1 Monday, 22nd March, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 This is case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic,
9 Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
11 Mr. Blaxill?
12 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. President, Your Honours,
13 good morning. Counsel, good morning to you. Good
14 morning, Mr. Vidovic.
15 Your Honours, before I recommence my
16 cross-examination, just to check the timings with Your
17 Honours, I presume that the morning session will be as
18 normal, with the breaks taken as you normally do, up to
19 1.30, and I believe this afternoon we're running 14.30
20 to 17.30. Have Your Honours any thoughts as to what
21 break times you wish to take because we can obviously
22 plan ourselves to try and work round that.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I said that we will sit until
24 1.00, and then from 2.30 to 5.30. So we will take a
25 break at 10.30.
1 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm
2 obliged to you. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: DRAGAN VIDOVIC (Resumed)
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
5 Q. Mr. Vidovic, good morning again. On Friday
6 we were speaking about the events on the morning of the
7 16th of April, 1993, and I think we'd got to the point
8 where you had received the briefing at the house of
9 Mr. Livancic and subsequently had approached various
10 people, including the Kupreskic families, to warn
11 people to move to the shelters. Can you confirm for
12 me, please, sir, what time it was that you got to your
13 own home?
14 A. Just a moment.
15 Well, it was sometime around 4.20, perhaps.
16 Perhaps half past four.
17 Q. And at that time, sir, what were you wearing?
18 A. I had a camouflage jacket, and my trousers
19 were civilian, and I had, I think, a pair of boots.
20 Q. Thank you. You then took your family to the
21 shelter at the home of Mr. Niko Sakic; could you
22 indicate about what time you arrived there?
23 A. The first time when I reached my house, I
24 woke them up, then aroused other neighbours, and then I
25 came back to fetch my family, and then I took them to
1 Niko Sakic's shelter. So I reached the shelter at
2 about -- well, it could have been some ten minutes
3 before the fire started, before the shooting started.
4 So it could be 5.20 or thereabouts.
5 Q. So you think you arrived there at about 5.20,
6 and I believe you then said that you remained near that
7 house, near his garage, and you were in company with
8 some other people. The people you've named so far,
9 sir, are as follows, if I could recall these with you.
10 Mr. Dragan Samija; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Mirko Sakic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Milutin Vidovic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Niko Sakic himself?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And Mr. Miroslav Pudza? They were with you
19 at the time; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And about how much longer was it before you
22 saw the group of soldiers pass you by?
23 A. Shortly afterwards. They turned up perhaps
24 two or three minutes afterwards. They came from the
25 direction of Zume.
1 Q. And you've described these soldiers as being
2 in camouflage or black uniforms and fairly heavily
3 armed. Were they Croat soldiers?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you've identified from the white belts
6 they were wearing that they were military policemen; is
7 that so?
8 A. I guessed so.
9 Q. And I believe you said that all of them had
10 some kind of face paint on except for one person; is
11 that right?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. And that person was a man you recognised as a
14 local person called Mirjan Santic; is that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did any particular thought cross your mind
17 when you saw that Mirjan Santic, the local man, had no
18 face paint, and yet all the others did? Did that
19 strike you in any way as strange, or provoke any
21 A. Really, at that time, at that particular
22 point, I think I was scared stiff. I hardly know what
23 I was thinking at that time.
24 Q. But when these soldiers passed you by, were
25 you visible to them? Could they see you?
1 A. Well, if they were looking in that direction,
2 they could, because I was close. If they were looking,
3 that is.
4 Q. But you and your fellow neighbours who were
5 there at the time would have been visible to these
6 soldiers if they had cared to look; that's correct?
7 A. Well, we were there, so they could see us if
8 they wanted to.
9 Q. You say that at the time that you were
10 frightened, but these soldiers were Croat soldiers, and
11 you've said that what you had feared was a Muslim
12 attack. That's the warning you had had. Why were you
13 so frightened seeing Croat soldiers?
14 A. Well, because it was the first time I came
15 across such soldiers painted, and they looked strange.
16 I knew they were Croats because they came from the
17 direction of Zume. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able
18 to conclude that from anything else.
19 Q. Because of the direction, they were coming
20 from the Croat part of the community; is that so?
21 A. Yes, quite so.
22 Q. So if, as you say, you'd been warned, you
23 thought there might be some kind of Muslim attack, can
24 you say what direction you expected that to come from?
25 A. Well, from the direction of Ahmici,
1 naturally, because those were the closest Muslims.
2 Q. And that, roughly speaking, would it not have
3 been, in a sense, the direction towards the houses of
4 the Kupreskic family and beyond, is that correct, from
5 where you were?
6 A. Yes, from the direction of the Kupreskic
7 houses towards us.
8 Q. So we have seen some photographs of the
9 depression to which you say you moved, and it would
10 appear that there is an access to that depression that
11 faces the houses of the Kupreskics; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So do you think you would have been
14 particularly safe in that depression, if indeed, as you
15 feared, a Muslim attack had come upon the village?
16 A. Well, I think that the place itself was quite
17 good as a shelter. I mean, the configuration of the
18 ground was quite good, so one could be protected there,
19 and we would still be near our families.
20 Q. Sir, I'm afraid I've jumped ahead a little
21 bit. Now, you and the group were near the house of
22 Niko Sakic, and then you in fact moved to the
23 depression as a group of people; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when you went into that depression, were
1 any of your -- yourself or your comrades, were you in
2 any way armed?
3 A. Yes. Well, I did have a rifle, and my
4 colleagues had some weapons.
5 Q. Of the -- for now, the five names I have
6 previously mentioned, did all or any of them have guns?
7 A. I wouldn't know if they all had them, but I
8 know I had one. I know that Mirko Sakic had one, and I
9 think that the majority had weapons. I'm positive that
10 I had.
11 Q. Now, at that point, how many of you had gone
12 into the depression? We've spoken of five names plus
13 yourself; that's six. Were there any more at that
15 A. When we entered that depression, or rather
16 when we heard shots, those five -- that is, the five of
17 us immediately entered the depression, and Zoran
18 Kupreskic ran in from the direction of Zume after a
19 couple of minutes.
20 Q. So when you caught sight of Zoran Kupreskic,
21 it was in the depression; is that so? You were already
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was Mr. Kupreskic armed when he arrived?
25 A. Yes, I think so. I think he had a weapon.
1 Q. And what was Mr. Zoran Kupreskic wearing?
2 A. I remember he had a camouflage jacket, a size
3 too big for him, and that he was wearing civilian
4 trousers, and I don't remember what he had on his
6 Q. When you were in that depression, how did you
7 in fact arrange yourselves? Did you simply sit down as
8 a group, or did you try and place yourselves in some
9 kind of defensive deployment?
10 A. No, we were not sitting down, but we were
11 huddled in a group, frightened, so just seeking shelter
12 in that depression.
13 Q. Did you think to have any one of your number
14 at any particular point in that depression to keep a
15 lookout in case anyone came, in case an attack came
16 from Muslim forces? Did you not think to do that?
17 A. Where we were standing, where we were hiding,
18 we could see that path coming from the direction of the
19 Kupreskics' house. That is, if the Muslims had been on
20 their way, we would have seen them.
21 Q. Right. Did you discuss where you would go,
22 when you were at the meeting at Livancic's house?
23 A. No. As a matter of fact, we talked about
24 it -- we talked only about how we could take the
25 families and the neighbours to the shelter, and each
1 one of us knew where they could be taken for shelter.
2 Q. So at that briefing, you had no conversation
3 beyond performing your civil defence duties? You were
4 not told what to do after that?
5 A. No. Nobody said anything.
6 Q. Were you aware of any kind of instruction to
7 any of the people who had been at that meeting from
8 Mr. Nenad Santic? Did you hear any instructions given?
9 A. I don't know. All I know is what I just
11 Q. Very well. Now, you are then in this
12 depression, and I believe you have stated that from
13 time to time, one or more of the group would leave the
14 depression; is that correct?
15 A. It is, yes.
16 Q. And for what sort of time periods did people
17 leave? Were they very different? Were they short
18 periods, or long periods?
19 A. Well, for instance, since my people were the
20 closest here in the shelter, I would come back every
21 five or six minutes. And those who were a bit further
22 away, those families who were a bit further away, then
23 they would take some 10 or 15 minutes.
24 Q. Do you recall how many times, let us say, for
25 example, Mr. Milutin Vidovic left the depression that
2 A. I couldn't say exactly how many times, but
3 generally not -- not once. Several times -- less than
4 several times. Two or three times.
5 Q. What about Mr. Dragan Samija? Do you
6 remember how many times he may have left the depression
7 during the day?
8 A. I really can't tell you. I can tell you how
9 many times I came out of the depression. I really do
10 not remember how many times they left it.
11 Q. And would the same be true of Mr. Zoran
12 Kupreskic? Do you remember the times he left the
14 A. Once again, I told you, it could have been
15 two or three times.
16 Q. Now, do you recall when Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic
17 came to the depression?
18 A. Well, when we heard the first shots, Mirjan
19 Kupreskic was with me, so we entered the depression
21 Q. As far as you are aware, during the day, was
22 there always somebody in the depression? Was there any
23 time when the whole group of you left?
24 A. No. No, it never happened that we all left.
25 It was always one or two.
1 Q. Just to clarify that, you mean it was only
2 one or two at a time would leave? Yes?
3 A. Yes. At some point, perhaps three would go
4 at a time, if -- they would go together to see the
6 Q. And as you have said, this was a place of
7 concealment for your self-protection. Presumably you
8 could not see where anyone went once they left the
9 depression; is that right?
10 A. It is, yes.
11 Q. So I believe later in the day you then
12 decided to move your family; is that right?
13 A. It wasn't me who decided it. We agreed in
14 the shelter, just for the sake of some safety, that it
15 would be better if we retreated towards Zume.
16 Q. Had there, therefore, been shooting going on
17 virtually all day to this point?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Had there been any particular event that made
20 you suddenly realise that this shelter wasn't so safe?
21 Had something additional happened to make you think
23 A. What happened was that bullets were hitting
24 houses, and branches, and tree branches, and we
25 realised it was not safe and we would have to retreat
2 Q. So what time of day was it that you decided
3 that the families should move and retreat further
4 towards Zume?
5 A. Once again, it wasn't me who decided about
6 the retreat, it was sometime in the afternoon, around
7 16.00, 16.30, was when they left.
8 Q. So in point of fact, the families had been
9 there from something like just before 5.00 -- well,
10 5.15 to 5.30 in the morning right through until 4.00 in
11 the afternoon?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And presumably, the bullets had been flying
14 for most of the day; had they not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So after 4.00, you moved your -- well, your
17 family and others moved towards Zume. Did you
18 accompany them?
19 A. No.
20 Q. So what did you do?
21 A. I was there in the depression.
22 Q. Now, whilst you were in the depression, was
23 one of your purposes to offer some protection to the
24 nearby shelters?
25 A. In a manner of speaking, yes, because our
1 families were there, children.
2 Q. So presumably once those families had
3 relocated to Zume, that particular purpose for being in
4 the depression was no longer relevant; is that so?
5 A. Well, yes, it was the best shelter. It
6 offered some safety to us who were there.
7 Q. But once you relocated your families to Zume,
8 would you not have been safer if you and your
9 colleagues had also stayed in Zume?
10 A. We stayed there. I don't really know why,
11 but at any rate, that is where we stayed.
12 Q. But would you agree with me, Mr. Vidovic,
13 that logically, if your families were safer in Zume, so
14 would you have been safer in Zume; is that not so?
15 A. We stayed there, again, because of the safety
16 of our families, because that was the only direction
17 from which the Muslims could reach the shelter and the
18 shelter at Niko Vidovic's.
19 Q. So even after you had removed your families
20 from the immediate danger of that area, you and your
21 colleagues returned there to be a defensive presence
22 against a possible Muslim attack; is that so?
23 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, to protect our
24 families as far as possible.
25 Q. Thank you, sir. At what time of the day or
1 the night did you leave the depression?
2 A. In fact, we never left the depression. We
3 would go out 50 or 60 metres, coming to the brink of
4 that depression, where Ivo Kupreskic's stable was. We
5 came to the stable once it was dark.
6 Q. Did all of you in that group go to the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is that where you spent the night of the 16th
10 of April?
11 A. Yes. That is where we spent the night and,
12 of course, some people stood guard in front of the
14 Q. And the following day, when daylight came,
15 where did you go? The 17th.
16 A. We again retreated to the depression, because
17 the stable was at an elevation and it was not safe.
18 Q. And, again, did you reoccupy the depression
19 principally as a defensive measure? You would be there
20 to be in the way of any Muslim attack that came; is
21 that right?
22 A. Well, it means we were there again in a
23 group, all together. We were all together. There was
24 no line or anything, we were just there. We could keep
25 an eye on that path.
1 Q. So you could keep an eye on the path. You
2 were essentially, were you not, guarding that line of
3 approach in case any Muslim attack came?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you remained there, did you, for the
6 whole of the 17th?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you spend the following night again in
9 the barn or, I'm sorry, the stable you referred to?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were all of you still present in that group,
12 including Mr. Zoran Kupreskic and Mr. Mirjan
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I believe it was then on the 18th you
16 received an approach by Croat military police officers;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes. On the third day, in the afternoon.
19 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, sir. On the
20 afternoon of the third day, you received some
21 instructions from those military police essentially to
22 dig in, to dig some trenches there; is that right?
23 A. So these two, if they were military
24 policemen, took us to Pirici, up to Pirici.
25 Q. And it was there that you then dug in and you
1 remained; is that so?
2 A. Yes, at Pirici, at sunset, and that is where
3 we stayed.
4 Q. So did you consider yourself, therefore,
5 under military orders and performing your military task
6 when you received those instructions?
