1 Friday, 28th May 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case 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.
11 Counsel Krajina?
12 MR. KRAJINA: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 Mr. President, may I be allowed to submit a
14 list of witnesses that we plan to hear next week?
15 I have to inform you that we contacted
16 witness Dragan Samija and that this witness is unable
17 to travel to The Hague for the reasons we disclosed to
18 you earlier on, and that is the consequences of a
19 serious traffic accident of his family. The reasons
20 are such that we doubt that he will be able to come
21 even later on, but we will see.
22 The list of witnesses for next week consists
23 of seven names, four of whom are expert witnesses and
24 three Court witnesses.
25 Could I ask the usher for his assistance so
1that I can give this list to the Trial Chamber, the
2 Prosecution and my colleagues on the Defence Counsel.
3 (Trial Chamber confers)
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much,
5 Counsel Krajina.
6 I gather that the Victims and Witnesses Unit
7 would like to know, for witnesses who are coming here
8 in the future, to know all the details of their
9 passport and number of passport and so on, I think, to
10 make the necessary arrangements. Probably you have
11 already been told. Yes. But this probably does not
12 apply to the seven witnesses.
13 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, we have
14 completed all the proceedings with the Victims and
15 Witnesses Unit, and there are no problems.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we can now --
17 Mr. Terrier?
18 MR. TERRIER: Just a brief remark, Your
19 Honour, if you'll allow me to do so, as to the order in
20 which the witnesses will be heard.
21 I have the impression, but I don't know
22 whether we can proceed in this way today, that some
23 factual witnesses which are not experts, they are going
24 to come and tell us where one of the victims included
25 in the indictment was hit, that one of those victims
1should be heard by the Tribunal before the experts can
2 be heard because the latter will draw some conclusions
3 as to the location where the acts were perpetrated.
4 To be frank, I have the feeling that
5 Witnesses 4, 5 and probably 6 should be heard before we
6 hear Expert number 1, Expert number 2 and Expert
7 number 3. If that is not feasible, well, it won't be
8 feasible. But for proceedings to be clear, I think it
9 would be preferable.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you very much.
11 Counsel Krajina, you've heard the comments by
12 the Prosecutor. I think his comments --
13 MR. KRAJINA: Yes, Mr. President. We have
14 also thought about the question of the order, and I
15 would agree that as suggested by the Prosecutor, that
16 would be a better sequence. But we were unable to
17 engage the witnesses on different dates because the
18 people are busy with regular duties, and these were the
19 only dates when they were available. But when they
20 arrive, we can try and shift them around, if possible.
21 But the order depended exclusively on the expert
22 witnesses and their availability.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes, I do
24 understand your position, but I mean could you please
25 try, in any case, to comply with the Prosecutor's
1request, because it seems to me it's very sensible.
2 Thank you.
3 We can now move on to our witness.
4 Good morning. May I ask you to make the
5 solemn declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
11 Counsel Krajina.
12 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you.
13 WITNESS: STIPAN VIDOVIC
14 Examined by Mr. Krajina:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Stipan. Can you hear me
17 MR. KRAJINA: The witness is hard of hearing,
18 so could the volume be increased in his headphones,
19 please, Mr. Usher?
20 Q. Stipan, can you hear me now a little better?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it all right now?
23 A. Even a little louder, if possible.
24 Q. Is that fine now?
25 A. Yes, it's fine now. Thank you.
1Q. Mr. Stipan, will you please tell the Court
2 your first and last name, your date of birth, where you
4 A. My name is Stipan Vidovic. I was born in
5 Pirici, Vitez municipality. I was born in 1932.
6 Q. Are you still living where you were born?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What is your occupation?
9 A. I am retired.
10 Q. In the locality in which you live, was that
11 where you lived before the war, during the war and
12 after the war?
13 A. I have been living there ever since I was
15 Q. Mr. Vidovic, let us now try and think about
16 the day of the conflict, the 16th of April, 1993.
17 So tell us, please, on that morning, the 16th
18 of April, 1993, when did you wake up and what did you
19 do that day?
