Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3798

1 Friday, 14th November 1997

2 (10.00 am)

3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar, have the accused

4 brought in, please.

5 (Accused brought in)

6 JUDGE JORDA: Does everybody hear? Are the interpreters

7 ready? Good morning everybody, the Prosecution,

8 Defence, General Blaskic, do you hear me?

9 Two bits of information that I would like to give

10 you. We will not sit on Monday for reasons which you

11 already know, nor on Wednesday. I am telling you this

12 so that the Defence counsel can take all -- make all the

13 arrangements that they need and that there be no

14 surprises. There are difficulties which have arisen

15 from the new judges who are coming and ceremonies that

16 are accompanying the inauguration of the new judges.

17 Mr. Cayley -- I believe it was Mr. Nobilo, I am

18 sorry. Mr. Nobilo, you had begun your

19 cross-examination.

20 Good morning, Mr. Ahmic, did you rest well?

21 A. Good morning, yes, I am feeling fine.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, then we can begin.

23 ABDULAH AHMIC (continued)

24 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO (continued)

25 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Mr. Ahmic. Let

Page 3799

1 us continue where we left off last night. Tell me, is

2 it true to say that there was a mobilisation and that

3 everyone up to the age of 60 was mobilised?

4 A. Are you referring to Muslims?

5 Q. I am asking you about the Muslims now.

6 A. You must tell me the period, what dates.

7 Q. My question is before the conflicts, the conflicts in

8 1993 in April.

9 A. Probably, yes.

10 Q. Will you tell me, please, whether I am right in saying

11 that your brother, the late Muris, was against the

12 conflict with the Croats at the barricades and that as

13 a result, he was detained at the school in Ahmici and

14 then during the night transferred to the house of Mehmed

15 Ahmic and placed under house arrest?

16 A. That is completely untrue.

17 Q. You told the Prosecutor during the examination-in-chief

18 that you were not allowed to carry weapons, so my

19 question is: did this apply to the main road and the

20 town of Vitez and were you allowed to wear weapons

21 within Ahmici itself?

22 A. Weapons could be carried in upper Ahmici, where the HVO

23 forces had not entered during the first conflict,

24 whereas in the lower part of the village of Ahmici, near

25 the road and in Zume, weapons could not be carried.

Page 3800

1 Q. Did your patrols nevertheless patrol the lower part of

2 Ahmici after all?

3 A. Yes, they did.

4 Q. Were there weapons in the lower part of Ahmici?

5 A. It was probably brought there, but if it was carried, it

6 was concealed, because people were not allowed to carry

7 weapons openly.

8 Q. Tell me, prior to the outbreak of the conflict in April

9 1993, did you have any checkpoint on the road through

10 Ahmici?

11 A. I did not quite understand your question. Could you

12 repeat that, please?

13 Q. Yes. In April 1993, or rather just prior to April 1993,

14 did you set up a checkpoint within the village of Ahmici

15 on the small road running through the village of Ahmici?

16 A. Sir, the checkpoint existed up to 20th October 1992.

17 There were no checkpoints in 1993.

18 Q. Who held that checkpoint? Was it held by the TO?

19 A. It was held by the TO. That was the entrance to the

20 village of Ahmici near the main road.

21 Q. In October 1992, you told us that you were in the school

22 next to the radio transmitter in the night prior to the

23 conflict.

24 A. No, I was not there.

25 Q. In the same room?

Page 3801

1 A. No, I was not in the same room. I was near the school

2 at the time, nearby.

3 Q. Did a message come from someone to remove that

4 checkpoint, or a threat?

5 A. Yes. I heard that a messenger came from the settlement

6 of Zume, sent by the Croats, to contact our people who

7 were there near the school and he told them that Dario

8 Kordic had sent a message saying that if we did not

9 remove the barricade immediately, we would be attacked

10 in the morning and set fire to, and this in effect

11 happened in the morning.

12 Q. Tell me, please, is it true that the BH-Army in Vitez

13 municipality was founded somewhere in December 1992?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is it true that Midhat Brbic became the commander of the

16 BH-Army in Ahmici?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it true that this meant an improved organisation than

19 existed up until then?

20 A. It should have been that way, but it was not possible to

21 make any improvements because of a shortage of

22 equipment. It was an organisation on paper.

23 Q. But how do you compare this to the previous period, to

24 the month of October with the establishment of the

25 BH-Army at the beginning of 1993, was the situation

Page 3802

1 improved?

2 A. I think that in Ahmici, the situation was worse. As for

3 Vitez, I cannot tell you because I was not familiar with

4 the situation there.

5 Q. Let me read to you now an excerpt from your statement

6 which you gave to the investigators of The Hague

7 Tribunal. It is a statement signed on 3rd February

8 1995, for the Prosecution it is on page 5. I shall try

9 and read it in English, so will you have it translated:

10 "In December, the Territorial Defence in the Vitez

11 area was called 'Bosnian Army'. The organisation was a

12 little bit better. The headquarters of the army was in

13 Vitez. The commander of the BH-Army in Ahmici was

14 Midhat Brbic and the commander in Vitez was Sefkija

15 Djidic. There were no barracks in Ahmici. In 1993

16 there was still a village guard in the village of

17 Ahmici. It functioned in the same way as in 1992."

18 Was that what you told the investigators?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Is that true?

21 A. Yes, only I must say that the organisation in Ahmici was

22 not so good.

23 Q. Will you tell me now, you had these village guards and

24 you had the BH-Army. Was there a criterion according to

25 which some men belonged to the BH and others to the

Page 3803

1 village guards? How was this divided in Ahmici among

2 the population?

3 A. Yes, sir, there were criteria. The younger men joined

4 the BH-Army formations on paper, and the older men kept

5 guard duty. They were mostly older people, they

6 continued to perform the function of Civil Defence, if

7 you could call it that, or Territorial Defence, if you

8 prefer.

9 Q. You said that this was on paper. Tell me, these young

10 men who joined the BH-Army, did they live separately in

11 a barracks or did they continue living in their homes?

12 A. In Ahmici, most of them lived in their own homes.

13 Occasionally, they went to barracks. In Kruscica there

14 was a barracks and in Preocica, but very rarely did they

15 go there. They probably had some kind of training.

16 Q. So they did not live in Kruscica but they went there for

17 training?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Am I right in saying that the brigade that you came

20 under was called the 325th Mountain Brigade and it was

21 based in Kruscica?

22 A. I do not know exactly where it was based, but I know

23 that within the command structure, there was a sort of

24 vacancy, the commander was Dzananovic and Kelesutra

25 should have come and I know that for a long time, it was

Page 3804

1 not clear who was in command. I do not know whether you

2 are familiar with that.

3 Q. Is it true that young men -- that the company command

4 was in Vrhovine, it was the command for the company to

5 which the young men from Ahmici belonged?

6 A. No.

7 Q. Is it true that the battalion command that young men

8 from Ahmici came under was in Preocica and they went

9 there for parade?

10 A. Yes, a part belonged to the Preocica and another part to

11 Kruscica. It depended on the assignments they were

12 given.

13 Q. So the commander of the BH-Army was Midhat Brbic?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you tell me, please, who was his deputy, his

16 assistant?

17 A. Senad Sisic was his deputy, then Hidzro, we called him,

18 Bilic. Hidzro is a nickname, I am not sure of his first

19 name, Hajrudin? In the village of Pirici he had

20 somebody we called Dzegir. He had an assistant, Nermin

21 Kermo. Those were his assistants.

22 Q. And the young men from Ahmici were joined by whom, the

23 young men from Zume, Santici, Pirici?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And Nadioci?

Page 3805

1 A. I do not know about Nadioci. They were not with us in

2 the unit.

3 Q. So we have the BH-Army and the 325th Brigade. What

4 about the village guards, how were they structured? Who

5 was in command there?

6 A. Muris, in the same way that Muris acted, so Midhat Brbic

7 acted similarly, only in my view not as well.

8 Q. So Midhat Brbic was the commander of both the army and

9 of the village guards in Ahmici?

10 A. It was all one and the same. The only difference being

11 that the guards were reinforced by elderly retired

12 people.

13 Q. Tell me, before the conflict in April 1993, were these

14 guard duties organised regularly?

15 A. Could you repeat?

16 Q. In March and April, before the outbreak of the conflict

17 in 1993, were these guard duties taken seriously?

18 A. Not really, the discipline was not very high, because

19 there was no military police to discipline these people.

20 Q. Let us go on to the conflicts prior to the actual

21 conflict in April. To refresh your memory, do you

22 remember any problems occurring in Travnik, around

23 Easter, the hoisting of Croatian flags; did you hear

24 rumours of that in Ahmici?

25 A. Believe me, sir, I am not informed about that.

Page 3806

1 Q. Were you informed that in Zenica the commander of the

2 HVO brigade, Totic, had been kidnapped?

3 A. Yes, I heard that on the radio.

4 Q. Do you know Sesko from Grabovi, who was among other

5 things elected representative of Merhamet?

6 A. Yes, Sezahir Pezer, but they call him Sesko, yes.

7 Q. Do you know that on 7th March 1993, when Sesko was on

8 duty, there were attempts to disarm the guards in

9 Ahmici, that there was some exchange of fire?

10 A. Whose guards?

11 Q. The Ahmici guards.

12 A. But who tried to disarm them?

13 Q. The HVO.

14 A. The HVO? No, I am not aware of that.

15 Q. Do you know that on 11th March, Ramiz from upper Ahmici

16 was disarmed when on guard duty.

17 A. Who was he disarmed by?

18 Q. By people from Gornji Ahmici?

19 A. Who?

20 Q. Ramiz from Grabovi?

21 A. I am not aware of that either. I was not living in

22 upper Ahmici, I was living on the other side of the

23 road, sir.

24 Q. I am just asking. Five days before the outbreak of the

25 conflict, it was a Sunday and the conflict occurred on

Page 3807

1 Friday in April 1993, therefore on 11th April 1993, were

2 you aware that there was a meeting in the school at 5.00

3 pm, the command was holding a meeting and the frontlines

4 were agreed upon should fighting break out?

5 A. I know that there was a meeting, but I do not know

6 whether it was then. I know that the Croats also had a

7 meeting on Sunday at the cemetery, where they probably

8 agreed on the way they would attack. It was a very

9 large meeting.

10 Q. Are you referring to the cemetery on the main road next

11 to Ahmici?

12 A. Yes, because when they were coming away from that

13 meeting, there was also some shooting.

14 Q. And who were the people attending that meeting, the

15 Croats from which places?

16 A. It was an enormous rally, all the people from the

17 environs had come. There were many cars, I do not know

18 who they all were.

19 Q. Was that on Sunday?

20 A. Yes, on Sunday.

21 Q. Did you have a meeting on that Sunday?

22 A. I know there was a meeting, but I am not sure whether it

23 was on Sunday. As for the establishment of the lines,

24 I think that that was not discussed, but rather an

25 analysis was made of the life of the population in Zume,

Page 3808

1 who were in a difficult position, and the question was

2 whether they should stay and live there or should they

3 be moved elsewhere. I know that that was discussed.

4 Q. Did you attend that meeting or did someone tell you

5 about it?

6 A. I know about this meeting.

7 Q. Yes, well that one, were you present?

8 A. Yes, I was present at the meeting at which we discussed

9 the question of Zume.

10 Q. Do you know that on Sunday, April 11th, the Sunday prior

11 to the conflict, a telegram came, placing troops on top

12 alert in Ahmici?

13 A. Yes, but very soon after that, another message arrived

14 lifting the order on combat readiness, so that for a

15 time, this first degree of alert was not in effect.

16 Q. Who sent this telegram?

17 A. It probably came from the headquarters up there.

18 Q. Is my information true, that this telegram placing units

19 in top alert arrived on Sunday 11th April?

20 A. I cannot tell you the exact date, but I am aware that

21 there was such a telegram.

22 Q. In any event, we are talking about a date prior to the

23 conflict?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you recall 13th April, so the following Tuesday, that

Page 3809

1 Croats beat up Budu from Vrhovine so that all the young

2 men from Ahmici went over there?

3 A. I have no idea about that.

4 Q. Do you know on 14th April, two days before the conflict,

5 a three-barrelled weapon came to Zume and Emir was taken

6 prisoner?

7 A. That was Emir Pezer, he was going to work in

8 Novi Travnik, and I know that he was taken prisoner.

9 Q. Could that have been on 14th April?

10 A. Probably.

11 Q. Did a sniper shoot twice from Finka's house on that day?

12 A. I do not know about that.

13 Q. On 15th April 1993, that is one day before the conflict,

14 did you receive information that Croats were grouping

15 around the Kupreskic houses, and that there was a

16 meeting of the command at 8.00 in the evening, that took

17 place in Ahmici?

18 A. I know that there was a meeting between Croats and the

19 representatives of Muslims in Vitez, and then they said,

20 "everything is going to be sorted out and there will be

21 no conflict", so that is what I know of. I do not know

22 about a meeting around Kupreskic's house.

23 Q. You did not quite understand my question. The Croats

24 started assembling, started grouping around the

25 Kupreskic houses, and because of that the Muslims held a

Page 3810

1 meeting at another place.

2 A. No, I do not know about that.

3 Q. Do you know that on 15th April in the evening ammunition

4 was distributed to the Muslims in Ahmici?

5 A. Sir, I would have gotten it had it been distributed.

6 Q. Were you in the brigade?

7 A. Yes, I was a member.

8 Q. Which company?

9 A. Company? I was part of the headquarters in Preocica but

10 I never went over there, because it was not very active

11 up there. I know that I was part of the battalion in

12 Preocica.

13 Q. Were you issued a rifle?

14 A. No, I did not have a rifle.

15 Q. So you could not have received any ammunition on that

16 evening either?

17 A. That is correct. Had there been any organisation of

18 defence, I would have received both a rifle and

19 ammunition.

20 Q. Yesterday, you told us that some time in October there

21 were about 100 to 120 members of the TO according to

22 your estimate, and what I am interested in, this is in

23 Ahmici, were there any refugees there --

24 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I am going to object to this

25 point. There has been during the cross-examination

Page 3811

1 substantial re-cross-examination about matters that were

2 covered yesterday and this particular matter, I have a

3 note that I took which expressly states Mr. Ahmic has

4 already given an estimate of the numbers of TO who were

5 in the village. If you wish, Mr. Nobilo can cover

6 everything he did again yesterday, but then the

7 re-examination will be much lengthier.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

9 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, my learned colleague obviously did

10 not understand me. I just introduced my question, and

11 now my direct question was going to be: did any refugees

12 arrive after October, and any fresh soldiers? That is

13 the question.

14 MR. CAYLEY: The point I am making, Mr. President, is there

15 has been substantial coverage of matters that were

16 cross-examined yesterday. I have not made an objection

17 to this point, in order to allow matters to proceed, but

18 I do believe that Mr. Nobilo should be requested to cover

19 areas that he did not cover yesterday.

20 JUDGE JORDA: Unless the judges have a computer memory, I do

21 not remember all the details about certain questions.

22 Personally, it seems to me that there are many questions

23 that are asked, I am not sure -- I am speaking for both

24 the Prosecution and the Defence, and you know my point

25 of view, I am not really sure that everything is

Page 3812

1 important for the discussion in order to arrive at

2 whether General Blaskic is guilty or not. This is the

3 danger, in fact, of these types of long questioning on

4 this or that point. If one looks at the transcript,

5 there might be repetition. I am trying to be

6 attentive. I do not really remember though. I will ask

7 my colleagues to help me on this point.

8 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President. (Pause).

9 JUDGE JORDA: I wanted to speak with my colleagues, because

10 through the objection raised by Mr. Cayley, we have

11 reached the very heart of this procedure which you know

12 very well. My colleagues and myself consider that we

13 agree on these following points.

14 One, this is a point we have already stated, that

15 the cross-examination must relate to the questions of

16 the examination-in-chief. We cannot waiver on that

17 point, but the second point which is raised today is

18 that the cross-examination, and this is for the

19 Prosecutor as well, questions must not be asked a second

20 time, even in another form, by the Defence attorney in

21 relation to his own cross-examination. I explained

22 this, but I wanted to say it to Mr. Nobilo today, on

23 another day, I may say it to Mr. Kehoe and Mr. Harmon. In

24 truth, one must not go back to questions already asked,

25 even by changing them somewhat. That is the first

Page 3813

1 point.

2 The second point, which is very important for the

3 judges speaking to you, is that you must get the

4 essential point of this trial to be focused on the guilt

5 or non-guilt of General Blaskic. There is a fundamental

6 point here and I first turn to the Prosecutor who has

7 the initiative of being the Prosecutor. It is true,

8 Mr. Cayley, that when you call in 300 witnesses you can

9 well imagine we will run into problems, because the

10 witness who comes today -- Ahmici today, another day

11 there will be ten witnesses talking about a different

12 village, this or that village. The right of the Defence

13 will, of course, be able to challenge it. This is a

14 real effort required here. I say this to you and I am

15 saying it to the other sides as well.

16 We judges, I say this to you in a very solemn

17 fashion, we do not have computer memories, but we pay

18 great attention. All of us take notes and we are very

19 attentive. On this particular point, my own memory was

20 somewhat faulty, but my colleagues are also very

21 attentive. Therefore I will summarise.

22 The two points are during the examination and the

23 cross-examination which already takes a great deal of

24 time, must not be used so that either the Prosecution or

25 Defence lawyer once again asks the same questions even

Page 3814

1 if it is asked differently. We will be attentive to

2 that.