7 A. Well, since we could do nothing, since we
8 were not allowed to do anything else, we had to do it.
9 We realised that we were --
10 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, the interpreter
11 could not hear the end of the sentence.
12 MR. BLAXILL:
13 Q. Yes. Mr. Vidovic, you were saying something
14 like, "We realised that we were," but I'm afraid the
15 interpreter didn't hear the last of your sentence.
16 Could you repeat that for us, please?
17 A. Well, yes. I did think that I was a part of
18 it since I was there, rather that they'd made me a part
19 of it.
20 Q. In point of fact though, is it not so that
21 you and your colleagues had been in at least parts of
22 uniform, armed, and essentially guarding a location
23 since the early morning of the 16th of April? Isn't
24 that so?
25 A. True. On the morning of the 16th we were
1 dressed, as you said; armed, as you said; and were in
2 that shelter.
3 MR. BLAXILL: I wonder if I might just have a
4 moment to confer with my colleagues, Your Honours.
5 Thank, Mr. President. I'm obliged to Your
7 Q. I just have one further thing I would like to
8 ask you, Mr. Vidovic, if you would. That is, did you,
9 in fact, leave the depression around 7.00 that morning
10 and go anywhere near your own home?
11 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand what morning.
12 Q. Sorry, I should have said. I apologise,
13 yes. The morning of the 16th of April, the first day
14 of the second conflict.
15 A. That morning, around 7.00 I was there in the
16 depression. I couldn't have gone to my home anyway.
17 Q. Do you recall seeing anybody known to you as
18 the Didak family that morning, the 16th?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where and under what circumstances did you
21 see them?
22 A. Well, around twenty past five or twenty-five
23 past five two women got out of that depression. I
24 don't know what time it was. I know it was women with
25 children. Then Zoran took them to the shelter, towards
2 Q. I see. Did you later find out the names of
3 these women? Are they the names that I mentioned to
4 you, the Didak family?
5 A. Yes. It was Manda and Marica.
6 Q. And you say that you saw them coming out of
7 the depression and then they encountered Mr. Zoran
8 Kupreskic who took them on towards Zume; is that
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, I have no further
12 questions. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 Ms. Slokovic-Glumac?
15 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. We'd just like to go through some of the
19 things you had mentioned during this examination to see
20 how things go.
21 The 16th, in the morning, you passed by Niko
22 Sakic's house; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That is to say, just before you heard the
25 shooting. Who did you see then?
1 A. From the direction of Zume, I saw them
3 Q. All right. Well, after these military men.
4 Who was with you at the time the military were passing
6 A. At that point there was Mirko Sakic, Dragan
7 Samija, Milutin Vidovic, Niko Samija -- I'm sorry, Niko
8 Sakic, and I.
9 Q. That is to say, at the point when the
10 military were passing by?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Was there anybody else, perhaps?
13 A. Well, I do not recall. I remember that when
14 the military men went by, when the military men went by
15 then Mirjan and Zoran came.
16 Q. All right. Do you remember any other
17 neighbours who were there? All right. If you can't
18 remember, you can't remember.
19 A. I don't know if I mentioned Miroslav Pudza,
20 but I know he was there.
21 Q. Please tell us whether all of you remained in
22 the depression or not. Which members of this group
24 A. As I said, every now and then we would leave
25 just to see our families. That is to say, in the
1 direction of the shelter. For example, I went to the
2 shelter where my family was.
3 Q. All right. You said that, but do you know
4 that some people were at a place called Podbijelom
5 Zemljom, that there was somebody from the Pudza houses,
6 some of your neighbours from there?
7 A. Well, it's nearby. I don't know. I can't
9 Q. You can't remember?
10 A. No, I can't remember.
11 Q. Are you sure that Milutin Vidovic was with
12 you that day?
13 A. I'm sure that he was by Niko Sakic's garage.
14 I don't think he went into the depression with us.
15 Q. All right. And are you sure that Miroslav
16 Pudza went into the depression?
17 A. I'm not sure about him either. I even think
18 that the two of them were not in the depression.
19 Q. Do you know where they went to?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. So who was in the depression? Would you tell
22 us once again?
23 A. Well, it was Mirko Sakic, Zoran Kupreskic,
24 Mirjan Kupreskic, Dragan Samija, and I.
25 Q. So these two, who you mentioned, Miroslav
1 Pudza and Milutin Vidovic, as far as you can remember,
2 they went away; right?
3 A. Yes. Well, I don't know where they went to
4 but they weren't with us.
5 Q. All right. Please tell us, what is your
6 estimate, how far is Milutin Vidovic's shelter from
7 Niko Sakic's house.
8 A. I can't say for sure but 600 metres,
9 approximately, as I said.
10 Q. And how far away is Niko Vidovic's shelter?
11 A. Well, if that was 600, perhaps it could be
12 300, 350 the metres.
13 Q. And Jozo Vrebac's?
14 A. Well, perhaps about 750, up to 800 metres.
15 Q. You also told the Prosecutor that you thought
16 that this was some kind of a position from which you
17 could perhaps see people coming to the site towards
18 these shelters; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have the feeling that if there were
21 to be any kind of attack, any kind of action from that
22 site that you could offer significant resistance?
23 A. Well, I don't know how much we would have
24 succeeded, but that's why we were there. But I don't
25 know whether -- well, we were inexperienced with regard
1 to these matters.
2 Q. So you thought that you could help?
3 A. Yes. Yes, our families.
4 Q. In which way?
5 A. Yes, that we could help our families.
6 Q. Please tell us, in relation to the
7 Prosecutor's questions that were put to you in
8 connection with the truck that you saw, if you remember
9 the one that you saw come into the village sometime in
10 May 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that you saw some boxes and a few
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell me, did you see someone on the truck?
16 A. Yes. Yes, I think I said so. I saw three
17 Muslims, and they were there.
18 Q. Did they have any weapons in their hands?
19 A. I remember very well that one of them had a
20 M53 machine gun in his hands and it surprised me.
21 Q. Were they shooting? Were they shooting as
22 they were getting in?
23 A. Well, as they were turning towards Ahmici
24 from the main road, we could hear shooting in that
25 direction. As they passed by my house where I was,
1 then there was no shooting. And again, we heard
2 shooting as they were getting into the upper part of
3 the village, into Gornji Ahmici.
4 Q. After that, did you perhaps hear from the
5 inhabitants of the village, the Muslims, the people
6 that you stood guard with at the time, did you hear
7 them say that they got weapons from Slimena? Did they
8 boast about it?
9 A. Well, yes, yes, they bragged, because we saw
10 them carrying around these weapons, and they were
11 saying that they brought in larger quantities of
12 ammunition and weapons.
13 Q. After that, did you see a person shooting at
14 the village from the truck?
15 A. Well, about an hour, hour and a half later,
16 Suad Ahmici called Breza. He went by Suljo Pezer's
17 house and Smajo Pezer's house. Since this was near my
18 house I saw that he had a semiautomatic rifle and he
19 was shooting in the air.
20 Q. Did he ever tell you where he got that
22 A. Well, he never told me, but I assume that
23 that is that rifle that came on that truck, because I
24 hadn't seen it before that.
25 Q. Could you please tell us whether you saw any
1 of the Croat inhabitants of the village on the 20th of
2 October, 1992, that they were in conflict with the
4 A. No.
5 Q. That there was shooting, that there was some
6 kind of position?
7 A. No, no. From the place where we were, we
8 couldn't see it anyway. It was actually on the main
9 road that shooting was. Up there where we were, no,
10 no, nothing up there. There was no shooting there.
11 Q. Did you hear any shooting from any other
12 parts of the village apart from the road, that is to
13 say, on the 20th of October, 1992?
14 A. I only heard it from the main road and from
15 the cemetery over there.
16 Q. I'm also interested in another thing. On
17 several occasions we talked; is that right?
18 A. (No audible response)
19 Q. Tell us, how come that every time we talked
20 about this meeting on the 16th you always enumerate the
21 people who were there, Ivica Vidovic Jevco, Simo
22 Vidovic, Ivo Vojevic, Anto Covic, Jozo Livancic.
23 A. I'm sorry, could you just tell me the date.
24 Q. We're talking about the meeting on the 16th
25 in the morning, that is to say, the night?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. But in my notes I did not find the name of
3 Zeljko Livancic. You never mentioned it except here at
4 the trial itself?
5 A. I don't know. You asked me or somebody asked
6 me what kind of uniform Zeljko wore. What kind of
7 clothes he had on. I could not recall at all and now I
8 am not even sure whether he was there at all. I gave
9 this some thought on Saturday and Sunday, and I don't
10 know whether he was there.
11 Q. Tell me, was he a member of the civilian
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was there any reason for him to attend this
15 meeting if it was the members of the civilian defence
16 who were there at the meeting, the ones you mentioned?
17 A. Well, if he was there and I'm not 100 per
18 cent sure -- well, he could have been because it was
19 the house where he lived.
20 Q. That's his house?
21 A. Yes, it's his house or, rather, his father's
22 house. Not for any other reason. I mean, it wasn't
23 necessary for him to be there for any other reason.
24 Q. Who did you talk to for sure? Who did you
25 talk to for sure that day?
1 A. Well, with Jevco. That is to say with Ivica
2 Vidovic. He told me everything that I had learned that
4 Q. Did you talk to Santic at all, to Nenad?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did you talk to any of these other persons:
7 Simo Vidovic, Ivo Vojevic, Anto Covic?
8 A. No. No, we didn't really talk. It was only
9 Ivica Vidovic, Jevco, who told us what -- and then we
11 Q. Tell me, did you keep any notes about these
13 A. No, no. No, I didn't. None.
14 Q. All right. In view of this fact, if I were
15 to tell you that the Defence has evidence that Zeljko
16 Livancic was at the position in Kuber at that time and
17 that he was killed --
18 JUDGE MAY: That is a leading question.
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes, Your Honour. I
20 have concluded. I only have one more question to ask.
21 Q. So what would you say, in view of the answers
22 that you've given now and the ones that you gave at the
23 last hearing in response to my questions and in
24 response to the Prosecutor's questions, in view of
25 everything you have said, with what degree of certainty
1 can you state that Zeljko Livancic was in that house on
2 the 16th in the morning?
3 A. Now I'm no longer sure he was there. I'm not
4 sure he was there at all.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
9 No questions?
10 I have one or two questions for the witness.
11 Mr. Vidovic, was there any snow in the depression on
12 the 16th and 17th of April, '93, when you were there?
13 A. Well, there was hardly any snow. Perhaps in
14 some of the smaller depressions there was a bit of
15 snow, but there wasn't snow all over the place. There
16 were bits of snow, as far as I can remember.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Patches of snow?
18 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, you can put it that way,
19 too. Yes.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: And tell me, did you sit or
21 lie when staying in the depression? I understand you
22 spent two days there, so did you spend all the time
23 there just standing?
24 A. Well, sometimes we would sit down, although
25 it was a bit cold, but we'd stand most of the time.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. There
2 are no other questions. Thank you, Mr. Vidovic, for
3 testifying in court. You may now be released.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I
5 thought that our next witness would come after the
6 break, and I just wish to say that the witness who is
7 going to testify now would like protective measures,
8 she'd like a pseudonym, in view of the place where she
9 lives, and she is rather frightened for her children
10 and for her own safety.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you want a pseudonym plus
12 a closed session?
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Just a pseudonym.
14 During part of the hearing, during the
15 examination-in-chief, we can close the session only
16 when she speaks of herself and her family members, so
17 we can start in closed session, and after that there
18 can be an open session.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. All right.
20 (Closed session)
21 (The witness entered court)
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16 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.20 p.m.
18 (Open session)
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
20 Will you please stand and make the solemn declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit
1 Counsel Radovic?
2 WITNESS: MIRKO VIDOVIC
3 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vidovic, will you please
5 introduce yourself. You are Mirko Vidovic. Could we
6 hear your father's name, please?
7 MR. RADOVIC: Oh, excuse me, excuse me.
8 Colleague Krajina will be the second examiner in
9 chief. Will you please bear this in mind. Thank you?
10 A. My name is Mirko Vidovic. My father's name
11 is Jozo. 29 September, 1953, is my date of birth, at
12 Pirici, municipality of Vitez.
13 Q. In 1992, what were your family's
15 A. In 1992, my wife and children --
16 Q. No, what I mean is, were you married?
17 A. Yes, I was married. That's what I'm telling
19 Q. And how many children did you have?
20 A. Two.
21 Q. Will you tell us if your wife had any family
22 in Germany?
23 A. Yes, she did.
24 Q. Whom?
25 A. She had her mother and a brother.
1 Q. Until 1992, did you hold a steady job?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We've already coached you here. Did you hold
4 a job?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Who did you work for at the trading company?
7 What were you?
8 A. A tradesman.
9 Q. And your seniority is what?
10 A. 18 years.
11 Q. Right. And now we have your general
12 particulars, and now we shall proceed to talking about
13 the reasons for which you were called to testify here.
14 We're first going back to 1991, when the
15 first free elections took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 Do you remember that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Did you go out and vote?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Could you tell us something about political
21 developments in the municipality of Vitez following the
22 first elections?
23 A. I'm not actively engaged in politics, but as
24 a citizen, I went out and cast my ballot.
25 Q. But what was happening politically after the
2 A. Well, I'm not interested in politics, and I
3 do not know.
4 Q. So when it comes to political relations among
5 leading parties and Croats and Muslims, you cannot tell
6 us anything?
7 A. I cannot tell you anything. I do not know.
8 Q. Do you know anything about the village
9 guards, village watches?
10 A. Well, there were some.
11 Q. So will you tell us what it is that you
13 A. Well, we heard -- that is, I heard that there
14 were some gangs -- that gangs were going around and
15 looting, and I looked after my house, as everybody else
17 Q. So everybody looked after his own house, but
18 when I ask you about village guards --
19 A. That means several people in a village --
20 Q. Will you please wait for me to finish the
21 question and then answer it?
