1Thursday, 27 May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
8 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and
9 Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I assume this
11 is Mr. Jozo Vrebac?
12 Good morning. Could you please make the
13 solemn declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit
19 Counsel Par?
20 MR. PAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
21 WITNESS: JOZO VREBAC
22 Examined by Mr. Par:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vrebac. Tell me, please,
24 can you hear me well?
25 A. Quite well.
1MR. PAR: The witness is a little hard of
2 hearing, so if you can't hear us, please let us know.
3 The witness says he would like the volume to be
4 switched on. Could the usher help the witness with the
5 volume, please.
6 Q. Is it better now? Is it all right? Yes?
7 Let us begin, Mr. Vrebac. Will you please
8 introduce yourself, tell the Court your full name,
9 where you were born, your occupation, and where you
10 reside. You don't have to get up; remain seated.
11 A. My name is Jozo Vrebac. I was born on the
12 30th of September, 1927, in Santici, Vitez
14 Q. Your occupation?
15 A. I'm a metal worker, now retired.
16 Q. Please, tell me, were you living in Santici
17 on the 16th of April, 1993?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is there a shelter in your house, or in your
20 daughter's house?
21 A. There is a basement which serves as a
23 Q. That is in your daughter's house?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell me, is it a real shelter, what
1kind of a basement it is, and how it came to be used as
2 a shelter?
3 A. This basement was built as a basement for the
4 house. When the JNA started shelling, it served as a
5 shelter from the air raids.
6 Q. Will you tell me, was there any kind of
7 special equipment in that basement, as is normal in
8 shelters, like beds, blankets, first-aid kits, and so
10 A. No.
11 Q. Yesterday we saw some photographs of that
12 house and that shelter, so we won't tire Their Honours
13 with those photographs again. But tell us, please, how
14 many rooms it had, and what is the area?
15 A. There are three premises, three rooms, and
16 the total area is nine and a half metres by eight
17 metres, roughly.
18 Q. Let us now focus on the 16th of April, 1993,
19 and could you tell the Court where you were on that
20 day, whether you went to the shelter, and tell us about
21 how you spent that whole day.
22 Not too quickly, please.
23 A. I was awakened in the morning by villagers
24 who were coming to the shelter. I went to the shelter,
25 came back to the house, and woke up my son.
1Q. And then you came back to the shelter?
2 A. Yes, I kept visiting both houses, my own and
3 my daughter's.
4 Q. Tell us, your house and your daughter's
5 house, what is the distance between them?
6 A. About 13 or 14 metres.
7 Q. So they are very close to one another?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you spend that whole day in the shelter,
10 in the vicinity and nearby?
11 A. Yes, all day and all night I was thereabouts.
12 Q. What exactly were you doing? Were you
13 sitting in one particular room? Tell us a little more
14 about what you did.
15 A. I was trying to help people and provide them
16 with whatever they needed.
17 Q. So you acted the host?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Vrebac, do you know Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
20 and his family well?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. For how long have you known them, and how
24 A. Ever since his childhood, and throughout.
25 Q. That morning, on the 16th of April, did you
1see any member of Vlatko Kupreskic's family in the
3 A. I saw Vlatko, his mother, his wife, and his
4 two children.
5 Q. Could you tell us at what time you saw Vlatko
6 for the first time?
7 A. At about 6.00.
8 Q. Will you tell us what Vlatko looked like?
9 A. He looked terrible.
10 Q. Why terrible?
11 A. He was terrified.
12 Q. Did you talk to him at all?
13 A. Just then, it was not possible to talk to
14 him, he was in such bad shape, and as he is a heart
16 Q. Do I understand you well, he was afraid?
17 A. Yes, he was very frightened.
18 Q. How was he dressed? Was he dressed in
19 civilian clothes?
20 A. Yes, in civilian clothes.
21 Q. Was he carrying a weapon?
22 A. I didn't see anything.
23 Q. Were you surprised to see Vlatko in the
24 shelter for people unfit for military service?
25 A. No.
1Q. Why not?
2 A. Because I know that he has a bad heart, that
3 he never served in the army, nor was he a member of any
5 Q. Could you tell me now how much time Vlatko
6 spent there in the shelter?
7 A. He was there roughly until about 10.00,
8 roughly. I couldn't tell you exactly until when.
9 Q. Did you see him leave?
10 A. Yes, I did. And he said he was going to see
11 whether his father was alive.
12 Q. And do you know where his father was?
13 A. His father had stayed behind in the house.
14 Q. How did you know that?
15 A. He told me when he left.
16 Q. Did you see Vlatko again on that day?
17 A. I did, at 16.00 hours, something like that,
18 in the afternoon.
19 Q. When did you see him, when he returned?
20 A. Yes, just when he came back.
21 Q. Did you talk to him then?
22 A. He said that his father was alive but he
23 couldn't transport him.
24 Q. Why couldn't he?
25 A. He has a broken leg, and he had kind of
1braces on his legs and he couldn't move.
2 Q. Was there any shooting?
3 A. When?
4 Q. When he was coming back. Was that perhaps
5 one of the reasons why he couldn't come back?
6 A. No, not really, but his father couldn't walk
7 and there was a bit of shooting too, so that he didn't
8 dare risk it.
9 Q. Did Vlatko go back again to fetch his father?
10 A. Yes, in the evening at dusk, he went to fetch
11 his father.
12 Q. Did he manage to bring him over?
13 A. Yes, he did. He brought him to the basement.
14 Q. Do you remember when that was?
15 A. Well, it was night-time, I know. I didn't
16 look at my watch, what time it was when he came.
17 Q. Did you personally see Vlatko's father as
18 well when he came?
19 A. Yes, I personally saw both his father and
21 Q. Could you tell us, when did Vlatko and his
22 family leave the shelter?
23 A. His family and all the people who were in the
24 basement left that shelter on the second day in the
1Q. You mean the next day, the 17th, in the
2 evening. Do you know where they went?
3 A. They went in the direction of Radakov Most to
5 Q. Just one more question for you. Could you
6 please tell us, regarding the people whose names I'm
7 going to list, whether you saw them in the shelter on
8 the 16th of April, 1993? Did you see Ivo Vidovic?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Did you see Ruza Grgic?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. Did you see Ljubo Vidovic?
13 A. I did.
14 Q. Did you see Alojz Vidovic?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Did you see Gordana Cuic Vidovic?
17 A. Yes, with her mother.
18 Q. Did you see Ankica Kupreskic?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mr. Vrebac. I have no
21 further questions.
22 Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much, Counsel
25 Yes, cross-examination by Counsel
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
4 Q. Mr. Vrebac, just a few questions.
5 Do you know the parents of Zoran and Mirjan
7 A. I do.
8 Q. What are their names?
9 A. His father's name is Anto, and their mother's
10 name is Luca.
11 Q. Were you on good terms with them?
12 A. Of course I was. How could I say otherwise?
13 Q. Did you see them on that day, the 16th?
14 A. I did.
15 Q. Where did you see them?
16 A. I saw them in the shelter, in the shelter on
17 that day.
18 Q. Who else was with them from the Kupreskic
20 A. Mirjan's mother-in-law, his wife and two
22 Q. Mirjan's wife?
23 A. Yes, his two children and mother-in-law.
24 Q. Did you remember anything in connection with
25 the mother-in-law? Did you see how she was feeling?
1A. She sat in the shelter in the way she would
2 sit at home, but Mirjan brought her in a wheelbarrow.
3 Q. Did she have any problems moving?
4 A. I don't know. Yes. She couldn't move on her
5 own. She was disabled.
6 Q. Tell us, do you know whether they too left
7 for Rovna the next day?
8 A. Everyone left for Rovna, all the people who
9 were in the shelter.
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.
11 Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill?
14 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
16 Mr. Rebac, good morning to you. My name is
17 Michael Blaxill, and I'm one of the prosecuting counsel
18 in this case, and I do have some questions I would like
19 to ask you as a result of what you have told the
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
22 Q. Now, you said you were awakened by some
23 fellow villagers on the morning of the 16th of April,
24 1993. Do you remember what time that was, sir?
25 A. It was about 5.00.
1Q. Can you recall the names of the villagers who
2 woke you up?
3 A. There was a large group, so I can't tell you
4 each individual's name. But I know them all.
5 Q. Could you give an estimate then of the number
6 in that group? You say it is large. How many people
7 do you think it was; 10, 20, 30?
8 A. Roughly, about 25 to 30 families.
9 Q. Can you just give an indication as to what
10 was the general mood of those people? Did they appear
11 to you to be anxious or frightened, or what were they
13 A. They were all frightened.
14 Q. So they arrived at your house, sir. Did you
15 then guide them across to your daughter's house 13
16 metres away?
17 A. I ran over, unlocked the door and came back.
18 Q. So did those people just go into the building
19 and into the basement, and you returned to your own
20 home; is that right?
21 A. Yes, that is so.
22 Q. At that time, had you had much of an
23 opportunity to get dressed in outdoor clothing?
24 A. I did.
25 Q. And do you recall what -- I'm sorry?
1A. When I came back home, then I got dressed
3 Q. What sort of clothing did you wear when you
4 got dressed properly?
5 A. The usual clothes I wear at home every day.
6 Q. Can you describe, for instance, whether you
7 were wearing a jacket of some description, and if so,
8 what colour it was?
9 A. I never wore a jacket. I wore a suit of this
10 kind, but it was an older one, and normal shoes.
11 Q. I would ask again, sir, do you recall the
12 colour of that clothing you put on?
13 A. I usually wear brown or black.
14 Q. But can you now be precise and remember which
15 it was that you wore that day?
16 A. I really don't know, because I too was
17 excited and frightened.
18 Q. At that time at around 5.00, was there any
19 kind of shooting going on in the vicinity, or could you
20 hear any?
21 A. About 5.00, there wasn't any.
22 Q. Were you then made aware by the people, or
23 were you aware for some other reason, as to why
24 everybody was frightened?
