1 Wednesday, 26th May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-16-PT, the
7 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
8 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and
9 Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
11 Counsel Par.
12 MR. PAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 Before I begin with the examination of the
14 witness, would you please allow me to address a
15 question to the Trial Chamber, and could the witness
16 leave the courtroom for a moment while I address that
17 question to the Court?
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 MR. PAR: Mr. President, my question has to
21 do with the documents which the Prosecutor intends to
22 use in today's cross-examination. Actually, yesterday
23 we received two documents from the Prosecutor which he
24 intends to use in his cross-examination.
25 The first document was given to us prior to
1the beginning of the hearing and before the witness was
2 brought into the courtroom, and we consider that quite
4 However, as regards the second document, the
5 Prosecutor gave it to us immediately after the end of
6 the hearing, that is, after the witness had started
7 testifying and had taken the solemn declaration.
8 Clearly, the document was given at that very point in
9 time so as not to enable the Defence counsel to ask the
10 witness anything about that document before the
12 As the Defence counsel, I have had enough
13 time to study the document, but I was not in a position
14 to confront the witness with it.
15 My question to the Trial Chamber is as
16 follows: Is such a disclosure of documents on behalf
17 of the Prosecutor in accordance with the Rules of
18 Procedure or, rather, is it permissible for the
19 Prosecutor to prevent the Defence from asking the
20 witness about documents in the possession of the
21 Prosecutor, the aim being to surprise the witness with
22 a document which he was not in a position to see
24 If Your Honours consider such a procedure to
25 be in accordance with the Rules, I apologise if this is
1due to any misunderstanding on my part. If not, would
2 I be allowed to discuss this document with the witness
3 for ten minutes, at least, prior to the examination?
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before I give the
5 floor to Mr. Terrier, may I ask whether we could also
6 be given these two documents? Before making a ruling,
7 we have to read those documents.
8 MR. TERRIER: Of course, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: So we will concentrate on the
10 documents to which Counsel Par has just made an
11 objection. He said "the second document", which,
12 Counsel Par, could you please specify which one is the
13 second document, the one --
14 MR. PAR: The first document is a letter to
15 the International Tribunal, and we have no dispute over
16 that, and the second document with the signature
17 regarding the confiscation of weapons and so on, a
18 report on inventory taken by the inventory commission,
19 with the annexes.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: No, this is the first one.
21 So the first document is a letter by Ljubica Kupreskic
22 to the International Criminal Tribunal, the first one?
23 MR. PAR: Yes, and we're not disputing that.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: The one we are disputing is
25 the report on inventory taken by the inventory
1commission. Thank you.
2 MR. PAR: That is correct.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. Could I ask
4 Mr. Terrier to comment?
5 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 First of all, I would like to say that by
7 serving the document prior to the beginning of the
8 cross-examination and even before the end of the
9 examination-in-chief, and by giving Mr. Par one night
10 to think it over, I think that we perfectly complied
11 with the directives edicted by this Tribunal.
12 Secondly, when it comes to the letter written
13 by the witness to the Prosecutor in The Hague, that
14 shouldn't raise any problem whatsoever.
15 Thirdly, with regard to the report by the
16 inventory commission, I do not have much information as
17 to the nature and the purpose of such a commission, but
18 by serving this document to the Defence, my primary
19 concern was to ask the witness whether she recognised
20 the signature at the end of this document and the name
21 of Vlatko Kupreskic. I didn't intend to ask the
22 witness, because I don't think she would know that,
23 whether she knew anything special as to the purpose of
24 the commission, as to the results obtained by the
1The main purpose of serving the document to
2 the Defence was for the witness to recognise or for
3 failing to recognise the signature of her husband.
4 Besides, Mr. Par has not completed
5 examination-in-chief. He is therefore perfectly able
6 to ask all questions he deems useful on this report or
7 on anything else.
8 This is what I had to say. Thank you.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
10 MR. PAR: Fully appreciating the observations
11 by my learned friend, Mr. Terrier, if the question has
12 to do with the signature alone, then I have no
13 objection. At the same time, however, my question was
14 of a principle nature so we should know in the future
15 what exactly is the position of the Trial Chamber
16 regarding the disclosure of documents. But I would
17 stress, once again, that if it is a question of
18 recognising the signature, I withdraw my complaint.
19 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
20 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Now, our ruling,
21 of course, is of a general nature, because you raised
22 the question of principle. I understand that you
23 accept, in light of what the Prosecutor just said, his
24 explanation. He will confine himself to asking
25 questions about the signature of the witness's husband,
1so therefore you are not raising any question.
2 As a matter of principle, however, we agree
3 with your position. We feel that the Prosecutor should
4 disclose these documents as soon as possible, not at
5 the very last minute, because this may delay our
6 proceedings. In any case, if the Prosecution is unable
7 to disclose such documents as soon as possible, it is
8 only fair for the Defence counsel to have some time to
9 discuss a new document with the witness in private.
10 So in future, if the same occurrence arises,
11 then we will allow the Defence counsel to take some
12 time to discuss any matter relating to a particular
13 document which has just been disclosed, or has been
14 disclosed a short time before the testimony, to discuss
15 it with the witness. So we will proceed this way in
16 the future.
17 For the time being, we can resume our
18 proceedings, and I would like to ask the registrar to
19 bring in the witness.
20 (The witness entered court)
21 WITNESS: LJUBICA KUPRESKIC (Resumed)
22 Examined by Mr. Par:
23 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Kupreskic. May we begin?
24 During today's examination, we will mainly be
25 dealing with a certain number of documents. Yesterday,
1in the course of your examination, you said that during
2 the conflict, Vlatko Kupreskic did not have a rifle.
3 My question is: When he was arrested, was a rifle
4 seized from him?
5 A. Yes, when he was arrested, it was.
6 Q. Could you tell the Court where that rifle
7 came from, when and how he gained possession of it, and
8 why he needed it?
9 A. That rifle was purchased upon my initiative
10 because of frequent burglaries in our house and our
11 shop, and I was the one who initiated the purchase of
12 such a rifle because I was often left alone with the
13 children. After the cease-fire was signed in May, a
14 burglary occurred into my house. I was alone with the
15 children. Vlatko was away on business at the time, and
16 when he returned, I told him about it, and I said that
17 he should get a weapon, because I was afraid to stay
18 alone, as our house is rather isolated. Everything
19 around it had been burned. However, Vlatko did not
20 follow my advice on that occasion, but after another
21 burglary in our shop, when a large amount of goods were
22 stolen, in January '95, he went to the military and
23 asked them to give us a weapon.
24 MR. PAR: With the usher's assistance, could
25 I show the witness this document, and I have copies for
1Their Honours, the Prosecution, and the registry. The
2 original for the Trial Chamber, please.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit will be Defence
4 Exhibit 35/3.
5 MR. PAR:
6 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, you are familiar with this
7 receipt, so could you tell us what it certifies and
8 where it comes from?
9 A. This is a card on the basis of which weapons
10 were issued. We can see here that the name is Vlatko
11 Kupreskic, the date is 17th of January, 1995, when he
12 was issued this rifle. The rifle was issued by
13 Mr. Smiljko Cevozic, and this card was deposited in the
14 registry in our shop on the same day that the rifle was
15 issued. This is evident from the document itself.
16 Q. Does this mean, when a rifle is issued, that
17 such a document is issued at the same time?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can we see what kind of weapon it is?
20 A. I don't know much about weapons, but I can
21 read what it says: AP 2223. It probably means an
22 automatic rifle.
23 Q. And what else was issued?
24 A. Three magazines of ammunition.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. So we are finished
1with that certificate.
2 You mentioned that there were some burglaries
3 in your shop and home, so I'll show you another
4 certificate for you to look at and tell us what the
5 origins of that document are, with the help of the
6 usher, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D36/3.
8 MR. PAR:
9 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, this, too, is a familiar
10 document for you, so could you briefly tell the Court
11 what kind of certificate it is, who issued it, and what
12 does it certify?
13 A. At my personal request, this certificate was
14 issued by the police administration of Vitez, and the
15 burglaries that took place were registered. The first
16 one occurred on the 17th of May.
17 Q. Which year?
18 A. 1994, in our family house. The second one
19 occurred in September 1994, and the third in February
21 Q. Let us refresh our memory: When was the
22 rifle issued?
23 A. In January 1995.
24 Q. So the reasons were these burglaries, as you
25 have told us?
2 MR. PAR: Could I ask the registry to show
3 the witness Prosecution Exhibit P329, P329, a
4 certificate on mobilisation.
5 Q. Until we find that document, let me tell you
6 that it is a document which says that Vlatko Kupreskic,
7 from the 16th of April, 1993, was assistant commander
8 for health in the Vitez Brigade. So could you look at
9 this certificate and comment on the accuracy of the
10 statements it contains.
11 Have you received a copy?
12 A. My husband never had a certificate of this
13 kind, nor have I seen it before I was shown it by
14 counsel. It is not correct, what it says here, that he
15 was assistant commander for health from the 16th of
16 April, 1993.
17 Q. What is not right? The title that he held,
18 or the date?
19 A. He was not even mobilised then.
20 Q. Thank you. And when was he mobilised?
21 A. Around the beginning of September.
22 Q. And to what post was he assigned?
23 A. He was assigned to the position of driver in
24 the medical corps, because an order arrived to
25 confiscate Vlatko's white Mercedes which he owned at
1the time. During the general mobilisation, Vlatko was
2 mobilised by force, and he used that vehicle as a
3 driver working for the medical corps.
4 Q. Do you know whether Vlatko asked to be issued
5 such a certificate for some particular purpose?
6 A. No. If he had asked for it, I would have
7 probably seen it. I've never seen it before, nor did
8 he request such a certificate to be issued to him, and
9 I really don't know where it comes from.
10 Q. Very well. Let's go on. Did any member of
11 your family, or acquaintance, on the basis of
12 erroneously-entered data on participation in the war,
13 acquire the right to certain shares?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Let me show you a few documents that I
16 received from you, but we would like to show them to
17 Their Honours.
18 You know that I have three so-called certificates
19 on the salary for members of the armed forces. I
20 should like to ask you to tell me briefly, with regard
21 to each of those certificates, to whom they apply, when
22 the person mentioned was born, to what extent she
23 participated in the war, and whether you personally
24 know that person and can confirm whether the data
25 indicated are correct. Do you have the certificate
2 A. This certificate applies to Ana Topic, born
3 in 1928, which can be seen from her personal
4 registration number. According to this certificate,
5 she was a member of the armed forces for 49 months,
6 which is not correct.
7 Q. For 49 months; a person born in 1928 would
8 hardly have been a member of the armed forces. Do you
9 know her in person?
10 A. Yes, I do. I know that she's not very well
11 physically, and she is my brother's mother-in-law.
12 Q. Let us go through two more certificates that
13 I have here of a similar nature.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit will be D37/3.
15 MR. PAR:
16 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, very briefly, to whom does
17 this certificate apply?
18 A. It applies to Ljubica Frljic, born in 1928,
19 and it says here that she too was a member of the armed
20 forces for 45 months, which is not true. This is
21 actually my mother. She has been sick for 30 years.
22 She's under medication. She can hardly walk. So this
23 is really not true.
24 Q. And how can you tell the age from the
25 registration number of the person?
1MR. PAR: We have one further certificate of
2 this kind.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D39/3.
4 MR. PAR:
5 Q. Can you comment in the same way on this
7 A. It applies to Miroslava Jonjic. She is a
8 refugee from Zenica. She's the mother of a worker that
9 I employed. It says here she participated for 45
10 months and acquired a salary on that basis.
