1 Monday, 19 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
11 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 Mr. Konings, I will remind you again that you're still bound by
14 the solemn declaration you gave at the beginning of your testimony.
15 I further would like to remind you and you as well, Mr. Kehoe,
16 that we did not plan not to sit on Wednesday to give again an opportunity
17 to interpreters and transcribers to recover. It was for other reasons.
18 Would you please keep that in mind.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, thank you very much.
21 WITNESS: HARRY KONINGS [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Kehoe: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Colonel.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Colonel, when we left off last week, we were talking about the
1 targets on P1271.
2 MR. KEHOE: If we could bring that up.
3 Q. And, Colonel, when you were asked some questions about this by
4 Mr. Russo last week, and specifically talking about the first entry, the
5 church in Knin, you noted on page 14432 at line 2 that: "The basic
6 answer is a church should not be on a target list."
7 When you were asked that question, Colonel, you were presuming
8 that it was just a church and just a house of worship, weren't you?
9 A. Yes, of course, because otherwise I would have -- I would have
10 thought to have seen another target description.
11 Q. Let us go back to the mapping that we were engaged in on Friday.
12 MR. KEHOE: That would be 1D65-0495.
13 Q. And as we take these grid coordinates for the church in Knin, we
14 can see from the chart that that is, in fact, the ARSK special police
15 barracks, the St. Ante monastery.
16 Now -- do you see that there, sir? You can see that --
17 A. No, I can --
18 Q. Look towards the bottom centre, KV 110. That is the target.
19 A. Yeah, I see that.
20 Q. And over on the left-hand side in the "A" box is the description
21 that has been previously identified through evidence of this Court that
22 identifies A5 as the St. Ante monastery, the ARSK special police
24 A. Well, through the colours, it is hard for me it read what is in
25 the red box especially.
1 Q. Okay. Is it that any better, in the grey box down. It's A5,
3 A. Yeah, I'm trying to find it. Yes, I see that, yes.
4 Q. Okay. Now were you told that this was, in fact, a Catholic
6 A. I cannot recall that if the officer of the Prosecutor told me
7 that. But that in itself, that doesn't matter because whether it was a
8 Catholic church, whether it's a mosque, that doesn't matter, because on
9 the target list is a target which says church at Knin which says not that
10 is a Special Forces headquarters. There is it no effect mentioned that
11 you want to have against that target. So, to me, that is an utterly
12 strange way of identifying targets. Because why not mentioning such an
13 important target like special forces headquarters on the target list and
14 mentioning the effect that you want to achieve there, because the
15 Croatian army was using more or less the same types of effects that we
16 use in NATO, so it is very easy if you want have that target either
17 destroyed, neutralised, harassed, interdict, to mention the proper name
18 of the target, the proper description, and not just -- well, leave it at
19 church at Knin because is that something that will cause a lot of
20 misunderstanding, will cause a lot of questioning afterward, and in a
21 battle that may cause real trouble.
22 I think it's very unwise to mention in the target list only
23 church in Knin. I don't understand that. I don't understand when you
24 want to attack a legal target, special forces headquarters, why
25 mentioning -- because you may have another purpose. You may have another
1 purpose. If I think very bad, you may have another purpose in indeed
2 attacking that church. There is no proof of that.
3 Q. Colonel, the important thing in getting this target is the grid
4 coordinate, isn't it?
5 A. Yes. The important thing in that is the grid coordinate. But
6 last week we were discussing the other target, the hospital, and you
7 mentioned that the hospital was -- was written wrong. Somebody had
8 miswritten something. But in the same moment you can miswrite the grids.
9 So actually when you say hospital or when you say church, you may mean
10 church, and you may write down some other grids and have some agreement
11 that the real target is hospital or church. That comes across my mind.
12 And that is caused by the fact that you -- that in a target lists the
13 names the description of the target is not properly done.
14 Q. But that would call upon the -- the people doing the shooting to
15 check these grids, wouldn't it, and make sure that they're correct?
16 A. Of course, that has to be done. But there can also be an
17 understanding because that actually you mean the hospital, but for the
18 purpose of a certain agreement, you write down grids that are in middle
19 of a forest, and you know where the grids are, but you don't write them
20 on a piece of paper. Because what I tried to say is that the target list
21 that you show to me is a target list that mentions churches and
22 hospitals, and although the grids are in another area, the fact of
23 stating a church and a hospital and not mentioning the exact target that
24 you want to achieve, I cannot understand, and I hope you can explain that
25 to me, why in a military operation you mention on a target list the -- a
1 church, a hospital, and not the proper targets that you want to attack
2 because the proper targets, as you say, were known. The Croatian army
3 wanted to attack the Special Forces police headquarters, and I don't
4 discuss with you about that because I think that is a legal target.
5 Q. Colonel, why would the Croatian want to shoot at a Catholic
7 A. I don't know. I'm not here to answer that question, but I do
8 know that that kind of facts happens all through the Balkans, and that
9 can be a part of the overall order that was given to the artillery
10 shelling of the city of Knin
11 Also there was no explanation given. So from my perspective - if I play
12 devil's advocate - if I read in a target list church, hospital, and I see
13 in the operational order for the artillery the order shelling the city of
14 Knin --
15 Q. I don't want to cut you off, Colonel, but the answer to the
16 question is you don't know. I have a limited amount of time. The answer
17 to the question is you don't know. Is that right?
18 A. I don't know what?
19 Q. You don't know why the Croatian would shoot at their own Catholic
20 church. You don't know.
21 A. I don't know. I said that. No, I don't know.
22 Q. I don't mean to cut you off, Colonel, but I do have a limited
23 amount of time.
24 A. I understand. I have no problem with that.
25 Q. You were talking -- previously you were talking about correcting
1 grids. Did you see evidence in the documents that was shown to you by
2 the Prosecutor that the grids that we looked at at P1271 had been
3 reviewed and had been corrected?
4 A. No. But that's not what I said before it --
5 Q. That's my question, sir.
6 A. No, I didn't see that.
7 Q. Let me show you -- go back to P1271.
8 And I ask you to take a look at the X grid reference for the
9 cross-roads, KV 510.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it -- in the initial documentation that the Prosecutor
12 presented, it is 76130. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes, I see that.
14 Q. Let us turn our attention to Exhibit P1272, the third page of
15 this document, and this is the artillery prep document introduced by the
17 A. Mm-hm.
18 Q. And I go to page 3 of this document. And we can see an X grid
19 reference for 510, the cross-roads as 7813.
20 Now, let us go back to 1D65-0495. That should be -- the
21 cross-roads is 78130; I apologise, it says 7813.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Now we see the for KD 510, and it's difficult to see, but that
25 would put it right in the middle of the UN base.
1 Let us go to the next slide, please. And we see in the upper
2 left-hand corner the initial grid coordinates in Exhibit P1271 which is
3 76130 described as the cross-roads, and we look at the new coordinates
4 that are -- or the changes grid coordinates that are on P1272, and we
5 have put that in KV 510, which is -- I'm sure you know upon reviewing the
6 map in Knin, is, in fact, the cross-roads.
7 This would reflect to you, would it not, Colonel, that the HV
8 went through the care of taking these grid references and checking these
9 grid references for accuracy prior to the attack, would it not?
10 A. Well, that's your conclusion. What I'm a bit puzzled because
11 what I do have now is two documents, two different documents, which use
12 two different coordinates, two different X grids, for the same target.
13 Well, somebody corrected something, but I don't know what is the
14 real KV 510. What was used in the actual attack on Knin. I don't have
15 that information. I only have two sets of different grids with the same
16 target number.
17 Q. Colonel, as on the map you have before you, you have reviewed
18 Knin and been in Knin, as we look at KV 510 as it's corrected with the
19 green arrow, that is it, in fact, the cross-roads in Knin, isn't it?
20 A. That's the cross-roads in Knin.
21 MR. KEHOE: Let us go to the next map.
22 Q. Colonel, the grid references for the cross-roads were checked and
23 changed. Yet the grid references for the title hospital were not
24 changed. And I'm sure that you know that the target KV 710 was, in fact,
25 this in field adjacent to the ARSK unit in the high school.
1 So we can assume, can we not, sir, or you can conclude that
2 someone went through these lists, corrected them, didn't correct the one
3 targeted hospital because they wanted to fire on this field adjacent to
4 this hospital where there was, in fact, a mortar unit observed?
5 A. Well --
6 MR. RUSSO: Objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. RUSSO: I'm sorry, Mr. Kehoe is putting a hypothetical that
9 this -- where the KV 10 target is indicated on this map is actually are
10 where the mortar section was located.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I think that as a matter of fact it's on the basis
12 of the questions and the evidence led by Mr. Kehoe that he intended to
13 say that a mortar unit was served nearby.
14 MR. KEHOE: Nearby.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Could you answer that, sir, or do you want to ask it again?
19 A. Could you repeat the question, please.
20 Q. Sure, absolutely.
21 So we can assume, can we not, sir, or you could conclude that
22 someone went through these lists and corrected them and didn't correct
23 the one targeted hospital because they wanted to fire on this field that
24 was near to the area where a mortar unit was observed. Can you not
25 conclude that?
1 A. That's just one conclusion. I have another conclusion for you as
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'd like to offer
5 1D65-0495 into evidence.
6 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D1271, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: D1271 is admitted into evidence.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. Talking again about this St. Ante's monastery which is discussed
12 as number 6 in your list of targets in your addendum, you were told to
13 assume that the St. Ante's monastery was headquarters for the ARSK
14 special police. Were you not, sir?
15 A. No.
16 Q. On page 5 of your hypothetical facts, I believe you were given a
17 fact on number five. "ARSK police" -- special police headquarters, and
18 I'm reading from your Annex A to your addendum. Do you have that, sir.
19 Do you have a hard copy?
20 A. I don't have any hard copy here.
21 MR. KEHOE: If I may, with the assistance of the usher. Thank
22 you, Mr. Misetic.
23 This is P1260, and this -- is it as Annex A which is --
24 JUDGE ORIE: To be find in the binder, I take it.
25 MR. RUSSO: It was in tab 4 of the binder of the witness.
1 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. Russo.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. I know this is it a lot of information, Colonel, and there is a
5 lot going on, so please take your time referring back to these reports.
6 We read at number of your --
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. That the ARSK special police headquarters was the St. Ante
9 monastery, right?
10 A. Yeah.
11 Q. And the -- you also note that in here that the police were
12 attached to the military. Right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you told that there was police -- had also been deployed to
15 the front lines?
16 A. That's what you -- what you told me last week, and that was what
17 I was reading in the information on the -- on the enemy, yes.
18 Q. With regard to this headquarters, were you told that after
19 Operation Storm, 20 cases of ammunition was found at this -- this
20 headquarters, this ARSK special police headquarters at St. Ante
21 monastery. And I'm referring to D57 for the record?
22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, page 15853, entry 43 out of 95.
23 Q. Were you told that, sir?
24 A. No, I have been given the information that we have in front of me
25 which, by the way, also says also housed Serb civilian refugees.
1 Q. We'll get to that, sir, because I want to talk to you a little
2 bit about that issue.
3 But you realised when you were reviewing this that the HV was
4 not, in fact, targeting a church but was targeting a headquarters for a
5 special police, an ARSK special police, weren't they?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. And we'll put aside some of the other issues, but given
8 the fact that this was a headquarters of a special police unit attached
9 to the military, it was, in fact, a legitimate military target. We'll
10 put aside the possibilities of collateral damage. But as purely a
11 military target, you would agree that this is in fact a military target,
12 a legitimate military target.
13 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I'd like to clarify, just
14 clarification on what the term "legitimate military target" means. Is
15 there such a thing as an illegitimate military target? A military target
16 presumably is a military target. Legitimate, I'm not sure if that is it
17 intended to convey the method of attack is legitimate. I just want to be
18 clear about that.
19 MR. KEHOE: I will change it. And I think your intercession is
20 probably an accurate criticism of the question, Judge, and I think we'll
21 just go --
22 Q. It was a military target, wasn't it?
23 A. I would like to answer that question with yes but have the
24 opportunity to say something extra to that as well.
25 Q. Please.
1 A. I just -- if you sketch the situation, as you sketch it, it is,
2 to my opinion, first of all, not possible to do what you say, set aside
3 all the other things of collateral damage because whenever you judge a
4 military target -- no, please, let explain me, because you use that as
5 set aside the things of collateral damage. I cannot put that aside
6 because in analysing a military target in a situation that was given in
7 analysing a target was given to me with the information connected to it
8 from the Office of the Prosecutor, I cannot disconnect it. If you sketch
9 me a different situation, then I have to analyse that different situation
10 carefully, and I cannot do that in one single minute.
11 Q. Colonel, if we may, and I think that we have to segregate these
12 questions, or I think this is going to take longer than it should. What
13 you're talking about is the rule of proportionality, whether or not the
14 military advantage gained is excessive in light of possible collateral
15 damage. That is the rule of proportionality, is it not?
16 A. I'm talking about the information.
17 Q. Excuse me --
18 A. No, I cannot answer it in that way because I'm talking about the
19 information that is it given to me by the OTP where it says that, Housed
20 approximately 30 members of Ministry of Interior special police who were
21 attached to the military, not present prior to the artillery attack.
22 Also housed Serb civilian refugees. I cannot, in all honesty, disconnect
23 those factors given to me. If you come up with the fact that there was
24 also ammunition found in that same building that adds extra factors to
25 it. And then have you to analyse the situation all over again. But that
1 can be -- that can have been the ammunition that belonging to the 30
2 soldiers. And then I keep asking myself the proportionality of attacking
3 with artillery a church where civilian refugees were housed and the real
4 -- the real advantage to be gained by destroying or by neutralizing that
5 church. And by the way, I have never seen any effect mentioned anywhere.
6 Q. So the assessment -- two issues based on what you said, so the
7 assessment that you made is based solely on the assumptions given to you
8 by the OTP; and you did no independent assessment yourself on other facts
9 that you may have come up with.