22 So the question is: Do you know anything
23 about the village guards?
24 A. No, I don't.
25 Q. But did you ever go on a village guard?
1 A. Also, I did.
2 Q. Since when?
3 A. In 1992 -- well, it could have been September
4 or August.
5 Q. Was it then when you started?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And who did you stand guard with mostly?
8 A. With Mirjan Kupreskic usually.
9 Q. Who? I'm sorry, I did not hear you.
10 A. Mirjan Kupreskic.
11 Q. Was it always that you stood guard with him
12 or were there some other combinations?
13 A. Well, there were others too. We changed. We
14 were not always the same.
15 Q. Right. So tell us now, before the first
16 conflict which broke out on the 20th of October, 1992,
17 what did this guard duty look like? To begin with, did
18 you do your military duty?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know the difference between guard and
22 A. Sure.
23 Q. Will you please tell us what the difference
25 A. Well, guards are guards and the patrol is a
1 patrol. The patrol moves about and guards stand in one
3 Q. So these village guards, did you go on patrol
4 or did you stand guard?
5 A. In patrols.
6 Q. Now, will you please stand up and show on
7 this aerial photograph where your house was?
8 A. Here (indicating).
9 Q. Will you tell us who your neighbours were,
10 Croats and Muslims? So will you please indicate your
11 neighbour's house and say who was the Croat and who was
12 a Muslim?
13 A. This is a neighbour, Zoran Kupreskic
14 (indicating). Mirjan Kupreskic here (indicating).
15 That is his parents' house (indicating). Here,
16 across -- over there were Muslims (indicating).
17 Q. Could you please tell us?
18 A. This is Sulejman Pezer here (indicating),
19 Smajl Pezer (indicating), and down there, there are
20 also some (indicating). I can't remember the names.
21 Q. As you are standing by this aerial
22 photograph, I will ask you something that I intended to
23 ask you later, so what Pudzine Kuce means to you?
24 Tell us first what is Pudzine Kuce and then
25 you will show it.
1 A. Pudzine Kuce are from Niko Sakic to Jozo
3 Q. What is it? Is it a part of the village or
5 A. Yes, it is part of the village.
6 Q. Yes. That's how you should tell us so we
7 understand what you are talking about.
8 So from the first house in Pudzine Kuce to
9 the last house in Pudzine Kuce, if you take the road,
10 what is the distance?
11 A. It should be about four or 500 metres.
12 Q. How many metres did you say, say 400 or 500
13 metres? My colleague tells me that we don't have
14 exactly the definition of Pudzine -- the boundary of
15 Pudzine Kuce. Which is the house in Pudzine Kuce?
16 A. First is Niko Sakic's to Jozo Vrebac.
17 Q. Will you please show us? Will you use the
18 pointer from the initial point to the final point?
19 A. Here down to here (indicating).
20 Q. Could you follow the road? Could you show
21 with this pointer from the first to the last house
22 along the road so that we can see the distance? Can
23 you not find your way about this photograph? Would you
24 rather that we turn it some other direction, the
1 A. Here up to here (indicating).
2 Q. Are you sure you're not confused? Can you
3 show it to us or can you not do it? Tell us, would you
4 rather that we turn this photograph so that we put
5 north upward, as usually is the case with us? Perhaps
6 you will be more familiar if we turn it. Would you
7 please do that? We have north facing up. Once again.
8 Once again.
9 Now, north is -- we have north up there and
10 south is down there, and you can try now. Could you
11 please move sideways so that the Judges can see what
12 you are pointing at?
13 So can you show it to us or not? If you
14 can't, we shall give it up. Right. I see you cannot
15 do that. You can take your seat again, but could you
16 please list the houses that make part of Pudzine Kuce.
17 Could you hear my question?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Will you please repeat the houses which make
20 part of Pudzine Kuce, that is, the owners of these
22 A. Pudzine Kuce we have Samijas, Bilics,
23 Strmonjas, Santic, Vidovic, and that's it.
24 Q. Could you give us first names, because when
25 you say "Vidovics," there are so many of them. So it's
1 not one house, there are several houses.
2 A. Well, there's Milutin Vidovic, there is Alojz
3 Vidovic, there is Miroslav Pudza, Milan Samija, Miro.
4 There are quite a number of them.
5 Q. But did any Muslims live in Pudzine Kuce?
6 A. Yes. Ramo Bilic, Zijad Bilic, Strmonja. I
7 don't know their first names.
8 Q. So -- and they all live in the locality
9 called Pudzine Kuce. From the first to the last house
10 it is about how much?
11 A. Four or five hundred metres.
12 Q. You said you went on guard duty with Mirjan
13 usually but at times with other people too. How did it
14 come about that you were on guard with a particular
15 individual? Did you have a schedule, a timetable, or
16 did you discuss it together and decide together, or
18 A. Well, we talked it over together and decided
19 how we could go on patrol.
20 Q. What did you discuss, who would go with whom,
21 or time, hours, or what?
22 A. Both. Who would go with whom and the length
23 of time one would be on patrol.
24 Q. And how long did a shift take?
25 A. Two hours, about two hours.
1 Q. Tell us, did Muslims patrol as guards too?
2 A. They did.
3 Q. And during those guards, and I'm referring to
4 a time before the first conflict, during your patrols
5 would you come across Muslim patrols too?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What happened then when you happened on one
9 A. Well, what happened. We would stop, talk,
10 chat for a while and then go on.
11 Q. Did you at times walk and chat together?
12 A. I can't remember.
13 Q. At the time, were you always on the ground or
14 what did this guard duty look like? Did you patrol all
15 the time, or would you sit down, or did you enter a
16 house or something? Tell us, give us -- spice up your
18 A. Yes. We walked around, or we watched TV, or
19 we entered a house, have a cup of coffee and some
21 Q. But where did you watch television? You
22 didn't carry a TV set with you.
23 A. Well, we would do it at Mirjan's.
24 Q. And as you watched television what happened
25 to the guards?
1 A. Well, we guarded.
2 Q. No, but while you watched television did
3 anybody stand guard?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you drop by the school at that time
6 before the first conflict?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Alone or with your partner?
9 A. Alone and with my partner.
10 Q. Tell us now, until when was it that you went
11 to the school?
12 A. Since when?
13 Q. No, until when.
14 A. I think it was September, mid-September.
15 Q. And what happened then so that you stopped
16 going to the school?
17 A. We stopped -- well, I came to the school --
18 Q. With whom?
19 A. I came with Mirjan Kupreskic.
20 Q. And what happened then?
21 A. We entered the school, and they told us that,
22 one, Pezer, that we were not welcome, that radio
23 station --
24 Q. No. What are you talking about, radio
25 station? You talked to someone not with a radio
1 station but over a radio?
2 A. That we had to converse over a radio station.
3 Q. Did they tell you with whom?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did they tell you what they had to discuss
6 over a radio station?
7 A. No. They just told us they had to converse
8 with somebody over the radio station and to go out.
9 Q. Were they nice or did they use rough words?
10 A. No, they did not use rough words.
11 Q. So, in other words, they asked you to leave?
12 A. Yes, they asked us to leave.
13 Q. After that did you come to the school?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you notify anyone of the event?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Well, you have answered that question
18 already, but what was in that school, in fact? What
19 was there? Why did the Muslims ask you to leave that
20 building? What was in there?
21 A. Inside they had a radio station.
22 Q. Was there somebody by that radio station
23 around the clock, 24 hours?
24 A. That I do not know.
25 Q. Now, tell me, as you were on guard duty did
1 you have some kind of a commander?
2 A. No. No, we did not.
3 Q. And were you horizontally linked with other
4 guards in other villages, and did all of these guards
5 have a command that could issue orders to these guards?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You mean to the best of your knowledge?
8 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge.
9 Q. Tell me, do you remember who you were on
10 guard duty with the day before the conflict, that is to
11 say, on the 19th of October? With whom were you on
12 guard duty?
13 A. With Dragan Vidovic.
14 Q. And how come you were not on guard duty with
15 Mirjan on that occasion? You said that most often you
16 stood guard with Mirjan.
17 A. Well, Mirjan, when he went to play his
18 instrument, he went to play at a wedding, and he was
19 tired, and he couldn't go out, and he had to get some
20 rest and get some sleep, and then he was late that
22 Q. Now that we've mentioned this music, did
23 Mirjan miss his guard duty for the same reason on
24 previous occasions too?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell me, how many of you were there in your
2 part of the village who stood guard duty for that part
3 of the village?
4 A. There was five or six or seven of us.
5 Q. And tell me, how often would you have to go
6 on guard duty per week?
7 A. Well, not too often.
8 Q. What do you mean not too often if there was
9 only seven of you?
10 A. Well, two hours, and then two hours we didn't
11 have to go out, and that's the way it was.
12 Q. On the 19th or the 20th, did you see
13 something unusual?
14 A. I did not.
15 Q. So let me put it this way: Did you see any
16 soldiers getting down from Vrhovine and Gornji Ahmici?
17 A. No.
18 Q. How long were you on guard duty on the night
19 between the 19th and the 20th? Which shift did you
21 A. From 23.00 hours until 1.00.
22 Q. And during your guard duty did anything
23 unusual take place?
24 A. No, nothing.
25 Q. And while we're on the subject of village
1 guards, tell me, did you have any instructions as to
2 what you were supposed to do if there was some kind of
3 an incident in the village? Were you supposed to
5 A. I would call the civilian police.
6 Q. All right. But, for example, if a platoon of
7 Muslim soldiers would encounter you and your partner
8 and you didn't manage to call the police, what would
9 you do then?
10 A. I'd run away.
11 Q. When you stood guard duty until the first
12 conflict, did you do that in civilian clothes or in
14 A. In civilian clothes.
15 Q. Did you have any kind of special insignia on
16 your civilian clothes?
17 A. No, we did not.
18 Q. Did you have any weapons? Again, I'm talking
19 about the time until the first conflict.
20 A. No.
21 Q. You didn't carry any weapons when you went on
22 guard duty?
23 A. We, we did. We had a hunting gun.
24 Q. But a hunting gun is also a weapon, isn't
25 it? So you did have --
1 A. Well, we did when we were doing our guard
3 Q. Did you have any weapons of your own?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. Which weapons did you take on guard duty?
6 A. I, when I would take over the shift, I would
7 have a gun.
8 Q. Which gun would you have?
9 A. I had a hunting gun.
10 Q. A carbine or a double-barrelled gun?
11 A. I'm not very good at this.
12 Q. Did the rifle have two barrels or one?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. What do you mean you don't know? You were
15 carrying the gun, and you didn't know whether it had
16 two barrels or one?
17 A. Well, I don't know. I never looked -- I
18 never looked at it during the day.
19 Q. What do you know about the first day of the
20 conflict, the 20th of October, 1992? When did you wake
21 up and how?
22 A. I woke up around 6.30 in the morning. My
23 brother telephoned me.
24 Q. All right. What did your brother tell you on
25 the phone?
1 A. He said, "What's up?"
2 Q. And what did you answer?
3 A. He said, "Go to see our mother and our
4 sister. Go and seek shelter for them, because there's
5 going to be some kind of attack."
6 Q. Did he say that there was an attack already
7 or that there was shooting?
8 A. I didn't hear any shooting.
9 Q. So what did he say? What's your sister's
11 A. Gordana.
12 Q. What's her last name now?
13 A. Now her last name is Cuic.
14 Q. What about her maiden name?
15 A. Her maiden name was Vidovic.
16 Q. She already testified before this court,
17 didn't she?
18 A. Yes, she did.
19 Q. Did you reach the house where your mother and
20 sister were?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And what did you see?
23 A. I said that they should go to the shelter.
24 Q. Did you manage -- did you stay on to see
25 whether they put the cow away as you told them to do
1 and seek shelter, or did you proceed?
2 A. As soon as I left, they put the cow away.
3 Q. What was more important to them, to hide
4 themselves or to hide the cow.
5 A. Both.
6 Q. And what did you do then? What did you do
8 A. I went to a valley, a depression.
9 Q. And who did you see there?
10 A. I saw Zoran and Ivica Kupreskic, and I can't
11 remember who else was there.
12 Q. Tell me, did you help someone find shelter
13 for their families?
14 A. I didn't, but I know who helped Zoran and
15 Mirjan Kupreskic to find shelter for their families
16 near Pudzine Kuce.
17 Q. And how do you know that?
18 A. Well, they came back and they told me.
19 Q. Who are these people who helped them? Did
20 you remember who helped them?
21 A. Milutin Vidovic, Zdravko Vrebac, and
23 Q. What is this Dragance's name otherwise?
24 A. Well, his name is Dragan Vidovic, but we call
25 him Dragance.
1 Q. So it's Dragan Vidovic, called Dragance; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when you all assembled in the depression,
5 was anybody carrying any weapons?
6 A. No.
7 Q. No one was armed? Absolutely no one? You
8 cannot say "we had." A group consists of individuals.
9 You cannot speak on behalf of everyone. You're
10 speaking in your own name. What did you personally
11 see? What are the weapons that you personally saw that
12 day? Did you see any weapons that day?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. No weapons?
15 A. No weapons.
16 Q. Not even the guards brought in weapons?
17 A. Well, the guards came, and we were there, and
18 I didn't see anything when I came there. I went to see
19 my mother and my sister and the children, and I
20 couldn't see anything.
21 Q. After this first conflict, did you continue
22 with guard duty?
23 A. No, we did not.
24 Q. You did not at all?
25 A. I don't remember.
1 Q. Tell us, after this first conflict, did the
2 Muslims leave Ahmici?
3 A. Afterwards, I found out that they had left.
4 Q. Did you see them leave?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. And did you hear about this, whether all the
7 Muslims had left, or had some remained?
8 A. I heard that some had remained and that some
9 had left. But ...
