1. 1 Tuesday, 9th February, 1999

    2 (Closed session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.

    4 (The accused entered court)









    13 Pages 6504 to 6556 redacted in closed session













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    15 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

    16 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.

    17 (The accused entered court)

    18 (Open session)

    19 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning Mr. Papic.

    20 Mr. Papic, yes. Good morning. Could you please make

    21 the solemn declaration.

    22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    23 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

    24 truth.

    25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be

  2. 1 seated.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.

    3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,

    4 Mr. President.

    5 WITNESS: Zeljko Papic

    6 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

    7 Q. Good day, Mr. Papic.

    8 A. Good day to you.

    9 Q. Could you please give us your particulars,

    10 where you were born, when and where do you live?

    11 A. My name is Zeljko Papic. I was born in Vitez

    12 in 1963 and I reside in Poculica.

    13 Q. Where do you live now?

    14 A. I now live in Vitez.

    15 Q. Where did you work in 1992 and 1993?

    16 A. I worked at the Zenica waterworks, that is to

    17 say by the Krusica spring that gives drinking water to

    18 Zenica and Vitez.

    19 Q. As you worked on this job, where did you go,

    20 where did you go to in the Lasva River Valley?

    21 A. From going from home to work, I would pass

    22 through Dubravica, the railway station, Rijeka,

    23 Krusica, and apart from Krusica, towards the mountain,

    24 because this spring that gave drinking water to the two

    25 towns I mentioned is about eight kilometres away from

  3. 1 the actual village of Krusica.

    2 Q. So you often went to Krusica in '92, did you?

    3 A. Yes. Yes. It was a kind of work duty for

    4 me.

    5 Q. Did you work there too?

    6 A. Yes, I did.

    7 Q. During 1992 did the situation in Krusica

    8 change in any way?

    9 A. Yes. As I went to Krusica, I realised that

    10 roadblocks were set up even because of the smallest of

    11 incidents, so it was very difficult for me to reach my

    12 place of work.

    13 Q. Were roadblocks set up at the main road or

    14 the road towards Krusica?

    15 A. Yes, on the main road to and on the road

    16 leading to Krusica as well.

    17 Q. Please, could you look at this map and tell

    18 us which way you went and where is Poculica and where

    19 is Krusica and where was this waterworks. Could you

    20 please.

    21 A. (Indicating) This is Krusica. This is the

    22 village. And the waterworks could have been somewhere

    23 up in the mountain by Zabrdje. So this is Rijeka and

    24 Poculica.

    25 Q. On the other side, on the other side of the

  4. 1 road?

    2 A. Yes. Yes. Krusica, Vitez.

    3 Q. The map is placed a bit awkwardly and all the

    4 witnesses are a bit confused when they see it.

    5 A. Well, the north is in a different direction.

    6 Vitez, Krusica and there are two roads that fork off

    7 here. The upper road and the lower road leading

    8 towards Krusica, towards Besici, and the upper part of

    9 the road leading to Bobasi.

    10 Q. Could you please show Poculica over here,

    11 below Ahmici. So you passed from Poculica to

    12 Dubravica?

    13 A. Vitez, Rijeka, Krusica.

    14 Q. Where were the roadblocks usually set up on

    15 that road in 1992 and who set them up?

    16 A. The roadblocks were most often put up at

    17 Rijeka. Some roadblocks were put up by Croats and

    18 about 100 metres away from that roadblock were Muslim

    19 roadblocks.

    20 Q. Were there any roadblocks at the entrance to

    21 Krusica?

    22 A. Yes. Yes, there were. Precisely at this

    23 part of the upper road that I told you about, that

    24 leads to Bobasi.

    25 Q. Does this place have a local name?

  5. 1 A. Yes. It's called Fatina Vodica.

    2 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Would you please sit

    3 down again.

    4 So you said there was a problem of access.

    5 So how did you get to Krusica?

    6 A. In 1990, when the war broke out, on the 6th

    7 of April, 1992, we had special permits given by the MUP

    8 during a certain period of time.

    9 Q. The MUP is the police, right?

    10 A. Yes. At that time it was actually called the

    11 SUP, and then after that they did not allow us to enter

    12 Muslim territory with those passes that we had. And we

    13 had to seek passes from the Territorial Defence that

    14 was at the school in Krusica.

    15 Q. You sought permits from the Territorial

    16 Defence in Krusica or in Vitez?

    17 A. In Krusica.

    18 Q. At the end of '92 and 1993, did the situation

    19 change? Were those permits, those passes sufficient?

    20 A. Yes, permits were sufficient. However, under

    21 those conditions, namely, already in 1992, some time in

    22 September, the security guards at the waterworks

    23 actually belonged to the Territorial Defence, and every

    24 five days they sent in a new shift of 25 to 30 men to

    25 the waterworks building because we at the waterworks

  6. 1 building had a big building in the shape of a hotel

    2 where our workers came for recreation purposes. And

    3 that is where they stayed.

    4 Q. That is to say that the members of the

    5 Territorial Defence stayed at that building; is that

    6 correct?

    7 A. Yes. And I told you that the security guards

    8 already in September were actually Territorial Defence

    9 men.

    10 Q. When you went to work at the time, were you

    11 escorted by certain forces?

    12 A. Yes. Yes, from MUP, Vitez they took us to

    13 Krusica, the mentioned school where they actually had

    14 their barracks and their headquarters, and from the

    15 school to my workplace we were taken there by the

    16 Territorial Defence.

    17 Q. The Territorial Defence at that time, did

    18 they have uniforms, insignia?

    19 A. Yes. All the men who were guarding the

    20 waterworks building, all the Muslims wore camouflage

    21 uniforms and they had automatic and semiautomatic

    22 rifles.

    23 Q. Did they have any kind of insignia on their

    24 uniforms?

    25 A. Of course they did. I mentioned that they

  7. 1 were the Territorial Defence and they had Territorial

    2 Defence insignia.

    3 Q. Did you see any new buildings being built in

    4 Krusica?

    5 A. Well, how couldn't I, when every other day I

    6 was in front of this school waiting to be transported

    7 to my workplace. And then I noticed changes, that

    8 there were lots of soldiers there and these were

    9 unknown soldiers. And at that time I noticed that in

    10 the upper part and the lower part of the school yard

    11 they started building small houses for the guards, and

    12 they also put wire all around the compound.

    13 Q. Did you see a unit there at the time, at a

    14 given point in time were there groups of armed

    15 soldiers?

    16 A. Yes, yes. I noticed this. If the smallest

    17 incident occurred anywhere, there were more soldiers.

    18 Q. Do you know whether they went to the

    19 frontline? Did you notice that?

    20 A. Yes. They went to Cekrcici. They took

    21 buses. They wore uniforms and they had full military

    22 gear.

    23 Q. In October were there any incidents in

    24 Krusica? Do you recall?

    25 A. Yes, there were roadblocks. At that time I

  8. 1 was at my workplace and for five days I could not leave

    2 the waterworks and I could not go home.

    3 Q. Where were you at the time?

    4 A. At the waterworks.

    5 Q. Do you remember when this was? At the end of

    6 October? Can you remember?

    7 A. I think it was the end of October.

    8 Q. Did you see the HVO in Krusica, HVO soldiers?

    9 A. Yes, I did. Four or five soldiers in

    10 Ribnjak, but I would just pass by. I was not in

    11 contact with them. And I couldn't have either, because

    12 I was being driven by a Territorial Defence vehicle.

    13 Q. Do you know what was in Ribnjak?

    14 A. No.

    15 Q. Did you pass by Lovac?

    16 A. Yes, but as I went to work Lovac was about

    17 250 or 300 metres away from the road I actually took.

    18 So I didn't really have access.

    19 Q. What happened in Poculica in 1992 and 1993?

    20 A. In Poculica the situation was more or less

    21 normal, without any major incidents. Village guards

    22 were organised at the initiative of the local

    23 population because people feared for their property,

    24 for themselves. At the beginning this was done

    25 together with the Muslims, however, often they would

  9. 1 leave us on our own quite often, regardless of what

    2 would happen, what kind of incident occurred. The very

    3 instant anything would happen, they would leave and go

    4 to Prnjavor. They would leave their own houses and go

    5 to Prnjavor. And Prnjavor is within the local

    6 community of Poculica. It has about 200 or 250

    7 households, purely Muslim.

    8 Q. Did you belong to the village guards?

    9 A. Yes, but rarely because of the work duty I

    10 had that everybody was aware of, and because of the

    11 responsibilities entailed.

    12 Q. (No translation).

    13 A. Yes, I had a Czech Zbrojovka, a personal

    14 pistol with all the proper documents issued by the then

    15 SUP, and it was taken away from me when the conflict

    16 broke out.

    17 Q. In Poculica or in the other villages, you

    18 said that Prnjavor was the closest village to you

    19 and then Vrhovine, did you see over there, in 1992 or

    20 1993 --

    21 A. Yes, I did see, because my house is just

    22 below the mosque and that is the only road leading to

    23 Prnjavor. Whenever the army would come in or go out, I

    24 could see it quite clearly.