3 The second point, and here we are becoming more

4 and more stern about what we are saying, we will not

5 hesitate to interrupt. We have been working together

6 since 25th June, you have seen we have given warnings,

7 different types of notification. What is of interest to

8 the Tribunal is the guilt of General Blaskic as someone

9 responsible for command responsibility, otherwise we

10 will still be here in ten years.

11 Obviously we do not always want to interrupt you,

12 because the rights of the Defence are sacred and the

13 Prosecution must be carried out as effectively and

14 efficiently as possible. I do not have the entire case

15 file in front of me, but we do have a feeling for when

16 we are moving away from the essential. There come

17 times, Mr. Nobilo, that I say to myself, "I want to

18 interrupt him. Does this have something to do with

19 General Blaskic's responsibility?" You can answer,

20 "yes, it does", and I understand.

21 The questions which you are seeking to find out is

22 how was the army organised, what was the presence of the

23 BH-Army, that is important, but please ask one or two

24 questions to know whether in this or that form, on this

25 or that date, there was a Bosnian defence. These are

Page 3815

1 the questions that we are going -- in which we are going

2 to get lost and we will not find our way back, not us,

3 not you, not the Prosecution.

4 The Tribunal will become increasingly firm. I say

5 this to you, we will speak about it during a Status

6 Conference, I promise you this, we should think about

7 the length of this trial, and we will not hesitate to

8 state what can be said and what cannot be said. We will

9 limit the number of witnesses, if necessary.

10 This Tribunal cannot permit itself to spend five

11 years trying the responsibility of General Blaskic.

12 I say this to you very clearly. Of course, everything

13 is nuanced and you must have faith in the judges. When

14 we interrupt you, we are being very careful, but please,

15 these are the two fundamental points, I am speaking for

16 my colleagues, please do not repeat questions even if

17 they are asked in a different way in order to

18 destabilise the witness, because we will protect the

19 witness under those circumstances, I tell you that, to

20 get right to the essential, the Defence and the

21 Prosecution, and this should go through the limiting of

22 the number of witnesses and then the cross-examination

23 should then follow the initiative which belongs to the

24 Prosecutor.

25 These are the two points I wanted to say to you,

Page 3816

1 even if I say it with passion and some vehemence, but I

2 say it firmly and these are points that we will talk

3 about again during the Status Conference. Mr. Nobilo,

4 try to shorten the questions now.

5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with your permission, I would like

6 to clarify two things. What is absolutely essential for

7 the Defence is to ascertain the presence or absence of

8 the BH-Army in Ahmici. This is absolutely essential for

9 the Defence, and this is the essence of the Defence and

10 the Defence cannot renounce that. This witness has said

11 in the cross-examination that there was no BH-Army in

12 Ahmici, and concerning the details, I accept that the

13 details per se may not be very significant, but I have a

14 document here which speaks of the defence of Ahmici, of

15 the positions of people. This is a log book of a

16 commander, so through talking about the details,

17 I confirm that this plan of defence of Ahmici did exist,

18 and I will try to speed things up, because we are very

19 interested in speeding it.

20 JUDGE JORDA: This is a fact of different legal cultures.

21 I am not challenging, and I think I am speaking for my

22 colleagues, I am not challenging that point, but do

23 recognise as regards the method, and I turn to the

24 Prosecution as well, there are many things that can be

25 said. I am saying this to you, that the rules give us a

Page 3817

1 great deal of power. We have not used that power but

2 will not hesitate to do so. Let me give you an example

3 which comes from your own example. You have just said

4 exactly what the essential thing is. Could you not have

5 said it yesterday already? You could have said, "all

6 right, Mr. Ahmic, what interests us in defending

7 General Blaskic is", the point which you have just

8 mentioned, "we have a document, we are going to submit

9 it to you, and you will tell us what you think about

10 it", then we will ask you questions. Then, of course,

11 the Prosecutor can respond and also ask questions. That

12 is what would be simpler, whereas here, we are kind of

13 playing a game of cat and mouse, as we say in French,

14 through little questions that are asked in order to

15 destabilise.

16 You are dealing with professional judges, you do

17 not have a jury. Artificial destabilisation of

18 witnesses is not something that we are interested in.

19 I believe you might simply have said, "Mr. Ahmic, what

20 the Defence is looking for is to learn how and where the

21 Bosnian army were at the time of the events. That is

22 what is interesting to us in relation to

23 General Blaskic's guilt. "We have documents, we are

24 going to cite them to you, we are going to show them to

25 you on the ELMO and ask you what you think about it, we

Page 3818

1 will ask a few questions".

2 Whereas, since yesterday, we are trying to ask

3 things through small questions in order to get to small

4 details which are attempting through contradictions, one

5 after the other, attempting to destabilise the

6 witnesses. What will happen two years from now? I am

7 being a bit long right now. In a year or two, once this

8 trial is complete, the judges will have thousands of

9 pages in front of them in which on page 3833 there will

10 be a slight destabilisation of the testimony of

11 Mr. Ahmic. Do you think we can make justice progress

12 that way? I do not believe so.

13 You have your strategy, you have just explained

14 it, it is very important. Present it, ask your

15 questions. The Tribunal will come to the conclusions it

16 needs to. Please proceed.

17 MR. NOBILO: I will skip the question of the refugees and

18 move on. I will ask a series of names and I will ask

19 Mr. Ahmic to try to remember whether these persons were

20 members of the BH-Army or the village watches. Alaga

21 Ahmic?

22 A. He was in the BH-Army.

23 Q. Asim Ahmic?

24 A. Asim Ahmic, I think he was not in the army.

25 Q. How about the village watch?

Page 3819

1 A. No, he was not. He was a cobbler, he stayed at home

2 mostly.

3 Q. Behbija Ahmic?

4 A. He was in the army.

5 Q. Ejub Ahmic?

6 A. He was too.

7 Q. Fadil Ahmic?

8 A. He was in the BH-Army.

9 Q. And his three sons?

10 A. He had two sons -- no, Fadil Ahmic, he was not, he was

11 there but yes, his three sons -- no, his two sons.

12 Q. Fahrudin Ahmic?

13 A. Yes, he was there too.

14 Q. Fehim Ahmic?

15 A. Yes, he was too.

16 Q. Hatif Ahmic, who was Latif's brother?

17 A. He was rarely in Ahmici, he was mostly in Zenica. He

18 did not do the watch guards.

19 Q. And Latif?

20 A. He too, they were both on business in Zenica very often.

21 Q. Ahmic Husein?

22 A. There are two Huseins.

23 Q. The one from lower Ahmici.

24 A. He was not a guard, he was giving --

25 Q. Mirsad Ahmic?

Page 3820

1 A. He was an older man, he could not be a member of the

2 army.

3 Q. Was he in Grabovi doing guard duty?

4 A. Yes, he was killed in the process.

5 Q. Nazif Ahmic?

6 A. He did not give guard duty. I think he worked up in

7 Vitez.

8 Q. Where did he work?

9 A. In the factory.

10 Q. Nedzib Ahmic?

11 A. He also pursued his business more.

12 Q. Nezir Ahmic?

13 A. Nezir was a driver, so he occasionally gave guard.

14 Q. Nurija Ahmic?

15 A. He was in the army.

16 Q. Rasim Ahmic?

17 A. He was also a member, but he did not give guard duty

18 because he was in Zume and there was no guard duties

19 there.

20 Q. What was he a member of?

21 A. Of the army.

22 Q. Rejiba Ahmic?

23 A. He was an elderly man, so he was not a member of the

24 army.

25 Q. Sakib Ahmic?

Page 3821

1 A. There are two of them. They were both elderly and they

2 were not members.

3 Q. Were they giving guard duties?

4 A. Yes, occasionally.

5 Q. Suad Ahmic?

6 A. Yes, he was a member of the army.

7 Q. Suljo Ahmic?

8 A. There are two, an older and a younger one.

9 Q. The one from lower Ahmici, the younger one?

10 A. He was a policeman in Vitez.

11 Q. Vehbija Ahmic?

12 A. You asked me about him already.

13 Q. Zijad Ahmic?

14 A. I think he was a member of the army.

15 Q. And Zahid Ahmic?

16 A. He was a member too.

17 Q. Juniza Brbic?

18 A. He was an elderly man, he was not a member of the army.

19 Q. How about guard duty?

20 A. He did not want to.

21 Q. Brbic Midhat?

22 A. He was the commander.

23 Q. Hazrudin Bilic?

24 A. He was a member.

25 Q. Of the army?

Page 3822

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Hidajet Bilic?

3 A. He was an elderly man, he was not a member, but I think

4 he was giving guard duty.

5 Q. Mehrudin Bilic?

6 A. His son, yes, he was.

7 Q. Ramo Bilic?

8 A. He was a member.

9 Q. Zijad Bilic?

10 A. He was a member too.

11 Q. Muharem Djidic?

12 A. He was a member too.

13 Q. Edin Kermo?

14 A. He was a member.

15 Q. Elvedin Kermo?

16 A. He was a younger -- I do not know, I cannot talk about

17 him. He was a younger man.

18 Q. Fahrudin Kermo?

19 A. He was an elderly man, he was not in the army.

20 Q. Did he have guard duties?

21 A. Yes, sometimes he did.

22 Q. Was he on guard duty on the 16th in the morning?

23 A. Yes, I heard that he was killed while giving the guard

24 duty.

25 Q. Meho Patkovic?

Page 3823

1 A. He died before the war.

2 Q. Halid Pezer?

3 A. He was killed in the initial conflict.

4 Q. Was he a member of the TO?

5 A. I doubt it, because he was young.

6 Q. Osman Pezer?

7 A. He was a member of the army.

8 Q. Zakir Pezer?

9 A. Yes, he was too.

10 Q. Hajrudin Pjanic?

11 A. He was an elderly man, but I think he was a member of

12 the army.

13 Q. Muhamed Pjanic, Hajrudin's son?

14 A. He did not have a son by the name of Muhamed.

15 Q. Zec Pjanic?

16 A. That person does not exist in Ahmici.

17 Q. On the 16th when the conflict started, was he in

18 uniform?

19 A. No, he was killed in civilian clothes.

20 Q. Did he have a rifle?

21 A. No.

22 Q. When the two men came to your house, two men from

23 Busovaca, the younger one, did you talk to him that the

24 Muslim army would do something in Nezirovici and Dusina?

25 A. Yes, I said, "what is going on?", and then he said,

Page 3824

1 "what the Muslims did in Nezirovici and Dusina". I did

2 not know what they did there and what happened happened.

3 Q. The English translation was not good. What did they

4 exactly tell you, the men from Busovaca?

5 A. Just what I said, "what yours did".

6 Q. Who is"yours"?

7 A. Meaning the Muslims in Dusina and Nezirovici, and that

8 was it, he did not say anything else.

9 Q. Let us go back to when you were hiding in that pipe,

10 what distance was it that you saw the soldiers from?

11 A. The first soldier was up the road towards Pirici, five

12 to six metres away from me, and the ones that were

13 arriving from below, they were about five to six metres

14 away from me too.

15 Q. I am going to read you from your statement of

16 3rd February 1995. I would like you to confirm whether

17 this is correct or not. It is page number 7 for the

18 Prosecution:

19 "He saw the word 'Vitezovi' on the patches. On

20 these patches was written: 'Jedinica Specijalne Namjene

21 Vitezovi'. This means 'The Special Assignment Unit

22 Vitezovi'."

23 Did you say that?

24 A. Yes, I probably said that at that time, but for the

25 reasons of security, later on I was not 100 per cent

Page 3825

1 sure even then, so I just limited myself to saying the

2 "Jedinici Specijalne Namjene", so you can check the

3 statement -- can delete it from the statement.

4 Q. How long did you hear the shooting going on in Ahmici?

5 When did the shooting stop? Can you define that?

6 A. Sir, I did not hear the shooting. I only heard the

7 mortars and the anti-aircraft gun. I did not hear the

8 shooting.

9 Q. Later from conversations with the survivors in Ahmici,

10 did you learn who attacked Ahmici, from which side?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you tell us something about it?

13 A. I think from the east, the units from Busovaca and from

14 the west, the units from Vitez, and I described them

15 already, and from the southern side, the special units

16 and I also described them, the HVO and the HV and they

17 were extremely well equipped. In Grabovi, I cannot tell

18 exactly.

19 Q. Is it true that earlier you define that what happened

20 from the Busovaca side was the Jokers were the ones who

21 attacked?

22 A. That is what I heard, so I am just relating what I have

23 heard from others.

24 Q. When you were detained together with the civilians were

25 you requested to go to the UNPROFOR base to get two

Page 3826

1 lorries there to transport the civilians?

2 A. Yes, while I was in Zume. Three soldiers came and asked

3 who could, among the men, go with them to look for

4 trucks to transfer people to Zenica. I was in favour of

5 that, but as I got up, I felt dizzy, so I could not go.

6 Q. Tell me, you said that you noticed some women being

7 raped in the school. Can you tell us on what basis you

8 came to that conclusion?

9 A. I was talking about that yesterday, I do not know

10 whether you understood me.

11 Q. But my question is: what led you to come to such a

12 conclusion?

13 A. I told you everything. The man who was lying next to

14 me, his wife was in a separate room and one morning she

15 came in crying, telling him what had happened.

16 I concluded from that what it was about, and after the

17 war, I learnt, and there will probably be witnesses,

18 women who were raped who will come here.

19 Q. You gave us a list of people killed and whose houses you

20 showed us. How did you learn that they had been

21 killed? Did you see that, or did you learn it after the

22 event?

23 A. After the event, when I got to Zenica, this list was

24 made and published of all the people who had been

25 killed.

Page 3827

1 Q. So your information comes from there?

2 A. Yes, but the house where I was in where they threw a

3 grenade at me, there were two bodies there, two men were

4 lying there dead and burnt. I forgot to mention that.

5 That was in the house where they threw a hand grenade at

6 me.

7 Q. Did you recognise those bodies?

8 A. No, I did not, but I learnt afterwards that two men had

9 been killed in that house because they were hidden by

10 the rubble.

11 Q. Let me read you from your statement to the

12 investigators:

13 "In my part of the village" -- this comes at the

14 end of the statement --

15 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, could Mr. Nobilo at least indicate

16 what page of the statement he is reading from?

17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, would you please give us the

18 page reference?

19 MR. NOBILO: I have the Croatian translation, but I shall try

20 and find it in the English text.

21 MR. CAYLEY: I have to say it is actually very clear he is

22 reading from a translation because it is completely

23 different from the statement I have in front of me.

24 I have not mentioned it.

25 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honours, it is a translation from the

Page 3828

1 translation department of the Tribunal.

2 MR. NOBILO: I can read the original.

3 JUDGE JORDA: You are speaking at the same time. Are we

4 talking about an exhibit which was given in English from

5 the Prosecution to you?

6 MR. NOBILO: I will read it in English, though we have

7 received a translation from the Tribunal as well. I am

8 referring to page 8.

9 MR. CAYLEY: I am not going to make anything of this,

10 Mr. Hayman is losing his temper. The simple point is

11 that what is being read is not exactly the same as the

12 English version, but we will move on.

13 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask you a question, the

14 question which you are going to ask, because now I am

15 going to intervene more, you are planning to challenge

16 the deaths that the witness had indicated. Can you tell

17 us what your objective is?

18 MR. NOBILO: No, I wish to establish who were the HVO

19 commanders in the hamlets and how they treated the

20 civilian victims. That is the crux of my

21 cross-examination and it will bring me to the end of

22 that.

23 Mr. Ahmic, let me try and read this in my bad

24 English.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman may substitute Mr. Nobilo for the

Page 3829

1 English language. Go ahead.

2 MR. HAYMAN: For this limited purpose, your Honour:

3 "In my part of the village, Milicivic Slavko was

4 HVO commander".

5 JUDGE JORDA: Please do not read too fast.

6 MR. HAYMAN: I will start again:

7 "In my part of the village, Milicivic Slavko was

8 HVO commander. I think he approved the killing of women

9 and children there. In Zume, Papic Zarko, HVO

10 commander, disapproved of killing women and children.

11 In Nadioci, Perkovic Branko, HVO commander, allowed the

12 killing of all civilians. Kupreskic Zoran was HVO

13 commander in Grabovi, and approved of killing of women

14 and children. He was responsible for the killing of my

15 mother and my three sisters, because they happened to be

16 in that area. Santic Nenad was HVO commander of Zume

17 below the road. He was well known as an extremist. He

18 was known as one of the worst ones. It is said that he

19 directly commanded the attack on Ahmici. Kupreskic

20 Vlatko, who most probably led the intelligence of this

21 attack and also most probably took part in it. I know

22 these men from my time in the Territorial Defence before

23 the first conflict."

24 MR. NOBILO: My question is: is that true? Is that

25 correct?

Page 3830

1 A. I was expressing my personal opinion about these

2 people. I have no proof to show that they were

3 commanders, but in my personal conviction they were

4 among the organisers of the Croatian guards, and I know

5 that in Zume women and children were not killed. But

6 the settlement where I lived, near the road, women and

7 children were killed. That is in Grabovi. You know

8 very well when an army comes from an area extraneous to

9 the region had guides and I heard Drago Papic say, "do

10 not kill women and children". I heard that later, but

11 these people probably said, "everyone here has to be

12 killed", so that is my personal view of the situation.

