1 Tuesday, 3 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 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 Although we still have to deal with a few exhibits, the Chamber
12 prefers to start first with the next witness.
13 Mr. Tieger, will it be you who takes the next witness?
14 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And are you ready to call the witness, which I
16 understand is Mr. Forand.
17 MR. TIEGER: That's correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 I do understand that there was quite a large number of documents
20 which were related to, attached to the 92 ter statement.
21 Mr. Registrar is preparing to provisionally assign numbers to
22 those documents. Were there any objections? I have seen from written
23 submissions that neither against the 92 ter statement nor against any of
24 the exhibits there seem to be objections. Is that well understood?
25 Mr. Kuzmanovic, you're nodding yes, together with Mr. Mikulicic.
1 Same for the Gotovina Defence, yes, and for Cermak as well.
2 Then, Mr. Registrar, since there are no objections, you can fully
3 number through the list of exhibits, which we find in our Excel sheet.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Forand.
6 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Forand, before you give testimony in this court,
8 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require to you make a solemn
9 declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
10 but the truth.
11 May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
13 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: ALAIN ROBERT FORAND
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Forand. Please be seated.
16 Mr. Forand, I address you as Mr. Forand rather than as General
17 Forand. That is not in any way out of disrespect for the rank you -- you
18 hold or you held, but it is mainly to emphasise that everyone who
19 testifies in this courtroom comes as -- despite whatever his rank or
20 position is to come and tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
21 but the truth. Other may choose to do otherwise, but this is what the
22 Chamber does, but I just wanted to make sure that you do not understand
23 this to be in any way disrespectful behaviour.
24 You will first be examined by Mr. Tieger who is counsel for the
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examination by Mr. Tieger:
5 Q. Good morning, General Forand.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. I would like to begin very simply by having you state your name
8 for the record, please.
9 A. Alain Forand.
10 Q. And General Forand, I'd like to run through quickly through some
11 of the highlights of your military career. Let me note preliminarily
12 that I'm sure it won't be exhaustive or comprehensive, but just I want to
13 provide the Court with some sense of your background.
14 If I may, I'll just recite some of what I understand to be the
15 highlights, and if you can just affirm that as accurate or not.
16 You joined the Canadian forces in September 1967 in -- or by
17 July of 1976, you had been chosen as the ADC as the Commander of the
18 Mobile Command. Prior to that, you had served twice in Cyprus, one
19 during the course of the 1974 hostilities. You were promoted to major in
20 August of 1978 and commanded B Company 1st Battalion until 1980.
21 You served as a chief instructor at the infantry school in the
22 Canadian forces base, Gagetown. In 1982, became commanding officer of
23 the 3rd Battalion. In July of 1987, became senior staff officer
24 operations and training at mobile command headquarters. In 1988, you
25 were director of military operations coordination and after that,
1 director of military plans coordination.
2 In 1993, you were promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and
3 in 1995 in approximately end of June and beginning of July 1995, in you
4 assumed command of the United Nations peace-keeping force in Sector South
5 as UNCRO commander for Sector South. Is that correct, General Forand?
6 A. Yes, sir. I would only add that I commanded my brigade in Quebec
7 from '93 to '95, and I received the Star of Courage for action under fire
8 in saving two of my soldier in Cyprus
9 Q. Thank you, sir.
10 Now, General, you have provided the Office of the Prosecutor with
11 four statements dated 19 and 20 June 1996; June 6, 1997; November 1999;
12 and January 2008; and I'd like to ask if you reviewed those statements
13 before coming to court this morning?
14 A. Yes, sir, I have.
15 Q. Now, I understand, General, that in the course of that review,
16 you identified a few corrections you wanted to make, and I would like to
17 run through those briefly with you.
18 First, there's a reference on page 6 of your 1996 statement -
19 that would be 5 of the B/C/S - to more than 1.000 refugee in the UN HQ
20 compound and that I believe you wanted to indicate to the Court that your
21 recollection is that there were approximately 700 plus refugees in the UN
22 HQ compound and that the reference to 1.000 reflects the total number of
23 refugees who left Knin on September 16th, 1995.
24 Second, you wanted to correct a reference in your 1997 statement
25 at page 12 in the English, page 7 in the B/C/S, to the number of bodies
1 you observed in Knin on August 5th, 1995
2 the Court that you believed that the number of bodies was 22 as reported
3 during your 1995 interview you gave and in your 1996 statement at page 7
4 in the English and page 7 in the B/C/S.
5 Next, you identify a reference to a trip to Kistanje contained in
6 your 1997 statement at page 14 in the English and page 8 in the B/C/S,
7 and wanted to indicate to the Court that although you did travel through
8 Kistanje at some point and witnessed people looting in the presence of
9 soldiers and military police and also observed considerable damage to the
10 town either from shelling or burning, that you -- that this did not occur
11 on the 12th of August, which was the day on which you travelled to
12 Donji Lapac.
13 Next, you wanted to indicate that the reference to the duration
14 of shelling in -- at paragraph 5 of your 2008 statement should be
15 modified and that you recall that the steady shelling that commenced on
16 the morning of 4 August lasted for approximately 45 minutes to an hour,
17 and thereafter, intermittent shelling continued throughout the day.
18 You wanted to indicate a reference at paragraph 12 of your 2008
19 statement to visiting the parliament building and the RSK Ministry of
20 Defence and wanted to indicate that you only visited the RSK Ministry of
21 Defence on that day twice, which you recalled as being a three-storey
22 building on the main road in Knin.
23 And finally, you wanted to offer a correction to the number of
24 troops to the UN battalions and companies, which are found at paragraph 2
25 of your 2008 statement, and the correct numbers you wanted to indicate to
1 the court are as follows: The Kenyan battalion had 1.060 troops;
2 Canadian battalion, 761; Jordanian battalion, 1.245; Czech battalion, 825
3 troops; the Indonesian medical company, 56 troops; the Czech medical
4 company, 21 troops; and the Slovenian engineering company had 64 troops.
5 General, with those corrections, do the statements, the four
6 statements from 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2008 accurately reflect what you
7 told the OTP investigators?
8 A. Yes, sir, they do.
9 Q. Was that information truthful and correct to the best of your
11 A. Yes, sir it was.
12 Q. And were you to be asked about the same matters here in court
13 today, would the answers you provided -- the information you provided be
14 the same?
15 A. They would, sir.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if I may, I would tender those
18 statements. I believe those are 65 ter numbers, 4944 through 4947.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have not asked the witness to identify the
20 statements, but think that is a formality rather than, Mr. Tieger, I take
21 it that you took the witness through exactly the same statements as
22 you're tendering now.
23 So, therefore, there should be no doubt as to -- may I take it
24 that Defence agrees with that evidence?
25 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Registrar, we start with the 1996
2 statement of Witness Forand would be number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's 65 ter 4944 and becomes
4 Exhibit P330.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P330 is admitted into evidence.
6 Then we come to the 1997 statement.
7 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 4945 becomes Exhibit P331.
8 JUDGE ORIE: P331 is admitted into evidence.
9 The 1999 statement.
10 THE REGISTRAR: This is 65 ter number 4946, and it becomes
11 Exhibit number P332.
12 JUDGE ORIE: P332 is admitted into evidence.
13 Finally, the 2008 statement.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This is 65 ter number 4947 and becomes Exhibit
16 JUDGE ORIE: P333 is admitted into evidence.
17 Before we continue, Mr. Tieger, there's still one decision to be
18 taken in relation to exhibits, and that is adding four new exhibits to
19 the 65 ter lists. These are the -- the daily sitrep Sector South of the
20 20th of August. The other one is the daily sitrep of the 23rd of August;
21 and then human rights issues, needs for action by Croatian authorities, 3
22 September 1995; and finally, the fourth is a letter, Cermak to Forand,
23 dated the 8th of August copied to Gotovina and Reljic.
24 In the written submissions, I did not find any objections against
25 adding those exhibits to the 65 ter list. Therefore, your request is
1 granted. These four documents are now added to the 65 ter list.
2 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. And in light of the Court's
3 comment about the formality of observing the statements - much
4 appreciated, by the way - I should note that I believe I misspoke in
5 identifying the first statement. If I recall correctly, I think I said
6 it was the 19th and 20th of June 1996 --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it was August. Yes, the 65 ter number was
8 right, but I noted that.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 Your Honour, and if I may, at this point I'd like to read a brief
12 summary of the witness's statements, obviously not attempting to
13 encapsulate all details but the normal summary. We read in -- I'm not
14 sure if I actually explained that process to the witness, and I apologize
15 for that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then I will briefly do that.
17 Mr. Forand, since large parts of your evidence are submitted in a
18 written form, the public who is following these proceedings is not aware
19 of the content, and therefore those portions of the evidence that are
20 submitted in written form, usually a summary is read by the party who
21 presents this evidence.
22 So that's what Mr. Tieger will do that now. Just listen to your
23 own -- to the content of your evidence.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Witness 115, General Forand, arrived in Knin on approximately 1
2 July 1995 and was the UNCRO Sector South commander stationed in Knin from
3 approximately 8 July 1995
4 Sector South sitreps and other documents that he sent and received during
5 his period of command.
6 General Forand observed and assessed the shelling of Knin on the
7 4th and 5th of August, 1995, and the resulting flight of the civilian
8 population. Based on his observations, he concluded that the shelling
9 was indiscriminate and directed against the civilian population to create
10 mass panic and sent a letter of protest to General Gotovina. He also met
11 with members of the RSK leadership on the evening of 4 August 1995, who
12 discussed with him evacuating civilians from Knin and the surrounding
13 area but had no plan to implement it. General Forand observed convoys of
14 civilians on the evening of August 4th, 1995
15 moving from Drnis through Knin and to the north.
16 On the evening of 4 August 1995
17 -- allowed a crowd of refugees who had gathered at the front gate of the
18 UN compound in Knin into the compound to protect them from the artillery
19 attack. General Forand will describe being locked down in the compound
20 by the Croatian army for three days after it entered Knin commencing on 5
21 August 1995 while looting and burning was taking place, and he will
22 describe continuing restrictions of movement for UN personnel who were
23 attempting to assess whether human rights violations were occurring.
24 General Forand observed evidence of and received reports of
25 looting, burning, destruction, and killing by Croatian forces in the days
1 following Operation Storm. Widespread criminal activity continued
2 despite the numerous protests by the witness during his meetings and
3 communications with, in particular, General Cermak. General Forand also
4 had two meetings with General Gotovina after Operation Storm, during
5 which he complained to General Gotovina about the lack of discipline of
6 his troops and the looting and arson taking place.
7 That concludes the summary, Your Honour, and I will begin to --
8 begin the examination of the witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. General Forand, I'd like to take you a time before some of the
12 events mentioned in that summary, and I'd like to direct your attention
13 to roughly the time of your arrival in the sector, and I understand from
14 your statement, and I believe that is found at -- the June 1997 statement
15 at page 2 and also page 2 in the B/C/S, page -- pages 2 and 3 in the
16 B/C/S that you met General Gotovina on two occasions before the
17 commencement of Operation Storm.
18 Now, you had described the first as a sort of get-acquainted
19 meeting and also indicated that at both meetings the issue of the
20 shelling of the area around Cetina and Vrlika from the Dinara mountains
21 by HV and HVO forces same up. You indicated in your 1996 statement at
22 page 2 that this was an agricultural area of mostly farmers and that the
23 shelling occurred while people were harvesting and that it made it
24 dangerous for them to collect crops.
25 Now, if I can just direct your attention to those meetings, can
1 you explain to the Court the -- your concern or your predecessor's
2 concern about the shelling that was taking place in the Cetina area?
3 A. Certainly. At the first meeting, it was General Kotil that was
4 still the commander of Sector South. I was accompanying him because it
5 gave me the opportunity to meet General Gotovina who was the commander of
6 one part of my -- of the Croat force, you know, on the -- a portion of
7 Sector South. This shelling in the Cetina area was brought to -- by
8 General Kotil to General Gotovina at that first meeting. Following that
9 first meeting, I sent, if I remember well, two letter to General Gotovina
10 regarding also the shelling in the Vrlika and the Cetina area, and I
11 requested a meeting with General Gotovina, which if I remember well took
12 place on the 19th of July where there was two points that I want to
13 brought to him; one was the continuous shelling, which was creating
14 problem for the farmers. They were not able to collect what was on the
15 ground; and the other thing was I wanted to explain to General Gotovina
16 what was my intention because my intention was to put more observation
17 post in the Dinara mountain because of the problem that were in that
18 particular area.
19 Q. General, you mention two letters of protest. You have a binder
20 in front of you. That should make it easier to access some of those
21 documents, although they will be shown on the screen.
22 And if I could call up first 65 ter 490. That is found in tab 5
23 of your binder, General.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is this sufficient for the registrar to know what is
25 to be brought on the screen? Oh, yes.
1 MR. TIEGER: I believe so, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We have 65 ter number, yes.
3 MR. TIEGER: I think we discussed that in advance and --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If it is well organised, then I ...
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. General, this is a letter dated July 9, 1995, to General Gotovina
7 signed by you. It is a protest of the HV/HVO shelling west of the Dinara
8 mountains. And you refer in the first paragraph to rounds which were
9 fired on July 5th and also refer to a similar incident from July 1st,
10 which you had also brought to the General's attention the following day.
11 Is this one of the letters prompted by the information you were
12 receiving about the shelling in the Cetina area?
13 A. Yes, this is -- was one of the area. On the 1st of July, I
14 didn't sign that letter. It was General Kotil. When we met with General
15 Gotovina the first time, he denied, you know, that he had any troops on
16 the Bosnia-Herzegovina area, that it was not his troops, you know, that
17 was firing into that particular area. That's why if you see, you know, I
18 sent a letter to General Gotovina but also to Major-General Blaskic,
19 which we thought at that time, you know, was the individual responsible
20 of the HVO in the Livno valley. And I also went, you know, into that
21 particular area to look at what was happening there, and I saw the damage
22 that had been inflicted by artillery, and I ordered the Kenyan battalion,
23 which was responsible for that area, to augment their patrol, and that
24 information was passed to General Gotovina, so that it would put a bit of
25 a refrain, you know, on whoever, you know, was firing onto that
1 particular area.
