1. 1 Friday, 21st August, 1998

    2 -- Upon commencing at 9.17 a.m.

    3 (Open session)

    4 (The accused entered court)

    5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor

    6 versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko

    7 Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir

    8 Santic also know as Vlado.

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning. I

    10 see the witness is there. This is not a protected

    11 witness, I think.

    12 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Mr. President,

    13 no, there are no protective measures in this case.

    14 (Witness entered court)


    16 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand it is

    17 Mr. Mehmed Ahmic. Could you please make the solemn

    18 declaration.

    19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I shall

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

    21 truth.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: You may be seated.

    23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, to the

    24 Prosecutor.

    25 Examined by Mr. Terrier:

  2. 1MR. TERRIER: Mr. Ahmic, would you please

    2 give the Tribunal your date of birth and your place of

    3 birth? Thank you.

    4 A. I was born on the 6th of January, 1955, in

    5 Ahmici Municipality of the Vitez. Currently I'm an

    6 unemployed official of the Vitez Municipality,

    7 president of the SDA party in Vitez, married, the

    8 father of two, and a graduate of the school of

    9 management.

    10 Q. Please tell us what were your professional

    11 activities?

    12 A. Before the war I was a private entrepreneur

    13 and I was active in politics. During the war, for a

    14 time, I belonged to the army, and later I worked for

    15 the UNHCR. I'm still active in politics now.

    16 Q. Mr. Ahmic, we would like to discuss the

    17 period before the war during which you worked in

    18 Ahmici. Can you please tell us on what date and what

    19 year you settled in Ahmici, and what exactly were your

    20 profession occupations in Ahmici before the war?

    21 A. I didn't move to Ahmici, I was born there.

    22 My parents live there. I was just away during my

    23 education, but for a time I lived in Vitez where I had

    24 a Cafe. Just before the war I had a house in Ahmici,

    25 which I built in 1989, 1990, and there was a grocery

  3. 1store in it. At the beginning of the multi-party

    2 system in the former Yugoslavia, I joined actively in

    3 the work of the Party of Democratic Action. In that

    4 period, that is from '91 until roughly 1996/'97, I was

    5 Deputy President of the party at the municipal level,

    6 and for a time I was acting president of the SDA party

    7 in our municipality.

    8 My house was in Ahmici next to the road, 20

    9 or 30 metres away, that is where I had my shop, that

    10 was my source of income, and I participated in politics

    11 on a voluntary basis.

    12 Q. Mr. Ahmic you recently discussed or mentioned

    13 your activities within the political party, the SDA.

    14 Could you please also relate to us what this political

    15 commitment involved, and also explain to us what type

    16 of ideologies you embraced in this particular political

    17 commitment.

    18 A. The very name of the party speaks for itself,

    19 a party of democratic action. After the single-party

    20 system that we had in the former Yugoslavia and

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a multi-party system was

    22 established, and this party rallied the majority of the

    23 Bosniak people. I considered it to be democratic, and

    24 I've held its principles. That party continues to

    25 advocate a democratic, integral free -- united, free

  4. 1and independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those were the

    2 ideals that prompted me, and that I continue to uphold,

    3 even though now I am a member of a different party, it

    4 is called the Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but ideas

    5 remain the same.

    6 Q. And what date exactly did you begin your

    7 activities in the SDA which you mentioned?

    8 A. I didn't join it. Actually, I was one of the

    9 founders of the party sometime in April 1991. I don't

    10 remember exactly the date, but that was the time when

    11 the party was founded.

    12 Q. What responsibilities, Mr. Ahmic, did you

    13 have within this party?

    14 A. I was a member of the top leadership at the

    15 municipal level. I was the deputy president. If the

    16 president was absent, I took over. My main task was to

    17 establish a multi-party government in Vitez, because in

    18 addition to the SDA there was the HDZ party, the SDS,

    19 the Social Democrat the Social Democratic Party, and

    20 after the multi-party elections the HDZ was the winner,

    21 SDS came second, and SDS, as compared to the population

    22 share had only a few seats, but our main task was to

    23 establish the executive, legislative and other branches

    24 of government.

    25 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you stated that in Ahmici you had

  5. 1a store, or a shop before the war. Can you please

    2 describe for us what type of shop this was? What were

    3 you selling in that shop?

    4 A. It was privately owned, or as we called it,

    5 an independent shop. Its name was Ajla Adi, a

    6 combination of the names of my son and daughter, and I

    7 sold food stuffs, clothing and even some appliances,

    8 but I must point out that previously it was owned by

    9 the Vjetrenica socially owned company and I took it

    10 over because I worked in that company. But it is

    11 important to note that this was a store which both

    12 Muslims, Croats, Serbs and passers-by would come and

    13 shop.

    14 Q. You just stated that your clientele was of

    15 all communities in Ahmici and in the area, Muslims and

    16 Croats. I would like to ask the Registrar -- I would

    17 like to ask for the Court deputy, rather, to come

    18 forward and show these images to the witness. These

    19 are aerial photographs?

    20 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 59.

    21 MR. TERRIER: Please place it on the ELMO.

    22 Q. Mr. Ahmic, please look at this photograph, it

    23 represents a part of Ahmici, the lower part of Ahmici,

    24 which is close to the road which goes to Busovaca to

    25 Vitez.

  6. 1When we met before this hearing you asked if

    2 I would indicate for you where your house is located.

    3 You also indicated and we have made a circle around

    4 that particular image, there is a circle there, and

    5 that is numbered 3. That is indeed the location of

    6 your house?

    7 A. That is absolutely correct.

    8 Q. Then, therefore, it is located immediately

    9 adjacent to the main road, the southern road?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Can you please state for us and state for

    12 this Tribunal who your neighbours were? Who lived in

    13 the houses around your house?

    14 A. Next to me were my relatives and neighbours

    15 belonging to a different ethnic group, Croats. My late

    16 uncle Sakib was to my right, left to my house was a

    17 house that was still under construction. Those were

    18 just the foundations of a house of the late Pianic.

    19 Across the road from me was the house of Ivo Papic. To

    20 the right of him the house of Pero and Maria Papic. To

    21 the left of Ivo Papic's house is the house of Suad

    22 Causevic, Suada and Ahmir Causevic. The next house on

    23 the same side as my house is the house of Mesur Ahmic

    24 and Mehmed. Then a new house owned by a person from

    25 Zenica. Then there was the mosque and the school.

  7. 1This is Ahmir Pezer's house, Nedjo, Kupreskic Vlatko,

    2 Zoran and so on. To the right was the house of my

    3 mother and my brother, and my two nephews. That is the

    4 immediate neighbourhood.

    5 Q. Among the names that you've just stated for

    6 us, are most of them Muslim names? Are these Muslim

    7 family names among which perhaps you've also indicated

    8 some Croatian names? Could you please list them for

    9 us, the names of the Croat families that lived near

    10 you?

    11 A. The closest house, Croat house, was the house

    12 of Ivo Papic, then that of Marija and Pero Papic, then

    13 Slavko and Rafael Milicevic.

    14 Q. Mr. Ahmic, would you please take the pointer

    15 and indicate for us on this photograph, on this aerial

    16 photograph, the house which you mentioned, that

    17 belonging to Ivo Papic, which you said belonged to

    18 Mr. Ivo Papic.

    19 I see that that house then is across from

    20 your house, almost directly across from your house, on

    21 the other side of that road. Who lived in that house

    22 at the time that you yourself were living in your

    23 house?

    24 A. Until the 20th of October, 1992, Ivo Papic,

    25 his wife Dragica Papic, his sons Drago and Goran Papic,

  8. 1and daughter. I forget her name.

    2 Q. Before the war, Mr. --

    3 A. And Ivo Papic's daughter-in-law, Dragan

    4 Papic's wife.

    5 Q. Mr. Ahmic, before the war what relations did

    6 you have with the Papic family?

    7 A. Before the war our relations were just fine.

    8 Mr. Ivo Papic was a plumber. He was my next door

    9 neighbour, a very hard-working man. More than 90 per

    10 cent of the houses had water installed by him and the

    11 plumbing done by him. So really, we never called

    12 anyone else to do any plumbing except him. He did the

    13 plumbing for my own house, with another man from Vitez,

    14 a Muslim.

    15 We were so close that we would say to each

    16 other, we would greet each other in the customary way,

    17 using the Catholic expression when we talked to them

    18 and they would address us with the Muslim expression.

    19 We were so close that he was the only one who let me

    20 collect to his electricity supply when I was building

    21 my new house. Also, with my video camera and my son, I

    22 videoed the wedding of his son, Dragan Papic, in the

    23 church in Busovaca. It was a church wedding. I think

    24 that we still have that videotape.

    25 So that is an illustration of the kind of

  9. 1relations we had before October 1992. This also

    2 applies to relations with the other Papic, not just

    3 me, but the whole neighbourhood.

    4 Let me tell you a detail that there were more

    5 cases of litigation among Muslims of Ahmici than there

    6 were any court cases between representatives of the two

    7 ethnic groups, so that relations between the Muslims

    8 and the Croats were extremely good. My uncle had an

    9 especially close relationship with Ivo Papic.

    10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, please direct the bench directly

    11 and do not turn towards me.

    12 A. Apologise.

    13 Q. Before October 1992, the events that we will

    14 discuss in a moment, you never truly felt that the

    15 relations -- the friend relations that you had with

    16 your neighbours, your Croat neighbours, were

    17 transforming or deteriorating before October 1992?

    18 A. No. Perhaps a little earlier than that maybe

    19 in May or June, there was a minor disagreement. I

    20 don't want to call it a conflict. Ivo Papic and myself

    21 and Moharem (Phoen) Causevic, we were sitting together

    22 and talking, and then he said -- he reproached me for

    23 hanging up the Yugoslav flag for the official holiday.

    24 On the one side of the shop I had the Yugoslav flag and

    25 the other the SDA flag. And my explanation was that

  10. 1this was the official flag of the country which had

    2 still not been declared null and void, and this was a

    3 public facility, and that I felt it my duty to do

    4 that. So that was the first time we had a sort of

    5 argument, with a drink.

    6 And I think that what bothered him most was

    7 the SDA flag rather than the official Yugoslavia Slav

    8 flag. However, the first check board flag that was

    9 hoisted was on the house of Ivo Papic. Of course, I

    10 have nothing against it as a symbol of a nation.

    11 Q. Mr. Ahmic, we will come back to the events of

    12 October 1992 and also the circumstances in which you

    13 had to leave your home and leave the Ahmici village.

    14 Would you please relate to this Tribunal what happened

    15 at that time, and in what circumstances you had to

    16 leave Ahmici?

    17 A. Yes. I left Ahmici under very difficult

    18 conditions. In fact, I only just managed to escape

    19 alive. On the 20th of October, 1992, I think it was

    20 about 7.30 in the morning, actually, before that, maybe

    21 about 5.30, I was woken up by a strong explosion. I

    22 was sleeping in my bedroom with my wife and small

    23 children. The explosion was a direct hit into the

    24 minaret of the mosque because I can see the minaret

    25 from my bedroom window.

  11. 1Q. Mr. Ahmic, I'm sorry, let me interrupt you.

    2 I think it's preferable for clarity that you discuss

    3 what happened the day before, before the 20th of

    4 October, because I believe that before that there were

    5 a number of events which will enable us to understand

    6 more clearly what happened thereafter. So, please, I

    7 think it's best that you begin at that moment.