    25 Q. Which army was this coming and going?

  10. 1 A. That was the army that had Territorial

    2 Defence insignia, MOS insignia, insignia unknown to me,

    3 and I also saw soldiers who were wrapped up in

    4 something, and I couldn't understand the way they

    5 spoke.

    6 Q. Were there any places in Prnjavor where you

    7 noticed larger numbers of soldiers?

    8 A. Yes, because I know Prnjavor very well and

    9 these soldiers were stationed near Efendija's house.

    10 That's the largest house in the village, and it has a

    11 big yard. The house is near the road that I took when

    12 I was going to the shop. I could even notice that

    13 there was a kitchen there too.

    14 Q. You are trying to say an outdoor kitchen used

    15 for preparing meals for the military?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Did you see these people wearing uniforms?

    18 Did they have any weapons?

    19 A. Yes. All of them wore uniforms and they had

    20 full military gear. When I say "full military gear," I

    21 am referring to automatic, semiautomatic weapons,

    22 RAP's, masks, and even knives that they had around --

    23 that were hanging on their belts.

    24 Q. Did you see people equipped in this way in

    25 Poculica itself?

  11. 1 A. Yes, I did, because whenever the soldiers

    2 moved out of Prnjavor and whenever they went to any

    3 village, they had to pass through Poculica. And in

    4 Poculica I saw unknown soldiers too, soldiers unknown

    5 to me that is. And my neighbours who were armed and

    6 who wore uniforms.

    7 Q. Did they go to the frontline?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Where to?

    10 A. They went to Cekrcici as well. That is what

    11 they said, at least.

    12 Q. Could the witness please look at these aerial

    13 images.

    14 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

    15 D74/2.

    16 THE WITNESS: I didn't understand what you

    17 said.


    19 Q. Take a look at these aerial photographs and

    20 tell us what they are. It is an aerial map of

    21 Poculica; is it not?

    22 A. This is an aerial map of Poculica, which is

    23 where the national structure, like Poculica proper, was

    24 in the ratio of 60 to 40. I say this approximately.

    25 That is to say 60 per cent were Croats of the

  12. 1 population and 40 per cent were Muslims. The first

    2 half of the village was a purely Croatian part.

    3 Q. That's the lowest part of the village?

    4 A. Yes, the lower part of the village.

    5 Q. Would you show us on the map, on the ELMO,

    6 please.

    7 A. This is the lower part of the village

    8 (indicating), and the main road lies here. It is the

    9 Vjetrenica, Zenica main road. The first part of the

    10 village, as I say, was purely Croatian. The second

    11 part of the village from the elementary school maybe to

    12 the shop was mixed -- a mixed population. The area

    13 below the mosque, as I say, below the mosque, which is

    14 where my own house is situated, was predominantly

    15 inhabited by Muslims, and about 15 per cent were

    16 Croatian houses.

    17 Q. Can you point out your house to us and draw a

    18 circle around it.

    19 A. (Indicating) Below the mosque.

    20 Q. Where is the mosque? Would you point that

    21 out to us, please.

    22 A. The mosque was somewhere here, and that is

    23 the road leading towards Prnjavor.

    24 Q. Were there any trenches dug in the village,

    25 and if so, who dug them?

  13. 1 A. Yes, there were. In 1992 by the Catholic

    2 cemetery, Zvizda. The exact place is referred to as

    3 Gajevi and it is right by Poculica from which a hill

    4 which you can see Prnjavor from and part of Vrhovine.

    5 Q. Who dug these trenches?

    6 A. The trenches were dug by the Muslims.

    7 Q. Were there any roadblocks in the village?

    8 A. Yes, two. One manned by the Croats at

    9 Ogrev at the entrance to the village of Poculica, and

    10 the second roadblock was manned by the Muslims at

    11 Vjetrenica. The exact name of the location was

    12 Tabla. That's what this area was referred to. And

    13 this was controlled from the direction of Zenica.

    14 Q. What about Poculica itself? Were there any

    15 major incidents in the course of 1993 before the

    16 conflict broke out?

    17 A. No.

    18 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, what were you

    19 doing?

    20 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, in the morning, I

    21 had come back home from the nightshift, because I had

    22 gone to work on the 14th at 7.00 a.m. in the morning.

    23 And my work shift was 24 hours. And so I came at 7.00

    24 a.m.

    25 Q. On the night between the 14th and the 15th,

  14. 1 were you in Krusica?

    2 A. Yes, at the waterworks in Krusica.

    3 Q. Did you notice anything unusual going on in

    4 Krusica?

    5 A. Yes, I did. When I returned in passing, I

    6 noticed that there were more soldiers than usual.

    7 Q. Did this frighten you?

    8 A. Well, it didn't frighten me, but there was

    9 always some doubt as to why, who and so on, because

    10 there was general tension already.

    11 Q. Do you know, in 1993, which unit had its

    12 headquarters in Krusica in the school building there?

    13 A. The 325th Mountain division, and I know some

    14 people who were in the command itself, and the person I

    15 know is Hakija Dzelilovic.

    16 Q. You know him from before?

    17 A. Yes, because he was in charge of the Plavac

    18 motel where I used to pop in as a guest.

    19 Q. Do you know when he joined the BH army?

    20 A. Well, I don't know about the BH army, but I

    21 do know that in 1992 already, he was in the TO.

    22 Q. So you went home. Did you have any

    23 information as to a possible conflict on the 15th?

    24 A. No, I had no information of that kind.

    25 Q. What happened on the 16th in the morning?

  15. 1 A. On the 16th of April, 1993 in the morning, it

    2 was around 5.30 or 6.00 a.m., I was awoken by strong

    3 explosions coming from the direction of Vitez. At that

    4 moment, where my house was situated, I was not able to

    5 ascertain exactly where the explosions came from, but

    6 strong explosions could be heard from the overall area

    7 around Vitez.

    8 Q. You were in your own house?

    9 A. Yes, I was in my house with my family, with

    10 my father, my mother and my grandmother, and she was 80

    11 years old.

    12 Q. Was there any shooting in Poculica?

    13 A. No. At that particular moment, in the early

    14 hours of the morning there was no shooting.

    15 Q. What happened? What did you do?

    16 A. Well, I did what I usually do. That is to

    17 say, as soon as the situation is tense, one becomes

    18 very disturbed. And there were planes circling, and

    19 there was a shelter. That is to say, there is a house

    20 with a basement dug into the ground, and it belongs to

    21 my uncle that house, and it is some 300 metres away

    22 from my own house. So with my family, because we were

    23 afraid that it would -- it could begin, that is to say

    24 that the shelling could begin, we moved into the

    25 shelter in this particular house.

  16. 1 Q. You said that because you were afraid of

    2 planes circling. What was that? You mentioned that.

    3 What was that? Do you mean in the war with Serbia or

    4 any other time?

    5 A. Yes. What I mean was when the Serbian planes

    6 used to circle around us, and the basement was a sort

    7 of shelter in case of air attack, which would provide

    8 us with basic security.

    9 Q. So in that part of the village how many

    10 Croatian houses were there? What did you say?

    11 A. I said there were about 15 houses belonging

    12 to Croats.

    13 Q. And where were the Croats from those houses?

    14 A. The Croats from those houses were situated

    15 predominantly in that particular basement.

    16 Q. Was anything happening or how long was it

    17 quiet in the village?

    18 A. Well, up until 9.00 a.m. the situation was

    19 calm, but I was able to note my Muslim neighbours going

    20 out all the time with weapons, moving towards the

    21 mosque and Gajevi, which is the place that they dug

    22 trenches, which I mentioned a moment ago.

    23 Q. In the other part of Poculica was there any

    24 fighting going on, any war operations?

    25 A. Yes. At 9.00 in the morning detonations

  17. 1 could be heard in the lower part of Poculica, and this

    2 was inaccessible to me at the time.

    3 Q. Was there any fighting in the lower part of

    4 Poculica? Could you hear any fighting going on?

    5 A. All I could hear were the explosions.

    6 Q. And what happened next?

    7 A. Sometime around noon, from the minaret, the

    8 tower of the mosque, the Hodza from Poculica called

    9 upon all the Croats to surrender themselves. "If you

    10 fail to surrender yourselves, we shall not be held

    11 responsible for you."

    12 Q. And did you give yourselves up?

    13 A. No, we were taken prisoner. When I say

    14 "taken prisoner," let me explain what I mean. That

    15 part of Poculica, that is to say from the shop towards

    16 the mosque and the houses below the mosque, that is to

    17 say the Croatian houses below the mosque, I was able to

    18 notice already at the time that armed soldiers were

    19 moving around in groups and that they were cleansing

    20 the Croatian houses. I was able to -- I saw this going

    21 on. They were clearing up the houses.