20 A. I woke up -- you mean on the eve of the
22 Q. On the 16th, in the morning, the day of the
24 A. I woke up at 4.30.
25 Q. Who woke you up?
1A. My wife.
2 Q. Tell us now briefly, what happened, what you
3 did that day, where you went?
4 A. My wife woke me up and told me that we had to
5 flee some 300 or 400 metres away to a shelter. So we
6 stayed there that day until nightfall.
7 When darkness fell, they told us we shouldn't
8 stay there either, so we moved another 300 metres away
9 to another house, and we spent the night there, one
10 night, and the next day.
11 Then from there, again they said that we
12 should go farther away, and we went to Rovna.
13 Q. Now tell us, whose was the first house you
14 went to and the second house?
15 A. The first house was Niko Sakic's, and the
16 second was Niko Vidovic's.
17 Q. From there, then you went on to Rovna?
18 A. Fine.
19 Q. Now, will you please tell us, Mr. Vidovic,
20 whether you knew Fata Pezer?
21 A. Yes, I did. She was my next-door neighbour.
22 Q. So you knew her well?
23 A. I knew her very well.
24 Q. Did you find, in Ahmici, the body of Fata
1A. Another two men found her and they told me,
2 so I went over there to see who it was.
3 Q. Now tell us about that?
4 A. I went there. I recognised that it was
5 Fata. She was wearing peasant's shoes, woollen socks,
6 pantaloons, a yellow sweater, and a scarf around her
7 head. Then I came home and told my wife and the others
8 who it was. They informed the Red Cross. The Red
9 Cross came and took the body away, but I didn't see
10 them do that.
11 Q. Could you tell us, who told you about that
13 A. Jure Vrebac and someone called Karlo whose
14 surname I don't know.
15 Q. Where was that corpse?
16 A. It was just behind Fata's house, about 150
17 metres away in the wood.
18 Q. Very well. Now, tell us, do you know what
19 happened with that body?
20 A. I think it was the Red Cross that took it
22 Q. Tell us, how did you recognise that it was
23 Fata Pezer?
24 A. Well, I knew her from before, and I
25 recognised her immediately as Fata Pezer.
1Q. Did you see any injuries or wounds on her
3 A. On her left hand, I could see some scratches
4 and a few dried-up blots of blood. I looked to see
5 whether there was any blood on her clothes, but I
6 didn't see any.
7 Q. When was this?
8 A. It was about 10 or 12 days later.
9 Q. What was the body like? Was it swollen?
10 A. Yes, it was swollen.
11 Q. Had you heard before then that Fata had been
13 A. No.
14 Q. Very well. I should now like to ask you,
15 Mr. Vidovic, to discuss in some detail the position
16 where you found Fata Pezer's body. In May, or to be
17 more precise on the 29th of May last year, we made a
18 video recording in Ahmici when you showed us the spot
19 where you found the body of Fata Pezer. So we are now
20 going to look at that video recording together, and
21 then I'm going to ask you a few more questions.
22 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, with your leave,
23 may we play this video clip, which will only take a
24 couple of minutes? It is very brief. And after that,
25 I would like to ask the usher to give the tape to the
1technical booth together with the transcript.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This video recording will be
3 marked D45/3. The transcript will be marked D46/3.
4 MR. KRAJINA:
5 We're going to see it now, Stipan.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: I gather, for technical
7 reasons, we have to wait for about five minutes. I
8 wonder whether you have any other question? Otherwise,
9 we can simply wait. They can't show now, right away,
10 the videotape.
11 MR. KRAJINA: All my questions have to do
12 with the video once we've seen it.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Let us wait.
14 (Brief pause)
15 (Videotape played)
16 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. Vidovic, will you watch
17 this video on the screen, please.
18 THE INTERPRETER: We don't have the sound,
19 I'm afraid. There's no sound.
20 MR. KRAJINA: Could we play back the tape so
21 we can hear the sound from the beginning, please?
22 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover)
23 THE WITNESS: I am Stipo Vidovic, and
24 this is Smajo Pezer's house. When I
25 heard there was a corpse here in the
1forest, I crossed this field, entered
2 the forest, and saw the corpse. When I
3 entered the forest, I saw the corpse. I
4 went up closer to recognise who it was.
