1 Wednesday, 10th February, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning. We
10 may now resume the examination-in-chief of
11 Mr. Vidovic. Counsel Radovic
12 WITNESS: Rudo Vidovic (Resumed)
13 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
14 MR. RADOVIC:
15 Q. Good morning. We ended yesterday with a
16 question of how far, as the crow flies, your house was
17 from the Kupreskic house, and you answered that
19 I would now like to ask for a closed session
20 for the next few questions. It will be a very brief
21 session, but I am going to mention some names, so I
22 don't want them publicly named.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Is private session okay
24 instead of a closed session, so that we just shut off
25 the sound?
1 MR. RADOVIC: Just without the sound.
2 THE REGISTRAR: It will be a private session
4 (Private session)
22 (Open session)
23 MR. RADOVIC:
24 Q. You said that in the cultural and arts
25 society, that you were a member of it until 1983; is
1 that correct? Did it continue working after that date?
2 A. Yes, but without the tambourine section.
3 Q. Tell us, of all the members of the Kupreskic
4 family that you see here, who continued working in that
5 cultural and arts society?
6 A. One of the first organisers, and an active
7 member throughout its work, was Zoran Kupreskic and his
8 brother Mirjan, and Vlatko was included in the work of
9 the musical section from time to time.
10 Q. We said yesterday that all the ethnicities,
11 what was called the nations and nationalities of the
12 region, were included in the cultural and arts
13 society. Can you tell us something about whether,
14 after the elections, attempts were made to break up
15 that cultural and arts society and to form a single
16 ethnicity society?
17 A. Yes, I know something about that.
18 Q. Well, would you tell us and would you tell us
19 what Zoran's attitude was towards attempts of this
21 A. After the elections, the initiative was
22 launched to organise two cultural and arts societies.
23 One of them was to be called Napredak, the Croatian
24 society, Napredak meaning "Progress," and the second
25 would be the Muslim society, called Proporod,
1 "Rebirth." I know that at that time, Zoran, as one of
2 the first coaches or trainers in the folklore section,
3 together with his brother, always strove to have the
4 cultural and arts society remain in the shape and form
5 that it had always been and the composition that it had
6 been up until then.
7 Q. What does that mean with regard to the
8 membership and the ethnicity of the membership, the
9 fact that he wanted the society to remain as it had
10 always been?
11 A. Well, that meant that at that time there was
12 a well tried and tested team.
13 Q. Was it multi-national or uni-national?
14 A. No, it was multi-nationality in composition.
15 I'm going to try to enumerate some of the people who
16 were the principal members of the society.
17 Q. Please go ahead.
18 A. The top team, Zoran Kupreskic; then we had
19 Veljko Cato, Veljko Cato, he was a Serb by nationality;
20 then there was Cengalovic, I don't know his name, that
21 was his surname, he was a Romany; then there was the
22 music sector with Fahrudin Ahmic; and, of course, there
23 was Mirjan Kupreskic himself.
24 Q. You said that in 1993 you ceased working in
25 the cultural and arts society. Did you, once you left
1 this cultural and arts society, continue to be friends
2 with Zoran Kupreskic?
3 A. In 1983, I married, and in April 1994 (sic),
4 I moved to Busovaca, so that my friendship with Zoran
5 Kupreskic was more or less reduced to seeing him when I
6 visited my parents during the weekend.
7 MR. RADOVIC: I should like to ask for a
8 correction in the transcript because the transcript
9 states that he went to Busovaca in 1994 and he moved in
10 1984. The dates are 1984.
11 Q. When you returned during the weekends, did
12 you meet, did you have a drink together and tell each
13 other your news?
14 A. Yes, very often, and we would go out often to
15 have a good time together.
16 Q. Do you know, before the beginning of the war,
17 on the 16th of April, when there was a joint
18 performance staged by the cultural and arts society in
19 the composition that Zoran wanted to have and that was
20 in existence up until the war?
21 A. I think that sometime in April, April 1993.
22 Q. And what happened?
23 A. I think that there was a holiday of some kind
24 and some celebrations and performances within that
1 Q. That brings us to your move to Busovaca where
2 you got a flat. This was in 1984. Tell us when you
3 returned to Vitez, please?
4 A. You mean my job or when I got a flat there?
5 Q. I know that there is a difference there, so
6 please tell us when you got a job and then afterwards
7 when you got a flat. I apologise. Carry on.
8 A. When, in May 1989, I did an additional
9 educational and training course, I returned to work in
10 Vitez and began working at the post office there.
11 There was a newly built telephone exchange of the
12 AXE type, and I returned to live there, when I got a
13 flat, on the 27th of July, 1990.
14 Q. That was the time when you were given
15 apartments to live in, they were socially-owned
16 apartments given to staff, the staff; is that right?
17 A. Yes. We exchanged one of these
18 socially-owned flats that were given to the staff
19 between Busovaca and Vitez.
20 Q. Tell me, what extra training did you do for
21 the new job?
22 A. My additional training was training on the
23 new telecommunications systems which were
24 computer-directed, and I did this training in what was
25 then the Nikola Tesla factory in Zagreb, and it is
1 called Ericsson Nikola Tesla today.
2 Q. So your post office training was geared
3 towards the technical side of the functioning of the
4 post office or, more exactly, telecommunications within
5 the postal service?
6 A. Yes. My training was geared towards
7 telecommunications and commutation systems, that is to
8 say, exclusively telephone exchanges geared through
9 computers, computerised.
10 Q. This brings us to 1990. Could you tell us
11 about the events that took place prior to the free
12 elections and what happened to the actual elections
13 themselves and the electoral results, of course to the
14 best of your knowledge, and what the power distribution
15 was after the elections in the Vitez area?
16 A. In 1990, in November, on the 18th of
17 November, to be precise, multi-party elections were
18 held. As far as I know, in connection with those
19 elections, is that the initiative board and the
20 president of that initiative board of the Croatian
21 Democratic Community was one of my workers.
22 Q. What was his name?
23 A. His name was Franjo Kurevija. After the
24 elections took place, there was a power division within
25 the municipality, that is to say, executive power.
1 Q. Before this division of power, after the free
2 elections, tell me whether you had a role on the
3 political scene? Did anything happen, was anything
4 happening prior to the elections and the establishment
5 of the HDZ in the post office itself?
6 A. Well, my role, that is to say, my support in
7 this situation was -- actually, what I did was I gave
8 my support to the president of the initiative board who
9 spent most of his working time in political activities,
10 and I would replace him -- I would leave him free to
11 carry on with those political activities.
12 Q. Before the elections, what was the national
13 composition of the post office employees?
14 A. In the Vitez post office, before the
15 elections, of the 30 persons employed, six were
17 Q. I suppose that all the others were not all
18 Croats. There were Serbs, were there not?
19 A. Yes, there were two Serbs. And the rest --
20 that is to say, one Serb man and one Serb woman, and
21 the others were Croats.
22 Q. Now, what happened with the power division
23 after the elections?
24 A. After the elections, as far as I know, of
25 course, to the best of my knowledge, in the executive
1 power of the municipality, in keeping with the
2 electoral results, a joint body of power was
4 Q. How long did that joint body function?
5 A. Well, it functioned up until the end of 1992.
6 Q. Was there not a division of the military
7 component and the civilian component and the police
8 component in that power structure?
9 A. After the elections, a joint authority was
10 set up in the police force.
11 Q. How long did it last, if you know that fact?
12 A. You mean in the police?
13 Q. Yes, the joint police station; how long did
14 that go on for?
15 A. I think that this went on until the end of
17 Q. Your post office -- tell me, did every post
18 office have a headquarters, that is to say, the
19 telephone exchange, and did you cover an area including
20 several post offices, and if you did, tell us all the
21 post office exchanges that your headquarters and your
22 post office exchange incorporated?
23 A. Well, it was the type of exchange that was
24 installed in 1989, and this particular system was
25 intended to cover the needs of telephone users in the
1 whole municipality. When it was installed, there were
2 two exchanges, telephone exchanges. They were the end
3 terminals. One was installed at Poculica and the other
4 in Stari Bila.
5 Later on, there were plans for the
6 construction of an underground network, and according
7 to these new plans, the new telephone exchange would
8 use state-of-the-art technology which would mean that
9 the other two exchanges would be out of date, and the
10 whole network would be built on the most modern
11 techniques and would cater to the needs of the entire
13 Q. Tell me, did the network of users, up until
14 the beginning of the war, yes, up until the outbreak of
15 the war, did it have communication lines above ground
16 or were you able to use an underground system
18 A. The network was actually a combined one, and
19 this was reflected in the following: The underground
20 network went until the settlement, and within the
21 settlement, there was an aerial network.
22 Q. Tell me, within your own telephone exchange,
23 was it possible to establish, without going out to the
24 ground, that there were any snags on the network,
25 either aerial or underground?
1 A. Yes, yes. That is the way the telephone
2 exchange was conceived. It was computerised, and at
3 any point in time, it could see what the situation was
4 throughout the network with regard to all subscribers,
5 except for these two networks that were all-type
6 networks, that is to say, Stara Bila and all the
7 subscribers who were linked to Stara Bila and Poculica
8 and subscribers who were linked to Poculica and the
9 other subscribers from other villages, of course.
10 Q. So if I understood you correctly, within the
11 telephone exchange, without actually going out to the
12 ground, except for those places that you mentioned, you
13 could actually establish for each and every subscriber
14 whether his telephone was out of order or not? Did I
15 understand you correctly?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you please describe this to us now, how
18 you could ascertain, by way of computer, whether
19 somebody's telephone had failed or was disconnected for
20 one reason or the other because I imagine that you had
21 data about each and every individual subscriber in your
22 network. Could you please describe this to us?
23 A. The telephone exchange was computerised, and
24 that meant inter alia that there were two ways of
25 monitoring the situation within the network. One is
1 automatic, and the other is at the request of the
2 operator, that is to say, that at a given point in
3 time, the system automatically makes a printout of all
4 the subscribers whose telephones are out of order, and
5 this means that an alarm is sent to a certain post,
6 either by way of light or sound.
7 Q. That is to say that the team for repairs goes
8 out to the ground only when you receive this kind of
9 alarm, and they know exactly where to go; right?
10 A. Yes, yes, and if you allow me to continue,
11 the other way of doing it is at the request of the
13 Q. How does the operator get this information?
14 A. There is a command that is issued to the
15 computer to print out at a given point in time all the
16 subscription numbers that are out of order at that
17 given point in time.
18 Q. All right. We will go back to the system
19 later when we start dealing with the 16th of April.
20 Tell me, you were born in Pirici, and that's
21 where your family house was or, rather, the house that
22 you were born in. In the meantime, you got a flat of
23 your own and you lived there. Didn't you want to have
24 a house of your own in the village where you were born?
25 A. Yes, I did have that kind of a wish, and I
1 managed to carry it through.
2 Q. Can I hear about this now? When did you
3 start fulfilling this wish of yours?
4 A. I started building my house in '84/'85.
5 Perhaps 1985 would be more accurate.
6 Q. When did you finish it, or did you complete
7 it before the war?
8 A. Yes, I managed to put a roof on it in 1991,
9 at the very end of 1991.
10 Q. Did you stop with your building then?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Why?
13 A. I ran out of money.
14 Q. Did you obtain any materials before the war?
15 A. Yes. In addition to the construction
16 materials that were needed to cover the house with a
17 roof, I also got some of the wood needed for windows.
18 I also got some wooden boards and some other materials
19 that remained piled up within the house in 1991.
20 Q. Tell me, after the free elections, were you
21 involved anywhere from a political point of view?
22 A. After the elections in 1990, I was not
23 politically involved, except for supporting a party.
24 Q. Which party?
25 A. The Croatian Democratic Community. I also
1 supported my colleagues at work, and I mentioned a few
2 minutes ago who these people were.
3 Q. Now I would like to ask you something else in
4 relation to military service. Tell me, when you left
5 the JNA, did you apply to the military department or
6 whatever it was called in those days?
7 A. Yes, I did. Yes, I did. That was my
9 Q. Tell me, did you get any kind of war
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Where and what?
13 A. In 1981, it was in the military post office
14 in Travnik.
15 Q. What was your specialty?
16 A. My specialty was communications, teleprinter
18 Q. Tell me, when you became the technical
19 director, that's a word we're all going to understand,
20 of the post office in Vitez, did you get a war
21 assignment within that post office or did you get work
22 duty within the post office? Is that what we're going
23 to call it now?
24 A. When I started working in Busovaca, at the
25 request of my directorate, my war assignment was
2 Q. Please continue.
3 A. From 1982 onwards, my military assignment was
4 by way of work duty at the post office in Busovaca
5 where I worked. To the best of my understanding, you
6 got a war assignment for a civilian post.
7 Q. That is to say, within the post office?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You were basically the only technical expert
10 for telecommunications; did I understand you correctly?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Now, could you please tell me something about
13 telephone connections. Just before the war or in 1992,
14 telephone traffic, in terms of the military and the
15 civilian, were they one or were they separated?
