1 Wednesday, 25 October 2006
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 8836-8838 redacted. Closed session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
15 Prosecution, I'd like to provide you with some information. You'll be
16 testifying under 92 -- under Rule 92 ter. The Prosecutor will ask you to
17 identify a document that you have already signed and might show you some
18 documents after having made a brief summary of your written statement.
19 Once this has been done, and I believe that this should only take between
20 15 and 20 minutes, Defence counsel, who are to your left, may put
21 questions to you as part of their cross-examination. So each Defence team
22 will have 15 minutes, and if one Defence team doesn't want to use up their
23 time they can give their time to another Defence team.
24 As a rule, your testimony should be completed this morning. If
25 you find that you have any difficulties, inform us of the fact. We'll
1 have a break a little later on so that you can have a rest. We'll have a
2 break at 10.30.
3 Having said that, I'll now give the floor to Mr. Bos.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you again, Your Honour.
5 Examination by Mr. Bos:
6 Q. Witness BX, can you hear me?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. We'll be referring today to you as Witness BX because you've been
9 granted the protective measures. Do you understand that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Witness BX, I'm first going to read a summary of your statement,
12 and then I'm going to ask you a few questions.
13 The Witness, a Bosniak woman, was residing with her family in
14 Hrasnica in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf when the HVO soldiers started
15 shelling Hrasnica sometime after the 5th of January, 1993. The shelling
16 lasted for about seven days during which the civilians took shelter in the
17 houses with cellars.
18 Around mid-January, 1993, HVO soldiers entered the village, and
19 the civilians and soldiers defending the village surrendered amidst
20 insults and abuse. The elderly, women, and children were separated from
21 the military-aged men, and everyone was made to walk to the village of
22 Volari. While walking, she witnessed the HVO looting and setting houses
23 on fire. The witness and two men got wounded by bursting bullets. At
24 Volari, the approximate 150 civilians were put into a single bus and
25 transported to a furniture factory in Trnovaca where they were kept for
1 one night in harsh conditions. The civilians were then taken to three
2 neighbouring Muslim houses. The owner of the house she stayed in was
3 beaten by the HVO. She was allowed to go to Hrasnica for food under
4 supervision, and she saw that the mosque in Hrasnica had been destroyed.
5 After being kept for 21 days, she and the other 150 civilians were
6 released. She found out that the men detained in the factory were taken
7 to Prozor.
8 Now, Witness, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions. Did you
9 ever provide a written statement to the investigator -- to an investigator
10 of the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when did you give this written statement?
13 A. On the 13th of January, 2004.
14 Q. And at the time you provided this written statement, did you
15 answer the questions to the investigator truthfully?
16 A. Yes, nothing but truth.
17 Q. And did you answer the questions freely, that is, without any
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the conclusion of that interview, madam, was your statement
21 read back to you in the Bosnian language?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you then sign that statement in the English language?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I'm now going to provide you copies of both the English and the
1 B/C/S version of your statement. Witness, could you take a look at both
2 statements, and can you confirm that the version -- well, can you confirm
3 that you actually signed the English version of the statement?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And is this the statement that was taken from you in January,
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, yesterday you met with an investigator and myself. Do you
9 recall that meeting?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And at that point in time were you given an opportunity to review
12 your statement in the Bosnian language again?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Witness, upon reviewing your statement, did you have any
15 corrections to make to that statement?
16 A. Yes. There were two matters.
17 Q. Okay. Well, Witness, if you can take your statement into the --
18 the statement in the Bosnian -- of your own language, and if you could
19 have a look at that, and maybe if I could refer you to paragraph 10 of
20 your statement. Can you explain to the Court what corrections you want to
21 make in this particular paragraph?
22 A. Well, I'd like to correct something here. It says Sejo Guric.
23 She [as interpreted] wasn't wounded by a shell. She was wounded by a
24 bullet, since when we were captured, one soldier from the HVO approached
25 them earlier on and said that one of theirs had died, and then two members
1 of the HVO went to Sejo Guric and Asim Guric, and then Asim was seriously
2 wounded, and Sejo Guric was killed.
3 Q. You say that Sejo Guric was killed. Do you know how Sejo Guric
4 was killed?
5 A. Yes. Well, there were a number of us and were taken to the HVO.
6 The HVO soldiers were there, and one of their men came and said that a
7 soldier of theirs had been killed, and then two of them got angry. They
8 set off towards Sejo and Asim Guric, and they were angry, and then one was
9 wounded and the other person was killed. They used a rifle.
10 Q. And you say one was wounded and the other was killed. And who was
11 actually killed?
12 A. Sejo Guric was killed. Asim Guric was wounded.
13 Q. And did you witness --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, madam. There was
15 a question.
16 Ms. Alaburic.
17 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but
18 there's a mistake in the transcript, and I believe it's important. On
19 page 8, line 22 to 25. In the case of Sejo Guric, the word "she", the
20 pronoun "she" is used but it's a man. So it should be "he". Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, given your answers, could
22 we clarify something? You said the two inhabitants of the village were
23 victims. One person was killed and another wounded. Given the
24 description you have just provided us with -- well, did you see the event
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
2 MR. BOS:
3 Q. Witness, in your statement you also made reference to another
4 person, which is Muminovic, of which you don't the first name. In your
5 statement -- your statement reads that this man was killed due to
6 shelling. What do you know about Muminovic, and can you explain that to
7 the Court?
8 A. Well, all I know is that he was killed. We weren't nearby. I
9 don't know how this happened, but I know that at that time he was killed.
10 Q. But you didn't see how he got killed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Witness, you said that there were two corrections that you wanted
13 to make to your statement. Is there anything else that you wanted to
14 correct in your statement?
15 A. No, nothing else.
16 Q. Okay. Now, besides the corrections that you -- that you've just
17 explained to the Judges, is there -- is there anything else that you want
18 to add or delete or correct to this statement?
19 A. No, nothing else.
20 Q. And I were to ask you questions now about the subject matters
21 contained in your written statement, would your answer reflect what is
22 written in your statement?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I would now like to show you a
25 document, which is Exhibit P 01371. Witness, could you read out the
1 heading of this document.
2 A. "A list of individuals captured from Hrasnica, captured by HVO
4 Q. Witness, what I would like to ask you is whether you could go
5 through this list and tell the Court whether you recognise the names on
6 this list as the persons captured in Hrasnica in January, 1993.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, do you recall whether the HVO was making up a list after the
9 villages were captured? Do you recall that this was done?
10 A. I don't recall that.
11 Q. Now, going through the list, it appears that your name is not on
12 this list. Do you know why you would not be on this list?
13 A. I don't know. We were refugees. Maybe that's why they didn't put
14 us on the list.
15 Q. When you say you were refugees, do you -- do you mean to say that
16 you were not an origin habitant of Hrasnica?
17 A. At the time, I wasn't living in Hrasnica.
18 Q. Okay. And as far as you can say, the names that appear on this
19 list, are these all names of persons who actually originally inhabited in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you said that you were a
24 refugee. Which was your place of origin? Where did you come from?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the municipality of Bugojno,
1 but I lived in the village of Planinci. So I had to flee from there
2 because this area was constantly under Serbian attack. So that's when I
3 went to Hrasnica. I wasn't married.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us when exactly you
5 arrived in the village of Hrasnica?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But roughly speaking. Was it
8 one or two or three months later, earlier?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps a month before the
10 conflict broke out in Hrasnica.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time, did you arrive
12 there on your own or with your husband? What was your marital status?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't married. I went there with
14 my mother and my two brothers and my sister-in-law and their children.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I don't have any other exhibits to show to
17 this witness, so I'm almost done. Now --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bos, the list that we have
19 and which you are probably going to ask to be admitted, where does this
20 document come from? Because when I see it in B/C/S, there's no stamp on
21 it. There are handwritten notes. Where did you find this document?
22 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honours, there is a stamp on the original
23 B/C/S version, and the document does come from the Croatian archives.
24 And --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If it has the stamp of the
1 archives that's another matter, but when I say there is no stamp
2 officialising this document as coming from a source of the HVO unit or the
3 municipal authority, there is an archive stamp apparently, but when it
4 reached the archives it must have come from somewhere. Where did it come
5 from this document? Or perhaps your investigator did not ask this
7 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I wouldn't be able to give you an answer
8 to -- to that question.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I ask the
10 Prosecution to always ask the question of the origin of the document,
11 where does this particular document come from, because a Judge may ask
12 such a question. And in order to be able to judge the probative value of
13 a document, it is necessary to have certain information. We see now that
14 it comes from the archives, but apart from that nothing more.
15 Please continue, Mr. Bos.
16 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm -- I'm done with my
17 examination-in-chief. I just want to introduce the statement of this
18 witness as an exhibit, and that will be Exhibit P 09710, and we will have
19 to admit it under seal because this witness is protected.
20 And as for the exhibit that's been shown to her, Exhibit 01371,
21 this exhibit has also been admitted through Witness BV. So I don't think
22 I need to admit it again.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges have a
24 few questions to ask before giving the floor to the Defence counsel.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam Witness, good morning.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] You recognised the list of persons
3 captured shown to you by the Prosecutor, but according to your statement,
4 you arrived in Hrasnica in January, 1993, having come from a different
5 village. My question would be: Do you recognise the people on this list
6 that you knew or that you met upon your arrival in Hrasnica before these
7 people were captured and detained, or did you come to know these people
8 after their liberation? I'm asking this question to check your knowledge
9 of this list.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew these people from before. I
11 would come and visit my relatives before. I knew them all from earlier
12 on, before their capture.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] And what happened to them after
14 they were captured?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. They were separated
16 from us. They were taken away from Trnovaca to Prozor. What happened to
17 them after that, I don't know.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I also have a question, but I
20 shall give the floor first to my colleague.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you, Mr. President. Madam, in your
22 statement, it's the point number 10, you tell that the HVO entered the
23 village, and then you say, "But the shelling continued," and you say that
24 two Muslim men got killed due to the shelling. That is -- that is what
25 you have corrected, is it not? You have corrected it with regard to Guric
1 but not with regard to Muminovic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see how Muminovic got
3 killed, but I did see Sejo Guric and Asim Guric. I saw two men going
4 towards them. I don't know exactly who they were, but I saw them, that
5 they killed these two, or that they shot at them.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would you -- would you still -- would you still
7 say that Muminovic was killed due to the shelling, or is it your statement
8 today that you do not know how he was killed?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know for certain how he was
10 killed. I know about these other two, however.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: How, then, do you know at all that Mr. Muminovic
12 has been killed? Was that hearsay, others told you that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. His brother came when they
14 transported us to Volari, and then he said that his brother had been
15 killed. But this was only about 10 minutes later, but I wasn't present
16 where he was killed.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, consulting the list that
19 you saw a moment ago, I noticed that this list has two components, one
20 under the heading "Fighters," or "Soldiers," and the other "Civilians."
