1 Monday, 27 November 2006
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 10704-10706 redacted. Private session
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now bring in the
8 witness, who will be testifying without protective measures.
9 The Prosecution, as I have said, shouldn't take more than an hour
10 and a half, which should be sufficient.
11 [The witness enters court]
12 WITNESS: HASAN HASIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I would first
15 like to make sure that the equipment is functioning properly. If you're
16 receiving the interpretation of what I'm saying, please say so.
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter can't hear the witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please speak up, because the
19 interpreters did not hear you. Can you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you very well. I
21 have understood you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Witness, you've been
23 called here to testify on behalf of the Prosecution. Please stand up
24 since you will now have to take the solemn declaration. Could you tell me
25 your first and last names and your date of birth, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. My name is Hasan Hasic. I was
2 born on the 1st of January, 1939.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current profession
4 or are you retired?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm currently retired, but I'm still
6 involved in agricultural labour. I also used to work as -- as a haulier,
7 that sort of thing.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, have you
9 already testified in The Hague or is this the first time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is the first time. This
11 is the first time ever that I have come to testify.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you been interrogated by
13 investigators in your own country or have you only been interviewed by OTP
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in my own country, but I
16 suppose they were representatives of the Tribunal, and similarly they came
17 to visit me in Germany when I was there in the 1990s -- or, rather, I was
18 there from 1994 until the year 2000.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you please
20 read out the solemn declaration that the usher will show to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Thank you. I solemnly
22 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
23 truth. There's nothing else I know.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please sit down.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll provide you with some
2 information about the procedure that we will be following today. You will
3 first of all have to answer the questions put to you by the Prosecution.
4 You must have met the Prosecution yesterday or this morning. The
5 Prosecution has an hour and a half for their examination-in-chief and to
6 show you documents. Then the Defence, who you are to your left, will also
7 have about an hour and a half to put questions to you, and some of the
8 accused might also put questions to you during the time allocated to them.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've understood that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the four Judges who are
11 sitting before you may also ask you to clarify certain issues or put
12 questions to you, because they believe that your testimony or parts of
13 your testimony are of great importance, and as a result the Judges will
14 then put questions to you.
15 If you run into difficulties of any kind, don't hesitate to inform
16 us of the fact. We are here to ensure that you testify under the best
17 possible conditions.
18 Try to provide full and precise answers, because what --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, whatever I can tell you I'll it
20 tell you. I'll put things as clearly as possible. I have understood
21 everything you have said, and I thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because what we want to find out
23 from you is who did what and how things happened, and this is the
24 information we would like to obtain through your testimony.
25 As I have said, if you feel there are problems of any kind, don't
1 hesitate to inform us of the fact.
2 Having said that, I will now give the floor to the Prosecution so
3 that they can start their examination-in-chief.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Thank you.
5 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your
6 Honours. Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
7 Examination by Mr. Kruger:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Sir --
9 A. Good afternoon. Good afternoon.
10 Q. Is it correct that you were born and raised in the village of
11 Recice, municipality of Capljina?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Recica, is that part of Domanovici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And --
16 A. It's in Domanovici. My house is 300 or 400 metres from
17 Domanovici, so one could say that it's all one place almost.
18 Q. And Domanovici and Recice are both situated on the Dubrave
20 A. Yes. Yes. The Dubrave plateau.
21 Q. In July, 1993, you were also -- or you will still residing in
23 A. Yes. Up until the 13th or 14th of July. That's when I left, yes.
24 Q. Sir, dealing with a few biographical details, is it correct that
25 you married in 1968 and you had five children?
1 A. Yes. I have five children, two -- two boys, but one after three
2 days and another after three months died but the three daughters are
4 Q. Thank you. So your two boys died in infancy, but in 1993 your
5 three daughters were still alive.
6 A. Yes. Yes. As babies, yes. Up until the 13th of July, something
7 like that.
8 Q. Now, on the 13th of July, could you tell us what the ages of your
9 three daughters, Sanela, Dzenita, and Tanija, were?
10 A. Tanija was 12 or 13. She was born in 1980. Dzenita was born in
11 1986. Sanela was born in 1970 or '71. In 1970 or 1971, something like
12 that. Twenty years old, 17 years old, and Tanija, 13 years old.
13 Q. Thank you. Sanela, in 1993, did she have a baby?
14 A. In -- she had a baby in January, 1993.
15 Q. The baby was six months old?
16 A. On the 23rd, I think. Six months old. Not -- not even a full six
17 months old.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, in 1992 and 1993, were you a member of any
19 military organisation?
20 A. No. I was never in a military organisation apart from the JNA. I
21 served my -- I did my military service there. But in 1993, no. In 1992,
22 I did transport troops on two occasions when there were these Serbs in
23 this area. Then they withdrew. Apparently there were clashes, then there
24 was withdrawal in the direction of Stolac, and --
25 Q. May I stop you there. Is it correct, then, that because you were
1 a haulier with your own truck that you, in 1992, assisted in transporting
2 troops with your truck? Is that correct?
3 A. Well, yes. Yes. They knew I had this, so on two occasions the
4 beginning I transported them.
5 Q. For which army is this? I'm sorry if I interrupt. For which
7 A. At the time it was the HVO, because that part was under the
8 command of the HVO.
9 Q. Did you yourself have any uniform or weapons?
10 A. No, I didn't. Later I spent some time on guard in the command,
11 but I did shift work and I was a civilian. But when they were preparing
12 trenches, I was called there during that period, and I was also asked to
13 fell these trees in order to protect the trenches. This was in 1992.
14 Q. This was also for the HVO?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Sir, your main activity during that period, 1992 to 1993, was
17 that, as you mentioned at the beginning to Your Honours, that you were
18 involved in agricultural work, telling your own soil?
19 A. Yes, in 1992 we could still till the land. We worked as usual,
20 and in 1993, up until about June. Yes, until about -- well, in June the
21 situation became insecure and what happened, happened.
22 Q. Now, sir, just before coming to June, July, 1993, into 1992 the --
23 is it correct that in the area where you lived the ethnic composition was
24 mixed although the majority of people there were of?
25 A. Well, as far as the Dubrava plateau is concerned, the Capljina and
1 Stolac municipality, there were people who regardless of their
2 ethnicity -- well, yes, I think that was the case in Dubrava. From
3 Recice, Dubravica, up in Masline, Borovi, et cetera, Stolac.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. But it might not be the majority.
6 Q. Could you very briefly tell the Court or give the Court an idea of
7 what the relationship between the inhabitants, the different ethnic
8 groupings was in 1992 in the area where you lived?
9 A. Well, in 1992, it was in April, mid-April, and that's when the war
10 broke out more or less, at the beginning of April. And on the first day I
11 had taken some land from a neighbour. We cooperated. My mother was in a
12 poor condition. His brother was from Belgrade. He was a doctor. And
13 then a day or two before I took this person to Trebinje. There were
14 check-points and there were troops up in the Serbian part, and then on the
15 following day I took this person to Ploce, and I returned about noon,
16 let's say, or about 11.00. There must have been a bus at 9.00 from Ploce.
17 It doesn't really matter.
18 When I arrived in Capljina, I was that the war had already
19 started. What should I do, go home? I said I'll try to do so. I
20 returned home immediately on that day. I used the main road.
21 Check-points had been set up.
22 Q. The war that you're referring to is the outbreak of the conflict
23 with the Serbs in 1992 on the Dubrava plateau; is that correct?
24 A. At the Dubrava plateau there were these troops, tanks, anti-armour
25 vehicles. They were there with their weapons, but people passed through,
1 et cetera. I suppose this was a kind of preparation, but -- I can't
2 remember the exact date, but it was in April, 1992 that --
3 Q. May I interrupt you again? I will ask you a specific question on
4 this: When this conflict broke out, was there any instance where you as a
5 result of the relationship you had with Croat neighbours gave assistance
6 to your Croat neighbours? Could you briefly tell the Court about that if
7 it happened?
8 A. At that moment -- well, I came home, and since the shells had
9 already started falling around the houses, I crossed the Neretva. I
10 couldn't go by car. I left my car on the left bank, and we crossed over
11 in a boat. Well, I won't mention all the details, but I came back the
12 next day, whereas other people stayed over there, some Croats, too, and
13 Muslims, Bosniaks. Some were there more, some were less. Some people
14 were successful, others weren't. But I returned the following day, and I
15 said I could help somebody if they stayed there. And that was the second
17 I went to Ploce that day. Then I came home and returned to my
18 family. They were in Opuzen. And then in the evening we went to Ploce,
19 to Croatia. I was there for about two weeks because there were no
20 conflicts. More people stayed and many people were going back because of
21 their cattle, because of their livestock. People went back because the
22 animals were left on their own. So they went back to feed the cattle.
23 And I returned myself, but not for long, with my family, and I followed --
24 I was ordered -- well, the children and the elderly, and my mother was
25 killed across the Neretva River on that occasion. But I was still at
2 I managed to get my mother and children across the Neretva, linked
3 to Medjugorje. It's up at Surmanci hill up there. They were born there.
4 One was from that house and my mother was from another house on that side.
5 That's what happened, I didn't know when she was killed, when she died up
6 there when the army withdrew three days before. Anyway, it was a shell
7 that killed two elderly women, a neighbour and my mother. And we learnt
8 about this when they had withdrawn, when -- the HVO and the army and the
9 Muslims. This was all formed together.
10 Q. At this point, I'd like to ask you just once again, now that
11 you've given the background as to the situation that pertained there, did
12 you receive any specific request regarding the safety or security of any
13 of your Croat neighbours, and what did you do?
14 A. How do you mean specific request? There was no need -- well, he
15 was my neighbour. He was -- he was there, had a house just like me. And
16 later on when I took the woman away, after this sort of duel across the
17 river Neretva, this person who was a Croat, and her daughter had come from
18 Belgrade, and I took her to Pula to be with her son. And at the
19 Domanovici check-point, I took her there, and she went to Belgrade after
20 that. And -- well, this wasn't in 1993. It was in 1992, the beginning of
21 May -- April, thereabouts.
22 Q. This lady that you refer to whom you transported to Pula, was she
23 a Croatian?
24 A. She was a Croat, yes. Yes. She was Croatian.
25 Q. And how far is Pula from Recice?
1 A. About 700, 500. It's towards the border with Italy. So it took
2 me the whole night. It's a long way away, and it was night-time, and you
3 have to go through Zadar, Sibenik, because I couldn't get the boat. I
4 didn't take the ferry. But we managed to cross over and ...
5 Q. So, sir, if I may sum up from this, or if I am permitted to
6 make -- or put something to you, if you were prepared to transport this
7 lady so far, were the relations between you and your Croat neighbours
9 A. At that time, yes, they were still good, but later on, mostly in
10 1993 -- I don't know. I don't know how this all came about, when the
11 conflicts --
12 Q. Okay. We'll get to that in a moment. Sir, just before getting
13 there, during 1992 and the first part of 1993, did the HVO establish any
14 positions or posts or barracks in Domanovici?
15 A. Yes. I can say that straight away that's what I heard and that's
16 what I saw as well, I was born there, of course, so I had to communicate
17 and work and -- yes, I understood them to say that there was an
18 Intervention Platoon in the school, and later on in the barracks. Well, I
19 didn't go there. I wasn't interested in that. But they used to call it
20 an Intervention Platoon, and you could see soldiers. And then of course
21 in 1993, in July, and even before the 1st, from Gubavica and certain
22 areas, people were being arrested. And where we were in our own village,
23 in our little hamlet, you didn't dare appear if you were a Muslim. They
24 would -- if you went to market, they'd take your car and all the goods you
25 were carrying. They took the people prisoner. So we didn't dare go
1 outside and be seen after the 1st.
