1. 1 Thursday, 4th March, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 (The witness entered court)

    5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.

    7 Case number IT-95-16-T the Prosecutor versus Zoran

    8 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago

    9 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Mr. Terrier.

    11 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.


    13 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:

    14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sakic. I think that you

    15 are ready to answer the questions that I would still

    16 like to ask you today.

    17 Yesterday you spoke about the events of 20

    18 October, 1992. I'm not going to ask you any questions

    19 about that part of your testimony. However, I would

    20 like to ask you a few questions about the period from

    21 20 October, 1992 to 16 April, 1993, and after the

    22 questions we'll move to the events of 16 April, 1993.

    23 You told us, Mr. Sakic, that at the end of

    24 that day, that is the 20th of October, 1992, the

    25 Muslims who were living in Ahmici and Santici, or most

  2. 1 of the Muslims in those cities, fled. They left, left

    2 their homes. Does that mean, as one might reasonably

    3 assume, that since they were conquered the Muslims were

    4 in fear for their security?

    5 A. I said yesterday that the majority of the

    6 Muslim population from the lower part of Zume or the

    7 lower part of Ahmici, which is part of that region,

    8 Zume are hamlets, these are hamlets, not small towns,

    9 that it had moved deep -- deeper inside the village. I

    10 didn't claim that they were vanquished, defeated,

    11 because there was no fighting in that part. The

    12 shooting could be heard from the direction of the

    13 Catholic cemetery, at the place where the barricade

    14 was.

    15 Q. Nonetheless, I seem to recall that you said

    16 that three or four days after these events, the events

    17 of 20 October, 1992, the Muslims came back to their

    18 homes. Is that correct?

    19 A. Yes, it's correct I said that three or four

    20 days after the conflict, near the Catholic cemetery,

    21 all the citizens came back to their homes.

    22 Q. And you also told us that at the same time,

    23 that is three or four days after the events of 20

    24 October, 1992, the Kupreskic families, who had left

    25 their homes, came back. Did I understand what you

  3. 1 said, correctly?

    2 A. I said that at the same time that the Muslims

    3 came back to their homes the Kupreskic family, which

    4 was practically in the same part of the village, also

    5 came back to their homes.

    6 Q. That means that the Kupreskic families were

    7 away from their homes for three or four days?

    8 A. Yes, of course. They came back together at

    9 the same time as the Muslims, so three or four days

    10 afterwards.

    11 Q. But why? Why did these families, these

    12 Croatian families, leave their homes for three or four

    13 days, which apparently the other Croatian families

    14 living in Ahmici and Santici did not do?

    15 A. The only families that were directly living

    16 in Ahmici were the Kupreskic families. The rest was a

    17 mixed population in lower Zume. They were bordering

    18 with the Muslim part. Since there was shooting, it's

    19 quite logical and understandable that both of them were

    20 afraid. I don't see anything unusual in that. Of

    21 course, after shooting you would be afraid to come

    22 back. These are bullets.

    23 Q. Mr. Sakic, let's move to the negotiations

    24 that took place shortly afterwards, after the events of

    25 20 October, 1992 that you spoke about, negotiations

  4. 1 whose purpose was to re-establish peace and trust among

    2 the communities.

    3 You spoke about a meeting at the Ahmici

    4 school. You told us that you yourself were not present

    5 at the meeting, but that your father was. You told us

    6 that certain well-known Croatian people were there, and

    7 you mentioned Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak.

    8 The Croats living in Ahmici, Santici and

    9 Pirici, were they represented during that meeting?

    10 A. My father lives in Pirici, so he was there

    11 for sure, and then the majority of the neighbours were

    12 there also at that meeting.

    13 Q. Do you know that Zoran Kupreskic participated

    14 in that meeting?

    15 A. I don't know. I can't say whether he did or

    16 did not.

    17 Q. Aside from your father, do you know the names

    18 of Croatians living in those villages who participated

    19 in the meeting at the Ahmici school?

    20 A. I have to admit that I didn't really gather

    21 any information about that. I wasn't interested who

    22 was there when I was talking to my father; I was more

    23 interested in the end result. So I don't know.

    24 Q. Let's speak about the results of that

    25 meeting. The principle result of the meeting, which

  5. 1 was held for negotiations, was the return of the

    2 Muslims, that is all the Muslims, to their homes; is

    3 that correct?

    4 A. No. At the time of the meeting the Muslims

    5 were already back in their homes, so the

    6 conversation -- the talk at the meeting, was to try to

    7 establish -- once again to re-establish trust and to

    8 alleviate these negative feelings that were beginning

    9 to happen during the conflict.

    10 Q. I understand. Yesterday, as an example, as

    11 an example of measures that were taken during that

    12 meeting, you mentioned assistance for reconstruction of

    13 the destroyed building on the 20th of October, 1992.

    14 Specifically I believe that you mentioned the home

    15 which belonged to Mehmed Ahmic. Can we say that that

    16 decision produced any results?

    17 A. I can't confirm whether these events took

    18 place or not. One house was destroyed and then a few

    19 farm buildings, a couple of them on the Croat side and

    20 a couple on the Muslim side, but one house. I know

    21 that there was a decision made to repair the damage,

    22 and I even think that some help in construction

    23 materials was provided, but I can't be sure about

    24 that.

    25 Q. Were you informed about a decision taken by

  6. 1 the Croatian community to -- to take weapons away from

    2 the Muslims?

    3 A. First of all, I was only an inhabitant of the

    4 village. If such a decision did exist, I was not in

    5 the position to be informed about it or not to be

    6 informed about it, so I can't really answer that

    7 question.

    8 Q. When you spoke yesterday about the situation

    9 in Ahmici, Santici and Pirici, during that period

    10 following October of 1992 and which precedes the 16th

    11 of April, 1993, you spoke about a situation in which

    12 insecurity seemed to reign, and this was an increasing

    13 insecurity as time went by.

    14 It seemed to me that one of the reasons for

    15 that situation of insecurity was the issue of

    16 refugees. Have I correctly interpreted what you said?

    17 A. I think that you did.

    18 Q. You told us that the Muslim refugees from the

    19 front area came to settle down in large numbers in

    20 Ahmici, whereas the Croatian refugees from the front

    21 area went to settle further away in other villages.

    22 As regards the situation, can we say that

    23 there was an imbalance that was a concern for the

    24 Croats?

    25 A. I think that I said the following: After the

  7. 1 fall of Jajce, which is a town 80 kilometres away from

    2 Vitez, it's not a village, there was a large migration

    3 of the population, so the entire Muslim and Croat

    4 population moved in the direction of Vitez. Apart --

    5 some of these people, Muslims, remained in Vitez, some

    6 of them left for Zenica. A larger number, practically

    7 all of the Croats from Jajce, went towards the

    8 direction of Tomislavgrad and Herzegovina and a small

    9 number remained in Busovaca.

    10 This was a vast number of people on tractors,

    11 on horse-drawn carts, without any clear direction or

    12 aim. They were armed. So any such presence, that

    13 state of chaos, was a cause for insecurity. Also, the

    14 closeness of the Serb front line, which was 20

    15 kilometres away from there, close to Travnik, was also

    16 a factor.

    17 Q. Mr. Sakic, I would like to move to the day of

    18 15 April, 1993. Yesterday you told us that you came

    19 back from your work in Vitez between 6.00 and 7.00 in

    20 the evening. You told us that at that point, through

    21 your father you learned that Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's

    22 family was together, that mister -- that his wife was

    23 back after having been in Germany, and at that point

    24 you went to visit them.

    25 What were the relationships that you had with

  8. 1 that family?

    2 A. My relations with the Kupreskic family were

    3 good, neighbourly. We grew up together. Some of us

    4 were younger, some were older. The husband, Ivica, is

    5 four or five years older than me. We used to play

    6 football together, we used to visit one another. Very

    7 good relations. Excellent.

    8 Q. But were you invited to go to visit them that

    9 evening?

    10 A. In Bosnia you don't have to be invited in

    11 order to visit. In Bosnia if you don't see a friend

    12 for a long time, you can go uninvited and he will greet

    13 you as if he had invited you.

    14 Q. Did you go alone?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Do you know how Mrs. Kupreskic, that is Ivica

    17 Kupreskic's wife, came back from Germany?

    18 A. I don't know the details, but I know

    19 approximately, and I can say that the children of Ivica

    20 Kupreskic came four days before the wife came to Vitez,

    21 and then Ivica came alone with his wife in a car. He

    22 came from Split to Vitez.

    23 Q. You told us that the next day you were

    24 supposed to go to Grebak.

    25 A. Yes. I said that I was supposed to go to

  9. 1 Grebak at 6.30 from Kaonik via Kresevo, Sarajevo,

    2 Trnovo to Grebak.

    3 Q. This is a question I want to ask because I

    4 don't know the answer: When one comes from Split to

    5 Ahmici by car, do you go past Grebak?

    6 A. No. No, it's on the other side of the

    7 country and it's 300 kilometres away from there. It's

    8 approximately the distance between Split and Ahmici,

    9 and Ahmici to Grebak, only this is in the opposite

    10 direction. It's close to Goradze, which -- it's the

    11 Muslim enclave that was encircled. It was in the news

    12 a lot.

    13 Q. Therefore, Mr. Sakic, Mr. Ivica Kupreskic

    14 could give you no information about the condition of

    15 the roads going to Grebak?

    16 A. Well, of course I didn't even ask him for

    17 that information, I was going to Grebak with the

    18 international committee, and only humanitarian vehicles

    19 could pass, no others could.

    20 Q. But if I ask you the question, it's because I

    21 seem to remember that yesterday you told us that you

    22 went to Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's house on that 15th of

    23 April, in the evening, in order to get some information

    24 about the situation, about the road conditions. Am I

    25 correct?

  10. 1 A. Yes, you're absolutely right in what you just

    2 said. I wanted to get information about the road

    3 towards Split. It was the only road that was a

    4 civilian way out of Central Bosnia. It was a main

    5 road. So everybody was interested in that.

    6 Q. Yesterday you told us that on that evening,

    7 at Mr. Ivica Kupreskic's home, there were of course

    8 Mr. Ivica Kupreskic and his wife, yourself, Mirjan and

    9 Zoran Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, as well as two other

    10 individuals, Miroslav Pudza and Miro Vidovic; is that

    11 correct?

    12 A. Yes. I also think -- I think I mentioned

    13 Dragan Vidovic; Stipan. I think that he was there as

    14 well.

    15 Q. Are you sure that you haven't forgot anybody?

    16 A. Well, I'm not sure. Of course, it's possible

    17 that I did forget someone; that was seven years ago.

    18 Q. I understand. Are you sure that all the

    19 individuals that you mentioned were present?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Could you tell us whether the wives of these

    22 men that you mentioned were present as well?

    23 A. No. At the time that I was there, only

    24 Mrs. Kupreskic was there, Ivica's wife, Ankica

    25 Kupreskic. She brought us a bottle to drink.

  11. 1 Q. As regards these meetings in which there were

    2 almost only men, could we say that that's a rather

    3 generalised custom? Or does that correspond to a

    4 specific event?

    5 A. Well, I wouldn't call it a meeting. I didn't

    6 come to an agreed meeting. I came there after I had

    7 heard that Mr. Kupreskic, Ivica, had arrived from

    8 Germany. And there I met his cousins, who were

    9 probably there for a while, and neighbours. So it

    10 didn't have any particular kind of form, or could have

    11 had.

    12 Q. Perhaps I'm wrong to ask this question, but

    13 it did seem to me that since you were celebrating

    14 Mrs. Kupreskic's return, who had been away for over a

    15 month -- actually more than a year -- the wives, his

    16 friends, might have been present as well.

    17 A. Well, if it was a celebration, yes, but this

    18 was more of an informational kind of thing. The woman

    19 had arrived only a couple of hours before that, and we

    20 had come to see her. So I don't see anything unusual

    21 in that, in a good neighbourly atmosphere, and it's a

    22 normal thing in our area.

    23 Q. I understand.

    24 You told us that you spoke about the

    25 situation, the day's news and the kidnapping of

  12. 1 Commander Totic. Among yourselves, could we say that

    2 the idea of tension, significant tension, during that

    3 day, was there, was an issue?

    4 A. Well, up until about 6.00 I was in Vitez, at

    5 work. And I was getting ready to go to Grebak the next

    6 day. So I heard the information in Vitez. I can't

    7 describe the tension. It's not tangible to me. But

    8 you could sense the tension.

    9 That evening, when we were talking, we didn't

    10 have any information based on which we could come to

    11 any kind of conclusion. So it was -- I more or less

    12 came to see them, to talk a little bit with him. We

    13 touched on this briefly, and then I just turned around

    14 and I went back. So I spent an hour or two there.

    15 Q. You said that you came back around 10.00 in

    16 the evening; did the others remain after you had left?

    17 A. I left first, so I don't know how long the

    18 others stayed. But I know that I left at 10.00.

    19 Q. Therefore, as far as you can remember, Vlatko

    20 Kupreskic remained after you had left?

    21 A. I think that they probably could have stayed,

    22 but I can't confirm 100 per cent. It's possible that

    23 they did, and it's possible that they didn't. At the

    24 time, I didn't know that it would be something that I

    25 would have to talk about later, so I can't remember all

  13. 1 the details.

    2 Q. It's just out of curiosity that I'm asking

    3 you the question, but I see open in front of you a kind

    4 of a log or a handwritten book of some type. I'm not

    5 asking you to show us the notebook, because you don't

    6 use it during your testimony; but is that a diary that

    7 you kept during the events?

    8 A. Well, if you wish, I'm prepared to give you

    9 that page, the page that I'm looking at. I will give

    10 it to you right away, and it can be translated. It's

    11 just a little summary containing dates.

    12 Q. During your testimony yesterday, you told us

    13 that your father woke you up around 4.30; that you

    14 thought that it was a false alarm. Isn't it a bit

    15 strange to think about a false alarm, insofar as there

    16 was the precedent of the 20th of October 1992, and

    17 especially the idea of tangible -- almost tangible and

    18 growing tension that you mentioned in respect of the

    19 day of April 15th; that is, the day before?

    20 A. As I said yesterday, the alarms were an

    21 everyday occurrence, unfortunately, and they had been

    22 going on from the first, Serb strikes against us during

    23 the entire year. So really we didn't take them all

    24 that seriously later.