5 I recognised Fata Pezer.
6 MR. KRAJINA: Stipan, please, from this
7 place where you found the corpse of Fata
8 Pezer, will you please tell us whether
9 Vlatko Kupreskic's house can be seen
10 from here?
11 THE WITNESS: Vlatko's house cannot be
12 seen from here. There is this large
13 hillside and the forest.
14 MR. KRAJINA: So it can't be seen at
16 THE WITNESS: No, it can't be.
17 MR. KRAJINA:
18 Q. Mr. Vidovic, will you please tell us now
19 whether this tape that we have seen shows accurately
20 the place where you found Fata Pezer's body?
21 A. That is the exact position, yes.
22 Q. Let us hear it again from you: Is it
23 possible, from the place where you found Fata Pezer's
24 body, to see the house or yard of Vlatko Kupreskic's
1A. Why? Because there's a hill and there's a
2 thicket, there's a wood, so you can't see across the
4 Q. When you say "a slope," what do you mean?
5 You mean a hill?
6 A. So you can't see what was behind the hill.
7 Q. And was there a wood there as well?
8 A. Yes, there's a wood too.
9 Q. Could you tell us what this wood looked like
10 in those days, in 1993?
11 A. It was of medium size. It was oak, beech,
12 and other kinds of wood in it.
13 Q. The area you moved through in the wood, the
14 path you followed, does that path lead to Upper Ahmici
15 and Karlo's house?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you are living there to this day; does
18 that path still exist, the one you went along?
19 A. Yes, it does. But perhaps it's overgrown
20 now, so it's not usable.
21 Q. Mr. Vidovic, thank you. I have no further
22 questions for you.
23 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, that ends my
24 examination-in-chief, and I should like to tender into
25 evidence the videotape, together with the transcript,
1D45/3 and D46/3.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection? It is admitted
3 into evidence.
4 Counsel Pavkovic, any cross-examination by
5 Defence counsel?
6 MR. PAVKOVIC: No. No, I do not have any
7 questions for this witness. Thank you.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
9 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
11 Q. Good morning, witness. I am Franck Terrier.
12 I'm one of the prosecutors, and I'm going to put a few
13 questions to you. First of all, could you tell us, as
14 precisely as possible, where your house is located in
15 Ahmici, Santici?
16 A. My house is in Pirici. Pirici, Pirici. They
17 are between Ahmici and Santici.
18 Q. Back in 1993, which were your closest
20 A. The nearest was my nephew, and then Smajo
21 Pezer and Sulejman Pezer.
22 Q. How far away was your house in relation to
23 the cluster of the Kupreskic houses?
24 A. Well, it could be some 200 metres to Vlatko's
25 house and about 250 metres to the houses of other
2 Q. So we are talking about 1993, prior to April
3 '93. What were your relations with neighbours you
5 A. Great. Our relations were great, just fine.
6 Q. Every one of them?
7 A. Yes, with all of them.
8 Q. At the time, were you befriended
9 with (inaudible)?
10 A. Yes, and we often visited one another.
11 Q. Did you, for instance, go to Ivica Kupreskic
12 on the 15th, in the evening, in order to welcome his
13 wife who was returning from Germany?
14 A. Me? No, I didn't.
15 Q. Did you go to your neighbours (redacted) or
16 Sulejman Pezer?
17 A. Yes, often they came to my place and I to
18 their place.
19 Q. Can you tell us exactly who the members of
20 your family were in 1993? Who was living with you?
21 A. Me, my wife, my son, daughter-in-law and my
22 two grandchildren.
23 Q. What is your son's first name?
24 A. My son is called Dragan.
25 Q. How old was he back in 1993?
1A. Well, he was born in 1960, so he could have
2 been 32, 33.
3 Q. Was he a member of the HVO?
4 A. Afterwards, yes, afterwards, after the war.
5 Q. Could you tell us as of when he became a
6 member of the armed forces of the HVO?