25 A. I have no idea. They didn't tell me. I just
1know that if there is any kind of an alarm, people went
3 Q. I see. So are you suggesting, sir, that you
4 were agitated because clearly these people all turned
5 up at the shelter; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. You returned to your home. Do you recall how
8 long you remained in your home before you paid your
9 next visit to the shelter?
10 A. I went back home just to wake up my son who
11 was upstairs.
12 Q. So then perhaps we can say within a very few
13 minutes, you then returned to the shelter. Would this
14 be something like quarter past 5.00 in the morning,
15 something of that order?
16 A. Something like that.
17 Q. Going back, you say there was 25 to 30
18 families. How many people in all do you think that
19 was? Was that 50, 60 people or more?
20 A. On the average, you can count that there were
21 three people to a family, on the average.
22 Q. So if we take a rough average of, say, 75 to
23 80 people you say then went into the basement rooms in
24 your daughter's home; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1Q. So with a measurement you've given of, I
2 think, nine and a half by eight metres, would it be
3 fair to say that it was very crowded down there in
4 those three basement rooms?
5 A. It was, of course, crowded like a matchbox.
6 Q. Do you recall seeing the arrival of
7 Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic and any members of his family?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. Do you recall at about what time they arrived
10 at the shelter?
11 A. They arrived at about 6.00, when the shooting
12 was on.
13 Q. Am I right in saying, sir, that the shooting
14 had started somewhere around 20 past 5.00 that morning,
15 something like that?
16 A. Perhaps you are right. I can't know exactly
17 whether it was 5.20 or half past 5.00. I wasn't
18 looking at the watch.
19 Q. All right, sir. So there was now shooting
20 going on outside. The Kupreskic family arrived. Do
21 you recall into which room they went?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you say which one that was?
24 A. The children and his wife went downstairs,
25 and Vlatko stayed sitting on a bench in the hallway to
1rest a little.
2 Q. So at that time, sir, would it be true to say
3 you also were in the hallway of your daughter's house;
4 is that where you were located at that time?
5 A. I was all over the place, wherever it was
7 Q. Saying that you were all over the place,
8 you've already indicated that you tried to provide some
9 sort of provisions and assistance to the people
10 sheltering. Did that entail you going backwards and
11 forwards to your own home quite frequently?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. For instance, could you tell me, the first
14 time that you went home to your house after you
15 encountered Vlatko Kupreskic, what time was that that
16 you went back to your house for the next occasion; do
17 you remember?
18 A. They went up there, and while they were in
19 there, I went back to the house and I said to my wife
20 to boil the milk -- she had already milked the cow --
21 so that she should take it to the house and give it to
22 the children there.
23 Q. Do you recall at what time you had that
24 conversation with your wife?
25 A. It is hard for one to tell each and every
2 Q. Do you recall, for instance, how many visits
3 you made back to your own house up to the time when
4 Vlatko, you say, left the shelter?
5 A. I spent more time in that house than in my
6 own, with the people there, because we also used the
7 ground floor and the basement.
8 Q. So again I would ask you, do you remember,
9 though, how many times you actually did have to go back
10 to your own home up to the point where Vlatko left the
12 A. I don't know exactly. Two or three times.
13 Q. And during this period we still have shooting
14 going on in the area that is clearly audible to you
15 all; is that right?
16 A. We could hear the shooting all over, but
17 later on it subsided, around 9.00 or something. I
18 don't know.
19 Q. Would it be fair to say that you had no
20 reason necessarily to look at your watch and see what
21 time it was when -- what time it was when the shooting
23 A. It never even occurred to me.
24 Q. Would it be fair to say that you were far too
25 preoccupied with the danger and with trying to help the
1people, really, to pay attention to the time? Would
2 that be fair, sir?
3 A. Yes, absolutely so.
4 Q. You knew the majority of the people in that
5 shelter quite well, I would imagine, sir; is that
7 A. I knew them all, each and every one of them.
8 Q. Can you recall, for instance, the name of the
9 family or a particular person who arrived immediately
10 after Vlatko Kupreskic's family? Does that strike a
11 chord in your memory?
12 A. I didn't understand that.
13 Q. Well, you say you recall the arrival of the
14 family of Vlatko Kupreskic. Can you recall the names
15 of the family that arrived immediately after them, if
16 there was one?
17 A. I recall also Anto Vidovic, who also brought
18 his wife, in a wheelbarrow.
19 Q. So when certain names were put to you by
20 Mr. Par, like Ivo Vidovic, Ruza Grgic, Ljuba Vidovic,
21 do you recall whether any of those people actually left
22 the shelter at all during the early part of that
24 A. That morning, those who entered the shelter
25 could come out only to the door, to the terrace which
1was in front of the door, to go out on to the terrace
2 and see what was on fire, because houses were aflame,
3 and we did not know which houses. I didn't know
4 either, so I would go out every once in a while to see.
5 Q. But clearly at some later point Mr. Vlatko
6 Kupreskic left the shelter, because you say you spoke
7 to him, and he told you he was going to see about his
8 father; is that right?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. Did anybody else, to your recollection, leave
11 the shelter, perhaps to go and look to the safety of
12 family, or to the safety of their animals or something?
13 A. I didn't see anyone else.
14 Q. So during the course of that morning, sir, if
15 we have the picture correctly, you were doing your best
16 to assist a large group of people in a very confined
17 space and all of whom were very frightened for their
18 safety; is that correct?
19 A. I didn't hear you properly.
20 Q. During the course of the morning, if we see
21 the picture correctly, you were endeavouring to assist
22 a large group of people who were in a very confined
23 space and in a very frightening situation; is that
25 A. It is.
1Q. And you have confirmed more than once, sir,
2 that, you know, you didn't spend your time looking at
3 the watch and checking what time various things
4 happened; is that right?
5 A. It is. There were old people there.
6 Q. Sir, one further thing I would say. You have
7 today said that you recall Vlatko Kupreskic leaving the
8 shelter at 10.00. Can you now really say that you can
9 be so sure of the time?
10 A. Around 10.00.
11 Q. Around 10.00. Would be it true to say,
12 though, that you didn't look at your watch at that
14 A. Well, we halted there, and we talked, and we
15 looked at the time just about then, because it was at
16 the corner of my house.
17 Q. Sir, do you recall a lady by the name of -- I
18 hope I say it correctly -- Cuic, Mrs. Gordana Cuic?
19 A. Gordana what?
20 Q. Perhaps it's Cujic. My own linguistic
21 limitations; I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
23 MR. PAR: Perhaps the witness might know her
24 maiden name, and she was Gordana Cuic, married,
1A. Gordana Vidovic, yes.
2 MR. BLAXILL:
3 Q. Do you recall whether that lady left the
4 premises at any time, left the shelter?
5 A. No, she didn't. She stayed there with her
7 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vrebac.
8 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, I'm obliged to
9 you. Thank you.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
11 Counsel Par --
12 MR. BLAXILL: I'm also obliged to Counsel Par
13 for assisting me with my linguistic problem.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
15 MR. PAR: Only one question for the witness.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Par:
17 Q. Mr. Vrebac, when I asked you if you saw that
18 Ivo Vidovic was in the shelter that day, you said he
19 was. Did Ivo Vidovic spend the whole day in the
21 A. I did not see him.
22 Q. So when did you see him?
23 A. I saw him that morning.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. PAR: No more questions.
1JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We don't have any
2 questions. I assume there's no objection to the
3 witness being released.
4 Mr. Vrebac, thank you so much for coming to
5 The Hague to give evidence in court. You may now be
6 released. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you, too. All the best
8 to you.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Susak?
10 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, on the 7th of May
11 this year, the Trial Chamber adopted a calendar of
12 witness testimonies, and it was concluded that as of
13 the 25th of May until the 4th of June, we would be
14 having witnesses relative to a defence of Vlatko
15 Kupreskic; after that, witnesses testifying in favour
16 of Drago Josipovic would be talking. So today I need
17 to talk to the Witness and Victim Protection Unit, so I
18 need to know if the schedule is still the same, so that
19 Drago Josipovic's witnesses could be asked to come here
20 between the 21st of June and 26th of June.
21 Could the Trial Chamber help me to set the
22 date with the Witness Protection Unit to organise their
23 arrival in The Hague and the time of their appearance
24 before the Court?
25 (Trial Chamber confers)
1JUDGE CASSESE: I'm afraid we don't have our
2 diary close at hand, but after the break, I will let
3 you know when we resume in late June. I think we will
4 stick to the schedule which we had agreed upon
5 previously, but I'll let you know afterwards. Thank
7 We could now -- yes.
8 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Pavkovic?
10 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 Mr. President, may I clarify something very briefly.
12 Under D26 (sic), we have prepared a set of documents
13 relative to the testimony of Dragica Krizanac. My
14 attention has been drawn to the fact that when these
15 documents were copied, something was not done properly;
16 that is, not all pages were copied. So I saw to it in
17 the meantime, and I should like to ask you to look at
18 those documents now.
19 These are documents under 00637483 to
20 00637510. I have a sufficient number of copies for
21 Your Honours and for the registry and for the
22 Prosecution, and I should like to ask the usher to help
23 me distribute them. Thank you.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: All right.
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: I apologise. I am sorry.
1I've just been told that there's a mistake in the
2 transcript: Not D26, D two six; that is, 2/6.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, of course. All right.
4 So these documents will be handed to the Prosecution
5 and the Court, and I wonder whether we could bring in
6 the next witness.
7 So this is D2/6.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It is D2/6.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: I propose we will come back
10 to this issue after the coffee break also to check the
11 difference between D6/6 and D2/6.
12 Let me now say to Mr. Vidovic, good morning,
13 good morning, Mr. Vidovic. Could you please make the
14 solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
16 I solemnly declare that I will speak the
17 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
20 Counsel Krajina?
21 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 WITNESS: ALOJZ VIDOVIC
23 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.
25 A. Good morning.
1Q. Will you please give us your name, the year
2 of your birth, and your address?
