1 Thursday, 13 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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 I see that both Mr. Hedaraly and Mr. Russo are present.
12 Mr. Hedaraly, are you here in relation with the Witness 3 issue
13 and the photospread?
14 MR. HEDARALY: No, Your Honour, I'm here for the examination?
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, I wasn't aware that, but at least you're here
16 anyhow, so we might find a moment and abuse your presence to have the
17 matter further discussed.
18 I inform the parties that there is a swearing-in ceremony today
19 at 1.30, so we have to stop early. It is my understanding that the
20 swearing-in ceremony takes place in this courtroom, which also might mean
21 we may even have to stop not at 1.29 but even earlier, in order to have
22 the courtroom ready for the swearing-in ceremony.
23 Then, Mr. Hedaraly, are you ready to call your next witness?
24 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Your Honour. The Prosecution would like to
25 call Witness 40, Mr. Kosta Novakovic.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is aware that the Gotovina Defence
3 opposes the admission into evidence of, let me say it briefly, the map
4 and the description given by this witness on how Operation Storm
5 developed militarily.
6 Mr. Hedaraly, you're invited to explore with the witness sources
7 of what he knows and how he knows. We'll then, after that, decide
8 whether these two documents are fit to be admitted into evidence or
9 whether it is a kind of reconstruction which should be done primarily by
10 the Chamber rather than by the witness himself.
11 MR. HEDARALY: That's fine Your Honour. Just one comment on the
12 objections. From the Prosecution's viewpoint, it is a little odd that
13 the Gotovina Defence produces maps from their trial team; whereas, maps
14 that are produced by the witness are being objected to.
15 I will explore the matter with the witness.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, perhaps your team could prepare
17 maps as well, isn't it?
18 Mr. Misetic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I can just comment.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The witness is there.
21 MR. MISETIC: Just it will be briefly.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I would rather first say --
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll give you an opportunity to finish.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Novakovic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Novakovic, before you give evidence in this
4 court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn
5 declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
6 but the truth. The text is now handed out to you. May I invite you to
7 make that solemn declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: KOSTA NOVAKOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Novakovic. Please be seated.
13 Mr. Novakovic, before we start with your examination, there was
14 another matter which was just discussed and which needs another 30
15 seconds to be dealt with, if could you have some patience.
16 Mr. Misetic.
17 MR. MISETIC: Just so our position is clear, Your Honour, we of
18 course have no problems with the Prosecution putting in maps. However, I
19 would point out that the Prosecution never misses an opportunity when we
20 put in a map to ask for the underlying documents from which we put the
21 map together, and I don't think the Prosecution thus far has allowed to
22 us say, One of our people thinks this is the way it was, so we can tender
23 the map into evidence.
24 Similarly, all we're asking for with this witness is to explore
25 how he knows, on what basis; and if you knows and has some foundation for
1 it, of course then --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you have understood that this is the
3 kind of exercise the Chamber invited Mr. Hedaraly to make.
4 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Novakovic, you will first be examined by
9 Mr. Hedaraly, and Mr. Hedaraly is counsel for the Prosecution.
10 Examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
11 Q. Good morning. Could you please state your full name for the
13 A. I'm Kosta Novakovic.
14 Q. And, for the record, could you please also state your date and
15 place of birth?
16 A. 6 December 1949
17 MR. HEDARALY: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 6026
18 on the screen, please.
19 Q. Mr. Novakovic, do you recall providing a witness statement to the
20 Office of the Prosecutor in February and April 2001?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And is that the statement we see on the screen right now; and if
23 we go to the bottom, can we see your signature?
24 A. Yes, that is my signature.
25 MR. HEDARALY: And if we now could have 65 ter 6027, please, on
1 the screen.
2 Q. And, Mr. Novakovic, do you recall providing another witness
3 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in March of 2007?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And is that the statement that we see on the screen right now,
6 with your signature at the bottom?
7 A. Yes, this is my signature, too.
8 MR. HEDARALY: And, finally, if we could have 65 ter 6028.
9 Q. And I want to ask you the same question. Do you recall providing
10 a supplemental witness statement to the Office of the Prosecutor last
11 month, on 2 and 3 October 2008?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. And is that the statement that we see on the screen now?
14 A. Yes, that is the statement.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, if I could provide a hard copy of the
16 statements to the witness in his own language.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
18 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, if we can the -- first, let me ask you: Did
20 you have a chance to review these three statements before today?
21 A. Yes. You showed them to me in the OTP.
22 MR. HEDARALY: And if we go to the third statement, which at
23 tab 3.
24 Q. If you could go to paragraph 12, the third sentence --
25 MR. HEDARALY: I'm going to wait for it appear on the screen for
1 the Judges. That would be page 3 of the document that is on the screen
2 right now.
3 Q. The third sentence in paragraph 12 says: "This personnel," we're
4 talking about the personnel in the Senjak barracks, "did include any
5 fighting soldiers."
6 Can you clarify whether you meant that this personnel did include
7 fighting soldiers or whether this personnel did not include any fighting
9 A. What is true is that there were no fighting soldiers, combatants
10 among the men.
11 Q. In the Senjak barracks?
12 A. Yes, in the Senjak barracks.
13 Q. And in paragraph 13, you have also noticed a translation issue.
14 The first line of paragraph 13 in English talks about a storage building
15 in the southern barracks; and in the B/C/S translation, it says the
16 northern barracks.
17 Can you tell the Court which one is accurate?
18 A. It should read southern barracks. It's obviously a typo.
19 Q. Now, apart from these corrections, do these three statements that
20 you reviewed accurately reflect what you said to the Office of the
21 Prosecutor in the course of those interviews?
22 A. I believe they do.
23 Q. And are the contents of the statements that you reviewed and that
24 you signed true, to the best of your knowledge and recollection?
25 A. I believe that they are.
1 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today that you were
2 asked in those interviews, would you give the same answers?
3 A. Well, for the most part, yes, the same.
4 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, at this time, I would like to have
5 65 ter 6026, 65 ter 6027, and 65 ter 6028 admitted into evidence pursuant
6 to Rule 92 ter.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I understand that there are no objections against
8 admission of the 92 ter statements.
9 Mr. Registrar, 6026?
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 6026 becomes Exhibit number P1092;
11 6027 becomes Exhibit number P1093; and 6028 becomes Exhibit number 1094.
12 JUDGE ORIE: P1092 up to and including P1094 are admitted into
14 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Can I also have admitted into evidence 65 ter
16 6030, which is the attachment to the 2008 statement, the photo of Knin
17 that was marked by the witness in his October 2008 interview.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand that there are objections against
19 the other attachments, but not against this one.
20 Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit P1095.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P1095 is admitted into evidence.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Registrar, could with he have 65 ter number 6029 on the
2 Q. And, Mr. Novakovic, what will come up on the screen is the map
3 that you had provided the Office of the Prosecutor in March 2007 with the
4 various locations of the -- of the Croatian and the army of the RSK
6 Now, can I ask you: What sources did you use to -- first of all,
7 let me ask you: Did you prepare this map yourself?
8 A. Yes, I prepared it myself.
9 Q. What sources did you use to include the information that we find
10 on this map?
11 A. Let me state, first of all, that I made this map for the purpose
12 of a book I had been working on for ten years now, which portrays the
13 Croatian-Serbian relations.
14 I prepared the map through the use of several methods. I
15 primarily used the sources of the Serbian army of the Krajina, when I was
16 stating the disposition of the Serbian army soldiers which is marked in
17 red here. As far as the units of the Croatian army and the Croatian
18 Defence Council are concerned, I used several sources. One of the
19 sources was General Janko Bobetko's book, "All My Battles." I used the
20 sources of General Spegelj, and of a gentleman, Mr. Baric, who wrote a
21 doctoral thesis on the subject matter.
22 I use some other sources, the Croatian press, and other
23 intelligence sources I had at my disposal. I also used the sources for
24 the sources for the 5th Muslim Corps marked in green on the map, also by
25 drawing upon the sources that I mentioned. I used at least a dozen
1 sources in all.
2 MR. HEDARALY: And if we could 65 ter 4685 which is a text that,
3 according to your statement, corresponds to the map.
4 Q. Was that also prepared using the same sources you've just
6 A. Yes, absolutely. I used the same methods there as well.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, at this time, I would like to have 65
8 ter 6029 and 4685 admitted into evidence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps, I would first ask some additional
10 questions in relation to this.
11 Mr. Novakovic, you said you used many sources. Did any of these
12 sources ever contradict another source?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the most part, no, the sources
14 concerning the Serbian army of the Krajina was something that I was quite
15 familiar, and I was in touch with a lot of the people responsible for
16 these units, i.e., their commanders. I also had personal knowledge since
17 I was a member of the Main Staff.
18 As far as the Croatian sources are concerned, I also consulted
19 several books, written sources. For the most part, the information came
20 from the book, the press, and documents. Though, I would say that
21 General Janko Bobetko's book contained it all; and if you went through
22 the book, you could clearly follow where the units were. These were the
23 indicators that I used.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, this Chamber has not read Mr. Bobetko's
25 book. Is there -- apparently, you rely on this book as being a truthful
1 account of what happened. Did you ever find anything in that book on
2 which you'd say, "Well, it contradicts other sources"? Because I asked
3 you specifically on whether there was any contradiction anywhere, and you
4 said, "Well, mostly not."
5 But could you give an example of where the sources do contradict
6 each other?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there were such cases
8 when it came to political and other positions. As far as the units
9 themselves were concerned, there was no contradiction, or almost none.
10 The units were correctly portrayed. After all, from intelligence and
11 other sources, one knew what sort of units there were. Just as the
12 Croats knew which units we had, we knew which units they had. We knew
13 their composition pretty well.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it is not just about the existence of
15 units, but also where they were located, and, to some extent, also how
16 they moved. But, again, you said: "As far as the units themselves,
17 there was no contradiction, or almost none." Could you give us an
18 example on where you found that rare contradiction.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that there could be
20 contradiction over political and other issues, issues that were not of a
21 purely military nature. I did not go into such cases in great detail.
22 For the purposes of my book, I felt the indicators were sufficient in
23 order for me to conclude which tactical axes, which particular unit could
24 have acted along, and which axes were covered by which particular unit.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you said in your previous answer: "As far
1 as the units themselves were concerned," so that is apart from the
2 political positions, "there was no contradiction, or almost none."
3 And I'm exploring with you where you ever found a contradiction,
4 because I want to know what you did when you found such a contradiction.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in such cases, I would
6 consult other sources. I crossed-referenced my sources in various ways.
7 I had sources at my disposal through contact with different people, but
8 this was not my primary concern in preparing the material. I made a
9 general overview portraying the situation as it was, the balance of
10 powers, and the units involved along the attack axes or our units along
11 defence lines.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it may not have been your primary concern,
13 but it might be a concern of the Chamber.
14 Can you give us an example of such a contradiction, where you
15 said you had to further consult with other sources, where you
16 cross-referenced your sources in various ways. Could you give us an
17 example on where you had to do that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't recall it specifically at
19 this time. I used Mr. Bobetko's source as the primary one, then
20 Mr. Spegelj's, Mr. Baric's, and others. And if the information contained
21 in several sources was consistent, I concluded it to be true, especially
22 if it made sense, if it was logical. This was not my primary focus. I
23 was engaged on quite a different type of business.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that, that your focus when
25 you're writing a book is different from perhaps the focus this Chamber
1 may have on hearing your testimony.
2 Did you prepare a list of your sources? Do you have a complete
3 list? Because I don't know whether you are including any footnotes in
4 your book; but then I take it that, if so, reference will be made to your
5 various sources. Do you have a list of them? Because your reference is
6 refer general.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, the problem is
8 that I haven't published a book. I have the manuscript on a CD. I have
9 between 90 and 100 books and a great deal of footnotes. My manuscript is
10 on a CD; and if Their Honours are interested, I'd like gladly produce it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I don't think the whole of the manuscript, but
12 I'm mainly focussing on the sources. Do you have a separate file in
13 which you list your sources that you used?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I do have a
15 chapter listing all the books and documents that I used.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you have the CD with you here in The Hague
17 Is there any way of providing it on a short notice?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I do.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Hedaraly, the last thing you did was to tender the two
21 documents into evidence.
22 Could I hear whether there are any objections or whether there
23 are any further wishes.
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, yes. Our request would be to see the
25 material of the witness if he has it present, primarily because my
1 objection is that this witness does not have apparently personal
2 knowledge of the matters that he has put on the card; and the sources,
3 thus far, that underlie the map are still unclear to me. Other than
4 reference to one or could books, I will mention that, as far as I know,
5 the specific authors he referenced were themselves not involved in
6 Operation Storm. Mr. Bobetko had been retired by that point.
7 So I would like to check the sources so that can I cross-examine
8 the witness, if necessary, and also to object to admission, if necessary,
9 if it is just a recapitulation of other material. And, finally, our
10 objection, just so the Trial Chamber understands, our objection is also
11 as to what's actually in the map. For that reason, that's why I want to
12 get at where he is getting this information from.
13 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
15 MR. HEDARALY: Just very briefly, I understand the concern and
16 I'm more than happy that the Defence should have a chance to explore the
17 sources, but that should nod be a bar to the admissibility of the
18 document. That would go to the weight of it. And once he has the
19 sources, Mr. Misetic is entitled to cross-examine the witness on the
20 sources, but the foundation which was the objection is not a proper
21 objection at this stage, because the witness prepared it and he told us
22 what the foundation is.
23 Now, if Mr. Misetic disagrees with the foundation of it, it
24 becomes a weight issue, and he can ask question on it, but it doesn't bar
25 the admissibility of map at that point.
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, my position is that we don't know what
2 the foundation is yet, because we haven't been produced what the
3 footnotes are. As to the book he mentioned, I think, ten sources, of
4 which I think he identified two, maybe three, by name. So we don't know
5 the foundation of this is it, and on top of that, if it is just a
6 recapitulation of other source material --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course. It is apparently is mixed sources,
8 including what he observed himself and other sources, and
10 Let me just have one second.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, the two documents you've tendered into
14 evidence, that's the map and the description, will be marked for
15 identification for the time being.
16 At the same time, Mr. Novakovic, with the assistance of the
17 Victims and Witness Section, you're invited to give your CD and perhaps
18 write down which are the relevant files on your CD, so that either the CD
19 in its entirety, or at least the file which contains a list of your
20 sources could be copied, could be made available to the parties so that
21 they can further orient themselves on what sources you used.
22 Therefore, a very practical question: Do you have that CD with
23 you in this building?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So, during the first break, would you be willing to
1 hand that over?
2 I take it that the parties will fully respect the copyright of
3 this witness, so even if he would give the text, that this is just
4 limited for the purposes of this trial and, of course, of it's work
5 product, which, I would say, deserves to be protected even if he would
6 give it to the parties for these limited purposes.