11 She was born in 1937, which can be seen from
12 her personal registration number. This lady died a
13 couple of months ago. She was of poor health.
14 Q. A few more words about her. How can you see
15 that it is not correct that she was in the armed
16 forces? How do you know that? That she was sick, you
18 A. No.
19 Q. That she participated in the armed forces for
20 45 months, how can it be true?
21 A. I know her personally. She was really sick.
22 She was immobile. She couldn't move. She was
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us go on to the
25 next document.
1You said, Mrs. Kupreskic, that on the 15th of
2 April, on the eve of the conflict in Ahmici, you took
3 your driving test. Now I shall show you another
4 certificate confirming this. In view of the fact that
5 what you are going to see is also a certificate that
6 you obtained and gave to me, let us not dwell on it too
7 long. Just tell Their Honours what the certificate
8 says or, rather, who issued it and how.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D40/3.
10 A. This certificate certifies that I, Ljubica
11 Kupreskic, took my driving test on the 15th of April,
12 1993, at 16.00 in Vitez in the auto motoring club in
13 Vitez. This certificate was registered in the
15 MR. PAR: I would now like to ask the
16 Registry to give us Defence Exhibit D12/3, which is the
17 minutes on damage to the house or report on damage to
18 the house of Vlatko Kupreskic. D12/3.
19 Q. Yesterday you said that on the 16th of April,
20 '93, certain damage was inflicted on your house and
21 that some things were stolen from your house. Did you
22 apply for compensation for this damage or, rather, are
23 you familiar with this record that you have?
24 A. Yes, I know what it is.
25 Q. Was this record drawn when you applied for
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Briefly, what kind of damage is indicated
5 A. This record was drawn on the 15th -- no, the
6 5th of April, 1995, and at that time the things taken
7 away and damaged or, rather, the merchandise taken
8 away, so I did notice. So in 1995, we already said
9 that the entrance door was damaged, as you can see from
10 here, that a large part of merchandise was damaged.
11 All the bills and receipts were stolen. Then there was
12 valuables, jewellery or, more specifically, a necklace,
13 a golden necklace, which was a wedding present to me
14 from Vlatko's parents.
15 So the commission came out and wrote it all
16 down. So windows were damaged, the heating system was
17 damaged, roof tiles.
18 Q. All right. Let us then proceed to the next
19 document, or two more.
20 The next document is a certificate of the
21 Centre for Social Work in Vitez. You were also the one
22 who gave it to me. So will you tell us, what is this
23 certificate? Who issued it, and what does it satisfy
25 A. It was issued by the Centre for Social Work
1to certify that our family, as of the -- on the 1st of
2 May, 1993, we were refugees in Vitez.
3 Q. That was the period of time when you came
4 from Rovna to Vitez. When you came there, did you
5 immediately report to the centre? What was the
6 procedure at the time about registering refugees?
7 A. Well, I don't know exactly. Someone from
8 door to door and making the -- compiling the list of
9 refugees, and thus then putting us on the record in the
11 MR. PAR: Right. We have more or less
12 finished with these documents. Only two or three short
13 questions more.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. This document was
15 Exhibit D41/3.
16 MR. PAR: Only a few brief questions related
17 to some character statements which we already gave the
18 Prosecution. Let us see how they came about.
19 Q. Could you tell us, please, on what terms was
20 Vlatko with the Muslims after the war, after the
21 conflicts? Did the Muslims that you had contact with
22 accuse him of some infamous role in the war?
23 A. Vlatko, with all people and in particular
24 with the Muslims, Vlatko was on the same terms as
25 before the war. And with all the people that I had to
1do something with, and I had to deal with a number of
2 people, I had contact with a number of people, Serbs
3 including, nobody said anything against Vlatko.
4 Everybody was surprised when Vlatko was indicted. They
5 knew him well. They knew he was a good businessman,
6 and he always helped people.
7 Q. Where did you talk to them, where did you
8 meet them?
9 A. Well, I mostly talked to them in Ahmici, in
10 front of my house, in the shop in Vitez.
11 Q. Tell us, please, did you ask them something
12 specific from them? Did you ask them to come to the
13 Tribunal or write some statements? What was their
14 response? What did those conversations look like?
15 A. Yes. When you told me that the Tribunal
16 permitted us to take down some character statements, I
17 went to see my neighbours, asking them to write down a
18 statement or come here to the Tribunal. Some of them
19 did write it down, except that people want to be
20 protected. They have all some problems. Some of them
21 would be ready to come to testify as to the character
22 of Vlatko Kupreskic, but they are afraid to do so.
23 Q. Right. It is clear now.
24 I have here a list of people who wrote down
25 these character statements. We submitted them to the
1Prosecutor's office in time, and I should now like to
2 show you the list of these people. I don't want you to
3 read out all these names, because this is a public
4 session. I only want to ask you which one of these
5 persons is a Croat and which one is a Muslim? We have
6 numbers here, so will you please tell us just that
7 number so and so is a Muslim and number so and so is a
9 MR. PAR: Mr. Usher, will you please help?
10 This document is a certificate of the municipal
11 department that these persons were contacted to, and we
12 shall attempt to enter it into evidence subsequently.
13 A. I don't want to take too much of your time,
14 so number 1, this is a person of Muslim ethnicity.
15 Number 2, also Muslim ethnicity. Number 3, Muslim
16 ethnicity. Number 4, Muslim ethnicity. Number 5,
17 Serb. Number 6, Serb; 7, a Muslim woman. Number 8, a
18 Muslim woman. Number 9, a Serb. Number 10, a Muslim;
19 11, a Muslim; 12, Muslim; 13, Muslim; 14, Muslim; 15,
20 Muslim. Number 16, Muslim. Number 16 (sic), Muslim.
21 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mrs. Kupreskic.
22 I have no further questions, and I should
23 like that these D31/3 to number D41/3 be admitted into
24 evidence as Defence exhibits.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The last document will be
2 MR. PAR: Yes, that is correct, D42/3.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
4 MR. TERRIER: [No translation]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, sorry, the
6 interpreter apologises.
7 MR. TERRIER: Yes. As to the last document,
8 D42/3, I'm wondering whether this document can be
9 tendered into evidence today. There is only one list
10 of names, whilst there is no indication as to the
11 relevance of this document, given the facts the accused
12 is accused of in this trial or when you think of the
13 testimony of Mrs. Kupreskic today. I would like to
14 have this document together with statements which are
15 apparently announced but have not been provided yet.
16 I do not think that the last document, D42/3,
17 could be usefully tendered into evidence. I do not
18 have any objections as to the other documents which
19 were provided today.
20 MR. PAR: I agree. I withdraw my suggestion
21 for 42/3, and we'll submit it in the end with a list of
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So therefore all
24 the other documents are admitted into evidence except
25 for D42/3, which will probably be submitted into
1evidence later on with the other accompanying
3 Yes, Counsel Pavkovic.
4 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, I should merely
5 like to inform you that Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac will also
6 ask some questions of this witness.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. This is for
8 cross-examination. All right, Counsel
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Your
12 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
13 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, I understand that you work
14 for the Sutre company.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When was that?
17 A. I was there between '92, end of '92, until
18 the war. And then after the war, I went back to work
19 there and became even more active there.
20 Q. Will you tell us if at that time Mirjan
21 Kupreskic was also there?
22 A. Mirjan Kupreskic was also there at the time.
23 Q. Where did he work before the war?
24 A. Before the war, he worked at the outlet in
25 Pirici, and then some 15 days before it, he moved to
1Vitez. So for a while before the war in '93, he moved
2 to Vitez.
3 Q. Who worked with him at the warehouse at the
5 A. Ivica Covic was with him at the warehouse in
6 Covici, so Mirjan moved from that warehouse to Vitez
7 because we opened there another business outlet there.
8 Q. Did Ivica Covic go on working in the
9 warehouse until the war broke out?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And after the war -- that is, in 1994, when
12 the cease-fire was signed -- in 1994, did Mirjan
13 Kupreskic continue to work there?
14 A. Yes, Mirjan Kupreskic continued to work
15 there, and I saw him every day there because I did
16 paperwork there, and he was downstairs in the sales
18 Q. And where was that?
19 A. In Vitez.
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I have no
21 further questions.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
24 Mr. Terrier?
25 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
2 Q. Good morning, Ms. Witness. I am Franck
3 Terrier. I'm one of the prosecutors, as you know, and
4 you know that I'm going to ask you a series of
5 questions following the examination-in-chief.
6 First of all, could you tell us about
7 professional activities of your husband, and about
8 yours as well, prior to the war, in 1992 up to April
9 1993. Could you also tell us how the business evolved
10 after the war, you know, I'm talking about the business
11 run by your husband. How did that develop?
12 A. May I ask you to speak slower? You asked
13 very many questions. I do apologise, really.
14 Q. I am going to attempt to comply with your
16 On several occasions you mentioned the store,
17 the Sutre store, that company that you had; could you
18 tell us how the company was organised? Who was the
19 owner of it, and what was the exact part played by your
20 husband in that company?
21 A. Ivica Kupreskic was the owner of the Sutre
22 company, both the manager and the owner, and my husband
23 worked together with Ivica Kupreskic as a professional,
24 as an expert, because he had graduated from the faculty
25 of economics.
1Q. What was your husband supposed to do within
2 that company? What was his role?
3 A. He was responsible for commercial affairs.
4 Q. Could you be more specific as to the purpose
5 of that company? What were you trading in? What was
6 the company trading in? I'm having in mind the months
7 if not the years prior to the war, so before April '93.
8 A. At that time the company was trading in
9 wholesale and retail trade in foodstuffs, and textiles
10 to a certain extent.
11 Q. On several occasions before this Tribunal a
12 shop in Vitez was mentioned. Who was the owner of that
14 A. Ivica Kupreskic. It was one company with two
15 units, with two outlets. One of them was in Pirici and
16 the other one was in Vitez. So it is one company.
17 Q. So let's be quite clear: The Sutre company,
18 whose owner and director was Ivica Kupreskic, had its
19 seat in Ahmici and Pirici, but also had an outlet in
20 Vitez? Is that so? Was your husband working more in
21 the Vitez outlet? Would he work more frequently in
22 Vitez than in Pirici?
23 A. Well, I don't know. He spent just as much
24 time over there as over here, because sometimes he
25 worked until midnight putting papers in order and so on
1and so forth. I have an office at home, even. It just
2 depends on the kind of transaction, on business
3 partners. They would come, perhaps we would meet in
4 Vitez, conduct negotiations, and then he would go to
5 fetch the merchandise, or ...
6 Q. What became of that company during the war?
7 As of April 1993, what happened to the company?
8 A. In April 1993, there was merchandise in this
9 company. All that we had, at that time, we had
10 invested in merchandise. That company, when the
11 conflict broke out, was closed down until the cease-fire
12 was signed.
13 Q. You mentioned investment you made. Do you
14 think of yourself making such investment, you and your
15 husband, or was it the company that was investing? Did
16 your husband invest his own money into the Sutre
18 A. These funds came from the company.
19 Q. In the period following the cease-fire, what
20 happened then? As of then, how did the business
21 evolve? How did your husband's relations with Ivica
22 Kupreskic evolve?
23 A. Let me see, sometime in May, in early May,
24 the company reopened. It was very difficult. It was
25 very dangerous to go and bring the merchandise in. I
1mean, the roads were dangerous. It was difficult to
2 set the company in motion again and start developing
3 it, but somehow we all joined in, and we were managing
4 somehow to do it, and Vlatko and Ivica Kupreskic were
5 on correct terms.
6 Q. Isn't it true to say that at some point in
7 time, your husband -- and probably you, yourself, as
8 well -- became independent in relation to Ivica
10 A. Yes, in August 1994, we founded a private
11 company called Modus, and I'm its manager.