    25 Q. Did your father tell you who and under what

  14. 1 circumstances he had this idea of an alert from?

    2 A. No, he didn't tell me. Of course, he just

    3 rang the bell and said, "It seems to be an alarm of

    4 some kind, and it would be a good thing for you to come

    5 down." We didn't really go into it very much. Like I

    6 said before, it was an everyday occurrence -- not

    7 literally every day, but very often there were alarms,

    8 so it wasn't anything unusual for him to say that to

    9 me.

    10 Q. I understand. But perhaps you could tell us

    11 more specifically how these alarms or alerts were made

    12 known to the population.

    13 A. Well, my father -- probably somebody else

    14 told my father, and he came. I can't really tell you.

    15 It's possible, but I don't know. I know only what he

    16 told me, and I didn't really pass that on further to

    17 anybody in order to know.

    18 Q. However, it seems to me that you could tell

    19 us whether your father had been informed by telephone

    20 or through a messenger.

    21 A. No, I can't really say one way or the other.

    22 I would have to make it up. That was the least

    23 important thing that I wanted to ask him at that time.

    24 Q. Yesterday you told us that after having been

    25 woken up by your father, you thought there was a false

  15. 1 alarm. You left your family, that is your wife and

    2 your two daughters, you left them sleeping, and then

    3 you went down in front of the house where neighbours

    4 had gathered. When you went out, were you armed?

    5 A. No. I have a son and a daughter.

    6 Q. Excuse me. Your neighbours or some of the

    7 neighbours in front of your house, were they armed?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. What kind of weapon did you see on that

    10 morning?

    11 A. With whom?

    12 Q. Well, with those of your neighbours who were

    13 armed.

    14 A. The neighbours? Not all of them; they were

    15 not all armed. Some of them had an M-48 rifle. I had

    16 a Kalashnikov, like I said yesterday, but I only

    17 brought that down later. So they were armed with bad

    18 and outdated firearms.

    19 Q. You told us that around 5.00, you saw first

    20 Zoran Kupreskic and his family going by -- that is, his

    21 wife and children -- then Mirjan Kupreskic and his

    22 family, and his mother-in-law as well. You told us

    23 that they went by your house, and they were moving

    24 toward Zume. But you also told us that your house was

    25 considered as a kind of safe shelter should there be

  16. 1 any difficulties. Why were the families of Mirjan and

    2 Zoran Kupreskic -- why did they not stop in front of

    3 your house in order to seek shelter?

    4 A. This shelter at my place, that's where the

    5 neighbours who lived in the four or five houses in the

    6 neighbourhood sought shelter. It's a basement covering

    7 an area of about 16 square metres, and not many people

    8 could really fit in. They probably knew about that,

    9 and also they didn't come there before when there were

    10 alarms, alerts, and that is probably the reason why

    11 they didn't stop, why they went on.

    12 Q. Does that mean that there was an organisation

    13 among the Croats in Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici, and

    14 that each family knew which shelter it should go to?

    15 A. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. As I said

    16 yesterday, the depression by our house was showed on

    17 maps in the former system as a place where people were

    18 to seek shelter when greater masses of people and

    19 civilians were on the move. I wouldn't say that this

    20 was a specially elaborated plan. We simply knew, after

    21 this large number of alarms and alerts, where we should

    22 all seek shelter. As I said, we had been trained, so

    23 to speak, because of the Serb attacks, the aviation

    24 attacks, there were so many from the beginning of the

    25 year, so we all knew which way to go.

  17. 1 Q. Five or ten minutes after the Kupreskic

    2 families had gone by moving toward Zume, you saw coming

    3 from Zume, at least from the direction of Zume, a group

    4 of soldiers whom you described as being heavily armed

    5 and you told us that probably they belonged to a unit

    6 of the military police of the HVO. I would merely

    7 like, further to your description, to ask you whether

    8 you noticed whether any of the soldiers had a coloured

    9 ribbon on their shoulders: That is, red, blue, or

    10 white, or orange, or yellow.

    11 A. Yesterday, in my statement, I said that on

    12 their shoulders they had a light ribbon. I don't know

    13 if it was white or blue, but it was very light. It was

    14 dark, so I couldn't exactly tell.

    15 Q. When the soldiers went by your house, where

    16 exactly were you?

    17 A. Do you want me to show this to you on the

    18 map? On the road in front of my house.

    19 Q. We have in our minds the photographs that

    20 were given to the Tribunal yesterday that are now

    21 D92/ -- I know that the house was facing the road and

    22 behind it was a garage and behind the garage was the

    23 depression.

    24 When the soldiers went by your garage, were

    25 you in front of your house, between your house and the

  18. 1 road?

    2 A. I'd like to show this on the map. This would

    3 be easier for everyone to understand that way.

    4 I was approximately 25 metres towards Zume,

    5 or 30 metres. It's on the map. It's shown very nicely

    6 on the map, so perhaps it would be more concise if I

    7 simply showed it to you.

    8 Q. With the assistance of the usher, could we

    9 give D92/2 to the witness?

    10 Mr. Sakic, if we look at photograph number 1,

    11 is it correct to say that the facade where you can see

    12 the balconies face the road, and, therefore, face

    13 southwest?

    14 A. No. It doesn't face the road. The

    15 entrance -- the middle of the house, that is the one

    16 that faces the road. That is to say, the direction of

    17 Zume. And the front part of the facade with the two

    18 terraces, it faces an internal part that goes into the

    19 courtyard.

    20 Q. Therefore, on photograph 1, one cannot see

    21 the road that the soldiers took.

    22 A. You can, of course. It's only 20 metres

    23 long; right? Of course you can.

    24 Q. Mr. Usher, could we put photograph number 1

    25 on the ELMO so that the witness can show us where the

  19. 1 road was in relation to his house?

    2 Mr. Sakic, on photograph number 1 which is on

    3 the ELMO, could you show us exactly where the road goes

    4 by your house?

    5 A. Of course I can, but I'm a technical person.

    6 We're doing this the wrong way. It's easier to show it

    7 on the map, and it's better to put it in context by

    8 showing it on the map. I can show it to you on the

    9 photograph too --

    10 JUDGE MAY: Would the witness listen? Would

    11 you kindly just answer the questions that counsel is

    12 putting, rather than arguing with him? Now, he's

    13 asking you to do something and show us something on the

    14 photograph. Would you kindly do that, please?

    15 A. This is where the road is, where the soldiers

    16 passed (indicating). It goes from the garage towards

    17 here, about 30 metres this side, and there's a small

    18 crossroads here, and this is where the entrance to my

    19 house is, from this road (indicating). So here from

    20 the garage there is a path leading that way to the

    21 crossroads, and then from the crossroads here to the

    22 house (indicating). And that's why I thought it was

    23 better to show it on the map.

    24 MR. TERRIER:

    25 Q. I think we understood these explanations very

  20. 1 clearly, the explanations that you've given us.

    2 Could you show us now, on photograph number

    3 1, the location where you were when the soldiers went

    4 by on the road?

    5 A. I cannot show it. Here on the crossroads,

    6 the one that you can not see on the photograph, it's

    7 here, about 15 metres approximately from here.

    8 Q. Thank you. When the soldiers went by, did

    9 they stop to say anything to you?

    10 A. (No audible response)

    11 Q. Since you speak the same language and you

    12 have the same nationality, did you ask them anything?

    13 A. I indeed did not ask them anything.

    14 Q. Isn't that a little bit strange, because

    15 there was an alert, you were in front of your home with

    16 your neighbours, some of your neighbours took -- had

    17 taken their families to shelters, nothing is

    18 happening. You don't know anything at all, according

    19 to your statement, about what was going on or is about

    20 to happen. You saw soldiers but you asked them

    21 absolutely no information.

    22 A. I must admit, from this advantage point here

    23 it seems a bit strange to me, but at that point,

    24 indeed, I did not ask them a thing.

    25 Q. And none of the neighbours with whom you

  21. 1 found yourself asked any questions either; is that

    2 correct?

    3 A. Well, I don't know if they did. It seemed

    4 too dangerous. It seemed too dangerous, and we didn't

    5 really want to exhibit any unnecessary curiosity. I'm

    6 saying this from my very own point of view.

    7 Q. And we'll take it as a very personal point of

    8 view.

    9 But if the situation was apparently so

    10 dangerous, why did you take no -- make no arrangements

    11 at that point to protect your family, which, if I

    12 understood correctly, was still sleeping on the upper

    13 floor of the home?

    14 A. You did not understand this well. My family

    15 went downstairs perhaps 20 minutes after I descended.

    16 So they went downstairs before 5.00, but they did not

    17 join me immediately. They didn't go downstairs exactly

    18 when I did.

    19 Q. Let's go back to the group of soldiers

    20 passing in front your house. Yesterday you told us

    21 they moved toward the Kupreskic homes. You told us

    22 yesterday, I think, that they moved toward the

    23 Kupreskic homes, going through that depression. Have

    24 I -- did I understand you correctly?

    25 A. Yes, you did understand me correctly, yes.

  22. 1 Q. Could I ask you, Mr. Sakic, to show us, on

    2 the aerial photograph of Ahmici, the road that the

    3 soldiers were going along in order to go from your

    4 house to the Kupreskic house?

    5 A. This is where my house is (indicating). This

    6 is where the crossroads is, the one I mentioned a few

    7 minutes ago (indicating). This is a forest which is

    8 naturally higher, and this is a depression, and the

    9 soldiers took the lower part of the forest, so that is

    10 to say they went below the forest to the Kupreskic

    11 houses (indicating). This is the path they took.

    12 Q. In order to get into the depression, did the

    13 soldiers go by your garage? Excuse me.

    14 This was my question: In order to go down

    15 into the depression and to join up with the Kupreskic

    16 houses, did the soldiers go near your -- or, rather,

    17 did they pass near your garage?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. You may be seated.

    20 Let's say a few things about this

    21 depression. If I understood correctly, this was a kind

    22 of a ground which had crumbled in, where formerly there

    23 had been a mine.

    24 A. Partly, yes.

    25 Q. Well, that's not a very important detail.

  23. 1 Yesterday you told us that this depression was used in

    2 the former Yugoslavia as a refuge for villages in cases

    3 of fires?

    4 A. Actually, there are two depressions. The

    5 soldiers took the one below, underneath the forest, as

    6 I showed you on the map a few minutes ago. They went

    7 straight on, and the depression on the left-hand side

    8 was the one where, in the times of the former

    9 Yugoslavia, we -- we have this -- what should I call

    10 it -- place where we could seek refuge.

    11 Q. Mr. Usher, I'm asking you to give D85/2,

    12 85/2, which was tendered in evidence yesterday.

    13 Mr. Sakic, what I'm interested in for right

    14 now is the road that the soldiers went along going from

    15 your house to the Kupreskic houses.

    16 When you look at these photographs, and

    17 specifically let me call your attention to photographs

    18 number 8 and 11, can one see and reconstitute the road

    19 that the soldiers took?

    20 A. Part of the road, yes. On photograph number

    21 11 one can see part of the road. On photograph number

    22 8 that's not it. It is quite the opposite.

    23 Q. Therefore, the soldiers went down into the

    24 depression through the access that you can see on

    25 photograph number 11?

  24. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. On one of the photographs can one see the

    3 location where they would have -- from which they would

    4 have access to the Kupreskic house? Would that be

    5 photograph number 7, for example?

    6 A. On photograph number 7 it is quite the

    7 opposite, like photograph number 8, in terms of the

    8 road which they took. On photograph number 11, by this

    9 tree, I can show it over here too, you can see the road

    10 they took. They went straight ahead, they did not turn

    11 left by the tree.

    12 Q. The houses that you see on photographs 7 and

    13 8, you can see a group of houses, two or three at

    14 least. Aren't they the Kupreskic houses?

    15 A. No. No, these are not the Kupreskic houses.

    16 On photograph number 7 is a farm building owned by Ivo

    17 Kupreskic, and you can only see the top and a new farm

    18 building that was not there at the time of the

    19 conflict.

    20 Q. Could you show us, Mr. Sakic, so that we

    21 understand things well, on the aerial photograph could

    22 you show us exactly where the house that we see in

    23 photographs 7 and 8, at least one of the two -- of

    24 those houses which was in existence at the time? Could

    25 you show that to us on the aerial photograph?

  25. 1 A. I shall start once again from my garage. The

    2 soldiers took the lower depression by the garage,

    3 straight ahead, that is to say, underneath the forest

    4 toward the Kupreskic houses and Ahmici (indicating).

    5 The depression from which the picture of the house was

    6 taken goes to the left, and that is to say that those

    7 buildings that are on the photographs 7 and 8, if I'm

    8 not mistaken, are there, are over here (indicating).

    9 Q. I understand. It's the house which is a

    10 little bit above the houses occupied by the Kupreskic

    11 family.

    12 A. Could you please repeat your question?

    13 Q. I was saying that the house that you showed

    14 us is a house which actually is a little bit above the

    15 houses in which the Kupreskic family lived.

    16 A. Approximately in a straight line from Ivo

    17 Kupreskic's house.

    18 Q. Mr. Sakic, can we say that when you come from

    19 Zume and you go in the direction of the houses that the

    20 Kupreskic family lived in, the most natural road, the

    21 most direct road and the fastest road, was to move by

    22 going into the depression near your garage and then to

    23 follow the depression until you reach the Kupreskic

    24 houses?

    25 A. One could say the following: Both our paths,

  26. 1 pedestrian paths, the lower one and the upper one too,

    2 they were mostly taken by children when they went to

    3 school and adults when they went to the cemetery. So

    4 these were pedestrian paths. And the road that one can

    5 take by car ends at my garage, so only these pedestrian

    6 paths go on from there. The upper part is more

    7 directly leading towards the Kupreskic houses and the

    8 other one goes around a bit, and they probably -- these

    9 soldiers, they did not have to take paths and roads,

    10 they could move through forests and fields as well.

    11 Q. The fact that they used that road does show

    12 that they were very familiar with that part of Ahmici,

    13 Santici and Pirici?

    14 A. Obviously they were familiar with it.

    15 Q. You mentioned the names of the people -- of

    16 those people with whom you spent part of that day, or

    17 spent the day specifically in that depression, but I

    18 see that you didn't speak about your brother.

