1 Thursday, 15th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-16-T, the
6 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
7 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and
8 Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning.
10 Counsel Pavkovic?
11 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Mr. President, I would just like to inform
13 you regarding my request of yesterday for providing a
14 pseudonym for the witness who testified on 5th July. I
15 made arrangements with the registrar that a pseudonym
16 was not necessary because the closed session was due to
17 the protective measures for the witness in order to
18 protect her professional status. We did receive full
19 first and last name, and we can use it for the
20 proceedings. Thank you.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
22 Counsel Radovic?
23 MR. RADOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
24 WITNESS: ZORAN KUPRESKIC (Resumed)
25 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
1 Q. Good morning, Zoran.
2 A. Good morning, and Your Honours, good morning
3 to everyone.
4 Q. Yesterday we started talking about the
5 village guards.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic, if you would
7 prefer to sit, you can do so.
8 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you.
9 Q. We had started with the village guards
10 yesterday, so I would like to proceed with questions in
11 this area.
12 When you started giving these watches, how
13 did you envisage that the guards would operate? In
14 other words, were you in a position to dress in a
15 particular way or to carry weapons while doing this?
16 A. Yesterday I said that in the beginning, I
17 think it was in February or March, we had started with
18 these guards. At first, we were about four or five.
19 Not everybody even knew that this was being done, so
20 that they only became involved later on. As we ran
21 into more people, we would just inform them as we went
23 At first nobody had any uniforms. We were
24 just in our civilian clothes. We had one hunting
25 rifle, a carbine which belonged to Mirko Sakic, and
1 Miroslav Pudja also had one. So those were the only
2 two weapons used at the beginning for these village
4 Q. So let's try to place it in time. Until when
5 was this the situation?
6 A. This went on, with these types of weapons and
7 this equipment, all the way to the first conflict.
8 Later on, people were in a position to find certain
9 pieces of uniform and wear them.
10 Q. What did you wear, until that initial
11 conflict, while providing guards?
12 A. At first, I was wearing my civilian clothes,
13 and then a friend from Zume, from Santici, Dragan
14 Vidovic, called Dragance, gave me a top part of the
16 Q. So you wore it until the beginning of the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What about the weapons?
20 A. I said that until the 20th of October, we had
21 those two rifles.
22 Q. How about after the 20th of October?
23 A. After the 20th of October, depending on the
24 financial situation of individuals, some people bought
25 rifles. I was using Ivica's hunting carbine; Ivica is
1 a cousin of mine. He had purchased an automatic rifle,
2 and I then took this carbine. A couple of other people
3 also bought some rifles, and this was after the fall of
4 Jajce, people were coming in, and this was after the
5 20th of October.
6 Q. You personally did not buy yourself a rifle?
7 A. I was not in a financial position.
8 Q. I don't understand. You said that you just
9 financially could not afford to buy one?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said that until the first conflict, you
12 had no one who would compile lists or shifts, work out
13 shifts for the guards, and you also said that after
14 this conflict, the situation changed; in other words,
15 you came to understand the seriousness of the
16 situation. Did that then result in people starting to
17 make shifts and make it more formal?
18 A. Yes. Until the 20th of October, we
19 occasionally had these guards. Sometimes we did not.
20 Sometimes a night would be spent on duty for two hours,
21 sometimes four, sometimes six, but it was not very
22 serious. It wasn't particularly organised, and it was
23 not formalised. There weren't any problems, really, so
24 we were also relaxed. Sometimes we were there,
25 sometimes we were not there. And that went on until
1 the 20th of October.
2 Q. How about after the 20th of October?
3 A. After 20 October, because on that date there
4 was a lot of shooting and there were problems, there
5 were problems on that day, I cannot recall exactly -- I
6 don't know if it was on the 20th or the 21st, but on
7 one of those two days, when we were on guard duty
8 behind my uncle's stable, we agreed that I should take
9 care of it. The situation looked critical at that
10 moment. It turned out later on that it had not been
11 critical for us, but we perceived it that way at that
12 time. So we then agreed that these would be regular
13 guard duties; that people, if they couldn't come out,
14 would actually notify us and then that somebody, if
15 they couldn't come, that they should contact someone
16 else. This was all based on the situation of what we
17 had experienced on the 20th of October.
18 Q. So who started doing these lists?
19 A. The agreement was that I was going to be in
20 charge of that.
21 Q. And did you do it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Until when?
24 A. I was doing these lists until the conflict in
25 Busovaca, which was in late January, 1993, and perhaps
1 for an additional ten days, until I got tired of it.
2 That is, I have to say, I was not successful in
3 implementing it. After 20 October -- and I cannot
4 recall how long, but perhaps for a month -- we were
5 quite serious about these guard duties. And when I say
6 we were serious, we were awake through the night, two
7 hours each. So they were regular duties. And after
8 about 20 days, or maybe a month, the people started
9 feeling more secure again, and life returned more or
10 less to normal. And again, the guards sort of reverted
11 to the previous situation, where people were relaxed,
12 people had other duties, people had business to attend
13 to, so somebody would just not show up, and then
14 another one wouldn't, and again, I was not able to keep
15 up the discipline.
16 So I got tired of it, plus I, myself, went to
17 work every day. So I said, "Could somebody else take
18 over this duty? I can't do it any more." And so
19 Dragan took over this. This could have been in late
20 January, early February, 1993.
21 Q. And this situation continues until the
22 beginning of the war?
23 A. Yes. While Dragan was doing these lists,
24 again, the situation was similar. Everything was all
25 right in the beginning, and you become used to the
1 circumstances, the living circumstances of the
2 situation; then, again, you start relaxing a little
3 bit. And after about 10, 15 days -- that is, 10 to
4 15 days before that second conflict in April -- we
5 again stopped providing guards. So Dragan also failed
6 in keeping up the discipline, just as I did.
7 Q. Could you tell me, regarding these guard
8 duties of yours, were you, organisationally-speaking,
9 linked to someone either in a horizontal or vertical
10 way. When I say "horizontal", I mean with other guards
11 elsewhere, and when I say "vertically", to some chain
12 of command who would be in charge of guards overall.
13 A. We were not tied to anyone in either a
14 horizontal or vertical way. The only thing we had was
15 that when we were coming to the Pudzine houses,
16 sometimes we would meet the guards from Zume. The only
17 communication would be just simply meeting these
18 people. We would meet them, and then we would say,
19 "What's going on on your side," and then they would
20 ask the same thing. That was all.
21 Q. Was your guard zone all the way down to the
22 main road or it didn't reach that far?
23 A. We used to go all the way down to the road,
24 but only until 20 October, that is, a little bit after
25 as well, because we shared the control of the entrance
1 to the village with the Muslims. But later on, we did
2 not go all the way down to the road.
3 Q. Can you say whether, throughout this period
4 when you were keeping guard, did your guards or guards
5 anywhere set up checkpoints anywhere at any time?
6 A. No, never, except, as I said, after 20th
7 October, for a while Croats and Muslims kept a
8 checkpoint at the entrance of the village. But it was
9 a joint checkpoint.
10 Q. Could you show on the map, that is, on the
11 aerial photograph, the zone which you covered with your
13 MR. RADOVIC: If the usher could bring the P2
15 Q. Once you've pointed out on the big blown-up
16 photograph, then I would ask you to mark it on the
17 small copy.
18 If you could just point to the area which you
19 patrolled. If this patrol area, before and after 20
20 October, differs, please also indicate what was
22 A. If we're talking about the patrolling area up
23 to the 20th October, it would be this (indicating). If
24 we start at Kupreskic houses, we would go to Uncle
25 Ivo's house, down through the depression to the house
1 of Niko Sakic (indicating), and then from there we
2 would turn around, using this bottom path to the Sutre
3 warehouse, and then up to the asphalt road leading to
4 Ahmici, to the main road. Then we would turn back, go
5 straight back to our houses, and then make another
6 round (indicating).
7 So, for instance, we would do one round. We
8 would go to my house and take a coffee which my wife
9 would make for us, and then stay there for an hour, and
10 then we would do another round, or we would do the same
11 thing at Niko Sakic's, and this was done up to the 20th
12 of October.
13 After that, for a few days there was joint
14 checkpoints at the entrance to the village with the
15 Muslims, and after that we would not use the main road
16 any longer but would do what I had just explained. We
17 would just go from our house to the Sakic houses, and
18 then went to the house of Dragan Vidovic. It's right
19 here, down this little road (indicating), and this is
20 what we covered in terms of ground.
21 Q. So if I understood you correctly, after the
22 first conflict, you actually narrowed the area which
23 you patrolled?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Did the Muslims also have village guards?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did they keep them only until the 20th of
3 October or until the beginning of the war?
4 A. They had guards to the 20th and afterwards as
5 well. There was a gap for about six or seven days.
6 Q. Did you see those guards?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you meet them?
9 A. Until the 20th, we usually walked along
10 together. After the 20th of October, for a few days we
11 were there at that joint point, but we didn't walk
12 along together, we would just meet. They would come
13 down this road and walk towards the school and we would
14 meet in this clearing, and we did not walk together.
15 We would just greet each other.
16 Q. Regarding these guards which you say that
17 were not tied to anyone in a horizontal or vertical
18 way, which was confirmed by a number of witnesses, what
19 would you have done had you noticed something that
20 would have called for some type of intervention? How
21 did you envisage that this would be done?
22 A. The only thing that we could have done in
23 that type of situation was to wake up everybody else,
24 to rouse their families, and to move to an area where
25 the Croats were in the majority.
1 This was especially the case with the
2 Kupreskic families. We had five small children. We
3 felt isolated, these few houses. It was like a little
4 group among the Muslim houses, and the other Croat
5 homes were separated by natural features, so that there
6 was a little piece of wood, there was a depression
7 until the next grouping of Croatian houses. So this
8 would have been the only thing we could have done.
