Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18798

 1                           Thursday, 18 June 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone.

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

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning to

 8     everyone in the courtroom.  This is case number IT-06-90-T, the

 9     Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

11             Assuming that there are no procedural issues, I would like the

12     witness to be escorted into the courtroom.

13                           [The witness entered court]

14             MR. MISETIC:  Good morning, Mr. President.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning.

16             MR. MISETIC:  I'm just concerned that my case manager wasn't

17     here, but ...

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

19                           WITNESS:  MILE MRKSIC [Resumed]

20                           [The witness answered through interpreter]

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning, Mr. Mrksic.  Please be seated.

23             Mr. Mrksic, a few reminders.  First, you are still bound by the

24     solemn declaration you gave yesterday at the beginning of your testimony.

25     Second, if Mr. Misetic raises his hands, it's not necessarily that he

Page 18799

 1     wants you to stop, but perhaps to slow down, and it's not because we

 2     don't want to hear your answer.  To the contrary, we want to hear your

 3     answer, but we need the interpreters for that.  So please follow

 4     Mr. Misetic and then wait for a while.  If he then puts his next question

 5     to you, that would mean that you've answered his question.  If not, he'll

 6     give you a sign that you can continue.  Third, if, and I just give an

 7     example, Mr. Misetic asks you by what means of transportation you came

 8     here, you can just say, I came by car, I came by plane, I came by train.

 9     There's no need, at that moment, to tell us what the colour of the car

10     was, whether it was a Fiat or it was a Volkswagen.  If he's interested to

11     know about the colour, he'll certainly ask you.  So try to keep your

12     answers focused very much on the questions, keep them short.  If we need

13     more details, we'll ask you about it.

14             Is that clear to you?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's clear, Your Honour.

16             Following the experience I had yesterday, and it was the first

17     time I found myself in such a situation, I suppose I will be able to give

18     answers slowly to everyone's delight, I hope.  And I would like to cover

19     all of the ground.  I do have a feeling at times that I'm being

20     interrupted at the moment when I'm trying to say something I believe

21     could be helpful both for Misetic and everyone else.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's try to find a balance.  Let's first focus on

23     the question as it was put to you.  It's not criticism.  It's just trying

24     to assist and to help you in using our time in this court as efficiently

25     as possible.

Page 18800

 1             Mr. Misetic, please proceed.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I ask you this:  I

 3     was given a warning that I shouldn't be talking to this and other person

 4     or phone anyone.  Am I entitled to give a phone call to my wife and

 5     family and inquire if they're well?  I don't want to discuss the case.  I

 6     just want to let them know that I'm feeling well and that I'm in good

 7     health.

 8             I do understand your instructions, but I haven't been speaking to

 9     either the other inmates or my wife, the lawyer is not here, and I'm

10     becoming mute.  That's what I -- that's how I understood your warning, at

11     any rate.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  You can talk to anyone, as long as it not in any way

13     relates to the fact that you're giving testimony and the substance of

14     your testimony.  But if you want to talk about the weather, the food, or

15     your health with your family, that's fine.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.  Thank you.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

18                           Examination by Mr. Misetic:  [Continued]

19        Q.   Good morning again, General Mrksic.

20             Mr. Registrar, if we could have on the screen again, please,

21     Exhibit D1465, at English page 210.

22             General Mrksic, I'm going to pick up where we left off yesterday,

23     and we're going to go back to this meeting at the end of June in Belgrade

24     about the operation in the Bihac pocket.

25             Now, you see there, towards the middle of the page "JS," whom

Page 18801

 1     yesterday you said was Jovica Stanisic, in talking about this operation,

 2     and it's page 215 in the B/C/S.  If we go down to "JS":

 3             "I can find 120 perfect men who would come there in seven days.

 4     They would be from the eastern sector - that is support."

 5             And then it says:

 6             "They should not be engaged ..."

 7             And then if we can turn the page please.  Then again it says:

 8             "JS:  Mr. Stanisic, let Mladic arrange it with the 1st and 2nd

 9     Krajina corps, and find them to replace the 400 of Pecanac's men and give

10     them to Mrksic.  That we form a battalion of volunteers and engage them

11     in ten days - that General Perisic equips them.  There are 58, from

12     Kragujevac, Nis, Ljubiskovo."

13             This is the next page in the B/C/S, I understand.

14             Now, General Mrksic, first of all, in preparing this operation,

15     do you recall conversations in Belgrade during these meetings about the

16     transfer of men from, let's say, the command of General Mladic's army and

17     transferring them to your command for purposes of this operation?

18        A.   I do remember it being mentioned.  But specifically who was

19     supposed to be issued this assignment and what it involved, sending whom

20     to whom, I don't remember.  This is the first time I see the mention of

21     Kragujevac, Ljubiskovo.  I don't remember that at all.  I don't remember

22     at all -- well, this is a piece of paper, an arrangement, and many times,

23     as far as I can remember, such arrangements came to nothing.  I can tell

24     you about what I did in Slunj, what I formed in Slunj.  I don't remember

25     there being any Pecanac around, I don't know the man, and I couldn't know

Page 18802

 1     to begin with because I didn't go to see them over there.

 2        Q.   I understand.  Let me ask you this question:  At these meetings,

 3     who has the authority to transfer -- you said it was discussed, but

 4     you're not sure if it was ever implemented.  Who had the authority to

 5     transfer men from the Army of the VRS to the Army of the ARSK?

 6        A.   I think that certain police units were involved, and it was

 7     within the competence of the Ministry of Republika Srpska.  I am not

 8     familiar with their system of command.  Normally, the army that was under

 9     Mladic's control and command would not come to my -- under my authority.

10     Those must have been MUP or SUP units.

11        Q.   What I'm asking you about specifically is the line that says:

12             "Let Mladic arrange it with the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps."

13             The 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps refers to the corps of the VRS;

14     correct?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   " ... and find men to replace the 400 of Pecanac's men and give

17     them to Mrksic."

18             Now --

19        A.   This was not done.  I don't remember it being done.

20        Q.   Whether it was done or not, my question to you is:  Who had the

21     authority to do it, if they were going to do it?

22        A.   I assume -- well, I don't know who this person Pecanac was,

23     whether he was from the MUP or the VRS.  More likely he was from the MUP.

24     Some other forces were supposed to be found to replace his.  The MUP and

25     the VRS controlled the same front-line, just as was the case in the

Page 18803

 1     Republic of Croatia.  You wouldn't have a situation where the MUP would

 2     be holding separate territory from that of the VRS.  It must have been

 3     regrouping that took place.

 4        Q.   My question is:  Who had the authority to subordinate forces of

 5     the VRS or of the RS MUP to you?

 6        A.   It must have been resolved by the president, because the MUP came

 7     under the president or the Ministry of the Interior.  I don't know who

 8     was the minister at the time.  They strictly took care to keep their own,

 9     and I'm talking about the MUP and the army.

10        Q.   The president of which entity?

11        A.   Republika Srpska, since Pecanac and these forces were involved.

12        Q.   That would be Mr. Karadzic; correct?

13        A.   Yes, or his minister of the interior, if he authorised him to do

14     so.

15        Q.   Now, the next entry says:

16             "Mrksic:  Let us pay this corps.  Four million came, but I don't

17     know where four is."

18             Can you recall what you were referring to when you said "four

19     million came"?

20        A.   Well, this is the conversations that we did not finish that we

21     had in Karadjordjevo.  I mean, we did not finish because you interrupted

22     me.  Had I told you the entire story, you wouldn't have to put this

23     question to me now.

24             After my appointment as commander, at the meeting in

25     Karadjordjevo I laid out my concept - Mladic was there as well - as to

Page 18804

 1     how we should set up the army.  I wasn't able to do that merely on the

 2     basis of fine words.  I needed money for that.  The president said, Well,

 3     you have Djeletovci there and pumps that work there.  Where is this money

 4     going to?  So they managed to get hold of some funds that enabled me to

 5     pay for specialists within the corps at Slunj.  I managed to pay out the

 6     first salaries, and I transferred the funds to the budgets of the

 7     Republic of Serbian Krajina, which was suddenly revived, thanks to that.

 8     Of course, it was the federal organs that authorised the transfer of

 9     funds through the SDK, not me.

10             This is nothing to do with the operation.  I merely took an

11     opportunity at this meeting to raise this issue.  Do you understand now?

12     It has nothing to do with this particular meeting.  I merely abused, if

13     you will, the meeting to raise this issue, because he had made this

14     promise to me in Karadjordjevo that he did not follow up on.  And I

15     asked, Where's the money, who put the money away?

16        Q.   Okay.  Now, eventually after this meeting an operation was

17     undertaken in the Bihac pocket; do you recall that?

18        A.   Yes.  I think the name was "Match" or "Sword," or something of

19     the sort.

20        Q.   And can you tell us whether you achieved your objectives in

21     launching that operation?

22        A.   I had a twofold goal, I personally.  Well, I was given the

23     assignment, but my aim was to see how these professionals of mine would

24     fare.  It was like a drilling exercise to me or a demonstration.  There

25     was the entire battalion or a check-point of Polish members of UNPROFOR

Page 18805

 1     who admired the professional side of it.  I did not want to make this

 2     breakthrough in order to incur losses, but rather I wanted to conquer the

 3     forces of the 5th Corps.  You see, the Pauk command had 10.000 men under

 4     their command, and they had expanded their territory.  The expansion of

 5     the territory was in my favour because I gained depth, which would prove

 6     useful in the case the Republic of Croatia refused any sort of peace

 7     settlements.  I would have this depth where I would be able to protect

 8     ordinary people and allow them to pull out.

 9             In 1994, we -- at the time when people and the army of

10     Fikret Abdic had fled from the area, we received them, and this was done

11     in World War II as well.

12             I would like you to understand why this balance of power was

13     created.  You might not be familiar with this.  When there were

14     offensives taking place -- well, you're not allowing me to proceed.  All

15     right.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  No, no.  Let me again stress, we want --

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's history I'm referring to, but

18     it will not harm anyone.  I just wanted to present to you the fact that

19     it was not the whim of the politics of the time.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Always keep a close eye on Mr. Misetic, because he

21     tries to perform two tasks.  The first is to slow you down in such a way

22     that we are able to hear what you want to tell us, and, second, to keep

23     your answers within the limits Mr. Misetic thinks is useful for us to

24     know.

25             Please proceed.

Page 18806

 1             MR. MISETIC:

 2        Q.   Let me just try to explain something to you, in terms of why it's

 3     good if you try to keep your answers focused on my questions.

 4             You obviously have a lot of information on every question I can

 5     pose to you.  I'm aware of that.  But from your perspective, the longer

 6     answers --

 7        A.   [No interpretation]

 8        Q.   No, no, no.  The longer the answers are that give to every

 9     question, the longer you're going to be here.

10        A.   Yes, yes, the visit on the 24th.

11        Q.   Exactly.  Try to keep those answers short and strictly to the

12     question.  We will be done faster.  Okay.

13             I lost my train of thought now.

14        A.   [In English] Excuse me. [Interpretation] That wasn't my

15     intention, to do that.

16        Q.   My question is:  In terms of trying to gain depth, how much

17     depth -- what was the purpose of the operation in terms of how much depth

18     you wanted to gain?

19        A.   My forces got into the territory -- 2 kilometres into the

20     territory.  They crossed the Korana, which was the frontier, and reached

21     the first elevation points near the village of -- and that's where they

22     stopped.  They didn't advance any further.  This was not the goal.  The

23     goal or the objectives were into the depth in the next mountain range,

24     where there were Pauk members present.  There I realised that the Dinara

25     was the problem and I aborted this action.

Page 18807

 1        Q.   Let me ask you, I'm not referring just to forces that maybe were

 2     under the ARSK command.  What was the objective in terms of the depth for

 3     the Pauk command, Fikret Abdic's forces and your forces?  How far did you

 4     want to reach, all three of you?

 5        A.   The assignment was not to touch Bihac.  Bihac was a protected

 6     zone.  The instruction was not to irritate the international community.

 7     This was a protected area.  It was an assignment to the VRS.  Another

 8     instruction was that towns should not be touched, not even Cazin, which

 9     was within range; rather, only the villages which had, through their

10     delegations, spoken their mind to Fikret Abdic in terms of them wanting

11     to cross and go under his authority.  I don't know how they settled this

12     issue, what their dealings were.  I had only heard that several of the

13     villages had decided to join him.

14             We weren't supposed to go radically and destroy the 5th Corps.

15     Besides, we didn't have the forces to do that.  But the corps was in a

16     very bad way, and not because of combat activities, but because

17     marketeering and smuggling activities had been stopped.  But we haven't

18     even approached that topic yet.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Staying on this topic for a minute, if we could go

20     back to Exhibit D923, please, the second-to-last page in the English.

21        Q.   General Mrksic, this is that report from the 26th of August sent

22     to the chief of the Main Staff of the Yugoslav Army.  It's right under

23     the section in the B/C/S that begins under point 19.

24             Now, I'm asking you this in the context of these meetings at the

25     end of June.  The second paragraph there under point 19, you write, on

Page 18808

 1     the 26th of August:

 2             "The Army of the Serbian Krajina was and still is considered a

 3     part of the VJ, Yugoslav Army.  It was doing everything it could, but it

 4     has remained isolated.  We think that the Main Staff of the Yugoslav Army

 5     should have supported development of the Army of the Serbian Krajina in a

 6     more courageous and determined way."

 7             Now, can you explain that concept of the Army of the Serbian

 8     Krajina was and still is considered a part of the VJ?

 9        A.   I told you yesterday that it was the first time I saw the

10     document.  The Army of Republika Srpska was an independent body, and it

11     was not merely a branch of the VJ.  I wasn't submitting reports to

12     Perisic.  I was on equal footing both with him and Mladic.  We were three

13     systems.  We weren't three united peoples in one state, and there wasn't

14     one person commanding over three front-lines.  Simply, they were a

15     brother nation, and I would appeal to them for their assistance in order

16     to make sure that their brethren survived.  I didn't write this.  These

17     are not my conclusions.

18        Q.   Let me take you back to what you said earlier today at page 7,

19     lines 22 and 23, when I was asking you about the Operation Match or

20     Sword.  Your answer was:

21             "I had a twofold goal, I personally.  Well, I was given the

22     assignment, but my aim was to see how these professionals of mine would

23     fare."

24             Now, if you're three separate armies, and you are the chief --

25        A.   [No interpretation]

Page 18809

 1        Q.   -- if you are the chief, the commander of the Main Staff, who is

 2     giving you the assignment?

 3        A.   Martic, the supreme commander, was giving me my assignments.

 4        Q.   And Martic, who was he receiving his instructions from?

 5        A.   As for his instructions, we would have -- those assignments would

 6     be discussed by the Supreme Council to assist whether they were in favour

 7     or detrimental to the Republic of the Serbian Krajina and to see what the

 8     objective would gain us.

 9             There were general tasks which were imposed by

10     President Milosevic, who was an authority for all Serbian lands.  To that

11     effect, we were not, in fact, economically able to do anything without

12     assistance.  And assistance to Fikret Abdic was along those lines, in

13     fact, to help the people gain depth, gain the area, where the people

14     could flee if need be, God forbid.  And I personally reckoned with 10.000

15     people, 10.000 combatants of Fikret Abdic.  My back was more secure in

16     that case than if I had had a 5th Corps at my command, because Slunj was

17     there in the area.