12 Q. So you created this new company called
13 Modus. Was it a company with the same purpose as the
14 former one, which was managed by Ivica Kupreskic?
15 A. Yes, it was the same branch of activity, and
16 it is to this day.
17 Q. What happened to the company run by Ivica
19 A. Well, they continued in business. They still
20 do the same thing.
21 Q. So you're basically competitors, aren't you?
22 A. This is irrelevant. I take this question --
23 right, I'll give you an answer. Ivica Kupreskic has a
24 shop, and he still sells foodstuffs, but he has
25 expanded his activity, and he also engages in trade in
1other types of merchandise.
2 Q. Is it true to say that your company -- and
3 I'm now speaking of the Modus company -- as of August
4 1994 up till today imports into Bosnia goods which it
5 then sells to other intermediaries? So basically you
6 have an import business, and then you have wholesale
7 trading? Isn't it so?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And how do you go about it? How do you
10 import goods? How do you manage contacts with sellers
12 A. We do not import anything from foreign
13 countries. Our merchandise -- our supplies come mostly
14 from Herzegovina, so we are second-hand in delivery of
15 it. Sometimes we order it by telephone. Sometimes our
16 representatives go there directly to our suppliers,
17 conclude the contract, orders. So the merchandise will
18 have a driver. He goes, ships it in, we store it
19 there. Then, when we sell it, then we go and purchase
20 a new lot. That's how it goes on and on.
21 Q. How many employees does the Modus company
22 have today?
23 A. Modus employs ten people at present.
24 Q. Do you run the business yourself, personally?
25 A. As much as I can, since I'm all by myself,
1that I'm both guardian and mother, and wife of an
2 unjustly accused person. He has no father, no brother;
3 I'm all alone. But I do have an accountant, and he
4 keeps books, on a day-to-day basis. I have two
5 brothers who also work with me, so that -- but it's
7 Q. Could you give us some information as to the
8 yearly turnover of the Modus company? Approximately
9 so -- I'm not the, you know, Inland Revenue. Just to
10 have an idea.
11 A. The amount of money that passes through the
12 company? Well, don't you think it's a business
14 Q. Keep your professional secret for yourself,
15 then. Let's talk about the shippers, or people who
16 would transport goods. Do you employ Fadil Sipcic?
17 A. No. Tomo Simic, who is a Serb, works for me,
18 and Fadil Sipcic never worked there.
19 Q. I'm now going to mention your husband's
20 activities prior to April 1993. It looks as though the
21 Sutre company then mainly imported goods from Croatia
22 and sold such goods in Central Bosnia. Is that so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In order to buy goods in Croatia, it would
25 happen that Ivica Kupreskic and your husband would go
1to Croatia; is that so?
2 A. Yes, of course. How else would they buy the
4 Q. Could you tell us how often, how regularly,
5 your husband would go to Croatia at that time? And the
6 period I have in mind is late 1992, early 1993.
7 A. That depended on demand. Sometimes he would
8 go three times a week, sometimes once a week. That
9 depended. If we sold out the goods quickly, then he
10 would have to go as often as three times a week.
11 Q. Do you mean by that that your husband's trips
12 to Croatia were then at least once a week?
13 A. Yes. Once, sometimes two times, sometimes
14 three times. It depended on the demand for goods.
15 Q. Would your husband usually go to Croatia
16 alone, or was he together with someone else?
17 A. He usually went with Ivica Kupreskic or with
18 me, personally, so that I travelled frequently in that
19 period with him.
20 Q. So if you would go with him to Croatia, what
21 kind of contracts or agreements would he conclude?
22 What kind of contacts would he mostly have in Croatia
23 when he made such trips?
24 A. When contacting larger firms, Ivica would
25 travel with him. However, to purchase clothing, like
1jeans, we would usually purchase them at the large
2 market in Split. I would go there by passenger car,
3 because we didn't have so much demand for clothing,
4 because I mentioned that we dealt in clothing on the
5 side, on a minor scale.
6 Q. How long does a trip to Croatia take, madam?
7 How many days did you have to spend away from home?
8 A. Usually two days.
9 Q. Where did your husband use to spend the
10 night, the night away from home, since the journey
11 would take two days?
12 A. Most frequently we would spend the night with
13 Radislav Simovic. Sometimes, in Split, with an old
14 lady who was renting rooms. I personally spent the
15 night there with this old lady in Split twice. And we
16 went to stay with Radislav Simovic for our annual
18 Q. Do you mean that as far as business trips
19 were concerned, which were basically once or more a
20 week, your husband would spend the night at Radislav
21 Simovic's place?
22 A. It depended. Sometimes in Split, sometimes
23 at Radislav's place.
24 Q. But you mean by that that it was very
25 customary for your husband, very frequent for your
1husband to spend the night at Radislav Simovic's, say
2 in the season period, or as well in the off-season
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In September 1998, a witness testifying under
6 the pseudonym of "WT" testified in front of this
7 Tribunal, and the witness said that in October 1992,
8 he'd seen your husband, Vlatko Kupreskic, he had seen
9 yourself and a third person, a male, unloading a Yugo
10 vehicle in front of your house, and there were weapons
11 which they were unloading. This witness was heard on
12 the 24th of September, 1998, and this was in front of
13 your house. According to the witness testimony, this
14 was happening in October 1992. What does this make you
15 think of? What do you think of this witness testimony?
16 A. I deny that, 100 per cent, because it is not
17 true. We would often unload goods when we didn't have
18 room in the warehouse, so we would unload them in the
19 garage into the house. We are still doing that to this
20 day. But that we unloaded weapons, that really is not
22 Q. When your husband went to Croatia on business
23 trips, which vehicle would he usually take to go?
24 A. Usually the Yugo 45, because the road was not
25 very good. Ivica owned a Mercedes in those days as
1well, but because the road was not in very good
2 condition, we would use this smaller vehicle.
3 Q. Is it possible that sometime in October 1992
4 your husband brought back from Croatia goods or items
5 that could be mistaken for weapons by a witness located
6 some 50 metres away from the location where you were?
7 A. No, it's not possible. Nobody could ever
8 think that weapons were brought into my house, and they
9 were not, until I insisted on this rifle for the
10 purpose of protecting myself from burglars. You can
11 check on the spot. In the attic there are cigarettes,
12 in the garage there are other goods.
13 Q. Were you ever helped by a third person, by a
14 man, when you had to unload the Yugo, you and your
15 husband? Did it happen that somebody helped you to
16 carry goods inside the house?
17 A. There are workers whose duty it is to carry
18 the goods. Neither Vlatko nor I carried the goods.
19 I'm a woman, after all, and Vlatko is not allowed to
20 strain himself, because of his health.
21 Q. During that period of late '92, early '93,
22 given the circumstances prevailing at the time, did it
23 happen that your husband bought military-type items?
24 I'm having in mind not only weapons but also military
25 uniforms, or any other equipment used by the army, that
1he got from Croatia. I also have tents in mind, for
2 instance, or whatever equipment of that type.
3 A. I do not remember that. I don't remember
4 that they purchased any goods of that kind, nor did I
5 see such goods.
6 Q. But you don't rule that out? You don't
7 remember it, but you don't rule that possibility out,
8 do you?
9 A. I really don't know. I never saw it, and if
10 I didn't see it, it probably never was purchased.
11 Surely I would have seen such things if they had been
13 MR. TERRIER: I'm going to ask the usher's
14 help for Prosecutor's Exhibit 172 to be shown to the
15 witness in order to have all the necessary precautions,
16 given that this relates to weapons.
17 Q. Do you recognise the weapon?
18 A. All guns are the same to me.
19 Q. Earlier on, you were answering questions put
20 by Mr. Par as to the weapon which was at your home, at
21 least when your husband was arrested. As far as you
22 can remember, was that a weapon that looked like this
24 A. I really cannot recollect the appearance of
25 the rifle that we had in our home.
1Q. Seeing it again doesn't arouse any memories,
2 does it?
3 A. (No audible response)
4 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, usher. I think you
5 can take the document -- the weapon, sorry.
6 Q. Answering questions put by Mr. Par earlier
7 on, you explained that you had insisted for your
8 husband to get this weapon and that you needed the
9 weapon because your husband was off and away and you
10 had to make sure that your children were safe. Doesn't
11 such a thing imply that when this weapon was brought
12 home, it was up to you to be able to use this weapon?
13 A. Yes, it was up to me. But believe me, I have
14 no idea how to use a gun. My brother explained to me
15 the simplest things that needed to be done; to put a
16 bullet in and to cock the gun. I just wanted to have
17 it in the house to be able to frighten the burglar. I
18 really don't know anything about guns.
19 Q. Did you ever use a gun? Did you ever shoot,
20 just for training purposes, of course?
21 A. Yes, I tried once.
22 Q. Did your husband shoot with the gun?
23 A. As far as I can recollect, no. Maybe at the
24 time of his arrest, he shot twice. I tried, but he
25 wouldn't let me.
1Q. So you can't remember then that he fired with
2 the gun when he was arrested?
3 A. I do remember I tried to shoot, and the rifle
4 that was taken away probably has my fingerprints on
5 it. But I really was confused. I gave the gun to
6 Vlatko. He shot with it twice. He could have killed
7 me and himself, because we thought that they were
9 Q. Therefore, the night when he was arrested,
10 your husband fired the gun?
11 A. Yes, yes, he did fire it.
12 Q. Who did he aim at?
13 A. He fired it at the wall. He thought he would
14 shoot into the air, but it was dark and it hit the
16 Q. Where was the gun in the house?
17 A. Behind the door in the bedroom.
18 Q. So the weapon was in the bedroom, just behind
19 the door. Was it loaded?
20 A. It was. I don't remember, actually, whether
21 it was loaded, but I think it was. I can't remember
22 exactly, because when I talk about it, I get upset.
23 Q. Beforehand, I mean before the night of the
24 arrest in December 1997, prior to that date had your
25 husband used the gun to train with it?
1A. Not on that day. But when it was purchased
2 in '95, he came home carrying the gun, and he said,
3 "Look what a horrible gun they gave me." He didn't
4 know anything about it, nor did I, but my brother, who
5 works in the warehouse -- and this gun was sometimes in
6 the shop and sometimes in the house, and he explained
7 to us how to handle the gun.
8 Q. Therefore, although you both didn't know how
9 to use guns, you kept that gun in the room, in the
10 bedroom. It was an AK-47 gun, and it was loaded?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could this weapon be purchased freely? Was
13 it perfectly legal to purchase such a weapon?
14 A. We obtained it legally.
15 Q. In other words, you didn't need to have any
16 permit from the administration, any authorisation from
17 any administrative service?
18 A. You see, in those days all the institutions
19 were not fully operational, so I really don't
20 understand these things very well. It was only later,
21 after the war, we were all informed that such rifles
22 cannot be kept at home or on the premises because it
23 was illegal. You are allowed to have a pistol, that
24 is, a guard, a security officer may have one, or a
25 hunting rifle is permitted.
1Q. Do you know who your husband purchased the
2 weapon from?
3 A. My husband did not buy the gun, but he was
4 regularly issued this gun, which can be seen from the
5 card which was registered and put away in our register
6 in a regular fashion. He didn't buy it.
7 Q. I only have a copy, so I didn't know that
8 that card was yellow. But I'll come to this in a
10 However, could you tell us from whom, if he
11 didn't buy the weapon, from whom he borrowed the gun?
12 A. He didn't borrow it either. It says, clearly
13 on the card, that it was issued by Mr. Miljko Omazic,
14 who was working at that time as a keeper and who issued
15 the gun.
