1 Wednesday, 6th October, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number
7 IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic,
8 Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic,
9 Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
11 Would the witness please take the solemn
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 WITNESS: LJILJANA SAPINA
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
18 seated. I gather there are no protective measures
20 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, please.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning, Your
23 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
24 Q. Good morning, madam. Would you please
25 introduce yourself to the Court. Give us your name,
1 surname, your date of birth and place of residence.
2 A. I'm Ljiljana Sapina, born on the 7th of
3 September, 1955, in Vitez, which is where I live with
4 my family, my husband and two children. I work as an
5 administrative officer. I have a high school diploma.
6 Q. Tell me, where is your place of residence
8 A. In Vitez.
9 Q. Where did you work before the war, and where
10 were you before the war?
11 A. I worked in the factory, Slobodan Princip
12 Seljo, in Vitez, from 1974 until the present day, that
14 Q. And at that time, you lived in Vitez, didn't
16 A. Not all the time, because I was also on
17 leave. The factory would send their workers away for
18 leave. Sometime in 1991, I was sent on leave, and
19 since my husband had a job in Croatia, we went to
20 Croatia, to the island of Brac, at the end of 1991.
21 From time to time I would come to Vitez because that's
22 where my family was. This was mainly during the
23 children's holidays. I came perhaps in 1992, in July
24 or August, and I was there on the very eve of the
25 conflict, at the middle of March.
1 Immediately after that, the conflict broke
2 out and I could not go back to Croatia. I managed to
3 return only at the end of May; that is to say, to
4 return to Croatia.
5 Q. Could you please tell me one thing at a
6 time. Tell me when you exactly left Vitez.
7 A. You mean during the conflict?
8 Q. When did you leave Vitez in 1991?
9 A. On the 1st of December, on the 1st or 2nd of
10 December, 1991, I went to the island of Brac.
11 Q. And you said that you went back every now and
13 A. Yes, yes, I did, because I kept my apartment
14 in Vitez so I could go back there to visit my family.
15 Q. Did you spend a longer period of time in
16 Vitez at some point?
17 A. In 1992, the summer, during the summer
18 holidays, July and August.
19 Q. And when did you return before the conflict?
20 A. Well, before the conflict, I came back
21 sometime in mid-March. And then, since the conflict
22 broke out, I could not go back to Croatia on time. I
23 returned only at the end of May 1993.
24 Q. Tell me, do you know [redacted]?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I do. We were friends, good
1 friends, the best of friends. She was like a sister to
2 me, and she is still a good friend to me, I think. In
3 spite of everything that happened during the war, we
4 managed to communicate, and we are still in
6 Q. When did you become friends, and how long
7 have you been friends?
8 A. We worked together in the same factory. I
9 started to work before she did. She came a bit before
10 1980. That's when we became friends, real friends. We
11 socialised. We would see each other at home, at work.
12 Q. Do you know Zoran Kupreskic?
13 A. Yes. Yes, he also worked in our factory, and
14 I would see him because of work. He was a close
15 co-worker. Also a friendship grew through this
16 acquaintance from work.
17 Q. Were you and Majda Sivro friends with Zoran
18 Kupreskic? Would you all see each other?
19 A. Yes. At first I worked with Majda Sivro in
20 the same department, and then I was transferred to the
21 plant, where I worked together with Zoran Kupreskic as
22 well, and then she would come to see me during breaks,
23 to have a cup of coffee with me, and Zoran would stop
24 by often. That is how this friendship grew between her
25 and him, and him and myself. So we were friends.
1 Also, outside the factory, when we would see each
2 other, we would sit in a cafe in town. That was it.
3 Q. So you said that you went on leave in 1991?
4 A. Yes, mid-1991.
5 Q. Did you continue to go to work every now and
7 A. Well, I had to report for work every now and
8 then, because they always asked whether I agreed to be
9 on leave, whether I wanted somebody else to be on leave
10 instead of me. Sometimes we would take turns. During
11 one month, for example, I would be at work for half the
12 month, and the other half, my colleague would be
13 there. So when I wanted to be [sic] my husband, it was
14 actually good for me to be on leave all the time; that
15 is to say, an unpaid leave of absence.