7 Then the Victims and Witness Section, during the first break,
8 will get in touch with you, and if you'd write down for them what the
9 relevant files on the CD are. You know now that with we're not seeking
10 to have access to what you wrote, but mainly we're interested in knowing
11 what sources you used when producing the map and when producing the
12 document, deployment of Serbian Krajina sources shortly before Croatian
13 aggression, as you gave it as its title.
14 Would you be willing to assist us in this way?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly. If I may, I'd just
16 like to add something.
17 Perhaps I did not put it sufficiently explicitly when I was
18 talking about it, when I said that I knew the disposition of our forces.
19 Since I was assistant commander in the staff, and although I was not
20 engaged in operational matters but, rather, I dealt with religious and
21 morale affairs, I, as a person from the staff, knew what the disposition
22 of the Croatian forces and their names were. The operational and
23 intelligence organs were in possession of such data. That was not
24 unknown to them. I merely double-checked that with the other sources,
25 i.e., the books. There were no deviations from the original indicators I
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say, in your capacity as assistant
3 commander in the staff, you had intelligence information from the units
4 of the opposing party in the conflict. Is that correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 Thank you for this explanation. You're invited to cooperate with
8 the Victims and Witness Section so that, finally, the relevant files are
9 copied and are put in the hands of the registry, who will then make it
10 available to the parties.
11 Mr. Hedaraly, please proceed.
12 We first have to assign numbers to them.
13 First, the map, Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter 6029 becomes Exhibit
15 number P1096, marked for identification; and 65 ter 4685 becomes Exhibit
16 P1097, also marked for identification.
17 JUDGE ORIE: They keep that status for the time being.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, can I read a short summary of the
20 evidence of the witness as contained in the three statements that were
21 admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You may do so.
23 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
24 Kosta Novakovic was a member of the Yugoslav People's Army and
25 subsequently an officer of the Main Staff of the army of the Republika
1 Srpska Krajina, ARSK. Prior to and during Operation Storm, he was the
2 spokesperson of the ARSK based in Knin, and General Mrksic's assistant in
3 charge of information, religious, and legal issues.
4 He was the chief liaison officer between the ARSK, the Croatian
5 authorities, and the international community. Mr. Novakovic was based in
6 Knin for a period of four years between 1991 and August 1995, and
7 frequently visited ARSK military units on the front line.
8 His position allowed him to gain detailed knowledge about the
9 location and composition of ARSK forces and military facilities in the
10 territory of the former RSK. His position also allowed him to gain
11 detailed knowledge about the use of specific buildings and locations in
12 Knin and the number of ARSK soldiers in the town prior to and during
13 Operation Storm. For example, in early August 1995, the northern
14 barracks only housed a total of approximately 30 soldiers who were
15 manning the medical facilities, the kitchen, and the technical workshop.
16 Mr. Novakovic was also present at the meeting of the RSK
17 leadership in the evening of 4 August 1995, when it was decided that the
18 civilian population should be moved to safer areas within the RSK
20 This concludes my summary, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly. I noted that you developed
22 the exact speed in which both interpreters booth and the transcriber were
23 able to follow you, which is certainly appreciated by them.
24 No "vivace" but just "moderade."
25 Yes, please proceed.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Better late than never, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Novakovic, let me ask you a few questions regarding your
4 You just heard in my summary I referred to you as the assistant
5 to General Mrksic. Can you clarify for the Court whether you were an
6 assistant commander or a deputy commander?
7 A. Yes, there is quite a difference. Deputy commander is the Chief
8 of Staff who, in certain situations, has the competencies of the
9 commander. Assistant commander is in charge of a particular area; and as
10 specified in the title, that person is an assistant and has no particular
11 competent in that area.
12 I was an assistant commander for information, religious matters,
13 legal affairs, and a liaison with international organisations. In that
14 respect, I often acted as a spokesperson for the army of Serbian Krajina;
15 and, at a certain point in time, I headed the delegation of the Serbian
16 Krajina during negotiations abroad or in the territory of the former
18 Acting as such, I was not in command of any units. I did have,
19 however, certain subordinate formations of mine, which were the army hall
20 of the Serbian Krajina army, the library, the press centres, the
21 editorial room of our military gazette, and, for a short while, the
22 military band, but these were not combat units.
23 Q. Thank you. I want to refer to a your first statement P1092. At
24 page 11 of that statement in the English in the second full paragraph,
25 you state -- and I will just read it out for you, and then I will ask you
1 a series of questions on that.
2 It says: "I wish to clarify here that no plans for the
3 evacuation of the population had been made at the RSK level; however,
4 plans were drawn up at the level of municipalities and villages,
5 exclusively for the purpose of protecting the population and moving it to
6 safer areas but only inside RSK. There were never any plans for leaving
7 the territory of RSK
8 Now, I first want to show you an exhibit, D255, which is a
9 29 July 1995
10 in just a few seconds. I want firstly to focus on the top of that
11 document where it says: "Republic of Serbian Krajina, republican
12 civilian protection staff."
13 First, I want you to please tell the Court, briefly, what is
14 civilian protection and what were its responsibilities?
15 A. The civilian protection of the RSK fell under the Ministry of
16 Defence of the RSK as a segment of the ministry. Civilian protection, as
17 an aspect of an organised way to protect the population, is something
18 that was common to all armed forces in the former state. Its primary
19 goal was to protect the population. That was the raison d'etre of civil
20 protection, to protect the population from various dangers, be it war,
21 emergency situations, natural disasters, and so on and so forth.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. HEDARALY: And if we go to the bottom of the page in the
24 B/C/S and that's the second page in English.
25 Q. You can see that the author of this is a person called Dusko
1 Babic as chief.
2 Can you tell the Court who Mr. Babic was and what was his role
3 with in civilian protection?
4 A. I see the signature as well, and I recognise it. This gentleman
5 was an officer. I think he was either a colonel or a lieutenant-colonel
6 at the time. He was assistant minister for defence and, at the same
7 time, the head of civil protection as part of the ministry. Civil
8 protection was within his remit.
9 MR. HEDARALY: And if in the English we can go back to the first
11 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, under item 2, it says: "Establish continuous
12 duty rosters, and staff members are to take action especially on the
13 following: Sheltering, evacuating, and providing treatment."
14 Now, before I ask you my next question, let me go to another
15 document, which is D256, and that one will appear on the screen shortly.
16 You will see this is also a document from Mr. Babic from civil
17 protection, this time dated 2 August 1995
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, the document that we saw on our
19 screen, there seems to be a cover page saying "Footnote 37," which,
20 because it is a three-page document, of course I wonder to what it is a
22 MR. MISETIC: I believe, if you know, it comes from a Croatian
23 government document that was produced. It's a study by the Croatian
24 government which was produced to the OTP, and then there are footnotes to
25 it. So these are the documents that referenced in the broader document.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So perhaps for this document, then it is
2 totally useless to have it be added as a footnote if we don't have the
3 original. So, perhaps, we could it a two-page document in English,
4 rather than a three-page document.
5 MR. HEDARALY: It was a Defence exhibit, so we just used the same
6 one rather than uploading a different version.
7 MR. MISETIC: We tendered it, but it is an OTP exhibit. All of
8 these are from their 65 ter list, and they all have the footnote -- all
9 the documents have the footnote page, so --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I now know what it is, and I'll not break my legs
11 over it.
12 MR. HEDARALY: We'll remove the first page, Your Honour, if the
13 Defence agrees. It's a Defence exhibit so I have to ask their
15 MR. MISETIC: No objection, Your Honour.
16 MR. HEDARALY:
17 Q. Mr. Novakovic, now the document in front of you, before I stopped
18 by questioning, is a 2 August from civil protection; and, here, we see
19 once again item 1, sheltering; item 2; evacuation; and item 3, care.
20 Now, can you please explain to the Court what the civilian
21 population was supposed to do in case of an emergency or an attack, and
22 let's start with the first item, in terms of sheltering?
23 A. May I just offer a comment on the two documents? Am I allowed to
24 do that, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE ORIE: There is no problem in giving your comment, but I'd
1 invite you first to answer the question that was put to you by Mr.
2 Hedaraly. If there's anything you'd like to add, then please do so.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that the second
4 document stems from the first document covering some of the same issues.
5 Hereby, the person drafting it is asking to see how the plans concerning
6 sheltering and elevation, as well as care, are progressing. In the first
7 case of sheltering, the civilians, in case of air-strikes, it is
8 important that the population be sheltered in the existing facilities, as
9 soon as possible.
10 Some of the newer date buildings did have such, as call them,
11 nuclear shelters; whereas, the older ones did not. Hence, people hid in
12 cellars and rooms of that nature, and a plan was devised to what building
13 people were supposed to go from their own respective buildings. It was
14 important that, first, people are sheltered from any dangers of a
15 possible attack, and they were supposed to cover a distance of between 50
16 and 100 metres.
17 Q. Okay. That is the first item, sheltering. Now, what about in
18 terms of evacuation. What was the civilian population supposed to do in
19 case of an emergency or an attack?
20 A. Evacuation is phase two. The civil protection was supposed to
21 draw up plans, and we can see that it required materiel, supplies, and
22 teams who were supposed to receive and accommodate the population. Also,
23 the movement of people from the endangered -- from the area that is in
24 danger was supposed to be undertaken, but not to a great distance. The
25 distance involved was between ten and 20 kilometres. I think that was
1 the distance mentioned in the plans.
2 Q. And, in 1995, had you seen any of the specific plans that had
3 been prepared by civil protection?
4 A. That was outside of my remit and I had no occasion to see those
5 plans; however, I do know that they were in existence. I was in close
6 contact with the people responsible for it, specifically Mr. Babic and
7 others. I do know that there were working on those plans and there was
8 no reason for me to question that. Also, under the existing regulations,
9 they were duty-bound to have such plans ready.
10 Q. Let me show you D253 which is the evacuation plan for the
11 municipality of Benkovac, and that is the municipality where you were
12 born. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. That`s going to come up on the screen soon. You have a hard copy
15 of it in tab 4 of the -- of the documents you have in front of you, if
16 you want to refer to the paper copy.
17 MR. HEDARALY: And if, Mr. Registrar, we can go to page 2 of this
18 document, and it's a chart so we can use only the B/C/S version for now.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, let me first ask you: The villages on this
20 chart, are they located roughly according to their geographical location
21 relative to one another. By that, I mean, for example, Zagrad and
22 Rastevic, are they to the west of Benkovac, and so on?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. And, therefore, is it fair to say that on this chart the front
25 line is to the west and the south of the -- of this chart?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Now, on the left portion of this chart that we see page 2 of
3 Exhibit D253, there is an curved line going from the top, and above it,
4 there is a Roman numeral I. Do you know what that number represents?
5 A. It probably represents the first group of villages that was the
6 closest to the front line.
7 Q. And, similarly, towards the middle of the page on the top, we see
8 another curved line with a Roman numeral II this time. What would that
10 A. It was another group of villages further away from the front line
11 by some 15 up to 20 kilometres.
12 Q. And, finally, we see a Roman numeral III as well, just under the
13 line where there is the Roman numeral II line. So would that be a
14 further group of villages even further removed?
15 A. Yes. One concludes that this would be the third group of
16 villages in a relatively safe area removed from both the first and second
17 area and the front line itself by some 30 or even more kilometres.
18 MR. MISETIC: [Previous translation continues] ... how this
19 witness knows what those numbers mean on the document.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You could ask the witness, Mr. Hedaraly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: Of course.
22 Q. Do you know -- well, Mr. Novakovic, how do you know what these
23 numbers represent?
24 A. It is very clear from the schematic. Since I had occasion to see
25 these documents before I was shown these documents by the prosecutor, I
1 was able to arrive at certain conclusions as to the meaning of the first,
2 second, and third line. The first line encompasses all of the villages,
3 such as Civljane, Smilcic, Biljane, Ceranje, and Kakma, and so on, these
4 being the villages immediately adjacent to the front line.
5 In the second group, you see some of the villages that are a bit
6 further away, thus being included into the second group.
7 MR. MISETIC: Again, with respect to the foundation, if with
8 could explore --
9 MR. HEDARALY: I think, as we go through documents, the witness
10 will clearly explain this in the rest of the document, and that is what I
11 was going do.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There are two issues: To explain the document
13 and to explore the source of knowledge on why the document should be
14 explained as the witness does. You may have an understanding of the
15 substance of it, which does not necessarily include that you know what
16 was in the mind of those who have drawn these lines --
17 MR. MISETIC: I was thinking along the lines of, was he
18 personally in any way involved in these types of things so that he would
20 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I think the answer was clear that he was not
22 involved in a specific detail, he had the general understanding, and now
23 I'm showing an example to see if that is assistant with his general
24 understanding of --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We could ask, "If you are not involved in
1 drafting it, then, of course you could, as a citizen, it could be that
2 you received it," or whatever; but would you please explore to the extent
3 possible where the knowledge of the witness comes from.
4 MR. HEDARALY:
5 Q. Mr. Novakovic, your knowledge of these various steps or phases
6 that we see on this evacuation plan that we've discussed, where does this
7 knowledge come from that there were such phases?
8 A. I graduated from the Military Academy
9 political school, and I have a Ph.D. in military science. Matters such
10 as this one and many others are familiar to me. This is a relatively
11 simply schematic although practical. Even a layperson would be able to
12 conclude what it means.
13 The person drafting this, or the group of people drafting this,
14 included the villages from Benkovac municipality into the three groups
15 represented. One can clear see that the first group represents the
16 villages that are on the front line itself. The second group is between
17 the first group, towards the interior of the country of the region by
18 some 15 to 20 kilometres. The third group is even further removed by
19 some five or eight kilometres, towards a territory that was not in the
20 combat area, out of range of artillery.
21 MR. HEDARALY: If we can then go to the next page of this
22 document, page 3, and we can have the translation at the same time for
23 this one.
24 Q. You see the top of this document says "First phase of the
1 Can you tell the Court what this page represents?
2 A. On this page, we see the villages that fall under Roman numeral I
3 in the previous document. The first group is included in the first
5 Q. And --
6 A. It was only logical --
7 Q. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you.
8 The people from these villages in phase one are supposed to go in
9 case of an attack in Benkovac, Bijeljina, Kistanje. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, it is. Save for Kistanje, all the other villages are in
11 Benkovac municipality.
12 MR. HEDARALY: If we can now go to page 7 of this exhibit in the
13 B/C/S, and I believe it is page 9 of the English.
14 Q. And this time we have a similar chart again, but for what appears
15 to be villages from the second phase. Is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right, precisely from the group marked with Roman
17 numeral II.
18 Q. And this time we see that the villages where people are supposed
19 to go are Bijeljina, Dobropoljci, Bruska, Biovcino Selo, and Parcici.
21 A. Correct. Expect for the village of Biovcino
22 under the Benkovac municipality; whereas, Biovcino falls under Knin.
23 Q. I will ask you to show the Court where the villages are in a
24 second. Let's just go through phase three quickly.