16 These were cards that were issued for such
17 weapons. It is a regular document with the weapon
18 indicated, the kind of weapon, who issued it, and to
19 whom it was issued.
20 Q. Please, madam, could you explain this to me?
21 I didn't quite get it.
22 That person who gave the weapon to your
23 husband, what is that person supposed to do? What is
24 her or his job?
25 A. He was the keeper of the warehouse. We
1called them magacioner, the person who issues goods,
2 the person who keeps the warehouse.
3 Q. Which warehouse, madam?
4 A. I don't know that, really.
5 Q. Is it an official warehouse of the
6 administration, government services?
7 A. I don't know what kind of warehouse it was.
8 I just know that Vlatko went to the brigade and asked
9 whether he could be given something, as I was living
10 alone with his parents, so I really don't know what
11 kind of warehouse it was.
12 Q. Therefore, at the time and probably also in
13 January 1995, anyone was free to go to the barracks or
14 the warehouse, ask for an AK-47 and get it; is that so?
15 A. It depended on the reasons that the person
16 would indicate as a reason for requesting a weapon.
17 MR. TERRIER: I shall ask the usher to submit
18 to the witness Defence Exhibit D35/3.
19 Q. Would you agree with me in saying that this
20 yellow card, it was yellow as the original card, that
21 this card deals with the working hours performed by an
22 employee, a staff member?
23 A. No. No, I don't agree.
24 Q. What is it?
25 A. It is a card showing that Vlatko Kupreskic
1was issued a rifle in 1995, and these were cards that
2 were issued under such occasion. It is clearly stated
3 here who issued the weapon. No working hours are
4 indicated here.
5 Perhaps in those days they didn't have the
6 appropriate forms. That is possible, I don't know, as
7 to the typewritten headings of columns. So it is a
8 kind of receipt card.
9 Q. Who signed this card? A certain Cevozic, do
10 you know this person? Who is this person?
11 A. It should say Miljko Omazic [realtime error
12 corrected], Miljko Omazic.
13 Q. It might be a problem in translation, but
14 what are you reading? "Cevozic", am I wrong in doing
16 MR. PAR: There is a mistake in the English
17 translation. I have the original. It says "Miljko
18 Omazic". So it is an error in the English translation,
19 so could the usher please show the Prosecutor the
20 original card so that he can see for himself?
21 JUDGE MAY: Let us see it first.
22 MR. TERRIER:
23 Q. If I understood your explanations well, this
24 card was issued at the very time when your husband was
25 given the weapon, wasn't it?
1A. Yes. This card was issued at the same time
2 as the rifle.
3 Q. Allow me to ask the question. Why was he
4 given the card? Is it more customary, when you take a
5 valuable item from a public warehouse, as was the case
6 here, isn't it so that you sign a receipt which is to
7 be filed in the archives of that public warehouse?
8 Would it be more logical for your husband to sign the
9 receipt and to hand it over to the person who issued
10 the weapon to him?
11 A. I don't know how they kept their records over
12 there. I just know that Vlatko brought with him this
13 card, certifying that he had been issued this weapon.
14 Q. In this card, we see that your husband was
15 issued three magazines of ammunition. We know where
16 one of them is. Where are the other two, as far as you
18 A. I don't know how many frames you took away,
19 but I know that one of them was in the shop down there
20 under the counter. Another one, I don't know where it
21 is. And the one that was in the shop, my brother took
22 away when the weapons were handed over, so that I don't
23 have anything.
24 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, shall we have a
25 break now?
1JUDGE CASSESE: Thirty minutes' break.
2 --- Recess taken at 10:30 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
5 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Before the adjournment, we were talking about
7 the rifle, AK-47, which your husband was issued in
8 1995. Will you please tell us whether your husband
9 had, at any time before that, in possession, did he
10 have any rifle, any kind of weapon, before that time?
11 A. Before? I didn't quite get you.
12 Q. My question related to the period which
13 preceded the moment when he was issued the AK-47.
14 A. No, he did not.
15 Q. I must insist on more precision. I'm
16 interested in any kind of weapons; that is, a hunting
17 rifle or whatever. Any kind of weapon.
18 A. No, he never had either a hunting rifle or an
20 Q. Mrs. Kupreskic, I should like to show you
21 now, with the help of the usher, a document which is
22 called the report on the inventory taken by the
23 inventory commission of the 12th of February, 1993.
24 THE REGISTRAR: 359.
25 MR. TERRIER:
1Q. The first page of the Bosnian version of this
2 document, to the right, we can see the name of Vlatko
3 Kupreskic. Under his name we see a signature. Is this
4 your husband's signature?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Could we now move on to the 15th
7 of April, 1993. Could you please tell us, what do you
8 know about the reasons for and circumstances under
9 which your husband travelled to Croatia on the 14th and
10 15th of April, 1993, or so it would seem?
11 A. The reason why they went there was to
12 purchase some textile goods which they had ordered for
13 a buyer -- or rather for (redacted); and the
14 second reason was that Ankica Kupreskic, Mr. Ivica
15 Kupreskic's wife, was coming back from Germany.
16 Q. And what was the quantity, how big was this
17 lot of clothes that you brought from that trip?
18 A. Well, usually those textiles were packed in
19 large bags and sacks, and the tennis shoes were in
20 smaller boxes or crates, so that we had just one large
21 bag of jeans, and there was underwear in a smaller bag,
22 and children's sneakers were in a cardboard box. I
23 wouldn't know exactly how many pairs, how many pairs of
24 whatever, but it wasn't a significant quantity, because
25 it was really very little.
1Q. And doesn't one calculate the value of
2 merchandise in the clothing business by the number of
3 pieces, by the number of items? Could you tell us how
4 many items were brought by your husband on that
5 particular occasion when he went on that business trip?
6 A. Who could remember that, really? It was to
7 be entered in the books on the next day, but in the
8 morning of the next day the war broke out, so I really
9 can't remember how many items there were.
10 Q. All right. We do not have to talk about the
11 number of items, but could you tell us how many parcels
12 there were?
13 A. There was one box, and there was this one
14 large bag with jeans. And a slightly smaller bag, a
15 bag smaller than this biggest bag, was the bag with
17 Q. And how about tennis shoes, sneakers?
18 A. Yes. Children's sneakers.
19 Q. How many, approximately?
20 A. I really don't know. I can't remember that.
21 Q. And all this was in the boot of the Yugo 45?
22 A. Well, some of it was in the boot and some of
23 this was in the back seats. It fitted in, I mean, it
24 practically all fitted in, in the Yugo 45, all that was
25 brought on that occasion.
1Q. And where was your husband sitting, then?
2 Because you say that the merchandise was in the back
3 seats, so where was your husband sitting?
4 A. Well, he couldn't be in the front because
5 only two people could be in front, but I do not
6 remember who sat in the front, whether it was Ankica or
7 Vlatko. I really don't remember.
8 Q. I should like to tell you that Vlatko
9 Kupreskic -- that this -- he never saw this merchandise
10 because it was in the boot, so it says that it was all
11 in the boot, but nobody could see that. Another
12 witness said that he could not see it because it was in
13 the boot. So was it all in the boot of the car?
14 A. I don't know.
15 MR. TERRIER: Will Mr. Usher help me to show
16 the Witness D26/3.
17 Q. Are you familiar with this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you explain to us, what is it all
21 A. This document says that Vlatko Kupreskic is
22 authorised to go on a business trip to Vitez, Split,
23 Vitez, from the 15th of April until the 24th of April,
25 Q. Who issued this document?
1A. Well, I suppose the authorities. This issue
2 was usually obtained in the municipality, and up here
3 it says the Croatian Defence -- Council of Defence. I
4 don't know, because it wasn't me who went to get this.
5 Q. Why was it issued in the name of Vlatko
6 Kupreskic rather than the owner of the company, Ivica
8 A. Well, this authorisation was issued on an
9 individual basis, and every person had to have his own
10 authorisation to be able to move about freely. I guess
11 that Ivica Kupreskic also had such an authorisation. I
12 don't really know. I don't know whether he had such a
14 Q. Do you have the original of the document?
15 A. I don't have the original of this document
16 because all the documents were taken away when Vlatko
17 was arrested, and I saw them, with my own eyes, take
18 away all the documents from our house.
19 Q. I'm asking you this because Mr. Ivica
20 Kupreskic, when he testified here, said that the
21 original of the document that you have now before you
22 was in your possession, and he had given it to you. Of
23 course, he didn't know what you did with it afterwards,
24 but he said that he'd given it to you.
25 A. I never asked Ivica to give me his permit,
1excuse me. Whether it's in the house or where, in the
2 archives, among the records, in the files, I can't tell
3 you. But all the documents that relate to Vlatko
4 Kupreskic were the originals which were taken away.
5 Q. Are you quite positive about the date of the
6 trip your husband made to Croatia? In other words,
7 are you quite positive that he left on the 14th of
8 April and that he returned on the 15th?
9 A. I'm 100 per cent certain that he left on the
10 14th of April and returned on the 15th of April, in
11 late afternoon.
12 Q. Are you absolutely positive that the purpose
13 of his trip was only to buy a few pairs of jeans and
14 some other things on the market in Split and, secondly,
15 to meet Mrs. Kupreskic, calling her and giving her a
16 lift from the Split airport? Did he have any other
17 plans for that business trip?
18 A. No, as far as I know.
19 Q. If he had some other business plans, for
20 instance, to negotiate -- to conduct negotiations about
21 a sale or something, would you have been informed about
22 that, would you know about that?
23 A. Well, as a rule, I always know where my
24 husband is. He calls me either by telephone or let's
25 me know in some way or other. Whether he was supposed
1to conduct some negotiations to strike a deal or
2 something, I really can't remember because it was a
3 long time ago. Whether down there they were about to
4 conclude a business contract or something, I really
5 can't remember now.
6 Q. Do you remember if during that trip, when he
7 was either in Croatia or on his way, did he call you to
8 tell you what was going on?
9 A. I really can't remember. He may have. I was
10 also absent because I also was having additional
11 driving lessons, and I really can't remember.
12 Q. Could you tell us something about the return
13 of your husband on the 15th of April in late afternoon
14 or the evening?
15 A. I can tell you all that you want to know.
16 Q. Could you share your memories? When did he
17 come back, how did he come back, what did he do with
18 the merchandise, and things like that?
19 A. So he arrived on the 15th of April, '93, late
20 in the afternoon or early evening, around 7.00. I came
21 out of the house, greeted Mrs. Ankica Kupreskic because
22 I had not seen her for a year and a half. Then those
23 clothes were taken out of the car and into the house,
24 and it was agreed that all this had to be delivered to
25 Travnik the next morning around 8.00. Then they left.
1We entered our house, and that's about it.
2 Q. According to several other witnesses who
3 testified here before the Tribunal, that indeed in the
4 house of Ivica Kupreskic there was a kind of a party to
5 celebrate the return of his wife. Do you remember
7 A. I don't remember going there.
8 Q. Let us now move to the night between the 15th
9 and 16th of April.
10 Yesterday you told us that at dawn, you
11 received two anonymous telephone calls and a third
12 telephone call which came from Ivica Kupreskic; is that
14 A. It is.
15 Q. At what time did the first anonymous phone
16 call come?
17 A. The first anonymous telephone call, as far as
18 I can remember, was around 3.00 in the morning, and the
19 second one, around 5.00. So Ivica called shortly after
20 that second anonymous call.
21 Q. We need to be accurate about this. There may
22 have been an error, because I heard that this first
23 anonymous call was much later.
24 Are you absolutely certain that this first
25 call, which told you to move to the shelter, came
1around 3.00 in the morning?