    22 I was not able to see what was on fire, but

    23 below the mosque itself, which is where the Croatian

    24 houses were located, there was a large cloud of smoke

    25 which means that something was already on fire.

  18. 1 At that moment uniformed soldiers of the

    2 Muslim nationality, in groups of about five to six men,

    3 there were quite a few groups made up of five to six

    4 men, and they took control and surrounded the Croatian

    5 houses. Their tactics were first to throw devices

    6 which led to strong detonation. From these explosions

    7 you could hear glass being shattered and things being

    8 destroyed in the houses.

    9 As I already mentioned, the Croats from that

    10 part of the village and from these 15 houses were

    11 already located in the basement shelter of my uncle's

    12 house, so they came to the house very quickly.

    13 Q. What happened in the house? Did the soldiers

    14 enter the house?

    15 A. As the basement of the house was on the -- in

    16 the lower part of the house, below ground level, and

    17 the door -- the front door to the house was up by the

    18 road, the soldiers drew close to the house, they had

    19 camouflage uniforms, they were armed, and the same

    20 system that I described a moment ago was repeated.

    21 They would throw these inflammatory devices and there

    22 would be detonations and explosions.

    23 We feared that something could happen.

    24 Perhaps they didn't even know that we were there. My

    25 uncle called out to them and said that there were only

  19. 1 civilians in the basement. When I say "civilians," I

    2 mean that there were 75-year-old women, up to the age

    3 of 80, and there were children of between 5 and 15.

    4 There were women and men there as well and they were in

    5 civilian clothes.

    6 Q. Did anybody have any weapons in the house?

    7 A. No, except for me. I had a pistol, which I

    8 have already described, and I had a permit issued by

    9 the SUP police station allowing me to carry the

    10 pistol.

    11 Q. Did you shoot?

    12 A. No. They were able to ascertain that the

    13 barrel of the gun was quite clean and had not been

    14 used, and they did, in fact, look and check to see that

    15 that was so.

    16 Q. You were taken prisoner then. What happened

    17 to the other people?

    18 A. When they called out to us to leave the

    19 house, I saw five or six soldiers and they were painted

    20 with war colours, war paint. So some of the soldiers

    21 had black socks over their heads, but I recognised them

    22 by their voices because, as I say, I grew up with these

    23 men.

    24 When I called out to the man, he took the

    25 mask off his face, off his head, and at that moment I

  20. 1 recognised him. He was Asim Bektas, and Muhamed

    2 Kulbegovic. They were soldiers who had their faces --

    3 I did not know the two soldiers who had their faces

    4 uncovered, and I did not know what they were talking

    5 about.

    6 Q. Where did they take you?

    7 A. The first man, Asim Bektas, ordered us to

    8 come out with our hands up in the air. Even the old

    9 women, the 80-year-old women had to do this, and

    10 unfortunately, the children as well.

    11 At that moment he said that Muhamed

    12 Kulbegovic was to take us in single file towards

    13 Prnjavor, but that the four women aged between 75 and

    14 80, and some of them were even over 80, should remain

    15 there with my father in the basement where the

    16 conditions were terrible. It was a basement made of

    17 concrete and just earth on the ground, because it was

    18 not a proper shelter nor was it equipped properly.

    19 Q. Your grandmother remained there?

    20 A. Yes. Her name was Andza Papic. She was born

    21 in 1912.

    22 Q. What happened to her?

    23 A. On the 21st she died in that basement. I

    24 asked the doctor to go and ascertain her death but he

    25 refused. A woman of that age was not able to survive

  21. 1 that humidity and the cold in that basement, because

    2 there -- and I think that the cause of death was an

    3 influenza or something stronger.

    4 Q. Where were the other civilians taken to, the

    5 children and the men -- and the women, I'm sorry.

    6 A. They went together with me to Prnjavor, in a

    7 column. When they had gone to Prnjavor I saw that the

    8 shed was on fire belonging to Franjo Jurcevic, and that

    9 was the black cloud of smoke that I had seen previously

    10 from the shelter.

    11 Q. Would you show the Court please where

    12 Prnjavor was located and where the house is that you

    13 were put up? Would you use the ELMO to point it out to

    14 us, please?

    15 A. This is the part going towards Prnjavor and

    16 Vrhovine, whereas the centre is at the crossroads of

    17 the road -- the junction from Prnjavor to Vrhovine.

    18 Q. Where is that?

    19 A. It's behind my house, in the direction of

    20 this road. Somewhere in this locality.

    21 Q. What about the houses opposite your house,

    22 whose houses are those?

    23 A. Below my house are the Muslim houses

    24 belonging to a family called Sivro, that is their

    25 surname, and Bektas.

  22. 1 Q. Could you point out where the centre in

    2 Prnjavor is? Can we see it on this map?

    3 A. I can only see a section of the road, and the

    4 centre -- the community centre was somewhere at the

    5 junction, which means somewhere around here.

    6 Q. So it is almost joined to Poculica?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Thank you. Who was put up in that community

    9 centre?

    10 A. May I also mention that while we were

    11 marching in single file towards Prnjavor by Efendija's

    12 house, and I already mentioned his house, were the

    13 private houses belonging to Nasid. This private house

    14 belonged to Nasid, and that's where they began to

    15 separate the women and children, and they took them

    16 towards the basement of his house, whereas us -- they

    17 took us men towards the community centre in Prnjavor,

    18 the community centre which was where dances were held

    19 before the war.

    20 Q. Who was in the community centre? How many

    21 men were there?

    22 A. Well, when I arrived at the community centre

    23 I found several of my neighbours there already, but as

    24 there was a mop-up operation in the village of

    25 Poculica, they would bring men in from the village and

  23. 1 hold them prisoner there. There were about 30 men

    2 there.

    3 Q. Where were the women? Where was your mother

    4 and the others?

    5 A. I've already said that by Efendija's house

    6 they separated them from us and that they were put up

    7 in the basements of the private houses there.

    8 Q. Were they taken prisoner or were they allowed

    9 to move around freely?

    10 A. They were not allowed to move around freely,

    11 they were prisoners. At least my mother was according

    12 to what she told me, because I wasn't able to see it

    13 because I was already a prisoner myself.

    14 Q. In the -- how long did you spend in the

    15 community centre?

    16 A. Well, on the 17th we were taken to do trench

    17 digging, and a group of people in the centre, that is

    18 to say there were two large windows in the community

    19 centre which were facing -- which faced Poculica, and

    20 as there were just fields, arable land between Poculica

    21 and Prnjavor, it is this lateral part -- may I point it

    22 out on the map?

    23 Q. Yes, please go ahead.

    24 A. So this is the community centre, and in the

    25 direction of Poculica there were two big windows from

  24. 1 which we could clearly see Poculica itself.

    2 Q. And what did you see happening in Poculica?

    3 Were houses on fire there?

    4 A. Yes. I saw Stipan Ramljak's house in

    5 flames. I also saw women and children moving around

    6 and moving from the Croatian houses in Poculica, and

    7 they were taking away Croatian property, and livestock

    8 and everything that belonged to the Croats.

    9 Q. Where were they taking this livestock?

    10 A. They were taking them in the direction of

    11 Prnjavor. And my Croat neighbours who were prisoners

    12 in the community centre could clearly see, at that

    13 moment, their own cows or horses. They could see them

    14 being led off.

    15 Q. And was anything else happening in the

    16 village?

    17 A. Yes. On that particular day, the 17th, and I

    18 did not know that at the time, but Bozo Kristo was

    19 killed in front of the post office. And they were

    20 killing pigs in the village. Not a single pig was left

    21 alive, they were all killed. I was able to see this

    22 for myself, because together with a group of prisoners

    23 I went to dig -- to bury those pigs.

    24 Q. When you said that you were taken trench

    25 digging, where did you go to dig trenches and who took

  25. 1 you there? Who took you off to dig trenches?

    2 A. We went trench digging to Sivrino Selo.

    3 However, at the entrance to Sivrino Selo, myself and

    4 two other men were set aside to dig a trench in Suhi

    5 Hrastovi. That was a place which lies between

    6 Dubravica and Sahadinove Kuce.

    7 Q. Who took you away, the military or the

    8 police?

    9 A. It depended. The army and the police.

    10 Q. Were most of the people from the community

    11 centre taken away?

    12 A. Yes. The next day when we returned in the

    13 evening, that is to say in the morning the next day a

    14 group of 20 people were taken off to do work and to dig

    15 trenches at Sivrino Selo.

    16 According to the words of a soldier who had

    17 come to the community centre and who distributed the

    18 soldiers and said who would be going, he said that they

    19 tried not to have a father and son go together or two

    20 brothers going together, because if anything were to

    21 happen, to have at least one family member alive.

    22 Q. Did they say where they were taking the men

    23 and what type of work they were supposed to do?

    24 A. Yes. They said they were taken to Sivrino

    25 Selo to do trench digging, and a portion of these

  26. 1 people should serve as a human shield towards the

    2 cemetery at Sivrino Selo.

