1 Monday, 7th December, 1998
2 (Closed session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
13 Pages 15734 to 15809 redacted in closed session
8 --- Recess taken at 4.55 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.15 p.m.
10 (Open session)
11 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the
12 hearing. Have the accused brought in, please.
13 (The accused entered court)
14 JUDGE JORDA: This is obviously a protected
15 witness; am I right? The hearing is public.
16 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, the
17 protected witness should be granted a pseudonym and
18 image distortion.
19 JUDGE JORDA: The pseudonym is DO, I believe;
20 is that correct?
21 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that's correct.
22 JUDGE JORDA: All right.
23 MR. NOBILO: It is a victim who intends --
24 JUDGE JORDA: Don't say the name. Be
25 careful. This is a public session, so don't say the
1 name. I'm not asking you for the same thing twice.
2 Even though your summary is very, in fact, short, don't
3 go into any further details. You don't have to make
4 the summary.
5 All right. This is Witness DO who is going
6 to be brought into the courtroom immediately so that we
7 don't waste any time.
8 MR. NOBILO: Yes. I merely wanted to explain
9 the reasons for this. It was a case for the protection
10 and security of the witness. That is why we asked for
11 these additional protective measures.
12 (The witness entered court)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Witness DO, I'm sorry I have to
14 call you that. Do you hear me? I am speaking to the
15 witness who has just come into the courtroom. Do you
16 hear me?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes.
18 JUDGE JORDA: First, we're going to ask that
19 you identify your name on a piece of paper which is
20 going to be given to you, but don't state your name.
21 The registrar is going to give you the piece of paper.
22 Don't say it, but is that, in fact, your name? Just
23 say "Yes" or "No."
24 THE WITNESS: Yes.
25 JUDGE JORDA: You're going to take an oath,
1 while remaining standing, in your language.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness DO. You may
6 be seated. You are covered by protective measures,
7 that is, this is a public hearing, but anything which
8 would allow your identity to be revealed will be
9 hidden. I think that is the face and the voice, as
11 THE REGISTRAR: I think the request from the
12 Defence was a pseudonym and face distortion.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Your testimony will be public,
14 but if there are parts in it which should not be
15 revealed, you can be assured that either the
16 Prosecution or the Defence counsel or the Judges will
17 ask that it be a completely closed session.
18 Witness DO, you may speak without fear. As I
19 say, you have been covered by protective measures. You
20 are before Judges and you can express yourself freely.
21 Tonight it will not be very long, it will give you some
22 time to rest and to get used to being where you are,
23 and then we're going to sit now for about 20 or 25
24 minutes. We will begin with the Defence because you
25 are a Defence witness. Let me remind you that the
1 accused is in the courtroom, that's Colonel Blaskic,
2 today General Blaskic. The questions will be asked
3 first by Mr. Nobilo and then the Prosecution will have
4 some questions, and then finally the Judges.
5 Mr. Nobilo, proceed, please.
6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. May
7 we move into private session for one or two minutes to
8 determine the CV of the witness, so we shall be
9 excluding the public completely.
10 JUDGE JORDA: All right, now we are in a
11 closed session.
12 (Closed session)
15 (Open session)
16 MR. NOBILO:
17 Q. From your first home where you lived with
18 your husband and your children, on the 18th of April,
19 1993, you left that home. Tell us whether the whole
20 family left.
21 A. Yes, the whole family went in the morning at
23 Q. Did you leave alone or did most of your Croat
24 neighbours leave?
25 A. Most of my Croat neighbours left, as many
1 Croats as there were.
2 Q. What was the reason for your departure, for
3 leaving your home?
4 A. On that morning, there was firing. We knew
5 what happened at Dusina, we were frightened, and before
6 that, they would come in vehicles and fuck our Ustashe
8 Q. Who was this?
9 A. The Muslims, the BH army.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Witness DO, when you answer the
11 questions, if you don't mind, please turn to the
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.
15 MR. NOBILO:
16 Q. It did not go into the transcript. Did I
17 hear you correctly when you said that the army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina would curse you and fuck your
19 Ustasha mothers?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. When did you leave that new village? We're
22 not going to mention the name. We mentioned it a
23 moment ago while we were in closed session. But when
24 did you leave that particular village?
25 A. Grahovcici, at the beginning of June, that's
1 when we left.
2 Q. Why did you leave that village, the village
3 you lived in?
4 A. We were there for a time, and then there was
5 shelling. Grahovcici was shelled.
6 Q. Who shelled Grahovcici?
7 A. The ABiH.
8 Q. After that, you went to the Vitez
9 municipality. Don't mention the name of the village,
10 but please just tell us, the place you lived in, how
11 far is it from the town of Vitez?
12 A. It is one kilometre away.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I should now like
15 to hand around a map for you to be able to see the
16 exact locality, but I think it would be a good idea not
17 to make this map public.
