1 Friday, 11th December, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the
5 accused brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
8 interpreters. Does everyone hear me? Good morning to
9 the prosecution. Good morning Mr. Nobilo. I hope that
10 Mr. Hayman is not ill. Very well. Of course, you
11 don't always have to both be here, as you know.
12 All right. We can resume. It seemed to me
13 the Prosecution wanted to conduct the cross-examination
14 of one of the witnesses.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, the Prosecutor, in
16 respect of the cross-examination of Witness DQ, asked
17 to conduct the cross-examination today because he
18 didn't have the proper first name of the witness.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. All right. It was a
20 protected witness. I think we have to draw the
21 curtains. Draw the curtains before the witness comes
22 in, and then we'll raise them again so we can have a
23 public hearing, unless there's anything being said
24 which will justify moving into a closed session.
25 That's how we're going to work.
1 Have the witness brought in, please.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Witness DQ, it was necessary to
4 have you come back. I'm sorry. This is both the
5 wonders and the sad points of international justice.
6 Apparently there was a mistake in your first name, and
7 the Prosecution was not able to find the basis for
8 conducting the cross-examination. The Prosecutor is
9 going to ask you some questions now. If necessary,
10 Defence counsel will take the floor again, perhaps the
11 Judges as well, but for the time being it will be
12 Mr. Cayley.
13 WITNESS: DQ
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:
15 MR. CAYLEY: Good morning Mr. President,
16 Judge Shahabuddeen.
17 Q. I'm from the Office of the Prosecutor. These
18 are my colleagues Mr. Harmon and Mr. Kehoe. Let me,
19 first of all, express to you, on behalf of the Office
20 of the Prosecutor, our sincere sympathy at your
21 suffering. Please relax. I have very few questions
22 for you. You will be going very shortly.
23 Do you recall, at the end of your testimony
24 yesterday you mentioned that Darko Kraljevic organised
25 an attack on Stari Vitez, and that he thought he would
1 be helped by Colonel Blaskic and Mario Cerkez with that
2 attack? Do you remember saying that to the Court?
3 A. I remember that. He did organise an attack
4 and he thought that he would be helped, but no one
5 helped him. No one helped him in this attack. He
6 sought help, and they told him that he shouldn't be
7 doing that and that they would not help him.
8 Q. Now, was this a rumour that you heard around
10 A. No, no, not a rumour. It was the truth.
11 Q. And this attack that was organised by
12 Mr. Kraljevic, did that attack take place in July of
14 A. Yes. I don't know the exact date, but it
15 might have been July. I think so, yes.
16 Q. And your testimony is that Mr. Blaskic and
17 Mr. Cerkez refused to help Mr. Kraljevic in that attack
18 on Stari Vitez?
19 A. I maintain that, and that's the way it was.
20 Q. Thank you very much, witness.
21 I have no further questions for the witness,
22 Mr. President, thank you.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
24 Mr. Nobilo, do you have any clarifications that you
25 want to provide in respect of the questions asked in
1 the cross-examination?
2 MR. NOBILO: No -- perhaps just one question,
4 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
5 Q. How did you learn the things you told us
6 about? Did you hear it from the women at the funerals
7 we saw?
8 A. I was in the kitchen with the army, and I was
9 au courrant. I heard all of this. I knew everything.
10 There is nothing more I have to add to that.
11 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. No further
13 JUDGE JORDA: Witness DQ, we're almost
14 finished. I only have one question. Have you ever
15 heard of the attack on Ahmici? Since you saw soldiers,
16 you see soldiers, did you ever hear anybody speak about
18 A. Well, I did hear about the attack on Ahmici,
19 but it wasn't really that way, that I was following all
20 of that, because we're quite far away from Ahmici.
21 JUDGE JORDA: About how many kilometres from
22 Ahmici were you?
23 A. Well, about six to seven kilometres.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Rather far, seven kilometres.
25 You could go on bicycle, however, right? Did you know
2 A. There was a war on. There was a war on. One
3 could not move around, one could not go out. My house
4 was at the frontline. I couldn't go anywhere during
5 the war. I only stayed there in Kruscica. Through a
6 small forest we managed to reach Vitez, but very
7 rarely. So for four months I hardly heard anything
8 from people. I couldn't really walk around because
9 there was no movement, there was shooting.
10 Once I went to Vitez, and from the Mahala a
11 bullet went right by me, over here, and you couldn't
12 really move around in those days.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Is Stari Vitez further away
14 from you than Ahmici? How many kilometres away is
15 Stari Vitez, about?
16 A. Stari Vitez? Well, about three kilometres.
17 I think so.
18 JUDGE JORDA: You have lived through many
19 things. I'm not going to ask you any more questions,
20 and as Mr. Cayley said, we Judges also have a great
21 deal of sympathy for what you experienced. We thank
22 you for having come to The Hague, and we hope for you
23 that the days, and months and years to come will be
24 happier than that period which will always be a period
25 of great suffering. In any case, thank you very much
1 for having come to The Hague.
2 Now we're going to lower the blinds so that
3 you can leave the courtroom without anybody seeing.
4 All right? Then we'll continue with our work.
5 A. Thank you.
6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. The usher is going
7 to escort you out of the courtroom.
8 Mr. Nobilo?
9 MR. NOBILO: The next witness is Marjana
10 Vidovic. She is not a protected witness, just like the
11 witness that follows after her. So the next two
12 ladies, the next two witnesses will not be protected
14 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We can have -- we
15 can say her name; right? We can reveal her identity;
16 is that right? All right. Can we have Marjana Vidovic
17 brought into the courtroom?
18 (The witness entered court)
19 WITNESS: MARJANA VIDOVIC.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me? Please remain
21 standing for a moment. Could you give us your name,
22 your given name, please?