2 Q. And let me ask you, General, to look at the next tab, tab 6.
3 That would be 65 ter 3300.
4 JUDGE ORIE: At this moment, we'll refrain from assigning numbers
5 and admission because these are all on the list.
6 MR. TIEGER: Correct, Your Honour. These have all been admitted
7 now, and I know that the -- my understanding was because of the number of
8 document it is would be a logistical exercise for the registrar, and I
9 think we concluded it would be preferable to continue to -- and easier
10 for all parties to continue to --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So we will not at this moment bother about
12 numbers because that will come up once the registrar has finished his job
13 to assign numbers.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. General, this document, 65 ter 3300, is a letter dated 12
17 July 1995, again, from you to General Gotovina and again protesting the
18 HV/HVO shelling west of the Dinara mountains. And it indicates that the
19 UN observed on July 9th 42 artillery rounds and six rounds believed to
20 have been from a tank fired from the heights of the Dinara mountains
21 under HV/HVO control.
22 You refer back in the remainder of the paragraph to similar
23 incidents earlier that month but also note that this latest incident
24 resulted in the injury of four non-combatant civilians and the
25 destruction of four homes in an area devoid of military targets.
1 And, General, was this the other letter you indicated you had
2 sent prior to the second meeting with General Gotovina that you
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Now, General, you mentioned a -- that that meeting occurred to
6 the best of your recollection on July 19th, 1995. There's a document
7 that has already been admitted into evidence here in this courtroom, and
8 that's D157, and it is found at tab 8 of your binder, General.
9 MR. TIEGER: If we could call that up.
10 Q. Now, General, this is a document which was apparently prepared
11 and signed by Assistant Commander for Political Affairs Captain Tomasovic
12 from the Split Military District, and I take it that you did not see this
13 document at the time it was prepared?
14 A. No, sir, I did not.
15 Q. And -- but have you had an opportunity -- have I provided you
16 with an opportunity to look at before coming to court today?
17 A. Yes, I have seen it, sir.
18 Q. I want to direct your attention in particular to page 2 of the
19 document, which in the middle part of the page indicates that during the
20 course of further discussion there was a -- further discussion as it says
21 here that was based on the points of the letter by UNCRO delivered to the
22 commander of the Split Military District, General Gotovina. And he
23 responded, and there's a paragraph which describes General Gotovina's
24 response, both in respect of the area Cetina, and then it goes on to
25 discuss the children's camp at Karin Beach where UNCRO was requesting
1 guarantees from the Split Military District there would be no combat are
2 -- combat activity toward the area of the children's camp.
3 General, can you tell us having had a chance to look at that
4 document whether it refreshes your recollection of the discussion with
5 General Gotovina or in any respects in which you can assist the Court in
6 the issues discussed at that portion of the letter?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour. I'm sorry to interrupt. With
9 regard to this, looking at the supplemental information sheet which is
10 designed to supplement that information we received to date, there's no
11 information contained in that supplemental information sheet concerning
12 discussions of this document or matters contained therein.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Well, that's correct, Your Honour, and should the
15 witness testify to -- I mean, it's a discretionary matter for the
16 Prosecution in terms of I think the notice necessary to proceed. I'm not
17 -- I think there's been discussion about the nature of the supplemental
18 information sheet before, and it's logistically impossible for it to be
19 an exhaustive -- nor is there any purpose for it to be an exhaustive
20 account of everything that takes place during the proofing session, and I
21 don't anticipate that there's anything that will arise from the
22 discussion concerning this document that will be problematic for the
23 Defence to deal with, and as a matter of notice, if there is we can deal
24 with it accordingly, and I'm sure the Court would afford the Defence
25 sufficient time to deal with it.
1 And I will say if it's determined to have been some kind of
2 oversight, I apologise in advance. We're trying to deal with a number of
3 issues, and I don't anticipate this presents any kind of problem.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, the Chamber will not prevent you from
6 putting these questions. At the same time, you're urged to be as
7 complete as possible in disclosing to -- to the Defence teams what you
8 dealt with during the proofing sessions, which is not just literally
9 repeating what the statement say already.
10 At the same time, Mr. Kehoe, if the matters raised now would ask
11 for additional time to prepare, then please let us know that and why and
12 what you exactly would need.
13 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. General, I believe I had asked you to look at that portion of the
17 D157 and assist the Court if possible with your recollection of that
18 meeting and any aspects of the exhibit that you can shed light on.
19 A. Yeah. To the best of my recollection, this described the point
20 that were discussed at that particular meeting. Regarding the children
21 camp at Karin Beach, that was part of the confidence-building measure
22 that we wanted to establish by providing, you know, for the children in
23 the Krajina side, you know, with some opportunity to have fun.
24 Regarding the border incident that was taking place, all I can
25 say is that following the 12th of July letter there was a period of about
1 two weeks where no shelling took place. That's all I have to say on
2 that, sir.
3 Q. General, were you ever made aware of -- from any of the UN
4 elements patrolling the area of Cetina of Serb weaponry or artillery fire
5 from -- in the area that was being shelled by the HV/HVO and in
6 particular in the area where the harvest was being prevented?
7 A. I don't remember ever having seen the situation report that
8 indicate that the artillery fire were firing from that particular
9 location, and when I went and visited in the Vrlika and Cetina area, the
10 Kenyan soldier that were there never alluded to that either.
11 Q. Okay. Did you ever -- when you visited, did you see any evidence
12 of Serb weaponry or positions in the area where the shelling was taking
13 place or where the harvest was being prevented?
14 A. No, I did what I would think or qualify as a complete tour of the
15 area, and I didn't see none of those weapons.
16 Q. Did you ever receive or learn about a formal protest by Croatian
17 authorities about an alleged cease-fire violation consisting of Serb
18 shelling from the areas mentioned?
19 A. Of shelling, no, but I think there was a report somewhere in
20 July about some shooting originating from the Serb side but no artillery
22 Q. You say shooting but no artillery shelling. Does that mean
23 small-arms fire of some sort?
24 A. To the best of my recollection, that is what that sitrep
1 Q. Okay. General, I would like to turn next to August 4th, 1995,
2 and the commencement of Operation Storm on that date.
3 You've indicated in your statements that the attack began with
4 shelling at precisely 5.00 on that date. I'd like you to turn, please,
5 to tab 4 of your binder -- sorry, I apologise. Tab 11. And that would
6 be P83.
7 MR. TIEGER: If that could be called up.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Excuse me, Mr. Tieger. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
9 Did we get provided a binder with these tabs, or is it just ...
10 MR. TIEGER: This is just -- this is just to expedite the
11 examination process. I could wait until the document comes up on the
12 screen as it does for all of us, but I thought it might be slightly
13 faster if the witness had the binder.
14 I -- if you're concerned that the documents in the binder conform
15 with the documents on the screen, I can certainly ask the witness to
16 check the screen periodically to make sure that's the case.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I don't think that is Mr. Kuzmanovic' concern but
18 just whether -- I think what Mr. Tieger does is to assist the witness in
19 quickly finding in the binder the document, whereas we have, perhaps,
20 also, in order to save paper and hard copies for us to use our screens.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: It's not a problem, Your Honour. I just thought
22 it would be easier for all of us to follow at the same time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but it takes half a wood to have these binders
24 copied for all of us.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. General Forand, P83 is a document dated August 4th, 1995. It's a
3 -- headed "Protest, Attacks on Innocent Civilians and UN Installations"
4 dated August 4th, 1995
5 And, General, can you tell the Court, please, when and why you
6 sent this document?
7 A. Yes. I was advised at 3.20 in the morning, you know, that in all
8 probability the Croat would launch the offensive. We had been forewarned
9 a couple of times before that, and potentially because we knew that the
10 -- the discussion at Geneva
11 there could be exact. So I immediately decided to start to recall and
12 advise all of my unit, and that was state red, which put them at full
13 alert. Everything was completed at 3.40. Then I moved to my headquarter
14 in Knin because I was living within Knin itself.
15 At 5.00, we start -- that's where the shelling started and heavy
16 shelling that started. I immediately went on the balcony on the third
17 floor. My office was opposite on the third floor, and what I saw was --
18 what I felt, you know, was indiscriminate shelling because I a knew a
19 little bit about Knin even though I had been there only a month before it
20 happened. There were five or six other officers with me on the balcony,
21 officers who had been in the area for four to five months and knew Knin
22 much better than I, and we didn't see the round landing, but we could see
23 the puff of smoke, and it seemed to me in the comment they were making
24 that it was not only directed at what would be military target but
25 within, also, the civilian population.
1 I stayed about ten minute at the most, you know, looking at the
2 artillery barrage that was taking place. Then I went down to my
3 operation centre to start to get some information of what was happening
4 throughout my area of responsibility, and the information we were getting
5 back from the headquarter of my unit, I had four unit under my command,
6 were similar where there was some artillery fire in the -- near the zone
7 of separation where the Serb defensive position but also within towns,
8 and it seemed to those that were observing that shelling that it was also
9 indiscriminate because in their view there was no military target there.
10 So as the information was continue to be provided to me, I
11 decided to write that letter and send it to General Gotovina and General
12 Norac, the two Croat officer that I felt were responsible, within my
13 sector to tell them that this was happening and from my point of view it
14 was indiscriminate shooting and that they should stop it immediately.
15 Now, I -- we had the military observer that was in Gracac --
16 correction, in the -- in Zadar, where General Gotovina headquarter was,
17 and I made sure that when that letter was sent I told it -- it was either
18 to Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk or Major Balfour - Lieutenant Tymchuk was
19 my senior liaison officer; Major Balfour was my senior ops officer - to
20 ensure that it was received by the military observer and that it was
21 passed on -- ensure it would be received by General Gotovina, and they
22 came back later, and he says, yes, the fax has been sent, it has been
23 received, and a couple of -- an hour, maybe later, I was told that, yes,
24 it had been given, you know, to Captain Nevi Jekovik [phoen], if I
25 remember the name right, who was working directly for General Gotovina.
1 So that's what happened, sir.
2 Q. General, you mentioned observing the portions of the -- or a
3 portion of the initial period of the shelling of Knin. First of all, can
4 you give the Court any indication of the intensity of the fire during the
5 first period of shelling?
6 A. Well, I would -- what I call -- I'm not a total expert, but I had
7 seen some shelling being done before in Cyprus in '74 during the Turkish
8 invasion. I would call it, you know, during the first 45 minutes very
9 intense. At least the ten minute I was on the -- five to ten minute I
10 was on the balcony it was extremely intense in the sense that it seemed
11 that it was a battery, six-gun, at every location because of the sound we
12 were hearing. So it was all over the place to me, it seem, what I would
13 qualify as intense shelling.
14 Q. And are you familiar with the concept of adjusted fire?
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. And did you observe any adjustments of fire during the course of
17 your observations of the shelling on the morning of August 4th?
18 A. No. The five to ten minute I was there, to my view there was no
19 adjusted shelling. You know, it just -- the intense fire shelling began
20 immediately. There was no adjustment.
21 Q. All right. General, I want to next direct your attention to the
22 -- let me ask you, sorry, one more question about the -- the letter you
24 It mentions a number of towns, Drnis, Medak, Brunic, Benkovac,
25 and Kistanje. Were these the only towns about which you received
1 information that day that were the subject of shelling and specifically,
2 shelling of civilian areas?
3 A. No. If I remember well, there were -- the majority of all the
4 town, you know, that was adjacent to the zone of separation also were
5 under artillery fire, but I only decided to list, you know, the major
7 Q. General, I indicated that I wanted next to draw your attention
8 next to the period of time after Croatian forces entered Knin.
9 Let me ask you preliminarily whether the successful -- whether
10 Operation Storm and the re-taking of the Krajina by Croatian forces
11 changed the mission of UNCRO in your view and if so, in what respects?
12 A. Well, my mandate, you know, was to monitor the zone of
13 separation, to also monitor four border-crossing points between the
14 Krajina and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also the protection of 13 Croat
15 village which were in my sector. So once the Croat had re-taken, you
16 know, the Krajina, I felt that I no longer had a mandate, and immediately
17 afterwards beginning on the 8th, as soon as we were able, you know, to --
18 to move in certain area of the sector, I ordered that we start the
19 dismantling of our observation post in order to start the repatriation
20 process of the 4.000 plus soldiers that I had under my command.
21 Q. Did you engage in any activities with respect to human rights
22 observation, monitoring, and so on, during that period?
23 A. Yes. Initially, at least in the month of August and I think the
24 beginning of September where the majority of my troops start to go back
25 to their country, we accompanied the -- at least from my Canadian
1 headquarter we accompanied the human right people in the patrol that they
2 were doing through the area, and the same was happening from my battalion
3 because in order for them to dismantle their observation post, they had
4 to travel within their area, and what they were seeing, you know, they
5 were reporting.
6 I made clear to them in the order that I gave them that it -- our
7 main responsibility was that the dismantling of the observation post, the
8 repatriation of all the UN equipment, and that the monitoring of
9 infraction to humanitarian right, that was not our first priority, but I
10 would want them to report anything that they saw which was contrary to
11 the normal activity or anything that was happening to humanitarian right
12 to report it as they were doing their work or as they were travelling
13 through their area of responsibility.
14 Q. And once in receipt of such information, did you attempt to bring
15 that information to the attention of responsible Croatian authorities?
16 A. I sure did. I wrote I don't know how many letter highlighting
17 what I felt was transgression to humanitarian right or reporting activity
18 that was taking place that were clearly, you know, against humanitarian
19 right. Plus there was a lot of theft of UN equipment that took place
20 during that period, which I kept reporting.
21 My headquarter UNCRO received, also, a copy of all of letter that
22 was sent either to General Cermak or General Gotovina. Obviously, the
23 reason was to keep them informed and hoping, you know, also, that they
24 could bring their influence to the Croat authority in Zagreb to stop, you
25 know, what we were seeing as a looting, burning of house, and a lot of
1 civilian that we found out had been murdered.
2 Q. And were you receiving information from other UN elements beyond
3 your battalion troops?
4 A. Yes. In my headquarter was also the command post, if can I call
5 it like that, of the military observer, which had the responsible within
6 Sector South. There was some civilian United Nations police, also, that
7 were headquartered in my headquarter, and there was -- the human right
8 people were also located within my headquarter.
