1 Tuesday, 6th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your
6 Honours. This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, as we
9 understand the position, there is a dispute about the
10 next witness, Mrs. Mahmutovic.
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Indeed,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: It relates to the late disclosure
14 of her statement. I'll just make sure that I've got
15 the facts right.
16 The statement was taken on the 4th of March
17 of this year from the witness and disclosed in English
18 on the 5th of March, but the B/C/S translation was not
19 disclosed until the 19th of May, some two days after
20 the deadline.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes, that
22 is so, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE MAY: So the objection is a late
24 disclosure of these matters.
25 Mr. Lopez-Terres, it's obviously better if
1 the trial is conducted on the basis that the disclosure
2 deadlines are adhered to. It makes life very difficult
3 if they aren't.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes, I
5 quite understand your comment, Mr. President, but I can
6 add the following as regards the situation with our
7 witness, Mrs. Mahmutovic: The Prosecutor's office does
8 not dispute that the Serbo-Croatian version of her
9 statement was not disclosed to the Defence of
10 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Cerkez until the 19th of May, that
11 is, two days after the date as set by your decision of
12 the 1st of April, and as you have quite correctly
13 stated, the statement of the 4th of March, and then
14 done in English on the 5th of March, was disclosed to
15 the Defence.
16 However, the Defence of the accused was
17 informed of the intention of the Prosecutor to call
18 Mrs. Mahmutovic by a letter of the 11th of June, 1992
19 (sic), and that letter was confirmed on the 18th of
20 June, 1999. After this double confirmation, the
21 Defence did not object. We did not receive any
22 objection or any comment from them. In consequence,
23 the Prosecutor's office believed they were authorised
24 to undertake all the necessary preliminary steps so as
25 to organise the testimony of Mrs. Mahmutovic.
1 Likewise, may I add that the person who here
2 wished to escort her here at the Tribunal during her
3 appearance at the Tribunal, because Mrs. Mahmutovic was
4 reluctant to appear by herself, this was done. The
5 Victims and Witnesses Unit was accordingly advised, and
6 it was only on the 29th of June that the Defence
7 counsel of the accused Dario Kordic, and only Dario
8 Kordic, let us know that they were opposing the
9 testimony of Mrs. Mahmutovic.
10 Now, I needed to explain all of this, but I
11 should like to add also that the Prosecutor's office
12 quite clearly believes that the objections of
13 Mr. Kordic's counsel, and I'm repeating once again, by
14 Mr. Kordic's counsel alone, is not, in our view,
15 something that can be supported.
16 Why do we think that this objection, this
17 opposition, should be discarded? It is because
18 Mr. Kordic's counsel, they all speak English, which is
19 not always so in other cases that are before the
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, I'm going to
22 interrupt you, and we'll just call on the Defence to
23 hear what they've got to say about it.
24 It's right, Mr. Stein, isn't it, that you
25 have had notice since the 11th of June that this
1 witness was liable to be called?
2 MR. STEIN: That is correct, Sir.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Stein,
5 MR. STEIN: That is correct. We were tied up
6 with another issue that the Court put on us called the
7 dossier issue, and I'm afraid that June 11th notice
8 slipped through the cracks. However, on June 30th,
9 when Mr. Scott made note that this witness was coming
10 and there was a late translation, he asked us, by
11 letter dated the same date, to give us his (sic)
12 position no later that the close of business on
13 Thursday, July 1, and we did that. So we gave him our
14 position one would advance in an effort to diminish any
15 travel inconvenience to the witness.
16 Our position now, in the future and then, is
17 that the Court's orders are clear, they need to be
18 complied with. Prosecution knows they need to be
19 complied with. If I take my colleagues' words, it
20 seems that unless we speak up, the Prosecution deems
21 that to be some sort of a waiver of our position.
22 We're not going to waive that position. It was a
23 Court-order-imposed deadline after much debate, after
24 much discussion, and with the rights of the accused,
25 and particularly the rights of the accused, to see the
1 evidence in his own language in mind. Those are the
2 rules of the case and the Rules of this Court and this
3 Tribunal. Hence, we stand on our objection.
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
5 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I apologise,
6 Your Honours, but I also oppose the testimony of this
7 witness on different grounds.
8 We received the summary this morning. We
9 were given the summary of this witness's testimony this
10 morning, and it was a surprise from the summary that a
11 considerable portion, I don't know how much, but I
12 should say about one third of the summary is a
13 completely new statement. These are from item 1 to
14 item 20, apart from the two or three -- I mean the
15 first ones which concern the witness, as such.
16 I mean we see here some facts which were
17 never mentioned in her earlier statement and the only
18 statement of March 1999. In other words, we see here
19 some new findings, and they are of major consequence
20 for the accused Cerkez. We had absolutely no
21 possibility of preparing ourselves for this.
22 This is quite new, and we think that it is a
23 completely new statement. What this is all about, we
24 do not know whether another statement was given to the
25 investigators or the Prosecutor directly and it has not
1 been disclosed to us, or is it that the Prosecutor
2 intends to use this summary to present the statements
3 of this witness which they obtained from her during the
4 past two or three days? This is something that we do
5 not know, but this has nothing to do with the original
6 statement of the witness of the 4th of May.
7 The witness, in that statement, speaks about
8 the events of the 16th of April, '93, and in only two
9 or three sentences describes the events around that
10 particular date, and here she is referring to some
11 relevant events and facts which were happening at that
13 This is, in substance, a completely new
14 statement, and we are really opposing to this testimony
15 because we simply had no opportunity of checking
16 certain things, verifying them or supporting them, and
17 we are simply unable to grapple with this kind of
19 Thank you very much.
20 (Trial Chamber confers)
21 JUDGE MAY: We shall allow this witness to
22 give her evidence now. But Mr. Lopez-Terres, we want
23 to make it quite plain that in so doing, we are not in
24 any way encouraging the Prosecution to be late in
25 future with these statements and this disclosure, or to
1 rely on, as it were, new witnesses. But in this
2 particular case, we can see no real prejudice to the
3 Defence arising from this witness being called, because
4 notice was given as long ago as the 11th of June that
5 the witness was to be called, and by then the
6 statements had been fully disclosed. But we shall
7 expect these matters to be attended to within the
8 deadline, and because we are giving leave on this
9 occasion, it doesn't mean that we will do so on every
11 As for the matter which is raised by
12 Mr. Kovacic, what we shall do is this, that
13 cross-examination -- the witness can give evidence in
14 chief. It will then be apparent if there is any new
15 matter. If counsel requires time before
16 cross-examination, Mr. Kovacic, then he can apply to
17 postpone some part of the cross-examination until
18 tomorrow afternoon, and he will have this evening and
19 tomorrow morning to prepare. But I hope that won't be
21 We'll call the witness.
22 MR. STEIN: Your Honour, before we do, may I
23 just change the record: We actually, according to our
24 records, received the statement on May 21, a two-day
25 difference. It's of no import to Your Honour's
1 decision, but I want it to be clear. This will be a
2 theme that will be coming up with other witnesses.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
4 Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
6 Mr. President, with regard to the disclosure of the
7 translation, it was transmitted on the same day that we
8 received it from the translation office. We received
9 it on the 19th and we disclosed it on the 19th.
10 (The witness entered court)
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
18 WITNESS: NUSRETA MAHMUTOVIC
19 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
20 [Witness answers through interpreter]
21 Q. Madam, you are Mrs. Nusreta Mahmutovic,
22 born on 10th October, 1957; is that so?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. And you are employed as a clerical worker in
25 Zenica, you work for the Ministry of the Interior
2 A. I do.
3 Q. And you are with the department which is
4 responsible for the issue of passports; is that so?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, until April 1993, you lived
7 in Vitez, in the quarter called Kolonija, on the street
8 Podgradina, with your husband and your two daughters,
9 aged 13 and 15 at the time; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. You were married to Mr. Saban Mahmutovic?
12 A. I was, yes.
13 Q. Mr. Saban Mahmutovic was, for a period of
14 time, deputy chief of police in Vitez at the time when
15 there was a joint police force in Vitez; is that
17 A. It is.
18 Q. Mr. Saban Mahmutovic was a member of the SDA,
19 was he?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Saban Mahmutovic never had any
22 responsible positions in his party, did he?
23 A. No, he did not really have any specific
24 responsibility, any specific position, but he was a
25 member of the SDA.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Saban Mahmutovic, before he
2 was appointed deputy chief of police in Vitez, was an
3 inspector with the municipal administration of Vitez
4 and was appointed chief of the uniformed police in
5 Vitez following the elections of 1990; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is, yes.
7 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, at the time that we are
8 talking about, your husband, I suppose you knew which
9 were the principal things that he had to do in his
10 capacity of the chief of police in Vitez?
11 A. Well, more or less, yes. I knew
12 conversations among friends and what one could hear
13 from -- one could learn in a normal conversation
14 between a husband and his wife, between two spouses.
15 Q. Yes. You did not have to learn the detail; I
16 mean, you were kept abreast of the events. And then in
17 June 1992, the HVO hoisted the Croatian flag in front
18 of the police station and then prevented various
19 members of the police, and your husband, to enter their
20 offices; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is. Yes, he told me that. I knew
23 Q. Did he also tell you, during those
24 conversations that you had, that in October 1992 there
25 was a meeting entered to try to reactivate the joint
1 police station in Vitez, but that the police officers
2 who were of Muslim origin were then asked to fill a
3 form, to fill an application in which they were
4 requesting to enrol in the HVO; is that so?