16 Q. Did Majda Sivro go away on leave?
17 A. As far as I know, when I went to Brac, we
18 were not in contact all that often, but I think that
19 she mostly went to work. Perhaps she would be away on
20 leave only for about 15 days or so, because she worked
21 in the personnel department, where there really weren't
22 too many people employed.
23 Q. What about Zoran Kupreskic? Did he go on
24 leave, according to the best of your knowledge?
25 A. No. As far as I know, no, because he worked
1 in maintenance, machinery maintenance. It speaks in
2 itself. I'm not very knowledgeable in these matters,
3 but you really have to maintain machines all the time,
4 so he was working all the time.
5 Q. When you came back for the spring holidays in
6 1993, in March --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- at that time, did you see Zoran Kupreskic
9 and Majda Sivro?
10 A. Yes, yes, I did, because I went sometimes to
11 the factory, but we would see each other in Vitez. Not
12 that often, but we would.
13 Q. Do you recall whether in that time there was
14 any mention of Zoran Kupreskic being in the HVO?
15 A. No. No, I don't remember him talking about
16 that at all. He just said that he was working and that
17 he was quite busy. He mentioned some kind of village
18 guards that they had to carry out in their villages
19 because of security and safety. I'm not very
20 knowledgeable in these matters. But he would be
21 involved in the folklore club that was still
22 functioning in Vitez and during the night he would go
23 on guard duty. That I remember that he mentioned.
24 Q. In that period did you ever see him in
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did he tell you that he went to the front
3 line against the Serbs?
4 A. No. Never. No, he never told me that.
5 Q. You said that in the summer of 1992 you were
6 in Vitez?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you remember whether at that time the HVO
9 took an oath at the city stadium?
10 A. No, I do not remember this oath.
11 Q. In his statement here before the Court, Zoran
12 Kupreskic said that he saw you after the oath-taking
13 ceremony, together with Majda Sivro, in town. Do you
14 remember that?
15 A. Well, possibly he did meet me, but I do not
16 remember where he was before that. We would meet each
17 other before that. Also, we did not talk about this
18 oath, so I don't remember.
19 Q. On the 16th of April 1993, where were you?
20 A. I was in my apartment with my children, and
21 my sister was there with her children and her husband.
22 It was awful. We were all in the apartment. We had
23 nowhere to go. There was no basement. So we had to
24 remain on the first floor where we were. And we all
25 lay on the floor so that no one would get hurt,
1 hopefully, because we did not realise where the
2 shooting was coming from. There was shooting and
3 shelling from all over and they were flying all over
4 our heads. I don't know how to put this, really.
5 Q. Do you remember the soldiers that would come
6 to your apartment on that day?
7 A. On a few occasions two soldiers came in to
8 see whether there were any men there. They were
9 probably looking for them for the purpose of
10 mobilisation, because my brother-in-law asked
11 immediately where he was supposed to report to. And he
12 said that he should go to where his home was, that he
13 should report in his village; that is, Rijeka. So that
14 is why he went back to Rijeka.
15 Q. That was the 16th of April?
16 A. Yes, the first day.
17 Q. At what time? Do you remember?
18 A. It could have been about 10.00 or 11.00,
19 because it started very early, around 5.00, so it could
20 have been between 10.00 or 11.00, before noon.
21 Q. Tell me, where was Majda Sivro at the time?
22 Do you know that?
23 A. Yes, I do, because I called her. I don't
24 remember whether it was that day or the next day. The
25 next day I called her to ask whether everything was all
1 right, and she said she was all right and that her
2 husband and her children were with her and that there
3 was no problem whatsoever. That was it, very briefly.
4 Q. When did you talk to her again?
5 A. Again, I don't know. It's difficult to
6 remember the exact day, but it was perhaps on the 3rd
7 or 4th day she telephoned me. She was frightened -- I
8 could tell by her voice -- that they took her husband
9 away into detention or something. I don't know. I
10 went to see her. We could go out a bit at that point.
11 The shooting in town had abated, although one could
12 still hear shooting. If anybody went out, it was at
13 his or her own responsibility. And her building is
14 about 200 metres away from mine, and I went to see
15 her. I went to see what her situation was.