7 A. Well, I couldn't know that.
8 Q. Mr. Vidovic, earlier on, answering a question
9 by Mr. Krajina, you said that you were woken up on the
10 16th of April, around 4.30, by your wife, who told you
11 that you had to go to the shelter, to a shelter. Did
12 your wife tell you how she knew that you had to go?
13 Had you told her that you had to go?
14 A. I did not ask her at that time, but
15 afterwards I learned that Dragan had told her.
16 Q. That is your son then?
17 A. Yes, my son.
18 Q. Could you tell us whether you asked your son
19 who had warned him on that day of the 16th of April, in
20 that morning, that you had to go to the shelter?
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. Previously, you stated that you spent most of
23 the day of that day in Niko Sakic's house. Is that
25 A. In Niko Sakic's basement; that is, beneath
1the house, under the house.
2 Q. At any point of a time in the day, did you
3 leave that basement?
4 A. Yes, for two or three minutes once or twice
5 that day, because there was shooting and I did not come
7 Q. You were therefore in Niko Sakic's house.
8 Did you see Vlatko Kupreskic in that house?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you told us earlier on that you
11 had heard or learned, 10 to 12 days following the 16th
12 of April, '93, that there was a corpse somewhere lying
13 abandoned. Could you tell us who provided this
14 information to you?
15 A. I can. Jure Vrebac and Karlo -- I don't know
16 his last name.
17 Q. Did these people tell you who that body had
18 been? Did they tell you the identity of that corpse?
19 A. No. They did not know her.
20 Q. Why did you decide to go and look for that
22 A. I decided to do it because I knew it must
23 have been one of the neighbours, and since there were
24 stray dogs, I think it was only proper for me to go and
25 see that the body is put away somewhere.
1Q. Did you do similar research for other
3 A. Well, yes, same thing.
4 Q. Did you find other bodies?
5 A. No.
6 Q. When you found the body, what position was
7 the body in, if you can tell us?
8 A. It was in a supine position. The right arm
9 was across the chest, and the left was extended by the
11 Q. Once you had identified Fata Pezer, what did
12 you do? What steps did you take for the body to be
13 taken away and to be buried?
14 A. I went home and told immediately my wife and
15 my daughter-in-law and one Gordana to notify that, what
16 you call it, logistics so they would call the Red Cross
17 and they should come. But I did not see when the Red
18 Cross did come.
19 Q. But my question was as follows: Did you
20 personally do anything for the body to be removed and
21 buried as soon as possible because there were dogs
22 going around the villages, as you told us?
23 A. I couldn't do anything myself. I mean I
24 could not really carry it on my back, so I had to call
25 somebody to notify some of the people who are
1responsible for such things.
2 Q. But who was in charge of that sort of duty
3 back then?
4 A. Well, I don't know either. I know that
5 before that, the Red Cross -- I mean 10 days earlier,
6 when there was fighting, it was the Red Cross which
7 took away other bodies, so I guess they were the ones
9 Q. Did you do anything to warn the family or
10 have the family of (redacted) and his children
12 A. No. I did not know where they were, whether
13 they were still alive, or anything.
14 Q. How long after you found the body was the
15 body removed?
16 A. I can't tell you that. When I told about it,
17 well, it could have been the next day that it was taken
19 Q. I'm sorry, could you be more specific? You,
20 yourself, informed the Red Cross; is that what you're
21 telling us?
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. Could you then be more specific?
24 A. I don't understand the question.
25 Q. You have just told us that the Red Cross came
1to remove the body, and as far as you can tell us, I'm
2 asking you who warned those who came to remove that
4 A. We had a telephone up at Zume, and that was
5 the only telephone still in order, so I said that one
6 should call by that telephone the Red Cross. But who
7 did that, I don't know.
8 Q. Can you be more precise and specific? Who
9 told the Red Cross? Did you do that?
10 A. It wasn't me. It could have been Ivica
11 Vidovic, only because he was there on duty by that
13 Q. Are you absolutely certain that it was the
14 Red Cross that came to remove the body?
15 A. About that, I know nothing. I don't know,
16 because I didn't see it being removed.