9 Q. Very well. Could you sit down.
10 Now I would like you to mark, on the small
11 copy, the path you took until the 20th October and
12 after. You could use the red marker to mark your
13 itinerary up to the 20th, and then another colour for
14 the subsequent period. Or perhaps, Zoran, a round
15 which you made up to the 20th of October, you should
16 mark with "1", and the one subsequently with "2".
17 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph is D20/1.
18 A. May I take this and then do it?
19 MR. RADOVIC:
20 Q. Well, you have to do it now.
21 A. Yes, but can I put it here in front of me,
22 mark it, and then put it back on the ELMO?
23 Q. Yes, that's right.
24 A. Did I understand you correctly? What should
25 I mark by number "1"? What we did until the 20th of
1 October; is that right?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. (Witness complies) May I show it now?
4 I use the colour red and number "1" to mark
5 the road along which we patrolled on the 20th, from the
6 main road, to our houses, to the Sakic houses, and then
7 back to the PP Sutre warehouse. Number "2", that is,
8 the colour blue, is the road where we patrolled, where
9 we stood guard, after the 20th of October, 1992.
10 That's it.
11 Q. That is to say that you shortened it to such
12 an extent later that you didn't even go up to the road?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Zoran, yesterday we talked about
15 your lack of political involvement and your lack of
16 interest in politics after the first free elections.
17 Now I'm going to read an excerpt from a
18 document that the Prosecutor gave us yesterday, which
19 is dated the 23rd of November, 1993, and it is
20 addressed to Colonel Blaskic. I'm going to read that
21 to you now, and then you are going to tell me whether
22 this diagnosis established by those who observed you is
23 correct. These were probably personnel affairs, so
24 that is why the Colonel had to know who he would be
25 proposing for what.
1 So this is what the Colonel says, and could
2 the Prosecutor please correct me if I read something
3 wrong. This document, under number "3", it says, I'm
5 "Zoran Kupreskic from Vitez worked in the SPS
6 as a mechanical engineer, was not active from the first
7 days, and he was not inclined towards the HDZ either.
8 He stayed aside. However, as the situation developed
9 further, he joined in, and now he is for us.
10 "This same Zoran could be used for doing
11 certain things. He seems a quiet man and is calm.
12 He's a family man and he lives in Vitez, he resides in
14 This is dated the 23rd of November, 1993. Do
15 you agree with that view of your own personality from
16 those days?
17 A. I don't know who monitored me, I don't know.
18 These are probably certain services or whoever who can
19 see this from the outside. I should say that the man
20 who described me did pretty well. That's the way I
21 perceive myself, to a large extent.
22 May I present my opinion where this
23 information might have come from? At work, where we
24 worked together, the Muslims and the Croats, as things
25 were before, we worked together all the way up to the
1 15th of April, 1993, and I already said that we had
2 these coffee breaks in our company. Then we would sit
3 and discuss various subjects and the situation as it
4 was in Vitez and beyond. I know very well that in
5 these discussions, when people would say such and such
6 a thing happened in Vitez, et cetera, well, you see,
7 this is my opinion so it can be this way or that way,
8 but I know that Senad Topoljak and I always had a
9 balanced view, and we always knew how to offset the
10 discussions, so to speak. Sometimes it would be in
11 favour of the Muslim side, and sometimes it would be in
12 favour of the Croat side. I know that my friend Dragan
13 Grebenar would sometimes even object and say, "How can
14 you sometimes speak in favour of the Muslim side?"
15 So perhaps this information came from people
16 who were there, and perhaps that is the way they could
17 have judged the situation. I don't know.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Counsel
19 Radovic, please.
20 MR. RADOVIC: I'm sorry.
21 Q. This document is dated the 23rd of November,
22 1993. If it says in that report that you were not
23 inclined towards the HDZ, and that you remained apart,
24 and that you joined in as the situation developed
25 further, and then, due to the development of the
1 situation, you could be useful for certain jobs, could
2 you somehow put this within a time framework?
3 A. It could relate to the following: Perhaps
4 before the elections, or right during the elections,
5 when the HDZ party was founded, I know that Slavko
6 Milicevic came to see me on a few occasions. I know he
7 was a member of the HDZ. I don't know whether he was
8 entrusted with special duties for the local community
9 or not. I don't know. But I know that he did come on
10 several occasions, and he said that they would have an
11 HDZ meeting at Zume and that they wanted to propose me
12 for some kind of post, either there or Vitez,
14 But I turned it down. I was not attracted by
15 this at all. I told him that I had been a member of
16 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and that when
17 everything fell apart, that I was disappointed in my
18 membership there as well, and I didn't want to go into
19 any such thing at all.
20 And when we speak of the development of the
21 situation, and since we're speaking of November, 1993,
22 during the conflict -- well, I can't even remember
23 that, exactly, either. In August or September, or
24 perhaps even in July, I don't know, three or four
25 months after the conflict broke out, I was asked to be
1 company commander. That's what this area was called.
2 Mr. Bertovic, commander of the battalion, asked me to
3 do this, but I rejected this offer. I said that I was
4 prepared to help, though. At that time it was the late
5 Ratko Vidovic who commanded this company. I said that
6 I was prepared to help, from an organisational point of
7 view, to the best of my ability, and he probably called
8 me because he knew that I was a reserve officer in the
9 former Yugoslav People's Army.
10 I think that that is what this referred to,
11 that I joined in and joined the cause or whatever they
13 Q. Since this is a document that was presented
14 to us by the Prosecutor, I believe there will be no
15 objections from the Prosecutor's side if we tender this
16 document into evidence. But we have a single copy
17 only; that is to say, the copy that was provided to us
18 by the Prosecutor.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
20 MR. TERRIER: No objections. It's true we
21 gave that document to the Defence, thinking that it
22 might be exculpatory, but I want it to be clear that
23 the document is blank. There is no heading. We don't
24 know who wrote it. Nobody signed it.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be D21/1.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So it is admitted
2 into evidence.
3 MR. RADOVIC: Could the Prosecutor please
4 state his views? Because we got this document from
5 him, after all. He gave us this document. He would
6 have to know where the document was found, who took it
7 away from whom and from where, because we had no idea
8 whatsoever about this report before we received it from
9 the Prosecutor. We are truly appreciative of this, and
10 we thank the Prosecutor, because this does work in
11 favour of the Defence, but he has to say where it comes
12 from. We have no way of knowing.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
14 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, the source is the
15 same -- for example, the log for the HVO, that we have
16 spoken about at length, it comes from Vitez.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: But the document was taken as
18 part of the inventory; is that correct? Or -- you
19 spoke about that already, yes.
20 MR. RADOVIC: If I understood this correctly,
21 that is to say, this was found and taken away when the
22 search of the Defence Department was conducted; is that
23 right? I think that then it can be admitted into
24 evidence as a Defence exhibit.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, it is admitted into
2 MR. RADOVIC:
3 Q. We've now talked about all conceivable dates
4 except for those when something essential took place,
5 and now we'll have to move on to these dates as well.
6 That is to say that we are getting close to the date of
7 the 20th of October, but we're going to start with the
8 date of the 19th of October; that is to say, a day
9 earlier. Could you please describe the day before the
10 20th of October? That is to say, what did you do on
11 the 19th of October from the moment you got up until
12 you went back to bed? If you forget something, I'm
13 going to remind you.
14 A. On the 19th of October, 1992, I was at work,
15 as usual. I worked from 6.00 a.m. until 2.00 p.m. I
16 came back from work, as usual, as always. I ate at
17 home. A few days before that, I took some logs to have
18 them cut into boards, because I was preparing the floor
19 in my attic, and I agreed with Dragan Vidovic that we
20 should go together, because he had a tractor, and these
21 wooden boards were supposed to be cut that day.
22 Dragan, my brother, and I went to Donja Rovna to
23 collect these wooden boards.
24 We came back and then perhaps rested for
25 about half an hour. Dragan went home. My brother and
1 I, my wife, and my late father, we put these wooden
2 boards up to the attic of the house. I did this until
3 pretty late. It might have been around 11.00 in the
4 evening. It was quite late.
5 Q. Tell me, on that day, on the 19th, or perhaps
6 a few days before the 19th, was there any roadblock or
7 barricade on the road that leads to Ahmici from the
8 main road?
9 A. There was a roadblock. I wouldn't even call
10 it a roadblock. It was sort of a checkpoint that was
11 put up by the Muslims, our neighbours. It was there a
12 few days before that. I can't remember how many days
13 before. I know that the explanation was that they were
14 given such orders because of the safety and security of
15 the village, and this explanation, as it was -- well,
16 you know, we were going about our work, we, the Croats,
17 and we were not involved in checking who came into the
18 village and who went out. But we saw this barricade on
19 previous days and also on that day, on the 19th, when
20 we were carrying these wooden boards. But we just said
21 hello to our neighbours, and nothing special.
22 Q. Tell me, did you know the people who manned
23 this checkpoint, because you said it wasn't a real
24 barricade, a roadblock? You said it was more of a
25 checkpoint. However, before you answer this question,
1 perhaps you could explain what this actually looked
2 like. Was there a barrier? And please describe it, if
3 there was one. What did the checkpoint look like, as
5 A. It is called -- it is a special wooden device
6 where you put wooden board when you want to cut it with
7 a saw. So they would put that up during the day and
8 take it away during the night. They also took blocks
9 that a house is made of. And it wasn't really built
10 like a wall. They would just put one up to another,
11 and then they also put up a sort of plastic cover so
12 that they would not get a caught in the rain or
13 something. That's what it looked like.
14 Q. Please, could you get up for a moment and
15 show us in this big picture where this barrier was, or
16 where this checkpoint was, or ...
17 A. It was here (indicating). Here, above Sakib
18 Ahmic's house. Sakib Ahmic, Bajricin; I think that's
19 what we called him. So above his house, around here.
20 It could be 30 to 50 metres from the main road towards
21 the village.
22 Q. Did you recognise the people who were manning
23 this checkpoint? We're not going to call it a
24 barricade, a roadblock. We're going to call it a
25 checkpoint. Did you recognise the people who were
1 manning it?
