1 Friday, 30 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Mr. Cetina, I would like to remind you that you're still bound by
13 the solemn declaration that you have given at the beginning of your
15 Ms. Mahindaratne, are you ready to continue your
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
19 MR. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: IVICA CETINA [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Mahindaratne: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Cetina.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Just two questions on the subject we were discussing last
1 evening, you know, I showed you a document where you had sent a report of
2 certain investigations carried out to General Cermak, and you couldn't
3 recall why you had sent that document to him.
4 Now, isn't it correct, Mr. Cetina, that if General Cermak asked
5 you to carry out a specific task, let us say, for example, to carry out
6 an investigation into a specific incident, you'd comply with that
7 request, would you not?
8 A. If he provided me with information, then, yes.
9 Q. And once you had carried out that task that General Cermak had
10 asked to you carry out, would you --
11 MR. KAY: Could we be very careful in our language here,
12 Your Honour, because there is a lot of heavy meaning within concern
13 words, such as "tasks" and the issue here. And I notice the witness
14 answer, "if he provided me with information," and we know the -- the
15 police system of dealing with information.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, Ms. Mahindaratne, you're --
17 let me -- let me try to rephrase your question and tell me, please, if
18 you would think that the question would be different.
19 Mr. Cetina, if Mr. Cermak would have asked you to carry out an
20 investigation and if he would have given you the information you needed
21 for that, and then, Ms. Mahindaratne, I take it that you wanted to ask
22 the witness whether he would then report back to Mr. Cermak about the
23 activities which Mr. Cetina would have developed as a result of being
24 asked to investigate.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Exactly, Mr. President. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 Could you answer that question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not advise him about that.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
5 Q. Why not?
6 A. Because I was not under an obligation of that kind.
7 Q. Very well.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, perhaps we could do it in a more
9 factual way.
10 Mr. Cetina, because some people even now and then do things,
11 although there is no obligation to do so, would have you considered to,
12 if being asked and if being provided with information to -- to
13 investigate a matter, even without being obliged to do so, would you
14 inform Mr. Cermak about the activities that you have -- you would have
15 developed as a result of what he asked you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If he had asked me to inform him
17 and if it was important to him, then, yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So the answer you earlier gave, that you would
19 not advise him about, is an answer which would not apply to all
20 circumstances. If you would know that it was important for him, and if
21 you -- if he would have asked you to report back to him, then you would
22 have done so?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps I can offer an explanation,
24 with your leave?
25 JUDGE ORIE: I'd rather first have an answer to my question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have informed him had he
2 asked me to inform him. Otherwise, in principle, I would not have.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Mr. Registrar, may I have document D595, please.
6 Q. Mr. Cetina, this is a document that we -- that was discussed the
7 day before yesterday in direct examination.
8 Now, in your testimony, there was much discussion about
9 co-operation of civilian police and military police in addressing crimes.
10 And you testified that you attended a meeting in Plitvice - pardon my
11 pronunciation if I didn't say it right - where the military police and
12 the civilian police and senior officers of the Ministry of Interior met
13 to discuss co-operation.
14 Now, these are minutes of that meeting.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And if we could move the -- the first
16 paragraph reads that -- recorded a meeting with representatives of RH MUP
17 was held on 15th September, 1995, at 1100 hours. And the topic was:
18 "Analysis of the tasks carried out in a newly liberated part of
19 the Republic of Croatia
20 Q. And you have -- the assistant minister, Mr. Moric, was present.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could just move to
22 page 2.
23 Q. There we have, in paragraph 1:
24 "Mr. Moric opened the meeting with a short reference to 1991 and,
25 having given an introduction to the meeting subject, he gave the floor to
1 the heads of the police administrations, who, in their presentations,
2 passed on the information on number of committed criminal acts and
3 measures taken against perpetrators of the said, and also spoke about
4 problems of jurisdiction of state attorney's offices in the local
5 communities in joint solving ... the crimes."
6 And then the same page, right at the bottom, is your own address
7 that is noted.
8 "Mr. Cetina, chief of the police administration for Zadar and
9 Knin, put the emphasis on that fact that the biggest part of that area
10 had been occupied. The situation in this area, he divided into three
11 stages: Stage 1, stay of the HV professional units; Stage 2, stay of
12 parts of the units which burnt houses and threatened with arms if tried
13 to be prevented from committing crimes; Stage 3, stay of civilians which
14 were taking property away on a massive scale."
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could move to the
16 next page.
17 Q. "He also assessed the co-operation with the military police as
18 unsatisfactory, due to the insufficient number of military policemen."
19 Now, Mr. Cetina, those three stages that you described, do you
20 understand those three stages as three stages during which crimes were
22 A. No.
23 Q. Stage 2 and Stage 3, clearly, indicate crimes. Can you tell us,
24 Stage 1, was -- what was the period of duration of Stage 1, that is, the
25 stay of professional units? What was the duration of time from the point
1 of -- from the completion of Operation Storm?
2 A. I cannot speak in terms of days, because I do not remember many
4 Q. Was there a distinct separation of the stay of the professional
5 units as opposed to at least -- let me put it this way: Was there a
6 distinct separation from Stage 1 to Stage 2, or did they overlap?
7 A. It was my per perception that they overlapped.
8 Q. Okay. Now, -- now, this Phase 2, Stage 2, you record a stay of
9 parts of the units which "burnt houses and threatened with arms if tried
10 to prevent from committing crimes."
11 Now, yesterday, when Mr. Misetic questioned you, and I will take
12 you to that -- this is in the draft transcript, page 5. Your question by
13 Mr. Misetic:
14 "Q. Mr. Cetina, do you agree with me that the police had the
15 authority to detain members of the Croatian army at check-points, if, for
16 example, they were found to have looted items in their possession. They
17 were allowed to detain them and then they were supposed to call in the
18 military police so that these individuals could be processed further in
19 the military crime justice system?"
20 And your answer was:
21 "A. Yes, that's all right in theory. But in practice, things
22 were different."
23 And then, further through that examination, the Bench asked you
24 some questions -- Presiding Judge asked you this question:
25 "When Mr. Misetic gave you a picture of what could happen at a
1 check-point, he asked whether that was how the system worked, and you
2 said: 'I could agree. But in practice, it depended on the assessment of
3 the police officers involved. They were supposed to estimate whether
4 this could lead to a conflict.'
5 "What kind of conflict were you referring to?"
6 And your answer was:
7 "A conflict in the sense that such people could resist being
8 identified. We discussed that yesterday. We insisted that at
9 check-points, together with our police officers, there be the military
10 police as well."
11 And further on, the Presiding Judge asked you, Witness:
12 "You would say that if the civilian police would take action
13 against such a person under those circumstances, that whether or not to
14 do that would depend on their estimate on whether those persons would
15 accept such an intervention by the civilian police in the absence of the
16 military police. Is that how I have to understand your answer?"
17 You said:
19 Now, this second stage that you talk about where units were
20 committing crimes and threatened with arms -- let me just see -- the stay
21 of parts of the units which burnt houses and thereafter with arms tried
22 to be prevented from committing crimes.
23 Now, was that the type of conflict you were referring to
25 A. I never said that no HV members were ever identified by the
1 police, but it's simply the way things were in the field, for the most
3 Q. No, my question is this, Mr. Cetina. Now, in saying -- now
4 yesterday you said, of course, in law the civilian police could detain a
5 HV member but in practice it did not happen. And in response to the
6 questions from the Bench you referred to the conflict.
7 Now, my question to you is: Is this the type of conflict that
8 you referred to, as a possible consequence, if civilian police attempted
9 to intervene to stop crimes committed by military personnel in the
10 absence of military police?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
12 MR. MISETIC: I object to the form of the question,
13 Mr. President. The witness did not state what Ms. Mahindaratne says he
14 stated in the second sentence of her question that "in practice it did
15 not happen."
16 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Let me tell you exactly what you said
17 Mr. Cetina. You said --
18 JUDGE ORIE: If you quote literally, then there will be no
19 problem, Ms. Mahindaratne.
20 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
21 Q. When Mr. Misetic put that suggestion to you, you said:
22 "Yes, that's all right in theory, but in practice, things were
24 And then further on you discuss a possible conflict situation.
25 Now my question to you is: Although you say the civilian police
1 had authority to detain HV, in practice it was different on the ground.
2 Now, is this the reason why the civilian police could not apprehend
3 members of the HV committing crimes in the absence of military police
4 because if the civilian police tried to do that, members of the HV would
5 threaten them with arms and there could be a possible conflict?
6 Is that what you were referring to?
7 A. I must say that I never said that the police had the authority to
8 detain HV members. It could only retain them until further notice.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, even if this is correct, you certainly
10 have understood what the core of the question was. Whether your
11 testimony of yesterday, that it depended on the assessment of the
12 civilian police officers, whether or not they would take the risk of a
13 conflict with HV members when intervening, whether that is to be
14 understood as a similar or the same thing as what you said during this
15 meeting, that during the second stage that - and let me literally,
16 because it disappeared from my screen - that "parts of units burnt houses
17 and threatened with arms, if tried to be prevented from committing
19 That sounds rather similar as not accepting an intervention at
20 check-points, a risk of a conflict.
21 Now, are you talking about the same kind of things here at this
22 meeting as you told us yesterday about what would happen at check-points?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the conversation
24 going that way. But it was only reasonable that if there was threat at a
25 certain check-point or danger of a quarrel, or a clash, that, in such a
1 case, the police would choose not to intervene.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And that were the kind of events you talked about
3 during this is meeting as well. Is that ...?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: If could I just state one thing, but if I could ask
10 if the witness understands English.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 Mr. Cetina, do you understand the English language?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please take your earphones off for a
16 Mr. Misetic.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I wouldn't normally do this, but in
18 light of the fact that I anticipate we're going have an issue of -- of
19 time and we're going to try to complete this witness's testimony today, I
20 did want to state that if there's going to be an issue of whether the
21 police could act against HV members in this line of questioning, then I
22 will ask for some time in re-cross because I believe this issue has been
23 covered extensively through the trial with examples.
24 So I don't know if that's the case, but I did want to let the
25 Prosecution know that I will ask for time to put that to him if it's
1 going to be an issue as to whether the civilian police not only had the
2 authority to do it but actually was doing it at the time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We've heard the evidence the witness gave
4 yesterday in respect of this.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I wasn't intending to explore
6 deeply into this subject, I just wanted to do exactly what I just did
7 just now.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, then please proceed.
9 We'll ask the witness to put his earphones on again.
10 Mr. Cetina, could you ...
11 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
13 Q. Now, just one last question on that, Mr. Cetina.
14 Now, at this meeting you -- I'm sorry just going back.
15 Yesterday, repeatedly, you responded to Mr. Misetic that, in
16 practice, the civilian police did not or could not apprehend or address
17 crimes by military --
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm sorry, Mr. President. Let me just
19 withdraw that. I don't want to get into a long debate.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
22 Q. Mr. Cetina, now, according to these minutes, you have articulated
23 this problem at this meeting. You have, in fact, said exactly that --
24 that this problem was that -- that members of the HV were committing
25 crimes and threatened with arms if they were -- if there was an attempt
1 to prevent them.
2 Now, at this meeting, there were members of the military police
3 present, particularly the commander, Colonel Budimir, and we will go
4 through what he said in the next page.
5 Now, how did the military police respond to that statement you
6 made? Was there any further discussion on that matter?
7 A. I don't recall any further discussion.
8 Q. Did the police force attempt to address this issue with any
9 members or any commanders of the HV, the fact that, when the police
10 attempted to prevent crime, the -- the units that were staying in the
11 area tried to respond with arms?
12 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I object again. That's not -- that's
13 a mischaracterisation of what is written in the document.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Let me rephrase, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you please perhaps use the exact language as
17 we find it in the minutes.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
19 Q. Now you have reported that, in the second stage, that the stay of
20 parts of the units which burnt houses and thereafter -- therefore with
21 arms if tried to prevent from committing crimes. There are -- I'm sorry,
22 and threatened with arms if tried to prevent -- if tried to be prevented
23 from committing crimes.
24 Now this issue, where the units were burning houses --
25 MR. MISETIC: Objection again, Mr. President.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I'm not saying anything --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first allow Ms. Mahindaratne to carefully
3 think about the phrasing of her question and to finish her question.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
5 Q. Now, was that issue placed before any commanders of the HV?
6 MR. MISETIC: Same objection, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The issue was -- the issue as we find it in the
9 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That is apparently what Ms. Mahindaratne is talking
11 about. And the question is whether this issue was placed before HV and
12 that's -- I do not see what's wrong with that question.
13 MR. MISETIC: I'm just objecting -- to me, there is a distinction
14 between units --
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. The issue -- the issue as we find in the
17 MR. MISETIC: Okay. That's fine.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's how I rephrase it --
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Was the issue as we find it in these minutes, where
21 it says that - and I'll -- the issue being that "parts of units that had
22 stayed which burnt houses and threatened with arms if tried to be
23 prevented from committing crimes."
24 Was that issue raised with HV commanders?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't in touch with the
1 commanders, and I, myself, did not raise that issue.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of anyone else raising it with HV
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, beyond raising this matter at this meeting in Plitvice on
8 15th of September, what did you, as the head of the police administration
9 of Zadar-Knin, do to address that problem?