23 A. Marjana Vidovic.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You're going to
25 take an oath using a statement which is going to be
1 given to you by the usher. Please read it out loud.
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. Please be seated.
6 You have agreed to testify before the International
7 Criminal Tribunal at The Hague, in the trial which has
8 been initiated by the Prosecutor against
9 Colonel Blaskic, a Colonel at the time, who is a
10 General now. He is in this courtroom.
11 You have agreed to testify at the request of
12 the Defence. Therefore, the Defence is going to ask
13 you some questions. If there's anything that must
14 remain confidential, the Defence counsel will let us
15 know, and in that case you will be covered by
16 protective measures. Then either the Prosecutor will
17 ask you questions, or the Judges will ask you questions
18 or perhaps both.
19 Please try to relax. Do not be afraid.
20 You're young, you're strong, you're in front of
21 Judges. Feel comfortable. If something is wrong, tell
22 us and we'll see what needs to be done to help you.
23 Mr. Nobilo, please begin.
24 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I
1 would like to have a map distributed, first of all,
3 THE REGISTRAR: This is D464.
4 MR. NOBILO:
5 Q. Marjana, please tell me, when were you born
6 and where?
7 A. I was born on the 2nd of February, 1981 in
9 Q. And please tell the Court how old were you in
10 1993 and 1994 when these tragic events occurred?
11 A. I was twelve and a half.
12 Q. Could you tell us where you lived with your
13 parents and your brothers?
14 A. I lived in Santici, in the hamlet of Buhine
16 Q. There is a map here that I drew according to
17 your instructions, and is it accurate? Does this arrow
18 show where Buhine Kuce, this hamlet in Santici was?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So it is on the road between Vitez and
21 Busovaca; right?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. Please explain to the Court, during 1993, who
24 was in your immediate family?
25 A. In the house my mother lived there Ankica, my
1 father Dragan, my brother Nedyeljko, my younger brother
2 Branislav, and my grandfather and my grandmother.
3 Q. Your mother was born in '52 and your father
4 in 1950; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when were your brothers born?
7 A. My older brother was born in 1979, and I was
8 born in '81, and my younger brother was born in '85.
9 Q. So in 1993 your older brother Nedyeljko was
10 14; right?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. Your younger brother?
13 A. My younger brother was eight.
14 Q. His name is Branislav?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Would you please describe to the court what
17 happened to your older brother in September, 1993?
18 A. When he got out of the family house he was
19 wounded by a sniper from the Muslim side, the Muslim
20 army. He was wounded in the stomach, and all his
21 organs were wounded except for his heart and one
22 kidney, and he was taken to the hospital in Nova Bila.
23 Q. Tell me, how many surgeries did he undergo?
24 A. Seven.
25 Q. Did he finally manage to survive?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On the 9th of January, 1994, this tragic
3 event occurred, and that is the one that you've come
4 here to tell us about, to testify about. Tell me, at
5 that point who was in your house Buhine Kuce?
6 A. In 1993 my grandfather Ante was also
7 wounded. He and my grandma were in Vitez. My mommy,
8 my father, and I and my younger brother were in the
9 house because my older brother was in the hospital.
10 And also my uncle, Mirko Vidovic and his son, Drazen
11 Vidovic were in the house. That's my father's
13 Q. Your village was just by the frontline;
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Were there any weapons in your house?
17 A. In my house there were no weapons, but at the
18 frontline there were weapons, but there weren't enough
19 weapons. So they couldn't really bring the weapons
20 home, they had to leave it at the -- leave them at the
22 Q. Thank you, but could you please look at the
23 Judges, because it's important for the Judges to hear
24 what you have to say.
25 So not a single one of the men in the house
1 had any weapons?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Was that the case in the other houses too,
4 that weapons were only kept in the trenches at the
6 A. Yes, there were weapons, but only in the
7 trenches, not in the houses. There weren't enough
8 weapons. So then when there would be a change of the
9 guard, the weapons would remain the same.
10 Q. On the 9th of January, 1994 you were asleep,
11 of course, during the night in your own house. Tell
12 me, what do you hear at what time, and how do these
13 tragic events start?
14 A. On the 9th of January, 1994, it was the night
15 between Saturday and Sunday, in the morning, around 20
16 past 4.00. We were in the house and all of a sudden we
17 heard shooting. We heard children crying, and they
18 were saying, "Get up Ustasha," and they were shooting
19 at the house.
20 When my daddy got out, we didn't see him
21 again. As they started shooting, first my mother got
22 out, and then my younger brother, Branislav, and then I
23 followed them.
24 Q. Just a minute, please. We have to speak a
25 bit slower for the interpreters. Did your father leave
1 without any weapons?
2 A. Yes, he got out without any weapons.
3 Q. And later on, did you realise that your
4 father was killed?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. You said that your mother got out of the
7 house first, and then what happened?
8 A. There were many Muslim soldiers there, they
9 were two metres away. First they shot at her, and as I
10 started moving towards her they shot at me. They hit
11 my right arm, and I also had six operations. And then
12 Brano, my brother, started moving towards me and he was
13 hit in the stomach.
14 Q. When you went out, you said that you saw a
15 lot of soldiers. Which army do they belong to?
16 A. This was the Muslim army, the BH army.
17 Q. And what do they look like? Could you
18 describe them a bit?
19 A. They had red berets on their heads and green
20 ones. I couldn't see their faces because they had
21 socks over their faces.
22 Q. How far away were they when they shot at your
24 A. They were two metres away from her.
25 Q. And what about you?
1 A. I moved towards her, so it was the same
3 Q. The same group of soldiers?
4 A. Yes, the same group of soldiers.
5 Q. And your brother, do the same group of
6 soldiers shoot at him?