10 A. I did it, first of all, by the -- on the information that was
11 given me by the OTP, and on -- and including in that information was not
12 only this list of targets but were also the operational orders from the
13 Croatian forces in order to attack Knin, and in neither of those
14 information I could find that extra information that I was looking for.
15 And I do not doubt that in itself an ARSK special police headquarters is
16 a military target. I do not doubt about that. But I do have serious
17 questions about the fact that this target appears on a target list in --
18 with the name of only church without properly stating what it is, without
19 properly stating the effect that you want to achieve, and I seriously
20 have a problem with the fact that in that target, apparently there are
21 civilian refugees.
22 Q. Let me stay with that. And your concern about civilian refugees
23 goes to your concern about the possibility of civilian casualties if this
24 entity should be hit and targeted and hit. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you aware or were you told prior to coming in here to
2 testify last week that -- I'm referring to the report of Dr. Clark,
3 P1251, that when he did the exhumation in the Knin cemetery, he could
4 only account for one civilian that had died of a blast injury and
5 possibly two. One, and this is at page 9 of his report, paragraph 2.
6 Were you made aware of that fact when you came in here?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now that is a significant issue when assessing collateral damage,
9 is it not, that whether or not there was something improper with this
10 firing because you, when you're analysing this as an expert, have to
11 examine the issue of a military target and weigh the advantage, the
12 military advantage of hitting that target against potential excessive
13 collateral damage.
14 A. Yes. But there is more than only lethal collateral damage.
15 Q. Let's just stay with the lethal. Lethal collateral damage means
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is that the most important collateral damage, lives?
19 A. No, I disagree with you. I disagree with you in the fact that
20 collateral damage in large is, of course -- I'm sorry, I reacted too
21 quickly. Yes, that is the most important thing.
22 Q. And when someone like General Gotovina is weighing the military
23 advantage to be gained by hitting this entity, in this case the
24 St. Ante's monastery, the ARSK special police headquarters, he has to
25 weigh that possibility of collateral damage. But as you sit here, you
1 are unaware of exactly what factors he was weighing when the decision was
2 made to hit that entity. Isn't that right?
3 A. I was. Of course, I'm not aware of his -- of his way of thinking
4 and the factors that he weighed.
5 Q. Knowing what you know now of what the chief pathologist medical
6 examiner noted about one civilian death, and knowing that this was a
7 headquarters of an entity that was supporting the army of the Republic of
8 Serb Krajina, you would agree with me, would you not, Colonel, that a
9 reasonable commander could come to a different conclusion in weighing
10 those two items, come to a different conclusion on the propriety of
11 attacking this target. Isn't that right?
12 A. Not --
13 Q. Not a question of who is right and who is wrong --
14 A. Yes, I was thinking about it. Yes, I can follow you, yes.
15 Q. So you would agree that a reasonable commander could come to a
16 different conclusion. Isn't that right?
17 A. He can, of course, come to a different conclusion.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, could you explain to me how findings of a
19 pathologist, of which this witness is not aware - or at least unless you
20 tell me that you are - how many, where, what circumstances, the totality
21 of his findings. But apart from lack of knowledge of that, how finally
22 the number of blast victims could be something to have been taken into
23 account prior to -- let's -- let me just try to explain to you what my
24 problem is, so that you perhaps can deal with the matter.
25 If I'm shelling - I'm not saying that this happened - in an area
1 full of civilian population, and if for whatever reason they all had been
2 down in their cellars by -- for whatever reason, and only one stayed
3 upstairs, would that be a -- would that be -- would that allow for a
4 final judgement on whether it was appropriate or not when we have only
5 one victim? That's not the test would, it be?
6 MR. KEHOE: I --
7 JUDGE ORIE: And you're suggesting this more or less to a witness
8 who has got no idea about what exactly Dr. Clark investigated, what the
9 results were, what -- and you are asking him a judgement which is, as far
10 as I can see now, is somewhat dependant on a lot of information where you
11 more or less implicitly have criticised this witness for not taking into
12 account information that was not presented to him, so he --
13 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: But you're saying --
15 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I want to be clear about
16 that, Judge.
17 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... No, it's perfectly clear
18 that what you say is you can't form a full opinion on matters if you only
19 have half the information. What we see now is that you're doing more or
20 less exactly the same by giving a bit of information here, a bit of
21 information there, and then ask the witness to draw conclusions on as
22 much, perhaps a defective basis, as you say, he formed his opinion upon
23 when he had only at his disposal the information given to him by the
25 I just want you to be aware of what was on my mind so that you
1 can take this into account in the continuation of your cross-examination.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. KEHOE: Just one comment, and I will proceed quickly, which
4 is the issue of collateral damage, and the Prosecutor did, in fact, bring
5 forth questions before this witness on collateral damage issues and I --
6 I refer Your Honour to the direct examination when Mr. Russo presented
7 information on P64 which was Lieutenant-Colonel Hjertnes' report that the
8 collateral damage issues, and of course, did not present this witness
9 fairly, I believe, with the rest of that information on collateral
10 damages such as the information from Dr. Clark on the possible blast
11 victims, civilian blast victims. Obviously there was some soldiers.
12 Civilian blast victims.
13 So when meeting what is presented by the Prosecution, I thought
14 it was incumbent upon me in fairness to the witness to develop the story
15 just a bit and give him some of the facts that have presented as a -- to
16 this Chamber as early as last week.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
18 MR. KEHOE:
19 Q. Now we can move on, Colonel, and -- we did talk a bit about the
20 northern barracks, and I believe that in -- that's on page 1 of your
21 document, and you noted in -- it's number -- page 1 of your addendum,
22 number 2, on 2(c)(ii), you noted that was an item of low military value.
23 That was, of course, before you were told that the headquarters of the
24 7th Krajina Corps was in the northern barracks, and that was in D928.
25 That piece of information was not told to you.
1 The other piece of information on that score, sir, is -- and if I
2 could just bring up another item in P928. If we can go to D928, excuse
3 me, D928.
4 Again, this is a General Sekulic's book, and the fact you were
5 told to assume was that there approximately 30 soldiers were manning
6 medical facilities, kitchen, and a technical workshop.
7 MR. KEHOE: I'm trying to get the exact page.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. KEHOE:
10 Q. We'll come back to this exhibit when we find it. It was a
11 provision I wanted to read you in D928, but we can find it and come back
12 in a bit.
13 The next item I wanted to talk to you about was the Knin police
14 station, and you talk about that on --
15 MR. KEHOE: Oh, you have it? Okay. Good. We're going back to
16 P928 in the northern barracks, sir.
17 Q. That would be P61 in the English. In the middle paragraph: "The
18 key units."
19 In that second paragraph - if we can just blow that up a little
20 bit - you see that, the "key units," Colonel?
21 A. Yes, I see that.
22 Q. "The key units in the special units corps were the armoured
23 brigade and the guards brigade. Before the Oluja started the guards
24 brigade and abandoned the combat assignment on Dinara. They abandoned
25 Dinara without authorisation and assembled in the barracks in Knin where
1 they were at the beginning of Oluja."
2 Now, I take it from the facts that were given to you by the
3 Prosecutor, you were not told that this special unit corps was in the
4 northern barracks on the morning of the 4th?
5 A. That was not told to me by the OTP, and it's also not mentioned
6 in the enemy paragraph of the operational order.
7 Q. Well, the fact that this particular corps is there is a
8 significant issue for individuals that are deciding whether to fire on
9 this facility, isn't it?
10 A. In case you assume that the corps, and I don't have information
11 on the size, their weapon systems, their status, before attacking such a
12 target, you need to know that as well, you understand. But take the
13 assumption that a corps -- that a -- sorry, a brigade from a certain size
14 and strength is located in northern barracks, that changes the situation
15 and then you need a new analysis on that situation, of course.
16 Q. Now you could conclude, could you not, that -- well, let me
17 withdraw that. A reasonable commander could conclude, could he not, that
18 in firing on the northern barracks his fire could very well deter or
19 suppress the activity of this special unit. Is that not correct?
20 A. I cannot answer that straightforward because as I said before I
21 do not know what is the composition of that brigade how many soldier it
22 were. What was their status, what was their armament, what were their
23 intentions. Only if I have proper information on that, that is the
24 proper information that a reasonable commander would require in order to
25 judge whether he will use his artillery against the northern barracks,
1 yes or no. And without all those information that you -- that a
2 reasonable commander would use, I don't think I can answer that question.
3 Q. Well, given the fact that you have learned since have you been
4 here that the northern barracks was the headquarters of the 7th
5 Krajina Corps and was there on the morning of the 4th and that the --
6 this special unit was located there, that you heard evidence that
7 artillery -- the chief artillery officer for the ARSK couldn't get
8 anybody to drive him into town because of that fire. Would you not
9 agree, based on the facts that you heard, that this was a military target
10 of very significant value?
11 A. I received information from various sides. I have received
12 information from the OTP which says that there is no headquarter in that
13 barracks, that there are only a few soldiers there manning the barracks.
14 That's one point, one side of the information.
15 If I look in the operational order from -- for the Operation
16 Storm, and if I look in the paragraph of -- which is stating what the --
17 what the enemy is, I cannot find the information on the presence of the
18 7th, HQ, ARSK in Knin, in the northern barracks. There is no detailed
19 information on that.
20 So, given --
21 Q. I really need to stop you, sir, because I really have a limited
23 My question for you on line 20 was that -- and would you or would
24 you not agree based on the facts that you heard that this being the
25 northern bearings was a military target of very significant value. Would
1 you agree with that, or would you not?
2 A. I repeat, I cannot answer that with a straight no or yes because
3 you don't give me the information that I require to give you that answer.
4 If you give me that information --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Konings, Mr. Kehoe is asking you whether on the
6 basis of the information you have now, whether on the basis of that
7 information, you would consider it to be a military target of very
8 significant value.
9 Now --
10 THE WITNESS: Okay, I understand.
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... of course, if you would
12 have other information, you might come to a different conclusion, but
13 that is what he is asking you.
14 THE WITNESS: I don't think it's -- it's a military target of
15 high value.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Let's move on, sir, and we'll talk about the Knin police station
18 that you referred to in -- page 2, number 17, of your addendum.
19 Now, the Chamber has received evidence that approximately 550
20 police officers were deployed on various positions on the Dinara and that
21 their communication between these officers on the front line and officers
22 in the Knin police station, until those -- there was communication
23 between those officers on the front line an officers in the Knin police
24 station until those communications were knocked out by Croatian forces.
25 Your Honour, I can give the record transcript cites for this, but
1 I would have to go into private session just briefly.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
3 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Overlapping speakers] ... Your Honours, we're
14 back in open session.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Now, Colonel, when you came to your conclusion that the targeting
18 of the Knin police station was of no military value, did you consider
19 that these police officers were participating in the -- in the ARSK
20 defence up on the Dinara and that they were communicating back to their
21 headquarters in Knin? Did you consider that?
22 A. Give me one second, please.
23 No, I had no idea -- I had no information that they were
24 communicating with the police forces in the Dinara area.
25 Q. Then let us explore this just a little bit more.
1 Before that -- we go into private session for another question,
2 would you agree that it would be to the military advantage of the HV to
3 attack a headquarters that was in communication with their soldiers; in
4 this case, police officers, on the front line. Would you agree with
6 A. If you -- in case you -- no, let's assume you classify those ten
7 police officers being a headquarters, which I -- which -- that
8 information was not given to me, then I think that is -- well, attacking
9 such a headquarters can -- can be of military advantage, yes.
10 Q. Okay. And it is, in fact, 550 policemen that were operating as
11 soldiers not 110.
12 MR. RUSSO: I just want to clarify about that. I believe the
13 witness is referring to the number of policemen he believes were in the
14 police station.
15 MR. KEHOE: And I apologise.
16 Q. Let us take this one step further on the military advantage
17 gained, and just briefly again in private session, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. Colonel, if we can turn to D923. Without addressing ourselves to
16 the individual, you didn't know that those communications between the
17 police and the soldiers on the front line were knocked out or were lost
18 on roughly 10.00, did you, sir?
19 A. I did know that -- I did not though that. Sorry.
20 Q. This is it an assessment on the screen by General Mrksic.
21 MR. KEHOE: And if we can turn to page 6 of this document.
22 Q. And in that paragraph that notes:
23 "The Ustasha breakthrough over the Dinara mountains during the
24 afternoon of the 4th of August represented the greatest threat for the
25 collective activities of the 7th corps."
1 And I will tell you that's the 7th Krajina Corps part of the army
2 of the Republic of Serbian
3 The "the MUP" the MUP being the Ministry of Interior.
4 " The MUP special unit leaving its positions on the Dinara around
5 1100 offered the Ustasha forces a possibility for a swift breakthrough
6 over the Dinara mountains towards Crvena Zemlja."
7 Now, if we can take this sequentially, sir, we have a
8 headquarters that is operating in support of -- or in excess of
9 500 soldiers a headquarters that is manned by policemen, communications
10 are lost on the 10th, and thereafter, on the -- at approximately --
11 excuse me, communications are lost at 1000 hours. At 1100 hours this
12 special unit breaks and left its position giving the HV a significant
13 breakthrough on the Dinara.
14 Would you agree, based on this additional information which you
15 didn't have, that the targeting of the police headquarters offered a
16 significant military advantage to the HV?
17 A. By saying that, you should guess that there is a direct
18 connection between the targeting of the headquarters and the leaving of
19 the MUP special unit of the front line, and I cannot say anything about
21 Q. So are you telling me that you make no connection between the
22 loss of communications at 1000 hours with the police headquarters and the
23 -- as General Mrksic says, the MUP, the MUP special unit leaving its
24 position on Dinara mountains at 11.00.
25 A. That's one of the possibilities. I tried to -- to take into, to
1 bear in mind that in a military world in operations, there is might be
2 several other solutions or several other possibilities. One other thing
3 is, one observation that I offer you is that those MUP special units
4 operating in the front line were apparently embedded inside other
5 military units and must have had contact with other military units as
6 well or being under command of other military units.
7 So there might be, and I know I'm getting into the speculation
8 area, there might have been other solutions.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not get into speculation for whatever reason.