21 In the village that you were in, were there soldiers, members of the
22 Territorial Defence or the BH army, who were in the village? Did you see
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. How many were there,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I'm unable to answer that
3 question as to the number.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The soldiers that you saw, were
5 they carrying weapons, rifles? Did you see them walking around the
6 village armed?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course they had rifles.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now I come to an important
9 question. You said in your written statement that the shelling started
10 around the 5th of January. According to your recollection, the armed
11 inhabitants of the village, did they open fire at the HVO, or were they,
12 like you, in the cellars, in the basements seeking shelter from the shells
13 that were falling? Can you give us a little more information about the
14 situation as you experienced it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation there was such that
16 there was shooting with rifles and shelling. There were some soldiers in
17 the cellars, but there were also some outside.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is important for us to
19 know. You said that they were shooting. Who were they shooting at?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, of course there was only the
21 HVO. They had no one else to shoot at.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That brings me to
23 the end of my questions. You have explained that at a given moment, about
24 5.00 in the afternoon, HVO soldiers entered your village, and you
25 described that their faces were painted, that they were dressed in black.
1 And what is it that makes you say that these were members of the HVO?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I came to that conclusion because I
3 saw that only the HVO were there, because they had insignia on their
4 sleeves, most of them.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's a point of clarification.
6 You have just told us that they had insignia on their sleeves.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On one sleeve.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see, on one sleeve. Can you
9 explain the insignia for me?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a kind of ribbon
11 saying "HVO," and there was their mark on it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This will be my last
13 question now. The HVO soldier who fired at the person who was killed,
14 Sejo Guric, did this soldier have the HVO sign on his sleeve?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Asim Guric knew those people
16 personally. I didn't. I just knew that they were from near Hrasnica,
17 from the surroundings.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that Guric knew these
19 persons. How do you know that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the war there were a bar in
21 the village, and they would come there, and they knew each other. But he
22 couldn't probably immediately recognise him because his face was painted
23 and he had a mask on his head.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say before the war, you
25 mean before the 5th of January, or do you mean before the war in more
1 general terms?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were neighbours. They knew
3 each other for years. It wasn't just a day.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling me that the
5 HVO soldiers whose insignia you saw were apparently quite certainly
6 neighbours of the inhabitants of this village. Is that what you're
7 telling us?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They were from nearby, the
9 people who were with them.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My final question, because I
11 could go on like this for hours, but I should stop. My last question.
12 The HVO soldiers that you saw entering the village, were they under the
13 command of a chief? Did you have the impression that there was a chief or
14 a head controlling them, or did they just enter the village without any
15 leader, or perhaps you can't answer the question?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer that question. All I
17 know is that they entered the village, they told us to leave our houses,
18 and that's how it was.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Defence now has
20 an hour and a half for their questions, which means 15 minutes each.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Madam Witness, good morning. I'm attorney from
24 Zagreb, and I am the Defence counsel for General Milivoj Petkovic. I have
25 a number of questions for you so as to -- so as we can understand better
1 your statement.
2 In your statement, you wrote that the shelling lasted about seven
3 days; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So one might conclude that the resistance of your army was quite
6 fierce since you managed to resist the artillery of the HVO for all of
7 seven days; is that right?
8 A. I don't know. Our people didn't believe that this would happen
9 because we were all neighbours and nobody thought anything terrible would
10 happen. The point was to scare the people a little. Nobody expected the
11 combat to go on for so long.
12 Q. I understand what you're saying, but the fact is that according to
13 what you said, the shelling of the village lasted seven days and a lot of
14 shells fell on the village. One could come to the conclusion that your
15 army's resistance was considerable, that your soldiers fought bravely to
16 prevent the HVO soldiers entering the village.
17 A. They fought against them entering, but they didn't have any means
18 for shelling or heavy weapons.
19 Q. In your statement, you said that the civilians hid in the cellars
20 of houses. Could you tell us with greater detail where your soldiers
21 were? How far away were they from the places where you were hiding?
22 A. I don't know exactly, but they were not far from the village.
23 Q. Can you tell us at least roughly? When you say they weren't far,
24 it could be 50 metres. Were they about 50 metres away, that is, the line
25 of your soldiers?
1 A. I don't know with precision, but that is quite possible.
2 Q. Very well. You say you visited Hrasnica and that you knew the
3 inhabitants there, so I assume you were also familiar with the roads
4 around Hrasnica. Tell me, was Hrasnica village on a hill or in a valley?
5 A. In the plain.
6 Q. Was Hrasnica close to a road?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us where this road led to?
9 A. Towards Gornji Vakuf.
10 Q. Coming from where?
11 A. From Bugojno.
12 Q. Tell me, what about the road from Travnik and Novi Travnik towards
13 Gornji Vakuf. Was it also close to Hrasnica?
14 A. No, it wasn't.
15 Q. Very well. The witnesses who also recounted the events in
16 Hrasnica mention the fact that a relatively large number of civilians from
17 Hrasnica managed to escape. The civilians from central Hrasnica to upper
18 Hrasnica, then the civilians from lower Hrasnica to other villages. Were
19 you aware that some civilians had left the village and thus avoided the
20 events that you have described?
21 A. Early in the morning some people who could -- there was a
22 pedestrian bridge across the Vrbas River, and then some civilians managed
23 to cross in the evening.
24 Q. Did you know that they were leaving the village?
25 A. Some were leaving. Some were hoping that there would be no
1 serious difficulties and that it would pass quickly, so that most of us
2 hoped that this would not come to much and we stayed.
3 Q. Tell us, was it your own decision or did somebody advise you to
4 stay? How come that you stayed?
5 A. I stayed because I had family obligations. My mother and
6 sister-in-law left with the children, and I had to look after the cattle,
7 the livestock. So that is why I stayed.
8 Q. So you were the only one of your family who stayed. The others
9 managed to escape, did they?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In your statement, you said that some houses were destroyed in the
12 shelling. Was a house set on fire by the shells, any house?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were those houses burning as a result of the shelling before the
15 HVO entered the village?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. According to your best recollection, do you know whether any shell
18 damaged the mosque in your village?
19 A. Yes. So, yes, one of the shells damaged the mosque.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know of any Croatian families from Hrasnica
21 pillaging the houses of Muslims after you had left? Did you ever hear of
22 any such cases?
23 A. Yes. When they went for food, some people went before me. And
24 when I went the last day to fetch food because we didn't have enough in
25 the shelter, I saw them doing this myself. And other people told me about
2 Q. When you went to fetch food in your village, where did you find
3 the food?
4 A. The houses that were not totally destroyed. It didn't matter
5 whose house it was.
6 Q. I see. So you collected food from the houses.
7 According to what we know so far about the events in Hrasnica --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. The
9 Defence counsel has asked you a question which is important for us.
10 Counsel asked you whether you knew of Croatian families stealing from
11 Muslim houses. You said yes, but you said that they were doing what you
12 were doing, going to fetch food. So I'm asking you to be more precise.
13 Did Croats villagers go to Muslim houses to take food only or to
14 steal TV sets, chairs, et cetera? Could you make this clearer for us?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't take food. They took
16 furniture and household equipment, because I saw them loading cars with
17 these things and leaving.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So that was an
19 important point.
20 These Croats who were doing this, were they inhabitants of the
21 village, or were they people or Croats coming from somewhere else?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were people from other
23 locations, because there were only two Croat houses in that village.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So these were Croats coming from
25 elsewhere. And they came with cars, carriages, trucks? What can you tell
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came with trucks and tractors.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, you may continue.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You just told us that there were only two Croat families.
6 However, other witnesses from Hrasnica told us something else, so I wish
7 to ask you, since after all, you were new in Hrasnica, are you quite sure
8 that there were only two Croat families living in Hrasnica?
9 A. Yes. In Hrasnica only two houses.
10 Q. Including all parts of Hrasnica, Donja, Gornja, Srednja?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I started asking you about the way you left the village.
13 According to what we know so far, two columns were formed, one column
14 consisting of soldiers, and another of civilians; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can you tell us, please, how these two columns left the village?
17 Which was the first to leave?
18 A. I don't know which was the first. I just know which column I was
19 in and that we were all civilians. As for the other column, I didn't see
20 it. Some people left before us. We were not all kept in one house but in
21 several places, and as people left these houses they headed towards
23 Q. Can it be said that all the civilians were in one column?
24 A. No, not in one column. We were transported to Volari in two
1 Q. Does that mean that one column consisted of civilians and
3 A. I don't know. I only know about the column I was in, and it
4 consisted only of civilians.
5 Q. Tell me how long this column was approximately?
6 A. I can't give you a precise figure.
7 Q. Can you tell us, how far from you were Asim and Sejo Guric?
8 A. I don't know exactly the number, but they were close by.
9 Q. Were they in front of you or behind you?
10 A. They went behind us, but we stopped there and I saw these two men
11 approaching them and doing what they did.
12 Q. So when these HVO soldiers headed towards them, the -- their part
13 of the column continued but you stopped and turned around and watched.
14 Was there some reason for you to stop?
15 A. We stopped there. We didn't go any further. We stopped near a
16 house to seek shelter. When we were captured, the shelling stopped, but
17 there were only rifle shots. And this was right behind us, so we turned
18 around, and the two were behind us when they did this.
19 Q. Were these two at the end of the column?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. Did you talk to Asim Guric about this event later?
22 A. No, because I never saw Asim later. UNPROFOR took Asim to the
24 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 11, you said: "HVO soldiers in
25 Trnovaca didn't take jewellery or other valuables"; is that right? So it
1 means that you arrived in Trnovaca with your jewellery and valuables.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Which -- so that in Hrasnica no HVO soldier took away from you
4 your valuables; is that right?
5 A. No, they didn't take anything away.
6 Q. You also said in your statement that HVO soldiers told you that
7 they would release you when they, the HVO, capture or take control of the
8 village of Dolac. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is this village on the Gornji Vakuf-Bugojno road or on some other
11 important road? Do you know?
12 A. It is a village near Hrasnica, on the other side of the road, on
13 the right-hand side. There's the Vrbas river and then the main road
14 Bugojno-Gornji Vakuf.
15 Q. Tell us, did they explain why they wouldn't release you before
16 this operation of taking Dolac? Did they explain that they would keep you
17 in Trnovaca for your own security for a while?
18 A. They didn't say anything else. In the evening when we reached
19 Trnovaca, the furniture factory, they said that in the morning they would
20 capture Dolac and then they would release us. That's all I know.
21 Q. Did the HVO try to take control of the Dolac village?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did the HVO succeed, as far as you know?
24 A. No.
25 Q. How come that they didn't succeed? Do you know?
1 A. I don't know, because we were in Trnovaca at the time. So I don't
2 know what happened.
3 Q. Do you know whether the BH army, or the Muslim army, or whatever
4 you wish to call them, defended fiercely the village of Dolac?
5 A. Yes, of course. They must have defended it.
6 Q. In view of what you told us --
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I would like to have this clarified.
8 You were asked whether you knew that Dolac was fiercely defended, and your
9 answer was: "It must have been." So this is just an assumption you make,
10 or do you know for sure? And if you know for sure, how come you know?
11 Who told you? Why do you know?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only assume that they must
13 have done that. They must have defended it. I don't know anything else.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
15 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And my last question: Apart from the two villages that we have
17 been discussing, villages where the ABiH and the HVO were fighting, do you
18 know whether there were any other villages where those two armies were
19 fighting so intensely?