16 And she was quite frightened. She was and
17 her children were. So I invited her to come over to my
18 place so she'd feel better. Although I could not offer
19 any real safety to her, but I asked her if she wanted
20 to come over nevertheless. However, she did not accept
21 because she was afraid that somebody would get into her
22 apartment, that she would remain homeless. And she
23 asked me whether I could spend the night at her place,
24 and whether I could go back to my own place every now
25 and then.
1 Since my sister was there, I decided to do
2 this to help her. I was a bit afraid to leave my own
3 children, but nevertheless I did it in order to help
4 her, so I spent the night at her place.
5 Q. Do you remember how many nights you spent at
6 her place?
7 A. I cannot say exactly, but possibly it was ten
8 times or so, perhaps a bit more than that. And perhaps
9 there would be one or two nights that I did not spend
10 at her place, and that is only when I could not make
11 it. I told her that if at any point she needed
12 anything, she should just phone me and that I would do
13 anything. I just didn't want her to be frightened,
14 although whatever I said was for the purpose of
15 comforting her, because it was really dangerous for
16 everyone. So I don't see how I really could have done
17 anything to help her, but ...
18 Q. Do you know where her husband was at the
20 A. Yes, I know, because she asked me to go with
21 her. She was afraid, again. She knew that visits to
22 husbands were allowed at this workers university, this
23 adult education centre. They were detained there.
24 There were no organised meals, so women were allowed to
25 go and bring them food. Nevertheless, she was afraid.
1 And then she asked me to come with her when she went to
2 take food to her husband. She did not go with me every
3 time but, at any rate, we went there, although it was
4 dangerous, both for her and for me, because this was
5 towards the Muslim Mahala. There was a sniper there
6 that was shooting, and bullets were flying all over.
7 We had to run all the way there.
8 And it didn't really go on for very long, but
9 afterwards they were transferred to another building.
10 Q. Where?
11 A. That was the building of the so-called chess
12 club in Vitez. And no visits were allowed there. She
13 asked me to come with her. She said that she was
14 afraid, although I must admit that I was afraid too,
15 because the building where she lived, you can see that
16 building on that side too, and at the entrance to this
17 building -- that is to say the basement where they were
18 -- there were guards there. I went with her and then
19 we went around the building and we gave them food
20 through the little windows there. And I was afraid on
21 my own account and on account of my children. And
22 there was a war going on. And I didn't know what was
23 in people's minds. But I did that for her because I
24 thought she would have done the same thing for me. So
25 I thought I was supposed to do that, in spite of all
1 the danger involved.
2 Q. Did you think that something could happen to
3 you from the Croatian side?
4 A. Well, yes. Thank God. I mean, you never
5 know. I could not check on people, who was what kind
6 of a person. Who knows? And visits were forbidden, so
7 this was forbidden. That's why I was afraid. When it
8 was allowed, I was not afraid.
9 Q. Tell me, at that time you said that you spent
10 many nights at [redacted] place; right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Did she tell you about some soldiers coming
13 to her apartment?
14 A. Yes. She said that they came one evening,
15 that evening I was not there. I cannot remember that
16 exactly, but I remember her saying that they came, that
17 she was afraid, and that they asked her why she was
18 still there, and why she wasn't -- why she didn't
19 leave. What was she doing there in Vitez? What was
20 she doing there in that apartment? So she was afraid.
21 And I said that -- again I invited her to stay with me,
22 at my apartment. There was no other way I could help
23 her. She could come and stay with me at my apartment,
24 if she is afraid. I mean, even if I were there, I
25 could not have helped her, if somebody came. The only
1 safer thing was for her to come and stay with me.
2 She refused, though, because she said that
3 she wanted to stay in her apartment because she didn't
4 know what would happen afterwards, and she wanted to
5 keep the apartment. She didn't know where she could go
6 with her children, where she would go.