9 Every morning when I first arrived, there was a meeting at 8.30
10 of all of my staff, and I invited a representative of each of these
11 organisation, and the idea of that meeting was to pass the information of
12 what had happened in the past 24 hours, to indicate to them what we would
13 be doing during the day, and to ask them if there was any area that they
14 wanted us to be informed, so that information was passed, you know, on a
15 daily basis. That was during the normal time. When the shelling
16 started, obviously we had more frequent meeting, and as the month of
17 August passed, we -- sometime we had two or three of those meetings
18 during the day, depending of what was happening.
19 They also -- excuse me. They also receive a copy of all the
20 situation report, you know, that I was sending to my headquarter, so all
21 of those people receive a copy of my situation report, and the majority
22 of the letter that I wrote to either General Cermak or Gotovina I also
23 pass a copy to Al-Alfi who was the senior humanitarian right people
24 within my headquarter.
25 Now, I must explain, also, that those organisation, even though
1 were within my headquarter, they were not under my authority. I had no
2 authority over them. I could only discuss with those people, and if
3 there was something that they could do for me, I would ask them, you
4 know, if they would cooperate. Overall, I think the cooperation was
5 excellent throughout.
6 Q. General, I would like to turn your attention to 65 ter 1654,
7 which can be found in tab 12 of your binder, General.
8 General, the first page of this document indicates -- there's a
9 reference above it to 5 August 1995
10 officer for this situation report, and it indicates enclosed -- or find
11 enclosed a letter of protest which has been delivered to the commander of
12 the Split Military District asking for a meeting.
13 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to the next page, please.
14 Q. General, as can you see, this is a -- this appears to be the
15 letter referred to in the sitrep. It's dated 5 August 1995 sent to
16 General Gotovina, and the subject line indicates Request for Meeting with
17 Military Governor. And it indicates in the first line that you urgently
18 request -- and I should mention, on the second page it is signed by you.
19 First sentence indicates that you urgently request a meeting with
20 the military governor of the region; indicate that a number of urgent
21 Your Honours must be discussed, including restoration of UN freedom of
22 movement and care of the civilian population, including displaced
23 persons; and further indicates that there has been a significant amount
24 of destruction and looting, and that you were not satisfied that the
25 Croatian army is fully under control.
1 Now, first, General, in the first line it indicates that you
2 request a meeting with the military governor of the region. What
3 information had you received concerning the appointment or prospective
4 appointment of a military governor?
5 A. If I remember well, we were in discussion with the military
6 observer in Zadar, and I think that's where we got the first indication
7 that what I took to be a military governor would be named, you know, to
8 take over the responsibility of Sector South. So that's my recollection
9 of why we used that term.
10 Q. Okay. You indicated in the last sentence of the first
11 paragraph that there had been a significant amount of destruction and
13 What were you referring to in that part of the letter?
14 A. Well, first, what I had observed because on the 5th of August, at
15 around 10.00, we had started to evacuate some of the wounded and some
16 sick people from the Knin hospital, and when the last group was coming
17 back I think at around quarter to 10.00, what they were describing to me
18 was a bit of a confused situation, and I decided to go with the next
19 group of -- of my four armoured personnel carrier, which I was -- we were
20 using to move those people to go to the hospital to find out, you know,
21 what was the situation, and when I arrived at the hospital I found out
22 there was nobody else to be moved because the only people, the only
23 wounded or sick that there were terminally ill, and I think my decision
24 at that time was if I move them I might kill them, and we did not have
25 the support required in my camp, you know, to provide -- what would be
1 required to -- to ensure, you know, that the -- they had a chance to
3 And then I found out that the Croat army had reached the hospital
4 because when I arrived I had seen a tank. I was not sure, you know, from
5 whom it belonged, but eventually I saw within the hospital some Croat
7 Coming back, we had pick up some ECCM people that had requested
8 to be escorted to the camp, plus some Serb civilians that also wanted to
9 come in my camp, and as I was coming through the town of Knin I saw some
10 looting taking place, you know, within the main street, and I tried to
11 talk to a lieutenant-colonel of Croat army. We had extreme difficulty
12 because I didn't speak the language and he didn't speak French or
13 English, but I indicate to him, you know, that those activities that was
14 taking place was not something that should take, place. So anyhow, I saw
15 all the looting. Plus, we were receiving information from my unit of
16 those activities taking place, so that's where that come from.
17 Q. And how did you attempt to ensure that the letter was received by
18 General Gotovina?
19 A. The same way, through the military observer at Zadar to --
20 through Captain Lukovic, and after that the same procedure where every
21 time there was sending a letter that they be ensured that it was
22 delivered, and it was confirmed that it was delivered.
23 Q. And did you hear back from General Gotovina in response to this
25 A. To my recollection, all the letters that I sent to General
1 Gotovina, there never was an answer that came back.
2 Q. Now, you were requesting a meeting with the military governor.
3 Did you eventually meet the person you understood to be the military
5 A. Yeah. The problem we were having is that as soon as the Croat
6 forces arrived in Knin, and I was around -- around my headquarter around
7 11.30, we were not allowed to get out of the camp, and the first time
8 that I met -- what I thought was the military governor was General Cermak
9 on the 7th when Mr. Akashi came and visit in Knin. So the first time I
10 met with Mr. Akashi, General Cermak, myself, and there may have been
11 other people in my -- in my office at my headquarter, then I asked at
12 that time General Cermak, you know, to have a meeting because he
13 presented to my recollection himself as the -- in the translation it was
14 to me the military governor who was responsible of the Knin region. And
15 I asked that we had a meeting that day, which did occur, you know,
16 sometime late in the afternoon after the departure of Mr. Akashi. And at
17 that particular meeting I was there; Mr. Al-Alfi was responsible for the
18 Human Rights Action Team, and there may have been other people, but at
19 least Mr. Al-Alfi was there. And every time that I met with General
20 Cermak, Mr. Al-Alfi or his representative was there with me.
21 Q. General, let me ask you to turn to tab 14 of your binder. That
22 would be 65 ter 3252.
23 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to the next page, please.
24 Q. And, General, if you'll look at paragraph 8 -- first of all, I
25 should have drawn your attention, although you can see that on your copy,
1 to the date of this sitrep, which is 8 August 1995 at 0730.
2 Paragraph 8 is a entitled "Report of Meeting, Commander
3 Sector South/Military Governor Region." It indicates commander
4 Sector South, yourself, met with General Cermak in the military governor
5 headquarters (former ARSK headquarters) at 1800 hours, 7 August, to
6 discuss items of mutual interest.
7 And does this reflect the meeting with General Cermak that took
8 place after you met him during the course of the meeting with Mr. Akashi?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Now, it indicates that you met in the former ARSK headquarters.
11 I believe you indicated in your 2008 statement at paragraph 12 that you
12 saw little, if any, damage to the ARSK Ministry of Defence on August 4th.
13 What -- was that the same building that you're referring to in this
14 sitrep where you met General Cermak on the 7th?
15 A. I believe that is, yes, sir.
16 Q. And did you see any significant signs of damage to that building
17 when you met General Cermak on that date?
18 A. Not that I remember, and on the 4th, I went twice to that same
19 building, and I don't remember seeing any damage to that particular
21 Q. All right. Now, if we turn to the next page, and at -- to the
22 last paragraph in particular, there's an indication at the beginning of
23 that paragraph about a question on special measures to ensure the safety
24 of populations especially at night.
25 What was the concern about the safety of the populations
1 especially at night? Which population? Safety from whom?
2 A. I don't remember, sir.
3 Q. Okay. Now, throughout this sitrep in a manner consistent with
4 what you indicated before, you refer to General Cermak as the military
5 governor. Did you also refer to him as a military governor in
6 correspondence that you sent to him?
7 A. Every letter that I sent to him was addressed to the military
8 governor of Knin, and there was never any return letter that he sent me
9 indicating that I should not address him like that or the meeting that I
10 had with him where he would indicate to me that he was not the military
12 Q. During the course of your discussions with him, and in particular
13 those during which you were bringing to his attention violations of human
14 rights and demanding action, did he indicate to you that he was not the
15 appropriate person to be bringing these complaints to or that he was not
16 the -- the military governor of the area?
17 A. Well, it seems to me that every time we brought him something,
18 you know, he -- sometime he was denying, you know, that this was
19 happening, but he never indicate -- or he would say, I would look into
20 the matters, you know, and I will take care of it. He never indicate to
21 me that he was not responsible for the area where those problem were
22 arising from.
23 Q. And as far as you're concerned, did you make it apparent to him
24 during the course of your meetings that you considered him to be the
25 person responsible for the area and from whom you expected action?
1 A. Yes, exactly. And I remember that I had met the General
2 Gotovina, I think, on the 6th of August where he told me at that meeting
3 that now I had to deal with General Cermak, as he was the individual
4 responsible for the Knin region.
5 Q. Well, let's take a look next at your initial meeting with General
6 Gotovina following Operation Storm.
7 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn, please, to 65 ter 2771.
8 And the next page, please. I'm sorry, if we could stay on that
9 page just a moment and then -- okay.
10 Q. Again, General, I simply wanted to indicate the date of this
11 particular document. It's a sitrep of 8 August 1995 at 2030 hours as
12 indicated in the date/time section of the document, and it is indicated
13 in the subject line below.
14 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn quickly to page 2.
15 Q. The initial portion of the document reflects a commander's
16 assessment. I take it that's your assessment, General Forand?
17 A. Yes, sir, it is.
18 Q. And you indicate that you met that day with both Colonel General
19 Gotovina and the military governor of Knin General Cermak, and you go on
20 to describe some aspects of those meetings. We'll turn to a report of
21 that meeting -- of those meetings in just a moment.
22 You -- and the daily sitrep also indicates at paragraph (c) all
23 units report looting as a general activity for HV soldiers. Random
24 shooting of livestock and wanton destruction of farms and houses is
25 observed wherever we are allowed to travel. The HV seem determined to
1 clean up the evidence of their military tactics in taking the Krajina.
2 The shell holes in the road Knin-Drnis that were observed this morning
3 were patched by this afternoon.
4 Now, let me turn your attention, General, to the third page of
5 this document, which is headed -- which has a portion headed Report Of
6 Meeting Commander Sector South and Commander Military District South and
7 indicates that Colonel General Gotovina invited commander Sector South to
8 the Knin fortress for a meeting at 0920.
9 Now, General, this meeting is addressed at paragraph 7 of your
10 2008 statement in which you state that although it is not reflected in
11 the sitrep, you recall complaining to General Gotovina about the lack of
12 discipline of his troops and that they were looting and burning in the
14 Is that correct, General?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And you earlier noted that General Gotovina in the first meeting
17 you had with him after Operation Storm had directed you to General
18 Cermak. There's a reference, it seems, to that in the last sentence of
19 the first paragraph.
20 And does that reflect what you were mentioning a moment earlier
21 about being referred to General Cermak, sir?
22 A. Yes, sir. But I don't think he used the term "military
23 governor." It's us in all our correspondence that that's the
24 interpretation that I had when I had first met with General Cermak, so we
25 kept using the term "military governor," but I don't recall that General
1 Gotovina used that term himself. What he portrayed to me was that
2 General Cermak was in charge of the Knin region, and any problem that I
3 had I would have to go to General Cermak to settle that.
4 Q. All right. And that would include the problems you raised with
5 him at that meeting?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And did you meet with General -- you did meet with General Cermak
8 later that day, is that right, and that is reflected in paragraph B?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that would be indicated in the section that General --
11 Colonel - it says here Colonel, actually - Cermak came to HQ Sector South
12 at 1300 to meet first with you and then to meet with a committee of IVPs;
13 that would be internally displaced persons?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. And after your discussion with General Gotovina, did you in fact
16 bring, again, your concern over the crimes that had been reported to you
17 to the attention of General Cermak?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. And that's reflected at least in part in paragraph 2: Commander
20 Sector South expressed concern over reports of organised looting on the
21 road between Knin and Drnis and includes livestock being loaded into
22 trucks and removed, the complete contents of houses being packed up in
23 trucks under the supervision of civil police.
24 And the military governor stated that this was possible due to
25 the immensity of the operation he was conducting.
1 General, do you recall anything further about that discussion
2 with General Cermak concerning your concerns about the crimes that were
3 taking place and his anticipated response to that?
4 A. I don't recall exactly, you know, that particular meeting, except
5 that at every meeting that I had with him, you know, those points were
6 raised. So for that particular one, no, because the biggest problem I
7 had obviously was the complaint, you know, of the fact that the looting
8 and the burning because once in a while a house, a fire would start, you
9 know. From what we were observing in Knin, there was firing in the air
10 once in a while, and the report that we were receiving from our unit was
11 that similar activity was taking place.
12 My biggest problem was that I could not get out of the -- my
13 headquarter at that particular time in order, you know, to go and find
14 out exactly what was happening, nor any other people that was within my
15 compound, except the only individual that was allowed to go out was
16 Captain Hill who was the military police officer.
17 Q. And what was it you learned from Captain Hill after he went out?
18 A. Well, he went out, and I had asked him, you know, to have a look
19 about the extent of the damage and what was taking place, you know,
20 within Knin, and he came back and he reported to me in the afternoon, I
21 think, around 4.00 that he had seen extensive damage, that he had seen
22 looting. He had went to the apartment that I had occupied with my
23 driver, cook, and this had been vandalized and, you know, the majority of
24 the stuff that we had had been stolen. So that's what he reported to me
25 when he came back. I think it was on the 6th in the afternoon. The 6th
1 of August.
2 Q. All right. General, I'm going to ask you some questions about
3 some of those aspects that you referred to, your dealings with General
4 Cermak concerning restriction of movement, various human rights
5 violations. You also mentioned earlier the looting or theft of UN
6 property as well.
7 But I also want, first, to direct your attention to something
8 else you mention. That was the displaced persons in the camp. And can
9 you tell the Court something about the discussions that took place with
10 General Cermak concerning the disposition or fate of the displaced
11 persons who had been taken into UNCRO Sector South headquarters or who
12 were being -- or who were in other detention or collection facilities in
14 A. Well, this went on over numbers of discussion. Initially, I
15 think the number we had on the 6th was around 700 IDP in the camp, and
16 the majority of them were Serb. We also had, I think, 40 and 50 Croat
17 Serbs, you know, the Croat from the Krajina that was also in the
18 compound, and the -- at that particular meeting General Cermak wanted to
19 meet, and he met with the IDP, and obviously I do not understand their
20 conversation, but what he told me is that he wanted to advise them that
21 they could go back to the area where they come from and they would be
22 provided within the unit area, if I remember well, within the Canadian
23 battalion headquarter, I think they were up to 30 Serb that took refuge
24 in their camp. There was 20 to 25 with the Czech battalion area, and
25 there were a few with the Kenyan battalion and the Jordanian battalion.
