Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17774

 1                           Thursday, 28 May 2009

 2                           [Cermak Defence Opening Statement]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Good afternoon to everyone.

 7             Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon to

 9     everyone in and around the courtroom.  This is case number IT-06-90-T,

10     the Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.

11             Thank you, Your Honours.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

13             Before the Cermak Defence will be invited to address the Chamber

14     with its Defence opening statement, I'd like to deal with a few

15     procedural matters.

16             The first one goes back to the 27th of May transcript, page

17     17.743.  There an agreement between Defence and Prosecution was

18     announced.  Mr. Russo said that he would get back to Mr. Misetic in the

19     afternoon and did not anticipate a problem.  The Chamber then said that

20     we expect a joint proposal by close of business today.

21             Now, the Chamber understands that, although progress is made,

22     that it's for primarily practical reasons that the joint proposal has not

23     reached the Chamber.  The Chamber does not insist on having it finalized

24     today, but I do understand that as soon as Mr. Russo stops travelling a

25     bit, then that there's a chance that matters can be finalized.

Page 17775

 1             Do we have to set time-limit for that or could we say this week?

 2     Is that ...

 3             MR. WAESPI:  Yes, that's suitable.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  And then whether you take Saturday and Sunday as the

 5     last days of the week, I leave that entirely to you, but Monday morning,

 6     at its latest, the Chamber will then be informed.

 7             For the next item, I'd like to go briefly into private session.

 8                           [Private session]

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Page 17776











11  Page 17776 redacted. Private session.















Page 17777

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 6   (redacted)

 7                           [Open session]

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

10             The Chamber has been informed that in relation to Witness AG-20

11     that it is highly unlikely that he would be able, for all kind of

12     practical reasons, to appear on the scheduled date, which is the

13     5th of June.

14             The question then is, whether you have already considered, if he

15     is -- if it is unlikely that he will appear, on what date you would like

16     him to appear, and whether you have any substitute for him on the

17     5th of June.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, Mr. Kehoe is travelling and is going

19     to be in Zagreb today to speak with the witness who was scheduled to

20     testify after AG-20, and we are in the process of seeing whether he can

21     come a bit earlier to begin his testimony, in fact towards the end of

22     next week, but I will not know that until probably sometime tomorrow.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  But it has your attention --

24             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  -- and that's what the Chamber would like to know.

Page 17778

 1             Then finally, there was a motion for granting a safe conduct.  If

 2     we would wait the normal time for responses, then we might be far too

 3     late to even consider to issue an effective safe conduct.  Therefore I'm

 4     asking the parties, first, Prosecution, whether they will respond to that

 5     motion, whether they want to do it orally or in writing, and when we

 6     could receive such a response.

 7             MR. WAESPI:  I can do it orally tomorrow.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Then we'll hear from you tomorrow.

 9             Do the other Defence teams have any intention to respond to the

10     safe conduct motion?

11             I see two times body language no intention.  It's now on the

12     record.

13             Then I have dealt with the procedural issues that I had on my

14     list.

15             If there's no other procedural matter to be discussed, I'd like

16     to invite the Cermak Defence to deliver its Defence opening statement.

17             Mr. Kay.

18             MR. KAY:  Thank you very much, Your Honour.  If the court

19     registrar can turn on the Sanction device, as that may be used during the

20     course of the opening statement.

21             At the Pre-Defence Conference yesterday, His Honour Judge Orie

22     stated to the parties that when presenting their Defence case it had to

23     focus sharply on the relevant issues in this trial, and the Defence for

24     Ivan Cermak, in making this opening address, will present, firstly, a

25     section concerning issues raised in the Rule 98 bis decision that are --

Page 17779

 1     that are of obvious concern to the Court.  The Court will then be

 2     referred to a section of evidence that the Defence contend is highly

 3     relevant and that the Prosecution had at its disposal during its case,

 4     which was exculpatory directly on the issues in this trial but did not

 5     put before the Judges.

 6             And then the Court will hear of evidence to be called from other

 7     witnesses, all present at the time, that is relevant, direct and informed

 8     and factual as to decisions that were made, which were not witnesses

 9     spoken to by the Prosecution in the preparation of their case, and, again

10     neither were they sought as witnesses, and we say this is highly relevant

11     material for the decision-making in relation to this case.

12             The Court is reminded that the Defence has a right to have its

13     evidence received in exactly the same way as the Prosecution evidence is

14     received, with fairness and impartiality.  Evidence is not the lesser

15     because it has been produced by Defence cross-examination or because it

16     arrives from Defence witnesses.

17             The Defence in this case are concerned that the Prosecution has

18     invited the Court to adopt an artificially high and unrealistic standard

19     for criminal liability and responsibility in this case that ignores legal

20     and factual responsibility and capabilities at the time.  Expert

21     witnesses of great experience from the Croatian system will be called.  A

22     General Feldi and Mr. Pero Kovacevic in their respective fields.  Experts

23     who will supply you with authoritative information about the military and

24     police systems and operations within their own national system which was

25     evidence that you were not supplied with during the Prosecution case by

Page 17780

 1     experts from the national system.

 2             There will also be expert international witnesses from the

 3     military.  General Sir Jack Deverell from the United Kingdom, of great

 4     experience in the Balkans as a commander of NATO and of great experience

 5     in dealing with both military function, command and control, as well as

 6     real life situations where he has been on many occasions, experiencing

 7     conflict.

 8             From the police, Mr. Christopher Albiston, a United Nations

 9     police commissioner and assistant chief constable for crime of the police

10     service of Northern Ireland.  Again, great experience in this region and

11     elsewhere throughout the world on the operating and functions of the

12     police service.  He has reviewed evidence in this case and will provide

13     his opinion to the Court which quite clearly states that the allegations

14     made in the indictment are unsustainable against this accused.

15             Furthermore, also Sir Jack Deverell is of the exact same opinion.

16             That then is the outline of our approach to the opening

17     statement, and I will now turn to those conclusions or decisions made in

18     the 98 bis decision.

19             And the first concerns the issue of the personal appointment by

20     President Tudjman of Mr. Cermak as commander of the Knin garrison.  This

21     is it found at 17.619 in the court record.

22             The point has to be made that this appointment was totally in

23     accordance with the law of Croatia.  The Court is referred to

24     Exhibit P1187, the Croatian Law on Service, Article 159.  This was a

25     document that was bar tabled and this Article makes it clear that the

Page 17781

 1     appointment to positions of the senior military are appointments made by

 2     the president.

 3             You will hear evidence from General Feldi that the appointment is

 4     totally in accordance with the law.  The Court will be made aware of a

 5     mistranslation of one of the important documents on this point, which

 6     took several months to resolve, concerning how a garrison commander is

 7     designated, eventually the Defence being proved right, and the Court will

 8     be told that this position of a non-operational nature, given the

 9     background and experience of Mr. Cermak, in relation to logistics and the

10     duties to coordinate various agencies, which he undertook at the time,

11     were exactly what were required of him in that position.  The Court will

12     also hear as to how it came about that the post of garrison commander was

13     selected.

14             In relation to Mr. Cermak's duties, that of dealing with the

15     United Nations and international groups arose as an ancillary matter to

16     his primary appointment, which was the normalization of life.  It came

17     about as a result of the circumstances that were found to exist in Knin.

18     This clearly indicates that Mr. Cermak was not intended, when his

19     position was first thought of and his role in Knin considered, to be a

20     military front man at all.  But there it is.  That's what happened and

21     that has led him into this trouble.

22             Also at that passage of the Court's decision the issue of the

23     normalization of life and what it meant is obviously under consideration

24     by the Court.  Evidence will be heard in relation to virtually all the

25     witnesses being called on this matter, which recite exactly the same

Page 17782

 1     background that this Court has heard on many occasions concerning the

 2     roles and duties of Mr. Cermak, normalizing life in Knin at that time.

 3     What is interesting is that none of those asked, none of those

 4     questioned, ascribe this as a role of law and order, which has to be the

 5     bedrock of criminal responsibility against him.

 6             Turning now to another aspect of the decision, that of meetings

 7     which took place daily at the office in Knin.  The Defence will stress

 8     that it is the purpose of these meetings that is important and that the

 9     correct context be understood and accepted.  They were clearly of a

10     coordination function.  Those meetings were not for the purpose of

11     reporting crimes or other criminal events that may have taken place, and

12     the purpose, when such facts were mentioned in those meetings, were not

13     because he had a duty to investigate, prosecute, charge, or order.  As

14     Witness 86 made clear and the Defence witnesses confirm, the civilian

15     police were not the subordinates of Mr. Cermak.

16             As the Prosecution witness Buhin clearly stated, he had never met

17     Mr. Cermak, so how a line of authority could have been in operation when

18     that man was a coordinator with his ministry in Zagreb is open to

19     question.  The Ministry of Interior had their own line of authority by

20     which to report and take measures.  This theme is repeated throughout the

21     Defence case, and we are anxious that the Court understands the workings

22     of the Croatian system at that time.

23             The fact of holding such meetings cannot create a criminal

24     responsibility; otherwise, every person in the room, from Mr. Pasic to

25     the man interested in electricity, would have the same liability.  The

Page 17783

 1     Defence will have that confirmed through the witness, Mr. Albiston who

 2     quite clearly rejects that proposition as does General Sir Jack Deverell.

 3     The variety of the functions of the individuals who attended those

 4     meetings lends support to the contention that those meetings were to

 5     assist with the development and normalization of life in and around Knin.

 6     Any law and order purposes would simply not hold water in relation to the

 7     functioning of any system, and that is what we, as the Defence, are

 8     anxious in our case to ensure the Court has clear evidence.

 9             In those meetings, witnesses will confirm that everyone there was

10     aware of the exchange and passing on of information so that people were

11     better briefed as to what had happened and what was taking place, at all

12     different levels of life at that time in Knin.

13             The witness Dzolic, who gave evidence for the Prosecution, said

14     on numerous occasions that the police were requested to do their job.

15     Again, Defence witnesses will corroborate and confirm that theme.

16     Everybody wanted those jobs to be done.  The fact that Cermak says it

17     does not invest within him a responsibility or authority.  There has to

18     be a foundation and basis to sustain criminal charges, and we submit our

19     case will prove that that simply does not exist.