10 Q. Did you hear why they had left?
11 A. That, I do not know.
12 Q. Did you hear why this first conflict had
13 taken place?
14 A. I'm not familiar with that. I don't know.
15 Q. You didn't hear anything about blocking the
16 road by the cemetery?
17 A. Yes, I heard about it, three days later,
18 perhaps four days later.
19 Q. And what did you finally hear? What was the
20 true reason for this conflict? What is this that you
21 heard three or four days later?
22 A. I don't know. I just know that the road
23 between Vitez and Busovaca had been closed off.
24 Q. What did you hear? Who had closed off this
1 A. I don't know. I just know that it was closed
3 Q. And after this first conflict, you said that
4 some Muslims had left; did they come back?
5 A. They did. I heard that they had returned.
6 Q. And did you hear how come they came back?
7 A. Well, I heard there were some kind of
8 negotiations. I don't know.
9 Q. Were you present at these negotiations?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you hear whether they had one round of
12 negotiations or several rounds?
13 A. I don't know that either.
14 Q. Do you know what was negotiated about? Were
15 there any conditions that were put forth for the return
16 of the Muslims?
17 A. I don't know. I'm not familiar with that.
18 Q. Did you see them come back, finally?
19 A. Well, a few days later, I don't know, six or
20 seven days.
21 Q. Tell me, did you do your military service in
22 the JNA, the former Yugoslav army?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What did you do? Where did you do your
25 military service?
1 A. I was in the ABiH.
2 Q. Did you have a record as a reservist in the
3 former military department?
4 A. I was registered in the records, of course.
5 Q. You mean now? So you were part of the
6 reserve corps?
7 A. No, I was not.
8 Q. What do you mean? You were not in the
9 reserve corps of the JNA? If you were in the military
10 department records, that means that you were in the
11 reserve corps.
12 A. Well, I didn't receive anything from them
13 saying that I was a reservist.
14 Q. When you came back from the army, did you
15 report to the military department?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did they enter something into your military
18 booklet, as it was called?
19 A. Yes, they did.
20 Q. Did you get a so-called VES?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And then after the first conflict you said
23 that you did not recall whether you went on guard duty
24 in the village. Tell me, at any time, did you become a
25 member of the HVO, of the military component?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Were you mobilised?
3 A. No, I was not.
4 Q. Do you know whether any of your neighbours,
5 specifically the Kupreskic brothers, whether they were
6 members of the HVO?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know whether anybody from your
9 immediate environment was mobilised into the military
10 wing of the HVO?
11 A. As far as I know, no.
12 Q. And now, at the beginning you started talking
13 about something that you're supposed to tell us about
14 now, and that is where was your wife and where were
15 your children during the first conflict?
16 A. My wife was in Germany in '92. In April, she
17 left with the children.
18 Q. Where did she go to?
19 A. She went to stay with her mother.
20 Q. You said that her mother had worked in
21 Germany for a long time?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How long?
24 A. She's already earned her retirement pension.
25 Q. She stayed in Germany, and she lives there
1 off her pension?
2 A. No, she returned last year to Croatia. She
3 lived there for 25 years. She worked and lived there
4 for 25 years.
5 Q. Did you ever go to visit your family in
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. How many times?
9 A. Twice.
10 Q. When did you go for the first time?
11 A. The first time I went in September.
12 Q. Which year?
13 A. '92.
14 Q. Where did your wife live?
15 A. In Frankfurt,.
16 Q. In Frankfurt am Main?
17 A. In Frankfurt am Main.
18 Q. Did she get refugee status there, or what?
19 A. She got refugee status.
20 Q. What kind of visa did she get?
21 A. A Duldung visa.
22 Q. When you visited her for the first time, did
23 you have a passport?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Whose passport?
1 A. An old Yugoslav passport.
2 Q. That is to say a Yugoslav passport from the
4 A. Yes, from the SFRY.
5 Q. The state that collapsed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you need an Austrian visa as you entered
8 Austria with that passport?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. For Austria?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. For Germany?
13 A. For Germany, yes. For Austria, I did not.
14 Q. Please be careful and listen to my questions,
15 and then answer my questions. So you entered Austria
16 without a visa?
17 A. Yes, without a visa, I entered Austria.
18 Q. And Germany?
19 A. For Germany I needed a visa.
20 Q. Did you get a visa for this first entry?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. For where? Where did you get the visa?
23 A. I got it in Salzburg, at the border. That's
24 where they gave me a visa, and I got in.
25 Q. And how long did you stay with your wife and
2 A. I stayed about 15 or 20 days.
3 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, if I have
4 understood things correctly, we're going to have a
5 lunch break at 1.00.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Do you have many more
8 MR. RADOVIC: Quite a few.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Let us take a
10 break now. We will resume at 2.30.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon.
3 Counsel Radovic.
4 MR. RADOVIC: Good afternoon.
5 Q. Mr. Vidovic, did you have a rest during the
7 A. Yes, thank you.
8 Q. So we reached the point when you went to
9 Germany to visit your family. You crossed the boarder
10 with the Yugoslav passport, and you obtained a visa,
11 the German visa in Salzburg.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when you arrived in Germany, how long did
14 you stay there?
15 A. It was 1992, in the month of September. I
16 was a tourist, and I returned after 10 or 15 days
17 because I had to go back to work.
18 Q. How did you support yourself in Germany? Did
19 you work or were you a guest?
20 A. I was a guest. I'm referring to 1992.
21 Q. And when did you go there again?
22 A. On the 22nd of March, 1993.
23 Q. I'm sorry, I did not hear you.
24 A. I left Pirici on the 22nd of March, 1993.
25 That is when I left the municipality of Pirici.
1 Q. Before you left Pirici, municipality of
2 Vitez, did you have to ask for permission?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. What kind of a passport did you have at that
6 A. Still the same one, the old one, the
7 Yugoslavia Slav, the former one.
8 Q. Did you have the Croatian passport too?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And when you left Vitez, did you have to seek
11 permission from someone?
12 A. Yes. We needed permission to go through
13 Croatia, I mean, a pass through Croatia.
14 Q. Who did you ask it from?
15 A. I went to the municipality to ask them to
16 allow me to go there and bring my family home.
17 Q. Was it easy to get that certificate or did
18 you have to ask, to beg, kneel down, or what, or did
19 you simply apply for it and they give you the
20 permission so that you could get out of
22 A. Yes, it's true.
23 Q. What means of transportation did you use?
24 A. I had an official car to Zagreb.
25 Q. And from Zagreb?
1 A. In Zagreb I waited for the visa, because I
2 needed a visa to cross over.
3 Q. At the German embassy in Zagreb?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you get it?
6 A. I waited for three days. I went back to my
7 brother, in Rijeka, in Croatia, and I spend two days
8 with him, then I went to Germany. I did not get a visa
9 but I started to Germany.
10 Q. And how was it at the Austrian and German
12 A. I crossed, illegally, the boarder because I
13 didn't get --
14 Q. Well, didn't you try to cross it lawfully?
15 A. Yes. I tried to cross with a passport and I
16 was given Zuruck.
17 Q. So why?
18 A. Because I did not have the visa.
19 Q. So how did you cross the border?
20 A. I crossed on a bus.
21 Q. So when you crossed into Germany for the
22 second time, when was that? What did you say?
23 A. When I crossed over it was the 1st of April,
25 Q. And from the 1st of April, 1993 until when
1 did you not come back to Vitez?
2 A. Until '95, June '95.
3 Q. Is that when you came back?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Alone or with your family?
6 A. First I came alone because in my sister was
7 getting married in June. Twenty days later I went back
8 to Germany and then came back home with my family.
9 Q. When you entered Germany illegally, so when
10 you were already in Germany, did you try to go
11 somewhere legal to make your stay in Germany legal?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you support yourself or what did you do?
14 A. My wife worked and I also worked, even if
15 illegally, so that we both worked.
16 Q. And when you were leaving Germany, what
17 papers did you have to get out?
18 A. Well, I had the passport, because my brother
19 sent me from Umag the passport to Germany, and he sent
20 it to me through a colleague.
21 Q. In other words, you now had a Croatian
23 A. Yes, I then had a Croatia passport.
24 Q. But tell me, when you went to fetch your
25 family, why didn't you then come back with your family?
1 A. I did not understand you.
2 Q. You said that you went to Germany for the
3 second time to bring your family, or to visit your
4 family. Never mind. Then how is it that you did not
5 return to Vitez?
6 A. Well, I arrived late, two days, so that I
7 could stay longer, until the 16th or 17th.
8 Q. So why didn't you come back?
9 A. My brother called me. I don't exactly
10 remember the date. When he started, he told -- I said
11 we should pack, and he told us, "Don't do that, because
12 there is a war over here."
13 Q. That is the brother in Vitez who let you know
15 A. Yes, that was the brother in Vitez.
16 Q. But when you returned to Vitez once and for
17 all, did you suffer any consequences for having stayed
19 A. No.
20 Q. Would you please then repeat just when did
21 your mother-in-law, that is your wife's mother, when
22 did she go to Germany for work?
23 A. Well, she's worked there are for 20 or 25
25 Q. You wouldn't know the dates; would you?
1 A. No.
2 Q. And when did she retire?
3 A. She retired in 1990 --
4 Q. What?
5 A. -- 94, I think. I'm not quite sure.
6 Q. Did she come back to Vitez?
7 A. No, she didn't back to Vitez. She went to
8 Croatia, near Osejak.
9 Q. And when did she come to Croatia?
10 A. Well, it must be a year.
11 Q. And my last question, during the first
12 conflict, you were in Vitez then. Do you know whose
13 house your sister and mother sought shelter in?
14 A. In my brother Rudo.
15 Q. Rudo what?
16 A. Rudo Vidovic.
17 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
18 have no further questions.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Krajina.
20 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, my colleague,
21 Par, will ask questions of this witness.
22 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
24 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I will ask a few more questions
25 related to your departure to Germany and your stay in
1 Germany. You answered that you left Pirici on the 22nd
2 of March, 1993 to go to Germany, and that on that
3 occasion the HVO gave you a permit to travel. Now I
4 will show you a document and ask you if it is that
5 certificate, if it is that permit which was issued to
7 MR. PAR: Will you please, Mr. Usher?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D28/3.
9 MR. PAR:
10 Q. Will you please have a look at this document
11 and just tell us, for the record, who is the subject,
12 what are the dates, and the purpose, the destination,
13 and things like that?
14 A. This is a permit to Mr. Mirko Vidovic, from
15 the 22nd of March, 1993 until the 11th of April, 1993,
16 to travel to Germany, transit through Croatia --
17 Republic of Croatia for the purpose of taking his
18 family home.
19 Q. Thank you. I should also like to ask you:
20 Can you see here the boarder permit of the Republic of
21 Croatia, that is, can we see the date when you entered
22 the Republic of Croatia on the basis of this permit?
23 A. Yes, I can see it. 22nd of March, 1993.
24 Q. And that is the border crossing?
25 A. Kamensko.
1 Q. Now, I want to have a look at your passport.
2 MR. PAR: Mr. Usher, would you be so kind?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D29/3.
4 MR. PAR:
5 Q. Will you please look at it and tell us if
6 this is the photocopy of the passport that you used at
7 the time?
8 A. Yes. This is the former Yugoslav passport.
9 Q. Will you please turn to page 2 where there
10 are all these stamps, to see if we can see that Zuruck
11 from Germany, as you called it, that stamp. Page 2?
12 A. There is no date.
13 Q. There is no date, but do you see there
14 written Deutschland Bundesrepublik? Do you see it says
16 A. I do not.
17 Q. But down there you have Zuruck visa, so is
18 that the stamp that you returned across the boarder?
19 A. Yes, I do but I can't see the date.
20 Q. There is no date. All right. Thank you.
21 So this is all. We do not need the passport
23 You said you stayed in Germany illegally
24 while you were away with your family. Did you ask for
25 any papers from the City of the Frankfurt am Main at
1 that time?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Would you please tell us what kind of a
4 document you applied for and what form?
5 A. Well, I applied for -- I said I had lost my
6 passport and that I wanted to go to Croatia. Then they
7 gave me a paper so that I could get out of Germany.
8 MR. PAR: Now, Mr. Usher, I would again like
9 to ask you to show this document to the witness.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D30/3.
11 MR. PAR:
12 Q. Mr. Vidovic, is that the document that you
13 applied for from the city of Frankfurt?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. Please, on this document, we can see some
16 dates. First, the 29th of July, '93. Could you tell
17 us, what is this date?
18 A. Well, this date means the day they applied to
19 the police for this paper.
20 Q. To get out of the country?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the 6th of August, '93?
23 A. 6th of August means that I was to leave
24 Germany on the 6th of August.
25 Q. Does it mean, on the basis of this paper, you
1 were allowed to stay in Frankfurt until the 6th of
2 August, and you say you stayed the there until June of
4 A. Because I did not have a document to cross, I
5 spoke to my brother, and he said "Well, you can get out
6 of Germany, but you cannot enter Slovenia with this
8 Q. But you left with a Croatian passport, with a
9 completely different document?
10 A. Yes, I left with a Croatian passport, but he
11 submitted documents in Umag, and he said, "You have to
12 wait until we get your passport ready for you."
13 Q. So in June '95, you say you came to attend
14 your sister's wedding. What is your sister's name?
15 A. Gordana Vidovic. And now she is married,
17 Q. On the basis of what you said so far, you
18 said that on the 22nd of March, '93, until June '95,
19 you were in Germany. Does that mean that you spent in
20 Germany all that time?
21 A. Yes, it does.
22 Q. That is, from the 21st of April, when you
23 entered Germany, until June '95?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 Q. Mr. Vidovic, a witness here said that on the
1 15th of April -- that is, on the eve of the Ahmici
2 conflicts, he saw you sitting in the company of Vlatko
3 Kupreskic and several soldiers in front of the Sutra
4 store in Pirici. Could you tell us if that is true?
