1 Tuesday, 23 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 I apologise for the late start of this morning; not the Chamber,
12 but me, myself.
13 If the witness is escorted into the courtroom, Mr. Misetic, you
14 have an opportunity to further re-examine the witness.
15 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 WITNESS: MILE MRKSIC [Resumed]
18 [The witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Mrksic. Please be seated.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to everyone. Thank
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, I would like to remind you that you are
23 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
24 your testimony.
25 Mr. Misetic will now continue his re-examination.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, General.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. You recall yesterday we left off discussing General Kovacevic
6 being in Knin on the evening of the 4th of August, and you said that the
7 document that I had shown you refreshed your recollection, that he, in
8 fact, was in Knin on the evening of the 4th.
9 Now, could you tell us, first of all, who Mr. Radic was in the
10 7th Krajina Corps Command?
11 A. Mr. Radic was Chief of Staff.
12 Q. Yes. Do you know where Mr. Radic was on the morning of the 4th
13 of August?
14 A. I don't know. I wasn't able to know the whereabouts of the
15 people in the corps. It was only where a commander would call me, then
16 he would tell me where he was. As for members of his command, I wouldn't
17 know where they were at that point.
18 Q. Well, I believe you testified earlier on direct examination that
19 you wouldn't put the entire command in one location; is that correct?
20 When you were talking about breaking up the command into separate rear
21 command, forward command, main command, that there was a reason why you
22 wouldn't put the entire command in one location, can you tell us again
23 why that is?
24 A. It was a general principle in order to make sure that the whole
25 of the command would not perish in a single strike. One could have
1 thought to have elements of the command parish, but if you had nuclear
2 weapons in use or precision artillery weapons, it was not acceptable.
3 Therefore, one had to have a forward command post as well.
4 You asked me about where he, himself, was. I don't know that,
5 not at that point.
6 Q. General, at the transcript page 19054, lines 11 to 12, under
7 Mr. Russo's questioning, you were asked about communications, and you
9 "I can see that our communications were easily recorded and
10 transcripts were made."
11 Do you recall saying that yesterday?
12 A. I said that yesterday, when I saw that you had -- that it was a
13 plan of the Supreme Command of the Croatian Army and the
14 Intelligence Service, that it was a plan. Until I saw it yesterday, I
15 didn't know that it was a plan.
16 Q. Let me show you one of those easily-recorded communications, a
18 Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D1257, please.
19 Mr. President, with your leave, I'd like to read it to the
20 witness in B/C/S.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
22 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2 in the English and page 2
23 in the B/C/S.
24 Q. This is now Croatian Intelligence intercepts of telephone
25 conversation on the 4th of August, and I'd like to turn your attention,
1 on page 2, to a conversation that took place at 7.00 a.m. on the morning
2 of the 4th of August, 1995, right in the middle of that page, right where
3 it says:
4 "We quote the order by General Kovacevic (he is in Knin) to
5 Lieutenant-Colonel Radic, (commander of the BG Dinara)."
6 Let me read it to you in the original:
7 [Interpretation] "Radic, you can only come back dead. You must
8 not come if you leave your position. Here is trouble. They have hit the
9 barracks, too, probably the Slavko Rodic Barracks in Knin. They are
10 pounding everything, and you fuck yourself. Hold on to it however you
11 can. You do not have another country but the Greater Serbia, and you
12 fuck their mother any way you know. I'm telling you in Serbian. Go fuck
13 yourself, hold on, my son, my falcon, and this corps will progress once
14 we have stabilised our state. Did you understand? You can only come
15 back dead, you cannot come alive."
16 A. What is the question?
17 Q. [In English] First, does that refresh your recollection as to
18 where Mr. Radic was on the morning of the 4th and what he was commanding?
19 A. I didn't receive interpretation.
20 Q. Does that refresh your recollection as to where Mr. Radic was on
21 the morning of the 4th?
22 A. Probably the general engaged Radic in that tactical group which
23 was defending the stretch from Grahovo toward Knin.
24 Q. Now, if Radic was, in fact --
25 A. I think that Radic was the last to retreat, according to what I
1 heard at a later date. At that time, I wasn't following the activities
2 by Radic.
3 Q. Yes, but my question to you is: If Radic is, in fact, on Dinara,
4 and you've just said that there's a fundamental principle that you don't
5 have the entire command in one location because it can be taken out by a
6 precise artillery hit --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- do you know where this report says General Kovacevic is at
9 7.00 a.m.
10 as to where Mr. Kovacevic may have been on the morning of the 4th?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
12 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, this document is, as Mr. Misetic has
13 stated, a report, an intelligence report by the HV. The indications in
14 parentheses about where individuals are, are clearly written by the
15 individual who wrote the report. The witness should first be asked if he
16 agrees with the report before it's put to him as a fact of where -- of
17 what's indicated in the report is actually true.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, there's some merit in Mr. Russo's
19 observation that the conversation, in itself, doesn't say that much.
20 Therefore, I think we should clearly distinguish between what is said and
21 what is added as comment or explanation.
22 MR. MISETIC: Well, two points, then, Mr. President.
23 Q. First of all, how does Mr. Kovacevic at 7.00 a.m. know that the
24 Northern Barracks, the Barracks Slavko Rodic, has been hit? How does
25 this person know that the Northern Barracks has been hit?
1 A. Mr. Misetic, you are confusing the individual with the command.
2 The commander can move about and know everything. However, the command
3 is made up of organs located in a given area. The commander is
4 constantly on the move. From what I see now, the chief was on the
5 Dinara. I forgot this. It was a long time ago. But I'm telling you
6 that Radic retreated from the Dinara during the night and was among the
7 last ones to do so.
8 Now, as for the rest, what was intercepted, who told what to whom
9 and who used what sort of vocabulary, this was not compiled by an officer
10 of mine or anybody else. You know how things are in war. I can't
11 comment on anything here.
12 Q. Let me ask you --
13 A. There are political views here of a Greater Serbia, which isn't
14 something that one could hear uttered amongst us.
15 Q. Any knowledge on your part about Mr. Radic wanting to go back
16 into Knin on the morning of the 4th?
17 A. I didn't know anything about it. On the 4th, at 22 p.m.
18 [as interpreted], I relocated the command post, and I came to the corps
19 command post, where I left the president was asleep, and I proceeded to
20 Srb. I reached Srb in the morning because it was difficult to move for
21 the crowds of people on the road.
22 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: This is a Croatian intelligence
23 report. Now, you testified yesterday about you don't know why certain
24 things were hit or why certain decisions were made. If you were in
25 General Gotovina's position and received this intelligence report that
1 General Kovacevic is in Knin at the Northern Barracks, would you have
2 fired on the Northern Barracks?
3 A. The Northern Barracks was hit in the first strike, in the first
4 barrage, as was the command. It was targeted very precisely, and I
5 commented upon it yesterday. Of course, I would target -- I would target
6 all the military targets, as a commander.
7 Q. And even after that first wave, if you found -- if you received
8 intelligence information from your intelligence services that at
9 7.00 a.m.
10 the Dinara, would you have continued to fire on the Northern Barracks?
11 A. This piece of intelligence refers to an individual and not to the
12 command. I don't think that one would be chasing an individual with
13 rockets either about the town or on the mountains. One uses a sniper for
14 that purpose. That's something else. You see, the Americans have
15 unmanned aircraft that can hit individuals whilst in vehicles, et cetera.
16 Q. Since you're still not convinced, let me turn your attention,
17 then, to Exhibit D928, please.
18 If we could turn to page 31 in the English, please.
19 You know who General Sekulic is; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Have you had an opportunity to read this book?
22 A. No. Let me state this now. I didn't read a single book or watch
23 a single movie about war, because I didn't want other people's memory to
24 interfere with mine, especially because there were many of those who
25 posed as wise men after the war, in hindsight, a general who is wiser
1 after a battle waged, both in Serbia
2 him writing something. I didn't read it.
3 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page. I'm sorry, page 32 in
4 the English, page 37 in B/C/S, please, starting with the paragraph that
5 says: "A little after 2000 hours ..." If we could turn the page in
6 English, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that.
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. Now, this portion of Mr. Sekulic's book reports:
10 "A little after 2000 hours, security officer, Captain
11 Dusan Degenek informed Lieutenant-Colonel Radic that the 7th Corps
12 Command chief of security had informed him that their Dalmatian Corps
13 command post had been moved to Padjene village. This shocked Radic. He
14 even wondered how and why the command post was being moved, and he, as
15 Chief of Staff, was not even informed of it. Even then, at about 2100
16 hours, Lieutenant-Colonel Radic did not know that the whole corps zone
17 had been attacked and that the command post had to be moved because it
18 was impossible to command from Knin."
19 Now, does this portion refresh your memory of when it was that
20 the command of the 7th Knin Corps was moved out of Kinin and into
22 MR. RUSSO: Let me object, Mr. President. First of all, this is
23 being done under the guise of refreshing recollection. The witness
24 testified that he did not have a recollection about location of the
1 MR. MISETIC: Excuse me.
2 MR. RUSSO: He testified that he did not have a recollection as
3 to individuals in the corps.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, when there is a dispute about what the
5 witness exactly said, the proper way of resolving it is to point at the
6 relevant portion of the transcript.
7 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I will try to now find the portion of
8 the transcript. However, as the Prosecution is fond of saying, this is
9 about assisting the Chamber in getting at the truth, and to that extent
10 this portion can be put to him. The witness has said he was led by
11 Mr. Russo to conclusions about how Mr. Kovacevic wasn't in Knin, and when
12 he was shown a document to that effect, the witness said, Now that I have
13 a document in front of me, it does refresh my recollection.
14 There's no point served -- there's no purpose served in trying to
15 cloud the truth, and to that extent --
16 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, my primary objection is to the manner
17 in which it's being done. This is redirect examination, not
18 cross-examination. He's putting matters to him without asking him what
19 his knowledge is. And if his knowledge is different from this, he can't
20 simply put it to him to prove differently, and he can't do it under the
21 guise of refreshing his recollection when the witness doesn't indicate
22 that his recollection needs to be refreshed on the location of the
24 MR. MISETIC: I disagree with that, Mr. President. He
25 specifically, at the end of the day yesterday, said, I didn't have
1 documents in front of me. Now that I have documents in front of me, it
2 does help me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's a general statement about the need of
4 refreshment. If that would apply for every single instance is another
5 matter. But if you could find in the record the portion of his evidence
6 he referred to, and then you may put this, which is, by the way, not a
7 document, it's a person writing a book, which of course is a document; I
8 do not disagree with that. But it's a personal account of events.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I could just clarify that point.
10 I believe Mr. Sekulic will testify that, in fact, his book is simply a
11 compilation of --
12 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, let me object to --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Whether or not he will testify, we have not heard
14 his testimony. But you are now --
15 MR. MISETIC: The book is a compilation of reports that were
16 submitted to the Main Staff of the ARSK --
17 MR. RUSSO: Testifying in front of the witness is not
18 appropriate, Mr. President.
19 MR. MISETIC: I'm giving you a proffer as to what the evidence
21 MR. RUSSO: Which should not be done in front of the witness.
22 MR. MISETIC: As Mr. Russo did about --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let's stop the discussion in this way. I invited
24 you -- I gave you guidance, Mr. Misetic, how you can proceed, and you're
25 invited to do so. If that takes some time, that's fully understood.
1 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, that's fine.
2 Mr. President, this is -- I have the draft transcript.
3 Mr. President, it's page 19030, beginning at line 12, and your question
5 "Did Mr. Kovacevic leave his position at the Dinara slopes, and
6 if so, when?"
7 The witness's answer was:
8 "I would really need to read his report, the one that he
9 submitted, as to exactly when he left, but he probably left during the
10 night, because the following day, during the course of the day ...,"
11 et cetera.
12 MR. RUSSO: This exactly my objection, Mr. President. The
13 witness pointed out earlier to Mr. Misetic that Mr. Misetic is confusing
14 an individual with the command. Now Mr. Misetic is putting to
15 him ... [Overlapping speakers].
16 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers]
17 MR. RUSSO: [Overlapping speakers] ... that his recollection
18 needs to be refreshed about the location of the commands.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You're competing and blaming each other for giving
20 testimony. Mr. Misetic, if you would like to refer to certain portions
21 of the evidence of the witness and then put a question to him, and even
22 point at what was written in the book, you can do so. But then take it
23 step by step, clearly setting out what the witness said, whether the
24 portion of the book by Mr. Sekulic in any way refreshes or adds to what
25 is apparently -- or was his memory yesterday.
1 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Now, General, have you listened to the portion of the transcript
3 that I read out yesterday, when you said you needed to see
4 General Kovacevic's report as to when he left his position at the Dinara
6 JUDGE ORIE: You should read it again, Mr. Misetic.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 Q. Well, the Presiding Judge yesterday asked you a question. He
10 "Did Mr. Kovacevic leave his position at the Dinara slopes, and
11 if so, when?"