20             A further passage from the 98 bis decision.  Mr. Cermak's

21     responses to crimes and his assurances that investigations would be

22     carried out.  As a proposition, the Defence are concerned about this

23     statement.  The fact that Mr. Cermak and any other person may have

24     disagreed on some occasions as to who committed a crime or why a crime

25     had been committed, or even whether a crime had taken place, in

Page 17784

 1     conversations with the international representatives, we submit, cannot,

 2     of itself, create criminal liability in this case.  This would mean that

 3     communication offices for armed forces, governments, and other agencies

 4     would be liable for passing on information, which, although one party may

 5     have disagreed with what they were saying, we submit, cannot be a ground

 6     for saying that they are responsible, either for the act itself or even

 7     over the perpetrator of an act.  It is tantamount to shooting the

 8     messenger.

 9             Court will hear and receive evidence which confirmed a large part

10     of the Prosecution case that Mr. Cermak admitted crimes took place at

11     that time.  He was angry about that fact.  He mentioned to many people he

12     wanted it stopped, that he had no power himself, and his whole conduct

13     was of a man not in denial of such events, but, in fact, of a man who

14     wanted it stopped.

15             Defence witnesses will testify to his intentions in relation to

16     the Serb community, the civilians, how he wanted them to stay, encouraged

17     factories and places of work to open, and went to the UN camp to

18     encourage them to stay and work.  This stands in great contradiction to

19     any allegation of intent that may be put at him, which asserts he didn't

20     want the Serbs to remain in this area.

21             The fact that he was passing on information about crimes shows

22     that he was not in a state of denial and intending to cover them up.  The

23     fact that he may have disagreed, however, in meetings as to what

24     happened, why it happened, is a disagreement.  It cannot be a

25     responsibility.  It cannot be a means of liability to say that he has

Page 17785

 1     committed a crime in relation to this indictment.

 2             The giving of assurances in relation to investigations doesn't

 3     mean that he had the power or authority to order such things.  The fact

 4     that he told people that he would have something investigated showed his

 5     good intentions rather than bad intentions to those who were concerned

 6     with what was taking place.

 7             Turning now to what took place in Grubori.  The Court, at 17.619

 8     to 20, dealt in a small and brief way with how they would, at this stage

 9     of the trial, view or how the evidence was capable of being viewed,

10     concerning what took place in Grubori.  Again, a point has to be made

11     here which is of fundamental importance.  There was no eye-witness to

12     what happened at the time in relation to the killings in Grubori and that

13     witness was not available to state what happened.

14             The Court knows that this was originally a report to the garrison

15     of arson; later, two killings were mentioned.  But it was someone working

16     from the garrison itself who is a Defence witness, Lieutenant Dondo, who

17     reported that there were five killings to the police, and we ask the

18     Court to note that that important evidence, as Mr. Dondo will tell you,

19     indicated that he was working in a culture at the garrison, not of

20     concealment of crimes, but of making sure they were reported.  In our

21     submission, his evidence, which the Court will be referred to in detail

22     later on this afternoon, is crucial on this matter.

23             Furthermore, it became clear that this was a matter in Grubori

24     that concerned the actions of the special police.  Any person would be

25     entitled to accept that a department of a police force would correctly

Page 17786

 1     and properly investigate and deal with an event with which they were

 2     concerned.  It cannot be the case that we have a culture, that because

 3     the special police is mentioned in this building that anyone at that time

 4     should have suspicions or should disbelieve that they would act properly.

 5     The point we make here is that this was a matter within the Ministry of

 6     Interior from which the special police were derived, and Mr. Cermak was

 7     not in an unreasonable position in passing on any account given to him by

 8     them in explanation to the international community.  There's no evidence

 9     in this case showing that Mr. Cermak knew that the version of events

10     provided by the special police was untrue.

11             There had only been claims made and there were no official

12     reports alternatively put before him.  The UN did not investigate this

13     case at that time and provide an alternative forensic analysis.  The

14     danger here is that because a man believes a version and the other party

15     has its belief of its version, that you are then held responsible for

16     your belief or passing on what you have been told and believe to be true

17     to others.  Again, crucially, we raise this point.  It is tantamount to

18     shooting the messenger.  And, again, expert witnesses will advise the

19     Court on the systems operating in many jurisdictions relating to military

20     spokespeople and police spokespeople who are put in the position that

21     Mr. Cermak was at that time.

22             The issue of freedom of movement will also be examined in the

23     Defence case.  At transcript page 17.595, the Court noted:

24             "There is evidence that Mr. Cermak was cooperating with the other

25     two accused with regard to freedom of movement."

Page 17787

 1             You will hear evidence from the liaison officers, Mr. Dondo and

 2     Mr. Lukovic, exactly how Mr. Cermak became involved in signing letters to

 3     Mr. Forand, relating to the movements of the United Nations.

 4             Crucially, these were not decisions being made by him.  These

 5     were not decisions being made by him with others.  These were decisions

 6     and issues that were passed through him and in respect of which he had no

 7     responsibility in the decision-making process that could hold him

 8     accountable.  The fact that he passes information on to the

 9     United Nations, in our submission, does not make him liable in relation

10     to any consequences that that may have.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Kay, sorry to interrupt you.  I try to follow

12     your reference to the transcript pages.  I understood you to say

13     17.595 --

14             MR. KAY:  Yes.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  -- although that's not what appears on the

16     transcript.  But 17.595 is the --

17             MR. KAY:  Decision.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  But nothing about freedom of movement there,

19     because it's the first page of the 3rd of April session, which just

20     introduces what we're going to do and that we'll first give a brief

21     summary.

22             So I can't follow you in your reference --

23             MR. KAY:  It's in the decision, Your Honour.  And I have quoted

24     directly from it.  I'm sorry, if there's a --

25             JUDGE ORIE:  If you have -- oh, if you [overlapping speakers] --

Page 17788

 1             MR. KAY:  -- reference number, I don't have it in front of me.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  I'll find it by searching for "cooperating."

 3             MR. KAY:  17.019.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  17.019.  Thank you for your assistance.  I try to --

 5     whenever you make portions of the decision I try to read it --

 6             MR. KAY:  I hope the Court finds that helpful.  17.619.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  17.619.

 8             MR. KAY:  Yeah.  Thank you.

 9             Again, the fact here is that Mr. Cermak, as a conduit to be used

10     for these decisions and to pass on notice from the Croatian authorities

11     to the United Nations was simply being used in that form.  Court will

12     hear quite clearly from witnesses that were interviewed by the

13     Prosecution and we will call in our Defence that he did not have that

14     decision-making authority, and that, in our submission, is a crucial

15     aspect for the consideration of the evidence in this case.

16             And, lastly, on the matters within the 98 bis decision, turning

17     to the statement in the decision, Mr. Cermak's personal involvement in

18     securing the departure of hundreds of Serb civilians from the UN compound

19     in Knin on buses to Serbia, the Defence, in cross-examination of

20     Mr. Liborius, took him through a clear and long document trail on this

21     issue, which, in our submission, clearly showed him acting as a conduit,

22     in relation to decisions being made elsewhere on this matter.

23             But the issue of the Serbs inside the UN camp was not exclusively

24     a Serbian matter.  There were many Croatian people inside the UN camp,

25     and you will hear evidence from Defence witnesses confirming that fact.

Page 17789

 1     As days passed, people chose to leave the camp and go to their homes,

 2     encouraged by Mr. Pasic, Mr. Cermak, Dr. Dodig, a witness you will hear

 3     from, and encouraged to stay in the Knin area.  As time passed, people

 4     within the camp who were Serbian decided they wanted to leave Croatia and

 5     go to Serbia.  That was their decision.

 6             In a camp that was run and in place by the United Nations,

 7     Mr. Cermak was not responsible for those people going into that camp, and

 8     it became a matter between the United Nations and the Croatian government

 9     as to when and how those people within the camp would leave.  The Court

10     will be referred to a document from General Forand in which he states,

11     You can't have your war criminals you want to investigate until we're

12     satisfied about arrangements inside the camp for those people, if they go

13     into Croatian custody, and, of course, we have the 800 or so Serbian

14     people who have remained in the camp.  This became a stand-off issue

15     between the United Nations and Croatia, and largely, because, as in so

16     many things in life, of a misunderstanding of the processes that both

17     sides were talking about.

18             Mr. Cermak's role, as you will hear from a Mr. Tomislav Penic,

19     who, very soon after Operation Storm, was called in by the minister of

20     justice and sent to Knin with files relating to suspected war criminals

21     in that camp.  When he went to Knin and saw Mr. Cermak, who took him to

22     the camp, his view was that Mr. Cermak was more of a host for him because

23     he and his department were dealing with this issue.

24             All the evidence the Court has received to date has been from the

25     United Nations side on this matter, and it's important that the Court do

Page 17790

 1     not have an impression, in relation to Mr. Cermak's role, that ascribes

 2     him with a level of authority he simply didn't have.

 3             Let me turn now to the next part of the opening statement which

 4     concern Defence witnesses who will be called who gave exculpatory

 5     statements to the Prosecution concerning Mr. Cermak's authority, role,

 6     and responsibility.

 7             During the Prosecution case, you heard a very narrow base of

 8     evidence on this matter.  Most of it was impression evidence from

 9     international witnesses.  Witnesses from the Croatian authorities were in

10     fact very few, and of those witnesses, it has to be said, they did not

11     agree with the proposition in the indictment that Mr. Cermak was in

12     control of either the civil police or the military police or the military

13     units in this area, and they rejected - Witness 86, Witness Dzolic - that

14     they were subordinated in any way to Mr. Cermak.

15             You heard from an expert witness, Mr. Theunens, and we will make

16     no bones about it, we believe he presented a report tailored to suit the

17     indictment.  His evidence was based on small numbers of documents

18     described as UNCRO orders said to prove his theory.  But those documents

19     were never actually shown to the witnesses who could have accepted or

20     rejected the theory until cross-examined by the Defence in the course of

21     these proceedings.

22             So we say this has been a trial more based on theory than

23     evidence so far, and we invite the Judges to reject speculation and

24     consider the evidence of key witnesses who, if they had been called in

25     the Prosecution case, we believe would have led the Court to an entirely

Page 17791

 1     different understanding of the nature of the case against Mr. Cermak.