7 A. Yes, yes, as he started moving towards me the
8 same group of soldiers started shooting at him.
9 Q. And how did your brother fare, and what was
10 his wound like?
11 A. When I looked towards him and I took him in
12 my arms I could see his insides, and the Muslim
13 soldiers grabbed me by my right arm where I was
14 wounded, they wanted to kill me. One of them came and
15 said that they had to go on fighting. So they let me
17 Q. Where do you go then? In what direction?
18 A. I went towards the road, and there were a lot
19 of Muslim soldiers there, as well, they wanted to kill
20 me down there. When I moved towards UNPROFOR, because
21 across the road there was an UNPROFOR base, they do not
22 want to help me, and they cocked their rifles at us.
23 And then --
24 Q. Just one moment please. Did your small
25 brother, your 8-year-old brother go with you?
1 A. Yes, I carried him.
2 Q. You carried him?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And was it your intention to go into the
5 UNPROFOR base to protect yourself and to save yourself?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. And what do the soldiers of the United
8 Nations do?
9 A. When we approached they didn't let us pass,
10 they pointed their rifles at us.
11 Q. And what happened next?
12 A. When we moved along towards the road a man
13 turned up, his name was Ivica Vidovic, and he took over
14 my brother and took me by the hand and led us to the
15 first aid station towards Vitez.
16 Q. And from that first aid station where were
17 you and your brother taken?
18 A. I was taken to the Franciscan hospital in
19 Nova Bila. It wasn't a hospital, it was a church and a
20 makeshift hospital where the wounded were located.
21 Q. And what happened after that? Where do you
22 go after that?
23 A. Fifteen days later I was transferred by
24 helicopter to Split, to the hospital in Split, my
25 brother and I.
1 Q. And when we summarise, if you look at that
2 day, who did you lose on that day?
3 A. I lost my father, I lost my mother, I lost my
4 father's brother and his relation, and his son Drazen,
5 and my grandmother who looks after me now, me and my
6 brothers. She lost two sons, she lost her
7 daughter-in-law, her grandchild, and she looks after
8 the three of us children now.
9 Q. In the hamlet of Mali Bobasi, was anybody
10 taken prisoner, as far as you know?
11 A. You mean Buhine Kuce?
12 Q. Yes, Buhine Kuce, was anybody taken prisoner?
13 A. That morning everybody was killed, as far as
14 I know. I don't think anybody was taken prisoner.
15 Q. Who remained alive of the people left in the
17 A. Myself, my younger brother, and Anto
18 Grbavac. And his wife had also been killed and a
19 two-year-old child, Ankica Grbavac and Danijel Grbavac,
20 their child.
21 Q. How was his child killed?
22 A. When they went out of the house he was
23 carrying his child in his arms, and when they killed
24 his wife and shot him and hit him in the left hand, in
25 the left hand, he was, the baby was shot through the
1 heart as well, and he died.
2 Q. And the three of you survived in the
3 village. Can you remember at least some of the people
4 who were killed in the village? Can you give us their
5 name and surname?
6 A. Petar Perkovic; Nikola Jankovic; Marko Buhic;
7 Ankica Vidovic, my mother; my father, Dragan Vidovic;
8 Mirko Vidovic, my father's brother; his son, Drazen
9 Vidovic, Ankica Grbavac and Danijel Grbavac.
10 Q. Do you remember a lady called Novka?
11 A. Yes, Novka Ikobac.
12 Q. I'm going to remind you of some other names,
13 you gave them to me, perhaps you are excited and can't
14 remember them.
15 A. I know one more name, Bice.
16 Q. Yes, Bice. I'm going to read four more names
17 out: Mirko Safradin, Drazenko Jutanda, Dragica
18 Petrovic, and Zvonko Santic; are they the neighbours,
19 your neighbours who were killed?
20 A. Yes, they are.
21 Q. Tell us, you go to school, you go to
22 secondary school, what form?
23 A. Third form of the secondary school for the,
24 in the marketing section.
25 Q. And you wrote an essay, I heard that essay
1 and I think it would be a good idea for you to read
2 your essay out for the benefit of the Trial Chamber,
3 which described that event, but slowly for the purposes
4 of interpretation.
5 A. "War, what is war? For me it was only an
6 ordinary word at one time. It was very far away from
7 me, very far away from all of us. That was what I
8 thought about war five years ago. War for me existed
9 only in films, and afterwards it became my difficult
10 everyday life. Harmony and happiness of family life
11 was disrupted when this three-letter word entered our
13 There is no way in which to describe the
14 human suffering that the human heart can survive. We
15 all think that we cannot do without our nearest and
16 dearest, we would not be able to live without them, but
17 when this happens, we have to continue our lives and we
18 have to bear our cross regardless of how desperate it
19 all is.
20 We are compelled to live without our dear
21 parents, with whom I would like to share all my sorrows
22 and all my happiness, all my tears and all my smiles.
23 They were the ones who encouraged us, we always had a
24 place in their heart, and they took that away from us,
25 because they exist no longer and their love exists no
1 longer. But our love remains and our hearts remain and
2 they will always remain in our hearts. My brothers and
3 I will always carry this sorrow in our hearts because
4 of the happiness that was taken away from us when our
5 parents were taken away from us. Now we have memories
6 and remembrances and we know that we had all the
7 happiness of the world.