13 Q. Just one more question, I will not bother you any more.

14 Line 7, when the soldiers were passing by the road, this

15 is Exhibit 115, did you hide in the ditch?

16 A. Can you show me what you are referring to?

17 Q. So when the soldiers were passing along line 7, where

18 were you when you were watching them? Were you in that

19 pipe, in the water, kneeling, where were you, or lying

20 down?

21 A. When they got close to me, only my head showed, and when

22 they passed, I would get up, so that they would not see

23 my shadow, and they came very close to me. I was about

24 two metres near the end of this pipe, and then they came

25 very close and turned to the other side. So they were

Page 3831

1 about five or six metres away from me.

2 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. Ahmic. That ends my

3 cross-examination. Thank you, Mr. President, for your

4 patience.

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley?

6 MR. CAYLEY: I have a few questions, your Honour. Now might

7 be an appropriate time if you wish to take a break. It

8 is now 11.13, I think.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is right. I was so involved in this

10 discussion that I did not note the time. All right, we

11 will resume at 11.30.

12 (11.15 am)

13 (A short break)

14 (11.30 am)

15 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Have the

16 accused brought in, please.

17 (Accused brought in)

18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley?

19 Re-examined by MR. CAYLEY

20 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. I only have a few questions

21 for the witness.

22 Good morning, Mr. Ahmic. Thank you so much for

23 your patience and calmness in answering all these

24 questions. I just have a few matters to clear up with

25 you. The Defence in their cross-examination of you

Page 3832

1 referred at some length to the Territorial Defence in

2 the village of Ahmici. Was service in the Territorial

3 Defence voluntary or compulsory in the village of

4 Ahmici?

5 A. Service in the Territorial Defence was not compulsory.

6 Q. For those who were serving in the Territorial Defence,

7 was there any disciplinary process if they failed to

8 attend for duty on any particular day, if they failed to

9 attend their watch?

10 A. No, there was not.

11 Q. So if a member of the watch slept in one morning, then

12 nothing was done about the fact that that man did not

13 attend for duty?

14 A. No, absolutely nothing. It was more on a voluntary

15 basis.

16 Q. I think after you fled from Ahmici you served in the

17 Bosnian army, is that correct?

18 A. I was expelled from Ahmici. Yes, I was in the BH-Army.

19 Q. I am sorry, you are quite correct. You were expelled

20 from Ahmici. Can you compare the Bosnian army in which

21 you served after you were expelled from Ahmici with the

22 Territorial Defence which existed in your village?

23 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we are objecting because this

24 opens a new question of the quality of the BH-Army after

25 16th April 1993, so it is a completely new area.

Page 3833

1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley?

2 MR. CAYLEY: The Defence, Mr. President, in their

3 cross-examination, are trying to establish that there

4 was an organised, well equipped military unit in the

5 village of Ahmici. The Prosecutor's position is that

6 this was simply not the case. We have here in front of

7 us a man who served in the Bosnian army in 1995 and

8 1996. I think he is in a position, very briefly, to

9 compare the Bosnian army in which he served in 1995 and

10 1996 with the village guard which he was in in 1993.

11 JUDGE JORDA: I rather tend to believe that Mr. Nobilo is

12 correct. We are not going to redo the examination,

13 Mr. Ahmic has now been examined, cross-examined and

14 re-examined since 12.10 yesterday. If questions about

15 the comparison between the HVO and Bosnian army have

16 still not been made clear, then the judges will not

17 understand it either. I think we do understand. Please

18 go on.

19 In any case, excuse me for slowing things down

20 myself here, this goes back to the question of this

21 morning. A time will come when the judges will decide,

22 they themselves, which questions are being asked

23 properly. It is true these comparisons might be

24 important, but this was already raised. We are not

25 going to use the re-examination to restart the

Page 3834

1 examination-in-chief. Please move to another question.

2 MR. CAYLEY: Did the Territorial Defence in the village of

3 Ahmici receive supplies and ammunition from the town of

4 Vitez?

5 A. Yes, but very, very little came.

6 Q. How many members of the village watch wore uniform?

7 A. I think there were only about a dozen people who had

8 uniforms, but they made them themselves from tent

9 material, but we hardly had any original military

10 uniforms.

11 Q. Would you describe the Territorial Defence in Ahmici as

12 disorganised or organised?

13 A. It was more a disorganised army than an organised army

14 that I was in in 1993, 1994 and 1995. There is a big

15 difference between the two.

16 Q. When the Bosnian army was established at the end of

17 1992, did this disorganisation continue in the village

18 of Ahmici within the Territorial Defence?

19 A. I have already spoken about that. The organisation was

20 similar to the organisation of the Territorial Defence,

21 because there was no regular supplies of military

22 material and ammunition. These battalions, companies

23 and things were formed on paper, so I would rather not

24 go into those questions any more. There was not

25 sufficient military material, one could have had

Page 3835

1 anything on paper.

2 JUDGE JORDA: The witness has already answered that. You

3 are going back to the question which he has just

4 delineated five minutes ago. Please, move to another

5 type of questioning.

6 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I will move on. It is a

7 re-examination, the Prosecutor does have the right to

8 cover ground that was asked in examination-in-chief.

9 I am not going to press my rights before the court and

10 I say that very respectfully before you --

11 JUDGE JORDA: I do not think, Mr. Cayley, that we are going

12 to get into a question and a trial where the Prosecutor

13 is going to ask the same questions again. We will not

14 get anywhere. I think the judges are here in order to

15 make sure how the time is being used and to get to what

16 is the absolute essential thing, which is the

17 accusations against General Blaskic. You have the right

18 to ask questions, but in relation to what Mr. Nobilo has

19 asked during his cross-examination. Continue, please,

20 briefly.

21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Ahmic, when your father and brother were

22 murdered outside your house, do you believe that the

23 soldiers who did that act were acting according to

24 orders, or do you believe that they simply decided of

25 their own will to kill your father and your brother?

Page 3836

1 A. In my statement, in all my statements, they did it

2 exclusively according to military orders, because that

3 is what they said, "do as you are ordered". He refused

4 and then he said, "take care, I will carry out the

5 orders", and then he did what he did, so this was

6 clearly a strict military order received from somebody.

7 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I have no further questions of the

8 witness. I now offer the witness to the judges.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Cayley. Thank you for having

10 attempted to understand what the judges were trying to

11 say through me.

12 I now turn to my colleagues, Judge Riad, I am sure

13 you have some questions. Judge Riad?

14 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Abdulah Ahmic. I would like

15 you, as much as you can, to give me some clear answers

16 to a few questions which I would like to ask you.

17 I gathered from your testimony, and from the

18 pictures we had, that all Muslim houses which you showed

19 us were being burnt, and that it was systematic. Was

20 there any criterion in the choice of these houses, or

21 was it just a total coverage of all the Muslim houses?

22 A. There were a couple of houses that were not set on fire,

23 but a very small number that one can count on the

24 fingers of one hand, but I think there were hundreds of

25 houses that were set on fire and destroyed. I do not

Page 3837

1 know whether there was any particular reason why they

2 did not set fire to those five houses.

3 Q. Five houses. So it was a very small exception?

4 A. Yes, there were very few Muslim houses that were not

5 destroyed.

6 Q. Were the people in the houses when it was burnt up or

7 were they killed fighting? Was there any fight to

8 defend themselves or was there any reason for the

9 burning?

10 A. I think judging by what happened in my case in the

11 settlement of Zume, I think the identical thing occurred

12 elsewhere. There was some resistance around the mosque,

13 there were some people putting up some minor resistance,

14 and luckily UNPROFOR came and protected those men,

15 otherwise they would have run out of ammunition and they

16 would have all been killed. There were many women and

17 children there.

18 In the village of Grabovi, there was a classical

19 attack, there was no resistance there either.

20 Q. The people inside, the men were not armed, were not

21 attacking anybody, in the majority of the houses? Were

22 they burnt inside the houses or were the houses burnt

23 without people inside?

24 A. I think that most of the people were taken out of their

25 houses and killed and in my opinion, when they set fire

Page 3838

1 to the houses, they put them back inside to cover up

2 their traces, because mostly the corpses could not be

3 identified, so they killed them in front of their

4 houses, then they took them back inside to burn, because

5 there were quite a number of corpses that were

6 unidentified and that were buried. I think that is how

7 they proceeded. I too would have probably been put back

8 into my house to burn and then you could just find a

9 couple of burnt bones at the end.

10 Q. In conclusion to what you said, there was some kind of

11 similarity of method, it was the same method applied to

12 all the houses and not sporadic and individual attacks

13 which were different from one to another?

14 A. It was a simultaneous attack, at the same time they

15 attacked, or rather very little difference. First it

16 started in Grabovi, then the lower part of the village.

17 When they attacked the central part of the village, they

18 blocked the way so there was no way for us to escape

19 northwards.

20 Q. You lost all your family, as you said. You mentioned --

21 you had a big family, the Ahmic family apparently,

22 Sukrija, Sakib, Fahrudin, your father and then you had

23 Muris, you had your little sister too, I think, you lost

24 everybody big and small.

25 A. I lost three sisters, they were young girls. They were

Page 3839

1 girls.

2 Q. And the others were cousins, uncles? Apparently the

3 family lived all over Ahmici.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Was your family a prominent family in Ahmici? Did it

6 have any role socially speaking, politically speaking,

7 or were these people chosen specially to be persecuted,

8 or was it just among the whole persecution of the

9 Muslims?

10 A. As far as my family is concerned, out of us six

11 children, we were all very good pupils. My brother

12 graduated from the university in Tuzla with greatest

13 honours. He was the best student they had, so that ours

14 was a progressive family. The whole population was well

15 educated and had their own culture and they were all

16 killed.

17 Q. But there was no special reason to address this kind of

18 persecution to your family in particular? It was part

19 of a general policy?

20 A. I think it was also due to my brother Muris's

21 participation in the Territorial Defence, where he was a

22 commander, so somebody who saw my mother and sisters

23 decided to kill them because of Muris, because he was

24 one of the organisers. That may have been a reason, but

25 the fact is that other women and children were killed,

Page 3840

1 so one cannot say that my family was specially

2 targeted. All the families were targeted. In some

3 cases, they did not kill the women and children, in

4 others they did, but the men were all targeted.

5 Q. You just mentioned a few minutes ago, you said that some

6 commanders approved of the killing of women and children

7 and some other commanders did not approve of the killing

8 of women and children. Did they all approve of the

9 killing of unarmed civilians? Was it a general policy

10 to kill unarmed civilians, at least men?

11 A. It is very easy to establish that the men who were

12 killed in Zume that I have listed, they were formally in

13 the BH-Army. They were all people like my brother Muris

14 in civilian clothing, unarmed. They were in the formal

15 sense members of the army, but they were killed as

16 civilians. If they had been soldiers, they would have

17 resisted.

18 Q. They were not killed fighting, they were killed unarmed

19 and not fighting?

20 A. They were unarmed, they were not allowed to have arms in

21 the part where we lived. One may have had arms

22 secretly, but few people had weapons, because if we had

23 had them, we would have put up resistance.

24 Q. You yourself, when you were shot in the head, was it a

25 result of a fight or were you unarmed and it was some

Page 3841

1 kind of execution?

2 A. I was taken out like a dog and I was shot at from a

3 distance of one metre. That is how they behaved.

4 Q. Then at a certain moment, I cannot exactly give the

5 details, you were lying down and there was a tall man

6 and a short man and the tall man asked the other one to

7 kill you, was that right, to shoot you and told him --

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. -- "you have to follow orders", that was your words,

10 "you have to follow orders". Did you understand whose

11 orders it was?

12 A. It was not the orders of the tall man to the shorter

13 one, but they were referring to the orders of their

14 commander, because later on he said, "I will carry out

15 the orders and you will have to account for this".

16 He threatened him, so it was a military order that they

17 were carrying out.

18 Q. Was it an order to, if you understood rightly, to kill

19 you in particular or to kill all men, all Muslim men?

20 A. I was killed in that way, my father, so I do not have

21 the exact report as to how my brother was killed,

22 probably similarly he was taken out of the basement and

23 shot. I think that all the men were killed like that.

24 A house would be surrounded, they would surround the

25 house, order people to come out and just shoot them,

Page 3842

1 because we were in a situation that we had no way out.

2 Q. I believe in the beginning of your testimony you

3 mentioned that you were living in peace with the Croats

4 and that everything started in April, the whole thing

5 started 16th April or around that period. At the same

6 time, you mentioned that the HVO was a power involved in

7 all walks of life. Did you notice that the HVO was

8 making some propaganda against the Muslims, was

9 preparing the Croats psychologically to attack the

10 Muslims?

11 A. Yes, they set up their television and radio in Vitez and

12 they systematically prepared their people for the attack

13 on the Muslims. Because in Central Bosnia, they were

14 not waging war against the Serbs, they took out the army

15 to Kuber, a peak in Mescema above Travnik. The Muslims

16 held the lines towards the Serbs and they were behind

17 the Muslims. They were laying mines in the event the

18 Chetniks, the Serbs would attack. Then the Muslims

19 would come across their mines and they held the lines

20 behind the Muslims. I do not know why they were at

21 Kuber, there were very strong formations there and that

22 was 200 metres from the frontline with the Serbs.

23 Q. 200 metres or kilometres?

24 A. 200 kilometres, I apologise, I am sorry.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

Page 3843

1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad. Judge Shahabuddeen

2 will now also ask you a few questions.

3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Ahmic, you remember the part of your

4 testimony to which you have indeed referred more than

5 once, concerning your hiding in a hollow or in a pipe

6 near the point number 4 by the road side; you remember

7 that evidence?

8 A. Yes, I do.

9 Q. When you were there, you saw two groups of soldiers

10 dressed in different uniforms, I think. Could each of

11 those two groups see the other group?

12 A. I saw three groups, the first group that was coming from

13 the upper end of the road towards the village of Pirici

14 and they land up close to me; then another group in

15 original Ustasha uniforms from the Second World War that

16 they used. Of course, they must have made them later.

17 Those are the two groups, and then from the lower end of

18 the road there were five or six groups consisting of

19 about ten well armed soldiers and they came

20 consecutively.

21 Q. Several groups?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Could each group see the other groups?

24 A. The group coming from the lower end of the road could

25 not see those from the upper end, only if they climbed

Page 3844

1 up on to the road they could see each other. Yes, they

2 could see each other, because they were passing, they

3 climbed up on a slope and then they could see each

4 other.

5 Q. My impression from what you said is that the groups were

6 not fighting each other, is that correct?

7 A. You mean the Croatian groups amongst themselves.

8 Q. You described several groups, I am asking you whether

9 each of those groups was fighting with the other

10 groups. Was there any kind of military confrontation

11 amongst those various groups?

12 A. No, no. One could have heard that. If there was any

13 fire exchanged by them, I would have heard it.

14 Q. Was it your impression that those different groups were

15 co-operating with each other?

16 A. They could have linked up together, there was only ten

17 metres distance between them, so they could approach one

18 another. The only thing is that they did not go under

19 the bridge, they probably joined up above me on top.

20 Q. At various stages in your evidence, you refer to

21 different groups. Was it your impression that those

22 groups, by that I mean military groups, were pursuing a

23 common programme, common aims and common objectives?

24 A. Most probably their aim was to stifle all resistance.

25 These were coming from the south, these others from the

Page 3845

1 west, and their objective was to capture the area around

2 the mosque, probably.

3 Q. Let me ask you a question about -- do forgive me if I do

4 not have the names correctly, but I am referring to two

5 people by the names which I have given them in my

6 notebook of Ivo Papic and Simo Vidovic, two people to

7 whom you called out at one point.

8 A. Papic Ivo and Simo Vidovic.

9 Q. You asked them to save you and they said, "come with

10 us", do you remember that?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Those two people were Croats, or were they Muslims?

13 A. They were Croats, elderly men.

14 Q. In your experience of the situation, did you see or hear

15 of other incidents in which other Croats reached out to

16 help Muslims who were in distress?

17 A. There were such cases, there were.

18 Q. Answer me please one last question. The BH-Army was the

19 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, am I right?

20 A. Yes, the legal formation.

21 Q. The legal formation. Now was that army in existence

22 before the formation of the HVO?

23 A. The HVO was the first to be formed.

24 Q. The HVO was formed before the BH-Army?

25 A. Yes, quite a bit before, maybe one or two years before

Page 3846

1 the army.

2 Q. The BH-Army was formed one or two years before the HVO?

3 A. After.

4 Q. I see. Now the HVO army was formed before the BH-Army,

5 is that correct?

6 A. (Witness nodded).

7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you very much.

8 JUDGE JORDA: I have a clarification I would like to ask.

9 You alluded to changes in the curriculum in the

10 schools. I did not quite understand that, because you

11 spoke about a period which seems rather short to me,

12 short for changing curriculum. Was this something that

13 was done in schools, or were there instructions that

14 came that the curriculum was supposed to be changed.

15 How did things take place in actual fact?

16 A. It was easy for Croats to change the curriculum, because

17 the text books were coming from the Republic of Croatia,

18 and they continued working on the basis of those

19 programmes. They probably had some difficulty in

20 adjusting it all.

21 Q. I suppose it was the contents of the history courses

22 that were changed, is that right?

23 A. Mostly the language, history, and these social sciences,

24 the arts. Of course the natural sciences were more or

25 less similar.