3 A. Alojz Vidovic, father Niko, born on the 13th
4 of February, 1937, Pirici-Santici, the municipality of
6 Q. Will you tell us, since when have you been
7 living at your current place of residence?
8 A. Since 1964.
9 Q. Do you know Vlatko Kupreskic and his family?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. How long have you known him?
12 A. I've known Vlatko since he was a boy.
13 Q. Tell us, please, on the 16th of April, 1993,
14 that is, on the day of the conflict in Ahmici, where
15 were you then?
16 A. I was at home.
17 Q. And in the morning, when did you get up?
18 A. Around half past 5.00, around half past 5.00,
19 I was woken up by shots fired.
20 Q. And what did you do after that?
21 A. I got up, I got ready. I had a pig, so I
22 give it something to eat, and then I went to the
24 Q. Where did you go? What shelter, where?
25 A. Jozo Vrebac's.
1Q. How far is it from your house, roughly?
2 A. Well, it's about 100 metres by an asphalt
4 Q. So you could get there in no time?
5 A. Well, yes.
6 Q. Will you tell us, why did you go to that
7 particular shelter? What kind of a shelter is it? Can
8 you describe it a little?
9 A. Well, that shelter is safe, and naturally I
10 went there to get away from the shooting.
11 Q. Did you go to that shelter before?
12 A. Yes, before, when the aircraft of the Yugo
13 army would come and when there would be an alert, then
14 we would go all to the shelter.
15 Q. Could you tell me, when is it that you
16 arrived at the shelter?
17 A. Well, it could have been around a quarter
18 to 6 -- approximately, because I never looked at the
20 Q. And how long did you stay in the shelter?
21 A. I stayed in the shelter until the next day,
22 but naturally, since my house was close, I did go back
23 there to get some candles and things like that.
24 Q. Will you please tell us, that morning, when
25 you got to the shelter, for how long were you there
1without going out?
2 A. I was there until 12.00. I did not go out.
3 That is, I did get out of the shelter, but I didn't go
4 back home.
5 Q. So where were you?
6 A. I was there.
7 Q. Mr. Vidovic, on the basis of what you have
8 just told us, can we then say that you spent in that
9 shelter between 6.00 in the morning until 12.00 on the
10 16th, all the time?
11 A. Yes, we can indeed.
12 Q. So during that period of time when you were
13 in the shelter, did you see Vlatko Kupreskic or some of
14 the members of his family? Will you please tell us,
15 whom did you see?
16 A. Yes, I saw Vlatko when he arrived with his
17 wife, two children, and his mother.
18 Q. Right. So at what time did they get there?
19 A. It was around 6.00, more or less.
20 Q. Around 6.00. So could you tell us what did
21 Vlatko look like, what was he wearing? Was it civilian
22 clothes, or uniform, or whether he had any weapons?
23 A. He was in civilian clothes, and he did not
24 have any weapons.
25 Q. Do you know how long did Vlatko stay in the
1shelter after he entered it?
2 A. Vlatko was there until 10.00 or thereabouts
3 and then he left. And his Uncle Anto asked him, "Where
4 are you going," and he said, "I'm going to see my old
6 Q. Did you hear that or see that?
7 A. I saw it and I heard it, because I was
8 standing with his Uncle Anto in front of the shelter.
9 Q. So he said he was going to see his father?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, do you know if Vlatko came back to the
12 shelter again?
13 A. Yes, he did come back.
14 Q. When could that have been?
15 A. It was around half past 3.00 or 4.00. That
16 is when he came.
17 Q. Did you hear him say something then?
18 A. Well, Anto asked him again then how was it,
19 and he said, "He's fine, he's all right, he's alive."
20 Q. Who is that Anto?
21 A. That Anto is his father's brother.
22 Q. He was enquiring about Vlatko's father?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let me ask you now, that shelter, were there
25 mostly elderly and women and children who were there
2 A. Well, yes, but naturally there were.
3 Q. But were you surprised to see Vlatko there
4 because he was relatively young?
5 A. No, it wasn't a surprise, because I knew he
6 was not fit for the army, since he had been operated on
7 when he was a child.
8 Q. Did he do the military service?
9 A. No, he did not. I know that for certain.
10 Q. Let me ask you something else, please. Do
11 you know if Vlatko Kupreskic, before April '93 or ever,
12 was he politically active? Did he ever join any
13 formations or anything?
14 A. No. Vlatko was never interested in
15 politics. The only thing he's interested in is
16 business. That's his, nothing else.
17 Q. What you showed like this, that gesture that
18 you made, what does it mean? It's a gesture indicating
19 a man who is trying to make some money or what?
20 A. Yes. That's his concern.
21 Q. All right. Was that the only thing that
22 Vlatko did at the time?
23 A. Absolutely the only thing.
24 MR. KRAJINA: Right. Mr. Vidovic, please, I
25 shall now move on and show you two documents.
1First I should like to ask the usher to
2 distribute these documents to Their Honours, to the
3 Prosecution and the witness.
4 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit will be marked
6 MR. KRAJINA:
7 Q. Mr. Vidovic, did you see this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What is it about?
10 A. This is about my son, Mirko.
11 Q. Vidovic, you mean?
12 A. Vidovic, yes.
13 Q. His place of residence, his address, would
14 you have a look at it? This is a certificate of the
15 police administration.
16 A. That he lived in Travnik, that is, the
17 municipality, and I know that. I mean he was there
18 throughout the war. He never came over here.
19 Q. Right. So this is a certificate saying that
20 your son, Mirko Vidovic, lived and lives in Travnik.
21 The address we have here, the name of the street?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 MR. KRAJINA: All right. Now I will show you
24 yet another document. Will you please, Mr. Usher.
25 Q. But, meanwhile, as this document is
1distributed, let me ask you, Mr. Vidovic, are there
2 more people in that area where you live of that same
3 name, Mirko Vidovic?
4 A. Yes. My brother -- my cousin, my son, and
5 there's a third relative who --
6 Q. They are all Mirko?
7 A. Yes, they are all Mirkos. Mirko Vidovic,
8 that is my cousin Niko's.
9 Q. I see. He's your cousin. According to this
10 certificate, where does he live?
11 A. He lives in Vitez. He has a flat there.
12 Q. We have also the name of the street here,
13 don't we? It's Kresimira, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, Kresimira.
15 Q. Number 4?
16 A. Yes, number 4.
17 Q. Do you know of any other Mirko Vidovic?
18 Jozo's son?
19 A. Yes. He is my uncle's son.
20 Q. Where does he live?
21 A. He lives across from Vlatko's wholesale
22 unit. He has a house there.
23 Q. Do you know where he was in '93?
24 A. In Germany.
25 Q. In Germany. Did he spend some time there?
1A. Yes, he did.
2 Q. Right, thank you. I have only one more
3 question for you and that will be it.
4 I don't remember asking you, but let me
5 repeat it. Do you remember if Vlatko's father ever
6 came to the shelter?
7 A. Yes, I do remember.
8 Q. So did he come to the shelter?
9 A. He came around 8.00.
10 Q. When was it, in the evening?
11 A. Yes, in the evening.
12 Q. How did he come?
13 A. Well, Vlatko was with him.
14 Q. Do you know what he looked like? Was he ill?
15 A. Well, he looked sad and he was sick. He had
16 this leg, problematic leg.
17 Q. So he came with a stick?
18 A. Yes, he had a stick with him.
19 MR. KRAJINA: All right. Thank you very
20 much, Mr. Vidovic. I have no further questions for
22 Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have
24 THE REGISTRAR: The previous exhibit will be
25 marked D44/3.
1MR. KRAJINA: I should like to tender these
2 two documents into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection?
4 MR. BLAXILL: Well, I would have only one
5 observation in relation to them, Your Honours, and that
6 is this: That as certificates, they purport -- or I
7 suggest, with respect, that they prove only the
8 information contained in that certificate as being
9 valid at the 29th of April, 1999, the date of the
10 making. The actual duration of residence by either of
11 these parties at those residences isn't shown on the
12 documents. I say that just as a point of evidence.
13 As to whatever weight you attach to that is a
14 matter for you, but I thought I'd point it out.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So they are
16 admitted into evidence.
17 Any cross-examination by other Defence
18 counsel? I don't see anybody.
19 MR. PAVKOVIC: No, no, we have no questions.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill.
21 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Mr. Vidovic, good morning to you.
23 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
24 MR. BLAXILL: My name is Michael Blaxill.
25 I'm one of the Prosecution counsel working in this
1case. I would like to ask you a few questions as a
2 result of what you have told the Chamber this morning.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
4 Q. Sir, you say you were awakened by shooting
5 that you heard at about half past 5.00 on the morning
6 of the 16th of April, 1993; is that correct, sir?
7 A. It is, yes.
8 Q. You got up and got dressed. Can you tell me
9 what clothing you put on that day, what sort of
11 A. Civilian, the usual. I had a fur-lined
12 jacket because it was cold at night.
13 Q. Do you recall the colour of the jacket, sir?
14 A. At that time, it was the olive-brown-gray
15 colour, because it was from the company -- it was from
16 the stock of the company, and I worked for the company,
17 and I took it home. It has some fur inside, but it
18 looked mostly olive-green-brown colour.
19 Q. You then, having fed your pig, you went to
20 the shelter, you said, of Jozo Vrebac; correct?
21 A. It is, yes. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Is that, in fact, the house that is occupied
23 by the daughter of Mr. Vrebac?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. Can you recall, what is the layout of the
1shelter that is created within that building?
2 A. I can, yes. There is a passage, and from the
3 passage one goes down to the shelter. Downstairs,
4 there are three rooms.
5 Q. When you arrived at that building, did you
6 yourself go down into those basement rooms?
7 A. I went down to the basement by myself, as my
8 brother was already there. He had gone down there
9 before me. But he had a stroke, and his sons carried
10 him away. So I saw that he had been taken care of, and
11 then I started down.
12 But as many people were smoking there and I'm
13 not a smoker, I came out. I simply couldn't stand that
14 air down there. I don't smoke.
