1 Tuesday, 27 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Misetic, are you ready to continue.
12 MR. MISETIC: I am, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 56, I would like to remind you that you're
14 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
15 your testimony; that is, that you will speak the truth, the whole truth,
16 and nothing but the truth.
17 Mr. Misetic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS P-056 [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning again, Witness 56.
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. I'd like to ask you a few questions about a paragraph in your
25 witness statement which has now been marked as P286. It is the witness
1 statement from 1996. Do you have a copy of that in front of you?
2 A. [No interpretation]
3 Yes, I've found it.
4 Q. Thank you. I don't know if the page numbering is going to the
5 same. But in the English version, it is the bottom of page 7 and the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, from your questioning yesterday, we
22 returned into open session when we adjourned.
23 MR. MISETIC: I need to go into private session then, Your
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We turn into private session.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes. I apologise.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 3660-3688 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Rather have a break, perhaps, first.
4 Let me just check one second.
5 Yes. We will have a break until 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 Before we continue I would like to request - and I apologies, I
11 really do - that the documents D261, 62, and 63 should be admitted under
13 JUDGE ORIE: D261, D262, and D263 are admitted, under seal.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Although I said that we could pass to the public session, I would
17 like to remain on private session just for two more documents, and then
18 we can continue on the public session.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We return into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 3690-3692 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please now
17 show us Exhibit P190; this is a map.
18 Q. While we're waiting for the map to appear on our monitor, in view
19 of your service, I assume, but please correct me if I'm wrong, you were
20 familiar with the area of the Drnis-Benkovac municipalities, that area of
22 A. Well, yes, you could say that, yes.
23 Q. Now I'm going to ask you to assist us and the Trial Chamber
24 regarding something that was unclear from previous hearings, the
25 existence of two locales with the same name: The village of Gracac
1 the town of Gracac
2 My question is: Do you know where the village of Gracac
3 located, near Skradin?
4 A. Yes. I know where that village is.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please zoom in
6 on the lower middle section of the map, please. Lower central part,
7 perhaps a little bit lower on the map.
8 Near the town to of Skradin which is located a little bit to the
9 ride of the Prokon lake which is marked in blue, so it's the lower left
10 part of the map. So can you please zoom in on that section of map. Now
11 this is in the middle in the lower middle section. A little bit more,
12 please, and can you zoom in on that area a little bit more.
13 This is wonderful. Thank you.
14 Q. Sir, you can see in the middle of the map the town called
15 Skradin. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. When you go in the direction of north, north-west, if you follow
18 the road there, do you see where the village of Gracac
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Would the Chamber perhaps like
21 the witness to mark the village in blue, and then we can have this
22 admitted into evidence. I would suggest this be done in order for us to
23 clarify that particular situation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But I do understand there's a town of Gracac
25 village of Gracac. Why not agree on that it is there, find it on the
1 map, and then why ask questions about it from witnesses. I mean, this is
2 a matter which, I take it, is not contested, apart from which witness at
3 any later stage refers to the town or to the village. That's, of course,
4 another matter. But merely the location of a village and a town, it is a
5 waste of time to bother a witness with that. Rather ask --
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I will follow your guidance. My
7 only purpose was, although the witness is from that area, so that he
8 could confirm that the geographical structure in that way.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on. If the parties agree that there's a
10 town of Gracac and a village of Gracac
11 always be aware that if someone talks about Gracac, that we have to
12 clearly distinguish between whether it is town or village.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay. I'll move on.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
18 Q. In your earlier testimony, you spoke about civil protection.
19 I'll go through this subject very quickly.
20 Can you confirm that the system of civil protection was
21 positioned within the Ministry of Defence?
22 A. Yes. That's -- that's what the regulations were.
23 Q. The commander was Mr. Milivoj Dondur. Correct?
24 A. In the area of Knin, it was Milivoj Dondur, right.
25 Q. In your statement from 2000, you mentioned that seven to ten days
1 before Operation Storm began, in the northern barracks, there was a
2 meeting to prepare the evacuation plan. Can you confirm?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Veso Kozomara, commander of the
5 7th Dalmatia
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also mentioned that, at that time, well-informed civilians
8 were leaving Knin. Can you clarify?
9 A. At that time, this situation arose primarily because of the
10 advance of the Croatian army in the part of the front line leaning
11 towards Grahovo, and the population of the town of Knin itself and the
12 surrounding area closer to Grahovo, I mean primarily Strmica and Golubic,
13 gradually began to pull out into safer areas because the population of
14 Knin was originally from those surrounding villages. And if somebody had
15 the opportunity to go to their native village, to go anywhere from this
16 town that was expected to be attacked, they did.
17 Q. Thank you for this answer.
18 So, from your statement, I see that on the 5th, there was a
19 massive evacuation of the population, and you described these columns of
20 people going towards Srb.