16 A. These were separate systems.
17 Q. That is to say, within the post office, there
18 were no military connections; did I understand you
20 A. Yes, that's right, not before the war.
21 Q. All right. Except for certain telephones,
22 for example, those who belonged to the civilian
23 network, more or less?
24 A. You mean --
25 Q. I mean --
1 A. Yes, yes, they used automatic telephone
2 numbers, yes.
3 Q. Well, yes, that's what I was referring to.
4 These are not special military telephones. It's just
5 like any other telephone; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. While you worked at the post office in Vitez,
8 did you hear about an event that occurred on the 20th
9 of October, 1992 by the cemetery in Ahmici or, rather,
10 the cemetery to which the late Hazim had given part of
11 his land, sold part of his land? So if you did hear
12 something about this, could you tell us what you heard
13 about this?
14 A. Yes, I did hear something about this.
15 Q. But you were not a direct participant?
16 A. No, I was not a direct participant. I only
17 heard about it.
18 Q. So what did you hear?
19 A. On the 20th of October, a group of locals
20 from Ahmici, that's what I heard, put up a roadblock by
21 the cemetery.
22 Q. What kind of a group, Croats or Muslims?
23 A. A group of Muslims from Ahmici.
24 Q. Did you hear how this was settled?
25 A. I don't know the details, how this was worked
1 out, but I do know that this misunderstanding lasted
2 one day, an entire day, I think.
3 Q. Tell me, after the free elections within the
4 post office, in terms of what you did yourself and what
5 you observed by yourself, rather than through what you
6 heard from other persons, was the ethnic composition of
7 the employees at the post office changed?
8 A. As far as I know, no.
9 Q. But you would have to know, wouldn't you?
10 You were the boss there; right?
11 A. Yes, I understood your question, but you
12 talked about the entire enterprise, didn't you?
13 Q. Yes, but I'm asking you only about the post
14 office because I'm talking about your very own
15 observations. I'm talking about the post office where
16 you actually worked.
17 A. In the post office, there were no changes in
18 the ethnic composition. The way it was before the
19 elections is the way it remained.
20 Q. Tell me, were there any problems in terms of
21 the Muslims coming to work after that, shall we call
22 it, incident on the 20th of October, 1992?
23 A. Yes. They did not come to work for seven
24 days, and I don't know why.
25 Q. After those seven days?
1 A. After those seven days, they showed up.
2 Q. Tell me, were any disciplinary measures taken
3 against them because they failed to show up for work
4 for seven days?
5 A. No, no. No disciplinary action was taken.
6 Q. Did they explain at all why they didn't come
7 to work?
8 A. Yes, they did. They said that they were
10 Q. And you were satisfied with that kind of an
12 A. Well, our explanation was that there was no
13 need to be afraid because the post office worked
14 throughout this period. It was a public institution,
15 and every day, about 200 people go through the post
16 office, different clients. So our answer was that
17 there was no need to be afraid.
18 Q. Tell me, the Muslim employees of the post
19 office, how long did they work at the post office
21 A. They worked until the 15th of April, 1993.
22 Q. Tell me, do you recall that day, the 15th of
23 April, 1993? That was the day before the outbreak of
24 the war between the Croats and the Muslims. Do you
25 remember what you did on that day?
1 A. Yes, I do. On the 15th of April and a few
2 days before that, my activities were reduced to buying
3 oil and gasoline for the aggregates, because at that
4 time, there were power blackouts quite often, and this
5 was one of my regular duties, that I had to provide for
6 fuel several times during the month. On that day, the
7 15th, I managed to get an additional quantity, about
8 400 litres of oil, and I worked until 3.00, and then I
9 went home.
10 Q. Do you remember where you obtained this last
11 quantity of oil?
12 A. Yes, I do. I got it at the gasoline station
13 Kalem, at Kasim Kresic's.
14 Q. That's a Muslim, judging by his name and
15 surname; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. After you went home, what did you do on the
18 15th of April? Did you go back to the post office?
19 A. Yes. Those days when there were these
20 regular power blackouts, we had organised duty in the
21 post office, and the only task involved was to turn on
22 the aggregate if there was a power shortage.
23 Q. Did you know in advance who would be on duty
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were Muslims on duty too?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, tell us what happened. You went out
4 there on duty, and was this round-the-clock duty? Did
5 people come during the night too? How did you organise
7 A. Yes. This duty started from 8.00 p.m. and it
8 went on until 7.00 a.m.
9 Q. I imagine that 7.00 a.m. is the time when all
10 other employees would come to work; right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. Tell me, what were the conditions for duty at
13 the post office? Was there a bed where people could
14 take a nap? Did they have to sit there? I mean, what
15 would they do if an alarm didn't go off?
16 A. The conditions were very good. We had a bed
17 just below the alarm board, and if any kind of alarm
18 went off, just as when there would be a power cut, the
19 alarm would go off, sound and light, I mean, and the
20 alarm was so loud that it could wake up anyone, even
21 people who were fast asleep. So the person who was on
22 duty was supposed to turn on the aggregate and then
23 switch it off when electricity was restored.
24 Q. All right. So we talked about the 15th of
25 April, and we shall talk about the 16th later. Just
1 tell me, do you know something about village guards in
2 Ahmici, Pirici? Were they joint guards or separate
4 A. I know that in the entire municipality,
5 everywhere, there were village guards.
6 Q. And how they were organised?
7 A. That, I do not know. I'm not aware of that.
8 I did not have any insight into this.
9 Q. So you did not know whether they were linked
10 up horizontally or vertically?
11 A. That, I do not know.
12 Q. Did you know that the Muslims had their own
13 village guard?
14 A. I think they did.
15 Q. Tell me, did you hear about a specific group
16 of armed Muslims? Did anyone see them going out for
17 some kind of exercise? I mean, you know what you
18 heard. I don't know what you heard. You do.
19 A. Yes, I did hear something.
20 Q. Who?
21 A. My sister met a large group of armed Muslim
22 neighbours led by Fuad Berbic. The group was, as she
23 explained it to me, the group were marching, actually,
24 she said they were marching. I don't know whether I
25 have used the correct term.
1 Q. You're close to it.
2 A. So they marched by her and said hello, and
3 Fuad said, "You shouldn't be afraid, neighbour. This
4 is only a drill." She knew all the members of that
6 Q. Can you tell us when your sister told you of
7 this? What date was that? When she saw it or when she
8 told you of the incident, when she told you about it
9 and when she had actually seen it happen?
10 A. It was somewhere towards the end of 1992,
11 sometime in November.
12 Q. That she told you about this incident?
13 A. Well, she told me several days later, and she
14 said, "Several days ago, I saw the following." That
15 was how it happened.
16 Q. Can you tell us your sister's name?
17 A. My sister's name is Gordana Vidovic. She is
18 married and her married surname is Suic.
19 Q. Has she always been called to the Tribunal to
21 A. I think she has been called, yes.
22 Q. Tell me now, the 16th of April, you were to
23 be in the post office by 7.00 a.m., if I understood you
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. When did you notice that something was
3 A. Every morning at 7.00 a.m., the automatised
4 system would print out the alarm list. On that alarm
5 list, as far as the breakdowns were concerned, there
6 was nothing to report.
7 Q. This was 7.00 a.m.; right?
8 A. Yes. It was only at my own request as the
9 operator, sometime around 7.30 or 8.00, we had a long
10 list of subscriber and telephone numbers that were out
11 of order.
12 Q. Did you have any information as to what had
13 happened, why they were out of order?
14 A. No, I did not have any information on this,
15 but as I heard shooting, which woke we up at 6.00, I
16 was able to assume what was going on.
17 Q. Tell me, apart from noticing what was
18 happening on the apparatus, on the device, that there
19 was trouble, did you exclude anybody on this particular
20 date although their telephone lines were in order? Did
21 you disconnect anyone?
22 A. On that day, we did not, because until the
23 end of the day, I was not physically able to divide up
24 the people whose telephone numbers were out of order
25 because there were more and more people who had
1 telephones out of order.
2 Q. Where was your mother on the 16th of April?
3 Where did she live?
4 A. Well, my mother and my sister lived in her
5 own house down below.
6 Q. Did she have a telephone in her house?
7 A. Yes, she did.
8 Q. Weren't you interested in what was happening
9 to her? Did you call her up to say, "Mommy, are you
10 alive and well? What's happening? What's going on
12 A. Well, on the printout list, I saw that my
13 mother's number, telephone number, was on that list,
14 and, of course I was interested in learning what was
15 going on.
16 Q. So what did you undertake?
17 A. At that moment, all the other neighbours who
18 were not on the list, I would check their telephones
19 and see where she was, and on that same day, sometime
20 after noon, I learnt that she was in Zume in a shelter
21 there, in the basement of a house belonging to Jozo
22 Vrebac, a cousin.
23 Q. Did you learn this directly from your mother,
24 in talking to her, or from a neighbour?
25 A. I learned this from Mrs. Ljuba Vidovic, who
1 is the next-door neighbour to the house where the
2 shelter was located.
3 Q. Tell me, did Ljuba Vidovic tell you what was
4 going on?
5 A. Yes, she did, more or less. She said that my
6 mother and my sister and many other women had been put
7 up in the shelter there, and any other details, I don't
8 know about, apart from the fact that there was shooting
9 going on.
10 Q. Tell me, on the 16th of April, were the
11 telephones cut in Stari Vitez, the Muslim part?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Were the telephone links with Stari Vitez cut
14 at any time during this troubled period?
15 A. Yes, on the second or third day after the
16 16th of April, we cut off a cable, the telephone cable
17 in Stari Vitez, which fed all the subscribers,
18 telephone subscribers, in Stari Vitez, upper and lower
19 Veceriska, Krcevine, Jardol, Divjak, and the
20 surrounding villages moving up towards Stara Bila.
21 Q. So this cable-cutting, was this done by the
22 Croats or the Muslims?
23 A. We -- that is to say, on the second, the
24 instrument that we had in our possession, were able to
25 ascertain the location at which the cable was cut, the
1 exact distance and point where the cable was cut, and
2 the location was in a concrete grid below -- across the
3 road from the house of Enes Sehic in Stari Vitez, and
4 that was exclusively a Muslim populated area.
5 Q. Later on, were you able to ascertain
6 physically, that is to say, did you go and see this for
7 yourself, or your workers, to see the position where
8 the cutoff took place and whether there was just one
9 place that the cable was cut or several places?
10 A. After the war in 1994, when we started to
11 repair the cables, the main cables, we found the exact
12 place in Stari Vitez where the cable had been cut and
13 the method in which the cable had been cut, not only in
14 that particular concrete slab but at seven other
16 Q. Were you able to say what the cable had been
17 cut with, the instrument used?
18 A. Yes. In this concrete slab where the cable
19 was fitted, it was a special metal-cutting device that
20 was used, and on other places, a crimp or some other
21 sharp instrument.
22 Q. How was this communication line set up after
23 that? Did you replace the cable itself or did you do
24 anything else?
25 A. Well, at all these points where the cable was
1 cut, together with AMG, support from AMG, and the
2 technical cables and links, we were able to link up and
3 use what we popularly refer to as a bypass, we bypassed
4 the cables, linked them up together again, and this was
5 done in May 1994.
6 Q. When the war broke out, on the premises of
7 the post office building in the basement, was the
8 wartime government, or whatever it was called,
9 stationed in that basement?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. Why?
12 A. Well, because I suppose the post office was
13 the sole building in Vitez which had an additional
14 power supply system, and, of course, a basement is
15 always a safe place; and in the basement of the post
16 office was the system for information, 985.
17 Q. Tell me, on the 15th of April, did you watch
18 television? Did you watch the news?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did any of the people that you contacted,
21 that you met that day, did they tell you that there
22 were some items of special interest broadcast on the
23 news that day?
24 A. No, I didn't hear anything like that from
1 Q. Did you hear about the case of Zivko Totic
2 and the death of the person accompanying him on the
3 15th of April?
4 A. Yes, I heard about this incident on the 18th
5 or 19th, what happened in Zenica, but not on that
6 particular day, on the 15th.
7 Q. Did you know the fact that there had been
8 previous incidents with casualties and that the
9 incidents were caused by the Muslim side?
10 A. Yes, I did hear of things like that.
11 Q. What did you hear?
12 A. I heard that there were incidents in Gornji
13 Vakuf and in Novi Travnik.
14 Q. What were those incidents? What did they
15 consist of? What happened? Tell me what you heard.
16 A. Well, this is what I heard. What happened
17 was that some people were arrested, were detained,
18 people who were -- I don't know how to express
19 myself -- who were interesting for the Muslims, whom
20 the Muslims had an interest in. In other words, those
21 who had already become involved in questions of defence
22 or some other political activities.
23 Q. Tell us, after the 16th or during the 16th,
24 did you hear what had happened in Ahmici?