 2     The Defence are now forced to call those witnesses, because witnesses

 3     have been cherry-picked, and we will produce them before the Court as

 4     well as produce the statements that they originally gave to the

 5     Prosecution.

 6             Three of these people were right in the heart of the events in

 7     the garrison.  Mr. Pasic, Mr. Dondo, and Mr. Lukovic.

 8             So let's start with Mr. Petar Pasic, a Serb, a government trustee

 9     for Knin, also described as the representative or the mayor, and he was

10     interviewed by the Prosecution in 2001, 2002.  And it may be that we can

11     even have page 4 from that statement put on Your Honours' screens, as it

12     may assist the Court.

13             In that statement, he stated:

14             "I was aware that Colonel General Cermak was the commander of the

15     Zborno Mjesto, which wasn't a Military District.  As far as I know,

16     Cermak was there to assist the civil authorities.  He would direct me to

17     organise the feeding of people which took place where Cermak had his

18     office and he would push me to open the stores.  Cermak had the logistics

19     base and about ten or so soldiers under him.  He also insisted that there

20     be a public kitchen facility to feed the people who had no money.  He

21     wanted the civil authority to function so that he would not be bothered

22     with the feeding of the people.  Within a few days we were able to get

23     power and water functioning in the town.

24             "The police station was at the other end of town.  I know that

25     Cermak was appointed by the president.  I did not know Cermak's area of

Page 17792

 1     responsibility.  I would meet with him every day.  There was an agenda

 2     and those items on the agenda would include, for example, an update on

 3     the power supply, how to deal with the Serbs in the UN compound, security

 4     matters.  Cermak would be asking what had been done on these issues.

 5     People would respond.  There were discussions about killings, looting and

 6     destruction.  Often it would be Cermak who was telling us that these

 7     things were happening and asking us, asking what was being done about it.

 8             "It would have been the internationals that would have reported

 9     these crimes to Cermak and myself at a different meeting.  I remember

10     that Gambiroza would often say there were not enough policemen in Knin.

11     My belief was that the returning Serbs or those who had remained and the

12     internationals did not trust the Croatian police to do their job

13     probably.  Cermak would ask what had been done, and he was very

14     unpleasant to people and would shout at them if things had not been done.

15     As far as the killings, looting and destruction was concerned, he was not

16     happy about it."

17             Well, we submit there are a number of answers there in that

18     passage to those matters raised by the Trial Chamber in the 98 bis

19     decision which show firsthand eye-witness level what Mr. Cermak's job

20     was, what he talked about, and what his attitude was.  These are not the

21     acts and conduct of a man embarked on a joint criminal enterprise.  That

22     doesn't fit with this description here.

23             What's interesting about this witness as well, as the Court will

24     see when he gives evidence, he doesn't recite a blind story about the

25     crimes and retribution in the area at all.  In fact, he condemns the

Page 17793

 1     authorities for those crimes and what happened and he has his own view on

 2     the matter.  But what is of great significance is that he does not taint

 3     Mr. Cermak with either that responsibility or even being a supporter or

 4     sympathetic to such treatment of people in that region.  Quite the

 5     opposite, as the Court will hear.

 6             Another passage at page 6, again, in contradiction to the

 7     substance of this case:

 8             "Cermak and I would go to the UN base to try and persuade the

 9     Serbs to go back to their houses.  We would guarantee them safety, but

10     others had other ideas.  If they did go back to their homes, some of them

11     were beaten, which was a message to them to stay in the UN base and not

12     go home."

13             Well, if Mr. Cermak was there as a member of a joint criminal

14     enterprise, as a person showing bad intent, why would he be going to the

15     UN camp to try and encourage people to stay?  That's not this case.

16     That's not what the Court was told in opening.  That's not been the

17     evidence that the Prosecution have tried to lead for a year.  But, of

18     course, Mr. Pasic's statement did not fit the indictment.  That's why he

19     was kept away from you.

20             Let us go to Karolj Dondo, interviewed in 2005.  A liaison

21     officer in the region, not subordinated to Mr. Cermak, but working from

22     the garrison, and he's been frequently mentioned in the evidence because

23     of his role of liaison; page 3 of that statement:

24             "Nobody joined us on the flight en route to Knin.  Mr. Lukovic

25     briefed me on what my role was to be.  There was information that there

Page 17794

 1     was a situation at the UN camp in Knin and that Mr. Cermak was due to

 2     arrive and that we were to assist him with regard to the situation in the

 3     UN camp.  The information was very brief, that there were refugees, and

 4     we should find out what the situation was when we arrived."

 5             Important to remember, Mr. Cermak wasn't responsible for anyone

 6     going to that camp.

 7             On page 4:

 8             "Our assignment was to organise the forward command of the

 9     liaison office in Knin.  At the meeting with Mr. Cermak, which was very

10     brief, Mr. Lukovic simply introduced us and explained our role.

11     Mr. Cermak said that we were just the people he needed and that we should

12     stay around so we were available to him.  Prior to meeting him we had

13     already moved into the Dom.  I think it was the next day, on the

14     7th of August, that we went with Mr. Cermak to the UN camp for the first

15     time.  After that, the visits became very frequent."

16             Page 5:

17             "The first meeting was intended to introduce Mr. Cermak at the

18     UN camp to General Forand.  I think Mr. Cermak explained he was there to

19     assist the UN and he was in charge of communicating with them and

20     resolving any problems that may occur.  In that sense, he was at their

21     disposal for anything they needed.  His role was also the implementation

22     and normalization of civilian life in Knin."

23             This is exactly what the Defence put time and time again, during

24     the Prosecution phase of the trial, with all -- would the commander of

25     all those units in paragraph 7 of the indictment be performing a role

Page 17795

 1     such as this?  Assisting with regard to the situation in the UN camp?

 2     Implementing and normalizing life in Knin, resolving problems?

 3             Mr. Dondo also refers to the morning meetings, paragraph 15:

 4             "At these meetings information was passed on."

 5             And what he says is this:

 6             "At the morning meetings many people were present.  Each body

 7     responsible for normalizing life would be present.  There would be

 8     representatives of the civilian authorities, such as Mr. Pasic.  I don't

 9     know his exact role.  Representatives of the civilian police, military

10     police.  I recall that at one meeting, civil protection issues were

11     discussed and specifically the need to clean fridges."

12             He goes on to say:  "I know that protests came in from members of

13     the international community and our office had the role as an

14     intermediary to pass on the information."

15             You will hear from Mr. Dondo, and he will describe Mr. Cermak, in

16     his view, as being a very senior liaison officer, because that was his

17     view of what he was doing and of his role down in Knin.

18             "So if there was a report on a house being burnt, we would pass

19     it on.  In such an example, we would pass it to General Cermak if it was

20     addressed to him.  As he was more or less the only person dealing with

21     the UN, most of the reports were directed to him."

22             So holding meetings where information is passed on, in our

23     submission, was a creditable act of Mr. Cermak's, in contradiction to

24     being an act in furtherance of a joint criminal enterprise.  In fact, it

25     shows a responsible attitude to what was happening at that time and how,

Page 17796

 1     as best he could, he dealt with it.

 2             Paragraph 16:  "From the beginning of his time in Knin,

 3     Mr. Cermak was signing his letters and memos as the commander of the Knin

 4     garrison.  According to the military regulations it is known the

 5     responsibilities of a garrison commander are for logistics and

 6     organisational affairs.  So from the time that the area was liberated,

 7     Knin assumed the status of a garrison and Mr. Cermak was responsible for

 8     that area.  My understanding is that he was not actually responsible for

 9     the logistics of military units in the area as they had their own

10     logistics support.  He was more concerned with the normalization of the

11     civilian infrastructure and the logistics issues that required.  As to

12     why a military general was appointed for such a role, I can only give my

13     own opinion and interpretation."

14             And that was, as the Court will hear when he gives evidence, that

15     because General Forand was a general, it would have been only right that

16     a general from the Croatian side spoke to the general on the other side,

17     and it was not accepted protocol for a lieutenant or captain of marine at

18     that level to be dealing with General Forand directly.  But that doesn't

19     appear to have been put in this statement.

20             "Because Knin was a military area at the time, and there were so

21     many soldiers there, I think Mr. Cermak was considered to have the

22     necessary logistical skills because of his background.  As far as I know,

23     he doesn't have the actual military rank as general, but it was more an

24     administrative rank.  From my knowledge, there is a difference between

25     the military and administrative rank.  The same thing was true when I was

Page 17797

 1     given the rank of captain as I was working in the rear, so while I held a

 2     rank, it was really for administrative purposes.  I saw on a number of

 3     occasions that Mr. Cermak was frustrated, and I think this was because it

 4     was difficult ..."

 5             Well, again, a very clear description in non-operational terms,

 6     exactly as to how he, never having dealt with Mr. Cermak before,

 7     perceived him, and knew what his role was to be.

 8             Paragraph 17, I'll move to:

 9             "While the looting and burning was being regularly reported to

10     him, Mr. Cermak tried to solve things.  He forwarded the questions to the

11     civilian police who were in charge of investigating such cases and then

12     providing feedback from the police to the UN.  I know that, because on

13     one occasion, I translated the police responses on behalf of Mr. Cermak,

14     which then went to the UN.  As far as having any control over the

15     civilian police is concerned, I can say that I never heard him issue an

16     order to them but he would ask them to investigate and report back to

17     him.  As I saw things, he simply provided new information from the UN to

18     the police, and as the police had no liaison officer, he was providing

19     that role and passing on the information and asking that he was kept

20     informed."

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Kay, sorry again to interrupt you.  Page 23,

22     line 13, you think -- you quoted and you said, I think this was because

23     it was difficult, full stop.

24             Now difficult is the last word of that page but seems not to be

25     the last word of the sentence.  I don't know what was difficult.

Page 17798

 1             MR. KAY:  I can help you, "to implement some things" is the full

 2     stop.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Then I'm informed about what was difficult.  Thank

 4     you for --

 5             MR. KAY:  I -- that this was because it was difficult to

 6     implement some things, I didn't think added anything beyond difficult.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  No, but --

 8             MR. KAY:  I'm sorry.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  -- not knowing what was there --

10             MR. KAY:  Yeah.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  -- I didn't know whether it would add to anything

12     yes or no.  Please proceed.