5 A. Yes. Throughout that time, since about June
6 1992, my husband and other policemen of Bosniak
7 ethnicity kept insisting on joint meetings so as to
8 finally arrive at a joint police force. In October,
9 when they believed that it would eventually happen, and
10 that the police would become one again, at a meeting,
11 there were first read -- rather, the then-chief, Samir,
12 first read out them the wish, practically, in which
13 they could become -- or rather go on working for the
14 police administration in Vitez and said that if they
15 wished to do so, they would have to fill the
16 applications for the police of so-called Herceg-Bosna
17 and thus give up their jobs with the Ministry of the
18 Interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 But they refused that. They were taken by
20 surprise, and they thought they could somehow start
21 with joint work. But after this instance and after --
22 and on the insistence on the chessboard flag, or rather
23 the request that they apply for joining Herceg-Bosna,
24 they refused and left the meeting. That is all that I
25 can say about that.
1 Q. Your husband was deputy chief of the police
2 in Vitez at the time, and the chief of the police in
3 Vitez, what was his ethnicity?
4 A. Muslim. Bosniak. A Muslim. You mean my
5 husband, or --
6 Q. No, no, I'm talking about the chief of the
8 A. Oh, the chief of the police, himself, he was
9 a Catholic. He was a Croat.
10 Q. So the head of the police was a Croat, and
11 your husband, as his deputy, was a Muslim; is that
13 A. It is, yes.
14 Q. So following the refusal to sign the
15 application -- the form for the police of Herceg-Bosna,
16 or the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, Muslim police
17 officers then set up a separate commissariat in Stari
18 Vitez, a separate station in Stari Vitez; is that
20 A. It is, yes. They set up a police station in
21 Stari Vitez. First they notified the centre of
22 security service in Zenica, and the former police
23 station in Vitez was at that time under the -- if I may
24 put it so -- auspices of the centre for security
25 services in Zenica. They explained what they were
1 being asked to do, and they were issued additional
2 instructions that Bosniak policemen could set up a
3 separate police station in Stari Vitez, and my husband
4 was the chief of that police station. He was appointed
5 as its chief by the centre for security services in
7 Q. And following that decision, there were two
8 police headquarters in Vitez; is that so?
9 A. Yes. Yes, as of that date, there were two
10 police stations, and at that time, already, certain
11 misunderstandings began to happen. If something
12 happened in a place where the Muslims were a majority,
13 then Muslim policemen would go out; or the other way
14 around, if something happened in a place where Croats
15 were a majority, then Croat policemen would begin to go
16 out. And already at that time strife began, disputes
17 began, because two police evidently could not work in
18 one and the same place in one and the same direction.
19 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, during those conversations
20 that you had with your husband at that time, you also
21 heard there were some other attempts to reactivate the
22 joint police force in Vitez, and he mentioned in
23 particular a meeting which was held to this end on the
24 27th of July, '93, and I ask you to go through the
25 report. I'm referring to the document which was
1 already tendered before this meeting. It is Z340
3 Just a moment; you'll be shown the document.
4 A. Yes. Sure.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) It is
6 document Z410.
7 Q. Could you please read the document,
8 Mrs. Mahmutovic. This is a document that has the name
9 of your husband in it.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) This
11 document has already been tendered to the Trial Chamber
12 when witness Edib ^ Zlotrg testified.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, we have this
14 document. It's already been produced, as you said. I
15 don't think we need to spend any time on it again.
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
17 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, after you've glanced over
18 the document, could you please tell us what happened
19 and whether -- after this document was issued, was the
20 police founded in Vitez?
21 A. A joint police station was never established
22 from the day that the original police station broke
24 Q. Your husband, did he tell you at the time
25 what the reasons were why this project was never
2 A. The reasons were not acceptance of the police
3 of Herceg-Bosna and the police markings with the
4 chequered flag. This is something that the Bosniak
5 police officers could not accept.
6 Q. Thank you very much. We will continue.
7 We're going to work on the next area. Is it true that
8 in January, 1993, when you were at home, there was a
9 strong detonation close to your house, after which
10 there was no damage done to the building and nobody was
11 injured? Could you please confirm whether this
12 incident did actually take place?
13 A. Yes. At that time, there were explosions.
14 Mostly the facilities of Bosniak Muslims were blown
15 up. Half an hour before this strong detonation was
16 heard, the bank in Vitez was -- I can say it in my own
17 words -- blown up. Very soon after that, maybe half an
18 hour later, there was a strong detonation.
19 I was in the house with my daughters, and I
20 also had a refugee and her son. She was from Kljuc.
21 We were very frightened. We didn't know that this was
22 happening so close by. My husband wasn't there. I
23 called the police station in Stari Vitez. I informed
24 him what happened. Police officers came quickly, and
25 this is all that I can say.
1 Q. These explosions, these many explosions that
2 you mentioned, could you please tell us, what was the
3 purpose of these explosions and whose property was
4 being blown up?
5 A. These were Bosniak facilities, and the
6 objective was to frighten the Bosniak population.
7 Q. You said that the explosion which occurred
8 near your house happened on the same night that the
9 bank in Vitez was destroyed. Is this true?
10 A. (No audible response)
11 Q. A little bit before that, in February '93,
12 somebody called you without identifying themselves at
13 your house, and they threatened you, this anonymous
14 caller threatened you. Could you please tell us what
15 were the circumstances in which this call took place
16 and what this anonymous caller said?
17 A. The refugee woman who was staying with me
18 from Kljuc, her husband was a member of the B and H
19 army and he was on the front, on duty near Sarajevo.
20 His unit was situated in Travnik, so on return from
21 Sarajevo, from his duties, with a couple of his
22 friends, a couple of his colleagues, members of the
23 army, he stopped by our house. He just came to see his
24 wife and his son. He was just passing by. He wanted
25 to see them. They didn't enter the house. They were
1 in the courtyard. Very quickly after that -- they only
2 stayed for a short while, and they left towards
3 Travnik, where their unit was located.
4 Shortly after that, there was a telephone
5 call. Ms. Besa answered. The person who was calling
6 probably thought that I had answered the phone, because
7 he addressed her with the words, "What are you doing,
8 lady? What is that army at your house? You really
9 should understand that your house is being watched. We
10 know who is coming in and who is going out of your
11 house. Don't try to do anything. There will be
12 problems if something happens." Ms. Besa replied to
13 that that this was the regular army, this was the army,
14 and that was her husband who had just come simply to
15 visit her.
16 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Mahmutovic, I would like to
17 you look at another document which was tendered earlier
18 to the Trial Chamber. This is Document 3322.
19 Would you please look at pages 4 and 5 of
20 this document, which is in Bosnian?
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I would
22 like to just say, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber,
23 that in the English version, these are pages 5 and 6.
24 Q. So please would you look at page 4? On
25 page 4, it states that, "On the 21st of January, at
1 about 20 past 9.00, there was an explosive device which
2 exploded close to the house of Saban Mahmutovic. His
3 house is in Podgradina." Could you please confirm for
4 us if this is the correct date and if it matches the
5 events which you have already described for us?
6 A. Well, I don't remember the exact date, but
7 what I said happened in connection to the explosion did
8 happen. It's all true. I don't remember precisely the
9 date, but the police probably has the date in their
10 report, and I believe that the date is correct. The
11 event really did take place.
12 Q. I would now, for the same reason, ask you to
13 look at page 5 of the document, the next page, and the
14 date "February 22nd, 1993". Do you see that section at
15 the bottom of the page, where the date is "February
16 22nd, 1993"?
17 A. On page 5, I see "February 21st".
18 Q. Page 5, at the bottom of that page, I will
19 read the English version, which is on page 8.
20 MR. STEIN: I would object. If I have the
21 right document in hand, it's a witness statement of
22 Mr. Zlotrg which was admitted for the purpose of
23 impeachment only.
24 JUDGE MAY: It's a summary of the events in
25 Vitez, which was introduced by one witness. It wasn't
1 for the purpose of impeachment. I think it was
2 introduced, as I recollect it, by the Prosecution. But
3 I can't find where we're supposed to be in it. Which
4 page are we supposed to be looking at,
5 Mr. Lopez-Terres?
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) In the
7 English translation, it's page 8, and it's page 6 --
8 it's a bad copy -- in Bosnian, and it says "22nd of
9 February, 1993". In English, it states, "On February
10 22nd, 1993, at about 6.00 p.m., we received a call from
11 Saban Mahmutovic, indicating that he had received an
12 anonymous call --"
13 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down. The
14 interpreters do not have the text.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) ... so a
16 patrol was sent to the site. I would just like to ask
17 Mrs. Mahmutovic whether the date of February 22nd
18 matches the date that we had talked about.
19 A. Well, I was looking at the English version,
20 so I really couldn't find my way there. I found the
21 bottom of the page. I don't understand what it states,
22 but I did find the date, the 22nd.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, let us not
24 waste any more time on it.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
1 Q. When we were talking about the period that
2 we're discussing now, so January or February 1993, one
3 evening the accused Mario Cerkez and Mr. Darko
4 Kraljevic together came to your house. Could you
5 please tell us something about that event?
6 A. Yes. I can say, first of all, that I have
7 never given such a statement before. I have said this
8 in order to differentiate, because the person that I
9 spoke to insisted he wanted to differentiate between
10 the terms "army" and "police". In some documents, it
11 was mentioned that my husband was a member of the
12 army. According --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Mahmutovic, I'm going to
14 interrupt you, if you don't mind, for a moment. Could
15 you, just for the moment, tell us what happened when
16 these two men came to your house? Don't worry about
17 any statements or anything. Just tell us what
19 A. When Kraljevic and Cerkez arrived, it was --
20 I can't remember exactly, but it was quite late, maybe
21 10.00, 11.00 in the evening. It was night. They rang
22 the doorbell. My husband came out. You could hear
23 some shouting, some talk outside. On his return, when
24 my husband came back, he told me that Kraljevic and
25 Cerkez had arrived, and he conveyed to me that they
1 were probably a little intoxicated and that the
2 discussion was pretty noisy, but what they wanted was
3 for my husband to get ready and to go in a car with
4 them and to remove the checkpoints set up by the army.