18        Q.   Let me show you a different document, General Mrksic.

19             This is Exhibit D953, Mr. Registrar.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  The 5th Corps behind

21     my back, not at my command.

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   Now, let me just ask you for one clarification of your answer.

24     Page 12, lines 9 and 10, you say:

25             "There were general tasks which were imposed by

Page 18810

 1     President Milosevic, who was an authority for all Serb lands."

 2             Is that correct?

 3        A.   I don't see where that is.

 4        Q.   No, no.  I'm looking at your last answer on the transcript at

 5     page 12, lines 9 and 10.  Ignore the document on the screen for a minute.

 6        A.   It's not there.

 7        Q.   You answered the last question -- when I asked you who was Martic

 8     receiving his instructions from, you answered at page 12, lines 9 and 10:

 9             "There are general tasks which were imposed by

10     President Milosevic, who was an authority for all Serbs lands."

11             Is that correct?

12        A.   Well, for the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, he

13     was an authority, and I admit that because I told you what was the

14     assignment that he had issued me in Karadjordjevo.  That is the essence,

15     that is the long-term concept, which was in effect until the fall of the

16     Krajina.  And when I spoke about those tasks, my task was for the -- to

17     change the consciousness of the leadership of the Republic of Serbian

18     Krajina by strengthening the army and by joint action and by unity of the

19     MUP and the army, and by annulling some paramilitary units in the

20     villages, in the surrounding area, which would create problems for their

21     commanders, looting, taking away vehicles from UNPROFOR.  And my task was

22     to prevent all that and to actually clean up the act of the commanders

23     who would have free lunches and dinners in certain cafes.  The leaders

24     would go to the different positions.  Television crews would follow them

25     and film their activities.  We wanted to achieve unity of the people and

Page 18811

 1     the leadership.  The aim was to adopt a new position, because we were

 2     aware of the fact that we were unable to defend ourselves at that point.

 3        Q.   Well, let me ask you, on this document on the screen at page 2 in

 4     the English, this is a report from Mr. Kosta Novakovic, who was an

 5     assistant commander of yours; correct?

 6             If we could turn the page, please, and --

 7        A.   Yeah, for morale.

 8        Q.   Sorry.  It's on the first page in the B/C/S now, just so you've

 9     seen the note on the bottom.  And if we could go back.

10             Now, in speaking of these operations and Operation Sword in

11     Western Bosnia, Mr. Novakovic writes to the Special Units Corps Command,

12     and he says:

13             "Our side, the operations in that area, is presented in the media

14     as inter-Muslim conflicts and is denying the participation of the SVK in

15     these operations, a position we are still holding."

16             Now, why was the SVK denying its role in the operations in the

17     Bihac pocket?

18        A.   Well, one shouldn't boast about it.  After all, in a way, that

19     was crossing the River Korana to the other side, to the territory, and

20     this involved these divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The Republican

21     border, the Republican frontier, was there.

22             This was not characteristic only of us.  This is typical of all

23     warfare and of all troops, and this is an excess and one shouldn't

24     actually boast about it.

25        Q.   Let me ask you, this operation in Western Bosnia, in the Bihac

Page 18812

 1     pocket, what was it that caused you to abandon your goals in that area?

 2        A.   We abandoned our goals in that area because, as I learned later

 3     through the system, there had been reached an agreement -- some sort of

 4     agreement in Split where it was approved to block Western Bosnia, and

 5     there was a rapid penetration of HVO forces and Croatian forces from

 6     Livanjsko Polje towards Grahovo.  So normally every commander is aware of

 7     the fact that he will lose his battle, that he will lose everything, if

 8     that were to materialise.  So I urgently withdrew those forces and sent

 9     them there, but I was ordered -- I was requested, and I was already angry

10     by that time, because I wanted to get out with my forces and emerge at

11     Grahovo with my forces and my staff.  I wanted to defend that direction

12     from Pejulja [phoen] and onwards, but I received a telegram to the

13     effect, You are prohibited from commanding on our territory.

14        Q.   Who --

15        A.   I could not find Milovanovic, the general, anywhere.  When I went

16     to see Martic to reach an agreement up there, he would flee and no one

17     could find him, he was nowhere to be found.  They were dealing with other

18     issues then.

19        Q.   And at some point the combined forces of the Croatian Army and

20     the HVO seized Grahovo; correct?  You're aware of that?

21             Explain to the Court, from your perspective, what it meant for

22     you when the Croatian Army seized Grahovo.

23        A.   Yes, I can explain that.  Thank you for this question.

24             The Republic of the Serbian Krajina, in all its war plans, and

25     you did not allow me to expand on that question, but to tell you what I

Page 18813

 1     did when I returned from Karadjordjevo, and if there is time, I would

 2     like to expound that so that you will see what happened when Grahovo was

 3     conquered.

 4             When I perceived the possibilities and the free forces and what

 5     my range of action -- what range of action was feasible for me, given my

 6     systems, all the towns in Croatia were within my range, I asked the

 7     commanders, Why would you open fire that you cannot observe?  Prepare

 8     your concepts so that you actually engage targets that you can see,

 9     because we do not have 10 or 15 rounds of ammunition, but we have

10     somewhere around 0.5.  So there was a change of the war plan, in terms of

11     the use of ammunition and pieces, to reinforce the forward end and to

12     rectify all mistakes in engineering works, the breaching of roads, the

13     firing systems improvement, the engineer works, then to change our

14     targets and not to shell settlements and inhabited places, Karlovac,

15     Zagreb, Zadar, and towns which was within range of an M-84 cannon.

16             Next, now I was in position, namely, immediately after returning

17     from Slunj, the operation which I discontinued, I asked the corps

18     commander in Knin, Who is defending Knin for you?  He replied, No one,

19     Knin is a free city.  And I said, What do you mean, where are your

20     positions?  And he said, We never made any positions.  The Knin Brigade

21     is defending the area towards Split.  And I was amazed, because simply

22     from up there, forces came -- HV forces came, they occupied the firing

23     positions, and they had Knin as in the palm of their hands.  In Knin,

24     there were no troops, there were no men, there were just women and

25     children.  So I tried to do something with those women, but of course it

Page 18814

 1     all came to nothing.

 2             When the aggression started, simply prior to the commencement of

 3     the aggression, I returned the special units to Slunj to be able to

 4     intervene to be able to prevent the lines from being cut off at that

 5     direction and near Glina.

 6             This was a shock, the arrival of these forces.  I went by

 7     helicopter to an area below Dinara and tried to see what could be done,

 8     together with Commander Martic.  We asked for assistance from

 9     Republika Srpska, but that was to no avail at all, not to mention the

10     joint meeting of the Supreme Command which took place prior to the very

11     aggression.  We didn't know whether it would be the 4th or the 5th.  We

12     were expecting the attack, and the attack did happen, it happened on the

13     4th.  It found me in a house in town where I had been relocated,

14     transferred by them.

15             So this is -- actually, my war plan failed, in my eyes.  It was a

16     great surprise, but it should not have been a surprise, but it was one

17     because someone let it happen.

18             I will say more about it, if you allow me, later.

19        Q.   We will get into it a little bit, and I want to go back now for

20     one second.

21             Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit 65 ter 1D1069, please.

22             Now, this -- if we could go to the signature page, this looks

23     like a document issued by you on the 1st of June, 1995, General Mrksic.

24        A.   Radunovic, Colonel Radunovic.  I'd have to read it; I don't know

25     what this is about.  And I do not recall this particular Colonel;

Page 18815

 1     Radulakovic [phoen], Milan?  The chief of the ONO, which is operations

 2     and training -- is a general, not a colonel, General Sekulic, in fact.

 3     This is not mine.  I don't remember this.  I don't remember this man.

 4     Let's see what it is that he wrote and why you need this.

 5        Q.   Well, let me ask you -- and let's look at point 5 in this

 6     document.  It says:

 7             "Corps commands in their areas shall device civilian protection

 8     measures, assign municipal organs and local communes to organise

 9     evacuation and accommodation and food supplies for the population (women,

10     children and the elderly) from the potential areas of operations."

11             And then the bottom penultimate paragraph:

12             "Soldiers and the officers of the RSK, we are entering the

13     concluding phase of accomplishing our national aims, and we must not

14     allow any further losses of people or territory.  The RSK is more

15     important than the interests and rights of individuals, and that is why I

16     am aware of my responsibility and the measures I am taking."

17             Now, do you recall issuing an order similar to this on or about

18     the 1st of June?

19        A.   No, no, I never issued anything of the kind.  That is not my

20     style, and whoever wrote this, and I don't know why they wrote this,

21     really did not deal with local communes or municipalities.  This is not

22     my style of expression or of writing, nor is it my document, nor do I

23     know that colonel.

24             But you did not permit me to tell you about everything that I had

25     undertaken and all the measures that I had taken so that you could see

Page 18816

 1     what we did.  There were things that I organised, but as part of tactical

 2     exercises.

 3        Q.   You will have plenty of opportunity, General Mrksic, and I'm

 4     trying to take this step by step.  And, believe me, we will get to

 5     everything that we need to cover.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I would ask the exhibit be marked,

 7     and I tender it into evidence.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is no document of mine.  You

 9     can admit it all you like.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Just a moment.

11             Mr. Russo.

12             MR. RUSSO:  Mr. President, I'm having problems with my

13     microphone.  There we go.

14             I will object to the admission, Mr. President.  The witness has

15     clearly not given the foundation for the document, and no foundation

16     exists.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, this is a document from the Croatian

18     government archives that we received.  It goes to probative value and

19     weight.  I don't think it goes to admissibility.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Even if the witness can't say anything about it, you

21     would tender it from the Bar table as a relevant document; is that --

22             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, and since it was put to him here.  We can

23     argue it later.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar, could you please mark it for

25     identification and give it a number.

Page 18817

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1509, marked

 2     for identification.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

 4             MR. MISETIC:

 5        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, I'd like to show you a video now, and after you've

 6     taken a look at this video, I will ask you a few questions about it.

 7             Mr. Registrar -- Mr. Registrar, this is Exhibit D136.

 8     Transcripts have been given to the booths.  This is from RSK Television

 9     in July of 1995.

10                           [Video-clip played]

11             THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] "Having heard the sound of sirens,

12     we hurried towards Trzic.  It is now five minutes to 6.00.  We are

13     located on a bridge crossing the River Mreznica between Trzic and

14     Premizelna [phoen].  We encountered the commander of the

15     13th Infantry Brigade, Colonel Marko Reljic.  As we speak, a column of

16     civilian with vehicles and livestock are arriving from Trzic.  What does

17     this mean, commander?"

18             "Well, this is an exercise which we are conducting in accordance

19     with our assumptions, and our information that the enemy aviation will be

20     active in this region, using rockets and artillery.  And before this

21     happens we have to evacuate, that is, evacuate the civilian population

22     from the combat area, and our units will complete the tasks that they

23     have been given.  That means that it is of importance to us to train the

24     population, the civilian population, to evacuate, as to suffer as little

25     losses as possible."

Page 18818

 1             "Are you satisfied with the exercise up to now?  Are members of

 2     the 13th Infantry Brigade engaged in this exercise, or are they manning

 3     their positions?"

 4             "Members of the 13th Infantry Brigade are manning their

 5     positions, and according to the tasks they have received, all soldiers

 6     are at their positions.  And I'm very pleased with the conduct of the

 7     civilian population.  They understand the situation, and they are aware

 8     of the fact that we need to prepare and be trained.  If we truly find

 9     ourselves in a situation we have to evacuate, so that there are no

10     unnecessary victims, so that what happened in Western Slavonia does not

11     happen again, absolutely.

12             "Thank you very much.

13             "You're welcome.

14             "Because Trzic is our first position which will be targeted, so

15     we wanted to test this, and by means of this exercise, we have to review

16     whether we are well prepared, whether we are well organised, and what

17     would be the best way to do this so as to avoid civilian victims, should

18     there be military activity.  We need to evacuate the civilian population

19     in due time.  After having learned the lesson in Western Slavonia and

20     throughout history in wars, the population needs to be evacuated and

21     removed in time.  The units and the army are to remain in their

22     positions, executing their tasks.  This is extremely important that you

23     understand, that you know that within your homes and families you need to

24     prepare yourselves, organise yourselves.  And upon receipt of the signal,

25     you need to withdraw to the designated region because the enemy wants to

Page 18819

 1     slaughter, to murder, to burn, to slaughter these children.  That is why

 2     every citizen must be prepared for the evacuation.  This evacuation won't

 3     be signaled in advance.  There won't be enough time to prepare.  You

 4     might have to prepare -- you have to say this, You must be prepared for

 5     this."

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Am I -- are you going to put a

 7     question to me in relation to this?

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   General Mrksic, tell us -- tell the Court why the Army of the

10     ARSK, in July of 1995, is engaged in an evacuation exercise to evacuate

11     civilians.  And if you can, in your answer, explain why it was then

12     broadcast on TV Knin?

13             MR. RUSSO:  Sorry.  If I could --

14             JUDGE ORIE:  I think it was RSK Television, not necessarily

15     Knin Television.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Sorry, yes.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the Republic of Serbian

18     Krajina.

19             Let me tell you this:  Let me tell you what has been left unsaid

20     so far.  We were aware of our position.  We know and you know -- take a

21     map and take a look at where Trzic is and where some of our

22     neighbourhoods and villages were along the first line of defence.

23             Under the tactical principles and our rules, and this is

24     something your generals know, the obligations of a commander organising

25     the defence in a certain area is to evacuate the civilian population out

Page 18820

 1     of an area which will be subject to direct artillery fire and activity by

 2     the enemy, to the left, to the right, in the depth, to remove them from

 3     the axis of the attack.

 4             There wasn't just one exercise, there were a great many of them,

 5     and this individual carried them out in an excellent way.  And not only

 6     were there these exercises.  I wasn't given an opportunity by you to tell

 7     you this.

 8             When I started organising the army, I was aware of the fact that

 9     I would be losing all the communication lines with my subordinates

10     because of the electronic activity and the involvement of NATO, should

11     the aggression take place.  We were all hoping it would not.  I wanted

12     the commanders to be able to organise independently their defence within

13     their AORs should an attack follow, so that they should be able to launch

14     counter-attacks to engage the forces that were available for

15     counter-attacks, to evacuate the population to avoid great losses.

16     However, I wanted to make sure that no one came out of their AORs, and of

17     course the AORs involved Petrova Mount, a lot of forested land where

18     people could find refuge.  This was something that was done during World

19     War II, when the fourth enemy offensive took place involving Ustasha,

20     when they were fleeing their homes to save their lives.  So this was not

21     an exercise for the subsequent fleeing in the wake of Storm.  This was

22     something quite different.

23             I discussed this with senior officers, security organs, and I

24     talked to different individuals, and I had never heard of anything of the

25     sort.

Page 18821

 1             But this was done in an excellent way, and we deliberately

 2     broadcast this on TV so as to show how people were getting ready for an

 3     all-out war.  This was something that we were taught under the concept of

 4     the former SFRY.

 5             If you want me to add something, I will.

 6        Q.   Let me ask you, at the end of the clip, the officer tells the

 7     people that, The enemy wants to kill you, the enemy -- these children

 8     here will be slaughtered.  Now, what is the purpose of telling that to

 9     those people and then broadcasting it on television?

