1. 1 Wednesday, 17th 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 This is case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus

    8 Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic,

    9 Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning.

    11 Counsel Radovic.

    12 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I forgot to ask

    13 yesterday for the newspaper article to be admitted into

    14 evidence, the newspaper article that talks about how

    15 the witness saved the Muslim. Thank you.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, D14/1. No objection?

    17 It is admitted into evidence.

    18 Good morning. Could you please make the

    19 solemn declaration?

    20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

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

    22 truth.

    23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

    24 seated.

    25 Counsel Radovic?


    2 Examined by Mr. Radovic:

    3 Q. Good morning, Mrs. Cuic. Would you please

    4 introduce yourself?

    5 A. I am Gordana Cuic, born Vidovic. I was born

    6 in Pirici on the 5th of May, 1956. I am currently

    7 living in Vitez.

    8 Q. Are you married?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Do you have children?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Could you please tell us your education?

    13 A. It's high school. I'm a tailor, a man's

    14 tailor.

    15 Q. Do you work for a company, or are you an

    16 independent contractor?

    17 A. I'm an independent contractor. I have my own

    18 private store from 1973.

    19 Q. Could you please tell us if you had ever made

    20 military uniforms?

    21 A. No.

    22 Q. Not even in the period from 1991 onwards?

    23 A. No.

    24 Q. What about your clients? As a man's tailor,

    25 who were your clients? Were they only Croats, only

  3. 1 Muslims, or did you have clients regardless of their

    2 nationality or religion?

    3 A. People came regardless of their nationality

    4 or their religion.

    5 Q. Where did you live in 1992 and 1993?

    6 A. In Ahmici. Meaning in Pirici.

    7 Q. Who did you live with?

    8 A. With my mother.

    9 Q. Would you be so kind and point out on the

    10 aerial map of Ahmici, point out the place where you

    11 lived, and also could you please tell us who your

    12 neighbours were, indicate their houses, and tell the

    13 Court which neighbours were Muslims and which ones were

    14 Croats. So would you please stand up and use the

    15 pointer.

    16 So start with your house.

    17 A. This is the main Travnik-Sarajevo road. On

    18 the left is the road for Ahmici. This is my house

    19 (indicating), my mother's house.

    20 Q. Could you please tell us who your neighbours

    21 were?

    22 A. My neighbours were -- this is the house of

    23 Zoran Kupreskic (indicating), this is the house of

    24 Mirjan Kupreskic, his parents' house (indicating). Now

    25 I'm coming back. This is the road to Ahmici. There is

  4. 1 the house of Vlatko Kupreskic -- I'm sorry, I skipped

    2 over -- when you go on the Ahmici road, the entire

    3 right side is inhabited by Muslims, which means that on

    4 the left side are the Croats.

    5 Q. Could you please tell us some of your Muslim

    6 neighbours.

    7 A. My next-door neighbour is Smajl Pezer.

    8 That's here (indicating). The second is Sulejman

    9 Pezer. Those are my closest neighbours.

    10 Q. What relations did you have with your Muslim

    11 neighbours?

    12 A. Good.

    13 Q. What does that mean, that you had good

    14 relations?

    15 A. Well, we visited one another from time to

    16 time.

    17 Q. Did you take part -- did you celebrate their

    18 religious holidays in any way?

    19 A. Yes, I did take part.

    20 Q. In what way?

    21 A. I was present at the ceremony, the opening

    22 ceremony for the mosque. There was a special

    23 celebration which I attended.

    24 Q. Did you go by yourself, or were you invited?

    25 A. I was invited.

  5. 1 Q. Who invited you?

    2 A. The owner of the mosque.

    3 Q. Who was the owner of the mosque?

    4 A. Hazim Ahmic.

    5 Q. When you were invited to the opening ceremony

    6 of the mosque, please tell us, did you attend the

    7 prayer inside the mosques, or were you just outside the

    8 mosque?

    9 A. I attended the prayers inside the mosque, in

    10 the section where the women were.

    11 Q. The prayer with the Muslims, women are

    12 separated from the men?

    13 A. Yes, they are.

    14 Q. And during the opening ceremony, were there

    15 any music groups present, some bands?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Yes. Please sit down so that you don't have

    18 to stand any longer.

    19 So we were talking about the musical part of

    20 the opening.

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Who was there?

    23 A. There was a band, an orchestra from Sarajevo,

    24 the so-called Ilahije and Kaside.

    25 Q. What were they singing?

  6. 1 A. They were singing their special prayers. I

    2 couldn't understand that in Croatian.

    3 Q. Was that in Arabic?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. When you started to work as an independent

    6 businesswoman, tailor, did you work alone, or did you

    7 have any employees? I'm not interested whether that

    8 person was reported as a worker or whether they worked

    9 for you.

    10 A. Yes, yes, I did.

    11 Q. What was her name?

    12 A. I had a lady, her name was Izeta Ribo. She

    13 was from Kruscica.

    14 Q. What was her nationality?

    15 A. She was a Muslim.

    16 Q. Until when did she work for you?

    17 A. She worked from 1985 until 1989.

    18 Q. Why did she stop working with you?

    19 A. Her children were sick. She had twin girls,

    20 so she had to be with them every day.

    21 Q. What about your work, where did you work, at

    22 home or did you have rented premises?

    23 A. No, not at home. I had rented premises on

    24 the outskirts of Vitez.

    25 Q. Who was the owner of the house where these

  7. 1 premises were?

    2 A. Mahir Merdan.

    3 Q. So how long were you renting the space from

    4 him?

    5 A. From 1984 until the war.

    6 Q. So Mahir Merdan, what was he by nationality?

    7 A. He was a Muslim.

    8 Q. What relations did you have with him?

    9 A. Very good. Very good. And when the war

    10 ended, when I started to work again, I couldn't go back

    11 to that facility again, to that space. I had been

    12 there for a long time, and I was emotionally connected

    13 with them. They were very good to me.

    14 Q. Did they go back to Vitez?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. Where are they now, as far as you know?

    17 A. As far as I know -- the owner visited me when

    18 I started to work again.

    19 Q. After the cease-fire?

    20 A. Yes, after the truce. And she said, without

    21 going into it in detail, that they are just currently

    22 living in Zenica.

    23 Q. But she didn't say anything whether she was

    24 coming back or not?

    25 A. No. No.

  8. 1 Q. In 1991, the first elections were held in

    2 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Were you involved in political

    3 activity at all, or was that something you were not

    4 interested in so you can't really give us your view of

    5 that?

    6 A. Well, I wasn't interested. I worked, I did

    7 my work, so I'm not really well informed about

    8 politics.

    9 Q. After the elections, were there any changes

    10 in the national composition of the clients in your

    11 business?

    12 A. No. I didn't notice that.

    13 Q. So everybody who came to you before,

    14 regardless of whether they were Muslims or Croats, they

    15 continued to be your clients? Did I understand you

    16 well?

    17 A. Yes, they were my clients, because I worked

    18 very well.

    19 Q. Could you please tell me now -- this will be

    20 important to explain some things later -- what were

    21 your business hours?

    22 A. My business hours, from 8.00 to 12.00, then I

    23 had a break from 12.00 to 3.00, so I would come back to

    24 work from 3.00 to 6.00 in the evening.

    25 Q. So please tell us, how did you get to work?

  9. 1 Did you use public transport?

    2 A. Yes, I used public transport.

    3 Q. So can you please tell me, after the first

    4 free elections did you ever see Muslims with weapons?

    5 A. Yes. I would see them on the section of the

    6 road when I was going home, mostly around the mosque,

    7 around the mosque. Groups, small or larger groups. I

    8 really didn't pay them that much attention.

    9 Q. Did they have weapons and uniforms, or

    10 weapons without uniforms?

    11 A. Both.

    12 Q. So arms and weapons also, as well as civilian

    13 clothes and weapons?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. Did you see Croats with weapons?

    16 A. No, I didn't have the opportunity to see

    17 them, because when I come to my house, the first Croat

    18 house is my house, when I come home from the main

    19 road.

    20 Q. So if I understood you properly, going to

    21 work and returning from work you would pass through the

    22 part that is inhabited by Muslims?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. So according to what you indicated on the

    25 aerial photograph, did you pass by the mosque?

  10. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Do you remember when the first armed conflict

    3 broke out between Muslims and Croats in the region of

    4 the Vitez municipality?

    5 A. I think that happened on the 20th of October

    6 in 1992.

    7 Q. So what were you doing on that day?

    8 A. Well, it was a normal work day, so I set out

    9 for work. Across the street from my house is the house

    10 of Smajl Pezer.

    11 Q. Did you see something unusual in front of

    12 Smajl Pezer's house?

    13 A. Yes, I did see something unusual, so I came

    14 back. I was frightened and I came back. There were

    15 about 20 people who were not known to me. I couldn't

    16 tell who they were. They were Muslims and they were

    17 gathered there. Probably something was wrong.

    18 Q. How did they look? Could you describe them?

    19 Did they have any slogans, any signs with them, or did

    20 they have something more concrete with them?

    21 A. They had weapons and uniforms, as far as I

    22 could see, and the distance is about 50 metres, so it's

    23 halfway from my mother's house.

    24 Q. Did you recognise anyone?

    25 A. No. No, I didn't recognise anyone.

  11. 1 Q. Could you describe that group of Muslim

    2 soldiers that you had seen? Were they holding a

    3 position or were they sitting around smoking? What

    4 were they doing when you saw them?

    5 A. Well, I didn't see the whole group. I

    6 couldn't because next to Smajl Pezer's house there is a

    7 concrete fence, and it's of uneven height. In some

    8 places, it was half a metre high. Some places it was

    9 lower; some places it was higher. I really couldn't

    10 see exactly what they were doing, but the section that

    11 I could see -- the people who I could see were in

    12 uniform. This part here (indicating), they had

    13 something. Whether there was a gun or a rifle, I don't

    14 know. They did have something.

    15 Q. Were they in a group or were they dispersed?

    16 A. They were aligned. They were standing next

    17 to the fence.

    18 Q. What does that mean, one next to the other?

    19 A. Yes, one next to the other.

    20 Q. Could you describe, when they were standing

    21 like that next to one another, how were they holding

    22 their weapons?

    23 A. Well, I can't really -- I really can't say

    24 how they were holding their weapons.

    25 Q. So then what did you do when you saw that

  12. 1 group of Muslim soldiers? What did you do then?

    2 A. Well, there was shooting that started.

    3 Q. This group that you saw was shooting or not?

    4 A. Well, I didn't see whether they were shooting

    5 or not, but just below my mother's house where I had

    6 arrived, well, of course, we were afraid, so we went to

    7 the shelter in my brother's house.

    8 Q. What's your brother's name?

    9 A. Rudo Vidovic.

    10 Q. Why did you go to Rudo Vidovic's house?

    11 A. Well, that was the closest shelter. The

    12 house is newly built, and it's safer than in my

    13 mother's house.

    14 Q. Who did you go there with to the shelter?

    15 A. With my mother.

    16 Q. Just the two of you?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. When you got to the shelter, then what

    19 happened?

    20 A. Well, before we went in, I heard somebody

    21 shouting, "Don't shoot. It's Milka."

    22 Q. And Milka is?

    23 A. That's my mother. When I went inside, when

    24 we went inside, there were five Muslims in the shelter.

    25 Q. Five Muslims?

  13. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. What were they wearing?

    3 A. Three of them were my neighbours --

    4 Q. I was asking you what they were wearing.

    5 A. Partially in uniform. Two of them were in

    6 partial uniform and three were in civilian clothes.

    7 Q. Were they armed or they didn't have weapons?

    8 A. They all had weapons. They all had weapons.

    9 Q. Tell us, the ones who were wearing uniforms,

    10 were they wearing full uniform or were they partly

    11 dressed in uniforms and partly in civilian clothes?

    12 A. Two of them were dressed in full uniform,

    13 from head to toe.

    14 Q. And the other three?

    15 A. The other three were wearing civilian

    16 clothes.

    17 Q. Also from head to toe?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. What happened next? You heard them say,

    20 "Don't shoot. It's Milka."

    21 A. Yes. We went inside. They moved to give my

    22 mother room to sit down. I asked them what was going

    23 on, why there was gunfire, but none of them answered my

    24 question.

    25 Q. Can you tell us how long you stayed in the

  14. 1 shelter with those Muslims?

    2 A. Well, for quite a long time. I wasn't

    3 wearing a watch. I didn't know what time it was, but

    4 it was for about three or four hours that we stayed in

    5 the shelter.

    6 Q. During these three to four hours that you

    7 spent in the shelter with the Muslim soldiers, did you

    8 have any conversation?

    9 A. Yes, of course. It was so long. Of course,

    10 we had some conversation.

    11 Q. Of the five who were there in the shelter,

    12 did you recognise any of them?

    13 A. Yes, I recognised three of my neighbours.

    14 Q. Can you tell us their names?

    15 A. Yes. Nevzudin Pezer, also known as Pedza.

    16 He's my next door neighbour.

    17 Q. Let's talk about him now. Was he wearing a

    18 uniform or civilian clothes?

    19 A. He was wearing a uniform.

    20 Q. Did he have any weapons?

    21 A. Yes. He had a rifle, but I don't know what

    22 kind.

    23 Q. And then?

    24 A. Then there was Mujo Ahmic.

    25 Q. What was he wearing?

  15. 1 A. Civilian clothes.

    2 Q. Did he have any weapons?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. A rifle?

    5 A. Yes, some kind of rifle.

    6 Q. Go on, please.

    7 A. Then there was Ibrahim Karic. He's an

    8 elderly man. He was also wearing civilian clothes, and

    9 he had a rifle. From the conversation, I gathered it

    10 was a hunting rifle because he was a hunter.

    11 Q. You didn't recognise the fourth and the fifth

    12 man?

    13 A. No, I didn't, but, of course, while we were

    14 having a chat, I asked where they were from.

    15 Q. What did they say?

    16 A. One of them said he was from Vrhovine and

    17 that he had arrived the previous night from the war

    18 theatre at Visoko.

    19 Q. And the fifth man?

    20 A. The fifth man was a refugee who was staying

    21 in Ahmici, but I don't know his name.

    22 Q. Do you know what part of Ahmici he was

    23 staying in?

    24 A. Yes, I do. How can I explain it?

    25 Q. Well, we talk about Donja, Lower Ahmici --

  16. 1 A. Yes. Yes, he was in Lower Ahmici, in Donja

    2 Ahmici. I didn't know exactly where, but he told me

    3 himself.

    4 Q. Did the Muslim soldiers, with whom you spent

    5 a few hours in the shelter on the 20th of October,

    6 1992, make any trouble for you? Did they provoke you

    7 or mistreat you in any way?

    8 A. No. No. No.

    9 Q. So they were polite?

    10 A. Yes, they were really extremely polite.

    11 Q. During that time, did you smoke?

    12 A. I smoked, but I ran out of cigarettes, and I

    13 asked Ibrahim Karic, since he was the eldest of them,

    14 and said I would go to my mother's house which was some

    15 20 or 30 metres away to fetch some cigarettes and to

    16 make some coffee. So I left the shelter, and when I

    17 came back --

    18 Q. Did your mother stay?

    19 A. Yes, my mother stayed in the shelter. When I

    20 came back, none of them were there anymore.

    21 Q. During the time you spent in the shelter with

    22 them, what were they doing in the shelter?

    23 A. I don't know with what intention they came to

    24 the shelter.

    25 Q. Did these people leave the shelter at any

  17. 1 moment during the shooting?

    2 A. No. They were in the shelter the whole time,

    3 but I tried to go out a few times, and they prevented

    4 me. They said, "No, there is gunfire." They didn't

    5 leave the shelter for a moment during the time I was

    6 there.

    7 Q. Did they shoot?

    8 A. No. No.

    9 Q. None of them?

    10 A. No, none of them fired any shots.

    11 Q. What was your impression? The Muslims in the

    12 shelter, do you think they were holding a position or

    13 do you think they were hiding so as not to be wounded,

    14 killed, or can't you say?

    15 A. I can't say. I really don't know why they

    16 came to the shelter. I don't know what their aim was.

    17 Q. So you couldn't gather that from their

    18 conversation?

    19 A. No. No, I couldn't.

    20 Q. So you went home and you came back, and they

    21 had gone. Did your mother perhaps tell you when they

    22 had gone and why?

    23 A. No, they didn't say anything. When I left

    24 the shelter, they simply went, and my mother didn't see

    25 in what direction they'd gone.

  18. 1 Q. They hadn't told her why they were leaving?

    2 A. No. No, they didn't say anything.

    3 Q. How did that day end?

    4 A. When the gunfire stopped, we went home, of

    5 course, to our house.

    6 Q. Do you know that the Muslims in Ahmici, after

    7 this armed conflict, left Ahmici?

    8 A. No. No, I don't know that.

    9 Q. You don't know that they left and that after

    10 a certain time they came back?