2 Q. If you say they took your car, they arrested you, who are you
3 referring to as "they"?
4 A. Well, I wasn't at that point in time, but the other people a few
5 days before the 1st of July or on the 1st of July, and then the 1st and
6 2nd of July, people who were at the market, for example, might have been
7 taking their trucks with their goods there but they would leave them
8 because they might have heard about it and then they would leave their
9 vehicles and go. And my car and my truck stayed behind when I was taken
10 to the camp, but --
11 Q. Could I ask you just again, but who was arresting these people or
12 taking their vehicles?
13 A. At that time it was the HVO who were the army who was -- they were
14 the soldiers and the authority in Capljina. I think it was the HVO and
15 Croatia, because before that, in June, I had registered my car. I took my
16 driving licence, took out this Croatian insurance, and they just gave me a
17 piece of paper where it said Herceg-Bosna. The stamp said Herceg-Bosna.
18 And they took my driving licence away and exchanged this piece of paper
19 for my driving licence, and they took the original for the car that I had.
20 Q. So let's turn to the arrests that you referred to at the beginning
21 of July. Can you tell us at the beginning of July whether men in your
22 area, Domanovici and Recice, were also arrested, or what happened?
23 A. Yes, Dubravska Visoravan, from Stole, Capljina. There were quite
24 a lot of soldiers. There were some relations of mine and neighbours from
25 neighbouring villages that I came across in the camp. They were in the
1 HVO, whether at the check-point or in the trench, or they -- they were
2 collected up and taken to the camps, and some of them still wearing those
3 camouflage uniforms. And if they didn't have anything to wear they would
4 give them the olive-green uniforms in exchange for those HVO insignia and
5 things. And there were a lot like that. I'm sure they'll come and --
6 here and speak to you.
7 I know about my relatives. Some were even beaten up. One of them
8 from Dretelj. He was beaten up on the first and second day, but most of
9 them remained.
10 Q. Now, sir, were you arrested on the 1st of July?
11 A. They arrested me when I -- on the 13th of July or, rather, the
12 14th of July.
13 Q. Before the 14th of July. At the beginning of July, were you
14 arrested then?
15 A. At the beginning of the -- of July they came to look for me twice.
16 On one occasion I was digging up potatoes in the backyard for the winter
17 or I don't know what I was doing, getting ready for the winter, getting
18 food for the winter. Doesn't matter. Then my wife noticed them, and I
19 thought the -- it was the neighbour's car. And the president of the
20 Croatian Community in that place, Jozo Popovic or his son, he had a car, a
21 yellow Golf, and the soldiers didn't know about me or my house without
22 somebody from my village telling them, a neighbour whatever. Anyway, they
23 came by and my wife warned me when she saw them coming from the opposite
24 direction. They had come previously, but I wasn't at home. And she
25 thought it was probably they'd come about the same business.
1 So she told me, she warned me, and I hid in the shed 20 or 30
2 metres away from the house. I had two cows in the shed and some hay.
3 There was another relative of mine, so he we hid together.
4 Q. And you didn't find you or arrest you at that occasion?
5 A. Not then. They didn't find us because we hid in the hay.
6 Q. Sir, those men who came, and if I heard correctly, you mentioned
7 they were HVO soldiers. Is that correct? Or HVO members?
8 A. That is correct, 100 per cent correct. There were no other
9 soldiers. Now, there couldn't have been anybody else who came. It
10 couldn't have been anybody else. They came with weapons. They were
12 Q. And, sir, how did you recognise these men as being HVO soldiers?
13 A. Well, by the insignia they had. They had insignia on their arms,
14 on their sleeves. And I knew the car, too. I knew who drove the car. My
15 wife knew who the driver of the car was too.
16 Q. Sir, is it correct that soldiers came a second time to look for
17 you but at that occasion you were not at home, you were away, and that's
18 how you escaped at that time or arrest at that time?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I wasn't at home that time. Anyway, they came twice,
20 at least twice looking for me.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. From the 1st of July until perhaps the 10th, because on the 13th
23 what happened, happened.
24 Q. Now, sir, between the beginning of July and until the 13th of
25 July, is it correct that apart from that one time when you were away you
1 mostly stayed at home and inside?
2 A. At home or round about my neighbour's home.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please. Microphone for
4 the Judge, please.
5 JUDGE PRANDLER: Sorry. Sorry to interrupt you, Mr. Kruger, and
6 also the witness started to speak.
7 I would like only to ask the following question: In the statement
8 made by the witness earlier, page 1, about the middle of the page he
9 speaks about -- about those soldiers in the beginning of July, 1993, who
10 were dressed in camouflage uniforms, and they came, as they put it then,
11 "to look for me on two occasions." And then he continues quoting you to
12 say -- the witness said and wrote that: "The soldiers would come to look
13 for the Muslims they knew were still in their houses." And then he
14 continued to say that, "I can day that those soldiers were members of HVO
15 or HV. I cannot claim," he continued, "that all of them were Croats.
16 Maybe some soldiers were of other nationalities." End of the quotation
17 from the statement.
18 So my question is to the -- to the witness, to Mr. Hasic, if -- he
19 saw soldiers coming to collect Muslim persons at that time, if they
20 belonged to HVO or HV or, as he mentioned, that maybe they were of some
21 other nationalities, that is, not Croats. If he would be able to tell us
22 about it.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They might not have been Croats.
24 They might have been Hungarians or Muslims, but they were the HVO and
25 authorities, Capljina, Dubravska, that area, the Dubrava plateau. Or it
1 could have been the Croatian army. I don't know. I didn't follow all
2 these things. But when my neighbour was taken away, they came in a car,
3 in a bus, took had him away. But when they came looking for me I saw that
4 two of the men were armed, and I could see him although I was hidden in
5 the shed. Their truck was near -- the truck was nearby. They came into
6 the -- I can say that they were HVO and that they were in uniform and that
7 they were armed.
8 Now, there might have been Muslims or Bosniaks together with the
9 HVO but under their command. They were the same. They were with them.
10 If they were good, they were good. If they were bad, they were bad.
11 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
12 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Now, Witness, on the day before the 13th of July, in addition to
14 the HVO positions that you mentioned were at the school and at the
15 barracks in Domanovici, did you see any other soldiers or movements of
16 soldiers? That's the 12th of July, 1993.
17 A. Yes. In the barracks there were even tanks -- or, before July, I
18 went to Capljina. Before July, I would see a tank and I would see people
19 from over there. I knew a neighbour of mine. His father was a
20 Macedonian, but he was born there, and his wife. I saw him as a soldier.
21 The other's now gone to Germany, but I saw them going out of the barracks.
22 This is a hospital.
23 And then -- well, on the 12th, in the afternoon, I personally saw
24 a VBR, multiple-rocket launcher, or like a jeep with weapons, towards
25 Mostar. And then the road is leads on to Dubrovnik,
1 Mostar-Dubrovnik-Sarajevo. It's a hundred yards from my home. But they
2 were on their way to Gubavica and they were on their way to Mostar with
3 the weapons. There were two or three military vehicles. On the 13th the
4 event we mentioned happened, fighting.
5 Q. May I -- let's turn to the 13th. On the 13th, in addition to the
6 HVO positions at the barracks and at the school, was any other position
7 occupied on that day by the HVO in Recice or close to your house?
8 A. Yes. That morning in the -- around the houses my neighbours, good
9 neighbours, we cooperated, and still today we say hello, we greet each
10 other, and if any of us needs help we help each other out. I saw -- it's
11 rather a large property and stretches down towards the barracks. I saw
12 two Buntici, and underneath the peach trees, the peach orchard, and -- my
13 neighbour Buntic, it was the Buntic household. From the orchard I saw
14 several soldiers rushing out in front of Mate Buntic's house. They rushed
15 out with rucksacks and weapons and their camouflage uniform. And there
16 was a house close by there where I used to -- well, his -- my neighbour's
17 sister was there building her house. They started building it before the
18 war, and I would help out sometimes, too. And there was a sort of point
19 of defence there. They concentrated themselves there. Maybe they were in
20 the houses too. But they were in that area, and I saw them arrive, and I
21 saw their rucksacks and weapons. They were wearing military uniforms.
22 Q. And which -- which army did these men belong to?
23 A. Well, none other than the HVO. I don't know. Perhaps they might
24 have been from some other area, but it was and ought to have been the HVO
25 in this area.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, with the assistance of the usher, I
3 would like to show the witness on the ELMO a -- a rough map. Now, this
4 map or sketch was circulated this morning to Your Honours and to the
5 Defence, and I trust if there are no objections this may facilitate the
6 understanding of the following portion of the witness's evidence.
7 The rough sketch was produced by the witness, and I re-drew it
8 without the markings and propose that the witness now make some markings
9 on it.
10 Q. Witness, do you recognise this drawing as the drawing that you and
11 I discussed yesterday afternoon?
12 A. Yes, yes. The road towards Mostar coming from Capljina, then the
13 road towards Stolac. Yes. This -- that's the Mostar road.
14 Q. And, sir, is this a very, very rough and incomplete representation
15 of Domanovici and Recice?
16 A. Well, it's not complete, but roughly speaking, yes, that's where
17 the barracks were. It shows the general distance of the school, the
18 Domanovici junction or crossroads, and my neighbours house, the Buntic
19 neighbours. That's roughly what it looks like.
20 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, if you could take a pen, and if you could
21 look on the device next to you where the usher will show you, I want to
22 ask you to mark with an A where your house is or what represents your
23 house on this picture.
24 A. This one here. A. A. I can put the A right on the house. Or
25 I'll put it here.
1 Q. Thank you. And could you mark with a B the school in Domanovici
2 where HVO were situated.
3 A. That's the school.
4 Q. And with a C, if you could mark the barracks where the HVO were
5 also situated.
6 A. A "C" you want? Here.
7 Q. Now, the house which you just described before I showed you this
8 map where you saw soldiers move to on the morning of the 13th, if you can
9 mark that with a D.
10 A. These are the four houses, one next to the other.
11 Q. Now, sir, could you mark with an X the approximate spot where your
12 daughters were shot. We will be getting to this evidence in a moment.
13 Perhaps, sir, if I could ask you another question first. Could
14 you mark with an E the house of Meho Hasic.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter can't hear the witness.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] E.
17 MR. KRUGER:
18 Q. Yes, with an E the house of Meho Hasic.
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. Now, sir, if you could mark with an F the house where the bodies
21 of your daughters were taken on the evening of the 13th.
22 A. F?
23 Q. With an F, yes.
24 A. [Marks].
25 Q. Thank you. I notice that you have drawn a further block. Could
1 you tell the Court what that block indicates?
2 A. Well, since there's this house next to the house where the
3 children were, but perhaps there was no one in this house. But there is a
4 house here. The distance between the two houses is about five metres, so
5 it was just to help me find my bearings. There's Rafo Popovic's house to
6 the right.
7 Q. Thank you. And can you now, if you're oriented, if you could
8 indicate with an X the approximate place or spot where your two daughters
9 were shot.
10 A. Yes. It's about a hundred or a hundred and fifty metres from my
12 Q. Sir, I'll come back to this aspect in a bit. At this stage I
13 would like you to tell the Court in your own words about what happened on
14 the 13th of July, that day, with regard to your daughters.