20 A. Well, as far as I know, no.
21 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions. Thank you,
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask you whether
24 there is something you can remember. You said that the fighting started
25 on the 5th of January. Do you remember the point at which it actually
1 started? Do you remember how the fighting started, how the events
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly how all of this
4 started, nor do I know when everything started exactly.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you hear any guns opening
6 fire? Did you hear shells falling, rifle shots? Because such events are
7 events that one usually remembers. What I would like to know is how
8 everything started on the 5th of January.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, initially they only used light
10 arms, and it grew more intensive later on.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say "they," who do you
12 mean? "They used." Who used these weapons?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO soldiers.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does that mean that those who
15 started the fighting were HVO members?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now for the next Defence team?
18 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
19 questions for this witness.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And next Defence counsel?
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We don't have any questions for
22 this witness. Thank you.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
24 Honours. In light of the last few questions, I think I have a couple.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
1 Q. Ma'am, were you part of the -- of the Muslim army?
2 A. No. I was a civilian.
3 Q. Okay. And did you have contact with the Muslim army to know what
4 exactly they were up to, what they were doing?
5 A. No.
6 Q. So on January 5th and prior to January 5th, you don't know to any
7 degree of certainty what if anything the Muslim army was doing in that
8 area, do you?
9 A. I don't.
10 Q. You don't know whether they were initiating or engaging in any
11 activities that might have provoked the HVO to respond?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So when you said earlier to the Judge that it was the HVO that
14 initiated the activities on January 5th, you really don't know. That's
15 your assumption. Is it not a fact?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you indicated that the soldiers that you claimed to be HVO
18 soldiers had painted faces so they could not be recognised; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you didn't recognise any of them?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: May I --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No. How can the witness know why the HVO
1 soldiers had painted their face. Soldiers paint their face so they are
2 not seen in the night, and you give it a quite original interpretation of
3 your own to just says this.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Judge Trechsel, I'm in the middle of my
5 cross-examination. I'm entitled to finish my cross-examination.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We have the right to ask questions at any time,
7 Mr. Karnavas and I ask you to respect this.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I do respect it, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't finished that line of questioning. If I
11 were to skip over that --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: In my view you are misleading the witness into a
13 direction the witness does not really realise where she's going.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And I want to know of why the witness knows that
16 the HVO painted their face in order not to be recognised.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. And at the conclusion of this, Your
18 Honour, Mr. President, I would like to have a session outside the presence
19 of the witness. I believe we need to resolve some issues, and I think we
20 have come to a critical stage of the proceedings where many of us, if not
21 all of us in this thing, in this proceeding, believe we're not getting a
22 fair trial based on the comments you've made Judge Trechsel, and I think
23 you will find out that there is a universal --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you would like to
25 know why HVO soldiers had painted faces. There are only two solutions.
1 Either it was so that they wouldn't be recognised by the soldiers. Then
2 you should ask the witness whether she recognised any HVO soldiers. You
3 didn't do that. And my colleague quite rightly then noted that --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You put the question a certain
6 way. And I also wanted to intervene, because either these HVO soldiers
7 who entered the village were soldiers that she knew or not. She said that
8 other inhabitants of the village knew them because they went to that cafe
9 she spoke of. She has already answered the question. I understand you
10 want to clarify something, but ask her whether she personally knew HVO
11 soldiers. We'll understand things better then. We're not trying to
12 prevent you from conducting your cross-examination, but we have to make
13 sure that the witness isn't being manipulated.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: The word manipulation is rather strong and I take
15 umbrage to Judge Trechsel accusing me of trying to misrepresent anything
16 or to confuse a witness. This line of questioning goes back to your line
17 of questioning, Mr. President, earlier on, when the witness speculated as
18 to obviously certain people recognise certain soldiers. This is a whole
19 line of the questioning. And if I were allowed to complete my questioning
20 in the manner which I believe I'm entitled to, then obviously Judge
21 Trechsel would perhaps see that I'm not trying to manipulate or
22 misrepresent anything.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No one is denying you this
24 right. You have the right to cross-examine, but we have to make sure that
25 witnesses answer questions in the interests of justice.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, in 25 years of practising law I've
2 never had a Judge accuse me of trying to manipulate or misrepresent the
3 truth. So I'll now leave it at that.
4 Q. Now, ma'am, you indicated that you didn't recognise these
5 soldiers; correct? You did not recognise those soldiers with the painted
7 A. No.
8 Q. You do not know where they came from?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 Q. You didn't know who they were?
11 A. No.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions. No manipulation
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam, the HVO
15 soldiers who entered the village -- we believe that you were in that
16 village -- or you had been in that village for one month, and before the
17 5th of January it seems that things were calm. As far as you can
18 remember, before the 5th of January, did you see any HVO soldiers entering
19 the village, moving around, or leaving, or were there no HVO members
20 entering the village prior to that date?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how to answer that
22 question. I can't.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The question is simple. Prior
24 to the 5th of January, did you personally see any HVO soldiers entering
25 the village before the 5th of January?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No soldiers. That's very
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a single one.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence asked you, and quite
6 rightly, whether you had recognised any soldiers. You said that you
7 hadn't. You didn't know any of them. But a while ago you said that there
8 were inhabitants of the village who knew the HVO soldiers. Is this what
9 they told you when you spoke to them? How is it that you knew about this?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, after everything was over,
11 they said that they knew these men. They knew these members of the HVO
12 who had entered the village.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say "they said." Who
14 does "they" refer to?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Muslim people. They said
16 they knew the Croats and the HVO members who had entered the village.
17 They had recognised quite a lot of them.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You weren't surprised, since
19 they had painted their faces black?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. They weren't surprised,
21 because they'd spent time with them and given the way they looked, their
22 names, well, there were quite a few of them that they were able to
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you have said or at least given to understand
1 that it was your opinion that the shelling came from the HVO. What is the
2 reason on which you base this statement? Was there any specific reason
3 why you thought it was the HVO who had shelled Hrasnica?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer that question
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next Defence team, please.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. My name is Senka Nozica. I
11 have a number of questions for you.
12 When you arrived in Hrasnica, as far as I have understood, your
13 mother, your sister-in-law and two brothers accompanied you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where did your two brothers go?
16 A. My two brothers went before the HVO arrived, when the Serbs had
17 started everything. Our army was heading in the direction of Bugojno, to
18 the lines, to Prusac, near Bugojno. They were there all the time. They
19 weren't in Hrasnica when all of this took place.
20 Q. Your two brothers, as far as I have understood you, went to the
21 front line in Bugojno; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So why do we say they went? Did they go to Hrasnica with you?
24 A. My elder brother just took us to Hrasnica and put us up there, but
25 they were down there all the time, because there were a lot of Serbs
2 Q. Is this an assumption or do you know this?
3 A. I know this.
4 Q. So you know that they spent their time fighting again the Serbs in
5 Bugojno while you were in Hrasnica?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'd just like to briefly go back to something that I believe is
8 important in your statement. Item 10, it concerns --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thought you were going to put
10 this question to the witness, but since you haven't, I'll put the question
11 to the witness.
12 Your brothers, were they ABiH members, or were they members of the
13 Territorial Defence?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were members of the armija.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't speculate if you don't
16 know the answer, but which unit within the ABiH were they members of?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I can't answer that
18 question precisely.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. With regard to these two individuals who were killed, you told the
21 Prosecution that the result of the shelling Muminovic and Sejo Guric were
22 killed. Is that what you said? And are you amending that now, or were
23 you misunderstood at the time?
24 A. I was misunderstood when I first say this. When I first gave my
25 statement, I said that Asim and Sejo Guric were together. And as far as
1 Muminovic is concerned, he wasn't nearby. And I don't know what happened
2 to him exactly. His brother appeared rapidly and said that he had been
3 killed, but I don't know anything else.
4 Q. For the sake of the transcript, I'd like to point out that you
5 then said that two individuals were killed as a result of the shelling,
6 Muminovic, whose name we don't know, and Sejo Guric. And two or three
7 sentences later you said, "Two individuals in our group were wounded,
8 Zijad Sehic and Asim Guric, and I was wounded by shrapnel in the
9 forehead." Is that what it says?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you ever speak to Asim Guric about this event?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Today you said, it's page 17, 14 to 15 of your testimony today,
14 you said Asim Guric knew those people.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How did you know them?
17 A. Well, after we were released, I saw Asim Guric in Bugojno when he
18 was in hospital. I went there and he said that he knew those men. And
19 when they start saying that they knew those men, well, that's what they
20 said. That's what I know.
21 Q. You've confused me. A minute ago when I asked you whether you had
22 ever spoken to Asim Guric about that event you said no, and now it seems
23 that you did speak to him in Bugojno when he was in hospital. Could you
24 tell me when this happened exactly? Was it half a year or a year after
25 the event?
1 A. Well, that was when we were exchanged. That's when I went there
2 to visit him and I saw him. I asked him whether he knew who it was or
3 not, and he said, "I know them well." He told me their names, but I can't
4 remember the names. I can't speak about things I don't know about
6 Q. Before this hearing, did you perhaps meet Asim Guric a week before
7 coming to The Hague? Did you see him? Did you meet him perhaps?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you speak to him after you had seen him in the hospital about
10 this event that we've been discussing?
11 A. No.
12 Q. When you were wounded, as you said, in your statement you said
13 that HVO members provided all of you with first aid; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In your statement, you also said that when you were put up in the
16 nearby village of Trnovaca, on the following day Muslims arrived. My
17 colleague asked you about this. They came from the neighbouring houses
18 and asked for permission that you be put up in the houses; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that's actually what happened later on?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in your statement you said, when explaining the situation in
24 the village with regard to armed individuals, you said that some were
25 outside their houses. Later you said they were about 50 metres outside
1 the houses. I'm talking about the inhabitants of the village of ABiH
2 members of Muslims -- about Muslims from Hrasnica, and you said that some
3 of these armed individuals were in the houses.
4 A. Yes. Not all of them. Some were there outside and some were
5 inside in the houses.
6 Q. Was anyone inside the house you were in, any of those armed
8 A. Not at that point in time.
9 Q. Which point in time are we talking about?
10 A. Well, about the time when HVO members came and asked us to leave
11 the houses.
12 Q. I'm not asking you about that time. I'm asking you about that
13 one-week period. Did any of the armed ABiH members stay in the house
14 during that seven-day period in which you were accommodated with those
16 A. There were a few of them. Sometimes they would come to eat.
17 Q. To eat or perhaps they opened fire from that house. Did they open
18 fire from that house?
19 A. No, no one opened fire from that house and it wasn't possible to
20 hit anything with a rifle from that house in which there were ABiH
22 Q. Well, how do you know what the targets were and what ABiH members
23 had to hit?
24 A. Well, I don't know what the targets were, but in the house that I
25 was in, well, there were no ABiH members in the vicinity, and I know that
1 they couldn't have done anything from that house.
2 Q. But did they have trenches? It's obvious that you're
3 well-informed. When you say they couldn't have done anything from there,
4 well, do you know whether they could have done certain things and what
5 they could have hit?