5 My husband didn't want to do this. He tried
6 in every possible way to avoid going. He simply talked
7 to them, and he told them that those checkpoints were
8 not set up by the police, that they should go to the
9 commander, Sefkija Djidic, to which they replied that
10 they had already been to see him and that he had said
11 that he could not remove those checkpoints, that Saban
12 Mahmutovic was the only person who could do that.
13 This conversation went on for about half an
14 hour, perhaps. It was quite noisy. In the meantime, I
15 had come out. I was surprised by the loudness of their
16 discussion, by their loud talk. I came out and I
17 addressed Cerkez. I told him, laughing, "What are you
18 saying? Are you going to do something? Are you
19 perhaps going to kill my husband?" I had something
20 like that said sarcastically, but I only wanted to come
21 out and see what was going on. And then Cerkez
22 replied, "Well, I am not like that, Mrs. Mahmutovic,
23 and nothing will happen to your husband." So I
24 returned to the house. The conversation went on for a
25 little while longer. I don't know in what manner, but
1 ultimately my husband didn't go. He avoided going with
3 I don't know what happened the next day
4 regarding those checkpoints, but that night I know that
5 the two of them had come and that is what happened.
6 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, did you know the accused
7 Mario Cerkez before he visited your house?
8 A. Personally, I didn't know him all that well.
9 Mario Cerkez was a friend of my husband. I think that
10 they worked together in the municipal office at one
11 time, so everything that I can -- all that I can tell
12 you regarding Cerkez, mostly I couldn't -- from
13 conversations with my husband, my husband didn't really
14 have anything bad to say about Cerkez. I simply had
15 the impression that they were friends.
16 Q. Thank you. On April 15th, 1993, your husband
17 was invited to a party which was organised in Old
18 Vitez, in the fire station hall, due to the anniversary
19 of the B and H army, where he met the HVO
20 representatives; is this correct?
21 A. Yes, it's correct. They held a meeting
22 there. The anniversary celebration was held there.
23 They also reached an accord. I remember my husband
24 came back towards evening. He was quite satisfied. He
25 said, "Everything has been agreed. We will finally
1 start working together, we will begin." So he was
2 mostly quite happy with the outcome of the meeting.
3 Q. So your husband was quite optimistic,
4 according to what you say; he had faith?
5 A. Yes, he was convinced that this will start
6 working and that everything will be all right.
7 Q. What happened the next day, on the 16th of
8 April, in view of the events that we are familiar with?
9 A. On April 16th, in the morning, we were woken
10 up by explosions, detonations. My husband was in the
11 house. I was in the house, too, and our children. I
12 was working in Princip already, so I would leave for
13 work earlier. My husband wasn't even up yet. I was
14 already up. I had started to get ready for work. He
15 said, "Just get ready. Everything will be okay. These
16 are just some small clashes, some small
17 misunderstandings." He simply didn't consider that a
18 conflict would -- a broader conflict would happen.
19 Q. Returning to the evening of the April 15th,
20 did your brother, Nusret Kalco, come to visit you that
22 A. Yes, my brother came. He had listened to
23 Dario Kordic's conference --
24 JUDGE MAY: There's an objection. Yes.
25 MR. STEIN: This is double hearsay, and as
1 you can see from the proffer before you, it's double
2 hearsay of vague statements attributable to my client
3 without a time, place, or substance.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, would you like
5 to ask some questions, before dealing with the
6 statements themselves, as to how it is that this
7 witness heard about them?
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
9 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, your brother visited you on
10 April 15th; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. Your husband talked to him; is that right?
13 A. My husband, yes, he talked to him. My
14 brother had come with the intention of telling us to
15 leave Vitez, that something terrible was about to
16 happen. He had heard on the television Kordic's press
17 conference, and he was suggesting that we leave Vitez.
18 MR. STEIN: With respect, I would like to ask
19 the examination to proceed normally as a direct, as
20 opposed to leading, and we lead up to this point, which
21 is where Your Honour's ruling --
22 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with it.
23 Did you yourself, Mrs. Mahmutovic, hear
24 anything that had been said on the television?
25 A. I didn't watch television, but I heard what
1 my brother had told my husband. My husband replied to
2 that --
3 JUDGE MAY: Well --
4 A. "You're too frightened."
5 JUDGE MAY: Take it slowly.
6 A. Okay.
7 JUDGE MAY: You heard your brother had told
8 your husband, who told you; is that right?
9 A. No. I was there. He came to our house, my
11 JUDGE MAY: You were present when he was
12 telling your husband about what had been said?
13 A. Yes, I was present.
14 (Trial Chamber confers)
15 MR. STEIN: Your Honour, besides the hearsay
16 nature of this, the statements on television have to be
17 put in time/place context, one statement two or three
18 weeks before, the week before, the day before, and they
19 are not.
20 (Trial Chamber confers)
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll admit this evidence.
22 Whatever weight is to be given to it is, of course,
23 something we will have to decide. Perhaps you could
24 get some more detail about it, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
1 Q. So, Mrs. Mahmutovic, you stated that you
2 didn't personally hear those statements on the
3 television, so could you tell us, according to your
4 understanding, when did Mr. Kordic make those
5 statements on television? Was that that same day?
6 A. My brother came in the evening on the 15th.
7 He came to tell my husband that based on what he had
8 heard at the press conference of Dario Kordic, that
9 some conflicts could come about, a bad situation could
10 happen, so he was suggesting that we leave that part of
11 Vitez, to which my husband replied that everything was
12 okay. "We had agreed already. Don't be so
13 frightened. What's the matter with you." And he
14 simply talked to him, and we didn't go out that
15 evening. We stayed at home.
16 Q. Could you please tell us what your brother's
17 duties were at that time?
18 A. My brother was the director in Princip, in
19 Vitezit. I think it was called Princip.
20 Q. Thank you. We had started to talk about the
21 events that took place on April 16th, in the morning,
22 so chronologically I will just remind you of that.
23 You said that after you were woken up by
24 explosions, you had decided, at the suggestion of your
25 husband, to go with your children to a neighbour's
1 house, Dr. Patkovic, and then to the house of a
2 Croatian friend, Mr. Ramljak, where there was a
3 shelter. Is that true?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Your husband remained in your house, and then
6 he came to join you after a while at Mr. Ramljak's
7 house; is this correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. After that, he left you and he hid again,
10 because that morning he had decided to hide?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. At the end of the morning, late in the
13 morning, you had decided to go back to the house to get
14 some clothes; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you went back to your house, you saw a
17 group of ten HVO soldiers. Some of them were in
18 camouflage uniforms, some were wearing black uniforms,
19 and they had taken up positions around your house; is
20 that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You heard, from the house, soldiers who were
23 discussing and asking themselves whether they should
24 shoot before they entered the house or not; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You opened the door of your house. The
3 soldiers came in, and one of the soldiers asked the
4 others, "Who is his wife"; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. These soldiers pointed their weapons at you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Your friend, the refugee that we already
9 mentioned, was with you, and one of the soldiers
10 indicated at you, and he said, "Yes, that's her. She's
11 the older one"; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Those soldiers asked you where your husband
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Then they put you in a room, and while one of
17 the soldiers was guarding you in that room, the rest
18 were searching the house; is that true?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. During the search of your house, did you hear
21 the soldiers talking and mentioning your husband?
22 A. The soldiers climbed to the second floor of
23 our house. They were searching. They were cursing our
24 balija mothers. They were saying, "Look at this
25 crook. He really situated himself well. Look at all
1 the things that he has in his house," and they were
2 using bad abuses, they were hurling abuses.
3 Q. Then you left your house. Could you tell us,
4 when you left, what did the soldiers say, what were the
5 words that some of them used?
6 A. One of the soldiers, and he was the leader of
7 that group, but let it be clear it was an organised
8 group sent to our house with a purpose, he said, "What
9 shall we do with them?" The one who was standing guard
10 over us said, "Well, let them go. Forget about them.
11 They are women and children." The one who I think was
12 the HVO soldier and the leader of the group, he said --
13 well, just described it. He said, "You'll lose your
15 We came out in front of the house. We didn't
16 know where to go, so we just stood there until one of
17 those soldiers said, "What are you waiting for? You'll
18 get the next bullet." Then we went down the street and
19 got to Nafiz Patkovic's house.
20 Q. Before you left your home, could you see what
21 the soldiers were doing? Were they using their weapons
22 before that? Did they take over your house?
23 A. I've never seen so much hatred. I never
24 believed there could be so much hatred, that one could
25 destroy something with so much hatred. They were
1 firing. There were bursts of fire. It was like
2 fireworks that went out at the front of the house, at
3 the back of the house. It was terrible. It was
4 awful. It was frightening to watch them, what they
5 were destroying, how they were destroyed, and how much
6 hatred they put into the destruction of that house.
7 Q. What eventually happened to that house, Mrs.
9 A. Well, finally as we were still there, the
10 curtain in the nursery began to burn. My house has
11 burnt down completely, and in the shelter in which we
12 were, we could see our house burning. My late husband
13 also saw that, and he knew that his house had burned
15 Q. So your house was completely destroyed that
17 A. Yes, completely burnt down, down to the
18 foundations, and it was a big house, a three-storey
19 house, a new one. We had moved into it barely three
20 years before that. It had been razed to the ground.
21 That is what human hatred and malice can do.
22 Q. After those events which you just described
23 to us, you told us that you returned to that Croat,
24 Mr. Ramljak, who offered you shelter, and then in his
25 house you found soldiers who had been to your house
1 also came to that Croat's house. Now, what happened
3 A. No, I can say -- that is what I can say about
4 that man, because he really is a proper -- Vlado
5 Ramljak took us in as his own. He took us to his
6 shelter. As we were in the shelter, that same group
7 came to Vlado's house, saw me and my children, and the
8 leader -- I mean the man that I believe was his leader,
9 a tall, fair-haired young man, perhaps 22 or 23, turned
10 to Vlado and said, "Vlado, you look after that Saban's
11 wife and children while his men are killing Croats. Up
12 there they're killing Croats." That is what he said
13 then. Mr. Vlado said that he simply could not summon
14 either the strength or heart to throw us out because we
15 were children and women, and that this one was a
16 soldier, he knew what he had to do, but that he --
17 THE INTERPRETER: -- Vlado Ramljak, that
18 is --
19 A. -- could do nothing but just try to help
20 women and children.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, I think the
22 next part need not be dealt with in a great deal of
23 detail. There are no doubt distressing matters, and we
24 don't need to stress them.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) There was
1 just something which I wanted the witness to specify,
2 although I know that all these events are very painful,
3 but it has do with the death of Mr. Saban Mahmutovic,
4 because Mr. Saban Mahmutovic died in Vitez during those
6 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, you were not present when
7 your husband died, but you heard about it from
8 witnesses, about the circumstances of his death; is
9 that correct?