    8 A. Yes. On the 19th of October in the evening,

    9 a checkpoint or a barricade was put up in front of my

    10 house, and this was done because, according to some

    11 assessments and intelligence reports, the HVO army was

    12 allegedly to go towards Jajce, but, in fact, it was

    13 going to Novi Travnik where there was already a

    14 conflict underway between the army and the HVO. A

    15 checkpoint was placed to prevent it.

    16 I came there. I called up a certain number

    17 of people. I asked whether this checkpoint should be

    18 put here or somewhere else. They said that was all

    19 right, but I insisted that it shouldn't be right in

    20 front of my house, but that it should be moved a

    21 little. So it was moved towards the cemetery, in a

    22 bend there in the road.

    23 That evening, there was guard duty. The

    24 checkpoint was operational, so it was not possible to

    25 pass through it, and I think the persons manning it

  12. 1would check passengers, their documents, and would not

    2 let them pass, so that transport was suspended. In

    3 line with my political duties, I visited the checkpoint

    4 and went to sleep about 1.00 in the morning. That was

    5 what preceded the 20th. I went to sleep, tension was

    6 high, and in the morning I was awakened by the

    7 explosion that I already mentioned when the minaret of

    8 the mosque was hit.

    9 After that --

    10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I'm sorry to interrupt you. I

    11 would like for you to specify a number of things. This

    12 roadblock that was on the road near the Catholic

    13 cemetery, was this erected by the Muslim residents of

    14 Ahmici?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. What exactly was the purpose of this

    17 roadblock?

    18 A. The precise objective was to control the

    19 passage of civilians and armed people on the road

    20 between Busovaca and Travnik.

    21 Q. These people coming from Busovaca and going

    22 in the direction of Novi Travnik, were these Croats?

    23 A. Yes. They were units of the Croatian Defence

    24 Council. In fact, I think they were special units

    25 because Jajce was just about to fall to the Serb

  13. 1aggressors, and allegedly they were going to assist

    2 there. But according to intelligence reports received

    3 by the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

    4 as there was a conflict ongoing in Novi Travnik, that,

    5 in fact, they were heading towards Novi Travnik to help

    6 the HVO in Novi Travnik.

    7 So I think that one of the reasons for this

    8 roadblock was to prevent these forces from going to

    9 Novi Travnik, and they were, in fact, prevented. They

    10 didn't pass.

    11 Q. You stated that on several occasions during

    12 that day, on the 19th of October, you went to that

    13 roadblock. How many Muslim persons from Ahmici were

    14 manning this roadblock?

    15 A. Twenty on the outside, but this figure

    16 changed. There were seven or eight, at other times, 10

    17 or 15, because this went on all day and all night.

    18 Some people would go and others would come.

    19 Q. Did these persons have weapons?

    20 A. Very few of them.

    21 Q. You, yourself, during that day of the 19th of

    22 October, were you carrying a weapon?

    23 A. No.

    24 Q. Can you please give us an account of that

    25 day, of the 20th of October?

  14. 1A. As I had started telling you, a strong

    2 explosion woke me up, the shell that had hit the

    3 minaret of the mosque, about 5.30 in the morning. As

    4 we couldn't sleep anymore, we got up.

    5 My wife, at about 7.30, wanted to open the

    6 shutters. I think you understand what I mean. They

    7 are wooden shutters that we have on the windows because

    8 the windows were French windows from the living room,

    9 and she opened the shutters. The moment she did that,

    10 from Dragan's house, there was a burst of fire that hit

    11 her. The children were already alive. We all fell to

    12 the ground. We managed to crawl into the corridor, and

    13 then the shooting started.

    14 I managed to hide the children beneath the

    15 staircase, and my mother-in-law, who was with me at the

    16 time, because she was sick, she had cancer of the

    17 breast and she had been operated on, I managed to

    18 evacuate them to the business premises beneath the

    19 staircase.

    20 After that first burst of fire, only then did

    21 I realise what was happening, because fire started from

    22 all sides. About midday, artillery started shelling

    23 from Hrasno and the house had already started burning.

    24 I crawled back to the first floor and to the loft to

    25 try and save some of our clothing and some of our

  15. 1technical appliances.

    2 I was in contact all the time with, let me

    3 call them, the joint bodies of government in Vitez for

    4 as long as the telephone lines were operational. I was

    5 in contact with Mr. Sefkija Dzidic, Ivica Santic, Fuad

    6 Kaknjo. These were the people who were the military

    7 and civilian leaders in Vitez. A lot of people called

    8 me because there was a conflict going on, the house was

    9 burning, and they wanted to see whether I was alive,

    10 because the house had been set on fire with inflammable

    11 bullets from the roof.

    12 I insisted on fire brigades coming to

    13 extinguish the fire. I called by phone. However,

    14 towards the afternoon when the line had already burned,

    15 Ivica Santic, who was with Fuad Kakanj, told me to save

    16 my life and to try and save my wife and children

    17 because, I'm quoting him, "Both armies were out of

    18 control, and if I didn't help myself, there was no one

    19 that could help me."

    20 I realised that there was no help coming from

    21 anywhere. The fire was coming from three sides, this

    22 side, this side, and this side. My only possibility

    23 was to flee this way, and there was an Opel Record

    24 parked here. When there was a lull, about 4.00 in the

    25 afternoon, we were in the house all that time, we went

  16. 1through the door, my wife, my daughter, my wife's

    2 sister, and my mother-in-law, and they ran to Sakib

    3 Ahmic's house, my uncle's house. I followed them,

    4 crawling. While they ran across, there was no fire. I

    5 think they could have killed them, but they didn't.

    6 When I came out, then again fire was opened

    7 at me, but I crawled behind the car. I was carrying my

    8 small son, who was three and a half or four, under my

    9 arm, and I could hear voices from the woods saying,

    10 "Surrender," that they would call the fire brigades

    11 and that they would extinguish the fire.

    12 Then an anti-aircraft gun started shooting.

    13 I could see, as I crawled as I left the house, and I

    14 saw Dragan Papic manning the anti-aircraft gun. I went

    15 zig-zag. I crawled zig-zag so they wouldn't hit me.

    16 The holes left by the shells from the gun were like

    17 this, not to mention how many bullets whizzed past my

    18 head. I don't know how I survived. I reached my

    19 uncle's house. I managed to crawl again to Omer

    20 Pezer's house here, and then slowly I reached Bekbir

    21 (Phoen) Ahmic's house, and then behind the mosque I

    22 reached the upper mosque.

    23 I think -- no, I don't think, I know for

    24 sure, that the fire was coming from the direction of

    25 the wood just below Dragan Papic's house, as far as I

  17. 1was able to see. I could see from my house, because my

    2 house was on a high level, Dragan Papic, Fahir (Phoen)

    3 Milicevic, Pero Papic, and some other soldiers there.

    4 Q. Mr. Ahmic, we are now going to go back over

    5 some of what you stated for some clarification. You

    6 stated that you woke up on the 20th of October, you

    7 were awakened, rather, by relatively heavy armed fire

    8 which was targeting the minaret, the minaret of the

    9 mosque, the lower mosque; is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, yes.

    11 Q. You also stated that your house was also the

    12 target of this firing; is this correct?

    13 A. Yes, yes.

    14 Q. You also stated, and please try to tell us,

    15 if you can, where this fire was coming from?

    16 A. The fire was coming from infantry weapons

    17 from the woods just behind Ivo Papic's house, and the

    18 area of Hrasno where the artillery was. It is an

    19 elevation which is about two kilometres away from my

    20 house as the crow flies. And several months earlier,

    21 these pieces had been positioned there, two

    22 anti-aircraft guns, about two months before.

    23 I'm not a soldier but I think that the

    24 ammunition is about 40 millimetre calibre. My house

    25 was a direct target. It was the only house to be set

  18. 1on fire during that so-called first conflict between

    2 the army and the HVO. And I think all the other houses

    3 remained intact, except for a couple of sheds and a

    4 couple of stables.

    5 Q. Therefore, your house was the object of fire

    6 of the type of weapon you described, the anti-aircraft

    7 gun, which was located at a somewhat relatively long

    8 distance from your own home. Were other shots also

    9 directed at your house?

    10 A. Infantry weapons, anti-aircraft guns, and

    11 automatic rifles. I said that the first burst of fire

    12 came from the house of Ivo Papic and Dragan Papic. I

    13 think it was he because he had sand going up to the

    14 window, and I saw this when we opened the shutters,

    15 both me and my wife, and we were extremely surprised.

    16 Behind the house too, there were infantry weapons, an

    17 anti-aircraft gun. From the area of Zume, therefore,

    18 from the area of the cemetery, from these three sides,

    19 the fire was coming.

    20 Q. So your house was --

    21 JUDGE MAY: Let me clarify something before

    22 we move on. The witness said there was a first burst

    23 of fire from the house of Ivo Papic and Dragan Papic.

    24 "I think it was he because I saw this when we opened

    25 the shutters," it should read. Who is the "he" that is

  19. 1referred to? Perhaps the witness could clarify that.

    2 THE WITNESS: Dragan Papic. I could see it

    3 when I opened the shutters. That is when the fire

    4 started. As soon as we opened the shutters, they

    5 realised we were in the house, that we were alive, and

    6 they opened fire.

    7 MR. TERRIER: May we please show Exhibit 30

    8 to the witness?

    9 Q. Mr. Ahmic, what does this photograph

    10 represent?

    11 A. This is Dragan Papic's house and Ivo Papic's

    12 house, the father and the son.

    13 Q. Mr. Ahmic, where was this photograph taken?

    14 A. This photograph was taken from the direction

    15 of my house, approximately, or maybe from the main road

    16 which divides my house from Ivo's house.

    17 Q. So the side that we see now is the side which

    18 faces the road and also next to your house; is that

    19 right?

    20 A. Yes, my house too, yes, yes, yes.

    21 Q. On the morning of the 20th of October, did

    22 the firing come from that house, and could you please

    23 specify if that is the case?

    24 A. Yes, from this window (indicating).

    25 Q. You are now showing us a window on the right

  20. 1side of that building on the upper level. Who was

    2 located at that window?

    3 A. Dragan Papic in a black uniform.

    4 Q. Did he have a weapon? Did he have a weapon

    5 in his hand?

    6 A. Yes, he had an automatic rifle.

    7 Q. Did he make use of this automatic weapon, of

    8 this automatic rifle?

    9 A. Yes, it was the first round of fire aimed at

    10 my house.

    11 Q. Later on in that day, did you see this

    12 person, Mr. Dragan Papic, again?

    13 A. No. After that, I managed to get out of

    14 there, but I saw him before that, but not after that,

    15 because within a relatively short time period, I

    16 managed to go to Stari Vitez, Vrhovine, I can explain

    17 that if you like, and from there I went to Zenica, and

    18 then I left for Tuzla. I began working for the UNHCR.

    19 Q. Mr. Ahmic, let's remain with the 20th of

    20 October for the time being. When you saw Mr. Dragan

    21 Papic on the first floor of his house facing your house

    22 and firing into your home, at what time was it,

    23 approximately?