10 A. We informed our heads at the ministry who were present there and
11 tried to do our job as best we could, on our own.
12 Q. Now, that problem that you reported here at this meeting, what
13 was the basis for your information? Was that based on reports you have
14 received from your subordinate officers, the police commanders?
15 A. This was an impression made on the basis of the reports we
16 received and forwarded to the ministry.
17 Q. Now, were you informed as to how the civilian police on the
18 ground reacted in those particular situations, when they were threatened
19 with arms, when they tried to prevent crimes, by members of the HV?
20 A. I've already said that the police, in the cases where they
21 assessed that a conflict might occur, refrained from reacting.
22 Q. Now, moving on, Mr. Cetina. Yesterday your testimony, or the day
23 before, during direct examination, your testimony was that you were aware
24 that there was a shortage of military police for patrols within the
25 Kotar-Knin Police Administration.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is at transcript page T23421 going to 2.
2 Q. In fact you had reported that at this meeting too.
3 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could move to the
4 next page, page 4.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask Ms. Mahindaratne to
6 speak into the microphone. Thank you.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: My apologies.
8 If we could move to page 4, yes.
9 Q. There we also have Colonel Budimir also speaking at this meeting,
10 and he reports -- said Colonel Mihael Budimir, commander of the
11 72nd Military Police Battalion, Split:
12 "Call attention to the spatially large area of responsibility
13 covered by the 72nd Military Police Battalion and did not agree with
14 opinions that there was not enough manpower. The co-operation with the
15 MUP was disturbed but only in some individual cases. State of security,
16 public order, and road traffic safety reached the satisfying level, and
17 with returns of civilian population in Knin, a problem with disposal of
18 rubbish occurred?"
19 Now, Mr. Budimir obviously does not agree with your opinion that
20 there was a shortage of manpower, of military personnel. Would you --
21 wouldn't you agree with me that the commander of the 72nd Military Police
22 Battalion would know more about the manning levels within his battalion
23 than yourself?
24 A. I cannot comment on what her [as interpreted] perception of the
25 matter was.
1 Q. I'm not asking to you comment, Mr. Cetina, my question is:
2 Wouldn't you agree with me that the commander of the military police
3 battalion would know more about his own manning levels than yourself?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, in fact, on this subject, when Mr. Kay questioned you --
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And this is transcript page 23.429.
7 Q. "But this problem here, within the Kotar-Knin Police
8 Administration concerning the number of military police, was that
9 something that you were aware of at the time?"
10 And your responses is:
11 "Yes, in a way, yes. Well, that means if an agreement had been
12 reached at a higher level, then, on the ground, they either acted as best
13 they could or had a shortage of men."
14 So is it correct, then, based on that answer -- would you agree
15 with me that your opinion on the manning levels of the military police
16 was based on the fact that there was no cooperation forthcoming from the
17 military police? Was that the basis on which you concluded that they
18 were short-staffed?
19 A. They didn't have a sufficient manning level. My assessment was
20 that, in view of the number of check-points, they weren't able to provide
21 us with sufficient numbers of men to man the check-points.
22 Q. Now, did Colonel Budimir ever inform you of that fact? Did he
23 ever tell you, I can't send you these people because I don't have
24 sufficient men?
25 A. I don't remember. We set up check-points together. For
1 instance, we set up 15 check-points, and they sent their men only to
2 three of them.
3 Q. So it is on that basis that you concluded that they were
4 short-staffed, because they didn't send men to all 15?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I do wonder about this line of
8 cross-examinations. We looked at a number of documents yesterday where
9 it wasn't Mr. Budimir who was giving an explanation. It was
10 Mr. Primorac, the deputy, there were other military police officers at
11 meetings. Not only with the Zadar-Knin Police Administration but
12 Kotar-Knin Police Administrations, whose records were recorded. And I
13 think the proper way of dealing with this, rather than putting
14 Mr. Budimir's name to the witness, would be if the Prosecution referred
15 to those recorded documents and statements by the military police
16 officers to the police. Otherwise, a totally misleading impression is
17 given of the evidence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, apparently, has chosen a very
19 limited approach to this matter and, of course, the Chamber will
20 understand all the evidence in the context of which it was put to a
22 MR. KAY: Yes. In those circumstances, then, Your Honour, I
23 understand the position.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I'm merely testing this -- the
25 knowledge of this witness, and --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I just told you that you apparently have chosen a
2 certain approach, and the Chamber will, of course, evaluate the whole of
3 the evidence. And if this portion of the evidence is linked only -- not
4 to all of the remainder, then the evidence should be understood in the
5 context in which it was elicited by you from the witness.
6 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Cetina, moving on, let me take to you your statement given to
10 the OTP, and that's D1745. In page 9, paragraph 4, this is what you say.
11 Perhaps if you want to follow your statement --
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, if you could just -- D1745.
13 Q. This is what you say:
14 "The uniformed police were not often visiting the villages
15 situated at a distance from the main roads. That is why the main sources
16 of information about the crimes committed in the villages were members of
17 the civilian protection and representatives of the international
19 And then ...
20 A. Where is that?
21 Q. Do you see that? In page ...
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, D1745.
23 Q. I'm reading your statement given to the OTP, Mr. Cetina.
24 THE REGISTRAR: B/C/S page number, please.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I have a minute.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: About page -- this is not the -- in the
3 English, if you could get to page 9. Let me just ... not this page.
4 If I could have assistance from ...
5 Mr. Registrar, if you could move to the next page, I think that
6 might be ...
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, what about in the B/C/S version,
9 page 7, the semi-last paragraph?
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, may I ...
11 Yes, that's --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Would that be a suggestion?
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, I think we need page 9 --
14 JUDGE ORIE: In English.
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: In -- even in B/C/S, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: If you want to refer to the paragraph which starts
17 with "meetings with representatives," then I strongly suggest that you
18 look at page 7 in the B/C/S version, semi-last paragraph, starting at
19 "Sastanak s predstavnicima ..." Don't ask me to further pronounce it.
20 That seems to be the paragraph you were referring to in English on page
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And it's already on the screen, so we don't have to
24 wait much longer.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yeah, it's already on the screen. Thank you,
1 Mr. President. My apologies for not having the B/C/S page number.
2 Q. Do you see that, Mr. Cetina?
3 And then, if we could go to the next page, page 10.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first verify.
5 Mr. Cetina, have you read that paragraph and have you followed
6 the portion quoted by Ms. Mahindaratne? "Sources of information ..."
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes?
9 Then let's now move to the next page then.
10 And please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you Mr. President.
12 Q. Next page, Mr. Cetina, if you focus on that paragraph that starts
13 with "In respect of the UNCIVPOL ..." that is in the Croatian version
14 page 3 -- paragraph 3.
15 There are -- the last four sentence it is says -- last four
17 "Everything reported to us by the international organisations was
18 good for us, because we could investigates all that. The information
19 from the monitors helped us because most of the murders were in remote
20 hamlets, not on the main roads. The police were not going off the main
21 roads very much at that time."
22 That's your testimony.
23 Now, as I understand your evidence, the international
24 organisations were bringing in these reports to the police because they
25 were patrolling these areas -- those areas. Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So, now, if the international organisations and the civilian
3 protection could patrol those areas, what was the problem for the
4 civilian police to patrol those areas, particularly giving -- considering
5 your own testimony that most of the murders were being committed in
6 the -- those areas?
7 A. As I have already said, there weren't enough personnel to cover
8 that vast an area. The perception expressed here is that we used all
9 sort of information that we came by from international organisations and
10 civilian protection.
11 Let me tell you that we did not rely only upon police information
12 in all these cases.
13 Q. Mr. Cetina, your testimony is also that, when you went to
14 Kistanje, that Kistanje was already destroyed. That is in the OTP
15 statement, for the record, page 14, the first paragraph.
16 And you said when you left -- went to Kistanje, that most
17 features were burnt before you got there.
18 Now, my question is: When did you go to Kistanje for the first
20 A. Well, in the first several days I went through Kistanje, in fact,
21 in perhaps the ten days.
22 Q. Can you be more specific. When you say the first few days,
23 "first several days," what was the -- when was the first day you entered
24 Kistanje? Was it the 5th, the 6th?
25 A. Not on the 5th or the 6th.
1 Q. 7th?
2 A. No. Because in those days, I would come via Drnis, though I
3 don't remember.
4 Q. Now, you said that "the first several days I went through
5 Kistanje." Could you give the Trial Chamber some idea as to around when.
6 Is it after one week after the completion of the operation?
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I think that the completion of --
8 JUDGE ORIE: The witness has already answered that he is not
9 certain about whether it was not on the 7th already.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: That was the last part of his answer.
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
13 Q. Now, your testimony is that Kistanje was destroyed, you say,
14 during Storm. What did you mean by that? "During Storm."
15 What did you mean by that?
16 A. Well, what I meant was that it didn't happen in a day. It
17 happened over a period of time, a month or two. I don't know.
18 Q. Yes. But you said, Mr. Cetina, that when you visited Kistanje
19 for the first time it was already destroyed. So are you then able to
20 give us some idea as to, you know, whether you went to Kistanje after one
21 month, after two months, because I'm trying to give the Trial Chamber
22 some idea as to when you saw Kistanje as being completely destroyed.
23 A. In the month and a half that I was there, I passed through
24 Kistanje on three or four occasions, and I can say that it happened over
25 a period of time, not all at once.
1 Q. So what did you do about Kistanje? What type of investigations
2 did you carry out to find out what the --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, wouldn't we first -- shouldn't we
4 first try to find out exactly what the statement says.
5 I read to you what your statement says:
6 "In respect of Kistanje, as far as I know, it was destroyed
7 during Storm. When I first went there, it was already destroyed."
8 Now, you just told us that you're not certain whether it was in
9 these early day, whether it was already on the 7th - that is a
10 possibility, apparently.
11 Now to say, Kistanje was destroyed a period of two months, that
12 seems to contradict what we find in your statement, where you say "when I
13 first went there, it was already destroyed," and you consider it possible
14 that that was already on the 7th, passing through. And that's the
15 language you used.
16 So could you please clarify this?
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, if I may. If I could just call your
18 attention to page 21, paragraph 3 -- line 3, I should say.
19 JUDGE ORIE: It's the last being: "Though I don't remember."
20 MR. MISETIC: If he could be asked to clarify that because I
21 think he -- as I understand it --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, let's --
23 You were asked about the 7th, you -- whether you had been in
24 Kistanje already. And then you said:
25 "No. Because in those days, I would come via Drnis."
1 Though you do not remember.
2 What did you not remember?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember passing through
4 Kistanje -- or, rather, I definitely did not go through Kistanje the
5 first time I travelled to Knin.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But on the 7th, would you consider it possible
7 that you went through Kistanje?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Because I did not go to Knin
9 two times in a row.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And, now, what did you not remember?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember -- or, rather, I
12 believe that in the first ten days I did go to Kistanje once. But when
13 was it? Definitely not in the beginning.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Now, let's just -- let's take this as a starting
16 If you went to Kistanje within the first ten days, although not
17 in the very first ones but perhaps the 11th or the 12th, and you say the
18 first time you came there, you went there, it was already destroyed. And
19 now you tell us that the destruction took place over a period of two
20 month; whereas, your statement clearly suggests that the destruction was
21 already there when you came there for the first time, which, as you just
22 told us, would have been anywhere between the 7th, 8th, or the
23 13th, 14th of August.
24 Could you explain this, what seems, at first sight, to be a
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't count the houses that were
2 burned or destroyed. However, I can certainly say, from my memory, that
3 the majority was destroyed in the first 10 to 15 days. Then later on, I
4 never stopped in Kistanje. I merely passed through it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So what you're telling us is that most part of the
6 destruction in Kistanje took place not over a period of two month, but
7 within the first ten days, or perhaps ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I would say that that's the
9 closest to the truth.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if there's any way to come closer, please tell
12 Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Now, Kistanje, Mr. Cetina, is within your area of responsibility.
15 Now, upon observing this destruction, what did you, as head of
16 the police administration, do to investigate as to what the causes of the
17 destruction were and who had committed that crime?
18 A. Given that there were no eye-witnesses, it was very difficult to
19 uncover the perpetrators.
20 Q. So was any investigation carried out at all? Any on-site
21 investigations at all?
22 A. Every piece of information that was helpful was checked. The
23 better part of the information can be found at the police administration
24 in the relevant documentation.
25 Q. Now, did you instruct your subordinate officers to call from the
1 military any information as to what units were deployed in Kistanje
2 during the period when it was possibly destroyed?
3 A. We had never had information to the effect that it was the army
4 that perpetrated the deed.
5 Q. Mr. Cetina, now you're telling the Trial Chamber that most of the
6 features in Kistanje were destroyed when you went. And you know that a
7 military operation had been conducted in the area. Now, don't you think,
8 as a police officer, one of the first steps either to find the potential
9 perpetrators or potential witnesses, what you should have done was to
10 find out if there were any members of the military present in the
11 vicinity of the crime site?
12 Wouldn't that be a logical step to take in the course of an
14 A. No. If something was damaged in a war operation, then it becomes
15 a different matter. The police acts where crimes have been committed.
