1 Wednesday, 6 December 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness enters court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Case
9 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I
11 should like to say good morning to all those present in the courtroom, to
12 the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused, and our registrar who is back
13 with us this morning. We're going to carry on with our proceedings with
14 another witness. The witness is present in the courtroom, so we're going
15 to move into private session straight away.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 11198-11199 redacted. Private session
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
4 Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Madam Egels, you have the floor.
7 Examination by Ms. Egels:
8 MS. EGELS: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours,
9 good morning, everybody.
10 In 1993, the witness lived with her family in Visici, in the
11 municipality of Capljina. Around the 15th of April, 1993, HVO soldiers
12 came to her house to arrest her husband but did not find him. Around the
13 20th of April, soldiers searched her house for weapons. Since 15 April,
14 1993, the HVO kept arresting Muslim men that were taken to Dretelj or
15 Gabela. On the 1st of July, 1993, the HVO arrested all Muslim men in
16 Visici regardless of their civilian or military status, their health, or
17 their age.
18 At the end of July, 1993, the mosque in Visici was destroyed. On
19 11 August, 1993, the witness, together with other women and children, was
20 arrested by the Capljina MUP and taken to Tasovcici where they were kept
21 in a private house. Later in August other women were brought to that
22 house in Tasovcici. The civilians confined there were interrogated by
23 members of the MUP and SIS.
24 On the 2nd of October, 1993, the witness was transferred by the
25 police to Silos in Capljina where the conditions of detention were
1 terrible. At the Silos, the witness saw two men being taken away and come
2 back beaten. She heard them being beaten. She also witnessed women being
3 taken out and was told they were made to walk around naked. Detainees
4 were tormented mentally and physically.
5 On the 11th or 12th of October, 1993, Muslim men detained in
6 Gabela were brought to the Silos in order to hide them from the Red Cross
7 who was visiting Gabela. On the 19th of October, the witness was
8 transferred to the students' dormitory in Capljina because the Silos had
9 become too sold for the children who were confined there. She stayed at
10 the students' dormitory until the 10th of June, 1994, when she was
11 released with the intervention of the Red Cross.
12 Q. Good morning, Witness CN.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. On the 29th of March, 2001, you provided a statement to an
15 investigator of the Office of the Prosecution of this Tribunal; is that
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. At the time you provided this statement, did you provide it
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Did you answer the questions freely?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. At the conclusion of this interview were you read back your
24 statement in your language?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Did you then sign the English version of that statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Witness, can I ask you to turn to Exhibit number 9754.
4 MS. EGELS: And for that purpose, Your Honour, can we go into
5 private session and this document being under seal.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please,
7 Mr. Registrar.
8 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
18 Mr. President.
19 MS. EGELS:
20 Q. Witness CN, when we met yesterday with myself and an investigator,
21 were you given an opportunity to read your statement in your language?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is it correct that upon reviewing that statement in your language
24 you wanted to make some -- well, two minor corrections?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. Is it correct that on page 2, paragraph 9 of the English
2 statement, page 3, paragraph 3 of the Bosnian version, you specified that
3 the mosque in Visici was destroyed in July, and the year was 1993?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And on page 3, paragraph 8 of the English statement, page 5,
6 paragraph 1 of the Bosnian version, when you stated -- you stated that the
7 sentence, "I recognised the policemen that came to the house. One was
8 (first name unknown) Konjcanin and another one from Celjevo whose name I
9 don't know," should be replaced by, "I recognised the policemen who came
10 to the house. One was from Konjic, another one from Celjevo. I don't
11 know their names."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If you had to provide today to this court a full testimony, would
14 the content of that testimony be the same as the content of your written
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Witness CN, I would like you to turn now to Exhibit number 1900 in
18 the bundle in front of you.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I might intervene,
20 not to waste time later on for practical reasons. On page 6, line 21, it
21 says that the witness confirmed that the mosque in Visici was destroyed in
22 July and that the year was 1993, and last night, late last night, we
23 received a correction where it says that it was in June.
24 Now, I don't know whether it is the transcript that's the problem
25 or -- I apologise, but I've been informed that another correction was
1 received this morning to that.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That did not escape my
3 notice, because I saw that there was June and July.
4 So, madam, when was the mosque destroyed, in June, 1993, or in
5 July, 1993, to the best your recollections?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In July. The seventh month, July.
7 MS. EGELS:
8 Q. Witness CN, coming back to Exhibit number 1900. In your statement
9 you referred to HVO soldiers that came to your house around the 15th of
10 April, 1993, in order to arrest your husband who was a member of the ABiH.
11 This document is an order by Commander Obradovic dated the 16th of
12 April, 1993. I would like you to turn to item 2, page 1 of both the
13 English and Bosnian version of this document.
14 On that item it is written: "Order. All members of the BiH army
15 carrying BiH army insignias are to be arrested immediately and detained
16 for 15 days." What that paragraph states, does it correspond to what you
17 experienced on the ground?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can I ask you now to turn to Exhibit number 3057. In your
20 statement you refer to the arrest of Muslim men in your village on the 1st
21 of July, 1993. Can I ask you to turn to page 2, paragraph 2 of the
22 Bosnian version. And that is page 3, paragraph 1 of the English version
23 under the header, "Security-related events."
24 Does this correspond to what you perceived on the ground? This
25 paragraph refers to taking Muslim men eligible for military service and
1 it's an order of 1st of July, 1993. Does this correspond to what you
2 perceived on the ground on the 1st of July, 1993?
3 A. Well, it's like this: There were many more people than the 161
4 persons mentioned here, because they were collecting up all the
5 military-able men at the time, and among them there were also children and
6 elderly persons.
7 Q. Witness, can I ask you now to turn to Exhibit number 9086. This
8 is a series of photographs. Do you recognise these locations?
9 A. The Silo in Capljina.
10 Q. For the record the first page of that bundle. What about the
11 second page of that bundle? Do you recognise that location?
12 A. This is also the Silo. It's where we went in, where we entered
13 the Silo.
14 Q. The third page of that bundle?
15 A. As I went in and out on -- by the other door, it seems to me that
16 the entrance is right, the far end, but I don't -- I can't make out what
17 side it is, but it is the Silo building.
18 Q. What about the fourth page of that bundle?
19 A. I never went through that door, as far as I remember. I know that
20 there were some steps, and this seems familiar. Number 2, photograph
21 number 2 is familiar. But it is the Silo, that's for sure.
22 Q. And the last page of that bundle?
23 A. I don't know this.
24 Q. Can I ask you now to turn to Exhibit number 9285. Do you
25 recognise this building?
1 A. That is the mosque in Visici that existed before the war and that
2 was destroyed.
3 Q. What about the next page of that bundle?
4 A. That's also the mosque taken from a different angle.
5 Q. Thank you, Witness CN.
6 MS. EGELS: Your Honours, I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Egels. I have a
8 question for you. You showed the witness photographs. There were some
9 that she recognised and others that she did not. Now, during the proofing
10 session did you show the witness the photographs or not?
11 MS. EGELS: Yes, I did, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why show her photographs
13 which she does not recognise? Wouldn't it have been better not to have
14 shown her those photographs, the ones she did not recognise? And we would
15 have saved time.
16 MS. EGELS: Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas seems to be
19 Now, with respect to the Silo, a number of witnesses have already
20 said yes, that is the Silo, they recognised it. So there we have it. But
21 any way thank you, madam.
22 I have a short question for you, Witness, not a complicated one.
23 You said a moment ago that you recognised the policemen. One was from
24 Konjic and the other from Celjevo, but you said you said you didn't know
25 their names. Now, how can you recognise policemen and know that they were
1 from two different localities?
2 A. Celjevo is right by Visici. It's the neighbouring village
3 following on from one another, so I know all those people.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. So they were
5 policemen that you already knew.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But before they came to arrest
8 you, those individuals had already been policemen? They were already
9 policemen, or did you realise they were policemen the day they came to
10 arrest you and your perhaps knew them in a different capacity
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's like this, you see: When
13 we were taken away, taken out of our houses to Dino Trajlovic -- Tasovic's
14 [phoen] house there was a police car and there was a policeman who had
15 been a policeman before as well. He was a policeman before and at that
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they came in a police car,
18 and it was the police car that you knew, you recognised.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you. Now, another
21 query. To the best of your recollection, these policemen, were they
22 civilian policemen from the MUP or were they military police? What would
23 you say?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The civilian police.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 I turn to the Defence teams. Who is going to start off, as usual
2 I'm going to ask.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning
4 Your Honours; good morning madam. We have no questions for this
5 witness and we wish to thank her for coming here to give her evidence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Next. Mr. Kovacic.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, according to our order
8 for this morning, the -- General Praljak's Defence comes first, and
9 General Praljak himself would like to ask the witness a few questions.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. My name is Praljak.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. I'd like to go back to 1992, and then I have a question regarding
15 the mosque. Is it true and correct that in 1992 Visici were bombed by the
16 air by the Yugoslav People's Army air force?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it also true and correct -- or, rather, do you know that at
19 that time in 1992 the Serbs took control of the entire area of Stolac
20 right up to the river Neretva in Capljina?
21 A. The Dubrava and Stolac areas, yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, as the bombing of all these localities, including
23 your village, continued, you in your statement say that you left with your
24 young child and went to Croatia where you spent two and a half months. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes, in Grac.
2 Q. In Grac. Right. Now, did anybody force you to return or could
3 you stay in Gradac?
4 A. I thought I could return, yes. I went voluntarily.
5 Q. So you thought that after those people were liberated that you
6 could live there normally later on?
7 A. Yes. I went back on my own responsibility. I knew what was
8 waiting there for me, but I decided to go back home nevertheless.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. And you say, "when the Bregava Brigade of
10 the BH army was formed my husband joined up."
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Did anybody prevent him? Was it on a voluntary basis? Could he
13 just have a normal choice? The brigade functioned normally and he had
14 this choice, did he?