15 A. I was at home. I woke up in the morning early. It was July, in
16 the summer. I spoke about 5.00, and I heard something like an explosion.
17 It was a shell, perhaps, or bursts of fire. It came from behind the hill,
18 above the hill. The hill's about a kilometre away from where I was. You
19 could hear these -- these explosions early in the morning. And I was at
20 home, and at about 10.00 I was walking around the house, and below a fig
21 tree there was a vineyard, an even at that point in time, well, I felt a
22 hissing noise in the air, and you could hear a shot as if someone had
23 opened fire from a weapon with a silencer, but I didn't know where from.
24 But I've heard these explosions, the sound of sniper fire, but a silencer
25 was used and you didn't know where the shot had been fired from. So
1 perhaps I didn't react immediately. But nothing happened after that.
2 About noon, in the afternoon -- it was afternoon. It didn't
3 really matter. I went to where my children were, where my children were
4 killed later. I went to a neighbour's to see what was the situation was
6 Q. Which neighbour did you go to?
7 A. Well, my neighbour Hajro. And there was this person Popovic. I
8 even found Meho in the house. And there were two other neighbours who
9 were little -- who live a little further away but they're in Recice.
10 Perhaps they were a kilometre and a half from Recice, in fact. They were
11 also from Recice but from the Krc hamlet.
12 And then I heard that they had brought them there. Some Muslim in
13 the armija. I don't know whether there was someone else, though, but
14 there were only these two Croats whom I knew there. One was older than
15 me, two or three years older than me, and the other one was younger. I
16 knew them.
17 They were on their own, and the owner of the house told me that
18 they had been brought there, but this person had left. I didn't come
19 across the soldier who was a member of the armija, or perhaps there were
20 several of them, I don't know. And then --
21 Q. If I may stop you at this point. On that morning were you
22 personally aware of any armija units or armija soldiers or non-HVO army
23 personnel in Domanovici-Recice?
24 A. In Domanovici, no, I'm not aware of that. But since there was
25 fighting up there, there was the Grbavica hill which links up to Mostar,
1 they went to Grbavica. I suppose there were army check-points there. So
2 the armija was probably there. There was fighting there.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Domanovici and Recice?
4 A. In Domanovici, Recice, I personally don't know about that. I
5 didn't see anyone, but I can't claim that there was no one. But in this
6 area, then I could control. In the area where my daughters were killed --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be asked to repeat the last
8 part of the sentence.
9 MR. KRUGER:
10 Q. Witness, could you perhaps repeat the last part of your sentence,
11 please. The interpreters did not hear that, of your last sentence. You
12 were saying, "In Domanovici and Recice I personally don't know about that.
13 I didn't see anyone, but I can't claim that there was no one. But in
14 this area, then I could control. In the area where my daughters were
15 killed ..."
16 A. Yes. Where we were, this region, it's the Glavica hamlet. And
17 the area where these neighbour's houses are and where the check-point is,
18 in that area at that time you couldn't see any troops, at least not in
19 that part. In the area between our houses. In the area between the place
20 where my daughters were killed and this other part.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We have a
22 question for you.
23 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to check
24 something, whether you said that on that day, on the 13th of July, there
25 was no fighting from the morning onwards. You said that there were no
1 armija soldiers in the surroundings but that you had heard an explosion
2 and, according to you, it could have been snipers. There was no fighting.
3 There were no attacks launched in the village. Have I understood you
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no fighting, there were no
6 troops, but in the morning I heard fighting but in the neighbouring
7 village which is about two kilometres away. It's at an elevation.
8 There's a hill, a mountain. It was a neighbouring hill. You couldn't see
9 anything. You could just hear the sound of fighting. There was perhaps
10 fighting in the course of the day there. But in this area up to
11 Domanovici there was just sniper fire. You could hear sniper shots. And
12 when I was at my neighbour's, they said that a bullet or two had been
13 fired and had hit something in Meho's bathroom, but there were no troops
14 that you could see in that area, and there was no fighting.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, we have to stir up very
16 painful memories for you, but we need information about the death of your
17 daughters. If I have understood you correctly, you were at a neighbour's.
18 At what time exactly were you informed of the fact that your two daughters
19 had been shot at? At what time were you informed of this?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Naturally I know when. I was
21 observing the scene from my house, and when I arrived at the neighbour's,
22 that was in the afternoon. I don't know when exactly. It was in the
23 summer. It wasn't night, but it was around 6.00 in the afternoon. As I
24 have said, perhaps it's because there were two elderly people, two elderly
25 neighbours who were sick, and they arrived there, and there were the
1 children in the house. They were impatient. They were being helped. And
2 the children then wanted to go to where we previously had a house at
3 Glavica. It was 500 metres away. They had others they knew there. It
4 was a little further away from the road. They asked me whether they could
5 go there. I said they could but that they should be careful because shots
6 had already been fired.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have to put very precise
8 questions to you because it's necessary to know what happened exactly.
9 You said that you were informed between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m. Did you go to
10 the site immediately or were you daughters taken elsewhere? Can you
11 provide us with any information about that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went there immediately. When they
13 left the house, they went through the house and through the vineyard and
14 orchard the road was 50 metres from my house. There were these peach
15 trees and there were the vines, and then they got to the asphalt road.
16 They went further on to my property, 50 or 70 metres away, and that area
17 was visible because there was this orchard in the other area. And the
18 area wasn't very visible.
19 When they came out into the open, almost next to the houses, when
20 they reached the road there's a slight elevation towards Glavica, and
21 there's a little bridge there, a canal. That's where they were passing
22 by. My wife was in front of them, and the three of them were behind her.
23 They were holding on to each other, and they could be seen. They were
24 wearing these tracksuits which were red or pink, but they were visible.
25 And I heard the shots and cries for help, because that was about a
1 hundred, a hundred and twenty metres as the crow flies from my house.
2 And then within a minute or two I ran through the orchard and
3 vineyard to see what had happened. I arrived there, and when I arrived
4 there my middle daughter had already died. And then I saw my older
5 daughter. I was told by my wife, "Dzenita has been wounded."
6 I returned home and then returned back to where Sanela was. She
7 was in the ditch. She must have jumped into the ditch or fallen into the
8 ditch, and she couldn't say anything. And I return, and I said, "Shall we
9 get you out of there?" She said, "Yes." And when she said that, I picked
10 her up. I saw she was bleeding. There was a wound to the left of her
11 heart, and she was bleeding from there. And at that point she -- she
13 I was crying for about five minutes. Rafo's wife Katica arrived
14 first. She was the godmother to one of my daughters. And there was some
15 sort of a car nearby, and she was kneeling behind the car and crying. And
16 I was in the ditch, in the canal.
17 And when things had calmed down a bit, when night had fallen, we
18 took them away into the house belonging to the Hasic family. He was a
19 cousin of my grandfather's. We left them in the cellar there. And in the
20 evening we went over to Meho's house because he had a bigger basement.
21 And there were a number of people there and that's where we spent the
22 night. We stayed until morning.
23 I can continue if you like and tell you what happened next.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, apart from your two
25 daughters, on that day no one else was shot at?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in that area. No one in that
2 area. I won't know whether anyone was shot at in the surroundings, but in
3 our hamlet, as far as I know, no.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When your daughter died in your
5 arms, after she had died in your arms did you examine the wounds? You
6 said that the person -- that the daughter who spoke to you just before she
7 died had a wound at the level of her heart that was bleeding. Did you
8 have a look at this one or not? Did you examine it closely or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had a good look at it. When I
10 picked her up, I had a good look. The other daughter was hit in the back
11 of the head. She had a very swollen eye, but she was hit in the back of
12 her head. And when an exhumation was performed about five years later in
13 1993 -- 1998, I recognised her when I had a look at the wound to her head.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you'll have a 20-minute
15 break now, and we will resume in 20 minutes' time.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.36 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 3.57 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor back to
19 you, Mr. Kruger, Mr. Mundis I believe there is something you would like to
20 inform us of, but would you like to do that in the present of the witness
21 or shall we ask the witness to least courtroom temporarily?
22 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, Your Honours, I think I can do it in
23 such a way that we don't need to ask the witness to -- to be escorted out
24 of the courtroom.
25 Shortly before the last break I received an e-mail concerning the
1 scheduling for the remainder of this week and the witnesses that are
2 scheduled to appear. As perhaps some of the Defence teams know and as I
3 informed the Chamber's legal officer --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're in open session. Let's
5 move into private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 10733-10735 redacted. Private session
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
12 Mr. President.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you. I would also like to have a follow-up
14 question. Mr. Hasic mentioned before the break answering my question
15 that -- when I asked him about the soldiers coming in early July to pick
16 up mainly Muslim men, et cetera, he mentioned that among the soldiers in
17 his view there were also Hungarians. I checked the transcript and he
18 mentioned and spoke about Hungarians.
19 Given the fact that I am also from Hungary, I would like to ask
20 you two questions. The first, why did you think that they were
21 Hungarians? If you probably listen to their talk, or if you know some
22 Hungarian words. And second, what kind of uniforms they were dressed in
23 and wore in that case. So were they in the HVO or any other uniforms when
24 you have seen them, or you may have heard about their being there during
25 that particular time.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, Judge. Hungary
2 Germany, Bulgaria. I apologise; it wasn't intentional. That's why
3 I"perhaps," "who knows." They were from all parts from there, from here.
4 It was wartime. Like the Germans and -- I didn't hear them talking or
5 anything like that, I just sort of said, "soldiers wearing HVO uniforms,"
6 because the HVO was there. That's what I meant. I didn't actually
7 mean -- well, the Hungarians, another nation, whether they were there or I
8 heard them, that they were there, it was just the HVO uniform. It's not
9 that I heard them close to or see them who came to get me or -- or those
10 who came to get me or the houses. Well, it was the HVO soldiers there.
11 Their command was there. So that's -- that's it.
12 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, but if you said that among
14 the HVO soldiers who by definition were the inhabitants of your country
15 that there were foreigners, it's something when -- is it something that
16 you heard on the radio or on television, something like that, or is that a
17 fact that you yourself noted and observed?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not according to my own
19 experience. It was just following -- well, not following. You hear about
20 things. They said the Mujahedin or people from Germany or the Foreign
21 Legion or -- I didn't really follow these things. I didn't know about
22 them. But I said possibly, you know. But all I know is -- for a fact is
23 that it was the HVO soldiers and their command. I said that it could have
24 been other people, too. There might have been Bosniaks the HVO, as indeed
25 there were. Perhaps there were good ones, bad ones, those for their
1 people, against their people. But that I saw them personally or I had
2 experience of them or that I was in the conflict, I was not, but there
3 were cases on the basis of what I heard, what other people said, the
4 media, things like that. I personally didn't see them, no, or hear
5 anything like that.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may, I would like
7 to be of assistance to the witness and explain what this was about. The
8 question referred to the Croats who had done something, and the witness
9 wanted to tell us that that was done by the HVO. Now, whether in those
10 HVO units there were Croats, Muslim, Hungarians, or whoever else other is
11 not important, that what was important was that they were the HVO. So
12 perhaps my explanation can be of assistant and the witness can confirm it
13 or not. And I'd be very pleased if I could help the Court out on this
14 point and clarify the matter.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try and clarify it. As far as
16 I know, the HVO -- it was the HVO authority and the HVO soldiers, and
17 whether it was Herceg-Bosna or whatever, but the main -- the main army,
18 the main army and soldiers were the HVO when the war began in our area.