2 A. Yes, it was around 3.00.
3 Q. Are you quite sure? You were looking for an
4 explanation -- rather observation made by Mr. Par, and
5 he was asking you about lights in the house, that you
6 must have switched on the lights in order to answer the
7 telephone. Is that so?
8 A. No, I don't have any need to light the
9 lights, because it is a custom with us in Bosnia to
10 leave some lights on either at the entrance door or in
11 the passage. In my house, there were two lamps on, so
12 I don't need to. One can see. I do not have any
13 blinds on the windows, so one can see through, and I
14 had no reason to switch the lights on.
15 Q. Do you remember something more about that
16 person who called you at 3.00 in the morning? What was
17 his exact words?
18 A. I do remember. He said to go to the shelter
19 because the Muslims would attack us. I asked, "Who is
20 it," and he put down the phone. Because there had been
21 such similar provocations, I just went back to bed and
22 I didn't wake Vlatko up to tell him because he was
24 Q. Did you have such anonymous telephone calls
25 before that?
2 Q. Could you tell us more specifically when that
4 A. When? Let me see. But it was sometime
5 between '92 -- at the turn of 1993 from '92. Which
6 month, I can't really remember.
7 Q. The second call you told us came at 5.00 in
8 the morning. Was it the same voice?
9 A. I can't remember it, really, whether it was
10 the same voice or not.
11 Q. Did the person who called you at 5.00 in the
12 morning say about the same thing? Was it the same
13 reason, why he called?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. These two telephone calls coming from
16 somebody who told you the same thing twice, didn't they
17 upset you?
18 A. No, because they were provocations of that
19 kind so that I wasn't upset. I again went back to
20 bed. Were it not for Ivica Kupreskic to call us again,
21 we would have been caught unawares in the house.
22 Q. Did you think that it was impossible that the
23 Muslims would attack Ahmici?
24 A. I could never really grasp it, take it into
25 my head, that the Muslims would attack us, our
1neighbours. It was just beyond me.
2 Q. Yes, your Muslim neighbours. So likewise it
3 would be impossible that the Bosnian army attacks
5 A. Well, I don't know if one can imagine such a
6 thing or not, I know nothing about those things, nor
7 could I ever imagine that a conflict could break out.
8 Q. Now I should like to ask you to show us on
9 this aerial photograph, I hope you can identify things
10 on this photograph, the road which you took in the
11 morning of the 16th of April to go from your house to
12 the shelter.
13 A. This is our shop (indicating), and here
14 (indicating), I think, should be our house. So we came
15 down from our house by the warehouse to the road which
16 leads to Ivica Kupreskic's house. We passed by Ivica
17 Kupreskic's house here (indicating), towards the woods
18 here (indicating), went through the woods and came out
19 onto the road which passes by Santic's house. Then we
20 proceeded down there to the shelter. Somewhere here
21 (indicating), I think, was the playground, and one
22 could already hear shots fired in Ahmici when we got
23 here. Then we got to this road (indicating). There is
24 a curve here (indicating). And we reached the house of
25 Jelena, the house of Jozo Vrebac.
1THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the end
2 of the witness's sentence.
3 MR. TERRIER: Thank you.
4 Q. Could you please now trace that route on this
5 map which we shall give you in a moment?
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit 360.
7 MR. TERRIER:
8 Q. Madam, the photograph that you have in front
9 of you is the same as the one on the easel. The usher
10 is going to give you a marker, a pen, and please trace
11 the path that you have just shown us on the map, on the
12 aerial photograph.
13 A. (Witness complies)
14 Q. Thank you. You told us, madam, that upon
15 arriving near the playground, the sports grounds, you
16 heard the first shots. Is that true?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you simply put a cross, showing us
19 where that sports playground is that you have just
21 A. (Witness complies) I said that when we
22 reached the sports grounds, we heard it, so it was at
23 this point (indicating).
24 Q. So when you arrived at the spot marked with a
25 cross, on this pass, it was at that point in time that
1you heard the first shots, just to clarify?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When you left your house, you were with your
4 husband, your two children, and according to what you
5 said yesterday, I think, your mother-in-law?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you remember how your husband was dressed?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you please tell us, madam?
10 A. I can. That morning, Vlatko was wearing a
11 velvet chocolate-coloured jacket. It's a short jacket,
12 a winter jacket. And he had corduroy pants in a dark
13 colour, and a shirt, as far as I remember, a chequered
15 Q. When you left your house, in the area in
16 which you lived, did you see any other people around
18 A. When we reached Niko Sakic's house, I saw
19 Niko Sakic in the yard, and I saw Dragomir Samija in
20 his yard. And then, some 500 metres away, I saw Milan
21 and Mara Samija.
22 Q. But before reaching those houses, did you see
23 other people? Did you see anybody close to Ivica
24 Kupreskic's house and the house of Zoran and Mirjan
25 Kupreskic? Did you see people later on in the woods
1through which you passed?
2 A. I don't remember seeing anyone.
3 Q. Would it be correct to say that upon leaving
4 your house to go towards Ivica Kupreskic's house, you
5 passed by Sakib Ahmic's house?
6 A. Well, along the path we took, you could see
7 Sakib Ahmic's house, but it was not by the house that
8 we passed. It doesn't mean that.
9 Q. Do you think that Sakib Ahmic's family was
10 warned of the need to find shelter?
11 A. When I reached Ivica Kupreskic's house, I saw
12 that the light was switched on in Sakib Ahmic's house,
13 and I remember that very well. Now, whether they had
14 been informed or not, I couldn't tell. I don't know.
15 Q. But as you just told us a moment ago that it
16 was customary in Bosnia to leave a light on, what you
17 saw has no meaning?
18 A. No, it does mean, because the light in the
19 house was on. Not outside the house, not light bulbs
20 in front of the door or on the balconies. That I
21 really do remember.
22 Q. When leaving your house, until you reached
23 your shelter, did you meet or see any soldiers?
24 A. I didn't meet anyone, but when I reached
25 Ivica Kupreskic's house, I heard some steps, and it
1looked like, to me, the echo of certain steps. Now,
2 whether they were soldiers or not, I couldn't see from
3 Ivica Kupreskic's house, but I did hear those steps.
4 Q. When you speak of these steps, are you
5 thinking of a group of marching soldiers or simply
6 people passing by? I think the distinction can quite
7 easily be made.
8 A. I didn't see, so I couldn't tell you what
9 kind of group it was.
10 Q. When was it that you decided to go to
11 Mr. Vrebac's house, to the shelter there, and not to
12 any other?
13 A. Because we went to that shelter before, and
14 when we passed by Niko Sakic's house, he said that it
15 was full and that we should go on, though we had never
16 used Niko's shelter before.
17 MR. TERRIER: With the help of the usher, I
18 should like to show the witness Exhibit D13/1.
19 Q. Will you please look at this document, and as
20 soon as you become familiar with it, I should like you
21 to put it under the ELMO so that we can see what we are
22 looking at.
23 Do we see, in this document given to the
24 Tribunal by the Defence, Mr. Vrebac's house where you
25 found shelter in the course of the day of the 16th of
2 A. Yes, that is the house of Jelena, Mr. Jozo
3 Vrebac's daughter. This was the house where we were on
4 the 16th of April, 1993.
5 Q. In the same photo album we can see pictures
6 of the basement of this house. Would you agree with
8 MR. TERRIER: Mr. Usher, can you show us the
9 other photographs on the ELMO.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you tell us in which part of the
12 basement did you find refuge, by mentioning the number
13 attached to the photograph?
14 A. Here, in this part (indicating), which
15 means -- there's another door behind here (indicating),
16 to the left. The number of the picture?
17 Q. Could you tell us which photograph you are
18 referring to?
19 A. Photograph number 4.
20 Q. Very well. I apologise for interrupting
21 you. What were you saying about what is shown on this
23 A. Behind here, there's another door and another
24 room. There's a room here (indicating).
25 Q. Very well. In this album, can we see the
1room which you took shelter in when you arrived on the
2 16th of April, 1993, in the morning?
3 A. Here, in the corner here. You can't see it
4 on this photograph, this photograph number 4. It's
5 here (indicating).
6 Q. And you can't see that room on any other
7 photograph in the album?
8 A. The steps, and these are parts of the
9 staircase, but I don't see this room on any of the
11 MR. TERRIER: Mr. Usher, could you turn the
12 page and show the witness other photographs.
13 Q. Looking at these photographs, 5, 6, and 7, do
14 you recognise the room in which you took shelter?
15 A. Yes, I do. This is the room, shown on
16 number 6 (indicating).
17 Q. So it is the room that is opened by the door
18 in the middle of this photograph, number 6; could you
19 tell us whether you spent the whole day in that room?
20 A. I didn't spend the whole day in that room.
21 Q. Where did you go when you left this room?
22 A. I moved around. I was in this room, but I
23 was also on the ground floor, here (indicating),
24 because there was a toilet here that we all used, on
25 the ground floor.
1Q. In the course of that day, therefore, you
2 found refuge in the room that we see the door of on
3 photograph number 6, and also from time to time you
4 went up to the ground floor because the toilet was
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you show us or tell us the people who
8 were with you in the room that we see on photograph
9 number 6? Of course, if you can remember that. Which
10 other families found refuge in that same room?
11 A. There were many people there. It is
12 difficult to remember all those people, because people
13 were going up and down, moving around. But I can
14 remember, for instance, some of those families. There
15 was Nevenka Marjanovic, with her children; she had a
16 small baby in those days. Then there was Lucinka
17 Papic; she had five children. Then Jela Vidovic, a
18 sick woman, whom they carried in on a stretcher. Then
19 I saw Ruza Grgic there as well.
20 All these rooms were full, so it is hard to
21 recollect all those names, but I shall try, if
22 necessary, to recall some other names.
23 Q. You told us yesterday, madam, that your
24 husband, Vlatko Kupreskic, stayed with you in the
25 basement, in the room that you have shown us, until
1about 10.00 in the morning. You confirmed that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I draw your attention to the fact, madam,
4 that two witnesses who testified here -- you wanted to
5 say something?
6 A. I thought you had finished your question.
7 Q. Well, answer the question that you thought I
8 had put to you.
9 A. Vlatko came with us that morning, but he
10 didn't stay for a long time in the basement because
11 there were a lot of women and children, so he went back
12 upstairs to the ground floor. I, too, didn't spend a
13 long time in this room. I went upstairs often to smoke
14 a cigarette.
15 Q. Why, madam, did your husband leave this house
16 about 10.00 in the morning, according to your
18 A. He left the house because the shooting had
19 subsided and because everyone around him was saying
20 that he should go and check how his father was, whom we
21 had left behind.
22 Q. When you left your house that morning, were
23 you disturbed about what could happen to your
24 father-in-law, and was your husband, too, worried about
25 what could happen to his father?
1A. When we left the house, we had no idea that
2 anything could happen.
3 Q. But nevertheless, madam, you left your house
4 before 6.00 in great haste because you received
5 warnings and advice, strong advice, to go to a
6 shelter. You must have thought that there was a risk
7 to stay on in that house.
8 A. I repeat again. If Ivica Kupreskic hadn't
9 called up, we would have stayed in our house. What was
10 decisive for us to leave was Ivica Kupreskic's call.
11 Q. I understand that, madam. Ivica Kupreskic
12 called you up, and you decided to leave. But if you
13 decided to leave, it is because you thought or, rather,
14 Ivica Kupreskic convinced you that it was risky to stay
15 in that house; is that correct?
16 A. No. The very thought of the word "Mujahedin"
17 caused fear, and we were afraid to stay in the house,
18 because this wasn't the first time that we fled our
19 house. But we couldn't imagine that that morning,
20 anything could happen.