8 The suffering of my family began in
9 September, 1993, when my 14-year-old brother, Nedyeljko
10 went out into the garden in front of our family home
11 and he only recalls that he was hit by several
12 bullets. All his internal organs have been permanently
13 damaged, what remains is the heart and his left kidney,
14 they were unimpaired. He was saved at the Franciscan
15 hospital in Nova Bila, and he and the other wounded at
16 the end of the month were taken by brave pilots of the
17 HVO against firing and shooting from the Muslim
18 positions. They succeeded in transporting him to
20 I thought that event was the most difficult
21 and worst event that could happen to my family and
22 myself, but I was wrong. I was proved wrong. It was
23 only the beginning of the tragedy that was to befall
25 The attack on my home village of Buhine Kuce
1 began before dawn on the 9th of January, 1994. I saw
2 Muslim soldiers shooting and running around and
3 throwing bombs into the house, grenades into the house
4 and storming our houses. We ran out of the house, my
5 father first, Dragan; my mother, Ankica; my grandfather
6 was in Vitez because he had already been wounded by a
7 sniper, and my grandmother, Mira, was with him. And I
8 saw my mother fall down by the fence. I saw nothing
9 else, anymore. They told me that he was taken away,
10 and my uncle and his son were killed there.
11 I took up Branislav, I took him up into my
12 arms, he woke up later, we ran down the meadow towards
13 the road. And then I was shot in my right hand, I
14 could go no further and I told Branislav to run away
15 towards the UNPROFOR base on the other side of the
17 He called out to me and he cried, and I saw
18 that he was holding his intestines, his stomach. We
19 rushed to the road and were intercepted by the Muslim
20 soldiers. One of them said to kill us and the others
21 asked them to save our lives and let us go free.
22 On the road we saw the UNPROFOR men, but they
23 didn't even turn to look at us. Nobody saw the burial
24 of our nearest or dearest or the funeral rites which we
25 were not able to remember. Branislav's conduct in the
1 hospital, he do not know what had happened to our
2 parents because he had suffered a great shock, and we
3 didn't tell him. We knew that somebody told him that
4 our mother had lost a leg. He asked us whether our
5 mother could live with just one leg and we told him
6 that she could survive with just one leg. And then he
7 asked me, 'Why doesn't mommy come to see me in
8 hospital, then? There are a lot of women come here
9 walking about on crutches.' Today Branislav knows the
10 whole truth, he knows about our mother and father and
11 Mirko and our relative, Drazen.
12 After the terrible injuries Nedyeljko had
13 seven operations, Branislav had one operation and I,
14 myself, had six operations. And so the war and the
15 Muslim aggressors will have left permanent scars on our
16 bodies, but the scars they have left on our hearts and
17 in our souls are much worse, they are scars that will
18 never heal. They are living wounds that are opened up
19 again and again and bleed again and again and never
20 heal but hurt increasingly strongly.
21 But I will not allow people who do this to us
22 to see me broken down. I shall fight for a loftier
23 future and a better morrow for my brothers and myself.
24 I do not hate anybody, and in my heart there is no room
25 for hatred. I only want people to be held responsible
1 for their crimes, the crimes that they have committed,
2 and I don't wish criminals of this kind to move around
3 free, and to serve as an example to others that they
4 will go unpunished for the crimes that they have
5 committed. They must be brought to justice, because
6 people who have killed once are capable of killing
8 They must, indictments must be raised against
9 the Muslims. The Muslims always had a stronger media
10 and they portrayed themselves as being the only
11 victims. It is time for people to hear our tragedy and
12 pain, we have to keep reminding people of this, because
13 if we don't tell people of the things that we have
14 suffered --"
15 Q. We have completed, thank you.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo.
17 Mr. Harmon?
18 Would you like to take a break?
19 THE WITNESS: (Nods).
20 JUDGE JORDA: Would you like a break? All
21 right. We will take a 10-minute break and then we will
23 --- Recess taken at 10.45 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
25 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume now.
1 Marjana, do you feel better? Are you okay?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE JORDA: The people took good care of
4 you? Did they give you some hot chocolate, something
5 to -- it was okay; wasn't it? You didn't have any --
6 A. I had a glass of water.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Just a glass of water? That's
8 not too much. They should have given you something
9 more than just a glass of water. All right.
10 Mr. Harmon. All right. The Prosecutor is going to ask
11 you some questions now.
12 MR. HARMON: Ms. Vidovic, I have no
13 questions. I sincerely wish you find peace and hope
14 you find peace in your life.
15 I have nothing further, Mr. President, Judge
17 JUDGE JORDA: I don't have any questions to
18 ask you either. There's going to be no redirect
19 because there was no cross-examination. I have no
20 questions about your testimony.
21 What do you plan to do? Do you know what
22 you'd like to do later now you're grown up, you're 17.
23 THE WITNESS: I'll continue my education.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Do you have an idea of what
25 kind of profession you'd like to go into?
1 THE WITNESS: When I was wounded I wanted to
2 become a nurse, but then I didn't attend school
3 regularly, and then I didn't want to waste this one
4 year just like that, so that's how I went to this
5 commercial school for shopkeepers.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Well, as the Prosecutor said,
7 we hope that you're going to have better things happen
8 to you in life, better than of what you've had up to
9 now. What you said in your essay, I suppose you're
10 going to try to apply that in your life. That's what
11 has to be done.
12 All right. Good luck to you. Good luck.
13 Thank you for coming.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
15 MR. NOBILO: The next witness is Mira Garic.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Let's have Mira Garic brought
17 into the courtroom, please.
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I may, with
19 regard to this witness --
20 JUDGE JORDA: I informed counsel this morning
21 that the Prosecutor agrees to a procedure for this
22 witness to allow this witness to move ahead with
23 direct. That is series of documents that I received
24 this morning, and given the fact that we got notice a
25 few days ago that she would be a witness and we haven't
1 had the seven days notice, that we would, undoubtedly,
2 defer her cross until Monday.
3 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Just a moment
4 there. Before we have the witness brought in, how is
5 this day going to go? We have the direct-examination
6 of Mira Garic. It's a woman, right?