19 So it should have been the HVO. Now, whether there were any others
20 there -- anyway, they were Croat soldiers. When I say the HVO, the
21 Croatian soldiers were the majority, and the HVO authority, Croatian
22 authority, or the authority of Herceg-Bosna or whatever was decided at
23 that time. What they wanted, I don't really know. I'm not well-versed in
24 things like that, but that's how it was. That's how it should have been.
25 Now, whether there were any other people in the army, I can't
1 claim. I don't want to claim anything like that.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But, sir, you said that they
3 were in a house, that they had put up in a house. Now, on the basis of
4 what you had seen, these HVO soldiers, how many of them were there? Can
5 you give us a figure, a general figure?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How many of them in the house.
7 Well, they might have come before evening fell, I don't know. But in the
8 morning, the next day, the next morning, when you could hear the shooting
9 and when all this was going on in the hills and there was this explosion,
10 I walked round the house and just by chance I happened to look across the
11 road to the neighbours' houses. And I said that at about 10.00 the shot
12 came from there. Without knowing -- well, you could hear sort of muffled
13 shots in the air.
14 I saw about three soldiers rushing out at that point, running out
15 of the vineyard in front of the house and the other two or three houses
16 there. And then they entered that half -- semi-finished house. Whether
17 there were any others there I can't say. I wasn't close by. But I saw
18 the soldiers come there with their weapons, whether it was an automatic
19 rifle or whatever, and with their rucksacks and camouflage uniform, and
20 they were rushing out of the vineyard. So it wasn't intentional. I just
21 happened to look that way and that's what I saw with my very own eyes when
22 I happened to look that way. And I assume that that was how my daughters
23 were killed. Maybe when this bullet went whizzing by my ear and I felt --
24 I saw this or felt the shots being shot in the air, I should have maybe
25 done --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Now,
2 there's something that might cause confusion in our minds. You said that
3 it was 10.00 in the morning. Now, we understood it that your daughter
4 was -- was killed -- your daughters were killed between 5.00 and 6.00 in
5 the afternoon. So when you saw these soldiers running out of the
6 vineyard, what time was that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was in the morning, perhaps
8 6.00 or 7.00, when they were coming from the vineyard. I was round the
9 house --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when they came out --
11 running out of the vineyard, is that the moment you heard shots, gunshots?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not then, no. No, no, no. Not
13 shots in the air then, no. That's not what I said. That's not what I
14 meant. But the shoot -- the shooting in the morning at 5.00 in the
15 neighbouring village, and one or two hours later was when I saw these
16 people coming out of the vineyard. But the shooting in the neighbouring
17 village was earlier on, and my daughters were killed in the evening. And
18 I said when this bullet whizzed past my ear with this muffled sound from a
19 muffled rifle, I just heard this noise and shots in the air, several shots
20 in the air. Not often, but with the silencers, these shots from the
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The morning, the three -- in the
23 morning, the three soldiers that rushed out, were they coming from the
24 neighbouring village where the conflict was taking place and where there
25 was shooting? So in your opinion, these three soldiers, were they coming
1 from the neighbouring village?
2 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour. I hesitate to -- to
3 register a small point, but the phrase "in your opinion," we do
4 respectfully suggest the question is better phrased without that because
5 we are as Your Honour indicated at the very beginning before this witness
6 gave evidence trying to draw a clear distinction between what this witness
7 actually knows, observed, and can say, and opinion which then shades into
8 speculation. And that phrase does carry that risk.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Stewart. You're
10 observation seems to be entirely misplaced. I took all caution to ask him
11 where the three soldiers who were running had come from. They didn't
12 parachute down into the area. They had to come from somewhere, and I was
13 asking him where they were coming from, whether from the neighbouring
14 village or could they have come from somewhere else. It's the witness who
15 is going to tell us about that, if he knows.
16 Do you understand the problem, Witness? You saw three soldiers
17 rushing out of the vineyard. Where could they have come from? Do you
18 have an explanation or none? Or because you said that in -- at 5.00 in
19 the morning you heard shots in the neighbouring village, the next-door
20 village, so it would be logical to assume that those three men had come
21 from the neighbouring village. Witness, could you tell us about that? Do
22 you know, or do you not know?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can tell you exactly.
24 The distance from the barracks is about 300 metres, and they came from the
25 barracks. They couldn't have come from anywhere else. And they had a
1 check-point there where they were stationed. Perhaps they had
2 reinforcements. There were probably more people there because there were
3 preparations on the day before, and I saw them going towards Mostar and
4 Gubavica. So these were probably reinforcements sent from the barracks
5 because there were orchards there, vineyards there, no settlements there.
6 So they were coming right from the barracks, which were opposite my house
7 at a distance of 300 and 400 metres, and you could see that area. So they
8 came directly through the orchards and the vineyard and came up onto the
9 houses from the vineyards, not from the opposite direction where there was
10 the shooting. I couldn't have seen them, because there's a wood there.
11 So I couldn't have seen them if they had come from that side like I saw
12 these people, because it's visible. You could see from the barracks. And
13 I just happened to look and see them. They had weapons. They had these
14 rucksacks and camouflage uniforms.
15 Perhaps they were -- well, they were probably reinforcements, and
16 the that's the only area that the shots could have come from.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you don't know where these
18 three men came from. They might have been reinforcements, but that's a
19 supposition, a hypothesis; right?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the barracks. I know that.
21 They couldn't have come from anywhere else. It must have been from the
22 barracks. There was nothing else there. The barracks or Domanovici, but
23 the barracks are there and that's where they must have come from. There's
24 nothing -- no other way they could have come from. Not from the
25 neighbouring village where the fighting was going on but from the
1 barracks. I couldn't have seen them had they come from the neighbouring
2 village, but I saw them because they came from the direction of the
3 barracks. I could see that side.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think there was a question
5 from the Bench. No. You seem to have answered the question.
6 Mr. Kruger.
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Witness, just a few more things. Your youngest daughter, Tanija,
9 was she injured in any way during this incident?
10 A. Yes, she was wounded, too, at the same time. She was hit in the
11 knee, her left knee, and she was operated later on in Germany. But she
12 spent the night there, and I took her to get assistance for her to the
13 soldiers, the HVO in Domanovici where they were. They were put up in a
15 Q. Was that the next morning?
16 A. Yes. Yes, that was the next morning when I took her there in
17 order to get assistance. And then I went to get the coffins for my other
18 two daughters, and then I went home to drive the coffins there with Rafo
19 Popovic because I couldn't do that myself. I did have a truck, but I
20 couldn't do it myself.
21 Q. Now, at the point where you took your daughter for assistance at
22 the HVO in Domanovici, can you give the Court an idea of how many soldiers
23 there were there that morning on the 14th of July?
24 A. For emergencies, first aid, in that coffee bar. But I return, and
25 there were already soldiers at this crossroads. I knew some of my
1 neighbours there, and they were sort of reinforcements or something like
2 that. There were about 50 or 100 of them, soldiers, at that -- at those
3 crossroads. They were on foot. They were wearing military uniforms.
4 They were armed that morning. After the 13th that was.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could return back to the rough sketch which
6 is on the ELMO next to you. Do you see the crossroads where you saw these
7 soldiers that morning on this sketch?
8 A. Yes. The junction is from Capljina, then Stolac, then Mostar.
9 That crossroads. The coffee bar is here. That's where the coffee bar is,
10 right up at the crossroads, and then Capljina is over there. There's a
11 bend towards Stolac.
12 Q. Could you mark the crossroads that you've just indicated with a G,
14 A. [Marks].
15 Q. Thank you. Now, sir -- and you may turn this picture around as
16 you please to or general yourself. You've indicated your house as A.
17 You've indicated the house of Meho Bukmam -- sorry, my apologies, Meho
18 Hasic as an E. Could you indicate with an X where that bridge is where
19 Dzenita and Sanela were shot, please. On the paper next to you on the
20 right-hand side?
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much.
23 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the Prosecution would like to tender
24 this as an In Court Exhibit.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please,
1 Mr. Kruger. I'm a bit lost. I thought that his daughters were hit at the
2 level of the crossroads, and now he seems to have indicated another area.
3 So can we go back to that and be -- receive more precise information.
4 MR. KRUGER: Certainly, Your Honour.
5 Q. Witness, could you tell us the place where your daughters were
6 shot, where is that in relation to your house and the house of Meho
7 Bukman -- I'm sorry, Meho Hasic.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps, Mr. Hasic, it would be good if you were
9 to draw the way your daughters went from your house as a line. Did they
10 go right or did they go left when they came to the road?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My house is here. That's the main
12 road, and they went this way. Those are the houses. There's an underpass
13 here, and then you come to these three houses. And it was by this middle
14 house that I took my two daughters into from here. So from my entrance
15 you go on the road. You go -- take the road this way until you reach
16 those first houses here. It's about a hundred, a hundred and twenty
17 metres. Well, about a hundred metres. It's not important. But anyway,
18 from the road. Fifty metres from my house to the road and then down the
19 road to this spot here.
20 And that's the crossroads. This is Domanovici. Maybe I made some
21 other markings, but this --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you show us where the
23 coffee bar was? Could you show the spot where the coffee bar was? Place
24 a cross there or a letter.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's it. That's the coffee bar,
1 coffee shop. Right by the crossroads, on the right-hand side. Right up
2 by the crossroads. Should I put a letter, a K? Let's put a K for kafana,
3 cafe. That's where the first HVO point was.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, you've shown us where the
5 sniper was. Could you show us where the sniper was again and where your
6 three daughters were, because in fact your three daughters were there.
7 You said Tanija was wounded in the knee. So can you show us what
8 direction the shot took?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the crossroads at
10 Domanovici. They should be -- this is my house and how you get to the
11 road from my house. This isn't the proper sketch for -- because my house
12 was opposite here, and that's the road, and this is the road. They were
13 here. I've already marked that. The houses, and that's my house. That's
14 opposite. So that would be the direction, from these two houses. Two
15 houses are habitable. People live in them. They've been fully
16 constructed. The other house was still under construction. But it's all
17 within a space of 10 or 20 metres.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A moment ago we learnt that your
19 third daughter was hit in the knee. She was wounded in the knee. By a
20 shot, a bullet wound?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, certainly, yes, a bullet,
22 because all three of them were walking together, walking towards --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, did they take
24 the bullet out of her knee? Was the bullet taken out of her knee?
25 Because you said that she was taken to the first aid HVO post apparently,
1 and I understood it that she was later on operated on in Germany. Who
2 operated your daughter?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the bullet was not
4 lodged in the knee. It was just her tendon that was damaged. And in
5 Zagreb, a certain time later, she went to see a doctor. But since it was
6 wartime, she couldn't go on time. She went when she could. She was
7 transferred from -- to Capljina first and then from Capljina to Zagreb and
8 then she returned. But that bullet wasn't lodged in the knee. It just
9 wounded her.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your last daughter, the third,
11 the bullet that wounded your daughter -- did your daughter tell you what
12 happened? Did she say, "Well, all three of us were walking along the
13 road"? Did she tell you how it happened?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it was all clear. When
15 they left the house, I followed them with my eyes. I could see them go
16 out onto the road and then walk down the road. Their mother was there, my
17 wife, with her granddaughter, two, three, or four metres in front, and my
18 daughters were behind. And when they came to this open space, they were
19 watching, too, and that's when they were killed and wounded, Your Honour.
20 I saw them.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if I understand
22 you correctly, you saw your three daughters as they walked along the road.
