Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12530

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

12 declaration.

13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

15 truth.


17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

18 seated. I gather there are no protective measures

19 requested.

20 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, please.

21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning, Your

22 Honours.

23 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

24 Q. Good morning, madam. Would you please

25 introduce yourself to the Court. Give us your name,

Page 12531

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

7 now?

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

13 is.

14 Q. And at that time, you lived in Vitez, didn't

15 you?

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.

Page 12532

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

12 then?

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

Page 12533

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

5 communication.

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.

Page 12534

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

6 then?

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

Page 12535

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

25 uniform?

Page 12536

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,

Page 12537

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

Page 12538

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.

Page 12539

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

19 time?

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.

Page 12540

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

Page 12541

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

Page 12542

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

8 was?

9 A. Well, if you are asking about the time --

10 Q. When you talked about the visit of these

11 soldiers.

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

Page 12543

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

17 Zoran.

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

Page 12544

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

24 house?

25 A. Yes, yes, when Majda said to me that that's

Page 12545

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

21 place?

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

Page 12546

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

9 there.

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

20 Sivro's?

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

Page 12547

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

6 where?

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

17 afraid.

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

Page 12548

1 houses.

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

Page 12549

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

8 made?

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

Page 12550

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

15 questions?

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,

Page 12551

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

7 belongings.

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.

Page 12552

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?

Page 12553

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

12 Croatia.

13 Q. And when did you come to Vitez again after

14 that?

15 A. I came back to Vitez sometime in September

16 1994.

17 Q. And that is where you came to Vitez for good?

18 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods, says the

19 interpreter.

20 Q. At that time did you communicate with [redacted]

21 [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.

Page 12554

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

16 meet.

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

Page 12555

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

17 then?

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

Page 12556

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

Page 12557

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

Page 12558

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

Page 12559

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

5 paper.

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.

Page 12560

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

22 side?

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

Page 12561

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 --

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 12562

1 [Private session]












13 pages 12562-12594 redacted private session













Page 12595

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned

25 at 11.30 a.m., to be reconvened on

Page 12596

1 Monday, the 8th day of November, 1999

2 at 9.00 a.m.