16 Q. Now, in your mind, when you saw the destruction in Kistanje, what
17 did you conclude? That it happened in a war operation or that it was a
19 A. I am not an expert in war operations, but I could see that the
20 houses were set on fire and destroyed. As for any other perception…
21 I cannot give you that. Nor the way it was done or by whom - I don’t
23 Q. So were you -- what steps did you take - I'm asking you to tell
24 the Trial Chamber what steps did you take to find out as to who set these
25 houses on fire with Zoljas? What kind of investigative steps did you
2 A. I apologise, there were set on fire by what?
3 Q. It has been written as "fire by Zoljas," and maybe I didn't
4 pronounce -- Z-o-l-j-a-s. That's your answer.
5 Your answer was:
6 "I am not an expert in war operations, but I could see that the
7 houses were set on fire by Zoljas."
8 And I believe that is a sort of weapon.
9 A. In the Croatian translation, I don't see where it says Zoljas.
10 Could you please indicate that.
11 Q. Mr. Cetina --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, your answer was translated that you
13 could see that - not in your statement but what you just told us - that
14 could you see that the houses were set on fire by Zoljas. That's how
15 your answer to one of the previous questions was translated to us.
16 And you said:
17 "That's all can I tell you."
18 Mr. Kay, I'm referring to page 25, lines 19 and following.
19 MR. KAY: I have information that the word "soldiers" was not
20 used -- "Zoljas," sorry.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, which --
22 Mr. Cetina, you answered:
23 "I am not an expert in war operations, but I could see that the
24 houses were set on fire by ..."
25 And what did you then say?
1 You don't have to look at your screen. If you just tell us what
2 you -- one of the answers was. And I quoted 95 per cent of your answer,
3 and I asked you to repeat the word you then used.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw that they were damaged and
5 set on fire. I don't know what else to say.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But you said something earlier. You said:
7 "I am not an expert ... but the only thing I can tell you is that
8 they were set on fire by ..."
9 By what? By whom, by what? By -- what did you then say?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say by what means it was
11 done. I went through the town and that is what I could see.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you remember that answer, which you -- the
13 answer starting with --
14 MR. KAY: Your Honour, my -- I was actually having to deal with
15 something else at the time. But I'm advised that nothing was said. And
16 maybe this should be an instance where the tape is looked at.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps we should do that.
18 I'll ask it once again to clarify the issue -- to see whether we
19 can see -- clarify the issue without playing the audio or checking the
21 Let me just find it again.
22 I repeat question and the answer, although not complete, as it
23 was given to us in translation and in our transcript.
24 The question that was put to you by Ms. Mahindaratne reads on our
25 transcript as follows:
1 "Now, in your mind, when you saw the destruction in Kistanje,
2 what did you conclude? That it happened in a war operation or that it
3 was a crime?"
4 And your answer, as we find it on our screens, is as follows:
5 "I am not an expert in war operations, but I could see that the
6 houses were set on fire by ..."
7 And then you used the word.
8 And then you continued by saying:
9 "That is all I can tell you. I can't tell you anything about who
10 may have done it or anything else for that matter."
11 We do understand what you cannot tell us, but what was the one
12 thing that you said you could see? That the houses were set on fire?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably "destroyed." I may have
14 said that word.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think we'll have to check the audio to find
16 out what exactly the answer was.
17 Please proceed, Ms. Mahindaratne.
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Cetina, in your statement given to the OTP, the
20 Office of the Prosecutor, you also go on to say that -- say this:
21 "I did unfortunately see burning houses."
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is the last page, for the record.
23 Q. "We were in the field to familiarise ourselves with the
24 situation. We did our very best to stop the looting and burning."
25 Now, my question is: When you saw burning houses in the course
1 of your visits in the field, what did you do?
2 A. As a rule, we always saw such houses from a distance. I seldom
3 passed by a house that was on flames at that very moment.
4 Q. Now, do I understand your answer to be that you -- the houses you
5 saw burning were from a distance and that you didn't pass by those
6 houses? Is that what you're saying?
7 A. As a rule, I did not pass by a house at the moment, as it burned.
8 Q. So did you see them in a distance -- in the distance? Is that
9 what you're saying? You saw the burning houses --
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. So then you -- why were you were going near those houses?
12 Because they were burning or why?
13 A. No. I went to meetings. I was on my way there, and I informed
14 those subordinated to me that they should check on the situation.
15 Q. And then, thereafter, did you follow up and ask your subordinates
16 as to what -- whether they have checked, what they found, whether any
17 investigation has been initiated?
18 A. In any case, given the staffing strength, they were supposed to
19 check what the situation was about.
20 Q. Can you clarify that? When you say, "in any case, given the
21 staffing strength," that's not my question to you. Whether you followed
22 up your information to your subordinates -- did you call up your
23 subordinate officers and ask them what they had done, what investigative
24 steps they had taken, or you just left it at that. Is that what you're
1 A. As a rule, I was supposed to be informed in the -- by their
2 summary reports. I did not have time to discuss each and every event
3 with them.
4 Q. So I take your answer to be, no, that you did not follow up by
5 ask -- by questioning them; is that correct?
6 A. No, it is not. They did report to me. But there were many
7 events, and I definitely was not acquainted with each and every one of
9 Q. Can you give us a specific example of an instance where you saw a
10 burning house and you ordered one of your subordinate officers to go and
11 investigate? I'm not asking you for date, time, but perhaps the name of
12 a subordinate officer you asked to investigate and the location of the
13 burning house?
14 A. No, I can't give you that. I don't remember.
15 Q. Now, when you informed your subordinate officers, would that
16 information be recorded in the -- the log-books of the police stations?
17 You know, saying, Chief Cetina has informed that a house was burning at
18 such and such a location. You know how it is recorded in the police
20 A. I don't know what they put into the log-books. I did not check
21 such matters.
22 Q. Moving on, Mr. Cetina.
23 Now, yesterday you were shown an order issued by the
24 Assistant Minister, Mr. Moric.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if I could have D49 on the
2 Q. And there was some discussion about a specific order contained in
3 that document. Sorry, it wasn't yesterday; day before.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could go to the
5 next page.
6 Q. Now, looking at this order, you were, yesterday, questioned by
7 the Presiding Judge on this particular order, with regard to point 2.
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If could you, on the Croatian version,
9 Mr. Registrar, go to page 1.
10 Q. And this is at transcript page 23415. Now, with regard to this
11 order you were asked:
12 "My question was whether you then considered this order to be in
13 violation of the existing legislation."
14 Your response was:
15 "In a certain way, it is not, in fact, in accordance with the
17 Again you were asked a question:
18 "So, in a certain way, it's a violation of the law."
19 You responded:
20 "In a way, yes."
21 Now -- you're shaking your head, Mr. Cetina. Are you agreeing
22 with me or disagreeing with something I said? I just merely read out to
23 you an exchange between yourself and the Presiding Judge the day before
24 yesterday. I haven't asked you a question yet.
25 A. My answer to the Judge's question was that, Yes, in a way it was
1 a violation.
2 Q. That's correct. That's what I was going ask you now.
3 What you testified here is that the assistant minister has issued
4 you and the other chiefs of the police administration an illegal order, a
5 law in -- an order in contravention of the law.
6 Now, this -- did you discuss that fact with the other officers of
7 the Ministry of Interior, either with Mr. Moric himself or any other
8 assistant ministers, or the minister, Mr. Jarnjak, the fact that you have
9 received an illegal order, which you in fact testified that you ignored?
10 Did you discuss that matter?
11 A. I don't recall discussing it with anyone. But I was not bound by
12 that item. The Law on the Interior states that once I receive an
13 official order, which would be illegal, I am under no obligation to
14 implement it.
15 Q. That you have -- you categorically stated here. But my question
16 is: Was there any formal conversation at least between yourself and the
17 other colleagues, the other chiefs of police administration, as to how
18 you should respond or what to do about when you received an illegal order
19 from an assistant minister?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, the previous answer started:
21 "I don't recall discussing it with anyone."
22 That is an answer to your question. Of course, if there is any
23 reason why you would want to put that question again, then can you can do
24 so. But any reason --
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President, I note that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then -- yes, then please proceed.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I withdraw that question, Mr. President.
3 I don't need this document any further, Mr. Registrar.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Cetina, I'm moving on to another area.
5 Yesterday, Mr. Mikulicic questioned you about the special police.
6 And you, in fact, have given a comprehensive statement about your
7 authority over the special police. And this is in your statement to the
8 OTP. This is what you say:
9 "There were also so-called special police units. They were not
10 under the command of the police administration but were directly
11 answerable to the MUP."
12 MS. MAHINDARATNE: For the record, this is D1745, page 4,
13 paragraph 4.
14 Q. "They had a different building, different uniforms, and they were
15 not doing regular police duties. According to the law, in peacetime, the
16 professional tasks were the prevention of bigger unrest resolving,
17 hijacking, kidnapping, and similar jobs. When I arrived in Zadar to take
18 up my post, such a unit already existed there. I did not know what their
19 tasks were, if they had any, which they coordinated directly with the MUP
20 headquarters. I personally was not involved in drafting their plans.
21 "The special police units had also existed in the former
23 hostage situations. The commander of the special police units in Zadar
24 was Svemir Vrsaljko." Pardon my pronunciation. "I do not know how many
25 people were under his command. I have never been informed about the
1 special tasks undertaken by those special police units. I never had any
2 meetings with representatives of the special police units. At the time
3 of Storm, I had no control over the special police. The police system
4 that I was in was designed for peacetime, not wartime."
5 Is that correct, that you had no control over the special police
6 unit -- units?
7 A. In a way, yes. They were professionally under the ministry, but
8 were also a part of the Knin and Zadar Police Administration.
9 Q. Now, after the completion of the initial attack in
10 Operation Storm - and that would be 6th or 7th August - there were mop-up
11 operations carried out to clear the terrain by the special police forces.
12 Isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, as the head of the police administration, did you have any
15 role to play in those mop-up operation, either planning or deciding where
16 those operations were being carried out or issuing orders to the special
17 police units to carry out some of those mop-up operations?
18 A. Not in terms of planning and organisation.
19 Q. What was the role that you played in those mop-up operations?
20 A. Perhaps I may have been informed that there was an ensuing
21 activity in a certain area, but I wasn't familiar with anything else.
22 Q. Now, were you involved in issuing any orders to the special
23 police recording those mop-up operations?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were you involved in issuing any orders to the special police
1 units attached to your police administration which were deployed in the
2 initial attack during the operation itself?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, would it be correct to say that the instances when you had
5 authority over special police units attached to your police
6 administration was when they were utilized to assist the regular police
7 in carrying out the regular police work which were more peacetime duties.
8 A. In peacetime, in any case, they were used to resolve complex
10 Q. Yes, my question is: Your authority, if at all, was used -- I'm
11 sorry, I withdraw that question.
12 Now, when you mentioned the word "complex situations," can you
13 clarify what you were talking about it? Was it only during peacetime, or
14 were you involved in utilizing the special police for any wartime
16 A. No. I had such complex situations in mind which would entail a
17 degree of drain for which regular police were not trained.
18 Q. For example, a hostage-taking situation or the stake-out that was
19 discussed yesterday? That type of situation?
20 A. Yes. Hostage situations, certainly.
21 Q. Now, yesterday you were questioned about your disciplinary
22 authority over employees of your police force. Did you have disciplinary
23 authority over members of the special police forces?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, yesterday, referring to your disciplinary authority - this
1 is at page 16 of yesterday's proceedings - Mr. Mikulicic asked you what
2 type of disciplinary authority you had over your special police forces
3 and you said -- this is what you said. I will quote you. You said:
4 "My only power" -- this is at page 26, my apologies.
5 "My only power was to file a request for the initiation of a
6 disciplinary procedure."
7 This is what you said with regard to your disciplinary authority
8 over your police forces.
9 Now, isn't it correct that if a member of the special police
10 forces committed an offence, that request for disciplinary procedures,
11 initiation of disciplinary procedures, had to be made by the commander of
12 the special police sector and not yourself?
13 A. Yes, that's how it was.
14 Q. Now --
15 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I have, Mr. Registrar, document D1762,
17 Q. Now, this is a document that was shown to you by Mr. Mikulicic
18 yesterday. And it's from the assistant minister going to the police
19 administrations. And it says:
20 "In case of an enemy attack on supervisory control points on
21 patrols as well as all intelligence security information, events or
22 occurrences, you are obliged to urgently inform the special police sector
23 on the special telephone." And the numbers are given.
24 The reference there to the special police sector is to the
25 special police sector command, isn't it? You're supposed to contact
1 either Mr. Markac or Mr. Sacic. Isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes, precisely.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I note the time. This would be
5 a good time for a break, and I have very little time to take afterwards.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we will have a break, and we will resume
7 at five minutes to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, you may proceed.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Cetina, in your statement given to the Defence --
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And this is, for the record, D1743, in
14 paragraph 16.
15 Q. -- you have addressed sanitation work and the burial procedures
16 involved. And this is what you say. This is at page 8 of the statement.
17 You said:
18 "The team for the clearing up of the terrain assessed objectively
19 whether the cause of death was murder or war operations. There were
20 cases when it was reported to the police that a body had been found."
21 Now, first, a clarification, when you say "they assessed
22 objectively whether the cause of death was murder or war operations," by
23 the term "war operations," you mean whether a person had died in the
24 course of combat duty due to being caught up in a cross-fire or that type
25 of activity, as opposed to an execution. Isn't that correct? That's
1 what you mean by "war operations"?
