1 Thursday, 26 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session. Mr. Registrar,
6 will you call the case?
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning. Case IT-04-74-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Prlic and others.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 26th of October, 2006, I
10 bid welcome to all those present. I bid good morning to Mr. Mundis, who
11 has rejoined us, the attorneys, and the accused. We begin with the
12 hearing of a witness, but before that two small problems to deal with.
13 I wish to ask the Defence whether in connection with Witness BU
14 there are any requests for the admission of documents.
15 Mr. Kovacic.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Yesterday afternoon I asked my staff to check the
17 list, and I think we had one, but it is not yet done. It will be done
18 during this morning. So if I may get leave to submit that tomorrow or the
19 day after. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Fine. So we'll delay
21 that until tomorrow.
22 Regarding the document when Mr. Praljak -- the one Mr. Praljak
23 showed to the witness regarding the population of the witness's village,
24 my understanding is that Mr. Praljak wants this document to be admitted.
25 After that, we didn't discuss it.
1 Mr. Kovacic.
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is one of
3 the documents that we will also be submitting together probably tomorrow
4 or on Monday at the latest. My team has been scanning these documents,
5 and that is what we have agreed to do.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Just a small remark
7 regarding this document. Yesterday upon reading the document, we found
8 that in that village there was a significant number of Croats, whereas the
9 witness told us in her written statement, but also confirming it orally,
10 that there were only two Croat households in the village. Unfortunately,
11 because we didn't have time, we didn't put the question to the witness for
12 her to explain why there were two households when, in fact, there were
13 dozens of Croats living there during the census.
14 This document is being tendered, but in fact no one put any
15 questions regarding this disparity between the statement of the witness
16 and the fact that there was quite a large number of Croat inhabitants.
17 There must be an explanation. Perhaps the Croats fled. There may be any
18 number of reasons.
19 Perhaps the Defence will come back to that question with other
20 witnesses, but I still wish to draw your attention to this point.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the sake of
22 information, since you raised this question, the census was from 1981.
23 After that, there was a 1991 census which we will check and use with other
25 However, in the case of the 1991 census, there's a formal problem,
1 because we feel that according to the law in force at the time, the 1991
2 census was not fully completed in accordance with the law. There was no
3 final verification of the results, but the data are probably more or less
4 accurate, and certainly with one of the following witnesses, we will
5 discuss it.
6 Also, I don't think that yesterday's witness could be a person
7 with any significant knowledge of the village's history, so I don't think
8 it would be very useful to discuss the matter with her.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, good morning. If I
11 may recall, this witness was new in the village, but she said that that
12 was the situation when she came to the village, but she doesn't exclude
13 the possibility of there being more Croats before she came and that they
14 had left. So she was talking only about the actual situation in the
15 village at the time she was there.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that is true.
17 Mr. Mundis.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
19 morning, everyone.
20 Mr. President, although the witness clearly wasn't asked directly
21 about the census numbers and the relationship between her earlier
22 testimony, I would call to the Chamber's attention the line of questioning
23 reflected in yesterday's transcript at pages 45 and 46 wherein Judge
24 Trechsel did ask her some questions concerning the numbers of Croat
25 families that left, and it would seem to be from her testimony that at the
1 time of the war there were only two Croat families left and that others
2 had left prior to that point in time. But again, I draw your attention to
3 pages 45 and 46. It's clear that those questions were not put to her in
4 the context of the documents specifically, but she does in response to
5 Judge Trechsel, she did discuss that, that point. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Judges will closely
7 deliberate on this matter.
8 Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. A totally different
10 matter, Your Honour.
11 As you might well know, I'm sure you all know, under Rule 65 there
12 are possibilities to have meetings outside a courtroom setting, and I
13 would urge the Trial Chamber to consider, perhaps, setting up a 65 ter
14 meeting simply because I think it might be a way for us to deal with
15 housekeeping matters, perhaps have a frank exchange of ideas that have
16 not -- without taking the courtroom time. I know that in -- in other
17 cases, in my previous case we availed ourselves to those situations
18 whenever we had a technical issue and didn't have the time. Usually
19 it's -- outside the presence of the accused, but a record could be made,
20 but nonetheless, I think it's a good opportunity to have an exchange of
21 ideas, because I must say I'm -- I'm at the point where I find that there
22 may be some differences of opinions. I certainly don't want to give the
23 impression that I'm disrespectful to the Trial Chamber. Perhaps there are
24 other issues as well that we could resolve, and I certainly think that we
25 could find ways to be much more efficient in these proceedings.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Mr.
2 Karnavas, for your suggestion. We will discuss it already this afternoon,
3 and we will let you know what is our view.
4 Mr. Mundis, do you have any comments on the part of the
5 Prosecution regarding the suggestion by Mr. Karnavas? Do you support it,
6 oppose it? Are you neutral?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the prospect of a 65 ter meeting with
8 the Chamber's legal officers or -- would certainly be something that the
9 Prosecution would be amenable to doing at any point in time during the
10 course of the proceedings.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My understanding of what Mr.
12 Karnavas said was that it would be a 65 ter meeting, Defence counsel,
13 Judges, and the Prosecution.
14 Yes, Mr. Praljak.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I would like to ask Your
16 Honours to allow me to address two points. The first is that two days
17 ago, we received a ruling of the court on the non-admission of certain
18 documents regarding the Mujahedin and the number of Croats killed in
19 various ways in 21 municipalities which I prepared. The explanation is
20 that a crime does not justify another crime, and I'm sure that no one in
21 his right mind would claim such a thing, but the justification of one
22 crime by another and explanations of crimes are quite a different matter.
23 So I'd like Your Honours to let me know, either orally or in writing, how
24 I can explain this.
25 The second point regards the Mujahedin. This directly affects the
1 indictment, which says that Mujahedin did not represent anything more than
2 a means for the Croats to frighten other Croats with the threat of
3 Mujahedins. I think the situation is quite different in the method of
4 their warfare, the numbers in which they came, the transformation of the
5 war into a religious war, and that is why I would like to have the
6 opportunity to explain why the Mujahedin were very important, especially
7 with respect to the conflict between the Croat and Muslim people in Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina.
9 Yesterday, we heard the word used -- words to the effect that
10 Croats attacked, Croats expelled, et cetera. These were either units out
11 of control or under some control. We spent half a century living in a
12 society with collective responsibility. The Croats were Ustashas, the
13 Serbs were Chetniks, and since this Court was an institution formed to --
14 reconciliation, I think we should never use a collective noun as the
15 perpetrators. It's not that the Croats that expelled the Bosniaks or the
16 Bosniaks the Croats, but this was done by individuals, and according to my
17 statistics, about 90 per cent of these perpetrators had names and
18 surnames. So we can individualise the guilt. And by saying in such a
19 public trial that the Croats killed the Bosniaks and the Bosniaks killed
20 the Croats I think is not appropriate, because using such collective nouns
21 implies collective responsibility which does not exist in law, especially
22 as those Croats admitted half a million refugees. We're trying to
23 individualise guilt. We have to know who is guilty for each crime. So I
24 think the use of such collective nouns should be avoided at all cost.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Praljak, regarding the
1 question that you have raised, we have replied in a rendered decision
2 personally, and I speak only in my own name. I wish to tell you that
3 defence tu quoque is not admitted in this Trial Chamber. This tu quoque
4 has absolutely no value, because according to humanitarian law, this type
5 of defence is excluded.
6 Regarding the other question of the Mujahedin, there will be
7 witnesses who are going to come, and you will have the possibility of
8 re-introducing your documents, because the witness through whom you wanted
9 to have those documents admitted was not one capable of authenticating the
10 documents. So I think you will have the opportunity as soon as next week
11 to re-introduce this again. So the rejection was based on points of law
12 and opportunities with this witness, so you will have other occasions to
13 re-introduce this.
14 We have taken note of everything that you have said, and you must
15 know that the Judges bear all these elements in mind.
16 It is now a quarter past 9.00. We are going to bring in the
17 witness. Shall we bring down the blinds, because there is a request of
18 protective measures, and we need to deal with that probable.
19 MR. STEWART: Mr. President, Your Honours, good morning. The
20 Defence of Mr. Petkovic would like to address one or two of the principles
21 in relation to protective measures in open session, taking great care, as
22 of course we would, to ensure that nothing is said in an open session
23 which could preempt any decision and could lead to any identification of
24 the witness.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give you the floor, but
1 after we have brought in the witness. And also, we have to pull down the
2 blinds so that the witness cannot be seen by the audience. You will have
3 the floor in a minute.
4 MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues] ... that's
5 understood, of course.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to private session
7 now, please, Mr. Registrar.
8 [Closed session]
11 Pages 8937-8944 redacted. Closed session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now that we're in open session,
15 madam, could you tell me your first and last names and your date of birth
16 again, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zijada Kurbegovic, the 25th of
18 January, 1965.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, do you have a profession?
20 Are you employed or are you a housewife?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm employed.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I work in Gornji Vakuf, in a
24 pharmacist's shop.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, have you already
1 testified before a national or International Tribunal with regard to the
2 events that took place in your country in the 1990s, or is this the first
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll put a question
6 to you that I have never put to a witness so far, however, I have to do
7 this now. You were interviewed by an investigator from the Office of the
8 Prosecution. Can you confirm the fact that you did meet with an
9 investigator from the OTP?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean here?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm referring to an
12 investigator from the OTP who went to your country to interview you, after
13 which you signed a written statement.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. Yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you also interviewed -- or
16 have you also been interviewed by an investigator in your own country,
17 from your own country, with regard to the events you were a witness of?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the war, is that what you
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, after the war.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was only on that occasion
22 that I gave that statement.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please, could you
24 read out the solemn declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: ZIJADA KURBEGOVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please sit down.
5 I'd like to provide you with some information about the procedure we will
6 be following during this hearing. You will first have to answer the
7 questions put to you by Mr. Mundis, whom you have already met. According
8 to what I have been told, Mr. Mundis will be needing an hour and a half,
9 but perhaps he will need less time.
10 Once this stage has been completed, the Defence, who are to your
11 left, will put their questions to you within the framework of what we call
12 the cross-examination. They will have about an hour and a half, and that
13 means each Defence team will have 15 minutes. The Judges will make sure
14 they don't use up any additional time.
15 The four Judges sitting before you may also put questions to you
16 at any point in time. You will notice that when Judges put questions to
17 you, the nature of their questions is quite different from those put to
18 you by the other parties. The questions Judges put to you are put to you
19 in order to confirm or clarify certain answers that you provide to the
20 Prosecution and to the Defence. We also put questions to witnesses to
21 verify what you have said in relation to the indictment. We have to
22 verify certain facts in this way.
23 If there are any questions that you fail to understand, don't
24 hesitate to ask the party putting the question to you to rephrase it or to
25 put it to you again.
1 We'll be having 20-minute breaks every one and a half hours. This
2 should allow you to rest. The next break will at about 10.30.
3 Before I give the floor to Mr. Mundis, Mr. Mundis, last week I
4 told the Prosecution that when proofing witnesses, if it seems that a
5 witness might have health problems of any kind, you should inform the
6 Chamber of the fact. I have just found out from the registrar that this
7 witness might have a certain condition. I'm not sure whether you are
8 aware of the fact or not. If so, just say so and we won't go into the
9 details. Otherwise, we will have to move into private session.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we were also just informed by the
11 Registry via e-mail of that. I'm not sure if the investigator who
12 assisted me yesterday with proofing had asked that question during the
13 preliminary meeting. So I will ensure that our practices reflect what the
14 Trial Chamber has requested us to do.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll now ask the
16 registrar to move into closed session.
17 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session, Mr.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Naturally, I would like to ask
14 the Defence to take this fact into consideration.
15 I'll now give the floor to the Prosecution.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Examination by Mr. Mundis:
18 Q. Good morning, Witness.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Ma'am, can you please tell us where you were living in 1992?
21 A. I was living in the village of Uzricje.
22 Q. And with whom were you living?
23 A. I was living with my husband, my two children, and my
24 mother-in-law, father-in-law, two relatives.
25 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber about the ethnic composition of
1 Uzricje in early 1992.
2 A. There were Muslims and Croats. The population was mixed.
3 Q. Can you give us an estimate about the percentages of those two
4 groups living in the village?
5 A. I can't give you any percentages. There were perhaps about 400
6 inhabitants. The Muslims were in the majority.
7 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the relations between the
8 Muslims and Croats in Uzricje in early 1992?
9 A. The relations were normal. There were no problems of any kind.
10 Q. Witness, can you describe a little bit about the beginning of the
11 war in Bosnia? When did that happen?