    19 A. I didn't mention my brother. I didn't.

    20 Q. Where was your brother?

    21 A. From the beginning of 1992, my brother was in

    22 the anti-aircraft defence. That is to say that he was

    23 at three or four places around Vitez. That is where

    24 these anti-aircraft guns were placed. He was a reserve

    25 officer from the former Yugoslavia in the anti-aircraft

  27. 1 defence, and he also had regular tours of duty there.

    2 Q. Did he live in the same house as you did?

    3 A. No. No. He had a house of his own.

    4 Q. What's his first name, please?

    5 A. Slavko Sakic.

    6 Q. He was born in 1961; is that correct?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Did you see him on that day in Ahmici?

    9 A. No. That day he was in Vitez, that evening.

    10 Q. How do you know that?

    11 A. In the evening my sister-in-law, Jasna, his

    12 wife, told me that.

    13 Q. What contact did you have with your

    14 sister-in-law?

    15 A. What kind of a relationship I had? I had a

    16 normal relationship, like any brother-in-law living

    17 next door. And she was there in the shelter. I

    18 mentioned her.

    19 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Sakic. What I was asking was

    20 that the following: You said that -- if I understood

    21 you correctly, you said that on the evening of the 16th

    22 of April, you learned from your sister-in-law that your

    23 brother Slavko was in Vitez. I want to know how you

    24 learned that. How did that information get to you?

    25 A. Oh, I really don't know. Perhaps we talked

  28. 1 at home. I don't know. It's quite customary over

    2 there at our place to have a cup of coffee, talk. I

    3 simply don't know.

    4 Slavko had been going on this duty for a year

    5 already, and he stopped working at the factory, and all

    6 these people who were in the PZO had already been

    7 mobilised. It was a routine thing. There was nothing

    8 unusual about it.

    9 Q. Was he still living in Pirici?

    10 A. Yes. Yes, Slavko lives in Pirici.

    11 Q. What do you say about the following fact: On

    12 the 26th of September, 1998, in this Tribunal, a

    13 witness who testified under the pseudonym "X" said that

    14 he had seen, on the 16th of April, 1993, your brother,

    15 Slavko, wearing a uniform, with other soldiers near the

    16 Kupreskic houses.

    17 A. I don't know how he could have seen that,

    18 honestly. At that time my brother certainly was not

    19 there.

    20 Q. Could you tell us how Zoran and Mirjan

    21 Kupreskic were dressed that day?

    22 A. Zoran Kupreskic? I'll try to remember. I

    23 think that he might have been wearing black trousers,

    24 and what was characteristic was a big jacket that he

    25 had. It was at least two sizes too big for him and it

  29. 1 was unbuttoned, and he had a sweater. I think he could

    2 have had a sweater underneath that jacket. And some

    3 kind of ankle-high shoes, boots. That was it,

    4 roughly.

    5 Q. The description is the one you've got for

    6 Mirjan?

    7 A. I remember Mirjan Kupreskic by an unusual

    8 detail. He had woollen socks, knee high. He was

    9 always sickly, and his mother always made him dress

    10 properly, and I don't think that he could have had any

    11 kind of camouflage jacket. I think that he had

    12 civilian clothes. I think that's the way it was.

    13 Q. What colour were the clothes that Zoran and

    14 Mirjan Kupreskic were wearing?

    15 A. Well, it's difficult to say that with

    16 certainty now.

    17 Q. Mr. Sakic, if you don't remember, just tell

    18 me that you don't.

    19 A. No, I don't remember.

    20 Q. Do you remember whether Zoran and Mirjan

    21 Kupreskic were -- had a weapon?

    22 A. Yes. Yes. Mirjan Kupreskic had a rifle, I

    23 think, an old M-48, and Zoran, I think, had a shotgun.

    24 I found out later that day that he got it from his

    25 cousin, Ivica Kupreskic. It was a hunting gun.

  30. 1 Q. Yesterday, during your testimony, you told us

    2 that you spent part of the day in the depression that

    3 we spoke about a few minutes ago. I don't really

    4 understand the explanations that you gave yesterday

    5 about the fact that you were in the depression. In

    6 what way could the depression serve as a shelter?

    7 A. I said before that the depression was a

    8 natural shelter. It is very close to my house,

    9 practically begins. The path goes down towards the

    10 depression from my garage, and then it goes to the

    11 right towards the Kupreskic houses and towards Ahmici.

    12 So it was quite logical that we go there. I can't

    13 explain now. It was just logical for us to be there,

    14 it's as simple as that. That's where we were sheltered

    15 from everything.

    16 We were close to the first shelter, where

    17 several families were, in my house, and that's where we

    18 were.

    19 Q. You said that you were sheltered from

    20 everything in that depression; however, you were not

    21 sheltered from mortar shells. And yesterday you said

    22 that a shell fell near the place where you were.

    23 A. Yes. The depression could only be penetrated

    24 by a mortar.

    25 Q. Excuse me, but I'm trying to go back to the

  31. 1 logic that you used yesterday: Wouldn't it have been

    2 logical, since there was a danger that mortar shells

    3 might fall on that depression, would it be logical for

    4 you to withdraw to a shelter which would have a kind of

    5 a concrete covering over it?

    6 A. In view of the fact that this was only one

    7 mortar shell, there weren't more than that one, we

    8 thought that it was not necessary for us to move from

    9 there.

    10 Q. Very well. Yesterday you told us that the

    11 first shots began around 5.30, and that about

    12 15 minutes later -- that is, about 5.45 -- you saw the

    13 light from the first fires, the glow of the first

    14 fires. Am I correct in respect of those details?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. You told us that the smoke or that the glow

    17 of the first fires was coming from the direction of the

    18 Kupreskic houses, but that you could not see from where

    19 you were which house was in the process of burning; is

    20 that correct?

    21 A. I said that the firing was coming from

    22 several directions. The place where we were, the first

    23 team (sic) that we saw -- the first smoke that we saw

    24 was from the direction of the Kupreskic houses.

    25 Q. But you said that particularly from where you

  32. 1 were, you could not see what house was burning?

    2 A. Yes, I did say that.

    3 Q. Might one not be surprised by the fact that

    4 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic apparently did not feel the

    5 need to go to see what was happening, particularly if

    6 it was their house or another house that was burning?

    7 A. Well, as I mentioned, the firing was so

    8 strong, and you could hear the sounds of the bullets;

    9 they were whizzing through the air so much that we

    10 couldn't even raise our heads up, because we had no

    11 military experience at all. Shortly before that, a

    12 mortar shell fell close to us, so that we were frozen

    13 to the spot.

    14 Q. I understand. But during that morning of the

    15 16th of April, wasn't there a lull during which Zoran

    16 or Mirjan, or both of them, could have gone to see

    17 whether their houses had been hit or not?

    18 A. There was no lull, absolutely. I think the

    19 firing was escalating. It was growing stronger

    20 throughout the day.

    21 Q. Therefore there was no moment during that day

    22 of the 16th of April when it was possible, without

    23 risking one's life, to see clearly what was going on

    24 with the Kupreskics' house?

    25 A. I don't think it was possible. Maybe for

  33. 1 somebody it was possible, but in view of our

    2 inexperience and our fear, the first -- this was the

    3 first shooting that we had experienced on that day, and

    4 it was happening around us. So in view of the fear

    5 that we felt, we could not have gone to see that.

    6 Q. Mr. Sakic, when you say that someone else

    7 might have been able to, when you say someone else

    8 might have, who do you mean?

    9 A. I mean those who were shooting, of course, if

    10 they are shooting, then --

    11 Q. During that morning, at around 9.00 or 10.00,

    12 you went to Zume with Zoran and Mirjan to see whether

    13 the people who had taken shelter were all right; is

    14 that correct?

    15 A. Between 9 and 10.00 we came from the

    16 depression; then we went down to the shelter in my

    17 house. After that, we went along the road towards Zume

    18 to see how their families were doing. That's what I

    19 said.

    20 Q. At any point during that morning, on the Zume

    21 road, did you run into Vlatko -- Vlatko Kupreskic?

    22 A. (No translation given)

    23 Q. You mentioned another incident then that was

    24 your meeting with Nikola Omazic, and you said that

    25 Nikola Omazic was a neighbour, he was a little bit

  34. 1 drunk, and he told you that Mirjan Santic had been

    2 killed near the Kupreskic houses. Was he a soldier?

    3 JUDGE CASSESE: Just for the record, for the

    4 record, because when you asked "At any point during

    5 that morning, on the Zume road, did you run into Vlatko

    6 Kupreskic?" He said no, to the best of my

    7 recollection, he said no, and here it doesn't appear on

    8 the record. So there is no answer from the witness.

    9 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Your Honour.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: He said no, he didn't meet

    11 Vlatko Kupreskic.

    12 MR. TERRIER:

    13 Q. Mr. Sakic, let's speak about that person,

    14 Nikola Omazic. You told me that it was a neighbour, he

    15 was a little bit drunk, and that he told you that

    16 Mirjan Santic had been killed, and had been killed near

    17 the Kupreskic houses. My question was the following:

    18 Was Nikola Omazic a soldier?

    19 A. Not at that time.

    20 Q. Was he wearing a uniform?

    21 A. I don't think that he was wearing a uniform.

    22 I don't think so. But I can't say it with certainty.

    23 He could have been -- have had a part; nobody there had

    24 a whole uniform.

    25 Q. Was he armed?

  35. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Having -- wearing part of a uniform, with a

    3 weapon, near the Kupreskic houses, where you just said

    4 it was very dangerous to be, how could one not think

    5 that it was not a soldier?

    6 A. I saw Nikola Omazic that morning at my house,

    7 and then when I came back from Zume, I saw him next to

    8 my garage.

    9 Q. Perhaps you were near your garage at one

    10 point or another in the day, but these locations are

    11 very close to one another. I wanted to ask the

    12 following question: Were you really sure that that day

    13 that Nikola Omazic was not a soldier?

    14 A. On that day, Nikola Omazic was just like the

    15 rest of us civilians. He was armed, as I said; he was

    16 there next to the garage. He was together with Dragan

    17 Vidovic -- Ivica Kupreskic first, then Dragan Vidovic,

    18 Stipe, Mirjan Kupreskic, and Zoran Kupreskic. They

    19 brought Mirjan Santic down to my garage; then Mirjan's

    20 body was taken by his parents. I think Nikola Omazic

    21 possibly went with them in the direction of Zume.

    22 I'm absolutely sure that he was not a soldier

    23 that day.

    24 Q. Mr. Sakic, with the assistance of the usher,

    25 I'm going to show you a document.

  36. 1 THE REGISTRAR: Number 354.

    2 MR. TERRIER:

    3 Q. Mr. Sakic, Nikola Omazic, who is the son of

    4 Ante, who was born in 1958 in Ahmici, is that the

    5 person that we're speaking about?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. You can see in the document that -- under the

    8 signature of Mario Cerkez, you can see that Nikola

    9 Omazic was wounded on the 16th of April, 1993, in

    10 Pirici, whereas -- while he was fighting with the

    11 Muslims, and that he was carrying out the combat orders

    12 that had been given to him by the appropriate

    13 authority.

    14 A. I can confirm that Nikola Omazic was there,

    15 as I confirmed in my earlier testimony. I can also

    16 confirm that in the late afternoon hours, he was

    17 wounded, because as I had said before, he was slightly

    18 drunk; so probably this was a consequence -- the fact

    19 that he was drunk and not careful was the reason why he

    20 was wounded. But I found out the next day that he was

    21 wounded. I didn't know that on that day.

    22 Q. And in light of this document, might one not

    23 think that Nikola Omazic was a soldier who had had a

    24 bit too much to drink?

    25 A. Well, I don't know if you would think that

  37. 1 based on this document.

    2 Q. Mightn't one think, when we look at this same

    3 document, that on that day he was a soldier who was

    4 under the command of the Vitez Brigade, and not the

    5 military police unit?

    6 A. Well, I don't know the hierarchical

    7 structure. During that first day, when I saw Nikola

    8 Omazic, he was not wearing any kind of army uniform,

    9 and I don't know if he was in a unit or not. Later,

    10 because three days later I left, so it's quite

    11 possible, and I believe that after that he did become a

    12 member of some unit, because later everybody did become

    13 a member.

    14 Q. But from what you've just said, Mr. Sakic,

    15 couldn't one conclude that on that day in Ahmici there

    16 might have been soldiers there who were not wearing

    17 uniforms? That is, not all of them had to be wearing

    18 uniforms?

    19 A. Well, just the fact that he was wounded,

    20 based on that, I couldn't conclude that. Bullets were

    21 falling everywhere, and anyone could have been wounded,

    22 anybody who was not careful.

    23 Q. I don't think you've answered my question.

    24 I'm going to ask you a different question, a few

    25 questions about the death of Mirjan Santic.

  38. 1 Yesterday we were given a death certificate

    2 that had been issued by the appropriate authority of

    3 the Bosnian Croat government, and it was given to the

    4 Tribunal as D86/2. Apparently on -- we can see on that

    5 official document, which is a death certificate, that

    6 the death of Mirjan Santic took place on the 17th of

    7 April in Santici.

    8 A. As I said yesterday, I'm absolutely sure that

    9 Mirjan Santic was killed on the first day of the

    10 conflict, close to the houses of Mirjan and Zoran

    11 Kupreskic.

    12 MR. TERRIER: Once again I'm going to ask the

    13 usher to give you a document; this is Prosecution 337.

    14 As you can see on the first page of the

    15 document, it's a document called "List of members of

    16 the HVO who were killed," which has the date 24

    17 February, 1994, and which has been classified as

    18 strictly military secrets, strictly confidential.

    19 Would you please look at the -- 445. I made

    20 a mistake; excuse me, Your Honour. 435.

    21 Q. Mr. Sakic, did you find the order number 435?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Could we not consider, when we read this

    24 document, that Mirjan Santic died on the 18th of April

    25 -- the year on the original is illegible; we assume

  39. 1 that it was 1993 -- in Santici? 18 April, and not 16

    2 April?

    3 A. Well, I can say the following: Mirjan Santic

    4 was killed for sure on the first day of the conflict.

    5 I'm absolutely sure. Here it is also undoubtedly

    6 written that he was killed or that he was buried a day

    7 or two later, here on this paper. But I am absolutely

    8 sure that he was killed on the first day, because that

    9 was the first dead person that I had ever seen.

    10 Q. Excuse me, but the date is not indicated on

    11 the document, of the burial.

    12 A. Well, you said the 18th, and here -- I can

    13 hardly see it on that copy, but it's possible that it

    14 says the 18th of April. Yes, that's what it said, the

    15 18th of April.