21 Q. Madam, I would like you to be very precise in
22 expressing your thoughts. You have just told us that
23 the very word "Mujahedin" frightened you. You left
24 your house with your children, your husband, your
25 mother-in-law. Isn't it reasonable to think that if
1you left that house, it was because you thought that
2 there was a danger in staying in that house that
3 morning; isn't that reasonable, to conclude that?
4 A. Well, whether it's reasonable or not, I don't
5 know. When Ivica called up, saying that everyone had
6 left and sought shelter, why would we stay on?
7 Q. I'm trying to clarify why you left behind you
8 your father-in-law. Wasn't there some way, any way, of
9 taking him with you as far as the shelter, as Mirjan
10 Kupreskic did for his own mother-in-law, if I remember
11 well, who was transported in a wheelbarrow, I think?
12 Wasn't there any way to ensure the safety of your
14 A. Because Vlatko's father didn't want to leave,
15 and he was a sick man. Even then, we thought it was a
16 mere provocation and nothing would come of it.
17 Q. In your opinion, could you explain why your
18 father-in-law, Vlatko's father, did not wish to leave?
19 A. It's not that he didn't wish to leave. He
20 couldn't leave because he was sick. However, later
21 when we got together, he said that if he had known what
22 would happen, he would have crawled on all fours to
23 leave the house. I remember that well.
24 Q. When did you see him again, your
1A. I saw him that same day on the 16th of April,
2 in the evening about 8.00.
3 Q. Where did you see him?
4 A. I saw him when Vlatko arrived and brought him
5 here to this room in the ground floor. At first, he
6 was here somewhere. Then he was in this other room
7 where we were.
8 Q. In your opinion, your father-in-law, Vlatko's
9 father, as soon as he realised it was not a provocation
10 but something very serious, that is, after 5.30,
11 couldn't he have joined you before 8.00 in the evening
12 in the shelter where you were?
13 A. It was hard to bring a man who carried a
14 stick, who had an operated hip, who breathes with
15 difficulty. It was hard for him to reach the shelter
16 on foot. In the meantime, there was shooting going on.
17 Q. But he did so, nevertheless, in the evening,
18 didn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Madam, do you remember writing a letter to
21 the Prosecutor of this Tribunal in November 1997?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm going to show you a copy of that letter.
24 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit 361.
25 MR. TERRIER:
1Q. Is that the letter that you wrote to the
2 Prosecutor of this Tribunal in November 1997?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I draw your attention, madam, to the top of
5 the second page of the English version, I think it is
6 the same spot in the Bosnian version, where you say
7 that your husband, Vlatko, who was with you in the
8 shelter, received orders to go to Niko Sakic's house,
9 where he was detailed to help the wounded, where he had
10 to treat the wounded. Your husband, according to what
11 you wrote, received orders to go to Niko Sakic's house
12 to take care of the wounded?
13 A. That is not correct, because this is just a
14 summary of my story, my statement before Grlimir
15 Jonjic, who is a relative of my husband's.
16 Q. Madam, this is a letter that you addressed to
17 the Prosecutor of this Tribunal in The Hague in
18 November 1997, and you wrote in that letter, which I
19 think was written freely, unless you deny it, that your
20 husband, who was in the shelter, received orders to go
21 and care for the wounded?
22 A. That is what I was told then, but that is not
23 true because I was against Vlatko's leaving the
24 shelter. I grew up without a father. I was an
25 orphan. I was afraid that Vlatko would get killed, and
1I was told that he was ordered to go to Niko Sakic's
2 house. And then I realised, afterwards only, the
3 truth, that Vlatko had gone home to see what was
4 happening with his father.
5 Q. I don't understand anymore. You tell us that
6 your husband, Vlatko, was with you all the time in the
7 shelter next to the Vrebacs, and now you tell us that
8 he left. But you must have learned when he left, if
9 you were present, and if he were present, you must have
10 known why he left.
11 A. Yes. He was there until 10.00. He left
12 around 10.00. I learned the real truth, that he had
13 gone to see if his father was alive. But for that,
14 this gentleman who typed this thing did not write
15 that. I mean how could Vlatko extend aid to the
16 injured when he was an economist, a graduate
17 economist? He's not a physician. I mean it's nonsense
18 but there.
19 Q. Well, it may not be nonsense, because
20 somebody else brought it to the Tribunal. Was it Sakic
21 who --
22 A. Well, that's what I remember being told,
23 because I was really against Vlatko's going back home.
24 I was afraid he would get killed, and that is why I was
25 told what I was told. Only when Vlatko came back did I
1find out that he had gone home and that his father was
3 Q. Could you please try to be as clear as
4 possible, because this is a very important point. So
5 let us be very clear.
6 You said today, and I'm listening to you now,
7 it seems that you were not present -- that you weren't
8 next to him at the moment when Vlatko left the shelter.
9 A. I was present 100 per cent when Vlatko left,
10 because who else would he have addressed if not me?
11 Q. But at that moment as he was leaving the
12 shelter, did he tell you then why he was going out and
13 where he was going?
14 A. He told me then that he had been ordered,
15 because he saw me crying, I was afraid, and that he had
16 been ordered to go to Niko Sakic's house. But after he
17 found his father alive in the house and when he
18 returned, it was then that he told me the truth, that
19 in fact he had gone home to see his father.
20 Q. So as your husband, Vlatko Kupreskic, leaves
21 the shelter, he tells you that he had been issued
22 orders to take care of the wounded?
23 A. It was his uncle who told me that he had
24 received those orders. It was Anto Kupreskic or,
25 rather, Vlatko's father's brother.
1Q. I am asking about what Vlatko Kupreskic said.
2 A. Well, Vlatko said that he would like to go
3 home and see if his father was alive. But as I was
4 against it, at that time Vlatko's uncle said that he
5 should go to Niko Sakic's house and extend aid to the
6 injured. I thought at that time that that was the
8 Q. But did you ask your husband to confirm it?
9 A. I didn't.
10 Q. But wasn't his feeling of duty, to go and see
11 his father to see if he was still alive, wasn't that a
12 sufficient reason for him to leave? Did he really need
13 to have an order to go and attend to the wounded for
14 you to let him go?
15 A. Because I was crying, I was afraid that he
16 would get killed.
17 Q. Then why, when you wrote this letter to the
18 Prosecutor of the Tribunal, why didn't you simply say
19 that your husband, Vlatko Kupreskic, left the shelter
20 at 10.00 in the morning because he wanted to go and see
21 whether his father was still alive? Why didn't you say
22 that quite simply in that letter?
23 A. Well, first let me explain how this letter
24 was written and who did it, because it wasn't me who
25 typed it. I told the whole story, how it happened and
1what happened on the 16th of April, 1993, and this
2 letter was typed by Grlimir Jonjic, Vlatko's relative,
3 Vlatko's cousin, who can be called to testify if need
5 So there are some changes here. There is a
6 date which is wrong here. And I did not read that
7 letter again after it was typed.
8 So on the basis of my story, he wrote this
9 letter, and all these enclosures that I gave him, he
10 enclosed here attached to this letter.
11 Q. Let me just comment. You seem to me quite a
12 temperamental woman, I realise that, but let me tell
13 you that you're running an enterprise with about a
14 dozen persons, they seem to be properly looked after,
15 and I simply refuse to believe that in a case of such
16 gravity and concerning the family so much, you simply
17 failed to read again a letter which you were sending
18 and -- a letter to the Prosecutor of the Tribunal,
19 which you then signed. I find it difficult to believe
20 that you didn't go through it.
21 A. But this is not my signature.
22 Q. Excuse me. Just a moment ago, you identified
23 the letter.
24 A. Yes, I did identify the summary of the
25 letter. I know that that is the letter. But the
1signature -- I never read this letter. It was
2 Mr. Grlimir who called me from Sarajevo and told me
3 that the letter had been typed and could he sign it in
4 my name, and I told him he could because I thought that
5 he had written -- that he had taken down our
6 conversation and typed it there. But if this letter is
7 at issue, we could call this gentleman to testify
8 here. He's there and he's alive.
9 Q. Yes, that would be highly advisable indeed.
10 But let us understand your position just a moment ago,
11 that as a matter of fact this was the letter that you
12 sent to the Prosecutor. Now you said that you
13 entrusted it to a cousin or a friend, to an individual
14 that you entrusted the drafting of this letter which
15 was, as a matter of fact, your personal letter to the
16 Prosecutor. You let somebody else then write it. Now
17 you tell us you never even read it, never even signed
18 it, but it was signed by somebody else in your name.
19 Is that what you're telling us?
20 A. Quite. I did not sign this letter. I never
21 had an opportunity to read it. All I was informed is
22 that on the basis of my whole story and the documents
23 here, that this letter was drafted on the basis of all
24 that, then typed and sent to you.
25 Q. Therefore, it is quite possible, if I am to
1believe you, it can --
2 A. Yes, that is how it was.
3 Q. So can one take it then that in this letter,
4 very few things are truthful, because after what you
5 are telling us, it is possible that this letter
6 contains all sorts of errors and mistakes, according to
7 your statements?
8 A. No. Here there are a couple, only, of
9 errors, but the rest of it is true.
10 Q. Could you please show us your signature, a
11 specimen of your signature?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. No, no, that's not what I want. I'm asking
14 if you have any document with your signature. I'm not
15 asking you to sign now a new document. Do you have
16 something which carries your signature? Do you have a
17 contract, your identity document or something,
18 something which bears your signature? Do you have
19 anything with you?
20 A. (Witness complies)
21 Q. Well, as this is not your signature, does it
22 mean that you are seeing this document for the first
24 A. No, this is not the first time I've seen this
1Q. When did you first see this document?
2 A. When it was submitted to you, to the
3 international police in Sarajevo, I was then given a
4 copy of the document.
5 Q. Did you read it then? Did you look into what
6 that document contained, the one that you were given a
7 copy of?
8 A. Yeah, I did.
9 Q. Weren't you surprised by the errors that you
10 found in it?
11 A. Well, this letter should have been much more
13 Q. What do you mean by that?
14 A. I mean that this whole event, our departure,
15 our stay, our return, should have -- it should have
16 taken many more pages. This is just a summary of our
18 Q. But why didn't you then take care that this
19 letter be complete, be rounded off?
20 A. Well, we thought that all these documents
21 which were sent would show clearly enough that Vlatko
22 Kupreskic was a war invalid, that he had a university
23 diploma, that he was a businessman, that he had been on
24 a business trip on the eve of the conflict, and a
25 number of other documents.
1Q. I'd like you to tell me, what do you think
2 about the following: We know, through different
3 contacts which you had with some of the prosecution
4 witnesses -- and I'm just mentioning it, but we know
5 that there were some contacts; we know the importance
6 that you are attaching to the defence of your husband.
7 And I think it only natural, of course. I would not
8 bear a grudge against you for that.
9 What surprises me is this casual attitude
10 that you showed with regard to this letter that was
11 sent to the Prosecutor, and this carelessness which you
12 permitted when you allowed somebody else to sign this
13 letter in your name, because legally speaking, it is
14 then a forgery.
15 A. Well, that is not true, really. I wasn't
16 then involved in my husband's defence so much at that
17 time as I am today.
18 Q. I should also like to hear your response to
19 the following: We heard here Niko Sakic testify.
20 Could you --
21 JUDGE CASSESE: If you have more questions on
22 the same --
23 MR. TERRIER: Yes, yes, yes, I will come back
24 to this.
25 Q. This Court heard the testimony of Niko Sakic,
1and he knew your husband at that time, and he said that
2 your husband was that night to take care of the
3 wounded, but that that night -- there were no wounded
4 that night, so it must have -- but according to this
5 witness, your husband's duty was to take care of the
6 wounded. That is what he told this Court. Now, what
7 is your response to that?