13             MR. KAY:  And it's on a different page in my text here.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

15             Please proceed.

16             MR. KAY:  Thank you.

17             Paragraph 18:  "I don't recall Mr. Cermak making reference to

18     specific incidents," and he's asked this ten years later, "but there was

19     one specific occasion, when he was returning from Sibenik, when he had

20     seen buildings on fire.  He commented that he didn't understand how or

21     why that was happening when the Oluja operation had been over for some

22     time.  I know the media had reported that some of the burning was being

23     done by people in military uniform, but it did not mean they were part of

24     the military."

25             And he goes on to explain an example that he came across exactly

Page 17799

 1     on that.

 2             "I am aware of what Mr. Cermak was doing to relay the complaints

 3     about looting and burning to the ranks of the military.  He would pass

 4     them all to the military police and it is possible that he sent some

 5     written reports to other military structures."

 6             He recounts, in paragraph 22, on page 8, the kind of story that

 7     goes exactly to the heart of this case, and sometimes by judging what

 8     people do, you see a -- you see their clear intentions.

 9             In paragraph 2, he refers to -- 22, he refers to an incident of

10     going to a village and a Serb was carrying water in buckets and men had

11     slaughtered the sheep at his house.  Mr. Dondo went to the house.  He

12     found four people dressed in Croatian military uniforms without insignia.

13     Their hands were covered in the blood of lambs they had just slaughtered.

14     They were shocked at being seen.  Mr. Dondo took responsibility and

15     talked to them.  They refused to give him any information, and they said

16     they were familiar with the area from before and knew the man.  He said

17     he was there with representatives of the UN and he noted the yard looked

18     as though it has been put ready in preparation for being looted, and

19     Mr. Dondo told them to stop, and he bluffed and said he knew who they

20     were, and they then washed themselves and left.

21             When he returned to Knin, he reported that to the civilian

22     police, and he, despite reporting it, mentioned it to General Cermak, to

23     see if he could do anything to help.  Mr. Cermak arranged for the old man

24     to be transferred by ambulance to the geriatric ward of the Knin hospital

25     a day or two later.

Page 17800

 1             Well, in complete contradiction to the allegations in this case,

 2     and the Court will hear in some detail from Mr. Dondo, in relation to the

 3     operation required to get that man down from the mountain where he was

 4     staying and then taken to Knin hospital for treatment.  Well, we say a

 5     highly significant witness who throws a complexion on the issues in this

 6     case that are direct, that are relevant, and are at the heart of it, and

 7     go to the innocence of Mr. Cermak.

 8             The third of these witnesses we'll look at in some detail will be

 9     Mr. Lukovic, interviewed by the Prosecution in 2004.  He was the chief of

10     the liaison officers, superior to Mr. Dondo, and he refers to the first

11     meeting, as did Mr. Dondo, and he went to introduce himself to

12     Mr. Cermak.

13             Paragraph 34:  "General Cermak told me that he had arrived Knin

14     to help with the normalization of the town.  I knew him from before but

15     not that well.  General Cermak said that he expected good cooperation

16     from me and for me to help him with the coordination and to fully cover

17     the liaison role.  General Cermak did not explain to me his role in Knin

18     at that meeting.  It was later that I found out he was the garrison

19     commander of Knin."

20             But, again we get this mantra, which was our case throughout the

21     Prosecution's phase of the trial, repeated by many witnesses about this

22     role of normalization, a non-operational role and a role of a distinct

23     nature that does not ascribe to it authority over units, civilian police,

24     and military police.

25             Let's go to page 10 and paragraph 57:

Page 17801

 1             "Both General Cermak and myself were very much involved in

 2     facilitating the arrangements to get the displaced persons from the

 3     UN compound who wanted to leave to be escorted to Serbia.  General Cermak

 4     and I met daily with the Serbs in the UN compound.  We had at least

 5     15 meetings with them.  We tried to convince the displaced persons to

 6     stay in Croatia, but it became obvious to us that there were some

 7     radicals in the compound who were telling the Serbs not to stay but to

 8     leave, and so eventually they all left.  We were given a list of the

 9     displaced persons in the compound and our police did checks to identify

10     suspects of war crimes and a small number were handed over to our

11     police."

12             Well, there you have it.  Dondo described Mr. Cermak as a very

13     senior liaison officer, and not expressing it in exactly those words, but

14     the sense of what Mr. Lukovic told the Prosecution in his statement in

15     2004 is clearly on those lines.  And what is important here is the nature

16     of the work that he and Mr. Cermak were doing.  Again, in complete

17     contradiction to the alleged joint criminal enterprise, as described by

18     the Prosecution in this case.

19             And important to note with Mr. Lukovic is that he had, throughout

20     the conflict and the war, performed this role of liaison between RSK

21     forces and Croatian forces and involving himself with the United Nations

22     forces, and so he was experienced in trying to broker deals and

23     arrangements to enable the passage of life between civilians caught up in

24     the conflict on either side and to make their lives easier.  And as he

25     describes it, he was performing what, in a sense, was more of a civilian

Page 17802

 1     role in that task, because he was mainly concerned with civilians, how to

 2     get food and produce from the RSK side to Croatia; wine on one occasion,

 3     something he brokered through the UN.  How he was trying to make

 4     arrangements to enable people to visit families and be united.  And,

 5     quite clearly, as he describes his role, that was something that

 6     Mr. Cermak, in a hands-on way took on board and he wasn't just directing

 7     or supervising, as Lukovic makes clear, he was going to the camp and

 8     expressing this.  Well, to have any sense for this JCE he would have been

 9     stuck back in his office with his feet on table and just sending

10     Mr. Lukovic down there, if that was his intent; but that's not how it

11     was, and in our submission, goes to the truth of his role.

12             Your Honour, that is an appropriate moment for the short

13     adjournment.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  It is, Mr. Kay.

15             We will have a break, and we will resume at a quarter past 4.00.

16                           --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.

17                           --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Kay, please proceed.

19             MR. KAY:  Thank you, Your Honour.

20             Last in this passage here but of great relevance, I'll now turn

21     to the statement of Ivica Cetina, taken by the Prosecution in 2001, 2002.

22     And the Court will know him as being the chief of the Zadar-Knin police

23     administration, and he describes fully the high-level police officers

24     that were working in the Knin area and elsewhere in what we will call

25     Sector South.  It's quite clear from his statement that the police were

Page 17803

 1     controlling their own responsibilities, operating within their own

 2     structure, completely independently of the military and completely

 3     independently of General Cermak, who was in Knin normalizing life.

 4     Exactly the proposition that the Defence have advanced countless times

 5     over the last year.

 6             The Court will remember that during the Prosecution case the

 7     structure and systems were elucidated and put before the Trial Chamber as

 8     coherent bodies of evidence by us, showing the operation from the

 9     assistant minister of interior, Mr. Moric, down through to Zadar-Knin

10     police administration, Kotar-Knin police administration and Knin police

11     station through many orders, a snapshot as to how the whole thing

12     operated and was structured.  That was not evidence coming into this case

13     through any other means other than through the means by which we

14     presented it.

15             He says:

16             "As the Croatian army was liberating areas, members of the police

17     were moving into the area and opening police stations.  The ministry also

18     assisted with logistics for newly opened police stations.  There were not

19     enough experienced Serb police officers in the Zadar police area."

20             Court has to remember that for the previous four years, this was

21     not an area under Croatian sovereignty, that the Croatian authorities

22     were operating in a narrow strip of land running down the Dalmatian

23     coast.

24             "Therefore, appointments were made from other parts of Croatia.

25     I personally knew all the coordinators who were sent to the liberated

Page 17804

 1     areas."

 2             And he describes fully all those people in the organigrams that

 3     we put before the Court, all of whom were down there on a regular basis,

 4     supervising the operation of the police.

 5             He says:  "These coordinators were initially responsible to

 6     Franjo Djurica.  He was the chief coordinator.  After a month, he was

 7     replaced, and that coordinator, as Djurica had been, was responsible to

 8     the assistant minister for police, Mr. Moric.  I was very happy with the

 9     coordinators when they were appointed, as the liberated area was huge."

10             And the Court may have a feeling about the size and geography of

11     this area, but the Kotar-Knin police administration area was vast, an

12     area of much wilderness, of natural geography and an area of valleys,

13     rivers, and areas backing up onto the mountains going towards Bosnia.

14             As you will hear from Mr. Albiston, who's been down there, our

15     expert police witness, a very difficult area to police.  He felt it was a

16     good move to have coordinators appointed and they knew how to deal with

17     delicate situations.  If anyone had a problem, the coordinators or

18     commanders would communicate through him or Mr. Kardum, the chief of

19     criminal police, but coordinators had no authority over the criminal

20     police directly.

21             And he says:  "I did not have any special contacts with the

22     Croatian army.  The only contact I had with the military was

23     General Ivan Cermak.  I met him for the first time several days after the

24     start of Operation Storm.  To my mind, General Cermak was not a soldier

25     in the usual sense of the word.  He was more like an administrator

Page 17805

 1     wearing a military uniform.  Although I was aware from the media that

 2     General Cermak had previously been an assistant minister of -- of

 3     economic affairs.  It was my impression he was coordinating the work of

 4     the town services, ensuring electricity, water, cleaning up the town."

 5             And he recounts an occasion, again, a small incident, but

 6     capable, as with Dondo and the man in the remote area who'd had his sheep

 7     slaughtered and Mr. Cermak had him evacuated to a hospital, he also

 8     describes a very personal incident that is one many of the Court will

 9     here.

10             He telephoned.  "He told me he was at a village.  I'm not sure of

11     the location.  He was there on his own initiative, and that, as the

12     village had no power, he organised a generator, and members of

13     international organisations were present in the village when he handed

14     the generator to the villagers.  The same evening, he called me again on

15     the telephone and reported an incident to me.  He told me that two men in

16     a vehicle had been to the village and stolen sheep and cattle.  He told

17     me I had to do something immediately to punish the offenders.  I don't

18     remember if the generator was also stolen.  I remember the police stopped

19     the vehicle near Sinj, and that the sheep and cattle were returned to the

20     villagers.  I immediately alerted the local police commanders, and that

21     was why the criminals were stopped."