10 A. It is, yes. We were in Mr. Vlado's shelter
11 when the house was set on fire. We saw the house
12 burning. We knew that my husband was in the house, but
13 all that we could think about at that moment was that
14 he had burned down together with the house. We did not
15 know what was going on. My children were next to me,
16 and crying, and I was hugging them, but we did not want
17 to show them that my husband was in that house.
18 And then subsequently, from witnesses, from
19 my brother, from my former friend Ivanka Biletic were
20 heard, about the circumstances when the house was burnt
21 down. And if you want me, I can tell you. I can tell
22 you that my house was put fire to. My husband was in
23 its loft. He jumped from the balcony of the loft to
24 the balcony of the middle floor, and from the middle
25 floor, when the fire, when the flames had reached it,
1 threatening him, he jumped from that middle balcony,
2 which was rather high up.
3 He jumped down, but the house was surrounded
4 by HVO soldiers. He jumped down and started to run
5 towards the wood behind the house, but they caught up
6 with them. And my brother was watching from Vlado
7 Ramljak's loft, how they beat them, how they battered
8 him. They were kicking him mostly in the area of his
9 stomach. He simply could not walk. They were dragging
10 him, they were dragging him from that house towards --
11 he assumed towards the shelter, towards people, or the
12 camp, I don't really know what to call it, but towards
13 the place where they were detaining all the Bosniaks
14 they had taken into custody.
15 Q. Thank you very much for this clear
16 explanation. I do understand that it is very difficult
17 for you.
18 Mrs. Mahmutovic, you could not personally see
19 your husband's body because you left Vitez before his
20 funeral, but have you heard about the state in which
21 his body was?
22 A. Let me tell you, there were people from
23 Vitez, from the authorities, people who had tapes who
24 saw it, who knew it, who saw the body. I avoided -- I
25 shunned talking to people about that, even though on a
1 couple of occasions I could see that tape, I refused
2 it; I simply couldn't brace myself to do it.
3 And from my husband's brother's son, who was
4 a policeman in Stari Vitez, he was buried in Stari
5 Vitez, he saw his body, and he wanted to tell me, but I
6 gathered that -- that was his assumption, that the
7 whole part of his face and mouth was missing. They
8 guessed that perhaps they had put a grenade into his
9 mouth and it was blown off. At any rate, I mean, parts
10 of his face was missing, and I simply didn't want
11 anyone to show it to me or tell me about it. I simply
12 refused to hear of any more details. If you really
13 want to know about it, you can look for it.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Thank you very much,
15 madam. I want now to show you a document which is a
16 death certificate, which is Z2233.
17 Mrs. Mahmutovic, you have this document
18 before you; could you please confirm to us that this is
19 the death certificate of your husband, Saban
21 A. Yes, it is the death certificate of my late
22 husband, but the date of his death is not correct. The
23 place, yes, it is correct, and all the other
24 particulars are correct, but my husband was killed on
25 the second morning, because they could not find him; he
1 was very well sheltered in the loft. And this
2 document, I had this document, I needed it -- or rather
3 all the families needed those documents in order to
4 regulate various matters, the status of combatants
5 killed. It was the municipality which was issuing
6 this, and the majority of Bosniaks, of Muslims, of
7 eminent Bosniaks in the authorities perished on the
8 16th, so this was also done on the 16th. But I have
9 the 17th. I have this correction, the 17th, and indeed
10 he was killed on the 17th. That would be correct. I
11 think the hour is correct here.
12 Q. But this document is your husband's death
13 certificate; everything is correct except the date of
14 the -- except the date of his demise, the 17th rather
15 than the 16th?
16 A. Yes, it is. It is.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Mrs. Mahmutovic, did
18 you know of the death of other persons whom you knew in
19 Vitez or other fellow policemen of your husband on that
20 date, the 16th of April, 1993? And if you did know of
21 other such cases, do you know their names?
22 A. Yes, in Mr. Vlado's shelter, the news arrived
23 all the time: So-and-so has been killed, so-and-so has
24 been killed. Amongst the first was the news of the
25 death of Midhat Varupa, the representative of the
1 Bosniak authorities, and he was killed because groups
2 were sent specifically to kill eminent Muslims. In
3 addition to Midhat Varupa, I know that Salem Topcic was
4 killed. That was a very close colleague and friend of
5 my husband's. He was an inspector with the Ministry of
6 the Interior. He was stabbed to death before his wife
7 and his children. Nedim Zlotrg and his wife, Mira,
8 they were also killed in their house, also before their
9 children, and the mother of--
10 JUDGE MAY: No, I know you object to this.
11 The witness is merely repeating stories.
12 MR. STEIN: Yes, and --
13 JUDGE MAY: There's nothing in the statement
14 about it; I quite agree. We are able to give such
15 evidence what weight it's worth.
16 MR. STEIN: Of course.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, would you
18 perhaps control the witness to some extent, so that we
19 stick to what is relevant.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I should
21 like to show four documents to the witness and ask
22 her -- these are death certificates, and I shall ask
23 her to tell us whether they contain the names of those
24 persons. It is 2232 -- 2210, two and 22 ten three?
25 A. Yes, I do have before me the death
1 certificate of Mr. Nedim Zlotrg. That is correct. His
2 wife, Mira Zlotrg; I can also confirm that she was
3 killed that same day. Salem Topcic, that same day.
4 Midhat Varupa. They were all people killed on the
5 first day, and they were amongst the first to be
6 killed, and these are indeed those individuals.
7 JUDGE MAY: There will be no objection to the
8 death certificates.
9 MR. STEIN: They speak for themselves. As to
10 whether this is the appropriate person to authenticate
11 them, I make that comment.
12 JUDGE MAY: It is a comment and no more. We
13 will admit it.
14 Yes, let's move on, shall we? What I would
15 like to do, if at all possible, is to finish the
16 evidence in chief before the adjournment which we'll
17 take at 4.00, and then, if possible, deal with the
18 cross-examination this afternoon.
19 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes, that
20 will be possible, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, after the facts that you
22 just described to us, the death of your husband, you
23 and your two daughters could not find any shelter in
24 Vitez because nobody was ready to shelter you, to help
25 you, and so you were forced to wander for about --
1 several days after that fact, and around the 20th of
2 April, 1993, that is, some four days after the event,
3 you were captured with your daughters by HVO soldiers
4 near the UNPROFOR base at Divjak; is that correct?
5 A. It is, yes.
6 Q. And the HVO soldiers then decided to exchange
7 you for the bodies of some HVO soldiers from that area?
8 A. That is so.
9 Q. Before, however, this exchange, and the
10 UNPROFOR acted as the intermediary, you said that your
11 daughters and you were subjected to -- were exposed to
12 comments, to sarcastic remarks, jokes, and even threats
13 by those HVO soldiers?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please tell us, which were the
16 threats, exactly, that you received?
17 A. Among other things, and I don't know how many
18 of them there were, because HVO soldiers were coming in
19 all the time, but Dragan Budimir and Braco Budimir --
20 "Braco" was his nickname; I do not know his true first
21 name -- but they could be singled out. We sat on a
22 bench outside in a line. Mr. Besa's son, me, my two
23 daughters, and soldiers would come from behind our
24 backs, and one would sit in front of us and aim his
25 rifle and say, "Well, Besa, you lived with them, you'll
1 die with them." Or then he would approach one of my
2 daughters from the back and would say, "I'm about to
3 strangle one Saban's daughter; I'm about to strangle
4 another daughter." They will hang me on the pillar, on
5 the lamppost. They used expletives, balija this or
6 that, shalom aleicheim (phoen), but using it in a
7 pejorative way.
8 At any rate, a very difficult situation, very
9 unpleasant. Children cried, and it was very difficult,
10 very tense all the time.
11 Q. And at a given moment while you were facing
12 those soldiers, you saw the accused, Mario Cerkez
13 arrive; could you tell us about the circumstances under
14 which he arrived and his relationship with those
16 A. To be quite honest, on the basis of
17 everything and on the basis of conversations, although
18 such conversations were not all that frequent -- I mean
19 in relation to Cerkez -- it was my feeling that my
20 husband was a close friend with him. And when I heard
21 that Cerkez was coming, because those soldiers said,
22 "Here comes Cerkez," and I saw Cerkez coming from the
23 UNPROFOR base down the asphalt, and a couple of
24 soldiers from Vitez. When I saw him I was, truth to
25 tell, very happy to see him. I don't know really why.
1 I somehow felt that this would result somehow that he
2 would help me -- Mario Cerkez, I mean. I probably was
3 obsessed with that idea and anticipation.
4 But Mario Cerkez was coming in our direction,
5 and there were those soldiers. He never cast a look at
6 us. He never cast a single glance at me or my
7 children. He approached the soldiers, and those HVO
8 soldiers were mad, were furious. They were cursing our
9 balija mothers, toward the five of us and my dead
10 husband, because there were some dead Croats. They
11 were cursing.
12 I went towards Mario one or two metres; I
13 mean, that is how far he was from us. And I heard him
14 say, "As far as I'm concerned, you can slay them all."