    16 I'm talking about the killing: He was killed

    17 on the first day of the conflict, the 16th. And the

    18 document -- well, it's clear here, it states clearly

    19 the 18th.

    20 Q. How can one explain, if we're only speaking

    21 about this document, that there were two documents,

    22 both of which were official; one gives the date of 16th

    23 of April, the other one 18th of April? And in order to

    24 find the date of the 16th, which would confirm your

    25 testimony, we have only an indication in a book which

  40. 1 was published by the Ministry of the Interior of the

    2 Croatian Community, about which one might think -- I'll

    3 ask you for your opinion: One could consider this to

    4 be a propaganda tool that was used for the special unit

    5 that was represented by the military police?

    6 A. I'm sorry, would you please repeat your

    7 question?

    8 Q. I was saying, Mr. Sakic, that we have two

    9 documents, both of which are official, and neither

    10 mentions the date of 16 April as being the date of

    11 Mirjan Santic's death.

    12 I'm not referring to your testimony now. To

    13 certify the date of 16 April as being the date of his

    14 death, we have only a book that was published by the

    15 Ministry of the Interior of the Croatian community in

    16 April 1995, if I remember correctly, about which one

    17 might think that it is a propaganda book which could be

    18 used for a special unit of the HVO, which was the

    19 military police.

    20 This comment, which is more a comment than a

    21 question, does that call for any comments from you?

    22 A. Well, listen. As I said earlier, Mirjan was

    23 killed on the 16th. Why one -- certain documents say

    24 that this happened on the 17th or the 18th, I really

    25 don't know. So that can be my only comment regarding

  41. 1 this matter.

    2 Q. On the same document that you have in front

    3 of you, please look at number 96.

    4 Now I'm asking you a question, and this has

    5 to do with number 96. We see the number of Ivanovic

    6 (sic), Jure Slavko. Yesterday you spoke about the

    7 death of a person named Slavko Ivanovic (sic) -- or

    8 Ivankovic. Is that the same person?

    9 A. I didn't say that yesterday. Yesterday I

    10 said that Zlatko Ivankovic was killed, the son of Ilija

    11 Ivankovic, and that his father was working in the same

    12 company that I worked at, and that Zlatko worked

    13 through the youth employment agency in my company, but

    14 I did not remember Slavko Ivanovic.

    15 Q. Please look at 481.

    16 This person, Ivica Zepackic, the son of

    17 Stipica, is that the person that we were speaking about

    18 yesterday?

    19 A. I said yesterday that I -- I know personally

    20 Zlatko Ivankovic, son of Ilija. He is the -- Slatko,

    21 son of Ilija Ivankovic, and I know for certain that he

    22 was killed on the first day of the conflict, together

    23 with a person named Zepackic, whom I don't know. So

    24 based on this I don't know whether that was the same

    25 Zepackic, but I know for sure that he was killed

  42. 1 together, on the first day of the conflict, at the

    2 Catholic cemetery with Zlatko Ivankovic. That's what I

    3 heard from Zlatko's father.

    4 Q. However, yesterday the Trial Chamber was

    5 given a death certificate in the name of Ivica

    6 Zepackic, and on the list we see the same Ivica

    7 Zepackic who died at a date which is -- on a date which

    8 is illegible, but who did die not in Ahmici or Santici

    9 but in Kruscica, and who was not a member of the

    10 military police but of the Vitezovi. Would you like to

    11 comment about that?

    12 A. Well, I can only confirm the following: That

    13 in the direction of the cemetery on the first day of

    14 the conflict, Ivankovic Zlatko and Zepackic were killed

    15 for sure, whom I don't know. I can absolutely confirm

    16 that they died on the first day in the morning, which I

    17 found out from Zlatko Ivankovic's father.

    18 MR. TERRIER: A final question, Your Honour,

    19 and then I'm finished.

    20 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the Prosecutor

    21 is giving the witness the name of a person who was

    22 killed that has nothing to do with the name of the

    23 person who was killed that the witness mentioned

    24 yesterday, because if the book on the military police

    25 and the members of the military police who were killed,

  43. 1 you could see that these are two different persons,

    2 that this is a different person from the one that the

    3 Prosecutor is asking about. So for the person that the

    4 Prosecutor is asking the questions about, it's possible

    5 that that is so, but that is not the same person that

    6 the witness is talking about.

    7 JUDGE CASSESE: I don't understand. In this

    8 document you're talking about Ivica Zepackic, and you

    9 see the same name on the list, 481. I have the

    10 impression that it's the same person.

    11 MR. TERRIER: It is a person who, in fact,

    12 was mentioned only by his family name but not by his

    13 first name by the witness, that is. Then

    14 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac presented a death certificate

    15 under the name of Ivica Zepackic, a document which was

    16 tendered in evidence as D88/2, and my question was to

    17 know whether that was the same person whose name is on

    18 the list of the HVO members who were killed during the

    19 conflict.

    20 Of course, the Judges must evaluate each of

    21 the documents submitted to them, must evaluate them

    22 according to their correct weight.

    23 Q. My final question, Mr. Sakic is the following

    24 one: You tell us that during that day, the day of 16th

    25 of April, 1993, in Ahmici, the three members of the

  44. 1 Croatian forces died. Do you know how many Muslims

    2 died on that same day in Ahmici -- in Santici, Ahmici

    3 and Pirici?

    4 A. I said before that I think five Croats were

    5 killed in that conflict. Unfortunately, many more

    6 Muslims were killed.

    7 Q. Mr. Sakic, as regards the two other Croats

    8 who were mentioned yesterday, from the documents

    9 themselves which Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac showed, the

    10 documents show us, from the statements that you made

    11 yesterday, that three Croats, as far as you know and

    12 according to what you've said, died on the 16th of

    13 April in Ahmici. So here's my question: How --

    14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I

    15 apologise for just a moment. Mr. Terrier is not saying

    16 correctly. He had heard that five -- the witness had

    17 heard that five Croats were killed in Ahmici on that

    18 day. So I would like for Mr. Terrier to cite back the

    19 witness's statements from yesterday correctly.

    20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac, I have

    21 my own notes, and according to the witness two Croats

    22 were killed on the 16th, one in Ahmici and one in

    23 Santici. Two Croats. Mirjan Santic and Zlatko

    24 Ivankovic. And then three died in Vitez, three Croats

    25 in Vitez, and that's confirmed by the documents that

  45. 1 you tendered. Therefore, these are people who died in

    2 Vitez.

    3 Mr. Terrier, you can continue.

    4 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, the witness, in

    5 fact, did say, as you recalled -- all I have to do is

    6 look at the transcript, that there is no ambiguity in

    7 the transcript in that respect -- that as far as he

    8 knows, five Croats died in Ahmici on that day, but the

    9 documents that had been given to the Tribunal by

    10 Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac, it shows that two of the Croats

    11 had died in Vitez and not in Ahmici. Therefore, in

    12 principle, my question does not relate to that.

    13 Q. You said that three or five Croats died in

    14 Ahmici. My question is: Do you know how many Muslims,

    15 on that same day, were killed in Ahmici?

    16 A. I don't know the exact number. Of course, I

    17 know there were a lot of people, more than 60, for

    18 sure. Later I heard that it was about a hundred, but I

    19 heard this later.

    20 Q. Do you know how many Croat homes were

    21 destroyed in Ahmici on that day?

    22 A. I think that there were no destroyed Croatian

    23 homes in Ahmici.

    24 Q. Do you know how many Muslim houses were

    25 destroyed on that day in Ahmici?

  46. 1 A. I don't know how many were destroyed in

    2 Ahmici on that day, but later I know for sure that all

    3 the houses were destroyed in Ahmici.

    4 Q. Under those circumstances, can one honestly

    5 say, as one said yesterday, talk about fate or

    6 accidents?

    7 A. Well, I can talk about myself and my friends

    8 who happened to be there, and I would say that the only

    9 misfortune of those people, of us who were neighbours

    10 and did not take part in that, is the fact that we were

    11 born there. We could not have any influence on what

    12 was happening. It was beyond our control. I can say

    13 that.

    14 I can also say that what happened was not

    15 good, but from the position where I was then, where I

    16 was living and from what I was doing as my work, I

    17 could not, myself or any of my friends, have any

    18 influence on the course of events. And we cannot, in

    19 any way, none of us, be responsible because we had just

    20 been born there. We were not able to choose that. We

    21 were there, crimes were committed. We did not commit

    22 them, none of my friends.

    23 Without doubt, a crime was committed and the

    24 perpetrators should be found, because that's the only

    25 way to help them.

  47. 1 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I don't have any

    2 further questions. I would like to tender as evidence

    3 354 and document called "Three Years of Military

    4 Police," In the Croatian version and in English.

    5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is number 355.

    6 JUDGE CASSESE: No objections from the

    7 Defence?


    9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. They are admitted

    10 into evidence. All right. I think we should now --

    11 it's high time for us to take a break, so a 30-minute

    12 break.

    13 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.

    14 --- Upon resuming at 10.10 a.m.

    15 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?

    16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you, Mr.

    17 President.

    18 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

    19 Q. Mr. Sakic -- actually, could we first ask the

    20 usher to give the witness this document, Prosecutor's

    21 document, and this shows who belonged to what unit and

    22 who was wounded. Number 354.

    23 Mr. Sakic, can you see in this document from

    24 when Nikola Omazic belonged to the Vitez Brigade, was a

    25 member of the Vitez Brigade?

  48. 1 A. It says in this document that Nikola Ante

    2 Omazic, born in 1958, was a member of the HVO or the

    3 Vitez Brigade from the 16th of April, 1993.

    4 Q. Can you also see the date when this document

    5 was issued on the top of there?

    6 A. The date is the 27th of June, 1994.

    7 Q. Could you please tell us whether on that day,

    8 the 16th of April, you saw when, in which way, and

    9 where Nikola Omazic was mobilised or included in HVO

    10 units?

    11 A. Absolutely not.

    12 Q. So did you see some other members of the

    13 village guards, or rather people who were together with

    14 you, were in any contact with officials from the HVO?

    15 A. Had this been the case, I would have had to

    16 have been on one of the lists too, as I was there. It

    17 is certain that no one made any kind of list of that

    18 kind at that time.

    19 Q. Please, could you have a look at the text,

    20 where it is mentioned that this person, Nikola Omazic,

    21 was wounded by a sniper.

    22 Tell me, was it possible to wound a person by

    23 sniper shot, a person who was in Pirici or Ahmici?

    24 A. It was absolutely possible to be wounded by

    25 any kind of bullet, a straying bullet, any bullet -- I

  49. 1 mean, one cannot tell whether it was a sniper shot. I

    2 don't see how it could be said that he was wounded by a

    3 sniper shot. He was wounded by a bullet.

    4 Q. Was there any shooting in the area of

    5 Pirici? Could you tell us that once again, please?

    6 A. There was shooting all over that day, and it

    7 was practically constant.

    8 Q. Please, could you have a look at these

    9 photograph files?

    10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like to ask the

    11 usher to hand them out.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: Document D94/2.


    14 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you tell us what you can see

    15 on photograph number 1.

    16 A. On photograph number 1, we can see part of

    17 the garage and my woodshed, that belonging to me and to

    18 my father, as well as part of the entrance into the

    19 depression leading to the Kupreskics'.

    20 Q. Can you show us where this road goes, what

    21 direction? Towards the Kupreskic houses, I mean; can

    22 you show that?

    23 A. I can show the direction, approximately,

    24 because I know where it leads. Yes, I can show it on

    25 this photograph too, yes.

  50. 1 Q. Can you use a marker and show the direction?

    2 A. (Indicating) This is the direction towards

    3 the Kupreskics'.

    4 Q. Is that the direction in which the unit that

    5 you saw went?

    6 A. No, the unit went in that direction.

    7 Q. All right. Could you tell me, on the second

    8 photograph, what can you see on the second photograph?

    9 Whose houses are these?

    10 A. On the second photograph, we can see the view

    11 from the garage towards Zume. And on the left-hand

    12 side -- you can't really see this very well -- on the

    13 left-hand side are the Pudza houses. Then this is

    14 Brnada Ante's house, and this road leads to Zume. That

    15 is the road from the direction from which they came.

    16 Q. So the soldiers came from that direction

    17 along that road; is that right?

    18 A. Yes, yes, from Zume.

    19 Q. Please have a look at photograph number 3.

    20 And what can you see there? Could you tell

    21 us?

    22 A. Photograph number 3 shows the same direction,

    23 but it was taken closer up. It was taken from the

    24 crossroads where this small path leads to my house.

    25 That is to say, approximately, it is about 80 metres

  51. 1 away from the garage -- this picture, I mean.

    2 Q. You mean the place from which the picture was

    3 taken; right?

    4 A. Yes. Yes.

    5 Q. Please, photograph number 4 now.

    6 A. Photograph number 4 shows the following

    7 crossroads, and this is part of the road that deviates

    8 and goes to Nikola Omazic's house. That is to say that

    9 on the right-hand side is Nikola Omazic's house, and

    10 this is a house of a man called Brnadaman (phoen), who

    11 lives in Sweden and works there; his father was there,

    12 I think. And on the left-hand side is the house of

    13 Brnad Gabriel (phoen), and that is where his son Anto

    14 lives. And this is Samija Ljuba's house, and it's

    15 unfinished, and I think he lives in Austria.

    16 Q. This picture, is that a bit further away,

    17 further along this road?

    18 A. Yes, this is further along, in relation to

    19 the previous photograph, of course, and now it shows

    20 another direction towards Pirici.

    21 Q. And these houses on the right-hand side, on

    22 photographs 2, 3, and 4, all of that is the same house,

    23 isn't it, just from different directions?

    24 A. On Photograph Number 2, and on photograph

    25 number 4 is one and the same house. And Number 2,

  52. 1 Number 4 -- no, not number 3. That is the house of

    2 Ante Brnada. So that is to say on pictures 4 and 2,

    3 this house is the same one.

    4 Q. Just have a look at Photograph Number 5 as

    5 well, please, and is this a continuation of that road?

    6 A. Photograph Number 5 was taken from this

    7 crossroads, and it goes further on towards Zume,

    8 towards the house of Milan Samir, and it was taken from

    9 Slavko Pudza's house.

    10 Q. That is to say that this road leads to your

    11 house?