    24 A. Between half past seven and eight. A long

    25 time has passed, so I can't remember exactly. So it

  21. 1could be an hour, more or less, because at moments like

    2 this, a person cannot know the exact moment when shots

    3 are being fired and so on.

    4 Q. To the best of your memory, how long did the

    5 firing take place from Dragan Papic's house into your

    6 house? How long did it last?

    7 A. Well, the first round of fire, and then

    8 perhaps for ten minutes, but not from the house

    9 anymore. It started from the wood behind the house,

    10 and from all sides.

    11 Q. You talked about firing that was made under

    12 the house; is that correct, Mr. Ahmic?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Will you please specify on this photograph

    15 where these shots were coming from from under the house

    16 and how?

    17 A. Well, you can't see it from this angle, from

    18 this part here. This is in the way, this vegetation,

    19 which is like a fence, but it was here (indicating).

    20 This garage was built later. It wasn't there then, so

    21 it was behind this garage. I think this is a more

    22 recent photograph, and this wasn't here then. It was

    23 behind where this building is now.

    24 Q. Did you see the persons who were firing from

    25 the locations you just indicated to us?

  22. 1A. Yes. I told you who the persons were.

    2 Q. Will you please repeat it for us?

    3 A. In that wood, there were several people, but

    4 as I was crawling along, I saw Dragan Papic, Pero

    5 Papic, Slavko and Rafael Milicevic, and a few other

    6 people. I didn't recognise the others, but they were

    7 all my neighbours.

    8 Q. To be perfectly clear, according to your own

    9 memory, Mr. Dragan Papic, first you saw him at his

    10 window; is that right?

    11 A. In the house, yes, yes, and then he went out

    12 and joined the others down there, but this was -- I

    13 left the house at about 4.15, so it was about eight

    14 hours later. It was during the day.

    15 MR. TERRIER:

    16 Q. Let us move on to the time in which you left

    17 your house with your children and family, your wife and

    18 also your mother-in-law. You indicated that you were

    19 carrying in your arms a child.

    20 A. ... mother-in-law.

    21 Q. So you were carrying in your arms a child?

    22 A. Yes, under my arm.

    23 Q. How old was this child at this time?

    24 A. It was born on the 28th of February, 1988,

    25 and that was on the 20th of October, '92, so he was

  23. 1about four years old.

    2 Q. You stated at that time that when you left

    3 the house, you came under fire.

    4 A. The fire was aimed at me and my son, at my

    5 wife, but, no, they did not shoot at my wife and my

    6 female relatives, they were female persons. So I and

    7 my son were the ones they were shooting at.

    8 Q. Now, during that time, while you were leaving

    9 your house with your son, your four-year-old son, in

    10 your arms, where were the shots coming from, the ones

    11 that you had come under?

    12 A. From this direction here.

    13 Q. Do you remember the weapon or weapons that

    14 were used? What type of weapons were they?

    15 A. It was an anti-aircraft machine-gun and

    16 artillery automatic firearms, because there were rounds

    17 of fire.

    18 Q. You were not hit?

    19 A. No, luckily.

    20 Q. Could we consider then on the 20th of

    21 October, in any way possible could it have been a

    22 target that was -- a military one?

    23 A. No, it couldn't have been a military target,

    24 because on that day I had no weapons there. I didn't

    25 shoot at all, I had no weapons at all, and I did not

  24. 1tend to carry firearms. I could have because of my

    2 duties, but I rarely used the weapons before the war.

    3 It was not a military target.

    4 After a certain time I'm trying to say that

    5 all the civilian population from Ahmici managed to

    6 withdraw from that part into the upper part of the

    7 village on the 20th of October, and I was the only one

    8 left there with my family. I realised that later when

    9 I went to the upper part and found them all there.

    10 Later I heard that Mr. Dario Kordic had

    11 stated on Vitez television, within Croatian television

    12 Vitez that on the 20th of October, in Ahmici, a Mujehadin

    13 military depot had been destroyed, and when I

    14 saw it on television I saw that they were showing my

    15 house.

    16 However, when things quieted down some 10 or

    17 15 days later, my wife came back to take some personal

    18 belongings, what was left of them, what hadn't been

    19 burnt, and no one had entered the house. All the

    20 technical equipment was still there, the video, the TV

    21 set, the camera, it was all there. We managed to take

    22 all these things.

    23 This drama lasted from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00

    24 p.m., and we had managed to put all these things into

    25 our business premises downstairs where we assume the

  25. 1fire would not reach, and some 10 or 15 days later,

    2 when things quieted down, my wife came back. I didn't

    3 go back to Ahmici after that, except for once incognito

    4 in this six-month interval. From October, 1992 until

    5 April, 1993 I only went there once surreptitiously,

    6 incognito, and then I didn't come again until a few

    7 months ago now that people have started returning to

    8 Ahmici and rebuilding their houses.

    9 MR. TERRIER: What happened to your house

    10 after your departure, after the 20th of October, 1992?

    11 You indicated that it had not been searched, it had not

    12 been pillaged or plundered. Nonetheless, it was

    13 damaged?

    14 A. Yes. The roof and the attic burnt

    15 completely, and the corridor, the children's bedroom

    16 and the pantry were gutted, but there was a big

    17 living-room and kitchen,. And because it started to

    18 rain, this was charred, but the rain had put out the

    19 fire, because just before we left it started to rain,

    20 to pour, in fact.

    21 And I know that after we left the house no

    22 one entered the house. Our house was not looted. We

    23 found all our technical equipment, because my wife's

    24 sister and my wife came back and they took all this. I

    25 spent some time in Vrhovina when I went to Stari

  26. 1Vitez. I was helped by Dr. Mosinovic, and my

    2 family and I were taken there in an ambulance, and then

    3 we stayed in Stari Vitez where he was protected,

    4 because they asked for my extradition.

    5 MR. TERRIER: Mr. Ahmic I would like to show

    6 you then two photographs.

    7 THE REGISTRAR: Document number 60.

    8 MR. TERRIER:

    9 Q. Mr. Ahmic, your house -- is your house

    10 visible in this photograph?

    11 A. This is my house. You can see it from

    12 this -- the signpost here. There is even a sign here.

    13 Q. Now, this commercial sign that is very clear,

    14 this yellow sign with the red letters, what does that

    15 represent?

    16 A. It was put up after the end of the conflict.

    17 It says, "Papic Car Waste". He was selling car parts,

    18 and now there are old abandoned vehicles there. I

    19 spent a few months there, and I can see that they're

    20 doing well. Muslims and Croats come to buy here.

    21 Because the house is being repaired, I had to clean

    22 this and --

    23 Q. Then that sign, that commercial

    24 advertisement, did not exist at the time of the event

    25 in October?

  27. 1A. No. No, no, no. It was put up later,

    2 because he didn't have this then.

    3 Q. What did you do -- where did you go after the

    4 20th of October, 1992? What did you do after that time

    5 period in 1992?

    6 A. After I managed to get out alive, I went to

    7 Esad Ahmic's house in the upper part of Ahmici on the

    8 20th of October, in the evening. I spent the night

    9 there. I was wearing the clothes I had on but I was

    10 barefoot. We spent the night there, and in the

    11 morning, at about 5.00, half past five, we went in the

    12 direction of Vrhovina. Vrhovina is a village above

    13 Ahmici.

    14 I spent a short time, I don't know exactly

    15 how long. I stayed in the house of the mother of a

    16 doctor who was my friend. He was a medical

    17 practitioner in Vitez. He was highly esteemed, and

    18 we -- he found out that his mother was having heart

    19 trouble. He went to visit her. And when he came, I

    20 told him that I would have to go to Stari Vitez with my

    21 family, and the next day he arrived with an ambulance,

    22 and my wife, my children, my wife's sister and my

    23 mother-in-law got in, and because there was a HVO

    24 checkpoint and they had requested my extradition as a

    25 criminal who allegedly dug up the Catholic graves in

  28. 1the Ahmici graveyard, I was afraid.

    2 So they wrapped me up in pillow cases and

    3 white sheets, and they put me in the boot. And that's

    4 how I passed through the checkpoint and arrived in

    5 Stari Vitez. Since I had worked in the Municipality of

    6 Stari Vitez, taking care of the refugees from Eastern

    7 Bosnia and from Krajina, and I worked in the Civil

    8 Defence Department, so I set up contacts, because the

    9 first UNHCR office in Bosnia was opened in Vitez in the

    10 Bombac (Phoen) building.

    11 And then the head, who was a Dane and with

    12 whom I had established contact previously and who

    13 visited in my house and we had become friends, he later

    14 told me that he had cried when he heard my house was on

    15 fire. Well, he managed to find me after a month, a

    16 month and a half, and he asked me how I was making a

    17 living, what I was doing. And I said I was in hiding,

    18 that I was living off humanitarian aid, that I was like

    19 a refugee.

    20 He asked me -- or, rather, he offered me a

    21 job in the Logistics Department. He said I could be

    22 his driver. I thought he was joking, but he was

    23 serious. So the next day I showed up for work and I

    24 was his driver.

    25 Until December we were in Vitez and he

  29. 1insisted that I should go to Zenica, because he had

    2 obtained some information since Ivica Santic was the

    3 head of the municipality and he was on good terms with

    4 him, as I was, and he learned there was a possibility

    5 that the HVO could either kill me or blow up the

    6 vehicle, so he insisted that I should go to Zenica. So

    7 the whole office, in fact, moved to Zenica, and we

    8 stayed in Zenica until the 21st of January, 1993.

    9 From there we went to Tuzla, where I felt

    10 safer, because I wanted to be as far away as possible.

    11 I remained in Tuzla until the end of 1994 covering the

    12 Tuzla area for the UNHCR.

    13 Q. On the 16th of April, 1993 you were in

    14 Tuzla?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. And Tuzla is located in the north of

    17 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. How far, approximately, is it located from

    20 Zenica?

    21 A. Oh, it was very far then, because you had to

    22 go by forest roads through Milankovic because roads

    23 were blocked, and it was then I passed along this route

    24 for the first time. And this road was about 221

    25 kilometres long, and the normal road is about 100

  30. 1kilometres or so through Nova Gracica.

    2 Then on the 16th of April I was in Tuzla, and

    3 in the office I read on the printer, as far as I could

    4 read English, that something had happened in Ahmici.

    5 And then my boss came and asked me if I had anyone in

    6 Ahmici. He said it had been very bad there on the 16th

    7 of April, and I said that my -- some of my relatives

    8 were there, and my wife. And I asked what was

    9 happening, and he told me that he would give me all the

    10 information he knew. But then I requested leave to go

    11 to Zenica to see whether they were alive. I was given

    12 the use of a vehicle, an official vehicle, an Nissan

    13 Jeep. It was snowing.

    14 I came to Zenica because my wife and children

    15 were staying in a flat in Zenica. I asked them whether

    16 they knew anything, and they said I knew more than they

    17 did. I stayed for two days, and I learned that my

    18 brother had gone to Stari Vitez with his family where

    19 my sister was, and my mother happened to be visiting my

    20 sister in Vitez that day. And the rest of the family,

    21 I learned that they were no longer alive simply. And

    22 then I came back to Tuzla on the 20th of April, and I

    23 returned to my job.

    24 Q. Did you meet a certain number of your family

    25 members in Zenica?

  31. 1A. Yes, the ones who managed to get out. There

    2 were two collective centres where they could stay, my

    3 closest relatives who had managed to get out. My wife

    4 took them food, clothing, any help we could give them.