10        A.   Well, perhaps his entire family had perished in World War II, was

11     slaughtered at the time.  You know that it was always the population

12     residing there that was victimised the most, and whenever a war topic was

13     broached the idea of throats being cut came up, fears of this and that.

14     Our politicians were responsible for this.

15             Let me tell you that Ante Pavelic's daughter, when she arrived in

16     1992 in Rijeka, she stated for a novelist that this attitude toward the

17     Serbs was even worse than had been experienced in World War II.  The

18     Serbs had this natural fear.

19             I wanted to have a strong army which would enable me to control

20     these fears and compel the international community and the Croatian side

21     to find a way of living together, such as had been found in

22     Eastern Slavonia, but you did not want to do this.

23        Q.   Well, let me ask you, following up on that point:  How did

24     attacking the Bihac pocket contribute to your efforts to finding a way of

25     living together with the Croats?

Page 18822

 1        A.   Well, I didn't attack Croats in Bihac pocket.  We had traded with

 2     the Croats in Bihac pocket, cooperated, and worked together along

 3     security lines and intelligence.  They were our main source of

 4     information.

 5        Q.   You just told the Court yesterday and today that you were trying

 6     to build depth for yourself.  You're building depth for yourself against

 7     the Croats?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Against the Croats?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   How -- let me ask the question.

12        A.   Not against; rather, for the defence.  I wanted my defence area

13     to be deeper.  I could have cut Croatia off and struck a deal with the

14     Slovenians any time, but I didn't want to.

15        Q.   How did you think the Croats were going to view your efforts to

16     build depth on the territory of the Bihac pocket, and how did you think

17     that was going to promote your efforts to coexist and find a peaceful

18     solution?

19        A.   Thank you for putting this question.  This was my line of

20     thinking:  If the area where Fikret Abdic was would be expanded, because

21     he was a man of Croatia, he traded across Croatia, and that's how

22     Western Bosnia managed to survive, then tomorrow -- come tomorrow, when

23     coexistence will have been achieved, because you were waging a war with

24     the Muslims in Central Bosnia, you will have -- just as you did have

25     Serbs, you would get Muslims in the Republic of Croatia.  You would gain

Page 18823

 1     depth, and you wouldn't have the croissant or crescent-shaped country, as

 2     you did.

 3        Q.   So you were launching that offensive to help Croatia expand its

 4     territory; you were doing it in Croatian interests?

 5        A.   No, I was doing this so that you would give up on launching an

 6     attack, so that we could engage in negotiations, and by gaining us, the

 7     Serbs, you would automatically gain something else, the bride, as well.

 8        Q.   General Mrksic, let's look and see what happened after Grahovo

 9     fell, and let's look --

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, one thing.  Trzic, I think we earlier

11     established for Sector North, is that approximately 40 or 50 kilometres

12     north of Karlovac?  Is that -- I'm just trying to --

13             MR. MISETIC:  I think we made a filing on this.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Oh, then I may have forgotten about that.

15             MR. MISETIC:  I'll check on that during the break, Mr. President.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if we could have 65 ter 1D1050 on

18     the screen, please.

19        Q.   Now, after the fall of Grahovo, are you -- you're familiar with

20     the fact that a state of war was declared on the territory of the RSK?

21        A.   I'm familiar with that, but it was abolished very soon

22     thereafter.

23        Q.   Who abolished it?

24        A.   The Supreme Council did.

25        Q.   When?

Page 18824

 1        A.   I don't know.  It may have lasted for two or three days, because

 2     with a state of war, war legislation comes into application.  We did not

 3     want -- rather, people at large started behaving differently, and we

 4     didn't want to have to apply wartime measures and very strict war laws in

 5     respect of anyone.  It was a problem for me to find someone to fire back

 6     at Benkovac, and nobody wanted to go back and defend Knin.

 7        Q.   Let's then not go to this document right away.  And based on that

 8     last answer, you said:

 9             "People at large started behaving differently, and we didn't want

10     to have to apply wartime measures and very strict war laws in respect of

11     anyone."

12        A.   Yes.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, I'm sorry, but Exhibit D939 on the

14     screen, please.

15        Q.   General, this is from the 29th of July, 1995.  Sorry, 30th of

16     July, a decree.  If we go to page 2 in the English, it's a proposal by

17     you.  Page 4 in the B/C/S, please.

18             Now, this is you writing to the Supreme Defence Council on the

19     30th of July, 1995, and it says:

20             "Based on the initiative of several corps commands and

21     brigades ... I propose that a decree be issued with legal force on the

22     conditions of the formation and work of the ad hoc military courts, in

23     the case of war or in the case of an immediate threat of war.

24             "These are, in fact, courts-martial.  Given that the stated

25     Military Court would try cases of grave criminal offences and that the

Page 18825

 1     only penalty is the death penalty, they would be rare in everyday

 2     practice and would surely have a great psychological effect on the

 3     possible perpetrators.

 4             "For this reason, we recommend that our proposal be accepted and

 5     that the stated decree be signed by the president of the RSK."

 6             Now, General Mrksic, why are you proposing on the 30th of July

 7     ad hoc military courts with the power to issue the death penalty?

 8        A.   To tell you quite honestly and candidly, my problem was that the

 9     elite had started to flee.  When I said "the elite," I meant those who

10     had -- who were loaded, had money, and they were pampered dads --

11     children.  And when people at large see that such individuals fled, then

12     everybody follows their suit.  And these individuals, who thought that

13     they were protected for the fact that they were sons of important

14     individuals, I wanted to frighten them.  I wanted to enforce law and

15     order.  I wanted to send across a clear message that there would be no

16     fleeing tolerated and that they had to stay and fight.  Everybody

17     experienced such problems, not just the Republic of Serbian Krajina.

18        Q.   Why was the elite fleeing to such an extent that you needed to

19     issue -- or request the formation of ad hoc military courts?

20        A.   Because they had means, they had the wherewithal, they had

21     houses, they had businesses, et cetera.

22        Q.   Why didn't they stay?

23        A.   Because nobody could prevent them from doing this under the

24     legislation that existed.  I wanted to make sure that this way they would

25     be prevented from, and we even erected check-points where they would be

Page 18826

 1     stopped, but they still tried to flee across Slunj.

 2        Q.   I don't think you're understanding my question.  What I want to

 3     know is, if these people are the elite, if they're the elite --

 4        A.   I didn't mean the intellectual elite.

 5        Q.   No.

 6        A.   I meant professors -- I didn't mean professors and such groups of

 7     people.  I meant the mob, the mafia men.

 8        Q.   I understand.  My question is, though:  Why didn't they want to

 9     stay in the Krajina?

10        A.   Well, sir, just because just as your lot, they had links tying

11     them together.  They knew one another.  They had open channels throughout

12     the war, and they knew what was to happen.  They had more information

13     than I did, and of course they were trying to save their skins.  The

14     intelligence and business, economic structures, had worked throughout the

15     war.  Even today, we have such individuals buying businesses, et cetera.

16     I don't want to have any trouble on account of mentioning them one day

17     when I get released.

18        Q.   Let me --

19        A.   I think you know this.  You shouldn't have put the question to

20     begin with.

21        Q.   My question simply is:  Were people leaving because they were

22     anticipating that the Croatian Army was going to attack?

23        A.   Yes, and that the -- their predictions were that the Serb Army

24     did not stand a chance and could not defend itself; not because that was

25     their opinion, but because they received information from their

Page 18827

 1     colleagues, people who engaged in the same sort of activities on the

 2     other side.

 3             I would kindly ask the President to caution me or warn me if I am

 4     going across the bounds of what might prejudice me.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, this is a different kind of prejudice compared

 6     to the one we were talking about yesterday.  Mr. Misetic is not asking

 7     you about names, so therefore, focusing on his question, you don't have

 8     to give them, no one is inviting you --

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't even know their

10     names.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I just try to understand your last answers.

12     Is it that the times of profiteering from the situation appeared to be

13     over once the army would have had to give up the territory?  Is that the

14     reason why they left?  Is that how I understand your answer?  If it's

15     correct, say "yes."  If it's not correct, tell me.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Grahovo fell, that was the

17     first indication to them.  We were transmitting TV broadcasts to the

18     effect that people should not be leaving, that a solution would be found,

19     that Republika Srpska would be appealed to for assistance, that

20     negotiations might be embarked on, that the presence of UNPROFOR might

21     ensure that this sort of an aggression of that scale would not be

22     launched.  We were hopeful.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

24        Q.   Mr. Mrksic, if we could go back to the document that I had

25     originally put up, which is 65 ter 1D1050, Mr. Registrar.

Page 18828

 1             Now, this is an order by you, dated 29 July 1995, and it's to the

 2     commander of the Special Units Corps.  And it says to:

 3             "Urgently group the 2nd Guards Brigade in the area of the village

 4     Bruvno, where they are conducting training of the reserve forces of the

 5     General Staff of the Serb Krajina Army.  Grouping is to be completed on

 6     29 July 1995 until 2000 hours."

 7             Now, Bruvno is located where in relation to Gracac?

 8        A.   I can't tell you from memory.  I don't have a map.  It's

 9     somewhere there.  I can't tell you that without the map.  I think it was

10     a training centre.

11             I didn't finish the story about the mobilisations we did in

12     Serbia.  I was called by President Milosevic sometime in the month of

13     July, after the 20th of July, and he said to me, Mile, what is it that

14     you're doing?  Franjo gave me a call and told me that you were developing

15     some sort of a serious Army there.  It's not going to pass just that way,

16     because women's organisations and that sort of organisations started are

17     demonstrating, because they said refugees could not be mobilised.  And

18     that's where the mobilisation was stopped.  I was sent some 2.400

19     reservists, and that's where it all ended.

20             We proceeded to perform a serious job.  We conducted exercises of

21     an attack, counter-attack, withdrawal, et cetera, just as one would do in

22     peacetime in various barracks.  We did not squat down in a shelter,

23     waiting for an attack to come.

24        Q.   And because of all of that training that you were doing, had you

25     had a few more months, would you have been successful in making that a

Page 18829

 1     modern army?

 2        A.   There would have been negotiations and there would not have been

 3     an attack.

 4        Q.   That's not my question.  Had you had a few more months of that

 5     training and had you been able, for a few more months, to have all that

 6     training, do you think you would have had an army capable of stopping the

 7     Croatian Army?

 8        A.   No, Croatia would not have mounted an attack on such an army,

 9     because the losses -- no.  It was the balance was 6:1, because 400.000 of

10     us could not fight 4 million.  That's an absurdity.  But we could have

11     inflicted such losses as to --

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, let me try to understand your answer in

13     relation to Mr. Misetic's question.

14             If you would have had a few more months to further train your

15     army, would the balance of military power have been re-established so as

16     that you -- if there ever would have been an attack, that you would have

17     been in a position to resist to such an attack?  If it's accurate, say

18     "yes," and if it's not accurate, please correct me.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We would have been able to inflict

20     such losses as would have proved unbearable for the Republic of Croatia.

21     They would have to give up on the idea of an attack and opt for a peace

22     solution.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Proceed, Mr. Misetic.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25        Q.   Now, why -- do you recall why are you grouping the units of the

Page 18830

 1     Special Units Corps in the Bruvno area on the 29th of July?

 2        A.   I don't recall why this was being done in Bruvno, in Lika.

 3     Probably an assessment was made to the effect that this proved to be a

 4     good area for training or something like that.  I don't remember the

 5     reason.  You know why.  The area of Bruvno was quite close to the Knin

 6     axis, I believe.  I don't have a map, so ...

 7        Q.   I don't want -- I think you may be confusing Brusko with Bruvno,

 8     which are two separate places.

 9        A.   No, Brusko.  Do we have a map here?

10        Q.   That's okay.

11        A.   One can easily reach the Knin to -- where was my reserve command

12     point?  Knin Serb road from Bruvno or, rather, the intersection there.

13     And in this way you could prevent your forces from being cut off and from

14     finding yourself in an encirclement.  Probably because of that.  It's

15     difficult for me to reconstruct the combinations I had in my mind at the

16     time.

17        Q.   Let me give you that map, because that's an interesting point

18     that I wanted to follow up with you on.

19             This is Exhibit P2414, and if you can't -- if the size of the map

20     is not quality enough for you, General Mrksic, I think we may have a hard

21     copy in the courtroom that's bigger.  Okay.

22             Now, if we could go to the bottom of this map, please.

23             Now, you see Knin there; correct?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   I know it's difficult to read the place names, but you see Gracac

Page 18831

 1     in the upper middle part?

 2        A.   I do.

 3        Q.   Now, from your recollection, the village of Bruvno would be

 4     located where in relation to Gracac?

 5        A.   I don't know.  I think it must be between Gracac and -- what's

 6     this place called to the right of Gracac?

 7        Q.   Otric.

 8        A.   Yes, between Otric and Gracac, or to the north.  I'm not sure.  I

 9     would have to look at the real map.  I spent a very short period of time

10     there, and the time I spent there I only dealt with major issues.  I

11     didn't visit and see all these places.

12        Q.   Okay.  I want to go back now, with the map still on the screen,

13     to your answer at page 33, beginning at line 3.  You said:

14             "One can easily reach the Knin to where was my reserve point."

15             And I think we can agree -- everyone in the court can agree that

16     your reserve point was in Srb, which is in the upper --

17        A.   Yes, yes.

18        Q.   And then you said:

19             " ... or, rather, the intersection there, and in this way you

20     could prevent your forces from being cut off and from finding yourself in

21     an encirclement."

22             Now, can you explain to the Court what you mean by that?  How

23     could you have been encircled at that point, and can you tell us which

24     point you were referring to?

25        A.   No, I meant Knin.  With the fall of Bosansko Grahovo and the

Page 18832

 1     advancement of forces above Seliste, et cetera.  Knin was within range of

 2     120-millimetre artillery as well as all the other types of artillery that

 3     were firing upon Knin.  And there's something I want to tell you about

 4     that as well.

 5             The only way out of Knin was the curving, winding road leading

 6     toward Otric and Srb, or towards Grahovo, in other words.  Towards Otric,

 7     because this main road from Grahovo was the main life-line, the supply

 8     road, and had been cut off, so it couldn't be counted on.  If you

 9     controlled the winding road with your fire, nobody could reach Knin, and

10     one could merely walk into an empty town because Knin was not a defended

11     town.  If the objective was for the Dalmatia Corps to be disarmed or to

12     be inflicted losses in order to capture the area, then this -- there was

13     no need for this course of action to be taken.

14        Q.   Okay.  What I'm asking you is:  Agreed, the Strmica-Grahovo road,

15     you had been cut off there, and is your testimony, then, that if you had

16     to do an evacuation out of Knin, you would have had to go up that road

17     from Knin to Otric and then from Otric to Srb, to your reserve command

18     post; is that it?

19        A.   No, no -- yes, it was the Supreme Council that issued -- made a

20     decision, and an order was issued.  I think you have it there.  That was

21     the only solution that we were left with, or to fight in an encirclement

22     at the cost of many human lives, or to evacuate to the territory from

23     Otric to Srb that was under the control of the RSK Army.

24        Q.   Let me -- while we're on this topic, let me jump ahead a little

25     bit and go straight to another order that you issued, because -- to

Page 18833

 1     explain this road from Knin to Srb, via Otric.