12 A. Well, the actual war broke out on the 13th of January, but prior
13 to that date, in November, 1992, there had been brief skirmishes, attacks
14 on the village. But on the 13th of January, 1993, there was a full-blown
15 war that broke out in Uzricje.
16 Q. Let's me ask you actually, Witness, if we could back up a little
17 bit. In the summer of 1992, to your knowledge, did the war start in
18 Bosnia in the wider context of the entire country?
19 A. Yes, the war with the Serbs started, but in Uzricje the population
20 grew a bit. Refugees arrived from Donji Vakuf, from Modrica. They'd fled
21 before the Serbian aggressor.
22 Q. Can you tell us approximately how far from Uzricje was the war
23 with the Serbs?
24 A. Well, it's about 32 kilometres from Gornji Vakuf to Donji Vakuf,
25 something like that.
1 Q. And where was the front line between the Serbs and the combined
2 Muslim and Croat forces?
3 A. Well, the front line was down in the direction of Donji Vakuf and
4 Mackovac and Radusa were the lines further up.
5 Q. What was the reaction of the men in the village of Uzricje when
6 the war started with the Serbs? What did the men do?
7 A. Well, the Croats and Muslims worked together but then they started
8 digging dugouts so that they could have some sort of security, so they
9 could have shelters. They went to these jointly held lines. They went
10 there together. But in November -- as of November and up until the 13th
11 of January, everything changed.
12 Q. Let's start, Witness, with November. You're talking about
13 November 1992?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in November -- in early November, 1992, what were the
16 relations like between the Muslims and the Croats in Uzricje?
17 A. They were quite normal until an attack was launched on the
18 village. And after the attack, they no longer held these joint lines, but
19 there were no disputes among us neighbours.
20 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about this attack that you've
21 told us about that was launched on the village in November, 1992? Do you
22 recall the specifics of that incident?
23 A. Well, it didn't last for long, several hours. We were in the
24 village, so we heard that shooting, and it didn't last for long as I said,
25 only a few hours.
1 Q. After this first incident, this first attack in November, 1992,
2 how did the situation in the village change?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Mundis.
4 Allow me to intervene at this point. It's necessary to be very precise.
5 Given the witness's answer, I'm somewhat confused.
6 Madam, you mentioned an attack in November. As a general rule,
7 when an attack is launched, you have one party who is the first party to
8 open fire and then someone responds. When you say there was an attack,
9 who first opened fire according to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Croats started the attack.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And how do you know this? On
12 what basis do you claim that the Croats started? Because it could be a
13 member of the Territorial Defence or of the ABiH who opens fire or who
14 opened fire, and then the other side reacts. On what basis do you claim
15 that the Croats started opening fire?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's what I heard. I said
17 that I wasn't there, that I wasn't in town. I said that immediately.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is something that you
19 were told.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 MR. MUNDIS:
23 Q. Witness, let me further clarify. This -- this attack that you've
24 just told us about in November, 1992, was this attack in the village of
25 Uzricje or was it in somewhere else?
1 A. No. It was just in the town.
2 Q. And when you say in the town, what town are you referring to?
3 A. In Gornji Vakuf.
4 Q. How far is the town of Gornji Vakuf from Uzricje?
5 A. Well, two kilometres.
6 Q. So just so we're absolutely clear, when this attack was launched
7 where were you?
8 A. Well, we were in Uzricje.
9 Q. Can you tell it us how the situation in Uzricje changed following
10 this attack on Gornji Vakuf in November, 1992?
11 A. Well, the situation changed after that event. We heard shelling
12 between Gornji Vakuf and Uzricje. We heard the sound of shelling. We
13 were in the middle of the village, all together. Croats and Muslims were
14 there. Then we were told that these shells were being fired from Idovac
15 by the Serbs, but that wasn't clear. They were taking coordinates from
17 Q. You say you were told the shells were being fired from Idovac by
18 the Serbs. Who told you that?
19 A. Well, we were there and Croats were telling us how the Serbs were
20 shelling from up there and that's what we thought too.
21 Q. After this attack in November, 1992, were any steps taken to
22 defend the village of Uzricje?
23 A. Well, there were the Croats and Muslims who were together again.
24 I'm not sure whether there was a checkpoint there. I wasn't at the site,
25 but the Croats and Muslims were together. But Muslim women and our
1 husbands didn't go anywhere, whereas they, two or three days earlier, on
2 the 13th, had left the village. The Croatian women and children.
3 Q. Okay. We'll get to that incident or that event in just a moment,
4 but let me again focus your attention on November, 1992. After this first
5 attack, were there any subsequent attacks before January, 1993?
6 A. Yes. There was another attack launched by the Croats. This was
7 obvious because they only opened fire on the part of the town that is
8 called Mahala.
9 Q. And again, Witness, when you refer to the town, which town are you
10 referring to?
11 A. To Gornji Vakuf.
12 Q. At what point in time, to the best of your recollection, did this
13 second attack on Mahala take place?
14 A. I am afraid I can't remember quite exactly, but it was maybe 10,
15 15, 20 days before the attack on the 13th of January.
16 Q. Following or during the time, roughly, when this attack on Mahala
17 took place, what steps were taken, if any, in the village of Uzricje to
18 defend the village?
19 A. Nothing was done. I told you a moment ago we were together to
20 prevent people entering the village thinking that the Serbs might come in.
21 We were together. We couldn't assume that it could be the Croats. We
22 were allies in those days.
23 Q. During this time period from November, 1992, until January, 1993,
24 were there any fortifications or trenches or anything like that built in
25 the village of Uzricje?
1 A. Two dugouts. Two dugouts were prepared again together. Croats
2 and Muslims dug them together.
3 Q. And where were these two dugouts?
4 A. One was about -- near the centre of the village, and the other was
5 in the lower part of the village.
6 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the size of these dugouts and
7 how they were actually constructed?
8 A. The upper dugout that I went to, that I was in, was roughly,
9 roughly 3 by 4 metres, roughly. It was dug into a hillside, and inside it
10 was lined with planks, wooden planks. It was covered by nylon. And in
11 inside there were no facilities, but it was a shelter.
12 Q. What do you mean by it was covered by nylon?
13 A. It was wintertime and there was a lot of humidity, and we had to
14 protect ourselves from the precipitation. So this was a plastic cover.
15 Q. Did the dugout have a door or doors?
16 A. There was just one door to enter the dugout, made from wooden
17 boards to keep the cold out.
18 Q. And when you say there were no facilities, was there any
19 electricity in the dugout?
20 A. No. No electricity, no water. It's just a hole in the ground.
21 Q. And where was the second dugout?
22 A. The other dugout was in the lower part of the village. I didn't
23 enter it, but I assume --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, madam. We are
25 hearing the French translation "casemate", in English, "dugout". This
1 dugout, was it a bunker? Was it constructed in hard material, in cement,
2 or as you are saying, a hole in the ground? Were the walls made of
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. It was precisely a hole in
5 the ground but just lined with wooden boards and protected with plastic
6 sheeting to avoid water entering it. So this was just an emergency
7 shelter that we could hide in and seek protection in.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This hole in the ground, what
9 security did it provide in relation to a cave? Was it any better than a
10 cave? This could also be a hole in the ground. In what sense did this
11 hole provide greater security for you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It gave us greater security because
13 these villages have underground waters and our houses don't have cellars.
14 This was about 50 metres away from our houses, and there was this small
15 hillock, and this dugout was dug into the hill.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this
17 clarification, because according to my understanding, I had imagined it
18 was more of a bunker, but this is more like a shelter.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, a shelter.
20 MR. MUNDIS:
21 Q. Now, Witness, a few moments ago you mentioned this attack of the
22 13th of January, 1993.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may. I think it
24 is not opportune to talk about an attack. My learned friend keeps
25 referring to an attack, and we don't really know what was happening there,
1 nor did the witness explicitly mention attack. I think it is better to
2 refer to an incident until we actually establish what happened.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm sure Mr. Mundis is going to
4 specify. If not, I will do so.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely, Mr. President. Page 26, line 14, the
6 witness answered: "I'm afraid I can't remember quite exactly, but it was
7 maybe 10, 15, 20 days before the attack on the 13th of January." The
8 witness has referred to this incident as an attack. I'm simply using the
9 language that the witness herself used in characterising this incident.
10 Q. Witness, did anything unusual happen in the village of Uzricje a
11 few days before this incident or attack on the 13th of January, 1993?
12 A. Yes. We were together, and two or three days before this event
13 the Croatian women left the village, but in our village, a lady had a
14 chicken farm, so both Croatian and Muslim women went to purchase from her,
15 and an elderly Croat lady said, "If Ruza," that was her name, "leaves,"
16 that is the Croat lady whose name was Ruza, "If she leaves the village,
17 it's over." However, that is what actually happen. Ruza also left.
18 Q. How did you come to know that the Croatian women left the village?
19 A. This man, this Muslim who was with a Croat, he told us, because
20 they were together, this some sort of a check-point. I wasn't there, so I
21 don't know what it looks like. He was there when all the Croatian women
22 abandoned the village.
23 Q. What about the Croatian men?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you just mentioned a
25 check-point. Where was this check-point in the village, and was it held
1 by a Croats and a Muslim together?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was at the exit of the village
3 when you leave Uzricje to go to Mackovac. And, yes, there was a Croat and
4 a Muslim there together.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Muslim, he was a member
6 of the Territorial Defence or the BH army, or was he a civilian who was in
7 the company of the Croat?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were all civilians in those
9 days, but I think it was the Territorial Defence at the time.
10 MR. MUNDIS:
11 Q. And, Witness, at the time when the Croatian women left the
12 village, where were the Croatian men?
13 A. They stayed in the village. I didn't see them, but that's what
14 this man said, that they remained in the village. They didn't leave.
15 Q. And what about the Bosniak men? In early to mid-January, 1993,
16 what were they doing in the village?
17 A. They were there. Everybody went about his own business. No one
18 didn't go anywhere except for those who jointly performed --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, in answer to the
20 Prosecution, you said that the women left the village and that the men
21 stayed behind, the Croat men. This may appear to be a strange event,
22 because when a woman leaves her husband, this can be either because of
23 family differences or some important reason. But when the women left the
24 village, what was being said in the village? What was the reason that had
25 prompted the women to leave? And I also assume that they took the
1 children with them. I can't imagine the women going without the children.
2 So what was the reason for these Croatian women to leave the village as
3 far as you were able to gather?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that both the women and
5 children had left, Croatian women and children. The men stayed behind.
6 It was said that an attack was being expected from Idovac by the Serbs,
7 that there would be heavy shelling. That is what they said.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Was there any talk about the Muslim women and
9 children also leaving? It is a bit change that if the Serbs threatened to
10 attack, only one group of the village leaves.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't go anywhere, because we
12 didn't believe that any such thing could happen.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you didn't believe that the
14 Serbs were going to shell the village, and that is why you stayed?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not that, that we didn't
16 believe that they would shell, but they just thought there would be a
17 shell just like any other shell, and we'd be in the dugout and it would
18 blow over.
19 MR. MUNDIS:
20 Q. Witness, on page 31, lines 7 and 8, you answered, "It was said
21 that an attack was being expected. That is what they said." Who told you
22 that an attack was to be expected from the Serbs at Idovac?
23 A. The Croats told us.
24 Q. Now --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Mundis. We are
1 touching upon crucial issues.
2 Idovac, how far is it from your village, madam?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I can't tell you exactly.
4 It's a mountainous area.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But roughly, 5 kilometres, 10
6 kilometres, 1 kilometre?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Something like that. Let's say 10
8 kilometres, roughly, but I can't tell you with precision.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking you about the
10 distance in order to see whether, according to you, even though you're not
11 a specialist in artillery matters, was it possible to fire a shell at your
12 village from a distance of several kilometres?
13 What is your answer, because it wasn't recorded.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it is possible.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. MUNDIS:
17 Q. At this time point in early to mid-January, 1993, when the
18 Croatian women and children left the village, what were the Bosniak men
20 A. Nothing. Nothing. They were just there doing their regular work.
21 They -- they were just there, and nobody went anywhere.
22 Q. Do you know, Witness, if --
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think we have a
24 problem with the record, because the witness said they distributed
25 themselves there. I'd like to ask her what exactly she meant. They --
1 that's exactly what the witness said, so I'd like our learned friend to
2 check this with the witness, what she meant.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please specify, Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS:
5 Q. Witness, did you say that the people had distributed themselves
6 and, if so, who distributed themselves and where?
7 A. There, when they were there, they spread out there, Croats and
8 Muslims. They were together; one Croat, one Muslim.
9 Q. Were they in any way attempting to defend the village together,
10 the Muslims and Croats?
11 A. No. When the attack started, then no.
12 Q. Let me ask you. Before -- immediately before the attack, when you
13 say they were spread out there, Croats and Muslims, they were together,
14 one Croat, one Muslim, what do you mean? What were they doing?
