18 A. Well, I said that Muslims could work in my
19 fields, as they did, just like Kasim Pezer for years
20 and years worked with my horses in the fields, and
21 neither of the Kupreskics worked in my meadows. I
22 don't remember that happening any year.
23 Q. In order for everything to be quite clear,
24 Mr. Alilovic, with the permission of the Court, I will
25 ask one question: You said that at no time in that
1 time -- and I'm talking about 1992 and 1993, so in that
2 period, in no time did Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic come
3 to your house nor to your property?
4 A. No. No, I said that they did not. There was
5 no need for them to come, and they didn't come, and I
6 didn't go to their house either. I don't remember
7 going there, to either one of their houses.
8 Q. At that time, were you already in good
9 relations, in excellent relations, like you said?
10 A. Yes, yes. I was in good relations with them
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Alilovic.
13 MR. TERRIER: I have no further questions,
14 Mr. President. Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
16 MR. RADOVIC: I will be brief.
17 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
18 Q. The Prosecutor yesterday tried to make you
19 out to be an unreliable witness by asking if there was
20 any other Jozo Alilovic besides yourself, and that
21 there had been some witnesses who had claimed that this
22 Jozo Alilovic was at Radak's Bridge. Well, now I would
23 like to know if there is another Jozo Alilovic or not.
24 You said later that there is one such person in Vitez;
25 is that true?
1 A. Yes. There is a Jozo Alilovic in Vitez.
2 Q. Does he have a nickname?
3 A. Yes, his nickname is Bego.
4 Q. So he is different from you; he has this
5 other nickname. Do you know any people from Donja
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Does the nickname "Josko" mean anything to
10 A. Yes, this is what I wanted to tell you. This
11 is not the municipality of Vitez. He is in the
12 municipality of Busovaca.
13 Q. Well, I was asking, what was Josko's name?
14 A. His name is Josko Alilovic. Maybe they write
15 it as "Jozo," but we all call him "Josko."
16 Q. Why didn't you mention him yesterday?
17 A. Well, I didn't mention him because he is not
18 in the municipality of Vitez. He is in the
19 municipality of Busovaca, so I didn't concentrate on
21 Q. This boy who was brought to you with the car
22 and two soldiers, who was brought to your house, and we
23 talked about him, but we will not mention his name:
24 Did he know what your name was?
25 A. Yes, yes, of course. Yes, he did know.
1 Q. So is it strange then, for these soldiers who
2 were there to have known your name?
3 A. Well, I said yesterday that it was strange.
4 Q. How?
5 A. That I didn't know any of those soldiers, but
6 they knew me. He called me by my name, Jozo.
7 Q. So didn't that boy, when he stopped the car,
8 perhaps, could have told them whose house that was?
9 A. Well, he probably was the one who told them
10 what my name was.
11 Q. Could you please tell us, in what period were
12 you a gamekeeper, from what year to what year? Well,
13 you said when you stopped going, but when did you
15 A. I've been a gamekeeper for almost 20 years.
16 I still am.
17 Q. Where was the area where you were a
19 A. Well, I was a hunter from the road which
20 leads to Zenica, Poculica, Vjetrenica, up to Busovaca,
21 Kaonik, and Kuber, all the way up there. That was my
23 Q. You said that your brother, when the soldiers
24 came, that he was in the next room, and that the door
25 was ajar.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That room next door, was that in your old
3 house or in the new house?
4 A. In the old house.
5 Q. So at that moment, this boy that we are
6 talking about when the soldiers came to your house and
7 when your brother was in the next room, where was the
9 A. He was in the kitchen, together with me.
10 Q. In which room did you talk to those soldiers?
11 A. In the kitchen. We were all together.
12 MR. RADOVIC: I have no further questions,
13 Mr. President. Thank you.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
16 Mr. Alilovic, the Court is most grateful to
17 you for coming to The Hague to testify. You may now be
18 released. Thank you so much.
19 A. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.
20 (The witness withdrew)
21 (The witness entered court)
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
23 Would you please make the solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
25 I solemnly declare that I will speak the
1 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
3 seated. Thank you.
4 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
6 Mr. President.
7 WITNESS: DRAGAN VIDOVIC
8 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic. Would you please
10 introduce yourself?
11 A. My name is Dragan Vidovic. I was born on the
12 10th of January, 1960, in the village of Pirici,
13 municipality of Vitez.
14 Q. Could you please tell us, Mr. Vidovic, point
15 out on the aerial photograph next to you, indicate to
16 us where your house is, where you lived at that time,
17 and where you live today.
18 A. May I stand up?
19 Q. Yes, please stand up.
20 A. Could you please repeat the question?
21 Q. Where is your house? Which part of the
22 village is it in, and would you please indicate it to
24 A. It's 250 to 300 metres away from the main
25 road, so that's somewhere in this area here
1 (indicating). Right here.
2 Q. Can you find it on the aerial photograph?
3 A. My house? Yes. It's here (indicating).
4 It's right here.
5 Q. Could you please tell us who your closest
6 neighbours were, Croats, in that area?
7 A. My closest neighbours were the Kupreskics in
8 the upper part, Mirko Vidovic, Gordana Vidovic.
9 Q. Could you please point those houses out on
10 the aerial photograph in relation to your house.
11 A. The Kupreskic homes are right here. The
12 house of Gordana Vidovic is here.
13 Q. What about Mirko Vidovic?
14 A. Mirko Vidovic is here as well.
15 Q. Who were your closest Muslim neighbours in
16 that part?
17 A. The closest Muslim neighbours were Suljo
18 Pezer; his brother, Smajl Pezer --
19 Q. On what side of the road were they?
20 A. They were on the right side of the road.
21 Hazim Ahmic, Abdulah Ahmic, Sakib Pezer, and his son,
22 Zakir Pezer. They're on the left side. So Sakib and
23 Zakir Pezer were on the right side.
24 Q. The road that comes into Ahmici that branches
25 off from the main road, could you show us in relation
1 to that road how the houses were located, on what side
2 were the Muslim houses, and where were the Croats in
3 that area?
4 A. Most of the Croats -- the Croats were on the
5 left side, and the Muslims were on the right side.
6 Three Croat houses were, however, on the right side.
7 That was the house of Vlatko Kupreskic, Zoran
8 Kupreskic, and Anto Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic's
10 Q. Was there any Croat house on the right side
11 of the road? If we look at this road, this main road
12 that goes to Ahmici and then the road that goes to
13 Upper Ahmici, on that side of the road, were there any
14 Croat houses on that side of the road, when you look at
15 this road towards Upper Ahmici, Gornji Ahmici?
16 A. No, there are no Croat houses there. They
17 are all Muslim houses.
18 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Vidovic. You may
19 sit down.
20 On this aerial photograph, you will indicate
21 your house, and then you will keep this photograph
22 because we will make some other markings on it too.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: So would the usher
24 please give the aerial photograph to the witness.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D105/2.
1 A. My house?
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
3 Q. Yes, mark your house.
4 A. (Marks)
5 Q. So that's this house on this side. What is
6 this? Is that a kind of a wood next to your house?
7 A. No, no, it's a pine tree. It's a tree.
8 Q. Could you also indicate on the aerial
9 photograph where the house of Mirko Vidovic is in
10 relation to your house? You don't need to mark it.
11 You can just point it out. Just tell us which house it
13 A. It's right here (indicating).
14 Q. What about the house of Gordana Vidovic?
15 A. That's right here (indicating).
16 Q. So in this part, these were those three Croat
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Could you please tell us when the guards
20 started in Ahmici? Who started the watches? Were they
21 joint watches? How was that?
22 A. In the beginning the Muslims started the
23 night watch first. This was perhaps in January or
24 February of '92. Then in April or May, we Croats who
25 were bordering the road also started.
1 Q. You're talking about the guards only in this
2 part of the village, where you lived, or are you
3 talking about guards in that entire region of Ahmici,
4 Pirici, and Santici?
5 A. Yes. I don't know what happened there.
6 Q. So what are you talking about?
7 A. I am saying -- I'm only talking about the
8 watches in that part of the village.
9 Q. So you started the night watches in April or
10 May of '92. Do you have any other connections with the
11 Muslim guards?
12 A. Well, in the evening we would usually be
13 together with them. We would go together along the
14 road. Sometimes we would go this way, they would go up
15 to their village, and then sometimes we would meet. We
16 were together mostly.
17 Q. Did you have a kind of organised command --
18 A. No.
19 Q. -- within the guard duty?
20 A. No, we didn't.
21 Q. At that time, did you have a weapon?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did the Muslims have weapons at that time?
24 A. Well, as far as I could see when we would
25 meet on that night watch, I only saw one rifle, which
1 was carried by Omer Ahmic, and I think it was a
2 handmade weapon.
3 Q. When did the Muslims arm themselves? Do you
4 know when they received weapons?
5 A. At the beginning of May, I was at home, and
6 then from the direction of Vitez, so from the main road
7 going into Gornji Ahmici, a truck passed by my house,
8 which was driven by Muhamed Pezer. That truck, I
9 remember well, was green, and I saw in the truck a lot
10 of weaponry, a lot of ammunition cases.
11 Q. Did you see what kind of weapons they brought
12 to the village?
13 A. On the truck, I could see three Muslims who
14 were standing there. One of them was standing there,
15 and he was holding an M-53 machine gun.
16 Q. Did you see what kind of weapons were there
17 in the truck?
18 A. Well, I could see mostly that it was
19 automatic -- that there were automatic weapons.
20 Q. So you say this was the beginning of May
21 in '92?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you hear or did you find out whether the
24 Croats got weapons from Slimena?
25 A. No, I didn't hear that from anywhere, but I
1 know that we Croats who were in that region did not
2 receive anything. We didn't get anything from anybody,
3 nor did we know.
4 Q. How long did these -- what you described as
5 kind of joint guards, how long did they last?
6 A. Yes, up until the summer, and then in the
7 evening, on night watch, Mirko Vidovic and Mirjan
8 Kupreskic were there, and they went inside the
9 elementary school in Ahmici, but they were thrown out
10 and they did not allow us Croats to enter that school
11 any more. So from that time we didn't go on guard duty
13 Q. What did they have in the school?
14 A. Well, they had a radio transmitter, and they
15 were on duty there all the time.
16 Q. What radio transmitter was it?
17 A. It was a RUP 12.
18 Q. How do you know that they kept the guard by
19 the radio transmitter day and night?
20 A. Well, since I live nearby, only about 70
21 metres, approximately, away from the school, at night I
22 would see a light on in that classroom, and I would see
23 them pass by during the daytime, going to the school.
24 Q. Very well. So after that you didn't have any
25 more joint patrols?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Can you say after all this whether it was an
3 organised joint patrol, so that, for example, you would
4 say, "Well, two Croats and two Muslims will go out
5 every evening," or was it more like a walk taken
6 together? Did you have some kind of schedule?
7 A. No, there was no schedule. We would happen
8 to meet, and ...
9 Q. Can you tell us, in your part of the
10 village -- and that is Pirici, where you said there
11 were Croatian houses -- who kept watch? Who went on
12 patrol? Which people from that part of the village?
13 A. You mean the Croats?
14 Q. Yes, I mean the Croats.
15 A. Well, I will start with myself. Then there
16 was Mirko Vidovic, Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
17 Ivica Kupreskic. Then Mirko Sakic, Drago Grgic, Miro
18 Samija, Nikola Samija. I don't know if I've enumerated
19 them all. I can't remember any more, but there were
20 about 14 of us.
21 Q. That's how many you counted?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You mentioned, for example, Mirko Sakic. Did
24 he go regularly?
25 A. No. Sometimes we would quarrel about this,
1 but he only went to patrol the village about two or
2 three times, as far as I know.
3 Q. Did you consider that it was his duty to
4 patrol the village?
5 A. Yes, he was a villager, so I thought -- well,
6 if it's my duty, it's his duty too.
7 Q. You were a member of the reserve police force
8 for a time?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who was the commander of the reserve police
11 force in the village?
12 A. The commander of the reserve police was Zahid
14 Q. Was Zahid Ahmic a Croat or a Muslim?
15 A. He was a Muslim.
16 Q. Do you remember when weapons were handed out
17 to the reserve police?
18 A. Yes, I remember. It was sometime in 1991
19 when the reserve police was supplied with weapons.
20 Q. Did you get a weapon then?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you have this weapon at your home? Did
23 you keep it?
24 A. Well, two or three months later, I received a
25 notice from my company that I should report for work.
1 So I went to work, and then I gave back my gun and my
2 uniform from the reserve police force.
3 Q. To whom did you return the weapon and the
5 A. Well, since Zahid Ahmic was the commander, I
6 gave it back to him. I gave the things back to him.
7 Q. How many reserve policemen were there in the
8 village? Do you know who stayed on after you?