25 MR. HEDARALY: That is at page 11 of the B/C/S; page 14 of the
2 Q. And this time we can see that these people from the phase three
3 victims are supposed to go, once again, Bijeljina, Parcici, Kistanje, and
4 Biovcino Selo. Is that correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Now, let me just ask you, all of villages where people were
7 supposed to go, generally speaking where were they located with respect
8 to the town of Benkovac
9 A. The villages were located to the north-east of Benkovac by some
10 20 to 25 kilometres. If you follow the front line, it`s almost 40
11 kilometres, perhaps not as many, but roughly.
12 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go back to page 2 of the document, the
13 chart that we had seen, the approximate map with all of villages listed
14 on it.
15 Q. And we can see on this some of the villages where people were
16 supposed to go, so Parcici, Bijeljina, Dobropoljci, Bruska, are all
17 located on the right-hand side of this chart in the top half.
18 Do you see that on this chart?
19 A. Yes, I can see that.
20 Q. If we move a limited higher, we can see there is an arrow for
21 Kistanje going to the right and an arrow to the top for, B. Selo.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Which, Your Honour, the Prosecution assumes is
23 Biovcino Selo.
24 Q. Is Kistanje in that direction to the east of this map, the
1 A. Yes. One can see that the two were added. Biovcino and Kistanje
2 was added by someone ineptly. Back in that table, you could see that the
3 villages were included; whereas, they were not in this schematic. The
4 schematic in itself is correct.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, could you repeat, because it was not
6 caught the transcriber. The Prosecution considered B. Selo to be?
7 MR. HEDARALY: Biovcino Selo.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Biovcino. We found that where on the map?
9 MR. HEDARALY: It's on -- there is an arrow on the right -- there
10 is an arrow to the right going to Kistanje and an arrow going north, B.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I see that.
13 MR. HEDARALY:
14 Q. And, Mr. Novakovic, Kistanje and Biovcino Selo, I think you said
15 but I want to make sure, were not in the Benkovac municipality. Is that
17 A. That's right. They were in the municipality of Knin
18 Honours. Biovcino village lies on the boundary between the Knin and
19 Benkovac municipalities.
20 Q. All the other villages that we see on this chart are all in the
21 Benkovac municipality. Is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And you see also, on this chart, there's is a broken line
24 starting to the right of where the Roman numeral II is curving around and
25 encompassing these villages. Do you know what that curved, broken line
2 A. I'm not quite sure. Logically speaking, this is an area outside
3 of the combat zone, out of the range of artillery fire, so I would
4 conclude that it is a safe area; and my village, Bijeljina, is in the
5 centre of it.
6 Q. Now, to your knowledge as an assistant commander, did other
7 municipalities have plans similar to this one?
8 A. Absolutely. Everyone had to have such or similar plans. Some
9 had better plans, others poorer, but everyone had plans for their
10 municipalities. In fact, they were mostly municipal level plans. That's
11 who would produce them.
12 Q. And how long were the people that went to these safer villages
13 supposed to say there?
14 A. Well, it's a relatively issue, really; but definitely not too
15 long. For instance, had the international community intervened on the
16 4th of August or in any other way, the population would have returned to
17 the area quite soon, just as they had done previously when other events
18 were happening. At any rate, the population did not embark on an
19 elevation in order to stay in the area where they were evacuated
20 permanently. The point was that they would return to their home
21 settlements at a certain point.
22 Q. To your knowledge, did any of these plans, did any of these
23 municipalities contemplate people leaving permanently?
24 A. Absolutely not.
25 Q. And, again, to your knowledge, did any of those plans contemplate
1 people leaving the territory of the RSK?
2 A. No, none of the plans did.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic. I want to change topics and talk about
4 the 4th of August, the attack that occurred.
5 Can you briefly tell the Court what happened on the 4th, as early
6 as you remember in the morning, and what were your personal observations
7 in the morning on the 4th of August.
8 A. On the 4th of August, at 4.15 in the morning, I received
9 information from the communications officer that I should report to the
10 command as soon as possible, urgently, that I had a message from the
11 UNPROFOR command from the UNPA zone where the Sector South command was
12 located. I was in bed, so I dressed up in a hurry, and it took me
13 perhaps some ten minutes to reach the command.
14 The communications officer, who was a civilian, he was in charge
15 of liaising the Main Staff, the government, and the Sector South command,
16 as well as the UNPROFOR command in Zagreb. He told us that the Croatian
17 army would most definitely attack us at 5.00. This was the information
18 we had. We had all sorts of information circulating, ill-meant and
19 well-meant, but let us not dwell on that now.
20 I called my colleague who was the duty officer in the Main Staff
21 to tell him that he should inform the corps commands, the senior officers
22 who resided in Knin, and, above all, that he should call Commander Mrksic
23 to come to the staff, to the headquarters. I think that he did
24 everything that we agreed. For my part, I was thinking about where I was
25 going to work because my office was in the army hall, which did not offer
1 any sort of protection. It had transparent slabs on the roof, not a
2 proper roof at all.
3 Precisely at 0500 hours, heavy artillery fire started. I should
4 say it started from all manner of weaponry. It was in salvos. There
5 were multi-barrel rockets, and there were Howitzers, 155-millimetre,
6 120-millimetres -- or rather, it is 122. I believe that even tanks were
8 My colleague and I found shelter under a staircase for a while
9 and then proceed to an office that was relatively safe.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 A. I could say that I was counting them --
12 Q. I'm sorry. Well, let me first ask you: What were you counting?
13 A. Had I had occasion to count, I believe that in the first
14 half-hour more than 500 rounds of shells of varying calibre landed on
16 Q. Let me ask you: In the course of the morning and that day, when
17 the attack took place, what was the atmosphere in the town or in the army
18 hall or at any other location that you may have been?
19 A. I must say that, initially, in the army hall where I was present,
20 there were only two or three people; but then they kept coming during the
21 day, going to and fro throughout the day. Since the Main Staff was
22 situated in the immediate proximity -- or rather, my office in the army
23 hall was quite close to the Main Staff, so that during the day, I passed
24 through that area by the building where the -- where General Mrksic's
25 office was - it was some 50 metres - some 20 times a day.
1 I know that, in my office, at times there were 15 people present,
2 and I kept receiving different information. I don't know how descriptive
3 I should be. I go only give you the gist, and then if you have
4 questions, you can put them.
5 In the course of the day, at 10.00, I had a meeting with my
6 associates and UNPROFOR representatives: General Alan Forand, the
7 commander; his chief for civilian affairs, I believe his name was Hussein
8 Al-Alfi; Mr. Alun Roberts; and a dozen other officers, perhaps.
9 Q. And did you receive any reports as to which areas under attack or
10 what was being targeted, either in Knin or in the RSK in general?
11 A. Yes. We received reports from the commander and other people who
12 came in with information. We had information to the effect that all the
13 larger settlements were shelled at the time, all the villages.
14 I have to say that settlements were more exposed to fire than
15 were the units that were engaging the units of the Croatian army. That's
16 why there was an impression made of the fact that there were suffered
17 grave losses of people. In the first hours of the day, people were
18 panic-stricken and started leaving. Out of the group of people who were
19 with me in the press centre, some people who initially showed up
20 eventually were no longer there. They decided to start leaving Knin.
21 For instance, the population of Obrovac had moved out already at 8.00 in
22 the morning.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... let me move forward to the
24 afternoon of the 4th, and we discussed some of the evacuation plans,
25 i.e., the Benkovac plan, a few minutes ago.
1 I want to show you D137, which is the actual decision that was
2 taken by the Supreme Defence Council that were at least signed by
3 President Martic, to evacuate the civilian population. That is going to
4 come up on the screen in a few seconds.
5 First of all, I want to ask you, are you familiar with this
7 A. Yes, very much so.
8 Q. And why are you familiar with this document?
9 A. Because I authored the document, in a way.
10 Q. Can you tell us the circumstances under which you authored this
11 document -- actually, before I ask you that question - I'm sorry - there
12 is a handwritten number on the top there, the number of the outgoing
13 correspondence, I assume.
14 Is that your handwriting that we see there?
15 A. Yes, that's my handwriting.
16 Q. Let me go back to the question I wanted to ask you.
17 What are the -- can you tell us the circumstances under which you
18 authored this document?
19 A. As one can see, the document was produced in the afternoon after
20 1600 hours.
21 Let me just add that, previously, we had a meeting with the
22 UNPROFOR command, who promised that they would intervene through the
23 UNPROFOR HQ in Zagreb
24 upon. In that period, we had contacts with our units, all the way
25 through the afternoon hours. And at 1400 hours, I gave an interview from
1 my office to for Radio Belgrade, and the information I had at that time
2 was that our situation was relatively good in terms of the front lines
3 not having moved at that time.
4 However, already at this time, as the preamble of the document
5 says, certain areas were endangered. Our unit which was on the
6 Senj-Vrlika axis was threatened where our Vrbnik 1st Light Brigade was
7 located. On the other hand, our units stationed on the western slope of
8 Velebit at Mali Alan was threatened. That is where 4th Light Obrovac
9 Brigade and 7th Dalmatia Corps were stationed, as well as the
10 7th Motorised Brigade from the 15th Lika Corps.
11 Q. Let me take you back to D137, the decision, and you said you
12 authored it. Was that on your own initiative, or did someone ask you to
13 prepare this.
14 A. I was just about to come to that point. At 1630 hours, General
15 Mrksic summoned me and asked me what I was doing. He told me, "Why don't
16 you come over so that we could see what we are going to do with the
17 population, since it is at risk."
18 President Martic was in my office; General Loncar, the Chief of
19 Staff was there. He said also that there was one of the ministers there
20 with him. Then Minister Kovacevic, the minister of information; and Knin
21 mayor arrived. He said, We have to see what we're going to do next." I
22 reached his office in less than two to three minutes.
23 As I stepped into Mr. Mrksic's office, General Mrksic's office, I
24 already found all the individuals I mentioned there. Mr. Mrksic then
25 briefed us on the situation and said, literally, "President Martic spoke
1 with Prime Minister Babic, who is in Belgrade. Babic, as we all know,
2 attended the meeting with US Ambassador Peter Galbraith, and I think that
4 President Martic spoke with both Belgrade and Pale. My
5 presumption was, although he didn't say that in so many words, that he
6 spoke with Milosevic and Karadzic. I consulted minister -- the defence
7 minister and the minister of the interior, because they, in addition to
8 President Martic and commander, were members of the Supreme Defence
9 Council. Then he said, "We decided that we ought to evacuate the
10 population out of Dalmatia
11 municipalities involved, and out of the Gracac municipality in Lika.
12 Now why - I didn't finish this story - because there was the
13 danger that practically, across Mali Alan, the route would be cut off,
14 which was the only route leading toward the hinterland via Otocac. In
17 I do not wish to abuse your time. If need be, I can explain
18 later on.
19 But we now how the Serbian units and Serbian population -- what
20 sort of end they met and what their fate was when they found themselves
21 in encirclement.
22 Let me go back to this decision. I was told that the population
23 should move out or relocate to Otric and Srb -- or rather, via Oric, Srb,
24 and Lapac, and that I should write a decision to that effect. They
25 didn't explain this to me in great detail, but told me to see with the
1 UNPROFOR command, since this was my part of the job, whether they could
2 get involved in this.
3 I went back into my office, I drafted this decision, and you can
4 see that it was done in 1645 until 1710. So it took me some 20 minutes,
5 half an hour.
6 Why did I type this out on my own? Well, in order to make sure
7 that a typist, typing it up, would not reek havoc. That's why I did it
8 on myself, and that's why you have some typos there. I used an
9 electrical typewriter -- no, I used a mechanical typewriter.
10 I brought it over and the president signed it.
11 Q. Let me go back to something that you said in your answer about
12 Mrksic telling you that the civilian population had to be saved. Was
13 there any discussion in that meeting of the Croatian artillery attack on
14 the region?
15 A. Yes, absolutely. The attack was the main reason why the
16 population needed to be evacuated.
17 Q. Let me show you 65 ter 6113, and this is an extract from a book
18 of Mr. Sekulic. It will come up on the screen shortly, and it is page
19 179 of his book.
20 MR. HEDARALY: If we can go to the second page of that document
21 in the B/C/S.
22 Q. The portion in the middle of the page in the B/C/S, the
23 paragraph that starts rights with: "Decision of the Supreme Defence of
24 Council communicated to the public at 2000 hours on 4 August.
25 Then there is the next paragraph, which is the quote of that
1 press release or communique, and I want to read that and ask you a
2 question about it.
3 It says: "During today's session, the Supreme Defence of Council
4 of Republika Srpska Krajina delivered decision to organise the evacuation
5 of the civilian population of Northern Dalmatia and the southern part of
6 Lika, due to the preventative and security reasons. The members of the
7 United Nations peace force, along with members of the RSK civilian
8 protection, shall take active participation in the organisation of the
9 evacuation and escort the civilian population."
10 Now, I want to focus on this last sentence: "This decision of
11 the Supreme Defence of Council has been delivered in order to protect the
12 civilian population from any possible further attacks of the Croatian
13 artillery, and in order for the Serb soldiers who are keeping the lines
14 of defence to be relieved of worry for their families."
15 My question for you is: Is this -- what we see in this report of
16 a press release, is this consistent with the reasons why this decision
17 was taken?
18 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I have to note an objection. This is
19 now impeaching the witness, and --
20 MR. HEDARALY: It is consistent; it is not an impeachment.
21 MR. MISETIC: It is impeachment. The witness has testified that
22 there is was no announcement in the public about the evacuation.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not discuss this in the presence of the
25 Mr. Novakovic, do you understand the English language? It
1 appears from the statements that you have some knowledge.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, yes, partly I do.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When we start discussing impeachment or not,
4 either we do it in such a way by not by making reference to statement and
5 lines without the witness immediately following it, or to do it --
6 MR. MISETIC: One moment, Your Honour.
7 MR. HEDARALY: I simply asked him, generally, what his
8 understanding of the meaning was, and I'm asking if is this consistent
9 with what happened. I'm not attempting to --
10 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
11 Mr. Hedaraly, how much time would you still further need?
12 MR. HEDARALY: Twenty to 30 minutes; I'm hoping 20 will be
14 JUDGE ORIE: That couldn't be done before the break.
15 Therefore, Mr. Novakovic, since a procedural issue has been
16 raised, we would rather discuss this in your absence, which will give you
17 some more time for a coffee break.
18 Therefore, I suggest that we ask Madam Usher to escort the
19 witness out of the courtroom.
20 We'd like to see you back in approximately half an hour,
21 Mr. Novakovic.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see where are.
1 MR. MISETIC: My objection is at, P1092, page 11, the witness,
2 his testimony is, because is it now 92 ter material, is: In the first
3 full paragraph towards the middle, he talks about the evacuation order,
4 and then says, "The decision was not forwarded through the official mail,
5 and was not publicised through the media.
6 Then the question posed to him is page -- page 36, line 16: "My
7 question for you is: Is this what we see in this report of a press
9 Now, I consider those to be inconsistent with what they've put
10 the witness to say: There was no public announcement of this. Now,
11 they're putting it to him: Is the public announcement that was, in fact,
12 put out in the public consistent with what you believe.