    5 Q. Did your family members tell you what had

    6 happened in April in Ahmici?

    7 A. Yes, but much later.

    8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, will you just hold a

    9 minute?

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, although we

    11 don't have any rule against the hearsay evidence, I

    12 wonder whether we could move on, because we are not --

    13 we are going to hear other evidence about what happened

    14 on the 16th of April, so I don't need -- I don't think

    15 we need to hear the evidence about -- the hearsay

    16 evidence from this witness about the 16th of April.

    17 MR. TERRIER: Very well, Mr. President.

    18 Q. Mr. Ahmic, since 1993, have you ever returned

    19 to Ahmici?

    20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

    21 A. Yes, a couple of months ago. Houses are

    22 being rebuilt. The first 35 houses are being rebuilt

    23 by -- with the help of international aid, and mine is

    24 one of them. So I have been there since April this

    25 year.

  32. 1Before that I didn't go, only when I went to

    2 visit with delegations like Mr. Garnic (Phoen), for

    3 instance, because for the first time of office I was

    4 president of the Municipal Council in Vitez. After the

    5 Washington Agreement was signed between the Bosniaks

    6 and Croats, I was president of the Legislative Branch,

    7 and Mr. Lacovic Franjo (Phoen) was the president of the

    8 other branch.

    9 We worked very well, we opened the roads, the

    10 communication lines, water and electricity supplies. I

    11 am in Ahmici, and my family because our house is being

    12 rebuilt.

    13 But I have to state in court that the overall

    14 situation is good, but still, individual incidents

    15 occur, and I think that Goran Papic, for instance, I

    16 had problems with him a couple of times. He would

    17 intercept my car last year, and we had some unpleasant

    18 encounters. On one occasion he tried to hit my son

    19 with a car. He jumped into the ditch to save himself,

    20 because he didn't know who it was that was trying to

    21 hit him with a car.

    22 Q. Could you tell us who Goran Papic is?

    23 A. Goran Papic is Dragan Papic's brother, the

    24 son of Ivo Papic, who is the owner of this automobile

    25 scrap yard, so that we are still exposed to

  33. 1provocations. Not just me and not just by Goran.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor, do

    3 you feel that these events here are pertinent to the

    4 facts that concern us in this trial, what is going on

    5 right now?

    6 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I do believe

    7 that this concerns the Tribunal, which is part of all

    8 of the evidence that we're going to be presenting and

    9 is of interest to this Tribunal to know what has

    10 happened and what is presently the case of the

    11 relations between the Croats and Muslim residents of

    12 Ahmici. I'm not saying that this is in the very heart

    13 of our trial as such, but nonetheless, this is a bit of

    14 information which may not be completely useless to this

    15 Tribunal, of course. The Tribunal will make use of it

    16 as needed.

    17 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, very well. We may

    18 indeed look at the general climate, the general

    19 atmosphere which now prevails in Ahmici, but without

    20 mentioning, perhaps, any specific names or any persons,

    21 particularly if these persons may be linked to the

    22 accused.

    23 MR. TERRIER: I do not envisage posing any

    24 more questions on this particular aspect of the

    25 testimony.

  34. 1Q. Mr. Ahmic, is Dragan Papic in this room?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Would you please indicate to us in what

    4 location he is in this room?

    5 A. In the last row. He is the first one, the

    6 one with the beard. Do I have to point a finger at

    7 him?

    8 Q. It's not necessary. Mr. President, I have

    9 one last photograph I would like to submit and show to

    10 the witness, which is quite different from the one

    11 that's already been presented to the witness. It is

    12 simply a photograph of his house.

    13 THE REGISTRAR: It's Prosecution Exhibit 61.

    14 MR. TERRIER:

    15 Q. Mr. Ahmic, could you please indicate your

    16 house?

    17 A. It is the same photograph as before, but from

    18 a slightly different angle.

    19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ahmic. I request that

    20 Exhibits 59, 60 and 61 be tendered as Prosecution

    21 exhibits, Mr. President. I have no further questions.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Terrier.

    23 I see there is no objection to the various

    24 exhibits, and I turn now -- I will turn now to

    25 Mr. Pavkovic to ask him whether he can indicate to us

  35. 1which Defence counsel are going to cross-examine our

    2 witness.

    3 MR. PAVKOVIC: The witness, Mr. President --

    4 good morning, first of all. The witness will be

    5 cross-examined by attorney Petar Puliselic, followed by

    6 attorney Ranko Radovic, and myself.

    7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Puliselic.

    8 Cross-examined by Mr. Puliselic:


    10 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you mentioned that in October,

    11 1992, from the direction of Busovaca, Fojnica and other

    12 places, HV units were on the move, going in the

    13 direction of Novi Travnik, in order to assist HVO

    14 forces there who were engaged in conflict with the BiH

    15 army in that area, and that that was the reason why a

    16 roadblock was put up in Ahmici, to prevent the passage

    17 of those units.

    18 You said that the HVO had falsely claimed

    19 that it wanted to assist its forces in the area of

    20 Jajce, where fighting was going on against the Serbs.

    21 My question is: How do you know that the HVO

    22 did not, in fact, intend to go to Jajce? Were the

    23 reports you got verified?

    24 A. When you say -- use the word "Listopad" would

    25 you please use a word that I understand too, October.

  36. 1Secondly, it was not the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it

    2 was the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And

    3 thirdly, I had firsthand information. I checked them,

    4 I said that I was a member of the highest level

    5 leadership.

    6 Q. Can you please tell us whether at the time

    7 there was fighting in Jajce between the forces of

    8 Republika Srpska and the HVO?

    9 A. In the area of Jajce, Republika Srpska did

    10 not exist, so it was the aggression of the Serb forces

    11 and the defence forces of Jajce which meant the

    12 Bosniaks and the Croats were together at the time.

    13 Q. Can you tell us who won in those battles,

    14 what happened with Jajce?

    15 A. I would like to ask not to be asked such

    16 questions, because I haven't come here because of

    17 Jajce.

    18 Q. But this is linked to my next questions.

    19 A. Jajce fell. The defence forces did not

    20 succeed in defending it. I'm answering the question.

    21 The defence forces did not manage to defend it and

    22 Jajce fell.

    23 Q. Can you tell me if one goes from Busovaca

    24 towards Jajce, does one have to pass through Travnik?

    25 A. From Busovaca to Jajce if you're going by

  37. 1road, I know you pass through Ahmici, Vitez, Travnik

    2 and across Mount Vlasic.

    3 Q. So you have to pass through Travnik to get to

    4 Jajce. Is there any other road, and if there is

    5 another road, will you tell us which is the shortest

    6 route to Jajce from Busovaca?

    7 A. I don't know.

    8 Q. Thank you. You said that on the 20th of

    9 October, 1992, you were in your home in Ahmici,

    10 together with your family, when the HVO attack started

    11 in the early morning and continued on into the

    12 afternoon.

    13 In the statement that you gave to the

    14 investigator of the International Tribunal, you said

    15 that your house was targeted from the direction of

    16 Hrasno with anti-aircraft guns and also from the wood

    17 south of Papic's house. You also said that at the time

    18 you saw Dragan Papic shooting an automatic rifle from

    19 the window of his house?

    20 A. In the morning.

    21 Q. Now you claim that the fire started from

    22 Dragan Papic's house with an automatic rifle?

    23 A. That's what I said the first time too.

    24 Q. You now claim something that you didn't

    25 mention at all last time, and that is that Dragan Papic

  38. 1was using a PAT?

    2 A. No, a PUM. There's a difference, a PAT being

    3 an anti-aircraft gun and PUM being an anti-aircraft

    4 machine gun.

    5 Q. You didn't mentioned that in your previous

    6 statement. Also you said that around the anti-aircraft

    7 machine gun there were other people, other neighbours

    8 of yours who were Croats. This is something you also

    9 failed to mention in your previous statement. Could

    10 you tell us with precision where this PUM,

    11 anti-aircraft machine gun, was positioned?

    12 A. In the wood behind Ivo Papic's house. I've

    13 already shown you that on the photograph.

    14 Q. In your testimony today, you said that Dragan

    15 Papic used an automatic rifle to shoot with, and then

    16 after that you said that you think it was Dragan

    17 Papic. Are you quite sure who was shooting?

    18 A. Maybe I made a slip of the tongue.

    19 Q. But that has entered the transcript. Can you

    20 tell us who it was that opened the shutters on your

    21 window?

    22 A. On one window, it was my wife, on the other,

    23 me.

    24 Q. Was it simultaneously?

    25 A. I can't tell you exactly.

  39. 1Q. Who was the first to open the shutters when

    2 the fire was open?

    3 A. I was the first one to open the shutters.

    4 Q. You mentioned something else today for the

    5 first time. For instance, you said that on the window

    6 of the house of Dragan Papic, there were sandbags?

    7 A. Halfway up the window.

    8 Q. How high up is that?

    9 A. There are various sizes of windows. I didn't

    10 measure the window, but it went halfway up the window.

    11 Q. Very well. How, then, could you see that

    12 Dragan Papic was wearing a black uniform if the

    13 sandbags went halfway up the window?

    14 A. Dragan Papic was wearing a black uniform for

    15 three or four months before that.

    16 Q. But you said that you saw him then wearing a

    17 black uniform?

    18 A. I saw him wearing a black cap.

    19 Q. What kind of a cap was it?

    20 A. It was a black cap with a rim.

    21 Q. But you said you saw him wearing a black

    22 uniform?

    23 A. But I saw him this way, this far up, his

    24 shoulders.

    25 Q. Now you said for the first time that after

  40. 1the round of fire from the automatic rifle that fire

    2 started from other weapons. I've already mentioned

    3 that, that is, the discrepancy between what you said

    4 today and your previous statement.

    5 A. I'd like to see that statement. I don't know

    6 which one you're referring to.

    7 Q. It is the statement you gave to the

    8 investigator of the International Tribunal, when was

    9 it, let me see, on the 17th of November, '97 and the

    10 9th of December, 1997.

    11 A. Could you please read it back to me?

    12 Q. Will you please tell us whether this is your

    13 signature? Could the usher show a copy of the

    14 statement to the witness?

    15 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 1/5.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Probably that particular

    17 document carries the comments, personal comments, of

    18 one of the Defence counsel. I wonder whether we could

    19 take it as an exhibit. I'm asking the Defence counsel

    20 who provided it to Mr. Puliselic, the copy, whether

    21 he's prepared to provide us with that copy so that it

    22 can be regarded as an exhibit? Did you write anything

    23 on that document?

    24 Mr. Krajina?

    25 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, we gave my

  41. 1learned colleague a copy of this statement from our

    2 files, and we don't mind that it should be admitted

    3 into evidence.

    4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you.

    5 THE WITNESS: I apologise. May I answer the

    6 question put to me by Mr. Puliselic? This statement is

    7 in English.


    9 Q. I can show it to you in Croatian.

    10 A. Can I have it in Bosnian, please, so that I

    11 can see the discrepancy?

    12 MR. PULISELIC: I didn't have an English copy

    13 so I borrowed it from my colleague Krajina.

    14 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit D1/5A.

    15 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic, could you

    16 please indicate to the witness the page and the lines

    17 where there's a discrepancy in his statement, the

    18 particular place where, in your view, there's a

    19 discrepancy between what he said here in court and what

    20 he declared to the Prosecutor's investigators in '97?