Page 3847

1 Q. At some point, you said that between August 1992 and

2 April 1993, a great deal of military material was

3 collected, specifically in different homes. What is

4 your perception of that? Did you suspect something was

5 happening, did people talk about this, among friends,

6 "did you see it, was it at night", because this was a

7 very significant amount of material, according to what

8 you said?

9 A. I can tell you that I saw with my own eyes ammunition

10 being unloaded. My neighbour, Zoran Papic, had quite a

11 large warehouse near his house, he had a car and he

12 often brought it in. Then once I saw a large military

13 truck from Busovaca, and ammunition was being unloaded

14 to the house of the Kupreskics, Ivica Kupreskic's house,

15 there in the cellar there was a large quantity of

16 ammunition being unloaded. I could not be close by, but

17 one could see. Military ammunition is usually packed in

18 green crates, in green boxes so one could see even from

19 a distance that this was military equipment.

20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Ahmic. This long testimony

21 before the Tribunal is now complete and we are very

22 sensitive to the fact that you came, especially in light

23 of the suffering which you experienced, you and your

24 entire family. The Tribunal will now allow you to

25 return to your home and hopes that if possible, you will

Page 3848

1 find some peace and calm.

2 Registrar, could we have Mr. Ahmic taken out of the

3 room so that he may leave.

4 (The witness withdrew)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, I think it is Mr. Harmon who is

6 getting up.

7 MR. HARMON: Yes, good morning, Mr. President and good

8 morning, your Honours. Our next witness will be Witness

9 G, a protected witness.

10 JUDGE JORDA: G you said, is that right? Yes, G. Before

11 the witness comes in, I suppose that the curtains should

12 be drawn.

13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct.

14 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to say for the public who is

15 watching that the following witness will be called

16 Witness G We will lower the curtains, which will allow

17 the witness to come in from that side, and once seated,

18 the person can be hidden, after which the curtains will

19 be raised again. (Pause).

20 (Witness entered court)

21 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated, Witness G You are going to

22 read the declaration, which will be given to you.

23 Please go ahead. You may remain seated. Witness G,

24 please read the declaration.

25 WITNESS G (sworn)

Page 3849

1 JUDGE JORDA: Witness G, as part of this trial before the

2 Tribunal, against Colonel Blaskic who is here, you have

3 been called to testify. You may speak without hatred,

4 without fear, without any concern. You are under the

5 protection of the Tribunal, special protective measures

6 have been provided for you here and outside the walls of

7 the Tribunal.

8 Mr. Prosecutor? To ensure your complete

9 identification, the Registrar will show your identity on

10 a piece of paper and this way the Tribunal will be sure

11 that in fact you are the correct person. Is that all

12 right? Fine. Since the Tribunal does not know your

13 name, it is better that way. Unfortunately, we will

14 refer to you as Witness G, but this is for your safety.

15 Please try to relax and you will first answer questions

16 asked by the Prosecutor. You know that this is a

17 Tribunal and then the Defence attorneys will ask you

18 questions as well. It is now 12.15.

19 Mr. Harmon, about how much time have you planned

20 for your examination?

21 MR. HARMON: Not more than two hours, your Honour. Probably

22 less.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. The Tribunal asks that you get to

24 the essentials so that the amount of time spent by the

25 Tribunal here is not overly long. Proceed, please.

Page 3850

1 Examined by MR. HARMON

2 Q. Good morning, Witness G

3 A. Good morning.

4 Q. Let me ask you some background questions first. Are you

5 a Muslim?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. How old are you?

8 A. 26.

9 Q. Where were you born?

10 A. In Ahmici, in the municipality of Vitez.

11 Q. In the Zume section of Ahmici?

12 A. Yes, yes.

13 Q. Have you lived in Ahmici all your life?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you tell the judges about your educational

16 background?

17 A. Yes, I can. I completed the elementary school and then

18 the secondary school for machinery and then I studied in

19 Zenica for two years.

20 MR. HARMON: If I could have the assistance of the usher,

21 Mr. President, in placing Prosecutor's Exhibit 119A on

22 the ELMO and distributing to counsel. Mr. President and

23 counsel, 119A is an enlargement of a portion of Exhibit

24 50, with various locations marked on it, and 119B is a

25 legend associated with the numbers that are found on

Page 3851

1 119A.

2 Mr. Usher, if that could be moved to the left?

3 That is fine, thank you, for right now. Let me ask you

4 first of all -- have you had an opportunity to indicate

5 to me certain locations that will be relevant to your

6 testimony this morning?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Have you had an opportunity to see Prosecutor's Exhibit

9 119A before coming into court, and are the locations

10 that you indicated to me marked on this particular

11 exhibit?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. In respect of Prosecutor's Exhibit 119B, which you do

14 not have before you, but which is a legend, did you

15 assist me in the preparation of that legend?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now if I could, Witness G, if I could ask you first of

18 all to focus your attention on 15th April 1993, the day

19 before the attack. Where were you living? Can you

20 point the court on the Exhibit 119A to the location of

21 your house.

22 A. (Indicates).

23 Q. Are you pointing to a burnt-out structure that is marked

24 with number 1 with an arrow pointing to your house?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3852

1 Q. How far away was your house from the main road that went

2 from Vitez into Busovaca?

3 A. About 100 metres perhaps.

4 Q. On 15th April, were you at home?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Who normally lived with you at that particular house?

7 A. I lived with my mother, my father and my sister.

8 Q. On 15th April, did you see anything unusual while you

9 were at home?

10 A. Yes, I could notice that along the main road an

11 increased number of the HVO vans with clearly marked

12 signs of the HVO.

13 Q. Where were they going, what direction?

14 A. They were going in both directions, both towards Vitez

15 and Busovaca. They were simply moving along.

16 Q. What was unusual about those vans?

17 A. There were many people in there and they were all in

18 uniforms, they were not civilians, so that was a little

19 unusual to me.

20 Q. Were there more men in uniforms than usual in those vans

21 than you had seen on previous days?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. On 15th April, did you also see a gun that you would

24 normally see in the possession of Nenad Santic?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3853

1 Q. Where did you see that gun?

2 A. Also on this same road. It passed several times up and

3 down the road, and it used to be positioned in front of

4 Nenad Santic's house.

5 Q. Can you describe that gun to the judges?

6 A. It was a small sized truck and there was a long barrel,

7 and in front it had a sort of shield.

8 Q. Did the truck have any identifying marks on it?

9 A. Yes, the HVO sign was clearly marked. It was a normal

10 thing that on all these vehicles in white lettering

11 there would be the HVO sign written.

12 Q. Now again if I could have the assistance of the usher in

13 putting on the ELMO an exhibit that has been previously

14 introduced, it is Exhibit 82/2. Does that gun that

15 appears in Prosecutor's Exhibit 82/2 appear to be

16 generally similar to the type of gun you were

17 describing?

18 A. Yes, it is similar. The truck was smaller, but the

19 barrel is about as long, but the truck was smaller.

20 That is how it was also camouflaged a little bit.

21 Q. Again with the assistance of the usher, if we could

22 replace 119A on the ELMO, I will turn your attention in

23 the meantime, Witness G, to the morning of 16th April

24 1993. Were you at home on 16th April?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3854

1 Q. Who was with you at your home on that day?

2 A. On that day, I was home with my mother, we were alone,

3 the two of us in the house.

4 Q. Can you describe to the judges of the Trial Chamber what

5 occurred on the morning of 16th April at your home?

6 A. Yes, I can. Early in the morning, I was awakened by

7 explosions and sounds of shooting. I got up and I was

8 in a panic, I did not know what was going on. After a

9 short period upstairs where we were in the living room,

10 through the window came a bullet, an inflammable bullet

11 and it fell on the sofa. I somehow brought some water

12 and put out that fire. Then I felt lost and I did not

13 know where to go. The shooting could be heard

14 everywhere. I picked up the phone to call my cousin and

15 ask her where I should go and what I should do, however

16 the lines were not working. Then I told my mother that

17 we were not safe here and this part of the house was

18 going to burn, so we should go downstairs.

19 We started downstairs and no sooner we came out in

20 front of the house, I saw that the house was surrendered

21 from the lower end, the lower end from the main road.

22 There were three people in uniform, from above there

23 were two, they were painted in black, and they pushed us

24 into a room in the lower part of the house. Then they

25 started cursing and asking where the men were, they

Page 3855

1 insulted us, they cursed our balija mothers. They

2 forced me to go and call the first door neighbours and

3 asked, "is there anybody there, are there any men there,

4 go and get them".

5 Q. Excuse me, Witness G, let me interrupt you and ask you

6 some additional questions. You said the five men who

7 were surrounding your house were dressed in uniforms.

8 Did you see any identifying marks or patches on those

9 men?

10 A. Yes. I saw that clearly. As they were pushing us into

11 the room, because they too entered the room, the

12 insignia were the Jokers, the Vitezovi and the HVO, that

13 is what they had on their jackets.

14 Q. If I could have the usher assist in placing two exhibits

15 on the ELMO, one would be 100/2 and one would be 113/3

16 bis. Starting first by showing you what is Exhibit

17 113/3 bis, can you identify what appears in that exhibit

18 and explain to the judges your observations and comments

19 about it?

20 A. It is a patch that was worn by these uniformed men when

21 they came to my house, when they took us to that room.

22 Q. Now if I could have you shown 100/2, ask you if you can

23 identify the next exhibit that appears on the ELMO. Can

24 you identify that? Please make your comment to the

25 judges about that.

Page 3856

1 A. They also wore this patch, there were five. I know that

2 they all had different patches, they were either HVO,

3 Vitezovi or Jokers, because it was very clear on their

4 jackets.

5 Q. On the morning of 16th April 1993, did you have any

6 weapons in your house?

7 A. No, we did not.

8 Q. Okay, now you said that these five men essentially took

9 you to some location and ultimately asked you to summon

10 your neighbours. Did it appear to you, Witness G, that

11 these five men with different arm patches were working

12 together?

13 A. Yes, because the three of them were from the lower side

14 of the house and the two from the upper and then they

15 got together and they together pushed us into the room

16 and all five of them entered the room and one of them

17 was ordering me to go and get the neighbours and ask him

18 whether there were any men among them and the other one

19 pulled out from his jacket, from a pocket, a

20 walkie-talkie, and he said everything was going

21 according to plan.

22 Q. Let me ask you, Witness G, about the walkie-talkie that

23 one of the men had. Did it appear to you he was

24 communicating with someone?

25 A. Yes, I heard him clearly saying that everything was

Page 3857

1 going according to a plan.

2 Q. At some point, did your mother ask essentially if she

3 could remain in her house?

4 A. Yes, they were forcing us to come out. One of the

5 soldiers said, "go out, see what Alija is doing to you,

6 but we are good anyway. See what your people are doing

7 to ours in Zenica", and they were forcing me out without

8 my shoes on, and in the group of five, I recognised my

9 schoolfriend Anto Furundzija. I pleaded with him that

10 I could put on my shoes. He was just silent. I said,

11 "Anto, can I put on my shoes?" He did not say

12 anything. When they drove us out, my mother asked for

13 us not to stay there, but one -- she wanted to stay

14 there, but he shot us, the ground in front of her with a

15 spray of bullets and he said, "you must go". In the

16 meantime --

17 Q. Witness G, let me interrupt you for just a moment and

18 ask that Exhibit 119A be placed back on the ELMO,

19 because I wanted to ask you about the neighbours that

20 were summoned to your house.

21 Witness G, you said that some of the soldiers

22 asked that your neighbours be called over and be brought

23 to your house, is that correct?

24 A. Yes, but I did not go to call the Djidics, but one of

25 the soldiers was in front of the house and called Ismail

Page 3858

1 and saw Ismail Ahmic and his son Mujo and their

2 families, women and children, and then he called them

3 in, into my house.

4 Q. Do you see the home of Ismail and Mujo Ahmic on

5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 119A and can you tell what number

6 that is on the exhibit?

7 A. It is number 3.

8 Q. On the morning of April 16th 1993, how were Ismail and

9 Mujo Ahmic dressed when you saw them?

10 A. They were in civilian clothes.

11 Q. Were they armed or were they unarmed?

12 A. No, they were unarmed in civilian clothes. They were

13 not in uniform at all. Ismail was an older man, in his

14 60s, Mujo was younger, but he was not wearing uniform

15 and they did not have any weapons.

16 Q. After Ismail and Mujo Ahmic were brought to your house,

17 what happened to you and the others?

18 A. They stayed there, Ismail and Mujo stayed there at my

19 house, whereas we women were forced to go, so we reached

20 the main road. I turned around to look to see what was

21 happening, when I reached the main road. I turned

22 around to see what was happening in front of my house,

23 and I saw one of the soldiers pouring from a jerry-can,

24 whether it was fuel or petrol, it was some kind of a

25 fuel from a red jerry-can, around the house, and there

Page 3859

1 was a flame already at the other end of the house, it

2 was already burning.

3 I turned around in another direction, I saw houses

4 on fire, everywhere around houses were burning, one

5 could smell the smoke, the smell of explosive was also

6 evident and I saw Asim Ahmic's house burning, Nazif

7 Ahmic's and Ramiz Ahmic's houses also on fire.

8 Q. Let me ask you some questions in respect of what you

9 just testified. When you had an opportunity to observe

10 the soldier pouring some kind of inflammable liquid on

11 your house, were you standing at the location indicated

12 on 119A which is numbered 4?

13 A. Yes, I was.

14 Q. Can you point on Prosecutor's 119A the locations of the

15 homes that you just said you saw on fire?

16 A. These are houses number 5, 6 and 7.

17 Q. Does number 5 belong to Asim Ahmic?

18 A. Asim Ahmic, yes, number 6 belongs to Nazif Ahmic and

19 number 7 to Ramiz Ahmic.

20 Q. With the assistance of the usher, Mr. President, I would

21 like to have put on the ELMO Prosecutor's Exhibit 120A.

22 120A is also accompanied by a legend which is 120B.

23 Witness G, Prosecutor's Exhibit 120A appears before you

24 on the ELMO. If we could have a little bit further view

25 of it so that the letter C indicated on the right side

Page 3860

1 is clearly evident -- could you come up just a little

2 bit more on that? That will be fine, thank you.

3 Witness G, can you tell the judges what is in

4 Prosecutor's Exhibit 120A, please, starting with the

5 letter A, then to letter B and letter C.

6 A. This is my house.

7 Q. Indicated by the letter A?

8 A. The letter A, yes.

9 Q. This is the house that was burned in front of you on

10 16th April 1993, is that correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. There appears to be a burned house beneath the arrow

13 below the letter B. Whose house is that?

14 A. That is Sefik Pezer's house.

15 Q. Was Sefik Pezer a Muslim?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Turning to the letter C on Prosecutor's Exhibit 120A,

18 there appears to be a burnt-out house indicated by that

19 arrow. Whose house is that?

20 A. It is Nedzad Djidic's house.

21 Q. Was Nedzad Djidic a Muslim as well?

22 A. Yes, he was.

23 Q. Thank you. Now let me return back to your testimony.

24 You said that Ismail and Mujo Ahmic were separated from

25 you and the women, the women were forced to go in one

Page 3861

1 direction. When you last saw Ismail and Mujo Ahmic,

2 were they in the custody of the soldiers who had come to

3 your house? Were they alive, were they well and were

4 they in their custody?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you know what happened to Ismail and Mujo Ahmic?

7 A. They stayed there with this group of five. However,

8 they never came back. I never saw them again. They

9 were killed.

10 Q. In your flight from your house to another location, you

11 said you saw a lot of houses on fire, a lot of smoke.

12 Did you see any Croat houses on fire?

13 A. No.

14 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, I hate to have you keep getting up and

15 down, but could you please put 119A on the ELMO once

16 again.

17 Witness G, where did you and the other women and

18 children go after you left your house?

19 A. We went towards the main road in the direction -- for a

20 while along the main road and then we turned off a side

21 road heading towards Pirici. Our intention was --

22 actually we did not know where we were going. We had no

23 particular destination. We did not know where we were

24 going, so as we were going, we came across Mejra's

25 house, it was not burned down and she called us in,

Page 3862

1 because there was shooting, and she said that we should

2 stay and then we would see what we would do, so we

3 stayed there on Friday until the afternoon, all that

4 day. It was tense, we were expecting them to come any

5 moment to throw us out, to set the house on fire. From

6 time to time we would look through the window to see

7 what was happening outside. We saw groups passing by,

8 groups of soldiers in black uniform, they were going in

9 the direction of Pirici.

10 Q. Referring to Prosecutor's Exhibit 119A, what number

11 indicates the location of Mejra's house?

12 A. I cannot see it on the monitor. It is number 12.

13 Q. Was Mejra a Muslim?

14 A. Yes, she was.

15 Q. How long did you remain at Mejra's house before you went

16 to another location?

17 A. We stayed in Mejra's house on Friday 16th until the

18 evening, and then early in the evening her neighbour

19 came, Mejra's neighbour, called Vidovic, known as

20 Karlovca, and she said that we were not safe there, that

21 it would be a good idea to cross into her daughter's

22 house. So we went with her to that house, her

23 daughter's house.

24 Q. Is that house indicated on Exhibit 119A as number 13?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3863

1 Q. Was this woman named Vidovic a Croat?

2 A. Yes, she was.

3 Q. So you then spent the night at that particular house,

4 Vidovic's daughter's house, is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. While you were at that house, did your mother ask to

7 leave and return to her house and did she do so?