6 A. Well, they didn't have trenches. They didn't have the trenches
7 they should have had. I don't know how to put this. I don't know whether
8 you know how these interconnecting trenches work. They didn't dig these
9 trenches out. They had sandbags. That's what they used for shelter as
10 far as they know.
11 Q. Well, how do you know about this?
12 A. Later on we returned. Well, we'd go to collect food in Hrasnica
13 and we'd see these sandbags, so that's how I know about this.
14 Q. Tell me, did you know everyone, all the inhabitants of Hrasnica?
15 A list was shown to you a minute ago, and you said that you mostly knew
17 A. Yes, because I used to go and see a relative there, and I knew all
18 those inhabitants of Hrasnica.
19 Q. At that time when you set off in these columns of civilians and
20 when -- and columns of soldiers, who were the other refugees like you who
21 weren't from Hrasnica?
22 A. Yes, there were other refugees, civilians.
23 Q. So on the list you were shown, there were also individuals from
24 other villages, not just from Hrasnica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Among the fighters were there individuals from other places?
2 A. No.
3 Q. How do you know this?
4 A. Well, because there were these refugees from Bugojno, and they
5 were all civilians. They all set off towards Bugojno. They didn't linger
6 in Hrasnica. The soldiers didn't do that.
7 Q. As far as you can remember, none of these soldiers on the list
8 that was shown to you was from anywhere else apart from Hrasnica?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you know Hopic Hamid?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know Jareb Irfan?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know Capalo Besim?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know Galecic Enes?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know Isakovic Dzevad?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know Guric Muhamed?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All these individuals were from Hrasnica as far as you know?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a follow-up question. You
2 said that you had been exchanged, prisoners had been exchanged. Does this
3 mean that you believe you were a prisoner?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why did you believe that you
6 were a prisoner?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I couldn't go anywhere, or I
8 was only able to go to get food. We were imprisoned in the premises.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that when you were
10 wounded you were cured, treated, helped by HVO soldiers. Does that mean
11 that HVO soldiers who were there provided you with medical aid, medical
12 aid treatment of some kind? Can you tell us how they assisted you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, an HVO member gave me a
14 bandage so that I could bandage my wound.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Kovacic, you
16 have the floor now.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. I have just a couple of
20 questions to clear up a few points that I find have not been cleared up
22 For the record, page 24, line 20, you said that Asim Guric, when
23 he was wounded, was taken to hospital by UNPROFOR; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Madam, did you see this with your own eyes?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So while the civilians and soldiers were all there together, the
3 UNPROFOR arrived?
4 A. Yes. The UNPROFOR arrived, and they took Asim Guric away.
5 Q. We heard testimony, I won't mention the name to avoid closed
6 session, Your Honour.
7 We heard direct testimony to the effect that in addition to other
8 BH soldiers, Asim Guric walked to the next village from where, by buses or
9 trucks, they were transported to Gornji Vakuf, the furniture factory, and
10 that he was given first aid there. So did he talk to another village in a
12 A. No. Asim Guric was straight away transported to Bugojno, because
13 UNPROFOR arrived just then.
14 Q. Very well. Thank you. Regarding the shelling that you told us
15 about that -- for about seven days you said there was shelling, especially
16 when you explained that you didn't know how Muminovic was wounded, but
17 judging from what you said, it would appear that the village was still
18 being shelled when the HVO soldiers had already entered the village.
19 A. Yes. When they entered the village, the shelling stopped. They
20 were told not to continue shelling, and the shelling stopped. But there
21 was shooting with light weapons. That continued.
22 Q. So you've explained to me now that the shelling stopped only when
23 the soldiers of the army and the civilians had surrendered. I don't know
24 how long this lasted. Was it half an hour or two hours? Had the HVO
25 soldiers already entered the village? How long did this take?
1 A. I don't know exactly, because we were at the end of the village,
2 and the first soldiers entered at the other end, and then they went from
3 one house to the other.
4 Q. So as HV soldiers were advancing through the village, the
5 artillery fire continued.
6 A. It went on until we all surrendered. There wasn't a lot of it,
7 but there was some.
8 Q. Did you perhaps see whether there were any victims of the shelling
9 among HVO soldiers?
10 A. I don't know. I didn't see that.
11 Q. Did you hear anything about it?
12 A. No, I didn't hear or see anything to that effect.
13 Q. Tell me, madam, in your statement, in paragraph 7 you said that
14 you came with your family from your (redacted) -- oh dear, I'm
15 sorry, Your Honour. I mentioned the name of the village. This should be
16 deleted. Yes, it is in the record.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can it be
18 redacted. Please have the name of the village redacted.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So you came from your village to Hrasnica. That is, from the
21 region of Bugojno. You also told us that you came with members of your
22 immediate family, but you were not the only people who had come from
23 Bugojno municipality to this area. Other people had come too.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us roughly how many, 100, 200, 500? Some rough
2 A. There weren't that many, but there were some.
3 Q. And as I can see from your statement, this was in October, 1992;
4 is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Very well. In your statement and in your testimony also, you
7 referred to the uniforms of the HVO. Among those you call HVO soldiers,
8 did you see black uniforms?
9 A. There were some, but not many.
10 Q. In the village we're talking about?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did they have any different insignia, if you were able to see?
13 A. Of course I didn't pay attention to the insignia. I just saw when
14 I was wounded there were some in camouflage uniforms and some in black
15 uniforms. I didn't pay attention to their insignia.
16 Q. Thank you. You also told us, as you did in your statement, that
17 on the 5th of January the HVO started the shooting. The question is: Who
18 started it? You told us there were BH army members in the village, that
19 the HVO was attacking the village. How do you know who started the
21 A. I know when the shells reached the village. It couldn't have come
22 from our army. They didn't have any artillery, nor could they have
23 started the shooting at our village.
24 Q. Let's go step by step. You said at first there was an exchange of
25 rifle fire; is that right? And then later as things developed, artillery
1 fire started too.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you also said that you were sure the army in the village
4 didn't have any heavier weapons than rifles, no artillery or howitzers.
5 A. As far as I know, they didn't have any such weapons.
6 Q. Let us now go back to the beginning. In the view of the fact that
7 you confirmed there was an exchange of rifle fire between the HVO and the
8 army because there were no other forces there, how do you know who started
9 this exchange of fire? Did you yourself see the first shot or shots being
10 fired in -- from outside the village, which would be the HVO shooting at
11 the village or vice versa? Do you know with certainty who first started
13 A. Yes, I do know because the HVO started first, because where I was
14 living the first shots came from Pavic Polje.
15 Q. So you know this from your own knowledge and not from hearsay?
16 A. Not from hearsay, because I happened to be outside when the first
17 shots were fired.
18 Q. And from that moment on, this exchange continued uninterrupted.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On page 32, in answer to the Presiding Judge, you said -- or you
21 explained that it was only after the events that you heard from other
22 villagers that members of the HVO who entered the village were also local
23 people, local Croats; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Madam, you didn't say this in your first statement from 1994. You
1 don't mention that anywhere. So my question is the following: Did you
2 tell the investigators when your statement was taken --
3 MR. BOS: Could I interrupt. You've been referring to a statement
4 from 1994. Is that correct?
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. It was a slip of the
7 Q. I meant the 2004. I'm sure you understood the statement that I
8 was referring to.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So my question is: When you spoke to the investigators and when
11 you gave this statement that you identified today, did you ever say
12 anything to the effect that you recognised those HVO members yourself or
13 that you learnt from others about their identity later on, from others?
14 A. I didn't recognise them, but I heard from others that they were
15 from the village.
16 Q. But you didn't tell that to the investigators in 2004?
17 A. I did. I didn't know why it didn't go down in the statement. I
18 told them what I'm telling you now.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. I have no further questions.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Madam, I seem to recognise a certain
22 contradiction. Maybe you can -- can clarify. You have said that in the
23 village of Hrasnica, all three parts included, there were only two houses
24 of Croats, and now you say that the attackers, the HVO, who entered
25 Hrasnica were from that village. Now, if there were only two houses, that
1 could only have been two, three, maybe four HVO, but there must have been
2 more, I suppose. How do you bring this together?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People who had left Hrasnica before
4 that, Pavic Polje is nearby, Volari. So there were people who used to
5 live there. Maybe for a year before that event only two Croat houses
6 remained. However, they knew each other. They recognised each other.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Are you then saying that only two Croat houses
8 remained in January, 1993, while there had been more before at earlier
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not in the conflict but before
11 that. I don't know how many years before the event they had left, but for
12 the past couple of years there were only two households there. But before
13 that there were more.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have two
17 technical questions to ask, that is, the population census from 1981,
18 which is still valid, which was valid, and it says there is Hrasnica
19 listed there. So I'd like the witness to be shown this list and for this
20 list to be placed on the ELMO, please. And in the meantime I would have a
22 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
23 Q. [Interpretation] In the Bugojno hospital where you visited this
24 gentleman, was this an HVO hospital?
25 A. No. No, it wasn't.
1 Q. Please have a look. So the hospital belonged to the army of
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. I think so. I don't know. As far as I know, there was no BH army
5 Q. So please say you don't know, rather than saying no it wasn't and
6 then say, "I don't know." Was it an HVO hospital? Do you know or do you
7 not know?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Now, please have a look at this paper and see the total number of
10 inhabitants in Hrasnica, the number of Muslims and the number of Croats in
11 Hrasnica. Underlined.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Can you clear up the picture
13 a little?
14 Q. The total number of inhabitants, then Croats, and then Muslims.
15 Can you read these three figures for us, please? Hrasnica. Can you read
16 it now? We didn't hear you.
17 A. Five hundred and forty-seven.
18 Q. And how many Croats?
19 A. Two hundred and eighty.
20 Q. And Muslims?
21 A. Two hundred and sixty-three.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be
23 admitted into evidence as a document, please.
24 Thank you, madam.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Has the Prosecution any
2 MR. BOS: I have a couple of questions. I don't know if -- Your
3 Honours, if you want me to do that now. I'm looking at the time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please. Hurry so that we
5 can have a break.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Bos:
7 Q. Witness, you were asked a question about the mosque, and in answer
8 to that question, you said that the mosque in Hrasnica was damaged by the
9 shelling; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 13, you said that when you
12 returned to Hrasnica while you were in Trnovaca to get food from the
13 houses, you say that you could see that the mosque in the village was
14 destroyed. Now, my question is: Was the damage to the mosque when you
15 returned to Hrasnica, was that different than the damage that you had seen
16 during the time that the mosque was shelled as you said?
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may be wrong, but I
18 don't think this question was raised in the cross-examination. So this is
19 additional examination in relation to the statement. Yes, my learned
20 friend did raise the issue but in a different sense. So the Prosecution
21 is going back to the statement.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put your question, please.
23 MR. BOS:
24 Q. Witness, you've heard the question. Could you give an answer to
25 the question?
1 A. It was damaged at the beginning, but when we came from Trnovaca,
2 then I saw that the mosque was destroyed.
3 Q. So the damage was different from what you first saw when it was
4 shelled than the damage when you -- when you came back to Hrasnica after
5 having been in Trnovaca?