22             Well, why was Mr. Cermak notifying Mr. Cetina?  That's obvious,

23     because he is outside the police line of authority and control, and, on

24     this occasion, having telephoned about the generator, was able to

25     telephone Mr. Cetina.

Page 17806

 1             He said to the Prosecution in 2001:  "General Cermak did not have

 2     command authority over me because I was not part of the military.  My

 3     chain of command was towards the MUP central office in Zagreb and that is

 4     why I approached them."

 5             And he refers to the meetings that General Cermak had in Knin,

 6     describing them as "hosted these meetings ... they were not very formal

 7     and there was no specific agenda.  We were all given the opportunity to

 8     outline our problems but no specific discussions were made.  Everybody

 9     had to solve their own problems and nobody could issue an order to

10     anybody else.  These meetings were in fact only an opportunity to

11     communicate with each other."

12             And he goes on to say:  "My impression of him was he did not want

13     incidents like murders."

14             Well, there we have it, in a very concise form of the

15     relationship between General Cermak and the MUP.  And in setting this

16     before the Court, this witness, one might say, would have his own

17     interests to serve by putting all responsibility for law and order on the

18     military, or for the lack of it, and if General Cermak was responsible

19     for law and order, putting it all his way, every opportunity to be

20     self-serving, and no doubt, that was why he was interviewed.  But that's

21     not how it turned out in the interview and not what he said.

22             And it's quite clear, when the Court were able to listen to

23     cross-examination in the Prosecution case, the lines, the systems of the

24     Croatian government and authorities make it quite clear where lines of

25     responsibility are to be found.  And it's our submission that, in this

Page 17807

 1     case, the Prosecution have failed to understand that proposition and

 2     their evidence, as one looked at the nature of the evidence called, did

 3     not seek to go down the lines of these particular statements who were all

 4     from men there at the time and part of it and gave their account.  There

 5     can be no reason for not having them called by the Prosecution, having

 6     taken their statements.

 7             Enough of that.  Let's move on, then, further into the Defence

 8     case, because Defence witnesses will again be called, dealing with

 9     Mr. Cermak's appointment, role and authority.  How did he come to be

10     appointed?  Was he a close friend of President Tudjman, as stated in the

11     indictment?  Was there a valid reason for his role?  Was he commanding

12     police, military and running every aspect of civilian life, as asserted

13     in the indictment?  Or is that lawyer-speak in an indictment, designed to

14     build a case rather than search for the truth, which should be the object

15     of this trial.

16             Did the Prosecution back up those assertions with evidence?  Does

17     the evidence called by the Prosecution so far offer a full and informed

18     analysis of those allegations?  Or is the situation going to be that, at

19     this stage in the case, the Court, for the first time, will receive the

20     full picture of Mr. Cermak's role, authority, and responsibility?

21             Let's go to the president's office, then, on the day of

22     Operation Storm, on the 4th of August, 1995.

23             On that day, you would have seen there, in the president's

24     office, at a place called Tuskanac, a secure facility in Zagreb near the

25     presidential palace, but a location which was needed after the launch by

Page 17808

 1     Martic earlier in the year of the rockets on Zagreb, and so a facility

 2     which the president went to when Operation Storm was launched out of

 3     national safety and security.  And there in the office, the Court would

 4     have seen, if it was there on that day, the man who was chief of the

 5     cabinet of the president of the Republic of Croatia, who is called

 6     Gordan Radin.  And he headed the office, the secretaries, typists, the

 7     running of the office for the president.  He worked under someone called

 8     Hrvoje Sarinic, who was the chief of the office of the president.  And as

 9     he will tell the Court - not interviewed by the Prosecutor to pursue a

10     line of inquiry as to how or why Mr. Cermak was appointed, a very obvious

11     point, we would submit, to have a full picture in this case - and as he

12     says:

13             "After the meeting in Brioni, President Tudjman returned to

14     Zagreb the next day, on the 2nd of August, 1995, having learned from the

15     experience of Operation Flash.  And the president issued an order and we

16     started preparing the reserve location in Tuskanac.  A small team was

17     formed, as the president needed his work and office to function

18     normally."

19             And just before the beginning of Operation Storm, on the evening

20     of the 3rd of August, the president and his team moved to Tuskanac.

21             On the 4th of August, the president received operative reports on

22     the progress of Operation Storm from Minister Susak.  He often came to

23     Tuskanac, and the president thought of the next steps that had to be

24     taken.

25             "The president asked us to find Mr. Cermak and told us roughly

Page 17809

 1     that he wanted Mr. Cermak as the civil commander of the town of Knin.  I

 2     asked the president what that meant, and he told me that this was

 3     something like a civil commander of the town in that sense, and he wanted

 4     Mr. Cermak to come to his office.

 5             "We all tried to find Mr. Cermak, but we couldn't find him that

 6     day.  We told the president that we could not find him.  He insisted we

 7     find Mr. Cermak.  The next day, 5th of August, we found him, and he

 8     immediately came to Tuskanac.  I knew that there was a big problem to

 9     find a formal and legal way of appointing Mr. Cermak to the position of

10     civil commander of the town of Knin because it did not exist in the

11     government structure.  We needed clarification of our task which

12     consisted of preparing the papers.  So we asked the president to explain

13     it to us.

14             "As far as I understood the president's explanation, Mr. Cermak

15     was not part of the military structure, regardless of his rank.  Back

16     then, we did not have a reserve structure and everybody who was in the

17     civil service had a certain rank.  For instance, all members of the

18     government.  I, as chief secretary, had the rank of a captain.  It was

19     published in the Official Gazette.  Our president was a former partisan

20     general, and he always inclined to military ranks, orders, and he paid

21     special attention to that fact that every country should have a certain

22     structure ...

23             "Since we could not find a legal basis for appointing Mr. Cermak

24     as a civil administrator, General Kaspar called the chief of the

25     president's military cabinet and told him to find an adequate position

Page 17810

 1     and way to appoint Mr. Cermak to that position as soon as possible, and

 2     to send the decision on the appointment to Tuskanac for signature.  The

 3     cabinet wrote the decision on Cermak's appointment as the Knin garrison

 4     commander and sent it to President Tudjman."

 5             He goes on to say:  "Cermak did not often come to the president's

 6     office.  Cermak was not a close personal friend.  He was not of that

 7     circle who frequently visited the president's palace and played cards and

 8     tennis with him.  Mr. Cermak did not have authority to be in command of

 9     the civil police, since he was not appointed by the Ministry of the

10     Interior."

11             I referred the Court earlier to the exhibit which outlines

12     appointments within the police by the minister.

13             "The appointment of Cermak was not a kind of appointment that

14     would give him authority to command the civil police.  The military

15     appointment of Mr. Cermak was within a regular military establishment but

16     to the duty which enabled Mr. Cermak to take care of the civil part of

17     obligations."

18             And he refers to Mr. Cermak's experience previously as a minister

19     of economy, his business experience, and that that was part of the reason

20     why he was sent to Knin.  He was a private entrepreneur who had his own

21     business.  President Tudjman was a general with a big military experience

22     and he would not send Mr. Cermak, who had no military education, to

23     command military units.  The president wanted Mr. Cermak to cooperate

24     with the representatives of the civil authorities, to be a mediator, to

25     connect them and help them with one goal, to accelerate the activities

Page 17811

 1     from the beginning of functioning of the government institutions.

 2             And he goes on to say:  "He was a civilian in uniform."

 3             There we have it then, right from the heart of the matter, where

 4     this appointment was made and answering a crucial question in this case

 5     which, in our submission, comes from a reliable source with no interest

 6     to be served, who could have been interviewed in the last ten years to

 7     find out this information.

 8             In a personal way, there's another witness called

 9     Mr. Ciro Blazevic.  He was a close friend of the president, and still

10     remaining at Tuskanac on 4th of August, he actually paid a social visit

11     to the president that night.  He did play cards and tennis with him and

12     was someone as a friend, the president liked to have around and to talk

13     to.  And during conversation that night, he was told by the president

14     that there would be problems in Knin, that someone needed to be

15     appointed, to organise conditions for normal life immediately after the

16     liberation of the town.  Such a person, he said to Mr. Blazevic, would

17     need to see problems, find solutions, a man who would enable people to

18     return to their homes and stimulate revival.

19             He didn't say to Mr. Blazevic that he was going to appoint

20     Cermak, but in conversation, he mentioned that Cermak was an agile

21     entrepreneur and had economic abilities and he was thinking of sending

22     him to Knin.  And then the next day the media published that fact and he

23     found out through the media and put two and two together that it was

24     Mr. Cermak who had been appointed to the role that the president was

25     thinking about the previous evening.

Page 17812

 1             Let's now remain in Tuskanac and turn to the 5th of August, the

 2     day that Mr. Cermak was officially appointed and the order signed,

 3     because the Court will hear evidence of what happened, and

 4     Mr. Borislav Skegro, deputy prime minister at that time for the economy,

 5     he controlled the economic sector of the government and was responsible

 6     for finance, industry, ship building, energy, agriculture, building, and

 7     housing.

 8             He had been on holiday when Operation Storm started, but because

 9     he was deputy prime minister, he made his way to Zagreb.  And on the

10     5th of August, at 10.00 a.m. in the morning, he was with

11     Prime Minister Valentic, and he had heard that Knin had been liberated.

12     President Tudjman called the prime minister and they congratulated each

13     other over the telephone.  And the president invited him to Tuskanac and

14     so the two of them, prime minister, deputy prime minister, left the

15     office and went to the place Tuskanac.

16             At about noon, they met him in the shelter.  There were other

17     ministers there; Mr. Granic, Susak, Jarnjak, Radic, and others.

18             "About ten of us.  We all stood in the hall.  We talked and

19     watched the news report that a few hours earlier the Croatian army had

20     entered Knin.  It was a big historical event."

21             President Tudjman then said:  "We have to find a person we send

22     to Knin, somebody with military experience who will revive the economy,

23     establish communication with the UN and the international community, and

24     who will connect the economy with military experience.  Some people have

25     recommended Ivan Cermak to me, he posed.  Ivan has got experience with

Page 17813

 1     private business and with the army.  Ivan's behaviour is not typical for

 2     a general and he will establish relations with the UN and the

 3     international community."