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Par?
9 MR. PAR: I did not hear that witness say
10 that here, and I'd like this to be checked in the
11 transcript, but I do not remember that witness saying
12 that. I may be wrong, and I will apologise if I am,
13 but I do not remember that witness saying that.
14 (Trial Chamber confers)
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Perhaps we could make a break
16 in order to check whether Niko Sakic did indeed say
17 that. 15-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
21 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. I'm referring to page 8.298 of the
23 transcript. This is the cross-examination of Niko
24 Sakic, a Defence witness. I'll give you the gist of
25 it. This is for Mr. Par: The Prosecutor is asking of
1Mr. Sakic whether the latter remembers making a
2 statement, a written statement, in January 1998, which
3 statement was disclosed to the Prosecution. Mr. Sakic
4 states, in this written statement disclosed to the
5 Prosecution by the Defence, that around 10.00 in the
6 morning, Vlatko Kupreskic appeared in front of the
7 witness's house because, according to what the witness
8 understood, he was detailed to help evacuate the
9 wounded. Vlatko allegedly stayed there for about three
10 hours, and since there were no wounded, he then left.
11 When faced with this written statement, the
12 witness, testifying before the Tribunal, stated that he
13 then thought the following: Since Vlatko Kupreskic was
14 not fit for active military service, since he was not a
15 member of an army or a political or social
16 organisation, and because he had a driving license, he
17 was bound to provide medical aid. The witness
18 specified that these were his own thoughts. This was
19 his own opinion.
20 I was referring to this very statement, and
21 I'd like the witness to tell us whether the statement
22 which I've just mentioned and the mention we found in
23 the letter to the Prosecutor of this Tribunal do not
24 call for some observations from the witness.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Par?
1MR. PAR: Mr. President, I don't want to
2 cause any particular problems, but we checked the notes
3 regarding Sakic's testimony, and it emerges from our
4 notes that in answer to the Prosecutor's question,
5 explaining his previous statement, he said that he
6 thought that for those reasons Vlatko Kupreskic was
7 there, to care for the wounded; and after that, in
8 continuation of his testimony, he said that Vlatko told
9 him the real reason.
10 I really do not wish to prevent the
11 Prosecutor in any way asking this question, and to
12 clear it up, I'm just against anyone saying explicitly
13 that this was something that Witness Sakic had
14 explicitly stated. So could this question be rephrased
15 so as not to cause any debate or dispute over it?
16 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, I'm going to
17 rephrase the question, but basically in the same words,
18 because I thought that my question was perfectly in
19 keeping with the statement made by Niko Sakic, which I
20 tried to reproduce the most exactly and the most
21 honestly possible.
22 The witness said that when he saw Vlatko
23 Kupreskic turn up at the threshold of his house, this
24 witness thought that Vlatko Kupreskic, given the
25 circumstances I have alluded to, was detailed to help
1the wounded. That was the witness's personal statement
2 which he transcribed in a written statement dated
3 January 1998, a statement taken by the Defence and
4 disclosed by the Defence to the Prosecution.
5 Q. So my question to the witness is as follows:
6 Isn't it strange, is there no explanation to be
7 provided for the fact that Niko Sakic thought what he
8 thought when he saw Vlatko Kupreskic on the 16th of
9 April, around 10.00 in the morning, according to the
10 witness, and to the fact that we find in the written
11 letter, a letter written in October 1997 to the
12 Prosecutor, which gives us the same account, the same
13 explanation for Vlatko's departure from the shelter.
14 Is there no explanation to be given for this
15 coincidence, let us say?
16 A. Niko Sakic, why he thought that, I cannot
17 know. Niko Sakic probably couldn't think of anything
18 else because he didn't know that his father was at
19 home. That is one thing.
20 Secondly, I was told that this was the case,
21 but when Vlatko returned, he told me that he had gone
22 home to see how his father was doing, because I was
23 absolutely opposed to him going.
24 Q. Would you please explain to me why, if Vlatko
25 Kupreskic was indeed worried about his father, why
1then, after taking his family to the Vrebacs' shelter,
2 after making sure that all the family members were safe
3 there, why he didn't straightaway return to see his
4 father close to the house? Why did he wait four hours
5 to do so, four hours, from 6.00 until 10.00?
6 A. First of all, Vlatko is not a very healthy
7 man. He's afraid when he hears shooting. And
8 secondly, the father was at home, and there was less
9 danger of him being shot or hit by a bullet than for
10 Vlatko, who would be moving through open space.
11 Q. Can you give me another explanation, madam?
12 If indeed Vlatko was worried about his father, if that
13 is the reason why he left the shelter, the Vrebac
14 shelter at 10.00, why, according to Niko Sakic's
15 testimony, he stayed at Niko Sakic's from 10.30 until
16 12.30 or 1.00, so basically from 10.00 until 12.30; why
17 did he stay there?
18 A. I didn't understand. Where did he stay?
19 Q. At the house of Niko Sakic.
20 A. I don't know. I cannot know the details as
21 to why he stayed there, but I know when he returned to
22 the shelter.
23 Q. Could you tell us why you are so absolutely
24 certain of the time when Vlatko Kupreskic left the
25 Vrebacs' shelter?
1A. I'm sure because I know, and this is what I
2 remember in particular, my son Igor started vomiting in
3 the basement, so I took him upstairs to the ground
4 floor. Vlatko was there, and I took the boy to the
5 toilet, and Vlatko took him in his lap. In the
6 meantime, I ran across to Jozo Vrebac's house and made
7 tea for the boy, and I know it was around 10.00,
9 Q. Did you have a watch?
10 A. I did have a watch on my wrist.
11 Q. Are you sure of the time when Vlatko
12 Kupreskic returned to the shelter?
13 A. It was in the afternoon when he came back.
14 He brought with him some bread and salami because it
15 was time for lunch, and we were hungry, and there was
16 nothing in the shelter.
17 Q. Do you have any idea -- you possibly can't
18 remember, but do you have any idea of the time when he
19 came back to the shelter?
20 A. As far as I can remember, it could have been
21 about 4.00.
22 Q. In other words, your husband, according to
23 your statement, was absent from 10.00 to 4.00 in the
24 afternoon. That is, altogether, six hours. Did he
25 tell you what he had done during those six hours?
1A. Yes, he did.
2 Q. What did he tell you he did?
3 A. He said that he had stayed for a while in
4 Niko Sakic's house, that the shooting had started
5 again, and that he couldn't go to our house. Then he
6 reached our house and he stayed with his father for a
7 short time. He picked up the food for us, and he
8 returned to Samija Kata and Niko Sakic house because
9 they started shooting again, and he took shelter there
10 too for a while.
11 Q. Just an observation. Your husband, Vlatko
12 Kupreskic, said that he spent some time in the house of
13 Niko Sakic, didn't he?
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Excuse me,
15 Mr. President, but I should like to intervene on
16 account of the transcript. The witness said that he
17 returned to Kata and Nikola Samija's house, and in the
18 transcript it says "Samija Kata and Niko Sakic". This
19 is an error in the transcript. The name is Kata and
20 Nikola Samija. This is one house owned by these two
21 people, so this question put by the Prosecutor is also
23 MR. TERRIER: I stand to be corrected by
24 Ms. Slokovic-Glumac, but the witness did say that
25 Vlatko Kupreskic said that he spent some time in Niko
2 Q. This is indeed what your husband told you he
4 A. Yes, when he left the shelter, and not on the
5 way back from our house.
6 Q. So as he left the shelter. This is indeed
7 what Niko Sakic testified before this Tribunal. I fail
8 to understand, because when I was quoting Niko Sakic,
9 you seemed surprise, and you affirmed and you said that
10 you didn't know anything about it.
11 So I'll repeat my question, because it was
12 unanswered before. Didn't you think it was strange
13 that your husband leaving the shelter in order to see
14 about his father, since he was worried about him, that
15 your husband should stay to spend some time in Niko
16 Sakic's house?
17 A. I'm not surprised, because there was probably
18 shooting, so he couldn't go to our house.
19 Q. Towards the end of the afternoon, when you
20 saw your husband again, did he tell you that during
21 those six hours outside the shelter, that he met, for
22 instance, Ivica Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Zoran
23 Kupreskic, Mirko Sakic; did he mention those names?
24 A. I know that he met Niko Sakic. I don't know
25 about any of the others. He didn't tell me.
1Q. We know about Niko Sakic. I was thinking of
2 Mirko Sakic, Ivica Kupreskic, Zoran and Mirjan
3 Kupreskic. I could also mention Milutin Vidovic, Jozo
4 Alilovic. Did he meet all these people? Did he
5 mention meeting all these people?
6 A. On that day, the 16th of April, no, he didn't
7 mention them.
8 Q. When he returned to the shelter in the
9 afternoon, as you said, around 4.00 in the afternoon,
10 was he together with his father?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Under which circumstances did his father
13 arrive then?
14 A. His father arrived towards nightfall.
15 Actually, it was already dark. I remember that well.
16 It was around 8.00.
17 Q. Did the father come alone?
18 A. He came with Vlatko. Vlatko went back to the
19 house again.
20 Q. I'm now moving on to the ensuing period, the
21 period following the 16th of April. I have a few
22 questions in this respect.
23 You told us that following the 16th of April,
24 you became refugees. Thereon, you showed us a
25 certificate which is D41/3. What does the word
1"refugees" mean if it's used in this type of
2 certificate which was issued by the social services in
3 Vitez? What does the word "refugees" mean in this
5 A. In that context, the word "refugee" means
6 that we are not living or residing in our own home.
7 Q. When did you see your house again in Ahmici?
8 A. I saw my house in Ahmici again for the first
9 time ten days later.
10 Q. When did you occupy again that house?
11 A. On the 1st of July, 1993.
12 Q. When did your husband start working again?
13 A. He started working again when we moved to
14 Vitez, when we became refugees.
15 Q. Do you remember the date, the approximate
16 date if need be, on which your husband started working
17 again in Vitez?
18 A. When we left Donja Rovna.
19 Q. That is how many days after the 16th of
21 A. I think 10 or 15 days later.
22 Q. So between the 26th of April and the end of
23 the month of April; is that so? Is it then that he
24 resumed his professional activities?
25 A. Something like that, yes.
1Q. As far as you can remember, when did the
2 Sutre store start working again, the one that is close
3 to your house?
4 A. After the 16th of April? I didn't quite
5 understand what you meant.
6 Q. You told us that 10 to 15 days following the
7 16th of April, your husband started working again in
8 Vitez. I would like you now to specify around what
9 time after the 16th of April this store, the Sutre
10 store, opened again.
11 A. In Pirici, you mean?
12 Q. Pirici.
13 A. After the cease-fire was signed.
14 Q. Could you be more specific as to the time?
15 A. The beginning of May 1994.
16 Q. So to make things clear, early May 1994, at
17 the latest, that is when your husband's professional
18 activities and, I suppose, also Ivica Kupreskic's
19 professional activities resumed in Vitez and in Pirici;
20 is that so? Do you agree with that?
21 A. After the truce was signed at the beginning
22 of May 1994, both Vlatko and Ivica continued their
23 private businesses both in Vitez and in Pirici.
24 Q. In Pirici, things were safe enough, I
25 suppose, from a military point of view, safe enough for
1professional activities to be happening without any
2 particular risk attached to this?
3 A. In what period? After the truce was signed?
4 Q. At the time when your husband's professional
5 activities were resumed in Pirici, for instance, that
6 is, in early May.
7 I withdraw the question. There was confusion
8 on my part as to the date which you had mentioned.