25 A. Yes. On the 16th, in the afternoon.
1 Q. What did you hear?
2 A. I heard that in Ahmici, there was a very
3 strong conflict on that particular day, the 16th.
4 Q. What were the results of that conflict? Did
5 you hear anything about that?
6 A. Yes, I did. I heard that the results were
7 that there were a lot of dead on both sides.
8 Q. Can you quote the figures? Did you hear how
9 many had died on the Muslim side and how many people
10 had been killed on the Croat side?
11 A. No, I didn't hear anything about the figures
12 on that day, just that there were casualties.
13 Q. Tell me, did you hear, on the Croatian side,
14 which individuals died, from which units, the members
15 of which units?
16 A. I heard that Mirjan Santic had been killed.
17 Q. What unit did he belong to?
18 A. I don't know. He is from the neighbouring
19 village. I knew him, but I don't know which unit he
20 belonged to or whether, in fact, he belonged to any
22 Q. Tell us whether you know anything about the
23 fact that after the 16th or during the 16th the Muslim
24 population was taken away to certain centres and
25 buildings, such as the cinema, the basement of the
1 cinema, in actual fact?
2 A. Yes, I heard that a group was in the cinema,
3 but I don't know whether in the basement.
4 Q. Do you know how they were liberated, freed?
5 A. I don't know. I suppose that there was an
6 exchange of some kind.
7 Q. Tell us about your political or military
8 role. Did you have any political or military role, or
9 did you only perform your work assignments in the post
11 A. My role was exclusively reflected in my work
12 duties at the telephone exchange.
13 Q. You said that you knew Zoran Kupreskic very
14 well; did I understand you correctly?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. RADOVIC: I don't think we need to have
17 character witnesses later on when we have a witness
18 here who knows him, so I'm going to ask him
19 directly ...
20 Q. Can you explain the character of Zoran
21 Kupreskic, his basic features?
22 A. Yes, I can. I have known Zoran since he was
23 a boy. I have known him as long as I know myself. We
24 grew up together. We went to the same class at school
25 for eight years. His character, I can say, was similar
1 to my own, and I could describe it in the following
2 way: He liked his friends a lot. He, even when we
3 were small children or when we were growing up, he was
4 not a difficult person or bad-tempered. I don't know
5 which term to use exactly.
6 Q. Was he prone to fights or brawls of any kind?
7 A. No. He was -- he had a competitive spirit
8 and we always competed amongst ourselves in our
9 learning abilities and who would do best in school and
10 have top marks and get a 5.
11 Q. Shall we explain to the Trial Chamber that a
12 5 is the top mark given to pupils in our schools?
13 A. Yes, yes. We were excellent pupils, both of
15 Q. What happened later on with him? How did his
16 life progress?
17 A. Well, he -- when he completed school in Novi
18 Travnik, the machine technology sector, and later on
19 went to the faculty, machine faculty, building faculty
20 in Zenica, and he was of a very firm character, an
21 upright character, an individual who saw his life based
22 on the work he did, hard work.
23 Q. What did he do outside the school and outside
24 his education and work?
25 A. Well, he played music and he worked in
1 folklore, folklore was a hobby of his, and this meant
2 that he was very sociable, and he has this facility of
3 being very sociable and he has a very positive outlook
4 toward his friends, and it is common knowledge that in
5 the folklore sector, as a coach or trainer, that people
6 probably liked him best.
7 Q. How would you describe Mirjan Kupreskic?
8 A. Mirjan was younger, a few years younger, so
9 that the -- his early days -- I don't know -- I didn't
10 know him as well as I did Zoran when we were children
11 because he was younger, but when he grew up, he had
12 exactly the same characteristics and likes and
13 affinities as Zoran did.
14 Q. Were they respected in their working
15 environment and in the community in general?
16 A. Yes, they were, both in their working
17 environment and in the village and throughout Vitez.
18 Q. Only with the Croatian community or with
19 others as well?
20 A. By everybody. He was generally respected.
21 Q. Tell me, since you have given such a
22 characterisation of them, do you think that it is
23 possible that they would have killed someone, torched
24 his house, killed his children, things like that?
25 A. No. No, no. Not even in my subconscious
1 could I dream of anything like it.
2 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
3 have no further questions.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Radovic.
5 Does any Defence counsel intend to cross-examine --
6 examination-in-chief. Yes. Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
8 Mr. President.
9 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
10 Q. Mr. Vidovic, just a few questions. You said
11 that on the 20th of October, 1992, the Muslims did not
12 show up for work at the post office; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Tell me, do you know, according to the law
15 that was in force at that time, did an absence of over
16 five days from work have any consequences?
17 A. Yes, yes. The consequence being that one
18 would lose one's job.
19 Q. Were any proceedings initiated against these
20 persons to have their jobs taken away from them?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Who was your deputy at the post office?
23 A. My deputy was Asim Arnautovic.
24 Q. What was Asim Arnautovic?
25 A. He was a telecommunications engineer by
2 Q. And by ethnicity?
3 A. By ethnicity, he's a Muslim.
4 Q. To the best of your knowledge, since you had
5 to be in touch with other companies in Vitez and you
6 probably knew the situation there, was the structure of
7 employees or of the management changed in any company
8 in Vitez in '92, in '93, to the best of your knowledge?
9 A. To the best of my knowledge, there were no
10 changes anywhere, either in terms of management or in
11 terms of the general employment pattern.
12 Q. The post office is one of the companies that
13 was a public company. Those are so-called public
14 companies; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. And it is under state control in a certain
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. At any point in time after the elections and
20 until the outbreak of the war, were any attempts made
21 or were any initiatives launched from any side in the
22 municipality that people had to sign an allegiance of
23 loyalty to the HVO?
24 A. No, no, there were no such attempts. At
25 least I don't know about it.
1 Q. I'm going to ask you something in relation to
2 Ahmici. Your mother and your sister live there, is
3 that correct, and your brother too?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where was your brother in 1992 and 1993?
6 What was his name, please?
7 A. My brother's name is Mirko Vidovic, and he
8 was in Ahmici or, rather, Pirici until the second half
9 of March 1993.
10 Q. Where did he go to then and where was his
11 family at the time?
12 A. In the first half of 1992, his wife and two
13 children went to stay with her mother in Germany.
14 Q. Why did they go?
15 A. Well, at the time, they were probably afraid,
16 right? They were afraid of an aggression by the Serb
17 army or somebody else. I don't know. I know that that
18 was approximately the reason why his wife and two
19 children had left.
20 Q. He left in 1993, in mid March; is that right?
21 A. Yes, yes, and he went to pick them up, and he
22 didn't manage to come back until 1994.
23 Q. Was your brother friends with Mirjan
24 Kupreskic? Were they on duty together in '92 and '93?
25 Did you know about this? Did you discuss it? Of
1 course, if you know about it.
2 A. Yes, yes, they were very good friends, and
3 they visited one another, and I think they were also on
4 duty together.
5 Q. You said that you intervened or, rather,
6 tried to get in touch with your mother on the 16th of
7 April so that you would find out where she was. Did
8 you sometimes check on where your sister was, where
9 your mother was? Did you talk about the situation in
10 Vitez, things like that? Were there any situations
11 before this that made you feel anxious in any way, and
12 did you feel wary in terms of something happening? Did
13 you want to get them out?
14 A. Yes, I was very often in contact with my
15 mother and with my sister whenever something happened,
16 even in the broader region, because they lived on their
17 own, and I was simply afraid for them. Very often, I
18 would caution them, saying that if they felt anything,
19 that they should go up to the Kupreskic houses, any one
20 of the Kupreskic houses, because I think that they
21 would spend the night safer there than in their own
23 Q. Do you know whether Fahrudin Ahmic was
24 friends with Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic? I'm talking
25 about the Fahrudin Ahmic who played an instrument in
1 that society.
2 A. Yes, yes, I know that they were very good
3 friends, and for many years, they played instruments
4 together and stayed in the cultural society.
5 Q. Do you know whether he remained with them as
6 a member of this society until the outbreak of the war?
7 A. Yes, certainly until the outbreak of the war.
8 Q. Did you ever hear Zoran or Mirjan Kupreskic
9 expressing any kind of extremist views?
10 A. No, no, never.
11 Q. Were they involved in any kind of political
13 A. I think that Zoran was, for a brief period,
14 in the local community together with me.
15 Q. When was that?
16 A. Possibly in 1980, 1981 or, rather, 1981,
18 Q. Was he a member of the League of Communists,
19 since you say that he was active in the local community
20 at that time?
21 A. Yes, yes, he was a member of the League of
23 Q. Do you know whether they were active after
24 the elections, either one or the other?
25 A. No, no, I don't think that either one of them
2 Q. Did you ever hear them support any extremist
3 views on the Croatian side in any conversation? Did
4 you ever hear anything of that nature? Were you ever
6 A. I never heard them present any such views in
7 favour of the extremist side.
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. Thank you.
9 No further questions.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
12 Does any Defence counsel intend to
13 cross-examine the witness?
14 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good day, Your Honours. I
15 would like to inform you that Borislav Krajina, Luka
16 Susak, and Petar Puliselic will also be examining this
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Krajina?
19 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Krajina:
21 Q. Good day, Mr. Vidovic.
22 A. Good day.
23 Q. My name is Borislav Krajina. I'm Defence
24 counsel for Vlatko Kupreskic, the accused. I would
25 like to put a few questions to you.
1 First of all, you mentioned a few minutes ago
2 in your statement that your brother, Mirko Vidovic,
3 left the area of the municipality of Vitez in the
4 second half of March 1993 and that he went to Germany
5 to collect his family and that he managed to return
6 only in 1994; is that correct? Did I understand you
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Please, in this connection, can you tell me
10 with certainty, can you answer with certainty, whether
11 your brother, Mirko Vidovic, was in Ahmici and in
12 Pirici on the 15th of April, 1993, that is to say, a
13 day before the conflict broke out?
14 A. No, no, no. He was in Germany. I'm sure
15 about that.
16 Q. Thank you. Also, I wish to ask you the
17 following: Do you know Vlatko Kupreskic? Do you see
18 him in this courtroom?
19 A. Yes, yes, I do. I grew up together with him
21 Q. All right. Could you please tell us how long
22 you've known Vlatko Kupreskic and what is this based
23 upon? You said that you grew up together. Are you
24 neighbours? Did you, perhaps, work together? Were you
25 schoolmates? Could you tell us about this a bit?
1 A. Yes. I've known Vlatko and Zoran for as long
2 as I've known myself. We grew up together, and we were
3 friends from early childhood. When we grew up too,
4 very often, for as long as I lived there, we saw each
5 other, and later on too, although rarely, I must say.
6 Q. All right. Can you tell us now what schools
7 Vlatko Kupreskic finished? Do you know that?
8 A. Yes, yes, I do. After elementary school, he
9 completed a vocational school in Travnik for economics,
10 and after that, he graduated from the Faculty of
11 Economics in Zenica. He got a university degree.
12 Q. Do you know whether Vlatko Kupreskic, just
13 before the war and then during the war and after the
14 war, was he ever involved in politics? Do you know
15 about it?
16 A. As far as I know, never, not before the war,
17 not after the war.
18 Q. All right. Do you know whether he spoke
19 publicly at political gatherings or something?
20 A. No, never, never.
21 Q. Do you know what were the things that he
22 basically did at the time?
23 A. Yes, I know. Before he established a private
24 company, a trading company, in addition to the regular
25 job he had at the Vitezit factory, Vlatko played an
1 instrument, and he played at restaurants, hotels, et
3 Q. Tell me, do you know whether Vlatko Kupreskic
4 did his military service?
5 A. I know he did not do his military service.
6 Because of his health, he was incapable of doing his
7 military service.
8 Q. Did you ever see him in a military uniform or
9 with weapons?
10 A. No, never, never.
11 Q. Do you know whether Vlatko Kupreskic is a
12 heart patient?
13 A. Yes, I do. I remember when we were seeing
14 him off when he was going to have heart surgery, we
15 were in the second grade of primary school.
16 Q. All right. You said that you grew up in
17 Pirici, et cetera. Did you have Muslims amongst your
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Do you know what kind of attitude Vlatko
21 Kupreskic had towards his neighbours and Muslims, do
22 you know about that, before the war, during the war,
23 after the war?
24 A. Yes, I do know about it. He had a good
25 relationship. Very often, he would go and play his
1 instrument at various neighbours' places in Ahmici when
2 they were sending off their men to the army, Muharem
3 Patkovic, to mention a few names, when he was going
4 into the army, and then Berbic, I don't know his first
5 name, et cetera. I think that also his positive
6 attitude was expressed through Veleprodaja, that is to
7 say, his shop. He built this building of Veleprodaja,
8 and some of them found jobs at his place, for example,
9 Hazim Ahmic from Gornji Pirici.
10 Q. All right. Just one more thing, one more
11 question: Since you said that you grew up together and
12 you knew Vlatko Kupreskic very well, could you tell us
13 now at the end something about Vlatko as a person, what
14 kind of a person he was like as a child, as he was
15 growing up, as an adult? Could you tell us something
16 about his character and what kind of reputation he
17 enjoyed in your environment?