23 Your wife was there with the six-month old granddaughter, and it was at
24 that point in time that your three daughters were wounded by bullets. But
25 you just heard the whizzing of shots, because you didn't hear any
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were shots in the air as if you
3 were using a silencer. They were muffled sounds. You couldn't make out
4 exactly where they were coming from, and I think they must have used a
5 silencer. But there was no other place. You could see these -- that's
6 where the soldiers were seen. So there were shots. And probably --
7 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Witness, I'd like to ask you about Gabela. Just one final we on
9 this, and that is what were your daughters and your wife wearing? How
10 were they dressed at the time of this incident?
11 A. I can tell you what my daughters were wearing. I don't -- well,
12 normal women's clothing. I think they were wearing tracksuits, my two
14 Q. Thank you, sir.
15 A. And my middle daughter, she was a little -- she had red on. She
16 was wearing a red tracksuit, and she was a little taller. So you could
17 see it, but it was all civilian clothing. What more can I tell you? It
18 was light coloured, coloured civilian clothing.
19 Q. Now, sir, the next day, the 14th of July, you had already told the
20 Court that you went to buy coffins or get coffins in Capljina. Is it
21 correct that you were prevented from returning to your village because you
22 were then taken to Gabela? Is that correct?
23 A. That's correct. There's proof that I was in camp. The Red Cross
24 can prove this. I perhaps have already said this. I set off with a
25 Croatian neighbour because I could do so. I arrived down there and the
1 imam in Capljina gave me these coffins, because the shop in which I wanted
2 to buy the coffins was shut. The imam, whose name is also Hasan, he died
3 after the war. I don't think he was killed. He was younger than me. And
4 he gave me those things. And then I left.
5 Q. Sorry, if I may interrupt you. I'm afraid we'll have to cut out
6 some of the detail at this stage.
7 Were you taken, before going to Gabela, on that morning to the
8 police station in Capljina?
9 A. Yes. When I had taken the things from the imam, I set off, said I
10 could inscribe the names of my children. I set off to Capljina, to
11 Trebisac [phoen] which is where the salesman was from. I went there with
12 my neighbour, and we found him there. He said we could come immediately.
13 We went before him in our car. We waited in front of the shop on the road
14 in the town of Capljina. I saw him. I knew this neighbour. I assume
15 that this neighbour whose house was about 5 or 600 metres from mine, I
16 assume he saw me and he informed the police, because the salesman hadn't
17 arrived by that time. And they took down my particulars and those of Rafo
18 Popovic. It was the military police, I assume. They were in military
19 uniform. I then went to the MUP.
20 Q. Of which organisation the military police?
21 A. Well, of the HVO army. They looked like the military police.
22 Q. Did they then take you to the -- to the police station in
24 A. Yes. Yes, they took me to the police station, to the MUP.
25 Q. And whom did you talk to at the police station?
1 A. We met Rafo Popovic and his cousin, Velimir, the son of Karlo.
2 Rafo was born in the same village I was born in. He died after the war.
3 At the time he was alive. But his son was the deputy of the police
4 commander, and he said they should take me to the Gabela camp. I said my
5 children it been killed --
6 Q. Yes. And what was his reaction when you said your children had
7 been killed?
8 A. He told me that Croats were dying too. He said he knew
9 nothing. "You have to go to the Gabela camp. Rafo will be responsible
10 for burying your children." And then I gave my details to a woman in the
11 police station, and then the policeman took me to Gabela because it's
12 perhaps 5 or 700 metres away.
13 Q. Now, if I may ask you from that point. You arrived at Gabela, and
14 is it correct that at Gabela you indicated that you wanted to be released
15 so that you could go and bury your daughters? Is that correct?
16 A. Yes. Yes. I was encouraged because I knew the man. Before the
17 war he was also the police commander. I knew him. And given my work as a
18 haulier --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's microphones are switched off.
20 Could the witness please repeat the answer.
21 MR. KRUGER:
22 Q. Could you please repeat your answer. The interpreter didn't hear
24 A. Yes. As I knew this person at the gate, he was an elderly person,
25 he had already retired even before the war. He took down people's
1 details. He asked me, "What are you doing here?"
2 Q. May I stop you there. Did he allow you to wait in an area so that
3 somebody could come talk to you later on that same day?
4 A. Yes, he helped me to the extent he could. He detained me at the
5 gate. There was a room there, even a few beds. I sat down there.
6 Q. And at about 7.00 that evening, who came to see you where you were
7 waiting in that area at the gate?
8 A. I knew him. There was the judge -- he was a judge before the war
9 and now he was in uniform, or on that occasion he arrived in uniform.
10 Q. Did he say in what capacity he was there?
11 A. Yes. I was there. Naturally they told me. They took me across
12 the road to the canteen. It used to be a military canteen. There were
13 warehouses there, and at that point in time it was a canteen.
14 Q. Who was present at that point in the canteen?
15 A. The camp commander entered the canteen. I didn't know him that
16 well. I knew him as a waiter before the war. They said he was the --
17 Commander Previsic, Bosko; Boko. And together with an escort this
18 gentleman arrived. He used to work in the technical maintenance company
19 but that's not person. There was an escort in military uniform. They
20 asked me some questions. I -- well, they had come because Mr. Ravnjak
21 wanted to help me, to have me released so that I could bury my children.
22 Q. Mr. Ravnjak, was that the person at the gate whom you met when you
23 arrived at Gabela?
24 A. Yes, yes, that's Ravnjak.
25 Q. Okay. Did you tell or did you ask the judge or tell him that you
1 wanted to be released so that you could go and bury your daughters?
2 A. Yes. I asked them to allow me to bury them. We spoke to each
3 other. I asked them why was the situation such that I couldn't even bury
4 my children. We had been on good terms with our neighbours.
5 Q. What was his reaction or response?
6 A. Well, it was Boko, in fact, who said that I was praising our
7 relationship so that they would let me go, and he said, "You're not normal
8 people." He said he couldn't let me go. There were other harsh words.
9 And then the judge also said -- Katic said that they couldn't let me go.
10 And then they said I should go to the hangar. And that conversation
11 lasted for 10 or 15 minutes, and then I left. There was nothing else to
13 Q. During this conversation, this judge whom you've named as Katic,
14 did he inquire about the circumstances of how your daughters had died?
15 A. Well, perhaps, but since there was this relative of mine, the son
16 of Haso Ramic, and it was after the beginning of the conflict with the
17 Serbs, he'd been part of the authorities in Capljina together with the
18 Croats, and he told me that Ramiz was responsible for the conflict, asked
19 me where he was. I said I didn't know. I said I didn't know where he
20 was. He was hiding around the houses just like me. I know he wasn't in
21 the army.
22 Q. Now, Witness, before moving on from here, to your knowledge has
23 there ever been any investigation by the HVO into the circumstances
24 surrounding how your daughters were killed?
25 A. Sir, no one ever informed me or tried to tell me anything.
1 Earlier on I didn't even make any attempts. Recently they've asked for
2 certain information about civilian victims. So I went to obtain a death
3 certificate. I obtained it, but it says that they died -- they were
4 killed in the municipality of Tasic, about 70 kilometres away from the
5 house. The official knows that's not correct, but that's what the police
6 told them. That's what was written down so that this could be covered up
7 so it wouldn't be possible to say that something happened here or there or
8 such. But no one informed me of anything up until this very day.
9 Q. Now, sir, you said that after this conversation you were then
10 taken into Gabela. Is it correct that you were taken to hangar number 2
11 eventually where you were held?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. How big was this hangar? Could you give an idea of the dimension?
14 A. Yes. There were these two hills there. There were four in which
15 people were kept. We entered hangar number 3. We stayed there briefly.
16 There was a bit of shoving, pushing and shoving. The guards were a little
17 excited. We entered the hangar. At the gate certain people were
18 maltreated. I heard them. I had heard them cursing. There were about 15
19 or 20 of us who assembled there, and we entered the hangar number 3. And
20 then they briefly took us into hangar number 2.
21 Q. And in hangar number 2, what did you find inside hangar number 2?
22 A. Well, the hangar was full of people, and there were these pallets
23 in hangar number 2 because it was used as a military warehouse, a
24 warehouse for equipment. There were slightly larger explosive devices.
25 One was a 40 [as interpreted] at the entrance. And then there were these
1 pallets. 90 per cent of the concrete floor had been covered by these
2 pallets, but they were between the pallets and on the pallets, but mostly
3 on the pallets. And until the Red Cross arrived, they didn't remove the
5 Q. Now, you said that the hangar was full of people. Could you give
6 the Court an idea of how many, an estimate perhaps of how many people were
7 in this hangar?
8 A. Yes. I didn't count them myself, but the hangar was about 30
9 metres long by -- and 10 or 11 metres wide. There were between 500 and
10 700 people. We would sit there day and night, but it's not as if we
11 counted the number of people. I don't know exactly, but there would be
12 three of us on a pallet with half a blanket. We would lie on these
13 pallet. A pallet is about a meter and 20 centimetres -- 1.20 square
14 metres, that is. So there were about three of us, three people on one
16 Q. And who were these people who were in this hangar? Where did they
17 come from?
18 A. Well, familiar people from Stolac, Capljina, Dubrava, and later
19 people even came from the area close to Mostar, from the Mostar region,
20 people who used to be with the HVO or came from their homes.
21 Q. So these men, people from HVO and people from their homes, were
22 these both military and civilian male Bosniaks?
23 A. On the whole, civilians and soldiers. There were quite a lot of
24 people from Stolac who had been with the HVO, who had been in the army at
25 the time, around the 1st of July, before the 1st of July, from Rotanje
1 [phoen], Hodovo, Stolac, Posajnici [phoen], people who had been at these
2 lines. There were quite a lot of them from Stolac.
3 Q. Could you give the Court, but as our time is getting very little,
4 could you give a brief idea to the Court of the food that you received in
5 Gabela during the time you were held there, the initial period?
6 A. Well, it would be better not to say anything, but I'll tell you
7 what we received. A loaf of bread not even a kilo. There were 17 people,
8 and we needed to cut it into 17 parts, divide it among 17 people. And
9 perhaps a macaroni, a quarter of a cup. For about 50 days I and all these
10 people in the hangar received only one meal a day until the Red Cross
12 Q. Was this meal served or given to you in the hangar?
13 A. Yes. We only ate in the hangar. We received the food in the
14 hangar. We didn't go out. It was only possible to go out briefly during
15 the day if you needed to relieve yourself. But people didn't leave for a
16 50-day period. There were these buckets in the hangars in which we could
17 urinate. It wasn't necessary to defecate because we were hungry and
19 Q. Sir, who were the personnel or the guards at Gabela? Could you
20 give the Court an idea of that?
21 A. On the whole the guards were Croats. Mature people. Perhaps
22 there were also people of my age. I had been in Germany with some of
23 them. Perhaps I would meet them, see them. It was all good for them when
24 they saw me. One of them even gave me a tin of fish.
25 Q. And so --
1 A. There were people or guards from Konjic, quite a few of them. I
2 knew some of them. There was one of them in the camp. They looked for
3 him, then they took him out.
4 Q. Sir, if I may interrupt you. Could you give the Court a very
5 brief idea of the treatment you received and the detainees received in
7 A. Yes. Briefly, it was inhumane. I can't really say that they beat
8 me up, maltreated me. It's not as if I was put in solitary confinement.