15 Because if they were threatening us in front of them
16 and saying they would do this or that, I mean,
17 everything they said before him, he answered to
18 that, "Yes, you can slay them, but they are all on the
19 list. The UNPROFOR is here, BBC is here, so the Armija
20 would gain a major advantage because of that."
21 This is what Mr. Cerkez said within the
22 hearing of both me, my children, and all those
23 present. He never turned and addressed us, even though
24 I fervently hoped that he would. Perhaps I was too
25 naive. I thought -- I hoped that Mario Cerkez could be
1 the man to help us.
2 Q. And the next night, you and your two
3 daughters were exchanged; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you left that night?
6 A. That night, that very night, we were
7 exchanged, yes.
8 Q. And you left to Zenica. Could you --
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Could you tell us, at the time as you left
11 Vitez, could you take some clothes or some of your
12 personal affairs with you when you left?
13 A. Those HVO soldiers who had broken into my
14 house did not allow me to take anything. I wanted to
15 take just a jacket; they would not allow me. So I
16 left the house in slippers, with nothing else. I mean,
17 we just left with things that we had on, both me and my
18 children. We crossed a hill in order to reach Zenica.
19 We lost everything.
20 I really don't know what else to tell you.
21 If you have any other questions, I really -- I mean, it
22 was all horrible. It was all really terrible.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I have no
24 further questions, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE MAY: Could you help us with this, Mrs.
1 Mahmutovic: On the 15th of April, when your brother
2 came to the house and was talking about what he had
3 heard Dario Kordic say on the television, can you
4 remember what it was that he said? Can you remember
5 what it was that Dario Kordic had said? Or if you
6 can't -- I don't want the words, but what was it, in
7 general terms?
8 A. In general terms, he said -- my brother
9 heard, and he came to warn my husband. He said that as
10 far as he could understand his speech was that a
11 conflict was unavoidable, and he urged us to go to --
12 to withdraw to Stari Vitez or to Preocica, which was a
13 Muslim village. My husband refused it. He said
14 everything was all right, they had reached an
15 agreement, and there would be no problem whatsoever.
16 And so we stayed.
17 JUDGE MAY: What happened to your brother?
18 A. My brother went through all that we went
19 through, at the advice of a Croat friend of his who
20 gave him shelter that night and the next night. And he
21 said, "Well, the next morning, when the HVO soldiers
22 come, surrender, because that will be the only way to
23 save your life." If only he would surrender and
24 allowed to be taken to that place, wherever, where
25 Muslim Bosniaks were taken and detained.
1 So he did that, and Patkovic, Dr. Patkovic
2 did the same thing. They surrendered and were put up
3 in the cinema hall in Vitez.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
5 As I said, I hope it's going to be possible to complete
6 cross-examination this afternoon, since the witness is
7 here, and it would be better if we could deal with her
9 Very well. We'll adjourn, we'll break for a
10 quarter of an hour.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
15 with your permission, the two Defence teams have
16 conferred, and in view of the fact that you offered us
17 the possibility of postponing this part of the
18 examination referring to new elements of evidence we
19 had not heard about before, our suggestion would be as
20 follows so as not to waste time, and that is for the
21 Defence of Mr. Kordic to start with the
22 cross-examination. I will continue when they finish,
23 and, with your leave, after some introduction, I
24 wouldn't follow the same order but would go on to the
25 summary of the part of the evidence which contains the
1 statement of the witness made on the 4th of March. By
2 then, we will have come to the end of the day, and then
3 tomorrow I could go on to the part which is new, so
4 that I would be cross-examining in continuation but I
5 wouldn't follow the chronological order. Of course,
6 with your permission, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to follow the
8 chronological order. You can follow whatever order you
9 think appropriate.
10 I had hoped we might be able to finish the
11 witness today, but let's see how we get on.
12 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
13 Are you going to go first, Mr. Kovacic? Who
14 is going first?
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Perhaps it
16 would be better for Mr. Naumovski to start, because he
17 will be very brief.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
20 Your Honours.
21 Mrs. Mahmutovic, allow me to introduce
22 myself. I am Mitko Naumovski, attorney from Zagreb,
23 Defence counsel for Mr. Kordic. I have several
24 questions for you, and would you be kind enough to
25 answer them for me.
1 Before that, just a note of caution. As we
2 speak languages we both understand, will you please not
3 answer me straightaway but wait for a few seconds for
4 my question to be interpreted into French and English,
5 and then give your answer. I shall also do the same
6 and try to make a pause between the questions and the
7 answers. Thank you.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
9 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, you gave a statement to the
10 investigators of The Hague Tribunal on the 3rd and 4th
11 of March this year?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. As noted here, you made that statement to the
14 best of your knowledge and recollection; is that true?
15 Will you please speak into the microphone and
16 a little louder so that everyone can hear you? Thank
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You also signed this statement?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. The statement was signed in the English
22 language. I assume it was interpreted back to you
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, will you tell us, apart from
1 this statement, did you ever make any statements to
2 anyone else?
3 A. When I left Vitez and reached Zenica, people
4 in the MUP, as my husband worked in MUP, I gave
5 statements to them. But for The Hague, I gave that
6 statement, as you have said, on the date that you have
8 Q. So am I right in saying you made a statement
9 about what had happened in Vitez to the Centre of
10 Security Services in Zenica?
11 A. Well, it was only natural. As soon as I left
12 with my children, I was taken in by the Ministry of the
13 Interior. I explained to them everything that had
14 happened. That was during that same year in 1993.
15 Q. Apart from that statement, did you make any
16 other statement to any other body of the Republic of
18 A. I do not remember anything of any importance.
19 Q. Thank you. In this statement that we just
20 mentioned, the only one that you gave to The Hague
21 Tribunal's investigators, you never once mentioned
22 Mr. Kordic; would you agree with me?
23 A. Yes, I agree.
24 Q. Today in this courtroom, you mentioned for
25 the first time what your brother was saying in your
1 house on the 15th of April?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That is the first time you have said that?
4 A. I said that also when I came here to the
5 gentleman I spoke to, because the discussion went in
6 that direction. In order to prove how certain my
7 husband was that there would be no conflict, I said
8 that. That is why I said that my brother came and said
9 that a conflict was in the offing on the basis of
10 Kordic's statement. That is what I said. If you
11 consider this to be something new, as far as I'm
12 concerned, it was always present, even then in 1993.
13 Q. Yes, I know you spoke to the Prosecutor,
14 because we received this morning a summary with
15 questions indicating what you were going to talk about,
16 and that is why it was very interesting to learn from
17 whom you heard about the things that were discussed in
18 your house on the 15th of April.
19 A. Do I need to repeat that?
20 Q. Let me explain to you why I'm asking you
21 that. In this statement, in this summary that we have,
22 it was explicitly stated that this was said to your
23 husband; not to you, to your husband. That is why I'm
24 asking you.
25 A. Let me tell you, that is a play of words that
1 you're highlighting. I was there in my house when my
2 brother came in. Now, whether I said this or that to
3 the Prosecutor, I'm telling you now I heard my brother
4 come and say to my husband to get ready. "I heard
5 Kordic's words at his press conference, and in his
6 words, war is inevitable."
7 Q. If I have understood you correctly, and that
8 is what you told His Honour the President, your brother
9 conveyed to you his conclusion about what he had heard
10 on television?
11 A. Yes, that is how he understood the press
12 conference, and he appealed to my husband to leave, to
13 take shelter, because the majority were Croats and we
14 were in danger, and especially people with any
15 positions. My husband did not accept that. He didn't
16 believe that would happen. My husband did not hear
17 that press conference, but he said, "Everything will be
18 all right. We've come to an agreement. Don't panic."
19 Q. So you're going to tell me again that I'm
20 formalistic, but from the summary that I have reminded
21 you of, mention is made of several statements on
22 television, not just one single press conference.
23 A. Let me tell you, sir, I personally had
24 occasion to watch television and to hear Kordic's words
25 even before then. Those words indicated even before
1 that a conflict could break out. His words only sowed
2 discord among people. You do not have to stick to that
3 particular reference that I made.
4 Q. Will you please answer my question? I'm
5 talking about the 15th of April, in the evening.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So let us try and clarify this. Did your
8 brother tell you when he saw that programme and on what
9 TV channel?
10 A. Let me tell you. It was probably then,
11 because he was upset when he came to our house, and his
12 purpose in coming was to warn my husband to leave.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
14 Mr. Naumovski, is there really, on the Defence side,
15 any challenge of the existence of this television
16 programme and of this televised speech by the accused
17 Mr. Dario Kordic that has already been referred to?
18 This is not the first time it has been mentioned.
19 You're not challenging this, so there's no need to
20 spend so much time on something that appears to be a
21 point of fact.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I understand
23 Your Honour, what you're telling me, but I am the
24 Defence counsel who was given a statement and found in
25 it what he did find, and now I am faced with a witness
1 who is saying something slightly different. So I'm
2 trying to distinguish between facts and conclusions.
3 I understand Mrs. Mahmutovic's conclusion to
4 be that judging by her brother's appearance and
5 attitude, that he had heard that programme that
7 Q. That was your conclusion, wasn't it?
8 A. Yes. I can't tell now. I didn't think that
9 that would be necessary, that that would be asked of
11 Q. No, no, that's fine. Everyone is entitled to
12 his own conclusions.
13 Tell me, please, did you discuss this any
14 time later with your brother?
15 A. No. About those details, no, we never
16 discussed them.
17 Q. Tell me, please, I don't wish to insist, but
18 just a few questions relating to your husband's job.
19 I didn't quite hear you say when this new
20 police station was formed in Stari Vitez. Could you
21 tell us roughly?
22 A. I really can't give you the exact date. It
23 was in October, I know that, because it was an
24 important session that took place when they expected
25 unification. Whether it was January or when, I really
1 can't say, but I'm sure that there are people who can
2 give you the exact date.