2 A. I can remember that Pezer Sezahija, nickname
3 Sezko, was there, I remember seeing him, and Ahmic
4 Nezir. The two of them are bus drivers. They were
5 colleagues, friends, and they were there together. And
6 there were a few more people whom I did not know.
7 Q. How come you did not know all these other
8 people? You said that these were locals who had put up
9 this checkpoint.
10 A. Well, those whom I did not know were
11 refugees. Already at that time there were refugees in
12 Ahmici, Muslims from eastern Bosnia, from the conflict
13 with the Serbs. So they were coming in gradually, and
14 they would stay in Ahmici wherever they found room to
16 Q. Were there a lot of refugees?
17 A. Well, not until the first conflict.
18 Q. And when did this number increase?
19 A. The number increased after the fall of Jajce
20 and in the ensuing period; that is to say, the end of
22 Q. These persons who were manning the
23 checkpoint, were they unarmed, or did they have some
24 arms? Of course, on the basis of what you saw
1 A. I remember that they did have arms, and now,
2 whether they all had arms, that, I cannot recall
3 exactly. But there were weapons there. There were
4 automatic rifles and the old M-48 rifles. But
5 specifically who had what, that, I cannot remember.
6 Q. Were you afraid of the people at this
8 A. Well, we were not afraid. These were people
9 we knew. The explanation that was given, that this was
10 done for the sake of the safety of the village, that no
11 one would come in to loot the village, no thieves, I
12 personally was not afraid. We would say hello to each
13 other as we always did.
14 Q. Tell me, did any of them have a uniform of
15 any kind?
16 A. As far as I remember, Sezahija Pezer had a
17 camouflage jacket, and those men whom I did not know
18 had parts of a uniform. But who had what, that, I
19 cannot remember specifically. I think Nezir did not
20 have a thing. He was wearing civilian clothes.
21 Q. You said that you personally accepted this
22 explanation why they had set up a checkpoint at the
23 entrance to the village. Was there anyone who was
24 bothered by this? For example, did you discuss this
25 subject with Ivica Kupreskic?
1 A. Well, I remember that Ivica was away, and
2 that he came in with his car as I was busy with my
3 wooden boards, and he said something about this
4 checkpoint. It seemed to me that he was bothered by
5 it, or rather he was surprised. Perhaps he had seen it
6 a few days before that. I don't know how long he had
7 been away. But I told him that for me, this was not
8 really unusual, that this had happened a few times
9 before, and there was no problem whatsoever. He just
10 stopped his car, and that's what he told me from his
11 car, and then he went on home.
12 Q. What happened in your village and in your
13 house in the night between the 19th and the 20th? Did
14 anybody wake you up, or what happened?
15 A. I was involved with that until late, with
16 those boards, and I think it was late. It was 11 or
17 12.00 at night when my wife and I finally retired to
18 bed. Then I was awakened by a phone call. It was
19 Ivica, and he told me that some military had passed by
20 the Sutre warehouse towards the school. He even
21 mentioned two men, somewhere in the vicinity of my
22 house, looking from my house towards Sakib's and Vlatko
23 Kupreskic's house. There are some tall trees there,
24 and he said that there were two men around there.
25 That was a bit unusual to me. I got up. My
1 wife had also awakened, and I told her, since we had
2 three children, I told her to take them into the
3 hallway. I said that I would not go far, that I would
4 just try to find out what is going on, and if necessary
5 that I would come back running if there was something
7 So I sort of stole out of the house and went
8 over to Ivica's, to his terrace.
9 Q. What did you do on the terrace? How long did
10 you stay there?
11 A. This was after midnight sometime, perhaps
12 3.00 -- between 3.00 and 4.00 a.m. Ivica then
13 explained what he saw. Down in the school building,
14 you could see the light was on, and through the window
15 you could see some people. I called my brother on the
16 phone, and shortly thereafter he joined us. So we were
17 all there.
18 Ivica had also said that he had heard -- I
19 don't know if he was able to see, but he had heard
20 those men in the school, that several of them had gone
21 down to the road. He may have seen them walking past
22 the warehouse, because there was a light, there was
23 always a light in front of the warehouse. So he was
24 able to spot them.
25 When my brother arrived, we were there on the
1 terrace. It was quiet. We just waited, and that is
2 how we spent the rest of the night, another hour or two
3 until the morning.
4 Q. Did you notice anything unusual in the
6 A. Until 5.00, nothing unusual went on. Then,
7 sometime around 5.00, it was beginning to dawn, and it
8 was foggy. Every morning, when going to work, I could
9 hear the hodza calling to prayer from the mosque.
10 Q. You mean at the lower mosque? You're
11 referring to that mosque now?
12 A. Yes, the one near the school.
13 And as I understood it, there was some kind
14 of music being played. It was just like a chirping of
15 birds, and murmur of waterfalls, and some
16 unintelligible words. This all went on for about 30
17 seconds, and then a loud explosion was heard.
18 Q. Could you orient yourself as to the location
19 from where the explosion had come?
20 A. No, I couldn't, but whatever was being
21 broadcast from the mosque had stopped. We were all
22 scared, the three of us, and we ran behind Ivica
23 Kupreskic's house, to the north side. So this
24 explosion was heard, and after that it was again
25 silence. It was quiet. Nothing happened.
1 Q. Was there any shooting that followed this?
2 A. I cannot be very specific, but perhaps an
3 hour later, this started. But before, sometime between
4 5.30 and 6.00 -- perhaps it was a full hour before the
5 next-door neighbour came; Enver Sehic was his name. We
6 had agreed -- that is, the three of us, my brother and
7 he and I -- had agreed to go and gather firewood for
8 him. So we were going to chop some wood for Mico, and
9 then the next day, that was that day, we were going to
10 cut some wood for him.
11 So we were all talking about that, Ivica,
12 Mico, and I. We all had heard this explosion, and we
13 said, since we didn't know what the explosion was, that
14 we would not go to collect wood. Then, about an hour
15 later, the shooting started from the area where the
16 cemetery was, and the road.
17 Q. From your vantage point, were you able to see
18 what was going on down there?
19 A. No. We could not see anything. First of
20 all, it was far away, and even if it had not been
21 foggy, we could not see anything. We couldn't even see
22 the mosque. We couldn't see the minaret of the
23 mosque. That's how thick the fog was that morning.
24 Q. So what did you do when you heard shooting?
25 A. Once the shooting started, I started running
1 back home, and my brother ran back to his home, which
2 is all very close, 15 to 20 metres away.
3 My wife had already been alerted, and we
4 dressed our children together. She grabbed some bags
5 and put in some basic things for the children. We had
6 a small baby. It was practically a new-born baby. It
7 was a couple of months old.
8 So we left the house and started in the
9 direction of Zume. At that moment, Milutin Vidovic,
10 Dragan Vidovic, who is called Dragance, and Zdravko
11 Vrebac, they all came running. And Zdravko helped
12 Mico, and Dragan and Ivica were going to help me. We
13 had three small children, we had bags.
14 And later, the bullets were flying around.
15 At that time, we thought that they were shooting at
16 us. Later on, we learned that it had nothing to do
17 with us.
18 You had the situation where I had a wife,
19 small children, parents, so we were trying to run as
20 quickly as possible from my house to my uncle's house.
21 First you go up a slope, and then behind the crest it
22 then drops off, and we would feel safer there. So we
23 wanted to go to Zume, to this house, and take shelter
25 Q. Why did you do that?
1 A. Why? Out of fear. We wanted to take them as
2 far away as possible from this shooting. We felt that
3 the shooting was around the road somewhere. But it
4 felt like it was very close to us, so we fled.
5 Q. What did you do then, after you left your
6 families there?
7 A. We left them in this shelter, and my brother
8 and I came back, and the others also. We came to
9 behind my uncle's stable. We were afraid to come any
10 closer, fearing the bullets. And here, this depression
11 was off to the side, and so we felt safer there.
12 Q. How long were you there in that depression?
13 A. Throughout the period of the shooting. The
14 early morning, the shooting was the most intense.
15 Later, it subsided, but it went on sporadically
16 throughout the day. So it stopped completely sometime
17 between 3.00 and 4.00 in the afternoon.
18 Q. Once the shooting stopped, where were you?
19 A. At the same position.
20 Q. In this depression, you mean, or did you
21 climb up?
22 A. We climbed up behind my uncle's stable.
23 There is a little road leading up there.
24 Q. When did you learn what had actually happened
25 at the barricade which was by the cemetery and that the
1 Croatian army, which was supposed to use that road,
2 when it was stopped at the barricade?
3 A. When we took -- when we were taking our
4 families to Zume, Milutin had said that he had seen
5 some barricade at the road, so from him we learned that
6 he was there and that he saw that barricade at that
7 time. But he did not know why that barricade had been
8 erected, against whom or anything.
9 So in the morning, we learned that this
10 barricade had been set up, but I only learned about the
11 reasons for that a day or two afterwards.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
13 A. [Previous interpretation continues] We had
14 not heard from anyone.
15 MR. RADOVIC:
16 Q. Do you know, where did the Croatian army go?
17 A. If I can judge, based on information I heard,
18 some people said that they were going to Jajce, some
19 people said it was to Novi Travnik.
20 Q. Who said that they were going to Novi Travnik
21 and who said that they were going to Jajce?
22 A. After this conflict, when everything went
23 back to normal and we started going to work again, the
24 Croats discussed this, and they were saying that at the
25 time of the fall of Jajce, that the Croats were
1 supposed to go there and that the barricade was set up
2 in order to prevent them. But also the others were
3 saying that they were going to Novi Travnik because
4 they were needed there to help. I myself had no
5 opinion of my own on that matter.
6 Q. Did any Croat from the Kupreskic houses or
7 from the surrounding area take part in this conflict on
8 20 October 1992 on the road by the barricade?
9 A. No, not at all.
10 Q. You're sure of this?
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 Q. When you moved your family to the shelter and
13 came back, did you see Muslims leaving the village?