7 Q. Do you remember, in terms of time, when this
9 A. Well, if you are asking about the time --
10 Q. When you talked about the visit of these
12 A. Yes. Yes. I know. I had spent quite a few
13 nights at her place already, but I would -- I had
14 already been spending some nights at her place, and
15 after that, when she refused once again to go to my
16 apartment, I would spend other nights at her
17 apartment. But nobody came after that, not the next
18 day. At that time I was with her during the day too,
19 although, as I said, I would leave my own children at
20 that time and I would go to stay with her.
21 Q. Tell me, please, when did you meet Zoran
22 Kupreskic? Can you say exactly? After the war broke
23 out, that is.
24 A. I met him on the outskirts of Vitez, in
25 Kamenjaci. I was leaving a friend's place and he was
1 in his car with his wife. And he stopped and he said,
2 "Hi, how are you?" and whether I knew how Majda was,
3 whether she was all right. And I said, yes, she was
4 all right, and I was staying there with her as much as
5 possible. And he said, "Help her as much as you can."
6 And I said, "Yes, I am helping her and I shall help her
7 to the best of my ability." And he said that if
8 anything was needed, that I should turn to him and that
9 he would help as much as he could.
10 And I was happy to hear that, because I was
11 sort of fed up -- well, I wasn't fed up. No. I was --
12 I was with her most of the time and I didn't spend
13 enough time with my family, and I was happy that
14 somebody else could take care of her and her children.
15 I went to see her immediately and I told her about
16 that. And she said that she would like to talk to
18 And she suggested, since they actually told
19 me that they were in the Garic house, and that there
20 were quite a few of them there, and that Mirjan's wife
21 was there, the children, and Zoran's wife and children,
22 and Ljubo's mother. And she said that then perhaps
23 Zoran and her -- Zoran and his wife and children could
24 come to her place and that in that way she could
25 disburden me too, because she was aware of the effort I
1 was making. And my children needed me too.
2 Q. When was this, in terms of time? Can you
3 remember? Can you remember? Can you try to tell us
4 when this was, exactly?
5 A. Oh, you mean when I met Zoran? Well, perhaps
6 it was on the 10th or 11th day after the conflict broke
7 out. After the beginning of the conflict.
8 Q. After that, you told Majda Sivro that Zoran
9 said that he was willing to --
10 A. Yes. Then, when she suggested that, I went
11 to my "kuma's" brother, the brother of my "kuma" was
12 Jerolim Garic, and I asked -- you know, you were not
13 supposed to go around on your own at that time,
14 especially not in areas that you were not very familiar
15 with, because this was also a clearing where Jadranka's
16 place was, and then there was -- it was Jadranka's
17 house. There was also a sniper that was operating, so
18 I went to see her, so she would take me there, and then
19 we went the other way around so that we would not get
20 killed, and --
21 Q. Just a minute, please, and could you please
22 slow down.
23 So after that, you went to Jerolim Garic's
25 A. Yes, yes, when Majda said to me that that's
1 the way she would like it to be, so I wanted to convey
2 to them what Majda had said.
3 Q. Did you talk to Zoran at the time? Was he
4 there at the time?
5 A. Zoran's wife was there, Mirjan's wife was
6 there, and I already said Ljuba's mother and the
7 children. Perhaps they came at the end, but we had
8 already set out. We were leaving, going home. I
9 remember that I met them somewhere, but I made this
10 proposal to them, and they said that they would stop by
11 at Majda's and see.
12 Q. When you say "they," you are referring to
13 Zoran and his wife, or somebody else?
14 A. I'm referring to Zoran and Mica [phoen]. I
15 do not remember exactly -- they came with me at the
16 end. I do remember having talked to them, but then I
17 said to them that they should reach an agreement on
18 this and see, with Majda.
19 Q. Tell me, what did you do then? Did you go
20 back to Majda's? Did you see what was going on at her
22 A. I came to Majda's, and she said that Zoran
23 had stopped by, and he said that he would come to
24 discuss this. And the next day, when I came to see her
25 during the day, I saw that there was a piece of paper
1 on the door saying "Zoran Kupreskic," and I said -- and
2 she said to me that Zoran had been there and that he
3 had left this paper, and on the door it said "Zoran
4 Kupreskic." That is to say that there was a Croat who
5 was in there, so they should not be disturbed. He also
6 gave her a document, because they hadn't reached any
7 agreement yet as to whether they would be staying there
8 or not, that she could show this document, that he was
10 Q. When did Zoran come to Majda's again?
11 A. Perhaps on the next day, with his wife. I
12 was there. I happened to be there when they came, he
13 and his wife and children.