18 A. Excuse me. I'm going to say something
19 similar to what I have already said about Zoran. When
20 we were young, all of us were schoolmates together, and
21 we were competitive, and we were competing as to who
22 would be more successful in life. Every one of us had
23 an objective in life. We wanted to complete our
24 education and to provide for ourselves and for our
25 families properly. I think that this is a
1 characteristic of good men, and in that sense, I think
2 that that is the kind of assessment one can give of
3 Vlatko's character too.
4 As we were growing up, if we're talking about
5 his relationship with friends and colleagues, he really
6 knew how to create a good atmosphere. That is what we
7 always say. He can entertain very well, and I already
8 said that he spent part of his working career by
9 entertaining others.
10 Q. Did he ever have any inclination towards
11 excessive behaviour or aggressive behaviour of any
13 A. No, no, to the best of my knowledge, no.
14 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you, Mr. Vidovic. Thank
15 you, Mr. President. No further questions.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Susak?
17 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic. I am the Defence
20 counsel for Drago Josipovic. My name is Luka Susak,
21 and I'm going to ask you a few questions.
22 You said that you were from Pirici. Do you
23 know the Vjetrenica company of Vitez?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Do you know that it exists? Did they have a
1 warehouse in Santici?
2 A. Yes, they did.
3 Q. The warehouse is named Ogrjev, and the
4 address is Santici BB, with that number. Can you
5 describe to us the locality of that warehouse? Where
6 is it located?
7 A. Yes, I can. The warehouse is located along
8 the main road between the railway station in Vitez and
9 Kaonik or, to be more precise, between Pican's cafe and
10 the road leading to Ahmici and Pirici.
11 Q. So it is the main road and the section
12 between Travnik and Kaonik; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Would you describe to us, please, whether
15 there is a fence around the warehouse of any kind?
16 A. Yes, there is, right around the whole
18 Q. Could you tell us what kind of fence it is?
19 Is it a concrete wall or a steel fence or a wire fence
20 or anything else?
21 A. Well, the fence is made up of concrete slabs,
22 supports, and on these concrete supports, there is
23 wiring attached.
24 Q. What about this wiring, has it got any sort
25 of fields in between?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What dimensions are the holes in between?
3 A. Well, they are approximately square shaped,
4 and let us say they are 20 centimetres by 20 or 15 by
6 Q. Now, my next question: Can you climb up the
7 fence, as you would up a ladder, in view of the profile
8 of the wire itself?
9 A. Yes, you can climb up this type of concrete
10 wire fencing, just as you would up a ladder.
11 Q. Now, we looked at aerial photographs here,
12 and we know the entrance, the door, leading into the
13 warehouse, and there was a certain amount of
14 misunderstanding on that point, so I ask you my next
15 question: This entrance door into the warehouse
16 courtyard, is the door placed on the side of the main
17 road or somewhere else? That is to say, is the
18 entrance door on the main road or on the other side of
19 the road?
20 A. The entrance to Ogrjev is not on the side of
21 the main road, it is on the parking lot side, that is
22 to say, the lateral side of Ogrjev.
23 Q. So it is on the lateral side and not the main
24 road side?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. At the entrance, has the door got one side to
2 it or is it a double door?
3 A. I think that there are two sides to the door,
4 a big one and a small one.
5 Q. What is the big side used for and what about
6 the small side and are they linked together, as you
7 remember the entrance?
8 A. The big entrance is closed unless somebody
9 needs to take out some materials. Usually people
10 coming to Ogrjev would park their vehicles in the
11 parking lot and would then enter the Ogrjev premises
12 through the small door by foot.
13 Q. So as far as I'm able to conclude, the
14 vehicles enter through the big entrance, the big door,
15 which is kept locked, to take material out of Ogrjev
16 and big material into Ogrjev; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know the guardhouse in the compound?
19 A. Yes. In one corner, there was a small hut
20 for the guard.
21 Q. What do you mean by a hut?
22 A. A small house.
23 Q. Is it several-storeyed or just a ground-floor
25 A. It's on the ground floor. And when I say
1 "small," I mean of small dimension.
2 Q. Well, has it got an entrance door and any
4 A. Yes, it has a door and windows.
5 Q. Are the windows glassed in? Is there any
6 glass on the windows, or what do these apertures look
8 A. Yes, they're classical windows with glass.
9 Q. While we are on the subject of windows, you
10 know what the west side is and what the northerly side
11 is. Are the windows on just one side or on several
12 sides of this guard house?
13 A. As far as I remember, I'm sure it has a
14 window looking out towards the west and south, facing
15 west and facing south.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Susak, I assume you
17 have a few more questions.
18 MR. SUSAK: Yes, there will be questions to
19 the tune of ten to fifteen minutes, perhaps.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: We will have a break.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
22 --- Upon resuming at 11.05 a.m.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Counsel Pavkovic.
24 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, the defence
25 would like to make an objection with regard to
1 procedure on the part of the Prosecutor because two or
2 three minutes before you walked in we received this
3 batch of material. If only a part of these documents
4 will be the subject of the cross-examination by the
5 Prosecution, then we should like to raise an objection,
6 because the defence was not able to nor can it
7 objectively prepare itself and become informed of what
8 these documents state, even partially. So I should
9 like to ask you to bear this in mind. Apart from that
10 the photocopies are very bad and are not legible in
11 many places. Thank you.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier?
13 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I simply wish to
14 make one comment. It is not our intention to use one
15 of these documents in the cross-examination of this
16 witness. However, we reserve the possibility of using
17 one or more of these documents during the
18 cross-examination of others. This is merely -- we're
19 merely giving the opportunity to the defence to have
20 the documents that we have selected and decided to
21 disclose to the Defence. With regards to the poor
22 quality of the photocopies of these documents, as
23 Mr. Pavkovic has just mentioned, I admit that this is
24 indeed the case, but we will try to do what we can to
25 improve upon them, but I'm sorry for the time being we
1 cannot give them better quality copies. Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well. No problem
4 Counsel Susak?
5 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. We stopped at Ogrjev, Mr. Vidovic; we were
7 discussing Ogrjev. The western part, you said that the
8 window faced west in the guardhouse, and that there was
9 a south facing window, and that both the windows had
10 glass. What direction did the window facing west look
11 out on to?
12 A. What do you mean, what direction?
13 Q. In what direction: If you were to look
14 through the window facing west of the guardhouse, what
15 would you see through that window?
16 A. Well, you would see Vitez. You would be
17 looking in the direction of Vitez.
18 Q. What about the south side, the south window?
19 A. The south window looks out on to the main
20 road from Travnik to Kaonik.
21 Q. Which houses are near the window facing
22 west? That is to say, near the warehouse belonging to
24 A. There we have the house of -- the closest
25 house is -- belongs to Avdo Becirevic. We called him
1 -- Mujaga's son-in-law; I think his surname was
2 Becirevic, though. And behind his house is Mura
3 Dzidic's house. Further on upwards, you come to Sefik
4 Pezer's house, and to the right of Mura Dzidic is the
5 house belonging to Mehmed Ahmic, and further on towards
6 the right you have Smail Ahmic's house, and below his
7 house is his son's house, Mujo Ahmic.
8 Q. The houses that you have just enumerated and
9 their owners, are they all Muslims?
10 A. Yes, they are. They're all Muslims.
11 Q. So the window facing west of the guardhouse
12 is turned towards houses belonging to Muslims; is that
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Can we say that they are exclusively
16 Muslim-owned houses?
17 A. Yes, right up by the Ogrjev company are
18 houses belonging exclusively to Muslims.
19 Q. On the west side over the fence, that is to
20 say, could you come out on to the macadamised road
21 surface from the western side?
22 A. Yes, you could cross over the fence just as
23 you would climb up a ladder and cross on to the other
24 side, on any of the sides surrounding the compound.
25 Q. Could you tell us now please whether from the
1 angle of the guardhouse, that is between the guardhouse
2 and the steel fence, can you see the south side -- that
3 is part of Santici across from the main road?
4 A. No, not all of it. You can see a part of it,
5 but not the entire area.
6 Q. Would you tell us where Drago Santic's house
7 is located? Is it across the main road, or somewhere
9 A. Drago Santic?
10 Q. No, Drago Josipovic. I apologise for that
12 A. Drago Josipovic's house is situated opposite
13 to Ogrjev; in other words, on the right-hand side of
14 the main road running from Travnik to Kaonik.
15 Q. Is it on the -- to the southerly side of the
17 A. Yes, to the south side of the guardhouse.
18 Q. Can you tell us which houses surround Drago
19 Josipovic's house, and whether near his house there are
20 any Muslim-owned houses? Or let me add to that, could
21 you tell us the distribution of the houses bordering on
22 Drago Josipovic's house?
23 A. Very well. To the west of Drago Josipovic's
24 house, at a distance of 30 metres, is his parents'
25 house and his brother's house, Miro right behind that
1 house, behind his parents' house and Miro's house, is,
2 at a distance of 5 metres, the house of Hasim Ahmic.
3 And right next to that house, on the south side,
4 therefore on the south side of Hasim Ahmic's house, we
5 have very close by, 5 or 6 metres away, his son's
6 house, Fahrudin, or Fahran, as we used to call him,
7 Ahmic. On the east --
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Susak, do you intend
9 to pursue this line of questioning? Because we have
10 aerial photographs of the whole place. We know
11 everything about the location of the various houses.
12 Is it necessary for the witness to tell us where the
13 various houses are located? I'm just wondering.
14 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, yes, we do know
15 where the houses are located, but we are ascertaining
16 who the owners are, and that is why I'm asking these
17 questions because the witnesses for the Prosecution
18 said something else.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: No, that's right, we know
20 that as well. We know that as well, the owners of the
21 various houses.
22 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, but I've almost
23 concluded, just to give us a general idea, a general
24 picture. We'll be finished in just a moment.
25 Q. Can you hear me now?
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. Could you enumerate the houses situated to
3 the east of the facility owned by Drago Josipovic. To
4 the east of -- yes, you said Ivica's or Miro's house,
5 Hasim Ahmic's house and Fahrudin Ahmic's house.
6 Q. Now on the other side, what do we have there?
7 A. To the east of Drago Josipovic's house, at a
8 distance of 50 metres, lies Jozo Santic's house. Also
9 on the east, below Jozo Santic's house, we have Vlado
10 Santic's house, Jozo's son's house. There's another
11 house there which is empty, I think; nobody lives
12 there. But I think the owner is a cousin of the
13 Santics, and I don't think it is furnished, either.
14 Q. How far are these houses from Drago
15 Josipovic's house?
16 A. 50 metres.
17 Q. So that means that they are further away than
18 the houses owned by the Muslims, as far as I was able
19 to gather?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Did you know Drago Josipovic previously?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Would you tell us, you delved in politics;
24 was he active in politics, did he take part in any
25 power structures in Vitez?
1 A. Well, I've known Drago since we were
2 children, and he never had anything to do with
4 Q. Do you know what his conduct was towards his
5 neighbours, how did he behave towards his Muslim
7 A. As far as I know, they were good relations,
8 very good. Their relations were particularly good with
9 neighbours to the west, that is to say Hasim and his
11 Q. Do you know whether Drago Josipovic ever did
12 any excessive behaviour, or made any criminal offence
13 or anything?
14 A. No as far as I know, he did not.
15 Q. Do you know where he worked?
16 A. Yes, I do. He worked in the SPS factory, the
17 Sintevit section for plastics, I think Sintevit was the
19 Q. Was he a sportsman in Ahmici or Santici? Did
20 he take part in any sports of any kind?
21 A. Not to any great extent, but he was a
22 sympathiser and was on the board of the football club
23 and team at one point, the football club that existed
24 and was called the NK Santic football club.
25 Q. Was he respected in his environment and in
1 Santici as a whole?
2 A. Drago is a quiet man by nature. And as such,
3 he was respected.
4 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I have no further
5 questions. Thank you.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Susak.
7 Counsel Puliselic?
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Puliselic:
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vidovic. I am Defence
10 counsel Petar Puliselic, Defence counsel for
11 Dragan Papic, the accused, and I would like to ask you
12 several questions.
13 You said that up until 1990, that is to say,
14 that from 1990, you had been living in Vitez, and that
15 you lived in Busovaca prior to that, as far as I
16 understood; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You also said that you were born in Pirici
19 and that you grew up there. Did you go to Pirici often
20 and who did you stay with, if you went there?
21 A. While I lived and worked in Busovaca, I would
22 usually go to visit my parents in Pirici every
23 weekend. Usually I would stay with them. Sometimes I
24 would go to our neighbours if there was a holiday of
25 any kind or any kind of celebration.