    3 Q. Were the women in the community centre with

    4 you?

    5 A. No, they were not women from Poculica, but on

    6 the 22nd -- in the night between the 22nd and the 23rd,

    7 in the evening hours of the 22nd, that is to say, at

    8 6.00 p.m., some women were brought in, five women, in

    9 fact, from the village of Putkovici. And when they

    10 came to the community centre when, they were brought

    11 there, we were told that they had been brought from

    12 Preocica and that they were to be exchanged the next

    13 morning.

    14 Q. Putkovici is a Croatian village, is it the

    15 not?

    16 A. Yes, it is a purely Croatian village which

    17 had already been cleared up.

    18 Q. On the 23rd in the morning, what happened

    19 then, tell me, at the community centre?

    20 A. Sometime in the morning, it was early, I

    21 think it was around 9.00 in the morning, I did not have

    22 a watch, and this was the third day that we were there

    23 at the community centre, and they put wooden boards on

    24 the windows because they realised we could see what

    25 they were doing in the village. So it was already dark

  27. 1 in there.

    2 And on the 23rd and on the 24th, 1993, I

    3 heard something strange going on outside, and very

    4 often -- and very soon this was confirmed. And gunfire

    5 could be heard and then we could smell gunpowder.

    6 There was this terrible stench all over. Then there

    7 was blood all over. I saw that I was wounded in the

    8 arm, hand, in the back, and I turned to -- and in the

    9 neck too. Then I turned around and I saw Perica Papic,

    10 my cousin, and he had been hit and was already dead.

    11 He was born in 1962. And behind him his maternal

    12 uncle, Jozo Vidovic, born in 1945, and Ivo Vidovic,

    13 born in 1938.

    14 In addition to myself, amongst the prisoners

    15 there were three other men that were wounded, and these

    16 three women who were supposed to be exchanged, but they

    17 did not succeed in that.

    18 Q. Who did the shooting and how?

    19 A. Above the door there was a glass pane --

    20 there used to be a glass pane, but then there were

    21 short bursts of gunfire that broke it, and this went

    22 through the door and through this small part of the

    23 window, because there were two of them by the door.

    24 On the right-hand side towards that part of

    25 the wall it is only these two men who were there that

  28. 1 remained unwounded. Everybody else was wounded to a

    2 larger or a lesser extent, and I already mentioned who

    3 was killed.

    4 Q. You said that Pero Papic was killed, but you

    5 also mentioned Jozo Vidovic and Ivo Vidovic. Were they

    6 killed.

    7 A. Yes. Yes. I said that I saw them dead.

    8 Q. Did they take you to the hospital then?

    9 A. Not that very moment, because after the door

    10 was opened, the door was broken down, and Safet Sivro

    11 barged in. At that time he was the commander of that

    12 particular branch of the BiH Army, Prnjavor, Poculica

    13 and Vrhovine. He asked who had done this. No one said

    14 a word to him. Before the shooting started, when I

    15 mentioned that something was going on outside, I

    16 recognised the voice of Bektas at the door, behind the

    17 door. Not the Asim I already mentioned. This one had

    18 a nickname of Lepina and he was working at the Zenica

    19 mine and he was over 45 years old.

    20 Q. Was he in military uniform?

    21 A. During the first two days he wore civilian

    22 clothes, but he was armed. He had an automatic rifle.

    23 Q. Were you transferred to the hospital?

    24 A. We were transferred to the hospital only

    25 around 11.00, and before that an orderly came, his last

  29. 1 name was Haseljic. I know this young man very well,

    2 but I only know his surname. I didn't know his first

    3 name. He started bandaging people's wounds. He tried

    4 to stop the bleeding of those who had already been

    5 bleeding for quite some time, and he only had plain

    6 bandages to use.

    7 Q. So they took you to the hospital, right?

    8 A. Yes. Yes, they did. At that moment they

    9 took us to the hospital, towards Zenica. But before we

    10 reached the hospital, they took us to the house of

    11 corrections, and from the ambulance I only realised

    12 that I was within the house of corrections compound and

    13 I saw that something strange was going on. Again,

    14 people were squabbling, as if in the marketplace,

    15 whether they should leave us there or whether they

    16 should take us to the hospital. And after a brief

    17 quarrel amongst them, we were taken to the hospital in

    18 Crkvica, to the traumology ward.

    19 Q. How long did you stay there in the hospital?

    20 A. We stayed in the hospital until the 13th of

    21 May, 1993 until 6.30 p.m. That is when I was

    22 exchanged.

    23 Q. Were you heavily wounded?

    24 A. Yes. After I left the hospital in Crkvica, I

    25 continued my treatment in the hospital in Bila.

  30. 1 Q. Did you return to Poculica?

    2 A. No, never, because Muslim refugees are living

    3 in Croat houses there and 40 per cent of the houses

    4 were burned down. Over 40 Croat houses in Poculica

    5 were burned. Practically 70 per cent of this Croatian

    6 part in the lower part of the village was burnt down,

    7 so reconstruction hasn't started yet. But I already

    8 went to Poculica twice, but I did not go to my own

    9 home. I went to the cemetery. Our cemetery called

    10 Zvizda to visit our dead. It's one of the older Croat

    11 cemeteries. As we came to the cemetery, we realised

    12 that all the tombstones were broken and that the chapel

    13 was set fire to and that the crosses were all over the

    14 road.

    15 Q. You did not go to see your house, what

    16 condition it was in, and the house that you lived in?

    17 A. My mother says that it was considerably

    18 damaged, but refugees are living in it.

    19 Q. And, tell me, who buried your grandmother

    20 when she died in that basement?

    21 A. Well, the already mentioned Safet Sivro came

    22 on the 21st in the morning and he said that my

    23 grandmother had died, and that I could bury her

    24 straightaway in the garden of my uncle's house.

    25 However, since we grew up together, since we were

  31. 1 actually friends too, we would go out in the evening

    2 together and we were very close. And he allowed me to

    3 bury her at the Zvizda cemetery that I mentioned a few

    4 minutes ago. He actually did allow me to do so.

    5 The late Perica Papic went with me, Franjo

    6 Jurcevic and Josip Papic too, the four of us. We took

    7 her to the cemetery and that is where we dug her grave

    8 and we were accompanied by two guards. And as we were

    9 labouring, the cemetery is about 15 metres away from

    10 Franjo's house, there was no drinking water available.

    11 However, we were not allowed to -- even to walk that

    12 way, let alone have a drink of water.

    13 Q. There's just one thing that we omitted. What

    14 were the conditions like at this centre? Did you have

    15 anything to eat or drink?

    16 A. What they gave us, and they hardly gave us a

    17 thing, and I shall explain this. On the first day I

    18 remember well, some time during the night we got some

    19 kind of rice that had already gone sour. As regards

    20 conditions, I already mentioned that the floor was

    21 concrete and the first two or three days we had only a

    22 few blankets, which was not sufficient for 30 people.

    23 There was a concrete floor and our main point was not

    24 to lie on the concrete itself. So we put the blankets

    25 down and then we would cover ourselves with the jackets

  32. 1 and the other clothes we had.

    2 May I just finish my thought? Very often we

    3 were provoked by soldiers in uniform and one day a

    4 soldier in uniform walked into the hall where we

    5 prisoners were and he started beating everyone in

    6 sight. He lined us up and we had to repeat after him

    7 Muslim prayers. But he never found it loud enough. So

    8 we had to do it louder and louder. And people could

    9 hear this all the way to Poculica. We did all of this

    10 out of fear, because we were afraid.

    11 Q. The other Croats who were imprisoned, do you

    12 know when they were exchanged?

    13 A. My parents say that they were exchanged on

    14 the 1st of May, 1993.

    15 Q. And my last question. The people you saw

    16 while you managed to see through these windows, what

    17 was going on in the village; were these people you

    18 knew, people you did not know, and were they armed or

    19 unarmed?

    20 A. All of them armed, and I knew quite a few of

    21 them and I didn't know even more of them.

    22 Q. Were these Muslim soldiers, and with what

    23 kind of insignia?

    24 A. As far as I could see, most of them had MOS

    25 insignia. That is to say the Muslim armed forces.

  33. 1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.

    2 Thank you. I have concluded my questioning.

    3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we take a

    4 break, may I ask whether other Defence counsel are

    5 willing to cross-examine this witness.

    6 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, I only have one

    7 question and the other defence attorneys do not wish to

    8 question this witness. I don't know whether I should

    9 do it now or after the break.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, if it is a short

    11 question, right away, yes.

    12 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:

    13 Q. Witness, my name is Petar Pavkovic. I am

    14 Defence counsel. I have just one question for you.

    15 You said that you noticed, around the school in

    16 Krusica, certain changes, that something was going on

    17 there. You said that you saw them building some kind

    18 of small house, and that they were putting up a fence

    19 around this yard.

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Do you know what they used this for?