14 A. You could see, from our vantage points, and
15 that was behind my uncle's stable, you could see
16 between the trees. You could see a portion of the road
17 near the Sutre warehouse. You could see them. The
18 Muslims from Lower Zume were hastily moving towards
19 Upper Ahmici. There were women and children among
20 them, there were men, and as you peek out and through
21 those trees, you were able to see them.
22 Q. Was there an explanation for why they were
23 leaving the village? Why did you think they were
24 leaving the village?
25 A. Nobody gave us an explanation. We just could
1 guess. Shooting was going on. People were probably
2 scared, they didn't know what was going on, and so they
3 were fleeing.
4 During the day, Mehmed Ahmic's house was set
5 on fire down by the road, and so probably people saw
6 that too. They saw that house was burning. They were
7 scared. But just as I fled to Zume, they were fleeing
8 to Upper Ahmici. This is the only explanation which I
9 put together, but nobody gave me any explanation.
10 Q. During this first conflict, were there cases
11 that you may have heard of that the Muslims and the
12 Croats took shelter together at the same location?
13 A. I remember, later on when things quieted
14 down, Gordana said --
15 Q. Who is Gordana? There are many Gordanas. Do
16 you know her last name?
17 A. Gordana Vidovic, whose house was near Dragan
18 Vidovic's house. She said that she and her mother took
19 shelter at Rudo Vidovic's house, in his barn, and when
20 they entered it, they saw four or five people there.
21 There were neighbours among them and some others. I
22 remember there was a Mujo Ahmic, he saw him there, and
23 someone Pedza. His name is Pezer, but his nickname was
24 Pedza. They were there together for a while, and then
25 she told me that she even roasted some coffee beans
2 Q. If I understand you correctly, the 20th of
3 October ended by shooting having stopped, your people,
4 that is, your and your brother's families, did not come
5 back, and you also saw Muslims leaving the village, if
6 I understood you correctly. Is that how things ended
7 on the 20th of October? Correct me if I'm wrong on any
8 of these points.
9 A. No, no, you understood me correctly. But I
10 would just like to add that from where we were, these
11 soldiers, they had parts of uniforms on. What I was
12 relaying about Gordana Vidovic, we could see them, so
13 we asked her, and this is when she gave us the
14 explanation. But your understanding is correct that we
15 fled with our families to Zume, and we could also see
16 Muslims fleeing towards Upper Ahmici.
17 Q. When you saw Muslim civilians fleeing in the
18 direction of Upper Ahmici, did you also see their
19 soldiers retreating?
20 A. I did not see the soldiers, but I think that
21 Ivica saw them. I think he said Sabahudin Budo was
22 among them. I think that is what he said. Those who
23 could summon more courage were able to see more people
24 when they peeked through the trees. I did not.
25 Q. So what happened next? Did the Muslims come
1 back to their homes?
2 A. After 20th of October, Muslims went back to
3 their homes after, let's say, four or five days. I'm
4 not sure. But when the Muslims came back, I also came
5 back with my wife and children, my parents, and my
6 brother and his family came back too.
7 Q. Why didn't you want to come back before the
8 Muslims went back? After all, no Croatian house
9 sustained any damage, yet Croats in your village
10 remained in their homes except for your families.
11 There were Croats nearby. So why did you decide to
12 come back only after the Muslims decided to go back to
13 their places?
14 A. As I said before, the Kupreskic houses are
15 isolated from other Croatian houses. They are about
16 two or three hundred metres away from the first
17 adjoining Croatian houses, so I did not feel safe. My
18 next-door neighbour was not. I had a wife, children,
19 parents, brother, so nobody really felt like going
20 back. For instance, no Croat from -- well, from this
21 area fled, so we were the only ones. But I didn't feel
22 safe enough.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone to the counsel,
25 MR. RADOVIC:
1 Q. Why, according to you, was the return of
2 Muslims some kind of a guarantee for your own safety so
3 that you would be able to bring your family with you
5 A. I remember that I also had a telephone
6 conversation with Faud Berbic. He was not even aware
7 of the fact that my family was not at home, and I told
8 him, "Faud, I am not coming back until my Muslim
9 neighbours go back." When I saw the smoke rising from
10 my neighbours' houses' chimneys, I decided then it was
11 time for me to go back too. I said, "Whenever they
12 come back, I am coming back. Until then, I don't feel
13 safe enough. I'm not going to spend a night there."
14 So for several days, we all stayed in Santici
15 at my wife's sister's.
16 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the witness just
17 mentioned the name of Faud Berbic. It may happen that
18 we call him in to testify as a witness, but I think
19 that we don't have to move into private session because
20 of his name, because this same person had already given
21 an interview to the Croatian press, I think. So it's
22 not really a person who would be playing such a
23 meaningful role or who would be so very frightened that
24 we would have to have special protective measures for
25 him. However, if you think that we should act
1 differently, fine, I'm comfortable with that.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no, I think you can
3 proceed. You may proceed.
4 MR. RADOVIC: All right, so I shall proceed.
5 Q. Now, tell us what happened. Were you engaged
6 in any activity aimed at the return of the Muslims,
7 including your own return, and if there was such
8 activity, could you please described it?
9 A. After the 20th of October, attempts were made
10 to find a way for people to return home, for tensions
11 to abate, and to go back to the kind of life we had
12 before that, because we always lived in peace, with
13 good neighbourly relations, without any problems. I
14 can't remember -- I'm not sure whether it was the 21st
15 or a day --
16 Q. All right. So you're saying the 21st or the
17 22nd; is that right?
18 A. Yes. Faud Berbic came by our houses with
19 Muris Ahmic. We went to Nenad Santic's house, and we
20 were seeking agreement as to how everyone should return
21 to their own homes.
22 I also remember when we went back home, there
23 was a meeting. I know there were several meetings,
24 actually, but I attended one of them at the school in
25 Ahmici. It was mostly elderly people who were present
1 from both sides. The subject of discussion was to see
2 who this was who was creating problems amongst us and
3 how the situation could be calmed down. And I remember
4 once or twice perhaps, I cannot remember now, they came
5 to my house. I can remember Pero Skopljak, Nenad
6 Santic, Faud Berbic, Sulejman Kalco and Zikret Ahmic.
7 So these were the few attempts that were made
8 to ease tensions. That is what I remember.
9 Q. Tell me, did you go with Faud Berbic a couple
10 of times?
11 A. I said that Miroslav Pudze and I went with
12 Berbic and with Muris Ahmic to Nenad's place. This was
13 actually the first contact after the 20th. That is to
14 say, we went to Nenad Santic's house.
15 Q. And how come that you went? How come that
16 you went?
17 A. On the morning of the 20th, when we fled with
18 our families to Zume, Lucija, an old woman, Ivica's
19 aunt, did not go anywhere. She stayed at home. She
20 told us that Nenad had telephoned, saying that Faud
21 would come by and that someone should come with Faud to
22 his house. Not much later, Faud telephoned.
23 When Faud came eventually, he said that he
24 had telephoned at the other houses too but he didn't
25 find anyone. The first person to answer one of his
1 telephone calls was Ivica's aunt, and Faud said he was
2 supposed to go by there and to go to Nenad's house, and
3 he was asking whether he could come by, whether it was
4 all right, et cetera.
5 So he came, and Miroslav Pudze and I went
6 with him down there. I went because my family was not
7 there, and my parents and my brother and his family,
8 they were not at their homes, and Faud was saying that
9 he was trying to find a way for people to return to
10 their homes. This was my interest as well. I wanted
11 to return my own family home as well. Also by then,
12 agreement had been reached that I would organise these
13 guards, and that's why I went down there.
14 I've always been good friends with Faud, with
15 him and his brother and children, and we were all
16 members of the League of Communists and we attended
17 party meetings together, and he wanted to seek contact
18 with me. He knew that I was a more reasonable person,
19 that he could talk to me nicely, et cetera.
20 Q. You mention two names now. Faud Berbic,
21 describe him first, please. What did he represent in
22 the Muslim part of the village? I mean I'm not asking
23 you to describe his appearance, his physical
24 appearance. I'm asking you to describe his reputation,
25 his position, and things like that.
1 A. In the days before these multi-party
2 elections, Faud Berbic was president of the local
3 community, and he was a good friend with my parents.
4 He and his wife were family friends with my parents,
5 and his brother was as well and his family. I knew him
6 very well because we worked together in the same
7 company. Well, that was it.
8 Q. Did he hold a special position or enjoy a
9 special reputation amongst the Muslim population of
10 this village of Ahmici?
11 A. Faud was a reserve officer. I think he was a
12 captain or perhaps a first-class captain. I'm not
13 sure. He was a reserve officer.
14 Now, did he have a part to play with regard
15 to these village guards that our neighbours had
16 organised? Well, I think he did. I don't know exactly
17 in which capacity. But this often changed on their
18 side and on our side. Sometimes there were people who
19 wanted to go, and then they would not want to go, et
21 Q. Another name that you mentioned was the name
22 of Nenad Santic. Who is he and who did he represent?
23 A. As for Nenad, I only know that he was a
24 member of the HDZ. Whether he held a military post,
25 whether he held a post within the HDZ authorities, that
1 I'm not aware of. I know that he was one of the first
2 to wave a flag before the elections, so he was a member
3 of the HDZ. I don't know. Perhaps he had a role or
4 held a special post in the local commune before the
5 elections or after. I don't know.
6 MR. RADOVIC: I'm sorry, Mr. President. For
7 when had you envisaged the first or, rather, only break
8 that we're going to have today?
9 JUDGE CASSESE: For 11.30, but if you are
10 tired, we can break now. Do you prefer --
11 MR. RADOVIC: I would appreciate it very
13 JUDGE CASSESE: All right, yes. So we'll
14 take a 30-minute break now.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.17 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.47 a.m.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
18 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. The last thing we talked about was that you
20 went with Fuad Berbic to Nenad Santic. What happened
21 after that?