9 A. As far as I can remember, it was Zahid Ahmic
10 and I think Kemo. I can't remember, but I think he
11 stayed as well.
12 Q. You only remember those two?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Can you say where you continued
16 A. In Vjetrenica, the trading company where I
17 had worked before, so I returned to the same job.
18 Q. You had been sent home because there was not
19 enough work?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. From March 1992 until when were you employed
22 in Vjetrenica?
23 A. Well, I worked there until the start of the
24 second conflict.
25 Q. Very well. Were you in an active HVO unit at
1 any time before the 16th of April, 1993?
2 A. No, I wasn't. No.
3 Q. Did you ever go to a front line toward the
5 A. No, because I was employed, so I didn't go.
6 Q. Let us now talk about the first conflict that
7 was in October 1992. What do you remember just before
8 the outbreak of the conflict? What do you remember
9 happened on the day before the 19th of October? Did
10 you have any information that something was about to
12 A. No, I didn't have any information.
13 Everything appeared to be normal. I went to work as
14 usual, came back from work as usual.
15 Q. Do you know that a roadblock was set up near
16 the cemetery?
17 A. No, I didn't know about the roadblock.
18 Q. Did you know that there was another
19 checkpoint somewhere?
20 A. Yes. I knew about the checkpoint on the road
21 leading to Ahmici, at the entrance to Ahmici, because
22 this checkpoint was there for a few days, and I would
23 pass by when going to work in Vitez and coming back.
24 Q. So on what road was this roadblock?
25 A. At the very entrance into the village of
1 Ahmici, some 15 or 20 metres away from the main road.
2 Q. What did this roadblock look like?
3 A. Well, there were two trestles, wooden
4 trestles, and there was a beam across them. Down on
5 the road, there were two anti-tank mines, one on each
6 side of the road.
7 Q. Was there anything beside the road?
8 A. There was something. Something had been
9 built out of blocks, so it was on the right-hand side
10 when entering Ahmici, and they used this to sit down
11 behind that wall. That's where they would sit when
12 they were guarding the roadblock.
13 Q. When you say "they," who are you referring
15 A. The Muslims.
16 Q. You said that this roadblock was there for a
17 few days?
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. What were the Muslims doing at this
20 roadblock? What was their role?
21 A. They checked anyone entering the village.
22 They would stop them and they would search them. In
23 the evening, they would even stop me when I was coming
24 back from Vitez, and when they saw it was me, they
25 would let me pass.
1 Q. Did they set up this roadblock on their own
2 initiative or in agreement with the Croats?
3 A. No, there was no agreement with the Croats.
4 They set it up at their own initiative.
5 Q. Very well. Did you ask them what they were
6 doing there? Did you tell them that your house was
7 there? Did you complain when you were stopped?
8 A. No, I didn't talk to them, but, of course, it
9 wasn't that I didn't care about it because my home was
11 Q. The people at the roadblock, did they have
12 uniforms or were they in civilian clothes?
13 A. Well, some of them had uniforms and some of
14 them were in civilian clothes.
15 Q. What about weapons?
16 A. They were armed. They had automatic
17 weapons. Everyone who was at the checkpoint had an
18 automatic weapon.
19 Q. Do you remember, on the 19th of October, what
20 time did you usually come home from work?
21 A. Well, usually I would come back from work at
22 about half past three, 15.30, and it was the same that
24 Q. Do you remember how many people were at the
25 roadblock then, and did you know them?
1 A. I don't know exactly how many there were, but
2 I think three, four, maybe five.
3 Q. Were they people you knew from the village?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember who?
6 A. There was Suljo Ahmic; I remember him. Mines
7 Ahmic and Suad Ahmic were there. I don't know who
8 else. I can't remember any others.
9 Q. What did you do that day, that evening?
10 A. Well, since I had come home from work, I did
11 my daily chores. That evening, it was my turn to keep
12 watch from 11.00 until 1.00 a.m., and I patrolled with
13 Mirko Vidovic.
14 Q. How were these shifts organised? When did
15 the patrols begin; when did they end? How long were
16 the shifts?
17 A. Well, they started at 7.00 p.m. and ended at
18 7.00 a.m.
19 Q. Very well. Your shift, you said it began at
21 A. Yes, at 11.00 p.m. until 1.00 a.m.
22 Q. Did anything unusual happen that night?
23 A. How can I say it? We were handing over our
24 shift to the next two, and then we went to Niko Sakic's
1 Q. Very well. Go on.
2 A. Then we were replaced by Miro Samija and
3 Drago Grgic. Then Mirko Vidovic, who was keeping watch
4 with me, went to his home, and I, of course, went to my
5 home. As I was passing by Gordana Vidovic's cowshed, I
6 saw, from the direction of Gornji or Upper Ahmici, a
7 large group of armed soldiers coming.
8 Q. How did you see that?
9 A. Well, since there is a good view from that
10 cowshed in the direction of Vlatko Kupreskic's
11 warehouse where there was a light on, I could see very
12 well. I could even have counted them, had I wanted to.
13 Q. How many soldiers were there approximately,
14 in your estimate?
15 A. Well, approximately between 30 and 40
17 Q. How were they dressed? Did you see whether
18 they were in uniform?
19 A. Well, yes, I concealed myself beside the
20 cowshed and waited for them to pass by. They were
21 about five metres away, and I saw that some of them
22 were wearing uniforms and others were in civilian
24 Q. Did you see where they went?
25 A. Of course, because I was interested, so I
1 observed them, and this group entered the school, the
2 primary school in Ahmici.
3 Q. Did you inform anyone of this?
4 A. Well, I found this suspicious, such a big
5 group coming at that time, but since they had had
6 exercises before, I thought, "Well, maybe this is just
7 something like that." So I didn't feel the need to
8 inform anyone. I didn't think it was anything really
10 Q. Was it usual at that time to see groups of
11 armed men, 30 to 40 men, without reacting?
12 A. Well, no, it wasn't usual. We'd never seen
13 such a group before. But there had been no problems
14 before, so I concluded that nothing would happen now.
15 Q. There had not been any conflicts before
16 between the Croats and the Muslims; is that what you
18 A. Yes, that's what I mean.
19 Q. Very well. What did you do then after that?
20 You saw these men; you saw them entering the school.
21 What did you do?
22 A. Well, I went into my house and I went to bed.
23 Q. When did you wake up? What woke you up?
24 A. Well, at about 5.00 a.m., I was awakened by a
25 powerful detonation. I got up. In fact, everyone who
1 was in the house got up, my parents, my wife, my
2 children. We were afraid. We got ready, and then we
3 sat there, not knowing what was going on.
4 After an hour and a half, at about half past
5 six, we could hear intense gunfire coming from the
6 direction of the mosque, the main road, and the
7 cemetery, from that direction, because that was as far
8 as I could tell from my house.
9 Q. Did you leave your house then?
10 A. No, we didn't leave the house. We couldn't
11 get out because there were bullets flying around
12 everywhere and even falling onto the roof of my house,
13 so that we were afraid.
14 Q. You could hear the bullets falling?
15 A. Yes, so we didn't dare leave the house. At
16 around half past seven, approximately, there was a lull
17 in the gunfire, and we fled to Niko Sakic's shelter,
18 the shelter in the house of Niko Sakic.
19 Q. Why? Why did you go there? Why didn't you
20 stay at home? Did your house have a basement?
21 A. My house -- well, we were afraid of the
22 gunfire. This was the first time we had experienced
23 something like that. That was why we fled.
24 Q. So you settled your family in Niko Sakic's
25 basement, and where did you go?
1 A. I didn't enter the shelter. I passed by the
2 upper side of Niko's house.
3 Q. Who did you meet there?
4 A. Well, I saw my neighbours there, Slavko and
5 Mirko Sakic, Zoran Kupreskic and Mirjan, his brother.
6 There was Milutin Vidovic, Zdravko Vrebac, Miro
7 Vidovic. There was Miroslav Pudza and some others. I
8 may not remember all of them.
9 Q. What time was it approximately? Can you tell
10 us whether it was in the morning?
11 A. Well, it was about a quarter to eight.
12 Q. How long did you stay there in front of that
13 house? Did you move away from there? Did you go
15 A. Well, we didn't stay there long because
16 bullets started flying up to that house too. We could
17 hear twigs breaking in the trees, so we moved 20 or 30
18 metres away and went into a depression, which was a
19 good natural shelter because the bullets couldn't hit
20 us there.
21 Q. So this is the depression near Niko Sakic's
23 A. Yes, that's right. It's Ivo Kupreskic's
25 Q. Could you please indicate on the aerial map
1 what depression that is, whose area that is, whose
2 forest? What is that forest called next to the
4 A. That's here (indicating) in this depression.
5 The depression belongs to Ivo Kupreskic, and this
6 forest here (indicating), it belongs to my father,
7 Stipan Vidovic.
8 Q. What is that forest called?
9 A. Stipan's Forest.
10 Q. So you were there in that depression?
11 A. Yes, we were there, right here at the
12 beginning of the depression (indicating).
13 Q. Thank you. You may sit down. On that day,
14 did you, in any way, participate in the events?
15 A. No. No, we stayed there the whole day.
16 Q. Where did you sleep that night? Where did
17 your family sleep?
18 A. That night I slept in the barn that belonged
19 to Ivo Kupreskic, and my family was in the shelter in
20 Niko Sakic's house. That's where they spent that one
22 Q. What about the barn of Ivo Kupreskic? Is
23 that the house right next to the depression, in the
24 section where the Kupreskic houses are?
25 A. Yes. On the left side immediately when you
1 leave the depression, it belongs to that family.
2 Q. When did the combat activities stop in the
3 village? When did the gunfire stop? When did the
4 situation calm down?
5 A. Sometime in the afternoon, the gunfire
6 stopped. It couldn't be heard anymore.
7 Q. Did you notice that Muslims were leaving the
9 A. Yes. Sometime at around 11.00, from the
10 depression, I went to my house to see what was going on
11 there, to see if there was any damage. Then when I was
12 coming back again towards the house of Niko Sakic,
13 going towards the depression, I saw Muslims from Zume
14 who were going in the direction of Gornji Ahmici.
15 Q. Do you know whether your neighbours, your
16 Muslim neighbours left the village?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. They did?
19 A. Yes, they did. They left the village.
20 Q. When did they come back?
21 A. Maybe three or four days afterwards, they
22 came back to their homes. You could see smoke from
23 their chimneys which indicated that they were already
25 Q. Do you know who agreed on the terms of the
1 return for the Muslims, and was this the way that the
2 return was discussed, with some kind of conditions,
3 preconditions, terms? Were there any kinds of talks
4 with the Muslims like that?
5 A. No, I don't remember anything like that
7 Q. Did they return by themselves?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did anybody guarantee their safety? Did they
10 ask them to return their weapons? Do you remember?
11 A. Yes, I remember that some were asking for the
12 return of some four automatic rifles which were taken
13 away at the roadblock by the Topole cemetery. I
14 remember that that was one request, but I don't know
15 about any other terms.
16 Q. Was it agreed, in that time after the
17 conflict, to try to set up a joint roadblock in Ahmici
18 which would include Muslims and Croats?
19 A. Yes. I remember that there was a meeting,
20 and then at that meeting, there was a conclusion, an
21 agreement, that was adopted to set up a checkpoint at
22 the entrance to Ahmici and to have two Croats and two
23 Muslims at that checkpoint, for them to control it
25 Q. So was this carried out?
1 A. In the beginning, yes. I remember well that
2 I was also on duty once there. I was there with Zoran
3 Kupreskic. So from us Croats, there was Zoran and
4 myself, and then from the Muslims, there was Mines
5 Ahmic and Suljo Ahmic.
6 Q. How long did that checkpoint last in that
8 A. Well, that didn't really last that long. I
9 didn't serve more than one shift.
10 Q. Do you know if the Croats took care to
11 protect the Muslim homes during the time that the
12 Muslims were away? Did they organise watches around
13 those houses?
14 A. The Croats who were close to those Muslim
15 houses naturally took care so that there would be no
16 break-ins or no thefts because things like that did
18 Q. Would you please tell us about the 19th?
19 This is the day before the conflict. Do you remember,
20 did you see Zoran Kupreskic on that day?
21 A. Yes. When I came back from work, so at about
22 3.30 in the afternoon, I had a call from Zoran
23 Kupreskic, and he asked me, could I go with him to
24 bring back some boards. I helped him to do that. I
25 had a truck, so we unloaded these boards.
1 Q. Where did you bring those boards from?
2 A. We got them from Rovna, and I helped him
3 unload that.
4 Q. After the first conflict, after the 20th of
5 October, 1992, did you see armed Muslims in the
6 village, in your part of the village?