1 Q. Do you know Dragan Papic?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. How do you know Dragan Papic?
4 A. Dragan Papic belongs to the younger
5 generation, he's younger than me, and we did not
6 actually grow up together, this being the case, but
7 when we were already grown up, we knew each other, and
8 I'm a good friend with his father and, of course, we're
10 Q. Can I take it then that you knew him well?
11 A. Yes, relatively well.
12 Q. Do you know where Dragan Papic worked?
13 A. Dragan Papic is, by profession, a forestry
14 expert, and he worked in the forestry department
15 together with my father-in-law, my wife's father. My
16 late father-in-law was called Andrija Musa.
17 Q. Do you see Dragan Papic in the courtroom?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Can you notice anything special on his face?
20 A. I can see that he has a beard which is
22 Q. Do you know, at the end of 1992 or 1993,
23 whether he had a beard at that time?
24 A. Yes, he did. He had a bigger beard than the
25 one he has now.
1 Q. Do you know whether Dragan Papic had any
2 extreme nationalist positions with regard to the
3 Muslims and did he discuss politics in an extremist
5 A. No, I don't have any knowledge as to that,
6 and knowing his father, I don't believe he did because
7 it is common knowledge that his father had very good
8 relations with the Muslims of Ahmici, especially when
9 the waterworks and water supply for the village was
10 being constructed, and I can say that there were
11 especially good relations on the part of the whole of
12 the Papic family with the(redacted).
13 Q. Can you tell us what Dragan Papic's hobbies
14 were, what he did during his leisure time, out of
15 working hours?
16 A. Well, together with his brother Goran, he
17 used to repair cars in his spare time.
18 Q. Did he repair cars for the Muslims?
19 A. Yes, he repaired everybody's cars in the
21 Q. You have already said something about his
22 father, Ivo Papic. Do you know whether he does water
23 supply installations for the Muslims today who have
24 returned to Ahmici?
25 A. I don't know whether he is working on the
1 construction of the waterworks network and supply
2 network in Ahmici today, but I do know that he does
3 work between Kremenik and Grbavica, he does maintenance
4 work for the water supply system, and in the Grbavica
5 village, the houses have been repaired, and it is
6 common knowledge that they were all returned to the
7 Muslims last year.
8 Q. You said that he also saw to the water supply
9 installations in the mosque, that he worked on that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you recall whether, in his free time, he
13 was helped by Dragan in this work?
14 A. Yes, of course. I did not see this myself,
15 but usually, on construction work of this kind, it was
16 usual for the children to help their parents.
17 Q. Do you know that work on the mosque was done
18 by Ivo Papic without any remuneration, that he did it
19 free of charge?
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 Q. You said that when the mosque was opened,
22 there was a big inauguration ceremony, I think you said
23 this yesterday, in Ahmici. Did many people attend from
24 the surrounding parts? Did people come in by buses and
25 private cars? Do you remember whether there were a lot
1 of buses and cars?
2 A. Yes, I remember that day very well. The
3 entire area, from the Topolsko cemetery up to Papics'
4 house, that is a cousin of Dragan Papic, and right up
5 to my own family house, was turned into a parking lot,
6 and the Muslims used this for prayer, prayer area.
7 Q. Do you know whether these buses were parked
8 in the field owned by Papic?
9 A. Yes, that area too was set aside for a
10 parking lot for buses because there were several
11 thousand people in the area who, had they come by car
12 and parked, would have taken up all the space around
13 the mosque.
14 Q. Do you know whether the Hadzija Ahmic Hazim
15 expressed his gratitude to the fact that the vehicles
16 were allowed to park on his own land? Did you hear
17 anything about that?
18 A. Yes, he did express his thanks and gratitude.
19 Q. What can you tell us, in closing, what kind
20 of man was Dragan Papic? Was he violent? Was he a
21 peace-loving man? Was he ready to help others? What
22 was his conduct towards the Muslims? Did he have
23 Muslim friends? Was he friendly with the Muslims?
24 A. As far as being sociable and having friends,
25 all of us living in that area were friends with our
1 next-door neighbours. We would socialise. And very
2 often we would go out together.
3 As far as the character of Dragan Papic
4 himself, I can say that he was, by nature -- he took
5 after his father a great deal, and his father was a
6 very hard worker, he was well-known for being a hard
7 worker, and he liked to joke a lot. The same character
8 traits were inherited by his son.
9 Q. Was he violent? Did he enter into conflicts
10 of any kind?
11 A. As far as I know, no, he did not.
12 MR. PULISELIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel
14 Puliselic. Mr. Blaxill?
15 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. President, Your Honours,
16 thank you.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
18 Q. Mr. Vidovic, good morning to you, sir. My
19 name is Michael Blaxill. I am one of the team of
21 A. Good morning to you too.
22 Q. I do have a few questions for you, sir,
23 arising out of the evidence you have given here this
25 You have just described the considerable
1 ceremony when the mosque was opened, the large private
2 mosque with the minaret. Do you feel that that was
3 obviously appreciated as a significant building in the
4 area by the local Muslim community?
5 A. I think it was.
6 Q. Did that perhaps make Ahmici a rather
7 significant and special place in the minds of Muslims
8 within the Lasva Valley area?
9 A. Not at that time, I don't think so.
10 Q. Do you think, in its short life, the mosque
11 actually became a significant and special place for the
12 Muslims of that area?
13 A. I think that it was a significant place only
14 for the Muslims from Donja Ahmici.
15 Q. Now, sir, if we can go back a little? You
16 say that you did your military service or left the JNA
17 in 1981; is that correct?
18 A. At the end of 1980. On the 12th of December,
19 1980, to be precise.
20 Q. Thank you. Since that time, you have been
21 professionally engaged in the telecommunications world;
22 that is correct?
23 A. Yes, yes. From the 15th of January, 1981.
24 Q. In terms of any ongoing obligations to serve
25 the state in a time of peace or war, you have worked
1 exclusively, your assignments were in
3 A. Yes, exclusively in telecommunications.
4 Q. Now, you have already indicated that there
5 were essentially two networks, one for the military and
6 one purely civilian, in terms of telephones, is that
7 right, in Vitez?
8 A. Yes. I said that within the
9 telecommunications system of the post office, there
10 were no military connections, and what kind of network
11 they had and what kind of system, that, I'm not aware
13 Q. When you received your subsequent assignment,
14 you know, for a situation perhaps of wartime, did that
15 bring you into any involvement with the military
16 communications, or did you remain exclusively involved
17 in civilian communications?
18 A. As the war broke out, I did not receive any
19 orders to work on military communications, and as
20 regards my war assignment, in terms of work duty, it
21 was reduced entirely to the field of civilian
23 Q. Thank you. Right. So if I can now turn to
24 the post-election period of -- we will move towards
25 1992. You have confirmed that you were not active in
1 politics yourself; is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. But you supported the -- I believe you called
4 it the Croatian Democratic Community; is that right,
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, during 1992, is it correct that an
8 institution was formed called the HVO in Central Bosnia
9 and indeed in Vitez?
10 A. What do you mean, whether this institution
11 was organised? Do you mean whether it was organised
12 officially and whether I was part of this institution,
13 or am I simply aware of the fact that it existed?
14 Q. Yes, your awareness of its existence. You
15 were aware of it, sir, were you?
16 A. Yes, I was aware of its existence. There was
17 a government, a municipal council. I think it was
18 called the HVO government, or something like that.
19 Q. Did you endeavour to keep yourself aware of
20 current affairs in the area as time passed, political
21 developments and the like?
22 A. Yes. I read the newspapers and information.
23 Q. So presumably, from that standpoint, you
24 became aware of the aims of the Croatian Community in
25 Herceg-Bosna, you became aware of that?
1 A. I don't understand. What do you mean
2 "intention"? What are you talking about?
3 Q. Did you become aware of the creation, shall I
4 say, of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Is it true that some of the expressed aims of
7 that community were a degree of Croatian autonomy,
8 territorial, economic, and, to that extent, military
10 A. That, I do not know.
11 Q. As 1992 progressed, did you become aware that
12 the BiH government in Sarajevo actually declared the
13 HVO government to be illegal? Were you aware of that
15 A. I'm not aware of that. What I do know,
16 though, is that in 1992 there was a referendum for
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that we voted. But I am not
18 aware of this proclamation, no.
19 Q. Is it correct that in the later half, we will
20 say, of 1992, in the municipality of Vitez, there was
21 ostensibly a power-sharing between a Muslim
22 governmental body and the HVO governmental body; is
23 that correct?
24 A. In the second half of 1992, and until the end
25 of 1992, there was a joint government in the
1 municipality of Vitez, to the best of my knowledge;
2 that is to say, that there was an executive branch in
3 the municipality. It was some kind of municipal
5 Q. Now, as we approached October 1992, would it
6 be fair to say that the effective governing power in
7 the Vitez area had become the HVO municipal government;
8 would that be correct?
9 A. Until October, I think that the joint
10 government was still operative.
11 Q. But after October 1992, I presume from what
12 you're saying, that was no longer the case?
13 A. Well, after October '93 -- I'm sorry, '92, to
14 the best of my knowledge, the Muslim part of the
15 leadership, the municipal leadership, established their
16 own war presidency or whatever it was called, I do not
17 know the exact name, and it was located in the Mahala,
18 that is to say, in Stari Vitez.
19 Q. You refer to it as a war presidency, but
20 would it not be fair to say that, except for the
21 incidents on the 20th of October, between Muslims and
22 Croats, there had been no outbreak of conflict to that
24 A. Well, there were some registered incidents
25 until October 1992. Rather, before October 1992, there
1 weren't any incidents of this nature, to the best of my
3 Q. Now, you say that your Muslim staff members
4 from the post office stayed away from work for seven
5 days after the 20th of October; that's correct?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. It was put to you that the law of that time
8 would have normally meant their immediate dismissal for
9 staying away so long; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was that a law from the BiH government or was
12 that a law perhaps created by the HVO municipal
14 A. No, no, it was a law that was enforced by the
15 community of the Yugoslav PTT, and all of us working in
16 the post office worked according to those regulations
17 and those laws that were operative then within this
18 unified PTT system of Bosnia and Herzegovina or,
19 rather, Yugoslavia at the time.
20 Q. When the Muslim employees returned to work,
21 you obviously decided not to enforce that law. What
22 made you take the more sympathetic course of action
23 that you took?
24 A. Well, I simply didn't want anybody to abuse
25 that, and I didn't want it to be characterised as
1 discrimination by anyone. I did not make this kind of
2 decision on my own. I consulted the other employees as
3 well. We thought that this was a fair thing to do to
4 our colleagues, and if we had to defend what we did in
5 terms of the law on PTT, we were prepared to do that.
6 Q. At that time, those colleagues had expressed
7 certain fears to you. Can you tell us what those fears
9 A. Well, they did not describe in detail what
10 they were afraid of. They simply said that they were
11 afraid. Although they were aware that there were no
12 reasons for this, the explanation was, "We were
14 Q. But, Mr. Vidovic, with respect, as an
15 employer who would have the legal right to dismiss
16 those people for an apparent breach that warranted
17 dismissal, did you not see fit to inquire more as to
18 what their fears were that justified their staying
20 A. I tried, but I did not hear about any details
21 from any one of them.
22 Q. In any event, you decided not to dismiss
23 these employees?
24 A. Yes, yes. But I forgot to mention a few
25 minutes ago that when people were on duty at the post
1 office for longer periods of time, which is what we
2 discussed earlier on too, all of us practically had
3 earned three times seven days off. We were entitled to
4 days off. So I remember now, I distinctly remember
5 now, that we treated those seven days as days off that
6 had been earned.
7 Q. I see. Now, do you not consider it was
8 coincidental that the events of the 20th of October led
9 to that sudden seven-day absence of your Muslim
11 A. Well, it did coincide with that day, but in
12 my opinion, there was no need for that event that
13 occurred by the cemetery to affect their coming or
14 going from work, because at that point in time, the
15 situation in the post office where we worked was
16 perfectly normal.
17 Q. So if I were to suggest to you, sir, that a
18 logical conclusion may have been that they were
19 frightened of the HVO, what would you say to that?
20 A. I don't know what they were to be afraid of.
21 That would be my answer. Had they called me, I would
22 have been prepared to protect each and every one of
23 them for sure with regard to any matter, and I really
24 have no idea what they feared at that time in October
25 and why they didn't come to work.
1 Q. I'll move on from that subject now, sir.
2 Mr. Vidovic, you made reference to Vitez at the time
3 having a jointly-manned police station, both Muslim and
4 Croat police officers; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, as far as I know, after the elections, a
6 joint government was formed in the municipality and in
7 the police.
8 Q. Was there a point at which that ceased to be
9 a joint police station and consisted of only one ethnic
10 group of police officers?
11 A. Yes. I think that this happened along
12 parallel lines. When the government was formed in
13 Mahala, I don't know whether "war presidency" is the
14 right word, but that resulted in the establishment of a
15 separate police station in Mahala, in Stari Vitez, that
17 Q. After the war, there remained a police
18 station in Vitez, is that correct, a Croat-manned
19 police station?
20 A. What do you mean "remained"? You mean the
21 building itself?