6 A. I'm a bit confused. When we -- when I went to fetch food in
7 Hrasnica from Trnovaca, when I went there for the last time I saw that the
8 mosque was totally destroyed.
9 MR. BOS: Thank you. I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, on behalf of the Judges,
11 we thank you for coming to testify. I wish you a safe journey home.
12 Before leaving the courtroom, I'm going to ask the registrar to pull down
13 the blinds, and we're going to have a 30-minute break. So we will resume
14 the hearing at a quarter past 11.00.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.16 a.m.
18 [Closed session]
11 Pages 8884-8885 redacted. Closed session.
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, will you please stand?
22 I'm going to ask you to give us your first and last name.
23 WITNESS: SENADA BASIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Senada Basic.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you give us your date of
2 birth, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 29th of August, 1960.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you currently employed, and
5 what is your occupation?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not employed. I am a housewife.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you testified, madam,
8 before in a national or international court about the facts that occurred
9 in your country in the 1990s, or is this for you the first time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time for me to
11 testify in court.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please read the solemn
13 declaration that is going to be given to you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, madam. You may be
18 Will the usher remove the screen around you, please.
19 Madam, a few points of information regarding the proceedings here.
20 You have already met, I assume, the Prosecutor, and you will first be
21 answering questions put to you by her. The Prosecutor has an envisaged an
22 hour and a half for the examination-in-chief, so you will be answering her
23 questions first.
24 The Defence counsel of the accused, who are to your left, there
25 are many of them, as you can see, but only one per accused will have the
1 right to ask questions of you, and they will also have the same amount of
2 time, that is an hour and a half.
3 In view of the time envisaged, if the Defence uses all the time,
4 it will be necessary for you to come back tomorrow morning to continue
5 your testimony if we don't complete it today. So I would like to ask you
6 to answer questions put to you with precision.
7 The four Judges in front of you may also ask you questions, and
8 they certainly will do so. And we Judges also request very precise
9 answers from you. The questions will relate to who, how, when. That will
10 be the kind of questions we will be asking you in connection with the
11 events you will be telling us about. So we'll have some follow-up
12 questions to others put to you.
13 If you don't understand a question, don't hesitate to ask that it
14 be reworded.
15 And without further ado, I give the floor to the Prosecution.
16 MS. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honour. Just a point of
17 clarification to commence. The Prosecution has previously notified that
18 this witness is to be called by us pursuant Rule 92 ter, and I believe the
19 Chamber should be in possession of that information as well as the Defence
20 having been notified of that. That will obviously affect some of the
21 timings that Your Honour has outlined, and I can assist certainly as far
22 as the Prosecution are concerned. We should -- I should not be longer
23 than about 25 to 30 minutes with this witness.
24 As is the normal practice, Your Honour, I will first read out the
25 brief summary of the witness's statement before turning to the appropriate
1 questions for tendering of that statement.
2 The witness is a Muslim woman from Uzricje. Uzricje had a mixed
3 population of Muslims and Croats. There were approximately 100 houses.
4 Until January 1993, there were no real problems. During the night of the
5 12th and 13th of January, 1993, the Croats started shelling the village.
6 The witness and about 50 Muslim villagers took shelter in a dugout. At
7 about 5.00 a.m., the Croats entered Uzricje and ordered the Muslims to
8 surrender and to walk to the centre of the village. The witness saw
9 Ustashas entering the Muslim houses, looting them and then setting them on
10 fire. The Muslims were divided up into two groups of 20 and put into two
11 houses which were both guarded by the Ustashas. The witness and other
12 detainees remained in the houses for 45 days and lived on the food that
13 was stored there.
14 After about five days, Ustashas took out the Muslim men and beat
15 them up in order to get information --
16 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm going to
17 object. This -- for a witness to occasionally use the word Ustasha may be
18 inevitable, but for counsel to use it while giving a precise of the
19 statement is really inexcusable and I ask the counsel be asked to
20 apologise and correct the record.
21 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, if I can respond to that. The very
22 reason I'm using the word is, as counsel for the Defence may well notice,
23 is that the witness almost exclusively uses this term herself in her
24 statement, and for fear of substituting it with another word and getting
25 objections with regard to that, I did not substitute my own vocabulary for
1 that which is used by the witness in her statement.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Gillett. You should
3 have said at the outset that the witness uses this term in her statement
4 but that you would use the Croatian word that is used in the indictment.
5 But now we will see for ourselves whether the witness actually used this
6 term. But as you are providing us with a summary now, you're providing a
7 summary of the statement for the Judges, and you can say that she used
8 this term, but don't use the term "Ustasha" all the time. We'll be
9 wasting time otherwise.
10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness uses two
11 terms in the statement, the HVO and the Ustasha. It depends on the
12 situation, on the description. We can't say what criteria are involved,
13 so it's not true to say that this is the term that she uses consistently.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll see about that
15 as things unfold.
16 Please continue, Ms. Gillett.
17 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, just to be clear, might I continue and
18 substitute the word for Croats?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MS. GILLETT: Thank you. After about five days, Croats took out
21 the Muslim men and beat them up in order to get information about weapons
22 and front lines. The witness's sister-in-law was robbed of her gold rings
23 by a Croat.
24 On 13th of February, 1993, everyone was lined up outside against a
25 wall by the Croats and interrogated about the killing of an HVO soldier.
1 Croats threatened to kill all the detainees, and they were made to stand
2 outside in the winter cold for the whole day. Some of the men were also
3 beaten up.
4 In early March, 1993, the witness and some relatives managed to
5 escape the house and flee to Bugojno.
6 That is the end of the summary.
7 Examination by Ms. Gillett:
8 Q. Witness, if I can turn -- ask you some questions now concerning
9 your statement, and firstly, whether you remember being interviewed by
10 somebody from the Office of the Prosecutor of this Tribunal.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you recall on what date that was?
13 A. I think it was in January. I -- I don't know.
14 Q. Do you recall the year?
15 A. I think it was in 2004.
16 Q. And at the time when you were being interviewed, did you answer
17 the questions put to you truthfully?
18 A. I did.
19 Q. Did you do so voluntarily?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At the end of the interview, do you recall that the statement was
22 read back to you in your own language?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recall at that time signing a written statement that
25 had been prepared to confirm that it was true to the best of your
1 knowledge and recollection?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, I see you have the statements that have already been placed
4 in front of you, and I'd like to ask you whether you've had the
5 opportunity of re-reading your statement prior to coming into court today.
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you read your statement yesterday?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. And if you look on each of the pages, I believe in the English
10 version, are those your initials or signature on each of the pages?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, if I were to ask you questions today about the subject
13 matters contained in that statement, are your answers reflected in that
14 witness statement?
15 A. Well, I would say so.
16 Q. Now, having had the opportunity of re-reading the statement in
17 your own language, do you have any corrections or additions or indeed
18 withdrawals that you'd like to make of that statement?
19 A. I stand by this statement.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, turning more to the contents of that
21 statement, a point of clarification. In paragraph 8 of both the English
22 and the B/C/S versions of that statement, you mention that on the 30th of
23 April, 1992, you had gone to visit your sister. Could you clarify where
24 your sister lives?
25 A. Well, my sister and I live in Donji Vakuf. I lived there before
1 the war. My sister lives in Gornji Vakuf. I went to see her since the
2 Serbs issued an ultimatum to the Muslims in Donji Vakuf and said that they
3 should leave Donji Vakuf. So I went to stay there with my sister. I
4 stayed there as a refugee up until 1993.
5 Q. Now, did your sister -- is that in the municipality of Gornji
6 Vakuf that she lives or in the town of Gornji Vakuf?
7 A. In the town of Gornji Vakuf.
8 Q. At the time back in April of 1992, did you have any reason to go
9 to Uzricje?
10 A. In April, 1992, she was in Uzricje. We were up there, and we
11 lived there up until 1993, until the beginning of March, 1993.
12 Q. Now, another point of clarification. Throughout your statement,
13 it can be seen that you refer to Ustasha. What do you mean by this
14 term "Ustasha," or who do you mean by this term "Ustasha"?
15 A. When we were captured, when we were in the dugout, these soldiers
16 who came to fetch us, well, they said, "The Ustashas have come to get
17 you." "Let's hoist the white flag as if we were to surrender." But I
18 don't make any distinctions. That's how they presented themselves.
19 Q. Now, do you remember what these people who you've referred to as
20 Ustasha were wearing?
21 A. Well, some of them were wearing camouflage uniforms, and their
22 faces were painted. Others were in black uniforms, and they -- they had
23 also painted their faces.
24 Q. Do you recall seeing any badges on either the black or the
25 camouflage clothing?
1 A. I didn't see badges of any kind. They had some sort of ribbons on
2 them, that's all. Black and red ribbons. But I didn't see any other kind
3 of insignia on them.
4 Q. Now, you also mention in your statement somebody by the name of
5 Pero Zulj, and you say in your statement that he was an HVO soldier. How
6 do you know that he was an HVO soldier?
7 A. Because when they drove us out of the houses at about 9.00 in the
8 morning, they then asked us whether we knew who had killed Pero Zulj. He
9 was an HVO member. There were only women and children in the houses. We
10 didn't have weapons or anything. So I found out from them that he was an
11 HVO member.
12 Q. Now, again you also mention, this time in paragraph 16 of both the
13 English and the B/C/S version of the statement --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
15 Madam, as far as you can remember, can you tell us the exact
16 sentence that you heard in relation to the HVO soldier who was killed?
17 What did they say exactly?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They arrived in the morning and they
19 drove us out of the house. We stood outside from 9.00 in the morning
20 until 4.00 in the afternoon. It was cold. They fired shots. They said
21 that they would kill the men and that they would shut us in the house and
22 burn it down. The children were crying. They asked who had killed Pero
23 Zulj, an HVO member. We didn't know who Pero Zulj was. We were quite
24 simply refugees there. We didn't even know the inhabitants very well.
25 All we wanted to do was to save our children and ourselves.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll stop you there. You said
2 that they spoke about Pero Zulj. They mentioned Pero Zulj, but what was
3 the exact term that they used?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know.
5 MS. GILLETT:
6 Q. Now, you mention, Witness, at paragraph 16 of both the English and
7 the B/C/S versions of the statement that an HVO soldier from the same
8 village named Ivo intervened and told the Ustashas that they would have to
9 kill him first and then the Muslims. Now, what I wanted to ask you again
10 is how did you know that Ivo was an HVO soldier?
11 A. Well, because Ivo had a camouflage uniform on him, and he had HVO
12 insignia on his sleeve.
13 Q. Do you know this man Ivo? Do you know his full name?
14 A. I don't know. I only know the names of the inhabitants who were
16 Q. Now, again in your statement you see his name -- or the name Ivo
17 comes up again in paragraph 12. Can you clarify whether the Ivo you
18 mention in paragraph 12 of your statement is also the same Ivo that is
19 mentioned in paragraph 16 or whether these are different Ivos?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Yes, they are the same?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Still in paragraph 12 of your statement, you mention that your
24 house was on fire and that you also saw Ustasha entering Muslim houses,
25 looting and setting them on fire. Are you able to say how many houses
1 were set on fire in Uzricje?