10 Your answer is clear, you say this -- there may have been a causal
11 relationship. I might not have sufficient information to come to a final
12 conclusion on this.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. KEHOE: If I might have just one moment, Your Honour.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. I'm reminded of one issue, sir, you noted -- did you not say that
18 during the reviewing, General Gotovina's attack order that there was no
19 mention that these Special Forces were going back -- that the special
20 forces were in Knin, and then when we were talking about the northern
22 A. There was mention that I said -- or it was mentioned that some of
23 the special forces were there, but the words "headquarters," there is no
24 detailed information. The paragraph on enemy is very, very generic, and
25 it doesn't give you any detail that I would expect to be connected to an
1 operational order. It gives something like there were 800 conscripts
2 inside the city of Knin
3 you may be right that the headquarters was there. I do not have the
4 information. I cannot read it from the operational order, nor do I find
5 an annex to the operational order, which in a NATO situation, we have an
6 annex to an operational order, the annex Bravo, which describes the exact
7 disposition of the enemy as you know them.
8 So if have you the information that several HQs are up and
9 running inside the Knin of Knin, I was looking to find that information
10 somewhere specified. I couldn't. Maybe you have that information, but I
11 couldn't find it in the information begin to me by the OTP.
12 Q. We'll get to that in a little bit more detail in a bit, but I
13 would like to finish some of the targets you have assessed.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. And let's go back to the list and talk a little bit the Senjak
16 barracks which is of course on P1271 as KV 350.
17 And I take it you were told to assume that the logistics base
18 housing main logistics staff - I take this from your addendum - and it
19 also had some government offices.
20 Now, let me show you some of the activity that took place on that
21 day. And were you informed about actually what was transpiring or given
22 a field for what was transpiring at the Senjak barracks on the 4th?
23 A. I'm not quite sure, but maybe Your Honour can help me out what
24 the word transpiring exactly means.
25 Q. That was taking place.
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. That was takes place at the Senjak barracks?
3 A. Okay.
4 Q. Because I don't see any in the actual facts as they were
5 presented to you. Were you told orally or in any fashion what was going
6 on at the Senjak barracks?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Let's just touch on a couple of them. And if we go first to D61
9 which is the diary of the chief logistics officer for the ARSK, senior
10 officer Bjelanovic.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. KEHOE: D161. I'm sorry. D161, I apologise if I misspoke in
13 that fashion -- any fashion.
14 If we can go to page 6 in the English.
15 Q. And this is one of the entries for the 4th of August where he --
16 that Bjelanovic notes at 1640 -- and by the way, it is page 5 in the
17 B/C/S -- page 5 in the B/C/S. But at 1620:
18 "I went to the rear command post Senjak barracks, had a short
19 meeting with senior officers and deployed those [sic] senior officers to
20 various items -- to various tasks?"
21 He finishes that: "This way I reduced the burden for the rear
22 command post. Practically there were no conditions for work."
23 One other fact I'd like to bring to your attention is D923.
24 Again, this is General Mrksic's report. And if we can go to page 24 of
25 29. If we could just scroll down a bit more on that page, certainly in
1 the English.
2 And again General Mrksic is talking about the activities on the
3 4th. He notes in paragraph 3:
4 "Due to incessant activity of the enemy artillery and rocket
5 system, from the Senjak barracks in Knin, where at the ... beginning of
6 the attack, three trucks had been destroyed and a driver... killed. It
7 was not possible to carry out any relocation of quartermaster or any
8 other materiel supplies."
9 Now, I take it you were not given that information either, prior
10 to coming here. Is that right?
11 A. I haven't seen this document, no.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
13 MR. RUSSO: Well, Your Honour, that information was provided in a
14 hypothetical during direct examination.
15 MR. KEHOE: My question is --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question was about another stage. That
17 is, prior to coming to court.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. And maybe that question was not as precise as I might have
21 wanted, Colonel.
22 The question I have, prior to you writing your report or coming
23 here to testify, you did not have this information, did you?
24 A. I did not.
25 Q. Now would you agree with me that now that you know that there was
1 activity - for instance, deploying forces - and that as a result of the
2 -- the deploying officers in any event. As a result of firing on this
3 Senjak barracks, the ARSK was unable to move supplies, would you agree,
4 sir, that the firing on the Senjak barracks offered a significant
5 military advantage to the HV?
6 A. Well, the sentences that you showed me are not given that
7 implication completely, because it doesn't say that this Senjak barracks
8 was apparently what you are suggesting, a main army supply area. It says
9 any relocation of quartermaster or any other materiel supplies, in which
10 area? In the whole region of the ARSK? Does it mean that -- what you
11 are saying that by attacking the Senjak barracks that the whole supply
12 system of the ARSK in that area collapsed? Because that is what you are
13 suggesting. That is what you are saying to me.
14 Q. What I'm asking you is a very simple question. Based on the
15 information that you now know, number 1, that the head logistics office
16 of Bjelanovic was meeting there and deploying officers to various tasks.
17 But more importantly as a result of the attack or the firing on the
18 Senjak barracks, it was impossible to carry out any relocation of a
19 quartermaster or materiel supplies.
20 A. In itself, that sentence doesn't say anything to me, unless you
21 can tell me what exactly is meant. Is it meant relocation of
22 quartermaster and other materiel supplies in which area, to which forces?
23 In the whole area of the ARSK, or in a limited area? Because that is of
24 significant importance to know that in order to be able to analyse the
25 new information and to analyse whether it is a very valuable target which
1 contributes to -- to the -- to the defeat of a force. If this is a main
2 supply base, and if -- assume that this is a main supply base and assume
3 that the artillery attack is capable of neutralizing this main supply
4 base, well, that gives -- sheds another light on the situation, and I
5 don't read that information in that paragraph, that you -- that you show
6 me here. That's the only thing I'm saying.
7 Q. Colonel, you know that the Senjak barracks is the main supply
8 facility for the 7th Krajina Corps. Isn't that right?
9 A. It says it is a rear logistic HQ. So if that means that it is
10 the main supply for the 7th HQ, yes.
11 Q. Okay. Are you saying to this Court that firing on the main
12 supply depot for the 7th Krajina Corps to disrupt and suppress their
13 ability to move supplies, are you saying that that is not enough to --
14 for you to conclude that attacking the Senjak barracks on the 4th of
15 August offered a military advantage to the HV? Are you saying that?
16 A. I'm not saying that. I ask you a question for further
17 information in the way --
18 JUDGE ORIE: No.
19 THE WITNESS: No -- I'm willing to answer yes, so I'm --
20 JUDGE ORIE: No.
21 THE WITNESS: I was --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not saying that you should say yes.
23 THE WITNESS: No, no. I was preparing to.
24 JUDGE ORIE: There is a question which includes the significance
25 of this target. Now what we hear from you is that to say that get
1 reliable assessment on the significance would have to know more. It's on
2 the basis of information which is of a not precise nature. I have
3 difficulties in coming to a conclusion that it was significant in this
4 sense, as you include in your question. That seems to be an answer to
5 your question, Mr. Kehoe.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So let's proceed.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Q. Well, Colonel once again, on a reasonable commander standard, you
10 would agree that a reasonable commander could assess these facts
11 concerning the Senjak barracks, and its -- the fact that is the main
12 supply depot for the 7th Krajina Corps. You could assess those facts and
13 could conclude that, A, attacking that would offer a significant military
14 advantage; and that, B, the only thing he had to do after that was assess
15 whether or not the value of that attacking and taking -- hitting that
16 target was outweighed by potential collateral damage. Isn't that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that is a weighing process -- that's a weighing process that
19 a reasonable commander does, and conclusions one way or the other can
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, let us turn to your next target, which is the ARSK main
23 headquarters. And let us first talk about the ARSK main headquarters,
24 which is the -- the main headquarters in the defence ministry.
25 Now, I want to -- we've been talking to some degree when we were
1 at the 7th Krajina Corps about the targets at an operational level, and
2 even when we were talking about the movements of the 4th Guards Brigade
3 and the 7th Guards Brigade, we were operating at the operational and the
4 tactical level. I would like to take this one step further and talk to
5 you about the strategic level. And you know the difference, the
6 strategic level being the most significant level moving from the macro to
7 the micro. Isn't that right, sir?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So we go from strategic operational, tactical?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, the most strategic target in the Republic of Serbian Krajina
12 for the ARSK was their main headquarters in Knin, wasn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And that is so because this is the place that the ARSK conducted
15 their war efforts throughout the Krajina, right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So hitting a strategic target of that fashion could offer a
18 significant military advantage to the HV, couldn't it?
19 A. I do think so.
20 Q. Now, you'd noted for us that there are -- and I note back in your
21 report, there are many reasons for artillery. And I'm talking about
22 page 2 of P1259.
23 And one of those is suppression, another one is interdiction,
24 another one is harassment, and other one is destroy.
25 Now, attacking a headquarters such as the ARSK, it is a valid
1 intent of the commander to attack that facility, not necessarily to
2 destroy it, but to, as you say on page 2 of your first report, to
3 neutralise the headquarters, suppress activity in that headquarters, and
4 harass the command and control functions of the ARSK. Is that right?
5 A. Right.
6 Q. And those are all legitimate goals of artillery as you described
7 in your report, putting aside any effort to destroy that facility.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now that, of course, as you noted, would -- because of its
10 strategic value, would make this a very significant target.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in combat situations, the enemy cannot protect a target, a
13 strategic target of this value, merely by placing that target in a
14 civilian-populated area, can they? Because if that were the case, nobody
15 would be able to fire on such a target. They can't do that, can they?
16 And if you say they can, tell me where you find your written support for
18 A. Well, I would like to answer that question in saying that this
19 happens, not only here but all over the world. These kind of targets are
20 placed inside the middle of civilian-populated areas, and I'm not the one
21 to judge whether that is legal, illegal, or whatever. I have a personal
22 opinion about that, but I leave that for myself.
23 Q. So what you're telling me is you can't answer that question?
24 A. I cannot answer that question.
25 Q. Fair enough, sir. And at any point you say you can't answer the
1 question, I don't want to take you out of your field of expertise.
2 Let us turn to another set of targets, and that would be the
3 railroad-related targets. And basically I'm looking at the targets that
4 are in your addendum, and I'm -- looking at them jointly as railroad
5 targets 13, 14. I believe those are the ones that we're talking about
6 here. I'll collectively refer to them.
7 And you basically say that -- let me answer that. The
8 information that you were given about there railroad targets if we could
9 go back in here and turn to page 12, you basically say that there was no
10 use being made of these railroad facilities, is that right?
11 A. Information that was given to me doesn't state any actual use of
12 the railroad system during that days [sic].
13 Q. Okay. Let me show you a document that was presented by the
14 Office of the Prosecutor in P804, and this is an ECMM report of the 4th
15 of August of 1995.
16 A. Mm-hm.
17 MR. KEHOE: If we could bring that up on the screen.
18 And if we could go down to item 4.
19 A. Mm-hm.
20 Q. And you can see that -- under economical, industrial, and
22 "Obviously a lot of damage during the day. Trains are seen ...
23 moving in Knin ... presumably used for military purpose, but could these
24 be used for the evacuation of civilians?"
25 Now, I take it based on information that you were given that you
1 weren't told that the Prosecutor had introduced evidence that trains
2 were, in fact, moving?
3 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I am a going to object to that.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
5 MR. RUSSO: First of all, putting to the witness that the
6 Prosecution put in particular evidence doesn't seem to me to be anything
7 other than attempting to convince the witness that he should adopt
8 whatever is put in front of him. In any case --
9 MR. KEHOE: Can I answer that, Judge?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, if you would it -- if you would ask the
11 witness whether he was aware of or whether he was informed about, let's
12 then forget about all the underlying and implicit suggestion of what was
13 appropriate or not, and then we -- because that's what we want to hear
14 from the witness.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Were you aware of that, sir?
18 A. I was not aware of this information, so I was not aware of moving
20 Q. Let's talk a little bit more about the movement and the use of
22 I referred just earlier in the cross, I believe on Friday,
23 concerning the ARSK's military supply depot at Golubic and the train
24 station nearby. And if I could just refer you to, if I may, again, back
25 to D923, page 23 of 29. And just towards -- if we could just scroll up
1 just a bit. We're talking about the relocation of materiel supplies.
2 The General writes that:
3 "Relocation of materiel supplies especially ammunition and mines
4 and explosives store Golubic ... the activities were carried out in three
5 directions. Establishing a field store in Tiskovac tunnels, establishing
6 a mobile ammunition store on the railway wagons, and relocation of part
7 of ammunition from Golubic to the store Cerkezovac in Banja area.
8 "The fall of Glava on 28 July and the Ustasha attack on the
9 communications Strmica-Golubic-Knin slowed down the activities on
10 relocation of the store."
11 If I can just flip ahead a few more dates. If we can go to page
12 25 of this document, and we'll bring it into focus for activities as
13 reported by the General Mrksic in Operation Storm.
14 MR. KEHOE: If we can just scroll up the bottom. I want to start
15 there on 5.
16 Q. "On 5 August," that would be the second day of storm:
17 "1995 in the morning, the organs of the Main Staff logistics
18 found themselves in Srb where they established a rear command post and
19 made an overview of the logistics support system functioning. Then it
20 was ordered to evacuate 14 railway wagons loaded with ammunition from the
21 tunnel on the axis of Stara Straza - Padjene and to relocate them to
22 Otric Malovan region in order to take them to Republika Srpska
24 Now, before I go on to the next sentence, Colonel, are you
25 familiar with these tunnels and their close proximity to downtown Knin?
1 A. I know that there were tunnels. I have seen themselves in Knin,
2 but I do not recall the names.
3 Q. Okay. In these tunnels that were located around Knin, did you
4 know that they were loaded with ammunition?
5 A. No, I did not know that.
6 Q. Okay. Let's go on.
7 "However the train personnel in the security left the wagons
8 during night, but even if they had been at their work posts in the
9 morning, it would not have been possible to do anything constructive
10 since Malovan had already been under enemy fire."