13 I call the Trial Chamber's attention to the Appeals Chamber's
14 decision in Popovic from the 1st of February, 2008, decision on appeals
15 against decision on impeachment of a party's own witness, in which the
16 Appeals Chamber said that a calling party must seek the permission of the
17 Trial Chamber to impeach its own witness.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr., Hedaraly, apparently, you --
19 MR. HEDARALY: I'm obviously not trying to impeach my own
20 witness. I think it is clear to everyone here that I am not. There is a
21 document from another witness saying that it is a press release. I'm not
22 confronting him by telling there was, No, there was press release, wasn't
24 I'm asking whether the content of that release as it is stated in
25 a book that the Defence is trying to introduce, a portion which is in
1 evidence, which is in one of pages. I'm asking him whether this is
2 consistent with the reasons that he was given for drafting the actual
4 I am more than happy to explore with him the matter, or if
5 Mr. Misetic wants to in cross-examination, as to his knowledge of who
6 issued the press release, if someone else may have done it.
7 And, further, the fact that he did not issue himself a press
8 release or didn't know about it does not mean that it didn't occur. But
9 that is not the main point of my question, and I think I was hoping that
10 it was clearer. But if there's a way that Your Honour you want to assist
11 me in asking the question to make it clearer, so that I'm not questioning
12 his statement that there was or there was not a press release, but
13 focussing on the contents of it, as to the reasons why the decision was
14 given to evacuate the civilian population.
15 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, it is improper on direct. He has
16 already put to him what was said at the meeting, was there a decision
17 about artillery. He can put him whatever else he wants in terms of what
18 his specific issue are. But what appears to be happening, then, is to
19 say, Well, now we would like to stick this book page in front of the
20 Trial Chamber and have the witness tell the Trial Chamber whether what's
21 in a book is consistent with what he just told the Trial Chamber.
22 I'm sure the Trial Chamber will be able, particularly after
23 cross-examination, to evaluate whether it is consistent or not. But we
24 don't need to go through the exercise again, particularly where it is now
25 muddying the waters as to whether there was a public announcement, which
1 is what Mr. Sekulic says in the book; or there wasn't, which what the
2 witness is now testified to before the Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, do I understand that whether it was
4 publicly announced is not the issue, but we're, rather, talking about the
6 MR. HEDARALY: That is correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: But if that's the issue, and not the public
8 announcement, why not ask the witness something in general terms, that
9 the order was once described by someone as so-and-so and so, does that
10 fit? I mean, apparently, if it is about the substance, then whether the
11 substance is presented in a certain context, apparently the context is
12 not what you're seeking. So let's then focus on the substance entirely
13 and leave out the context.
14 Is that a solution? Because then the issue of impeaching your
15 own witness disappears.
16 MR. MISETIC: I think that is my point, Your Honour. He has
17 already said that there was this discussion about artillery at the
18 meeting, so I don't know what the point of the exercise is.
19 MR. HEDARALY: I think --
20 JUDGE ORIE: We have two issues: First of all, whether
21 Mr. Hedaraly is at the point of impeaching the witness. I think I gave
22 some guidance as at least how to avoid that element; then, of course,
23 what then follows is whether there's any reputation in the question.
24 Mr. Hedaraly, you have 25 minutes to think about the question of
25 how to phrase it or rephrase it, to avoid repetition and to, from what I
1 understand, so that the issue which caused Mr. Misetic to talk about it
2 impeachment is not an issue you want to cover at this moment.
3 So if you refrain from touching upon that, then Mr. Misetic will
4 have no --
5 MR. MISETIC: One other objection, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. MISETIC: I object to the English translation on the screen
8 for some. For some reason, only a selected portions has been extracted
9 from the page on the screen, and we have a complete translation of the
10 page which puts it back into the context of --
11 MR. HEDARALY: That raises a very interesting issue. Your Honour
12 a while ago instructed the parties to agree. The Defence moved in to
13 chapters of this book, and Chamber instructed the Prosecution and the
14 Defence would agree on specific pages to be admitted to an exhibit. In
15 Exhibit D260, the Defence had page 180 and 181. The Prosecution has now
16 repeatedly ask the Defence to add page 179 and their translation to D260,
17 but for some reason it is still not done. So we have to have our own
18 translation and upload it, and that's why this issue arises.
19 JUDGE ORIE: This again is an issue, whether true or not, I see
20 some body language, someone nodding no, other perhaps nodding yes. It
21 appears to me to be a matter which if it is just as practical, as
22 Mr. Hedaraly says, I think it could be resolved quickly. If it is not
23 that, the Chamber would like to hear either now or after the break what
24 remains as a problem.
25 MR. MISETIC: We'll talk about it, Your Honour. I think our
1 position has been clear all along. We want the whole section of the book
2 that deals with Operation Storm, and the Prosecution now wants to
3 piecemeal it. We'll talk about it during the break, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that. There is also an issue of
5 uploading the translation, which apparently you don't have the full
6 translation of everything, and you are seeking --
7 MR. MISETIC: No, no. That is not true.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr Hedaraly mention that --
9 MR. HEDARALY: I will discuss it with Mr. Misetic at the break,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That would be a good idea.
12 Then I have to admit that where I usually insist on precision,
13 that I'm only one week wrong, at least my agenda, and I leave it alone
14 who put it in my agenda, but the swearing-in ceremony is for the 20th not
15 the 13th, although it appears in my agenda, which caused me to announce
16 that we would have an early finish today. That was totally wrong, and we
17 will just go on until quarter to 2.00.
18 But you're already on notice that next week, I don't know whether
19 we're sitting in the morning or the afternoon, but if we're sitting in
20 the morning, we will have an early break; if we are sitting in the
21 afternoon, we likely will have a late start.
22 There is one other small matter, and that is, Mr. Misetic, the
23 objection of the Defence against the two documents which are now marked
24 for identification included an objection against having it admitted to
25 the 65 ter list. By marking it for identification, that was more or less
1 ignored. Would you like to further argue on whether or not it should
2 even be admitted to the 65 ter list, or would it be sufficient for you --
3 MR. MISETIC: No, that's fine, Your Honour. If it is already
5 with counsel.
6 My issue, now that the witness is not here, is I believe it is
7 undisputed between the Prosecution and the Defence that there are certain
8 elements of map that are just wrong, and units that never existed in
9 Operation Storm, which is I wanted to get at what his underlying
10 foundation is, and I don't think that those are issues in dispute between
11 the parties.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If not, of course, then a solution is at hand.
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break and resume at five minutes past
16 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Novakovic, I would like to thank you. I see
20 that you have produced the CD. Let me just try to decipher the
21 literature, if I read your Cyrillic well, the literature you used.
22 The parties, of course, will have it now available and can
23 further work with it, if they wish to do so. Thank you very much,
24 Mr. Novakovic.
25 Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Yes. On the matter of the book, I have discussed
2 with Mr. Misetic, and we're essentially saying similar things. There was
3 an exhibit tendered by the Defence, or referred to by the Defence, which
4 was two chapters of that book, 93 pages, dealing with Operation Storm.
5 At the time, the Prosecution wanted to review to make sure those were, in
6 fact, relevant.
7 Later on with another witness, when another portion of that
8 collection was used, once again the Prosecution did not force any
9 objection to Defence exhibit, but the Chamber expressed concerns of
10 having 93 pages, which may not all be used by witnesses, and that's where
11 we stand now.
12 Mr. Misetic told me that most of these 93 pages, or a significant
13 portion of it, will be used with some witnesses. This is the only page,
14 page 179, that the Prosecution intends to use from those 93 pages. But
15 at this point, for the sake of convenience, we still don't have any
16 objection to the full two chapters being in evidence. But, of course, if
17 the Chamber wants individual pages as they are being used with the
18 witnesses, we will abide by that instruction.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What the Chamber seeks is to have the relevant
20 portions in an understandable context to be presented. That context
21 often would not require more than one or two pages, but it's not to be
22 said that that is always the case. Context is to be considered on a case
23 by case basis.
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, our position is the way the way the
25 book is structured is they are -- it is a compilation of the reports of
1 the individual officers of the RSK, for each unit, during Operation
2 Storm. And, as such, it is not only a book, but it is a compilation of
3 individual reports. All of it, we believe, is relevant.
4 You've now see, for example, a map tendered by the Prosecution
5 this morning about locations of various ARSK and HV positions, as well as
6 their recollections of what happened with their unit in their area of
7 responsibility on the day in question.
8 We will be and have been going back and forth throughout those
9 two chapters of the book. We believe that, for the sake of convenience,
10 they should be in one location, rather than chopping them up. The second
11 portion of it is, Your Honour, to the extent that there are certain pages
12 that aren't used, this may be an exhibit that is a combination used live
13 with witnesses and partially bar table.
14 But, overall, it's --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I earlier said to have the relevant
16 portions in an understandable context. Sometimes, portions come so close
17 and are so many that to create a context would be to present the whole
18 chapter or the whole chapters.
19 What the Chamber wants to avoid is that we get a lot of pages
20 which have hardly any at all -- any relevance at all. That is, of
21 course, what we want to avoid; not to prevent the parties from putting
22 relevant material, even if one page or one and a half or two or three
23 pages would not be very relevant, but would be part of a chapter which
24 is, as a whole, very relevant.
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I leave, at this moment, to the parties to agree on
2 that. Of course, I do now understand, Mr. Hedaraly, that there is no
3 objection against what you intend to do.
4 So lets then do it, and, of course, it has the advantages of not
5 chopping up in tiny little parts the evidence where we have to read
6 separate pages.
7 MR. HEDARALY: Also, just as a practical matter, the translation
8 is already -- has been uploaded, so there is no translation issues for
9 those 93 pages.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So that was a mistake.
11 Let's then proceed. I would say, you have had, apart from
12 conversations with Mr. Misetic, you had 30 minutes to think about your
13 question, Mr. Hedaraly.
14 MR. HEDARALY:
15 Q. And, Mr. Novakovic, before the break, I showed you a statement
16 made by someone, and I'll repeat just the last sentence of it, which is:
17 "The Supreme Defence Council made this decision," the one to evacuate the
18 civilians, "in order to protect the civilian population from possible
19 further Croatian artillery attacks, and to spare the Serbian soldier who
20 is are holding the lines of defence from anxiety about their families."
21 My question is: Is that consistent with the reasons you were
22 given at your meeting with Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Martic as to why this
23 decision was made?
24 A. In essence, that is correct.
25 MR. HEDARALY: And I don't know if I should tender this page,
1 Your Honour, or simply wait for --
2 MR. MISETIC: I will tender -- I can tender it now it now or when
3 we are in the Defence case. It doesn't matter to me.
4 MR. HEDARALY: It is just page 179 that we want, but if the
5 whole -- it is part of that collection of 93 pages.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then it is now on the record that it will be
7 included in the portions of the book that the Defence will tender.
8 MR. MISETIC: That's correct.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
11 Let me go back now to D137, the decision.
12 Q. This is the decision that you drafted, and let me -- I want to
13 draw your attention, when it comes up on the screen, to point number 2.
14 Point number 2 says: "The evacuation shall be carried out in a
15 planned manner, according to prepared plans along routes leading towards
16 Knin, and then through Otric, towards Srb and Lapac."
17 And my question for you, as the author of this document, is:
18 What did you mean by "prepared plans"?
19 A. Under the prepared plans, what was envisaged was what we could
20 see in the previous charts when we were discussing the plan of evacuation
21 for Benkovac municipality.
22 I did not go through those plans, but I presumed and I knew that
23 each locale commune, each municipality, and each village had their
24 respective plans. I warned them that they should stick by the plans, and
25 we assigned them directions of movement. In this case, it was Knin
1 Otric, Srb, and Lapac. Srb and Lapac were the locations where they were
2 supposed to be placed.
3 Q. So that was the plan for all for each of the municipalities would
4 be used, but the destination was changed. Have I understood that right?
5 A. No. This only pertains to the four municipalities. The others
6 had no evacuation plan and no tasks. Save for the four municipalities,
7 no other municipality received such a decision. There were none.
8 Q. And my question is: So those municipalities were to use their
9 plannings, such as the one we've seen, but rather than to move them to
10 the areas that we seen, for example, in the Benkovac plan, they were
11 supposed to move them to Srb and Lapac?
12 A. Yes, that is correct for the five municipalities.
13 Q. And in the course of your discussions with members of the Supreme
14 Defence Council, when you were told to draft this decision, did they tell
15 you that people should go to Bosnia
16 A. No, the destination was Srb and Lapac.
17 Q. And after the decision was signed by President Martic, what you
18 did you do or what were you told to do?
19 A. One of the persons competent talked to the people from the
20 Ministry of Defence and civil protection. Their representatives were
21 there headed by the head of civil protection, Colonel Babic.
22 At 4.00 p.m.
23 read out the decision to them. Babic was there; there was a Mr. Kekic,
24 who was in charge of civilian support Northern Dalmatia; there was a
25 Mr. Vujatovic, who was in charge of Knin; and an another dozen or so
1 representatives from civil protection. There was also the chef de
2 cabinet for the minister of defence.
3 Q. I am sorry. I just to check. The transcript said that that
4 meeting was at 4.00 p.m.
5 offices. Is that the right time?
6 A. I misspoke. It was at 6.00 p.m. It is only logical. You can
7 see that there was a 4.45, and then this was at 6.00 p.m.
8 MR. MISETIC: If we could ask the ask the witness to spell the
9 name of the individual in line 10. I don't think the court reporter was
10 able to pick it up.
11 MR. HEDARALY: I think it was Vujatovic.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could we clarify that with the witness, because your
13 understanding is important but not decisive.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vujatovic.
15 MR. HEDARALY:
16 Q. Thank you, sir.
17 Let's go back to that meeting at 6.00 p.m. with the civil
18 protection representatives, who else was at that time meeting?
19 A. As I said, the person responsible for evacuation, and it was
20 Colonel Babic. He was in charge of civil protection. Then there were
21 his associates from his team; I don't know who they were though. There
22 was a Mr. Kekic, who was in charge of civil protection for Northern
24 protection for Knin municipality. I also no the chef de cabinet of the
25 defence minister was there. I don't know his what name is, but he is a
1 professor, in any case.
2 There were some other ministers. I think it's Mr. Drago
3 Kovacovic; then Mr. Slobodan Peric; and I'm certain that the secretary of
4 the government, Mr. Strbac, was there. There were at least five or six
5 journalists because they were usually accompanying me.
6 I read out the decision --
7 Q. Just before we go there, if I may interrupt you. Were there
8 representatives of the UN there at that meeting?
9 A. I will explain shortly.
10 When I read out the decision and handed it over to Mr. Babic,
11 since he was to implement it, it was no longer under my competent. It
12 was at that point that UN representatives arrived, people from UNPROFOR,
13 all those that I mentioned previously as being present at 10.00. We
14 planned to ask for their assistance.
15 Q. And you planned -- had you called them before to come to this
17 A. I probably did, or one of my associates on my request --
18 Q. Sorry for the interruption, Sir --
19 A. -- and upon commander's approval. I didn't do anything without
20 his approval.