22 Q. The actual institution of a detachment of
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At this time, are there any Muslim employees
1 working at that police station, to your knowledge? You
2 may not know, sir.
3 A. I'm sorry, but what period are you exactly
4 asking me about?
5 Q. I'm saying even as of today, now, 1999?
6 A. Yes, yes. Today, in 1999, in the police
7 station in Vitez, there are Muslim policemen, as far as
8 I know, in accordance with the census from 1991, which
9 is to say, I think that the situation now is about
10 half/half. I could not give you the exact proportions,
11 but if the chief of police is a Croat, then his first
12 commanding officer is a Muslim, and that is the way it
13 goes down the hierarchy lines.
14 Q. Mr. Vidovic, if I can return to the beginning
15 of 1993, at the post office in Vitez, you indicated
16 that, as the conflict approached, the HVO government
17 itself took up residence in that building; is that
19 A. That's not what I said. I said that at the
20 beginning of the conflict, the leadership of the
21 municipality came to reside in the post office, not the
22 HVO government. I used an expression of my own, the
23 leadership of the municipality. I'm saying the mayor,
24 for example, the head of the government, and his
25 immediate associates. On the 17th, I think it was. On
1 the 16th, they didn't because I didn't go down into
2 basement on the 16th.
3 Q. Yes. I probably misled you by a misquote on
4 my part, Mr. Vidovic. I apologise. I believe you also
5 said that the information office, the 985 number, was
6 also located within the building; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you have any personal contact with those
9 elements, with the local leadership and with the
10 information office?
11 A. Yes, yes. I shall try to explain how it came
12 to be that the reporting centre was housed in the
13 basement of the post office.
14 When the building was actually constructed in
15 1984, then a contract was signed between the municipal
16 government at the time and the post office envisaging
17 premises for the reporting centre in the basement, and
18 they even had an entrance of their own. Later, it
19 turned out that the reporting centre -- I'm sorry,
20 turned out to be a lessee here because there was always
21 the problem of joint expenses. I'm talking about the
22 situation until 1993, that is.
23 As regards contact with people from the
24 reporting centre, I can say that it was only based on
25 what we had in common, that is to say, when there were
1 power shortages, then using joint facilities such as
2 the toilets, et cetera. I know all the people who were
3 in the reporting centre, of course, this centre on
5 Q. Did you have any day-to-day professional
6 dealings with these people in the early part of 1993
7 when they moved in?
8 A. We would see each other every day, but
9 professionally, no, except for our communication on the
10 telephone and their interventions to repair certain
11 breakdowns for certain subscribers, when they would
12 intervene on their behalf.
13 Q. But you say also you had personal contacts
14 with them. Did these people, in any way, keep you
15 abreast of events in the locality and what was
17 A. What do you mean about everything, all events
18 or, perhaps, certain excessive things?
19 Q. Well, I should suggest developments on a
20 political level or incidents that may have occurred in
21 various locations in the area, relations between ethnic
22 groups, things of that nature?
23 A. Yes, certain bits of information, yes, in
24 passing, but nothing official, nothing in our official
1 Q. Again, you have already said that you did try
2 to keep yourself abreast of current affairs and what
3 was happening in your region; is that so?
4 A. Yes, yes, I read the newspapers.
5 Q. Just before I move on to the events of April
6 of 1993, you mentioned an encounter between your sister
7 and Mr. Berbic and some village guards in Ahmici; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is it true, in fact, that after he told your
11 sister not to be afraid, it was only a drill, there was
12 no aggressive action by any of these village guards or
13 Muslims in Ahmici right up to the 16th of April? There
14 was no such incident, was there?
15 A. Those days, when I received that information,
16 as far as I know, there wasn't any activity on their
17 part. I'll try to remember. I think that this
18 encounter between her and them was in November because
19 she went to work -- yes, yes, November.
20 Q. Pardon me. It would seem that there was no
21 problem from that side subsequent to November '92 that
22 gave any physical threat to the Croats in Ahmici; is
23 that right?
24 A. As regards my sister, no, no, nothing except
25 for this encounter.
1 Q. Now, if I may move to the events of the 15th
2 onwards of April 1993. You were at work on the 15th
3 when you said you were organising fuel supplies. I
4 believe that's so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Perhaps I have misunderstood the shift. Did
7 you work -- on that day, did you work during the day or
8 was that when you did the shift from 8.00 p.m. to 7.00
10 A. All of us worked every day from 7.00 until
11 3.00, and the shifts rotated. On the previous night
12 between the 14th and the 15th, I cannot recall who was
13 on duty, but in an already established order, I was
14 supposed to be on duty between the 15th and the 16th
15 from 8.00 p.m. until 7.00 a.m.
16 Q. I believe you said you did perform that duty?
17 A. Yes, yes, that night, I did perform that
18 duty, and I was lucky. There were no power shortages,
19 so I didn't have to intervene, but, yes, I was there on
20 duty that night.
21 Q. Presumably, you were able to gain some sleep
22 during that night?
23 A. Yes. All those doing shifts would usually
24 spend the night sleeping, especially if there were no
25 power cuts.
1 Q. And that leads to the fact that you were
2 awakened by the sound of gunfire the following morning?
3 A. Yes, yes. I was not awoken by the alarm or
4 by any power cuts or anything else but by shooting.
5 Q. Was it a normal procedure for you to check
6 the automatic printout for defective telephone numbers
7 when you started any period of work or was there a
8 special reason to do so that morning?
9 A. We did our shifts in the main building, and
10 every morning, when we would come to work at 7 a.m.,
11 the computerised exchange would give out all sorts of
12 alarms, both major alarms and medium importance alarms
13 and other ones. And that morning, when I woke up, that
14 is to say when I was woken up by the shooting, standard
15 procedure was to wait for the alarm list printout which
16 comes out at 7 a.m.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
18 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I would like to
19 ask the Prosecutor -- I would like to ask you to warn
20 the Prosecutor not to ask questions that have already
21 been answered. During the examination-in-chief, the
22 witness expressly explained to the Trial Chamber that
23 it was standard regular procedure in the post office
24 that the list with the defective telephone numbers was
25 put out at 7.00 a.m. every morning. So the questions
1 posed by the Prosecutor are questions that have already
2 been answered. I didn't want to interfere, but would
3 you please ask him not to ask questions that have
4 already been asked, but to pose them, perhaps, in a
5 different manner if he wishes to pursue the matter.
6 MR. BLAXILL: I take Mr. Radovic's point. I
7 was, however, laying foundation as to whether or not
8 the events of the gunfire had influenced the witness's
9 actions at that time in relation this particular
10 thing. That was all. I am moving away from that
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
13 MR. BLAXILL:
14 Q. Subsequent to that, you say that you asked
15 the operator to perform a specific check for defective
16 numbers; can you please tell us what motivated you to
17 make that request?
18 A. I said that as the operative man, and the
19 only person who was there and performing the role of
20 operator, between 7.30 and 8.00 a.m., once again,
21 requested of the computer to -- that is, regardless of
22 the fact that it had printed out the 7.00 list, without
23 any defective numbers, to check again and see whether
24 any lines were defective. I supposed that the shooting
25 that I had heard and the detonation that I had heard
1 that some aerial lines had possibly been damaged. And
2 as at 7.00 that morning, nobody turned up to work, as I
3 was alone in the exchange, I felt that this kind of
4 regular reading of the defective numbers would mean
5 less work. Because it is common knowledge that a
6 computerised telephone exchange, if there are many
7 defective numbers, can go to a restart, which means
8 that the telephone numbers which were all right would
9 have been put out of action. And so between half past
10 7.00 and 8.00, I asked for a reread from the computer,
11 to see whether there were any subscribers' numbers
12 which were defective.
13 Q. Thank you. I noted in the course of the
14 transcript one expression I would like to clarify with
15 you, because the expression was used of "we cut off
16 lines to Stari Vitez," and I'm just wondering, was that
17 a positive action taken at your end, that you had to
18 disconnect those lines? Or was it some other cause?
19 A. Well, quite obviously I was misunderstood, or
20 that something was not well written down in the
21 transcript. What I said was that through the Mahala,
22 that is to say the old part of Vitez, there was a
23 cable, a cable existed, which supplied all the
24 subscribers in the Mahala and Stari Vitez, and all the
25 subscribers in the villages of Donja Veceriska, Gornji
1 Veceriska, Zaselje, Krcevine, Jardol, Kremenik, and
3 When somebody would say that there was a
4 defective line, and some people had already said that
5 the telephones were not working in those villages, we
6 used a special instrument that we had in our
7 possession, and it is known in the telecommunications
8 system. And by measurement and by using this device,
9 we were able to ascertain that the whole cable was out
10 of order, at some points, let's say 848 metres, at a
11 point 848 metres away. From the plans and projects and
12 those documents, and on the basis of our own
13 measurements, we were able to ascertain the exact point
14 and location. I said that this location was opposite
15 to the house owned by Enes Sehic, because that was
16 where a concrete grid or shaft existed. I also said
17 that in 1994, when we put this part of the cable --
18 repaired this part of the cable, we were able to see
19 how this cable had been cut. So we didn't cut it.
20 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you for that.
21 Your Honours, I do note that the time is
22 12.10, and as we've just been speaking of lines being
23 cut, I just wonder if you would wish to take your
24 briefer break at this time. I am virtually about to --
25 well, almost to change subject matter. There's two
1 more -- I can I think almost guarantee you we shall
2 finish well in time this day.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we will take
4 now the 15-minute break.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
6 --- Upon resuming at 12.24 p.m.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill?
8 MR. BLAXILL:
9 Q. So if I may return, Mr. Vidovic, to the
10 events in Vitez on the morning of the 16th of April,
11 1993, once you discovered that a lot of phone lines,
12 all the phone lines to Stari Vitez had gone down, and
13 you ascertained had been cut. Were you aware of any
14 activities of the HVO in Vitez at that time of day?
15 A. I said that the lines towards Stari Vitez two
16 days later, not the 16th, two days after the 16th, two
17 days after the 16th we ascertained that the lines were
18 down. They were working on the 16th. If you're asking
19 me about the 16th.
20 Q. I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood you. I
21 thought your indication was that -- please correct me
22 if I'm wrong -- is that on the morning of the 16th, you
23 asked the operator to do a check and discovered a large
24 number of lines were inoperable.
25 A. Yes, I was the operator. I asked the
1 computer, I put in the request of the computer to list
2 out all the lines that were down. The computer did so,
3 complied, and the list did not contain the numbers
4 which were in Stari Vitez and further away. They were
5 in the town, and they were all right.
6 Q. I'll return to the question of whether you
7 were aware of the activities of any of the HVO military
8 on the morning of the 16th in Vitez.
9 A. I'm not aware of anything like that on the
10 16th and afterwards, as I was alone. I said that
11 nobody turned up to work. And so I spent the entire
12 time at the exchange. I don't know the activities,
13 there was just shooting the whole morning, and the
14 whole day, in fact.
15 Q. From where you were working within the
16 exchange, could you in fact see out of the building?
17 A. No. Let me explain why not. When the war
18 began in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and when the JNA
19 started the shelling of towns, we in Vitez protected
20 many of the buildings with regard to shelling and the
21 shattering of glass. This kind of protection was also
22 done on the post office building; that is, we had
23 12-centimetre-thick planks put up, and of course we
24 couldn't see anything through them.
25 Q. Did you hear later, from any sources, about
1 the actions of the HVO in Vitez that day, including
2 perhaps roundups of Muslims, detention of Muslims,
3 holding of Muslims in the cinema, which you have
4 mentioned. Did you hear of any of those activities
5 occurring that day, told about them?
6 A. Not on that day. I had no information on
7 that day, apart from the fact that I mentioned a moment
8 ago that there was a serious conflict in Ahmici, and
9 there was shooting the whole day. I cannot define who
10 was in charge of these activities, but shooting could
11 be heard.
12 Q. We'll return to the question of the detention
13 of civilians. Did you become aware at some future time
14 of the Kaonik camp, and that the number of Muslims in
15 Vitez were transferred to there? Did that information
16 reach you at some point?
17 A. Later on, let me say about a year later, I
18 knew that a prison had been organised at Kaonik. But
19 in those first few days, and I think that that's what
20 you're interested in, I had no information in that
21 respect, nor did I hear of people being transferred to
22 Kaonik and who did this.
23 Q. You have stated that you were at work on the
24 16th in the exchanges, and that you were not at any
25 time in Ahmici that day. That is correct, sir?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. And the next few days
2 as well, not only on that particular day.
3 Q. And I presume therefore during those days you
4 did not see any of the accused you've mentioned:
5 Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic, Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan
6 Kupreskic, Mr. Papic or Mr. Josipovic? I presume you
7 can not see any of those people over those days. Is
8 that right?
9 A. Yes. For the first five days, I practically
10 saw nobody, apart from the fact that on the third day,
11 I went home, I had a small baby in Vitez, and I spent
12 one hour there and returned. The reason was as I have
13 said, was that I was alone in the telephone exchange,
14 because in those first few days nobody came to work
15 apart from me, because I found myself there.