 4             And can you see there how moving from the 4th, when the job was

 5     first discussed, and Mr. Radin was told to look for Mr. Cermak, how it

 6     had moved on the 5th to including the component of liaising with the

 7     international community.  As I said, an aspect of the job that was made

 8     ancillary to the main appointment of normalizing life.

 9             "I agreed that it was a very good choice to appoint Ivan Cermak,"

10     says Mr. Skegro.  "President Tudjman sent a man who was a civilian in

11     uniform, a businessman and former minister, and because of the

12     international community.  A message was being sent that we wanted the

13     Serbs to remain and we encourage revival."

14             And he goes on to give in economic terms the reason why this

15     region was so important, why they need it, because they had a massive

16     problem with 650.000 refugees put into the strip of coast along the

17     seaside in Croatia and that those people would be accessing Croatian

18     territory as an official independent state for the first time.

19             "It was necessary to invest money in order to organise

20     normalization of life."

21             And he refers to the fact that the economic finances were nearly

22     collapsing at that time and he was looking for a credit of

23     $100 million US to prevent the collapse of the domestic currency.  They

24     knew it was necessary to urgently activate companies; for example, the

25     Tvik company and others, that previously existed in Knin.

Page 17814

 1             And we have heard about this and seen this in relation to many

 2     orders and statements about what Cermak was doing.  Not only does this

 3     witness establish the conversation that day relating to the appointment

 4     but provides the background that justifies it.

 5             Let us turn now to the 6th of August and move from Tuskanac down

 6     to Knin.  That was the day the president visited Knin and many

 7     politicians at the same time, including Mr. Skegro.  But I will take the

 8     story up from another witness, a man called Zdenko Rincic.  You've heard

 9     from me about the statements of Mr. Pasic, Mr. Dondo, and Mr. Lukovic,

10     and what they described.  But Mr. Rincic arrived in Knin on the

11     6th of August.  He was an assistant minister of economy.  But he was

12     mobilised at that time as a logistics officer for the

13     112th Zadar Brigade, for purposes of Operation Storm.  He had known

14     Mr. Cermak from the days when Mr. Cermak was the minister of economy in

15     1993.  And he was present at lunch in Knin when the president was there,

16     as well as Mr. Cermak and, indeed, other politicians, including

17     Mr. Skegro.

18             Mr. Rincic says this:  "Later, during lunch, I managed to talk

19     with Mr. Cermak and then he -- then told me that he was appointed as Knin

20     garrison commander.  I knew what the duties of a garrison commander were,

21     because there was the garrison in Zadar.  He is not an operative

22     commander.  A garrison commander has a duty to take care in a logistics

23     sense of the building and infrastructure, accommodation, food of military

24     persons, funerals of military persons.  Mr. Cermak told me he had come to

25     Knin in order to help establish normal life conditions in the

Page 17815

 1     infrastructural and economic area so that everyone can start working as

 2     soon as possible."

 3             He understood Mr. Cermak's job was to be the right-hand man of

 4     Mr. Pasic, whom he knew was the government's representative.

 5             "Mr. Pasic was constantly coming to Mr. Cermak's office," he

 6     said, "asking for help and he relied on Mr. Cermak for solving civil

 7     problems.  I got the idea," and he means by that, on this day, the 6th,

 8     "to stay in Knin and help Mr. Cermak to restore together normal life.  I

 9     phoned my minister, Mr. Vidosevic, from Zadar, where I slept," because

10     there was no telecommunications in Knin.  "I asked Minister Vidosevic

11     permission to open a branch of the ministry of economy in Knin, and I

12     reported the difficult situation the town was in, with no electricity,

13     water, or telephone.  Railway traffic was interrupted.  And I needed

14     support," and so Minister Vidosevic agreed.  He was officially sent down

15     there.  He was given two support staff and he opened an office 200 metres

16     away from the Knin garrison.

17             So what happened, then, with Mr. Rincic clearly coming, as he

18     did, from the ministry of economy.  Well, of course, he went to the

19     person responsible for normalizing life and who would make sense of his

20     job, and that was Mr. Cermak.

21             "We all referred to Mr. Cermak and asked for help for everything

22     necessary for life and work in Knin."

23             And he describes fully the meetings, who was present at the

24     meetings, what was discussed and their purposes of coordination so that

25     the various parts working in Knin could work in a way for the benefit of

Page 17816

 1     the community.

 2             Mr. Cermak's authority was clearly understood by him.

 3             "He was not superior to civil or military police.  I know that

 4     the police administration and police station, in whose jurisdiction the

 5     work of civil police was, were established on the 6th of August.  It was

 6     subordinated to the minister of the interior ... I know that the military

 7     police in Knin were directly subordinated to Lausic and Minister of

 8     Defence Susak.  Cermak couldn't command the civil or military police.  He

 9     didn't have that authority.  He could only ask them to do something for

10     him."

11             And you will see a report, where he listed the factories that

12     needed work and needed to be set up to get going, to benefit the

13     community, which he sent to Mr. Cermak.  And he also signed orders on

14     behalf of Mr. Cermak, as if coming from the Zborno Mjesto, from the

15     garrison, on tasks relating to getting the infrastructure working in

16     Knin.

17             And he says:  "I often went to the UN camp with Mr. Cermak.  We

18     were encouraging people who worked in these factories till the liberation

19     of Knin and who were qualified workers to leave the UN camp and return to

20     their old jobs in the factories and remain living in Knin."

21             And the Court will hear a protected witness still living in Knin

22     who was one of those people who left the camp, a Serb, who had a job in a

23     local business, and in the middle of August started working on just such

24     one of these initiatives, inspired by Mr. Rincic, with the assistance of

25     Mr. Cermak.  And that is the summary of his evidence.

Page 17817

 1             Other people attending the Knin garrison at that time.  Another

 2     witness, not part of Operation Oluja, who just went to Knin to help

 3     because he understood a dangerous situation concerning mines, munitions

 4     booby-traps that could have been left by the forces of the RSK, was

 5     Mr. Emin Teskeredzic, a bomb disposal expert.  You've seen documents

 6     relating to him and the munitions depot in Plavno, the repeater station

 7     elsewhere in the region.  You've seen him in relation to the fish farm.

 8     He is a professor of marine biology and it happened that he was down in

 9     Knin at that time, and as part of his cooperation with the garrison, in

10     furtherance of normalization of life undertook the cleaning and restoring

11     of the fish farm because they knew it could be a source of food for the

12     population at that time and later in the year, and had been neglected.

13             He describes in fact going around Knin when he was there, because

14     a Swiss lady came to the garrison and kept on saying that Knin was

15     heavily shelled.  Because of what she said:  "Her behaviour made me check

16     personally how many buildings were damaged by shelling.  I established

17     that in the whole Knin area there were only six houses hit by shells."

18             Something he did of his own initiative, and initiative was what

19     was called for down in Knin at this time, and initiative as to be

20     supplied by General Cermak to try and assist the local community.

21             When he arrived at the garrison on the 6th of August, he

22     understood Mr. Cermak's job from what he saw him doing, organising the

23     reconnection of infrastructure, which was not functional, and cooperating

24     with representatives of civil authorities.

25             "I also saw various delegations kept coming into his office

Page 17818

 1     constantly, officers of UNPROFOR, and foreign and domestic delegations.

 2             "I know that Mr. Cermak had meetings in his office every day.  I

 3     rarely attended.  I remember that at the meetings discussions were held

 4     on what was done in respect of issues of importance for the lack of

 5     electricity, water, garbage from the city, and other jobs.

 6             "I wasn't subordinated to Mr. Cermak but we worked together.  I

 7     helped anyone who needed help in relation to bomb disposal or checking

 8     the security and safety of an area."

 9             And he could see from his background in that particular branch of

10     the military, Mr. Cermak did not command the military units in that area

11     because it was not his task.  He was not an operational commander, and

12     the military police had their own line of command.

13             Well, a very consistent pattern, we submit, of the nature of

14     Mr. Cermak's role and function, further emphasised through another

15     witness, Goran Dodig, head of the Office for Inter-Ethnic Relations of

16     the Croatian government.  He is in one of the videos we have seen,

17     speaking outside the camp in Knin.  He went to see Mr. Cermak so that he

18     could liaise with him.  Prime Minister Valentic told him to go to Knin

19     and see what was going on there and "whether there was anything I could

20     do in accordance with the scope of my work."

21             "Prime Minister Valentic had told me, Mr. Cermak was in Knin and

22     we should do everything possible.  I never met Mr. Cermak before this.

23     Mr. Cermak said he'd come to Knin to help the restoration of civilian

24     authorities in a way that would establish normal life in the town as

25     quickly as possible, including the quality of life.  He told me he knew

Page 17819

 1     about me and that he knew the way I was thinking and he was pleased I had

 2     come because he lacked people."

 3             This man, in the previous years of the conflict, had spent his

 4     time attempting to negotiate between the Serbs and the Croats through

 5     international agencies and others to try and sort out differences.  He is

 6     a doctor and psychologist.

 7             He, because he had met Mr. Cermak, was aware that there were

 8     problems in the camp and the conditions of life were not good for the

 9     people.  So he went down to the camp as Mr. Cermak told him it might be a

10     good idea for him to go.  And when he went there, he met some of the

11     people who had formed a council, as a form of representation to the

12     Croatian authorities as to their needs and to create a dialogue.  And so

13     he spoke to those people, and they called themselves the Refugee Council,

14     and he tried to organise sanitation and medical materials for them at the

15     camp but he appreciated he had a difficult task.

16             But on the 9th of August, he visited the UN camp with Mr. Cermak

17     and Mr. Pasic, and that's the video that the Court has seen,

18     Exhibit D147, and you will see him talking outside the camp, and in it he

19     explains this was the first time he had seen Mr. Cermak at work, and he

20     was impressed by what he was trying to do for the people in the camp.

21     And part of the idea that they had at the meeting in the camp was that

22     people should have passes.  One has to remember that many of all of these

23     people would not have had forms of Croatian state identification and that

24     it was an important requirement, according to the law, and so passes were

25     thought of as a way of giving people temporary identification papers

Page 17820

 1     until they obtained official personal identification documents.  And that

 2     would also have been a means for people to have access to their homes,

 3     places of works, and elsewhere, and one of the reasons why those passes

 4     were introduced.