15 Q. Would you say that the conditions at that
16 time were very crowded? Were there a lot of people
18 A. Not at the beginning. But, yes, later on,
20 Q. We've been told this very morning, sir, that
21 shortly after 5.00, a group of villagers of some 25
22 families or more had already turned up at the Vrebac
23 household to go to the shelter. Would you say that
24 when you went into the basement area, there were the
25 equivalent of 25 families in there, let's say 70, 80
2 A. No. That family came the next day. It's
3 from a small family. The next day, when somebody
4 revealed that the Mujahedin had broken through the
5 front line, then they came from Mahala, and the shelter
6 was empty because they had gone to Rovna in the
8 Q. I think possibly in the course of --
9 A. Then these people from Mahala came and took
10 their place.
11 Q. I think we have a misunderstanding.
12 Mr. Vidovic, what I would like to know, if I
13 may, please, is when you went down into that basement,
14 do you think there were perhaps 70 or 80 people
15 actually in there sheltering?
16 A. No. While I was there, no, there weren't
17 that many at all. Only the people close by were there.
18 Q. Can you give me a name or a few names of the
19 few of the people you saw there?
20 A. For instance, there was the Livancics,
21 Vrebac, Vidovic, Kovac, Martinovic families, --
22 Q. Now, did --
23 A. -- several more, but that was a long time ago.
24 Q. Did the number of people sheltering in that
25 basement increase to a large number?
1A. Yes. As time passed, more and more people
2 came. Of course, most of them were children and
3 elderly people and women. Some were even brought in
4 wheelbarrows, those who couldn't walk on their own.
5 Q. Do you recall seeing the arrival of any
6 members of the Kupreskic family?
7 A. I remember that all the Kupreskics came.
8 Mica brought his mother-in-law in a wheelbarrow.
9 Q. When you say "all the Kupreskics", that
10 included, did it not, Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, his wife
11 and children?
12 A. Only the father was missing.
13 Q. Only the father was missing?
14 A. I didn't understand the question. The father
15 wasn't there.
16 Q. When the Kupreskic family, Mr. Vlatko
17 Kupreskic and his wife and his children, arrived at the
18 shelter, can you tell me where they went? Did they go
19 down to the basement or to some other part of the
21 A. They went to the basement. Vlatko came back
22 quickly and sat with us in the hallway. He came up
23 from the basement. Probably he couldn't stand the
24 close air down there.
25 Q. So you remained in the hallway. Do you
1recall the movements of Mr. Jozo Vrebac? Was he in the
2 hall, was he in the basement, or was he in and out of
3 the building?
4 A. Jozo Vrebac was also in the hallway and in
5 the basement, and he was moving around all over the
6 place because it is all his.
7 Q. Did he in fact leave the building at any
9 A. From that building?
10 Q. From that building.
11 A. His house is nearby, so it was normal for him
12 to go to his house as well. His house is L-shaped.
13 Q. Can you tell me, sir, while you were in that
14 hallway, what was Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic wearing?
15 A. Civilian clothes, I know that. But I really
16 can't remember what I was wearing, considering what it
17 was like, and anyway, it's a long time ago. I've
18 forgotten myself. I remember wearing that thick winter
19 jacket, but that's all. But I know 100 per cent that
20 he was in civilian clothes.
21 Q. But you couldn't, for instance, describe
22 whether that was a jacket or a woollen thing or what
23 colour it was or something like that that he wore on
24 top, or the colour of his trousers?
25 A. I think it was a jacket that he was wearing.
1I think it was a jacket.
2 Q. Would it be true to say, sir, that at that
3 time the assembled people were very frightened and they
4 were agitated at what was going on; is that fair to
6 A. Yes, of course. All of us were distressed.
7 Q. Were you, as people, taking a look outside
8 the building to see what you could see that was
9 happening in the village of Ahmici and around?
10 A. All we could see from there was smoke. We
11 couldn't tell whose houses were affected. We could
12 just see the smoke and hear the shooting, because our
13 view was obstructed.
14 Q. So in this unique and very distressing
15 situation, sir, would it be true to say that you did
16 not really keep track of time with any great accuracy;
17 isn't that so?
18 A. I didn't even have a watch. All I'm saying
19 is very roughly.
20 Q. So sometime later, you say that Mr. Vlatko
21 Kupreskic said he was going to see, quote, I think you
22 said, "To go see my old man," and he left the shelter
23 area; is that right?
24 A. That is right.
25 Q. So taking account of what you have just said
1about the conditions and what you've just said about
2 the passage of time, what you've said about not having
3 a watch or paying attention to that, can you honestly
4 say, sir, that you're so sure he left the shelter at
6 A. When I said "10.00," I said "approximately
8 Q. Even an approximation to that hour, I would
9 suggest, sir, is something you could not today rely on
10 with certainty, can you? You weren't paying attention
11 to the time when these terrible events were taking
12 place; isn't that so?
13 A. I'm saying again that what I said was
14 "approximately." I didn't claim otherwise. I said
15 "approximately." It could have been a little earlier,
16 a little later, but somewhere about then. It doesn't
17 mean exactly.
18 MR. BLAXILL: I thank you for answering my
19 questions, Mr. Vidovic.
20 Thank you, Your Honours. That concludes my
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
23 Counsel Krajina?
24 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, I have no
25 additional questions.
1JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I have a
2 question, Mr. Vidovic.
3 Mr. Vidovic, when did you realise, on the
4 16th or 17th of April, that a lot of killing had taken
5 place in Ahmici and that quite a few houses were on
7 A. On the 17th of April, we learned about it.
8 We were very confused, and on the 17th, when we learned
9 about it all, we were even more distressed because it
10 affected all of us. It surprised us. We had never
11 expected any such thing.
12 Q. Did you see any Croatian house on fire or
13 destroyed by shelling?
14 A. We couldn't see from where we were, we
15 couldn't see anything. But the next day, when the mist
16 had lifted, one could see only the ruins. But those of
17 us who were there, we didn't know. There was people
18 coming to tell us about it.
19 Q. My next question is as follows, Mr. Vidovic:
20 After such a terrible event, I mean anybody
21 would, I assume, ask himself or herself, "Who did all
22 this killing and burning?" Did you ask yourself this
23 question? Did you ask your neighbours? Did you
24 discuss this matter with your friends and neighbours?
25 A. If I knew, I would name him immediately, if
1he were my own son, and I know for sure that it wasn't
2 these men who are sitting here. I can guarantee
3 that, --
4 Q. No, but still I --
5 A. -- because a crime was indeed committed.
6 Q. Yes. But as I say, did you make any guess
7 about the possible authors of those crimes? Did your
8 neighbours tell you anything, or your friends or your
10 A. All I know is that none of our neighbours
11 could have done it or did it. And also when the crime
12 was committed against Croats, I'm sure that the
13 neighbours could not have been the perpetrators. Of
14 that I am sure, personally, 100 per cent.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Vidovic. I
16 assume there's no objection to the witness being
18 Thank you so much for giving evidence in
19 court. You may now be released.
20 THE WITNESS: You're very welcome.
21 (The witness withdrew)
22 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, our next
23 witness, Ruza Grgic, has been ordered to come to the
24 courtroom at 10.30, because that is how we assumed that
25 the time would be used up. So as we have finished
1ahead of time, perhaps she hasn't been brought yet, so
2 perhaps we could have our break now and resume work at
3 10.30 or a few minutes after that.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, thank you. It's a very
5 good suggestion, but I think we now deserve a 30-minute
6 break, because today we will take only one break.
7 So we will resume at, say, 20 to 11.00. All
9 --- Recess taken at 10.11 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.40 a.m.
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, madam. Could
13 you please stand and make the solemn declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
18 Counsel Krajina?
19 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: RUZA GRGIC
21 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
22 Q. Good morning.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Will you please tell us first your name, when
25 you were born, and what is your place of residence?
1A. I am Ruza Grgic, born on the 9th of May,
2 1949, in Putis. I live in the village of Pirici,
3 municipality of Vitez.
4 Q. Thank you. Will you tell us, what is your
6 A. I'm a housewife.
7 Q. And could you tell us, since when have you
8 been living in Pirici?
9 A. I have been living in Pirici since 1979.
10 Q. All the time?
11 A. All the time.
12 Q. Now, could you please tell us if you know
13 Vlatko Kupreskic and his family?
14 A. I know him very well indeed, and I knew them
15 in those years, both Vlatko and his family.
16 Q. If you remember, on the 16th of April, 1993,
17 that is, on the day of the conflict in Ahmici, could
18 you perhaps tell us, where were you on that day, and
19 what did you do then? Also, can you tell us if you saw
20 Vlatko Kupreskic that particular day?
21 A. That morning, around 5.00 or half past 5.00,
22 Niko Sakic came to wake us up and to tell us to go to
23 the shelter immediately. So I picked up my children in
24 a rush; we collected only the basic necessities. In
25 about five or six minutes we were at the shelter, and
1there we already found children and women and old
3 We stayed there. We went down to the lower
4 basement. We also went upstairs, and that is where I
5 saw Vlatko Kupreskic and his mother and his wife and
6 his two children. We stayed there that day, that
7 night, and the next day until the evening.
8 That day, around 10.00, an opportunity
9 presented itself. It was around breakfast time. I
10 remember we felt peckish, and I heard Vlatko say, "I
11 should go and see if my father is still alive; I should
12 go home." So then Vlatko went home, and around 4.00,
13 3.00 or 4.00, I again saw Vlatko come back and say that
14 his father was well and alive.
15 So we were still together, again looked for
16 shelter, then would come out, then would go back down
17 to the lower part of the basement because the toilet
18 was upstairs. So sometime in late afternoon, when
19 Vlatko's father came, and he was sitting upstairs next
20 to the door, because he was a sick man; he could barely
21 walk. He had a stick, and he was smoking. It was
22 difficult for him to come down to the basement, so he
23 was sitting on a bench next to the door, and I remember
24 well Vlatko's dad.