21 Q. Let's go back to this meeting with the UN. What was the
22 discussion between yourself and the other representatives of civil
23 protection and the United Nations forces representatives.
24 A. I opened the meeting, and I was in attendance throughout the
1 I see that the representatives of the civil protection were
2 somewhat confused. It was obvious that they were not very privy to the
3 situation, especially those who came from the various municipalities.
4 They were asking for a lot of fuel and vehicles; whereas, in the end, it
5 turned out that they needed nothing except for some fuel. We arranged
6 there that the UN representatives were supposed to arrive at 8.00 p.m.
7 give us their answers.
8 Q. Let me show you P592, which are notes that are in evidence taken
9 by the UN from that meeting. I want it ask you to review this quickly,
10 it's less than a page, and tell the Court if these notes are consistent
11 with what happened at the meeting.
12 A. Everything is correct, save for the penultimate paragraph. It
13 wasn't said that we were to forward information, but that the UN
14 representatives were to arrive at 8.00 p.m. when they would be given
15 information. Unfortunately, they never did.
16 Q. Let me show you another -- another summary of that meeting.
17 MR. HEDARALY: It's D182, and the parties have stipulated that
18 the date on this document is wrong and should be 4 August 1995. This is
19 half a page.
20 Q. Could you please review this summary of the meeting, and tell us
21 if it is consistent with what occurred at the meeting.
22 A. I know this gentleman. For a while, he was the personal
23 representative of the UNPROFOR commander in Knin; that is to say, the
24 commander of the Main Staff in Zagreb
25 for Sector South. I saw him on several occasions.
1 Q. Can you tell us --
2 A. I just wanted to say that in the paragraph where he says that we
3 suggested the following route, that part is incorrect, as from Srb
4 onwards. We only provided the route stated in the decision. I read out
5 the decision in person, in front of some 20 to 30 people, and I did not
6 go any further than Srb and Lapac. As for Bosanski Petrovac, and places
7 mentioned therein, I don't know where that came from. As for the
8 population from Benkovac and Obrovac, going through Pajane rather than
9 Knin, that is correct. That second part of the route is incorrect and
10 that was not discussed. We cannot find it in the documents either.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
12 Let me just change topics now for the -- for my last series of
13 questions. And in your latest statement of last month, which is now
14 P1094, you provided detailed information with respect to various
15 buildings in Knin and how they were used. This statement, as you know,
16 is now in evidence, so I won't ask you any questions, for now, on this,
17 although you may have some questions put to you by others.
18 I would like to briefly go through the same exercise for the
19 facilities, the military facilities in Benkovac, as this is the area
20 you're most familiar with.
21 So, first of all, my first question is: Were you aware that
22 there were some barracks used by the ARSK just outside the town of
24 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, again, the question assumes he was
25 most familiar. As I know, the foundation here is that he was born in
2 MR. HEDARALY: I think that was already in evidence, so I know
3 the foundation was already there, but I can ask him specifically, if you
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes, just how he -- it is foundation ...
6 [Overlapping speakers] --
7 MR. HEDARALY: That is ... [Overlapping speakers] --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
9 MR. HEDARALY:
10 Q. Mr. Novakovic, would Benkovac be the municipality at which you
11 would be the most familiar with in the former RSK?
12 A. Yes, although I am better acquainted with Knin.
13 Q. But outside of Knin, Benkovac would the town and the municipality
14 that you would have the most knowledge on?
15 A. Yes, absolutely.
16 Q. Let me repeat my question then --
17 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, again, if we're going to get into
18 military targets, although I understand everyone's home town is near and
19 dear to him, if we could get more foundation on his knowledge of military
20 installations and where it comes from for the town of Benkovac.
21 MR. HEDARALY: I will ask my questions, and if this is an
22 objection to specific questions, then --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think, as a matter of fact, that it is not
24 an objection against specific questions, but to have them preceded by
25 other questions. Perhaps, you could include that in your questions, that
1 what you had awe like to know and on what basis the witness claims he has
2 knowledge of it.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. HEDARALY:
5 Q. Mr. Novakovic, were you aware that there were some barracks used
6 by the ARSK outside of the town of Benkovac
7 A. Well, yes, I was. I knew that at the time when I attended high
8 school; and, of course, as a member of the staff subsequently, I knew
9 where the various barracks were.
10 Q. And do you know what was in those barracks on the 4th of August,
12 A. On the 4th of August, 1995, in that particular barracks, as in
13 all the other ones, there were predominantly logistic support units. We
14 had the medical corps there, the kitchen complex, the quartermaster`s
15 premises, workshop, clothes-mending workshop, and a technical workshop.
16 I have to say that, in early 1994 and 1993, some elements of
17 UNPROFOR forces were in the barracks as well. I don't know when they
18 left the barracks. However, there were no combat arms present in the
19 barracks --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Combat armed units.
21 MR. HEDARALY:
22 Q. When you say "armed units," are you referring to -- sorry, strike
24 Were there were any fighting soldiers, to your knowledge, in
25 those barracks on the 4th of August, 1995?
1 A. No, there weren't. Combatant units were all deployed along the
2 engagement line.
3 Q. Let me show you D248, which is a map that was prepared by the
4 Defence. I want to ask you whether -- if you can confirm the location of
5 those barracks which is discussed, and it is going to come up in a few
7 MR. HEDARALY: It will be page 3 of that document, please,
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 Q. Can you identify for us the location of those barracks on D248?
10 A. You can see that; it says here.
11 Q. Just for the record, can you say what it says in writing so that
12 we can have it on the record.
13 A. It reads "B. Matsura Barracks." That was the Slobodan Macura
14 barracks, and it says "the total service area." That was the area from
15 Benkovac in the direction of Zadar. Although this was part of Benkovac
16 town, it was on the edge of town in the direction of Zadar. It also
17 says, "the forward command post of the 7th Corps," which was never there.
18 Q. That's fine. I just wanted you to identify the location of
19 the -- of that. But while you mention it, do you know where the forward
20 command post of the 7th Corps was in August 1995?
21 A. It did not exist at the time. It came into existence in
22 January 1993 during the aggression on Ravni Kotari, and it was stationed
23 in the village of Biljane
24 Q. On this map, there is also an indication of a location that is
25 identified as "Dom JNA." Are you aware of such an army hall in Benkovac
1 in August 1995.
2 A. Yes, I know. This was within my competence, the army hall. It
3 existed even before -- or rather, it came in existence after World War
4 II, and it was there on the intersection.
5 Q. And how was that used in August 1995?
6 A. In that time-period, a group of wounded persons was put up there
7 because it had a basement, and that particular room had the Red Cross
9 Q. To your knowledge, were there any fighting forces stationed in
10 that army hall?
11 A. No, there weren't.
12 Q. We can also see on this map, at the bottom, there is an
13 indications for the command and the communications centres of the
14 3rd Brigade. Were there such command/communication centres in that
15 approximate location?
16 A. Yes, that is relatively correct. The 3rd Brigade was a small
17 unit; some dozen people in the command. The communication centre was
18 also manned by a couple of people, and they were servicing the units.
19 They may have occupied a couple of homes. Roughly, that's true. That
20 was Sopet [phoen].
21 Q. And what about the other indications on the map? There is the --
22 well, that is in B/C/S. But there is a nun's convent that is identified
23 there. Do you know if that was used at all by the RSK military?
24 A. I know -- I don't know of the army having used either or any of
25 the religious facilities, be it of Catholic or Orthodox faith. We, as
1 far as I know, didn't have a practice of using them. I don't know if it
2 was just a building or a family home where the convent was housed.
3 Q. And what about the a firemen's hall, were you aware of such a
4 facility in Benkovac?
5 A. Yes. That was on the way out of town on a new road close to the
6 railway station. Organs for civilian early warning was situated -- were
7 situated there, because before the war, it was the civilian protection
8 that had -- or rather, it was only the fireman's brigade before the war
9 which used to have the alarm for early warning, and that was normally
10 where the civilian protection would, if needed, be housed.
11 Q. And to your knowledge, was this firemen's hall used by the RSK
13 A. No, there was no need for that.
14 Q. What about the hotel that is identified on this map, was that
15 ever used by the RSK military?
16 A. The hotel was largely damaged in 1995. It was not in use. It
17 was empty.
18 Q. When you there was damage in 1995, was that before Operation
20 A. Yes, yes, definitely before that. Well, damaged in the sense
21 that it was derelict, not that it was destroyed as such. Since it was in
22 disuse, it was in disrepair. That's what I mean.
23 Q. And, finally, on this map, the post office of Benkovac, to your
24 knowledge, was that ever used by the RSK military?
25 A. None of the post offices were used. It is possible that certain
1 civilian lines were used, the ones that the command used to have before
2 the war. The army had its own lines and did not use the PTT lines.
3 However, these PTT -- those PTT lines that had been used by the army
4 before the war were probably used by the army also during the war, but
5 not for the purposes of the units themselves, but for the purposes of the
6 commander and several other offices in the command.
7 Q. On the 4th of August, did you receive any reports about shelling
8 of the town of Benkovac
9 A. Not I personally, but the commander would, and he would brief me
10 and others who would go there. We had our operative centre there, and
11 the persons manning it would keep track of the information. We had a
12 great deal of information. Specifically, according to their information,
13 more than 700 projectiles landed in Benkovac. One of my associates was
14 dispatched from Knin to Benkovac to see what the situation was like.
15 Q. And did you receive any information as to what was being targeted
16 or where the shells were following in Benkovac?
17 A. In Benkovac, as well as elsewhere, the rounds were fired
18 indiscriminately. It was scatter-shot fire. We believe that both
19 civilians and military targets were hit. Everything was under fire, just
20 as was the case in Knin.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
22 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, this concludes the Prosecution's
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Hedaraly.
25 Mr. Misetic, you will be the first to cross-examine the witness?
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Novakovic, you will first be cross-examined by
3 Mr. Misetic. Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
5 Q. Mr. Novakovic, good morning.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Mr. Novakovic, first, a little bit of background information
8 about you.
9 You, throughout your time in the so-called Krajina, in addition
10 to being an officer in the RSK army, you were also simultaneously an
11 officer in the Yugoslav People's Army. Correct?
12 A. Not at the same time. When I was Krajina officer, I was only
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... while you're in the Krajina,
15 you were working for the Yugoslav People's Army KOS or, "Kontraobavesajna
16 Sluzba," or the counter-intelligence service?
17 A. No, that's not true. I had never worked for KOS. This was
18 precisely the sector that I never quite understood and where nobody ever
19 hired me to work for it.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have on the screen,
21 please, 1D61-0225, please.
22 Q. Mr. Novakovic, as you will see on the screen here, this is letter
23 sent by you to the MUP in Serbia
24 requesting approval of citizenship, and you say: "I am an active
25 military officer serving in the Yugoslav People's Army, currently with
1 the post in the Serb Krajina army in the Republic of Serbian Krajina
2 That is it your signature on the bottom. Correct?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Now, as I said when I started, you were, in fact, an active JNA
5 officer, or Yugoslavia
7 A. Well, one can see from the document that that is not quite the
8 case. When we were seeking citizenship, we had to state some sort of an
9 activity. We needed to have citizenship for technical issues. It was
10 connected with personnel issues. At any rate, regardless of the
11 inference you can make for this, while we were officers of the RSK, we
12 were not members of the VJ.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
14 A. That's what I'm saying, because it was on that basis that the
15 issue of citizenship had to be resolved.
16 MR. HEDARALY: I think Mr. Misetic is listening to the original,
17 so could have a pause because now we are loosing the translation.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, if you look at a transcript, page 57,
19 line 7, you'll see that --
20 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- we do not know what you asked the witness.
22 MR. MISETIC: Well, let me ask, Mr. Registrar, if we could give
23 Mr. Novakovic a hard copy of another document.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Misetic, just for --
25 MR. MISETIC: To tender this, yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- our information, any date known of this document
2 of which the witness says, or could you ask him when he --
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
4 Q. When -- you heard the question of the Presiding Judge. When did
5 you send this to the MUP of Serbia?
6 A. I'm not sure. Possibly in 1993, when we were applying for
7 citizenship. I wish to state, however, that I was granted the
8 citizenship only in 1999.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, now I ask for, actually it is in
11 e-court already, 1D61-0342, please -- actually, sorry. I ask that this
12 exhibit be marked, and I tender it into evidence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
14 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, document ID number 1D61-0225 becomes
17 Exhibit number D920.
18 JUDGE ORIE: D920 is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D61-0342 on
20 the screen, please.
21 Q. Mr. Novakovic, this is, again, an undated autobiography signed by
22 you; and at the bottom, you write: "I am now serving in the Serbian army
23 of Krajina Main Staff in Knin, and my permanent address Military Post
24 4001, Belgrade
25 A. I think, or rather, I don't think, I know that this document
1 bears the same date as the one before. The purpose of this document was
2 solely the issue of citizenship. You know that we, the officers, were
3 registered through the 40th Personnel Sector. That is not a secret at
4 all because it was in this way that we received our pay. We were on the
5 payroll there.
6 This does not change what I said, that when we were in Krajina we
7 were exclusively officers of the RSK army, regardless of what one could
8 infer from this document.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... military post, in fact --
10 sorry. Was your permanent military post, in fact, 4001, Belgrade, while
11 you were serving in the so-called with RSK army?
12 A. No, no. I had an identity card, a military ID, with Military
13 Post 9000, Knin. This was the auxiliary post, so to speak. This was the
14 military post of the 40th Personnel Centre.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
16 and I tender it into evidence.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
18 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D921, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D921 is admitted into evidence.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, you just mentioned the 40th Personnel Centre,
24 and I would like to show you via Sanction -- I'd like to show you the
25 indictment that the Office of the Prosecutor filed against Momcilo
1 Perisic before this Tribunal. This is the current indictment in that
3 And if we could go to page 12, it says at paragraph 45: "Momcilo
4 Perisic's subordinates, under international law, include those personnel
5 over whom he had a material ability to prevent and punish the commission
6 of crimes. They included, but were not limited to ..."
7 Point A says: "All VJ personnel that were assigned or seconded
8 to the VRS and the SVK via the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres of the VJ
9 General Staff ..."
10 Now, were you, in fact, seconded to the army of the RSK through
11 the 40th Personnel Centre of the Yugoslav General Staff?
12 A. In my personal view, no. I was already down there at the time,
13 and I don't know how the technical issue was processed.
14 Q. In the appendix to the indictment of Momcilo Perisic, your name
15 appears: Assistant Commander For Morale, Legal, and Religious Issues,
16 Colonel Kosta Novakovic. Then it cites the autobiography I just showed
17 you: "Colonel Novakovic stated that he served in the Serbian army of the
18 Krajina Main Staff, and his permanent address was Military Post 4001,
20 As a factual matter, Mr. Novakovic, you were a subordinate of
21 Momcilo Perisic. Isn't that correct?
22 A. That is not correct. As far as this document is concerned, it is
23 the document that you've just shown to me a moment ago. That's the
24 document that we saw in the Serbian language, my CV. Since this is a
25 pending trial that has not come to an end, I can tell you that it is not
1 true. No one in the 40th Personnel Center
2 Main Staff of the RSK army was subordinated to General Momcilo Perisic,
3 or the VJ army as such. At no point in time was that the case.