8 A. Yes, my mother did not believe that the house had been

9 burnt down, and she said, "I must go and see what

10 happened. I must go back. I will not go anywhere", and

11 she left. She reached the house and very soon after

12 that she came back. She was shivering and she was lost

13 and I asked her, "what happened, what happened?". Then

14 she started telling us that the house had been burnt

15 down, that she had seen next to the house Muhamed

16 Neslanovic lying dead. Then she also saw Mustafa Pezer

17 and Ibrahim and his corpse, then she had seen Sefik

18 Pezer's body.

19 Q. Did she say where she had seen those corpses?

20 A. Yes, she did. She saw them close to our house, actually

21 on the road. She saw Muhamed Neslanovic in front of my

22 house, in the direction of the Djidic's house. She had

23 seen Pezer and Ibrahim right next to our house and Sefik

24 Pezer was in front of his own house in the yard.

25 Q. Is the house of Sefik Pezer indicated by the number 2 on

Page 3864

1 Prosecutor's Exhibit 119A?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Is the house of Ibrahim, is it marked on this exhibit?

4 If it is not, can you just generally tell us the

5 location of it?

6 A. It is not marked. (Indicates).

7 Q. You have placed a pointer on the burned-out house above

8 the number 2, is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you tell me what happened the next morning,

11 17th April 1993?

12 A. On 17th April, another Croatian woman, I do not know her

13 name, came and said to Vidovic that we could not stay

14 there, that we all had to go to a store where we would

15 all congregate and then they would see what they would

16 do to us, whether they would escort us to Zenica; in any

17 event that we all had to gather together, all of us who

18 had survived, in this store. So we headed towards the

19 house where a shop used to be, and as we passed by

20 Mejra's house, it was burnt down, which means that

21 during the night of the 16th, that house was burnt down

22 as well.

23 When we reached the shop there were mostly women

24 there, and each of the women had her own story, each one

25 of them had experienced something awful. Each one of

Page 3865

1 them recounted what had happened in her family, whom she

2 had lost, what had happened. There were few men there,

3 maybe four or five males in all, and as soon as we

4 entered the store, the building, shortly afterwards a

5 group of soldiers entered. I just saw that they were in

6 black uniform, I turned away because I was afraid.

7 They were looking for men in the room, and they

8 got Hasim Ahmic, he was an older man, and his wife

9 Fatima begged, "do not take him away, he is old, he is

10 sick, he suffers from kidneys", and they said, "shut up,

11 we will kill you all", so she fell silent. Then they

12 picked up Munib Heleg, Zenur Ramic and his brother Amir,

13 and they took them outside, outside of that room. They

14 also never came back, I never saw them again.

15 Q. Let me ask you some questions. The location where you

16 spent that particular night and where these four men

17 were taken outside, is that indicated on Prosecutor's

18 Exhibit 119A as number 14?

19 A. Yes, it is.

20 Q. Were all of the people who were in the basement of the

21 house indicated as number 14, were they all Muslims?

22 A. Yes, they were all Muslims, except for one elderly man,

23 Papic, known as Baric. He was actually looking after

24 us, he acted as some sort of a guard, so he spent the

25 night with us all that night. He was not in uniform,

Page 3866

1 but he did have a rifle.

2 Q. Approximately how old was one of the four men you

3 mentioned, Munib Heleg?

4 A. About 50, 40 to 50.

5 Q. How old was Hasim Ahmic?

6 A. He was older, he was in his 60s. He seemed very frail.

7 Q. Let me direct you quickly through a number of locations

8 that are indicated on this Exhibit 119A, first of all

9 directing your attention to the number 8. Can you see

10 that on the video screen?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Was that the house of Hasim Ahmic?

13 A. It was.

14 Q. Directing your attention to number 10 on the screen, can

15 you see that?

16 A. Yes, I can.

17 Q. Whose house was number 10?

18 A. It was the house of the Ramic brothers, Zenur and Amir.

19 Q. Lastly directing your attention to number 11, can you

20 tell the judges whose house that was?

21 A. It is Munib Heleg's house.

22 Q. Those destroyed houses that appear on Prosecutor's

23 Exhibit 119 were the houses that belong to the four

24 Muslim men that were taken out on 17th April 1993 that

25 you have never seen again alive, is that correct?

Page 3867

1 A. Yes, is that correct. Those are their houses and I have

2 never seen them since.

3 Q. Turning your attention to 18th April 1993, can you tell

4 the court what happened?

5 A. On the 18th in the morning -- we stayed in that shop

6 during the night, it was a very small room, there were

7 many of us, there was nothing, no decent conditions. We

8 were sitting on the tiles, there was nothing in there,

9 and on the 18th in the morning, Nikica Plavcic came, and

10 we asked him, could we go towards Pirici because we

11 could not stay there, that he should let us go, and he

12 said, "you cannot go anywhere because a group of Croats,

13 the HVO have gone to Pirici. They will kill everyone

14 there". So then we asked, "what is going to happen to

15 us?". He said, "I do not know, we will see". After a

16 short while, he came back again and he said that they

17 would take us to the Dubravica elementary school and on

18 the 18th in the morning, we moved from that shop to the

19 Dubravica elementary school. It was a large group of

20 mostly women and children.

21 Q. You arrived at the Dubravica school on the morning of

22 18th April 1993?

23 A. Around noon, because it took us about half an hour to

24 reach the school from the shop. In any event, it was in

25 the morning, before noon.

Page 3868

1 Q. Did you remain at the Dubravica school until 1st May

2 1993?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. When you arrived at the school, were the few men who

5 were with your group separated from the women?

6 A. When we arrived at the school they immediately said that

7 some of the younger women with children should go to two

8 class rooms where it would be a little more comfortable

9 for them, whereas the rest should go to the gym of the

10 school. When we went in, there were some men there, men

11 from the surroundings of the school, from Novaci. There

12 was nothing inside, it was a gymnasium, so you can

13 imagine what it looks like. Afterwards, they brought us

14 some foam mattresses so that we could stay there.

15 I stayed there for 12 days. That was hell for

16 me. I was terrified. I never knew what would happen to

17 us, whether they would take us out. Each time I heard

18 somebody coming in, my mother would conceal me, because

19 she was afraid that they would take me out.

20 Q. Were women taken out from your quarters where you and

21 your mother were staying?

22 A. No, they did not take them out, but they would take the

23 men every day to dig trenches, every day. These were

24 mostly groups of five, eight or ten, it depended on the

25 needs.

Page 3869

1 Q. On 1st May you were released from the school, and let me

2 ask you some questions about your release. Were you

3 given a choice as to whether you could return back to

4 the Vitez municipality, or were you given no choice and

5 told to select one of two other locations?

6 A. We were not given the choice of staying in Vitez. We

7 were told that we could choose either Travnik or

8 Zenica. We could go to either of those two towns,

9 Travnik or Zenica.

10 Q. Who told you that?

11 A. By the Croats who were there in the school, whether it

12 was the commander of the school or what he was I do not

13 know, but in any event, he was a member of the HVO.

14 They took down our names almost daily, some people were

15 saying that they would exchange us; in any event I do

16 not know which one of them it was, but they said that we

17 could either go to Zenica or to Travnik.

18 Q. You have referred to in the course of your testimony a

19 number of people who you heard were killed. Let me ask

20 with the usher's assistance if he could place some

21 photographs on the ELMO.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps, Mr. Harmon, the witness must be tired,

23 it is almost 1.00. Perhaps we could stop here and

24 resume at 2.40. The hearing is suspended.

25 (1.00 pm)

Page 3870

1 (Adjourned until 2.40 pm)

2

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4

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7

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10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

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24

25

Page 3871

1 (2.40 pm)

2 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Registrar,

3 have the accused brought in, please.

4 (Accused brought in)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Witness G, do you hear me? Have you rested a

6 bit? Did you have a nice lunch?

7 A. Yes.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Harmon, you may continue with

9 your examination.

10 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President, your Honours and

11 counsel, thank you very much.

12 Witness G, let me ask you first of all, you

13 mentioned earlier in your testimony that you lived with

14 your father, your mother and your two sisters in Ahmici

15 and you lived there all your life, is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Was your father a member of the Territorial Defence or

18 the TO?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Was your father a member of the army of

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

22 A. No.

23 Q. You also testified that you were detained at the

24 Dubravica school from 18th April 1993 until 1st May

25 1993. Were other survivors from Ahmici also detained at

Page 3872

1 the Dubravica school?

2 A. Yes, there were about -- there were a lot of women and

3 children, maybe even up to 100.

4 Q. Okay, thank you very much. Now, with the assistance of

5 the usher, if I could have a series of exhibits shown to

6 Witness G, I would like to start with 110/3, and

7 Prosecutor's new exhibit -- we will start with 110/3.

8 Focusing on the picture that is a little bit off to the

9 right, please? The other direction, please, Mr. Usher,

10 the man with the moustache.

11 You mentioned, Witness G, that two neighbours of

12 yours were brought to your house on the 16th. One of

13 them was a man by the name of Ismail Ahmic. Do you see

14 the picture in front of you on the screen?

15 A. Yes, that is the man.

16 Q. Approximately how old was he on 16th April?

17 A. Around 60.

18 Q. If we could now turn to Prosecutor's new Exhibit 121, if

19 that could be distributed to the judges and to counsel,

20 and then another photograph from that exhibit placed on

21 the ELMO. Mr. Usher, if you could just remove the first

22 photograph from that and lay that on the ELMO. The

23 usher has placed a picture of an individual on the ELMO,

24 do you recognise who that individual was?

25 A. This is Ismail Ahmic's son, Mujo. That is Mujo Ahmic.

Page 3873

1 Q. So he was the second man who was brought to your house

2 and who you again never saw alive?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Mr. Usher, again with your assistance if I could have

5 108/1 and 108/2 placed on the ELMO? Witness G, your

6 mother when she returned back to the house where you had

7 taken refuge, she indicated to you that she had seen

8 three men dead. One of them was a man by the name of

9 Sefik Pezer and I am putting in front of you now

10 Prosecutor's Exhibit 108/1. There are two individuals

11 on that screen. Can you identify which of those

12 individuals is Sefik Pezer?

13 A. This is Sefik Pezer (indicates).

14 Q. Pointing to the individual depicted on the left side of

15 that exhibit. Now if we could turn to Prosecutor's

16 Exhibit 108/2, if that could be placed on the ELMO,

17 Witness G, the man who appears in that picture on the

18 right-hand side, can you identify him?

19 A. That is Ibrahim Pezer, called Mustafa.

20 Q. He is one of the men your mother identified she had seen

21 dead?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now Mr. Usher, if we could move to Prosecutor's Exhibit

24 110/4? In this next series of photographs, I am going

25 to show you photographs of four men and ask you if you

Page 3874

1 can identify them as being of the four people who were

2 taken out of the shop and never seen again alive. Let

3 me start with Prosecutor's Exhibit 110/4, a picture of a

4 woman, a child and a man. Do you recognise who that man

5 is?

6 A. Yes, this is Hasim Ahmic, who was also taken away from

7 the shop and never came back.

8 Q. Is that his wife Fatima in that picture as well?

9 A. Yes, Fatima.

10 Q. This is the man who you testified was sick and had some

11 sort of medical problems that his wife explained to the

12 soldiers who came to take him away, is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. All right. Now if we could turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit

15 110/5, in that exhibit there appear to be two men, one

16 is holding a baby. Can you identify who that man is?

17 A. The one holding the baby is Zenur Ramic. He was taken

18 away from the shop and never came back.

19 Q. On the right side of that exhibit there is a smaller

20 image --

21 A. That is his brother.

22 Q. What is his name?

23 A. This is his brother, Amir Ramic.

24 Q. Is he one of the men who also was taken away from the

25 shop?

Page 3875

1 A. Yes, he too was taken away from the shop.

2 Q. Lastly, Mr. Usher, if I could turn to the second

3 photograph in Prosecutor's Exhibit 121 and have that

4 placed on the ELMO -- it should be the other photograph,

5 Mr. Usher -- Witness G, do you recognise who that

6 individual is?

7 A. I recognise him. That is Munib Heleg, who was also

8 taken away from the shop.

9 Q. Approximately how old was he when he was taken away from

10 the shop?

11 A. He was around 50 at the time.

12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have concluded my examination.

13 I would now like to ask that certain exhibits that the

14 Prosecutor has shown this witness be admitted into

15 evidence. Let me start by identifying those exhibits.

16 The first exhibit would be the aerial image and the

17 legend marked Prosecutor's Exhibit 119A and 119B.

18 I would move to introduce those into evidence. I would

19 then move into evidence, your Honour, a photograph of a

20 house that has been identified in Prosecutor's Exhibit

21 120A and the accompanying legend which is 120B.

22 Thirdly, Mr. President, I would move into evidence

23 Prosecutor's Exhibit 121, which consists of two

24 photographs that have been identified by Witness G.

25 Mr. President, I have concluded my examination.

Page 3876

1 Thank you very much, Witness G Now it is the

2 opportunity of the Defence to ask you some questions.

3 Thank you very much.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon, for trying to be brief,

5 even if that were only an order to be helpful to the

6 witness. I now turn to Witness G, she must understand

7 that the accused is presumed to be innocent, he has been

8 accused of serious crimes, he must be defended and for

9 that reason, his attorneys, in this case Mr. Nobilo, will

10 ask you some questions. Please answer without fear,

11 simply as things come to your mind and have no fear

12 whatsoever. Mr. Nobilo.

13 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

14 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

15 Witness G, as you have heard I am Anto Nobilo and

16 I am Defence counsel for Mr. Blaskic, together with

17 Mr. Hayman. On 16th, 17th or 18th April 1992, in all

18 these events, have you ever heard anyone mention

19 General Blaskic's name?

20 A. I did not have an opportunity or time to think about

21 whether anybody mentioned his name.

22 Q. Have you ever seen General Blaskic personally?

23 A. Only through the media.

24 Q. That is the only way?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3877

1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have completed my

2 cross-examination.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. The Tribunal has really had its

4 wishes granted since this morning. I now turn to the

5 Prosecutor, do you have any additional questions you

6 would like to ask?

7 MR. HARMON: I do not, Mr. President. Thank you.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I turn to my colleagues.

9 Judge Riad?

10 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, I will call you Witness G,

11 because we should not say your name. In your testimony,

12 you told us that you were planning to go to Pirici, but

13 you were told that the HVO was there and the HVO kills

14 everyone. Who brought this news? How did this news

15 come to you?

16 A. This news came to me through Nikica Plavcic. He told us

17 this, that we could not go up there, because the

18 Croatian army went up there and they would kill them

19 all. I do not know whether that meant that we would be

20 killed too, that I do not know.

21 Q. So the rumour was that all people in Pirici were being

22 killed; that was the rumour which reached you?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Some people disappeared, were taken from the shop, you

25 mentioned with Asim Ahmic, Zenur Ramic and Amir Ramic,

Page 3878

1 I think. Was there any news from them that they had

2 been killed?

3 A. Yes, I heard that they were killed.

4 Q. Then when you went to the school in Dubravica, you said

5 that they took men outside, they took men to dig

6 trenches.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you know where these trenches were and what happened

9 to these men?

10 A. (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted), they

16 were from the village of Rijeka, and so I did not know

17 them well personally, but we knew that one of this group

18 did not come back.

19 Q. In that school in Dubravica, did they separate the men

20 from the women? How were the women treated?

21 A. In the part where we were, these were elderly women,

22 older women and that was only in one part of this school

23 gym, because when we first arrived, they separated out

24 the younger women and children, and they took them to

25 two separate class rooms, so that they would be more

Page 3879

1 comfortable there, I do not know why, but the other

2 part, the older women, they were taken to this sports

3 hall, the gym where the men were as well and I was among

4 them, so I was in the gym in the school building.

5 Q. How were you treated?

6 A. You mean me personally or in general?

7 Q. In general and, if you want, you personally?

8 A. For two days we had nothing to eat. They did not take

9 out any women, but there was fear. There were some acts

10 of provocation when some of the drunken Croat soldiers

11 would come in, they would be drunk and they would curse,

12 but we were not specially targeted, we women. Maybe

13 because they were aware that we have suffered a great

14 tragedy.

15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

16 JUDGE JORDA: Witness G, your testimony is now complete, the

17 Tribunal is conscious of the fact that you have

18 experienced many difficulties, and that it is not easy

19 to come this far but you did. We are grateful to you

20 for having done so. You have now completed your

21 testimony, you can now return home according to a

22 process which will allow us to continue protecting you

23 as we have done up to this point.

24 I turn to the Registrar, perhaps the blinds should

25 be drawn.

Page 3880

1 Witness G, for the time being please do not move

2 until we tell you when you should get up.

3 (The witness withdrew)

4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, we could now raise the blinds,

5 unless the following witness is to be protected in the

6 same way. Mr. Cayley?

7 MR. CAYLEY: No, Mr. President, the next witness is not

8 required to be protected.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Then we will return to a public hearing

10 as soon as the usher has helped you to take down the

11 screens. While we are waiting, Mr. Cayley, what is the

12 name of the next witness?

13 MR. CAYLEY: The name of the next witness, Mr. President, is

14 Ms. Nura Pezer.

15 JUDGE JORDA: Has somebody gone to get the witness?

16 (Witness entered court)

17 JUDGE JORDA: The witness should remain standing. Do you

18 hear me, ma'am?

19 THE WITNESS: I do.

20 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please tell me your name and your

21 first name, only your last name and your first.