3 Q. So you must know how many men were involved.
4 A. All the policemen. I don't know the exact
5 number. All the Bosniak policemen who used to work in
6 the police administration in Vitez joined, each and
7 every one of them.
8 Q. Tell me, please, did your husband wear a
9 uniform when he went to work?
10 A. Yes, yes, with the insignia of police, the
11 police station. At first, they wore the standard
12 police uniforms, and then afterwards, they wore
13 camouflage uniforms with the patch saying "Police".
14 Q. So it was a camouflage uniform?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Speaking about your husband's work and what
17 your husband told you about his work, mention was made
18 of an event when a checkpoint needed to be removed. Do
19 you know how many checkpoints were held by the army of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina or, rather, the civilian police
21 in the Vitez municipality?
22 A. I really can't tell you those details. These
23 were events that were discussed among friends and
24 colleagues, and I learned about them from those
25 contacts. This particular case of a checkpoint was
1 something I wanted to tell about, because Cerkez and
2 Kraljevic came to try and remove it, to show that my
3 husband was a policeman and not a member of the army.
4 And that is why I made this additional statement, to
5 make it clear to the gentlemen that my husband was a
6 policeman, and that was the purpose of that statement,
7 because it was set up by the army. How many there
8 were, how many were set up by the police, how many by
9 the army, I really can't tell you. I don't know, nor
10 was I interested. I know about the event that happened
11 in my own house, which I told the investigator about,
12 to show that my husband was first a policeman and then
13 a member of the army.
14 Q. Tell me, please, where was this checkpoint
15 that you discussed?
16 A. No, I really don't know. There were probably
17 several checkpoints that needed to be removed.
18 Q. I understood that you spoke about one, and
19 that's why I'm asking you which one.
20 A. All I know is that there was reference to
21 those checkpoints that particular night.
22 Q. If I understood you well, you lived in a part
23 of Vitez inhabited by Croats, who were the majority,
24 and your husband went to work in Stari Vitez.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So I assume there were other policemen
2 working with him who lived in this part.
3 A. Yes, Jazek (phoen), who was here as a
5 Q. Did you talk to that witness after he came
7 A. No.
8 Q. So you will agree that these other policemen
9 also wore uniforms when they went to work?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did they have weapons?
12 A. Yes, the weapons that the police were
13 issued. I know that my husband had a pistol. He also
14 had a rifle. I really can't go into the weapons that
15 the police had at their disposal.
16 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, you never personally met
17 Mr. Kordic?
18 A. No.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
20 I have no more questions.
21 Thank you, Mrs. Mahmutovic.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Mrs. Mahmutovic, allow me to
23 introduce myself. My name is Bozidar Kovacic. I'm an
24 attorney from Rijeka. My colleague is Mr. Mikulicic,
25 and we appear on behalf of Mr. Cerkez.
1 As Mr. Naumovski has already told you, we
2 understand one another but we have to bear in mind that
3 everything we are saying is being interpreted, so wait
4 a few seconds.
5 THE WITNESS: (Interpretation) I think our
6 conversation functioned well, or do you think that I
7 need to slow down even further?
8 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) A couple of
9 seconds would be welcome.
10 THE WITNESS: (Interpretation) Very well,
11 thank you.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
13 Q. Madam, here, in answer to some introductory
14 questions, you said that you worked in the MUP, in the
15 Ministry of the Interior. That is the police, isn't
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So you're working in the police?
19 A. Yes, in Zenica.
20 Q. Is that the federal police or is it the
21 Zupanija police?
22 A. It is the Ministry of the Interior. For me,
23 that is the federal police.
24 Q. Thank you. Are there any Croats working in
25 the same service?
1 A. Yes. The ethnic composition is fully
2 reflected as regards Croats and Bosniaks.
3 Q. So that is already functioning in Zenica?
4 A. Yes, it is in Zenica.
5 Q. Tell me, madam, when the Serb aggression
6 started in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, what
7 citizenship did you have?
8 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. The republican citizenship of
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When Bosnia-Herzegovina, in April 1992,
13 became a sovereign state, what citizenship did you have
15 A. The same, the same citizenship.
16 Q. So throughout that time, you were a citizen
17 of the same country, which changed its identity, but
18 still --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Are you a practising believer?
21 A. More or less.
22 Q. Of the Islamic faith?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you know Mr. Mario Cerkez before the war?
25 A. I did.
1 Q. How well did you know him?
2 A. Not that well, but I knew him. I would meet
3 him in the street. My impression was that he was a
4 good friend of my husband's, and through their
5 friendship, I knew him.
6 Q. Did you have any other common friends?
7 A. Indeed, we did. You mean Croats?
8 Q. Either Muslims or Croats.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. From all those contacts, could you tell us,
11 until the beginning of the conflict between the Muslims
12 and the Croats, did he show any signs of nationalist
13 intolerance towards the Muslims?
14 A. Absolutely not.
15 Q. So there were no signs of that?
16 A. Absolutely not. I could even list you his
17 friends who were the same age as he, that is true, but
18 there were many Croats who were friends of his with
19 whom he was as close as a brother. Karlo Karin
20 (phoen), Cerkez knows him very well, not to mention
21 others. With Cerkez too, I thought he was on good
22 terms, and I could give you other names. They don't
23 occur to me now because seven years have gone by since.
24 Q. Tell me, madam, did you know any other
25 members of the Cerkez family?
1 A. No, not really. I knew Cerkez through my
3 Q. Do you know what citizenship he had at the
5 A. I believe it was Bosnian, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. Madam, if I understood you correctly, the
7 place where you lived, or the street, Podgradina, and
8 you yourself said that, is part of Vitez known as
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So that would be on the fringe of Kolonija?
12 A. Yes, more -- yes, you're right.
13 Q. Would it be true to say that among the
14 buildings within that area known as Kolonija, there are
15 two cafes next to another, one called 072 and the other
16 Benz; do you remember that?
17 A. Yes, I remember that very well.
18 Q. In the course of '92 and '93, until this
19 conflict on the 16th of April, 1993, did you see
20 soldiers gathering there?
21 A. To tell you the truth, there were some
22 soldiers, but I really wasn't interested in those
23 soldiers in those days. I never even noticed it.
24 Q. You didn't notice that these cafes were
25 gathering places for certain circles?
1 A. Then, no, but during the conflict, I
2 personally saw that.
3 Q. You mean after the 16th of April?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If I may ask you, what is it that you saw in
6 connection with those cafes?
7 A. You mean during the conflict?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. I lived there, and my daughter's friend went
10 to school with my daughter. Her mother took me in. I
11 stayed with them, and I saw from their apartment people
12 gathering, all kinds of people, people in black
13 uniform, in camouflage uniform. I had the feeling that
14 this was a kind of meeting place.
15 I remember very well the conflict in Ahmici.
16 That night, Marijan Dinac came. He was some sort of an
17 organiser. "The soldiers will come back. We have
18 succeeded." I personally saw this. I was present.
19 Q. The Vojica (phoen) apartment is nearby where
20 you were at the time?
21 A. Yes, right next to those cafes.
22 Q. The soldiers gathering there, did they wear
23 any particular insignia?
24 A. I've already told you, they were soldiers
25 wearing different insignias, and what I saw in
1 particular was the colour of the uniforms. I couldn't
2 really see the insignia worn by each individual
3 soldier. Most of them were HVO soldiers. Some were
4 wearing black blouses, and what insignia they wore, I
5 really couldn't tell.
6 Q. Later on, when you moved to Zenica, you
7 socialised with people from Vitez. You must have heard
8 stories. Did you hear anything about various kinds of
9 units existing in Vitez?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Did you hear that there were Jokers in Vitez?
12 A. Yes, and Vitezovi.
13 Q. Will you please answer with "Yes" or "No" to
14 these questions? Did you hear that those Jokers were
15 part of the military police?
16 A. I don't know under whose command they were,
18 Q. If you think it is absolutely essential, you
19 may add something. Did you hear that there was a unit
20 called Vitezovi?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you hear that those Vitezovi were also
23 called the HOS, H-O-S?
24 A. I don't know whether they were called HOS,
25 but I know that there were some HOS.
1 Q. Did you know that those units were the ones
2 who wore black uniforms?
3 A. Units that were not HVO wore those other
5 Q. When you use the term "HVO units," do you
6 include any units belonging to the HVO?
7 A. I personally believe that they all worked
8 under the same command.
9 Q. But is it true that there were several
10 different units?
11 A. No, I don't know. This is just an assumption
12 of mine.
13 Q. Tell us, you said that your late husband,
14 Mr. Saban Mahmutovic, was an inspector in the
15 municipality before the war, a police inspector?
16 A. No, he was in the personnel service, in the
17 cadaster of the municipality.
18 Q. After the elections, when the HDZ and SDA
19 shared positions in the municipality, then your
20 husband, as a part of that agreement, became head of
21 the police station?
22 A. As part of the agreement between the HDZ and
23 the SDA, yes.
24 Q. So he didn't have any policing experience?
25 A. No.
1 Q. The same applies to Pero Skopljak, his
3 A. I think not.
4 Q. So both of them were appointed to those
5 positions on political grounds?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also mentioned the event with the removal
8 and hoisting of another flag in front of the police
9 station. Do you know which flag was hoisted on the
10 police station until that incident?
11 A. I really don't know. I never even noticed
12 whether there were any flags on any buildings or not.
13 But when suddenly you see a chequerboard flag, then it
14 becomes very conspicuous. Probably before that there
15 was the usual flag flown at any police station.
16 Q. Do you know that the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina had any official flag in those days?
18 A. I believe it did.
19 Q. Did you have the opportunity at any time,
20 anywhere, to see the lily, the flag with the lilies?
21 A. Up until that time?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Which people considered that flag to be
25 theirs? Which people were attached to that flag?
1 A. In the beginning it was supposed to be a
2 joint flag, but in the end it belonged to the
4 Q. So the Croats identified themselves with the
5 other flag that you mentioned?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The Serbs, did they have the same flag?