2 A. The general meaning of war operations. I can't really go into
3 the details, whether it was the cross-fire or whatever.
4 Q. Yes. So what you mean is that a person had been killed in the
5 course of combat as opposed to an execution. Isn't that what you meant
6 by that term?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, can you -- can you clarify to the Trial Chamber as to how
9 exactly that determination was made. What was the criteria that was
10 applied by the clearing-up teams in determining if a person had died in
11 the course of combat or otherwise?
12 A. The Ministry of Interior issued instructions to the civilian
13 protection service or, rather, to the teams engaged in sanitisation about
14 the procedure they should follow. I was not that involved in the issue
15 and was not familiar with their modus operandi. They were within the
16 hierarchy of the Ministry of the Interior.
17 Q. Now, wouldn't you agree with me that to arrive at that
18 determination as to what -- whether a person had died in the course of
19 combat or whether it's an a murder, it would necessarily require an
20 on-site investigation at the location where the body was recovered?
21 A. An on-site investigation is part of an investigation, that's
22 right. And if the case involved war operations, then there was no need
23 for on-site investigations.
24 Q. Yes. But even -- even to determine if a person had died in the
25 course of combat, wouldn't you require an on-site investigation?
1 Otherwise, how would one determine as to what circumstances had led to
2 the death?
3 A. This was done by the teams out in the field, and they made the
4 relevant assessments. I was not involved in specific cases, so I can't
5 tell you more than I did.
6 Q. Now, to your knowledge, were on-site investigations conducted
7 into every body that was discovered in the aftermath of Operation Storm?
8 A. On-site investigations within the meaning of the
9 Law on Criminal Procedure, no, they were not.
10 Q. And who directed that on-site investigations need not be carried
12 A. Mr. Zidovec drafted instruction as to the manner of the conduct
13 of the sanitisation of human bodies. He was assistant minister.
14 Q. Now, in your statement to the Defence you said this - and this is
15 in paragraph 16. You say:
16 "The team for clearing up as a rule would include an officer of
17 the crime police, one officer each from all the services that are able to
18 make decisions, and a forensic pathologist."
19 Now what was the role of the officer from the crime police within
20 the sanitation teams? What was his role?
21 A. They were part of the team, and they were under strict
22 instructions from the ministry. I cannot go into the details of it,
23 since I'm not familiar with them.
24 Q. Mr. Cetina, the crime police in the Zadar-Knin Police
25 Administration comes under your jurisdiction - isn't it? - they're your
1 subordinate officers. Isn't that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, your subordinate officers are sent out to the field as part
4 of a team, and is it your position that you didn't know what they were
5 doing out there? You didn't know why -- as to why your subordinate
6 officers were made a part of a team?
7 A. No. They were under the jurisdiction of the
8 Ministry of the Interior. And it was in this way that the teams were
10 Q. So you had no information at all from your crime police officers
11 as to what they were doing within the sanitation teams. That's your
13 A. I knew the number of the individuals processed in the field, but
14 I did not discuss the details.
15 Q. Now, were you aware that a decision had been taken, in fact, by
16 the crime police not to carry out on-site investigations in the course of
17 the sanitation work?
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And I refer to, for the record,
19 evidence D234, D235, and D236, for the information of the Trial Chamber.
20 Q. Are you aware that there was a decision not to carry out on-site
21 investigations prior to the disposal of the bodies?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Let me show you a document, Mr. Cetina.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, may I have D235, please.
25 Q. Do you notice, Mr. Cetina, that in paragraph 1 it says:
1 "Since, in the area of the army activity, war operations are
2 being conducted, it is crucial to carry out clearing up the terrain in
3 that area and it is our task to carry out the identification of persons
4 in the prescribed manner. And it is not necessary to conduct on-site
5 investigations. Mr. Maric will carry out coordination of the above."
6 Now, you didn't know about this?
7 A. No. I was not aware of the minutes.
8 Q. Thank you. Very well.
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: May I have P2652, please, Mr. Registrar.
10 Q. Now, you said that you were not involved in any substantial way
11 in the sanitation work. But were you -- were you involved in exhuming
12 bodies that been disposed of in an incorrect manner?
13 A. No, I was not.
14 Q. Can you explain -- do you recognise the document that is on your
16 A. I can see that it bears my signature.
17 Q. You say you can see that it bears your signature, meaning you
18 don't recollect the document -- have you no recollection of this
19 document, or do you admit that it's a document written by you? What are
20 you exactly saying when you say that it bears your signature?
21 A. The document which does not have an actual signature of mine is a
22 coded message, and it contains a letter written by someone, I suppose it
23 was Mr. Batur, who signed documents on the sanitisation of human bodies
24 on my behalf.
25 Q. Are you suggesting that Mr. Batur signed documents and you were
1 not aware of the subject matter of this letter that he signed on your
2 behalf? Is that your position?
3 A. It could so happen that if I was not present in the police
4 administration, and very often I was not, and he had to send a report to
5 the Ministry of Interior.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Cetina, are you familiar at all with the content of this
7 document, the subject matter of this document? Do you know anything
8 about it?
9 A. I don't remember.
10 Q. Okay. Moving on, Mr. Cetina. Were you involved in monitoring
11 the collection centres in your area of responsibility, where civilians
12 and/or prisoners of war were kept?
13 A. Yes, I was familiar with it.
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. Registrar, can I have P904, please.
15 Q. As you will see in a moment, Mr. Cetina, a document written by
16 you, relating to collection centres. And you can already see the
17 Croatian version on your screen. It's sent to Operation Povratak to the
18 Ministry of the Interior headquarters and your sending it in response in
19 relation to a document, telegram dated 4th August, 1994. You -- this is
20 what you report:
21 "Up to 0500 hours on 6 August 1995, the following prisoners are
22 in the collection centre."
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And then, Mr. Registrar, if we could move to
24 page 2.
25 Q. Then have you a list of persons and the you say:
1 "There are 135 elderly people and children in the holding
3 And there is further explanation, and you have signed this
5 Now, we examined this document, Mr. Cetina. First of all, let me
6 ask you this: Are you familiar with this document?
7 A. I am. But I didn't sign it. And I can see it now, that I
9 Q. Do you -- was it somebody who had signed this document on your
11 A. Somebody signed and was authorised to do so, but I can't
12 recognise the signature.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Cetina, if someone signs a document on your behalf, do
14 you consider it as a document issued by you, or are you claiming -- are
15 you washing your hands of that document?
16 A. No, I don't wash my hands of it. I trusted my associates.
17 Q. Then -- I can tell you that we've gone through this document and
18 amongst that first category of people where you say the following
19 prisoners are in the collection centre, there is a list of persons.
20 There are a number of elderly people recorded as prisoners there. For
21 example, number 4, we're going by the dates of birth, number 6,
22 number 7, 8, 12, et cetera.
23 Now, can you explain to the Trial Chamber why elderly people were
24 being held as prisoners in these collection centres?
25 A. I suppose that they were members of units or were known as
1 perpetrators of criminal offences.
2 Q. Mr. Cetina, there is, at page -- number 8, for example, a person
3 born in 1922 being held as a prisoner. Is it your position that these
4 elderly people were also considered as being members of units of the RSK?
5 That your position?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, does it make any sense that where
7 the witness said it was either for this reason or another reason then to
8 go first through the one which seems to be less obvious?
9 Why not ask the witness in what of the two categories this person
10 was, if he knows.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Very well. Yes, Mr. President.
12 Q. You heard the question. Of the two categories that you
13 mentioned, that they were either members of units or were known to be
14 perpetrators of criminal offences, are you able to, for example, say the
15 person, for example, registered at number 8, who was born in 1922, in
16 what capacity he was being held?
17 A. In my view, the ages may not necessarily be significant when it
18 comes to these considerations.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, could you please answer the question.
20 Do you know the reason why this person born in 1922 was detained as a
21 prisoner? Do you know? If so, please tell us; if you don't know,
22 please, tell us as well.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you what my opinion was, and
24 my answer to this question is no.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Please proceed.
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Then on the second page --
4 MS. MAHINDARATNE: And, Mr. Registrar, if you could go to page 2.
5 Q. -- you also record that there are 135 elderly people and
6 children in the holding centre.
7 Now, why were elderly people and children being kept in a holding
8 centre? And I'm using the term that you have used. Can you explain to
9 the Trial Chamber.
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Word "kept" does not appear.
12 MR. MISETIC: I'd also --
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Why would they --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's apparently what you would like to ask
15 the witness.
16 Mr. Misetic.
17 MR. MISETIC: I'd also ask that we check the translation of the
18 word "holding," because I think it is important to what the original
19 actually says, and it's a term that the Chamber will be familiar with.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could I invite --
21 I know that this is not the way to verify translations. At the
22 same time, if we ask for a formal review of the translation, then the
23 witness might have been gone. So let's, as a preliminary and exceptional
24 exercise, could I invite a native-speaking person -- or could I ask the
25 witness --
1 Could you please slowly read the first sentence which comes after
2 item 23 which apparently start with "u prihvatnom Centru ..."
3 Could you read that line -- that sentence slowly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In the reception centre, there are
5 135 elderly persons and children."
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, please proceed.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Mr. Cetina, moving on to another area.
9 In your testimony given to the OTP, you have addressed the case
10 of Varivode and Gosici, you know, as one of the crimes --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, if -- sorry for interrupting you.
12 Does this mean that you're not interested to hear from this witness why
13 135 elderly people and children were in a reception centre?
14 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Thank you.
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
18 Q. I'm sorry. Going back to the issue we were discussing, the
19 Varivode and Gosici case, you have referred to as one of the crimes
20 solved by one of your officers. And, in fact, you have said that it was
21 initiated by you and you're very proud of the outcome.
22 Isn't it correct that the principle basis on which the accused
23 were charged in relation to both those cases, Varivode and Gosici
24 murders, were their own confessions made to the investigating judge?
25 A. I don't know what reached the investigating judge. We are not a
1 party appearing before the investigating judge.
2 Q. Mr. Cetina, this Trial Chamber has heard a lot of evidence of the
3 Varivode and Gosici case, and, in fact, those judgements are also in
5 Now, are you -- now have you, in fact, taken credit for that case
6 as being one of the cases that you initiated and your officers solved.
7 Now, are you then aware that the basis on which they were charged
8 was the confessions made by the accused to the investigative judge? Are
9 you aware of that?
10 A. I don't remember that. In the preliminary proceedings, they did
11 make a confession, but I don't recall what happened from there on.
12 Q. Now, are you aware that the trial court acquitted the accused in
13 relation to that case? Are you aware of that?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Mr. Cetina, in the statement given to the OTP, you, in fact,
16 claim credit for these two cases. And you're still -- now telling the
17 Trial Chamber that you don't even know the outcome of these cases. Is
18 that what you are saying? The basis on which the persons were charged.
19 A. I am familiar with what happened until the end of the preliminary
20 proceedings. Thereupon, I left Zadar and I didn't know what -- which
21 course the proceedings took.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne, I'm wondering what the relevance
23 is of knowing whether this witness rightly or wrongly claims any credit
24 for the work done in relation to this case. Is that.
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, it's was just that there is
1 evidence to the effect, before the Trial Chamber, that, in fact, that
2 case has not -- was not, in fact, solved. I'm just addressing Court to
3 testimony of Witness Zganjer. I don't know whether --
4 JUDGE ORIE: No, the only thing I'm asking, what is the relevance
5 of whether this witness is right or wrong in claiming or at least saying
6 that his service did a good job - whether it was a good job or bad job,
7 we can consider that - but what's the relevance?
8 MS. MAHINDARATNE: It's the credibility of this witness,
9 Mr. President, that I was testing. But I will move on.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE:
12 Q. Mr. Cetina, I have only a couple more questions to you. And I --
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: If we could have, Mr. Registrar, D1745.
14 Q. That's the statement that you made to the Office of
15 the Prosecutor. And this is in the English page 11, paragraph 4; and in
16 the Croatian version, page 9, paragraph 4.
17 Now, this is -- you talk about police -- authority of the police
18 officers in addressing crimes.
19 "The police were not allowed by law to search someone or their
20 vehicle without a court order. You could stop and check someone in
21 civilian clothes, but you could not search that person. If, for example,
22 the police pulled over a car and found a weapon in the trunk, and if they
23 did not have a court order, then the evidence would be dismissed for any
24 subsequent court proceedings."
25 And I'm trying to understand your testimony, Mr. Cetina. Now,
1 according to what you say, if a person in a vehicle, be it a civilian or
2 a soldier, was stopped at a civilian police check-point, and if that
3 civilian police officer could see that the vehicle was carrying goods,
4 such as TVs and radios, suspected looted goods, are you saying that he
5 cannot search the vehicle and take that into custody without a court
6 order, or is that not what you meant -- meant to say in the statement?
7 A. I will try to answer it.
8 If the object of a crime is visible, then this could be deemed as
9 a checking procedure and would be valid before a court of law. However,
10 if the evidence of a crime needs prior searching of the vehicle or the
11 premises, then this is something that requires a court order.
12 Q. So, as such, according to what you say, the police had the --
13 there was no impediment for the police to take into custody looted goods,
14 if detected, at a civilian check-point. Isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's -- yes.