    21 MR. PULISELIC: Mr. President, the witness

    22 has both documents now. I don't have anything on me.

    23 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry. I have the Bosnian

    24 text, but may I quote it? "On the morning, artillery

    25 fire was opened with an anti-artillery gun from the

  42. 1direction of Hrasno which is two or three kilometres

    2 away. At that time, I saw Dragan Papic, the son of Ivo

    3 Papic, shooting from an automatic rifle from the window

    4 of his house."

    5 Q. I'm sorry. I was just saying that in that

    6 statement you didn't mention the fact that Dragan Papic

    7 started shooting and that after him came the fire from

    8 other weapons?

    9 A. That is not what you said, but I don't want

    10 to argue with you. You just said that there was a

    11 discrepancy. I said what I said, and please let it be

    12 entered in the transcript.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic, could we move

    14 on to your further question because now this point has

    15 been clarified.

    16 MR. PULISELIC: Yes.

    17 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you claim that you saw Papic in

    18 the wood, as well as other neighbours of yours, Croats,

    19 and that you saw Papic using the anti-aircraft machine

    20 gun. Can you explain how come Dragan Papic can manage

    21 all that, first to fire from the window, then

    22 simultaneously comes the fire from the wood, and then

    23 later you see him in the wood? Could you tell us what

    24 is the distance between your house and the wood?

    25 A. I didn't say that this happened at the same

  43. 1time. I made it clear that this period was from 7.30

    2 in the morning until late afternoon. The exact time

    3 when he shot at me and my son from the anti-aircraft

    4 machine gun was about 4.00 in the afternoon when I

    5 tried to manage to save myself and my son. As I was

    6 crawling, I saw him, his partners, his house, and his

    7 weapon, because the ground on my side is a little

    8 higher than where his house is. So one person cannot

    9 be in two places at once.

    10 Let me make myself clear. I said that this

    11 first act happened at eight in the morning and the

    12 second at four in the afternoon. The distance between

    13 my house and Dragan Papic's house is 60 to 80 metres,

    14 that is, we are separated by the main road. And the

    15 wood is about 150 metres from my house, and from

    16 Dragan's house, 80 to 90 metres. Of course, this is an

    17 approximation. I may be 10, 20 metres wrong.

    18 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you only just said this time that

    19 it was in the afternoon at 4.00?

    20 A. No, no, I made it quite clear that this was a

    21 period from the morning until the afternoon.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Puliselic, I think the

    23 witness is right. However, if you don't mind, I would

    24 like him to clarify a point. I know he said that in

    25 the afternoon at around 4.00, he saw Dragan Papic

  44. 1shooting at him when he was carrying his son in his

    2 arm. I wonder whether you could say whether this is

    3 exactly what you intended to say, namely, that you saw

    4 him shooting at you, because previously I think you

    5 said that there was some shooting from a particular

    6 area near Mr. Papic's house. At 4.00, did you see

    7 Mr. Papic shooting at you?

    8 A. Not just Mr. Papic, but all of them, they

    9 were all shooting at me, and he was shooting from the

    10 machine gun. I said that the shells made holes in the

    11 grass that were this size, so that the calibre was

    12 quite considerable. I went zig-zag, and I had some

    13 crazy luck. God protected me and I survived.


    15 Q. Mr. Ahmic, you were escaping from the back

    16 side of your house?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. In what direction were you moving when you

    19 left your house? In what direction?

    20 A. Could I have the photograph, please, the

    21 photograph of my house?

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: It would be 60 or 61. Which

    23 one would you like to see?

    24 THE WITNESS: I don't mind, either. This one

    25 will do fine.

  45. 1A. So you see, I wasn't moving behind the

    2 house. My entrance is on this side. The entrance to

    3 my house is this side. This is the front facade, so

    4 from a door which was on the right-hand side, and my

    5 own car was parked there, so I crawled behind it, below

    6 the fence, across this meadow to my uncle's house

    7 here. And that is when they started firing from the

    8 wood. Then from there, I crossed another road going to

    9 Ahmici, to the house of Pezer Omer, and then further up

    10 to the mosque.


    12 Q. Can you see from there who is shooting from

    13 the wood and who is manning the anti-aircraft machine

    14 gun?

    15 A. Of course you can. It's about 100 metres

    16 away.

    17 Q. But it's in the wood?

    18 A. No. It is at the beginning of the wood. It

    19 wasn't among the trees. It was just at the beginning

    20 of the wood behind the house. That's quite clear.

    21 Q. Mr. Ahmic, can you tell us whether, previous

    22 to this event on the 20th of October, there was a

    23 roadblock in front of your house?

    24 A. On the 19th of October.

    25 Q. On the 19th of October? I was asking before

  46. 1that, a month before that or something like that,

    2 earlier on, were there any barricades near your house?

    3 A. Near my house, no. In front of my house, no,

    4 possibly near the cemetery or near Pican's cafe. There

    5 were many checkpoints in those days, unfortunately.

    6 Q. Do you recall one occasion when you attended

    7 a birthday party of a little girl, Rafael Milicevic's

    8 daughter, and that you used your camera to film the

    9 party?

    10 A. Yes, in the same way that I filmed the

    11 wedding of Mr. Dragan Papic.

    12 Q. I should like to tell you that we have been

    13 told that the day after that event, this barricade was

    14 put up near your house?

    15 A. Can you tell me the date?

    16 Q. This was on the 30th of September, 1992, the

    17 birthday party, so the next day on the 1st of October?

    18 A. Not in front of my house but a little lower

    19 down.

    20 Q. So a little lower down from your house. Do

    21 you know Marijan Jukic?

    22 A. I know two Marijan Jukics. I don't know

    23 which one you have in mind.

    24 Q. I'm thinking of the one working in the

    25 police?

  47. 1A. Yes.

    2 Q. This Marijan Jukic, when this roadblock was

    3 put up a little way from your house, did he come to see

    4 you and ask you to remove the barricade?

    5 A. I think that he did come and some other

    6 people, but I wasn't alone. There was Leyman (phoen)

    7 Ahmic, so I can't remember whether he personally asked

    8 me.

    9 Q. He did.

    10 A. It is possible. I know him well.

    11 Q. Did you remove the barricade? Was it removed

    12 after he came?

    13 A. I don't think it is linked to this event.

    14 Not when he came, but after that, the roadblock was

    15 removed, before night-time anyway. Let's put it that

    16 way.

    17 Q. Did you have a military uniform?

    18 A. No.

    19 Q. Did you own any weapons?

    20 A. No. I had official weapons, but not at my

    21 house.

    22 Q. Where did you have it?

    23 A. In the party, in Vitez.

    24 Q. Did you ever bring these weapons home?

    25 A. No, no, because of the children. They were

  48. 1little.

    2 Q. The Defence has information that you fired

    3 shots from your house?

    4 A. No. Did anyone see me shoot?

    5 Q. Yes.

    6 A. At whom?

    7 Q. Did you shoot at Goran Papic when he was

    8 still a small boy?

    9 A. No, never. These are insinuations. I said I

    10 never carried weapons.

    11 Q. Due to the event I have mentioned and you are

    12 denying, did Papic, on one occasion in Vitez, talk to

    13 you about this?

    14 A. Which Papic?

    15 Q. Dragan. When he met you on one occasion, did

    16 he complain about this?

    17 A. No, I never met Dragan Papic and we never

    18 talked about this.

    19 Q. You said that you were employed by the UNHCR?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Can you tell us what you did there?

    22 A. I was the driver of Mr. Anders Levison, a

    23 Dane. I was his personal driver.

    24 Q. How long did you work in UNHCR?

    25 A. Until 1994.

  49. 1Q. Why did you leave?

    2 A. I left because I had to feed my family and

    3 for reasons of safety.

    4 Q. No. I mean, why did you leave the UNHCR?

    5 A. Why did I leave it?

    6 Q. Yes. What was the reason?

    7 A. Because a new boss arrived, my old boss

    8 left. I came back to Zenica to work in the UNHCR

    9 office there. I didn't get on well with the boss there

    10 who was Spanish.

    11 Q. Can you tell us whether you were ever

    12 sentenced?

    13 A. Not for a crime but for misdemeanours.

    14 Q. No. I'm referring to criminal offences, ten,

    15 fifteen years ago?

    16 A. No, no, I wasn't. There was a trial where I

    17 was on probation, but I was never sentenced.

    18 Q. Did you at one time belong to an organisation

    19 called the Young Muslims?

    20 A. No.

    21 MR. PULISELIC: Thank you. I have no further

    22 questions.

    23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I suggest we now

    24 take a break before moving on to counsel Radovic and

    25 Pavkovic. I would like to thank the accused for

  50. 1accepting to have a short break. I understand you

    2 agreed that we should only have a 15-minute break so

    3 that we may try to finish the cross-examination, the

    4 re-examination, if any, of the present witness.

    5 We will have a short recess of only 15

    6 minutes.

    7 --- Recess taken at 10.54 a.m.

    8 --- On resuming at 11.12 p.m.

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic.

    10 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. Pavkovic.

    11 JUDGE CASSESE: Oh, first Mr. Pavkovic, yes.

    12 MR. RADOVIC: Today I will be the last to

    13 question the witness.

    14 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Pavkovic then.

    15 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic.

    16 MR. PAVKOVIC:

    17 Q. Your Honours. Good day, Mr. Ahmic, I'm

    18 attorney Petar Pavkovic.

    19 First of all, let us understand one another.

    20 I am using the language I usually use. As you can see,

    21 we have interpreters here. I hope that we will

    22 understand each other.

    23 A. I hope so too, but if you are mentioning the

    24 names of months, I don't know the Croatian names of

    25 months.

  51. 1Q. Thank you. I will have consideration on this

    2 point.

    3 Mr. Ahmic, according to the material at the

    4 disposal of the Defence counsel, we can see that as

    5 regards the events you are testifying to today, you are

    6 speaking about them for the first time after five years

    7 to the Prosecution investigators. Can you tell me how

    8 it came about that you are here as a witness to these

    9 events?

    10 A. It is not true that I am talking about this

    11 for the first time. I made the statement to our ORGS.

    12 Q. I am talking about the information the

    13 Defence counsel have at their disposal, not the

    14 information you have at your disposal.

    15 A. I made a statement, as soon as I left Ahmici,

    16 to our bodies, to our security bodies, and it is not

    17 the first time I'm speaking about it.

    18 Q. When I draw your attention to this point, I

    19 have to clarify. I'm doing this because my questions

    20 will partly rely on the statements you have made today,

    21 and partly on what you said in the statement presented

    22 to attorney Puliselic, which you have before you, I

    23 believe.

    24 Mr. Ahmic, you were one of the founders of

    25 the Party of Democratic Action. You held a high

  52. 1position in that party, you were deputy president at

    2 one time, you said you were president, and evidently,

    3 you had access to information about political relations

    4 in the area of Vitez, especially Ahmici. I would like

    5 to know what your views were and are on the

    6 inter-ethnic relations, the relations between the

    7 Croats and the Bosniaks, the development of these

    8 relations, but briefly, from the first conflict which

    9 took place on the 20th of October, 1992.