8 A. The Serbs in Vitez did not have their own
10 Q. What about the Serbs in Bosnia?
11 A. I don't know. I know the situation in Vitez,
12 that the Croats and the Bosnians had their own flags.
13 And as for the Serbs, I don't know.
14 Q. So each to his own.
15 To still talk about the incident at the
16 police station, who prevented the police officers from
17 entering the building? Who prevented them from
18 carrying on with their duties?
19 A. My husband went, and on the way to work, he
20 met Edib Zlotrg. They entered the station together.
21 They were in the station -- this is what my husband
22 told me. The national structure in the station
23 favoured the Croats, the Croat police officers. They
24 were the majority. The police officers who were also
25 on sick leave were also there.
1 My husband went to climb the stairs to go to
2 his office. A police officer said, "You can't go
3 upstairs." I remember that he said that he had said,
4 "Are you the boss here, or am I?" And then he passed
5 him by and went to his office.
6 Q. In the end, they were driven out of the
8 A. Yes, they were, at the end.
9 Q. Could you please tell us, when your husband
10 told you about this incident, did he mention anything
11 about other people in other uniforms being present
13 A. Yes, I heard that before that, and I also
14 heard that from what my husband had said to his
15 friends, also from colleagues, from people in power. I
16 had heard that people had arrived there, they were
17 called Hercegovci. I don't know what they were doing
18 there. They were brought there. They were mostly
19 Croats who were brought there who were appointed to be
20 the police officers there, and they were led by Pero
22 Q. Did you hear anything about two or three
23 police officers who were working as uniformed police
24 officers up until that time in the station when the
25 situation calmed down a little bit, when they started
1 talks, did they work for a while in that station, which
2 was now under the control of the Croats?
3 A. You mean Bosniak police officers?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Yes, I did. These were newly appointed
6 police officers who were not working before that.
7 Q. So there were some Bosniaks appointed there
8 who were now working there?
9 A. Yes, because the ones who worked there
10 previously had left.
11 Q. So this situation didn't last too long; maybe
12 a couple of weeks?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Did you hear, what were the reasons that they
16 A. No, I did not hear what their reasons for
17 leaving were. The conflict broke out quickly, and
18 probably that's why they left. I don't know.
19 Q. Did you perhaps hear from your husband that
20 those police officers resigned with the explanation
21 that they were threatened by members of their own
22 community, the Muslim community?
23 A. No, no, I don't remember that. These were
24 young people, perhaps two or three people.
25 Q. So you didn't hear their reasons?
1 A. No. No, I didn't.
2 Q. The attempts that were made to form a joint
3 police force, so the Bosniaks in the police force were
4 asked to sign some kind of statement, you mentioned
5 that. So could you please tell us if you had ever
6 exactly heard what this was about. Did somebody
7 present them with a statement that they were supposed
8 to sign, or was this something that was discussed at a
9 meeting? What is this exactly about?
10 A. At the meeting, when they came expecting that
11 there would be a joint police force, they were
12 told, "You have to leave MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 and join the MUP of Herceg-Bosna so that you can work
14 together with us at the police station," which is
15 something that they did not accept. They were told
16 this by chief Samir, who told them that at the time.
17 Q. So this same approach, then, does that mean
18 that they were given some kind of document about their
20 A. No, this only happened at the meeting.
21 Q. Did they ever receive some kind of paper or
22 document that they were supposed to sign?
23 A. I don't know if there was any kind of
24 document involved. I know that these were talks, and
25 since they did not accept the terms, they could not
1 enter the police station.
2 Q. You know about all of this from what your
3 husband told you?
4 A. Yes, yes, and from what my colleagues told
6 Q. So from other people?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So until the conflict broke out, there were
9 two police stations?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. One in Stari Vitez, one in Vitez; one under
12 the control of Croats, the other under the control of
13 Muslims. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it true that the citizens, too, in case of
16 need, would go to, quote, their own police stations?
17 A. Yes, that's true.
18 Q. If somebody robbed a house, they would go and
19 report that to a Croat house (sic), if they happened to
20 be a Croat?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the same would happen on the other side?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So there was a kind of dual role.
25 Did you know that at that time, the armies
1 also had their own military police?
2 A. I don't remember anything that had to do with
3 the army. Probably the same situation was there as in
4 the police, but I can't really tell you anything
6 Q. At the time while we had at least two police
7 stations in Vitez, perhaps possibly also military
8 police, you had a television, had television
10 A. Yes, we had Croatian television, Vitez
12 Q. Did you have any other TV stations?
13 A. Yes, we had the B and H television.
14 Q. So it was the Republican television, and then
15 the local station was from Vitez; could you receive
17 A. No.
18 Q. Could you please tell us what kind of
19 newspapers would come to Vitez?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
21 pause between answer and question.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, you're being asked
23 to pause by the interpreters.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Sorry.
25 Q. Based on that information, did you have some
1 kind of idea about the relations between Muslims and
2 Croats in other municipalities outside of your town?
3 A. Generally the situation was the same.
4 Q. For example, at the end of '92, did you hear
5 that there was a fierce conflict between the HVO and
6 the B and H army in Novi Travnik, for example, which is
7 a neighbouring municipality?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You told us that at the time, there were
10 different incidents at that time, that explosive
11 devices were planted in Muslim-owned stores, also in
12 your house, near your house. Did this happen to the
13 property of the Croats as well?
14 A. At that time, this happened only to Bosniak
15 property. Very rarely would it happen to a Croat,
16 something like that.
17 Q. Considering that the terms are "mostly" or
18 "rarely," could you please answer with "yes" or "no":
19 Did it happen to everybody?
20 A. No, not to everybody.
21 Q. So to nobody, or just only to Muslims?
22 A. If you -- would you like a concrete answer?
23 It would happen more often to Muslims and very rarely
24 to Croats.
25 Q. So more frequently, this would happen to
1 Bosniaks than to Croats?
2 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're being
3 assisted by this. The witness has given her answer, so
4 perhaps you would move on to something else.
5 MR. KOVACIC: I just wanted to be sure that I
7 Q. At the time when these explosions were being
8 planted, did you hear that the restaurant Kamen (phoen)
9 was blown up, and this was not far -- the restaurant
10 was not far from Kolonija?
11 A. Well, I don't individually remember. I know
12 that the majority of the facilities were Bosniak.
13 Q. You told us that an explosive device was
14 planted near your house. Could you please tell us what
15 your neighbours were, houses that were close to you, to
16 the left, to the right, behind you, across from you?
17 A. Left, to the left was Vahid's house.
18 Q. He was a Muslim?
19 A. Yes, a Muslim.
20 Behind us was Fahrah.
21 Q. What was the name again?
22 A. Fahrah.
23 In front of us was Fikreta. Pudza's house
24 also was nearby, but it was more towards Fikret's
1 Q. To the left, or to the right?
2 A. To the left. And to the left there was a man
3 called Bagara. He was a Croat; I can't remember the
4 first name of that man.
5 Q. So out of the four houses immediately close
6 to your house, two were Muslim and two were Croat?
7 A. Well, it could be two and two. Pudza's was
9 Q. The bomb that was planted was planted in such
10 a way that it was clear that it was targeting your
12 A. The bomb went off so loudly that we had the
13 impression in the house that it was thrown at our
15 Q. Later you saw where the bomb was planted?
16 A. Well, the police came out later, but the
17 police from Stari Vitez came out to see. I don't know
18 what they found. The only thing I remember is that we
19 had heard a powerful explosion.
20 Q. So police from Stari Vitez, we could call it
21 Bosniak police, that came to the part of Vitez that was
22 not under their control to do the investigation?
23 A. Yes, yes, yes.
24 Q. Could you tell us whether the bomb exploded
25 in your front yard, on the street, close to the street?
1 A. I can tell you nothing precisely.
2 Q. So nothing precisely; just that it was close?
3 A. Yes, very close, and that it had exploded.
4 Q. Was there a fence around your house?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Was it inside, or outside the house?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Well, you didn't state very clearly what the
9 damage to the house was.
10 A. There was no damage to the house.
11 Q. Did the windows shatter?
12 A. No, the windows did not shatter.
13 Q. So there was a strong explosion and a lot of
15 A. Yes, there was a strong explosion, and we
16 were afraid.
17 Q. Concerning the same events, you said that
18 Mrs. Besa -- you gave us her nickname --
19 A. Besima.
20 Q. -- Besima, that she had received a telephone
21 call which was a threatening call. Did you hear that
22 conversation? Were you standing next to the telephone?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So she conveyed it to you?
25 A. Well, I was at work; my husband was also at
1 work. She was alone in the house.
2 Q. So she told you when you came home?
3 A. Yes, she called my husband to tell him about
4 the call that she had received.
5 Q. Do you remember if she had said -- if the
6 person had said where he was calling from?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Was she able to tell you anything about the
9 accent, the tone of voice, something that could
10 identify the caller?
11 A. Mrs. Besa had been there for a few months,
12 three or four months. She didn't know anybody, so she
13 was not in a position to identify anybody.
14 Q. In view of the fact that your husband was a
15 police officer, do you know if he had tried to question
16 her about the details which could possibly lead to the
17 identification of the caller?
18 A. Well, he did try, but I don't remember that
19 he established anything.
20 Q. Okay. Well, could you please tell us where
21 Besa worked?
22 A. Besa did not work. She was a refugee from
24 Q. What about you at that time?
25 A. At that time I was working in Princip.
1 Q. Thank you. Mrs. Mahmutovic, before the war,
2 did you know Darko Kraljevic, who you mentioned a
3 little earlier on in your testimony?
4 A. Well, I didn't know him in any special way.
5 Vitez is a small town; we simply knew one another. I
6 didn't know him in any particular way.
7 Q. Well, since you were in small town, did you
8 know anything about the relations between Kraljevic and
9 Mario Cerkez before the war?
10 A. No.
11 Q. During the war?
12 A. During the war? I just knew that they had
13 come to my door together, but what they did, what they
14 did together -- it's my impression, the impression of
15 all of us from Vitez was that they were all together.