14 Q. When was this? What time of the day? Was it
15 in the evening, morning?
16 A. I think it was in the afternoon. I do not
17 remember exactly.
18 Q. Tell me, at that time, did you hear that
19 Zoran and his wife and children would stay at Majda
21 A. I did not hear about it then, because I was
22 not there all the time. I left, and I think that they
23 did spend that night there, and perhaps they spent two
24 or three nights -- well, not in a row, but when they
25 could. And then I would come when there was no one
1 else to do it, and then -- that's what she said, and I
2 said that I would come when necessary.
3 Q. Tell me, when you were at Majda Sivro's and
4 when Zoran's wife was there, do you remember whether
5 what had happened in Ahmici was discussed and who was
7 A. Well, we talked about this first event most
8 of the time, and who was where, and what people's
9 impressions were. I remember that Zoran's wife was
10 there, and Zoran was there -- not all the time; he went
11 out with a little boy for a little while to take a
12 walk, and he left the three of us women together to
13 have some coffee. Mira said that on the eve of the
14 conflict, they had withdrawn to the Croatian part of
15 the village, to Zume, and that they were there, because
16 it was awful. There was shooting, and everybody was
18 I remember that she said that Mirjan's wife
19 had gone to Rovna after two or three days, and Mira
20 stayed there, and then again a few days later, both of
21 them went to Kamenjace, where they were at Jerolim
22 Garic's, and Zoran was there, near them. He got them
23 out, and they were there most of the time, by the
24 family, because as far as I know -- well, that's the
25 way it was, because most people were around their
2 Q. Did Zoran's wife tell you in detail where she
3 was, in what house, staying with who, or was this just
4 in passing?
5 A. Well, perhaps she did, but I don't remember
6 exactly. I don't remember the details involved.
7 Q. Tell us, did you discuss Ahmici with Zoran,
8 about what happened in Ahmici?
9 A. No, by and large, because it was all terrible
10 to all of us. We all knew what happened after these
11 events. I didn't feel like it, because we all cried.
12 Everybody in our house cried when we heard what had
13 happened, and that it had happened so near us, that it
14 was very unfair on civilians, women and children, that
15 it was something that was not normal, and with Zoran we
16 simply did not discuss it. Yes, a little bit, at
17 Majda's, but it wasn't really a proper discussion. He
18 also said that he saw it after it had happened, that it
19 was horrible, and that he did not really feel like
20 talking about it. That is all.
21 Q. Do you remember if Majda ever mentioned a
22 telephone call by Zoran during the conflict?
23 A. I do remember, once when I came, she told me
24 that Zoran had called to check, just as I used to call
25 her to see if everything was all right, and to take
1 care, and whether she had anyone to help her if need
2 be, to offer her shelter or something, to take care of
3 her. And he also inquired after me, because he knew
4 that I was spending with her lots of time, so I had to
5 go there, and they used to come, and she told me about
6 that. Yes, I know that.
7 Q. Did she tell you when that call had been
9 A. No -- well, I can't -- I can't really
10 remember if she told me when it was that he had called,
11 but it was the day when her husband was detained, and I
12 went to see her, and it was then that she told me that
13 he had called. It could have been the previous day
14 or -- I don't know; it could have been the third day.
15 I'm not really sure.
16 Q. You told us that Zoran Kupreskic spent two or
17 three nights in that apartment?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you also said that you would also step in
20 when he couldn't. And after that, who was with Majda
21 Sivro in that flat?
22 A. Well, Majda called me again one day and told
23 me that Zoran's Mira could not stay with her any
24 longer, and would I ask my sister to go to stay with
25 her. And as my sister was with me, and she didn't
1 really care -- I mean, she did care; she wanted to
2 help, so she went to her place and stayed with her
3 until her departure to Zenica. Then I stopped going
4 frequently there, because my sister was with her and I
5 was with my children. She only called me when they
6 were about to leave. She said that she was leaving,
7 and they were to be exchanged with her husband, and
8 they were going to Zenica in exchange for our Croats
9 who wanted to come back, that there had been an
10 understanding, that she had been invited to go
11 somewhere and asked what she wanted to do, whether she
12 was ready to leave, and she said she was ready to go to
13 Zenica. So she called me to say goodbye.
14 Should I go on, or will you be asking me
16 Q. You are too fast for me.
17 A. I apologise.
18 Q. So Majda Sivro called you when she was about
19 to go to Zenica?