 5             Mr. Cermak left him with the impression of a man who came to do

 6     his work in a way he could and knew.  Primarily, he was not a soldier.

 7     He was a man who was a good organiser, hard working.  He saw problems

 8     quickly and brought solutions to try and remove the problems.  And,

 9     again, this is entirely consistent with the evidence that the Defence

10     have called -- have brought to the Court's attention in cross-examination

11     and will continue to pursue in the Defence case.

12             So those are some of the personnel down there in Knin at this

13     time.  We've taken it from the 4th of August, the appointment, the

14     meetings on the 6th of August, and one gets a very clear impression, as

15     the international military and police experts will tell you, that this is

16     not a man working in command of police and in command of military units.

17     It simply doesn't operate as a system like that, if this man is doing

18     these jobs and these tasks.  It's not how these structures work.

19             Not only that.  You will hear from the Croatian experts from

20     within the system who know the system.  General Feldi lectures on the

21     Croatian military.  He is responsible for writing the regulations that

22     you have seen this in court.  Mr. Kovacevic, responsible for writing the

23     military police regulations.  This Court will receive, for the first

24     time, authoritative evidence in our Defence case, which, we submit, was

25     sadly lacking in the previous year of this trial.

Page 17821

 1             Let's turn now to those who happened upon Mr. Cermak.  As I said,

 2     sometimes a good way to judge what someone is thinking or doing is by how

 3     they conduct themselves, how they present themselves.  Well, it so

 4     happens that the current president of Croatia, Mr. Mesic, visited Knin on

 5     a private visit, at that time, in opposition to the president,

 6     Mr. Tudjman.  But he undertook a private visit to Knin to find two Serb

 7     friends who he was anxious to see again and had not seen since the split

 8     of this area from the Republic of Croatia.

 9             Well, like everyone else, he treads that well-beaten path to the

10     door of the garrison, and he goes there because everyone knows

11     Mr. Cermak.  Some would say that was a good thing; others would say, it

12     has been to Mr. Cermak's misfortune to be so well-known and obliging and

13     helpful.  However, President Mesic, as he now is, went to the garrison.

14     And it was soon after Oluja.  He happened to know Mr. Cermak through a

15     mutual friend, who will also give evidence, Mr. Mladen Vedris.  He was

16     very familiar with Mr. Cermak 's personality, political views, and the

17     kind of person he was, as he spoke to him socially and saw him on

18     ordinary occasions.

19             "I know that Mr. Cermak was never a person with extreme political

20     views.  He accepted all people regardless of their nationality or

21     religious beliefs.  He seemed like a businessman and a person who was

22     capable of encouraging people within his close environment.  As a former

23     ministry of economy and entrepreneur, as well as a person with extensive

24     life experience, Mr. Cermak was capable of organising what was necessary

25     to restore the conditions for normal life in Knin.  I could understand

Page 17822

 1     the reasons why he was the man who was sent at that time."

 2             So when he went to see Mr. Cermak, what was Mr. Cermak concerned

 3     with?  Was he commanding all those hordes of units in paragraph 7 of the

 4     indictment, as this case has been presented?  Was he controlling any form

 5     of military at all from that garrison?  Or was it just as it was on the

 6     bottle, so to speak?  It was a place where steps were taken to bring a

 7     normal life to Knin.

 8             Well, let's see what he saw.

 9             "While I was in Knin I met Ivan Cermak.  He sincerely welcomed me

10     and we had lunch in the office.  During lunch we had a discussion about

11     the work he was doing in Knin.  He told me about the efforts needed to

12     restore all the public services in the town and what he was doing in

13     order to restore normal life for people in Knin."

14             And he explains the problems about how this area had been cut off

15     from the sovereignty of the state and many institutions were not present.

16     No institutions were present, there was no connectivity of this area

17     within the mainstream of its mother state, and in our submission, that's

18     a picture that is very necessary to emphasise in this case as to what the

19     problem was in the area that had been newly liberated and which the

20     president here puts in a very clear way.  "There were no shops, banks

21     post offices."

22             Nothing was connected to the mainstream of life.

23             "I remember our lunch was interrupted at least ten times by

24     people who addressed Mr. Cermak and asked for information about

25     electricity, water, transport of rubbish, the opening of a bakery shop,

Page 17823

 1     and other important issues concerning public services.  During all that

 2     time I spent with Mr. Cermak, he neither talked about military matters

 3     nor were such matters mentioned.  I was under the impression that his

 4     work was entirely civilian in nature."

 5             He visited Knin again, next time in September, as part of an

 6     official visit with the assistant commissioner of the Croatian government

 7     for Knin.  Nothing had changed on that second visit as to what Mr. Cermak

 8     was doing and what they discussed and the problems that he raised with

 9     them, and they raised with him.

10             So there, the small, spontaneous cameo picture that we submit

11     goes right to the heart and gives the answer to this case in a very clear

12     and positive way as to what Mr. Cermak was doing.

13             You've heard so far within this address some of the very positive

14     steps taken to help people who were in trouble and with problems.

15     Further evidence abounds within the Defence relating to that kind of

16     conduct by him which is the drawing together on a personal level of what

17     he did, as well as on a factual and legal level, as to what he was doing.

18             You will hear from a witness called Nadan Vidosevic, who at that

19     time was ministry of economy under Mr. Skegro, deputy prime minister who

20     was at Tuskanac on 5 August when Mr. Cermak was appointed, and this man

21     was the minister who approved that Mr. Rincic, who worked with the

22     garrison and was an assistant minister of economy, went and stayed in

23     Knin and worked with Mr. Cermak.  He explains very clearly, as you would

24     expect from his role, the problem that Croatia was facing in economic

25     logistic terms with this particular region.  650.000 refugees were

Page 17824

 1     displaced persons, accommodated along the Croatian coast-line.  That was

 2     15 percent of the Croatian population living outside of their homes.

 3     One-third of all refugees were people from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The

 4     Republic of Croatia was a devastated country, as he describes it, in

 5     1995.

 6             And he was keen to enable Mr. Rincic to work with Mr. Cermak and

 7     knew exactly what they were trying to do down there in this region.

 8             So this appointment and job of his is not some fanciful

 9     alternative the Defence have produced to try and explain a man's conduct

10     and what he was doing at the time.  It's actually based on fact evidence,

11     documents, as well as utterly reliable people of responsibility who are

12     keen to assist this Court get to the truth.

13             You will hear, again, from another witness, Mr. Vedris, a

14     spontaneous source of evidence in the same form as President Mesic.  He

15     was a -- the colleague and business partner, whom -- for a period, whom

16     Mr. Cermak and Mr. Mesic knew separately.  But they were linked together

17     and developed their contact and friendship of each other.

18             But he had an office in Zagreb in the same building as

19     Mr. Cermak.  And in August 1995, Mr. Cermak, on occasion, had to leave

20     Knin to go and attend to his private and personal affairs.

21             You will hear he just suddenly had to leave his business, which

22     still had to run.  It still had to have its decisions taken.  There still

23     had to be accounts prepared, and that required him to return to the

24     office.

25             Again, to assist the Court as to what they talked about and what

Page 17825

 1     was on Mr. Cermak's mind as an indicator of what he was doing, this has

 2     been included for reasons of how spontaneous it is in the same way as

 3     President Mesic.

 4             When Mr. Cermak was coming back from Knin, he had these

 5     conversations and they were linked to three points.  First, it was the

 6     communal issue to restore life; secondly, he had contacts with

 7     international institutions; and, thirdly, he was trying to get resources

 8     of certain ministries going so their sectors could start working in Knin.

 9     And he knew, because he had been the mayor of Zagreb, what it took to run

10     a city.  He had also been a person within the political world who had

11     been approached to become prime minister on previous occasions.  So a man

12     of great experience.

13             And what they were talking about was the civil side of life,

14     because that was Mr. Cermak's job.  And he was talking with him, because

15     of his experience as mayor, that it was going to be very difficult, under

16     the conditions, for Mr. Cermak to get the government and institutions

17     involved.  Cermak replied he wanted help and was trying to activate the

18     government, and explaining to them what was going on in Knin, and he

19     wanted to raise the level of awareness in Zagreb about what was happening

20     in Knin.

21             "He told me he felt frustrated because of these crimes and

22     because he could not adequately replay to the UN questions about the

23     crimes."

24             So there we are.  That is part of this section of evidence that

25     we hope will inform the Court.

Page 17826

 1             So what went wrong?  Why do we have this issue in the case that

 2     has not really been examined in any great detail in the course of the

 3     Prosecution as to why, on numerous occasions, people have said this was

 4     not a planned military series of operations or conduct or a deliberate

 5     military policy to drive these people from their homes by committing

 6     crimes?  Why do we have this issue of the civilians being responsible?

 7     Why do we have this issue as to it being a natural and spontaneous

 8     revenge by those who had earlier suffered?  Because that's what was said

 9     on many occasions to those UN interrogators in 1995 and what is the

10     explanation given by many of the parties who were present and involved in

11     those events.

12             Well, why?  And we will be providing the Court evidence through

13     the 92 bis evidence system of other trials in this building, relating to

14     crimes committed in the period from 1991 to 1995 by the Serb population

15     in this area against the Croatian population.  And the Court will hear,

16     will be able to read, no doubt it will be summarised at some stage, about

17     the destruction, burning, looting, destruction of religious cultural

18     monuments, torture, shelling, and killing of civilians to drive them out

19     of the area.  This problem was not, in our submission, looked at or

20     considered in any detail in the Prosecution case.

21             But that picture given by Minister Vidosevic of 650.000 people

22     down on that coast-line, all waiting to get back to their homes, who've

23     heard the stories of what had been happening since 1991, who had

24     experienced themselves what had happened, who had had relatives who

25     experienced what had happened, in our submission, provide the basis for

Page 17827

 1     the reasonable inference that the assertions made by Mr. Cermak and

 2     others at the time, that civilians bent on revenge were largely

 3     responsible is not unreasonable.  Virtually every single one of these

 4     witnesses will be able to give you their own story of speaking to someone

 5     who wanted to take it out on someone else, from senior people to ordinary

 6     people.