9 But when you spend 50 days there, it exhausts you. And then you have
10 three kilos of bread for 50 days, and sometimes they'd give you water,
11 sometimes they wouldn't. Before I arrived, the prisoners hadn't been
12 given anything for three days, no water, no food. When I arrived, the
13 very same evening we received a tin of goulash, a 400-gram tin of
14 goulash that had to be divided among eight people. And we received a
15 little of bread, and then one meal a day for about 50 days, roughly
17 Q. You mentioned that you were not beaten. Do you know whether
18 anybody else was beaten?
19 A. Well, they beat other people. I saw that myself. There were
20 these people from Konjic who were guards, as I have said, and they were
21 looking for someone. I don't know whether I can remember his surname.
22 It's not important. They were looking for this person from Konjic who
23 worked for the railways, who lived there. They knew him. They were
24 looking for him. He was in our hangar, the hangar I was in, and on one
25 occasion they took him out, and he came back all beaten up, black and
1 blue, groaning. And then there were two others -- two or three other
2 cases in my hangar that I myself witnessed. And later, when people
3 gathered -- well, there were people who were put into solitary
4 confinement. Some were even killed.
5 I can tell you something about two relatives of mine. There was a
6 person who was 10 -- a relative who was 10 years younger than me. He
7 suffered from asthma. He needed to have adequate medication, but he
8 didn't, and he died at the very beginning.
9 Q. Did he ask the guards or anybody at the camp for medication or
10 tell them about the problem?
11 A. Yes. He knew guards from the place. Someone promised him
12 medication, but he wasn't provided with it. It was urgent. He died on
13 the following day, in the morning.
14 Q. Moving on, I want to ask you about Bosko Previsic. Can you give
15 the Court the indication of his attitude towards the detainees from your
16 own personal knowledge?
17 A. Yes. He didn't behave very well. He was rough. On one occasion
18 in the hangar he told some people that they were no good, that they were
19 illiterate, that they weren't people, that they weren't human. That they
20 were balijas. Since there's a valley there between the hangars, between
21 two hills, he said it would be best if we were all buried there. I don't
22 know whether he was normal or not, but that's what he certainly said, and
23 I personally heard him say this in the hangar.
24 Q. Sir, just a final question or two on Gabela. You mentioned that
25 the Red Cross came after about 40 or 50 days after you had arrived. Is it
1 correct that after that period you -- all the detainees received two meals
2 per day?
3 A. Yes. Once they had arrived and once we had been registered at
4 least partially -- well, as of that point in time we were provided with
5 two meals. So for the next 50 days after the Red Cross had arrived we
6 received about two meals a day, and later perhaps even more.
7 Q. Okay. Now, sir, to conclude and before I quickly show you a few
8 brief documents, regarding your two daughters Sanela and Dzenita, is it
9 correct that they were buried in the garden of your home in Recice
11 A. That's correct. But I wasn't there to bury them. My neighbours
12 were there. My wife remain at home. My neighbours were relatives of
13 mine. Ramiz was at home then. She told me that they were there together
14 and that they had buried them. And then Ramiz and his brother and other
15 relatives, I think, they buried them. That was on the 14th or 15th, I
17 Q. Now, a year later is it correct that they were exhumed and buried
18 in a different place?
19 A. Yes. A commission -- there was a commission, and -- there was a
20 Serb living there married to a Croat. He was part of the commission. And
21 then they were taken to another place. And when they came to my house,
22 these Croatians from Bosnia, from Sarajevo, when he left in 2000, but they
23 came to my house and transferred them to Tasovcici, Modric, near Capljina,
24 to a Partisan cemetery there, whatever. And in 1998 they were exhumed and
25 transported to Mostar. And I came back home from Germany, and that's when
1 we buried them at Recice, Brestovnik.
2 Q. If I may quickly turn to documents.
3 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, with regards to documents 09747 and
4 09748, these two documents relate or are -- pertain to documents recording
5 the fact of the deaths of these two daughters, and they are in support of
6 evidence that the witness has provided, and if there is no objection from
7 the Defence I would wish to tender these as exhibits without showing them
8 to the witness at this stage.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no objections, Your Honour, and I assume
10 that my colleagues do not as well. But I don't want to speak for them.
11 MR. STEWART: That's correct, Your Honour. We support that as
13 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour, and my thanks to my learned
15 Q. Witness, there is then only one other document that I wish to show
16 you, and this is document 04822.
17 MR. KRUGER: And with the assistance of the registry, if we can
18 put up on the e-court page 7 of 10 of the B/C/S version.
19 Your Honours, this is a report by Mr. Mazowiecki, and I would
20 simply wish to refer the witness to paragraph 20 of this report. It is
21 page 4 in the English version.
22 Q. Now, Witness, do you have that on the screen in front of you,
23 the -- do you have on the screen in front of you -- with the assistance of
24 the usher, the --
25 A. Yes, the 20.
1 Q. Witness, paragraph 20, I'm going to read certain parts of it for
2 you, and this pertains to or is a description of Gabela. "The picture of
3 conditions inside these places of detention is still not complete." I
4 will skip that part.
5 "One former detainee told the Special Rapporteur's field staff
6 that between 2.000 and 3.000 men were held in the two hangars at Gabela at
7 any one time."
8 In your experience is that accurate, from your time in Gabela?
9 Were people kept in only two hangars?
10 A. Two hangars. Not only two or -- one on two but three and four,
11 and from Dretelj, whether they were filled straight away, but I know that
12 people came in to the fourth. There were four hangars. And when I was
13 there the three were all full, because some of my neighbours came after
14 me. They were probably hiding in the woods for a few days. But there
15 were four hangars.
16 Q. What about the estimate of between 2.000 and 3.000? Is that
17 accurate or too high in your experience?
18 A. Perhaps in the four hangars that many, but roughly 500 to 700
19 people to a hangar. Now, I can't tell you exactly whether there were
20 3.000 or 2.000, but four hangars. Close to that number, yes. Not only in
21 the two. Well, you could get that many people there, but they couldn't
22 spend any length of time, but in four that would be possible. So 1 or 200
23 more or less or --
24 Q. Thank you, sir. I'd just like to ask you to listen to the rest.
25 You can follow it in the B/C/S version. "The daily food ration consisted
1 of 650 grams of bread to be shared between 16 prisoners and a bowl of thin
2 soup. On some occasions they received no food for two or three days
3 consecutively, apparently at times when HVO forces suffered defeats in
4 areas of Central Bosnia."
5 Is this accurate according to your information and experience?
6 Can you comment on it?
7 A. Yes. When I arrived, as I said, that evening, and the others
8 together, they told me -- well, I -- they told me that they hadn't been
9 given water for three consecutive days, or food either. I didn't
10 experience that particular episode. But when we arrived, there was
11 this -- there were these tins of goulash, and there would be one tin of
12 400 grams for eight people, to be shared amongst eight people. But this
13 thing for the three days, that's what I heard. They told me they had
14 lived through that. But when I arrived, that didn't happen but they told
15 me that had happened before my arrival.
16 Q. To continue on that, and then we'll finish with this
17 document. "The hangars were almost hermetically sealed and during the
18 summer months prisoners feared they would suffocate. Guards threatened to
19 spray the hangar walls with heavy-caliber machine-gun fire if they knocked
20 to ask for air." Can you comment on that?
21 A. Boko Previsic and some of the guards, yes, they said that if we
22 tried -- anybody tried to escape that everything was mined, had been
23 mined. And then there were instances when they would come in, and during
24 the perhaps combat or when the fighting was going on they would provoke us
25 and make us lie down on our stomachs, and they would shoot above our
1 heads. They didn't kill us then, kill anybody then, but they instilled
2 fear in us. And in my hangar that's what we had to do. We had to lie
3 down on our stomachs on the floor.
4 MR. KRUGER: Your Honour, the last thing is, of course, the -- the
5 diagram or the rough map that the witness has been dealing with. The
6 witness has marked additional things on that, and I wonder if we could
7 perhaps just get him to mark those additional things.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May we have an IC number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit IC 116.
10 MR. KRUGER: Thank you, Your Honour. Would you wish me to request
11 the witness to just mark the line of the projectile which hit his women?
12 Thank you.
13 Q. Witness --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Place your name there, please.
15 MR. KRUGER:
16 Q. Witness, you have marked on the exhibit -- on the diagram. You
17 ever drawn a line from D to the house or to the place marked F. Could you
18 perhaps mark that with a -- a number 1. Anywhere on that line. Yes.
19 That would be good.
20 A. [Marks].
21 Q. Thank you very much. And could you sign the diagram in -- in that
22 open area on the bottom -- to the right of that. In that open area. Yes.
23 That's -- where your hand is now is good.
24 A. [Marks].
25 Q. Thank you. And could you put today's date, 27/11/2006.
1 A. [Marks].
2 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
3 MR. KRUGER: The Prosecution has no more questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've going to take our
5 20-minute break now, and then we can continue with the cross-examination.
6 So we reconvene in 20 minutes' time.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.22 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's the turn of the Defence.
10 Who is going to start off?
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence of
12 Mr. Pusic has no questions. Thank you.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. We
14 have no questions for this witness, and we want to thank him for his
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. MURPHY: The Stojic Defence has no questions for the witness,
18 Your Honour.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, Praljak Defence as well. We don't have
20 any questions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stewart.
22 MR. STEWART: We do have some, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
24 Q. Mr. Hasic, I --
25 MR. STEWART: Could the witness please have the sketch plan in
1 front of him on the screen.
2 Q. Mr. Hasic, while that's happening, I represent with Ms. Alaburic
3 Mr. Petkovic. Like the Judges, we are simply interested in getting some
4 of the facts clear surrounding these terrible events.
5 Now, first of all, could you indicate, please, on that sketch map
6 exactly where you were standing in the morning when you felt, you said, a
7 bullet pass very close to you. Perhaps you could mark it just with a
8 letter H would be good, I think. I don't think we've used letter H.
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. Thank you. Now, you said this afternoon that you didn't know
11 where that shot, where that bullet was coming from. And that's right,
12 isn't it? You could not tell where it was coming from.
13 A. Sir, the shot was with a silencer. It was muffled. And when it
14 explodes, you don't know where it was, but I didn't think about this,
15 where they were shooting from, until when my daughters were killed and
16 when this hit the bathroom before. I didn't actually think they were
17 shooting at me. It might have been by chance. But -- so you can't say it
18 came from precisely one point. But the shot was in the air, and there was
19 no other way it could have happened and it could have come from, because
20 my daughters were killed. So that's what I would say.
21 Q. We can probably deal with this fairly quickly, I think. The
22 position is this, isn't it, that you have -- as far as you are concerned,
23 you have worked out, after your daughters were shot and from the other
24 information which you got about soldiers, you have worked out where you
25 think it was coming from, but at the time you couldn't have told just from
1 the shot? That's right, isn't it?
2 A. At the time of the shot, especially in the morning. Now, there
3 were a number of shots at one time, because if my three daughters were
4 killed in the same spot or hit in the same spot then there were these
5 three shots, but it was muffled. And that was the direction. There
6 couldn't have been any other direction since they were hit there. And it
7 was day time. It was an open space. That's the only place that you could
8 have had this point and this direction. And I saw the soldiers there when
9 they went in, when they came in the morning. There wasn't any movement
10 during the day below my house or on the opposite side. There was no
11 movement. It was just -- that was the only possible direction that I told
13 Q. You're not saying that you could pinpoint where -- in the morning.
14 We're talking about the morning now. You're not saying you could pinpoint
15 where the shot was coming from, from the sound of the shot that fired the
16 bullet? You're not saying that, are you?