1 Eventually, we came to an agreement with General Cermak that all
2 of these people were allowed to be moved within my camp. There came a
3 period of time, I think, around the third week of August where there was
4 still some more of those displaced people, but I had passed my capacity
5 within my camp. I already had problem where it's a camp that was
6 designed for about 350 people, and we were hovering around 1.800 to
7 2.000. We were able to provide only two meals a day because even though
8 I had asked some field kitchen from the Canadian battalion, the time it
9 took us to feed all of those people, we begin at 7.00 and we finish at
10 around 12.30, and we begin the supper around 3.00 to finish around 7.30.
11 So we discuss with Mr. Al-Alfi and General Cermak the possibility that if
12 there was other people that were displaced people that he should house
13 them, which happened. There's a facility that was found in Knin where I
14 think 4 to 500 of those people were placed, and the day that finally it
15 was decided that they could go back -- or not go back but go to Serbia
16 they were all put together, and that's why that number, you know, which
17 confused me initially when I was talking about the thousands was 1.184
18 that left Knin for Serbia
19 Q. Let me turn your attention quickly to 65 ter 4949. That's in
20 tab 31 of your binder. And that's a sitrep dated the 21st of August at
21 2030 hours and reflects -- I'm sorry, moving too fast.
22 Okay. If we could turn to page 2, please. Okay.
23 As we see from page 2, that reflects a meeting between --
24 involving you, the humanitarian and political coordinator, and the
25 military governor, General Cermak, concerning the -- the departure of
1 displaced persons. And it refers in that second paragraph to a list of
2 people who wished to leave Croatia
3 total population of approximately 731, and also indicates in the third
4 paragraph that General Cermak indicated he had a list of persons under
5 suspicion of war crimes.
6 General, was -- and I'm sorry. If we turn the page once more.
7 And it indicates that General Cermak should be able to provide a
8 list of those persons by the next day and that once that list was
9 provided there would be no further checks by the Croatian authorities.
10 First of all, let me ask you a couple of questions about this,
11 General Forand.
12 First, do you know or did you have contact with the displaced
13 person that allowed you to -- gave you insight into why 687 persons out
14 of that 731 wished to leave rather than return to their homes in the
16 A. Well, I was talking once in a while with the IDP committee, and
17 their indication was they did not want to stay, you know, because they
18 didn't feel that their security would be guaranteed.
19 In that sitrep, because at that time I was only a conduit because
20 the decision, you know, was out of my hand. It was at the UNCRO level
21 and at the UNPROFOR level about the situation regarding the displaced
22 people. But what was discussed at that stage was the possibility that we
23 would keep those people that they had identified as war criminal within
24 the camp and leave the other IDP the possibility, you know, to return to
1 taking place.
2 The other thing as I have mentioned earlier is that I did not
3 want to accept any more additional IDP in the camp because I could not
4 provide for them, and we discussed the possibility that General Cermak
5 found a place, if there was more of those people that he should
6 accommodate them.
7 You will see later on that we thought we had a deal at one point
8 that we could send those that had not been identified as war criminals
9 back to Serbia
10 came out of it, and only when alias agreed upon, I think 34 or 35 were
11 identified with sufficient proof that the UN said, okay, those people can
12 be given to the Croat authority, where the rest of the IDP allowed to go
13 back to Serbia
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I'm looking at the clock.
15 MR. TIEGER: This would be fine, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Forand, we will have a break. We'll
17 resume at five minutes to 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises for the late start.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. General Forand, we had earlier looked at the sitrep from
24 August 8th at 2030 - that is 65 ter 2771 - which reflected the meetings
25 that took place on that date. There was -- that document reflected that
1 reference to the restrictions of movement you had talked about earlier in
2 the paragraph B1 saying, he, meaning General Cermak, began by indicating
3 that as soon as he returned to his HQ he would give orders that UN
4 elements would be allowed to travel freely within Knin and to
5 Drnis-something --
6 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsellor. Can we just bring that up on
7 the screen, Your Honour?
8 MR. TIEGER: Sure. And it's 2771.
9 MR. KEHOE: I apologise. I didn't mean to interrupt.
10 MR. TIEGER: And the second page, please. Sorry, the third page.
11 Q. And as indicated, I was reading from B1. That's the second
12 paragraph from the bottom. And just to conclude, after mentioning that
13 the portion where it said General Cermak would give orders that UN
14 elements be allowed to travel freely within Knin and to Drnis.
15 "Something he had been prevented from doing until now due to the pressure
16 of his schedule."
17 General, if we could next turn to tab -- excuse me, to 65 ter
18 4919, and that's tab 16 of your binder, General. And I'm going to want
19 to ask you when you see that document whether that's the -- whether
20 that's the order to travel freely that was referred to in the previous
22 A. Yeah, that's the one, except where limited in Knin and Drnis.
23 Q. And, General, if I could ask you turn next, then, to 65 ter 3253.
24 That's a sitrep of 9 August at 2030.
25 And if we could turn to the next page, please, under Commander's
1 Assessment. Sorry, perhaps I read the wrong number. I'm looking for 65
2 ter 3253. Have I got the wrong page?
3 Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 Q. We just looked, General Forand, at the document dated August 8th
5 concerning movement in Knin and Drnis. This sitrep on the 9th reflects a
6 meeting that day with General Cermak and further discussion about freedom
7 of movement. And if you look in particular at paragraph (c), it
8 indicates that restrictions on freedom of movement continue, particularly
9 affecting the Knin area, resupply for units, and liaison between units
10 and HQ SS. General Cermak claims total authority over the area of
11 Sector South and grants freedom of movement. HV units in CanBat 1 AOR,
12 in particular Benkovac, deny General Cermak's authority and even his
13 existence. Confusion in HV ranks has worn thin as a reason for continued
15 A. It is.
16 Q. The evidence of methodical and continuous destruction that is
17 observed whenever we can travel suggests the real reason.
18 General Forand, did you raise with General Cermak on August 9th
19 your concerns about the limitations on movement notwithstanding the
20 document that had been issued on August 8th?
21 A. Yes. What is in this sitrep is a -- a sort of a resume, you
22 know, the discussion that took place with him. Every time that I met
23 with General Cermak, Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk who was my Senior Liaison
24 Officer was with me, and he was the one taking the notes, and when we
25 come back and preparing the situation report for the day, we used this
1 note, you know, in order to compile the document.
2 Q. I want to look next at 65 ter 553 -- no, excuse me.
3 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, General. Your Honours, 65 ter 553.
4 Q. And, General, for your information, it's at tab 22 of your
5 binder, but I think you will see it on the screen in a moment.
6 This is directed to your attention. It's a document dated
7 August 11th from General Cermak to you referencing your letter of
8 August 10th, 1995
9 line below the reference line to the agreement between the Republic of
11 And, General, is this a document -- first of all, did you receive
12 this document, and are you familiar with it?
13 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it, and I did receive it.
14 Q. Okay. And is this a document that purported to expand the
15 freedom of movement that had been provided on August 8th to all of the
17 A. Yes, and a copy of that was made and sent to all my units and
18 also was provided to the -- the UNMO that were in the headquarter, the UN
19 Civilian Police and the Human Rights Action Team.
20 Q. Now, I believe you indicated at page 18 of your -- of exhibit
21 number 331 - that's your 1997 statement; that would be page 10 of the
22 B/C/S - that full freedom of movement did not happen for about ten days
23 after Knin was taken. Can you tell us whether or not the receipt of this
24 document resulted in free access by UNCRO and other elements of the UN
25 into areas within the sector that -- where they wanted to check on
2 A. No. There's all kind of documented situation report that
3 highlights that the freedom of movement was restricted in many area and
4 in many days, and this paper which was supposed to allow us that freedom
5 of movement did not guarantee it. We -- it was problem, you know,
6 throughout the sector for numerous days, and it went on, as far as I can
7 remember, almost to the -- the end of the August and even certain time in
8 September where there were reported by HRAT and some UNMO and some of my
9 military within the unit that their movement were restricted, which was
10 in contradiction to the reference that is done in that letter to Article
11 4 and 5 of the deal that was made between the agreement between the
12 government of the Republic of Croatia
14 Q. General, I'm going to ask you focus in a moment on some
15 particular exchanges involving restrictions of movement in particular
16 documents, but before I do I wanted to quickly take up one other issue
17 you mentioned, and that was the theft of UN equipment, and -- since you
18 raised it.
19 And if I could ask you turn your attention next to 65 ter 460.
20 General, that's at tab 23 of your binder while we're waiting for it to
21 come up.
22 This is a document dated August 11th, 1995. It is a protest to
23 General Cermak, theft of engineer equipment.
24 And in the first paragraph, it references a meeting the previous
25 day and General Cermak's request for more precise information on the
1 engineer equipment taken from a particular area. And if we go -- without
2 going into the details of the particular equipment which can be found in
3 the document, Caterpillar road grader, mine roller, et cetera, which you
4 indicate at the bottom of the first page has an approximate value of 1
5 million dollars, if we could simply turn to the last paragraph of the
6 document in which you ask General Cermak to use his considerable
7 influence to ensure the return of the engineer plant taken from the UN by
8 HV elements as well as the additional vehicles mentioned above and the
9 three UN vehicles stolen from the garage in Knin while under repair as
10 mentioned in my earlier letter on this subject.
11 General, do you know what actions were taken in response to this
12 request, and was the -- was your request fulfilled?
13 A. To my recollection, no, it was not fulfilled, and there are
14 similar letters like that where other UN equipment had been stolen, and I
15 don't remember that it was ever returned to us.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. TIEGER: If we can just turn very quickly to 65 ter 462.
18 Q. It's a letter dated August 19th, 1995 from you to General Cermak
19 referencing your earlier letter of 11 August and indicating where you
20 believed the armoured Caterpillar dozer is located and the fact that a
21 mixed team of UN and military police were denied access to that location
22 and requesting an escort.
23 Is that one of the follow-up letters you referred to, General?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And turn next to 65 ter 459. It's another letter of 19
1 August 1995 from you to General Cermak protesting the theft of UN
2 vehicles and equipment, listing a number of UN vehicles - ten, I believe
3 - and noting below the list of those vehicles that the ones marked with a
4 asterisk were observed being driven in Knin by HV soldiers on
5 August 10th.
6 Is that another one of the documents referred to, General?
7 A. It is.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. TIEGER: Just one more in that series. 65 ter 1795, please.
10 Q. This is also a letter of August 19th, 1995, from you to General
11 Cermak, again, regarding the theft of UN equipment and accommodation.
12 And this refers to, among other things, ISO accommodation containers,
13 which were observed being placed onto flat-bed trucks by men wearing HV
14 uniforms who were armed.
15 Can you tell us quickly what an ISO accommodation container is,
17 A. It what we used to replace our tent. It was used to house
18 military soldier in order to sleep in. It was about 25 feet by 12 feet,
19 if I remember well, the dimension. So it's a fairly big -- fairly big
21 Q. All right. And the first part of your answer says it was used to
22 replace our tank, it says. I didn't understand what that meant. You can
23 see the answer on the transcript in front of you, I think.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is it tank, or is it tent?
25 THE WITNESS: Tent. Yeah, not tanks. We didn't have no tanks.
1 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. All right. Now, you earlier indicated that General Gotovina on
5 August 8th had referred you to General Cermak to deal with the kinds of
6 problems you raised with him on that occasion. Notwithstanding that
7 indication, did you finally turn to General Gotovina in connection with
8 this matter of the attempt to recover the stolen UN property?
9 A. Yes. There came a point because every time I was meeting with
10 General Cermak with Mr. Al-Alfi, it was very sociable, you know, and he
11 was telling us that it would taking care of the -- they would take care
12 of the problem, but nothing was ever settled. There was still some
13 burning that was taking place, some looting, some equipment, UN equipment
14 that was stolen, so I decided because of a lot of the activity where it
15 was taking place they were people dressed as HV soldier that I decided
16 that I would go to General Gotovina and ensure that he was aware, you
17 know, that certain of those activity involve military personnel from the
18 HV and hopefully, you know, that he would be able to do something about
19 it. So that's the reason why I think I sent him two letter on that
20 particular subject highlighting the stolen equipment, the looting and
21 burning where some HV soldier were involved.
22 Q. Well, let's turn to 65 ter 1840, please.
23 This is letter dated 26 -- oops. Yeah. First of all, this is a
24 sitrep of 26 August of 2100, which attaches an enclosed letter, which was
25 being sent to General Gotovina. That's found at the next page -- and I
1 won't skip around, but we'll -- we can look at the last page in a moment,
2 but it's a letter from you or signed by you, General, to General Gotovina
3 on August 26th. At the beginning of the document, it references the
4 meeting of August 8th, and you indicate that indeed you are working with
5 General Cermak. And then the letter goes on to address the issue of both
6 hostile acts carried out by HV against UN peacekeepers, and the -- on the
7 second page, and the issue of UN equipment as seen in the second full
8 paragraph. And finally in the last paragraph of that page, it indicates
9 as a minor matter, a request for some assistance in putting together a
10 historical appreciation, it's called here, which I take it is some form
11 of presentation concerning Operation Storm.
12 General, is this the letter that you sent to General Gotovina
13 through the normal channels, and did you receive any response?
14 A. I did not receive any response, but I must also retract what I
15 said because I thought in that letter, I -- what I had talk about looting
16 and burning, which is not the case. I'm referring to the conduct of
17 military soldier and the fact, you know, that UN equipment has been
18 stolen and we would like to have it back, but nowhere do I mention the
19 looting and burning that was still taking place.
20 Q. General, let me ask you a question about that. You were in the
21 area for that period of time. Based on what you saw when you toured the
22 sector, based on your conversations with other people who were in the
23 sector, was it possible to be within the sector at any time and not know
24 about the looting and burning?