    11 A. I don't know. The part where I passed

    12 through, they were all there. Either they were all

    13 there or I wasn't really paying attention.

    14 Q. After this event and before the war broke

    15 out, did you see armed Muslims, Muslim soldiers, either

    16 individually or in groups?

    17 A. Yes. I would see them when they were coming

    18 back from the front, Visoko, and I don't know the names

    19 of all those places, but they would shoot. I was

    20 frightened. I didn't know why they were shooting, and

    21 I would find out later why they were shooting.

    22 Q. Did you ever see the Muslims from your

    23 village going for some kind of training or exercise?

    24 A. Yes. Yes.

    25 Q. Can you describe that?

  19. 1 A. Well, it was a normal working day.

    2 Q. Can you tell us what month it was, what year?

    3 A. Well, it was approximately in mid November

    4 1992. I have already said that I had a break at noon,

    5 so this was between 2.00 and 3.00 p.m. On the road, I

    6 met a rather large group of Muslims --

    7 Q. You couldn't tell us the exact number?

    8 A. No, I couldn't, but it was a big group.

    9 There were quite a lot of people in the group who I

    10 didn't know, and they were led by Fuad Berbic. In the

    11 group, there were quite a few Muslims whom I knew who

    12 lived in Ahmici.

    13 Q. Can you tell us whether you talked to Fuad

    14 Berbic when you met them?

    15 A. Yes. I said hello. He didn't respond.

    16 Instead, he said, "Neighbour, don't be afraid. This is

    17 only an exercise." So I waited to let them pass, and

    18 then I went on to work, as usual.

    19 Q. In the group, you said there were quite a few

    20 people you didn't know.

    21 A. Yes. Yes.

    22 Q. But were there also people whom you knew?

    23 A. Yes. Yes, there were people I knew. Yes.

    24 Q. Can you enumerate the names of the people

    25 whom you knew and who were in that group and whom you

  20. 1 remember now?

    2 A. Yes. Yes, I could. Midhat Berbic, Hasko

    3 Berbic, Vehbija Ahmic, Fehim Ahmic, Mirsad Ahmic, Smajl

    4 Pezer, Sulejman Pezer, Osman Pezer, Nevzudin Pezer,

    5 Nedzad Dzidic, Besim Ahmic. That is as far as I can

    6 remember at the moment.

    7 Q. When you met this group of Muslims, what did

    8 the group look like? Were the members dressed in

    9 civilian clothes or in military uniforms?

    10 A. Some of them were in uniform. Some of them

    11 were in uniform, and most of them, the ones I didn't

    12 know, were wearing civilian clothes.

    13 Q. Were they wearing any kind of insignia on

    14 their sleeve showing that they belonged to some kind of

    15 army?

    16 A. I didn't notice. I didn't look at them that

    17 much because I was afraid.

    18 Q. Could you tell us what your feeling was, how

    19 you felt when you heard gunfire in your village and

    20 when you heard that these were Muslim soldiers on their

    21 way back from the front and shooting? Did this have

    22 any kind of effect on you? Were you afraid?

    23 A. Of course, I was afraid. I was terribly

    24 afraid of gunfire.

    25 Q. You said that when you met this group of

  21. 1 soldiers, you were frightened. Why were you

    2 frightened?

    3 A. Well, I was frightened because wherever they

    4 were gathered together in a large group, they would

    5 take the opportunity to shoot, and they had weapons.

    6 So of course I was afraid.

    7 Q. Could you describe where you met that group

    8 of soldiers, near what houses?

    9 A. On the way out of my mother's yard, so the

    10 way I take when I'm leaving Ahmici.

    11 Q. Can you show this on the map?

    12 A. This is my house (indicating). I went out

    13 onto the road, and just here I met them, so

    14 approximately across the road from my mother's house.

    15 Q. Thank you. You may sit down. While you were

    16 living in Ahmici in these turbulent times in late 1992,

    17 were there any alarms which were false, so that people

    18 had to run and hide?

    19 A. Yes. Yes.

    20 Q. Do you remember any specific event, and can

    21 you place it, tell us the time?

    22 A. Yes, I remember very well. One evening, it

    23 was after 11.00 p.m., my relative, Miro Vidovic, rang

    24 us up on the telephone and said that 50 Mujahedeen had

    25 come to Barin Gaj and that I should take my mother and

  22. 1 that we should take shelter.

    2 Q. Barin Gaj, how far away from your house is

    3 it?

    4 A. Well, I couldn't say how far it is.

    5 Q. Well, if you have to walk there, how long

    6 does it take?

    7 A. Maybe half an hour.

    8 Q. Very well. If we don't know how many

    9 kilometres it is, we know how long it takes us to walk

    10 there.

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. So what did you do?

    13 A. I took my mother and the cow, and we set out

    14 toward the house of Niko Sakic. My mother said, "Let's

    15 go back. For God's sake, it's late at night." So we

    16 went back.

    17 Q. And nothing happened?

    18 A. No, nothing happened that evening.

    19 Q. I'm sorry if you've already said this, but I

    20 think you haven't: What month was this?

    21 A. Well, I think it was in November, but I

    22 couldn't tell you the date.

    23 Q. But it was after the first conflict?

    24 A. Yes. Yes, it was after the first conflict.

    25 Q. Why did you take the cow with you? This may

  23. 1 not be very important, but it shows the way of life of

    2 the people.

    3 A. Well, we needed milk because my brother had a

    4 baby, and we had to look after the baby, of course.

    5 Q. After the first conflict, you went on living

    6 in Ahmici. Some of the Muslims stayed; some of them

    7 came back. So the Muslim houses were inhabited as

    8 well.

    9 Can you tell us what the relations were

    10 between the Croats and the Muslims after the first

    11 conflict or, to put it more precisely, how did the

    12 Muslims treat you personally?

    13 A. It's true that there was a change in the way

    14 they treated me. I would pass through the Muslim part

    15 of the village four times a day, and, of course, I

    16 would always say hello to them, but 90 per cent of them

    17 refused to say hello when I said hello.

    18 Q. These were Muslims in the village?

    19 A. Yes, just the Muslims in the village.

    20 Q. How did the Muslims in the town treat you,

    21 because you were working in town, in Vitez, as far as I

    22 can tell?

    23 A. Yes. Yes, they would treat me normally,

    24 quite normally, as usual.

    25 Q. So there were no changes among the town

  24. 1 Muslims?

    2 A. No, at least I didn't notice any changes.

    3 Q. In December 1992, did you attend some kind of

    4 gathering or party or celebration where there was a

    5 mixed Muslim-Croatian attendance?

    6 A. Yes. I attended a wedding in town.

    7 Q. Whose wedding?

    8 A. Zoran Vidovic.

    9 Q. Who was he marrying?

    10 A. He was marrying Marica Sakic.

    11 Q. What is his mother by nationality?

    12 A. She's a Muslim.

    13 Q. So what about the guests at the wedding?

    14 A. They were mixed, of all nationalities. We

    15 all celebrated together. We sang together.

    16 Q. Were there any incidents between Croats and

    17 Muslims?

    18 A. No. No, there were no incidents.

    19 Q. The celebration, the wedding went well?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Can you remember where you celebrated the New

    22 Year of 1993?

    23 A. Yes, I remember, in the hotel in Vitez.

    24 Q. Were there any limitations on the arrival of

    25 Muslims or the entry of Muslims into that hotel?

  25. 1 A. Not that I noticed, no.

    2 Q. At this New Year celebration, was there any

    3 music?

    4 A. Yes. Yes, there was music.

    5 Q. What did they play?

    6 A. They played all kinds of music for the New

    7 Year celebration.

    8 Q. Were there any incidents between Croats and

    9 Muslims at that party?

    10 A. No. No.

    11 Q. At the wedding, Zoran Vidovic's wedding, do

    12 you remember who played?

    13 A. Mirjan Kupreskic and his band were playing.

    14 Q. Was Zoran part of the group or is he just a

    15 dancer?

    16 A. No, he doesn't play any instruments, but he

    17 was there as a guest.

    18 Q. Did you see who they associated with?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. With whom?

    21 A. Well, in the band, Fahrudin Ahmic played an

    22 instrument.

    23 Q. What did he play?

    24 A. The drums.

    25 Q. What is he by nationality?

  26. 1 A. A Muslim.

    2 Q. Did he play there all the time?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Did anyone provoke him because he's a Muslim?

    5 A. No.

    6 Q. We have passed the New Year. Can you tell us

    7 whether anything significant happened in the period

    8 between the New Year and the 15th of April, 1993,

    9 something that would stay in your memory and something

    10 that you feel should be said here in this court?

    11 A. No. I think that nothing significant took

    12 place.

    13 Q. Can you tell me now what you were doing on

    14 the day before the war broke out, that is, on the 15th

    15 of April, 1993?

    16 A. I had a normal work day until 6.00 p.m.

    17 Q. Did you go home?

    18 A. Yes, of course, I went home.

    19 Q. Then what happened? You came home. Around

    20 what time did you come home?

    21 A. After 6.00 p.m. I'll explain that. I did

    22 all my normal house chores, and I went to Zoran

    23 Kupreskic's house with my mother.

    24 Q. Did you stay there long? Were you there with

    25 interruptions?

  27. 1 A. Well, with interruptions. I visited my

    2 neighbour who had just -- with Zoran, I went to visit

    3 my neighbour who had just arrived from Germany.

    4 Q. What is this neighbour's name?

    5 A. Ankica Kupreskic.

    6 Q. Do you know who brought her? Do you know how

    7 she arrived?

    8 A. I don't know. Well, for me it was important

    9 only that she had arrived. I don't know how she got

    10 there. I don't know the details.

    11 Q. When you came to the house of Ivica

    12 Kupreskic -- because it's the habit in Bosnia, the

    13 custom, to have that name go by the man's name -- so

    14 was only Ivica there, and Ankica Kupreskic, or were

    15 there more people there?

    16 A. Yeah, there were more people.

    17 Q. Were those people there all the time, or were

    18 they coming and going, some were arriving, some were

    19 leaving?

    20 A. Well, we didn't stay there long, so there

    21 were people when we arrived, and then when I went, when

    22 I left, the same people remained. How long they stayed

    23 after that, I don't know.

    24 Q. Could you name the people that you remember

    25 being in the house of Ivica Kupreskic?

  28. 1 A. Ivica Kupreskic's grandfather, Ivo Kupreskic

    2 was there, Ljubica Kupreskic was there, Vlatko's wife,

    3 Ljubo Kupreskic, Mirjan's wife was there, Mirko Sakic

    4 was there, Miroslav Pudza, Mirjan was there.

    5 Q. Mirjan who?

    6 A. Mirjan Kupreskic. I think that's as much as

    7 I remember.

    8 Q. Yes, so you can remember that much?

    9 A. Yes, that's right.

    10 Q. So after the visit, how long did you stay?

    11 A. Well, very briefly. There were a lot of

    12 people there.

    13 Q. So when you were in that room where everybody

    14 was, what was the discussion about? Were they talking

    15 about that there's going to be a war tomorrow, they

    16 need to cleanse Muslims from Ahmici, or were they

    17 discussing some other topics?

    18 A. Well, these were just casual topics. We

    19 remained in Ivica's house for a short while.

    20 Q. While you were there, tell us what you talked

    21 about. Of course, you don't know what they were

    22 talking about when you weren't there.

    23 A. Yes, yes.

    24 Q. So only what they were talking about.

    25 A. Well, nothing significant. Just the usual

  29. 1 talk was there, and we were there for only a short

    2 time.

    3 Q. So what do you understand to be just normal

    4 talk?

    5 A. Well, about the trip. We were very glad that

    6 they had arrived. They were away for a long time.

    7 Q. Yes, tell us.

    8 A. I can't remember the details, exactly what we

    9 talked about. There were a lot of us. I didn't really

    10 pay attention too much to the others who were also

    11 there.

    12 Q. After you left Ivica Kupreskic's house, where

    13 did you go?

    14 A. I went back to Zoran Kupreskic's house, where

    15 my mother was.

    16 Q. What about Zoran?

    17 A. Yes, Zoran came back with me. He returned

    18 with me to his house.

    19 Q. Could you please tell us how long you stayed

    20 in Zoran Kupreskic's house?

    21 A. Well, we stayed late, but I don't know

    22 exactly what time it was.

    23 Q. What did you talk about?

    24 A. Just the usual topics. We socialised, so we

    25 always had things to talk about, all kinds of things.

  30. 1 Except politics, of course.

    2 Q. Could you try to remember at least some of

    3 the topics, and tell us what it was that you talked

    4 about when you were socialising.

    5 A. Well, I remember well that evening we were

    6 watching an interesting tape.

    7 Q. What about?

    8 A. Well, there was music, mostly music, on the

    9 tape.

    10 Q. Do you remember, was that a domestic tape, or

    11 was that a Western-produced tape?

    12 A. Yeah, it was local music.

    13 Q. During your visit to Zoran Kupreskic's house,

    14 at any time did Zoran tell you what was going to happen

    15 the next day?

    16 A. No. No.

    17 Q. Did he indicate in any way that he knew that

    18 war would break out the next day?

    19 A. No.

    20 Q. And your relationship, yours and Zoran's,

    21 were they good?

    22 A. Yes, they were perfectly good.

    23 Q. In your opinion, do you think that if Zoran

    24 had known that the conflict would break out the next

    25 day, would he have told you?

  31. 1 A. Yes, if he had known, he would have told me

    2 for sure.

    3 Q. Why would he have told you?

    4 A. Well, we were so close. We grew up together,

    5 we lived together, so why wouldn't he tell us if

    6 something like that was about to happen, and if he had

    7 known?

    8 Q. When you returned home, you said that in the

    9 visit to Zoran Kupreskic's house, your mother

    10 accompanied you?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Did your mother come back home with you, or

    13 did she go back by herself?

    14 A. No, she came back with me.

    15 Q. You came home, and what did you do then?

    16 A. Well, we went to bed, of course.

    17 Q. So now this is the first day of the war, the

    18 16th of April. How did you wake up?

    19 A. We were woken by my cousin, our next-door

    20 neighbour, Dragan Vidovic.

    21 Q. Could you tell us the time? Well, if you

    22 didn't look at the watch, approximately, or if you did

    23 look at the watch, then the exact time he woke you up.

    24 A. I don't know the exact time, but it was after

    25 4.00 a.m. I don't know whether it was 4.30 or 5.00

  32. 1 a.m. It was morning. So the circumstances were such

    2 that I really can't remember exactly what time it was.

    3 Q. So when he woke you up, tell us, did you look

    4 at the clock, or is this an estimate of the time?

    5 A. This is my estimate of the time.

    6 Q. So what did Dragan Vidovic tell you?

    7 A. Well, there were no explanations. He just

    8 said to take my mother and to go to the shelter.

    9 Q. Did he say which shelter? Or was there just

    10 talk about "a shelter"?

    11 A. He didn't say what shelter. I decided myself

    12 which shelter I would go to.

    13 Q. Dragan Vidovic, you said he was your

    14 neighbour and that he was your cousin?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Of course he still is your cousin. So tell

    17 us, did he hold some kind of position, a post in

    18 Ahmici, and how did he find out that you had to go to

    19 the shelter?

    20 A. I don't know. I don't know that.

    21 Q. So he didn't tell you where he got this

    22 information from?

    23 A. No, he didn't tell me anything. There were

    24 no explanations.

    25 Q. Did he take some particular care of you, for

  33. 1 him to come and tell you this?

    2 A. Well, yes. The two of us were alone.

    3 Q. Women?

    4 A. Yes, my mother and I lived alone, and, of

    5 course, he was afraid for us.

    6 Q. So you needed some male protection, and he

    7 saw himself as your protector. Did I understand that

    8 right?

    9 A. Yes. Yes, you understood that properly.

    10 Q. So you were going to the shelter, which

    11 shelter did you go to?

    12 A. Jozo Vrebac's house.

    13 Q. Could you describe the road to the shelter in

    14 Jozo Vrebac's house?

    15 A. Well, on the road, I met Zoran Kupreskic and

    16 his family and Mirjan Kupreskic and his family. They

    17 were driving -- they were pushing their grandmother in

    18 a cart, in a wheelbarrow.

    19 Q. Did they go in the same direction as you did?

    20 A. Yes. Yes. I can't remember in detail what

    21 we were talking about, but we came up and we passed by

    22 them.

    23 Q. Yes, you caught up with them; let's be more

    24 precise.

    25 A. Yes, since they had small children, we caught

  34. 1 up with them.

    2 Q. So you caught up with them. So where did you

    3 go with your mother?

    4 A. I went to Jozo Vrebac's shelter.

    5 Q. Did anybody else, from the people that you

    6 knew, go to that shelter?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Well, I want to be direct, I'm interested in

    9 Zoran, Mirjan, and their families.

    10 A. Well, yes, I already said that. We caught up

    11 with them and we passed them. There were other people

    12 from the neighbourhood who were going towards the

    13 shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house. If I need to tell you

    14 who they are, I can remember that.