15 A. It was his choice, his own choice.
16 Q. Right. Yes. It was his choice. And that was 1992, the end of
18 A. It was 1993. I'm sorry, 1993.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, I need you to clarify
20 something, given the question that's just been put to you. You said in
21 response to General Praljak's question that after the Serbian shelling you
22 had left your village to go to Croatia. Can you tell me, when were you
23 actually staying in Croatia, from which month until which month?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From April, 1992. I stayed there
25 for two and a half months. I was there in April and May for sure.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And when you were in
2 Croatia, you could move around freely in Croatian territory? You weren't
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was free to move around.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And when you decided
6 at the end of May or the beginning of June, since you said you stayed
7 there for two months, when you decided to return to your village you were
8 free to decide to return? You did that voluntarily?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, voluntarily, although it was a
10 risk at the time when I returned with my child. Many did not return. It
11 was really a decision that I myself took.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that others didn't take
13 the same decision. Do you know why or not?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, some people didn't feel safe.
15 Some didn't want to. It was their affair. I know as far as I'm concerned
16 I decided to return.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said they didn't feel safe.
18 Because of the Serbs, or because of others?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know what it's like in
20 war. You never know what will happen. One moment you're in free
21 territory, the next moment you're not.
22 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation].
23 Q. Could we say that it's more likely that you returned in June,
24 1993, because that's when the Dubrava plateau was liberated?
25 A. Well, yes, something like that.
1 Q. In 1992?
2 A. Yes, in 1992. But my husband didn't join the army in 1992, as you
4 Q. No. I didn't say that. Madam, that's not what I said. I don't
5 know about that. But let's finish this part about Croatia. Those others
6 who were still afraid, you didn't know whether the territory was safe.
7 They could freely remain in Croatia. Isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know that the Bregava Brigade was formed of Muslims?
10 That's what we called them at the time. Towards the end of 1992.
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Your husband voluntarily joined the Bregava Brigade which was at
13 Gubavica. That was his choice, and no one prevented him from doing that?
15 A. That's how he -- that's what he decided.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. In your statement, page 4 of your
17 statement, you say, "Sometime in July, 1993, two Croats arrived at my
18 house, and they were smuggling people to Croatia."
19 A. They did this for money. They would cross the border.
20 Q. So we had these smugglers who were earning money because of the
21 fate people were meeting?
22 A. That's their affair.
23 Q. When you would cross over into Croatia -- those who crossed over
24 to Croatia they still had the status of refugees. They were free to move
25 around Croatia?
1 A. No. Later on it was more difficult.
2 Q. It was more difficult to cross over into Croatia?
3 A. Not only to cross over into Croatia, but to be in Croatia. It
4 was always possible for you to be arrested. This was all the personal
5 decision of one individual, but the risk was real. There was a risk.
6 Q. I don't understand. In Croatia -- well, there were over 500 or
7 600.000 refugees in Croatia. People had been registered. They'd been
8 provided with accommodation. So I don't know who was arresting people.
9 Are you aware of any examples of someone arresting others, women,
10 children, men? Unless we're talking about crimes.
11 A. Well, that was different in 1992. In 1993, everything changed.
12 Q. In 1993, in June, everything changed. Everything changed in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but what changed in Croatia? Tell me.
14 A. Well, on the basis of the experience of others, I know that they
15 travelled to Zagreb in a state of fear, and they didn't feel safe in
16 Zagreb. As to who arrested them or who performed such arrests, I don't
18 Q. I apologise, but I have to clarify this issue. There were 3 or
19 400.000 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina there at the time. So how was it
20 possible for someone to arrest them and why didn't they feel safe in
21 Zagreb? Who told you about? That whose experience is that? What can you
22 tell us?
23 A. Well, look, I wasn't in Zagreb at the time. I personally can't
24 say that I saw such things. Whatever I'm saying is based on hearsay.
25 It's the experience that others had.
1 Q. Thank you. I'd just like to ask you something else now. Can you
2 tell me the exact date on which the mosque in your village was destroyed?
3 A. I don't know. I think it was towards the end of July. Perhaps
4 the 17th, but I couldn't tell you the exact date. This happened on two
5 occasions. The mosque was destroyed on one evening. Then there was a
6 pause the next day, and then on the third evening the minaret was
8 Q. And you think that was towards the end of July.
9 A. Yes, yes. It was not in June, it was in July.
10 Q. There's 30 days in July. Can you be a little bit more precise as
11 to the date is concerned?
12 A. Well, as of the 17th of June. I said towards the end of July.
13 Believe me, when I gave this statement I couldn't remember the exact
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic, you have no
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Alaburic.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. I'd like to go back to a
24 Prosecution document, P 01900. It's an order from the 1st HVO Knez
25 Domagoj Brigade commander.
1 A. I can't find it.
2 Q. Have you found it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. It's an order dated the 16th of April, 1993, and it says that the
5 entry of BH army members is not allowed into the area of responsibility of
6 the brigade from the Rotimlje to Drenovac area. And item 2 says whoever
7 fails to abide by the order will be arrested and detained for a 15-day
9 Witness, in that area was the Knez Domagoj Brigade active and was
10 the Bregava Brigade active? It was an ABiH unit. Isn't that correct?
11 A. Probably, but I couldn't say for sure.
12 Q. Since you know that your husband was in the HVO and you also know
13 since you yourself have said this, you also know that he fled to the ABiH,
14 to the Bregava Brigade. Do you know that apart from those two units there
15 was some other unit of some other army active in the area?
16 A. The people from Visici weren't in the Knez Domagoj Brigade. These
17 people from Visici were in a special company. I don't know its exact
18 name. The people from Visici had nothing to do with the Knez Domagoj
20 Q. Was that unit an HVO unit?
21 A. Yes. That's something I do know.
22 Q. Can we therefore conclude that in the area there was an HVO unit
23 or, rather, HVO units that were active, and there was an ABiH brigade
24 called the Bregava Brigade that was also active? Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could this order therefore concern only members of the Bregava
2 Brigade, the ABiH Bregava Brigade? Only they could have gone to that
3 territory, and this order could concern them alone.
4 A. Well, I can't answer that question exactly.
5 Q. If you have told me that there were no other ABiH units in the
6 area --
7 A. Well, look, I wasn't a member of the ABiH. I can't answer that
9 Q. Witness, you said that the situation in the field was such as it
10 has been described in this order, and that's why I'm analysing this order
11 with you right now.
12 A. Well, look, all I know is that my husband was in the armija, and
13 I'm not familiar with all these other matters.
14 Q. Madam, have a look at the bottom of the order. In the left-hand
15 corner. Who was this order forwarded to? Read out item 4.
16 A. It says the Bregava Brigade.
17 Q. The Bregava Brigade. So it was forwarded to the ABiH; is that
19 A. Well, that's what it says here.
20 Q. Since your husband was in both units, do you know that the HVO and
21 the Bregava Brigade divide the zone of responsibility among themselves so
22 the Bregava Brigade had full control of one area, whereas the HVO had
23 control of another area. Are you aware of that?
24 A. No. You can't put that question to me.
25 Q. Do you know that there was an agreement reached by the HVO and the
1 ABiH according to which members of the Bregava Brigade would not go to the
2 territory under HVO control without having previously informed the HVO of
3 the fact?
4 A. No. I had nothing to do with that. I don't know about that.
5 Q. Do you know that individual members and groups of members of the
6 Bregava Brigade went to the territory under the control of the HVO without
7 having previously informed them of their arrival, as had been agreed?
8 A. No. I know nothing about them.
9 Q. According to the information you have, was the possibility of
10 detaining people for 15 days also valid for soldiers you believed were
11 members of your own units?
12 A. No. I know nothing about that.
13 Q. Now let's have a look at another Prosecution document discussed by
14 the witness, P 03057. You've found it, haven't you?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'll ask you about the part my colleague from the Prosecution
17 asked you about. You confirmed that what happened in the field
18 corresponded to the description in the document under the part
19 entitled "Matters of security interest." I'll ask you about this.
20 We're talking about an order from the Knez Domagoj Brigade about
21 bringing in individuals. It's dated the 1st of July, 1993, and it
22 says that the order concerns the deterioration of the security
23 situation in Mostar.
24 You confirmed the contents of this part of the document, and, as a
25 result, which events in Mostar are concerned in this document that talks
1 about bringing in Muslim men?
2 A. Well, it was in Bijelo Polje, as far as I can remember. These
3 events took place in Bijelo Polje.
4 Q. What happened in Bijelo Polje?
5 A. I don't know. There was a conflict between the armija and HVO
6 members as far as I know.
7 Q. And what was the outcome of this clash?
8 A. What do you mean?
9 Q. What was the outcome? Who won?
10 A. Well, the armija, as far as I can remember. They just took that
12 Q. Very well. And as a result, the security situation in the area
13 deteriorated; is that correct? That's what it says here?
14 A. But they came to arrest on the 14th -- on the 15th of April, not
15 on the 1st of July. That's when the arrests started, as far as I can
16 remember. It wasn't on the 1st of July. On the 1st of July there were
17 arrests on a large scale.
18 Q. Witness, we'll move on to April, 1993, later on. We're just
19 discussing this order now. Since you have confirmed the truth of the
20 contents of this order, I'm asking you about what you know about the
21 information you have, that when the ABiH took Bijelo Polje the security
22 situation deteriorated. What do you know about the deterioration of the
23 security situation in that area?
24 A. Well, on the 1st of July, in the morning, all the men were
25 gathered. Not only those fit for military service. There were younger
1 men 17 years of age, and there were elderly men too.
2 Q. I apologise for interrupting you, but these arrests were the
3 result of the deterioration of the security situation described in this
5 A. I don't know about that. We had nothing to do with that, believe
7 Q. When you say "we," who are you referring to?
8 A. Well, I mean the people from Visici who lived there.
9 Q. Very well. I'd now like to ask you something about what you said
10 in your written statement. With regard to your husband, you said that he
11 was in the HVO until mid-March, 1993. Isn't that correct?
12 A. Well, look. I don't know the month. All I know is that he was
13 in the Patriotic League and then in the HVO, and then he moved into the
14 armija. Believe me, I don't know the exact date. I don't know the
16 Q. In your written statement you use the verb "fled" or "escaped"
17 from the HVO. Why did you say that he escaped from the HVO?
18 A. Well, maybe that was a mistake. He transferred from the HVO.
19 Q. He decided to join the armija. In your statement you also say
20 that they kept calling him from the HVO and sent him letters but that he
21 disregarded them?