7 A. Yes. Yes, I saw them passing, and they had
8 weapons. I saw them during the day.
9 Q. Did they carry on with their guards, and did
10 they carry out that guard duty with guns?
11 A. Yes. Yes, they carried on, and they
12 performed that duty while armed. They carried weapons.
13 Q. Did you see them going to the front, the
14 Muslims? Did they go to the front?
15 A. Yes. They had a front close to Visoko at
16 that time, at Cekrcici, to be precise, so I know that
17 they went there.
18 Q. Did you see how they went to the front? Did
19 they have equipment or not?
20 A. Yes, of course, they went to the front with
21 weapons. Some had uniforms; some didn't. They would
22 gather. Their collection point was in front of the
23 Ahmici school.
24 Q. Your house was close to that school?
25 A. Yes, it's less than 50 metres away.
1 Q. You would see them in front of the school;
2 that was their collection point, departure point?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. How big were those groups? How large were
5 those shifts of people?
6 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but I think
7 perhaps there would be groups of 20 people
9 Q. Did you notice them when they would come back
10 to the village from the front?
11 A. Yes. Yes, that's why I remembered it so
12 well. When they came back from the front, they would
13 line up there again. Then for the first time, it was
14 the first time that I had heard some of those orders
15 and commands, "Tegbir," "Allah-u-ekber," and after
16 that, they would fire rounds of gunfire. It wasn't
17 something that was pleasant to hear so close.
18 Q. You said in the beginning that people,
19 Croats, didn't have weapons when you started the
20 guards. I'm not talking about all Croats now from the
21 village, but I'm just talking about you and the members
22 of your guard, the people who participated in the guard
23 duty with you. When did they obtain weapons; can you
24 say that?
25 A. Well, I can say for certain when I obtained
1 weapons, so that was with the fall of Jajce. There
2 were a lot of refugees from Jajce, so you could buy
3 them from them. I bought a semi-automatic rifle for
4 myself, a PAP.
5 Q. The other people that you mentioned who were
6 around the house of Niko Sakic on the 20th, were they
7 all your neighbours?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So some of them you saw in the guards?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did those people have weapons during the
12 first conflict?
13 A. Only one. I remember Mirko Sakic only had a
14 hunting rifle. The rest of us didn't have weapons. I
15 don't remember seeing any with anybody else, and I
16 state that I didn't have a weapon.
17 Q. After that, were rifles obtained? Well, you
18 said that you got one at the end of October.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What about those other people? Did they also
21 get weapons? Did they start to come to guard duty with
23 A. Yes. I know that Zoran had a hunting
24 carbine. Ivica Kupreskic gave it to him. I also know
25 that Mirko Sakic bought a Kalashnikov, also from those
1 people who were coming from Jajce. Anybody could
2 obtain weapons at that time.
3 Q. What happened with your guards after the
4 conflict in November?
5 A. Well, there were only a few of us there. In
6 the beginning, we performed our guard duty regularly,
7 you could say, but then as time went on, some of them
8 wouldn't turn up for duty. So sometimes for two or
9 three days, nobody went on watch.
10 Q. You said that there were 14 of you; is that
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. But at night there were six two-hour shifts?
14 A. Yes, from 7.00 to 7.00.
15 Q. So how many people were there in a shift?
16 A. Two people.
17 Q. What does that mean?
18 A. So that means that every night practically we
19 had guard duty, so it was normal that people had their
20 own things to do, they were tired, they would come
21 straight for work.
22 Q. So how did you try to resolve those problems
23 with the guard?
24 A. Well, we agreed such problems, because in
25 that part of our village, Zoran was -- how shall I put
1 it -- an exemplary young man, and we all trusted him.
2 We agreed for him to try to resolve why people were not
3 turning up for duty, was this justified or not, could
4 this be made up in some way. Because I can also say
5 that when somebody was missing for two or three days --
6 for example, Mirjan Kupreskic goes to play somewhere,
7 and of course he is not back for three days, so some
8 people complained. Ivica Kupreskic too, went out on
9 the road a lot. So because of situations like that
10 there are problems: "He's not going to do it so I'm
11 not going to do it," and so on.
12 Q. Did he also make a schedule for the guard?
13 A. Well, that wasn't a schedule. We agreed,
14 whenever anybody had time, if somebody had something to
15 do until midnight, then we would tell him to be from
16 5.00 to 7.00 on duty. There was no schedule.
17 Q. So you actually took part every day in the
19 A. Yes, every day.
20 Q. Very well. So you said that this was the way
21 in which you tried to deal with those watches after the
22 conflict. How long did this function, and how long did
23 Zoran Kupreskic perform this job?
24 A. Well, very briefly, because there were a lot
25 of problems there. Nobody could really resolve them.
1 So at the end of January, let's say, we agreed for me
2 to carry on doing this work because Zoran had more
3 obligations at Vitezit, where he was employed. So I
4 tried to do something, but it wasn't going very well.
5 Even later, we gave up. If something happened, if
6 there was a Serb attack in Bugojno, in Vlasic, then we
7 would get back to work again. But this didn't last
9 Q. So if problems occurred in the surrounding
10 area, then would you meet up again and --
11 A. Yes, that's how it worked.
12 Q. But formally, at the time of the second
13 conflict, on the 16th of April, you were in a certain
14 way responsible?
15 A. Yes, yes, things remained like that.
16 Q. Very well. You are still working in
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you please tell the Court who Mesud
20 Sivro is?
21 A. Sivro Mesud was a good friend of mine. He
22 still is a good friend of mine.
23 Q. Where is he from?
24 A. He is from Sivrino Selo.
25 Q. Is he a Muslim or a Croat?
1 A. He's a Muslim. We worked together in the
2 Vjetrenice commercial company.
3 Q. So what are your contacts with him?
4 A. Well, because we worked in the same company,
5 he was a driver of a small truck, a small TAM truck,
6 and very often he would drive me home from work. It
7 was easier for me, of course. I didn't have to pay for
8 a bus ticket.
9 Q. Did he also bring some things for you?
10 A. Well, whatever I needed from Vitez. Whatever
11 I needed to transport home, he would do that for me,
12 and if I needed to transport something from my house
13 somewhere, he also would help me with that.
14 Q. What colour was that truck?
15 A. It was green with a blue tarpaulin.
16 Q. Was that his truck, or did it belong to the
18 A. The truck belonged to the company, to the
19 Vjetrenice company. He was only the driver of that
21 Q. How often did he come to visit you before the
23 A. Often. Very often. Well, I can tell you the
24 days that he didn't come, but he would usually drive
1 Q. Very well. Could you tell us, if you
2 remember, before the start of the war, in February or
3 March, whether there were any problems with Muslims in
4 the village, that the Croat side perhaps banned the
5 Muslims from joining the guard duty?
6 A. No. They were never banned from taking part
7 in the guard duty. We couldn't do that. There were a
8 few of us only, and I know that for a while we had
9 agreed for their guards and our guards, when they were
10 being carried out, not to go on that road.
11 Q. Which road?
12 A. Not to go from the main road towards Gornji
13 Ahmici because allegedly of the civilians who were
14 passing. We didn't want them to be afraid. It wasn't
15 nice to see or to meet an armed person.
16 Q. So this was an agreement which both applied
17 to Muslims and Croats?
18 A. Yes, yes. We agreed for us not to patrol
19 along that road and for them not to patrol that road.
20 There was no ban. It was an agreement.
21 Q. Why did you say that you could not prevent
22 them from performing their guard duties?
23 A. Well, there were only a few of us. We really
24 couldn't do much. There were many more of them. We
25 wouldn't dare prevent them from anything.
1 Q. Did you notice how many people would come out
2 on watch duty on the Muslim side? Did they perform the
3 guard duty in shifts of two or were there more of them?
4 A. Well, there were always more of them. There
5 were always at least four of them because there were a
6 lot of people who were fit for military duty, who could
7 perform such a duty, so, of course, there were more of
8 them. Sometimes there would be five or six of them in
9 a group.
10 Q. Can you estimate how many men fit for
11 military service there were in Ahmici?
12 A. As regards the villagers who lived in Ahmici,
13 well, I can't be precise, but about 140 to 150,
14 approximately. Of course, I never counted.
15 Q. Were there any other people in the village
16 besides the villagers?
17 A. Yes, I met some people I had never seen
18 before. Although I was from the village, there were
19 people there I didn't know.
20 Q. Some witnesses have said that the population
21 of Ahmici doubled after the fall of Jajce. Would you
22 agree with that?
23 A. Well, I don't know if it doubled, but I know
24 that there were a lot of people who arrived whom I had
25 never seen before.
1 Q. Can you tell us whether you remember the
2 Bajram of 1993?
3 A. Yes, I remember. Since I was in the
4 folk-dancing company, Slobodan Princip Selo, and Zoran
5 and Mirjan were members too, and there were Muslims
6 with whom we were on good terms, and we went to Gornji
7 or Upper Vitez, where we performed, and I took part in
8 the performance.
9 Q. Where was this performance? Do you remember?
10 A. It was in Upper Vitez, called Mahala, also
11 known as Mahala.
12 Q. What was that? Was that a Bajram
14 A. Yes, it was intended to be a Bajram festival.
15 Q. Do you remember the date?
16 A. It was sometime in March, I think. I don't
17 know exactly.
18 Q. In '93?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you remember the Easter of that year?
21 A. Yes. At Easter we went to Mali Mosunj, "The
22 Way of the Cross," and we had the same kind of
23 performance there for Easter that we had had for Bajram
24 in the Mahala, and the Muslims went there with us, the
25 ones who were in our company.
1 Q. Do you remember the 15th of April, 1993?
2 A. Yes, quite well.
3 Q. What did you do then?
4 A. Like every day, since I'm employed, I went to
5 work in the morning at about 7.00, and I came back at
6 about half past three. And --
7 Q. Did you have any information?
8 A. No, I didn't have any information.
9 Q. Did you watch Vitez television?
10 A. No, I was unable to receive Vitez
11 television. I still can't because this is an area
12 where we can't catch this programme.
13 Q. Did you find out about the kidnapping of
14 Zivko Totic and the killing of his escort on that day?
15 A. I didn't know anything on that day.
16 Q. You didn't hear anything?
17 A. No, I didn't hear anything.
18 Q. What happened in the evening?
19 A. Sometime between 2.00 and half past 2.00, I
20 got a telephone call from the late Nenad Santic, and he
21 said that there were some problems and that I should
22 come to Jozo Livancic's house. Of course I got up, I
23 got ready, and I went to that house.
24 Q. Where is Jozo Livancic's house?
25 A. Down below the road, the main road, that is,
1 in the direction of Rovna. So to the left-hand side of
2 the main road in the direction of Rovna.
3 Q. Can we see Jozo Livancic's house on this
4 aerial photograph? It should be there.
5 A. Yes, yes, I can see it here. Just a moment.
6 So we're going up the main road this way (indicating).
7 It's somewhere in this area (indicating), the house of
8 Jozo Livancic.
9 Q. Very well. So you cross the road. It's on
10 the other side?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who did you encounter there?
13 A. When I arrived at Jozo Livancic's house, I
14 found Jozo Livancic, and his son, Zeljo Livancic.
15 There was Nenad Santic. Then I remember there was Anto
16 Covic, Ivo Vujovic, and my uncle, Simo Vidovic, the
17 late Simo Vidovic. They were there.
18 Q. Were there any other Vidovics there?
19 A. I was there.
20 Q. Yes, you, and anyone else?
21 A. There was Jevco, and Ivica Vidovic, also
22 known as Jevco.
23 Q. Can you tell us what you talked about?
24 A. Well, in fact, since Jevco was in the civil
25 defence, he said that the situation was not good, that
1 there was some information that the Muslims might
2 attack the Croats, and that we who were there should
3 take our families and neighbours to a safe place.
4 Q. Did these people have any kind of duties in
5 any kind of organisation?
6 A. These people were in the civil defence. They
7 were members of the civil defence. Each of them, each
8 of the ones I mentioned, had the duty to, in case of
9 trouble, to evacuate the population around their area.
10 Q. Nenad Santic, was he a member of the civil
11 defence, and what was his role at that meeting because
12 you say that he invited you to the house of Jozo
14 A. I don't remember whether he was in the civil
15 defence, but I do know that he was a member of the HDZ
16 and that he was well-informed about certain events that
17 were taking place.
18 Q. Do you know who called that meeting, who
19 called that kind of meeting?
20 A. Well, if you can call it a meeting, it was
21 Jevco Vidovic; Ivica Vidovic, also known as Jevco.
22 Q. Is it possible that Nenad Santic called the
23 meeting? Can you say?