25 A. Well, it would have been extremely difficult because as is
1 indicated in all the situation report, you know, once we were allowed to
2 move within the sector, almost on a daily basis they are report of
3 looting, burning, or killing of an animals, plus once in a while, you
4 know, people that had been murdered. All the letter that I have sent to
5 General Cermak indicate, you know, that those problems were continuously
6 arriving and the fact that every time that we were meeting with General
7 Cermak not only I but Mr. Al-Alfi was also indicating to him that looting
8 and burning were taking place in addition to some murder that were
9 committed, so I find it almost impossible, you know, that they would not
10 be aware. Plus, there was our public affair officer that was also doing
11 quite a lot of writing about this particular subject, Mr. Alun Roberts,
12 who it is pretty hard to understand if it was not known, you know, at all
13 level that those activity were taking place.
14 Q. Now, General, I may return to one aspect of the theft of UN
15 equipment a bit later, but I'd like to turn now to two of the issues you
16 mentioned before, and that is the observation -- the awareness of the
17 crimes, human rights violations you spoke of and the restrictions of
18 movement that were simultaneously taking place.
19 Now, you begin in your statement in 1996 at page 10, and it's
20 page 9 of the B/C/S. You indicated that from the moment the war ended,
21 the systematic looting of villages and towns, the burning of buildings
22 and crops, and the wanton killing or wholesale theft of livestock began.
23 You've indicated some of what you saw at the early stages, and I'd like
24 to move through at least some of the documents in connection with the --
25 your exchanges with General Cermak in particular but also General
1 Gotovina about those issues.
2 So, first -- well, let me ask you -- okay.
3 MR. TIEGER: Let's just turn, first, then, please, to 65 ter
5 Q. Now, General, I believe you had indicated in your testimony
6 earlier about the looting that had taken place in Knin in the --
7 immediately after the HV entered. This is a letter dated August 9th,
8 1995, from you to General Cermak concerning various issues of importance.
9 And if we could turn to the -- look at the last paragraph, indicating
10 that -- your comment to General Cermak that you would also appreciate
11 greater control of his personnel after -- and then we just read this:
12 "After cleaning up their accommodation yesterday, many of my personnel
13 returned to their apartments to find that they had again been broken into
14 and some additional contents removed. This type of lawlessness is doing
15 little to inspire confidence in my staff who would like to again take up
16 residence in Knin and contribution to the normalisation of life."
17 So these reflect events that took place after the initial looting
18 that you had referred to earlier, General Forand?
19 A. Yeah because the looting I saw was on the 5th of August when I
20 was returning from the hospital and also the looting that I saw taking
21 place in front of my headquarter were -- when we were surrounded. Some
22 of the IDP had left their vehicle outside of the gate because obviously
23 there was no place in my compound, and we saw some HV troops, you know,
24 looting the content of those vehicle. That's the extent of the looting I
25 saw, and that letter refer before I went outside of the camp, you know,
1 which was on the 12th when I went to Donji Lapac. This refer to once we
2 had received the permission to get out of the camp. There was a lot of
3 people, UN civilian people some military observers on UN police that had
4 location, they were staying within the Knin town, so they went back to
5 their apartment, and they found out that it had been looted. According
6 to that, I don't exactly remember how many of them, you know, it
7 happened. They cleaned up, and when they went back the next day, you
8 know, some looting again had taken place. That's why that paragraph was
10 Q. Now, as UNCRO and other UN elements began to move around the
11 sector, I think you indicated they began to discover more evidence of
12 looting and burning. I'd like to you turn to 65 ter 576, please.
13 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn to the second page.
14 Q. And looking quickly at the paragraph marked General Situation,
15 which indicates -- it refers to the freedom of movement letter received
16 from General Cermak and some continuing problems in that regard. Also
17 refers to smoke, fires continuing to mark the landscape of the Krajina
18 and random shots and explosions heard continuously in all areas. And
19 finally, the last paragraph: Reports are being received that the area
20 leading to and surrounding Donji Lapac has been the scene of appalling
21 ethnic cleansing; the SC, sector commander will tour the area tomorrow.
22 And that's the tour -- the trip to Donji Lapac you referred to just a
23 moment ago, General. Is that right?
24 A. Yes, sir. That was done on the 12th of August.
25 Q. Yeah. And at the bottom of this page, it also indicates that two
1 letters of protest were delivered to General Cermak. One was on the
2 occupation of the CanBat camp at Civljane, and the second on the apparent
3 systematic destruction of civilian and UN properties.
4 MR. TIEGER: And if we could move through two more pages of the
5 document, please. And one more.
6 Q. General, this is a letter dated August 11th, 1995, to General
7 Cermak from you, indicating at the beginning of the document: "During
8 our meeting yesterday, both Mr. Paavo Pitcanen and I brought to your
9 attention information gathered by UN sources concerning the widespread
10 and systematic looting and destruction of property, crops, and livestock.
11 Since that meeting, additional reports of such needless destruction in
12 the area between Knin and Pakovo Selo and along the former Zone of
13 Separation have reached me. Recalling your statements during yesterday's
14 meeting concerning your honest efforts to control the situation, I again
15 protest these activities and ask to redouble your efforts to prevent the
16 organised destruction and theft of property."
17 So General, this document is one of the letters of -- one of the
18 protests you brought to General Cermak's attention concerning what was
19 happening in the sector?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And do you recall whether the crimes that you brought to his
22 attention continued or not?
23 A. Well, it continued because as you will see later on, you know,
24 the similar letter that was sent to him and discussion during our meeting
25 that took place concerning those particular subjects.
1 Q. In that regard, General, I'd like you to turn next to two
2 documents, please, and those will be 65 ter 2467 and then a document
3 already in evidence, D151. So let me ask to you look at those in order.
4 First, 2467. This is a sitrep dated 24 August 1995 at 2030
6 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to the third page of that
8 Q. It indicates at the top a meeting at 1330 hours between you,
9 commander Sector South, the political and humanitarian affairs
10 coordinator, and General Cermak. And it first discusses the issue of the
11 displaced persons that you had earlier mentioned and the impossibility of
12 allowing any displaced persons to depart for Serbia until 62 persons
13 accused of war crimes were handed over.
14 And then in paragraph 6, it indicates that General Cermak was
15 then reminded of the continuing burning and looting of homes taking place
16 in the Sector South area, and he was asked to stop such acts. General
17 Cermak initially responded by attributing such acts to bandits in army
18 uniforms but then admitted that his area of responsibility is vast and it
19 is difficult to exert control everywhere. He said he sincerely regretted
20 such acts which were contrary to the policy of the government of Croatia
21 Before I ask you about that, I also wanted you to look at D151.
22 You indicated, General, that Mr. Al-Alfi accompanied you to many of these
23 meetings and the sitrep of August 24th indicates that he was present
24 there. And is it correct that General Al-Alfi took his own notes of
25 these meetings and produced his own record of the meetings?
1 A. Yes, he did.
2 Q. And when those were sent out, were they sent to you, as well, and
3 you sent yours to him?
4 A. Yes. I was informed in -- he received also a copy of my own
5 sitrep, and as far as I can recall he attended the great majority of the
6 meeting that I had with General Cermak. If he was not there, he was
7 represented by one of his personnel.
8 Q. And, again, this refers to the meeting at 1330 hours of
9 August 24th. Indicates the initial discussion about the impossibilities
10 of departure of the displaced persons until the handover of the 62
11 suspected or accused persons. And then in the final paragraph,
12 paragraph 5 indicates the following: "We brought the continuation of
13 burning houses and looting in the area to the attention of General Cermak
14 and asked him to stop such acts. He accepted this fact, regarding the
15 continuation of such incidents and attributed them to 'persons who
16 entered the area wearing HV uniforms and to civilians taking revenge.'
17 He also attribute the such acts to ongoing efforts by the Croatian army
18 'who are still clearing the terrain and capturing the rebels.' General
19 Cermak made it clear that in his opinion the area is very vast and he
20 would be lying if he told us nothing of this sort would continue to
21 happen, but he informed us that he has already issued strict orders to
22 the civilian and military personnel to stop such acts."
23 General, are these to the best of your recollection accurate
24 accounts of yet another occasion on which you brought to General Cermak's
25 attention the ongoing crimes and asked him to see that they were
2 A. Yes. And as you can see, Mr. Al-Alfi used different word but the
3 meaning is similar to what was included in my situation report.
4 Q. You indicated earlier there were occasions on which -- I think
5 you indicated earlier that the meetings were cordial but there were
6 various responses. Sometimes General Cermak would indicate he would deal
7 with it, and do you recall other occasions on which General Cermak
8 indicated that he would issue orders to civilian and military personnel
9 to stop the ongoing crimes?
10 A. Yeah, I recall a couple of occasion where he stated that he would
11 look into it and take care of the matter.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, may I ask one question between.
13 Mr. Tieger used a couple of times now and we also find it in this
14 report by Mr. Al-Alfi the expression "to stop the ongoing crimes."
15 Now, from my understanding of the English language, it could mean
16 two things. If I want you to stop certain things, then it could be that
17 I ask you to stop doing that. There's another way of stopping, that is,
18 stopping that other people are doing that.
19 Since Mr. Tieger just read orders would be issued to stop the
20 ongoing crimes, did you understand this to be that they had to stop doing
21 these things or that they had to stop others doing these kind of things?
22 THE WITNESS: I understood that they had to stop doing these
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Not to stop others from doing it but not to
25 commit such acts any further --
1 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- themselves.
3 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. I thought -- I understood that it
4 was his own people, you know, from stopping doing those type of activity.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Can we turn next to -- I'd like to turn next to a meeting on the
9 29th of August, and again, I'm going to ask you to look at a number of
10 accounts of that meeting.
11 MR. TIEGER: So, first, if we could turn to 65 ter 3075. This is
12 a sitrep or a situation report from August 29th at 2030 hours. And if we
13 could turn to the second page, please.
14 Q. Sorry, General. That would be -- that's tab 36. My apologies.
15 And the second page, it refers to a meeting apparently at 1230
16 hours, again, involving you, Mr. Al-Alfi, and General Cermak, and, again,
17 involving issues related to displaced persons and also in this case to
18 former members of the ARSK; and indicates among other things that
19 Croatian authorities would offer alternatives to HQ Sector South camp,
20 that UN agencies will not encourage persons who leave their villages and
21 come to those shelters, and in the next paragraph a reference to what to
22 do about former members of the ARSK wishing to surrender and how to do
23 that, involving UN making contact with Croatian authorities, including
24 General Cermak.
25 If I could ask you to look next at 65 ter 4162, and that is found
1 in tab 37 of your binder. And this is Mr. Al-Alfi's report on the
2 meeting of that date with General Cermak and yourself. Again, identifies
3 a number of those same issues. Beginning -- it begins with the
4 reiteration to General Cermak of the need for increasing the security
5 guarantees in the villages; and it continues on the second page
6 addressing a number of the issues mentioned earlier and also asking
7 General Cermak to use his good offices in connection with the provision
8 of ten houses for UNCRO personnel who lost their accommodation in Knin;
9 an inquiry about the process of investigation in the case of what
10 happened in Grubori where a number of civilians were killed and houses
11 burnt; and an indication by General Cermak that tomorrow, 30 August, he
12 will identify areas restricted to UNCRO starting 31st August 1995 because
13 those areas will witness major cleaning operations by the Croatian army.
14 And, finally, General, one more record of that meeting. This is
15 65 ter 3069 --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, would you allow me one question in
18 One of these lines just read to you is that ten houses were
19 needed for UNCRO personnel who lost their accommodation.
20 Could you -- have you any recollection on how they lost their
22 THE WITNESS: It's those apartment that were looted, Your Honour,
23 and it could not be refurbish sufficiently, you know, for them to be
24 housed, so we had asked because I had a problem of lodging within my camp
25 if it would be possible to have a certain number of house, you know.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It's clear to me.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. TIEGER: Okay.
4 Q. And looking at 65 ter 3069, again, a record of the meeting from
5 -- of August 29th, 1995, this time from Croatian authorities involving
6 you and Mr. Al-Alfi.
7 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to the second page, please.
8 Q. There's further discussion about the ARSK soldiers and how they
9 should -- not further discussion but there's reflection of that
10 discussion about the ARSK soldiers. A further discussion about the
11 stolen UN vehicles, some of them as Mr. Al-Alfi says, "currently being
12 driven around Knin by the HV. The last time I saw one was two days ago."
13 And that refers back to the ongoing issue we had mentioned before and
14 General Cermak's response, "I have a list. I submitted it to the
15 civilian and military police. This is very embarrassing for me, but the
16 answer is still negative. I will repeat my orders."
17 And finally on the last page, the request for information about
18 Grubori as mentioned in both the previous documents and the indication at
19 the bottom of the page about the planning for a mop-up operation and the
20 blocking of roads, about which the --
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, but could we just go to the next page. I
22 mean, I appreciate the speed, but I prefer to exactly what you ...
23 MR. TIEGER:
24 Q. As we can see there, the -- it was the reference to Grubori on
25 the bottom of the previous page. Cermak's response ... and that our
1 units involved in clearing up the territory reported that three renegades
2 and two civilians had been killed, several cattle sheds set on fire while
3 some rebels had fled. And then at the bottom, the reference to an
4 upcoming mop-up operation, large-scale mop-up operation and the blocking
5 of roads.
6 Now, General Forand, first of all we see again a reference to the
7 issue of the stolen UN vehicles and another indication of General Cermak
8 indicating that he will issue orders to see that's addressed. Was this
9 another occasion on which General Cermak assured you that the problems
10 you brought to his attention -- that he would deal with the problems you
11 brought to his attention and would issue orders to see that they were
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, at the bottom, at the -- and indicated that there was a
15 reference to those documents to an anticipated restriction of movement on
16 -- by HV forces on the UN. Do you recall whether you protested this
17 restriction of movement?
18 A. No, I don't recall protesting at that particular time.
19 Q. Let me show you --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, before we move to any other document,
21 could you pay specific attention to some issues of translation of this
22 document. I was -- my attention was triggered by the fact that the
23 minuted start with General Ivan probably Cermak, which seems to be an
24 interpretation rather -- and I mean, interpretation can mean two things.
25 The original doesn't say Ivan; it says I, and then says Cerkak, and then
1 apparently the person who translated this document has started to figure
2 out who that might be and then gave his own opinion about that, which of
3 course is not what we expect to be translation. At the same time, I ask
4 the Defence, it looks as this is not -- this is not an illogical
5 conclusion, if there's any party who would consider that at least the
6 minutes are referring to any other person than a General Cermak, then I'd
7 like to be informed.