    12 A. This was taken from the direction of Zume,

    13 and in the opposite direction it leads to my house,

    14 yes, that's right.

    15 Q. And now, please, could you mark on this

    16 map --

    17 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President? So that we

    18 understand the testimony correctly, wouldn't it be

    19 useful to look on photograph 1 particularly, to have

    20 the witness show us with a felt-tipped pen what the

    21 road was that they took? Because he said that on

    22 photograph 1, he said that this was the road that the

    23 soldiers took in order to go to the depression. I

    24 think he might able to mark it with a felt pen or with

    25 an arrow of some sort.

  53. 1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Could we ask the

    2 witness to do what the Prosecutor just asked. That is,

    3 on photograph number 1.

    4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: By all means.

    5 A. The direction in which the soldiers moved was

    6 as follows (Indicating), and the depression where the

    7 Kupreskics are is in this direction. That is to say

    8 behind the garage, towards the depression; that's where

    9 they went. And this is the left-hand depression that

    10 leads to the Kupreskic houses.

    11 Q. Please, could you mark the direction in which

    12 the soldiers moved by "A," or "1," and would you mark

    13 the direction in which the Kupreskic houses are with a

    14 "B. "

    15 A. (Marks)

    16 Q. Thank you.

    17 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, so that we

    18 understand "B", the "B" that is on the photograph was

    19 actually behind the house.

    20 A. Are you referring to photograph number 1?

    21 That of course is behind the house, yes.


    23 Q. Please, on this aerial photograph --

    24 THE REGISTRAR: Document D95/2.


  54. 1 Q. Mr. Sakic, could you please put a circle

    2 around your own house on this aerial photograph with a

    3 marker, please.

    4 A. (Marks)

    5 Q. Could you show the road from which you saw

    6 this unit coming? Could you please mark the road that

    7 you saw, the road that you can see now where you saw

    8 them coming?

    9 You can also put an arrow in the direction in

    10 which they were moving.

    11 A. (Marks)

    12 Q. And now could you mark the road that these

    13 soldiers took as they were leaving.

    14 A. (Marks)

    15 Q. And would you mark that direction with the

    16 letter "A," please.

    17 A. (Marks)

    18 Q. Could you mark the road that Zoran Kupreskic

    19 and Mirjan Kupreskic took as they came to your house,

    20 or rather as they came to this road.

    21 A. (Marks)

    22 Q. And mark it with the letter "B," please.

    23 A. (Marks)

    24 Q. Those are the two pedestrian paths at the

    25 same time, are they?

  55. 1 A. Yes, they are. Yes, they are; both of them

    2 are pedestrian paths.

    3 Q. Just one more thing, please: Could you just

    4 show where the entrance door of your house is? Which

    5 side does it face?

    6 A. There are two doors. There is one here that

    7 faces this road, that is to say toward the Pudza

    8 houses, and the direction in which they came.

    9 Q. And where is the door and the shelter on that

    10 side -- on which side is that?

    11 A. Here (Indicating). Here, on the south,

    12 approximately.

    13 Q. They face the Vitez/Busovaca road; is that

    14 correct?

    15 A. Yes, the Vitez/Busovaca road.

    16 Q. Just one more thing. Could you please put a

    17 circle around the building that can be seen in the

    18 photo file that we showed you, that is to say, those

    19 two houses on the -- in the photo file of the

    20 depression? You said that these are farm buildings,

    21 that one was built later and one existed at the time of

    22 the conflict.

    23 A. (Marks)

    24 Q. All right. Thank you very much.

    25 Please, one more thing. Could you just mark

  56. 1 on the aerial photograph where the crossroads is, the

    2 one that leads to the house of Mira Samija and Mirko

    3 Vidovic that we have in the first photo file. Can you

    4 see it there?

    5 A. Practically there are two roads leading to

    6 Mira Samija's house. This is this one (marks).

    7 Q. Can you please mark the crossroads that we

    8 can see on photograph number 3?

    9 A. On photograph number 3? It is this

    10 crossroads here (marks).

    11 Q. Just put an "X" here.

    12 A. (Marks)

    13 Q. Thank you very much. Also, I would like to

    14 ask you, in connection with photograph number 1, can

    15 you mark the place where you stood that morning? Can

    16 we see here the place you stood when the soldiers were

    17 passing by, that is to say, where you encountered the

    18 soldiers?

    19 A. You cannot see it on this photograph. It's

    20 about 20 metres in front of the garage, that is to say,

    21 in this direction at the crossroads, where the road

    22 forks off toward the front part of my house, so to

    23 speak.

    24 Q. Could you please tell us about the conflict

    25 on the 20th of October, '92? When did you see Muslims

  57. 1 fleeing? When were they leaving the village, do you

    2 remember? What was the time of day?

    3 A. I think they were fleeing in the course of

    4 the entire day. I can't remember exactly, but I think

    5 it was throughout the day. The first time that I saw

    6 them was in the afternoon, on the road that was going

    7 beneath my house, in the direction of Ahmici.

    8 Q. At that time were -- was the fighting still

    9 going on or had it stopped?

    10 A. I think you could still hear shooting at that

    11 time. It stopped in the late afternoon, I can't

    12 remember exactly when, but you could still hear the

    13 shooting.

    14 Q. Could you please tell us if you know how many

    15 children, at that time, at the end of '92, did Mirjan

    16 Kupreskic and Zoran Kupreskic have, and how old were

    17 those children?

    18 A. Zoran Kupreskic at the time had three sons.

    19 He still has three sons. The oldest was going to

    20 school with my daughter. The youngest was maybe about

    21 a year old, and the middle son was maybe about two or

    22 three. I can't remember exactly. Mirjan Kupreskic had

    23 a daughter who was about four years old at the time,

    24 and then another smaller child. I think that child was

    25 less than a year old.

  58. 1 Q. Did the family of Ivica Kupreskic, during the

    2 first conflict, stay in their house in Pirici?

    3 A. Ivica Kupreskic's family was abroad. They

    4 were in Germany. They were staying with Ivica's

    5 brother Branko. They were refugees.

    6 Q. Did the family of Branko Kupreskic stay in

    7 Pirici at that time?

    8 A. Branko Kupreskic's family was also in

    9 Germany, just as the family of Jozo Kupreskic was. He

    10 was Ivica's brother.

    11 Q. So this is Jozo or Josip?

    12 A. Yes, Josip. His nickname is Jozo.

    13 Q. So those three families of Branko, Josip and

    14 Ivica Kupreskic were away during the first conflict in

    15 1992?

    16 A. Yes. They were away. Branko was permanently

    17 residing there; he lives and works there. The others

    18 went shortly after the first Serb strikes, when a lot

    19 of the population went abroad.

    20 Q. So in the region where the Kupreskic houses

    21 were, which families were there at that time?

    22 A. At the time Zoran Kupreskic with his family,

    23 Mirjan Kupreskic with his family, and Mirjan and

    24 Zoran's father, with his wife, they were all at the

    25 Kupreskic houses, and an old aunt of theirs. I think

  59. 1 it was Ivica Kupreskic's aunt. And there was nobody

    2 else there at that time.

    3 Q. Do you know if during the second conflict

    4 Branko Kupreskic and Josip Kupreskic were in Pirici?

    5 A. No. At the time of the second conflict, or

    6 shortly before the second conflict, Ivica Kupreskic had

    7 come back. He brought his wife and children. Branko

    8 and Josip remained living and working in Germany.

    9 Branko is still in Germany, and Josip came back just

    10 recently.

    11 Q. So you said that in that region during the

    12 first conflict, only the families of Mirjan and Zoran

    13 Kupreskic were there, and one of their aunts and their

    14 mother and father?

    15 A. Yes, their mother and father too.

    16 Q. Did anybody else besides them have any small

    17 children? Were there any small children there except

    18 for the five small Kupreskic children?

    19 A. Well, not at their houses, but in other

    20 places, yes, of course there were. We all had

    21 children.

    22 Q. I'm only talking about this part.

    23 The Prosecutor asked you if you had -- or who

    24 told you about the conflict, the possibility that a

    25 conflict may break out, and you've said that you were

  60. 1 informed by your father when he woke you up, and that

    2 he wasn't very definite?

    3 A. Yes, that's what I said.

    4 Q. You also said that you didn't know and you

    5 didn't even ask who had informed your father.

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. Was there any talk at some other time with

    8 other people about the way in which they were informed,

    9 people who were there standing next to your house?

    10 A. No, I didn't really talk. I stayed there for

    11 three days. On the fourth day I left that location. I

    12 went to Vitez, to the town, and a month and a half

    13 after that I left Vitez. So at that time it was the

    14 least important to know who informed who. It was

    15 really very -- it was unimportant at that time.

    16 Q. This unit that you saw, could you indicate on

    17 the aerial photograph the exact place where you

    18 encountered them? Can that be indicated? Is that very

    19 close to your house?

    20 A. Well, I could say, but I already marked that

    21 place with a marker, so if you have another map

    22 perhaps. It's very hard to see on this map.

    23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please

    24 give the witness another map in order to indicate the

    25 place? Thank you.

  61. 1 THE REGISTRAR: Document D96/2.

    2 A. I will indicate the place where I first

    3 encountered this unit (marks). So exactly where this

    4 part of the road branches off, in front of my house.


    6 Q. Could you specify how far that place is from

    7 your house?

    8 A. Well, I will try to specify that. About 25

    9 to 30 metres at the most.

    10 Q. You can place the letter "A" there on that

    11 map, and also mark the place where you were in the

    12 depression for those three days.

    13 A. (Marks). We were in the upper part of the

    14 depression.

    15 Q. So would you please indicate that place with

    16 the letter "B"?

    17 A. (Marks)

    18 Q. Thank you. When you encountered the unit,

    19 what did you think? You said yesterday that in a way

    20 you were frightened.

    21 A. Yes, of course I was frightened. It was

    22 early morning. It was still a little dark, and a group

    23 of armed men was approaching us.

    24 Q. What were you afraid of? Were you afraid you

    25 were going to be attacked?

  62. 1 A. No, I wasn't afraid that we would be

    2 attacked, I was afraid -- well, at that time, as I said

    3 before, there was a constant feeling of fear, and it

    4 was quite a normal reaction for me to be frightened. I

    5 had no idea what was going on. That was a group of

    6 armed men approaching us under full military equipment,

    7 so we were afraid. Everybody who was there was

    8 afraid.

    9 Q. Was it usual to see at night, or in the

    10 morning or in the evening groups of well-armed men

    11 ready for action, with painted faces?

    12 A. Well, in the terrain, in the area where I was

    13 living, I had never seen such a group of men who were

    14 armed and masked in such a way, camouflaged in such a

    15 way, it was the first time, and I really thought that

    16 this only happened on the front.

    17 Q. Was there any kind of street lighting in your

    18 village?

    19 A. Yes -- no, no. There was no street lighting

    20 in the village at that time, and there isn't any

    21 lighting now.

    22 Q. At that time, at around 5.00, in view of the

    23 time of the year, the season, what was the visibility,

    24 in your opinion?

    25 A. Well, it wasn't very good. It was

  63. 1 drizzling. We call it a drizzle. It was dark. Well,

    2 I would say that the visibility was bad.

    3 Q. I would like to ask you again to look at

    4 evidence, Exhibit --

    5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear

    6 the number.


    8 Q. Exhibit 94/2 -- and I'm sorry that you had

    9 put it away -- whether this place is there, depicted on

    10 the photographs, the place where you encountered the

    11 unit. If you can see it there, would you please mark

    12 that place.

    13 A. I could say that that was maybe 3, 4, or 5

    14 metres in front of what photograph 3 depicts. So it's

    15 a little bit in front.

    16 Q. So this was the place where you met the unit;

    17 is that before or after the crossroads, or at the

    18 crossroads?

    19 A. It's at the crossroads, towards my house.

    20 Q. But you can't see these crossroads here?

    21 A. Well, you can see it here. You can actually

    22 see, where I'm pointing, that's the beginning of the

    23 crossroads.

    24 Q. So in that area, a few metres towards your

    25 house?

  64. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Okay. Thank you.

    3 Could you please tell us where your brother's

    4 house is, your brother Slavko Sakic? Is that close to

    5 your house?

    6 A. It's close. It's about 15 metres away from

    7 my house. I can indicate that on the photograph.

    8 Q. Yes, would you please?

    9 A. Should I show it on the large aerial

    10 photograph?

    11 Q. Yes, so that we could see the direction.

    12 A. This is my brother's house. (Indicating).

    13 This is the crossroads that we were talking about.

    14 (Indicating). And that's my house. (Indicating). So

    15 this is the road that leads in front of my house

    16 towards my brother's house (Indicating). And this

    17 section of the road leads towards the garage on the

    18 upper part of the house, near the upper part of the

    19 house (Indicating).

    20 Q. You said that your brother's wife, Jasna

    21 Sakic, also came to your house. Do you know who

    22 informed her, and when she arrived?

    23 A. I think she came at the same time that my

    24 wife came downstairs, and I think my father probably

    25 informed her. My father, Niko Sakic.

  65. 1 Q. Thank you.

    2 So another question regarding your testimony

    3 from yesterday: You said that you saw Mirjan Santic on

    4 the 16th; that he was dead?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. That he was brought to your garage and taken

    7 home; is that right?

    8 A. Yes. Mirjan Santic. Probably between 10 and

    9 11.00, I'm not sure about the specific time, his body

    10 was brought to my garage on the first day of the

    11 conflict.

    12 Q. Who took the body home? Who came to get the

    13 body?

    14 A. His father came from Santici, and a couple of

    15 other men went in the direction of Zume and Santici

    16 with him.

    17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please

    18 show the witness Exhibit Number D86/2.

    19 Q. In the death certificate, it says that the

    20 place of death is Santici. And, please, could you read

    21 what it says in the attachment on page 3, by the name

    22 of Mirjan Santic.

    23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not

    24 have the text. Could it be placed on the ELMO, please?

    25 A. Mirjan Franjo Santic, born on the 5th of

  66. 1 June, 1956, Vitez. Married, two children. In the

    2 military police from the 16th of January 1993. Killed

    3 on the 16th of April, 1993, in Vitez.

    4 Q. In the death certificate it also says that he

    5 was killed in Santici?

    6 A. In the death certificate it says that he was

    7 killed in Santici, yes.

    8 Q. Please, this place where you saw him brought,

    9 that is to say on the edge of the depression, can one

    10 conclude on that basis that he was killed in Santici,

    11 or in Pirici?