12 And your answer was:
13 "I would really need to read his report, the one that he
14 submitted, as to exactly when he left, but he probably left during the
15 night, because the following day, during the course of the day ...," and
16 then it goes on.
17 Now, before we get to that question, I've now -- and you've now
18 acknowledged that, in fact, Mr. Radic was on the Dinara slopes. Would it
19 have made sense for Mr. Kovacevic and Mr. Radic, as to your earlier
20 principle about not putting all the command in one location, for those
21 two gentlemen to be located physically on the Dinara slopes so that they
22 could be taken out by a precise artillery shell? Would that have made
24 A. You are right, in that it would not have made sense. If a chief
25 of staff goes to one location, then he should not be followed there by
1 the commander. Likewise, they should not be in the same vehicle, unless
2 such a location is secured. Now, if Kovacevic was there, he was of the
3 mindset that he wanted to show the people that he was courageous, that he
4 was a busy-body.
5 You reminded me that he had come to see me together with brigade
6 commanders for a meeting. Now, where the command was is something that I
7 testified to, because the command included some 30 or 40 officers more.
8 The corps command even had 50 officers.
9 Q. Well, yesterday you testified that you weren't sure whether a
10 portion of the rear command, as you called it, remained in the
11 Northern Barracks. Do you recall that?
12 A. Yes. Whether they reached the village of Golubic
13 behind in the barracks is something I don't know. Nobody sent me these
14 accounts. When a war was being waged throughout Krajina, this was one
15 insignificant matter to know the location of a command.
16 You are putting me in dire straits, asking me about matters that
17 I don't know, and these are matters that, let's say, the commander of the
18 southern area wouldn't know what a company of one of his battalions was
19 doing, or one of his brigades.
20 Q. General, let me then turn your attention -- since you say I'm
21 putting you in dire straits asking you about matters that you don't know,
22 let me see if Mr. Sekulic's book --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- can refresh your recollection on this point, and concerning
25 the portion I read out to you about Mr. Radic being shocked that the
1 command post was being moved and that he, as Chief of Staff, wasn't
2 informed of it, and that the Dalmatian Corps command post had been moved
3 to Padjene village because "the command post had been moved because it
4 was impossible to command from Knin."
5 Now, do you have any recollection of discussions on the 4th about
6 the need to move a command - let's not call it the command - whether it's
7 the rear command, the forward command, the main command, however you want
8 to classify it, whatever it may have been in the Northern Barracks? Do
9 you recall a conversation or discussion of the need to move that command
10 out of the Northern Barracks to Padjene because it had become impossible
11 to command from within Knin?
12 A. Well, throughout the 4th, until 10.00 in the evening, my command
13 was in Knin, and, therefore, it was not logical for that commander to be
14 in Knin. However, just as part of my command went to Srb, part of their
15 command went to Padjene. Now I see that it's called Padjene, that
16 railway station I was referring to. I am not very familiar with the
17 area. I don't know what's in dispute here. The barracks are -- is a
18 military installation. You had assets there that you could not take
19 along. There were vehicles there, and it wasn't abandoned. There were
20 warrant officers and soldiers who stayed behind to take care of the
21 assets there. This is something that every commander would do, and of
22 course the commander went to Dinara, to Padjene, and to a meeting with me
23 with commanders, which doesn't mean that he, himself, is not -- does not
24 represent the command or the command post.
25 Q. We're in agreement on that point, General, just so you're clear.
1 Okay, we agree. But before you -- hold on, hold on. Let me just ask you
2 this: You said --
3 A. Well, you tell me what I am supposed to tell you, and then we are
4 done with this.
5 Q. Let me ask you this question, then: You said:
6 "Part of my command went to Srb. Part of their command went
7 to ..."
9 A. Well, they were supposed to go to Padjene, just as mine went to
10 Srb. That's logical. Whether they did or didn't, I don't know, because
11 I didn't keep their time. They would have had to go, because they
12 couldn't stay in Knin and wait for the strike. Just as I expected that I
13 would be the target, I didn't stay at the command post that night, didn't
14 sleep there, they would expect the same thing, that they would be hit or
15 targeted by the forces, or the air force, or the NATO.
16 Q. Where was the 7th Knin Corps Logistics Base in Knin?
17 A. I don't know, sir. I don't even know exactly where mine was of
18 the Main Staff. I just know that they were in Knin, in Golubici, in
19 Strmica, then down the valley of that little river along the railway
20 which Milka Planinc had started moving. That's where we pulled out the
21 reserves, and the vehicles and our assets were dug in there. I can't
22 tell you the details now, but I did observe the deployment and the
23 pullout before the aggression actually started.
24 Q. Let's try to do this, before I go on: I'd like to ask you to
25 take a look at a map of Knin.
1 Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit P62 on the screen,
3 And I'm going to ask you to mark certain locations on the map,
4 based on your best recollection. Using a blue pen, you can actually
5 write on the screen, which you probably are familiar with from your own
7 A. No, not blue. Red, you mean.
8 Q. Blue.
9 A. Well, then I don't want to write. You are blue, and I was on the
10 red. If you won't accept that, I cannot actually mark this with -- in
11 blue ink to represent myself. I was defending myself, and I was pushed
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, we have selected colours in this
14 courtroom so as to know always what marking was made at the request of
15 the Defence and what markings were made at the request of the
16 Prosecution. That's the reason why you were invited to do it in blue.
17 Don't pay too much attention to the colour. Just think as if it was red
18 or green or yellow, but it helps us later on to know whether the marking,
19 sometimes on the same map, was made at the request of the Defence or at
20 the request of the Prosecution. So you would greatly assist us in
21 overcoming your hesitations to use a blue pen.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Let me ask you, General, are you able to orient yourself on the
24 map at this resolution?
25 A. I can't figure out anything from this map. I don't know if this
1 is Knin or the suburbs. Perhaps you should have written this -- or maybe
2 you can just enlarge it a bit so that I can read, and then I can
3 orientate myself.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could blow up the bottom half
5 of this map from left to right.
6 Q. Do you recognise this portion of Knin?
7 A. Yes, I can see the fortress here, the Parliament Building
8 Q. Can you locate your own command headquarters on this map?
9 A. Well, I can see here something that looks like a cross. I don't
10 know what that is, this building at the foot of the Knin Fortress, across
11 from the Parliament and from the railway station. I can't quite
12 determine what this is, because I had never -- I've never seen an aerial
13 photo of Knin. This is the first time that I see it, so perhaps I can be
14 assisted. I don't know whether this is a hotel where the officers
15 stayed, were accommodated.
16 Now, what is the purpose of this exercise? Do you want me to
17 show how well I know Knin or do you want to show me where these features
18 are? You should point them out for me.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, don't bother too much about what the
20 purpose of the exercise is. Try to --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, I can't find my
22 way here. I can't figure out what's what. I only see the Knin Fortress
23 here. Should I encircle that?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, first try to orient yourself on this
25 map. You said that you saw the fortress a little bit --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's where I had meetings
2 with various representatives of international organisations.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you see, a little bit above that, where it's
4 indicated "Parliament," and further up are --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see "Knin Castle
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now further up to the north, do you see
7 something which looks a bit like a railway station?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I can, the railway
10 JUDGE ORIE: Do you see, a little bit to the right of that, what
11 seems to be a sports field where it's written H-e-l-o, "Helo."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that was the helipad, but I
13 never actually used it. This was probably UNPROFOR.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but apparently you are aware --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I actually landed at the
16 barracks, and I don't know that it was referred to as a helipad. Maybe
17 this was used by the UN, because they used to land their helicopters
18 there and their delegations.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We're not yet at the point where you answer
20 questions. I'm just trying to assist you in orienting yourself. If you
21 would look at the railway station, further to the left, do you see that
22 the road crosses the railway line? Do you see that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And "General Supply." Okay. Do you see further to
25 the left, a tiny bit further up, that it says "Knin Army Barracks"?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the barracks, yes. They
2 called it the Northern Barracks, I think.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, exactly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's where the corps command was
5 in peacetime.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Are you able now to find your way and to understand
7 what this aerial photograph depicts? And I have to tell you that it's
8 always a bit confusing that where usually north is up, here north is to
9 the left. So to that extent --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the left, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see this. This is
13 showing the eastern area, the slopes of the Knin Fortress, where the
14 Presidency was or, as they call it, the Parliament, but for the main
15 part, portions of the army actually met there. And then I can also see
16 the Southern Barracks, where the UNPROFOR forces were.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The railway station, which was
19 close to the command, I had actually never been at that railway station,
20 but I knew of it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not asking you to explain everything you now see
22 on the map, but apparently you were able to orient yourself. Listen
23 carefully to the questions that will be put to you by Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
25 Q. General, can you first draw a circle around the Northern Barracks
1 and put an A next to it?
2 A. [Marks]. Well, there is a sort of encirclement, because there is
3 the fence all around it, running around it.
4 Q. Can you locate the TVIK factory on this map?
5 Let me try it this way: Can you circle --
6 A. You must help me a bit.
7 Q. Can you circle the railway station and put a B next to it?
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Can you circle the general area of where your command was
10 located? You don't have to be perfect on the building, but just the
11 general area where your command was.
12 A. [Marks]. I think this is it. As far as I can recall, I think
13 this was in the center of the town.
14 Q. Can you put a C next to that, please?
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Now, from the railway station, which is B, do you recall which
17 direction the TVIK factory was?
18 A. It was across on the other side. I think it's the area where the
19 facilities beyond the pole station, as it says. These facilities would
20 have had to -- would have to be the TVIK factory, because it was
21 practically in the town itself. Should I circle that? [Marks]. I never
22 set foot in it, and I never actually visited it.
23 Q. Can you put a D within that circle, please.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Now, do you know where the logistics barracks was or something
1 called the Senjak Barracks?
2 A. Well, it was also here. As you can see, it's sort of circled.
3 It's to the left of the TVIK factory. It says "General Supply Support."
4 Which letter should I put there, E? [Marks]
5 Q. Can you tell us where the MUP police station was?
6 A. Oh, well, that, too, was in the town somewhere, but I'm not sure.
7 The ministry, and the organs around it, were together with the command in
8 the area marked C. As for the traffic police and other police, I don't
9 know exactly where it was.
10 Q. Do you know whether the Special Units Corps was quartered in
11 Knin, or a portion of the Special Units Corps?
12 A. No, no. They came after Grahovo fell; in other words, before the
13 4th, they had already returned, Stupor [phoen] had returned because his
14 command -- he returned with his corps with a group that he brought in for
15 interventions. They were sent back to Slunj. They never entered Knin.
16 I don't think that he ever came to the command post where I was, because
17 there were urgent matters that I had to deal with; the cutting off of the
18 corps, the joining of the corps with the 5th Corps.
19 Q. Where was the PTT?
20 A. To be honest, I was only brought to Knin, by car, to the command
21 post, and I was taken to a house in the town, where I would have my
22 meals, and then I would return in the evening to spend the night there,
23 so I don't know where these institutions were in Knin. I never even went
24 to the hospital, nor did I ever see the UNPROFOR barracks, except for
25 what I could see from the helicopter as I landed at the
1 Northern Barracks. I never used this helipad. So I don't know where the
2 PTT hub was or where the police station was, but I know that most of the
3 forces -- most of the MUP forces and the ministry were in
4 one-and-the-same building. They were on different floors. They had
5 their own security. We did not really mingle.
6 Q. Well, do you know if the police station had an antenna on the
8 A. Well, I think there were antennas, TV antennas, on every
9 building, I don't even know where the TV was. Although they were under
10 the direct control of the Main Staff, this was something that
11 Kosta Novakovic dealt with. I don't know, I didn't know about it. I
12 spent -- I was there for very brief periods and I had a lot of work to
13 do, so I had to rely on my subordinates. Everyone did their own part of
14 the job. The main thing for me was to avoid the aggression, to prevent
16 Q. Do you know where the Stara Bolnica, the old hospital, was?
17 A. I don't know. I'm not the right person to ask those details of.
18 If you were to ask me now where I could -- to find the house where I was
19 accommodated for those 10 days or so, I couldn't actually show you where
20 it was. I just know that I had to walk through the town. It was
21 somewhere -- going from the barracks, I would -- when the shelling
22 started, I would then move to the basement of some buildings and wait for
23 the shelling to stop. It was a private home. I don't know exactly whose
24 it was.
25 Q. Do you know where the MUP or SUP Special Police Platoon was
1 located in Knin?
2 A. It was on the Dinara. Martic ordered the minister to send them
3 to Dinara because we didn't have personnel. Everyone was on the
5 Q. Where was their base in Knin?
6 A. That, I wouldn't know. Oh, no, excuse me. There was a police
7 base somewhere towards Golubici, when you leave Knin. And it's a good
8 thing that you reminded me of this, because one of my -- one of my
9 assignments when I took over was this: I insisted that this antagonism
10 that existed between the MUP and the army should be overcome, because we
11 cannot change the attitudes and the perceptions among the civilians if,
12 within our own ranks, we go each our own way. And thank you for
13 reminding me of this, because I managed to actually build this
14 relationship so that later on they would join us in some of the fighting
15 at Grebine, on the Dinara, and they even took part in some other
17 Q. General --
18 JUDGE ORIE: I remind you of something else as well, Mr. Mrksic.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. General, do you know where St. Anthony's Monastery is in Knin?