22 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I'm not going to
23 go into detail concerning this part because we have
24 agreed that Ms. Slokovic-Glumac will question the
25 witness on that, so I don't want you to think that I'm
1 omitting anything.
2 A. I think that we were at Nenad's in the
3 afternoon, or around noon. We were there once or
4 twice. I can't remember. At any rate, we went back.
5 We stayed there on guard around my uncle's house and
6 stables for another few days, and the families went
7 home, the Muslims, and we, the Kupreskics.
8 Q. Did everybody go back home?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell me, what was your relationship like
11 after this, after these events of the 20th and until
12 the beginning of the war? Were these relationships
13 with you and your neighbours the same, or did they
15 A. Already the next week we went to work.
16 During the first few days, since -- we went to work,
17 and we went the same way as we did before that. We
18 would say hello to one another. And during the first
19 few days -- how should I put this -- these contacts did
20 take place, but they were a bit restrained, with a bit
21 of reservation. But as time went by, things were
22 reverting back to normal.
23 I remember, those first moments after the
24 conflict, that some of the Muslims did not want to
25 return our greetings; for example, if we would say
1 hello, they would say nothing. But this was a smaller
2 number of people. People -- young men who were friends
3 with us would say hello to us as usual, and as time
4 went by, as the days went by, we were reverting to our
5 normal relationships.
6 Q. Are you referring to all segments, that is to
7 say, the village, your work, and folklore activities?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So we discussed all of that, and in all these
10 sectors, things were reverting back to normal slowly;
11 is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. After that, did you have some kind of a joint
14 checkpoint, I mean you, the Croats, and the Muslims, at
15 the entrance to the village?
16 A. One day, after we had already returned to our
17 homes, perhaps this was about ten days or perhaps a bit
18 more, when these persons I mentioned came to my house,
19 Pero Skopljak, Fuad Nenad, agreement was reached to
20 place a checkpoint at the entrance to the village
21 together so that the security and safety of both would
22 be preserved.
23 Q. And was that done?
24 A. Well, it was, but since there were so few of
25 us -- I can't remember exactly. We would go out there
1 and man this checkpoint, but then it stopped because we
2 would have to go to work. We, the Croats, there were
3 too few of us, and things calmed down. We simply did
4 not go. I cannot remember whether the Muslims
5 remained. I think they withdrew, too. So this
6 checkpoint was at the entrance to the village only for
7 a short period of time after the 20th.
8 Q. We talked about village guards and patrols,
9 and we said that both the Croats and the Muslims took
10 part in this; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you see these village guards and patrols
13 with weapons after the 20th and until the outbreak of
14 the war?
15 A. Yes, as was the case earlier. But we and the
16 Muslims had a bit more weapons than we had until the
17 20th of October. More people had weapons.
18 Q. What about you and Zoran (sic)? Did you tell
19 anyone that Muslims still had armed village patrols?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you personally take any action in that
22 period to have weapons taken away from Muslims?
23 A. I personally did not.
24 Q. Did you personally take part in any taking
25 away of weapons from Muslims?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In this period, did your attitude based on
3 tolerance towards Muslims change in any aspect?
4 A. I did not change my relationship with the
5 Muslims or with anyone else. I did not change my
6 attitude towards them.
7 Q. All right. So now we've taken care of that
8 day, and now we're going to move on to the next day, to
9 another day that we're going to discuss, and that is
10 the 15th of April, 1993. Please tell us what you did
11 on that day.
12 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, I was at work. I
13 walked from work with my boss, Ivan Taraba, and with my
14 friend, Senad Topoljak. This was at 2.00 p.m. We were
15 in Vitez perhaps around 2.30. Ivan Taraba went home,
16 and Senad and I did as we usually did before that, with
17 Dragan Grebenar, too; we went out for coffee after
18 work. And I remember, that day, Senad and I went, and
19 Dragan Grebenar came and found us in Vitez.
20 Q. Tell me, did you hear on that day about an
21 incident that occurred in Zenica where the escorts of
22 some HVO commander from Zenica called Zivko Totic were
24 A. No, I did not hear about this until the
1 Q. Tell us when you exactly heard of it.
2 A. When Ivica came, Ivica Kupreskic, and he told
3 us about it.
4 Q. Did you hear on that day about some kind of a
5 press conference that was held by the leadership of the
6 HDZ? During this trial, part of this videotape was
7 played to us.
8 A. I did not know about this. I knew that there
9 were regular press conferences in Busovaca, but when,
10 and on that day, I didn't know anything special about
11 that day.
12 Q. That is to say that throughout that day,
13 nobody had told you anything about this press
15 A. No.
16 Q. What did you do in the afternoon on that day?
17 A. I stayed in Vitez with Senad and Grebenar,
18 perhaps an hour and a half, or two. I came home as
19 usual. If I would go out that way after work, I would
20 go out to the road and I would stop a car, and
21 whatever. I'd hitchhike. I'd ask someone whom I knew
22 to give me a ride. So I went home, and I was at home
23 with my wife and children.
24 Q. On your way from work to home, did you notice
25 anything unusual?
1 A. I did not notice anything unusual.
2 Everything was similar to the situation during the
3 previous days.
4 Q. Was there more traffic of military vehicles
5 on that day, or did you see any movements of soldiers
6 on that day?
7 A. No, I did not notice anything of the sort.
8 At the station there was a checkpoint that was held by
9 the HVO. As was the case during the previous days,
10 that was the situation on that day, too, and we passed
11 normally, as we did when we went from work.
12 Q. Up to then, including that day, did you hear
13 of a unit called the Jokeri?
14 A. Yes, I heard of the Jokeri. They were
15 stationed at the Bungalow. In which period they were
16 stationed there, that, I cannot recall, whether it was
17 the end of '92 or the beginning of '93, but in that
18 period, they came there.
19 Q. And what did you hear about them? Who were
20 the Jokeri?
21 A. I heard that they were the members of the
22 military police. What their tasks were, specifically,
23 that, I did not know.
24 Q. Did you hear anything about what kind of
25 young men these were? Was it a good thing to consort
1 with them, or was it good to stay away from them as
2 much as possible?
3 A. Rumour had it that the problems that were in
4 town were caused by some special units, including
5 them. Then also there were these men that belonged to
6 Zuti, and they would say, "These are Zuti's men, these
7 are Darko's men, the Vitezovi." At any rate, it was
8 smart to stay away from them. You really had to stay
9 away from them. It was a good thing not to be near
10 them because they really caused a lot of problems
11 around town.
12 Q. How is Ivica Kupreskic related to you?
13 A. My father and his father are brothers.
14 Q. Up to the day of the 15th of April, 1993,
15 where was his family?
16 A. Ivica's wife and children were in Germany.
17 All of them were, actually. His two brothers -- his
18 three brothers, as a matter of fact -- all of them were
19 in Germany, and Ivica's wife and his children.
20 Q. Tell me, on this day of the 15th of April,
21 did his wife and children return to Vitez, or rather to
23 A. Yes. Just before dusk, Ivica brought in his
24 wife from Split by car. She had returned from
25 Germany. I think that I greeted them, and -- but
1 Ivica's wife is from Krcevine. She wanted to go there
2 immediately to see her mother.
3 Q. Do you perhaps know where the daughter of
4 Josip Vidovic and Fikreta lived? Obviously this is a
5 mixed marriage, judging by the names.
6 A. Yes, I know Fikreta, the teacher, and Josip.
7 Q. Where did their daughter live?
8 A. [redacted]
9 [redacted]. I did not know that.
10 Q. So you did not know that she also returned on
11 the 15th?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Do you know when Tomo Alilovic came back?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you hear about that subsequently?
16 A. No, I never heard about that. I heard about
17 it here, in the trial.
18 Q. That he came back on the 15th of April, too;
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What do you think, would Ivica Kupreskic have
22 brought his family back to Ahmici on the 15th of April,
23 1993, or more precisely to the Kupreskic houses, had he
24 known that a war would break out on that day?
25 A. He would not have. Had I known, I would not
1 have brought in my own family, and I would have made
2 them stay away.
3 Q. When Ivica Kupreskic's wife arrived, did you
4 go over there to greet her, to Ivica's house?
5 A. Yes, but only in the evening, when they came
6 back from Krcevine, which could have been -- I don't
7 know exactly, sometime around 8.00 p.m., perhaps even
8 later. They came to visit me that night. Milka and
9 Gordana Vidovic -- Milka is Gordana's mother -- and my
10 parents were there, and my wife and children were
11 present. We were all visiting together at my place,
12 and then myself and my wife went over to their place to
13 visit them.
14 Q. So when you went over to Ivica's, who all was
16 A. It was pretty full. Mirko Sakic was there,
17 Mira Vidovic was there, Miroslav Pudja, and then myself
18 and my brother were there with our wives. Then Manda
19 and Marica Didak, with their children; they were
20 refugees. So there were quite a few.
21 Q. Did you stay there a long time, or was it a
22 short visit?
23 A. As I had guests in my house, Gordana and I
24 went over there only for a couple of minutes, but we
25 did stay for about half an hour. I cannot say exactly
1 how long we stayed there.
2 Q. When you were at Ivica Kupreskic's house, how
3 did you sit? Were men in one room and women in another
4 room, or were you all mixed in together with children,
5 or how was it?
6 A. We did not have the custom of separating on a
7 gender basis. We were all there together, and children
8 were just running around among all of us.
9 Q. While you were there, what was the
10 conversation about? Can you remember some portions of
11 the conversation?
12 A. Everybody wanted to learn from Ankica what
13 was going on, what was going on in Germany. We were
14 asking about Ivica's brother Branko, and we asked about
15 Josip, about Ranko, and sister. They were all over
16 there in Germany. Then we asked how the trip was.
17 Ivica was relating about all the barricades that he had
18 come across.