7 MR. NOBILO: Yes. Unfortunately,
8 Mr. President, we don't have any witnesses left. We
9 had provided for seven witnesses for three working
10 days, and we didn't even think that we could finish
11 seven witnesses in three days, but, see, we went so
12 far, because as a rule, the Prosecutor did not
13 cross-examine. So at this point in time we do not have
14 any new witnesses.
15 Could we perhaps have the cross sometime this
16 afternoon, so this the lady would not have to stay for
17 the weekend?
18 MR. KEHOE: No, I don't think so,
19 Mr. President, because there is additional information
20 that needs to be reviewed, I just got a couple of
21 things this morning that references back to other
22 things. I simply don't know how long that's going to
24 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Nobody is forced to
25 do what he can't do. Perhaps we could use the
1 afternoon, if my colleague agrees, and I'll also turn
2 to the legal officer, perhaps we could argue in closed
3 session about the expert that you called in.
4 Apparently there are procedural problems. There is a
5 position that the Prosecutor has taken. Perhaps we
6 could do that this afternoon. It wouldn't take a lot
7 of time but it would save some time on Monday.
8 Judge Shahabuddeen, would you agree with
9 that? And the legal officer? All right. Then we'll
10 finish with the witness. The cross-examination will be
11 conducted on Monday, and this afternoon, if you like,
12 we could meet at 3.00, we don't have to start at 2.30,
13 we could start at 3.00 for arguments in closed session
14 for the principles that are arising from the testimony
15 of the expert, because the Prosecutor has a position on
16 this. Do you agree with that, Mr. Nobilo?
17 MR. NOBILO: I agree. Thank you.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. As regards gaining
19 time, you all seem very surprised that we've gained
20 some time here. What I'm saying is that what went on
21 this week is something that should be normal. You
22 should have a witness that comes in at the request of
23 the Defence or the request of the Prosecution, and you
24 should able to focus on what you expect the witness to
25 say and not have that witness tell you about the whole
1 war, instead of asking things that he doesn't know
2 about. Therefore, you have -- it's no problem with the
3 cross-examination. You could even do it without a
4 cross-examination. That's how you can go quickly.
5 That's the procedure which seems natural to me, rather
6 than the one that we've been seeing in this courtroom.
7 All right. Having given you these good words
8 of wisdom, I think we can now move to the testimony of
9 the next witness. Mrs. Garic; is that right? Could I
10 have the summary, Mr. Registrar?
11 MR. NOBILO: Garic, yes.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Have the witness brought in,
13 please. Mira Garic.
14 (The witness entered court)
15 WITNESS: MIRA GARIC
16 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Madam?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Please tell us your names, your
19 given names, and then you are to take an oath.
20 THE WITNESS: Mira Garic. I solemnly declare
21 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and
22 nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated, Mrs. Garic.
24 You are at the International Criminal Tribunal, which
25 is trying the accused who is in this courtroom, that is
1 Colonel Blaskic.
2 Try to relax, you have nothing to fear. If
3 you don't feel well, we can interrupt the proceedings.
4 You have come at the request of Mr. Nobilo, who is
5 going to ask you a few questions. Then the Prosecutor
6 will ask you questions as well, but he can't do that
7 today, you'll have to come back on Monday. We regret
8 that, but that's how things are. We can't operate in
9 any other way. Try to relax and don't be afraid.
10 Especially don't be afraid.
11 Mr. Nobilo?
12 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mrs. Garic, please tell the Court where and
15 when you were born?
16 A. I was born in Vitez on the 26th of October,
18 Q. Could you please describe your family before
19 the tragic events?
20 A. I had three children, my husband Milko, and a
21 daughter and a son, Milan and Ivan.
22 Q. How old were Sanya, Ivan and Milan at the
23 time of these tragic events?
24 A. Sanya was 18, Ivan was 15 and Milan 12, 12
25 and a half.
1 Q. We shall focus on the main event that we
2 actually invited you for, and that is the day of the
3 10th of June, 1993. Tell me, on that day and during
4 those days, was there a lull?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when we say a "lull," what does that
8 A. That means that there wasn't any combat
9 action, there was only one shell that fell that
10 afternoon, around 2.00, I think, but it fell in town.
11 So it was very quiet until this shell fell.
12 Q. Tell me, when the fighting began and from the
13 beginning of the war in Vitez, what was the situation
14 like with civilians, children? Was there
15 restriction -- what were the restrictions in movement
16 and what did you do as a mother? Did you keep your
17 children at home? What did you do? Could you describe
18 this a bit?
19 A. Life was very difficult, very tense. We
20 didn't let our children go around very much. We were
21 afraid of shelling and of snipers, and children spent
22 most of the time in shelters. That day, when they were
23 to be killed, there was a bit of a lull and we let them
24 go out. They were in a place that was protected from
25 snipers, and we did not expect this shell that would
1 actually kill the children.
2 Q. When you say "sniper" -- you've been
3 mentioning snipers. Obviously they were quite a
4 problem. Did children get killed by snipers?
5 A. Yes. Yes. Mostly civilians in our street,
6 where three civilians got killed by snipers.
7 Q. Please tell the Court where the sniper
8 operated from?
9 A. From the Mahala, from the Muslim area.
10 Q. Is the other name for Mahala, Stari Vitez?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Please describe that day. Around what time
13 did the children go out into the street to get some
14 fresh air?
15 A. They went out around 6.00 or 6.30 in the
16 afternoon. The shell fell. They went out to just get
17 a bit of fresh air.
18 Q. Before we move on to this event, could you
19 tell us what children were there, to the best your
20 recollection? It was your children and the children of
21 the neighbours?