 2             First of all, Mr. President, if I could have that previous

 3     document marked, and I tender it into evidence.

 4             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 6             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter 1D1050 becomes

 7     Exhibit D1510.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.  I don't think

 9     there's a reason -- would there be a reason to keep -- no, it's fine.

10     It's admitted into evidence.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12             If I could ask everyone to sort of keep this map in their mind,

13     this is Knin-Otric-Srb, and to the left of Otric is a road that goes to

14     Gracac.  Okay.

15             And now I would like to show you 65 ter 5954, Mr. Registrar.

16        Q.   General Mrksic, we're going to jump way ahead to the 5th of

17     August, the second day of Operation Storm.  I assure you we will talk

18     about the 4th of August in great detail, absolutely.

19        A.   You'll be going back to the first day?

20        Q.   Absolutely.  But while we're on this topic, it makes sense that

21     we try to explain topics all at once.

22             Now, this is an order issued by you on the 5th, and it says, the

23     second paragraph:

24             "Excellent results produced in combat operations in the first

25     15 hours have been jeopardised by such practice," and the practice refers

Page 18834

 1     to soldiers and officers leaving their units, "and in some units they

 2     have been completely annulled."

 3             Now, if we could go to the next page, which is point 1 of the

 4     order.  Sorry, it's -- yes, point 1.

 5        A.   7th Corps.

 6        Q.   Yes, 7th Corps.  If we could scroll to page 2, there we go, and

 7     point 1.  And point 1 there, you see that, General, you ordered, "the

 8     7th Corps, with the 103rd Infantry Brigade is stabilising a defence along

 9     Mala Dinara-Derala-Otric-Malovan front-lines, by persistent defence with

10     the goal to prevent the enemy taking Knin without being engaged in a

11     battle and joining of the enemy forces which are engaged in directions

12     Knin-Otric, Gracac-Otric, a part of the forces is to continue the battle

13     in the encirclement, one unit is to be sent to the area of Bulina Strana

14     for a defence of the area of Knin and a prevention of the enemy's rapid

15     advance towards Otric."

16             General, which forces of the enemy, the Croatian Army, did you

17     order your forces to prevent their joining and where?

18        A.   You didn't allow me to go through the document fully.  Can I look

19     at the document?  Is it my document?  Yes, very well, fine.  Fine, we

20     will go back to it.  Go ahead.

21             The gist of it was that from Gracac to Otric,

22     Mr. General Gotovina's forces should be prevented from joining with who

23     it was who was coming from up there, the police or somebody else.  Very

24     dangerous forces were coming from up there, across Gracac.  For this

25     reason, this particular corps, the Dalmatia Corps, was supposed to

Page 18835

 1     regroup.  Nobody had been engaging them along the first line of defence.

 2     We had been building positions and laying mines in vain, and we only

 3     created a problem for the Republic of Croatia.

 4        Q.   We're at a break, but let me ask you one more question on this

 5     point.  If I understand your answer correctly, you're trying to prevent

 6     General Gotovina's forces and the forces of the Special Police attacking

 7     through Gracac from linking up at Otric, which would have prevented you

 8     from being able to evacuate to Srb; correct?

 9        A.   Yes, Gracac had already been taken by them, but to prevent them

10     from capturing the territory toward Otric, as you put it, yes.

11        Q.   [Overlapping speakers] ... encircled you and to prevent you from

12     getting out?

13        A.   Yes, to save the people at large.  I was trying to do that to

14     save people.  The political leadership decided that the people should

15     leave the territory into the depth so that they would not come in harm's

16     way.

17             You're all praising this order, but had this not been done, God

18     knows what the position of the international community and the Republic

19     of Croatia would be today.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  We'll have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes

21     to 11.00.

22                           [The witness stands down]

23                           --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.

24                           --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  May the witness be brought into the courtroom.

Page 18836

 1                           [The witness takes the stand]

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4        Q.   General Mrksic, we were running short of time there before the

 5     break, so I want to follow up with your last answer.  And we were talking

 6     about the significance of Otric, and you said:

 7             "Yes, to save the people at large, I was trying to do that to

 8     save people.  The political leadership decided that the people should

 9     leave the territory into the depth so that they would not come in harm's

10     way.  You are all praising this order, but had this not been done, God

11     knows what the position of the international community and the Republic

12     of Croatia would be today."

13             And I wanted to do ask you to clarify what you were referring to

14     when you say "God knows -- had this not been done, God knows what the

15     position of the international community and the Republic of Croatia would

16     be today."  What were you trying to say?

17        A.   What I was trying to say, in hindsight and on the basis of all

18     the experiences, and after everything that happened to -- in the wake of

19     Oluja to all the elderly people, to all the people in general who had

20     remained there, imagine now had those forces, those frenzied forces,

21     found all those people there, there would have been great losses, and

22     that would have been to our detriment and to the detriment of the

23     international community.  It was a huge area, and I believe that not even

24     the commanders who were in charge of the offensive operations would have

25     been able to control that.

Page 18837

 1             We, as a supreme Council, because the president of -- the

 2     prime minister, rather, Babic had gone to Belgrade to sign the Z-4 plan,

 3     we had the supreme commander Martic and the president of the assembly and

 4     some ministers at that meeting, and we took this decision.  And I told

 5     them, If the people should withdraw, mounting a defence would be a very

 6     big problem for us, because these groups all had their families there,

 7     everybody would want to protect their own families, and there we would

 8     have troubles with that, problems would crop up.  But then they decided,

 9     although they were aware of the potential for such problems, We are not

10     leaving the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, we are just going into the

11     wooded areas in depth where we can wait for the enemy up front and not

12     from the back.  That is why forces were regrouped, that is why such

13     decisions were taken.

14        Q.   So if I understand you correctly, you ordered the evacuation of

15     the population in order to prevent --

16        A.   Not me.

17        Q.   The leadership?

18        A.   Yes, yes.  The leaders, yes.

19        Q.   And the intention was then to form a second front-line?

20        A.   That is correct, that's right.

21        Q.   And where did you want to form that second front-line?

22        A.   That front-line was supposed to be above Knin, from Gracac, to

23     prevent a penetration from -- towards Srb, a Serbian gate, to meet the

24     enemy face to face.  In fact, there were no real fighting.  We had no

25     expenditure of ammunition at all.  We did not open fire at any targets in

Page 18838

 1     depth.  We had no one to open fire at.

 2        Q.   Now, can you tell us, you had already testified that you did not

 3     want Otric to fall, you did not want the forces of General Gotovina and

 4     General Markac to link up at Otric because it would have prevented you

 5     from --

 6        A.   Yes, for them to link up, to prevent the linking up.  Had they

 7     linked up, the -- or if they had linked up, the defence of Lika and

 8     Dalmatia would have been a foregone conclusion.

 9        Q.   Now, what would have happened -- what was your assessment at the

10     time, what would have happened if the forces of General Markac and

11     General Gotovina linked up in Otric and your forces were still -- and

12     your forces were still south of that point, what would have happened?

13        A.   That is correct, that is a very good question, because that issue

14     was discussed by the Supreme Defence Council and it was also elaborated

15     through training and demonstration exercises in the corps.  But if you'll

16     allow me to time the explain.

17             We had assessments -- we had three or four variants of the

18     possible course that events would take.  So if it would happen and we

19     knew that that would happen, mind you, we did not have modern

20     communications systems, so our former JNA systems were over 40 years old,

21     and the fastest connection was by telephone or by railway

22     [as interpreted] but that was only up to Lapac.  So we assessed that --

23     we assessed the method in which the Croatian side would act, the Blues,

24     because we had demonstration exercises, training exercises, as I said, we

25     assessed that they might cut off -- that forces might be cut off and that

Page 18839

 1     there would be fighting in encirclement at the corps level, the

 2     Kordun Corps, the Banja Corps, in Lika, on that ridge, we would have the

 3     Lika Corps towards Lapac, and we were reckoning that the major actions

 4     would be directed to Dalmatia from the front and not from Grahovo.

 5             There was a change of concept.  There was a change of the entire

 6     way the fighting was conceived of, and then we saw that we were, in fact,

 7     tricked; deceived, that is.  So we knew from these other corps what the

 8     variants were.  Irrespective of the fact whether I would be in contact

 9     with them, they were under the obligation to follow the idea, the concept

10     that was actually planned.  That is why we had these exercises; the

11     battalion in attack, the battalion in counter-attack, breaching an area,

12     the creation of reserves at brigade level, at corps level.  All this was

13     exercised.  We were preparing ourselves as in manoeuvres, as in

14     manoeuvring exercises.  And when the aggression took place, there was a

15     counter-attack at Karlovac and at Petrinja, and there the -- we inflicted

16     the greatest losses on the attackers, and that was thanks to all the

17     actions that we had exercised.

18        Q.   Let me get back to my initial question.

19        A.   Let me just say, in the Dalmatia Corps we did not exercise the

20     variant of an aggression from the back.  That is why forces had to be

21     moved, and that is why population had to be pulled out.

22        Q.   Why did it have to be pulled out, why did the population have to

23     be pulled out?

24        A.   It was any squad leader knows of that.  If artillery is shelling

25     the forward end and the villages in the forward area, it is the women,

Page 18840

 1     the old ladies, and the children that will come to harm, those who are

 2     not carrying any rifles, because they can only find shelter in some

 3     woods.  And this is something which was done in every war.  This is an

 4     obligation under the Geneva Conventions.  Of course, shelling a village

 5     is something that should not be done.

 6        Q.   Let me ask you this, and we'll talk about shelling, and I will

 7     raise issues with you about Vukovar shelling and things like that at a

 8     later time.  Okay?  But let me ask you --

 9        A.   Excellent.  Thank you for that.

10        Q.   Let me get back to my question, which is:  What was going to

11     happen, in your view, if, in fact, your forces were encircled at the

12     Otric point?

13        A.   Excellent.  Fine, excellent, an excellent question.  This is

14     something that I also discussed with the commanders and in a core of the

15     corps, to have fighting in the encirclement and to exert pressure to

16     surrender.  It was not the intention -- the objective of the Croatian

17     forces either to have great losses.  But in this scenario we foresaw the

18     involvement of the international community which would help avert a

19     massacre or retaliation, and that in that case some of the men who

20     thought that they had done something, that they were guilty of some

21     wrongs, you know, stealing, looting, or anything wrong, that they would

22     leave because they would be afraid of having to appear in court, and that

23     the rest of the people, the ordinary peasants, the ordinary fighters,

24     would be disarmed and return to their homes normally, and that the

25     minority rights would be guaranteed, would have been guaranteed, and not

Page 18841

 1     be reduced to just 4 percent, as had been the case in Eastern Slavonia.

 2        Q.   I'm asking you -- let me ask it more bluntly.  Did you think that

 3     there would be more casualties on your side if, in fact, you were

 4     encircled by Croatian forces?

 5        A.   Because it wasn't 1942, when there were no roads.  They had

 6     roads; they had helicopters.  There were also cadaver dogs, and

 7     everything could be seen.  And great losses would have been inflicted,

 8     because of the realistic potentials, the means of destruction and

 9     everything, the wherewithal they had, the losses inflicted would have

10     been much greater and everybody would be sorry, those who inflicted them

11     and those on whom they were inflicted.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I still have this document on the

13     screen from the 5th of August, and I'd ask that it be marked, and I

14     tender it into evidence.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

16             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

18             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1511.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  D1511 is admitted into evidence.

20             MR. MISETIC:

21        Q.   General Mrksic, let me just clarify one comment that you made.

22     You said you --

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, if you would allow me, whenever you

24     talk about losses, could you always clearly distinguish in your questions

25     between possible civilian losses and military losses.

Page 18842

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

 3        Q.   You indicated at page 41, lines 19 to 21, that you weren't

 4     expecting attack from the Grahovo side but, rather, from the Dalmatian

 5     side and that you were tricked.  And could you clarify who tricked you?

 6        A.   The one that was supposed to resolve the issue of

 7     Livanjsko Polje, and we had three meetings on that issue and created --

 8     we were to make a plan, but they never had the capacity to actually do

 9     it, and they wanted me to do it.  Well, General Milovanovic.  And who had

10     sent him, he knows that.  And that is why I have been carrying this

11     burden for 15 years now.

12        Q.   Now, let me take you back to Exhibit D923, if we could have that

13     on the screen again, please.

14             Now, General Mrksic, after the fall of Grahovo, but before

15     Operation Storm, was there an operation planned to take back

16     Bosansko Grahovo?

17        A.   Such an idea was to be discussed and a decision made at the

18     Supreme Defence Council, but it never happened.  That was a joint meeting

19     of the Republika Srpska and the Republic of the Serbian Krajina in Drvar,

20     but it never materialised.  From a position of topographically lower

21     facilities, I had no capacity to ascend against the four brigades of

22     Gotovina against all that artillery located there.  My only task was to

23     prevent it from southerly -- from southern incursions into my area.  It

24     was a sort of reconnaissance mission that I had.  I was amazed that they

25     should be waiting there for three hours, three and a half hours.  Why did

Page 18843

 1     they not descend down there when it was possible?  There was no one

 2     there.  They could have taken the entire corps captive, and all the

 3     people as well.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  If we could go to page 2 in the English of this

 5     document.  It's page 1 here.  I believe it's the fourth paragraph in the

 6     B/C/S.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

 9        Q.   And it says in the middle of that paragraph:

10             "Because of that, a new operation for the liberation of Grahovo

11     was undertaken.  The Guards Brigade from the Special Units Corps was

12     transferred to the area of Crvena Zemlja.  The two-day combat operations

13     did not better the situation considerably, apart from halting the

14     advancement of the Croatian Army towards Knin via Strmica and towards

15     Licka Kaldrma via the village of Resanovci."

16             Now, do you recall such a two-day combat operation?

17        A.   Yes.  It was not an operation.  These were tactical actions.  It

18     is not called an operation.  Perhaps wishes were for it to be

19     something -- an undertaking of that scale, but we were aware of what we

20     could do, just to stop it for a while.

21        Q.   Where --

22        A.   An operation has a different objective, and this objective was a

23     different one.  We liked to use that expression, I mean, to express

24     ourselves at the operative level, operations and such.

25        Q.   Was this operation taking place in the area of Strmica?

Page 18844

 1        A.   Yes, it was.  The corps commander went there in person to see

 2     what they could do.  When they saw that they couldn't do anything, it was

 3     abandoned.  We had over-planned.

 4        Q.   Okay.  Now, Mr. Registrar, if I could have on the screen, please,

 5     Exhibit 65 ter 1895, please.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Meanwhile, Mr. Misetic, I don't know whether you're

 7     going to deal with that, but the exact timing of this operation, which

 8     isn't an operation, as I understand, will you pay attention to that?

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Let me see if --

10        Q.   First let me ask if you recall, General Mrksic, what specific

11     date this --

12        A.   I think that all this was on the 1st of August, before -- or,

13     rather, I'm not sure when you took Grahovo.  On the 28th or the 29th, I

14     immediately transferred a portion of the forces to see what could be

15     done, but it was from Republika Srpska, the territory of the other side,

16     tried to say what could be saved.  I read the riot act to the mayor of

17     the city, Why are you not defending the city of Knin, what's happening?