2 A. Well, all the Muslim houses were set on fire with the exception of
3 three or, rather, there was the house -- two houses we were accommodated
4 in, and another house in which an old man lived who was bedridden, but all
5 the other houses that were set on fire were Muslim houses.
6 Q. And again still talking about this same incident, you say you saw
7 these Ustasha entering the Muslim houses. What were they wearing?
8 A. Well, they were wearing black uniforms and camouflage uniforms,
9 and their faces had been painted a certain colour.
10 Q. Again, did you notice any badges on either the black or the
11 camouflage uniforms?
12 A. I didn't.
13 Q. Now, finally, I'd like you to turn to that bundle that you're
14 holding in front of you to the other document that is there which is
15 Exhibit 7350. And you'll see there's an English language version as well
16 as the B/C/S version. If you turn to the B/C/S version, and you will see
17 that this document is making reference to events in the village of Uzricje
18 and about a conflict between the ABiH and the HVO in Gornji Vakuf on the
19 11th of January, 1993, until May, 1993, and it talks of looting and
20 burning everything that was Muslim in the village of Uzricje. Does that
21 accord with your experience in the village of Uzricje?
22 A. I don't know these names, yes, but everything was looted.
23 Q. Thank you, Witness.
24 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, I have no further questions for the
25 witness. It only leaves me to tender the witness's statement and the
1 document that I have just shown the witness. The Exhibit number of the
2 statement is 9711, and the exhibit number that I just mentioned for the
3 document is 7350.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Madam, I have a question I'd like to put to you. It concerns when
6 looting started in your village. In your written statement, in paragraph
7 11, you say that it was in the night of the 12th and 13th of January that
8 the looting commenced. Do you have a perfect recollection of this night?
9 I assume you were sleeping. What woke you up? Can you tell us what you
10 can remember? Can you tell us how all of this started?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They started shelling the village,
12 and there were a number of Muslim houses in the middle of the village and
13 there was a dugout there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say "they." That could mean
15 anyone. It could be the ABiH. It could be UNPROFOR. We don't know. You
16 say "they." Who shelled the village? Can you be more precise?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croats shelled the village. We
18 took shelter in the dugout.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say the Croats. Why do you
20 say that the Croats did this?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there was no one else. I
22 don't know how to explain this. I don't understand the question.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say there was no one else.
24 The Croats who shelled the village, and you say that this happened in the
25 night of the 12th and 13th. On the 12th, were you aware of the fact that
1 there were HVO members in the vicinity of the village?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because we were in the dugout,
3 and it was only in the morning when they came to fetch us and when they
4 wanted to take us out. We'd been shelled throughout the night. We were
5 told to show a white flag because Ustashas had come to pick us up. That's
6 how they presented themselves.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you can remember, when
8 did the looting of your village start exactly, on which date?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 11th, the 12th, and the 13th.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And before the 11th, nothing
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no, nothing.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were there ABiH or Territorial
14 Defence members in your village?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And outside the village, were
17 there any ABiH soldiers protecting the village?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you ever leave the village?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Because we were in the dugout.
21 We didn't leave the dugout to go anywhere.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. But what I want to know is
23 the following: Prior to the 11th of January, did you ever leave the
24 village, and did you see either members of the HVO or of the ABiH outside
25 the village, maybe a hundred metres away from the periphery of the village
1 or a kilometre away?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I never left. I was a refugee,
3 and it wasn't necessary for me to go anywhere.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when one lives in a village,
5 one usually leaves the village. One moves around. But you stayed within
6 the limits of the village?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I stayed in the village. It
8 wasn't necessary to go anywhere. The children were quite young.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And was this village protected
10 by the ABiH or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no, because there was a
12 Croatian village in front of the village, exclusively a Croatian village,
13 whereas in Uzricje the population was mixed. There was Croats and
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
16 the village next to your village, next door, what is the name of this
17 village inhabited by Croats?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I think it's Paloc,
19 but I'm not sure.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How far away was this village?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was right next to the town.
22 I don't know.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that there was
24 looting and you were in the dugout. Were you there to protect yourselves,
25 to take shelter given the shelling of the houses.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your written statement, you
3 say that there were about 50 of you in the dugout. Is that the correct
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, more or less.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you surrendered, when you
7 got out, was there someone who had a white flag?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Someone did have a white
9 flag, but I can't remember who.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 50 individuals who were with
11 you, they were women, children, and adults, I assume. Were there any
12 inhabitants of the village or ABiH soldiers who were with you, who were
13 among this group?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no soldiers. There were
15 refugees, and there were families. There were the Kurbegovics.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were no ABiH soldiers?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Defence has an
19 hour and a half, so that should be a sufficient amount of time for this
21 The first Defence counsel, please.
22 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, just before cross-examination begins, I
23 would like to interpose an objection to the tendering of the Exhibit P
24 7350. The witness said, this is at page 62, line 22 of the transcript,
25 that she did not know any of the names in this document. It's clear that
1 she cannot identify any of the people referred to. It's not her document.
2 And, Your Honour, this is not a document she can in any way
3 authenticate. So on the basis of the Trial Chamber's decision on evidence
4 of 13th of July, 2006, I object to the tendering of the document through
5 this witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll rule on that. Can we have
7 the first Defence team, please.
8 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, ma'am. I'm counsel Tomasegovic
11 Tomic from Zagreb and I will be questioning you on behalf of the fifth
13 Can you tell me, please, madam, in answer to a question from the
14 Prosecution, you said that before visiting your sister that the Serbs had
15 issued an ultimatum to the Muslims. In paragraph 8, it says the ultimatum
16 was addressed to the Croats?
17 A. This may be a mistake in the translation, because there were only
18 3 per cent Croats in Donji Vakuf before the war.
19 Q. So the ultimatum was to the Muslims?
20 A. Yes. Only to the Muslims. This must be a mistake in the
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel approach the microphone, please.
23 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Tell me, madam, when clarifying the point regarding Ustashas, you
25 said that you called those persons Ustashas because when they came in
1 front of the dugout and asked you to surrender with the white sheet they
2 called themselves Ustashas.
3 A. Yes. That is how they introduced themselves, and we left the
5 Q. You mention Ustashas several times in your statement in connection
6 with the other events. So in paragraph 12 you say that you saw Ustashas
7 looting and torching, then Ustashas took down -- your ID. Then the
8 Ustashas separated you into two groups. Then in the same paragraph:
9 Ustashas guarded in front of the house. Then in paragraph 14: Ustashas
10 took out some men and beat them up. So there are more such references.
11 I would like to know whether in each of these cases did the
12 persons say that they were Ustashas, or was this the same group who said
13 that they were Ustashas?
14 A. I didn't know any of them. They always referred to themselves as
15 being Ustashas. They would say that they were Ustashas.
16 Q. Were they one and the same people?
17 A. No, they weren't. I don't really know. Some were painted -- they
18 had their faces painted. Some were taller, some were shorter but they
19 kept saying they were Ustashas.
20 Q. I see. So there were several groups of them?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell me, madam, before these events in January, 1993, the houses
23 in Uzricje, how were they heated? Did they have central heating or wooden
25 A. Wooden stoves. All the houses had such stoves.
1 Q. Just one more question. After the events in January when you
2 ended up in the dugout, could you tell me, please, was there any
3 electricity in the village?
4 A. There was no electricity at all.
5 Q. In the whole village?
6 A. In the whole village.
7 Q. Thank you very much. I have two more questions for you only.
8 Tell me, please, after seeking shelter in the dugout when the
9 shelling started, until the surrender with the white sheet you didn't
10 leave the dugout?
11 A. No.
12 Q. So you couldn't see what was going on outside the dugout?
13 A. No, only when we left the left the dugout.
14 Q. But this was when you had surrendered?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. There's a technical point I'd like to clear up in your statement.
17 You said that when the Ustasha came in front of the dugout - that is
18 paragraph 11, can you find it for me, please - that they told you to come
19 out with a white sheet as a sign of surrender. As you didn't have a white
20 sheet, "One of us went to a nearby house and brought it."
21 A. They took out a woman. I don't remember whether it was a man or a
22 woman, but they took this person to the next-door house to find a white
23 sheet. So they took this person to find a white sheet.
24 Q. I see. So they took out one of you to find the sheet?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And my last question. In paragraph 17, you describe an event in
2 Bugojno. You say that you were put up in a vacant house that belonged to
4 A. I didn't say that.
5 Q. But that is what it says in your statement.
6 A. Oh, yes, in Bugojno, when we got to Bugojno.
7 Q. That's right. Tell me, please, who put you up in this house?
8 A. The locals who lived there.
9 Q. And where were the Croat owners of the house?
10 A. I don't know that.
11 Q. No authority put you up there?
12 A. No, no.
13 Q. So a neighbour on his own initiative put you up in someone else's
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
17 have no further questions.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, counsel.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no questions, Your
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: No questions, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have a few
1 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, madam.
3 In your statement -- I see you have it in front of you, so please
4 look at it. In paragraph 12, at the very bottom of the Croatian version,
5 the sentence reads: "While we were standing in the centre, an Ustasha
6 took Tahir and a man called Softa towards the dugout and then Tahir's
7 father-in-law came up to us and made inquiries about Tahir. We told him
8 that a Ustasha had taken him to the dugout. Tahir's father-in-law then
9 asked his neighbour, a Croat Ivo, whose surname I don't know, to go to the
10 dugout and find out what had happened to Tahir and Softa. Ivo learnt that
11 both of them had been killed and their dead bodies were found near the
12 dugout. Tahir's father-in-law then buried both of them in the same
13 grave." Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did the event occur exactly in the way you described it?
16 A. Maybe after three or four or five days they were buried. They
17 wouldn't let them walk around until then.
18 Q. It follows from this that you didn't see them being killed.
19 A. No, I didn't see them being killed. I just saw them being taken
21 Q. This man called Tahir Plivcic, is he a local?
22 A. No. He was also a refugee from Donji Vakuf.
23 Q. And this other person whom you call Softa, he was a local?
24 A. He was a local.
25 Q. Tell me, please, a moment ago in answer to a question, you said
1 that there were no TO or BH army members in the village, is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did anyone have any weapon in the village? Did anyone open fire
4 towards the Croats while you were in the village?
5 A. I didn't see that, and I don't know.
6 Q. Did you see any weapons on the people who were taken away from the
8 A. No, I didn't. I didn't see anyone because we were in the dugout.
9 Q. Tahir Plivcic or the man you refer to as Softa, did they have any
11 A. Tahir didn't, but later I learnt that they had found something in
12 Softa's place and not in Tahir's.
13 Q. But where was Tahir living?
14 A. I suppose he was living in his house.
15 Q. So Tahir was living in Softa's house, and in that house a sniper
16 was found?
17 A. I heard that apparently it was found.
18 Q. Was the sniper the reason that they were taken away from there?
19 A. I don't know.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, you're just saying that
21 a sniper was found there. How did you come to that conclusion?
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] If I may, I will show the witness. I
23 didn't intend to do that, but I will continue this line of questioning,
24 and I'll show her where I get this information from, if I may.