22 A. Well, that's about his affair. I suppose he knew why he
23 disregarded them.
24 Q. Do you know what the contents of those letters were?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now, since you say that he disregarded them, does that mean that
2 they called him to return to the HVO?
3 A. Well, he probably had his own reasons for not going back to the
5 Q. Yes, but did they invite him to come back? Did they call him to
6 come back, regardless of his reasons not to respond to disregard them?
7 A. Do I have to answer that? Well, I don't know. I really don't
9 Q. Tell us, Witness, do you know how the HVO behaved when some of its
10 members failed to turn up to the unit and when he was absent for a certain
11 amount of time? What was the standard procedure? What would be done in
12 somebody's absence?
13 A. I can't say. I don't know that.
14 Q. You describe the situation and say that two uniformed HVO
15 officers --
16 A. No, I didn't say officers.
17 Q. That's what it says in the written statement. But you meant
18 soldiers, did you?
19 A. Yes, soldiers.
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I've been warned quite
25 rightly that I was reading a portion of the statement and it slipped my
1 mind that it might be a problem.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, make
3 the order to strike that from the record.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] May we move into private session,
5 then, because I'd like to discuss this portion of the witnesses statement.
6 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
23 Mr. President.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. As we were saying, these two soldiers turned up. They asked you
1 whether your husband was at home. Your answer was that he was not, and
2 they left. Is that right? Can you remember now whether it was standard
3 practice that if a soldier didn't turn up to his unit that somebody from
4 that unit would come by to see why the person was and sent, whether he was
5 sick or anything else?
6 A. We did not hear the -- he was not in any military unit at the
8 Q. I think we'll have to repeat the question and answer because
9 there's been a slight misunderstanding. My question was, and the answer
10 was not recorded, was this: Two HVO soldiers arrived at your house, asked
11 about your husband's whereabouts. You said your husband wasn't at home,
12 and they left. Is that right? A little louder, please.
13 A. Yes, but they were looking for his brother as well, who was not in
14 any military unit at the time.
15 Q. My next question was this: Did you know -- do you know that if
16 somebody was and sent from a unit that someone from the unit would come
17 home to ask why the person was absent, whether they were sick or some
18 other reason? But anyway, that is somebody would come by to see why a
19 particular soldier hadn't turned up.
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 Q. Very well. Then we'll move on. Tell me, please, what was the HVO
22 soldiers' conduct when they came by to ask about your husband and when
23 they came looking for weapons and when later on they also came to your
24 house? Did they believe you when you said, "No, my husband is not at
1 A. The second time they came there were over 10 armed soldiers who
2 enter the house without asking, without any warning, and they search the
3 house, the yard, the garage, and they just went in without asking
4 permission at all.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, would you approach the
6 microphone so we can hear you better when you give us your answers. Thank
8 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. When your husband was in the HVO, was he issued with any
11 A. As far as I remember, well, I don't remember him bringing any
12 weapons home. I can't give you a precise answer to that question. I'm
13 not sure.
14 Q. Tell us, please, do you know whether he returned his weapon to the
15 HVO when he decided, as you say, to escape to the BH army?
16 A. I really don't know.
17 Q. Did the HVO soldiers who came to search your house clearly state
18 that they had come to look for weapons?
19 A. Yes, they came to look for weapons.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that there is a lot of
21 noise in the courtroom and they find it difficult to hear the speakers.
22 Thank you.
23 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Witness, in your statement you speak of numerous arrests that took
25 place in mid-April, 1993; is that right? Can you tell us who was
1 arrested? And if you know who was arrested, could you tell us whether
2 they were a member of any army, whether they occupied any prominent
3 position in your community, a be so on?
4 A. Am I allowed to mention names?
5 Q. Well, if you want to name names, if you can name names, then --
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps -- well, I
7 don't know if we need to go into private session for people who were
8 detained, but we can do so out of an abundance of caution perhaps?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Out of an abundance of
10 caution, let's move into private session.
11 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
4 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Witness, these arrests at the beginning of July, 1993, I have some
6 questions to ask you about them, and I'm interested in when you say that
7 people who were over the age of 70 were arrested.
8 Now, since the HVO order referred exclusively to military-able
9 men, I would like to ask you for examples of what you said or -- can you
10 ask you this way: Do you know the names of any persons who were over the
11 age of 70 and who were arrested at that time? And then after your answer
12 we can move into private session.
13 A. I didn't say over 70. I said up to 70, up to age 70.
14 Q. Very well. Now, do you know the name of anybody who was over the
15 age of 60 when they were arrested?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Then may we go back into private session, please.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 11226-11230 redacted. Private session
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
22 Mr. President.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you for -- for the time, Mr. President.
24 First, before I address that, if I might make one slight observation with
25 respect to the last question -- set of questions posed by Judge Prandler,
1 because it's -- I've noticed that on a couple of previous occasions there
2 have been some questions about people returning to their properties.
3 That issue is an extremely complicated issue in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have personally worked on the issue because I know
5 how complicated it is. Out of -- if the question is being posed out of
6 interest, I have no objections, but that is not a matter of the
7 indictment, whether somebody has been able to return to their home at this
8 particular point, because the issues could be a variety of issues. During
9 a war or after the war people settled in and then, even if you want to
10 move back to your place, somebody might be in there because he has no
11 place to go and so on and so forth. Some folks decided not to return.
12 So I just mention that as an observation. It's not a criticism.
13 I'm just mentioning it because I do get alarmed that somehow that may
14 creep into, you know, your factoring certain, you know, decisions at the
16 With respect to my request yesterday, it seems that we are
17 becoming more and more continental --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Karnavas, to
19 clarify something you have just said. It's a very complex issue, that's
20 true, but let's not forget that in the indictment, the indictment alleges
21 that property, or, rather, flats that belonged to Muslims were flats from
22 which their owners had been expelled so that Croats move in. So if a
23 Judge reads such allegations in an indictment, the Judges will want to see
24 whether these flats were perhaps requisitions or legally taken over, were
25 they subsequently returned to their legitimate orders. That's what the
1 Judges would like to find out. Were they returned as part of legal
2 proceedings, as a result of legal proceedings? That's why the question
3 was asked about whether legal proceedings had been instituted, or
4 perhaps the government took certain measures to return such property
5 to their owners. And this is an important issue and one that we have
6 to address.
7 And Judge Prandler also has something he would like to say.
8 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like to thank Mr. Karnavas for responding
9 to my question which I asked from the witness, and I took note of the --
10 of his explanation, and I'm sure he's a very good expert on it, that many,
11 in a way, houses and properties had been -- changed hard, et cetera,
12 during the last couple of years during the conflict, and that is why I
13 only simply asked the question. And even if you recall, I did mention if
14 they then moved to a house which was vacated previously by a Croat or
15 other Serb family. So it was actually from this point of view which I
16 asked for, in a way, a humanitarian point of view. But anyway, I thank
17 you for raising this issue.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: And thank you very much, Judge Prandler for the
19 additional explanation. Rest assured that there is a law on the return of
20 abandoned property, that the Office of the High Representative has put
21 into place, that it is harmonised throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 With respect to the procedures, it's quite evident that you know
23 in this hybrid system that we're struggling to find new ways to be more
24 efficient, and those of us who come from the Anglo-Saxon system, from the
25 adversarial system, at points of time have had to make some adjustments,
1 and we'll continue to make adjustments. But those of us who appreciate
2 what is happening in court feel that there are ways that we could expedite
3 the procedures given that, one, we don't have the strict rules of evidence
4 we normally have with the admission of evidence because we don't have a
5 jury. We have professional Judges. So from that standpoint we don't have
6 to worry about tainting someone's mind.
7 There is have very low threshold that we have to meet in order
8 to introduce documents in. I think documents coming, especially from
9 the HVO or the HZ HB or HR HB, I think by and large the Prosecution
10 will be able to get all those documents in, assuming they don't have
11 any particular obstacles with respect to where it was found or the
12 authenticity of it.
13 I say this because with the witnesses -- these 92 ter witnesses,
14 it seems to me that the quickest way to resolve these issues is to simply
15 have the witness give a very brief narration, if you will, of what
16 happened, or the summary that is being read. If we have, say, 10
17 documents that we want to tender through this particular witness, if the
18 Prosecution were to alert both us and the Trial Chamber the exact passages
19 that they wish, in other words, because they're trying to marry, if you
20 will, the testimony with the documents.
21 Now, it doesn't make any sense to say does this -- is this
22 consistent with, because you're professional Judges. You can read it.
23 They will be able to make references to that in their final brief. But of
24 course it would be helpful for them to point out to everybody exactly what
25 passages they're relying on in order to connect and link up. That would
1 allow the Defence then to target and focus their cross-examination on
2 perhaps other areas of those documents that are not being mentioned, or
3 perhaps to bring in other documents, or to ask specific questions.
4 In other words -- and this is worked out in advance. And the
5 Prosecution -- it's very clear that they're very well order and prepared.
6 They know which documents they wish to bring in and which portions of the
7 documents they wish to bring in with respect to the witness. I think if
8 that was brought to our attention it early on, then we could probably do
9 maybe three witnesses a day on these crime-base type of witnesses or these
10 92-base witnesses.
11 So I think that's one way that we can speed up the process. And I
12 don't think that either party would be disadvantaged because the primary
13 basis for having a 92 bis or ter witness is to get their statement in.
14 Then we can read it and so on and so forth.
15 One other thing is, with respect to the proofing notes, which in
16 my opinion because of this mixed system and it's an adversarial system and
17 the Prosecution is not like an investigative judge and those statements do
18 not carry the same weight as if they were from an investigative judge, it
19 is only natural that the Prosecution would want to meet with the witness,
20 refresh their memory and since there is the language problem to have the
21 witness read the statement in their language and correct certain facts,
22 and I think both parties benefit from that process. And I don't think it
23 is being abused.
24 Where there are corrections, it might be more efficient because
25 yesterday I timed it, it was approximately 20 minutes to go through the
1 corrections. No fault of the Prosecution or the witness. It's just a
2 time-consuming aspect.