18     And he said, This is a publicly -- he replied, It's a publicly-declared

19     free, open city.  No one is going to attack it.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, I usually do not comment on language

21     used, but if you say "when you took Grahovo," Mr. Misetic did not take

22     Grahovo.  He's the one who's examining you.  If you wanted to say the

23     Croats took Grahovo or -- it's all fine.  Refer to troops rather than to

24     "you," because Mr. Misetic --

25             THE WITNESS:  [In English] I understand.  [Interpretation] I

Page 18845

 1     certainly did not mean Mr. Misetic.  I meant the Croatian Army and the

 2     HVO, certainly, the Sector South that Mr. General was in charge of, was

 3     in command of; nothing more than that.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  That's perfect, if you refer to, for example, HV or

 5     HVO, so that we know what you're exactly talking about.

 6             Please proceed.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   Who told you that Knin had been declared an open city?

10        A.   Don't hold me to my word.  I didn't look it up in the

11     Official Gazette.  I could not verify that this is the way they tried to

12     bail themselves out.  When talking to me, I'm not sure whether that is

13     truth.  When I actually lashed out at them, this is what they told me.  I

14     know that Knin was the only town in the Serbian Army of Krajina that did

15     not have its own unit.  All the others had -- Petrinja had its brigade,

16     Slunj had its brigade, other towns had its brigades.  Knin didn't have

17     its own brigade.  It was defended, they said, by the Drnis one.  So

18     that's the way it was.

19             This is it.

20        Q.   Yes.  Can you tell us what this is?

21        A.   Well, that is it.  That is what I was talking about.  I have

22     already talked about this.

23        Q.   About preventing families and members of --

24        A.   Yes, yes, yes.  They saw the well-off ones leaving, so some

25     officers started sending of their families and children in a clandestine

Page 18846

 1     manner.  So I told them, Look at the people, see what you are doing.

 2     What do you think they will thinking about -- what do you think they will

 3     think about us?  So I forbid this.  This is correct, what I stated.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. President, I tender -- I ask that the

 5     exhibit be marked, and I tender it into evidence.

 6             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Your Honour.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1512.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

11             Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit D1465 again on the screen

12     again, please.

13        Q.   General, do you recall having a meeting with Ratko Mladic in Knin

14     on the 30th of July, 1995?

15        A.   Yes -- no, I had no meeting, no such meeting.  That is a mistake.

16     That is why that I believe this diary, this log-book, was written in

17     hindsight, and I cannot accept that.  I did hear that he was with the

18     patriarch, but I was in Slunj.  I never saw Mladic.  When we were

19     supposed to resolve the question of Livanjsko Polje and the features on

20     Dinara, nobody was able to get hold of him.  I was unable to establish

21     contact with him.  He was not with me, and this is incorrect information.

22     And on the basis of this incorrect information, I actually have doubts

23     about everything else.

24        Q.   Well, let me ask you this question, General:  If General Mladic

25     was in Knin, meeting with members of the ARSK Main Staff, given the fact

Page 18847

 1     that you were -- if he were, why would he be talking to members of the

 2     Main Staff?

 3        A.   He was not talking -- he did not talk to members of the

 4     Main Staff.  This is something the media concocted, because earlier he

 5     served in Knin and was attached to the people there.  And now he spoke on

 6     television, I don't know why.  Had I been there then, I would have told

 7     him everything that I have told you about the fall of Grahovo and

 8     everything else, and then quite a conflict would have erupted then

 9     between the two of us because of that.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar --

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never actually acknowledged any

12     authority, including that of Mladic.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, this is page 239 in the English --

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are mere assumptions, all

15     these.

16             MR. MISETIC:  -- and page 244 in the B/C/S.

17        Q.   Now, how were you aware that Mr. Mladic appeared on television in

18     Knin when he was there?

19        A.   Kosta Novakovic, the commissar, commissar, told me that he had

20     come there and asked to appear on television, a press conference.  I'm

21     not quite sure what it was, but I know what his style is.  He likes that,

22     he likes to speak in public.  I was not there, so I cannot comment on it.

23        Q.   So now if you look at the screen here, and Mr. Mladic's diary,

24     it's 30 July 1995 from 1600 to 1700 hours:

25             "Knin.  Meeting with the Main Staff of the Serbian Krajina Army."

Page 18848

 1     You're saying you have no knowledge of such a meeting?

 2             MR. RUSSO:  I'm going to object to that, Mr. President.  I

 3     believe the witness's testimony was that there was no meeting.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  I don't know if he --

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No meeting at all, nor did he have

 6     any authority to hold a meeting with my staff.  He could have asked them

 7     about how they were and things like that.  It was only me that could

 8     have -- that could hold a meeting with my staff.

 9             Now, what he did, why he hadn't sent word to me that he would be

10     coming, that is a quite different matter, and that is all hindsight, you

11     know.

12             MR. MISETIC:

13        Q.   General Mrksic, you said you were in Slunj on that day.  Whether

14     somebody met with someone from the ARSK Main Staff or not, you wouldn't

15     know if you were in Slunj.  And you acknowledge that he was in Knin;

16     correct?

17        A.   He was in Knin.  I was told that he arrived there and gave

18     statements of sorts.  I wasn't there.  I was dealing with vital issues.

19     Had he sent word to me that he was coming to Knin, I would have gone

20     there.  That's why I don't accept this as being any sort of meeting.  It

21     was his private visit, and he obviously brought the patriarch along.

22     What his reasons were, I don't know, dragging an old man down there.

23     Probably he had a reason of his own.

24        Q.   General Mrksic, let me turn your attention to --

25        A.   Let's get this clear.  Nobody can command the Main Staff, save

Page 18849

 1     myself.

 2        Q.   I didn't suggest that Mr. Mladic was commanding your Main Staff,

 3     General.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I think you let yourself go.  The whole

 5     line of questioning, a meeting with the Main Staff, would that mean the

 6     complete Main Staff?  If you're in Slunj, you might not know, but --

 7     unless all the members of the Main Staff are with you there, so it's a

 8     rather complex matter which is not that easily dealt with.  Apparently,

 9     the witness, from what I understand, that you have knowledge --

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Half of the command was with me.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  And the other members of the command were

12     where?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Half of it was with me at the IKM

14     in Slunj.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  And the other --

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commissar, the commissioner,

17     was down there, and I don't know if anybody else, I mean in addition to

18     Kosta Novakovic.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  And you were not informed of them meeting with --

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not even the president of the

21     republic was there.  I was informed of it subsequently by phone and when

22     I got there later on, but there was no declarative statement to the

23     effect that they would be doing this and that by way of providing

24     assistance.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  If you exclude for the possibility that members of

Page 18850

 1     the Main Staff that were Knin may have met or may have had a conversation

 2     with General Mladic --

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An informal conversation, perhaps,

 4     in passing, because they knew each other from 1991 or 1992, when he was

 5     serving there, and he knew quite a few of the officers there.  But no

 6     official meetings or talks could have been held, since I wasn't present

 7     there.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, please proceed.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

10        Q.   Now, General Mrksic, I want to turn your attention to 65 ter

11     1D1074.  Do you recognise this document?

12        A.   I would have to read through it.  It's a very poor copy.  There

13     is no date.  When does the document date from?

14        Q.   If we look -- if you turn the page and look to the bottom, all

15     the way to the bottom, you see somebody wrote in hand a date with a

16     number.

17        A.   31st of July.  Can I now read through the document?  Can we have

18     the top of it?

19             This is precisely the way things happened, the way this

20     assessment outlines.

21             Can we go to the bottom of the page?  Back a bit.  Can you -- can

22     we go up?

23             Go ahead.

24        Q.   Is this an order that you issued, to the best that you can

25     recollect?

Page 18851

 1        A.   Well, looking at the orders given, it does seem logical.  I can't

 2     tell you whether I issued the order.  It's not the signature that

 3     matters; the contents do.  I don't know what it is you're interested in.

 4        Q.   Well, point 5 in this document, if we could scroll down, please.

 5        A.   I don't see that.

 6        Q.   Let me read it out in English.  A portion of point 5 says:

 7             "All the population that has not been assigned anywhere should be

 8     put into military territorial units."

 9             Can you explain what the purpose of that portion of the order is?

10        A.   The military territorial units were units of -- that were

11     governed by work obligation.  I realised that Knin had not organised

12     anything in terms of its defence in the direction of Dalmatia, as if it

13     was Belgrade and not Knin.  These units were tasked with assisting the

14     population.  It consisted of elderly people, like the village guards that

15     existed in 1991 or 1992.  Women and men together were supposed to go and

16     build shelters, and that's only logical.  Any commander would order that.

17             I see my counsel has arrived.

18             Welcome, Vlado.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

20             MR. MISETIC:  If I could just follow up, and then we can deal

21     with whatever procedural issues the Chamber wishes to deal with.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, please continue.

23             MR. MISETIC:

24        Q.   It says:

25             "However, these elderly women and" --

Page 18852

 1             I'm sorry:

 2             "These units consisted of elderly people."  These elderly people,

 3     according to this provision, were put into military territorial units,

 4     though.

 5        A.   It's not that I read this out.  I was telling you this from my

 6     memory.  I don't know what it is that the document says.  The copy is

 7     very poor.  But I do believe that what I told you should be helpful.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that the exhibit, marked, and

 9     I tender this into evidence as well.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Russo.

11             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

13             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1513.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

15             Just for the record, could you introduce yourself?

16             MR. DOMAZET:  Your Honours, Vladimir Domazet, counsel for

17     Mr. Mrksic.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Mr. Domazet, you have been invited to come to

19     The Hague because Mr. Mrksic expressed a strong preference for counsel to

20     be present in court with him when he gives his testimony.  We,

21     nevertheless, started yesterday without any counsel being present.

22             The matter may have been clear for quite a while, that the

23     Gotovina Defence intended to call Mr. Mrksic as a witness.  The Chamber

24     has been informed about communication between Mr. Mrksic's counsel, at

25     least counsel at the time - I do not know whether you consider yourself

Page 18853

 1     still to be counsel of Mr. Mrksic - where he has been convicted and

 2     sentenced finally by the Appeals Chamber.

 3             Being aware of these serious attempts to keep you updated on the

 4     moves the Gotovina Defence intended to make, the Chamber was not struck

 5     by the communicative skills or at least what happened in this

 6     communication.  Now, that's the reason why this Chamber decided yesterday

 7     that Mr. Mrksic had had every opportunity to address the Chamber and you

 8     would have had every opportunity to address the Chamber on the matter.

 9     At the same time, the Chamber wished to assist Mr. Mrksic to testify in

10     the presence of counsel.

11             The Chamber clearly expressed that there is no right for a

12     witness to be assisted by counsel.  At the same time, it is not uncommon

13     that someone testifies in the presence of counsel.

14             Now, the role of counsel in this respect is rather limited.  I

15     take it that you understand that.  That means that no advice whatsoever

16     can be given on the substance of the testimony.  It's very clear that the

17     only thing a witness has to do is to answer the questions in accordance

18     with the truth and to his best recollection.

19             Before we started yesterday, I informed Mr. Mrksic about his duty

20     to testify; that not answering questions would possibly expose him to

21     further investigation and prosecution for contempt of court under

22     Rule 77.  I also informed Mr. Mrksic about the contents of Rule 90(E),

23     which protects a witness to self-incrimination, and also the powers of

24     the Chamber to compel a witness, nevertheless, to give answers.  We

25     have -- you can find that on the record, that we have dealt with all

Page 18854

 1     those matters.

 2             I think that the role of counsel in this respect is limited to

 3     those matters; that is, not the substance of the testimony, but rather of

 4     the position of a witness, the duties of a witness, and the rights of a

 5     witness.

 6             If you'd like to make any observations, if you would have any

 7     questions in relation to this, you're invited to bring them to the

 8     Chamber's attention.

 9             MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am familiar with the

10     (redacted)

11     (redacted)  However, at the time I received timely

12     notice from the Registrar.  I had enough time to meet with the witness

13     or, rather, my client.  Unfortunately, this time it was not possible,

14     although my colleague, Mr. Vasic, who was lead counsel to Mr. Mrksic, was

15     in touch.  I saw him yesterday in Belgrade, and he told me that he had

16     expected the Registry to inform him of this appointment.  However, both

17     the subpoena and the summons arrived far too late for him to obtain a

18     visa.  At any rate, we agreed that I would follow the proceedings.

19             I followed the proceedings fully over the internet yesterday, but

20     nevertheless I should like to be provided with the transcripts of both

21     the session yesterday and the session this morning, which I was unable to

22     attend due to my travel by plane.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar, may I take it that there will be a

24     possibility to provide Mr. Domazet with a hard copy of the transcript

25     once it has been finalised?  Perhaps even an electronic copy could be

Page 18855

 1     made available to him, if it's not yet finalised.

 2             As far as your role is concerned, there are no further questions,

 3     no further submissions, Mr. Domazet?

 4             You said, Well, we would have expected to be invited.  Well, it

 5     is for a witness to express that he wants to have counsel present in

 6     court.  Never anything of the kind reached this Chamber.  And I think

 7     that if you would have responded to the earlier attempts to contact you

 8     by saying, Well, feel free to call whatever witness you want, if it would

 9     be Mr. Mrksic, please be aware that -- inform us about it well in time so

10     that we can address the Chamber, or, We inform you that I would like to

11     be present during the testimony of Mr. Mrksic, would that meet any

12     objection, then I think which a more communicative approach, the matters

13     might not have taken the course they have taken.

14             If there's anything you'd like to respond to that, because these

15     might be a bit harsh words, you have an opportunity to do so.  If you,

16     however, suggest that we just proceed, we'll do so as well.

17             MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  I have

18     just explained that I wasn't part of the communication, it was Mr. Vasic.

19     And if there had been some omissions on our part previously, there are

20     none now, and we can proceed just as you said we should.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  I just wanted to give you a fair chance to respond

22     to my words.

23             We can proceed.  Mr. Misetic, please do so.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25             Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit 65 ter 1D1051 on the

Page 18856

 1     screen, please.

 2        Q.   Now, General Mrksic, this is not your order.  This is an order of

 3     the General Staff of the Serb Army of Krajina, issued by

 4     Major General Loncar on the 1st of August.  If you could take a look at

 5     that, and you see in paragraph 1, he says:

 6             "Commanding officers of departments, sections, and organs of the

 7     General Staff of the Serb Krajina Army shall, within their authority,

 8     carry out preparation of means and documentation for relocation.  In the

 9     course of the preparation, sort and pack the documentation according to

10     that which is going to be taken to the new location and that which is to

11     be destroyed.  The destroying is to follow after the decision on the

12     relocation of the General Staff of the Serb Krajina Army."

13             And then if we go to -- there's several other components of the

14     order, but if we go to page 3, paragraph 10:

15             "All preparations for the relocation are to be carried out

16     immediately.  Readiness for all tasks and obligations regarding the

17     relocation of the General Staff of the Serb Krajina Army on 3 August 1995

18     until 2000 hours, when the organs' commanding officers shall report on

19     the readiness status."

20             Now, my question, General Mrksic, is:  Why would the

21     General Staff, as of the 1st of August, be preparing to relocate or

22     destroy documents of the SVK General Staff?