4 MR. MISETIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Registrar,
5 if could I have 1D61-0195 on the screen, please.
6 Q. Mr. Novakovic, you had occasion to travel to peace talks in
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I draw your attention to the screen here to one such meeting,
10 where the participants in a meeting in Geneva on military matters are
12 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll down, please, to the Serbian
14 Q. First of all, do you recall this meeting?
15 A. Yes. I do have my notes and I recall all the meets.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... are you familiar with all of
17 these individuals? Do you know who they are?
18 A. Yes, of course.
19 Q. Who is Bukovnik Milos Krnjeta?
20 A. This is a colleague of mine who was in our Main Staff.
21 Q. Who is Slobodan Lazarevic?
22 A. Mr. Lazarevic was our interpreter.
23 Q. When he wasn't a translator, what function did he have in
24 the RSK?
25 A. He was in the 22nd Kordun unit, or he was the liaison officer
1 there. He was the liaison officer between the UNPROFOR command
2 Sector North and the 22nd Kordun Corps.
3 Q. Was he also an intelligence officer?
4 A. I'm not aware of him being anything other than in an interpreter.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have on the screen
6 1D41-0149. And before I get an objection on the statements, I have put
7 the matters to Mr. Novakovic that I wish to now to put to him with this
9 Q. Mr. Novakovic, this is a statement given by Slobodan Lazarevic to
10 the Office of the Prosecutor, which I will now show you.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to, please, page --
12 Q. Actually, without going through all the background in the
13 statement, Mr. Novakovic, Mr. Lazarevic testified that he was an
14 intelligence operative?
15 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to page 35 of his statement,
17 Q. He was asked by the Prosecution to identify various individuals?
18 If you lock at entry 22, according to Mr. Lazarevic, who was with
19 you in the Geneva
20 official. He went to Knin from the 21st Corps in Topusko, now is working
21 for the VJ at the officer's academy. He was running the with RSK army's
22 information centre in Knin.
23 Now, Mr. Novakovic, Mr. Lazarevic says you were, in fact, working
24 for KOS
25 A. First of all, I had never been a KOS officer, or of the state
1 security or the police, never ever. This is it true. It can be checked
2 in various ways.
3 Now would you please repeat your question, bit by bit.
4 Q. I think I have answered my question, Mr. Novakovic.
5 Now, were you aware that the RSK intelligence services repeatedly
6 tried to supply both the ECMM and the UN with misinformation?
7 A. No. I didn't know that and I wasn't required to know that.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you earlier said that Mr. Novakovic had
10 answered your question. I would like to verify whether that is the case.
11 Mr. Novakovic, Mr. Misetic asked you whether, in fact, you were
12 working for KOS
13 Mr. Lazarevic says.
14 Then you answered: "First of all, I had never been a KOS
15 officer, or of the state security or the police, never ever. This is
16 true. It can be checked in various ways."
17 Did you ever do anything at the request of KOS? So, irrespective
18 of whether you were an officer where you were formally appointed, did you
19 ever perform anything of which you were aware that you did it for the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, that is beyond any
22 doubt. That would not be characteristic of my views and work.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. I am reminded that I failed to
25 tender 1D61-0195, which is the list of the participants in the Geneva
1 meeting, and I tender that in evidence, please.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D922.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D922 is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. Mr. Novakovic, interpreters working for the UN and ECMM who were
10 Serbs from the so-called Krajina were, in fact, working for the Serbian
11 intelligence services. Correct?
12 A. I'm not familiar with that. However, I do know that it was the
13 other way around, that the Croatians who were, working as such, worked
14 for the Croatian agencies. However, I do exclude that possibility fully.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please focus your answer on the question
16 that was put to you. If at the end of your testimony you think that you
17 should add anything to your answers, then you will have an opportunity to
18 do so.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. Yes, Mr. Novakovic, earlier, when you were being questioned by
22 the Prosecution, on a couple of indications, you referred to the fact
23 that in your position, as a result of your position, you had intelligence
24 information, for example, on where HV troops were located, which
25 indicates that you, in fact, were communicating with RSK intelligence
2 Did you ever ask the RSK intelligence organs or come to find out
3 what some of their sources were?
4 A. Whatever information was processed by intelligence, they sent to
5 the operational organs. I had access to the documents of the operational
6 organs - that's how I came by that information - supplied to the
7 immediate circle within the command; that is to say, the commander and
8 his assistants.
9 Q. But you never got into or received any information in your
10 position as to what methods and sources RSK intelligence agencies had?
11 A. No. It is possible that I received such -- some information, but
12 not in that way. To be specific, at our briefings, the operational
13 officer in charge would say, "This and that unit of the Croatian army is
14 in that area." I never asked how he knew that, and it was not within my
15 competence to check.
16 Q. Let's go to the 4th.
17 Mr. Novakovic, you say in your statement in 2001 at page 12 and
18 today you repeated it at page 28, line 8 of the transcript, something
19 about if the international community had intervened, then the Croatian
20 offensive would have been halted.
21 Please explain what it is exactly you mean "had the international
22 community intervened." Were you expecting them to intervene?
23 A. We were. First of all, you need to know that we were a protected
24 area of the UN, and the name of UNPROFOR envisaged the existence of such
1 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have 65 ter 5955 on the
2 screen, please.
3 Q. What I'm going to show you is the report on what happened during
4 Operation Storm that was filed by General Mrksic to the chief of the
5 Main Staff of the Yugoslav army on the 26th of August, 1995.
6 Now, first, can you tell me why Mr. Mrksic is filing a report to
7 the chief of the Main Staff of the Yugoslav army about Operation Storm?
8 A. I don't know that. I have never seen this report before.
9 Q. Well, as someone who served in both the Yugoslav army and in the
10 RSK army, do you have any idea why General Mrksic would be reporting to
11 the chief of the Main Staff of the Yugoslav army, after Operation Storm,
12 about what happened in Operation Storm?
13 A. I think it would be wise to ask him that.
14 Q. Is it because he was also simultaneously an Yugoslav officer and
15 a Serb Krajina officer?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
17 MR. HEDARALY: I think the witness has already stated he has no
18 knowledge --
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, he said -- as a matter of fact, I was about to
20 ask him to refrain from giving directions to whom to put questions.
21 You're invited to tell us, Mr. Novakovic, whether you had any
22 idea. If you have please tell us, if you don't have, tell us as well.
23 But whether or not we should put that question to a different person is
24 another matter, which the parties will consider.
25 MR. HEDARALY: There is also a mischaracterization in the
1 question where he says "... simultaneously an Yugoslav officer and a Serb
2 Krajina officer. " I think the answer of the witness was clear.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any idea why General Mrksic reported to
4 the chief of the Main Staff of the Yugoslav army.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I truly don't know
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only thing I can add is that I
9 never submitted any reports to anyone concerning my sector.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could go to page 28 in the
12 English first, please.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I have a 24-page document for this one, but --
14 MR. MISETIC: I have 29.
15 MR. HEDARALY: I have 24, as well, in e-court.
16 JUDGE ORIE: In e-court, I have got 24.
17 MR. MISETIC: Well, it's numbered page 28 of 29 on the bottom, so
18 that is what I meant.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which, of course, raises other puzzles: Where
20 are the missing pages?
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If you put the questions to the witness, then --
23 MR. HEDARALY: It's page 23, Your Honour, of the English in
25 JUDGE ORIE: Page 23.
1 MR. MISETIC: I just want it make sure that the Serbian version
2 is also up for the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have it.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Mr. Novakovic, if you look at the, in your screen, the second
7 MR. MISETIC: And in the English, it is the second
8 paragraph under section 19.
9 Q. "The army of the Serbian Krajina was and still is considered a
10 part of the VJ, Yugoslav army. It was doing everything it could, but it
11 has remained isolated. We think that the Main Staff of the Yugoslav army
12 should have supported development of the army of the Serbian Krajina in a
13 more courageous and determined way."
14 Now, the army of the Serbian Krajina was, in fact, considered a
15 part of the Yugoslav army. Correct?
16 A. It needn't be correct what Mr. Mrksic reports, whether it was
17 considered a part of the VJ and whether the VJ actually saw things that
18 way. Mr. Mrksic wrote this some 20 days after the tragic events, and it
19 is questionable what he meant by that.
20 If we thought we were part of the VJ, that doesn't necessarily
21 mean that the VJ shared that view. Wishes of ours are one thing, and the
22 treatment on their part is another, and that can be concluded from this.
23 Q. Let's start there. You say: "If we thought we were part of the
24 VJ, that doesn't necessarily mean that the VJ shared that view." So you
25 thought you were part of the VJ. Correct?
1 A. You misunderstand me. I said that if we wished for that, not
2 believed that to be the case.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... why did you wish to be part
4 of the Yugoslav army?
5 A. If the Croatian army had the Croatian Defence Council and the
6 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina on their side, it would have been natural
7 for us to have the VJ on ours.
8 Q. On the 3rd of August, or throughout July 1995, how many people,
9 for example, in the civilian and military leadership of the so-called
10 RSK, had a wish to, for example, become part of a Croatian army?
11 A. I don't think that was the case.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could turn to page 14 of this
13 document, please.
14 JUDGE ORIE: It looks as if pages 19 to 23 are missing in the
15 translation, at least in the numbering at the bottom of the page.
16 MR. MISETIC: I'm now told that I'm using the document that was
17 disclosed to us by Office of the OTP, and what was uploaded into e-court
18 by OTP under 65 ter is missing those four pages. So we will obviously
19 add those at the earliest opportunity.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. MISETIC:
22 Q. Estimate and course of combat activities -- actually, I think we
23 are ing section 4.1, it should be, in the Serbian.
24 Now, it says, and you have mentioned now this, that,
25 internationally, you were waiting for international intervention: "It
1 was foresighted by the plan of defence that the SVK units in the western
2 part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina would carry out combat activities
3 for six to eight days. It was estimated that this would be possible on
4 condition of establishing encirclement and caring of persistent defence.
5 And if you scroll down a few lines, it reads: "It was estimated
6 that within six to eight days, a reaction by international factors, or
7 even probably VRS or VJ intervention, would have occurred."
8 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we could go to page 3 of this document as
9 well, in the paragraph that begins: "The aggression was expected ..."
10 I believe we're not on the right page in the Serbian. Yes.
11 Q. It says: "The aggression was expected, and the Main Staff
12 directed the main focus of their work on preparing the units to defend
13 their positions, regions, and areas resolutely for five to civilian days,
14 believing that that would be enough for the international factors and, if
15 necessary, even the Yugoslav army, to react. Certain conditions were
16 established for such a use of the SVK units (ammunition had been secured,
17 small reserves had been established, fortification and obstacles had been
18 created, and the population had been prevented from moving out ...)"
19 Now, Mr. Novakovic, one of the fundamental elements of the plan
20 of the so-called army of Serbian Krajina to defend against the Croatian
21 offensive was to draw in the international community to stop it.
22 Correct? That was a fundamental element of your plan.
23 A. Well, I don't know why there would have been such a need, since
24 the international community had already participated in the conflict.
25 They offered their assistance in terms of the Vance-Owen Plan until an
1 amicable political solution could be found. That is why there was this
2 presumption that the international community would take part.
3 Q. My question is quite specific: Your plan was to hold out for six
4 to eight days and wait or try to get intervention from either the
5 international community, the army of the Republika Srpska, or the
6 Yugoslav army. Isn't that correct?
7 A. Well, planning is one thing, an implementation is another, as
8 seen here. I didn't see any specific parts of the plan, but I do know
9 that such -- some such elements were contained in the plan.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
11 and I tender it into evidence.
12 MR. HEDARALY: No objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D923.
15 JUDGE ORIE: D923 is admitted into evidence.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Now, along those lines, Mr. Novakovic, I'd like to show you a
19 MR. MISETIC: This is 1D61-0247. This is Mr. Martic on the
20 2nd of August.
21 [Videotape played]
22 [Technical Difficulty]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do we have a similar sound problem as we had before.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, what about an early break, so that the
1 matter be resolve during the break.
2 MR. MISETIC: That's fine.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And we resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
4 Mr. Novakovic, due to these technical problems, the Chamber
5 decides to have a bit earlier as planned our break.
6 We resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic have you checked if the problem's been
11 MR. MISETIC: They have been, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it we also know for next time what to
13 do to prevent it.
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
17 Q. Again, Mr. Novakovic, this is a video of Mr. Martic on the 2nd of
18 August on TV Knin. If we could play it, please.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "I surely wouldn't be amongst the
21 living nor with any of you, nor do we have much of a choice; and we are
22 simply destined to win. For this reason, when any state interest is at
23 stake the sole priority should be Defence and on my behalf as the
24 president, I have the support of the Parliament and the government in
25 that the priorities should be the army and defence. Croatia will most
1 likely conduct new aggression towards the Republic of Serbian Krajina
2 We attempted to delay this by agreements and negotiations in order for it
3 to be avoided. However their position is precisely to gain support for a
4 military solution in order to stabilize themselves within and you know
5 how much instability they're suffering, but if we schedule and I
6 sincerely hope this will be the case, and we wait as a host and defeat
7 them, then our recognition will be truly imminent. The RSK that we then
8 become the utmost reality. It would be realistic that we be recognised
9 world-wide and that Croatia
10 hands and say the RSK exists."
11 MR. MISETIC: Now, Mr. Novakovic, you heard Mr. Martic there
12 before the break you said that there indeed were such elements contained
13 in the plan concerning getting the international community involved in
14 preventing the offensive. However, here, I'd like to ask you that was
15 also one of the topics discussed the fact that if the HV launched an
16 offensive and you were able to hold out that that was a means of
17 obtaining international recognition of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
19 A. Possibly. I'm not familiar with all the details.
20 Q. Well, you were a relatively high-ranking individual in the
21 leadership. Were you ever involved in discussions where one of the
22 strategy considers was to in fact as Mr. Martic put it, Wait as a host
23 for the attack, hold off and then by that, invite the international
24 community to recognise the independence of the so-called Republika Srpska
25 Krajina? Were you ever a participant in such discussions?
1 A. I attended quite a few meetings. However, this particular one I
2 wouldn't be able to pinpoint who the audience is and where this is.
3 Apparently this was a group of fighters that Martic addressed, and he
4 addressed them. He was extemporizing, it seems to me, and I don't think
5 that he was expressing a political view.
6 Q. I'm not asking if you were present at this particular discussion.
7 What I'm saying is were you present for any discussion where that topic
8 was discussed? In other words, using an eventual Croatian offensive as a
9 justification later for international recognition?
10 A. I didn't hear anything along those lines being specified.
11 MR. MISETIC: [Previous translation continues] ... into evidence.
12 It is --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
14 MR. HEDARALY: I missed part because of the overlap. Is that the
15 video that is being tendered?