20 A. Yes, she called me to tell me that she was
21 leaving and wanted to say goodbye. That was that.
22 Q. So you came to her flat, and did you find
23 anyone there?
24 A. Well, quite a number of people. There was my
25 sister, her children, there was a lady neighbour there,
1 one or two, and I also saw Zoran, who had also come to
2 say goodbye. And shortly after that, I left -- that
3 is, my husband helped me to see her off and to carry
4 her things, as many as she could take, the necessary
5 things for her and for her children and for her
6 husband, whatever she could carry along of their
8 May I add something?
9 Q. Yes, of course.
10 A. For what it's worth, I should like to say
11 that we really were good friends. I had some money
12 with me; I knew she was going to Zenica; I knew she was
13 going somewhere without knowing where she would sleep
14 or something, so I gave her some money. I gave her
15 about a hundred German marks. She protested; she said
16 she didn't want to take it, saying, "Well, you need
17 it." And I told her, "Well, you don't know where
18 you'll end up, and I'm still staying at my place." So
19 I gave it to her, and we parted very nicely, like good
20 friends, as we always have been.
21 Q. And those hundred marks was quite a lot of
22 money at the time, wasn't it?
23 A. Well, yes. On the eve of the conflict, I
24 think our salaries were not more than 20 marks' worth;
25 something like that. I know it was really very little.
1 Q. And when was it, approximately, when Majda
2 Sivro went to Zenica?
3 A. It was sometime in mid-May or thereabouts. I
4 cannot be more precise, but it must have been, because
5 it was after that that I went to Croatia, and it was
6 towards the end of May.
7 Q. The translation is wrong. Will you please
8 repeat it -- no, no, no, it's all right. I apologise.
9 So Majda Sivro went with her husband to
10 Zenica, and her husband was exchanged at the same time
11 as she was, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you communicate with her while she was in
14 Zenica, after she found some accommodation there?
15 A. She called me straight away -- perhaps that
16 same day or the next day; I cannot tell you that -- to
17 let me know that she'd found some accommodation and
18 that they were staying with her husband's family. And
19 then she called once again to ask after our health and
20 to tell us to take care. I interpreted it in my way,
21 because after that, Zenica and Vitez were shelled, and
22 I suppose she wanted to warn me to take care, to take
23 care, to look after ourselves, so I said not to -- to
24 avoid being hit by that.
25 Q. What was shelled? What did you say?
1 A. Well, I don't know. Zenica, Vitez.
2 Q. You said that you then left Vitez shortly
3 after Majda Sivro?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And at that time, Vitez was blocked at the
6 time; how could you leave?
7 A. Well, I told you that my husband was working
8 in Croatia at the time, and during the conflict, he
9 somehow managed with UNPROFOR -- who was there, I don't
10 know -- he came to Vitez to try to get us out. And we
11 managed. So in late May we used a helicopter to go to
13 Q. And when did you come to Vitez again after
15 A. I came back to Vitez sometime in September
17 Q. And that is where you came to Vitez for good?
18 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods, says the
20 Q. At that time did you communicate with [redacted]
22 A. Yes. And even during the war she had my
23 number there at my neighbour's. I didn't have my own
24 telephone, but the neighbours where she called me, yes,
25 throughout the war she would put calls through.
1 And especially after I came back to Vitez,
2 after that we communicated by telephone. And she came
3 to visit me. And I went not to her, to Zenica, but we
4 would meet elsewhere, because at that time my daughter
5 had given birth in Zenica. That was in early '96. And
6 they asked her to be -- to be at home, because, of
7 course, one feels better. You go to Zenica. They are
8 not safe. I mean, they didn't have the -- they did not
9 feel safe amongst us, and we did not feel safe amongst
10 them. So when my daughter went to give birth, and I
11 asked her to be -- to be at hand just to help her.