21 A. I don't know either where Lazarica is or where the
22 St. Ante Monastery is. I didn't have time to go there. I did go once to
23 the Krka Monastery. I went there with the Zagreb bishop, the Italian
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may just have one moment.
1 Mr. President, if we could have this exhibit marked, and I tender
2 it into evidence, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
4 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1525.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. General Mrksic, I'd like to take you now to Exhibit P2431.
10 Mr. President, this is map 30 in the map binder.
11 And I'm going to show you a map of Knin municipality, General.
12 That's not the map.
13 A. These are counties.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The right map will appear soon. Loading maps takes
15 a bit more time.
16 MR. MISETIC: Here we go. If we could blow that up in the
17 area -- the yellow area, the area around Knin, please.
18 Q. Now, General, using that blue pen again, can you tell us where
19 the command of the 7th Knin Corps was moved to?
20 A. [Marks]. The railway station here at Padjene, that's where it
21 was. I went there by night and left by night, and that was the only time
22 that I actually went there.
23 Q. Can you put an A next to that, please?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Now, that road ultimately leads to the Otric Nac; is that
2 A. It leads up towards Otric, yes, and then on to Srb, but it's not
3 shown on the map here.
4 Q. Can you tell us where the arms depot in the Golubic area was
5 located, looking at this map?
6 A. Well, you see this road here. There were some minor smaller
7 roads there. They were in these cliffs. I went there once. There was a
8 huge military depot there. It used -- actually, it used to be a depot
9 for the JNA. And I can't recall in detail, but this road going towards
10 Golubici, you would actually enter the depot in a vehicle [marks]. I
11 mean, this is just approximately telling you what it was like, as far as
12 I can recall.
13 But beyond Strmica, where this road was being built, they were
14 pulling out reserves, and we removed from this depot here everything
15 there, because we wanted to make sure that in -- because of the shelling,
16 should they be hit, there would have been a huge explosion and the entire
17 Knin would be just blown up. And this is what we referred to as
18 dispersion of assets.
19 Q. Now, can you identify for us and circle on the map locations
20 where the ARSK had either artillery emplacements or anti-aircraft
22 A. I cannot help you with such details.
23 Q. Is that --
24 A. I don't recall, I can't recall. I don't know where they shelled
25 from, what positions. I know that we pulled one weapon there, and we
1 tried to provide support to Republika Srpska, which did not react,
2 because up there we had some forces there, a company-strong group, and
3 they used this --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter requests that the witness
5 repeat what he is saying, and a bit slower, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please repeat the last portion of your
7 answer. You said you tried to provide support to Republika Srpska, which
8 did not react, because up there you had some forces. And could you then
9 finish your answer again?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, I don't know. Our
11 forces were there, and they kept asking, from Republika Srpska, that we
12 provide support to them, that we provide a company to them or support
13 them with Orkans. But whatever we managed to recover during the day,
14 overnight it would fall. And then I asked them, Why don't you let me go
15 there with my special corps, and let's see, if I took over command,
16 whether they would be able to advance like that. But then they told me,
17 Well, you can't take command over on our territory. And, of course, what
18 happened then, I've already told you about this. A weapon, 152
19 millimetres, called Nora, was brought there to Knin Polje, and it was
20 there, I don't know, in Medakovic or Cuge, that area. It was on the
21 foothills of the Dinara, and then towards the shooting range, and from
22 there we shelled Grahovo Polje.
23 Now, what can you do with one weapon? Nothing. We did that
24 while we still had ammunition. But then later on, because this
25 ammunition was scarce, this 152-millimetre ammunition -- it was Russian
1 made. But all of this was at the beginning of the aggression.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Wait for the next question.
3 Mr. Misetic.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I would ask that this exhibit be
5 marked, and I tender it into evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
7 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1526.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Now, if we could go, please, back to Exhibit D923. Actually,
14 while we still have this on the screen -- it's more difficult to see.
15 Let's first go to Exhibit D384, Mr. Registrar?
16 Mr. President, I assume we're going until 11.00; is that correct?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, or close to 11.00 so as to evenly divide the
18 time. How much time would you --
19 MR. MISETIC: I'm not sure at this point. It depends on the
20 answers. I may need another hour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you feel that you're not going to make it until
22 11.00, then please tell me already at quarter to 11.00.
23 MR. MISETIC: I'm not.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You're not going to make it. Then I suggest that we
25 have our next break at quarter to, up to 10 minutes to 11.00.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes, sir.
2 If we could go to page 2, please.
3 Q. Now, looking at this map, do you see that on the red circle is
4 Padjene, General?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And if we go to the right, you see there's something there marked
7 "Barracks Stara Straza"? Were you familiar with what was there at
8 Stara Straza?
9 A. I was not familiar with it. I only knew the name, Stara Straza,
10 but nobody told me specifically what it was.
11 MR. MISETIC: Okay. If we could now go to Exhibit D923, English
12 page 25, towards the bottom, beginning at numbered paragraph 5. Page 16
13 in the B/C/S, please at the very bottom.
14 Q. Now, again, General Mrksic, this is your report, and it says:
15 "On 5 August 1995
16 Logistics had found themselves in Srb, where they established a rear
17 command post and made an overview of the logistics support system
18 functioning. Then it was ordered to evacuate 14 railway wagons loaded
19 with ammunition from the tunnel on the axis Stara Straza-Padjene and to
20 relocate them to Otric-Malovan region, in order to take them to the
21 Republika Srpska territory. However, the train personnel and the
22 security left the wagons during the night, but even had they been at
23 their work posts in the morning, it would not have been possible to do
24 anything constructive, since Malovan had already been under the enemy
1 If we go to the next paragraph, please, in the B/C/S on the next
3 Now, you report:
4 "In order to initiate destruction of ammunition in the tunnels
5 near Stara Straza, the armoured train was pushed, in order to incite an
6 explosion due to the inertia, and crashed with the wagons loaded with
7 ammunition. This operation failed because the train turned over before
8 the entry into the tunnel.
9 "It was ordered to blow up the mined ammunition store 'Golubic,'
10 and for that all preparations had been carried out previously. But due
11 to the disruption of communications, it was not possible to forward the
12 order to the store commander."
13 Now, General, yesterday you were asked some questions about the
14 railway functioning, and one of your answers was that the armoured train
15 stopped functioning, I believe you said, in 1992. Now, can you explain
16 what the purpose -- first of all, why -- your report says that there, in
17 fact, were train personnel, but they left the wagons during the night.
18 Why was there train personnel employed?
19 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, if I could first object to this.
20 The testimony given during cross-examination related to use of
21 the railways in Knin, and this is -- if Mr. Misetic wants to point to the
22 transcript, we will see from the transcript references what that
23 discussion was about.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, that is not a proper objection, and
25 as far as I know, railways don't operate within 500 metres, they go
1 someplace, and that's the next area where I'm taking him on my cross, and
2 the objection is totally improper.
3 MR. RUSSO: The objection, Mr. President, is that this does not
4 arise from cross-examination. This is simply an attempt to correct
5 problems during his direct examination.
6 MR. MISETIC: That's absolutely untrue. As a matter of fact,
7 Mr. President, we can look at P804, which is an ECMM report, where I was
8 going to take him next, which says train are seen being moved in Knin.
9 Now, I'm entitled to go into redirect and put it to the witness.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
11 MR. RUSSO: I don't know why he didn't simply start with the
12 ECMM, rather than taking him to areas where I didn't cover and ask him
13 about those areas.
14 JUDGE ORIE: But since he'll go there, the objection still
16 MR. RUSSO: That depends on whether we're going there now or if
17 he's going to continue with this area.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, anyway you could proceed in such a way
19 that you could do it uninterrupted.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think I'm entitled to show the
21 railways had 14 wagons full of ammunition. Mr. Russo may not like it.
22 That's certainly his issue that he can raise. But what are the trains
23 doing in Knin?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You may continue your line of questioning.
25 MR. RUSSO: If I could just -- Mr. President, the question, What
1 are they doing in Knin, the question has not been put to the witness
2 where these were. The document he's been shown does not indicate they
3 were in Knin.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, as I said, there's an ECMM report.
5 It will be shown to the witness. But first we're entitled to explore the
6 use of the railway system.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, you may proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Now, General, I'm just going back to my question. Why was train
10 personnel employed in the Stara Straza-Padjene axis?
11 A. This was probably down to the Logistics Base to pull out these
12 assets. Since the railway was not damaged, it could have been used, some
13 20 to 30 per cent of it. I know that trains were not running through
14 Knin; maybe locally. I didn't hear the noise of the trains, and I didn't
15 use one, and nobody -- I never heard anybody say I was going to go to
16 Lapac by train.
17 As for the armoured train, this was some contraption that was
18 produced at the beginning of the war, and nobody got what the point was.
19 What did they want to achieve by it? Some sort of an explosion. That
20 didn't make any sense.
21 This probably served as justification for the fact that
22 ammunition had been left there. You know how people want, for the sake
23 of history, to rectify certain matters by providing explanations.
24 Somebody must have compiled the document and given it to me for
25 signature. I don't know if it bears my signature or not.
1 Well, I don't see what is controversial there. If there were
2 empty carriages, then they could have been used to pull the ammunition
3 out of the area.
4 Q. Let me make sure I understand your testimony. General, this
5 is -- this is your report, Exhibit D923, and you say that -- page 31,
6 lines 12 and 13 -- sorry, 11 through 13: "This probably --" this -- and
7 you're referring to the portion I read from your report:
8 "This probably served as justification for the fact that
9 ammunition had been left there. You know how people want, for the sake
10 of history, to rectify certain matters by providing explanations."
11 A. But of course. I would have preferred that it had not been left
12 there, but we can't escape the fact that it was, and that's why I'm here
14 Q. Now, General, if I could turn your attention to Exhibit P804,
16 If we scroll down to section 4 of this report, which is the next
17 page in the B/C/S.
18 General, this is a report from the ECMM on the 4th of August, and
19 you can see in point 4 it says :
20 "Obviously, a lot of damage during the day. Trains are seen
21 being moved in Knin. Comment: Presumably used for military purpose, but
22 could these be used for the evacuation of civilians?"
23 Now, do you recall seeing trains moving in Knin on the 4th of
25 A. I don't recall seeing trains. If they were moving, then the
1 purpose of it was to pull out ammunition, since trains were workable up
2 to the point where depots were located.
3 As for the civilians, themselves, I don't know how far they could
4 have been evacuated by trains. They were evacuated by buses, by private
5 vehicles, others on foot, still others asked their neighbours to give
6 them a lift, or whatever could be found as means of transport was used.
7 This is the first time I hear of an interpretation of the
8 evacuation of civilians as being done by trains. I don't know.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could now have 65 ter 1D1082,
11 Q. I'm going to ask you a few questions about the TVIK factory that
12 you were asked about yesterday, General. And if we look at the
13 English -- the first page is a cover page, signed by -- or for Assistant
14 Commander Mirko Bjelanovic, where he is forwarding a document of the
15 Main Staff, dated 11 June 1995, in which the Main Staff requested
16 modification of aerial bombs so they could be launched by the Kosava
17 LRST M-94. It says the attack will be carried out by Banijametal, work
18 organisation in Dvor na Uni, with whom a contract on the modification
19 should be written up.
20 If you turn the page, it's the attached letter. It's signed
21 by -- if we turn the page in the B/C/S. It's signed by you.
22 A. I don't see the signature. Where is it?
23 Q. It's coming up, General.
24 A. This isn't my signature.
25 Q. Can you tell what is written there in type?
1 A. It says "Mile Mrksic," but my signature never looked like this
2 one. I don't see what is controversial here, other than the fact that
3 this isn't my signature. Shoot any questions you have.
4 Q. Let me just point out that paragraph 2 of this document, if we
5 could go back one page in the English, now it says in paragraph 2:
6 "Upon completing the manufacture of 75 bombs by the Banijametal
7 RO in Dvor na Uni, hand them over in units according to the following
9 And one of the units is the 7th Knin Corps, the 15th Corps, and
10 then below that it says remaining bombs are to be stored in the Golubic
12 Now if we could go to -- now, this is as of 12 June.
13 A. Please, the signature we see in the right-hand corner -- now
14 you've taken it off the screen. This isn't my handwriting or my
15 signature or initials. Can we go to the top of the page, please? "Chief
16 of the Technical Service."
17 Q. Yes. I've had it translated as "Dobrijevic" on the top corner.
18 A. I don't know the man, and this isn't my signature. It must have
19 been done through someone else. Let's see what the gist is and what you
20 want me to tell you.