22 A. Yes, my three children, Sanya Ivan and Milan,
23 and then also my brother-in-law's children Marina,
24 Marinko, Dario.
25 There were a lot of children. There were
1 children of refugees of Perica Grebenar, Augustina and
2 Velimir were their names. Then the Anticevic children,
3 the little Boris, and then Vlado Ramljak's son Dragan,
4 and there were a lot of other young children. Also,
5 before our children got killed, the children of our
6 Muslim neighbour Hakija Cengic were there an hour or
7 two before that, and before this would happen they went
8 indoors and they never showed up again, so they
10 Q. Tell me, can we say that there were exactly
11 17 children there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Aged from 8 to 18 perhaps?
14 A. Yes, yes. Even 7 -- from 7 to 18.
15 Q. All right. So ages 7 to 18.
16 This area where the children played, you said
17 that it was sniper safe. What did that mean?
18 A. Yes. There were houses all around, and all
19 of us in the neighbourhood thought that that was a
20 protected area, that a sniper could not see them from
21 anywhere, and the children prepared a table for
22 themselves where they could sit and talk, and they
23 didn't expect a shell.
24 Q. So in the afternoon, the children were out in
25 the fresh air, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when did this grenade explode?
3 A. Around fifteen to nine in the evening,
4 because it was a very warm day, this was summertime, so
5 visibility was good.
6 Q. Tell me, was this an attack on Vitez? Was
7 this a series of shots from small arms or from infantry
9 A. No. It was very quiet. This was this one
10 single shell that hit the children, and after that
11 there were no grenades or shells, nothing.
12 Q. So before this shell and after this shell
13 there weren't any other shells, no other attacks on
15 A. No.
16 Q. Before we move on the sight you saw, could
17 you describe what the men told you about, your husband,
18 your neighbours, et cetera? What did they establish?
19 Where did the shell come from, what messages were
21 A. Yes. They said that it came from Grbavica,
22 from Bukve, and shouts were heard after the children
23 were hit and after we parents started screaming. At
24 the lines -- and the lines they heard shouts saying,
25 "You want Herceg-Bosna? There's Herceg-Bosna for you.
1 We're going to cook your salad for you."
2 Q. Tell me, after this shell fell you ran out of
3 the house. How far away were you from this place?
4 A. Yes, I was even outside, perhaps 7, or 8 or
5 10 metres away. There was only a street in between, a
6 village road really.
7 I ran out, I saw this terrible sight, and I
8 saw a lot of smoke and it was very hot, and I just saw
9 fragments of dismembered children's bodies.
10 Q. Who did you see first?
11 A. Boris Anticevic. He was sitting on the bench
12 at the table and he did not have half of his neck and
13 half of his eye.
14 Q. How old was he?
15 A. Boris was nine.
16 Q. And who was the next one you saw?
17 A. And then I saw my late son, who did not have
18 his head on, only a bit of skin, his hair. I managed
19 to gather his brain, and then I saw Dragan --
20 Q. And how old was your son Milan then?
21 A. He was less than 12.
22 Q. And who was next?
23 A. Dragan Ramljak. Yes, Dragan Ramljak was 15.
24 Q. What he did look like?
25 A. He looked terrible, terrible. Half of his
1 back wasn't there. He was bending across the bench.
2 He didn't have half of his head. It was terrible.
3 Q. What did the next child look like?
4 A. Also he didn't have many parts of his body.
5 Q. Did you see Sanya Krizanovic too?
6 A. Yes, Sanya was sitting next to my son, and
7 she was hit in the head and in the legs. And at that
8 time she was still showing signs of life and she was
9 transferred to the war hospital in Vitez, and after
10 that to Nova Bila where she died.
11 Q. And Ivan Garic?
12 A. Ivan Garic is my son.
13 Q. How old was he?
14 A. He was 15 years old. He was sitting next to
15 Sanya and Boris. He survived. He is 70 per cent
16 disabled, he doesn't have part of his skull and he
17 cannot use his left leg below his knee. He is well
18 now, thank God, he had a brain concussion before that,
20 Q. What did your son tell you then?
21 A. He said, "Mommy, run and help my sister, my
22 brother has been killed and take care of my sister".
23 Q. You saw Nadiko (phoen) Grebenar?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. How old was he?
1 A. He was 11.
2 Q. Velimir Grebenar?
3 A. Yes, yes, and Augustina is his sister. He
4 was also a terrible sight. Various parts of his body
5 were missing too.
6 Q. At that time Augustina Grebenar was alive;
8 A. Yes, yes, she was also wounded very
9 seriously, but she was given signs of life and taken to
10 the hospital in Nova Bila where she also died.
11 Q. When you say to Nova Bila, just tell us about
12 this. Was this a hospital, an official institution?
13 What was it?
14 A. No, it was a church hospital, and the
15 conditions were impossible, extremely difficult.
16 Concrete walls, that is where surgery was performed.
17 The wounded regrettably had to lie in the pews, it was
19 Q. And the dead, were they buried the same
21 A. Yes, yes, during the night, before daybreak,
22 so that the sniper from Mahala wouldn't start operating
23 again. Some at 1.00, some at 3.00 a.m., all the five
24 boys were buried during the night, and the girls were
25 buried early in the morning at 6.00. My daughter Sanya
1 died in the hospital in Split and she was buried only
3 Q. Tell me, in Vitez was it customary to have
4 funerals during the night?