25 And so that was that. And that night we were
1there all together. In the morning, again, it was the
2 same thing, until the evening. And in the evening, we
3 saw that it became dangerous there, and we said, "We're
4 going to Rovna because it's not safe for us any more
6 We set off to Rovna all together. So we went
7 and reached Rovna, and there we dispersed, depending on
8 who would take us in. I went to Slavko Santic's house
9 with my family, and we stayed the night there, and
10 others stayed in other houses. We stayed the night
11 there, and in the morning, we again peered out to see
12 where was who, and how people had been put up, and I
13 saw Vlatko again, how he had brought some food for his
14 wife and children, and we saw him, as he had some
15 toiletries under his arm, and that was something that
16 we needed, and that is how I remembered him.
17 Well, and then --
18 Q. Yeah, all right, but how long did you stay in
20 A. I stayed in Rovna until noon or thereabouts,
21 and then I went to Vitez. I had my uncle there, my
22 husband's brother, and we spoke by telephone, and I
23 heard that one of my sons had fallen ill, and he went
24 to see a doctor in Vitez. He was running a very high
25 fever. So I moved from Rovna with the other children
1to Vitez, and there I found my son. He was ill; he was
2 given an infusion.
3 Then two or three days later my husband came,
4 and he told me to go home and that the children would
5 stay there. He said, "I haven't had any warm food for
6 so many days," so that I should go back with him to our
7 house to cook something for him. So we left our
8 children with my husband's brother, and my husband and
9 I went home.
10 Q. Let us go back a little, please, to that day
11 when you were still in the shelter. Let me just ask
12 you briefly: Do you remember Vlatko, when he came to
13 the shelter, what was he wearing, civilian or military
15 A. Vlatko was in civilian, absolutely. I do
16 remember his jacket, which was the colour of
18 Q. Did he have any weapons or something?
19 A. No, he did not have any weapons. He never
20 had any weapons.
21 Q. Right. I think that will suffice. Thank you
22 very much.
23 MR. KRAJINA: I have no further questions for
24 this witness. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any
1cross-examination by the Defence counsel? No?
2 Mr. Terrier?
3 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
5 Q. Good morning. My name is Franck Terrier, and
6 I shall ask you several questions on behalf of the
7 Prosecution with regard to your testimony.
8 Could you please tell us, where is your house
9 in Santici?
10 A. My house is above Niko Sakic's house, above
11 the road of Niko Sakic, in Pirici.
12 Q. Could you please be more specific: How far
13 is your house from Niko Sakic's house?
14 A. Well, about a minute's walk. Not more than
16 Q. You have told us about your family. Could
17 you tell us, who were members of your household at that
18 time? I'm talking about April '93. Who were the
19 members of your household at the time? Who was living
20 with you at the time?
21 A. I was living with my husband and my two
23 Q. Could you give me the name, the first name of
24 your husband, please?
25 A. Drago.
1Q. Could you give me the names and the age of
2 your two sons?
3 A. My older son is called Mirko; he was born in
4 1969. The other son was called Mladen, and he was born
5 in 1982.
6 Q. And your house, at the time when it happened,
7 were you and your two sons in the house?
8 A. Yes, we were all together in the house until
9 that morning. That morning, with the younger son, I
10 went to the shelter. My elder son was not feeling
11 well, so he stayed at home, and my husband also stayed
12 home. We had some cows, and we also had some lambs,
13 and they had to be fed. So my husband said, "You two
14 go, and we shall come later." This older son was
15 rather unwell at the time.
16 Q. At what time of the day did you see again
17 your husband and your elder son?
18 A. I did not see my elder son again until I went
19 from Rovna to Vitez. That day, when we were in the
20 shelter, my son was taken away to see a doctor in
21 Vitez, since he had fallen ill. He had a very high
22 fever. When I was in Rovna, then I spoke with my
23 brother-in-law by telephone, and he told me that I
24 should go to Vitez straight away because my elder son
25 had arrived and was staying with him, and he had been
1to see the doctor, and he was then back in my husband's
2 brother's house, bedridden there.
3 Q. Shall we be more precise? When did your son
4 who had fallen ill been to a doctor in Vitez? Which
5 day was that?
6 A. The first time, the 16th of April, that
7 morning when we went to the shelter, they stayed at
8 home, and that same day he fell ill and went to Vitez,
9 and I knew nothing about him.
10 I had no news of him until the evening of the
11 next day that we were spending at Rovna. And then the
12 next morning, I spoke to my brother-in-law in Vitez,
13 and that is what my brother-in-law told me. He told me
14 that the son had arrived that morning on the 16th; that
15 when we went to the shelter, that my son had gone to
17 Q. So it was the 16th of April, 1993, when your
18 eldest son, who was not feeling well, stayed at home
19 and then went to see a doctor in Vitez; is that so?
20 A. Yes, it is so. It is true, yes, because --
21 well, I'm not quite sure about who did he go with. How
22 did he go there, I don't know that. I don't really
23 remember that because it was so difficult to find out,
24 to find out the truth.
25 Q. Were there any weapons at your place?
1A. No, there were never any.
2 Q. Not even some hunting weapons?
3 A. No. There were no weapons at all.
4 Q. Was any member of your family a member of the
6 A. No, there were never. They never went to any
8 Q. Do you remember at what time, approximately,
9 and you may not remember, but at about what time did
10 you leave your home with your youngest son to go to the
12 A. It was around 5.00 or half past 5.00, and it
13 took us about five or six minutes to get to the
15 Q. When you arrived at the shelter, did the fire
16 already start?
17 A. When we got to the shelter, yes, there was
18 already shooting, and we sought shelter in the lower
19 part. Then when it abated slightly, we would come out
20 and look around, take a peek around, but very little we
21 did that. We spent it mostly downstairs. But we had
22 to go upstairs because the bathroom was upstairs, so we
23 would come out once in a while.
24 Q. Let me go back a little. Who was it that
25 told you to go to the shelter of Rebac's house rather
1than to some other place?
2 A. It was Niko Sakic who told us to go to Jozo
3 Vrebac's shelter, as it was the safest, it was well dug
4 into the ground and it was the best place, and we
5 really found that it was the place where we would feel
7 Q. Did Niko Sakic have any particular duty?
8 A. No, never. He was a man of rather advanced
9 age. I never saw him.
10 Q. Have you ever been to this shelter of Jozo
11 Vrebac before the 16th of April?
12 A. No, we were never. I was there before. When
13 there were planes, I was in Niko Sakic's shelter.
14 Q. So when you arrived in Vrebac's shelter, you
15 went down to the basement; is that so?
16 A. Yes, we were in the basement, and then we
17 came upstairs and we would spend some time upstairs.
18 As soon as the fire would abate, we would come up.
19 Then when there would be more intensive fire, we would
20 go downstairs. And then when it would calm down again,
21 we would come upstairs to get some milk because
22 children were not feeling well.
23 It was very close air there, and there were
24 some people who were ill there. For a while, we had
25 some electricity, but then the power was cut off, so
1candles had to be lit. And so we were spending time
2 there but then we wouldn't have enough air to breathe,
3 and they would come up and then go down again.
4 Q. Could you tell us, how many people were there
5 in the basement?
6 A. Oh, dear, who could tell that? I mean there
7 were so many of us, nobody counted them. But there
8 were very many people because it was really -- I mean
9 it was really the safest place. But there were very
10 many of us, and there were ill people and elderly and
11 women and children.
12 I also remember that same Vlatko's son was
13 sick, and he took him to the bathroom but he threw up
14 in the passage in the hallway, and I really felt very
15 sorry for that child. Somebody brought a towel to
16 clean it up. I felt very sorry, and Vlatko had him in
17 his lap as the child threw up. Of course, it was so
18 hard. I mean children, our children, after all. It
19 was very difficult. We were very distressed.
20 Q. I would like to show you a photograph, with
21 the help of the usher. It is D13/3.
22 I should like to ask you to look at all these
23 photographs and to confirm if that is the case, that
24 this is the house where you found shelter, and to tell
25 us whether you see the room in which you took shelter.
1A. No, it can't be seen here. That is the
2 house, that is the house (indicating). This is where I
3 saw Vlatko for the first time, on these steps
4 (indicating). He was smoking. Then we went in.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness use the
6 other microphone, please?
7 A. This is where the toilet is (indicating).
8 MR. TERRIER:
9 Q. To facilitate understanding, could you
10 indicate the number of the photograph you're talking
12 A. This is the first photograph showing Jozo
13 Vrebac's daughter's -- or rather son-in-law's house,
14 and that is where we entered. Then there are steps
15 leading to the basement. We stayed there. In the
16 hallway, the toilet is here (indicating). We would
17 come out to the steps sometimes. Then we would go back
18 inside to the basement. We would spend some time in
19 the rooms, when the shooting was not so intense, and we
20 would see each other. We spent a lot of time there
22 Q. Madam, could you tell us, on these
23 photographs, the place where you saw Vlatko Kupreskic
24 for the first time that morning?
25 A. Here (indicating) on these steps, I saw
1Vlatko Kupreskic smoking that morning. His wife and
2 children were in there (indicating). When I came out,
3 I saw them. Vlatko's father was in there. There was a
4 bench. He was next to the door, closer to the door, so
5 he would have more air. He smoked there, here in front
6 of the door (indicating).
7 Q. So that is where you saw him for the first
8 time. Who was the first to reach the shelter? Was it
9 you or his family?
10 A. One couldn't tell when people arrived. Just
11 the short period that we walked up and down, I remember
12 seeing Vlatko in the morning. It can't have been long
13 after I arrived, because when I went to the toilet, I
14 saw Vlatko, his wife, the two children. His father had
15 still been at home.
16 Then he left again around 10.00, Vlatko did,
17 and he saw that his father was alive. In the
18 afternoon, they brought him over, and all of us stayed
19 there in this shelter.
20 Q. So that things are quite clear, when you saw
21 Vlatko Kupreskic for the first time that morning, you
22 were already in the shelter for some time, weren't you?