17 Q. Are you certain as to the date when that body
18 was removed?
19 A. I don't remember that.
20 Q. So you were not there when the body was taken
22 A. No, I wasn't.
23 Q. Do you know where that body was buried?
24 A. I didn't know that either.
25 Q. We watched the video recording in which you
1showed us the location where you found the body. It
2 was difficult to see where exactly that location was in
3 relation to other landmarks such as the hill or Ismail
4 Pezer's house, but it doesn't matter. Here is my
6 When you were being filmed, what landmarks,
7 what bearings did you rely on in order to define where
8 the location was, what did you rely on?
9 A. When I came and found the body, I just
10 remembered that place. So when it was taken away, I
11 knew where it had been.
12 Q. Witness, you told us that you found the body
13 in the middle of a small forest of a wood. What were
14 your landmarks? How did you orientate yourself?
15 A. Well, I'm not sure that it was in the heart
16 of that particular wood, but that path -- that path,
17 there could have been about 80 metres to the main road,
18 and I found that body about midway down that path, I
19 mean roughly somewhere halfway down that path.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, I think it would be
21 helpful to find out, from one of the aerial
22 photographs, whereabouts he said that he found the body
23 and to identify that. If you could locate a suitable
24 photograph and put it to the witness.
25 MR. TERRIER: Certainly, Your Honour. I
1think the best thing to do, to go about it, is to show
2 him the larger aerial photograph which we have, and
3 this is Exhibit P2, one of the aerial photographs.
4 Q. Witness, I am going to ask you to stand up,
5 to have a look at the aerial photograph. Had you seen
6 it before?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Take your time and try to locate yourself, to
9 orientate yourself in this photograph. For instance,
10 try to find where the road from Vitez to Busovaca is,
11 the mosque and your house. When you have identified
12 these locations, you might possibly be able to tell us
13 where you found Fata Pezer's body.
14 Are you willing to do this for me?
15 A. I'll try, but I'm afraid it will be difficult
16 for me. But perhaps.
17 Well, let's see. This is the main road, the
18 one that takes you to Busovaca. This road goes from
19 Busovaca and then on to Vitez. And Ahmici, that is
20 this small road (indicating), and that is Ahmici here.
21 But I can't find my house. If I could find my house, I
22 would tell you where that was. Let me see.
23 Gornji Ahmici, Donji Ahmici. Well, this
24 could be perhaps where my house is. Then this would be
25 Smajo Pezer's house, and that wood there is here
1(indicating). And about halfway through this wood is
2 where the body was.
3 Q. Could you do something else for me? First of
4 all, let's try and take it slowly.
5 Where is your house? You've identified your
6 house, haven't you?
7 A. Well, I'm not quite sure about it, but if
8 that is my house here, then I've described to you the
9 distance, if that is where my house is located. But
10 this road does take you to my house. This is Donja
11 Ahmici, and then here Gornja Ahmici is up there. But
12 this road should go up there to Ahmici (indicating). I
13 don't know why it's going to the left. It shouldn't.
14 MR. TERRIER: Could we help the witness so
15 that he finds his bearings more easily in this aerial
16 photograph? I know it's not easy to find your way in
18 Q. Witness, this is the mosque (indicating),
19 isn't it?
20 A. Yes, right here (indicating).
21 Q. This is the Sutre store (indicating)?
22 A. I see. Then I'm here (indicating). Then
23 that's where I am.
24 Q. And then the road leading to Upper Ahmici
1A. So is that Ahmici?
2 Q. There on the left is Upper Ahmici. This is
3 the mosque in Upper Ahmici (indicating).
4 A. Oh, I see now. Now I see.
5 Q. Isn't your house somewhere here (indicating)?
6 A. Then this here, where my house is, or about
7 there, and this is Smajo Pezer (indicating).
8 Q. Smajo Pezer's house here (indicating)?
9 A. I can't see anything, but let me try. Yeah,
10 sure it is. It can't be anything else. It must be
11 that one.
12 MR. TERRIER: These will be the only
13 indications I'm going to provide to the witness.