19 Q. You mean on the road, there were barricades?
20 A. Yes. Throughout Herzegovina, there were a
21 number of barricades. For instance, I remember vividly
22 that he said about a barricade at Sebesic. This is an
23 area between Novi Travnik and Gornji Vakuf. He said
24 that he couldn't pass through, that he had to find his
25 way around it. Eventually they managed to get
1 through. And he said about Totic and the incidents in
2 Zenica, that there were casualties, and that is when I
3 learned about it.
4 Q. Were there any additional comments regarding
5 Zivko Totic?
6 A. No special comments. He himself did not know
7 much. He had just heard over there at the barricade
8 what had happened, and that's what he related to us. I
9 don't know after that, because then I left shortly
11 Q. You went back to your own house with whom?
12 A. With my wife and Gordana Vidovic.
13 Q. How long did Gordana Vidovic stay at your
14 house, approximately speaking? You didn't look at your
15 watch all the time.
16 A. She went home, as well as my parents,
17 sometime before midnight. Between 11.00 and 12.00, but
18 it was before midnight.
19 Q. After they left, what did you do?
20 A. My wife, as usual, cleared the table, and
21 then 15 to 20 minutes later, we went to bed.
22 Q. Before we move on to 16 April, I would just
23 like to ask you several additional questions.
24 "Sutre", is that somebody's nickname?
25 A. Yes. We, the Kupreskics, were called "Sutre"
1 because of our great grandfather.
2 Q. But you, yourself, did you refer to yourself
3 as "Sutre"?
4 A. No, and I have nothing to do with the Sutre
5 company which is in the area.
6 Q. Very well. Something about Sakib Ahmic, your
7 first-door neighbour. How long have you known him?
8 A. I knew him since my birth, basically since I
9 was able to identify people.
10 Q. When you were small. Did you know that he
11 had children?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you socialise, the children, that is?
14 A. Not particularly, but I spent most of the
15 time with Zikret. I think he's the third-oldest son,
16 Zikret Ahmic. I saw him the most, and with the others,
17 I just exchanged greetings.
18 Q. What was your relationship with him? We're
19 talking just prior to 16 April. Was there any conflict
20 between you, any differences, or did you, as informally
21 it is said, did you have any grudge against each
23 A. I can say that there was no neighbour with
24 whom I did not exchange greetings, including Sakib.
25 Sakib had some differences with my father, but that had
1 to do with the boundaries of his properties. He had
2 two Croat and two Muslim neighbours, and he had some
3 differences with all of them regarding his property.
4 He was someone who had a habit of running into problems
5 over this with people. But there were no particular
6 problems. He still greeted people. He greeted me.
7 Q. Did you know, on 15 April, where Sakib Ahmic
9 A. Yes, I knew that he lived in his house.
10 Q. Very well. Now, we're still talking about
11 the 15th of April. The day before, did you know that
12 the conflict had already started in the Busovaca area?
13 A. We knew that in the Busovaca area, fighting
14 was going on since January, January '93.
15 Q. Were you aware of any Muslim crimes committed
16 in the Busovaca area?
17 A. People talked about a crime in the villages
18 of Dusina and Lasva. These were the villages bordering
19 Busovaca and Zenica municipalities, and there was talk
20 about a Kaja family and Rajic family members, 14 or 15
21 people altogether, that they were killed.
22 Q. These were Croats?
23 A. Yes, they were Croats.
24 Q. After you heard about that, did you also
25 mention this in Ivica Kupreskic's house, to the best of
1 your recollection, obviously?
2 A. I don't remember that having been mentioned.
3 No, I don't think so.
4 Q. On the 15th of April, were you afraid of
5 Muslims as Muslims?
6 A. You see, given the conflict of the 20th of
7 October and thereafter, in Borongaj, which is a forest
8 up above Upper Pirici, about 800 metres from us, we
9 heard that there was some Mujahedins there, that
10 perhaps they may attack Croats, so occasionally we
11 would put our families in the shelter at Vrebac's. We
12 were around Branko's house, patrolling, and nothing
13 would happen. So this happened several times.
14 We also heard about Dusina and Lasva, the
15 Busovaca area, and all this contributed to our
17 There were also people in Ahmici whom we did
18 not know. These were refugees from Western Bosnia.
19 People who carried weapons, had uniforms, I
20 know that some of them went to the front lines against
21 the Serbs near Visoko, which is in the direction of
22 Sarajevo. They were talking about a front line at
23 Cekricici. That is how that particular area was
24 called. They would be bussed to that front line from
25 the school where they were stationed, and then on the
1 way back they would shoot their weapons in the air.
2 The same thing happened with Croats who went to Mount
3 Vlasic to do the front line, and on the way back they
4 would shoot in the air too.
5 So there were all these indications of the
6 situation not being so good, but you learned to live
7 with it. I mean you just keep going. I cannot say
8 that it's normal, but you just accept that these are
9 the circumstances under which you live.
10 So there was some kind of apprehension, but
11 it is not as if you were afraid of your neighbours. I
12 wasn't afraid, and I don't think others were either.
13 Q. If I understood you correctly, you may have
14 been afraid more of the people from the outside rather
15 than your own neighbours?
16 A. Yes. Even about Dusina, talk was that it was
17 the Mujahedins, the mercenaries, who had come there and
18 slaughtered people. We did not experience any of that,
19 but there it was.
20 Q. Very well. Let's move on to the 16th of
21 April. First of all, could you now describe your
23 A. My house, looking from the outside, you could
24 even believe that nobody lives there, except for the
25 curtains. The facade on the outside was not finished.
1 The roof had been put on. It had a basement, it had
2 the ground floor and an attic, and I had finished the
3 inside. I had a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a
4 living room.
5 Q. Was that on the ground floor?
6 A. Yes, that was the ground floor. I did not
7 have an upper floor. I had a basement.
8 Q. Who did you live with in the house on that
9 day, 15-16 April 1993?
10 A. I lived with my wife and my three sons. They
11 were eight, three and a half --
12 Q. Could you tell each son's name and age at
13 that time?
14 A. Mladen was the oldest. He was eight, seven
15 and a half. Davor was the middle one, and he was three
16 and a half, and Anto, the youngest, was ten months old.
17 Q. Could you now describe what the sleeping
18 arrangements were on that night between the 15th and
19 16th of April?
20 A. Myself and my wife slept in the bedroom with
21 our youngest child, and Davor and Mladen slept in the
22 living room.
23 Q. At about what time did you usually go to bed?
24 A. Sometime around midnight. We went to bed
25 after Milka and Gordana Vidovic went back to their
2 Q. So it was late. Were you quite sleepy?
3 A. Yes, but it was normal for us to stay up that
5 Q. Very well. When did you wake up on the 16th
6 of April?
7 A. I do not recall the time, but I remember
8 being awakened by a doorbell ringing.
9 Q. When the doorbell rang, was it still dark or
10 was there daylight?
11 A. It was totally dark.
12 Q. Did you look at your watch?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. So you cannot give the precise hour and
16 A. I can only say that it was dark, that I was
17 awakened by the doorbell. I went from the living room
18 to the bathroom. I opened the window there. From
19 there, I can see the entrance to my house, and Dragan
20 Vidovic was there and said that there was a possibility
21 that we could be attacked by the Mujahedins and that we
22 needed to flee with wives and children.
23 Q. Who is Dragan Vidovic?
24 A. Dragan Vidovic is a neighbour who lived down
25 near the Sutre warehouse, and then when you turn there,
1 about 50 metres towards Zume.
2 Q. Did you ask him how he knew this?
3 A. I did not. Dragan had just come by, and he
4 was in a hurry. He rang the doorbell, and as I opened
5 the door, he was already leaving. He just said that he
6 had roused Ivica and that I should do the same with
7 Mica, and that he was on his way and I didn't have any
8 time to ask him.
9 Q. When you saw him, how was he dressed?
10 A. It was dark. I cannot recall exactly how he
11 was dressed. I saw that he had a rifle slung on his
12 back. I could see a glimmer of it.
13 Q. Very well. So he woke you up. Then what did
14 you do? Did this doorbell only wake you up?
15 A. My wife probably also heard it. So when I
16 got back to the room, I told her to get up and get the
17 children ready. Then I went over to my brother and my
18 father to rouse them.
19 Q. What did you wear? What did you put on to
21 A. I put on a pair of jeans and the top of a
22 military uniform.
23 Q. Did you take your weapon along?
24 A. When I went to rouse my brother and my
25 parents, I did not take my rifle with me.
1 Q. Very well. So now you roused your parents
2 and your brother. Then what did you do?
3 A. While I was doing this, my wife had roused
4 the children. She was dressing them up when I came
5 back, so I helped her with that, and to pack a few
6 things for the children in a bag. We left the house
7 and started up towards my brother and my father's
8 house, and from there to Pudze's houses and in the
9 direction of the shelter of Vrebac.
10 Q. Did you rouse anybody else on the way over
12 A. When we reached my uncle's house, I thought
13 of Didaks. So I didn't know whether somebody had
14 alerted them, so I ran to Manda's house. In fact, this
15 is Branko Kupreskic's house, but this Manda Didak and
16 her children -- Manda and Marica and her children lived
17 there. So I told Marica that there was a possibility
18 that we may be attacked and that they should get ready
19 to go down to Niko Sakic's house. I told her to tell
20 this to Manda, who was staying at another house. This
21 was just a 20-metre detour, so I didn't spend more than
22 a minute doing that.
23 So with my wife, children, brother, his
24 children, my parents and my brother's in-laws, we went
25 down into that depression to Niko Sakic's house.
1 Q. Did you have a weapon at that time?
2 A. Yes. I had Ivica's weapon, that is, that
3 hunting carbine.
4 Q. At the time when you got going, did you hear
5 any shooting at that time or was it still silent?
6 A. There was no shooting at the time. It was
8 Q. At the point when you were leaving home, was
9 it still dark or had it already started to dawn?
10 A. Still dark. It was just before dawn, but it
11 was still very dark.
12 Q. Another question is why you carried weapons
13 when you were actually fleeing.