18 JUDGE JORDA: So long as this is given to the
19 Prosecution as well, but I think you were going to do
20 so, so that's no problem. Do you have that,
21 Mr. Harmon, that is, the map?
22 MR. HARMON: I'm awaiting its arrival. Thank
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D455. D454 will be
1 kept for the document which has been given which, at
2 the request of the Trial Chamber, will be submitted by
3 the previous witness.
4 MR. NOBILO:
5 Q. Witness DO, in the middle of this circle, is
6 that where the house is located where you were put up
7 as a refugee?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. NOBILO: For the transcript, the circles
10 in the right-hand corner are not relevant. They are
11 there as an error. So only the circle in the middle of
12 the map is relevant.
13 Q. What was the situation like? Were there a
14 lot of refugees? How many people lived in the house?
15 Can you tell us something about that?
16 A. There were five of us living in the house,
17 two children, my husband, myself, and my husband's
19 Q. What about the other houses in Vitez, were
20 there a lot of refugees at that time?
21 A. There were about 70 of us.
22 Q. In that particular village?
23 A. Yes, in the village.
24 Q. Before you came to that village, you lived in
25 Vitez. How many of you lived in the house?
1 A. Nineteen of us.
2 Q. Were there a lot of refugees in Vitez as
4 A. Yes, there were a lot of refugees. We had no
5 other choice. We had to go into a house which was
7 Q. When did you come to the village that is
8 located in the circle on the map?
9 A. It was in August.
10 Q. In 1993?
11 A. Yes, in 1993.
12 Q. Tell us, was it a large village? How many
13 houses did the village have, the village that you found
14 yourselves in?
15 A. It was not a large village. It was a small
16 settlement below Sivrino Selo.
17 Q. How many houses could there have been?
18 A. About 15 houses.
19 Q. Apart from the refugees, were there locals
20 living there who had been there before?
21 A. Yes, there were locals.
22 Q. How far was the frontline between the Croats
23 and the Muslims from your house?
24 A. Ten (sic) metres, not more.
25 Q. Fifty metres from your house?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Perhaps we should tell the Trial Chamber that
3 the name of the village is in the summary that we
4 submitted to you, so we don't want to mention it in
5 public session.
6 You said that 50 metres away from your houses
7 was the frontline. Who held the frontline?
8 A. Which were these people? It was the people
9 who were already there.
10 Q. Are you trying to tell me it was the locals?
11 A. Yes, yes, the locals who had already lived
13 Q. We shall be talking about an event which
14 occurred on the 9th of January, 1994. Tell me, just
15 before that event, did some other soldiers come to your
16 village, apart from those who had already lived there?
17 A. As far as I know, no one came. There were
18 the locals who were already there.
19 Q. And the members of the Munja, did they come?
20 A. The Munja men were staying at a house. They
21 were not at the frontline.
22 Q. Oh, so they were staying in houses?
23 A. Yes, they were staying beneath the house
24 where I was staying.
25 Q. How many Munja were there?
1 A. As far as I know, nine of them.
2 Q. They were members of the HVO; right?
3 A. Yes, they were members of the HVO.
4 Q. Could you please describe to the Court what
5 happened on the morning of January 9th, 1994?
6 A. In the evening, we went to bed, that is to
7 say, that was the evening of the 8th. And in the
8 morning between 4.30 and 5.00, we were awakened. I
9 don't know what time it was. It was between 4.30 and
10 5.00 a.m., and they said, "Ustasha surrender.
11 Allah-u-ekber." We heard different voices, and we were
12 terrified. My husband, my children, his aunt, and I,
13 we got dressed in a hurry into whatever clothes we
14 could find, and then we went downstairs.
15 Q. In addition to your children and your
16 husband's aunt, you mentioned your husband. Was he in
17 the army, in the HVO?
18 A. Yes, before he was, but at that time, he was
19 not at the frontline. He was at home. And why? He
20 had had a traffic accident. A gentleman called Mirko
21 Samija got killed. He was walking along the road. A
22 sniper hit him and threw him 15 metres away, so he
23 could not really function. He spent three days at the
24 medical centre, and since there were a lot of people at
25 the medical centre, they sent him home. He had to use
1 crutches. His legs were black underneath the knees, so
2 he was not capable of walking without crutches.
3 Q. Just a minute. It is not quite clear in the
4 transcript how your husband got hit by this car. I
5 shall try to sum up what you have said, and then you
6 tell me whether this is correct.
7 The driver of a car was hit by a sniper, and
8 he got killed as he was driving, at the wheel. And
9 then after he died, his car skidded and hit your
10 husband; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, my husband was walking by, and he had a
12 wheelbarrow, and he was carrying flour in it or
13 whatever we needed. So it was this dead man who was
14 still at the steering wheel, and then the car hit my
16 Q. Did your husband have any weapon at home?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Could you please explain to the Court what
19 happened after that?