11 Next paragraph down:
12 "In order to initiate destruction of ammunition in the tunnels
13 near Stara Straza, the armoured train" --
14 By the way, are you familiar with the armoured train that the
15 ARSK had?
16 A. No.
17 Q. "The armoured train was pushed in order to insight an explosion
18 due to the inertia and crashed with the wagons loaded with ammunition.
19 This operation failed because the train turned over before the entry into
20 the tunnel.
21 "It was ordered to blow up to the mined ammunition store Golubic
22 and for that all preparations had been carried out previously. But due
23 to the disruption of the communications it was not possible to forward
24 this order to the store commander."
25 Now, if, in fact, Colonel, the ARSK was using these railway lines
1 to move ammunition, and if, in fact, there was some activity in these
2 railway lines on the 4th, you would you agree with me that the HV could
3 achieve a significant military advantage by attacking those rail lines
4 and preventing the ARSK from moving any of this ammunition. Isn't that
6 A. That is -- that is right. But I think it's -- no, that's right.
7 I leave it at that.
8 Q. I'm about to move into my last subject on this.
9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President. I don't know if you want to take a
10 break now, or do you want me to conclude?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Depends on how much time you need for the last
13 MR. KEHOE: I don't think it will take too long. If we can
14 just --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Too, too long. It could be 5 or 25 minutes.
16 MR. KEHOE: It would be five minutes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Five minutes, and that would be your --
18 MR. KEHOE: That would be the last part on this particular
19 segment before I move to a completely different topic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then if you would use your next five minutes
21 to complete the subject, and after the break we'll move on with another
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. The next topic -- target I would like to talk to you about, sir,
1 is the telegraph and post office that you referred to in the -- number 14
2 where you note it is not a military target.
3 The first issue is --
4 MR. KEHOE: If I can just briefly go into private session.
5 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 MR. KEHOE: And if we can put 1D65-0519 on the screen.
7 Q. This is an multi-page document, Colonel, that was written by
8 General Mrksic or signed by General Mrksic, the head of the ARSK.
9 MR. KEHOE: I will tell you on dating, Mr. President, just so I
10 can date this. The difficulty with dating this is that there is no date
11 on the document per se. We do know it is signed by General Mrksic, and
12 we do know that General Mrksic took over as head of the ARSK
13 approximately mid-May of 1995. So in the context we know it's
14 thereafter. I wish I could hone it down more precisely, Mr. President,
15 but that's the best can I do with this particular document.
16 Q. If we look at this document, and we go down to the third
17 paragraph, and -- actually -- the means of communication. Do you see
18 that Colonel?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. "The means of communication that the SVK," which is the army of
21 the Serb Krajina, "has at its disposition based at the PTT," post and
22 telecommunications and the railway, "it is possible to secure only 40
23 per cent of the necessary communications for the purpose [sic] of command
24 information and cooperation.
25 So you would you agree with me, Colonel, that based on this, it
1 would appear that the ARSK is running at least some of their
2 communications through the PTT facility?
3 A. That is stated here, yes.
4 Q. And as a consequence of that, it would make this facility or a
5 military target, and knocking out that facility would quite possibly give
6 a military advantage to the HV. Isn't that correct?
7 A. I'm sorry, I have to go back to what I said before. This is a
8 mixture of military and civilian issues inside one target, and if you put
9 the question forward like that, I cannot answer it.
10 Q. Well, again on that score, the ARSK military cannot immunise
11 their assets by mixing them with civilian asset, can they? Immunise
12 their assets from attack by mixing them with civilian assets, can they?
13 A. You cannot completely immunise -- you cannot completely immunise
14 by putting military targets and combine them with civilian property or
15 civilians. And again then you come back to the answer that I gave
16 before, then you come in a combination of military issues or military
17 assets with civilian assets, and attacking such a combination of issues,
18 military and civilian, brings you into a -- assessment of the situation
19 that has to be done by the appropriate commander on the scene, and that
20 might be either, in certain cases, the tactical commander or that might
21 be even the strategical commander in order to decide to attack that
22 specific target, yes or no. And then what we discussed before, you come
23 back to proportionate damage, collateral damage, the value of that
24 target. And with -- having said that, well, I cannot give you any
25 further -- further explanation on that.
1 Q. Apparently, you can envision a significant military advantage to
2 the HV to knock out the communication facilities that the PTT that was
3 used by the ARSK. Isn't that right?
4 A. Well, I would not say not at all cost because I do think there
5 are other possibilities. There are more telegraph headquarters.
6 If you want to knock down that specific facility against all
7 cost, that is the decision of the tactical or operational commander of
8 the attacking force.
9 Q. How many PTT facilities are there in Knin?
10 A. There were more, I think. Was also a railway -- a railway
11 system. I'm not quite sure.
12 Q. There was one main facility, wasn't there?
13 A. Yes, you're right.
14 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, at this time, we'd like to offer into
15 evidence 1D65-0519.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
17 MR. RUSSO: No objection.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1262.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Exhibit D1262 is admitted into evidence.
21 We'll have a break, and we will resume at five minutes past
23 [The witness stands down]
24 --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, I was informed that you would like to
2 address me.
3 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, and the Chamber. I just wanted
4 to follow-up, Mr. President, on your comments concerning the collateral
5 damage of civilians, and my understanding as part of the Prosecution's
6 case was a presentation at least through P64 of the collateral damage as
7 assessed by Lieutenant-Colonel Hjertnes. Of course that is just one
8 portion of the collateral damage. The other portion of the collateral
9 damage is obviously the human, collateral damage and in this case
10 injuries. And in assessing whether or not this particular attack
11 violated the rule of proportionality, of course the assessment is whether
12 or not the military advantage was outweighed by the excessive damage to
13 civilians and property and civilian property. And I trust that part of
14 the assessment that was made by Prosecution in showing P64 was at least
15 some degree presenting that type of evidence to support the argument that
16 their collateral damage was, in fact, excessive. To counter that in
17 part, and of course we will address the other aspect, the damage to the
18 property, account of that in part, is assessment of the civilian costs
19 involved in Operation Storm. And as we know from Dr. Clark the --
20 Dr. Clark was only able to ascertain one civilian death from blast
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kehoe, the main reason I intervened at that
23 moment and to that extent, I think your comparison with what was done by
24 Mr. Russo in relation to the -- to the -- to Hjertnes is that the first
25 question Mr. Russo put to the witness is, Have you read this report?
1 That was your first question.
2 Now, to put to a witness a document which he is, A, not aware of;
3 B, has apparently has no idea who was in graves, how many graves were.
4 And then to say one blast injury, it could be -- Mr. Kehoe, let's be
5 clear, I think an attack even without any casualty could be
6 inappropriate, whereas in other cases where you have casualties, more
7 than one, it could be that such an attack was -- was legitimate by
8 objective, by means, et cetera, and we all know it's -- it's a complex
10 So what I was addressing was to put something to a witness who
11 has no idea about the document neither about the context and to put one
12 conclusion to him and then to seek to elicit from him conclusions on the
13 basis of that, and that is something -- and that's the reason why I told
14 you that that doesn't assist the Chamber.
15 MR. KEHOE: And I --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Not to say that -- that there was only one blast
17 victim, casualty. I can imagine that that's important for you. It is
18 about the way in which you use this information and how you present this
19 to the witness. I think that I -- and the Chamber has been critical and
20 even in the observations, I think I not only have some words for you, but
21 I think I also addressed at the same time the Prosecution on -- that's
22 the reason why I raised the issue not to say that it's an irrelevant fact
23 but whether it should be put to a witness who has got no idea about the
24 context, whereas it's a rather complex matter and whereas the questions,
25 the legal questions involved, should be carefully analysed not be mixed
1 up with what could the expectations -- expectations and result is not the
2 same thing. Sometimes you can have very good expectations and the result
3 can be very bad. It could be the other way around.
4 Now what role do expectations play in the legal context, and
5 again, it is not -- it is not perhaps directly applicable. I'm not
6 expressing any opinion on that, but for the framework of mind, Protocol I
7 of course gives quite some guidance for thinking on these matters, and
8 I'm not always fully convinced by the way in which the questions are put
9 in relation to the legal analyse that should be underlying these type of
10 questions because if you don't have a clear analytical legal view on the
11 matters then questions, possible consequences, causal relationships,
12 appropriate, inappropriate, what is an objective, is the objective the
13 same as a target? All these questions might become blurred, and that
14 would be my concern, nothing else.
15 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I appreciate the concern, and I know
16 that it's a difficult assessment, and I appreciate what Your Honour says
17 that a completely legitimate attack could, in fact, cause significant
18 collateral damage and vice versa, a otherwise illegal attack could cause
19 little or no damage and still nonetheless be illegal if the possibility
20 was excessive. That being said, of course, the analysis of and the
21 after-the-fact analysis of an attack certainly takes into mind or calls
22 to mind the human cost that is involved, and I -- I do --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then you have to know the context in order
24 to form an opinion on --
25 MR. KEHOE: I'm giving him the context that was given to us by
1 the Office of the Prosecutor. That's the context. The context is
2 Dr. Clark. And that's --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not further argue about whether that is a
4 proper and sufficient context. But --
5 MR. KEHOE: I just wanted some clarity on it before I moved
6 into --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I hope I have given that clarity.
8 MR. KEHOE: I will stay off the subject.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
10 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President. I just want to put something on
11 the record. The Court had asked the Prosecution to find an unredacted
12 version of Exhibit P1272. This was a target list that had what appeared
13 to be a redaction on it. I indicated to the Court that those were
14 highlights. I have now been informed that the highlighted version which
15 you can read is actually the original in the Croatian archive. What was
16 sent to us and what is in our evidence room is also a copy with
17 redactions, so we will request the original. It will take some time in
18 order to bring to the Court.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you have been presented with a highlight, my, and
20 I think the Chamber's main problem, is we couldn't read. So if you make
21 a photocopy in colour or something like that so that you can distinguish
22 between the yellow or the green and what is the text below it then --
23 MR. RUSSO: That's correct, judge, we just need to get the actual
24 highlighted copy from Croatia
25 JUDGE ORIE: You have received it in this --
1 MR. RUSSO: That's correct, Judge.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If you can't read it, then it is very difficult to
3 translate it, isn't it? Must be someone who has been able to read it.
4 MR. RUSSO: I'm not sure if those particular lines have been
6 JUDGE ORIE: No, they were not translated. I apologise for this
7 mistake. Try to get them as soon as possible.
8 Then I have one other issue that is -- I think last week we,
9 Monday, I think it was, we briefly discussed any further admissions on
10 what we call the Pittman letter. Now I said that if possible any further
11 submissions to be made within still this week. Now this week is -- it
12 was not a very firm deadline, but it was guidance to the parties --
13 MR. MISETIC: I apologise, Mr. President. We thought you meant
14 within one week, and we are filing that today.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So that's therefore -- is that clear to the other
16 Defence counsel as well that the Chamber expects now not if possible
17 anymore but within a week, and we made a week now seven days so that the
18 deadline is today. Thank you.
19 Any other procedural matters? If not, could the witness be
20 escorted into the courtroom again.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Konings, Mr. Kehoe will continue his
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. KEHOE:
1 Q. Colonel, just a couple of clarifying questions.
2 Prior to the 4th of August of 1995, you did not review any
3 evidence that the HV had been firing any types of artillery into Knin,
4 had you?
5 A. I did not.
6 Q. Okay. And that was a situation that was very different from what
7 you observed in Sarajevo
8 by the Bosnian Serbs, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Likewise, sir, that you would agree with me, one of the ways that
11 a military commander can attempt to ensure that collateral damage to
12 civilians is limited is by commencing an attack at a time when he may
13 believe that there would be very few civilians on the street. Isn't that
15 A. Yes, seems to be a fair conclusion.
16 Q. And in this particular instance, the attack on Knin commenced at
17 5.00 a.m.
18 A. You mean the artillery attack?
19 Q. The artillery attack commenced at 5.00 a.m.?
20 A. But lasts for more than 24 hours.
21 Q. My questions to you was the did -- the initial artillery attack
22 commenced at 5.00, did it not?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And did you receive -- did you receive information at the time
25 that there was literally no civilians on the street at 5.00 a.m. on the
1 morning of the 4th of August?
2 A. I have not received specific detailed information which was
3 saying either one or the other.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, isn't it a notorious fact that the --
5 unless there is any exceptional circumstance that at 4.00 in the morning
6 there are considerably less people in the streets than during normal
8 MR. KEHOE: The only issue, Judge, is making a record on that
9 issue. I know Your Honour appreciates that. Nevertheless for the
10 benefit of those -- if hopefully not that may read that at some point --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but if is a notorious fact, you can introduce
12 it in argument as a notorious fact, and then there is no reason to
13 present any evidence. But of course, very theoretically speaking you
14 could as yourself whether Mr. Konings has taken this into consideration
15 when forming his opinions on the matter.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KEHOE:
18 Q. Colonel, did you know there was, in fact, that there was a curfew
19 in Knin?
20 A. I did not know that.
21 Q. Okay. So you couldn't help us with the hours or anything like
22 that --
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. Now I want to talk about your alternative plan. In your
25 report you disagree with the tactics employed by the HV, and you lay out
1 a different plan or a different alternative --
2 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. The transcript is not
4 JUDGE ORIE: I was just trying to get it run, and it apparently
5 is -- mine stops at page 47, line 23.
6 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The transcript is working on the middle monitor
7 for us, Your Honour, but not on our individual screens.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is where I was looking at this
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ORIE: I was informed that it is a general problem in this
12 courthouse with the LiveNote server which will be re-booted from what I
14 Since the other screen works, I suggest that we continue up to
15 the moment where we have to scroll back and where we are finding problems
16 in referring to earlier portions of the transcript.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. KEHOE:
19 Q. Before we move on, Colonel, I'd like to just follow up on -- on
20 your comment just now where you noted that while the attack commenced at
21 5.00 a.m.
22 MR. KEHOE: And if I could call up 1D65-0512.
23 [Defence counsel confer]
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Now, Colonel, this is the meteorological forecast for -- it
1 should be August. And if we look at -- obviously there is nothing for
2 Knin. If we look at Zagreb
3 for the 4th, we note that the sunrise was at 5.48.