24 A. I don't know. It was Jevco who communicated
25 this to us, but whether it was Nenad who told Jevco to
1 do that, I wouldn't know.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well. We shall have a
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Counsel
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
9 Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Vidovic, we may continue. You said that,
11 in fact, you did not know who had called the meeting --
12 A. That's right. I didn't know.
13 Q. -- whether it was Santic or Vidovic, but you
14 were contacted by Ivica Vidovic, Jevco?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Do you know who was in charge of civil
17 defence for Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici?
18 A. Yes. I know it was Ivica Vidovic, also known
19 as Jevco.
20 Q. When did that organisation start functioning?
21 A. Well, when the Serbian planes bombed Princip
22 and Busovaca, I think it was then that the civil
23 defence started operating.
24 Q. When were you assigned to observe what was
25 going on in your part of the village and organise the
1 possible evacuation of your part of the village?
2 A. When the conflict broke out in Busovaca, then
3 Ivica Vidovic, Jevco, rang me up, in fact. In fact, he
4 asked me whether I would agree to this, if I had enough
5 spare time to maintain contacts with him and so on, and
6 I accepted.
7 Q. Were all the people who were involved in the
8 civil defence present at that meeting, as far as you
10 A. No. I know that Niko Sakic wasn't there, and
11 he should have been.
12 Q. Do you know why he wasn't there? Did you
13 ever talk to him?
14 A. Well, since Niko didn't have a telephone,
15 very likely they were unable to call him to the
16 meeting. We were told to come to the meeting by phone,
17 and Niko didn't have a telephone.
18 Q. Can you tell us what Ivica Vidovic, Jevco,
19 told you what to do?
20 A. He explained that there was some problems,
21 that it was possible that we would be attacked by the
22 Muslims, and that I should go and tell my family, my
23 other neighbours, and that I should take them to
24 shelters. He told me, since it was on my way, to drop
25 in to Niko Sakic's house and tell him that he should do
1 the same in his area, to do what I was to do in my
3 Q. Where did you go after that?
4 A. After that, I went in the direction of Niko
5 Sakic's house. I woke him up, and I told him what I
6 had been told by Jevco, to wake up his family, his
7 neighbours, and take them to a shelter.
8 Q. In what way did you go to his house?
9 A. I went on foot.
10 Q. After you had been at Niko Sakic's house,
11 where did you go?
12 A. Then I went to the Kupreskic houses. I woke
13 up Ivica and Zoran Kupreskic, and I told them the
14 same. I told them that they should wake up their
15 families and all the other Kupreskics and that they
16 should go to shelters. Then I went to my own house. I
17 woke up my parents, my wife, and my children. I told
18 them to get ready. I said they would have to go to the
20 Then I went to wake up my aunt Manda, Gordana
21 Vidovic, and her mother. When I had woken her up, I
22 went to Slavko Vidovic's house, where Ilko Brnada was
23 staying with his wife and two children. I woke him up
24 and told him the same things. Since his father-in-law
25 was in Rovna, he went to Rovna with his wife and
1 family, and I returned to my home to fetch my parents,
2 my wife, my children, and my aunt Manda.
3 Q. Where did you take them?
4 A. When I got back, they were ready, so we went
5 to Niko Sakic's shelter.
6 Q. Can you determine what time it was? How long
7 was it before the gunfire broke out? What time was it?
8 A. Well, it was about -- well, I left my house
9 at about ten past five, five past five. I think it was
10 like that.
11 Q. And then you settled your family?
12 A. Yes. When we arrived at Niko Sakic's house,
13 that is, in his basement, my family went to the
14 shelter, and I stayed outside beside the house of Niko
16 Q. On what side of the house?
17 A. On the side next to the road, next to the
18 garage of Niko Sakic.
19 Q. Who did you see there? Did you see your
20 neighbours there?
21 A. Yes, I saw --
22 Q. Who?
23 A. I saw Mirko Sakic; there was Dragan Samija;
24 there was Miroslav Pudza; there was Milutin Vidovic. I
25 don't know who else. I don't remember.
1 Q. Did you see Niko Sakic anywhere?
2 A. He was there the whole time. Sometimes he
3 would go down to the shelter, and then he would be
4 outside. He was around there.
5 Q. Who did you see arriving then?
6 A. From the direction of Zume, I saw a group of
7 soldiers arriving. They were well armed and in
9 Q. What did this group of soldiers look like?
10 Can you describe them in greater detail?
11 A. Well, you could see that they were a special
12 group because they were well armed, their faces were
13 painted, and they were wearing uniforms.
14 Q. What kind of uniforms?
15 A. Well, they had camouflage uniforms.
16 Q. Was there anyone in a black uniform?
17 A. Yes, there were some who were in black
19 Q. What kind of weapons did they have?
20 A. They all had automatic weapons, and they
21 carried Zoljas on their backs, hand-held rocket
22 launchers. I even saw RPGs, rocket-propelled grenades.
23 Q. The RPGs that they had, what kind of
24 ammunition is used for that?
25 A. Well, they use missiles.
1 Q. So did you see them?
2 A. Yes. They were carrying them on their backs.
3 Q. What was your conclusion? What kind of unit
4 was that?
5 A. I saw them. They had white belts, so I
6 assumed it was some kind of military police by those
8 Q. The regular army, the regular soldiers, are
9 they armed like that? Do they have those kinds of
11 A. No. As far as I know, no; they only have one
13 Q. Did you recognise anybody from those units?
14 A. I recognised the late Mirjan Santic.
15 Q. How did you recognise him?
16 A. He didn't have any paint on his face. His
17 face was clean, so I could recognise him.
18 Q. Do you know him well?
19 A. Yes, I know him well. He's our neighbour.
20 He lived in Santici.
21 Q. Could you please tell us, in view of the fact
22 that he was living in Santici, was he familiar with the
24 A. Yes. It's not a large area. He would come
25 often; he was in the warehouse often. He would come to
1 Vlatko Kupreskic's warehouse often, and he knew the
2 place. He moved around a lot.
3 Q. What did he do in Vlatko Kupreskic's
5 A. Well, he would take the necessary food,
7 Q. So he went to the store; is that right?
8 A. (No audible response)
9 Q. Could you please tell us whether that shop,
10 which was in Vlatko Kupreskic's warehouse, was the only
11 shop that operated in those three villages of Santici,
12 Pirici, and Ahmici?
13 A. Yes, at that time, it was the only one that
14 was working, so almost all the neighbours would come to
15 the shop and buy the food that they needed.
16 Q. Where did that unit go?
17 A. Well, after they passed, they came from the
18 direction of Zume. They passed by Niko Sakic's garage,
19 and they went in the direction of Vlatko Kupreskic's
21 Q. Do you know which unit Mirjan Santic belonged
23 A. I heard that he was a member of a unit called
24 Jokeri, Jokers.
25 Q. Do you know where the Jokers had their
2 A. Well, from stories, I knew that they were
3 somewhere in the Bungalow, but I never saw that.
4 Q. You didn't see it because you didn't go
6 A. Yes. I never passed along that road, so I
7 didn't see that. I only heard that they were somewhere
8 there in the Bungalow.
9 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, perhaps I would
10 be happy to intervene. I think my learned friend has
11 had a slip of the tongue. I think she might have meant
12 a couple of questions back "Mirjan Santic." She said
13 "Mirjan Kupreskic."
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No. I said "Mirjan
15 Santic." I didn't say "Kupreskic." It can't happen.
16 MR. BLAXILL: Well, then it's obviously been
17 misrecorded, so we should put that right.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: It's a mistake,
20 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, you said it right.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: My colleagues tell me
22 that I did say "Mirjan Santic." Thank you very much
23 and thank you to my learned colleagues. Of course, I
24 would like for that part of the transcript to be
25 corrected, that this is Mirjan Santic as a member of
1 the Jokers. Thank you very much.
2 Q. So you heard that that unit was in the
3 Bungalow. Did you hear anything else about that unit?
4 Did you know who it belonged to?
5 A. Well, I knew that they were part of the
6 military police, if you can say that, but I had heard
7 all of that. I didn't know anything exactly.
8 Q. Very well. Could you please indicate on the
9 aerial photograph where the unit came from, where did
10 it go, and also the place where you saw them?
11 A. Yes (indicating).
12 Q. So from which direction did they come?
13 A. I was here, next to the garage of Niko Sakic
14 (indicating), and the group of soldiers that I
15 mentioned was coming from the direction of Zume, down
16 towards the Modus warehouse.
17 Q. Could you please point out on the photograph
18 on the ELMO, could you put an arrow in the direction
19 that they were going and could you mark the place where
20 you saw them? Where did you see them approximately?
21 A. I'm here, next to the garage, and they are
22 going in the direction of the warehouse of Vlatko
23 Kupreskic, warehouse Modus.
24 Q. This part that you marked, so this is the
25 direction that we were moving along, next to the
1 forest, is there a path there?
2 A. Yes. There is a narrow path, a footpath.
3 You can't drive along there in any kind of vehicle or
4 cart, so it's only a footpath.
5 Q. Is there another path on the other side from
6 the lower part of the forest that would lead from the
7 Kupreskic houses?
8 A. Well, to me, it seems like if it's from the
9 upper side --
10 Q. Yes. Yes, from the upper side.
11 A. Yes, there is. The road forks off. It goes
12 right towards the Kupreskic houses, and then it also
13 goes straight towards the Modus warehouse. There are
14 two paths.
15 Q. And they are both footpaths?
16 A. Yes. Yes, only pedestrians can go there.
17 Q. Did you see Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic at
18 that time?
19 A. After that group passed, also from the
20 direction of Zume, Zoran and Mirjan came, and they also
21 came to the garage. They came up to us.
22 Q. Did they stay there, next to the garage?
23 A. Mirjan stayed, and Zoran, when he saw the
24 refugees who were living in the Kupreskic houses, when
25 he saw them coming out of the depression, he went with
1 them in the direction of Zume. He took them to the
2 same shelter where he took his family.
3 Q. Where did those refugees come from? Did you
5 A. Yes, they came out from the depression, from
6 the direction of the Kupreskic houses. They came out
7 by Niko Sakic's garage.
8 Q. So they took this other footpath?
9 A. Yes, yes, they took this other footpath that
10 you asked about.
11 Q. So when did the gunfire begin? When did you
12 hear the first gunfire, and what did you do then?
13 A. At about 5.30, it could have been, you could
14 hear strong gunfire from the direction of the Kupreskic
15 houses, and at the same time, shooting also broke out
16 from the direction of the road, from the direction of
17 the Topole cemetery, the Croatian cemetery.
18 Q. So where did you go then?
19 A. Since the bullets really started flying --
20 and you could hear them breaking the branches, you
21 could hear when a bullet breaks a branch -- so we
22 escaped to the depression.
23 Q. Why did you go to that depression? Why did
24 you pick that place?
25 A. Well, the first reason is so that we could be
1 close to the shelter, as much as we could, to protect
2 our families that were in the shelter. And because of
3 the configuration of the terrain, it was an ideal
4 shelter -- not a shelter, but nothing could hit us
6 Q. On that day, did you stay in the depression?
7 A. Yes, we were there the whole day.
8 Q. Who was with you there that day?
9 A. After we ran into the depression, the people
10 who were there, then two or three minutes later Zoran
11 ran up from the direction of the house of Niko Sakic,
12 so he ran there too. So Zoran Kupreskic was there, his
13 brother Mirjan Kupreskic, Mirko Sakic, Dragan Samija,
14 Miro Vidovic, and me, as far as I remember. I don't
15 think I've forgotten anybody.
16 Q. Did you see Niko Sakic?
17 A. Yes. He would run up to us occasionally, but
18 at that time, we would also run out of the depression
19 and go to the shelter to see what was happening with
20 our family, and also for our parents to see us, because
21 they were also worried that something might happen to
23 Q. When you say "we," who do you mean?
24 A. Well, us; Croats who were there in the
1 Q. Very well. So who went to see their parents?
2 A. That day, on two or three times, I left.
3 Also Zoran and Mirjan did the same, and Mirko. When I
4 say "we," I mean all of us who were there in the
5 depression. So we took turns to go and see how our
6 families were doing.
7 Q. Were all those families in the same shelter?
8 A. No, my family was in the shelter in Niko
9 Sakic's house. Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic -- no,
10 Mirjan Kupreskic's family was in the shelter in the
11 house of Jozo Vrebac. Zoran's family was in the house
12 of Milutin Vidovic.
13 Q. What about the family of Mirko Sakic?
14 A. Yes, the family of Mirko Sakic was in the
15 house of his father, Niko Sakic.
16 Q. What about the family of Dragan Samija?
17 A. Yes, they were also in that same shelter in
18 Niko Sakic's house.
19 Q. Do you remember that day, that morning, on
20 the first day, if anything else happened close to you?