14 Q. Mr. Witness, now that you've found your
15 bearings on this photograph, could you tell us as
16 precisely as you can, but of course, you know, in
17 keeping with your memories, where the body was when you
18 found it, Fata Pezer's body?
19 A. This is my house. This is the road. This is
20 Smajo's house (indicating). From Smajo's house, about
21 150 metres away, in the woods, is where I found the
23 Q. Thank you very much. Please sit down, and
24 I'm going to ask you to do something else, but this
25 time it'll be much easier.
1I'm going to ask you to put a cross in this
2 photograph to show us where you found Fata Pezer's
4 A. Do you want me to stand up, or -- right.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The aerial photograph, as
6 marked by the witness, will be Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit 362.
8 A. Here (indicating).
9 MR. TERRIER: Usher, please, can you turn it
10 around? You have to turn the photograph around.
11 A. My house, Smajo Pezer's house, and this is
12 this copse, that wood (indicating), and that is where I
13 found her.
14 MR. TERRIER: Please, usher, I think you have
15 to really give it a complete turn, because the witness
16 keeps putting it back to the wrong position as to the
17 landmarks he has identified in relation to the aerial
18 photograph on the easel.
19 A. Right. So here, to the left, is Smajo
20 Pezer's house, and to the right is mine, and the wood
21 is over there (indicating). But it's across Smajo's
22 house. That's where the woods is. So this is my
23 house, then this is Smajo's house, and then this is the
24 wood (indicating).
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, why don't you help
1him? Point out his house on the ELMO.
2 MR. TERRIER:
3 Q. Witness, you can see the road from Vitez to
4 Busovaca here. Here is the Catholic graveyard, and
5 then you have the road going up to Upper Ahmici.
6 Here's the mosque with a minaret -- it used to have a
7 minaret. Here is the mosque which didn't have a
8 minaret. Here's the Sutre shop, and your house is
9 here, and here is (redacted)'s house. There is --
10 next to it is Sulejman Pezer's house (indicating).
11 Now, can you find your way? Is it better the
12 other way around?
13 A. Well, if you turn it, then everything is
14 upside down, so -- there's the mosque, you say?
15 Q. This is your house.
16 A. So this is Smajo's.
17 Q. There's Sutre, the store?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. There is Vlatko Kupreskic's house. Upper
21 A. This here, you just tell me, this is my
22 house, is it? If that is my house, then Smajo is here,
23 and that's where the wood is.
24 Q. Now, could you put a cross there where you
25 found Fata Pezer's body?
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MAY: It occurs to me that Mr. Krajina
4 must know where this place is supposed to be, since he
5 was there when the video was made.
6 MR. KRAJINA: Your Honours, I was there on
7 the spot -- not once, several times -- and I personally
8 do know. But according to what the witness told us, we
9 established this spot with the help of an expert, a
10 surveyor, who will testify about that as an expert
11 witness. I think what we are now doing with the
12 witness -- I was there at least seven or eight times,
13 but I wouldn't be able to show you the exact spot, I'm
14 afraid, never mind our witness, who is a pensioner and
15 who is hardly literate. But that is why we are relying
16 on an expert, and we've given him all the elements on
17 the basis of which he should able to tell us the exact
19 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, Mr. Krajina, the
20 question is as follows: It seems that the witness was
21 on the location and showed Mr. Krajina the location
22 where he found the body. So one of the questions
23 arising therefrom is to know whether the location as
24 indicated is indeed the place, that occasion where he
25 found the body. My question was -- and that's why I'm
1trying to get as much information from this witness as
2 possible -- on the basis of which physical landmarks,
3 visible landmarks, was the witness able to tell, with a
4 large degree of certainty, to Mr. Krajina where the
5 body was? I'm now asking the witness to tell us, as
6 simply but also as exactly as possible, on the basis of
7 which physical landmarks he was able to tell
8 Mr. Krajina where Fata Pezer's body was.
9 A. On this map, I'm not able to find my way, but
10 I know these places. I was born there. I know every
11 inch of land. And when I went behind Fata's out into
12 the wood, that is where I found her. I cannot show you
13 that place on the map, but at home I can show you; in
14 nature, in the woods, I could show you. I'm not able
15 to read maps.