4 Now, that's also for Split
5 know, approximately quarter to, ten to 6.00.
6 Now, the video that we examined during the course of your direct
7 examination, you noted that when it was still dark, what was had was what
8 you described as harassment fire. Is that right?
9 A. The part of the video that we saw, yes, that was a kind of, yeah,
10 harassment interdiction fire, yes.
11 Q. So the initial barrage of fire was over by that point, wasn't it?
12 And what we had after that was what you termed to be harassment fire?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. KEHOE: Now if we could move this into evidence,
15 Mr. President. 1D65-0512.
16 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit D12634, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And it is admitted into evidence. I could have
20 imagined that parties would have stipulated that the sun went up quarter
21 to 6.00. But if we need documents for this, then fine. Is admitted into
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Colonel, what I'd like to explore with you at this point was your
1 alternative plan and what you maintain that the HV should have done as
2 opposed to conducting the artillery attack in Knin and up in the Dinara
3 and elsewhere in conjunction with the infantry fighting.
4 And I'd like to turn your attention to page 4, and this is your
5 addendum, 3(A)(i). It goes from page 4 over to page 5.
6 MR. KEHOE: And this is -- for the record this is in P1260.
7 Q. If we can read that just briefly. I think you have that with
8 you, sir.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. "With the exception of the shelling of two or three military
11 targets," see analysis, "the use of artillery against the city of Knin
12 of no direct military essence of limited effectiveness and could have
13 been avoided by entering the city with combat troops from various
14 different directions, having the information that there would be
15 practically no defence. The 4th Guards Brigade that had received the
16 order to take control of the city counted around 1900 personnel. And can
17 be classified to be a larger combat unit capable of taking control of the
18 city by means of a fast, well coordinated, and controlled action. Doing
19 so, collateral damage to civilians than their property could have been
20 minimised as much as possible."
21 Now, just taking that last sentence, "doing so, collateral damage
22 to civilians and their appropriate could have been minimised as much as
23 possible." You don't, in fact, don't know what that collateral damage
24 was, if any, do you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. I'm interested in various portions of your proposal, and I'm
2 interested in the information that you had. And I want to start with
3 that sentence that you noted that:
4 "That the HV could have avoided -- by entering the city with
5 combat troops from various directions."
6 Now, you told us last week that you looked at the 4th Guards
7 Brigade, but that you didn't analyse the activities of the 7th Guards
8 Brigade. What other directions are you talking about? What information
9 did you have upon which you based your conclusion that they could have
10 entered the city from various directions?
11 A. I do not have specific information. I know the general direction
12 that the Croatian troops were coming from, which was from -- I have to
13 recall that roughly, north, north-east. But doing such an approach to a
14 city, a commander has the possibility to explore the surrounds, the
15 environment, of Knin and could have been offered the possibilities to
16 enter the city from more than one side because there are more roads
17 running into the city. And I'm not trying to explain here a complete
18 solution. I only try to offer a possibility that is described in our
19 doctrine that when you have the task in taking control of a urban
20 environment, in this case, Knin, that the preference is there to do that
21 in a, let's put it in a way, in a -- in an action of surprise, where you
22 use your weapon system in a minimum as possible. And, of course, when
23 it's a heavily defended city with defence lines on the outside that then
24 you take another direction.
25 What I've tried to do here is offer you -- offer the Court a
1 generic idea about an alternative, not based on specific detailed
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, before we continue, the LiveNote computer
4 has been re-booted. Everyone can connect again so that you can use both
6 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. Can I just continue.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Well, the fact is, Colonel, when Operation Storm began, HV troops
10 faced stiff resistance throughout the area from the ARSK, didn't they, on
11 the front line?
12 A. They did. But I was also reading in the information that I had
13 that they were able to breakthrough that stiff resistance quite quickly.
14 Q. And which units was able to breakthrough the stiff resistance on
15 the 4th.
16 A. That's -- I cannot recall whether -- I'm not quite sure that the
17 7th Brigade already went through the resistance on the 4th.
18 Q. Well, the 7th Brigade stopped at Pljesevica on the 4th, weren't
20 A. I think so, yes.
21 Q. So you don't know who, if any unit got through on the 4th, do
23 A. But that not what I suggest here.
24 Q. I'm asking that you question, sir.
25 A. I don't know that.
1 Q. Let us turn to P698. And this is a report from
2 Captain Dangerfield who was a sector liaison officer in UN Sector South.
3 And I'd like to just talk you -- have you seen this report
4 before, Colonel?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. I'm not going to read through the whole thing. But if we
7 go to -- this is it an assessment of what is transpired on the 4th with
8 2200 hours as the time.
9 Do you see the top line there, sir? Brief overview for
10 Sector South for 04, 0500 Bravo to 04, 2200 Bravo, August 1995.
11 He notes in paragraph 2 -- he talks about the attack in
12 paragraph 1. "It was a long time before the HV/HVO made any headway on
13 the ground." He talks about the areas of attack. In number 3: "By
14 mid-afternoon there were five main axes of attack."
15 But let us turn to assessment in paragraph 10 which is the next
17 "Saturday 05 August should see another initial heavy artillery
18 barrage of HV objectives. G2 assessment is that Knin may fall by dark
19 05 ... in order [sic] to do so, I believe that the HV will require a
20 more successful day than today. Troops approaching from the south face a
21 stiff opposition."
22 Now what is that stiff opposition that the HV was facing in the
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Did you get any information - and this is SLO reccys last week so
1 considerable evidence of road use by ARSK tracked vehicles?
2 Those are mechanised units be they tanks, APC's, et cetera; is
3 that right?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Did you have any idea of the amount of track vehicles the ARSK
6 had and where they were deployed?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Paragraph 11:
9 "In the west HV advances face problems of indirect major routes
10 and that times difficult terrain in the approaches towards Knin. With
11 the reports being unclear on the successes of these axes of advance and
12 the distance still required to cover it -- to cover, it is unlikely that
13 Knin will come under direct fire from them."
14 Now, tell me about the problems in the west of the HV advance and
15 how it was stalled on the 4th.
16 A. Well, this -- this report describes that there were heavy
17 problems, but I have no details about that. I haven't got the
18 information, so I cannot tell you that.
19 Q. Well, Colonel, going back to your report, if I said that combat
20 troops could have entered the city from various directions, and maybe you
21 weren't provided this information, I trust you weren't. If you -- combat
22 troops were supposed to come in from various directions, wouldn't it be
23 important to know what type of resistance the various units of the HV
24 encountered as the attack ensued?
25 A. The statement that I made in my report, as I tried to explain
1 before but maybe I was not quite clear is that I offered you a -- that I
2 offered a possibility to be used as an alternative. Which is described
3 in our doctrine is you try to take a city, take control of a city without
4 using any heavy weapon system in doing a kind of surprise action early in
5 the morning, in the night, and -- let's put it in a way that is a kind of
6 theoretical approach. I did not connect that to any information to the
7 troops outside the city of Knin
8 Q. What you're advocating as this alternative is dispense with an
9 artillery attack and engage in a full frontal infantry attack, pushing
10 the ARSK lines further and further back towards Knin, aren't you?
11 A. No. Looking to the situation that I was trying to depict for
12 myself is that you see on a certain moment in time, and that may have
13 been on the 5th, that the 7 Brigade broke through the lines of the enemy,
14 that the 4th Brigade came in line with the 7th Brigade and that both
15 brigades were directed together towards Knin. And from there you can
16 think about the situation that you -- that you try to enter the city as
17 soon as possible in one quick push without using -- without using any
18 further artillery barrage at all. Seeing the fact that there was no
19 communated [sic] combined defence and that to the information given to
20 me, there were hardly any -- that there was resistance possible in Knin.
21 I just offered that as a possibility and the commander on the
22 spot has made his own choices based upon the actual information that he
24 Q. Well, Colonel, were you made aware of what the ARSK plans were
25 for the defence of Knin?
1 A. I have no information on that.
2 Q. Well, let's explore that just a bit and see if it will factor
3 into your equation as to what was planned.
4 MR. KEHOE: And if I can --
5 Q. By the way, do you know who General Commander Kovacevic is for
6 the ARSK?
7 A. No.
8 MR. KEHOE: If I can just go into private session, just briefly.
9 [Private session]
11 Page 14709 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. We turn to P923 [sic] at page 3. Excuse me, D923. If I said P,
15 D923, at page 3. I'm interested in the "aggression was expected --" No,
16 just down in the middle paragraph. There we go.
17 This is General Mrksic talking:
18 "The aggression was expected, and the Main Staff directed the
19 main focus of their work on preparing the units to defend their positions
20 regions and areas resolutely for five to seven days, believing that that
21 would be enough for the international factors, and, if necessary, even
22 the Yugoslav army, to react ..."
23 Did you know, sir, that that was the plan of the ARSK should they
24 be attacked?
25 A. No, I haven't -- I haven't read this document.
1 Q. Let us turn your attention to D106.
2 Now D106 that comes on the screen, colonel, is a radio interview
3 with General Mrksic on the 4th of August, at 2130 hours with
4 Radio Belgrade
5 "Does that mean our lines have been penetrated?
6 Mrksic says: "No. We are maintaining contact; our forces
7 withdrew to the positions for the direct defence of Knin."
8 One last entry before we talk about this, and that would be D28,
9 General Sekulic's book. And if I can call 928, D928 -- excuse me, it's
10 D928. And if can I call 1D44-0119 in the English, and 1D44-0029 in the
12 MR. KEHOE: I have been told by my case manager it's page 24 in
13 the English and page 27 in the B/C/S.
14 Q. And that 2000 hours meeting -- Colonel, that I just want to
15 address you to that 2000 hours paragraph. There is a meeting at the
16 Main Staff. Without reading the whole matter, midway down it notes that
17 Commander Mrksic's position that the evacuation was a matter for the
18 authorities indicates that:
19 "The army ought to continue with defence and facilitate the
20 evacuation of the population. The commander also decided to narrow the
21 fronts of defence and continue with decisive defence. This was to apply
22 to all corps.
23 "In order to defend Knin, the army of the Republic of Serbian
24 Krajina Main Staff ordered that the commander of the 7th corps, General
25 Kovacevic to" --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President? I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please continue.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. "To pull out of the 75th brigade by morning and deploy it in
6 positions for the defence of Knin at Bulina Strana."
7 I will tell you that Bulina Strana is that bluff that we talked
8 about just right above Knin.
9 Now are you familiar with this term "decisive defence?"
10 A. We don't use the term "decisive defence," but I have a -- I think
11 I understand what is meant.
12 Q. And what do you think is meant?
13 A. Decisive defence, well, I would like to use another name. It can
14 be seen as -- no, the defence has to take place in such a way that --
15 that it brings the decision in either a specific battle or an operation.
16 And for the defending party that means that when it goes the wrong
17 direction that the battle or the operation is lost. That's quite clear.
18 That's my recollection from decisive defence.
19 Q. And would it also the decisive defence be what we read before, a
20 defence that it was down to the last man?
21 A. That is a recollection from the nation or the army involved. I
22 don't think that that applies to -- to every army in the world because
23 decisive defence can also mean that a reasonable commander or a commander
24 decides when he sees that his operation is not successful anymore, in
25 order to spare lives or further destruction that he decides either to
1 withdraw or to surrender.
2 Q. So it would be, if we can go back to P698, paragraph 15. Again,
3 this is a Captain Dangerfield's comment. And go to paragraph 15, the
4 last page. Second sentence in: "With the advancing HV/HVO troops
5 looking at Knin as their final objective and ARSK --
6 Let me pull that up first. Paragraph 12 is at the top of the
7 page. I'll read that first:
8 "While Knin may come under heavy artillery attack again, the
9 considerable presence of ARSK forces in the area will require more time
10 before they come under direct fire from HV tanks."
11 Now let's go back down to paragraph 15.
12 "With the advancing HV/HVO troops looking at Knin as their final
13 objective and ARSK troops remaining, Milan Martic will have to surrender
14 or face a bloody last stand in the capital of Krajina."
15 Now, when you engage, Colonel, in an option for a decisive
16 defence, those are your two options: Surrender or a bloody last stand.
17 Aren't they?
18 A. There is another option, which is withdraw and leave the city as
19 an open city. Withdrawal is always an option. Surrender is an option,
20 withdrawal is an option and fighting to the last man is also a option.
21 Q. And what I read to you about these parties and the comments from
22 the witness that I read to you concerning the decisive defence, there was
23 discussion among the ARSK as relayed about the witness that I talked to
24 you about fighting to the last man. And General Mrksic, as noted by
25 General Kovacevic told his troops at 2000 hours on the 4th, to continue
1 with the decisive defence.
2 Now, with that information, you, as a senior military officer
3 would conclude that the ARSK intended to make their last stand in Knin.
4 Didn't they.
5 A. That's not said. Because a decisive defence can also take -- it
6 is not necessary that a decisive defence will be taken indirectly in the
7 city because as in Knin the environment offers perfect opportunities to
8 make a choice and to do your decisive defence outside the city, because
9 everybody knows that drawing a battle into a city will cause a lot of
10 trouble, not only for the attacking party but also for the defensive
11 party. And a decisive defensive can, of course, be related directly to
12 the city itself, but it can also be built up in depth around the city
13 using the terrain outside the city.
14 Q. Let's go into that because what you're talking about is the
15 concept of fighting in built-up areas, isn't it?
16 A. It has to do with that.
17 Q. And when you fight up in built-up areas, the advantage in
18 fighting in built-up areas is the defender, not the attacker; isn't it?
19 A. I think the defender has a better advantage in a city if you can
20 call that advantage at all, but, yes, he is probably in a better position
21 than the attack.
22 Q. And let's go through some of the reasons for that. Because when
23 you are talking about three's troops walking into Knin, you're
24 essentially -- and you refer this to your transcript at page 14409. You
25 noted that this entering the city is very tricky. And that's 14409 at
1 page -- line 18 and 19. When you are saying that it was very tricky, you
2 were thinking about how dangerous it is if you engage in fighting in a
3 built-up area, aren't you?