21 A. Yes, I remember. Sometime between 10.30 and
22 11.00, Nikola Omazic ran from the direction of Zoran
23 Kupreskic's house. He said that Mirjan Santic had been
24 killed, and that we need to come to the edge of the
25 forest in order to help to move the body, to bring the
1 body to the house of Niko Sakic.
2 Q. Did you do that?
3 A. Yes. Mirjan Kupreskic, Zoran Kupreskic, and
4 I went to the edge of the forest, and Ivica Kupreskic
5 brought Mirjan Santic up there with Nikola and then we
6 took the body over -- Zoran, Mirjan, myself, and
7 Nikola, who had come up from there. So we took the
8 body and took it to the garage of Niko Sakic.
9 Q. Did he stay in the garage?
10 A. Well, Nikola Omazic went to tell his first
11 cousin, who was the closest, the cousin of Mirjan
12 Santic. His cousin was Milan Samija. Maybe his house
13 was 200 to 250 metres away from the garage of Niko
15 Q. Where is the house of Nikola Omazic? Is it
17 A. Yes, yes, it's not far. Maybe it's less than
18 300 metres away.
19 Q. Could you please tell us if your family
20 stayed in the shelter all day?
21 A. Sometime in the afternoon, at about 4 p.m.,
22 they left the shelter to go to the shelter of Niko
24 Q. Did everybody from the shelter go or only
25 your family?
1 A. Yes, everybody from the shelter went to the
2 shelter of Niko Vidovic.
3 Q. And what about you? Where did you stay?
4 A. I remained in the depression with the others
5 who were with me the whole time.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like for us to
7 look at a videotape of the depression, and this is a
8 long tape. It's not too long. It's about 15 minutes.
9 We tried to show the road that leads to the shelters,
10 and then in certain sections we could speed it up, but
11 our intention was for the Trial Chamber to get some
12 kind of sense of how long it takes to go there, where
13 it is situated in relation to the Kupreskic houses and
14 to the shelter.
15 So I would like to submit the translation of
16 the text which will be on the tape.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape is marked
18 D106/2, and the transcript is D106A/2.
19 (Videotape played)
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Please, could we speed
22 up this part, and we can come back later.
23 THE INTERPRETER: "In the village of Pirici,
24 in the municipality of Vitez, we are in the place
25 called Dolina. It is owned by Ivo Kupreskic. Near
1 this place, Dolina, is a wood owned by my father,
2 Stipan Vidovic. Dolina is situated precisely west from
3 the houses of the Kupreskics, in the direction of the
4 settlement of Zume.
5 "From this place, Dolina, we are moving
6 toward the Kupreskics' houses."
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
8 Q. Mr. Vidovic, whose houses are these here?
9 A. On the left-hand side we first come to Ivica
10 Kupreskic's house, and then behind the pine tree we
11 shall see the house of Ivo Kupreskic.
12 Q. Did this farm exist in 1993?
13 A. No, this was built later.
14 Q. Whose house is this on the right?
15 A. This is Ivo Kupreskic's house.
16 Q. It's not a stable; it's a house?
17 A. Yes, it's a house.
18 THE INTERPRETER: "We are now in front of the
19 house of Branko Kupreskic, Josip Kupreskic, Ivica
20 Kupreskic, and their father, Ivo Kupreskic.
21 "To the east of the Kupreskic houses are
22 Muslim houses. This is middle or central Ahmici, the
23 central part of the village of Ahmici.
24 "We are now in front of the house of Mirjan
25 Kupreskic and Zoran Kupreskic.
1 "This is the view from Zoran's house to
2 Sakib's house."
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
4 Q. Is there a pathway from Sakib's house to the
5 house of Zoran Kupreskic through the depression?
6 A. (No audible response)
7 THE INTERPRETER: "This is the view of Sakib
8 Ahmic's house.
9 "We are now at the house of Sakib Ahmic.
10 This is the view from the house of Sakib Ahmic towards
11 the house of Mirjan Kupreskic and Zoran Kupreskic.
12 "The view from the house of Sakib Ahmic
13 towards the house of Vlatko Kupreskic and the Modus
15 "We are now in front of the house of Josip
16 Kupreskic, and beside it there is a garage.
17 "We are now moving from the Kupreskic houses
18 in the direction of the depression which is owned by
19 Ivo Kupreskic."
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
21 Q. So you are moving from the house of Ivo
22 Kupreskic, which is the closest one to the depression?
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Where is Ivo Kupreskic's cowshed?
25 A. Well, it's to the right. As we walk down the
1 path, it's behind the farm.
2 Q. So it's lower than the farm?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. The path you are taking is the path usually
5 used to go from the houses of the Kupreskics' to
6 Santic's house?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 THE INTERPRETER: "This is the depression we
9 have mentioned, and we are now moving in the direction
10 of the house of Niko Sakic.
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
12 Q. Was this the path leading through the
14 A. Yes.
15 THE INTERPRETER: "The house of Niko Sakic.
16 We have now passed by the garage."
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
18 Q. The building that we saw before the house is
19 the garage?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And this is the way to where?
22 A. To Zume. It has now been asphalted, so you
23 could drive up to Niko's house.
24 Q. Whose is the first house on the right?
25 A. Ilko Brnada.
1 Q. You mean the one on the right now?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is this a crossroads?
4 A. Yes, yes, to the house of Nikola Omazic, and
5 to Niko's house on the other side.
6 Q. The houses we are passing by now are all
7 these Croatian houses?
8 A. Yes, for now. Anto Pudza on the left, Milan
9 Samija, and then 100 metres to the right there are a
10 few Muslims' houses: Ramo Bilic, Zijad Bilic.
11 Q. Were the Strmonja houses there next to the
12 Bilic house?
13 A. Yes, yes, Miralem Strmonja, with his family.
14 Q. Whose houses are these?
15 A. On the right-hand side we see the Bilic
17 Q. Yes?
18 A. Ramo Bilic, Zijad Bilic, and his brother, who
19 is in Austria, Miralem Strmonja.
20 Q. These houses have roofs with four sides?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what about the Croatian houses?
23 A. They had two-sided roofs.
24 THE INTERPRETER: "We're now in front of Niko
25 Vidovic's house, where the shelter was for civilians."
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
2 Q. In this shelter, was your family inside in
3 the afternoon?
4 A. Yes. Yes, from 4.00 p.m. Now we're going
5 towards the house of Milutin Vidovic.
6 Q. Is this still the road leading towards the
7 house of Jozo Vrebac and Milutin Vidovic, going through
8 the Croatian part of the village?
9 A. Yes. Yes, it goes through the Croatian
11 Q. Is this still Santici?
12 A. No. This is Zume. We call this place Zume,
13 but it is part of Santici.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Now we can speed up
15 this part, until we arrive at those two shelters. It's
16 okay. We can stop here.
17 (Videotape played)
18 THE INTERPRETER: "We have now arrived at the
19 house of Milutin Vidovic. We will now go from the
20 house of Milutin Vidovic in the direction of the house
21 of Jozo Vrebac."
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
23 Q. This is the house across from the house which
24 you say belongs to Jozo Vrebac?
25 A. I'm sorry. I didn't understand.
1 Q. Very well.
2 THE INTERPRETER: "We are now in front of the
3 house of Jozo Vrebac." I couldn't hear. The
4 microphone is not on.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
6 Q. Which is the house across from the house of
7 Jozo Vrebac?
8 A. That is, in fact, the shelter of Jozo
9 Vrebac's son-in-law.
10 Q. What was his son-in-law's name?
11 A. Oh, he was from Macedonia. His name was
12 Dragan. I don't know exactly what his second name was.
13 Q. So, in fact, the house across the road was
14 the shelter, the yellow one?
15 A. Yes. Yes.
16 Q. Can you please tell us when this tape was
18 A. It was just before Christmas. It was on
19 Christmas Eve.
20 Q. Last year?
21 A. Last year, yes.
22 Q. Very well. Mr. Vidovic, can you tell us
23 whether you stayed in that depression the second and
24 the third day?
25 A. Yes. The people I enumerated stayed there.
1 We were all together there the second and the third
3 Q. Where did you sleep?
4 A. In Ivo Kupreskic's cowshed, which we saw on
5 the video.
6 Q. That was the cowshed underneath Ivo
7 Kupreskic's farm building?
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. On the second and third day, were the same
10 people you enumerated with you, the ones you said were
11 there on the first day?
12 A. Yes. We were together all the time.
13 Q. Did you go anywhere from Ahmici? Did your
14 family move anywhere?
15 A. On the second day, in fact -- yes, the second
16 day of the conflict, in the evening, my family left
17 Niko Vidovic's shelter and went to Rovna.
18 Q. How long did they stay in Rovna, and who did
19 they stay with?
20 A. They stayed there a day or two, and they
21 stayed with Zvonko Santic, who is my uncle, and that's
22 why they went.
23 Q. Can you tell us, on the third day, what did
24 you do and what happened to you on the third day?
25 A. On the third day, two military policemen
1 arrived and took us to some kind of front line in
2 Pirici, and that was the first time that we went up to
3 the Muslim houses. We saw that they had been burnt
4 down and that there had been victims, that there were
5 dead Muslims.
6 Q. Who did you see? What did you see?
7 A. When we passed by the house of Enver Sehic,
8 we saw that his house had been burnt, and he was lying
9 there dead with his son. I remember well Zoran cried
10 then because they had been good friends, Enver and he.
11 Then we saw the house of Hazrudin Ahmic and his father
12 Munib Ahmic, and Zulejha Ahmic had also been burnt.
13 Q. Which road did you take towards Pirici?
14 A. Well, there is a path there. We took a
15 shortcut. We don't take the round way. We went
16 through the fields. It was the closest.
17 Q. Where did you stay at Pirici? Where were you
18 told to go in Pirici?
19 A. The first houses in Pirici, when we arrived
20 there, we met for the first time Slavko Papic. He was
21 the one who was deciding where people were going to dig
22 in. Since I knew that he was an officer, a reserve
23 officer in the old army, I assumed that he knew about
24 these things and that that was the reason why he was
25 entrusted with this duty. That's how it was, so we
1 started to dig in there.
2 Q. Who was taken to Pirici on that day, together
3 with you?
4 A. Well, it was the whole group that was in the
5 depression that I mentioned.
6 Q. Zoran and Mirjan?
7 A. Yes, they were there too. Mirko Sakic,
8 Dragan Samija.
9 Q. Did you dig trenches there?
10 A. Yes, we did a little bit, even though we had
11 no idea what kind of a trench we should be digging, but
12 we dug a hole so that we could hide there.
13 Q. Did you talk with the military police who
14 brought you up there?
15 A. Yes. About 20 metres before we reached the
16 place where we stopped, one of those two said to us to
17 guard that line well, and I quote him: "Because if the
18 Muslims break through that line, they will do to you
19 the same that we did to them."
20 Q. When you say "we," who do you mean?
21 A. Those two military police members.
22 Q. In that place, in Pirici, did you remain
24 A. We stayed there that night. Then Slavko
25 Papic came and told this group of ours to move to
1 Gornji Ahmici. We were afraid, so we started to argue
2 about that. We didn't want to go right away, but after
3 a day or two, we had to go to the place where he sent
4 us. We dug in there, and we stayed there until the end
5 of the war.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Thank you.
7 I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like the
10 following material to be admitted into evidence, 105 --
11 D105, 106, and 107/2. I'm sorry. I wasn't following
12 the numbers.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: D105, 106, and --
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: And 107.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: -- 106A. There's no 107.
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Okay.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: The tape and the transcript.
18 No objections?
19 MR. BLAXILL: No objections.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. They are admitted
21 into evidence.
22 Counsel Pavkovic?
23 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, there are no --
24 I apologise. Counsel Puliselic will question the
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Puliselic?
2 MR. PULISELIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
3 just wanted to put one question to Mr. Vidovic.
4 Examined by Mr. Puliselic:
5 Q. You said that you are from Pirici, that you
6 live in Pirici.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you please tell us if there is another
9 person called Dragan Vidovic in Pirici, Santici,
10 Ahmici, or in another place?
11 A. Yes. In those places that you mentioned, at
12 that time, there were six Dragan Vidovics. Right now,
13 there are five because Dragan Vidovic from Buhine Kuce
14 was killed.
15 Q. What is your father's name?
16 A. Stipo.
17 Q. Could you tell us the names of the fathers of
18 these other persons?
19 A. Dragan Vidovic, son of Anto; Dragan Vidovic,
20 son of Nikica; Dragan Vidovic or Drago Vidovic, son of
21 Frano; Dragan Vidovic, son of Ivica; and Dragan
22 Vidovic, who was killed at Buhine Kuce, his father's
23 name was Anto.