21 Can you confirm that among the civilians in those convoys, there
22 were also soldiers of the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
23 all their weaponry, tanks, Howitzers, cannons, rifles, and military
24 vehicles. I'm referring to your statement from 1996.
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. You could say that perhaps somebody left behind some
2 weapons, maybe a tank or another weapon, but there was military equipment
3 in the convoy.
4 Q. When you arrived in Srb, which was an assembly point for the
5 people, can you confirm that during those days, around 2.500 to 3.000
6 soldiers of the army of RSK gathered there and wanted to form a new line
7 of defence in the canyon, in the gorge, as said in the book of Rade
9 A. I read that book, but I thought that he was not reliable enough
10 to write such a book. He was not the right person to write something
11 like that.
12 Q. Just one clarification. In your statement of 2000 --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
8 JUDGE ORIE: If you want, let's turn into private session.
9 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, in your statement of 2000, page 5, last
11 paragraph, you mentioned Special Units of the police of the Republic of
12 Serbian Krajina; page 5, last paragraph.
13 And you also said, at the same time, that those units were the
14 same as military troops, only in different uniforms, and that it was a
15 consequence of the Vance-Owen Plan forbidding Republic of Serbian Krajina
16 to have its own army.
17 One clarification first. I suppose it was a mistake. You meant
18 the Vance-Owen Plan [as interpreted], because the Vance-Owen Plan refers
19 to Bosnia
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it true that the Vance plan envisaged four UNPA zones, the
22 withdrawal of the JNA from the Republic of Croatia
23 refugees, and demilitarisation. That was the gist of the Vance Plan,
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So, this circumstance, that the army of the Republic of Serbian
2 Krajina, in fact, existed and that Special Units of the police were part
3 of that army, wasn't it a travesty of the plan?
4 A. Well, at that time, as I said, the Special Units of the police
5 were actually the army troops, only dressed in different uniforms.
6 Nothing else. Therefore, I would agree with what you said.
7 Q. Thank you. We have two short topics remaining; cooperation with
8 the civilian police of the United Nations, UNCIVPOL.
9 Again, trying to avoid identifying answers, could you describe
10 this cooperation? What was the procedure for contacts between your
11 police force and the UNCIVPOL?
12 A. From the moment the members of UNPROFOR and UNCIVPOL arrived in
13 May 1992, and all the way up to 1995, I can say that the cooperation
14 between the police of Krajina and them was good. Sometimes we went on
15 joint patrols in certain areas when it was in the interests of the local
16 population, and we informed one another of certain matters relevant to
17 the overall safety and security of people in that area. We would go to
18 their offices, they would come to ours, we had joint meetings discussing
19 all outstanding problems, et cetera.
20 Q. Thank you. We understood that; however, what I'm really
21 interested in is the --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm sorry.
23 Ms. Gustafson.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. Can we move
25 into private session.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 3702-3724 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
5 Witness 56, since the Bench has no further questions for you,
6 this concludes your testimony in this Court. The Chamber would like to
7 thank you for coming a long way and answering all the questions put to
8 you by the parties and by the Bench.
9 I wish you a safe trip home again. Perhaps you'd stay for a few
10 seconds, in view of the protective measures.
11 We'll have a break. Then, I take it, that the Prosecution is
12 ready to call its next witness. No protective measures for the next
14 Then I have one scheduling issue which I would just like to
15 address very briefly.
16 For the witness to come after the next witness, no protective
17 measures either? That's the witness who is available only on Thursday,
18 at least that's what --
19 MR. TIEGER: I believe that's correct, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No protective measures.
21 MR. TIEGER: That's my understanding.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Nevertheless, I will try to be as cautious as
23 can be, because sometimes matters change. This is not an invitation, by
24 the way.
25 For the next witness with whom we'll start after the break, how
1 much time would the Prosecution need? I think it was scheduled for one
2 hour and a half, is that correct Mr. Russo, or am I mistaken?
3 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I believe the witness was originally
4 scheduled for two and a half hours, but I think I can do it in two.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You can do it in two. How much time would the
6 Defence need for the next witness to come, the next witness being
7 Witness - let me just see - Mr. Hill.
8 MR. KAY: I will be under half an hour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, about two to three hours, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Two to three hours.
12 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, half an hour to an hour, depending
13 on what happens in front me.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That brings altogether three and a half hours plus
15 two hours, so that is five and a half hours. We have available tomorrow
16 four hours. We will have able today another 55 minutes.
17 Yes, Mr. Russo.
18 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I will do my best to cut my examination
19 shorter than two hours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking this because the witness to come after
21 the witness who we'll see later this morning, that's Witness 135, I'm
22 informed that this witness is available only on Thursday.