    10 You talked about your relations with

    11 Mr. Papic and the other Croats in the village, but how

    12 do you view the overall relations, in brief?

    13 A. The part of Central Bosnia in which I live,

    14 the Vitez municipality of the Ahmici village, the

    15 relations between these two nations and the third

    16 nation, the Serbs, and the 2.000 majority population

    17 were exceptionally well, good, and in the period that

    18 we are talking about, there were no special ethnic

    19 problems.

    20 As I learned from my father, the relations in

    21 the previous war were quite good. There is a bright

    22 example where Jur Savidovic saved my father in

    23 that war, because an army came by and he hid him in his

    24 barn. And he said, "If you think there's someone in my

    25 barn, you can set fire to me and the barn". So he

  53. 1saved my father's life, and they were on very good

    2 terms.

    3 Relations after the multi-party elections and

    4 after the establishment of, let us call them

    5 conditionally, the national parties, were very good. I

    6 believe, you know, that we had a coalition before the

    7 first multi-party elections, until Boban, Mr. Mate

    8 Boban, became the head of the Croatian side, while

    9 Mr. Kilica was the head and or Mr. Perinkovic,

    10 or whatever his name was, I forget, before

    11 that we cooperated extremely well.

    12 We established the joint government bodies.

    13 We agreed on the distribution of positions, some posts

    14 were reserved for Croats, others for Muslims. The

    15 police commander, for example, was a Bosniak. So the

    16 cooperation, both at the Federal -- at the State level

    17 and at the local level were very good. I will not

    18 elaborate, but this was how it was, until the HDZ

    19 changed its policy.

    20 Q. Mr. Ahmic, could we limit ourselves to the

    21 period up to the 20th? Mr. Boban became the head of

    22 the HDZ after October, 1992. Is there anything else

    23 you can say about these relations?

    24 A. I don't know whether you're referring to

    25 politics.

  54. 1Q. Well, the overall relations, the political

    2 and the inter-ethnic relations?

    3 A. Well, up to June or July, 1992, relations

    4 were quite good, because you know, that we offered

    5 joint resistance in Noposivina, Western Bosnia,

    6 Brcko, Eastern Bosnia and so on, Herzegovina. There

    7 was joint resistance.

    8 Q. So you waged the war together?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. I will not press this point any further. Let

    11 us be more specific now and go back to the event of the

    12 20th of October, 1992. You stated that on that day or

    13 the day before, you had received an order from the

    14 Territorial Defence staff in Vitez that you should set

    15 up a roadblock in Ahmici on the Busovaca/Vitez road.

    16 Can you tell me who issued this order?

    17 A. Well, I didn't receive an order, because I

    18 was not a soldier. It was an instruction, which was a

    19 political instruction, and it was the army that issued

    20 orders to members of the army. I was above them.

    21 Q. So who received information that roadblocks

    22 should be set up?

    23 A. It was the leader of the army in Ahmici.

    24 Q. What was his name?

    25 A. I don't know.

  55. 1Q. Who did you find this out about from?

    2 A. I found out from the wartime presidency.

    3 Q. Who, if you know, organised the men manning

    4 the roadblock?

    5 A. I think it was the Territorial Defence

    6 headquarters staff.

    7 Q. Did you serve in the army?

    8 A. Yes, the former JNA.

    9 Q. Do you know, as we were told in the army,

    10 that a barricade is not a barricade if it is not

    11 defended? How did you expect this barricade to be

    12 defended if you say you were unarmed?

    13 A. The way you ask this question -- I was not

    14 taught that in the army. I was a cook in the JNA, and

    15 they didn't teach me how to set up roadblocks. But you

    16 cannot compare the JNA with the army that we had, the

    17 jointly and then the --

    18 Q. I didn't ask you that. You said that there

    19 were no weapons there.

    20 A. I said there were very few weapons. That's

    21 what I said.

    22 Q. Can you tell me, furthermore, who was at the

    23 head of this group of armed villagers, as you call it,

    24 that organised the setting up of this roadblock?

    25 A. I think that Muris Ahmic, my cousin, was the

  56. 1leader.

    2 Q. Thank you. Let us proceed. Can you tell me,

    3 Mr. Ahmic, I am going back to that morning of October,

    4 the early morning, you said that shots had been aimed

    5 at your house, that after that your house was set on

    6 fire and that other Muslim Bosniak houses were not

    7 damaged at that time; is that correct?

    8 A. I didn't say they were not damaged. Shots

    9 were aimed at the other Muslim houses as well, but I

    10 said they were not torched, except for my house and a

    11 part of the house of Hajrudin Pjanic I think was

    12 torched. And I said that some stables or cow sheds had

    13 been burnt, and some hay-stacks, because I saw that

    14 from my house. This was around my house.

    15 Q. On that morning, you said that you hid behind

    16 the stairs with your family?

    17 A. The entrance, the stairway at the entrance.

    18 Q. Did this face toward the area from where you

    19 say the shots came?

    20 A. No, it was sideways.

    21 Q. Did you have a view of the place from which

    22 shots were coming?

    23 A. Through the door.

    24 Q. You kept the door open?

    25 A. No.

  57. 1Q. How could you then notice where the shots

    2 were coming from?

    3 A. No, I couldn't see through that door, I could

    4 only see it from upstairs.

    5 Q. But you said that you went downstairs

    6 immediately after the shots started.

    7 A. I just left my children there, and then I

    8 went back upstairs because my telephone was there and

    9 we wanted to take our technical equipment and put it

    10 away in a safer place.

    11 Q. One more question, Mr. Ahmic. You said that

    12 you are no longer a member of the SDA?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Why did you leave the SDA?

    15 A. That's my personal decision. I went to -- I

    16 joined another party, which I find more acceptable now,

    17 and this is the party for Bosnia-Herzegovina led by

    18 Mr. Haris Silajdzic.

    19 Q. But you say that the new party has the same

    20 political platform as the SDA, that it is advocating an

    21 independent and democratic Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    22 A. Yes, the same idea.

    23 Q. But now you've said something different.

    24 A. What did I say that's different?

    25 Q. You should know.

  58. 1A. Can you explain what you mean? I joined the

    2 party called The Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is

    3 a democratic multi-national, multi-ethnic party,

    4 fighting for an independent, free democratic

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The SDA has the same idea, the

    6 same principles, but the methods are different.

    7 Q. That's your interpretation, but let the

    8 matter rest there.

    9 Can you tell me -- let us go back to this

    10 roadblock. You received information that the roadblock

    11 should be set up on the road near your house. Then you

    12 said that you sought out certain people, and that you

    13 asked them that this roadblock should be moved toward

    14 the road. Who did you contact?

    15 A. I contacted the president of the command of

    16 the Territorial Defence.

    17 Q. Why did you do this as a civilian rather than

    18 a military person?

    19 A. Because it was my house and the house of Ivo

    20 Papic that were in question. I didn't want the

    21 roadblock to be set up between the two houses.

    22 Q. You also said that the aim of the setting up

    23 of the roadblock was to prevent the forces of the HVO,

    24 to prevent them from proceeding toward, as you say,

    25 Novi Travnik or Jajce. You prevented them, if I

  59. 1understood you correctly?

    2 A. I didn't say they were forces of the Croatian

    3 army. You said the HVO, which is correct.

    4 And secondly, yes, they were prevented -- or

    5 rather, they were not prevented but they were delayed

    6 because if they had been prevented, my house wouldn't

    7 have been burnt down and the village wouldn't have been

    8 evacuated and so on. About 20 or so hours elapsed, and

    9 at this time they were prevented from moving in that

    10 direction.

    11 Q. This would correspond with what you said

    12 previously, that they managed to break through your

    13 defence?

    14 A. Well, no, not the defence but the checkpoint

    15 which prevented the passage of civilians, goods and the

    16 army.

    17 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, may I go back

    18 to the material which attorney Petar Puliselic has

    19 attended to show the witness that they broke through

    20 their defence?

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.

    22 MR. PAVKOVIC:

    23 Q. This is material which the witness has in

    24 front of him. Will you please look at page 2. Page 2,

    25 toward the bottom of the page.

  60. 1A. Yes, we set up a roadblock. There were only

    2 20 of us. The HVO managed to break through the

    3 defence. Well, it wasn't a defence. Perhaps that's

    4 the word used here. The HVO managed to break our

    5 defence and move towards Novi Travnik. Well, if

    6 someone sets up a checkpoint they have to defend

    7 themselves at that checkpoint.

    8 Q. Well, you said you had been a cook?

    9 A. Well, some things are evident even to a cook,

    10 if they're logical.

    11 Q. Mr. Ahmic, I would like to ask you to

    12 clarify, once again, how it is possible that you

    13 carried a four-year-old child under your arm, crawling,

    14 hiding from fire and at the same time you were able to

    15 observe so carefully as to notice even the kind of

    16 clothing worn by people a hundred metres away from you

    17 at the beginning of a wood. I believe that while

    18 retreating, you were hiding behind certain obstacles

    19 which would provide protection from the firing. If

    20 that is so, how were you able to see what you say you

    21 saw?

    22 A. What you have just said, that you can

    23 observe, crawl and save your child all at the same time

    24 is correct. I ask you, if you had been in the same

    25 situation as me, would you have done all this too?

  61. 1In the period from 8.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

    2 to be precise is a period of eight hours, and within

    3 this period I was both upstairs in my house from which

    4 I had a very good view of the surroundings, and I was

    5 able to see all these people several times.

    6 And when I left my house my car, an Opal

    7 Record, was parked, and when I open the door the first

    8 time there was a burst of fire. When I opened my door

    9 the second time there was no firing, so I was able to

    10 go out. I hid behind my car for a while, and

    11 observing. And then when I went out into the open, I

    12 crawled zigzag. There were no obstacles.

    13 Q. Thank you. Your Honour, my last question to

    14 the witness: You explained, Mr. Ahmic, the following:

    15 That the firing was aimed at you, but that your wife,

    16 your daughter, your mother-in-law were not shot at, if

    17 I understood you correctly. In other words, the aim of

    18 this alleged attack was not to shoot at other

    19 civilians, but only you personally?

    20 A. Yes. I stated and I still maintain that the

    21 women civilians were not shot at, and that is the

    22 absolute truth. It's not the alleged truth. They shot

    23 only at me and my son.

    24 Q. Well, I say "allegedly" because you say it.

    25 Thank you very much.

  62. 1JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Radovic?

    2 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:

    3 Q. I shall be very direct. If you personally

    4 were the target of the people shooting at you, why did

    5 you take a four-year-old child, instead of letting your

    6 wife take care of the child, as she was not exposed to

    7 fire?

    8 A. I ask you whether your wife or your

    9 mother-in-law or your wife's sister would be capable of

    10 taking care of a small child who was terrified and

    11 shivering from fright, because they had experienced all

    12 the fire and the shots that had hit the house before

    13 that.

    14 Q. That is not the answer to my question,

    15 because I'm sure your child would have felt just as

    16 safe with his mother as he did with you. My question

    17 is: Why didn't the mother take the child when the

    18 mother was not exposed to fire, but it was you who took

    19 the child and you were a target?

    20 A. Probably under present-day circumstances, I

    21 would have probably given him to his mother, but in

    22 those circumstances, I never thought about it. I was

    23 six years married, and she had six miscarriages, after

    24 a pregnancy of four or five months. I never thought

    25 about it. I took the boy with me.