23 A. I came in and out. We weren't in one place.
24 We would move around. We were all nervous. It was
25 hard for us. It wasn't just the simple case of going
1downstairs and sitting there. You had to walk around.
2 This was the first time in our life. We never were
3 exposed to such danger before, until then.
4 Q. I understand very well, madam. Could you
5 still tell us more clearly, for how long had you been
6 in the shelter when you saw Vlatko Kupreskic?
7 A. Well, who could tell? It wasn't long. It
8 was soon after that. We looked around to see who was
9 there, who had arrived, who had stayed on at home.
10 That was how it was. And all of us who were close, we
11 would rally there, and that is where we got together.
12 There were a lot of us.
13 Q. Did you have a watch, madam?
14 A. A watch? Yes, I do have a watch. You mean
15 did I have a watch then?
16 Q. Yes. Yes, that is my question, at the time.
17 A. I didn't have a watch, but I knew roughly the
18 morning, when it was morning, then noon, afternoon. We
19 could tell by the light. I didn't look at my watch. I
20 didn't have one, anyway. I may have asked somebody
21 what time it was.
22 Q. But you had a very approximate notion of the
23 time; morning, midday, afternoon. These are rough
24 estimates; you would agree with me?
25 A. Yes, roughly. I think it was about 10.00,
1because the children were already hungry, they wanted
2 to have something to eat, and somebody would give
3 something to one child, somebody to another. Whatever
4 we had, we shared. So this was about breakfast time.
5 Then I heard Vlatko saying that he wanted to
6 go and see whether his father was alive, and Vlatko
7 left. We stayed on in the same way, and then I saw
8 Vlatko again in the afternoon, perhaps it was 3.00 or
9 4.00, and he said that his father was alive.
10 Then he brought his father towards the
11 evening. We spent the night there. We were all
12 together. No one went anywhere then.
13 Q. Allow me to interrupt you to go back to this
14 question of time.
15 If I understood you well, you said that
16 Vlatko Kupreskic left the shelter around 10.00 on the
17 basis of the fact that it was the time for breakfast,
18 and you said it was time for breakfast because the
19 children were hungry?
20 A. Yes. That is what I think it was. I hope it
21 was about 10.00 when we had sort of calmed down, the
22 shooting had subsided a little, and then we thought we
23 would give the children something to eat, and that is
24 how I saw Vlatko then. It was about 10.00, not more.
25 But I saw him before that, too, in the morning. But it
1was then that he went to see his father, about 10.00.
2 Q. Did you always have Vlatko Kupreskic in sight
3 or would it be possible for him to be absent for a time
4 before this moment that you said was 10.00 when he
6 A. He didn't go anywhere. Vlatko was there with
7 us, his wife and children. Where would he go and leave
8 his wife and children and mother behind? Where could
9 he go? We were all there together, protecting each
10 other. The only thing was that he thought about his
11 father, who he had left at home, and so about 10.00 he
12 went back to see whether his father was alive. Then he
13 said that his father was alive and well, and he came
14 back about 3.00 or 4.00. I think that is when I saw
15 him, about that time. Then he went back again to fetch
16 his father, and they came, and we stayed there
18 Q. Allow me to ask you whether it is customary
19 to have breakfast at 10.00 in the morning.
20 A. Well, you see, it depends on the habits. It
21 wasn't customary. It depended how every household was
22 run. Some people eat earlier on, some later. But as
23 everything was upset, so nobody ate regularly. People
24 ate when they could and when it was quieter. When the
25 children became hungry, they asked for something to
2 Q. Madam, I think that you said a moment ago
3 that there were some sick people in this shelter. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes, there were people who were ill.
6 Q. However, but not your son -- why didn't they
7 go to see a doctor, like your son did?
8 A. My son was younger. These people were
9 elderly, and they had been ill for some time. A woman
10 called Jela, her daughter was with her. She kept
11 giving her medicine, and they brought her in a
12 wheelbarrow to the shelter. So we didn't know what to
13 do with her afterwards. She was very ill. Jela
14 Vidovic was her name.
15 Q. Weren't you surprised not to see Vlatko
16 Kupreskic's father?
17 A. The father wasn't there in the morning
18 straightaway. He came towards nightfall on that day.
19 Q. I know that Vlatko Kupreskic's father was not
20 there in the shelter in the morning, but my question is
21 the following: My question was weren't you surprised
22 not to see Vlatko Kupreskic's father?
23 A. Well, we knew that he was ill, and why he
24 didn't come immediately, perhaps he still felt safe
25 staying on in his house. Who knows? So he stayed
1behind. He didn't come that morning. He only came
2 towards evening.
3 But Jela was brought over because she was
4 totally bedridden. And there was some others who were
5 elderly and sick, and we were all there under those
6 very difficult conditions.
7 Q. So what you're telling us is that it is
8 possible, from your point of view, that Vlatko
9 Kupreskic's father felt he was safer staying at home
10 than coming to the shelter?
11 A. Well, I can't tell you -- I can't know now.
12 How do I know what the man thought? I can't remember
13 that. I just remember when I saw him. As to what his
14 decision was, I don't know. We fled, each as best they
15 could. Nobody looked at others, where people were
16 running or going. We ran away to the closest safe
18 Q. What did your husband do during that day?
19 A. On that day I stayed at home; I didn't see
20 him until he came to fetch me in Vitez to take me
21 home. We hadn't heard or seen each other. He said,
22 "You go with the others," that I should flee to
23 protect the children, and he stayed on to take care of
24 the cows, the lambs. He said he would stay at home.
25 So I didn't see him again until we reached Vitez, his
2 Q. Did your husband tell you what he had done in
3 the course of that day?
4 A. I never asked him. The important thing was
5 that we saw each other, that we were alive and well.
6 That is all we cared about. And then he said that I
7 should go home with him and leave the children there
8 because it was safer in Vitez than in the village.
9 Q. So he never said anything about what he had
10 done in the course of that day, and you never asked him
11 the question?
12 A. No, I never asked him anything. I just got
13 ready and went home with him, and the children stayed
14 behind. Those were hard times.
15 Q. You mean that you left Vitez to return to
16 Santici, leaving the children in Vitez?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. On what date did you return home?
19 A. Well, after spending the night in Rovna, the
20 next day, in the evening, I went to Vitez. I spent
21 only one night in Vitez. I saw my son then, and we
22 stayed there about two days. Two days later my husband
23 came. He came on foot, via Rijeka, and he said that we
24 should also go through Rijeka because it was safer, and
25 we returned home to give him a cooked meal. He said he
1hadn't eaten anything, just some dry rations. And that
2 is how the children stayed on for a while.
3 Q. So you returned home on the Tuesday or
4 Wednesday following the 16th of April, which was a
6 A. We fled on the Friday, the 16th, then came
7 Saturday, Sunday evening, and then we spent the
8 night -- one night in Rovna, and the next evening we
9 went to Vitez, where we stayed one or two days; I'm not
10 sure about that. I know that my husband came shortly
11 after that to see how my son was, because he was still
12 very ill, and he said that I should go home. What day
13 it was I really cannot recollect exactly, because one
14 gets confused about the days.
15 Q. You confuse days and times, yet you know what
16 time Vlatko Kupreskic left the shelter at Jozo Vrebac's
18 A. I got there about 5.00, 5.30, and maybe
19 15 minutes or half an hour later, on the outside, I
20 didn't see him. We left our bags, we looked around the
21 basement, and we immediately came back upstairs, and
22 that is when I saw him on the steps, smoking. His wife
23 was there and his children were there and his mother,
24 and that is how it was.
25 Q. Madam, when you went back to your home at the
1request of your husband, in the week that followed the
2 16th of April, what was the situation like in the
3 village? What did you see?
4 A. I didn't see anything. We would work a
5 little, we would do planting in the garden, when there
6 was no shooting. When the shooting started, we would
7 seek shelter. We looked after the lambs, we fed the
8 cow. At night time, again, the few of us that were in
9 a village would get together in one house and spend the
10 night, to be together, and that is how we lived through
11 those times. It was terrible.
12 Q. Do you remember the people who were in the
13 village in this period that you have just described?
14 A. I do remember. I remember Gavro; he was my
15 neighbour. Brnada. We went to spend the night at his
16 place. Gavro had his uncle, so we would stay there.
17 It was safer there, so we spent the night there, at his
18 place, for a couple of nights.
19 Q. Do you remember the date when you saw Vlatko
20 Kupreskic again, and his family?
21 A. My husband, later, we just stayed at home.
22 We couldn't see each other much; only the people close
23 by we saw from time to time. People hid and sought
24 protection, so I don't know anything more about Vlatko
25 and his family -- at the time, while the shooting went
1on, and while the war continued. Afterwards, we saw
2 each other again, we would see each other.
3 Q. Thank you, madam.
4 MR. TERRIER: I have no further questions,
5 Mr. President.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Krajina?
8 MR. KRAJINA: I have no additional questions,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: We don't have any questions.
11 So I assume the witness may be released.
12 Madam, thank you. You may be released.
13 (The witness withdrew)
14 JUDGE CASSESE: While we are waiting for the
15 next witness, on behalf of the Court, I can tell
16 Counsel Susak that, indeed, we will resume on the 21st
17 of June, and we will be sitting the whole of that
18 week. However, the following week, we can't sit in
19 Kupreskic because we have another case and then the
20 plenary meeting, so there will be a gap. So we will,
21 as I say, sit in this case only in the week starting on
22 the 21st of June, for one week. We will resume, then,
23 in July, the week starting on the Monday, 5th of July,
24 until the 23rd.
25 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President. I just
1wanted to hear from Your Honours whether the witnesses
2 of Drago Josipovic will be able to testify in this
3 period from the 21st to the 25th of June this year. So
4 thank you.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
6 (The witness entered court)
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mrs. Vidovic.
8 Would you please make the solemn declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may sit
14 Counsel Krajina?
15 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 WITNESS: FIKRETA VIDOVIC
17 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
18 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Vidovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Will you please tell the Court your name, the
21 date of your birth, your place of residence, and what
22 you do.