22 THE WITNESS: My name is Nura Pezer.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Nura Pezer, please remain standing for a

24 moment to read the solemn declaration which you are

25 asked to read. You have the text in front of you.

Page 3881

1 Would you read it, please?

2 MS. NURA PEZER (sworn)

3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. You have agreed to testify

4 as part of the accusations which have been brought

5 against the accused, Colonel Blaskic, who is present in

6 this courtroom. You have agreed to testify at the

7 request of the Prosecution. The Prosecutor will, as he

8 must have told you, will ask you all the questions which

9 he considers useful, and then, of course,

10 General Blaskic's attorneys will ask you questions and

11 the judges may also ask you questions. Please try to

12 relax, you are in a Tribunal with judges who are here to

13 listen to you in order to get to the truth. Be calm,

14 you are safe and you are running no risks.

15 Now, Mr. Cayley, you may begin to ask Ms. Pezer

16 some questions.

17 Examined by MR. CAYLEY

18 Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Pezer.

19 A. Good afternoon.

20 Q. Can I just repeat what the President has said, please

21 relax as best you can in this environment. I am going

22 to ask you some questions, you just simply need to

23 answer very slowly and I will ask you the questions very

24 slowly and we will get through as quickly as we can.

25 Ms. Pezer, what year were you born?

Page 3882

1 A. I was born in 1948, on 5th September in the village of

2 Bukva near Vitez.

3 Q. I think you are of Bosniak nationality, is that correct?

4 A. Yes, it is.

5 Q. You are of the Muslim faith?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Before April 1993, whereabouts did you live?

8 A. I lived in Ahmici.

9 Q. With whom did you live in Ahmici?

10 A. I lived with my family, my husband and son and two

11 daughters and my daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

12 Q. Could you name your family for the court?

13 A. I can. My husband's name was Sefik Pezer, he was born

14 on 21st January 1941. Then I had a son, Ahmed Pezer,

15 born on 14th November 1966. Then there was my daughter

16 Alma Pezer, born in 1973 on 11th February. Another

17 daughter, Taiba, born on 6th December 1978. My

18 daughter-in-law, Razija, born on 13th June 1969, and my

19 granddaughter, Dzenana, born in 1991 on 15th June. That

20 is my family.

21 Q. Thank you. Ms. Pezer, what was life like in Ahmici

22 before the war?

23 A. Before the war, life was good. We led a normal life,

24 nobody hurt anybody. We would invite each other to

25 celebrations, when they were celebrating Christmas or

Page 3883

1 Easter, we would invite them for Bajram. There were no

2 problems at all, until the attack on the village of

3 Ahmici on 20th October 1992.

4 Q. Sefik and Ahmed, your late husband Sefik and your son

5 Ahmed, were they in the Territorial Defence in the

6 village?

7 A. Yes, they were in the Territorial Defence. I really do

8 not know anything about that.

9 Q. Thank you, Ms. Pezer. On 15th April, I believe that you

10 and your husband went to see his cousin Suljeman in

11 Krcevine, is that right?

12 A. Yes, it is.

13 Q. What did he tell you about his son Amir?

14 A. He told us -- my husband went in and said that we should

15 go to see Suljeman, that his son had been captured on

16 the way to work in Novi Travnik. They stopped the bus

17 and they separated the Muslims and took them away.

18 Q. When you refer to "they", who do you mean?

19 A. The Croats.

20 Q. When you were at Suljeman's house, did you have occasion

21 to watch television?

22 A. We did. We were sitting there at Suljeman's and the

23 afternoon news programme started. On the screen, we saw

24 Dario Kordic and Tihomir Blaskic. Dario Kordic said,

25 "my Bojovnici", or soldiers, "are ready, they are

Page 3884

1 awaiting orders". My late husband Sefik put his hands

2 to his head, saying, "a war could break out".

3 Q. I think you returned home from Krcevine to Ahmici --

4 I am sorry, to Zume, and I think you went to the house

5 of your husband's niece, Nadira, is that right?

6 A. Yes, it is.

7 Q. What did Nadira say to your husband?

8 A. We were going home in the direction of Zume, and we came

9 across Nadira Ahmic, she too is deceased, and she said

10 to Sefik that Ivica Vidovic, known as Jevdjo, was taking

11 a man around, showing him the Muslim houses and the

12 Croat houses, because they thought that Croatian houses

13 had two sided roofs and the Muslim four sided roofs.

14 However, since some Muslims started building homes also

15 with two sided roofs.

16 Q. So just by looking at the roof of a house, it is

17 actually sometimes difficult to tell whether a Croat or

18 a Muslim family live there?

19 A. Yes, it was difficult for them, because they believed

20 that our houses had four sided and their houses had two

21 sided roofs, and that is how they knew the difference.

22 Q. Did you see this stranger yourself being shown all of

23 the Muslim houses in the village?

24 A. No, I did not see him, but the late Nadira saw him, and

25 I also saw Jevdjo, he was about 50 or 100 metres away,

Page 3885

1 and this man, an unknown man, was with him.

2 Q. I think that evening your late husband, your late son

3 and your daughter-in-law went to the house of Karic

4 Ibro, is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I think that Ahmed and Razija left his house at about

7 9.00 that evening, is that right?

8 A. Yes, it is.

9 Q. I think you and Sefik left at about 10.30 in the

10 evening, is that right?

11 A. Yes, it is.

12 Q. When you returned home, did Sefik go on patrol with the

13 Territorial Defence?

14 A. No, not with the Territorial Defence. He went out

15 around the house to see what was happening, with no one

16 else. He just went out on his own, to see.

17 Q. Let us now talk about the morning of 16th April. Did

18 you hear firing?

19 A. In the morning of 16th April at 5.40, shots were fired

20 into my windows.

21 Q. If you could wait one moment, Ms. Pezer, I am going to

22 put an aerial photograph in front of you which you have

23 already seen, with the assistance of the usher.

24 Ms. Pezer, you have seen this photograph before and you

25 have identified certain points on the photograph, is

Page 3886

1 that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I think you will agree with me that this is an accurate

4 representation of the original marks that you made?

5 A. Yes.

6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you. Mr. Registrar, what is the exhibit

7 number of this exhibit?

8 THE REGISTRAR: This is 122.

9 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you. Could you please read the number on

10 the aerial photograph which corresponds to your house on

11 this aerial photograph?

12 A. My house is number 1, number 1.

13 Q. Thank you. You stated a moment ago that on the morning

14 of 16th April at 5.40, bullets started flying into your

15 house. Can you tell the court what happened when those

16 bullets entered your house?

17 A. When the bullets entered my house, each bullet was

18 incendiary, so it set fire to everything in the house.

19 There was such a shower of bullets.

20 Q. Did you wake your late husband Sefik?

21 A. I woke my husband up and I said, "get up, it appears

22 that the war has started". I looked up and saw all the

23 houses burning. Other shots were coming from another

24 side, however.

25 Q. Did Sefik go outside?

Page 3887

1 A. Sefik went outside to see what was happening. At that

2 moment, I was with my daughter Taiba in the hall and he

3 said, "it will be difficult for any one of us to get out

4 of here, but you must follow me and let us all go

5 downstairs", where my son Ahmed and daughter-in-law

6 Senja and granddaughter Dzenana were living, because he

7 thought we would be safer there, on the lower floor.

8 Q. What did you do next?

9 A. Sefik crawled in front and the two of us followed him

10 and went down. Sefik went towards the garage and we

11 entered the lower floor of the house, myself and Taiba,

12 and my son and my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter

13 were already there.

14 Q. When you were crawling down into the basement, did you

15 notice where the shooting was coming from?

16 A. The shooting was coming from here, number 3, from Anto

17 Covic's house, and from number 2, Jozo Sakic's house

18 (indicates).

19 Q. After you had crawled down into the basement, what did

20 you say to your son Ahmed?

21 A. When I got into the basement, I said to my son Ahmed,

22 "Ahmed, go outside, follow your father to see what is

23 happening". However, my son came back very soon and

24 said, "mother, Dad has been seriously wounded".

25 Q. What did you ask your son to do at this point?

Page 3888

1 A. He said that we should go and help him and bandage his

2 wounds, and then we had some nappies from the little

3 girl and they took these nappies and my daughter-in-law

4 gave me my granddaughter, to carry her, and they went

5 out to bandage the wound. They went out and then my son

6 came back into the house and Razija's hands were bloody

7 and she said, "father has been very badly wounded. It

8 will be hard for him to survive".

9 Q. Did your son Ahmed then come back to you in the

10 basement?

11 A. Ahmed did come back and he said that there was nothing

12 to be done, because father had been very badly wounded.

13 Q. Did Ahmed then say that you should all go outside?

14 A. Ahmed said, "mother, we should surrender to the HVO,

15 because there is no hope". However, my neighbour,

16 Azemina Pezer cried out, "come out of the house, you

17 will burn because they will set fire to you, so you must

18 all come out. You must not take anything with you". So

19 my son Ahmed went in front, along this yard and we also

20 followed, myself, my daughter-in-law Senja carrying

21 Dzenana and my daughter Taiba. My son put his hands up

22 to surrender, he was immediately shot dead. He fell and

23 died. Then my daughter-in-law shouted, "do not shoot,

24 you will kill my child", and so we reached Azemina

25 Pezer's house, that is number 4.

Page 3889

1 Q. What did you found when you got to Azemina's house?

2 A. When we got to Azemina's house, we found her, Pezer

3 Nermin, and their son of seven and daughter of 13.

4 There were eight soldiers there, four next to the barn

5 and four next to the house, and there were seven of us

6 in between them. Then I saw that they had petrol cans

7 which they probably used to set fire to houses, and

8 Semkija's house was on fire. Then one of the soldiers

9 next to me took my daughter and pulled her by the

10 shoulder. They were all armed, they were painted on

11 their face, forehead and chin with black paint. Then

12 one of them said, "do not, leave her". He was standing

13 next to Azemina Pezer's house. She told me afterwards

14 it was Frano Jukic from Nadioci who had said that, and

15 he let her go. At that moment, I thought maybe he

16 wanted to kill her or something, but they were in a

17 hurry, they did not have time. Then he said to us, "go

18 down there to our Croatian houses".

19 Q. So they ordered you to leave Azemina's house. Where did

20 you go to, this group of women and children?

21 A. This group of women and children went towards number 5,

22 Josip Vidovic's house.

23 Q. When you got to Josip Vidovic's house, what did you do?

24 A. When we got there, we went in, the house was locked but

25 we knocked and he let us in and we entered Josip's

Page 3890

1 house. We found there his nephew, Vinko Vidovic.

2 Before that, he used to wear a camouflage uniform, I saw

3 him, but on this occasion he had taken it off but it was

4 hanging in the corridor. The two of them were

5 drinking. They drank two litres of brandy, but the rest

6 of the family was not there, they were in shelter.

7 There was just the seven of us and the two of them,

8 Vinko and Josip. However, I said to Josip, "Josip, my

9 Sefik is seriously wounded. We could go and help him,

10 because he is wounded in the leg. Maybe he could be

11 saved". He said, "he may bleed three to four hours and

12 still be alive". Maybe Josip knew that Sefik was dead,

13 who knows? They were of the same age, they went to the

14 same school, they lived together, one next to another,

15 for 20 years.

16 Q. I think while you were at Josip Vidovic's house the

17 seven of you went upstairs, is that right?

18 A. I went upstairs alone. I went up there myself to look

19 around and when I got there, I saw that everything was

20 on fire and Sakib Pezer and Mehrudin, he was born in

21 1974, they were killed, lying behind Sakib's barn, just

22 behind Sakib's barn, so that out of these three Muslim

23 houses, seven people had been killed.

24 Q. I think at this point a number of HVO soldiers came to

25 the house?

Page 3891

1 A. Yes, after that, after some time, there were five or six

2 of them who came, they were furious, they came to

3 Josip's house and Josip said to us, "do not go to the

4 windows and do not come out", so he went out the door,

5 "what are you looking for, children?". He had many

6 relatives in the HVO, four from children of one sister

7 and two from another sister and one child of his

8 brothers, so another nephew was in the HVO.

9 Q. Did the HVO soldiers leave the front of his house, the

10 front of Josip's house?

11 A. They went towards Ahmici. They went out on to the road

12 and headed towards Ahmici.

13 Q. I think at about 11.30 that morning, Josip asked you to

14 leave his house.

15 A. Josip said then, "you have to leave my house" and this

16 was 11.30, "you have to move on. I am afraid", he said,

17 "of both Muslims and Croats". It was strange, why

18 would he be afraid of Muslims? Our houses were very

19 close and he was never touched by a bullet but he said,

20 "you have to move on".

21 Q. Ms. Pezer, are you happy to continue or would you like

22 to take a break for a moment?

23 A. If I can take a short break, my mouth is dried up. May

24 I take a short break, please?

25 JUDGE JORDA: I suggest that we suspend the hearing for ten

Page 3892

1 minutes and we will resume at 3.40.

2 (3.30 pm)

3 (A short break)

4 (3.40 pm)

5 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing can now resume, please be seated.

6 Ms. Pezer, do you feel better now?

7 A. I am fine.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Has her glass been filled with water? Please,

9 Ms. Pezer, if you need some water, a glass of water or a

10 pitcher of water, please do not hesitate to interrupt

11 us.

12 Mr. Cayley, perhaps you might resume now.

13 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I only have very little more

14 examination-in-chief in respect of this witness. I will

15 try and finish as quickly as I can.

16 Ms. Pezer, before the break, you explained to the

17 court how Josip instructed you, this group of women and

18 children, to move on, to leave his house, is that

19 correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Whereabouts did you go after you left his house?

22 A. Josip told us -- I started telling him how come that he

23 was afraid of both Muslims and Croats, and I said,

24 "why", because a bullet never touched his house, and he

25 said, "I have a mixed marriage", because his wife was a

Page 3893

1 Muslim and he was a Croat. However, we got out and he

2 said, "you just follow the road to Vitez". So not to go

3 across the fields, but taking the road to Vitez. So we

4 left the house of Josip's, we walked and there was a

5 place called Kozmici, which is where we wanted to turn,

6 and we turned towards Kozmici.

7 Lucija Zilo saw us and Ljilja Vrebac. They called

8 us to come over to them. I say to my neighbour Azemina,

9 "let us go, what shall we do, we have small children,

10 anything can happen, even the worst which can happen".

11 She said, "no, they killed all of my own and also they

12 set everything on fire". I said, "no, we have to go

13 in", so we went into the basement of Ljilja Vidovic's

14 house, it was a shelter. There were Croatian women and

15 children, I would say around 50 of them, as far as

16 I could see. There was a stove, the fire was going and

17 they took us to a hallway off of that. There were two

18 sofas, but it only had the flat form without cushions.

19 The Croatian women brought us candles and lit it

20 up for us because you could not see anything in this

21 hallway. We spent a certain amount of time there,

22 I cannot say how long, and some other neighbours of ours

23 Ahmed, Nadira Ahmic, with three daughters-in-law and

24 with granddaughters, Elma Ahmic, who was born in 1977,

25 was the oldest of them. She lost three sons and the

Page 3894

1 husband and the grandson who was born in 1977, so she

2 was there in the shelter with us as well.

3 Q. Ms. Pezer, can you read the number on the house where

4 you were located at this point, this is Ljilja Vrebac's

5 house?

6 A. We went here along this road and her house is marked

7 with 6.

8 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I think there has been a technical

9 problem with the ELMO.

10 JUDGE JORDA: This time perhaps we could have what is the

11 number here?

12 A. The house is marked with 6.

13 MR. CAYLEY: How long did you stay at Ljilja Vrebac's house?

14 A. At Ljilja Vrebac's house, we spent the night there and

15 early in the morning -- they used to call me Sefikovica,

16 that is for my husband, she said "Sefikovica, you have

17 to get going". We could not see whether it was light or

18 dark. "You have to go to Kozmici. We are afraid that

19 you may get all killed." In the morning we got up, it

20 was 16 of us and we all went to Kozmici, to Serif

21 Ahmic's. There Niko Plavcic, our neighbour, came with

22 his daughter-in-law and he said, "come over to my place

23 and you will not be harmed". That was Niko Plavcic. We

24 said, "no, but maybe you can take us to Sivrino Selo and

25 from there on we will find our way".

Page 3895

1 Q. One point, Ms. Pezer, Serif Ahmic's house, was that in

2 the area on the photograph which is surrounded by the

3 black line, because I do not think you can remember

4 exactly where that house was located.

5 A. It was close to here, among these houses here, that was

6 Serif's house.

7 Q. Inside the black line on the photograph?

8 A. Yes, you see 1, 2 over here and over here and down here,

9 that was Serif's house would be right down there below,

10 so you can see right around there.

11 Q. Did Plavcic Niko then take you to Sivrino Selo?

12 A. Yes, he did. We came -- the 16 of us came in front of

13 Niko's house. However, our soldier arrived from the

14 house where we had spent the night of Ljilja Vrebac and

15 he told Niko, "Niko, where are your sons?", and he says,

16 "I do not know, I do not know where they are. They

17 were told to report to Gavro Vidovic's house, which is

18 where the command is", and there Niko took us down this

19 road to Sivrino Selo and he took us there.

20 Q. I think the arrow on the photograph shows the route that

21 you took as a group, is that right?

22 A. This is where you go, along this road to Sivrino Selo.

23 That is where we went and he remained there on the road.

24 Q. When you were being escorted, did you notice any Muslim

25 cars being driven on the road?