  63. 1Q. When you were interviewed by the investigator

    2 of the Prosecution, you didn't describe in the same way

    3 the fire of the anti-aircraft machine gun, but you

    4 said, literally, the HVO was using anti-aircraft

    5 machine guns from the direction of the wood that was

    6 behind the house of Ivo Papic, the father of Dragan; is

    7 that correct? Is that what you said?

    8 A. Could you show me where it says that? Do you

    9 have the Croatian translation?

    10 Q. Yes, the Bosnian one. It's all the same.

    11 Let's not insist. As much as you love your Croatian

    12 language, I love mine, but let's not argue about that.

    13 That is least important. So if you have the

    14 translation, it would be on the third page, if we have

    15 the same translation, the tenth line from the bottom.

    16 A. Yes, that is what it says in the statement.

    17 I have now made it even clearer.

    18 Q. Is it true that that is what you told the

    19 investigator?

    20 A. Yes, if it says so in the statement, but

    21 today I have clarified it.

    22 Q. I see. You have clarified it. How come

    23 you're able to clarify a statement when more time has

    24 elapsed since the event than at the time you were

    25 giving that statement?

  64. 1A. If Mr. Dragan Papic is not a member of the

    2 HVO, then he is not. If Pero Papic is not, if he is

    3 not a member of the HVO at the time, then he didn't

    4 fire, and here I'm talking about a group of people.

    5 Dragan was shooting with the anti-aircraft machine gun,

    6 and the others were using infantry weapons, and I think

    7 I was quite specific.

    8 Q. Could you describe that anti-aircraft machine

    9 gun that was being used by Dragan Papic? Could you

    10 describe it?

    11 A. It's three-barrelled. It has a seat. I saw

    12 it the night before and a couple of days before that.

    13 At one point, it was mounted on a Tam lorry, and at

    14 this time it was on a stand, but I know it is a PUM, an

    15 anti-aircraft machine gun.

    16 Q. I still haven't quite understood your

    17 description. Where is the ammunition on this gun, on

    18 this machine gun?

    19 A. On the top in a magazine. That's what it's

    20 called.

    21 Q. With three-barrelled guns it's in a magazine?

    22 A. It is where the trigger is. I've told you.

    23 I didn't go close up to it to examine it. I could see

    24 it from a distance.

    25 Q. But the ammunition, is it in a kind of round

  65. 1case for this kind of weapon?

    2 A. I don't know.

    3 Q. But I am telling you --

    4 A. I couldn't go up to it to see it properly,

    5 but I saw it from a certain distance, from my house.

    6 Q. How far is it from your house to Papic

    7 Dragan's house?

    8 A. I said about 60 to 80 metres, and from the

    9 wood to my house, 100 to 150 metres.

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 A. No, but I think "refugee" is the wrong word.

    15 He's an exile. He has been exiled.

    16 Q. Yes, but he just came to visit his family, so

    17 what term should be used? This witness, who was a

    18 protected witness, claims that the weapon was a

    19 different weapon --

    20 JUDGE CASSESE: You should have not mentioned

    21 his name. We will have a redaction. I will ask the

    22 registrar if she could prefer the relevant form to be

    23 filled in. Please refrain from mentioning any names of

    24 protected witnesses. Please go on.

    25 MR. RADOVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I

  66. 1realised my mistake when I had made it already.

    2 Q. There is a description of a different weapon

    3 in connection with Dragan Papic.

    4 A. Could you please spare me the distortions. I

    5 don't know what this gentleman said, and I don't know

    6 what knowledge he has of weapons. I gave a concise

    7 statement.

    8 Q. But he was not a cook. He was a person

    9 dealing in weapons.

    10 A. Don't insist on this.

    11 JUDGE CASSESE: He has already said what his

    12 position is. I mean, there's no point in continuing

    13 with this matter. Could you move on to your next

    14 question, please? You have made your point, namely,

    15 the inconsistency between two witnesses, according to

    16 you, what you consider an inconsistency between two

    17 witnesses. Now we can move on. Thank you.

    18 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I agree with

    19 you, even though this question was meant to test the

    20 credibility of the witness.

    21 Q. Will you tell me, please, what significance

    22 the black uniform has for you?

    23 A. I didn't hear you very well.

    24 Q. What is the purpose of mentioning a black

    25 uniform or, rather, what does the fact that somebody

  67. 1wears a black uniform mean to you?

    2 A. The black uniform was the uniform worn by

    3 people who belonged to the Black Shirt movement. As

    4 far as I know from the previous war, these were members

    5 of the Ustasha movement who committed crimes. I'm old

    6 enough to have studied this in history, at least the

    7 history I was taught in those days, and that uniform

    8 was worn by members of the Ustasha movement, a fascist

    9 movement, during the independent state of Croatia.

    10 The uniform worn by Dragan Papic had on one

    11 side the HVO and on the other the letter "U," and on

    12 his cap, he had the letter "U" which means Ustasha.

    13 And the associations were very bad for us, not just for

    14 me, but for everyone.

    15 Q. So that according to what you said, all

    16 members of the Ustasha army wore a black uniform? Did

    17 I understand you correctly?

    18 A. You're asking me as if I was at a history

    19 lesson. The independent state of Croatia, I think, had

    20 a regular army known as the Home Guards, and these were

    21 special units, as far as I studied history, but I don't

    22 think this is a history lesson.

    23 Q. My question is whether all the Ustashas wore

    24 a black uniform?

    25 A. They may have not all worn black uniforms,

  68. 1but they were fascists, proclaimed as fascists by the

    2 International Community.

    3 Q. I'm asking you this because black uniforms

    4 were worn only by members of the Black Legion, but

    5 let's not go into the details.

    6 A. We used to referred to them as "black shirt

    7 wearers." I'm telling you what the association is in

    8 Central Bosnia among the Muslim people.

    9 Q. Tell me now, your father Adem, during World

    10 War II, was he a member of any army?

    11 A. I think he was a member, because at the time

    12 it was the independent state of Croatia, he was a

    13 member of the Home Guards. He was captured by the

    14 Germans, at least that is what he told me. He was held

    15 in captivity in Germany for a certain period of time, I

    16 can't remember now, because my father died quite a long

    17 time ago.

    18 Then he escaped from there and returned to

    19 the former Yugoslavia, to Bosnia, and after that I know

    20 that he told me that he was with Ivo Kupreskic as a

    21 member of the reserve force after 1945, and that is

    22 Zoran and Mirjan's uncle and he was serving in Nis. I

    23 don't know why you're asking me things about my

    24 father. He was not a member of any Muslim army. I

    25 know that.

  69. 1Q. My question was to see if he was a member of

    2 any SS division?

    3 A. Not as far as I know.

    4 Q. You said that you were never convicted, but

    5 you said that you were given a sentence on parole, a

    6 suspended sentence. Will you tell us what you were

    7 found guilty of?

    8 A. When I said that, I'm not ashamed of it. I

    9 don't want to hide it. Each individual has his own

    10 history file. I was working in a cafe, the infamous

    11 Bungalow in 1974/1975. I was a waiter. I think it was

    12 in 1975, there was a fight or, rather, a drunken guest

    13 came. He tried to attack me, and my owner, the

    14 proprietor, his name was Jovo, he drew a knife at me.

    15 We threw out this drunken guest. My boss at the time

    16 was apparently working in the state security. I didn't

    17 even know that. He tied him up. He took him to the

    18 police station in Vitez. After that, I was summoned to

    19 court as an accomplice.

    20 Q. For bodily injury?

    21 A. No, for participation in the fight. So I was

    22 given a suspended sentence.

    23 Q. I just wanted to know what kind of an offence

    24 it was. Indeed, it was nothing special.

    25 A. I was never convicted of any other offences,

  70. 1except traffic offences.

    2 Q. When this shooting occurred on the 20th of

    3 October, do you know whether Drago Josipovic's stable

    4 was burned as well?

    5 A. I don't know because he lives in another part

    6 of the village. I don't know. I never heard anything

    7 about it. It's possible. I have no personal

    8 knowledge.

    9 Q. That's fine. I'm not asking you to say

    10 anything you don't know. Do you know anything about

    11 the village of Tolovici?

    12 A. Yes, I do know where it is. I don't know

    13 what you want to know about it.

    14 Q. What was the majority population?

    15 A. According to the '91 census, I think that

    16 two-thirds were Serbs and one-third Bosniaks, roughly.

    17 I'm not quite sure, but something like that.

    18 Q. What happened to the Serbs in that village?

    19 A. The Serbs from that village left with the

    20 assistance of the Vitez HVO. They were dislocated or,

    21 rather, moved to the present-day territory of Republika

    22 Srpska, and they gave up their homes and things in

    23 order to be moved from there.

    24 On one occasion, I visited Tolovici, together

    25 with Pero Skopljak and Mr. Novica Mijatovic who was the

  71. 1president of the SDS at the time, and we tried to calm

    2 down the people, to persuade them not to move out. I

    3 mentioned the three of us because we were the political

    4 leaders of the political parties at the time. We tried

    5 to prevent it.

    6 Afterwards, they didn't go collectively, but

    7 they moved out one by one, but there are some people

    8 from Tolovici still living in Vitez, but they didn't

    9 remain in the party under the control of the Bosnian

    10 authorities, the army, but under the party, under the

    11 control of the Croatian authorities.

    12 Q. Why did the Serbs move out of Tolovici?

    13 A. I don't know the motive, but I know as a

    14 minority people, they were probably afraid of some kind

    15 of retaliation, because Kupres fell at the time, you

    16 know what happened at Kupres, what happened at Ravno,

    17 and so on and so forth.

    18 Q. In your statement to the investigator of the

    19 Tribunal, you said that Pero Skopljak was the head of

    20 police, the chief of police?

    21 A. The chief, yes.

    22 Q. Do you know until when?

    23 A. I know that he was until the beginning of the

    24 conflict.

    25 Q. What date do you have in mind, the 20th of

  72. 1October or the 16th of April?

    2 A. I know that he was chief of police on the

    3 20th of October. No, on the 16th of April, he wasn't

    4 for sure, because it was Mirko Samija, my school

    5 friend, personal friend, who unfortunately got killed,

    6 a judge from Travnik.

    7 So Mirko Samija was the chief of police on

    8 the 16th of April because the HVO took away my Golf,

    9 and through my friends in Kiseljak, I tried to restore

    10 it. But unfortunately, the conflict occurred on the

    11 16th, but I don't know until when he was chief of

    12 police. I know that from the moment the coalition

    13 government was formed between the HDZ and the SDA, Pero

    14 Skopljak was head of the police and Saban Mahmutovic

    15 was a police unit leader.

    16 Q. My question was the date.

    17 A. I don't know the date.

    18 Q. Do you know Sakib Ahmic whose family got

    19 killed in central Ahmici?

    20 A. I know three Sakib Ahmics.

    21 Q. But everyone knows Sakib Ahmic whose son was

    22 killed, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren?

    23 A. My uncle Sakib Ahmic, his son and his wife

    24 were killed.

    25 Q. Yes, but I'm interested in Sakib Ahmic.

  73. 1A. Son of Dervis or son of Mehmed?

    2 Q. Son of Dervis.

    3 A. I do know him.

    4 Q. On the 16th of April, as far as I understand,

    5 you were in Tuzla. Did you have occasion to watch TV

    6 programmes in Tuzla?