3 We obviously get the version in English. It might be overly
4 inconvenient to ask that the Prosecution translate that into B/C/S for the
5 witness to also read and verify and sign, but I think if the Prosecution
6 were to have one of their language assistants read back to the witness
7 prior to the witness coming in the proofing sheet, then it -- one simple
8 question could be, "Did you make some corrections?" "Yes." "And we read
9 to you earlier on that corrections were on this paragraph, that paragraph,
10 and so on," without necessarily going through the whole text. In other
11 words, with one or two questions the witness would say, "yes," and then
12 the proofing notes become also part of the witness's statement. Again, we
13 could save probably -- at least with some witness, some time.
14 Lastly, I've noticed that we're using a lot of photographs. The
15 photographs have already come in. The places are identified so there is
16 no real dilemma, on than perhaps where the Prosecution wishes to make sure
17 that the witness can identify these particular barracks, lest there be any
18 argument from the Defence that their witness is confabulating or wasn't
19 there or so on and so forth. So I don't know have a problem with that.
20 But I think showing -- yesterday there was a picture shown to a
21 witness. It was a village. And the question was, "Can you point out
22 where your house is?" And then we spent about -- and I timed it, about
23 three or four minutes where the gentleman had to look and then mark, and
24 so on and so forth. What benefit does this have in the long-run? Is his
25 house at issue? No. So why bother to ask the witness to look at this
1 photograph, try to identify his house, which was not even in the
2 photograph, identifiably so, to mark us, just to have one more piece of
3 evidence to bother -- for you to be bothered with.
4 One photograph. What does this photograph reflect? It's the
5 village. Boom. Why? Because it isn't at issue whether that person was
6 from that particular village. Now, there are instances where the
7 photographs are important and I think we can spend more valuable time on
8 those instances.
9 So constantly as we're going through this process at least I'm
10 trying to find ways, given the system that we have, to ensure the rights
11 of the accused, to make sure the Prosecution can get their case in. And
12 if we can sort of find ways to bridge that gap and save some time, I think
13 that may be a more efficient way. And as I said, we're going more
14 continental and I don't have a problem with that but I think there are
15 ways and there are benefits to be gained from that process, and I thank
16 you for your attention.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll summarise what you have
18 just said. The three main issues, problems, that have been mentioned by
19 Mr. Karnavas. Corrections to the written statements, first of all. Quite
20 rightly, Mr. Karnavas pointed out that we waste a lot of time when reading
21 out the corrections made by the witness. Mr. Karnavas suggests that there
22 should be a note that would be attached to the statement, a proofing note.
23 And as the witness is proofed before the hearing, this would be possible.
24 The Defence, in order to avoid error, suggests that when the
25 Prosecution meets the witness, you should be assisted by a language
1 assistant and, given all the staff you have at your disposal, that should
2 not pose much of a problem. And in this way you could save much time.
3 Secondly, there are the documents shown to the witness. The
4 questions concern the content of the documents, the paragraphs, et cetera.
5 It would be good to identify the relevant paragraphs, to inform the
6 Defence of the paragraphs identified and thus we would save time because
7 the Defence would know in advance which paragraphs you would be
8 questioning the witness about.
9 And then thirdly, we have the problem of photographs. Numerous
10 photographs are shown. For example, the photographs of the Silo. Perhaps
11 About 30 such photographs have already been shown to various witnesses.
12 It's not really necessary to continue showing such photographs.
13 And then there it's question of whether the photograph is useful.
14 To know whether the witness's house is in such-and-such a position, well,
15 if it's not useful then it's really not necessary to do this. If it's
16 useful because the witness could have seen the mosque or something from
17 that position, well, then I guess it's useful.
18 So these are three very interesting comments. I don't know
19 whether Mr. Scott has had time to think about this. Are there any
20 comments you'd like to make, Mr. Scott.
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour the -- in terms of the documents I
22 wanted to very measured in terms of my response because I appreciate
23 constructive comments both from counsel and the Chamber. On the issue of
24 documents, this is indeed a position that the Prosecution has been taking
25 since before trial, that the admission of documentary evidence could be
1 handled much more efficiently. In fact, it's the Prosecution's position
2 that most of these documents shouldn't have to be put to a witness at
3 all. And the reason we go through this exercise of showing them and
4 asking them, "Is this consistent with what you saw on the ground?", is
5 because that is the procedure that the Chamber has adopted. I would be
6 happy to put in more of the documents without requiring that they be put
7 in through a witness altogether in most instances. That has been our
8 position for a long time, as the Chamber knows.
9 There are, in having said that, there are instances in which it is
10 helpful indeed to ask the witness to confirm that when a document, a
11 report, an HVO document, an international report, talks about certain
12 things happening in their area, it's helpful, in our submission, to have
13 some of the witnesses confirm that indeed that is exactly -- that is what
14 their experience was. I think that's helpful for the Chamber. I think
15 it's helpful for the proof in the court. So we will continue to look at
17 And we always try to narrow, I can assure the Chamber with every
18 witness it is part of our daily exercise to narrow the number of exhibits
19 used with witnesses. We do that every day.
20 In terms of marking -- marking particular passages, Your Honour,
21 we will look further, consider that further. On that and the proofing
22 note, I would just make the following general comment: I asked the
23 Chamber to please understand, and I ask the Defence to understand, because
24 some day a few months from now the shoe will be on the other foot, so to
25 speak. We constantly add to the burdens of the trial teams and the
1 support staff, do this, mark that, summarise this, mark it differently,
2 put it on -- put it in e-court, put it on the ELMO, mark it differently,
3 mark it a second time. It gets very, very time-consuming, Your Honour, to
4 do all these things. None of these things happen automatically or without
5 cost and time and effort. Many of our people are working late into the
6 evenings already to be prepared for the next day.
7 So we will look at that. I think that in the vast majority of
8 instances, most of these documents are 1, 2, 3 pages. The passage is
9 whether -- evident. It takes almost no time at all to deal with it in
10 court, so I would ask the Court to be sensitive to the realities of the
11 burdens placed on the parties in doing this.
12 As to photographs, indeed, Your Honour, if -- if in the last day
13 or two there's been a photo or two shown that probably wasn't necessary
14 I'll certainly speak to the trial team about that. Again, we talk about
15 the narrowing of exhibits every day and if that was done perhaps we could
16 improve on that. However, there are times, as everyone in the courtroom
17 has said, when it is helpful to ask a witness to elaborate on a photograph
18 and what is shown. So there again it's a case-by-case basis. I don't
19 think a lot of time, frankly, is being wasted on it. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I note that you're
21 not against these suggestions. You'll try and improve the procedure. I
22 personally would like to add that as far as the evidence is concerned,
23 it's not the quantity used that results in quality evidence. What is
24 important is to have the appropriate evidence.
25 A minute ago with regard to the division of responsibilities
1 between the ABiH and the HVO, the Defence addressed this. There was a
2 document, 1900, that shows that there was an HVO zone of responsibility.
3 It would have been useful for the Judges if the Defence had then shown the
4 witness the document on the agreement between the HVO and the ABiH or the
5 document from the ABiH on the division of responsibilities so that these
6 two documents could be compared, you see. In such cases this procedure is
7 useful, and we could save time. Perhaps you will do this later, I don't
8 know, but perhaps that would have been a good occasion to say to the
9 witness there is a division of responsibilities. I'll show you an ABiH
10 document that shows that outside the -- of the Rotimlje zone of
11 responsibility, there was another area of responsibility. Would you agree
12 with me. That's how we could proceed.
13 Yes, Ms. Alaburic.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do agree with you
15 but I can tell you why I hadn't prepared anything of that kind for this
16 witness. It's because I had been told that I was trying to discuss
17 military matters with the witnesses who were victims and who had no
18 military expertise. I believed it wouldn't have been appropriate for me
19 to appear with a map depicting the zone of responsibilities for the Knez
20 Domagoj Brigade and the Bregava Brigade, but otherwise I absolutely agree
21 with you that such a procedure would be very useful.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: And I fully concur with Ms. Alaburic, because we
24 realise that these are crime-base witnesses, and that's why we -- we
25 sometimes object to them being asked technical questions or to verify
1 something in a document which they clearly, clearly cannot verify. But if
2 we were, for instance, to adopt something of a procedure I'm suggesting,
3 then obviously the Defence could also have the documents ready and we
4 could have them at the same time We don't have to go through the witness.
5 We could just say, Here are some documents to consider along with this.
6 Otherwise we will do it through our witnesses. But there are ways, I
7 think, to make it easier for you to look at both sides at the same time as
8 the process goes along.
9 I'm not quite so sure with all of Mr. Scott's observations that
10 things are not -- are going rosy and that we're not wasting too much time.
11 I think some time is being wasted. I'm not being critical. But I think
12 I'm having one of those, you know, moments of clarity where I'm seeing
13 perhaps, now that I see the process as it's going, I'm willing to be more
14 flexible and acknowledge that the Prosecution perhaps was right in trying
15 to introduce documents in an easier fashion.
16 Having said that, our concern has always been, what part of the
17 document are they really interested in? Because if they want to bring in
18 a hundred pages or a thousand pages we need to know what paragraphs. And
19 this system now pins them down and it goes directly to your earlier ruling
20 that you will only consider the part of the document that they're looking
21 at -- that they're referring to. So I don't see where the dilemma is, but
22 I'm sure, perhaps with some thought, reasonable minds can come to a
23 reasonable solution.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: With your permission, Mr. President, I'd like to
1 make a personal statement. I shall not be in the courtroom when the next
2 witness will be heard, although I will still be around, but I have to
3 leave very early tomorrow morning, and it is expected that the witness
4 will still be heard tomorrow morning.
5 I do not think that it would be fair to the Defence if I heard
6 direct examination live but cross-examination only by reading the
7 transcript. I could also be tempted to interfere in the first half and
8 then would be absent in the other. So that's my explanation. Thank you.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: You sound like a Defence lawyer, Judge Trechsel.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 20 to 11.00. We have to
11 have a half-hour break again for the transcript. So we reconvene at 10
12 past 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.13 a.m.
15 [The witness enters court]
16 WITNESS: WITNESS CO
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, madam. We're
19 going to move into private session straight away.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 11244-11250 redacted. Private session
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Madam, is it correct that prior to the 1st of July, 1993, you and
16 your family and other Muslims in the village of Visici lived in relative
17 peace up until that point in time?