23        A.   This is a purely military matter.  Since the assessment was that

24     an aggression was imminent, whether it was going to be on the 4th, 5th,

25     or 6th, none of the commands or staffs remain as they were.  They have to

Page 18857

 1     be divided into the main command post and rear command post.  Otherwise,

 2     one would be able to destroy the staff with a single blow, just as you

 3     did on the 4th in the morning, you struck the location of the Main Staff.

 4     And that's the proper procedure of relocating matters.  You do not take

 5     along matters relating to the peacetime, which only consist of burden,

 6     they have to be jettisoned, they have to be destroyed, and this is done

 7     pursuant to an order of the Chief of Staff.  The Chief of Staff left with

 8     part of the command, and I stayed behind in Knin with the other part of

 9     the command and with the Supreme Command.

10        Q.   Let me ask you -- you say now that this was done because you were

11     anticipating the attack.  The paragraph 10 seems to provide pretty

12     accurate information about when the attack would take place.  Why didn't

13     you just move your entire command out of Knin to the forward command post

14     or to your reserve command post?

15             MR. RUSSO:  Sorry, can I just quickly -- just a question on what

16     forward command post Mr. Misetic is referring to.

17             MR. MISETIC:  He mentioned it in his last answer.  He said the --

18             MR. RUSSO:  He said main and rear command post.  I'm wasn't sure

19     if there is a distinction between where he was and --

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's not discuss it.  It seems not -- if that would

21     assist Mr. Russo, the quickest way of doing it, Mr. Misetic, is to --

22             MR. MISETIC:  Sorry, I was listening to him in the original, so

23     let me ask him again.

24        Q.   How many command posts did you say you had, you were preparing?

25        A.   There was the main reserve command post and rear command post.

Page 18858

 1     That's the case with all the armies, including the Croatian Army.

 2        Q.   And I -- correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I heard you say

 3     "IZM."

 4        A.   Well -- yes.  Pardon me?

 5        Q.   I thought I heard you say "IZM."  Maybe I misheard you.  I'm

 6     sorry.

 7        A.   Rear logistic command post.

 8        Q.   Let me ask you, then, the same question, essentially.  Why didn't

 9     you move the entire command out of Knin to the rear command post?

10        A.   Well, let me answer this.  In a war, where one expects an attack,

11     an act of aggression, five to ten days ahead of the aggression at any

12     time in a timely manner, the units have to be dispersed, command posts

13     have to be dispersed.  One should not wait for the first blow, because

14     that's the most lethal one.  That would be equal to murder, for a staff

15     to remain headquartered where it was, waiting for an attack.  It would be

16     a move on the part of a dilettante, rather than a professional general

17     who had done his schooling.  That's how it is.

18             Where an attack is anticipated, the command has to be divided

19     into three structures; the reserve command post, where the commander

20     would be; the reserve command post, where the Chief of Staff was; and the

21     logistics post, where the chief of logistics is.  Where the command post

22     is destroyed, then the reserve command post or the rear command post

23     would become the main command post.  There can be no situation where an

24     army does not know where its command post is or where the organ in charge

25     of combat activities is situated.  That's your textbook knowledge of

Page 18859

 1     warfare.

 2             They went to Srb, if that's what you'd like to know, where the

 3     reserve command post was stationed.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, information reached me that a forward

 5     command post in Croatian might be "IZM," whereas in Serbian it might be

 6     "IKM," so therefore this might be one of the occasions where the

 7     differences between the --

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.

 9             JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues]... play a role.

10     It's not my own knowledge.  I had that --

11             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12             Just one second, Mr. --

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the same terminology

14     was used before, when they went to the same schools I did.  They are

15     familiar with that as well.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  I think the matter has been sufficiently clarified.

17     Please proceed.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

19             Let me just find the portion of one of your answers.

20        Q.   Okay.  So in terms of the purpose of this order, were you, in

21     fact -- in terms of preparing to relocate the Main Staff, were you

22     anticipating that the Croatian Army would attack the Main Staff?

23        A.   My intelligence services were working non-stop.  They were

24     constantly in touch with your lot there.  They were crossing over to each

25     side, back and forth.  I knew where each battalion was heading.  But that

Page 18860

 1     was not the point.  The point was that I was unable to prevent the

 2     attack.  That's how strong they were.  In other words, we knew that the

 3     attack was imminent.

 4        Q.   Did you know that the Croatian Army would target the Main Staff

 5     building?

 6        A.   Well, that's task number 1 of every soldier, to strike at the

 7     Main Staff.  If I were a gunner, I'd be shooting only at that and nothing

 8     else, only the Main Staff.

 9             And let me tell you now that you've raised the matter, if the

10     Court allows me to, we will have to tell this story.

11        Q.   One thing at a time.  Now, it goes back -- now let me go back.

12             If, as you say, if you were a gunner, you'd be shooting at only

13     that --

14        A.   [No interpretation]

15        Q.   My question again is:  Did you ever consider, given the location

16     of the Main Staff in the town, to move your command out of a populated

17     area and to go to your rear command post?

18        A.   The commander does not go to the rear command post, but to the

19     reserve or alternate command post.  But the Chief of Staff went to the

20     reserve command post, and they stayed there.  How would the people feel

21     if the entire command were to flee?  I'm asking you.  Knin was full of

22     people, women, and children, and the command has fled?  I didn't want to

23     leave my command post.  I sent the commander with us to be able to

24     command from up there.  If something should happen to me, I would remain

25     there with the president of the Assembly with the minister in our command

Page 18861

 1     post in the basement, and they remained in my office.  However, I did not

 2     spend that night at the command post due to some reasons; namely, my

 3     security staff, my intelligence services, actually told me that if I

 4     remained there, I would be bombed.

 5        Q.   And, finally, while we're talking about your security staff, your

 6     intelligence services:  Paragraph 10, how did you get that information,

 7     to be ready by the 3rd of August at 2000?  Do you know how that

 8     intelligence was obtained?

 9        A.   The 3rd of August was when the command post was supposed to be

10     relocated.  And as for the attack, all the anticipation was it would be

11     on the 4th and possibly on the 5th.  The forces of General Gotovina were

12     above Knin, and they were observing all our activities via binoculars, so

13     we were expecting an attack.  Plus all the intelligence and information

14     that was coming in from all quarters obviously said that there was an

15     attack being prepared.  Actually, in cooperation with all the political

16     organs, with all my corps, I tried to force the politicians and all these

17     leaders to opt for a peaceful solution, as was my plan, but that didn't

18     materialise.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  And could the witness please slow down for the

20     benefit of one and all?

21             MR. MISETIC:  I was going to say --

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, again you are invited to adopt a

23     different speed of speaking.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.  You

25     know, I've been burdened with this onus, a difficult psychological

Page 18862

 1     burden, for 15 years.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  It's not that we have no understanding, but

 3     nevertheless we would like to hear your testimony.

 4             Please proceed.

 5             MR. MISETIC:

 6        Q.   And my arms are starting to hurt from trying to slow you down, so

 7     if we could -- thank you, General.

 8             Mr. Registrar, if I could have the exhibit on the screen

 9     marked -- or, Mr. President, if I could have the exhibit on the screen

10     marked, and I tender it into evidence.

11             MR. RUSSO:  There's no objection, Mr. President.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

13             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1514.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if I could have, please, 65 ter

16     number 1D1052, please.

17        Q.   General Mrksic, this is an order issued by you on the 2nd of

18     August; and it's a decision on further combat operations; order.  Now,

19     it's a lengthy document, so let me go through it with you step by step.

20        A.   I'll have to read it through to see what it is about, if you will

21     allow me.  I haven't seen this document in perhaps 15 years.  Perhaps I

22     didn't even draw it up and perhaps I wrote it in haste.  And I'm not sure

23     if that is the case, what I wrote, so I have to read through it.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, with your permission, I would give

25     the witness a hard copy of the original.  Perhaps it will be faster for

Page 18863

 1     him to review it on paper.

 2             THE WITNESS:  [In English] Yes, yes, yes, please.

 3             [Interpretation] Yes, I've read it.

 4             MR. MISETIC:

 5        Q.   Okay.  And does that look like an order that you issued on the

 6     2nd of August?

 7        A.   Yes, yes.  And after that, I was not able to issue any other

 8     orders because the communications did not function.

 9        Q.   I'm sorry.  We're going to continue on with this document, but I

10     want to clarify something that you answered earlier by showing you a new

11     document.

12             Remember, we discussed Mr. Mladic being in Knin, and you said you

13     were in Slunj.  Do you remember, on that exact date, you attending a

14     meeting with Mr. Martic and --

15        A.   I think that I was in Slunj.

16        Q.   Do you remember being present in Knin on that very day with

17     Mr. Martic meeting with Yasushi Akashi?

18        A.   I know that I was at all meetings with the president precisely on

19     account of all the tasks I was given after the meeting in Karadjordjevo,

20     and that we were to advance a joint position before representatives of

21     the international community.  Now, as for that particular day, I don't

22     know.  What I do know is that I was not with Mladic.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, if we can via Sanction, show a memo

24     prepared by Mr. Akashi about his visit to Knin on the 30th of July, and

25     we will tender the document later.  The 65 ter number is 1D1586, and

Page 18864

 1     we're showing it via Sanction.

 2        Q.   I don't have a translated copy, so you'll just have to listen, or

 3     I know you speak some English, so if you can follow along.  This is

 4     Mr. Akashi's memorandum to Mr. Kofi Annan.  The memo is dated the 1st of

 5     August, but in the first paragraph you'll see, he's reporting on:

 6             "The results of my meeting in Knin on 30th of July."

 7             And paragraph 2 in the middle, he says:

 8             "I was accompanied in the meeting by the force commander and

 9     senior aides.  President Martic, dressed in a camouflage T-shirt, led the

10     delegation from Knin and was accompanied by General Mrksic."

11             Does that refresh your recollection about a meeting that you

12     attended with Yasushi Akashi in Knin on the 30th of July?

13        A.   We were at meetings many times, and I sought that I was always

14     present at such meetings, because representatives of the international

15     community insisted that I do so.

16        Q.   Now if we can go back to the document in e-court.

17             The order that you have now in front of you on paper, this is

18     your decision on an order on further combat operations.  And in the first

19     paragraph, you say:

20             "The territorial integrity of the RSK has been jeopardised by

21     combat operations of the Croatian Army from the Dinara ridge and from

22     Grahovo towards Strmica and Knin."

23             Now, you say -- I'm sorry, and if we can look -- let's look at

24     the sentence before that.  In that very first paragraph, you say:

25             "It is expected that the aggression might be initiated with the

Page 18865

 1     main forces on the axis Plaski-Slunj-Sturlic and with a part of the

 2     forces on the axis Sunja-Kostajnica - valley of the River Una."

 3             Now, those places in that sentence, Plaski, Slunj, Sturlic, are

 4     areas in Sector North; correct?  Yes?  You have to speak.

 5        A.   I'm still listening to the interpretation.  Yes.  What is the

 6     problem there?  These are the precise assessments that we had, and it was

 7     the most logical variant.

 8        Q.   Going back to that second paragraph, you talk about the combat

 9     operations Grahovo-Strmica-Knin:

10             "Several demonstrational attacks can be expected aimed at

11     achieving surprise and concealing the axes of aggression."

12             And then you say:

13             "Count on the Croatian Army using air-strikes on the axes of

14     combat operations by the main forces, but also fake strikes at favourable

15     areas in order to create confusion."

16             Now, if I read that correctly, you anticipated the main attack

17     would come in Sector North and that the -- from the direction of Grahovo

18     would be demonstrational or fake strikes aimed at creating confusion and

19     masking the true aim of the attack?

20        A.   We actually thought that the main attack would come from Grahovo

21     and through Grahovo, and that was our major problem.  Our earlier

22     assessment, or war plan, was based on what you have just said, Strmica,

23     the linking up of the 5th Corps with the forces from Ogulin, the nearest

24     part, and near Glina from Stankovac to Glina and then linking again up

25     with Western Bosnia, and of course normally down there by Slunj, cutting

Page 18866

 1     off the direction towards Republika Srpska.  Those were our assessments.

 2     Actually, according -- everything evolved according to assessments,

 3     except that we did not assess and anticipate that we would be attacked

 4     from the back.  And we even assessed all the battalions.

 5        Q.   If we go to section -- the paragraph B, okay, it says:

 6             "The attack on the units which prepared the areas in defence

 7     positions are preceded by several hours or days of artillery fire.  The

 8     artillery inflicts losses, evokes fear, and is aimed at trying to lead

 9     the soldiers to abandon their positions for defence prior to the attack

10     itself.  The largest psychological effect the Ustasha have been

11     accomplishing by using multiple rocket-launchers.  The precision was more

12     weak than well.  The Ustasha started the attack only if the soldiers

13     afraid from the artillery fire would leave their positions without a

14     fight."

15             So you were anticipating that the Croatian Army would use --

16     sorry.

17        A.   [In English] More correct writing, missed the writing totally

18     correct. [Interpretation] It wasn't read correctly, what was written.

19     Multiple rocket-launchers, these are not mortar and these are not just

20     launchers, this is a huge difference, like chalk and cheese.  You didn't

21     do it deliberately, I'm sure.  Perhaps it is just that you lack military

22     training.

23             The greater psychological effect was achieved by Ustasha by

24     actually using multiple rocket-launchers -- the precision was weak rather

25     than good.  The Ustasha started the attack.  Only the soldiers were too

Page 18867

 1     afraid from artillery fire would leave their positions without a fight,

 2     and that is quite logical.  This is something that I, myself, would have

 3     done in such a position.

 4        Q.   Now, if we go to paragraph 2.

 5        A.   Under C?

 6        Q.   No, paragraph number 2, after paragraph D:

 7             "All SVK units are at the highest level of combat readiness.

 8     Combat operations are in progress, with a part of the forces on the

 9     Dinara ridge and the defence of the Grahovo-Strmica axis."

10             And it says:

11             "After losing Grahovo and Glamoc, the 2nd Krajina Corps is

12     rapidly conducting engineering work on positions for the defence of the

13     Grahovo-Drvar axis."

14             And now this sentence:

15             "New forces are being rapidly brought in from depth and prepared

16     for conducting a counter-attack on HV/HVO forces on the Grahovo-Livno

17     access and the Glamoc-Livno axis.

18             In paragraph 4:

19             "I have decided by carrying out --"

20        A.   This is a bit peculiar, a bit strange.  This is a neighbouring

21     adjacent structure; right?

22        Q.   Yes, it is.

23        A.   This is the commanding methodology?  What is the adjacent unit

24     doing, what is the neighbouring structure doing?

25        Q.   That's not my question.  My question is:  In paragraph 4, what

Page 18868

 1     you decided is to carry out a persistent defence to slow down and prevent

 2     a possible attack --

 3        A.   Extreme -- extreme and persistent defence.  This is the

 4     last-ditch defence, decisive defence.

 5        Q.   "... decisive defence, to slow down and prevent a possible attack

 6     by the HV on the chosen axes, while simultaneously carrying out an

 7     operation to liberate the Knin-Grahovo-Drvar communication and take

 8     control of the Dinara ridge, with the purpose of creating conditions for

 9     a more favourable treatment towards RSK's interests in the negotiating

10     process which has started."