5 A. That is impossible.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. PAR: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
8 I have no more questions.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Terrier?
11 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic. My name is Franck
14 Terrier. I'm one of the prosecutors representing the
15 Office of the Prosecutor, and I'm going to ask a couple
16 of questions of you if I may do so.
17 First of all, Mr. Vidovic, can you tell us
18 where you presently live?
19 A. I live in Vitez, in the village of Pirici.
20 Q. Do you mean the house which you showed
21 earlier on in the photograph?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Together with your family?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell us what your occupation, your
1 professional occupation was in 1992 and '93?
2 A. I was a salesman in a shop until the 21st of
3 March, '93 -- 22nd -- no, the 21st, because on the 22nd
4 I left for Germany.
5 Q. Could you be more specific, Mr. Vidovic, as
6 to this trade. What kind of trade was it, in what kind
7 of field? Who were your business partners?
8 A. My business partners were Muslims, there were
9 also Serbs, and we worked together. It was a hardware
10 store. We dealt in building materials.
11 Q. And where was that shop or that company,
12 Mr. Vidovic?
13 A. In Vitez.
14 Q. And were you the owner of that shop in
15 building materials?
16 A. No. I worked there.
17 Q. Let us dwell for a moment on the village
18 guards in which you took part, as you stated,
19 especially so in 1992. Still, I would like to know
20 whether at the time, in Pirici, Santici, Ahmici,
21 whether there wasn't after all some kind of
22 coordination of the village guards. Wasn't there
23 anybody who was in charge of keeping a log, a roster of
24 the people who were to take part in the guards, of the
25 times and dates when these people were supposed to
1 patrol? Wasn't there some kind of coordination?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Who would ask you to go on a patrol?
4 A. Nobody.
5 Q. So you made up the decision on your own? You
6 decided to go on a specific night, to go for a round of
7 two hours on the village guard; is that so?
8 A. We went, me and others, we heard that people
9 were guarding the houses, so we did the same thing, and
10 nobody assigned us.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be
12 asked to articulate better what he is saying.
13 MR. TERRIER:
14 Q. Did you know Nenad Santic, Mr. Vidovic?
15 A. Yes, sure, I knew him.
16 Q. Were you in touch, did you have contacts,
17 kind of a relationship with him?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Who is Dragan Vidovic in relation to you?
20 A. He is my family, a relative.
21 Q. Did your cousin not have any responsibility
22 in organising the village guards?
23 A. He did something, but it was with civil
24 defence, the village civil defence, something like
1 Q. Somehow he had responsibilities; he was in
2 charge of organising the village guards?
3 A. Somebody perhaps was, I think, then, but that
4 was the civil defence.
5 Q. I'm merely trying to understand how things
6 were working at the time. You have to understand
7 that. You are telling me that your cousin, Dragan
8 Vidovic, because he was in the civil defence, had some
9 kind of responsibility in organising the village
10 guards? Is that what you're telling us?
11 A. Yes. No. He wasn't responsible. I don't
12 know how to put it. We elected him to see who wanted
13 to, so that we could have some timetable to know who
14 was going when.
15 Q. Well, if I understood you well, you told us
16 following the first conflict, that is, after the 20th
17 of October, 1992, the village guards were done away
18 with, were suppressed; is that so?
19 A. As far as I know, yes.
20 Q. Are you absolutely certain of it, or are you
21 simply saying that following the 20th of October, 1992,
22 you no longer took part in the village guards?
23 A. (No discernible response)
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not
25 understand what the witness said. I'm sorry.
1 MR. TERRIER:
2 Q. Your answer has not been understood,
3 Mr. Vidovic. I am going to repeat the question. Are
4 you absolutely sure that the village guards were
5 abolished following the first conflict, or is it more
6 simply so that you no longer took part in them, and
7 that therefore you thought that they were no longer
9 A. I did not take part.
10 Q. You do not rule out, however, that the
11 village guards would have been going on, but with other
12 people, with other volunteers? Is that so?
13 A. I did not notice that.
14 Q. Let us talk about the time when your family
15 left for Germany in April '92. Your mother had been
16 living for many years in Germany. Who made the
18 A. My wife's mother was there. Her mother
19 decided that. He called her from Germany and invited
20 her to go there, so she went to Germany first in 1991
21 for a month or two to work, and then she invited her
22 over, with children, because in Croatia there was war,
23 it was beginning in Bosnia, and she told her to go.
24 Q. Oh, I had understood that you were the one
25 who had decided that your wife and your children had to
1 go to Germany, but that wasn't so; is that right?
2 A. No, you're right. This is not true.
3 Q. Why was that decision made by your
4 mother-in-law, by your wife's mother?
5 A. She invited her to go there to work a little,
6 make some money, and that woman supported us, so we
7 were obliged to her. "Cross through Croatia because
8 later on you won't be able to." And so she went.
9 Q. So it is not actually because of the
10 situation prevailing in Central Bosnia at the time, in
11 April 1992, it is not for that reason that the decision
12 was made by your mother-in-law?
13 A. No.
14 Q. We received a summary of your testimony in
15 which it is stated that in 1992, you sent your wife and
16 children to Germany so as to make sure that they were
17 safe, but it isn't true, is it?
18 A. It is not so.
19 Q. You said a moment ago that in September '92,
20 you paid a visit to your family?
21 A. I returned after some 10 or 15 days because I
22 went with a friend in his car, and that is how we went
23 and came back. That was in September 1992.
24 Q. Could you first tell us why you didn't go
25 with your family in April '92, why you didn't go with
1 them to Germany?
2 A. Well, there was nobody else in the house,
3 nobody else lived there, so I had to look after the
4 house, and I had to go to work, of course.
5 Q. But couldn't you have found another job in
6 Germany? This is nothing but a question, but I'm
7 wondering. I don't have the answer for you, of course.
8 A. Do what? When I don't know to do anything, I
9 can't do anything.
10 Q. Therefore in September '92 you drove with a
11 friend in a car to go and visit your wife and children
12 in Germany. What's that friend's name?
13 A. Yes. The friend is from Croatia. I don't
14 really know. We went together, and we came back 10 or
15 15 days later.
16 Q. What is his name?
17 A. I don't know. I forgot. I can't remember.
18 Q. You forgot?
19 A. I forgot.
20 Q. Whose car did you drive in?
21 A. His car. His privately owned car.
22 Q. And where did that friend live?
23 A. The friend lived in Vitez, and in Split for a
24 longer period of time. In Split and in Vitez.
25 Q. Between Split and Vitez? Is that so?
1 A. Vitez and Split. He was born in Split, but
2 he lived in Vitez. So I went with him.
3 Q. And you can't remember his name?
4 A. His first name was Miso, but I can't remember
5 his last name. Miso. I can't remember his last name.
6 Q. Where did you cross the border between Bosnia
7 and Croatia?
8 A. Kamensko.
9 Q. And which route did you then follow from
10 there on, if you remember?
11 A. I can't remember this route. I don't know
12 these roads very well.
13 Q. How long was the journey, how many hours?
14 A. Two days, a day. Two days.
15 Q. Is it one or two days? Is that one or two
17 A. Yes. Yes, or a day and a half or two.
18 MR. TERRIER: Can I ask the usher to give
19 Exhibit D29/3 to the witness?
20 Q. Is this the passport from the former
21 Yugoslavia which you had at the time of the journey?
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. You said that you behaved regularly, that you
24 obtained a German visa in Salzburg, then crossed the
25 border. On page 2 of the document, can you tell us
1 which are the stamps related to the first journey?
2 A. I can't see. I can't see. I can't see.
3 Well, September. I got the visa in September, and the
4 date, the date for entering Germany, I think it was
5 mid-September. I think that it was in mid-September
6 that I got the visa in Salzburg. The visa was valid
7 until the 25th of December, 1992.
8 Q. Did you keep the original of that passport?
9 A. I don't have the original here, it's at the
10 hotel. It's an old one.
11 Q. You told us that you then returned to Bosnia
12 and that you went back to Germany towards the end of
13 March 1993. What did you have in mind? What were your
14 intentions in terms of your family?
15 A. To go back home, naturally. To have my
16 family return home.
17 Q. As a matter of fact, you were going to get
18 your family. That's what you had in mind. That's what
19 you wanted to do in order to bring your family back to
21 A. Yes, my wife and my two children.
22 Q. We're now talking about the second journey,
23 the journey of March 1993, according to your
24 statement. You stated that before you left, you
25 received an authorisation from the HVO.
1 MR. TERRIER: I'll ask the usher to hand in
2 to the witness Exhibit D28/3.
3 Q. Witness, on the top end of this document you
4 see the permit issued by the HVO, upon your request,
5 for a journey between the 22nd of March, 1993 and the
6 11th of April, 1993.
7 A. I didn't understand you. Permit? Permit? I
8 didn't understand this.
9 Q. I'm going to repeat my question,
10 Mr. Vidovic. You applied for a travel permit from the
11 HVO for a period from the 22nd of March, 1993 until the
12 11th of April, 1993; is that so?
13 A. Exactly.
14 Q. The two dates are written into the document
15 signed by Marijan Skopljak, and this was on the basis
16 of your indications, wasn't it?
17 A. I came to the municipality, and I asked for a
18 permit to be given to me, and they gave me this. Yes.
19 I submitted a request, yes.
20 Q. I understood that you applied for it, but my
21 question is more specific. It relates to the dates in
22 the document, because the trip is supposed to start on
23 the 22nd of March, 1993 and end on the 11th of April,
24 1993. Are these the dates that are to be found in the
1 A. Yes, those are the dates. Yes. Yes,
3 Q. These dates were written into the document
4 after you had given some instructions or indications;
5 is that so?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were, therefore, planning to leave on the
8 22nd of March and to be returning on the 11th of April,
10 A. Yes. I was late. I arrived in Germany on
11 the 1st of April, 1993, I arrived. That's why I stayed
12 10 or 15 days. I couldn't go back otherwise, because I
13 didn't have documents.
14 Q. How did you travel? Which means of transport
15 did you have?
16 A. I travelled by bus. By bus. By bus.
17 Q. Where did you cross the border between
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia?
19 A. (No audible response)
20 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter
21 didn't understand the answer.
22 MR. TERRIER:
23 Q. Can you please repeat your answer? Where
24 exactly did you cross the border between Bosnia and
1 A. Kamensko.
2 Q. At the border did you show this document, the
3 HVO document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But the authority you showed this document to
6 didn't put any stamp on the paper?
7 A. I have it. It's like a little card that
8 shows that I crossed the border.
9 Q. Is that the card, a copy of which is to be
10 found in the same document? Is that the one?
11 A. The same, but the little card shows the date
12 when I crossed the border, I mean, the date.
13 Q. But no stamp was put on the HVO permit,
14 because my question was more specific than that, on the
15 HVO document?
16 MR. PAR: Objection, Your Honour. The
17 Prosecutor is presenting incorrect data to the
18 witness. He's saying, "So there is no stamp put by the
19 authorities on this document," and I would like the
20 question, therefore, to be reformulated because there
21 is a stamp that was placed there by the authorities, so
22 that it would be accurate, and we don't want the
23 witness to be misled.
24 MR. TERRIER: I, of course, didn't plan to
25 mislead the witness as is stated quite explicitly and
1 quite clearly in the transcript. I referred my
2 question to the HVO permit, to the document which is on
3 the top of the page, but in another testimony a similar
4 document was presented and introduced, and it had
5 received the stamp at the crossing of the border. I
6 was surprised that this document hadn't received such a
8 This is only by way of explanation to
9 Mr. Par. My question was a simple one --
10 MR. PAR: I'm sorry. I'm sorry for
11 interrupting. That is precisely my objection. There
12 is a stamp here. The stamp is here where it says
13 "Border crossing," and with your permission, I'm going
14 to read what it says: "The Ministry of the Interior,
15 Police, Split." It is here on the original, on the
16 first page of this text. It was not translated, but
17 it's an international text, so one can see that this is
18 a border crossing.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: -- the present. So we all
20 have in mind the Exhibit D28/3.
21 MR. TERRIER: Thank you for your explanation,
22 Mr. Par. I thought these were the photocopies of two
23 different documents. On the one hand there was the HVO
24 permit, but in the lower half it was a border crossing
25 card, and there, indeed, you can see a frame on the
1 photocopy. But as a matter of fact, this is a
2 photocopy of one and the same document.
3 MR. PAR: I'm sorry if there was a
5 MR. TERRIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Par.
6 This is no longer a misunderstanding. I can move on
7 forward to another question.
8 Q. Mr. Vidovic, what were the conditions of your
9 crossing the border to Germany on the 1st of April,
10 1993, as you said earlier on?
11 A. I crossed it illegally. I crossed the border
12 without any documents, on this bus.
13 Q. Could you be more specific? What was the
14 means of transport you were using to cross the border?
15 A. Bus, bus.
16 Q. The bus was not checked, was it?
17 A. No, only two drivers and myself.
18 Q. So this bus with two drivers and yourself was
19 not checked at all?
20 A. It was checked, but I was sitting there with
21 them, and they said, "We're going and you're coming
22 with us," and that's how we crossed the border. This
23 other driver was probably there at the checkpoint where
24 they look at documents.
25 Q. Yes, but the representatives of the German
1 policy who were at the border crossing, did they ask
2 for your papers?