15 A. As I was saying, they were there on this road so as to avoid
16 anyone entering the village. I wasn't there. I didn't see it. I don't
17 know what the road looked like.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, listening to you, it has
19 occurred to me to ask: In your village, was there a municipal authority?
20 Was there a mayor, any kind of authority, leader, in the village?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just the local board.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're telling us there was
23 the local board. So I assume if there is a possibility of an attack by
24 the Serbs which leads to the departure of a part of the population, women
25 and children, would the local board meet to discuss the matter, which
1 after all is serious? So as far as you know, was there a meeting of the
2 local board?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether there was a
4 meeting, but it was discussed in the village jointly. That was the main
5 subject. The men of the village, both Croats and Muslims, would be
6 debating the issue and discussing it, but the women were not there.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, in your village when a
8 problem occurs, who deals with it? By the inhabitants themselves, or by
9 the local authority or by the military? Who deals -- or who dealt with
10 problems in the village at the time?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it was the locals, the
12 villagers. They would resolve everything.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Now, Witness, can you tell us -- I'd now like focus your attention
15 on the 13th of January, 1993. What happened on that day?
16 A. On that day, I think it was in the afternoon of the 13th of
17 January, the shells started falling. There was heavy shelling. We didn't
18 have time for anything. We rushed immediately into the dugout. Myself
19 and my family and the whole neighbourhood, some went to the lower dugout,
20 depending on which was closer. And from then on, from the 13th of January
21 on, we spent nine days and nine nights in this dugout.
22 Q. During the nine days and nine nights that you were in the dugout,
23 did you at any point leave the dugout?
24 A. Yes. In the evening when it gets real dark, we would go out to
25 fetch water and some food that remained in those houses, because during
1 those nine days and houses of -- nine days and nights of shelling, some
2 houses had been damaged, some totally destroyed.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not being very specific.
4 You said that there were nine days of shelling. Was it continuous, there
5 was a shelling falling every five minutes, or was it shelling that was
6 occasional, with interruptions, or did the shells keep falling all the
7 time, which forced you to stay in this hole? Could you be more specific,
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The shelling was non-stop, day
10 and night.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your language I heard the
12 word "nonstop," so I assume that it is an established term in your
13 language. So it was continuous, uninterrupted shelling.
14 My colleague has a question for you.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam Witness, according to your
16 statement the women and children, that is the Croat women and children,
17 left the village. So I assume in these shelters there were Muslim women
18 and children. But you also said Croat and Muslim men stayed in the
19 village. Were they all also in the shelter during the shelling? I'm
20 talking about Muslim and Croat men. Were they also in the shelters, or
21 were they somewhere else?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 13th, I don't know what
23 happened to the Croatian men, because I was in this dugout and they were
24 not with me in the dugout. So I can't say because I don't know.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the 12th of January, in the
1 afternoon or evening, the Croatian men, were they still in the village?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If they were not in your
4 shelter, there was another shelter. Could they have been in the other
5 shelter, or did they flee during the night?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't claim that. I can't say. I
7 don't know. I didn't see anything with my own eyes, so I can't tell you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. MUNDIS:
10 Q. What about the Bosniak men from Uzricje? Once you had gone into
11 the dugout, where were the Bosniak men?
12 A. Mostly the elderly men, the women and children, both older and
13 younger ones, were in the dugout, whereas the men who were -- I don't know
14 how to put it -- who were able to carry a rifle, in their 30s, they were
15 there. Some had Kalashnikovs, some had hunting rifles, and they were just
16 above this dugout, above and around the dugout in the village.
17 Q. Witness, you told us that at night you would leave the dugout to
18 get food and water. When you left the dugout, did you see people in the
20 A. We couldn't see anyone in the village, but when one went from the
21 dugout toward one's houses, from the hills, a hill called Mackovac facing
22 us, we saw there buses. Were they trucks or buses, they had strong
23 headlights, and we could see them coming in our direction.
24 Q. And a final couple of question --
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may just intervene. Madam, you have said
1 that there had been incessant shelling without interruption. Should you
2 perhaps correct this as far as the night is concerned? You said you went
3 out during the night. Was there also a certain pause or a slowing down of
4 the rhythm of the shelling?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was a slowing down, but
6 when you're going to fetch food for your children, you don't care whether
7 there's shelling or not.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A follow-up question to that of
9 my colleague. When you left for the first time and the next times, were
10 you able to see that the buildings had been hit by the shells?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. My house was damaged at
12 the time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many houses, to the best of
14 your recollection? How many houses were damaged?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was in the central part of the
16 village and in the upper dugout, this part was heavily damaged. Virtually
17 each and every house was damaged by the end of those nine days and nights.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And to the best of your
19 knowledge, everyone sought shelter in the two shelters, or did some people
20 remain in their houses and they may have been killed or wounded by the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think, and according to what I
23 saw, the upper part of the village had been abandoned and everyone from
24 that part was in the dugout. No one stayed behind. So everyone went to
25 the dugout that was closest.
1 MR. MUNDIS: That would be an appropriate time for the first
2 recess, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is 10.30. We're going
4 to have a 20-minute break.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, please continue.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, Witness, can you tell us approximately how many people were
10 in this 3 by 4 square metre dugout with you during these nine days and
12 A. I think there were perhaps about 30 of us, perhaps 40, something
13 like that.
14 Q. Now, at the end of this nine-day period what happened?
15 A. Well, at the end of this nine-day period spent in the dugout, I
16 don't know whether it was in the morning, I didn't have a watch, I don't
17 know what time it was exactly, but at one point in time a Croatian soldier
18 kicked the door in and opened the door in this way, and he said, "Please
19 don't panic, but leave the dugout." When leaving the dugout -- well, even
20 if it had been my brother, I wouldn't have been able to recognise him
21 because his face had perhaps been painted black. It was completely
22 covered in paint, and on his sleeve he had HVO insignia. And when going
23 down the small hill towards the middle of the village, the soldiers were
24 at a distance of perhaps two, two and a half metres from each other. Some
25 had certain blue ribbons on their sleeves and others had orange ribbons.
1 And we left this upper dugout, the one that I was in, and when we gathered
2 at this point, they said, "Whoever has a weapon should place it aside."
3 But one of the soldiers said, "You should thank God, because yesterday it
4 was very dark. Otherwise, none of you would have survived."
5 And then they placed us in two houses, in the house of Kurbegovic
6 Cazim and in the house of Ibrahim Kurbegovic. They didn't separate the
7 men from the women and children, but they just said that some of us should
8 go to one of the houses and others to the other house. But we were told
9 that the women and children should go to Kurbegovic Ibrahim's home, house,
10 and they would write down our names and surnames. And the men were in
11 front of the Semka Filipovic's house. They were left there. And when the
12 women and children went -- the Muslim women and children arrived in
13 Ibrahim Kurbegovic's house, a man introduced himself to us. He was a
14 soldier and he said that his name was Pile. He said that he had to take
15 down our names so he would know how many of us there were, but he said
16 that he also had five children of his own and that nothing would happen to
17 us while he was there. He said that his children cried as our children
19 And after they had compiled this list, everyone went to the house
20 he or she had been assigned to.
21 Q. Witness, let me interrupt you at this point. Approximately how
22 many soldiers did you see in the village when you came out of the dugout?
23 A. I don't know the exact number, but when we were in the middle of
24 the village, there was certainly 20 or 30 soldiers who were armed, and I
25 saw others in the house, and they were setting fire to these houses, and
1 they would also fire shots using incendiary bullets.
2 Q. And which houses did you see being set on fire?
3 A. They only set fire to Muslim houses. Not a single Croatian house
4 was damaged. They all remained intact.
5 Q. Do you know if any Croatian houses were damaged due to shelling?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Once you were taken --
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, just to be absolutely clear. Witness,
9 you said, "No." Does that mean you do not know, or does it mean no houses
10 were damaged?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no damaged houses.
12 MR. MUNDIS:
13 Q. Now --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, a minute ago you said
15 that they opened fire and used incendiary bullets. Did you personally see
16 a soldier open fire at a house as a result of which the house was set on
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's another question.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam, the shelling lasted for nine
21 days. At the end of nine days, only Muslim houses had been destroyed, and
22 no Croatian houses had been hit by the shelling. That seems a little
23 strange to me.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, how do you explain the
25 fact that it's possible to shell a village over a nine-day period and some
1 houses, as if by chance, were not damaged and only Muslim houses were
2 damaged? Can you explain this phenomenon, which might seem to be quite
3 extraordinary? At least it might seem to be extraordinary initially, but
4 I am waiting for your answer.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do think it was an extraordinary
6 situation, because there were some houses that were mixed. There were
7 some houses that were among Muslim houses, but not a single one was
8 damaged. I don't know whether that's because they were so professional,
9 but it's quite true to say that not a single one was damaged.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you're also referring to the
11 shelling that was carried out at night?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not a single house was damaged.
13 MR. MUNDIS:
14 Q. Witness, when you were taken out of the dugout and directed into
15 one of these two houses, was that the part of the village that was mixed,
16 or was that predominantly the Muslim part of the village?
17 A. Well, that's the part where they were in the majority. Only one
18 or two houses belonged to Croats. They were next to the house or in the
19 vicinity of the house I was in.
20 Q. And again, because you've mentioned the two houses, which of the
21 two houses were you directed to go to?
22 A. I was sent to Cazim Kurbegovic's house, which was next to those
23 Croatian houses.
24 Q. And how long did you stay in Cazim Kurbegovic's house?
25 A. I stayed there till we actually left the village of Uzricje.
1 Q. And when was that?
2 A. Well, I think that we left the village of Uzricje in March or
4 Q. And how many people were in Cazim Kurbegovic's house during this
5 time period?
6 A. Well, I think there were about 20 of us.
7 Q. Can you describe the 20 people in terms of their gender, age,
9 A. They were Muslims, and as for their age, there were children, and
10 there were elderly people up to 70 years of age too.
11 Q. Were there men and women in that house?
12 A. Men and women. They were all together.
13 Q. And during the time period that you were there in 1993, early part
14 of 1993, did you remain in that house the entire period or did you go out
15 at any point in time?
16 A. When necessary, because the person who compiled this list said
17 that since we had livestock, he said that we could go out up until 4.00 in
18 the afternoon to feed the livestock, to carry out these tasks, if we had
19 such tasks.
20 Q. And did you in fact go out to feed the livestock during this time
22 A. Only on one occasion with my mother-in-law. I couldn't do that
23 more frequently.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: With my father-in-law.
25 MR. MUNDIS:
1 Q. And on this one occasion when you went to feed the livestock with
2 your father-in-law, what, if anything, did you observe in the village of
4 A. Well, they continued to set fire to buildings. If everything
5 hadn't been destroyed, they would blow-up buildings. When we set off from
6 the small hill near our village and went down the road, someone would see
7 you and they'd shout out to us, "Put your hands behind your backs and walk
8 down the middle of the road." So someone was protecting us there from --
9 from the Croatian soldiers.
10 Q. Let me ask you some follow-on questions from what you've just told
11 us. You said they continued to set fire to buildings. On this occasion
12 when you went out of the house with your father-in-law, did you actually
13 see any buildings on fire personally?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you describe what you saw on that occasion?
16 A. I saw the house because I was staying in Cazim Kurbegovic's house,
17 and across the road from his house there was Subka Hozic's house. I saw
18 her house being set on fire. She had chickens in front of the house.
19 They killed all her chickens. They asked my father-in-law whether he had
20 a match there in order to set fire to it.
21 Q. Who -- who -- when you say, "They killed all her chickens," who is
22 the "they" that you're referring to?
23 A. The Croats, because they still had the insignia on their sleeves.
24 The same insignia.
25 Q. And what insignia was that?
1 A. HVO insignia. And sometimes they had blue ribbons on them or
2 orange ribbons, but I couldn't see their faces clearly.
3 Q. You also mentioned a few moments ago they would blow-up buildings.
4 Do you recall hearing anything that sounded like an explosion?
5 A. Well, naturally.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you have just mentioned
7 these people with the HVO insignia who also had ribbons on them. As you
8 have said that you spend a number of weeks in the village, you stayed
9 there for a number of weeks, did these HVO members -- or were these HVO
10 members the same throughout this period, or did you see any new
11 individuals? And those who remained there, did they always have their
12 faces painted black?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I went out, they always had
14 their faces painted. Later, I couldn't go out, but there was one person
15 who came there and asked to go to the toilet. He entered. He said that
16 he had come from Australia. And I only saw his face.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Madam, for the second time now, you have said
18 that you could not -- you were not able to go out. Could you explain why?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because I was afraid. I was
20 afraid to go out. I didn't dare go out.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you wanted to go out, would
22 someone have opened fire on you? Would one have prevented you from going
23 out or leaving the village even?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one left the village, but my
25 father-in-law naturally went to feed the livestock.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A while ago you mentioned this
2 individual who went to use the toilet in the house, and he told you that
3 he had come from Australia. I assume that he spoke to you in your own
4 language, or did he speak to you in English?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He spoke to me in our language.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And was it possible for you to
7 identify him on the basis of his accent? Could you tell which part of
8 your country he was from, or were you unable to detect a particular accent
9 of any kind?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He spoke normally. I couldn't
11 really say now how he spoke, in fact.