21 Q. Hold on. Let's look at two more documents, and then I'll ask you
22 the question. General, let's look at Exhibit D950.
23 A. Can we agree that I didn't sign the document?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, you testified that it's not your
25 signature. We don't have to reach agreements between witnesses and the
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. General, this is now Exhibit D950. This is 10 July, and now it
5 makes reference to that company that's in the previous document,
6 Banijametal at Dvor na Uni, and it says:
7 "Due to the urgent need of constructing lethal devices to be
8 launched from an earth-bound rocket launcher and given the capacity of
9 the TVIK factory - Knin - we have allocated part of the production of
10 certain products in cooperation with the Banijametal factory. Dvor na
11 Uni, to the aforementioned factory."
12 And then the third paragraph says:
13 "I propose that the TVIK factory - Knin - be put into the work
14 system of the Sector for Military and Special-Purpose Production, at
15 least for a certain period of time and that the requirements of the
16 sector for military and special purpose production be considered a work
18 And now let me turn your attention to another document.
19 Mr. Registrar, this is D444, please.
20 This is an order for air defence, an operational order, dated 13
21 February 1995. The introductory paragraph -- and this is of the command
22 of the 7th Knin Corps. It talks about anticipated attacks, and it says:
23 "In the corps defence area, approximately 24 sorties of combat
24 aircrafts may be expected ..."
25 And if we go into paragraph 2, it says:
1 "The focus of the operation is to be expected on the following
3 And it gives the axes, and then it says:
4 "... with the attack directed on the positions on artillery units
5 for support and anti-armour combat, on the armoured mechanised units,
6 Knin town, and the structures in the town such as the General Staff of
7 the Serb Army of the Krajina, the TVIK factory, the military barracks,
8 et cetera ..."
9 A. Hydro plant Obrovac, Manojlovac, and the storage sites at
10 Golubic. Yes, that's right that was an assessment of what was to be
12 Q. I've shown you those documents about, at least, which purport to
13 show at least some intent for production of military supplies in the TVIK
14 factory. My question to you is: Why would the 7th Knin Corps have
15 anticipated an attack by the HV on the TVIK factory?
16 A. Sir, every factory -- well, why did NATO strike all of our
17 factories during the aggression? Whatever could be used for certain
18 purposes was declared a military target. If you look at nuts and bolts
19 individually, then they don't serve a purpose, but if you put them to
20 use, then they could also be used for military purposes. But the factory
21 did not produce a rifle, a bomb, or any explosive. It was natural for
22 any country to have a factory that would be producing goods that could be
23 used for other purposes, and then, of course, you have assembly factory
24 as well.
25 Well, look at what we had in Slavonski Brod. You had parts
1 produced across Yugoslavia which would then be assembled in
2 Slavonski Brod. And I didn't know of anything being assembled to that
3 effect in TVIK factory, because they would have invited me, as a
4 commander, to make a tour of the factory. It was important for the
5 workers, and even today it is important for the residents of Knin. It
6 was the largest nut-and-bolts factory in former Yugoslavia, with
7 cutting-edge technology.
8 MR. MISETIC: I would tender 65 ter 1D1082.
9 MR. RUSSO: We'll object, Mr. President, based on the witness's
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could you assign a number so that the
12 document be MFI
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1527, marked
14 for identification.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 Mr. Misetic, perhaps we could first ask the witness to be
17 escorted out of the courtroom.
18 We'd like to see you back after the break, Mr. Mrksic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A break, right. I thought it was
20 all over, and I was surprised that we finished so soon.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, could you give us an estimate on how
23 much time you would still need?
24 MR. MISETIC: Forty-five minutes or less, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I like the "or less" rather than the 45 minutes.
1 MR. MISETIC: Perhaps half an hour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you try to finish in half an hour. Then I
3 take it the Cermak Defence --
4 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: No questions.
6 Mr. Mikulicic.
7 Mr. Russo, as matters stand now?
8 MR. RUSSO: As matters stand now, Mr. President, I don't have
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 Then we'll break now and resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.28 a.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be brought into the courtroom.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Mrksic.
17 Mr. Misetic, you may continue.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Mr. Registrar, may we please have 1D1048 on the screen, please,
20 page 16 of the B/C/S, page 4 of the English.
21 Q. General, this is a report that you can see on your screen, on the
22 right-hand side, purporting to be sent on the 4th of August from you to
23 the Yugoslav Army, General Staff, Air Force and Air Defence Sector.
24 I don't think we have the right translation on the screen. There
25 we go.
1 And if you look at the stamp on the bottom, and if we can scroll
2 down on the original, it says it was received at 1300 hours on the 4th of
3 August. Now, can you explain this document for us? It talks about the
4 following means of communication have been destroyed/disabled, and "we
5 are requesting replenishment." Can you explain what types of
6 communication were destroyed?
7 A. This is the PVO and RV system, the equipment for their systems.
8 The RRU 800 was, at the time, the key instrument for communications. It
9 was a long-range device. The RRU 1 are radio relay devices, one-channel
10 devices. The gentlemen know that. The radio station or radio unit 100,
11 that's 100 kilometres, its range. The IFP-PKON, this is very technical,
12 it's probably a wire -- or land wire system of communications. And UKP
13 are cables or wires. These -- actually, these devices were destroyed
14 during the first -- in the first barrage of fire.
15 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
16 Mr. President, I ask this exhibit be marked, and I tender it into
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
19 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1528.
22 THE COURT: And it is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. MISETIC: Just for the record, Mr. President, this is part of
24 that long exhibit and we will upload only the pages. So, for the record,
25 it is -- the portion is Exhibit D1048, that is page 16 in the B/C/S and
1 page 4 in the English.
2 Q. Mr. -- I'm sorry. General, let me show you another map. This is
3 65 ter 4865. It is map 20 in the binder of maps.
4 Now, this is a map of the Gracac municipality, and you can locate
5 in the middle of the screen the word "Gracac." And if we go -- you'll
6 recall yesterday you had some question as to the location of Bruvno. If
7 you go -- take that road that goes north from Gracac, you'll see --
8 A. Yes, yes, I see it. I see it.
9 Q. Okay. That is where the -- you had located a portion of the
10 Special Unit Corps, the KSJ, before Storm; correct?
11 A. Yes, a portion of the brigade, yes. This was the theatre --
12 landing theatre for interventions to the left and to the right, that
14 Q. Now, if you were going to deploy them from Bruvno, let's say to
15 get to Knin to assist on the Dinara, or to go to Mali Alan to assist in
16 the breakthrough where the Croatian Special Police were breaking through,
17 would they have to go through that junction, through Gracac, and then go
18 left or go right, to get to --
19 A. Yes, yes, that's right, but I think the intersection -- because I
20 took this road a number of times, the intersection or the cross-road is
21 before Gracac, if you're headed towards Knin. The road actually forks
22 earlier on, but if you were to take the pass -- the mountain pass
23 towards -- towards whatever, of course then you would have to go through
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. So these were the axes of possible interventions. You've noticed
2 this quite well.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you. Mr. President, I wasn't sure if this
4 map was in evidence or not. I thought it was, by agreement of the
5 parties. But if not, I'll tender it, and perhaps we can MFI it. And if
6 it is, then obviously we don't have to put it in.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
8 MR. RUSSO: I don't object to the exhibit. I'm just paying
9 attention to the transcript, the page 39 to 25, to page 40 through 5,
10 I think there were some words missing about how he described the precise
11 location of the intersection which don't appear on the transcript.
12 MR. MISETIC: I'm not sure what's missing at this point.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can repeat.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, but I would have one question.
15 You were describing the fork. Coming from Bruvno, going to the
16 south, just before you arrive at Gracac town, where you turn -- you turn
17 to the right and will then arrive --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the left, to the left, towards
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, to the left, towards Knin, avoiding that you
21 have to pass through Gracac town. And if you turn to the right, you
22 have, I think, two options. One is going through town, itself, and
23 another one going --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and one is going around Gracac
25 or along Gracac. That's how the main road actually used to run, if
1 you're going to the seaside.
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes, but --
3 JUDGE ORIE: That's now clear to me, because where exactly the
4 fork was -- and that, I take it, you want to draw our attention
5 especially to the crossroads, or the fork, as the witness said.
6 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, Mr. Russo, you're
8 satisfied that --
9 MR. RUSSO: Yes, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, if not in evidence, I don't know
11 whether we ever admitted the whole -- I don't think the whole series,
12 but --
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I don't show that this specific
14 65 ter number is in evidence, so this will become Exhibit D1529.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, D1529 is admitted into evidence.
16 I again urge the parties, now it is not dramatic here, if you use
17 maps, use maps which really reflects what's on the ground and not the
18 stretched ones, because all the proportions, and that's true with all
19 these maps, are just wrong. But for the purposes today, it doesn't make
20 much of a difference.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President. It's my confusion,
23 because Mr. Markac and I had actually sat down and selected 30 that we
24 all agreed were going, so I was unaware that, ultimately, they did not
25 all going in.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you compare them with proper maps, you'll see
2 that they're all stretched. That means that the distances, horizontally
3 or vertically, are not reflecting the real distances.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. General, I want to turn your attention to this issue of
8 And first if I could ask that 65 ter 2326 be brought on the
10 Now, General Mrksic, were you aware that the Security Council
11 passed a resolution concerning the events in Croatia on the 10th of
12 August, 1995?
13 A. On the 10th of August, 1995? At the time, I was already in
14 Banja Luka and dealing with totally different problems, so I had no idea
15 what was going on in the world. I didn't receive any newspapers, nor was
16 I briefed on it, nor was there anyone who could brief me, because at the
17 time we were practically disintegrating.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So the simple answer was, no, you were not aware?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not aware.
20 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2 of the Security Council --
21 no, sorry. Yes, page 2. It might be page 3. It is page 3, I'm sorry,
22 under point 2.
23 Your Honour, it appears that the B/C/S document is not the same
24 as the Security Council resolution on the screen, so I'm not --
25 JUDGE ORIE: It seems to be the case.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes. We'll have to have that corrected.
2 Let me just read out the one portion that's of interest to me,
3 General, and that is the Security Council demanding, amongst other
4 things, that the Government of the Republic of Croatia, under point A,
5 respect fully the rights of the local Serb population, including their
6 rights to remain, leave, or return in safety.
7 Q. Now --
8 A. Super. Yes, well, this was before the aggression. Had this
9 happened before the aggression, it would not have gone the way it did,
10 but -- that would have been perfect, but, unfortunately, in practice it
11 didn't happen. This is exactly what we were aiming for. That's why I
12 went there.
13 Q. My question is: You did, ultimately, have some knowledge of what
14 did happen in Sector North, for example, with Mr. Bulat. Were you aware
15 of the general position of the international community, that the Republic
16 of Croatia should respect the rights of the local Serb population to
17 leave, if they wished?
18 A. I did not have any knowledge of these paragraphs, nor did I have
19 any communications, and I was in no communication with the encircled
20 1st Corps. My connection or my communication was when I ordered that the
21 tanks be pulled out so that the T-84s do not fall into the enemy's hand.
22 And then I withdrew to Dvor, and I fought there in order to prevent the
23 people, the civilian population, being massacred in Dvor.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I understand the witness's answers,
25 but on the assumption that there's no dispute that this is the resolution
1 of the Security Council, I'd ask that the exhibit be marked, and I tender
2 it into evidence.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. RUSSO: No objection, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But it's more or less a Bar table submission,
6 because the witness apparently has no knowledge or -- and was even a bit
7 confused when he said this was before the aggression, since the date was
8 the 10th.
9 But, Mr. Registrar, could you assign a number to this document?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I would like to say
11 something else. I would like to change what I've said.
12 I would have liked this to have been before the aggression, but
13 you understood me to say that this actually was before the aggression.
14 This is -- this was my wish.
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's now fully understood. Reading this, you say if
16 this only would have happened before what you call the aggression.
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1530.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D1530 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. Now, General, let me ask you some questions.
22 You are an officer who was trained at the highest levels in the
23 Yugoslav Army; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it's correct, and I became a general during the SFRY, the
25 same way that President Tudjman became general, except he had become a
1 general much earlier. But we went to the same schools.
2 Q. What was the highest level of military education that you
4 A. The War College and the Operations School. We used to call it
5 the War School or War College, but it changed -- it had changed its name
6 into the Operations School. That's where I graduated from, because this
7 is the school where we actually studied large operations.
8 Q. Did you, in your military education, have an opportunity to study
9 military history?
10 A. Well, as far as the instructors, and the lecturers provided us
11 with these, but, of course, as any young man, I was interested in reading
12 up on the history of my own nation, but not in any particular special
13 courses, and I wasn't really very much into history.