    15 Q. Well, yes, please tell us who they were, if

    16 you can remember how many.

    17 A. There was Dragica Omazic, Luca Omazic, with

    18 their children. We caught up with them. I can't

    19 remember exactly who else I met.

    20 Q. Well, what you remember is okay.

    21 At the time you were going towards the

    22 shelter, was the shooting already in progress, or not?

    23 A. No, not when I was going.

    24 Q. Can you determine when the firing started?

    25 And where were you at the time when it broke out?

  35. 1 A. I was already in the shelter.

    2 Q. Jozo Vrebac's house?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. So did anybody from the family of Mirjan and

    5 Zoran Kupreskic also come to the shelter in Jozo

    6 Vrebac's house?

    7 A. Yes. Zoran and Mirjan's parents were there.

    8 Mirjan's wife, also, with the children, in the shelter

    9 in Jozo Vrebac's house.

    10 Q. Zoran?

    11 A. Well, Zoran's family went to the house of

    12 Milutin Vidovic.

    13 Q. Did you find that out on that same day, that

    14 Zoran's family was in the house of Milutin Vidovic? Or

    15 did you find that out on the same (sic) day?

    16 A. Yes, the same day. I came back, because

    17 that's close, and I could see Zoran's family in the

    18 house of Milutin Vidovic. I saw them. I didn't hear

    19 about it.

    20 Q. So you saw them?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. So how was it that you left the shelter in

    23 Jozo Vrebac's house and went to Milutin Vidovic's

    24 house?

    25 A. Well, I wanted to see Zoran's wife, to see

  36. 1 where she was and why didn't she come to the shelter.

    2 Q. So on that day, when you were in the shelter

    3 in Jozo Vrebac's house and you went to visit the wife

    4 of Zoran in the house of Milutin Vidovic, did you see

    5 Zoran and Mirjan, except for the time that you

    6 encountered them and they were taking their families to

    7 the shelter?

    8 A. Yes, I saw them, but I couldn't tell you the

    9 time when I saw them. I couldn't do that.

    10 Q. Could you tell us where you saw them? Did

    11 you see them on the road, or did you see them in one

    12 shelter or the other shelter?

    13 A. Well, I saw them -- most of the time I was in

    14 the shelter of Jozo Vrebac, and that's where I would

    15 see them. That's where they would come.

    16 Q. Why did they come?

    17 A. They came to see how their parents were

    18 doing, and Mirjan came to see how his family was doing.

    19 Q. Yes, I'm asking, you have to explain to me

    20 why they came.

    21 A. Yes, yes, of course.

    22 Q. Do you remember what Zoran was wearing on

    23 that day?

    24 A. I think that he was wearing jeans and some

    25 kind of military jacket.

  37. 1 Q. And Mirjan?

    2 A. Mirjan was wearing civilian clothes.

    3 Q. He was dressed in civilian clothes?

    4 A. Yes, in civilian clothes.

    5 Q. Do you remember if they had weapons?

    6 A. I think that they did, but I'm not sure. As

    7 far as I can remember.

    8 Q. Do you remember the kind of weapons they

    9 had? Do you understand -- do you know -- are you

    10 familiar with weapons?

    11 A. No, no, I don't, I'm not familiar with

    12 weapons. I don't know what kind of weapons they were.

    13 Q. Could you tell us, how many times in the

    14 course of that day did you see Zoran and Mirjan, if you

    15 can't tell us the exact time?

    16 A. Well, I couldn't really tell you how many

    17 times they came because --

    18 Q. So you couldn't?

    19 A. No. No, I couldn't.

    20 Q. So you went to the shelter. So on your way

    21 to the shelter, did you see any soldiers?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. Are there several roads from your house and

    24 the Kupreskics' houses that you can reach that shelter?

    25 A. Yes.

  38. 1 Q. So if I understood you properly, it's not

    2 essential for everybody who takes one road from your

    3 house to the shelter to meet others who would be going

    4 in the other direction, because there are several

    5 roads?

    6 A. Yes, there are several roads, and we took the

    7 shortest one.

    8 Q. You told the Court earlier that during the

    9 first escape, when you had heard that Mujahedeen were

    10 coming to Barin Gaj, that you had taken your cow?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. What happened to your cow that day? You left

    13 it, as far as I can understand, at your house.

    14 A. Yes. I left the shelter maybe at around

    15 10.00 in the morning, and I went to milk the cow.

    16 Q. Why was it necessary for you to milk the cow?

    17 A. Well, because it was time to do that. You

    18 usually do that early in the morning. I told you that

    19 we needed the milk.

    20 Q. So now you were going to milk your cow, and

    21 what did you see on the road when you were going to

    22 your house?

    23 A. I didn't meet anybody until I got to the

    24 house of Niko Sakic. So I didn't meet anybody until I

    25 got to the house of Niko Sakic. There I met them, and

  39. 1 they were carrying the body of Mirjan Santic on a

    2 ladder.

    3 Q. Who did you meet?

    4 A. I met Nikola Omazic, Dragan Vidovic, Zoran

    5 Kupreskic, and Mirjan Kupreskic. They were carrying on

    6 a ladder the body of Mirjan Santic.

    7 Q. Did they tell you anything about how it was

    8 that they were carrying the dead body of Mirjan Santic?

    9 A. No, they didn't, but nearby there was Mirko

    10 Sakic, and of course I was afraid, so I asked him,

    11 because I'm afraid of dead bodies, I asked him what was

    12 happening, and he told me that there was shooting,

    13 there was chaos, and I couldn't go to my house. So, of

    14 course, I returned to the shelter.

    15 Q. So in the end you didn't go to milk your cow?

    16 A. No.

    17 Q. Could you describe how the dead body of

    18 Mirjan Santic was dressed?

    19 A. Well, I only remember he had a pale blue

    20 shawl, a scarf, around his neck, but the rest I don't

    21 remember, because I was really frightened.

    22 Q. So then what happened when you returned to

    23 the shelter? Did you go back to Jozo Vrebac's house,

    24 or Milutin Vidovic's house?

    25 A. Well, I returned immediately to Jozo Vrebac's

  40. 1 house.

    2 Q. So then what happened?

    3 A. All the people inside were upset because of

    4 the shooting. Nobody knew what was going on, and you

    5 can imagine what fear there was.

    6 Q. So tell us what the talk was in the shelter,

    7 where did you sleep that night, and so on.

    8 A. Well, it was not very convenient for

    9 sleeping, so there was no sleeping. I can't remember

    10 exactly what we talked about. There were all kinds of

    11 topics, important and not so important.

    12 Q. So how did you eat in the shelter?

    13 A. Food was brought to us in the course of the

    14 day while I was at the shelter, so that means until

    15 10.00, food was brought by Zdravko Vrebac, and then in

    16 the afternoon, Ivica Kupreskic, Zoran Kupreskic, and

    17 Mirjan Kupreskic brought the food a couple of times. I

    18 can't remember exactly how many times that was.

    19 Q. Well, we are now talking about the second day

    20 of the war, the 17th of April. On the 17th of April,

    21 did anything happen?

    22 A. Yes. I started toward my home again, because

    23 I wanted to fetch the cow, and I arrived at my house.

    24 Q. And what happened next?

    25 A. I saw from my mother's house a terrible

  41. 1 scene. The houses had been burnt down. The houses I

    2 could see from my house had all been burnt down, all of

    3 them. I don't know what happened, what had happened,

    4 but I took the cow, and I took it to the house of

    5 Ljupko Vidovic, where we were.

    6 Q. Where is this house?

    7 A. It's perhaps 200 or 300 metres away from the

    8 shelter of Jozo Vrebac.

    9 Q. Can you tell us whether you heard anything on

    10 the 17th, or did everyone remain in the shelter, did

    11 they move?

    12 A. We all moved from the shelter.

    13 Q. Why?

    14 A. Because we were told that there were Muslims

    15 in a nearby stream, that they had broken through the

    16 front line and there was panic, so everyone left the

    17 shelter. And I don't know, I didn't know that evening

    18 who had gone in what direction, but Mirjan's wife and

    19 children, my mother, and I stayed in the house of

    20 Ljupko Vidovic.

    21 Q. Did anything happen? Did any events occur

    22 that were rumoured?

    23 A. No, not as far as I know.

    24 Q. You said that the wife of Mirjan or Zoran

    25 stayed with you?

  42. 1 A. It was Zoran's wife, with her children.

    2 Q. She stayed behind?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. What about Mirjan's wife?

    5 A. I didn't know where she went that evening,

    6 but I learned later that she had gone to Donja Rovna.

    7 Q. With whom did she stay there?

    8 A. I think it was with Pero Santic, if I

    9 remember well. I think it was with Pero Santic.

    10 Q. You talked about rumours that you had heard

    11 before about Mujahedeen. What did that word mean to

    12 you, "Mujahedeen"?

    13 A. To me the very word "Mujahedeen" was something

    14 terrible, something that caused horror, because rumours

    15 were rife abroad that they had come to help the Muslims

    16 with a special intention to cleanse the area of

    17 everything that was not Muslim. So the very word

    18 terrified me. My mother wasn't so upset by it.

    19 Q. On the first day of the war, that is the 16th

    20 of April, what did you hear of the wartime events? You

    21 said that you heard the onset of the gunfire at about

    22 what time?

    23 A. I didn't have a watch, but I think it was

    24 about half past 5.00 or 6.00. I can't be precise.

    25 Q. For how long did the gunfire go on that day?

  43. 1 Was it the whole day?

    2 A. Well, it was almost the whole day, but I

    3 don't remember whether it was more intense in the

    4 morning or in the afternoon. I don't know.

    5 Q. Can you tell light weapons from mortars,

    6 recoilless guns?

    7 A. No, no. I can't tell the difference. I can

    8 only say whether it was more intense or less intense.

    9 Q. So was it very intense, or less intense?

    10 A. There were both kinds of sounds, I think, but

    11 I can't tell you exactly.

    12 Q. Can you tell us whether you were able to

    13 assess from what direction the gunfire came?

    14 A. No, no, I couldn't tell from what direction

    15 it came. There were lots of houses, and I can't

    16 really -- I don't know how to judge this. I can't

    17 explain.

    18 Q. So on the first day of the war, was there

    19 shooting throughout the day, or were there lulls in the

    20 gunfire? Did it stop at night?

    21 A. I can't remember exactly. No, I can't

    22 remember these details exactly.

    23 Q. Very well. If you can't, you can't.

    24 On the 17th, the second day of the war, was

    25 there any gunfire?

  44. 1 A. Yes, but less than the previous day. Less,

    2 so that I didn't have to run to my house to get the

    3 cow. Less. There was less gunfire.

    4 Q. Do you remember the second day of the war,

    5 did you see Zoran and Mirjan?

    6 A. Yes. Yes, they came to Ljupko Vidovic's

    7 house, but I can't say how many times.

    8 Q. Was it once, or several times?

    9 A. It was several times, but I can't tell you

    10 the number of times they came.

    11 Q. Did they have any conversation with you?

    12 A. Of course, I said hello, but they probably

    13 had, that is Zoran, had private conversations with his

    14 wife. I assumed they were discussing what to do next,

    15 but I don't know, actually, what they were talking

    16 about.

    17 Q. Afterwards, when the war was already going

    18 on, did you stay in Ahmici, or did you move to Vitez?

    19 A. We stayed in Ljupko Vidovic's house for a

    20 certain time. I don't know how many days it was. Then

    21 my mother and I returned to our own house in Pirici,

    22 that is, in Ahmici.

    23 Q. Who is living in your house now?

    24 A. My mother. I live in Vitez.

    25 Q. Is your mother alone now?

  45. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Do you go to visit your mother?

    3 A. Yes, regularly. Almost every day.

    4 Q. When you were talking to your fellow

    5 villagers, did they ever mention anything that might

    6 indicate intolerance toward Muslims, a desire to

    7 cleanse Ahmici of Muslims, to expel the Muslims from

    8 Ahmici, to burn their houses, and so on?

    9 A. This never happened in my presence. I don't

    10 know.

    11 Q. So what was your impression, as far as you

    12 know, what were the relations between the Croatian and

    13 Muslim villagers in Ahmici, between the individuals,

    14 before the war?

    15 A. As I see it, it was perfectly good. Our

    16 neighbourly relations were perfectly good.

    17 Q. Were you also a dancer, or did you play a

    18 musical instrument?

    19 A. Yes, but I gave that up a long time ago.

    20 Q. What time did you stop?

    21 A. In the '80s. I can't tell you the exact

    22 year. It was a long time ago.

    23 Q. Were you there before Zoran, or --

    24 A. Yes. Yes, I was in the group before them,

    25 and then Zoran and Mirjan came, and they continued, but

  46. 1 I stopped because of my work and my shop.

    2 Q. So did you continue following the work of

    3 their company? Did you go to their performances?

    4 A. Yes, I did, sometimes.

    5 Q. And in the group which played musical

    6 instruments and danced, were there any Croats? Were

    7 there any Serbs there, any Muslims, any Gypsies, or was

    8 it a closed society for just one nationality?

    9 A. No, all the nationalities were represented.

    10 I can even enumerate the people I know. There were

    11 Serbs, Gypsies.

    12 Q. Can you tell us their names?

    13 A. Cato Veljko, who is a Serb by nationality.

    14 Then I know a Gypsy, Adil, but I don't know his second

    15 name.

    16 Q. Very well. I know his second name, but let's

    17 leave it at Adil.

    18 A. Then a Muslim I know, Nedzad. I can't

    19 remember their second names.

    20 Q. Fahran?

    21 A. Fahran, of course. That's understood. I

    22 forgot to mention him. Fahran is well known.

    23 Q. So it was mixed?

    24 A. Yes, it was mixed.

    25 Q. Thank you.

  47. 1 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I have finished

    2 my examination of the witness.

    3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    4 Counsel Pavkovic?

    5 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

    6 Only Counsel Zelimir Par wishes to examine this

    7 witness.

    8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Par?

    9 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honours.

    10 Examined by Mr. Par:

    11 Q. Good day, Mrs. Cuic.

    12 A. Good day.

    13 Q. I will put a few questions to you concerning

    14 Vlatko Kupreskic.

    15 In today's testimony, you indicated on the

    16 map that one of your next door neighbours was Vlatko

    17 Kupreskic, so I assume you know him and his family

    18 well?

    19 A. Yes, very well.

    20 Q. Could you please start talking about the 16th

    21 of April. We talked about it and you described it.

    22 Can you tell us whether, on the 16th of April, 1993,

    23 you saw Vlatko Kupreskic, when and in what

    24 circumstances?

    25 A. Yes, I saw him when he brought his family and

  48. 1 his mother to Jozo Vrebac's shelter, and I asked him

    2 where his father Franjo was.

    3 Q. Can you tell us about what time this was when

    4 you saw him first?

    5 A. I can't tell the time exactly. I can't tell

    6 you what time it was, but they were among the last

    7 people to arrive, and the shooting had already started.

    8 Q. So we can say that the shooting had started,

    9 and they were among the last to arrive?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Could you enumerate them?

    12 A. I didn't understand the question.

    13 Q. When you say "they," who are you referring to

    14 of Vlatko Kupreskic's family?

    15 A. Vlatko Kupreskic, Ljubica Kupreskic, Vlatko's

    16 children, and Vlatko's mother.

    17 Q. I interrupted you when you said you asked him

    18 something about his father. Could you continue now?

    19 A. Yes. I asked him where his father was. He

    20 said that he had stayed behind at home, that he was

    21 ill, that he couldn't walk to the shelter, and that the

    22 Muslims would not harm him.

    23 Q. Very well. That was the first time you saw

    24 him that day?

    25 A. Yes.

  49. 1 Q. You were in the shelter the whole time. Did

    2 you see him again? Did he stay in the shelter?

    3 A. During the time I was in the shelter, until

    4 about 10.00, he was there during that time in the

    5 shelter. Later, when I left the shelter and came back,

    6 after 10.00, I don't know exactly what time it was, but

    7 he wasn't in the shelter then.

    8 Q. When you went to milk your cow and came back,

    9 he wasn't there anymore, but you saw him there before

    10 that?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. On that day, did you see him again at all?

    13 A. Yes. I saw him in the afternoon. I can't

    14 tell you exactly what time it was.

    15 Q. Where?

    16 A. In Jozo Vrebac's shelter.

    17 Q. Let's try to establish this. You saw him up

    18 to 10.00 and then in the afternoon?

    19 A. Yes, but I don't know exactly when in the

    20 afternoon.

    21 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now I will put

    22 another question to you from another area. Is Mirko

    23 Vidovic your brother?

    24 A. Yes, Mirko Vidovic is my brother.

    25 Q. Can you tell us where his house is in

  50. 1 relation to yours and to Vlatko's house?

