Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3426

1 Wednesday, 25 February 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.

11 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, Mr. Daryl

12 Mundis, Tecla Henry-Benjamin, and Kimberly Fleming, as case manager.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mrs. Benjamin.

14 And the appearances for the Defence.

15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On

16 behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel;

17 Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel Cauvin, our legal assistant.

18 Thank you.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mrs. Residovic.

20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On

21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and

22 Mr. Mulalic, our legal assistant.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber

24 would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, the

25 representatives of the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused, and

Page 3427

1 everyone else present in the courtroom. We'll be continuing with the

2 examination of a witness today.

3 But before we do so, I would like to inform you about the future

4 hearings we will be having. As you know, a request was submitted to us

5 concerning tendering into evidence statements in accordance with Rule 92

6 bis. We'll be rendering a decision about three new testimonies, so we'll

7 have a number of written statements that will be tendered into evidence,

8 and the Defence hasn't raised any objections to this. If you agree to

9 this, we can tender these documents into evidence and we can have an

10 identification number. We could do so on the 8th of April. And we have

11 scheduled a hearing on that day for tendering exhibits into evidence,

12 exhibits that haven't been contested. So this will be dealt with on the

13 8th of April, in accordance with a fairly simple procedure. I'll

14 indicate the name of the person who testified, the reference to the

15 articles in the indictment that concern the testimony, and I will ask the

16 registrar to give these documents a number. And then we will examine all

17 these documents. As you know, these documents will no longer be the

18 subject of discussion because the Defence hasn't requested

19 cross-examination. But these documents have to be tendered into evidence

20 after having been given a number. This will be done on the 8th of April.

21 Mr. Withopf isn't present, but his colleagues could inform him

22 about what I said with regard to tendering documents into evidence on the

23 8th of April.

24 It would be good if the Prosecution put these exhibits in a

25 binder so that each Judge can have his own binder and so that the

Page 3428

1 representatives of the Defence also have their own binders. So each

2 exhibit would be in a binder, and this would facilitate matters, because

3 then when reference is made to a document, it can be found in the

4 binders. A binder should also be provided to the registrar on the 8th of

5 April, which is when we will be giving these exhibits numbers. This has

6 been done in a number of Trial Chambers. There shouldn't be any

7 technical difficulties. And this will make things easier.

8 And when it is the Defence's turn, if necessary the Defence can

9 also consult its binders when these documents are referred to. It won't

10 be necessary for them to search for those documents all over the place.

11 So I just wanted to provide you with this information that should

12 facilitate everyone's work.

13 In addition, there's one last matter, a minor matter, which is a

14 practical issue, and it concerns the Prosecution. It also seems to be a

15 good idea that when the Prosecution calls witnesses, if it is calling

16 important witnesses, it would be best for them to appear on Monday or

17 Tuesday, rather than at the end of the week. Because if they have to

18 continue with the witness's testimony, that will make it necessary for

19 the witness to stay over the weekend. We saw that in a previous case.

20 So this is just a technical matter, but in the case of important

21 witnesses it might be good for everyone if these witnesses appeared at

22 the beginning of the week.

23 In the case of expert witnesses who will be testifying over a

24 number of days, it would be best for the witness -- for the expert

25 witness to appear at the beginning of the week, rather than appearing on

Page 3429

1 Thursday, because in that case the witness might have to continue

2 testifying on Monday. So this concerns the Prosecution, but it could

3 also concern the Defence when the Defence calls important witnesses. Yet

4 again, it would be best for them to appear at the beginning of the week,

5 rather than at the end of the week.

6 Could the usher now lower the blinds so that we can call the

7 witness into the courtroom.

8 I have another point to raise: We could have had this hearing

9 this morning, as the courtroom was available. I'll turn to the

10 Prosecution now, but I think that the situation will be the same

11 tomorrow, so it would be possible for us to have the hearing in the

12 morning, rather than at the beginning of the afternoon. But all this

13 depends on the Prosecution. It depends on whether they have to see their

14 witness before or not. So this is a question I am putting to the

15 Prosecution. They can think about it and perhaps inform us whether this

16 would be possible.

17 If the registrar can confirm that the courtroom is available

18 tomorrow, and if this doesn't cause any problems for the Defence, we

19 could consider this. We'll address the matter again at the end of the

20 hearing.

21 [The witness entered court]

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, madam. Can you hear

23 what I'm saying?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.