23 Now from what I understand, the Prosecution would need with that
24 witness approximately one hour, if I'm well-informed. I also was
25 informed that two of the three Defence teams would not cross-examine, at
1 least at this moment for Witness 135, do not expect that they will have
2 any questions in cross-examination. I see this is true from Markac and
3 Cermak Defence.
4 Mr. Kehoe, how much time do you think you will need. We are
5 talking about Witness 135.
6 MR. KEHOE: I am familiar. Judge, I have been concentrating on
7 this witness that is coming to the bar first, but I do believe that I can
8 complete that in the Thursday time-frame.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the Chamber will not prepare for any
10 additional time Thursday in the afternoon, expecting that the Prosecution
11 will stick to its one hour and expecting that you'll have sufficient time
12 until quarter to 2.00.
13 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That is on the record. I will be strict in this
15 respect. No five minutes because it would mean to recall the witness
16 once he has travelled back to where he comes from, and that would be for
17 just a couple of minutes just a matter of discipline and efficiency.
18 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you again, and sorry for bothering you with
20 matters which are not relevant for you.
21 We will have a break and resume at five minutes to 1.00 sharp.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, just a brief observation in
1 relation to the previous witness.
2 Mr. Mikulicic, that a statement which was put to the witness was
3 marked for identification. We have had similar situations a couple of
4 time the. We have had it in relation to Mr. Tchernetsky who was on the
5 list of the Prosecution. At this stage, it was not a real problem there.
6 We also had it in relation to some statements taken by the Defence which
7 were put to Mr. Gojanovic; for example, D201 and 202. That is also where
8 the village of Gracac in those statements appear, rather than in the
9 testimony and Mr. Misetic had sought clarification on the issue village
10 or town, already.
11 Now the witness statement which was MFI'd this morning is of a
12 witness who is not, or at least not anymore, on the list of witnesses for
13 the Prosecution. So the Chamber will just wait and see whether this
14 witness ever appears and whether this witness will ever attest. I can't
15 say call him as a witness in the Defence case, because I don't know
16 whether there will be a Defence case. So, therefore, the Chamber just
17 waits and sees what will happen.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. I appreciate that, Your
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
21 Then, Mr. Russo, I take it, it will you who examines the next
23 MR. RUSSO: That's correct, Your Honour. And the Prosecution
24 will call John Geoffrey William Hill, Witness 123.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Russo.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo, perhaps a very practical way of
3 proceeding is not to ask attestations on each separate statement but
4 perhaps put them all, ask whether this is the testimony, and then at the
5 end ask him whether for all statements, because there is a quite a lot of
6 them, isn't there?
7 MR. RUSSO: That's correct, Your Honour. That was my intention,
8 and there are also will be a few corrections which I'll lead him through.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Good afternoon, Mr. Hill. I take it that you can hear me in a
11 language that you understand.
12 Mr. Hill, before you give in evidence this court, the Rules of
13 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that you
14 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 May I invite to you make that solemn declaration.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
17 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hill. Please be seated.
19 You will first be examined, although from what I understand very
20 much on the basis of statements already given, by Mr. Russo who is
21 counsel for the Prosecution.
22 Please proceed.
23 WITNESS: JOHN GEOFFREY WILLIAM HILL
24 Examination by Mr. Russo:
25 Q. Mr. Hill, Will you please state your full name for the record?
1 A. John Geoffrey William Hill.
2 Q. And do you recall giving four statements to the ICTY: One dated
3 23 August 1996
4 1st November 1999
5 A. I do.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
7 questions an answer for the interpretation. Thank you.
8 MR. RUSSO: Yes, and I apologise to the interpreters.
9 If I could have the assistance of the court usher,
10 Mr. President, Your Honours, I would like to give the witness hard copies
11 of his statements.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 MR. RUSSO:
14 Q. Mr. Hill, did you have a chance to review all of your statements
15 before coming to court today?
16 A. I have.
17 Q. And in the course after that review, did you find a number of
18 corrections to be made to a few of those statements?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. I'd like you to take you through those corrections if I could.
21 Let turn to your first statement page 3?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Can we get them in on the screen so that we can
23 following the --
24 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Your Honour. That would be 65 ter 4913.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. 65 ter numbers are usually not working, but
1 for Mr. Registrar that would be sufficient.
2 MR. RUSSO: And, Your Honours, that would be, on the actual
3 statement, page 0042-3175 by the ERN.
4 Q. Mr. Hill, looking towards the sort of middle of the page, the
5 third section there, that paragraph that begins, "at the end of July,"
6 the second paragraph indicates: On the 31st of July, there was some
7 shelling of Strmica where a Kenyan company HQ was located."
8 Do you have a correction to the location where the Kenyan company
9 HQ was located and where these events happened?
10 A. That was in Vrlika, by Strmica.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
13 THE WITNESS: May I correct?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Hill, the Chamber always invites everyone
15 to be as sufficient as possible. This has resulted in the speed of
16 speech in which I don't know yet who is going to win, Mr. Russo or you.