16 Q. Had you had any contact by telephone or
17 otherwise with your family, your mother and your
18 sister, just prior to the 16th of April? Had you
19 spoken to them, say, on the 15th, or on the 14th?
20 A. Yes, I did. Very often. I said that they
21 were alone, and so I contacted them frequently, both by
22 telephone and also every five or six days I would go
23 and visit them, because I had a baby, and my mother had
24 a cow, and at that time, I would take milk. Apart from
25 that contact, and for looking after them in that way,
1 to see that everything was all right, it was also this
2 formality that I would carry out, I would go and
3 collect the milk and have the milk ready for me.
4 Q. So would I be correct in saying to you, sir,
5 that they did not express any particular fears or
6 worries to you, did they, in those days just before the
8 A. They did express anxiety, and they thought
9 they had in mind everything that took place in places
10 around Vitez. I said Gornji Vakuf, as a case in
11 point. Novi Travnik, Busovaca. Their house is the
12 first house next to the Muslim houses, and of course
13 they were afraid. That fear of theirs in some way was
14 appeased by our telephone conversations and the
15 contacts that I had with them. At least to a certain
17 Q. So whilst they had the anxieties clearly
18 before the 16th of April, they had not been in any way
19 subjected to physical attack or the threat of physical
20 attack from anywhere; is that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right. They were not subjected
22 to threats or physical attacks apart from the fact that
23 this fear existed, this anxiety existed, and I
24 explained a moment ago why.
25 Q. You made reference to the events of Ahmici,
1 when you found out about them, as being a "strong
2 conflict," I think is the expression, with heavy losses
3 on both sides; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right. That is the information
5 that I heard on that particular day expressed in that
6 way, that there was a strong conflict or serious
7 conflict and that casualties existed on both sides.
8 Q. Were you made aware of the number of
9 casualties -- I know you've answered about not knowing
10 the number specifically -- but did anyone indicate to
11 you proportions relating to civilians or to military
12 people who may have perished and been wounded in
14 A. On that first day, nobody knew. We heard a
15 figure bandied about, some ten people, approximately.
16 But later on, we heard that the figure involved was
17 actually 50 to 60. So in the days that followed, we
18 got this information from informal meetings with the
19 people that I could have contacted from the telephone
20 exchange. Of course, none of this was actually
21 proved. At that time -- and the information I
22 received, we were not able to conclude whether they
23 were civilians or soldiers or anybody else.
24 Q. I believe you made reference to one person
25 you believe died that day, Mr. Mirjan Santic. Are you
1 sure that that was the date of his death?
2 A. No. On that day, I did not know who had been
3 killed. Several days later, however, I learnt that
4 amongst the casualties was Mirjan Santic. Not Sandic,
6 Q. Santic. Forgive my pronunciation,
7 Mr. Vidovic. Sir, I would like just to have you look
8 at one document, this is Prosecution Exhibit 337,
10 The document has already obviously been in
11 evidence, Your Honours. It is the HVO's list of
12 members killed.
13 Now, Mr. Vidovic, I would be grateful if you
14 would firstly look at page number 14 and at number --
15 or at least it's 14 in the translation. Let us look to
16 number 435 of the list of casualties. That might
17 assist you better.
18 A. There are only ten pages here, not 14.
19 Q. There should be upwards of 18 but ...
20 It does not go up to 435?
21 A. Yes, I have, on page 8.
22 MR. BLAXILL: That's, I think, the difference
23 between the translations, Your Honours, and the
24 original language version.
25 Q. You see number 435. That is Mr. Mirjan
1 Santic, son of Franjo; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You will see there, sir, the date given was,
4 in fact, the 18th of April but ...
5 You knew him?
6 A. Yes, I knew him.
7 Q. And you knew him to be a soldier in the HVO;
8 is that correct?
9 A. I don't know whether he was. What do you
10 mean "soldier"? A professional soldier?
11 Q. Well, a member of the HVO and in the military
12 at that time. Perhaps conscripted, perhaps not. I
13 don't know.
14 A. I don't know that. I don't know the details
15 and his status.
16 Q. Would you have a look at the very front page
17 then, please, sir? Would you agree that that appears
18 to be an HVO document listing HVO members who were
20 A. How do you mean, do I agree? Whether it is
21 an authentic copy?
22 Q. No, sir. I'm just asking: Is that what the
23 document appears to be to you? Others will
25 A. This is a list of people killed. I think
1 that a document would have a different form.
2 Q. Does the list express itself to be a list of
3 HVO people killed?
4 A. Well, perhaps. I don't know. I don't
5 understand what you're asking me, actually. What do
6 you mean by whether we can accept it as being a
7 document of the HVO?
8 Q. What I'm asking, Mr. Vidovic, is simply
9 this: On the face of that paper that you have in your
10 hands, does that appear to be under the title of "A
11 List of Members of the HVO who were Killed"? I'm not
12 asking you to verify that as an official document or
13 anything of that nature. Thank you. That's not what
14 I'm asking. Is that what it appears to be?
15 A. Well, a list -- like a list, yes. It looks
16 like a list. But whether all the people on the list
17 are members of the HVO, I cannot tell you at this point
18 in time.
19 Q. I would ask you to move on to just one
20 further task for me, if you would be so kind? In the
21 column under the name "Place," if you would just very
22 briefly cast your eye down that single column "Place"
23 on each of the pages in your possession, and can you
24 see whether the name "Ahmici" appears there?
25 A. Not Ahmici, no. But we have Santici,
1 Pirici. Pirici, of course. Pirici. Pirici.
2 Q. Sir, you would agree with me, would you, the
3 word "Ahmici" doesn't appear, but there are a few
4 entries for Pirici and perhaps Santici with varying
5 dates; would you agree with that?
6 A. Yes. No, there isn't any mention of Ahmici.
7 I agree.
8 Q. Oh, just one further thing. You stated that
9 you know Mr. Marijan Santic. Do you recall what his
10 profession was and how you knew him? Was he a
11 co-worker or friend?
12 A. Well, we were not very close, but I know him
13 from the time when he dated his now wife, and at that
14 time, while they were still dating and when I was
15 dating my present-day wife, we used to go out together
16 for drinks or something like that, and I know him from
17 those days and I know his wife very well.
18 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. Vidovic. I thank you.
19 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Radovic?
22 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
24 Q. Let us start just as the Prosecutor
25 cross-examined you. The new mosque built by Hazim,
1 what was its significance for the villagers of Ahmici?
2 A. In my opinion, it was important for the
3 villagers of Donji Ahmici because they did not want to
4 participate in the building of the upper mosque, and
5 the lower mosque was built without any financial
6 participation of their own, it was built for them, and
7 they actually got a place of worship in this way.
8 Q. I apologise. Please proceed.
9 A. So that was one thing. And it was also
10 important for them because of its position and because
11 they gathered there.
12 Q. Tell me, when the Muslims would build a
13 mosque, how were financial resources -- I mean, how was
14 this financed? Was it financed through voluntary
15 contributions or in other ways? That's what my
16 question really is.
17 A. Well, I could not give you a very precise
18 answer, but I'll tell you what I do know. I think that
19 in that part too, they would allocate a certain amount
20 per family, per household, and these records were kept
21 either by hodza or by the village mufti. That is one
22 way of building it. The other way is by donations from
23 Islamic countries, through the Islamic religious
24 community, so that is another way which exists.
25 Q. Tell me, in addition to the hodza or the
1 imam, was there an organisational form of citizens who
2 exercised control over what was happening within the
3 mosque and around the mosque and related to religion?
4 Specifically, do you know about the committee of the
5 Islamic religious community?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could you please explain what that is. If
8 you know, of course, if you know. I know that you are
9 not Muslim by religion, so tell me what you know about
10 the committee of the Islamic religious community, only
11 what you know.
12 A. Well, what I know is the following: In every
13 municipality, there was a committee of the Islamic
14 religious community which, in every village, organised
15 a subcommittee or whatever we would choose to call it.
16 Well, never mind. Call it what you will. And this
17 subcommittee or committee was headed by the hodza or
18 any of the clergymen, and subcommittees were headed by
19 the mufti. That's what we called him. This is not a
20 religious teacher, but it is a man in a village whose
21 task is to communicate with people. And if a mosque is
22 being built or if any kind of activity is being carried
23 out, he is in charge of it as some kind of a committee
24 or something.
25 Q. All right. To the best of your knowledge, as
1 regards the new mosque, the lower mosque, the one
2 belonging to Hazim, the hodza, which citizens of Ahmici
3 went there to pray and which citizens went to the
4 mosque in Upper Ahmici to pray, if you can answer this,
5 of course?
6 A. Well, yes, of course, I'm going to tell you
7 what I know. In Gornja Ahmici, Hazim's brother lived
8 there and still lives there until the present day, and
9 he is the only one with his family who prayed in the
10 lower mosque, in Hazim's mosque.
11 Q. So Hazim's mosque is the lower mosque; right?
12 A. Yes. And Abdulah Mustafa, I cannot remember
13 anymore, Sakib, Nezir, et cetera, these neighbours who
14 live near the lower mosque also went there. They would
15 go to pray from Donja Ahmici, but I think that nobody
16 but the brother prayed in the lower mosque.
17 Q. The Prosecutor asked you about the
18 significance of the lower mosque for the other
19 Muslims. Please tell me, did you see Muslims from
20 other villages coming to pray in the lower mosque, not
21 only from the municipality of Vitez but beyond, and at
22 that time, were there any pilgrimages to this new
23 mosque, because if this would be a mosque of wider
24 significance for other Muslims, then people would go
25 there on pilgrimages. They go to Mecca, Medina, and to
1 the other holy places of the Muslim faith.
2 A. Yes. The Muslims do have a custom of
3 Mevlud. That means that every village has a certain
4 established date, to the best of my knowledge, for the
5 Mevlud. I think that Ahmici had a certain date for the
6 upper mosque and that Hazim, with the assistance of his
7 son Zaim who is a hodza and who lives in Vienna,
8 managed to organise very often the Mevlud which was
9 held at his place.
10 Q. Please tell me one more thing. This is
11 something I've heard for the very first time today,
12 Mevlud. It's the first time I've heard this word.
13 Could you please explain this to me and the Court? Is
14 it some kind of a fair or what?
15 A. Well, Mevlud, I don't know --
16 Q. Is it a prosession?
17 A. It is a ceremonious prayer. It does not
18 involve prayer only but also religious songs and
20 Q. Tell me, what was done in connection with
21 this Mevlud in the lower mosque? Did it differ from
22 the Mevluds at other mosques?
23 A. No, it did not differ from them, but
24 prominent religious leaders from other communities
25 would come in, and I think that this was under the
1 influence of his son Zaim, and I believe that he had
2 quite a few acquaintances in these circles, because it
3 was in the interests of his son Zaim for this mosque to
4 stay on.
5 Q. Was anything controversial as to whether it
6 would remain or not?
7 A. Well, if a mosque does not have believers who
8 come there, then it would be controversial.
9 Q. Then the Prosecutor asked you about labour
10 relations. Tell me about the period before the free
11 elections and after the free elections and before the
12 armed conflicts broke out. What were the regulations
13 governing the area of labour? Notably, were there any
14 special regulations pertaining to labour relations
15 within PTT organisations, of course, if you know about
17 A. Until the war, we, at the post office, all
18 worked according to rules and regulations and laws that
19 were prescribed by the then community of Yugoslav PTT,
20 and all our regulations that were in force at the time
21 actually date back to those times.
22 Q. Is that to say that after the Republic of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence,
24 previous rules and regulations from the former
25 Yugoslavia were not infringed upon in any way?
1 A. No, they were not infringed upon.
2 Q. So you continued to work as you did before
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. How long did this go on?
6 A. As far as the post office was concerned, this
7 went on until 1994, November 1994, when a new form of
8 PTT enterprises was introduced in Bosnia and
10 Q. So it was only then that these rules and
11 regulations on labour relations for the former
12 Yugoslavia ceased to be applied?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you recall, from these rules and
15 regulations, what the term was for cessation of a
16 labour relationship? That is, when would one lose his
17 job after not coming to work for a certain number of
19 A. Well, if a person would not come to work
20 after a certain number of days, then his superior would
21 report this and would initiate proceedings. This meant
22 disciplinary action --
23 JUDGE MAY: We've heard enough about this.
24 It's a small issue about what happened on the 20th of
25 October, and we've heard, as far as I can see, all the
1 evidence that's necessary. We don't need to go into a
2 lot of evidence about labour relations, particularly
3 historically. Could you move on, please?
4 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honour, I did not intend
5 to put other questions related to this subject, but I
6 did have to raise this particular question because the
7 Prosecutor did not exhibit sufficient knowledge as to
8 how the situation was regulated in the post office at
9 that time, and that question was put by the
11 Q. So it turned out that in the Croat part of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were some special rules
13 and regulations, although that was not the case.