17 A. Not then, but when this happened, when I heard that it was below
18 the house where I -- where it went past me that the -- and that the shots,
19 the bullets hit the bathroom and the pillar next to this bathroom, and
20 then when my children were killed, then I realised that that was probably
21 the moment when they might have hit me, too. They wanted to hit me too,
22 because it was just a few centimetres away from my ear. But I didn't
23 think about that at the time. I didn't think that anybody shot at me
24 precisely. But later on, I did gain the impression, and I realised that
25 that's what it must have been, that they were shooting at me. But, thank
1 goodness, well, I escaped.
2 Q. Just to be clear, the bullet in the bathroom, that was in somebody
3 else's house a hundred metres away at a different time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Right. Thank you. Would you on the sketch plan, please, just
6 draw very simply, you don't need to draw much of it, but just draw very
7 simply the canal as it goes under the road. The canal by which your
8 daughters were shot.
9 A. That is the canal, this passage. You have the asphalt road on
10 top, and then underneath that the canal. So you go -- it's a meter or two
11 underneath the road. There's a canal or a little sort of bridge,
12 underpass. And the canal was by the road. But they were on the road, the
13 asphalt road.
14 Q. Right. I think we can -- thank you. I think we can describe
15 that, adequately for the transcript, is more or less at right angles going
16 under the road where your daughters were shot. That, I think, is
17 sufficiently descriptive. Now, could you just then indicate -- and
18 perhaps you might do a simple drawing of trees or something like that.
19 You have said in a statement that the persons who killed your daughters
20 were not able to see them immediately when they got on the road because of
21 fruit trees and a huge oak tree. Could you just indicate with a pen on
22 the sketch plan where the fruit trees and the oak tree were that obscured
23 the view.
24 A. From my house to this road here, the road they took is 50 to 60
25 metres, up to the road. Then they took the road. They were walking along
1 the road for another 50 metres below my property, below the field and the
2 orchard. And when they left the orchard, they took the main road. They
3 walked along the main road. And it's slightly sheltered. There's a
4 vineyard in front, too, and there's an oak tree over the canal, a large
5 oak tree. It was a very big oak tree.
6 Q. Yes. What I'm going to ask you to do, Mr. Hasic, it can just be a
7 circle as best you can to represent the size and scale of the oak tree.
8 I'd just like you to draw a circle where the oak tree was, and as near to
9 the right size as everything else that you can manage.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. So it was on the other side of the road, was it, from your house?
12 I'm not -- just draw a circle, please, Mr. Hasic. It's -- a simple circle
13 would be the best of all.
14 A. It's a rather large oak tree, a big one.
15 Q. Now, I --
16 A. Below the road is the canal and the oak leans over the road. And
17 in front of the -- my orchard and from the oak tree there's 50 or 60
18 metres where they were. But this is a more open space and there are two
19 houses over there.
20 Q. All right. That's --
21 A. And you can see this area from the road, because --
22 Q. Mr. -- Mr. Hasic --
23 A. -- it's an open other area. You can see from these houses right
24 over that area.
25 Q. Let's stick to my questions. I'm going to ask you, I hope, very
1 short, I hope succinct questions, precise questions, and if you could
2 answer the precise questions. Could you now mark, please, on the sketch
3 plan where those fruit trees were that you also said in your statement
4 obscured the view of the persons who killed your daughters. Just mark
5 them, please. Again, as much to scale as you can.
6 A. That's the orchard, on the left-hand side in front of my house,
7 towards the end of my property, along the roadside, and it was -- they
8 were peaches, peach trees. And above that there was a vineyard. The
9 vineyard was up above. But anyway, these were peach trees along the road.
10 And you could see --
11 Q. Mr. Hasic --
12 A. You could see them as they emerged --
13 Q. Again, I'm going to invite you to stick with my questions. How
14 high were the peach trees?
15 A. The peach trees were up to three metres high, three and a half,
16 depending. Of course, you picked the fruit from the ground. You can pick
17 the fruit standing on the ground, and then it rises up two and a half,
18 three metres, the tree itself. And they're spaced out three to four
19 metres apart. So one tree next to another along the roadside.
20 Q. All right. Mr. Hasic, can we be clear then? First of all, could
21 you explain how the oak tree ever obscured anybody's view? You're talking
22 about the people who killed your daughter, and you say that the oak tree
23 obscured their view. How did that ever obscure their view since we can
24 see it on the other side of the road? Do you see what my question is?
25 Please explain how the oak tree was ever in the way of the sight line of
1 the people that you say killed your daughter.
2 A. Sir, if I were to take you there, then you could see it and you
3 would see that it is possible. My house is 50 metres away from there, but
4 it's below a hill and so are the others opposite. They are at least 10
5 metres up above the level of the oak tree. So the oak tree and the
6 orchard, the fruit trees, blocked the view. And I was watching where they
7 were doing.
8 Q. Mr. Hasic, let's me stop you. The thing is, you're quite right.
9 You know this location. I have never seen it, and I don't know how many
10 other people in court have ever seen it, which is why I'm inviting you to
11 draw as clearly as you can for everybody here on the sketch plan, because
12 that's really all we have to work with.
13 Please explain, then -- it seems -- let me put it to you bluntly.
14 It seems from what you've said as if the fruit trees, if they cut off the
15 sight line of people firing from where you've marked D, would have cut off
16 the sight line more when the girls got to the place where they were shot.
17 Do you see the point I'm putting to you? And implicit in my question is,
18 can you explain what appears to be a real difficulty about your account so
20 A. I can say that because when they came out of the orchard,
21 sometimes visibly, other times not visibly, and they might have been 200
22 metres away because my house is 250 metres away, and the target is more
23 open. The area is more open because you come to the houses where there
24 are no fruit trees. So there's greater visibility because it rises up,
25 the slope, and probably they were more certain of their target there.
1 That's all I can say.
2 Q. Are you saying that the --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Stewart, please.
4 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
5 Q. Are you saying that in the direction in which the girls were
6 going, the road rises? Is that what you're saying?
7 A. Yes. Where they -- the area they reach, it was more visible, and
8 10 metres ahead there's an incline. And there were fig trees opposite
9 these houses, but it was a more open space, more visible. There were
10 these fig trees on the right and the oak down there and the peaches over
11 there. So I would say that it was a more visible spot, although they
12 noticed them 50 metres ahead, perhaps.
13 Q. Can we be clear, Mr. Hasic? You would have had no way of telling
14 from the sound of any shots where the bullets came from that killed your
15 daughters? That's right, isn't it?
16 A. Yes, sir, on the basis of the sound in the area you could. It
17 could have come from here or there. But on the basis of the hit and the
18 general direction, it couldn't have been from any other direction. I
19 don't doubt that. And as it was in the air with a muffling, with a
20 muffle, a silencer, perhaps they would have been shooting from another
21 direction but they wouldn't have hit them there, or they wouldn't have hit
22 them where they were hit, in the back of the head, for example. They
23 would have been hit in the chest if they were shooting from another
25 Q. There seems to be agreement in that answer Mr. Hasic you could not
1 tell from the sound. On its own, you could not tell from the sound where
2 the bullets came from, could you?
3 A. Well, on the basis of sounds it was sounds in the air with a
4 silencer. You just heard a sound. You couldn't know the direction. But
5 if you look at the target and what was hit, then I know that it came from
6 the direction of where the soldiers came and where they were armed. There
7 was no other way and no other place.
8 Q. Can we be clear about one other thing then, please, Mr. Hasic?
9 You could not yourself tell at any time, could you, from the wounds to
10 your daughters the distance from which the shots came?
11 A. Well, the distance is -- it's quite clear.
12 Q. No, please answer my question, Mr. Hasic. You could not tell from
13 everything you inspected yourself, it was a horrible experience for you of
14 course, but in looking at your daughters and seeing their wounds, there
15 was no way you could tell the distance from which those shots had been
16 fired, was there?
17 A. The distance as is I saw it and from they were, these soldiers,
18 from where their shelter was, 3 to 400 metres, because 120 -- if you look
19 at the electricity poles they are at intervals of 50 metres, which makes
20 it 100, 110 metres from the road and then from the road up to up there,
21 the Stolac-Capljina main road, so it's 10 metres from this main house and
22 from my road, which makes it another 80, so about 300 give or take 350 [as
23 interpreted] metres thereabouts. I didn't measure it, but that would make
24 it from the target to the other, and I saw no other target, nor could
25 there have been any other target.
1 MR. STEWART: Any further questions on this topic would be thinly
2 disguised comment so I'll move on to this.
3 Q. Mr. Hasic, which is this: Do you know on the 15th of July there
4 was an attack by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the military
5 placement which is seen on your sketch with the letter C? So that's the
6 top left-hand corner.
7 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, you said on the 15th of July,
10 did you?
11 MR. STEWART:
12 Q. I beg your pardon. My slip. There was a report dated the 15th
13 which is where my wrong date comes from. On the 15th of July in the
14 morning, early in the morning before the time that you experienced being
15 shot at, there was an attack on the headquarters, as you have described
16 it, at letter C marked on the sketch plan. Do you know about that? Do
17 you remember about that?
18 A. The C. That's the barracks in Domanovici or the pre-war hospital,
19 the mental hospital, and that's where the army was, the HVO soldiers, and
20 I would see a tank there during those days. I don't know.
21 Q. It's the -- it was the -- it was the headquarters of the, I'll
22 risk it, Knez Domagoj Brigade. I hope that's sufficiently clear. It was
23 their headquarters, wasn't it, at the time? You must know that,
24 Mr. Hasic.
25 A. Well, I know there was a command after the Serbs had left. It was
1 Andrunove houses, two or three metres from the barracks, but I didn't know
2 about this place. Perhaps there was at the time but I wane wear of the
4 Q. We can look at the transcript for when you marked the letter C,
5 Mr. Hasic. Do you know, then, that that morning in an attack 18 HVO
6 soldiers were killed and 25 were wounded? Do you know that?
7 A. I personally don't know that. I know that around Gubavica and
8 the -- there are some commemorative plaques placed there because of the
9 killed Croats. I don't know how many Croats or Muslims there were, 15 or
10 more. I know about my daughters, and I know that on that day and on the
11 following day there were 12 Bosniaks from Bivolje hill who were killed,
12 torched. I've heard about this. I didn't see that myself, but I know
13 where they're buried. I know that they were found there. Twelve of them
14 were found. I can't be precise, I didn't count them, but I these are
15 people I knew, elderly people, and there were young people, too, people of
16 my age group, and there were elderly people, too. That's what I heard at
17 the time. But I also heard there were Croats that were killed since there
18 are these commemorative plaques or monuments raised to them, but I
19 personally don't know how many of them there were. I can't say that there
20 weren't these people who were killed and wounded.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, Gubavica, how far is
22 Gubavica from your village?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It should be about 10
24 kilometres. There's Pijesci in between and then Gubavica. About 10
25 kilometres. Yes, 8 or 10.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel said that at the place
2 that you marked with a C there was allegedly an attack in which Croatian
3 soldiers were allegedly killed on the very same day, on the 13th of July.