3 A. (No audible response)
4 Q. You did not come across any member of the
5 German police?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Where exactly did you cross the border?
8 A. Salzburg.
9 Q. Are you sure that you mean Salzburg?
10 A. Certain.
11 MR. TERRIER: Mr. Usher, could you help me
12 give him this third document, I think it's
13 Exhibit D29/3.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: In the meantime, can I ask a
15 question, Mr. Terrier? I'd like to seek some
16 clarification from Mr. Par. I too had the impression
17 that this document, D28/3, on page 1, was made up of
18 two different documents. It's not very clear, because
19 on the one hand we have this permit dated the 16th of
20 March, 1993, and on the other hand we have a document
21 which is a document for entry into the Republic of
22 Croatia, and there you have the date of the 22nd of
23 March. So if I got it right, these are two different
24 documents. You photocopied two different, isolated
25 case on one in the same. Could we have the originals,
1 Mr. Par?
2 MR. PAR: I shall obtain the original for the
3 court, and I shall provide you with it. I haven't got
4 a copy now.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Sorry,
6 Mr. Terrier. Go ahead.
7 MR. TERRIER:
8 Q. Witness, would you agree with me if I said
9 that this document which you have in front of you was
10 issued to you so that you would have to leave Germany
11 before the 6th of August, 1993?
12 A. Well, I asked for it because I said that I
13 lost my old passport, and they gave me this, this
15 Q. But, Mr. Vidovic, I mean, a permit for what?
16 A. To get out of Germany. It's a document
17 because I lost my passport. Then when I got this, I
18 found my passport. So this is a document in order to
19 leave Germany.
20 Q. So you'd lost your passport, you applied for
21 this document, and then you found your passport again?
22 A. Yes. As my wife was packing the bags she
23 misplaced it somewhere, but then I thought that we had
24 lost the passport. That's why I asked for this. But
25 then, after a while, we found the old passport.
1 Q. The German authorities, at least those that
2 issued this document to you, did they ask you in which
3 way you had entered the German territory?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did the authorities under which authorisation
6 or power you were staying in Germany until
7 March 1993 -- so you'd been staying there for about
8 five months.
9 Would you agree with me if I said that this
10 is a type of document which is issued to aliens or
11 foreigners which are illegally in the territory of a
12 State, requiring such individuals to leave territory at
13 the earliest convenience because they're not entitled,
14 they're not authorised to sojourn in that territory?
15 A. I agree about the State, but then I couldn't
16 enter Slovenia with this document. I found out from my
17 brother. He said, "You can get out of Germany, but you
18 can't get into Slovenia without a passport." The old
19 Umag passport was no longer valid.
20 Q. I'm going to ask the question again. There
21 must be some misunderstanding. I'm going to put it
22 differently to you.
23 Were you checked by the German police in July
25 A. No.
1 Q. Who did you turn to to obtain such a
3 A. Police.
4 Q. But very explicitly, it obliges you to leave
5 Germany prior to the 6th August, 1993. Did you do so?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Why did you apply for this document then?
8 A. In order to get out and to get a passport in
9 Croatia, because as a tourist over there I couldn't get
10 a passport in Germany. So then I asked to go to my
11 brother's to get a document made.
12 Q. Is that what you did?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Why didn't you do so?
15 A. Because my brother said, "You can't get into
16 Slovenia. You can't cross the border with this piece
17 of paper."
18 Q. Mr. Vidovic, please refer back to
19 Exhibit D29/3. Page 2. Page 2, on the right-hand page
20 of your passport, a stamp can be seen which was affixed
21 by the authorities or some authority of the German
22 Republic. Could you tell us when that stamp was put in
23 your passport and why it was affixed to your passport?
24 A. I don't understand. Which one?
25 Q. What don't you understand? Don't you
1 understand the question, or the stamp?
2 A. Which stamp?
3 Q. The stamp that is on the right-hand page of
4 your passport, and it is the second from the top.
5 Can't you see a stamp saying "Bundesrepublik,
7 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
8 Q. My question was --
9 A. That is for Zurich, that I was taken back
10 from this border crossing.
11 Q. Mr. Vidovic, but as far as I know, Zurich is
12 not in Germany.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: He means "zuruck", meaning
14 "return." You can see the other stamp. "Zuruck" means
15 chased out of the country.
16 A. You can't cross the border. You can't go
17 back to Germany.
18 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, my question was
19 actually on the other stamp. I'm going to try my luck
21 Q. Mr. Vidovic, on that page, there is indeed a
22 stamp where you have the word Zuruckgewissen on it.
23 But above that there is another stamp where you have
24 "Bundesrepublik Deutschland." Can you see that one?
25 A. I don't know. I don't know this. I can see
1 it, though.
2 Q. Still, this stamp is to be found in your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. However, you're not in a position to say when
6 and why it was put there?
7 A. I can't remember.
8 Q. Fine.
9 MR. PAR: Your Honour?
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Par?
11 MR. PAR: With your permission, I would like
12 to explain. When entry into the country is forbidden,
13 then this stamp is put into the passport,
14 Zuruckgewiessen and then this other stamp is affixed
15 that is crossed out. So on the same occasion, I know
16 that this is so, both of these stamps are affixed
17 there, but the one that says "Bundesrepublik" is
18 crossed out because the person did not enter the
19 country. That I know personally. I know that it is
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Par, could we have the
22 original passport because the witness told us that he
23 had that passport at the hotel. Could we have it
24 tomorrow morning? I'm sure that it is possible to see
25 the date in the passport, which is not to be deciphered
1 here, because the photocopy is pretty poor. So,
2 Mr. Par, can we have it by tomorrow morning?
3 MR. PAR: By tomorrow morning I'll bring the
4 original documents. So today we are not going to
5 tender it into evidence until we have brought all of it
6 in -- if the witness says that he does have it with
7 him. So I'm going to inform you in the morning.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, he said already that he
9 had the passport at the hotel.
10 Yes, carry on, Mr. Terrier.
11 MR. TERRIER: Another couple of questions and
12 I will finish.
13 Q. We're still talking about the same passport,
14 the same page. There are two stamps we can see. A
15 little bit to the left, one is December '92, and the
16 other one is January '93. Could you tell us something
17 about these stamps? What do they mean?
18 A. '92, it was a visa allowing me to enter
19 Germany, and it was issued for three months.
20 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I don't think that is correct.
21 I think the stamp which we have on the right-hand-side
22 page of your passport, at the top of the page, you have
23 a stamp. What does this stamp mean?
24 No, this one, up here. The date, 10th of
25 December, '92.
1 A. That was when I went to Germany in December
2 for Christmas. I went to visit my wife and my
4 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I am rather confused, because we
5 do not see here the date of your entry to Germany, but
6 you now say you went for Christmas to Germany. Haven't
7 you made any other trips? To Croatia, for instance?
8 A. Yes, I did go to Croatia, and I also went to
9 Germany. I did. I travelled.
10 Q. Well, you travelled, that is why this stamp
11 was put on your passport. So this was not a trip to
12 Germany, it was a trip to Croatia; isn't that so? So
13 according to your passport, you went to Croatia?
14 A. No, I went to Germany. Yes.
15 Q. So in December '92, you went to Germany?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Returning in January '93?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How many trips to Germany altogether?
20 A. Altogether, I went three or four times.
21 Q. So, say, four times, according to your
23 A. Well, it could be.
24 Q. Mr. Vidovic, two or three questions more.
25 First, according to these stamps that you've talked
1 about, it does not seem that this stamp was placed by a
2 German authority, but rather by a Croatian authority.
3 Or am I wrong?
4 A. Well, I don't know either. I'm not sure
5 either. They look at the passport. Whether they stamp
6 it or not, I don't know.
7 Q. But in the document that you've showed us,
8 there is absolutely no mention relative to the trip to
9 Germany in March 1992. The only document, as we see,
10 the photocopy, this is the crossing from Bosnia to
11 Croatia in March '93, but we have nothing regarding
12 Germany. Did you go there?
13 A. I went to Croatia.
14 Q. The only German document that we have is this
15 one, D29/3, that on the 22nd of July, '93, you are
16 requested to leave Germany prior to 6 August because
17 you are in Germany illegally. Or am I wrong?
18 A. You're not right. I applied for the papers
19 so as to leave Germany. That is the document. But not
20 to enter another state with that document. I asked her
21 for a paper to get out, but I could not enter Slovenia
22 with this document.
23 MR. TERRIER: Your Honours, I have no more
25 JUDGE CASSESE: You said D29/3. Is it this
1 document that you just quoted here?
2 MR. TERRIER: No, it is D30/3. Yes, excuse
3 me, Your Honour, but --
4 JUDGE CASSESE: There is no point in
5 discussing the debate, except we see that this is an
6 expulsion order issued by Germany, and according to
7 paragraph 42, paragraph 1 of the German law on aliens,
8 and that is that particular document, yes, that we are
9 talking about.
10 Counsel Radovic?
11 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
12 would like D29/3 -- that is, a photocopy of his former
13 Yugoslav -- be shown to the witness once again,
15 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
16 Q. Now, will you please take this photocopy and
17 leaf through it, go through it from the first to the
18 last page. Tell me how many pages this photocopy has.
19 A. Two.
20 Q. Will you please count them? Count them. How
22 A. Two.
23 Q. What is on the first page?
24 A. On the first page, the first and last name.
25 Q. I'm referring to the page with your
1 photograph. The catalogue is very short. And what
2 about the second page?
3 A. The second page is the border crossings.
4 Q. Tell us, these photocopies which are attached
5 as evidence to the Court record, are these the
6 photocopies of your passport in its entirety, in toto?
7 That is, was your passport photocopied in toto, in
8 whole, or -- does your passport have more than two
10 A. I don't remember. I don't know.
11 Q. You don't know how many pages there were in
12 your passport?
13 A. I don't.
14 Q. But does it have more than two pages?
15 A. Yeah, sure it does.
16 Q. So is this a photocopy of your whole
17 passport, or a largish part of the passport was not
19 A. There is a part which wasn't.
20 Q. So in practical terms, these are fragments of
21 your passport?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you went to Germany for the first time,
24 did you need a visa then?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And when was it for the first time?
2 A. '89, '90. '90, in fact.
3 Q. At that time, between the former Yugoslavia
4 and Germany visas were abolished, tourist visas. What
5 I should like to know is, in 1992, when was it that you
6 went to Germany first, for the first time?
7 A. In 1992?
8 Q. Yes, when your family was in Germany already.
9 A. In September.
10 Q. So in September 1992, when you went to
11 Germany, did you need a visa then?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Tell me, even if in all the republics of the
14 former Yugoslavia there was one and the same passport,
15 could one see from the passport which republic a person
16 came from?
17 A. Visa? No. Where the passport was issued.
18 Q. Next to the passport number, were there
19 letters "BH"?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What do these letters BH mean?
22 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Do you know what was the initial letter in
24 the passport from the former Socialist Republic of
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Didn't you know that there was only the
3 letter "H"?
4 A. Now I know it.
5 Q. You said when you went to Germany for the
6 first time, in 1992, that you were issued a German visa
7 in Salzburg. Did I understand you well?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you then please describe this visa to
10 us. Was it in the form of a stamp in your passport, or
11 was it a kind of a card affixed to the passport like
12 the Dutch visa now issued?
13 A. No, it was a stamp in the passport.
14 Q. So it was only a stamp in the passport?
15 A. A stamp.
16 Q. And then it says from which date to what date
17 that you could spend in the territory of the Federal
18 Republic of Germany?
19 A. Yes, three months.
20 Q. So as of September 1992 onwards, you needed a
21 visa every time; did I understand you correctly?
22 A. After these three months expired -- no, you
23 mean within those three months you did not, but after
24 these three months, then I needed a visa.
25 Q. And when did you need a visa again?
1 A. I needed it on the 22nd March, 1993.
2 Q. The last time you went there?
3 A. The last time.
4 Q. You said that you had your passport at the
5 hotel. We call it "putovnica" now. We used to call it
6 "passport" then. Do you still have your former
7 Yugoslav passport with you, or do you have your
8 Croatian passport?
9 A. I have a former Yugoslav passport.
10 Q. You have the former Yugoslav passport? You
11 brought it along?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Are you sure that in that former Yugoslav
14 passport there was the stamp which indicated the permit
15 to enter Germany? Do you have an explanation, then,
16 how is it possible that this document which was shown
17 you by the Prosecution lacks this document? Is it
18 because the whole passport was not photocopied?
19 A. Yes, you have the photocopy here.
20 Q. True, but this photocopy does not have it?
21 A. But it's in here.
22 Q. What is? The visa?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you please show us in the Croatian text
25 where that visa is supposed to be?
1 A. Here (indicating).
2 Q. That is not the visa. There is a square
3 stamp --
4 A. I think it is.
5 Q. Right, but will you please bring the original
6 of the passport tomorrow, so that we can see the rest
7 of your passport which was not photocopied?
8 A. All right.
9 Q. If you do not feel like coming here, you can
10 send it either through us or through colleague Par, you
11 can send your passport so we can see the original.
12 A. Yes, all right.
13 Q. I see that my learned friend was surprised
14 that you crossed from Austria into Germany on a bus
15 without a passport and that nobody asked you about a
17 A. Nobody asked anything. We crossed the
19 Q. Tell us, what were the plates that the bus
21 A. I don't know. I don't remember. I never
22 paid attention.
23 Q. And those men, the driver and the co-driver,
24 what language did you speak?
25 A. Well, mostly Slovenian. They came from
2 Q. So could we conclude that it was a Slovenian
3 bus, then?
4 A. Well, probably it was. I paid no attention.
5 Q. Do you distinguish between Slovenian and
6 Croatian languages?
7 A. I do, some. They did say they were from
8 Slovenia, they did travel, they worked here.
9 Q. What I'm asking you is whether you can
10 distinguish between Slovenian and Croatian languages.
11 A. Yes, I do, but poorly.
12 Q. Yes, I understand that you do not understand
13 Slovenian well, but are you speaking Croatian or
15 A. Croatian.
16 Q. And would you notice a difference if I now
17 spoke Slovenian?