11             Now, if I understand this correctly, General, what you intended

12     to do was mount a defence against what you thought were going to be the

13     Croatian Army's main axes of attack and simultaneously conduct your

14     own --

15        A.   Yes, against Mr. Gotovina, that is correct.

16        Q.   So your plan was to launch a counter-attack to take Grahovo back

17     while the Croatian Army was attacking --

18        A.   I cannot mount a counter-attack against such forces.  I just

19     wanted to slow them down.  I'm sorry, I apologise.  So the objective was

20     to halt them on the most important axis which was endangering the capital

21     city, which was undefended, practically.  Because delegations had left

22     with the empowerment, with the authority to sign whatever was necessary.

23     They had gone to Geneva.  Martic had ordered the prime minister to go to

24     the American Embassy and to sign the Z-4, and I was also supposed to go,

25     but the late Mr. Cervenko was not supposed -- was not willing to receive

Page 18869

 1     me.  I was to go to Turanj with him and to accept everything that

 2     Mr. Cervenko asked me to.

 3        Q.   Let me -- again, as I understand the document, paragraph 1 talks

 4     about the main axes of attack being the areas that you've said are in

 5     Sector North, and the language in paragraph 3 -- I'm sorry.

 6        A.   The fourth.

 7        Q.   Yes.  And paragraph 4, you talk about carrying out an operation

 8     to liberate the Knin-Grahovo-Drvar communication.  An operation to

 9     liberate that communication would involve an offensive operation, would

10     it not?

11        A.   Yes.  But, sir, you skipped over paragraph 3, because we had

12     information from the neighbours, from Republika Srpska, that they were

13     pulling in forces and mounting offensive actions towards Grahovo from

14     Drvar.  And I, as the endangered side, had to follow my concept.  So this

15     is the conceptual part of the decision, item 4, that I was also to

16     participate in making this road passable, if breaching this

17     communication, if you understand me.  But these were -- you know, this

18     was more wishful-thinking type of decisions.  They were not backed

19     materially, but the decision -- because the decision has to be backed by

20     equipment, and technical and materiel equipment.  This pulling in of

21     forces from Eastern Bosnia, this took days.  By that time, Knin had

22     fallen, half of Krajina had fallen, and all of Krajina had fallen, in

23     fact.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I'm looking at the clock.  It might be

25     time for a break, unless you have one or two questions which would

Page 18870

 1     conclude a certain chapter or a certain subject.

 2             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  I was going to complete this document,

 3     Mr. President.  I have one question left on this document.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  It's not a short document.  If you can do that

 5     in a couple of minutes, fine, please proceed.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Actually, Mr. President, we can take a break now.

 7     Sorry.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Before we take the break, could I turn into private

 9     session for a second.

10                           [Private session]

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 18871

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4                           [Open session]

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

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

 7             We have a break, and we resume at 10 minutes to 1.00.

 8                           [The witness stands down]

 9                           --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.

10                           --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Before we continue, perhaps I should address you,

12     Mr. Waespi.

13             There was an informal request by the Cermak Defence for exceeding

14     the word limit in the sur-reply on the matter of Rule 68 disclosure.  Is

15     that a matter on which you would like to respond or, knowing the Cermak

16     Defence, that they usually are rather succinct --

17             MR. WAESPI:  We'll leave it in your hands, Mr. President.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Then the request is granted, Mr. Cayley.

19             MR. CAYLEY:  I'm obliged, Mr. President.  Thank you.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

21                           [The witness takes the stand]

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   General Mrksic, while we still have this document on the screen,

24     I believe it's -- if we go to page 3 in the English, paragraph 5, which

25     in the original -- the original starts:

Page 18872

 1             "The KSJ, not including the 2nd pbr ..."

 2             Do you see that?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Now, in your order, you said:

 5             "The KSJ, not including the 2nd pbr and went with the 75th mabr,

 6     parts of the forces from the 21st Corps and Pauk are deployed in the

 7     waiting area of Slunj - village of Brocanac - Batnoga on readiness for a

 8     counter-attack ..."

 9             Now, why did you deploy -- this Special Unit Corps was --

10        A.   You haven't read it well.  Can I explain, then, read this out,

11     just to assist you?  The Special Units Corps, without the 2nd Guards

12     Brigade, with the 75th Mixed Artillery Brigade, mbr, these are

13     130-millimetre guns from the 21st Corps, and the Pauk units or, rather,

14     Fikret Abdic's units deployed in the area, the waiting area Slunj,

15     village of Brocanac-Batnoga, be at for readiness for a counter-attack in

16     the direction of Glina.

17             It was our intention that via Kladusa, they would be linking up

18     through Glina --

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I have some problems with what appears

20     in the original and what appears on the -- on our screens.  Apparently,

21     paragraph 5, which has a heading, is subdivided in various paragraphs in

22     the original, whereas what we see at this moment is a paragraph 5 without

23     heading and appears to be something -- perhaps it's the subparagraph,

24     what we see left and right is not the same.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, that's it.  Now we have it right on the

Page 18873

 1     screen.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There it is.  I don't know about

 3     this.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  It's correct.

 5        Q.   Go ahead and finish your answer, General.

 6        A.   These reserve forces, in other words, my forces, the forces of

 7     the commander of the Supreme Staff, that's to say Matic, they were there

 8     in case an aggression was launched to engage in active combat along the

 9     axis that might possibly be threatened.  And then the Slunj-Rakovica

10     road, I don't know why it is was that we assumed that the Croatian forces

11     would have some sort of landing operations.  We were, obviously, fearful

12     of them.  The axis of active combat should be coordinated with the Banja

13     and the Kordun Corps.

14        Q.   Understood.  And what you're talking about is you're not sure why

15     you assume the Croatian forces would have some sort of landing operations

16     up in Sector North; yes?

17        A.   To the best of my recollection, there were none, there were no

18     landing operations, but obviously somebody fed this information to our

19     intelligence services.

20        Q.   That it was going to be up in Sector North; correct?

21        A.   Yes.  I believed that that was the best area for Croatian Army to

22     cut off the Banja and Kordun from Lika and Dalmatia Corps.  I didn't

23     count on what would subsequently happen with Grahovo.

24        Q.   Now, in terms of what you anticipated happening from behind you,

25     from Grahovo, did you -- did you anticipate that the main action of the

Page 18874

 1     Croatian Army from Grahovo would be via the Grahovo-Strmica-Knin road?

 2        A.   I anticipated that the thrust of the attack would be on the road

 3     above Knin.  Knin, itself, was undefended.  I anticipated that the forces

 4     of the HV and HVO would be launching a landing operation there.  That's

 5     why I kept the unit you asked me about close to that location.  What's it

 6     called?  Not Obrovac; Potok or Otisic [phoen].  Bruvno, right.  That's

 7     why I kept the reserve forces there, because I was afraid of them cutting

 8     off the corps and encircling it.  We were going through these various

 9     scenarios of finding ourselves in encirclement.  However, it appeared

10     then that they were not interested in encircling us.  They were merely

11     shelling from down there.  And as the population was returned, they

12     advanced.  That's why I was surprised by, their manner of advancement.

13     They caught me by surprise there 100 percent.

14             As for the other axes covered by the Banja and Kordun Corps, all

15     these developments kind of followed the logic that we were preparing for

16     in our exercises.  However, we did not anticipate what the southern flank

17     of the Croatian Army, under the command of General Gotovina, would be

18     doing.  That's why I had my mates who helped me there.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,

20     and I tender it into evidence.

21             MR. RUSSO:  No objection, Mr. President.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1515.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

25             MR. MISETIC:

Page 18875

 1        Q.   General Mrksic, there came a point in time that you replaced the

 2     commander of the 7th Krajina Corps, Kozomara, with Mr. Kovacevic.  Can

 3     you tell us, first, when you did that?

 4        A.   Kozomara, yes.  That was shortly before the attack, roughly at

 5     the time when the fighting was going on around Grahovo.  Kozomara did not

 6     prove to be resourceful.  He did not -- he wasn't able to use the sources

 7     that were there defending Benkovac and elsewhere, where there was no

 8     threat, in fact.  He should have regrouped those forces and used them

 9     where they were needed.  He was a good officer.  However, apparently he

10     was not in a good psychological state.  He was not in a good state of

11     mind, since he, himself, asked for another individual to replace him.

12        Q.   Now --

13        A.   Well, this wasn't the only poor psychological state that we had.

14     I had my subordinate who committed suicide.  These people were made of

15     flesh and blood.  He was a colonel.

16        Q.   Let me ask you, where did Mr. Kovacevic come from?  From what

17     post was he promoted to the position of the commander of the 7th Krajina

18     Corps?

19        A.   General Kovacevic was chief of armoured units.  Since I used to

20     work in the land forces before, I was chief of the land forces -- let me

21     explain this.  He, as a Serb volunteer, having seen what the situation

22     was like there, he volunteered to go there on his annual leave.  He

23     wasn't dispatched there by the General Staff.  They even forbade officers

24     to cross the Drina on their way there, but there were others arriving as

25     well.

Page 18876

 1        Q.   Just so the record is clear, Mr. Kovacevic --

 2        A.   Maybe it was the impact of me being the commander there.

 3        Q.   For the record -- just so the record is clear, General Kovacevic

 4     was an officer in the Yugoslav Army -- a general in the Yugoslav Army who

 5     then replaced Mr. Kozomara?

 6        A.   That's correct, yes.  Kozomara stayed behind to work with him,

 7     but he took charge of everything because he was a stable person, and he

 8     personally took it upon himself to take care of the positions up on the

 9     Dinara.  The other ones didn't dare show their noses up there; not

10     because they were afraid, but because they had been engaged in the war

11     for a long time.

12        Q.   Let's turn our attention back to D1495.  Sorry, 1465.  I

13     apologise.  Page 240 in the English, and page --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Page 240 in the English and page 245 in the B/C/S.

16        Q.   General Mrksic, do you recall going to Drvar on the 2nd of

17     August, 1995?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And were Mr. -- were you present at that meeting with

20     Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, Ms. Plavsic, as well as General Tolimir --

21        A.   Yes, yes.

22        Q.   -- Milovanovic, Martic?

23        A.   This was a meeting of two supreme commands.  It was supposed to

24     be a meeting, but it did not turn out to be one.

25        Q.   Well, what was the purpose of you all getting together on the

Page 18877

 1     2nd of August in Drvar?

 2        A.   The purpose was to resolve the issue of pulling out the

 3     breakthrough and causing the fall of Grahovo, et cetera, and the arming

 4     of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.  This was the purpose of the

 5     joint meeting.  Mladic and I, chiefs of staff, were supposed to submit

 6     reports, and the commands were supposed to take decisions, What do we do

 7     next?  We had water up to our chins.

 8             Now, what happened?  There was no meeting.  There ensued a

 9     quarrel in the leadership of the Army of Republika Srpska, between Mladic

10     and Krajisnik, or, rather, Karadzic.  And all at once NATO aviation

11     appeared.  I told Matic, Let's go back, this is to no avail, let's save

12     our skins.  So that's how it ended.

13             I don't trust anything that's put on paper here, because this is

14     not the way it happened.

15        Q.   Well, can you look at this paper and see, in terms of the names

16     there, do you recall all of those people being present?

17        A.   I don't recall all of them.  I know about Martic, Karadzic,

18     Krajisnik, Plavsic, who approached me and told me, Good for you, you are

19     so unified.  Why don't we have such a unified leadership?  That's what I

20     remember.  Probably Tomanovic, the commander of the corps, was there.

21     And as far as I remember, Milovanovic was there, since he was in charge

22     of the entire area as of the month of June.

23             However, there was some sort of an excess there when we entered

24     the meeting room, some sort of a quarrel, and then the aviation appeared,

25     and that was the end of the story; no discussion, no conclusions.  I

Page 18878

 1     didn't even get to say anything.

 2        Q.   Well, earlier, when we looked at the previous -- your order from

 3     the 2nd of August, which was the last document we looked at, you

 4     indicated that, in fact, part of your order reflects that the 2nd Krajina

 5     Corps, which was under General Mladic's command, was supposed to launch

 6     an offensive operation against General Gotovina's forces in Grahovo when

 7     the Croatian offensive began; correct?

 8        A.   Precisely.  Information was received along the communication

 9     lines between the staffs.  This was their plan which was materialised who

10     knows when.  But this was not the subject of this particular meeting of

11     the two supreme commands of two countries, the Republika Srpska and the

12     RSK.  Perhaps it would have been, had not this altercation or verbal

13     conflict emerged.

14        Q.   In terms of your previous order, which was issued on the same day

15     as this meeting, was there some agreement or understanding between you

16     and General Mladic that you would defend and General Mladic's forces

17     would attack?  Otherwise, how did you know --

18        A.   No.  Staffs received information to the effect of what the

19     adjacent units were doing, what the adjacent corps were doing, and our

20     adjacent corps was the Krajina Corps, and they reported on all the areas

21     where they broke through.  They said that they would launch an offensive

22     and that we would be doing the same from the other side.

23             General Kovacevic, whom you mentioned, had a company -- we didn't

24     have forces.  Everything was tied up along the front-line, along the

25     depth of the front-line.

Page 18879

 1        Q.   You mentioned General Kovacevic.  Where was General Kovacevic's

 2     command located once he took over the 7th Krajina Corps?

 3        A.   I think it was in the barracks in town, the Northern Barracks,

 4     and somewhere in Strmica.  He relocated later on, and then subsequently

 5     he was at the railway station in Knin, and that's where he supervised the

 6     pulling out of the forces.  And he was the one who was covering the back

 7     for the IKM in Srb.

 8        Q.   So if I understand your answer correctly, General Kovacevic, as

 9     the commander of the 7th Krajina Corps, his command was located in the

10     Northern Barracks at first; is that correct?

11        A.   Until combat activities commenced.  When they did, just as my

12     command did, he got up -- got out to the railway station and perhaps

13     towards Strmica, at the IKM there, because he was practically on the

14     slopes of the Dinara with some elements of his army.  That's where the

15     IKM was, and the command post was up at the abandoned railway station.  I

16     don't know what it's called, the one above Knin.  That's where we found

17     him that night.  Martic stayed the night there.  We spent nights there,

18     and he stayed behind at the corps, had a nap for perhaps two hours, and I

19     continued my journey to Srb.

20        Q.   Now, going back to this meeting in Drvar, do you recall a

21     discussion at that meeting in Drvar on the 2nd of August about the people

22     of Grahovo and Glamoc being bitter that the government organs had

23     provided almost no help at all in evacuation and salvaging of property?

24        A.   Such discussions did not take place at all.  A quarrel emerged as

25     to who was responsible for the fall of these municipalities.  There was a

Page 18880

 1     conflict, and that's where the discussions ended.  We parted ways.  And I

 2     really wondered at how this was possible.  This was a conflict between

 3     Mladic and Karadzic and whatnot.  It was an old affair.  The Assembly

 4     meddled in that later on, or whether the Assembly meeting was before, I

 5     don't know.  I didn't really study events.  I can't testify to that.

 6     I can only testify to the fact that the meeting started and then all of a

 7     sudden somebody said, The aviation is striking, and we just fled.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  If we could turn the page in English, please, and

 9     B/C/S.

10        Q.   The comment at the bottom of the page in English from this

11     meeting says:

12             "The people withdrew spontaneously, but quite successfully and

13     without major casualties, taking part of their property and driving

14     bovine cattle.  They are particularly bitter about the fact that the

15     government organs provided almost no help at all in the evacuation and

16     salvaging of property."