    7 A. I did, but I didn't watch.

    8 Q. You didn't watch it at all?

    9 A. No, I worked until very late, until 10.00,

    10 11.00, sometimes 12.00, because eastern Bosnia was

    11 falling. The UNHCR had to go to Brcko, Banovici,

    12 Teocak, and so on and so forth. I apologise. Let me

    13 just say that I heard about Ahmici on the UNHCR telex,

    14 on the printer that the UNHCR had.

    15 Q. Did you hear from anyone that people were

    16 shown on television who had managed to escape from

    17 Ahmici and who ended up in the hospital in Zenica?

    18 A. No, I heard that later when I reached

    19 Zenica.

    20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel be asked to

    21 slow down?

    22 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. No more questions.

    23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier, any

    24 further examination?

    25 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, a few

  74. 1clarifications. The first one deals with the sentence

    2 that Mr. Ahmic had. I think there was some

    3 clarification that is necessary with regard to the

    4 translation

    5 Re-examined by Mr. Terrier:

    6 Q. It was stated in the transcript, "Were you

    7 ever sentenced?" Response, "Not for a crime but for

    8 misdemeanours." Perhaps a clarification should be made

    9 with a response from Mr. Ahmic.

    10 Mr. Ahmic, you were only convicted once; is

    11 that correct?

    12 A. Yes, yes. There was just this one fight,

    13 shall we call it. That is what the court defined it

    14 as, so participation in a fight. This was only once,

    15 and I got a suspended sentence as a participant in this

    16 fight.

    17 Q. How old were you?

    18 A. I think it was 1975, so I was about 20. I

    19 was working as a waiter in that restaurant at the time.

    20 Q. Now, getting back to a question put by

    21 Mr. Radovic, it seemed that there are some

    22 contradictions that were raised between a statement

    23 made by another witness and the statement made by

    24 Mr. Ahmic made before this Tribunal.

    25 Mr. Ahmic, do you know what type of

  75. 1contradiction this may be with regards to the weapon

    2 described by the other witness and the event of April

    3 1993? All the weapons that you described were seen by

    4 you in October 1992. Did you understand the supposed

    5 contradiction that was raised by Mr. Radovic?

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. One last question, Mr. President. On the

    8 19th of October, at what distance from the roadblock,

    9 which was erected on the road, was your house located?

    10 A. I think it can be shown on the photograph.

    11 The roadblock was next to the cemetery, and the

    12 distance between the cemetery and my house, I'm not

    13 very good at estimating distances, but maybe 500, 600

    14 metres, as far as I can tell.

    15 Q. As a consequence, could we reasonably state

    16 then that the fire, the shots which were fired upon

    17 your house, could not have been aimed at the roadblock?

    18 A. No, absolutely not.

    19 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. Ahmic.

    20 Mr. President, I have no further questions.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. I assume there's

    22 no objection to the witness being released.

    23 Mr. Ahmic, thank you for coming to court to

    24 testify. You may now be released. Thank you.

    25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

  76. 1(The witness withdrew)

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: First of all, let me point

    3 out that today I had the impression that, in a way,

    4 through the notion of credibility of witnesses, Defence

    5 counsel were using a sort of Pandora's box. Many

    6 questions have been put which, although formally

    7 speaking, address the question of credibility of the

    8 witness, but were questions which should have been put

    9 by the Defence counsel of one particular accused, the

    10 one who had been mentioned by the witness, not the

    11 other Defence counsel.

    12 I think we are going to take a strict view of

    13 this notion of credibility of witnesses, and this will

    14 apply a fortiori when we move on to Prosecution

    15 witnesses who refer specifically to events which took

    16 place on the 16th of April and who refer, in

    17 particular, to one or more of the accused. Because

    18 otherwise, all Defence counsel will be allowed to put a

    19 lot of questions which, as I say, should, in principle,

    20 be put by the Defence counsel of the targeted accused.

    21 Let me now ask the Prosecution whether they

    22 have a list of witnesses they intend to call next week

    23 so that the Defence counsel know in advance what

    24 witnesses are going to be called here. We have now

    25 your document filed on the 19th of August on page 6,

  77. 1paragraph 5, we have a list of 13 witnesses. Are you

    2 going to stick to that list? So far we have heard four

    3 plus, of course, the expert witness, Colonel Watters.

    4 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, the list which

    5 was submitted in the early part of this week and was

    6 submitted to the Defence, as well as to this Tribunal,

    7 is still in force in that the witnesses we have called,

    8 we believe, may be heard during the course of this

    9 particular week. But, of course, now that we see that

    10 it cannot be done, it will be done next week. But we

    11 will be in a position to extend this list and we will

    12 do so. With the witnesses that are left, I believe

    13 that among those witnesses that are left to be heard,

    14 we believe that several days of hearing will be

    15 required.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. So these are nine

    17 witnesses. I see that there are nine witnesses

    18 beginning with number 4, and then there's number 5, and

    19 Monday we will begin with that one; is that right? I'm

    20 not sure if he's protected or not, so I'm trying to

    21 avoid naming these witnesses. But then we can then

    22 continue with 6, 7, et cetera, in that order; is that

    23 right?

    24 MR. TERRIER: Yes, that's correct,

    25 Mr. President.

  78. 1JUDGE CASSESE: There are nine then, I see.

    2 Perhaps you might also call on other witnesses.

    3 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Mr. President.

    4 JUDGE CASSESE: Therefore, in that case, you

    5 will tell us which witnesses this will involve.

    6 MR. TERRIER: Yes, absolutely, Mr. President,

    7 but it seems that already those witnesses that are

    8 going to come that have already been announced, we

    9 already see several days of hearings before us.

    10 Nonetheless, we will, indeed, inform the Defence in an

    11 appropriate time in advance of any further witnesses.

    12 JUDGE CASSESE: With regards, you remember

    13 that there were ten witnesses for which there are no

    14 witness statements, and I asked you to submit to us a

    15 summary.

    16 MR. TERRIER: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. This

    17 was done. It's in the course of being transmitted to

    18 you. I believe it has been transmitted to the

    19 registrar or is in the process of being transmitted, as

    20 well as to the Defence.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Any questions? I

    22 wonder whether the legal counsel would like to raise

    23 any issue before we rise now, any issue relating to

    24 what we're going to do next week?

    25 Let me then wind up our hearing by saying

  79. 1that I would again stress the appeal we made to the

    2 Prosecution to try to shorten the list of those

    3 witnesses who only address Count 1. I had counted

    4 about 32. I wonder whether some of them have dropped

    5 out already. Probably some of the 32 have dropped out

    6 of the list of those who are not coming, but I wonder

    7 whether you could also shorten this list further.

    8 Mr. Moskowitz?

    9 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Mr. President, we are

    10 continually re-evaluating the state of the evidence and

    11 making decisions, almost on a daily basis, as to how

    12 best to streamline this case. I think there will be

    13 some reductions in the number of witnesses.

    14 I just feel I cannot end this session without

    15 expressing some concern about some things that happened

    16 earlier during cross-examination, and I think I will be

    17 asking for some opportunity to voice those concerns,

    18 perhaps, in a closed session.

    19 JUDGE CASSESE: Are you referring to the

    20 mentioning of the name of the protected witness?

    21 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: But this was a slip of a

    23 tongue. Of course, this may happen.

    24 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I think that's my concern.

    25 JUDGE CASSESE: But that's why we have the

  80. 1special procedure for redaction. It happens. I mean,

    2 it's unintentional.

    3 JUDGE MAY: Could you not have a word with

    4 Defence counsel about this and explain the rules to

    5 them carefully? It's the sort of matter which, I

    6 should have thought, could be dealt with between

    7 counsel. They are not going to be familiar with our

    8 rules. Clearly, it is an unfamiliar procedure, and

    9 perhaps a quiet word might well solve the whole

    10 problem.

    11 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I think that's a good

    12 suggestion, and I certainly was under the assumption

    13 that they fully understood the rules of the game, and

    14 maybe that is a mistake on my part, not to have

    15 understood that.

    16 My concern was the raising of the name in a

    17 context where clearly there was no need to raise it.

    18 The testimony had no connection with what this witness

    19 was saying, and the time lapse between what this

    20 witness knew about and what the other witness knew

    21 about was at least two to three months. It appeared to

    22 me that there was a deliberate attempt to put that name

    23 out into the public gallery where there was press.

    24 Everyone knows that in this case, one of the ways we

    25 get witnesses to come here is to offer them

  81. 1protection. And if the first witness who gets

    2 protection ends up going back to Bosnia with his name

    3 in the newspaper, this case is in jeopardy, and that's

    4 my concern.

    5 JUDGE MAY: That is a serious allegation to

    6 make.

    7 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I don't know if it's true. I

    8 don't know if it's true, but it occurred to me, and as

    9 I was watching that cross-examination, I did not see

    10 any relationship or need to bring up that person's name

    11 in the way that he did, because it was clear this

    12 witness had left Ahmici in October of '92, and the

    13 other witness did not get into Ahmici until February of

    14 '93, and that was clear.

    15 I don't know if the allegation is true, but I

    16 can tell you that I am not very happy about this.

    17 JUDGE CASSESE: I know. But let us assume it

    18 was a slip of the tongue, and let us make sure that

    19 this will not be repeated. I mean, this will not

    20 happen again. I think Judge May made an excellent

    21 suggestion, namely, that you should get in touch with

    22 Defence counsel and discuss this matter thoroughly.

    23 I understand that probably the parties are

    24 keen to know what we are going to do next week, whether

    25 we are going to have hearings -- yes, as scheduled, we

  82. 1will have hearings the whole of next week, except for

    2 Friday afternoon, which will be off, as usual, and then

    3 also the third week starting on the 31st of August.

    4 Then only on Monday, the 31st of August, on Monday

    5 afternoon, Monday afternoon will be off, and Friday

    6 afternoon, the 4th of September will also be off.

    7 Otherwise, we will go on.

    8 Then we will let you know about further

    9 plans. We don't know yet. We will probably know next

    10 week whether we are going to be busy with another

    11 trial, depending on the decision by members of the

    12 Appeals Chamber. Therefore, we are not in a position

    13 to tell you whether we can sit for four or five weeks

    14 in a row. It is sure that we are going to sit for

    15 three weeks in a row until the 4th of September, in any

    16 case, but probably we will also need for the

    17 Prosecution case two more weeks.

    18 What is your guess, Mr. Moskowitz? Judging

    19 from the pace of the examination-in-chief and

    20 cross-examination, probably we will need not the three

    21 weeks, which had been envisaged by the Prosecution, but

    22 at least five weeks only for the Prosecution case?

    23 MR. MOSKOWITZ: I would think at least.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: At least, so five to six

    25 weeks?

  83. 1MR. MOSKOWITZ: Yes.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Therefore, if you don't mind,

    3 by the end of next week, we will let you know whether

    4 we will continue after the three full weeks with two or

    5 three more weeks, or whether we will have a recess of

    6 one week. As I say, it depends on another case.

    7 If there are no further matters, I will

    8 suggest that we rise now. We will reconvene on Monday

    9 morning at 9.30 sharp.

    10 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at

    11 12.08 a.m. to be reconvened on Monday,

    12 the 24th day of August, 1998 at

    13 9.30 a.m.