8 MR. KAY: There's no issue --
9 JUDGE ORIE: There's no issue.
10 MR. KAY: -- Your Honour. The accuracy -- I see it's a draft as
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. KAY: And that is a problem that we all face with a number of
14 these documents, and that is out of our hands. We're powerless to
15 rectify that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but there is no issue about it. Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour. I'm informed by Mr. Misetic one
18 particular version, and if we can go to the next page.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Of the original?
20 MR. KEHOE: Of the translation.
21 JUDGE ORIE: English translation.
22 MR. KEHOE: The English translation as it pertains to the
23 Croatian, and apparently according to the -- Mr. Misetic, in this
24 particular document, Mr. Al-Alfi is looking for accommodations to move
25 into town, which is certainly a tad bit different than what the witness
1 testified about replacing damaged houses.
2 I don't know if there some discrepancy in the translation or in
3 the original, but I bring that to your attention, Your Honour, because
4 Mr. Misetic said there appeared to be some discrepancy between the two.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Discrepancy is one; an issue of translation
6 is, of course, another matter. There may be discrepancy between what the
7 witness testifies and what we find in this document, which is of a
8 different nature than any inaccuracy in the translation.
9 If there would be any similar concern about the translation, I
10 invite Mr. Misetic to bring this to the attention of Mr. Tieger so that
11 can he specifically draw the attention when this draft translation will
12 be reviewed.
13 MR. TIEGER: And we'll certainly -- in light of -- I think I
14 understand it from the comments just made, but if there is any question
15 I'll certainly consult with Mr. Misetic about that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You're invited to do so.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 I think, Your Honour, if I could ...
20 If we could turn next to 65 ter 3544, please.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. General, this is a letter dated 30 August 1995 from you to
24 General Cermak. That's the day after the meeting and indicates as
25 follows. I wish to advise you that following consultation with UNCRO in
2 accept any unilateral restriction of movement imposed by your office in
3 the area of my command.
4 And then specifically cites in the next paragraph the questions
5 that have been raised in recent weeks in the sector, including the events
6 in Grubori on 26th August, and the view that such restrictions as
7 intended are intended to prevent UNCRO from fully exercising its agreed
8 task to monitor human rights and the observance of international
10 General, was this a response to the -- do you recall this as a
11 response to the indications that there be further restrictions of
12 movement -- that is, the indications on August 29th there would be
13 further restrictions of movement?
14 A. Yes, it was, but as I mentioned, I didn't raise it with General
15 Cermak at the 29th meeting, but when I went back to my headquarter I
16 phoned my headquarter and asked for clarification as to the agreement
17 that had been made between Mr. Akashi and the Croatian government, and
18 the advice I receive was that they were not allowed to limit our
19 movement. It was to be done in consultation with me, but it seems from
20 their interpretation that I had the last word if we would be going or
21 not. And what General Cermak had alluded on the previous day that they
22 would be some operation within a portion of my area where we would not be
23 allowed to move at all.
24 Q. And I believe there was a response that same day. Let me direct
25 your attention to 65 ter 3531. This is a letter from General Cermak to
1 you on the same date, indicating that -- in reply to your letter that
2 General Cermak wishes to inform you that his intention was not to
3 restrict the movement -- the freedom of movement of UNCRO officers but
4 draw your attention to the danger your officers might be exposed to
5 should they happen to be moving through the area where we intend to start
6 a large-scale mopping-up operations tomorrow to clear the territory of
7 defeated enemy troops.
8 Indicates at the bottom that there is an enclosed map and the
9 operation will go on. And in the sentence above that their intention was
10 to seal -- that is, General Cermak indicated "our intention was to seal
11 off the area in order to ensure the personal safety of your officers as
12 well as members of other international organisations."
13 General, can you -- did this letter mean that you would -- you
14 and the UN would have freedom of movement through the sector or would be
15 restricted from entering the areas which were sealed off by Croatian
17 A. Well, I suppose it could be read two way. One way it allowed us
18 to go wherever we want; the second one, because it refers to the map
19 which were to show us the area where we would not be allowed. It could
20 be a way of indicating that with that map this is the area where we will
21 conduct operation, and you will not be allowed to go. It's not clear,
22 you know, in that letter. That's why I say it could go both ways.
23 And I don't remember, you know, what we did following the receipt
24 of that letter, if we went anyhow. I don't remember that.
25 Q. Well, perhaps we can look at some further documents to see how --
1 to see what followed.
2 MR. TIEGER: And if we could look next at -- first at 65 ter
4 Q. It will come up on your screen, General, but, sorry, it is at
5 tab 41 of your binder.
6 This is a sitrep dated 31 August at 2030 hours. If you turn to
7 the second page, it's the commander's assessment.
8 It indicates the following: "Burning of houses and villages
9 continues in a steady and methodical manner. Every day brings incidents
10 or stories of atrocities against people and property, including murder
11 and the wholesale destruction of livestock. The numbers of police and
12 militaries whose presence dominates everything in the Krajina makes it
13 very difficult to believe that these activities are occurring without at
14 least the tacit approval of the authorities. More believable are the
15 explanations from low-ranking Croatian soldiers, often returned from
16 other countries that he have been promised virgin land for homesteading
17 in the Krajina after the war is won."
18 And in paragraph (b), it refers to the tightening, again, of
19 restrictions of movements of UN personnel, military, UNMOs, ECMM and
20 states "temporary," in quotes, "restrictions due to Serbian terrorist
21 fighting are the new line, although coincidentally, these areas are the
22 same ones that have been subject to press coverage of atrocities or are
23 areas that suddenly burst into flame. An example is the area surrounding
24 Donji Lapac yesterday. See protest."
25 Indicates in the last paragraph, paragraph (c), that you have
1 been advised by General Cermak that extensive clearing operations will
2 take place, and that is being protested.
3 And in that -- General, is that your assessment of the situation
4 at the end of August 1995?
5 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
6 Q. Let me ask you to take a quick look at a document already in
7 evidence, D144. That's found at tab 42.
8 This is a letter dated 31 August 1995 from you to General Cermak,
9 and the subject line is Protest, Restriction of Movement, Continuation Of
10 Burnings, and it advises in the first paragraph that further to your
11 letter protesting the restriction of movement along the road to
12 Donji Lapac at the major intersection near Otric: "I must inform that
13 the human rights monitoring team later observed heavy smoke rising from
14 the forest in the restricted area. The same team also observed five
15 houses burning near Gracac."
16 Then you go on to say, and I raise this in particular, General,
17 because we'll see a response to that in a moment: "These restrictions of
18 movement combined with unexplained burnings leave many unanswered
19 questions. I do not understand how those under your command are able to
20 control so effectively all movement and at the same time almost one month
21 after hostilities so many houses continue to be burned, driving poor and
22 destitute persons homeless from their land in contravention of the policy
23 of the government of Croatia
24 resources necessary to control such acts of lawlessness within your area
25 of responsibility.
1 "I also request that you stop restricting the movement of UN
2 elements. If you are sincere about stopping the wanton destruction of
3 property, then I urge you to welcome the independent surveillance of UN
4 teams as a valuable tool in countering this banditry."
5 General, what did you hope to achieve by sending this letter --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Sorry.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, whenever you read would you keep in mind
9 that usually speed goes up.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour, and I will.
12 Q. General Forand, did this letter have the intended effect of
13 ensuring the end of restrictions of movement of UN elements and the end
14 of the crimes that you were pointing out?
15 A. If it had -- what's your question? If it did stop?
16 Q. Right.
17 A. No, I don't think it did stop because you will see later on, you
18 know, that the same thing is happening. In mine, like in all the aim of
19 the previous letter, was to advise him that those thing were taking
20 place, and I felt that it was his responsibility because he had told me
21 that he was responsible for the region of Knin, which encompassed my area
22 of responsibility that those activities should cease because it was not
23 according to humanitarian right, you know, so there was a reason for all
24 those letter and all those meeting where we repeated most of the same
1 Q. I would like to turn, then, to 65 ter 4750. And, General, this
2 is a sitrep from the 3rd of September, 1995, at 1515 hours. And in
3 connection with what you've just indicated to the Court, it states as
4 follows: "In spite of the strenuous efforts to identify and stem human
5 rights violations committed in the aftermath of OP Storm, references A
6 and B the most recent, the burning, looting, and pillaging of the homes
7 and farms of impoverished Serbs continues in Sector South. Despite the
8 official statement of the Croatian government urging Serbs to remain in
9 their villages, the military governor of Knin is either unable or
10 unwilling to put an end to the widespread and systematic destruction of
11 the only means of subsistence available to these vulnerable and innocent
12 victims of war. This is criminal. Is there nothing which can be done?"
13 And then in the last paragraph, you urge your headquarters to
14 pursue all means available to stop the abuse of human rights in the
16 Now, General, you also received a response from General Cermak on
17 that date to your letter of 31 August. I want to show that you document
18 and ask you if this situation report was sent before or after you
19 received that document.
20 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to the next page. This is a --
21 I don't know how the Court wants to resolve this, Your Honour. This is
22 actually D145, this particular page.
23 Q. This is a letter, General Forand, from General Cermak to you
24 regarding your letter of 31 August and your letter of 1 September. It's
25 a reply to the protest about alleged restriction of movement. And it
1 provides as follows, in part: "In the same letter, you state that
2 'restriction of movement combined with unexplainable burning of houses
3 leave many questions unanswered.' I am astonished at your statements
4 about persecution of the poor and the miserable from their land, which I
5 consider are strong words and ungrounded accusations.
6 "I ask you to give evidence of at least one case of driving
7 people out of their homes and burning their houses. Furthermore, we ask
8 you kindly to be careful your letters do not contain any insinuations
9 without proofs. I am ready to go with you to prove the truth in any case
10 at any time."
11 First question, General: Do you recall whether you had this
12 response from General Cermak to your 31 August letter before you sent the
13 sitrep of September 3rd?
14 A. I don't remember, but my sitrep of the 3rd at 1515 does not
15 allude to that letter, and to me it has no bearing. You know, based on
16 that letter, it's a constatation [sic] that I would like to have my
17 headquarter get involved, you know, to try to ensure that what we were
18 reporting almost on a daily basis would stop. So I was asking my
19 headquarter, do something about it; go to the appropriate Croatian
20 authority and deal it. So it has no bearing in my view with the letter I
21 received from General Cermak, which, if I remember, I responded
22 immediately the same date to his letter.
23 Q. And what was your reaction to the letter, and what was your
24 response, General?
25 A. Well, you can see it, you know. There's a -- the letter that is
1 attached to that. Obviously, I did not agree with his comments because
2 when I was saying, you know, about the destitute, the miserable is that
3 there was about, from our knowledge, between 18 to 2.000 people that were
4 left in my whole area where it used to be 80.000. They were living in
5 village where no electricity and no running water, and General Cermak had
6 told the IDP in my camp, you know, that if they would return to their
7 village they would be taken care of.
8 At the same time the looting was burning was taking place, there
9 is also some people that we were finding, you know, that were murdered,
10 so that did not create an environment, you know, where those people could
11 live freely, and may I equate that to a persecution, and they had been
12 miserable in the sense that they had the most difficulty to provide to
13 themselves, and even though, you know, it was the end of August you could
14 see that fall was coming, and fall in that particular area is similar to
15 where I come from in my country, and it is very hard if you don't have
16 the capacity to eat, yourself, or to have some form of electricity, you
17 know, to be able to just survive.
18 So when I receive this letter, well, I was a little bit taken off
19 based on all the previous letter and discussions I had with General
20 Cermak highlighting the fact that burning was taking place, that looting
21 was taking place, that we had restriction of movement. So that's why I
22 responded immediately to his letter, which is the one that is signed on
23 the 3rd of September.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Forand, you earlier mentioned a number of people
25 that were left in the whole area. Did you say between 1.800 and 2.000?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that's correct on the transcript, page
3 64, line 24.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. General, we have in evidence now some of the specific responses
7 to those letters you provided, and I want to take you to one of those in
8 a moment, but before I do --
9 A. I see I made a mistake. I said I responded on the 3rd, but it
10 was on the 4th.
11 Q. Well, since you've mentioned that, we can turn to 65 ter 946.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if anywhere in the next two to three
13 minutes you would find a suitable moment for a break, you're invited to.
14 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.
15 If we could turn to -- this is a -- keep moving through that
16 document, please, a couple of more pages.
17 Q. This is a letter dated September 4th, General Forand, from you to
18 General Cermak referencing his letter of September 3rd, 1995, and
19 assuring him that you will receive his proof, compelling and factual
20 proof of the burning of homes, and you'll be compiling that but meanwhile
21 providing some immediate information about crimes taking place and asking
22 at the last sentence: "Please investigate this most recent incident,
23 which puts HV soldiers in the immediate vicinity of burning homes, and
24 yet more poor farmers describe how soldiers either killed or took their
25 means of livelihood."
1 This is one of the responses to the -- to General Cermak's letter
2 of September 3rd?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this is a good time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break at your suggestion, Mr. Tieger.
6 I was listening to the French translation, so therefore it came a bit
7 late for me. You were reading.
8 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at a quarter to 1.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that the parties have, meanwhile,
12 received a copy of the list prepared by Mr. Registrar giving provisional
13 exhibit numbers and 65 ter numbers for 73 documents?
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour, we have -- I believe it came across
15 in the transfer of the draft form. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I take it that apart from the provisional
17 exhibit numbers that nothing has been added to this list, Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honours, that's correct. Nothing has
19 been added to the list.
20 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, just for clarification, if I may. I
21 had a discussion with Mr. Registrar about that at the break. In addition
22 to the 73 documents, there are four documents which the Prosecution will
23 wish to tender across the bar table that are not identified in those 73.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And those are not in the 73. And do they
25 happen to be the four for which addition to your 65 ter list was granted
1 earlier, or are they -- is it a bit from --
2 MR. TIEGER: No, I think they're different, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: They're different. These were the ones attached to
4 the statement. You want to tender another four, and among these 73 are
5 the four which were added to your 65 ter list. So they're part of this
6 73? Let me just check. We have the --
7 MR. TIEGER: Right. Right. The -- I think -- if I understand
8 the Court accurately, that's correct, that those are part of the 73.