    22 A. This was used for military purposes. This

    23 was used for the guards.

    24 Q. Are you sure that it was only used by the

    25 guards or --

  34. 1 A. No, I mentioned here that there were these

    2 little houses to be used by guards, and the building

    3 that was built underneath the school made up of

    4 different elements. It was not accessible to me. So

    5 there was this new building built just below the

    6 school, and the little houses that I saw, as I pointed

    7 out, in the lower part and in the upper part of the

    8 school yard within the fence were meant for military

    9 purposes, for carrying out military duties.

    10 Q. You do not know whether they brought some

    11 Croats there, whether they locked them up or

    12 something? Did you know anything of that nature?

    13 A. No. At that point I did not know anything of

    14 this nature.

    15 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. No

    16 further questions.

    17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We'll take a

    18 15-minute break.

    19 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

    20 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill.

    22 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. President, thank you.

    23 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.

    25 MR. SUSAK: I apologise.

  35. 1 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid I can't hear

    2 you.

    3 MR. SUSAK: I apologise. I didn't want to

    4 interrupt the Court, but I have two questions to ask

    5 the witness, if I may.

    6 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Of course. So if you

    7 don't mind, Mr. Blaxill, do you mind waiting for a few

    8 minutes.

    9 Counsel Susak, please go ahead.

    10 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:

    11 Q. Witness, my name is Luko Susak and I am

    12 Defence counsel for Drago Josipovic. You said you were

    13 in Crkvice in the hospital there. Where is Crkvice

    14 located?

    15 A. It's a suburb of Zenica, within the

    16 frameworks of the city of Zenica itself.

    17 Q. Before you were taken to the hospital there,

    18 did you receive any document saying you were a prisoner

    19 -- saying you were arrested? Were documents of this

    20 kind given to anybody else?

    21 A. No, only what the Red Cross recorded.

    22 Perhaps on the second day of our arrest, on the 17th or

    23 18th, somewhere thereabouts, but no documents

    24 certifying to our arrest existed.

    25 Q. You said that you were not in the Zenica

  36. 1 house of correction before that, or were you taken

    2 there?

    3 A. No, I was not taken to the prison itself, but

    4 when I went to my company I passed by the KP centre,

    5 that is to say the house of correction, and the head

    6 office of my company was located in Zenica.

    7 Q. Do you know who was held prisoner in the

    8 penitentiary?

    9 A. No, I don't, but a lot of Croats came to

    10 Vitez and they said that they were -- they spent a

    11 month in the penitentiary.

    12 Q. Do you know any other place where Croats were

    13 held prisoner in Zenica itself?

    14 A. Well, rumour had it that they were held in

    15 the basement of the music school. And the music school

    16 is situated near the former bank of Sarajevo, the

    17 Prnjavor bank of Sarajevo.

    18 Q. Do you know if there were any Mujahedins?

    19 A. Yes, I even saw them. I saw them in Poculica

    20 and in Prnjavor by Efendija's house. I have already

    21 mentioned Efendija's house.

    22 Q. How did you know they were Mujahedins?

    23 A. Well, they didn't hide the fact. They had

    24 the scarves that they wore. They did not understand

    25 Serbo-Croatian and they were dark skinned, compared to

  37. 1 us that is. But, as I was born there, I knew, at least

    2 by sight, all the locals, including Poculica and

    3 Prnjavor, from Vrhovine and Vjetrenica and further

    4 afield as well.

    5 Q. Did they instill fear in the Croats?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. In what way did they do this?

    8 A. Well, they made us afraid of them because

    9 when they would pass by our houses, they would very

    10 frequently express their type of greeting, and other

    11 forms of religious exclamations. So that part I

    12 understood.

    13 Q. You mentioned the school of music.

    14 A. Yes. I mentioned the music school because

    15 there were Croats who were detained there and ones that

    16 I knew, and who came to Vitez to be exchanged. And one

    17 of the people there was Anto Vrvilo, who complained of

    18 his injuries and said he was beaten up every day and he

    19 lost a lot of weight, 20 kilogrammes. And he is still

    20 an unwell man today.

    21 Q. You said there were two prisons, one located

    22 in the music school and one in the penitentiary?

    23 A. Yes, I said that I heard this from others.

    24 Q. Do you know who detained the Croats in the

    25 music school and who detained the Croats in the

  38. 1 penitentiary building?

    2 A. Well, according to what I heard, the music

    3 school was the MOS prison, that is belonging to the

    4 Muslim armed forces, whereas the KP penitentiary

    5 building was where the members of the army took people,

    6 and they were visited by the Red Cross. Whereas those

    7 detained in the music school were inaccessible to

    8 anybody. Nobody was allowed to meet them, to visit

    9 them, except for the ones that beat them up.

    10 Q. Did the Red Cross have access to the

    11 detainees in the music school?

    12 A. I don't know. So I can't answer that

    13 question.

    14 Q. You mentioned MOS. Will you tell us what MOS

    15 means?

    16 A. MOS is an abbreviation for the Muslim armed

    17 forces.

    18 Q. Who composed these Muslim armed forces?

    19 A. They were predominantly the extremists from

    20 amongst the MOS Muslims.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, Counsel Susak. You

    22 said you would ask two questions, and specific

    23 questions, I imagined. But you are now moving to

    24 general questions. We have already heard a lot about

    25 MOS and so on. Do you need to ask all these

  39. 1 questions? If you could be as concise as possible,

    2 please.

    3 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Your Honour. I will

    4 try and be as brief as possible. But this was my

    5 introduction to my brief questions.

    6 Q. You said that these people were detained in

    7 the music school and the penitentiary. Could you tell

    8 us how the exchange was effected, who organised the

    9 exchange, and where did it take place?

    10 A. I don't know.

    11 Q. Do you know that the Croats of Zenica were

    12 exchanged for Muslims from Vitez?

    13 A. Well, yes, there were exchanges.

    14 Q. You already told us when. Will you tell us

    15 who performed these exchanges, prisoner exchanges, and

    16 where, if you know that.

    17 A. I am not aware of that, but certain

    18 localities were pinpointed. I don't know exactly. But

    19 I do know that the exchange was done via the Red Cross.

    20 Q. Who participated on the Croatian side?

    21 A. I don't know. When I myself was exchanged, I

    22 was not able to move. And when I was brought to the

    23 Suhi Hrastovi locality, there was just the driver, his

    24 name was Botic, and there was a doctor present, a

    25 doctor working in our outpatient department.

  40. 1 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President. I have

    2 no further questions.

    3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    4 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:

    5 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President, I'm

    6 obliged to you.

    7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness. My name is

    8 Michael Blaxill. I'm one of the Prosecutors working on

    9 this particular case. I do have a few questions for

    10 you but I hope mercifully to be as brief as I possibly

    11 can.

    12 I believe in late 1992 there was an ongoing

    13 conflict, was there not, with Serb forces not very far

    14 from the Lasva Valley area; is that correct?

    15 A. That's correct, in the Vlasic area.

    16 Q. Thank you, sir. And I believe in Kruscica

    17 (pronounced phonetically) -- Kruscica, I'm sorry, I

    18 think that's a better pronunciation, you saw a build-up

    19 of buildings and enclosure of what was perhaps -- was

    20 it a TO military centre? Is that correct?

    21 A. Yes. It belonged to TO but I didn't say

    22 buildings, I said that a circle had been made around

    23 the school, and huts were being built on the upper and

    24 lower side of the courtyard near the school.

    25 Q. So the enhancement of the installation was

  41. 1 taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing

    2 conflict with the Serbs; is that right?

    3 A. I see no reason for that because the Serbs

    4 were far away from us, and I said that the Serbs were

    5 located further up from Turbe. So I see no reason for

    6 these huts to be built up around the school in

    7 Kruscica. As far as the fighting with the Serbs is

    8 concerned, there was no reason for this.

    9 Q. But you also say, do you not, that you saw an

    10 increased traffic of troops coming into the area and

    11 then going out again, an increased traffic of troops

    12 going through; is that correct?

    13 A. I don't think I used the word "traffic," but

    14 I said that in the morning when I passed by the school

    15 in Kruscica that I saw larger numbers of soldiers.

    16 Q. And at that time, am I right in saying that

    17 there were no outbreaks of violence or difficulty

    18 between the Croat and the Muslim populations in the

    19 village of Poculica? Is that correct?

    20 A. I don't know what period you have in mind.

    21 Q. This would be, let us say, the beginning of

    22 1993.

    23 A. The beginning of 1993, up until the 16th of

    24 April, in fact, yes, up until the beginning of the

    25 conflict. On the 16th of April there were no

  42. 1 excesses.

    2 Q. Thank you. Now, you say you returned home at

    3 07.00 on the 15th of April. Did you do anything in

    4 particular that day in terms of your duties with the

    5 village guard or not?