5 A. No, never before that, never before the
6 conflict, but then it had to be that way. Because it
7 is customary to have a dignified funeral, but we could
8 not do that for our children, we didn't even dare leave
9 our houses, only the fathers and those who were in
10 charge of all the arrangements. So they were simply
11 buried without a procession, without the procession
12 that --
13 Q. Because of the snipers from Mahala; right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 MR. NOBILO: Could we please see two videos
16 now, and could we have the lights dimmed? And may I
17 just caution everyone, particularly in the audience,
18 the first video is extremely disturbing and there are
19 terrible scenes, and perhaps people who cannot take it
20 should leave the audience immediately.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Let me repeat what Mr. Nobilo
22 said, let me repeat it for the public. I haven't seen
23 the video myself, but if counsel is saying that, then
24 it should be taken seriously. All right, we can
1 Madam, if this is not bearable to you tell us
2 and we can stop it and do it again afterwards.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 (Videotape played)
5 A. This is my son, Milan. The voice that you
6 could hear now is my husband's voice. He fell by his
7 son. You can see, without half of his head. This is
8 the young Velimir Grebenar, and this is the house that
9 they got out of. Dragan Ramljak. Again, Milan. This
10 is the funeral that took place. This is Velimir
11 Grebenar's uncle. The father was in hospital as he
12 buried them. This is my husband, brother. This is
13 Anticevic, Boris's father. This is Boris's father.
14 Q. The number up here is the year of birth and
15 the lower figure is the year when they were killed;
17 A. Yes, that's right. This is my son's cross.
18 This is Dragan Ramljak's father. At that moment they
19 found out about young Velimir's sister, that she died,
21 Q. Before we move on to the next video, I wanted
22 to ask you a question which may be superfluous; but
23 what was the effect of this?
24 A. This caused rage among people. And how?
25 Killing children in such a way, it is such a crime
1 that, at least I consider it to be an abominable crime.
2 Q. You mentioned Hakija Cengic who lived in your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is that the same Hakija Cengic who was
6 commander of the Territorial Defence before Sefkija
8 A. Yes, yes, he was commander of the Territorial
9 Defence. Well, thank God before the war we had quite a
10 relationship, I mean, before they were killed my
11 children even used to spend the night with their
13 Our military police, in order to prevent
14 greater incident, to prevent anyone from taking
15 revenge, they took Hakija and his entire family, since
16 this was a Muslim shell, by UNPROFOR he was taken away
17 to Zenica.
18 MR. NOBILO: Could we see the other videotape
19 now? The next video is on the other videotape I gave
20 you this morning.
21 (Videotape played)
22 A. This is Marina Garic. She is disabled 70 per
23 cent, she is my brother-in-law's daughter. She was
24 wounded by the same shell.
25 Q. Is this a scene from the makeshift hospital
1 in the church?
2 A. Yes, yes, her stomach was affected.
3 Q. Has she survived?
4 A. Yes, yes, but she is disabled 70 per cent.
5 MR. NOBILO: I wish to point out that these
6 videotapes were made by amateurs, but this is the only
7 thing we have. It is authentic and we wanted to show
9 Q. Do you recognise this little boy?
10 A. Let me just take a better look. Yes, it's a
11 bit poor. This is Cecura, his brother was killed, and
12 he also has a 70 per cent disability. He was heavily
13 wounded in the leg. This is Milan Krizanovic, his
14 sister Sanya was killed, and he was also seriously
15 wounded in both legs, also 70 per cent disabled.
16 Q. Did he know at that time that his sister was
18 A. No, no. His mother even had to wear white
19 and pink so that he wouldn't notice anything. Only
20 five or six days later when his condition was
21 stabilised, it is only then that they told him. This
22 is the Cecura boy. This is my son, Ivan, who could not
23 move at all then, for three-and-a-half months he was
24 handicapped. Then Cecura, again.
25 Q. Krizanovic?
1 A. Yes, Krizanovic. Sanya Krizanovic's brother,
2 the Sanya Krizanovic who got killed.
3 MR. NOBILO: All right, thank you, that will
4 do. We can stop the tape at this point.
5 Q. In addition to those messages received from
6 the other side, were you telephoned, where from, and
7 could you explain this to the Court?
8 A. Yes, yes, we received quite a few telephone
9 calls, some of them were very bad. They cursed our
10 Ustasha mothers. This was a male voice from Mahala,
11 and he said that he wanted to talk to my daughter,
12 Sanya, and wanted to go out with her.
13 Q. And that was when she was already dead;
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Did everyone know she was dead, was it
17 broadcast on the radio and everything?
18 A. Yes, yes, this was three or four months after
19 she was killed, everybody knew about it.
20 Q. Tell me, what was the feeling of the general
21 public, the man in the street, towards the Mahala and
22 the army in the Mahala?
23 A. We were all afraid, we never knew what they
24 would do. We were always, we were always prepared to
25 see them do anything, and provoke us in different ways.
1 Q. And what was the feeling of the men towards
2 Blaskic because of his attitude towards the Mahala?
3 Could you explain that?
4 A. They were even angry, I don't want to use
5 another word. They thought that he should have been
6 much more forceful, he was too soft on this. When the
7 women went out, and when the U.N. was taking food to
8 Mahala we wanted to see what was going on, because we
9 knew after food was brought to Mahala, an hour later we
10 would be shelled and shooting would start.
11 Women with young children and my
12 sister-in-law, the wife of my brother who was killed in
13 Buhine Kuce, and many other women and children went
14 out, and Mr. Blaskic said they should get out of the
15 way. He did not allow the convoy to be searched. I
16 think that he was even prepared to have the police send
17 these women away by force so that everything would
18 remain peaceful.
19 Q. Was any mention made of Blaskic forbidding an
20 all-out attack on Mahala, the use of artillery, et
22 A. Yes, yes, every time they said it is
23 Blaskic's fault, he's the one who stopped this, he is
24 the one who doesn't let anyone take any action against
1 MR. NOBILO: I have a set of documents here
2 and I would like to have distributed for identification
3 purposes. I suggest that the entire set should be
4 given the same number and then have subnumbers from 1
5 to 7.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is D467, which is the
7 cassette which we have just seen; and when you see the
8 children playing, that's D466 in the previous cassette;
9 and when you see the children lying on the floor is
11 Q. Mrs. Garic, please take a look at these
12 photographs and just identify them, please. Number 1,
13 who is this?