9 JUDGE ORIE: They are part of the 73. So then -- then since
10 there are no objections --
11 MR. KAY: We'll need them to be identified, Your Honour, which
12 documents the Prosecution are referring to.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The other four, would you say, or --
14 MR. KAY: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that this will come in a separate
16 round of seeking them to be admitted.
17 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. I can do that now or later.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first try to deal with these ones.
19 Yes. Mr. Registrar, would it not be very practical that the
20 internal memorandum in which we find the exhibit numbers together with
21 the 65 ter numbers that that would be filed as a document so that
22 everything is on the record?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This will be filed as a
24 public document in the case file and distributed to all parties.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we can move to a decision on the matter.
1 That is, P334 up to and including P406 are admitted into evidence, and
2 then we'll hear from you, Mr. Tieger, about the remaining four documents.
3 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Whether now or at any suitable moment.
5 MR. TIEGER: Well, I can raise those now just as easily and the
6 numbers are --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we will not -- of course, before the Chamber
8 admits any documents from the bar table, we would like to have a look at
9 it so we know what we are admitting. Are the Defence teams informed
10 about the four documents or not yet?
11 MR. KEHOE: I am not certain of exactly what we're talking about.
12 I did have a discussion with Mr. Du-Toit about a couple of them, but
13 consistent with Your Honours' desires and -- the Chamber's desires, if we
14 could get the listing and look at them and just reserve our position.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger. Yes.
16 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour. I should mention that those were
17 all documents, and maybe I should have indicated that as we went through
18 them serially. They were documents that have been identified by other 65
19 ter numbers during the course of the examination.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then if you make a short list and give it to
21 the --
22 MR. TIEGER: Right.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And if -- of course, if you say it was during the
24 examination, then whether it's tendering through the bar table or whether
25 it's just tendered through this witness, although, is another matter, but
2 MR. TIEGER: Sorry, Your Honour. That was a -- oh, I'm sorry,
3 Mr. Kehoe.
4 MR. KEHOE: Yeah, just as -- on a practical level, Your Honour,
5 going back to some of these documents, I don't -- at least we've noticed
6 at least one of these sitreps that has come in, number 42, which is P375,
7 it's 65 ter 1840, has been admitted already. I don't know if we are
8 interested in avoiding the duplication of this or just letting it go.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We certainly are interested in avoiding
11 MR. TIEGER: Of course.
12 JUDGE ORIE: This seems to be -- almost moves into a bookkeeping
13 session rather than -- so, Mr. Tieger, I take it that you will properly
14 inform the Defence and that the Chamber will be informed what documents
15 will be tendered from the bar table. Once there's clarity, we can then
16 take the next step.
17 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then you're invited now to proceed.
19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
20 Q. General Forand, thank you for your patience during what the Court
21 accurately referred to as a bookkeeping session.
22 Before the break, we had looked at and discussed some of the
23 exchanges that took place toward the end of August, beginning of
24 September 1995. I'm going to want to turn your attention in a moment to
25 another response by you to General Cermak's 3 September letter. But
1 before I do that, I'd like to turn your attention to the second meeting
2 you had with General Gotovina after Operation Storm.
3 That meeting is referred to in your statement of 2008 at
4 paragraph 8 where you indicate that it was General Gotovina who requested
5 that meeting, and you recall wondering at the time the reason why he
6 wanted to meet because it seemed that he only wanted to show me his new
7 office, and then you indicate that although it is not indicated in the
8 sitrep for that date, I again complained about the looting and burning of
9 houses which was occurring throughout the sector ... that this was
10 happening but indicated that it was something could not control. It was
11 at the conclusion of this meeting that General Gotovina threatened to
12 kill UN Press Officer Alun Roberts for being a "spy and a provocateur."
13 This meeting took place on 5 September 1995
14 Now, let me turn your attention, please, to 65 ter 3186, sir, and
15 if we could move to the -- move three pages down. That's fine.
16 At paragraph 6, heading Meetings With Croatian Authorities,
17 beginning: Commander of OZ south invited commander Sector South to his
18 recently refurbished Knin office at 1015 hours. Goes on to describe some
19 of those present, indicates there was no stated purpose for the meeting
20 and that General Gotovina was in an expansive mood.
21 The second paragraph concerns General Gotovina's message about
22 the displaced persons at the Sector South HQ camp, protesting that the UN
23 was harbouring war criminals and grandstanding to the world media while
24 doing so as if defending an underdog, asking that the accused be handed
25 over to Croatian authorities and that no one could leave until that
1 happened and asking what right the UN has to stand in judgement of the
2 Croatian courts and noting, again, there was the now familiar
3 justification for revenge in response to Serb actions in 1991.
4 And then the last paragraph, addressing something that I
5 indicated earlier when referring to your statement, and that's the
6 references to the -- to Mr. Roberts, the Sector South press information
7 officer, the accusation that he was a spy and provocateur and your
8 concern about that matter and assessment that this was an attempt by
9 General Gotovina to end press information activity in the sector and
10 press information officer contact with the many international press.
11 General, can you tell the Court at what point of the meeting this
12 message was delivered by General Gotovina and your concern about the
13 significance of that message?
14 A. Yes. This took place -- it took me by surprise. I was
15 accompanied by my deputy commander, Colonel Blana [phoen], and my senior
16 liaison officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk. The meeting was completed.
17 It was outside of his office. I was waiting to get inside my vehicle,
18 and that's when, you know, he proffered those -- those words, you know,
19 that he would deal with Alun Roberts. So I was completely taken aback,
20 and I think I explained to him that in my view, Mr. Roberts, you know,
21 was depicting exactly what was happening in the sector. And when I came
22 back to my camp, I immediately advise UNCRO of the discussion that had
23 taken place regarding Mr. Roberts.
24 Q. And if we could turn next to 65 ter 2840.
25 And perhaps go an additional page.
1 This is a letter from -- to General Cervenko, Chief of Staff of
2 the Croatian army Zagreb
3 that he had been informed by the commander of Sector South,
4 Brigadier-General Forand that during a visit he paid to General Cermak --
5 it says here General Cermak in Knin on 5 September 1995, General Gotovina
6 who was also present accused Mr. Roberts, press and information officer
7 of the sector, of being involved in spying activities, which ultimately
8 may justify his execution. And General Janvier goes on to express his
9 concern about that and indicates at the last paragraph that he would very
10 much appreciate if he could be informed about whatever measures General
11 Cervenko deems necessary to avoid such allegations or further allegations
12 against a member of the UN in Sector South whose commitment remains
13 highly valued by the sector commander.
14 General, is this a letter insofar as you're aware that followed
15 the information you provided to headquarters about what had happened on
16 September 5th?
17 A. Well, I never saw that letter except there's a -- there's
18 something that is not correct in the first paragraph. General Cermak was
19 not there at that particular meeting, so it was only General Gotovina,
20 myself, my deputy, and my senior liaison officer, so I don't know where
21 General Janvier got that information. It is not certainly reflected in
22 the sitrep that I had sent to my headquarter.
23 Q. And apart from that, does the letter otherwise appear to be a
24 response to the information you provided and the concern you expressed
25 about what had happened on September 5th?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
3 MR. TIEGER: I understand, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: There's no reason to ask. Fairly obvious, isn't it.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. TIEGER: And Your Honour, one more document I want to tender
7 across the bar table. I don't know that it's necessary to show the
8 witness, but it's 65 ter 3319, and it's a letter from General Cervenko to
9 General Gotovina -- well, excuse me, the other way around, a letter from
10 General Gotovina to General Cervenko referring to General Gotovina's
11 receipt of a warning from General Cervenko that "as commander, I am
12 personally responsible for the treatment of members of UNCRO."
13 MR. KEHOE: Just wait --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon.
15 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I am just waiting for it to come up on
16 the screen.
17 MR. TIEGER: That's -- I had the hard copy, and it hadn't come up
18 electronically yet.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. As I indicated a moment ago, this is a letter from General
22 Gotovina to General Cervenko referring to his receipt on 13
23 September 1995 of "your warning stating that as commander I am personally
24 responsible for the treatment of members of UNCRO in Split ZP's area of
25 responsibility and that behaviour by members of subordinated units is
1 inappropriate and causing serious damage to the reputation of the
2 Croatian army as a whole, and that it conflicts directly with state
3 policy and the positions of the leadership of the Republic of Croatia
4 well as with the international commitments undertaken by" --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, if you want to tender this document from
6 the bar table, I mean, it is follow-up correspondence, and then we'll
7 read it, and if you read it aloud in court, then it's hardly useful
8 anymore, then.
9 MR. TIEGER: That's fine, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any objection against this follow-up
11 correspondence to the --
12 MR. KEHOE: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And I don't see any other objections.
14 Mr. Registrar, this is not included in the list, Mr. Tieger?
15 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honours, it's not.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would be number?
17 THE REGISTRAR: This becomes Exhibit P407.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P407 is admitted into evidence.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. And a moment ago, General, I indicated that I wanted to draw your
22 attention to one more response to General Cermak's September 3rd letter,
23 and if I could now direct your attention to 65 ter 2256.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Is that also not on the list, Mr. Tieger, or is this
25 one on the list?
1 MR. TIEGER: I'm sure it is, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It is on the list?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
4 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then if you -- we will further elaborate on that.
6 MR. TIEGER: Oh, I'm sorry. You're quite right. I am referring
8 JUDGE ORIE: You can now use the P number, which leaves -- also
9 allows at later stages for links.
10 MR. TIEGER: Okay. And this letter of September 7th, 1995, that
11 I'm referring to is P396.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. General, P396 is a letter from you to General Cermak dated
16 September 7th, 1995
17 Sector South, references to General Cermak's letter of September 3rd,
18 1995; your letter of 4 September 1995
19 and indicates that "In spite of my efforts and the efforts of other UN
20 officials to encourage to you bring an end to the human rights violations
21 being committed in your area of responsibility in the aftermath of
22 Operation Storm, the burning, looting, and pillaging continues.
23 Following the statements of the government of Croatia urging Serbs to
24 remain in their villages, I do not understand why you are unable to put
25 an end to the widespread and systematic destruction of the only means of
1 subsistence available to these vulnerable victims of war. These people
2 are not soldiers. They are totally unable to defend themselves against
3 aggression. They depend on you for their security. They need your help,
4 and they need it now."
5 And you indicate on the second page that following your recent
6 letters you wanted to make General Cermak aware of additional incidents
7 which have occurred recently within Sector South, and you list those ...
8 read them all out. The court can read those. I'll just continue with
9 the end of your letter, which says: "The above incidents are
10 illustrative of the magnitude and scope of the problem of human rights
11 abuses in your area of responsibility. These are not unfounded
12 allegations or insinuations without proof as you suggest in your letter 3
13 September. Human rights teams report what they see. What they see is
14 not pretty. What they see is criminal, but it is the sad truth. If you
15 are not pleased with the reports, please take action to stop the burning
16 and the killing."
17 Indicated this was sent to General Cermak with a -- a copy to
18 UNCRO command, then a copy to General Gotovina, the commander, Military
19 District South.
20 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, if I may, I mean, that says commander OZ
21 south. It doesn't say anything about General Gotovina. I mean, the
22 document speaks for itself.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Who is commander OZ south? Is there any way of
24 agreeing -
25 MR. TIEGER: No. There is not. That's the -- well, I would say
1 that we've seen that reference before, but I -- that's fine. I mean, I
2 agree that --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if that's a matter of dispute, then I take it
4 that we will learn about it more. But perhaps --
5 MR. TIEGER: I guess --
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- Mr. Forand, you did send this letter? It says,
7 copied to command OZ south. First of all, who did you intend to address
8 when sending a copy to command OZ south?
9 THE WITNESS: General Gotovina, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Gotovina. Have you any idea on how this was
12 THE WITNESS: The same way that the other were delivered. It was
13 faxed to the military observer in Zadar and asked to be delivered to
14 General Gotovina.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. TIEGER:
18 Q. General Forand, was this a further effort by you to respond to
19 General Cermak's letter of September 3rd and ensure to the extent you
20 were able that these crimes were addressed?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And did you receive a direct response from General Cermak or
23 General Gotovina, to the best of your recollection?
24 A. No. No. I never received nothing.
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, that concludes my examination-in-chief.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
2 We still have some time left today. Could I inquire what the
3 sequence of cross-examination will be?
4 MR. KAY: Your Honour, on behalf of Mr. Cermak, I'm going to do
5 the first cross-examination.
6 Mr. Tieger's ended slightly shorter than --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. KAY: -- we believed he'd be, and we haven't put our exhibits
9 yet into a format that can be distributed by ring tail for a very good
10 reason, in fact.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any matter you could deal with in 25
12 minutes so that we do not lose time in court?
13 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I certainly could as long as the parties
14 don't mind the fact that we haven't distributed our exhibits in ring
15 tail, but I won't be dealing with anything off-pieced, so to speak.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you may proceed.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Forand, you will now be cross-examined by
19 Mr. Kay, who is Defence counsel for Mr. Cermak.
20 Mr. Kay, please proceed.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Kay:
22 Q. First matter I'm going to ask you about is the matter of the
23 military governor, General Forand, which was a title that you repeatedly
24 used in relation to Mr. Cermak.
25 Can we just look at your statement of the 19th of August, 1996
1 page 10, Prosecution Exhibit 330 just so that we can have a look at a
2 description you gave in relation to General Cermak in that first
3 statement of yours.
4 And I'm looking at the third full paragraph in that statement.
5 On the 6th of August, President Tudjman appointed a military governor for
6 the sector. His name was Lieutenant-General Cermak. You gave a
7 description there of what he was, an HV reserve officer who told me that
8 his AOR, area of responsibility, was the whole of UN Sector South and
9 that his job was to administer and revitalise in the newly conquered
10 areas. He also told me that he was an artillery officer and had planned
11 the use of artillery against the Serbs during Operation Storm.
12 Lieutenant-General Cermak told me the above activities were -- was
13 sweeping operations to ensure that the land was safe from Chetniks.
15 First of all, in relation to being an artillery officer, did you
16 get that information from someone else, or are you saying that General
17 Cermak said that to you?
18 A. As far as this paragraph is -- oh, sorry.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please answer the question, yes.