17 But the time I took is in order to give an opportunity for the
18 interpreters to translate what you said.
19 THE WITNESS: Okay.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
21 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Hill, if we could now move to your second statement.
23 MR. RUSSO: And this is 65 ter 4914, and this would be at the
24 page 0057-7643.
25 And if we could turn to 0057-7643, it would be at line 9.
1 Q. And at line 9, you indicate: "Then there was on a particular
2 day, it was close to the 5th, probably the Monday or the Tuesday," where
3 you give a discussion of shelling which occurred in Strmica.
4 Was the Monday or Tuesday, was that intended to be before
5 Operation Storm?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. And the 5th then being actually the 4th of August. Is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 And if we could stay with that statement, move to page 7655, and
12 beginning at line 20, where you indicate: "Then around supper time, I
13 was sent. I took a couple of APCs, and I was going into town to get some
14 patients at the hospital because apparently there were civilians at the
16 Do you have a correction about the reason that you were actually
17 going into town that day?
18 A. I don't recall the reason I was sent to go downtown at that day
19 at that time.
20 Q. And you don't recall it being to the hospital?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay.
23 And if we could move now to page 7698, and beginning at line 19,
24 where you discuss a town that you saw burning, and you call it Pecare,
25 P-e-c-a-r-e, was that actually intended to refer to Pecane, P-e-c-a-n-e?
1 A. Yes, it was.
2 Q. And there are a number of references to the name of that town
3 going all the way to 7702, and all of those references are supposed to
4 reference to Pecane. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And with regard to that same incident that is reported there, you
7 make reference to the civilian police being the people that you saw in
8 that town. Was that intended to refer to the civilian police or to a
9 different type of police?
10 A. That's in reference to the Special Police, the dark blue uniforms
11 with the armoured vehicles with the cannons that were dark blue.
12 Q. And, finally, moving to page 7721 and beginning at approximately
13 line 5, where you are having a discussion regarding which units were in
14 Operation Storm coming through Obrovac; and, again, you refer to the
15 civilian police. Is that also intended to refer to the Special Police?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Okay. And those references continue on to the second page, 7722,
18 at line 10, where it also indicates civilian police.
19 The line says: "A total of six, one is civilian police." Was
20 that also supposed to refer to the Special Police?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Now, Mr. Hill, with those corrections that we've just identified,
24 as a whole, are the four statements that you made to the ICTY true to the
25 best of your knowledge?
1 A. Yes, they are.
2 Q. And do those statements, given the corrections, accurately
3 reflect what you said?
4 A. Yes, they do.
5 Q. And if you were examined on those same matters here today in
6 court, given your corrections, would your answers be the same?
7 A. They would.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, at this point, I will tender the four
10 exhibits. That would be 65 ter number 4913, which is the 23 August 1996
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we continue, I encouraged Mr. Russo to
13 take a bit of an abbreviated route to tendering. We have not gone
14 through all the signatures and all the pages, et cetera. If there would
15 be any challenge on what the witness just said relates to what we had on
16 paper and which is uploaded into e-court, then I'd like to know it now.
17 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, no, we have no objection. As a matter
18 of fact, just to expedite matters, if Mr. Russo could just offer these
19 four in, certainly it would move this along.
20 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that is the same for the other
22 MR. KAY: No objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then we have, Mr. Russo, we have, in your 92 ter
24 request or submission motion, we have two questions. The first is about
25 the statements. We'll deal with those first.
1 Witness statement dated 23 August 1996, Mr. Registrar that would
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P291, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I've seen from the written submissions no
5 objections, so P291 is admitted into evidence.
6 The next one, Mr. Russo, I take it, is the witness statement
7 dated 28th, 29th of May.
8 65 ter number 4914, Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P229, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: P229, no objections, therefore admitted into
12 Third one is the 1st of November, 1999 statement, 65 ter 4915.
13 No objections.
14 Mr. Registrar, that would be?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P293, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P293 is admitted into evidence.
17 Last is witness statement dated the 16th of November, 2007
18 no objections from, as I take it, from the written submissions.
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit P294, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
22 Then there was another request; that is, to add 14 photographs to
23 your 65 ter exhibit list. From the written submissions, I learned that
24 none of the Defence teams object to it. Therefore, hereby the request to
25 add the 14 photographs as specified in your request to the 65 ter list is
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President. At this time, I would like
4 to read a 92 ter summary for the witness.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please do so.
6 Mr. Hill, you are aware that the reason for reading out a summary
7 is that the public knows what we find in your statements.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Mr. Geoff Hill was the commander of the United Nations Military
11 Police in Sector South from June until December 1995. Prior to Operation
12 Storm, he liaised with the RSK minister of the interior and chief of
13 police in Knin, and worked to maintain the security of UN personnel
14 throughout Sector South, and to prevent hijacks and theft the UN
16 He was present in Knin during the artillery attacks on 4 and 5
17 August 1995, and observed the shelling of Knin from the UNHCR compound.
18 After Operation Storm, he managed to leave the UN HQ compound during the
19 HV blockade and gain access to many areas in Sector South where he
20 observed shelling damage and also witnessed HV soldiers, Special Police,
21 and civilian police engaged in looting or acts of destruction. He also
22 discovered several dead bodies and evidence of killings on the road used
23 by the Serbs to flee the Krajina.