12 MR. MUNDIS:
13 Q. Witness, during the time period that you were in Cazim
14 Kurbegovic's house, to your knowledge, did anyone leave the village? Any
15 of the Bosniaks, that is, leave the village?
16 A. No.
17 Q. What were the conditions like in this -- in that house while you
18 were there?
19 A. Well, we had water, only water. We didn't have any electricity.
20 We had stoves that we could use for heating. We used the food that had
21 remained in those two houses. That's what we had. There were two rooms.
22 Q. During the time period that you were in Cazim Kurbegovic's house,
23 was anyone wounded or did anyone die?
24 A. Yes. While we were there, a van arrived in front of our house,
25 the house that I was staying in, and it took Kurbegovic Azim and Seketa
1 Sukrija away. They were driven to Prozor. And on that occasion, Camka
2 Seketa died because she was seriously ill. She was an old woman, an
3 exhausted woman. She died during that period of time and then there was
4 Avdo Seketa and Mehmed Seketa, but later, Sulejman Filipovic, after he had
5 been taken away in the village somewhere, they beat him up and he died
6 soon afterwards.
7 Q. Witness, do you know who took him away or who beat him up?
8 A. I didn't see this, but in the morning his sons -- his son's wife,
9 his daughter-in-law, came and said, "Help me. They've killed my
11 They don't know who took him away. They had some sort of caps on
12 their heads. I don't know if they could recognise them on the basis of
13 their voices, but he was beaten up badly.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, let's be precise again.
15 You said that there was an elderly woman who died. What I would like to
16 know is whether she died in the house, and did you actually see her dead
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She didn't die there. In fact, she
19 was there. A Croatian neighbour of ours took her to their part of town,
20 to the Croatian part. I don't know whether they took her to see the
21 doctor, but she died in a Croatian house, and she was buried in Uzricje.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How old was she, approximately?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think she was between 70 and 75
24 years old for sure.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mentioned Filipovic who was
1 beaten up and died, but you personally saw nothing. This is something
2 that you were told by Filipovic's daughter-in-law.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you.
6 Q. Witness, I neglected to ask you earlier. On the 13th of January,
7 1993 -- let me rephrase that.
8 When you came out of the dugout approximately nine days after the
9 13th of January, 1993, were any of the Bosniaks from the village killed on
10 that day?
11 A. Yes. Two persons were killed, Jusuf Softic, also known as Softa,
12 and Tahir Plivcic, who was a refugee from Donji Vakuf. They were killed
13 on that day, on the very same day.
14 Q. Can you tell us what happened to these two individuals?
15 A. Well, when we were taken out of the dugout and when we arrived in
16 the centre of the village, they asked Softic Jusuf where his house was,
17 where he lived. He pointed to his house. He said, "That's my house."
18 Tahir Plivcic was next to him. They asked him, "Where do you live?" He
19 said, "I'm a refugee, and I'm staying in his house." They said, "Come
20 here." They set off in the direction of that house. We went down to the
21 house we'd been assigned to. That's the last time I saw them. But when
22 Pile compiled this list of us in Ibrahim's house, Ibro told us that those
23 two men had been killed.
24 Q. Witness, can you tell us about the situation when you left
25 Uzricje? Can you tell us approximately when that was and where you went
2 A. Well, at the time I think it was March or April, as I said a while
3 ago, and there was some sort of a truce, but a van arrive. And during
4 this truce, we tried to clean up our households. My husband and children
5 went to clean up our house.
6 A van with five soldiers arrived, and they told him that they had
7 to go and see those people who had stayed in Uzricje and to inform them
8 that we had to leave Uzricje. So we had to leave.
9 Q. Let me --
10 A. And that's when we left.
11 Q. Let me -- let me just ask you if you can tell us, this van with
12 the five soldiers, what military force were these soldiers from who came
13 in this van?
14 A. They were from the Croatian army, because they told my
15 husband, "We can't be like you," they said, "Like you Muslims. You
16 captured our two soldiers. That is why you must leave the village now."
17 Q. When you say Croatian army, are you sure it was the Croatian army,
18 or was it the HVO?
19 A. Croats.
20 Q. Did you see any -- did you see any insignia on their uniforms?
21 A. I didn't because I was on a balcony. I was on a balcony. I just
22 saw camouflage uniforms.
23 Q. And when you told us a few moments ago, "That's when we left," can
24 you tell us how you left and where you went?
25 A. I went with my children to the area known as the Mahala, which was
1 a purely Muslim area. We went there.
2 Q. Where -- where is Mahala?
3 A. Mahala is in Gornji Vakuf, the upper part of the city.
4 Q. How did you get from Uzricje to Mahala?
5 A. We went along the main road, and no one hurt us or bothered us.
6 We passed through the Croatian part of the town and reached the Mahala.
7 Q. Did you walk or were you in a vehicle?
8 A. No, on foot.
9 Q. Now, Witness, can you tell us -- you've mentioned several times
10 about houses being damaged or destroyed or burned. Can you tell us
11 approximately how many houses in the village of Uzricje were damaged or
12 destroyed or burned?
13 A. I think -- as this is a small village, I think some 30 or 40
14 households were destroyed at the time. And that implies houses and
15 stables and ...
16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I would ask now that the witness be
17 shown a video which is P 1027. We would ask that this be played without
18 the audio, just the video. I would also inform everyone that there's a
19 lengthy segment in the middle of this video where an individual is
20 speaking. We have removed most of that with the exception of a brief clip
21 showing this individual. I'm going to ask the witness if she can identify
22 anything on the videotape. It runs less than 10 minutes.
23 Q. Now, Witness --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And after that you will be
25 finished, because I have looked at the clock, and I'm counting on the
1 Defence having an hour and a half, and we should normally adjourn at 1.45.
2 MR. MUNDIS: I -- just after this video, Mr. President, I have one
3 more document to show this witness and that would be the completion of the
4 direct examination. I think I've used about 45 minutes today based on our
6 Q. Witness, we're going to show you this videotape. I would ask
7 you -- and I should also inform everyone the quality of this videotape is
8 not very good.
9 Witness, I would ask you, as we did yesterday, if you see anything
10 on the tape that you recognise, persons or places or houses, to simply say
11 stop as soon as you see it, and we will do our best to pause it so that
12 you can identify whatever it is on the tape that you recognise.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop.
15 MR. MUNDIS:
16 Q. Can you tell us who this person is?
17 A. This is Ibrahim Kurbegovic, who is from Uzricje, and a part of the
18 population was in his house.
19 Q. Do you know what the building is behind Ibrahim Kurbegovic?
20 A. This is a stable. I think it's a stable.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. This is at the end of the
23 village. We called this Harman, where children played basketball, and
24 this is Hozic Omer's house and that of his son.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. MUNDIS: I think that's actually the end of the tape.
2 Q. Witness, to the best of your knowledge, what's depicted on this
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, Mr. Mundis.
5 Before asking the witness this question, can you tell us where this video
6 comes from?
7 MR. MUNDIS: It comes from the Bosnian AID.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What's that AID of Bosnia?
9 MR. MUNDIS: It's the Agency for Information and Documentation.
10 It's an investigative agency of the Bosnian government.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric.
12 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask Mr. Mundis
13 whether we received this material among the Prosecution documents, and I
14 think we did.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you disclose to the accused
16 and the Defence a copy of this video?
17 MR. MUNDIS: My case manager assures me, Mr. President and Your
18 Honours, that as this was an exhibit and has been on our exhibit list that
19 it would have been disclosed to the Defence some time ago.
20 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] I ask this because I wanted to
21 be sure whether I saw this, and I did, and I remember well talking to this
22 person who is answering a question where the reserve positions of the
23 soldiers are. And I now hear this silent film and another version with a
24 lot of material which would be of great significance for what we're
25 talking about. So I don't know why the tone was switched off. I really
1 don't understand. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I would like to
3 support the remark of Mr. Coric. Why did you decide to eliminate the
4 sound? And also, this video that we looked at for a few minutes must be a
5 part of other scenes, and Mr. Coric tells us that the person we see was
6 answering a question put by somebody regarding his membership of the
7 reserve force or something like that. What can you tell us about it?
8 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, it was partially in order to save
9 time. On the actual videotape itself, there is approximately three
10 minutes of Mr. Kurbegovic speaking to someone who is off camera, and we
11 simply, as a means of trying to save some time, because that didn't really
12 add anything to this witness's particular testimony, we chose this course
13 of action. Of course, we can play the entire videotape with the audio.
14 Any of the Defence teams can do the same thing if they think it's
15 important and relevant for their cases. We simply made the decision,
16 given the fact that -- that the main purpose was to have the witness
17 identify what's on the videotape and the locations on the videotape and
18 not to have her testify concerning what Ibrahim Kurbegovic said on the
19 videotape. It's simply for that reason and that reason alone.
20 Of course, any of the Defence teams can play that if they think
21 it's important or relevant during -- during the cross-examination or at
22 any point later in the trial for that matter.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, please.
24 MR. MUNDIS:
25 Q. Witness, to the best of your knowledge, can you tell us where this
1 videotape was taken, what location?
2 A. I think it was taken at Uzricje.
3 MR. MUNDIS: I have just one more document to show the witness
4 which is P 7350.
5 Q. Witness, have you seen this document before?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Actually, I showed you this document yesterday. Do you remember
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Have you had a chance to take a look at this document?
11 A. Yesterday, yes.
12 Q. This document identifies a number of individuals who were
13 allegedly involved in looting and torching in Uzricje. Do you know any of
14 those individuals?
15 A. I know Marko Livajsic. He was a neighbour. Marinko Livajsic,
16 also a neighbour. Mato, I don't know. Bero, I don't know. I don't know
17 the others. I know these two because they were from my neighbourhood.
18 Q. At any point during the first three months of 1993, that is
19 January through March or into even April, did you see either Marko
20 Livajsic or Marinko Livajsic?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. Where did you see them?
23 A. In Uzricje.
24 Q. To the best of your knowledge, have either of these individuals
25 been brought to trial for looting or burning in Uzricje?
1 A. I don't know that.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions. We would
4 tender the videotape and P 7350.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, just a question on the
6 basis of the document. At the very end of the document it says that
7 Croats evicted -- hated the Muslims of the village, and --
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, they aided the Muslims. Correction.
9 Interpreter's correction.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you confirm that indeed two
11 Croats in this village did help you, did help the Muslims of the village?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can confirm that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. There as also a list
14 of soldiers. You said Marko Livajsic, that you know him. You know him?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because in this document, it is
17 indicated that he was the HVO commander in your village. What do you
18 think of that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. I can't say,
20 because I wasn't involved in that. So I don't know.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question on the basis of
22 this document, dated the 27th of December, 1993, says that about 70 houses
23 whose owners were Muslims were burnt, destroyed, et cetera. Does this
24 figure appear to you to correspond to the truth, the number of destroyed
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago that I didn't
2 know the exact number of houses, but I think that would be about right.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam, you said that you knew Marko
4 Livajsic, the commander of the HVO in your village. Do you know where he
5 is today? Do you still see him or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He is still in Uzricje. He is now
7 in Uzricje.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence now, without any
10 further loss of time.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We will
12 leave our time for the other Defence counsel.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours. I have
15 no -- no questions for the witness. I just wish, however, to point out,
16 based on the last document, that this is a -- looks like it's an Official
17 Note. There's no documentation that an investigation was conducted that
18 would lead to any criminal trials or prosecutions. So in fairness to the
19 Defence, the Prosecution should have asked perhaps whether an
20 investigation was done. Simply asking whether a trial occurred is
21 insufficient evidence to establish this point.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have a
24 few questions. I'd like to start with the last document since we still
25 have it before us. My colleague is trying to find it, but I'm sure we'll
1 find it in the course of my cross-examination. We're trying to find a
2 reference to what the witness said about the houses that were destroyed.
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, didn't you say that between 30 and 40
5 houses in the village had been destroyed, and now when this question was
6 put to you by the Presiding Judge -- yes, we've just found the reference,
7 page 12, lines 12 to 13. When asked by the Presiding Judge, you said that
8 perhaps there were 70 houses that had been destroyed, but here you said
9 between 30 and 40 houses. What is in fact correct?