    12 A. One cannot conclude it on that basis, because

    13 that place is not Santici. That place is Pirici. The

    14 border between Pirici and Ahmici, rather.

    15 Q. Do you know the place where he was killed, or

    16 did you hear where he was killed?

    17 A. I heard where he had been killed. I heard

    18 that he had been killed by the Kupreskic houses, and

    19 the place where I saw him dead for the first time is

    20 behind the house of Ivo Kupreskic.

    21 Q. Please, could you also have a look at D87/2.

    22 This is the death certificate of Zlatko

    23 Ivankovic. Please, what does it say in the death

    24 certificate, what is the place of death?

    25 A. The place of death says the following:

  67. 1 "Ivankovic, Zlatko; day, month and hour of death, 16th

    2 of April, 1993; place of death, Ahmici."

    3 Q. Also, please, could you tell us -- could you

    4 have a look at the third page of this document.

    5 What does it say underneath Zlatko

    6 Ivankovic's picture?

    7 A. It also says "Zlatko Ivankovic, born on the

    8 10th of August, 1971, in Travnik; unmarried; in the

    9 military police from the 3rd of January 1993; died on

    10 the 16th of April 1993 in Vitez."

    11 Q. Please, you told us that you had seen Mirjan

    12 Santic, and that you had heard that Zlatko Ivankovic

    13 had been killed.

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. To the best of your knowledge, where was

    16 Zlatko Ivankovic killed?

    17 A. I heard that Zlatko Ivankovic was killed

    18 somewhere around the Catholic cemetery; that is to say

    19 in the lower part of Ahmici.

    20 Q. And who was killed along with him?

    21 A. I heard that along with him a man called

    22 Zepackic was killed; I don't know his first name. I

    23 didn't know him personally.

    24 Q. Who else did you hear about? Who else was

    25 killed on that day in Ahmici?

  68. 1 A. Out of the Croats, I heard that on that

    2 day --

    3 JUDGE MAY: You've given this evidence

    4 before. We've heard it all once. We don't need to

    5 hear it again.

    6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Your Honour, the point

    7 is that I think that what the witness said yesterday

    8 was misunderstood. We heard claims being made today to

    9 the effect that these five persons were killed partly

    10 in Ahmici, partly in Vitez. The witness claims that he

    11 heard that they were killed in Ahmici, and I want this

    12 to be stated clearly in the transcript. I think --

    13 JUDGE MAY: He has stated it clearly. It's

    14 something he heard. We shall have to decide what

    15 weight we give to it. And you have --

    16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: That's right.

    17 JUDGE MAY: -- produced documents about it.

    18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: That's right.

    19 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Sakic. We will not

    20 go into that subject any more.

    21 One more thing related to the list that was

    22 shown to you by the Prosecutor. This is a list of

    23 killed members of the HVO. Do you know whether this is

    24 an official document or not? Do you know anything

    25 about this?

  69. 1 A. I don't know anything about this, I must

    2 admit, nor am I in a position to have any kind of

    3 information in this regard, no.

    4 Q. Can you say in relation to Mirjan Santic that

    5 the information on that list is incorrect?

    6 A. I can absolutely state that. I shall repeat

    7 once again that I was there, I killed --

    8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, interpreter's

    9 mistake --

    10 A. I saw Mirjan Santic who had been killed that

    11 day and the date was on one day and this other date was

    12 on another day. Again, I'm saying that Mirjan Santic

    13 had been killed on the first day of the conflict.


    15 Q. You said that your brother, Slavko Sakic, was

    16 a member of the anti-aircraft defence, if that is the

    17 way we can put it?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Can you say where he was during those three

    20 days? Was he, at any point, in Pirici, or rather,

    21 Ahmici?

    22 A. Absolutely not. These units had their own

    23 positions, and it was well known for quite a bit of

    24 time where they had been. They were on a position

    25 above the Princip factory, and also in the main field,

  70. 1 and these were mixed units. I don't know when they

    2 separated. So there were Muslims and Croats alike.

    3 All the members of the anti-aircraft defence from the

    4 previous system.

    5 Q. And did you talk to him about this, where he

    6 was after those events?

    7 A. He was in Vitez, in the town of Vitez.

    8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sakic. I have no further

    9 questions.

    10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would just like to

    11 have admitted into evidence Exhibits 94/2, 95, and 96,

    12 respectively.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection? All right.

    14 Admitted into evidence.

    15 There are no questions for the witness from

    16 the Court. Mr. Sakic, thank you for testifying in

    17 court. You may now be released. Thank you.

    18 I would like to ask the registrar to bring in

    19 the next witness.

    20 (The witness entered court)


    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you

    23 please make the solemn declaration.

    24 A. Good day.

    25 I solemnly declare that I will speak the

  71. 1 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

    3 seated.

    4 A. Thank you.

    5 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?

    6 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

    7 Q. Good day, Mr. Vrebac, would you please

    8 introduce yourself to the court?

    9 A. I am Zdravko Vrebac, son of Jozo. I was born

    10 in Santici. That is also where I live. I was born on

    11 the 21st of May, 1966.

    12 Q. Could you please show us on this aerial

    13 photograph where your house is?

    14 A. Yes, I will. My house is here (indicating).

    15 Q. What are the first Croat houses, or, rather,

    16 who are your Croat neighbours?

    17 A. The first Croat houses are the houses of my

    18 kinsmen, the Vrebacs. This is my brother's house, then

    19 also the settlement along the road is Vidovici and

    20 Santici in the neighbourhood (indicating). That is my

    21 immediate neighbourhood around my house.

    22 Q. And that part of the village, was it

    23 primarily Croat?

    24 A. Yes, it was primarily Croat, but in the

    25 settlement of Zume, where there are new houses, for

  72. 1 quite some time there have been some neighbours who are

    2 Muslims. And on this side, on the other side of the

    3 stream, over here there are a few houses, and here

    4 underneath the main road in Donja Zume (indicating).

    5 Q. And what Muslim families lived in your

    6 neighbourhood? Who were your closest neighbours who

    7 were Muslims?

    8 A. My closest neighbours were the Podojak

    9 family, Reuf Podojak's family. Islam Ahmic. That's

    10 it. Then Nesib was here (indicating). I don't know

    11 his last name exactly. I think it's Ahmic too. Those

    12 houses were built recently most --

    13 Q. All right. Thank you. You may be seated.

    14 Tell us, Mr. Vrebac, what did you do in

    15 1992? Where were you employed?

    16 A. In 1992 I was employed within the SPS

    17 factory, within the Sintevit department. I'm talking

    18 about electrical maintenance.

    19 Q. And how long did you work there? Until

    20 when?

    21 A. I worked there until the middle of the year,

    22 when most of the workers were already on leave, and

    23 then I went on leave too.

    24 Q. And where did you work after that?

    25 A. After that I started working in my brother's

  73. 1 warehouse. At that time he had a company called

    2 Trgogrozd, and it exists to the present day.

    3 Q. And where is this warehouse, in Vitez or in

    4 Santici?

    5 A. The warehouse is in Santici, and that is the

    6 wholesale department, whereas the retail was in Novi

    7 Travnik, in Bare, and in the Vitezanka building in

    8 Vitez.

    9 Q. Tell me, in 1992 did you take part in the

    10 village guards?

    11 A. Yes. Yes. From time to time, yes. Since I

    12 was employed by my brother, as I already said, so when

    13 I had time and -- yeah, that's it.

    14 Q. And tell me, these village guards, were they

    15 organised in your part of the village in some official

    16 way or was this an unofficial duty? How did you

    17 perceive this?

    18 A. Guard duty was not compulsory. It was

    19 organised by -- by the villagers themselves, because at

    20 that time there were shortages and nobody had any work,

    21 and there were certain groups of people who were -- how

    22 should I put this -- involved in certain criminal

    23 actions such as car thefts and stealing other people's

    24 property in general.

    25 Q. Did you have any weapons at that time?

  74. 1 A. No. No. At that time I did not have any

    2 weapons. We had weapons at the warehouse. The goods

    3 that were in the warehouse were very valuable. That is

    4 to say that the warehouse had to be guarded during the

    5 night, and sometimes I would stand guard there and

    6 sometimes one of the workers.

    7 Q. So the rifle belonged to the company, is that

    8 what you're trying to say?

    9 A. Yes. Yes, yes. It was used to guard the

    10 warehouse itself.

    11 Q. Did you receive any monetary compensation for

    12 guard duty?

    13 A. No. No, not in any sense.

    14 Q. And what about the Muslims in your part of

    15 the village? Did they stand guard with you?

    16 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, together with me. Very

    17 often we had the opportunity of patrolling the village

    18 in that part of Zume, in our neighbourhood, that is to

    19 say, where we lived and where our closest Muslim

    20 neighbours did.

    21 Q. How long did these joint guards go on in your

    22 part of the village?

    23 A. Well, they went on until the end of October

    24 1992, just before the conflict broke out. That's how

    25 long the joint guards went on. And then after the

  75. 1 first conflict, I couldn't say exactly -- there was a

    2 truce. I couldn't say a truce because we didn't have

    3 any quarrel or war between us, but when the tensions

    4 were reduced a little bit it seems.

    5 Q. What happened on the 20th of October of '92

    6 in your part of the village?

    7 A. On the 20th of October, in the morning at

    8 around 5.00 a.m., I was woken up by a powerful

    9 detonation from the direction -- I mean, I knew later

    10 that it was from the direction of Zume, Ahmici and so

    11 on, but I was woken up, as I said, by this powerful

    12 detonation, after which I got dressed, and I went

    13 outside to see what had happened, but it was all quiet

    14 after that explosion.

    15 So I went to Zume, because I thought that

    16 maybe someone from the people I would meet would

    17 perhaps know something about it.

    18 Q. Where did you find these people that you said

    19 that you expected to meet on the road?

    20 A. Well, I encountered the first people at Ivo

    21 Vidovic's house. I met him there, his brother Anto

    22 Vidovic, called Satko; Pero Jelic, I think. Well,

    23 several people. Five or six people. They told me that

    24 they didn't know what was going on, and I heard about

    25 the barricade that had been set up the day before at

  76. 1 the cemetery in Santici, just below Ahmici, and that

    2 that was probably the reason. So from there I went to

    3 the depression behind Niko Sakic's house and below Ivo

    4 Kupreskic's house.

    5 Q. So what did you want to see there?

    6 A. I didn't want to see anything. That place

    7 was always a kind of shelter. So from the former

    8 system, from the former state it remain as a kind of

    9 natural shelter, as a place where during military

    10 exercises, manoeuvres of the JNA, the population would

    11 go there. The people who lived in those environs, they

    12 would go there.

    13 So when I got there I saw Mirko Sakic there;

    14 Niko Sakic; Milutin Vidovic; Dragan Vidovic, son of

    15 Nikica; and also the people who lived close by and

    16 their families.

    17 Q. These were people who had homes nearby; is

    18 that right?

    19 A. Yes, yes. That's right.

    20 Q. So could you please tell us if anything was

    21 happening there?

    22 A. Well, nothing was happening at that time. It

    23 was maybe at about 6.00 in the morning or 6.30. At

    24 that time, around 6.30, we heard a lot of firing from

    25 the direction of the cemetery and the elementary

  77. 1 school, from that area, as much as you can determine

    2 the place from the depression.

    3 Q. Was -- did you only hear artillery or were

    4 there any other detonations from mortars perhaps?

    5 A. No, not more powerful weapons. I think it

    6 was just firing from artillery weapons, as much as I

    7 know about that.

    8 Q. And you said that you heard firing from the

    9 direction of the cemetery?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. So the only shooting that you heard came from

    12 that direction?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if this

    15 is a good time we can go on break, since all the

    16 preparations have been made.


    18 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

    19 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.

    20 JUDGE CASSESE: Mrs. Slokovic-Glumac.

    21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,

    22 Mr. President.

    23 Q. Mr. Vrebac, you mentioned the shooting from

    24 the direction of the cemetery and that there was no

    25 other shooting, according to your impression. Is that

  78. 1 right?

    2 A. Yes. That's right.

    3 Q. So what happened after that? What did you

    4 see?

    5 A. After that we climbed up a little higher out

    6 of the depression so that we could see what was going

    7 on, as much as we dared, because we were afraid. And

    8 then I saw in front of the house of Ivo Kupreskic, I

    9 saw Mirjan Kupreskic, Zoran and Ivica Kupreskic. They

    10 were standing there. I could see that they were really

    11 afraid, because their families remained in their

    12 houses.

    13 So Milutin Vidovic and I, and Dragan Vidovic,

    14 son of Nikica, ran up to them and from there up to

    15 their houses. I ran up to Mica's house, the house of

    16 Mirjan Kupreskic , and I took one of his children, he

    17 took the other child, and also his wife, and Zoran,

    18 with Milutin and Dragan. So we took the children over

    19 to Ivo Kupreskic's house.

    20 And it was my impression then, and as far as

    21 I can remember now, it was terrible, because bullets

    22 were whizzing all around us, a lot of bullets, and

    23 since we didn't have any kind of experience, we were

    24 very scared.

    25 And we took the children to the shelter in my

  79. 1 sister and brother-in-law's house, Jelena and Dragan

    2 Trajanovski. Then we came back to the depression and

    3 we stayed there throughout the day.

    4 Q. Could you please indicate on the map where

    5 this shelter is, the shelter of Jelena Trajanovski?

    6 A. Yes. The shelter is right here (indicating),

    7 across from my house. So it's in the house of my

    8 sister and my brother-in-law. That's where the shelter

    9 is.

    10 Q. Where is your house in relation to that

    11 shelter?

    12 A. It's directly across (indicating).

    13 Q. So you said that that was your -- the house

    14 of Jelena Trajanovski and her husband. What was her

    15 husband's name?

    16 A. Dragan Trajanovski.

    17 Q. Was there any talk in the village that that

    18 was the Vrebac house?

    19 A. Well, it was built on the land which belonged

    20 to my father, so all -- everybody in the village, they

    21 don't know our family affairs, so the usual name for it

    22 was "the house of Vrebac," "Vrebac's house."

    23 Q. What is your father's name?

    24 A. My father's name is Jozo Vrebac.

    25 Q. At that time, during the first conflict in

  80. 1 '92, was your sister and her husband there?