16 Q. Now, on -- I need -- just seeking further clarification -- a
17 similar one --
18 MS. MAHINDARATNE: This is the same statement, page 14,
19 paragraph 2 in the English version, and in the Croatian version, page 11,
20 the last paragraph.
21 Q. You said that:
22 "You ask about crimes and how they were recorded when complaints
23 were made to the MUP by civilians. And if crimes were reported that were
24 committed by soldiers, then the person who reported the crime would have
25 been told that if soldiers were involved, it had to be reported to the
1 military police. Those were the applicable rules. I concede that ...
2 MUP could have recorded the reports. I'm not denying. But they did
3 nothing wrong in saying that the matter be reported to the military
5 So was it the case when a civilian goes to the nearest police
6 station or to the nearest civilian policemen and reports that military --
7 a member of the army or somebody in military uniform was seen in
8 committing a crime, they would be asked to go and report the matter to
9 the military police. Is that what you're saying here?
10 A. As a rule, this is what we did. We would inform the military
11 police if there were indications that HV members may be suspected of
12 having committed a crime.
13 Q. Okay. I probably -- you're properly misunderstood here.
14 So what you're saying here is that you, the police, would then
15 inform the military police, not ask the complainant to go to the military
17 A. As a rule, yes.
18 Q. Thank you for that.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Mahindaratne.
21 Mr. Kay, any re-examination?
22 MR. KAY: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: But before we do so, I would like to inform the
24 parties that at the request of the Chamber the famous "Zolja" line has
25 been reviewed and as a result - and this will be later confirmed in an
1 official memo - but as matters stand now, what the witness said - and
2 this is also for you, Mr. Cetina, because there was quite a bit of
3 confusion about those lines. As matters stand now, the Chamber
4 understands that you said the following:
5 "I am not an expert in war operations, but I could see that the
6 houses were set on fire and destroyed. As for any other perception, I
7 cannot give you that, nor the way it was done or by whom, I don't know."
8 Now, I was also informed that it took a while -- it needed
9 listening a couple of times before -- in reviewing this text, those who
10 did this job were able to exactly hear and that there apparently was a
11 word which, at least, has a Z and an O in it as well, which may have
12 caused the confusion. But I think now it's clear that all the questions
13 about Zoljas or soldiers, or whatever, are moot.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. KAY: I can claim no credit, as I was on the wrong track
16 totally at the time, and others informed me of the matter, Your Honour.
17 So I thank you them for their keen ears on the matter.
18 Re-examination now.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Kay:
20 Q. I'd like you to look at a document, please, Mr. Cetina. It's
22 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Kay, could you kindly get closer to the
23 microphone, please. Thank you.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. This is a letter that was sent from the International Committee
1 of the Red Cross to General Cermak, and you can see your name is -- is
2 written on the top in handwriting. And the word "urgent." "Mr. Cetina,
4 And if we go -- if we could just look at the content of this
5 page, the author is asking personal intervention:
6 "We expect results of the investigation following our verbal and
7 written reports. We" -- and is reminding again about serious incidents
8 reported to our personnel during visits to neighbouring villages.
9 So this is the Red Cross, writing to General Cermak and expecting
10 results of investigation following our verbal and written reports.
11 And then we see, on the next page, a list of places: Golubic,
12 the 6th of September; Ridjane; Ridjane; Varivode, with details from the
13 Red Cross.
14 MR. KAY: Let's turn to page 3.
15 Q. Further details. And at E, Zrmanja. Again, all of which are
16 reports of crimes.
17 And then on the last page.
18 MR. KAY: If we can turn to the last page.
19 We seem to have a problem on the screen, Your Honour. I do.
20 Does anyone else?
21 There we are. Thank you.
22 Q. And you can see here in the last sentence:
23 "Thank you for your personal intervention, and in expectation of
24 results, send you our regards."
25 This letter, then, which has your name on it, came to
1 General Cermak and is a list of serious crimes that had occurred which
2 the Red Cross expected to have information about and results.
3 Do you recollect receiving this document with these particular
4 incidents as identified?
5 A. I apologise, but I am unable to see the last page you referred
7 Q. There's the -- oh.
8 MR. KAY: If it could be blown up a little bit.
9 Q. Can you read that now?
10 A. No, I don't see the page at all.
11 MR. KAY: There was something on our screens that indicated some
12 sort of problem.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. KAY:
15 Q. This is the last page, signed by someone called Carmen Burger.
16 And as I pointed out, has the:
17 "Thank you for your personal intervention, and in expectation of
18 results ..."
19 Can you see that? You can't see anything?
20 MR. KAY: If can I have a hard copy while others ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I see it.
22 MR. KAY: If can you still get it out, yeah.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The witness sees it, he says.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. Are you able to see it now? Can you see the name Carmen Burger?
1 A. I can see it.
2 Q. Would you like to go back to the beginning of the document?
3 Would that help you? We've had an interruption here.
4 A. Please.
5 Q. Yes.
6 MR. KAY: If we could go back to the first page. It's
7 Exhibit D1756. In Croatian, if anyone has got a Croatian language
9 Q. Can you see that on the screen now, the big screen?
10 A. I can see it.
11 Q. Yes. Mr. Cetina, urgent, 7th of September, 1995. Letter to
12 General Cermak. And this letter "expects results of the investigation
13 following our verbal and written reports."
14 Do you recollect receiving this letter forwarded to you?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Thank you. And we've looked at what was inside the letter.
17 MR. KAY: Can we turn now to P2649.
18 Q. Can you see that, Mr. Cetina? This is a letter dated the
19 10th of October. It actually comes from you. And it's for the attention
20 of General Cermak. And it's in reply to the request of the
21 International Red Cross Organisation for submission of data on incidents.
22 "We hereby advise you we've completed the necessary checks
23 regarding each event mentioned in the letter."
24 And we see there the places set out: Golubic; Ridjane; Ridjane;
1 MR. KAY: Page 2, please.
2 Q. Zrmanja. And your response to each of those particular
3 incidents -- for instance, if we look at Zrmanja, a thorough criminal
4 investigation is being conducted into all the murders and with the object
5 of identifying the unknown perpetrators.
6 So looking at this chain of events, was Mr. Cermak ordering you
7 to investigate; or was he doing something else, in relation to the
8 information provided to him by the Red Cross?
9 Perhaps you can describe it.
10 A. We did not see it as an order. He simply requested notification,
11 given that the original request was put in by the ICRC.
12 Q. Was Mr. Cermak doing anything wrong by forwarding this
13 information to you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Was he putting himself in a position whereby he was commanding
17 A. No.
18 MR. KAY: If we just go and look, then, at one of the incidents.
19 If we can -- which was referred to as being the Simo Dokic matter.
20 If we go to 65 ter 2D00770.
21 Q. This predates the response to Mr. Cermak, but it's from the crime
22 police department to the 72nd Police Department, dated 18th of September.
23 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I hate to interrupt, by I
24 wonder whether we could have the English document also on the screen. I
25 hope I'm not creating any trouble for the Registrar.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We have some trouble in showing all the documents on
2 the screen, and that's why, as Mr. Registrar informed me, we have found a
3 kind of a solution which, first of all, serves the witness to have
5 Ms. Mahindaratne, I take it that this is a released document in
6 e-court by the Defence which you can consult.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: I will follow -- I will follow through my own
8 personal --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And, of course, the Chamber is a bit
10 handicapped here as well but ...
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. KAY: I will just repeat the number if it helps people,
13 65 ter 2D00770.
14 Q. I'm just giving people a bit of time, Mr. Cetina, to find an
15 English version of the document because we have some technical problems.
16 And can you see this document from your crime police department
17 written to the 72nd Battalion before that response you gave to
18 Mr. Cermak, requesting the identification of persons suspected of being
19 involved in one of the previous incidents?
20 Do you identify that as a letter from your crime police
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may this document be exhibited, please.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1765.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. KAY: If we can go now to 65 ter 2D00774.
5 Q. This is a document dated the 18th of September from the crime
6 police department of the police station in Knin under
7 Zadar-Knin Police Administration. And it's an on-site investigation
8 report, containing the date of the 18th of September, compiled on behalf
9 of the police station.
10 MR. KAY: If we turn to the next page.
11 Q. We can see during the on-site investigation the official
12 established the following: The fact of the investigation at the Dokici
13 hamlet; the site was not secured and has changed because a number of
14 people and vehicles passed along the street during the course of the
15 night and day; reference to empty bullet shells; photographs by
16 technicians; and time of completion.
17 Is that a correct on-site investigation report from the crime
18 police department at Knin police station?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KAY: Your Honour, might this be made an exhibit, please.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1766.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. KAY: And if we could go now to 2D00773.
1 Q. From Zadar-Knin Police Administration, 7th Police Station, Knin.
2 14th of November, 1995. A document to the municipal public prosecutor in
3 Zadar. Criminal report against an unknown perpetrator concerning
4 Simo Dokic, whom we've seen in the original letter from Carmen Burger.
5 And then giving details of what happened.
6 MR. KAY: If we turn to the next page.
7 Q. We see documents that were attached, including that notification
8 of the identity of military personnel of the 72nd Battalion that was sent
9 to the military police of the Knin Company. And we see this was sent by
10 Mr. Gambiroza, the commander of the Knin police station.
11 Is this a correct procedure of a criminal report?
12 A. This is a complete and regular procedure.
13 Q. At this stage, of course, Knin police station was under the
14 Zadar-Knin Police Administration, rather than the Kotar-Knin
15 Police Administration; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may this document be made an exhibit.
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1767.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. KAY:
24 Q. Now, in this procedure, which originated from the letter of
25 Carmen Burger that was passed on to you by -- by General Cermak, beyond
1 that passing on of the information, did General Cermak have any role to
2 play in relation to this case or any of the other cases that were listed
3 within the letter? Any official role?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did he have any unofficial role, any role that was outside the
6 system, whereby he was in any way part of the process?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 When Mr. Cermak sent a letter such as that to you, was he giving
10 you a task? And by a "task," I mean a specific -- a command?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you have any obligation to report back to him? We see your
13 letter concerning the information about the cases. Did you have any
14 obligation to send that to him?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The purpose of sending that to him in the letter that you sent
17 was for what reason?
18 A. It was just to inform him.
19 Q. Did you yourself have meetings with the lady, Carmen Burger, of
20 the International Committee of the Red Cross?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You described having meetings with -- or your police
23 administration and you having meetings with UNCIVPOL. Was the Red Cross
24 involved with those UNCIVPOL meetings in any way?
25 A. No, I don't remember that.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 In relation to those cases within Carmen Burger's letter that was
3 sent on to you, could Mr. Cermak order you to investigate those ten or so
5 A. No.
6 Q. In passing on that information, is -- is Mr. Cermak fulfilling
7 any sort of duty or role under the Law on Criminal Procedure of the
8 Republic of Croatia
9 A. Regarding the law, he enjoyed the same status as an ordinary
10 citizen would.
11 Q. And are you familiar with Article 142 of the
12 Law of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Croatia
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. And what does that say?
15 A. It says - at least as far as I can recall - that all information
16 about crimes should be forwarded by citizens, and institutions are
17 obliged to advise the competent authorities. That is to say, the state
18 prosecutor's office.
19 MR. KAY: If we could just have a look that on the screen.
20 Oh, D1568, Exhibit D1568. Page 3 in the translation. We have
22 If we could have it in the -- is it possible to get it in the
23 Croatian on the screens? Page 31 in the Croatian.
24 Q. And it's in subclause (1):
25 "If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime which is
1 prosecuted ex officio has been committed. Internal affairs organs shall
2 be required to take the necessary measures to find the perpetrator."
3 And we see the rest of it: to detect, et cetera, gather all
4 information which may be of use for the successful conduct of criminal
6 MR. KAY: I haven't read it all out there.
7 Q. And what General Cermak was doing there, passing on information
8 to you, does that then cause the police to be in the position of being
9 able to suspect that a crime has been committed?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. KAY: Keeping, in the Croatian, section 140 there, but going
12 back in the English one page.
13 Q. Article 140:
14 "In order to uphold social self-protection, citizens should
15 report crimes which are prosecuted ex officio."
16 Is that the duty, then, that you were referring to, civilians, or
17 people, having the duty to pass on information about crimes?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. KAY: If we can go now to P2650.
21 Q. This is a document that was shown to you and about which you were
22 asked questions. It's dated the 11th of October, 1995. And we see the
23 place Bijelina. And we see the names Dragomir Cotra, Obrad Opacic,
24 someone else Opacic; and the scene of the crime was investigated by an
25 investigating judge; three cartridge cases were found; autopsies
1 established and gun-shot wounds in the head. And that is signed by you.
2 And this was sent to General Cermak.
3 Do you recollect being asked questions about that yesterday?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you recollect why this letter was written to General Cermak
6 with this information within it?
7 A. I cannot. But it is possible that it was due to a request from
8 an international institution. But I don't remember.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 Would there be any other reason why you would be informing
11 General Cermak about a particular crime scene?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Would writing a letter like this be part of any official
14 procedure of reporting?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you appreciate at the time that the international
17 organisations were putting great pressure on General Cermak for
18 information --
19 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President --
20 MR. KAY: -- and results.
21 MS. MAHINDARATNE: -- I object to that question. That's leading.
22 And this is not a matter that --
23 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't heard the question yet, to be quite
24 honest. Mr. Kay started asking about awareness.