4 A. Yes. You should not forget, and I'm sorry I cannot answer only
5 with yes, that I came up with the proposal that I described given the
6 information that the OTP has given to me. If you describe me another
7 scenario where -- where combat troops are located in Knin or in the
8 direct environment of Knin, defending the city itself, so signs of road
9 blocks, signs of trenches, then you get a different situation. But even
10 then our first rule in the doctrine in urban environment is avoid battle
11 in an urban environment. That's our first rule what we use.
12 Q. Well, and I agree with you, and we will get into some of the
13 reasons for that, but I hasten to add that there are troops in Knin which
14 you mentioned. There are troops on the Dinara. If those troops for the
15 ARSK are on the Dinara were withdrawing, where were they going to
16 withdraw to? Were they going to go in a different direction, or were
17 they going to do as General Mrksic said, Withdraw to our positions for
18 the direct defence of Knin, as he mentioned in D106?
19 A. I think that is it very logic, and I don't deny that. The point
20 we are talking about is that the decisive defence can also be done in the
21 complete environment outside the city, which the environment is extremely
22 well for that because of the hillsides, because of the possibility that
23 the defender has to build up trenches, to use his forces there. A
24 defence does not necessarily mean a single line. A defence can be in the
25 form of an area defence.
1 So there are so many possibilities. And one of them is, of
2 course, that you build up a defence inside the city and that you use
3 everything single brick there to defend yourself. But I have to repeat
4 myself, I have been given information by the OTP, and that is the
5 analysis that I did.
6 Q. And, Colonel, I understand that you've been given just a limited
7 amount of information, but given your expertise, I want to explore some
8 of the ramifications of possible proposals accepting that possibly you
9 didn't have information concerning other lines of resistance by the ARSK.
10 If we are talking about dispensing with the artillery, and if we
11 are talking about the withdraw of forces in defence of Knin, and if we
12 are talking about the defence of Knin being a decisive defence down to
13 the last man, we essentially are talking about an encirclement of Knin
14 and the troops moving into Knin with the very strong possibility of
15 fighting within the city limits of Knin, aren't we?
16 A. If you take -- if you start from the assumption that the combat
17 troops -- that the ARSK combat troops are withdrawing into the city of
18 Knin, then you end up in a very tricky situation. I admit that, yes.
19 Q. Let's talk a little bit just because I want -- I certainly know
20 what you're talking about, Colonel, but I'd like to use some of the
21 literature we have to explore exactly what a tricky situation means.
22 MR. KEHOE: And I'd like to call 1D65-0464.
23 Q. 1D65-0464, Colonel, is a United States army infantrymen's guide
24 to combat in built up areas. I understand this is -- it may in part be
25 American doctrine. I have some additional information to show you
1 concerning Dutch doctrine, so you can help us out about how you differ
2 from anything that's in here. But basically when it comes to fighting in
3 built up areas, FIBUA, I think they cal it, F-I-B-U-A, we're going to be
4 talking about some of the broad strokes.
5 And the first page I'd like to you about is page 7 of this
6 document. Section 1-5, and just going to -- and just going with further
7 explanation of your combat comment that it's tricky:
8 "Built up areas consist mainly of man-made features such as
9 buildings. Building provide cover and concealment, limited fields of
10 observation and fire, and block movement of troops, especially mechanised
11 troops. Thick-walled buildings provide ready-made fortified positions."
12 During the course of your -- some your analysis, you noted that
13 there are strong structures in Knin that can't be destroyed by artillery
14 fire. These same strong structures likewise provide excellent cover for
15 defending troops when they're fighting in built up areas, don't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. KEHOE: If we can --
18 Q. I'll just show you the analogue to that which is --
19 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I would like this. I'm going to refer
20 to it again, but I would like to tender 1D65-0464.
21 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: How long is that document, Mr. Kehoe?
23 MR. KEHOE: The document that I have uploaded is 15. I will be
24 referring to the document again, Mr. President. There are other items in
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1264.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Exhibit D1264 is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. KEHOE: I'd like to call up 1D65-0282.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, is it true that the document we just
6 admitted into evidence that we have no --
7 MR. KEHOE: B/C/S.
8 JUDGE ORIE: We only have an English version?
9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I would like the parties to spontaneously inform the
11 Chamber if they are tendering documents. I mean, I'm now checking these
12 things, but I think it would be appropriate if a party is aware of any
13 shortcoming on what is regularly required for admission, that they draw
14 the attention of the Chamber to it.
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any problem as far as the other Defence
17 teams or the Prosecution is concerned in relation to this infantryman's
18 guide to combat.
19 If not, then ...
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will consider whether we would at any
22 further moment insist on translation because apparently the parties in
23 this courtroom have no problem with it. At the same time, the whole of
24 the public on the documents is doing without, and the public character of
25 this trial is important for this Chamber. We'll consider whether we'll
1 ask for a translation to be provided.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. Just turning to a -- the
4 next document on the screen, which is the combat operations. And going
5 to paragraph 12094, Mr. President, there is not an English translation --
6 excuse me, a B/C/S translation of this document either.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it is it admitted into evidence already,
8 isn't it?
9 MR. KEHOE: I believe it is a different section.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, it's a different section.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yeah.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. KEHOE: Page 91. And if we could go 12094.
14 Q. I'm interested in those first two sentences. This is I take it,
15 you know, Dutch doctrine.
16 "Depending on their size and location, built-up areas can
17 represent key terrain. The obstacle value and the concealment and cover
18 make built-up areas an ideal backbone for defensive operations."
19 And that is basically what you were talking about previously,
20 sir, that the defender has an advantage under these circumstances,
21 doesn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if we hypothetically use street-to-street combat in Knin, we
24 would be talking about the ARSK would have that advantage.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, let us turn back to D1264 and go into a couple of more
2 aspects and go to section 1-8.
3 MR. KEHOE: By the way, Mr. President, I would offer into
4 evidence the document that I just presented to Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But only the page or the section you just referred
7 MR. KEHOE: I'm going to refer to multiple sections in that
8 document so ... there would be --
9 JUDGE ORIE: It is 100-page document.
10 MR. KEHOE: Do we have 100 pages, I believe?
11 JUDGE ORIE: At least I've got 103. But ... which is -- which
12 asks for a very selective approach --
13 MR. KEHOE: I will select those pages that I will use and just
14 revamp the -- as opposed to putting 100 pages up.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I know that I have seen this document before,
16 but I do not know what portions exactly are in evidence and what portions
17 are not. If you could upload the relevant sections and then an
18 opportunity to Mr. Russo to consider whether he would like to add
19 anything do it, and then a decision will be made on admission. But
20 perhaps we could already reserve an exhibit number.
21 Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes exhibit number D1265.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D1265, which is a selection of relevant pages from
24 the publication by the Royal Netherlands Army on combat operations, is
25 marked for identification.
1 MR. KEHOE: The other document that looked similar, Judge, is
3 Q. But just staying with this 1-8 target engagement, it notes that:
4 "Targets are usually briefly exposed at ranges of 100 metres or
5 less. As a result, combat in built-up areas consists mostly of close,
6 violent combat."
7 Would you agree with that, sir?
8 A. Yes -- sorry, yes.
9 Q. Let us continue on to section 2-6 in the same manual. Several
10 pages up, you will see, it is four pages up. And if we can just go one
11 more page, to paragraph 12.
12 On paragraph 12 talking about fighting in built-up areas:
13 "Ammunition consumption is five to ten times greater in urban
14 environments than in-field environments."
15 Do you agree with that?
16 A. I know it is greater, whether it is it five to ten times, that is
17 up to this publication.
18 Q. If we go back to D1265, the Royal Netherlands doctrine. 1265.
19 And go to paragraph 937 [sic]. Talking about fighting in urbanised
20 areas, 0937.
21 MR. KEHOE: That's it. Page 19.
22 Q. "Urbanised areas." Going to the second sentence. "These areas
23 should be avoided if possible."
24 Going down to the next paragraph. "The operation in built-up
25 areas has a delaying effect on tempo."
1 Staying with 938. This is -- going on to the next page:
2 "Physically and mentally exhausting."
3 MR. KEHOE: And going ahead to paragraph 11109.
4 Q. I'll just tried, sir, and this is a lot of the same doctrine.
5 "An attack in a built-up area usually gives rise to prolonged
6 combat actions with heavy losses."
7 So all those, sir, the defender having an advantage it being very
8 violent, ammunition consumption high, it has a delaying tactic, being
9 mentally and physically exhausting, and prolonged combat in fighting in
10 built-up areas brings with it heavy losses. Do you agree with all the
12 A. I agree with all the factors, so that is the major reason to
13 avoid in all cases to get drawn into an urban combat.
14 Q. When we go into an urban combat area as a senior officer, sir,
15 you know historically that fighting in built-up areas is also extremely
16 harmful and detrimental to the civilian population?
17 A. Yes, that's true.
18 Q. Because when we are fighting house to house in a town, history
19 has told us that that fighting is taking place in civilian residences,
20 isn't it?
21 A. That's true.
22 Q. Now, likewise if we stay with Netherlands doctrine on this area
23 and we go back to paragraph 0939, and I can -- 0939. That's good.
24 Now when we're talking about 0939, talking about fighting in
25 built-up areas, the infantry fighting in built-up areas supported by
1 engineers and where possible by tanks, artillery, and air support.
2 So according to Dutch doctrine where possible when you send your
3 guys into fighting in a built-up area, you also want to soften up that
4 terrain but using artillery when possible, don't they?
5 A. With the very clear pronunciations when possible. And that when
6 possible is dependent on main factors, especially on the close proximity
7 of civilian population.
8 Q. And when -- just for the record, we are talking about the US army
9 manual that notes that -- that section 3-5 in the document we have
10 included, those types of offensive operations might require extensive air
11 and artillery bombardment.
12 And you would agree that when you're fighting in a built-up area,
13 the use of artillery would be done trying to restrict an enemy's position
14 in that area while also destroying his position. Isn't that right?
15 A. Using artillery in any fight, including in an urban environment
16 depends on the -- the effect that you want to achieve. That can be
17 destruction, that can be -- there are no so many possibilities that you
18 do that in support of the actions of your own forces.
19 Q. What I'm trying to get at, sir, here is that when your going
20 through fighting in a built-up area and are you fighting house to house
21 against the enemy and an enemy using civilian structures, and you as the
22 attacks Force Commander are moving through that area, you are going to be
23 firing on what otherwise would be civilian structures simply because the
24 enemy is housed in there, and you not dispense with the option of
25 likewise using artillery in this entire endeavour. Isn't that right?
1 A. When you do an urban operation, you have all your weapon systems
2 and all area military means available, and you can choose to use them or
3 not to use them. That is up to the overall commander, and further on, to
4 the commanders on the scene. That means the platoon commanders, the
5 company commanders that do the actual fight. So they are able to send in
6 a fire -- a request for a fire mission. That fire mission can be done by
7 artillery, that can be done by mortars, that can be done by close air
8 support. That's up to the commander on the scene to decide how to do
9 that within his rules of engagement and within his possibilities, yes.
10 Q. Now, and when he is -- he is obviously history has shown us as
11 you said when those decisions have been made historically, the entire
12 operation of fighting in built-up areas, as you noted before, brings the
13 possibility of significant -- of danger to the civilian population much
14 higher, doesn't it?
15 A. Yes, because -- yes, in an urban environment there is an
16 extremely high risk for the civilian population.
17 Q. And when you're fighting in a built-up area -- I mean, let's just
18 go -- before we ask that question, let's just go to D1264, section 3-3.
19 MR. KEHOE: Page 13.
20 Q. It says:
21 "Due to the nature of combat in built-up areas, more troops are
22 normally needed than in other combat situations."
23 And that's because, Colonel, would you agree with that, firstly?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that's because when you're in continuous close combat, there
1 is a tremendous amount of fatigue, psychological strain, and most
2 importantly, casualties. Isn't that right?
3 A. I haven't heard anything new so far.
4 Q. I'm just asking you --
5 A. You're right, you're absolutely right.
6 Q. So if we look at what General Gotovina was faced, he was faced
7 with the issue of the actual battle he conducted or faced the very
8 possibility of, as Captain Dangerfield noted, a bloody last stand in
9 fighting in an urban environment such as Knin, Which would have brought
10 with it, a tremendous amend of casualties. Those are two very viable
11 options that the General had to consider. Isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And a reasonable commander under those circumstances could quite
14 validly pick the first option, i.e., artillery followed by the infantry
15 assault as we saw in Operation Storm.
16 Isn't that right?
17 A. That's one of the options, absolutely.
18 Q. Now, one of the issues that I'd just like to address you briefly
19 and ask --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, just for me to understand, the two
21 options you gave in your previous question, the one is that
22 General Gotovina was faced with the issue of actual battle; or the very
23 possibility of Captain Dangerfield's notion of a bloody last stand in
24 fighting in an urban environment.
25 MR. KEHOE: Or face the actual battle he conducted.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Where when it's not clear to me what the two options
2 actually are. I don't know.
3 Could you tell us how you understood the two options to be, when
4 you answered the question, Mr. Konings?
5 THE WITNESS: Well, the last option I understand is -- is the
6 defence until the last man --
7 JUDGE ORIE: The possibility.
8 THE WITNESS: The possibility of a defence until the last man,
9 but in that option it is not clear to me whether that only concerns
10 specifically the area -- the urban environment of Knin or the -- the
11 whole environment, including the mountains around Knin, because that --
12 and the other possibility is that -- well, to be honest, I don't see the
13 other option now as well so ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it might be good that have you a clear
15 understanding when asked if you answer a question.
16 MR. KEHOE: I can rephrase that, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, of course if could you clarify the issue
18 that would be appreciated.
19 MR. KEHOE:
20 Q. The other option that I was talking about, Colonel, is the option
21 that was actually employed by General Gotovina in Operation Storm, those
22 two options, conducting the operation as conducted in operation storm, or
23 the other option of dispensing with artillery and moving solely with
24 infantry with the possibility of engaging in a fight in an urban area.