14 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you some questions based on an answer you
15 gave at transcript page 19080, line 4, which I believe is Mr. Russo
16 citing earlier testimony of yours. And this is related to your point
17 that -- but you didn't just cut us off. And I'm going to -- for example,
18 let me just ask you: Have you heard of some of the great military
19 works -- Sun Tzu --
20 A. Sun Tzu Wa, yes.
21 Q. Vegetius, the principle of Scipio? Let me show you on the
22 screen, General. This is via Sanction. Let me -- Sun Tzu is a 6th
23 century Chine general who wrote --
24 A. Yes. You have to do something so that the enemy actually does
25 what you want him to do. In that sense, yes.
1 Q. One of the other great books of military history is from Roman
2 times, and let me show you. And I'm going to ask to read this portion to
3 you from the great works of military history and ask you whether you
4 agree with it, and this is via Sanction. This is now
5 Flavius Vegetius Renatus on Military Matters, Book 3. One of the maxims
7 "The flight of an enemy should not be prevented, but
9 And he wrote thousands of years ago:
10 "Generals unskilled in war think a victory incomplete unless the
11 enemy are so straightened in their ground or so entirely surrounded by
12 numbers as to have no possibility of escape. But in such situation,
13 where no hopes remain, fear itself will arm an enemy and despair inspires
14 courage. When men find they must inevitably perish, they willingly
15 resolve to die with their comrades and with their arms in their hands.
16 The maxim of Scipio, that a golden bridge should be made for a flying
17 enemy, has been much commended. For when they have free room to escape,
18 they think of nothing but how to save themselves by flight, and the
19 confusion becomes general; great numbers are cut to pieces."
20 A. Well, actually, this is exactly what I would like to comment on.
21 This is perfect for my purposes.
22 Q. "The pursuers can be in no danger when the vanquished have thrown
23 away their arms for greater haste. In this case, the greater the number
24 of the flying army, the greater the slaughter. Numbers are of no
25 signification where troops, once thrown into consternation, are equally
1 terrified at the sight of the enemy as at their weapons. But on the
2 contrary, when men shut up, although weak and few in number, become a
3 match for the enemy from this very reflection, that they have no resource
4 but in despair."
5 Now, General, that's a principle, I assume, that you're very
6 familiar with, as a general who passed through military education, you
7 should leave a golden bridge for your enemy to flee; is that right?
8 A. Well, don't put the question to me like that. You've read the
9 text for like 20 minutes by this Flavius whoever, a military theoretician
10 from days of Rome, but I wouldn't go that far back into time. Let's go
11 back to World War II. It is true that once you put a cork in the bottle
12 and there is no way out, then the cost is very high. Every soldier knows
14 Don't preach to me or don't teach me. I didn't understand you to
15 be doing that, but thank you very much for putting this up or raising
16 this issue, because I would like to say something to the Court.
17 We all know that the enemy should never be brought in despair,
18 because, first of all, that would cause a lot of your own victims and
19 losses, because it does not allow the enemy any other option but to fight
20 to the death. If they do not believe in who they are fighting against in
21 their moral integrity, in their keeping to the international rules of
22 law, you're right, then they would sell their skin highly.
23 And you're absolutely right. When I was on my first wartime
24 assignment at Vukovar, I kept a road open throughout this time towards
25 Vinkovci. Had I shut off that way out, Vukovar would have fallen in a
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter kindly requests that the
3 witness repeat the last portion.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. General, General, the interpreter did not hear the last few
7 A. Yes, I will reiterate it slowly.
8 What you have said here -- all right. Whenever the purpose is
9 not to destroy the enemy, to destroy his manpower, then you must always
10 leave a road for the enemy to pull out. However, if the goal is to
11 conquer a territory, regardless of what happens to the enemy, then that
12 escape route should be so wide that the enemy doesn't give it a second
13 thought but use it. So you should never put the enemy in a situation
14 where he has to fight instinctively and to fight to the death. That's
15 the role of every commander.
16 But I would like to ask you a question.
17 Q. Unfortunately --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I just consulted with my colleagues --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, because this is a scientific
20 sort of position.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether it's scientific or not, whether it's,
22 to some extent, military philosophy, whether, to some extent, it is
23 military history, where military philosophy, perhaps, not always matches
24 with military history, especially if we are then soliciting -- I'm not
25 saying that you sought that, Mr. Misetic, but if elements of other cases
1 get involved, then the Chamber is not assisted by that and would like you
2 to focus again on what is relevant for this case.
3 MR. MISETIC: I had no intention of getting into any other cases
4 before the Tribunal --
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, but that's, to some extent, what might have
6 happened. And there again, history and philosophy, how important it may
7 be, has no direct bearing on this case.
8 MR. MISETIC: Well, Your Honour, it was only raised with respect
9 to the answer that I cited the transcript for. So if I may --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I understand you, but we let you go for a
11 while, we let the witness go for a while, and now we move on to other
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes. And, Mr. President, as a matter of fact, I've
14 completed it, my examination.
15 General, I want to thank you for coming and testifying, and I
16 thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
18 The position the same, Mr. Kay; no questions for the Cermak
19 Defence. Mr. Mikulicic, no questions from the Markac Defence.
20 Mr. Russo.
21 MR. RUSSO: No questions, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, I have a few questions for you.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could we first have on the screen D923.
25 Yes. Mr. Mrksic, quite a lot of questions have been put to you
1 in relation to this report. You remember that --
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: -- you testified about it. You pointed out to us
4 what your position was in relation to Mr. Perisic, to Mr. Mladic.
5 Could we move to the last page of this document.
6 Mr. Mrksic, I think you also testified that the signature under
7 this document is yours. And, finally, you testified that you had seen
8 this document only here for the first time, I think you said.
9 Now, do you have an explanation, because you said something, this
10 is not the type of document -- who would have drafted it -- one second,
11 please. It should be mention now. How could it be that, on the one
12 side, you recognise your own signature; and at the same time you say, "I
13 see it in court for the first time"? I have trouble reconciling those
15 A. Well, I'm confused, Mr. President. My officers knew of this, and
16 I was -- my officers were not just lower-level officers. They were the
17 chief of the operations - he was a general - and colonels. They all knew
18 that they should not put before me a document of this type for me to
19 sign, where you can't see where -- who the document was typed by, who it
20 was drafted by, whom it was sent to, where it was filed. In my life,
21 I've never seen anything like this. From when I became the Chief of
22 Staff at brigade level up until the top, I never allowed this type of
23 document to be shown to me for signing.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time -- that's what you explained
25 before, you wouldn't allow this to happen. It appears that it either
1 happened, or it's a forgery, or whatever, but what is for you the
2 explanation that you say, "I see this document now for the first time;
3 nevertheless, I recognise my signature"? Could it be that you have been
4 inadvertent at the time and that you just signed it without properly
5 looking at it, or what is your explanation for it? It's a long document.
6 A. The document is long, and whoever brought it to me would know
7 that I wouldn't sign this, because I would first look at the left-hand
8 side of the document and then I would read the rest. But how this was
9 done technically and how a signature could actually be reprinted, I don't
10 know. But I do recognise the content, and it's strange to me that a
11 document of this importance, that I would send it to the chief of the
12 Main Staff without such indications on the document. Either I have gone
13 off my mind or somebody else has. But as a matter of course, I did not
14 allow this. I was an officer of the Main Staff, so there would have to
15 be also the principle where a document had to have a brief description so
16 I wouldn't have to read the entire document. This was actually
17 introduced into practice by General -- by Generals Mamula and Kadijevic,
18 that that was the proper procedure.
19 JUDGE ORIE: But to summarise, you say whether someone cheated or
20 "whether I have been inadvertent," you do not know. It's your signature,
21 and, nevertheless, you have no recollection to have seen it at the time,
22 and your recollection is you first saw it in court?
23 A. That's correct, yes. And, of course, a signature can be copied
24 onto any piece of paper. It can easily be done nowadays.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it can. But you do not exclude for the
1 possibility that you signed it and not sufficiently --
2 A. No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could we then next move to P480. Perhaps it could
4 be taken from the screen a second. Could we take it from the screen one
6 Mr. Mrksic, you testified in quite some detail as to orders for
7 evacuating the population of certain areas, how that decision was reached
8 and how that order was sent to those who had to implement it. Could you
9 tell us, was this order, was this distributed among the population in any
10 way directly?
11 A. No. As it says, the order was sent to civilian structures of
12 municipalities and it wasn't sent to the population at large. There was
13 no direct address by the president of the republic to the people.
14 Subsequently, my mother told me that they had been disseminating leaflets
15 to the effect that we had been dissolved, killed, et cetera, et cetera.
16 I saw it just for a moment before you took it off the screen here. That
17 was part of the propaganda.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You said flyers -- and I'm now referring to your
19 testimony, not necessarily in relation to what was just on the screen.
20 You said, during your testimony, flyers were being thrown around. Could
21 you explain what you referred to at that moment when you gave this
22 testimony? What flyers were you talking about?
23 A. It was printed material with instructions ostensibly on my
24 behalf. They were issued by someone from the staff or the republic
25 itself. It was an old system dating back to World War II, when
1 television and mass media were not as developed as they were today.
2 That's what they resorted to as an option, and they were distributed --
3 thrown around, that is.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You said:
5 "... ostensibly on my behalf. They were issued to someone from
6 the staff or the republic itself."
7 Did you mean to say that the system was such that they would be
8 issued by someone or whether that happened in this specific case?
9 A. No, you misunderstood me. It was probably the propaganda
10 machinery of the Main Staff of Croatia or some other propaganda system
11 that they had. They issued such flyers and instructions on our behalf,
12 not that someone would be betraying me. That would be difficult without
13 me noticing it, and of course they would have to have a reason. I had
14 good officers, and nobody proved to be traitors. Perhaps they were --
15 there were collaborators with the enemy side among them that I wasn't
16 aware of, but they also had some of ours on their side.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us whether you are aware of this
18 evacuation order to be broadcasted; radio, television? Are you aware of
19 any such broadcasting of the evacuation order that apparently was reached
20 on the afternoon of the 4th of August?
21 A. Yes, that's when it was taken, and at around 5.00 or 6.00 p.m. it
22 was distributed to the municipalities in Dalmatia. That's as far as it
23 went. It didn't go to the areas of Luka -- Lika, Kordun, and Banija.
24 Now, whether this was broadcast by some faked TV station or not, I
25 couldn't tell you, because I didn't watch TV. I looked out of the
1 window, observing the shelling of Knin, and I was awaiting reports from
2 my subordinates. And in the meeting, I had a meeting with the Lika and
3 Dalmatia Corps to see what was to be done next, once such a decision on
4 the withdrawal was taken.
5 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, you talked about TV, not about radio.
6 Did you -- apparently not yourself, but did you hear anyone telling you
7 that they heard this evacuation order to be distributed by radio
9 A. I didn't hear that. Kosta Novakovic, the commissar -- or,
10 rather, he was assistant for moral guidance and information. He had
11 direct control over the media outlets. He did not have such an approval
12 for this to be made public, because then third parties, including the
13 enemy, could have heard it and abused the information in such a way that
14 they would launch an all-out attack. We didn't go public with it. It
15 wouldn't have been natural for such an order to be made public. Still, I
16 can't make any assertions, because I didn't listen to the radio and I
17 didn't watch TV. According to my understanding of the commander and the
18 Presidency, this was supposed to be done in a covert manner.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now we go back to P480.
20 First question to you: Have you seen this document before?
21 A. No. This is the first time. Thank you for showing it to me.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever give an order as presented in this
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE ORIE: When you earlier talked about flyers, this document,
1 does say it is to be distributed by leaflet, is this the type of document
2 you had in mind or --
3 A. Under "flyers," I mean pieces of paper containing instructions
4 being thrown out of aircraft. This is what is implied by the term
5 "flyer." A flyer would not be understood to be the sort of material that
6 would be distributed by hand. In that case, you would talk about secret
7 dispatches. A flyer is a public document which is disseminated by air.
8 And when you say fake flyers or flyers for propaganda purposes, then it
9 is clear what is meant by that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that you had not seen this document
11 before. Had you heard about this document to exist and being
12 distributed -- for it to be distributed?
13 A. I heard that flyers were being thrown. I heard it from civilians
14 who had pulled out across Dvor na Uni into Republika Srpska. Whenever I
15 saw civilians, they would point at me and say, There is the commander,
16 it's not true that he's dead. So this is obviously something that the
17 population was informed of and something that the population believed; in
18 other words, that I had been killed.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
20 Have the questions by the Bench triggered any need for further
21 questions, Mr. Misetic?
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
23 If we could go, Mr. Registrar, to Exhibit D106, please.
24 Further Re-examination by Mr. Misetic:
25 Q. Now, General, your answers to the Judge's questions about whether
1 this was broadcast to the public, D106, I'm taking you back to your
2 interview with Radio Belgrade on the 4th of August, 2130. And in your
3 first paragraph of your first answer, you say:
4 "The aggression which commenced at 0500 hours lasted until the
5 nightfall. At the present, all combat activities in the area of Knin
6 have ceased. Knin is engulfed by the dark, evacuation of the population
7 is ongoing, enemy forces reached at four to six kilometres from the city
8 of Knin."