24 Mr. Hill also gained the trust of a HV military police commander
25 named Ivan Juric, who indicated that he was in charge of all military
1 police units in the territory of the former RSK, including their
2 anti-terrorist unit, and who provided Mr. Hill with information regarding
3 the conduct of Operation Storm and the fact that all Serbs in the
4 territory of the former RSK were considered terrorists.
5 That concludes my summary, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Hill, I'd like to begin with the situation in Knin
10 immediately prior to Operation Storm. If you could refer, please, to
11 your first statement, and that is P291 at page 3.
12 And in the middle of that page, you indicate that you didn't see
13 any heavy ARSK military equipment in Knin. Can you tell the Court what,
14 if any, preparations you saw being made for a defence of Knin immediately
15 prior to Operation Storm?
16 A. Yes. I didn't see any extra activities that would be referring
17 to a defence of the town.
18 Q. And to your knowledge, was there any organised removal of
19 civilians prior to Operation Storm?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And to your knowledge, did any local civilian employees not show
22 up for work before Operation Storm?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Let's turn now to the shelling that happened on 4 August.
25 If you could please explain to the Court what you personally
1 observed or heard of the shelling on that day.
2 A. On that morning at 0500 exactly, an artillery barrage started of
3 Knin, in what I believe was from the south and the east. It was hundreds
4 and hundreds and hundreds of artillery rounds. I immediately moved with
5 the platoon I had on the grass to the back of the MP building, taking two
6 MPs out of building and sending them up to their bunkers. We stayed in
7 the bunker. It was for the escort platoon. There was two major salvos.
8 I believe one was about 30 minutes, long followed by a pause which I had
9 believed would be for them to reload to restock, and then another 30
11 It was hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of roads. I was in the
12 bunker with the platoon this way to me. The doors were open
13 approximately this wide, and I could see out over the town and there was
14 orange glows and original bursts from the air-bursts of the artillery.
15 That went on for approximately 90 minutes, and there was enough of a lull
16 that I could then move up to the top of the camp where my MP platoon was
17 to my bunker. My bunker is on the edge of the camp with the ARSK camp,
18 and I'm looking directly into Knin.
19 The shelling continued. It was getting to the point where we
20 could listen to how close the round was coming in and observe. I took
21 some photos of the town being shelled. At that point -- or during that
22 time, a mortar round impacted the building directly over my head on the
23 corner. A subsequent UNMO CBA or CDA was done to say that is was an
24 82-millimetre mortar from the ARSK. And a rifle propelled grenade passed
25 the entrance the bunker and detonated approximately six feet off the
1 ground back to my left, and blew myself and Corporal - I don't recall his
2 name - down the stairs. We lost helmet, and we lost our weapons.
3 And at that point, the shelling abated to the point where it was
4 just harassment, rather than a massive salvo of hundreds and hundreds and
5 hundreds of rounds.
6 JUDGE ORIE: For the record, Mr. Russo, the opening the witness
7 indicated was approximately 20 to 25 centimetres, which --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The two doors I left open so that I
9 could see out.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You're gestures do not appear on the transcript.
11 That's the reason I'm --
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
13 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Hill, you mentioned what you could see through the doors of
15 this container, and that you could see air-bursts and I think you said
16 glowing. If you could explain to the Court what air-burst is and how you
17 know what it is?
18 A. I was a reserve artillery officer before becoming a military
19 police officer in the Canadian army. There is three types that you can
20 use in artillery. When you want to attack and destroy a position on the
21 ground, you use PD, point detonating. The round goes off when it hits.
22 If it's reinforced, then you want the round go into the ground and then
23 detonate. It is called delay.
24 The third type is called air-burst. It is designed to go off, I
25 believe - you can set it different heights - but approximately 20 metres
1 above the ground. And it will spread the shrapnel over a very large
2 area. It is designed to kill troops in the open. An example is the
3 typical trench you might see in World War One is very deep. If an
4 artillery rounds hits the ground beside the trench, the soldiers are
5 safe. If it detonates above the trench and spreads the shrapnel out and
6 they are unprotected, which they are, then it would cause an awful lot of
7 injuries and death. This was occurring over Knin by me seeing the
8 original glows from the bursts of the air-burst artillery.
9 Q. Thank you. And continuing on that first --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo and Mr. Hill, I don't know yet who is
11 going to win, but you're both in a good position, and the interpreters
12 and court reporters ask you to slow down.