    2 A. No. They were working in Germany, in

    3 Langefeld, to be precise, and at that time they hadn't

    4 even been back to visit us for three years.

    5 Q. After that, did they come back? Were they

    6 there in '93? In Santici?

    7 A. No. From '89 up until '97, they never came

    8 back.

    9 Q. Who opened that house? You said you placed

    10 Zoran and Mirjan's family in there.

    11 A. Well, my father opened it. He has keys of

    12 the whole house, and also from the shelter. It's an

    13 improvised shelter which is located in the basement, in

    14 the cellar of the house.

    15 Q. Was that house used as a shelter, usually?

    16 A. Yes. In '92, already, as soon as the war in

    17 Bosnia and Herzegovina started, with the attack of the

    18 Yugoslav army, when the bombardments of those

    19 neighbouring towns began, and wider, there was a lot of

    20 fear from air attacks.

    21 Q. What other house in that area was used as a

    22 shelter? Do you know?

    23 A. Each house that had a cellar; or if it had,

    24 for example, two floors, two concrete floors. So any

    25 house that was built of strong material.

  81. 1 Q. Thank you. You may be seated.

    2 Could you please indicate on the aerial

    3 photographs your house, the house of your father, and

    4 also the shelter in the house of Jelena Trajanovski.

    5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Would the usher please

    6 take the map to the witness.

    7 THE REGISTRAR: Document D97/2.


    9 Q. Could you indicate with a marker where the

    10 house of your father is?

    11 A. This is my father's house. (Indicating).

    12 Q. And your sister's house?

    13 A. That's my sister's house. (Marks).

    14 Q. And also could you please indicate where the

    15 house of Milutin Vidovic is.

    16 A. (Marks)

    17 Q. Also could you mark your father's house with

    18 the letter "A," the house of your sister with the

    19 letter "B," the house of Milutin Vidovic with the

    20 letter "C"; and if you know where the house of Niko

    21 Vidovic is -- do you know --

    22 A. Which Niko Vidovic? There are two Niko

    23 Vidovic.

    24 Q. The house of Niko Vidovic which was used as a

    25 shelter. If you know; if you don't know, then we won't

  82. 1 indicate it.

    2 A. I'm not sure which house. I know where --

    3 its location, but I don't know which house it is.

    4 Q. Okay. Then these two markings are

    5 sufficient. Could you please indicate where are the

    6 warehouses that you mentioned earlier. That was your

    7 brother's property?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Did you return after you took the Kupreskics

    10 to the shelter?

    11 A. Yes. Yes, I came back to the depression that

    12 I mentioned, where we all were.

    13 Q. Did Zoran and Mirjan go with you?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. Did you see that Muslims were leaving the

    16 village? Did you notice that from the place where you

    17 were?

    18 A. Well, from the place where we were, I

    19 couldn't see something like that. But later I heard

    20 that they had left the area of Ahmici, lower Ahmici.

    21 But I couldn't see that from the area around my house.

    22 And then from there, nobody left.

    23 Q. Did the families of Zoran and Mirjan

    24 Kupreskic stay in the shelter in your sister's house?

    25 A. No. They stayed there for some time; I don't

  83. 1 know exactly how long. After a while, they went to

    2 Mirjan and Zoran's sister -- her name was Zorica Rajic

    3 -- which is deeper inside Santici.

    4 Q. Do you know whether their families stayed

    5 there for some time, or did they come back on the same

    6 day?

    7 A. No, nobody came back on the same day. As far

    8 as I can remember, after three or four days, the

    9 population was beginning to come back to Ahmici. And

    10 then when they came back, the Muslim population of

    11 Ahmici, then also the Kupreskic families came back.

    12 Q. What time did the shooting stop on that day?

    13 A. When? The shooting stopped at around 3 or 4

    14 p.m. I can't say exactly when, because it waned a

    15 little bit, and then it stopped completely.

    16 Q. So what happened in the region of those three

    17 villages after the conflict?

    18 A. After the conflict itself, people -- more

    19 prominent people from those hamlets of ours, Muslims

    20 and Croats -- tried to calm down the tensions which

    21 were caused by the conflict. Nothing important

    22 happened except the agreement on the return of

    23 everybody to Ahmici, to their homes. Naturally

    24 everybody tried to calm down the situation. We were

    25 all taken by surprise by it.

  84. 1 Q. Were there any incidents in the village

    2 between the first and the second conflict?

    3 A. As far as I know, no, but there were some

    4 times -- because the tensions remained high, regardless

    5 of the good will of the locals to have the situation

    6 calm down, the trust was up in the air. There were

    7 some alerts, and we went to the shelter -- I can't say

    8 frequently, but several times. And not everybody

    9 went. But there were reports that from some certain

    10 region there would be an attack by the Muslims, and so

    11 on.

    12 Q. Did the Muslims ever go to the shelter? Do

    13 you know of such occurrences? Did they receive this

    14 kind of information?

    15 A. I cannot confirm that.

    16 Q. How much do you actually know about this,

    17 what was going on in Ahmici after the conflict, in view

    18 of the fact that Santici, the part that you were in, is

    19 predominantly Croat?

    20 A. Well, I know as much as my father could tell

    21 me: Namely, my father went to one meeting, or several

    22 meetings, perhaps, at this time, immediately after the

    23 conflict. I don't know exactly where this meeting was

    24 held, or these several meetings were held. However,

    25 from what he told me, I know that every possible effort

  85. 1 was made to alleviate the situation and to go back to

    2 the situation that was before.

    3 Q. Who did you socialise with from Ahmici -- or

    4 Pirici, rather; who was your friend there?

    5 A. Well, I had many friends.

    6 Q. Who were you closest to?

    7 A. I was closest to Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic,

    8 because of the rehearsals we had all the time at the

    9 cultural society in Vitez. Also Fahrudin Ahmic was

    10 with us, and I can say in all fairness that he was with

    11 us non-stop. And this was my immediate circle of

    12 friends.

    13 Q. And what about the relations between you and

    14 Mirjan, Zoran and Fahran Ahmic; did they change after

    15 the conflict in October of 1992?

    16 A. No. No. As a matter of fact, I think that

    17 after this conflict we actually became closer. I can't

    18 really explain this. Nothing substantial changed in

    19 our relationship, in our relations among these

    20 friends. I mentioned that we went to rehearsals

    21 practically every other day, and there were quite a few

    22 other Muslims who danced with us. And no, there was no

    23 tension or distrust whatsoever that could be felt

    24 there.

    25 Q. And what did you do -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry,

  86. 1 one question before that: Where was your brother

    2 during the first conflict?

    3 A. During the first conflict, my brother was

    4 taken prisoner by the Muslims at Opara, near Novi

    5 Travnik. I don't know. For some six or seven days he

    6 was held prisoner, and his goods and trucks were taken

    7 away, those that he was taking from Herzegovina to

    8 Vitez.

    9 Q. Do you know the day when he was taken

    10 prisoner?

    11 A. I think that it was the 15th of October, in

    12 the evening -- no, no. No, on the 19th, the day before

    13 the conflict. The day before the first conflict in

    14 Ahmici.

    15 Q. In the area of Novi Travnik, were there any

    16 conflicts immediately before this conflict in Ahmici?

    17 Do you know about that?

    18 A. Yes, yes, I know about that. There were

    19 conflicts.

    20 Q. Between who?

    21 A. Between Croats and Muslims. I think it was

    22 some kind of a gasoline station that was involved, or

    23 something like that.

    24 Q. Were there any dead people at the time? Was

    25 anybody killed?

  87. 1 A. That, I do not know.

    2 Q. And do you know whether these conflicts were

    3 between the Muslims and the Croats as neighbours, or

    4 were they conflicts between the HVO army and the army

    5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    6 A. I think that it was between the HVO and the

    7 BH army. That is my opinion.

    8 Q. Did you ever find out what the main reason

    9 for the conflict in Ahmici was on the 20th of October?

    10 A. Well, yes. Yes. I found out that the main

    11 reason was the placement of the roadblock by the

    12 Muslims by the cemetery, by the Catholic cemetery,

    13 between Ahmici.

    14 Q. And do you know who took part in this

    15 conflict, and whether the Croats from Ahmici and these

    16 neighbouring villages, did they take part in this

    17 conflict?

    18 A. I know for sure that the local Croats did not

    19 take part in this conflict. And I know that at that

    20 time, the new shift for Jajce passed by that roadblock,

    21 because there was heavy fighting in Jajce at the time.

    22 I think it was a unit from Kiseljak that was passing by

    23 there, and that they were supposed to relieve someone.

    24 Q. Out of the people that you saw that day in

    25 the depression and who were with you on the 20th of

  88. 1 October, did anybody shoot?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. So tell us, what did you do before the second

    4 conflict, in April 1993?

    5 A. Before the second conflict -- that is to say

    6 between the first and second conflicts -- I continued

    7 to work in the warehouse of the Trgogrozd company.

    8 And, as I said, every other day or every third day we

    9 had rehearsals at the cultural society of Vitez. And

    10 quite often in the evening we would play in the

    11 orchestra. And there would be parties, wedding

    12 parties. And that's it.

    13 Q. Did you do that professionally?

    14 A. In the cultural society, we worked as one

    15 does work in a cultural society. That is where all the

    16 enthusiasm of the people involved is manifested; that

    17 is to say, there is no compensation or anything.

    18 When Mica -- I mean Mirjan Kupreskic and I

    19 and Fahrudin Ahmic, we agreed in principle with the

    20 head of the cultural society that we would get some

    21 kind of per diems, because we were responsible for the

    22 rehearsals. And as regards the parties and other such

    23 things, we did charge for that, as much as you could

    24 really charge anyone, because there was very little

    25 money available.

  89. 1 Q. Did you at that time open a cafe in Vitez?

    2 A. Yes. Yes. Actually, after the New Year. I

    3 don't know. Five or six days. At the crossroads, the

    4 main street, and at that time I think it was called the

    5 Tito road, and the main road leading into that part of

    6 town.

    7 Q. And what did you do on the 15th of April,

    8 1993?

    9 A. On the 15th of April, 1993 I worked just like

    10 any other day. That is to say, I had various things to

    11 do. In connection with my cafe, I went to get my

    12 supplies. That was it. Nothing special really, just

    13 like the previous days.

    14 Q. Do you recall whether you saw Mirjan

    15 Kupreskic that day?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Where was he working at that time?

    18 A. At that time he had transferred to Vitez. A

    19 week before that he went to work in the Vitezanka

    20 building, and he went to work there from this PP Sutra

    21 company where he worked, from the warehouse in Ahmici.

    22 That is to say, that is when this other retail was

    23 opened, and that is where I got most of my supplies. I

    24 also got some supplies in other places.

    25 Q. I already asked you whether you saw him that

  90. 1 day.

    2 A. Yes, yes, at the usual time, around noon,

    3 12.00. When I went out to get my supplies, that is

    4 when I would see him, and I would buy these supplies

    5 and we would chat. We chatted about the rehearsals

    6 that were to be held at the cultural society. So this

    7 was just chatting, just like any other day, and we

    8 liked to be with one another for as long as possible,

    9 as much as work permitted.

    10 Q. Did you see him again on that day?

    11 A. Yes. Every day when he would finish his

    12 work, that is to say after 5.00 because working hours

    13 were until 5.00 at his retail store, and then he would

    14 stop by and see me, and then we talked whether we would

    15 go straight to the rehearsal, or stay at the cafe or go

    16 straight home. So that's what we did every day.

    17 He came that day too, between 5.00 and 5.30,

    18 that is to say, after the time it took to reach my

    19 place, and we were sitting there in good company, may I

    20 say. And the cafe worked well, because we socialised.

    21 I mean, we -- from the cultural society there were a

    22 lot of them who would drop by.

    23 Q. How long did working hours go on otherwise?

    24 I mean, of cafes in Vitez at that time.

    25 A. Well, at that time, like throughout the war,

  91. 1 all cafes had shortened working hours. In the evening

    2 they would work until 9.00 or 10.00 p.m., depending on

    3 what the police had ordered, and also the town

    4 municipality.

    5 Q. How long did you work that day?

    6 A. That day, around 6.00 p.m. or 6.30, we

    7 received orders orally from a policeman that we were

    8 supposed to close up the cafe.

    9 Q. Did that happen otherwise, that they would

    10 close down a cafe or a shop?

    11 A. Yes, it would happen. I can't say that it

    12 happened very often, but it wasn't strange, because --

    13 I don't know. It happened a few times.

    14 Q. At that time did you go home, and who did you

    15 go home with?

    16 A. Well, we didn't go out immediately, because

    17 we stayed on a bit longer, and then only when the

    18 policeman had warned us for a second time we had to

    19 close down. Then we went to my house -- or, rather, to

    20 Slavko Vrebac's house. We were going there with --

    21 with his daughter Ivana Vrebac, because she had a car,

    22 because my car was being serviced that day, that day

    23 when I got the supplies, so she gave us a lift.

    24 Q. So you and Mirjan went together, you left the

    25 cafe with that girl; right?

  92. 1 A. Yes, yes, and with my cousin Zarko Verbac and

    2 Marin Pesa. I think there was about four or five of

    3 us.

    4 Q. Did you go home then?

    5 A. We parted there, all of us, but I just

    6 stopped by to see my cousin, Slavko Vrebac and his

    7 family, and we stayed there for, I don't know how long,

    8 perhaps until 8.00, 8.00 or 9.00 in the evening.

    9 Q. And where did Mirjan Kupreskic go; do you

    10 know?

    11 A. Mirjan went to his house from there.

    12 Q. On that day, since you were in Vitez in your

    13 own cafe, and since there were people who were there

    14 who came to the cafe and the police were there and you

    15 said that they closed it earlier, did you receive any

    16 information as to what would happen on the next day?

    17 A. No. On that day we didn't know anything. We

    18 just sat there as usual. In my cafe there was Zinka

    19 Ibrakovic, a Muslim who was a waitress there, and Edin

    20 Sabanovic was sitting together with us before we went

    21 home. He was a great friend of mine. Then Islam,

    22 Haris, Tudzo. We mixed, the Croats and the Muslims,

    23 naturally. We did not separate one from the other. No

    24 one knew a thing.

    25 Q. And what happened on the morning of the 16th

  93. 1 of April, 1993?

    2 A. In the morning I was awakened by my father.

    3 I think around 5.00, perhaps a bit before that. He

    4 woke me up and he said that I should get up and get

    5 dressed, and that there was something wrong, because

    6 people were coming to the shelter.