14 A. Well, even before that, after the first
15 conflict, after the 20th, on several occasions we had
16 received information that it might be possible for an
17 attack to take place from Borongaj. We would take all
18 the weapons we had. We would take our families to
19 places where there were more Croats, and then we would
20 return -- we would leave them and we would return with
21 our weapons. And if there would be an attack, then we
22 would perhaps respond by shooting. So on that morning,
23 I also took my rifle, thinking that it would be similar
24 to that.
25 Q. Tell me whether you saw anyone en route, and
1 just describe what you did as you went from your house
2 to the shelter.
3 A. When we arrived at Niko Sakic's house, I saw
4 a few of the locals. I saw Niko --
5 Q. Sorry. When you say "locals", who are you
6 referring to?
7 A. I'm talking about Croats who lived close to
8 Niko Sakic's house. I'm talking about neighbours who
9 lived near his house, and I remember Niko Sakic, Mirko,
10 his son, Dragan Samija, Milutin Vidovic, Miroslav
11 Pudze. There were also some women that were going to
12 Niko Sakic's shelter. There was a basement where they
13 took shelter.
14 I remember that Milutin Vidovic, he was my
15 best man, my kum, and he said, "Kum, you know, my wife
16 stayed at home and there is a concrete roof there, so
17 if anything happens, the concrete ceiling will protect
18 them and it's near this Vrebac shelter. Since you have
19 young children, you have a baby, perhaps it would be
20 better for you to stay there with my family and you can
21 have food prepared, et cetera," so that's exactly what
22 I did.
23 My mother and father were a bit in front of
24 us. My brother was actually transporting his
25 mother-in-law. We call this a wheelbarrow. He put her
1 in the wheelbarrow, and I would help him every now and
2 then, and the children were there.
3 So they went to the Vrebac shelter, and I
4 left my family at Milutin Vidovic's house, where I took
5 them to.
6 Q. At the point when you left your family at
7 Milutin Vidovic's house, what was it like? Was it
8 dawn, had it dawned already, or not?
9 A. Well, it wasn't exactly daybreak, but you
10 could see better.
11 Q. You did not look at your watch? You cannot
12 tell us the exact time?
13 A. Well, at that time I went to work early. I
14 would usually wake up at quarter to 5.00, because
15 that's when day would be breaking out. You could see
16 that it was just beginning to dawn at quarter to 5.00.
17 So since I know that period of time, I think it was
18 around 5.00 at Niko Sakic's.
19 Q. When you left your family at Milutin
20 Vidovic's house, was there shooting at that moment
22 A. No, there wasn't any shooting yet.
23 Q. So what did you do then?
24 A. Milutin Vidovic's house is closer, perhaps
25 30 or 40 metres away from the Vrebac shelter. I waited
1 for my brother, and we together returned to Niko
2 Sakic's house.
3 Q. Tell us, as you were moving about, did you
4 meet any soldiers, and when?
5 A. When we were by the Pudja houses, we met -- I
6 remember that this was by Ante Pudja's house. We met
7 five or six soldiers on the road, on that road, and we
8 also saw five or six -- well, it was dark, so I
9 couldn't see more, but I saw from the back door of Ante
10 Pudja's house -- it's not a proper road, but then there
11 is a small road from Milan Samir -- or, rather, there's
12 no road. There's a small meadow between Milan Samir's
13 and Pudja's house.
14 Q. So you took your family to Milutin Vidovic's
15 house, and you encountered the military before you put
16 your family up with them, or afterwards?
17 A. When my brother and I proceeded from Niko
18 Sakic's house, when Milutin told me to go there, when
19 we left Niko Sakic's house and we started moving
20 towards Zume, that's when I saw the soldiers.
21 Q. Oh, so your family was still with you?
22 A. Yes, my wife and my children, all the people
23 I mentioned before were all there together. Only my
24 mother and father were perhaps in front of us, some 50
25 metres, I don't know, in front of us.
1 Q. All right. So you saw these soldiers, and
2 could you describe them to us now?
3 A. As I was passing by them, I saw that they
4 wore black and camouflage uniforms, both kinds. They
5 wore both one and the other. They had paint on their
6 faces. It seemed to me that their faces were
7 completely black, but I could see the shine in their
8 eyes. They had rifles, and I could see that they had
9 Osas, Zoljas, mortars or something -- I could not tell
10 because it was still pretty dark, I could not --
11 RPGs. I didn't know exactly which weapons they had,
12 but I had never felt that way before. I tried to get
13 away as soon as possible. But I did not know what they
14 wanted. I just saw them leaving this space between
15 Milan Samir's and Ante Pudja's house, and they went up
16 to the main road, and they moved toward Niko Sakic's
17 house. They were taking that road.
18 Q. Were you terrified, perhaps, that this might
19 be the Muslim army? Or precisely how did you identify
20 whose army this was?
21 A. Well, they were coming from a part of the
22 village that was predominantly Croat, where most of the
23 population was Croat. And in addition to that, my
24 mother and father were in front of us, and others were
25 passing there, locals who were going to Niko Sakic's
1 house, to the shelter. So I could not have assumed
2 that these were Muslims, because how could Muslims come
3 to Rotilj?
4 Q. If I understood you correctly, it was your
5 conclusion that these were Croat soldiers, is that
6 right, judging on the road that they were coming from
7 and all that?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And there was no shooting then, at that time,
10 when you saw them?
11 A. No.
12 Q. It was still dark?
13 A. Yes, it was still dark, but I said that it
14 was just before daybreak.
15 Q. When you met these soldiers, did you
16 recognise any of them? Was there a single person that
17 you knew, or that would have known you, that was
18 amongst them? Somebody who would have said, "Hi,
19 Zoran," for example?
20 A. No, nobody said a word to me, and I did not
21 recognise anyone. I looked at them only for a moment,
22 and it was terrifying, and I looked away, and I
23 thought, "Let's get out of here with the children.
24 Let's get to Milutin Vidovic's house."
25 Q. Did you notice a special colour? That is to
1 say, did any of them have belts that were of a special
3 A. I noticed a few white belts, and also
5 Q. White-coloured?
6 A. Yes, white-coloured.
7 Q. Could you describe the weapons that this
8 group of soldiers had?
9 A. They were carrying weapons in their hands and
10 down their arms. They were slung over their
11 shoulders. I thought that they were automatic rifles.
12 I said that I could not tell, because there was very
13 little light coming from the sky, whether it was a
14 mortar, Osa, Zolja, RPG, whatever. In my opinion, they
15 were well armed.
16 Q. Did you ask them, "Guys, where are you
18 A. I never thought of doing anything of the
19 kind. Perhaps that would make them take me with them.
20 I can't even remember at that point whether I was
21 carrying my baby or leading the other children or
22 pushing the wheelbarrow. I just tried to get away as
23 soon as possible.
24 Q. Tell us, these soldiers, when you met them,
25 you tried to get away as soon as possible; but in your
1 mind, was there a process taking place as to where
2 these soldiers were supposed to be going and for what
4 A. The first thing that came into my mind -- and
5 I was already on my way back; I was going to take my
6 family to Milutin's house -- that we had already
7 received information that there would be danger, and
8 nothing came out of it, and it seemed to me that --
9 well, this was pretty serious this time. That's the
10 only thing that crossed my mind. Then I thought
11 perhaps, yes, there would be an attack, and these
12 soldiers were going there to repel the attack, to
13 fight. That's what had crossed my mind at that time.
14 Q. That is your conclusion on the basis of the
15 information that you had; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And what did you do then?
18 A. My brother and I returned to Niko Sakic's
19 house, and at that moment, down from the depression,
20 Manda and Marica Didak were coming out with their
21 children, and Marica asked me -- or Manda, I can't
22 remember which one -- where my wife was. I told her
23 where she was and asked her whether she knew where the
24 Vrebac shelter was, and she said that she didn't know,
25 and I said, "Okay, I'll take you."
1 My brother stayed on, and I went with the two
2 of them and their children. I went back and I took
3 them there, to the house. They wanted to be with my
4 wife, so I took them to Milutin's house and left them
5 there. Manda, that is, with two children, and Marica
6 with two children.
7 Q. And what happened then? Did you help the
8 Didaks find accommodation? Did you send them
10 A. I took them all the way to Milutin Vidovic's
11 house, to the very threshold, but I did not enter the
13 Q. So you came to that house, you left the
14 Didaks there, and what did you do then?
15 A. I started out to Niko Sakic's house, but when
16 the shooting started, I was near Niko Vidovic's
17 shelter, the shelter in the middle. It was there that
18 I was, as far as I can remember, and then when the
19 shooting started, I began to run. Perhaps it took me a
20 minute or two to reach Niko Sakic's house. I would run
21 for a while and then seek shelter, and then -- I would
22 not run along the road, but there was a ditch. I don't
23 know who was shooting, and from where. I could hear
24 the shooting, so I sought shelter a bit, and then I ran
25 to Niko Sakic's house.
1 Q. All right. So when the shooting started,
2 were you with someone, or were you on your own?
3 A. I was on my own, but by Niko Sakic's house,
4 where this shelter in the middle is, there were people
5 in front of the shelter outside. There were women,
6 actually, and a few civilians. When the shooting
7 started, I know that they ran to the shelter by the
8 house, and I went to Niko Sakic's.
9 Q. Can you estimate how much time had passed
10 from the moment when the soldiers passed by you to the
11 moment when the shooting began?
12 A. Well, my estimate would be, say, 20 minutes,
13 perhaps half an hour, approximately.
14 Q. When the shooting began, what was the
15 visibility like?
16 A. When the shooting began, it had already
17 dawned. It was daybreak. It was cloudy. As far as I
18 can remember -- I can't remember. It seems to me that
19 there was a bit of rain, a bit of a drizzle, but I
20 can't remember.
21 Q. At that time of the year, when does the day
22 begin? When is dawn?
23 A. Well, I think that dawn, daybreak, is around
24 5.00, because that's when I went to work. But it gets
25 really light sometime before 6.00, say 5.30, 6.00.