    6 A. No. I was on holiday doing work in the

    7 field, and I went to bed in the evening, up until the

    8 moment in the morning between 5.30 and 6.00 a.m. when I

    9 was woken by detonations from the direction of Vitez.

    10 I did not have any assignments or anything else.

    11 Q. So if I interpret you correctly, sir, you

    12 clearly felt that there were no impending threats and

    13 no potential outbreak of a conflict in terms of the

    14 atmosphere in Poculica on the 15th?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. Thank you. Now, you say you heard

    17 detonations from the vicinity -- or the direction, I'm

    18 sorry, of Vitez on the early morning of the 16th of

    19 April. That is correct, sir?

    20 A. That's correct.

    21 Q. And I believe you quoted the time as

    22 somewhere around 05.30 to 6.00 in the morning, is that

    23 so?

    24 A. That's what I said, yes.

    25 Q. I think -- what -- sorry. I'll ask this

  43. 1 differently. What, in fact, did you do when you woke

    2 and heard these explosions? Did you report for duty

    3 somewhere or take any particular action?

    4 A. The only action that I took was to save my

    5 family and to place them in a shelter, and so I went

    6 together with my family to the shelter.

    7 Q. So did you -- you placed your family in the

    8 shelter. Did you join your family in that shelter or

    9 did you go elsewhere in the village?

    10 A. No, I didn't go anywhere else. I was

    11 non-stop near them, within five metres. I was always

    12 together with them. I just went outside the house for

    13 a moment but nothing else.

    14 Q. And I believe you described the shelter as a

    15 basement; is that correct?

    16 A. Yes. It was the basement of the house that

    17 was being -- that was still under construction. It had

    18 a roof but nothing much else, and the basement was

    19 three metres by four, dug into the ground, and the

    20 house itself was a three-storey building.

    21 Q. Did the basement have any kind of aperture to

    22 the outside air or was it completely underground? In

    23 other words, could you see out of the building at all?

    24 A. The door was dug into the building and there

    25 was a small window. That is to say, there was just an

  44. 1 ordinary opening. There was no window, it was just a

    2 small opening one by one metre, for example, in the

    3 basement, and it faced the Veseli Drug cafe and the

    4 Muslim houses owned by the Sivro family. That was the

    5 surname, Sivro.

    6 Q. I'm sorry, I'm going to go back just briefly

    7 to one point I recall you mentioning. You referred to

    8 aeroplanes circling. Did you actually see aeroplanes

    9 early that morning circling over the valley?

    10 A. No, no. I didn't mean that morning, I meant

    11 that the Serbian planes which had circled in 1992

    12 around Princip in the town of Vitez. I didn't mean

    13 that they were circling on that particular morning.

    14 Apart from the detonations that I heard from the

    15 direction of Vitez, nothing else.

    16 Q. And I believe -- pardon me. You say that up

    17 until about 09.00 that morning, certainly there was no

    18 sound of any fighting or detonations or anything like

    19 that within Poculica; is that correct?

    20 A. That's correct. Apart from the Muslim army,

    21 which could be noticed bearing weapons and in uniforms

    22 was moving in the direction of the mosque and the

    23 people digging trenches.

    24 Q. And presumably did you observe these Muslim

    25 soldiers through the one metre by one metre aperture in

  45. 1 this basement, is that correct, or is that something

    2 you heard later?

    3 A. No, I saw them.

    4 Q. You remained, it seems, in that shelter until

    5 about 12.00 or after 12.00 hours that day; is that

    6 correct?

    7 A. That is correct, yes. Until the Hodza from

    8 the minaret of the mosque called to us to surrender,

    9 and when the clearing up began and when they began to

    10 encircle the Croatian houses, that is to say, the

    11 Muslims.

    12 Q. So your references to whatever had occurred

    13 in Poculica as such, those references are to

    14 detonations you heard whilst you were in the basement

    15 of the building; is that right?

    16 A. Yes. That's what I said a moment ago. I

    17 said that I was able to go out of the basement from the

    18 lower part of the house so that I would leave for brief

    19 moments.

    20 Q. So throughout -- but throughout that

    21 particular period when you heard these detonations, for

    22 the most part you could not identify who was firing at

    23 who or from where, would that be correct?

    24 A. I was not able to identify them, no. I just

    25 heard detonations from the direction of Vitez, but I

  46. 1 did not know what was happening.

    2 Q. And I'm referring now, sir, though to the

    3 detonations you say you heard elsewhere in Poculica.

    4 But you were, in fact, in a basement at the time of

    5 hearing those; that is correct?

    6 A. Yes, below the house. And I also heard those

    7 detonations, as I have already said, between 5.30 and

    8 6.00 a.m. when I was on my way to the shelter. I also

    9 said that my uncle's house was approximately 3 to 400

    10 metres away from my own house, and that's how I heard

    11 them.

    12 Q. So at approximately 12.30 that day, you were

    13 effectively captured by some soldiers you identified as

    14 Muslims forces; is that correct?

    15 A. That's right. And I recognised some of

    16 them. Some of that group that circled our house and

    17 that called to us to surrender, but only after they

    18 heard cries from my relation, Perica who called out to

    19 them to tell them not to shoot because they were

    20 civilians there.

    21 And we left the basement and then saw that

    22 two of these solders had black socks over their heads.

    23 Three of them had war paint, black war paint on their

    24 face, and the third one was covered up. I didn't know

    25 him and he didn't understand me either, and he was sort

  47. 1 of translating what was going on to some of the

    2 others.

    3 Q. And you were then taken, I believe, to the

    4 community centre by those troops, and you and your

    5 family and others were placed in custody in a concrete

    6 basement; is that correct? That's in Prnjavor.

    7 A. That is correct, except for the four women,

    8 including my grandmother who died in the basement. At

    9 that particular moment, on orders from Asim Bektas,

    10 they stayed in the basement, whereas all the rest of us

    11 went in column, single file up to the basement. And I

    12 also said that by Efendija's house they separated the

    13 women from the men -- that is to say the women and

    14 children, I apologise, the women and children were

    15 separated from the men and we men were taken to the

    16 community centre in Prnjavor.

    17 Q. And when you were in custody at the community

    18 centre, I believe that you say that you were taken on

    19 the 17th of April to go trench digging. I believe

    20 that's correct. Is that so?

    21 A. That's correct, yes. And I was taken to dig

    22 the pigs that they had killed in the village as well.

    23 Q. And that was on the same day, sir?

    24 A. That's right.

    25 Q. Now, you then remained, I believe, in that

  48. 1 location until the 24th of April; is that right?

    2 A. I didn't understand the question. Could you

    3 repeat it, please?

    4 Q. You were kept in custody at that location

    5 until, I believe, the 24th of April; is that correct?

    6 A. I was kept in custody in the community centre

    7 up until the 23rd of April when I was injured and when

    8 the people were killed that I mentioned.

    9 Q. Now, you mentioned a particular person in

    10 that connection. I think a nickname of Lepina or

    11 something, is that right, a guard?

    12 A. That's right. I said Asim Bektas, nicknamed

    13 Lepina, who worked in the mine in Zenica, and he was

    14 about 45 years of age. And you should not be surprised

    15 by the fact that I mentioned the same name and surname

    16 of the man that took me into custody and guarded me,

    17 who has the same name and surname, in fact, because in

    18 Prnjavor, there are 30 or maybe more houses with the

    19 same surname, and very often the names are the same as

    20 well, but they are usually referred to by their

    21 nicknames. So the one at the door was nicknamed

    22 Lepina.

    23 Q. And I believe you said you heard a voice

    24 at -- just before that appalling shooting incident

    25 involving that room; is that correct?

  49. 1 A. That's right. I heard and recognised the

    2 voice as being that of Lepina and Zejdin Tatarevic.

    3 That is to say, people who were seen all the time and

    4 whom I contacted with all the time. So it wasn't

    5 difficult to recognise them.

    6 Q. And you say that after this incident, I

    7 believe the commander came in -- was it the commander

    8 who came in?

    9 A. Yes. And I also mentioned that Safet Sivro

    10 was the commander of Poculica, the Muslim part, and

    11 Prnjavor was purely Muslim and Vrhovine was purely

    12 Muslim inhabited.

    13 Q. What was his reaction when he came in and saw

    14 what had happened?

    15 A. Well, it was one of panic, I would say.

    16 Q. And I believe you said he demanded to find

    17 out who had done it; is that correct? He asked who had

    18 done it?

    19 A. That's what he said, and went outside and

    20 didn't return.

    21 Q. I just want to ask you a couple more

    22 questions about timing if I may. I know it's an

    23 element of repetition, but perhaps I can be forgiven

    24 just for emphasis, but if I get the scenario correctly

    25 for the 16th of April, you heard detonations in the

  50. 1 Vitez direction at about 05.30 or 06.00. You heard

    2 other detonations at around 09.00 when you were in the

    3 basement in the shelter, and the only contact you had

    4 then with the military was when you were seized at

    5 about 12.30 in the early afternoon. Is that roughly

    6 the correct timing of the day?