14 Now, the Prosecutor also asked you about the
15 current situation regarding the police, so please tell
16 me, you explained that the chief of the police station
17 at Vitez was a Muslim now; however, I'm interested in
18 something else. A police patrol exists of two men, and
19 when they go out to the field, what is their
20 composition in terms of ethnicity?
21 A. Yes, I said that I think that the composition
22 is half/half. I do not know the exact percentage,
23 perhaps there's a bit more of one or the other, but
24 it's roughly half/half, and this pertains to all
25 services, even patrols. Patrols are mixed patrols. If
1 there are two policemen on one patrol, then one is
2 Muslim and the other one is a Croat or if there is
3 four, then it is half/half, to the best of my knowledge
4 when I see them.
5 Q. You said that you followed the newspapers,
6 and that is how you received information; did I
7 understand that correctly?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, tell me, which newspapers did you read?
10 A. At that time, the only newspapers that could
11 be read was Oslobodjenje from Sarajevo and Vecernje
12 List from Sarajevo. I think it was called Vecernje
14 Q. So there were no Croatian newspapers there?
15 A. No, no, there weren't.
16 Q. Also, the Prosecutor asked you about the
17 intentions of Herceg-Bosna. Where were political
18 decisions reached?
19 A. Well, at the highest party level of the
20 Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. What about within Vitez?
22 A. I don't know. I don't think that such
23 decisions were made within Vitez.
24 Q. Tell me, did you ever see or hear of any
25 political decision being made by the accused Zoran and
1 Mirjan Kupreskic or did you see any document which
2 would be issuing anyone any kind of orders that was
3 signed by them?
4 A. No, no, never did I see or hear anything like
6 Q. Was their position such that they could reach
7 a political decision that would be binding on anyone?
8 A. No, no, no, certainly not, certainly not.
9 They were not in a position to do so.
10 Q. The same question relates to their military
11 powers. Did Mirjan or Zoran Kupreskic have any powers,
12 any authority, to give any kind of order to any
13 military unit?
14 A. I don't think so.
15 Q. Did you ever see any military orders issued
16 by Mirjan or Zoran Kupreskic ordering anybody to do
18 A. No, I never had the opportunity of seeing
19 anything like it.
20 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you about the alert
21 and reporting system, and again I see that there has
22 been a lack of understanding there; therefore, I shall
23 have to re-examine on that score so that we would
24 clarify this misunderstanding.
25 Tell me, the reporting and alert centre, did
1 it inform citizens about certain events as they were
2 taking place or after they would take place?
3 A. Well, I think that it depends on the event
4 concerned, but just one detail. When Vitez was shelled
5 by the JNA, the reporting centre informed the citizens
6 that there would be danger.
7 Q. Yes, I know, but on the basis of what
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. I mean, when the shelling took place or when
11 the aeroplanes arrived?
12 A. Well, yes, when the aeroplanes arrived.
13 Q. When the aeroplanes arrived, there was
14 bombing; right? I apologise. Yes, I'm talking about
15 bombing. Other cases?
16 A. Other cases, well, when they are reported,
17 when citizens report a fire or a flood, then
18 information was given to the rest of the population.
19 Q. So in principle, when there was imminent
20 danger, then they would report; right?
21 A. Yes, yes, I agree with that.
22 Q. The Prosecutor showed you a document with a
23 list of persons killed. Ms. Slokovic-Glumac said that
24 she will be dealing with that, so I shall omit that
1 Tell me, you know where the Ogrjev warehouse
2 was, don't you?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. You described it already and you described
5 the fence, et cetera. Could you tell me whether on
6 your computer, on the 16th of April, 1993, there was
7 any information that the telephone lines with Ogrjev
8 had broken down?
9 A. Well, I'm going to explain the kind of
10 information that was provided by the computer in
11 general. If the cable would break down without the
12 lines actually touching one another, the computer did
13 not register that on this list, unless the computer was
14 given exactly that number.
15 Q. So if I understood you correctly, you cannot
16 answer that question of mine?
17 A. Yes. If the telephone was not plugged into
18 the wall, the computer would not be aware of that.
19 Q. No, but I'm not asking you that. I'm not
20 asking you whether the computer was not plugged into
21 the wall. I'm asking you whether there was any
22 information that the line towards Ogrjev was broken
23 down, and, therefore, because this line was broken
24 down, all other telephones were disconnected. Can you
25 tell me about that?
1 A. No, I cannot recall whether that number was
2 also on the list, but on the first day, there were some
3 numbers from that part.
4 Q. You mean that line?
5 A. Yes, that line. There were numbers that did
6 not operate --
7 Q. But you don't know whether all of them were
8 inoperative --
9 A. I don't know. I also don't know and I cannot
10 remember whether the Ogrjev number was out of order
12 Q. Just one more question. The Prosecutor asked
13 you about your sister's encounter with the village
14 guards. It was put a bit differently, as compared to
15 your own testimony, so let's see, who did your sister
16 see? Did they say that she met the village guards, and
17 she probably would have known all the village guards,
18 or when she met these armed, uniformed men, were there
19 some men she didn't know among them?
20 A. She encountered a group, and there were quite
21 a few neighbours in this group. All of them were
22 armed. She can give all their names. The group was
23 led by --
24 Q. You said that.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But were there any persons she did not know
2 within that group, if you know?
3 A. Yes, I think there were some persons she did
4 not know, but I don't know how many. That, I do not
6 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
7 have thus concluded my questions.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
11 Mr. President.
12 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
13 Q. Mr. Vidovic, can we take another look at the
14 list that is being mentioned. Tell me one thing:
15 According to existing regulations in Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 and in the former Yugoslavia, how did you determine the
17 date of somebody's death? What document was an
18 official document issued on the occasion of somebody's
20 A. Well, as far as I know, the official valid
21 document was the death certificate, with the doctor's
22 certificate, the doctor that performs the final
24 Q. According to the death certificate, does the
25 death certificate state the time of death, the date of
1 death, and the place of death? Does this basic data
2 appear in the death certificate?
3 A. I think that it does, yes. And the
5 Q. Are they reliable data?
6 A. Well, they should be, yes. I think -- yes,
7 they are.
8 Q. So an official document?
9 A. If the coroner has signed the document, then
10 it does have the weight of an official document.
11 Q. The death certificate given out by the
12 competent authorities in a municipality, that is to say
13 when you reach -- gain information on a death in the
14 municipality and the official writes out this document,
15 is that a relevant, valid document?
16 A. Yes, I think it is.
17 Q. And is that the type of certificate, the
18 document that is issued in the municipality, is the
19 presence of a physician required?
20 A. No, it is not.
21 Q. Very well, then. You have seen the list; you
22 said you didn't know what it was. And if you had death
23 certificates on the other side, which of these two
24 documents would you say was a reliable document: The
25 death certificate, or the document you were shown?
1 A. Well, I think the list with a supplement of
2 the death certificates.
3 Q. If you had different information in the death
4 certificates that differed from this list, would you
5 think that the death certificate was valid? Would that
6 be the one you would believe and trust? Or the list?
7 What would you opt for?
8 A. I would believe the death certificates.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 Tell us, please, on page 1, take a look, and
11 it says the list of members of the HVO who were killed;
12 is that not so?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Would you turn to page 10, please.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Would Defence counsel speak
16 into the microphone, please.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
18 Q. Page 10 of the Croatian text, please. Take a
19 look at that.
20 Which of these individuals could have been
21 members of the HVO, and who were people of the
22 military-able age? How old were they? By law.
23 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but I think up to
24 the age of 50, that that was considered military age,
25 from the ages of 18 to 50.
1 Q. Would you take a look at the individuals
2 numbered 512, 513, 514, 518, 519, 520.
3 A. Yes, I can see those numbers.
4 Q. 523, 524, 525, 526, and take a look at their
5 date of birth, which is found in the first column. And
6 year, next to the names and surnames.
7 JUDGE MAY: This is all comment, really.
8 Rather than going through the witness, you can make
9 these points in argument, Miss Glumac.
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: We don't really need endless
12 evidence about it.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes, that is true, Your
14 Honour, but in view of the fact that the Prosecutor has
15 been referring to this document on a number of
16 occasions, and it is such an erroneous one, that it
17 would be of assistance to me to have comments from the
18 witness himself. But you are of course absolutely
19 right, Your Honour, so we'll skip over that question.
20 Q. Tell us now, please, with regard to the other
21 facts that appear here, whether the place of Ahmici is
22 mentioned. You said that other places appear, such as
23 Santici, Pirici?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were they places which are very close to
1 Ahmici? That is to say whether, according to the best
2 of your knowledge, there were any combat operations on
3 the 16th of April, 1993 there.
4 A. In my testimony and what I explained was that
5 the Ahmici municipality includes the Gornji Pirici,
6 Nadioci, Gornji/Donji Ahmici villages, which means --
7 Q. Was there any conflict on the 16th there, to
8 the best of your knowledge, in the area of Pirici?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Santici?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Very well. Referring to another part of your
13 testimony, you were asked again about the 15th. Tell
14 us, please, what you did on the 15th. You went to
15 work, you came home at about -- when did you complete
16 your shift?
17 A. On the 15th I completed my shift at 3.00 p.m.
18 As on every other day, at 3.00 in the afternoon, that
19 was when my work ended.
20 Q. And where did you go after that?
21 A. I started out for home, and I stopped off in
22 a shop to buy some things, some food.
23 Q. Where?
24 A. I went to the department store in Vitez, and
25 a shop which was in the building of my own apartment,
1 in the entrance to my building.
2 Q. What shop is that?
3 A. The shop was called PP Sutra, belonging to
4 the Sutra enterprise, and it sold foodstuffs.
5 Q. Who did you see there? Who works there?
6 A. Mirjan Kupreskic worked there. He was a
7 salesman. He worked there for a year after the shop
8 had been opened.
9 Q. You were asked whether you had seen him --
10 you saw him for the last time on that day; is that
12 A. Yes, on that day, I bought -- I can't tell
13 you the exact number, but I bought several tins of
14 goulash, of beef stew there, and a Tuborg beer. That
15 was the only shop where you were able to purchase
16 Tuborg beer, and we both had a beer on the occasion.
17 Q. Did you see him again on that day? Do you
18 know how long he worked in the shop, in view of the
19 fact that you lived in the building yourself?
20 A. Well, I think I was in the shop at 4.00 in
21 the afternoon, and then went up to my apartment, and
22 thought that I would be doing my shift that evening. I
23 didn't see him again on that day except for that
24 meeting in the shop.
25 Q. What else did you do on that particular day,
1 before your night shift? Did you have any other
3 A. Not in my apartment. We had a baby, the baby
4 was five months old, and I spent that time with my
5 baby, my little baby girl.
6 Q. And when did your night shift begin? I
7 forgot to ask you.
8 A. At 8 p.m.
9 Q. Up until that time was everything quiet in
10 Vitez? Was it a normal working day for you?
11 A. Yes, it was, a normal working day.
12 Q. Did you see any increased movement when you
13 came from your work or when you went to work in the
14 evening, did you see any movement of the military of
15 any kind, a large number of soldiers, or was it -- what
16 was the situation like, generally speaking, in the
17 evening when you went back to work?
18 A. In town, I didn't see any movement of any
19 kind, anything that would be out of the ordinary.
20 Q. One more question in connection with Ahmici:
21 Can you remember, on the morning when you went through
22 the list of numbers, what had happened to the telephone
23 numbers in Ahmici?
24 A. Yes, I can remember that. On that particular
25 morning, my first request after the alarm list, the
1 computer printed out a list of a possible 150 or more
2 numbers, subscriber telephone numbers, which were
3 down. In comparison to Ahmici, in that area, on that
4 list there were numbers which were charged from one of
5 our -- one of the cupboards, power cupboards, below my
6 mother's house, and this supplied the electricity
7 supplies for that entire region. So it was these power
8 cabinets, and there was a short circuit there.
9 Q. So you mean the telephone lines around your
10 mother's house were down, or were they out of order in
11 a broader area?
12 A. This source, which was the source for my
13 mother's lines and for the first houses in Ahmici, the
14 aerial cable which went up to Gornji Ahmici passed
15 across the house and through the house of Vlatko
16 Kupreskic and then went upwards. So this whole area
17 and this whole direction at that time.
18 Q. Does that mean that Srevne Ahmici, where the
19 Kupreskic houses too, the telephone lines were out of
20 order there?
21 A. Yes, the middle level Ahmicis did not receive
22 their power supply from that line. (redacted)
23 (redacted) those were the exceptions
24 Ahmic Hazim's house, and I think Mustafer's as well.
25 Q. So all the others had -- their telephone
1 lines were in operation in the morning?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 Thank you, Mr. Vidovic, for testifying in
5 Court. You may now be released. And we adjourn until
6 tomorrow at 9.00.
7 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
8 1.26 p.m., to be reconvened on
9 Thursday, the 12th day of February,
10 1999, at 9.00 a.m.