16 Q. Witness, would you agree with me in saying
17 that it is very difficult, indeed, to orientate one's
18 self in a wood if all you can rely on is just the trees
19 and vegetation, shrubbery?
20 A. I'm afraid I don't quite understand the
22 Q. Well, I shall repeat it for you. Isn't it
23 extremely difficult to find again a very precise
24 location in a wood if all you can rely on in order to
25 orientate yourself from visible elements, just trees,
1shrubs, vegetation, altogether?
2 A. The only indicators are those.
3 Q. So what you are telling us is that you were
4 not able to tell Mr. Krajina where Fata Pezer's body
5 was, or you could only rely on such landmarks as the
6 trees, the shrubs, vegetation?
7 A. That's so. That is quite so.
8 Q. Could you now tell us whether you know or
9 fail to know whether Fata Pezer's body, before you
10 found it, had been displaced in the 10 to 12 days
11 before you discovered the body?
12 A. That I couldn't tell. It could have been
13 moved. It's possible, but I believe it wasn't, that
14 she was killed there -- if she was killed; maybe she
16 Q. To be more specific, sir, you don't know at
17 all whether Fata Pezer was killed or not at the
18 location where you found her?
19 A. I have no knowledge about that. I just don't
20 know that. She may have been brought there; she may
21 have been killed there. I don't know.
22 Q. In the 10 to 12 days before you found the
23 body -- in other words, in the 10 to 12 days that
24 elapsed between the 16th of April and Fata Pezer's body
25 discovery -- quite a lot of people went about. There
1were armed forces that moved through the village; isn't
2 it so?
3 A. Through that wood, they may have passed, but
4 they may not have, on the other hand, because if
5 someone else had passed through before me, we would
6 have known earlier on.
7 Q. Earlier on you told us that you spent two
8 days in two different shelters, and that thereafter you
9 left Santici to go to Donja Rovna. Could you tell us
10 exactly when you came back to Ahmici/Santici?
11 A. Let me see: I went with my family. When we
12 got to Rovna, I would come home quite frequently to
13 tend the livestock, and I would pass through the wood
14 to feed the livestock, and then I'd go back, but I
15 spent about three or four nights there. The rest of my
16 family stayed for about five or six days.
17 Q. On what day did you return to settle
18 definitively in your house?
19 A. Well, I don't know for sure. After five or
20 six days.
21 Q. Five or six days following the 16th of April,
22 1993, then was the situation safe enough in the village
23 for you to live there again for good?
24 A. The lines were already established, and one
25 couldn't live carelessly. There was always a sniper
1going on. But we had to stay home, and we'd hide and
2 take shelter so that they wouldn't spot us.
3 Q. Sir, at the time when you returned into your
4 house -- that is, five to six days following the 16th
5 of April -- did other Croatian families do the same?
6 Did they also return to settle in their houses?
7 A. We didn't all come back together. Some came
8 one day, some the next, some the day after. My
9 daughter-in-law didn't come back until some 20 days
10 later, because we were staying with our brother-in-law,
11 and so we told her to stay there with the children, and
12 my wife and I, we came back home.
13 Q. As far as you know, did Croatian families
14 stay in Ahmici following the 16th of April?
15 A. Where we are, no one stayed. In some other
16 places, in another village, some may have stayed on.
17 Q. Is it right to say that as of the fifth or
18 sixth day following the 16th of April, that part of the
19 village in which you lived, everyday life of the
20 Croatian Community -- of course I'm not speaking here
21 of the Muslim community -- did everyday life take up
22 its normal course, or to become really normal a little
23 bit later?
24 A. As soon as we started returning, every day,
25 we felt freer. We had less fear.
1Q. Could you tell us what you were afraid of?
2 A. We were afraid. We knew that ours were few
3 in number and theirs were more numerous, and we were
4 afraid they would break in, they would capture us all,
5 and then we knew what we would be in for.