12 And for about a month she was there, because
13 she had to spend some time in the hospital. And she
14 went to see her every day, taking some food, and then
15 would call me. So when I went there, we would also
17 And before that she would come to Vitez
18 because she needed some of their things, mostly some
19 technical appliances or personal belongings. Of
20 course, whatever she could carry, she came to get the
21 things that she could carry over.
22 Q. And tell us, do you know if Zoran Kupreskic
23 and [redacted] met after the war?
24 A. I don't know. Except when Zoran asked me to
25 try to locate [redacted], to see if she would be willing to
1 make a statement in his favour, because a lawyer said
2 that he -- that the voice of a Muslim was much more
3 valuable, much more precious than the voice of 100
4 Croats. And so I did that. But I do not know if they
5 met, actually. I don't know about that.
6 Q. Did they meet on some other occasions; would
7 you know?
8 A. No, I don't, really.
9 Q. At that time was Zoran -- when Zoran asked
10 you to find [redacted], do you know if they met on
11 that occasion?
12 A. Yes, they did, because I called [redacted] and she
13 came after two or three days to my flat. And in my
14 flat, yes, they were together. And we talked; I mean,
15 all three of us sat and talked.
16 Q. And what was it that Zoran asked [redacted] to do
18 A. Zoran first asked [redacted] first if she knew
19 that he had been -- that there was an indictment
20 against him, and she said that she did know. And then
21 whether she could make a statement about him helping
22 her during the war, because that will be of a big help
23 to him. And she said yes, that she could, that she
24 would make that statement, but she was afraid to
25 testify; that she could make a statement as to what had
1 happened, but she wouldn't go to The Hague and testify
2 there, because she knew about The Hague.
3 And she told us she was afraid for her family
4 and she recounted an incident -- with Muslims in
5 Zenica. When she was talking there about -- in Zenica,
6 that she knew that he was a very nice man, that he
7 would never do that, and that was met with
8 indignation. And then she added that she was afraid to
9 do that because of her children and her family. So she
10 said she was afraid to come to testify because --
11 Q. Because?
12 A. Because she was afraid.
13 Q. Because of the consequences, you mean?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you tell us, when was that, as far as
16 you can remember? When was that?
17 A. It was summer '97. I wouldn't know exactly,
18 but it was summer '97.
19 Q. And do you remember what else did you talk
20 about, except that she should make a statement for
21 Zoran or testify for him?
22 A. Well, it was like this. I know that Zoran
23 repeated two or three times that all he wanted her to
24 do was tell the truth, and nothing but the truth. And
25 he repeated that two or three times over, and not to be
1 afraid, because it was the truth.
2 And then [redacted] asked me, because my
3 sister-in-law's husband had disappeared during the
4 conflict in Mahala in Vitez, and she asked me if
5 Marija, the sister of his, had ever found her brother,
6 Zoran Vidovic. And I said no, she had never found out
7 anything more about him. She knew where he had been
8 and no trace of him was found of him afterwards.
9 And I asked her about her brother and she
10 said, "I had not found anything about him." And then
11 Zoran asked if she knew where he was detained, and then
12 she said in the school in Dubravica. And then Zoran
13 said he would try to find out, and if he could -- that
14 he would try to find out what had happened, and if he
15 ever found out anything, that he would let her know.
16 That, I remember that he said that.
17 Q. Was there any talk about [redacted] possibly
18 finding some people in Vitez, Bosniaks, who were in
19 Zenica at the time and who could also possibly be
20 witnesses for Zoran's defence?
21 A. I can't really remember. I believe there was
22 some mention of it, but who was it? Which were those
23 names? I really don't remember. But I do know they
24 talked about that. As she said, that she had talked to
25 a number of people, that very many people shared her
1 view, that Zoran could not have done that because there
2 were a number of people who cooperated with Zoran in
3 that factory of ours, where there were many employed
4 who had also left to Zenica with her.