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That is what I understand.
18 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D924.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D924 is admitted into evidence. Does that include
22 the transcript?
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Both in English and in the original?
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes, it does.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now I have forgotten to say -- no I said it's
2 admitted into evidence. Yes, please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. Mr. Novakovic, we -- we talking about this international
5 involvement. And let me first call up D327, which is -- actually we
6 don't need the video. You've already testified this morning that you
7 received a phone call or your liaison officer received a phone call
8 before the assault started where you were told by someone in UNCRO or
9 your liaison officer was told by someone at UNCRO that the attack would
10 start at 5.00 a.m.
11 Was your liaison officer an individual by the last name of
13 A. Yes, Mr. Mladen Kalapac.
14 Q. And you mentioned, I believe in your statement, you say that in
15 your 2001 statement at page 9 you describe the source, Mr. Kalapac's
16 source as "a responsible official who requested Mr. Kalapac to convey
17 this information to me," was that responsible information, in fact,
18 Colonel Andrew Leslie?
19 A. I'm not sure. He did mention a name, though. He did mention
20 someone I believe to be a person of authority. It is possible, but I'm
21 not sure.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... on the screen General
23 Leslie's statement via Sanction.
24 Now General Leslie gave a statement to the Office of the
25 Prosecutor at line 20, he says:
1 "At around 5.30 in the morning I received a phone call in my
2 office from a Captain Karlopac [phoen]...
3 "His first name here it's written, 'Vladen.' I'm sorry, but I
4 don't know how to spell that. Captain Karlopac was a liaison officer
5 located in the ARSK headquarters."
6 Do you know, generally speaking if Colonel Leslie's --
7 Mr. Karlopac had a good relationship with Colonel Leslie?
8 A. His name is not Karlopac but Karapac, and his first name was
9 Mladen. I'm not aware of what their relations were. I know that
10 professionally they had to with be in touch perhaps as many as ten times
11 a day and this was the case not only with him but with other UNPROFOR
12 officers as well.
13 Q. How many other -- was that the only -- was there one contact that
14 Karlopac received from UN Sector South or were there more before the
15 operation began?
16 MR. HEDARALY: I'm -- sorry, Your Honour, when I read this, it
17 says that General Leslie received a call from Mr. Karlopac at 5.30, so I
18 just want to make sure -- because I'm getting confused, so I don't want
19 the witness to be confused by the question.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic when reading this, it is about
21 Mr. Karlopac or Karapac calling Mr. Leslie.
22 MR. MISETIC: I'm now referring to the witness's own statement
23 where he says that Mr. Karlopac was called by someone there in UN
24 Sector South.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Just take it one step at a time so we can all
1 follow clearly because he just had the statement and on the screen we
2 still have General Leslie's statement.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, will do his utmost best to avoid
4 further confusion.
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Mr. Novakovic, you testified that Mr. Karlopac received a
8 telephone call from UN Sector South. My question is was it the only
9 phone call were there one phone call before the operation began, were
10 there multiple phone calls advising the army of the so-called Republika
11 Srpska Krajina that the attack would begin at 5.00 a.m.?
12 A. I know of the call that I told you about which took place at 4.00
13 or 4.15, roughly. I can tell you that there was information which
14 perhaps was not verified that some people from the UNPROFOR command in
16 report or not. I did, however, say that over the last two days, there
17 were many calls, some were benevolent others were malevolent. I know
18 about this one at 4.15.
19 Q. You testified this morning that you were an officer in charge of
20 religious affairs. I think you mentioned the orchestra.
21 A. First of all for information and then for legal and religious
23 Q. Can you explain where the UNCRO Sector South would contact you.
24 Why were you the person who was contacted at 4.15 in the morning.
25 A. I will have to repeat my function then. I think I said that I in
1 no unclear terms that I was assistant commander for information, legal
2 affairs, religious affairs, and relations or cooperation with
3 international organisations. In other words, my sector was in charge
4 with direct contacts with all representatives of all international
5 organisations; namely, UNPROFOR, Red Cross, the High Commission, and all
6 the other international organisations present in the area.
7 Q. Did you find it unusual that the UN Sector South was giving you
8 information in advance about a military operation that was about to
9 commence at 5.00 a.m.
10 A. I don't think so. Why?
11 Q. Well, as you've just said, you are the officer in charge of
12 liaising with the international organisations. Do you consider it a
13 violation of UN neutrality for the UN to advise one party in the conflict
14 that the party is about to launch an operation against it?
15 A. Why would that be the case? Well, if we are now unfolding the
16 story, we should go back to 1st May.
17 Q. Generally speaking, you had --
18 A. Didn't UNPROFOR receive information from the Croatian side that
19 the Croatian side would launch an attack?
20 Q. Yes, it did.
21 A. Well, then, they shouldn't have done so. If the Croatian side
22 had informed them about it, then they should have passed the information
23 on. The UNPROFOR didn't have to be neutral. Why would UNPROFOR protect
24 any side? Why don't you interpret for yourself the very title of
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... UNCRO at the time. But
2 putting that aside, okay?
3 A. Yes, fine.
4 Q. UNCRO, you understand, was not allowed to take sides in the
5 conflict. You understand that principle. Correct?
6 A. Well, I do, yes.
7 Q. Now, the fact that you were able to receive this information from
8 UNCRO in advance was something that was a result of the fact that you had
9 developed good relations with some of the UNCRO officers in Sector South.
11 A. I don't think that's the reason why. There's another reason, and
12 if you will allow me, I will explain. After all, I am familiar with this
13 because I followed this issue.
14 UNCRO did have a guilty conscience over events that unfolded in
15 Western Slavonia, and they did want to take some of that guilt burden off
16 their shoulders. However, even many of the Croatian sources revealed
17 that through interception the intelligence structures were able to learn
18 that an attack was imminent. This was not a surprise.
19 Q. Follow on that, earlier you established that part of the plan,
20 indeed, involvement of the international -- the international community.
21 I'd like it show you now Exhibit D389, please, talking about
22 intelligence information again.
23 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, just for your information, there is a
24 correction that has been made, and we forwarded to our colleagues in the
25 OTP, in the English translation of this document. We would ask
1 permission to upload the corrected version which is not yet in e-court.
2 But I will take him through it, and I can --
3 Q. Let me show you, Mr. Novakovic. This is an intelligence report
4 from Colonel Mihajl Knezovic, on the 4th of August, talking about the HV
5 artillery assault.
6 If you look at the fourth paragraph, when it talks about what was
7 hit and the amount of rounds, it says: "By the time this information was
8 drafted," which is sometime after 10.00 a.m. on the 4th, and you know
9 that because the paragraph beneath, it talks about, "at 1000 hours,"
10 something happened.
11 A. Fine.
12 Q. It says: "By the time that information was drafted, between 200
13 and 300 rounds ever different calibres impacted on the town. The first
14 strike was carried out on the building of the SVK General Staff, which
15 suffered great material damage, with the fleet of vehicles almost
16 completely destroyed. Later, the fire was transferred on the military
17 barracks 1300 Kaplara ."
18 And that is the northern barracks, correct?
19 A. I don't know the name of the barracks. That was probably its
20 proper name.
21 Q. "The railway intersection," and here is where the translation
22 error takes place. In the original, it says, "... and residential
23 buildings in the area beneath the Knin fortress," not residential
24 buildings "and" the area beneath the Knin fortress.
25 Now, you've just told us that you would receive intelligence
1 information. Did you receive this intelligence report as -- as part of
2 your job to liaise with UNCRO Sector South, did you receive this
3 intelligence report from Colonel Knezovic?
4 A. No. I have never seen the information before. I was in a
5 separate building, and up until the 4th, I was exclusively in contact
6 with the commander and the individuals who came to see me. I wasn't in
7 touch with other commanders or assistants. Every one of the assistants,
8 for instance, Mr. Knezovic, was in charge of intelligence. They were
9 each in charge of their areas of work. I can see that this was his own
10 personal assessment that fire could not be opened from the Livran [phoen]
12 Well, at any rate, he had information that he received. I
13 received information from my commander who used other sources. My source
14 of information were also people who came to see me and who were went
15 about town. I had my collaborators, if you will, in town, who produced a
16 recording. I don't know that I had this piece of information, but this
17 is common knowledge. I was aware of this information through my
19 Q. So you were aware of this information through General Mrksic. Is
20 that correct?
21 A. He didn't say this in so many words, but he conveyed to me the
22 gist of it. He didn't tell me that it was Knezovic, but when I came to
23 see him, he told me what this was all about.
24 Q. Concerning what was happening in the town of Knin, give me names
25 of people who were giving you information about what was happening in the
1 town of Knin. You mentioned your associates or assistants, but give me
2 names. Who?
3 A. As I said, primarily the commander. One of the men was Tihomir
4 Vlaonja. He was my deputy.
5 Q. Anyone else?
6 A. Up there, there was another man, Trgovcevic, who was chief of the
7 division for the cooperation with international organisations, Mr. Milan
8 Trgovcevic. He was formerly a military attache. The others were not
9 there, but quite a few journalists came, as did people from other
10 structure: Mr. Babic, whom I mentioned, from the Ministry of Defence --
11 Q. Let me ask another question. By 8.00 a.m., by 8.00 a.m.
12 were your sources about what was happening in Knin?
13 A. My personal knowledge, my personal observations, and the sources
14 from the commander and our operation centre, as well as from my
15 associates. How shall I explain this? I was an open-type structure.
16 One could freely access the office where I was. Journalists would drop
17 by, as well as people who observed things happening in Knin. As for the
18 information concerning units, I could receive that from my commander.
19 Q. What kind of information could you be getting from units in Knin?
20 Were there units in Knin that were providing information to General
22 A. Well, no, not in Knin. The nearest command was perhaps some ten
23 kilometres away from Knin. There weren't any units in Knin.
24 Q. So there are no units in Knin. So General Mrksic presumably
25 then, according to you, is not receiving intelligence about what is
1 happening in Knin from units that aren't in Knin, obviously. Correct?
2 A. No, no. Units never did provide that sort of information. There
3 was no reason for units to be in Knin.
4 Q. Well, this report from the intelligence department, you see,
5 doesn't mention, for example, the hospital has been shelled. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Other than some residential buildings in the area beneath the
8 Knin fortress, it doesn't mention shelling of other residential areas in
9 other parts of town. Correct?
10 A. Well, this isn't what this particular individual said, but others
12 Q. In terms of the intelligence assessment of your own army, there
13 was nothing in the intelligence report that said that there was shelling
14 of residential areas, other than a reference to residential buildings in
15 the area beneath the Knin fortress. Correct?
16 A. Well, depending on the time when he wrote this. I can't see the
17 exact time when he wrote the report.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was perhaps --
20 MR. HEDARALY: I just wondered on the question that "of your own
21 army," if it is of this report from the army, that question is correct.
22 But now he is expanding the question based on just this document. We
23 don't know whether there were other reports or not.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think, as a matter of fact, the matter is
25 clear. That's what the witness said. He, more or less, said, Yes, we do
1 not find this in this report. Even if he would have said otherwise, the
2 Chamber is able to read a report.
3 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... establish that with him,
4 because --
5 Q. Now, let me turn your attention, Mr. Novakovic, to D331.
6 A. I apologise. May I give a comment on this document, if you wish
7 me to.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm not asking you to do it. If at the end
9 you would like to add anything, please do so; but listen to the next
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Thank you.
12 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, in D311, the original is in French;
13 however, if we could have the English and the B/C/S on the screen,
15 Q. This is the UN archives, Mr. Novakovic, and it`s a notation of a
16 conversation you had by telephone with General Janvier on the morning of
17 the 4th, where you were conveying a message from General Mrksic.
18 And if you look, you say, in paragraph 5, you told General
19 Janvier: "They targeted the immediate vicinity of the UNPROFOR
20 Sector South command using direct fire.
21 "They also targeted the hospital and other similar buildings,
22 firing randomly and without any order. UNPROFOR officers located there
23 can confirm these claims."
24 What was your basis on the morning of the 4th, given the
25 intelligence assessment looked at on the screen, what was your basis for
1 telling General Janvier that the HV was targeting the hospital.
2 A. The intelligence was certainly not the main source. I said, at
3 the beginning, that shelling was random and that was the impression we
4 had, and we believed that UNPROFOR shared that impression.
5 Several hundred shells landed in a very short span of time, and
6 this was the communication which took place after 5.00. That was our
7 impression, Mrksic conveyed it to me, I was probably with him at that
8 time, and we passed this information on to General Janvier.
9 We addressed their command because we trusted that they would
10 check this through General Forand. If I had possibly made a mistake, he
11 could have checked that through his commander.
12 Q. Well, first, let's take this step by step. What was the specific
13 piece of information that was the basis of the claim that the hospital
14 was being targeted? Who is the person who witnessed this?
15 A. First of all, our units that he were closest to Knin, I said that
16 there were some ten kilometres away, they followed the developments
17 through radar and their stations. All the officers who were billeted
18 chose to the command who were housed in the old people's home could
19 notice that, as well as those who resided close to the Knin fortress.
20 Knin is a small town, three by two or three by three kilometres,
21 and one could observe the events from the slopes and from where the area
22 where the fortress is.
23 Q. You were, in fact, giving misinformation to General Janvier as
24 part of plan to draw in the international community. Correct?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Can we just ask again Mr. Misetic to make a pause,
2 because I'm hearing the overlap as well in between the translations, and
3 it is it hard to follow.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please.
5 MR. MISETIC: I'm following the transcript, Your Honour, so I'm
6 trying to monitor my speed by following the court reporter.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please repeat your question, nevertheless.
8 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Novakovic, I'm going to put it to you that you, in fact, were
10 providing misinformation to General Janvier in an effort to draw in the
11 international community, to stop the HV offence which was, as you
12 testified earlier, an element of the defence plan. Correct?
13 A. That's not correct. This is an untrue assertion.
14 General Janvier did not have to trust us fully. He had his
15 organs out in the field who could confirm that. There was the UN
16 Sector South command there. They were on an elevation and were -- had a
17 clear vantage point to allow them to have all the information, to see all
18 the shells. They had all the instruments and mechanisms necessary for
20 We didn't even have to give any information to General Janvier
21 since he had a subordinate general who could always check the information
22 without any problems.
23 Q. That's --
24 A. Those were our impressions, that was our view of the situation,
25 but they had the person number two there as a sort of supervisor who
1 could check that.
2 Q. Precisely. This is precisely the area that I want to go into
3 next, Mr. Novakovic, because General Forand, in fact, at least from the
4 evidence in the file thus far, reported nothing to the UNCRO or UNPROFOR
5 command in Zagreb
6 with you at 10.00 a.m.