10 A. At the outset, I said that I wasn't sure. I said I didn't know
11 exactly how many houses had been destroyed. I never counted them. And I
12 said that the Muslim houses were most numerous.
13 Q. But, madam, you would agree that there is a difference between 30
14 and 40 houses and 70 houses. 70 is almost as twice as many, so you
15 couldn't have made such a mistake. So what is in fact what you remember?
16 A. Well, I said about 30 houses, madam. Thirty households. I
17 mentioned stables too. So I said there were some houses and there were
18 some stables.
19 Q. You didn't say some houses and some stables the first time round,
20 but let's move on.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Nozica, perhaps you could
22 assist the Chamber, because in English it says "buildings." In your
23 language, in B/C/S, what does the word mean exactly?
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Are you looking at the transcript for
25 the document? Which translation are you referring to?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] "Building" is the term that
2 appears in the translation. What I would like to know is the term in your
3 own language. Perhaps it's the term "Objekt". Would that be correct?
4 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking the interpreters to
6 tell me whether this term refers to houses or buildings.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter note: It refers to buildings.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters have told me
9 that the word means buildings. It could be a house. It could be a
10 building of another kind. It could be anything.
11 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Yes, I do agree with you, but in
12 response to a question put to the witness by the Prosecution with regard
13 to how many buildings had been destroyed, she said between 30 and 40, and
14 this is why I'm now asking her about this difference. The witness has
15 just said that there were certain secondary or subsidiary buildings that
16 were also counted. So the difference between the 30 and 40 houses and the
17 70 buildings she mentioned could be a result of the fact she has also
18 referred to subsidiary buildings.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, if I can assist, so that I don't have to
21 speak quietly to Ms. Nozica while interrupting her cross-examination. In
22 the earlier transcript at page 12 between lines 12 and 14, the way the
23 record was corrected there it says: "I think some 30 or 40 households,"
24 is the word in English, "were destroyed at the time, and that implies
25 houses and stables." And that was the text of the testimony.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank my colleague.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That means that there were
3 perhaps 70 buildings that were destroyed or damaged, and 30 or 40 of them
4 were houses.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, but no,
6 that's not the case. When I stood up to put my question, I asked my
7 colleague to find this part, the relevant part. The answer states 30 to
8 40 houses and stables which means that according to witness's answer --
9 well, she included houses and stables. Now the witness says that there
10 were 30 houses and the auxiliary buildings were stables.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll put the question to the
13 Witness, when you said that there were between 30 to 40 houses
14 concerned, did you mean 30 to 40 houses including the stables, or when you
15 said 30 or 40 buildings, were you just referring to houses? The stables
16 where one keeps the animals and the houses are buildings that humans live
17 in. So the number of 30 to 40 refers to what exactly?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 30 to 40 houses, because it's not
19 possible for people to live in stables.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Nozica.
21 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance, but I
22 believe that you'll go back to page 12 of the transcript, lines 12, 13 and
23 14, and there you will see that the answer was quite different from the
24 explanation now provided, but we can move on.
25 Q. As far as these two individuals are concerned, the Presiding Judge
1 asked you about someone called Marko Livajsic. Did you know that he was
2 an HVO commander in Uzricje? That was the question. And you said that
3 you didn't.
4 A. No. At the time I didn't know that he was a commander.
5 Q. Did you know at that time, or perhaps someone told you about this
6 later, but at any rate, up until December, 1993, did you know that he had
7 organised the looting and torching of Muslim houses?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. Very well. Did you know anything about Marinko Livajsic, Marinko?
10 Did you know that he and Marko acted together and looted and torched
11 Muslim houses? Did you know about that?
12 A. No, I didn't.
13 Q. Thank you. In response to a question put to you by my learned
14 colleague or the Presiding Judge, you said that you had seen those two
15 individuals in the village during the period that you were there; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were they also camouflaged? Were their faces painted and you
19 recognised them in spite of this fact, or perhaps their faces hadn't been
21 A. In the course of the shelling and nine days and nights, no, I
22 didn't see them. After the nine-day period had ended, I saw them in the
24 Q. That wasn't my question. My question was when you saw them, were
25 their faces painted or not?
1 A. No, their faces hadn't been painted.
2 Q. So they did move a around the village without having painted their
3 faces. There were some individuals whose faces hadn't been painted and
4 they moved around the village, some soldiers. It's not necessary to say
5 who. Or perhaps I should be more precise. Did you see any HVO members in
6 the village whose faces hadn't been painted after this nine-day period had
8 A. I only saw them on one occasion. I'm not sure of the date.
9 That's when I saw them, though, when someone was killed in Uzricje. Two
10 Croats were killed. And they took us out of those two houses that we were
11 staying in. We were taken in front of the house, Omer Filipovic, and
12 that's when I saw them there with other Croatian soldiers. I saw Marinko
13 and Marko there.
14 Q. Since we're talking about the two Croats who were killed, can you
15 remember what you were told about the location at which they were killed
16 at the time?
17 A. They were killed there, because when you enter the village of
18 Uzricje, well, there are three access routes, and when you leave the
19 village, these three routes join and become one route, and at the end of
20 that road, well, that's where those two Croats were killed.
21 Q. So one could draw the conclusion that they were killed just above
22 your village; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. On a number of occasions you said today
25 that the shelling and shooting lasted for nine days in the village. It
1 started on the 13th and went on for nine days; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Presiding Judge, you
4 mentioned whether you had given a statement after the war on the 13th of
5 January, 1993. It says 1999 in the transcript. Perhaps I made a mistake.
6 I was saying in a response put to you by the Presiding Judge, you said
7 that you didn't give any statements after the war apart from the statement
8 that we're discussing today; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. On the 6th of March, 1994, in the course of the war, did you give
11 a statement of any kind about these events?
12 A. I can't remember.
13 Q. Did you give the SDB, the State Security Service in Bugojno,
14 rather, the security services centre in Zenica, a statement on the 6th of
15 March, 1994?
16 A. In Zenica, no.
17 Q. And in Bugojno?
18 A. Well, would that be this statement?
19 Q. No. I'm talking about 1994, madam. Try and remember that. Let's
20 make this easier for everyone. I'll now ask the usher, and for the sake
21 of the transcript, I'd like to point out that the statement concerned is
22 dated the 6th of March, 1994. The witness allegedly gave to the State
23 Security Service in Bugojno. The witness can confirm this. And perhaps
24 this is an exhibit that the Prosecution provided us with. Could the
25 usher, please, place this statement on the ELMO so that the witness can
1 see it and so that she can verify whether the signature is her signature.
2 I will then have a couple of questions I'd like to put to her about the
4 Could you please have a look at the bottom of the document to see
5 whether the signature is yours. Have a look at the top of the document to
6 see where and when this took place. Can you try and remember whether you
7 gave this statement? Do you remember this?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We don't have the English
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] It wasn't my intention to tender this
11 statement. I won't be doing this. I just want to point out a couple of
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, you said that you don't
14 intend to tender this document. You're raising an issue. Well, quite
15 rightly, but you're showing the witness a document, you're putting
16 questions to her, and the Judges are in a disadvantageous position because
17 we're not familiar with the contents of this statement. I will discuss
18 the matter with my colleagues, but as a rule, when one shows the witness a
19 document, it's almost an obligation to request that the document be
20 admitted into evidence, because if one doesn't do this, and this could be
21 important for you, too, if one doesn't do this and if the witness provides
22 an answer favourable to you, but you don't have a document to support the
23 testimony, in that case well, what is the probative value of this
24 testimony? So you're harming yourselves. I don't know whether you have
25 correctly understood that when you present a document and put questions to
1 the witness on the basis of the document, it's in your interest to request
2 that the document be admitted into evidence. This is in your favour.
3 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I accept this
4 criticism. It's not my intention to tender this document into evidence.
5 Could we take this off -- this document off the ELMO. I'll just put a few
6 questions to the witness now, but I won't be tendering the document into
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you like.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Madam, could you please tell me something about the date. Perhaps
11 immediately after this event, did you have a different opinion with regard
12 to the time period during which this took place? Is it possible that you
13 said this event, the shooting in the village, took place from the 13th of
14 January to the 18th of January, 1993? I'm asking you whether it's --
15 you're sure that it was a nine-day period that was involved, or did it
16 continue up until the 18th of January, 1993?
17 A. As far as the shelling is concerned, it continued for nine days
18 and nine nights. But the torching, that continued.
19 Q. So you stand by your statement that it lasted for nine days.
20 Let's move on.
21 In your statement, you said that dugouts were dug by Muslims and
22 Croats together?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When did this take place? When was this done?
25 A. Well, I think it was done from November onwards. I think it was
1 in the course of November and December. I think that's when they made
2 these dugouts.
3 Q. Please, can you tell me the following in response to a question
4 put to you by the Presiding Judge about whether these constructions were
5 concrete constructions: Well, you said that there were planks that had
6 been used. So in fact were -- was timber used? Were logs used for these
8 A. Yes, that's what I meant, but I didn't articulate this quite
9 clearly. I didn't know how to put it.
10 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation to finish. So in order to help
11 you, we're talking about logs cut in half and then they're put together;
12 is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is that one of the ways in which such dugouts are created in
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina when one wants to take shelter or when one goes
16 into the mountains? Is this the way one usually makes dugouts?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. You've never had the opportunity for seeing such things?
19 A. No. No. Well, this was a necessary form of accommodation, that's
21 Q. I wasn't asking you whether this had been intended as
22 accommodation, but when dugouts of that kind are made, is this how they're
24 A. I don't know. I was never in the mountains, so I don't know.
25 Q. When you mentioned the extent of the damage and the houses that
1 had been destroyed in the village as a result of the shelling, you said
2 that almost all of the houses had been either destroyed or damaged. Can
3 you tell me something about the extent of the damage? Was the damage
4 significant? Had they been completely destroyed as a result of the
5 shelling? I'm talking about the shelling now.
6 A. Well, most of the houses -- most of the roofs on the houses had
7 been hit.
8 Q. Could we say that if the houses hadn't been destroyed, the damage
9 inflicted on them was significant?
10 A. Yes, we could say so.
11 Q. You mentioned two houses that you lived in. They were the
12 property of Bosniaks. They hadn't been hit. They hadn't been destroyed;
13 is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. They remained intact. Have I understood you correctly when you
16 mentioned feeding the livestock. You said that you went out to do this on
17 one occasion with your father-in-law, but your father-in-law continued to
18 go out and to feed the livestock?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have I understood you correctly then?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Tell me, at the time in the village during the critical period
23 that we're referring to, was your sister present in the village together
24 with her family?
25 A. At the time, my sister was in Ibrahim Kurbegovic's house. We
1 weren't together. I was in Cazim Kurbegovic's house, and she was in
2 Ibrahim Kurbegovic's house.
3 Q. You said that you weren't together at all. You weren't in the
4 dugout together?
5 A. Yes, we were in the dugout together, but what I'm saying is that
6 after we left the dugout, they were in one house and I was in another
8 Q. Were those houses very far from each other?
9 A. Well, the distance between the dugouts was about 20 metres.
10 Q. Do you know when your sister left that house? Did you receive any
11 such information if you didn't see that?
12 A. She left the house before we did, before we left our house.
13 Q. How do you know that? Do you know how she left the house?
14 A. I know that they left on foot, and I didn't know where or how
15 she -- I don't know where she went or how she left the house until I had
17 Q. But how do you know that she had left? Did someone tell you on
18 that day that your sister had left?
19 A. She was seen through the window because she had to pass through --
20 pass by that house.
21 Q. I'm asking you about this because a response to a question put to
22 you by the Presiding Judge today, you said that as far as you know while
23 you were staying in that house, none of the Bosniaks left the village and
24 now we have established that she and her family left the village, and
25 since that's the case, I'll ask you whether you know whether anyone from
1 your house or from the other house left the village in a similar way?
2 A. I started to say something about that in response to that
3 question. I don't know why I stopped, but I was saying something about
4 whether someone had left the village or not. After that, after my sister
5 had left, some others had left. I think they left together.
6 Q. Can you be a little more precise? Your sister's family, her
7 sister-in-law, her children, et cetera, is that who you're referring to?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. But I'm asking you whether anyone else left? If you know or not.