25 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I would ask Mr. Kehoe to be a bit for
1 specific. The witness has clearly been given several versions, both from
2 the Prosecution side and from the Defence as to what General Gotovina
3 actually did.
4 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. [Overlapping
5 speakers] ... if there is a speaking objection, I would ask that it be
6 done outside of the witness.
7 JUDGE ORIE: It depends on what the objection is, Mr. Kehoe.
8 MR. KEHOE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: Since Mr. Russo has not -- did not go into any
10 further details, do I understand that the two options you are putting to
11 this witness the one, the option of what Mr. Gotovina finally did. And
12 the other option which I do not understand which did not take place was a
13 street-to-street, man-to-man fight in the city of Knin.
14 Now, even if you would not know in any way what Mr. Gotovina did,
15 you could say, These are two options. The one what he did, and what he
16 didn't do. But if we want to further explore these matters, then, of
17 course, we would have to get into further details as what actually was
18 done, because this witness has no personal observation, no personal
19 knowledge of what happened and gathered his information partly from what
20 he was told by the Prosecution, partly by what you told him, partly on
21 the basis of documents.
22 So if you want to pursue this matter, I think it would be good to
23 know exactly what we're talking about.
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, to be honest, the second option
25 presented by counsel is not the option that I was trying to describe in
1 my document.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think it is it put to you by Mr. Kehoe. And
3 he -- on the basis of some of the documents he had shown to him [sic], he
4 apparently -- the Defence considers it is likely that that is what one
5 could expect.
6 THE WITNESS: Okay.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That is how I understood your final question.
8 MR. KEHOE: That's correct.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. KEHOE:
11 Q. With these documents -- and as Judge Orie said, one without the
12 attack employed during Operation Storm, one could expect that a fight in
13 the -- urban environment would ensue. The course employed by
14 General Gotovina as a reasonable commander -- as a military commander was
15 a reasonable attempt to avoid that, avoid civilian casualties while
16 likewise bringing about the demise of the army of the Republic of Serb
18 Isn't that a valid analysis of exactly what transpired with the
19 two options that you have put forth in your report?
20 A. Well, in itself, that sounds very likely, and I don't deny that
21 the use of artillery against military targets, the high value military
22 targets even when in a civilian environment. That is up to the commander
23 that that is it a possibility. But it's still leaves me with the fact
24 that artillery has been used for more than 24 hours, and it leaves me
25 with the fact that I still do not have any explanation for the point that
1 I was asked to address by the OTP, is the order that was given to shell
2 the city of Knin
3 And there are many aspects in the operation described in -- in
4 documents that are absolutely belonging to a military operation, and I
5 don't deny that, and we have debating that. We have been talking about
6 the use of troops, we have been talking about the use of artillery
7 against military targets in conjunction with the military operation. We
8 have extensively been debating about the risks of urban environment,
9 competent urban environment. I tried to develop a scenario that -- based
10 on the information given by the OTP where it says that there was inside
11 Knin no defence, no coordinated defence, no combat forces, no nothing,
12 only 4 to 500 individual soldiers that had no defence. I tried to
13 develop an option that once the 4th or the 7th Brigade is broken through
14 the Serb lines that that brigade could have moved quickly in an open
15 formation to Knin, in order to take possession of Knin.
16 Doing so they take risks. I understand that, but sometimes the
17 commander has to lay the risk at his own forces in order to avoid
18 civilian casualties.
19 So, for me, there is still a disconnection between the order
20 given, especially shelling the city of Knin and the way that was
21 performed during the 24 hours.
22 Q. We will get to that order, Colonel.
23 A. Okay.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't think if you want to take the
25 break now.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have a break, and we will resume at five
2 minutes to 1.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
7 Q. Colonel, I'd like to address with you now at this point, you
8 know, some additional logic concerning the attack on Knin in the fashion
9 that it was conducted by looking at the actual effect and -- and the --
10 while also looking at that damage that it did cause and the goals
11 achieved. Obviously we talked before about Knin being the centre of
12 gravity, but I'd like to go through a series of documents with you and
13 just discuss them in the context of the success or failure of the
14 operation, as you see it, in light of these documents.
15 And first I'd like to talk to you about D389.
16 Now, Colonel, D389 is an ARSK intelligence report from the ARSK
17 General Staff accounting what happened on the morning of the 4th.
18 And if we can go to the fourth paragraph down, it notes that:
19 "Knin was attacked from Livanjsko Polje from several directions
20 and by the time this information was drafted between 200 and 300 rounds
21 of different calibers impacted on the town. The first strike was carried
22 out on the building of the SVK General Staff ..."
23 Now that is the location that we mentioned -- or you mentioned,
24 Colonel, is the most significant strategic target for the ARSK in Knin.
25 Correct, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And frankly the most significant strategic target for the ARSK
3 throughout the Krajina, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This said:
6 "... which suffered great ... damage with the fleet of vehicles
7 almost completely destroyed. Later the fire was transferred on the
8 military barracks 1300 Kaplara, the Tvik factory, the railway
9 intersection, residential buildings in the area beneath the Knin
10 fortress," et cetera?
11 If we could turn our attention to 65 ter 1006. This is an
12 intelligence report by the HV for the 6th of August after Storm. Just
13 dealing with the first page of this:
14 "The enemy communication system has been completely disabled and
15 there by the command system on almost all levels which increased the
16 level of chaos in the remaining units of the routed army of the Serb
17 Krajina in the Republic of Croatia
19 Now, when you were going through the purposes of artillery and
20 you wanted to create a degree of confusion and suppression, this would
21 appear to be a successful conclusion at least in part of the artillery
22 operation, wouldn't it?
23 A. If this entry here suggests that the disabling of the
24 communication system was done by artillery, then your conclusion is
25 correct. But that doesn't state it.
1 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, we'll like to offer into evidence 65 ter
3 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1266, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. KEHOE: And one last report on this score, which is 65 ter
10 Q. This is an intelligence report by the HV of 5 August 1995
11 MR. KEHOE: If we can turn to the second page in the English, and
12 I believe it is the -- if I may, still the first page in the B/C/S.
13 Q. And it notes about the successes -- at the top of the page.
14 MR. KEHOE: Can we just scroll that up a just little bit to the
15 top of the page. There we go.
16 Q. Two SVK corps were completely broken up, 7th Knin and 15th Lika
18 Now, are you familiar with the lotion of the ARSK 15th Lika
20 A. No, I'm not.
21 Q. I will tell you that evidence is that the 15th Lika corps was in
22 the Gospic Military District which was to the north of the Split Military
24 Now, this reflects that both of these corps were destroyed. To
25 the --
1 A. It doesn't say that, it says broken up. It is not the same time.
2 Q. Broken up?
3 A. Well, it is quite a difference.
4 Q. We'll just stay with the terminology there.
5 "The state and military structure was completely deprived of its
6 leadership by the liberation of Knin which had a significant effect on
7 the collapse of the morale of the civilian population and military
8 units ..."
9 Moving down the page, just to the -- if you can scroll down:
10 "The single system of commanding has been broken up including the
11 communications system so that the SVK is no longer functioning."
12 Now you know from the documents that you reviewed that the HV's
13 artillery directed its fire on the communication system of the ARSK.
14 Isn't that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And from this document, you can conclude that that ARSK
17 communications system was destroyed and that these two Corps defending
18 the ARSK were broken up?
19 A. Well, again, the document does not talk about -- specifically
20 about artillery. It talks about, in generic, about the results that were
21 contain, and I assume that the use of artillery was a part of that, but
22 that indeed the whole Operation Storm achieved this -- the goal or the
23 end is that is described here.
24 Q. Okay. Let me show you one last document on this score, D819
25 which is a sitrep or a message, I take that back, from UNCRO.
1 MR. KEHOE: By the way, Your Honour, we'll offer 65 ter 1666 into
3 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1267.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. KEHOE: D819.
8 Q. If you can just look at this front sheet. I'm not saying -- you
9 may not be familiar with this document, Colonel, but you are familiar
10 with these types of messages going from UNCRO, the formatting in any
12 A. I know these messages. I have been writing them myself.
13 Q. And in the message they deal with what happened with the ARSK.
14 MR. KEHOE: And if we can turn over to the next page. Scroll
15 that down a little bit.
16 Q. "The rapid collapse of ARSK after the initial breakthrough can be
17 explained as follow [sic]:
18 "Poor leadership at intermediate levels has been observed.
19 Absence of a counterattack reserve armour has been observed in only one
21 Paragraph 4-3:
22 "Total lack of theatre 3CI capacities and leaders were not
23 trained for coordinated theatre level OPs."
24 Now when they say, "total lack of 3CI capacities," what is that?
25 A. That means that there is in old theatre no command and control
1 and communications and information capacity is available. That is a
3 Q. So from this assessment made by UNCRO on the 7th of August, in
4 part, the collapse of the ARSK came down to a lack of command, control,
5 communications, and intelligence capacities.
6 A. Not only, there is much more. The assessment of the UNCRO says
7 much more.
8 Q. I understand. I'm just in that paragraph, sir.
9 A. Which paragraph are you talking about?
10 Q. 4-3?
11 A. That paragraph says it says more than only C3 capacities, and it
12 says leaders were not trained for coordinated theatre level OPs. That is
13 not something that is in place already quite long.
14 What I want to say, you focus on point 43, that's fine. But when
15 he read through this, then this is an extensive array of possible
16 reasons, only possible reasons that the breakthrough was explained by,
17 and that is much more than only the follow-up of one Operation Storm.
18 Q. I understand, sir.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. But would you agree with me that if an entity's command, control,
21 communications, and intelligence abilities are destroyed or significantly
22 damaged, that will give to the attacking force a significant benefit?
23 A. That's absolutely true.
24 Q. Now, I know that you have been shown P64 which was the
25 intelligence assessment -- excuse me, the damage assessment by
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Hjertnes.
2 Were you shown any other reports on that score about -- for
3 instance, the CIVPOL report?
4 A. I first try to recollect the report that you -- the P64 that you
5 are referring.
6 Q. [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 A. I assume that is the UNMO report from the city in Knin.
8 MR. KEHOE: Let me bring that up on the screen, P64.
9 MR. RUSSO: Tab 23 in the witness's binder.
10 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. Russo.
11 Q. This is the document that I'm talking about on the screen, that
12 in paragraph 2 that the:
13 "In general, shelling was concentrated against military
14 objectives. The damage [sic] caused by shelling to civilian
15 establishments is concentrated to the close vicinity of military
16 objectives. Only three to five impacts is observed in other urban
18 MR. KEHOE: Let's will turn to P228, which is a CIVPOL
19 assessment, UNCIVPOL.
20 Q. Again an assessment of 18th of August 1995. He notes -- a survey
21 of a Knin town to assess the damage done in Knin town caused by shelling,
22 arson, and wilful damage.
23 "We covered the whole township and observed several impacts of
24 shells and rockets around the Tvik factory. Milicija headquarters,
25 general of the northern barracks ... government house, Knin radio, TV,
1 and the hillside below Knin ... We found roughly -- excuse me. The
2 compound of the northern barracks was not checked. Observations done
3 from the street [sic].
4 "We counted roughly 20 houses, buildings hit by shells and ...
5 another 20 presumable damaged by arson."
6 Now with the items that are set forth in paragraph 2, those are,
7 in fact, the targets that we reviewed before and that you described as,
8 in some instances military targets, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. And without being exact, the assessment by UNCIVPOL seems
11 to be in line with what the UNMO, Lieutenant-Colonel Hjertnes said was
12 the damage in P64?
13 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm going object to that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Russo. The objection would be?
15 MR. RUSSO: That -- the fact that this is consistent in terms of
16 the damage with P64.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It is the objection that it misrepresents -- could
18 you then go into further details.
19 MR. KEHOE: He can say yes or no.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well ...
21 MR. KEHOE: I mean, the answer is --
22 MR. RUSSO: He is not asking him if it is consistent. He is
23 putting to him that it is it consistent.
24 MR. KEHOE: It's a question. It's cross-examination. The
25 question is --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please point exactly to the language where
4 you say that the assessment is the same, so that where Mr. Russo
5 apparently may have some problems, that we know exactly what we are
6 talking about.
7 MR. KEHOE: Let me rephrase the question.
8 Q. Colonel, would you agree that the damage as reflected in P64 from
9 shelling is consistent, not exactly the same but consistent with the
10 analysis of the damage done by UNCIVPOL in P228.
11 A. It is it consistent with respect to the level of damage that is
12 -- that is it reported, nothing more.
13 Q. Let us turn our attention to D66.
14 This is a United States government cable after a visit to Knin,
15 and I believe the evidence is that it was on the 7th of August. The
16 cable is dated the 14th.
17 MR. KEHOE: And if we go to the bottom of this page.
18 Q. "Downtown Knin. Although Knin was reportedly heavily shelled in
19 the early hours of the hostilities, few downtown buildings and
20 residential areas showed signs of shell damage."
21 Now, had you seen this document, sir?
22 A. No.
23 Q. When you put these documents together, sir, can you not conclude
24 or do you conclude, number 1, that the shelling by the HV on the 4th and
25 the 5th was directed towards military targets, or military objectives;
1 let me say that.
2 A. Well, insofar as you go along with the UNMO document, but the
3 UNMO document is not completed. That's stated at the end. It is only a
4 preliminary investigation which was done to an -- apparently a certain
5 area of the city, and focussing on that document, it says indeed that
6 most of the shelling was done on military targets, we have had our
7 discussion about military targets, and that there was caused damage to
8 the civilian property close to the military targets.
9 Q. Let me help you out that Colonel Hjertnes gave a statement to the
10 Office of the Prosecutor in January of this year. In paragraph 33 of
11 that statement, where he noted that his final report was consistent with
12 the provisional assessment, and an UN public informations officer,
13 Alun Roberts, previously advised this Chamber in a trial transcript 7079,
14 line 19, through 7081, line 8, that the final assessment that was
15 conducted was consistent with the provisional assessment.
16 So the evidence that's before the Chamber is that that
17 provisional assessment was consistent with the [indiscernible].
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
19 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I'm going object to the last portion of
20 Mr. Kehoe's question. Without going into the additional evidence, the
21 information he put to him may suggest that but ...