9 If we go down a few paragraphs to that long paragraph that says:
10 "HV was successful on the direction ..." Towards the middle, you say:
11 "Presently, we are engaged in the evacuation of the population
12 from Dalmatia, to prevent them from falling captive, because Knin and the
13 communications leading from Knin are in danger."
14 Now, in your answer to Judge Orie, you said that you thought that
15 this was a covert operation to evacuate. Could you explain to the Court
16 why you were on the radio on the evening of the 4th, however, speaking
17 about the fact that you were in the process of evacuating the civilian
19 A. If it was I who spoke here, and I don't remember, I never spoke
20 to journalists. Perhaps the individual didn't introduce himself as a
21 journalist. I don't recall ever saying something that it would
22 subsequently be broadcast by Radio Belgrade. I don't recall giving any
23 interviews. I am reputed to be a person who does not give interviews.
24 That's why I find it strange that I should have given an interview to
25 anyone. Perhaps I spoke to someone on the phone without realising that
1 the person would misuse what I said for their purposes. And had a
2 journalist told me that he was seeking an interview from me, I would not
3 have given it.
4 Q. Well, let me now draw your attention to Exhibit D1516, page 2,
5 please. And if we go to page 2, please.
6 Now, this is General Kovacevic's report again. Now,
7 General Kovacevic, at paragraph 6, the second paragraph of number 6,
9 "In the course of the 4th of August, the RSK government issued a
10 public statement, calling the entire population in the endangered areas
11 to evacuate, which caused a chaos within the units and their dispersion,
12 because ..."
13 Do you see that, General? It's on the next page. I'm sorry,
14 it's on the next page for you in the B/C/S.
15 A. I don't see that, no.
16 Q. It says -- sorry, it's on the previous page, on the bottom, I
18 If we could scroll up, please, if we could scroll up. There we
19 go, right at the top:
20 "In the course of the 4th of August, the RSK government issued a
21 public statement calling the entire population in the endangered areas to
22 evacuate, which caused a chaos within the units and their dispersion,
23 because the soldiers started leaving in order to go home and help their
24 families with the evacuation."
1 Mr. Registrar, if we could now go to Exhibit D928, at page 23,
2 please. Now, I believe this is page 36 in the B/C/S. If we could go one
3 back, please, in the B/C/S. I'm sorry, if we could go to page 26. There
4 we go. In the middle of the page in the B/C/S.
5 Now, General Sekulic's book says:
6 "The decision of the Supreme Defence Council was announced to the
7 public at 2000 hours on 4 August. It went to the people and through
8 UNPROFOR to the Croatian Army and Tudjman's state. It reads as follows:"
9 And then it proceeds to quote the announcement.
10 The next paragraph says:
11 "The Supreme Defence Council appeals to the Krajina citizens,
12 where evacuation is being organised, not to undertake individual actions
13 or be fooled by the Croatian propaganda. The citizens may contact
14 Civilian Protection officers for any information."
15 Now, General, these passages, do you know what type of
16 announcement, if any, General Kovacevic is referring to and
17 General Sekulic is referring to?
18 A. I don't know about that. You'll have to ask them about it. I
19 didn't read the book. Were there any announcements, or through whom?
20 Well, they did state here that they shouldn't be fooled by the propaganda
21 and that they should apply to their Civilian Protection officers in their
22 localities, to avoid panic, because panic was widespread. Are the cars
23 going to start up, do they have enough fuel, et cetera? We knew that
24 where such a decision could be taken, a grave situation may arise. I
25 could not have taken something of the sort upon myself. That's why the
1 Supreme Council had to decide about it. Who could provide us with any
2 guarantees if we are in an encirclement and in a position where we had to
3 fight in an encirclement, whilst cut off from anywhere else? You see
4 that the same rules of engagements that General Tudjman was taught by,
5 that a force needs to be designated in every village to protect the
6 population, and such a commander who is in charge of the town command is
7 superior to any other commander who might wish to transit that particular
8 area, because what one has to ensure is that the population is not
9 harmed. That's something I was aware of in Eastern Slavonia.
10 Had I known that you had all these various weapons systems and
11 had I known that you were trained by the Americans, my idea was that --
12 and they knew, of course, that the children had to be distributed with
13 chocolate, et cetera, that they had to be adjusted or adapted to the idea
14 of coexistence, that was what I aimed at.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic, apart from answering the question, you
16 gave your personal views and messages to us as well, which are not
17 directly relevant in answer to the question.
18 Mr. Misetic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
20 Q. Let me just follow up on your answer, General. You talk about --
21 A. What I'd like to know is: Can that be found somewhere?
22 Q. Well, if you tell me what it is I should be looking for, I'll
23 look for it, and that's why I'm following up here.
24 You say that -- this is at page 59, lines 4 through 10. You see
25 the same rules of engagement that General Tudjman was taught by, that a
1 force needs to be designated in every village to protect the population,
2 and such a commander who is in charge of the town command is superior to
3 any other commander who might wish to transit that particular area,
4 because what one has to ensure is that the population is not harmed.
5 Now, I'm interested -- can you, first, explain what you're
6 referring to about a commander in every village?
7 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, I'm going to object to this. The
8 Court's questions clearly related to the dissemination of a piece of
9 information. We're now getting into areas which the Court did not get
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The witness gave an answer, and as I said
13 before --
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may just respond to that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
16 MR. MISETIC: I'm asking this only because the Court raised an
17 issue about dissemination of information, and I believe that the
18 witness's answer was given in that context. And to avoid any confusion,
19 the witness should clarify the chain and how certain information may have
20 been distributed, and that's the only purpose of my question.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo.
22 MR. RUSSO: Mr. President, we've had testimony from the witness
23 about what he knows about how this information was disseminated.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's -- sometimes putting the question to the
25 witness takes less time than to -- if it is already in evidence, then
1 there's no problem. If it adds anything that could assist the Chamber,
2 you may put the question. But, at the same time, the last answer, where,
3 after two lines you had the answer already, you let the witness go for
4 another 15 lines, so if you could keep it focused.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
6 Q. General, you heard what my question was, which was your reference
7 to commanders in every village, and in order to cut this short: Were you
8 suggesting that the commanders in the village would have received the
9 information about the evacuation order?
10 A. No, sir, you misinterpreted my entire intervention.
11 What I was saying was that had been in the shoes of the general
12 here who launched the attack, he was duty-bound, for Strmica and for all
13 the other places, to designate a commander and to make sure that the
14 local population cooperated with the commander and was protective of him,
15 so that it could not be possible for a situation to arise where you would
16 have a policeman entering the village and doing whatever he wanted at
17 will. This is something that we were taught in the combat rules of the
18 JNA, which you inherited and which President Tudjman studied perhaps even
19 more than I did, and it should have been applied, not to speak of the
20 American rules which the gentlemen were taught about at the courses they
21 attended. They went even further than the JNA doctrine. That's what I
22 meant. You misunderstood me.
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I understood your earlier answer as a bit on the
25 abstract level as well. You are not seeking to enter that area. The
1 witness gave a rather abstract answer, where I was primarily interested
2 in what had happened.
3 MR. MISETIC: That's what I was interested in, too,
4 Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but by abstract answers, you might not find
7 MR. MISETIC: That's fine.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Any further questions? If not ...
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mrksic --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're nearing the end?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I can only say we, and I'm looking to everyone
13 in the courtroom, we made it in time.
14 Mr. Mrksic, usually I thank witnesses for coming a far way to
15 this courtroom. There's no need to do that. Nevertheless, I would like
16 to thank you very much that you came to this courtroom and that you had
17 answered I wouldn't add "at length," but you've answered --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] More than necessary.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the questions that were put to you
20 by the parties and that were put to you by the Bench. Thank you very
21 much, and I'll ask you now to be escorted out of the courtroom.
22 Mr. Domazet --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I thank you?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Domazet, I'd like to thank you also for being
25 available at such short notice, and being able to meet the concerns
1 Mr. Mrksic had at the time. Thank you.
2 Mr. Mrksic, you'd like to add something. Short; no messages.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no messages.
4 I would like to thank you for your consideration. You realise
5 the situation I was in. This was my first public appearance. I never
6 gave any testimonies or interviews for TV or radio. And to thank
7 Mr. Misetic, Defence counsel for Gotovina, who was insistent upon
8 ensuring my appearance here. I managed to relieve myself of some
9 burdens; not of all of them. And I would like to thank the Defence for
10 raising certain interesting matters related to security, which will only
11 be discussed; to the Prosecutor, who was quite brief.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm aware that the Chamber still has to decide
15 on D1508, which is MFI
16 Mr. Mikulicic, there was one document that you have tendered, but
17 I think it's not assigned a number yet. It was the document in which
18 some allegations were had as to involvement in smuggling, et cetera.
19 Could you please repeat the ID number of that document so that it can
20 be --
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. This is a document 65 ter
23 And, Your Honour, with your permission, while I'm on my feet, I
24 would like to draw your attention to the fact that the document already
25 tendered into the evidence, and that is D1495, is referring to the
1 documents that I was intending to tender, and it is my belief that for
2 the sake of complicity, both documents should be entered into the
3 evidence, while the one is for the moment and the other one is pending.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You said "complicity." I take it for completeness
6 sake, you wanted to refer to --
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. That was my mistake.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will look at that, because there was
9 objection against, if I could call it, the smuggling document, isn't it,
10 Mr. Russo, as irrelevant? And the witness denied any of its content.
11 Let me just have a look.
12 The Chamber will, in due course, decide on these exhibits, but
13 first a number has to be assigned to 3D00126. Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1531, marked
15 for identification.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
17 We'll have a break. Is the Gotovina Defence ready to call its
18 next witness?
19 Mr. Misetic, I have some concerns about the days to come, because
20 the next witness has been scheduled for one and a half hours in-chief,
21 although there's a rather lengthy 92 ter statement. Do you have any
22 other witnesses ready before Friday?
23 MR. MISETIC: Unfortunately, we do not, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll, nevertheless, ask whether there is already at
25 this moment any estimate of how much time the other Defence teams would
1 need for the examination of the witness which will appear after the
3 MR. KAY: It depends what happens in direct examination, but at
4 the moment, I have no questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: It is the very same position for the Markac
7 Defence as well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Russo -- or should I address Ms. Mahindaratne?
9 Ms. Mahindaratne.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I believe I estimate about four
11 hours of cross-examination.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That means it would take us most likely into
13 Thursday. Thank you for that information.
14 We'll have a break, and we'll resume at five minutes to 1.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, before the Chamber will invite you to
18 call your next witness, I first would like to inform the parties that
19 Monday we'll not be sitting. That was already announced as the most
20 likely outcome, but that's now confirmed.
21 The Chamber received, for the next witness, the 92 ter statement,
22 and if there's anything problematic with the translation, we'd like to be
23 informed about it early, because it's a lot of double work for us to
24 first try to find our way through a rather problematic document and then
25 to find out that apparently a lot of work was already done at the same
1 time to get a better copy.
2 Then the Chamber was not informed about any intention to apply
3 for protective measures for the next witness.
4 MR. MISETIC: That is correct, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort the
6 witness into the courtroom.
7 Is it true that the revised translation has not yet been filed
8 and up-loaded and is still sent through e-mail?
9 MR. MISETIC: It has been up-loaded into e-court and sent through
10 e-mail. It has not been filed.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that it would be better to have it
12 filed, because if there is a translation filed, then I think if there's a
13 new translation, it should be filed as well.
14 MR. MISETIC: We will do that this afternoon, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Milas.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
20 Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the
21 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is now
22 handed out to you by Madam Usher. May I invite you to make the solemn
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: BORIS MILAS
2 [The witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Milas. Please be seated.
4 Mr. Milas, you'll first be examined by Mr. Misetic. Mr. Misetic
5 is counsel for Mr. Gotovina.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Examination by Mr. Misetic:
9 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Milas.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Would you please state your full name for the record?
12 A. Boris Milas.
13 Q. And could you tell us what your current occupation is?
14 A. I am an officer with the Croatian Armed Forces.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, could we please have 65 ter 1D2699
16 on the screen, please.
17 Q. Mr. Milas, do you recall giving two statements to members of the
18 Defence of Ante Gotovina?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. And looking on your screen, is that your signature on the bottom
21 of the first page?
22 A. Correct, that is my signature.
23 Q. And do you recall being interviewed on three occasions: first,
24 from the 19th to the 23rd of January, 2009; the 3rd through the 6th of
25 February, 2009; and the 19th of May, 2009, by members of the Gotovina
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And do you recall signing a statement on the 19th of May, 2009?
4 A. Exactly.
5 Q. Have you had a chance to review the statement that is on the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Does that statement accurately reflect what you told members of
9 the Gotovina Defence?
10 A. It does reflect accurately what I said.
11 Q. At the time you gave this statement, did you give it to the best
12 of your knowledge and in accordance with the truth?
13 A. In accordance with the truth, by all means, and to the best of my
14 knowledge as well.