18 A. Your Honours, yes.
19 Q. However, on the 1st of July, 1993, your husband and son were
20 arrested at your home; is that correct?
21 A. Correct. At 4.00, in 1993, on the 1st of July.
22 Q. Can you please tell the Judges what happened.
23 A. At 4.00 on the 1st of July, HVO soldiers turned up at my door.
24 They knocked on the door, asked me to open the door, which I did straight
25 away, asked me if there were any male members. I told them straight away.
1 They went into my house. They wanted to wake my son up. I said I would
2 wake him up. The other soldier went to wake up my husband.
3 I woke my son up quickly and explained to him that he had to get
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you say 4.00. Is that
6 4.00 a.m.? I assume since they were sleeping.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the morning at 4.00, 4.00
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. All right. So you said you woke up your son. They came to you
11 and asked if there were any men in the house, you woke up your son, and
12 what happened after that?
13 A. They said they had to go with them. And as their mother, I asked
14 why. And one of the soldiers said that one of his friends had died in
15 Bijelo Polje. I said, "That wasn't my menfolk. They did not do that.
16 They were at home." But my comment led to nothing.
17 The man shouted at my husband, hurried him up. And at that moment
18 I handed some food to my son. The man said that he didn't need any food
19 because breakfast was waiting for them where they were going. And then
20 when we were standing on the threshold, he said, "And whose are these
21 other houses?" I said, "My neighbours." Or, rather, he said, "Is this
22 your neighbour's house?" I kept silent and I said they -- afterwards I
23 said, "They are Croatian houses and they're of no interest to you." They
24 took them away, and I did not know where at that time.
25 Q. All right. Let me ask you a couple of questions further about
1 that. Can you tell the Judges, please, around the 1st of July, 1993,
2 perhaps both in the previous day or two and on the 1st of July itself, was
3 there any fighting or combat operations in the village or the immediate
4 area of the village?
5 A. Your Honours, not in the village and not in the immediate area
6 around the village.
7 Q. Had either your son or your husband engaged in any type of
8 military activities around this time, the 1st of July, 1993; if ever, but
9 at this particular time?
10 A. Not before, not then, not after, Your Honours.
11 Q. The soldiers who came to your home at 4.00 in the morning on the
12 1st of July, how were they dressed?
13 A. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms, and they had various
14 colours painted on their face, thick paints.
15 Q. Could you see any badges or insignia or other markings on any
16 parts of their uniforms?
17 A. Yes, of course. The HVO insignia.
18 Q. Just looking ahead for a moment, madam. Can you tell us that --
19 your husband and son were taken away on the 1st of July, 1993. When did
20 you first receive any information as to what had become of them?
21 A. I learnt half an hour later where they had been taken.
22 Q. And where was that, please, to your knowledge?
23 A. My son's school friend passed by my house and I asked him, and he
24 told me that everybody had been taken to Dretelj, to some sort of storage,
25 fuel storage, facility that used to belong to the former JNA.
1 Q. And again, please, looking ahead, and we'll come back to this
2 toward the end of your testimony, but when did you next see your husband
4 A. On the 2nd of April, 1994.
5 Q. And when did you next see your son, please?
6 A. The 1st of August, 1994.
7 Q. What did you do after your son and husband were taken away? On
8 that day.
9 A. Just like any other woman, I tried to organised my life as best I
10 could. I went around doing housework.
11 Q. Did it come to are attention on that day or around that time that
12 not only your husband and son had been arrested and taken away but the
13 other Muslim men in your village had been in a similar way arrested and
14 taken away?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours, I did see that with my very own eyes when they
16 took an old man away and a friend of his who lived with him. He was some
17 sort of refugee from Srebrenica. I saw that with my own eyes, because my
18 house is not far from that neighbour's house.
19 Q. But did a group of soldiers either come to your house or one of
20 your neighbour's houses around this time, that is sometime on the 1st of
21 July, after your husband and son were arrested?
22 A. I didn't understand your question.
23 Q. My apology. Did you observe any soldiers coming to one of your
24 neighbour's houses? And again, I caution you not to mention names, but
25 did you see a group of soldiers come to any of your neighbour's houses
1 around this time?
2 A. Your Honours, I've already said that I saw them come to the house
3 of that neighbour of mine.
4 Q. All right. And can you tell us anybody more what happened? Were
5 any of the people at that house taken away, beaten? What did you see
6 happen there?
7 A. Your Honours, I saw a group of soldiers take these two old men
8 away. They were in front and behind. One of the old men was saying
9 something, and a soldier rushed up to him, hit him with his rifle butt and
10 said that he should keep quiet, that he would otherwise kill him and throw
11 him on the rubbish heap.
12 Q. Now, specifically, later that same day, did soldiers come to your
13 house and conduct a search there?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours.
15 Q. Now, madam, I'm going to ask you to tell us what happened there,
16 and at a certain point I'm going to ask to stop and go into private
17 session, but can you tell us first of all just generally what happened
18 when the soldiers came there, and then I'll be listening for your answer
19 and at some point we'll need to go into private session, but can you tell
20 us what happened, please?
21 A. Yes, I understand. A red car turned up, a van, stopped in front
22 of my house, and out of the van came three soldiers. They entered my
23 yard. I was there with my two daughters. They asked me to hand over a
24 pistol, a pistol I did not have. The soldier said to me that my husband
25 had owned up and said that we had a pistol. Of course I said he couldn't
1 have owned up to anything like that.
2 He called me to come inside the house, into the bedroom, to be
3 more precise --
4 Q. All right. I'm going to stop you there, madam.
5 MR. SCOTT: If we could go into private session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, yes, before we go into
7 private session, on the basis of what you've said, and I've understood at
8 4.00 in the morning two soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms, with paint
9 on their face, different coloured paint on their face, like Rambo, entered
10 your house and took your husband away. That might have taken half an
11 hour. It was -- so that was by that time half past 4.00 or 5.00 in the
12 morning. Then you said that you saw other people. So what time was this,
13 5.00 in the morning, 6.00, 7.00, 8.00 in the morning, in the afternoon?
14 Could you be more precise on that point, the time. And tell us when this
15 car arrived with the three individuals. What time was that? Can you
16 enlighten us to the best of your recollection?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honours. It was at
18 about 10.00 of that same day.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So when the vehicle
20 arrived it was 10.00 in the morning. And when you saw your neighbours
21 being taken off, that was before 10.00, was it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was at around 5.00 a.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's move into
24 private session for a few moments.
25 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
22 Mr. President.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Now, madam, I'm going -- just to be very clear, we're back in open
25 session now, so whatever you're going to say now will be broadcast, so
1 please be mindful of that in terms of any names or other matters that you
2 might consider sensitive.
3 So you said at this point there was continued activity around the
4 house. You went outside. "A second soldier came out of our garage," you
5 said. What happened after that?
6 A. He said that there was nothing to be found there.
7 Q. Was there anything said about setting the garage on fire?
8 A. Yes. At that point in time, I said they could set it on fire but
9 that there were Croatian houses surrounding the house. The other soldier
10 told them to hit me and not to allow me to speak.
11 Q. And what happened after that? Anything more you can say that you
12 don't feel needs to be in private session? What happened at that time?
13 Did anything happen to your car?
14 A. Ah, yes. A soldier took his rifle. He broke up the tank. He
15 took a canister from their car, took some fuel. They also took some other
16 items from the car, but I don't know what.
17 MR. SCOTT: And, Your Honour, at this time I'll ask to move back
18 into private session, please.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into private session
20 for a few minutes.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 11260-11264 redacted. Private session
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
8 Mr. President.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Madam, again we're back in open session, so I caution you again
11 not to say anything you said in private session. However, just to follow
12 up on what the Judge said. I'm not asking about what happened. But can
13 you tell the Judges, did you have phone service at your house as of the
14 1st of July, 1993?
15 A. Your Honours, naturally I had a phone, but the phone stopped
16 working on the 1st of July. At 4.15 I tried to make a phone call and the
17 phone wasn't working.
18 Q. Did you find later on that day or on a subsequent day that in the
19 houses where your Croat neighbours lived, that your Croat names did have
20 phone service?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. After that point in time did you begin to stay with various of
23 your neighbours and friends after the 1st of July, 1993, in the village?
24 A. Yes. I didn't sleep in my house after that point in time.
25 Q. And this also included your children, I take it, who were with
1 you. Again, don't mention their names, but they were also travelling with
2 you from place to place?
3 A. Yes, of course. What kind of mother would I have been if I had
4 left my children behind?
5 Q. Did you find -- sorry.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, I want to go back to the
7 issue of the telephone, which I'm particularly interested in.
8 The soldiers arrived at 4.00 in the morning. It was dark.
9 Everyone was an asleep. And at 4.15 you said you tried to make a phone
10 cull. I assume you tried to make a phone call after they had left and you
11 said that the phone wasn't working.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So tell me when did you phone or
14 when did you try to make a phone call, at what time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My husband and son were taken away
16 very rapidly. It was perhaps 4.20 when I tried to phone Capljina in a
17 state of shock. I wanted to phone some friends or my sister.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When did you ask
19 your Croatian neighbours whether their telephone lines were functioning
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps two days later.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And their phones were
23 functioning two days later. Yours never worked?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Although you are not a
1 technician, did you ever ask yourself why your phone was not working,
2 since the phones in the neighbouring houses were? Did you check to see if
3 the telephone lines had been cut?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in an hour's time the
5 Bosniak women found out that no one's phones were working. It wasn't just
6 a matter of my telephone line.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So all the Muslim
8 houses no longer had telephones functioning.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in the Croatian houses the
11 phones were working.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And no one tried to find out how
14 this happened, whether it was a matter of the telephone exchange or
15 whether the telephone exchange itself had been concerned or that the
16 houses --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're not such a
18 stupid people. We immediately knew that an order had been issued to cut
19 the telephone lines that belonged to the Bosniaks. It really wasn't
20 necessary to look into anything.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you knew that an
22 order had been issued. Who told you that an order had been issued?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in spite of all of the
24 orders, I lived in an honourable manner and in an honest manner. For 18
25 years I had very good friends of Croat ethnicity, and it wasn't possible
1 to order everything. It wasn't possible to order me to say certain
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Madam, in connection with what you've told us so far, but can you
5 just confirm again, when you began to move around later on the 1st of July
6 and in the days thereafter, did you find this there were other Muslim or
7 Bosniak families in the village, women and children, who, again, the men
8 from their families had been taken away?