    7 A. That is correct. It is true I heard

    8 detonations from 6.30 (sic) to 6.00 a.m. It is also

    9 correct that I saw detonations in the lower part of

    10 Poculica at around 9.00 a.m., and contacts with the

    11 Muslim army I had at around 12.00, after the Hodza had

    12 appealed from the minaret to us to surrender. Which

    13 means that on that morning I was in contact with the

    14 people who had held me in custody, which was the Muslim

    15 armed forces.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Just for the record, I think

    17 there was a mistranslation. Clearly in the answer he

    18 said from -- probably he said from 5.30 to 6.00,

    19 whereas in the transcript we see 6.30 to 6.00, which is

    20 illogical. So we should put it straight.

    21 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you. Obliged to you for

    22 that, Mr. President. In fact, Your Honours, I have

    23 concluded cross-examination. Thank you.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?

    25 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:

  51. 1 Q. Mr. Papic, during your testimony you

    2 mentioned a few names. You mentioned those two Asim

    3 Bektas and Muhamed Kulbegovic?

    4 A. Muhamed, Asim Bektas, Lepina and Zejdin

    5 Tatarevic.

    6 Q. Those are the people you recognised at that

    7 point; is that correct?

    8 A. Right.

    9 Q. Can you tell us how they behaved before

    10 that? What kind of people were they in relation to the

    11 Croats?

    12 A. Well, in relation to the Croats, until the

    13 elections they would say hello to us and vice versa.

    14 But I would single out Asim Bektas, this MOS commander

    15 who took me prisoner, from the elections onwards. One

    16 could notice that he was a bit more of an extremist

    17 than the other Muslims, because meetings were often

    18 held between the Muslims and the Croats in Poculica and

    19 various issues were being resolved in this way in order

    20 to keep the war -- to keep peace and order.

    21 And I remember that he said once, "I know

    22 what I'm fighting for, and I'm fighting in the name of

    23 Allah and I'm fighting a holy war, Jihad."

    24 Q. You also said that you were engaged in the

    25 village guards only from time to time?

  52. 1 A. That's right. I said from time to time,

    2 because I already had this work duty and I carried it

    3 out regularly. And due to my job description, I also

    4 had to work during the night as well. So 24 hours of

    5 my work were there. I had to work at night too. So I

    6 really couldn't work round the clock, that is to say,

    7 go on guard and also go to work, but it would happen

    8 that I would go out for guard duty.

    9 Q. You also said, during the cross-examination,

    10 that you noticed that the army was going towards the

    11 mosque and towards the area where the trenches were.

    12 A. That's exactly what I said. And my

    13 neighbours at that, in full military gear. I even

    14 noticed a neighbour of mine carrying an M-53, a heavy

    15 machine gun, and he did not even say hello, he simply

    16 speeded by me and they left.

    17 Q. So why were they going there? They did go

    18 out to dig trenches? Because the transcript said that

    19 they went out there to dig trenches, which is probably

    20 a mistake.

    21 A. No. I said that already in 1992 they had dug

    22 trenches in the area of Gajevi, and I did not mention

    23 that they went out to dig trenches on that day at all,

    24 because why would they be digging trenches in full

    25 military gear?

  53. 1 Q. And in Kruscica you actually had barracks --

    2 a school that was transformed into barracks. Did you

    3 notice any changes in that barracks in 1993? In

    4 addition to building these little houses, did you

    5 notice anything else, any other changes?

    6 A. Well, there were all changes in terms of the

    7 military setup.

    8 Q. In what sense the military setup?

    9 A. Well, very often they would often go to

    10 Kujevac, which is in the mountains and there are big

    11 meadows there. I used to go that way to work too, and

    12 that is where they had training or something, I don't

    13 know, but I would see them go up there in uniform and

    14 with weapons.

    15 Q. And did you notice them going out for

    16 training or for reviews, military exercises? Did you

    17 see anything of that nature?

    18 A. Not in Kruscica but in Poculica, yes.

    19 Q. And this last question, when you talked about

    20 these detonations, these first detonations in the

    21 morning, you said that they came from the direction of

    22 Vitez. The other detonations that you heard later,

    23 where were they coming from, or, rather, where were

    24 these detonations taking place, can you tell?

    25 A. I can, and I said that I heard these other

  54. 1 detonations around 9.00 a.m. in the lower part of

    2 Poculica populated by Croats. I also heard gunfire

    3 from Gajevi, and after that detonation in the lower

    4 part of Poculica.

    5 Q. How long did this detonation go on in the

    6 lower part of Poculica? While you were still in the

    7 village could you hear detonations then too?

    8 A. Yes, yes, every now and then. But I already

    9 said that around noon I was taken away, so --

    10 Q. All right. Thank you. No further

    11 questions. Thank you.

    12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. No questions from

    13 the Court.

    14 Mr. Papic, thank you for testifying in

    15 court. You may now be released. Thank you.

    16 (The witness withdrew)

    17 JUDGE CASSESE: I think we could -- we can't

    18 afford to waste 25 minutes. I wonder whether we could

    19 bring in the next witness, Mr. Vidovic. It's 25

    20 minutes. It's a lot of time.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Any protective measures for

    22 the next witness? No.

    23 (The witness entered court)

    24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I am

    25 sorry. Could I please tender into evidence this

  55. 1 Defence Exhibit D75/2 -- 4/2.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection. Yes.

    3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.

    4 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Vidovic.

    5 Could you please make the solemn declaration.

    6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    7 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

    8 truth.

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Please be seated. Counsel

    11 Radovic.

    12 WITNESS: Rudo Vidovic

    13 Examined by Mr. Radovic:

    14 Q. Witness, could you please introduce yourself

    15 to the Court. Your name is?

    16 A. My name is Rudo Vidovic, the son of Jozo and

    17 Milka.

    18 Q. Could you please give us your date of birth.

    19 A. I was born on the 5th of November, 1958 in

    20 Vitez.

    21 Q. Where exactly? Where were you exactly born?

    22 A. I was born in Pirici, the local community of

    23 Ahmici.

    24 Q. And where do you live now?

    25 A. Now I live in Vitez, in the street Kralja

  56. 1 Petra Kresimira Street, No. 52.

    2 Q. Tell me, what do you do now? What post do

    3 you hold?

    4 A. I now work in the telecommunications centre

    5 and I am the director of the telecommunications centre

    6 of Central Bosnia with its head office in Vitez.

    7 Q. And tell me, what have you finished by way of

    8 schooling?

    9 A. I have a higher education. I am called a

    10 communications engineer.

    11 Q. What is this post-secondary education imply?

    12 A. Two-and-a-half years of schooling after

    13 secondary school.

    14 Q. Where did you attend secondary school?

    15 A. I attended secondary school in Zenica. It

    16 was an electrotechnical school.

    17 Q. And, tell me, you were born in Pirici.

    18 Please describe to the Court the position of Pirici as

    19 related to the central part of Ahmici, so-to-speak.

    20 A. Yes, I was born in Pirici. And my family

    21 home is, until this very day, above the school in

    22 Ahmici, on the left-hand side of the road that leads to

    23 Ahmici. It is about 800 metres away from the main

    24 road.

    25 Q. Tell us, this house of yours, is it in the

  57. 1 exclusively Croatian area or is it in a mixed

    2 neighbourhood?

    3 A. My family house is practically the first one

    4 in the Croatian part, that is to say Zume, which is a

    5 neighbourhood with a Croatian majority. That is on one

    6 side. On the other side there is exclusively Muslims,

    7 that is to say the Bosniak people.

    8 Q. While you went to secondary school in Zenica,

    9 did you live at home or did you live in Zenica?

    10 A. I lived at home and I travelled to Zenica by

    11 bus.

    12 Q. What was your relationship like with your

    13 Muslim neighbours, as well as that of your family? I

    14 am talking about the period while you were still at

    15 home, that is to say before you finished secondary

    16 school and before you went onto Sarajevo to continue

    17 your education?

    18 A. Well, the members of my family and I,

    19 throughout this period, had a good relationship with

    20 our Muslim neighbours. I can say it was more than

    21 good, as a matter of fact. These were good neighbourly

    22 relations.

    23 Q. Could you please describe these good

    24 neighbourly relations to us.

    25 A. We visited one another, we would have coffee

  58. 1 together, and we would help one another with the farm

    2 work. Also, we did certain things for one another.

    3 Q. You said that you graduated in 1979, and I

    4 imagine that after graduation you did your military

    5 service in the JNA, and then what did you do after your

    6 JNA service? Where did you find a job?

    7 A. Yes. I came from the JNA in December, 1980

    8 and I first started working at the post office in

    9 Travnik on the 15th of January, 1981, and I was a

    10 trainee, an engineer trainee.

    11 Q. Did you continue to live in Pirici at that

    12 time?

    13 A. Yes. Yes. All that time I lived in Pirici

    14 with my parents.