15 Q. If I asked you the same questions today in court that you were
16 asked prior to signing the witness statement that's on the screen, would
17 you provide the same answers today in court as you did to the questions
18 that were posed to you during the course of the interview that led to
19 that statement?
20 A. Yes, I would provide the same answers; maybe not word for word,
21 but in essence the same answers.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this statement be marked,
23 and I tender it into evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1532.
3 JUDGE ORIE: D1532 is admitted into evidence.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit 1D2744 on
6 the screen, please.
7 Q. Mr. Milas, do you recall meeting with members of the Gotovina
8 Defence on the 20th and 21st of June, 2009?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And do you recall signing a statement -- a supplemental statement
11 on the 22nd of June, 2009?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Now, does this statement reflect, accurately reflect what you
14 told members of the Gotovina Defence on the 20th and 21st of June, 2009?
15 A. It reflects exactly what I said.
16 Q. At the time you gave this statement, did you give it to the best
17 of your knowledge and in accordance with the truth?
18 A. To the best of my knowledge and certainly true.
19 Q. If I asked you the same questions today in court that you were
20 asked on the 20th and 21st of June, 2009, would you provide the same
21 answers in court today as you did in the statement that's on the screen?
22 A. Yes, I would provide the same answers.
23 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that 1D2744 be marked, and I
24 tender it into evidence.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I have an objection to two
2 specific paragraphs of this statement. And may I be permitted to make my
3 submissions? And the witness should not be privy to what I have to say,
4 so --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's first ask the witness.
6 Mr. Milas, do you speak and/or understand the English language?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot speak so well to allow me
8 to follow the proceedings without help.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it seems that you apparently have a basic
10 knowledge of the English language?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but I don't have occasion to
12 speak it very frequently, so I'm not -- I don't have a very large
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Under those circumstances, since
15 Ms. Mahindaratne would like to raise a matter which should be raised in
16 such a way that the witness would not hear it, which you'll understand,
17 as a lawyer, I have to ask you to leave the courtroom for a while so that
18 we can hear what Ms. Mahindaratne wants to raise.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Mr. President, I object to paragraph 3 of this supplementary
23 statement, particularly the second part of the -- of paragraph 3. There,
24 the witness draws a legal conclusion. He makes an assessment that the
25 number of burnt houses in Sector South was not widespread, and that, I
1 believe, is a matter for the Trial Chamber, apart from which there are
2 different facts -- different figures that have been placed before the
3 Trial Chamber with regard to the number of houses damaged in Sector
4 South. So I believe in that context, paragraph 3 should not be admitted
5 into evidence.
6 My second objection is to paragraph -
7 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we take it step by step. Could we hear from
8 Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Starting with the last argument, Your Honour,
10 that's not an argument at all. She can cross-examine on the number, but
11 that's no reason not to admit something into evidence. If the witness
12 disagrees on the number or whatever Ms. Mahindaratne thinks the true
13 numbers are, she is certainly free to use her time in cross-examination
14 to put it to him, but that's not a bar to admission.
15 Moreover --
16 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, there are two elements in this. Yes,
17 let me first let you finish.
18 MR. MISETIC: Moreover, the issue about the legal conclusion,
19 quite frankly, I'm surprised at that comment, because then we will --
20 Mr. Kehoe and I will go back through every UNMO report, UNCRO report,
21 UNCIVPOL report, witness statement, about widespread and systematic that
22 was put into evidence by the Prosecution.
23 Now, the phrase "widespread and systematic," as the Court is
24 aware, has a certain legal implication to it. This witness said he
25 didn't think it represented a widespread occurrence. Certainly, I think
1 the Prosecution is seeking to eat its cake and have it too, because --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not spend too much time on it.
3 Ms. Mahindaratne, I think you are, from a legal point of view,
4 from a procedural point of view, you're perfectly right. Nevertheless,
5 we have heard so many witnesses expressing their views, and I'm not
6 telling you what the Chamber is going to do with these views because the
7 Chamber, of course, primarily will focus on facts.
8 Now, what we have here, we have the surface, 6.000 square
9 kilometres. I do not know whether there's any dispute among the parties
10 about that number. You're talking about numbers. We have a surface, and
11 then what you usually have is a population on that surface. And then you
12 have a number of homes on which this population lives, and then you have
13 a number of homes which are burned. And then the next question is: When
14 they were burned, why they were burned? If it was a result of persons
15 setting fire to those homes, who had done this? I mean, it's clear to
16 you that the Chamber would not simply say, Oh, Mr. Milas said it was not
17 like that. Of course, we will analyse carefully.
18 Now, we can do two things: invite Mr. Misetic to see what
19 knowledge this witness has which is at the basis of his conclusion, just
20 as many others, that, I toured the area for three days, or for five days,
21 or, I was only in the eastern part, or, I toured the whole of the area, I
22 saw five villages or 20 villages burnt.
23 Of course, what the Chamber is seeking, and Mr. Misetic is
24 certainly aware of that, is to see that if somebody gives an assessment,
25 which has both a legal connotation and an everyday meaning, whether we
1 are -- have a busy schedule in this courtroom. You could look at it from
2 an administrative point of view, comparing it to other Chambers. You
3 could also say, Well, I find this rather busy, which is an everyday
4 assessment of how you experience that.
5 Now, what would you like us to do, to say, Strike it? And then
6 Mr. Misetic will then surely, I take it, go into the factual basis for
7 such an assessment.
8 MR. MISETIC: Well, Mr. President, I think we're confusing two
9 things here.
10 The witness doesn't say there was no widespread or systematic
11 burning. The issue here is he's the chief of the Crime Prevention
12 Service. A question that certainly could be put to him is, What was your
13 impression, as chief of the service, about the scope of the problem of
14 burning? His response is, It did not seem to me that it was a widespread
15 occurrence. It's his subjective view, and certainly something the
16 Chamber is entitled to hear. He's not stating as a fact that it was or
17 wasn't and that --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it will assist or not, and if you say does
19 not lead to the conclusion, of course, that is not establishing that it
20 was not your view --
21 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But, Ms. Mahindaratne, what are we going to do with
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I hear you, Mr. President. I withdraw the
25 objection and --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Invite Mr. Misetic to see whether there's any
2 factual basis for his interpretation of what happened?
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That would be up to Mr. Misetic,
4 Mr. President. I withdraw the objection.
5 MR. MISETIC: I do intend to put this matter to him, but I do
6 also want to state, Mr. President, that again what I was interested in,
7 with that paragraph, is his explanation of what he saw, and was it a
8 small problem or a big problem. The fact that he uses the word
9 "widespread" I don't think is a legally-binding conclusion on the Chamber
10 in any sense.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's -- it may be a conclusion to be drawn by
12 the Chamber, but let's -- it seems that Ms. Mahindaratne, being aware of
13 the approach the Chamber will take in respect of this kind of statement,
14 has withdrawn her objection, and you're invited -- well, you don't need
15 even to be encouraged, Mr. Misetic, but you'll pay attention to the
16 factual part of what is underlying this assessment.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, in view of the approach the
19 Trial Chamber has indicated as being taken towards this type of
20 statements, I do not wish to object to the other paragraph that I said I
22 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, I'd like to know what caused you
23 problems. If you just point at the paragraph, then we might well
24 understand what your problem is, and that Mr. Misetic also knows where he
25 has to --
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That is paragraph 15, again the second part of
2 paragraph 15, where the witness, having stated that he did not have any
3 contact with General Gotovina, either formally or informally, goes on to
4 speculate as to why -- what General Gotovina thought, or what was in his
5 mind, or why he did not act in a certain way. It is mere speculation.
6 That was the only basis I wanted to object to that part of the paragraph.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic is certainly encouraged to verify
8 whether it's speculation or whether there's any basis for the assessments
9 given there.
10 Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
11 We could invite the witness to return to the courtroom.
12 Since there are no objections against admission of this
13 additional statement anymore, Mr. Registrar, the 2009 statement of
14 Mr. Milas would be number ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1533, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milas, we were able to resolve all outstanding
19 matters. Mr. Misetic will now further examine you.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Mr. President, I have explained to the witness the procedure of
22 reading a summary of the evidence. He is aware of it, and with your
23 permission I'd like to read out a summary of the evidence. The booths
24 have been provided with a copy.
25 Witness AG-34, Boris Milas, is an officer in the
1 Croatian Armed Forces. During Operation Storm, he was the head of the
2 Crime Prevention Service of the 72nd Military Police Battalion which
3 operated within the Split Military District. The witness testifies that
4 on the day before Operation Storm began, he participated in a meeting
5 where officials sent from the Military Police Administration in Zagreb
6 were present. During this meeting on the night of 3 August 1995, an
7 order of General Mate Lausic was presented to the witness, which stated
8 that the commanders of the 72nd and 73rd Military Police Battalions were
9 to be subordinated to Major Ivan Juric, who was sent from Zagreb into the
10 field by General Lausic.
11 Furthermore, Captain Ante Glavan, an official from the Crime
12 Investigation Department at the Military Police Administration in Zagreb,
13 was sent from Zagreb by General Lausic, and the witness states that he,
14 the witness, was subordinated to Mr. Glavan, who in turn was subordinated
15 to Major Juric. The witness states that both Major Juric and Mr. Glavan
16 submitted their reports directly to General Lausic and did not report to
17 General Gotovina.
18 The witness states that as the chief of the Crime Prevention
19 Service, he had neither formal nor informal contacts with
20 General Gotovina before or after Operation Storm.
21 The witness testifies that on the 12th of August, 1995,
22 General Lausic's deputy chief, Marijan Biskic, came from Zagreb and met
23 with the members of the 72nd Military Police Battalion. Major Juric
24 reported to Brigadier Biskic that the 72nd Military Police Battalion had
25 completed all scheduled military police tasks during and after
1 Operation Storm, and even more than that. Major Juric stated that
2 members of the 72nd Military Police Battalion needed to be commended for
3 that. During this meeting, Brigadier Biskic issued the tasks that the
4 MPs were to focus on in the coming period of time.
5 The witness testifies that as far as the work segment of the
6 Crime Investigation Military Police is concerned, no approval was
7 required from General Gotovina, nor did General Gotovina have to make a
8 special request in relation to operative and criminal processing.
9 And that concludes the summary, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
11 Please continue.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Milas, first, if you could explain to the Trial Chamber a
14 little bit about your background. What type of police training did you
15 have before you were appointed the chief of the -- or the head of the
16 Crime Prevention Service?
17 A. Before I joined the 72nd Military Police Battalion, I did not
18 have any experience as a military policeman or as a policeman in a
19 civilian structure, police structure. After I joined the military
20 police, I performed some tasks in an office that was a joint office of
21 the commanders -- the then commander of the 72nd Battalion, who was more
22 involved in writing certain reports and orders. But together with some
23 other officers of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, I also visited some
24 other relocated units of the 72nd Battalion. That is the extent of my
25 police experience and knowledge.
1 Sometime in September 1992, I believe on the 15th of September,
2 1992, I was appointed the acting head of the Crime Prevention Service of
3 the 72nd Military Police Battalion, and I performed those duties through
4 the end of 1996, when I was reassigned to a -- to another unit of the
5 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia.
6 Q. Did you have any training in how to conduct investigations, any
7 sort of -- let's say prior to 1995, even after you became the acting
8 chief, did you have any training in terms of how to conduct a criminal
10 A. I did not undergo any training, nor any on-the-job training in
11 that sense.
12 Q. How about the people that were subordinated to you? Without
13 going into the details of every person, can you give us a general
14 overview about the level of training of the members of the Crime
15 Prevention Service that were beneath you in the chain? What general
16 levels of education and police training did they have?
17 A. There was a total of 12 officers in the Crime Prevention Service
18 when I was appointed to my -- to that post. And of the 12, one was a
19 driver and another one was a woman, an administrative officer. As for
20 the education and training they had undergone, these were people who
21 completed secondary education, and in some cases there were even persons
22 who just underwent crash courses for secondary education. And one of the
23 members, one of the officers, was a lawyer by profession. She had a
24 degree in Law. In other words, they did not have any police education or
25 training, especially not in investigating on-site investigations and
1 crime processing.
2 Q. Now, can you explain to the Court why the Crime Prevention
3 Service of the 72nd Military Police Battalion did not have -- was not
4 staffed by people with more of an education or training in police
6 A. If you look at the composition of the military police as of its
7 inception in 1992, some -- four and a half thousand to 5.000 staff,
8 80 per cent of them had a secondary education. To the best of my
9 recollection, only a few of them had some sort of previous police
10 training before joining the police force. Even those who had secondary
11 education, as I said a moment ago, came from different backgrounds. Some
12 of them had completed grammar schools, and others who had completed
13 vocational schools for joiners, carpenters, salespersons, et cetera. At
14 any rate, their education was far from what was compatible with the
15 police duties, in particular those relating to crime investigation.