18 A. I wouldn't.
19 Q. You wouldn't?
20 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. I have no more
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
23 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
25 Q. Mirko, you had the original of this passport,
1 the photocopy of which we showed today. Do you also
2 have the originals of other documents that we showed
3 here photocopied today? I'm referring to the permit
4 and the paper from Frankfurt. Do you have them in the
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. You have both photocopies and the originals
8 of both documents?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us, please, this permit, what it says
11 here, this is the border pass and the stamp that we
12 talked about. Is it one document, or are these two
14 A. These are two documents. They're both here.
15 Q. The one below?
16 A. This card, if that is what you mean, it is
18 MR. PAR: Will you please put it on the ELMO
19 so that we can see it? And I do apologise, then. I do
20 apologise to my learned friend and to Your Honours. I
21 thought this was the stamp that you sealed the permit
22 with, but the witness says that this is the card for
23 the border crossing. Can we see it on the ELMO,
24 please, the card.
25 You have also the original of this permit,
1 and you have the passport and this paper from the city
2 of Frankfurt, and we promise to bring these documents
3 tomorrow. Since I cut into my learned friend's
4 examination because I thought that it was one and the
5 same document, that now he has no right to
6 cross-examine, if I may, I will ask now the question
7 which I believe my learned friend had in mind at the
8 time when I thought it was one and the same document.
9 Q. So when you reached the border crossing with
10 this pass, did the border authorities stamp that
11 permit, or did they not?
12 A. No.
13 Q. When did they give you this pass, this one,
14 that you just showed us?
15 A. When I was crossing the border from Bosnia to
17 Q. On the Croatian side they gave you this?
18 A. They gave me this on the Croatian side.
19 MR. PAR: I have no more questions, and
20 tomorrow I shall present to the court the originals of
21 the documents that the witness says he has with him,
22 and tomorrow I shall tender it for itemisation.
23 I have only one correction in the transcript,
24 if I may. That is on page 111, twelfth line of the
25 transcript, there was a mistake when the question was
1 interpreted. My question to the witness, I asked him
2 if he was in Germany from the 1st of April, 1993 until
3 June '95, and the transcript says the 21st of April
4 rather than the 1st of April. This is important,
5 because we are seeking to prove that the witness was
6 not in Ahmici on the 21st of April.
7 Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have
8 nothing else.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes, I have one
10 question for the witness. Mr. Vidovic, are you a
11 relative of Miro Vidovic in Pirici?
12 A. No, no, we are not related, not even
13 distantly. There are several Mires. Don't know which
14 one you're referring to.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: I was referring to the one
16 who died on the 18th of September, '93 in Pirici,
17 according to the document Prosecution Exhibit 337.
18 A. We are not related, no.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Were there, either in Pirici,
20 Santici, or Ahmici, other persons called Mirko Vidovic,
21 having your name?
22 A. Yes. Yes, there is.
23 Q. Another person called Mirko Vidovic, who has
24 your name?
25 A. Yes, there is two or three more.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you. You
2 may now be released.
3 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Vidovic, we can't release
5 you now because tomorrow you have to come back with
6 your passport and the other documents, the original of
7 the other documents which have been produced today by
8 Defence Counsel Par. So you may now leave the
9 courtroom, but please don't leave The Hague because, as
10 I say, we may need you again.
11 Thank you. We may move on to our next
12 witness. In future, I think it would be appropriate
13 for Defence counsel to always produce the original of
14 any document they intend to put in in evidence.
15 Yes. Let us now take a break, a 30-minute
17 (The witness withdrew)
18 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.23 p.m.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Grabovac, I presume.
21 Good afternoon, Mr. Grabovac. Could you please stand
22 and make the solemn declaration?
23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit
3 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
5 Mr. President.
6 WITNESS: IVAN GRABOVAC
7 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
8 Q. Mr. Grabovac, would you introduce yourself to
9 the court?
10 A. I'm Ivan Grabovac, born in Krcevine, Vitez.
11 Q. Could you please tell us what year you were
12 born in?
13 A. I was born on the 15th of November, 1947.
14 Q. And where do you reside?
15 A. I reside in Krcevine, Vitez.
16 Q. Could you please tell the court where you
17 were employed in 1992?
18 A. In 1992, I was employed in the Grill
19 Restaurant that was owned by Ivica Kupreskic, and I had
20 actually sublet it from him.
21 Q. When did you sublet this grill?
22 A. On the 30th of March, 1992.
23 Q. And what was this grill? Was it a restaurant
24 or what?
25 A. It was a restaurant of sorts. It offered
1 grilled meat and a few things a la carte.
2 Q. And where was this restaurant?
3 A. This restaurant is in the centre of town, in
4 the street of Kresimira Petra.
5 Q. Tell us, why did Mr. Ivica Kupreskic sublet
6 this restaurant to you?
7 A. Because Ivica Kupreskic was supposed to go to
8 Germany. I stayed on to work at The Grill as the owner
9 of that shop.
10 Q. That is to say, not as the owner but as a
11 person who was subletting; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. How long did you work there as the leasee of
14 this restaurant?
15 A. I worked there until the 15th of April,
17 Q. Do you know why or, rather, whether Sutra,
18 the company Sutra, had some shops of its own?
19 A. Yes. It had a retail and a wholesale.
20 Q. Who was the owner of the Sutra company?
21 A. Ivica Kupreskic.
22 Q. Where was the wholesale department of this
23 enterprise and where was the retail store?
24 A. The retail store was in town, in the building
25 called Vucjak, and wholesale was in the village of
2 Q. What was the assortment of goods that this
3 shop had? Was it food? Was it consumer goods?
4 A. It offered mixed goods. There were food
5 products there and, also, there were textiles.
6 Q. Who worked in this retail store in the
7 building in Vucjak in Vitez?
8 A. Dragica Grabovac did.
9 Q. Is Dragica Grabovac related to you?
10 A. Yes, she's my sister.
11 Q. Until when did she work at that store?
12 A. She worked there until the 6th of April,
14 Q. Did she work there as a saleslady?
15 A. Yes, she worked as a salesperson, and she was
16 in charge from a material and moral point of view.
17 Q. Why did she stop working there, in April
18 1993, in that shop?
19 A. There were family problems.
20 Q. What kind of problems?
21 A. Her oldest son's health, and then she had to
22 leave the shop so that she could take care of her
23 oldest son.
24 Q. Who came to replace her then at this shop in
1 A. Mirjan Kupreskic did.
2 Q. Where did Mirjan Kupreskic work until then;
3 do you know?
4 A. He worked at the wholesale in Pirici.
5 Q. That is to say, in the same company but at a
6 different place?
7 A. Yes, at a different place.
8 Q. The Grill Restaurant that you had sublet, did
9 you get your supplies for it from this shop of Ivica
10 Kupreskic in Vitez?
11 A. I got supplies for that restaurant from the
12 retail store of Sutra, all the products that were there
13 in that shop. If there were some products that could
14 not be obtained there, then I would purchase them
16 Q. So did you come to this shop in Vitez every
18 A. No, not every day, only when necessary.
19 Q. How often was that? How often per week, for
21 A. Well, sometimes I'd come three days in a row,
22 and sometimes I would the not come for an entire day
23 and then I'd come on the next day.
24 Q. Before the second conflict or, rather, before
25 the war broke out in the Lasva River Valley, during
1 that week, did you see Mirjan Kupreskic in that shop?
2 Did you see him working there in the shop?
3 A. Yes, I did, every day, because in the morning
4 we would have coffee together.
5 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, do you remember
6 whether you were in the shop of Ivica Kupreskic?
7 A. Yes. I went to buy some goods. I went to
8 get some Tuborg beer that you couldn't get in other
9 stores, and I got all that they had left but not very
10 much of it because there wasn't enough, not even at
12 Q. You saw Mirjan working there, right, on that
14 A. Yes, I did see Mirjan working there on that
15 day, there at the shop.
16 Q. What did you do then? Did you leave
17 immediately or did you stay at the shop?
18 A. On that day I came to the shop. I got the
19 Tuborg beer. I put it into my own car. In the
20 meantime, Krgovic Batric came and Mujcibabac Gavro
21 too. I treated the two of them to a drink, while
22 Mirjan Kupreskic asked me to go to the staircase by the
23 office, because he didn't want his customers to see us
24 drinking beer. I treated Krgovic Batric and Mujcibabic
25 Gavro Mujcibabic, and we talked, just plain, everyday
2 Q. So where did you actually take a seat, was it
3 in the warehouse or the storage area?
4 A. Well, yes, it was some kind of a storage area
5 of that shop but not in the proper sense of the word,
6 because people would pass there on their way to the
7 office as well.
8 Q. Did anybody else come in after that?
9 A. Veljko Cato came. He had finished his work,
10 and he also offered us a drink or, rather, Tuborg beer
11 that we were having that day. We talked there until
12 about 4.00 p.m. Just before 4.00 p.m. we parted.
13 Q. And these two men who came at the beginning,
14 this Krgovic Batric and Mujcibabic Gavro, are they your
16 A. They are pensioners. At that time, I was
17 better off than pensioners. I wanted to treat them to
18 a drink.
19 Q. And what did you do?
20 A. Well, we also had some meze. That's what you
21 call these canapés with the drink.
22 Q. You had a drink, didn't you? That's what you
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And why didn't Mirjan want to have people
1 seen drinking at the shop?
2 A. Well, it's not right. It's not proper for
3 customers who were coming in to shop to see us drinking
4 beer. Children come there, women, and it's not proper
5 for them to see us drinking.
6 Q. After that, what did you talk about as you
7 were socialising there?
8 A. On that day, we talked about inflation the
9 most, and Veljko Cato and I talked about this, saying
10 that we could not keep up with inflation. Our prices
11 could not keep up with inflation. We joked a bit, and
12 we chatted, and this was everyday talk and the kind of
13 jokes we always exchanged.
14 Q. Did you talk about the abduction of Zivko
15 Totic and the murder of his escorts and this political
16 situation that was rather tense at the time?
17 A. Not on that day, because we did not have a
18 radio because we were sitting in front of the office,
19 and we didn't know anything, not until I came home in
20 the evening.
21 Q. All right. When did you get home?
22 A. Well, I came sometime between 5.00 and 6.00
24 Q. Who came to see you that evening? Who came
25 to see you at your home -- that is to say, to your
1 mother's house?
2 A. My sister, Ankica Grabovac came, and her
3 husband, Ivica Kupreskic.
4 Q. Ankica Grabovac is actually Ankica Kupreskic;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Yes, Ankica Kupreskic.
7 Q. She's your sister; right?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Where did you see her?
10 A. In the family house of my mother's and my
11 sister-in-law -- or that is to say, my late brother's
13 Q. Where is this?
14 A. This is in Krcevine, number 90, Vitez.
15 Q. She came to see her mother and to see her
16 brothers; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Where was Ankica Kupreskic before that?
19 A. Ankica Kupreskic was in Germany for about a
20 year and 15 days or so.
21 Q. At what time did Ankica Kupreskic and her
22 husband, Ivica, come in?
23 A. They came approximately around 7.00 p.m., ten
24 past seven, quarter past seven; around 7.00 p.m.
25 Q. How long did they stay?
1 A. They stayed, I believe, about 30 minutes,
2 until 7.30 or 7.40.
3 Q. Well, all right. All of this is approximate,
4 isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did Ankica Kupreskic see all of her brothers?
7 A. No. She saw me, Ivan, she saw Anto. Karlo,
8 on that day, after work, he stayed in the cafe of Osman
9 in Mahala in Vitez.
10 Q. That was a Muslim cafe, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In the Muslim part of Vitez; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Karlo Grabovac was a member of the HVO?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That evening he was not at home, but he was
17 in a Muslim cafe; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On that evening did you receive any
20 information that on the next day there would be a
21 conflict between the Muslims and the Croats in the area
22 of Vitez?
23 A. No, because if my brother came after the
24 curfew, I did not know of any stories about a
1 Q. Had he known about this, had he had any
2 information about a conflict, would he have informed
4 A. Most probably he would have, but I cannot
5 present his opinions now. I can't see this clearly in
6 my head.
7 Q. All right. I'm going to ask you this at the
8 end. So you have no information about the coming
9 conflict; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What happened in the morning in Krcevine?
12 A. That night for me was like all the other
13 nights before that. I watched television, and after
14 some time I went to bed, and then in the morning we
15 just heard shooting and shelling. That could have been
16 around 5.30.
17 Q. Just a minute, please. I don't think that
18 the translation is right. Did you hear shooting, or
20 A. I only heard shelling.
21 Q. Where were the shells falling?
22 A. Partly they were falling on Vitez and partly
23 on my village, called Krcevine.
24 Q. On which part of the village did these shells
1 A. The northern part and the central part of
3 Q. Who lived in this central part of Krcevine?
4 A. Croats.
5 Q. How long did the shelling go on?
6 A. The shelling went on for about half an hour,
7 and then there would be a lull, and then again. That's
8 the way it went that day.
9 Q. Was there an army in the village?
10 A. At that moment there was not an army in the
11 village. At our own initiative, we couldn't go through
12 a wall. What is impossible is impossible. We gathered
13 at around 5.00, and we gathered in the western part of
14 the village, and we discussed all the troubles that had
15 befallen us.
16 Q. At what time did you gather together the
17 people from the village?
18 A. Around 15.00 hours.
19 Q. All right. Was there any shooting that day
20 in the village? I mean, was there any small-arms fire?
21 A. No. No. Only shelling.
22 Q. All right. Could you tell us how many Croats
23 there were in that village?
24 A. According to the last census, of 1990, there
25 were exactly 539 Croats.
1 Q. How many rifles did you have in the village
2 subsequently, when you met and then counted the rifles?