20 A. After that, we went downstairs and we tried
21 to get out through the windows, and whenever we would
22 speak to these people, we would say, "Can we get out?
23 We are not Ustasha." They were screaming, they were
24 hollering, and they were throwing things at us.
25 Q. Who was this?
1 A. The BH army. I just managed to say, "Let us
2 try to escape through the door." I was the first to
3 get out, and then the two children followed me. My
4 third daughter was not there, my oldest daughter, and
5 the two young children were with me.
6 Q. Your children were ten and seven; right?
18 Q. Could you please try to slow down, and do not
19 mention the names of your children, please, and do not
20 mention the name of your husband either later on,
21 okay? We are talking about your husband and your
22 10-year-old and 7-year-old children, but try not to
23 mention any names. The names you mentioned will be
24 deleted from the transcript by the registrar, but it is
25 going to make everybody's job much easier if you simply
1 do not mention names, please.
2 Could you please describe what happened
3 afterwards? You were fleeing from your houses?
4 A. I waited there, and I realised that my
5 husband and his aunt did not catch up with us. The
6 main road was nearby, and we took the main road, and
7 there were others who were escaping from there, and I
8 was there together with them, and we reached
10 When we reached Impregnacija, that was where
11 a man was there at the door. It was a small area, and
12 the BH army shelled us. We waited there for two or
13 three hours, and then I continued towards Vitez. I got
14 there, and my husband's sister lived in the yellow
15 building, and that is where I stayed.
16 Q. At any rate, you and your two children
17 managed to escape from the village before the assault
18 of the BH army?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell me, what happened to your husband? Did
21 your husband manage to escape?
22 A. My husband did not. On the 21st of January,
23 I came to see -- I mean, the Red Cross would help me,
24 and I was supposed to recognise my husband.
25 Q. Before we move on to the recognition, could
1 you tell me whether you received information from some
2 women that he was taken prisoner, that he was alive?
3 A. Yes, we received that kind of information.
4 There were ten women who were taken prisoner and one
5 child, and somebody said that my husband was a prisoner
6 there too; however, my husband was not a prisoner
7 there. On the 21st of January, I could not go there
8 and see whether it was my husband or not. They brought
9 him to the house in a coffin. I did not see him.
10 UNPROFOR came then, and they were taking pictures, and
11 whoever wishes to see this can.
12 MR. NOBILO: Before we come to a description
13 of what you have seen, I would like to ask the
14 registrar to have this document distributed. This is a
15 photograph, and we are going to see it on the video
16 monitor later.
17 Mr. President, there is just one photograph
18 there, and we shall use the video monitor later. I
19 talked to the witness, and she is prepared to look at
21 Let me just explain. She received half of
22 her husband's body. First she received one half of her
23 husband's body, and then she received the other half,
24 and now you are going to see the first half that she
1 Is the witness prepared to have a look at
3 THE REGISTRAR: This is D456.
4 MR. NOBILO:
5 Q. Madam, could you describe the situation when
6 your husband's body was delivered to you? What did
7 people tell you? What did he look like, and what did
8 you see later on television?
9 A. They told me that only the upper half of my
10 husband's body was in the coffin. UNPROFOR were taking
11 pictures, and I saw later on television that this was
12 my husband.
13 Q. The picture that you have in front of you
14 now, is that a reflection of what you saw on
15 television, that is to say, the upper part of the body,
16 and in the middle, one can see the spine a bit?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Did you bury this half of your husband's
20 A. Yes, immediately during the day. A month
21 later, not exactly a month later, on the 25th, the
22 lower part of the body arrived. That I saw with my
23 very own eyes, and that I recognised, that that was my
25 Q. Tell me, what did you see, and how did you
1 recognise that part of the body as being your
3 A. I recognised it. There were his trousers,
4 his tracksuit, and the clothes, I recognised the
6 Q. Did you go and bury the other part in the
7 same place?
8 A. Yes, we bought another coffin. This other
9 coffin was useless, and we took the upper part of the
10 body and this other part, and we put it altogether and
11 buried it altogether. If I can remember well, this was
12 the 15th of February, 1994.
13 MR. NOBILO: Perhaps we could stop at this
14 point, Mr. President, if you think the time is right.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, these are dreadful,
16 dreadful details. There is no hearing tomorrow, so
17 that under the supervision of the Witnesses and Victims
18 Unit, we can ask the witness to try to relax a little
19 bit. I know these are very painful memories.
20 We will see each other again at 2.15 on
21 Wednesday. The Court stands adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
23 5.43 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Wednesday, the 9th day of December, 1998
25 at 2.15 a.m.