Page 3430

1 (redacted)

2 are to your left, will now proceed with their cross-examination.

3 Naturally, if there are any questions that might reveal the identity of

4 the witness, in that case you should ask us to go into private session.

5 But I'm going to ask the registrar to prepare an order to redact

6 the term that I used with regard to the witness. It's in line 25; page

7 4, line 25, that's where the term appears.


9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go into private session

11 for the first few questions I have to ask.

12 Could we go into private session for the first few questions I

13 have to ask.

14 [Private session]

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3431

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 [Open session]

11 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honours, we are back in open session.

12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Would it be correct to say that Gornji Cukle is a village in

14 which Muslims and Croats lived?

15 A. Yes, that's correct.

16 Q. The village was divided into Gornji and Donji Cukle, upper and

17 lower Cukle; isn't that correct?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 Q. You personally lived in Gornji Cukle.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. The Muslim villages were in -- the Muslim houses were in the

22 middle of the village and were surrounded by Croatian houses; isn't that

23 correct?

24 A. Yes. The Croatian village was a little further up, and yes,

25 that's how it was.

Page 3432

1 Q. Around the village of Cukle, there were the villages of Ovnak,

2 Susanj, and Grahovcici, which were also Croatian villages.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Ovnak is about 2 kilometres from Gornji Cukle as the crow flies;

5 isn't that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. The village of Grahovcici is a little further away; it is about 3

8 to 4 kilometres as the crow flies.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. The village of Sarici is even further; it's about 5 kilometres

11 from Gornji Cukle; isn't that correct?

12 A. Yes, that's correct. But it's on the other side of the river.

13 Q. All these villages that I have mentioned are Croatian villages

14 inhabited by Croats; isn't that correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. In fact, Gornji Cukle was surrounded by these Croatian villages.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Witness ZD, would it be correct to say that at the beginning of

19 the war the Croatian population from your hamlet of Bare had already

20 started digging trenches for the protection of the village?

21 A. I didn't go up there. They're a little further away from my

22 house. I am not aware of them digging trenches. I don't know why they'd

23 do that. I didn't hear anything about that. To be quite frank, I didn't

24 hear about that. There were barely five or six men there.

25 Q. Very well. If you don't know anything about it, you don't have

Page 3433

1 to answer the question.

2 Is it correct to say that the inhabitants who were members of the

3 HVO also dug trenches at the position in Ustica [phoen] and they also

4 faced Gornji Cukle?

5 A. They didn't face Gornji Cukle. It was a sort of protection.

6 They were always hoping for some sort of army to arrive from the

7 mountain.

8 Q. Would it also be correct to say that the HVO had a checkpoint and

9 a fortification on Ovnak itself?

10 A. Yes, it's correct. It was up there on Ovnak. And the Muslim

11 side had this on all the other sides. So you couldn't approach Zenica.

12 You couldn't approach Travnik. Muslims had their own.

13 Q. Very well. You spoke about that yesterday.

14 Are you aware of the fact that members of the army from Gornji

15 Cukle, for a certain period of time before the conflict, weren't able to

16 pass through those checkpoints in order to go to the lines facing the

17 Serbian positions in Vlasic? Are you aware of that?

18 A. I know that they all went together until people were disarmed at

19 Zukica Most, those members who were coming back from the Serbian

20 positions. They were disarmed, and they took their weapons. And then

21 our people --

22 Q. And then the HVO didn't allow the BH army members to pass through

23 either.

24 A. I don't know. All of the worst things happened very quickly.

25 Q. Very well. Now let's talk about the day you have mentioned. You

Page 3434

1 said that when you heard the shooting and realised that it was an attack,

2 you withdrew to Vran.

3 A. Yes, it's an area a little below. Vran was above. But I was a

4 little lower. There was a house, a Croatian house. And that's where we

5 went. There was a forest and a cave there, and so on.

6 Q. In fact, you and your mother-in-law and some children and some

7 locals withdrew and took shelter in a cave called Medvedja Spilja, the

8 bear's cave.

9 A. Yes. There was a cave. There were some rocks there. You could

10 shelter there. You could shelter there from the rain. Later it started

11 raining very hard, so yes, that's where we concealed ourselves.

12 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you about. While you were there, it

13 started raining very hard outside.