6 Q. And did that happen?
7 A. In some places, yes. In Buhine Kuce, for
8 instance, Krizancevo Selo, Bobasi, the front lines were
9 broken through. And wherever they entered, they killed
11 Q. But I have Ahmici in mind. After the 16th of
12 April, '93, was there more fighting, was there more
13 destruction, in Ahmici?
14 A. On two occasions there were attacks, but they
15 were repulsed. After that, they didn't happen again
16 for as long as the war lasted -- at least, our place
17 was not attacked. Others were attacked.
18 Q. Is it possible to say, trying to be as
19 accurate as possible, that in Ahmici, and especially in
20 your neighbourhood, there was no longer any
22 A. No. No, there wasn't.
23 Q. I would like to refer to a story, an
24 anecdote, which (redacted) told us in a written
25 statement. I would like to know from you whether this
1arouses any memories.
2 (redacted) told us that some 15 days
3 following the first attack -- this is before the 20th
4 of October, 1992 -- you had left your house with an axe
5 in your hand. (redacted) thought that you were
6 drunk. You insulted him. You walked towards his
7 house. You told him, while insulting him, the usual
8 insults addressed to Muslims, you told him that this
9 land was no Islamic land, and if nothing real bad had
10 happened to (redacted), it was because a lot of people came
11 out of the school and intervened, and that there was
12 among them Milka Vidovic, another witness. This
13 incident was luckily without any further consequences,
14 but does that ring a bell in your mind?
15 A. I do not recall it. That I was drunk, and
16 that I had attacked them and insulted them? That is
17 not true.
18 Q. Thank you, witness. I have no further
20 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Terrier.
22 Counsel Krajina?
23 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. President. Just
24 two or three questions for the witness.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Krajina:
1Q. Tell us, Stipan, let us clear up a few points
2 regarding the spot and how you identified the spot
3 where you found Fata's body. Do you remember whether
4 that spot is on the path leading to Gornji Ahmici?
5 A. The body was two metres away from the path.
6 Q. Did you see the body from the path?
7 A. I went one way, I didn't see; it on the way
8 back, I saw it.
9 Q. Does that mean that you had no need to wander
10 around the wood looking for the body?
11 A. No. As soon as I came back, I saw it.
12 Q. Tell us, then, in your estimate, how far is
13 that spot from the Pezer house along that path?
14 A. You have to go across the field for about
15 30 metres, and then 15 or 20 metres within the wood.
16 And that's where it was.
17 Q. Just one more question: You said, if I heard
18 you well a moment ago, that Fata was killed, or maybe
19 she died, you said. Could you explain to us why you
20 mentioned that?
21 A. Because when I arrived, I saw on her left
22 hand a scratch and three or four drops of dried-up
23 blood. Then I looked at her clothes, whether they were
24 bloodstained, whether she had been shot. I didn't see
25 any bloodstains, and that's why I don't know whether
1she was killed or whether she died.
2 Q. Why do you think she could have died?
3 A. Well, she wasn't well for almost ten years.
4 Q. What was wrong with her?
5 A. She probably couldn't flee. All the others
7 Q. How do you know? What was she suffering
9 A. She was suffering from her kidneys.
10 Q. What about her heart?
11 A. I don't know, but she was an ill woman.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. KRAJINA: I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Krajina.
15 We have no further questions. I assume there
16 is no objection to the witness being released.
17 Mr. Vidovic, we are very grateful to you for
18 coming here to The Hague to give evidence in court.
19 Thank you so much. You may now be released.
20 We will adjourn now, but I should tell you
21 that next week we will be sitting from 9 to 1, because
22 one of the judges on this bench will be in another case
23 in the afternoon, so he will need some rest. So we
24 will sit, as I say, from 9 to 1, for the whole of the
1I would like to urge Counsel Krajina and
2 Counsel Par to see whether they can, as we said before,
3 comply with the request of the Prosecutor concerning
4 the order of the witnesses. Thank you.
5 So we adjourn now.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 10.20 a.m., to be reconvened on
8 Monday, the 31st day of May, 1999,
9 at 9.00 a.m.