24 Q. So there were six people called Dragan
1 A. Yes, at that time.
2 MR. PULISELIC: I have no further questions.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Blaxill?
6 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
8 Q. I bid you good afternoon, Mr. Vidovic. My
9 name is Michael Blaxill. I'm one of the Prosecuting
10 attorneys assigned to this case. As a result of your
11 testimony, I do have a number of questions I would like
12 to ask you, sir.
13 If we can go back to where you started your
14 evidence in connection with the village guards, you
15 indicated that this was a cooperative effort in the
16 earlier part of 1992; is that correct? You cooperated,
17 the Muslims and the Croats?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But if I understood you correctly, you
20 indicated that each group of village guards operated
21 very much close to home, in your own small part of the
22 village or your own section of the village; is that
24 A. Yes, that's right. We were close to our
25 houses. We didn't venture further.
1 Q. For your participation in the village guard,
2 let us say for the early part of 1992, before the first
3 conflict for sure, could you just indicate on the big
4 photograph the area that you patrolled with your
5 colleagues, just roughly?
6 A. Yes. Yes. We would go in this direction.
7 There are these houses here, these houses here, and
8 these Kupreskic houses up here (indicating). We didn't
9 go further than that.
10 Q. If you could just remain for one moment. The
11 Muslim guards who were operating in a similar area,
12 could you just indicate if they covered any different
13 parts of the village than yourselves?
14 A. Yes. The Muslim guards that I saw, that we
15 were together with, would be here (indicating), in this
16 section, from the main road up until Vlatko Kupreskic's
17 house. We didn't go any further. I assumed that they
18 watched -- that they had guard duty there and also in
19 this section here (indicating).
20 Q. Thank you very much, indeed. Perhaps you
21 would care to sit down again, sir. Thank you.
22 Now, initially, it sounds, from what you say,
23 like there was little by way of any arms, that often
24 the village guards, Muslim or Croat, were, in fact,
25 patrolling without weapons; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But then you were asked about an occasion, it
3 was suggested to you that the Muslims became armed, but
4 you mentioned something to do with a truck. Could you
5 describe in a little more detail, sir, what you noticed
6 about this truck, when and where you saw it?
7 A. I noticed it in front of my house. Twenty
8 metres away from me, this truck passed from the main
9 road in the direction of Gornji Ahmici. It was a green
10 truck driven by Muharem Pezer because I know him.
11 Q. Does the truck have any kind of identifying
12 writing on it, sir?
13 A. Yes. It was a private truck, so on the door,
14 there was the name of the owner of the truck. I
15 couldn't read what it said, but I knew it was his
16 truck. I know it.
17 Q. Can you give us a description of the bodywork
18 of the truck? Did it have low sides or high sides or
19 can you describe that, the rear bodywork?
20 A. It was a dump truck. It didn't have a
21 tarpaulin, so I could see the weapons. I could see the
22 crates with the ammunition. The truck, like I said,
23 had two Muslims in it. One of them was holding an
24 automatic weapon in his hand.
25 Q. So you refer to this as a dump truck. Would
1 it be fair to describe, therefore, that the rear of
2 this is like a big, deep bucket that would then tip?
3 Is that the kind of bodywork that it had?
4 A. I have a driver's license to drive trucks, so
5 I know what a tipper is. Yes, it can rise up and dump
6 the load.
7 Q. I'm just thinking, therefore, the rear
8 portion is fairly deep, is it, because it has to carry
9 loads and then it can tip them out, so it's a fairly
10 deep container?
11 A. No. The sides are, but the back flap is low,
12 so I could see.
13 Q. You're saying that your sighting of the load
14 within this vehicle was, in fact, through the rear
15 where the bodywork is low; is that correct?
16 A. Because the truck was coming from the
17 direction of Ahmici, naturally, as it passed at a
18 certain moment, it was in front of me, and then I could
19 see the load from the back, but I also saw them holding
20 it in their hands.
21 Q. Were you standing at road level at that time,
22 sir? In relation to the truck, were you at road level?
23 A. Yes. Yes, it was that level. But since it
24 was a little bit of a distance away, then I was able
1 Q. For how long did you actually have the
2 opportunity to see into the rear of the truck?
3 A. Perhaps for 30 to 40 seconds.
4 Q. You stated you saw boxes inside the truck; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. Can you remember how many boxes you saw?
8 A. No. No, I don't remember. I saw boxes,
9 grey-green, olive green. I knew they were military
10 boxes, and I assumed that they contained ammunition.
11 Q. I see. You assumed that a bunch of green
12 boxes were military and contained ammunition; you
13 didn't actually see ammunition as such, did you?
14 A. As far as I remember, I mentioned those
15 boxes, but I didn't mention the ammunition. I just
16 said that I saw the weapons.
17 Q. Sir, to be perfectly accurate, what you're
18 saying is you saw some boxes that appeared, from their
19 shape and colour, to be military. That is what you
20 actually saw; is that not so?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I know that. I know they are
22 military boxes.
23 Q. Were any of the boxes not covered by a lid of
24 some description?
25 A. I didn't see. I didn't see any other boxes.
1 Q. Am I correct if I now say to you, sir, that
2 your suggestion that you witnessed arming by the
3 Muslims comes down to about 30 seconds of time in which
4 you saw some military-looking boxes in the back of
5 a lorry; is that what you're trying to tell us?
6 A. I say that I saw on the truck, on the
7 flatbed, weapons, I can't say exactly how much, but
8 automatic weapons, some PAP rifles. They are obviously
9 different from the automatic rifles. Then for the
10 boxes, I said that I assumed that they contained
12 Q. So what you're saying is that that accounts
13 for the boxes, but you also saw loose weapons, did you,
14 in the back of this truck?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I see.
17 A. Yes, that's what I said.
18 Q. From this brief sighting, you cannot, of
19 course, say how many, because you didn't see them for
20 long and you didn't have time to count, did you?
21 A. No. No, I can't say that.
22 Q. Now, if we can move on to the later part of
23 1992, the village guard system is operating, and you've
24 indicated that there were often problems or disputes
25 over availability of people to perform their guard duty
1 and that Mr. Zoran Kupreskic tried to resolve some of
2 these difficulties; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So did Mr. Kupreskic become, as it were,
5 known amongst the guards as being the person who tried
6 to sort out their schedule and arrange their duties?
7 A. Well, they knew one another very well, and,
8 of course, they knew that he was doing those things,
9 that he was trying to do something.
10 Q. Did you, as a group, the village guards, have
11 any particular contact or liaison with the civil
12 defence members for the village area?
13 A. In that period, I don't know that anybody
14 ever came to tell us something or to draw our attention
15 to something in particular.
16 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that you, in a
17 sense, took over this duty from Mr. Zoran Kupreskic.
18 When did you take over from him, trying to handle these
19 various administrative matters for the village guard?
20 A. I don't understand what you mean when you say
21 "administrative." What do you mean by that,
22 "administrative"? It was just reaching an agreement.
23 If somebody didn't come out on duty, somebody would
24 complain, and then I would go to them to see why they
25 didn't turn up. If this was a justified reason, I
1 would say, "Well, you can then make this up the next
2 time." So at the end of January. As you say, that was
3 the duty.
4 Q. You took over this kind of task of trying to
5 resolve difficulties; you say you took that over in
6 January of 1993 or thereabouts?
7 A. At the end of January 1993.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, I note the time.
10 It's a convenient point, certainly subject matter-wise,
11 to take a break if you wish.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. A 15-minute
14 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.25 p.m.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill?
17 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Vidovic, if I can now move on to the
19 slightly later part of 1992, you said that you had
20 served for some time as a reserve police officer. Was
21 that a civilian police organisation or was that a
22 military type of police organisation that you had
23 served in?
24 A. It was the civil police.
25 Q. And when you quit the police reserve, can you
1 tell me when that was?
2 A. In that police, I served for two or three
3 months, which would mean sometime around April or May,
4 but I'm not sure exactly when it was.
5 Q. And that would be 1992?
6 A. Yes. Yes -- no, no. Sorry, sorry. '91.
7 Q. '91; sorry. Did you have any ongoing
8 obligations to the police in the event of -- I don't
9 know, civil unrest or anything like that for the future
10 or was your severance from the police a permanent
12 A. It was permanent. I left because I had to
13 work, I had other duties, so, of course, I couldn't go
15 Q. You then, in fact, basically worked and were
16 a civilian, you say, right up until, indeed, the start
17 of the second conflict, in April 1993?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, sir, if I can turn to what has been
20 called the first conflict, which occurred, I
21 understand, on the 20th of October, 1992, you say that
22 the preceding day you had been to work as usual; is
23 that so?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you made reference to a village
1 checkpoint that was set up by some Muslim people?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know when that was set up? Was it in
4 fact set up on the 19th of October or had it been there
5 the day before or do you recall when?
6 A. It was before. That roadblock was set up
7 several days before that conflict.
8 Q. So for several days you'd been going to and
9 from work, and you had passed through that checkpoint?
10 A. I went to work, but I passed by that
11 checkpoint for a few days before the conflict.
12 Q. Could you just point on the large photograph,
13 sir, could you point to where that checkpoint you refer
14 to was positioned?
15 A. Well, it was, as we said, on the road to
16 Ahmici -- some 15 or 20 metres down the road, to be
17 more precise -- near the cowshed of Sakib Ahmic, here
19 Q. Thank you very much, sir. If you would care
20 to sit down again. I'm obliged for your help.
21 Now, Mr. Vidovic, did you hear around the
22 19th of October of any other form of checkpoint or
23 roadblock that had been set up in that area?
24 A. No. I didn't hear.
25 Q. Did you hear of any particular activity that
1 may have occurred that day, the 19th, in the vicinity
2 of the Catholic cemetery up on the main road, which I
3 believe runs from Vitez towards Busovaca?
4 A. That day, I didn't know anything, nor did I
5 hear anything from anyone about that.
6 Q. Did you hear anything about a checkpoint or
7 something of that nature up near the cemetery on the
8 20th of October, when there was the conflict?
9 A. Well, on the 19th, I didn't know anything,
10 but the next day, that is on the 20th, in the
11 afternoon, I heard that there was a checkpoint and that
12 that was actually where the conflict started.
13 Q. Did you establish, in the days prior to the
14 20th of October, the reason why the Muslim people had
15 set up that smaller checkpoint on the road into Ahmici
16 village? Did anyone explain to you why?
17 A. No. No one explained that to me, so I didn't
18 know the reason why the checkpoint had been set up.
19 Q. Were the people who were manning that
20 checkpoint members of the Muslim village guard, to the
21 best of your knowledge and recollection?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you, up to that point, still have any
24 kind of joint cooperation or at least contact between
25 Muslim and Croat village guards? Were you still
1 talking to each other at that time, October '92?
2 A. Yes, we talked. Until the moment I
3 mentioned, we even patrolled together.
4 Q. So in the course of this cooperative
5 activity, did you or any of your colleagues raise the
6 question of this checkpoint with your Muslim village
7 guard counterparts?
8 A. Well, we kept watch together before this
9 checkpoint was set up, and I didn't know they were
10 going to set it up, or I would have asked why.
11 Q. Well, with respect, Mr. Vidovic, you as a
12 village guard, did you see part of your duty as
13 protecting the safety and interests of the Croat
14 inhabitants within your area?
15 A. Yes, both the Croats and the Muslims, because
16 that's why we were there, to protect the area we are
17 talking about.
18 Q. So when this checkpoint suddenly appeared and
19 local citizens were being checked by these people, did
20 you not think to query why this step had been taken by
21 the group of Muslim people?
22 A. There was no one I could ask.
23 Q. When you passed by that checkpoint for some
24 days prior to the 20th of October, I believe you said
25 you'd recognised the people on the checkpoint as being
1 village guards; is that so?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I presume, sir, they were people who were
4 personally known to you; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Would you have counted them at least as
7 reasonably good acquaintances, if not friends of yours,
8 prior to the conflict?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So would it not have been a simple thing for
11 you to ask them why they had taken this action?
12 A. Well, after they would not allow us Croats
13 entry into the primary school, I saw that they were
14 making their relations with us more tense.
15 Q. So you read this action as, in fact, a
16 heightening of tension between Muslims and Croats
17 within the community; is that so?
18 A. Well, after that, yes. Yes, that's how we
19 could describe it.
20 Q. Within the village guard, you and your
21 colleagues had, if you like, voluntarily assumed the
22 duty of trying to protect the Croat citizens; isn't
23 that so?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So is there any other action that you took
1 when you noticed this existence of a checkpoint run by
2 the Muslims? Did you report it to anybody? Did you
3 contact any form of authority about it?
4 A. No, I didn't contact anyone, nor did I know
5 who I could contact to check why it was there.
6 Q. Now, if we can go to the 19th of October
7 itself, I believe you said you saw 30 to 40 soldiers
8 entering the primary school, I think, that evening; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Do you recall the nature of their clothing?