14 A. Yes. It started raining. And as the army was passing through --

15 Q. Medvedja Spilja, in Vran, is about 1 and a half to 2 kilometres

16 from Gornji Cukle; isn't that correct?

17 A. Well, not even that much. When you have a look, it's a little

18 further up. Everything here is connected. This was just a little bit

19 elevated. The road was further down below, but you could see everything.

20 Q. You could see the village from there, as you have just described,

21 but you can't see anything in the village and you can't hear what the

22 people in the village said.

23 A. We heard everything; we could see everything. I am telling you,

24 madam, as I was there and I saw everything, we could understand

25 everything. We could understand what was being said.

Page 3435

1 Q. The village of Sarici, which is on the other side, 5 kilometres

2 away, in that village you were only able to see the houses.

3 A. Yes, we could see the houses. It's elevated, so you can see it

4 from far away.

5 Q. Everything that you saw there -- all that you saw there was just

6 the smoke that you could see after some houses had been shelled.

7 A. Yes, there were houses on fire. It had all been set on fire.

8 You could see that.

9 Q. But on that day, when you had a look from the cave, all you could

10 see was that after it had been shelled there was smoke rising from some

11 of the houses. That's what you saw on that day.

12 A. Yes, that was on that day and on the following day, until the

13 village was razed to the ground. That's what happened every day.

14 Q. From that place, all you could see were the houses in Grahovcici,

15 which was a few kilometres away from you.

16 A. Yes. In the afternoon, we went to the other side and we could

17 see it a little better. We could see Grahovcici a little better. When

18 we set off in the afternoon, we could see Ovnak and Grahovcici a little

19 better, when it was already dark.

20 Q. From the places where you were and the places you passed through,

21 you could only see these villages and houses from a distance, and in the

22 village in Grahovcici and in Sarici you couldn't see any of the people;

23 it was too far away.

24 A. No, I couldn't see any of the people there, but I know who

25 attacked those villages. It was established that the army attacked them

Page 3436

1 and that they were in the surroundings at the time, but no, I won't say

2 that I could see that over there. I didn't see anything until I went

3 into my village and saw people, met people, and so on.

4 Q. The houses that were on fire that you saw burning, they only

5 started burning after the villages had been shelled.

6 A. Yes, after the villages had been shelled.

7 Q. Very well, Witness ZD. On the following day, you said that BH

8 army soldiers took you to your village, and after having described

9 everything that you described, you were put in a garage.

10 A. Yes. But we tried to surrender to the soldiers. Vera Zabic is

11 unfortunately dead now, but we first tried to surrender, and then we got

12 down there --

13 Q. Unfortunately, after that event, you were placed in this garage.

14 A. Yes, in a house first of all in Bare. They first placed us in a

15 house. My children were separated.

16 Q. After having been placed in that house, they placed you in the

17 garage.

18 A. Yes. When it was already about 10.00 in the evening, that's when

19 they took us out and so on.

20 Q. This garage is right by the road that goes through the village.

21 A. Yes. It's by the road itself.

22 Q. There's a water pump by the garage itself.

23 A. Yes. On the lower side of the garage, there's a water pump.

24 Q. And to the left and to the right --

25 A. The garage is down there, the house further up, and the water

Page 3437

1 pump was between.

2 Q. By the garage itself, both to the left and to the right, there

3 was a house and a stables.

4 A. Yes. There was a wall down there.

5 Q. Above the road, across the road from the garage, there was a big

6 house.

7 A. Yes. There was a big house, Mehmed Softic's house. It was one

8 of the most beautiful houses there.

9 Q. From the garage and in front of the garage, when you went to

10 wash, you weren't able to see the village of Sarici because of these

11 houses. You weren't able to see the village you could see from the

12 Medvedja cave; is that correct?

13 A. You could see everything if you looked. But we heard shooting.

14 We heard people rejoicing by the garage itself when the house was set on

15 fire. We could hear conversations. We could hear everything.

16 Q. From that place by the garage and in the garage, all you could

17 hear were the voices, but you couldn't see anything; is that correct?

18 A. Well, I didn't even say that we saw something. When we were

19 outside, we could see things. We spent two days observing when we were

20 in the woods. We were in the woods for two days, and on the third day we

21 went down into the village. But we were walking around the woods for two

22 days.

23 Q. Very well. Mrs. ZD, is it correct to say that in fact you never

24 saw Commander Mehmed Alagic, you didn't see him personally?