14 A. Sanya Krizanovic.
15 Q. Number 2?
16 A. Dragan Ramljak.
17 Q. Number 3?
18 A. Sanya Garic.
19 Q. Number 4?
20 A. Milan Garic.
21 Q. Number 5?
22 A. Velimir Grebenar.
23 Q. Number 6?
24 A. Augustina Grebenar.
25 Q. And number 7?
1 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, the interpreter
2 couldn't hear the answer.
3 Q. Which one of the children is missing?
4 A. Anticevic Boris.
5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have completed
6 the direct examination. I'm sorry, I would like to
7 tender into evidence cassettes D465 and D466 and
8 photographs D467.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, do you still
10 say that you are not in a position to conduct the
11 cross-examination? I think that the essential points
12 would be to know where did the bomb come from, from
13 what direction; or are you going to look for
14 clarifications about tactical or strategic points?
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, excuse me.
16 Mr. President, I certainly don't want to
17 belabour the point, and I think when it isn't necessary
18 we haven't asked any questions of many of these
19 witnesses. I just feel it's my obligation in
20 representing the Office of the Prosecutor just to take
21 a look at these matters. As you can see, and I
22 mentioned it to Mr. Nobilo, the witness summary is
23 very, very sparse. It doesn't mention exactly where
24 this took place, et cetera. So there are some other
25 matters we need to look at. I do apologise for the
1 witness, having to call her back, but I feel it is
2 necessary under the circumstances. I must say, Mr.
3 President, it could very well be --
4 JUDGE JORDA: You wouldn't be able to do that
5 -- well, we're supposed to start discussing the
6 problem of the professor, the expert witness, in the
7 afternoon. By 5.00 in the afternoon, wouldn't you have
8 the time to conduct your cross-examination? I'm just
9 thinking about the witness. This is a witness who has
10 suffered tremendously, and to require that she remain
11 in the Hague -- well, I can't go any further. Actually
12 I can go further, I can stop things, but the Judges
13 can't do that, there must be a balance in the trial
14 which has to be respected. But are you sure that you,
15 after a year-and-a-half of this trial, that you don't
16 have enough material, enough documentary evidence -- I
17 suppose you might want to challenge the direction from
18 which the bomb came from, which hill, whether or not it
19 was occupied by the Muslims. I suppose that is your
20 concern, and I understand it. Nonetheless, if you do
21 insist, we can have the witness brought back. I can't
22 tell you anything to the contrary.
23 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I am trying to be
24 accommodating. The procedure that I, the procedure
25 that I offered was simply accepting the procedure that
1 was offered by the Defence, which was the delay of the
2 cross-examination. That was simply what I was doing.
3 They had offered to delay the cross-examination, given
4 the fact that the information had not been given to the
5 Prosecutor in a timely fashion.
6 Nevertheless, given the fact that we will
7 start at 3.00, if I can report back to Your Honours,
8 and if the witness can come at 3.00, I can give some
9 type of indication if we will be prepared to move at
10 5.00 and question the witness at 5.00.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Even at 5.00, that would be
12 fine, or 4.30. Let's see, I see that Mr. Fourmy is
13 making a sign to me. I think it is not about the
14 interpretation. You have the microphone, please take
15 the microphone. I'm trying to find solutions to the
16 problems, specifically those relating to the problem,
17 and we could start at 2.30, for example, have a closed
18 session during which we could discuss the expert, that
19 is going to take 30 minutes. Then perhaps the
20 cross-examination could be -- well, how long will you
21 need for the cross-examination?
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I just got a stack
23 of materials this morning. This was a witness that
24 wasn't supposed to come until next week. I got a stack
25 of materials, I haven't even read those materials. It
1 could very well be, Mr. President, I have nothing to
2 ask this witness. I'm just trying to fulfil my
4 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Here is what we're
5 going to do. We will resume our hearing at 2.30, not
6 3.00, 2.30, but it will be in closed session. Between
7 now and then you will have the time to eat a sandwich,
8 like every day, and time to read all the documents.
9 And then afterwards we might move to the
10 cross-examination. All right.
11 The witness will remain available to the
12 Tribunal this afternoon, it's in her own interest.
13 Perhaps we won't have to have you come back. I will
14 have done as much as I can, but we can't go beyond
15 that. You understand the Prosecutor has rights, as
17 All right, we're going to suspend the hearing
18 and we will resume at 2.30 in a closed session, in
19 respect of the problem in principle regarding the
20 expert witness; but the witness here will remain at the
21 Tribunal, remain available, and the Prosecutor will
22 tell us that he can or cannot conduct the
23 cross-examination. If he can, perhaps you will leave a
24 little bit later, but everything will be finished;
25 otherwise you will have to stay in The Hague over the
1 weekend. That's all that we can do for right now.
2 The registrar is turning to me, did I make a
3 mistake, Mr. Dubuisson?
4 THE REGISTRAR: No, it's that this hearing
5 this afternoon will be in closed session.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's right, 2.30.
7 Mr. Nobilo, you want to say something?
8 MR. NOBILO: Very briefly. The exhibit we
9 tendered with regard to the previous witness, actually
10 I forgot to tender it officially into evidence, the
11 previous witness's place of residence, the map where I
12 marked it, so I would like to offer it into evidence
13 now, please.
14 MR. KEHOE: No objection from the
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe is not going to
17 refuse you anything, he never does. All right. We can
18 suspend and resume at 2.30. Try to rest up a bit,
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
13 remainder of afternoon is Motion Hearing – in closed session