10 If you don't know, it doesn't matter, we'll move on.
11 A. I can't remember. I really can't remember.
12 Q. I'll now go back to the -- to what you said about how the
13 Croats -- Croat women left the village. You said they were afraid of
14 Serbian shelling. The Presiding Judge asked you whether you were afraid.
15 You said they'd shell for a while and then you'd be able to stay on there.
16 On the basis of your sister's experience, she had to flee from
17 Gornji Vakuf, wouldn't you have drawn the conclusion that during that
18 period of time, you should also leave the village because you were afraid
19 of Serbian shelling or did someone in the village say, members of the
20 Territorial Defence, perhaps, that you shouldn't leave the village, that
21 the Serbs wouldn't attack the village. Why were you sure, that given the
22 situation, given the situation in which the Croatian women were leaving
23 and given the fact that your sister had been expelled from Donji Vakuf,
24 given this experience, why did you believe you could shelter in the
25 village and that everything would pass?
1 A. Well, let me tell you. At that time you weren't -- you didn't
2 feel safe and you didn't feel threatened either. I don't know myself why
3 we didn't leave. Everyone regretted the fact later. Where should we have
4 gone? If we had gone to Gornji Vakuf -- from Uzricje to Gornji Vakuf,
5 well, that's what we had in mind because we were allies with the Croats at
6 the time.
7 Q. But, madam, Croatian women were leaving the village regardless of
8 the fact that they were allies. But you were told or you had indicia
9 according to which this village might be attacked. I would like to know
10 whether you and your husband discussed the matter, and then you decided
11 that all Muslims or Bosniaks should leave or did some Muslims leave with
12 the Croats, some Muslim women?
13 A. Muslim women didn't leave at the time.
14 Q. I've heard that 10 times now. I'm asking you whether your men
15 decided about this. Did they discuss the matter? Did you women discuss
16 the matter? How did this happen? Did you see your husband, or did you
17 see your husband or did you discuss the matter? Did you know about some
18 agreement according to which everyone should remain together in the
20 A. I don't know whether there was an agreement of any kind. We just
21 stayed on. I'm telling you, I don't know what the reason was, but we
22 stayed on.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam, you're not answering the
24 question that Ms. Nozica is putting to you. It's a very interesting
25 question. She's -- she's asking you whether you discussed the matter with
1 your husband, and you say, "Well, we stayed on."
2 Did you discuss the matter with your husband, and did you tell
3 yourselves, well, certain women have left, should I also leave in order to
4 be safe? That's the purpose of the question. So what would you say? Did
5 you discuss the matter or not? Try and answer this question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, of course, there was talk
7 about this, but where to? Where? How?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Nozica has touched upon
9 another subject in her question, and that is whether your husband and you
10 had any indication that an attack was possible, that it was imminent.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. How could I have any
12 indication? I ...
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Madam Nozica.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, though you're a witness,
15 you're asking where should the Muslim families go. When there are
16 disasters and when people have to leave their residences, this is a normal
17 question. But my question to you is: Did you have any idea where the
18 Croatian women could go? Because if the Muslim women didn't know where to
19 go, in your opinion, where could the Croatian women go according to your
20 knowledge? What possibilities did they have in the village or in the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They went to Mackovac.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Was there a Croat -- a Croatian
24 community there?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, only Croats.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] May I continue?
3 Q. Was there a village or a hamlet, for instance, the Mahala that was
4 inhabited only by Muslims, that wasn't far from you?
5 A. Yes, but that was in town in Gornji Vakuf. This is a street
6 called Mahala.
7 Q. How far is that from your village and was it mostly inhabited by
9 A. About two and a half kilometres.
10 Q. And my second question, I am repeating, was it inhabited mostly by
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have any knowledge that during the conflicts some of the
14 Bosniaks went to Croatia? Did you have any knowledge of that? Do you
15 know today of any people having left in that direction?
16 A. You meanwhile we were at Uzricje?
17 Q. No, I'm talking during the war, during the conflict.
18 A. I don't know that.
19 Q. You never heard that someone went to Croatia?
20 A. I heard afterwards, towards the end of 1993, but at the time I
21 really didn't.
22 Q. I asked you for the whole period. I wasn't thinking just of
23 January, 1993, please. I think this is rather important.
24 In answer to a question from His Honour, whether you had any
25 indication that something would happen, some attack, you said no, but
1 didn't you say a moment ago, that you were told that the Serbs would
2 attack? Didn't you say that, "My sister was expelled from Donji Vakuf
3 together with some other refugees because of the Serbs"? Wasn't that an
4 indication that something could happen? Wasn't this an indication for you
5 to --
6 A. But, madam, I really didn't know what could happen.
7 Q. Well, that is a different answer.
8 A. Fine.
9 Q. I have to ask you some questions about Jusuf Softic and Plivcic
10 Tahir, and you said today that you saw them being led by HVO soldiers to
11 Jusuf Softic's house, in that direction. Is that all you saw?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How did you know where and how they were killed? Who told you?
14 A. I said that too. When we -- our names were being taken down in
15 Ibro's house, Ibro came and told us that they had been killed.
16 Q. Did he tell you that a sniper rifle had been found in Jusuf
17 Softic's house?
18 A. No, he said nothing about that.
19 Q. The men who were in the village, who you said were defending the
20 village, did they have weapons?
21 A. Some Kalashnikovs and some hunting rifles.
22 Q. Did anyone ask them to surrender those weapons when you left the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did any HVO soldier ask whether anyone in the village had sniper
1 rifles, whether there were snipers in the village?
2 A. As far as I know, I really have no knowledge of weapons. I don't
3 know whether there were any. I can't say.
4 Q. That was not my question. My question was whether any HVO soldier
5 had asked whether there were snipers in the village, whether they were
6 being concealed when the TO soldiers surrendered the other weapons. I'm
7 asking you this because you said that in your statement. It's a simple
9 A. Yes, they did ask who had weapons. "Does anyone have a sniper?"
10 Q. Tell me, please, where were the men from your village? What were
11 their positions? Where were they operating against the Croats, if at all,
12 and do you know that?
13 A. I really don't know because I -- I didn't see them, how far away
14 they were. I really can't say anything.
15 Q. Did they fight against the Croats?
16 A. I think in order to protect us, yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm a little surprised by your
18 answer. Everyone was living in a village. All the people knew the links
19 among the villagers, and in such a situation, when villagers are ensuring
20 the security of the village with weapons if necessary, and you tell us, "I
21 don't know. I'm not aware of this." Is that really the truth that you're
22 telling us, that you were totally unaware where the villagers who were
23 protecting your village were situated? Your neighbours or maybe your
24 husband. I don't know who.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it is true that I don't know,
1 because I was in the dugout. So I really don't know where they were.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But before taking shelter, the
3 men of the village, they were around the village from time to time. If
4 they were to ensure the protection of the village, you must have known
5 where they were.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The men were there. Now, what
7 you're saying, whether they were digging or providing a shelter for
8 themselves, they may have done that during the nine nights, but I really
9 do not know, and I cannot say.
10 JUDGE PRANDLER: I followed with interest the last half an hour
11 the questioning mainly about the reasons why the witness stayed at home
12 and she didn't flee. This I understand, that it should have been
13 clarified, but somehow I feel also now that the -- the questions put
14 during the last couple of minutes also might have -- might have indicated
15 that even the witness is now an accused if she stayed there in her
16 village. She very clearly stated before that they didn't have anyplace to
17 go and how to go there, and it was the first question and first answer.
18 Now, the other issue is where the men happened to be during that
19 time. We all know that there were persons who were able-bodied persons
20 with weapons, they left in those circumstances and either they joined one
21 or the other group. It was true for the Croats. It was true for the
22 Bosniaks. And that is why for me the very purpose of listening to this
23 witness is what happened in that village, in Uzricje, and it is what I
24 would like to hear from the witness. And I finish now. Thank you.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, but I will be
1 very brief. I don't intend to elaborate on the reasons for my questions,
2 but the same reason is for the question why the Muslims said, as the
3 Prosecutor insisted on the question why the Croats left. The implication
4 is that the Croats knew of the attack. So the same reason may apply to
5 the Bosniaks, because if somebody in the village tells you there will be
6 an attack by the Serbs and then a part of the inhabitants leaves and the
7 other part doesn't leave, then after all is indicative.
8 I didn't insist only on the question why the witness didn't leave,
9 but through the witness, I wanted to establish why the other Bosniaks also
10 didn't leave, and I'm trying to establish the reason for such a decision.
11 Each one of us had to make such a decision at some point of time,
12 but I think this is extremely important because of the questions put by
13 the Prosecutor about this topic.
14 Thank you. I will be very brief and end my questioning soon.
15 Q. You said that when you left the dugouts and when you went to the
16 Mahala, and on page 49, lines 4 and 5, you said that you left with your
17 children. Where did your husband go?
18 A. We all went to the Mahala in Gornji Vakuf.
19 Q. Was your husband with you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did your husband join the forces of the BH army or the TO when you
22 went to Mahala?
23 A. Yes. Normally he did. Whether it was the army or the TO, he did
24 join, however.
25 Q. When was this, madam?
1 A. I'm afraid I can't tell you exactly what month it was.
2 Q. While your husband was in the village, did he have any role in
3 organising the reception of the women, the defence of the village, or in
4 any such way, or do you know of any other Muslim who was perhaps the most
5 important among equals?
6 A. We had this Zahid Hozic.
7 Q. What was he?
8 A. He was -- I don't know how they called him, whether he was
9 president of the local commune or something like that. Anyway, he was
11 Q. Was he also among the armed Bosniaks in the village?
12 A. No.
13 Q. That is my question. I'm asking you among the armed Bosniaks, who
14 was the leader, the commander, whatever you like to call him? Do you know
15 that, and whether it was your husband?
16 A. No, it wasn't my husband.
17 Q. And do you know whether there was any such person, and do you know
18 him by name?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Finally, did you ever talk to your husband when you set off from
21 the village. Did you ever talk to him about the positions of the Muslims
22 or Bosniaks in the village? Where were they? Weren't you worried when
23 you didn't know where they were during the shelling? Did you talk about
25 A. Madam, the most important thing for us was to see one another.
1 Q. I'm aware of that. I'm asking you something else. Did you ask
2 him, "Where were you?"
3 A. Of course we did talk about this. But you never got an answer.
4 Q. I see. He didn't give you an answer. Is that what you said?
5 A. Yes. You never get a real answer.
6 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will have to make a break
9 now. So we're going to resume at 10 to 1.00, and we will have almost an
10 hour left, as there are three Defence counsels left, but we need to end at
12 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fifteen minutes you have.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, by your leave and in
16 agreement with the other Defence counsel, only my learned friend Alaburic
17 and myself will have some questions, so we'll share the time left to us
18 more or less equally, and we will certainly finish before the end, and Mr.
19 Praljak is telling me that he may have five minutes of questions himself,
20 and we'll count that in. Thank you.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Madam Witness. I won't use your name
23 even though you're not under protective measures.
24 This discussion that we were having with my learned friend Madam
25 Nozica when she asked you whether your husband ever told you where he and
1 the other men were in those days, you said that you never really got an
2 answer from him. My question is why you didn't get an answer?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Do you think that perhaps this may have been a military secret
5 that he didn't want to reveal?
6 A. I don't believe so, because I don't think you tell your wife
7 everything either. I just don't know.
8 Q. Is it true that you knew that your husband was active in the
10 A. He was in defence of the village, and then when we got there, he
12 Q. And he was among those who had weapons, and in fact, your husband
13 had a Kalashnikov issued to him.
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] With the help of the usher, can I
16 put a document on the ELMO, please. I will have a few questions for you,
17 and I may be showing you another document.
18 On the basis of a document that I have in my hand, it is an HVO
19 document of the security and information service, and the centre of that
20 service, dated the 18th of March, 1997. This is a note made in 1997.
21 That is a couple of years after the events. And this HVO service was
22 aware of what was happening in Uzricje, obviously. And on the basis of
23 this statement, I would like to ask you a few questions to see how much
24 you know about these events.
25 Do you know a man called Enver Sljivo from the village?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know that such a man lived in the village of Dusa and would
3 come to the village of Uzricje?
4 A. I do know that he lived in Dusa, but I do not know him.
5 Q. Do you know that Croat men had surrendered their weapons to the
6 Muslim soldiers before these events?
7 A. Will you please repeat the question?
8 Q. Do you know that the Croat soldiers in the village before this
9 attack that we discussed on the 13th of January, that the Croatian
10 soldiers had handed over their weapons to Muslim men -- or, rather, to the
11 Territorial Defence in the village?
12 A. I don't know that.
13 Q. So you hadn't heard anything about it?
14 A. No, I don't know that.
15 Q. Do you know that before the 13th of January there were certain
16 discussions between the Croats and the Muslims in the village, that is,
17 between the TO and the village HVO? There was a discussion about the
18 surrender of weapons and what would happen.
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. You didn't hear anything about this even after the war?
21 A. I don't know that, because I really don't know.
22 Q. Do you know a person in the village by the name of Smajo Hozic?
23 A. Yes, I know him.
24 Q. And you also know Zahid Hozic? You mentioned him.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did they have any positions in the Territorial Defence?