25 Was that your question, Mr. Kay?
1 MR. KAY: I will put it even clearer.
2 Q. Did you know that the international community were putting great
3 pressure on General Cermak for information, if he could help them provide
4 it, concerning particular crimes?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Mahindaratne.
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: He has already answered, Mr. President. My
8 point was that, for one thing --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE -- it was previously leading, but then the
11 second thing, that it doesn't arise from questions asked during
13 MR. KAY: Well, it certainly does because look, let's be frank
14 about this, this single letter here has been helped up as some kind of
15 reporting procedure of the police to Mr. Cermak, and --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. How closely it relates to it. Let's -- is
17 this a matter of great dispute, first of all, whether the international
18 community was -- was seeking information from Mr. Cermak? I mean,
19 whether you, then, should use the word "pressure" or not is another
21 Is that in dispute, Ms. Mahindaratne?
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, we are asking the witness about his
24 knowledge of a fact which is in itself not in dispute.
25 So let's see, then, what the follow-up questions are.
1 MR. KAY: Yes, and to be frank, Your Honour, this one
2 document - and I was looking very carefully at the questions by my
3 learned friend, anticipating in several months' time how this could be a
4 phrased in the context of a final brief - and the word "tasks" was being
5 used, "reports." All these --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on, Mr. Kay, and let's see what your next
7 question is.
8 MR. KAY: Yes, thank you.
9 Let's now go to 2D00784.
10 Q. This is from the crime police department of the
11 Zadar-Knin Police Administration. A criminal report had been filed on
12 the 14th of October. And between the 20th of September and
13 1st of October an unidentified perpetrator, or perpetrators, had
14 committed a crime - the crime of murder, in fact - against two
15 unidentified men, one woman, in Bijelina; details are given. And on the
16 10th of October, an on-site investigation had taken place with members of
17 the crime police and the investigating judge.
18 MR. KAY: If we turn to page 2.
19 Q. External examination. We see what the pathologist discovered and
20 that members of the police administration are investigating. The matter
21 is signed by Mr. Kardum.
22 Just so it's clear, has Mr. Cermak got any role to play in
23 relation to this crime investigation and its procedure at all?
24 A. No.
25 Q. So is the letter of the 11th of October any form of official
1 document within the criminal procedure?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And so did you have to send this document to him, if he had
4 supplied you with any information about the crime?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And are you able to say what the purpose of writing him such a
7 letter would have been?
8 A. I don't remember, really.
9 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may I make this document an exhibit,
11 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objections.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit D1768.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I have here a whole file on this matter,
16 which we would bar table, giving the details of the investigation with
17 photographs. No purpose would be served, I anticipate, in going through
18 this. It's something that my team have found, and we will send it to the
19 Prosecution and bar table it, and in the fullness of time, hopefully it
20 will come before Your Honours. If that meets the Court's approval in
21 dealing with this matter at this stage.
22 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kay, that's fine. As far as the Chamber is
1 MR. KAY: Yes, it is untranslated material, but since it was a --
2 a matter raised, it is an incident, and it may be of interest to the
3 Court. We will submit it for translation, and I think that may -- unless
4 the OTP have a copy of these documents translated already, I don't know.
5 But I just inform the Court about that.
6 Thank you.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. KAY:
9 Q. Just one other area I want to ask you questions about. And that
10 concerns this meeting in Plitvice on the 15th of September at the
11 Hotel Jezera, and members of the Ministry of Interior military police
12 were there.
13 What was the purpose of that meeting?
14 A. The purpose of the meeting was, together with the heads of the
15 military police, departments of the ministry, and heads of the
16 departments of the Ministry of Interior, to agree on how to act jointly
17 in the relevant area, given that the -- their cooperation up to that
18 point had not been satisfactory.
19 Q. You were asked questions about that. But at this meeting, did
20 anyone from any of the groups of the military police,
21 Ministry of Interior ever say, Well, to sort out law and order in this
22 area, it's General Cermak you've got to speak to. He's the man who can
23 control it.
24 Did anyone ever suggest General Cermak as being someone who could
25 deal with this?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did anyone ever suggest that General Cermak should deal with
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did anyone suggest that it was General Cermak's responsibility to
6 deal with this?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Aside of Plitvice, in all the other meetings that you had - and
9 we've seen in various documents some of them - did anyone ever suggest
10 that it was General Cermak's responsibility to deal with these crimes
11 that were happening?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did anyone ever suggest that General Cermak should deal with
14 these crimes that were happening, at any of those meetings?
15 A. No.
16 Q. There's one other document I'd like to you look at, please. You
17 were asked questions about freedom of movement, and questions were asked
18 about a document, D499. We don't have to have that on the screen.
19 And it was put to you:
20 "If the civilian police were not involved in restricting the
21 movement of monitors, why would Mr. Moric have issued an order?"
22 And it that's document.
23 MR. KAY: Can we look at 65 ter 4420, please. This is the
24 Prosecution 65 ter.
25 Q. It's dated 8th of August, 1995. It's from Mr. Moric to the
1 police administrations saying Zadar-Knin doesn't include Kotar-Knin. And
2 its subject is:
3 "Arrival of reporters and public figures in the liberated area."
4 And the first part of the order concerns reporters without
5 necessary permissions in the area of Petrinja and Plitvice Lakes
6 permission from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior is
7 needed for other liberated areas.
8 And in paragraph 2 of the order it refers:
9 "When distinguished and generally known public persons enter the
10 liberated area, you must consult the duty operations of the
11 Ministry of Interior Operation Return staff, and for all other persons,
12 access to the liberated area is prohibited until further notice."
13 Do you recollect this particular order?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in relation to this order, what did you -- you do?
16 A. We were duty-bound to forward it down to the lower-level police
17 units. That's to say, the police stations. And that's what we did.
18 Q. No mention here of UNCRO, or the ECMM, or other international
19 organisations. Could you comment on that?
20 A. My understanding was, and our understanding was that this had to
21 do with the individuals who were likely to come to the area, since this
22 was shortly after the operation itself. And that their access was
23 prohibited for reasons of their own safety.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. KAY: May this document be made an exhibit, Your Honour.
1 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1769.
4 JUDGE ORIE: D1769 is admitted into evidence.
5 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I have no further questions in
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
8 Mr. Mikulicic.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour I will have a couple of
10 questions. But I'm looking at the clock and thinking of whether maybe it
11 will be more convenient to have a break now and then --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If it would take more than five minutes --
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, it will be.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could I also inquire already with you, Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I'll have 20 minutes or so, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ORIE: 20 minutes. We will first have a break, but I would
17 first like to invite Madam Usher to escort Mr. Cetina out of the
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, I have one small issue in relation to the
21 questions that were put to the witness in relation to the Brgud event,
22 where two unidentified ladies were found.
23 D1753 was put to the witness; that is, a report in which it's
24 stated that a -- information was received about two bodies, that a police
25 car was sent there, that they had not found any bodies, and that a
1 thorough search would be made on the morning of the 13th. And this is
2 all dated the 12th.
3 Now, I asked the witness about any reason why these bodies could
4 not be found, because in P261 we see that on the 13th, in the late
5 afternoon, that the presence of these bodies is again reported - not,
6 this time, by UNCRO - but -- and then you say well, look at -- I have
7 some documents in my -- in the documents I intend to bar table and then
8 you did that immediately, D1757 and D1758, the one being a crime report
9 and the other report on an inside investigation.
10 Now, I take it that the whole exercise from both sides is to
11 thoroughly explore how serious information was dealt with and how
12 adequate police investigations were done. What is missing, in my attempt
13 to get a full picture of what happened, is the morning of the 13th,
14 because we see on the 12th bodies are there, send a police car, cannot
15 find any bodies, but we'll thoroughly investigate the terrain tomorrow
16 morning. And then on the -- by the end of the 13th, it is reported that
17 two bodies are there. And then on the 14th we get the on-site
19 One of the missing parts in this story is what may have happened
20 on the morning of the 13th, what the results of the announced thorough
21 investigation in the terrain would have been, which, of course, also may
22 have some relevance in how quickly one responded, was one -- information
23 sufficient to take it very seriously or would one wait until the second
24 one? That, apparently, is the issue the parties are struggling with or
25 with disputing about.
1 Is there any information about what happened on the morning of
2 the 13th, which might complete the picture?
3 MR. KAY: Your Honours, I've said on several occasions we attempt
4 to put together everything we can, and I think that the Court must
5 appreciate that we are dealing with incomplete records, generally, in
6 this case. To expect, as one would in one's own jurisdiction if one was
7 dealing with a case current this year, that the whole documentary trail
8 is alive and present is simply not possible in this case.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not blaming you for not having it. But what I'm
10 telling you is that -- that we seriously looked at the evidentiary -- the
11 documentary evidentiary material, as we have it now, and that there is
12 something missing. And I'm just inquiring in whether -- that morning of
13 the 13th, whether there is any material that could fill in what seems to
14 be, at least in time, a gap.
15 MR. KAY: I didn't take it any further with this witness because
16 it's to the crime police department. I anticipated the answers would be
17 given. And the witness, dealing, who could have dealt with this --
18 JUDGE ORIE: I would not primarily expect the witness to tell us
19 anything about it, because he already said that he was guessing --
20 MR. KAY: Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- why on the 12th they could not find the bodies in
22 familiarity with the terrain.
23 Ms. Mahindaratne.
24 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I will have our database
25 examined to see if we can find any material to close that gap.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because if it's -- it may be clear to the
2 parties that if it comes to an assessment or a judgement on the adequacy
3 of responses, that details often are important.
4 We'll have a break, and we will resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 --- On resuming at 12.53 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, we have had a chance in the break
10 with respect to your last question about that incident, and we have
11 located an Official Note on the 13th concerning all the measures they
12 took. We will have that translated and submitted to the Chamber.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that assists because it completes the picture.
14 Thank you very much for your assistance, Mr. Misetic.
15 Mr. Mikulicic.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: With your permission, Your Honour, we change our
17 order of our re-cross, so I will go first.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Don't make a lot of fuss about that.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
22 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
23 Q. Mr. Cetina, the basic task of the police in the territory of the
24 Republic of Croatia
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. For ease of reference, it is the Law on Internal Affairs, which
2 was admitted and is now D1077. So as not to waste any Court time, I will
3 simply refer to two articles of that Article -- of that law.
4 In Article 21 of that law, it is stated that, within the
5 ministry, organisational units of are being set up to carry out policing
6 tasks. And these specific organisations were to be called police
8 Is it correct, Mr. Cetina - is it not? - that, under the law,
9 there was a uniformed system of police administrations covering the
10 territory of the Republic of Croatia
11 under the law. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. By virtue of Article 24 of that law, for special security
14 reasons, in order to keep law and order, or in cases of natural disasters
15 and outbreaks of disease, special units of the Ministry of Interior were
16 to be established.
17 Mr. Cetina, I know that in Croatia
18 frequently and it is difficult to keep track sometimes. But I will
19 remind that you the basic Law on the Interior was later on amended by the
20 Law on Amendments to the Law of the Interior which has been made an
21 exhibit. And the number is P1148.
22 By virtue of that law, the duties and role of the special police
23 were clearly prescribed. And I want to ask you about your -- the extent
24 of your knowledge about that.
25 In Article 11 of the law, which is Exhibit P1148, it is stated
1 that it is to combat all types of sabotage and terrorist activities in
2 order to prevent hijacking of vehicles and kidnapping of persons as well
3 as to release hostages and perform other duties which fall within the
4 remit of the ministry under "special conditions."
5 It is for that reason that the special police is being
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, may I ask, is there any dispute as to
8 the law in force at that time?
9 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No dispute about that.
11 Then what could we expect specifically from this witness? Can he
12 add something, or is it because -- until now it's a bit unclear to me
13 what --
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I will go further on, and that was
15 only introduction in my next set of questioning. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then we will wait and here your next
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the Registrar
19 to display Exhibit D1084.
20 Mr. Cetina, while we're waiting for the document, my learned
21 friend from the Prosecution asked you about your authority as the chief
22 of the police administration in relation to the special police unit that
23 was within the police administration itself. And you provided an
25 I am about to show you a document which the then-minister,
1 Mr. Ivan Vekic, sent as an order to all police administrations,
2 including, I presume, the police administration of Zadar, where, in 1995,
3 you became chief.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: So if I may ask the Registrar, please, D1084.
5 Do we have some technical problems with our e-court?
6 Now it is -- thank you.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Cetina, let me ask you this first. Have you
8 had occasion to see this order in the archives of the Zadar Police
9 Administration when you assumed your position in 1995?
10 A. No.
11 Q. I'd like to direct your attention at paragraph 1, whereby it is
12 ordered that in each police administration a special police unit ought to
13 be formed.
14 Next, paragraph 7, reads:
15 "Special units are to be engaged solely pursuant to decisions
16 issued by the chief of a police administration, and deputy minister of
17 the interior, or the person thus authorised by him."
18 Was this theory translated into practice in keeping with this
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. If we go to the next page of the document, I'd like to direct
22 your attention at item 8, where it says:
23 "Before engaging a special unit in the area of his
24 administration, the chief of a police administration must obtain
25 clearance from deputy minister or the person authorised by the deputy
2 Does the text of the order tally with the practice you
3 encountered in the performance of your duties?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Next, let's look at item 9 of the document.