    2 A. Yes. Shall I show it on the map?

    3 Q. Well, you can describe it.

    4 A. Well, it's in the immediate vicinity.

    5 Q. So Mirko is also one of your next door

    6 neighbours?

    7 A. Yes. Yes.

    8 Q. In April 1993, where was your brother Mirko?

    9 A. My brother Mirko went to Germany in March

    10 1993. He went to visit his family who was there.

    11 Q. Can you tell us why his family was in

    12 Germany? Did they leave because of the war?

    13 A. No. My brother's wife was in Germany for a

    14 long time because she had family there, and then he

    15 went to visit her.

    16 Q. So he left in March 1993 from Ahmici to

    17 Germany?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. When did he come back?

    20 A. He came back in early June 1995 to attend my

    21 wedding.

    22 Q. It was in June?

    23 A. Yes, it was in June.

    24 Q. So between March 1993 to June 1995, did Mirko

    25 come to Ahmici?

  51. 1 A. No.

    2 Q. Is it possible that on the 15th of April,

    3 1993 he was in Ahmici?

    4 A. Oh, no.

    5 MR. PAR: Very well. I would now like to ask

    6 the Court whether we can go into closed session for one

    7 minute because I would like to mention a name, and that

    8 will be my last question.

    9 (Private session)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  52. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (Open session)

    19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier?

    20 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.

    21 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:

    22 Q. Good morning, Madam Cuic. My name is Franck

    23 Terrier. I'm one of the members of the Office of the

    24 Prosecutor. I would like to ask you a number of

    25 questions after the testimony you have just given.

  53. 1 I've learned that you had very good relations

    2 with Zoran Kupreskic. Will you please tell this

    3 Tribunal how these relations began and what your

    4 relations were with Mr. Zoran Kupreskic's family?

    5 A. I'm sorry. I can't hear you very well. I

    6 can practically not hear you.

    7 Q. I'm now going to repeat my question, Madam.

    8 I would like for you to tell me exactly what your

    9 relations were with Zoran Kupreskic and his family,

    10 when these relations began, and what brought you

    11 together with his family.

    12 A. We, Zoran's family and my family, have known

    13 one another ever since I was born, which means that

    14 this has been inherited from our parents.

    15 Q. Did you have the same relations with Mirjan

    16 Kupreskic and his family?

    17 A. Yes, both with Mirjan's and Zoran's parents,

    18 yes.

    19 Q. How would you characterise the relations that

    20 you had with Vlatko Kupreskic and his family?

    21 A. Yes. They were good, good relations. But

    22 Vlatko likes to work a lot, he likes business, so he

    23 had less time for us.

    24 Q. Today, the relations with the family of Zoran

    25 and Mirjan Kupreskic, have they continued?

  54. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Today or recently, have you been in contact

    3 with Zoran and Mirjan, either by letter or by

    4 telephone?

    5 A. No, unfortunately not. I'm very sorry that I

    6 hadn't even sent a Christmas card. I had a lot of

    7 work.

    8 Q. Madam, I would like to now turn to the

    9 climate that was in Ahmici, Santici, and Pirici before

    10 the month of April 1993. It seems to me that you

    11 stated that, on several occasions before the month of

    12 April 1993 and even before October 1992, you saw groups

    13 of armed Muslims, in particular, around the mosque.

    14 Did I understand your statement correctly?

    15 A. Well, I didn't specify what time that was and

    16 how many times because I don't remember exactly, but I

    17 saw them often, generally near the mosque, because that

    18 was a direction that was necessary for me every day. I

    19 would pass that way.

    20 Q. Therefore, to the best of your knowledge,

    21 there was a frequent presence of armed Muslims around

    22 the mosque?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. However, you did not see and you could not

    25 see armed Croats in the village of Ahmici or Santici

  55. 1 and, even less so, groups of armed Croats?

    2 A. Yes. Yes, I think that I was clear enough.

    3 The section of the road that I was taking is -- my

    4 mother's house is the first house, so I didn't have the

    5 opportunity. Even if there had been any, I didn't have

    6 the opportunity to see any.

    7 Q. In your mind, given the results of that

    8 situation, the presence of armed Muslims and the

    9 absence of armed Croats, did this create an imbalance

    10 which perhaps was a provocation and a threat to your

    11 own security?

    12 A. Yes. It was terrible. In the last few

    13 months, the number of the citizens in Ahmici grew; it

    14 almost doubled. Of course, this frightened me, in view

    15 of the fact that I lived alone with my mother.

    16 Q. Therefore, within the last months that

    17 preceded April 1993, you felt terrorised and extremely

    18 threatened by the Muslims?

    19 A. I'm sorry. I didn't say that. I was just

    20 afraid. But direct threats with regard to me and my

    21 mother, there had been no direct threats.

    22 Q. What exactly were you afraid of, Madam?

    23 A. I was afraid -- well, I'll give you an

    24 example. When they would come back from the front,

    25 they would shoot, and also the group itself. In view

  56. 1 of the fact that I'm a woman and I would pass by five

    2 or six of them and they had arms, of course, I would be

    3 afraid.

    4 Q. Madam, I'm trying to understand. The men who

    5 you would see, the armed men, you said that they were

    6 coming from the front.

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. The front against the Serbs, they were

    9 fighting against the Serbs?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. The Serbs were a common enemy. The Muslims

    12 were fighting against your common enemy. How would

    13 such a situation threaten your security or cause you to

    14 be afraid when they returned from the front?

    15 A. Well, look, I don't know what their reason

    16 was for shooting, but when a rifle fires, I get afraid,

    17 regardless of the reason why it was fired. So, of

    18 course, I can't define that, what you're asking me. I

    19 don't know why and against who they fought. I only

    20 heard that from talk.

    21 Q. Did you never see Croatians or Croats,

    22 rather, returning from the front?

    23 A. No, I didn't see that because we did not have

    24 a man in the house. So it wasn't something that was of

    25 particular interest to me.

  57. 1 Q. But there were Croats living in the houses

    2 around your own. Did you never see any Croats or did

    3 you not know of any Croats coming from the front?

    4 A. The Croats who lived close to my house, as

    5 far as I know, did not go to any front. Well, I say

    6 that, as much as I know.

    7 Q. Let's now turn to the events in October of

    8 1992. You stated a moment ago that you do not remember

    9 that the Muslims had left Ahmici and only returned a

    10 few days later. Do you remember at least the

    11 discussions which took place at that time between the

    12 representatives of the Croatian community and

    13 representatives from the Muslim community concerning

    14 the conditions for their return and the conditions for

    15 the establishment of peace and trust between those two

    16 communities; do you recall that?

    17 A. Well, I've already said that the part that I

    18 would pass through, I didn't notice that the Muslims

    19 had moved away. All those agreements I was not aware

    20 of. I didn't know that and I was not familiar with

    21 that.

    22 Q. Did your friend, Zoran Kupreskic, never talk

    23 to you about these discussions, about these agreements,

    24 and the return of Muslims?

    25 A. No. No. No.

  58. 1 Q. And you never heard it said that the Muslims

    2 living in Ahmici were asked to give their weapons, to

    3 surrender their weapons to the Croats?

    4 A. No, I don't know about that. I can't

    5 remember that anybody ever in my presence talked about

    6 that.

    7 Q. In your own mind, at the end of the conflict

    8 on the 20th of October, 1992, was there a victor in

    9 that conflict?

    10 A. I don't know. Believe me, I don't even know

    11 who started it, who was firing, and who ended it. I

    12 don't know anything about that.

    13 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned a group of

    14 soldiers, some wearing uniforms and others in civilian

    15 clothing, that you saw on the road near your house, and

    16 this group was led by Fuad Berbic.

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. It seems that you had a very exact memory of

    19 this because you named nine other persons, Muslims, who

    20 were in this group. Since your memory of this is very

    21 sharp and you remember the names of persons in this

    22 group, can you please tell me what that group was doing

    23 on that road at the time in which you saw them?

    24 A. I only met them, and, of course, I stopped so

    25 that all of them could pass. Where they went after

  59. 1 that and what they did, as far as I remember, I didn't

    2 say that the first time either; I didn't know what

    3 their objective was, and, of course, I didn't ask

    4 them. I only greeted them. I've already said that.

    5 MR. TERRIER: Perhaps this might be a good

    6 time to adjourn.


    8 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

    9 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?

    11 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.

    12 Q. Madam, I would like to return for a few

    13 moments to the group led by Mr. Fuad Berbic that you

    14 saw on the road. You don't remember at all what they

    15 were doing on the road?

    16 A. I met them. They were just walking along. I

    17 didn't see any more than that. I didn't see what they

    18 were doing, their objective, or where they were going.

    19 I stopped so that they could pass by, and I have

    20 already said that.

    21 Q. So they weren't doing anything in

    22 particular. They weren't firing. You could not guess

    23 what their intentions might be. Nonetheless, you said

    24 that their simple presence frightened you a great

    25 deal.

  60. 1 A. They weren't firing, but there were a lot of

    2 them, yes. I stopped. They frightened me because they

    3 were all carrying weapons.

    4 Q. Madam, how can you be sure that this took

    5 place in mid November 1992, as you stated?

    6 A. Well, I didn't specify the time or the day,

    7 but I think that I said that this was in mid November.

    8 I don't know exactly what date, what day.

    9 Q. Madam, I'm not going to ask you for the exact

    10 day, but I would like to know the period. How can you

    11 be certain that it was in mid November 1992 when this

    12 took place and not in October or perhaps in September

    13 1992?

    14 A. I remembered it because the first conflict

    15 occurred before that, yes, on the 20th of October.

    16 Q. Therefore, you are absolutely certain that

    17 the scene that you described took place after the 20th

    18 of October, 1992?

    19 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    20 Q. Madam, I'm asking you this question because

    21 the Tribunal received several statements from Croat and

    22 Muslim witnesses who stated that, after the Muslims

    23 returned to Ahmici, that no activities of this type

    24 were noted by them.

    25 A. Well, I saw that group, and after that and

  61. 1 before, I didn't happen to see them. Whether they

    2 gathered in those groups before or after, I don't know

    3 that. I'm only talking about what I saw in that

    4 period.

    5 Q. But is it impossible that you saw this group

    6 before October 1992?

    7 A. Well, it's possible that they grouped, but I

    8 didn't see them.

    9 Q. Madam, let's return to the day of the 20th of

    10 October, 1992. If I correctly understood your

    11 testimony, you left your house with your mother to seek

    12 shelter at your house, Vidovic, and that in this

    13 shelter, you encountered five armed Muslims who were

    14 dressed in uniforms; is that correct?

    15 A. I'm sorry. I said that of the five of them,

    16 two of them had uniforms and the other three were

    17 wearing civilian clothes.

    18 Q. Yes, you're correct. I'm sorry. I

    19 apologise. Nonetheless, there were five Muslims, all

    20 armed?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Can you specify at what time these five

    23 Muslims entered the shelter?

    24 A. I can't say that more specifically because I

    25 didn't have a watch, and I didn't see them when they

  62. 1 arrived to the shelter. I only already met them in the

    2 shelter. I found them in the shelter.

    3 Q. When you arrived in this shelter, what was

    4 the general situation? Was there firing? Could you

    5 hear any exchange of canon fire or rifle fire around

    6 the road or in the area of Vitez, the road leading to

    7 Vitez? What was the situation at the time?

    8 A. Yes, there was firing, and that's why we went

    9 to the shelter. I don't know. I couldn't determine

    10 now from which direction the shooting came.

    11 Q. If there was shooting, could you draw the

    12 conclusion then that there was fighting?

    13 A. I don't know. I don't know whether there was

    14 fighting. I know that there was shooting. I couldn't

    15 see.

    16 Q. If there is shooting, perhaps you wouldn't be

    17 too far off to conclude that there was fighting; do you

    18 agree with me?

    19 A. Yes, probably, but I don't know what the

    20 reasons would be for the shooting.

    21 Q. The five Muslims in the shelter, were they

    22 taking shelter in order to escape the fighting, in your

    23 opinion?

    24 A. Well, I don't know. I think I said that,

    25 what their intention was, their reason for being there,

  63. 1 but they weren't provoking my mother or myself. They

    2 were even kind.

    3 Q. You weren't frightened by their presence

    4 then?

    5 A. I was frightened when I was going in, but

    6 later, I wasn't because we had no choice. What was

    7 there was there. If they had wanted to, they could

    8 have done anything to us, but they were very correct.

    9 Q. And you thought that these five Muslim

    10 soldiers were hiding at the moment of this fighting and

    11 what might have been fighting were harmless?

    12 A. At that time, I wasn't thinking at all. We

    13 had taken refuge there, and I didn't feel that I was in

    14 danger.

    15 Q. At that time in October or November 1992 or

    16 in the ensuing months until 1993, did you see or hear

    17 the village guard made up of empowered Croats and

    18 Muslims?

    19 A. In view of the fact that the time period was

    20 the autumn, going onto winter, yes. In the evening,

    21 when I would come home from work at 6.00 p.m., I had

    22 the opportunity to see them in groups, most frequently

    23 near the mosque, but I didn't go further into the

    24 village because there was no need for me to go

    25 further.

  64. 1 Q. The persons you just mentioned, were they

    2 Muslims or Croats or a mixture of Croats and Muslims?

    3 A. I think that they were Muslims because they

    4 were on the side where the Muslim inhabitants were.

    5 That road, in fact, divides Ahmici and Pirici.

    6 Q. So at that time then, you had no knowledge of

    7 any guard made up of Croats?

    8 A. No. No.

    9 Q. You never saw them and no one ever talked to

    10 you about them?

    11 A. No. I didn't pay much attention to that

    12 because, as I have already mentioned, I lived alone

    13 with my mother, and I didn't know anything about it. I

    14 couldn't say anything about it specifically.

    15 Q. You just stated and you stated earlier that

    16 you were living alone with your mother, that in this

    17 village, you saw a number of events which frightened

    18 you and which frightened you given your situation. You

    19 had no knowledge of any reassuring presence of Croats,

    20 and you did not seek any information, for example, from

    21 your friend Zoran Kupreskic, to find out what was

    22 happening, to find out whether the Croats who were

    23 guaranteeing the security of the Croats in the village,

    24 you did not look for any information of this type at

    25 all?

  65. 1 A. Well, you see all the insecurity that I felt

    2 at that time I regularly communicated to my brother,

    3 Rudo Vidovic, and if anything happened anywhere in the

    4 surrounding area, for example, in Bugojno, he would

    5 always come and tell us to go to the houses of the

    6 Kupreskics. So I did not feel any need to talk to

    7 Zoran about it.

    8 Q. A moment ago, I believe we referred to

    9 November 1992, when you mentioned a false alert, false

    10 alarm. You said that it was stated that the Mujahedeen

    11 were located in Barin Gaj and that, therefore, you had

    12 to seek shelter. Do you remember that episode?

    13 A. Yes, I remember it very well. It was after

    14 11.00 p.m. when my relative, Miro Vidovic, rang us up

    15 on the telephone and told us that 50 Mujahedeen had

    16 arrived in Barin Gaj. Of course, in few of the

    17 circumstances, I took my mother and the cow, and we set

    18 off toward the shelter. We arrived at the house of

    19 Niko Sakic, and my mother said, "Let's go home. Who

    20 could have counted them at this time of night?" Of

    21 course, my mother was right because on that evening,

    22 nothing happened.

    23 Q. In other words, that was incorrect

    24 information?

    25 A. Yes.

  66. 1 Q. Now, your relative that alerted you by

    2 telephone, what happened in that episode?

    3 A. No, I don't -- we weren't given any detailed

    4 explanations. He only said what I told you, that the

    5 Mujahedeen had arrived and that we had to flee.

    6 Q. Did you, at that time, discuss with other

    7 persons, Zoran or Mirjan Kupreskic, this feeling of

    8 insecurity that you had, this feeling that there was

    9 mounting tension in the village between the two

    10 communities?

    11 A. Well, there was talk about this because all

    12 the villagers living in this area noticed that, from

    13 day to day, the population was growing, but the

    14 explanation was that these were all refugees coming in

    15 because, as far as I can remember, sometime around

    16 October, Jajce fell, and a lot of these people were

    17 allegedly from there. But we did not discuss any

    18 specific details.

    19 Q. Did your mother, for example, have the

    20 feeling that, due to the situation and due to the

    21 presence of Mujahedeen in the area and due to the influx

    22 of Muslim refugees who were settling in Ahmici, that

    23 her situation, her own personal safety was threatened?

    24 Did your mother have the same feelings that you did?

    25 A. No. My mother is very old, and she's a very

  67. 1 placid woman. She was not frightened by any of this

    2 information. For example, when I told you about the

    3 Mujahedeen, my mother would always go to the shelter for

    4 my sake.

    5 Q. Are you aware of any explicit threats that

    6 were made against the Croat numbers of Ahmici or Croats

    7 in the area at that time, threats that might explain

    8 the feeling that you had that your safety was

    9 threatened?