22 JUDGE ORIE: You say this evidence before the Chamber is not
23 necessarily the evidence that's before the Chamber, because there may be
24 more evidence, so Mr. Kehoe that's -- and would you also have the exhibit
25 number for me the statement, paragraph 33.
1 MR. KEHOE: It has been read into evidence during the course of
2 Alun Roberts's testimony. He has not testified yet, so it has not been
3 offered into evidence yet. I'm talking about -- that's Colonel Hjertnes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just see. One second.
5 The statement of Hjertnes is ...
6 Q. January 15, 17th. Paragraph 33, January --
7 JUDGE ORIE: There is no exhibit number?
8 MR. KEHOE: No, because as far as making it as an exhibit when
9 the witness has not testified yet with something that could be -- the
10 Chamber gave some guidance on that --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. I remember the problem. Therefore that
12 is not in evidence at this moment.
13 MR. KEHOE: I have a 1D number on, though.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but no, it's just ... so the evidence that is
15 before the Chamber, you said in the next paragraph.
16 MR. KEHOE: That, in fact, was used during the course of the
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I'll check -- that's on you said 7079.
19 MR. KEHOE: 7079, line 19.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
21 MR. KEHOE: Through page 7081, line 8.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Now let's go back to where we were.
24 MR. KEHOE: And the e-court --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we've ruled the objection.
1 So that is in the evidence that is before this Chamber.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you put the question again to the witness in
4 order not to -- he may have forgotten what it really was about.
5 MR. KEHOE: Just for the record, Mr. President, the
6 Steinar Hjertnes' statement that is in e-court is 1D10 --
7 JUDGE ORIE: We have no access to --
8 MR. KEHOE: Oh, I'm sorry. Apologies. Apologies.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. KEHOE: If can I just go back and read that question.
11 Q. Now, my question, and we just go back through this, Colonel, is
12 that -- and I think you answered this in the sense of the evidence that
13 was set forth in both the provisional assessment that we now know is a
14 final assessment, was not the same but consistent with what happened --
15 the evidence in CIVPOL and likewise was consistent with the report by the
16 United States monitors in the 7th of August that few downtown buildings
17 and residential areas showed signs of shell damage.
18 A. I don't think I have said that. I said that the consistency is
19 lying in the level of damage because the UNMO uses the word military
20 targets. The CIVPOL report does not use that as far as I recollect, nor
21 does the report -- the report of the US representative. So there are
22 some differences in there.
23 Q. Turning our attention to the -- if we can go back to the
24 provisional assessment, P64. And looking at the paragraph 2, were you
25 shown any documents by the OTP that indicated that the shelling was more
1 widespread than that as described by Colonel Hjertnes in paragraph 2?
2 A. No.
3 Q. So would you agree with me that in looking at what actually
4 transpired in this shelling endeavour that the centre of gravity Knin was
5 taken out for the entire Krajina, not just in Sector South, that they
6 didn't engage in something akin to fighting in built-up areas, and that
7 very quickly the communications for the ARSK was so damaged that it
8 ultimately led to the deadline and fall of the RSK?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
10 MR. RUSSO: I'm just going to ask that it broken up. It's
11 compound in several ways. I'm just going to ask that that be broken up
12 into individual questions.
13 MR. KEHOE: If the witness can look at and disagree or nuance any
14 version, any form of it that he so desires.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me re-read the question.
16 Before you answer that question, Mr. Konings, I would invite you
17 to carefully read the question which is a composite question on the
18 screen in front of you and to see whether you, in its entirety, you would
19 agree with everything Mr. Kehoe put to you.
20 THE WITNESS: Well, I have the idea that this is -- this
21 conclusion of Mr. Kehoe is now directly connected to this -- this sole
22 UNMO report. And reading his conclusion, if that is true what I'm
23 saying, that is going, to me, way too far.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So the answer is simply no.
25 THE WITNESS: No.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then if you want to know more, Mr. Kehoe, then
2 splitting up the question might assist you.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. You would agree that the artillery attack -- you would agree the
5 artillery attack successfully brought down the centre of gravity for the
6 Republic of the Serb Krajina.
7 You would agree with that, don't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you agree that this centre of gravity was a location that was
10 important, essential not only for Knin but for the entire Krajina.
12 A. I would like to go back to your previous question where I said
14 THE WITNESS: That possible Mr. --
15 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely.
16 A. Because to bring it in splendid isolation that the artillery
17 attack successfully brought down the centre of gravity, I don't think
18 that is a pure yes. If you talk about that, then the artillery attack
19 has a role in that, and I don't deny that can be a large role, but I do
20 think that we have way we have described Operation Storm that the
21 complete operation is -- is the basis for the total breakdown of the Serb
23 Q. Thank you for that additional explanation.
24 And as a result of the actions taken in Operation Storm, Knin
25 both on the ARSK side and the HV side, was not forced to fight in a
1 built-up area taking on significant casualties on both sides as well as
2 the civilian population.
3 A. You could say that.
4 Q. And the speed with which Operation Storm compromised the
5 communications facilities of the ARSK in Knin led to a significant damage
6 to the combat capabilities of the ARSK. Again, not only in Sector South
7 but throughout the Krajina. Is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you conclude, based on this, Colonel, that this was a very
10 successful operation by the HV?
11 A. As far as the military part is concerning [sic], yes. But I
12 still have one burning question left before I say -- before I give you
13 any answer.
14 Q. Well, sir, with regard to -- we talked about this previously, and
15 have you no knowledge as to any collateral damage to the civilian
16 population, do you?
17 A. That is not my burning question.
18 Q. I understand. That is my question.
19 A. I have no -- I have no information about collateral damage.
20 Q. Let's talk to the issue that you raised concerning the order
21 itself, and I trust your burning questions comes from your disagreement
22 with the phraseology employed in the combat order, P1125.
23 MR. KEHOE: So let's turn to that. And if we can turn to the
24 next page. Actually, two pages.
25 Q. I want to give you the front page, Colonel, just so you see it.
1 Now this is the order with which you take issue. Is that right?
2 A. I do think so.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MR. KEHOE: I don't know, Mr. Russo, is this a tab in the
5 Colonel's book? If I may, it may be easier to deal with it in paper. If
6 it is not, we can just deal with the screen but ...
7 MR. RUSSO: Yes, it's, tab 6.
8 MR. KEHOE: Okay. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
9 Q. Now, colonel, just paging through this order, I mean, it -- just
10 going through it, the first page, I mean, there is extensive information
11 on the status of the enemy.
12 MR. KEHOE: Can we turn to page 2. Can we go to the next page in
13 this document.
14 Q. And it gives very -- it gives tasks at the bottom of the page to
15 the entities of the Split Military District.
16 "The Split Military District shall prepare and carry out joint
17 offensive operation in the following [sic] areas."
18 And gives the areas, northern Dalmatia, western Bosnia
19 with the following task, and he tells them what to do. This is
20 General Gotovina.
21 "A vigorous attack with intense artillery and air support on
22 direct axes directed at main military and political transportation
23 features in the enemy's operational depth, break up the enemy on the
24 forward defence line, and decisively advance and take control of the key
25 land transportation military and political features, thus putting the
1 enemy in a no-exit situation and forcing him to surrender or withdraw."
2 Now, Colonel, that's a very specific task that General Gotovina
3 is giving to his -- or the soldiers in the Split Military District, isn't
5 A. I don't have any problem with that.
6 Q. Okay. Now, this individual task that he is ordering is not only
7 going out to the infantry. It's an order that is going to artillery
8 units as well. Right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So he is telling them what he wants them to do.
11 A. Absolutely clear.
12 Q. Then he notes: "What he has decided to do."
13 And have you read -- going through paragraph 4 --
14 A. Yes, I have read that.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the detail with which he
16 phases this operation?
17 A. Yes, I have read it.
18 Q. Then he gives very specific detail in paragraph 5 as --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues]... 6, excuse me, paragraph 5 on
21 page 6, 7.
22 MR. KEHOE: Let's go to the next page. Page 8. Page 9. Next
23 page. Next page.
24 Q. At the bottom of the page 10 is task for Operative Group Sibenik.
25 Page -- two pages up is Operation Group Zadar. As is page 13.
1 Now, he is telling them the particular areas that he wants them
2 to move on, isn't he?
3 A. With all respect, sir, this is up so far in what you are saying,
4 I have nothing to disagree with because it is a regular normal military
5 order which in NATO we would have worded in another way, but it is an
6 order that specifies the tasks for the underlying brigades of the various
7 operational groups. I have no problem with that wording or with the
8 specification of the task.
9 Q. Let stay with that, Colonel. And let's look at a portion --
10 another portion of a document that we received -- part of it we received
11 in evidence. We didn't receive this portion, but it is 1D65-0481.
12 Can you recognise this document, do you not, sir?
13 A. I recognise that, yes.
14 Q. And what we're dealing with is just chapter 6 or a portion of
15 chapter 6 on plans and orders, and I would like to direct your attention
16 to 0654, which is the next page.
17 "0564, an operation order should include only such detail as is
18 necessary for commanders of subordinate formations or units to act
19 purposefully, to issue their own orders and to ensure coordination.
21 understanding of the context of the operation and what needs to be done
22 rather than how it is to be achieved."
23 Now you recognise that, that is what an operational commander
24 will do? He will tell his subordinates, as General Gotovina does in this
25 document, what, in fact, should be taken but leaves it to the individuals
1 exactly how they are going to -- their infantry, for instance, is going
2 to operate?
3 A. Certain -- in many cases he will -- mission command means that
4 underlying or lower commanders are allowed to fill in the -- to use their
5 own initiative in order to meet the commander's intent. But there are
6 also other things that have to be arranged very carefully ahead and that
7 are not directly falling under the aspect of mission command. So
8 everything that's concerning rules of engagement, that kind of
9 information, might be specified up to the fucking detail, I'm sorry that
10 I used that word, in annexes of operational orders, in target lists,
11 et cetera.
12 So on the one hand, you are absolutely right. That is the
13 purpose of mission command, and on the other hand, also with mission
14 command, you have to arrange a lot of aspects in detail and write them
15 down so that everybody knows exactly what the commander means in that
17 Q. Well, I mean, let's look at -- let's turn our attention to the
18 area. I mean -- by the way if we can tender this into evidence
19 Mr. President.
20 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit D1268, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Exhibit D1268 is admitted into evidence.
24 Mr. Kehoe, I'm looking at the clock. I don't know whether --
25 MR. KEHOE: It might take a while to go through this document.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then perhaps we should wait until tomorrow.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I would already would ask Mr. Konings but already to
4 leave us, but I would first like to give you the same instruction as I
5 gave you before, that is that you should not speak with anyone about your
7 And we would like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.00 in
8 this same courtroom.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to inquire with the parties about
13 Mr. Kehoe, I think tomorrow after the first session you will be
14 done with your three days.
15 MR. KEHOE: Absolutely. I will be done well before that, sir.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 Mr. Kuzmanovic, I am informed that you might need approximately
18 one session.
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: That's correct, Your Honour, probably less, but
20 I will take the full session if I need it. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cayley, same as far as the Cermak defence is
23 Mr. Russo, could you give us an estimate as matters stand now how
24 much time you will need for re-examination.
25 MR. RUSSO: Approximately half an hour, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Approximately half an hour, which gives a fair
2 expectation that we will not have to have Mr. Konings to come back on
3 Thursday and that he can finish his testimony tomorrow, perhaps even
4 before the end of tomorrow's hearing.
5 Mr. Russo, will that cause you problem in relation to your next
7 MR. RUSSO: Your Honour, I believe we had intended to call the
8 next witness on Thursday.
9 JUDGE ORIE: On Thursday, yes, which is then -- we'll see to what
10 extent question deal with other procedural matters. Otherwise, we might
11 have to delay that until Thursday. But I'll see to what extent I can
12 prepare and have a full oversight on the list, but there are matter we
13 can deal with tomorrow.
14 Then finally, Mr. Kehoe, I was a bit lost in reference to your
15 pages 7079, line 19, through page 7081, line 8. I am not fully aware
16 what I am supposed to find there.
17 MR. KEHOE: I believe that during the cross-examination by Mr.
18 Misetic of Mr. Roberts, Mr. Roberts said that there was a provisional
19 assessment and a final assessment and that the final assessment was
20 consistent with the provisional assessment.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, what I found until now is that on the first
22 line you mention that Mr. Misetic put Exhibit P228 to the witness and
23 that a part of that was read to him, and that he mainly emphasised that
24 reports that were put to him were certainly not the only ones. And there
25 is one thing where he was asked whether this P228 suggests this or that
1 and then he said, The document does not say so or suggest that, but there
2 were more -- I did not find as a matter of fact, consistency between
3 provisional assessment and final assessment. That's what I found and
4 that is the reason why I'm asking you --
5 MR. KEHOE: If I can go back and take a look the transcript
6 again, I will present it first think in the morning.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'd like to --
8 Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: It is it actually at page 7082. Actually it starts
10 at 7081, line 13 and goes through 7082, line 6, and actually at lines 4
11 and 5 of page 7082 he says:
12 "I think I recall seeing the final document that went up and that
13 it concurred with their initial assessment."
14 And then I will find you Mr. --
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, you now draw my attention to another portion
16 of the -- of course, you will understand that if Mr. Kehoe gives me a
17 source that I'm not going through all of the -- not going through all of
18 the -- how many are there at this moment?
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, let me also say that by tomorrow
20 morning I will get you -- I know Mr. Waespi did a re-direct examination
21 on this point where the witness was even more explicitly clear on this
22 point [Overlapping speakers] ...
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. I'm just inquiring, but if I get
24 sources, then of course I'm not going through the 14.000 other pages but
25 rather focus on the sources given to me. And as I said, I didn't say
1 nothing more than I couldn't find it there.
2 MR. KEHOE: My apologies, Mr. President, for the wrong page.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We will we adjourn for the day, and we'll
4 resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 20th of January, 9.00 in the morning, in
5 this same courtroom, I.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.
7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of
8 January, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.