6 It is stated:
7 "A special unit cannot be used in the territory of another police
8 administration without a decision of the deputy minister or a person thus
9 designated by him."
10 This was also implemented, was it not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Cinci -- I apologise. Mr. Cetina, such a practice was in
13 place in peacetime conditions, rather than in situations in which the
14 special police force was used as part of war operations. Is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Mr. Cetina, I have just called you Mr. Cinci a minute ago. Hence
18 my question is whether you now Mr. Cinci, as a matter of fact.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He was the chief of the Split Police Administration while you
21 were the chief of the Zadar Police Administration; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is your impression of Mr. Cinci that of a professional, of a
24 person who performed his duties professionally?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I will quote to you a portion of his statement he gave before
2 this Tribunal.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] It is Exhibit D1723.
4 Q. Perhaps we could have that on the screen. Otherwise, I'll simply
5 read out the portion I'm interested in and then I'll ask for your
7 Mr. Cinci says as follows in paragraph 2 at page 2 of his
9 "The minister of the interior of the Republic of Croatia
10 terms of territory, split between police administrations and,
11 professionally speaking, by sectors. There was a sector for the regular
12 police, crime police, special police, finance, civil protection, and
13 other sectors."
14 The police administrations also consisted of sectors for basic
15 crime investigation, special police, and then I will skip a portion.
16 "And they were run by chiefs of sectors. The chiefs of sectors
17 within the police administration were, at the same time, responsible to
18 the PA chiefs and, according to the professional line, to the assistant
19 ministers for their sector?"
20 Do you agree with this interpretation? Is it the way you see the
21 organisation of the ministry?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Cetina, I'll draw your attention next to paragraph 3 where
24 Mr. Cinci says as follows:
25 "The exception was the special police, which, because of the
1 specific nature of their tasks, had different lines of subordination,
2 depending on the situation. For instance, in the special police sector
3 of my police administration, there were about 200 policemen. When they
4 were in Split
5 was responsible exclusively to me as a police administration chief. But,
6 when they participated in joint actions of the special police from
7 several police administrations, they were under the command of
8 Mr. Mladen Markac, assistant minister, and Zeljko Sacic, special police
9 sector chief.
10 "However, when the special police members participated in
11 military police operations, of which there were many, Mr. Markac was
12 responsible to the Main Staff chief of the Croatian Army. At that
13 moment, Mr. Markac, regardless of the fact that he was assistant minister
14 of the interior, was not responsible to Minister Jarnjak, and he did not
15 have to report to him on anything."
16 Mr. Cetina do you agree with that with this description as given
17 by your colleague, Mr. Cipci?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Let us move on to another topic which will my last, Mr. Cetina.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: For that purpose, I would like to ask the
21 Registrar to display D179.
22 Q. Mr. Cetina, you're a professional, a career policeman. By the
23 way, how long have you been performing police duties in the various
25 A. 25 years now.
1 Q. In the course of your duties as the chief of the Zadar Police
2 Administration, you had occasion to meet Mr. Jan Elleby, who was the
3 chief of the CIVPOL in Sector South; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you get -- any information or did you gain an impression
6 of -- about how long he had performed police duties by the time when you
7 acted as the chief of the Zadar Police Administration?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Let me ask you this, Mr. Cetina: As a career policeman, based on
10 your professional experience as well as knowledge of the regulations
11 which defined your remit and official terminology, in official
12 correspondence and communication, did you ever pay attention to the use
13 of terminology you used to describe the events which fell under your
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you believe it to be an important part of police work and the
17 performance of police duties?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Cetina, before you is a document you were shown a few days
20 ago. It was sent to you by Mr. Jan Elleby. The title of which is:
21 "List of murders committed since the 4th of August 1995
22 Do you understand any death to fall under the category of murder
23 or does it entail something else? And, if so, please tell us what.
24 A. A murder only took place if a person was killed -- if the person
25 suffered a violent death.
1 Q. Does that entail suspicion of a crime?
2 A. In order to establish grounds for suspicion, one needs to carry
3 out certain activities, in keeping with the Law on Criminal Procedure.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: I would kindly ask the Registrar to move to the
5 next page of this document.
6 Q. To repeat, Mr. Elleby titled this document:
7 "List of murders."
8 Let us look at paragraph 4 of the document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, this Chamber is more or less aware of
10 the legal definition of murder. The Chamber is also aware that
11 Mr. Elleby used the word "murders" on the cover page. What are we
12 exploring at this moment? Whether Mr. Elleby, in view of what we see in
13 the document, on the basis of that alone, could not qualify all of the
14 events as murder, so, therefore, he has been imprecise in his language?
15 Or are we further exploring -- I mean, some matters seem to be rather
16 obvious -- if you find two bodies and whether they're murdered or not,
17 often it does not follow from the description. That's obvious even
18 without any further questions put to the witness.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If there is anything else you would like to draw our
21 attention to, please feel free to do so.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'm grateful for such position
23 of the Trial Chamber. I would like just --
24 JUDGE ORIE: It's not a position. It's --
25 MR. MIKULICIC: It is, Your Honour, in fact.
1 I will just like to stress the Chamber's attention that
2 paragraph 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28, and 32 has
3 qualifications that one could not undertake under the term of "murder."
4 And that was my point. And I would like do ask the witness only
5 one question on that topic.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let's be quite clear, since you're talking
7 about the position of the Chamber.
8 The way in which the events are described here would not be
9 sufficient to qualify them as murders, that's more or less -- that's a
10 legal issue.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Of course.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Whether Mr. Elleby had any other reasons, for
13 example, reports sent to him, to put these events in his list, is, of
14 course, a totally different matter. I think we would agree on that.
15 Isn't --
16 MR. MIKULICIC: We do, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: For example - and I'm not further focussing on
18 Brgud, but - if you look at the other documentation, there may be reasons
19 to believe that there was intention of killing of the two unidentified
20 ladies. Still not known by whom. Not sufficient to -- perhaps to
21 qualify it as a murder. But you need more information than what we find
22 in this document to qualify these events as murder events. Yes.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear. Then, please put your question to the
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, it's clear. Especially when, for example,
2 in paragraph 4, well, the event has been previously described as a
3 murder. It is stated that was impossible to a certain age or cause of
5 So it is a bit of --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, at least --
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... the one. I don't know
9 whether, at any later stage, it had been possible to establish age and
10 cause of death. But at least, from this document, nothing appears which
11 would qualify number 4 as a murder. But it's rather a decomposed corpse
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Cetina, a question regarding this document.
16 When you received it, did you continue your discussions with
17 Mr. Elleby, concerning these -- qualification of these offences and
18 murder, although they're not supported in the allegations contained in
19 the document?
20 Did you continue your discussions with him on this?
21 A. As far as I remember, no, I did not.
22 Q. Thank you. My last question, Mr. Cetina. During your tenure as
23 the chief of the Zadar Police Administration, you went through an
24 eventful period; there were a great many activities in the area of
25 responsibility of area police administration. Had anyone ever, in
1 relation to you or as far as you know in relation to your associates,
2 excerpt any sort of pressures along the lines that you should not be
3 adhering to the law or that you should tolerate crime? Were you ever a
4 witness to any such actions?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
9 Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
10 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
12 Q. Mr. Cetina, you were asked a few questions about Kistanje, and I
13 would like to ask you a few questions about that.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have on the screen,
15 please, Exhibit D1326, please.
16 Q. Mr. Cetina, what will come up on the screen is -- should be an
17 assessment of the number of burned houses in Kistanje. It's based on
18 statistics provided by the UN Military Observers, or UNMOs, from a report
19 they prepared on 4th of November, 1995.
20 MR. MISETIC: It's D1326.
21 Q. Now, we have the English on the screen. Hopefully, you will be
22 able to follow it.
23 In the upper right-hand corner are statistics from the 1991
24 census about the total population, and then in blue you will see a number
25 for the total number of buildings in the village of Kistanje
1 according to the 1991 census. And the number on the census was 547. You
2 will see on the map all of the various hamlets that make up Kistanje.
3 MR. MISETIC: And then if we could turn the page, please.
4 Q. Then on this chart all of the hamlets that were identified by
5 UNMO as having been inspected by UNMO from the village of Kistanje
6 included here. And can you see the totals at the bottom, that UNMO
7 found, as of 4th of November, 101 totally destroyed buildings and
8 63 partially destroyed buildings.
9 Now, these statistics would suggest that there were 101 out of a
10 possible 547 totally destroyed buildings in Kistanje as of the
11 4th of November, 1995. You were asked in cross-examination whether the
12 majority of buildings in Kistanje were destroyed as of, approximately, I
13 believe, the date was 14th of August, that was given to you.
14 My question to you is: Did you actually do your own inspection
15 of the Kistanje area to check to see how many houses had been destroyed,
16 how many partially destroyed, and how many, in fact, weren't destroyed at
18 A. No.
19 Q. Okay. When you told the Presiding Judge that the majority of
20 houses were destroyed as of the 14th of August, what was -- what was that
21 based on? What did you base that observation on?
22 A. Based on what I was able to observe as I was passing through the
23 centre of the settlement. And from what I recall of the houses I saw,
24 quite a few were destroyed.
25 Q. Okay. The centre of Kistanje, give us an approximation. How
1 many houses are in the centre -- I should say how many buildings are in
2 the centre of Kistanje, from your recollection?
3 A. I don't remember. But that was the first time I visited the
4 area. I think that I, in fact, passed along one street only.
5 Q. Well, can you give us an approximation? Is there -- would you
6 say there were 200 houses in the centre --
7 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I think the witness has
8 answered the question.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I wouldn't disallow Mr. Misetic to a bit
10 further explore, although there is also some risk of --
11 MR. MISETIC: I'm just trying to understand --
12 Q. Trying to relate the concept of what it means when you say the
13 majority of houses. I'm trying to relate that specifically to some
15 Can you give us a ballpark estimate of how many houses, to the
16 best of your recollection, and I'm not asking you to be precise, but to
17 the best of your recollection, in the centre of Kistanje, how many
18 buildings are there?
19 A. Truly, I didn't count the houses and buildings. I really don't
20 have an idea of the width of the settlement.
21 Q. Well, the Chamber has heard evidence from the head of the human
22 rights monitoring teams in Sector South that he was in Kistanje on the
23 13th of August and counted seven houses burned in the centre of Kistanje.
24 Is that consistent or is that roughly --
25 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I had --
1 MR. MISETIC: -- coincide with your recollections?
2 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, I object to this. The witness
3 has clearly answered that he is unable to give any estimate at all, even
4 a ballpark figure. He has been very precise. And to then explore this
5 further and to put to the witness other figures given by witnesses is not
6 appropriate, I believe.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I tend to agree. There's nothing
8 opposed against -- there's nothing against asking the witness do seek
9 whether he has any further information. But until now, all his answers
10 went in the same direction and that is that he had only limited view on
11 the matter. And then to put all kind of different estimates and to try
12 to find out which he likes most is perhaps not the way we should proceed.
13 MR. MISETIC: I don't mind, Mr. President, but I'm just -- in
14 anticipation of an argument later that the witness said "totally
15 destroyed" or "majority destroyed." As long as we're clear that -- I
16 attempted to get a more specific number as to what that really means
17 and --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What we know is that the witness told us that
19 he doesn't know exactly where the boundaries of Kistanje are, that he
20 drove through the centre, and that when he uses the word "majority" that
21 that might be influenced by his limited sight of -- of the location.
22 That --
23 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- seems to be the core. And then, of course, we
25 have to evaluate the evidence of this witness, together with all the
1 other evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D915,
6 Q. Mr. Cetina, I'm going to show you an Official Note of a interview
7 of Mr. Zvonimir Lasan in the course of the Varivode investigation.
8 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn to page 4 in the Croatian,
10 Q. Now, I would turn your attention to that first paragraph in the
11 Croatian towards the bottom. And the last sentence Mr. Lasan, in his
12 police interview, said:
13 "Aside from this murder, Zvonimir states that he didn't kill or
14 shoot at anyone else after Operation Storm, besides shooting at some
15 Chetniks during the operation and burning one house when they enter
16 Kistanje, which he thought was a Chetnik house because he saw a lot of
17 books there that were mostly in Cyrillic and a picture of a man in a
18 Yugoslav uniform."
19 Now, my question to you is: When Mr. Lasan acknowledged at least
20 setting one house on fire in Kistanje during Operation Storm, did the
21 police open a further investigation into Mr. Lasan and his associates who
22 were then being suspected of the Varivode murders to see what else they
23 may have done in Kistanje during Operation Storm?
24 A. I don't remember. These are the details of a case in which the
25 criminal investigation police was engaged, and I don't remember what
1 steps were taken.
2 Q. Well, would you agree with me, on the basis of this Official
3 Note, there at least was some information available to the police as to
4 who it might have been involved in setting fire to houses during
5 Operation Storm in Kistanje?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I'd like to turn your attention now to this issue of MUP acting
8 towards HV members.
9 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, if could I have Exhibit D57 on
10 the screen, please.
11 Q. I will try to show you several examples, Mr. Cetina. This is the
12 Knin police station log-book.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could go first to English
14 page 43 and Croatian page 43, please.