13 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President. My apologies to the
14 interpreters. I will make an effort to slow down.
15 Q. Again, Mr. Hill, I think on the same page, and I think also
16 during the summary you just gave us, you used the term "harassment fire"
17 which you indicated was the kind of shelling that was occurring after the
18 initial salvos.
19 Can you please explain to the Court what you mean by harassment
21 A. It's a term, I believe, first used by the Americans in World
22 War II, and then later in Vietnam
23 force, they are putting artillery rounds into the area, not in massive
24 salvos of hundreds and hundreds of rounds, but perhaps one, two, three,
25 four rounds, a break, another round, another round. So it's enough that
1 the enemy is aware they are being attacked. It limits movement, it
2 limits resupply, and it basically is harassing the enemy rather than an
3 all out offensive, like very earlier in the morning where there are
4 hundreds and hundreds of rounds.
5 So, in the morning, there was that initial attack, hundreds and
6 hundreds and hundreds. It abated to this through the day; and then later
7 in the evens prior to 2300, it picked up again to be the second highest
8 level of shelling for the day in Knin.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. RUSSO: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could please pull up 65 ter
11 number 4899.
12 Q. Mr. Hill, do you recognise what's in that picture that?
13 A. That is my accommodation at the very top of our base.
14 Overlooking, to the right of the photograph, this would a straight shot
15 looking over Knin; and on the far corner below is where my bunker was for
16 those two days.
17 Q. If you were standing on the top of that bunker, what would your
18 view be?
19 A. The town of Knin
20 Q. And did you take this photograph?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would like to have this admitted.
23 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P295, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P295 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honours, if we could just get an indication
3 of when the picture was taken. I don't know if that was --
4 JUDGE ORIE: That is not against admission but an additional
6 Mr. Hill, could you tell us when this picture was taken.
7 THE WITNESS: I don't recall, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Approximately, during your stay there?
9 THE WITNESS: Absolutely. It would have been during the month of
11 JUDGE ORIE: Prior to or after Operation Storm?
12 THE WITNESS: I couldn't tell that you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Mr. Registrar, if we could now have 65 ter 4900.
16 Q. Mr. Hill, looking at that photograph, I take it, was that taken
17 on the 4th of August?
18 A. Yes, it was. Taken from my bunker, and I believe that's the POL
19 compound area of Knin being shelled.
20 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'd move for the admission of 65
21 ter 4900.
22 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
23 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any observations, Mr. Registrar?
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P296, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P296 is admitted into evidence.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Russo.
2 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Hill, moving now forward to the afternoon of the 4th of
4 August, and staying on the same paragraph. I believe it is the third
5 paragraph down, you indicate that you found a piece of a mortar shell
6 inside the camp which you later showed to someone else. This is on your
7 first statement, the third full paragraph towards the bottom.
8 A. Page 3?
9 Q. Page 4. Can you please explain to the Court what it is that you
10 found and what you learned about it?
11 A. Walking back from the orders group of 1400 to my office, I found
12 a very large piece of shrapnel. It was quite different than the shrapnel
13 we had found before, which was from artillery. It was very thick and
14 very big, perhaps three-eighths to half of an inch thick and five to six
15 inches long, I didn't know what it was. I took it to Master Bombardier
16 Parlee, who is a gunner, and asked what it was, and he said it was a
17 casing to a 120-millimetre mortar round.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, moving to the next paragraph down on that same
19 page, that's the final paragraph. You describe an incident or something
20 that you witnessed in Knin which you called "counter-battery fire"
21 occurring within your view. Can you please explain that incident to the
23 A. As the bombardment of the town abated to the point where it was
24 what I would call harassment, I would watch them shell with my
25 binoculars. On a ridge on, I believe, east of Knin, I saw what I believe
1 to be puffs coming from HVR artillery on the lee side of the ridge. At
2 that point, an impact of six to eight rounds came in a direct straight
3 line, called the linear, on the ridge. From my artillery training,
4 normally when you fire artillery, artillery will land in a group. But
5 what you can do for a linear is you make it so that you fire the rounds
6 in a straight, long line. It is designed that if you have, for example,
7 a trench system the top of a hill, you can put the rounds into the trench
8 system or a line of guns. So.
9 I concluded there was a line of HV guns on the lee side, and the
10 Serbs had struck with one to rounds per guns. So it was approximately
11 six to eight
12 exactly in a line, and they did that three times. I was quite impressed
13 by the capability of the guns to be able to hit that well in such a
14 straight line.
15 MR. RUSSO: Mr. Registrar, if we could please pull up 65
16 ter 5170.
17 Q. Mr. Hill, do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph?
18 A. That's the area where I saw the counter-battery fire on that day.
19 Q. And can I take that to mean that the area circled in red is where
20 you saw that?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, at this time, I would move for admission
23 of 65 ter 5170.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Just for my orientation, could you tell us from what
25 direction and from where this picture was taken?