25 A. Well, you know, Mehmed Alagic was there. He was in that house.

Page 3438

1 Because a soldier said, "We're looking after him." And later, when I saw

2 that panic was spread, I asked a soldier to take me to see him so that I

3 could ask for help. He only laughed and said, "Everything will be fine."

4 Q. But you didn't see him personally.

5 A. No, I didn't see him personally. I saw him later in Zenica in

6 the newspapers. Mr. Alija congratulated him. A neighbour brought some

7 newspapers. So I saw him in the newspapers. That's how it was. And

8 later, on the television.

9 Q. But I don't -- you will agree with me if I say that Mehmed

10 Alagic neither during the war or after the war came to Gornji Cukle.

11 A. Yes, he did come. He went to Guca Gora too. Let me tell you. I

12 heard about this from a man of ours. He was captured by our people, but

13 they released him. Our people had captured him, but they released him.

14 Between the conflict, about two or three days.

15 Q. Thank you, Witness ZD. You personally didn't see how your

16 husband was killed.

17 A. I didn't see that myself. He died by Lukovic Omer's house. They

18 were digging a trench. Others were preparing things. No one could do

19 anything. They could kill whoever they wanted to.

20 Q. Is it true, Madam ZD, that your husband and your sons, as members

21 of the HVO, having been killed, the family of killed veterans enjoys

22 certain benefits today, a pension, disability allowance, and so on?

23 A. Yes. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you very much, Madam ZD.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

Page 3439

1 questions for this witness.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you have anything else to ask

3 me, I'm ready to tell you everything I know.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I would have a question

5 for you, madam.

6 Questioned by the Court:

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Following your reply, when you

8 commented on what you saw from the position in the cave, the Defence

9 asked you on several occasions what you saw, the burning houses, that

10 this was due to shelling. That is the Defence that used this term; it

11 wasn't you. And in the LiveNote, the English word is "shelling."

12 For you, those houses that were burning, were they set on fire or

13 were they burning because they were shelled with mortars? Because

14 "shelling" means that mortar fire was opened at them. So what would you

15 say regarding those burning houses? Were they set on fire or something

16 else?

17 A. When the army entered the village of Bare, that house, they set

18 it on fire to celebrate their arrival there.

19 And afterwards we could hear through the loudspeaker that they

20 gave instructions not to set fire to the houses any longer, that they

21 were full of everything, they needed to be saved and looted. I heard

22 that, and I would be ready to take a solemn oath before God about that.

23 I only told you what I heard and saw.

24 As for those that started burning from shelling, that's something

25 else. But as they looted the houses, then they told us to leave Bare and

Page 3440

1 then they looted. But anyway, everything was burnt down.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us that There

3 were two things: First, there were people who set fire to houses; and

4 then there was also shelling?

5 A. Yes. Those that burnt during the fighting, during the shelling.

6 But afterwards, there was no more shelling. And when the people left the

7 houses, there was nothing to shell. And they burnt my son's house too a

8 day later. His next-door neighbour, he wouldn't let a woman enter, and

9 when they had taken everything out of the house, they set fire to it, my

10 son's house.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12 I turn to the other Defence team.

13 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. We have no questions for

14 this witness. In the Prosecution's pre-trial brief, the Prosecution

15 indicated that this witness would only testify about incidents that were

16 not relevant to their case against Mr. Kubura, and that is indeed how the

17 testimony has turned out, so we have nothing to ask this witness. I'm

18 grateful, Your Honours.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.

20 I turn now to Ms. Benjamin to ask her whether she has any

21 additional questions.

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3441

1 (redacted)

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you please

3 prepare an order for me, as we are in open session, for the redaction --

4 no. Actually, in the translation, it didn't appear, but it did in the

5 French translation. I heard something. So it's not necessary.

6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Out of precaution, it would be

8 desirable to redact line 22 on page 15.

9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue, Ms. Benjamin.

11 Put your question to the witness.

12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, do you think we need to go

13 into private session? I don't think so.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you believe that the

15 question might identify the witness, it would be preferable.

16 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Out of abundance of caution, I think we

17 better go into private session, just in case she --

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,

19 let's go into private session, please.

20 [Private session]

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3442












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Page 3455

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8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 [Closed session]

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

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21 (redacted)

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Page 3456












12 Pages 3455 to 3519 redacted, closed session














Page 3521

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.13 p.m.,

4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of

5 February, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.