9 Here's another question for you, madam: You told us
10 that you saw your house again some ten days after the
11 16th of April. I'm not wrong in saying that, am I?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What condition was the house in?
14 A. In a chaotic state.
15 Q. "Chaotic"? What do you mean by that?
16 A. When I arrived home, when I saw the door that
17 had been broken in by force, when I saw a lot of mud in
18 the house and the earth from the flowerpots -- which
19 confirms what Vlatko's father said, that they were
20 looking for money -- when I saw my clothes and Vlatko's
21 clothes strewn all over the place, in the house and in
22 the rooms and in the living room, I was astonished.
23 There were cigarettes that had been extinguished on the
24 carpet. My handbag was in a corner, and all
25 documents -- or rather the document that was valid for
1transportation in those days, with my photograph on it,
2 my name and surname, I remember that very well -- had
3 fallen out.
4 Q. So what you are describing there is damage
5 caused, say, by robbery; these are not materiel damage
6 caused by explosives or bullets hitting the house? And
7 I'm seeking confirmation from you: Your house was not
8 hit by firearms, by war weapons?
9 A. There was damage on the facade that can be
10 visible to this day, and on the tiles, too, but the
11 tiles have been changed. And the windowpanes had been
12 broken. But we've changed all that.
13 Q. Back at the time, were there any photographs
14 made of the damage? Did you take stock of the damage
15 caused to the house?
16 A. We compiled a report. When the commission
17 was set up for war damages I applied, and this can be
18 seen from the document in '95.
19 Q. Are you talking about a report, a specific
20 document, or is this part of the documents that were
21 handed in to the Tribunal beforehand, a document dated
22 the 5th of April, 1995, which is damage caused to a
23 building on the 5th of April, 1995? Is that the
24 document you have in mind, or do you have anything
1A. It is the document which registers the war
2 damage inflicted on the 16th of April, 1993. A
3 commission went on the spot and established on site the
4 damage done to the house and made a normal record of
6 Q. During the examination-in-chief, Mr. Par
7 submitted two documents, or mentioned two documents and
8 submitted one of them. It is a document marked 12A/3,
9 dated 5th of April, 1993, which very briefly mentions a
10 certain amount of damage. There is another document,
11 dated the 21st of January, 1999, mentioning a robbery
12 in the family house of the Kupreskics on the 7th of
13 May, 1994. During that robbery, damage was caused to
14 the front door and to the balcony.
15 Given the situation, isn't it logical to
16 think that the damage registered in the report of the
17 5th of April, 1995 -- I'm not challenging this fact --
18 was caused by the robbery you were a victim of in 1994,
19 and that the damage has nothing to do with the events
20 of the 16th of April, 1993?
21 A. I'm going to explain it to you. The first
22 burglary in my house, it wasn't that the burglars came
23 through the door; they came over the balcony, they
24 climbed the balcony and entered the loft. They never
25 used the entrance door, and that is 100 per cent
2 Q. I'm merely referring to the certificate,
3 madam, as established by the police services in Vitez.
4 A. There was the attempt. The thief tried to
5 enter through the main door but failed. I don't know
6 how to explain it to you that our entrance door, our
7 main door, has now been so reinforced that nobody can
8 enter it.
9 Q. I'm not interested in knowing where the thief
10 went through. I say that on the basis of the
11 certificate, on the 17th of May, 1994, around 3.45,
12 your house was burgled by an unidentified person, and
13 during the burglary, visible damage was caused to the
14 front door as well as to the balcony door, but during
15 that burglary, nothing was stolen from the house.
16 There was only damage to the front door of the house
17 and to the door of the balcony.
18 Hence, my question: I'm wondering whether
19 the record of damage, as established much later, nearly
20 a year later, does not merely refer to what had been
21 caused during that burglary?
22 A. I don't understand you again. Could you
23 please help me?
24 Q. I'm only too pleased to do so, madam. First
25 of all, you submitted a certificate by the Vitez police
1according to which, on the 17th of May, 1994, there was
2 an attempted burglary during which damage was caused to
3 the front door and to the balcony door of your family
4 house. Secondly, we also have a document entitled
5 "Record of Damage on a Building on the 15th of April,
6 1995," and in this document there is indeed an
7 indication of damage caused basically to what was in
8 stock and store in the shop.
9 So I'm wondering as to whether what is
10 registered, what is recorded in 1995, has anything do
11 with what happened in April 1993. Did you not, as a
12 matter of fact -- or do you have any evidence that
13 there was damage caused to your house in April 1993?
14 Have I been clear enough this time?
15 A. You have proof. Isn't the commission which
16 came out to establish the war damage and the
17 commission -- and what do we call it -- the crime
18 department, they come on behalf of the police, they
19 come out, they conduct an on-site investigation and
20 make a record of the burglary, they take fingerprints
21 and then take note of all that. Isn't that so?
22 Q. One last question before moving on to another
23 topic. The question arising here is to find out
24 whether you have any evidence of damage caused to your
25 house in April '93. What is the evidence you have,
1what evidence can you tender to this Tribunal showing
2 that there was damage made to your house on the 16th of
3 April, 1993? This is the very question I want to put
4 to you.
5 A. Well, the front door is a proof, because that
6 is how it was. Proof is Vlatko's briefcase, which you
7 also had here, and one could see how it was damaged. I
8 had completely forgotten about it, but one could see
9 that it had also been forced open.
10 Q. One very last question before moving on. You
11 say that damage was caused to your house. What is the
12 evidence you can bring for that?
13 A. Well, I've just listed them. Besides, there
14 are also bills which were filed, and we see what kind
15 of merchandise, what kind of things were taken away.
16 And as for evidence, well, this commission which was
17 there, and persons who are on the witness list, they
18 came out, and they could see the damage done to my
20 Q. So you have in mind the commission which took
21 stock on the 5th of April, 1995, but I have another
22 question for you. A military from the British
23 battalion testified before this Tribunal and said the
24 following -- this is page 2.634 of the transcript. He
25 was Corporal Skillen. Corporal Skillen said to this
1Tribunal -- and I stand to be corrected by Mr. Par if
2 need be -- he said that in April, '93, he entered the
3 village of Ahmici, he had left his vehicle next to the
4 mosque, and that he then moved up to the top of the
5 village. He walked up to the top of the village, and
6 at a certain point in time his attention was drawn to a
7 house, which he very precisely described, and which he
8 indicated on the aerial photograph.
9 It ensues from the explanation provided to
10 the Tribunal by this witness, beyond any ambiguity,
11 that this house which his attention was attracted to
12 was yours. He noticed your house, he said, because,
13 given the chaotic environment -- there were still
14 bodies, corpses, lying around in certain houses in the
15 village -- because in the balcony of that house he
16 noticed a woman and a child. When he passed by again,
17 passed by that house again, on that very balcony, there
18 was still the woman and the child as well as two other
20 Here's my question: Were you the woman that
21 that soldier saw on that balcony?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you have any explanation why that English
24 military saw this woman?
25 A. I really don't understand. I know we went
1back to the house ten days later, and I was crying so
2 much when I saw it, when I saw all the houses that had
3 burned down. When I got to my house, when I saw what
4 had happened to it, and when I took some few clothes
5 for the children, then some foreign journalists came
6 up, and they wanted to record us. And that I was on
7 the balcony, that is simply not true. At that time we
8 were still in Donja Rovna. That was April '93.
9 Q. The time that I have in mind is the 22nd of
10 April, 1993, according to the witness's statement,
11 before the foreign journalists were there. Do you have
12 any idea who might have been there, who that woman was
13 and who that child was who were on the balcony?
14 A. I can't. Afterwards, I heard that they even
15 needed a van to take away all of the clothes stocked in
16 our house, in the cellar. Perhaps somebody entered my
17 house without my knowledge. I do not know that. But I
18 claim the full responsibility that I was not there.
19 And what would I be doing on the balcony at that time
20 of the year? It's cold in Bosnia in April.
21 Q. How old were your children then, in April
23 A. My son was 6 and my daughter 10.
24 MR. TERRIER: One moment, please.
25 I have no further questions. I thank the
1witness. I'm only asking for Exhibits 359, 360, and
2 361 to be tendered into evidence.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection?
4 No objection? Thank you. So they are
5 admitted into evidence.
6 Counsel Par? We still have 16 minutes.
7 MR. PAR: I have no further questions. Thank
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Well, actually, I
10 have a question for the witness.
11 Madam, I know that you are tired, and I
12 apologise, but I have a very minor and brief question:
13 In your letter to the International Tribunal for the
14 former Yugoslavia, on page 2, you mention a book. You
15 say, and I will slowly read it in English: "I would
16 like to refer you," you say to the Prosecutor, "to the
17 book 'Time of Dishonour - the genocide against the
18 Bosniaks in the 20th century,' published by a group of
19 authors in Zenica in 1994, and especially to its
20 offprint, 'The Tragedy in the Lasva Valley - statements
21 of victims, pages 153-161' by the author Ragib Hadzic,
22 which discusses the perpetrators of the crime in
24 Could you please tell us about this book, and
25 in particular the chapter written by the author,
1Hadzic, about the crime in Ahmici? You seem to be
2 familiar with this book, and so I was keen to know
3 something about this particular book, because to the
4 best of my knowledge, it has not been presented to the
5 Court as a piece of evidence.
6 You also say, later on, the authors of that
7 book "know very well the situation in the Lasva
9 A. Your Honours, thank you for your question.
10 It is true that I did read the book at the time when
11 the letter was written. As far as I know, it was
12 Vlatko's aunt's book; she lives in Zenica. I believe
13 that book was sent to the Tribunal.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: So you, yourself, you have
15 not read that book, so you are simply --
16 A. Yes, I did, I did read it, but not all of it,
17 just fragments, because it describes all of the plight
18 of the Lasva Valley, not only in Ahmici, and events in
19 Ahmici are not in -- there is not a single line in that
20 book referring to what happened in Ahmici that would
21 mention the name of my husband. That is as far as I
22 recollect, but I did not really read the book through,
23 because it is quite a volume, and it describes all the
24 trials and tribulations of the people in the Lasva
1JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but I mean, I understand
2 from your reference to your husband that in at least
3 one chapter of this book a description is made of what
4 happened in Ahmici, and probably this is based on
5 statements of victims. So I, for one, would be
6 interested in seeing what those victims state, because
7 I understand from your letter that they do mention
8 names of possible perpetrators, and your point is that
9 however, among those names, one cannot find the name of
10 your husband. So therefore it might have some
12 Anyway, I wonder whether the parties may be
13 of some assistance in this -- yes, Counsel Par?
14 MR. PAR: I believe we have the book, and we
15 shall try to send it to the Tribunal or, rather, have
16 translated that part which refers to Ahmici and give it
17 to the Prosecution. I believe we had a copy here in
18 The Hague. If that is indeed so, then the Court will
19 have it in no time at all.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I don't have any
21 further questions.
22 All right. Mrs. Kupreskic, thank you so much
23 for giving evidence in court. I assume all other
24 parties do not object to your being released. You may
25 now be released. Thank you.
1THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 (The witness withdrew)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Since it is fairly late, we
4 will resume tomorrow at 9.00 sharp. However, tomorrow
5 we have to stop at half past 12.00, at the request of
6 the Registrar. The Registry needs this courtroom, so
7 we can't but bow to her request, so therefore we have
8 only a limited amount of hours, from 9.00 to half past
9 12.00. Tomorrow is Thursday, but on Friday, of course,
10 we will resume at 9.00 until 1.30.
11 All right. So the hearing is adjourned.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 1.18 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Thursday, the 27th day of May, 1999,
15 at 9.00 a.m.