23 A. I'm Fikreta Vidovic, born on the 23rd of
24 April, 1944, in Vitez, Bosnia and Herzegovina. My
25 parents are Muslims. I have no specific ethnicity.
1I'm an educator. I am at present in Santici elementary
2 school in Dubravica.
3 Q. Thank you. Tell us, do you know Vlatko
4 Kupreskic and his family?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. How long have you known them?
7 A. I've known him since his first grade in
8 school. I was his teacher from the first to the fourth
9 grade. And after that, of course, I watched him grow
10 up. I was also his brother's -- or rather his sister's
11 teacher; he doesn't have a brother. And I've always --
12 and the relations between his family and myself --
13 well, you know, I'm a teacher, and they were his
14 parents, and we were quite close because I was really
15 keeping an eye on how he grew up.
16 Q. (No translation)
17 A. Well, he was rather a different pupil,
18 because he had had heart surgery in his second grade,
19 so he was two months behind, in other words, so that I
20 would take his homework back home, or whatever we had
21 done at school, I would take it to his home so that he
22 could keep pace with us. After that, at the
23 recommendation of physicians, he didn't have to do any
24 physical culture, any exercises. So I had to keep him
25 apart, and I would do some light exercises, physical
1exercises, with him, or simply separate him from other
2 children because of that.
3 Q. Thank you, madam. Could you please tell us
4 -- I presume you do have an opinion of that boy. What
5 do you think about him as a man, the character, the
6 kind of man, his behaviour before the war, and even
7 during the war and after that. Could you please tell
8 us something about him?
9 A. Well, since I did really follow how he grew
10 up, and it wasn't all that easy with us to go to the
11 university and complete one's studies, when you come
12 from a modest family, as his was. So we did, yes, keep
13 in touch. We would meet in the street, or I went to
14 visit his parents, or when they would come to visit me,
15 then I would always ask them, "Well, how is Vlatko? Is
16 he all right?" And I was happy to hear that he got
17 married, and then when he had his first child, that is,
18 a girl, Milena, and things like that.
19 After that, I was his son's teacher, so I can
20 say only the best about Vlatko. He was a child that
21 every parent would want to have, a friend that anybody
22 would like to have as a friend, a person who would
23 never hurt a fly. He is really the best of sons, the
24 best of friends, and he always worked hand in hand with
25 his neighbours, was co-operative with -- always lent a
1hand to his neighbours. He had very broad circles of
2 friends. I don't think anybody could hold anything
3 against him.
4 Q. Will you also give us your impression, or
5 your opinion, as to Vlatko's attitude to other people
6 in his milieu, in his environment, especially people of
7 different ethnic origin; and also, if you know anything
8 about that, what was his attitude towards Muslims, his
9 neighbours and others?
10 A. Well, I do have my opinion about that. I
11 used to say he was a humanist. He was man who never
12 paid any attention to what particular ethnic group
13 somebody came from. He only wanted to know if somebody
14 was a good or a bad man, just as we all did. So he
15 always lent a hand and worked together with his
16 neighbours, Muslims, and I don't think any one of them
17 could have any bad opinion about him or say anything
18 bad about his work or about what he did or how he did
19 it, because whatever he did, he always helped and was
20 cooperative as a man and neighbour.
21 Q. You're an educator, you're a teacher. In
22 that particular environment, you must have had a rather
23 broad circle of acquaintances, and you must be often in
24 touch with people from the area. So could you tell us
25 if you have heard anyone, ever, say anything bad about
1Vlatko Kupreskic, about how he behaved before the war,
2 during, or after the war?
3 A. No, I have never heard anything of the sort.
4 Q. You told us you are a teacher at the
5 elementary school in Ahmici, so could you tell us,
6 prior to the 16th of April, '93, until when could you
7 have regular instruction?
8 A. I do remember very well that day because that
9 was when my daughter returned. We had classes between
10 13.00 and 15.45. We had to cut down, of course, on the
11 schedule, because of the shelling, so we cut down the
12 classes, and the instruction -- we did sustain the
13 instruction somehow, but we had to have shorter classes
14 so the children could get back before -- get home
15 before dark.
16 Q. You are referring to the period before that?
17 A. Yes, I'm saying about the 15th of April, we
18 had regular classes.
19 Q. So regular classes on the 15th of April, you
20 said, between 13.00 till 15.45?
21 A. Yes, 15.45.
22 Q. Did you have both children of Croat and
23 Muslim ethnicity present?
24 A. Yes, all those children attended classes on
25 that day.
1Q. So it was regular instruction?
2 A. Yes, it was. We also asked parents, called
3 parents; we were asking them to work with the children,
4 pay more attention, because the end of the term was
5 coming near, so that on that particular day we had a
6 meeting with parents to tell them to pay more attention
7 to these children in view of all the circumstances, and
8 that was that.
9 Q. So -- right. Did everything look normal to
10 you these days, I mean, at school, in your
11 conversations with parents, and all that, as far as you
13 A. As far as I know, yes, it was.
14 Q. A while ago you mentioned that your daughter
15 had come from a foreign country. Could you tell us,
16 what country did your daughter come from, and when was
17 it that she came back to Ahmici?
18 A. When the shelling of Vitez started, my
19 daughter left -- or rather two days before the Vitezit
20 was shelled, she went to Paris, to my brother, because
21 she was afraid. She had small children, and she was a
22 single mother, and we wanted to protect her because she
23 was afraid. It was major psychological stress. She
24 had gone to Paris, and she was in Paris -- that was
25 Monday when she arrived in Split, so it could have been
1the 13th -- or perhaps the 14th; I can't really
2 remember the date. But in any event, she arrived in
3 Split on Monday. My husband went to fetch her by car,
4 and on Rostovo there was some block, and then he
5 returned the next day home.
6 Q. So if I understood you properly, your
7 daughter returned from Paris to Ahmici on the 15th?
8 A. Yes, but when we talked, she said, "You know,
9 it's safe enough, and I can't live without you; I want
10 to come back home." And that was that. That was --
11 Q. And you thought it was safe enough for her to
12 come back home?
13 A. Yes, indeed, we thought it was quite all
14 right. Otherwise we would have talked her out of
15 coming back.
16 Q. You said that Vlatko had had a heart
17 operation when he was a small boy?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know any further consequences of that
20 surgery? What was his health after that? What do you
21 know about that?
22 A. I know when that time before the military
23 service came, I know he was relieved of the military
24 service with the Yugoslav People's Army because of his
25 heart condition, because he was a special case, because
1he had had this heart operation, and it was one of
2 those serious health problems for which you could be
3 relieved of the military service, from serving their
4 term with the army.
5 Q. And only two brief questions more; we shall
6 be over in our time, Mrs. Vidovic. Could you tell us
7 something about something that I guess you have some
8 knowledge about, since you were -- you came from the
9 area, and you did follow what happened to your former
10 pupil: Do you know if, at any time whatsoever, Vlatko
11 was active in politics, was engaged in politics, was he
12 a member of any political party organisation, or
14 A. I can tell you, because I did talk to him
15 about these things, and the situation was like that.
16 No, he was absolutely indifferent to it. He simply
17 didn't want to talk about that. There were more of us
18 like that -- I mean, people who were not interested in
19 politics at all, and Vlatko is one of those people who
20 are completely indifferent to politics. He simply
21 looked -- you know, about bread, as we put it in our
22 country; that is, business, economy, things like that.
23 He was completely indifferent to politics.
24 Q. Just one question more: Have you ever seen
25 Vlatko wearing a uniform or carrying weapons?
1A. No. Never.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Mrs. Vidovic. I have no
3 further questions for you.
4 MR. KRAJINA: I have completed my examination
5 of this witness, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Krajina.
7 Yes, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
8 MR. PAVKOVIC: Excuse me, Mr. Susak also
9 would like to ask some questions. Sorry, I didn't
10 know. So it is Mr. Susak and then
11 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Counsel Susak?
13 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
15 Q. I should like to ask you a few questions
16 only, Mrs. Vidovic. Would you please tell us, where is
17 your house, precisely?
18 A. My house is in Santici, about 20 metres away
19 from the main Travnik/Lasva road.
20 Q. Or in other words, the Vitez/Kaonik road?
21 A. Yes, you're right.
22 Q. So you are by the road, and across the road,
23 whose houses are they? Do you know which were Ramiz,
24 Nazif Ahmic houses, and others?
25 A. Yes.
1Q. What is their position in relation to your
3 A. Well, I would say that one is to the
4 south-east and the other one south-west, if I may say
5 so. Across from my house is a meadow. That is, if I
6 look from my house, in relation to -- below my house.
7 Q. I'll help you. You said that your house was
8 by the road, and across the road are some houses
9 belonging to --
10 A. Ramiz, Nazif, and the third Ahmic house.
11 Q. How far from the road are they, from your
13 A. Well, I should say as far from the road as
14 mine is. That was the plan. You couldn't build it
15 right next by the road; there had to be a distance of
16 at least 20 metres from the road. That is where you
17 could build.
18 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, I was in your yard and I was
19 over there. Could you tell us how far are these houses
20 away from the road? How far from the road are these
21 houses, because they are farther away from the road
22 than your house?
23 A. Well, they could have been less than 20
24 metres, they could have been more than 20 metres away,
25 so that it could be 30 metres or so. I've never
1measured it. I never had any need to. But a bit
2 farther away from the road than my houses.
3 Q. Is it more or less than 50 metres?
4 A. Well, thereabouts. Could be about 50 metres.
5 Q. By the road, in relation to Ramiz and Nazif
6 Ahmics' and other Ahmics' house, is there a hedge?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you describe the hedge?
9 A. Well, it's green. They planted it as
10 protection from dust. We call it shrubbery.
11 Q. How tall is it?
12 A. Well, it's up to a metre, because they
13 trimmed it. Now, of course, it's much, much taller.
14 Q. Do you know the houses of Musafer Puscul and
15 Hasim Ahmic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How far are these houses from the road,
19 A. About 30 metres, but they are, well -- no, I
20 never had an eye for these distances.