25 Q. Did you, on the 10th of February, 1994, give a statement to the
1 security sector in Zenica, a statement about the events that took place in
2 Uzricje? This is not the statement you have in front of you. Did you
3 make a statement on the 10th of February, 1994, in Bugojno, in the SUP as
4 we called it then, a statement about the events that took place on the
5 13th of January, 1993?
6 A. I don't know that I did in Bugojno. I did make a statement, but I
7 don't know whether it was in Bugojno.
8 Q. I don't wish to tender this statement into evidence, but as I will
9 have some questions for the witness linked to this statement, I wish to
10 point out that it is a statement disclosed to us by the Prosecution. It
11 has an ERN number, and I'd like to ask the usher to put the statement on
12 the ELMO so that the witness can verify her signature, and I'd like the
13 first page of this statement to remain under the overhead projector.
14 Before you look at this statement, could you please pay attention
15 first to what I'm going to say. When in paragraph 16 of the statement in
16 front of you spoke about the event when you were taken out and asked about
17 Petar -- Pero Zulj, can you remember whether the soldiers told you that
18 one HVO member was killed or two?
19 A. One, Pero Zulj.
20 Q. Did they perhaps tell you that two HVO members had been looted and
22 A. No. They only mentioned Pero Zulj.
23 Q. Will you now look at the statement that you have under the ELMO to
24 your right. You can look through it, look at the page 2 and see your
25 signature to confirm whether this is your signature.
1 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Look at page 1 and remind yourself of what you said then. Page 1,
3 please. Can we see page 1 on the ELMO, please. Page 1 on the ELMO.
4 Thank you.
5 The paragraph beginning with "About 12.00." I will read your
6 description of this event. And here you remembered the person called
7 Jusuf Softic. Was this the same Softa you're referring to?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You say here: "About 12.00 --" are you following me? "About
10 12.00 on the 18th of January, 1993, the Ustashas took from Softic Jusuf's
11 garage his car and pushed it into the Trnovaca river in Uzricje. This was
12 done by a Ustasha whom they called Babo, together with a couple of other
13 Ustashas. Jusuf asked them what they were doing, and Babo just asked him
14 where his house was. Jusuf pointed out his house immediately. The
15 Ustashas entered his house. They stayed there for a while, and then they
16 came back carrying a sniper rifle. Since Tahir Plavcic was standing next
17 to Jusuf, they asked him where he lived, and when Tahir said that he was a
18 refugee from Donji Vakuf and that he was living in Jusuf's house, Babo
19 ordered them to go with him. As soon as they moved away a little, he
20 opened fire at them. He killed Jusuf Softic immediately, while Tahir
21 Plivcic lived for another three or four hours. But they wouldn't let
22 anyone give him aid."
23 Did you say this to the person asking for your statement?
24 A. Yes, because Ivo told us this.
25 Q. What did Ivo tell you, that a sniper rifle was found?
1 A. Yes, that the sniper rifle was found and that they took them away
2 and -- and this Babo killed this one person and wounded the other.
3 Q. But in this statement, madam, you say as if you knew this, as if
4 this is your own statement.
5 A. It may appear to be that, but I didn't see this. But this was
6 what I was told.
7 Q. In the statement in front of you, in paragraph 12, you said that
8 Tahir's father-in-law asked his Croat neighbour Ivo, whose surname you
9 don't know, to go to the dugout and to find out what happened to Tahir and
10 Softa, and that he found out that both had been killed and that their
11 bodies had been found next to the dugout.
12 From what you told the Prosecutor, it would emerge that Ivo came
13 at Tahir's request to look for these two persons. How is it possible,
14 then, that Ivo knew about the sniper and everything else?
15 A. Well, they probably told him.
16 Q. Who are "they"?
17 A. How do I know who?
18 Q. So you didn't see the sniper rifle?
19 A. I did not, but Ivo said that a sniper rifle had been found.
20 Q. Why didn't you tell the investigator this when you made this
21 statement? Why did you leave this out?
22 A. I don't know. I don't know.
23 Q. Were you asked what Ivo found out and what had happened to Tahir
24 and Softa? Did anyone ask you about that when you were making your
1 A. No.
2 Q. Let's look at this statement further. Let me ask you who told you
3 this. At the bottom of the page -- can we move the page up, please, to
4 the bottom so we can see the last few lines of the statement.
5 So look at this. And you say -- what you've said in 1994, when
6 your recollection of the event must have been better than it is today, 12
7 years later -- you made the statement in 1994. Did you remember the
8 events better then than you do today? Are you hearing me? Don't read it.
9 I will read it to you. I'm asking you a question. Did you remember the
10 events better in 1994 than you do today?
11 A. Well, I do remember, but it all depends. These memories come
12 back, and it's all mixed up in my mind.
13 Q. Let's look at what you said in 1994 about this event. I'm
14 reading -- I'm reading the last paragraph.
15 "On 13th of February, 1993, at about 9.00, the Ustashas drove out
16 all civilian Muslims from Uzricje and lined us up in front of Omer
17 Filipovic's house. They requested that we tell them who looted and killed
18 two HVO members from Rame."
19 Do you remember saying this?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. So what is right? In the statement today, you said that they only
22 asked about the killing of Pero Zulj. When I asked you explicitly whether
23 two persons were mentioned, you said they weren't. When I asked you
24 whether they asked who had looted these people you said no. Did they ask
25 you about two or one HVO member? Did they say that the killed persons
1 were also looted?
2 A. Asked us about two. Pero Zulj is someone else. I'm afraid I
3 don't understand the question at all.
4 Q. The question is very clear. Before showing you this statement,
5 which you have probably forgotten, I asked you whether on the day that you
6 referred to in paragraph 16, that is the 13th of February, 1993, when they
7 drove you out of the houses, did they ask you about one person? Did they
8 ask you about Pero Zulj? Or did they ask you about who killed another HVO
9 member in addition to Pero Zulj? Your answer was they only asked about
10 Pero Zulj. Now you're telling me that they asked about another person.
11 Is that true?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Madam, do you see the difference?
14 A. Yes, I do see the difference. I know that -- that we were forced
15 out to be executed.
16 Q. You never mentioned execution until now. You see how lightly you
17 use words.
18 A. I apologise.
19 Q. A moment ago you said Ustasha, that they themselves called them
20 that. You never said in this statement that they called themselves
21 Ustashas. Not only the persons who told you to come out of the dugout,
22 but you said that everyone who was there said that they were Ustashas.
23 Well, how are we going to believe what you're saying? Did they ask you
24 about one HVO member or two HVO members? Please make up your mind. What
25 is it? What is the truth?
1 A. I know that they asked us about Pero and these people from Rama.
2 Q. From Rama. These people from Rama. That means a number of them
3 were killed?
4 A. We were in the house. We'd been locked up in there. We didn't
5 know who was passing through. There were blankets over the windows.
6 Q. I have to go back to something. Did they ask about one HVO member
7 who had been killed or about a number of HVO members? Could you answer
8 that question briefly so that we can move on? I don't want to bother you
9 too much with this issue. You're probably aware of this.
10 Please, I don't want to waste any time. I'd just like to inform
11 the Court that I have received some time from Mr. Praljak's Defence, but
12 I'll conclude my cross-examination very quickly.
13 A. They asked about Pero Zulj.
14 Q. Did they ask you about other HVO members? Other HVO members who
15 had been killed and looted? Did they ask about other HVO members who had
16 been killed and looted?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Very well. And now I'd like to go back to your departure. In
19 item 17 in your statement, you mention the time that you left the house.
20 You left with your sister-in-law.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How old was your sister-in-law at the time?
23 A. Well, she was born in 1935.
24 Q. About 60 or 65; I'm not very good at calculations.
25 A. Nor am I.
1 Q. So your sister-in-law was with you and two children. Were these
2 small children?
3 A. Yes, my sister-in-law and her two-month old child. And my
4 children were there.
5 Q. So there was your sister-in-law and her child and how many
6 children did you have?
7 A. Two. My sister-in-law.
8 Q. So there were these women and two children. Have I understood you
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How did you leave? That was -- there were four women, three
12 children. So how did you leave the house?
13 A. Well, there was no one there. They used that route to go to
14 Croatia. That was the main route. They probably thought we were
15 inhabitants, local inhabitants. It was 5.00 in the morning. There was no
16 one there. We left before dawn broke. We didn't even meet anyone on the
17 way. We didn't see anyone. It was as if we disappeared. There was no
18 one there.
19 Q. There was no one there. There were in guards and you left quite
20 easily. You advanced quite slowly. And you weren't even afraid.
21 A. Well, we were afraid, but we took the risk.
22 Q. Why was there a risk?
23 A. Well --
24 Q. Were you afraid of meeting someone, seeing someone on the way?
25 Were you afraid because you said it was the road to Croatia? Were you
1 afraid of meeting someone on the road on that route?
2 A. Well, I didn't think about anything at that point in time. I
3 don't know.
4 Q. How many people remained in that house after you left?
5 A. Quite a lot.
6 Q. Quite a lot. Did they know you were leaving? Did you pack your
8 A. No. We just put our clothes on. We didn't take anything else
9 with us. We just took the -- we just took clothes for the baby.
10 Q. And then you left?
11 A. And then we left.
12 Q. Where did you go?
13 A. We went to the Muslim part of the town.
14 Q. How far is that? How long did it take you to get there on foot?
15 A. Well, I really don't know. We were almost running. I couldn't
17 Q. But how far?
18 A. Perhaps it took us 20 minutes or half an hour to get there. My
19 sister-in-law said, "I can't go, continue," so we had to drag her there.
20 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a question from the
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to follow-up on
25 some questions put to you by Ms. Nozica. With regard to the death of
1 Plivcic Tahir and Softa, according to the information we have -- well,
2 this information comes from Ivo. I'd like to know whether any
3 investigations were launched into the death of these two individuals in
4 order to find out who the perpetrators of the crime were, to find out how
5 they had been killed. Was the father-in-law of Tahir, who seems to have
6 survived the event, was he the person who referred the matter to the
7 authorities to shed light on the event? That was my first question about
8 the alleged killing of those two individuals.
9 And my second question concerns the detention houses. You said
10 that there were -- well, you said that your group had been split into two
11 parts and that people were detained in two houses that belonged to the
12 Kurbegovic brothers. And my question is: On what basis were the groups
13 established? Did we have civilians, women and children on the one hand
14 and members of the military on the other, or were these two groups
15 established without following any specific criteria? I'd like to know why
16 the HVO wanted to obtain information on the fact that one of their members
17 had been killed according to your statement. This is also the purpose of
18 the question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't no whether Tahir's
20 father-in-law filed reports of any kind with regard to that event, but as
21 far as the other part of your question is concerned, well, they put us in
22 these two houses. I don't know whether it was really necessary. And the
23 third question, I'm not sure that I understood it correctly.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I'll rephrase the first question.
25 To date no official investigations were conducted in relation to the
1 people killed in the village? Are you saying no?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have no
6 questions for this witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the next Defence team,
9 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, madam. My name is Vesna Alaburic. I
12 am a lawyer from Zagreb. I have several very brief questions I'd like to
13 put to you on behalf of General Milivoj Petkovic, whom I represent in
14 these proceedings.