9 A. Your Honours, I found out about all of this by perhaps 8.00 in the
10 part of Visici that I lived in. That's when I found out that they had all
11 been taken away.
12 Q. Now, in -- on that -- on that day and the days thereafter, can you
13 tell us that -- was any of the property of your family or your neighbour's
14 family, taken by anyone? Stolen, looted, however you'd like to describe
16 A. Nothing was taken from my family.
17 Q. And how about your neighbours and perhaps relatives? And again
18 without mentioning names, please.
19 A. I saw them taking away some vehicles that belonged to refugees
20 from Stolac.
21 Q. Did you see any property or boxes, what have you, being removed or
22 carried out of houses in the village?
23 A. I saw that from a house that no one was living in at the time.
24 Q. Can you tell us what you saw happen in connection with the items
25 being removed from that particular house?
1 A. They were putting things in the car. The number plates were the
2 number plates of vehicles from Makarska. They weren't the owners of the
3 house since I knew the owner. I don't know what they took away, but I did
4 see these parcels.
5 Q. And were the men -- were the persons, excuse me, that got out of
6 these vehicles and were removing these parcels, did they have uniforms
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And were you -- can you tell us, were you sufficiently close to
10 these events that you could hear any of these individuals speaking?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you tell the Judges whether you recognised any particular
13 accent of the people -- soldiers that you heard?
14 A. They were speaking in the Dalmatian dialect. We lived very close
15 to Metkovici, and I was well aware of the way in which Dalmatians spoke.
16 Q. Can you confirm to the Judges, please, it may be as simple as
17 looking at a happen, but is Metkovici in the Republic of Croatia? Is
18 Metkovici in the Republic of Croatia?
19 A. Yes, of course.
20 Q. And can you just -- just to conclude on this, can you tell the
21 Judges approximately how many times you say that -- you saw this same
22 group of soldiers come and remove items from this house that you've
24 A. I saw those soldiers come two to three times.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you've said a moment ago
1 that the soldiers spoke a dialect, that they had a Dalmatian accent, and
2 then you said that you knew that. Could you tell me what the Dalmatian
3 dialect is like? Or, rather, do you know the accent, and for what reason?
4 Could you tell us about that, please?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we say, "gdje si,"
6 where are you? And the Dalmatians say, "di si." There are many examples,
7 words I can differentiate. So it's easily recognisable.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So having heard them speak in
9 that way, what was your conclusion as to where they came from? Where
10 could they have come from, to your mind?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They could have been from Metkovici
12 or from Croatia or -- I don't know.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And my last
14 question, because this is important for us Judges. When you saw them,
15 these men taking the stuff from your house, putting them into their truck
16 and so on, what time was that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it wasn't always the
18 same time. Once they came in the morning. Another time they were it
19 there at noon. The third time -- well, I can't really remember the
20 exact time because, Your Honour, I didn't have much time to look at
21 the clock.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. So on the first
23 occasion it was the morning, and on one occasion it was in the afternoon.
24 Would that be right?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm moving to another topic, and if we
2 could go into private session, please.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's move into private
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 11272-11274 redacted. Private session
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, proceed. Yes, we're
5 in open session.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Madam, before continuing on with certain other events in July, can
8 you tell the Judges, after the 1st of July, approximately how many Muslim
9 women and children remained in the village after the men are taken away,
10 or most of them?
11 A. Your Honours, I can speak about the part of the village where I
12 lived. There might have been during that period of time women, children,
13 and elderly, about 30 people.
14 Q. During this time did you witness anything happen to -- and I'm not
15 mentioning names, but to the father of one of your neighbours?
16 A. Yes, Your Honours.
17 Q. Can you tell us, again without using his name, was this man
18 approximately 70 years old at the time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And can you tell the Judges what you saw happen to this
22 A. There was a curfew on, so that from 10.00 in the evening until
23 6.00 in the morning we weren't allowed to move around anywhere. We
24 weren't allowed to leave our houses.
25 This old man came to sleep in his daughter's house, and she was my
1 neighbour, and I slept there too. So he went to his own house to have a
2 shower, to bathe.
3 At a certain point in time we heard shooting, and we heard
4 terrible screams and someone shouting, "Help, help." We did not know what
5 was going on. And since it's a village with one-storey houses, we looked
6 out the window and saw a half-naked man running down the street. He
7 crossed the street -- or, rather, passed by the front door of my
8 neighbour's house and stopped.
9 Slowly we watched that man and saw that he was in fact my
10 neighbour's father. She started shouting out, "Father, father," and I had
11 to go out with her. The man was half naked. He was bleeding from his
12 head. He had been beaten. We brought him into the house. He groaned and
13 moaned and cried. We asked him what had happened, and he said he had gone
14 into the bathroom to have a shower. He said someone started bashing on
15 the bathroom door. He opened the door and saw soldiers standing outside.
16 They told him that he had to give them money. He went out of the bathroom
17 and started unlocking the door to the room and it was at that point that
18 he managed to escape from that soldier. However, in running across his
19 yard to the street, he came upon another soldier who hit him with his
20 rifle butt in his -- on his head, on his ear, and his ear started
21 bleeding, and he started groaning and moaning, and then the man beat him
22 all over his body. And we spent the whole night putting ointment and --
23 on his body and balms. And in the morning his daughter found somebody to
24 take him to a doctor. He was examined by the doctor, and he had three
25 broken ribs.
1 Q. Now, madam, before we move on, you've mentioned a curfew. Can you
2 tell the Judges when this curfew was imposed and who imposed, as far as
3 you know?
4 A. Your Honours, I do not know when the curfew was introduced
6 Q. Do you --
7 A. However, we learnt from our neighbours that the curfew was in
8 force. Now, who issued the order, I don't know.
9 Q. Did you hear the curfew announced or discussed on radio?
10 A. Yes. Yes, of course. And we were told not to open the door to
11 anybody coming by at night after 10.00 p.m., anybody who came to your yard
12 or in front of your door.
13 Q. And do you know which radio station broadcast this report or
15 A. Croatian radio. The station in Capljina.
16 Q. And can you tell the Judges who -- based on what you saw and
17 observed, who enforced the curfew?
18 A. Your Honours, I really can't say who enforced the curfew. All I
19 can tell you is that we adhered to the curfew.
20 Q. Let me rephrase it then. It may be a question -- my poor question
21 or it may be a question of translation. Did you see people who would go
22 around at night to make sure that the curfew was being kept or complied
24 A. Yes. Soldiers did pass by fairly often.
25 Q. Let me ask you about another incident. Again, please don't
1 mention any names, but did there come a time when one of your other
2 neighbours had indicated that money had been taken from her? If you
3 recall that, then I'm just going to ask you to briefly describe what
5 A. Yes. One night, I don't remember the date, at 2.30 a.m., they
6 came knocking at my neighbour's door, and I was sleeping in their house.
7 They said, "Open up. Police." Of course we complied straight away.
8 They entered the house, and we had some bags that had been
9 prepare. The bags were searched straight away. I had an eight-month
10 old -- I was holding an eight-month old baby belonging to my neighbour.
11 And they said they were searching the houses, looking for weapons. I told
12 the soldiers that my house was locked, and could I go and open the door
13 for them, with them, and he said yes. And my neighbour's house and her
14 father's house was locked, too, and they allowed my neighbour to go.
15 We stopped by a house. It was a Muslim house belonging to the
16 Basaric family, and they were supposed to search that house too. Well,
17 they did, and we stayed outside on the street. We heard a lot of noise,
18 things falling, being thrown about. They said that they'd found a man, a
19 male. And later on, it turned out that they didn't take him away because
20 he was a 16 -- it was a 16-year-old boy, a minor. And his mother showed
21 them his medical record card proving that.
22 So while I was standing outside with one of the soldiers and my
23 neighbour, a female neighbour -- a male neighbour of mine came by who was
24 a school friend of my son's. He wasn't wearing a uniform on the occasion,
25 and I asked him to help me go and unlock my own house straight away so
1 that my children should not be -- should not be afraid for my life, and he
3 Q. My apology. Let me interrupt you for a moment.
4 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I do see in the transcript that one name
5 was mentioned. I don't think it's necessary -- I don't think the
6 situation is such that it's necessary to redact it. I do, however, just
7 want to stop to caution the witness again.
8 Q. Please be careful about the use of names, madam.
9 So you've just told us that you wanted your house to be unlocked
10 so that your children would not be afraid again. What happened after
12 A. The young man went with me and with another soldier. We arrived
13 at my house, unlocked the door. The soldier started searching the house,
14 this young man. My neighbour asked me then -- asked me again whether I
15 had any weapons, and I answered him as I would my own child. I said that
16 I had no weapons, and if I had a golden cannon I would have given it to
17 them, because I have nothing to hide in my house because my son and my
18 husband weren't there, and I don't know what I'd do with a weapon. And he
19 told the other soldier who was busy searching the house that everything
20 was all right, that he needn't search the house any more.
21 Q. All right. Let me direct your attention to -- during this time
22 when these soldiers were coming and -- did you come again -- excuse me,
23 across an individual that you -- or you recognised a particular accent or
24 dialect being used?
25 A. Yes. I did not recognise him. He was older are than the young
1 men but also spoke in the Dalmatian dialect. They listened to him; he
2 issued orders. Who the man was, I really can't say.
3 Q. You've said just now that the others listened to him. Let me just
4 follow up. Did the other men who were around this man who spoke with a
5 Dalmatian accent or dialect, did they treat him differently than they did
6 each other?
7 A. Yes, of course.
8 Q. And what did you see again in that respect? In what way did they
9 treat him differently?
10 A. He said, "Don't hurry. You'll lose your head that way if you
11 hurry too much." Then they went back. They'd obey. They would
12 say, "Yes. Very well."