7 Are you aware of that?
8 MR. HEDARALY: I --
9 JUDGE ORIE: The question is whether the witness is aware of it,
10 Mr. Hedaraly.
11 MR. HEDARALY: Well, I'm more worried about the
12 misrepresentation. I can check, but isn't there a letter sent in the
13 morning of the 5th about --
14 MR. MISETIC: No. Your Honours, we went through this with
15 General Forand. The first UN --
16 MR. RUSSO: I --
17 MR. MISETIC: I will wait for Mr. Russo.
18 Let me continue. Mr. Russo I think has to hear me.
19 Before 1.00 p.m.
20 shelling of civilian areas, and the issue of the letter to General
21 Gotovina being written was extensively dealt with the examination of
22 General Forand who said it was certainly after 10.00 a.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The question was awareness of the witness. Let's
24 hear his answer. Perhaps you'd repeat the question, Mr. Misetic.
25 MR. MISETIC:
1 Q. Mr. Novakovic, prior to your meeting at 10.00 a.m. with General
2 Forand, UN Sector South headquarters had not reported up its chain of
3 command that there was any shelling of civilian areas in Knin. Were you
4 aware of that at the time that you had the meeting at 10.00 a.m.?
5 A. I don't think it was so. When General Forand came, he said that
6 this was not fair and he knew for certain that civilian targets were
7 being hit. Since I did a lot of research, I also read some material
8 containing Mr. Forand's lecture to some Canadian officers in
9 October 1995. General Forand described precisely what took place. He
10 lectured a group of Canadian officers upon his return to Canada in
11 October 1995. He mentions precisely the shelling of civilian targets,
12 and, to conclude, he could also see it with his own eyes, as did his
14 Q. Let me ask you: How did you get into possession of General
15 Forand's assessment?
16 A. I don't know. In any case, I had an opportunity to read it. I
17 read it in Knin. I don't know how I got it. I had a version in English
18 and in Serbian.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... General Forand's materials,
20 but you have no idea where you got these materials from?
21 A. I don't. I don't know.
22 Q. Well, in your statement, in 2001, you said, at page 9, that
23 General Forand undertook to do everything in his power to stop the
24 targeting of civilian areas. Then today, at page 32, lines 8 to 10, you
25 said that General Forand promised to intervene through the UNPROFOR or
1 command in Zagreb
2 A. It is correct that he promised that he would intervene. It may
3 have been my impression that he did. In any case, that what he had
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... after his promise to
6 intervene, are you aware of what steps General Forand took, but to
7 "intervene with the UNPROFOR command in Zagreb"?
8 A. I'm not familiar with this.
9 Q. Well, you seem to have some materials from General Forand. Are
10 you aware of a letter that General Forand allegedly sent to General
11 Gotovina on the 4th?
12 A. I'm not. I have not seen or heard of it.
13 Q. Well, when you say that General Forand promised to intervene at
14 this meeting at 10.00 a.m.
15 intervened before 10.00 a.m.
16 A. No. He did not come out with such information. He acted in
17 accordance with his position and principles and provided no information.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... statement at page 9, you
19 say: "After that meeting, I proceeded to the Knin hospital in an UN
21 Why did you go in an UN APC
22 A. There was no other way. I don't remember that particular detail,
23 whether I asked to go or whether someone from UNPROFOR suggested that,
24 when General Forand was coming.
25 In the personnel carrier, it was Colonel Ratsouk and -- in any
1 case, the crew was two officers and soldiers.
2 Q. Why were you going? Why did you go with these UN personnel?
3 A. We wanted to see what the situation was and what UNPROFOR could
4 do to assist the wounded. Electricity was out and there were numerous
5 other problems. We already had information that the hospital had been
6 hit, as, indeed, it was, although I don't know at what point in time.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... who else?
8 A. Two officers and two soldiers were there. I don't know whether
9 they came from the French or Canadian contingent; but in any case, there
10 was UNPROFOR APC
11 Q. Did you also at this meeting with General Forand get his
12 agreement to use an UN APC
13 the town?
14 A. Well, I don't think it could have been done by anyone else,
15 except for General Forand. In any case, it seems that somebody needed to
16 go to the hospital, and there was a suggestion made that I board the APC
17 It probably went via the General.
18 Q. You know what Zastava Films is. Correct?
19 A. Yes, very well.
20 Q. It's a military/JNA film production company. Correct?
21 A. It is a production company which, for the most part, produced
22 educational-material films and short features, and perhaps can I explain
23 in detail further.
24 Q. It's owned by the military. Correct? It was in 1995, let's put
25 it that way.
1 A. It was always a half-military/half civilian entity.
2 Q. Now, on the 4th of August, did Zastava Film get to use an UN APC
3 to film in the town?
4 A. No. They filmed without an APC.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, turning your attention now to the evacuation
6 order. I'd like to play for you D326, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "on a large scale, at approximately
9 5.00 on the 4th of August, 1995, representatives of the civilian
10 authorities gathered at Matic's office. Matic was in uniform, and there
11 was an ashtray and several packs of cigarettes in front of him. We
12 exchanged our helloes. And on the topic of the events, he decided he
13 wanted to evacuate the city, and we should take steps to relocate the
14 civilian population; I must stress the civilian from Northern Dalmatia,
15 meaning from the municipalities of Benkovac, Obrovac, Knin, and Drnis,
16 and from the municipality of Gracac and Lika.
17 "This did not come as a shock to me. I perceived this to be some
18 of a rationale measure. At that moment we passed the order, Kosta
19 Novakovic specifically passed the order. It was then that when we wrote
20 in the order that to protect the civilian population that they take the
21 correction of Knin, Otric, Srb, or Lapac, which are the areas to which
22 the people to be relocated.
23 "It is then Mrksic said, 'What do you mean Srb? We need to go
24 further than that, towards Petrovac and Banja Luka.' Then he cautioned
25 us, that if the civilians embarked on leaving, that the military lines
1 would be at risk. He said, 'If the civilians start, the army will go
2 after them to evacuate them, and we're going have big problems.'
3 "However, sometime during the evening, when he arrived, Mrksic
4 was somewhere on the upper floor. He told me, on the staircase, that the
5 evacuation of the population been ordered. I told him, 'General, the
6 army will fall apart. What do you mean by evacuating the people by this
7 in means of an order.' He said, "This is not in our hands. It was the
8 Supreme Defence Council that decided.'
9 "Then someone had requested Martic, or it was Martic trying to
10 talk to Slobo, but, rather, he spoke with Brane Cmcevic. He got hold of
11 Brano Cmcevic who assured him that -- well, he probably couldn't get a
12 hold of Slobo, and that's why he spoke to Brane. He said no steps would
13 be taken, but Slobo would do nothing. Then for the first time, I heard
14 that it was Martic cursing Slobo."
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was waiting for the last line to be
16 translated, which I saw as well, but it seems to not be vital one.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, you say Drago Kovacevic saying on that say
20 that, in fact, although what was written in the order was to go to Srb,
21 what, in fact, said at the meeting was go to further to Petrovac and
22 Banja Luka.
23 That is, in fact, what happened at that meeting, isn't it,
24 Mr. Novakovic?
25 A. I did not hear that. I don't think that can been at face value.
1 Drago Kovacevic wrote a book in which he states that there were some
2 others present, although I know there were known, because I was in the
3 office before he came. I know him well, and it doesn't necessarily mean
4 that what he says is correct. I can guarantee that there was no
5 discussion beyond what we had agreed on. Mrksic even stressed that since
6 the Main Staff was to be relocated to Srb, we were supposed to make
7 decisions on what to do with the population there and then.
8 There was another meeting which was at 8.30 in the afternoon --
9 in the evening, when tasks were being issued to the military, and there
10 was no mention of the population being moved.
11 Q. We'll follow on that, Mr. Novakovic. But, first, if we could go
12 back to D923, please, page 13 in the B/C/S, and page 21 in the English,
13 please. This is again General Mrksic's report from the 26th of August.
14 MR. MISETIC: If we could go towards the middle of the page in
16 Q. Now, General Mrksic writes: "The evacuation could not be
17 prevented and stopped with any authorities or commanding measures. After
18 the fall of Western Slavonia, there were many accusations at the expense
19 of the authority, the president of the republic, because the evacuation
20 was not ordered earlier."
21 Mr. Novakovic, on the afternoon of the 4th, isn't it true that at
22 the meetings you attended, one of the concerns was that you did not want
23 to be accused, as the leadership had been accused in Western Slavonia, of
24 not ordering the evacuation fast enough?
25 A. No, no. There was no discussion about that, at all. The
1 evacuation followed subsequently for the reasons I have explained. In
2 particular, because, by that time, a part of the civilian population had
3 been on the move, and some ordered needed to be introduced in the
4 evacuation process. I already said that at 8.00 in the morning, the
5 people started moving from the country to the city. And --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
7 A. -- by -- the entire municipality of Plaski
8 point in time.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, could you please avoid overlaps.
11 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm between a -- well, how to express
12 it. I want to make sure that we stay focussed on the question and answer
13 while I'm also have this dilemma about the translation, but I'm only
14 intervening in an effort to keep us moving forward.
15 If we could go to Exhibit D337, Mr. Registrar.
16 Q. First of all, this is, as you can see, Mr. Novakovic, a report
17 from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan on the 4th of August in the evening.
18 MR. MISETIC: And paragraph 4, please.
19 Q. Now, here the report is that -- you have -- "there has been a
20 request from the Knin leadership to evacuate approximately 32.000
21 civilians from Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac, and Knin to Petrovac and Banja
22 Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
23 Now, let me -- in an effort to speed this up, I won't show you
24 again, Mr. Hedaraly showed you Mr. Ratsouk's report from the same day
25 where he mentions that you had told him that the final destinations were
1 Petrovac and Banja Luka.
2 You mentioned this morning Drago Vujatovic was present with you
3 at this meeting with General Forand. And you recall that Drago Vujatovic
4 was the head of the civil protection for the municipality of Knin
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have on the screen,
8 please, 1D61-0051.
9 Q. This is Mr. Vujatovic's statement to the Office of the
10 Prosecutor, Mr. Novakovic.
11 And if we could go to page 6 in the English, which is
12 paragraph 28. It's page 8 in the B/C/S.
13 At paragraph 28, Mr. Novakovic, here's what Mr. Vujatovic told
14 the Office of the Prosecutor: "At around 5.00 p.m., I was called to a
15 meeting by Kosta Novakovic by phone at the army hall in Knin." He then
16 mentioned some of the other individuals who you've identified. And says
17 the commander of Sector -- UN forces Sector South and his two associates
18 were also there.
19 Towards the middle of the paragraph, it says: "Then Novakovic
20 read out an evacuation order that he stated was signed by Milan Martic.
21 I recall that Novakovic then dictated to me, and I refer to my notes here
22 from the time, the routes of evacuation for the population. Padjene
23 would be the collection point, the first place where everyone should go,
24 and then wait for instructions there. Next point was Srb, and from then
25 he population was to proceed to Martin Brod. The town of Drvar in Bosnia
1 was to be avoided at all costs because it was being shelled. From there,
2 the" --
3 MR. MISETIC: On to page 9, please, in the B/C/S.
4 Q. "From there, the population was to go to Doljani, Petrovac, and
5 finally Banja Luka, which was the final destination."
6 Mr. Novakovic, this is an official of the so-called RSK who has
7 told the Office of the Prosecutor that it was you who dictated the
8 evacuation route, and it was you who said that the final destinations
9 were Doljani, Petrovac, and Banja Luka.
10 Now, isn't it true that at this meeting you told the UN and your
11 fellow associates at the meeting that the evacuation was to be carried
12 out, to go to Padjene, Srb, Martin Brod, Doljani, Petrovac and
13 Banja Luka?
14 A. That is absolutely incorrect. I never mentioned Padjene. That
15 was not within my purview. I only read out the decision. That was the
16 scope of my limitations there. I read it out.
17 I was not personally interested in Drago Vujatovic because he was
18 a municipal representative. Mr. Babic and his associates were of
19 importance to me, because they were supposed to take it over. I wasn't
20 tasked with passing down the tasks to the lower levels. I read out the
21 decision, and I said that there were 15 to 20 people there. I only read
22 out the text of the decision without any comment, and I said who signed
24 Not only did I read it but I held it out and people could come
25 and see it for themselves. There was no mention of any other routes. As
1 to how it was later implemented by certain other individuals, that's
2 another matter.
3 Q. Well, now let's ask the factual matter -- what actually
4 transpired after this. It turns out that the people actually -- the
5 civilian population did go to Srb, and from there to Martin Brod, and
6 from there to Petrovac, and then to Banja Luka, right? That is actually
7 what did take place.
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. So let me make sure that you have been given every opportunity,
10 Mr. Novakovic. In addition to the fact that it turns out that the people
11 actually travelled this route, it is your position that the UN that
12 attended the meeting is wrong when it says that you said that the final
13 destination was Petrovac and Banja Luka and your fellow associate who was
14 with you at the meeting also got it wrong when he says that you said to
15 go to Petrovac and Banja Luka. Is that your position?
16 A. I claim that, and I say that it is completely incorrect. There
17 were other 10 to 15 people in attendance there who could confirm that.
18 Q. Let me ask you: Mr. Novakovic, is it -- is it the case that you
19 do not wish to acknowledge your role in evacuating the population to
20 Petrovac and Banja Luka for fear of being held responsible by your fellow
21 Serbs for ordering the evacuation out of Croatia?
22 A. No. I believe that question is superfluous and it can certainly
23 be disputed by at least another 30 sources.
24 JUDGE ORIE: The answer is no. Your point is clear, Mr. Misetic.
25 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, in light of the Trial Chamber's
1 rulings on issues like this, we will not tender this statement.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the clock. I don't know what your
5 next subject would be, whether that could be dealt with in a couple of
6 minutes. If so, please proceed; if not --
7 MR. MISETIC: I don't wish to run afoul ^ with the Trial Chamber
8 so I will not risk it and --
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, apart from that, I
10 get problems with the other Trial Chambers.
11 Mr. Novakovic, we'd like to see you back tomorrow morning.
12 Madam Usher, can you escort Mr. Novakovic out of the courtroom.
13 And I would like to instruct you before you leave this courtroom
14 that you should not speak with anyone about your testimony, whether it is
15 the testimony you have already given or whether the testimony still to be
16 given from now on.
17 Is that clear, Mr. Novakovic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is, Your Honour.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Which leaves one minute to inquire with the parties,
21 whether the indicated time need, and in view of how the cross-examination
22 develops is still accurate, or whether it undergoes any changes.
23 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I will -- I anticipate and I'll tell
24 you what the issue is. There were several people on the Prosecution's
25 witness list including -- well, I don't mention the names but --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You explained that.
2 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... directly involved, for
3 example, the entire structure of the civil protection, how orders were
4 carried out. This is my only opportunity to -- [Overlapping speakers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... just asking --
7 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- whether your original estimate is still the same,
9 whether it became --
10 MR. MISETIC: It became a little less. I won't take ten hours,
11 but I certainly will take all of tomorrow and try to --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay. That's clear. That's just for our --
13 for everyone, good to know that if there is any adjustment to estimates
14 that we are aware of that.
15 We adjourn, and we resume tomorrow, Friday, 14th day of November,
16 9.00 in the morning, in this same Courtroom I.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
19 November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.