2 A. I don't know. I know that Zahid was president of the local
3 commune. Now, what we -- he was in that particular area, I don't know.
4 Q. Do you know that some of the Croats in the village, specifically
5 Mijo Ivankovic and Mato Ivankovic and Mira Livajsic were sleeping just
6 before the 13th in Abida Hozic's house?
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. How far was Abida's Hozic's house from your house?
9 A. We were in the centre of the village and they were at the top of
10 the village, towards the end of the village.
11 Q. Very well. I won't ask you any more questions about that. Thank
13 You're claiming that you don't know anything about the
14 relationship between the TO and the HVO in the village before this attack.
15 That is your statement.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. Tell me, madam, please, you described the houses that
18 the Croats put you up in after you left the dugout. Is it true that a
19 group of Muslims was put in Seketa Sukrija's house?
20 A. A woman stayed behind there. She was bedridden. Her name was
21 Zlata Seketa, because for years, for years she was immobile, and they left
22 her daughter-in-law to take care of her there.
23 Q. Does that mean that in this third house there was this bedridden
24 woman and her son-in-law and no one else?
25 A. Yes, but also her son.
1 Q. And no one else apart from that family?
2 A. I don't think so.
3 Q. Regarding the dugouts, before you were taken to those houses, you
4 said that there were about 400 inhabitants in the village just before the
5 attack; is that right?
6 A. Three hundred to 400. That's what I said.
7 Q. That is to the best of your knowledge?
8 A. Yes. I didn't count them. That is just an estimate.
9 Q. Could you tell us how many out of that number, again, your
10 estimate, were locals and how many were refugees? Roughly.
11 A. Well, there were perhaps some 20 or so refugees.
12 Q. And you also told us that those refugees had come from Donji Vakuf
13 and Modrica; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were there any from other locations?
16 A. Not there.
17 Q. Very well. Let us say that there was -- there were 300 people and
18 two dugouts, and you described the size of those dugouts. Then there
19 would be about 150 in each of those dugouts. That is physically not
20 possible. Is it true that some people had already left before that?
21 A. The people in the lower dugout, they left. How they left and when
22 they left, I don't know.
23 Q. Are you telling us that they left before they got into the dugout?
24 A. No, no. I don't know how to explain this.
25 Q. Well, maybe it's my mistake. Let us take it slowly.
1 The moment you decided to go into the dugout, there were,
2 according to what you said, about 300 to 400 Muslims in the village. Let
3 us say there were 300. The smaller figure. It half went to one dugout
4 and the other half to the other, it would mean that there were about 150
5 in an area that was about 4 by 4 that you said. That is physically not
7 Now, my question is: The group in the dugout that you were in, is
8 it possible that there were 150 people there?
9 A. I said that I didn't know the exact figure, but we were packed
10 full. It was very tight.
11 Q. My next question in that connection. Are you sure that all those
12 Muslims that you mentioned that were in the village when the conflict
13 started, are you sure that a part of those people had not fled the village
14 before the conflict or just -- or during the conflict?
15 A. A part of them did escape during the conflict.
16 Q. So that means that some people, during the conflict, at some point
17 in time during the conflict, fled the village; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then another part, another number, stayed in the village.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you don't know how many of you were in the dugout when you
22 were there?
23 A. I could name them, the people, but that would take us two days.
24 Q. Just tell me, can we come to some sort of an agreement? Give us a
25 rough estimate, although you said you were there for about three weeks [as
1 interpreted]. Were there 20 or more than 20?
2 A. More than that.
3 Q. Were there 40?
4 A. Something like that. Forty or 50. I don't -- something like
5 that. I'm afraid of making a mistake. I just know that there were quite
6 a lot of us.
7 Q. Have you any idea how many people were in the first dugout?
8 A. I don't know that.
9 Q. Very well. We heard from the previous witness that it was not
10 possible to leave the dugout while you were in it, but today you told us
11 that it was possible to leave, at least during the night.
12 A. I did leave, so I can say that as regards myself.
13 Q. And you don't know what the situation was in the other dugout?
14 A. I don't.
15 Q. Would there be any reason for things to be different over there?
16 A. I don't know that either.
17 Q. Madam, if you can remember, when I intervened when you used the
18 word "people distributed themselves," and then you told us, and this is
19 page 33, line 9, you said that Croats and Muslims did distribute
20 themselves before the conflict.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Madam, I submit to you that when the conflict started, the Croats
23 left the positions that they had taken up. Is that right?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. So you will allow that the Muslims and the Croats stayed in the
1 positions that they had taken up?
2 A. As far as I know, yes, but what happened later, I don't know. I
3 really don't know, so I can't say.
4 Q. I see. So you don't know. You told us a little about the way
5 decisions were made in the village, would you stay or would you leave. My
6 learned friend asked you about that. I would like to get some other
7 information from you.
8 Madam, in that period, the end of 1992 when the first incidents
9 occurred in Donji Vakuf and then the beginning of 1993, January, when a
10 larger-scale conflict occurred, did you have any occasion to see the state
11 authorities working or not? The usual signs. Would you see a policeman
12 walk through the village during the day?
13 A. I didn't see any.
14 Q. Did you receive tax forms, for instance?
15 A. You mean to -- bills?
16 Q. Yes, any kind of bills that you would need to pay?
17 A. Well, we did get electricity bills, telephone bills.
18 Q. So at the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993, you would receive
19 electricity bills or the rent?
20 A. No. Up until November, I think.
21 Q. I see. So we can agree that after November, those bills no longer
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And we can also agree that schools were not working?
25 A. My children didn't go to school, so I don't know.
1 Q. Can you give me any example before the outbreak of the conflict at
2 the end of 1992, beginning of 1993, that there was any role of the state
3 that was in operation?
4 A. I really don't know. I was a housewife, and I didn't go into
5 town, so I don't know what was going on. I just don't know.
6 Q. Was the Territorial Defence giving the population any kind of
7 instructions how to behave in the case of danger or even shelling?
8 A. No, nothing.
9 Q. Did the BH army give you any instructions?
10 A. Nothing.
11 Q. So you're saying that in fact the people themselves, the citizens,
12 the villagers, would reach official or unofficial agreements as to how the
13 people in the village would behave?
14 A. Well, yes. That's my opinion.
15 Q. So these were decisions taken on the spot by the citizens; is that
17 A. That's what -- you could say so.
18 Q. On page 36, line 13, you said that you were in the dugouts, and
19 then you said that they, the men who had rifles, were a little above the
20 dugouts. Do you remember that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you know that they were at some position when you say they were
23 above the dugout.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did they have trenches of any kind? Did they have a stronghold?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. But then how do you know that they were above?
3 A. Well, they weren't there in the dugout. The dugout was in the
4 hill, in the little hill, and they were around the hill.
5 Q. Very well. Perhaps they were at the foot of the hill.
6 A. Well, I don't know. That's why I'm saying -- well, perhaps I said
7 that they were above quite by chance. I don't know whether they had dug
8 themselves in. I don't know whether they did any digging in the course of
9 the night. I really don't know.
10 Q. I think that on two occasions you said I -- you couldn't remember
11 exactly, but you made an assessment and said that you remained in Uzricje,
12 in Kurbegovic's house, up until around March or April; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The statement referred to by my colleague Senka Nozica, I'd like
15 to refer to that statement, and I'd like to say that you were in Bugojno
16 on the 6th of March. Could we agree that at the beginning of the March
17 you were in Bugojno?
18 A. Well, as I have said, I wasn't sure. I don't know whether we were
19 there up until March or April.
20 Q. And do you remember having been asked by the State Security
21 Service in Bugojno to give a statement and you gave a brief statement?
22 A. On that occasion?
23 Q. Yes. In March 1994.
24 A. I really can't remember.
25 Q. Very well.
1 A. Because that was --
2 Q. Very well. And I have another minor matter. You've described how
3 people lived in the village, but perhaps we should explain how people
4 lived traditionally in the houses, in the villages over there. Did you
5 use fire or electricity for your heating?
6 A. We used -- we used wood.
7 Q. So every autumn would the people prepare the necessary firewood
8 for the heating?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in Kurbegovic's house that you stayed in, had they prepared
12 A. Yes, they had.
13 Q. And that was the case in other surrounding houses?
14 A. Well, I do assume so.
15 Q. And there was a firewood stove in the house?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you used that stove?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It was in the kitchen?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But there were stoves in other rooms and you used firewood there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So there were several stoves?
24 A. Yes. I think there were.
25 Q. Can you agree with me if I say you weren't cold in the house?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So it wasn't cold.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. As far as the electricity is concerned, could we agree
5 that the entire village didn't have electricity?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And that was the case as of October or November, 1992? Is that
8 the case, that there was no electricity then?
9 A. Well, I think that the electricity supply was cut that night when
10 the shelling started.
11 Q. And before that date the electricity supply was cut only
13 A. I can't remember that really.
14 Q. Very well. As far as the food is concerned, preparing oneself for
15 winter, would it be true to say that in your village as in the surrounding
16 villages in autumn, the late autumn, the villagers would provisions home
17 to survive for the winter? Can we agree on that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was it customary for people to stock up on potatoes for the
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. They also had cured meat?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. They also had freezers where they freeze meat and vegetables for
25 the winter?
1 A. Yes, that's also correct, but they couldn't be used.
2 Q. And finally, while you were in Kurbegovic's house, you weren't
3 hungry, were you?
4 A. No, we weren't.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Another two or three questions. We saw
6 the video that was shown, and you identified certain things. On two
7 occasions you identified a certain individual, and you identified the
8 place where basketball was played at the end of the village.
9 As far as that is concerned, do you know who made the video?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you ever see anyone using cameras to film things in the
13 A. No.
14 Q. Very well. And we saw some scenes depicting soldiers' positions,
15 or we saw them from behind or in semi-profile. I never noticed any
16 insignia. Could you perhaps say something about those soldiers? Do you
17 know which army they were a member of?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would you be able to say whether they were members of the armija
20 or the TO?
21 A. No.
22 Q. So you couldn't say that?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Thank you. You also saw some places that one would call
25 positions, in military terms. Did you recognise any of those positions in
1 Uzricje, that might be in Uzricje?
2 A. Well, I didn't see them very well, but I couldn't really say.
3 Q. Very well. Thank you, madam.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you. I have no
5 other questions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Praljak, you
7 have five minutes now.
8 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, you said that in November there was some
11 shooting in Vakuf. That was after the conflict in Prozor on the 26th of
12 July -- on the 26th or 7th of October. Do you remember that?
13 A. I don't know whether it was in Prozor, but in November, I know
14 there was shooting in Gornji Vakuf.
15 Q. You said that the HVO launched an attack. Did you then leave the
16 village and see who had attacked whom?
17 A. No.
18 Q. At a distance of two kilometres you heard shooting for several
19 hours and nothing else; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We had a look at a video, and I saw five or six houses that had
22 been torched. Did you see more than that?
23 A. As I have said, I didn't see things very clearly in the video.
24 Q. Thank you. I saw 120-millimetre mortar. Do you know who that
25 mortar belonged to?
1 A. No.
2 Q. I saw a 12.7 machine-gun which was being used. Do you know who
3 owned the machine-gun?
4 A. No.
5 Q. I saw a well-prepared trench. They must have spent a long time
6 digging it. Do you know who was in the trench and to whom the trench
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you. You said the shooting lasted for nine days, and Judge
10 Antonetti asked you about that. If every five minutes over a 12-day
11 period you fire one shell, that amounts to 648 shells. Would those
12 calculations be correct? What would you say?
13 A. Well, let me tell you this: Yes, I was under the impression that
14 it was every five minutes. Whether that assessment of mine is correct or
15 not, I don't know.
16 Q. Madam, I was involved in the war, and I believe you. You are
17 under that impression. That really was the case. You were very afraid.
18 You were in great danger. One is in great danger, and that is why one has
19 certain impressions, and I thank you for saying that you were under that
20 impression. That is a good and frank answer, but my question is as
21 follows: Did you sleep in the dugouts?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You remained standing for nine days in the dugouts?
24 A. No, we didn't remain standing. We would sit down back to back.
25 Q. If people sit down in an area of 12 square metres, well, it's very
1 easy to calculate that not even 30 people can sit down in an area of 12
2 metres, 12 square metres.
3 A. Well, I said there were women, children, elderly people. The
4 younger people were not in the dugout.
5 Q. Thank you. In the video that we'll probably use later on, there
6 are certain panorama shots that show that a lot of houses and roofs hadn't
7 been damaged at the time of -- at the time the video was made. Did you
8 see that too?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you also notice that some of the houses that had been torched
11 didn't show signs of having been hit by shells? You could only see that
12 they had been burnt with the exception of two that were destroyed. But
13 again, we don't know what was the cause of this destruction.