12 What were they wearing?
13 A. Well, some of them had camouflage uniforms
14 and some of them were wearing civilian clothes,
15 ordinary clothes.
16 Q. Were all these people armed?
17 A. Yes. I saw that each one of them carried a
19 Q. Could you tell whether these people were
20 Croat people or Muslim people, local people or from
22 A. Since they arrived from the direction of
23 Gornji, Upper Ahmici, I concluded that they were
24 Muslims. But whether they were villagers, I couldn't
25 see exactly who they were.
1 Q. What time of day was it when these soldiers
2 arrived, sir?
3 A. It wasn't daytime. It was at night.
4 Q. I see. So in fact it was too dark, was it,
5 to be able to identify the individuals at all? You
6 could just tell whether they were uniformed men or not?
7 A. Yes, I didn't know their faces because, for
8 example, I was about 50 metres away from the Modus
9 warehouse where there was a light. So I saw the group,
10 I saw how they were dressed, I saw their weapons, but I
11 couldn't recognise their faces from that distance.
12 Q. Well, from the 50-metre distance, sir, was
13 the light inside the Modus warehouse, or is that light
15 A. It was in front. The road was well lighted
16 along which they passed, the group of soldiers.
17 Q. Now, I made a brief note, I hope accurately,
18 that you felt suspicious. There was something
19 suspicious about this arrival of 30 or more soldiers;
20 is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yet you say you took absolutely no action to
23 inform anybody about these men turning up at the
24 primary school in Ahmici?
25 A. That's correct. I didn't inform anyone.
1 Q. Now, already, sir, you have said that in your
2 role as a village guard, you have already witnessed the
3 appearance of a Muslim checkpoint at the entry to the
4 village, and now, late on the 19th of October, you
5 witnessed 30 or more armed men arriving in the village,
6 and you say you felt no need to inform anybody about
7 this development?
8 A. Yes, I didn't think it was necessary because
9 up to the 20th, there had never been any incidents
10 between the Muslims and the Croats. There had been no
11 shooting, no killing, nothing that might lead me to the
12 conclusion that something was being prepared.
13 Q. When you saw these soldiers, you say you
14 actually hid yourself so that you wouldn't be seen by
15 them; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So at the end of the 19th of October, you
18 presumably retired to bed, did you, sir, not thinking
19 there could be any problem emanating from the Muslims
20 in your area; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. We've already heard in this Chamber from
23 others that it was somewhere around 5.00, or a little
24 after, in the morning that there were detonations
25 heard, and people were woken up by it, and you were one
1 of those. Is that right, sir? You were woken up by an
3 A. Yes, the detonation at about 5.00 a.m., as I
4 said, woke me up.
5 Q. And that there was then an intensification of
6 gunfire, small-arms fire, and you heard bullets
7 obviously falling nearby to your home; yes, sir?
8 A. Yes. The detonation was at about 5.00.
9 After an hour or an hour and a half, I heard gunfire.
10 I heard bullets falling onto the roof of my house.
11 Q. I believe you said that during the course of
12 that day, essentially, you took some form of shelter in
13 the depression; is that right?
14 A. Yes. After I had taken my family to the
15 shelter, we went to the depression.
16 Q. We have heard from one gentleman, who states
17 he was in the depression, that there was indeed a
18 Dragan Vidovic, son of Niko, Nikola; was that Dragan
19 Vidovic present in the depression, as far as you're
21 A. Yes, Dragance. That's what we called him.
22 Q. Was he present during that day in the
23 depression along with the rest of you?
24 A. Only -- I saw him in the morning. Later, as
25 the day went on, I didn't see him again.
1 Q. Is it correct that during that day, a certain
2 of those amongst you would, in fact, leave briefly,
3 maybe, or for a longer period, and then return to the
4 depression? Did that happen at all during that day,
5 the 20th of October?
6 A. Yes. Yes, I did the same, as I said, I left
7 from time to time. All those who had family in
8 shelters would go.
9 Q. Now, it seems that overnight on the night of
10 the 20th of October, if I heard you correctly, sir, you
11 in fact then stayed the night in a barn, Ivica
12 Kupreskic's barn; is that right?
13 A. No, not Ivica Kupreskic's, but his father's,
14 Ivo Kupreskic's barn.
15 Q. Yes. It's my fault, yes. Mr. Ivo Kupreskic.
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Is it true that that building is on the
18 similar level to the rest of the Kupreskic households,
19 the Kupreskic houses? Is that right?
20 A. It's a little lower in relation to Ivo
21 Kupreskic's houses. It's drawn back a little, and
22 lower down, a little lower down.
23 Q. Was that building, however, vulnerable or
24 would have been vulnerable if the bullets had still
25 been flying around up there?
1 A. Well, a bullet might have strayed in there,
2 but we were ignorant of such things, so we went there
3 to have a roof over our heads.
4 Q. You went there to put a roof over your
5 heads. You say, sir, you were ignorant of such things,
6 but in the event of the violence that broke out that
7 day, you were all sufficiently wise to remove your
8 families to appropriate shelters, and you did so, and
9 they stayed there for the whole day; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You showed sufficient wisdom at
12 self-preservation to go into the depression, where you
13 believed you would not be in the path of bullets that
14 were flying around in the course of the conflict; is
15 that not so?
16 A. Yes, that's correct too.
17 Q. Yet when it comes to seeking your refuge at
18 night, with respect, you appear to have chosen a place
19 of less safety than the depression or one of the
20 shelters within the houses of the village; isn't that
22 A. We went into the barn, as I said, to put a
23 roof over our heads because we couldn't sleep in the
24 depression. We didn't go to anyone's house. We
25 couldn't because we were afraid.
1 Q. Now, it seems that during that period, over
2 the next day, a large number if not nearly all the
3 local Muslims, in fact, moved out of Ahmici; is that
5 A. I saw, not a large number, but I saw Muslims
6 who had lived in Zume. I saw them passing.
7 Q. Did it then come to your knowledge that a
8 large number of the local Muslims had moved out? Did
9 people tell you that in the subsequent day or so?
10 A. Yes. I was told the next day that
11 practically they left, they left the village.
12 Q. Are you aware of the circumstances under
13 which they returned? Because I do believe they
14 returned about four days later; I believe you said
16 A. I only remember -- yes, I said that three or
17 four days later they came back. Later, I found out
18 that the Croats had requested some four automatic
19 rifles that the Muslims had confiscated at the
20 roadblock which was there, like you said, at the Topole
22 Q. Do you recall who on the part of the Croat
23 community was involved in any kind of contact or
24 negotiation to persuade the local Muslim population to
1 A. No, I don't remember about those meetings. I
2 wasn't informed about that. I didn't know about it.
3 Q. Did you become aware, through personal
4 friendships with anyone or anything of that nature,
5 aware of the identities of the people who did attend
6 the meetings and conduct any such negotiations?
7 A. As I said, I wasn't interested in that, so I
8 didn't ask anybody about it, and nobody told me
10 Q. Is it true to say, though, sir, that the
11 Muslim population in the main did return to their
12 homes? Is that right?
13 A. Yes. After the first conflict, everybody
14 went back to their homes.
15 Q. You have made reference to seeing numbers of
16 soldiers -- I think you intimated Muslim soldiers --
17 who would come and gather from time to time by the
18 school; do you recall saying that?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
20 Q. You suggested these are people who had been
21 going out to fight on a front line; is that right?
22 A. Yes. I had heard that, and I saw them going
23 somewhere. Of course they would be going to the front
24 line, dressed like that and armed like that.
25 Q. Do I understand correctly that that would
1 have been a front line against the Bosnian Serbs,
2 against whom there had been fighting for some while?
3 Is that right?
4 A. Yes. Those lines that the Muslims were going
5 to were against the Serbs.
6 Q. Maybe it's a realm of life in which you have
7 taken little interest, and please say so if that is the
8 case, but we have heard in this Chamber that one of the
9 considerable sources of tension between the Muslim and
10 Croat communities later in 1992 was the indifference of
11 the Muslim population to the -- what we've referred to
12 as Serb aggression; in other words, they didn't want to
13 fight, and they wouldn't fight, against the Serbs. Did
14 you ever hear anything of that nature?
15 A. No, I didn't. But I know that they went to
16 fight against the Serbs because they went to those
17 lines in Cekrcici and Visoko, and the Serbs were
18 normally on the other side and the Muslims were on this
20 Q. Were Croat soldiers engaged in any of these
21 areas against the Serbs?
22 A. Yes. The Croats went on the other side, to
23 Vlasic. As far as I know, that's where the line of
24 defence was.
25 Q. Now, we've also heard that one of the major
1 or, perhaps, the major cause of the conflict that
2 occurred on the 20th of October '92 was because a
3 Muslim roadblock tried to stop Croat HVO troops going
4 through to the lines at Jajce to fight against the
5 Serbs, and the HVO forcibly removed that roadblock.
6 That's what the fighting was about. Did you hear that
7 to be the cause of the conflict on the 20th of
9 A. Later there was talk, something to that
10 effect, that that was the reason for the barricade.
11 Q. You see, I'm trying to clarify that, sir.
12 You are trying to say to us that, within Ahmici, you
13 saw groups of Muslim soldiers who were going off to
14 lines to fight against the Serbs. With respect, it is
15 illogical that Croats and Muslims should fight over
16 somebody going to the lines to fight a common enemy,
17 and that is what you're suggesting.
18 A. (No audible response)
19 Q. Now, may I ask you just one more thing, I
20 believe, on that subject, and then I can move forward.
21 You say that after the fall of Jajce, that was when you
22 personally bought a semi-automatic weapon.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you, in fact, just give me a month for
25 that, sir? Was that at the end of '92 or the beginning
1 of '93?
2 A. I think that that was in November.
3 Q. Now, let us say that during November and into
4 the beginning of 1993, December, January, your village
5 guards were then carrying on their duties as they had
6 before; is that right?
7 A. Yes. But at that time already, after the
8 fall of Jajce, we had weapons.
9 Q. So now we have two village guards, one
10 Muslim, one Croat, and both are armed; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But even if the atmosphere between the two is
13 not working together as before, presumably you
14 maintained a mutual respect and peaceful coexistence;
15 is that correct?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. I believe, by that point in January '93, you
18 had taken over from Mr. Zoran Kupreskic as the kind of
19 man who would try to sort out any problems for the
20 Croat village guard; I believe you said that is so?
21 A. Yes, at the end of January.
22 Q. So relations remained peaceful, did they not,
23 right up until April of 1993?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So we had no more incidents, no more
1 checkpoints, no more problems; that is clear?
2 A. Yes. Yes, that's true.
3 Q. Because of the general problem of tensions
4 between the communities, did you have any form of line
5 of communication established so that you could report
6 any incident to somebody?
7 A. No. We didn't have anybody to report to, nor
8 did we know. We didn't know if anybody existed whom we
9 could inform. So we would go on guard duty, and we
10 were guarding our homes.
11 Q. With respect, Mr. Vidovic, it does seem
12 curious that you would operate in a vacuum. I mean,
13 what would you have done if something had happened?
14 Let's say that some soldiers had come out of the night
15 while you were on guard duty and you would have found
16 the community under attack; what steps could you have
18 A. If something like that happened, an incident,
19 we would have called the civilian police, and then at
20 the time, we thought that they would deal with it.
21 Q. Where were these civilian police located?
22 Where would you have had to call them?
23 A. In Vitez, the security station.
24 Q. I believe by that time though, the HVO had
25 been in existence for some considerable time; is that
2 A. I didn't know. Well, I had heard stories
3 that there was an HVO. I don't know. I wasn't a
4 member, and I wasn't interested in that. I was just
5 doing my work.
6 Q. But I believe, sir, your place of work, was
7 that in Vitez, if you perhaps just refresh my memory.
8 I may be wrong.
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. Weren't you aware at the time, early '93,
11 that effectively the administrative control of the
12 municipality was in the hands of the HVO, that there
13 was an HVO military as well? Did you not know this?
14 A. I only heard about that. I didn't know
15 exactly what it meant.
16 Q. But, like any citizen, you were aware of
17 these things and aware of these names?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So if you were faced with that situation, it
20 would not have occurred to you then to contact or have
21 contact with the HVO, as the power in the area, to
22 protect the citizens?
23 A. No. As I said, if there were any incident,
24 we would call the civilian police.
25 Q. I will be speaking in greater detail about it
1 in a moment, the early morning meeting that occurred on
2 the morning of the 16th of April, but do you recall any
3 civilian police representatives being present at that
4 meeting at the house of Jozo Livancic?