    10 A. I personally, personally, did not have any

    11 threats made against me. So that I didn't feel so

    12 imperilled.

    13 Q. Did the persons who you may have met during

    14 the course of your work in Ahmici, your friends, or the

    15 information that you may have learned by watching

    16 television, if you had a television, or perhaps a

    17 radio, if you had a radio, or perhaps by reading the

    18 newspapers, did all of this give you the feeling that

    19 your security was threatened by the Muslims?

    20 A. Well, for example, in Dusina, something

    21 happened. I don't know exactly when or where, but

    22 whenever I heard something of that kind, I felt afraid,

    23 but I was convinced, since I was a local villager and I

    24 lived there -- in general, to put it briefly, I was in

    25 two minds. There were times when I would get

  68. 1 frightened by all these events, and then I would feel I

    2 had to come back again because I had no other home

    3 then.

    4 Q. Madam, let us now move on to the evening of

    5 the 15th of April, 1993. You told us that you returned

    6 to your home after work at 6.00 p.m. and that you went

    7 to the house of your friend Zoran Kupreskic. Did your

    8 mother come with you?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. During the testimony during examination in

    11 chief by Mr. Radovic, you stated that during that visit

    12 on the 15th, on the evening of the 15th, that the

    13 village of Kovacevac, that there we can see houses

    14 burning, and that you had seen this from the house of

    15 Zoran. Can you please explain your memory of this

    16 event?

    17 A. Well, just as Mr. Radovic wrote down, all I

    18 could do was to see. I don't know any other details

    19 about it because --

    20 Q. Could you please confirm that when you went

    21 to visit Zoran Kupreskic on the 15th of April, in the

    22 evening, around 7.00 p.m., I believe, that the village

    23 of Kovacevac was burning?

    24 A. I think, as far as I remember, that it was,

    25 but that village is quite far from the spot where I was

  69. 1 standing and from which I could see.

    2 Q. Where is this village, Kovacevac, located,

    3 exactly?

    4 A. It's parallel -- from the house of Zoran

    5 Kupreskic you can see it, but it belongs to the

    6 municipality of Busovaca.

    7 Q. How far is it from Ahmici?

    8 A. I wouldn't be able to estimate this, because

    9 the terrain is hilly, so I couldn't say precisely what

    10 the distance is.

    11 Q. And why, in your opinion, what was your

    12 opinion as to why this village was burning on the 15th

    13 in the evening?

    14 A. I don't remember exactly what I thought

    15 then. I don't know.

    16 Q. Is this something habitual, normal, to see a

    17 village burning?

    18 A. No. No. It wasn't something usual. When

    19 there is a big fire -- but whether it was the village

    20 that was burning or the woods around the village, I

    21 don't know. Something was burning, but I wasn't able

    22 to see exactly what it was because it's quite far. I

    23 couldn't see precisely what was burning.

    24 Q. Did you speak with Zoran Kupreskic about

    25 this?

  70. 1 A. No. I didn't attach any special importance

    2 to it because they had probably seen it too. I don't

    3 know how much importance they attached to it.

    4 Q. Who lived in the village of Kovacevac? Was

    5 it a Muslim or a Croat village?

    6 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know who lived

    7 there, what kind of people. I don't know.

    8 Q. So in summary, madam, when you arrived at the

    9 home of Zoran Kupreskic, you saw the village of

    10 Kovacevac on fire, but you attached no great importance

    11 to that, and therefore you said nothing to Zoran

    12 Kupreskic?

    13 A. No, I don't remember saying anything about

    14 this.

    15 Q. You said that during the course of that

    16 evening you, together with Zoran Kupreskic, visited

    17 Ivica -- rather together with Ivica Kupresic, and that

    18 you remained there for a very short time period. Can

    19 you please tell us what that means, when you say you

    20 were there for a very short time period. Does that

    21 mean 5 minutes, 15 minutes, perhaps half an hour, or an

    22 hour and a half? When you say "a short time," what

    23 does that mean?

    24 A. So short that we only said hello to her,

    25 because she hadn't been here for a long time, and then

  71. 1 we went back to Zoran's house immediately. I can't say

    2 whether it was two minutes or five minutes or ten

    3 minutes; I don't know exactly. But it was very, very

    4 brief.

    5 Q. Yes, indeed, if you only came to say hello

    6 and to leave, that would be a very short visit. But

    7 how can you be certain and so specific about what

    8 persons were there?

    9 A. Well, since the living room was rather small,

    10 there was not enough room for us to sit down. We might

    11 have stayed longer otherwise. So I saw who was

    12 inside.

    13 Q. But is it possible that other persons were in

    14 other rooms? For example, in the kitchen?

    15 A. I don't believe so. I didn't see them,

    16 because it's all interconnected, but I didn't see any

    17 other people.

    18 Q. But you cannot exclude the fact that some

    19 persons may have come and gone before your visit, or

    20 perhaps after that, of course?

    21 A. I don't know. I didn't pay attention to

    22 that.

    23 Q. At the house of Zoran Kupreskic on that

    24 evening, your mother and yourself were invited, but

    25 were there also other persons?

  72. 1 A. There were Zoran's parents, and my mother,

    2 and briefly Mirjan with his wife, but they had to leave

    3 because his child was ill, so they had to go home.

    4 Q. Did Mirjan come with you to visit Ivica

    5 Kupreskic and his wife?

    6 A. I have already said, I think I remember well,

    7 I said it was only with Zoran that I went to see

    8 Ankica, and Mirjan was already there. In the meantime,

    9 he went back again, but not with us, together with us,

    10 as far as I can remember, to Zoran's house.

    11 Q. On that evening, do you remember that the

    12 telephone rang at Zoran's house and that there was a

    13 telephone conversation?

    14 A. No, I don't remember. Because that evening

    15 we were watching a very interesting tape, and I was

    16 concentrating on that. So there might have been a

    17 telephone call, but I didn't notice one.

    18 Q. And what was on this videotape that you

    19 looked at?

    20 A. Mostly music. It was mostly music.

    21 Q. You stated a moment ago that on the 16th of

    22 April, in the morning, that you were awakened by Dragan

    23 Vidovic. You aren't able to specify the time at which

    24 you were awakened by Mr. Vidovic, but you were quite

    25 certain, as you stated, that it was after 4.00 in the

  73. 1 morning. How can you be so clear on this point, since

    2 you did not know what time it was at that time?

    3 A. I know because we arrived at the shelter --

    4 my mother is old, so she needed more time than I did.

    5 Then I asked the people who were already at the shelter

    6 what time it was, and it was about 5.00 a.m., as far as

    7 I remember. Whether it was quarter past 5.00 or

    8 exactly 5.00, I don't know.

    9 Q. It's because, therefore, that you knew that

    10 you arrived at the shelter at 5.00 or 5.15 that you

    11 knew how much time you took to arrive at that shelter,

    12 and based on that, you knew you were awakened around

    13 4.00 in the morning, or around that time; is that

    14 correct?

    15 A. Yes, it would be logical to think that.

    16 4.00, sometime after 4.00. I don't know exactly.

    17 Q. Do you have any family relations with Dragan

    18 Vidovic?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. What is that relationship?

    21 A. He's the son of my half-uncle, step-uncle.

    22 Q. Where does he live in Ahmici? Where was he

    23 living at that time? Where?

    24 A. Near my house. Quite close. Quite close.

    25 Q. You saw him on that morning, you spoke with

  74. 1 him, did you not?

    2 A. No. He woke us up and said, without any

    3 explanation, for me to take my mother and to go to the

    4 shelter. And he left. I don't know where.

    5 Q. But you saw him, did you not?

    6 A. Yes. Yes, I opened the door. Of course, I

    7 asked who was it, and then I opened the door, and I saw

    8 him. Of course.

    9 Q. How was he dressed, to the best of your

    10 recollection? Was he wearing a uniform, or was he

    11 wearing civilian clothing?

    12 A. I don't remember exactly what he was wearing,

    13 because I had just gotten up. I was afraid. I didn't

    14 know who would be ringing at the doorbell at that time,

    15 so I don't remember what he was wearing.

    16 Q. Do you remember whether or not he had a

    17 weapon?

    18 A. No, I don't remember. I had just woken up,

    19 so I don't know what he had. It was just him.

    20 Q. Is he the one who told you to go to the

    21 shelter in the house of Vrebac, or were you the one

    22 that took that decision?

    23 A. I made that decision. He didn't say

    24 anything. He didn't give any explanations, like I

    25 said.

  75. 1 Q. Why, then, did you decide to go to the

    2 shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house and not something closer

    3 to your own home: For example, the house where you

    4 took shelter in October 1992, at the house of

    5 Mr. Sakic, or where you intended to go when there was

    6 that false alarm about the presence of the Mujahedeen?

    7 Why, then, off to the shelter in Jozo Vrebac's house?

    8 A. There's a larger settlement there, around

    9 Jozo Vrebac's house. Since it was morning and I had

    10 just woken up and I wanted to go as far as possible,

    11 and then I stopped at the shelter of Jozo Vrebac. I

    12 didn't think which was closer, in order to go to Rudo's

    13 house, my brother's house.

    14 Q. Would you please clarify something for me.

    15 I'm trying to understand. You said you decided to go

    16 to the Vrebac shelter because you thought that would be

    17 safer than others. However, at the same time, that

    18 shelter was located in an area in Santici and Ahmici

    19 which is almost exclusively inhabited by Croats. But,

    20 madam, if you felt that the Muslims were going to

    21 attack, do you think it is reasonable to believe that

    22 they were going to attack the areas inhabited by the

    23 Muslims, or the Croats?

    24 A. At that time, I didn't think about anything.

    25 I just went to the shelter. And I can't remember what

  76. 1 I was thinking about at that time.

    2 Q. Madam, isn't it reasonable to think --

    3 rather, you decided not to go to the Vidovic shelter

    4 and not to go to any other shelter, but rather to go as

    5 far as possible to the Vrebac shelter, which is as far

    6 as possible from your own home? And you did this

    7 because you were told or because you learned that a

    8 fight would be taking place in the Muslim area of

    9 Ahmici, is that what you are telling me, and not to the

    10 Croat area?

    11 A. I've already said that at that time, I wasn't

    12 thinking anything specific.

    13 Q. Can you please specify which path you used in

    14 order to go to the Vrebac shelter from your house? And

    15 if you like, would you please show us the path on this

    16 photograph.

    17 A. This is my house (indicating). Just below my

    18 house there is a depression, it's a field. Then

    19 there's a shortcut, and it comes out exactly at Niko

    20 Sakic's house. Then I go further, I carry on, and then

    21 here (indicating) -- I can't indicate precisely here,

    22 I've already said around Pudza houses, I caught up with

    23 Zoran and his family, Mirjan and his family, and the

    24 grandmother that they were pushing in a wheelbarrow.

    25 So we passed them and went to the house of Jozo

  77. 1 Vrebac. That's --

    2 Q. Madam, did you encounter any soldiers?

    3 A. (No audible response)

    4 Q. Please, madam, be seated. You may be

    5 seated.

    6 Madam, on this path that you just pointed out

    7 which you took from the house of Niko Sakic to the

    8 shelter of Jozo Vrebac, you encountered and passed the

    9 family of Zoran Kupreskic. Now, were there soldiers in

    10 that location, on that path?

    11 A. No, I didn't encounter anybody.

    12 Q. I will now ask for the usher to show the

    13 witness Defence Exhibit D14/1.

    14 JUDGE CASSESE: 13?

    15 MR. TERRIER: 13.

    16 Q. Madam, does this photograph indeed show the

    17 house of Jozo Vrebac in which you took shelter on the

    18 16th of April, in the morning?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. And looking at this photograph, with numbers

    21 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, can you show us the path that you

    22 took, you and your mother, to arrive at this house?

    23 A. As far as I can see, you can only see the

    24 house and the rooms where we were during the time that

    25 there was gunfire. And there is no road here that I

  78. 1 could show you. I've already done that on the map.

    2 Q. Madam, perhaps I did not express myself

    3 clearly. I would like for you to show us, if possible,

    4 on these photographs, the place at which you took

    5 shelter, you arrived at this house with your mother,

    6 and I believe that you entered that house, and then you

    7 went somewhere in that house. Can we see on this

    8 photograph where, exactly, you went?

    9 A. Yes. You can see -- if I can see my way

    10 around here -- well, there's the front hall

    11 (indicating). Then there's a smaller room and a larger

    12 room. I put my mother in the larger room, and from

    13 time to time I was in one and in the other, and in the

    14 third room, in order to give room to the children and

    15 the elderly.

    16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, it was indicated

    17 to me that there was no response on the transcript when

    18 I asked whether or not the witness had seen soldiers on

    19 the path leading to Jozo Vrebac's home. Perhaps all we

    20 need is to specify that she stated that she did not see

    21 the soldiers.

    22 Q. Madam, you are now showing us a very large

    23 room in which -- or do you see a large room on these

    24 photographs where you and your mother were located?

    25 And if so, can you please tell us what number

  79. 1 corresponds with that.

    2 A. Yes, I think, as far as I remember, that this

    3 is the large room (indicating). And it's under

    4 number 5. But I'm not sure. I can only see a part of

    5 it here.

    6 Q. But in the basement of this house, were there

    7 several rooms, as we see them here?

    8 A. Yes, I told you there were several rooms.

    9 There was the front hall, a smaller room, and a larger

    10 room. But I can't tell exactly, with these photographs

    11 here, which of these rooms is the largest, so I came to

    12 the conclusion that it must be under number 5.

    13 Q. When you arrived in that room, were there

    14 already people there?

    15 A. Yes. There were a lot of people. A lot of

    16 children. And adults, men and women. And I don't

    17 remember exactly who was there, but I could mention a

    18 few of them.

    19 Q. Can you simply tell us which people were

    20 there? Of those you remember, that is.

    21 A. Ivo Vidovic, Alojz Vidovic, Marko Livancic,

    22 the Marjanovic family -- when I say "family," I mean

    23 everybody was there. Ljuba Vidovic, Lucija Papic, the

    24 Omazics -- just their surname, and so on. I can't

    25 remember exactly who was there, but there were a lot of

  80. 1 people.

    2 Q. Do you recall seeing on that morning, when

    3 you arrived or later, Ankica Kupreskic, the wife of

    4 Ivica?

    5 A. I saw them, but whether they were already

    6 there when I arrived, whether they were there after or

    7 before I came, I don't remember, but they were there

    8 when I was there. I don't remember if they came before

    9 I did or after me, but I remember they were there.

    10 Q. Was there any light in the shelter?

    11 A. At the time that I arrived there was, but

    12 later there wasn't, no. So after that, there wasn't.

    13 I can't tell after how much time the light was cut,

    14 after half an hour or 15 minutes, but within a short

    15 period of time, the electricity was cut.

    16 Q. And when the electricity was cut, could you

    17 see then what was going on in this basement?

    18 A. Some of those present had something, they had

    19 candles, I don't remember what it was. But it had

    20 already started to get light, and there were small

    21 windows where the light came, but not to an extent that

    22 you could read by it.

    23 Q. And these lanterns that we see in the

    24 photograph on number 7 -- rather these windows, weren't

    25 they blocked by boards? Do you recall?

  81. 1 A. Well, I didn't pay any particular attention

    2 to the window. I don't remember. I didn't really pay

    3 any special attention to the windows.

    4 Q. In these rooms, were there mattresses, so

    5 that children or elderly persons could lie down?

    6 A. There was something, I don't know exactly

    7 what, but mainly the elderly were sitting on something,

    8 but I don't know exactly what that was, because I

    9 wasn't sitting, of course.

    10 Q. Given the way this room was arranged, did you

    11 have the impression that this room had been prepared to

    12 receive you?

    13 A. I don't know what I was thinking at that

    14 time. It was important for me to find a place for my

    15 mother to sit down. Whether it was prepared or not, I

    16 don't know.

    17 Q. You stated a moment ago that you left the

    18 shelter at 10.00. From the time of your arrival and

    19 the time of your departure at 10.00, did you remain in

    20 that one room the entire time?

    21 A. No. No, from time to time, I would go

    22 because all the people who were there were known to

    23 me. From time to time, I would go out and in from one

    24 room to another.

    25 Q. During that entire period, did you remain in

  82. 1 the basement or did you leave the house?

    2 A. From the basement, I didn't go up the stairs,

    3 no.

    4 Q. We see on picture number 3 a photograph of a

    5 stairwell. You state that from the time you arrived,

    6 which was at 5.00 or 5.15 in the morning, until the

    7 moment you left at 10.00, you stayed in the basement

    8 and did not climb the stairs.

    9 A. No, I didn't climb the stairs or go outside

    10 to the terrace that is shown on this photograph until

    11 about 10.00 or sometime after when I went to my house.