1 THE WITNESS: This picture, I don't know, I did not take it. But
2 it would have been -- the ridge was east from my view from my bunker on
3 that day.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Russo, but, please correct me when I'm
5 wrong, I see at least a railway complex, approximately on the right part
6 of the photograph, just below the middle. It gives me the impression
7 that this photograph was taken from approximately the area of the
8 fortress or the castle, and then it would be approximately a
9 north-easterly direction. Is that correct?
10 I'm just thinking allowed so that I do not remain with a totally
11 inadequate understanding of what this photograph presents us. I see no
12 comments or no objections.
13 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, you are correct. The photo was taken
14 from the castle.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 Number to be assigned.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit P297.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
19 Then P297 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Mr. Hill, you mentioned earlier that sometime later in the
22 evening, approximately around 2300 hours, the shelling picked up in
23 intensity. I'd like to know, prior to that time, did you learn whether
24 or not the shell would go continue on the following day?
25 A. At an orders group at 2100 hours in the headquarters, we were
1 told that the HV would attack again at 0500 hours the next day.
2 Q. And by the time that you learned that, at 2100 hours, had the
3 town of Knin been shelled for pretty much the entire day up to that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And moving now to the time that you said the shelling picked up
7 at about 2300 hours, can you tell the Court what you were doing at about
8 2300 hours?
9 A. I was summonsed to the front gate of the camp where I met the
10 Chief of Staff, Colonel Leslie, at the time. General Forand, our
11 commander, had decided that he would take in the Serb refugees. They had
12 been accumulating at the gate throughout the day, seeking refuge from the
13 shelling. At that point, there was in excess of 300. General Forand
14 directed they would come in. The task was given to me. Colonel Leslie
15 left. I used my escort platoon and my MP platoon, and we brought all the
16 refugees in, searched them, lodged them in, I believe, one of the bars on
17 base, as well as an auditorium and a gym; then began the process of
18 searching, taking them to meals, putting a wire compound around which
19 later eventually rose to over 850 and half our camp.
20 Q. Can you tell the Court, starting at 2300 hours, how long it took
21 you to process everyone in on that night?
22 A. Until approximately 0230 hours.
23 Q. Was there shelling continuing during this entire period?
24 A. Yes. The shelling had picked up. After I had given the tasks to
25 all the individuals, I sent down on the steps of the headquarters
1 building to have a cigarette. And I'd found another piece of shrapnel in
2 the compound and I remember thinking with all of the shelling that was
3 going on, we were in an open courtyard where my men were dealing with the
4 refugees. I remember thinking that it was all it took was one artillery
5 round in had a courtyard and most of my unit would be killed.
6 Q. Mr. Hill, can you give the Court an idea of what the makeup of
7 what this group of refugees was?
8 A. Women, children, old men, old ladies. There were some
9 military-aged individuals in it. Basically, people that have come from
10 the town. They had some bags, some personal belongs as they came in.
11 Q. Did you find weapons on any of them?
12 A. Found one AK, one Russian grenade, and several knives on
13 individuals that we searched.
14 Q. Thank you. Now If we can move to the following day, the 5th of
15 August, and if you could tell the Court, again, what you personally
16 observed or heard of the shelling on that day?
17 A. At approximately 0510, the shelling started again, same as the
18 4th, in extremely large volumes, hundreds and hundreds of round, slightly
19 less than the bombardment on the morning of the 4th, throughout the town
20 of Knin.
21 Q. Now, in your first statement, at page 5, in the third full
22 paragraph, you mention an incident where an artillery round impacted at
23 the corner of the UN compound. Can you explain that to the Court?
24 A. I was at the main gate, seeing how the processing of refugees was
25 happening. It was an ongoing process. As they came to the gate, they
1 were admitted, they were searched, and interned. At approximately, an
2 artillery round --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please slow down a bit.
4 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps resume there. Your answer started
6 with: "I was at the main gate, seeing how the processing of refugees was
7 happening. It was an ongoing process. As they came to the gate, they
8 were admitted, they were searched," and then what did you say after that?
9 THE WITNESS: Interned.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Then, please, continue slowly with your answer.
11 THE WITNESS: This was approximately 0930 hours. While talking
12 to my commander, General Forand, an artillery round hit the wire at the
13 corner of our camp. General Forand instructed me to go and check what
14 had occurred. I left the camp with a number of soldiers. I got to the
15 T-intersection, just outside the camp. I had also brought an OT-64 with
16 me, and I saw six individuals who had been killed. Four were wounded, a
17 mixture of civilian and military - I do not recall the exact mix - laying
18 on the ground on that road from the intersection, a little up past the
20 I went back into the camp. I requested an engineer, a Canadian
21 engineer, to go and clear the bodies of any potential booby traps. Then
22 at that point, I was tasked by General Forand to set up a patrol within
23 the camp, because the Jordanian troops were not going into their fighting
24 positions. They were staying in their bunkers. My soldiers were to go
25 around and get them in their firing positions.