20 A. Yes. This paragraph represents not the first meeting, but it's
21 my recollection when I was asked a question, you know, about General
22 Cermak, I didn't meet him on the 6th. I met him on the 7th. As I had
23 mentioned earlier, I got the information that -- and to me it was a
24 military governor, you know, would be coming into Knin to take over the
25 responsibility of my area.
1 He told me personally that he was an artillery officer many weeks
2 afterward at a social reception that was held by the authority in Knin.
3 It could have been three weeks to a month after the 6th of August. I
4 don't remember exactly. It was a chat between me and him, you know, and
5 that is where he told me he was a reserve officer, that he was an
6 artillery, and I recall that he mentioned that he had planned the
7 artillery plan, you know, for Operation Storm. I recall that I didn't
8 quite believe him. I didn't tell him that I didn't believe him, but I
9 let it go at that, and I didn't pursue further that conversation.
10 MR. KAY:
11 I'm just letting the translation flow.
12 Q. Presumably, you and he didn't speak the same language. You
13 didn't speak the Croatian language. Is that right?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And he didn't speak English. Is that right?
16 A. He spoke a bit of English.
17 Q. Are you saying he told you this in English?
18 A. Well, we were alone there. If he -- if I don't understand Croat
19 and he doesn't speak English, you know -- he spoke a little bit of
20 English, and that's what I understood.
21 Q. So you're saying that he held this conversation with you about
22 being the artillery officer and planned the use of artillery in Operation
23 Storm, you're saying he said that to you in English?
24 A. That's what I recall, yes.
25 Q. Well, you say that's what you recall. Did you -- do you have
1 doubts about what was said?
2 A. I don't have doubts. I recall that he said that. I don't know
3 how else to express that.
4 Q. In all your meetings with him, he had someone speaking in English
5 to you. Is that right?
6 A. He had a translator, and we also had a translator when we were
7 meeting, yes.
8 Q. And when you say he had a translator, was that a liaison officer
9 between the Croatian army and the -- and you, as the UN, or an official
11 A. Well, on his part initially it was a translator from the Croatian
12 army, the same individual that I had seen the first time I had met with
13 General Gotovina. And after that, I don't remember if that individual
14 was there all the time, but we were also bringing our own translator.
15 Q. Just help me to identify who that person is, if you can. Who was
16 the translator? Did you get to know the name of the person?
17 A. I don't remember.
18 Q. Were there liaison officers who were in fact speaking to you in
19 English when you had meetings with General Cermak?
20 A. You mean liaison officer from the Croatian army?
21 Q. Croatian. Yes.
22 A. Like I said, initially there was one individual that I remember
23 his face because I had seen him the first time that I went to see General
24 Gotovina with General Kotil. I don't remember if he stayed there
25 throughout all the meetings that I had with General Cermak, but there was
1 somebody that was doing the translation for General Cermak.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, there seems to be some -- a bit of
3 confusion. I think the witness earlier told us that the person he saw
4 also in a meeting with General Gotovina, that he then called him a
5 translator, and now it appears that when you're asking about liaison
6 officers that he is referring to the same person. So there might be some
7 confusion, and you're invited to seek clarification.
8 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour, and that is the point of this
10 Q. You had as commander of UNCRO liaison officers from the Croatian
11 army dealing with the UNCRO forces. Is that right?
12 A. Well, first, I was not the commander of UNCRO. I was commander
13 of Sector South --
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. -- which was part of UNCRO. There were certain individuals that
16 were liaison officer. Captain Lukovic, you know, was an individual with
17 whom we were doing liaison with, but there was other people. I don't
18 remember their names.
19 Q. As commander of Sector South, you had regular dealings or your
20 forces had regular dealings with the Croatian army liaison officers. Is
21 that right?
22 A. Not quite because that's one of the problem that we were
23 encountering is that on the Croat side the only liaison that was taking
24 place was taking place at my level. My battalion commander could not
25 have a liaison with the Croat authority. It was always elevated at my
2 Q. So that liaison officer from the Croatian army would be dealing
3 with you personally. Is that right?
4 A. Well, not with me. He was dealing with my officer.
5 Q. And that -- I thought you said that problem was they'd only be
6 dealing at your level.
7 A. My level in the sense that my headquarter, not with the unit
9 Q. Right. So the liaison officer of the Croatian army with whom you
10 or your subordinates were dealing with was someone whom you had regular
11 contact with concerning the activities of the Croatian army forces. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Well, the way it was organised, I had a Senior Liaison Officer
14 who was Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk. He was the one that was doing the
15 liaison on my part. He was the one that organised meeting, you know, was
16 aware of when the meeting -- if General Cermak wanted to have a meeting,
17 then we coordinate. It was through Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk. Then I
18 was made aware that a meeting was requested, or if I requested a meeting
19 it was through Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk who went to General Cermak
20 headquarter to request a meeting.
21 Q. Taking as an example in your statement in a passage, you refer to
22 a message on the 4th of August from a marine Lukovic about keeping radio
23 silence during Operation Storm. Do you recollect that passage?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. And was that the liaison officer, Lukovic, who was passing that
1 information to you?
2 A. It was from whom we received it. It was signed by him, that
3 particular letter, you know, advising us to that we should stop
4 transmitting because in his view we were passing information to the other
5 side, and we would be dealt with if we continue to provide that
6 particular information. But it was the en-tete - I don't know what's the
7 word in English - the heading was for the government of Croatia
8 remember well.
9 Q. And those liaison officers were the point of contact for your
10 forces in dealing with military issues. Is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right. There was also some military observer that
12 were co-located at the headquarter of General Gotovina, which was in
13 Zadar, and that's how I transmitted the letter, you know, that I sent to
14 General Gotovina on the 4th of August.
15 Q. And you were aware that the liaison officers in Zadar had a
16 superior in Zagreb
17 relation to the exchange through the liaison officers. Is that right?
18 A. No, I'm not aware -- I remember that I met the Brigadier Plestina
19 when he came to visit my headquarter in Knin, and that's where I learned
20 that he was the liaison officer at UNCRO level. But before that, I was
21 not aware of that.
22 Q. So your knowledge of the structure of the liaison officers and
23 where they reported was not detailed. Is that right?
24 A. It was sufficient that when I sent something through my --
25 through the military observer that I was guaranteed that it was delivered
1 to the individual that would give it to the person that I was sending to.
2 And when I had, again, that first meeting with General Gotovina with
3 General Kotil, Captain Lukovic was also present at that particular
5 Q. He was a naval captain, Lukovic. Is that right?
6 A. I think I remember, yeah, that he was called captain and captain
7 naval, yes. He was a marine.
8 Q. And he also spoke English. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, he did speak English.
10 Q. But not English to a fluent level. Is that right?
11 A. I'm the wrong person to ask about fluency, but he was speaking
13 Q. Well, you're the only person there --
14 A. No, but sufficient for me to understand. Now, am I considered
15 fluent? You know, I think we have the same approach. We understand; we
16 can argue; we can exchange information with sufficient, I think, detail
17 that we understand what we're meaning.
18 Q. Are we to take the terms of your evidence this morning that you
19 say it was the suggestion of a military observer in Zadar that a military
20 governor for the region was to be appointed? Is that your evidence?
21 A. Yeah. What I recall is either Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk or
22 Major Balfour, who was my senior ops officer, told me that he got -- he
23 had received information from a military observer that was at Zadar that
24 he they would be a military governor that would be appoint for their
25 region of Knin. That's how I learned that somebody that -- from the
1 Croat authority would be coming, you know, to become in charge with, and
2 that would be the person with who eventually we would be dealing.
3 Q. Are you able to help me as to who this military observer was, who
4 gave this information about a military governor?
5 A. No, sorry, I cannot.
6 Q. Any other details that might help me find him, locate him?
7 A. Well, if Lieutenant-Colonel Tymchuk or Major Balfour comes as a
8 witness, I suppose you could ask them, but I don't remember myself.
9 Q. The first information we have about a military governor according
10 to these papers is a letter written by you, in fact, on the 5th of
11 August. Shall we just have a look at that now?
12 MR. KAY: That letter is a Prosecution Exhibit from this morning,
13 so I'm unable to tie up, Your Honour, what number --
14 JUDGE ORIE: If you have the 65 ter number, it might be easy to
16 MR. KAY: It has been given -- I can give you the number.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That might assist Mr. Registrar. We not know --
19 MR. KAY: 65 ter 1612.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That must be able to --
21 MR. KAY: That's the document.
22 Q. This is the letter you wrote to General Gotovina. "I urgently
23 request a meeting with the military governor of the region."
24 What did you understand a military governor to mean?
25 A. Well, to me, it was the individual that was responsible for the
1 area to deal with any matter, you know, that may surface that would be of
2 interest to me as the Sector South commander, whether it pertained to
3 military aspect or humanitarian aspect.
4 Q. So that would be a political appointment by the Croatian
5 government to that position. Would you agree?
6 A. Well, I don't know, you know, the way that it was appointed. To
7 me it was somebody to whom I could go, you know, and have discussion and
8 to ensure that whatever problem we were facing, you know, he would -- I
9 hope that he would be in a position to resolve.
10 Q. Did you know whether the position of military governor actually
11 existed within the Croatian legal system or constitutional system?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Was this a matter that you referred to your UNCRO headquarters in
15 with your problems?
16 A. No, except that all the situation report and the letter that I
17 wrote to General Cermak, you know, was titled Military Governor of Knin,
18 and nobody ever came back to tell me that that was not the proper title
19 that I should use, and I did not ask my headquarter at UNCRO to tell me,
20 you know, what the military governor should do or should not do or what
21 were the responsibility or if it was applicable because they receive,
22 also, the same information, and nobody ever came back to tell me that I
23 should not use that term.
24 Q. General Cermak never wrote to you under the title of military
25 governor, did he?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. He always wrote to you as the commander of the Knin garrison.
3 A. Well, let's say "always" is a big word because I think I received
4 three letters from him compared to 12 or 15 that I sent him, which was
5 addressed as the military governor of the Knin region. But, you're
6 right. The -- from what I recall, it was not written as military
8 Q. So were you aware that you were giving him an incorrect title, an
9 incorrect rank?
10 A. No. In my view, you know, the first time I had met him on the
11 7th, he had told me that he was responsible for the Knin region, and to
12 me, you know, if you're responsible, then that entails everything that
13 happens goes through you. And when I went to see General Gotovina on the
14 6th, he told me to refer any matters to General Cermak, so to me that was
15 sufficient. And in addition when we start to have our meeting with
16 General Cermak, he was always indicating -- well, most of the time
17 indicating that he would deal with the matter that was brought to him,
18 whether they were in Knin or outside of Knin.
19 Q. You were told to refer any problems you may have to him. Is that
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Exactly. You, being a part of the UN forces in the region. Is
23 that right?
24 A. Yes, because I was the Sector South commander. Yes.
25 Q. And -- we'll look a little bit further at other evidence
1 concerning this tomorrow, but is it correct that the Canadian Forces as
2 part of the UN forces had particular problems down in this region during
3 Operation Storm because some of your troops had been taken into custody
4 or detention by Croatian army troops?
5 A. Well, obviously there were some problem because some troops, you
6 know, were threatened to get out of their observation posts, but you will
7 see also in sitrep that was sent to UNCRO that it is clearly reflected
8 that those taken to Zadar were well taken care by the Croat troops, and
9 none of the Canadian, you know, suffered any casualty until a couple of
10 their observation posts received some artillery fire.
11 The contention was the fact that some equipment initially were
12 denied to the Canadian to take with them when they were vacating their
13 posts. But I would suggest that there would have been more problem with
14 the Czech battalion who lost two people and that the four people that
15 were seriously wounded or the Kenyans battalion that got an individual
16 that was killed in that, three or four individuals that were also
17 wounded, so I would not single out the Canadian as the one of the unit
18 that had major problem with that particular aspect.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I'm looking at the clock. It is a quarter
20 to 2.00.
21 MR. KAY: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps I should have asked you two minutes before
23 to find a suitable moment, but I was at that moment busy with another
24 matter. That is, you said in relation to this 65 ter number 1612 that
25 you -- that was a document that was dealt with this morning. I went
1 through this list and didn't find it. I then went to e-court and find no
2 exhibit number finally assigned. So it appears that it's a new document.
3 It is not, then I would like someone to assist me in -- because in the
4 e-court system, no exhibit number has been assigned. It does not appear
5 on this morning's list. That's the list prepared by Mr. Registrar.
6 MR. KAY: It is probably a duplicate, Your Honour. We have this
7 problem with documents with duplicate or triplicates or quadruplicates.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but --
9 MR. KAY: We sometimes have a document with that number on that
10 causes our work in progress and --
11 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that the parties will have until tomorrow
12 morning, 9.00, to help me out with this problem because, Mr. Forand, we
13 will adjourn for the day.
14 We will continue tomorrow morning. But before we adjourn, and
15 this might be a conversation which is more interesting to you than some
16 of the previous ones, time estimates.
17 Mr. Kay.
18 MR. KAY: Up to six hours, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Up to six hours. Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE: Probably about four, Judge.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Mikulicic or Mr. Kuzmanovic.
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: At least two, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That makes 12 together. Effective, we have
24 approximately four hours a day. I'm looking at you at this moment,
25 Mr. Forand, because this means that the parties would like to put
1 questions to you for at least quite a number of more days. Three days is
2 what is more or less expected.
3 You're prepared for that? I mean, I don't know your schedule.
4 THE WITNESS: Well, I'm here, Your Honour, so --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, sometimes we hear that witnesses have to leave
6 very quickly and then --
7 THE WITNESS: No, I will organise myself, sir.
8 JUDGE ORIE: You will organise yourself. Thank you very much for
9 this flexibility.
10 Yes, Mr. Kay.
11 MR. KAY: Document is 1654.
12 JUDGE ORIE: 1654. That's -- yes.
13 We will try to find it on the list.
14 Mr. Tieger. You are on your feet.
15 MR. TIEGER: I was just going to say it is now P347, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: P347. Okay. Everything is now on the record.
17 We will adjourn for the day. Mr. Forand, we'd like to see you
18 back tomorrow morning at 9.00; however, not in this courtroom.
19 Mr. Registrar, I think it was in Courtroom II -- Courtroom III where we
20 meet tomorrow, and I'd like to instruct you that you should not speak
21 with anyone about the testimony, whether the testimony already given or
22 testimony still to be given. We'd like to see you back tomorrow morning,
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day of June,
2 2008, at 9.00 a.m.