    12 Q. Madam, you stated a moment ago that you saw

    13 Vlatko Kupreskic and his family arrive last, I add, in

    14 the shelter shortly after the shooting had begun, and

    15 you exchanged a few words with Vlatko Kupreskic; is

    16 that correct?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Did Vlatko Kupreskic explain why his father

    19 was not there?

    20 A. Yes. I asked him, and he said that he was

    21 sick and that, allegedly, if something happens, the

    22 Muslims would not harm him.

    23 Q. So Vlatko Kupreskic had no concerns about the

    24 safety of his father? His father was not at risk where

    25 he was?

  83. 1 A. I wouldn't know. I don't know that.

    2 Q. Until the time at which you left the shelter

    3 at 10.00, would you see Vlatko Kupreskic?

    4 A. Yes. During the time I was there, he was in

    5 the shelter all the time. In which room he was

    6 exactly, I don't know. I don't know which one I was in

    7 exactly.

    8 Q. So you're telling us then that, between the

    9 arrival of Vlatko Kupreskic and his family at the

    10 shelter and the time at which you left at 10.00, he

    11 remained, like you, in the basement of the house?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. And he was still there when you left?

    14 A. I don't know. I came back. I don't know how

    15 long I stayed away. I was frightened when I saw them

    16 carrying Mirjan Santic along, and by the time I

    17 recovered from this shock -- I came back, I don't know

    18 what time it was -- but Vlatko wasn't there.

    19 Q. I understand. He was still there when you

    20 left at 10.00, and when you returned, he was no longer

    21 there?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. What was the apparent situation in Ahmici

    24 when you left from the shelter, that is, around 10.00,

    25 according to your estimations? Could one hear firing

  84. 1 or what could one see?

    2 A. Yes. Yes, there was gunfire, but the houses

    3 are close to one another in the part I was going

    4 through. Then I ran across to Niko's house, and I

    5 didn't go further.

    6 Q. What would you see that was happening around

    7 you at that time?

    8 A. I couldn't see anything, except that I heard

    9 the gunfire. I just heard it. I didn't see anything.

    10 Q. I'll clarify my question. Did you not see in

    11 Ahmici houses burning at that time?

    12 A. When I was passing through at about 10.00, I

    13 didn't look. I was running because there was gunfire,

    14 and I don't remember noticing that at that moment. But

    15 on the 17th, when I came home again, then I saw that

    16 the houses had been burnt, that they were charred, and

    17 I was able to see this from my mother's house.

    18 Q. But at that time, at 10.00 on the 16th of

    19 April, while you were on the road leading to the house

    20 of Niko Santic -- was it Mirko Santic or Niko Santic?

    21 A. -- Niko Santic.

    22 Q. You did not see any houses burning, either

    23 around you or further afield in Ahmici?

    24 A. No, I couldn't see because I was moving

    25 through an area from which I couldn't see that.

  85. 1 Q. I believe you stated this a moment ago, but

    2 could you please remind us of why you decided to turn

    3 around on that road at 10.00.

    4 A. I became frightened when I saw them carrying

    5 a corpse because I'm terrified of corpses. I couldn't

    6 bear to look at my dead father's body either.

    7 Q. So it's because you saw the dead body of

    8 Mirjan Santic that you returned to the shelter?

    9 A. Yes. I returned, but Mirko Sakic was nearby,

    10 and he told me that there was gunfire and that I

    11 couldn't go further in that direction.

    12 Q. You mentioned a moment ago that the body of

    13 Mirjan Santic had a blue scarf. What exactly was that?

    14 A. You see, I saw the corpse on a ladder, and I

    15 only noticed that, around his neck, there was a pale

    16 blue scarf, and I saw nothing else at that moment. I

    17 don't remember anything else. I asked Mirko, "Who is

    18 this?" And he told me it was Mirjan Santic. I didn't

    19 see the scarf on his body but around his neck.

    20 Q. I see. You recall seeing Nikola Omazic; you

    21 mentioned his name a moment ago. Do you remember how

    22 he was dressed?

    23 A. In civilian clothes, civilian clothes, as far

    24 as I can remember, but I think I remember well.

    25 Q. Do you remember whether he had a weapon?

  86. 1 A. I don't remember. I don't know. I don't

    2 know about weapons.

    3 Q. So you turned around at that time and

    4 returned to the shelter in Vrebac's house. Do you

    5 remember exactly what path you took?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Did you stay on the same path that you showed

    8 to us a moment ago?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. On that path, on your way back to the Vrebac

    11 shelter, did you encounter Vlatko Kupreskic?

    12 A. No, I didn't. I didn't meet him, but there

    13 are several directions where he and I might have passed

    14 one another, and I don't know when he left the

    15 shelter.

    16 Q. Nonetheless, from the moment you left the

    17 shelter, let's say it was around 10.00, and the time in

    18 which you returned to the shelter, how much time may

    19 have elapsed? I'm asking you for an approximation.

    20 I'm not asking you for the exact time. How much time

    21 do you believe it took for you to go from the Vrebac

    22 shelter to the house of Nikola Omazic and to return?

    23 Would it take 5 minutes, 20 minutes? I'm asking for

    24 just an approximation.

    25 A. Maybe my estimate is 40 to 50 minutes, but I

  87. 1 don't know. I don't know. I can't specify the exact

    2 amount of time.

    3 Q. You told us a moment ago that, during the day

    4 that you spent in the Vrebac shelter, food was brought

    5 to you, that Zoran brought food. Where did this food

    6 come from?

    7 A. At the house of Ivica Kupreskic, there were

    8 two grandmothers, Ivica's aunt and a refugee who was in

    9 the house of Branko Kupreskic and Josip Kupreskic.

    10 They were elderly women, and, at that time, they were

    11 not in the shelter.

    12 Q. How did you know that these two people had

    13 stayed in the house to do the cooking?

    14 A. When they brought in the food, I asked one of

    15 them -- I don't remember exactly whether I asked Ivica

    16 or Mirjan -- who prepared the food, and then they told

    17 me that these two women had stayed there.

    18 Q. From what you learned at that time, from the

    19 discussions that you had with Zoran and Ivica

    20 Kupreskic, it seemed to you that these two women had

    21 remained in order to prepare food for all the refugees?

    22 A. I don't know that, but that's all they told

    23 me. What their purpose was in remaining behind, I

    24 don't know, but if it hadn't been for me, my mother

    25 would not have left her house.

  88. 1 Q. When, during that day, did you go to the

    2 house of Milutin Vidovic?

    3 A. Early in the morning, when I had only just

    4 arrived in the shelter, I left my mother there and I

    5 went back to Milutin Vidovic's house because it's very

    6 nearby.

    7 Q. Therefore, that was before 10.00 in the

    8 morning?

    9 A. It was early in the morning. I had only just

    10 arrived. Whether it was 6.00 or 5.00 or half past

    11 five, I don't know, but it was immediately. I left my

    12 mother, as I said, and I went back to see where

    13 Mirjan's wife was.

    14 Q. You stated a moment ago that you stated that,

    15 from the time you arrived in the shelter to the time

    16 you left the shelter, you remained in the basement.

    17 A. I'm sorry. I've forgotten that. I forgot to

    18 say that, I mean.

    19 Q. Who did you see in the house of Milutin

    20 Vidovic?

    21 A. There was Zoran Kupreskic's wife and her

    22 children. There were refugees. There was Manda Didak,

    23 Marica Didak with her children. There was Milutin's

    24 wife, Jasna, she was there, and I think that Jasna

    25 Safradin was there too, as far as I remember.

  89. 1 Q. Madam, please don't say if you don't know,

    2 but do you know what time you arrived at the house of

    3 Milutin Vidovic?

    4 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly what time

    5 it was, but it was early, as soon as I left my mother.

    6 I don't know exactly when it was.

    7 Q. Madam, you stated a moment ago that when you

    8 returned to your house the following day, on the 17th

    9 of April, 1993, with the intention of milking the cow,

    10 you stated that at that time you noted that all the

    11 houses had been burned, but had all the houses truly

    12 been burned?

    13 A. You see, I didn't say they were in flames.

    14 What I saw was that they had already been burnt, that

    15 they were charred. Whether they had burnt during the

    16 night or that evening, I don't know. But Smajl Pezer's

    17 house, of which I have a very good view and which is

    18 nearby, had been burnt down and so had the house of

    19 Sulejman Pezer. I can see that from my mother's house.

    20 Q. Did you see a house belonging to a Croat

    21 which was burned or damaged?

    22 A. No, I didn't along the route I passed along,

    23 and I didn't go any further at that time.

    24 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Madam.

    25 Mr. President, I have no further questions.

  90. 1 Thank you.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?

    3 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    4 will put only a few brief questions to the witness.

    5 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:

    6 Q. Please sit down. In the area of Vitez, was

    7 it usual for women to be involved in political and

    8 military issues or was this exceptional?

    9 A. In the circle in which I moved, the women

    10 were not interested in politics, and I don't know about

    11 other people.

    12 Q. Were you a member of the HVO?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. At any moment?

    15 A. No, never.

    16 Q. According to the Prosecutor's question, you

    17 will have to explain further because it's remained

    18 unclear. You were asked how you knew that the Muslims

    19 were preparing to attack the Croats or the Croatian

    20 houses, and you sought refuge in a Croatian house, even

    21 though you knew that Croatian houses would be

    22 attacked. According to the Prosecutor, you should have

    23 gone to a Muslim house to seek refuge. Why didn't you

    24 do that?

    25 A. I don't understand the question.

  91. 1 Q. Let me repeat it. According to the

    2 Prosecutor's question, you had information that

    3 Croatian houses were to be attacked by Muslims. The

    4 information was that the Muslims would attack Croats.

    5 Wait. Wait. Now, the Prosecutor is asking

    6 you, if you knew that the Croats were to be attacked,

    7 why did you seek refuge in Croatian houses rather than

    8 in Muslim houses?

    9 A. Well, it's logical that I should go to the

    10 Croats.

    11 Q. Why?

    12 A. Well, I'm not -- for God's sake, I'm not

    13 going to take refuge in Muslim houses.

    14 Q. All right. That's clear. We needn't go into

    15 that further.

    16 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I must object to

    17 the formation of the question he put to the witness. I

    18 understand, of course, that he would ask such a

    19 question, but I would like to remind this Court that

    20 that was not the sense of my question. I was not

    21 asking why she took refuge in a Croat and not a Muslim

    22 house, but rather I was referring to the area in which

    23 there were Croat and Muslim houses. Thank you.

    24 MR. RADOVIC: If I misunderstood the

    25 Prosecutor's question, I apologise, but I put the

  92. 1 question in the way I understood it. So we can proceed

    2 further now.

    3 Q. You said that you saw flames and you thought

    4 that they were in the village of Kovacevac; is that

    5 correct?

    6 A. That's correct.

    7 Q. From the spot from which you could see the

    8 flames, could you see what was on fire?

    9 A. No. As I said, I couldn't see what was on

    10 fire.

    11 Q. Was it the season of the year when weeds are

    12 cleaned?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. How is that done in that region?

    15 A. Well, all the weeds are burnt.

    16 Q. Were there any cases when a wood would catch

    17 fire?

    18 A. Yes, very often.

    19 Q. Do you know what the flames were?

    20 A. No, I don't know.

    21 Q. At the end, I would like to ask something

    22 about the shelter because we talked about whether the

    23 shelter was prepared or not. The Prosecutor mentioned

    24 mattresses, and you said that there had been some

    25 things which were not mattresses, but there was

  93. 1 something there.

    2 A. Yes, there was something there.

    3 Q. Well, can you explain anything that was

    4 there?

    5 A. Well, I don't know what there was. There was

    6 something you could sit on.

    7 Q. Did you sit in the Bosnian way on the floor

    8 or did you sit on chairs or benches?

    9 A. There was something there. I think they were

    10 chairs. We didn't sit on the floor.

    11 Q. Okay. Let's talk about a prepared shelter.

    12 Were there any food supplies in the shelter?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. Were there any water supplies there?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. Were there any blankets?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. Were there any beds, bunk-beds, where you

    19 could sleep?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. Was there anything there that would indicate

    22 that this was a prepared shelter?

    23 A. No. No.

    24 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    25 have no further questions.

  94. 1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    2 Mrs. Cuic, thank you for coming to The Hague

    3 to testify in court. You may now be released. Thank

    4 you.

    5 I suggest that we take a break now, a

    6 15-minute break.

    7 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.

    8 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.

    9 (The witness entered court)

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Sakic? Mr. Sakic. Good

    11 morning. Could you please make the solemn

    12 declaration.

    13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

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

    15 truth.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

    17 seated.

    18 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?

    19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,

    20 Mr. President. I just wanted to say before I start

    21 questioning that the attorneys for Vlatko Kupreskic

    22 would like to examine this witness because he is also a

    23 witness from their defence. He is on their list.


    25 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

  95. 1 Q. Mr. Sakic, good day.

    2 A. Good day.

    3 Q. Would you please introduce yourself to the

    4 Court?

    5 A. My name is Niko Sakic. I was born on the

    6 25th of September, 1939, in the village of Pirici,

    7 where I am living today, municipality of Vitez,

    8 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina today.

    9 Q. You say that you live in Pirici?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Could you please indicate that on the aerial

    12 map? Could you please point your house out?

    13 A. My house is at the moment here (indicating).

    14 Here it is. This is my house.

    15 Q. Okay. Who lived with you in that house

    16 in '91, '92, and '93?

    17 A. I lived on the first floor, on the ground

    18 floor, on the first floor, with an entrance on the

    19 other side lived my son and his family.

    20 Q. What is the name of your son?

    21 A. His name is Mirko Sakic.

    22 Q. Was the house of your other son close by?

    23 A. Yes, this is where the house of my other son

    24 is, on the other side.

    25 Q. What is the name of your other son?

  96. 1 A. That son is called Slavko Sakic, who lived

    2 with his family.

    3 Q. Thank you very much. Why did you say that

    4 it's currently your house? Was it somewhere else?

    5 A. Yes, I had a house a little lower down, but

    6 in 1985 I moved 200 metres further, I made a house in a

    7 nicer place, and that's the house where I'm living now.

    8 Q. Mr. Sakic, would you please show us where

    9 your first Muslim neighbours were in relation to your

    10 house.

    11 A. In relation to my house, my first Muslim

    12 neighbours -- well, here it's Refik Ahmic and Sulejman

    13 Ahmic. My late father took some land from them and an

    14 old house which we later then knocked down when we were

    15 making this one. Then further down I had neighbours,

    16 Ramo and Zijad, and a brother of theirs who is working

    17 in Austria. These are my closest Muslim neighbours,

    18 that are closest to my house.

    19 Q. And the other houses are Croatian; is that

    20 right?

    21 A. Yes, along this road, they're all Croatian

    22 houses, and then here there are two Muslim homes. But

    23 in this direction, there are no more close to me.

    24 Q. What part of those villages, Pirici, Ahmici,

    25 and Santici, was exclusively Muslim? Could you please

  97. 1 point that out?

    2 A. This part was exclusively Muslim. This is

    3 the main road, Travnik, Vitez, Sarajevo, and then here

    4 (indicating), on the left side, is the school here.

    5 Q. That's the road that goes to Ahmici?

    6 A. Yes, the road that goes to Ahmici. On the

    7 right side, going towards Ahmici, there was exclusively

    8 Muslim population, up until the warehouse of Vlatko

    9 Kupreskic. Then up here (indicating) you have two

    10 Kupreskic houses and then this road here (indicating)

    11 and this settlement is 100 per cent Muslim.

    12 Q. Okay. So when you go in the direction from

    13 Vitez towards Busovaca, on the left side, you would

    14 turn to Ahmici?

    15 A. Then the Muslim homes are here, and then up

    16 until the school here, there are three, four houses on

    17 the left side, and then the rest are all Muslim houses

    18 on the right side.

    19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Would you please sit

    20 down.

    21 You said that you were born in Pirici?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. What were your relations with Muslims since

    24 you were born and since your parents were there and

    25 they lived with them? What were the relations, the

  98. 1 generational relations?

    2 A. Well, I personally never had a quarrel with a

    3 single Muslim. Regarding relations, they were the same

    4 as the ones with the Croats, but you knew who was a

    5 Muslim by religion and who was a Croat by religion. We

    6 had a tradition which -- well, a neighbour of mine, who

    7 was a good friend with my father, they would bring us

    8 gifts for Bajram, and we would take them gifts for

    9 Easter. Then they died, but we continued, Esad Ahmic

    10 and myself exchanged gifts right up until the conflict,

    11 and we exchanged visits.

    12 The conflict occurred on the 16th, and then

    13 on the 11th it was our Easter, and I went to Esad Ahmic

    14 and I took him some painted eggs or something, and I

    15 had some coffee at his house, I had some cakes, and

    16 then I went home. They would come for coffee. We were

    17 friends. Pjanic Hajrudin, Sulejman Ahmic, Refik Ahmic,

    18 Hazim Ahmic. These were family friends. Of course not

    19 all the Muslims were our family friends, just like not

    20 all Croats are my family friends.