15 In your statement given to the Prosecution, item 11 of that
16 statement, you said that the attack commenced in the night of the 12th and
17 13th of January, 1993, and today when asked by Judge Antonetti, you said
18 that the attack took place on the 11th, 12th, 13th and January. Do you
19 remember that? However, in item 11 you don't mention the day you say the
20 Ustasha entered the village. Can you now tell us when members of the
21 Croatian armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina entered your village?
22 A. No, I can't. When you don't go out, you don't know what the date
23 is. You don't know what the day is. You don't know anything.
24 Q. I'll now remind you of your statement given to the state security
25 services on the 10th of February, 1994. You gave it in Bugojno. My
1 colleague Senka Nozica showed you this statement. I think you still have
2 it before you. It's to your right. Have a look at the third sentence in
3 the statement which says as follows: "The Ustasha managed to enter
4 Uzricje on the 18th of January, 1993, in the morning."
5 Did you tell the state security services in Bugojno this? Is this
6 what you stated precisely?
7 A. Well, I don't know. It's difficult for me to remember dates. I
8 don't know.
9 Q. Can you remember whether some time had passed, a day or two, since
10 the time when the village was shelled, as you said, and up until the time
11 that Croatian soldiers entered the village?
12 A. I think we entered the dugout on the 11th or 12th, and I think we
13 spent five days in the dugout, and then we got out when they came to fetch
15 Q. So you were in the dugout for five days. That means that the --
16 what you said to be correct in 1994. Perhaps it was on the 18th that the
17 Croats entered the village.
18 And now -- my colleagues have said that the transcript hasn't
19 recorded, something, so could you please answer quite clearly. Could you
20 answer the question clearly.
21 You said correct, in February, 1994, you told the State Security
22 Service that the Croatian soldiers entered Uzricje on the 18th of January,
23 1993; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Now I'm interested in the word "succeed." When we use
1 this word, it means someone made great attempts to do something and having
2 made great efforts they succeeded in doing something. Is that what the
3 word means in our own language?
4 A. I suppose so.
5 Q. So then can you explain the following for me: What did you mean
6 when you said in 1994 that the Ustashas managed or succeeded in entering
7 Uzricje? They made great efforts, they weren't successful, but finally
8 they entered on the 18th.
9 A. I don't know. Perhaps it was the translator or the typist. I
10 don't know, but they entered.
11 Q. Can you tell us or can you explain why the Croats were trying to
12 take the village? Had they started shelling on the 11th of January but
13 they couldn't get in until the 18th? So what was actually happening? Why
14 did they get in so late? Was there fighting?
15 A. I don't know. We were in the dugout. I didn't go out. We just
16 heard the explosions, shells falling, until they came to fetch us, because
17 you're underground. You don't go out.
18 Q. Can you explain something for us, because if you're in the dugout,
19 well, you find yourself in one kind of situation and you can't see what's
20 happening and as a result you can't see if any fighting is going on. What
21 that the situation you were in?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You don't really know what was happening?
24 A. No.
25 Q. In other words, does this mean that it was possible there was
1 ongoing fighting in your village but you weren't aware of the fact because
2 you were in a dugout?
3 A. Yes, that's possible. We were in the dugout, so ...
4 Q. Thank you. Could you just repeat your answer, because it hasn't
5 been recorded completely in the transcript. My question was were -- was
6 it possible that you didn't see the fighting in the village because you
7 were in the dugout, and your answer was?
8 A. Yes, we didn't see that. We were in the dugout. We knew about --
9 we didn't know about anything until they came to take us out.
10 Q. Thank you. Does the family name Hasanic mean anything to you?
11 Does it ring a bell?
12 A. Let me think. I don't know.
13 Q. For example, the Hasanic family from Modric, does that mean
14 anything to you?
15 A. Well, they were also refugees and they also looted these houses
16 and took things out of the house.
17 Q. Could you describe this in greater detail? Who were they? Was
18 the father Jusuf and the sons Elvir and Jesen and the mother and daughter
19 in Nadina who were involved.
20 A. Yes, they were also involved in the looting until the fighting
21 ended. They were also involved in the looting.
22 Q. Was this a Muslim or Croatian family?
23 A. I assume it was a Muslim family.
24 Q. Very well. I'd like you to explain the term it "Ustashas."
25 Before the Croatian soldiers presented themselves as Ustasha to you on the
1 18th of January, how did you call Croatian soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 I assume that you spoke about them. How -- what did you call them?
3 A. No, I didn't mention them. I don't know what term I used. I know
4 that they're -- ABiH and HVO were together.
5 Q. The HVO. So you knew that there was the HVO?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me, was the HVO often called Ustashas in the Muslim media?
8 A. I don't know. There was no electricity, so we couldn't listen to
9 the radio.
10 Q. But before you arrived there, before the electricity supply was
11 cut, had you heard such terms in the media?
12 A. No.
13 Q. But you did know that the army of the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 was called the HVO?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you saw such insignia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in spite of this fact, why did you use the term Ustasha when
19 you spoke to the Prosecution?
20 A. Well, I don't know. I used the term that they used to present
21 themselves with. It wasn't ill-intentioned.
22 Q. Madam, I don't want to discuss whether this was convincing,
23 whether soldiers presenting himself as an Ustasha is reliable but did you
24 see insignia, HVO insignia?
25 A. Well, no, they had no insignia when they came. None of them had
1 insignia. Those in camouflage uniforms and those in black uniforms, they
2 just said they were Ustasha.
3 Q. So you didn't see any insignia on their uniforms?
4 A. No.
5 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
7 Thank you very much, Witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I should like to clear up a
9 small point. When the soldiers entered the village, how many weeks after
10 that did you stay in that village, did you remain in that village?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was at the end of
12 February that I left.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] During the time you remained in
14 the village, did the HVO soldier supervise the village? Did they guard
15 you, or were you free to come and go?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The HVO did watch the village. We
17 couldn't move around.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And what did you do
19 for food, to eat?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What reserves we had in the house we
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there was food to eat?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am asking this because looking
25 at the Prosecution, because in paragraph 71 of the indictment, and -- it
1 says, and I read: "It was winter, and every house had a wooden stove
2 without electricity. Fifty to 60 Muslims detained in the houses received
3 no food and stayed alive by eating whatever was left in these houses."
4 Now you tell us, madam, that there was enough food. Were there
5 small children, babies, with you and, if so, did you have milk for them?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This man had cows, so the
7 children had milk.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is it right to say that during
9 those few weeks everyone could eat normally?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We weren't hungry, but we didn't
11 really enjoy -- I don't know how to put it. We didn't enjoy ourselves.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another point which is also
13 important: It was wintertime, the month of January, perhaps beginning of
14 February. There was no electricity. The heating that you had with wood,
15 you had wooden stoves?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was there a shortage of wood at
18 some point or not?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had prepared themselves for the
20 winter, the owners.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be
23 allowed to put a question to this witness?
24 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, while you were in that house, was any HVO
1 member keeping guard in front of house or were they just passing by?
2 A. They were guarding.
3 Q. Were you free to fetch wood, to milk the cow?
4 A. They were standing there when we went to the stable to milk the
5 cow. As for the wood, it was inside. The people had already prepared
6 enough wood for the winter.
7 Q. Did you receive any kind of food outside this house? Were you
8 allowed to go to another house to get food?
9 A. No. I don't know how to put it. A local man, he brought us
10 medicines only.
11 Q. I see. They brought you medicines. These guards in front of your
12 house, did you have the feeling that they were there not to let you leave,
13 or were they protecting you from some other persons that might harm you?
14 Did you have any kind of unpleasantness when you were there?
15 A. No. I felt safe because I had nothing more to lose.
16 Q. But nobody hurt you in any way while you were in that house?
17 A. No, nobody.
18 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Any other Defence
20 counsel? Mr. Ibrisimovic? No? So all Defence counsels have asked their
22 Has the Prosecution any additional examination or clarifications?
23 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, thank you. I have no questions in
24 re-examination of this witness, but there are three short matters which
25 I'd like to raise which do necessitate the presence of this witness in
1 court during me raising these matters.
2 The first is just to pick up on a point that Your Honour raised in
3 relation to paragraph 71 of the indictment. It may be entirely my
4 mistake, but I am not able to perceive the discrepancy that it appeared to
5 me Your Honour was trying to point out in the indictment in that it states
6 that Muslims detained in the houses received no food and stayed alive by
7 eating whatever was left in these houses. And from what I've heard this
8 witness say and indeed what is written in the statement, it appears that
9 that is exactly what the witness is saying, that they stayed alive by
10 eating what food was left in the houses, and I'm not sure, perhaps, I did
11 not follow Your Honour's line of questioning.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I could assist on that. I could --
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I could assist on that, because the point is if
15 they wanted these people to starve, they obviously could have taken the
16 food away from them. That's the point. So there was plenty of food. And
17 I think General -- General Praljak made an interesting point, and that was
18 that you had guards there. So there is an alternative plausible
19 explanation which is what the Rules call for when you have circumstantial
21 MS. GILLETT: Your Honour, that's not what I'm asking and I would
22 appreciate the counsel not to draw inferences on my --
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm entitled to make my record and counsel should
24 know better then to interrupt me while making my record. General Praljak
25 was offering an alternative, plausible explanation as we are entitled to
1 where there's circumstantial evidence and that is while they were
2 guarded -- it's a two-way -- two-way sword. They're there for their
3 protection -- to protect them from others. The food was available. They
4 didn't starve to death and there's no evidence that any of the HVO
5 soldiers or anybody went in to take the food away from them or prevented
6 them from milking the cows. That's a pretty good indication that there
7 was plenty of food and they were not being starved to death.
8 MS. GILLETT: With all due respect to my learned friend and not
9 wishing to interrupt, my question was more directed at the Bench in case I
10 had misunderstood something.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. Madam
12 Gillett, we're listening to you. I noted, Madam Gillett, that in the
13 indictment there is reference to horrible conditions. So I was trying to
14 check with the witness whether it was as horrible as that regarding the
15 food and the heating.
16 So you must know that whenever a Judge asks a question, we are
17 being guided by the indictment and the legal qualifications of the crime,
18 whether there was inhumane treatment, bad treatment, and so on. So that
19 is why we asked this question.
20 So if we have a witness who suffered such bad conditions, I wanted
21 to specify what kind of difficulties they had regarding food and heating.
22 Now, please proceed.
23 MS. GILLETT: Thank you, Your Honour. The second point relates to
24 a response I want to make to my learned friend, Mr. Murphy's objection to
25 the tendering of Exhibit 7350. Just to pick up on what was mentioned in
1 the objection, that whilst the witness, it is true to say, does not know
2 the names that were in that document, the document does contain
3 information other than a list of names, and it is about that that I asked
4 the witness, and the Prosecution tendered this statement as corroboration
5 for what the witness states in her statement and has stated here today in
6 court, and that of course authenticity is only one part, relevance being
7 the other, which I know the Chamber will take into consideration in
8 considering whether to admit this exhibit.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 8927 redacted. Private session.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.54 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day
18 of October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.