    7 Q. That is to say that he awakened you because

    8 people were coming to what shelter?

    9 A. My sister's shelter, my sister Jelena's

    10 shelter, and it's marked with a letter "B" on this

    11 map.

    12 Q. Did he tell you what was going on in addition

    13 to the people coming in? Did he know what it was all

    14 about?

    15 A. No. No. He didn't say anything. And I can

    16 tell you that at that time it wasn't really a strange

    17 situation for us. As I said previously, sometimes this

    18 would happen due to some kind of misinformation or

    19 whatever, people from certain hamlets would come there

    20 to the shelter. So we could not have assumed that

    21 there would be a conflict at all.

    22 Q. And what did you do then? Where did you go

    23 to?

    24 A. I went to the Trgogrozd's warehouse, and I

    25 went to see what the guard was doing there, because my

  94. 1 brother was away at that time too. He was in Split

    2 getting the goods that he was supposed to bring in the

    3 next day, and the day after that, depending on what the

    4 traffic was like, especially on the Road of Salvation.

    5 So I went there and saw the guard who was guarding the

    6 warehouse, and I stayed there with him.

    7 Q. What did you hear and at what time?

    8 A. Perhaps half an hour later, that is to say,

    9 around 5.30 in the morning, we heard terrible shooting

    10 from the direction of Ahmici. At that time we were

    11 taken by surprise too. How come? We didn't know what

    12 was going on.

    13 We tried to climb up the steps further up,

    14 because this warehouse is near a hill, so you can go

    15 up. So we tried to see what was going on, but then

    16 since there were bullets flying all over it wasn't

    17 really a thing that you should do, and we were afraid.

    18 Q. Who was in the warehouse?

    19 A. The guard was there, Ivan Plavcic, who had

    20 already been working there for some ten days or so,

    21 precisely as a guard because of these long trips that

    22 my brother had to take in order to get these supplies

    23 that he needed. Somebody had to be there all the time,

    24 because I had commitments of my own. I could not be

    25 there all the time.

  95. 1 Q. That is to say that you were there with that

    2 guard; is that correct?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. You heard shooting. Did you see anything?

    5 You said that you tried to see -- what did you see from

    6 the direction of Ahmici?

    7 A. Well, yes. Half an hour after the shooting

    8 started we were a bit encouraged, so we went upstairs

    9 and we saw from Ahmici -- we saw big pillars of smoke,

    10 and I told Ivan then that I supposed that Zoran's and

    11 Mirjan's houses were on fire, or one of them, in that

    12 area. That's what it looked like then.

    13 Q. What kind of fire did you hear, small-arms

    14 fire or heavy gunfire, and from what direction?

    15 A. Small-arms fire mostly. Perhaps some smaller

    16 detonations. Perhaps these were hand grenades or

    17 something like that.

    18 Q. And what did you do after that?

    19 A. Around 6.30 or 7.00, I don't know when, I

    20 agreed with the guard that we leave the warehouse after

    21 all, because it was not exactly advisable to stay there

    22 in view of its position. On the other hand, it's a big

    23 building and perhaps it would attract someone.

    24 Therefore, I called my brother around 6.30,

    25 and he was in Split at the time, and I told him that

  96. 1 there was heavy shooting and that I saw these pillars

    2 of smoke in the direction of those houses, and I told

    3 him to wait a bit because he was supposed to leave, and

    4 I told him to wait and I was afraid for him. I was

    5 afraid that he would be taken prisoner again or

    6 something.

    7 Then we went to the house of Slavko Vrebac.

    8 Just as we moved from the warehouse, some 30 metres or

    9 so, behind us we heard a strong detonation and we

    10 fell. Of course, we ran away from there, we went to

    11 the house of my uncle, Marko Vrebac, but after that we

    12 saw where a mortar shell had fallen. We recognised it

    13 by its tip.

    14 Q. By its tail?

    15 A. Yes. Yes, by the stabiliser that it has. We

    16 saw that only later.

    17 We went to that place, and we were there with

    18 these kinsmen of mine, Vlado Vrebac, Zarko Vrebac,

    19 Marko Vrebac. They were all at home. Those are my

    20 uncle and cousins.

    21 Q. Did you go to your house, to your father,

    22 Jozo Vrebac?

    23 A. Not right away. I went there maybe at around

    24 9.00, but first I took some food supplies from the

    25 warehouse in order to take that up there, because I

  97. 1 could see these people who arrived at the shelter in

    2 the morning.

    3 So when I got there, I saw that the shelter

    4 was full of people, too many people. More than it

    5 could hold. There was a large number of people. So I

    6 saw that I didn't take enough food. I expected to only

    7 find a couple of families there.

    8 Q. How many people were there, in your estimate,

    9 when you got there? Can you tell us approximately?

    10 A. About a hundred people approximately, perhaps

    11 more. That's what I think. I don't know really

    12 what -- how big the basement was but it was

    13 overcrowded. I think it was about a hundred people or

    14 more.

    15 Q. Did you see Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic that

    16 day?

    17 A. Yes. When I was leaving the house, when I

    18 left the food, mostly for the children who were there,

    19 and the women, I met them, the two of them, Mirjan and

    20 Zoran, and Mirko Sarkic also came with them. They came

    21 because their families were there. Mirjan Kupreskic's

    22 family was there. Zoran's family was in the house of

    23 Milutin Vidovic. That's what he told me at that time.

    24 So that's when we met. We talked about everything that

    25 was happening. We were all shocked and surprised by

  98. 1 what was going on.

    2 So Mica, Mirjan Kupreskic, told me then that

    3 they met, when they were coming back from the Pudza

    4 houses, from the depression, they saw Satko, Anto

    5 Vidovic, and he told them that he was in tears too,

    6 that he was with the mother of Fahrudin Ahmic, our

    7 friend, and she had told him that Fahran was killed.

    8 I will cannot describe to you the shock that

    9 we were in when we found out about that. We were with

    10 that man every day, and we couldn't have assumed that

    11 something like that could happen.

    12 Q. What time was that?

    13 A. It was between 9.00 and 10.00 in the morning,

    14 around that time. Maybe at about 9.30.

    15 Q. Do you know, did Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic

    16 tell you where they were?

    17 A. Yes. They said they were behind the house of

    18 Niko Sakic, in the same depression that I had talked

    19 about earlier. So they were there. That's where they

    20 were. At the last houses.

    21 Q. Did you see them again on that day?

    22 A. No, I didn't meet them any more that day,

    23 because I went back to the warehouse. And I was going

    24 back and forth from the warehouse to my cousin's and to

    25 the house of Slavko Vrebac, so I was in that area all

  99. 1 the time.

    2 Q. Did you have a gun?

    3 A. I did have a gun that day. I took it from

    4 the security guard. And then I left it where it

    5 usually stays, in the office, in the warehouse, in the

    6 office next to the warehouse.

    7 Q. Were there any kind of fighting or combat

    8 activities in the region where you were on that day, so

    9 in the area between the warehouse and your house and

    10 the house of your cousins?

    11 A. No. No. But at my father's place, just

    12 below his house, where I lived too, the clearing,

    13 practically in the garden, a mortar shell fell, we

    14 assumed from the direction of Sljibcica or Sivrino

    15 Selo, or thereabouts. So that's what my father told me

    16 on that day. And then afterwards we saw the traces.

    17 Q. Were there any combat activities in the

    18 region of Sljibcica and Sivrino Selo?

    19 A. Yes. By the mortar shell in the morning,

    20 according to that, I think that's where it came from,

    21 at the warehouse. Because when they saw the security

    22 guard and me coming out of the warehouse, I think that

    23 they fired it then. But it's my assumption.

    24 Q. Who was holding those positions?

    25 A. Muslims. The BH army.

  100. 1 Q. Did you see Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic in the

    2 course of the second or the third day?

    3 A. Not during the second day. But I saw them on

    4 the third day.

    5 Q. On the second day, where were you? Could you

    6 just tell us briefly?

    7 A. Well, I stayed in the warehouse; also

    8 occasionally I would go to visit my uncle; occasionally

    9 I would go to visit my father, to see my family, how

    10 they were doing, if they needed anything. Occasionally

    11 I would take some food to the shelter.

    12 Q. So then on the third day you say you saw

    13 Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic; tell us where.

    14 A. On the third day, I saw them. At the time,

    15 it was noon. When I took goods, there was a lot of --

    16 there were a lot of goods, so I took that with my

    17 Citroen car to the shelter in my sister's house, and I

    18 gave that for them there. And I wanted to find out how

    19 they were doing, because there was constant shooting,

    20 and I wanted to know this. So I went to Niko Sakic's

    21 house, where I left the car, and I saw them right next

    22 to his garage, in that depression.

    23 The two of them, Mirko Sakic -- I don't know,

    24 there were -- also Grgic was there. I don't know his

    25 name. Mirko, something like that. I saw them. They

  101. 1 were there. And then Mirjan told me then that we need

    2 to go to his house somehow to get the accordion.

    3 So we went to his house, and we found that

    4 the door had been broken in. There was a lot of --

    5 there were a lot of holes from bullets on the facade of

    6 the house. We saw that the door had been ripped open,

    7 and everything in the house had been ransacked. The

    8 windows were broken, and the door frames -- we could

    9 see a bullet that had started a fire in the door frame,

    10 but the fire didn't catch on, so nothing was burnt.

    11 But the accordion was underneath the bed of one of the

    12 children, so we took the accordion, and then he also

    13 saw that some things were missing that had belonged to

    14 his wife, gold, that these things had been taken.

    15 So we had to go back quickly, because it

    16 wasn't wise to remain there. So we took the accordion

    17 back to the depression. And I placed it in my car and

    18 I took it home, so that's where it was until the end of

    19 the war, so until the first ceasefire.

    20 Q. Why did you go to get the accordion? You

    21 said there was still shooting in certain parts of the

    22 village. Wasn't that dangerous?

    23 A. Well, why did we go? It was dangerous. But

    24 I know what my instrument, my musical instrument, means

    25 to me, so I know also what it means to Mirjan, what the

  102. 1 accordion means to Mirjan. It's the most valuable

    2 material thing that a man could have. I can't even

    3 explain the love for a musical instrument. It

    4 practically meant a half of his life.

    5 Q. So where was the accordion placed, then? You

    6 said --

    7 A. Well, in my father's house.

    8 Q. On the third day, were you mobilised? Were

    9 you taken to the lines?

    10 A. On that day, when I returned the car to the

    11 warehouse, in the afternoon, before it got dark, maybe

    12 at twilight, three soldiers came to my uncle's house,

    13 which is where I came after I left the warehouse. And

    14 they found me there, my cousin Vlado, Zarko Vrebac.

    15 Marko was also there -- this is my uncle; he is an

    16 older man. He is a grandfather.

    17 They told us then to get ready -- or to

    18 follow them immediately. And they took us to upper

    19 Zume, to Marko Livancic's house. And then another two

    20 soldiers accompanied us to Pirici, above the Muslim

    21 cemetery, but below the forest. And it's called --

    22 the forest is called Barin Gaj, and this is where they

    23 placed us. And they gave us a shovel and a pickaxe and

    24 told us to start digging.

    25 Q. When you say your uncle was with you as well,

  103. 1 how old was he?

    2 A. He was born in 1924.

    3 Q. He was taken there with you?

    4 A. No. No. He stayed in front of his house.

    5 He wasn't taken with us. He's a very old man.

    6 Q. So you remained on that line where you were

    7 brought, and how long did you stay there?

    8 A. How long?

    9 Q. The whole war?

    10 A. No, not the whole war. I remained there for

    11 maybe 20 days; maybe a little longer. After that, I

    12 went to Vitez, because they came to get me. They

    13 needed me to maintain electronic equipment.

    14 Q. Do you know how and when the family of Zoran

    15 and Mirjan Kupreskic went to Vitez, and from where?

    16 A. I know that on the 15th day, they left,

    17 because I drove them. I had a small minivan, a

    18 Volkswagen van, in my warehouse. So Mirjan and Zoran

    19 told me that they needed to transfer them up there,

    20 because the house of their sister, Ljubica Kupreskic,

    21 was empty, because the sister and brother-in-law were

    22 in Switzerland working.

    23 Q. This house is in Vitez?

    24 A. Yes, in Vitez. In the -- I don't know which

    25 part; it's called Mlakici, next to the high school.

  104. 1 Q. Where was Ljubica Kupreskic until then,

    2 before she went to Vitez?

    3 A. Ljubica Kupreskic was in the house of Pero

    4 Santic, I think, Radak. This is across the Lasva.

    5 Across the bridge itself, when you go, so the house is

    6 close to the bridge.

    7 Q. And whose wife is Ljubica Kupreskic?

    8 A. She's the wife of Mirjan Kupreskic.

    9 Q. So is that where you picked her up?

    10 A. Yes. We first picked up Zoran's wife from

    11 Milutin's house, and the children, we picked them up.

    12 Q. Whose house was she in?

    13 A. In the house of Milutin Vidovic.

    14 So we picked them up; then we went to the

    15 Radaks, across the Lasva, and we picked up Ljubica and

    16 the children, and we went across Rijeka in a different

    17 road because you couldn't take the main road. So we

    18 took a detour because of the snipers on the main road.

    19 So it was very risky to use the main road.

    20 Q. Did Ljubica Kupreskic -- who was she with in

    21 Pero Santic's house?

    22 A. She was there with her children. Ankica

    23 Kupreskic was there with her children. There was --

    24 there were a lot of people who had to leave their own

    25 homes.

  105. 1 Q. Do you remember if Ljubica's mother was there

    2 with Ljubica?

    3 A. Yes. Her mother was very old and very sick,

    4 and I remember that my father told me that they pushed

    5 her in a wheelbarrow, and that they brought her to the

    6 Radak houses in the wheelbarrow, and then from -- they

    7 brought her to our shelter also in the same

    8 wheelbarrow. So we picked them up, and then we took

    9 them to Vitez, where we settled them.

    10 Q. Thank you.

    11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I'm

    12 finished with this part. I still have another half an

    13 hour for tomorrow, but it's a completely different

    14 part. So I would ask that we begin with that

    15 tomorrow.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, indeed. So we adjourn

    17 now.

    18 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    19 1:25 p.m., to be reconvened on

    20 Friday, the 5th day of March, 1999,

    21 at 9.00 a.m.