    15 Q. Tell me, after you returned from the army,

    16 were you a member of a political organisation, for

    17 example, of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia? I

    18 am again using abbreviations that only we are aware

    19 of.

    20 A. Yes, I was a member of the League of

    21 Communists of Yugoslavia.

    22 Q. Tell me, while you lived with your parents in

    23 Pirici, that is to say from 1980 until 1984, were you

    24 actively involved in social political affairs in Pirici

    25 or were you only a passive member of the League of

  59. 1 Communists?

    2 A. Well, at that time, from 1975 onwards until

    3 1983, with the exception of '79, when I was in

    4 Sarajevo, and '80, when I was in the army, I was

    5 actively involved in the work of the local community.

    6 Q. What did this active work consist of?

    7 A. At that time an asphalt road was being

    8 built. This was between the main road and the village

    9 of Ahmici.

    10 Q. What was your activity precisely?

    11 A. I was a member of the organising committee

    12 for building this road.

    13 Q. Tell me, this local community, what are the

    14 villages that it consisted of?

    15 A. The local community of Ahmici consisted of

    16 the villages of Ahmici, Pirici and Nadioci.

    17 Q. Were these exclusively Croatian villages or

    18 were they both Croatian and Muslim villages, or were

    19 they mixed villages?

    20 A. They were mixed villages with the exception

    21 of upper Ahmici and upper Pirici.

    22 Q. Who lived in upper Ahmici and upper Pirici?

    23 A. In upper Ahmici and upper Pirici, that is

    24 where Muslims lived.

    25 Q. Tell me, where did the Muslims of Ahmici meet

  60. 1 their religious needs? Did they have a mosque in

    2 Ahmici or did they have to leave Ahmici in order to

    3 reach a mosque where they could pray?

    4 A. In the early years, that is to say from 1970

    5 until 1980, in upper Ahmici there was a house that they

    6 called the Mejtef. They carried out their religious

    7 rites.

    8 Q. I'm sorry, did that building have a minaret

    9 or not?

    10 A. No. No. It was a small, old house.

    11 Q. Did that old house ever get a minaret or not?

    12 A. No. Never. Never.

    13 Q. All right. Please continue, and I apologise

    14 for having interrupted you.

    15 A. From 1980 an initiative was launched to build

    16 a new mosque.

    17 Q. Who launched this initiative?

    18 A. The local population of Gornja Ahmici. And

    19 this mosque was built in Gornja Ahmici, I think in 1985

    20 or something like that.

    21 Q. Did that mosque have a minaret?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. That one didn't have a minaret?

    24 A. No.

    25 Q. Never?

  61. 1 A. Never.

    2 Q. Was there another mosque?

    3 A. In 1989 my parents' next door neighbour,

    4 Hazim Ahmic, built a private mosque.

    5 Q. Tell me, generally speaking, was Ahmici

    6 generally well-known for having this private mosque or

    7 was it simply unusual? Did people talk about it a lot

    8 for that reason or was it customary?

    9 A. I think that that was the first private

    10 mosque that was built at that time. It was precisely

    11 in Ahmici.

    12 Q. All right. We all know, according to

    13 photographs, what this mosque, which had been

    14 destroyed, looked like, but what was the attitude of

    15 the Croats? That's what I am interested in. Because

    16 this is in the lower part of the village where there

    17 were quite a few Croats. What was the attitude they

    18 took in relation to the building of this mosque, and

    19 perhaps in passing you could also mention the role of

    20 your late father in the building of this mosque?

    21 A. All of us know about the disagreement between

    22 the initiative of Gornja Ahmici and Donja Ahmici, as

    23 far as the building of the mosque was concerned.

    24 Namely, the villagers of Donja Ahmici did not agree

    25 with this location of the mosque that was built in the

  62. 1 upper part. And, in a way, they supported Hazim to

    2 build this mosque in Donja Ahmici.

    3 Q. And why?

    4 A. Well, probably because of their financial

    5 interest, because --

    6 Q. They didn't have to pay anything?

    7 A. They didn't have to pay anything. May I

    8 continue?

    9 Q. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for interrupting.

    10 A. However, at that time it was impossible to

    11 build a private mosque without the approval of

    12 neighbours, notably those of different ethnicity.

    13 Without having received their consent in writing, that

    14 is. My late father and a few more neighbours gave a

    15 written statement that they would not mind having such

    16 a religious building, namely, a mosque built. This

    17 written statement was sufficient for obtaining the

    18 necessary technical documents. And the mosque was

    19 built. It was completed with a minaret in 1991.

    20 Q. Tell me, your late father and this person,

    21 Hazim Ahmic, were they in personal contact?

    22 A. Well, yes, they were. They were good

    23 friends.

    24 Q. Was there an inaugural ceremony?

    25 A. Yes, there was an inaugural ceremony.

  63. 1 Q. Were Croats present there?

    2 A. Yes, they were. Croats were there too. And

    3 perhaps even more Croats were there.

    4 Q. Was your late father there?

    5 A. My father did not attend the inauguration

    6 because he died two-and-a-half years before that.

    7 Q. But then you told me that your late father,

    8 sometime before his death, was in touch with Hazim

    9 Ahmic, and could you tell us what this was all about?

    10 A. Yes. In June, 1989, the foundation was laid

    11 for this mosque and there was a ceremony dedicated to

    12 this, and Hazim and his wife, Celbija, went to the

    13 Hodza after that and there was a big party to see them

    14 off. At this party, in addition to many other Croat

    15 neighbours, was my father. A month after that he died.

    16 Q. Tell me, that is to say that Croats gave

    17 their consent in writing for the building of this

    18 mosque, and did Hazim do the Croats some kind of

    19 favour, I mean in a material, financial sense?

    20 A. Yes. At that time the Topolsko cemetery

    21 became too small.

    22 Q. This Topolsko cemetery, is that the cemetery

    23 where the roadblock was on the 20th of October? Is

    24 that that cemetery?

    25 A. Yes, yes, it is.

  64. 1 Q. We just want to have a clear situation as to

    2 where this cemetery actually is. Yes, please proceed.

    3 It's a Catholic cemetery, is it?

    4 A. Yes, that's right.

    5 Q. So then what did Hazim Ahmic do in this

    6 connection?

    7 A. The cemetery, the cemetery borders Hazim

    8 Ahmic's land, 60 per cent of it as a matter of fact,

    9 and Hazim gave part of his own land to expand the

    10 cemetery.

    11 Q. Did he give it away for free or did he charge

    12 a price or was it a very low price?

    13 A. He did charge a price, but it was a very low

    14 price. And also he offered even more land at a very

    15 low price, because at that time a church was supposed

    16 to be built by this cemetery too. And, of course, it

    17 never was built, nor did its construction ever begin.

    18 Well, I can only imagine for what reason.

    19 Q. What is the reason?

    20 A. I don't know why the construction never

    21 started.

    22 Q. Tell me, while you were in secondary school

    23 and while you went to university, was there a cultural

    24 society in Vitez that was involved in folk dancing?

    25 A. Yes. Yes, there was. This cultural and arts

  65. 1 society of the SPS of Vitez, and there was a folklore

    2 section and there was also a group that was involved in

    3 music. And I was a member too.

    4 Q. For how long were you a member of this

    5 section?

    6 A. This was in 1982 and 1993 (sic).

    7 Q. That is to say that you stopped this activity

    8 in 1983; is that correct?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Tell me, in view of your position in Pirici,

    11 did you as a secondary school student and as a young

    12 boy, did you know a person called Zoran Kupreskic, and

    13 then in passing you can also tell us about Mirjan

    14 Kupreskic, whether you know him too?

    15 A. Yes, but of course we grew up together.

    16 Q. Could you tell us approximately how far away

    17 your house is from his house, as the crow flies, from

    18 your house to their house -- to their houses? Well, I

    19 mean, you don't have to give us the exact figure in

    20 terms of metres, but you are just giving us an

    21 approximation. But as the crow flies.

    22 A. Four hundred and fifty metres.

    23 MR. RADOVIC: Now I am moving onto a question

    24 where I shall mention another neighbour and his son,

    25 and I think that that part should be in closed

  66. 1 session. Since we have only a half a minute left, I

    2 believe that there is no point in drawing the blinds

    3 now and everything. So if you agree, I believe that I

    4 may conclude at this point for today. Thank you.


    6 MR. BLAXILL: Could I interrupt for a

    7 second. I believe lines 117 double dot 16 and 18,

    8 there has been a translation problem. The first

    9 question, I think, was to do with folk music, 1982 and

    10 1993, and then it said stop the activity in 1983. So I

    11 think it was just that "1993" is a mistranslation. It

    12 should be 1983 at that line.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: '83.

    14 MR. BLAXILL: One of those lines has a

    15 mistranslation.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill. All

    17 right. We adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9.00.

    18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    19 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on

    20 Wednesday, the 10th day of January, 1999

    21 at 9.00 a.m.