5 Q. And after that, after that meeting in your
6 flat, did you communicate with [redacted] again with
7 reference to the statement?
8 A. After that she did not come to my flat.
9 After that we communicated by telephone on a couple of
10 occasions. And do you want me to tell the story or --
11 Q. Yes. Yes. Please do.
12 A. When Mirjana, that is Zoran Kupreskic's wife,
13 said that she -- that that statement should be made to
14 defence lawyers because defence lawyers were in Vitez,
15 and asked me to try to communicate with [redacted] to see if
16 she would come over, and when she could come and things
17 like that.
18 So I called her. And I realised that she was
19 trying to dodge it; that she was trying to shun away
20 from it; that she was shying away; that she was afraid
21 to make a statement. First she said that she had no
22 time to come, so I said, well, could the lawyers come
23 to her, to Zenica. But no. She tried to evade that.
24 And I let Mirjana know, to tell them that she probably
25 was -- seemed quite reluctant to do that. And then
1 Mirjana asked if she at least could make a statement in
2 writing, just to sign a statement that things happened
3 as they did happen; that she wouldn't have to go
4 anywhere to make any statements, but just a piece of
6 And then she said that she was ready to do
7 that, but then, when Mira called me again to ask me how
8 she could deliver it to her, but then she again tried
9 to avoid any conversation with Mirjan [sic]. I noticed
10 that, because before that, whenever I called her, we
11 talked, but then she would avoid to answer the
12 telephone when I called or something. At any rate, we
13 could not communicate for quite a long time. There was
14 quite a long time we were out of touch. Well, be that
15 as it may, but once when I called --
16 Q. But tell me, who called you? Who contacted
17 you in relation to that statement, because in the
18 transcript the name is wrong.
19 A. It was Mirjana [realtime transcript in
20 error], Zoran Kupreskic's wife. I usually call her
21 Mira, but she's Mirjana.
22 Q. Right. Now, in the transcript it's wrong
23 again; not Mirjan, but Mirjana, because it is a female
24 name, because it is Mirjana with an "A" on the end.
25 Zoran Kupreskic's wife.
1 So you again communicated with [redacted].
2 What did she tell you in the end?
3 A. Well, when I found her at long last, she said
4 she couldn't do anything, she couldn't even write
5 that. She was afraid even to talk to me by telephone
6 again; that she was receiving threats; that her
7 telephone was bugged; that she could not communicate by
8 telephone. And I realised that it was one of her
9 people, that is one of the Muslims, was telling her
10 that she should not give that statement. I don't know
11 who else could threaten her.
12 Q. And when was that about? Could you please
13 tell us?
14 A. It was immediately before I gave the
15 statement, before the statement that I gave sometime in
16 -- sometime in March. Now my brain seems blocked. In
17 March 1998, so it could have been February when I spoke
18 to her asking her, well, would she make the statement;
19 and if she wouldn't, then I would make my statement.
20 Q. And did she tell you anything else about
21 those threats or pressures that came from the Muslim
23 A. At that time, nothing, nothing any more. But
24 the next day or perhaps a few days later she called me
25 and said that she wasn't calling me from her home, that
1 she was calling from another telephone, so that now she
2 could say something; that she truly felt sorry, but she
3 did not do that because she had been faced with
4 something very unpleasant, and she told me verbatim
5 that she -- that they offered her to do something, but
6 that she wouldn't do that at any price.
7 And then I realised that it was -- it was
8 quite clear that it was -- that they wanted her to make
9 a statement against Zoran rather than for Zoran. That
10 is what I think.
11 And after that I never called her about that
12 again. I simply did not want to disturb her peace and
13 bring her into temptation. And so I gave my statement
14 and we never talked about that again.
15 Q. And after that, at any time after that in
16 '98, in '99, did you ever hear from her that somebody
17 else was threatening her in relation to giving a
18 statement, coming to The Hague or anything like it?
19 A. I told you all I know about it. I do not
20 have any information --
1 [Private session]
13 pages 12562-12594 redacted – private session
24 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned
25 at 11.30 a.m., to be reconvened on
1 Monday, the 8th day of November, 1999
2 at 9.00 a.m.