13 Q. I want to direct your attention now, please, to the mosque in your
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just very briefly could we go into
16 private session, please.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
18 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Now, madam, is it correct that there was a mosque in your
14 A. Yes, Your Honours.
15 Q. And we're going to go through these next events in some detail,
16 but in the course of the time we're talking about now, was the mosque
18 A. I don't understand the question.
19 Q. We've been talking since this morning about July, 1993. Was the
20 mosque in the village destroyed during this time?
21 I don't think your answer was picked up on the record, madam.
22 A. Up until July, well, no, the mosque hadn't been destroyed by
24 Q. I apologise. There might be an error in either my question or the
25 translation. Was the mosque in your village destroyed sometime in July,
2 A. Yes, of course.
3 Q. And can you just tell us about that, please, again not mentioning
4 any particular names, but the sequence of events surrounding that?
5 A. Your Honours, perhaps the date won't be correct. At the time, I
6 only counted the amount of time my family members had spent in the camp.
7 That's how I found my bearings. But I know around 4.00 in the afternoon
8 on one day, a red Golf vehicle stopped on the M17 road, which is perhaps
9 20 metres from the mosque. I saw that because I was standing in front of
10 my neighbour's house.
11 Four soldiers got out of the car. They were in military uniforms.
12 They rapidly crossed the road and reached the mosque. They broke the
13 windows and threw something into the mosque.
14 Q. In -- sorry, go ahead.
15 A. And similarly, they quickly returned to the car and drove off in
16 the direction of Metkovici. They took the main road. And a short while
17 later you could hear an explosion. There were two explosions for sure,
18 but I'm not sure whether there were more than two. There were fewer than
19 five explosions though.
20 Q. In terms of the date, madam, if I can direct your attention, as a
21 benchmark, the 1st of July which we've talked about extensively today,
22 approximately how far after that do you remember this first incident
23 concerning the mosque?
24 A. Well, 13 or 14 days.
25 Q. All right. So approximately in mid-July, 1993; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when you said that you heard these explosions after the
3 vehicle drove away, what else could you observe about the mosque around
4 that time? What was the state of damage, if any? What more can you tell
5 the Judges, please?
6 A. The windows had been broken. You could hear the sound of glass
7 shattering, and a little later I passed through a yard and through the
8 window. I saw a carpet by the wall. I couldn't see the floor. You could
9 feel the smell of wool burning. I assumed that the carpets were burning,
10 but there wasn't really a fire.
11 Q. Now, was there any -- were there any further incidents concerning
12 the mosque after that occasion, the occasion that you've just described to
13 us now? Did anything else happen to the mosque?
14 A. Not long after -- well, I was also sleeping at my neighbour's.
15 Her house was near the mosque. And between 3.00 and 4.00 in the morning I
16 was woken up by the sound of a loud explosion. I could hear a metallic
18 I immediately ran out to the balcony of her house, and from that
19 point I could see the mosque quite clearly. I saw that the walls of the
20 mosque were like cardboard, and there was no roof. The mosque had been
22 Q. What was the state of the minaret as of that time?
23 A. The minaret remained standing. It wasn't linked to the mosque.
24 Q. Now, can you tell the Judges, around this time did you find any --
25 did you receive any information in the village from your neighbours,
1 from -- I'll ask you in a moment to say who, but did you receive any
2 information that the minaret was then going to be destroyed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Without mentioning a name now, can you just tell us
5 what you learned in that regard?
6 A. Yes. When the mosque was destroyed on that day, the weather on
7 the following day was terrible. It was raining, and nothing in particular
8 happened. The day after, so two days after, I met a neighbour, and the
9 neighbour told me that I shouldn't sleep in the vicinity of the mosque
10 together with my children, because that night the minaret would be blown
12 Q. Again without mentioning a name, madam, can you tell the Judges
13 was this neighbour a Bosniak or a Croat neighbour?
14 A. The neighbour was a Croat.
15 Q. And later on that night, did you observe anything in the village
16 that you would tell the Judges about?
17 A. As I knew what was going to happen that night, I also informed my
18 Bosniak neighbours of the fact that we had to go and sleep elsewhere, and
19 I told them the reason.
20 Q. Did you see any vehicles moving around the village that night?
21 A. Yes, of course. I saw a vehicle driving around, and it stopped
22 by every Croatian house in the vicinity of the mosque, where it passed
23 by every Croatian house in the vicinity of the mosque and went even
25 Q. Did you -- again, before we get to what happened to the mosque but
1 in connection with this vehicle that was moving from Croat house to Croat
2 house, did you hear any time the next day or the day after about what had
3 been happening in this connection as far as you were told?
4 A. Your Honours, naturally my neighbour told me that on that night
5 the inhabitants of Croatian houses were told that they should open their
6 windows to avoid damage of any kind. Naturally, the Bosniaks were not
7 informed of anything.
8 Q. And then going back to the night itself, what happened in
9 connection with the minaret?
10 A. At about midnight it was absolutely quiet. There was no traffic.
11 You couldn't hear anything. We knew something was going to happen, and I
12 have already told you why. And at about 1.00 the ground shook a bit. It
13 was a little like a mild earthquake. Then you could hear the sound of a
14 loud explosion. Naturally, we knew what was happening. And perhaps a few
15 minutes later cars started driving down the road. There were shouts of
16 joy. You could hear shots. People were celebrating.
17 Q. Could you tell, madam -- could you tell the Judges, could you tell
18 which of the ethnic groups in the village were celebrating?
19 A. Your Honours, I'll tell you, although I don't believe it's
20 essential. The Croats were celebrating.
21 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd like to object to
22 the question about which ethnic group was celebrating an event. Only
23 people can celebrate an event, not an ethnic group.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. And what did you see the next morning, madam, in connection with
1 what had happened?
2 A. Your Honours, I saw the destroyed minaret. It had been toppled
3 over. And in the vicinity of the mosque there were some Croatian houses.
4 There was damage that had been inflicted on the houses. A car arrived.
5 Men in civilian uniforms got out of the car. The car was from the
6 municipality of Capljina. The people were from the municipality. I don't
7 know their names, but before the war I went to the municipality. I had
8 certain things to sort out in the municipality, just like everyone else.
9 They had come to record the damage.
10 Q. When you saw these individuals who came to record the damage,
11 which structures or houses did they look at?
12 A. Your Honours, as I have already said, they focused their attention
13 on the Croatian houses. They were in the vicinity. There were also two
14 Bosniak house. There were more Croatian houses, however, and these are
15 the houses that they focused their attention on.
16 Q. Do you see during that time whether they focused any attention on
17 either the Muslim houses or the mosque?
18 A. They didn't, Your Honours.
19 Q. So the record is entirely clear on this point hopefully, madam,
20 can you tell the Judges around the time that the mosque was destroyed
21 during mid-July, 1993, were there any military operation, any fighting in
22 your village going on?
23 A. Your Honours, at the time there was no fighting in our village or
24 in the surroundings.
25 Q. Now, around this time, madam, did you see a particular individual
1 that you recognised as a senior Croat or Bosnian Croat officer, official,
2 come into the village or pass by your village?
3 A. I'm not sure how much time had passed. Perhaps several days, but
4 certainly not more than a month, because I only spent a month in Visici
5 after my husband and son had been arrested.
6 I went in the direction of the M17 road from our street, and I saw
7 a car there. The car was moving but very slowly, and I saw General
8 Praljak in the car. He was sitting by the other person in the front. He
9 was five metres away from me, so I could see him quite clearly.
10 Q. Was Mr. Praljak in the driver's seat or was he in the passenger's
11 seat of the car?
12 A. He was next to the passenger.
13 Q. I'm sorry, next to the passenger? Was he driving the vehicle?
14 Was Mr. Praljak driving the vehicle?
15 A. Your Honours, no, he wasn't.
16 Q. So is it correct, ma'am, that there was a driver in the vehicle
17 and seated next to the driver in the front passenger's seat was the person
18 you identified as Mr. Slobodan Praljak?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Can you tell the Judges how it was that you were able to identify
21 Mr. Praljak?
22 A. Your Honours, at the time General Praljak made frequent
23 appearances on television. We often watched Croatian television, and as a
24 result I was able to recognise him.
25 Q. Could you observe Mr. Praljak making any motions or indications
1 with his hand inside the vehicle?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the leading
3 nature of that question. I mean, now we're getting to a rather, I would
4 say, important aspect of her testimony, and so he can ask the question,
5 what did she see, and she can describe.
6 MR. SCOTT: I'm happy to do so, Your Honour. I'll rephrase the
7 question. I think -- I'm not going to belabour it, Your Honour. I'm
8 happy --
9 Q. What did you see at the time you saw Mr. Praljak at this location
10 a short distance away from you? Tell the Judges what you saw.
11 A. As the car was moving very slowly, I saw General Praljak, and as
12 they were driving down the main road the general made this sort of a
13 gesture with his hand, and he was pointing at the mosque. Is that fine?
14 Is that all right?
15 Q. Yes. Is your headset --
16 A. He pointed at the mosque. Everything is fine. The lead's a
17 little short, but it's fine.
18 Q. I'm sorry for the interruption there. What -- can you just say
19 again what you saw?
20 A. I saw a car moving slowly. General Praljak was sitting in the
21 passenger's seat. As they passed by the mosque, the General made a sign
22 with his hand, this sort of a sign.
23 Q. Can you please, now that we know what we're -- the Judges are
24 looking for and we're all looking for, can you show us again the motion
25 that you saw Mr. Praljak make?
1 And when Mr. Praljak made this motions -- and let the record
2 reflect the witness has made a downward motion with her arm from -- going
3 from an upward position to a lowered position?
4 MR. STEWART: That wasn't quite the way I saw it, Your Honour. I
5 wonder whether we could have the motion again, then, to be clear about
6 that and perhaps have a specific description for the transcript.
7 MR. SCOTT: I would be happy to --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will describe the gesture.
9 She made a circular gesture with her right hand. Could you do that again?
10 Could you make the gesture again so that everyone can see it?
11 Her right hand was initially at the level of her left arm, and she
12 drew a circle.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. At the time when this motion was made, was this motion also made
15 in any particular direction and, if so, in what direction?