17             Does that refresh your recollection at all as to whether that was

18     discussed at this meeting?

19        A.   What I see written here is not something that was the subject of

20     discussions.  Perhaps somebody wrote it down after the meeting or before

21     the meeting.  At any rate, it was not discussed at the meeting.  We got

22     in together and left together:

23             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if we could go to Exhibit D1495,

24     please.

25        Q.   Can you tell the Court who Rade Raseta was at that time?

Page 18881

 1     General, General, can you tell us who Rade Raseta was?

 2        A.   I think that Rade Raseta was chief of security.  They rotated

 3     frequently.  I'm not sure, but I think he was chief of security.

 4        Q.   Now, what we have on the screen here is a report prepared on the

 5     3rd of August, 1995.

 6        A.   Yes, Dimitrijevic.

 7        Q.   And he's writing to Dimitrijevic, who is who?  Tell the Court who

 8     Mr. Dimitrijevic is at that time.

 9        A.   Dimitrijevic was chief of the Security Administration of the Army

10     of Yugoslavia, of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.  He was --

11     we had Aco Vasiljevic, and this is Aleksandar Dimitrijevic.  He was

12     holding that position for quite a long time.

13        Q.   If you look down to the second paragraph, or I guess the middle

14     of that one large paragraph, it says:

15             "In the course of the day," this is 3 August, "the chief of the

16     Krajina Serb Army General Staff established contact with the forward

17     command post of the Serb Republic Army General Staff in regard of the

18     joint operations and planning of further offensive operations along the

19     Grahovo-Livno axis."

20             Do you recall, the day before Operation Storm, establishing

21     contact with the forward command post of the VRS General Staff concerning

22     further offensive -- joint operations, further offensive operations along

23     the Grahovo-Livno axis?

24        A.   It is possible, because at the time Mladic went to Ostraj

25     [phoen].  Before Mladic arrived, I was unable to establish any

Page 18882

 1     communication, perhaps.  But it was a fait accompli.  Nothing could be

 2     done anymore --

 3        Q.   If we turn --

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter didn't catch the name of the

 5     person the witness said he couldn't establish communication with.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where it says here that artillery

 7     engaged in retaliation, this wasn't done.  I don't know --

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   The interpreter did not hear the name of the person you said you

10     could not establish contact with.

11        A.   That was Chief of Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,

12     General Milovanovic.  One could never know where he was.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  Mr. Registrar, if we could go to page 4 of

14     this document in English, which is the very end of the document in B/C/S

15     under section 3.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me just say that this security

17     officer added this in writing at his own initiative.

18             MR. MISETIC:

19        Q.   Now, your chief or assistant chief of security is writing to the

20     Yugoslav Army General Staff, Security Administration, on the 3rd of

21     August, and he reports:

22             "On 3 August 1995, I was in contact with the citizens, and I had

23     the impression that there are certain elements of panic, yet still under

24     control.  The citizens mostly blame the government, that is, the state

25     leadership of the Republic of the Serb Krajina.  They believe that their

Page 18883

 1     neglect and irresponsibility caused the consequences we are faced with

 2     now.  They hope that we have not been betrayed and abandoned and that, as

 3     the last possibility, the FRY will help.  Furthermore, the citizens

 4     believe that we are not able to defend ourselves and that, should there

 5     be no significant help by the FRY, it would be better for the people to

 6     resettle to other areas rather than stay here to face encirclement and

 7     death."

 8        A.   I didn't sign the document.  What sort of policy was developed by

 9     security, I don't know.  I didn't receive this document, and we did not

10     have this situation.  The situation that I know of was the one where

11     prevailed -- where confidence prevailed.  But I needed three more months.

12     I never heard from this security officer, Raseta, or his assistants, or

13     his subordinates, the KOS's counter-intelligence officers, that the

14     population should move out.  I suppose I should have been the first one

15     to know this and not someone --

16             JUDGE ORIE:  One second, please.  Mr. Misetic has read a part of

17     a document to you.  He has not even put a question to you.  Nevertheless,

18     you spent all right eight lines on giving comments.  Why not wait what

19     Mr. Misetic would like to know from you?

20             Mr. Misetic, what would be your question in relation to this part

21     of the document?

22             MR. MISETIC:

23        Q.   General Mrksic, this document comes from your General Staff, by

24     someone under your command, and I just wanted to ask you:  Was it, in

25     fact, the situation, as reported here --

Page 18884

 1        A.   This was not the line of command.

 2        Q.   Let me just ask you.  This assessment about the citizens

 3     believing that if --

 4             "Believe that we are unable to defend ourselves and that, should

 5     there be no significant help by the FRY, it would be better for the

 6     people to resettle to other areas, rather than stay here to face

 7     encirclement and death."

 8             Was that your understanding of the situation among the citizens

 9     on the 3rd of August, 1995?

10        A.   As I can see, this was the opinion on the part of the

11     Security Service, along their chain, which did not include mine.  Whether

12     their operatives knew more than I did is something I cannot say.  I know

13     the extent of what I know, and the information that I received through

14     the chain of command was that there was readiness and preparedness to

15     stay in the area and fight; however, that all steps should be taken to

16     avert a war.

17             The Assembly in Topusko asked me, as a commander, whether we were

18     able to defend ourselves.  I said that we were not able to defend

19     ourselves and that we should look for other solutions, we should engage

20     in negotiations.

21             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.  If we could go to Exhibit D923 again,

22     please.  Now, if we could first go to page 3 in the English, please.

23             I'm sorry.  Mr. Registrar, if we could go to page -- the bottom,

24     it says, "page 21 of 29."  It's page 21.  It's page 13 in the B/C/S,

25     please.

Page 18885

 1        Q.   Okay.  If you look, General --

 2        A.   Which document are we talking about?

 3        Q.   This is that report of the 26th of August.  And I just wanted to

 4     ask you about this line.  There is a sentence in here which talks about

 5     Western Slavonia right in the middle of the screen in English, and it

 6     says:

 7             "After the fall of Western Slavonia, there were many accusations

 8     at the expense of the authority, the president of the republic, because

 9     the evacuation was not ordered earlier."

10             Now, do you recall, prior to Operation Storm, criticism of the

11     authorities for not ordering the evacuation of the population of Western

12     Slavonia earlier?

13        A.   I know nothing about Western Slavonia.  I came after

14     Western Slavonia.  There was no talk about Western Slavonia.  I arrived

15     there to heal the wounds of Western Slavonia, to change the climate.  I

16     didn't know about the reactions, the recriminations, the accusations.

17     I think that they accused mostly Republika Srpska for failing to assist

18     the people pulling out of Western Slavonia.

19             MR. MISETIC:  If we could go to page 3 now of this document in

20     English, please.  It's page 2 in the B/C/S.

21        Q.   Now, it says here:

22             "The aggression was expected, and the Main Staff directed the

23     main focus of their work on preparing the units to defend their

24     positions, regions, and areas resolutely for five to seven days,

25     believing that that would be enough for the international factors and, if

Page 18886

 1     necessary, even the Yugoslav Army, to react."

 2             Now, why was it part of your strategy to anticipate international

 3     factors and perhaps the Yugoslav Army reacting?  What were you hoping the

 4     international factors would do?

 5        A.   We were expecting the international factors to react because we

 6     were in a United Nations protected zone.  That United Nations protected

 7     zone came under strike of the Croatian professional army, the entire army

 8     of 160.000 men, attacking unarmed people.  We expected that nothing would

 9     happen, that the international community would be -- would have to be

10     ashamed of.

11             As regards the use of the Army of Yugoslavia, of the Yugoslav

12     Army, this was said rather as more a boosting factor, to boost the morale

13     of the soldiers, because we knew that they would not be used, that the

14     Yugoslav Army would not -- you knew that the Yugoslav Army would not be

15     used, as did I.  We had such close cooperation ties that this was a known

16     fact.

17        Q.   Well --

18        A.   Not even the East Slavonia Corps was used, which ostensibly was

19     under my command.

20        Q.   Would that be the 11th Corps ?

21        A.   Yes, yes, the East Slavonia Corps, which is the strongest corps.

22     It was just looking on as we were suffering.  We knew that the forces

23     were being pulled in, that there would be an imminent attack, but nothing

24     was being done.

25        Q.   We'll talk about the 11th Corps a little bit later.  Okay?  But

Page 18887

 1     let me turn your attention to Exhibit D389, please.

 2             Can you tell us who Mihajlo Knezevic was?

 3        A.   He was some sort of a security or intelligence officer.  A

 4     lieutenant-colonel was here, lieutenant-colonel, an intelligence officer.

 5     Yes, yes, that is what he was.  He gathered intelligence on you, and his

 6     intelligence was quite precise.  I mean, he gathered the intelligence on

 7     the Croatian side.

 8        Q.   Speaking of precise intelligence, let's look at this document.

 9     And if you look at the fourth paragraph, this is the report that he

10     prepared on the 4th of August?

11        A.   Yeah, Knin-Livanjsko Polje.

12        Q.   He reports, talking about the 4th of August, he says:

13             "The first strike was carried out on the building of the SVK

14     General Staff, which suffered great material damage with the fleet of

15     vehicles almost completely destroyed.  Later the fire was transferred on

16     the military barracks, '1300 kaplar', the Tvik factory, the railway

17     intersection, residential buildings in the area beneath the Knin

18     fortress, et cetera."

19             Now, that intelligence information from Mr. Knezevic on the

20     4th of August, is that consistent with your --

21        A.   The railway hub is what matters.  That is, of course, the railway

22     station.

23        Q.   Why does the railway's hub matter?

24        A.   Well, the railway hub -- this railway hub, it was the biggest one

25     in this area of Croatia, the biggest traffic -- railway traffic

Page 18888

 1     intersection in the Knin area.  I don't know why it was important and why

 2     it was shelled, because there was no railway traffic and the army was not

 3     using that hub.  But as you are asking me about this paragraph and what

 4     is written here is correct, that -- I spent that night at the orders --

 5     or, rather, the suggestion of my personal security guards in town, in a

 6     house of a commander, and they were guarding me there.  When the bombing

 7     started, I sat in a vehicle with my security guards and left for the

 8     command post.  En route, because of the heavy artillery shelling, we had

 9     to stop and take shelter in basements of residential houses, and there I

10     saw people, women and children, with their hands on their ears.  Women

11     would be running out of houses naked, and they would ask me, General,

12     what kind of an artillery shelling is this?  We have shells coming in

13     through the windows.  And then I explained to them, These are rockets,

14     not ordinary shells.  And they whizzed with such a terrible sound as they

15     landed, like we had in Belgrade.

16             So now I arrive at the command post.  Can I explain about that?

17        Q.   Let me ask you:  The intelligence information contained in here,

18     is that the intelligence information you were, in fact, receiving on the

19     morning of the 4th, in terms of what was being struck?

20        A.   Yes, that is correct.  I got information the minute I entered the

21     staff, in the basement, the operations conference room which was in the

22     basement, and the officer on duty immediately informed me that they had

23     hit the command so -- with such precision that they had punctured all our

24     vehicles.  A guard in the compound, a guard in the vehicles was killed.

25     And they said they had never seen such precision shelling.  Now, they

Page 18889

 1     used the 152 MM Howitzers.  They had to have had a GPS system and a

 2     target analysts group because it was so precise.  I never asked these

 3     gentlemen here what it was they shelled us with.  But they continued to

 4     shell me, not the town, and that is something which amazed me, because

 5     had they continued, they would have finished their job.  They just opened

 6     that fire.  Now, why they did so --

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mrksic, the question was simply whether this was

 8     the intelligence information you received, not who then went on to shell

 9     you.  That's -- try to focus on the questions.

10             And you have some time to consider it, because, Mr. Misetic, I

11     need five minutes, and it's 20 minutes to 2.00, so I suggest that unless

12     it would be very unsuitable for you, to already ask the witness to be

13     excused for the day only.

14             Mr. Mrksic, we will continue tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning in

15     this same courtroom.  I'll further discuss with the parties our time

16     scheduling also in order to see to what extent we will be able to

17     accommodate you, so that's still on our mind.

18             Meanwhile, I instruct you that you should not speak about your

19     testimony, whether already given or whether still to be given, with

20     anyone, and that includes Mr. Domazet, because the substance of your

21     testimony is not to be discussed.  Another matter is your position as a

22     witness.  That is within the scope of what you can discuss with

23     Mr. Domazet.  Is that clear to you?

24             And that's clear to Mr. Domazet as well, I take it?  Yes, that's

25     confirmed.

Page 18890

 1             Then, Madam Usher, could you please --

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can I telephone my

 3     wife and my children to tell them that I'm well, without, of course, ever

 4     talking about the subject?

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  As I said before, the weather or whether you feel

 6     well, these are the kind of subjects you can discuss with others.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 8                           [The witness stands down]

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I'm first addressing you.

10             We're close to five hours now, four hours more to go.  That is,

11     for tomorrow, we usually take three and a half effective hours of

12     examination.  Could you give us any estimate?

13             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, it is my hope to finish tomorrow.  I'm

14     now into the 4th of August, so hopefully most of my time will be spent on

15     that tomorrow.  There are some things after the 4th of August, but I will

16     do my best to finish tomorrow.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Could the other parties give me any indication

18     on how much time they'll need for --

19             MR. CAYLEY:  As things stand at the moment, Your Honour, we don't

20     have any questions at all for this witness.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mikulicic.

22             MR. MIKULICIC:  Your Honour, my questioning, of course, will very

23     much depends on what Mr. Misetic will be asking before me.  But for the

24     present circumstances, I could estimate one session.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  One session, which is a little bit not a full one

Page 18891

 1     hour and a half, but close to that.

 2             Mr. Russo, my question to you.

 3             MR. RUSSO:  At this point, Mr. President, I'm estimating about a

 4     day.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  A day.  Well, then, I'm glad that I'll be able,

 6     tomorrow, to tell Mr. Mrksic that where the family visit -- the first

 7     family visit is planned for Wednesday afternoon, that there is a fair

 8     chance - of course, we do not know what re-examination will bring - that

 9     he would be even free to prepare for that family visit during the morning

10     hours.  If we would need part of Wednesday morning, then it takes a bit

11     of time between concluding a session and being transported back.  Since

12     the visit is expected at 1.00, that would certainly not be the whole of

13     Wednesday morning, but if the parties could endeavour - and of course the

14     Chamber may have some questions as well - to not go beyond part of the

15     Tuesday.

16             Mr. Misetic.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, that is our objective as well, but I

18     do want to let you know that we will have the next witness here, ready to

19     go, hopefully Monday, and so, if for some unforeseen reason, there needs

20     to be more time to examine him, if the Court wishes to take that witness

21     out of turn on Wednesday so that the witness -- this witness can spend

22     time with his family and then come back the next day, after the visit is

23     over.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, the point is that for the Wednesday afternoon,

25     visits are planned, but for the two following days full-day visits are

Page 18892

 1     planned.  So that is good to know, that the next witness is stand-by, and

 2     I think next week Friday we have scheduled another matter anyhow.  So,

 3     therefore, we'll have to consider that.  But let's try to do our utmost

 4     best to finish somewhere during Tuesday morning.

 5             We will adjourn until tomorrow, Friday, the 19th of June, 9.00,

 6     Courtroom III.

 7                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,

 8                           to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of June,

 9                           2009, at 9.00 a.m.