1 I later learned that the bodies were all bagged by the
2 individuals that went out with me. All the weapons, grenade, rockets
3 were taken offer the soldiers who were ARSK, and lodged in my cell area.
4 And that's the last dealing I had with that.
5 MR. RUSSO: Thank you.
6 Mr. Registrar, if we could please have 65 ter 4912.
7 Q. Mr. Hill, can you describe this photograph for the Court, please?
8 A. At the T-interpretation in front of our camp, one road leads to
9 the right into Knin, and one out. This is a long building. This
10 building was behind those soldiers when they were killed by the artillery
11 round, and that is an example of how the shrapnel from that round had
12 spread out over the street. So I took that picture to document it.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would like to have 65 ter 4912
16 MR. KEHOE: No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P298, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P298 is admitted into evidence.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. RUSSO: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Mr. Hill, you indicated that the bodies at the intersection were
23 bagged by some of the people that you had gone out with. Do you know
24 what happened to those bodies later on?
25 A. They were bagged in the black body-bags that we had and put by
1 the side of the road, across from the camp on a road leading upwards out
2 of Knin. I was told that HV, when they were martialing to go into Knin
3 for the last night, fired AKs into the bodies after opening the bags, and
4 that urinated and defecated on the bodies.
5 At a later date, the bodies were there for quite some time. I
6 recall seeing them with the bags opened, and one body in particular had
7 been -- had feces on the body and the bodies shot, even though the bodies
8 died or the cause of death was the artillery round.
9 Q. Thank you. At some point later in the day, in your statement,
10 you indicate that the HV entered the town -- or, actually, that they had
11 come to the UN compound.
12 Can you describe for the Court how they came to the compound?
13 A. This is the first time that they came?
14 Q. Yes. When was the first time you saw them?
15 A. It was around noon
16 camp, where the Serb or ARSK barracks were. They arrived with three
17 tanks, T-54, 55 -- I'm sorry, six tanks, T-54, 55, and three APCs, T-80s,
18 with troops on foot. We talked to them. General Leslie -- they wanted
19 to come into the camp and take the refugees, and I'm sorry, Colonel
20 Leslie, at the time, was negotiating. He eventually negotiated that the
21 Croats would stay out of the camp.
22 The Croats told us that "We must stay in the camp." I was there
23 discussing with the soldiers. Two of them were Canadians. One was on
24 top of a tank. I talked to him and asked him how the offensive had gone.
25 They said they took 30 hours to take Drnis, and then it only took five
1 from there to Knin.
2 I asked what they were going to do. He said they were going to
3 kill all the Serb. The other individual, who was from, I believe,
5 because he spoke good English, what he was doing there, and he said he
6 had come back to fight against the Serbs and that he had been waiting for
7 this since 1945. He was approximately 22 years old.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 Now, Mr. Hill, your -- do you know what unit of the HV they
10 belonged to?
11 A. I believe this was the Pumas.
12 Q. Why do you believe that?
13 A. By their patches, they were known as the Puma Brigade.
14 Q. And referring to your second statement this time, that would be
15 P292, I believe, at page 0057-7655. That is, again, beginning at
16 line 20, where you describe trying to get into the town of Knin. Can you
17 tell the Court about that?
18 A. Around supper time, I took two OT-64 and two M-113 APCs to go
19 into town, to try to get back any refugees that we could find. We went
20 down the road to the T-intersection, where that building was I showed
21 with the damage; turned right and got almost down to the gas station.
22 There was one T-54 tank in front of us. They started to move the tank,
23 but then a commander came, either a captain or a major HV. And he got
24 extremely agitated, and I said we were going into town. We were UN, we
25 were trying to find refugees. He absolutely refused, he said it was
1 forbidden, he put tank across the road, he was quite angry, and he
2 ordered us back to camp.
3 When you looked behind, and turned around from the gas station
4 and looked up the road, beside our camp, the entire road to the top of
5 the hill was lined, front to back, of tanks and APCs of HV with infantry
6 on top. And it was their assembly area before their final assault on
8 After talking to this major, he had talked about taking our
9 pistols, and he had later put a tank in front of the gate to come and
10 take our pistols and then later removed. And we were told that we could
11 not go into Knin that night.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I will be moving to a new topic after
14 this. I don't know if this is an appropriate time to break.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is.
16 Mr. Hill, we will adjourn for the day. I'd like to instruct you
17 not to speak with anyone about your testimony, whether the testimony you
18 already given or the testimony still to be given, and we'd like to see
19 you back tomorrow morning, 9.00, in this same courtroom.
20 We stand adjourned until the 28th of May, 9.00, this same
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of May,
24 2008, at 9.00 a.m.