14 A. Well, not necessarily. That's not necessarily the case. It
15 depends on the angle the video was made from. It wasn't just the roof.
16 Perhaps the wall had been damaged too.
17 Q. You said you weren't an arms expert. We had an English
18 professional here and he said that when a mortar shell falls 40 metres
19 from the target, then you could say that the hit is good. You're not a
20 military expert, but could you assume that impossible to use a weapon of
21 any kind to hit certain houses or certain targets from a certain distance?
22 My question is as follows: You spent nine days in this dugout. How far
23 was the dugout from the house you were accommodated in? What was the
24 distance between the dugout and the house?
25 A. I think it was up to 150 to 200 metres -- up to 300 metres.
1 Q. And during that period time, you'd go to that house with HVO
2 soldiers. Did you ever walk around the village and count the houses? If
3 there are 40 houses that are destroyed, it's necessary to count them, or
4 would you also say that you were under the impression that that was the
5 number of houses that had been damaged? Did you ever count them?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And later when on one occasion you left the house to go to the
8 stable, which was in the vicinity of the house, on that occasion, you
9 weren't able to count the houses and you didn't do that; is that correct?
10 A. I never counted them.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't hear you.
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. There's just one document that I'd like now to show you. Could we
15 please place it on the ELMO and I will later tender the document. Please
16 have a look at it. But in the meantime I'll put my question to you.
17 In my opinion you're quite right to fear revenge being taken. I
18 regret the fact that you weren't granted protective measures. You live in
19 a divided society, and in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, people
20 still take revenge today; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you don't have any faith in the legal system in place in that
23 state; is that correct? You don't believe that the state will protect,
24 that they will protect your daughters from someone who might want to harm
25 them, you don't believe that?
1 A. Well, I ought to believe that.
2 Q. Well, there are many things one ought to do, but I want to know
3 whether you have faith in them or whether you are afraid? I would be
5 A. I'm also afraid.
6 Q. Thank you very much. In the course of the war, was the
7 possibility of someone taking revenge even greater given that that there
8 were individuals who had been involved in disputes, who had feuds that had
9 been going on for 10 years. Were there such acts of revenge?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. So would you have felt safer in the houses with HVO soldiers or
12 would you have felt safer if these HVO soldiers hadn't been in front of
13 the houses? At that point in time, were you safer with those soldiers in
14 front houses or would you have been safer if they hadn't been there?
15 A. I don't know. I can't answer that question. I don't know. I
16 would have been afraid in both situations.
17 Q. Thank you. Please have a look at this document and could you
18 please read out the first sentence. Could we have it on the ELMO. Please
19 read out the first sentence. It says -- the sentence under sector IPD?
20 A. "The list of wounded."
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. "The list of HVO members who were wounded and killed in the
23 conflict between the HVO and the ABiH in Gornji Vakuf from the 12th of
24 January to the 24th of February, 1993."
25 Q. Thank you. Could you have a look at the last page, please. Could
1 the usher show you the last page. And can you read out what it says up
2 until "total". It says "wounded killed, soldiers wounded".
3 A. "Wounded soldiers, 209. Killed 46. Wounded civilians 7.
4 Civilians killed 14. Total 276."
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
7 I would like to tender this document into evidence through this witness if
8 the Court allows me to do so. If not, I'll tender it into evidence on
9 some other occasion.
10 Thank you, madam.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. While waiting, I'll
13 have a look at the document. Go ahead.
14 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Alaburic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I have a few questions. We have about
17 another 12 minutes until the end of this hearing. I think it would be
18 important for us and particularly for the Judges to see whether your
19 village, the village of Uzricje, is on an important road. From the
20 direction of Pidris, was it possible to pass through Uzricje in order to
21 reach Gornji Vakuf?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If the Prozor-Gornji Vakuf main road was blocked, whatever the
24 reason, could someone come from Pidris via Uzricje to Gornji Vakuf?
25 A. Yes. That was the main road.
1 Q. Thank you. So far we have seen numerous documents and UNPROFOR
2 documents as well. One was dated the 11th of January, and in that
3 document it says that there is information according to which the Muslims
4 had shut down Gornji Vakuf and had set up check-points. Were you aware of
5 the fact that the Muslim forces had done that on the 11th of January?
6 A. No. I wasn't in town at the time.
7 Q. In the statement that you gave to the OTP, you said that the
8 Muslims mostly lived in the central and lower part of the village, whereas
9 the Croats lived in the upper part of the village; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. You said that two dugouts had been constructed, one in the lower
12 part of the village and another in the central part of the village; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. That means that in the Croatian part of the village not a single
16 dugout had been made; is that correct?
17 A. Well, when I said in the upper part, I said that because in the
18 lower part, where the Muslims were, there were two or three Croatian
19 houses, and similarly, in the upper part, most of the houses were Muslim,
20 but in the upper part, the houses were exclusively Croat houses. I don't
21 know whether there was a dugout up there in the upper part, but I know
22 about these two dugouts.
23 Q. So does that mean you that you are no longer claiming with such
24 certainty that only two dugouts had been made?
25 A. I'm only aware of the existence of two dugouts.
1 Q. Very well. So that means that you are not aware of the fact that
2 in the upper part of the town inhabited by Croats there was a dugout?
3 A. I don't know. I couldn't say.
4 Q. You also said that members of the Territorial Defence or the
5 ABiH - it doesn't matter what we call them - were mainly in an area about
6 50 metres from the dugout either above or below the dugout; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That means that your army's positions were in the central and
10 lower part of the village; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that not a single Croatian house in Uzricje had been
13 damaged as a result of the shelling, which is why I'll ask you the
14 following: Was it mostly the central and lower part of the village that
15 were shelled? That's where you were located, and that's where the
16 positions of your army members were.
17 A. Well, the upper central part, which was an exclusively Muslim
18 part, was shelled.
19 Q. And what about the lower part of the village where the second
20 dugout was located and where members of your army were? Was that part of
21 the village also shelled?
22 A. No. Those houses had only been torched.
23 Q. You said the houses were torched. Was that when you left the
24 dugout or after -- after that?
25 A. When we left the dugout. Well, I mean on that day and later on?
1 Q. When you left, the houses in the lower part of the village had
2 been torched. Is that what you're saying?
3 A. I don't know whether they had been torched on that day exactly.
4 But as of that day, they continued with the torch in question.
5 Q. When you left the dugout, had they already been torched?
6 A. Yes, in our part.
7 Q. What about the lower part of the village?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. When did you see the houses in the lower part of the village?
10 A. You mean the torched ones?
11 Q. Of any kind. Not torched houses. When did you see houses that
12 hadn't been torched?
13 A. Well, in the lower part, well, when we went down to the house that
14 we were put up in.
15 Q. So that means when you left the dugout, those houses hadn't been
16 damaged. They hadn't been torched.
17 A. Not in the lower part.
18 Q. That means that when you were leaving the dugout, there were
19 Muslim houses in the village that hadn't been damaged?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That means that you didn't tell us the truth when you said that
24 all the Muslim houses had been damaged or destroyed as a result of the
1 A. Madam, I only wanted to say -- perhaps, I'm not that articulate.
2 Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well. I meant that on that day
3 when the shelling started and -- and up until the time that I left the
4 village, that's what I had in mind. That's when I said that they hadn't
5 remained intact.
6 Q. Witness, it's very important for us to establish which houses had
7 been damaged or destroyed as a result of the shelling and which ones had
8 been destroyed or damaged later on. That's the purpose of my question.
9 Perhaps you could clarify that for us.
10 A. The houses that were destroyed as a result of the shelling were in
11 the central part of the village, and houses were torched in this lower
12 part, because between those -- because there were Croatian houses among
13 those houses, and on that occasion, only Muslim houses had been torched.
14 Q. Very well. We'll move on. We'll leave the subject of houses,
15 because we won't be able to clear this up right now.
16 You told us that an HVO soldier who called himself Pile allowed
17 you to leave the house on a daily basis to feed the livestock, but he
18 asked you to return by 4.00 in the afternoon; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does that mean that all of you could leave the house and feed the
21 livestock or carry out other tasks outside?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If this HVO soldier asked you to return by 4.00 in the afternoon,
24 it would be logical to draw the conclusion that he wasn't on guard while
25 you were guarding or feeding the livestock or doing other things outside;
1 is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What sort of livestock are we talking about?
4 A. Well, cows, sheep, chickens, that sort of thing.
5 Q. If you had been hungry, could you have used some of the animals
6 that you had as food?
7 A. Well, naturally.
8 Q. In January, in our area, it's quite dark. Night falls quite
9 early; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. At 4.00 in the afternoon, was it already night or at least dusk?
12 A. Well, more or less.
13 Q. Did any of you try to flee at that time?
14 A. Well, I don't know.
15 Q. So you all returned to the house on a voluntary basis by 4.00 p.m.
16 as you were asked to do by the HVO member?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Very well. Now, could you clarify something else for us with
19 regard to when you left the dugout. In the statement given to the
20 Prosecution, you said, and I'll quote, it's on page 7 of the B/C/S
21 version, and I quote: "A day before we were arrested, our men concluded
22 that they couldn't hold the village and that it was very dangerous to
23 linger there. They said we should all flee to the Muslim part of Gornji
24 Vakuf. First some men left, and they were followed by women, children,
25 and the elderly who had taken shelter in the dugout in the lower part of
1 the village. The remaining men stayed with the women and children who hid
2 in the dugouts in the central part of the village. Once the people had
3 left the dugout in the lower part of the village, this area was taken over
4 by HVO soldiers, and they shut down the corridor in the direction of
5 Gornji Vakuf, which meant that we, who were hiding in the dugout in the
6 central part of the village, and that included the men who had remained
7 with us, were in a trap."
8 So does that mean that other inhabitants from the other dugouts
9 informed you of their intention to leave and to go to Gornji Vakuf?
10 A. I don't know. I don't know what they informed us.
11 Q. When you say, "Our men decided that they could no longer hold the
12 village," who are you referring to?
13 A. Well, these people who were with us in the dugout.
14 Q. That means members of your army who were with you. Those are "our
16 A. Yes, our people who were there.
17 Q. Do you have "our men" in mind or all the people who were in the
18 dugout including women?
19 A. Well, yes, those people who were in the dugout. My husband and my
20 father, my father-in-law.
21 Q. So men on the whole.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And now I'll probably only have enough time for this question that
24 concerns your departure from the village. Today, you said on page 11, in
25 the second part of page 11, you said that in March or April, you're not
1 sure exactly when, a truce was agreed, and you then started cleaning up
2 your homes. You also said that your husband and children also went to
3 clean up your house; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does this mean that up until that point in time -- or at that
6 time, it was possible for you to leave the house freely? No one had to
7 authorise you to leave? No one asked you to return by some point in time?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. How long did this period during which you were free to move around
10 last? During which you were free to leave the house you were in?
11 A. Well, I couldn't answer that with any precision.
12 Q. It's not necessary to be precise, but could you say whether that
13 lasted for two or three days or perhaps a little longer?
14 A. Well, something like that. And we rejoiced since everything was
15 over. Everyone could go to their home.
16 Q. What sort of condition was your house in when you went to clean it
18 A. Well, it was completely burnt down and it didn't have a roof. It
19 had been -- the walls had been damaged by the shelling.
20 Q. At that time, no one prevented you from going to see whomever you
21 wanted to see. You were quite free to move around; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to stop. We have to
24 stop now because there's a hearing after us, and we cannot exceed our
1 Very quickly now, concerning the admission of documents. Mr.
2 Mundis, what do you wish to tender?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders the videotape
4 P 1027 and document P 7350. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the Defence.
6 Mr. Praljak has asked to tender the document with the list of killed and
7 wounded from the HVO.
8 Mr. Kovacic.
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender the document
10 I put on the ELMO. It will have a number tomorrow. It is the minutes
11 from the 18th of March, 1997, from the SIS.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, one very short point in light of Your
14 Honour's declining to grant protective measures, we submit the
15 consequential upon that, that that part of the transcript from this
16 morning, which we submit was effectively provisionally in closed session
17 pending that decision should form part of the public transcript. I'm not
18 referring to the other passage relating to health. That can stay where it
19 is, Your Honour, but the passage relating to protective measures we submit
20 should now be public.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will rule on
22 those requests.
23 MR. MURPHY: [Previous translation continues] ... object to the
24 admission of document P 7350 for the same reasons as I outlined yesterday.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is time to
2 Madam, the Chamber thanks you for coming to testify in The Hague.
3 We wish you all the best and a safe journey home.
4 We will all resume work here tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day of October,
8 2006, at 9.00 a.m.