Page 3896

1 A. No, not at all. There were no vehicles passing. The

2 vehicles would just turn around on the spot, but I could

3 not recognise anyone, they were just dashing by in their

4 cars.

5 Q. When you arrived in Sivrino Selo, with whom did you

6 stay?

7 A. Which went to Sivrino Selo and we entered a basement

8 there and there again there were some unknown women,

9 I never went up there so I did not know them, but

10 Hidajet Sivro came, he was a friend, and he told me to

11 move over to him and the six of us moved over to him and

12 the other nine went over to Sivro Sadik's place. We

13 were in Sivrino Selo, we spent two nights there in

14 basements, because at that time Sivrino Selo was

15 attacked too, shells were being lobbed in and we stayed

16 there.

17 Q. So you stayed in the basements in Sivrino Selo because

18 the houses were being shelled, is that right?

19 A. Yes, it was being shelled.

20 Q. You stayed there for two days and nights and then

21 I think you went on to Poculica?

22 A. Yes, we did.

23 Q. How long did you stay in Poculica?

24 A. We went to Poculica, to Uzeir Rahija, and I spent four

25 days there, we spent four nights there, also it was

Page 3897

1 seven of us and the other group went to the other side.

2 Then my son-in-law, he came from Zenica, and it was my

3 sister's husband actually who came from Zenica, took us

4 there.

5 Q. Finally, Ms. Pezer, there is just two photographs that

6 I know you want me to show to the court. If the usher

7 could assist? Ms. Pezer, who is this?

8 A. This is my granddaughter Dzenana.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Is it absolutely necessary to ask her to look

10 at these?

11 MR. CAYLEY: The witness actually asked me, your Honour, to

12 show these to the court. My own view was not.

13 A. Let them see the way my granddaughter was. She can only

14 see her father.

15 JUDGE JORDA: Look at the photo, please.

16 MR. CAYLEY: Ms. Pezer, this is your granddaughter. I know

17 this is all very painful. If you wish, we will not

18 continue with the photographs.

19 A. Let them see, let them see it all. Today is my son's

20 birthday, 14th November. Today he would have been 31

21 and he is now buried. Let the Tribunal know, all

22 innocent people were killed. I am testifying on his

23 birthday.

24 Q. Ms. Pezer, your granddaughter is still alive, is she

25 not?

Page 3898

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. But this is the little girl that was being held up by

3 your daughter-in-law while the soldiers were shooting,

4 is that right?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Thank you, Ms. Pezer. Ms. Pezer, do you want me to show

7 the photograph of your son to the court? If you do not

8 wish me to do so I will not. Do you wish me to?

9 A. Show it to them, let them see it. Let the judges see

10 it, it was my son, and my husband, and everybody else

11 who was there, what I have lost.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, I think that in accordance with the

13 wishes of the witness, we will show the photographs.

14 The Tribunal will look at it. This is in order to spare

15 you useless suffering by not showing them, but since you

16 have asked for it to be shown, let them be shown.

17 A. Let them look at him.

18 MR. CAYLEY: Ms. Pezer, this is your son Ahmed.

19 A. Yes, let them see who they killed. He was a trainer, he

20 also trained Croatian children, they also liked him,

21 when I come to visit with him, they would pull him by

22 his trousers and they say, "this is our trainer, look

23 and see". He had a karate black belt. Croatian

24 children liked him too. Look what they did.

25 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I will apply for admission now

Page 3899

1 into evidence of the three exhibits which are 122, 123

2 and 124 which is the aerial photograph, the photograph

3 of Ms. Pezer's granddaughter and of her son Ahmed. If

4 there are no objections from the Defence?

5 Thank you very much, Ms. Pezer. I am sorry to

6 have had to put you through so much pain. I now offer

7 the witness for cross-examination.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Pezer, the Defence attorneys for

9 General Blaskic now may ask you questions. One of the

10 attorneys for General Blaskic will ask you several

11 questions and then we will take a break around 4.15 or

12 so. Please relax, if you are in too much pain, we can

13 take another break as you asked before and then -- but

14 now I will give the floor to Mr. Nobilo.

15 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I only have a couple

16 of questions, but I think that perhaps it is not the

17 right atmosphere for me to begin, so if we could make

18 the break now, after that it will take me only ten

19 minutes. That would give Ms. Pezer a chance to calm

20 down a little and to concentrate. I only have a couple

21 of questions. (Pause).

22 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Pezer, could you continue a little further

23 now? Would that be possible?

24 A. I can.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, we will all try, the judges as well

Page 3900

1 as yourself, to complete what has to be done now. You

2 said you had only a few questions. Perhaps the judges

3 will have some questions, but I do not think that this

4 will be very long.

5 Your turmoil will end at that point.

6 Mr. Nobilo?

7 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

8 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

9 Ms. Pezer, my name is Anto Nobilo, I am Defence

10 counsel for Colonel Blaskic, I have a couple of

11 questions for you. Your husband, the late Sefik, was he

12 a member of the Territorial Defence or the army of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

14 A. No, they were just there.

15 Q. Did he have a rifle?

16 A. He had a hunting rifle, he had it from before the war.

17 Q. Did he have a military rifle?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did your son, your late son have a military rifle?

20 A. No.

21 Q. That night, when did your husband go out and when did he

22 come back, on the eve of the attack?

23 A. He came back at 1.00 am.

24 Q. Where was he until 1.00 am?

25 A. He was outside.

Page 3901

1 Q. When he came back, what happened to your son?

2 A. He came back and my son went out, because they were

3 walking around the house.

4 Q. When the shooting started, where was your son?

5 A. My son was in his apartment in the basement.

6 Q. Let me read now from your statement that you made

7 earlier on to the investigators in Croatian. In the

8 interest of better understanding, it is page 2 of the

9 witness statement. I shall try and read it in English:

10 "We went to our home and at 11.00 to 1.00 am in

11 the morning of 16th April 1993, my husband went out as a

12 guard. Sefik come in at 1.00 and woke Ahmed, who then

13 went to keep guard until 5.20."

14 Did you say that to the investigators? Is that

15 true?

16 A. Yes, it is.

17 Q. Also in your statement, I do not wish to quote you, but

18 you said that your husband took a semi-automatic rifle

19 and went outside, the so-called Pap, it is a military

20 rifle; is that what you said?

21 A. No, it is not.

22 Q. Also in this statement, it is said that your son, the

23 late Ahmed, went out carrying a M 48, which was also a

24 military weapon.

25 A. We had this rifle before the war. Yes, we had this M 48

Page 3902

1 in the house, we had it in the house, just like that,

2 from before the war, not for a war.

3 Q. So there were two rifles?

4 A. No, one rifle. Where would the other come from?

5 Q. But your husband had a semi-automatic rifle, that is not

6 an M 48.

7 A. No, I had an M 48.

8 Q. Tell me, was your husband a reserve non-commissioned

9 officer of the JNA?

10 A. He was nothing, he was just an ordinary man, watching

11 guard like the other people, together with the Croats.

12 They were all together.

13 Q. Was this guard duty kept regularly or was it something

14 exceptional that evening?

15 A. No, later on they did not want to keep watch with us, so

16 our men would just go out themselves, and then it was

17 they who started separating from us.

18 Q. But you have misunderstood me. Your late husband and

19 son, did they go regularly for watch duty, or was this

20 something exceptional on 15th April?

21 A. They went out regularly every evening.

22 MR. NOBILO: I have no further questions, thank you.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. I now turn to my

24 colleagues, Judge Riad?

25 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Ms. Nura Pezer.

Page 3903

1 A. Good afternoon.

2 Q. I would just like to ask you some questions to clarify

3 for myself what you said. You mentioned that you saw on

4 TV General Blaskic with Kordic, you remember saying

5 that, yes? Did you watch it yourself?

6 A. I did. I was watching television, my husband Sefik and

7 Suljeman and his wife, the four of us.

8 Q. Then you remember a little bit what happened? Do you

9 remember a little bit what was said? Did

10 General Blaskic make any announcement in this

11 manifestation?

12 A. I do not remember. It was Dario Kordic who just said,

13 "my fighters are ready and awaiting orders", and

14 Tihomir Blaskic was there sitting with him.

15 Q. You said that there was a man on the evening I think of

16 the 20th, Ivica Vidovic was showing a man the Muslim

17 houses. What was this man? Was he a stranger to the

18 city or was he one of the people of the city? What do

19 you think this man was? What was he doing?

20 A. Ivica Vidovic was showing the houses to the stranger.

21 I did not know the stranger, but I knew Ivica Vidovic,

22 Jevdjo, and I saw him with this stranger. He was

23 leading him around and showing him our houses, Ahmic

24 Nadira said this and she got killed too.

25 Q. What do you know about Ivica Vidovic? Did he act

Page 3904

1 against the Muslims, or did he have any attitude,

2 hostile, to the Muslim population?

3 A. I do not know him, I saw him then. I am a housewife,

4 I spend most of my time at home. I saw him that evening

5 and later I never was with him anywhere. We did not see

6 one another often. I am a housewife, so I spend most of

7 my time at home.

8 Q. You said that at 5.40 in the morning, incendiary bullets

9 were fired into your window. Was this something which

10 happened to the other houses too? Was it an attack on

11 all the houses, or did they particularly attack your

12 house?

13 A. No, the attack started against all the houses, as soon

14 as they surrounded a house, they started shooting at it.

15 Q. When Ahmed was killed going out, did he have any weapons

16 on him, was he -- did he look as if he was going out to

17 fight?

18 A. No, he went to surrender, he raised his hands up like

19 this (indicates) and he was hit directly in the chest

20 and he fell to the ground and that was it.

21 Q. Do you know how your husband was wounded to death? Was

22 he fighting or how was he wounded to death?

23 A. No.

24 Q. You mentioned too that seven people were killed out of

25 the Muslim houses. How were they killed?

Page 3905

1 A. I do not know how they were killed, my husband was

2 wounded and he stayed on the ground. These HVO soldiers

3 that we saw in front of Sakib Pezer's house and Azemina

4 house, they went off and they probably took with them

5 these petrol cans and set fire to these houses. They

6 took my husband out of the garage and shot him in the

7 head and his brains spilt out. This picture was carried

8 by the CNN. That is how he was killed. Afterwards, and

9 then they killed his nephew, Mustafa Pezer and her wife,

10 Pezer Ezima and his son and Fadil and Sakib Pezer and

11 his son Mahrudin Pezer and the two of mine, Sefik and

12 Ahmed Pezer. Those were the three houses and out of the

13 three houses, these were killed. I have shown them all

14 on the map here.

15 Q. You said they killed the wife too?

16 A. Yes, the wife.

17 Q. You mentioned also that when you were going to Nadira

18 Ahmic's house, you discovered that she was killed. Do

19 you remember saying that, that Nadira was killed. So

20 women were killed too?

21 A. Women were killed and even children, babies up to three

22 months in their cradles. They made no difference, young

23 women or women or men, whoever was Muslim they got

24 killed on 16th April.

25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

Page 3906

1 JUDGE JORDA: I will complete your testimony. We would like

2 to thank you very much, but I have one question I would

3 like to ask, a personal question, if you do not want to

4 answer, do not. How do you live now? Where do you live

5 now?

6 A. They have killed my son, they have killed my soul, they

7 have broken up my family, may God punish them and it is

8 up to the court to judge them. I am now living in

9 Zenica, this is the fifth year, with five women members

10 of the family. We are somehow living, one of my

11 daughters got married, I have another one with me, the

12 two of us are living together. My daughter-in-law has

13 left with my granddaughter. That is how it is.

14 JUDGE JORDA: The Tribunal thanks you very sincerely, and

15 praises you for your courage and wishes you a future

16 filled with serenity and peace. Thank you.

17 A. Thank you.

18 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, can we have the witness escorted

19 out of the courtroom. We will now break until 4.45.

20 The hearing is suspended.

21 (The witness withdrew)

22 (4.15 pm)

23 (A short break)

24 (4.45 pm)

25 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the hearing. Please have

Page 3907

1 the accused brought in, please.

2 (Accused brought in)

3 JUDGE JORDA: This is Witness H?

4 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Witness H.

5 JUDGE JORDA: Witness H, you are going to be shown your

6 identity on a piece of paper, but we ask you not to say

7 it out loud, it is just so the Tribunal can be sure that

8 you are the person whose name is on the piece of paper.

9 We will allow you to remain seated to read your

10 declaration. The usher is going to give you a piece of

11 paper on which you have in your own language the oath

12 that you will be asked to take. We will listen to you.

13 WITNESS H (sworn)

14 THE INTERPRETER: The English booth cannot hear the

15 witness.

16 JUDGE JORDA: Witness H, you have agreed -- there is a

17 technical problem for the English booth who are not

18 hearing the witness very clearly. Perhaps the

19 microphones were not on? The English booth did not

20 hear. Are the microphones on now?

21 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness speak?

22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, do you hear?

23 MR. KEHOE: Is it coming through for you, Mr. President?

24 JUDGE JORDA: I am going to ask you to repeat the oath, it

25 is just for a technical reason, I hope this does not

Page 3908

1 disturb you to re-read it, to hear your voice and be

2 sure the English booth can hear you.

3 WITNESS H (resworn)

4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it did.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Only static is coming through here. We

6 cannot hear the judge.

7 JUDGE JORDA: You were called as a witness by the

8 Prosecution, and you will be asked a certain number of

9 questions.

10 THE INTERPRETER: We can hear now. May we test --

11 JUDGE JORDA: You will be asked questions by the Prosecutor,

12 after which the Prosecutor is finished. Once he is

13 finished the Defence attorneys will ask you questions.

14 Please relax, you are under the protection of the

15 Tribunal. Protective measures were taken for you to

16 guarantee that your safety is absolute. Mr. Kehoe, you

17 may begin.

18 Examined by MR. KEHOE

19 Q. Thank you, Mr. President, your Honours. Good afternoon,

20 Witness H.

21 A. Good afternoon.

22 Q. Witness H, how old are you?

23 A. I am 41.

24 Q. Witness H, you moved to Ahmici in November 1992 from the

25 Travnik area, is that right?

Page 3909

1 A. Yes, it is.

2 Q. You lived in the village of Ahmici from November 1992

3 until the events of 16th April 1993, is that correct?

4 A. Yes, it is.

5 Q. By the way, Witness H, you are Muslim, is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. When you moved to Ahmici in November 1992, did you move

8 with your family?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Without giving the names of those individuals right now,

11 who did you move with?

12 A. I came with my husband and three sons.

13 Q. Before we begin, Witness H, you and I have looked at a

14 photograph, an aerial photograph of the village of

15 Ahmici, have we not?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You have assisted me in pointing out various locations

18 that are important for your testimony, is that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, to move things along, what

21 I propose, without putting the map on the ELMO, because

22 it would identify where the Witness H lives, if we could

23 give this aerial, one to the witness, to the Defence and

24 obviously the judges, we could follow along and she

25 would be permitted to tell her story without putting

Page 3910

1 this on the ELMO, and we will not have to go into closed

2 session.

3 Mr. President and your Honours, this is an

4 enlargement, as it says, of Exhibit 50 and I believe for

5 the record, Mr. Registrar, it is Exhibit 123.

6 THE REGISTRAR: I think this is 125.

7 MR. KEHOE: Okay, 125. Witness H, this is the map that is

8 before you, that is what we have been working on, is

9 that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. On this particular map, which number corresponds to your

12 house?

13 A. It is the house marked as 1.

14 Q. Witness H, let me take you to the morning of 16th April

15 1993. Can you tell the judges in your own words what

16 happened that day?

17 A. The day of 16th April came, that day was Friday. We

18 were asleep and we were awakened by two bursts of fire.

19 My husband and I got up, looked through the window and

20 saw that the houses in the direction of the mosque were

21 burning. Then we went and woke up our children and went

22 to the basement. We spent some time in the basement and

23 we heard noises around the house, the house was

24 surrounded, and banging on the door, and they also

25 were -- they also shot the lock through as my husband

Page 3911

1 was going up to open it, then they burst in. My

2 children and I stayed in the house and my husband went

3 out, he then returned in and told us to come out. We

4 went out, but I was very frightened, so I barely made it

5 outside.

6 Q. Let me stop you there, Witness H. When you were walking

7 up the stairs from the basement, did you hear the

8 soldiers talking to your husband?

9 A. Yes, I heard the conversation of my husband, he said

10 that he was disabled, (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted).

13 Q. (redacted)

14 A. (redacted)

15 Q. (redacted)

16 A. Yes, he was.

17 Q. Was he a fighter or what did he do in the army?

18 A. No, he was not a fighter. He worked as a shoe repairer

19 for the army.

20 Q. Witness H, why did your husband work as a shoe repair

21 man and not act as a fighter?

22 A. He was ill, he was not fit to be a fighter.

23 Q. What type of sickness did he have?

24 A. He had an ulcer.

25 Q. You and your sons went up from the basement, is that

Page 3912

1 correct?

2 A. (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted).

6 They were pointing rifles at my husband and my son, and

7 I mean soldiers do that, and they addressed me rudely

8 and they told me to go and take my children with me, but

9 I saw what was coming. Subconsciously I thought, "we

10 have done nothing, they will just take us prisoners",

11 but that did not happen. I hesitated, but I did not

12 dare look at them, I looked down in front of me and they

13 yelled at me to go and take my two children, because

14 they would kill us all, and my younger son pulled me by

15 my clothes and said, "let us go mum, so at least you

16 stay alive". Then I started with my children and they

17 stayed there behind.