21 Q. So you mean they are closer, that the houses
22 of Hasim Ahmic and Musafer Puscul are, in fact, also
23 houses very close to the road?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. That Ogrjev or, rather, the storage space of
1Ogrjev is near your house?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Was there a kind of village road between
4 Hasim Ahmic's house and Ogrjev storage space?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where did this path lead?
7 A. It led to a shop, and we also used it as a
8 shortcut to the school.
9 Q. Across that path, across that village road,
10 is there a fence, or does that railing fencing engulf
11 the storage space of Ogrjev?
12 A. Well, I know there is a fence, but I didn't
13 really pay any attention to that.
14 MR. SUSAK: I see. Right, thank you.
15 I have no further questions, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.
19 Good morning, Mrs. Vidovic. I also have a
20 few questions only.
21 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
22 Q. Do you know Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know their families?
25 A. Yes, I do; father, mother, sister, the two of
2 Q. Were you friends with their parents and their
3 families throughout this time?
4 A. Yes, yes. Ever since I began working there
5 to this day, we've always been friends, I suppose we
6 would call it, very good friends.
7 Q. Right. Could you tell us, what kind of a
8 family was it, since you were on close terms with
9 them? What kind of parents were they? And Zoran and
10 Mirjan Kupreskic, how were they brought up?
11 A. It is a nice, modest family, and their goal
12 in life was to bring up their children, to provide them
13 with as much education as they could afford. And I
14 think they even went beyond that, because this is a
15 rather humble family and only the father worked, and
16 there were three children who practically went to
17 school at one and the same time, and they needed a lot
18 of money to provide it for them.
19 It was a family which devoted all their life
20 of putting their children straight, bringing them up
21 and giving them as much schooling as they could.
22 As I said, they came from very humble
23 origins, but then they were provided with secondary
24 education, and then they found jobs and continued their
25 studies and started standing on their own feet.
1Q. While you were there in Ahmici, as you were
2 in touch with them, their families and themselves, were
3 there ever any problems? Were they problem children?
4 A. No, never. The children spent all their
5 leisure time playing music. I don't think that people
6 who play music, like musical select people, it is
7 simply beyond me how somebody who opts for such a way
8 of life can hold any grudge against somebody else for
9 whatever reason. That is what I think.
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: All right. Thank you
11 very much. Thank you.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
14 Yes, Counsel Pavkovic.
15 MR. PAVKOVIC: Excuse me, Mr. President. I
16 also indicated I would have a question, also a comment
17 to make.
18 Good morning, I'm Petar Pavkovic. I'm a
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
21 Q. You said that your daughter came back from
22 Paris on the eve of these events. She left because she
23 was afraid, and she returned --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said, "Yes, she
25 thought it was safe."
2 Q. You said you were a teacher, which means that
3 you necessarily communicate with very many people?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you agree with me that you were a person
6 who was well informed or, rather, better informed than
7 many other people in that place where you communicated
8 with many people?
9 A. Well, it depends. It depends on what -- on
10 the subject.
11 Q. I mean generally.
12 A. Well, I'm a person who never meddled in
13 politics and I was completely indifferent to politics.
14 My concern were children, so it was the children, it
15 was cooperating with their parents, rather that humane
16 side of it. And it was -- by and large, it was that
17 particular field, of course, of life that I was very
18 familiar with where I lived and where I still live.
19 Q. You were with your daughter immediately after
20 she -- before she left, and you also kept in touch with
21 her. You told her that the situation was such that
22 she -- it was safe for her to come back? That was how
23 you saw it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So on the 14th of April, you had regular
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you. I have no further
4 questions. Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill.
6 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Mrs. Vidovic, good afternoon to you. My name
8 is Michael Blaxill, and I am one of the prosecuting
9 counsel working on this case. I have just a very few
10 questions I would like to ask you, madam, if I may.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Will you please slow down
12 for the interpreters, Mr. Blaxill?
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
14 Q. Could you tell me, you introduced yourself as
15 an elementary school teacher in Dubravica. Is that
16 where you actually practised your profession, or is
17 that your residence, or both? I just want to be clear
18 in my own mind.
19 A. Dubravica is the central school and Ahmici
20 had a subsidiary school, and I live in Santici, which
21 is a locality between Ahmici and Dubravica.
22 Q. Thank you. You said there was the sub-school
23 in Ahmici. Were there any other schools in that
24 immediate vicinity, in Pirici or Santici, or was that
25 the only school?
1A. At the time, it was the only school in that
2 part, in Dubravica.
3 Q. By the date the 15th of April, 1993, had any
4 other bodies of people or groups used the premises of
5 the school in Ahmici? Was it used by anybody else
6 other than just the school?
7 A. There was a humanitarian -- a room in school
8 was used for the humanitarian food distribution. It
9 was a classroom. It was our classroom. I believe the
10 principal gave the authorisation, because somebody had
11 to do it if we were to be left without a classroom. I
12 do not know which humanitarian organisation was it, but
13 I know it was a humanitarian body which then
14 distributed flour and other food items amongst the
16 Q. To your knowledge, madam, do you know whether
17 any form of military people used the school premises up
18 to and including the 15th of April, 1993?
19 A. As far as -- no. As far as I know, no. You
20 know, my working hours were between 13.00 to 15.45, and
21 then I would go home. Outside those hours, I had
22 nothing to do with the school, because my house is a
23 little bit further away from the school.
24 Q. You say that you held normal class on the
25 15th of April, 1993; is that correct?
2 Q. Did you have the full number of children,
3 both Croat children and Muslim children, at the classes
4 that day?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When, madam, were you able to -- when did the
7 school reopen to teach children after the 16th of
8 April, 1993?
9 A. You mean the school in Ahmici?
10 Q. Yes, madam.
11 A. It wasn't open, because it had been
13 Q. Do you recall -- just educate me in this, if
14 you would, ma'am. Do you agree that the school
15 premises were close to the premises of the -- I think
16 it's the lower mosque in Ahmici. Were they near each
18 A. Yes, quite close. Yes, quite near, or
19 relatively. You know, two metres, five metres. I
20 really don't have an eye for that. But, yes, they were
22 Q. Again, I appreciate you worked very short
23 hours in Ahmici for your teaching, but do you recall
24 seeing the presence of any military-type people in or
25 around the mosque on the 15th of April, 1993?
1A. No, I did not.
2 Q. Just one final point, if I may.
3 You've described your contacts with the
4 Kupreskic family over the years and enquiring after the
5 health and prosperity and how Vlatko Kupreskic was
6 doing. Did you have, in fact, much personal contact
7 with Vlatko himself? Did you socialise together at
8 all, or was your interest that of just a former teacher
9 who kept in touch with the family and that's the kind
10 of contact you had?
11 A. It is a practice I pursue. I keep in touch
12 with my pupils as long as they are there on the spot,
13 so that I really try to see how they are moving on.
14 Then I teach their children. So we do keep -- so that
15 we continue on good terms.
16 And with Vlatko, yes, I did keep in touch,
17 and I did communicate with him whenever he was around,
18 because he plays music and all that and we talked about
19 these things, and I liked that.
20 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you very much. That's
21 all I have to ask. Thank you, ma'am, and thank you,
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
24 Counsel Krajina?
25 MR. KRAJINA: I don't have any additional
1questions, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: We don't have any questions
4 I think there's no objection to the witness
5 being released.
6 Madam, thank you so much for coming here to
7 give evidence in court. You may now be released.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: We can probably move on to
11 our next witness.
12 Yes, Counsel Krajina.
13 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, we do not have
14 any more witnesses here. We have one more witness, but
15 we planned him for tomorrow, and he is to answer
16 questions as to count 2. We really did not expect that
17 it would be all so expedient and quick today.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Actually, I take
19 this opportunity to commend both Counsel Krajina and
20 Counsel Par, on behalf of the Court, for being so
21 concise and to the point, and thanks to your being so,
22 so that the pace of our proceedings has changed.
23 So that means for today, we don't have any
24 witness, so we will then adjourn until tomorrow at
1Tomorrow, only one witness? Counsel Krajina,
2 you have only one?
3 MR. KRAJINA: Yes, Mr. President, and thank
4 you very much for the kind words you addressed to us.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: We were wondering about the
6 witness --
7 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I apologise for
8 interrupting you. The rhythm -- the pace has changed,
9 evidently, and I need to see when my witnesses will be
11 Now my accused urges me to ask if this
12 schedule, as we agreed for the week of June 21st to
13 26th, does it still hold or not? The accused would
14 like to know.
15 MR. PAR: If I also may add something,
16 evidently it depends also on our defence and the
17 sequence of witnesses, I should like to tell you what
18 we are planning to do.
19 We have envisaged two groups of witnesses.
20 With the first group, we shall finish tomorrow, and we
21 have yet another set of witnesses. Next week, we are
22 expecting seven witnesses. Four of them are expert
23 witnesses. We are envisaging to complete our defence
24 next week, and the rest -- I think by the 4th of June,
25 I believe, we will have finished.
1We have witnesses as to count 2. These are
2 expert witnesses. On that occasion, we shall also be
3 showing several videotapes.
4 To our mind, according to our reckoning, and
5 of course it is based only on our plan, we do not know
6 how much time the Prosecution will take, but we think
7 that we shall fill in that whole week until the 4th of
9 Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you, Counsel
11 Par. I think this is a good plan.
12 So tomorrow we will hear one witness only,
13 Mr. Vidovic, Stipan Vidovic, and then, if I understood
14 you correctly, seven witnesses next week, and then you
15 will have finished your case.
16 Then on the 21st of June, we will start with
17 the witnesses to be called by Counsel Susak. Is that
18 fine with you?
19 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President. You've
20 helped me a great deal with this. Thank you.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much.
22 So we'll adjourn now until tomorrow at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
24 12.00 p.m., to be reconvened on
25 Friday, the 28th day of May, 1999,
1at 9.00 a.m.