16 A. The -- he used his right and to make this motion, and the --
17 towards the right, and the mosque was to the right.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does that mean, madam, that the
19 mosque was in the direction his right hand was pointing at after he had
20 made this circular motion?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may intervene for a second. This
23 is exactly what I'm talking about, a waste of time, because she doesn't
24 know when. We don't have an exact period, and we have a gesture, a car
25 that's going slowly, we don't know how long. We don't know what the
1 conversation was. What weight, if any, can this be given from this
2 witness? In my opinion, none. And we're wasting valuable time and
3 spending on this -- this sort of flimsy evidence that somehow the
4 Prosecution wishes to tie Mr. Praljak with -- with the destruction of the
5 mosque. I find this somewhat absurd.
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I couldn't disagree more.
7 Mr. Karnavas can argue his case later. Of course he can, and he can also
8 cross-examine the witness. But the witness has given her evidence and I
9 think everyone in the courtroom's been able to see it and hear it, and any
10 comments that Mr. Karnavas has now made goes clearly purely to weight.
11 And of course the witnesses will consider the evidence along with all
12 other evidence in the case to decide how determine how the witness --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move on to other
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. Madam, can you tell the Judges before we leave this topic, when
17 you saw Mr. Praljak make this motion toward the mosque at this time, what
18 was the -- where in the sequence of events and the destruction of the
19 mosque was it before the mosque was destroyed, during the episodes you've
20 told us about today, or after the mosque was destroyed? As best you can
21 assist us, please.
22 A. I think that the mosque had already been destroyed.
23 Q. When did you then come to leave -- or did you leave your village
24 sometime toward the end of July, 1993?
25 A. Yes, Your Honours.
1 Q. Where did you go at that time?
2 A. I went to my sister's in Capljina.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a question. You spoke of
4 General Praljak, and you said yourself "General Praljak." That's how you
5 referred to him. How did you know him? How did you know that it was
6 General Praljak? How did you know exactly that he was a general and that
7 this was General Praljak? Because we -- you can see lots of people pass
8 by in a car without saying, "Hold on a minute, that's X, Y, or Z."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the car was moving very
10 slowly, and I've already said that every night or almost every night we
11 saw on television -- we watched General Praljak on television. And I
12 remember faces like him and personalities like him very well. At that
13 time, General Praljak was not unknown, and I knew it was the general.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because you saw him on
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was your -- were your
18 televisions working at that time in July in your village? Did you have
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, we did have television. It was
21 working. We did have electricity, yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you had electricity. And
23 it was television broadcast from where, Zagreb, Mostar, Sarajevo? Where
24 was the broadcasting coming from.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Zagreb television, Your
1 Honour, from Zagreb.
2 THE PROSECUTOR:
3 Q. Madam, moving forward then. Before you left your village, I was
4 taking you to the time when you left the village, but before that, can you
5 tell the Judges whether you learned anything about this time about the
6 possibility of Muslim men being released from detention. There was some
7 way that might be accomplished and, if so, please describe that to the
9 A. We heard that liberation was possible if you had a letter of
10 guarantee to leave.
11 Q. What did you understand this letter of guarantee to involve or
12 relate to? A letter of guarantee to do what?
13 A. That my husband and son would be released and that they -- well,
14 maybe I didn't understand your question.
15 Q. Well, if they would be released, then what would happen to them
16 according to this letter of guarantee? Where would they go?
17 A. Your Honours, they would go to the country from where I got the
18 letter of guarantee from.
19 Q. How did you learn about this arrangement, that the Muslim men
20 could be released if they went to a third country?
21 A. I can't remember who told me this personally, but I realised -- I
22 saw, actually that women were already going, looking for their relatives,
23 calling up their relatives and friends abroad to help them, to send
24 letters of guarantee and so on.
25 Q. All right. Now, going back to the time when you left your
1 village, again please don't mention any names, but you then moved to the
2 town of Capljina?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And approximately when was that in terms of -- again, how long
5 after your husband and son were arrested on 1st of July? How long after
6 that did you move to Capljina?
7 A. Well, one or two months.
8 Q. And how long did you stay in Capljina approximately?
9 A. Until the 23rd of August, 1993, when I had to leave Capljina.
10 Q. All right. We'll come to that in a moment. When you went to
11 Capljina, I take it it's perhaps obvious, but again we can't assume too
12 much for the purposes of the record. When you went to Capljina, you took
13 your children with you?
14 A. Of course, Your Honours.
15 Q. Could you tell the Judges when you went to -- excuse me. When you
16 went to Capljina did anyone say anything to you during that time about
17 your children going to school in Capljina?
18 A. While I was at my sister's place, one night two ladies came by.
19 They were Croatian. They knocked on the door and went into her home. One
20 of those women, I didn't ask her name and I don't know what her name is,
21 but she told my sister that she had brought a friend of hers along from
22 Siroki Brijeg and that they wanted to take up residence in her home
23 because our children would not be going, that is to say the Bosniak
24 children would not be going to school as of the 1st of September. So she
25 said that as we were leaving anyway, then her friend could move into her
1 sister's place.
2 Q. What's gone in the transcript, madam, is Realtime? "take up
3 residence in her home because our children would not shall going," I'm
4 sorry, but would you clarify again what was said about your children going
5 to school in Capljina?
6 A. Your Honours, the children would go back to school on the 1st of
7 September every year, and this lady who came by said that -- and since
8 that was the month of August that our children come September wouldn't be
9 going to school. Our children, the Bosniak children, wouldn't be going to
10 school in Capljina.
11 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if I might, I'm coming to the last
12 topic of the examination and that is the -- what happens in Capljina and
13 then the expulsions from Capljina. I will not be able to finish that in
14 five minutes. I note that so far I've used approximately 1 hour and 29
15 minutes, but I would request from the Chamber if we can stop now and I'll
16 finish this final part in the morning.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can't use the five minutes?
18 Let me give you a demonstration. She can say a whole lot of things in
19 five minutes.
20 MR. SCOTT: I'll be happy to, Your Honour. If the Court wishes to
21 proceed that way, I'll be happy to.
22 Q. Madam, if you could turn your attention then you told us a few
23 moments ago that around the 23rd of August, 1993, you were removed -- I
24 don't know your exact word now, and it's no longer in the transcript that
25 I can see, but that you were moved out of Capljina. Can you tell the
1 Judges what happened at that time?
2 A. Yes. On the 23rd of August, in the afternoon, it might have been
3 5.00 or 6.00 p.m., in front of my sister's place a police vehicle turned
4 up with megaphones, and it called upon the Muslim citizens to step outside
5 their front doors.
6 Q. The police vehicle that was broadcasting this direction was --
7 could you tell could you see any markings on the police vehicle or could
8 you tell the Judges what police were active in Capljina in August, 1993?
9 A. At that time it was a police car belonging to the civilian police,
10 the police we had -- the police force we had up until then. It was a
11 police vehicle, a police car. How else can I describe it?
12 Q. All right. And what did you do, you and others do after hearing
13 this announcement over the megaphone to -- for all Muslims to go out in
14 front of the houses?
15 A. We were so frightened that we complied with the order straight
16 away. I and my children set out straight away, stepped outside. And in
17 front of the door there was a car waiting, a heavy-duty vehicle. My
18 sister took a while, and two policemen entered through the entrance. I
19 asked her why she had taken so long, and she said that she had to hand
20 over the keys to her home.
21 We got into the car straight away, into the vehicle straight away,
22 and there were lots of residents in the vehicle.
23 Q. Before you go further, madam, when you say that your sister said
24 that she had to turn over the keys to her home, had to turn her keys over
25 to who?
1 A. To those policemen.
2 Q. And you said you got in a vehicle straight away, and there were
3 lots of residents in the vehicle. What type of vehicle did you get into
4 at that time? You said it was a heavy duty vehicle. Was it a truck of
5 some sort?
6 A. It was a two-tonne truck.
7 Q. And by the time the truck was full, if you will, approximately how
8 many people would you say were in the back of this truck?
9 A. Perhaps 20.
10 Q. And where were you taken in the truck?
11 A. They took us to the Lasta Silos, the Lasta company from Capljina,
12 the Silos.
13 Q. And what happened when you arrived at the Silos?
14 A. There were already lots of women and children and elderly people
15 there. The Silo was composed of several parts, chambers, rooms. I don't
16 know. Any way, they were all full. And at the end of the corridor there
17 was just enough room for us too.
18 Q. When you say, madam that, there were already lots of women and
19 elderly people there, can you give us an approximate number as best you
20 can, 50, 100, any estimate how many people you saw there?
21 A. Well, there might have been perhaps 150 at the time.
22 Q. And what happened to you after you were take -- you and the others
23 in your truck -- in the truck you were on -- excuse me, what happened
24 after you arrived at the Silos? What did you do?
25 A. We took the personal belongings we had with us and went to the
1 Silo, and at about 10.00 the transport from the Silo started. Trucks
2 turned up and the people would get into them again. My children, my
3 daughter, she was eight years old at the time. She was absolutely
4 petrified. She would go around hugging all the women in the Silo, asking
5 them whether they would kill us. Nobody showed too much emotion at that
6 time. They didn't take the trouble to console my child. And people
7 didn't know behalf going to happen. So I took my two daughters around me,
8 and I heard the order shouted out, "Throw away everything you've brought
9 with you." There was a lot of swearing and shooting going on in the
10 corridor. And a soldier asked for a knife. I didn't know what he needed
11 a knife for. Later on, I learnt that an old man had brought a canister of
12 water with him, and the soldier asked for a knife to pour the water out.
13 And that was the night that I boarded the truck and left the Silo with my
14 children. It was about 12.00.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, yes. Do you need
17 more time tomorrow, Mr. Scott, or have you finished?
18 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour. I will need maybe probably
19 approximately -- I would say approximately 10 minutes on just general
20 questions, and then there are about five or six documents to show to the
21 witness, including a video. The video will show what happened concerning
22 these vehicles. So I do think it will take some time. I note at the
23 moment I'm at one hour, 35 minutes, so I'm well under the two hours that
24 we estimated.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We adjourn until
2 tomorrow morning at 9.00. Now, with respect to the legionnaires disease
3 bacteria, we still have not received any update on the report from the
4 experts, so we'll let you know in due course as soon as we learn anything
5 more. The situation is under control, however, and there is no danger.
6 We reconvene tomorrow at 9.00.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day
9 of December, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.