4 Were you aware of that or not?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that on that day,
6 nor did anyone tell me about that. But this was when I was in a state of
7 shock, and I was very sad. But no one told me about that. I didn't know
8 anything about that. I know nothing about that to this very day. But
9 that people were killed, yes, that's certain. You can see that because of
10 the monuments raised to these people by the road.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but the question that
12 should have been put to you, but I'll now put it to you, is as follows:
13 As far as you know did the ABiH have any troops in the surroundings of
14 your village? Did the ABiH have any troops there? Were there any armija
15 soldiers who were around your village?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can tell you that at that
17 time there were no troops. Blagaj and Mostar were 23 or 25 kilometres
18 away. Bobun [phoen] is about 15 kilometres away. There was certainly
19 nothing there that was under the HVO control, and that was also the case
20 for Gubavica. They were there before, but I don't know for sure. They
21 had perhaps someone in Pijesci, about five kilometres from where I was,
22 and then on Gubavica. They were present before that time. But during
23 that period I heard that an attack was launched from Mostar and from
24 Blagaj, but 20 kilometres away -- at a distance of 20 kilometres, no, they
25 weren't present as far as I know. Others could perhaps answer that
1 question, but at that time in July, no, they certainly weren't there. And
2 people had been arrested before July when the armija was there, and then
3 after they had left there were people I knew who came and mentioned people
4 who had had been arrested who were still working. That was in May, a
5 month or two earlier, and clashes had already broken out in my village.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in your village would it
7 have been possible for a villager to be armed? Could any of the villagers
8 have been armed?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at that time I myself don't
10 know. No one was under the age of 50. Well, it doesn't matter. A
11 50-year-old can also be a soldier, or a 60-year-old, but as for soldiers,
12 people with weapons, no, they were already in the camp, or if not, they
13 had fled. They were in Blagaj or Mostar. That's what I know. But when
14 these clashes broke out, and this is what we heard, naturally Blagaj or
15 Mostar, well, an attack was launched on Gubavica and then Bivolje hill.
16 Those were the clashes at the time. But I wasn't aware of them being
17 present here or I didn't see them. I'm certain they weren't present in my
18 hamlet at least. As for other places, well, on the whole the army was
19 present in Blagaj and Mostar. There were perhaps commands there and so
20 on. But amongst us there were about 20, 25 families. I don't think there
21 were any soldiers. There were Croats with us. They would have known. We
22 went from house to house. We would have seen them if they had been there
23 I can tell you.
24 MR. STEWART: Thank you so much, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Hasic, you've told us already it comes to this doesn't it
1 between the 1st and the 13th of July, you were strongly concerned to keep
2 a low profile, stay out of the way, avoid being arrested yourself, weren't
4 A. Yes. Yes. When I heard about people going to the market, well,
5 it was July, we didn't have grapes but we had peaches that were rotting.
6 I had tons that were rotting. I can't be precise, but on that day I had
7 left these goods in a garage in the car and I couldn't go to the market.
8 Then my women -- my wife came and said, I should transport the peaches,
9 but I didn't. And I didn't dare to do that as of the 1st of July, because
10 I had heard about people being arrested, vehicles being seized, goods
11 being kept in Capljina. And as of that point in time, naturally I tried
12 not to go to certain places.
13 Q. Mr. Hasic, although you've told us that you did not know yourself
14 at the time, please confirm, it appears that you do now accept from what
15 you have subsequently heard and learnt that there was in fact an attack
16 early on the 13th of July on the installation which is in the vicinity of
17 letter C at the top left-hand corner of your sketch. That's right, isn't
18 it? You have heard and you do know that there was.
19 A. I know about that attack from the barracks in the direction of
20 Capljina, below the cemetery. It's about a kilometre from Domanovici. I
21 have some property down there, but on that occasion I didn't go there.
22 But I heard that mines had been laid on the road and that the army had --
23 the armija had done this. I wasn't there then and I didn't see that, but
24 I know where it is. Later, I saw that area when it had been repaired, but
25 on that day, on the 13th and 14th, well, I don't remember mines having
1 been laid then, because I passed through to Capljina with my colleague.
2 As I have said, I went to fetch the coffins, and the road was practicable.
3 And it was in Domanovici. There was a cemetery about a kilometre away.
4 That's what they said, though. That's what I heard but on the 14th at
5 about 9.00 or 10.00, we set off. Well, it was around 9.00. We set off in
6 the direction of Capljina, and that was on the 14th, and we passed through
7 without any problems. But I do know where this location is, but we left
8 that morning, on the 14th.
9 Q. So let's try and summarise. Do you agree that on the 13th of July
10 and through to the 15th of July there was in fact quite significant
11 fighting going on in or very close to where you lived, by which I mean
12 within a kilometre?
13 A. I left on the 14th, so I didn't hear anything else. But I believe
14 there was some sort of fighting or -- no, in fact I didn't hear about
15 fighting on the 13th or 14th. I was in the camp by the 14th. Anything is
16 possible, but no one told me that these 12 men were killed between the
17 12th and the 13th and thrown into a pit and burnt, that tyres had been
18 thrown in on top of them. That was found out later. But there were these
19 12 people killed, these Croats. But was it on the 14th or the 15th, well,
20 then anything is possible. I was in the camp. I can't say that there was
21 no fighting on the 15th, but my wife didn't tell me anything about people
22 being killed there or about fighting, at least not in my area. As
23 Gubavica and further up there, well, I can't say that that was not the
24 case or that that was the case.
25 Q. How far is Bivolje Brdo from your house?
1 A. Well, it consists of two parts. It's about three kilometres away.
2 Q. I'll rephrase the question. How far from your house is Bivolje
4 A. The nearest point -- there's part of the hill that's not visible,
5 but the close of the house at the time -- well, there is one those closer
6 now because there's a new Croatian settlement. But the closest one is
7 about 200 metres from my fence, perhaps, but under a kilometre.
8 Q. Give us a distance. In 1993, I mean. I'm sorry, I should have
9 made that clearer.
10 A. The closest point would have been a kilometre, or we could say
11 over a kilometre, over 1.000 metres.
12 Q. In your -- this may be my last question but no guarantees. In
13 your statement, and for anybody looking at it it's in the middle of page 3
14 of the English version, you said, "I can also guarantee that there were no
15 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina soldiers in our village."
16 The strictly correct position is this, isn't it, that you can't
17 guarantee. The most you can say is you didn't actually see any with your
18 own eyes; is that right? That's the most you can claim.
19 A. I personally didn't see any soldiers in that area of mine, in that
20 part of the hamlet. I didn't see any members of the armija apart from the
21 people I saw in the morning in those neighbouring houses, the Croatian
22 houses across the road at a distance about 200 or 250 metres from my
23 house. I saw those soldiers in the morning, 6.00, 7.00, or 8.00, it
24 doesn't really matter. And later I didn't see any soldiers who were of
25 the armija or in that part, at least, of my village or in those houses
1 that I went to in the area where my daughters were killed. But further
2 away, well, as I have said, there were these two Croats whom they brought
3 there, and they said that there were these armija soldiers from another
4 place who had come but they left. They were apparently imprisoned, but
5 they were in Meso Hasic house they would sit down with him and then return
6 to a village a little further from Bivolje Brdo or Bivolje hill, perhaps.
7 I spoke to them. I knew them. But I didn't see any other soldiers apart
8 from the soldiers I saw in the morning.
9 Q. Mr. Hasic, thank you for answering my questions.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Hasic --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Hasic, please, when you went to Capljina on
13 the 14th of July, were you stopped anywhere on the road? Were there any
14 road checks or roadblocks?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have said, Rafo Popovic, a
16 Croat and I set off in his lorry. I also had my lorry, but I didn't go
17 alone. He was with me. We didn't have any problems to reach Capljina.
18 It was just when we were in Domanovici. That was on the following day, on
19 the 14th. There were 50 or a hundred men in uniform. They were armed.
20 They were soldiers. They didn't have any vehicles. They were waiting
21 there by the crossroads where we set off for Capljina. That's where they
22 were positioned. And then later, I suppose that's when these people --
23 these 12 people were killed, and then there were these clashes that the
24 gentleman has mentioned. Perhaps that is what happened. But I didn't
25 have any problems to get to Capljina. I stayed in Capljina then, and I
1 can't say anything else as a result. There were no check-points, though,
2 or anything else.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Just to make sure, these some 50 soldiers
4 gathered at the crossroad, were they HVO or ABiH, armija, or HVO, or both?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] HVO soldiers. I know their names.
6 They are familiar people.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome. Thank you, too.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that you knew their
10 names because among the 50 HVO soldiers there were villagers whom you
11 knew. Is that what you're saying?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was the son of this
13 person whose father had been taken to Meho's. His son was at the
14 crossroads, and then there were others. Merdzan, I know him - his mother
15 was from my village; then there was this sister of Popovic's - he
16 approached me. He kissed me and cried, just as I would do. There were
17 two Buntics who arrived in arrived in a vehicle. They were in a car.
18 There were these neighbours from where my daughters were killed.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: There is something which looks strange in the
20 transcript. One reads, "There was this sister of Popovic," and it goes
21 on, "He approached me. He kissed me." Maybe it's a translation problem,
22 but sisters normally are she. Was it a sister's husband or ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Rafo Popovic's sister, the
24 mother of the son whose name was Marko Merdzan. The mother of Merdzan is
25 Popovic's sister, and her son embraced me there and expressed his
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Hvala ljepo.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomasegovic.
4 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no
5 questions. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Does the Prosecution have any
8 MR. KRUGER: No re-examination, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, this completes your
10 testimony. On before of my colleagues, and I myself, I would like to
11 thank you for your assistance, especially in light of the difficult
12 experiences you have had. You have our deepest sympathy for the fate of
13 your family members.
14 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm also sorry that that
16 happened and that perhaps innocent people are victims or were taken to be
17 more responsible than those who were actually responsible. These are
18 inhuman acts, what I experienced. Well, even after all of these
19 experiences, it's difficult. There are other people. As to what they
20 did, it's inhuman. It hasn't been proven. There are many who are highly
21 educated. Perhaps they were educated, act inappropriately, how should I
22 put it?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, could you escort the
24 witness out the courtroom.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wish you all the best.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, according to the
3 weather report the sun will be shining in Sarajevo tomorrow. The day
4 after tomorrow it will be cloudy, and on Friday it will snow. Given that
5 the sun will be shining tomorrow, will it be possible for the plane to
6 take off? And I should point out that in fact it was foggy today and it
7 was 1 degree Celsius in the morning and 15 degrees in the afternoon.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Well -- thank you for that, Mr. President. At this
9 point we're actually now hoping that the weather is similarly clear in
10 Zagreb because the witnesses are on their way to Zagreb to be flown from
11 that airport. I can again report at this point that we clearly have two
12 witnesses scheduled for tomorrow. The witnesses that are travelling
13 tomorrow should be available to testify on Thursday. We don't have at
14 this point any witnesses on Wednesday. I anticipate that the witness
15 that's currently scheduled for Thursday will be testifying on Monday of
16 next week, and we will take -- I'll have a meeting with my team tomorrow
17 morning and make some decisions about how we're going to squeeze an extra
18 witness into next week. Most likely we will make a decision that one or
19 more of the witnesses scheduled for next week might be a 92 ter witness
20 rather than a viva voce witness, but I should have some additional
21 information for the Trial Chamber and the parties tomorrow when we meet.
22 But again, the two witnesses for tomorrow as scheduled will be testifying.
23 There will be no witnesses available on Wednesday. We will then have the
24 Wednesday witnesses on Thursday and the Thursday witness on Monday of next
25 week, assuming that the weather in Zagreb holds.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Any other issues to raise as we still have some time left?
3 Mr. Mundis, any other issues? Defence counsel?
4 Very well. In that case, we will resume our work tomorrow at the
5 hearing that starts at 2.15 p.m.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.38 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 28th day
8 of November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.