15 Q. Looking at the first entry, number 147, the police report that
16 they stopped a passenger vehicle with members of the Croatian army who
17 were transporting different household appliances. And the course of
18 action taken is the duty officer of the 72nd Military Police Battalion
19 Sergeant 1st Class, Knezic [phoen], who took over the case.
20 MR. MISETIC: If we turn to English page 72, Croatian page 76.
21 Q. This is entry number 223. This is the 29th of August. The
22 police car patrol brought from the Krka check-point three persons in a
23 passenger car. It goes on to say that -- towards the bottom, they were
24 wearing Croatian army uniforms, although they are not members of the
25 Croatian army. Course of action taken is they were handed over to the
1 crime police officer who confiscated the goods from them and issued a
2 relevant receipt. These three persons left the premises of the first
3 police station at 2200 hours.
4 MR. MISETIC: The next entry is at page 86 in the English,
5 page 93 in the Croatian.
6 Q. This is entry 248. On the 2nd of September, at 1210 hours, at
7 the police station Kistanje, the duty officer reported that their
8 officers had stopped two HV personnel and one MUP personnel who were
9 transporting items.
10 Then there's the course of action that they took against the two
11 HV and one police officer who were in this car.
12 Mr. Cetina, I won't take more time, but I will tell you that
13 there's well over a dozen such examples of -- in this log-book alone of
14 police taking action against either persons who were confirmed to be
15 members of the HV or were wearing Croatian army uniforms and the police
16 took action against them.
17 And if I could show you one additional exhibit.
18 MR. MISETIC: This is Exhibit D486, please. And this will be ...
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. MISETIC: This is under seal, Mr. Registrar.
21 Q. Now this is a report, Mr. Cetina, about an incident that took
22 place on the 19th of September. And if you read through it, it talks
23 about this incident taking place at a check-point.
24 "The car had no registration plates. When the officials
25 Mladen Zuteg [phoen] and Arsen Stefanic [phoen] pulled over the car, the
1 co-driver," and then it gives the HV member's military police post
2 address, "pulled over the car, the co-driver, Miroslav Lucin [phoen],
3 came into oral conflict with the aforementioned policemen, offending
4 them, and preventing them in exercising their duty. Then he sat in the
5 driver's seat aiming to drive away. The policeman Arsen Stefanic fired
6 two rounds of ammunition from a machine-gun in the rear left car tire to
7 prevent him to drive away.
8 "The officials in the 6th Police Station Benkovac and
9 72nd Battalion of the Military Police Benkovac operated on the site.
10 Miroslav Lucin was brought into the premises of the 72nd MPs," et cetera.
11 And I can tell you, the Chamber has Exhibit D842, which is the
12 military police's report of this incident. And that report shows that,
13 in fact, the military police were not at this check-point when the shots
14 were fired by the policemen to stop the car. They were only called in
15 after the HV member was detained.
16 Mr. Cetina, looking at this material, would you agree with me
17 that, while officers may have been afraid in certain circumstances to
18 take action, there were, in fact, numerous occasions when your police
19 officers, in fact, did take action against persons in military uniforms,
20 whether they were in the HV formally or not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, I would like to show you three final documents, and this has
23 to do with the issue of sanitation of the terrain and whether there were
24 investigations carried out.
25 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could have Exhibit D1396
1 on the screen, please.
2 Q. You were asked questions by the Prosecution concerning a meeting
3 on the 6th of August in which there was a discussion about -- in the
4 sanitation of terrain there -- operative investigations did not have to
5 be conducted. You testified that you weren't aware of that conversation.
6 And I'd like to show you three on-site investigations. This is from the
7 11th of August; it's from the Sibenik Police Administration. If you look
8 towards the bottom it says, under point 1:
9 "The on-site investigation is conducted based on information
10 received from an unknown member of the 142nd Brigade."
11 At the top, it says the date of commission is 6 August 1995.
12 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the page, please.
13 Q. You'll see, under point 6, an on-site investigation, in fact, was
14 carried out. And if we look through that, can you see the results of the
15 on-site investigation.
16 In the interests of time, Mr. Cetina, I will tell you that there
17 at least two other such on-site investigations for bodies found prior to
18 the 10th of August, and those are D1397 and D1398.
19 My question to you, Mr. Cetina, is: In fact, it was up to the
20 sanitation teams -- let me rephrase that.
21 In fact, investigations of bodies found did go on immediately
22 after Operation Storm, as far as you know, if circumstances dictated that
23 there was a suspicion that something of a criminal nature may have taken
25 Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cetina.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have in further questions.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Mr. President, just for clarity of the record,
6 Mr. Misetic mentioned the discussion with regard to the sanitation issue
7 and that was not 6th August. 7th August. I just wished to point that
9 MR. MISETIC: That's fine, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was trying to find it, as a matter of fact,
11 but I couldn't find it.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, Judge Kinis has one or more questions
14 for you.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, Judge Kinis has one or more questions
17 for you.
18 JUDGE KINIS: Mr. Cetina, I would like to -- referring back to
19 Exhibit D598. This is a report, Tomurad to Josko Moric.
20 Could you please bring up on the screen, this document. Second
21 page, please. No, this is not ... I'm sorry, this is not the right one.
22 MR. KAY: 589, I think, is the document Your Honour requires.
23 JUDGE KINIS: Sorry?
24 MR. KAY: 589.
25 JUDGE KINIS: 589, yes. Yeah. 589, yes.
1 In the second page of this document there is mentioned --
2 Mr. Tomurad mentions that there are such situations that individuals who
3 are taking away property on basis of written permissions issued by
4 municipal presidents.
5 My question is: If such actions did take place, and obviously it
6 was, what kind of measures was prepared in order to stop such? And was
7 there some -- some activities -- or some actions to -- to call such
8 persons to criminal liability?
9 A. These certificates or permissions were not considered valid by
10 the police, and in such cases, the objects concerned were to be
11 confiscated or seized.
12 JUDGE KINIS: And there was no action taken against those persons
13 who issued such certificates?
14 A. No. As far as I remember, they weren't.
15 JUDGE KINIS: And the next question is regarding restrictions of
16 UNCIVPOL. Witness Laila Malm, from UNCIVPOL, testified on the
17 11th September, 1995
18 of minutes, a Croatian police officer arrived and told witness to left --
19 leave this graveyard.
20 Could you comment on this, please.
21 A. He -- it is highly likely that he did not the relevant
22 documentation that would have permitted him to gain access to the
24 JUDGE KINIS: What kind of documentation UNCIVPOL officer should
25 get? You are referring documentation, what kind of documentation you're
1 referring to?
2 A. What I wanted to say, that the police officer did not have an
3 order from his superior to prevent visits from taking place, visits to
4 the cemetery.
5 JUDGE KINIS: But it happened. We received numerous evidence on
7 And finally, Ms. Prosecutor asked this question regarding the
8 determination of dead bodies, particularly who was a victim of combat and
9 who was a victim of murder.
10 And could you please explain whether such a criteria include area
11 or time-limits or characters of wounds, or maybe some other
12 characteristics, where policemen or persons who will deal with these
13 matters immediately can decide that there is no necessity for on-site
14 investigation and just send sanitation teams, which actually happens on
15 the ground.
16 A. The persons who were out in the field always have most
17 information and are always better placed to decide on what needed to be
19 JUDGE KINIS: But we received numerous evidence, including these
20 entries into Knin log-book, police log-book, where policemen, immediately
21 after they receiving information about dead bodies was found, immediately
22 informed just sanitation team and that's all. No -- any actions were
24 A. This was a procedure that was worked out by the
25 Ministry of the Interior.
1 JUDGE KINIS: But you mentioned that -- you mentioned all time
2 and you reiterate many times that law has supremacy over orders issued by
3 officials of ministry.
4 A. Yes. Where there are reasonable doubts for suspicion that a
5 crime was committed.
6 JUDGE KINIS: Actually, it does not answer my question. But
7 thank you very much.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Cetina, one follow-up question on a matter which
9 was raised in relation to your involvement in mop-up operations of the
10 special police. You said you were not involved in organising or
11 planning. You may have been informed.
12 Were you asked, assistance of a limited nature, such as, keep
13 civilians out of that area or keep others out of that area when there --
14 when a mop-up operation was planned?
15 A. It is possible that I received some notification. But as for
16 detailed plans of engagement of the police, that is something I was not
17 privy to.
18 JUDGE ORIE: But I didn't ask you whether you were privy of
19 detailed plans.
20 I asked you whether, when you were notified, whether it was
21 expected that you would assist, although perhaps in a very limited way,
22 and I gave a possible example of keeping out civilians of the area where
23 the mop-up operation would take place. So let's stop civilians to go to
24 Village A, B, and C, because there will be a mop-up operation. And this
25 is just an example.
1 I'm asking you whether any kind of assistance was asked from you
2 or required from you or whether you even were ordered to give such
4 A. I did not receive such an order. It is possible that a
5 notification was sent, and if the regular police, indeed, participated,
6 it was probably along the roads.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I asked you about whether you were asked,
8 whether you were requested, whether you were ordered, and in your answer
9 you limited to that you never received such an order. And you say:
10 "It is possible that the regular police, indeed, participated ...
11 along the roads."
12 Could you give us a bit more information about such
13 participation. Who would ask you to do that?
14 A. An order is an order to me. If I'm instructed to do something, I
16 On the other hand, we may have received some information of
17 police activity in the broader area. And if we assessed that it was
18 necessary to stop people moving along roads from getting off and getting
19 into the area in order to keep them safe, then we tried to keep them out
20 of such areas of combat.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you were, from what I understand, notified
22 as to when and where; and then, if you considered it useful to take any
23 action in order to guarantee safety, you would take action?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us one example? And could you also
1 tell us how many of your men were then involved?
2 A. If there were such instances, they happened seldom. Such
3 information was forwarded, usually, to the chief of the police station
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm asking you whether you could give us an
7 A. I don't remember.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
9 Any -- have the questions of the Bench triggered any need for
10 further questions?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: I have just one question, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Just one question.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm looking at the clock. I'm guilty, myself,
15 Mr. Mikulicic.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: I will be very short.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Cetina, Judge Kinis asked you about such
20 situations in which policemen, when coming across a corpse, notified
21 sanitation teams. It is true and correct - is it not? - that there was
22 always a crime technician who would be part of such a group of people?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And this scene-of-crime officer, as a trained policeman, was able
25 to ascertain whether there were any grounds to believe that a murder was
1 involved when studying such a corpse?
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. Thank you very much for your answers.
4 JUDGE ORIE: By the way, Mr. Mikulicic, that is not what
5 Judge Kinis put to the witness, as a matter of fact, but -- and I
6 verified that with him. That is, upon receiving information about dead
7 bodies, sending sanitation immediately, not finding a body on your way.
8 But let's leave that alone for the time being.
9 Mr. Misetic.
10 MR. MISETIC: Just to let the Chamber know, we have the
11 translation of that Brgud document, while the witness is here. We can
12 show it via Sanction. Otherwise, we can tender it Monday.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to have a look at it. I don't know
14 whether it is long or short.
15 MR. MISETIC: It's one page.
16 JUDGE ORIE: One page. Could it be shown, and I'm aware that ...
17 Not necessarily to be shown to the witness yet, but let's see
18 whether it's --
19 MR. MISETIC: We have to show it via Sanction, Mr. President,
20 because it is not in e-court.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that would, then, be under our ...
22 MR. KAY: While we're waiting, Your Honour, the bar table matter
23 that I referred to yesterday, I've used some of those documents now so
24 it's -- they've come off the bar table.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you, then, could please. I'm a bit worried
1 about all those assisting us, Mr. Kay, Friday, five minutes. If it is an
2 administrative matter, that you should take them out from your bar table
3 list, then we can deal with that. Unless there is anything urgent to be
4 done in court at this moment.
5 MR. KAY: It's just that two documents remain, and they can be
6 made exhibits, to deal with it. Everything else has been dealt with.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Then, Ms. Mahindaratne, are you aware of which documents we're
9 talking about?
10 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Yes, Mr. President, during the break I
11 reviewed them, and I have no objections.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No objections. That would be, Mr. Kay ...
13 MR. KAY: 65 ter 984. If that could be made an exhibit, please,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1770.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. KAY: 65 ter 147. If that could be made an exhibit, please,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1771.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
23 Let's -- this Sanction document. I don't see anything on my
24 screen but ...
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you just give me a second to read it.
2 Yes, that certainly fills in. I don't think that the witness
3 could -- could give us further information about that. But at least it
4 gives more complete picture of the sequence of events.
5 May -- would you like to bar table this -- or would you like to
6 have this document -- then we'll deal with it in the technical matter
7 because it's not yet uploaded. But, Mr. Kay, is it something you'd --
8 MR. KAY: We can bar table it, and we will deal with it as
9 quickly as possible.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
11 Mr. Cetina, on the assumption that there are no further questions
12 from Ms. Mahindaratne.
13 MS. MAHINDARATNE: No, Mr. President, I don't have any questions.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your testimony in this court. I
15 would like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague. We're glad
16 that we can release you still on Friday, so that you don't have to stay
17 over the weekend. I would like to thank you for having answered the
18 questions that were put to you by the parties and the questions that were
19 put to you by the Bench. And I wish you a safe trip home again.
20 We adjourn, and we will resume on Monday, the 2nd of November,
21 9.00, Courtroom III
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of
24 November, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.