    21 Q. How did you bring your sons up, Slavko and

    22 Mirko? Did you bring them up to respect another

    23 religion, their customs, in the same way that you did?

    24 A. Well, of course. They never had any

    25 conflicts with Muslims, and further along in my story I

  99. 1 will tell you where my son and the son of Ljubo Vidovic

    2 and Mr. Bruno Buzuk where they took Ramo Ramic, his

    3 wife -- Mejra, I think her name was -- and their

    4 family, they took them to Zenica.

    5 What I want to say is that my children never

    6 thought of doing any harm to Muslims, of making any

    7 trouble for them.

    8 Q. Okay. Did you know about the roadblock on

    9 the 15th of 1992, that there was a roadblock set up on

    10 the Vitez-Busovaca road?

    11 A. I didn't know about it, but I had heard that

    12 there had been a roadblock. I didn't see it, but I

    13 heard that there was one.

    14 Q. When did you hear?

    15 A. I heard that same day, maybe at about 9.00 or

    16 10.00.

    17 Q. Who told you about it?

    18 A. I don't remember now who told me.

    19 Q. So did you have any information that because

    20 of that roadblock there would be some problems, some

    21 conflicts, on the 19th of October?

    22 A. Well, when I heard that, there was talk that

    23 there was a Muslim army which had set up the roadblock

    24 and that some danger would come from there.

    25 Q. So what happened in the morning of the 20th

  100. 1 of October?

    2 A. On the 20th of October, at 4.00 a.m., I was

    3 woken up by Jozo Tomic Dobac. That family has two last

    4 names; I don't know which is their official one. And

    5 he told me like this: He had seen or heard that there

    6 was a lot of armed soldiers on the roads and that it

    7 would be a good thing to go to the shelter.

    8 Of course I woke up my family. I woke up my

    9 son Mirko, his family, my son Slavko and his family,

    10 and my closest neighbours, Nikola Samija and his

    11 family, Nikola Omazic and his family, Drago Grgic and

    12 his family, Miro Samija and his family, Milan Samija,

    13 also his family, Anto Pudza and Slavko Pudza with their

    14 families, who came to my basement to seek refuge.

    15 Q. So the persons that you mentioned now, the

    16 Samijas, the Grbics, the Pudzas, and I don't know who

    17 else, the Omazics?

    18 A. Yes, the Omazics.

    19 Q. Where were the homes of those people?

    20 A. Well, Milan Samija's house is maybe 120 or

    21 150 metres away from my house, and the others have

    22 homes which are even closer to mine.

    23 Q. So these are your immediate neighbours?

    24 A. Yes. And they still live there today.

    25 Q. Why did you go to inform those people about

  101. 1 what you had heard, that there was some army on the

    2 road? Why did you do that?

    3 A. Well, when the bombardment started in

    4 Busovaca and Vitez, we organised ourselves in such a

    5 way so that there is somebody who can inform the

    6 people, to alert them, so that not everybody would go.

    7 I was a member of the civilian defence, so everybody

    8 was assigned about 10 or 15 houses that they could

    9 inform easily for people to take shelter in case of

    10 need.

    11 Q. So this was a kind of civil defence duty?

    12 A. Yes, I was a kind of civil defence member,

    13 and this is what we did, because we decided it was easy

    14 for everybody to inform 10 or 15 homes, depending on

    15 how densely their area was populated.

    16 Q. So you were in charge of that area

    17 immediately around your house?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. So how many houses is that, the ones that you

    20 mentioned? About ten?

    21 A. Yes, about ten.

    22 Q. After you informed those people, then what

    23 happened?

    24 A. Well, when they all came -- I don't know

    25 whether they all came, but most of the women and the

  102. 1 children and the elderly, when they came, then I came

    2 out in front of my house with my son Mirko, because I

    3 had heard from the direction of the school or the

    4 cemetery -- should I indicate that?

    5 Q. No. No, we know where the cemetery is.

    6 A. I heard gunfire, and I heard some voices that

    7 were not understandable for me from the direction of

    8 the mosque. Then, at about 5.00, there was an

    9 explosion in the direction of the mosque, then

    10 everything went quiet. Then at about 6.30 or 7.00,

    11 strong gunfire was heard from the direction of the

    12 cemetery and the direction of the school.

    13 Q. So from the direction of the road of Donji

    14 Ahmic, Lower Ahmici?

    15 A. Yes, from the main road, the direction of the

    16 cemetery and Donji Ahmici.

    17 Q. You said that you came out in front of your

    18 house with Mirko. What happened when you heard the

    19 gunfire?

    20 A. Well, I ran into the basement. I was

    21 frightened. He was somewhere around the house. We

    22 were afraid, we were surprised, because we had no idea

    23 what it was, where it came from, or what the shooting

    24 was. Then after that, Mirko and some others were there

    25 next to my shed, and I can say who they were. They

  103. 1 were Dragan Samija, Mirko Sakic, Milutin Vidovic, Miro

    2 Samija. I can't remember everybody because I was

    3 afraid at the time. So they went from my house to a

    4 depression in order to stay there.

    5 Q. On that day when there was the gunfire, did

    6 you hear shooting afterwards, or only in the morning?

    7 Did it go on for a while?

    8 A. Well, it went on until the afternoon hours.

    9 Then sometime towards the evening, it quieted down

    10 almost completely.

    11 While it was going on, I could see -- just

    12 below my house there's a side road, I could see people

    13 passing, fleeing their homes, the Muslims who were

    14 living in Donja Zume. They were going towards Gornji

    15 Ahmici.

    16 Q. When did those people pass?

    17 A. Well, I can't tell you the time. They were

    18 passing throughout the day in ones or twos, you could

    19 see them. From my house, my neighbour Refik Ahmic, he

    20 was making apple jam all day -- we call it pekmiz

    21 (phoen) in Bosnia -- so he didn't leave his house all

    22 day. That's this house right here (indicating).

    23 Q. What about the rest of your Muslim

    24 neighbours? You said that there were some other

    25 neighbours there, Sulejman Ahmic?

  104. 1 A. He doesn't live there. He lives in Vitez,

    2 and he had a house there where he would come

    3 occasionally. He didn't live there all the time. He

    4 had an apartment in Vitez. That was his house. When a

    5 person retires -- well, that's what he used to say

    6 because we grew up together, went to school together,

    7 and we know each other well.

    8 Q. The other neighbours, the Bilics, the

    9 Strmonjas, do you know whether they fled?

    10 A. Yes, they went to the shelter, but to the

    11 house of Vidovic, because it was closer to them, only

    12 some 300 metres. My shelter is small, some 16 or 18

    13 square metres, and not everybody could fit in.

    14 A. In the first conflicts, did the Bilics flee

    15 from Ahmici, that is, from Pirici?

    16 A. No, they didn't.

    17 Q. You saw them there?

    18 A. Yes, we saw them in front of their house.

    19 They were at home. That evening I happened to pass by,

    20 and I had a chat with Ramo, because his family was

    21 there and everybody was there. Their brother, who

    22 works in Austria, had a house, and his son-in-law,

    23 Miralem Strmonja, was living there.

    24 Q. On the 20th of October, did you see Mirjan

    25 and Zoran Kupreskic?

  105. 1 A. Mirjan and Zoran Kupreskic were in the

    2 depression too, and their family, their father and

    3 mother, went to Jozo Vrebac's shelter with the

    4 children. After that, they went to their sister's,

    5 Zorica's, in Santici.

    6 Q. How do you know?

    7 A. They told me that. The following day, there

    8 was no shooting anymore, and they told me that their

    9 children and their wives and their father and mother

    10 were there, their sister, and they didn't come back

    11 until the Muslims started coming back to their houses

    12 because they were afraid. They had five small

    13 children. The father and the mother were in poor

    14 health. They wanted to protect them.

    15 Q. Were you on good terms with their father,

    16 Anto Kupreskic?

    17 A. I grew up together with their father, and we

    18 knew each other since we were children. We knew each

    19 other all our lives until he died. I know that it's a

    20 family which was poor. They were not prosperous. They

    21 lived in difficult circumstances. They had children

    22 whom they educated, and they made sacrifices to educate

    23 their children. They were a patriarchal family. They

    24 never deviated from their traditions. They lived in

    25 family harmony, such as everybody might wish for, and

  106. 1 that's how they lived.

    2 Q. When did their father die, Anto Kupreskic?

    3 A. In '93, in August or September. He was a

    4 good friend of mine, but I can't remember the exact

    5 month when he died. It was either in August or

    6 September. I can't remember exactly.

    7 Q. What did he die of?

    8 A. Well, he was so worried about his children.

    9 He was so upset by the war and all these events, and

    10 his health was very poor anyway, so perhaps this

    11 speeded up his death.

    12 Q. What speeded up his death? I didn't

    13 understand.

    14 A. Well, the whole situation such as it was. He

    15 wanted the war to end, and that's why he was so

    16 worried.

    17 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us now return to

    18 the 20th of October, the first conflict. Did any of

    19 your neighbours, who lived around your house -- who

    20 were in your house and whom you saw that day, use

    21 weapons in any way against the Muslims?

    22 A. I can affirm with certainty that they didn't,

    23 because had any of them used weapons -- can I show the

    24 house where this man was making jam and he stayed there

    25 the whole day?

  107. 1 A. Well, you see, this is my house, my son's

    2 house, and this is Refik Ahmic's house and his

    3 brother's house. This whole plot of land belonged to

    4 them. Here you can see the fence around my house, and

    5 he was there making jam the whole day. He never left

    6 the place. So had there been any shooting, of course,

    7 he would have left. He wouldn't have known what had

    8 happened, so he would have left.

    9 Q. Very well. But there was gunfire elsewhere?

    10 A. Yes, the gunfire came from the direction of

    11 the cemetery --

    12 Q. The cemetery is not there. Mr. Sakic, please

    13 concentrate. I see that you are nervous. Please take

    14 your time. You are showing Vlatko Kupreskic's house

    15 and saying it's the cemetery.

    16 A. No. Just let me find it. This is the

    17 cemetery. Here it is (indicating). So from the

    18 direction of the cemetery and the school and the

    19 mosque, we could hear gunfire.

    20 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. You may sit

    21 down. The Muslims who left, you saw yourself that some

    22 of the Muslims left the village and went in the

    23 direction of Upper Ahmici. Do you know when they came

    24 back?

    25 A. After two or three days. They returned two

  108. 1 or three days later. Individuals would come to tend to

    2 their remaining livestock, to fetch food, but within

    3 three days, they all returned to their houses. When

    4 they returned, the family of Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic

    5 and their father and mother also returned to their

    6 house because they live on the right-hand side where

    7 all the people are Muslims. Vlatko Kupreskic also

    8 lives there.

    9 Q. Do you know anything about the meetings which

    10 were held in the village after the first conflict?

    11 A. After the first conflict, Hazim Ahmic,

    12 Hadzija, invited me personally. I went twice to the

    13 school, so that the ordinary people might help to ease

    14 the tension.

    15 Q. Could you please continue carefully? How

    16 many meetings were there?

    17 A. There were three meetings. I attended two of

    18 them, and I wasn't present at one.

    19 Q. Where were the meetings held?

    20 A. They were held in the school across from

    21 Hazim's house and across the street from the mosque.

    22 Q. Very well. You said that you were invited by

    23 Hazim Ahmic personally.

    24 A. Once, yes, and the second time, I happened to

    25 see people going there from Santici, so I joined the

  109. 1 group, but no one invited me personally to go.

    2 Q. Could you tell the Court how many people were

    3 present at these meetings? Can you establish the

    4 number of people?

    5 A. Well, there were about 150 of us. There were

    6 about 65 to 70 Croats and the rest were Muslims. There

    7 may have been more people, but that's what I think.

    8 Q. Was it like this at the second meeting --

    9 wait until I finish my question, please. At the second

    10 meeting, was there such a large number of people?

    11 A. At the second meeting, there were even more

    12 people. At the meeting in the school where we were

    13 trying --

    14 Q. Very well. Can you tell us who chaired these

    15 meetings?

    16 A. The first meeting I attended was not attended

    17 by anyone from a political party, but the meeting

    18 started spontaneously. People said, "What's going on?

    19 How can we stop this? How can we continue living as we

    20 did before?"

    21 Q. Who?

    22 A. The Muslims and the Croats.

    23 Q. Do you remember if anyone chaired the

    24 meeting?

    25 A. As I said, no one chaired the first meeting,

  110. 1 but the second meeting was attended by the

    2 representatives of the political authorities, Mr. Pero

    3 Skopljak, Mr. Kajmovic from the SDA party. I can't

    4 remember his first name. I know his surname was

    5 Kajmovic. There was Pero -- no, sorry, Ivica Santic.

    6 I asked them why, at the democratic elections

    7 when the government was elected, why things weren't

    8 going as they should. Pero Skopljak said to me, "The

    9 Bosniak Muslim side will not agree to the propositions

    10 of the elections," and Mr. Kajmovic said something that

    11 I could not understand. I didn't know what he was

    12 talking about.

    13 Q. I didn't understand what you said just now.

    14 What did you ask him?

    15 A. What did I say?

    16 Q. What did you ask?

    17 A. I said, "Why isn't power distributed

    18 democratically according to the election results?" He

    19 said to me, Mr. Skopljak, that the Muslim side would

    20 not agree to this, and Mr. Kajmovic gave me such a

    21 vague reply that I can't remember what he said because

    22 he didn't give me a proper answer.

    23 Q. Did any other people take part in the

    24 discussion? What standpoints were put forward? What

    25 conclusions were reached?

  111. 1 A. Well, everything boiled down to the fact that

    2 the conflict should not escalate, and there were people

    3 who were Bosniak Muslims who were a little more

    4 aggressive and who tried to expel the Muslims from the

    5 meeting.

    6 Q. What does that mean? What are you trying to

    7 say?

    8 A. What I want to say is that they wanted to

    9 break up the meeting. They wanted to dissolve the

    10 meeting.

    11 Q. Who?

    12 A. Individual Muslims, Suad Ahmic and Sulejman

    13 Ahmic.

    14 Q. What was their political affiliation, the two

    15 that you mentioned?

    16 A. Well, they spoke untruths which were not

    17 accepted by the local Muslims. They said that this was

    18 not true, and they wanted to expel them from the

    19 meeting.

    20 Q. Wait a little. Can you say whether the two

    21 people you are referring to expressed opinions which

    22 were not shared by most of the other Muslims? Is that

    23 what you are saying?

    24 A. No, they didn't say that. What they

    25 wanted -- for example, Suad Ahmic, he even said that

  112. 1 the Muslims were not being sold cigarettes by the

    2 Croats, and the others said, "No, that's not true. We

    3 bought cigarettes from Muslims, and they sold them to

    4 us," and so on.

    5 Q. So these two were extremists?

    6 A. Yes, they were extremists, more extreme than

    7 the normal people.

    8 Q. Very well. How did this meeting end?

    9 A. It ended by us saying that we should reduce

    10 the tension, ease the tension among the people, but as

    11 to anything else, I did not hear that anything else was

    12 agreed on.

    13 Q. At this meeting, was there any talk about

    14 returning weapons?

    15 A. I don't know about that. I don't know who

    16 had weapons or not, but there was no discussion of

    17 handing in weapons.

    18 Q. Do you know when the last meeting took place

    19 approximately? Can you place the other two in time?

    20 A. No, I can't tell you when any of the meetings

    21 took place, but I think they all took place within a

    22 period of 10 to 12 days.

    23 Q. How long was this after the conflict; can you

    24 tell us?

    25 A. The conflict was on the 20th of October, and

  113. 1 this was after about -- I think it was in January of

    2 the following year that these meetings took place, in

    3 January 1993.

    4 Q. Are you sure of this?

    5 A. No, I'm not sure because I don't remember the

    6 dates. I can't be certain it was then. I attended two

    7 of the meetings, but I can't tell you the dates.

    8 Q. Would there be any point in reducing the

    9 tensions which happened in October in January? Would

    10 that make sense?

    11 A. No. No, it wouldn't make sense. That's

    12 correct.

    13 Q. So is it possible that these meetings were

    14 held earlier?

    15 A. Yes, but, as I say, I can't say when.

    16 Q. Very well. You said that Pero Skopljak and

    17 Ivica Santic were at the meetings. Do you know if

    18 Kajmovic, whom you mentioned, was at the meeting?

    19 A. The first time I saw the man was then, and

    20 they said that he was representing the SDA political

    21 party. I don't know what his position was in the

    22 party.

    23 Q. And Pero Skopljak?

    24 A. I don't know what Pero Skopljak's post was.

    25 I heard that he was a member of the HDZ because the

  114. 1 people said, "Oh, well, now the representatives of the

    2 parties are here," but I don't know what his position

    3 was. Even today, I don't know who is who in the

    4 government.