16 According to the information I have, around 150 staff had an
17 associate degree or university degree education, and I'm referring to the
18 police force in Croatia overall at the time. This was far from
19 sufficient for the duties that had to be taken care of. However, these
20 were men who had left Croatian brigades and joined the police and tried
21 to do their best in discharging their duties.
22 The chief of the Military Police Administration and his
23 assistants intended to develop various levels of education and training
24 over time in order to raise the level of their skills to the satisfactory
1 Q. Do you know -- first, if you could tell us whether you know. Do
2 you know why more people weren't taken from, for example, the civilian
3 police and brought into the military police?
4 A. Well, it was up to someone to take a decision to that effect.
5 The individuals I referred to came to join the military police units
6 voluntarily. It could not be resolved by a commander of a single MP
7 battalion by asking that the Split-Dalmatia Police Administration second
8 ten lawyers or ten economists to join the police force. These were
9 volunteers who -- most of whom had previously been members of the Guards
10 Brigades as of the month of June 1991.
11 Q. Now, turning your attention to the composition of the Crime
12 Prevention Service of the 72nd Military Police Battalion, and turning
13 your attention to paragraph 1 of your supplemental statement, which is
14 D1533, can you explain to the Court, on the 3rd of August, 1995, how many
15 members of the Crime Prevention Service of the 72nd Military Police
16 Battalion did you have at your disposal for the purpose of conducting
17 criminal investigations?
18 A. According to the establishment of what had by that time been
19 remained [as interpreted] into the Crime Prevention police, there were 62
20 members who -- or, rather, 65 members were envisaged under the staffing
21 table, but in reality there was 62 of them. Out of these 62, some 10
22 staff members had administrative jobs, and some 10 of them were forensic
23 officers. I'm referring to all the structural units of the 72nd
24 Battalion; in other words, Zadar, Sibenik, Sinj, and Dubrovnik companies,
25 as well as the Imotski and Metkovic Platoons. Around exactly 42 staff
1 members could be engaged in the conduct of operative criminal
2 investigation which could fall under the jurisdiction of the military
3 courts, and, by the same token, under the jurisdiction of the Military
4 Police Crime Investigation Service.
5 Q. Now, of those 42, can you tell us how many of those 42 could be
6 deployed for use in the areas of what was the former Krajina?
7 A. At the time, seven individuals were deployed there, because we
8 had instructions whereby we should set aside a proportional number from
9 the Crime Investigation Service to Knin, since some of the members were
10 assigned to the newly-established Benkovci [phoen] Platoon from the Zadar
11 company. And definitely in the towns of Dubrovnik and Split a certain
12 number of police officers had to be sent to perform military police
13 duties in respect of those men who were then in the area. So the seven
14 individuals were supposed to cover four shifts, and they were assigned to
15 the joint or combined company in Knin.
16 Q. Let me ask you this question: Could you have taken all of the
17 men from the Crime Prevention Service that were stationed in Dubrovnik,
18 Split, Imotski and Sinj and moved them into the newly-liberated areas?
19 A. It was not possible to do that because the orders of the Military
20 Police Administration did not specify numbers. But whenever such orders
21 are issued, they refer to a proportionate number. If we have a company
22 numbering 100 men, then roughly 7 members should be assigned who fall
23 under the Crime Section. However, if all the members from Dubrovnik and
24 all those from Split had been assigned to Knin, then there would be
25 nobody left to investigate crimes and disorderly conduct in towns. And,
1 of course, it was a well-known fact that the army was predominantly
2 present in various towns, once they were pulled out from the
3 battle-front. This became evident in the subsequent reports which
4 discussed the perpetration of crimes.
5 My apologies. When we assigned these officers, none of the
6 leadership, meaning the chief of the Military Police Administration or
7 the chief of the Crime Investigation Service, asked that we should assign
8 more officers to the area of Knin.
9 Q. Okay. Can you just tell the Court, very briefly, in August of
10 1995, after Operation Storm, was there a front-line in the Dubrovnik
11 area, in the southern part of Dalmatia?
12 A. Of course there was. And there existed a danger, as was the case
13 in the Eastern Sector, and that's why the 68th Military Police Battalion
14 was not deployed in the area where Operation Storm was carried out,
15 precisely because of the assessment that there might be combat activities
16 in Dubrovnik area and eastern area in response to the actions launched by
17 the Croatian Army.
18 Q. In addition to HV being in the towns, were HV forces actually
19 deployed in the Dubrovnik area after Operation Storm?
20 A. Yes, they were.
21 Q. Now, let's turn your attention to the 3rd of August. And you
22 speak of this in your -- both of your statements, but there was a meeting
23 which you reference on the evening of the 3rd of August at which
24 Major Juric and Mr. Glavan were present. Can you please explain to the
25 Court, in your own words, first, where was that meeting?
1 A. The meeting was held in the forward command post -- relocated
2 command post of the 72nd MP Battalion, in the locality --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name of the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... in the late evening hours,
6 Major Juric, Ante Glavan, and Messrs. Maduna and Cicvaric, who were also
7 members of the Military Police Administration came to the meeting, since
8 the commander of the 72nd Battalion asked that a working meeting be held.
9 His assistants were present there, as well as the representative of the
10 administration that I mentioned, and myself.
11 The commander of the 72nd Battalion introduced Major Ivan Juric
12 to everyone, whereupon he presented us with the order by General Lausic
13 of the 2nd of August, 1995, based on which he and the team from the
14 administration were assigned to the 72nd Battalion, because the task
15 given to Major Ivan Juric was that he should be superior to the commander
16 of the 72nd and 73rd MP Battalions, but only for the elements of the
17 forces which participated in the activities involving the 72nd Battalion.
18 If I remember correctly, he was also charged with performing all the
19 military police tasks. And under that same order, he was duty-bound to
20 coordinate with commanders of the Croatian Army in the area of activity,
21 and he was empowered to take all and any measures against commanders if
22 the military police tasks would not be carried out as envisaged under the
23 rules and under the order. In other words, I understood Major Ivan Juric
24 to be the commander of the 72nd Battalion and to also be the commander of
25 those elements of the 73rd Battalion which had at the time been attached
1 to the 72nd.
2 Captain Ante Glavan was the assistant chief of the General Crime
3 Department of the Military Police Administration, and in relation to the
4 Crime Investigation Police of the 72nd Battalion, he was supposed to
5 coordinate all the activities and tasks of the Crime Investigation
6 Military Police and to report to Ivan Juric on all these activities, as
7 well as the representative of the Department of the Criminal
8 Investigation Police, who was at the time Captain --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. Mr. Milas, first we have to catch two names now. First, would
12 you please repeat the name of the place where this meeting took place?
13 A. Gornji Rujani. It's the IZM. The order said "Sajkovici," but
14 that's very close by, and it's called Gornji Rujani, and that was the
15 forward command post. That's how I wrote it down. I may have made a
16 mistake, but I don't think so.
17 Q. The second thing we need to clarify is the last part of your
18 answer, which was that Mr. Glavan was supposed to coordinate all the
19 activities and tasks of the Crime Investigation Military Police and to
20 report to Ivan Juric on all these activities, as well as the
21 representative of -- can you repeat the rest of that, including providing
22 us the name?
23 A. Ante Glavan, to the chief of the Crime Investigation Police of
24 the MP Administration, Spomenko Eljuga, he was the one that Ante Glavan
25 submitted reports to on a daily basis.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I'm looking at the clock.
2 Mr. Milas, we have to adjourn for the day. The courtroom is
3 needed for other cases later today. We'd like to see you back tomorrow
4 morning at 9.00 in this same courtroom.
5 But I'd first like to instruct you that you should not speak with
6 anyone about your testimony, whether the testimony already given today or
7 whether the testimony still to be given tomorrow or perhaps even the day
8 after tomorrow. Is that clear to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, if I may say something before
11 the witness leaves court.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: The Prosecution wish to hand over some
14 documentation to the witness, simply because it would expedite the
15 examining process tomorrow, particularly cross-examination. We could not
16 hand the documents to the witness. In fact, the initial intimated that
17 he could not communicate with us, but the Witnesses and Victim unit could
18 not trace him yesterday to give the documentation. So with your
19 permission, if the documents could be handed over to the witness. And
20 it's documents that the witness is familiar with and which have been
21 disclosed to the Defence, so it's generally --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you mean disclosed to the Defence in the context
23 of your intended cross-examination or in general terms?
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: In the context of the examination,
25 Mr. President. Let me explain what they are.
1 These are crime registers of the three military police companies,
2 Knin, Zadar and Sibenik, and the corresponding crime reports, as well as
3 three charts which were specifically disclosed to the Defence in the
4 context of the cross-examination of this witness.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm not sure -- cross-examination
6 hasn't started of this witness, so I'm not --
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, but this is, of course, a bit of an
8 extraordinary situation, where usually the cross-examining party releases
9 to the party that has called the witness at the time the
10 examination-in-chief has been finished, and of course we have major
11 portions of the evidence of the witness already available as 92 ter
12 statement. So I could imagine that where the Prosecution here is seeking
13 to give documents to the witness, that they had already at an earlier
14 stage than usual already informed the Defence on what material they
15 intended to use during cross-examination.
16 MR. MISETIC: That is not the case, Mr. President.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President. In fact, three charts were
18 sent to the Defence last week, with an e-mail saying that those charts
19 would be used in relation to this witness. It was done -- it was a
20 courtesy copy which was sent so the Defence would have ample time to
21 study the charts vis-a-vis the source material. I could perhaps give you
22 the exact date when it was disclosed.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. KAY: Can I add something here, Your Honour, because we've
25 been concerned, what happened.
1 The materials my learned friend refers to were disclosed on the
2 29th of May, untranslated registers, under Rules 66 and Rule 68. I was
3 wondering when those materials came into the hands of the Prosecution,
4 because I personally would have liked to have used them in
5 cross-examination of their witnesses, and I've had my own translation
6 team deal with matters for me in respect of them. And now the
7 Prosecution is seeking to put those materials, which were not translated
8 for the Defence, we were not told when they came into their possession,
9 and seeking to put them into the hands of this witness to facilitate
10 their cross-examination. That may be a good thing, but I have been
11 concerned about the practice of disclosure.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It seems, Ms. Mahindaratne, that the issue was
13 far wider, at least that's what I understand from Mr. Kay.
14 Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: As far as I'm able to research right now, the
16 Prosecution is making either 66(B) disclosures or a disclosure that had
17 no reference to any Rule. And I'm reading the e-mail, and it just says:
18 "The attached documents are hereby disclosed to you in relation
19 to Witness Milas."
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE: That's correct, that's what I was referring
21 to, and that was a courtesy copy that was sent. It was not a disclosure
22 under Rule 66 nor 68. This was just sent in advance so the Defence would
23 have ample time to study the charts.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Has this material been disclosed at any earlier
25 stage, not in relation to Mr. Milas?
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, if I may explain what these
2 charts are.
3 These are charts produced by the OTP which are just a
4 reproduction of data taken from source material, which are crime
5 registers, which in fact are in evidence, which have been assigned an
6 exhibit number. So Mr. Kay is obviously referring to some other
7 registers and crime reports, most of which are already in evidence. All
8 the Prosecution has done is reproduce data from exhibits onto charts,
9 just the type of charts that Mr. Kay, himself, produced in relation to
10 the organigrams; you know, the structure of the military police. So the
11 charts are in English, and there was no issue about translation. So
12 I think there is a miscommunication.
13 All the Prosecution wished to do was to hand the charts in
14 advance to the Defence so that the Defence would have enough time to
15 study the charts, compare them with the source material, so that we would
16 save court time.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but let me first say one thing.
18 This is a matter which should not be raised at the time we are
19 supposed to adjourn, Ms. Mahindaratne. This further would be a matter
20 which you should have discussed with the Defence teams to see to what
21 extent you could explain to them what it is, whether there would be any
22 objection against giving it to Mr. Milas. But to start this discussion
23 exactly at 1.45 means that you expose me to heavy criticism from any
24 other Judges.
25 I suggest that you do immediately what I think you would have
1 been supposed to do; that is, to further discuss the matters, because now
2 apparently you are explaining to the Defence what it is, and the Chamber
3 is listening carefully, but it seems to be a wider issue.
4 If the parties cannot agree on whether or not the material could
5 be given to Mr. Milas, the Chamber would like to be informed this
6 afternoon, because it doesn't make much sense to wait until tomorrow,
7 because it would miss your point if the matter were to be decided only
8 later today. And if need be, the Chamber, or I, as Presiding Judge,
9 would be willing to meet with the parties. That would not be a formal
10 part of the trial, but just a meeting to see whether I can assist the
11 parties in resolving the matter, and giving them some guidance.
12 Is that --
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- acceptable to everyone?
15 I'm also looking at the accused, because usually the Chamber does
16 not meet with the parties outside court, but I have difficulties to
17 imagine that you would oppose against such a meeting, if need be.
18 We adjourn for the day.
19 I've given you my instructions, Mr. Milas. We'll resume
20 tomorrow, 9.00, Courtroom I.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.55 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
23 June, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.