3 A. Around 15.00 that day, on the 16th, we met
4 around 15.00 in the western part of the village, and we
5 had 28 rifles. Of them, three were hunting rifles.
6 Q. When did the fighting break out, or rather
7 when did the conflict with Muslims in Krcevine begin?
8 When was that?
9 A. That day we were already deployed along the
10 boundaries of the village. We did not know anything.
11 There was no shooting for another day or two.
12 Q. You mean it began sometime on Sunday?
13 A. Yes, a little bit on Sunday.
14 Q. When were you mobilised, in fact?
15 A. I was mobilised to the boundaries of the
16 village on the 17th of April, '93 -- or rather on the
17 18th of April '93. It was a Saturday -- no, it was
19 Q. When all was said and done, did you spend
20 that war in the trenches?
21 A. No. On Sunday, I finished at the boundaries
22 of the village, and they moved to my personal car to
23 transport wounded or dead. And that indeed happened.
24 Q. Yes, but after that?
25 A. I did it until the 27th of July, '93. When
1 we ran out of fuel, I was ordered back to the front
2 line in my village, called Krcevine, from which I never
3 went away until the cease-fire was signed.
4 Q. After the cease-fire was signed, where did
5 you work? Did you stay with the HVO, or did you go
6 into private business?
7 A. As soon as we were allowed to turn in our
8 weapons, I was among the first, and then Ivica
9 Kupreskic took me on as a worker in his retail outlet
10 to work as a salesman. I began to work in the
11 beginning of May. It could have been the 3rd or the
12 4th of May when I was hired to work for Ivica
14 Q. So it was a job that was Ivica Kupreskic's
15 before the war, in the same shop?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At the same place?
18 A. At the same place.
19 Q. Did Mirjan Kupreskic work at the time
21 A. At that time, Mirjan Kupreskic was already
22 working at the wholesale store in Pirici. They opened
23 their second store, wholesale store, at Vucjak, and
24 Mirjan worked there as a wholesale dealer.
25 Q. So when you came on the 4th of May, '94, and
1 began to work at that retail outlet, you found Mirjan
2 Kupreskic, who was already working as a dealer, as a
3 wholesale dealer, for the same company? Is that
5 A. No. I took over the retail business from
6 Mirjan, and Ivica opened that wholesale unit that
7 Mirjan would then man.
8 Q. So you succeeded him there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So on the 4th of May, he was already
11 working. The important thing is that he began working
12 before you; is that so?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Did Mirjan Kupreskic work now for this
15 wholesale unit in '94, '95, '96?
16 A. He worked -- yes, for the wholesale unit
17 in '94, '95, and '96.
18 Q. You met him there, didn't you?
19 A. I stayed there such a short time, because I
20 wanted to go back to my enterprise to work as a waiter,
21 because I could also rent a facility, some premises,
22 from my company, and I thought it would be easier to
23 take some premises from the company than to look for
24 one as a third person. Thus I went to Ivica Kupreskic,
25 to his restaurant company, Kruscica, in Vitez.
1 Q. Did you happen to see Ivica Kupreskic in
2 uniform before the war?
3 A. No, no, I did not.
4 Q. After the cease-fire was signed in April '94,
5 did you ever see him wearing a uniform?
6 A. No. Who wore that uniform during the war,
7 that is, those who had it, they could not wait but get
8 rid of it.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. Will you tell me just
10 one more thing: Those people who were in the store --
11 I'm talking about the 4th of May, '94 -- Krgovic
12 Batric, Mujcibabic Gavro and Veljko Cato, do you know
13 what their ethnicity is?
14 A. Mujcibabic Gavro and Veljko Cato are
15 Orthodox; that is, Serbs. Krgovic Batric is a
16 Montenegrin. I could not really tell you what his
17 ethnic origin is.
18 Q. Montenegrin?
19 A. Montenegrin.
20 Q. Right. Thank you very much.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Your
22 Honours. I have no more questions.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 Counsel Pavkovic, any cross-examination for
25 any Defence counsel?
1 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, other counsel
2 for Defence have no intention -- are not planning to
3 examine this witness.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill?
5 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours,
6 Mr. President.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
8 Q. Mr. Grabovac, as a result of your testimony
9 here today, I would like to ask you just a few
10 questions arising from that. My name is Michael
11 Blaxill, and I am one of the Prosecution attorneys
12 assigned to this case.
13 Sir, you said that on the 15th of April,
14 1993, you were having a beer at the store where Mirjan
15 Kupreskic worked, and you used the expression that you
16 parted at about 4.00.
17 Does that mean that you personally left the
18 shop at 4.00, about 4.00?
19 A. That day I left the store around 16.00,
20 perhaps a little before that.
21 Q. When you left the shop, where was Mr. Mirjan
23 A. Mirjan Kupreskic stayed behind in the store,
24 in Ivica Kupreskic's shop, because the working hours
25 were until 17.00, until 5.00 p.m.
1 Q. Did you see Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic at all again
2 on the 15th of April, 1993?
3 A. No. After 16.00, I did not see Mirjan
5 Q. Did you see Mr. Mirjan Kupreskic at all
6 during the subsequent days, the 16th, the 17th, or the
7 18th of April?
8 A. I saw Mirjan afterwards, whether it was
9 seven, eight, or maybe ten days later. I came to the
10 Grill Restaurant to throw away the meat which was in
11 the refrigerator because all these items were
12 perishable, and I took some beer home. That day I saw
13 Mirjan Kupreskic in the town, only I cannot say which
14 date it was.
15 Q. Thank you very much, sir. When you left on
16 the 15th of April you left the shop, did you, in fact,
17 go back to your Grill Restaurant at all, or did you go
18 straight to your relatives' home?
19 A. No. I went to the Grill Restaurant, unloaded
20 the beer, took it into the restaurant, and I was there
21 for an hour, an hour and a half. Then I went directly
23 Q. At what time, sir, do you recall arriving
24 back home, if you do, indeed, recall?
25 A. I got home sometime before 6.00.
1 Q. I believe you said that you received a visit
2 from your sister and her husband, Mr. Ivica Kupreskic,
3 somewhere around 7.00 that evening; is that right, sir?
4 A. No, they did not come to visit me. They came
5 to see my mother at my late brother's, and I went over
6 to their house to celebrate, to welcome my
7 brother-in-law and my sister.
8 Q. Thank you. Then you went to bed quite
9 normally that night and slept through until about half
10 past five the following morning. That would be
11 correct, sir, yes?
12 A. It is, except that I did not go to bed
13 directly, because I usually stay up and watch TV and as
14 there were all sorts of news, I wanted to hear them
15 all, and that is what I did on that evening.
16 Q. Then you've told us, sir, that you woke then
17 in the morning and that the sounds that woke you were
18 those of the sound of shelling, heavy gunfire; is that
20 A. Yes, it is, because at that hour my body is
21 already used to it. I sleep until about 7.00, but that
22 morning the shelling woke me up around 5.30.
23 Q. Did you go out of your house at that point or
24 shortly after, or did you remain indoors because of the
25 shelling that was going on?
1 A. As soon as I heard the shelling, I dressed up
2 and went out but without really knowing where to go and
3 how to go.
4 Q. You've given an opinion as to where the
5 shells were falling in terms of Vitez and then some on
6 your village. Could you actually see the fall or
7 explosion of these shells, or was it the sound that led
8 you to that belief?
9 A. Shells, these which fell, and the
10 configuration of my village is such that you cannot see
11 more than 20 per cent of it from one particular spot,
12 but all the shells that came, came from the Zenica
13 territory, that is, from Preocica, Lupac.
14 Q. How were you able to say that you knew they
15 were coming from that direction? Again, was it the
16 sound of shells travelling? What gave you that basis
17 for that opinion?
18 A. Well, they could not come from any other side
19 but the Zenica area.
20 Q. How far is your village of Krcevine -- I hope
21 I'm pronouncing it correctly -- Krcevine from Ahmici?
22 Can you say how far that is, sir?
23 A. Krcevine is about -- somewhere around eight
24 to nine kilometres away from Ahmici.
25 Q. So would it be fair to say that any events
1 that occurred in Ahmici between, indeed, say, the 16th
2 of April onwards through that month, you would have no
3 knowledge of those events directly?
4 A. Something was known but it was all rumours.
5 There were no reliable sources to learn from.
6 Q. It seems from within your community there was
7 no shooting, small-arms shooting, between people for
8 perhaps another day or two after the 16th; is that
9 right? I think you said that it was the 18th that that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At that point, I think you've used the
13 expression of being mobilised, but had you had any
14 village, or community, or civilian defence duties that
15 he had performed or that you were enlisted to perform
16 in the event of such a conflict?
17 A. No, we did not have any duties.
18 Q. Were you in any way a member of the HVO prior
19 to the 16th of April?
20 A. I was only a member of the HDZ, not the HVO,
21 because at that time, I was already a man of advanced
22 age, a man of 46.
23 Q. What was the manner in which you were
24 mobilised on the 18th of April? How did you receive
25 the information that you were mobilised?
1 A. That day, I'm going back to the 17th when we
2 met at our own initiative, the President of the
3 neighbourhood community of Krcevine, Ivan Zuljevic
4 said, "This doesn't all go well," and, "We've got to
5 get to the boundaries of the village." I stayed there
6 until Sunday, when that selfsame Ivan Zuljevic told me
7 that I should instead take my own car in order to
8 transport the wounded and the dead, and that is what
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Grabovac.
11 MR. BLAXILL: That is the conclusion of my
12 cross-examination, Your Hounours. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Your
17 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
18 Q. Mr. Grabovac, will you tell us how many
19 members of your family were killed in this war, just to
20 see how many?
21 A. In my family, blood relatives, 18 persons
22 were killed, including those three times removed.
23 Q. When you said the shelling came from
24 Preocica, Lupac, Zenica, or Preocica and Lupac,
25 ethnically speaking, what villages are those, Muslim or
2 A. Preocica is mostly a Muslim village with
3 several orthodox or, rather, Serb families.
4 Q. And Lupac?
5 A. Lupac was a purely Muslim village.
6 Q. You also said that shelling came from the
7 direction of Zenica?
8 A. Not from Zenica but from the direction of
9 Zenica, because Preocica and Lupac were at a much
10 higher altitude than my village. My village is several
11 hundred metres below these two villages.
12 Q. I just want to ask you to tell us -- I don't
13 know if you understood my learned friend from the
14 Prosecution properly. He asked you if you had any
15 duties in the village, whether there were any village
16 guards, among other things. Were there village guards
17 in Krcevine?
18 A. Yes, there were, but we did not carry any
19 weapons for anything but just because of crime. In my
20 village, there were about 25 or 26 Muslim families, and
21 they also carried rifles in order to protect their
22 families because of crime.
23 On various occasions, this so-called ramp,
24 that is where the railway tracks passed, that is where
25 we met with Muslims who had rifles. That is one or two
1 rifles, just as we did, one or two when we were on
2 duty. We would greet one another as neighbours, as
3 brothers, not -- unaware what was in store for us in
4 the days to come.
5 Q. When you are saying that you carried a rifle
6 because of crime, you mean that you did not carry it to
7 defend yourselves against Muslims; is that so?
8 A. It is, because crime appeared, and in the
9 village it happened often that somebody could not come
10 and so there was the empty space. There was nobody to
11 look after the village, to patrol the village, and we
12 simply visited several houses where I lived in the
13 western part and also in the other part, in the
14 northern part from Preocica, and they did the same
15 thing. But it did happen, for instance, that nobody
16 would be anywhere around the place and yet we feared
17 criminals and we wanted to protect our village.
18 Q. All right. Thank you very much,
19 Mr. Grabovac.
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I have
21 no more questions. Thank you.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We have no
23 questions. Thank you so much, Mr. Grabovac, for
24 testifying. You may now be released.
25 (The witness withdrew)
1 JUDGE CASSESE: We could probably call the
2 next witness, Mr. Safradin.
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President,
4 unfortunately, we didn't manage to get another witness
5 for today. That would have been the fifth witness, and
6 we thought that -- well, we have some certain problems
7 with the witnesses, so we're going to have our next
8 witness tomorrow. This decision to change the
9 schedule, that you took, also resulted in the fact that
10 we did not have enough witnesses in The Hague, because
11 instead of working Wednesday all day, we were notified
12 that we would spend all day Monday here.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. We do appreciate that.
14 Thank you. So we will start tomorrow with
15 Mr. Safradin, but we have noticed that out of the what,
16 seven remaining witnesses, four are character
17 witnesses. Is that so?
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Only two will be
19 character witnesses, and two are going to give some
20 information on facts related to the events of the 15th
21 and/or 16th, and these facts are already contained in
22 the summary, in the summary of their statements. That
23 is to say, they are not going to be testifying about
24 new facts but only those that are mentioned there.
25 There are only two character witnesses that we'd like
1 to hear. As for the rest, we are going to give signed
2 statements, signed and certified.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Since you may
4 remember that we, on the 17th of February, '99, issued
5 an order which, among other things, requested Defence
6 counsel to refrain from asking fact witnesses questions
7 which are designed solely to prove the good character
8 of the accused and, more generally, we called upon
9 Defence counsel to refrain from calling character
11 I, of course, will admit these two character
12 witnesses, but we would like to suggest that the
13 Defence counsel should confine themselves to a very
14 brief examination-in-chief. In particular, you don't
15 need, I think, to go into this question of the folklore
16 club because, I think, this has not been disputed by
17 the Prosecutor and, I think, we heard a lot of evidence
18 about that particular club, and dancing, and so on.
19 All right. So we will adjourn until tomorrow
20 at 9.00. Tomorrow we will be sitting from 9.00 until
21 1.30. No sitting in the afternoon.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 5.10 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Tuesday, the 23rd day of March, 1999
25 at 9.00 a.m.