    5 Q. Ivica Santic, do you know what he was at that

    6 time?

    7 A. I don't know. I know that later he was the

    8 mayor, but what he was then, I don't know.

    9 Q. Was he the president of the municipality then

    10 too?

    11 A. I don't know exactly.

    12 Q. Very well. Can you tell us whether you ever

    13 joined the village guards?

    14 A. I took part in the guards, and that was a

    15 spontaneous village patrol. I participated twice with

    16 the late Anto Kupreskic, Zoran and Mirjan's father. I

    17 had a hunting rifle. He didn't have anything. So on

    18 one occasion, he said to me, "Let's stretch our legs.

    19 Let's take a walk and patrol the village." It wasn't

    20 obligatory, and these patrols took place to prevent

    21 looting or burning or something like that, but no one

    22 had to go.

    23 Q. The hunting rifle you said you have, whose

    24 gun is that? Whose rifle is that?

    25 A. It's my father's rifle. My father was a

  115. 1 hunter. He had a proper license. Later, it was

    2 registered in the name of my son, Mirko, who is a

    3 hunter, and I'm keeping it as a souvenir, a memento of

    4 my father, in the house.

    5 Q. So that's the rifle that's registered to your

    6 son?

    7 A. Yes, to Mirko.

    8 Q. In your part of the village, which television

    9 programme could you follow?

    10 A. I could only receive, and my close

    11 neighbours, we could receive television from Sarajevo,

    12 the television of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We couldn't

    13 receive any other television programmes. Because up

    14 until recently, I had a black and white television, so

    15 I really couldn't receive any other programmes, except

    16 for those two channels on Bosnia-Herzegovina

    17 Television.

    18 Q. Okay. But did other people say that they

    19 were watching Television Vitez?

    20 A. Yes. People would say that, and I tried to

    21 find it, but I could never tune in. Some people said

    22 that they could, but I didn't, so I can't really tell

    23 you anything about that.

    24 Q. So the news from Television Vitez, you

    25 couldn't receive that?

  116. 1 A. No. No, I could never tune into that, so I

    2 couldn't watch that news.

    3 Q. Did anybody from your neighbourhood say that

    4 they could watch Television Vitez, from those houses

    5 around yours?

    6 A. Those people who I had woken up and who were

    7 close to my house never told me that they could watch

    8 that.

    9 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, that was the day

    10 before the war broke out in the Lasva Valley, so that

    11 was the day before the conflict, did you get any kind

    12 of information that something was about to happen, that

    13 something was being prepared, that some measures needed

    14 to be taken, some cautionary measures, since you were

    15 in the civilian defence?

    16 A. Yes. I received information at 4.00 in the

    17 morning. At 4.00 in the morning on the 16th, Dragan

    18 Vidovic came to me and said, "There is an announcement

    19 that we will be attacked by the Muslims," that we

    20 should go to the certain shelters which I mentioned

    21 before, the population should go there.

    22 Q. I'm asking you about the day before.

    23 A. No. The day before, I didn't know anything.

    24 The whole day, I was working as usual, just like

    25 everyone else, and I didn't know anything.

  117. 1 Q. On the 16th, in the morning, you said that

    2 Dragan Vidovic came, and what did he say to you?

    3 A. He said that he had heard information that

    4 there is the possibility of us being attacked by the

    5 Muslims and that we should go to shelters.

    6 Q. Did he tell you that you needed to inform

    7 anybody or not?

    8 A. Well, he told me to inform those people that

    9 I would usually inform, for them to go to the basement.

    10 Q. So you informed your neighbours?

    11 A. Yes, I informed my son Mirko, Slavko's

    12 family, the family of my son Slavko, Nikola Omazic,

    13 Nikola Samija, Drago Grgic, Miro Samija, Mirjan Samija,

    14 Anto Pudza, and Slavko Pudza. I went to the houses of

    15 Zijad and Rano Bilic and their son-in-law, Miralem. I

    16 woke them up, and they crossed over to the shelter in

    17 Niko Vidovic's house with their families.

    18 Q. Are you sure that you woke them up?

    19 A. Yes, I'm sure.

    20 Q. Who are those people? Are they Croats or

    21 Muslims?

    22 A. They're Muslims. Ramo Bilic, Zijad Bilic,

    23 with their families, and their son-in-law, Miralem

    24 Strmonja, they're all Muslims by religion.

    25 Q. When did you wake them up?

  118. 1 A. Well, when I left from my house, I woke

    2 everybody up that I mentioned, and then I also went to

    3 them to wake them up. That was right after Dragan told

    4 me. At 4.00, of course, I woke up my own family, and

    5 then I went to wake up everybody else.

    6 Q. Did you wake up or inform by telephone

    7 anybody else, or what did you do?

    8 A. I didn't have a telephone at the time. My

    9 son upstairs had a telephone, but his entrance was on

    10 the other side of the house. So I didn't have a

    11 telephone at the time, so I couldn't wake up anybody by

    12 telephone.

    13 Q. Where did you go then, after you woke all of

    14 your neighbours up?

    15 A. When I woke my neighbours, the ones that I

    16 mentioned, then I was standing there, surprised, in

    17 front of my house. I didn't know what was going to

    18 happen, where, what kind of an attack. Then from the

    19 direction of Zume --

    20 Q. What time was this, approximately?

    21 A. This was at about 4.30, when I woke everybody

    22 up and came back home, at about 4.30.

    23 Q. Did your son come down?

    24 A. Yes, my son Mirko came down first. Then

    25 after a while my daughter-in-law with the children

  119. 1 came, then Slavko's family also came to the basement,

    2 and those that I mentioned came to the basement, except

    3 for the Bilics, who went to the other basement, which

    4 was closer to them and where there was more room.

    5 Q. All right. All of these families came to the

    6 basement, you said; is that right? The men and the

    7 women, they came to your house? Where did the men go,

    8 and where did the women go?

    9 A. The men and the women came to my house. The

    10 men went above the house, next to the garage, my

    11 garage. And from there they went towards the

    12 depression, the one near my house, and the women and

    13 the children and the elderly went to the shelter.

    14 Should I say who was there in the

    15 depression?

    16 Q. No, you don't need to say who was in which

    17 depression. Just tell me, how many people did come to

    18 your basement, and how big is that basement?

    19 A. Well, in normal conditions, you can't have

    20 too many people there, but there were more than it

    21 could fit. The basement is small. It's about 16 or 18

    22 square metres. So only a few people could fit in

    23 there.

    24 Q. When was the first gunfire heard? Can you

    25 tell us?

  120. 1 A. The first gunfire could be heard at about

    2 5.30, from the direction of Middle Ahmici: The school,

    3 the main road, and -- the school and the mosque.

    4 That's the main road. Then also from the direction of

    5 the Kupreskic houses, that's where the firing came

    6 from.

    7 Q. When you say "Middle Ahmici," what do you

    8 mean by that?

    9 A. I mean that the way the road goes and the way

    10 the village is situated, you have the beginning of the

    11 village, the centre of the village, and then the end.

    12 That's what I meant.

    13 Q. So which would be the central part? Could

    14 you please show us that?

    15 So that's the main road?

    16 A. Yes. Just one moment.

    17 Here (indicating). These are the Kupreskic

    18 houses, Vlatko's house, near Vlatko's warehouse.

    19 That's where the central part of Ahmici is. Then the

    20 rest goes above the Kupreskic houses, and then the

    21 other part goes from behind -- after the road.

    22 Q. So the gunfire could be heard from that

    23 entire area?

    24 A. Yes, from the entire area, but it was the

    25 strongest in these three places.

  121. 1 Q. Can you determine when you saw Mirjan and

    2 Zoran Kupreskic for the first time that morning?

    3 A. Well, it's difficult to say precisely, but I

    4 can say that I saw Mirjan's father and mother. They

    5 were going -- Mirjan was pushing his mother-in-law in a

    6 wheelbarrow in front of the Pudza houses, and his wife

    7 was leading the children. Then Zoran came. Zoran was

    8 going before him. Zoran was taking his family, his

    9 three children and his wife.

    10 Q. Where did they go?

    11 Mr. Sakic, if you can just concentrate, you

    12 are indicating the direction towards Vlatko's house.

    13 Could you please pay attention to where you are

    14 pointing. Could you point in which direction they were

    15 going, from where to where?

    16 A. This is where I saw them (indicating).

    17 Q. Okay. Is that your house?

    18 A. Yes, that's right.

    19 Q. So now will you please indicate the road that

    20 they were going along?

    21 A. They were going along this road (indicating).

    22 Q. They were going towards where?

    23 A. They were going towards the house of Jozo

    24 Vrebac.

    25 Q. All right. So could you please show us with

  122. 1 the pointer, which direction were they going?

    2 A. They were going from the house towards the

    3 shelter of Jozo Vrebac. These are the Kupreskic houses

    4 (indicating).

    5 Q. Well, those can't be Kupreskic houses. You

    6 indicated nicely before. Do you see the white section

    7 that you can see on the photograph?

    8 A. Yes, this part. Yes.

    9 Q. This is the warehouse of Vlatko?

    10 A. Yes, that's Vlatko's warehouse. They came

    11 from the warehouse through this path. There is a

    12 pedestrian path there. They were going in the

    13 direction of the shelter of Jozo Vrebac.

    14 Q. So where did they pass?

    15 A. They go this way (indicating). They're going

    16 here, this way (indicating). So that's where the house

    17 is.

    18 Q. So they're going from the Kupreskic houses,

    19 the road past your house in the direction of the

    20 shelter, okay. You may sit down. Thank you.

    21 So you saw them in the morning. Did you see

    22 them before the gunfire broke out or after that? Was

    23 there firing when they were passing or not?

    24 A. No, there was no firing when they were

    25 passing. When they passed, there was no gunfire at

  123. 1 that time.

    2 Q. Where were you at that time?

    3 A. I was in front of the house, in front of my

    4 yard. My yard is large, so I was next to the road

    5 itself. I wasn't in the middle of the road, but I was

    6 right next to the road. That's where I was standing.

    7 Q. Do you know who was with you there? Who was

    8 standing close to you at that time?

    9 A. At that time, my son Mirko was standing with

    10 me. I don't know if there was anybody else, but I know

    11 about him for sure.

    12 Q. Were there any other people next to your

    13 house? Can you remember?

    14 A. Well, Dragan Samija was there, Miro Vidovic,

    15 near the garage. Zdravko Vrebac -- I can't remember

    16 everybody now.

    17 Q. So some people were there. You remember your

    18 son?

    19 A. Yes, I remember him and the people that I

    20 mentioned. There were others, but I've forgotten.

    21 Q. Are you sure about Zdravko Vrebac?

    22 A. I don't know. I think that he was there, but

    23 I -- I know exactly my Mirko was there, but for the

    24 others, I'm not sure, at that time.

    25 Q. All right. Did you see, in that section of

  124. 1 the village, any soldiers?

    2 A. In the area around my house, yes. Some

    3 soldiers passed from my house towards the warehouse,

    4 that way, maybe 30 or 35 soldiers.

    5 Q. All right. Did you see the direction that

    6 those soldiers came from?

    7 A. No, I didn't see. They came from the

    8 direction of Zume. As much as I can see the road in

    9 front of my house, it's in the direction of Zume.

    10 Q. How did those soldiers look?

    11 A. They were painted -- their faces were

    12 painted. They were well armed. They each had two

    13 weapons. I didn't see what kind it was. They passed

    14 by us next to my garage and went towards Vlatko's

    15 warehouse.

    16 Q. Were you frightened by that army?

    17 A. Yes, I was frightened. I was frightened the

    18 whole time anyway. I don't know how I survived from

    19 that fear.

    20 Q. Why were you afraid? Who did you think that

    21 army was?

    22 A. Well, I could see their markings. I didn't

    23 think about anything else, just about my fear. At that

    24 moment, I couldn't think of anything else.

    25 Q. Where did those soldiers go?

  125. 1 A. They went in the direction of the warehouse

    2 of Vlatko Kupreskic.

    3 Q. How were they going? In a file, in a column?

    4 A. Yes, they were going in a group, as if they

    5 were walking down the street, five or six of them, or

    6 ten in a group, or two or three. So that was the

    7 formation.

    8 Q. Were they loud or quiet?

    9 A. They weren't talking at all. They just

    10 passed by us. No one said anything to me, nor did I

    11 recognise any one of them.

    12 Q. When did the gunfire start in relation to

    13 when they departed? After they left, how soon after

    14 that did the gunfire begin?

    15 A. Well, the gunfire started at about 5.30.

    16 From the direction of the Kupreskic houses, you could

    17 hear it, you could hear it from the school, and also

    18 from the main road, the Travnik-Sarajevo road.

    19 Q. Did you see Zoran and Mirjan coming again

    20 from the direction of Zume in which they had left? Did

    21 you see them coming back?

    22 A. When they took their families there, Mirjan

    23 remained at my house and Zoran took the Didaks,

    24 refugees, Manda, Marica, and their children, and took

    25 them in the direction of Zume.

  126. 1 Q. At that time, how long did you stand in front

    2 of your house?

    3 A. Well, I didn't stay there all the time. I

    4 would go to the shelter occasionally, but I spent more

    5 time outside as long as there was no gunfire. And I

    6 could see that well.

    7 Q. So as long as there was no shooting, you were

    8 outside. So you went to the shelter when?

    9 A. When the gunfire became intense, then I went

    10 to the shelter.

    11 Q. In the shelter, did you stay there the whole

    12 time, or did you leave?

    13 A. I left from time to time, because the father

    14 and mother of Dragan Vidovic and their family were

    15 there, and his mother asked me to go and see where

    16 their children were, what they were doing and how they

    17 were. They were about 40 metres or 50 metres, at the

    18 most, from my house. From time to time they would come

    19 to see their family and so on.

    20 Q. Where were they in relation to your house,

    21 and who do you mean by "they"?

    22 A. In the depression, there were Mirko Sakic, my

    23 son; Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic; Miro Pudza; Dragan

    24 Samija.

    25 Q. Did you see them when you went out of your

  127. 1 house?

    2 A. No, I had to go around my house and come to

    3 the garage above my house, and I would see them from

    4 there because it's a depression and you can look into

    5 it from that spot.

    6 Q. Did you go to the garage to see how they were

    7 doing and where they were?

    8 A. Yes, I went there several times during the

    9 day, and I saw them in the valley, in the depression.

    10 Zoran Kupreskic and my son Mirko would come to the

    11 house.

    12 Q. When you saw them, when you were standing in

    13 front of the garage and looking down into the

    14 depression, what were they doing in the depression?

    15 A. They were just sitting there, or standing, in

    16 various positions. Because you couldn't see very well

    17 from the depression, but it's protected, so that you

    18 could not be hit by a weapon unless a bomb was dropped

    19 from the air straight above it.

    20 Q. Did you see them shooting at anyone?

    21 A. No, I didn't see them shooting at anyone, nor

    22 could they have shot at anyone from there. They could

    23 only shoot up into the air. You couldn't shoot from

    24 there.

    25 Q. Why?

  128. 1 A. Because it's like being in a jug, so it's

    2 impossible to shoot at anyone from there.

    3 Q. So on that day, you saw them several times?

    4 That's what you said?

    5 A. Yes, I saw them several times. They would

    6 come up to the house. Mirko and Zoran came several

    7 times. The others came in front of the house, too, but

    8 I know those two very well, and on the telephone as

    9 well.

    10 Q. Do you know anything about Mirjan Santic?

    11 A. They brought Mirjan Santic to my garage,

    12 dead, on a ladder. He was brought there by Zoran and

    13 Mirjan Kupreskic, Nikola Omaric, and Dragan Vidovic.

    14 Q. And where was Mirjan Santic killed?

    15 A. They told me that he was killed near the

    16 Kupreskic houses. I don't know exactly where, but

    17 that's what they told me.

    18 Q. How long was Mirjan Santic in the garage?

    19 A. Maybe about ten minutes, because they had a

    20 close relative, Milan Samija and Miro, in a house

    21 nearby, so they took him to the house of their

    22 son-in-law, Stipo Brnada, and I don't know what

    23 happened then.

    24 Q. So that is the house they moved him to, the

    25 house of Stipo Brnada?

  129. 1 A. That man is in Germany. He was taken away by

    2 Milan Samija and Miro Samija, with Milan's wife. The

    3 four of them took him away.

    4 Q. On what day was Mirjan Santic killed?

    5 A. The first day, the 16th, when the conflict

    6 broke out.

    7 Q. Are you certain of this?

    8 A. I'm certain. I know it was the first day.

    9 I'm sure of that.

    10 Q. Very well.

    11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I think

    12 we can stop here, and I will finish very quickly

    13 tomorrow. Thank you.

    14 JUDGE CASSESE: We are adjourned.

    15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    16 1:30 p.m., to be reconvened on

    17 Thursday, the 18th day of March,

    18 1999, at 9.00 a.m.