16 Q. In the cafes that we mentioned, 072 and Benz,
17 when you were living with the lady in Kolonija, did you
18 ever see Darko Kraljevic there?
19 A. No, not directly. I was in a situation that
20 I was not really able to look. I was too crazed by
21 everything. But there were people there, and from
22 conversations with Snjezana and all the people who
23 would come to the house, it was obvious that there were
24 different formations there.
25 Q. So this is how you heard?
1 A. Yes, and looking out from the window, I could
2 see that these were people in different uniforms.
3 Q. Did you hear that Darko Kraljevic spent time
5 A. Well, these were tales. These were stories.
6 Q. So you did hear about that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You said in response to questions from the
9 Prosecutor regarding the visit of Kraljevic and Cerkez
10 to your husband in the evening in January or February,
11 you said, you said something like, "So far, I did not
12 give such a statement." Would you please permit me to
13 ask, you also talked about that in response to a
14 question by my learned colleague Mr. Naumovski. You
15 did give a statement when you came from Vitez to
16 Zenica, you said that you gave a statement to police
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember if that statement was written
21 A. I did not sign that statement, but it was
22 probably taken down.
23 Q. Nobody offered you anything to sign?
24 A. No, I simply explained -- told those people
25 what had happened to me.
1 Q. But you believe that this was taken down?
2 A. Well, I believe that it should have been.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, may I ask a
5 The Prosecutor this morning had, in his
6 hands, a statement which was, by the way of its
7 copying, similar to the statements we received through
8 the discovery, statements of the various witnesses
9 given in Zenica at that time. It was the set of the
10 copies. More or less, they are, by appearance, very
11 similar. I know that the Prosecutor was talking about
12 Mr. Zlotrg, who also gave such a statement, but could
13 the Prosecutor tell us whether he had a statement which
14 the witness just mentioned?
15 JUDGE MAY: You want to know if there's
16 another statement other than those that have been
17 disclosed to you?
18 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, and I'm asking that on the
19 basis of what we mentioned this morning, that the first
20 part of the statement is new here. I'm not sure that
21 it's really new.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Lopez-Terres, have you
23 got any other statements?
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The Office
25 of the Prosecutor has no other statement from
1 Mrs. Mahmutovic. The only one we have is the one taken
2 on the 3rd and 4th of March.
3 JUDGE MAY: There are you, Mr. Kovacic.
4 That's the answer.
5 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. If they're done, they're
7 Q. After those conversations in March '93, when
8 you came from Vitez, you had no other conversations
9 with any formal or informal bodies, other than talking
10 with the Prosecutor and the investigators in March of
11 that year?
12 A. Generally, no.
13 Q. May I ask what that "generally" means?
14 A. Well, they were representatives from the
15 Bosniak side who wanted to write a book. They would
16 ask for photographs of my husband, so there were some
17 conversations at that time, but it was nothing
18 official. No documents were signed.
19 Q. So it wasn't a formal interrogation,
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. So not the committee for investigating war
24 A. No, no.
25 Q. Thank you very much. During the visit of
1 Cerkez and Kraljevic, to go back to that, the part of
2 the conversation that you were present, that Cerkez, as
3 far as I understood, was kind to you, that statement
4 that he gave, and please correct me if I am wrong, he
5 told you what he did for the purpose of calming you
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did he calm you down?
9 A. Well, I didn't think that it would be
10 anything so terrible.
11 Q. So you didn't really think the situation was
12 that dangerous?
13 A. Well, I just heard loud noise, loud talk, and
14 I came out to see what was happening. Then Cerkez told
15 me, "Mrs. Mahmutovic, there are no problems, everything
16 is okay." And I said, "Well, you're not going to do
17 anything to my husband, you're not going to kill him,"
18 something to that effect. I said it as a joke. Then
19 he answered, "Well, Mrs. Mahmutovic, there is no
20 problem." So I went back into the house.
21 Q. So you were not particularly disturbed,
22 frightened, and he also convinced you that there was no
23 reason for you to feel like that?
24 A. Well, the reason I went out was the noise,
25 their conversation. I was afraid that some incident
1 may erupt.
2 Q. Okay. That's clear. Thank you.
3 So during the part of the conversation during
4 which you were present, or from what your husband said,
5 did you gain any kind of impression about the
6 relationship between Kraljevic and Cerkez? In which
7 context were the two of them together there?
8 A. Nothing in particular.
9 Q. Nothing; okay. Thank you.
10 You mentioned that you had the impression
11 that Cerkez was slightly intoxicated. Since you
12 actually talked to him, could you confirm this or not?
13 A. I only came out for a moment, but when my
14 husband came back, I asked him, "Why are you talking so
15 loudly?" He told me that both of them had had
16 something to drink.
17 Q. But you didn't notice that yourself?
18 A. No, no. I only came out for a minute and
19 then went back inside.
20 Q. Very well. You said that on the 15th of
21 April, '93, your husband went to the fire station hall
22 for the celebration. This was the celebration of the
23 anniversary of the foundation of the army of B and H;
24 is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Are you sure that that was on the 15th, or
2 was that the day before, on the 14th? Can you say
3 decisively that this was on that date?
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, the evidence has been, as I
5 recollect, that there was such a party on the 15th.
6 That was the undisputed evidence before.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I am afraid that
8 there are some witnesses which -- and I'm not able to
9 tell you now exactly, but I'm certain there are
10 witnesses who said, "Well, it might have been on 14 or
11 15." At least two of them.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mrs. Mahmutovic, do
13 you remember, was it the 14th or the 15th?
14 A. The 15th.
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
16 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, could you please tell us if
17 your late husband had told you anything directly before
18 the outbreak of the conflict, so possibly on the 15th,
19 that there had been a meeting in the municipality?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The meeting that encouraged him, where he
22 became optimistic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I know it's very difficult to remember, but
25 you can answer with, "I know," or, "I don't know."
1 Talking about this optimism, was that the result of
2 this meeting at the municipal office or the result of
3 the anniversary celebration at the fire station?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So this was on the basis of the meeting?
6 A. Yes, based on the agreement.
7 Q. Of this meeting in the municipality or the
8 one in the fire station?
9 A. Well, I can't say exactly whether this
10 happened in the municipality, but basically he was an
11 optimist, based on the agreement.
12 Q. You're sure this was the agreement of the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So you can be sure of that directly,
16 immediately the day before the attack?
17 A. Yes, I'm sure.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm not sure if this was quite
19 clear to the others. The two of us know. You had
20 heard that there was a meeting at the municipality on
21 the 15th?
22 A. I know only that on the 15th, my husband
23 came, and he said, "Everything is all right. There
24 will be no problems."
25 Q. Did he mention a meeting?
1 A. "We had a joint meeting, and everything is
2 okay. It's been agreed."
3 Q. So from what he said, it was obvious that the
4 meeting had taken place that day?
5 A. Well, I don't know why you're insisting on
6 that day, but mainly he was happy with the outcome of
7 the meeting.
8 Q. Very well. Talking about the first days of
9 the conflict, the 16th of April, you mentioned that
10 there was apparently an organised group that had been
11 sent to your house?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The soldiers that came to your house which
14 you told us about, you said that some of them had black
15 uniforms and some of them had camouflage uniforms?
16 A. It was mostly HVO uniforms. There was maybe
17 one or two soldiers, I can't remember exactly, who had
18 black uniforms, but mostly they had HVO uniforms with
19 HVO insignia.
20 Q. So the HVO uniforms, according to you, are
21 the camouflage uniforms?
22 A. Yes, the multi-coloured uniforms with the
23 insignia of the HVO.
24 Q. Did you see those uniforms and the insignia?
25 A. They were together with me.
1 Q. With the insignia of the HVO, did you see any
2 kind of insignia indicating which units they belonged
4 A. No.
5 Q. The name?
6 A. Well, the HVO insignia and the checkerboard
7 symbol were obvious.
8 Q. Did you see ranks?
9 A. At that time, out of fear, I couldn't see
11 Q. Mrs. Mahmutovic, did you see the insignia of
12 the Viteska Brigade on any of the uniforms?
13 A. I can't remember exactly, but there were at
14 least two persons who had different uniforms which HVO
15 soldiers did not wear. But the soldier who, according
16 to my personal conviction, was the leader, he wore the
17 insignia of the HVO.
18 Q. HVO insignia?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm trying, but we
21 just get to the point of the questions which the
22 witness was testifying on the original OTP statement,
23 and I think I will need 45 minutes or so.
24 JUDGE MAY: All right. You've had nearly 45
25 minutes already, Mr. Kovacic. What else have you got
1 to ask about?
2 MR. KOVACIC: I will certainly ask about the
3 second meeting with Cerkez at the UNPROFOR base.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's a matter --
5 MR. KOVACIC: And I will also ask about
6 people the witness mentioned. If you have the previous
7 statement of the witness, on the top of page 4, she's
8 mentioning some people here, and I would like to
9 identify those people or to see whether it is possible
10 that those people were there, including a person which
11 was mentioned as one for exchange.
12 (Trial Chamber confers)
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we will adjourn
14 until tomorrow. You've got a quarter of an hour
16 MR. KOVACIC: I will try to organise my
17 best. Okay.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mrs. Mahmutovic, I'm afraid we're
19 not going to finish your evidence today, so we must ask
20 you to come back tomorrow to conclude it.
21 Would you please remember, during the
22 adjournment, not to speak to anybody about your
23 evidence, and that does include members of the
25 So could you be back, please, at half past
1 2.00 tomorrow, and I hope that we shall be able to
2 finish your evidence fairly soon and then you'll be
3 able to go home.
4 Half past 2.00 tomorrow, please.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 5.19 p.m., to be reconvened on
7 Wednesday, the 7th day of July,
8 1999, at 2:30 p.m.