18 I think I did not go more than 30 yards and

19 I heard shots, I turned around, my son and my husband

20 were falling down the stairs.

21 Q. Would you like to take a break?

22 A. No.

23 Q. How many soldiers did you see around your house?

24 A. Approximately 15 of them.

25 Q. Do you remember anything about those soldiers?

Page 3913

1 A. Just that their faces were painted, nothing else.

2 Q. After you saw your husband and your son shot, where did

3 you go on the map, what did you do? If you can just

4 assist the court and show us on the map where you went

5 from point 1.

6 A. Yes, I can.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, this is not coming through.

8 I cannot hear the judge. I do not hear the judge. Try

9 again, perhaps this headset will work better. Yes, this

10 is better. The interpreter hears now.

11 JUDGE JORDA: I had a suggestion to make, Mr. Kehoe. Perhaps

12 for Witness H, she might tell her story spontaneously,

13 as she chooses. I, of course, understand that you have

14 questions that you want to ask, but perhaps you could

15 ask her to specify things she would say. What would you

16 prefer to do?

17 Witness H, would you prefer to tell your story or

18 answer the questions that the Prosecutor is asking?

19 Would you rather speak spontaneously or ask specific

20 questions? He must ask you questions. What would you

21 prefer to do?

22 A. Whatever you think is best, I agree.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, then. Continue, Mr. Kehoe, and try

24 simply to distribute your questions as you think fit.

25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I can just allow the witness to

Page 3914

1 tell her story and just break in when I feel some

2 particular issue needs to be clarified.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe.

4 MR. KEHOE: Witness H, continue to tell the judges what

5 happened after you saw your husband and your son shot?

6 A. (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted). I was crying, we went

12 on, the houses I could see were burning. We got to a

13 curve in the road, the house of Esad Ahmic was there,

14 Esad Ahmic was lying motionless next to his house.

15 Q. Is Esad Ahmic's house on the map?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. What number is that?

18 A. It is number 2.

19 Q. Was Esad Ahmic a Muslim?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Approximately how old was he?

22 A. I think he was about 60. I did not know the man very

23 well.

24 Q. Continue on, Witness H.

25 A. Then I went on with my children, and got to Sulejman

Page 3915

1 Ahmic's house. I did not know whether there was anyone

2 inside, but the house had not been burnt down. We went

3 in, actually we went to the door, tried to open the

4 door, it was not locked, it was opened, and we found

5 there two local ladies, one was called Smaila and the

6 other Raza. The Kulas family were there, Kermo Kulas,

7 brother Dzevad, son Enes, their wives, Kermo's wife

8 Nisveta and Dzevad's wife, Diba. Then there was their

9 daughter, Kermo's daughter, whose name was Enesa, and

10 Kermo's sister Samija, who was retarded. She looked

11 like a child, she did not develop properly.

12 When we entered, I saw Kermo and his brother and

13 his son, Enes, and I told them to flee because my son

14 and husband had been killed. I realised that they were

15 killing the able-bodied men, and he answered, Kermo

16 said, "I do not know where to hide". I said, "you must

17 find somewhere, because they are sure to come here too,

18 because the house has not yet been set on fire". I did

19 not see them again. I was in shock, I did not know what

20 to do, I kept looking at the house where I had lived.

21 I just wanted to go and see my son and husband, to see

22 whether they were still alive. (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3916

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted). They could not believe him and she asked me,

6 "tell me that this is not true", and I said, "it is

7 true, my son has been killed and my husband". She

8 started screaming aloud. At that moment, I could not

9 even cry. I said, "there are a lot of people here,

10 there are women and children. The lady is gone to

11 sleep, she is afraid, she did not know what to do".

12 I told my sister to look for help and that was the end

13 of the conversation.

14 We stayed on, we knew the soldiers would come

15 again, and they appeared, they broke in roughly and one

16 of the women said, "it is not locked". They were

17 shouting, "open or else we will throw a grenade in", so

18 they opened and they asked whether there were any

19 menfolk. One of these ladies, I do not remember which

20 one, said, "no, there are only women and children

21 here". They told us to get up and to get out as quickly

22 as possible, which we did. We reached the road. Two

23 soldiers were there, and they said, "go on". We started

24 talking to them, asking in which direction we should go

25 and they said, "go wherever you will", and so we took

Page 3917

1 the road which would have led us, I think, to the mosque

2 in Ahmici. There were four soldiers in all in front of

3 the house, and then they separated, two of them went one

4 way and the other two another way.

5 Then these other two who were going towards the

6 mosque, that is the same direction as we, and then they

7 said to us, "where are you going? Go back". They said,

8 "they will use you like human shields if the balijas

9 start shooting at us, then we would get killed", they

10 said. So we went with them, we reached the field

11 between two woods, this was a long and narrow field

12 linking -- linked to the main road. We sat down, we

13 started talking. They were laughing, they were saying,

14 discussing what they should do, whether they should kill

15 us or release us. Then one of them took a rocket

16 launcher and pointed it at the mosque minaret, but they

17 did not fire it. Then he put it down again.

18 We were there, one of them was carrying a big

19 knife, with an orange handle, and he was throwing it a

20 tree, tree trunk, and they were laughing and discussing

21 whether they should let us go or whether they should

22 kill us. We kept quiet, and then this gentleman whom

23 I did not know personally, but Kermo's wife, Nisveta,

24 they came to Sulejman's house before that in Nadioci,

25 his nickname was Rutko, and he said, "what a pretty

Page 3918

1 girl", and that was Nisveta's daughter. She got up but

2 she was holding on to her retarded aunt. Then he asked,

3 "what is happening?", and then at one point she would

4 clap her hands and then again she would start crying.

5 She behaved like a child. They asked, "what is wrong

6 with her, what is wrong with Samija?".

7 Then this lady Nisveta said, "you can see God made

8 her like this, she was born like this". Enesa was

9 standing for a while and then she sat down. They did

10 not do anything to her.

11 Then this lady Smaila, she must have recognised

12 him, he must have been a local boy, because she

13 addressed him and said, "you yellow one", because he had

14 blond hair, "where is my son?", she asked, because she

15 is on Ahmici. Then he said, "he is in God's garden

16 picking flowers", to let her know that her Ivica had

17 been killed. She fell silent.

18 They went on talking and discussing what they

19 should do with us, these two older women, Razija, they

20 addressed them as sons, "look, you have weapons", "you

21 can do what you will, you have killed our men. Let us

22 go, the women and children". He grinned and then he

23 started walking up and down. I was terrified, I was

24 afraid he may go and get drunk and then who knows what

25 they could do to us. I was afraid for my children, he

Page 3919

1 might do something awful.

2 While Rutko and Zuti went off, the situation was

3 different. The soldiers, there was quite a large

4 formation in the woods, they started talking amongst

5 themselves and said, "why do we not let them go?", and

6 then they told us to go. We got up and formed a

7 line one by one. I put my two children in front of me

8 because I did not believe that they had let us go.

9 I thought -- I expected that they might shoot at us at

10 any moment. That did not happen.

11 Q. Witness H, let me stop you there for a second. You were

12 talking before about the soldiers taking you out of

13 Sulejman Ahmic's house. Where is that on the map?

14 A. I did not understand your question.

15 Q. Is Sulejman Ahmic's house on this map?

16 A. It is, it is number 3.

17 Q. You said that some soldiers took you to act as human

18 shields. Who told you that you were going to be used as

19 human shields?

20 A. Two soldiers that I did not know. I had not seen them

21 before. There was Rutko and Zuti. I had mentioned four

22 soldiers, so two were Rutko and Zuti.

23 Q. Was Rutko the one that told you that you were going to

24 be used as a human shield, you and the other women and

25 children?

Page 3920

1 A. I do not remember.

2 Q. Where were you taken to be used as a human shield? Is

3 it designated here on the map?

4 A. Yes, it is, number 4.

5 Q. You also stated that there were a lot of soldiers spread

6 around that area, is that correct?

7 A. Yes, it is.

8 Q. In my discussions with you, you stated that they would

9 have been spread over the area of that line right above

10 the number 4, is that correct?

11 A. Yes, along this whole -- along the line alongside the

12 woods.

13 Q. Do you know how many soldiers were spread along that

14 line on the woods?

15 A. I could not tell you, but there were many. All I know

16 is there were many.

17 Q. When these soldiers told you that you were going to be

18 used as a human shield, did you see any Armija, Bosnian

19 army soldiers shooting back at them?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Did you see any at all?

22 A. No, no.

23 Q. You said that you left the point 4 and you walked in a

24 straight line.

25 A. Yes.

Page 3921

1 Q. Where did you walk to?

2 A. We started walking and got to the house number 1, the

3 house I was living in where my husband and son were

4 killed.

5 Q. When you walked past your house, what condition was your

6 house in?

7 A. The house was burning, and it was caving in, the wooden

8 structure was caving in. It was burning entirely.

9 Q. Did you continue to walk past the house to the road?

10 A. No, in front of house number 1 there was a little amount

11 of space, so we sort of crouched down, we sat down, and

12 we sat there. I got up to peep out to see whether

13 I could see my son and husband, but the children would

14 not let me, nor would the other women. I tried several

15 times. We did not spend much time there. A formation

16 that was going near number 5, a large formation, with

17 black uniforms, they were also going in a group across

18 the road to link up in the area number 4 with this

19 formation that was in the wood. They were talking

20 aloud, "shall we chase them away or kill them?". We

21 crouched down, we did not dare look, we just waited for

22 them to shoot us, but it did not happen. They went

23 past, the formation went by and linked up with this

24 other formation here at number 4.

25 Q. So Witness H, the soldiers depicted at number 5 walked

Page 3922

1 across the road and linked up with the soldiers that are

2 on the line at number 4, is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. How many soldiers in black uniforms did you see?

5 A. I said that I cannot tell you the figure. There were

6 indeed a lot of them. I really cannot tell you, because

7 I do not know.

8 Q. What happened after that, Witness H?

9 A. We were sitting there, my sister had asked for help and

10 she probably went to UNPROFOR, there were some that were

11 captured at number 4, and we heard the personnel

12 carriers coming and going, coming to pick up the wounded

13 and we waited for UNPROFOR to come and for us to stop

14 them and that is what happened, so we stopped them right

15 there, near house number 1. We were there in the bend

16 on the road. We told them what had happened, we managed

17 to make them understand, then they showed us with their

18 finger that they would come back and for us to wait.

19 They went off, and since Travnik is quite a long way

20 away, they had to take the wounded and come back and we

21 did not dare wait any longer, because we did not know

22 what fate would befall us, so we agreed to start along

23 the road and let happen what will.

24 So that is what we did, we came to this clearing

25 near house number 1 where I had lived, but I wanted to

Page 3923

1 turn around, and I did and I looked. My son and husband

2 were lying across the stairs. They really were killed,

3 I thought to myself. My children saw this. Then we

4 went on from there and I heard a voice of Ms. Sena

5 Residovic, she was calling out -- Sena Imsirovic, and

6 she called out and we all went together to the place

7 where they were standing, there was Fikreta, the

8 mother-in-law of Imsirovic, and I told her what had

9 happened, "Fikreta, they have killed my son Samir and my

10 husband", and she just said, "they have killed my Galip

11 too, he was her only son". I really fell silent because

12 I realised that I was not the only one to suffer such a

13 tragedy.

14 We started talking, we told them that UNPROFOR had

15 come by and that they had promised to come back for us,

16 so we stayed there for a while. Sena was with her

17 children, her son Emir and daughter Dzenana. Then there

18 was Fahida, her daughter-in-law and her son Enver, also

19 an only son. We spent some time there, then we heard

20 the carriers, the UNPROFOR coming and we ran to meet

21 them. We stopped them, we would not let them go past.

22 They turned around, there were two carriers, they turned

23 around and that is how we got in and then we really

24 started crying, all of us, women. That is my story.

25 MR. KEHOE: Witness H -- excuse me. Do you want to take a

Page 3924

1 break, are you okay?

2 A. No, I do not want a break.

3 JUDGE JORDA: It is 5.30, you know that there is no

4 hearing -- do you hear me?

5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

6 JUDGE JORDA: There is no hearing on Monday, so we will

7 resume on Tuesday. Would it be possible to know whether

8 you have many questions you still want to ask, or

9 whether the Defence has many questions to ask?

10 MR. KEHOE: I just have a couple more questions,

11 Mr. President, and then I am finished.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Do the Defence intend to ask many questions?

13 MR. HAYMAN: The examination is not completed, of course, but

14 we think this witness can be finished quite soon and

15 would encourage that.

16 JUDGE JORDA: At the suggestion of my colleagues and after

17 having heard what you said, we will try to finish the

18 testimony of Witness H, which would allow you to have

19 the weekend. Since there is no hearing on Monday,

20 perhaps we can just try to go quickly and get to the

21 end.

22 Mr. Kehoe?

23 A. May I just say this, I am very grateful to you for your

24 understanding. May I say that? You are doing your best

25 to finish this because I would like to go back home

Page 3925

1 because of my son, because of his school, and I do

2 appreciate you very much and am very grateful:

3 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Witness H, you said during

4 your testimony that you met Sena and Fikreta and their

5 families. Would you have met them by the house marked

6 on the map as 6?

7 A. Yes, house number 6.

8 Q. House number 6 is a house that is owned by a Croat, is

9 that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Was that house locked up and vacant on that morning?

12 A. The house was locked up, even the pigsty. It was also

13 locked. The stable, but in front of the stable there

14 was a kind of cover and there was a pile of firewood

15 underneath.

16 Q. On the map also there is point 7. Is that the point

17 where you were picked up by UNPROFOR?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, one last exhibit and if we could

20 just go briefly to private session --

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Kehoe.

22 MR. KEHOE: One last exhibit, because we are going to

23 identify several names, so if we could go to private

24 session and again not show these photographs on the

25 ELMO, I will be completed.

Page 3926

1 JUDGE JORDA: I think that the Defence is nodding its

2 agreement. All right, we will go into private session.

3 (In private session)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 3927

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13 page 3927 redacted private session

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

Page 3928

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (In open session)

11 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

12 Q. Witness H, good evening, my name is Anto Nobilo, my

13 colleague, Mr. Hayman.

14 A. Good evening.

15 Q. On the 16th, when this truly terrible tragedy occurred,

16 did you see this man over there? Do you know his name?

17 A. I do, Blaskic.

18 Q. Did anyone mention him by name on that day in any

19 context?

20 A. I did not hear that.

21 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President, I have no further

22 questions.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Once again, I turn to Mr. Kehoe, have you any

24 additional questions you would like to ask?

25 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President.

Page 3929

1 JUDGE JORDA: There are no other questions. Turning to my

2 colleagues, Judge Riad?

3 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Witness H. I am sorry to call

4 you Witness H and not to call you by your name. (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 A. No, my son was a minor, he was under age, and my husband

9 also was never a fighter. I said that.

10 Q. You told us that there is -- a soldier told that you may

11 be used as human shields. Do you remember saying that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you hear of anybody who was used as a human shield?

14 Did it happen that some people you know were used as

15 human shields?

16 A. I am not aware of it. I just told you what I had

17 experienced. You have heard my tale and my statement.

18 What I have said really happened and I know nothing more

19 than that, I do not know anything else, because I could

20 not see anything more.

21 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

22 A. Thank you too.

23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Witness H, just one or two questions.

24 You said you saw some soldiers in black uniforms, and

25 that they were going to link up with another group of

Page 3930

1 soldiers?

2 A. Yes, they were wearing black uniforms and they linked up

3 with this formation where we were captured at position

4 4.

5 Q. Were you able to tell to what group the soldiers in

6 black uniform belonged? Did you see any insignia on

7 their shoulders, or could you tell from their

8 appearance?

9 A. No, I did not see anything, nor did I ever say that

10 I did. I was in a state of shock.

11 Q. Yes, indeed. Could you tell the court what kind of

12 uniform the first group of soldiers had?

13 A. I cannot remember, no, I could not.

14 Q. But was it or was it not black? I am talking about the

15 first group of soldiers.

16 A. I do not know what kind of uniform they had, but the

17 second group were in black uniforms, the formation

18 crossing the road at position number 5.

19 Q. Let me put it this way to you then. Was the first group

20 of soldiers in the same kind of uniform as the second

21 group of soldiers, or did they have a different kind of

22 uniform?

23 A. I must repeat that I cannot remember, I do not know,

24 I cannot remember what kind of uniforms the first group

25 of soldiers had.

Page 3931

1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I accept your answer and I thank you.

2 A. Thank you too.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Witness H, we are finished. You were very

4 courageous and the Tribunal thanks you very sincerely

5 for your testimony. Do you have anything you would like

6 to add, anything you might not have said or anything

7 that you might have liked to have said?

8 A. I do not know what I could say. Let justice win. All

9 that is left for me is to mourn my son for as long as

10 I live and I thank God again for leaving the other two

11 boys with me, so I have some consolation. Let God

12 reward those who do well and punish those who do ill.

13 I ask no more.

14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. We can now conclude today's

15 hearing, the Tribunal will withdraw and the usher will

16 help Witness H to return to the witness room and then we

17 wish her godspeed back home. We will resume at 10.00 on

18 Tuesday.

19 (The witness withdrew)

20 (5.50 pm)

21 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am

22 on Tuesday, 18th November 1997)

23

24

25