1 Q. What did you think was happening when you
2 heard the shooting? At that point when the shooting
3 began, afterwards, you started thinking about other
4 things as you received information?
5 A. I thought that this was an attack, and that
6 the soldiers that I had met were repelling the attack,
7 and that that was where the fighting was. But I did
8 not know anything specific, nor did I guess.
9 Q. Tell me, could you have estimated where the
10 shooting was coming from?
11 A. I heard the shooting from the Kupreskic
12 houses, my house, our houses. From that direction. I
13 heard it coming from the road somewhere, down by the
14 cemetery, too. As I was coming back from Zume to Niko
15 Sakic's house, the shooting was coming from in front of
16 me, a bit to the right-hand side and right in front of
18 Q. Let us now try to show it on the large aerial
19 photograph, and then later on you will mark it on a
20 smaller copy of it. So will you now please take the
21 pointer and approach the aerial photograph on the
22 easel, please.
23 Zoran, will you please first show the road
24 you took when you were evacuating your family. Try to
25 orient yourself on this map first. Find your house and
1 then the way in which you evacuated your family.
2 A. This is my house (indicating), and this is
3 where I moved. I went to my parents' home --
4 Q. I'm not interested in this -- what you did
5 first. Start with the position where you all were
6 together and being evacuated.
7 A. We went down to the depression, to Niko
8 Sakic's house, and then down this road (indicating). I
9 left my wife and family at Milutin Vidovic's house, and
10 my brother took his to the Vrebac shelter, over here
12 Q. Tell me, when you left your house and you
13 went down towards the depression, was there a road
14 there, or were there paths, or what did you follow?
15 A. When you go from my uncle's house to the
16 Sakics' house, it's just a path. This is what we used
17 when we went down to visit people down there. It's
18 just a simple path. It's not a road that a vehicle can
19 use, just a footpath.
20 Q. Is it a single footpath, or are there several
21 of them?
22 A. When you came to this forest, you could
23 take -- it was just a meadow. It's a clearing. You
24 could go on the edge of the forest. This footpath was
25 on the edge of the forest. Before the open field, you
1 had a forest, so to your left it would be all wooded.
2 Or you could go through the woods, but only -- it was
3 mostly used by the kids when they played.
4 Yes, we could go -- this was also a footpath
5 (indicating). There was a store there, so people from
6 Zume used that path to go to the store and back. The
7 asphalt road ended at Niko Sakic's house, here
9 Q. Now show me, where did you encounter the
11 A. You cannot see it very well, but this is Niko
12 Sakic's house (indicating), and this, Anto Pudja's and
13 Milan Samir's houses (indicating). I saw some of them
14 here, and some of them were actually on the road,
15 perhaps five or six, something like that.
16 Q. Very well. Please take a seat now, and now
17 please mark all these positions into the copy of the
18 photograph you have in front of you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph is D22/1.
20 MR. RADOVIC:
21 Q. First, please mark the direction in which you
22 moved. So let it be a line.
23 A. Can I again draw it first and then place it
24 on the ELMO and show it again?
25 Q. If that is what is more convenient.
1 A. Will you please tell me again what to do?
2 Q. One full line to mark the way which you took
3 from your homes to the place where you left your
4 family, that is, Milutin Vidovic's house.
5 A. (Witness complies)
6 Q. Very well. That is the way you took, the
7 direction you went to. Now mark with "X" the position
8 where you encountered the military, and mark that
9 position with "1." Once you are done, please place it
10 again on the ELMO so that we can all see that, and then
11 please point to that position.
12 A. This is the path we took (indicating). This
13 is Milutin's house (indicating), and this is the Vrebac
14 shelter (indicating), and this is the position where I
15 encountered the military (indicating).
16 Q. And then please, finally, mark the spot where
17 you were when you first heard the shooting.
18 A. Excuse me, how shall I mark it, please?
19 Q. First put an "X" there, and then above it,
20 put number "2."
21 A. It's here (indicating).
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RADOVIC: I tender this photograph too.
24 I'm not going to have the witness make any more
25 markings on it. I think it completes this exhibit.
1 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, we were unable to
2 see the point where number "2" is. I have objection
3 (sic) to the exhibit being tendered, but I would like
4 to see where the "2" is.
5 MR. RADOVIC: It is no problem to repeat
7 Q. Witness, Zoran, please point on the ELMO
8 where point "2" is. Did you mark number "2"?
9 A. Yes, but it's marked in blue, and the ELMO
10 does not show it very well.
11 JUDGE MAY: Could you also show us point "1"
12 again, please.
13 A. Here is number "1."
14 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
15 MR. RADOVIC: If we need -- if there are any
16 further questions or clarifications, we're at your
17 disposal. Then we can move on to the next segment of
18 the examination.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: So this document, D22/1, is
20 admitted into evidence.
21 MR. RADOVIC:
22 Q. Zoran, now we're at the point where the
23 shooting started and your position at the time when the
24 shooting started. You thought that these soldiers came
25 there to take on the fight as a defensive action, then
1 what did you do?
2 A. When I came running to Niko Sakic's house, I
3 saw Niko behind his house. In other words, when I
4 arrived, he was on that side of the house. In passing,
5 I asked him where the others were, and he said that
6 they went running down into the depression, so I
7 continued running in that direction myself. And I --
8 Q. My apologies. There will be a lot of
9 movement now, so perhaps you can help us by pointing to
10 where you moved. Would you like to continue your
11 narration, or would you like to keep on pointing?
12 A. I would prefer to just keep on narrating.
13 Q. Very well. Go on, then.
14 A. So in this depression, when I arrived, I saw
15 Dragan Vidovic, Mirko Sakic, my brother Mirjan, Dragan
16 Samir. Drago Grgic, I believe he was there also. They
17 had all hidden, and if we look at this depression and
18 that forest, between the Kupreskic and Sakics' houses,
19 they were somewhere in the middle, perhaps closer to
20 the Kupreskic -- they were around that path, and from
21 the open field, the terrain starts sloping up, and
22 that's where they were hiding. And as the shooting was
23 going on, I joined them there.
24 Q. Can you tell me, in this position, or in some
25 other position, could you notice anything burning?
1 A. After about 15, 20 minutes, perhaps even half
2 an hour, we saw smoke, and I recall very well telling
3 my brother, "Your and our father's house is on fire."
4 Q. How did you conclude that?
5 A. The smoke was rising, and the forest is not
6 very dense in that area, so my uncle's house could be
7 seen, and behind it the smoke was rising. It looked to
8 me that it was in the direction where that house was,
9 so that's why I said it. And then to the right of it,
10 also another plume of smoke started rising, and I
11 thought, "There goes my house now." But I thought, "At
12 least we're alive."
13 So shortly thereafter, we moved further up.
14 If you look from the depression up, off to the left,
15 there's still a forest there, but it's narrower, so you
16 could see better. We looked again to see whether these
17 were indeed our houses that were on fire, and we
18 couldn't see very well.
19 A shell fell nearby. It looked to us as if
20 it was very close, but it may not have been that
21 close. So in front of us for another 20, 30 metres,
22 the ground rose again, and then it sloped back
23 downward, and that's where we felt that the shell had
25 Q. Did you try to determine what exactly was on
1 fire and was it really your houses that were on fire?
2 A. Not at that time. We didn't even make an
3 attempt, except for that little lateral movement to try
4 to ascertain what was burning. Later on, we learned
5 that these were not our houses that were on fire.
6 Q. Could you place in time when this was? Was
7 it morning, late morning? Please try to place it as
8 accurately in time as you can.
9 A. As this shooting had started somewhere around
10 5.30, 5.45, I don't know exactly when, about 15 minutes
11 later or half an hour later, we started seeing this
12 smoke. Then again, a short time thereafter, again it
13 must be 10 or 15 minutes that that shell fell, and then
14 we again ran back. It's only a distance of 30 to 40
15 metres, really.
16 We heard the shooting in front of us. Then
17 we hid there, and all this took place from the moment
18 the shooting started, within an hour or two. All this
19 happened in that period of time.
20 Q. So up until about 9.00, I mean,
22 A. Within a couple of hours. For a couple of
23 hours, the shooting was the most intense early in the
24 morning for an hour or two, and then it subsided, and
25 then again up to three hours, approximately.
1 Q. Did you learn of any deaths, any casualties?
2 A. Yes. We heard of the first casualty, and
3 that was Fahrudin Ahmic, a friend of ours, a friend of
4 mine and Mico's.
5 Q. From whom did you learn that?
6 A. When after this shooting, this couple of
7 hours, when things quieted down a bit, we were
8 concerned about our families. We did not know what had
9 happened there. You could hear some explosions, some
10 shells falling. Then we took an opportunity, Mico and
11 I and Mirko Sakic, and decided to go over and see what
12 had happened to our families.
13 Near this middle shelter, Anto Vidovic, whose
14 nickname was Satko, Mirko and I had passed, and Mirko
15 had called out Mico, and then he went over there and
16 then went back -- caught up with me and said -- he told
17 me about Fahran.
18 Q. Were you affected by the knowledge of that
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. Fahran is the young man we talked about when
22 we talked about the whole group?
24 Q. After that, did you learn about further
25 deaths? It would be useful if you could try to place
1 it in time for me too.
2 A. When we went over there, it could have been
3 about 9.00 or 10.00 in the morning. I came to
4 Milutin's house, and my brother went with Mirko to the
5 Vrebac shelter. I was there at the door. I didn't get
6 in. His wife came out, and from her I learned that
7 there were additional dead bodies lying by the road. I
8 asked about the children, and then I stayed there very
9 briefly. Then went over to the shelter to check on my
10 mother and father. I saw Zdravko Vrebac. Mico had
11 already told him about Fahran. We were there briefly.
12 I was there with my father, and we went back.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic, shall we
14 stop now?
15 MR. RADOVIC: I had left it to you this time
17 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we'll adjourn
18 now until tomorrow at 9.00.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 1.03 p.m., to be reconvened on
21 Friday, the 16th day of July, 1999,
22 at 9.00 a.m.