 7             Mr. Skegro tells quite pointedly the account of speaking to a

 8     neighbour on an island who had spent his whole time saying what he was

 9     going to do to those who driven from his home and burnt down his family

10     home.  And as he said, I couldn't reason with him.  We don't know whether

11     he did, but that -- that was the frame of mind, and this aspect of the

12     case, we submit, is essential and needs to be explained and brought to

13     life so that the Court can see that these expressions are not

14     unreasonable views.

15             The UN or internationals may have disagreed, but to disagree

16     doesn't make you responsible in some way, because you don't hold the same

17     point of view.  There were clear grounds to justify those statements made

18     by Mr. Cermak and others.  Not that they were exclusively blaming

19     civilians.  He said some military units may be involved, some police.

20     Others would say the same.  It's not an attempt to provide a whole

21     blanket of explanation and be blind to the truth.  But what we say here

22     is that the grounds for what happened have not been properly looked at

23     and will certainly be, as all three Defence cases emerge in this trial in

24     the remaining time, an explanation of what happened.

25             And in the last part of my presentation to the Court, there will

Page 17828

 1     be a section of witnesses for whom protective measures are to be sought,

 2     so I will not refer to them by name.  They're from Knin, and they give

 3     their account as to how they came to the camp when Operation Oluja

 4     started, and people took shelter.

 5             None of them state that -- that Knin was devastated or bombed out

 6     of recognition.  They all say that there was slight bombing and slight

 7     damage near military or government installations.  The most that they saw

 8     amongst them were two or three places that were damaged.  Teskeredzic, as

 9     I told you, counted six when he went around the town.  And all of them

10     will tell you how they came to get to the UN camp, and that was at a time

11     when they were taking shelter with others in basements, and the talk

12     amongst everybody was about going to Serbia, the planned evacuation.

13     That was -- that was on the mind of everybody, that there was to be a

14     planned evacuation.  And, in fact, as one witness will tell you, the RSK

15     forces were telling people when to leave their shelter, and they decided

16     to remain and not leave.  In fact, one of those witnesses was in the same

17     shelter as Martic.

18             Interestingly enough, the planned exodus of people to Serbia,

19     when they knew that the days of the RSK were up, happened.  These people

20     stayed behind.  They got to the camp when they emerged on the 5th from

21     their various and distinct basements and they came across Croatian

22     forces.  They all gathered, on the 5th, at various points and they were

23     told that it would be better off for their safety if they went to the

24     UN camp.  And so transport was arranged.  So no issue of being removed

25     from the area, taken out, but for reasons of personal safety, quite

Page 17829

 1     understandable, the Court may think, in the circumstances of where there

 2     has been a conflict and a war, that that is a reasonable place for people

 3     to take shelter.

 4             What are the risks if the army had left them to remain at large?

 5     Well, they could get damaged in any activity if any RSK forces remained

 6     there and were fighting with the Croatian forces.  There was no certainty

 7     of outcome, and all military operations have to be carefully planned and

 8     to take into account contingencies.  So all these witnesses went to that

 9     camp for their safety and they did not think that that was unreasonable.

10             And when they went to the camp, they were aware of a distinct

11     contingent of people, advising others to go to Serbia, because they knew

12     the option was remaining either in Croatia or going to Serbia.  Many

13     people took the Serbian option.  These decided to stay.  They got their

14     passes.  They went out of the camp to their homes, and they went and

15     started working, and -- in their various places, which I will not

16     describe because of the request for protective measures.

17             And, again, there you have it.  This is the end product of that

18     line of normalization of life where people are being looked at to open

19     factories, get back to their warehouses, get to their hospital and start

20     treating people.  This was the end product of why General Cermak had been

21     sent down to Knin and why he was coordinating and liaising with those

22     people out of the garrison.

23             We submit that this is very important evidence.  Again, it -- it

24     contradicts the concept of the joint criminal enterprise, and, again, I'm

25     going to refer to one more witness who has a cameo story which

Page 17830

 1     contradicts the JCE.

 2             He has made three statements to the OTP, the Prosecution, in

 3     which he described how people in his area where he lived in Plavno were

 4     killed by some Croatian forces.  So three statements on that matter.  And

 5     that witness, then, one could take it, as a Serb giving those statements,

 6     would be no lover of anyone in Croatian authority.

 7             But he tells, again, another of those accounts which go to show

 8     what General Cermak was doing.  In mid-August, Croatian police came to

 9     his door and asked whether he and his wife had registered and whether

10     they had identification passes.  They hadn't, so they went to Knin.  And

11     they went to the garrison.  And there, they introduced themselves and

12     spoke to soldiers.  They were told, General Cermak's been looking for

13     you.  And so this elderly gentleman, now in his 80s, went to see

14     General Cermak.  That time in his late 70s.  And the first thing that

15     General Cermak said, How are you, young man?  Sit down.  I'm looking for

16     you because I have been contacted by your family and they're anxious that

17     you and your wife -- to find out if they are well.  And that was it.  So

18     for an hour he spoke with General Cermak, told him about his

19     circumstances.  This man had his arm broken by the RSK forces just before

20     the 4th of August, when they were getting people to leave the area, and

21     so he had to go to hospital.

22             So what did General Cermak do with this gentleman?  He arranged

23     that food was delivered every week from Knin to this remote area of

24     Plavno so that he and his neighbours were provided with food and the

25     necessities of life.

Page 17831

 1             A touching story.  He will tell you as well that when he heard

 2     General Cermak was being taken to The Hague, he went to the newspapers to

 3     complain and said, I will go to The Hague to speak on his behalf.  And,

 4     fortunately he was traced and if he is well enough and fit enough, we

 5     should be able to get him here.  Otherwise, we invite the Court to listen

 6     to him by videolink.

 7             A very touching story.  And as we say, undercuts entirely the

 8     substance and intentions behind this Prosecution because that is the

 9     truth of the matter, that's what General Cermak was doing on a daily

10     basis, not this joint criminal enterprise, as described by the

11     Prosecution.

12             Thank you, Your Honours.  That is the finish of my opening

13     statement.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Kay.

15             I'm looking at the clock and I'm wondering, Mr. Mikulicic,

16     whether you would prefer to start today.  We'll hear no witnesses

17     tomorrow.  So whether you would like to -- because you had asked for the

18     number of hours we could not complete today.

19             MR. MIKULICIC:  I'm afraid not, Your Honour.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm not -- we have the time.  So I leave it your

21     hands whether you'd like to do it in one --

22             MR. MIKULICIC:  Your Honour, I would be preferring the position

23     of my opening statement to be not restricted by time today so that I can

24     going up from tomorrow morning in a contents, I mean, not it disrupt the

25     statement.

Page 17832

 1             I would prefer that situation but, of course --

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  No, no --

 3             MR. MIKULICIC:  -- it is up to Your Honour to decide.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  We will not lose anything if we would allow you to

 5     give your whole opening statement tomorrow.

 6             I will just confer with my colleagues.

 7                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic, the total of time you would need

 9     was ...

10             MR. MIKULICIC:  Was one session.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  One session.

12             MR. MIKULICIC:  That means an hour and a half.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Hour and a half.  Yes.  Then of course you could not

14     start, if we could continue today, any earlier than ten minutes past 6.00

15     which would leave you 50 minutes.  Then it would -- I do agree with that

16     you it's more -- it's better for you and better for the Court to hear it

17     not interrupted by 12 hours.  If you would need, you said one session.

18     If you would not be able to finish it in one session, at least we would

19     have only a break of --

20             MR. MIKULICIC:  Yes.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  -- 25 minutes rather than having to catch up

22     tomorrow morning on what you started today.

23             Therefore, we will allow to you start tomorrow morning.

24             MR. MIKULICIC:  I'm grateful, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  One little question, Mr. Kay, for my part.

Page 17833

 1             I know most of the words that are spoken in this courtroom but

 2     the word "cameo" is not -- I'm not entirely familiar with, and under

 3     those circumstances, I tried to use some resources but to say that that

 4     helps me very much, no.

 5             Could you explain to us what you meant by a "cameo story," for

 6     example.  I think you used the word twice.

 7             MR. KAY:  Yes, and it was for a particular reason.  Cameo role

 8     you hear of as a little picture, and so in a drama or a play someone has

 9     a cameo role --

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

11             MR. KAY:  -- like the grave diggers in Hamlet.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, now I understood how you use this word.  I'D

13     rather ask what I do not know, Mr. Kay.

14             One other thing came to my mind when listening to you, and I'm

15     actually also looking in the direction of the Prosecution.  You spoke

16     about a lot of things where we'll hear evidence on and what your concerns

17     are in the 98 bis decision.  There is, however, one area where I wondered

18     to what extent there is big dispute about, and that's what happened

19     between 1991 and 1995, where you said, The events may explain what has

20     happened.

21             Now, I do understand that the parties will not easily agree on

22     whether this explains what happened.  But what happened from 1991 to

23     1995, of course, you could argue about whether there were 625 refugees or

24     whether there were 585.000 -- 625.000 or 585.000 refugees, and whether it

25     was a small area at the Dalmatian coast or whether it was a bit wider.

Page 17834

 1     But I wondered to what extent the parties could agree or compromise on, I

 2     would say, the main body.  Not to say that not -- no evidence should be

 3     presented, but for the way of presenting the evidence it might well be

 4     that further discussions between the parties would make it possible to,

 5     at least from a factual point of view, to know about the events which you

 6     say may explain what happened.  And even if the Prosecution would not

 7     agree with that, whether that explains what happened, whether it caused

 8     civilians to do all kind of things.

 9             You could perhaps agree on what had happened during those years.

10     Or, if not in full, to find out where there is some common ground and

11     that additional details, where you disagree, that then, of course, the

12     Cermak Defence would present its evidence.

13             That is a thought that came into my mind, and I would invite,

14     Mr. Waespi, the Prosecution, to seriously think about it, and if it gives

15     any opening to explore possibilities, because, as always, matters that

16     are not really in dispute should be mentioned, should be presented, but

17     can sometimes be presented in such a way that it takes less time in court

18     without affecting in any way the information the Chamber receives.

19             We will adjourn for the day.  We will resume tomorrow, the

20     29th of May, 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom I.

21                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.55 p.m.,

22                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day of May,

23                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.