5 A. No. There was no civilian police there.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, as we get into
7 April of 1993, we reach the day of the 15th of April.
8 Did you, as a local resident, have any idea that there
9 would be any kind of violence in your area in the near
11 A. No. I couldn't even think about something
12 like that. I thought that that would be resolved in a
13 peaceful way. There could be some small things that
14 would happen.
15 Q. But you had no feelings on the 15th of April,
16 1993 that you had to take any protective measures for
17 your family or anything of that nature. It was a nice,
18 normal day; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. I could say that, for me, that day was
20 like that. I went to work, like I said, and, of
21 course, I worked all day.
22 Q. Presumably, you went to bed the night before,
23 i.e., the night of the 15th to the 16th, and you say
24 you were later awoken by a telephone call. Could you
25 just confirm for me again, sir, please, the time that
1 you recall receiving that telephone call?
2 A. It was about 2.30 to 3.00 approximately.
3 Q. You're saying the telephone call to you was
4 at about 02.30 to 03.00 in the morning; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. I believe you stated it was the voice of the
7 late Nenad Santic requesting you to go to the house of
8 Jozo Livancic; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you aware of any HVO connections or
11 authority that may have been vested in Mr. Nenad
13 A. No, I didn't know from the HVO. I knew that
14 he was a member of the HDZ, Nenad Santic, and that he
15 had a lot of information and so on.
16 Q. When you received this request from
17 Mr. Santic to go to the house of Livancic, did you ask
18 him why at that time?
19 A. As I said, he told me, "There are some
20 problems," and to go down there, for him to explain
21 what was going on.
22 Q. Did you understand or have any knowledge at
23 that time as to why you had been chosen to receive such
24 a telephone call?
25 A. Well, yes, because in January of '93, they
1 elected me as a member of the civil defence, so I was
2 the person who supplied the civilians, the inhabitants,
3 in the area where I was living.
4 Q. Who were the people who performed this
5 election? Who were they who had the power to elect you
6 to the civil defence?
7 A. I don't know that. I only know that Ivica
8 Vidovic, Jevco, came and talked with me, and they
9 thought that I was appropriate for this, that I could
10 perform this duty. He asked me if I would agree to
11 that, and, naturally, I did agree.
12 Q. So you're saying that, in reality, for the
13 word "they," we should take it as meaning Jevco,
14 Mr. Ivica Vidovic, is that right, if I'm saying the
15 word right, "Jevco"?
16 A. Yes. Yes, Jevco.
17 Q. Can you recall what time you arrived at the
18 house of Jozo Livancic on the morning of the 16th of
20 A. I don't know exactly what time it was, but I
21 think it was a little bit after 3.00.
22 Q. You have given us a list of the persons who
23 were present. If I may just run through them to see
24 that the list we have, that it is everybody, or whether
25 there is anybody else. There was Mr. Jozo Livancic
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Jelko Livancic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That gentleman, Jelko Livancic, was that the
6 son of Mr. Jozo Livancic?
7 A. Yes. Yes, Jelko Livancic is the son of Jozo.
8 Q. Is that the same young man who sadly died in
9 combat a few days later?
10 A. Yes. Yes, he was killed.
11 Q. Is it correct that he was in a battle line in
12 Kuber when that occurred; is that right, sir?
13 A. Later, I heard that he was killed there.
14 Q. Were you aware of what his military unit or
15 his military role was when you saw him on the night of
16 the 16th, young Mr. Jelko Livancic?
17 A. No, I didn't know that he belonged to any
19 Q. What was he, in fact, wearing, Jelko
20 Livancic, when you arrived at the house? Was he in
21 some sort of uniform?
22 A. I'm not certain because it seems that he had
23 a camouflage uniform, but I'm not certain.
24 Q. What about Mr. Jozo Livancic? Was he wearing
25 some sort of uniform or was he in civilian clothes or
1 night clothing? What was he wearing?
2 A. I think he was in civilian clothes. I didn't
3 pay attention to that at the time, so I can't remember
5 Q. Now, Mr. Nenad Santic was also present;
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Was he dressed in civilian clothes or was he
9 dressed in some form or part of a uniform?
10 A. As far as I can recall, he had just a jacket,
11 but again, I'm not certain.
12 Q. By saying "just a jacket," do you mean that
13 the only uniform he was wearing was a camouflage jacket
14 or you're saying it was just a civilian jacket? Can
15 you clarify that, sir?
16 A. I think it was a camouflage jacket, but I'm
17 not certain about it. I can't remember.
18 Q. Others present at this meeting were also Mr.,
19 I think it's, Anto Kovic or Covic?
20 A. Covic. Covic.
21 Q. Then a Mr. Ivo Vidovic, Mr. Simo Vidovic, and
22 Ivica Vidovic; is that correct?
23 A. Simo Vidovic, as far as I can remember, I
24 didn't mention Ivo Vidovic. Ivica Vidovic, Jevco.
25 Q. I think actually it may be my bad writing.
1 Vujovic, Ivo Vujovic, would that be correct?
2 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. It's my fault. It's my poor handwriting.
4 What about the way those people were dressed? Were
5 they, again, in civilian clothing or were they in
6 military attire?
7 A. I think they were in civilian clothes. They
8 were elderly people. Again, that's what I think.
9 Q. Now, you say that essentially the talking was
10 done here by Jevco, Mr. Ivica Vidovic; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Do you recall if any contribution was made by
13 Mr. Nenad Santic?
14 A. What I heard that night in the house of Jozo
15 Livancic, I heard it all from Jevco, that is, from
16 Ivica Vidovic.
17 Q. Now, could you just try and think back as
18 carefully as you can and tell us as precisely as you
19 can what information you were given? What was it that
20 you were told?
21 A. Jevco, that is, Ivica Vidovic, said that he
22 had information that the Muslims might attack the
23 Croats, that I should therefore go and tell Niko Sakic
24 about this, and that I should take my household members
25 and the neighbours to a shelter.
1 Q. Were you given any information at all about
2 when they thought this might take place?
3 A. No, no other information was given to us by
5 Q. Can you recall at what time you received this
6 information? What time was it now? You arrived there
7 at about 3.00. What sort of time do you have now?
8 A. As I said, I arrived there after 3.00, maybe
9 ten minutes past three, a quarter of an hour past
10 three, and then it might have been about half past four
11 (sic) or twenty to four approximately.
12 Q. But were you actually told this information
13 shortly after arriving? I'm just trying to work out --
14 I don't quite understand the recorded reply, sir. I'm
15 sorry. You say at ten or a quarter past three is when,
16 what, you might have arrived or when you first heard
17 this information?
18 A. When I arrived, that's what I said. I
19 arrived there at about ten past three. Then we sat
20 down, and he told us that, and it might have lasted
21 for -- well, it might have lasted until half past
22 three, something like that, or forty minutes past
24 Q. After receiving that information, you were
25 given the instructions to do your civil defence duty
1 and warn people and get them to shelters; is that
3 A. (No audible response)
4 Q. Were you given any additional information as
5 to the direction from which any supposed attack would
7 A. No, they didn't tell us that.
8 Q. I think you've already said, and therefore I
9 apologise if we're repeating ourselves, I think you
10 said that you weren't given any idea of what time this
11 attack was expected or feared; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's what I said.
13 Q. Sorry. I don't mean to repeat. I missed
14 it. You've received this information; it is now
15 something like 3.30 to 3.40 in the morning. What time
16 did you eventually leave the house of Jozo Livancic?
17 A. Well, about twenty minutes to four, I think
18 it could have been around that time.
19 Q. From there, where did you go first?
20 A. Jevco had told me to go to Niko Sakic's house
21 because he was supposed to attend the meeting, but he
22 wasn't informed, so he didn't come.
23 Q. Now, I suggest going back to the persons who
24 were present at the meeting. Do you recall whether you
25 saw any of them again in the course of the 16th of
1 April? Did you encounter them any place else?
2 A. No.
3 Q. There is just one thing I would like to
4 return to for a moment, again, in respect of the
5 unfortunate young man Jelko Livancic.
6 MR. BLAXILL: I wonder if we could just make
7 reference, Your Honours, to Exhibit D39/2. I don't
8 think it's a document that necessarily will be
9 recognised by the witness as such, but I will ask him
10 just to look at one name in it. It is, I understand, a
11 list of HVO casualties, deceased. I wonder if that
12 could just be shown to the witness.
13 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you see a document before you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, I appreciate, sir, you are not the
16 author of the document, but does that appear to you, on
17 its face, to be a list of deceased soldiers working for
18 an HVO formation? It looks like the Viteska Brigade.
19 Would that be right?
20 A. When I look at this list, when I read these
21 names, I cannot conclude. But I see here Jelko
22 Livancic, son of Jozo, under number 8, and it's true
23 that he was killed.
24 Q. Sir, if I said to you that a witness having
25 put forward this very same information suggested that
1 Mr. Jelko Livancic was, in fact, in the military
2 police, would that in any way ring a bell with you or
3 is that simply information you do not have?
4 A. I don't know that Jelko Livancic was in the
6 Q. Thank you, sir. I just wanted to clear the
7 point with you. We're obliged for that.
8 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours. Thank
9 you very much.
10 Q. But it would seem then, just one other
11 factor, that at that point, when you left the meeting,
12 Mr. Jelko Livancic was most assuredly in -- well, I'm
13 saying the Ahmici region -- he was at the house of his
14 father at that time. Is that right?
15 A. Yes, but that's not Ahmici.
16 Q. It is, I believe, fairly close by, however,
17 is it not?
18 A. Well, not so close.
19 Q. How far away would you say that house was
20 from Ahmici as a village area?
21 A. I can tell you from my house, for example, a
22 kilometre and a half to two kilometres.
23 Q. From your house to Ahmici?
24 A. No, no, no. From my house to the house of
25 Jelko Livancic.
1 Q. Does the house actually appear on the large
2 photograph? Can you identify the Livancic household?
3 Or is it not on that photograph?
4 A. I can have a look. It's here.
5 Q. It's there?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you very much indeed, sir. Thank you.
8 So when you went -- please, do sit down, Mr. Vidovic.
9 Thank you for your help. When you went to the house of
10 Mr. Sakic, how long did it take you to get from the
11 house of Livancic to Mr. Niko Sakic's house?
12 A. Well, since it was night-time, it took me
13 about 15 minutes or 20 minutes. Something like that.
14 Q. I imagine, sir, you were on foot at the time;
15 is that right?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. So you arrived at the house of Mr. Niko
18 Sakic, and --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- how long did you remain at that house in
21 order to advise him what to do and then -- before
22 moving on?
23 A. Oh, well, if it took me about 20 minutes to
24 reach his house, I arrived at about 4.00. I stayed
25 there briefly. Two, three, four minutes, perhaps.
1 Q. From that house, where did you go?
2 A. Then I went to Ivica Kupreskic's house and
3 Zoran Kupreskic's house.
4 Q. That would have taken you how long? Two or
5 three minutes to get there?
6 A. Well, you couldn't really get there in two or
7 three minutes. Maybe five or six because there was a
8 depression, it was dark, the road is not good. So five
9 to six minutes, perhaps.
10 Q. So would it be true to say that you had
11 alerted members of the Kupreskic family by about 15 to
12 20 minutes after 4.00 that morning? Is that right?
13 A. Maybe a quarter past four, approximately.
14 Q. From the various Kupreskic households, where
15 did you then go?
16 A. When I had awakened Ivica and Zoran Kupreskic
17 and explained things to them, I went to my house to
18 wake up my parents, my wife, my children, and my
20 Q. So at what time did you reach your own home?
21 A. Well, around about half past four, 20 to
22 5.00, approximately. As I said, all this is
24 Q. Sir, it appears that your first call was to
25 Mr. Niko Sakic because he obviously had not been
1 contacted, and he too had civil defence duties to
2 perform. Was the Kupreskic family part of your list of
3 people to warn, particularly, and to relocate?
4 A. Yes. They belonged to the people I was
5 supposed to alert in such cases.
6 Q. So from that location it was quicker to go
7 straight to the Kupreskics', was it, rather than go
8 straight to your own home? You could perform that duty
10 A. Well, since it was my duty to wake them up,
11 and it was along the way, of course, I woke up the two
12 of them and told them to wake up the others in their
13 homes, and then I would continue on my way to my house
14 and to my other neighbours'.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, Mr. Blaxill --
16 MR. BLAXILL: Yes, I was just--
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you want to continue for
18 one to two minutes, or shall we stop here?
19 MR. BLAXILL: I doubt the one or two minutes
20 will do a great deal either way, Your Honours. It's a
21 good break point in the evidence.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. Thank you. So we will
23 continue on Monday. May I remind you that on Monday we
24 will be sitting from 9.00 to 1.00, and then from 2.30
25 to 5:30 on Monday.
1 All right. So we adjourn now.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
3 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
4 Monday, the 22nd day of March, 1999,
5 at 9.00 a.m.